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What I Wish I Had Known About Blogging Before I Started

How much time do you have?  Seriously, if I had a nickel for every time I read something about blogging and thought, “That can’t possibly be true…” I could pay off my house.

1. It is not going to be easy.

Sure, I’ll just set up a website, try some products, and write some stuff, right? Easy peasy.  Then maybe I’ll throw some ads up on it and make money! Voila!

Not so fast.  First of all, I tweak my site about 100 times a day.  There’s always something about the layout I want to fix, always something about the font.  Then there’s the trying of products.  Trying things is time consuming, and in order to really get a feel for skin and hair products you have to use them for a while.

I had two other websites that I designed, curated content for, ran, and then shut down before this one.

What I Wish I Had Known About Blogging Before I Started | Beauty Chaos
The first of many notebooks I have filled.
2. It is going to be time consuming.

When I first started out, I would read about fellow bloggers who stayed up until 4 am finishing posts.  I thought, what are they doing?  Their time management must be terrible.

Wrong.  There is always something to do.  There’s not just maintaining and writing for the blog, there’s social media, photography, research, networking, emailing, marketing, SEO…the list goes on and on.  I need so much time just to get two articles up a week, photograph for them, then promote them.  So if I’m on set for five days in a week, guess what? No posts.  It’s really a huge juggling act.

3. It will not be lucrative.

At least, not initially, for most.  Throwing ads up on your site in no way guarantees income.  When I first started, I thought surely after about six months, I’ll be able to quit my day job. Bahahahahahaahha!

Hahahaha.

Ha.

But seriously, it doesn’t work that way.  Hours and hours of hard work go into blogging, and there’s no guarantee that you will ever make money off of it.  So only do what you love.

What I Wish I Had Known About Blogging Before I Started | Beauty Chaos

4. Other people might not get it.

“Oh, you have a blog? Oh, that’s so cute!” I hear this a lot.  People who don’t run a blog have absolutely no idea how much time, effort, thought, money, passion, and life it takes to maintain one.  They also may not understand why you would do something that occupies so much of your time without being paid or making any money from it.  Especially your parents.

5. It will likely cost you money at first.

Or, you know, for a good while.  There’s a lot of elements that go into blogging, as I’ve said above, from hosting fees to Pinterest programs to consultants to just buying the products that you’d like to try, if that’s your niche.

People will not just give you stuff for free because you say you’re a blogger, so if you really want to try something, you’ll likely have to buy it yourself. Be sure to plan out your finances carefully, otherwise $5 here and $20 there can add up quickly.

6. Pictures matter.

I heard this before I started blogging and I thought, ‘Yeah, but I’ll just deal with that later. I just need to get something up now.’ And while this is a valid thought and nothing ever comes from procrastination, I look back on a lot of my early photos and I cringe.

There’s nothing wrong with simply diving in and getting something up immediately.  Just make sure that you’re prepared to go back and edit, edit, edit.

What I Wish I Had Known About Blogging Before I Started | Beauty Chaos

7. Social media will become a huge part of your life.

Like, huge.  Before I started blogging I had no interest in Instagram.  I would post maybe once a month, usually photos of my cats or something funny.

Once I launched, however, I realized to really be successful and attract attention to what I was doing, I had to engage. That meant spending hours on social media interacting with other bloggers, putting photos on Instagram, thinking about hashtags, making Pins.  I never dreamed Pinterest would be central to my universe, but now I spend a significant portion of my day thinking about it.

And Instagram? Forget about it. I’m on Instagram so much I’ve become one of the people I used to judge for being on their phones too much.  But it’s important for a blog, or any business, really, to engage on social media.  And since we’re very visual creatures, Instagram is hugely important to this engagement.  So plan on spending significant quality time with your phone.

What I Wish I had Known Before I Started Blogging | Beauty Chaos
I love you, phone.
8. SEO is a beast I will probably never fully understand.

And that’s okay.  I have done hours and hours and hours of research and I still don’t think I get SEO.  Yes, I understand certain elements, but my brain just doesn’t work this way.  Plus, it’s an ever-changing animal, so once I think I understand it, Google changes things up on me and I’m back in the dark.

One of the smartest things I’ve spent money on since starting this blog was an SEO expert.  She pointed out what I had done wrong, what I had done right, and told me what to fix.  This saved me money in the long run, since I didn’t have to spend hours poring over books trying to figure out what exactly to fix.

I went to school for English Literature.  She went to school for web design and marketing.  I definitely made the right choice in deferring to the expert.

9. For every opinion, there is an equal and opposite opinion.

Get really niche-y.  Don’t be too niche-y.  Be narrow.  Be broad.  Be personal.  Be private.  Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to parse through all the opinions out there.

The great thing is that these are just opinions. Yes, blogging experts have knowledge from years of experience that you may not have starting out.  But some blogging experts may not be experts at all, and they may not be experts for your niche.

What I’ve found is that I’m happiest if I stay true to myself.  I write what I like, what I know, and let the rest fall into place.

What I Wish I Had Known About Blogging Before I Started | Beauty Chaos

10. At the end of the day, it’s about you.

And that’s the gist of it.  Although I do believe blogging should be treated as a business, a lot of bloggers started up because they wanted to leave the 9 to 5 grind and work for themselves.  So it has to be something you enjoy and is your passion, or else it will become just another thing you have to do each day.

And yes, it is each day.  There is not one day I spend away from my blog, or my blog’s Instagram, or my other forms of social media.  But that’s okay, because I genuinely enjoy it.  And that’s what it’s all about.

Are you a blogger with some kernels of wisdom?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Great Holiday Shopping Options

Hey all! I’m a terrible holiday shopper.  I leave everything to the last minute.  But with all the holiday shopping options available, I really have no excuse for waiting until the last minute.  I mean, let’s be real, with the Internet available I no longer have an excuse to shop last minute.

Usually, I do my holiday shopping on Amazon

With a Prime membership, it’s difficult not to take advantage of the millions of great products in the Amazon universe.  Sometimes they’re more expensive, but when I get home on December 21 and realize I have done zero holiday shopping, that free two day shipping (or sometimes one day shipping!) comes in handy.

And I really should be using Etsy shops

I feel like shopping on Etsy is similar to shopping small businesses in your area.  There are great, one of a kind creations available and you can usually find pretty cost friendly options for every budget.

Here’s a couple of examples:

NiftyNickiD makes super cute customized sunglasses for any occasion!  You can buy pre-made ones or message her for a specialty order.  She’s awesome and very creative.  So even if you have just an idea of what you’d like, she’ll turn that concept into a reality for you!

Great Holiday Shopping Options - NiftyNickiD's sunnies - Beauty Chaos

Twisted Leather Co. Owner Lisa got so many compliments on her handmade leather bracelets that she decided to open a store!  Each item is handmade and can be customized to your liking.  My favorite is the love bracelet featured below.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Twisted Leather Co - Beauty Chaos
Say it with jewelry – you know, the best way!

A to Z Candles has awesome, soy based candles and wax melts.  Their products are very affordable at $5, and sometimes will have cut slogans on them like the one featured below.  Or you can customize them! Plus, they have my favorite scent, Rosemary Mint, which I have been obsessed ever since trying the Aveda shampoo line when I was a teenager.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - A to Z Candles - Beauty Chaos

And speaking of things that smell.

Things that smell great, I mean.  Unless you like things that smell bad.  That’s entirely up to you.  But I discovered essential oils a couple of years ago when a friend invited me to her Doterra party and I’ve been buying them religiously ever since.

Essential oils can be used to treat a whole host of maladies, including insomnia, which I battle with.  A little bit of lavender oil in a diffuser next to my bed makes a world of difference. My friend Melissa, who I know from my corporate banking days (true story) has a website through Young Living, one of the many options for pure essential oils.

Although essential oils can seem a little pricey at first, remember that you’re literally using a drop at a time.  A tiny bit goes a long way.  I have a small bottle of Rosemary oil that I’ve been using forever.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Young Living Essential Oils - Beauty Chaos

Brad’s Deals is not a website where you can actually buy stuff, but I’m obsessed nonetheless.  Basically, the people there compile the best deals they can find and post them on their site moment by moment.  There’s even a daily email newsletter you can sign up for.

I have found tons of great deals on here, for everything from furniture to makeup.  They had two of those humongous Yankee Candles listed last week for under $20.  That’s unheard of.  So do yourself a favor, head over to Brad’s Deals and sign up.  It’s one of the few newsletters I get that doesn’t go directly to Junk Mail.

When all else fails, donate.

I know, I know, Christmas is supposed to be all about consumerism and fighting with your family.  But wouldn’t it be great to make a donation in someone’s name to the ASPCA instead of getting them a trinket from Marshall’s?  If you don’t like the idea, give it to that cousin you hate that you got in the Secret Santa drawing.  They’ll look petty if they complain and you’ll look like a hero anyways.  WIN.

One of the best birthday gifts I received was a donation made by husband to the World Wildlife Foundation.  They still send me cute calendar every year.

While the holidays are my favorite season, I hate how stressful they get.  Shopping for gifts makes me feel better.  I love that it’s a season of giving, and no matter how you choose to do that this holiday season, take care of each other :).

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Beauty Chaos

If you liked my ideas, please, share this post on social media! The buttons are listed on the left-hand side of the page.

What’s your favorite place for holiday shopping?  Leave me a comment and let me know or message me here!

Trend Review: Hanacure Face Mask

I’ve been seeing Hanacure pop up quite a bit in my Facebook feed, so I naturally wanted to try it.  Then I talked to my sister, who swears my the stuff, and my mind was made up.  Hanacure would be next on my list.

But first, a little chaos.

I have had the good fortune to be hired on regularly for the new Fox show LA>Vegas which will be premiering in January.  This has been an amazing couple of months, but I am on set most of the time working 12 to 14 hour days.  When I’m not on set, I’ve been working my other job, you know, so I can pay bills and stuff.  Needless to say, the blog has been suffering as a result.  For that, I apologize.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

We have the week of Thanksgiving off before starting up again for three weeks in December.  Hopefully, I can pull my life together during this week while also working on my WAH stuff.  My house has been looking like a kitty litter bomb exploded, and the guest room has been fully converted into my makeup staging area since I’ve been getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready.

Doesn’t it sound glamorous?

I’m also playing a stripper, so I’m in 5 inch heels and a tight dress most of the day, which leads to conversations like this:

Cardio Barre instructor: You look like you’re in pain, are you okay?

Me: Yes, but my hip is bothering me.  I walked about 5 miles in stilettos yesterday.

Cardio Barre instructor: Oh my.

Me: No, not for fun.  It was for work.

Cardio Barre instructor: *nods and walks away*

I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a hooker.  Or a stripper.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

Anyways, onto Hanacure.

As I said, this has been in my Facebook and Instagram news feed a lot.  People are saying it’s nothing short of miraculous for wrinkles, acne, redness, and just about every other skin ailment you can imagine.

Naturally, I’m skeptical.

But for a roughly $33 price point including shipping, I’m willing to try it.  Specifically, the website says you will, “Achieve flawless skin in minutes.”  There is also the fact that they keep Hanacure in limited supply, so there’s the, “Back in stock for a limited time!” element at play as well.  I think companies do this to drive desire for the product, but that’s just my opinion.

So I order the starter kit.

The starter kit comes at a $29 price point, which is reasonable.  There is also the option to purchase a set, which is four applications, for $110.  I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I decide whether or not I like the product.

Hanacure ships quickly, and I receive my mask within a week.  The starter kit comes with a brush (to save), lifting serum ampoule, and a gelling pack.  The packaging is beautiful, I have to say.  The box is pretty and it’s a minimalist design, which I tend to favor in my products.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

The website says that Hanacure is inspired by the lotus flower, as the lotus represents rebirth and purity.  Sounds promising.  It uses their patented CO2 OctoLift technology to tighten, brighten, contour, lift, and repair.  Oh, did I mention it’s vegan?

To use Hanacure, you open the ampoule, pour the solution into the gelling pack, and shake.  In about 30 seconds, voila! your mask is ready. You then apply the mask liberally with the brush and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off.

Here’s the kicker: You will look like Hannibal Lecter while you’re wearing this mask.

I knew this going in, since I had done some research.  As the mask tightens, it really tightens, and you can feel your skin basically shrinking on your face.  It’s kind of crazy, and you can see this transformation in the YouTube video below:

Something to keep in mind.

Hanacure is designed to be cumulative, meaning that every time you use it, your skin will look better, Eventually, you should get to a “maintenance” phase where you’re only using Hanacure a few times per month or anytime your face needs a little pick me up. Until the maintenance phase, the Hanacure website instructs that it should be used twice a week.

After I rinse the mask off, my skin looks beautiful.

I have to admit, Hanacure works.  My skin looks tighter, younger, and glowy after use.  Almost as good as when I get light chemical peels from my aesthetician at Corrective Skincare.

Almost is the keyword here.  See, the light chemical peels that I get are amazing.  They are by far one of the best skincare treatments I’ve ever gotten.  And they’re designed only to be done every two weeks at a maximum.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

That’s where I run into a problem.

If I were to keep using Hanacure twice a week for, let’s say, a month, it would cost me roughly $300.  Even more if I were to follow what their clinical study participants did and use Hanacure every three days for 31 days.  For the purposes of discovery I would be willing to try this to see just how well the cumulative effects work.  However, with the peels coming in at $75 apiece, twice a month only costs $150 (more like $200 with gratuity).  So you see where I’m running into an issue?

My overall opinion is that yes, Hanacure is awesome.  If you’re looking for an amazing overall skin transforming experience, I think this could be it.  I just have something that’s more cost effective that works well for me, so I will likely continue down that route.

Have you tried Hanacure?  Tell me about your experience! Leave me a comment or message me here!

And please, if you’ve found this article helpful, share it on social media! The buttons are to the left. Until next time, stay beautiful!

Beauty Regrets – It Happens to the Best of Us

You know how it is: you see something pretty in a magazine, you think, “Wow, that would look great on me!” And then a week later you’re crying to your hair stylist because your failed ombre attempt now makes you look like you smashed your head against a pumpkin.

The stylist gazes at your orange, patchy mess of hair and sighs deeply, chiding you for not coming to them sooner. We’ve all been there, girl. From disastrous beauty trends to drunken ideas, the world of beauty is difficult to navigate. It’s no wonder we often get lost in it. For a laugh, let’s talk about the most common beauty regrets and things you can do to fix them.

Beauty Regrets Number One: Ruined Hair

Beauty Regrets Number One: Ruined Hair - Beauty Chaos

Like the aforementioned DIY ombre, hair disasters are quite common when you decide to forgo the professionals and rely on box dyes and your own untrained hands to partake in a current trend. Do yourself a favor: See a hair stylist if you want the best hair trend seen in Vogue, and make sure you get regular trims and that you treat your hair with care to keep it healthy and glossy.

Beauty Regrets Number Two: Pencil-Thin Brows

Once you start plucking it’s hard to stop. The ’90s are most recently to blame for a terrible trend of unnaturally thin brows that make our face look oddly flat and moon-like. We can’t all be blessed like Jennifer Connelly and Cara Delevingne, but microblading and good makeup tricks for perfect brows can go a long way. Also, when you pluck, it’s good to draw out the outline of the shape you want for your brows to avoid over-plucking.

Beauty Regrets Number Three: Highlighting

Not that a glow that signals aliens in outer space isn’t amazing, it just might be a tad overwhelming once it starts blinding your boss as you strut around the office. To avoid pesky lawsuits and giving people vision problems, consider something more subtle for your everyday look. Mac’s Soft and Gentle is lovely for a workday, and once your shift is done, feel free to have fun with Fenty Beauty’s famed Trophy Wife highlighter and replace the disco ball of the club you’re going to.

Beauty Regrets Number Four: Bad Foundation

Beauty Regrets Number Four: Bad Foundation - Beauty Chaos

From a glazed turkey to a human impersonation of Cheetos, there are levels of how bad this can get. Once you start resembling a Halloween craft, it’s time to consult the kind people at Sephora or Ulta and ask them to match you with your proper shade. Here’s a tip: match the foundation to your chest and neck, because your face can easily get ruddy during the day. It’s a good way to avoid that harsh strip of discoloration that ends at your chin.

Beauty Regret Number Five: Bad Concealer

Straight from the frying pan and into the fire, the only thing worse than bad foundation is bad concealer. Also, here’s something most people find mind-blowing: you need two different shades. One for your under-eye dark circles, and the other one for spot concealing. Find either two concealers, or something even better like E.L.F.’s Concealer Palette which has four shades to cover all your needs. The undereye concealer needs to be a shade or two lighter than your skin tone to give your face definition and brighten your complexion, and the other concealer needs to match your skin tone exactly right.

Beauty Regrets Number Six: Bad Skincare

Beauty Regrets Number Six: Bad Skincare - Beauty Chaos

Will only one night of not removing your makeup really hurt your face? Well, kind of, yes. To be honest, not removing your makeup is a pretty terrible idea. Even if you don’t see immediate consequences, that breakout a few days later will come as an unpleasant surprise. Those wrinkles 5, 10 years from now will gleefully settle around your eyes and mouth. And it’s not just makeup removal either, you need to find the right nourishing ritual for your skin type – combination/oily skin needs an entirely different regimen than a dry one.

Beauty Regrets Pin

Look, we’ve all attempted an inexplicably stupid Pinterest hack at one time or another. Honestly, there’s no need to be embarrassed. These are all supremely fun stories to tell, and experimenting with products and trends is what leads to some pretty expert skills. Don’t let these discourage you! Simply use them as a learning experience and a Friday night anecdote over a bottle of wine with your girlfriends.

Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 2, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.

Liebster Blogger Recognition Award

Greetings, all! I have been super busy the last few weeks, but in the midst of all the chaos I received some great news.  Aniela from Punto di Stile nominated me for the Liebster Blogger Recognition Award! I’m so excited that she considered me for a nomination, and I want to thank her for it.

What is the Liebster Blogger Recognition Award?

Good question.  The Liebster Blogger Recognition Award is an international award that is passed from blogger to blogger as a means of supporting each others’ work. It helps promote fellow bloggers while receiving support for your own work. Being a pretty new blog, I’m honored to be considered for this award.

Blogging is difficult. It seems easy from an outside perspective, I think, but it requires so much work that readers never see. The writing part is only a small portion of what’s required. There’s the design, SEO work, photo shooting, photo editing, video making (if that’s part of it), social media, email design…the list goes on. Fellow bloggers understand the amount of time and effort this takes, and it’s important for us to support each other!

Liebster Blogger Recognition Award

Rules for the Liebster Blogger Recognition Award

The rules for the Liebster award are straightforward.  You must:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief description of how your blog got started
  • Provide 2 pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers to nominate
  • Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to your post

Pretty easy stuff, right? So, about my blog and how I got started.  I have wanted to start a beauty and lifestyle blog for a long time. Since I love beauty products, fitness trends, and health crazes so much, it seemed the natural choice for me.  I even purchased a different domain name three years ago and never did anything with it.  It just sat in my GoDaddy account until it expired.

And why didn’t I do anything?  This plays into my first piece of advice for new bloggers.  I didn’t do anything with it because I was afraid.  I was afraid of what people would think.  Afraid of how others would react to me putting my voice out there.  I was afraid that other people would think it was stupid, that I had no business doing what I was doing.

Liebster Blogger Recognition Award

Two pieces of advice.

So my first piece of advice is do not let fear control you.  This is something I struggle with daily, and not just in the blogosphere.  I am constantly having to remind myself that what other people think of me is none of my business. What is my business is making my life look like what I want it to be.  So I shush that voice every moment of every day and concentrate on doing what I love.

My second piece of advice is have patience.  When I first started I thought, “Oh, okay, so I’ll write, put up some posts, and probably be making at least $1,000 a month within six months.” Haaaahahahahahahahaha! Nope.  I’m sure it happens that way for some people, but it certainly has not gone that way for me.  And that’s okay! I love writing this blog.  I love trying different products and hacks and seeing how they work.  And I love writing about the weird things that go on in my life because, well, things get pretty strange.

Liebster Blogger Recognition Award

So now for my nominations.

For the Liebster Blogger Recognition Award, I nominate:

  • https://thebohemiannation.com/
  • https://www.jasminececiliajonas.com/
  • http://asiasignature.com/
  • http://brandtravels.com/
  • https://www.ladyandthedachshund.com/
  • https://pawsoncuracao.blogspot.com/
  • https://acrunchypeach.wordpress.com/
  • http://sweethomesarah.com/
  • https://decodingmotherhoodblog.com/
  • https://lisalunney.com/
  • https://thequillandcoffee.blog/
  • https://juliaamanda.com/
  • http://www.celestiallivin.com/
  • https://www.rose-minded.com/
  • https://www.frostedpetticoatblog.com/

So that’s it, guys! Please check out the blogs listed above – these ladies spend so much time and effort on their work, and their blogs definitely reflect it.

 

 

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