DIY Ring light Tutorial

As some of you may know, I’ve made a shift in my hobby/business life and now sell an awesome long lasting liquid lip color and other makeup and skin care from SeneGence. It’s pretty much the bomb and I’m absolutely loving the work, people, and products. You can check out my products and get to know me better by joining my FB community at:

BUT, makeup work requires amazing selfies, and amazing Selfies require amazing lighting.

A professional style ring light goes for around $150 on Amazon, which is enough to make me want to hold off on buying one. (I’ll stick with my afternoon window selfies, thank you very much).

That is, until my wonderful friend and upline sponsor shared this amazing, simple, and genius tutorial with me, made by our fellow SeneSister, Siara Martin.

Siara takes AMAZING lip photos and is awesome enough to share her work with the rest of us. Here are the deets from her tutorial:

“List of things you need:

1.Aluminum Foil

2.18″ or 20″ wire wreath.
Here’s an example:FloraCraft, 20” Wire Wreath Form
I got my wreath from Hobby Lobby with 40% off coupon and it ended up being like 2-3$

3.Daylight White LED strip lights (1.5 for 18″ and 2 for 20″). Here’s the link:
LE 16.4ft LED Flexible Light Strip (Daylight White)

4.Power Adapter:

Optional: What I use to hold my phone up for live videos: 2-in-1 Mobile Phone Car Mount, Holder, Secure Phone/GPS to Windshield or Air Vent, Padded, Adjustable Grips, Fits Iphone 6 6+ 5 Galaxy S6 S5 Phones

Optional: someone added suction cups to the back of theirs and suctioned it to their mirror (brilliant!) Here’s a link of some as an example:
Darice Suction Cup without Hooks, 20mm
OR suction cups with hooks and hang your light.
Mudder 45mm Bathroom Kitchen Suction Cup Wall Hooks Hangers, 12 Pack

Tape can help keep everything together on the backside but isn’t required.

An 18″ ring light will cost about 20-25$
A 20″ ring light will cost about 30$

Reasons you need a ring light:
1) See your face in correct and bright enough lighting when doing your makeup
2) Do pretty live videos
3) Take clean pretty pictures of stuff. (Not just your face!)
4) You can hang, clip, lean anywhere you want and can move around with you.
5) Super affordable!”

You can watch her tutorial here:

So, does the ring light really improve your photos, here’s a before and after comparison using some pretty awful pajama selfies I just took 😂.

Um, awkward much? I must love you guys for sharing this one with you. We like family, yo.

Yeah, I’d say this here ring light is a winner. I’m still working on the perfect mounted position for the light on the bathroom mirror, and I think I’ll get me one of those pretty sparkly photo backdrops eventually (no more shampoo cameos). I also got a cheap cell phone tripod from Amazon that I really like so far (in all 1 time I’ve used it… but you know #expert).

Acuvar 50″ Inch Aluminum Camera Tripod and Universal Smartphone Mount

I was so grateful to Siara for this tutoria, and I hope you find it useful too! Happy shooting! 💁💡📱


Baby Shower Project for Rachel & the Bean!

One of the happiest memories from our trip to California last week, of which there were many before the final day, was celebrating my older sister Rachel and her baby-to-be. Our mother lovingly planned the shower with my cousin-more-like-a-brother’s wife, Judy, and my father’s girlfriend Stephanie as co-hosts. We’ve been referring to Rachel’s baby as “Bean” since she was just in the early weeks of the first trimester, and it fits with the green and pink theme that my mother used for the shower. My sister isn’t into too much cutesy stuff (no cartoon characters or frilly pink), and the understated but sweet theme worked perfectly for her day. It was so amazing to see so many women celebrate my sister. She is a pretty incredible woman herself. ❤

Baby shower balloons on the porch at Dad's house. Perfect green, yellow and pink palette for celebrating the Bean!

Baby shower balloons on the porch at Dad’s house. Perfect green, yellow and pink palette for celebrating the Bean!

My mom has a creative nature and came up with one of the sweetest ideas for a baby shower craft project for the guests to participate in. She provided supplies for the guests all to make Rachel and the Bean “wish wands,” (as I’ve been calling them), Here is what it’s all about:

The guests were asked to write messages of support, love, encouragement, or wishes and intentions for Rachel and the baby on the handmade pink paper (which I helped cut into strips). They would then wrap the paper around a wooden stick, and wrap a long strip of raw pink silk around on top of the paper. The silk was from our maternal grandmother, Shirley, adding to the sentiment of the craft. We cut long strips of pink ribbon and my mother got little silver baby themed charms from the party store, that could be tied with the ribbon to hold it all together. The purpose of these wish wands will be to give them to Rachel to either open all at once, or when she could use a pick-me-up, support and encouraging words over the course of the baby’s first year. It is really a very tender and supportive sentiment. Good job mom 😉

Wish stick supplies for the party craft project at the shower.

Wish Wand supplies for the party craft project at the shower. The ladybugs are attached to pens for writing the messages.

Adorable wish wands for the mommy-to-be, Rachel!

Adorable Wish Wands for the mommy-to-be, Rachel!

The final product of the Wish Wand project from the shower!

The final product of the Wish Wand project from the shower!

I can only imagine that a bucket’o support will come in handy on those late nights and early mornings with the baby bean!

Supplies you’ll need to make Wish Wands for the mama you love:

  • Sticks (we used barbecue skewers)
  • Paper for the messages (We used handmade paper with pretty details in it. Cut into long narrow strips)
  • Fabric for wrapping the outer layer
  • Ribbon to hold it all together
  • Baby themed charms for decoration

For displaying the Wish Wands I suggest a small flower pot with florist foam or another hard foam to stick the sharper end of the sticks in to arrange them in the pot. Be sure to keep them out of reach of the new baby!


Save the Dates- A Cautionary Tale

Photo by Emily Scott of, Card design by Ready Set Sarah, Fonts- Desdemona and Edwardian Script ITC

Photo by Emily Scott of, Card design by Ready Set Sarah, Fonts- Desdemona and Edwardian Script ITC

So, say you are feeling ambitious. You are feeling like a real go-getter and you decide “I can use Adobe, why don’t I make my own Save the Dates!” You might think to yourself, “this will be simple, I learned how to do everything I’ll need to do in that one semester of graphic design I took… I’m practically a pro now right?”

Well, if you are anything like me, you will probably need a few tips to avoid landing yourself with blurry Save the dates. I forgot to set the file at a high enough resolution (300 DPI) and my 200 prints came today looking just a little bit out of focus…

Luckily the person I spoke to at was incredibly nice and allowed me to submit another round of printing with the correct files (for the cost of shipping, they were very, very nice). In the end our postcards will be as sharp and stunning as planned.

Thanks to the Uprinting Setup Guide that they referred me to- Here are a few things to consider if you decide to make your own save-the-dates:

  • Set a final trim size for your file adding a 1/8″ bleed on each side of your desired print area. Also, be sure to
  • Don’t put any critical text or images within 1/8″ of the edge of your desired print area.
  • Convert your fonts to outlines (a rookie mistake I made in my first print)
  • Save your color in CMYK (not RBG)
  • Set your image to 300 DPI (high quality resolution). That’s where I went wrong, I forgot to specify the quality of the image when I exported to a JPEG (another rookie mistake, I know). If you request a proof of your file, be sure that it is clear even when blown up to 400% zoom (that’s what the nice man at told me when going over my file). If it’s clear at 400%, it should print clear as well.

I’m proud of how the overall design turned out. The photo is by our wedding photographer Emily Scott ( I love the art nouveau font called Desdemona and the round, swirly, script font called Edwardian Script ITC (I searched for the right script font for a long time and in the end settled on this font when I couldn’t find the perfect era specific font that looked good in our names).

Not shown- The back of the save the date card has a wide navy blue band border, with the city of the wedding (Berkeley, CA) in the Desdemona font, followed by the details and wedding website in script navy and green.

Now, what to do with 200 slightly blurry copies?

200 blurry Save-the-Dates

200 blurry Save-the-Dates. New wall paper??