Monday, June 30, 2014

Youtube Channels, Daily Vlogs, and more!

Hey guys!
I'm super excited to announce that I've started youtube channels! I have one for my beauty videos and another for my lifestyle videos! I have my first videos up on both channels and I'm super excited for you guys to see them! The video on my beauty channel is Meet Me and My Channel and the video on my lifestyle channel is The Impossible Puzzle. Also really exciting for me is that I've decided to (attempt) to do daily vlogs! If you want to see them subscribe to my lifestyle youtube channel here!


So I'm really excited about this and I hope that you guys like my videos! Please show your support by subscribing!
-Sisi

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Should I Start Youtube Videos?

Hi guys!
So I wanted to ask you something because I create content for you, my readers, and I value your opinion so much and I think you should be involved in this decision. I have been thinking about making youtube videos and I wanted to know your thoughts on it. Would you watch the videos? Would you rather read what I have to say, or would you rather watch a video? Just let me know what your thoughts on it in the comments below or on twitter or through email or facebook because I want you guys to help me with this! Also, yes I did have a youtube channel before when my blog was under a different name, but I stopped posting on the channel and I did something funky and I can't even access that channel anymore so I would be starting from scratch again! Thanks so much for your love and support and let me know what you think!
-Sisi

Mini Life Update

Hey guys!
So this is going to be a different sort of post as it's going to be a mini life update. I usually keep more of my personal life on my other blog, which I'll link here, and if you follow that blog, you'll probably already know most of this stuff. I felt like I needed to write this as sort of an explanation for why I really wasn't posting at all on this blog and what's been going on. I'm going to try keep this short and sweet, so here we go!

So I'm sure the majority of you know that I had shoulder surgery on the first week of June. I'm not going to get into the actual surgery itself or what happened, but let me just tell you, pretty much everything that could go wrong before the surgery did, and everything that could go wrong after the surgery did, but the surgery itself was pretty good. I already did a post on the craziness on my other blog and I'll link it here for you. Well the anestesia made me super sick and the pain meds made me sicker because I'm naturally very sensitive to narcotics and they make me nauseous as hell, which we found out after two weeks of me vomiting my guts out. So that's why I didn't post for the first two weeks of June. Last week I started summer school and I got a laptop for the class I'm taking (on loan from my school) so I can start content creating again. 

Right now I'm not quite sure what to say because I want to create a schedule so bad, but I am pretty positive there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to stick to it because I'm so swamped with summer school and physical therapy and family stuff so I've decided to try post at least three times a week, but I ain't making no promises! I'm also going to be prewriting a lot of posts because at the end of july I lose this nice MacBook and I'm going back to posting from my phone and crappy laptop. Also, I might be getting my wisdom teeth out in August so be aware that my posting might get weird then too! Oh and also I'll do a post on my wisdom teeth consult on my other blog soon because that was quite the adventure! 

I love you guys so much and I really appreciate all of the support you've given me through this past month. Oh I didn't mention it in the post, but I am getting out of the sling on the 4th of July if all goes well, so that's pretty exciting! It's rough doing things left handed for a month... I'll see you in my next post! 
XOXO
-Sisi  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Starting a Blog! Part 4: Tips for Networking

Hey guys! 
So I originally planned for the Starting a Blog series to be 3 posts, but I've been thinking about it over and over and I've decided to maybe extend it by 2 or 3 more posts because the response has been amazing and I feel like I haven't covered everything. This post will be my tips for networking because networking is super important in blogging, especially if you want to make it a career. Even if you don't, I think that these networking tips will help you make blogger buddies and make blogging a more social thing. If you've missed out on my past 3 posts, you can see the one about monetizing here, the one all about that "first post" here, and the one about actually starting a blog here. Okay! So let's get started!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What Exactly is Short Hair?

Hi guys!
So my friends and I were talking the other day and the topic turned to "short hair". We started venting about how online shoulder length hair is considered to be "short", while most people consider it to be "medium" length and I thought that I'd turn it into a blog post!

Well first off, I think that everyone can agree with what long hair is! But when we start getting into short and medium, it gets a little confusing, especially online! I literally just searched "short hair" on google images and 99% of those images were of people who have hair that touches or are around their shoulders, which I would consider medium. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it is really confusing especially when you think of all the things that can go wrong with these ambiguous names! Like what if you go into a hair salon and say, "I want to go short" and you're thinking pixi cut and the stylist is thinking shoulder length bob. I just think that it's absolutely ridiculous and crazy how we beauty gurus have names for like the different parts of the eye (crease, browbone, lid, lashline, waterline...) but we still can't get hair lengths right. Like come on guys! Get it together! Haha, just kidding! But really, these names bother me...

Let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below! Am I on to something, or am I just crazy? Also, follow me on bloglovin for more posts!
-Sisi

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Science Behind Beauty: How to Make a Kick Ass Scrub

Hey guys!
So it has been forever since I've done my last "Science Behind Beauty" post, and I've been missing it! I've decided to do one today on how to make a kick ass scrub because it's 1) really simple and 2) really fun! Here we go!

How to make it:
Find your abrasive. The simplest are sugar or salt, but you can choose whatever you want!
Then find your base or liquid. This needs to be an oil (I'll explain later). My favorites are coconut oil, olive oil, or sesame oil. Remember that you're going to have a faint scent of whatever you choose, so choose an oil you like the scent of! 
There are also additives that you can choose to add if you like! Herbs or aromatics make the scrub smell really good. You could also add in essential oils if you want and I've heard of people adding citrus juices as sort of an astringent. 
You can choose the ratio of each that you like, but I tend to eyeball it and put in a lot of abrasive per liquid.
So there you go! That's your kick ass scrub. 


Why it works: 
Salt is an ionic compound, right? It's Na (sodium) and Cl (chloride). This allows it to dissolve in water because the Na is positively charged and the Cl is negatively charged. In oil, however, it doesn't dissolve because lipids aren't charged. This allows you to have the abrasive feeling in your scrub instead of just applying salt water to your skin, which does absolutely nothing. The oil is also really great because it is a moisturizing compound. Our skin cells have a phospholipid bilayer and topical oils help to enhance our natural skin barrier. For best results, use this out of the stream of the water. This prevents the salt or sugar from prematurely dissolving. 

Other notes:
If you're going to keep this scrub to use another day, I strongly suggest using salt as your abrasive because ants aren't attracted to salt and it won't get as icky. Also, if you want to know how I use it, I apply this first, then shave, then apply it again and shave again. The first time I apply it is to remove dead skin cells and when you shave you're removing a bit of hair and mostly the skin cells and when you do it again, you're shaving your hair. Also, be careful if you're using coconut oil because it has a tendency to stay solid at cooler temperatures so it might impact your pipes and stuff (but I wouldn't know because coconut oil is liquid year round in Hawaii). 

I'm so happy that I'm restarting this series! I've missed it so much! Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below and don't forget to follow this blog for more posts!
-Sisi

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Haul! Bath and Body Works, Macys, and Forever 21






Hey guys! 
So the last couple of hauls that I've done have been really small (like around 3 products), but this is not one of those! I have a decent sized haul to share with you guys today because I went shopping before my surgery and wanted to get a lot of stuff! Here we go!



So first the things from Bath and Body Works! I got a body lotion in the scent Endless Weekend because it was on sale for $5 and it smelled really good! I can't describe the scent of this well, and I don't think it matches the description, but maybe sweet with a hint of musk? It kinda smells like BABW Endless Red, if that helps!


Next I got a large sized hand sanitizer in the fresh strawberry scent. It smells really amazing and I thought it'd be good for my bedroom so I'm not using the little pocketbacks all the time! It was also a better deal because this was only $5!


It wouldn't be a BABW haul without a few candles! I love their new mason jar candles because they're more cost efficient than the three wick candles ($12 v $20) and they're so dang cute! I got the tiki beach scent, which longterm readers will know that I love! It's just a super fruity and sweet and clean scent that's absolutely fantastic!

Last thing from BABW was another candle! They had a 2 for $20 special with the mason jar candles so I got a market peach scent. I smelt this one because Amarixe raves about it so much, and I fell in love with it! It's actually burning in my room right now! Also, it was the last one in the store, so it must be good, right?


From Forever 21 I got another pair of aviators. Like seriously, I can't get enough of these! These are mirrored  gray aviators with a rose gold frame, although you don't really get that from the picture. They were only $3.80 so I talked my friends into getting them too so we could be matching!



Lastly, I got this top from Macy's for my friend's birthday present. It's super adorable because it's just a flowy pink shirt with cold shoulder detailing. I think it was around $20 and it's the American Rag brand (which is probably my favorite brand Macys carries!)






So that was my haul! I hope that you guys liked this post and let me know what your favorite bath and body works candle scents are (or scents in general) in the comments!
-Sisi



Friday, June 13, 2014

Starting a Blog! Part 3: Monetizing

Hey guys!
So this is part 3 of my Starting a Blog series! It's all about money and samples, which are some of the most exciting things for a lot of bloggers. This is going to be another lengthier post, so let's get started!

Money, Money, Money...
1) Sign Up For Affiliate Websites
I use Amazon affiliates so I get a tiny percentage of commission every time someone uses my link, but it's definitely not that much. In the beginning you're not going to make anything at all, but if you keep posting, you're commissions will grow as your following does!
2) Google Adsense
This is really easy to do if you use Blogger as your major platform, but I think that you can use it with other platforms as well (maybe except tumblr). They post ads on your blog and you get money when people view them or click on them. 
Just remember: Never get into blogging for the money! Unless you're one of a few, you're not going to get a whole lot of money from this! Also, diversification is key so try to spread it out over lots of different sites.

Samples...
1) If you really want samples, use BrandBacker
It's a site that I, personally use, because it allows beauty bloggers and companies to share information about different campaigns. You can get compensation by using this site and it's a way to connect with different companies.
2) You could also...
Just wait! Most companies will contact you if they really want to work with you, so if you wait it out, you'll get something eventually! But, if you choose to use this method, make sure you have your contact information visible somewhere on your blog just so you make it easy for people to get in contact with you!

So that was my third and final post in my starting a blog series! If there are any aspects of starting a blog you'd like more info on, let me know in the comments and I promise to reply or make a new post on that topic, and for all you bloggers reading this, leave your tips and tricks in the comments below!
-Sisi 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Starting a Blog! Part 2: Posting!

Hi guys! 
This is part 2 of my starting a blog and it'll be all about posting! I'll keep this intro short and sweet because I have a lot of things to write about! So here we go!

In All Your Posts Think About...
1) Originality!
This is both with voice and content! There are some bloggers who sound really professional in their posts, but I prefer to write in the same way that I speak! Also, make sure that you never, ever copy someone's content because it is the easiest way to lose readers and respect!
2) Length
I know many bloggers who swear that short is best, but I tend to write a lot in my blog posts! I think that length doesn't matter as much as just using the minimum amount of words to convey your message. Don't ramble, but don't fret if your post is a tad bit long!
3) Content
Of course this is the big one! You want to be really honest when reviewing and in my reviews I like to include dupes (when I have them), a review on the packaging, product, and overall thoughts. With tutorials I tend to go step by step, but that's not always necessary. Just do everything really thoroughly and make sure that you're proud of what you post because at the end of the day, that's all that really matters!

Some Ideas For First Posts...
1) TAGs!
I think that tags are great for a first post because they tend to get a lot of views, on my blog at least, which generates a little bit of traffic and hopefully a few subscribers! TAGs are also really easy because you just have to answer questions and are good for allowing yourself to find your voice!
2) Hauls
Hauls are another post that tends to get me a lot of traffic! I think that larger hauls or drugstore hauls tend to do better for me than smaller ones, but it really doesn't matter! This is another really great beginner post because it doesn't require too much writing and also let's you figure out your angle and voice (whether you want to write like you talk, or write like a "teacher", or write like a reporter...)
3) Inspiration!
For my inspiration posts I tend to go to pintrest and see what inspires me! I love these because they are really easy because you're not taking your own pictures and you can just say your own opinions! These are also really quick to write, so that's a plus!

About Those Pictures...
1) Use What You Got!
My camera isn't fancy at all! It's just a normal digital camera, but I found lighting that works for me and I found that it's fine for the time being. If all you have is your smartphone, use that and make it work! Of course a DSLR would be wonderful, but it's not necessary for great pictures!
2) Find Your Lighting!
Natural lighting is your best friend! With all my ootd posts I try to get outside and use a timer and a tripod or a friend to take my pics! Also, with swatches and everything you'll find that sunshine will make everything seem truer to color. I would experiment with different locations until you find what you like!
3) Background
For some product pictures I just photo the product on my tile flooring and I find that works fine. I also tend to take photos of products on my bed (so the background is my sheets). I like having a solid color background and I think that if you have a white paper, that makes a really great background too! For OOTD shots, I do it in my yard in front of a fence most times, but go for a location with lighting and minimal distractions! And for my face shots I do it in front of a bulletin board, but you can do it wherever you want to! I think that the most important thing is to keep your backgrounds simple so that your face is the focus! 

After You Post...
1) Upload Links on Social Media
After you post, I like to upload my links to all the social media (for me twitter, facebook, google+) just to make sure that people know that I've posted
2) Keep an Eye Out for Comments
Just make sure that you keep checking on your blog and look for comments! It's really important to reply to everyone who comments on your blog because comments are what keep people coming back! It also helps you build a relationship with your readers. 

So those are my tips on posting! I'll upload another post in this series in a few days all about monetizing and getting samples, so keep your eyes out for that! Also, leave your tips in the comments because I'd love to read them!
-Sisi

Friday, June 6, 2014

Starting a Blog! Part 1: Setting It Up

Hi guys!
So I'm currently rehabilitating from my shoulder surgery, so I pre-wrote a whole bunch of posts for you guys to read while I rest! This is going to be the first post in my series on Starting a Blog! It's all about setting up the blog and it's on everything including choosing a blog name to what platform to use. So let's get started!

1) Figure Out Your Topic
By this I mean, think about what you want to write about. Is it food, or beauty, or skincare? Having an idea of what you want your blog to be is going to help you find a name and a platform that will suit your needs! Most beauty bloggers are fashion and beauty related, but blog what you want to!

2) Choose a Name
I would totally recommend brainstorming your name and sitting on it for a few days to make sure that you really love it! I'm also a fan of simple names without a lot of numbers because I think they're easier to remember and also, try to keep it short and sweet! Especially with twitter and other things, some social media platforms won't fit your whole blog name (like on twitter my handle is @a_modern_girl instead of @modernbeautygirl because the latter wouldn't fit). 

3) Choosing a Platform
Figure out what you want to do. If you want your blog to grow and have it look really professional, use Wordpress because that's what a lot of really great bloggers (think Temptalia) use. It's a little more difficult and you do need a littlebit of HTML knowledge to use it. I use Blogger for this blog because it's really easy to use. It's less versatile than Wordpress and it's harder to make it look different from other blogs, but everything is really easy to do. Tumblr is the last one. If you want a lot of images, tumblr might be good, but it is harder to write beauty posts and is probably better for food or fitness bloggers!

4) Set Up Social Media
I would recommend doing this before you actually post so you get some hype around your name. It also really helps make sure that you reserve your pages and handles. I would recommend using Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pintrest (although I personally don't use pintrest). Also, make sure that you connect to Bloglovin so you get to see how many people follow you! 

So that's it for part 1! I'll post part 2 in a few days and that will be all about posting and gaining a following! I hope that you enjoyed this post and if you have any tips for new bloggers, leave them in the comments because that would be super helpful!
-Sisi
 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Thoughts On WGWT (Sponsored)

Hi guys!
So this is a sponsored post, so if you don't want to read it then go click to another of my 500 unsponsored posts! Also, I always say my opinion regardless if I'm being sponsored and if you have any questions about my policy regarding sponsored posts, click the policy tab at the top of the page or shoot me an email! This post is going to be my thoughts on an up and coming fashion website called What Goes With This (WGWT for short). 



So let's start of with what's WGWT. It is a website for fashion lovers to share and connect with one another. This picture is of my feed and it is really amazing because it is very question and answer based. Instead of having to text your friends (who might not have the same style as you) for advice, you can just write it on the site and other people can get back to you with recommendations! I absolutely love this concept and I think that it is so unique from everything else. You can also heart products and follow brands so you can browse recommendations as well. I am so in love with the site because it combines a community with shopping and you can buy things on the site itself. 



Lastly, I wanted to talk about the profile. It's super easy to set up and you can connect with facebook or email. You have a couple of prompts that you can answer and you can also link your twitter, facebook, and pintrest to it. You can also follow people, so if you'd like to follow me on WGWT, I'll link my profile here. A couple things that I don't like so much is that you can't resize pictures for your profile pic, so you might need to try a few before you find one that fits.

Overall, I'm really loving this site! It's still in beta so it is still being tested and is relatively new, but I don't think it can get much better than this! If you want to check out this site, I'll link it here. I also want to know your thoughts on this site, so if you decide to check it out, let me know what you think of it in the comments!
-Sisi 

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored but all opinions are my own

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Color Club Aquamarine Azulino Review

Hi guys! 
I am doing a really quick review on a nail polish I got in April's birchbox. I did an unboxing post on that birchbox, which you can see here! This shade is a part of the Gala's Gems set, so you can't purchase it individually (sorry!) but in the set you get 4 minis for $13. You can click here if you want to purchase the set from birchbox!


So this shade is a light blue with a pearl in it. It is really shimmery looking in the bottle, but on the nails it's not so much shimmery as it is glowy. I love this shade, but it does have a tendency to show streaks and imperfections easily (as most pearl finishes do). The formula on this one is kind of ridiculous. Mines was a tad bit on the thicker side so I had to apply thickly or live with streak marks (which I still have). It's totally bizarre because all the other color club polishes have fabulous formulas, so this might be a fluke! Staying power is only okay because I've had it on for 4 days and I have slight chipping (which could be from the thicker layers), which is below par for me because my other color club polishes last me 7ish days without chipping! 

Overall, love the shade, hate the formula. I use hate lightly, though, because I'm thoroughly convinced that this must be a fluke because all of my other color club polishes are nothing like this! I'm going to say that the set is a really good deal, so if you like the shades, get it, just be willing to be patient when applying! If you have this or any of the other shades in the set, let me know your thoughts in the comments because I'd love to hear if any of you are having the same issues as me!
-Sisi