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Monday, June 30, 2014

How To Take a Successful Selfie



Let's face it, we all have either tried or are trying to take the perfect selfie. There are endless amounts of pictures you have to sort through in order to pick the best one of the bunch that will look best through an Instagram filter. It's takes a lot of time and practice to finally get a selfie down in one snap. I recently got asked how to be more photogenic because some people have a hard time finding the right positioning. Since I am on a kick of showing embarrassing pictures of myself in my blog, I wanted to add my selfies through the years and how I progressed in technique. It all starting back when I was I'm high school when I was taking selfies before selfies were a thing. 

It all started with the mirror selfie...


I was too cool for school when the mirror selfie was the latest trend. This first picture was the least embarrassing, believe it or not. (By the way, top left is from 2008, top right 2009, bottom left 2010, bottom right 2014) See, the problem with the first picture is the lighting. The flash coming off the corner of the mirror completely hid all the hours put into making my makeup and hair look good. Amateur. My first tip to taking a good selfie: Lighting is EVERYTHING. I was able to find lighting before my good side so my next phase of selfies were full frontal and also in my parents hallway with all of the lights on. It really does making a difference and overtime I realized that natural lighting is the best back drop for a selfie photo shoot. Soon, selfies would go from the bathroom lighted mirror to your car before you have to go to class. The University of Rhode Island sure had a lot of selfie photo shoots, if you ask me. I am so glad the kissey face faded out because it was brutally painful to see looking back into the depths of my Facebook pictures. 

Now the second picture on the top right looks a little better, don't you think? At this point in my selfie career, I was able to really understand how to control my crazy curls and even put on liquid eyeliner. I had a lot of bad makeup days until I developed into my signature 'cat eye' swoosh eye liner, as I like to call it. Progression my friends, progression. 

Now I am catching on with the third picture. With the lighting in place, I slowly started tilting the camera more left because after the hundreds of selfie fails I took, I realized that I looked best on my left side. Everyone has a good side, finding it is just the tough part. My second tip: Take a ton of pictures from different angles and see which one tickles your fancy. You'll be able to figure out eventually. I have always struggled with blemishes and an uneven skin tone but with just the right angle and  decent concealer, a selfie can still be achieved, trust me. Practice makes perfect.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner. The fourth picture is the updated Anita selfie with the perfect lighting and slightly tilted left angle. It was a chilly and sunny winter day the day after I got my ombré redone. Perfect components to a successful selfie. Another tip: be comfortable. If you aren't comfortable and genuine in your emotions it will make the selfie look plain weird. The world can read your expression so if you are fussing with your hair all day, it probably isn't a good selfie day. I learned from Tyra Banks as should you, learn how to smize. It will become your best friend.

Now that you have seen my face way to much in the last few minutes, let me leave you with this. For a successful selfie find your lighting, preferably natural light, find your good angle and be genuine with your emotions. With these tips, I think your next selfie will be a winner. Oh, by the way, I was mind blown recently when I discovered the volume buttons on the side of my iPhone worked as a button to take the picture. Who knew? This is a game changer. 

Last but certainly not least, never let anyone make you feel bad about your partake in selfie nation. I have gotten it all, from friends and family alike, but you will soon learn as I did, if taking a picture of yourself makes you feel good, do it. Who doesn't want to show the world themselves when they are having a good makeup/mood/hair day. I sure as hell don't know. Those who give you the judgey and sly 'who takes a selfie' comment are just mad because they haven't figured out how to take a good selfie themselves. 




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Stereotypes only Reggae Concert Goers Would Understand

Now that I have finished watching the second season of Orange is The New Black, I can devote more of my time to my blog that I have ever so rudely ignored. My apologies. 

My birthday has since come and gone once again. The one day that is all about you and your happiness with never ending amounts of food and booze. Well, it's not all about me because I have a twin, but I enjoy sharing my birthday with someone else...sometimes. I had to work this year at the restaurant I work at and it sucked. This is the first time in my 24 years of life that I had to work on my birthday. Instead of waking up with Happy Birthday texts and calls and mimosas at 10 a.m., I had to prepare for my busy Saturday night shift. I found other ways to celebrate, like going to a reggae concert the day before my birthday. So in lieu of being rejected as a contributing writing to a Buzzfeed-like website, I will dedicate this blog post in a similar fashion as those kind of websites.

5 stereotypes only Reggae concert goers would understand

(to be clear, the Reggae concerts I tend to go to are more rock influenced with the addition of horns, which I love, and a heavier emphasis on drums)

1. The Rastas. These are the real deal, dread locks wearing, Jamaican accent sounding individuals who practice the Rastafarian religion. There are usually a handful of these peep towards the back of the venue rocking to their own good vibes.They are real interesting group of people and I enjoy talking to them because their perspective on life is way different than the perspective of an Italian girl from Rhode Island. 

2. The mosh-pit anticipaters. Surprisingly, mosh pits do happen every so often during these concerts. With bands like Slightly Stoopid and The Expendables, their heavy rock drum-solo songs result in a head banging, sweaty, aggressive mosh pit that guys seem can't seem to get enough of. Usually these dudes are wearing sleeveless shirts, cargo shorts and maybe even a trucker hat with the band's logo on it. Typically these guys are either super drunk or high resulting in an even more exaggerated most pit reaction. I have seen guys start pushing each other around to the most non-most pit type song. Seriously dude, chill out. I want to enjoy this song before your smelly ass starts causing fights for no reason. I always know when a mosh pit is about to happen, in fact, I can successfully move my friends and I to a secure location to avoid any punches from the drunken idiots.

3. The hipster chicks. They are usually in cut off shorts and wearing flower head bands. There are always the bandwagon jumpers who push their way to the front of the stage so inconsiderately, and trying to mootch a hit off of someone else's joint. These girls, sometimes even guys, probably don't give a shit about the bands rather just trying to get wasted with their buddies. Every concert has these people who ignorantly push their way to the front but not with me, no way. Unless they say excuse me, or are somewhat polite, I link my arms together like I am play Red Rover so none of those bitches can get through me. I have been here way to long to let someone else get a better view then me. Go back to where you came from and learn the band members name, then MAYBE I will let you get in front of me. Bitches.


Check out a video of Rebelution I took from the concert at the House of Blues in Boston (6.12.14) !


4. The genuine band fans. I suppose I can be grouped in this bunch as I have been following a handful of these rock/reggae bands for the last few years. I follow their pages in social media and make sure not to miss a show, especially with Slightly Stoopid, my favorite band. We tend to get as close as we can, without rudely shoving our way to the front, and absorb the vibes from the band while singing along to every song. At the concert I went to before my birthday, Rebelution was head-lining and The Green, Iration and Stick Figure opened the show.. I have a new found enjoyment of these bands because they were all bad ass live. Rebelution was always a good time and the opening bands were insane, especially The Green. Those Hawaiian guys sure can sing your socks off.

5. The stoners. It wouldn't be a reggae concert without the typical burn outs. It is very common at these shows for the band to smoke joints and even pipes right on stage. For whatever reason, they can get away with it but their fans can't, but they always find some way to hide it. The stoners  I am talking about, however, get so high they get in the way. I had someone so baked they practically passed out and fell on me. Seriously guys, get a grip. Control yourselves. All of these stereotypes are stoners, by the way, I just can't group them in a bunch of burnouts who can barely function while high. Stay home if you can't hang. 


Between these five stereotypes, someone is bound to smell real bad. Like body odor stench that is so bad, I would give up my front row spot to get away. But all of it is part of the experience, ammiright? Something about the push of the crowd, the smell of body odor and marijuana, and the pounding bass tickling my ear drum, I love it all. The whole genre is about passing on good vibes and living life positively. Everyone coming together to enjoy the music and the music's message makes a good time all around.

Everything is irie, especially when you get to meet one of the lead singers of Slightly Stoopid, Kyle McDonald! I got this bad boy last year at their concert at the Klein Auditorium in Connecticut. And check out the girl who photo bombed me. Props to you sistah. 





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