Archive - News

5 Lighting Tips for Bloggers, Photography Buffs and Beginners

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun, News

Photoshop World 2013

Photographers wield light like authors wield words to tell stories. Different qualities of light evoke different emotions, and poor lighting can make even the most lovely person in the world look like Quasimodo.

From a photography standpoint, you always want to be thinking about light. It’s comprised of three components — quality, color and direction.

Here are five photography tips to help you make the most of your light. :)

1. Let there be light!

Your flash is a powerful tool that lets you manipulate light, and with it, you can guide a viewer’s eye, and make them notice what you want them to notice.

But flashes aren’t your only light sources. Windows, lamps, overhead lights, mirrors — heck, even flashlights and the light from the screen on your phone are light sources.

Now, since you can’t always be in the room with someone when they’re looking at one of your pictures, that’s where your ability to manipulate light comes into play in your photography.

One important thing to remember? You don’t always have to point your flash directly at your subject. Light reflects and bounces off surfaces, and you can use that to your advantage. Experiment by taking pictures near windows, lamps, overhead lights, bright walls (keep in mind that walls will throw a colorcast), and combine light sources — literally move them around sometimes — to create different effects.

2. What are soft boxes and umbrellas used for?

Soft boxes — those large, usually black or white rectangular boxes you see mounted on tall poles on film sets and photo shoots — are referred to as light modifiers. They’re often used to diffuse powerful lights, reducing harsh, unflattering shadows, like the kind that the flash on your camera can produce.

Without a light modifier, a flash is like a machine gun of light. Modifiers like umbrellas soften the light as it passes through them. HINT-HINT: bedsheets, curtains and other semi-transparent fabrics you already have around the house do the same thing.

3. Going the distance

Changing the distance between your light sources and your subject can create dramatically different effects. Sometimes, taking one step left or right, or forward or back, can totally change your picture. This is particularly noticeable in direct sunlight on a bright, sunny day. Sometimes all it takes is one or two steps to move your subject into the shadows, where your light is softer and probably much more flattering.

(read more…)

5 Easy Text and Photo Composition Tips for Bloggers

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun, News

Photoshop World 2013

I’m still getting my learnin’s on here at Photoshop World. :) Yesterday’s classes were great. There are different course tracks for photography, lighting and Photoshop techniques, and you can go to whichever classes you want. Then, between the classes, there’s a huge expo hall with dozens of booths set up by companies that sell photography equipment like lenses, huge studio lights and gigantic umbrellas.

Pretty cool if you’re into this kind of stuff…

Here are five tips I picked up yesterday to help you take your photography to the next level.

  1. Angles increase the “drama!” They also add a sense of movement and energy. You also don’t always need to fit objects entirely in the photo frame. Practice rotating your camera to create different effects.

  2. “When it comes to type,” says Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book series and NAPP president (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), “make it small, and when you think it’s too small, go a little further.” You don’t want your type to take away from your image.

  3. For your text logos and photo titles, think contrast, contrast, contrast. If using two fonts, pair a script with a sans serif, lowercase and uppercase, no kerning with high kerning (the space between the individual letters), etc.

  4. In photos, the viewer’s eye naturally seeks out text before anything else. Then it looks for the lightest parts of an image. Lighter objects also appear larger than darker objects.

  5. Tangents are points where two objects appear to touch/meet in an image. The eye will seek out these areas — these meeting points. It’s weird… You can’t resist looking at them! Sometimes, if they’re unintentional, they can detract from what you really want people to look at in your picture. Also, purposefully cropping parts of something (like a short beauty blogger) can make it appear larger or taller.

Some of these are crazy, right!? Didn’t your eyes look at that point where the pyramid barely touches the top of the picture frame? And those two apples — they’re both the same size, but doesn’t the lighter green apple look a little bigger than the red one?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. For more tips from Photoshop World and other conferences I’ve attended, click here.

10 Really Useful Fonts for Bloggers, Beauty and Otherwise

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun, News

One of the classes I went to yesterday here at Photoshop World was a class on typography for professional photographers — as in text titles for wedding photo album covers, online galleries, photo books and things like that.

The lessons translate really well to movie poster text and pictures for blogging, too, like when you add a caption or title to an image at the top of your blog posts, which a lot of us do.

The course was taught by Scott Kelby, an awesome photographer and the author of more than 50 books on photography and Photoshop, many of which I love and own.

10 Really Useful Fonts for Bloggers

10 Useful Fonts for Bloggers

  1. Helvetica Neue (Target, MTV)
  2. Trajan Pro (probably the most popular movie poster font)
  3. Futura
  4. Gill Sans (official font for the UK Underground tube signs)
  5. Trebuchet (Microsoft loves this font. It’s a good option whenever you think Helvetica looks too stiff)
  6. Adobe Garamond (the original Apple font, also the Google logo font, but it’s not great for long blocks of text)
  7. Bickham Script Pro (a great font for scripty effects)
  8. Copperplate (looks great, elegant with a lot of kerning/space between the letters)
  9. Minion (Adobe loves Minion; it’s a good alternative to Times New Roman)
  10. Myriad (Apple loves Myriad and uses a version of it for practically everything)

For your next blog post, or if you ever have to create a document for school or work, give one of these fonts a try. Most of them should already be installed on your computer, as a few of them are decades old. Some even predate computers.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. While not makeup related, I think fonts are beautiful, which falls under the purview of “makeup and beauty” to me. :) I’m filing this post under my “blogging” category, and there are quite a few other posts in there as well, if you’re interested.


Touch Up After You Touch Down: Benefit Introduces New Automatic Kiosks at 25 Airports This Fall

Published in: Benefit, News

“This way to baggage claim…and this way to Benefit!”

Ever your find yourself in Austin wishing you had Dallas?

If Benefit is your jam — as it is mine, says the girl who went BAT SH*T CRAZY when she saw this pink Benefit vending machine at the airport! — now you can get glam on the go with Benefit’s glorious new Glam Up & Away automatic kiosks.

I’m serious, seeing one of these right when you step off the plane is like being greeted by an old friend. “Ahh…” :)

These luxe new kiosks are landing at 25 airports this fall, including Austin, Houston, Savannah, Cleveland, Raleigh and yes, Vegas, baby!

As you can see, against a backdrop of uninspiring airport design, the cute kiosks are hard to miss.

Like little cosmetics candy stores, each one is stocked with 30 Benefit bestsellers, and you can even get tips and suggestions on the user-friendly touchscreen while you peruse.

There’s even a mirror



They’re Real Mascara…

Fake Up and liquid blushes…

The Porefessional, with some other Benefit goodies

Boxed blushes and more (yay, my favorite Hoola bronzer is there!)


(read more…)

3 Ways to Update Your Fall Makeup Bag for $20 or Less

Published in: Just For Fun, News

3 Ways to Update Your Fall Makeup Bag for $20 or Less

Find out 3 Ways to Update Your Fall Makeup Bag for $20 or Less in my latest post on the Ladies’ Home Journal beauty blog, Gloss Daily.

Fall makeup is like the Super Bowl of beauty, far as I’m concerned. The boldest and best makeup for eyes, lips, cheeks, skin, brows and lashes take the field…or rather, the tops of makeup counters, all coming together for a major makeup event.


Best thing about it is you don’t have to make it rain to switch up your fall makeup game. These 3 updates — each one $20 or less — will get your makeup bag in fighting shape for the new season.

Head on over to Gloss Daily, the Ladies’ Home Journal beauty blog, to read the rest of 3 Ways to Update Your Fall Makeup Bag for $20 or Less.

And if you feel like it, hit one of the buttons beneath the title to show some love. I’d really appreciate it!

Every time you like/tweet/comment, a husky tabby’s low-hanging tummy sways in the wind… :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Page 2 of 74