Abusing My Wallet at IMATS 2015

 

The biggest day of the year!!! IMATS

It’s every makeup lovers dream and my wallet’s nitemare. This year I did great, I got a lot of stuff and saved a lot of money. I went on Friday which is for pro card holders and a guest, and the lines were so much shorter then when I went last year on a regular Saturday.

My first stop LIMECRIME

Despite their hacking controversy, Limecrime was present and had a mini discount on their products, $2 off lipsticks and $5 off the glitters. I purchased limited edition velvetine Rave and a velvetine I’ve been trying to get my hands on Salem (the darker color). The blue glitter shadow Cancer, for the zodiac sign is going to be fun to use.

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Love Love this brand and when I heard she was going to be there I was in makeup heaven, but I got even more distracted when I built my own contour palette. I cannot be any more happier with the selection I got and with how much I saved. A premade palette was $44 but if you buy 6 refill colors you get it for $32 and it comes with a free palette! SOLD! I restocked on my Dipbrow Pomade as well which is my absolute favorite eyebrow product.

Colors from left to right, top:

Banana, Champagne, 10k Left to right, bottom:

Copper Brown, Expresso, Carob

Sugarpill

I love the colors that Sugarpill has, so bright and so pigmented. I had purchased their palette which had all the colors last year so I went to check them out and found a loose eyeshadow I fell in love with. Grand Tiara! The name alone had this Queen interested. They had a $5 sale on lashes as well and you’ll soon see I love my lashes. These 2 are called Precious and Adore, on my hand is the eyeshadow.

Mink Wink Lashes

Every girl needs a pair of mink lashes for those special events or to just feel GLAMOUROUS. I stumbled upon this brand and these lashes caught my eye and my heart. They are called Spiky Loubs, and I already know when I’m wearing them.

Did somebody say Lashes?

Yea, it’s safe to say I LOVE lashes and when I saw sales on lashes I was there. There was an Ardell lash sale 8 for $20 with a free lash glue. I also picked up 2 packs of lashes from LA Splash for only $5 each, I was wearing a pair of those lashes to the show that I purchased last year, great quality. I’m set on lashes for a while, maybe.

Sigma

I have way too many brush sets from Sigma so this year I needed a cleaning solution only. I was recommended to try the Sigma Spa Cleaning Mat instead of the glove they have. It’s easier to use and will help you clean all your brushes much faster. Just set it down in your sink and wash away. They also gave the first 100 Sigma pro card holders to check out, a free 3DHD Kabuki brush which I was about to purchase to try out.

Artist Couture by Angel Merino

You may know him as Mack_Daddyy on Instagram, a super talented MUA who’s colors stopped me right on my tracks. He was at the AMA booth and had a special of 6 travel sized colors for $50. The colors are amazing the picture does them no justice. From top to bottom, or left to right on my arm the colors are: Mermaid Fantasy, Gold Digger, Double Take, Conceited, Lickable, and Yasss!

I also picked up a couple of things I “needed” from various other companies. An Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation from Tarte. A sculpting duo from Make Up For Ever and an eyeshadow from Stila called Kitten.

Overall as always, I had an amazing time and picked up a lot of great stuff. The lines were not bad at all and there was a couple of Friday only sales, I will definatly return next year on the Pro card holder day.

How to Blog and Tweet Like a Pro

Ma

It’s TIME to go SOCIAL!

I believe in social media especially for businesses, it simply works and creates a connection to your most important asset, your customers. Social media can be scary when you don’t know where to begin or don’t have a game plan. So I’m writing this post to help give you some helpful tips on blogging and Twitter, two dynamic social media tools. First let’s take a look at:

Blogging isn’t for everyone or every business, but it gives consumers a view of who you are. Whether you are blogging for personal reasons or for business, a blog is like a window in which a reader can see you and get to know you a little better. Where to begin? How do I start? My first blog post I was nervous too, so here’s some interesting tips to help you begin.

HEADLINE

Author Jeff Goins, gives us a great formula for headline tips in his blog Goins Writer.

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

  • A number catches readers attention, making them interested in finding out more. As Goins discusses in his blog an obscure number such as 19 or 37 can catch readers attention.
  • The first word of your headline can instantly draw a reader, and a trigger word can help do just that. I found this great list of potential trigger words on Buffer Social, there’s more great lists on there I highly recommend you check out.

The 5 most persuasive words in the English language

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New
  • An adjective such as Incredible, Essential or Free, will keep the reader hooked to your headline. 
  • A keyword helps readers come across your site on searches, so think about what readers you want to attract and how you want them to find you.
  • A promise gives readers something valuable, a reason to go on and read your blog post.

So instead of, Smokey Eye Makeup try 6 Easy Steps to Create a Smokey Eye  For a Night Out.

Time to Blog!

This is where I got super nervous, but I read something that helped me get started and type away. Mark Shaefer put together a comic that helped me get over my fear of blogging.

 

Here are his 5 Tips to Become a More Confident  Blogger:

  1. Limit the time you work on a post. Don’t over obsess no blog post is going to be perfect, set a time, pick a word count, spell check and publish.
  2. Re-frame the assignment. Don’t give too much emphasize on the word blogger, just think of it as you are writing a 500 word essay on something you are passionate about.
  3. Write for yourself. Your readers want to know you and hear your point of view or ideas. Tell YOUR story.
  4. Take advantage of personal coaching. Talk to another person on your idea for a new post, you might get content or inspiration.
  5. Put the fear of the negative in context. Don’t worry so much about people giving negative feedback, it hardly happens and if it does it just causes debate and traffic to your blog. Most people are just going to offer support so quit worrying so much.

Now you are ready to blog! Try writing a post and have your friends give you feedback on it if you want to practice.

Tweet Tweet! Twitter is a social media tool used to communicate with others directly, build relationships and network. A book that helped me create a blueprint for my twitter page was The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Shaefer. He teaches readers all about twitter and walks them through some steps to take to dominate Twitter. Profile First things first, a profile needs to be created, which should include the following:

  • A personal photo
  • A link to your website
  • A biography with your business interests (to help others find you in searches)
  • A short easy to remember user name
  • A few tweets! Just get started

The author, Schaefer shares his Beginners Regimen, which serves as a good starting game plan for tackling the twitter world. He suggest to try to tweet 3 times a day at different times of the day by following this guideline on what to tweet:

  1. Some non-work related information you read or heard about.
  2. News related information on your business or industry.
  3. Your opinion on something on the news or something funny.

Make sure to try your hardest to check and respond to tweets. Try to tweet during peak hours which is business hours. Be original and be honest but respectful, always keep in mind who you are trying to attract and what they would be attracted to.

What words catch your attention?

Social vs. Anti-social

Social media is the new way of advertising, we all know that by now. The makeup industry relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations and companies are taking less of their advertising offline and more online. You see someone with makeup and you usually ask or find out what products they used, and then proceed to purchase them. So why wouldn’t a makeup company take their brand social?

The risk of taking it social

First, let’s take a look of what could go wrong. By taking the brand social, companies might encounter some issues. I read an interesting article on Indie Counsel’s website on this subject matter. They interviewed Adrienne Logan, vice president, associate general counsel and assistant secretary of Godiva Chocolatier Inc, about the risks and rewards of a social media strategy. She states how social media is always changing, and how companies if they are not consistent they can get lost in social media. If a company is not consistent and don’t have a dedicated to keep up with their pages, they can confuse customers and eventually lose customers. Not updating a social media page can cause old promotions to still appear, no one responding to customer concerns, which can reduce customer loyalty. 


Nichole Kelly describes in Social Media Explorer, how not managing social media can destroy a company. Aside from customer loyalty issues, a company without a social media team can face regulatory fines, and compliance issues. There doesn’t need to be a team just for social media, but there should definatly be someone or a team, dedicated to a company’s social media. They should also have a PR crises plan, just in case something does happen in the everyday changing social media world.

The advantage of going social

Ok, that sounded really scary, but it is very manageable, and certainly doable. Once you discover the advantages you’ll see that the work will be worth it. Jaylee Miguel discusses beauty brands and social media in Social Media Today. She discusses how consumers spend less time watching tv and more time in digital media. By cutting back on advertising and more time on social media, companies can increase their consumer reach. Miguel discusses how a beauty brand like Benefit Cosmetics, reaches out to 1.4m fans on Facebook, 113k on Twitter and 553k on Instagram. They are consistent in answering fans back, important trait for a successful social media strategy to have. 


Benefit Cosmetics also ran a successful social media campaign. A case study on Think With Google, breaks down their strategy. When the company was to release their new mascara, they brought their advertisements online. They created photo contests, gave away merchandise, and engaged with their fans. They became the #1 selling mascara in the U.K. and had a 500% increase in engaged social media users.

Conclusion

A company simply can’t ignore social media in 2015. Being social with your consumers builds brand loyalty and essentially increase sales. For a cosmetic company, consumers are already social. There has been word of mouth marketing since the invention of makeup, why not join in consumers conversations. 

What is your favorite brand? Are they on social media? How do you feel about that? 

Must Have Makeup App

People often ask me what brand do you mostly use? And the answer is: my makeup bag is mixed with all types of brands. Each brand carries one of my cannot live without products. My makeup bag is just like one of my favorite stores, Sephora. Sephora carries over 100 brands including their own brand of makeup, skin care and tools.

Mobile Shopping at Sephora has become a unique experience with some pretty impressive benefits. Their app has led to changing the way people shop for makeup.

So what does the app do? 

With the Sephora app you can do so much more than just shop for makeup. It’s full of so many cool features that make your shopping experience different and unique.

Product reviews and Q&A’s

Each product has real reviews submitted by other consumers. Every time you order with Sephora, you receive an email asking you to review the product you purchased. These reviews help other consumers who are  looking to purchase.

Scanner

The app has a barcode scanner which you can use to scan products sold in Sephora and pull up product information. On the product page will be ingredients, directions, how-to’s and reviews. A helpful feature for new purchases.

Beauty Board

The beauty board is one of my favorite features. This board is pictures of makeup looks submitted by users of the app, with a list of products the person used. It’s a great place to get makeup idea looks and it includes a list of products so there is no guessing in what the artist used. Here’s my photo submission for a look I did with Urban Decay’s Electric Palette:

Screenshot (3)

The Sephora Glossy

This section is like a virtual magazine with videos, articles and how-to’s. It’s full of interesting articles and product information straight from experts and beauty guru’s.

Beauty Insider

Sephora has a loyalty program which is categorized depending on your spending at Sephora. Each level has different benefits. A Beauty Insider gets a free birthday gift and free beauty classes. A VIB enjoys those benefits and first dibs on product launches as well as private shopping events. A VIB Rouge enjoys all those benefits and surprise gifts and rouge events.

Sephora’s mobile marketing strategy didn’t just consist of a mobile app, they were also very active in social media responding to consumers on different communities. Lucy Hitz goes over their online presence in her blog Simply Measured. She states how they were heavily involved in Twitter answering questions and giving out beauty advice.

Their social media application has driven sales for SephoraIn a Digiday article Giselle Abramovich states how the company’s mobile sales were up 167% year over year and mobile traffic was up 75%. The Sephora app was a huge success in driving mobile sales and building customer loyalty. This app has helped get products into consumer’s hands and has increased sales for Sephora. 

So if you looking for a new foundation, a new blush, or need a makeup look idea, download the Sephora App! Let me know which feature you like the best.

HELP I NEED MAKEUP ADVICE

Looking for cosmetic advice? Have a big party and need a makeup look idea? Want to get reviews on the new Eyeliner from your favorite company? Or yikes! Do you have a huge event and need a makeup artist ASAP?!?

Well have no fear SOCIAL MEDIA is here!!!

Social media has really improved the cosmetic industry and how it functions. If you are a makeup fanatic you probably follow several MUAs (Makeup Artists) on several social media, Blogs, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest- you name it MUAs are there! It’s like a makeup community in which everyone shares beautiful creations, tips and reviews.

Such as Michelle Phan, who’s website is a full of tips and reviews on just about everything you can think of. Her YouTube videos of her amazing makeup transformations has led to her to success which includes her beauty subscription Ipsy (which I’m a proud subscriber of, you must check it out).

Makeup companies are aware of the influence beauty bloggers have, and how using social media can help promote their brand. In an interview with Dennis McEniry, president of Estée Lauder Online, on Mashable’s website, he discusses how they are using social media to reach and communicate with consumers. He talks about how they work with bloggers to target consumers.  I told you social media has changed the makeup game. An article by GCI Magazine states

The beauty business has always enjoyed a certain word-of-mouth evangelism.

Which explains why most of us turn to each other for advice, and what better way than seeking advice via social media. To gain exposure makeup artists can use community sites such as Model Mayhem. This site lets photographers, models, and makeup artists find each other for work and exposure. Are you a model looking to hire a makeup artist for your next shoot? Or a photographer looking for a makeup artist to help shoot a big project? This community lets artists connect with each other to build your portfolio and gain exposure.

As great as the online makeup community is, there are plenty of  opportunities in finding makeup artists via internet. It takes a lot of research to find the right artist, especially last-minute. There should be more communities in which a person, such as a soon to be bride, can find a makeup artist for her big day. That’s a HUGE day and a woman should have options. Usually you contact the two or three artists you’ve been following online, but two or three options shouldn’t be all you have to choose from- there should be websites dedicated to this service that are easier to find. I came across a website called Thumbtack– in which you can enter your zip code and style of makeup you’re searching for. Then sends it to makeup artists, and someone will answer you back with a quote. Sounds good, but if I were looking for a makeup artist, I would want to see pictures and I would want to choose who to contact-not vice versa.

Yup, the makeup industry is definitely strongly involved in social media with MUAs having a webpage in every network you can think of. Makeup companies are right there online with them, influencing consumers by using other consumers and beauty lovers. Social media is taking over the world and if you don’t jump on the social media boat you’ll be left behind!

Where do you search for makeup advice?

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS FOR MAKEUP ARTISTS

As a makeup artist it is important to demonstrate your work to the public in order to gain more clients. With social media it has become easier than ever to showcase your talent. The Cahoots blog has listed some great tools on their blog post The Makeup of Social Media . Their blog talks about how social media has allowed makeup artists to expand their reach and highlight themselves as individuals. The makeup industry is a visual industry in which clients want to see your work before contracting you for services. They want to see what kind of makeup you do and the different types of people you have worked on. What better way to demonstrate this than on social media.

One of the useful social media tools that I’m using to showcase my work is Instagram. According to the company’s press page Instagram has 300M active monthly users with 2.5B likes daily. It’s a great place to get exposure and show off your work. I occasionally post pics of makeup I’ve done on myself or others on my Instagram page.

Another great social media tool to use is Facebook. As Zephoria has listed in their site Facebook has 1.39B active users worldwide. They also stated that 42% of markets have reported that Facebook is critical to their business. With Facebook you can also display your work as well as engage with the community and potential clients. With Facebook people can comment on your pictures as well as communicate with you on the Facebook messenger app which allows potential clients to ask you questions on services you provide.

Tumblr and Pinterest are also great tools to post pictures as well as follow others with the same interest. I often use my Tumblr and Pinterest pages for inspiration on new makeup looks to try out.

Social media has provided many with an outlet to display their talent and obtain new customers especially in visual industries such as cosmetics. As a makeup artist I’m using them the best way I can to get my work out the and get brand recognition.

What social media tool do you like to use for your business?

Hello world!

Makeup Artist and Glam expert Vanessa G here to welcome you to my blog!!! It’s going to be a fun adventure of marketing and makeup so I hope you enjoy the journey! Stay tuned for some fun and imformative posts coming soon….