Friday, August 13th, 2010

10 Things I Learned from Beauty Blogging

Charlotte over at Lipglossiping had an excellent post on five things she learned from beauty blogging. I absolutely loved it, and I tweeted out five of my own – and then I asked for people to share theirs… and it was amazing to read all the answers. Would love to hear yours, and I’ve included five more of mine!

Get the Resources and Tools to Become a Beauty Blogger

  • You learn to see shades of color you never knew before. 2 colors are identical, but you will see the nuance that makes them different.  Your boyfriend will look at photos of five red lipsticks and say they’re all the same, but you will see that one is a little bluer, one isn’t as opaque, while two have a sheen.
  • You learn that no matter how perfect your makeup looks, macro mode will always show you something different!   Eyeliner might look on point in real life, but then you see it in high-res and it’ll tell a totally different story.
  • You learn to forget about price tags. $14 used to be expensive, $20 used to be your “max,” and now $60 doesn’t seem outrageous.  And it gets easier to justify an indulgence.  “But it’s for the blog! For readers!” Even if it’s really because you just want that bad boy…
  • You learn the art of micro-organization. How to store and store and store. And re-do it all. And get sick pleasure from it!  The Container Store will become your best friend.
  • You learn that products actually have “good sides” and “good angles” to photograph. And that some products are divas!  You’ll love to photograph some products and loathe others.  You’ll look at them and just know they’re going to be difficult on the set.
  • You learn that there are some really weird products on the market. Like the Vajacial.  And hair dye, post-Vajacial.  You will even consider testing one of these really weird products all in the name of blogging.
  • You learn that you can’t play ultimate frisbee because it will annihilate your swatching hand! NOT THE SWATCHING HAND!  (No, seriously, I broke a bunch of nails on the hand that I use for nail swatches.  Sucked!)
  • You learn that there are fifty different ways to describe a finish, texture, color, etc.  And you’ll still opt for generic words like beautiful, stunning, pretty, gorgeous.
  • You learn how to do five things at once… and get them all done on time.  Sometimes with the help of ample amounts of caffeine.
  • You learn that until you can get your grubby little swatching paws on a product to swatch it for yourself, promo photos are pretty to look at but don’t tell the real story.

    Here are lessons learned by some friends on Twitter! Would also love to hear yours :) (As readers or bloggers!) Continue reading →

    Friday, July 9th, 2010


    The Photo Station:  Where the fun happens!

    The Life & Times of a Beauty Blogger

    I think one of the most popular question I get via email is regarding beauty blogging:  how did you get started, how do you get readers, how do you take photos, how do you balance school and blogging, and so on and so forth.  I find that a lot of the answers and advice I give are redundant (which isn’t a bad thing), but I think it’s time to have a nice post to refer others to, as well as give you a more behind-the-scenes look at how life goes by here at Temptalia.

    Get the Resources and Tools to Become a Beauty Blogger

    Note:  I take blogging seriously–to me, even though it is a hobby and passion, I want to be the best that I can be.  I’ve always been this way with my hobbies.  I take great pride in what I do, particularly since it is public and once it’s on the internet, forever.

    What my typical blogging day looks like…

    • 6:00AM:  Wake up, check e-mail and Twitter on my phone, then head to computer.
    • 6:10-6:45AM:  Approve comments and reply to quick questions asked via comments on the blog.  (Yes, the more complicated or difficult your question, the longer the response time, since I have to either research, reference, etc.  But I do try to get everything answered as quickly as possible.)  Check Facebook Fan page for any questions to answer.
    • 6:45-7:15AM:  Read, send, and reply to email–this includes replying to pitches from brands/PR, replies to readers’ comments and questions sent via email.
    • 7:15-11:00AM:  Write 1-2 posts for the day’s postings.  Reply to comments, questions, etc. on blog and YouTube.  Either photograph/swatch products to review or crop and edit product/swatch photos so they’re ready to be used in a review.
    • 11:00AM-12:30PM:  Walk Mellanhead & eat lunch!
    • 12:30PM-5:00PM:  Try to do a look and film it as a YouTube tutorial, then hand it off to the boy for editing.  Then test and write notes on various products.  More photographing or editing of photos, sometimes writing a post or two.  One or two days out of the week, I spent 1-2 hours watching TV with Mellan during this time.
    • 5:00PM-6:00PM:  Eat dinner.
    • 6:00PM-11:00PM:  Read, send, and reply to urgent emails.  Reply to comments.  Write 1-4 posts for the next day.  Try to log off the computer by 11PM!

    Keep in mind, this is a blogging day, which is when I don’t have school.  I typically have school in the mornings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for 2-3 hours and then again in the evenings on Mondays and Wednesdays for another 3 hours.  On days when I do have class, I will spend less time taking or editing photos.   I do all my schoolwork on one day when possible.  I usually take part of Friday or Saturday to spend reading next week’s assignments and doing any homework.  I know how to speed read (one of the most valuable skills I have ever learned), which has helped me immensely in every aspect of my academia.  My weekends are often considerably less intensive, though sometimes more so, depending on how I feel and what we do–we often visit with our friends/family on the weekend and then relax together on the other day.

    My schedule is flexible and that’s how it should be. Even though the above is my approximate schedule, it is a flexible schedule.  Sometimes we go out for lunch or dinner, and we don’t rush through it so I can stay on schedule.  Sometimes we go for walks, head to the mall, do grocery shopping… dessert runs, coffee runs… whatever!  I frequently take 5-10 minute breaks to go play and cuddle with Mellan.  Sometimes I’m tired from not sleeping well and will just take a break–watch some TV, go for a walk, whatever.  There are always areas where you can scale back for a day or two without anyone noticing, and it is important to allow yourself breaks and some fun when you need them, so you don’t burn out.

    The Hows & Whys of Blogging… Continue reading →