7 MUST HAVE MAC PRODUCTS


When it comes to beauty products, my favorite and most trusted brand has to be MAC. They are mid-range price-wise, great quality and have a lot of variety. I have many MAC products, and it was time to make a list of my favorites. Here they are! 

Face and body foundation: This has to be the showstopper, as it is probably the only foundation I ve loved till date. If you are looking for an every day, light-weight, silky finish foundation, look this way. MAC's face and body is an affordable foundation with moderate coverage and a satin like finish that lasts an entire work day. It looks lovely and gives a fresh glow to your face.

Lip liner in Spice: Apparently, this is the secret behind Ms. Jenner's (in)-famous lip. However, I have been a fan of this for a really long time. Its a brick-nude shade which is just perfect for filling your lips everyday before applying your lipstick. It goes with almost every other pink, peach and nude lipstick. But, I like it best when its on its own without any lipstick on top. Its a gorgeous shade, I tell ya!

Blush in Peaches: I love this shade, seriously. I don't know of any other dupe/alternative to this soft, peachy powder blush. I use it with the real techniques blush brush and love how it very subtly highlights my cheekbones with a natural flush of peach. Other blushes I love are Fleur power and Ambering rose.

Lipstick in Twig: My perfect nude lipstick is Twig from MAC. They have a never ending range of shades in so many different finishes, its hard to pick and stick to one. But my favorites have to be the cream sheen and amplified finishes as they are really easy to wear and are moisturizing on the lips. You can find my top MAC lipsticks here.

Gel eyeliner: This is the only gel eyeliner I have used, and probably the only one that I will. I am a convert now, gel eyeliner is awesome. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the look it gives is unparalleled. Ah, that jet black color, emphasizes my eyes like nothing else.

Eyeshadow in Woodwinked: This is a one-wash wonder, really. It is a golden-brown shade with tiny shimmer and instantly brightens the eyes. Love how radiant and grand it looks, perfect for an evening look.

217 Brush : How else would a makeup noob like me learn to apply eyeshadow like a pro? OK, not pro yet, but still. The point is that this brush is so awesome that even a noob becomes a pro with it. It gets right into the crease of eye and blends the eyeshadow beautifully. Though expensive, it is of great quality and will last you forever.

This week has been crazy busy with work on the design shop. But I am super excited about it, watch out for a post about it this weekend with all the details! :)

What are your favorite MAC products?
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HOW TO USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO ENHANCE YOUR BLOG

If you have been writing your blog for sometime now, surely at some point you have been curious to find out more about your traffic. Due to bots and trolls spamming your blog, stats on blogger are not very accurate and reliable. Wordpress and Squarespace users definitely have a better system of measuring their stats. However, irrespective of the blogging platform you are using, Google analytics is one of the most powerful tools you can use to measure and analyze your traffic. So if you haven't yet, install it now for free by using this guide.

Once you do, here are 5 ways you can use google analytics to enhance your blog : 

1. Keep up with your audience : Its unbelievable how blogging brings together like-minded people in different corners of the world. Knowing where your audience are from helps you interact and stay connected with them. For eg., I stay in the USA, yet a fair chunk of my audience are from the UK. So sharing my posts on social media during the prime hours of the UK time zone helps me stay connected with them. Also you can see at what time during the day your traffic peaks and schedule your posts accordingly. 

Sign-in to GA > Reporting Tab at top > Audience tab on the left sidebar > Geo / Demographics 

2. Increase engagement with readers : The bounce rate indicates the engagement of your readers with your blog. It is basically the percentage of users who visit your blog and leave after viewing just one page. A higher number indicates lesser engagement and vice versa. Writing interesting and relevant content, having a user-friendly navigation system and a clean blog design will help in reducing the bounce rate by encouraging your readers to hangout on your blog for a longer time.

Sign-in to GA > Reporting Tab at top > Audience tab on the left sidebar > Overview > Bounce rate on the main content bar

3. Where is your traffic coming from : We all put quite some effort in getting our posts out there by sharing them on various blog reading platforms and social media. It is important to make sure that your efforts are reaping good benefits, if not, you can invest them in a better way. Google analytics tells you exactly how people are finding your blog. You can see how much of your traffic is from which social media, how much of your traffic is organic and how much of you traffic is due to referrals on other blogs. By knowing your traffic sources, you can accordingly evaluate and distribute your efforts to reach out to more people.

Sign-in to GA > Reporting Tab at top > Acquisition tab on the left sidebar > All traffic  > Channels

4. Real - time analytics : This is my most favorite feature of google analytics as it tells me who is online on my blog in real-time. It helps see the response to a limited-time promotion that you are running or while testing out some new features on the blog. Overall, its just a lot of fun to track your traffic in real time. 

Sign-in to GA > Reporting Tab at top > Real-time tab on the left sidebar > Overview / locations / traffic sources  

5. SEO : The most consistent and reliable traffic often comes from search engines like google, bing etc. Millions of people search for content on search engines every moment. So, making your blog search engine friendly is important if you want to attract traffic from search engines. Using google analytics, you can see what queries pop-up your blog in the search results, and which of those queries are bringing readers to your blog. Knowing which of your posts are popular on the search engines will give you an idea about the content you could be writing to attract more readers. 

Sign-in to GA > Reporting Tab at top > Acquisition tab on the left sidebar > Search engine optimisation > Queries

This is a very basic introduction to using google analytics. Once you get comfortable and play around with it, you will discover a lot more of its potential. Are you having a good weekend? Mine is pretty much flooded with work for my design shop which will be opening next week. So watch out for that! :)

Do you use Google analytics? How is it helpful for you?


P.S : Read my 7 must have tools for blogging here !
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DANIEL WELLINGTON WATCH


I would be really surprised if you said you hadn't heard of Daniel Wellington watches yet. These watches have recently taken over the blogosphere. I remember spotting these first on Instagram and being instantly smitten by their classy look. Sorry, I know you are probably tired of hearing the same adjectives, but they are exactly that - timeless, classy and simply beautiful.

So I obviously jumped at the opportunity to try one of these and chose the Daniel Wellington Sheffield Lady* watch in Rose Gold. I love the big dial and the intense black leather strap. I think the rose gold makes it perfect to go with any outfit for a day or night look. It looks grand, this watch. I really admire the effort that has been put into every detail - the packaging, the design and the quality.  

Personally, I see it becoming an everyday accessory. A white shirt, blue jeans and this watch - shouts my name. Though expensive, I think this is a great piece to add to your collection as it will stay in vogue forever. If you are planning to get a DW watch, here is a little treat for you. Use the code pinkpot2015 to get a whooping 15% off on your purchase along with free shipping worldwide. 

What do you think of the DW watches? Do you have one?

*PR Sample, all opinions are my own
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5 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR BLOG READER-FRIENDLY



If you read about my 2015 goals, you will know that I am working on my blog design shop. While designing templates, I spend a lot of time learning about the design elements that help create a great reader experience.

Presentation of the content is as important as writing good content itself. Content in its best form is generally clear, easy to find, read and understand. Here are a few tips that will ensure a wonderful experience for the readers on your blog irrespective of the blogging platform that you use. However , for those of you that use blogspot, I included the CSS code snippets for each of the tweaks which can be easily copied into your blogger template editor. Please let me know if you need help with anything. 

Please back-up your blogger template before making any of these changes. 

1. Use images of the same style: If you use images on your blog, it would be a good idea make all the images follow the same width and alignment. Plus, scaling the images to the same width as the post makes the content flow together and look neat. Here is the code to automatically resize all your images to fit the width of the post:


2. Justify your text: Imagine reading magazines with text ending differently on each line. Not professional, right? Justifying the text gives your blog a very clean and professional look. To justify, select the text in the editor and click on this button. Alternatively you could also add this code to your CSS :


3. Highlight your links: The hyperlinks on your blog should pop against your normal text, they should stand out and invite your readers to click on them. They will go unnoticed if they blend in with the rest of the text, so make them bold or underline or a different color! Here is the CSS code to style the links in a way that will catch your reader's eye :


4. Make your content easy to search/browse: Would you like your readers to hang out on your blog for a long time? Then make your content more searchable. Add a search bar and/or archives widget to your blog. This keeps your old posts visible at all times and helps the readers find the content they are looking for on your blog.

5. Add a jump-link: If your posts are long and contain a lot of images, it would be nice to shorten them with a Read - more option aka a jump link. This makes it easy for readers to scroll down your blog, get a quick overview of your content and choose the posts that they want to read in detail. To add a jump link to your posts, click on the insert jump break button in your editor at the position you want to shorten your post.

You can also style your jump link by adding this CSS code:


These small details will make a huge difference to the reader-experience of your blog. Hope you all had a great start to the week, mine was a bit slow, but I am catching up! 

P.S: Click here to read my top 5 tips for a great blog design!

What are the design elements that attract you to a blog?
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3 LIP CRAYONS FOR WINTER


As a kid, I loved playing with crayons. Oh! were they cute and colorful. Now, the crayon love has translated into my love for lip crayons. Obvious huh? If you think lipsticks are old-fashioned, then these are for you. For me, as much as I adore my lipstick tubes, these crayons seem more casual, fun and adorable. 

They come in all colors and finishes - glossy, matte, sheer, opaque, you name it. I own three of these and they are pretty low maintenance - easy to carry, easy to use. Surprisingly all of these are great colors for winter.

Revlon matte balm : This shade - Sultry is a deep rose from the revlon color-burst range which I adore. Seriously, I ve loved every single thing I ve bought from that range. It has a really soft velvety, matte finish and is pretty moisturizing on the lips. I actually kinda like the refreshing, mint flavor of the balm. The shade itself is so pretty for everyday, the perfect rosy-nude.

Clinique chubby stick : I guess Clinique were one of the first brands to come out with lip crayons. And they did a brilliant job with the chubby sticks. I have the shade Roomiest rose which is an adorable magenta pink shade. The application is super-easy and the finish is sheer, but build-able and glossy. They are very moisturizing and balmy.

NARS matte velvet lip pencil : This is a two in one product - lip liner and a lipstick. Cruella is a bold, bright red. It is matte and personally, I find it a bit drying on the lips but the look of it? Excellent, Classic and beautiful. 

I like the cool lip crayon trend. What about you? Which are your favorites?
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