Author Archives: Meera C.

Retroactive Remix: Beauty In Strength

Women are often still portrayed as whimsical creatures of beauty. Or at least, that’s what we’re supposed to strive for. But I do not accept that. I find beauty in many different forms, but especially in strength. Women are strong, courageous, and mighty. We are also soft, gentle, and whimsical. Women can embody strength in all its forms. For my remix I have photoshopped a sword into a picture of a Mark Spain painting. The woman is beautiful, and appears ethereal and elegant. But by adding a sword to the image, I’m conveying her strength as well. Women are not just one thing and we should not be constricted to one set of ideals. You can be both strong and beautiful. You can find beauty in strength, as I do.

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Process Post 10

Community Guidelines

Beauty As Art is a community promoting self expression, confidence, and self love. It’s meant to be a place of support and safety for all viewers. To support this mission, the following guidelines will be enforced regarding conduct as a community member. Users can be banned for any of these offenses:

  • Attacking other users, including name-calling, insulting, or threatening
  • Posting irrelevant, abusive, or inappropriate comments
  • Posting comments which target or degrade minority groups

These guidelines will be enforced to create a safe and supportive community for all users on this site.

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The Evolution of My Publications – Essay Two

Launching a blog this semester has been a great challenge and creative outlet. My passion for makeup has been growing for a few years now, and many of my friends have been pushing me to find a way to share it with more people. This course gave me the perfect opportunity to explore this as an opportunity. I knew early on my blog was going to have a focused concept driving my content: makeup. I drew inspiration from bloggers I looked up to like Tanya Burr and Zoella. The most important thing I learned from examining both their websites was twofold: be consistent with posting and be yourself. When you’re true to yourself and your voice is clear to your audience, you have the ability to hold their interest. I keep going back to those blogs because I can count on them to be producing new content and I can count of the quality of that content. Despite our drastically different styles, they are still my role models for blogging and brand identity.

To be honest, I was surprised when I checked my google analytics and adhering to the lessons I learned from their blogs was working in my favor. As I checked my google analytics, I was somewhat shocked to find people actually reading my posts, and not immediately leaving my site, but staying to see more. When researching how to understand google analytics, I ran across a brief walk through in the Social Media Examiner which helped me gain the most basic overview, including what an exit rate was and how it should be interpreted. I learned how people were linking to my posts, staying on them (and presumably reading them), and then instead of immediately closing the page some viewers continued exploring my site for more. For me however, the most exciting and interesting thing to be learned from my google analytics was the locational breakdown of who reads what posts. Seeing where in the world they were when they read my blog fascinates me beyond measure.

However, the growth in my analytics did not happen by chance. I noticed the shift in my analytics report around the same time I began actively utilizing social media channels as a part of promoting my blog and developing my brand. Instagram and Facebook are the most effective tools at this stage. When I started sharing posts with links to Instagram and Facebook my readership immediately increased. I must be doing something right, because according to Forbes magazine, improves brand loyalty, helps the brand become recognizable, elevates the authority of the brand, increased inbound traffic while decreasing marketing costs, and aids with search engine results. The utilization of social media does not just attract new readers though, it also helps the consumers of my content feel personally connected to me, which in this age is key to brand loyalty.

Beauty As Art is definitely still a work in progress. When it began I had a few unreasonable ideas about what I wanted it to look like and what I felt my voice as a creator was going to be. I wanted to be a space for absolutely anyone to feel they could relate to. However, that is an unrealistic expectation when developing a brand. You have to understand the niche your writing is for. BasA is a blog for people my age. This blog features looks which reflect me as a person which means it’s likely to reflect such a demographic in the viewers the blog attracts. As my ideas about myself as an online creator and who my audience is have evolved over the semester, so too has how I’m planning to structure my blog. My ideas about what my posts will look like and how they will showcase my makeup and products is going to be restructured in the coming months. Drawing inspiration from She’s In The Glow, I’ve decided to implement some of the advice I received in my final peer review. I’m going to build in a Shop category to better showcase the products being used in my looks. Not only is this a better way to manage products on the blog, but it will also help with the readability of my posts in general. My biggest concern with my posts thus far has been length because I am a very wordy writer.

This semester I was able to start a blog I am proud of and am passionate about. Beauty As Art is something I am planning to carry forward with me. Blogging has given me a creative outlet to showcase my skills and artistic abilities with makeup, as well as giving me a wonderful opportunity to write. The content I’m creating also has a place of value to my readers. I’ve heard from some of my friends who found my site through social media that they love my blog and the looks I’m creating. They feel they are learning about new products and how to create fun, new looks they can be confident about. And that’s really what my blog is about: helping people have the confidence to  express themselves and be proud of who they are. I know my blog is helping me feel even more proud of who I am and what I’m capable of.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/2/#7435b550743f

http://shesintheglow.com/

How to Use Google Analytics: Getting Started

https://www.tanyaburr.co.uk/

https://www.zoella.co.uk/2009/page/7

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Process Post 9

The platform I’m building for this blog and brand present many opportunities for integrating different forms of media. Though I focus a lot of writing to help readers connect with me as a person, pictures are obviously an important element. Photography for the blog is also not my strong suit. I’ve spent much of my life shying away from the camera. Now however, it’s time to start using it to my advantage to showcase my work. But right now, I’ve essentially mastered the selfie and my best angle and that’s about it. One of goals for the blog (and my Instagram) is to start exploring how to take other great photos. I seem to be letting my insecurities dictate how I take photos which is not ideal. Integrating more photography into the blog is an important next step.

Another transmedia addition I’m excited to begin working on is integrating video. I’ve been exploring YouTube as another social media option for expanding the reach of my brand. Makeup and beauty focused platforms cater well to YouTube and could cross well onto my blog as well. The two would work well of each other as platforms and give variety to each other. Aside from integrating a whole new social media channel into the brand, video itself would be a helpful addition to the blog. For example, for complicated steps of makeup routines, videoing the technique and including it in posts could be beneficial to newer readers. Overall, I would like to integrate both photography and video into the blog more, because I believe they would help hold viewer attention and showcase the makeup better. As a wordy writer, it would also be beneficial to the blog to have the writing broken up with images and video clips.

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90s Makeup Inspired Look

Picture showing a dark contoured eye shadow look with a pale pink nude lip

As a baby born in the late 1990s, I missed the makeup trend of that era. However, revamped 90s makeup has been in style lately. While I’ve never been much one for trends, I have been quite intrigued by many of the styles coming forward with this era focus. So I thought up this contoured eye withe  nude lip and just went for it!

My style tends to embody the bold and the badass. With my makeup being the main style point in my daily repertoire I love exploring different avenues for expressing my inner badass woman. Being bold doesn’t always have to mean bright colors, sparkles, or all the shades of darkness. This week I decided to try a contoured, 90s inspired matte eye look paired with a pale nude lip. The winged liner and darkened waterline brought in some of my signature style and added in the 2017 wist to the look. While it’s a very different look from the last one I posted it still made me feel powerful and proud.

This look posed a few challenges I don’t typically encounter. For one, the blending had to be so much smoother then usual. With the center of the lid being almost nude and highlighted, any harsh lines or messy application of the darker shadows would be glaringly obvious. The key to contouring my eyes is blending. The liner also needed to be flawless because there was less shadow to hide mistakes with. There can be no gaps in the line, no smudges, and a perfect line. Any mistakes would be too obvious with no way to hide. However, mastery of the eyes meant the look should go off without a hitch!

To learn more about how I created this look you can see a list of products and read a bit about the process below:

The Products

-The Base:

Primer: First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

Applied with my hands

Foundation: Estée Launder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in 1C1 Cool Bone

Applied with my Sigma F88 Flat Angled Kabuki Brush

Powder: Makeup Forever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder in Color 1 Translucent

Applied with a Makeup Forever 130 Large Powder Brush

-The Eyes and Brows

Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original with some loose powder to set (from the base)

Applied with Fingers

Eyebrows: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Color 03 Medium

Applied with Product Applicator

Eyeshadows (in the order applied): Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette

-Saleos in the Crease

Applied with Sephora Collection Pro Blending Brush #27

-Shax in the Outer V

Applied with Zoeva 231 Luxe Petite Crease Brush

Blended with Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush

-Lazarus across the the Lid

Applied with Zoeva 232 Luxe Classic Shader

-Liberatus in the Inner Corner and to Highlight the Brow Bone

Applied with Sigma E25 Blending Brush

Upper Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Applied with Product Applicator

Lower Eyeliner: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner in Blacquer 42

Applied with Product Applicator

Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in Black

Applied with Product Applicator

-The Face

Contour: Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Refillable Palette in Sombre

Applied with Zoeva 127 Sheer Cheek Brush

Bronzer: Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit (Light/Medium) Bronzer Shade

Applied with Sephora Collection Pro Contour Brush #79

Highlight: Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Refillable Palette in Lucid

Applied with Sigma F03 High Cheekbone Highlighter Brush

Blush: Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette in Unleashed

Applied with Sigma F50 Duo Fibre Brush

-The Lips

Primer: Bite Beauty Line and Define Primer

Applied with Product Applicator

Lipstick: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Cava

Applied with Product Applicator

 

A Bit About The Process

While I may not have wanted to go to class today the prospect of some me time with my makeup helped pull me out of bed to get ready for the day. Despite feeling grumpy I knew rocking a great makeup look would make help me have a better day. So to start I ran through my morning skincare routine as per usual then applied my new primer! My skin has been much happier and makeup application has been much smoother since starting to use my new primer. If you want some more in depth information about this product I wrote a review you should check out!

After my primer sets on my skin, I use my flat kabuki brush from sigma to apply my foundation. The double wear foundation from Estée Lauder has a very full coverage and sets matte on my skin. I find this optimal for the base of a look. Then I quickly brush some translucent powder across my face and move forward to my eyes and brows!

The eyes are the best part of this look but also the most challenging. I started by applying my primer with a light layer of translucent powder to my eyes before doing my eyebrows while the primer sets. Having inherited my dad’s bushy Indian eyebrows my brows are pretty easy to do. A few quick swipes of a pigmented brown gel and I’m done!

Now that the eyeshadow primer has set it’s time to begin the process of eyeshadow! The first step is to slowly start building the crease color with Saleos from the Kat Von D palette. For this look to work, I built the eyeshadows slowly together and spent a lot of time on blending. I used a fluffy brush to pick up some shadow and knocked the fallout off (as one always should). Then I lightly feathered it through my crease. I continued repeating this process until I was happy with the crease shade. Then I picked up a tapered blending brush and picked up the shade Shax. This is where things could have gone wrong. The goal with this dark color was to actually create the shape for my eye. I started at the very outer corner of my eye and began building the color. I slowly but surely was able to create a V shape in the outer v of my eye. Using a clean blending brush I softened any hard edges and and ensured the shades were blended together well. Next I used a shader brush to pack Lazarus across the rest of my lid. This neutral base shade created a nice highlighted effect across the lid which opened up the eye shape nicely. The final step was to use a fluffy brush to highlight the inner corner of my eyes and brow bone with Liberatus.

With my eyeshadows coming off better then expected I moved on to eyeliner and mascara, two things no makeup look is complete without in my book. Creating a line from the direction of my lower waterline, I drew on the lower line of the wing. I took it out pretty far knowing I wanted to go for a dramatic wing. Then I switched the angle of the eyeliner pen and drew the upper line in towards my eye. Then I proceeded to carefully fill in my liner and much to my excitement it went off without a hitch! What can I say miracles do happen! Next: my waterline. To line my waterline I use a gel crayon liner. I find it goes on easier then a pencil because of its gel consistency. To avoid pulling harshly on my eyes I press my index finger against my lower lash line instead. This tends to roll the waterline out without the pulling effect. Then I run the gel along my waterline. I know many people will argue fully lining your waterline with black closes your eyes off but I love the way it looks so I do it anyways. A few swipes of mascara on my upper and lower lashes and boom eyes finalized!

For the face I start with contouring. I’ve recently picked up the Kat Von D contour palette and have been experimenting with it. The shade Sombre is an excellent contour shade for me. With sombre contoured under my cheekbones, under my jaw, and above my forehead, I move to bronzer. The middle shade of the Smashbox step-by-step palette is excellent for bronzing in fall as my face still has some color left from summer. I swipe the shade across my forehead, the back third of my cheekbone, along my jaw, my chin, and on my nose. Filled with joy and the return of color to my skin I move forward to blush. Using a stippling brush, I dot unleashed across the apples of my cheeks. Finally, I highlight my cheekbones and just around my temples.

Finally, we finish off this look with the lips. Having moisturized them before starting my makeup, I apply my lip primer all over my lips and let it set. Then I use my pale pink nude Bite Beauty lipstick in Cava to put the final touch of the look. I run the lipstick across my lower lip then create an X across my cupids bow to set up the upper lip lines. Using the peak of the cupids bow as a guide I apply the color to my upper lip and smile proudly at my creation.

And thats how I created this look! What sort of 90s makeup looks have you tried? If you have any questions or comments feel free to write them below! I’ll see you with another look next week!

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

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Process Post 8

I’ve never loved contemplating the end of it all. But I suppose contemplating the end of the internet isn’t so bad really. If I were told I only had one hour left online I would actually have quite a lot to accomplish before the lights went out. For one, I would want to save all my photos. We take social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook so for granted now that our photos go straight there. Most people don’t have hard copies of pictures anymore, we just scroll through them online instead. So I would want to download all of them off the internet and onto my computer, so I could find a better way to save them. I may be somewhat young but I have a lot of memories to hold onto from my collection of pictures.

The more time consuming job I would have is reaching out to my closest friends and family who live across the world. The internet has made staying in contact with my Indian family and British friends easier then I could have ever imagined. Losing that connection would be the hardest part of the internet vanishing for me. So I would have to rapid fire send messages to my humans who live across the seas telling them how much I love them and how they can contact me as we charge into the new internet-less future. My aunts and uncles and many many many cousins in India use social media as their main way of keeping up with me and talking to me. The only reason I know how my cousin in Japan is doing is because of social media. Skype makes it affordable for me to talk to my best friend Keilan in England. Losing all of that is what would be hard for me.

I could live without social media and Youtube and Google if I needed to. I grew up behind the times anyway. My family didn’t have cable TV, we had dial-up speed internet until I was in high school, I never owned a gaming console type thing, nothing. I grew up playing outside, reading books, and using my imagination. The internet itself is not a necessity to my life. Do I enjoy it? Obviously. In reality it would probably be better for my brain not to have to deal with it all. But the internet has made keeping up with and remaining connected to my far flung family and friends so much easier. Losing that, and having to relearn the most efficient and affordable ways to communicate would be really challenging.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

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Peer Review: Concept

Concept is a blog centered around fashion and lifestyle of M. The platform M has created for herself presents a plethora of marketing opportunities which she is doing an excellent job of utilizing already. Fashion and lifestyle translate well to social media, which help with building an audience. M’s social media presence demonstrates continuity and skill. She posts new photos on her Instagram everyday which gives her followers something to expect from her on a daily basis. Additionally, her blog has links to the Facebook and YouTube pages of The Wong Collective, a group of bloggers she works with covering fashion, lifestyle, travel, and more. Interlinking all of these platforms gives potential followers several channels through which they can find her blog and interact with her content. It also helps people feel connected to their content creators when they can follow them on multiple platforms. Her social media activity is a huge factor for her in creating an audience which will consistently follow her content and M is doing an excellent job utilizing this resource.

The blog itself immediately draws you in. M’s blog and the content she puts out on it work together and match one another. In her content, she presents clean and simple photography with her written posts. The black and white color choices reflect the aesthetic choices she has made in her fashion and lifestyle photography and content. The clean lines and color palette of the blogs design match this perfectly. She also consistently integrates many photos in with her writing. As we learned, photos attract viewers today, so this will keep consumers attention well. Again, the continuity M puts out to her followers will encourage them to come back. The consistency of posts, the pleasing aesthetic of the design, and the professional content make her blog seem like the blog you want to come back to time and time again.

As far as marketing Concept goes, M has set herself up well to market and monetize her own blog separate or joint with The Wong Collective. Her many social media followers, professional nature of her blog, and strength of content will appeal to advertisers, brands, and people searching for a content creator. She seems to be taking full advantage of the resources at her disposal and has fully committed herself to her brand. I believe Concept has a great future ahead of it and M should keep pushing her passion forward. If there is one thing standing out above everything else, it is her clear love and passion for what she is doing. That is what makes Concept special.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

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Unapologetically Me.

There are many people who run makeup and beauty oriented blogs. So, why me? Why am I here, writing this blog? Why is makeup an important enough piece of my life for me to center my whole blog around it? Where did this idea come from? What makes me any different from any other person playing with their makeup? Well, I’m going to tell you. You deserve to know who it is writing to you. I know I always feel more connected to the authors of my favorite content when I know them. So, this is me letting you get to know a bit about me so you can understand what I’m writing and why.

I grew up in a small town where I didn’t really fit in. My whole life, I’ve been loud, outspoken, opinionated, and somewhat aggressive. It wasn’t exactly the most accepted in the community where I grew up. But I made the best of it. At the end of middle school though I made the choice to switch from my small community to going to a private high school in the city. My parents were in support because they have always believed in me and wanted the best for me. So, I started going to high school downtown at an all-girls catholic school.

There were a lot of pros to making that decision in my life. The main one was many of us did not care about makeup or fashion. We were too focused on trying to get great grades and find time to sleep to bother. The daily uniform tended to revolve around sweats. The benefit of this was twofold: more sleep in the morning and not learning to rely on makeup to cover up my insecurities. I struggled through high school and puberty based insecurity and a whole other host of struggles without using makeup as a crutch. I believe this let me develop a very different relationship with makeup and beauty over my adolescence.

Believe it or not, I didn’t actually start really using makeup until I was 18 years old. I had used a product here and there for events and such, but I didn’t become invested in it until after I graduated from high school and had been forced to face most of my ‘I’m ugly’ demons. So, makeup was never, and has never become, about making myself more beautiful. My relationship with makeup is about one thing: self expression. I discovered YouTubers and bloggers, like Zoella and Tanya Burr, and started learning from them. I loved seeing the different things they would express with different types of makeup. It was inspiring.

The summer after my senior year I spent hours watching videos, researching products, saving up money, practicing techniques, and slowly but surely figuring out what I was doing. I love allowing my makeup to reflect what it is I am feeling. Makeup can send a message to everyone around you, whether they are your best friend or a stranger you pass on the street. It is a powerful form of art. And it is a form of self love for me. Because I do not allow others to dictate what I do and do not put on my face. My style is mine and mine alone. I am me and no one will ever take that away from me.

So, that is why I am here. Makeup is my passion. Makeup is my art. Makeup is a part of who I am and how I show myself to the world. Wearing makeup does not make me weak or insecure. It does not make me a liar or a fraud or shallow. I am here, writing this blog, in the hopes that inspires other people to express themselves freely and fiercely. I am a highly flawed person. But I do not let that stop me from being myself. And neither should you. Let’s be unapologetically who we are together.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

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Process Post 7

To be completely honest, monetizing my blog is part of my plan in the long run with this project. Makeup and writing are two of my absolute passions, so the idea of being able to combine them and make money on top of it is an exciting proposition. It’s thrilling really, to be building the tools to potentially make this idea a reality. However, I know I have a long way to go to make this happen. There a few things I need to accomplish with this platform to make it worth monetizing. Attempting to monetize too soon will only serve as a counter productive measure.

To make monetization successful, there needs to be a cultivated brand. Beauty As Art needs to become a brand with a clear audience and purpose as well as a foothold in the world of makeup and beauty. The best way to cultivate my brand is simple: pump out content. More and more content on a regular basis, utilizing not only the blog itself but also my social media outlets. Setting up a publishing schedule for specific types of posts which cater to the world of beauty bloggers, vloggers, models, creators, etc. will help to develop a sense of continuity with the content coming from the brand. Utilizing these social media avenues will also help to develop the audience for Beauty as Art.

The second crucial piece of setting myself up for success is to build a following. The continuity a schedule will create will help hold viewer interest, however I need to really build a following and audience first. The best way to accomplish this goal is by networking through the people I already know, finding my foothold in the makeup community, and becoming a reliable content creator on multiple outlets. To become a valuable investment for brands and advertisers, you need to have a strong following and be a reliable creator.

With those changes in mind, I would ideally like to use ads to start the monetization process. Over time, I would love to work with makeup and skin care brands as a brand ambassador, product reviewer, and more. I would also like to branch my blog out to include a YouTube channel to increase my reach and voice. Overall, this project is one I intend to carry into the future and work towards monetizing. However, it is something I am passionate about, money aside. I know monetizing is a process which takes time and I am not afraid to put the time and effort in to make it a worthwhile investment.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

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