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regret

Here is a quote that perfectly describes one of my biggest regrets in life!

As I work my way through a list of regrets, and try to give them a positive spin (lesson learned, personal growth and such), I have a hard time to come to terms with this regret: regret

At first I spend a lot of energy on pleasing selfish people because for some complicated reason I wanted to proof that I am worth their consideration!

But of course, I always ended up looking more like a fool, a sad kind of fool.

I know now that the reason was my low self-esteem, and taking it way to personal of someone was inconsiderate towards me.

As my life is in a good place right now, I love myself! And I am surrounded by a handful of people who love me with all my flaws! And I learned, at the end that is all that matters to me!

Looking back at this regret, I am angry! Mostly with myself, and I just can’t wrap my head around why I even tried! To sum it all up, I feel embarrassed, and maybe it is because I still care what these people think?


Until next time

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October 30, 2015 0 comment
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non beauty obsessions feat

Time for another more personal related post! This time, I want to share my recent non-beauty buys and obsessions!


Matching Owl Jewelry

owl jewelry

I bought this owl necklace a while back. And on my last market trip (while I was wearing the little guy), I came across this ring and bracelet!

Now you tell me this is not a perfect match! By the way, all three items cost me a total of $11.00. You have got to love Italian markets!

2016 Agendajournal

Isn’t it swoon worthy? The cover is just to die for! And it is a good-sized agenda. With daily pages that will leave plenty of room for my appointments and to-do list – for both personal and blog related things. It was a bit more pricey than I typically spend on Agenda’s – $30.00. But it was love at first sight, and I simply needed to have it!

Hurry up 2016 and get here already, I want to start using this bad boy!

The Blacklist Comic bookThe Blacklist Comic

The Blacklist is my favorite TV show ever! I just can’t get enough. Unfortunately, my fandom collection is still rather small. Right now it consists of a coffee mug – which makes a frequent appearance on my Instagram – and this comic book!

This is the first issue, and there are already several more out. And I am planning on getting them all. As a comic book fan, you can only imagine that I am nerding out over this!

Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook Group

I am obsessing over the bullet journal. Ever since I started using it, it changed the way I am getting things done! It is the holy grail of staying organized! Last week I came across the Facebook group Bullet Journal Junkies. 

It is a large and active group. People are constantly posting pictures of their bullet journals. And I have been reading every single one of them.

Honestly, if you are having problems with staying on track with your to-do list, check out bulletjournal.com! It will change your life. And if you like the concept, make sure to join the Facebook group, for tons of inspirations and motivations!


Until next time

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October 25, 2015 1 comment
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Fall

My favorite time of the year has started, so I thought I would take this chance to tell you about why and what I love so much about Fall! Fall

Fall Makeup Releasesmakeup suna

Fall is the time when the brands are launching their Holiday makeup editions and gift sets! And as a makeup junkie like me, the money spent on makeup in the month of September/October are rather frightening!

So far I have been good; I only bought the Urban Decay Vice 4 palette. But there are a few Sephora collections I am lusting over, and probably will get eventually.

Fall Weather and Bootsfall

The Fall weather is my favorite. The temperatures are just right to spend all day outside, without either sweating to death or bundle up in a way that reminds you of a marshmallow.

And of course, I finally get to wear my boots again! Gosh, I wish I could wear them all year-long!

The Smell of FallFall

There is something about the smells of Fall that simply lift my spirit! Unfortunately where I live we do not have any leaf trees, and the only smell in the air is that of burning trash (a significant problem in the Naples, Italy area).

But I am content with the next best thing: Scented candles! And thank the gods for Yankee Candle. My current favorite is “Autumn in the Park”

Fall TV shows old and newFall

The best TV shows air during Fall (except Game of Thrones)! I always get super excited for the season premiere and almost make a little event out of it, watching them!

My current favorite (old) TV Shows are

  • The Blacklist – What is not to love about James Spader
  • Downton Abbey – Unfortunately on their last season
  • Scandal – because it gets better and better with each episode
  • Arrow – also love all comic books based TV shows
  • Homeland – I have a feeling that this show is on its last leg

I have a few new shows I am obsessing over this season

  • Scream Queens – It is so dumb that it is genius
  • Bastard Executioner – it has a Game of Thrones feel
  • Fear the Walking Dead – because I love its big brother

Fall means Everything Pumpkinfall

Yeap, I am one of those people! I love everything pumpkin! As a Latte, soup, cookies, mixed with rice, cakes, and of course pie! Don’t judge, but I am simply in heaven while enjoying my pumpkin latte with a piece of pumpkin pie, while I am burning my Pumpkin spice candle!


I can’t have a post about Fall and not mention Halloween. But guess what, I don’t care about it. And I am looking very much forward to my kids being old enough that they don’t care anymore either.

Now you got to know me a bit better! But of course, I want to know what YOU like about Fall season and why!


Until next time

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Questions or Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Just tweet away:

or use the comment section below

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@GrecaudPaul/dollarphotoclub
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October 11, 2015 7 comments
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10 Makeup artist on instagram

The amount of Makeup Artist on Instagram are as many as sand on the beach (or so it seems), and naturally I follow the tons of them. But lately I noticed a trend that had me unfollow a bunch of them. 

I am talking about the obnoxious self-promoting of their products. Of course they want to use the social media to drive sales, but if you start spamming my feed with advertising consistently that is a sure way to use a follower.

So over the weekend I did a nice purge on who I follow on IG, and that sparked the idea for today’s post.

When you click on the IG name it will take you to their Instagram accounts. Clicking on the gallery will take you to Websta, a great tool to use Instagram on your desktop/laptop!

My Top 10 Makeup Artist on Instagram makeup artist

@lisaeldridgemakeup

Lisa posts beautiful makeup inspired pictures, has great product recommendations that won’t kill the bank (most of the time) and just shares the right amount of snapshots from her private life

@patmcgrathreal

She quite simply puts the art into makeup with color inspirations that are out of this world! She is one of my favorite celebrity makeup artist.

@beautyisboring

I love this account because of the way they either make eyes or the lips pop in unusual ways, but it still comes across natural. A makeup artist with a distinctive style.

@hannah_murray1

Again an account that has the perfect balance of glamor shots, product recommendations, and a peek behind the scenes.

@Lisahoughton

Gorgeous collection of fashion and makeup pictures. It inspires your glamorous inner life

@thevalgarland

No nonsense, only high-quality editorial shots, sprinkled in with some retro memories.

@isamayaffrench

She does amazing face painting that will leave you in awe

@raeview

She is adorable, her dog is the cutest thing, and her product shots are gorgeous!

@mallory1712

I just love the way she does her makeup, I want to copy all of her looks to the T, and her dog – you must go and check it out for yourself.

@WendyRowe

Wendy emphasizes the natural look that showcases how makeup is best used to enhance your features instead of covering up flaws.

If you find that your Instagram is lacking the true art of makeup, make sure to follow theses artists for daily inspiration and just pure love and joy of makeup. And of course, do not forget to follow me, just because you would make my day!


Until next time

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Questions or Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Just tweet away:

or use the comment section below

image source: @SubbotinaAnna/dollarphotoclub
September 9, 2015 17 comments
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best of July

Another month went by in a flash, and so it is time for a Best of the Month post!

I posted quite a view articles in July. I can finally say that I am finding my blogging rhythm. Only to have it interrupted by our upcoming vacation, Le sigh, such is life!

Top Blog Posts and Views for July

My page views for July are 5538 (-670), and here are the top 5 new July posts:

1. Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation

clinique beyond perfecting

2. DIY Deodorant

DIY Deodorant

3. The Right Order of Applying Skin Care Products

Right Order of Applying Skincare

4. Neon Pink Nail Art

Neon Pink Nail Art

5. My Favorite Makeup Brand: Urban Decay

Urban decay logo

The Jungle of Social Media

Pinterest

most popular pin

My most repinned pin this month is a quote from C.S Lewis, and it is also one of my favorites, as it is very inspirational!

At the end of the month, I had 315 followers (+46) and hundreds of daily repins. It looks like my Pinterest profile is gaining some momentum, as it is also my top referer to the website from my social media accounts.

InstagramMost like IG

Above you can see my most liked pictures from Instagram (courtesy of iconsquare.com)! Top left: my Urban Decay Stash; top right: my pink nail art, bottom left: Selfie trying out Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless, and bottom right: my complete makeup stash!

My follow count stood at 368 (+24) on 7/31

Facebookmost popular FB post

This meme had the most reach on my Facebook Page from my non-blog promote posts. It still makes me chuckle!

I love Facebook for personal use, but absolutely loath the way they manage Facebook pages. Not a day goes by that I do not think about just simply deleting my page and be done with it!

Reason I didn’t deleted last month is that out of nowhere (after a dry spell of a few weeks) I gained 360 new followers, bringing the grand total to 2114!Lets see how many of these are going to stick around!


July was a busy month for me, and it all payed off in the end. Now for the month of August, I am taking a break, and will only post once per week. The family and I are going on vacation, and right after we will have visitors for a couple of weeks. So real life is going to take over for a bit

I hope all of you have a fantastic summer and I will see you again in the fall!

Until next time

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August 5, 2015 0 comment
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best of spark of allure

This post is for my fellow blogger friends, who enjoy taking a peek behind the scenes and see how my website is doing overall!


It is time to take a look at how Spark of Allure did in June! What was the most popular new content,best-performing pin and what Instagram Image got the most likes! And what are the number overall for this website!

Best of June on Spark of Allure

Top 5 all-time posts in June!

  1. DIY Makeup Spray
  2. Baby Powder in your Makeup Routine
  3. DIY Face Highlighter
  4. DIY Eyeshadow Primer
  5. Dry Brush Nail Art with OPI

Obviously the Beauty DIY is a hit. And naturally I am planning on doing more of them in the future! Even so I am running quickly out of ideas! So if you have anything in mind that could cover, please let me know!

Most popular new content in June

  1. Dry Brush Nail Art with OPI
  2. 3 Easy Steps to Perfect Smooth Legs

Popular on Social Media and the numbers

My social media following grew to 2693 (increase of 3.5%). I am still losing quite a few likes on Facebook. For about every new like, two people, unlike my page! This is what I get for playing the “like for a like” game on Facebook.

Do not participate in “follow for a follow” It brings no value to your Social Media presence.

My Pinterest profile is gaining momentum! With my most popular pin in June being the “How to contour and highlight your chest area” This pin is not originally from me but topinspired.com

popular pin

I also have been more active on Instagram in June. Here is a snapshot of my most liked image on the left and my overall stats on IG on the right!

instagram

Instagram did another round of deactivating fake accounts, and it does show in my follower’s number. As there is no way to prevent fake and spam accounts to follow you, you just have to live with the loss!

Social Media Fans

  • Facebook 1754
  • Instagram 344
  • Pinterest 269
  • Twitter 174
  • Google+ 152

The number game according to Google Analytics!

Here is a screen shot of my website data! May stats are on top, and June is on the bottom.

stats compared

My monthly page views increased a bit in June. But as you can see on the bounce rate and average stay, people find my website, but they don’t stay for long.

Getting my audience to stick around is something I have to keep in mind and need to work on!

Hope you enjoyed this little “Best of” post and the insight on what is going on behind the scenes!


Until next time

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Questions or Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Just tweet away:

or use the comment section below

July 3, 2015 0 comment
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