Welcome back to my blog! The topic of discussion this week is how to cover acne using makeup! Kind of yucky, I know, but it's something that I've gotten very good at.
I'm one of those lucky girls who has had acne their entire life. (Please note the heavy use of sarcasm in that statement.) I got my first pimple in second grade, and in high school my acne developed into cystic acne, leaving lots of scarring and discoloration on my face. Boooo.
As a result, I've developed a process for covering my acne and scarring, and I would say it does the job pretty well.
Every product that I use is linked for your convenience.
When covering acne, make sure you're starting on clean, freshly washed and moisturized skin! This is especially important, as you don't want to be caking makeup on dirty skin. That will just result in your acne getting worse.
Step 1 - Prime your skin
One of my good friends who is a professional makeup artist once told me, "It's a crime not to prime." That is something I carry with me everyday. Priming your skin with the proper product will make a huge difference in the longevity of your makeup, as well as give you an even surface to apply your makeup on.
I recently started using IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores primer and have noticed a drastic difference in reducing the shine that my skin tends to develop as the day progresses. It has a matte finish, which if you have oily skin and large pores like me, is a MUST HAVE. You can find that primer here!
Step 2 - Green Concealer
After priming your skin, the next step is applying green concealer to any spot that you have redness. I apply it to my acne, under my nose, and overtop my scarring. The green works to cancel out any red tones. Don't worry about blending it perfectly into your skin, you'll be layering other products on top of it.
I like SeneGence's green color correcting concealer. You can purchase it from anyone you know who sells LipSense. NYX also makes a great green concealer. You can find it here.
Step 3 - Concealer
The next step is applying a concealer that matches your skin tone overtop the green concealer. This will cancel out the green and add more coverage to your problem areas!
I use NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer and apply it with a concealer brush. You can find it at Sephora, or get it here. I would personally recommend purchasing it in store, that way you can color match it to your skin.
You'll notice that the concealer doesn't appear to perfectly match my skin tone. This is because my face has a lot of redness in it. I'll be completely cancelling that out with my next step.
Step 4 - Foundation
Have you made it this far? Congrats, you're almost done!
The second to last step is applying foundation to your entire face. What you apply your foundation with makes a huge difference in the coverage of the foundation as well as the longevity. I have found that for my skin, I get the most coverage when applying my foundation using a dampened beauty blender and pressing it (not rubbing it) into my skin.
I use Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r foundation. You can find that at Sephora or here. I would personally recommend purchasing it in store, that way you can color match it to your skin.
I like Fenty Beauty's foundation as it has a matte finish (extremely important when you have oil prone skin) and is very buildable. I typically apply one layer over my entire face, then add extra layers onto my cheeks and jawline where I have the most acne.
If you have any more acne that is still peeking through, now is when I will apply just a touch more concealer over those especially troublesome spots.
Step 5 - Setting Powder
The final step is dusting your face with setting powder. This will seal everything in and help to give you that "airbrushed" finish!
I like SeneGence's Natural Translucid Powder and and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder (whew that was a mouthful!).
That's it! Notice how much smoother my complexion looks and how the redness has virtually disappeared!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions at all about concealing your acne, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to help you!
Hello hello! Welcome back to my blog!
This week I want to talk to you about one of my passions, photography! When people find out that I’m a photographer, I almost always get asked, “Will you teach me how to take good photos?!”
Well guess what? Today’s your lucky day! Below I have compiled a list of ten useful tips to help you create better photos!
1- Get to know your camera
Regardless of whether you’re using a DSLR, a point and shoot, or your phone, learn to use the different modes and features that your camera has available.
2- Compose using the rule of thirds
Imagine a tic tac toe grid (or a hashtag) laying over top of your photo.
To create a composition that’s visually appealing, place the focal points of the image on one of those lines, ideally where two of the lines meet.
If you're using an iPhone, you can turn the grid feature on for your camera by opening your settings, going to camera settings, and turning the grid on.
* This tip also applies for selfies!
3- Blur the background
A question I get a lot is how I create images with blurred backgrounds!
To create a blurry background, you’ll want to create space between your subject and the background. The further away your subject is from the background, the more blurry it’ll become.
Next, the easiest mode to achieve a blurry background with is Aperture Mode. This is AV on a Canon, and A on a Nikon.
Next, lower your aperture (the f-stop). The lower your aperture, the blurrier your background will be!
Lastly, step back and zoom in all the way. This compresses the photo and blurs the background.
To create a blurry background on your phone, many phones now have modes that will use software to blur the background. You can also use the app Airbrush and use the “blur” feature to create the illusion of depth of field.
* This tip also applies for selfies!
4- Leave space around your subject
Something I see a lot in photos are limbs being cut off by the frame. I’ve seen so many great photos taken, but the frame cuts the subject off at their ankles.
Allow space around your subject to create a more comfortably composed shot!
5- Pay attention to lighting
There’s nothing quite like trying to get a good shot smack dab in the middle of the day. The sun is glaring down creating huge shadows under the eyes, nose, and neck. YUCK!
When you’re shooting outdoors, cloudy days are your friend! They will diffuse the sunlight and give you soft light instead of harsh shadows. My favorite time of day to photograph is the evening, right before sunset. This will give you great light without crazy shadows. If you have to photograph in the middle of the day, look for shade!
When photographing indoors, big windows letting in natural light will give you the best lighting. Avoid fluorescent lights or bathroom lighting if possible.
* This tip also applies for selfies!
Another lighting issue I see often are photos that are either overexposed or underexposed. That means that they are either too light or too dark. Either one of these issues will cause you to lose details in the photo! Avoid this by making sure you have your exposure correct for the scene you’re photographing. If you’re using your phone, tap on the part of the image you want exposed properly and that will adjust your exposure.
Advanced tip: One of my favorite looks to photograph are photos with soft, ethereal, glowy light. This can be achieved by placing the light source BEHIND your subject!
6- Focus on the eyes
When photographing people, you want the eyes to be in focus! Look for catchlights (the white light reflecting in the eyes) in the subject’s eyes and focus on the eye that is nearest to you.
7- Don’t over retouch
This one is HUGE! When it comes to retouching, less is more. There are plenty of apps that give you the option to smooth out your skin, but avoid going overboard. Too much smoothing will make you look blurry and plastic!
Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that retouching your photos is a bad thing, I am a big fan of editing out my acne in my photos. Just remember that less is more!
* This tip also applies for selfies!
8- Wait for the right moment
This is a tip that has come especially in handy for me when following my toddler around with a camera. It can be easy to rush a photo, but waiting for the right moment will make the difference between a good photo and an amazing photo!
Have patience and wait for that picture perfect moment.
9- Change your perspective
Get creative with perspective! Try taking a photo from either high up or low down, see what happens! When photographing children or animals, try crouching down and getting on their level.
10- Keep lines vertical and horizontal
An important technique that will help take your photography to the next level is keeping the lines in your photos straight.
For example, when you take a beautiful photo of your friend at the beach, make sure the horizon line is straight! This is an easy fix that can even be made after the photo is taken. Most photo editing softwares give you the option to adjust your image rotation in the "crop" settings.
BONUS TIP - The best camera is the one you have with you
Growing up, my dad always told me that the best camera is the one you have with you. If you see an amazing moment, don’t hesitate to photograph it, even if the only camera you have on you is your phone.
Lewis Carroll said that ““In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” This also applies to photos! Some of my favorite photos are ones that I took on my phone because I didn’t have my DSLR with me, yet I am so grateful to have captured the moment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope it helped you and that you now feel more confident with your camera! I’d love to see some of your photos that you take after reading these tips! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them below!
To my husband on Father's Day,
I'll never forget the look on your face as I watched you become a father. Your eyes were full of love and pride as you began what will perhaps be the most important chapter of your life, fatherhood.
Watching you grow as a father has been a privilege. I remember when Eli was small, you would chew on your tongue as you held him because you were so focused and fatherhood felt so new. Then I watched the two of you get to know each other. You became more comfortable in your role as a father and Eli grew to trust you and rely on you. As Eli has grown, so has his unfailing trust in you.
Each day when Eli wakes up, he immediately asks for "daddy." Every day when you return home from work, his eyes light up as he hears you walk through the door. He knows the sound of your footsteps, and he can't wait to greet you.
I have no doubt that as Eli continues to grow, the two of you will continue to become inseparable. Eli and his Daddy. Daddy and his Eli.
Teach him to be brave. Teach him to love. Teach him to serve others and serve the Lord.
Eli and I love you so much Joseph. Happy Father's Day!
You see, I have always been very in tune with my pregnancies. Call it a gift or call it crazy, I can feel my babies’ spiritual presence in my body, even before taking a pregnancy test.
The next day at 4am, I woke up and couldn’t wait any longer. I took a pregnancy test. I anxiously waited for the results to show. Three minutes later, my feelings from the previous night were confirmed. I was pregnant.
I was immediately overwhelmed with so many feelings. Shock, confusion, joy, fear. I couldn’t believe it. This baby was not planned and felt like a total fluke. Eli was only 9 months old and after quickly doing the math I realized that I was going to have two babies only seventeen months apart. The thought of having two babies so close in age terrified me.
That day I told my husband, Joseph. He was very excited which helped me to feel slightly better about the situation. Even still, the fear crept in. I had a very difficult pregnancy with Eli and was so scared of experiencing that again. I felt guilty for not being excited about having another baby because I know so many would have done anything to be in my position. I was confused by the conflicting feelings inside me. I felt grateful and blessed while still feeling fear and anxiety.
As days passed, the negative feelings began to subside and I allowed myself to truly become excited about the new addition to our family. I began picking names, daydreaming about Eli being a big brother, and discussing potential baby shower ideas with my best friend.
A week later, my biggest fear came true. I was spending the day getting ready to go out of town to see my grandparents. That morning in the back of my mind, I had a strange thought.
“I don’t feel pregnant anymore.”
I quickly shoved that feeling aside. It couldn’t be true. I was obviously just getting in my head and letting my thoughts get the best of me.
A few hours later, I started bleeding. I was crushed. In that instant, I knew that it was over. I couldn’t feel the baby’s presence anymore and I knew I had lost him/her.
I called my husband in a panic. He was at work and immediately left to come be with me. He sat by my side while I shed tears of total devastation.
It was at that point I remembered that we were supposed to be leaving to go see my grandparents in Arizona. My husband asked if I wanted to stay home due to the circumstances but because my grandparents were in poor health, I decided we needed to make the trip.
That was quite possibly the hardest weekend of my life. I mourned in silence. Because it was so early in my pregnancy, I hadn’t told anybody about it. I felt that I had to let my miscarriage happen quietly as to not make anyone feel uncomfortable.
I felt so confused. I felt guilty. I felt like it was my fault. The “what if”s started running through my head. “What if it was because I skipped breakfast that day?” “What if I worked out too hard and that’s why I lost the pregnancy?” Over and over again these thoughts ran through my mind. I was certain I had lost this baby because I had done something wrong.
The worst part was, I felt alone. I was suffering in silence. I had read that 1 in 4 women suffer from pregnancy loss in their lifetime, but even so, I felt like I had nowhere to turn. Nobody to talk to about what I was experiencing. I felt that I couldn’t reach out and ask for comfort because nobody knew I was pregnant to begin with.
Over a year later, and I still struggle with this loss from time to time. I often think about how if I hadn’t lost that baby, he/she would be here now. He/she would be almost five months old. Eli would be a big brother. I’m still paying off emergency room bills from my miscarriage and it feels unfair to me that it cost me more money than the birth of my son. My heart hurts for the baby I never got to hold.
80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester, usually before pregnancies are announced. I understand this statistic to mean that about 80% of women experiencing pregnancy loss are also doing it alone. To me, that is absolutely heartbreaking. I believe a miscarriage is absolutely one of the hardest things a woman can experience in her life and she shouldn’t have to face that tragedy alone.
It is time to break the stigma. It’s time to talk about the parts of motherhood that are a little uncomfortable. It’s time to speak up so others who are experiencing these hardships know they are not alone. Nobody talks about pregnancy loss, but that needs to change.
If you have struggled or are currently struggling with miscarriage or infertility, please feel free to reach out to me. Know that you are not alone. Speak up. Share your story. There are millions of women walking this path with you. You shouldn’t have to face it in solitude.
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