New Beauty Blogger tag!

I saw this tag from Hello Miss Niki and just had to fill it out…I love beauty blogger tags! 

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?

I have been blogging since May 2008; I started blogging because I was really interested in finding affordable, cruelty-free beauty and fashion alternatives to the styles in my favorite magazines!
Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
Hate me for it, but I don’t remember! I will say that there are just so many wonderful bloggers out there that it is hard to play favorites.
Most important part about doing a blog post?
Great photos and proofreading! Whenever I rush my proofing I inevitably go back later and find something that I missed!
What kind of camera do you use?
I use my HP Touchpad for close-ups of my face and for videos, and a little cheapie digital camera from Walmart for everything else.

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product you bought and was it worth the hype?
Everyone in the cruelty-free blogosphere raves about Urban Decay, and after I finally bought some of their lipsticks and a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil I saw why! Very worth the hype for such lovely, richly pigmented, vegan products. Great packaging and customer service as well.

What are your favorite five things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?

Meeting other bloggers! I live in an area where fashion and beauty aren’t necessarily hot topics, so it’s great to hop online and chat with like-minded ladies!

What have you learned from being a beauty blogger? 
You need to be patient and consistent with your posts, and you need to network. The readers will not come to you; you need to seek them out via social media and networking with other bloggers. In a larger sense, I think is true of life in general: opportunities do not fall in your lap, you have to make them. Blogging has really helped me embrace this principle in other areas of my life!
 
Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
I’ve learned so much about makeup–what to look for on the ingredients list, how to apply it, etc.

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
The patience/consistency/networking bit (see above). Also, be authentic: don’t try to be someone you’re not, because your readers will sense it. And don’t be snotty; readers will leave in a hurry!

Your favorite eyeshadow palette?
I bought the Physicians Formula Nude Eyeshadow Palette and really love it–I can create a variety of looks from neutral to smoky and it’s very hard to go overboard.

The best beauty deal?
Wet n Wild Megalast Lipsticks. They’ve velvety, come in tons of colors, are long-lasting, and are pretty cheap to boot!


Makeup regrets?
I’ve gotten some products from NYX that I was less than thrilled with…also for a while I kept buying matte foundations, and I don’t know why, because they looked terrible! I also went through a period where I wore way too much eyeliner. I shudder in remembrance.

Name your top five beauty brands!
I only get five? I guess to cover the basics…
  1. Bath and Body Works (body wash and lotion)
  2. Alba Botanica (lips and sun care)
  3. Wet n Wild (color cosmetics)
  4. Giovanni (hair products)
  5. Zoya (nail polish)
 
Recommend your top five favorite beauty products!
  1. Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo
  2. Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner
  3. Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber Body Wash/Lotion/Mist
  4. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara
  5. Dr. Bronner’s Naked Lip Balm  

So there! I tag all of you who read this post and would like to do it! Let me know if you do, I’d love to read your answers!

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award!

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award!

Three lovely ladies have nominated me for the Liebster Award! If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically a nomination from someone who loves your blog to an up-and-coming blogger with less than 200 followers. I’ve been nominated by Nikki from Heaven Has Cupcakes, Amy from Small Budget Beauty, and Ainsley from Wallflowers!

As a nominated blogger, I have to:

  • Reveal 11 random things about myself.
  • Answer 11 questions from the nominating blogger.
  • Tag 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated…no tag backs!
  • Write up 11 questions for my nominees!
What fun! I actually was tagged in a similar blogger tag recently which I think was based on the Liebster, but since I love tags, I’m more than happy to wind up with a new set of questions!
Here are 11 random facts about me:
  1. I have never been out of the United States.
  2. I still have my entire stuffed animal collection from my childhood.
  3. When I was little I wanted to be a singer, but I had terrible stage fright!
  4. I can bake bread from scratch.
  5. Panda bears are one of my favorite animals.
  6. I have not attended any weddings since I was a very small child. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
  7. I’m constantly chewing on my lower lip. Very bad habit, I know!
  8. I don’t like the color purple. I actually find it kind of depressing.
  9. Autumn is my favorite season.
  10. I have never flown on an airplane.
  11. I always cry during movies when an animal gets hurt.


Okay, here are my answers to Nikki’s 11 questions:

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging? To share my passion for affordable, cruelty-free fashion and beauty! 
  2. Do you have a vlog channel?  If not, would you ever consider vlogging? I do: https://www.youtube.com/user/writergirlm1 
  3. What is your absolute favorite beauty product? Lip balm–I can’t feel pretty with chapped lips! I love Dr. Bronner’s Naked balm–no fragrances, no dyes, no flavors, nothing gross. 
  4. What is your favorite store to visit when shopping for beauty products? Ulta. Drool. If they carried more shades of Zoya nail polish in-store I’d be doomed. 
  5. What is your favorite clothing store? Probably Forever 21. I spend way too much money in there. 
  6. Where did you grow up? The Midwest. No, I didn’t live on a dairy farm, just near lots of them! 
  7. What has been your favorite purchase in the last month? (Not just beauty or fashion – anything!) A pair of black Brash platform pumps from Payless that go with everything! 
  8. Where do you do most of your blogging? (Your bedroom, your dining room, a coffee house?) The office/spare room in my house. 
  9. What’s a current beauty or fashion trend that you wish would go away? I hate long, pointy nails. Also: fake tans. 
  10. Who is your inspiration? Style-wise, I look at ladies like Kate Beckinsale, Rachel McAdams, Emily Blunt, Diane Kruger, and Angelina Jolie. 
  11. If you could be a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why? Kate Beckinsale–I love her movies, and she’s super-stylish.


11 questions from Amy:

  1. What is your favorite item from your makeup collection? Probably my Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash mascara. I wish it were waterproof, but it’s the best thus far for natural yet long and fluttery lashes that don’t cost an arm and a leg!
  2. What’s your favorite movie? The Lord of the Rings.
  3. Name one makeup item that you would really like to receieve as a gift. The Urban Decay Vice Palette! 
  4. Do you wear makeup every time you leave your house? Nope! I wear makeup very little actually for work, and when I do go out I only wear it if I feel like it. Sometimes I just don’t bother with it, and my husband doesn’t care! If anyone dislikes me for showing my real face, I figure they’re not worth impressing anyway.
  5. Name your favorite reality TV show. I don’t watch reality TV! I watch very little TV, period!
  6. Do you use more neutral or bright colored makeup? Neutrals. Right now, though, I’ve loving a vampy lip.
  7. What is your favorite color to wear on your nails? Any shade of pink!
  8. What made you start your blog? My interest in cruelty-free beauty and affordable fashion!
  9. Heels or flats? Boots!
  10. Name one of your guilty pleasures. York Peppermint Patties.
  11. Do you have any pets? Two cats, my dear furbabies! 

 
11 questions from Ainsley:

  1. What or who inspired you to blog? I guess the lack of cruelty-free bloggers–though now I realize that I probably just hadn’t found them yet!  
  2. What moment in your life are you most proud of? I have some that are a little too private to share. One I will share is from today: I registered to vote for the very first time! It’s a good feeling knowing you’re putting your two cents in.
  3. If you could recommend one book for someone to read, what book would it be? Urgh, there are so many I love, it’s hard to pick just one! But I’m absolutely in love with Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, which is a great time travel/historical fiction/romance/adventure hybrid. It actually kicks off a long series; I’m impatiently waiting for the eighth book to come out. So worth the wait, though!
  4. What is your favorite color combination? Black and black. Hah! Or soft pinks and greens. 
  5. What is your go to comfort food? Chocolate! 
  6.  If you could live in another time period, when would it be? I can’t say I’d choose any other than the time I’m in!  
  7. If you could only keep one personal item from your room/house, what would it be and why? Photos.
  8. What is your go to makeup or beauty product? Lip balm! Can’t live without it! 
  9. If you could move to another state, which one would you move to? Washington or Oregon–I love the coast. 
  10. Besides blogging, how do you spend your time on the internet? Facebook, fashion and beauty websites, Pinterest (hours and hours). 
  11. Favorite perfume/body spray? Bath and Body Works Signature Collection Sensual Amber. I’m addicted to that scent!

    Okay, time for me to nominate 11 other bloggers and give them 11 questions to answer! (If I tag you and you’ve already been tagged, I’m sorry!) I nominate…

    1. Crazy, Beautiful Makeup
    2. Cute Makeup
    3. Emma Louise
    4. Jojo’s Beauty Guide
    5. London-bred Ladies Who Lunch
    6. MakeUp Guinea Pig
    7. Three Six Five
    8. Vivacious Venus Beauty Oasis
    9. The Glambulance
    10. Pretty Squared
    11. Paperbacks and Polish

    And here are my eleven questions:

    1. Eye makeup or lip makeup?
    2. Are you trendy or classic (beauty and fashion alike)?
    3. What’s your favorite beauty/fashion magazine or website?
    4. What beauty product can you not live without?
    5. What’s the biggest dud makeup product you’ve ever bought?
    6. Favorite article of clothing in your closet?
    7. Where/what is your dream vacation?
    8. Which do you prefer: watching a video tutorial or reading one on a blog? Do you have a preferred format when crafting your own tutorials?
    9. If you weren’t beauty blogging, what would you be doing? (Job, life goal, whatever!)
    10. What piece of pop culture are you secretly obsessed with–but your friends would never guess it? (It could be a movie, a celebrity, anything!)
    11. Favorite thing to do on a day off?

    Thanks again to the three lovely bloggers who tagged me, and I hope the bloggers I tagged will have fun filling out the questions!

    Cute Shoe Monday: Fair Isle slipper boots

    Cute Shoe Monday: Fair Isle slipper boots

    Don’t ask me why I’m on such a Fair Isle bender lately–it’s just been front and center in my fashion viewfinder! I love these cute slipper boots–they’re a slightly more stylish alternative to Uggs, and they look so cozy!

    While you’re shopping Famous Footwear, don’t forget: they’re offering 20% off your entire purchase now through November 10. Use code “Winter20” at checkout or go to their website to print the coupon for in-store use!

    Muk Luks Women's  Jaci Desert Fairisle Boot
    Muk Luks Jaci Desert Fairisle, $37.99, Famousfootwear.com (web exclusive)

    Blogs I loved this week!

    Once again, I bring you my favorite posts of the week! In no particular order…

    Hello Miss Niki unbagged the October Ipsy bag (formerly MyGlam). I know this company has had mega issues in the past, so it’s really nice to see them stepping up their game! You can read her thoughts on the products (she got some great ones!) here.

    ModaMama has some of the best outfit photos on the web–check out her textured grey on grey outfit here.

    Pink and Leopard Prints reminded me of the value of vitamin E oil–check out her post here.

    Linny’s Vault is holding a holiday swap! I’m way too booked for the next two months to participate (sad face), but if you’re interested, you can get the details and sign up here.

    Heaven Has Cupcakes showed off her version of a magnetic makeup board (which I’m sure many of you have seen before on Pinterest!). This is such a great idea for those of you lacking countertop storage space!

    Pixie Dust & Fairytales posted some “galaxy nails” that actually didn’t look intimidating at all! I’ll have to try these very soon. See her post here.

    Also on the nail art list, Glitter Infatuation posted some simple glitter gradient nails that I really love. See her pics here. I’m really into gradient glitter right now and I think I need to post some tutorial pics soon!

    London-bred Ladies Who Lunch suggested a genius winter coat idea to replace basic black…but I won’t tell you what it is, you have to go read their post for yourself and see why it works so well! Bookmarking this one!

    Prepare for a serious case of beauty storage envy: Autumn Leaves may have, hands-down, the most lovely and amazing vanity and storage system I’ve ever seen. No joke. Go drool over it check it out here!

    Finally, I love finding new bloggers, but I missed out on this Sunday’s #bbloggers chat. However, Elysia from Little Beauty Blogg tagged Emma Louise in  beauty blogger tag and I had to go check her out. Emma is brand new to the blogosphere and literally just got started on her blog less than a week ago, so it’d be lovely if all of you would go check her out and leave her some comment love!

    Hope you guys enjoy my favorites and find some new beauty blogs to read and love!

    [CLOSED] Accessory Friday: Glam cocktail ring + GIVEAWAY!

    [CLOSED] Accessory Friday: Glam cocktail ring + GIVEAWAY!

    I can’t pass up a good fashion deal, especially for something gorgeous and trendy like this cocktail ring! So for this edition of Accessory Friday, I bring you easily one of the chicest and cheapest pieces of jewelry I’ve bought all year.

    I found this at Wal-mart for $5! Can you believe that? It’s got a peacock blue faux gemstone covered in black lace. The band is stretchy/adjustable but it seems kind of small–it fits perfectly on my ring finger, and my wedding band is only a size 5 (I think–I don’t really remember!).

    It’s so gorgeous and glam, and I know I’ll get tons of wear out of it with the holiday season fast approaching. Which made me think…

    …why not buy TWO and give one away to a lucky blog reader? :)

    Yep! I’m going to give away one of these rings; all you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below. Like my blog via GFC and answer the question, then sit back and wait for me to announce the winner!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The legal stuff (fun stuff!): International giveaway contest open to entrants 18 and older; void in Quebec and where prohibited. You must follow this blog via GFC and answer the mandatory question or your entry will not be considered complete. One entry per person; no duplicate entries please. Not responsible for missing or incomplete entries. No purchase necessary. Contest begins November 2, 2012 and ends on November 16, 2012. The winner will be contacted on November 17 2012 and must respond within 72 hours with their shipping info or forfeit their prize. Winner is responsible for all taxes, customs, and other applicable fees as pertaining to prize winnings according to the laws of their city, state, and country of residence. Not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged prizes. Winner assumes all liability for use of the prize. Approximate retail value of the prize is $5 (US).