The Phone Camera Every Blogger Needs

Hi everyone! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am beyond excited to announce that I FINALLY got a new phone! Which to me means a better camera to take pictures for Beyond the Swatch! I went into Verizon and asked for the phone that has the best camera quality, and tada! This is what I ended up with! My old phone that I LOVED (LG G4) broke about a year ago and since then I’ve been borrowing my fiance Chris’s phone to take pictures for my blog.

The other weekend I got to have a little mini getaway to my fiance’s family’s cabin. I had a great weekend relaxing, taking a break from the hectic-ness of wedding planning, and spending some quality time with my future in laws.  And guess what… it snowed!! So beautiful. This was the perfect opportunity to test out my new camera!


So far I’m loving my new camera! It’s easy to use, has great picture quality, special features (panorama, lens blur, slow motion, which I have yet to try), and all the pictures load directly to Google Drive.

Excited to take more pictures of makeup and swatches for you all!

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Life Update!

Hi everyone! I’m feeling terrible that I’ve been behind in writing blog posts! I’m excited to get back on track :). Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to lately.

  • Wedding Planning! Lately it feels like every minute of my free time goes to wedding planning, but I’m loving it! I’ve been playing around with the idea of adding a separate section to my blog focused on the wedding and documenting my planning process every step of the way. I’ve been keeping track of every planning step I’ve done and kept a solid record of the churches, venues, and vendors that we’ve looked at, hoping that my friends and family members that live here will benefit from this information for their future weddings. Maybe this information will help others too!  I’ll keep you all posted! In the meantime, here are some pictures of me popping the question to my bridesmaids! This is about the highest level of craftiness you’ll get from me. Crafts are not my strong suit haha!

  • Monterrey trip! We had a little weekend getaway a couple weeks ago to Monterrey, Ca! My best friend from high school and her family (including my two adorable nephews) drove up from So Cal for a last get together before they officially move out of state(I wish I could enter a heartbroken crying emoji here). My bff/future cousin in law and her boyfriend came with us too, and I was so glad they could all finally meet (it was like my worlds clashing and it was awesome).

Monterrey State Beach. Absolutely beautiful. We even saw a whale in the distance!

Monterrey Bay Aquarium! One of our favorites!

  • Writing. As much as I love writing about makeup, I’ve been thinking more and more about expanding what I write about. I’ve touched on other topics that I feel strongly about in previous blog posts on Beyond the Swatch, such as diversity, inclusion, self-confidence etc…and I’m thinking I’ll be weaving more of types of posts here, or maybe in a separate section, or even a separate blog. We shall see!
  • Quick preview of upcoming posts!

Thank you all for reading!! I hope you’ve all been doing well and being happy! Stay tuned for more!

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Make time to do what you love…

Hi everyone!

There are many reasons why I haven’t had time to write articles as often as I want to, some of the main reasons being the following:

1) Working full time

2) Spending a LOT of time with family! (the best reason to be distracted so no shame with this one!)

3)Getting wrapped up in reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (almost finished)!  I feel like I haven’t read a book for pleasure in a very, very long time!

4)Shamelessly binge-watching Orange is the New Black with my boyfriend, Chris. Yes we’re super late to the party and just started this series a few weeks ago! We’re on Season 3 now- woo hoo!

5)Normal adulting and trying to get through my late 20’s crisis.I feel like I haven’t even gotten over my mid-20’s crisis and then BAM, my late 20s snuck up on me!

Ok ok… some of those reasons are definitely more valid than others. But a friend of mine at work told me something that really resonated with me:

If you love and care about something, you’ll find time for it. 

And he is absolutely right. I love this blog, I love writing, I love make up, and I NEED to make the commitment to write more! If I had it my way, I’d be writing and swatching makeup all day. But of course, that dream can’t come true at the moment.

So in order to fix this, I’ve developed a writing plan/calendar for my posts! 🙂

Sunday Swatches– On Sundays I’ll be posting swatches and swatch comparisons! This will include “Swatch with Me” articles where I’ll swatch make up with friends, family members, bloggers, and other makeup enthusiasts. I’ll also continue to post swatch comparisons of make up on different skin tones, under different light sources, etc!




Friday Features and Friday Favorites- Friday posts will be focused featuring a brand, makeup artist, blogger, Instagram or Yoube account focused on diversity and also sharing industry news! I’ll also be sharing some of my newest or oldest makeup favorites!


Wednesdays-  (I have yet to come up with an alliteration for Wednesday, so for now, it’s simply “Wednesdays” 😉

On Wednesdays, I’ll write quick personal posts to help everyone get to know the voice behind the blog and give myself a chance to get to know all of you better as well! This will include fun facts, stories about my makeup/blogging journey, random blurbs, etc!

Any other posts such as product reviews, lists, or any other topics I come up with or any that you suggest or request for  me to write about, will be mixed in throughout the week!

I’m super excited to get started and stick with this blogging calendar! I may tweak the calendar after trying it out for a little bit, but in the meantime, thank you very much for being here and reading my posts! That means the world to me!

Before I end this post, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and remember all of the lives that were tragically lost on September 11th 2001. It’s been 15 years and we will never forget….



Image credit here

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Top 7 things you need to take pictures for your Makeup Blog and Instagram!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Where will you find me on a typical Saturday or Sunday morning?? Sitting on the sidewalk & grass area outside my apartment in my PJ’s, with a bag full of makeup, ready to spend the next couple hours under the gorgeous California morning sunshine, swatching makeup and taking pictures for my blog and Instagram! 😉

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This post is for anyone who is interested in starting a beauty blog or Instagram account! Keep reading below for a list of the top 7 items I use to take flatlays and pictures of swatches!

1) Simple Background

I’ve researched all the different backgrounds that bloggers use for their pictures & flatlays and they all have one common piece of advice: keep it simple! 

I’ve tried a few different backgrounds and I found that a plain white foamboard works really well when taking pictures in natural light, which is my preferred choice of light to take pictures in! The board I use is Elmer’s White Foamboard from Michael’s.

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Other backgrounds I’ve used for flatlays include bedsheets, rugs or fabric with interesting textures (I use small swatches of fabric from the craft store), scrapbook paper, decorative boxes, or anything in nature such as grass, flowers, trees etc!



2) Camera of choice

I’m currently using an LG G4 phone for my camera and I LOVE the quality of phots I get.  I tried using a point & shoot camera to take pictures of swatches but I personally found that the camera on my phone most accurately captures the way shade of makeup looks and it makes it easy for me to upload directly on IG or my blog. I suggest trying out different cameras to see what your favorite one to use and what works best for your blog and purpose 🙂

3) Tape!

It’s amazing how good ol’ Scotch tape makes such a big difference when taking pictures of makeup swatches on your arm/hand! There are a lot of times that I spontaneously swatch makeup on my arm and in these cases, I won’t take the time to use tape to frame the swatches. But, I find that using tape when swatching makeup makes the edges much cleaner and helps space the swatches evenly on your arm. See the difference below between swatches done freehand and swatches done using tape.


(makeup swatches done freehand)


(using tape to frame the makeup swatches)


4) Makeup Wipes.

Makeup wipes are a must-have to clean in between swatching different makeup products and can also be used to clean your products so that they’re photo ready. I typically use Target’s Up&Up make up wipes to erase makeup swatches on my arm. These wipes work well, smell great, and are super affordable at 50 wipes for $3.59! I save my Neutrogena makeup remover wipes to use on my face or for harder to remove makeup swatches. Other good items to have around for cleaning your makeup/swatches are paper towels, water, and hand sanitizer!

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5) Notebook

One big piece of advice: take notes to keep track of what pictures you’re taking! It can be really difficult to distinguish the brand and shade of the makeup you took pictures of unless you take note of it.  The notebook also comes in handy to take down your thoughts on how the color looks, consistency, texture, your first impression of the product, and anything else that may be hard to remember after the fact.


6) Props

I like to keep my pictures very minimal and simple but a few props are always good to have at hand. Some of my favorite props I recommend are: flowers (both real or fake), jewelry, ceramic bowls or plates, anything from the scrapbook section in a craftstore, and any little trinkets you have.


Be sure to use all the beautiful and natural items you find outside! Flowers, trees, lakes, mountains, beaches, the sky, etc all make amazing backgrounds!


7) Makeup!

And last but not least, makeup!! Old makeup, new makeup, anything you have! Just grab a handful from your stash and go swatch crazy! 🙂

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Someday I hope to have a beautiful makeup room to take pictures of my makeup and swatches, but for now, I love my little spot on the sidewalk outside my apartment.  🙂

Now I want to hear from you!

What are your favorite items to use when taking pictures for your blog?

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