The BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo Palette was one of those rare makeup items I bought the same day I heard about it. Impulse purchases have always been my Achilles’ heel, but this impulse buy worked out because I really like this palette!

I’ve never seen a palette like this before – but let me know if you have. One side of the palette contains nine eyeshadows and the back side has nine lipsticks. Crazy, right! But oh so genius! Now you know why I had to buy it as soon as I saw it πŸ™‚

Check out my video below to see my first impression and full swatches of this palette. And let me know in the comments section what you think of the colors and swatches. 

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

The only thing better than chocolate chip cookies, is mini chocolate chip cookies.

I nabbed this mini chocolate chip cookie recipe from Yammie’s Noshery and it is absolutely divine. I strategically made these the same day I attended a housewarming party so I wouldn’t be faced with the temptation of being left alone with three dozen cookies. They were a total hit and got gobbled up very quickly. Bottom line: you must bake these cookies!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick of softened butter
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 cup cake flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift in the flours, salt, and soda. Mix until just combined and stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm, or throw it in the freezer (my dough took about 2 hours to firm up).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ΒΊF.
  3. Scoop cookie dough by 1/2 teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Press some extra chocolate chips into the top at the end if desired.
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/
Mini Cookies Recipe Food Blog

Blog Photo Tips

Pictures can make or break a blog. This is especially true for beauty or fashion blogs, where high-quality pictures are sometimes more useful than loads and loads words. Because this type of blogging is by nature so picture heavy, we should all take advantage of this platform and keep our audience captivated with really great pictures.

Now, I’m not a photo expert but I think I’ve developed a good eye that can separate the good pictures from the bad. Here are a few tips I have for you on how to take those good pictures. Although this list is in no particular order, #1 and #7 are particularly important!

1. Lighting is Your Friend

Poor lighting can ruin an otherwise great photo. Dim lighting can make photos blurry and flat. It’s the reason why I, personally, only take blog photos early in the morning when the sun is shining through my window at just the right time. I admit it’s a bit nit-picky but totally worth it. And don’t think you can fix dim lighting with the flash feature – flash is not your friend. It shouldn’t be used in place of natural lighting. 

2. High Angles 

If you want to take photos of multiple objects that are laid out on a flat surface (like the assortment I used in the above photo), take the photo at a high angle so everything is in view. I stood on a chair to take that photo (I’ve even seen people stand on chairs in restaurants to take pictures of their food). From this angle, you get a better view of how everything is laid out and can adjust accordingly. Make sure everything is framed nicely within the photo and spaced evenly apart.

3. Use Close Ups

When taking pictures of makeup, food, or small details on outfits, make sure you zoom in on what you want to show. Every photo should have a focus, so make sure you get up close and make it stand out. Yes, you should physically place your camera lens close to the object because simply “zooming” in can cause blurriness.  

4. Coordinate

Unclutter your close-up photos of makeup by grouping your objects together by type or color. In the photo above notice how I placed the three Wet n Wild lipsticks together in a row. This type of coordination helps to bring harmony to photos and make them look more clean and polished.

5. Eliminate Distractions

Extra white space, an unclean surface, or unnecessary props can all add distractions to photos. Keep your photos tight, centered and focused. Feel free to use an editing software and clean up any dirt marks that make your photos look less than flattering. 

6. Keep Background Boring

I notice this a lot from some fashion bloggers who take photos of their outfits in their bedrooms – you see their outfit, but also the pile of books, the hair curlers, or messy desk in the background. Keep your background as simple and clutter-free as possible to keep the focus of the photo front and center. If needed, you may even be able to blur out your backgrounds using an editing software.

7. Don’t Overdo Filters

The best photos should look unfiltered. Of course, many bloggers use Photoshop or some kind of editing to enhance their photos, but those edits shouldn’t be so noticeable that they look fake or take away your focus. It’s okay to touch-up, but no amount of filtering will fix a bad photo. But if you follow all of these steps, you shouldn’t have to edit too much anyway! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin and never miss a post!

Hello, loves!

If you’ve been following my blog over the last few years you may have noticed some changes….changes with the layout, the header, the logo, and my hair. 

I started transitioning my hair from relaxed to natural in March 2015. I haven’t had a relaxer (the chemical treatment used to permanently straighten curly hair) in over a year, and my naturally curly hair is starting to take over!

I’ve surprised myself by how quickly I started to embrace and fall in love with my natural hair. Believe it or not, I’ve never dealt with my natural hair before. I’ve been straightening my hair ever since I was a kid and I’m finally experiencing my true hair texture for the first time in my life.

So here’s a quick update on my hair journey and what has been happening thus far. I hope you take a few minutes to watch my new video today!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re there πŸ™‚

Korean Beauty Regimen

Ah, Korean skincare. The mystical 10-step Korean skincare routine has just started gain exposure in the West, and for good reason. Skincare is taken seriously in Korea. A simple splash of water at the end of the day just won’t cut it.

Over the past six months, I’ve slowly started to incorporate a more meticulous skincare routine to both prevent and treat some of my current skin troubles, and I must say my skin is looking better today than ever before. If you’re curious about the Korean skincare regimen or are just interested in new ways to improve your skincare game, here are three important rules that I swear by. 

1. Double Cleanse

Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like – using two sources of cleansing to make sure your face is squaky clean. You want to go to bed with a clean face, especially if you spend all day wearing makeup. 

I start my nighttime skincare routine with a handful of makeup wipes before moving in with some cleaning oil. I really, really like the 2 Seconds Magic Deep Cleaning Oil from On: The Body. I rub one pump of the oil into my skin and then wash it off with a face wash. This way I know for sure my face is clean before I start layering on my serums and moisturizers. 

2. Rethink your Toner

Facial toners are products that you wipe on your face to remove any leftover dirt or oil that your cleanser may have missed. In the U.S., toners tend to be alcohol-based and therefore overly drying on your skin. If your face feels tight or you think “Oh my god I need some moisturizer” after using a toner, then it is way too drying for you.

Asian toners are much less harsh and are meant to moisturize your skin instead of stripping away your natural oils. Check out Son & Park Beauty Water, it’s a cult favorite in Korea.

3. Wear Sunscreen

The most important skincare advice I could give to ladies of any age is to wear sunscreen every single day. Sunscreen is a necessary step in Asian skincare, and we in the U.S. need to jump on that bandwagon. The damaging effects of the sun can cause wrinkles, sunspots, and worse of all possibly even cancer. Don’t neglect this one, folks – you’ll thank me later.

After moisturizing in the morning, end your skincare routine with a sunscreen. with an SPF of at least 50. I really like the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essense Sunscreen. It dries on clear, doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind, and has an SPF 50, which is the minimum that is recommended for facial sunscreen.

So tell me about your current skincare routine. What products would you recommend? And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!