Kickin’ rocks to Google Friend Connect

Welllll, Google has decided to get rid of Google Friend Connect for bloggers who DON’T use Blogger. Since I proudly ride the WordPress train, that means my GFC widget will disappear soon. If you are following Clumps that way I soooo don’t want to loose you. The good news is, you can follow me other places on the web.

  • Facebook – The Clumps Facebook page just reached 4,000 LIKES! Woot!
  • Twitter – Follow my ramblings about beauty and other random bits.
  • Pinterest – It’s my newest obsession. I’ve got the boards to prove it.
  • YouTube – I’m back to making videos!

I think that about covers it. A boring post for a Friday, I know but yours truly has been feeling mightyyyyy lazy. 8)

Have a great weekend!

 

7 Things Beauty Bloggers Should Never Do

Who knew so many of y’all would find such great use out of the 10 Tips for Aspiring Bloggers post? I don’t claim to be some kind of professional when it comes to blogging but I’m glad that my post brought about so many “OMG, that was helpful.”-type comments. Fellow blogger gals and I were griping on Twitter not too long ago about some of the annoyances we’ve seen in the blogosphere. I know, I know. Sounds so whiny, doesn’t it? The fact is, a lot of bloggers may not know the rules of the game when they are first getting started. Granted there isn’t an official “Beauty Blogging Bible”. The fact is, we’ve all made mistakes. This post is to help give some insight on what may not be so good to do if you’re a beauty blogger. Of course, use your judgement and feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong about something.

1. Fail to cite sources.

This is the worst thing any blogger, journalist, writer, college student, hell, ANYONE can do. Failing to cite where you received your information or photos is such a no no. It’s stealing. Period. If you grab a thought that didn’t come from your own dome, cite where you received that information. It’s just the nice thing to do. Besides, if the blogosphere finds out that you’re notorious for taking content and photos without citing them, no one will want to work with you. You’ll be considered an e-thief. And nobody likes thieves. Noooooobody.

2. Completely bash a brand.

This one is relative. Some beauty bloggers only feature products that they like. Others feature products they did and DID NOT like. The choice is yours but remember this….your completely bashing a product may omit you from future opportunities. I am soooooo not of fan of Revlon’s mascaras. In my opinion, most of them suck. However, I actually really like their new lip butters and nail polishes. If I totally wrote off Revlon as a brand, I may do myself a complete disservice if they had intentions on working with me somewhere down the line. Of course, it’s your blog and you can do whatever you’d like but if you plan to be in the beauty blogosphere for quite some time, it’s best not to publicly bash a brand.

3. Leave your blog link in another blog’s comment section.

Whenever I see this, it makes me want to scream. A blog’s comment section is for engagement. Not for you to spam your blog’s website. Many bloggers consider it rude and oftentimes they will delete those comments. I get it. You have a blog and you’d like the person whose blog you’re commenting on that to visit your blog. A better option would be to send them an email introducing yourself. Because I love showing love to other bloggers, I installed the CommentLuv plugin (WordPress) on Clumps. That way, commenters can display their blogs in the comment section in a discrete manner.

4. Assume that by becoming a beauty blogger, you will get free products.

So you’ve started a blog and now you want free products to review. Newsflash: It won’t happen overnight. If at all. Becoming a beauty blogger is not a guarantee that you’ll get products. Starting a blog for the sake of getting free products can be considered….lame. And PR folx pick up on that quicker than you may think. Your best bet is to blog, blog and keep blogging. Get your Google page rank up. Increase your blog traffic, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Give PR folx a reason to want to work with you. They will come to you. Trust me on this.

5. Solely post press releases.

Aside from being insanely boring, a blog that only posts press releases isn’t really a blog. It’s a beauty news source and there is no creativity behind it. Oh, MAC has a new collection? Okay cool. Laura Mercier’s primer comes in a larger size? Great. Copying and pasting a press release or article time and time again will not engage your readers.

6. Assume that if you don’t live in New York City, you won’t be a successful blogger.

This couldn’t be more false. I don’t care if you live in East Idaho or Northern Wyoming, you CAN be a successful and influential blogger. And that goes for any blogger. Yes, NYC is considered a beauty mecca but don’t let not being there discourage you. Trust me – it sucks to miss out on the opportunities that seem to prevalent in NYC but look around you. Why can’t you launch events in your own city? Next month a good 15 beauty bloggers and I will be getting together for a networking event and swap meet. And I live in Orlando. Home of Mickey Mouse and tourism. Put some feelers out there. If you are passionate about blogging and beauty, chances are you can find a few others who are too. And no shade to my NYC bloggers but being a beauty blogger who is not in NYC kinda makes you stand out a bit, ya know? ;)

7. Consider other bloggers your competition.

There is no race. Blogging is not a spectator sport in which the person who has the most comments, likes, visits, subscribers and fans wins. Some bloggers interact more on Twitter than they do on their blogs. Others get hundreds of comments per posts while others have thousands of newsletter subscribers. Don’t beat yourself up trying to figure out how to be “better” than another blogger. Can you be inspired by them? Absolutely. But whatever you do – don’t waste your creative brain power but trying to find out how to be “better”. Be you. That’s the one thing that you can do flawlessly. And before you get to thinking “OMG, she’s got 40,000 Twitter followers. She must be really cool.” consider this – there are programs out there in which you can BUY followers, subscribers and likes. I don’t use them because I find them to be inorganic and I’m not insinuating that every blogger with a ton of numbers uses them, but…I’m sure some do.

What do you think? Am I off on some of these things? Got any to add to the list? Let me know!

 

*Special thanks to the bloggers that helped with the development of this post!

 

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 35

This week in photos

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Phyrra – rocks out with Make Up For Ever’s Rock For Ever Palette.

Vampy Varnish – not only do you need to read the series but you also need to check out the new China Glaze Colours From The Capitol collection inspired by The Hunger Games.

we heart this – Hey LA, if love animals, and want to score a gift bag worth $250 (filled with the likes of MUFE, Benefit, BPAL, Urban Decay, Murad and more) then you simply MUST join us this Sunday at the raffle we organized for the Amanda Foundation!

Clumps of Mascara – has found a hot pink lipstick that is rocking her world.

Gouldylox Reviews – I love a good DIY project. Check out the great looks you can get from a headband worn “80’s Physical-style” and a tube sock.

Krasey Beauty – tests out the WEN by Chaz Dean haircare line. Find out if it made her hair silky silky smooth!

Nouveau Cheap – The new Almay Intense I-Color Shadow Sticks promise all day, crease-proof wear. But do they deliver? Come see!

Prime Beauty – is calling all Drama Queens! You SIMPLY HAVE to try the Three Custom Color Daytime Drama Palette–I DIE! But seriously, you WILL perish if you don’t at least see the pics.

Question of the Week:

What’s the one haircare tool you never travel without?

B says, “I’m a loc rocker, baby! That means I don’t use any tools on my hair. I haven’t even used a comb in like…5 years.”

What about you? Got any hair tools that you can’t travel without?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

Follow me on Instagram

 

TMI Tuesday: Raising vegetarian children.

So I’ve been getting a lot of TMI Tuesday suggestions that involve something I have zero experience in. Raising kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know how to change a diaper, hold a newborn correctly and can entertain toddlers into sugar-free naps. And while Clumps will never morph into a Mommy blog when I do have kids, I still love featuring Mommy-baby  topics because there are so mommies out there.

Plus, the more I learn from your mommies, the less of a screw up parent I will be. :D

Okay, no. I’m kidding. My kids will be freaking awesome having a beauty bloggin’ rockstar as a Mom and a musical computer geek as their Dad. But this post isn’t about my uterus and its production of bebes. This post is about a penny pinchin’ Mommy (and also one of my BFFs!) and her mission to provide her 13 month old daughter and 3-year old son with nourishing food.

Gaetane recently launched her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. Show her some love and tell her B sent you!

___________________

On Tuesday, I finally decided to buy a few grocery items for the kids. I simply do not like grocery shopping, especially with my two handfuls of children. Now that my daughter is mobile, she has a major issue with anyone trying to hold her hand in public. Little did they know, I had a plan AND I was sticking to it.

I buckled them into the double shopping cart of Target (which I love by the way) and after 1.5 hours we accomplished our mission. Being that we are a vegetarian-based household, we are limited (surprisingly, huh?) on organic vegetarian foods. Don’t get me wrong, I do have my cravings for fatty foods like Burger King fries but we limit on what we buy in our household. Our children have a right to a healthy lifestyle. The kids are only accustomed to eating a very wide range of hearty vegetarian dishes and because they are kids, they are now asking for sweets and snacks. My son verbalizes and my daughter always simply wants what her older brother is having.

Addaeyomi and Anaiziya’s top 5 snacks:

*Archer Farm’s blue corn tortilla chips and salsa dip
*Earth’s Best baby food
*Simply Lemonade
*Honest Kids juice packs
*Archer Farms Strawberry fruit strips

You may have noticed the picture of the Ackee. Well, it was on sale and I simply love Ackee.

All these items were on sale and/or I used coupons for greater savings. Even if they were not on sale I would still purchase these items because my children love them. I do believe children should be children and enjoy eating snacks. On the other hand, I do not believe we should drown our children in unhealthy eating habits that will affect them in the future.

We as parents, care givers, aunts, uncles, and even friends should make sure that we educate our children on healthy eating habits. We cannot expect our children to eat healthy if we are not reflecting that as well. So next time you go grocery shopping, and your children are screaming at the top of their lungs for candy, look to the fruit strips as an alternate. It’s just as flavorful and is better for them.

Check out more of Gaetane’s parenting musings over at her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. And if any of your mommies (or daddies) out there would like to submit hilarious stories, adorable pictures or shocking parenting revelations to Clumps, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

What are your thoughts on raising vegetarian or vegan kiddies?

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 34

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Prime Beauty – gets downright giddy when she discovers a new beauty brand and Rae Cosmetics has her squealing with delight. See why!

Phyrra – compares theBalm’s Shady Lady Vol. 1 and 2 side by side for you.

Vampy Varnish – talks about common new blogger mistakes and how to avoid them.

we heart this – A love letter to Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Love Letter (which just happens to be a perfect, easy Valentine’s manicure too!)

Beauty Junkies Unite – It’s raining tulips everywhere! Just kidding, it’s the review & swatches of OPI’s new Holland Collection for Spring/Summer 2012. I couldn’t decide which were my favorites, so I’m actually wearing different shades on my fingers and toes right now!

Clumps of Mascara – talks about an issue that many women go through or have gone through. In this week’s TMI Tuesday, we are talking about birth control.

Gouldylox Reviews – Is totally in love with this almost magical lip treatment. Yeah, it’s that good.

Nouveau Cheap – Jordana just rolled out 18 new specialty glitter polishes. If glitter’s your thing, come check out my three-part series covering every shade now available.

Pink Sith – invites her readers to the Natura Bisse Pure Air Bubble at Neiman Marcus in Tysons Corner, VA for February 22-25th, and gives a mini review for Inhibit-Dermafill.

 

Question of the Week:

If you were advising a makeup newbie,
which three items would you suggest that they get to
start with? (not counting base items)?

B says, “A good eyeshadow primer, a blush or bronzer that compliments their complexion and a bangin’ mascara.”

What about you? What would you tell them to get?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

Follow me on Instagram

 

Diva Cup + Naturally Fresh Giveaway winners!

 

Thanks so much for your submissions in the Diva Cup and Naturally Fresh Crystal Deodorant giveaways. I could only choose one winner for each. It looks like the West Coast is winning this week!

 

Congrats to Selena in California!

 …and

Congrats to Avanna in Arizona!

 

Selena is snagging a Diva Cup and Avanna scores the Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal bundle. Even if you didn’t win, I hope you still give the menstrual cup a try. It’s life changin’, I tell ya. Stay tuned for more giveaways on Clumps of Mascara.

Pop a pimple with Q-tips and win $50 to Sephora!

Acne sucks. So much so that I’ve named a series after them called….you guessed it, acne sucks. I’ll save my “It’s not fair that I’m 27 and battle acne as if I’m a teenager” speech another time.

Okay, wait….can I get just a few complaints in?

Seriously – what gives? I drink more than enough water, eat greens like I’m a plantasaurus (I so made that up) and treat my skin with the utmost respect. So why doesn’t my skin no like me? *sigh* Your guess is as good as mine. With skin like mine, I HAVE to stay stocked up with Q-tips Precision Tips.

We all know how great Q-tips are for angling eyeshadow, but my ambassadorship has challenged me to find another way to use Q-tips. Have you tried the Precision Tips for targeting pimples? Dude. They work! And luckily, I’ve got a pimple (or 10) to demonstrate how. You’ll never again see me using the words “luckily” and “pimple” in the same sentence again so cherish that one, okay?

Le pimples….


Sexy, uh? Le pimples meets Sire Q-tip Precision Tips…


Using a Q-tip to target pimples is rad. I mean, yeah, I can use my finger but the Q-tip gives me more….precision. And you need that precision for when you’re using products that only need to touch the pimple. Like tea tree oil. Tea tree oil zap my pimples with the quickness but it irritates the skin around it. No offense fingers but you ain’t got nothin’ on these Q-tip cuties.

Oh, and did I mention that the Q-tips Precision Tips are quite useful for putting medicine on pimples that pop up in my nose and ears? Yes. I am currently battling a pimple that is up my left nostril. I love y’all too much to show a picture of that. Trust me on this one.

Because misery loves company, share with me what you’d put on your Q-tips Precision Tips to get rid of of a pimple. A lucky girl or gal will score a $50 giftcard to Sephora. Wooooot!

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you run into problems using the Rafflecopter don’t hesitate to email me at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara. Good luuuuuck!

 

This is a sponsored post. Q-tips® product was  provided by Unilever, the makers of Q-tips®; my tips and usage suggestions are my own.

TMI Tuesday: Why I fear birth control pills…

Birth control scares me, y’all. And by birth control, I mean birth control pills. I know, I know. I’m 27. I should be used to some form of birth control, right? The truth is – I’ve only just begun taking birth control pills for the first time ever this month. I think I am the only woman my age that I know who has never been on birth control before.

I started visited the crotch doc (thanks Kate!) as a teenager in attempts to alleviate my “die every month” menstrual cramps. At 15-years old, my doc suggested that I take birth control and I couldn’t slap him hard enough.

Okay – I’m kidding. I didn’t slap my doctor. But I wanted to. Even as a teen who wasn’t having sex, I still didn’t want to entertain the idea of birth control. For what? I wanted children. Not in the next decade, but the thought of preventing a birth (even if it meant easing my cramps) didn’t sit well with me. I had a hard time explaining this revelation to anyone because for them, birth control was great. My cramps worsened in college; an inconvenient time for me considering I was a full-time student living on campus and working several jobs. Girlfriends couldn’t empathatize with me because they were all on some form of birth control.

Every gynecologist I have ever been to has wanted to prescribe birth control for me. No one ever recommended natural or holistic options for my painful periods. I got smart and started doing my own research. For a year I tried every natural remedy in the book. My cramps continued to get worse and while I knew birth control was an option, I had made it up in my mind that I wouldn’t be popping any pills, tossing IUD’s in the nether regions, getting shots or wearing any patches.

Then this “thing” happened. I got married.

Esposo and I want nothing more than to be geeky parents to Clumps kids. But we’re newlyweds who plan to spend a life together and kids can wait. After visiting my gynecologist in November and telling him that my period had become irregular, he suggested birth control. Of course. I broke down inside. I’ve been turning down birth control for more than 10 years of my life. But here I am. A newlywed with an irregular cycle. Maybe, just maybe birth control can help.

So I’m giving it a chance. But can I be honest? I hate it. I really hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how it may make me gain weight. I hate how I never remember to take it. I hate that these little pills are tampering with something that happens so naturally. That these little pills could possibly damage some things and make it so that I am unable to conceive. There are tons of side effects of yaz and other birth control pills – so many that there are serious law suits surrounding them. Sites like DrugNews.net provide information on this if you need it.

There, I said it. That’s why I hate birth control pills. I have this inherent fear that they will make me infertile. I know plenty of women have healthy pregnancies and babies being on birth control for years. I really shouldn’t have anything to fear. Yet every time I pop one of those pills, I feel like crying.

I know. I probably sound loco and overly emotional. I do believe in birth control. I would just rather it not be by way of synthetic drugs with a string of symptoms attached. Esposo has been super supportive and comforting. I’m trying to get him on board with the fertility awareness method (FAM) because that is perhaps the only form of birth control that sits well with me. Well – condoms too but how effective can those be with longterm use?

I’ll be seeing my gynecologist again soon and will talk to him about how I feel. The fact remains – I can’t do birth control pills. Or shots. Or patches or IUD’s. They aren’t for me. And if the gyno can’t be supportive and help discuss other options with me, I will find a doctor who can. I don’t want to be the black version of the Duggar’s but I don’t want to harm my body either.

Chime in, gals!

Any others out there who fear birth control?
Or maybe you’ve been taking it for years with no problems?
Either way, let me know!

 

ETA: As of 2/4/12, I have gleefully stopped taking the pills. The constant spotting and morning dizziness became far too overwhelming. Oh…and the decreased libido is so not cool. You know…with being a newlywed and all. I have a very pessimistic attitude when it comes to birth control and don’t have any interest in shopping for other brands or synthetic methods. Since my irregular cycles have only been irregular for the past few months, I am hoping diet, exercise and keeping my stress level down can help get it back on track. As far as baby preventing; hellooooo condoms and FAM. I’d rather deal with monthly cramps (as painful as they are) than deal with my paranoia over these birth control pills. Good riddance, I say!