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5 tips for the perfect selfie

Featuring the Vivo V9!

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These days, selfie-taking is a skill. Like all skills, it takes practice to get to the level of mastery that will do justice to the artwork that is your face. Each great photo takes time and thought to produce — the same effort should be put in when it comes to selfies. After all, this photo will represent you.

Great selfies don’t happen just like that. Of course, like any masterpiece, it’s a learning process. But, don’t fret! We played around with Vivo’s V9 and rounded up our top tips to get you on the road to amazing selfies.

It’s all about lighting

The secret to any good photo is great lighting — and that applies even to selfies. When photographers say “find your light,” that’s no joke. Find the most flattering light source and shine it on that pretty face!

Focus on you

There’s no being modest about it: This is a selfie so you should be the center of attention! Make sure your background looks as great as you do or you run the risk of distracting people with whatever’s behind you. The easiest hack for this? Turn Portrait Mode on and it will instantly blur out any distractions.

Know the right settings

You may not know it but your smartphone camera can do a lot. There’s value in exploring these settings and knowing what different modes to use in multiple scenarios for the best possible shot.

Just a few quick pointers: Remember to use HDR in really bright areas to make sure you capture all the details. On the other hand, when it’s too dark to shoot, Vivo’s V9 is equipped with a soft light flash (shown above) that will produce better photos. In case you have a hard time clicking that shutter button, turning on Palm Gesture means you take photos every time you raise up your hand for easier and more natural selfies.

Don’t be afraid to get help

No one is perfect, not even those flawless Instagram celebs. We all need a little help every now and then and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Let’s admit it: Beauty modes are such a great quick fix for days when you’re just not feeling 100 percent. Gone are the days when these filters lead to a fake plastic look — the Vivo V9’s AI Beauty Mode, for example, instantly gives you a fresh, flawless look.

Add personality to your photos

There are a lot of things that you can do to improve your selfie game but I think this is the most important point: Let the real you shine through in all your photos. Add something a little personal to you in the photo to give it that genuine touch. A great big smile, a hearty laugh, or a signature look caught on camera is the most natural thing to see on a selfie — none of those duck faces and weird pouts because who really does those faces in real life?

We had our friend Arianne take a few selfies with these tips in mind and here are the stunning results:

What are you waiting for? Ready, set, selfie!

SEE ALSO: Vivo V9 Hands-on: A handsome-looking midrange phone


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Vivo.

Her GadgetMatch

The Eatense plate has an actual display on it because why not

It has wireless charging, too!

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Just when you thought kitchen tech couldn’t get any more imaginative, something pretty incredible — like what I’m about to show you — pops up.

Take this plain-looking plate.

I know that steak looks yum but we’re talking about the plate here 😅

This is Eatense. Though it seems like a normal-looking plate, it does so much more.

Connect it to the Eatense app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and you can change what’s on your plate — it’s basically a digital display you can eat on. This means you can literally program it to flash anything with your meal: from custom designs, to moving animations, to even greetings.

And like a normal plate, you can just wash it when you’re done. Easy peasy!

Charging this thing isn’t hard, either. It has wireless charging capabilities.

They don’t come cheap, though. As of now, they come in black or white and retail for US$ 159 per piece if you’re an early backer on Indiegogo. These one-of-a-kind plates ship out July of next year.

Now that definitely makes for a unique dining experience! Check out their page here.

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Miss Universe 2018 is the Philippines’ Catriona Gray and we stalked her on social media

All you need to know about Catriona!

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Photo by Patrick Prather | Miss Universe

All 7,641 Philippine islands (more or less depending on low tide, or high) are celebrating. Miss Universe 2018 is Catriona Gray and we couldn’t be more proud!

And, because we’re still reeling from the win, we stalked her on social media so that you wouldn’t have to. Here’s where you can find Catriona online:

Instagram: @catriona_gray

The 24 year old is no stranger to pageants. Catriona was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2016.

 

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Ready for my Preliminary Interview ✨🧡🇵🇭 Styled by @justine.aliman19 in @jearsond Filipinana top and ifugao skirt, @jewelmer

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She has numerous advocacies. At the Miss World Pageant Q&A, “If I am to become Miss World Philippines, I would dedicate my voice and essence to carry that torch and to set charitable causes alight, such as my advocacy, the Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project, and I would focus on passing on this torch to empower others because I believe together, there is no darkness in this world that our light cannot overcome.” Other advocacies include HIV awareness.

That’s definite beauty with a purpose.

 

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5AM Friday wake-up! ⏰ 7AM 6 Hour land trip to Baler 🚗🌊🌴 2PM-10PM Chairman of the Board for Binibining Baler 2018 👑✨ 10:30PM Land trip straight back to Manila Airport 🚗😱🛫 6AM Saturday: Flight to Ho Chi Minh City 🇻🇳 5PM Charity Event 💙 11PM Snapped this photo after taking off my makeup 😊 a crazy two days for me! I may get stressed but my skin doesn’t have to cause my Olay Night Ritual comes to the rescue! It has the Regenerist MSC Cream and Serum that help my skin fight different stressors like UV and pollution and helps boost skin renewal. ✨💛 You can get your own set plus a free limited edition tote on Lazada by clicking the link in my bio! #Olay

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During the pageant, Catriona hit one million followers on this platform. Honestly, I’m not surprised.

Twitter: @catrionaelisa

Aside from sharing about her travels using the hashtag , she also tweets about her pageant journey and frequently retweets features she’s taken part in.

Yep, this is the perfect place to stalk our new queen.

YouTube: Catriona Gray

Yes, Catriona has a YouTube account! Aside from the awesome Philippines series she starred in that was released during the Miss Universe pageant, she also posts travel videos.

There are even makeup tutorials to help you achieve her flawless looks.

She sings, too! Talk about multi-talented. An old Catriona YouTube account even features her singing covers.

All the social media stalking is making me love her even more. Congratulations, Queen! Keep slaying! 🇵🇭

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What night outs are like when you’re older and wiser

Featuring the OPPO R17 Pro and my waning patience for clubs

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There comes a time in every party girl’s life when you realize you’ve lost it. By “it,” I mean the overwhelming urge to go out and stay out late, drinking as much alcohol as a thirsty camel that just escaped the desert.

A few years ago, you’d be lucky to find me home on a weekend. These days, times have sorely changed — Friday nights are spent indoors in the comfort of my bed. Clubbing has been replaced by Saturday brunch meets and coffee dates with friends. It’s been many hangover-free days, but all that was about to change because of a smartphone.

Just another normal day, phone and coffee in hand

This is the OPPO R17 Pro, or in Europe, the RX17 Pro. At the launch event in Milan, OPPO explained that this phone and its new night mode were made for you to be able to capture every moment in your life — including those that didn’t happen in good lighting. At that point, all the badly lit club snaps and the party selfies I’ve ever taken flashed into my mind.

The phone that’s forcing me to leave my bed

Touted as the phone which could “seize the night,” as its slogan had suggested, I decided to test it out in a realistic night out. Time to break my hibernation and finally get out of my very cozy and inviting bed.

I know, this is either my best idea or my worst idea yet.

Prep

Of course, any night out starts with an outfit. And since gone are my tiny dress, stiletto days, I opted for full coverage (and comfort) with a flowing navy skirt which matched the Emerald Green R17 Pro, topping the look off with a pink bag to match my hair and gold details.

And no, I didn’t even attempt to wear heels because the effort in finding a comfy-cute outfit alone was too much for me.

A quick note: This will be the last #OOTD section. As much as I wanted to shoot a phone-coordinated #OOTD for each of my night out attempts, 2018 Isa was just not having it and couldn’t be bothered.

First try: Wine and cheese night

Since I didn’t plan on, nor did I think I would have survived, visiting an actual bar just yet, I called on my friend Nikka for an evening of chatting and unli-wine. I know, I know. You expected a crazy party when I said “night out.” But, this just seemed so much more appealing to me — no chaos of the club and random strangers in a tight, sweaty space — just two girl friends chatting with cheese and tall glasses. Besides, the spot we picked gave us an al fresco table that was perfect for us: It was spacious and dimly lit.

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Since we were seated, I was only able to take sample photos from my seat, of Nikka, and my food. As the night progressed, however, photos got blurrier — but I can attribute that to me getting drunk and wobbly. Who would’ve thought you could get drunk with wine? Newsflash: You can and it can get messy.

The phone did pretty well that night, so much better than I can say for myself. The R17 Pro even took a nice group shot of the people on the other table I drunkenly started to make conversation with (my new friends, if I can remember their names 😅) despite me being a crappy inebriated photographer.

I woke up the next morning with a massive hangover (copious amounts of wine do that) and doubting this whole article pitch altogether but I had to soldier on. I have to say that OPPO’s custom beauty mode really worked wonders for me that day. The selfie below cannot even begin to show the sh*tstorm I felt inside.

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I was so over everything that day that I couldn’t even be bothered to turn the Portrait mode on the front-facing camera to blur out the crap that was behind me. Thankfully, I am to learn later on that the R17 Pro has a host of built-in editing tools, one of which allowed me to selectively blur parts of a photo. I literally drew my own bokeh effect on this selfie. Brownie points for me fixing my hangover mistakes!

We move on to my second night out attempt.

Second try: Birthday celebrations over tapas

When you’re older, you resort to adulting tactics to ensure you don’t inadvertently have a crazy night of drinking. The adulting tactic my friends pulled was the have-a-quiet-dinner-drinks-setup-on-a-Sunday-night-so-that-we-have-to-go-home-early-for-Monday-morning tactic.

Two of my friends, Ian and Shy, celebrated their joint birthdays at a quaint Spanish restaurant. Of course, there was wine, tapas, and even more drinks.

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I’m proud to say I didn’t drink a drop this evening, also because I was still reeling from that previous wine night. Hence, better photo samples with steadier, non-drunk hands. I can’t say the same for my friends, though. The photo below was quickly snapped by one of my drinking friends who decided that the people in the background also wanted in on the shot. 😅 Nevertheless, I fixed it with my newfound R17 Pro editing skills.

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Not drinking and pulling a Cinderella (leaving for home at midnight) did wonders for me. Who knew this was actually a choice? (Early twenty-something Isa who drank at every night out didn’t.)

I woke up Monday morning and was this fresh. This selfie is still with help from the custom beauty mode on light settings, but who’s checking?

Third try: Cocktail tasting

When my friend Sky invited me to a cocktail tasting event, I was about to decline the drinking invitation based on my newly learned no-saying adult capabilities. But, when I learned there were going to be pretty pink cocktails, I was sold. I found myself in a great-looking bar catching up with friends. This, sans a crazy crowd, was usually the type of place I’d have trouble photographing but lo and behold, the photos turned out great.

Three great-tasting strawberry sampaguita cocktails and some fun conversations later, the bar was filling up with people and it was time for me to go home with just the right buzz.

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No hangovers and yummy pink cocktails seemed like the best night out combo. Proof of life the next day is below:

And because I was actually functioning, there was a conscious effort to turn on an actual front-facing portrait mode this time. Though it cut out my earring and part of my glasses, nothing could dampen my non-hungover mood.

Key takeaways

A lot of things are to be learned from this little writing project and drinking experiment of mine. First and foremost is that I cannot, even if I tried, drink as much as I used to. I’m not the invincible twenty-something party machine I once was, and that’s okay. We all slow down; parties come and go but true friends and never-ending cheese platters remain.

I learned that in adulthood, I am seeing more wine and cocktails and fewer shots — thank goodness. Nevertheless, know that a wine hangover will kill you, or at least your will to function for a whole day. Even if a good beauty mode can cover up said hangover in selfies, you still feel it intensely.

I also learned that I’m still very friendly when I have alcohol in my system (some things never change), drunk people will never, ever take good photos (my drunken selfies will never, ever see the light of day), and the OPPO R17 Pro is a good night out companion.

Despite all these findings, life lessons, and great photos, I feel like I’m ready to crawl back into my bed and switch back to hibernation mode. This is the only “night mode” I’m willing to do for a while.

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