beautygrind

How To Look Better In Your Next Video Call

In beauty, how to, makeup, skincare on May 18, 2020 at 9:25 pm

Image Courtesy of Cottonbro via Pexels

It’s no secret that video has become a valuable tool in our technologically advanced society, especially during these strange times.  From FaceTime and Skype to the ever increasing popularity and use of Zoom, video is a great way to stay connected.

Now, more than ever, video calls are the go to tool for many of the things we do, from work to virtual happy hours and parties.  With that being said, how we look on video is just as important as the information that is being exchanged.  It usually doesn’t matter when we communicate via phone call, text and email but obviously, in video, people see you.  In most cases, when it comes down to work and even things like virtual dating, looks matter.  Think about it – how would you present yourself to your current or potential boss, client or even a romantic prospect?  You wouldn’t show up in pajamas or a dusty t-shirt or a face mask for your zits.  You, instead, would put your best face forward.  Again, looks matter so it’s important to look your personal best.  Also since many of us are currently stuck inside, that’s all the more reason to put on that lipstick, hair or outfit you’ve been wanting to wear.  So go ahead, you can still slay through that screen with these simple tips/reminders:

Lighting.  When you take a selfie, you usually make sure you show up in the best light.  The same goes for when you are doing a video call.  Natural light is the better option as it most flattering.  The key when using natural light is positioning yourself at the correct angle.  To catch the best light, sit facing the window (or other light source for that matter).  If the sun is particularly bright you can close the blinds a little or put up a white curtain to help filter the light.  On cloudy days you can sit more directly in the light source because your features won’t be blown out.  Whatever the case, be sure to not sit with your back to your light source which will cause your figure to be shadowy.

You can always add a light source if necessary.  Ring lights are very popular and can be found on Amazon (or eBay).  I’ve been using the Make Up Light for several years because I like the ability to customize the fixtures and the fact that that it breaks down quickly, making it easier to carry and can fit mostly in a large tote bag.

You can always use a regular lamp if necessary.  Remember to position it in front of you (behind your computer or other video source).

Sound.  Be sure that your sound is working, without feedback/echo.  This is especially important if you are a presenter or leading the meeting.  Usually the sound on your chosen device is sufficient however if you need something that works better, there are microphone options on Amazon (or eBay).

Setting.  Where you take your virtual meeting (or event) is just as important as how you look.  Choose an area free of excessive distractions.  If possible, set up at a desk or table with ample lighting and a comfortable chair.  Make sure that whatever people see behind you is clean, neat, organized and visually appealing.  Add plants or artwork to add dimension to your space.  If you live with other people or other people will be present in your space, make sure they know when you will be participating in your meeting/event and that they are aware that they should keep noise to a minimum or non-existent.

Position.  Make sure your device (laptop, phone, tablet) is positioned at face/eye level.  and make sure you have good posture.  This will help you to not look distorted and again helps to present you in the best “light” possible.

Wardrobe.  Although, for the most part, you will only be seen from mid chest upwards, it’s still important that whatever people see looks nice.  Choose flattering colors that will complement your skin tone and contrast nicely with your background as well as ensure the right fit for your clothing.  Keep prints to a minimum and be sure that what you are wearing is not too revealing.  A blazer and camisole/t-shirt/blouse is a no fail combination, as well as just a blouse or nice sweater.  It all depends on your work environment, dress code and expectations.  Don’t forget accessories like a simple pair of earrings and/or necklace to complete the look.  However, be sure to avoid noisy jewelry as that can be a distraction.

Makeup.  Whether you know very little about makeup or don’t care for it, the fact  remains that a polished look makes for a good impression.  Again, looks matter.  And not in a “I look like a supermodel” but more of a way in which you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed and was dragged behind a dump truck.  You don’t have to do the most, just follow the basics of giving good face – “flawless” complexion, soft yet well defined brows, lash lift, lip tint/color, sculpting and definition.

  • Flawless Complexion.  Since makeup is never a substitute for good skin, start with a basic skincare routine for your skin type (if you don’t already have a 50 step process in place) – cleanse, tone, moisturize.  Once you have those basics in place,  a primer is your next step.  A primer will keep your makeup up on longer and can help your makeup look better on your skin.  Next apply a lightweight tinted moisturizer or foundation with a beauty blender or foundation brush.  If you need more coverage you can  definitely choose a medium/full coverage foundation.  Dark under eye circles/hyper-pigmentation (acne scars, etc) is a common concern for many so don’t forget a concealer.  Follow up with a setting powder to lock everything in place and to cut down on shine.
  • Brows.  I cannot stress the importance of having good brows.  Brows are the architecture of your face and can make or break your look.  If  you have full brows already, all you may need to do is use a brow gel to tame and shape them.  If you have brows that are more sparse, there are a multitude of products that you can use from brow powder to pencil to fill in/create the perfect brow.
  • Eyes.  You don’t have to do a full smoky eye.  In most cases, eye liner and mascara will suffice.  If you want to give a little more,  you can always choose a color slightly deeper than your complexion in your crease to give a little more depth and structure to the eye by applying/blending with a crease brush.  Finish off with 2-3 coats of your preferred mascara.  For eyeliner, choose an off black or black/brown to define the eye shape and use a smudge brush to soften the lines.  These two color choices will define without looking too dramatic or harsh.
  • Lips.  First off, exfoliation and moisture is so important – whether you choose to wear lip color or not.  Speaking of color, you don’t have to do full on color – a lip tint can suffice if you don’t want to do the most.  But for everyone else, go ahead and  put on that bold bright beautiful color to liven things up.  Mattes are good choice because in many cases, depending on formulation/brand, there is minimal transfer.
  • Sculpting with blush.  Add a little blush to add warmth to the complexion and  to sculpt and define those cheekbones.

Hair.  Brush it.  Comb it.  Shave it.  Cut it.  Do whatever you have to do to make sure it looks nice and presentable.  Styling products are your friend.  Add accessories if you need to like a headband or a nice hair clip.  Chances are you have many of these things in your arsenal.  You just need to use them.

 

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

My Most Wanted Nail Looks Of 2020

In Nails on May 11, 2020 at 3:36 pm

 

Like the many forms of beauty that we enjoy regularly such as great hair and makeup, nails are an awesome way to show off one’s personal style.  And now that we are approaching spring/summer, you may need inspiration for new nail looks to get you excited and help you take a detour from your regular nail looks.  Runway, social media and Pinterest feeds as well as real life have abundant ideas of nail looks to wear, whether you get your nails professionally done or you DIY.  Below are 7 of my favorite nail looks, many of which have been around but are taking center stage for this season:

Long Nails
.  And I mean super long and in a variety of shapes other than the traditional square and oval.  Regardless of how you feel about long nails, they are a thing. Regardless of your thoughts on practicality and functionality, the people who wear longer nail lengths are actually fully functional.  Longer nail lengths allow nail techs to flex their artistic skills with various designs, finishes and techniques thus creating wearable art.

French Manicure. This look will never go out of style as it is clean, classic and sophisticated. Often considered a more “professional” nail look,  french manicures are perfect for when you need a nail look that isn’t necessarily doing the most. French manicures are often associated with the 90’s – a square, airbrushed look however today’s french manicures have an updated spin with creatively designed tips and nail shapes as well as various finishes such as ombré, foiled and glitter.

Nail Decals.  Nail decals/nail transfer foils are still a thing and seem to be making a bit of a comeback. What’s great about nail decals is that for the fraction of the price your would pay at the nail salon (for nail art in particular), you can get very creative with awesome nail art decals to express your individuality.

Gradient Nails.  This can refer not only to gradient color design on each nail but also as in each nail being painted a different color, the latter being quite easy to achieve.  You can get your ROY G BIV on with different colors of the rainbow, or various shades of a color (think black, grey, and white).

Animal Print Nails.  Who said that you had to leave animal print to your clothing, shoes and sunglasses?  Now you can wear your favorite animal prints on your nails.  Think cow, leopard and tortoiseshell which can adorn your entire nail or just the tips (think French manicure) and you don’t have to take them off at the end of the day like you would with your accessories.

Milky Nails.  This nail trend started gaining more traction toward the end of 2019 and seems to be picking up steam for this season. Milky nails, which are a great alternative to the hardcore nail art and bold colors that we love, have a semi translucent finish which resembles skim milk but in the best way.  There are many ways to achieve the look:  with the help of a professional and of course at home.  The former can achieve the look with acrylic powder and gel polish.  The latter with regular polish like OPI Nail Lacquer in Alpine Snow or Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Regret The Moon.

Press On Nails.  Press on nails have definitely become all the rage and I’m so here for it. A far cry from the Lee Press On Nails from yesteryear, today’s press on nails (and glue) are of a higher quality which help to provide longer wear.  Whether you go to the nail salon regularly or you are a DIY kind of person, the options are endless when it comes to press on’s. You can save a lot of time if you are a DIY’er and MAYBE some money as well as switch up your look on a more frequent basis with the various shapes, lengths, and designs press on nails offer.

 

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

Download These Apps To Boost Productivity And Efficiency

In lifestyle, productivity on May 8, 2020 at 11:05 pm
Image Courtesy of cottonbro from Pexels

 

Who would have ever thought that cell phones would become a tool that we can’t seem to live without?  Once reserved for certain people in society such as celebrities and government officials, it seems that everyone, including children, has a cell phone

In times past, the primary function of a cell phone was most likely to make and receive phone calls on what looked like a brick with an antenna.  As cell phone design and technology advanced, people were able to browse the internet and communication via text messages was made possible by using the alternate functions of the number keys.
Fast forward to today where our cell phones do so much more.  What once allowed for basic forms of communication, modern cellular devices allow us to do things like binge watch our favorite tv shows, read books, make movies and videos and of course take the perfect selfie. In addition to that is the fact that cell phones can literally function as personal assistants, helping with day to day activities and interests with the use of apps.   There is an app for any and everything you can think of, both free and paid, which can help make navigating your day and life easier.  With a quick download on your cell phone, you can do a multitude of things like manage your calendar, create a workout plan, hail a ride, get a therapy session and even meditate.  Below are 12 of my favorite apps that can possibly help you manage your day to day activity:

The Weather Channel.  Never get caught out there again without being equipped with the proper weather attire such as snow boots or an umbrella.  The Weather Channel app gives you up to the minute alerts and data regarding weather activity in your area. There are also features such as news, live radar maps, allergy alerts and additional benefits of getting up to 15 days of weather forecasts, sunset times and the best running times with the Go Run feature. Annual subscriptions available.

Evernote.  Keep all of your ideas, notes, photos and projects in one place with Evernote. Anything that is a text, sketch, photograph, screenshot or audio can be saved/uploaded to Evernote, thus making it a wonderful creative and archival space. You can use your phone’s camera to scan and digitize documents, business cards, and more. Everything that you put in Evernote is searchable and syncs across platforms so you can start on one device and finish on another (tablet, computer or phone) without compromising information.  You can also share your information with others. Annual and business subscriptions available.

Stop Breathe Think.  This meditation and mindfulness app is wonderful for simple guided meditation.  Stop Breathe Think has breathing exercises, soundscapes and also recommends meditation, yoga and acupressure videos.  You can also explore various topics such as stress management and guide journaling.   There are over 40 free and over 100 premium activities which allow you customize your experience.  Monthly and annual subscriptions available.

Hootsuite.  Hoot suite allows you to organize your social media life in one place.  It helps you save time by allowing you to schedule posts (pics, text, stories, etc) with an auto or customized schedule to various social platforms.  View and edit before posting as well as view all of your comments, likes, retweets and reposts.

Canva/Over. No graphic design experience or degree is necessary with these apps. Canva and Over enable you to create graphics for business cards, invites, forms and so much more. You can create from a templates or add graphics, captions and logos to a photo from your library. No computer is necessary because you can create on your phone then post directly to social media or other platform.  Monthly and annual subscriptions available.

Focus Watch.  If saying focused and productive on a particular task is an opportunity for you, Focus Watch can hel with task performance and  efficiency.  Focus watch analyzes your productivity and allows you to give yourself timed breaks.  It also works in the background so you can resume activity and get notified with an alarm at the end when your allotted time is up.

Water Reminder.  Who needs to drink more water?  Who continually forgets to drink more of said water?  Well there is an app for that too. Water reminder allows you to track hydration and let’s you know how much water your body needs.  It also sends you a reminder to drink up so you can achieve your goal.

Clue Period & Cycle Tracker.  Take the guesswork out of tracking your reproductive activity with Clue.  Clue allows you to track things like your period,  ovulation, basal body temperature, fertility and PMS systems. You can set Clue up to work for you by setting reminders, personalizing tracking options and even back up your information.  With continued use, Clue which becomes more intuitive to your cycle.

My Fitness Pal.  If you are focused on tracking your food intake and nutrition for fitness or other reasons, My Fitness Pal has you covered. It has the largest database of food to choose from whether it’s from your favorite restaurant, pre packaged or homemade, making it easy to track your food/caloric intake. Tracking this information is easy with the ability to scan barcodes.  You can get in depth information regarding micro/macronutrients and estimated calories burned during workouts as well as sync with your other favorite fitness apps for a seemless experience.  Unlock all features with a monthly subscription.

Sworkit Fitness & Workout.  Feel like you are pressed for time with a schedule filled to the brim of your existence but need to squeeze in a quick workout?  Try Sworkit, an at home app that helps you achieve your fitness goals, even in a pinch.  Sworkit allows you to customize a workout to meet your needs, whether all you have is 6 or 60 minutes.  You can choose from what you need – HIIT, yoga, cardio, as well as chat 1 on 1 with trainers and track your performance.

Blinkist.  Become more knowledgeable and insightful in about 15 minutes daily with Blinkist.   Choose from over 3000 bestselling nonfiction books, to broaden your thinking and sharpen your skills across multiple categories including personal development, health, nutrition, and culture.  Available in audio and text and across multiple devices (IOS and Android).  There is a free 7 day trial as well a free subscription.

Noonlight.  It goes without saying that there is a heightened level of concern around personal safety these days.  Anything can happen at any given time and place and the ability to alert emergency personnel with the touch of a button is important.  Noonlight is a safety platform and mobile app that triggers alerts to emergency assistance.  With advanced technology, moonlight gets help to your exact location when you release the button.   Setup is easy with four pieces of information and Noonlight integrates on all of your devices and there is no need for phone calls or technicians to visit you.