The 5 Places I Want To Visit Before I’m 50

I thought it would be nice to do a little travel chit-chat post on my blog today! I love traveling to new places because I get to explore different cultures, try new foods and experience the history of a city.

As I said in my Travel Tag, I have been fortunate to be able to travel to so many fun places in the past few years. But there’s so many more places I want to visit soon for each of their own reasons. Here they are!

1. ITALY

Italy is one of my top countries to visit in Europe. I just love the architecture of its cities and how it is filled with history. There are three main places I would love to visit in Italy:

ROME

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Rome is a top destination for me. There are lots of structures that were built in the Roman Empire that I would like to see in person. One of these places in particular is the Colosseum. It’s so beautiful!

I would also love to visit The Vatican and it’s museum because as you may know, I’m obsessed with museums. I would love to enter the churches and admire its beauty in person.

VENICE

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As I also said in my Travel Tag post, Venice has a history with my parents because they took one of their first “baecations” there.

They wanted to go back for a “memories” baecation recently and I was just sat there screaming “TAKE ME WITH YOU!”. Of course they said no lol. But hey, I tried!

I think Venice is a beautiful city on water and I would love to cruise along the canals, stay in a hotel there and just relax.

 

SICILY

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My father recommended this city to me because he said It was one of the cities in Italy he enjoyed the most. He said there’s something about the vibes in Sicily that is unlike any other place he has been too.

Sicily is mostly known as the place in Italy where Mafia’s originated from. I think it would be a beautiful city to be wined and dined, explore nature and just relax.

2. GREECE

I don’t know much about Greece to be honest. It’s a really low key country. But I am drawn to visit here and experience the city because it’s beautiful!

ATHENS

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Athens is known for its historical landmarks and it will be interesting visit these landmarks to see how people lived over 3000 years ago. Very hard to believe life existed before the 1800’s so it would be nice to see it up close.

 

SANTORINI

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I love this island! The blue waters, the clear skies and the houses on the hill all make me want to visit here. It’s the perfect relaxation holiday destination. I’m already thinking of the Instagram worthy photos I would take.

 

3. Las Vegas – USA

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Sin City! When I think of Las Vegas now the only thing I think of is UFC. Is it weird that it’s my main motivation for visiting there?

My love for UFC has reached a cult like status so I would love to go to Las Vegas, buy a ticket for a UFC fight and watch it live. I would also like to visit some casinos but I’m not big on gambling so it will not be my main focus.

Las Vegas also has extravagant broadway type shows like Cirque Du Soleil and singers in Ceasers Palace so booking a ticket for one of these shows is a must!

4. Arizona – USA

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Now I’m not an outdoorsy person so I don’t even know why this is on my list. But The Grand Canyon is a place that I think should be visited at least once in a lifetime. I love Natural wonders so it’s something I think I would enjoy.

5. New York – USA

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The concrete jungle! I have been to New York before but it is a place that I want to visit again. New York is unlike any place I have ever been to in the world.

I particularly want to visit the Statue of Liberty because I didn’t get to last time. It was closed for reconstruction sadly. Can you enter the torch? I would really want to stand there!

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I also want to see another Broadway show live. The first Broadway show I ever went to was The Phantom Of The Opera and it was nothing short of amazing. The next show on my list is The Lion King!

If possible, I would also like to visit Niagara Falls because, natural wonder. Lool


That is it for my list! I have many other places I would love to like Egypt and Tokyo but these are the places I see myself going to sooner rather than later.

And btw, I now have a 1600 followers on The Pearly Life! Thank you for the continued support on my blog.

Is there any place you would like to visit soon?

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How To Get Your First 500 Followers On Instagram

Instagram has changed. Gone are the days where you take a photo straight from your iPhone, slap on a Valencia filter, put one or two hashtags and call it a day. Instagram has evolved into a powerhouse especially for bloggers and influencers! I have had Instagram for 5 years now so I have seen many changes in the app. However, it wasn’t until 5 months ago I decided to create a separate Instagram for my blog and grow it. I have amassed a lot of amazing followers so I would like to share how to get followers on instagram!

A lot of the strategies that bloggers tout as the best strategies honestly do not work. Hashtagging brings almost no returns now. It is also a complete waste of time spending hours on your phone liking and commenting on people’s photos in the hopes that someone will follow you.

I needed to find a method that worked so I read lots of blogs on how to get followers on Instagram. My main criteria was that the method should be cheap and show a noticeable growth in followers without spending hours on Instagram.  After a few tweakings and experiments, I found it!

I didn’t use any follow bots/automatic liking systems because I don’t have the money and I wanted a more organic growth. Growing your Instagram this way is definitely slower than using bots but I’ve found that the audience you build will be more engaged. Also, as your following increases, the amount of followers you gain increase exponentially so patience is the name of the game!

Post (Semi) Often

I’m guilty of not posting often because I don’t have the time to take pictures for the week and schedule them. Whoever does this is a true champion! How do you do it?!??!

Posting frequently on Instagram is a no – brainer. It’s always the key to growing any social media account. Post frequent, high quality posts. The more often you post, the more exposure you get and a greater chance of more people seeing your Instagram and following you! Most experts say posting once a day is optimum for growing your account.

But it’s not absolutely necessary. I only post once or twice a week and I get followers everyday. Do what frequency is best for you and makes you comfortable. Just be consistent. Consistency is key.

Do A Follow Train

This is the most important thing that has made my instagram grow these past 5 months. I do a follow spree 5-6 times a week and I have seen a lot of growth from this method. Here is how I do it

At peak hour, (which is 7-10 pm for my time zone) I click on the latest posts from a user I follow and see who liked it. Once I’m there I visit the pages of whoever liked their picture. I like the users pictures and then follow them. I usually follow 10-15 people on these days. They will usually follow you back. I have a 70% success rate using this method. This method is absolutely necessary for me.

One thing to consider is a users follower to following ratio. If a user has a massive gap between followers/following, do not expect a follow back. It also helps to follow people who are interested in the same things as you are. So I usually follow a lot of bloggers and females age 18-30 because I know they fit my demographic of who I am trying to reach!

Instagram Pods

Instagram pods are completely optional but they do help somewhat in engagement on photos. An Instagram pod is a group of bloggers on an Instagram group chat (usually 15) who comment and like on every post anyone shares in the group. There’s no limit on the amount of instagram pods you can join, but one pod is a lot to keep up with!

It’s nice to have a group of bloggers that will always like your pictures and comment. I also ask for blogging advice and general chit-chat from time to time on the group chat so it’s a nice community to be in. However it’s not necessary, Instagram pods are so new and you can grow your account without one.

Follow a theme

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Once someone visits your page for the first time, the overall impression that they get is what will make them decide to click the follow button. Themed Instagram can help drive people to click the follow button. I love having a themed Instagram, but it’s not always the easiest thing for me to achieve.

My theme is currently (to the best of my knowledge) lots of white space with a pop of neutral colors. I don’t overthink my theme and frankly I don’t care. As long as my pictures look decent I’m posting it.

You can tweak and try different themes to see what gets the most likes and comments. If a streamlined theme works for you, do it. It’s also good to have a theme when you are branding yourself on social media because you can be easily recognized by your style of photos. It’s all dependent on what you personally want!

Once you implement these tips, you will see an organic growth of your Instagram with highly engaged followers. I hope you got some amazing tips on how to get followers on Instagram!

Instagram is fun, but my new favourite social media is definitely Pinterest because I get lots of traffic from there. I wrote an extended post on how to get started using Pinterest and drive traffic to your blog. Do check it out!

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

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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

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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

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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

3 Things That Made Me Accept My Natural Hair

I have had a complicated relationship with my hair. I grew up in a society that did not accept my natural hair, afro’s or dreadlocks. Straight silky hair was right and kinky hair was wrong. Right from when I was little, I went to the salon every three weeks to get a relaxer. Now if you don’t know what a relaxer is it’s a strong chemical that you put on your hair to straighten it permanently. I had extremely coarse and thick hair that my mother couldn’t comb so this was the best option at the time. Also, everyone was doing it so it was not a big deal.

I think most people can agree that relaxers are more harmful than good. The hair relaxers always burnt my scalp (yes, chemical burns on my scalp!!) but I always loved the straight silky look I got when I wore a relaxer.

I never knew what my actual hair looked like. I always had the impression that my hair was some sort of untamable beast that needs a relaxer unless all my hair would fall out.  It was unthinkable not relaxing my hair!

I also thought that people who had natural hair were dirty, lazy and god forbid they had dreadlocks. This was years of conditioning where I grew up where your natural hair was not appreciated.

 

3 things that made me accept my natural hair

Breaking the Stereotype

The first time I saw a woman with natural hair was on YouTube. Shoutout to Karen aka Glamfun. She looked beautiful, and she looked like me!! Could I really have hair like that? I decided to go natural because I was tired of using weaves as a crutch. I didn’t like the fact that I felt less of a woman once I didn’t have a weave on and felt the need to hide or compensate with more makeup!

It was then and there that I decided to go natural! It wasn’t always an easy journey but reminding myself of these three things finally made me accept my natural hair and love it for what it is!

  1. Your hair is a unique representation of you

Absolutely no ones hair can be the same. Your hair is designed perfectly for you. It’s adapted to your skin colour, your weather, even the colour of your eyes. Your hair has a personality of its own and you should never compare list for list with another persons hair. Using a natural hair typing system may be only part of the equation but just because you and someone have the same hair type does not mean you can do the same things on your hair and have the same results! It will always look different. Embrace its uniqueness cause that is you.

    2. Get preconceived notions of what you think “good hair” should look like out of your mind

I’ve learnt that healthy hair is good hair. Healthy hair always looks good no matter what texture, color or length. Once you remove unrealistic expectations of what you think your hair should look like and accept it for what it is, it will be great! I used to admire people who had long flowing locks of hair and hated natural hair. The self-hatred and conditioning was real ladies! Now I appreciate all hair types, but I have a special admiration for afro’s. They’re just a special breed awesomeness!

On days that I think my hair looks like absolute shit, I get 1000 compliments on it. So never think your hair is ugly because it’s not what you think it should look like!


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3. Stop obsessing over your hair length

When I first went natural I was obsessed with growing my hair long. I always had 16 inch weaves so to go from that to short hair was very challenging for me. I also felt like I had to grow my hair long because my hair had been grazing my neck my whole life and I wanted to prove to someone I could grow it long for some reason. This led me to do arduous things that I didn’t like only because it would give me long hair. Instead of enjoying my hair at every step of its journey, I was always obsessing over it. As long as your hair is healthy, it will grow!

Now I pretty much don’t care about having long hair. I’m even contemplating cutting it shorter because it’s so much more easier to manage! In the end, your hair is an extension of you. Accepting it may not always be easy, but once you do it is extremely liberating.

Thank you so much for reading! If you would like see one of the ways I take care of my natural hair check out my Ultimate Routine For Thick, Curly Hair!

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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 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.