Clinique #FaceForward: What advice would you give your future self?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Clinique Face Forward Fall 2015 Turnaround facial mask

“If you could give your future-self any advice, what would it be?”

Right now, Clinique is challenging millenials to ask themselves a question: “If you could give your future-self any advice, what would it be?”

The #FaceForward campaign flips the usual conversation (“what advice would you give your past self?”) and encourages women to break boundaries, challenge themselves, and reach their goals. To #FaceForward toward the future, if you will ;)

Clinique Even Better mask, Pore Refining charcoal mask

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question recently, and I think that if I could only give my future self one piece of advice, it would be this:

Keep saying YES.

Keep saying yes is the mantra that I’ve been operating on since the summer (paired with my old standby, GO HARD), and it has inspired and encouraged me every single day since then. To me, it means be better than you are — not to be better than your peers, but to be better tomorrow than you are today. It means saying yes to new opportunities and challenges, no matter how scary, and operating in a way that would make your past self proud.

Together, “keep saying yes” and “go hard” are a way to conduct yourself that leaves you always striving: if, at any given point, your very best is the comparison point for not good enough, then there’s always something pushing you.

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen

It was easy to keep saying yes while I was away, but it’s more difficult now that the summer is over. When you’re no longer surrounded by creatives and cityscapes and beauty left and right, staying on track is like trying to get your six glasses of water a day: hard, likely to make you pee a lot, and as gruelling as it is rewarding.

Here on the prairies, everything is so far, and the ground beneath my feet never feels quite like home. I find that I struggle to stay inspired, but I’ve been keeping my little #FaceForward on my desk to remind myself to look to the future and keep saying yes. 

And you know what? I think it’s helping.

Clinique Face Forward Even Better mask

What piece advice would you give your future self?

BISC Vol. 15: How do you overcome blogger’s block?

Sunday, September 13, 2015


AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

In my opinion “blogger’s block” can mean two things. One, like a writer’s block, having a hard time with writing itself. You do have pictures and the idea in your head but words just won’t flow. If that happens, I usually try to just jot down some loose ideas on a piece of paper, start with a short few sentences and later on build up on that. I think a bigger problem though is running out of ideas in general. That can happen quite easily in blogging, especially if you don’t receive PR samples and you cannot buy every new makeup item that comes out. Then I usually read a lot of other beauty and lifestyle blogs to look for inspiration, I check Pintrest to see if there are any looks that tickle my fancy that I could recreate.

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

Honestly, I’m not the person to ask about blogger’s block. When it comes, I often just kind of… let it come. I’ll take a little bit of a break, posting minimally as it happens, and just wait patiently for something to grip me again! Travelling always helps, and so does testing out a really great new collection, but I’m more likely to try and wait it out than I am to try and “overcome” it!


SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to sit it out. I used to push myself really hard. However, with my increasing workload, my options really come down to finally getting some sleep and writing a blog post on some days. Learning to let go is a big part of staying happy as a blogger (for me). Other times it’s good to read, talk to people, go out for a coffee, or admire some stunning photos. You never know when inspiration might come to you!

MATROMAO | Philippines | FoodWorldMe

I don’t force it, because that only burns me out faster. Usually, if I take one or two days on break, I’m okay to start writing again. I also accept that some posts can’t be finished in one day. Sometimes, I’ll just start with an outline, then I’ll come back tomorrow with “renewed vigor” and the ability to edit and finish immediately. It also helps to switch up topics every now and then. I also do restaurant reviews, so I can just transition back and forth.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

I usually just let it be. Sometimes I even think of it as a blessing because I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family doing “life” things. I’ll try to stay off social media, too, if possible. I find that when I’m happy, I’ll have a lot of energy, and ideas will flow naturally. I also find it easier and more fun to write about things I’m genuinely happy and excited about!

[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*]

BISC Vol. 3: If you could start your blog all over again…

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beauty Influencer's Sunday Column 3

If you could start your blog all over again, what would you do differently?

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
If I could start my blog all over again, I’d skip the first few years of terrible product photos! And I’d start on WordPress this time, tagging everything extensively, so that none of my old posts would be weighed down by unchangeable Blogger styling and old posts would be easier to find. Day to day, however, I think it would be run much the same as it is right now — it would just have a better archive.

SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud
This is a hard question because I am not blogging for a such long time (less than 2 years). I believe I would invest in a light box a little earlier than later. I am still struggling to find the right lighting for product and portrait photography. Since my lights are not bright enough, it takes longer to edit the photos. I have just installed a new banner this summer. I wish I could have done it before because it changes the website a lot. But the most important of them all, I would write PR of the companies before the first year is over. I always waited for the right moment, the right page hits etc. only to find out much smaller/newer blogs keep the available slots occupied. Another thing I would do would be starting with social media as early as possible, because it takes time to build it up. But whatever you do, do things you like because it is your hobby and not a job.


MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
I’d probably think things through a lot better. When I started my blog I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. It was so cringe… My lay-out was a nightmare, my photos were embarrassingly bad and I just basically had no idea what having a beauty blog really meant. Of course over the years I learned a lot and I’m very happy with where I stand now with the blog, but if I could do it all over again I’d definitely do more research before launching myself as a beauty blogger and I’d try to approach it all a lot more professionally and less than a hobby.

LAARNI | Philippines | Xoxo Laarni
This is a funny question because I already started my blog all over again. My #1 reason was my old blog’s niche was too broad. It was running for five years but I eventually got tired of it. Also, it was penalized by Google because of sponsored posts so buying a new domain name was my best option.


KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
I’d focus on spending money on products that are exciting to me, even if they aren’t new to the market, and not go broke trying to keep up with every new release.  There’s no sense in spending so much money on each new collection when there are already blogs upon blogs that cover these releases that receive the items gratis from PR.  I also started out posting 7 times per week which quickly became exhausting (blogging is not my full-time job).  I decided to only post when I was inspired and that decision has led to 2 years of happiness!

JAA | USA/Thailand | Hello Jaa
I’d start experimenting with portrait studio lighting sooner. My older posts would have been more complete. I’d also make sure to choose a layout that accommodates larger picture size because I believe larger photos create higher impact. Another thing would be to tell myself to not be shy and connect with other bloggers sooner! It is more fun to have someone with the same interest to talk to and you just learn so much from them! Last thing would be to implement a Pin It button on all my photos right away because Pinterest is among the top three social networks that drive traffic to my blog the most.

[ Interested in joining the BISC Network? Send your request to jaa(at) ]

The pros and cons of mobile & responsive sites, themes, and blogs: Love ’em or hate ’em?

Friday, May 31, 2013

theNotice on phone vs laptop

In today’s smartphone-armed world, readership numbers for non-computer devices are going up, up, up. As a blogger, I feel a certain amount of pressure to put together a mobile theme for theNotice; as a reader, however, I really don’t want to.

Have you ever noticed… that if you read theNotice on your phone, the striped background automatically gets cut off? And, if you double-tap the body text (which is also the same width as the images), the text is still totally readable?

Yeah. Designed with me you in mind.

I get the feeling that I’m the exception rather than the norm on this one, but here are a few of the things I love (and hate!) about mobile sites and responsive themes.

MABB vs Beautezine blogs

Makeup and Beauty Blog vs Beautezine: two great beauty blogs with very different responsive themes

Responsive Themes

Responsive themes (which are much, much more common for independently-run blogs) display the same content as the desktop site, but switch over to a different layout depending on what kind of device you’re viewing it from. I have a lot (too many!) thoughts on them, so I’ll leave you to a bit of point-form:

The pros

  • Faster load time
  • Better text scaling
  • Single-column
  • Homepages typically load only the title & featured image of a post

Responsive mobile vs desktop theme

A cross-platform example of a recipe from the BBC’s Food section: Gingerbread Biscuits on a desktop site, a mobile site, and a desktop site as viewed on a mobile device. 

The cons

  • Sites can get “stuck” on one theme 
  • No zooming in on those tiny images!
  • Default themes are boring and (let’s admit it, they totally are) kind of unsightly 
  • Square ads take up a lot of your screen real estate
  • “Sticky” banner ads frequently glitch when scrolling
  • Single-column layout pushes sidebars, search bars, and widgets to the bottom
  • Swipe-happy themes often interpret scrolling as a desire to go forward/back a post… or maybe that’s just me and my short thumbs.

Mobile layouts kind of suck

Awkward ads, bottom-of-the-page search bars, and stuck-on-mobile sites

Mobile Sites

Unlike a responsive layout, a mobile site is separate from a web version — meaning that, for a blog, you’ll often not see recent material until the mobile site gets updated, too.

H&M mobile site example

H&M’s desktop vs. mobile sites

Keep reading! »

Tips for Beauty Bloggers | Don’t forget about colour management!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did you know that around 35% of computer users browse the internet on Chrome? And in some cases, of that 35%, exactly zero are viewing the same image that you spent so long getting internet-ready: Chrome doesn’t fully colour manage, and there’s no add-on or extension you can download to get it to do so.

Colour profiles

Above image: a Chrome-friendly rendition of YSL’s Spring creme blushers

Below image: what happened the first time I uploaded this image to theNotice!

There’s no perfect fix for this problem, I’m afraid, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Colour management lets users see more or less the same colours in an image despite differences in colour profiles, devices, etc., so when a fair few of your readers are seeing something totally different from what you’re seeing —

Well, you might want to double-check your colour settings when you save!

P.S. This is a great page for checking your browser for colour-management!

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