Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blogging Tips | Simple Ways to Gain a Genuine Following

Commenting | The blogging community thrives off the give and take attitude. My rule of thumb when leaving a comment is to make sure it's at least two sentences, and I try to say something more than "I like * insert product name* too!" However, I am not saying that length is what matters. Simply put, two sentences usually helps me to say more than just a basic comment. Providing my own suggestions or answering the question at the end of a post is also a great way to interact with the blogger and to show that you are genuinely interested. It is appropriate to leave your link at the end of a comment, but it is extremely inappropriate to say something along the lines of "If you're interested in following each other, let me know!" 

Disqus | Disqus has been the best way for me to connect with my readers. I am much more inclined to follow a blog when they have Disqus as I really love to receive responses when I comment. I appreciate every single person who leaves a genuine comment on my blog, and I love replying to them. When readers reply back to my responses, I feel a real connection, almost like I made a new friend! 

Twitter | I had no interest in joining Twitter until a couple months ago as I thought it was a social media site that people used to tweet celebrities. However, after having it for about two months now, I can say that it is one of the first things I check in the morning. I plan on having a blogging tips post all about Twitter so I won't elaborate much at the moment, but I do want to say that Twitter is the best networking site for growing a blog. There are great bloggers chats (#bbloggers is one of the largest for beauty bloggers) that will help to get your blog out there. 

Guest Posting | I have yet to try this out, but I'm sure it is a great way to introduce yourself to a whole new set of readers. Try contacting bloggers whose blogs you really love reading, and asking if you could guest post on each other's blogs. 

Following Blogs | One of my biggest pet peeves is when bloggers chose to follow a ridiculous number of blogs that they don't even read just for the mere sake of gaining a few extra followers. I'd much rather have a smaller group of devoted followers than thousands of followers who I never get the chance to hear from. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of this year to follow at least one new blog I like per week. Follow the blogs you enjoy reading. It doesn't get much simpler than that!

What are your tips for gaining a genuine following?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beauty and Non-Beauty Favorites | January 2015

MAKEUP | Beauty Blender
Since I wrote a long review on this product, I won't bore you with words. Wins this month, hands down.

NAIL POLISH Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in "All or Nothing"
This is the perfect light pink shade for all year round, and it has quite the bonus. It has the lasting capability of a gel manicure.

HAIR CARELush I Love Juicy Shampoo
Product build-up? Greasy hair? No worries, this chemical-free shampoo will be your best friend.

SKIN CARE | Origins Make a Difference Plus+ Moisturizer
Daytime, nighttime, anytime. This moisturizer is the stop shop moisturizer for oily to combination skin.

BLOG | Rush and Teal
This January discovery of mine is not one to disappoint. Every post Allie writes inspires me in some way, whether it's to take up running again or to clean out my wardrobe. And I don't even have words for how beautiful her pictures are. No words.

SONG "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran
Ahh, Ed. The "Thinking Out Loud" music video is absolutely gorgeous to watch (although I don't think he will be joining "Dancing with the Stars" anytime soon,) and the song makes me quite the hopeless romantic.

BOOK Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
I present you with the picture book for adults. A few pages a night of this inspirational read lifts me off into a very happy sleep.

VIDEO Sweatshop
I waste my time on the internet quite often, but the documentary, Sweatshop, was the best thing I watched this month. The documentary is about three Norwegian teenagers who travel to Cambodia to discover what it's really like to work in a sweatshop. If you love clothes, this is something you really should watch.

APP | Buffer 
Buffer is the perfect app for bloggers who are addicted to Twitter. Plan your tweets ahead of time, and take a well deserved break.

What are you January favorites?

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Currently Watching No. 1

There is no better way to sit down and relax then by watching some good ol' TV. Throughout the year, I always have something to watch, and I use it as a motivation to finish my school work early. I don't have Netflix at the moment (but I'm really hoping to get it soon,) so all of these shows are ones that are currently playing. I hope you will enjoy this new series as I love finding out what people like to watch! (Beware though, my guilty pleasure is reality shows.)

The Return of Superman (Sunday on Youtube-KBS World TV) | If you're looking for an hour and a half of pure cuteness every week, this show is definitely for you. The show follows four Korean families but focuses on the dads and their young children. It's so cute to see the fathers so passionate about taking care of their kids as this is often perceived as a mother's job. All of the children have so much personality, and it's the one of the only shows I watch with pure joy as there is absolutely nothing trashy about it.

We Got Married (Sunday on Youtube-We Got Married Engsub) | This reality show is about six famous Korean celebrities who are paired up and "married." They do they whole deal from having an actual wedding to furnishing their own house. It's adorable to see some of the couples actually fall in love.

The Bachelor (Monday at 8 p.m. PST on ABC) | This one is similar to the previous show as it deals with love but in a different manner. However, it's still a fun one to watch. I've started watching this dramatic show ever since Sean's season, and the contestants have definitely gone downhill from there. However, I'm still an avid watcher. I'm already getting a bad impression of Chris, but I will definitely watch till the end to get in some good laughs as the girls are really something. (Everyone needs some comic relief, right?)

Dance Moms (Tuesday at 9 p.m. PST on Lifetime) | When I was younger, I was extremely passionate about ballet for five and a half years, and I still love to watch people dance to this day. This show features some extremely crazy moms and an even crazier dance teacher, Abby Lee, but I'm a devoted watcher as I love to see the girls dance (and a little bit of laughter from all the drama doesn't hurt either.)

Switched at Birth (Tuesday at 9 p.m. PST on ABC Family) | This used to be my absolute favorite show when season one and two were out, but I lost a bit of interest ever since. It's about two girls who were accidentally switched at the hospital when they were born, so they grew up in two very different families, one affluent and one poor. One of the girls, Daphne, is deaf, so this show has taught me so much about the deaf community. Emmett, my personal favorite character, is also deaf, and he is truly such a cutie! I didn't watch much of season three, but season's four is on now, and I have started to love it once again.

Child Genius (Tuesday at 10 p.m. PST on Lifetime) | Studying Psychology this year in high school has really grown my fascination with IQ. I realize that IQ is not an accurate representation of a person's level of intelligence as there are many different facets of intelligence; however, I am still in awe when seeing children with extremely high IQ's. This is a competition where selected eight to twelve year olds face off in different rounds from Astronomy to Vocabulary, and I am always amazed by how much their brains can process. Makes me a bit jealous at times!

Boysitter (Saturday on Viki) | I'm quite the Korean drama watcher, but I thought it was about time I try a Chinese drama as I am after all, Chinese (and what better way to brush up on my Chinese skills!) This Taiwanese rom-com series is about a woman named Yuan Fei who runs into her childish boyfriend from six years ago, Hao Jian Ren. They are soon working at the same company and end up in a very interesting love triangle (or as I like to think of it, love square.)

What shows are you currently watching? 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review | Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara

Let's be real now. Asians are not known for having the world's best lashes. However, I don't think of this as a curse, but instead think of it as a challenge, a challenge to find a mascara that gives definition, doesn't clump, and holds a curl. Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara has granted my wishes. 

Packaging | This bright blue tube of mascara that resembles a rocket feels great in the hands and even better on the lashes. The pink lettering on the outside has slightly faded, but that's the very least of my concerns. I love how the wand is fairly large and has short bristles throughout which makes for an even application.

Application | I use between one to two coats which results in fully defined and voluminzed lashes. Though it does not clump, a few lashes may stick together. This can be easily solved by gently combing them through with a clean wand. I also enjoy pairing this mascara with my Maybelline Illegal Legnths Mascara as the The Rocket does not do anything to lengthen my lashes. I have a pretty difficult time keeping my lashes curled as they naturally point straight forward, but at least the waterproof formula (I have not tried the regular formula) does a great job at holding a curl for a good 8+ hours. 

Formula | I would not categorize The Rocket as neither dry or wet, but it's a nice in between. I've kept it longer than I should, but it has still not dried out. I purchased this mascara in "Blackest Black", and it sure is very black! (Though I honestly can't tell a difference between the different shades of black for mascaras. Am I the only one?) 

Price | At $7.95, this is an extremely affordable mascara that will surely not disappoint. 

What's your favorite mascara?


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blogging Tips | Technology to Keep You Organized

Some of my favorite posts to read are ones where bloggers share their blogging tips! I love to see the blogging community actively engaging in being supportive of one another, and I think sharing personal tips is a great idea. I will be having a new "Blogging Tips" post every other Saturday, so follow me to stay updated!

There is something so serene about staying organized because I love knowing that it's possible to get everything done if I follow my schedule. Here are a few tips that I have been using to keep organized when blogging.

Google Calendar | I am no newbie to this wonderful feature that Google has provided, but I had never used it for blogging. After reading Mercuteify's post on Keeping an Editorial Calendar, I was inspired to start this with blogging as well! She had everything from blogger chats to post publishing dates on there and she also color-coded posts to signify whether or not the post had pictures taken, content written, or was completely finished. What's great is that you can also combine it with your regular Google Calendar to get a full picture of your schedule. I personally find this to be the best feature for keeping a post schedule.

CalenMob | For those of you who are constantly on your phone more than your laptop, CalenMob is definitely the app for you. It's great because it allows you to combine your iPhone calendar, Google calendars, and CalenMob calendar to get a full picture of your day to day schedule. The monthly view has small dots on each day for the number of events you scheduled, the weekly view places events for the week in blocks, and the daily view breaks down your day hour by hour. I personally prefer this over the iPhone calendar as it lays out your whole month rather than scrolling through to see your day by day schedule. CalenMob is also free, so why not?

Buffer | For those of you who struggle to be up at the same time as bloggers from another country or continent, Buffer is the app for you. I actually just downloaded it a few minutes ago, but after seeing so many bloggers recommend it, I knew it was another free app that I needed to share with you. Buffer allows you to schedule your tweets, Facebook posts, etc. ahead of time. This app is also great if you like to tweet or post a certain amount of times a day but often forget or are too busy doing something else (the story of my life). Buffer also provides you with analytics to see how effective your posts really are.

What apps or websites do you use to stay organized for your blog?

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review | Beauty Blender

Today marks the first day of my new posting schedule (not that I've done one in the past), but I will be posting beauty posts every Wednesday and lifestyle posts every Saturday. Let's hope I can keep this up!

The one tool that beauty fanatics can't seem to get enough of: the beauty blender. My makeup collection contains many drugstore items, but it's always fun to have a few products that elevate my stash from average to beauty guru status. This Christmas, one of my best friends Emily (quite funny how we're both named Emily) brought me a very "light" present. I quickly tore off the tissue paper to reveal this majestic pink sponge.

Quality | When I first took my beauty blender out of its packaging, it was quite small and soft, but not bouncy. Later when I wet the sponge, it about doubled in size and felt much softer as well. However, I would be very careful if you have long or sharp nails as the material is so delicate that it can easily be torn. I already have two tiny slits in mine as I accidentally punctured it with my nail while washing (and I was being very gentle!)

Use | Make sure you saturate the sponge for a good 20-30 seconds, simultaneously squeezing the water out. Wring out the water completely before applying foundation. The base is great for all over the face application, and the tip works perfectly for reaching under the eyes and around the nose. First, I like to apply my foundation with my fingers to waste the least amount as possible. I honestly don't find myself using that much more foundation than when I just my fingers or a brush. Then, I gently press the beauty blender into my face using quick motions for a completely flawless, skin-like finish. I usually take about three minutes to apply my foundation and concealer when I'm using the beauty blender which is completely doable before school or work. Note that this sponge works best for liquid foundation and concealer and not for powder products. I would also not recommend traveling with the beauty blender as it's best to keep it out in the open when it's still wet.

Cleaning | One of the downsides would be cleaning. I am not used to cleaning my makeup brushes everyday, so it was quite a new experience for me to have to clean it after every use. Since this is a sponge, you do not want foundation to be sitting in there as it will eventually grow bacteria with too much moisture. Also, you will find that your application won't be as flawless if you already have foundation in your beauty blender. I clean mine with warm water and Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. Applying about a nickel size worth of shampoo on my hand, I wet the sponge and rub it in circular motions around my palm. I then rinse it out by squeezing it many times to ensure that all the shampoo has been removed. Usually, I repeat this process twice to remove the remaining concealer as it's more difficult to remove than foundation. Dani from Coffee Break with Dani has a great video on cleaning your beauty blender.

Price | At $19.95, this may seem pricey for a sponge, but I guarantee that it is worth the investment. A good face brush alone will cost you a lot more than $20, so I think the price is really not too bad. If you were to buy one "expensive" beauty product this year, this is the one. I never cheat myself when it comes to having a great base!

Overall Thoughts | This is my favorite beauty product that I have yet to try. Ever. It makes a world of a difference and ensures a flawless finish every time. No longer do I have to worry about looking cakey, forgetting to blend out a spot, or having an awkward line between my face and my neck. The beauty blender solved all my foundation problems, and I will happily dabble on foundation with this magical pink teardrop for years and years to come.

What is your favorite tool for applying your base?


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Recipe | The 95 Calorie Chai 'Latte'

Hello, my name is Emily, and I'm a chai addict. I have always connected the smell of chai with teachers, and for the longest time, I refused to drink it (not that I don't love my teachers). Recently, however, I have completely done a 360, and I am now obsessed with chai. Unless it's Christmas time and Starbuck's holiday drinks are in, I will always order a chai latte, iced of course. However, it has come to my attention that my wallet doesn't feel so good when I keep forking over money at Starbucks, so I went on a mission to make my own chai 'latte' (latte used lightly as this is pretty much tea, milk, and agave). Healthified. A bit.

You will need | a tea bag with your favorite blend of chai, 1 tbsp to 1 tsp of agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like it), 1/2 to 2/3 a cup of almond milk (depending on how creamy you like it), and a dash of ground cinnamon

Step One | Boil your water and fill the cup up one third to half of the way. I prefer filling my cup up one third of the way with water so the rest can be almond milk for a creamier taste. Follow the instructions for your tea on how long to steep. Remove the tea bag after steeping.

Step Two | Fill the rest of the cup with milk, and microwave for 45 seconds to a minute depending on how hot you like your latte. Add in the agave nectar, and stir well.

Step Three | Sprinkle a dash of ground cinnamon. Voila.

What's your favorite warm drink?

Tweet me a picture @ahemitsemme or tag me on Instagram @ahemitsemme if you try it out!

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review | Origins Make a Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturizer

Sometimes I feel like my skin shrivels up like the ground in the Sahara Desert. The heater is both a blessing and a curse as I love to be nice and warm, but my skin doesn't hold up well with all the extra heat. In turn, I have noticed my skin to start peeling which is gross because I am not a onion. No, just no. The Origins Make a Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturizer has been my biggest helper in conquering the wrath of my heater, and I owe every bit of skin happiness to this deliciously-scented goodness.

A little skin history story for you. I always thought I had oily skin, and maybe I did when I was in my preteen years. However when I went to Origins earlier this year, they in fact informed me that I have combination skin, and I really do believe them. I was always a skeptic for using moisturizer because I thought that my oily skin couldn't handle it. My skin's shiny reflection was enough to make a mirror scream for help, so I refused to put on moisturizer for years and years on end. Thankfully, the wonderful lady at Origins convinced me that I still need to be using a face moisturizer and helped me to pick out the Origins Make a Difference Plus+. The difference between this one and every other face cream or lotion I have tried is that it is a gel moisturizer. Gel moisturizers are the perfect thing for people with an oilier complexion. The gel formula allows your skin to feel hydrated without feeling greasy, and it works great both in the morning under my makeup and at night as a light face moisturizer. Make a Differnece Plus+ is infused with Rose of Jericho and a Lychee and Watermelon hydra-sustain complex that feels hydrating and smells delicious. The only downside would be the price at $41, but I would rather splurge on skincare than makeup so it's well worth it for me.

What's your favorite face moisturizer? 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lake Arrowhead | Family

I think we have our Christmas card picture for next year! This trip to Lake Arrowhead was only so fun because I had my (somewhat) crazy family to spend it with. My parents never fail to make us laugh, my aunt and uncle can cook like no other, and my cousins are well, just complete and utter nut-heads (in the smartest way possible). Also, what better time to talk about my family than on my twin cousins' birthday. Happy 22nd Birthday Elle and Mandy! Aside from the time we spent taking pictures out in the snow, we also had a nice walk down the road and admired all the beautiful winter wonderland houses. They had such a nice cabin-y feel to them, and I just wanted to snuggle up with my wearable blanket (no, it is not a snuggie) and sit by the fireplace, slowly roasting away. However, that fantasy was far from reality as we engaged in a snow fight at the end of this pleasant walk, and I ended up with snow down my shirt (which quickly turned into ice cold water). Oddly enough, I loved every minute of it.

mom and dad

cousin Mandy
twin cousins, Mandy and Elle

snow fight

Have you done anything fun with your family over Christmas break?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Blog Design

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already 2015, the year I will graduate from high school. Ahem, It's Emme ( I always get questions on this, but "Emme" is pronounced "Em") has been running strong for a little over two years now, and I decided it was time for a new layout. The world could surely not get any better than this. This new layout was made possible by the magical man over at Pipdig, Phil. He was so professional to work with, and the whole thing was done in a little over a week (despite my numerous back and forth changes). I had a little dance party the minute I saw his email saying everything had been installed! I have also changed my comment forum to Disqus because I would love to reply to your comments. I will use this time to also add that if you would like to follow me on Bloglovin', Twitter, Instagram, or Pineterest, my links will be at the bottom of this post. I always stalk (in a good way) every one of my followers, so don't be shy and come say hi! Wow, I am such a poet. Well, this has certainly been the best New Year's gift any person could ever ask for, and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone one of you who have been a part of my blog. Happy 2015!

How do you like the new blog design?

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