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    Affordorable.com

    is a virtual space where Liyana Aris documents her evolving modest personal style, which is based on the art of looking casually stylish while still remaining modest and doing it all on a budget; about 93% of her closet are filled with affordable things. (PS: The remaining 7% has a lot to do with her secret addiction to Adidas shoes and her occasional splurges on discounted high-end bags and clutches, shhh.) [+]
    26.7.17 .

    Years of Editing Without Lightroom / Photoshop


    It was only recently in April that I started using Lightroom to edit my blog photos. As super happy as I am to finally be able to use Lightroom, I could not be more grateful for VSCO  the iPhone version, that is, so we'll call it VSCO Cam  as it was what I use to edit ALL my blog photos for three freakin' years.
    (Not to mention the fact that it's also what I rely on to edit all my Instagram photos now.)

    So if you are looking for ways to improve your blog photo editing without the help of Photoshop or Lightroom, continue reading to find out how to edit your blog photos with just the help of VSCO.

    Note: I know that some of you are already VSCO Cam-pro but just in case, I'm going to try go step by step, so you should probably get a snack or something as this is going to be a longgg post.

    How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
    First of all, obvs, download the VSCO Cam app; I edited most of my photos on my iPad but the app is definitely on my iPhone too. There are plenty of free presets already available but I purchased some others because, well, OPTIONS, guys. They aren't pricey and worth the money in my opinion.

    Tip: Google examples of the different filters before you decide which group of presets to buy.

    Play around with the different presets to decide which are more your "vibe" and highlight them (VSCO now lets you "star" your faves). Be aware that some filters do distort the colours, so think about what your priorities in editing are. My personal favourite filters were: A8/Analog, NikeLab ACG (ACG), C4/Chromatic, HB2/HYPEBEAST, LV1/Levi's, Q5/Alchemy, S3/Clean, and SE3/Street Etiquette.

    In this post I will be showing you the steps I took to get from the left "Before" photo above to the "After" photo on the right.

    How To Edit Blog Photos Using VSCO Cam


    1) Transfer your blog photo into VSCO Cam. Test out your favourite filters on it (at the highest intensity of 12) in a spot of good neutral lighting and decide which filter's style suits the photo to your liking the most.

    How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
    How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
    My top three filters were S3, HB2, and Q5 so I always ended up using them.

    Another tip: I find that S3 naturally enhances the colours in any photo so I would usually set S3 on low intensity (below 5) on a photo, save it, upload that into VSCO and then layer a different filter on top of it! (N1/New Modern is another good option for layering, but I prefer S3.) But for today we'll concentrate on one layer of filter.

    2) I'm going with HB2 for this photo. Usually I didn't go all the way to the maximum +12 intensity for any filter, so I'll set HB2 at intensity +9.0. Then change to editing mode from the filter options and Sharpen the photo to +7.0.

    How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
      How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
      It's already looking good, and honestly you can even leave it as is at this point! But I like to tinkle about, so I'm not going to stop here. FYI, it is TOTALLY up to you what intensity you want to put for each editing step!

      3) I like to add definition by upping the Contrast, so let's do a +1.0 there. At this point it's looking a little too bright, especially the bright area on my face, so I'll decrease the Exposure by -1.0.
      How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
        How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
        Some people like their photos to be super bright so it's fine if you don't want to touch the Exposure button at all.

        4) The photo looks a tad too warm for me so I make it more cool by decreasing the Temperature to -0.5. I still don't like the general yellow hue of the photo, so I compensate that by doing a +1.0 to Tint to get rid of some of the yellow.

        How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
          How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
          The Skin Tone in VSCO Cam can also be used to change the tone of the photo so do play around with both Skin Tone and Tint!

          5) You can consider the photo done and dusted at this point but I think a slight fading can look good on some photos, so I'm just going to go ahead and increase the Fade to +1.0.
          I almost forgot about one of the most useful editing tricks you can do using the app: if you think the colours look too flat, adjust the Saturation! I'm increasing it to +1.0 for this photo.

          How to edit blog photos without photoshop or lightroom
            How to edit blog photos without photoshop or lightroom
            Anddd that is the finished VSCO Cam product!

            The VSCO app was technically not the only tool for my editing: I turn to ACDSee to straighten any photo and for cropping even though VSCO is able to do both. I do like the Repair Tool in ACDSee for getting rid of any weird speck on my clothes or face (that includes unsightly zits that I know for sure won't linger forever so it's not considered cheating, guys!).

            edit blog photos with vsco

            Comparing the Editing Results of VSCO Cam and Lightroom


            If you're a regular reader of Affordorable, you might remember this photo from my Xintiandi, Shanghai outfit post back in April; it was one of the first blog posts I edited using Lightroom.

            To be honest I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result of the edited photos in that post. I found Lightroom a little tricky to learn at first, but I think I've got a better hang of it now  I'm currently loving the photos of my latest posts that were edited using Lightroom. I'm pretty sure if I were to re-edit the Xintiandi pics using Lightroom again I would do a better job!

            I'm going to concentrate on future posts however, but in the meantime you can compare this final product of VSCO Cam with the (amateur) Lightroom editing in my Army Green & Mickey outfit post. Which photo editing style do you like better? 

            •     •     •     •     •     •     •

            As someone who's already using Lightroom, I don't think I would go back to using VSCO but I also think it is really an amazing app to help improve anyone's photography, blogger or not. It's a must-have sufficient tool for any blogger (and Instagrammer!), especially a newbie. The editing options in VSCO Cam are practically endless so it's easy to customise something that is really your own, even if you and a bunch (or hundreds / thousands) of others like the exact same filter.

            Do you use VSCO Cam app? How do you approach editing when using it? How different is your editing method to mine? 
            Sound off in the comment box below!


            I hope you have enjoyed browsing through this post, and that you learned something useful in the process! XO


            To see older posts in which I edited the photos using the HB2 filter on VSCO app, check out these posts:
            What I Wore To F1 Qualifying Day: Pyjama Love
            In Retrospect: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer In Caramel (A.K.A. Favourite Concealer EVAH)
            Green Amongst The Greens

            follow @theliyanaaris on Instagram

            26.7.17 .

            Years of Editing Without Lightroom / Photoshop


            It was only recently in April that I started using Lightroom to edit my blog photos. As super happy as I am to finally be able to use Lightroom, I could not be more grateful for VSCO  the iPhone version, that is, so we'll call it VSCO Cam  as it was what I use to edit ALL my blog photos for three freakin' years.
            (Not to mention the fact that it's also what I rely on to edit all my Instagram photos now.)

            So if you are looking for ways to improve your blog photo editing without the help of Photoshop or Lightroom, continue reading to find out how to edit your blog photos with just the help of VSCO.

            Note: I know that some of you are already VSCO Cam-pro but just in case, I'm going to try go step by step, so you should probably get a snack or something as this is going to be a longgg post.

            How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
            First of all, obvs, download the VSCO Cam app; I edited most of my photos on my iPad but the app is definitely on my iPhone too. There are plenty of free presets already available but I purchased some others because, well, OPTIONS, guys. They aren't pricey and worth the money in my opinion.

            Tip: Google examples of the different filters before you decide which group of presets to buy.

            Play around with the different presets to decide which are more your "vibe" and highlight them (VSCO now lets you "star" your faves). Be aware that some filters do distort the colours, so think about what your priorities in editing are. My personal favourite filters were: A8/Analog, NikeLab ACG (ACG), C4/Chromatic, HB2/HYPEBEAST, LV1/Levi's, Q5/Alchemy, S3/Clean, and SE3/Street Etiquette.

            In this post I will be showing you the steps I took to get from the left "Before" photo above to the "After" photo on the right.

            How To Edit Blog Photos Using VSCO Cam


            1) Transfer your blog photo into VSCO Cam. Test out your favourite filters on it (at the highest intensity of 12) in a spot of good neutral lighting and decide which filter's style suits the photo to your liking the most.

            How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
            How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
            My top three filters were S3, HB2, and Q5 so I always ended up using them.

            Another tip: I find that S3 naturally enhances the colours in any photo so I would usually set S3 on low intensity (below 5) on a photo, save it, upload that into VSCO and then layer a different filter on top of it! (N1/New Modern is another good option for layering, but I prefer S3.) But for today we'll concentrate on one layer of filter.

            2) I'm going with HB2 for this photo. Usually I didn't go all the way to the maximum +12 intensity for any filter, so I'll set HB2 at intensity +9.0. Then change to editing mode from the filter options and Sharpen the photo to +7.0.

            How to edit blog photos using vsco cam app on iphone or ipad
              How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
              It's already looking good, and honestly you can even leave it as is at this point! But I like to tinkle about, so I'm not going to stop here. FYI, it is TOTALLY up to you what intensity you want to put for each editing step!

              3) I like to add definition by upping the Contrast, so let's do a +1.0 there. At this point it's looking a little too bright, especially the bright area on my face, so I'll decrease the Exposure by -1.0.
              How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
                How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
                Some people like their photos to be super bright so it's fine if you don't want to touch the Exposure button at all.

                4) The photo looks a tad too warm for me so I make it more cool by decreasing the Temperature to -0.5. I still don't like the general yellow hue of the photo, so I compensate that by doing a +1.0 to Tint to get rid of some of the yellow.

                How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
                  How to edit blog photos without using photoshop or lightroom
                  The Skin Tone in VSCO Cam can also be used to change the tone of the photo so do play around with both Skin Tone and Tint!

                  5) You can consider the photo done and dusted at this point but I think a slight fading can look good on some photos, so I'm just going to go ahead and increase the Fade to +1.0.
                  I almost forgot about one of the most useful editing tricks you can do using the app: if you think the colours look too flat, adjust the Saturation! I'm increasing it to +1.0 for this photo.

                  How to edit blog photos without photoshop or lightroom
                    How to edit blog photos without photoshop or lightroom
                    Anddd that is the finished VSCO Cam product!

                    The VSCO app was technically not the only tool for my editing: I turn to ACDSee to straighten any photo and for cropping even though VSCO is able to do both. I do like the Repair Tool in ACDSee for getting rid of any weird speck on my clothes or face (that includes unsightly zits that I know for sure won't linger forever so it's not considered cheating, guys!).

                    edit blog photos with vsco

                    Comparing the Editing Results of VSCO Cam and Lightroom


                    If you're a regular reader of Affordorable, you might remember this photo from my Xintiandi, Shanghai outfit post back in April; it was one of the first blog posts I edited using Lightroom.

                    To be honest I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result of the edited photos in that post. I found Lightroom a little tricky to learn at first, but I think I've got a better hang of it now  I'm currently loving the photos of my latest posts that were edited using Lightroom. I'm pretty sure if I were to re-edit the Xintiandi pics using Lightroom again I would do a better job!

                    I'm going to concentrate on future posts however, but in the meantime you can compare this final product of VSCO Cam with the (amateur) Lightroom editing in my Army Green & Mickey outfit post. Which photo editing style do you like better? 

                    •     •     •     •     •     •     •

                    As someone who's already using Lightroom, I don't think I would go back to using VSCO but I also think it is really an amazing app to help improve anyone's photography, blogger or not. It's a must-have sufficient tool for any blogger (and Instagrammer!), especially a newbie. The editing options in VSCO Cam are practically endless so it's easy to customise something that is really your own, even if you and a bunch (or hundreds / thousands) of others like the exact same filter.

                    Do you use VSCO Cam app? How do you approach editing when using it? How different is your editing method to mine? 
                    Sound off in the comment box below!


                    I hope you have enjoyed browsing through this post, and that you learned something useful in the process! XO


                    To see older posts in which I edited the photos using the HB2 filter on VSCO app, check out these posts:
                    What I Wore To F1 Qualifying Day: Pyjama Love
                    In Retrospect: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer In Caramel (A.K.A. Favourite Concealer EVAH)
                    Green Amongst The Greens
                    24.7.17 .


                    Rina's outfit here is very much reminiscent of my green and gold Eid outfit last year, and there is a reason for that: she borrowed that green top to bring to our tailor and said she wants to turn the 2-metre lavender hued material she had into something similar to my top.

                    Hers has long sleeves though (I wish mine had long sleeves!), plus its "wings" are a lot less dramatic! (Due to the fact that 2 metres of fabric wasn't enough, I think...?)


                      The bottom part of Rina's outfit is made of a fabric that resembles a type of brocade that's long been a part of Malaysia's textile history called songket, which is also popular in other countries like Indonesia and Brunei. High-quality songket is hand-woven and could cost thousands; I know people who have bought up to RM 15k worth of songket fabric to turn into their one wedding outfit! I myself wore white songket on my wedding day but the ones that are "machine-made" can be very affordable, and can be just as pretty as the handmade onesalthough nowhere near as exquisite, admittedly.


                      I have actually borrowed the periwinkle scarf Rina wore here to pair with this pinstripes on pinstripes outfitand I even borrowed her usual hijab style, but why not?


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                      22.7.17 .

                      In case you're not from this side of the world, "Mak" is what I call my mommeeyh!


                      My mom, my little sister, and I went to an open house together with Shah after which I took the opportunity  to not only photograph the traditional baju kurung I had on but also my mom and my sister Rina's outfits of the day.

                      Note: "Open house" is what we call those Eid events where the host invites people over and these people basically just mingle about and most importantly EAT delicious Eid food that Malaysians love. Also the word "house" is used loosely in this term; we went to a hall on this particular day that was "open" from 2:30-6:30pm filled with thousands of people at a time with the yummiest selection of food, mmm.

                      My mom wore this pretty green baju kurung with a beautiful matching scarf. Unlike my traditional loose cut (oops, I mean her traditional loose cut), this green one is the more modern version with a slight narrower waist.

                      Actually my mom has no idea I'm posting this up on my blog (will tell her after I hit the "Publish" button!) but she looks so pretty here, I'm sure she won't mind <3


                      Rina's outfit is coming up so keep your eyes peeled for that!



                      Mak is wearing: Clark's sandals  |  Her beautiful youthful smile (that we siblings always have to remind her to show!)


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                      20.7.17 .

                      Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                      Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                        Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                        I keep talking about wanting to wear a two-piece baju kurung to share on this blog, so finally here is oneee.

                        This electric blue baju kurung actually belongs to my mother, which I successfully pinched from her right before I got engaged to Shah; I remember saying I wanted to wear it for my engagement party eight years ago and being told off by my mom to "Stop talking nonsense, Liyana!" Well, surprise surprise, mother knows best because the purple modern baju kurung I tailor-made afterwards for that special day was wayyy prettier and more appropriate (and my mom LOVED it).

                        PS: Malay future brides in Malaysia usually host the engagement party before the weddings (that's right, it's typically plural) where the future groom's mother put the ring on to seal the engagement deal instead of the boyfriend!

                        Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                        Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                          Matching electric blue and gold in style
                          It must be noted that this blue baju kurung in particular is slightly more voluminous than what we Malaysians normally would wear; my other pairs of old baju kurung were narrower than this, too. My mom has always been pretty slim as well so I'm not sure what happened with the tailoring, to be honest.

                          It doesn't bother me though; I actually like the fitting, plus I'm just uhbsessed with the thai silk material. I've always loved electric blue but wearing this old thayng again made me realised how far back my love for the colour dated! My mom saw me in this outfit last weekend and was all, "Wait a minute, I recognised that baju kurung!"

                          (She's letting me keep it, though, I'm sure she knows I could give it a lot more love than she could.)

                          Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                          Statement necklace Lovisa
                            Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                            Nowadays women of all ages in Malaysia turn to the more stylish modern baju kurung that cinches in oh-so-slightly at the waist, which generally flatters more than the shapeless traditional version. Sure, the loose-cut old-school baju kurung might not have the most flattering shape but the fact that it's a surviving piece of Malaysia's history makes it real special, I think!

                            Nevermind that the bunching and ballooning up of the extra fabric makes it appear as if I have a perpetual food bump (which I do, especially during the one-month celebration of Eid!) or even pregnant (which I am definitely not)...I'm still going to wear it, guys.

                            Electric blue traditional baju kurung Raya open house
                              Matching electric blue and gold in style
                              I wanted to bring out the gold threads in the top part of the baju kurung so I accessorised with the gold block heels that I wore on Eid this year and the greenish gold scarf I wore during last year's Eid. Even with the strong bold hues I had on, oddly I felt a little bare, which was why I added the long necklace I got last year but never knew when to wear. It accidentally stayed hidden underneath my scarf most of the times, but I felt like it really completed my attire!


                              Wearing: My mom's old tailored baju kurung  |  H&M gold block heels  |  Lovisa necklace


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                              14.7.17 .

                              Excited to be sharing another Eid outfit with you guys!

                              Nothing fancy though, but, still, it's still Eid!!! (Sort of.)


                              This was my first black abaya EVER. It came with a matching black scarf but I had swapped that for an extra punch of colour, wearing this shiny, almost-glittery scarf I bought just one day before Eid recently. Plus, electric blue happens to be one of my most favourite colours!

                              I wore the same scarf but in brown on Eid itself, so, by the way I'm curious: which style of hijab do you like more, the one I did here with this blue or the fancier wrap thing I did on Eid? Let me know in the comment section down below guys!

                              There are so many similar black bedazzled abayas out thereI myself own an almost identical abaya with purple stonesbut the fact that this black-blue-silver one was gifted to me by Shah's sweet, sweet cousin whom I met when I stayed in Paris a few years ago made it really special to me.




                                As much as I love a good comfy (and VERY forgiving!) dress like this black bedazzled abaya (or this year's Eid outfit or this sorbet caftan), I'm really starting to miss wearing the traditional baju kurung, so hopefully I can scavenge one from my closet room or the piles of clothes in the store room for when I "resume" celebrating Eid this weekend!



                                  Wearing: Abaya (from somewhere in Middle East!)  |  Zara striped dress  |  Zara mules  |  Swatch Twiddledee & Twiddledum watch


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                                  11.7.17 .

                                  Dress Over Jeans and Millennial Pink Trends

                                  Seoul is a real shopping havenespecially for someone with a small budget like me. So doesn't it not make sense that I managed to bring back only two additions to my closet? I mean, two measly things, can you believe it? If you had asked me prior to my trip, "Would you bring back only two things from your Seoul shopping excursions?", I'd have answered, "Haha when cats fly!"

                                  PS: I really like cats, see previous Seoul cat cafe post!

                                  I had seven days there, filled with trips to as many underground malls as possible PLUS the normal above-the-kind ones, too (they're big on underground shopping there) and yet...only TWO things? I definitely surprised myselfand Shah too, but I suspect he was more relieved than surprised...

                                  Dress With Millennial Pink Pleats Bottom
                                    Dress Over Jeans and Millennial Pink Trends
                                    There really isn't a long explanation for it other than I didn't see many things that I felt I absolutely must bring back home (again, surprisingly, considering how many things I saw in Seoul).
                                    Also, um, has anyone else who's been to Seoul found that the cheap price tags match the quality of the stuff a little too much, if you know what I mean, and you gotta? Just wondering...

                                    This particular two-toned dress however did catch my eyes, for two reasons: 

                                    I had never owned anything like it. 
                                    The top part is made of a shirt-like material but unlike my white shirts, this material doesn't crease as much. LOVES IT. And the salmon-pink pleats? Simply adorablehearts all around!
                                    (Also, fo realz, when I was editing these photos, the words "straitjacket chic" pop into my head and I immediately shook them off. HOW weird, right? I also think it's quite brave of me to even admit it here, FYI.)

                                    Dress Over Jeans Trend
                                    Stack Rings
                                    Affordability! 
                                    Or, I guess I should say "affordorability"? It costs less than RM 100, guys. That's less than 25 USD. For its quality = total bargainnn.

                                    It's a little short for me so this was the perfect opportunity to get in on some of the "dress over jeans" action. I have to say, for a hijabi like myself, this trend is super welcomed and PERFECT and I hope this styling trick will forever be acceptable in any city's street-style scene!
                                    Also, guys, MILLENNIAL PINK, how in tune am I with trends OMG.

                                    Dress With Millennial Pink Pleats Bottom

                                      Dress Over Jeans and Millennial Pink Trends

                                        Millennial Pink Trend
                                        I bought this dress in one of the many shopping malls in Dongdaemun named aPM Place. It's actually a wholesale shopping mall but unlike the other wholesale malls in Dongdaemun (there are plenty!), the stores in aPM Place lets you buy just one piece of whatever you want. If I were business-savvy and stuff, I'd definitely be lugging a whole lot more from this mall and I'd be making big bucks, I tell yah; the stuffs there are SO GOOD, and super affordable.

                                        So here's one tip for shopping in Dongdaemun in Seoul: find out if the mall you're going into is for wholesale shopping and if it is, if the stores in there will let you buy one piece and only one piece of whatever tickles your fancy there!

                                        Oh, another trip: No trying out clothes in most malls there (I wasn't even allowed to try on a jacket on top of what I already had on, pish posh) so, GOOD LUCK.

                                        Dress With Millennial Pink Pleats Bottom

                                        Wearing: aPM Place dress (can't find the brand!)  |  Meters/Bonwe jeans  |  Amori sneakers (even more comfortable than my Stan Smith can you believe it like dayummm; worn with Beetlejuice pants here and with sheer layering here!)


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