Heavens to Murgatroyd! It sounds like dueling sneezes up in here. Both Tabs and El Hub have bad allergies, and Zyrtec is the only thing keeping me in the game.
Good morning, young lady. How are you doing today? Have you had breakfast yet? I’m in the mood for something good. Maybe pancakes and eggs.
Oh, you might be interested in this. Last night I read a few reviews of a new-ish camera that looks pretty interesting. It’s the Canon PowerShot S95 (about $400). It’s very expensive, but it boasts an unusual combination of features you don’t see often on little point-and-shoots, like a very fast f/2.0-4.9 lens, which basically means it’s equipped to take pics in fairly low light. The lens also opens up to 28mm at the widest, which means it sees more of the scene than most little cameras at 35mm do. Makes it a little better for shooting in cramped spaces and for panoramic landscape and architectural pics. The wider angle means you don’t have to step back quite as far to get the entire subject in the frame. In this particular camera’s case it’s only slightly significant (the difference between 28mm and 35mm).
If you’re interested in this sort of thing, here are the cameras I use right now…
- Canon T2i — a DSLR that supports interchangeable lenses; my main workhorse; the newer T3i model adds a very useful flip-out LCD (with it I’d be able to check myself in the LCD when the camera is mounted on a tripod in front of me)
- Canon G11 (the newer G12 is nearly the same) — a mix between a little point-and-shoot camera and a bulky DSLR; has a flip-out LCD but doesn’t support interchangeable lenses; does give you manual control over aperture, shutter speed and exposure
- Canon SD950IS — a basic little Canon point-and-shoot that takes unbelievably crisp, vibrant pictures; most of Canon’s point-and-shoot cameras take fantastic pictures
I think these are all great cameras for swatches, closeups and portraits. Where the DSLR takes the clear lead is with taking pictures of moving subjects (like Tabs) because it supports very fast lenses like the 50mm f/1.4 that are able to freeze action better than a point-and-shoot. Fast lenses are also better in low-light situations. The camera also supports wider-angle lenses than the lenses that come with the little ones.
Every so often I’m asked about the cameras and lenses I use, and I always try to explain how the best pieces of camera equipment I own are the manuals that come with each camera. Even the least expensive point-and-shoot cameras can usually take pictures that look just about as good as the pics the most expensive cameras can take when they’re used correctly.
I try to keep these two things in mind when I’m taking pics…
- Light, light, light! The more the merrier. Natural sunlight produces more accurate colors than yellowish soft-white indoor light bulbs do (although stores do sell daylight bulbs as well). Bright light also means not having to use a flash, and flashes can alter colors.
- Camera shake. Even when you try to hold a camera perfectly still, there’s still a slight movement when you press the shutter button, and that movement can make pictures blurry. That’s why I use tripods so often and/or the camera’s self-timer. Light is a cure for camera shake because it allows the camera’s shutter to open and close quicker (because it doesn’t have to be open for as much time to capture the light it needs). So, if your pics are coming out blurry, open more windows, step outside in daylight, or bring another bright lamp into the room.
I’m always looking for new photography tips, so please share if you have any.
Before you jet, here’s a quick look back at some of the things we talked about in makeup and beauty this week. Hope you have a great day.
The Weekly Roundup: Posts You Might Have Missed
BE BOLD ON A BUDGET WITH THESE
$7 MILANI LIP FLASH PENCILS
Hey, cutie. Before driving out to the East Bay this afternoon, I didnâ€™t intend to spend a lot of time on my makeup, but then one thing led to another, etc., etc. Before I knew it, Iâ€™d swatched the entire line of Milani Lip Flash Pencils ($6.99).
Remember these? We talked about a shimmery bronze one a while back called Lip Flash.
Not bad for $7, right? Have a look at these, and let me know what you think. These party girl glosses are bold, shimmery and in yoâ€™ face. Iâ€™ve been pairing bronzy brown Lip Flash, probably the tamest one of the batch, with brown, gold or bronze smokey eyes. The other seven come in various shades of pink, red, magenta and purple and should be a blast to wear with crazy false eyelashes, glitter and a pair of dangerously sky-high heels. Read more…
NARS SUMMER 2011, SWEET RELIEF
AND RANDOM ACTS OF BEAUTY
Most mornings Iâ€™m awakened by a chubby tabby cat set to go off about a minute before the regular alarm on my phone. Itâ€™s a very unusual alarm in that Iâ€™m actually the source of the sound, which is like a painful yelp. It works like this: Tabs, who usually sleeps in his kitty bed on the floor, climbs up onto my bladder and launches from it into the air, â€œWhee!â€
And it even has something like a snooze button because after he does it the first time, I usually drift back to sleep, so he does it again about 10 minutes later. This repeats over and over until I finally get out of bed.
But this morning the tabby alarm clock malfunctioned in a glorious way! Instead of using my bladder as a springboard, Tabs climbed up onto the bed and gently snuggled his way into my arms like a present. Of course, I soaked it up as long as I could (cat ladies, you know what Iâ€™m talking about), listening to him purr and feeling the curve of his warm kitty body against mine as rays of sunlight filtered in through the windows onto his fur. It was so peaceful and calm that I almost couldnâ€™t get out of bed! Read more…
HERE COMES THE URBAN BRIDE!
WILL YOU SAY “I DO” TO URBAN DECAY’S NEW URBAN BRIDE?
Places, everyone. Itâ€™s time!
Maestro, queue the Wedding March.
Here she comes! Urban Decayâ€™s new $42 Urban Bride gift box is coming down the aisle. And just in time for wedding season to Ulta, select Macyâ€™s stores and also online.
Isnâ€™t her dress beautiful (I hear itâ€™s an exclusive Urban Decay)? Urban Decay timed the limited edition wedding-themed set to coincide with the release of Bridesmaids next month (May 13), a new comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose Byrne. In the story, Annie is her BFFâ€™s Maid of Honor, whose life unravels as she tries to get the bridesmaids all set for the big day. Iâ€™m a fiend for chick flicks, so it sounds like my cup of tea.
The set (how adorable is that box?) comes with six long-wearing Urban Decay products for face, eyes, lips and body. Read more…
HOW TO GET THE MOST BOUNCE FOR YOUR BUCK
FROM THE NEW MAC BIG BOUNCE SHADOWS
Do you remember flubber? It was a rubber-like, super bouncy substance created by an absent-minded professor in 1961. Actually, by THE Absent-Minded Professor in the Disney movie of the same name. I suspect MAC might have lured the professor out of retirement to help them develop the upcoming MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 each) because, like flubber, theyâ€™re also quite bouncy and unusual.
The rich colors donâ€™t feel like anything Iâ€™ve ever felt before. Think dense whipped cream, if that makes any sense, and when I tap the pans with a finger, I can actually feel them bouncing back in a very cool, weird way.
Hopefully these 16 shadows with metallic and/or pearl finishes are easier to corral than flubber was. Getting that stuff to stay put was almost impossible, but these shadows are supposed to bounce onto counters May 5 as part of the new MAC Flighty collection.
For help getting the most bounce from these beauties, I turned to one of my favorite MAC senior artists, Romero Jennings (are you following him on Twitter?). Read more…
SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL MOISTURIZING
BRONZING POWDER IN BRONZE ROSE IS LIKE SUMMER IN A PAN
Lately, Iâ€™ve been super obsessed with the idea of the South of France and the Cannes Film Festival taking place there next month. Plus, you know how much I like surfing, and apparently, Cannes has some really great surf spots, too. Who knew?
Chanelâ€™s new Soleil Tan de Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder in Bronze Rose ($50) is fueling this obsession. It launched a couple weeks ago with the new Chanel Les Fleurs Dâ€™Ete Summer Collection.
Doesnâ€™t it make your heart flutter? love Itâ€™s like summer in a pan, ahâ€¦
If it seems like youâ€™ve seen this film before, you have a good eye, my friend. A similar four-color powder bronzer premiered with Chanelâ€™s Cote Dâ€™Azur Summer Collection back in 2009, except that story starred four shimmery golden browns instead of a shimmery pinkish gold; a peachy pink; a warm, golden orangey brown; and a light baby pink. Read more…
MAC STUDIO FIX BOLDBLACK LASH
FEELS AS LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD
When I was a kid, every slumber party I went to started with 16 Candles, progressed to crank calling cute boys from class, and ended with us playing light as a feather, stiff as a board.
For the game, one of us would lie down on the floor. Then, a bunch of us girls would lift her, using just two fingers on each hand, while chanting, â€œlight as a feather, stiff as a board,â€ over and over again. I have no idea why this was considered fun, but we got the biggest kick out of it and did it all the time.
Ah, to be young and easily amusedâ€¦
MACâ€™s new Studio Fix Boldblack Lash mascara ($14) reminds me of that old game. Launching April 28 on counters with the new Fashion Flower Collection (NOTE: itâ€™s available now online), Boldblack will join the MAC permanent line. Read more…
MAC UNSUNG HEROES
NAKED LUNCH EYESHADOW
What I wouldnâ€™t give to learn the story behind the name of todayâ€™s MAC Unsung Hero, Naked Lunch ($14.50).
Was there really a lunch in which the attendees were naked (eww!)? If so, I wonder what was on the menuâ€¦ I assume that soups and other hot foods were absent, as well as beans and cheeses that encourage, um, bloat.
Iâ€™m all for culinary adventures, but when it comes to my lunches, I think Iâ€™ll stick to wearing clothes and this powder shadow from MACâ€™s permanent line.
When I need something foolproof to wear with my favorite browns, I often reach for Naked Lunch. It casts a candlelit glow on my skin that ignores my fine lines, and it blends like a makeup dream. Read more…
I’M JUICED ABOUT THESE CHANEL
LES FLEURES D’Ã‰TÃ‰ DE CHANEL GLOSSIMERS
Mango overload! Mango overload! Help! I have no idea what to do with the four ripe mangoes that have been sitting in my kitchen since Easter, all delicious-looking and filled with juice. Salsa? Marinade? A smoothie, perhaps?
Around this time every year, I get a craving for two things: 1) mangoes and 2) shimmery, sheer glosses like PensÃ©e (a shimmery coral) and Pink Peony (a shimmer pink). And what do they all have in common? One word: juice.
The luscious, juicy glosses are two of the three Glossimers from this summerâ€™s Les Fleurs Dâ€™Ã‰tÃ© de Chanel collection, and I think they look delicious on tanned skin. Delicious, yes, but not altogether surprising, which isnâ€™t necessarily a bad thing.
I, on the other hand, am a little surprised that Chanel chose to go such a traditional route with these when they repeatedly broke so much ground last year with products like the Khakis, Riva and this springâ€™s Ombres Perlees Palette. Read more…
A MANIC MANGO THURSDAY AND
MY NEW FOUNDATION ROUTINE
As a devoted fan of Laura Mercier Oil-Free Liquid Foundation for years, I was heartbroken to find that Laura changed the color of my go-to shade (NOOOO!). Or, rather, Iâ€™m fairly sure she did. I bought a bottle recently that seemed dramatically darker and pinker (is that a word?) than it always had before, so I checked other bottles at several counters just to be sure, and, yup, they were different too.
What a disappointmentâ€¦ It always covered everything, never caused breakouts, and has always been so easy to apply.
I drifted like that, crushed, in foundation no-manâ€™s land for a while and returned to using my trusty Chanel Mat Lumiere, which I love for everyday wear, but I donâ€™t feel like it photographs very well on me (I think it looks a little flat).
I also tried Make Up For Ever HD, which I think looks fantastic and photographs well, but hello, pimples!; and MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation (great coverage, but it smothers my skin) but wasnâ€™t really wowed by either. Read more…
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,