Chit Chat – Life Update

Chit Chat – Life Update

I’ve been away from my blog from several months and I thought it would be fitting to write a life update! As I mentioned in my New Years Post, I’m moving towards a more quality centric blog instead of quantity. The pressure to blog/vlog has had very bad consequences in the past but blogging when I feel like puts me at ease. However, I always worry that if I’m away for too long, you’ll all forget me! So a life update is awesome to just catch you up to speed on what I’ve gotten up to in my absence!

If there is anything on this list you’d love me to expand on and write a blog about do let me know!

Graduate School

I’m now in my second semester of graduate school. It still feels strange sometimes that I’m doing my masters because I never had a concept of what graduate school would be like. It’s a lot of work, but it’s given me a lot of skills in a few months. My favourite part about graduate school is learning coding/programming languages. I was excited, but nervous to learn it from scratch coming here but I’ve learnt so much and its now one of my best parts about the course. I think it’s that eureka moment I get after stumbling on a code for hours and finally seeing it work. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but I love it so far.

Move Back To WordPress.com

Earlier this year I moved from my blog, which was hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosted site. This inadvertently caused a massive amount of headache as my website crashed multiple times within this time. Also, trying to find the right themes and customizing was also challenging. However, the final nail on the coffin was the lack of engagement with the WordPress community! I hate it. I realised that I don’t care about SEO, domains, self hosted, traffic or any other blog things I “should” care about. It produces a lot of negative feelings for me and makes me unfocused on producing blog content.

I decided to move back and I’m happy and calm not caring about all the extra blogging stuff. I just want my likes and comments over blogging jargon that gives me headache any day!

My site currently looks like a headache so bear with me because WordPress is currently facilitating my transfer! Everything will be back to normal after October 5th.

Self Awareness

I’m striving to be more self-aware. I was really inspired by a Japanese TV show called Terrace House (It’s on Netflix, thank me later).  Besides being amused by all the cultural differences Japanese people had with the Western world, I was particularly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection on all aspects of their life. There is also a strong desire to be better, and think of other people’s feelings and how their interactions affect people. I tend to think of how interactions affect me instead of the other way around, which upon watching this show, exposed my selfish tendencies! I know, strange. I can learn from anything, even reality TV shows. Haha

Dreadlocks

image1.jpeg

I started dreadlocks! Myself! They’re currently 4 months old and coming along nicely. I guess you could say I gave up on my natural hair this summer. The breakage and tangling was real so I decided to lock it since my hair tends to want to lock itself every 2 seconds. My locs give me even more peace of mind since I use less products and only have to deal with my hair every 2 months. I ALSO DONT HAVE TO COMB IT OMG YESSSSSSS!!

Weight Loss

I’ve lost a total of 8kg (17lbs) since the beginning of the year.  I lost a lot of weight, but I lost it slowly to preserve my madness. I attribute the first few months of the journey to eating low-calorie alternatives of the things I loved like brownies, ice-cream and spaghetti. However, towards the last few kilograms, I attribute my weight loss to intermittent fasting and eating one massive, delicious, calorie dense, meal a day. I have my hangry, binge days but all in all its going pretty smoothly since I always feel very satiated after each meal.

That’s it for my life update! Theres many little other things that have happened but this is just the main stuff. Thank you for reading!

Travel Diary: Times Square, New York

Travel Diary: Times Square, New York

I guess you’re wondering where I’ve gone to, disappeared, hidden and concealed myself from this beautiful blog. Trust me, I’m as hurt as you.

I’ve been trying to set up myself for graduate school and believe me, it was a looong process. I had to take a hiatus from blogging for a few weeks but I’m so glad to be back!

I finally got my student visa and travelled so my family decided to stop by in New York for a day before transiting to our next destination.

In my previous travel post, I mentioned that New York is somewhere I would love to visit again! I last came here in 2008 so I was extremely excited to visit again.

I wanted to see Times Square again because the picture  of the place was imprinted in my brain from the last time I went there and it’s such an iconic place.

Times Square….

Times Square is in Manhattan and it’s mostly known for all the brightly adorned electronic billboards and massive pop up shops below. It’s also super close to where the famous Broadway shows are played!

IMG_6246.JPG

New York City is chaotic, crowded, a little dirty and full of life. There also seemed to be a lot of larger-than-life personalities here. I saw a lot of interesting things and strange people while I was in Times square.

IMG_6299.JPG

As I mentioned before, there is no place I’ve ever visited that’s like New York because it’s so different! It’s also one of the only cities I know that becomes even more busy at night.

It’s such a peculiar city, I’m so sad I couldn’t see more of this place. I will come back again one day because I still need to see the Statue of Liberty duh!

Without boring you further, here are some of the pictures I took at Times Square! All of these pictures were taken on my iPhone! Gasspp!!

IMG_6296.JPG

IMG_6310.JPGIMG_6321.JPGIMG_6349.JPG

IMG_6430.JPG

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

I’m pacing up and down in my living room, phone in hand, thinking of how I’m going to complete a post about how to stop feeling overwhelmed with blogging when I’m encountering those feelings myself. Haha I’ve been overwhelmed with blogging so many times but I’ve always managed to come out alive and kicking!

Finding the motivation to write, publish and promote posts can be difficult for some bloggers. Blogging can be hard sometimes. And trust me, I totally understand how difficult it is to keep up with writing posts, sharing them, promoting and engaging with your community. It can easily turn into a full-time job.

Overwhelmed with blogging….

I usually overwhelmed when I have a mountain of tasks I need to complete. I wake up some mornings dreading all my Pinterest pins, blogging posts and Instagram pictures I have to keep up with. Then instead of actually doing it, I shut down and do nothing at all.

Once I have a long to-do list I begin to prioritize what is really important and that can leave my blogging as a second priority (I know).

I often shut down because I ask myself “why is this causing so much anxiety for me? Is it even that serious”. The answer to me is no, nothing is never that serious. Which results in me pushing all my blogging duties aside.

It can also be extremely demoralizing when you are pushing out posts and you’re not getting the engagement you want or you are working for. It’s in those times that it is most tempting to ask yourself if you should to quit or keep going?

And sometimes…it’s just not fun. That’s the one thing I dread the most. I never want to get to a point in my blog where I feel like writing is a chore. I always want it to be fun and something I look forward to.

Ask yourself what is really important.

What is really important? Blogging to me is important but at this time in my life is it really important to cause more anxiety than my education? Or my health? No it’s not.

I’ve always gotten some form of anxiety/FOMO from social media so I always aggressively take action when I feel it creeping up again. I try to re-center my thoughts and focus on what is really important. Doing this removes those feelings of anxiety.

Only do the bare minimum and what is necessary

You’re not super woman. It’s okay to not be able to do 1000 things at once. Try to focus on one thing and do that well. Last week, I didn’t want to read any posts or pin on Pinterest. I guess you could say I took a break because I didn’t have the mental energy to do blogging stuff. I just wanted to binge watch Stranger things 2. LOL

All I did was like a few pictures on my Instagram. It really took the pressure off for a while and now I’m ready to go back in full force!

Always try to automate things that can be automated. Automate your Pinterest with Tailwind. You could even automate your Instagram. At the moment, I don’t do either because I don’t want to spend that money yet. But once I do, it will definitely ease the pressure of keeping up with blogging for me! I highly recommend it.

stil-243513-unsplash

Force yourself to write, Even if you don’t feel like it.

When I don’t feel like writing, I write. Even if it’s the shittiest thing I’ve ever written in my life I’ll keep typing and finish the post. I can then later go back and edit it. Which usually turns out to be a really good post!

You don’t have to be completely inspired each time you write a post. I highly doubt that even the greatest writers were inspired each time they put the ink on paper. So write away!

Don’t get hung up on numbers

It’s fun when you’re growing in numbers but very discouraging when you are not gaining followers or even losing them! My fellow blogger friends often complain about losing followers so I can empathise with them over this situation.

Never compromise yourself for a few followers or likes. It soooo exhausting and burns you out faster than you can imagine. I know numbers are all the rage right now in the blogging world but I believe we are shifting towards an engagement-centric community soon. It doesn’t matter, as long as your 50, 100 or 1000 followers are engaged that is amazing in itself.

Your blog, your rules

It’s your blog and you make the rules. When I had 15 followers and now I have 2400, I always had an audience that genuinely enjoyed my content. I listened to them but I always blogged about what truly interested me. I made the rules as I saw fit and because of this, it’s more difficult for me to be overwhelmed with blogging.

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy with your blog and if something is making you feel unpleasant, scrap it! It takes the edge off knowing you are completely in control of your blogging outcome…


I hope I’ve helped you with some ways to get over those overwhelming feelings over your blog.

I would love to know if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with blogging?

What methods do you use to ease that pressure?

Amazing Books To Read This Fall

Fall is upon us and I think this is the perfect time to snuggle up and find some new reads! But first let’s take a moment to thank the book gods…I’ve read more than 2 books in a month! I have read a lot of  books recently and I decided that it would be nice to share 4 amazing books to read this fall.

I can’t believe I’ve read these many books in a short span of time because I literally have the attention span of a fish. Reading for me used to be anywhere and an anytime thing but now it has become so ritualistic and boring. 

I need to have the perfect conditions present before I can read now. I’m talking a dark room, complete silence and preferably snuggled in a blanket, before I can read. My high maintenance habits have made it difficult to finish books within a sensible time frame…until now!

I usually read all my books on the kindle app on my iPhone or Kindle device and I buy all my books on Amazon. It’s so much more convenient and I prefer reading the reviews before I shell out money to buy it. Most of these books are 4.5 stars so they’re fan favorites!

Lifestyle Blogging Basics – Laura Lynn

books I've been loving lately lifestyle blogging basics

I’m always on a path of self improvement especially when it comes to my blog. So I decided to buy a book about lifestyle blogging to see if I would learn anything new. This book is written by Laura over on Breezy and Brazen.

Why you should buy it:

This book is perfect for any beginner blogger that wants to get started on their website/blog. It talks about starting a blog, what blogging platform to use, how to promote your posts, working with brands and many more. I also loved how there was a “how I failed” section in each point because it’s reassuring to know that blogging is not a smooth sailing ship. You will make many mistakes but as long as you keep going it’s all good. It’s an extremely valuable book for all level bloggers so it’s worth a read!

Luring A Lady – Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is a really popular author and I’m sure almost everyone has read one or two of her romance novels. I’m a romantic girl at heart so I enjoy reading romance genres from time to time. I was pulled in by the plot in this book so I decided to make a purchase.

Luring A Lady is a about a woman called Sydney Hayward who recently took over the family’s real estate business. She has always felt the pressure to be the perfect wife/socialite/daughter so she is closed off and too busy for any distractions…that is until Mikhail comes along.

Why You Should Buy it:

It is a simple, cookie cutter, entertaining romance story. It’s so easy to read and you don’t have to rack your brain trying to comprehend what is being said. It was also cute to see how her ice-princess facade was slowly melted by Mikhail. And if you love an Alpha type main character in a novel, this book is for you.

The Curated Closet – Discover Your Personal Style And Build Your Dream Wardrobe

books I've been loving lately the curated closet

I have the most haphazard personal style ever because I just throw anything on and pray for the best. I also happen to hate shopping and the thought of spending hours in a clothing store makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Although I hate shopping, I love fashion! I wanted to see if there is way to build a wardrobe I love that captures my personal style, but is versatile for any season. Enter the curated closet! It goes into detail about building your wardrobe based on what you like, shopping tips and building a capsule wardrobe! It’s a really invaluable tool for anyone that wants to improve their closet with minimal effort.

Why You Should Buy It:

If your closet is a mess, you have no semblance of a personal style and you don’t have the willpower nor energy to figure it out yourself, this book if for you!

The Naturalist- Andrew Mayne

books I've been loving lately

The Naturalist is a thriller/crime investigation novel about a scientist who is thrust into the middle of an investigation when one of his former students is brutally murdered in the woods. I’m not done reading this but I’m really enjoying it at the moment! I’m also getting a serious Gone Girl vibe from this novel and I know there’s going to be a massive bombshell at the end. Fingers crossed it lives up to my expectations!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my post this and found some new books to read this fall!

What are your current favorite books?

Related: The Mid Year Favourites Roundup: Books, Music, Movies and Makeup!

4 amazing books to read this fall

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette Review + Swatch On Dark Skin

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette Review + Swatch On Dark Skin

It’s no secret that I’m a massive lover of the Urban Decay makeup line. However that has never stopped me from being totally honest on if a palette disappoints me or not. Which was how I felt about the moondust palette which I did a review on here. I completely hate that palette on my skin tone.

I decided to give UD a second chance and do a the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette review because although I saw a lot of beauty bloggers do reviews on this palette, I haven’t seen a lot of swatches/reviews from women of colour (w.o.c.) on the blogosphere! I know how difficult it can be for W.O.C to find a decent review/swatch so here I am!

Even if you aren’t a W.O.C, this review can still be helpful because if a colour does not work on my skin tone, it will most likely be gorgeous on you and vice versa! So I hope you enjoy this review!

The Packaging

The packaging is very similar to the three other Naked palettes. It comes with 12 mini palettes shades in a rectangular pack with a full sized mirror and eyeshadow brush. I happen to like the Urban Decay palette packaging a lot. It’s easy to travel with and the eyeshadow brush is top notch. However UD palettes are notorious for scattering once you drop them. It’s very disheartening when I drop my palette by mistake and all the mini pans fall out with the shadows destroyed. So if you own this palette be extra careful not to drop it!

Naked Heat Shades

OUNCE (ivory shimmer)

I always try to avoid the lightest shades in eyeshadow palettes as a dark skinned woman because it’s so easy for it to turn out looking ashy. But this one actually doesn’t appear jarring on my skin. I love the light shimmery tone on my skin. It’s also similar to a pearl colored highlighter so it’s perfect for using it under your brow bone or inner tear duct.

CHASER (light nude matte)

I don’t like this color. As I said before, I avoid light colors because I’ll look ashy. Although it’s described as a nude, this nude will suit a light skinned person as opposed to someone dark. It just appears ashy on my skin. Next!

SAUCED (soft terra-cotta matte)

This is cute! I has a soft, peachy, rust shade on my skin so I quite like this one. I think this will do well as a transition shade or even the main shade on your lid if you’re looking for something light!

LOW BROW ( Brown Matte)

This is described as a brown matte but it’s actually a brown nude! It’s like a soft brown color on my skin so I quite like this one. Transition shade anyone?

LUMBRE (copper shimmer w/gold pearl shift)

This is a gorgeous copper shimmer shade! It will definitely have a multipurpose use because it’s great for the lid, brow bone and even inner tear duct.

HE DEVIL (burnt red matte)

This is a very unique red shade that I’ve never actually seen before! I didn’t cross my mind that red could be used as an eyeshadow color but I love this one. It also happens to look gorgeous on my skin tone! It looks great with the Lumbre paired together so I will definitely be using these two together!

DIRTY TALK (metallic burnt red)

I think this is the metallic equivalent of He Devil but I’m not sure I like this one. It has a muted color so it is not really accentuating my skin tone. I will use this sparingly!

SCORCHED (metallic deep red w/gold micro-shimmer)

Now this is the metallic equivalent I was looking for! This actually looks somewhat purple on me so it complements my skin tone nicely.

CAYENNE (deep terra-cotta matte)

Very deep matte mauve shade. It’s perfect for blending and transitioning! Not too dark too.

EN FUEGO (burgundy matte)

A darker deep red shade similar to Cayenne. I think this can be worn fully on the lid for a smoky eye and on the crease too!

ASHES (deep reddish-brown matte)

This looks very dark and more purple than reddish brown. Although I like dark eyeshadow colors, I never really know how to work it. It’s not my favourite I may not reach for this as often.

EMBER (deep metallic copper-burgundy)

This is a lovely copper shade that I’ve never actually seen before. Imagine the colour of the Rose Gold iPhone, but on your lids. It does have a grainy consistency so it doesn’t feel as smooth as the other shades.

FORMULA / SWATCH

The formula of the eyeshadow is also amazing as usual. It’s creamy, pigmented and lasts forever on the eyes. It also glides on very smoothly on my arm and blends out beautifully. I have no issues with blending the palette. Some of the shades have a grainier texture, but it does not hamper the blend ability of the shadow!

SHOULD YOU BUY THIS?

I think the only reservations one may have about the palette is the actual usage of the palette because it does not seem to be a palette that you can use everyday. Most of the looks you can create with this palette look more appropriate for the summer. Because of this, is the $54 dollar price tag worth it?

I bought this palette because I basically live in a country that has summer-like weather all year long. Because of this, it won’t look out of place if you’re wearing such warm colours. I am not entirely sure how this palette pans out in the winter time. So this is something to put into consideration when trying to purchase the palette. It’s perfect for summer and fall, but winter is something I’m still on the fence about!

THE VERDICT

Yes I like this palette! I think it’s a great addition to the Naked collection and there are some really unique shades that are here. I especially love the reddish shades because I’ve never encountered a red eyeshadow shade before. It’s really unique and captures the essence of the “Heat” name. It is a beautiful palette and I think I will purchase this again.

How To Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

I think red lipstick is the quintessential makeup product that every woman should own. Red lipstick makes a woman instantly more bold and makes her exude much more confidence!  I wear red lipstick often because it looks great on any makeup look and it makes me look more powerful!

Finding the perfect shade of red lipstick is a game of trial and error. However, as long as you don’t go too orange or too dark, most red lipsticks are universally flattering. I also did a post on my guide to the perfect nude lipstick! So if you are struggling with finding your perfect shade, I’ve got you covered!

Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

It’s important to know what type of lipstick look you want when finding the perfect shade of red lipstick. There many types of red lipstick shades. These include lipsticks with blue undertones, orange reds and true reds. There are also lip glosses, lipsticks or tinted lip creams. How these colours perform on your skin depends highly on your skin color or undertone.

I personally do not use skin undertone advice when it comes to choosing lipstick colours because I’ve found that the advice does not work for me! It can also be very overwhelming and confusing for a beginner who is new to makeup to try to understand skin undertones. I also believe that all skin tones can pull off any light or dark lipstick colour as long as their skin tone is taken into consideration.

Getting Practical

My best advice to find the perfect shade of red lipstick is to always to try a cheap alternative of what you think would look good on you. I always try drug store alternatives to get an idea of what lipstick colour I like before making the splurge on more expensive alternatives. Go to a drug store that allows samples and try a few lipstick shades. Try a dark red, a true red and an orange coloured lipstick if you’re feeling adventurous. Taking swatches on your hand is also a great way to know if the colour is flattering or not. If it looks like it accentuates your skin tone then it is probably a good lipstick match. If it is too bright or deep, it would probably not look good on your skin tone!

But don’t be afraid to try a bright lip color! As long as you have a darker lip liner, you can line the outer corner of your lips to create an ombre effect and make any lipstick colour wearable!

Orange lipsticks are too bright on me so if you have a similar skin tone to me this is something to keep in mind!  The lipstick colours that flatter me the most are usually deep but I have begun to gravitate towards true reds because they look more eye-catching!

M.A.C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour – Feels So Grand

This is one of my new favourite lip colours because it dries into a matte finish and it is a very eye-catching red. This colour is a classic red lip colour which is timeless in my opinion. I also love how bright it appears on my skin!  My only con about this lipstick is that it’s quite drying. It is expected though because most liquid lipsticks are drying. It doesn’t flake though so that’s a plus!

M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick – Ruby Woo

This used to be my absolute favourite lipstick. It is a vivid blue red lipstick that is creamy with a matte finish. I always reached for this lipstick any time I wanted to wear a red so it’s extremely versatile. The reason why I’m using this less now is because I want a flashier red! Which is why I bought Feels So Grand.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick – Kiss Of Life

I usually don’t like drugstore lipsticks (liquid lipsticks on the other hand…) but this one is actually a dupe for Mac’s ruby woo. It’s also a blue red lipstick with but this has a creamy matte finish so if you are looking for a more affordable red lipstick this is the one for you!

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss – Black Ruby

This lip gloss is very shimmery and reminds me of christmas because it’s such a festive colour that’s perfect for the holidays. I love the depth of the colour and how easy it is to apply the gloss. It also lasts super long and it isn’t too sticky or tacky on the lips!

Now that you have an idea of how to find the perfect shade of red lipstick, you’ll be rocking gorgeous lip colours in no time! I hope this post was helpful for you. Thank you so much for reading!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I have been flirting with the idea of going self hosted for months now and I finally did it! I’ve Moved! If you’re reading this post right now it means you’re still subscribed to Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!

I have now moved my blog over to thepearlylife.com so I will no longer update posts on this website!

I hope you can join me over on my new website! I already have some new posts I would love you to read.

Thank you so much for your support on my blog. I wouldn’t be here without it. ❤️

Love,

Pearl.