,I know we keep it beauty related on here but I just wanted to hop on here and give you a link in case you wanted to donate or help with Hurricane Harvey Relief. There are multiple outlets that are doing good but I personally was really touched by this one specifically. I am a fan of the Supernatural show, but I'm a bigger fan of the charities that have come about because of them.
I have friends in Texas, actually one of my very best friends, Rhea, lives in Texas. As an American though, I am moved by what I've seen from the kindness to the bravery, Texas and fellow Americans have showed and done in the face of tragedy. It only makes me even more proud that this is my country.
So I'm going to leave the link below if you want to donate and help the Hurricane Harvey Relief effort. Many love and prayers being sent your way Texas!
Stronger Than The Storms
Exciting announcement! Allure has decided to give 4 of my followers the July Allure Beauty Box. The giveaway is up now on my Instagram which I will link here. Rules are: you have to follow me and follow Allure and leave a comment on the Instagram post about what product you'd like to try! Super easy, super fun.
Inside the box you get:
So there's the run down. You also get a booklet with tips from Allures Beauty Experts, promo codes exclusive to Allure, and where you can buy these products. The promo codes are awesome. If you want to sign up for a monthly beauty box from Allure you can go here: www.allure.com/thebeautybox
Go to Instagram enter the giveaway and win one of the July boxes! Goodluck!
Ok soooooo why is everyone putting Baking Soda on their face?
This is going to be straight to the point, it's gonna be real, it's gonna be blunt, and some might see it as harsh. So stop reading now, if you're easily offended or don't want to know my thoughts on this situation.
I'm writing a blog post for what I #Standfirm for which is a joint campaign I get the honor to be in with Algenist and Free 2 Luv. Free 2 Luv helps spread the positivity and love and support. As does Algenist, I've always admired that about them. Algenist also released their new firming/lifting product Elevate, which I will review later, for this campaign as well. It went off without a hitch on the 15th I believe and it was a beautiful thing to see. Not as much on promotion about the product just seeing what everyone "stood firm" for and I think we need that.....especially right now.
It is now 12:03 am (here in TN) on the 23rd of May. A few hours earlier a bomb was placed out side of Manchester Arena in England while a sold out crowd of 21,000 was enjoying a concert.
My mom used to tell me that at Christmas people were kinder, more generous, and had more compassion. I've seen that often times. Especially this year within my own state and county. I wanted to put this post up for anyone who reads this and gets touched or moved in a way to help some special people.
I'm going to make this short and sweet my friend Rayven lost her father in 2013 suddenly, her mother Tracy has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. I know first hand at how hard it is to be really sick and also feel like you're drowning in not just medical bills but daily expenses as well. Bottom line is they need some help and a kind soul started a Go Fund Me page for them.
If you find it within your heart to donate even the smallest amount that would be awesome. I could sit here all day and explain why these are good people that have been hit with misfortune on a massive scale but I won't do that. What you need to know is these are great people, they've went through things I can't imagine going through, they came out fighting and they continue to fight. The last thing they should be worried about is bills and expenses. I don't know what I would do in their situation but I think most of us could say, placed in the same situation we would need help as well.
If you don't want to donate, then by all means pass by this post and send your thoughts and prayers. If you can't donate, then I ask you remember them often in prayer and send your love and support. This world still has decent, good, people in it. Be one of them.
To Donate please go here: Love Fights Breast Cancer
**The above picture is from Wate-TV, it is not mine**
You may or may not have heard of the outbreak of wildfires the past month or so, that were in not just East TN, but also Kentucky, North Carolina and so on along our mountains. I'm happy to say that as of today we have finally gotten some rain. I'm sad to say that one of our large tourism areas Gatlinburg and our Smokey Mountains suffered a lot of devastation with winds picking up to 60-80mph in the mountains while the fires were going. As of right now 4 people have lost their lives and 4 dozen or more have been injured. Wildlife in our state parks and mountains are in danger as well. There's also a lot of missing people as well. Fire fighters, EMS, Red Cross, Law Enforcemant, and Search and Rescue teams from all over have went to help and have been working around the clock.
There's several things that we can do ourselves though to help the victims and evacuees. Over 150 buildings and homes were damaged or lost and I believe over 1400 people were evacuated (last I had heard yesterday that is) and had to go to shelters in the area. So as of last night the Red Cross said they were filled to the brim with everyones item donations which was greatly appreciated. Many resturants and hotels in the area were at the service of those working around the clock to help the victims or put out fires and so on. However like I said there is still some things we can do.
1st: I'm gonna ask you to pray for victims who lost loved ones, and the ones that they're searching for. As well as the family's who lost their homes and businesses. Also, the ones that are working to help attend to people, find people, and also working in these areas that were so heavily damaged and putting theirself in possible danger. If you can't do anything but this then that is enough.
2nd: Red Cross is asking for monetary donations so they can buy supplies they need in bulk. Things that we can't give them. So, if you're in East TN any Kroger grocery store will have the option to donate to local Red Cross efforts, you can also donate online redcross.org/donate. You can also text "REDCROSS" to 90999 for a $10 donation that will be added to your cell phone bill. **IF YOU ARE UNDERAGE PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR PARENTS OR GAURDIANS ABOUT OR BEFORE MAKING A DONATION**
3rd: There is now a missing person hotline set up by TBI to report missing loved ones in Sevier County. That number is 1-800-TBI-FIND. Give as much information as you can and they will pass it along to local law enforcement immidiately. They ask that you do not call to ask about personal properties please. Feel free to share that number if anyone needs it or hasn't yet seen it.
I know there have been several Go Fund Me accounts set up as well. If you look on the Go Fund Me website you'll find Go Fund Me pages for anything concerning Gatlinburg, Not all will be related to the fire so keep that in mind and read carefully.
I can't begin to imagine what the victims have seen or are dealing with. Even though most of East TN has been affected by wildfires for the past month or more, some very close to me as well only minutes away. Still, they're suffering on a mass scale. Along with wildfires there was a tornado that hit last night in Athens that done a lot of damage as well. So I want to include that too, they aren't lost amongst the Gatlinburg fire. We have such small worries when we see mass devastation and disaster. It's very sad that it has to hit so close to home for us (myself included) to even realize it. There is work to be done and people to help all over this nation let alone this world.
With all that being said, if you have been affected by one of these tragedies I am so very sorry, I'm praying for you and yours, and I love you.
**My information is coming from my local news channel and website so if you want to verify anything or read more please go to WATE.com**
Alright guys, so remember last year when Sephora done the Epic Rewards and it was an Epic Fail for most people? I was one of the lucky ones that actually got one last year but I still don't know how I even lucked out. This year though they are doing Rewards Bazaar, some have already been posted but what's awesome about this is every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-5pm they are launching new big point perk rewards "often" so keep a check on it throughout the day I guess. Now, I do not know if this will be from here on out or for a limited time. I know that at least for the month of September they'll be launching stuff. There is a preview they sent out of some stuff that will be launched, the quantities they have, and different point balances they take. They will obviously go very fast, and some things they still just have 1 available ll together. Like the the big 15k and up rewards. So it might still be a nightmare, I won't lie, but it looks like they're really trying for everyone to have a chance to hopefully score at least something and I can appreciate that. I hope this go around is much better for them and the customers cause it was brutal last year.
So here is a preview of what I hope is just some of the rewards for September. I'm not overly impressed with what I'm seeing so far except the Tarte set, but even that is mainly a lot of deluxe samples excect for maybe a few things. Still it's a very nice set. I haven't decided if I wanna use my points on that, and I definitely am not giving 750 points for 2 liners from Kat Von D. So here's hoping that they're gonna roll out some more than just these. I really feel like last year they had seriously awesome 2000 point perks and so on but they ran out in literally 30 seconds so maybe they're having to scale down in order for everyone to have a chance and that's understandable. The Rewards Bazaar is on the home page of Sephora right now so you can look at the previews and everything, also here is the link to it as well. So God speed and good luck!
Mmmmk so this is kinda a strange post too, however I just happen to like telling you things that I like. (and no this isn't sponsored). I'm from Tennessee so I've always liked tea. Mainly though it's always just been iced sweet tea or a flavored iced sweet tea. I love blackberry or raspberry unsweet teas, especially the ones from Sonic, Cracker Barrel, or Logan's steakhouse.
Lately though, I've been drinking hot teas. I've probably been doing that for around a year, but it's just as of the last few months that it's become a daily thing. It started with Green Tea and Chamomile as a way to improve my health and immune system. Then I started drinking Celestial teas in Vanilla Sleepytime Tea, which I drink before bed. I also drink Celestial Peppermint tea and Honey Lemon Ginzing Green Tea (in the morning).
It took me a while before I could drink hot tea and like it. It wasn't something I ever like. Not one bit. Especially the Sleepytime tea. However, when I found the Vanilla I really loved it. Mind you I'd gotten used to the Chamomile and Green Tea before finding the Vanilla. So now I drink tea twice a day. The Sleepytime Tea is just what it sounds like, it's organic but it chills you out and helps you get to sleep and relaxes the body, which is why I drink it. Chamomile is obviously very good for your immune system, overall health, if you're sick mixing in some honey and lemon is very helpful especially if it's a cold or something similar. We all know the benefits of Green Tea so I won't get into that. Peppermint tea helps heal the stomach which is great for me. It helps relieve nausea and irritable bowel syndrome and what not. Also good if you have a flu/cold cause it eases the coughing. It's helpful if your stressed. Some think it's actually a appetite suppressant (unlike the next one I'm going to talk about) and I've heard some say it helps with headaches as well.
Recently though, I've been learning about teas that are more beneficial for your body. One of those being Dandelion Root tea. I get the completely Organic one. To hit the high notes: it helps improve liver function, detoxes the body of toxins, is a diuretic that helps get rid of bloating and flushes the body out (which may or may not be a good idea for you so consult a doctor before drinking it.), it's a light laxative. It's also supposed to "improve your immune system". I've seen where some recommend 2 cups a day but I just drink one. I can't say that I enjoy the taste of it but it's not the worst. I try to get in a cup everyday just because of the benefits that it has. It also is said to "improve appetite". I would say I agree with that so far. Which I don't necessarily like but it's not a bad thing necessarily.
For iced tea I really like Pomegranate tea from Tazo. They use that at Starbucks but you can buy it at the grocery store. It's nice to mix with Lemonade as well. I also have a off brand Wild Berry Hibiscus. I make both of these in a large pitcher with nothing added. I add a dash of raspberry sometimes or Stevia to sweeten it up when I pour a glass or tumbler full. I like iced flavored Green Tea as well. I don't drink it as often as my hot Green Tea though.
So that's all my teas that I drink and love. I've never tried "fit teas" or anything similar to that yet. I would like to at some point but I'm really enjoying just hot tea at the moment. It helps calm my stress and my stomach. I thought maybe it would be something interesting if you were looking to try some teas. I really recommend the Celestial brand and the Tazo of course.
As you may have probably seen, I always tell you to use Ebates and get you some cashback for your online purchases. I don't think you realize how awesome of a thing this is. So I'm gonna break it down for you. Hopefully, it'll be short and sweet and easy to understand.
1st: THIS DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING! Not a dime. Not one red cent. You can join it fo free. If you aren't into it, then no big deal.
2nd: You make money based on going through Ebates activating a shopping trip that has a percentage cash back, (ie: Sephora is sometimes 8% cash back) then it sends you to the site and you just complete your checkout. So lets say Sephora is 8% cash back and you spend $50 as your subtotal, so that's $4 cash back. Now I realized that's not a lot. However, if you are like me and do 90% of your shopping online, it makes a lot of cash back or at least some. You have to at least have $25 in cash back from purchases to get your quarterly check. Which is like May then August, so on so forth. Just as an example. If you don't have it, then it will roll over to the next check until you do have $25 in cash back.
3rd: You can refer people and get more money back. Like right now it's refer 2 people and get $50. In order for the referral to work they have to use YOUR referral link to set their own account up and then spend $25 at least. If you have referrals but don't have your $25 cash back from purchases you won't get a check for that quarter. Which sucks, and I found that out the hard way.
4th: Tons of stores are on Ebates like: Sephora, Ulta, Motives Cosmetics, Kate Spade, HSN, Overstock, J. Crew, American Eagle, so on so forth. Cash back always varies from store to store but sometimes they have double cash back which is cool. I try to use Ebates as much as I can but it's easy to forget to activate your shopping trip so I downloaded the Ebates "button" for my chrome bar which pops up how much cash back that site offers and I can activate it right then while I'm on whatever site. I also have the Ebates app for when I'm shopping on my phone.
So far I've made close to $200 which isn't a ton, but it's something. Only about 2 referrals in there, maybe three. My theory is: if you're going to be ordering online anyways why not get cash back for your purchase. They can send you a check through the mail or deposit it into your PayPal account, which ever you prefer. It's easy to keep up with how much you've made or what your cash back was for certain shopping trips. They also offer coupons and what not for whatever site you're on, if there is any.
So there you go. I hope that was helpful. Here's the link to sign up for it and Happy Shopping!!
So I know this is a bit out of the ordinary, but I've gotten a lot of questions lately about building up a blog or social media, followers, likes, etc etc. I don't consider myself a "pro" or anything but this blog is coming up on 300k total views (200k in less than a year) and my Instagram has grown a bit after I really put my mind to it, I thought why not tell you what I do to keep gaining ground and what I have done in the past that has worked for me. Hopefully, it might be helpful to some of you. Now I know that there are way more successful blogs out there that probably get more than 300k hits a day, so don't think that I'm conceited or gloating, I'm just answering questions.
I'm gonna start by saying that I prayed a lot about starting this path and I prayed for direction and guidance. If I'm being 100% honest with you then I have to tell you that was the first thing I done. I still pray about this everyday, for new opportunities, new connections, help with my creativity and still praying for guidance. It was my first step and my most important step and I fully give the credit to the man upstairs. So just so you know, just so I'm bring honest and true to me, I prayed. I prayed a lot.
First I'm gonna tell you: If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either. That's my main motto. You have to believe that you can accomplish your goals before your dreams start coming true. It's fairy tale-ish but it's true none the less. If you have low self esteem, or rude and hateful comments get to you....you might want to try something with less exposure. People are mean. They just are. I honestly think that %30-40% (at least) of social media is just trolls and people with a chip on their shoulder. These are the people that want to bring you down because something is wrong in their life or they just don't want you to succeed. Because yes....there are people who don't want you to do well in life. So if you can't handle that, then you're gonna need to re-evaluate some things about this certain endeavor. While having confidence is step 1, you have to adapt a business mentality as well. Sometimes you have to say "no" to people maybe even people that you love or think a lot of, sometimes you have to have boundaries, sometimes you have to keep everything to yourself until it's time to talk about it so that no one will take your ideas. Not everyone is your friend in business and you need to look out for yourself first and your best interests. I honestly don't tell hardly anyone, anything about companies I may work with, things lined up that are super exciting for the future, or anything remotely important to my business. For one, you don't need their approval or opinion and two, sometimes people will get in your head and make you second guess yourself and intentionally or unintentionally break your confidence.
Second: Be consistent in your posting of blog posts, pics, engage in comments fairly quick and "like" and comment on other people's stuff as well. Make some friends. I've found some awesome people I consider friends through this. It's been really nice having them to talk to as well for recommendations on products or dealing with rude comments. So make you out a list of how many blog posts or videos you're gonna do a week and STAY CONSISTENT. Make it a priority. I stick to about 2 blog posts a week and try to do a makeup look at least 4 times a week for Instagram and sometimes on Twitter. Now I know a lot say they don't "have time", that's fine. Work out what's best for you. Whether it's once a week or 5 times a week, just get into a routine. Be ready to hustle too. There are nights, like tonight, that I'm up until 2 am working on business stuff. Whether it's blogging, answering emails, taking product photos, making notes, signing up for platforms and campaigns to be a part of or whatever. I work for HOURS everyday, to try and make this dream a reality and sadly, people will never understand that. It's not easy, it may look easy but it's not. Not that it isn't fun for the most part but a lot of hard work will go unnoticed. I will say as far as how much you post, the more you post the more exposure you get. So if you're posting once a week you aren't making near the impression as the person posting 5-6 days a week.
Third: Quality content. Especially for photos, try your hardest to get the best pictures of your makeup, outfit, or whatever. A grainy photo will never compare to a clear and detailed photo. The more mega pixels the better and lighting is key. If all you have is an iPhone or Samsung then use the front camera not the self facing camera (front has more mega pixels) and get a mirror so you can see yourself in the screen. It took me a long time to figure out how to get good photos. I use a lot of natural light so there's certain times that are best for photos. Usually early morning or mid afternoon. Over cast days are always really good for pictures of makeup and such. I always take pictures by a window and with a back ground that doesn't have much going on. Like a curtain background that you can buy, a plain wall, or something outside. You don't want the background to draw attention away from what you want people to focus on. Plus a cluttered background or a busy background looks unprofessional sometimes and a bit too casual and personal. For product pictures, a white background is your best friend.....even if it's just a piece of poster board. Take lots of photos as well. That goes for everything. Not just one or two. You take tons and then go through and see which looks the best. Obviously there are cameras out there that are amazing for this stuff, like Canon and Sony. There's even "selfie" cameras that everyone uses right now, or at least you see a lot of big names using them. They make the best but they are not cheap, however they are an investment. If you're super serious about this then I say invest in one when you can. If you are unsure as to how you'll like it then I'd work at getting great photos with my phone or whatever camera I had and finding the best lighting and background and do that until I decided if I wanted to continue to pursue this path.
Fourth: Join programs, platforms, giveaways, campaigns, etc etc : This one is what will get you your exposure, followers, and get your name out there. Being re-posted from a big account especially a company is always great but those don't happen all the time, especially when you're just starting out. Hook up with a loop giveaway if you can, there's usually a certain amount of $$ you have to send in, but if it has awesome stuff in it then that's great. You get followers, you get to have fun, and you get to make someones day. You will lose followers of course but you usually keep about half depending on how big the loop is. Try getting on platforms for "influencers" that connect you to brands. I just googled platforms for "beauty influencers" and started signing up on as many as I could. All the ones I joined were free. Some were an application process, so you had to be accepted and no you won't be accepted to all of them but rejection is part of it. Be as active in your genre's community as you possibly can. Join programs, seminars, mailing lists, newsletters, so on and so forth and engage with your community. You'll find friends and build connections that may help you later on. Besides that, Instagram won't be this big of a deal forever.
Fifth: Be as active as you can be on social media. From Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope be as active as possible. I really enjoy Snapchat because it gives you a chance to show people your personality. Which Instagram doesn't really convey. Twitter is easy and quick to answer questions or ask questions or just talk in general, while still being able to upload content and tag companies. Instagram is probably your biggest resource. Like I said before, quality photos people, quality photos, it's a learning curve. I sat down, researched and worked out algorithms for myself. It was just trial and error of the best posting times to get seen by more people, the best hashtag links, what got more likes versus what didn't. It was a year long process that I still work on and tweak because I'm not a professional and I don't want you to think I've got it all figured out because I don't. So I recommend doing that yourself. Research the most used hashtags for different genres, be sure to tag companies in pictures, comments, and also hashtag the company as well. Figure out your best posting times for example: lunch breaks, afternoon when people are home from work, Sunday afternoons, etc etc. It takes time and patience and a lot of work to figure out how to start growing. Sometimes you grow rapidly, then it stops for a few days and then picks back up. It's ever changing. Being consistent though will always help you.
Sixth: Don't assume that you "know it all". That's a big mistake, when you think that you've conquered your craft. You'll never full conquer it, you'll just get better at it. There are always new things to learn. Especially in makeup, new trends and tricks are popping up everywhere all the time. Also get out of your comfort zone. No one wants to see the same thing every single day. Yes you may have a week or two or even a month when you don't do anything super creative and that's fine but don't get comfortable there. Step out and try to recreate something, or take pictures in a different way from odd angles or in fun or cool surroundings. Keep yourself open to new things and look to find inspiration in everything you can. One of my biggest pet peeves, as a subscriber to Youtube channels or what have you, is when I see the same natural/neutral makeup EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There's nothing wrong with that makeup, I love that makeup, but I'm not going to watch those videos or check out that post because it's not new content for that person or that account no matter how good it was executed, it holds no interest for me.
Seventh: Work with ALL brands. Including "indie" brands. Especially "indie brands". You will find some hidden gems in the makeup world AND you'll have better shots at being "re-posted" possibly by them. I'm not saying buy things that aren't FDA approved or anything, I'm just saying smaller brands see more than big brands do because they don't have as many people tagging them usually.
So that's pretty much the jist. Guidance (whether from a higher power or something else), research, consistency in posting, and quality content, those are the best tips I can give and those are things that I've seen results from. I hope this was helpful and didn't sound like I "knew it all" or anything. I'm just telling you what works for me. Good luck!!
I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.
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