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MASTERING THE INSTAGRAM FLAT LAY

April 30, 2016

My favourite (and most liked) type of picture on Instagram is most definitely the flat lay. This simple, chic and trendy way to composition your photographs is all the rage on the picture sharing app. There is just something about carefully laid out photographs that seems to appeal to people. To do these type of shots I use a few easy tips and resources to make my flat lays as perfect as possible.

1. Background is everything

You’ll want the items in your flat lay to stand out, so keep your background simple. A favourite among bloggers is a slab of marble (or printed contact paper for a cheap and easy alternative) but I prefer a flat white background. If I want a little more texture in my background I’ll shoot my pictures on my white bedding, but generally I use a roll of white sketching paper.



2. Level Hack

To shoot my flat lays I use an app called ‘Foodie’ this app was created with one purpose in mind, shooting the best pictures of your food. But besides beautiful filters made specially to get the most out of your food snap it also comes with my favourite function ever. Position your camera over your composition and it lights up yellow when you’re holding it level. This way you get perfectly aligned bird’s eye perspectives every single time. However a flat lay isn't always shot from perfectly above, different angles can also be pretty interesting to look at.

3. Lighting

This is a pretty basic principle in photography, but natural light is your best friend. It provides the prettiest pictures, especially if you’re shooting pictures on your phone. If you don’t have access to a good source of natural light try upping the exposure when you’re post-processing also some paid apps like Facetune have excellent lighting filters that do a great job of brightening up dull and dark photos.



4. Not Over-complicating & The Importance of White Space

Don’t over clutter your flat lay. Pick your focal piece and add to that with items that make sense to the general theme of the photograph. I try to stay within the same colour family with maybe just a single pop of colour to make it interesting. White space is really important to let that special object stand out from your flat lay. Most photography apps offer templates for your photographs so you can select the square already to see how your composition will look in the finished product.







5. Keep it interesting

As seen in the examples you can see that with the same key item you can make a few different styles and angles to make more interesting looking pictures. A feed full of perfectly aligned square boxes is hardly fun to look at right? Play with composition and different style grids to see what suits your selection of items best. 

And that's it, just a couple simple tips to help you make the most out of your flat lays. Don't forget to tag your pictures with the appropriate hashtags and tag the @flatlays instagram account to increase traffic to your shots and a chance to get featured on the massively followed page. 

What's your favourite style of Instagram photo? Are you a fan of the flatlay or does the selfie still reign supreme?

THE WEEKEND POST: AMSTERDAM

April 23, 2016





My favorite type of dates is definitely a day date. The times where we just get into the car and drive somewhere fun to spend the day and enjoy the wondrous things that place has to offer. A good thing about the Netherlands is that so many things are close by. Just an hour drive and you find yourself smack in the middle of one of Europe’s prettiest cities; Amsterdam. Which is exactly where we went this Saturday.

We started early in the morning with a little road trip. I’m probably the worst person to take along on roadtrips because I sing along with everything, loudly and badly. I really wanted to see the Catwalk exposition at the Rijksmuseum. This is a gorgeous exposition on fashion throughout the ages starting from 1625 to a 1960s Yves Saint Laurent mini dress. It’s still on until may 16th, so if you have the chance to see it I really recommend a visit. Of course you can’t visit the Netherlands’ best museum without a walk through the Honour Gallery to see The Night Watch and other masterpieces. And I may have had some fun in the medieval wing providing modern comments to really old pieces of art.

After our little cultural outing we were feeling peckish and started our walk to the Leidsegracht. I really wanted to eat at CafĂ© George because I had heard many great reviews of this place. Walking in you could immediately see why this is a  favourite among bloggers. Pretty marble tables, mosaic floors and subway tile walls. I really dig the aesthetic of the place. I ordered eggs benedict and the mister had a goat’s cheese baguette. Both were very tasty and looked great.

We filled the rest of our day wandering around looking at the abundance of stores our nation’s capital has to offer. I was on the hunt for the perfect white t-shirt to strengthen my capsule wardrobe with, but ended up buying a nice graphic tee from Stradivarius. Who doesn’t need a cool graphic tee to brighten up a closet full of basics, so I’ll just chalk it up to one of the five buys I’m allowed to make during this season.

I don’t do days out without at least one sugary treat and with the sun making a sporadic appearance to warm us we decided it was the perfect time for ice cream. My first gelato of the year, many more to follow, I am sure.

Before we knew it we had reached the end of the day so sadly it was time to head back to the car for a road trip home. Content but tired we returned to our town just an hour away from the beautiful bustling city that is Amsterdam. I for one can’t wait to return.



HOW TO START A CAPSULE WARDROBE

April 21, 2016


Want to make choosing what to wear in the morning that much easier? Why not try a capsule wardrobe? Besides it being extremely practical it’s also what all those cool French women do and who doesn’t want to be an incredibly cool French woman. I’ve only recently started my own capsule experiment and thought I would share some tips on how to start your very own simplified set of clothes.

First of all you need to understand why you’re streamlining your wardrobe down to a basic core. I’m doing it because I often found myself going shopping just because I wanted to buy something new. Not because I needed it, or would get much use out of. This led to me buying things that would maybe only get worn once or twice and when I would look at it I’d question myself why in the world I bought it in the first place. I want a small wardrobe with quality pieces, quality being the key word. Investing in items that can be worn multiple seasons and stepping away from the fast fashion offered by low budget chains like Primark.

So how do you start your own capsule? First you sit yourself down in front of your closet and weed through every single piece in there. Clear out anything that doesn’t fit right, is stained beyond rescue or you haven’t worn in a year. When you doubt whether or not you want to get rid of something ask yourself this: “If I found it in a store now, would I buy it again?” If the answer is no, throw it out.

I say throw it out but be a little more environmentally friendly than that and put them up for sale if the clothes are still in good shape, apps like Vinted are great for easily reselling clothing. Everything you don’t sell can be donated to your local Goodwill or thrift shop. Or take it to your local H&M they’re really big on recycling and offer you discounts when you recycle your clothes there (yes, even if they haven’t been bought there)

Next up is the planning phase of your wardrobe. Most capsule closets have between thirty and forty pieces in it. That’s ranging everything from basic tops to the shoes you’re wearing the entire season. This is where it gets tricky. Because you might want to add eight pairs of shoes, but that means you’re going to have to compromise somewhere else.

You’re going to have to find a balance between formal and casual. Which is where it gets tricky, for instance I absolutely love faded blue jeans with rips in them, but there is no way I can make that work in a formal or professional situation, so do I add them to my capsule or not? Yes, yes I do. Because I’m stubborn and I had a few pieces left to make an even forty.

When you have made your selection of what you’re going to be using in your capsule you need to put away everything else. I can speak from experience if you keep it hanging in your closet, you’re not going to be using your capsule the way it was intended. For me it’s a challenge to keep my outfits interesting during the months even with a limited selection of clothing.

There are many sites online with resources to plan your own capsule wardrobe, I really like the ones provided by Unfancy, because Caroline’s reasons were similar to my own. There you can find a free wardrobe planner which will come in really handy when you’re getting your first capsule together. Also this site is great for when you need that extra little push to start your own capsule.

And that’s it! Quite the story, right? I have to admit that it took some getting used to my smaller streamlined closet. But now that I’m using a smaller set of clothes I’m more at ease with my own personal style. That’s because my capsule isn’t based on trends, but based on items that are versatile and dear to my heart. Soon I’ll be showing you just what is included in my Spring 2016 capsule wardrobe.Want to make choosing what to wear in the morning that much easier? Why not try a capsule wardrobe? Besides it being extremely practical it’s also what all those cool French women do and who doesn’t want to be an incredibly cool French woman. I’ve only recently started my own capsule experiment and thought I would share some tips on how to start your very own simplified set of clothes.

First of all you need to understand why you’re streamlining your wardrobe down to a basic core. I’m doing it because I often found myself going shopping just because I wanted to buy something new. Not because I needed it, or would get much use out of. This led to me buying things that would maybe only get worn once or twice and when I would look at it I’d question myself why in the world I bought it in the first place. I want a small wardrobe with quality pieces, quality being the key word. Investing in items that can be worn multiple seasons and stepping away from the fast fashion offered by low budget chains like Primark.

So how do you start your own capsule? First you sit yourself down in front of your closet and weed through every single piece in there. Clear out anything that doesn’t fit right, is stained beyond rescue or you haven’t worn in a year. When you doubt whether or not you want to get rid of something ask yourself this: “If I found it in a store now, would I buy it again?” If the answer is no, throw it out.

I say throw it out but be a little more environmentally friendly than that and put them up for sale if the clothes are still in good shape, apps like Vinted (ADD DIRECT LINK HERE) are great for easily reselling clothing. Everything you don’t sell can be donated to your local Goodwill or thrift shop. Or take it to your local H&M they’re really big on recycling and offer you discounts when you recycle your clothes there (yes, even if they haven’t been bought there)

Next up is the planning phase of your wardrobe. Most capsule closets have between thirty and forty pieces in it. That’s ranging everything from basic tops to the shoes you’re wearing the entire season. This is where it gets tricky. Because you might want to add eight pairs of shoes, but that means you’re going to have to compromise somewhere else.

You’re going to have to find a balance between formal and casual. Which is where it gets tricky, for instance I absolutely love faded blue jeans with rips in them, but there is no way I can make that work in a formal or professional situation, so do I add them to my capsule or not? Yes, yes I do. Because I’m stubborn and I had a few pieces left to make an even forty.

When you have made your selection of what you’re going to be using in your capsule you need to put away everything else. I can speak from experience if you keep it hanging in your closet, you’re not going to be using your capsule the way it was intended. For me it’s a challenge to keep my outfits interesting during the months even with a limited selection of clothing.

There are many sites online with resources to plan your own capsule wardrobe, I really like the ones provided by un-fancy.com, because Caroline’s reasons were similar to my own. There you can find a free wardrobe planner which will come in really handy when you’re getting your first capsule together. Also this site is great for when you need that extra little push to start your own capsule.

And that’s it! Quite the story, right? I have to admit that it took some getting used to my smaller streamlined closet. But now that I’m using a smaller set of clothes I’m more at ease with my own personal style. That’s because my capsule isn’t based on trends, but based on items that are versatile and dear to my heart. Soon I’ll be showing you just what is included in my Spring 2016 capsule wardrobe.

MY KEY ITEMS FOR A MINIMALIST MAKEUP LOOK

April 18, 2016



Minimalism is a term that has been popping up a lot in my daily life, I try to apply it on many different platforms. From simplifying my wardrobe to streamlining my beauty routine, less is definitely more. This has led to me having  a small set of high power products that work really well for me.

Under five products every morning and I leave the house fresh faced and ready to face the day. These are my key makeup items for any girl that doesn’t like wearing a lot of makeup.

Bobbi Brown brow pencil (blonde) – A very simple, straight to the point eyebrow pencil. I’ve tried working with waxy pencils or gel formulas but I like the subtle effect this pencil brings to my already pretty full brows. I lightly use this on the front of my brow and fill in any tiny gaps I might have and it lasts all days but never looks fake or drawn on.

Pupa Milano Vamp Mascara – This mascara is a godsend. It coats your lashes in thick intense black, separates them, volumises them and lengthens them. Think bombshell lashes in just one coat. The brush on this mascara is the absolute best, soft fibers that are a little shorter in the middle, allowing you to reach even the shortest of eyelashes. Whenever I run out of this baby I just use the brush of the Vamp mascara in another mascara formulation, but they never really measure up to the results of the original.

Clarins Instant Concealer – Raved about by many bloggers, this really is a winner. I was doubting whether I should put this one or the NARS creamy concealer in this list as they’re pretty much on par in my book. But where the Clarins concealer lacks in the longevity it makes up in hydration. This concealer will have me looking fresh faced longer as the NARS concealer is really hardcore but can sometimes leave me looking a little chalky underneath the eyes.

I love how lightweight the Clarins Instant concealer is, it brightens dark circles and leaves you looking awake and refreshed, an effect I often need (especially on Mondays). The only downside to this one is the limited shade range, which makes finding your match a lot trickier for most people.

Last but not least is the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. This baby is probably famous enough to be labeled a cult classic. This highlighter is oil based, but not the usual (slippery and cheap) petroleum oil. The woman behind RMS chose castor and coconut oil, so it’s even good for your skin. I take this from my outer brow to my cheekbone, making a kind of mirrored checkmark.

These items provide me with my favorite no makeup makeup look nearly every day. What are your favorite makeup products, and do you think there are any products I should check out?