SHUTTER BUG

Like many Instagram worshipers, you’ll find us glued to our feeds whenever we catch a free moment. But, when it comes to the heart of our jobs — a.k.a. those gorg tutorials and how-tos, we’re often questioned about which camera we use. You’re most likely to find us behind  lens of a Canon 5D. Sure, you’ll find more filters on an iPhone than drink options at Starbucks, but no smartphone will ever deliver the same detail as an SLR camera. Whether we’re capturing a close-up on some nail art or documenting a certain hair texture (as seen in the photo  below), our Canon never leaves our side. We’re so smitten with quality, we’ve had zero qualms with leaving behind our touchscreens when it’s time to seek out inspiration for upcoming TBD posts. As evidenced by our office’s mood board, toting around pro equipment is essential for capturing vibrant colors and crisp images — now we know how photographers felt before cell phones were equipped with lenses!

photos: Kristin Ess, written by Sarah St. Lifer

Not only does our day-to-day life influence our work, but so do the iconic muses of yore. You know what we’re talking about: those gasp-worthy portraits of Bianca Jagger dancing at Studio 54, Jackie O. dodging the paparazzi, or Sophia Loren being a bona fide bombshell at the beach. You could say we’re constantly borrowing from the old-school icons, while staying on top of today’s trends. Without the trusty trigger of our Canon along with some old school vintage photographs, our day-to-day might be a little less inspiring.

Confession: A bunch of those brilliantly-lit photos we publish on TBD were taken at night. Did we fool you? Well, blame it on the Canon 5D. Since our days are often booked with back-to-back meetings, the only availability we have for tutorials is when the sun starts to set (What can we say? We’re a dedicated bunch!). Even in low light situations, you can still achieve that clear and bright shot, sans a vibrant light source. Added bonus: You can rock that fancy ‘do to dinner! Magic!

When it comes to social media, we’re all about natural light. But, while shooting outdoors, we’ll sometimes encounter direct L.A. sunlight. Way harsh, Tai!  In order to make those snaps as perfect as a Noxzema commercial, we bust out our trusty Canon (can you tell we’re a Clueless-obsessed crew?). Trust, we’re still learning the camera’s many settings! But, just switching the tab from portrait mode to landscape helped us achieve that softer light we were searching for. (If only choosing a nail polish shade were that simple!)

The trickiest tutorials to capture? Probably nail art. Those features are all about the details, and it would be an injustice to those dazzling digits if we photographed them with anything less than a pro lens. Whether we’re zooming in on some glitter or photographing the end result, the Canon takes care of business. Sweet dreams are made of this!

What’s the point in preparing a magazine-worthy photo shoot when the camera quality isn’t up to par? We want our readers to enjoy every minute detail, down to the petals on some pretty peonies! Textures tend to be much more dynamic, and you can’t argue with the color quality. Wowza!

Even the everyday items in our studio look like little pieces of art when we snap ‘em with our Canon. Hair and makeup tools never let us down, so capturing them in a flattering way is the least we could do!

sponsored by Canon

Even off duty, we can’t help but bust out our “big girl camera”. Whether we’re on a hike, BBQ’ing by the beach, or braiding each other’s hair in the park (seems cliché but we do it!), the camera goes where we go! Check out our Graphic Design Assistant getting her hair done by one of our writers! Those out-of-office moments are just as important to us as the how-to’s. We couldn’t do it without our 5D, a.k.a. our secret weapon.

Do you own a Canon SLR? Are you planning on investing in one for your blog? If so, what model? Tell us about it in the comments below!

WE’RE TRIPPIN!

We love sharing our beauty travels with you. Our latest + greatest trip was to Toronto Canada where all the cool kids are! We were honored to speak on Unilever’s Be Groomed, Be Gorgeous panel with the hilarious George Kotsiopoulos from E!’s Fashion Police. In case you don’t know about Unilever, they have brands like Dove, Clear Hair, TRESemmé, Ponds, St. Ives, Vaseline, Q-Tips and a bunch of other brands you probably have in your bathroom. We got to meet Sharon MacLeod, Unilever Canada’s VP of Marketing, and she gave us some great insight into what’s coming up with many of their brands and we have to say– there’s some exciting stuff happening. On our panel, we discussed lots of beauty trends for 2013, tips on controlling oily skin, how to make better decisions on product while staring at the shelves and we even tapped into men’s trends with George. After the panel, we all got to test out new products that hadn’t hit the shelves, which for people in the beauty industry is really exciting. Particularly obsessed with this Vaseline “Spray + Go” that you’re going to DIE for!! It’s just a simple spray-on moisturizer but when you’re rushing out the door and you don’t want to get lotion all over everything, this is going to be a life-saver. How did no one come up with that sooner?? We also got these CUUUUTE little blinged out jars of Vaseline– j’adore! Some of our fave things that we checked out were the ever-expanding St. Ives line, innovative new styling products by Dove, and seeing the science behind Clear Hair. It was a fun day and we got to meet so many sweet Canadians! Thank you to Unilever Canada for inviting us to Toronto to share all the excitement of 2013!

Side note– Toronto (aka T-Dot) is such a great place! It reminded us a lot of New York in some ways. We went to this place called “The Bay” to go shopping. Inside we stumbled upon “The Room” where they carry the most INSANE high-fashion clothing we’ve ever seen in one spot. We wanted to live in that place! We stayed at the Shangri-La and couldn’t get enough of the noodles at Momofuku. We heart Toronto!

LET ME JUST TELL YOU…


photos/post: Kristin Ess

A couple of weeks ago I took off on a beauty field trip to Olso + Bergen, Norway. I was asked to join the trip by the founder of Restørsea, Patti Pao. I had been hearing all about Restørsea Day Cream in the beauty and skin care world and I must admit, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. The more I got to know Patti, the more I knew we were all in for something really special on this trip. Patti has an incredible history in the industry and has launched more than 400 beauty products for major brands. She knows a thing or two about the market and literally radiates ideas and innovation. Bonus: she spends tons of time in Norway and we got to have her there with us to show us around.

We spent a little time in Oslo before flying to Bergen. Both are so rich in their history, but very different. Oslo is a wonderful, ultra-clean city, with a fast-paced night life and Bergen is all nature. I would even describe Bergen as feeling “pure” with mountains and rivers that appear untouched. Nearly all of my photos above taken in Bergen and you can see just how picture-esque it really is. Bergen was the place we wanted to be on this adventure because that’s where the salmon hatchery is, and that’s where the main ingredient in Restørsea comes from.

Restørsea is made with an enzyme that is produced during the salmon hatching process. Worry not– it’s extracted without harming the fish as they’re born. The whole salmon egg thing sounded interesting when I first heard about it, but with an open mind I started to think about how natural that seems compared to other things we tend to put on our face and neck. Patti discovered this enzyme when she went on a tour of the hatchery. She noticed that the workers hands looked much younger than their faces. We got to take a tour of that same hatchery and were then invited to sit down and talk to the scientists that Patti worked with to create Restørsea. I don’t remember the last time a brand invited us in to talk to their scientists and see where the main ingredients come from. IT. WAS. FASCINATING.

I learned that Restørsea works by dissolving everything that sits on top of the “new skin” like pollution and dead skin cells. Best thing is, this is great everyone, no matter your age. It’s not just about wrinkles or dry skin or oil. It’s about clearing away anything that sits on top to reveal the new skin. Best part about Restørsea is that it stops when it gets to your new skin. That was actually what caught my attention. I’m used to using certain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) to clear away the dry skin and debris, which don’t always stop at the new skin. You have to neutralize most AHAs when they get through the topical stuff. That means you have to know right when to shut it off. With Restørsea you don’t have to worry about that. You apply it in the morning and in the evening and that’s it. Pretty amazing.

I love hearing about new things in beauty and I LOVE when brands try new things and don’t just re-formulate something just because that’s the way it’s always been done. If you want more info on Restørsea and the science behind it, check out their site. Just for the record, I’m not being paid to say any of this, I’m just really excited about seeing something new brought to the skin care market and I’m overly excited about how my skin looks and feels since I’ve been using it.

Stay tuned for our tutorial on how to properly moisturize your face!

ON THAT NOTE…

photo: decor8blog.com

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