Best Mobile Apps for Planning Your Next Weekend Getaway

Whether you’re taking the skies or hitting the road this travel season, you could do well with having a digital companion to ensure that your tickets are all lined up and to help you plan out your itinerary. So next time you have some time to kill while on a public transportation or while waiting in the doctor’s office, download the following mobile apps and start planning your next weekend getaway.

1. TripIt

Unlike what most travel planning apps do, TripIt offers a hassle-free way of combining all your travel tickets, itineraries, hotel bookings, confirmations and car rental reservations in a single view. That view then becomes the central hub of all your travel needs. What’s more amazing is it’s shareable with family and friends – people you might to share your travel details with just for security purposes.

2. Hitlist

Interested in making your weekend getaways more financially doable? If so, then Hitlist is the best app for you. With this app, you get to choose your dream destination and be informed when the plane tickets are really low. If you’re planning to attend an event on a specific location, you can also set a ticket price alert for that particular place. But if you don’t really have any exact preference of the place you want to visit, you can simply check on the best flights for the rest of the day best on the price, destination and duration.

3. TouristEye

Instead of assisting you in finding the best ticket prices for your trip or organizing your weekend getaway, TouristEye works by helping you create a ‘wish list’ of destinations that you’d like to visit. Aside from that, you can also use the app to plan an annual family vacation or if you just want to enjoy a short trip here and there. TouristEye also lets you build a bucket list of places that you want to visit, and share it with your family or friends. This way, they can add some waypoints or suggest things that you can do while in the place.

4. Packing Pro

The difference between using Packing Pro to list down the things you need to pack and a piece of paper is that the former has a customized packing list. Not only will it remind you to pack your passport, foreign money and sunscreen, it’ll also help you pack the right clothing pieces based on your trip duration and the temperature of your travel destination.

Planning out your weekend getaway doesn’t have to be that challenging and confusing if you just know the right travel apps to use. So make your future travel plans less stressful by keeping the aforementioned mobile apps on hand.

Different Types of Drawing Pens

When you start your art classes, the first thing you learn is how to draw subjects using pencils. There is another type of drawing however that you might want to try next—pen and ink. Like pencils, drawing pens also have a lot of types which produce different thicknesses of lines, colors and control.

Below is a guide on the most common pens used for drawing.

Ball Point Pens

What’s that? Ball point pens? Yes, you can use the humble ball point besides your daily writing needs. Made in the early 1900s, they’re cheap and come in different ink colors. Their grip is designed for comfort and everyday use. It’s good to start with ball point pens first before you invest in more expensive types like fountain pens.

Archival Pens

The ink used in archival pens last longer than the other types. They are an excellent choice if you want to keep your drawings for a long time or if you’re planning to sell some of your artwork. Other types of pens have a label “archival” on the tube, so read the package before purchasing.

Drafting Pens

Drafting pens are also called technical drawing pens. They were initially made for the use of architects and engineers. They produce precise lines which makes them ideal for any drawing whether it’s for drafting or sketching objects. Artists use them for comic illustrations, lettering, and blueprints. They have to be held at an angle for them to work and are also slightly expensive. There are types that can be refilled using a cartridge or bottled ink.

Fountain Pens

The first fountain pens similar to what we see today didn’t appear until the late nineteenth century. It competed with ball point pens for while but eventually lost out to the latter because of the price range. One advantage of fountain pens is that you don’t need to press hard when drawing because the flow of ink is better than the ball point pen’s. Even when they are more expensive, they can also be refilled.

Graphic Pens

Also called graphic markers, they come in a variety of colors perfect for drawings like comic illustrations. Some hobbyists also use them for coloring books. Their points are slightly larger to allow more ink to pass. If you’re planning to buy marker pens, it’s cheaper to get a set than buy them singly.

Reed Pens

Reed pens are made from a single length of a bamboo or straw reed. To use a reed pen, it is dipped in a ink. They are the oldest type of pen on this list and were used ancient Egypt. They’re different from another old type of pen, quill, that has a duller point than reed pens. Some still use reed pens for calligraphy. If you want to be stylish or to create a different effect on your drawings, some stores still sell reed pens. You can also make one yourself.

The Guide to Having the Perfect Wedding Live Music

Choosing the best wedding live band in Singapore among the others can be quite confusing. You can either rely on your own in finding and booking a band or you can do it with the help of a band booking agency. Booking through an agent is easier and so more couples still prefer it over doing it on your own.

Here are a rundown of tips on how to have the perfect wedding live music.

Demo Recordings

First off when looking into bands, you need to ask for their demo recordings and repertoire. From there you can better evaluate their musical ability, if they got that X factor you are looking for. It is common nowadays for live bands to have websites where clients like you can take a sneak peek of what they are and what they can do. Usually, bands supply demo recordings through their website, while there are also some that still make use of CDs.

Live Viewing

For some clients, live viewing is important before making a decision to hire a Singapore wedding live band. Seeing the band perform live allows you to better gauge not only the band’s talents and skills but also their personality. In person, you can see their charm and feel their charisma—two important characteristics of a good live band. However for some individuals, live viewing of a wedding live singer in Singapore is not really necessary. As long as you are satisfied and happy with the band’s demo recordings, repertoire, and experience, booking the band is something you should not be afraid of. Usually, professional bands in Singapore tend to perform only at private occasions, and in fact, some bandleaders find live viewing to be difficult and expensive.

The Contract

As soon as you have set your heart upon a particular wedding live band from Singapore, it’s time for contract signing. Make sure to draw up all terms and agreement into writing. The contract which is signed by you and the band can safeguard any party in case one should cancel the transaction. Usually, the band is the one that provides the contract. But if they cannot do so, then you should take the initiative of making one. In the contract, specify clearly what you want the band to do and what kind of wedding live music you wish to hear them play. Also include timings but bear in mind that weddings, in general, end up not following the set schedule due to some reasons.

Choice of Songs

As the hosts of the wedding, you have the privilege to choose the songs to be played. These include the song for your first dance, the music during the meal, any live background music for the photo montage, and many other aspects. Beyond that, you got to put trust on your band. You can get the best out of the Singapore wedding live band of your choice if you leave the task of choosing the perfect wedding songs to them. These musicians have enough experience in playing at weddings. They are experts in reading the mood of your wedding party, and so they know how to adjust their set and choice of songs accordingly.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Travel Photos

With the numerous channels available to share one’s photos, it’s no surprise that almost everyone became hooked in capturing and sharing pictures online. Although not all of us take photos of our daily life, we usually always do when we’re going on a trip abroad or even in just a nearby town in Singapore. So the next time you’re going on a vacation, do use the following tips to help improve your travel photos.

1. Approach Your Subject Differently

One of the best things you can do when visiting a new place is to forget what other people have done and focus on your experiences. Capturing a photo from your own perspective trains you to see things differently. Taking photos off the beaten path or shooting from a low vantage point makes all the difference. Keep in mind that you’re taking photos of what you saw and not what other people experienced. Don’t let the shots of other people confine you to take photos in a certain way.

2. Focus on the Details

Pay extra attention to anything that stands out in your surroundings during your trip. Not only will this teach you to be mindful of the uniqueness of a certain place, it’ll also allow you to appreciate even the tiniest detail that you usually miss. To be more attuned with the details of your destination, start by looking for common colours, patterns and design elements. It may sound simple, but this will definitely tell you a lot about a place.

3. Avoid Blindly Taking Photos

Stop feeling like you must take photos of everything that you see. Once you do, you’ll be more likely to capture photos that you love. If you’re travelling with an extra camera other than the one on your phone, practise this trick by leaving your additional camera at the hotel and just taking your phone along. You’ll be surprised to see at how much more you’re able to experience.

4. Know the Basic Operations of Your Camera

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not taking some time to learn about your camera before leaving for your trip. Understand that even a smartphone camera offers setting options like aperture, and learning these things will surely help in improving your travel photos. It’d also be a good idea to choose filters or editing techniques beforehand, so as to avoid wasting time figuring these things out during the trip itself.

5. Tell a Story

What separates an editorial spread on a travel magazine from ordinary travel photos is it tells a story of a particular place. You often see photos of landscapes, the food a region is known for, hotel details and shots of locals in one spread. With this, other people are able to see a complete and beautiful story.

Capturing a good travel photo isn’t as difficult as you think. All you need is the right equipment and a good inspiration, and you’ll definitely be able to capture some good and interesting travel photos.

Beauty Products You Can Share With Your Boyfriend

Want to know the best way to save bathroom space other than showering together? Curate a vanity table that’s for his and hers – and to help you accomplish that, we listed down some of the unisex beauty products that you can actually share with your favourite guy.

1. Facial Scrub

All types of skin need occasional exfoliation, which is why this beauty product would be a great find for both you and your beau. Even if he’s not experiencing any acne breakouts, his skin might still be suffering from lack of moisture and roughness. So convince him to give your multipurpose facial scrub a shot, and see if he’ll like how his skin feels and looks after a month.

2. Shampoo and Conditioner

Men are also prone to frizz and dandruff, so don’t hesitate in letting your guy use your problem-targeted conditioners and shampoos. Unlike men’s haircare products, shampoos and conditioners made for ladies tend to have more benefits: adds volume and makes strands shinier. There are even some variants that target hair issues like breakage, dullness and thinning. So share these products with your guy and let him enjoy the same benefits as well.

3. Sunscreen

Convince your man to slather some SPF by telling him that excessive sun exposure greatly contributes to premature skin aging. Since most guys hate the greasy feeling left by sunscreen products, opt for a water-based brand like Bioré UV Aqua Rich Water Essence instead.

4. Facial Mask

Men also need good moisturizers, but most of them still refuse to give in. So get them started by using facial masks instead. Have him wash his face first, then apply the sheet mask. Give him an arm and neck massage while the mask does its job. Once you’re done, remove the mask and see if he likes the improved texture of his skin.

5. Eye Cream

Most guys only start getting conscious with their appearance when they start noticing the signs of aging – eye wrinkles, saggy skin and receding hairlines. When he starts complaining about his under-eye wrinkles and eye bags, then it’s time that you get him into the habit of applying eye cream at night.

Sharing beauty products with your significant other is certainly one of the best ways to declutter your vanity table and cabinet. So be sure to share the aforementioned products with your guy, and see how you’ll both reap benefits of these beauty products.

Knock-Off Make-Ups: Why You Should be Afraid of Counterfeit Products

 

When you find cheap deals of high-end cosmetic brands like NARS and MAC that seem too good to be true—they almost surely are counterfeit products. You may ask: So what? Buying knock-off shoes, bags and clothes are all pretty common anyway, right? What’s the difference?

Well, remember that those knock-offs are going on your face, and what goes on your face and skin goes into your body. If ever you’re thinking of skimping on make-up, you might want to check the list below before rushing to an unauthorized retailer.

  1. Allergic Reactions

You don’t know what ingredients were mixed to produce these counterfeit products. Some fake cosmetics are laced with arsenic, cyanide and mercury, which often cause allergic reactions like skin rashes. Although most cases can be immediately treated, the negative effect may linger for a longer time.

  1. Infections

We’re not talking about fake designer bags that you just carry around, but products that once applied on the face, the skin will absorb. Bacteria from fake eyeshadow products, for instance, can cause severe infection to the eye (a.k.a. the most sensitive area of your face), making your eye area swell, or worse distort your vision.

  1. Lead Poisoning

Some fake cosmetics contain 20 times more than the legal dosage of lead in cosmetic products. Accumulated lead absorbed in the body from the skin can cause poisoning, which can result to severe physical and mental impairment or, in extreme cases, death.

  1. Rat Wastes

These unauthorized cosmetic laboratories did not undergo legal inspection, so you can’t expect a clean and sanitary environment in the making of knock-off products. Many tests made with fake cosmetics have revealed that rat feces were one of the components. Whether it was added intentionally or not, one thing is certain: we do not want it anywhere near our skin nor get absorbed into our body.

  1. Paint Stripper

Sold in most hardware stores, paint strippers must be handled with caution as some of the hazards associated with it are skin diseases, and even damages to the nervous system, internal organs and the brain when these chemicals are inhaled in excessive amount. Unfortunately, paint strippers are commonly used in counterfeit liquid liners and mascaras. While these cosmetic products are meant to be used sparingly, continuous use can possibly cause health problems later on.

It’s tricky to detect a counterfeit make-up product. If you’re unsure, do extensive research about the seller and the products before buying. However, your best bet is to purchase your beauty favourites from reputable retail outlets, such as Sephora and other local drugstores.

5 Hacks for a Functional Home Gym

 

It’s time to stop using your hectic schedule as an excuse for skipping the gym. Although it’s totally understandable that an everyday workout isn’t practical, fitting in a quick workout at home is.

To get the most of your at-home workout sessions, stock up on these essential workout equipment. We’re not talking about costly and massive elliptical and treadmill, though. These five pocket-friendly pieces needs almost zero space and can easily be stored anywhere to create your own functional home gym.

  1. Resistance Band

A resistance band is a full body workout item that can fit in a handbag. It is great for loosing unwanted fat in targeted areas of the body, such as the love handles and inner thighs. This is also an effective tool for losing weight, toning muscles and even recovering from an injury since you can stretch out and strengthen muscles with it.

  1. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is one of the best cardio exercises that you can conveniently do at home. Your skipping rope won’t eat up any space, but can give you an intense workout that will surely get your heart pumping with just a few minutes of skipping and hopping.

  1. Kettlebell

This is a trend that’s here to stay. This workout equipment may be compact, but it provides intense workout result. Not only these bad boys can provide you with some serious cardio, but they can also get you some strength without forming dense muscle. Purchase one kettlebell first with enough weight to challenge your muscles. There are many exercises you cn do with it, such as arm swings, squats and triceps rows.

  1. Yoga Mat

For good cushioning to perform your floor exercises, a yoga mat comes in handy. It’s affordable and can easily be stored under the bed or in your closet. You can use this workout equipment to do a lot of workouts, such as Pilates and yoga or basic workouts like push-ups and sit-ups much more comfortably.

  1. Workout DVDs

It is challenging to come-up with a workout routine if you have limited equipment. A workout DVD helps you learn a variety of workout types, and many of these such as Tae Bo and Zumba are fun and actually teach you additional skills like self-defence and dancing.

Keeping yourself healthy and fit is important and beneficial for many reasons. And since now that you know what to get to build yourself your own at-home gym, not having the time is no longer a valid excuse to skip moving.

Every Girl’s Guide to Foundation Finishes

 

Just like with every beauty product, foundation also has its own set of jargons. However, the level of coverage you want from a foundation could be quite difficult to explain to the saleslady when you’re shopping for the right beauty product. For that reason, we listed down all the types of foundation finishes you should know about. So read on and prepare to get schooled.

  1. Matte

Want to get rid of the extra shine on your face? Then this type of foundation finish is for you. A foundation with a matte finish makes any shine of the skin disappear, while drying down to a solid opaque finish. This type of finish also controls oil better than the other foundation finishes, making it a better option for girls with oily skin.

  1. Dewy

A foundation that has a dewy finish is capable of replicating the look of a well-moisturized skin. This type of finish is a good choice for ladies with dry or dehydrated complexion, as it provides the skin with a shine that almost looks wet. Most Korean stars prefer this type of foundation, since a dewy and glossy skin can make almost anyone look more awake and youthful.

  1. Satin

With a finish that’s not too dewy nor too matte, a satin finish foundation aims to imitate the skin’s natural glow, making it a perfect option for an everyday wear. Just ensure that you choose the right product though, since some satin foundations lean toward the dewier side – an ideal option for women with normal skin type that doesn’t get too oily.

  1. Semi-Matte

If satin finish foundations lean more on the dewy side, the semi-matte is its opposite. This type of foundation aims to recreate a skin that appears smooth and velvety. Girls with combination skin types suit this type of foundation well, since it offers better oil control without accentuating any skin dryness.

  1. Sheer

Sheer finishes should be your go-to foundation for your good skin days. It’ll give your skin some added boost without looking too obvious, and on some days, it can make you feel like applying your highlighter is no longer necessary.

Knowing the different types of foundation finishes is the key to finding the right product for your skin type. So be sure to keep these details in mind, so you’ll know exactly what to look for on your next trip down the makeup lane.

Nailing the No-Makeup Look

8 Must-Have Products to Pull Off the No-Makeup Makeup Look

 

While it may not look like it, a no-makeup makeup look is actually one of the most challenging beauty looks to pull off. But the trick to perfecting this look lies on the skin. Here, we listed down the essentials to this sought-after makeup look, along with a few tips and tricks on how you can achieve it.

  1. Primer

The first step to nailing this beauty look is to refine your skin’s texture by applying a primer that suits your skin type. For ladies with dry skin, a hydrating primer is the best option to smooth over those dry patches; while a mattifying primer that fills in the pores and combats oil is an excellent choice for women with oily skin.

  1. Foundation

Ensure that your foundation stays as natural-looking as possible by choosing a product with a light to medium coverage and has a satin finish. Don’t worry about the redness and blemishes peeking through though, since you’ll also be covering it up with your concealer.

  1. Concealer

A concealer that fades into the skin after blending is a must in any no-makeup look. Although its coverage is the utmost priority, factoring in a concealer’s finish and texture is also crucial to achieve a more natural beauty look. All you’ve got to do is dot it over your problem areas, then blend it either with your finger or with a damp sponge.

  1. Blending Sponge

The best way to prevent your makeup look from looking cakey is to use a damp sponge when applying your foundation. A good blending sponge absorbs the excess product and helps achieve a beauty look that stays close to your skin’s natural texture.

  1. Setting Powder

Applying too much powder is a huge no-no for a no-makeup beauty look. Professional makeup artists even recommend using setting powders without much coverage, since you’ll only be using it to keep any shine on your face at bay.

  1. Highlighter

This beauty look won’t be complete without that natural glow, and for this, highlighters that don’t have any obvious shimmer is the best choice. Just make sure that you apply it with a light hand to maintain a fresh- and natural-looking complexion.

  1. Mascara

A no-makeup makeup look calls for a mascara that separates and lengthens the eyelashes, so say no to clumpy mascara formulas that won’t hold your curl.

  1. Cheek and Lip Tint

Since you’re aiming to pull-off a natural-looking beauty look, it’s best to veer away from liquid lipsticks and powder blushes as it’ll make your skin appear powdery and your lips unnaturally matte. Instead, opt for lipsticks, cheek tints and lip tints that’ll add colour to your face in a more natural way.

Pulling off a no-makeup makeup look isn’t really that difficult. All you’ve got to do is figure out what products would help you achieve that natural glowing look, and you’re good to go.

5 Alternative Drinks to Coffee That Can Keep You Awake

 

There are just countless reasons why we all love coffee – it smells like heaven in a cup, it tastes pleasingly bitter, and more importantly, it helps in keeping us awake. But while it may be your favourite morning go-to, drinking coffee regularly also has its own disadvantages. In fact, a research showed that excessive coffee consumption could lead to heightened blood pressure, hormonal acne and even insomnia. So instead of having coffee as your only go-to drink, give the following drink alternatives a shot for when you need some caffeine-free boost.

  1. Matcha

While it’s less caffeinated than coffee, matcha definitely has more than enough caffeine to keep you alert throughout the day – and it’s even packed with powerful antioxidants that help in fighting off the harmful effects of UV rays, giving you youthful-looking skin, and preventing several life-threatening maladies. So if you think that green tea is supposed to help you get better sleep, well, think again.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Perhaps you’ve heard that apples work wonders when it comes to keeping grogginess at bay – but what about the fruit’s liquefied and fermented version? Well, it does the same. Appel cider vinegar is rich in B vitamins and probiotics that can give you your much needed energy boost.

  1. Dark Chocolate Drink

Dark chocolate contains a small dose of caffeine enough to help heighten one’s mental alertness. It also contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant that may help in boosting the energy levels.

  1. Chai Tea

A hot cup of chai tea is considered by some as an ideal alternative to their usual cup of Joe. Since it’s a black tea blend, chai contains significantly more caffeine than the other tea variants. You may even include a delicious blend of spices on your tea, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and ginger, to make it tastier.

  1. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a potent liquid shot essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins. You may or may not like its taste, but do know that it’s considered one of the most nourishing juices that you’ll ever drink.

While it may be the best drink to keep awake throughout the day, coffee also has its fair share of cons. So keep yourself protected against these drawbacks, by trying out any of these alternative drinks instead. Not only will these drinks improve your alertness, they’ll also help you avoid getting that pesky coffee breath.