I read Sophia Armoruso’s novel Girlboss last month. I picked it up from my local bookstore while searching for blogging inspiration. In the book, Armorouso details her journey to become founder and CEO of the company Nastygal. While the novel is rich with inspiration, the namesake – the term girlboss – is a sticking point for me.
What is a girlboss?
Quite simply, a girlboss is a woman who is in charge of her life. The term often brings to mind words like cute, and nickname.
The key question I ask surrounding the term is this: Why can’t we all just be bosses? After researching the term, I began to wonder why we can’t all be ‘bosses’?
What’s the hype?
The term originates from the brilliant work of Sophia Amorouso. As I mentioned above, she wrote this memoir on overcoming adversity, and defying the odds. I deeply respect Amorouso’s work. The term girlboss has deviated from it’s original purpose and meaning.
So, why take issue with the term?
1. The term is used out of context
Many women who refer to themselves as “girlbosses” use the term to promote their business. Of course, female entrepreneurs are truly inspiring. But does referring to oneself as a girlboss elevate one woman’s business over another?
2. Gender qualifier
Adding words like girl, honey, or babe to the term boss reasserts gender qualification. The term girl often has a cutesy connotation. It automatically categorizes women, though the term intends to break women from the typical mold.
How do you feel about the term ‘girlboss’?
Disclaimer: I had the pleasure of recieving Bite Beauty’s The Lip Pencil compliments of Influenster.
What is it?
The Lip Pencil VoxBox is a set of long-wearing, moisturizing lipsticks and matching lip pencils.
Bite Beauty lipsticks and lip pencils are in a slate-grey colour. These lipsticks are small and fit into any clutch or purse. I take the shade Honeycomb with me when I am out of the house for any touch-ups. The bullet and pencil tips correspond to the desired colours. The lip pencil is a classic, wooden pencil. Each lipstick and pencil combination is lightweight, and ideal to travel with.
Upon opening these lipsticks, I fell in love with the colours. I searched for a peachy-nude colour, and found it in Honeycomb, the lighter lipstick. The other colour is Whiskey, a deep mahogany. The lip pencils match the lipsticks perfectly.
Unlike other lip pencils I’ve used, these glide with ease onto the lips. The pencil itself is not scratchy or irritating. Each pencil gives the lips a sharp, clean line. Both of the lipsticks are hydrating.
Below are sample photos of each shade. The top shade is Honeycomb and the corresponding lip pencil colour. Whiskey is the bottom shade.
I adore this lip pencil. It glides onto the lips with ease, and has great staying power. I use the pencil to trace the edges of my lips then fill them in for lasting colour. The Lip Pencil retails for $18 from Sephora. It is presently available in 22 shades.
What is your favourite lipstick shade from Bite Beauty?
I shared general photography tips on the blog a while ago. In todays post, I focus on a specific technique – a flatlay. A flatlay is a photograph that showcases all items on a flat surface.
Good lighting is essential
If possible, it is best to take photos in natural light. If you can’t photograph in natural lighting, you should find an area that is well-lit and bright. The lighting of your photo will affect the brightness and colour. If you do not have adequate lighting, you can always increase the saturation/colouring when editing.
Take your time
Photography may take time and patience. Don’t feel rushed when taking a photo, especially a flat lay. It may need many shots to achieve the best one. Allow yourself the time to adjust and readjust as necessary to take the perfect shot.
Use a consistent colour palette
Incorporate colours from the same gradient (e.g. pinks, yellows, or greyscale). This prevents images from appearing cluttered. Images will appear neat and tidy.
Dress it up and add texture
I like adding items with texture and colour along with the main item I am photographing. Adding elements like jewellery, a blanket, or a marble backdrop gives the photo dimension and texturizes it.
Create space between each object
Photographing multiple items in a flat lay is often difficult. Items easily cast shadows. Space your items apart to eliminate any shadows. A neat trick if you’re photographing items that roll (e.g. lipstick): Add a small piece of double-sided tape to the object and background to keep it in place.
What are your favourite photography tips?
I bought a new handbag this weekend. It is a sand-coloured tote from my local Aldo Shoes & Accessories. I searched for a handbag with more structure. My Kate Spade handbag is softer. A complete review of this new accessory is on the way. For now, I’m sharing a peek into the essentials I keep in my purse on a daily basis.
1. Blog Notebook
I keep my blog notebook or a notepad in my purse to track ideas for blog posts when they strike. This small, square notebook fits well into the purse, and I like to carry it with me. I began this shortly after I started my blog. Its been efficient for those moments when inspiration and ideas spark into my head. I track post ideas, dates, and titles in this notebook. This organizes my ideas effectively.
One of my favourite aspects of the purse is the size. My new Kate Spade wallet is wider than my previous wallet. The wallet fits nicely into the purse, while still leaving space. I, of course, keep my wallet with me wherever I go.
3. iPhone Charger
My phone charge never lasts for longer than a few hours. I rest my charger into the bottom of my handbag. My iPhone is a staple in my handbag, and I prefer to have it on hand all the time.
Lipstick is one makeup item I reapply throughout the day. If wearing a matte lipstick, I don’t worry about fading as much. My cream and satin lipstick colours tend to fade with eating and drinking. I reapply the colour during the day to brighten my lips.
A spare pen never hurts. I stash an extra pen (or two!) in my purse for taking notes in class, or when filling out any types of forms. I run through pens quickly, and like to have extras in my bag when the one I’m using dries up.
What items are staples in your handbag? I’d love to see them – tag me on Instagram (erin_angela_xo) with the hashtag #handbagpeek!
I enjoy trying new, unique products. Until I found this one, I used DIY methods to turn my cream lipstick finishes into matte finishes. Smashbox Cosmetics Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer is a versatile gel that transforms lipstick finishes.
The gel comes in a tube with a slanted tip. The tube itself is lightweight and sleek, with a matte-black colour. It is approximately the size of a tube of lip gloss – ideal for tossing in your purse or travel bag.
One of my favourite aspects of this product is the ease of use. The clear gel is the consistency of a thicker lip gloss. It is unscented and mess-free. To use the gel, I apply it like a gloss and it instantly transforms my lipstick finish! It removes the shine from the lipstick shade, and leaves you with a matte finish. Most of my lipsticks are matte, but this product works well with my Creme lipsticks from MAC.
How do I use it?
I apply my lipstick first. I then squeeze a small amount of the product onto my finger and blend it right into the lipstick. It works best if applied in small amounts, then add more as needed. The first time I used the product, I applied too much and it resulted in the product appearing patchy.
I enjoy using the lipstick transformer with the few creme lipsticks I own. Most of my lipsticks are a matte finish. This product now allows me to transform all my lipsticks into mattes!
Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer retails for $26 Sephora.
Mornings may be tiring. Sometimes crawling out of a comfy, warm bed is an achievement in itself. If you wake up with a mindset geared towards productivity, you will often find your energy levels peaking. For myself, I like to face the day with positive thoughts and a productive mindset. Today, I share a guide to help you get the most out of your day (even if you didn’t get enough sleep!)
Wake up at the same time each day
Even if you sleep at different times each night, you should set a consistent wake-up time. This helps your body sync to a specific sleep schedule. I wake later on the weekends than during the weekday. I try to set my wake up time between 6:30 and 7 AM on weekdays. This lets my body acquaint to a set schedule. If I wake earlier or later, I notice my energy levels are lower.
Drink water throughout the day
Water is a staple to our health. While I enjoy my caffeine fix, I sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Consuming enough water each day keeps me alert and focused. I prefer to sip water throughout the day instead of consuming large quantities at once.
Snacks are a good idea
Eating small snacks between meals helps keep your blood sugar levels even. If I eat a heavy meal, I don’t always follow this myself. I try to eat at least two snacks each day – one between breakfast and lunch; and one between lunch and dinner. Small snacks keep my energy up and fuels my body. It’s ideal to eat healthy snacks but I do sneak in an occasional piece (or two) of dark chocolate.
Night time routine
A few steps at night help you unwind. This contributes to a better, and brighter morning. I keep my room dark to get a deeper sleep. Other steps in my nighttime routine include reserving my bedtime for sleep.
What steps do you take to energize your day?
When feeling adventurous I deviate from my typical colour choices. The same goes for mascara. I often swipe a coat or two of black mascara on my lashes. In November, I began searching for a coloured mascara. I recieved MAC Zoomlash Mascara for Christmas. I loved that the mascara is actually purple.
The mascara comes in a purple tube. This colour is reflective of the mascara colour. Attached to the top part of the tube is a wand applicator. The curved bristles allow the product to spread among each lash.
This shade is called Plum Reserve. It is a bright, vibrant purple. It adds subtle tint to the lashes without the colour overpowering the natural lash colour.
MAC Zoomlash Mascara comes in 6 shades:
- Beets Me – Brown
- Plum Reserve – Plum
- Green is Green – Emerald
- High Esteem – Blackened-grey
- Blue Charge – Blue
- Zoom Black – Black
The mascara curls my lashes and lengthens. I enjoy the ergonomic ease of use. The packaging is lightweight and sturdy.
MAC Zoomlash Mascara retails for $21 from MAC’s official website. A smaller size of the mascara, from the company’s Little MAC Collection, retails for $12.
A sugar scrub is a product used to exfoliate the skin. Brands such as Lush Cosmetics offer various scrubs. If, like me, you live in an area without a LUSH store, creating a sugar scrub is one of the best options! Today I’ll share my top tips for creating a sugar scrub.
Avoid getting water in the sugar scrub
This will melt the sugar, and cause the scrub to become runny. If any water does get into the scrub, you can pour out the excess water and leave the lid off to let the scrub air-dry.
Experiment with different scents and oils until you determine the best fit
The basics of a sugar scrub include oil and sugar. You can incorporate different oils and scents until you find a combination you like best. Different additions may include peppermint, avocado oil, and eucalyptus.
Instagram is a powerful social media tool to grow your blog or business. This social media platform offers opportunity to expand your reach and following. I use the platform to connect with readers and followers. This is an especially useful tool for connecting with readers outside of my location. Today I’m sharing a “how-to” guide to Instagram, and how to maximize its effectiveness.
YOUR PROFILE BASICS
Your profile is often the first thing prospective followers notice. In your profile, there are a few key steps to increase the likelihood of connecting with new followers:
- Brand your account: Your account should have the same handle as the rest of your social media. This makes it easier for your audience to find you. If it is not possible to do this, try keeping your handles as similar as possible.
- Profile picture: Snap a photo that shows off your personality, or specific characteristics you wish to highlight. I use a simple headshot featuring my favourite lipstick. I prefer to keep this photo focused and bright. If you have a brand/blog logo, or photo that showcases your personality, this also works wonders!
- Bio: With a limit of 150 characters and one clickable link, you should optimize it! Your bio is an opportunity to introduce who you are, what you do, and/or how you help others. Are you a beauty blogger? Are you a skincare specialist who shares DIY facial recipes? Your bio should reflect this.
The photos you choose reflect your brand/image. I posted photography tips earlier this summer. I continue to reference these points when creating images and posts. I use my iPhone for all my photography, but your favourite type of camera works. Lighting makes a huge difference. The lighting you use helps your photos stand out.
OPTIMIZE YOUR HASHTAGS
To decide which hashtags to use, browse the top ones in your niche. This will help optimize their use. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Using hashtags will help you reach accounts you are not already connected with.
How do you use your Instagram as a blogger or creative?