It is not uncommon that you see amazing photos on Instagram that make it hard to believe they were shot by not any fancy DSLR, but by a simple phone camera. Well, taking photos is definitely a knack, but editing the photo adds a bit of something which takes the photo from good to amazing. Here are a few phone apps which make those Instagram photos what they are. 

Snapseed is a great tool for basic edits like exposure, brightness, contrast etc. which are made easy by the use of real-time sliders. The most powerful feature of Snapseed is Selective Adjustment which means all the edits can be applied either to the entire photo or only a part of the photo which according to me is genius because many times I want to fix flaws only in certain parts of the photo without disturbing the rest of it.

VSCOCam and Afterlight have some of the most beautiful presets/ filters that can help express the mood of your photos. VSCOCam is also a great camera replacement tool and you can get very creative with their custom editing tools. Afterlight has a lot more presets than VSCOCam along with some fun frames and textures to play around with.

Seen those instagram pics which have lovely, inspiring quotes written beautifully on them? Piclab makes that possible. With a variety of fonts to choose from, and the ability to layer textures on top of each other, piclab literally creates a design studio in the palm of your hands! 

I am not much of a collage person, but if you are then Photogrid should be your go-to app as it has some of the best collage layouts and makes it so easy to create a beautiful collage in just minutes! 

Among the several apps I have tried, I have found that these work really well for what they come. [Except Afterlight- 0.99$, all the apps mentioned here are free!] Photo- editing is a huge playground, so get down and have some fun! :)

Here are the links to the apps mentioned: 

 iOS        =    SnapSeed || VSCOCam || AfterLight || PicLab || Photogrid 

Android =    SnapSeed || VSCOCam || AfterLight || PicLab || Photogrid 

I am just getting into the Instagram game and would love to see some of you there! Cheeky Plug - Follow my Instagram here!

What are your favorite editing apps?
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There is no reason you should not be rocking a red lip now, because its holiday time! Finding the right red lipstick can be tricky, especially because of the overwhelming number of options available. I can recollect all those disappointing moments at the aisles of Sephora when I would fall in love with a red lipstick by the sight of it, only to realize later that it doesn't look great on me. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while choosing your red lipstick:

Your skin tone: Each of us have a different skin tone and it is useful to know where exactly in the spectrum you belong. You could be fair, light, medium, dark or deep with warm, cool or neutral undertones. Take this quiz to find out the undertone of your skin. Obviously warmer complexions are complemented by warm toned reds and cool toned red lipsticks suit cooler complexions, lucky neutrals - you can get away with any tone of red lipstick! Here is a lovely article to help you find the best red shade for your skin tone. 

Coverage: Decide what kind of coverage you want - sheer, moderate or high color pay off. Sheer lipsticks give a nice red tint, are very comfortable to wear but may not last very long. If you are looking to wear a red lip for an evening and require it to not budge and last a long time, a moderate to full coverage lipstick is the best for you.

Finish: Matte, Glossy or Creamy? Matte red lips are a classic and will last longer when compared to glossy or creamy finishes, but might be slightly drying for the lips. But again, nothing can beat a bright, glossy red lip for an evening party, it is sexy, luxurious and stylish. Creamy is right in between matte and glossy, very comfortable and feels hydrating and plush on the lips.

Formula: A long lasting, moisturizing red lipstick is hard to find but not impossible. There are many brands that do red lipsticks which feel rich, hydrating and creamy on the lips. You can choose from traditional lipsticks, liquid lipsticks and lip crayons. Find a formula that ensures that the color sticks perfectly and doesn't slide around on the lips unless you are going to a halloween party dressed up as miranda sings ;)

Do the research: After you know what you exactly want - the tone, shade, finish, formula etc. do a bit of online research. Find celebrities who you think have a similar skin tone as yours to see what looks best on them, which will give you an idea of what might look best on you too. Read reviews and come up with a shortlist. Try them in-store and if you like one, great! Else, ask a friend or someone at the beauty counters to help you decide.

For a long time, I thought red lips was not for someone like me. But once I found the right shades, I fell in love. There is something very bold and mysterious about a red lip - try it! Cuz if not now, then when?

What are your favorite red lipsticks?
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Can you believe, it is just 10 days down to christmas? I can't. This year has flown by so quickly, and trust me I don't say it very often! I can't thank you all enough for all the love and support you have shown to me and my blog this year. You are amazing, seriously!

A few days ago, I worked with Julep on a collaboration [which I will be sharing with you very soon] and I got the opportunity to try the Sweep Photogenic eyeshadow Palette. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was the Urban Decay Naked series, but trust me this is more. This palette is a mix of neutrals [ rose-golds , bronzes, taupes] and jewel tones  which is ideal to create any look. The formula is very easy to work with, the gold packaging is very beautiful and festive and what more, it comes with its own 2-ended blender and flat shadow eye brush!

Exciting bit - I have one of these palettes to giveaway to you for the holiday season. You can enter this giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below, Good luck! Thank you Julep, for this opportunity! 

Happy Holidays everyone! Let the countdown begin! 

             This is an International giveaway  and is open until the 5th of January 2015

* The palette has been provided by Julep, thoughts are my own. 
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I am a bit late to the party, but here it is, my little holiday gift guide for the women in your life. The gifts in this list are a bit expensive but are classic essentials, the ones you would want to keep in your wardrobe forever. Holidays are the perfect time for some luxury and pampering, and I bet you cannot go wrong with any of these gifts for her!

Daniel Wellington Watches: I have admired the stunning line of watches from Daniel Wellington ever since I first caught a glimpse of their Classic Sheffield Lady watch on Instagram. These are timeless classic pieces that go well with any outfit and would be the perfect gift for anyone and everyone. You can use the code 'holiday_itspinkpot' to score a discount of 15% on all items on their website. How cool is it that they are offering free shipping worldwide and beautiful gift wrapping with the purchase of an extra strap! Don't forget to order before the 17th of December in order to get the gift for Christmas!

The Gift of Cashmere:  Cashmere has always been a symbol of luxury for me. But if not now, then when? It is winter time, and the duo of a soft, cosy cashmere sweater and a scarf is a great treat for your loved ones. Macy's and Asos have some great cashmere clothing that you maybe interested in! Pictured above is this peplum cashmere cardigan & this adorable little scarf. 

Kate Spade Handbags: This is one of my desperate attempts at hinting a special someone about what I would love for my christmas gift. Wink! The new Gramercy Drive Deena handbag from Kate spade looks so elegant, stylish and comfy! It is white with gold detailing, and is great as an everyday office bag!

Tomford Red lipstick: I love how a red lip showcases the confidence and boldness in a women and pulls together an entire classic look. I admire the look of the  Tomford Scarlet Rouge lipstick and sure it would brighten and cheer the mood of every girl out there, 'cuz there are no bad days when you have a red lipstick on!

Giorgio Armani Si Perfume: I very proudly own this little bottle of magic in my vanity, and I am sure I will love this to its last bit. It has a very airy  floral, musky fragrance which is the right amount of sweet. It is very long lasting and a spritz is the perfect finish to getting ready for a grand evening! Perfumes last over 10 years,  and also associate memories that come along while wearing them - what better gift than a lovely perfume to remind your loved ones of their sweetest memories?

There you go, my small gift guide for the holidays. Pick any, and I am sure whoever it is for, will adore it! 

What are your favorite holiday gifts this season?
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Since starting this blog, Lush products have become a staple in my beauty stash. It's quite safe to say I have loved at least 90% of the products I've bought from them. Leaving the rest 10% to another post, let's talk about their rose-filled treats I've been lovin' lately. 

I sure love roses, but apparently rose petals have several skin benefits, did you know? They are great for sensitive skin, soothing, anti-inflammatory and also contain vitamin C which has anti oxidants that are wonderful for keeping the skin fresh and young. And the calming fragrance, lets not even go there. 

Rose Jam shower gel: I got a mini version of this on a whim during one of my lush trips. It is a great shower gel but I wouldn't necessarily say it is very moisturizing. That rose-scent is to die for, so refreshing and sweet. 

Eau Roma water: If you are looking for a new toner, you may want to look into this one. It is very refreshing and one spritz gives me the ultimate wakeup each morning. It smells great and I personally feel it keeps the oil at bay, so while it may be great for oily-skinned beauties, I would not recommend it to someone with very dry skin. 

Rose Jam bubble bar: I got this in a gift-set, and I used half of it in my last bath. This is something you may want to treat yourself to only if you are into heavily-scented, pinky bubble baths. It creates that perfect, very dreamy fairy-tale like atmosphere - imagine yourself floating in a candle-lit, sparkly, pink, rose fragranced bath full of soft bubbles. That is what it is. I love it, come on once in a while who doesn't love a good pamper! ;)

Ro's argan body conditioner: I've talked about this before, it is a wonderful in-shower moisturizer, contains luxurious ingredients like argan oil and leaves you with the fragrance of a bunch of roses and satin-smooth, hydrated skin. Great for those times when you are in a rush and don't have the time for  a body lotion.

What are your favorite lush products from their new christmas collection?

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