As I approach my three-year blogging anniversary, I decided to reflect and write a post about the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1. It’s okay to take time to reset
I’ve blogged consistently for the past year and a half. In that timeframe, I’ve taken a few breaks. One important lesson I learned from these breaks: It’s okay to step away from your blog, as needed! Instead of feeling down about not posting as usual, a break provided me time to reset and develop new ideas, content, and inspiration.
2. Developing a blogging schedule is a good motivator
Determining a schedule for my blog post topics has been a great way to stay motivated. I know exactly what to write on each day, and it has kept my ideas flowing.
3. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers
Everyone has their own path to success. It is easy to get sucked into the competition surrounding blogging, but it’s important to remember that there is no formula to achieve success. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far in my blogging journey, and recognize that everyone achieves different levels of success. (Reaching 1, 000 subscribers has been my biggest accomplishment to date!)
What lessons have you learned since you started blogging?
I recently received a sample of BareMinerals Statement Matte Liquid Lipstick from Sephora. This lipstick is a long-wearing, comfortable liquid lipstick. I typically do not buy lipstick from brands such as BareMinerals or Dior, so I was quite excited to test this liquid lipstick from BareMinerals!
This lipstick comes in a squared tube with a black top. The tube itself is lightweight, and bears the colour of the lipstick held inside. Similar to most liquid lipsticks, this one has a doe-foot applicator to apply lip colour evenly. The tube bears the ‘BareMinerals’ logo and it looks sleek and sophisticated.
This lipstick dries matte, and feels very comfortable on the lips. I wear the lipstick for 4-5 hours throughout the day and it does not flake or smudge.
I instantly loved the colour. The sample I received was in the shade ‘Fire’, a gorgeous orange-red. The colour appears as a bright, vibrant red with orange undertones when applied to the lips.
This lipstick is available in a range of 9 shades, including:
- Luxe – Dirty pastel pink
- Fire – Bright orange-red
- VIP – Crimson
- Naughty – Oxblood-red
- Juicy – Brick red
- Shameless – Hot pink
- OMG – Magenta
- Flawless – Muted plum
- Devious – Burgundy with a lilac undertone
BareMinerals Statement Matte Liquid Lipstick is a long-wearing, comfortable formula. I adore the colour selection and it offers shades that are versatile for day or night. This lipstick retails for $19 at Sephora.
I frequently use Twitter to share links to my blog posts, but recently began to grow my blog with the platform. I shared my content but did not engage with my followers or fellow bloggers. Implementing a few simple strategies has not only grown my following but also increased my engagement on my blog.
1. Engage with your followers
If you’re using Twitter to promote your blog posts, it is important to engage with your followers (and potential readers). It only takes 5-10 minutes to scroll through your feed and like, retweet, or comment on your followers Tweets. This not only increases your engagement, but it also increases the visibility of your account and blog.
2. Create a call-to-action
I recently posted a call-to-action and asked my followers to link their blogs in one of my Tweets. This was beneficial for two reasons – (1) I was able to explore new blogs and content; and (2) Connecting with other bloggers grew both my Twitter account and my blog’s follower count.
3. Add hashtags to your Tweets
Adding hashtags to your tweet, or tagging a brand, will introduce your content to new readers who may not have found your blog otherwise. Exploring hashtags on Twitter also increases your visibility to brands you may want to work with.
4. Add images to your Tweets
Tweets with images receive twice the amount of engagement than those without. Your tweet will stand out more than text-only tweets, especially if it the size is Twitter-friendly.
This is a different post from what I normally write, but I’m always inspired by ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos and blog posts. I’ve recently started to incorporate more water, healthier meals, and less refined foods into my diet. Here is what a typical day looks like on my plate:
I start each day with two essentials: a cup of coffee and a glass of water. I like to drink a tall glass of water after waking up to hydrate. I then brew a coffee with my Keurig. Currently, my flavour of choice is Starbucks Caramel-Flavoured Coffee. My breakfast usually consists of a homemade breakfast sandwich – made with an English muffin, egg whites, turkey bacon and mozzarella cheese.
My lunch varies from day-to-day. Sometimes I’ll favour a salad, or other days I’ll make my favourite pasta dish. One meal that I’ve eaten often in the past two weeks is naan bread packed with veggies. After toasting a naan bread, I add a heap of lettuce, red pepper, cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. The veggies keep me full and satisfied for the afternoon so I don’t snack throughout the day.
I have an eternal love for pasta. Fettuccine alfredo is one of my favourite comfort foods, and I recently began making it with fresh pasta. (Fresh pasta tastes much better!) On the day I photographed these meals, I knew pasta would be my final dish of the day. I crafted this one with alfredo, fresh pasta, and a lot of mozzarella cheese (you’ll see a trend in each of these meals…)
What does your daily plate look like? If there are specific recipes or foods you eat on a typical day, let me know in the comments below!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation is an alternative to traditional, bottled foundation formulas. I use this foundation daily in my makeup routine and it provides buildable, crease-free coverage. I adore this foundation when traveling because the product is a lightweight stick that is shaped like a lipstick bullet.
I love how sleek and sophisticated the packaging is. The foundation itself is encased in a tube that is shaped like lipstick. It is lightweight and features a twistable end. The tube has a glossy, black finish and bears the ‘Anastasia Beverly Hills’ logo.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation has a unique cream formula that dries matte but appears natural on the skin. It is highly pigmented. When you first begin to use a new foundation stick, it feels cakey and does not blend well. However, once you use the product a few times, the formula glides onto the skin and blends with little effort. The foundation covers my blemishes and does not accentuate any dry patches on my skin.
How to use it
I’ve tested this foundation with both a brush and a BeautyBlender. Achieving even coverage is easier with a brush. To use Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation, apply the product directly to the skin and blend it out with a brush. I often hydrate my skin before applying this foundation to ensure the foundation blends well.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation is a convenient, creamy alternative to traditional foundation formulas. It is ideal for travel, and allows you to create both a natural or matte skin finish. The product is available in 30 shades. The shade I own is called ‘Porcelain’ – for fair skin with cool undertones. Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation retails for $33 at Sephora.
Concealer is one of my holy-grail makeup products. While I use it daily to conceal blemishes, it has become a versatile tool in my makeup kit. A lightweight, buildable concealer formula is ideal for use in unexpected ways:
1. Use it as an eyelid primer
Concealer quickly became my eyelid primer. Priming your eyelids with concealer creates a smooth, even base for eyeshadow. Gently dab concealer on your lid before applying eyeshadow for crease-free, vibrant color. Concealer is also an excellent primer for the lips because it neutralizes your lips’ natural hue.
2. Enhance your contour
Once you’ve contoured your cheekbones, use concealer to “reverse contour” by applying concealer above and below where you’ve applied your bronzer. This trick will sharpen the contrast between your contour and highlight, chiseling your cheekbones.
3. Brighten your eyes
I adore using concealer to brighten my eyes. Dab concealer to the inner corner of your eye and below the browbone for an instant lift. Applying concealer underneath the eyes will brighten and add dimension to your face.
Do you have any creative uses for concealer?
Glowing skin and a clear complexion are two of my skin care goals. I like to add face masks into my weekly skin care routine to clarify, detoxify, and moisturize my skin. As a self-proclaimed beauty lover, I’ve tried a variety of masks. Today I share the masks that made it to the top of my ‘must-have’ list.
1. GlamGlow THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Mask
This was the first hydrating face mask I’ve ever tried. This product is from GlamGlow, and I’ve used various masks from their collection. I immediately loved how it added extra moisture to my skin without weighing it down. The THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment leaves my skin hydrated. glowy and smooth. I typically use this mask 1-2 times a week to supplement with my regular moisturizer.
2. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mask
I adore Tatcha’s Water Cream Moisturizer and was excited to learn that the brand also has a range of face masks. The Dewy Skin Mask is actually a lightweight sheet mask. Because it does not require rinsing, it is a great skincare option for busy mornings. This mask has the consistency of a serum – perfect for dry skin.
3. GlamGlow YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment
GlamGlow’s YOUTHMUD mask is unique. You apply the mask like others from the GlamGlow collection, but it works differently. Upon contacting the skin, the mask begins to tingle! This mask is excellent for brightening. I enjoy using this mask to exfoliate and clear any blemishes.
4. Sephora Collection Face Masks
Sephora Collection offers single-use sheet masks for the face, eyes, lips, hands, and feet. I like to rotate face masks from this collection into my skincare routine for an instant refresh. Each face mask is reminiscent of a flower, and the names of the masks range from Lotus to rose. My favorite mask from the collection is the Rose mask – it moisturizes and brightens my skin while preventing blemishes.
Do you use any face masks as part of your skincare routine?
Dry shampoo is my lifesaver on mornings when I just don’t have time to wash and dry my hair. John Frieda’s Volumizing Dry Shampoo is one that I’ve used for a long time. Using this dry shampoo is a quick way to remove excess oil from my hair while creating volume.
I adore how compact and lightweight the aerosol canister is. I can easily transport the product in a purse or overnight bag. Because the product is a spray, the canister contains a nozzle to dispense the shampoo. The canister features teal and black color blocks, with the John Frieda logo displayed on the front.
How to use it?
Shake well before use. Lift hair in sections then spray the product into hair in short, quick bursts. Use your fingertips to blend the fine powder into your hair.
Why I love it
My hair is naturally thick. I find that this dry shampoo eliminates excess oil from my hair the best, plus it gives my hair extra volume when I curl it! I also like the small canister size. This size makes it easy to travel with, for touch-ups when I am running errands. Compared to other dry shampoos, John Freida’s does not leave white residue in my hair, nor does it have a talc-like smell.
John Freida’s Volumizing Dry Shampoo is a great product if you want to try a dry shampoo that is easy to use, provides extra volume, and leaves no residue. This dry shampoo can be found in most drugstoresWalmart, or beauty retailers for $6.72.
It can seem tough to complete every task on an endless to-do list. There may never be enough hours in the day to complete everything, but with a few simple tips, it is easy to increase your productivity.
1. Complete the least desirable task first
Starting your day by completing the task you dread the most will encourage you to complete it faster so you can move on to more enjoyable tasks. Completing the hardest, least-desirable tasks first will make your day better.
2. Create a daily ‘to-do’ list
I love creating daily lists of tasks. A daily list enables you to visualize the tasks you must complete throughout the day. Also, it is a helpful tool to prioritize each of those tasks. Are some tasks urgent? Does it have to be completed by the end of day, or end of the week? A ‘to-do’ list provides you with a framework of what must get completed on a daily or weekly basis.
3. Stay positive, and take breaks
A positive outlook will help you stay on track. Working hard is easier when you are happy and positive. One way to increase your positivity is to take regular breaks throughout the day – breaks help you refocus.
4. Schedule everything
My planner is attached to my hip, and I believe that if something doesn’t get scheduled, it does not get done. Scheduling every appointment I have or task to complete helps me stay productive and on-time.
Do you have any time-management tips? If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about them!
Sephora’s spring VIB sale took place from April 20-23 for members. During the sale, VIB members received 15% off all purchases, and this was a perfect opportunity for me to stock up on skincare and makeup I recently ran out of! Here’s what I picked up during the sale:
1) Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil – This cleansing oil has become my regular makeup remover. I had a few sample-sized bottles of the oil, but purchased a full-sized bottle after realizing just how often I use it! It is a gentle, effective cleanser to remove my makeup daily and lightly refresh my skin.
2) Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Primer/Setting Spray – I put a sample of Too Faced Hangover Primer in my cart after my beloved MAC Fix+ ran out. The first thing I noticed about this primer after trying it last week was the coconut scent. I like that this product acts as a primer or setting spray. I tested it as both my primer and setting spray yesterday, and it refreshed my skin while holding my makeup in place all day!
3) Bite Beauty Lip Pencil – I apply lip pencil every day. I own two shades of the lip pencil from Bite Beauty (020 + 044). The shade 020 is a beige-nude that is an excellent color to apply underneath any lipstick. I repurchased another pencil in that shade to replace the one I used up. (Plus, I love how easy it is to toss these lip pencils into my purse for touch-ups!)
4) Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick – Bend and Snap – This Too Faced lipstick purchase was an impulse-buy. I own tubes of this formula in a deep, mahogany red and a subtle lavender. One shade I do not have in my lipstick collection is a bright magenta. The shade ‘Bend and Snap’ is that exact match. The formula is lightweight and non-drying on my lips.
5) Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer – Finally, I bought a powder bronzer from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I did not have a bronzer in my collection after misplacing my favorite Too Faced compact. The bronzer from Anastasia Beverly Hills is finely-milled and provides matte coverage. I bought the shade Rich Amber, a gorgeous honey-toned color.
6) Living Proof Restore Conditioner – I received a sample of conditioner from the brand Living Proof. This conditioner renews softness and shine to damaged hair. I’ve tried the conditioner once, and my hair felt softer, bouncier and smooth.
Did you purchase anything during Sephora’s VIB Sale?