SFX MAKEUP TIPS: Reference Pictures

Hello, frenz and happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I took a little break from makeup this weekend to heal my poor, dry facial skin. The cocoa butter has yet again saved the day and returned my skin to its regular, moisturized state. Anyway, today's post is all about my favorite type of makeup…that's right, we're gonna be talking about special effects makeup! Let's jump right into this, shall we?

I've been doing special effects makeup for about three weeks, maybe a little longer. I've definitely progressed since my first go at it and I've learned certain things along the way. One of the most important things I've learned is using reference pictures to bring your look to life. There's one specific look that I think of when I talk about referencing, and that's my third-eyed gypsy look that I created a few weekends ago (or maybe sooner, I don't know, I'm terrible with time). 

What you don't know about that look is that the one I posted on Instagram was the second rendition. The original look was thrown together in about an hour…and looks nothing like the version that took me two hours, just on the eye alone.

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If you look at these pictures side by side, you can obviously tell which one is better. You can see on the first one there is absolutely no shading and highlighting. The pupil and iris itself look completely fake. There is no tear duct detail. There is no illusion of the eye actually being a part of my forehead. The funny thing about the first one is that I was actually planning on that being the final look! But I couldn't do it — I didn't have it in me to call that wimpy, pathetic looking eye the final product. I scratched the idea completely.

My future mother-in-law tagged me in an article a few days later about a girl who does illusion makeup. I will link it here because this girl is seriously phenomenal at SFX and illusions. Anywhoo, as I was scrolling through, I saw this look that she created of eyes all over her face.

As you can see, the details are immaculate and the eyes look so incredibly real. That's when I knew I had to do the third-eyed gypsy makeup over again. And that's when a new skill was formed.

What I learned from this is that you must have something to go off of, especially if you're a beginner. I saved the picture and studied it. I referenced it throughout the entire process of creating my own eye. Now, obviously, I didn't copy it completely. Chances are she used entirely different products than I, and I don't have the skill that she has. But the point is that referencing can make all the difference. I referenced the shading on the whites of her eyes. I referenced the shading around the outer eye to make it appear circular and to give the illusion of it being a part of my face. It turned into something I never in a million years thought I could do. I've been using reference pictures ever since, and it has progressed my SFX skill to the high heavens.

You have to remember that makeup is an art. In art classes, pictures are referenced and recreated. It's the same with SFX makeup or even every day makeup. If you're really trying to get into SFX makeup but can't quite get the hang of it, try studying and referencing. And hey, even if you're not into makeup, you can always try this tip for painting or drawing or whatever kind of art you're into. It might make all the difference.spooky

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GUIDE TO: Running a Mobile Blog

Blogging is hard. Blogging is tedious. Between tweeting, instagramming and the pride and glory blog itself, it can take up your entire day. Unless you're totally fine with spending the majority of your days indoors, you might want to try running your blog from a handheld device, like a tablet or even your phone.

I've been blogging for a few months now, and most of it has been completely done from my phone. That's right; whole posts, picture edits, proofreading, all done from my iPhone. I don't have a set space to blog. My laptop screen doesn't work, so it has to be hooked up to a TV, which isn't my ideal blogging setup. I like to blog on the go, that way I never miss the chance at writing down an idea. Here's how you can, too!

First, you're going to need an app (or some sort of internet browser) for your blog. WordPress and Blogger both have apps for iPhone and Android devices with an easy to use interface. You want to be able to check your blog stats, read other blogs and also be able to upload posts from your handheld.

You're also going to want to download a notepad to your handheld. Just look up notepad or notebook in your App Store and choose the one you like best. I personally use an app simply called, Notebook.

It allows you to create different notebooks with pretty designs and it has fun background colors. You can also change your font! It's easy to use and there's no sign up required.

You'll want to create a folder on your handheld specially for your blogging apps. I keep all of my social and blogging apps in one folder, since mobile blogging can be a little chaotic.

Along with social apps and a notepad, you're going to need some photo editing apps. My favorite is Photo Editor.

It allows you to adjust the lighting and overall look of your photos. I also use InstaSize for their adjusting features and filters.

You can always download different photo editors to play around with and decide which you like best. Now you're all set! Get to typing that newest blog post!

Once you've typed your first (or final draft), go ahead and copy & paste it into your blog's app (or internet browser). Chances are the format is going to be a little off, so make sure you're triple checking your work. You don't want to spend all this time on an amazing post, just to have the published version look wonky.

You'll need to do the final touches, like bold or italicize text and add links all in your app or internet browser. I haven't found a notebook app that does all of that….yet! If you know of one, PLEASE let me know.

I've found that uploading your content first and then editing/uploading your pictures last can save time and cause you less hassle. Try creating an album on your phone dedicated to blog pictures. You can even delete all drafts of pictures except for the final, just so it doesn't get messy.

There are some things, however, you might want to use your computer for — like editing your theme. I've tried and tried again to edit my theme via handheld internet browser, but it just doesn't work for me. Everything is entirely too small and you're not able to see the true look of your blog. Save theme editing for your handy dandy computer.

And there you have it. You're now well equipped to run your blog completely from your handheld! Now go out there, live your life while also strutting a blogger's paradise right in your hand!

[Feature Photo Credit: Pixabay]

The Importance of Wearing Sunscreen

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‘Tis the season for bikinis, days at the beach and the inevitable and always dreadful sunburn. Every year, the same thing. You go out into the sun for a day (or a few hours), forget to apply a sunscreen and by the end of the day, you look and feel like a burnt piece of plastic. The days to come until the burn subsides are grueling and you can’t help but hate yourself for not taking the time to apply sunscreen. When I was a kid, I didn’t care about sunscreen. I never burned and I always had a fabulous tan. But now, about ten years later, it’s like my skin did a complete 180. I no longer tan; I only burn. I think to myself while being in the sun that I want a tan and that sunscreen would prevent me from getting one — so I never used it. It took me 23 years, but I have finally understood the reason for sunscreen and why we all should be using it.

Skin is the largest organ on the body, coming in at a whopping 16% of a our total body weight. It covers your blood vessels, nerves and organs, as well as protecting your body against dangerous bacteria. We all know the basic ways to have healthy skin — keep it clean, hydrated and protected from the sun. But exactly why do we have to protect it from the sun? When your skin is exposed to the sun, it creates melanin — a chemical produced from your skin to naturally protect it from harmful UV radiation from the sun. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation — UVA and UVB. While both are harmful, UVB rays are the worst for your skin to be exposed to. Sunburns occur when your skin is exposed to more UV rays than the level of melanin your skin produces. The lighter your complexion, the less melanin your skin will produce and it’s more likely for you to burn. Darker complexions can be effected by harmful UV rays, too. Darker complexions have a higher level of melanin in the skin, which acts as a natural protectant to UV rays and is what causes the skin to be darker. While this may protect against sunburns, it doesn’t necessarily protect against benign tumors or skin cancer.

Too much sun exposure on your skin can damage it irreversibly. Ultraviolet rays damage a tissue in our skin known as elastin, which, you guessed it, keeps our skin elastic. When that tissue is damaged repeatedly over time, it can cause the skin to lose elasticity and become leathery. Your skin can begin to bruise easily and even become deteriorated. Although the effects of sun exposure won’t be apparent while you’re young, it can become very noticeable later in life. This is why sunscreen is so important to lifelong healthy skin.

Sunscreen contains ingredients that block the ultraviolet radiation from reaching your skin. The higher the SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, contained in the sunscreen, the more percentage of UV rays are blocked. There can be damage to the skin without the occurrence of a sunburn, which is why it is better to use a sunscreen that has broad spectrum ingredients, which protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Although higher SPFs offer more protection, no sunscreen should be expected to exceed a two hour wear without reapplication. If you’re spending a day at the beach, pool or you work outdoors, be sure to use a water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen that will stay on your skin — and be sure to reapply generously. There are tons of low SPF moisturizers available for every day wear, as well.

There are some common myths out there about sunscreen, like you should only wear it when the sun is out or that it won’t allow your skin to tan. These are false. Did you know that 40% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays reach Earth on very cloudy days? Your skin can still be damaged even if it’s not in direct exposure with the sun. You can actually get a little color on some of the cloudiest of days! This leads me right into my next myth bust, you can become tan using sunscreen. The SPF in sunscreen only protects your skin from burning, not tanning. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 15 means that if you begin to burn after ten minutes, it will provide you with 150 minutes of protection. It is possible to protect your skin and get that beautiful sun kissed tan!

If you don’t want to bake your skin in the sun just for a bronzed look, you can always try alternative tanning. There are various types of fake tans, like lotions, spray tans and the self tans that you can do in the comfort of your own bathroom. One of my personal favorites is the Malibu Tan Hemp Golden Glow Skin Firming Bronzing Moisturizer.

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You can purchase it at Walmart or Sally’s Beauty Supply Store and it’ll run you anything from $6-$23, depending on the size you want to purchase. The formula of it is extremely moisturizing and it smells like a tropical vacation. It’s also cruelty-free! It takes about a week to build up a nice base, but if used consistently, you will have a noticeable and beautiful tan. It will make little crevasses, like your cuticles and between your fingers/toes a little orange, so be sure to wash your hands and feet after applying, unless your goal was to be Oompa Loompa orange — in that case, rock it, sister.

In this heat, it’s almost impossible to resist spending the day out and about. Whether you’re going shopping, spending the day by the pool or working outdoors, remember that your skin needs some extra protection. Spend that extra ten minutes applying sunscreen. Future you will appreciate it. Be safe. Drink your water and stay cool.

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Sources: webmd.com, howthingswork.org, medlineplus.org

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

Letting Go of Toxic Thoughts

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We all have toxic or negative thoughts, whether it’s about ourselves, other people or something we don’t fancy doing. Sometimes these thoughts can overpower all of the positive ones, and as a result we’re left feeling mentally and emotionally drained. But how do we stop seeing the negative and start noticing the positive side to life? That’s where mind control comes in. No, not the type that David Blaine does on Las Vegas sidewalks; I’m talking about controlling our own minds to turn toxic thoughts into positive thoughts.

Sometimes I get overwhelming thoughts about myself. My mind makes me feel that I’m not good at anything and sometimes, it even goes as far as making me feel that the world would be better off without me. I’m a generally optimistic person, I just have a few issues with anxiety…so why do I feel this way? Negative or toxic thinking usually begins with a mistake I’ve made that I feel overly embarrassed for, and then it turns into thinking about everything I’ve ever done wrong. If you think like this too, there is a way to control it. You simply talk yourself out of it. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s really that simple. Let yourself make a mistake. Acknowledge said mistake, learn how to do better next time, and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for it. You’re human. This is how you grow and become better. This is especially true if you’re a toxic thinker in relationships. Talk to your significant other about it. Sometimes their reassurance is all you need to convince yourself that it’s okay to be human. This goes hand in hand with perfectionism, which is a main player in my toxic thoughts.

“I want so bad to be perfect although I know perfect does not exist.”

Turning toxic thoughts into positive thoughts can be grueling when you’re not naturally an optimistic person, but sometimes that’s all it takes to turn your day around. It’s an old saying, but try to look on the bright side. Yeah, things might be hard at work or you’re having a crap day, but there’s always a positive. Spilled your coffee in your car? There’s a reason to buy that Starbucks coffee that you never get to have, and a reason to stop the procrastination of cleaning your car. Is your boss on your case really hard today? Remember that all days come to an end. It’s so easy to jump to toxic thinking when something bad happens. It’s easy to think that one disaster can ruin your whole day; but it can get better when you deal with a problem when it happens, and then move on. Deal with your emotions in the moment rather than letting them boil all day until the inevitable eruption.

Stop taking everything so personally. This is something I’ve struggled with and I am just now learning how to handle. I’m a people pleaser, especially when it comes to a loved one. If my boyfriend wakes up grumpy, I automatically assume it’s because of me. When he loses his temper at a video game, I get nervous because I don’t want him upset or mad at me. I’m familiar with the fact that it has nothing to do with me, but my toxic thoughts lead me to think that I did something wrong. If you’re like this too, stop it. Stop it right now. Not everything is a personal attack at you. Learn to understand the difference between a person who is grumpy at the world and a person who is grumpy at you. Walk away or ignore this behavior in your loved one to save yourself time and energy.

Sometimes we do have bad days where everything is happening all at once and we can’t help but become overwhelmed and frustrated. I’m not denying that days like this exist. I’m also not denying that anxiety and toxic thinking feed off of each other. What I do know is that you can talk yourself out of any emotion as long as you acknowledge it, deal with it and move forward. Your mind likes to play a lot of tricks on you. Start playing tricks back.

Until next time, XO.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

Gaining Confidence in Today’s World

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Let’s face it, we’re all self conscious about something. Whether you think your nose is too big for your face or you got that belly with some love handles, we all have something we wish we could change. And if we can’t change it, we try our damnedest to cover it at all costs. But ladies, why do we do this? If we can’t love our bodies enough to show it off, then who will? Let’s talk about confidence.

Confidence is a hard thing to have in today’s world. With thousands of beautiful women surrounding us on social media and television, it’s difficult to look at these beautiful women day in and day out and not wish you looked like them. But have no fear, I’m here to tell you that you — yes, you, are just as beautiful. I know, I know, you hear and see this phrase everywhere since the much needed Body Positivity Movement, as I like to call it. Gaining confidence has become a bit of a cliche, but it’s something we all need to feel good in our daily lives.

This post may be reeking of body positivity, but that’s not what I’m here to preach. Yes, you should love your body no matter your size, but you should also love your body enough to take care of it properly. You should be exercising regularly, not to lose weight but to clear your mind and get those endorphins pumping — and sure, losing weight or gaining muscle tone along with it wouldn’t be a terrible thing. You should love your body enough to not poison it with processed foods, sugars, alcohol, etc… You should practice good and healthy skin care. All of these things can help you feel confident, because they make you feel (and look) good. When you treat your body with respect and nourish it from the inside, it will shine right on through to the outside. When you look good, you feel good; right?

Now enough with my preaching about a healthy life — if you want to feel confident, you need to act like the boss ass bitch that you are. Don’t think about your flaws, flaunt them. Wear that crop top even though you have that belly. If someone else doesn’t like it, well they can simply not look. Stop basing your life on what other people may or may not be thinking about you because chances are, they didn’t even notice that your belly hangs a little bit over your shorts or that your teeth are a little wonky. Believe me, I know it’s hard to wear that bikini in fear of being judged, but what is someone going to say to you that you haven’t already told yourself? Own your body. Rock those hips or lack thereof. Love and respect your body the way it is right now.

You are a beautiful creature of Earth, it’s time you realize that.

So we talked about how to feel good with our bodies, but what about our personalities? Sometimes we have personality traits that we just can’t stand. For example, I talk really fast and stumble over my words 95% of the time that I speak. It makes me feel stupid, uneducated and like no one ever wants to conversate with me, but, in all honesty, that’s how I make myself feel. Most of the time no one even notices (or they’re polite enough not to point it out), or instead, I notice them fumble their words. You have to remember that everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, whether they talk about it or not. They’re not things we can help, so we need to learn to accept ourselves the way we are. If we don’t accept ourselves for who we are, who else will?

Confidence isn’t about getting to a certain point and saying, “this is good enough.”  You should never settle for good enough. You should always be looking for ways to improve to become the best version of yourself. Become more outgoing and ask that cute guy at the coffee shop out for a drink. Do things you’ve never dreamed of doing — accomplishing goals or overcoming fears makes you feel phenomenal and can boost your self confidence right into outer space.

If you’re trying to gain confidence and become more comfortable with yourself, the only true way is self love and acceptance. You are who you are. We, as women and a society, need to recognize our worth. You are special. You are worth it. And if it makes you feel better, remember that those models and actresses on the internet and television struggle with something they don’t like about themselves, too. They’re just a little better at hiding it.

Until next time, xo.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

10 Inspiring Tips to Find Success and Happiness in Your 20s

When you’re in your 20s, you have all these goals you are trying to reach. You think about all that you desire to do in life, but you’re unsure of exactly how to make those dreams turn into reality. How do you stay on the right path to success? Well, there is no right or wrong path to success. You just gotta get out there and make it happen for yourself. Here are ten inspiring tips to success and happiness in your 20s. 


Make plans

Life never turns out how you imagined it would in your head, so it’s always good to have a general outline of what you want to do in life and how you plan to get there. Make a plan for your goals and make steps to achieve. 

2. Stop procrastinating

Stop it. Stop it right now. Whether it’s doing your laundry, looking for a job or writing that paper, just do it. Stop putting your life on delay. 

3. Don’t become stagnant 

This can be tied into tip #2. Grow. Change things. Meet people. Don’t let yourself think you don’t have anymore growing to do. Don’t stay in the same place forever. Branch out. Live in a new place, get a new job. Sometimes change is good. 

4. Be creative

A big key to being successful in your 20s is being creative. The world has changed and there are so many ways to land opportunities that you’ve only ever dreamed of. Think of all the bloggers and YouTubers that have been successful. Imagine the things you could be doing! Think outside of the box. You’ll gain tons of experience and maybe even find your passion along the way.

5. Respect and love yourself   

Become comfortable with yourself; mind, body and soul. Trust yourself to make the right decisions. Love yourself enough to grow and become the person you were meant to be. Stop doubting yourself. 

6. Be adventurous

Have the want to try new things. That’s what life is all about. Learn everything you can. Soak up all of life’s experiences. 

7. Be persistent 

Don’t take no for an answer. Toughen up. Take criticism and learn from it. Fight hard for what you want. 

8. Don’t give up  

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were you. Success takes time. You’re going to struggle, you’re going to need a push or maybe a violent shove. If you don’t come out successful, get up and try again. You’re not a quitter. 

9. Work Hard

Put effort into everything you do. Put effort into your job, family, friends, yourself. Work hard for your success and happiness. 

10. Take Risks

You’re in your 20s, have the time of your life. You’re never going to be this young again. Travel, learn, do things that scare the hell out of you. You have the power to make your life amazing so get out there and do it. 

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt 

[Photo Cred: Pixabay]

9 Steps to a Positive Outlook on Life

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Sometimes when things get rough, we blame our lives. It’s our lives that suck. We get thrown curveballs, we think, why not? We never think that it could be our attitudes causing bad things to come our way. I’ve always believed in what kind of energy you put out is the kind you would receive. So is it your life that sucks, or is your own negativity attracting the same? 

1. Be appreciative.

I had a friend from a long time ago tell me that she would “wake up every morning and thank the universe.” Taking a few minutes to just reflect and appreciate what you have can truly brighten your day and put you in a better mood.

2. Accept and move on. 

Don’t think that your car not starting means the entire day will be terrible. Take it in, breathe and accept. Figure out a way to fix it and move on. I know it’s hard but I’m telling you, you’ll feel less stressed once you start accepting and moving on from situations that are out of your control. 

3. Feel.

Feel happy. Feel free. Feel sad. Feel lonely. Feel sympathy. Feel empathy. Feel everything you can all at once. Take it, learn from it, live it. 

4. Compliment others.

Everyone likes hearing someone say something good about them. Give someone a confidence boost, and it’ll boost yours, too. It always makes me feel good knowing that I brightened someone’s day. 

5. Help others.

Put in your time and energy to help people. It’s a great feeling to be appreciated. Even if it’s as small as holding the door open for an elderly person, do for others what you want done for you. 

6. Face your fears.

Ask that guy out. Move to another city. It’s liberating to conquer your fears. 

7. Meditate.

I’m not saying to sit on a yoga mat and say “ommm” for 45 minutes. Feeling stressed? Just sit down, relax, close your eyes, focus on breathing slowly in and out, and let thoughts come and let them go. Do it for a few minutes and you’ll feel sooo relaxed and happier, too. 

8. Talk or Write.

It’s good to just get it out. Vent to your significant other, friend, a journal or a blog. I’m constantly bitching about things to my boyfriend or writing future blog posts just to get things off my chest. Having an outlet can change your attitude immensely. 

9. Do what makes you happy.

Quit that crappy job. Write that book. You only have one life, do what you want.