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Pieces of Onye

Content Creation Photography

5 Must-Have Apps For Influencers and Content Creators

5-Must-Have-Apps-For-Content-Creators-and-Influencers

When I first started out as a Content Creator, I was as lost as Nemo when it came to ALL the things. I didn’t know the first thing about taking photos, editing said photos and I definitely didn’t know a thing about creating a cohesive theme. I was a complete and utter newbie.

What helped me navigate the convoluted sea of content creation, was doing some research and putting what I learned into practice. It took me a good two years (and lots of sleepless nights!) to get to the place that I am now. I know that there’s still so much more for me to learn, but I’ve definitely come a long way.

As I learn and grow, I want to share some of the information that I pick up along the way. Hopefully it makes your journey to becoming a kick ass Content Creator a bit easier than mine!

The first nugget of knowledge that I am sharing are 5 must-have apps that will change your life and have you singing praises to baby Jesus. Hope they help!

 

1. Planoly

Planoly is an app that allows you to plan, manage, schedule and auto-post your Instagram pictures/videos from a desktop or mobile phone.

I discovered Planoly last year and it completely changed my content creation process. What I love most about it is that it allows you to upload your assets and move them around on a grid to position them in whatever way your heart desires. This should be music to your ears! Instagram is such a visual-driven platform. As such, being able to strategically plan out your posts is a must and Planoly makes it a cinch!

Planoly-Interface

Price: free – $159/month (Definitely start off with free)

 

2. Trello

Trello, oh Trello. Where have you been all my life?! If you’re like me and organization makes you want to curl up into a ball and give up on life, THIS. IS. THE. APP. FOR. YOU! It’s a beautifully designed app (shoutout to the UX team) that helps you keep track of both your big and small projects. Seriously, I manage everything from my client work to my personal life on this app. It’s everything!

My favorite thing about it is that you can move things around, create boards and checklists with very little effort. It’s a game changer.

Trello-Interface

 

Price: free – $20.83/month (such odd pricing lol)

 

3. VSCO

Ever wonder how your favorite influencers get such beautiful pictures? A big part of it is photography, but another part of it is editing. A good filter can take your photo from single digit likes to Instagram stardom in the blink of an eye.

VSCO is THE only editing app that you really need to elevate the look and feel of your content on Instagram. It offers an endless amount of filters and adjustment settings for you to play around with. Almost too much!

What I love most about VSCO is that it allows you to copy and paste edits from one photo over to another. This helps you keep some consistency on your Instagram account. 

For example, my theme on Instagram is pretty white. As such, I use the app to brighten up all of my images so that they all have a similar look and feel. 

White-Instagram-Theme 

Price: free!

 

4. Canva

I consider myself to be a pretty creative person, but when it comes to making graphics and things like that, I admittedly suck! It’s just not in my skill set. *Cries self a river*

Canva is an amazing app that allows you to create beautiful designs for use on Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook, websites and everything under the sun. The best thing about it is that a two-year old can use it! Seriously, it’s fast and easy.

They have hundreds, possibly thousands of pre-made templates, graphics, fonts for you to choose from and edit to make them your own. It’s a great way to elevate your content and have people thinking your some wonderful graphic designer! I won’t tell if you don’t!

Here’s a mood board I created using the Canva app: 
Canva-Moodboard

Price: Free (for the most part). However, there are some design elements that you have to pay for. 

 

5. Photoshop / Lightroom

Photoshop and Lightroom are probably the most expensive apps on this list. However, I wanted to include them for any influencer/Content Creator that really wants to take their photos to the next level. I’m going to keep it real with you all for one quick second. Phone apps like VSCO, Afterlight and Snapseed are great, but they can only do so much. Yea, I said it.

If you really want to have complete and total control of the hues, shadows and saturation of your images, go ahead and make the investment in Photoshop AND Lightroom. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you have a MODERATE understanding of them, you’ll be able to edit your images in no time at all.

Price: $9.99/month. The great thing is that Adobe offers a Photography plan which is a monthly subscription service for both Photoshop and Lightroom. Hooray!

And that’s all she wrote! All 5 of these apps will help elevate your content and just make your life that much simpler. If you found this helpful, let me know in the comments below and I’ll come back with a new list next week!

Beauty

Skin Care Review: Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic, Rose Flash Balm and Rose Caviar Essence

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know that I recently received a few skin care products from Pixi Beauty. Now, I usually don’t introduce new products to my skin care routine (I keeps it basic!), but I’ve heard some pretty amazing things about Pixi skincare products, so I figured I’d give them a try!

I’m not quite sure how or when it happened, but I was added to Pixi’s PR mailing list and started receiving products in the mail late last year. I have the WORST memory in the world, so it’s possible that I reached out and asked to be added (a closed mouth doesn’t get fed, right?!). Either way, thank you so much Pixi Beauty for seeing value in little ol me!

Glow Tonic

The first product that I received was the much-talked-about Glow Tonic. Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t realize how popular this one was until I showed it to my BFF and she said “OMG!! That stuff is amazing!!” That’s when I knew that I had stumbled onto something great. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and I haven’t noticed a major difference in my skin (It’s still pretty early!), however it smells really good and it makes my skin feel clean. I’ll be back in a month or so with a more detailed review!

Product claims: Gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, revealing healthy glowing skin. For all skin types (aka… your mama and your mama’s friends can use it). Clinically proven results (aka… they got them facts to back it up!). Alcohol free (aka… you won’t dry up like Spongebob squarepants outside of the sea). Hypoallergenic. 

Onye’s Rating: Jury’s still out on this one. I need to use it a little while longer to give an adequate review.

Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm

Pixi-Rose-Caviar-Essence

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just gotten your hair/makeup done and you see yourself in the mirror for the first time? 

No, no, no! Not that feeling. This feeling…

Yaaas! That’s how these two products make me feel after using them. They’re definitely my favorite of the bunch. Now if I were reviewing these products based on scent alone, they would get an A++. Not only do they smell divine (like a freshly washed new born baby), they actually deliver some great results. The first time that I applied them to my face, my skin felt soft and moisturized, yet still very taut (which I like!). I didn’t have to follow up with any additional moisturizes or oils. This dashing duo did the trick! Great job Pixi!

Product Claims:

Rose Caviar Essence: encapsulated flower oils suspended in this weightless serum-essence melt onto skin delivering fresh botanicals to hydrate and restore brightness. Antioxidant rich natural oils nourish and soften. For all skin types. Use AM and PM.

Rose Flash Balm: 3-in-1 Moisturizer + Primer + Mask. This hydrating radiance boosting balm is the ultimate solution for waking up lackluster, fatigued skin in a flash. For all skin times. 

Onye’s Rating: Heck yay!

Matte Last Liquid Lip

Pixi-Matte-Last-Liquid-Lip

These MatteLast Liquid Lipsticks come in six different shades (I received five.) and they’re priced at $14 a pop. Are the shades brown girl friendly? I’m not going to lie to you, they’re a bit too light for my skin complexion (I’m fairly dark). However, when paired with a dark lip liner, they look beautiful. The colors are vibrant and the formula glides on smoothly. Check out the swatches down below!

Product Claims:

Full color payoff in a single stroke, hydrating, long wearing & quick drying. 

Onye’s Approval: Maybe. The formula is great. However, I’d love to see a few deeper shades for darker skin complexions. 
Pixi-Matte-Last-Liquid-Lip

Pixi-Matte-Last-Liquid-Lip

Have you tried any of these Pixi products? Which one is your favorite?

Photography

New Year, New Me?

Canon70D in Hand

I won’t sit here and pretend like this will be the year that I miraculously turn into a whole new person. Nah, fam. That would be a lie. Truth be told, I’m taking the same ole me into 2018. I’ll just make a few minor adjustments to ensure that at the end of the year I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.

A Challenge to Myself

This year, I’m challenging myself to do more of the things that make me happy and less of the things that make me want to light my body on fire and jump into a pool of kerosene.

As far as I know, I’m not guaranteed a tomorrow (If anyone knows differently, please holla at your girl!). If this is true, then I don’t want to waste my todays doing things that don’t genuinely make me happy (e.g sitting at a desk for 9-10 hours of my day). I. Just. Can’t. Live. That. Life. Anymore.

In 2017, I was being led by my fears: fears of tomorrow, fears of taking risks, fears of failure, fears of what others may think, etc.). What I’ve learned is that, living in constant fear of things that may never materialize, is not living at all!

So how about we make this the year we step out on faith. Let’s make this the year we stop taking no for an answer. Let’s make this the year we get our Will Smith on and pursue happiness until we set our souls on fire! Who’s with me!?

2018 Goals

I have a ton of things that I’d like to accomplish this year, but if I’m being realistic, I’ll only be able to take on a few. Listed below are the goals that I will be focusing on throughout the year:

  1. Become a full time freelance photographer
    • Develop my people photography skills
  2. Grow as a micro influencer and secure more collaborations with beauty and lifestyle brands for Pieces of Onye
    1. Revive this blog!
  3. Volunteer

Seems doable, right?! I definitely think so! Part of the reason why I’m writing this blog post is so that I’m held accountable for these goals. This time next year, I want to feel proud of what I’ve accomplished and I want to sit back and say, “Damn Onye, you lived your best life in 2018!”

What are some of your goals for the new year?

Hair

Privileged Hair Extensions First Impressions and Review

Privileged Hair Extensions

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m back like I never left! Y’all have no idea how much I’ve missed blogging. Of all the things that I do (photography, vlogging, social media management), writing has always been my number one passion. Over the years, it’s kind of fallen by the wayside, because blogging has become less and less popular. However, I think it’s a great way for me to share all that I have going on in my life. Unless y’all don’t care lol. If that’s the case, just let a sistah know that she’s wasting her precious lil time *cries in unicorn tears*.

Anydoodle, for my first post back, I thought I’d drop some hair extension goodness from Privileged Hair Extensions. The company reached out to me a few weeks about reviewing their hair extensions. Boy oh boy was I lucky! This hair is everything and then some! Has me walking around feeling myself like …

When I say that this hair is life-giving. I truly mean it. The luster is absolutely magical. It sits right between Low and Medium, so it blends in beautifully with my own hair. Well, it blends as best it can . . . since my natural hair is as disrespectful as it gets! Just . . .

I did record a couple of videos that go into more detail about why I think this hair is so awesome. If you missed them, swing by my YouTube channel to check them out! The specifications for those interested are: 16-17inch, Low-Medium Luster, 9.5 ounces. And for those that need further persuading, here’s some more eye candy.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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Thus far, I’m really loving this hair from Privileged Hair Extensions. I’ll be back with a 6 – 8 week update!

Beauty

It’s Totally Okay To Buy Your Own Gifts For Christmas!

 

 

Black-radiance-baked-blush

A few years ago, Santa Clause and I started playing a game. It’s PRETTY simple really. Every year for Christmas, the big Saint Nick skips over my house and leaves not ONE Christmas present under my tree. He finds it amusing. Me? Not so much:

Crying-girl

So in anticipation of not receiving anything from Santa this year, I picked up a few gifts for myself. Take that Big Red!

Black-radiance-baked-blush

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’ve been using the SAME blush for years now. YEARS! So when I saw these gorgeous baked blushes from Black Radiance for only $5, I had to stock up! Best decision I could have made. 
Black-radiance-baked-blush

From left to right the shades are: Raspberry, WarmBerry and ToastedAlmond.

Loreal-Makeup-Extender

In all honesty, the only reason I purchased Loreal’s Infallible Pro-Spray Set Makeup Extender (now that’s a mouthfull!) is because of the container. Look how sexy it is! Whether it works or not, it’s a keeper.

LORAC-Dazzling-Dozen

Lastly, I purchased LORAC’s Dazzlig Dozen 2 set of 12 eyeshadows. Hautlook was having a pretty good holiday sale, so I snatched these up for under $30!

And that’s it!
Merry Christams and Happy Holidays peeps!

What To Wear

A Night Out at El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

IMG_9437

Last night, I had the pleasure of dining and salsa dancing at El Floridita Cuban Restaurant in Los Angeles, California. It was a pretty cool experience, but for the fact that my salsa dancing skills are at a FIRM zero on the 10-point scale (Yes. They’re off the scale!).

In spite of my lack of moves, I had a really good time. It was a pretty unique experience. I don’t know that I’d go back again though (the food was slightly overpriced and slightly not-that-great). After the Cuban dining experience, we headed over to a bar/lounge in Silver Lake. Immediately upon entering the establishment, I knew my life wasn’t ready for the shenanigans that would follo. Everyone…and I mean EVERYONE appeared to be under the influence of some type of drug! And I’m not talkinga bout marijuana. I’m talking the heavy duty stuff. One guy even came up to us and asked if we had molly.

What-Say-what-DAFUQ-WTF-What-the-fuck-GIF

Aaaaand, that was our cue to roll on out!

All-in-all, this night was one for the memory books! Here are a few pics from the night :

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Beauty

Pür Cosmetics Eye Polish Swatches and Review

Pur-Cosmetics-Eye-Polish

I recently got a chance to play around with some of Pür Cosmetics‘ popular Eye Polishes. In short, they are awesome!

Pur-Cosmetics-Eye-Polish

What I found very interesting about the Eye Polishes is that there’s a net material that sits on top of the actual product. I had never seen such a thing before. Needless to say, I was intrigued! Another thing that caught my attention is the fact that the shadows are pretty moist.

Pur-Cosmetics-Eye-Polish

Here you can see (hopefully!) that the product has a bit of a liquid/cream consistency. However, once the Eye Polishes are applied, they dry almost instantaneously and leave behind super shimmery colors.

These bad boys can be used in so many different ways. They can be applied as a base, to amplify your eye shadow. They can be worn as a top coat for dramatic and sultry makeup looks. Or, they can be used as an eyeliner. So many options. The choice is yours!

Pur-Cosmetics-Eye-Polish

Here are swatches of five out of six of the different Eye Polish colors. From top to bottom they are: Caviar, Suede, Velvet, Silk & Cashmere.

What To Wear

Sequins and Sparkly Things

Sequin-Dress

Like a true procrastinator, I waited until the last possible minute to pick out a dress for this year’s holiday party. Luckily for me, I was able to find this sequin, sparkly number at Macy’s. The great thing about it is that it can double as a New Year’s Eve outfit!

Sparkly-purse

Sequin-Dress

What To Wear

Zara’s Antik Penny Loafers

Zara-Antik-Penny-Loafers

I didn’t do very much shopping during the Thanksgiving holiday. However, I did pick up one or two things, including these adorable black Antik Penny Loafers from Zara. Haven’t had a chance to take them for a spin yet. But they’ll soon be putting in some work.

Zara-Antik-Penny-Loafers

Zara-Antik-Penny-Loafers

Zara-Antik-Penny-Loafers

Dating

Wait. You Have A Child AND An Ex-Wife?

Let’s get right to the point! The other night, I was out on a 3rd date with a young red-headed gentleman. We were having a few drinks when out of nowhere he said: “Ask me some questions ABOUT ME?” Sidebar: I have a tendency to talk about myself a lot, so this question did not seem outside of the norm. I can’t quite remember what I asked him, but whatever it was got the following answer:

Red Head: “I was married, but I recently got divorced.”

Me: *Jaw hits floor* “Wait, what? Are you serious?”

Red Head: “Yes.”

Me: *Takes a BIG sip of wine* “Oh. Ok. Do you have any kids?”

Red Head: “Yes. I have a two-year-old son.”

Me: *Drinks entire glass of wine*

After about two minutes of me staring at him with the blankest of blank expressions, he broke the silence by asking me if I wanted to see his child. I said ‘yes’, but in my mind I was screaming ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ I know that sounds mean, but the truth will always set me free!

I had no desire to see his child, at least not in that moment. I was too busy trying to pick my jaw up from off the floor, refill my empty wine glass and piece together what the heck just happened! After I composed myself and fixed my expressionless face, we carried on with our date and then went our separate ways. I decided not to continue seeing him.

To clarify, I don’t have anything against men that have babies or that have been married. I just prefer not to date them. I’ve tried it before and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience (not that I think ALL of my experiences will be the same, but still. It gave me a good idea of what I can expect when dating someone with a child.)

The problem that I had with this situation is that he waited until the 3rd date to drop this bomb on me. Had he told me on the first date, I could have saved him a whole lot of time, money and gas. Just saying!

When I asked him why he waited so long to tell me, he said: “I didn’t have an opportunity to bring it up on our previous dates.”

Now I don’t have the best of memories, but I DO recall asking him on our first date about his previous relationships. Yep. I definitely did! I feel like that would have been the PERFECT time to mention an ex-wife AND a baby! Am I right or am I right? I just don’t feel that it was the best strategy to wait until the 3rd date to deliver such critical information.

But, I very well could be wrong. So I’d like to hear from you all! When would you expect your date to tell you if he/she had a child/ex-wife/ex-husband?