I'm a Mother not a Martyr…

Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Website overhaul!

In my other life as a makeup artist, my once super-stylish, ahead-of-the-game website that I built about 8 years ago is looking a bit old and tired and badly in need of a spruce up.

I love that it’s black and red, that’s been my signature colour combination for more years than I care to remember, (Over a decade!) and I shall definitely hang on to that pairing!

I had a logo designed about 4 years ago by Verve who do loads of designs for beauty brands and professionals, but other than getting business cards printed, I’ve never got around to adding the logo to my site.

I love how my initials look like a swish of lipstick, and while I was unsure of the font used on my full name, I quite like that it’s unfussy apart from a tiny flick on the letter ends.

So, before I upload and overhaul, what do you think?

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Www.samdonald.com is my current, but tired old website!

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Calling someone an Evil B!tch is poor business practice.

I adore the internet. It makes a massive world very much smaller. It has reacquainted me with old school and college friends. Introduced me to new friends and kept me in touch with close friends when the ties of motherhood may have otherwise severed those bonds.

I cherish each of those relationships, and am glad that I live in modern times.

And it’s these friendships that have encouraged me to make a go of my Pootles Papercraft new baby, and introduced me to some wonderful crafting artisans who are a long way down the road that I’m just stepping onto.

I call Pootles my baby because it is. I’ve loved and nurtured each product and like my own sons, would find it impossible to choose a favourite.

Like my children, if anyone criticised my creation, I’d be upset, however that would be where the similarities ended.

I’d take on the mantle of Mummy Tiger and tear strips off anyone who criticised my child, but I wouldn’t if someone decided they didn’t like something I’d made.

There is a reason for this post, I’m getting there….

Because I move in lots of different Internet circles, beauty, motherhood, craft etc, I sometimes stumble across things that cross the various divides.

It’s the classic follow a link which leads to another and another and another.

Last night I was watching YouTube videos on soap making. (Did you realise just how much work goes into making soaps? Wow, these people are seriously talented!)

Anyway, one link led to another and I started reading comments. I was shocked to see a viewer make a comment regarding the price of the soaps and the response from the YouTuber was to call her an Evil Bitch!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about loving your product and totally get how passionate crafters are about their products, but one wonders if the soap maker ought to distance themselves a little more?

I have yet to see the supplier of Asda bolognese sauce start calling individuals names, and damn, they’re getting a hell of a lot of criticism right now!

So this post it not about the soap maker, but more as a reminder to myself that while my paper products are my babies, there is a time when I’ll maybe have to come up against criticism and have to bite my lip.

Mummy Tiger to my children, but dignified head on for crafts.

Love to you all, your children and your creations.  Xx

Identity Crisis

So, as some of you may know, my website MakeupAdviceForum was hacked over the weekend.

Hacked so far down to the bone that the tech guys who’ve ‘cleaned’ it, removed over 300 strings of malicious code embedded in it.

This is the 2nd hack in recent weeks, along with a hack on my Pinterest account (and no the passwords weren’t the same. Coincidence??)

So basically, I have to rebuild asap.  It’s okay at the moment, but I’m now ready to start again.

And this is where I question my identity.

My ‘real’ job is as a makeup artist. That’s what I adore and love and obviously that passion overflows into a love of all things beauty.

MAF came about as a result of being a popular and unbiased advisor on a couple of wedding planning sites back before the days of blogs, facebook etc. When the forum began I was on maternity break with my 2nd son, and it filled a massive gap that was missing from not doing makeup jobs.

When my 3rd and 4th sons came along, the focus shifted away from going out to work and more to being at home and writing about makeup.

That and a heavy felt recession in North Wales where getting married and learning about makeup application is not a high priority…

(In fact, my focus shifted so much and juggling makeup, motherhood and MAF has meant that my poor old portfolio website hasn’t been updated since 2008, before son number 3 came along!)

But we’re now coming out of the recession here, and when the children go back to school in September, my youngest son will be nearly 1 and a half, and it’s time for me to be less of a stay at home/work from home mum, and get back to being a busy working makeup artist.

This does make me wonder where MAF fits into it all.

It’s my other baby! I suppose, almost, the daughter I never had!

I want the forum to be back to getting a million hits a month, and I want to be able to continue writing, and I want to be back out on the job too.

I wonder if it’s now time to rebrand, but as myself again.

Sam Donald The Makeup Artist with a forum and blog rather than a Makeup Advice Forum that happens to be owned by someone who once was a fulltime makeup artist?

I would still have the url for both the sites, but maybe sharing one website space?

I’d gratefully hear opinions, thoughts. Anything.

Thanks in advance

Sam x

Social media, brands getting it right!

Over the weekend, I was involved in a twitter conversation with some beauty blogging chums about how brands interact with us.

The original question was; ‘does it matter if a brand does or doesn’t ReTweet your blog posts’.

To me, I like it if they do, and even better if they generate their own tweet, rather than just retweeting me.

I do have a business, so for me it’s all about exposure.  Much as I’d love to say that I write for myself and my readers, I do want as many people as possible to read what I write, so the more people out there touting my site, the better!

But during the conversation, I said how pleased I was that the beauty brand Filthy Gorgeous London (@FGLBeauty) had not only retweeted my original link, and created their own, but they’d also created a post on their own blog, saying how pleased they were that I’d included them in a series I was writing!

5 minutes later, at 8.45pm on a Saturday night, up pops @FGLBeauty to say thanks, and to join in the conversation!

That’s social media, getting it very very right in my eyes!

Burts Bees Boy!

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Jacob clearly thinks my Burts Bees lip balm is good for the whole family.

He’s obviously been watching me at work, as he has a good pout application action going on….

Bless! X