After Christmas Make Up Sales

One thing I look forward to each year are the after Christmas make-up sales. For those of us on a budget it’s nice to be able to restock or try new items without putting a dent in your bank account. I went to Nordstrom Rack to pick up more of the Ivory NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation because it’s quite possibly the only one that actually matches my skin tone. It blends well and keeps it consistency better than most powders I have used in the past (and believe me, I have used a LOT of powders). I also found a few new items I’m going to be trying out (see below!).

NYX Power Foundation

The first was this cute Stila Cosmetics eye shadow set, meant as a christmas stocking stuffer now on clearance. I’ve never tried Stila cosmetics eye shadows before so I figured it was as good a time as any to give it a go. So far I’ve been pleased with them but it’s only been a few days.

Stila Eye Shadows

The second item was the NYX waterproof mascara, I needed a new mascara, and frankly I’ve got no brand loyalty for my mascaras so I figured it was worth trying out. I actually haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but I will update you on how it works out!

NYX Mascara

The next item I picked up the Light Night Cream from Neutrogena. I’ve been using a lot of face masks and astringent on my face in the last few weeks, trying to find one that actually works on my skin and so I needed to stock up on a good moisturizer for my poor skin. I only really use cream at night, not as I am in a rush to get ready for work in the morning so I’d have to say the name sold me on this one. It really is light and so it doesn’t feel like I am putting on another mask or overly greasy product as I go to sleep.

Neutrogena Light Night Cream

These were all the items I picked up on this trip to the store, I’ll update this post on how they all work out. What are some of your favorite beauty products on sale now? I’d love any suggestions so I can try them out while they are on sale ūüôā

Gap Jacket

GapJacket

There are few things better than a structured Gap jacket. I paired it with a striped blouse from the Gap also. I wore it with lighter combat boots to add a little color to my outfit but it could go great with a variety of different types of boots. What works about this outfit is that is warm, because even on the west coast it gets a little chilly from time to time. This makes a great wear to work look also, depending of course, on the attire allowed at your workplace. Light Combat Boots

Kate Spade Bags Galore

Santa left me these beautiful Kate Spade purses this Christmas! The lighter one is the Lainey bag and the black bag is the Small Catalina. The Catalina is great for  dinner one night or just out and about.

Kate Spade Lainey/ Small Catalina

The Lainey bag has tons of room, which is why it is a must-have in my opinion! I don’t know about you, but I am always running around with a dozen random items in my purse. I would rather be over-prepared than under so a bag that will aid me in that goal is always welcome. There are two pockets that zip for more personal items and then a large open area for things like a laptop that won’t quite fit in zipped bag. I also really enjoy this design for the random rainy day. It’s easy to put your valuables in the zippered compartments and slip a plastic bag into the middle open compartment where you can store your umbrella if you don’t have a place to put in when it is not in use. The best part is, it’s not zippered so you can quickly grab it as soon as you are outside again.

Kate Spade Lainey Bag Lainey Bag Inside

The Small Catalina offers an adorable pattern inside the bag as well as an extra zippered compartment on the outside which is great for putting small items you don’t want to lose if your purse becomes somewhat cluttered (confession: mine always does). Also my previous black Kate Spade reminds me of this purse a great deal so I suppose there is a certain fondness I have a small black handbag. Is that not the sign that we are all becoming our mothers: favoring the practical handbag? All things aside I’m incredibly grateful I received these handbags this Christmas and I can’t wait for all the fabulous outfits I will pair them with in the future, my mind is already racing.

Kate Spade Small Catalina

Small Catalina Inside

SEO Basics

I thought I would go ahead and share some basic tips them here to give people some background on SEO principles as well as some places to go to get your SEO questions answered.

1.Title Tags

The title tags on a site should be optimized to have ¬†keywords in them so they have a better chance at ranking for them. This is a relatively high-priority item since it is arguably the second most important thing related to SEO on a site. Why are they so important? Title tags show up in browsers, search engine results, and even other websites. ¬†An example would be if you have a site that sells shoes, instead of having the title tag just be the name of the item like “black pumps” try editing it to this phrase that a user might search for such as “stylish black pumps.”

Determining the keywords should be simple, right? If you know your brand, of you course you know what people should be searching for to find it. Not exactly…think about it this way, people often search for phrases as opposed to just words. Just think about Siri, how many times have you asked Siri to look something up? If you ask Siri for the best place to buy leggings in Chicago…it’s going to search for just that (unless of course, Siri interprets it as” the best place to buy Legos¬†in Chicago”). ¬†With the Hummingbird update recently Google has certainly updated in understanding what these semantic searches, searching for the phrase as opposed to the string of words appearing in any order on a page.

Beyond the phrasing, if the keyword you pick happens to be common, for example, leggings, there are probably a great deal of people searching for it. This makes leggings a highly competitive keyword. If your site and 15,000 other sites are all competing to rank for the same keyword it is going to make it harder to become visible. However, there are plenty of related keywords or phrases you can add into your title tags that will ultimately benefit your ability to show up in search results.

title_tagexample

2. URL Structure 

While we’re talking about title tags it makes sense to touch on URL structure. The URL should also include keywords. Ever paste one of those links that looks a mess of a foreign language? (Example: http://www.shopforclotheshere.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?id=BRANDS&brand=adidas). ¬†Everything after the question mark is not search engine friendly to Google crawlers. By adding keywords they would allow Google crawlers to pick them up and help them rank. You’re basically wasting space in your URL if you have that, why not 1) make it look a hell of a lot better and 2) add some relevant keywords for your brand.

URLStructure

3. Google +

I’m a big proponent of Google + because it really does matter, establishing Google Authorship for yourself is really important because it gives you legitimacy on the web, for more of an explanation, read my blog post on it here.

4. Blog Away

Text is really important because that is what Google crawls so keeping an updated blog that is relevant to what your site is about is really important. ¬†If you’re not the blogging type offer guest posting on your site, whatever it takes to create new and relevant content on your site. Don’t steal content from other sites, create your own to make your site more legitimate and beneficial to the readers. Google basically just needs to know that you are offering value to those on your sites, then they will help you show up in search results. Think about creating a spreadsheet that keeps track of which pages and which relevant keywords relate to those pages on your site, it will help a bunch.

These are some quick tips, these are  far from in-depth but totally worth implementing on your site! To ask some SEO questions try participating in the weekly twitter chat on Thursdays at 11am PST for SEO appropriately called #seochat.