Rise and shine, morning glory. Time to get up (unless you’re sleeping in). I’ve got part two of that photography class today, so I’m gettin’ my breakfast on, doing a quick load of laundry and playing with Tabs for a few minutes before I go.
The class is focussed on what they call macro photography — closeup stuff like product shots and bees on flowers. Yesterday we practiced using a large studio light called a soft box. You’ve probably seen ‘em before on shows like Project Runway, but a lot of bloggers are using them too. They’re tall lamps with a large rectangular shade that gives off a huge amount of diffused light, almost like having your own miniature sun in the room.
That reminds me, probably the two most helpful bits of photography advice I’ve ever come across are:
- Shoot with tons of light from multiple sources (i.e. have multiple table lamps, room lights and windows open). Having multiple sources of light or reflective surfaces to bounce light around the subject (like white walls, aluminum foil, mirrors, etc.) lessens the shadows that otherwise appear when a single light source is used.
- Tripod. Want to take crisp, sharp pictures? One word: tripod. No matter how steady I hold my camera, I can’t hold it as steady as a tripod, and camera shake = blur. Most point-and-shoot cameras have 2- or 10-second timers. Try using your camera’s self-timer with a tripod (here’s a great little one for small cameras), and literally bathe your subject in light.
Do you enjoy photography? It’s one of my favorite hobbies. Digital cameras sure have changed things, haven’t they? Just think — 10 years ago we were taking our film to Costco to have it developed!
Anywho, did you have any favorite products this week? I fell pretty hard for the Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eyeshadow Quad in Nude…
TARTE LOCK & ROLL
CREASELESS EYESHADOW DUOS
Most of my college memories have faded into a fuzzy, frosty haze, but the chaotic mornings I spent rushing to get ready before early lectures remain fresh, fresh, fresh!
The drill was always the same: after rolling out of bed, Iâ€™d pull my hair into a ponytail, grab a pair of sunglasses, stuff my makeup bag into my backpack (hoping to get ready in the girlâ€™s bathroom before class), and sprint to catch the bus.
If you foresee a similarly hectic schedule this fall, think about streamlining, and consider adding the Tarte Lock & Roll Creaseless Eyeshadow Duos ($17 each) to your beauty routine.
With a cream shadow base on one end and an eyeshadow rollerball on the other, the nine dual-tipped shimmery shadows work like magic wands in the hurried hands of someone in a rush. Read more…
Like the brightest stars on a crystal clear night, the shadows in the new Stila Backstage Eye Palette twinkle just a little brighter than every other fall product that crossed my path at Sephora yesterday.
Affordable ($28), and filled with fun colors, Backstage looks lovely in its pretty purple packaging.
Girls who like brights might love how intense these colors are and appreciate the thought that clearly went into picking the mix of shades.
Backstageâ€™s frosty shadows sure love to shimmer in the light, and while I think frosts like these can be a lot of fun to play with, these particular ones arenâ€™t the easiest shades to wear. They can be a little messy.
All six of these shadows feel noticeably loose and airy compared to other Stila shadows Iâ€™ve tried â€” like fluffy whipped cream as opposed to smooth cream cheese (yep, Iâ€™m hungry). Read more…
DOLCE & GABBANA
EYESHADOW QUAD IN NUDE
Dolce & Gabbanaâ€™s Sicilian Lace collection for fall 2010 doesnâ€™t officially hit counters for a couple more weeks, but if you canâ€™t/donâ€™t want to wait that long, donâ€™t. Feed your need for instant makeup gratification with the Smooth Eyeshadow Quad in Nude ($59).
Available now, the quadâ€™s one of two permanent collection products being repromoted in Dolce & Gabbanaâ€™s upcoming six-piece fall release (the other being Shine Lipstick in Perfection).
Can I just say how much I this quad? Weâ€™re practically inseparable, all because of Nudeâ€™s four easy-to-wear eyeshadow shades. Read more…
BEAUTY IN A BOX
Wonder Twin powers, activate!
Tarte and Sephora recently did just that â€” activating their Wonder Twin makeup powers to form the new Beauty in a Box Bronze Smokey Eye Kit ($45).
The six-piece limited edition kit comes with products in bronze, nude and purple, with four full-size items (the Lock & Roll Creasless Cream Shadow and Loose Powder in Burnt Bronze, EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner in Plum, Rise & Shine Lip Gloss and Stain in Nude, and the Clean Slate Natural Face Primer) and two deluxe minis (Park Ave Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer; and Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara). Read more…
WET N WILD
These Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color lipsticks sure take me backâ€¦
The year: 1991. Iâ€™m a sophomore in high school. Kids are wearing tacky acid-washed overalls, and Color Me Badd reigns supreme.
My good friend Jen and I shared a lab table in biology class, and weâ€™d start and end every class the same way, by applying our favorite Wet n Wild lippies.
Those first generation WNW lipsticks werenâ€™t the greatest (my tummy churns just thinking about that faux rose scent and plastic flavor), but they were hella cheap, which was why we always had at least one tube stuffed into our Liz Claiborne bags.
That was a long time agoâ€¦ A lotâ€™s changed since then, but some things remain the same. Jen and I still wax philosophic about makeup and beauty (although now we do it by blog, e-mail or text), and Wet n Wild is still a viable drugstore makeup option for ladies looking to save a few bucks. Read more…
RIMMEL LASTING FINISH PRO
Sometimes summer makes it hard to commit to fall makeup designed to conjure thoughts of autumn leaves, wool scarves and boots, despite the flourish of fall collections whispering sweet nothings in our ears (Chanel, Urban Decay, Dior!).
To all the beauty companies out there, Iâ€™m not quite ready to shift my makeup gears yet, so please bring on more summery brights!
Like these five new Lasting Finish nail shades from Rimmelâ€¦
The vibrant $4 colors hail from their 32-piece Lasting Finish Pro Nail Enamel line.
I think theyâ€™re notable for the colors, of course, and the wide applicator brush that covers most of the nail and thus speeds application. I also dig the thin, easy-to-apply texture. Read more…
YSL TOUCHE ECLAT
Iâ€™m chalking up my spur-of-the-moment decision to get $40 YSL Touche Eclat to temporary insanity.
I know a lot of women swear by the stuff â€” a versatile liquid face product (available in four shades) designed to work as a concealer, highlighter, eyeshadow base and even a lip primer â€” but when I tried it for the first time years ago, I wasnâ€™t wowed.
â€œIâ€™m older and wiser now,â€ I thought. â€œMaybe I should give it another try.â€
Like Mulder from the X-Files, I REALLY wanted to believe. The productâ€™s so popular that the company says they sell one every 20 seconds worldwide! Read more…
NARS ONLY YOU
AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE PALETTES
Do you suppose Francois Nars was bumping vintage Ace of Base when he named his new fall lip and cheek palette â€œBeautiful Lifeâ€?
I secretly hope so, because even though the songâ€™s hella cheesy, I also think itâ€™s kinda awesome.
The new NARS Beautiful Life Lip and Cheek ($55) and Only You Eye and Cheek ($65) palettes for fall, available now on the NARS website, are equally spectacular (but in a totally non-cheesy way). Read more…
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,