10 free design resources to create awesome graphics

23 Jul

10 free design resources to create awesome graphics

A few months ago my computer crashed. Luckily Apple’s Genius Bar was able to resurrect it, however one thing I wasn’t prepared for was my loss of software. In a blink of an eye my beloved Adobe Creative Suite was gone and the installation disks are buried somewhere deep in a storage unit. As you know, I take and create almost all of the imagery on this site, so to lose Photoshop and Illustrator was devastating! Thankfully there are tons of free online design tools to edit pictures and create graphics. Are they as powerful as the Adobe Creative suite? No, but they certainly are easier to use. And although I have the skills to do some fancy stuff with advanced design software, most of the time I only need a few basic tools to create the fun images and graphics for All Put Together.

So if you want to dip your toe in graphic design or simply would like to create enticing and pinnable images, take advantage of these 10 free, online design tools.

Free Design Software:
The great thing about each of these online design tools is you don’t have to download them. They are all ready to use as soon as you load the site.

Canva: This site is my favorite online design tool. Canva features an impressive collection of free graphics and dozens of amazing design templates. And it gets even better than that, the site’s premium images are only a $1.00 each! Although it can sometime be a bit glitchy, it’s insanely easy to use. Experienced designers and the everyday creative will find this site useful. I’ve created most of my recent blog images, plus all of my social media account imagery using this tool. As much as I love the Adobe Creative Suite, I still plan on using this site even after I locate my installation disks!

PicMonkey: This site is great for photo editing, featuring dozens of built in tools that make correcting common photo issues, like red eye, exposure, and blurriness really easy. Often times I’ll use PicMonkey to edit my photos and then import them into Canva for further embellishment. Although PicMonkey has many of the same graphic design tools as Canva, it’s not nearly as robust. It’s best for simply laying text over and image.

PixlrThe most powerful of the online design tools, this site looks and acts similar to Adobe Photoshop, so if you’re looking to do more than basic photo editing, like removing a background from an image, consider Pixlr for your design projects.

Free Image Sources:
Finding high-quality free images and patterns for my design projects can be tough. Here are seven great sites featuring awesome photos for personal and commercial use. Some don’t even require attribution!

PicJumbo: High-qaulity images of all genres. I’ve used this site a lot for my “Best of the Week” posts.

Unsplash: Beautiful, high-res images of all genres. 10 new images are posted every 10 days.

Foodie’s Feed: Gorgeous food photography that will make you ravenous.

ImCreator: An eclectic collection of photos and icons.

Splitshire: Bright and colorful photos of all genres.

Superfamous: Stunning landscape and nature photography. Not only will the photographer’s work look amazing in creative projects, the photos would also be lovely framed on a wall.

The Pattern Library:  Bright graphic patterns that are tileable for seamless backgrounds.

What are your favorite graphic design tools and resources. Please share in the comments!



4 easy tips for wearing red lipstick

21 Jul

4 tips for wearing red lipstick

There is nothing sexier than a bold red lip. It provides instant confidence, glamour and femininity. A woman’s version of the red power tie. Makeup is a surprising ancient tradition and red lips particularly have been around for thousands of years. Although it tends to pop in and out of style and favor, red lipstick has certainly been experiencing a resurgence in recent years. And it’s not just starlets turning heads with cherry lips, everyday women have decided to add this classic beauty staple to their makeup arsenal.

Although I wear makeup everyday, I’ve never been known to be very adventurous with my color choices, usually sticking to neutrals. Boring! The only time I adopt anything new is when I get my makeup done professionally for an event and feel obligated to purchase the items used on my face.

A few months ago, when I was getting my makeup applied for a wedding, I finally got up the courage to ask for a red lip. Like many women, I wasn’t confident in picking a color on my own, afraid I’d end up looking trampy rather than glam. Luckily my makeup artist found the perfect shade of red: Estee Lauder’s Rebellious Rose. And I must say, I’m now hooked. I’ve changed my entire makeup routine to accommodate my new lipstick color. And unsurprising, my bold red lips definitely give me a boost with each swipe of the applicator.

Are you afraid of red lipstick? Here are four helpful tips for wearing red lips:

Have a professional choose the color: There are dozens of shades of red, which can make choosing the right color tricky. Makeup artists and department store beauty consultants are trained to choose the right color palette to match your skin tone, so let them do the work for you. You’ll not only have a professional stamp of approval, but you’ll also avoid bringing home a dozen wrong shades, saving you time and money.

Wear the color around the house: When you first put on red lipstick, it can look awfully bright and/or harsh, especially if your everyday makeup routine consists of a nude lip. Rather than rub it off straight away convinced it’s just too “much,” wear it around the house for a few hours. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll get used to the bold color.

Tone down your eyes and cheeks: Because red lips are such a statement, it’s important to keep the rest of your face more neutral. That means toning down your eye makeup and cheek color. If you don’t, you run the risk of looking like tramp. A nude eye and minimal blush/bronzer will help balance your bold lips.

Choose the appropriate time to wear it: I’m a firm believer that red lips can be worn everyday (I certainly do!), however there are certain instances when wearing bold lipstick colors just looks silly or out-of-place, like when you’re at the gym or doing most outdoor activities.

Do you wear red lipstick? What’s your favorite brand and color?