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Today I’m going to be sharing a few easy tips for better blog photos. These are quick ideas that you can put into action fairly quickly to take your blog and Instagram photography to the next level! Watch the video below and read on for more details.

Tips for better blog photos:

  1. Perfect your flatlays!
    • This means playing around with different props. I love the dollar store for finding different items to fit in with a photo’s theme or to give it a quick little boost. I find that they’re treasure troves of fun little items that you can use to accessorize or add a little character – think things like fake flowers, gems and home decor.
    • Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! Play around with the layout of the products you’re focusing on. There’s not set way or formula to lay out your shot, so have fun with it and find something that works with your aesthetic.
    • Floor tiles make great backgrounds for photos and can add nice texture to the background of a shot. Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, other reuse centers and hardware stores carry tons of different options and are usually pretty inexpensive. Other items like scrapbook paper, coloured construction paper and cutting/serving blocks are great for this as well. Try playing around with a couple different options at the same time to create a unique look!
  2. Play around with lighting!
    • Natural light is the best lighting your going to get. Try shooting in the morning when the light is pure if you live somewhere with access to lots of it!
    • If you don’t have a ton of natural light, like myself, you can purchase decently priced lighting sets online to make things easier for you. I use umbrella lights for my product photography and a ring light for face shots – they brighten your skin and give it a nice glow.
  3. Edit your photos before they go live!
    • Photoshop is  fantastic resource and one of the most in depth ways to edit your photos. Play around with your shots to make them as perfect as possible before you share them. If you’re new to Photoshop, there are tons of tutorials available online to help you learn how to properly edit your photos.
    • If you’re on a budget, there are many free alternatives to Photoshop that will give you great results. Try programs like Picasa, PicMonkey and GIMP to clean up your photos.
    • Shooting from your phone? There are many great photo editing apps available that allow you to edit directly from your phone. I’m a big fan of Snapseed, Afterlight and Color Story for my mobile editing.

How do you make your blog photos even better?

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candy corn nails, candy corn manicure, halloween nails, halloween nail art, easy halloween nail art, easy candy corn manicure, candy corn manicure tutorial, how to do halloween nails, fun orange nails, fun fall nails

I’m going to start this off by letting you know that I’m an absolute Halloween fanatic. October 31st is, hands down, my favourite day of the year, and I usually start choosing my costume for next year as soon as the holiday has passed. This year, I’m finally being a mermaid, and completely DIYing my costume (I can share deets on this if anyone’s interested!). In the meantime, I wanted to share this subtle Candy Corn Manicure. I do realize that not everyone gets as worked up about Halloween as I do or prefer to take a more subtle approach to Halloween beauty; this easy nail art will give you a chance to get into the spirit without going overboard.

Oh, and did I mention it’s easy? Because it really is. My dad could probably pull this off.

Start off by prepping your nails with base coat to smooth (Formula X Color Corrector is perfect for this) and one-two coats of white polish (I used OPI Alpine Snow for this one). Prep your cuticles with a hydrating moisturizer or apply white glue or a cuticle guard to make clean up easier.

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Next, take a triangular cosmetics sponge (you can pick these up at the dollar store) and trim it to get a piece that’s similar in width to your nails. Starting from the top, apply a wide stripe of polish in white, followed by a soft yellow (I used OPI Infinite Shine in Bee Mine Forever) and finished with a stripe of a soft orange shade (Essie Gel Couture in Looks to Thrill), layering them like a neopolitan ice cream that will fit from base to tip of your nails. Dab on a piece of paper a couple of times to blend the colours together a little, then gently dab onto your nails to transfer the polish and create the candy corn look. Reapply the polish to the sponge as needed, and try to do a couple of coats to build the colour. Once finished, apply a top coat (Seche Vite dries quickly and locks in colour) to blend the polish even more and secure the look.

Will you be trying this Candy Corn Manicure or any Halloween nail art?

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national coffee day, coffe manicure, sally hansen nails, sally hansen miracle gel, sally hansen totem-ly yours, coffee mani, nude mani, easy nude nail art, easy nude nails, how to do nail art,  nail art for beginners

Caffeine addict? Today marks national coffee day, and Sally Hansen’s Global Colour Ambassador Madeline Poole created the perfect mocha mani in honour of it, using Miracle Gel polishes. Take a look at the mani and learn how to get the look below!

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Start by applying 2 coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Birthday Suit to all the nails.

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Using a striping brush, outline a semi-circle shape on the pinky nail using the color Sally Hansen Miracle
Gel in Totem-ly Yours. The shape should resemble the shape of a coffee bean – oblong and round.

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Fill in this semi-circle and repeat this process in a flip-flopping manner down the nails. The feel should be
organic and random in placement.

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After painting the coffee bean outlines. Allow the nails to dry a few minutes and then apply one coat of
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

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The look is super chic, and can easily be worn well past National Coffee Day. The nude look is timeless, or you can try switching up the shades to create your own colour combination. What shades would you try?

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mani, manicure, at home manicure, how to make your manicure last, best manicure tips, l'oreal paris l'huile a vernis, tom bachik, l'oreal paris nails, tom bachik nail tips

Keeping your nails looking fresh is an important part of many of our beauty rituals, but for some that’s easier said than done. Spa appointments are nice once in a while, but it’s also much more cost effective to do your nails at home. Tom Bachik, L’Oreal Paris’ Celebrity Nail Artist and the MANicurist for stars like Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez, knows a thing or two about nails and let us in on some of his no-fail secrets. Follow his steps to avoid common nail mistakes and master your mani at home.

Skip the soak

We may be used to giving our nails a good soak before a mani, but this actually changes the shape of the nails and how polish adheres to them. Instead, try giving them a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol to prep the nail bed.

Care for those cuticles

Gently push them back with a cuticle stick, but try to avoid trimming them back since this can actually cause them to grow back thicker as they try to protect the nail base. Afterwards, just buff around the cuticle area for a smooth finish.

Find your shape

File the tips of your nails to your favourite length and shape, using a smooth file with a high grit (a file that is too coarse can result in peeling nails). Having trouble making your tips even? Try holding your hand fanned out, with your finger tips facing away from you, while you file.

Build a base

Before applying your polish, start with a layer of base coat. It acts like double-sided tape for the nail, giving the nail polish more to adhere to for longer wear. Don’t just use any base coat though, make sure you find the right one for your nail type, whether it’s to fill ridges or add strength.

Add your colour

The fun part! Apply polish to the nail (we love the new L’Oreal Paris Le Vernis A L’Huile since it contains a blend of four precious oils for amazing colour and shine), applying a little pressure with the applicator so the tip of the brush fans out to match the rounded shape of the cuticle. Use thin, even coats of polish, allowing it to dry for one to tow minutes before applying a second coat, and then a layer of top coat.

Clean it up

Dip a thin brush (a lip brush or fine paintbrush are perfect for this) into nail polish remover and use it to remove any excess polish around the nail or on the cuticles.

Hydrate!

There’s nothing worse than dry, ragged cuticles. Massage cuticle oil into them to hydrate, soften and smooth. Tom actually uses facial oil for this, and swears by L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, as the blend of eight essential oils adds the perfect dose of hydration. Make this a part of your daily ritual, whether it’s first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed if you don’t want to walk around with oil on your hands.

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kerastase oleo curl, shu uemura wonder worker, kerastase curl fever, kerastase boucles d'art, shu uemura texture wave, beach wave tutorial, beachy waves, heat free waves, how to get beach waves, how to style hair without heat, heat free hair styling, summer hair styles, how do i get beach waves, mermaid hair, easy wavy hair, wavy hair tutorial, colin d ford

Ahhhh summer. We’ve finally hit that beautiful time of year in Toronto where the heat starts ratcheting up. We’ve already had some days with higher than normal temperatures (which I will not complain about) and I’m sure it’s only going to continue to go up from here. You may have also seen that I spent a few weeks in Costa Rica visiting my parents last month, and it was very hot down there – sweating from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed hot. No matter the situation, higher temperatures can make getting ready a bit more of a challenge, especially when you don’t have AC.

When you spend 90% of your time in the water on while on vacay, you need quick, easy styling!

When you spend 90% of your time in the water on while on vacay, you need quick, easy styling!

When the temperatures start to rise, it’s so much easier to cut down on your beauty routine so you spend less time getting ready and more time enjoying the weather. Not only that, but the less effort you have to put in the better – you’ve got to keep cool! I brought some Kérastase PARIS products down to CR with me to help out with this; with a combo of the right products and expert steps, I was able to pull off nearly effortless beachy waves without the heat styling that has become such a big part of my routine throughout the rest of the year.

Colin D Ford, Kérastase PARIS Artistic & Education Director, shared some great steps with me to help me achieve the perfect beachy wave, and lucky for you, I’m going to share them with you today (note that the italics are extra notes from my experience).

So, how can you easily achieve beach waves without all the extra work? Here are Colin’s tips:

  • Prep hair with Kérastase OLEO CURL, which is a leave-in conditioner with an anti-frizz action and a relaxed curl. Apply about the size of a quarter into your palms, spread through your hands and then work through the mid lengths and ends of the hair.
  • Alternatively, if your hair has a light texture then spray WONDER WORKER from Shu Uemura into the mid-lengths and ends. This is ideal for air drying the hair. It will aid in detangling, conditioning and smoothing the hair while taming any frizz. (I actually like to use both of these in my hair to prep for styling – using the two doesn’t weigh the hair down and helps to keep the hair feeling as great as it looks)
  • Comb your hair through with a large wide toothed comb to ensure even distribution of the product.
  • Next, apply CURL FEVER from Kérastase, a light-weight gel specifically designed for giving some control and definition to curly or wavy hair.  Once distributed through the hair, shake and leave to dry naturally. This will allow the hair to dry without becoming fluffy. (If you want a more relaxed wave, Kérastase BOUCLES D’ART Aqua-Mousse is another great option. It adds a little more body and softens the look of the waves)
  • Once your hair is dry, use TEXTURE WAVE from Shu Uemura. This is a dry finishing spray and will give you an undone yet moveable and beachy waves. Spray 8 to 10 inches away from the hair and simply work it in with your fingers to achieve your desired finished look. (I like to spritz this in from the mid-shaft down and scrunch/fluff my hair to give it a little more “attitude”)

How do you style your hair during the summer?

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