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How I edit my Blog & Instagram photos

A while back I said to myself that once I reached a good amount of following I would share my 'secrets' on my blog about my photos. I feel like I've finally reached a steady level of readers and developed a genuine audience now that I can pull this type of post off.

I do get a lot of comments on my photos and I know a few people would be interested in knowing, but there is really no massive secret I'm hiding. I find the key is mainly in set ups and styling, plus good lighting! Read my how to take the best blog photos post to read more in depth about that side of it. When it comes to editing however, and even photo taking in the first place, it's all simply done upon my good old iPhone. Yes, everything.

I simply use 3 apps every single time with a specific touch up routine; Instagram, PS Express & ColorStory (middle row)

First up, after the chore of narrowing down my many images to a select few, I take it into Instagram and turn my wifi off. This way I can edit and 'post' without it actually posting but still saving the edited image to my camera roll. So here I adjust the brightness, 99% of the time to 25 but if I need some extra help I'll knock it up to 30. I then set the contrast to 15, up the sharpness to 20, followed by saturation to 10 and Lux to 15.

Once this new image is saved to my camera roll I'll open it up in PS Express and here I adjust the lighting to make everything brighter. I'll up the exposure to 15, followed by highlights to 15, and shadows to -15 to balance everything out. If the photo is quite bright to begin with I'll adjust these to 10.

So now the original photo is definitely lighter and brighter, it still needs a boost of colour added to it. This is where ColorStory comes in - a really great colour enhancing app. Nothing fancy, I just simply add an effect called 'everyday' and set it to about half way. There are lots of variations of effects you can add on here but I've used this one for a long time now and it's my favourite.

And there it is, my simple 3-step editing routine with no laptop, fancy software or photoshop even necessary!

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Trying out Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation

I've never actually tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury (sad, I know) so I decided to pick up a little sample of the Magic Foundation at my local Selfridges store after hearing loads about it. I've read from several blogs that it makes your skin look amazing, that the coverage is full and that it's even some peoples 'Holy Grail' foundation - which must really say something.

So I was given this small sachet in shade 2. Naturally I'm usually the palest shade in foundation, and have a neutral/pink undertone. You can't actually see the foundation colour through the sachet but on the Charlotte Tilbury Website website it says '2 is a pink-beige for very fair skin tones with cool undertones' which sounds about right. The foundation claims to have 'flawless, poreless, long-lasting coverage' which sounds like the kind of thing I normally look for. Here are my first impressions of it -

The formula wasn't thick but did have a dense consistency to it. It was fairly light on the skin and blended well with my damp beauty sponge. I was quite suprised as I was expecting it to be really sheer and glowy, but instead seemed to apply with a natural matte finish. It reminded me of Estee Lauders Double Wear as it was quick-drying so I had to work fast.

I found the coverage to be quite good, I'd say about a solid medium amount once built up. I used along side the Collection Lasting Perfecting concealer and the coverage combined was really good. It worked fairly well covering up blemishes but did need the concealer to totally conceal certain areas.

The wear on this unfortunately only lasted a few hours. It probably could of stayed on longer but I was itching to get it off after around 6. I noticed it creasing and exaggerating my usually barely visible lines as well as sinking into pores. It did become oily-looking after around the 2 hour mark and was a little hard to touch up.

Overall after a couple of uses my pros of the foundation are that the shades are impressive and cater to a wide range of tones from light to dark, my particular shade was pretty much a perfect match! The coverage is buildable and can go from medium to full with the help of a good concealer and is fairly easy to blend into the skin. It also had a nice radiant finish and looked pretty impressive on.
The cons however are slightly weighing up, as although the formula was blendable I find it dries quite quickly so you have to work equally as quick. It did become tacky as the minutes passed which as a result made it a little difficult to add concealer on top. Although it looked great when it was first applied, as the hours passed it became shiny and I could really feel it on my skin. I also noticed lots of what looked like tiny pin pricks all around my mouth and cheek area, meaning it was sinking into my pores. Disappointing for a foundation that claims to do anything but this.

I'm glad I gave it a shot however this time this magical foundation has to be a no from me. It wasn't half as long lasting as I'd expected and hoped it to be, and it enchanced every pore and line on my skin which made me feel self conscious. As I have oily skin I don't think it was best suited to me, but I think it would work on normal/combination skin.

Have you tried this foundation? How did you find it?

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Tips & Tricks on perfecting your base

Almost a year ago now I published a post on How to achieve a flawless base and I remember it being really popular around the time. A little cringey looking back at the post now but I still stand by the steps mentioned. I've since learnt a few more tips and tricks through blogging and youtube on perfecting your base that really come in use to me. Again I use all of these methods too, so all have been tried, tested and approved!

Press the product in
Using my damp Real Techniques sponge is my favourite way to apply makeup, but I don't just simply bounce it over my skin. With this technique you really want to press and push the product in, to make it become a part of the skin rather than just sit on top of it. This is even more important if you are layering products, for example if you require more foundation plus concealer on top.

Use a small stippling brush
For uneven skin surfaces e.g fine lines, pores, acne scarring and even spots it can be difficult to make everything appear seamless. Using a small stippling brush for these pesky areas works wonders, and I find especially around the nose area to get into the pores. I always found it difficult when it came to applying foundation to my nose area but with this trick it's changed everything!

Apply concealer directly to the sponge
Rather than using your concealer wand to directly contribute the product from the tube to your face, apply to your sponge or brush and then work it in. I find when swiping a wand across your face it actually slightly removes some of the foundation you've spent time working on. It's also more hygienic this way, especially when it comes to applying on blemishes.

Don't over-do the powder
Touching up on the first tip, you also want to press the powder in with a sponge. It's tempting to use as much as you can to secure everything in place, but the best way to avoid that cakey look is to be sparing with it. Press it in under the eyes and oily areas, but lightly dust over the rest of the face for the perfect, flawless base.

I hope these tips & tricks have been of some use and that you find them to work! Please let me know if you have any other tips below

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