MAC COSMETICS & MACY’S EVENT: Girls Night Out!

I wanted to give you all a run down of the MAC Cosmetics X Macy’s Meet and Greet in case you could not attend or join in on the live demo on Instagram! First and foremost I want to Thank all the amazing and very talented people over at MAC and Macy’s on State Street who gave me this honor. You all were incredibly welcoming and so fun to hang out with! For all my Chicago followers if you are in the area please make sure to check out this location for your MAC Cosmetics and beauty needs!

MAC Cosmetics
MAC Artist Michelle getting the DJ ready for the Event: Instagram Handles – @michelleadamsartistry @lovebug_chicago

MAC reviews

The guests and I had so much fun just talking about MAC products we love and why we love them, shared tips and talked and talked and talked all night, all things beauty! One guest loved my makeup that night and wanted to know how I get a natural looking makeup application. We grabbed some of my must have MAC Products along with suggestions from the MAC artists for her skin tone and started a live demo on my Instagram Stories where I discussed why I love these products, shared beauty tips and answered questions.

Follow me on Instagram @beautyproductsaremycardio for more beauty! 

MAC Lipstick

MAC reviews
Going Live on Instagram Stories

MAC Demo &Product Breakdown:

MAC Cosmetics MUA: Clarissa – Instagram Handle @letsbrushnmakeup

Follower and lovely Model: Natasha

MAC Studio Fix

Clarissa created a natural look that had a smokey eye that can be worn during the day with a nude lip but adding a pop of color on the lips gives the look a stamp of glam approval. Not only did Natasha love the way her makeup looked but she loved the way it felt! She doesn’t wear a ton all the time so I felt it was important for her to try some of my fav MAC MVP’s that are fool proof in my opinion. This is what many of the guests talked about, natural looking makeup that gives a “this is me but better than me look” Too many steps and products can be very intimidating and even though I am a “Beauty Blogger” I am an everyday woman who doesn’t have a ton of time to get ready and myself can be intimidated at times with too many steps (insert the perfect smokey eye… gets me everytime lol)

Before & After Shots:

MAC swatches
Before Makeup Application

 

 

MAC Lipstick
After Makeup Application

MAC eyeshadow

MAC Foundation
MAC MUA Clarissa: Instagram Handle @letsbrushnmakeup

Thank You so much to all my followers and guests that came to the event and joined in on Instagram Live. Your support and sweet comments in my DM’s means so much and I truly enjoy interacting with you daily on all things beauty! I am testing out some new MAC products and wanted to give you the run down. Please let me know if you have tried these and what you are loving right now from MAC.

MAC Give Me Sun

MAC lipstick

 

WANT MORE MAC POSTS: 

  1. Must have MAC Nudes Part 1
  2. Must have MAC Nudes Part 2
  3. Must have MAC Red Lipsticks
  4. Summer Approved Bright Reds
  5. MAC Liptensity Line
  6. MAC Vampy Lipstick 

DISCLAIMER: Links associated with BPAMC are affiliate links. Products received were gifted by MAC Cosmetics, thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always Thank You for your constant love and support to Beauty Products Are My Cardio

 

 

 

How to Blog on a Budget: By a Beauty Blogger

If you are already a beauty blogger or aspiring to become one but not sure how to stay current with all the beauty trends on a budget look no further. I am going to give you some tips and tricks you need to know how to blog on a budget and keep your Instagram up to date! Beauty Blogging is already filled with a ton of pressure but this should not be one of them nor does it have to be.

Having two kids at home under the age of 3, my husband and I are always on a budget and looking for ways to save and or stretch our dollar. I just don’t always have the funds to buy the most up to date beauty products to review for my readers. Now I know you may be thinking “but you are getting current PR Samples sent to you ect” and although this is true, I started out just like you! I always considered my makeup collection to be on the larger side but when I started to blog I realized my collection was small in comparison to others.

I had to remind myself some bloggers are:

  • Getting PR Samples / Sponsored work
  • Been collecting beauty products longer than me
  • Have different budgets than me
  • Have larger incomes than me
  • Have different interests in products than me

I did not let the differences I saw put pressure on my blog style, instead I got creative and stayed true to me. Which in turn allows me to be active multiple times a day on Instagram and to be able to write a new blog post at least once a week.

1.Work with what you have already:  If blogging is on your mind you must be into beauty products which means you have a collection to work with (regardless of the size!) and have tons of knowledge on them to review for your blog!!! You just need to be creative with what you already own

  • To start take single shots of all your products. This will give you more content to post on Instagram.  I know you will see pictures with multiple products but maybe you have one blush that is your favorite. Just show case that one with a pretty necklace, silk scarf or a creative close up shot and tell us why you love it!!!
  • Take group shots of specific products (blush, mascara, lipsticks, bronzers, palettes, your brushes)
  • Use colors!!! Get creative here… look at all the packaging in your collection. Do you see a ton of black? Maybe Gold? Put those together and take a picture!
  • Do you have a must have combo of blush and bronzer? Or a favorite Lipstick and gloss you always wear? Think about these combos and write them down. Then take pictures and talk about them to your readers for a fun blog post!
  • Do you tend to buy pink lippies? Get them in one shot and take a picture and then review each one.
  • I did not buy a camera. I used my I phone 6plus and still do
  • I did not buy lights to start out. I used natural lighting with a white lid from a storage container. (Read my first blogging tip post on how to grow a following here)
  • Set a budget for a monthly beauty purchase.
  • Don’t forget about your skincare / hair routines

How to blog on a budget

How to blog on a budget

How to blog on a budget

 

2. Monthly Subscriptions: There are tons out there to choose from as low as $10 a month to give you products/content to work with each month. This will give you new products each month to review, get fab product shots,  as well as reviewing the subscription service each month on your blog!

How to blog on a budget

How to blog on a budget

3. Free Samples:  Yes brands give out samples!!

  • If you are in the market for a new foundation you can always request samples at your favorite brands counter. I recently did this with MAC and testing out the Studio Fix Fluid.
  • Do your research: I discovered Mario Badescu gives out free skin analysis and samples which allowed me to write this blog post for free!
  • Head over to Sephora and Nordstrom and just ask 🙂

How to blog on a budget

How to blog on a budget

4. Contact brands for PR: You may be thinking “I don’t have a large following!”  That does not matter.  I received my first PR at 1K followers. How? I reached out directly to them.

  • Brands love bloggers bc we are free marketing
  • Sell yourself
  • Be professional
  • Remember the worst case scenario is they say no. That’s it. Nothing else bad will happen! lol
  • (**Please let me know if you would like to see a more detailed blog post about PR outreach**)

5. Repost old photos:  GASP OMG I KNOW!!!! Pictures posted just once are a waste to me. We work so hard to get these beautiful shots for them to just be used once? Nope not me! Dont let your instagram suffer with limited posts because of these things. Take a picture that you posted 6-8 weeks back and poof you have a post for the day! All of these things below get in the way and its okay! Plus sometimes your followers didn’t even see the first post

  • Life happens (busy week, personal issues ect)
  • Bad weather if using natural lighting
  • feeling not motivated that day

I truly hope reading this helps get your creative juices flowing on how to blog on a budget. Since I started I have only bought new makeup I truly wanted and have consistently talked about “non trending” products.  Remember this is suppose to be fun!

What are your tips for blogging on a budget? Let me know in the comments below!

How To Grow On Instagram: By A Beauty Blogger

I have been asked how to grow on Instagram numerous times so I thought it would make for a fun and different blog post. Am I an expert? Not at all but I started Instagram 8 months ago and because I grew so fast I started an official beauty blog to be able to go into more in depth reviews, swatches ect for my followers.  When I started I had no clue what was going to happen to Beauty Products Are My Cardio but I had a vision and what is happening for me now was apart of that vision.  If you are new to my blog (Welcome!!!!) and want to know a bit more about me you can read my 20 Facts bout me tag here (massive amounts of blush… you have been warned) Starting this process can be scary and intimidating but you got to jump in and have fun!!! No matter what you are blogging about.

Support:

Do you have a mentor? Have you read about about how to grow a following on Instagram? If you are answering no to these questions you must start here first. I can not go any further without shouting out my mentor. The wonderful woman behind Engaged To The Details  Talking to someone who has done it or doing it is extremely helpful as it makes you feel less stressed (or maybe that is just me lol) Having support is key as this process has its ups and downs but you have to stay focused.

Have original clear photos:

Followers want to connect with YOU and your work! Show off your skills.  Create a theme, have fun whatever is YOUR style do it! Getting posted by a brand is great for exposure but that will only happen with original and clear pictures. I will let you in on a secret. I started off taking pictures in my sons room on Saturday mornings at 7am because it was the best natural light with a storage container lid. YES A STORAGE CONTAINER LID.

Here is my first picture I posted:

February 11th 2016 and it has 76 likes  and 4 comments How to grow on Instagram

Post 2-4 times a day:

Yes I said 2-4 times a day. That is a lot of content I know but if you are serious about growing on Instagram you have to put in the work and you must get your “brand” out there.

Be consistent:

When I started I tried different times of the day. I am in Chicago so Central Time Zone but my followers are from all over. I found 730am, 1130am, 445pm and 745/9pm were my best times to post and I did post 4 times a day up until 1-2 months ago.

Follow successful bloggers:

See what they do and mimic that. I remember when I started and I saw beauty bloggers with thousands of followers and was just in awwwww. You can do this!

What does your bio look like?:

That is one small space to work with but it should give people a quick glimpse into what they should expect from your page/blog. If they do not like what they see its okay but those that do will hit the follow button. IE: Beauty Obsessions and Fab Finds $10 Or Less …. This is my slogan for everything (Instagram, My Blog, My Facebook Page and My Pinterest Page)  Its what BPAMC is about. I will invest in beauty products that are worth the splurge but I believe in affordable options and adore the drugstore!

Be active on others Instagram accounts:

Lets support each other. Since starting my official blog I am learning that there are blogger groups who will comment on Instagram and Blogs to support each other no matter what they are blogging about. I have been doing this since day one. Not only are you supporting your fellow bloggers but again it gets your “Brand” out there! Plus I love talking with all of you. I have made real friends though this process. Tom Ford is legit on my luxury brand wish list because of your photos!

Don’t feel pressure to participate in Follow For Follow for the reason above:

I personally can not keep up with my 400 plus accounts I follow some days so if there are thousands to be active on I just can’t do it. I told myself from day one I will not do F4F. This does not make me bad or rude. I am just sticking to my plan. This also means I do not follow a bunch of brands. I follow those I want to and sometimes head over to their page to see whats new ect. I have also unfollowed those who are ghost followers because if I am being supportive hey give it back.

This leads into the days you get a ton of unfollowers:

Its OKAY! I repeat its OKAY! Stay focused and do NOT compare yourself to others. This is your “Brand” keep your eye on your plan.

Be authentic:

Talk to your followers in your posts. Ask questions to get engagement on your page. People connect to people.  For my beauty bloggers: do not feel you need to have every single new release to gain followers. Can these products get attention? Of course but sometimes its not possible.  I am a mom of two and I have a budget just like you. I love buying new products but some products are not for me. Some palettes are not for me. Sometimes I have to spend that month on something non blog related. Just be you!!!!

Shout out for Shout out:

Oh the lovely double edge sword. Since starting 8 months ago I have only hosted 3 shout out for shout outs. When you host them its the only time you truly gain but you also will have people unfollow you because you are blowing up their feed with a bunch of accounts. Should you avoid them? No but proceed with caution. If you are just starting out 1K or under participate in 1 every 7-10 days so your “brand” gets out there. Doing them to reach a milestone number is also something that should be proceeded with caution. You want organic followers who love your page because they truly want to see what you are talking about and posting about daily.

Host a personal giveaway:

Another double edge sword. I have hosted a 10k giveaway and I lost a ton of followers after. Why? Its not an organic way to gain followers but I loved giving my loyal followers a chance to win some fabulous products. Side Note: I have found giveaways where you have your followers just comment on the giveaway picture and not make them repost the photo has been more successful all around!

Hashtags are your BFF:

Use the max of 30. I keep all the hashtags I love and those I find from other accounts in groups of 10 on my notes section in my phone to make it easy!!!

Create a hashtag:

#10orlesstuesday has been such a success and I LOVE IT! Not only do I get to see what fabulous finds you have that are $10 or less, share that with my followers but I get to feature you on my page and get you exposure. Dont think you need a big following for this because you don’t. #10orlesstuesday was started once I gained 500 followers. It was a goal I set for myself.

Stay positive and focused:

I can not stress enough to not focus on the numbers (I understand the struggle) and focus on your content and do not compare yourself to others. There will be days you gain a ton and days you lose a ton but you want true followers! You got this!!!!

 

Do you want to see other Blogging / Instagram tips? Did you enjoy this post? Leave in the comments below. This was very fun and different so I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

*I would just like to say a special THANK YOU to every follower I have. Your continued support means the world to me. It has opened doors and opportunities for me I never thought were possible. Without you Beauty Products Are My Cardio would not be where it is today. For those that have been with me since February I just have no words. This beauty community (you know who you are) is amazing and I am so thankful for you all! Love Always Vanessa

**Another special thank you to my husband. Jason if you are reading this your continued support means the world to me. Without it I would not be able to do what I am doing.

20 Facts About Me Tag

After watching a ton of YouTube videos and reading Blog/Instagram posts, I decided I should do the 20 facts about me tag. I absolutely loved learning about all of you so I hope you enjoy this! Lets just jump right in……

  1. My name is Vanessa not beautyproductsaremycardio – lol!
  2. I grew up in Elmwood Park a suburb right outside of Chicago and the home of the best Italian Beef  the Chicago area has to offer but if you ask my Husband he will tell you I am bias. Whatever!
  3. My Husband and I met in Children’s Theater class at Northeastern Illinois University 12 years ago.
  4. I am mostly Italian and my husband is Palestinian. We have two kids. Our daughter is 3 and our son is 10 months
  5. My Bachelors and Masters Degree are both in Communications and I studied Flamenco Dance as my minor.
  6. My passion for dance started at the age of 9. I have studied Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Belly Dancing and Flamenco
  7.  I was allowed to wear makeup off the stage at the age of 12. My mom took me to the drugstore the summer going into Jr. High. We bought mainly Cover Girl. To this day if I open a Cover Girl blush the smell instantly brings me back to that moment.
  8. For my 16th Birthday I was introduced to MAC by receiving a black MAC makeup bag filled with blush, eyeliner, lipliner and lipglass.  Our relationship is now almost 20 years strong!
  9. Blush is my ultimate beauty weakness. I believe this obsession started because as a dancer my mom would tell me I need more blush for the stage….like ALL THE TIME. So I started to experiment with blush and the rest is history (picture evidence below HA)
  10. I worked in Disney World for a college internship and it changed me forever. If you are in college you MUST look into this program. I worked Retail in Magic Kingdom.
  11. Family is EVERYTHING!!!!
  12. Audrey Hepburn is my style icon.
  13. I started my blog 7 months ago, 2 days after returning to my full time job from being on Maternity Leave. It was something I had been thinking about for over a year and all of a sudden it all came together and Beauty Products Are My Cardio was born.
  14. I am an Academic Advisor by day and taught Public Speaking for 5 years at a Community College here in Chicago.
  15. I drink coffee…however 95% of the time its decaf. I just truly love the taste. Tall Decaf Non Fat No Whip Mocha.
  16. Next to blush chocolate is my other weakness.
  17. I HEART Pasta. Nothing beats my dads cooking … well except my grandparents 🙂
  18. I am trying to get better at eating cleaner and working out #momlife
  19. Black and Purple are my favorite colors
  20. I absolutely love interacting with each of you everyday!

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure! I tag all of you 🙂

 

20 facts about me tag
Can we discuss this blush? But I will say I was always seen on stage (Thanks MOM!)

 

20 facts about me tag
Senior Picture: I was always into nude tones lol

 

20 facts about me tag
My Wedding Day: MAC everything

 

20 facts about me tag
My Ride or Die

1 Loreal Voluminous Primer and 5 Mascaras

When I first heard about Mascara primers I was really not interested but when a fellow Blogger @beauty.maven posted about the Loreal Primer on her Instagram I felt a sudden urge to try it. This primer is sold at most drugstores but I found Target sold it for the cheapest at $5.99.

Per the Target.com website it states: “The perfect pair for your favorite mascara to maximize every lash look. Lightweight primer instantly creates a boosting effect, building dramatic volume and length on each lash. Conditions lashes over time for soft nourished lashes. Use with your favorite mascara to amplify any lash look.  Instantly Thicker, Longer Lashes Mascara Amplifier Lash Conditioner”

Sounds amazing right?!!!? Well let me tell you…. it is!!!! So I decided to experiment and try it with 5 of my favorite mascaras.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara: The primer made this mascara apply much smoother with less clumps and had less fall out. Mascara2Cover Girl Lash Blast: PS this is my HOLY GRAIL mascara. It goes on smooth with the primer however it really did not do anything to change the over all application or staying power. I was a bit surprised but I was also okay with this because I have no complaints to begin with.  Mascara3Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real: WOW this primer just took this mascara to the next level in the length department. If you have not tried this mascara you need to. Mascara1Too Faced Better Than Sex: I was the most excited about this because I love this mascara but I experience so much fall out I can not wear it. Until now! I experienced no fall out with it paired with the primer.Mascara4Benefit Bad Gal Lash: It goes on smooth with the primer however just like the Cover Girl Lash Blast it really did not do anything to the all around application or staying power. I have no complaints about this mascara either so this was not disappointing to me.mascara5Would I recommend this primer? YES!!! For $5.99 its worth a shot because even on the two mascaras where I did not notice a difference it still helped all 5 go on smoother. With the primer helping with clumps, fall out and making your lashes stand out even better you can’t go wrong. I am now on the hunt for more mascara primers to test out. Leave in the comments some I should try. Have you tried this primer? I would love to hear your experience with it!