Thursday, 29 September 2016

How I edit my Instagram Photos | Social Media

Having an 'aesthetically pleasing' Instagram theme is something which I've definitely floated in and out of throughout the years. I'm still undecided whether I prefer perfectly square photos or a mix match. One thing which I have mostly kept the same is how I edit my photos. I thought today I would share what apps I use and the process.

For an example, I'm going to show the before and after photos and screenshot the process:
I use the VSCO Cam App, I absolutely swear by it. I've used it for such a long time, it does everything that I need it too. Definitely one of my holy grail apps! My aim isn't to change the image, just simply improve it slightly. I have chosen not to make too many changes as I like to keep my photos looking as natural as possible with a few alterations and enhancements.

The first thing I start with is choosing a filter, I usually choose F2/Mellow, just because I love the green undertones with a slightly faded effect. I bring it down a little, though just so I can add some of my own changes too. Next, I slightly up the contrast on the photo, some others often need a little more. I play around with it a little and see what looks best.

Next, I alter the exposure, again I only slightly do this and play around with it. I don't want my photos to look overexposed or washed out. I then up the saturation levels a little, this is because I really want to bring the colours out and make it a little more vibrant. It's important not to overdo the saturation otherwise the colours can look really unrealistic and ruin the photo.

I alter the level of sharpness of the photo, in a photo such as above where there is quite a bit of detail I like to bring that out and make it the focal point. The sharpen tool helps to do this very well. However, if this is overdone and brought up to much the photo can start to appear quite grainy. Finally, I add a slight vignette to the photo. This adds a little darkness to the corners of the photo, making the focal point draw you to the middle. This effect doesn't work for every photo so is again one to definitely play around with.

Follow @akahanney on Instagram here

If you like the look of my Instagram feed above, why don't you pop on over, give it some love and maybe even give it a follow? 

I hope you found this interesting and perhaps helpful! I'm always interested in how people get certain effects and filters on their Instagram photos. What is your go-to app for editing photos for Instagram?

- Love Hanney xo


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Zoella Lifestyle, On My Travels Backpack | Haul & Review

Eeeeekkk! I'm not sure I've been this excited about a launch of new products since Zoella Beauty was created! I am unbelievably proud of Zoe and of how far she has come. Putting so much hard work, time and effort into all of her products. Most recently, #ZoellaLifestyle. If you're a little unaware and a little confused on what exactly that is then you've come to the right place! Zoe recently launched a line called #ZoellaLifestyle and yep you guessed it, a whole load of lifestyle products that you NEED and will automatically want in your life, from candles to books to socks, Zoe's pretty much covered it all. The products were launched in an apartment and it all looked so magical serious goals!

I'm hugely obsessed with stationery so couldn't wait to get my hands on the gorgeous marble & pastel themed products. The main overall colour scheme being Copper, Marble & Grey. I can already tell these products are going to be a huge success! All the products are packaged so beautifully, perfect for gifts or definitely keeping for yourself! The whole lifestyle collection launched online and in Boots & Superdrug stores on the 19th September. A selection of the products will also then be available from Debenhams and Waterstones early October. I personally couldn't wait to get my hands on almost everything! Can we also appreciate that this is the quickest turn around on a blog post that I've ever done! 

Zoe then released an exclusive to Boots 'On My Travels Backpack' and I knew from that moment that I just had to have it! It's £50 which seems quite a lot at the first glance but it also comes with the Travel Mug, Keyring & Pencils. I happened to be passing Boots on Monday and thought I'd go in to see if any of the products were there and there it was, on the bottom shelf looking AMAZING. There was no going back, it was in my hand and no way was I letting it go. The softest backpack I have ever felt! It was a lot larger than I expected and ever so practical. The inside is a gorgeous pastel orange colour, I was a little sceptical when I first saw the inside on Zoe's snapchat because it looked very neon orange however I'm happy to say it's a gorgeous pastel! It has adjustable straps which can be altered to fit you and a drawstring close on the bag. I'm ever so pleasantly surprised by the quality.

Update: I was just testing out what I could fit into the backpack and my 15" Macbook Pro fits perfectly with lots of room! Just to give you an idea of size!  

I was so excited about the travel mug. It's marble so, of course, that's a winner to start! It has a super cute quote on the side 'Topped with cream and sprinkles' and the cutest little 'Z' at the bottom. The pastel orange screw on lid matches the bag and the rest of the collection. The lid is very sturdy and not a squishy rubber material, its a screw on lid as well which will be so useful because it won't spill and you'll know that the lid is definitely on. I think it's so great how Zoe's really thought about every last thing when it comes down to the making of the product. 

I was one of the many people who has never noticed Zoe's 'Inspire' keyring on her keys for the past few months in her vlogs! But I'm super excited to use mine, I've recently moved house and am currently looking for a new keyring as I chose a very large impractical pompom! It's a pastel orange with a rose gold outline of the word 'Inspire'.

Last but definitely not least, the beautiful pack of ombre pastel orange pencils. Ever so cute and an addition that everyone needs to their stationary collection. They all have a 'Z' on them with cute little captions like 'Hugs & Kisses', 'Best Wishes' & 'Love From'. 

I LOVE this collection and definitely think 'On My Travels Backpack is 100% worth the money. The quality and the products truly are amazing. I'm so excited to use it all. I would love to buy so much more however I need to calm down a little, student life and all that! Definitely thinking of putting some of it on my Christmas list. If you're thinking of buying a few things it's worth knowing that Boots currently have it on 3 for 2 for their Christmas gifts. 

You can watch Zoe's vlog of the 'Zoella Apartment' which shows all the products and also her Christmas range here.

Are you planning on buying anything from the range, what are your favourite products?

- Love Hanney xo


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Spectrum Make Up Brushes | Beauty

My weakness is anything white, grey, rose gold and marble so these brushes fitted the criteria ever so well! I am so in love with the look of them, simply irresistible! I had been planning to buy some new brushes for a while, preferably a collection that all matched rather than my fairly odd mix and match brushes at the moment! After looking through countless blog reviews to see what brushes are the most useful and worth the money I came across lots of posts about Spectrum Collection Brushes, a brand that if honestly, I'd slightly forgotten about since I first discovered them. They're mostly known for 'the most instagramable brushes' and their high-quality affordable brushes. I soon fell in love with the Marbleous collection and soon decided to bite the bullet and order them. You receive 10% off your first order when you sign up to their email newsletters which I definitely recommend doing if you're thinking of making a purchase. 

I ordered the 'Marbleous 12 piece set' which comes with 4 face brushes and 8 best-selling eye, brow & lip brushes. I've listed the names of brushes below and what (I think) they do:

A00 - Luxe Powder
A05 - Precision Blush
C02 - Flat Top Contour
C07 - Luxe Tapered Sculptor

Eyes, Brows & Lips
A07 - Stubby Shader
A08 - Medium Fluffy Shader
A12 - Fluffy Pencil
A13 - Short Smudge
A14 - Brow Definer
A15 - Lip Definer
B04 - Small Angled Shader
B06 - Tall Tapered Blender

I won't necessarily use them for the same purpose, I'll see what brushes work best for although it's nice to have as a reference! This set is such a good deal and does everything I wanted. Not to mention they are the softest brushes I have ever felt, everyone I've shown them to has had to have a feel! So far the overall quality of them feels super sturdy, very durable and I feel these will last a lifetime. Not only are they affordable and of such high quality, they're also vegan and cruelty-free. I'm super excited to start using these however I am scared of losing that gorgeous clean white look! 

These brushes are available from both Spectrum Collections and Beauty Bay however not all sets are available on the Beauty Bay website.

What do you think of these brushes, have you ever bought anything from Spectrum Collection?

- Love Hanney xo

[Disclaimer* I cheated a little with these photos because they're actually supposed to be used for my photography summer work portfolio however I was so pleased with them I thought why not use them for my blog as well!]



Thursday, 8 September 2016

Looking back on Summer 2016 | Day In The Life

With my 2nd year of uni approaching soon I'm feeling content looking back over Summer '16 as it comes to an end and we look forward to the Autumn/Winter months. I thought what a nice way to finish my summer with a reflection and overview. I've managed to narrow it down to 10 of my favourite and most memorable events. I hope you also find it interesting to read!
1. Saying goodbye to halls
At the end of June, it was time to move out of my halls room and move back home for the summer. It was super sad to say goodbye to such a lovely room which was my home for a year! But moving forward its so exciting to be moving into my new house on Saturday eeeekk!

2. Pizza nights in Bristol with Amy
Pizza nights are something which me and my best friend Amy are ever so familiar with! With usually being Domino's #1 customer we switched it up a little and took a trip to Pizza Hut and ordered one of the nicest pizzas I've ever tasted!
3. Great food with even better company
Back at it again with the food! I can now officially say that I've been to Five Guys and I loved every mouthful. Best. Burger. Ever. Hands down wins that award. So instagramable as well, how could you not with the beautiful white and red check interior and design!
4. Family caravan holiday to Weymouth
Myself and Karl (my boyfriend) took a lovely caravan trip to Weymouth with my family for the week and it was full of beach walks and late nights in the amusements. I loved every moment of it and can't wait for next year! 10 points to Karl for choosing our beach towels!

5. Uni work with Amy
Despite it being summer, uni work still happens to be very much at the top of my to-do list. With Amy specialising in interior photography I get to be the helpful assistant and go to loads of showrooms. There I am picking out my dream house and already deciding what I would put where definitely the fun side of being an assistant! Not to mention taking as much advantage of the great lighting for selfies!

6. Costa dates with Amy
Costa is another one of those weekly things which I've hugely been missing! With Amy coming down to visit me in Bristol it wouldn't be right without a trip to Costa to enjoy our favourite summery drinks. It's always great to have a good old catch up.

7. Hot weather days
When the weather has been hot and summery it has definitely been boiling sweating weather hasn't it! Luckily enough I got to spend one of these days enjoying the sun with Amy with a walk along the harbour-side, picnic and sunbathe in the park and walk down a zig-zag path which we had no idea where it was going! Fun to walk down definitely not so great to have to walk all the way back up on the hottest day of the year! 

8. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The balloon fiesta is one of my all-time favourite things to do in the summer every year. This year I was lucky enough to go with two of my favourite people, my best friend and my boyfriend. We went for the night glow on Thursday, I love the atmosphere and the wow factor looking at all the balloons light up in time to the music. Roller coaster rides really aren't my thing so I compromised and went on a spinny spinning thing (only way to describe it accurately of course) and by the end of it, we were cry/laughing, so much fun!
9. My Birthday!
I don't really want to believe it that I'm 20 already. Totally not ready to be considered an actual adult yet! I spent it with my two favourite people again and they made sure I had such a lovely day filled with heaps of laughter and smiles. We had a great day doing some adventure golf, something I'm not too familiar with but such great fun, hugely recommend!

10. Family holiday at the caravan in Paignton
This time with Karl's family. It was so much fun! I went out on a fishing boat for the first time and between us, we caught 87 mackerel and oh my I'm so proud! Beautiful views and great to take some time away and spend it by the water.

And that brings my blog post to an end. Not really wanting summer to end although I'm super excited for 2nd year at uni and seeing what the future brings. What's been one of your favourite memories this summer?

- Love always, Hanney xo



Thursday, 1 September 2016

KIKO HAUL | My new favourite brand | Beauty

Back again with another haul! This has also been a slight build up as I seem to keep finding myself wandering into the glorious KIKO stores! With now having 3 KIKO stores between Bristol & Bath its almost impossible to not walk in especially with 70% off sale! I decided to bring everything together for a haul because who doesn't love a good old beauty haul! 

Lipsticks, lipsticks, lipsticks. Possibly my favourite beauty product ever. So of course I was bound to buy at least one, maybe 4! Oops! Surprisingly I have gone for shades which vary which is unusual as I seem to be picking up colours which are very similar! 

Firstly, I picked up the Limited Edition Mirage Lipstick in the shade 13. The packaging is just ever so gorgeous (probably persuaded me to buy it) and looking back at the lipstick I'm almost surprised at myself for picking up such a bright pink shade however all I can say is the swatch must have looked slightly less pigmented or I was feeling confident! 

I then picked up the most gorgeous lipstick I have ever laid eyes on, the packaging once again is magical with a magnetic top so its not going to come off in my bag, always a bonus! This lipstick claims to be a matte finish although I can't vouch for that yet as I haven't used it (I waited to take a photo first!) The quality definitely looks amazing. I picked up the shade 315 and its part of the 'Velvet Passion' collection which I highly recommend you try and explore.

A round of applause please for accidentally knocking over the lipstick before I took my first photo :( I was gutted! However, I picked up the shades (left to right); 803 Pink Flamingo which has a slight hint of coral & 813 Apple Blossoms which is more of a darker pink which I can definitely see myself getting some use from in Autumn.

I definitely couldn't leave the store without lipliners! I've recently been looking for a dark pink shade to match my ABH & Kat Von D liquid lipsticks and I have a feeling I might have just found them! I picked up 711 & 712. Although they're close in name there is a clear difference in colour once swatched. I'm looking forward to seeing what the quality of these lip liners are like.

Next I picked up two shadow sticks, I've heard a lot about these so I was super excited to try them! I picked up a 25 which is a light brown/taupe colour and 34 which is a light shimmery pink rose which would probably be amazing as an highlighter as well! These claim to be 8 hour long-lasting so I'm looking forward to trying these out to see if they live up to it.

Finally I picked up this white and pick KIKO make-up bag/pouch. I've been on the hunt for something to keep my new make-up brushes in and this looks like the perfect size. On the right side there is a popper which means you can fold the bag in half which makes it a lot more compact. Ideal for what I want it for.

That brings me to the end of this post and feeling pleased with my purchases! KIKO is definitely my new found love, being so affordable and so gorgeous! Have you ever bought anything from KIKO?

- Love Hanney xo


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