Does it actually last the test of time?
Thanks to women’s magazines, YouTube tutorials, and countless blogs dedicated to beauty, everyone can be an expert when it comes to hair and makeup. We know how to create the perfect smokey eye, braid our hair, and sculpt our face, but a quick chat with my friends confirmed one thing: There are certain beauty basics that we all fail to follow.
Whether it’s laziness, lack of time, or simply indifference, there always seems to be a reason to ignore the following beauty tips:
1. Protect your hair from heat
Do you blow dry your hair? Do you straighten it? Do you use a curling wand? Chances are you’ve answered yes to at least one of those questions. Do you apply heat protection spray before doing so? No? Me neither. Even though every single hair stylist tells us how damaging heat can be to hair and that’s it’s sooo important to use a product that protects our hair from the heat, most women skip this step.
2. Clean your brushes
Just think about it: Makeup brushes and hair brushes are used almost everyday and pick up whatever is on our scalp and skin including bacteria, which we then spread again the next day. Most beauticians would tell you to clean your brushes at least weekly, but I’m yet to find a person who actually does this.
3. Apply a base coat
If you can’t be bothered to get a professional manicure every week or you just like to change your nail colour regularly, you probably DIY it at home. Your bathroom is filled with nail polish bottles in every colour of the rainbow, but do you apply a base coat before applying that dark red varnish to keep your nails from turning yellow? I didn’t think so.
4. Use toner
We are repeatedly told how important it is to remove make up and really clean our skin before going to bed. Most of us have a good cleanser for this purpose, but how many of us add that extra step of using a toner to our skincare routine? The right toner can repair and restore your skin, yet, many of us have never owned a toner.
You know it’s important. And you know your toothbrush can only do so much, but somehow, flossing can be found at the bottom of our priority list. Oh well, we’re only human.
Image via Allure
The Cannes Film Festival 2015 may be about movies, but let’s face it, the red carpet in Cannes is just as exciting as the movie line-up. Packed with A-list stars and set in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, this festival definitely brings a whole lot of glamour to France.
So it makes sense that the celebrities attending the Cannes Festival give it their all when it comes to their red carpet looks. This year, it wasn’t just the stunning gowns that impressed, but also the stars’ hair and make up, which proved to be anything but boring.
If you need a bit of hair and make up inspo in your life right now, have a look at the following styles:
Rooney Mara put an interesting twist on the topknot with her hair half-down-half-up in a messy bun. It’s a casual contrast to her very feminine lace dress and works perfectly with her minimal make up and strong brows.
L’Oreal ambassador and model Barbara Palvin looked smoking in a semi-transparent black dress, but it was all about her eyes. Who said black liquid eyeliner should only be used on the top eyelid? Take a hint from Barbara and frame your entire eye in deep black to create the ultimate cat eye. Keep the rest of your make up natural as less is more.
Petra Nemcova’s half braided hairstyle is a romantic take on the popular undercut and a lot less scary than a half shaved head. It might take some practice, but this hairstyle is a showstopper.
Natalie Portman doesn’t need much to look absolutely beautiful, which she proved with a simple updo and nude lips, but who would have thought that metallic blue eyeliner can look this amazing? If you have brown eyes like Natalie, don’t shy away from a bit of blue and lots of black mascara to frame your eyes.
Lastly, the hottest model of the moment, Karlie Kloss, pulled off the no-makeup-makeup-look to perfection. Just a hint of pink on the lips and cheeks and loose wavy hair is all it takes to make Karlie look a million dollars. The key to this natural look? Perfect looking skin and strong eyebrows.
Images via popsugar, vogue.co.uk
Let’s face it, not many women are blessed with hair that looks healthy and shiny after air-drying it. Quite the opposite, most women’s hair (including mine) looks dull, dry, and a little bit too “wild” for the office if we don’t style it. So we turn to hair dryers, round brushes, and straighteners to tame it. Even though most of us use hair dryers on a daily basis, we probably tried to save some money when we bought one and opted for a cheap hair dryer, after all, it’s just hot air, isn’t it? Well, not quite.
Owning a good blow dryer can make the difference between healthy and damaged hair, here’s what to look for when buying a new one:
The higher the wattage, the more power will your hair dryer have and it will therefore take you less time to dry your hair. This is not only good for your busy schedule, but also for your hair as it won’t have to be exposed to heat for that long. As a guideline, 1800 watts or more are the way to go.
Cheap blow dryers usually have metallic or plastic heating parts, which you should stay away from and instead get a dryer with ceramic heating parts, ideally one that also includes tourmaline treated parts as this combination distributes heat evenly and creates negative ions which make your hair dry faster and gentler, resulting in less frizz.
3. Heat settings
It is important to be able to control the heat of your hair dryer. While you need warm to hot air to dry wet hair, you want to switch to a cooler temperature to set your hair style once your hair is 90% dry. The least you want is a “cool” button, for more control choose a hair dryer with temperature settings.
Yes, hair dryers come with different motors. In the long run, it makes more sense to get the slightly more expensive AC (alternate current) motor as it will last longer, is more powerful and less noisy than a DC (direct current) motor. However, an AC motor is a bit bigger and heavier than a DC motor.
Now that you’re educated about hair dryers, there is nothing that can come between you and silky smooth hair.
Image via forevertwentysomethings.com
First of all, for those who aren’t sure, a “flat lay” is a display of items on a flat surface and photographed from above. A favorite technique of fashion bloggers, the flat lay has exploded on Instagram as a way of exhibiting your latest clothing items and accessories. It’s a great way to share your #ootd (outfit of the day) or just expend some creative energy.
1. What should you be snapping?
It’s best to start with one or two statement pieces, and fill in the gaps with smaller accessories or decorative pieces. It looks amazing when things fit together like a puzzle. Experiment with folding, overlapping (not too much – you don’t want it to look cluttered), and arranging and rearranging to get the perfect look!
Your flat lay should also follow a theme. You might want to flat lay your whole outfit or contents of your purse, but perhaps you want to pick a theme likes “essential beach items”, or color scheme for the best effect.
2. Basic background
You will often see flat lays on white surfaces (a lot of bed sheets) or wooden floors. Whatever you choose, keep it simple – you don’t want your background to distract from your pieces.
3. Angles + lighting
The point of the flat lay is to get an aerial shot from directly above the display. Therefore, depending on the height of your flat lay surface, you will need a chair or stool to boost you up.
It is also vital to position your flat lay in a place with a lot of light. It’s best to get an evenly lit shot, with few shadows that keep highlight some pieces, while keeping others in the dark. Choosing the right surface is actually trickier than it sounds.
Images via blog.wantering.com and Instagram (top-bottom) @westfieldinsider, @collagevintage, @emmalucey
Owning a white shirt forms the basis of not only your wardrobe, but a multitude of outfits which you could create with this inexpensive item of clothing. Whatever style you’re going for, the white shirt can dress up an outfit, or keep it casual with the right accessories.
Pair a crisp white shirt with almost any shade, wash and style of jeans for a look which is never out-dated. If the shirt-sleeves are long, feel free to roll them up the the elbow for a casual look, or keep them cuffed at the wrist for the evening. Slightly tuck your shirt into the front of your jeans for a chic way to take this look straight from day to night. A chunky watch is a must-have to complete this classic look.
This one is for all the business women who constantly find themselves alternating between collared white shirts and blazer combinations. Keep it fresh by switching up your blazers; whether they are double breasted, boyfriend, bomber or even cropped at the waist. This will keep your outfit looking fresh, and will allow you to get more wear out of your clothes.
3. Leather jacket
Since it’s the beginning of winter, this is a perfect excuse to dust off your leather jacket and take it out to play. Pairing your leather (or pleather) jacket with a white shirt is an iconic look which is sure to keep you warm, whilst looking chic and put together at the same time. A classic pair of heels such as a nude or black pointed-toe is ideal for winter, and completes the entire look.
4. Skirts and shorts
Tucking your white shirt into shorts or a skirt can be quite a controversial look, mostly depending on the cut of the shirt itself, and the shape of the shorts/skirt. A fitted shirt works better if you plan to tuck it in, since it provides a slimline look which isn’t top-heavy. Perfect in the warmer months if you don’t want to overheat, but also works well if you plan to layer it up in the winter.
Now we’ve saved the best for last. Coats are fantastic winter accessories which keep you warm and cosy without looking too casual either. Embrace the pastel trend which is ‘in’ at the moment, and pair your white shirt with a baby blue or pink coat. Cigarette trousers are an amazing piece to complete the entire look, and a stacked heel is sure to keep your feet from feeling sore on a night out.
How do you wear your crisp white shirt?
Image via Belighter
By Felicia Sapountzis
It’s pretty much a ritual now when you go out for dinner, meet up with friends for a coffee or simply just cook a delicious-looking meal at home – don’t even think about eating, out comes the smartphone. You rearrange the plates and cutlery, try multiple angles and add various filters all in the name of getting that perfect shot for Instagram before you’ve even had one bite. We’ve all been guilty at one point!
There is definitely an art to photographing your food – hey, even Martha Stewart has received flack for her terrible Twitter food photos recently – so SheSaid caught up with cookbook author and food styling pro Kate Gibbs to get her insider tips to capturing that perfect shot – and give all your friends and followers on Instagram ultimate #foodenvy, just in time for Christmas lunch.
1. Tell a story
Tell a story with the photos you’re taking. It’s all about those little details that make a difference – a twirl of noodles around your fork or a beautiful drizzle of chocolate across the plate. Think about where the photo was taken. Who made the meal? Who are you with? Try to come up with creative ways to incorporate the story, whether it is through the subtlety of a logo or a friend’s hand taking a slice of pizza: capture these moments to evoke a story in your photo.
Tip: If you’re struggling with busy background elements, find someone sitting near you with a nice coloured or patterned top and use it as the background instead.
2. Colour and lighting
Did you know that Instagram photos with predominately red and yellow tones actually receive less likes than images with cooler blue and white tones? In the post editing stage, Kate recommends focusing on lowering the saturation and temperature of your image to bring out those blue tones, then adjust the contrast until you find a balance you’re happy with.
Tip: Try and keep your shots clean and simple. White is always a winner – be it a white plate, tablecloth or serviette – lots of white space is appealing to the eye.
If you get stuck with a coloured plate, such as red or yellow, you’ll often find that these colours don’t shoot too well, especially if you’re shooting food with vibrant colours to begin with. Kate suggests moving the food to another plate or opting for a black and white edit instead.
Tip: Natural lighting is best when shooting food, but avoid direct sunlight, or you’ll risk casting a shadow across your shot.
3. Angles, focus, size and scale
Play around with multiple angles, sizes and scales until you find a shot you are really happy with. Try zooming right back from an aerial perspective to capture everything on the table, or zooming right in on the plate focusing on one simple element of your dish – it’s all about experimenting until you find what works for each different dish. Aerial shots work well for ‘flat’ items such as pizza or soup, but most often a 30-45 degree angle works best.
Find the ‘hero element’ of your dish and make this the focus of your picture. Remember you can always crop, edit and zoom in later, so always start by taking pictures from further away.
Tip: Rectangular plates are difficult to shoot; Kate suggests taking your picture from a corner angle or aerial perspective. Or, if the meal has interesting layered elements, like a burger or sandwich, you could also get creative and try shooting from a side-on perspective.
Remember less is more. Don’t overwhelm your photos with too many elements or too many objects around – it soon becomes distracting and the food is no longer the focus. Be sure to choose props that work together size-wise. It’s important to make sure one prop doesn’t overpower the photo, so keep it simple.
Tip: De-prop. Once you have styled your shot, take a photo and then remove one prop or part of the dish and reshoot it again – you’ll be surprised at how well this stylistic trick actually works!
5. Kate’s ultimate tip – incorporate what you’re passionate about
Kate says, “Photographs drawn from inspiration are more likely to inspire your followers and potential followers, so go ahead and shoot what you’re passionate about, what you love. You’ll soon discover common threads in your feed, be it in shots of healthy food, or places you’ve been exploring in your local area. I follow people who inspire me, or whose photography I love, be it a fashion blogger in New York or a women on a farm in regional Victoria who is growing her own fruit and vegetables.
“Develop your own photography style, whether that’s lots of busy close-ups, or a cleaner look with lots of white space. It’s worth using similar filters, or none at all, to develop a bit of consistency in your feed. Potential followers will scour your entire feed, and it will look so much better if it looks like it was developed by one person, you!”
For some creative motivation, follow Kate’s incredible Instagram photos at instagram.com/kategibbs. Some of Kate’s favourite Instagrammers to follow are:
Kate Gibb’s favourite photo editing app:
Kate’s favourite photo editing app is Snapseed. Kate isn’t a fan of the standard Instagram filters, because everyone’s photos tend to look the same – Kate says you can always tell who has used ‘Lo-Fi’ or ‘Valencia’ and the point is to make your pictures stand out! There are so many different editing apps out there, try them out until you find one that you like the look of and that you are comfortable using.
So now you’ve learnt how to take food photos like a pro, it’s time to get snap happy! Try out Kate’s food styling tips and tag your photos #shesaid so we can check out your food porn and follow you on Instagram. And don’t forget to follow us at instagram.com/shesaid_editor.