Her GadgetMatch

Samsung Galaxy S9 guide for the selfie lover

How to get the best out of the beauty mode

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a power-packed phone, but one great feature that is most overlooked is its front-facing camera capabilities. I’ve taken it upon myself to walk you through the wonders of what magic Samsung’s latest flagship can do to your selfies.

It all depends on what look you want to achieve. But first, the basics.

The S9 has a number of selfie modes but we’ll focus on two modes here: Selfie Focus and Selfie. Both can be found on the upper part of the camera app, when the front-facing camera is activated.

This tiny button, dubbed “beauty crystals” by one of our unboxing guests, will be your best friend. This unlocks a host of beauty filters and options that will allow you attain those flawless shots.

Now, let’s begin. On to the first look!

Au Naturelle

Sometimes, you need a no-fuss, natural-looking selfie for the times when you know you can’t be spending that much time on a selfie, but you still want to look cute.

Turn to the Galaxy S9’s Selfie Focus mode. This activates the bokeh mode which will blur out the background and make sure that you’re the center of attention in the photo. Find good, soft lighting, find your angle, and smile!

Ugh. Marvin and Rodney are always getting in the way of my work 😂

A big bright window was used in this instance, and though other GadgetMatch people were proving to be big distractions in this photo, the bokeh took care of their annoying intrusion.

Sometimes, you don’t necessarily have to up the beauty mode to take a good selfie.

Fresh finish

For times when your face needs a little boost, we turn to those “beauty crystals!”

The same Selfie Focus mode allow for a little airbrushing. Tap the “beauty crystals” found at the bottom right of the screen and this will allow you to toggle Color and Skin Tone.

Bumping these controls up can give you a fresh, glowing face, even on days when your face is nowhere near those two things.

With aforementioned settings, I managed to take a fresh photo as I was haggardly trying to navigate my way through an unfamiliar city by foot. A little beauty mode air-brushing does wonders, I tell you.

Basic makeup look

We move on to makeup looks! The following uses the Galaxy S9’s Selfie mode.

After navigating to this mode, tap the “beauty crystals” and a slew of themed looks will appear. Tap “Basic” and adjust intensity as needed. Tapping on the tiny “beauty pencil” will also allow you to customize the settings more.

On days when you need a tiny makeup retouch, this option works best. This setting allows for a filter that makes for a subtle but made-up look. The sample shown above is me at the end of a long day — my face still looks makeup fresh because of this mode, even when I personally wasn’t.

Beauty boost

For a more va va voom look, we turn to other settings on the S9’s Selfie mode.

Tapping each preset look will give you a fresh new makeup theme. The toggle at the bottom of the screen controls the filter’s intensity. Remember to take great care in making sure that the filter isn’t too much for your face; otherwise, you run the risk of looking fake.

After picking a particular look, tapping the “beauty pencil” brings you to even more makeup options — you can choose to change eyeshadow, lipstick, eyelashes, contouring, and more. Go crazy with the choices! And, you can even have a friend join in on the fun as the filters work for more than one person.

Friends that put makeup together, stay together

This is how me and Chay looked after a long day of shooting. In this photo, we’re fresh AF and makeup was definitely on fleek, which wasn’t necessarily true in real life.

Live your life on fleek with these Galaxy S9 tips. Seriously, I never thought a device could make application so easy, but here we are.

Technology, you’ve done it again.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 tutorial: How to make AR Emoji

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9: An honest review of AR Emoji and more

Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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3 must-haves when traveling, in case you want to be like ‘Emily in Paris’

Never ever forget these!

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Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, please read with caution.

Bonjour, mademoiselles and monsieurs!

I’m certain I’m not the only one obsessed with French culture, and of course, the latest Netflix series — Emily in Paris.

In case you’ve been living under the rock, Emily in Paris re-awakened people’s lust for travel. A bit of escape from the horrific reality we’re currently facing; a year that has gone haywire.

Think croissants, cobblestones, fine architecture, chic fashion, good food, art, and sex. This is the surface of what Emily in Paris is about: Emily Cooper’s hilarious misadventures in navigating her career, romance, and friendships.

Photo NETFLIX

While the series showcases how Emily documents her life and adventures in Paris through Instagram, there are a few things she forgot to bring. For a supposedly tech-savvy millennial, Emily Cooper forgot some travel essentials. Or maybe she didn’t know she needed them.

Based on a few episodes from Emily in Paris, I realized what gadgets must be deemed travel essentials, so we don’t experience Emily Cooper’s misadventures next time we’re in another country.

A battery-powered vibrator (so you don’t blow up the fuse)

First of all, Emily was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Chicago. The couple was having sexy time via video call but crappy internet connection got in the way.

To continue pleasing herself, Emily pulled out an effin’ gigantic, old-school wired vibrator. After plugging it into an electric socket, the vibrator short-circuited the electricity in her apartment. The blow-up was so bad, it shut down the power in the entire neighborhood.

As funny as it is (and no, it wouldn’t really happen in real life), there are a lot of battery-powered, wireless vibrators. Some are even high-tech enough to be controlled by your partner through a mobile app.

Consider this next time when you travel. Although before you pack your sex toy, make sure it’s not illegal in the country you will visit. In some Islamic countries, they confiscate toys as they fall under pornographic material. Last thing you want is to get persecuted in a foreign land.

An instax printer or a pocketable instax camera

Paris is the so-called city of romance. You can literally feel the love in the air. Throughout the series, Emily captured streets, everyday moments, and her life in Paris and uploaded it to her Instagram account.

But to travel — or live — in a romantic city, moments should be captured in a sentimental and romantic way. For instance, preserving memories through a pocketable instax camera which you can bring anywhere, or an instax printer where you can print your photos directly from your smartphone.

That’s exactly what we did one Sunday morning along Upper East Side in New York City. That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. Of course, we weren’t able to, either.

But we caught some vignettes on film, complete with audio recordings using the Instax Mini LiPlay. We found a way to reminisce those moments. That’s something we believe should be part of any travel.

Get a smartwatch or other running essentials

Forgive me for crying out loud, but smartwatches are made to accompany you while you run. Not hold your gigantic phone with tiny hands, huffing and puffing along the river Seine.

It’s a good idea that Emily didn’t forget how important working out is. But it’s not exactly a good idea to hold your phone while you run. Better to invest in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate, track your miles, and answer calls while you listen to music through your wireless earbuds.

And if you’re not the smartwatch-wearing type, invest in pockets, running pouches, arm wallets, or wrist straps. There are different ways to safeguard your phones, keys, and other essentials without putting yourself in potential danger.

Besides, Paris — like any other city — isn’t exactly crime-free. You can’t keep running around like crimes don’t happen. Even when I was running around Taipei, a city with low crime rate, I didn’t let my guard down. The same goes for traveling to any other city. It’s always best to keep yourself safe, no one else will do it for you.

Stream Emily in Paris on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Paris | Sights and sounds of summer in the Upper East Side | 5 lessons we learned from Crash Landing on You

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Here are our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens

Some inspo to get creative

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The recent iOS update has taken social media by storm, shining a light on creativity expressed by iPhone users and designers.

In case you’re living under a rock, #iOS14homescreen trended in Twitter highlighting the prettiest and most creative home screens.

As of writing, many users are still having fun expressing their wit and style through custom widget designs. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own, we’ve rounded up our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens!

If you love coffee and earth tones

For those who love a minimalist approach

Feeling blue?

It’s time to go green!

Making it futuristic and dystopian a la Vice City

For party freaks missing the neon lights

How about Karasuno High from Haikyu!!?

Paint the town pink!

Keeping it dark, eerie, and sexy~

Toodles, doodles!

That pastel and nude colors used by several Instagram aEstHetIc influencers

When you just love the universe…

…or your idols

And so far, here’s the best one… especially if you want to keep yourself from being addicted to your phone

Which one do you like best? Share your custom home screen designs on Instagram and tag us @gadgetmatch!

SEE ALSO: Here’s everything new on iOS 14 | These are the iPhones that will work with iOS 14

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