Friday, January 28, 2011

How I Choose Which Blogs to Follow

Hello Ladies,

I've been thinking about this for past couple of weeks, namely about how I choose which blogs to follow.  I usually make a point to check out the blogs that other people follow, but I do not always end up liking what I see.

The information below is what I look for in a blog, what I enjoy reading about and by no means is intended to offend anyone.

Shamelessly using my lovely readers as an example ;P 
When I come across the blog I might possibly like, I read it, and read it, and read it. The "older posts" button becomes my friend for a while, and when I get tired of reading I either click or don't click the "follow" button. Here is what I look for:

Overall look/design
Obviously this is the first thing I look at because I like to read the content, instead of getting distracted by the design, or my personal pet peeve... the ADs! And I'm not talking about little banners off to the side, that just sit there and don't interfere with the content, no I'm talking about those 90%-off-day-in-London ads smack in the middle of the blog. I don't know if they show up by themselves, or some bloggers sell space for  those ads but I find them extremely annoying. And distracting. Or blog clutter, when excessive features are used. There is one blog that always shows up when I google any new US drugstore products, it's great to read an occasional review but I will NOT follow it because it's pretty much has everything I listed above (I don't remember what's the name of it, so can't point to it nor do I really want to). Overall I like a somewhat minimalistic design in blogs, but not always. For everyone it is going to be different, but as long as I can read the blog and not get distracted I am happy. 

Jump breaks
I could have put this one under the overall design, but I hate jump breaks so much that I feel they deserve their own  category. I feel that the use of jump breaks sometimes is ok, I use them myself for exceptionally long posts with lots of pictures. But several times I came across blogs that use jump breaks in every single one of their posts. Did I mention that I like to read pages after pages of blog before I follow it? Then imagine my frustration when I have to open up every single post to read it! Or open it in a different tab so I can read it. Then press the back button so I can go back to the blog. And more often than not I accidentally close the tab instead of hitting the back button because I'm so used to having lots of tabs. So when I see an excessive use of jump breaks, I do not even bother with reading the blog. I'm gone probably never to come back again.

Easily the most important part of the blog, although I will not follow the blog regardless of the content if items above do not appeal to me. It is also probably the most personal and different thing for anyone out there. What I like to see and read in blogs is not going to be the same for everyone. I like reading reviews and tutorials, I also love to see FOTD/EOTD posts. I stay away from blogs primarily about nail polishes, because I can't relate to those much (I have gel nails, so I don't use nail polish a lot). I don't like blogs that only post about upcoming products but never actually review any of them. Or ones that have bad photos.

Shall we talk about photos now? Very briefly of course, because there are volumes written about good photos. It is essential to have good photos in a beauty blogger world, something I struggle with myself. So if the photos are terrible (come on, crop tool IS your friend you know) most of the time, I usually don't want to look at them... or the blog. 

I also don't like V-blog, I much prefer photos because I can't make myself sit still through the video. But that's again a personal preference. 

Proper use of punctuation, grammar and capital letters is also a must. I've seen couple of blogs that look like they are written by someone who never even heard about above things. Come on, start your sentences with a capital letter! Is it too much to ask? Maybe I am not the one talk, considering that English is not my first language but maybe I am. Because I still put an effort into what I write, sometimes more than native speakers.

These might not seem like a lot of requirements, but I feel they are very important (at least to me).

So what do you think? Am I being too picky or too demanding? Do you have anything YOU look for in the blog that I didn't mention?

~ Lyuba

Thursday, January 27, 2011

EOTD: 3 Looks from Moscow

Hello Ladies,

I've been playing with Moscow palette again. Instead of doing a separate post for every look I decided to group them all together. So get ready for LOTS of photos :)


I wanted to try something different and I think I've failed. Shouldn't have used Matryoshka on the brow bone, it doesn't look beautiful or right. But lesson learned, and I won't do that again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

EOTD: More Love for Moscow

Hello Ladies,

Can you tell FOTD are my favorite kind of posts? I simply love showing off the eye looks, considering not that long ago I was completely clueless (and terrible) at applying eye makeup. And look at me now :) 

This past week all my love was given to Stila's Moscow Travel Palette and I have a feeling it will be getting more love from me today. I love how the colors look on me and I can't bring myself to use any other colors for now.

As always I have lots of photos because I can't choose.

 I wanted to do a different look from the one I did before. Actually I did another one right before this, but didn't take photos. This palette is great because you can experiment and either have a very "safe" neutral makeup, or add a bit of color for a pop. Or simply layer the shadows so they will stand out more.

See how pigmented they are? I only used e.l.f. Mineral Eye Primer and nothing else. I have UDPP too, and I use it sometimes but I really can't tell the difference. I also used Sigma F70 concealer brush to apply the eyeshadow on the top lid. I picked it up from my set without looking at what it was for, and used it several times before I read that it is a concealer brush (DURRR!) and now I have no intention of using it for the intended purpose lol. The bristles are so soft and keep the eyeshadow very well. I'm thinking of purchasing several more of those, because this is the brush I reach for the most now when applying eyeshadows.

As always, I didn't experience any fallout and I wear my eyeshadows for at least 10 hours a day, but usually even more than that. I think I definitely will be buying more of Stila's eyeshadows!

~ Lyuba

Pink Pin Up Look

Hello Ladies,

I just sent out my entries to BUBBLEGARM'S Sigma Make Me Up contest so that means it is time to post my second entry. I had this look in mind for a long time, ever since I got the shorts from either River Island or Vera Moda, forgot which ones. They were a perfect pin up shorts, and I had to have them. About two weeks ago I found the perfect shirt and some accessories. All was left to do is makeup itself.

I'm sorry for so many photos, I just couldn't choose only a few. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fancy reading some of my beauty 'sins'?

Hello Ladies,

I really should be going to bed now as I have to wake up super early tomorrow to go to London for our monthly Kimono de Jack meet up, but I am not tired!! I guess that's the payoff for having a late night job.

Meanwhile, check out Modesty Brosn Friday Confessions where I confess to all my beauty 'sins". Well maybe not all, as I could go and go with those, but some of them. I promise it will be a fun read! You might even get appalled at the atrocity of some (or all) of them. 

~ Lyuba

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stila: Make an Impression in Moscow Review

Hello Ladies,

Well today was a pretty INTERESTING day in terms of customer service experience... you can get a hint of what's going on if you are following me on Twitter. I even considered writing a LONG angry rant post about it, and I probably still will but later. When I'm not as angry and I can think straight and I can write something that will not resemble a crazy angry post. 

Meanwhile I will talk about something that makes me happy. Like makeup, or more specifically Stila Make and Impression in Moscow travel palette. 

I recently received it in the mail after hunting for it for some time. And really, no matter how much I talk about how I am a Ukrainian and not Russian, I still wanted it for one specific reason: it is inspired by Russia. And because before I get anything Ukrainian, I probably will find something Russian so gotta take what I can get.

From left to right: Matryoshka, Nadia, Chill, Mink, Lily
This palette consists of 4 eye shadows and 1 convertible lip/cheek color. Honestly, I don't really see Russia in this palette, except Chill and Mink which I pretty obvious. When I think Matreshka I really don't think that color, I imagine something bright and red. Then there is a Nadia, and I don't get the naming for it at all. With the rest of them, the names are either objects or something associated with Russia. Nadia is a name (my Mom's name as a matter of fact), and yes it is a Russian name but what's the association? Nadezhda Krupskaya is the only Nadia (short for Nadezhda) that I can think of right now lol. I don't even have any thoughts on name Lily, since as far as I know it has no significance in Russian culture (but I of course could be wrong). Unless it's a name again. But enough of my cultural ramblings, and on to the review.

I did not like the eye shadows in the pan,  in fact I would have probably not picked them up if I've seen them separately. But when I applied them I was instantly in love. It is almost as if those colors were made for someone with my coloring. You can see the FOTD below for what I mean.

Mittens making sure I'm taking good photos.

The eye shadows are very pigmented and apply very smoothly. This is my first time trying Stila and so far I'm pretty impressed. Each one of them has tiny gold sparkles and I attached lots of photos where I tried to capture that. My favorite color is Matryoshka, it is such a nice light peach color. Nadia is the most disappointing out of the bunch because it takes a lot to get a good coverage from it. Chill is gorgeous light blue color, light enough to be a nice accent color but not bright enough to be in-your-face. Mink is a pretty warm brown, I used it blended with either Matryoshka or Nadia, or on the crease. Lily is a peachy-pink color which could be used on lips or cheeks. I doubt I will ever use it on lips since I like to think of it as a blush rather than a lip color.

The staying power is very good for the eye shadows. I applied them over e.l.f. Mineral Primer and they lasted me a whole day without any fallout or creasing. I never used cream blushes, but Lily was very easy to apply and blend, and looked very natural on me. However it felt a little sticky, and didn't last the whole day. I'm not sure exactly how long it lasted because I don't take any makeup with me to work, but I would say a good couple of hours passed before I noticed that it was gone.

Below are photos of me wearing all of Moscow colors. I wanted to do a look that will stand out, since most of colors in that palette are pretty neutral. I think I succeeded by putting Chill around all the other colors.

 I love how green my eyes look, and the natural looking flush I get with Lily. It's almost like a toned down version of bronzer specifically for my skin.

What do you think? Have you tried any Stila Travel Palettes?

~ Lyuba

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette redesigned?

Hello Ladies,

Today I got a very nice email from Urban Decay in regards to their much sought Naked Palette. I am super excited about it, however I really don't see their reasoning... They can't make 24/7 pencils fast enough? How about just admitting that they can't make Naked Palette fast enough or more likely they are keeping the supply low so EVERYONE would want one? (But we can't say that now can we? ) I'm sure there are many more fans out there who would just take the Naked Palette and forget all about the pencils. But whatever it takes to get this palette out on the market I say, and if they would much rather replace the pencil with a brush and charge a little more, then go for it. All I can do now is wait for it to be released.

 You can see the email above. I am very excited about the news and I hope their "couple of weeks" is indeed couple of weeks. I will be buying it right away so I wouldn't miss out on it again.

~ Lyuba

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Attempt at 1920s Flapper Makeup

Hello Ladies,

Yesterday was my play with makeup day, although I didn't get around to it until way later in the day. Originally I was planning on doing 2 looks for the BUBBLEGARM's Sigma Make Me Up contest , one pink and one blue, but I also really really wanted to do a black look. Yesterday I only did one look, but tomorrow I'll do the pink look too because that's the set I really really want.

I've been thinking of doing a Flapper inspired makeup look for a while, seeing as how I am obsessed with Flapper hats :) So I researched it a little, found out that white face, dark eyes, small dark red lips, pencil line think eyebrows were all the rage at the time and to work I went. Not everything about this look makes me happy, but for the first time I think it's ok. I'll know what to do different for next time.

Next time I will not go with eyeshadow all the way to my eyebrows, but I did it on purpose. I don't have anything that could completely conceal my eyebrows so I figured eyeshadow will help with that. It did, but it also took away from the more accurate look. So hopefully by the time I do this look again, I will get all the necessary stuff to conceal my eyebrows.

What do you think? When I get home I will update with more detailed photos as well as a list of stuff I used.

~ Lyuba