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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial: Fixing Under-eyes/wrinkles

One of my biggest pet peeves (when dealing with Photoshop retouching) is when someone alters a face so much that it looks almost plastic; no wrinkles, neon white teeth, and "marbley" eyes. The whole point of retouching a portrait is to make the subject look as much like themselves as possible, with a few tweaks. 
I am going to show you how I edit under-eyes/wrinkles in Photoshop. I learned this tip while working for a photography studio a few years back and I think it's the best way to get rid of wrinkles under the eye (or anywhere, for that matter) without making your subject look fake.

Here is a picture of me and my friend, Caro, that I'll use to demonstrate. To be fair, we had probably walked 10+ miles in NYC that day;) Don't judge!
You can see in the "After" picture that the wrinkles and dark spots under the eyes are a lot more subtle. By the way, I also slightly changed the brightness.

Here is a detailed how-to for Photoshop newbies ;) :
Step 1: After opening your photo in Photoshop, create a duplicate layer by dragging the "Background" layer down over the "Create a new layer" icon and release. This will create a new layer called "Background copy". You can also right-click on the "Background" layer and select "Duplicate Layer", either way is fine. Make sure that the "Background copy" is selected for the rest of this tutorial.

Step 2: Select the "Healing Brush Tool". Hold down the "Alt" key while selecting a light area of skin on the face. This is the "sample" spot that Photoshop will use to blend when you start selecting the area to be fixed.
Note: If you find it's easier with the "Spot Healing Brush Tool" then you can use that, but I think it works better if you do it manually. 

Step 3: After you've selected the "sample" space, start filling in the areas you want to fix by clicking and dragging your mouse. Be careful not to blend up too high into the eyelashes or it will make a black smudge. Don't worry if it looks unnatural while you're blending, that will be fixed in the next step. Keep sampling areas and filling in all of the wrinkles/dark spots.

***When you are finished, it should look something like this. This is what I mean when I say looking like plastic! It looks so unnatural, right?

Step 4: While the "Background copy" layer is selected, click on opacity and drag it somewhere between 50-60%. If you start going above 60-70% it starts looking fake again so just play around with the percentages until you get something that looks right.

And that's it! Really simple, but it makes a big difference. Especially in photographs with people who have a lot of deep wrinkles all over. Embrace those flaws! (Just make them less noticeable ;) )

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Apartment Tour

Enjoy my apartment tour! It's a tiny one bedroom but it's really cozy and I love it! I moved in about 5 months ago so here is the progress so far..
{Living Room}
Small couch and coffee table is from Ikea, rug is Anthropologie, TV stand is thrifted and leather couch was a Craigslist find. Pillows are from various places.

View from other side...Curtains are Ikea and shoe holder (by the door) was a free Craigslist find.

View from the living room to the kitchen/dining
{Dining Room}
Table is from thrift store that was painted, chairs are from Target, curtains are Ikea, Painting is Home Goods, Black chair and Beatles poster were presents.
Centerpiece was old sticks painted silver on top of a silver tray that was a thrift store find
Rug is from Target and picture is from Etsy. Ignore the trash can on top of the dog cage:)
Another View
Bed, curtains, desk, pillows, and duvet are all Ikea. 

That chest is a Lane cedar chest that my Step-Dad gave me and I adore it.  (It was brown before he gave it to me:) )
Dresser is from Craigslist that I painted Coral. The pictures are random frames I picked up at various thrift stores. 

Looking into the Bathroom/closet/laundry closet. And my messy makeup desk :)

There's not much on the balcony yet, but there is my lovely view of the parking lot :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hangin' out

Lazy day with my babies today:)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salmon En Croute

Salmon is hands down my favorite type of fish. Many nutritionists say that it is one of the healthiest kinds of fish you can eat (don't quote me on that). I was recently introduced to sockeye salmon. In my opinion, it's way tastier than normal salmon, and it contains more omega-3 oils. It has an earthier taste than normal salmon and the color of it stays a rich coral color when it's cooked. It's actually really pretty! It's a little more expensive that regular salmon, but it's so worth it! Anyway, here is my recipe for salmon en croute. It's an extremely simple recipe.

What you will need:
1-2 fillets of fresh sockeye salmon (or regular, if you prefer)
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
1 cup of Cheese (any kind, gruyere tastes very good but I used sharp white cheddar because I had a ton that I needed to use up)
1-2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place thawed puff pastry onto a greased baking sheet.
3. Place fresh salmon onto center of puff pastry and season with salt and pepper
4. Spread spinach leaves to cover salmon

5. Drizzle a little bit of the olive oil over spinach leaves
6. Cover the spinach with cheese (as little or as much as you like)
7. Drizzle a little more olive oil over top
8. Fold in the edges of the puff pastry so that everything is sealed in

9. Brush the edges of the pastry with an egg white
10. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown

Serve with side salad and baked sweet potatoes and enjoy!

Half of the salmon filled me up(and I have the appetite of an elephant) so two fillets will feed four people:)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thrifting success

Today I went thrift shoppingAs usual, I started off in the back of the store where they keep all of the cameras. I didn't see anything at first but then, out of the corner of my eye, sitting all by its lonesome, I spotted this beaut...

And what's even better? The price tag said $0.99! Jackpot! But oh no, I wasn't done there. As I was strolling down the aisles, I also found this.....
The price tag said $3.98. SOLD! That means that I now own a total of three polaroid cameras. I guess that makes me a collector now.
Here is the other one I already own which I also found in a thrift store for $3.00.
Now the hard part will be buying film, because polaroid film is not cheap. I can't wait to start taking pictures with my new cameras!

Anyway, on my way out of the store I also bought a purse. It's real leather too! I love it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


....that makes me happy this week.

 Lunch and magazines, courtesy of my lovely boyfriend=)
 Super comfy rubber flats from J.Crew. & bright orange pants from Zara
 My camera. Can't go anywhere without it!
 Shopping at Ikea with Peter=)
New Rug from Anthropologie (& pillows from England!)

And last but certainly not least...
Harry Potter movie marathons;)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ikea Crayfish Party!

Best. Date. Ever.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A day in St. Augustine

The other day we went to visit my little brother who lives in St. Augustine. He loves to cook and is pretty good at it for a nineteen year old college student with no money. He gets all of his produce, cheeses and dairy from local markets, his bread from a local bakery, and all of his spices and teas from a spice shop. I love that he spends his money on good quality, organic food and chooses to cook himself meals rather than go out to eat every night or use the microwave for every meal.
He works at a really cool place called "The Hyppo", which sells gourmet popsicles! Sounds weird but they have some really unique and crazy flavors. I've tried the cilantro and pineapple(which is amazing) but my favorite at the moment is the coconut coconut.
After a popsicle orgasm, we went to my brothers pad and cooked up dinner (dessert before dinner? oh, yes)

 Sweet potatoes baked in coconut oil with cinnamon-sugar butter poured over top
Vegetable Curry with potatoes and carrots (drizzle some honey over top...MMMM)
Salmon with lemon and basil over dill rice
Even though the dishes seem a bit random together, the whole combination was perfect. We ate it with bread, cheeses, and honey (as usual), and red wine.

The next morning we went to a bagel shop down the road called "Schmagels". I had a blueberry bagel with honey-almond cream cheese. That hit the spot.
Sina and Peter at breakfast

I am thinking homemade bagels is next on the agenda!

Now off to Ikea for the crayfish party we bought tickets for the other day:) Hope everyone has a lovely day! 
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