I need your help!

3:24 PM

I'm always having problems with blogger, whether it be technical or mental (like not posting, but don't worry, I'll be back next week!). Right now my theme (or template) won't let me reply on comments, and I keep thinking "I'll get to it tomorrow" repeat x infinity. I like this theme, but if this problem is big enough I'll change it. Can anyone help? If you know how to fix the problem or know of a theme garden please email me at theravingsofaninsomniac@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

Let's Talk About Photography | Basics

12:28 PM

I love me a good photograph. I'm quite the sucker for photography, it's my hobby and something I hope to make a career out of someday. Over the years I've picked up a good amount of tips and tricks and today I thought I'd talk about the basics. Quick disclaimer, I am by no means a professional. These are just things I find work for me. I'll talk about my gear at the end of this post. For now, let's get onto the very basics.

1. Camera
You need to have a good camera for photography. I have a DSLR. This is not necessary at all. These are quite expensive and lenses are pretty pricey as well. As I said, these are by no means essentials. I have included it in this basics post because these are the easiest to control. Using a point-and-shoot camera will work just fine, or even an iPhone camera. I would recommend something that can take clear, focused pictures. If you don't have a quality camera I would advise you to invest in a point-and-shoot like a Canon Powershot or a Nikon Coolpix. These are affordable, portable and convenient cameras.

2. Tripod
Tripods are like bras. You don't "technically" need one, but you need one. They hold your camera still and provide for clear, quality pictures. If you primarily use your camera to blog, I don't think you'd need to invest in a crazy expensive tripod. Consider buying one of these bad boys, a small tripod-type thing that balances your baby.

3. Conditions
Always shoot in natural lighting, but never in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight brings out harsh shadows and unflattering angles. Instead, try to shoot by a window when the sun isn't directly shining through. I shoot by a window in my room, and if the sun happens to be shining through I pull my curtain, a cream colored thing, to diffuse the light.

4. Editing
This is simply something to make your pictures a little more enjoyable to look at. There are plenty of free editing sites online like iPiccy that give you great basic editing such as adjusting brightness, addding text and filters, etc.

Those are the four basic pointers that I have for new photographers. Quality camera, some form of stabilizer, good conditions, and editing.

Quick mention about my gear: I have a Nikon D90 and quite a few lenses. Usually I use my Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens. I use these two on my Manfrotto tripod from the 290 series and I edit with Photoshop CS2.

Thanks for reading! What kind of gear do you use?


NYX Eyebrow Marker | Review

1:16 PM

What it is: a brow marker
Where it is: Target stores, Ulta stores, and online
For how much: $9.75
Anything else: NYX is cruelty free and their products are hypoallergenic!

NYX is a brand that I've only tried a few products of but really want everything from. Everything's so damn cute and affordable. They started selling at Target stores a couple months ago, so I vowed to try some more products... but there aren't many products there! Anyways, I've been wanting to get my hands on a brow marker, and since they aren't too available here in the States I grabbed this as soon as I laid eyes on it.

In case you didn't know the concept of a brow marker, it's like a felt-tip eyeliner but for your brows. They're supposed to give quite a natural brow look, which is my jam. I love fluffy, natural brows. There are two shades, Medium and Deep, which is the one I'll be reviewing. NYX says, "Sculpt, fill in and enhance your natural eyebrows with our felt-tip Eyebrow Marker. The color resists smearing and smudging, and wears all day long." This marker is opthalmologically tested, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty free.

The packaging is pretty simple, it looks like a felt-tip pen. The cap locks on securely, so no fear that the tip will dry out. The tip is actually a lot shorter than I expected, especially since eyeliners are so much longer.

This isn't very pigmented, but brow pens aren't supposed to be. The color is supposed to be quite faint, as you can see by the swatch it is. On my hand, it looks to be pretty neutral toned, but on the brows it's quite red-toned. When I remove it the cotton pad comes back as red. It's really odd. The formula is pretty great, it's smudgeproof and so long lasting, but since the tip is so precise you have to really trace over your brows, which inevitably leaves you with brows a lot fuller than expected. Brushing out does no good either since it's budgeproof, but if I apply brow gel the wand comes back red! How weird. 

Like I said earlier, I'm all for natural-looking brows. If this product was a bit more hazy and suited my hair color more I'm sure I would love it, but for now I'll just save it for any occasions where I absolutely cannot use powder. I would recommend for anyone who likes a strong brow look.

Thanks for reading! Have you tried any brow markers? Are they all as weird as this one?

How Much is my Face Worth? | Skincare

4:58 PM

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water $12Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash $11 | Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash $5.49 | Eclos Skin Prep Cleanser $14.99St. Ives Green Tea Scrub $1 | Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner $6.99 | No7 Rapid Spot Rescue $11.99 | Burt's Bees Sensitive Eye Cream $15H2O+ Oasis Mist $17 | H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment $36 | Nivea Soft $5.39 |

All this adds up to... $117.87!! Damn, this is high. Especially for a cheap student like myself... This stuff isn't even including the masks I use.

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Hi there, I'm Emily. It's nice to meet you. I'm a beauty blogger who also happens to be very interested in photography/film. Chat with me, let's be friends!