How To Improve Blog Photos

When I first started blogging I knew absolutely nothing about photography. All I had was my iPhone, some makeup, and iPhoto to edit them in. I used overhead lighting to shoot and had no idea how to stage a photo. It’s safe to say my blog photos have come a long way since I first started With Love.

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In a perfect world every product purchased at the drugstore would be so amazing we’d want to sing from rooftops about it. Unfortunately the world is not perfect; Monday’s exist, acne is not just for teenagers, and a lot of products at the drugstore are terrible. I’ve collected some of what are, in my opinion, the worst products at the drugstore and I’m here to share them. Hopefully I save at least one person from buying a terrible product.

Garnier Shine Control Cleansing Gel

Admittedly, this cleanser from Garnier has been in a favorites of mine. When I first purchased this I thought I loved it. It’s advertised towards people with oily skin (hi, hello, me!) and charcoal has been in everything lately. I thought this cleanser was doing a great job at clearing up my skin, but after a few weeks the opposite started to happen. My skin broke out so badly and I didn’t know why. I handed the bottle to Luke, a chemist in training, and had him look at the ingredients. He immediately told me that menthol is an irritant and was the probable cause of my breakouts. I immediately stopped using this product and haven’t looked back since.

Mario Badescu Moisturizer

This moisturizer from Mario Badescu came in an acne clearing kit I purchased from Ulta. I loved all the products that came in it except for this moisturizer. I know everyone’s skin is different, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. Apparently this moisturizer is oil free, but my skin had never felt so oily than when I applied this. It smells so strongly of SPF it makes me remember when I was 8 and would spend every waking moment at the town pool. Also, this moisturizer broke me out like nothing else. The day I stopped using this I immediately noticed a difference.

Garnier Fructis Texture Tease

I don’t have too much to say about this Garnier texturizing spray other than it’s just bad. The smell is sickly sweet and very strong. It also makes your hair so stiff and dirty feeling that it’s hard to do anything with. It felt like a thick film was covering my entire head of hair. There are much better texturizing sprays at the drugstore. NEXT!

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick

Okay, this one isn’t a bad product, I just don’t use it enough. I love copper shadows, but for some reason I never reach for this shadow stick from NYX. I’m hoping by writing about it I’ll be more motivated to use it. The shade is beautiful and it lasts all day. It is a bit hard to blend though.

Related Reading: High-end Makeup Worth The Price

Hard Candy Color Correcting Primer

This primer from Hard Candy is just a weird product. It’s a green primer that’s very whipped in texture and has a very strong scent. It’s meant to correct redness but the handful of times I tried it I never noticed much of a difference. The smell alone makes me never want to use this primer again. I also felt like it just sat on my skin instead of really sinking in. I’ll stick to my Benefit Porefessional.

Wet n Wild elf NYX

I’m honestly so upset I didn’t like the Liquid Catsuit from Wet n’ Wild. So many people have been raving about it, and I went in with high expectations. I picked up the shade Pink Really Hard and it was just terrible. It bunched on my lips and peeled off within a few hours. It felt so uncomfortable to wear and it also looked awful on my lips. Part of me wonders if it’s just the shade, but another part of me doesn’t want to spend $5 to find out.

Now, Tea Rose is a situation where I know it’s the shade, not the lipstick formula. I love the matte lip pencils from e.l.f., I own two others and they’re both gorgeous. Tea Rose is just an odd, greyish purple shade that doesn’t look good with my skintone no matter how hard I try. Every time I put it on I immediately take it off. Oh well!

Related Reading: My Top Makeup Products of 2017

One of the worst products of all has got to be the NYX Full Throttle lipstick. Never in my life have I tried a lipstick as terrible as this one. It’s dry, thick, hard to apply, and smells like paint you would use in fifth grade art class. It crumbled off my lips in chunks which was such a disgusting feeling. Every time I see this lipstick in the drugstore I point it out to whomever I’m with and tell them how awful it is. Do not buy this, just don’t do it.

What terrible products have you tried? Leave your comment below and save everyone some money and disappointment!

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Audrey Knizek

with Love beauty favorites

I’m honestly starting to feel like Spring is a myth; a figment of my imagination that will never come to fruition. The date is March 31, and there is still snow on the ground. Every time the snow melts mother nature decides we need more and gives us a few more inches. I’m so sick of it. At this rate we’re going to have snow in July. If anyone wants to take me on an all expenses paid trip to a tropical island, I would really appreciate it.  Keep Reading!

Too Faced Natural Love

I am so excited to finally get this review up for you guys! When I saw that first picture of the Natural Love palette on Too Faced’s Instagram, I knew I had to have it. Once I found out the price, I was a bit more hesitant, but I decided to take the plunge. I don’t own that many high end makeup products, and every shade in this gorgeous palette is a shade I will wear. I can’t say that for a lot of palette’s, which made $60 for thirty high quality shadows seem worth it to me.

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As I type this there is a blizzard ripping through NY so it doesn’t quite feel like Spring; however it has to come eventually, right? Right…? *Looks around frantically for some confirmation*

Spring weather or not, clothing stores and boutiques are filling their stores with floral patterns, cute sun dresses, and flowy skirts. I’ve had my eye on a lot of different pieces so I thought I would put them together in a post to inspire my readers to update their Spring wardrobe!

  1. Blossoming Memories Raglan Top in Light Pink – Filly Flair

Filly Flair Spring Floral Top

I think Raglan tops can be so cute and are incredibly comfortable. I love the feminine touch of this top from Filly Flair and I can see myself wearing it with jeans or some little white shorts.

2. Find a Way Floral Maxi Dress – Filly Flair

Filly Flair Maxi Dress

Someone find me a field of flowers I can frolick through while wearing this dress! I think it’s absolutely stunning and it also looks really comfortable and flattering. I only own one maxi dress but it’s my mission to buy more that fit my small frame.

3. Corduroy Mini Skirt – Forever 21

Forever 21 Spring Corduroy Skirt

I love a good corduroy skirt, and this one comes in blush pink! It’s the perfect color for spring and can easily be paired with little sneakers or some nice sandals for a dressier look.

4. Selfie Leslie Rose Print Romper – Forever 21

Forever 21 Spring Romper

I’m actually drooling over this romper. Everything about it is stunningly beautiful and would be great for a wedding, formal dinner, or just because!

5. Cache Rose Gold Sandals – Steve Madden

Steve Madden Spring Sandal

I mean this sandals are rose gold, what’s not to love? The shine on them makes them great for more formal events when you want to look put together but don’t want the pain of wearing heels. They’d also be great paired with jeans and cute top for a more casual day. Little sandals like these ones are really versatile.

6. Classic Navy Blue Top – Lulus

Lulus spring striped top

I’m a sucker for stripes. My closet doesn’t need anymore but I can’t resist this top. The bell sleeves and laced up details are a nice addition to the top and make it different from anything I currently own. I love it paired with white shorts like in the picture!

7. Chic Taupe Clutch – Lulus

Spring Clutch Lulus

I don’t own anything like this little purse, and I think it’s gorgeous. The suede flap is a nice detail and I like that the strap can be taken off and the purse can be held as a clutch.

8. Billabong Sunset View – Navy Blue Striped Shirt Dress

Lulus Spring Striped Dress

Oops more stripes! Told you I couldn’t stay away. This dress looks so comfortable and perfect for those days when wearing pants is just too much work. The back is also gorgeous and could be really pretty with a white bralette underneath.

9. Road Trip Responsibilities Denim Shorts – ModCloth

Mod Cloth Spring Denim Shorts

These shorts are adorable and I need them. I would take the bandana off of the belt loop but I absolutely love the red peeking out from the pockets. It’s such a nice change from the typical denim shorts.

10. Happiness Is a Warm Mug T-Shirt – ModCloth

Spring T-Shirt ModCloth

Nothing like a good t-shirt to cozy on up in at the end of the day, and this one is adorable! I love tea, and I love t-shirts so this is the perfect pairing. A tea-shirt, if you will. Okay, I’m done now.

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Audrey Knizek

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a percentage of each purchase made through affiliate links*

Cranberry Orange Scones

About a month ago I became a representative for the Bluebird Tea Company based out of Brighton, England. Part of my duty as a rep is to create at least one recipe per month using some of the tea I’ve been sent. After assessing the teas that came in the welcome box, and mulling around ideas in my head, I decided to bake some sort of scone. Nothing screams England, or pairs better with tea, than scones, right? I will be completely honest, before baking these I had never baked a scone in my life. No better time than the present!

Bluebird Tea Co

The first tea I thought of using was the Bears Like Marmalade loose tea; it has an amazing floral, orange flavor that is so refreshing. However I wasn’t content with using just one tea, I wanted more! After trying Purple Rain I knew I had to incorporate it in the scones somehow; the gorgeous purple tea is too pretty not to use. That’s when the idea of a glaze occurred to me, because apparently creating my own scone recipe and then baking them for the first time just wasn’t enough. Both teas are part of Bluebird’s spring collection which goes on sale this Sunday, March 12.

Loose tea

Now, baking with tea can be a tricky task. Simply including the tea leaves in the batter or dough won’t release the flavors of the tea, plus no one likes chunks of dry leaves in their food. Steeping the tea in milk works somewhat, but usually if a recipe calls for milk it’s not a lot. So, infusing unsalted butter with the tea is the best option. As fancy as it may sound, it’s actually quite simple. Melt however much better you need for the recipe and then add in the loose tea without any tea ball or bag. Once it’s steeped for 5-10 minutes strain the butter through a fine sieve and discard the tea leaves. Then, depending on the recipe, let the butter solidify or use it in the melted form.

Bluebird Tea Company Loose Tea
Bears Like Marmalade tea; how gorgeous is that color?!

The glaze uses the same sort of method. Using a double broiler (or two pots and some water) all of the ingredients are combined to create a hot, liquid glaze, and then the Purple Rain tea is steeped for 8-10 minutes. Once it’s done steeping, the mixture is strained through the sieve and the tea leaves can be discarded.

Cranberry Orange Scones

The scones are definitely a bit time consuming, but trust me when I say they are so worth it. The combination of teas make the scones so lovely, plus they’re beautiful to look at! If you’d like to try this recipe out, and I really hope you do, head over to Bluebird’s website and use the code WLBTEABIRD20 to get 20% off your purchase at checkout.

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

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