Sunday, July 27, 2014

MAC's All About Nude Look In a Box Review and Swatches

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MAC All About Nude Look In a Box Review and Swatches

When I shared my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Picks, I pointed out this set as an amazing steal, and I was pretty focused on the eye shadow trio. Ohhh.... look at it closely....

(Here are all of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks)

MAC All About Nude Look In a Box

The MAC All About Nude Look In a Box is currently sold out on-line, but you might get lucky and find it in stores. So, I'm posting my pictures of it anyways!

Included in this box set are a few nude lippies, a basic black liner, and an anything but basic eye shadow trio!
• Lipstick in Soft Savour (luster finish)
• Lipglass in Feeling Fine (frost finish)
• Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow in Cool Companions
• Technakohl Liner in Graphblack

MAC All About Nude Look In a Box

You can see that the lippie is a bit on the pink side of nude (which is always more flattering for me), the gloss is mostly clear but has very pretty shimmer (it's perfect for layering over pretty much any lipstick), and the shadows. OMG.... the shadows. I was mostly interested in the middle greenish color. It's not exactly green. It's kind of an army green/gold/khaki color. I knew when I swatched it that I was reminded of something...

All About Nude Look In a Box compared to Lancome Erika F

It's a little more green and khaki, with less grey, but it is pretty similar to Lancome's famed Erika F shadow. Both have very similar shimmer, which you need to see in person. Erika F isn't available here in the US (apparently some of the pigments aren't FDA approved), and when I was in Paris about 5 years ago I spent the entire trip looking for this shadow at every Lancome counter. I finally found it at the airport on the way home, so I bought two! It's a shadow I only pull out on "special" days, and I love that this is a very similar shade.

I haven't tried these products in a look yet, but I wanted to share them before there was no hope of finding it in stores. Snag one if you see it!

I Bought It Affiliate Links

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Weekend Beauty Reads

Channing Tatum anyone? Perilously Pale shares a preview of the Pur Mineral Jupiter Ascending Collection. Maybe there will be a bit of Channing around too.

Phyrra is giving away the Pur Minerals Jupiter Ascending Collection. Now that you've seen it, you'll want to enter.

Prime Beauty is part of an EPIC blogger giveaway! Enter to win an amazing 30-pan MAC Eye Shadow Palette filled with each blogger's favorite shade!!

Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog loves delectable rose-infused skincare products, and here are her top picks!

It's the perfect time for neon polish and polish insomniac has some beauties from Salon Perfect.

Mostly Sunny leaves her comfort zone with Dior Rosy Glow. See why this was a great move.

Don't forget to give your hands a little loving like Pammy Blogs Beauty does with Perlier Shea Butter White Lily Hand Cream.

Summer hair getting you down? Or rather up with all that frizz? Find out what 15 Minute Beauty can teach you about Frizz Fighters.

Shower or bath? Whichever it is Beauty Info Zone says follow up with A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Lotion. The fragrance is divine.

Pink Sith wants to know what it would take for you to buy a $50 nail polish.

Next to cosmetic shopping what do you like best? Carrie from eyeliner on a cat thinks shoes make a great choice.

The Painted Rogue has some favorite You Tube Channels. Are any of these on your list?

Enter to Win and Over on Babble!

There are only a few days left to enter to win my Gucci Makeup Bag and a $150 GC to Sephora (or ULTA really, I'll go buy whichever the winner prefers). Go enter now, and tell your friends!

Optical Illusion 101: 7 Steps For Making Your Lips Appear Fuller

Also, new over on Babble...
Optical Illusion 101: 7 Steps For Making Your Lips Appear Fuller

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pinterest 101 For Bloggers: Things You Should Know

Pinterest 101 For Bloggers: Things You Should Know

I am a bit obsessed with Pinterest. At any given time I have about 30 windows open with Pinterest, looking at different things, pinning them, using the ideas as inspiration for everything from blog posts to my new baby girl nursery. Pinterest is one of the biggest social networks out there, and if you have a blog you should be on Pinterest.


high traffic from Pinterest

This is why. It's a big traffic driver. A single pin on Pinterest can result in thousands of new visitors just to that post, and hopefully some of those visitors will become regular readers.

Optimize your pinterest profile

The best way to get traffic to your blog from Pinterest is to first become someone fun to follow on Pinterest. Who wants to follow a pinner that only pins ads once a day? No one. And if no wants to follow you, no one will see your pins.

Specialize your boards!
Believe it or not, more boards = good. I'm a beauty blogger. I don't have just one board about beauty. Instead, I have a mascara board, a perfume board, I have a hair inspiration board, a "good hair day" board for tips and product reviews, an eye makeup board... you get the picture.

One tip I can also add to help highlight your own content is to create boards only for your own content. These boards should be front and center at the top of your Pinterest profile. It's fine to have the topics overlap other boards, since those boards should also be featuring the content of other people. So, I have a 15 Minute Hair board, Great Hair board and a Good Hair Day group board that I started. When I write a hair post it can be pinned to all three!

Pin other people's things, not only your own
It really is boring to show only your own items. If you see a great pin that would be a good fit for one of your boards, you should pin it. Who cares where it is from? Chances are your followers will also find it interesting. You want to pin things that are interesting, drawing people over to your boards, where they can poke around and find more amazing content. If some of that content is your own, then even better!

Pin throughout the day
Not everyone can pin at the same time of day, let alone be in the same time zone. There's a lot of info out there about the "best" time of day to pin, and really, none of it is based on much info and most of it seems to be conflicting. A lot of women will look at Pinterest throughout the day, there are peak times. Think about the typical day of a woman (80% or so of Pinterest users are women). They probably have time to check Pinterest first thing in the morning (6:30-8:30?) before work or getting busy with their day. They might have time to look at it before dinner, and likely after dinner during primetime TV. Don't forget that there is a 3 hour time difference between the east and west coasts in the US (let alone even more time differences if you throw in Europe, Australia, etc). So, you have a pretty big window in which to pin and have those pins be seen by more followers.

Schedule the pins if you can
You might only have 20 minutes a day to pin, but you don't want all of your pins to go up at that time. Having 1 person's pins all show up in your stream at once is annoying and spammy.

Luckily there are quite a few services out there now for scheduling your pins. I use ViralTag, but there's also ViralWoot, Sendible, CoSchedule and Ahalogy. I try to space out my pins by at least 20 minutes, though I know this isn't always successful (in large part because I have some things scheduled out months in advance). But, pinning every 2 minutes, especially to the same board, will turn off a lot of people. It's a great way to be unfollowed.

Let people know you're on pinterest
Let people know you're on Pinterest!
Make it easy for readers on your site to find you on Pinterest. If they like you enough to read your posts, they'll probably be interested enough to find you on Pinterest. You should put a link or image near the top of your site, in an easy to find location, or use one of the Pinterest widgets to help readers find you.

If you look on my site I have a Pinterest logo in my social media links, and I currently (at least, while I'm writing this) have created a widget with pretty pictures to the right showing that I'm on Pinterest and showcasing some of my most popular boards. There is also a great Pinterest widget which creates a mini-board on your site. While it can be slow to load, I do think it helps a lot.

Getting more followers
A lot of the things I've already mentioned will help get you followers. Be interesting to follow, curating good content with eye catching pins (more on that below). Making sure the people who already follow you elsewhere know that they can follow you on Pinterest is a great step as well. While I've had the most luck in gaining followers by pinning throughout the day with interesting content, I also had the chance to ask Jill Nystul (she of the million viral pins) what is her best advice for gaining Pinterest followers. She told me that she's had the best luck by running contests. Pinterest seems to have a difficult to follow policy re: having people pin something specific to enter a contest. However, I like to use Rafflecopter for anything I run as a contest on my blog, and there's an option for following on Pinterest to enter (I believe you need to pay for that option). I always use it and make it a ton of extra entries!

Make your website Pinterest friendly
There are a lot of ways to make your website Pinterest friendly, and these are the ones that have been the most successful for me so far.

Add a Pin It button
Adding a button at the end of your post, or a button that hovers over an image, is a great way to make it easy for readers to pin your content. I recommend doing both if you can! I like Add This and Share This for easy sharing buttons and Pinterest has their own Pin It Button that is easy to install.

Optimize your images
Pinterest is an image driven website, and if a post doesn't have an image then it can't be pinned.

Go tall: Currently, Pinterest takes every image pinned and resizes it to a uniform width, keeping things in perspective. So, a landscape picture will end up short, but a tall image will stay tall. So, it's better to have a tall image. Note that Pinterest eventually cuts off images in the main feed, so you have a limit to which a tall image will do you any good, but tall and skinny is better and will show up more in a Pinterest feed.

Use clear images: You want an image that people can actually see. Bright is better than dark. Appropriately zoomed in is good. What works on a blog (eg, pictures of shadow swatches) doesn't really work on Pinterest. It's better to combine those into a collage, and it is better to use a max of 4-6 images if you're using full images for a "title" page.

Adding writing helps: Sometimes, not always, but yes. Adding writing can help. You can use free programs like Canva or PicMonkey if you don't own Photoshop Elements or regular Photoshop.

Add your blog name: I don't always do this, but putting your logo on an image can help a lot if the image ever gets pinned without your site being linked.

Red grabs the eye: I recently read that having red/pink tones instead of blue/green in your image will grab the eye and result in more repins. I've made images with both color schemes, and guess what? It works. The difference isn't huge, but it does change.

Have good pin descriptions
I know pinners who just put in a bunch of key words, and while this might make your pin show up in search more often, it doesn't help your followers at all. Use a few key words, but putting in a description that is helpful actually increases your repins.

Advanced tip: When putting images on your blog, make sure you fill out a good alt tag. Putting a random collection of key words isn't good (and Google frowns upon it). Instead, the alt tag should be a "description" of the image, but it is also what Pinterest will pull over as the pre-filled pin description. So, include a keyword or two, but you can also add in a clickable link to your blog or even tag yourself on Pinterest with it! I add "via @15minbeauty" (make sure you use your Pinterest user name) or "via" and they'll be automatically added to the pin description.

Don't give it all away: This goes along with images as well. The more leading your image and description, the more likely people are to click over. I've stopped making bit tutorial images for this reason. While pinners love to repin them, they don't drive traffic at all. Instead, create a great image with the end result.

Pinterest Group Board Basics and Manners
Group boards are your friend
Group boards can be an amazing way to get more exposure on Pinterest. Anyone can make a group board, when you go up to edit a board you can invite other pinners. The invited person needs to be following that board, and you need to be following at least one of their boards as well. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

The group board followers initially are composed of the followers of the board starter, though when more pinners are added if someone "follows all boards" on those pinners, they get added as group board followers as well. The group boards can become very large, but in general the majority of the followers are still the initial core group of followers that were following the board starter. This can be great as an added pinner, chances are that most of those followers are new to you.

Common Board Rules/Manners
Because the board starter is essentially giving you free uncontrolled access to their followers many board starters will set a few rules for their boards, or they may just feel free to delete anyone they want. Personally, I watch my group boards very closely and simply delete repeat offenders. I don't leave messages for people, I don't hunt you down, I simply delete you (and I tell Pinterest to delete all of your pins to that board when I do it).

You can usually check board descriptions for information about that board's rules. However, unless otherwise stated you should probably follow these common group board rules:

Don't invite friends: I'm super picky about who I will let into my group boards. I check out blogs, go through a person's Pinterest profile and even look at their Twitter feed. Not everyone does this. Recently another blogger started inviting other bloggers from her area into my group boards, and one of those invited bloggers started spamming with ads for fake LV bags. The original blogger was deleted and banned, which means that Pinterest also booted everyone she invited AND deleted all of their pins. I definitely won't be inviting her to any of my boards again.

Don't spam the board: Many boards will specify how many pins you can pin to it in a day (something I have a really hard time keeping track of when I schedule all of my pins), but as a general rule you shouldn't be pinning the same pin to a board more than once. You should probably keep yourself under 5-10 pins total to a single group board in a day. I recently booted a few bloggers from group boards that over the course of months were continually pinning the same post many times in the same day (5-10 times) and followers were even mentioning it in comments! Don't be a spammer!

Stay on topic: Sometimes you hit the wrong board name and send something off topic, and that isn't a big deal. Or sometimes a board can have a generic name (hair), and it might not say it in the board description, but maybe the board starter doesn't want hair tips in that board, only pretty hair pictures. Most board starters are pretty forgiving of that. But consistently pinning something very off topic to a board can definitely get you booted. Such as the person that wouldn't stop pinning high end beauty products to my "Drugstore Beauty" board. Yes, I booted them.

Finding group boards
You can often find group boards just by searching on Pinterest for names such as "beauty" or "makeup" and looking for the little group board icon on the results.

Friday, July 25, 2014

11 Great Anti-Frizz Hair Products

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links I Bought It

11 Great Anti-Frizz Hair Products via

1. Ouidad Climate Control Frizz & Flyaway Fighter Taming Shine Spray: This spray is super lightweight and holds up even under high humidity.

2. AG Hair Smooth Frizzproof Anti-Humidity Spray (at ULTA): One quick spray and your hair is smooth and shiny. It's almost impossible to over use this product.

3. AG Hair Smoothing Balm: This is a creamy balm, and a little goes a long way! It is very lightweight and you can use it on wet or dry hair.

4. Bumble and Bumble Defrizz: You only need a few drops, and you can use it at any point in styling. It also does a great job of taming fly aways!

5. Kerastase Oleo Relax Serum: Also really lightweight, it adds a ton of shine and is a hair stylist favorite.

6. L'Oreal Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum: This is pretty lightweight and also helps protect against heat damage. If you're at the drugstore, reach for this over the Frizz Ease.

7. Mark Hill MiracOILicious Argan Oil: This oil is great on wet hair, but use a lighter hand if you're applying it to dry hair.

8. Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine: Another great oil, this one only needs 2 or 3 drops, even for my super thick hair. A bottle is likely a lifetime supply.

9. Living Proof Prime Style Extender: When used on wet hair, this is meant to "prime" your hair for later products, it tames frizz and smooths and helps your hair style last much longer despite humidity.

10. Avon Advance Techniques Frizz Control Lotus Shield Anti-Frizz Treatment: This is the best I've found for super high humidity, just a small amount on wet hair.

11. L'Oreal EverStyle Alcohol-Free Smooth & Shine Creme: This cream also helps tame curls when you're blowing out your hair.

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