Tuesday, May 30, 2017

| What I Learned From 1 Year Of Blogging |



This blog is officially one year old. I'm actually still in shock about it. First off, I want to thank every single person who has visited my blog over the past year! The sheer fact that there are people out there that want to read what I write about leaves me with no words. In short; it's crazy, amazing, and inspiring. 
Blogging was something I started kind of on a whim and to be quite honest I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I just knew I really enjoyed watching videos and reading about beauty and fashion, and I wanted to do something along those lines. I had no idea I'd keep up with it for this long and I couldn't ever imagine there would be people who would actually want to read it. 
Honestly, this full year of blogging has taught me a lot, not only about my blog and the world of social media, (which I didn't even use before starting my blog), but also about myself. Blogging certainly has it's ups and downs, but I really love doing it. It gets tough and there are days when I just want to delete the whole thing and all of my social media accounts along with it, but I love what I do too much. I've always loved writing and it's given me an opportunity to be creative and express myself.

Since I've learned so much from blogging for a year, I decided I would share with you guys some of the things my blog has taught me. It can almost count as a little "beginners guide to blogging". Enjoy!


What I learned from one year of blogging


1. If you love something enough, you can actually stick to doing it

I have a hard time finding hobbies that interest me. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl, so either I love something or I don't. I also have a tendency to lose interest in things that I'm not immediately good at. When I wrote my first post, which took me about 6 straight hours to write, I knew I found something I loved, I just wasn't sure how long I'd be interested in doing it for. I've taken a few breaks with my blog, and I've made a lot of changes but I'm still here. I'm still posting regularly and I'm still active on social media. I finally found something I love doing and I'm beyond proud of myself for sticking to it, even when it got tough. 

2. Quality > quantity, always

When I first started this blog, I wanted to post 5 days a week. Looking back now, I was absolutely out of my mind. I thought that the more posts I banged out, regardless of the quality, the more page views I would get. I was totally wrong. I have now brought my posts down to 2 a week, every Tuesday and Saturday, and my page views have soared. My posts are written better and my photos are of much better quality. I cringe when I look back at some of my first posts but I won't ever delete them. They're kind of part of my ever-growing journey in the blogging world. 

3. Social media will be your new best friend

Like I said earlier in this post, when I first started my blog I had no social media accounts and I hadn't used any since I deleted my Facebook account back in 2012. Now, I spend a lot of time on social media promoting my content, engaging with readers, and supporting and talking to other bloggers. Social media has an equal amount of pros and cons, but it's one of the most important parts of running a blog. 
I think one of the things people seem to forget is being active across multiple platforms. I started with my Twitter account, then I created my Instagram and my Facebook page. I also use Snapchat now, which gives people a chance to see a more personal side of me. 

4. Supportive community & making new friends

I was terrified of other bloggers when I first started my blog. I thought they'd all think I wasn't good enough or they would view me as some sort of competition. I couldn't have been more wrong. With the exception of a few bloggers I've come across, almost everyone has been nothing but supportive and helpful. I love being able to engage with other people who do the same thing I do, who understand the same struggles and triumphs. I love having an opportunity to support and help people. I just love the blogging community!

5. Your content won't be for everyone & that's okay

I used to get really discouraged when I'd follow bloggers I liked on social media and I wouldn't get a follow back. I felt as though my content wasn't good enough, but I now understand that what I write about and what I do won't necessarily be something that everyone will love and I'm okay with that. I don't like every single thing other bloggers write about, so I can't expect others to like everything I do. All that matters is that I have a place I can express myself and do what I love. 

6. Carry a notebook & pen with you at all times

Inspiration will definitely strike in some of the strangest places. I can't even count the amount of times I've thought of a really good idea and I didn't have anything to write it down with. I now carry my notebook with me everywhere I go and if I don't, I make sure to write a note in my phone whenever ideas cross my mind throughout the day. I also keep a notebook next to my bed, because I get tons of ideas before I fall asleep!

7. Weekends won't be a thing anymore

This is a bit of an exaggeration, but the amount of free time I no longer have is pretty wild. Since I work full time, I spend a lot of my time on the weekends writing, taking photos, and editing. I stay up late during the week doing the same. I've had to say no to a lot of things so I would have time to work on my blog. It sucks sometimes, but with a blog, you get what you put into it. However, I won't limit myself to having absolutely no life. I still go out and do things, I just pick and choose what to spend my free time on. 

8. It's okay to take a break

With all that being said, it's okay to take a break from blogging. I've actually taken a few over the past year. Sometimes life gets hectic and sometimes you just need some more time for yourself, and that's okay. What I love about blogging, is that I never feel forced to do it. If I have no motivation or inspiration, or if i'm dealing with some personal issues, I can take a break whenever I want. 

9. Be yourself

This is by far the most important thing I've learned from blogging. I used to try so hard to be like the bloggers that had a large following; I tried to write like them, look like them, talk like them, take the same types of photos as them. That got me absolutely no where. Now, what you see is what you get. I am the real me across all of my social media accounts and on my blog. I have no problem being real and honest, I have no problem talking about mental health issues, I have no problem talking about things that bother me, and I have no problem talking about weird things that excite and interest me. I'm not going to pretend to be someone I'm not, and if you don't like the real me that's totally fine. I can't be everybody's favorite person. 

10. It's all worth it

Social media drama, posts that don't do so well, pictures that don't turn out the way they were supposed to, late-nights spent editing, skipping out on going out, every single struggle and sacrifice has been worth it. I've found amazing people to talk to and so much support and help. I've finally found something that I love doing and as silly as it sounds, I've finally found something I would love to be able to do for the rest of my life, a place where I can be as creative as I want to be and just be myself. 



This was a bit of a long read, but if you made it this far I just want to say thank you. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for supporting me in something that I love doing. I'm so happy I decided to start my blog and I can't wait to see what the next year of this "adventure" brings. 




Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media so you never miss a post!
XOA!


Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

| My Athleisure Wishlist | Clothing Wishlist |





I basically live in yoga pants and leggings all year 'round. I just love how comfortable and versatile they are, you can dress them up for a casual day out or dress them down for a relaxing day at home. Plus, I've found it easier to squeeze a workout into my busy schedule when I'm already dressed in clothes I can work out in! 

Since I have this obsession with wearing athleisure clothing, I'm always on the hunt for the cutest styles and the most flattering fits, just because I want to feel comfortable doesn't mean I can't look chic too! 

I was inspired by Adore Me to help find inspiration for some athleisure wear that is not only comfortable, but super trendy as well! For those of you who don't know, Adore Me is a NYC based lingerie company that offers a monthly subscription service that's curated to your preferences and needs. You just sign up and answer a few questions about your sizes and what you like and they send you a variety of products to review and you get to pick which ones work for you! 

Once you answer the questions you also have the opportunity to shop Adore Me's website for other amazing products including swimwear, lounge wear, and active wear. Shopping is made easier because you're only shown the products in your sizes. Adore Me also offers a wide variety of plus size clothing too! 

After checking out Adore Me's website, I've found some really cute active wear styles that I added to my wishlist! I seriously can't wait to start rocking these outfits!


Here's my Athleisure Wishlist!



Tala



I can already see myself wearing this set, which comes with a sports bra and these really trendy capri pants, on a summer hike. I love the details at the bottom of the pants and I love the floral pattern as well. I'd probably pair this set with a white T-shirt or slouchy tank.


Sanya


Just look at how cool these pants are, I love the design! This set, which includes these cropped pants and active racerback tank, is the perfect thing to wear for a workout. I can totally see myself going for a run or running errands while wearing this set!


Atia



Not only is the pattern on this sports bra and cropped pants set so gorgeous, it also features some pretty hot mesh panels on both the bra and down the pant legs. I'm honestly quite obsessed with this set, it might be my favorite of the three!


Those are the items currently on my athleisure wishlist! Adore Me has so many other cute styles and sets to choose from, it was extremely hard to narrow it down to just a few! What are some of your athleisure must-haves? Let me know in the comments!



Have you entered my Twitter giveaway yet? If not, go enter now because I'm giving away a collection of some of my favorite beauty and lifestyle products! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet my pinned tweet! 


Thanks for reading!
Follow me on all of my social media accounts so you never miss a post!
XOA!



Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann 





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| Products I'm Getting Rid Of! | Decluttering My Makeup |





One of my goals for this spring is to clean and organize my entire apartment. I have so much stuff that I really don't need and I'm currently working on going through everything I have and getting rid of things I don't use. The other day I decided to go through some of my makeup and oh boy did I stumble on a few products I should have tossed a long time ago!
In this post I'm going to share with you some of the makeup products I'm getting rid of!





Maybelline The Flasies Push Up Drama Mascara

Ugh, I really don't even know where to begin with this mascara. I bought it because I always heard good things about it. First off, I didn't like it off the bat. The wand hurts when I try to apply the mascara and it doesn't even do much for my lashes. I wasn't impressed with this mascara at all!

NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner

I think I may have gotten this eyeliner confused with another one from NYC that everyone raves about, but either way I'm not a fan of this product at all. It just doesn't do much, the product barely comes out and that makes it nearly impossible to do a wing or even some basic lining.

Maybelline The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara

Okay, so the only reason I bought this was because I had a coupon that dropped the price of it down to $2, but I didn't really have many expectations for it. Even the ads for it showed these crazy, messy looking lashes! Unless you're going for that look, which I never am, it just isn't a great product.

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation

If you've been following my blog for a little while, you'll know that I used to LOVE this foundation. The coverage is amazing and it's so affordable! Unfortunately, it started to make my skin break out bad, so I'm sadly getting rid of it.

CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Foundation

This was my OG foundation since freshman year of high school, and I can't really figure out why. The coverage isn't great, it barely lasts 6 hours, and it oxidizes like crazy! I'm also now more of a matte foundation girl, so I'm tossing this!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana

Funny story with this stuff. In high school, I had no idea what the difference between a bronzer and a pressed powder were, so I bought this and used to apply it all over my face. So not only is this product way too old to be using still, it's definitely too light to be used as a bronzer on my skin! The product is really good though!

e.l.f Eyebrow Kit in Light

I cringe when I think back at the makeup mistakes I've made. This eyebrow kit is super cute and the quality is pretty good, but it's totally not the right shade for me. My eyebrow hairs are more cool-toned, so I use a taupe shade when doing them, this product comes off a little orange when I use it, that's why I'm getting rid of it.




Those are the products I recently decluttered from my makeup collection. I still haven't gone through everything I have yet, so I'm sure I'll have more products to get rid of! I enjoy doing posts like these every once in a while because they give me an opportunity to talk about products I didn't like or products that just didn't work for me. What are your thoughts on decluttering posts? Let me know in the comments!

Have you entered my Twitter giveaway yet? If not, go enter now to win a collection of beauty and lifestyle products! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet my pinned tweet! 


Thanks for reading!
Follow me on my social media accounts so you never miss a post!
XOA!




Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

| Eyebrow Do's & Don'ts | Beginners Eyebrow Tips for Natural Looking Brows |





Before getting into makeup, I had no idea my eyebrows would be so important to me. I used to never do them, and now even if I'm not wearing any makeup, I always have to do them! I really feel like they make my face look so much more complete, if that makes any sense. 

Anyway, through some serious trial and error, I think I've finally gotten the hang of doing my brows. It took a lot of horrible and hilarious mistakes, but you have to fail a few times before you can master something. I'm in no way an expert, but I'm getting there!

I figured I'd put together a list of some eyebrow do's and don'ts to help others avoid the mistakes I made!

Here are my tips for natural looking brows:


Don't brush your eyebrow hairs down

Even if your hairs naturally grow downwards, don't do this. When you brush the hairs down, it brings your whole eyebrow down.

Do brush your eyebrow hairs up

When brushing your eyebrow hair, do so in an upwards motion. It lifts the hairs and makes your eye area appear bigger and brighter!

Don't use a color that is too dark or too light for your eyebrows

Finding the right color for your eyebrows can be a little tricky, trust me I know. I went through blondes and light browns before realizing my perfect shade was taupe. 

Do use the correct color for your brows

Although it may be hard to find the perfect match for your brows, it makes all the difference when it comes to creating natural looking brows. 

Don't draw your brows on with straight lines

It may seem easier to just draw a straight line when doing your brows and although you'll be saving time, your brows will actually end up looking too harsh. 

Do feather in the product

If you carefully feather in the product you'll for sure be spending a little more time doing your brows. However your brows will appear much more natural than if you just drew a straight line across. 

Don't use a heavy hand when applying product

This is an easy mistake to make when using a pomade, but you never want to do your brows using a heavy hand. This will make your brows look harsh and blocky.

Do use a light hand

When you use a light hand you'll have better control of how much product you're applying. Your brows will look much more natural if you use light strokes and if you go in the direction towards your ears.

Don't square off your brows in the front

This just makes your brows look big, blocky, and fake. Your natural brows aren't squared off in the front, so when you do them you shouldn't square them off.

Do go really light in the front

If you notice, you actually have less hairs in the front of your brows than you do throughout the rest of them. When you do the front, you should do light strokes going up to create the most natural looking brows.

Don't drag your brows down at the ends

When you get to the ends of your brows, you may want to extend them a bit. Don't drag your brows down though, this just brings the whole brow down which could make your brows and eyes appear more droopy.

Do extend your brows in the natural direction they go

When you go to extend your brows, just extend them a little going more straight out. This way you don't bring down your whole eye look.





Remember I'm not telling anyone that the way they do their makeup is right or wrong. I'm just providing some helpful tips for making your brows look natural. You can do your makeup however you choose to, it is a creative outlet used to express yourself, you're allowed to do whatever you want with it.❤

I hope you enjoyed my eyebrow do's and don'ts! Do you have any tips for doing your eyebrows? Let me know in the comments!

Have you entered my Twitter giveaway? If not, go do it now for a chance to win a bundle of beauty and lifestyle products! Just follow me on Twitter and retweet my pinned tweet!






Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann

Saturday, May 13, 2017

| May Birchbox |



There is something so exciting about subscription boxes arriving in the mail. You know they're coming, but it's always a fun surprise when you get to open them up and see what's inside! My May Birchbox has arrived and I'm super excited to see what's inside!

For those of you who don't know what Birchbox is, it's a monthly subscription box that features makeup, skincare, and beauty products. Each month you receive 5 samples that are curated to your needs and preferences. The best part is, it only costs $10 a month!

If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox, just click this link:
https://www.birchbox.com/invite/alexandraquinlann


Now let's see what I got!




Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle 

When my hair was longer I would have killed for a good hair detangler. This one smells amazing and looks promising so I'm going to save it for when my hair gets a little bit longer, no need to detangle when my hair is this short! 

COOLA Mineral SPF 30 Daydream Makeup Primer

I'm always looking for new primers and this one sounds pretty nice. Its also SPF 30, which is super important especially with summer coming up! I can't wait to try this primer out!

Etat Libre d'Orange You or Someone Like You 

I actually really like the smell of this perfume. It smells so fresh and cool! I'm seriously considering buying the full size!

The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara

I think this mascara might be full-size which is so exciting! The packaging is also so adorable, it's pink with flamingos all over it! I love trying out new mascaras and I can't wait to see how this one works!

Whish Firming Body Cream

Body creams are always cool to get and this one sounds great! It's supposed to diminish the appearance of blemishes and scars and it smells really good. I can't wait to start using this!


That's everything I got in my May Birchbox! I'm really happy with all of the products I received this month and I can't wait to start using them and trying them out!

I'm thinking of subscribing to other beauty boxes! What are some of your favorites? Leave me your recommendations in the comments!


Have you entered my Twitter Giveaway! Be sure to follow me on Twitter and retweet my pinned tweet to be entered! Giveaway ends 6/9/17!


Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media so you never miss a post!
XOA!

Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann

Saturday, May 6, 2017

| This Time Next Year Tag |





Hey ya'll! I was tagged by one of my favorite bloggers, Jen over at BeautyLifeMom to do the "This Time Next Year" post! I'm beyond thrilled that I was tagged to do this post! I love posts like these because it gives me an opportunity to set some goals for myself and reevaluate certain things in my life! Goals are important because they can help you accomplish things and they help keep you on track, which I clearly need to be, Jen tagged me back in March and I've finally got around to doing this now! 


Here are the rules of this tag post:

1. Thank the person who tagged you
2. Set yourself goals for the next year
3. Write about how you'll achieve these goals
4. Tag at least 5 of your blogger friends to do this post
5. In 365 days, write a post reflecting on your goals & what you achieved!


So first things first, thank you Jen for tagging me! I'm so excited to set some goals for myself!

My Goals:

1. Be more organized

I try really hard to be organized but to be quite honest with you, I don't have my shit together at all! I really want to become more organized with everything; my apartment, my blog, my life in general. The more organized I am, the easier it will be to keep track of everything. I find myself constantly searching for things, and I'm always rushing to complete stuff because I'm so disorganized. 

To accomplish this goal I'm going to first clean, declutter, and organize everything I have. I'm also going to start planning everything such as my blog posts, social media content, general ideas, and maybe even start using a planner for my day-to-day life, that way I get everything done and I never miss out on anything! 

2. Buy a new car

Well, actually save up to buy a new car first, then buy a new car! The car I'm currently driving has tons of problems and honestly, it's probably not going to last me much longer. I really want to buy a newer car but I'm going to have to save up some money first!

To accomplish this goal I'm going to cut back on unnecessary expenses, like take-out and spontaneous shopping sprees. I'm also going to save a set amount of money every time I get my paycheck that way I'll have money to buy myself a new car! 

The car I have my eyes on is a Subaru WRX!

3. Take better care of myself

I force myself to stay up late and wake up early to get stuff done, but I'm doing my body harm by not getting enough sleep. I also don't eat very well, I'm a junk food lover but I really need to start eating healthier. 
I also need to look after my mental health more. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and sometimes I'm too hard on myself. I really need to practice more mindfulness and I certainly need to start giving myself a break more often. 

I'm going to start allowing myself to get more sleep and I'm going to start trying to eat better, as hard as that may be. I'm also not going to get upset with myself if I have a rough day and I'm going to try to stop letting one small panic attack set me back for a week. 

This will definitely be the hardest goal for me to accomplish but it's the most important, and I'm going to try really hard to focus on this one.

Those are my goals for the next year! I'm going to try as hard as I can to accomplish these goals and I can't wait to share with you my progress with each of them!

Here are the amazing bloggers I'm tagging to do this post! No stress ladies if you don't want to do it! 

1. Ashley Simmons from piecesofashley.blogspot.com
2. Megan Anne from lovemegananne.com 
3. Natalie C Benton from gorgeousandgeeky.wordpress.com
4. Melina from ivefoundwaldo.com
5. Desire Chanteuse from desirechanteuse.com

And of course, anyone else who would like to to this post! Make sure you tag me so I can check it out!


Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media to make sure you never miss a post!
Make sure you enter my Twitter Giveaway!!
XOA!



Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| April Favorites |



For whatever reason April went by really fast, and I cannot believe it's May! I'm excited for beautiful weather and I'm even more excited for my One Year Blog Anniversary at the end of this month! 

As with every month, I'm sharing with you the products I've used and loved throughout the month! I tried out lots of new products and I've fallen in love with a few! 

Here's my April Favorites!





Favorite Skincare Product: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

This stuff is absolutely amazing! I have crazy sensitive skin so I never really know how my skin is going to react to a product, but this stuff never irritates me! It's made with Amazonian white clay and it deep cleans to remove impurities. You just put it on your face for 10 minutes and remove with warm water. I really like this stuff because you can actually feel how clean your face is after using it!

Favorite Lip Product: L.A. Colors Matte Liquid Lip Color in Fierce and Suede

I actually swatched and tested these liquid lipsticks on my Snapchat last week and I was pretty impressed with them. I picked these up for only $2 each, yes $2! The application was the only thing I wasn't super happy about with these lipsticks, however, the color and wear were both incredible! I'm in love with the shade "Suede", which is a really pretty light nude brown color. I totally scored with these!

Favorite Eye Product: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner in Deep Purple

Now I don't wear purple eyeliner everyday, in fact I rarely ever wear it, but this eyeliner is amazing! It goes on really smoothly and when I do use it, I always get the perfect wing with it. I would love to get this eyeliner in black because then I could use it everyday! 

Favorite Face Product: L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

This foundation might officially be my new favorite drugstore foundation. I love how my face looks whenever I use it, it always gives that perfect matte finish! It also lasts all day, never oxidizes, and it blends great!

Favorite Hair Product: Phyto Paris Botanical Straightening Balm

This stuff always makes my hair look so good, like I just left the hair salon. You just put some in damp hair, distribute throughout with either a comb or your fingers, and blow dry. It makes my hair look straight but also voluminous and it keeps it frizz-free!

Songs I've Had On Repeat This Month:

It Ain't Me - Kygo (Feat. Selena Gomez)

Despacito - Luis Fonsi (Feat. Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber)

Also, I've been listening to Frank Sinatra non-stop this month!


That's everything I've been loving this April! What are your favorite products this month? I'd love to hear! Drop me a comment! 

Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media to never miss a post!
XOA!




Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn
Facebook: facebook.com/alexandraquinlann