My December Beauty Favorites

December is the best month. It’s all about Christmas, cheesy Hallmark movies, my birthday, shopping, and hoping for snow. You may love December, but your skin usually doesn’t. If you live on the East Coast, your skin is screaming for moisturizer. Make sure to moisturize, especially if your lips will be velvety red come Christmas.

Here are my December beauty favorites:

  1. Tarte Lip Sculptor Lipstick & Lipgloss
    If you’re all about full, glossy lips, this is the lipstick for you! I have this is VIP (cool nude), but I want them all. It’s a combo stick with moisturizing lipstick on one end and a shiny gloss on the other. You can layer them or wear them separately. I always layer them for full effect. This is my go-to daily lipstick, unless I’m feeling casual. Then, I swipe on Tarte Lippie Lingerie in Exposed.
    Lip Sculptor Lipstick   Lipgloss   Tarte Cosmetics.png
  2. Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara789
    I am loving this thick mascara that dramatizes my lashes with one layer! This is not for a dainty lash. This is thick, bold, but not spidery. You only need to apply one or two coats to your lashes to give them extreme volume.
  3. Jamberry Nourish Moisturizing Hand Creme
    This biotin infused hand cream is super luxurious and heals dry skin quickly. I keep a big bottle of this on my desk at work, so I remember to keep my hands moisturized. Nothing is worse than dry, cracked skin in the winter! This is the good stuff. Don’t buy the coconut hand lotion from Victoria’s Secret and expect it to work like Nourish. BONUS: It will help your nail grow back really strong, so you can have nice nails for a Jamberry or regular mani.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 6.27.11 PM.png
  4. Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup
    This is my fixer upper tool that I use to retouch my face during the workday. If your skin gets oily during the day, or if you missed a spot during your morning routine, this green compact will save you. Always keep it nearby.
  5. Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa ButterUS-VSL-0p25oz-Original_tcm2858-777559.png
    Yes, I know Vaseline sounds gross. I still remember the smell of those big jars of Vaseline from my childhood, but this is different! It’s Vaseline’s Lip Therapy and it comes in the tiniest, cutest little jar you’ve ever seen– and that’s half the reason you’ll buy it. I keep this in my purse, because it’s a lifesaver for dry lips. I use it under lipstick, or even on top once my lip color has faded. It really is therapy for my lips, and I like it much better than chap stick.
  6. Skincando Combat-Ready Balm
    This is miracle cream. This jar of natural salve was originally used by soldiers in the war zone. According to their website, combat-ready calm heals “severe dryness, eczema, minor abrasions, post-shaving burn, chafing, scars, jock itch, bug bites, and sun/wind burn are no match for this powerful balm.” You’ve gotta have it!

How Dove Is Using YouTube to Change Our Perception of Beauty and Create Brand Loyalty

Dove Beauty Bar

A company known for a white bar of soap is seeking to change the meaning of beauty in the minds of women all over the world. Dove conducted a study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, which found that only 2% of women in the world consider themselves beautiful, Dove began a campaign hoping that it could make a positive impact on women across the globe. Not to mention other important goals, like building brand awareness and an emotional connection with women, which in turn would make Dove more relevant and profitable.

Launched in September of 2004, the Dove campaign for Real Beauty has been starting conversations about the definition of beauty for ten years. The campaign has been so successful that Dove developed their Confidence is Beauty line to complement its strategic advertising message.

Social media played a big role in the success of the campaign. YouTube has proved to be very effective in getting eyes on campaign content. In 2006 Dove released a video called Evolution on YouTube, which had only launched the year before, and the video went viral. At the time I am writing this post, it has over 17 million views.

Report: Digital IQ Index®: Beauty

Report: Digital IQ Index®: Beauty

Other beauty brands have not been so lucky on YouTube, and it is important for them to find out why. According to big data software company Pixability, only 3% of the 14.9 billion beauty-related video views on YouTube benefited major beauty brands’ YouTube channels. Beauty brands need to pay attention because The Digital IQ Index®: Beauty Report found that YouTube became a more significant tool for the beauty industry from 2011 to 2012. Click on the graph to the right to see how video views increased on YouTube from 2011 to 2012.

Pixability’s Chief Marketing Officer Rob Ciampa comments on Pixability’s report in this press release:

The data in this study highlights the tipping point for share-of-voice for the beauty business. More importantly, these YouTube dynamics will have a profound effect on how beauty brands and their agencies market and advertise.


YouTube has certainly had a profound effect on how Dove has advertised. In 2013 Dove Real Beauty Sketches became the most watched ad ever! Dove advertised the sketches in 21 countries and increased paid advertising and paid search after the video’s popularity skyrocketed. Dove is ahead of other brands with their video marketing efforts. According to Kantar Media, only about 24% of national brands are using online video to market to consumers. Video is a huge opportunity for brands.

YouTube and other social media channels are perfectly positioned for beauty brands. A study by Dove of 1,000 women ages 18-64 years revealed that 63% of women think that social media has a bigger impact on how we define beauty than print media, film, and music. People look to social media to help them decide what beauty is, and Dove provided the right messages to the right people via the right channels.

Another study by Dove discovered that 82% of women think social media influences how we define beauty. Dove uses social media and this newly discovered viewpoint to its advantage in its new film Selfie. The video encourages women of all ages to redefine beauty through visual media such as selfies posted to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I watched Selfie and I loved it so I shared it on Facebook when the video ended. I emotionally connected with the video, and created more brand amplification for Dove.

Haven’t seen it? Watch it now!

But how do we know that Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty is really selling more product? Dove does not reveal sales figures but executives at Unilever, Dove’s parent company, suggest that the campaign has expanded sales. Jennifer Bremner, brand director of skin cleansing at Unilever, said the campaign was “obviously a positive for us, not just in the power of the brand, but also ultimately in sales.”


Although successful, Dove’s campaign has raised some questions of authenticity. The ads of unedited women in panties and underwear may look authentic but some people question the motives of Dove. Fully aware that the Real Beauty campaign could be perceived as a shallow marketing ploy, Dove decided that it needed to not only speak but act on the issue. As a result, Dove has partnered with organizations to provide activities and programming to encourage self-confidence in boys and girls.

Dove found a message to spread to consumers that is relatable and relevant in society today. In a study of over 1,200 10-17 year olds,  72% said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Dove is responding by saying:

We believe beauty should be a source of confidence, and not anxiety. That’s why we are here to help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential.

As evidenced by the popularity of Dove’s viral YouTube videos, consumers are engaging in conversation. Ultimately, an emotional and engaging relationship with women is likely driving more sales for Dove, and that is a big win!

An even bigger win is spreading an authentic message about the true meaning of beauty and empowering women around the globe to grant themselves the love, acceptance, and glorification that they so easily give to others. Dove has proved that their brand is unlike shallow, skin-deep health and beauty brands, and that is what women deserve.

Dove has stated that the Real Beauty campaign is not over yet and believes there is still much to be done to widen the definition of beauty. We can expect more videos to be published to YouTube by Dove in the future.


How to Apply Dark Lipstick

In the wintertime, we all get the urge to try a dark lipstick color. Dark lip colors make us feel bold and daring, but they can also make us feel embarrassed if the color gets smudged on our teeth or was drawn outside the lines. Just like red wine, dark red lipsticks can be hard to clean up. You want to make sure you’ve followed the right steps to setting up your lip color.

I just received a black lip liner by Tarte (you can’t get any more intense than that), so I’ve tested these steps! They are full-proof.


  1. Exfoliate: Use a lip exfoliant like the classic Sugar Lip Polish by Fresh or the less expensive e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator to create a smooth canvas for your lip color.
  2. Moisturize: You don’t want to apply a dark lipstick to dry, flaky lips. Dark lipsticks can be more drying than your lighter lipsticks and glosses. Choose a heavier moisturizer over your slippery lip balm to create a barrier between your lips and the lipstick, so that the finish of your lippie is affected.
  3. Line: To stop your vampy color from bleeding outside the lip line, trace the outline of your lips with a lip liner. You can use the same color liner as your lipstick, or a universal/nude liner.
  4. Fill in: Many people don’t know that you should fill your lips with your lip liner, too. Lip liner is more long-wearing than lipstick, so this will keep your lippie looking fresh longer.
  5. Apply Lipstick: Apply your lipstick color of choice to taut lips (as opposed to relaxed). You want the color to be applied in every crease, so that the color is even when you smile.9meyjpkekx4-shamim-nakhai
  6. Blot, then reapply: Take tissue paper to blot your lips, then reapply. This will ensure your lips are sealed!
  7. Clean up the edges with liner: Use your liner to straighten, or curve, out any mistakes.
  8. Protect your teeth: To avoid the embarrassing lipstick on your teeth thing, take your pointer finger and rest it in-between your lips. When you take it out, the lipstick that you see on your finger would have been what would’ve ended up on your teeth! Crisis averted.
  9. Add color to your cheeks! Sweep a blush or bronzer on your cheeks to give your skin a healthy dose of color. Wearing dark lip colors draws all the attention to your lips, and can make your complexion look dull or pale.


The Beauty of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Ted Wright, founder of word-of-mouth marketing agency Fizz, said in a recent Social Media Marketing podcast, “I do not believe this is the age of social media. I believe this is the age of conversation. I believe social media tools are a very important part of that conversation.”

I think Ted offers a bigger perspective that often gets lost in our digital-obsessed world. We think social media is the key to more sales and customers, but it really comes down to the fact that the internet has given people a way to find commonalities between each other and connect in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Ingredients for WOM Marketing
In the podcast, Ted discusses two WOM marketing successes he’s had with his clients Pabst Blue Ribbon and Bissel. He says that in order to do WOM marketing, you need to have a story. Your story has to be three things:

Interesting, relevant, and authentic

Once you have your story ready, you need to identify your influencers. Your influencers are people who have an interest in you, and who are willing to share your story with their followers. Their followers see them as credible experts on a given topic. So, the next step is to give your influencers as many opportunities as you can for them to share your story!

Word of Mouth MarketingIn the podcast, Ted talks about how Bissel knew that their vacuums cleaned up small lego pieces really well. Who cleans up small lego pieces? Parents! So he identified an opportunity for Bissel to be where the parents were: a giant lego-building event for kids. He sent people in Bissel t-shirts to vacuum up lego pieces that had flown outside of the play area. Then, they would empty the vacuum pieces back into the play area right in front of the parents. Boom. The influencer parents made the connection: Bissel vacuums are great for cleaning up legos. That’s the story they share! Out of 30,000 parents that attended, about 3,000 were likely to be influencers. What a great way to reach the influencers where they are!

So, how do beauty brands use word-of-mouth marketing? You already know.

Social Media Stars (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest)

Michelle Phan and L'OrealCosmetic brands seek our their influencers (people who are beauty experts and who have a large social media following). Examples of advertiser-influencer relationships:

  • L’Oreal & Michelle Phan (YouTube)
  • Maybelline & Zoe Sugg (YouTube)
  • Clean & Clear & Meghan Hughes (Snapchat)

Brands who connect with influencers are smart. They are using the influencers to gain the trust of consumers, and making more money doing it! According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate.

Why It Works
Here are two important statistics that explain why influencer and social media marketing works with consumers:

  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.

This stat comes from the ODM group, and is a telltale sign of how significantly technology is impacting consumer behavior through unlimited information to product data and fellow customers’ experiences. How can a brand have a voice in all the user content and feedback that surrounds their products? I’ll give you three guesses but you only need one: influencer marketing.  

  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads. 

As per Nielsen, this stat clearly shows that, for brands to reach consumers in the current reality, they need the help of influencers. Consumers have begun to tune out traditional ads, and increasingly connect to their social networks to guide buying decisions.

Source: Simply Measured

Influencer marketing has proven so successful that there are companies that will provide influencers for your business. These include: Brand Backer, Socialyte, and Style Coalition.

WOM/Influencer marketing is powerful, but Ted explained one pitfall that brands should avoid:

…thinking that the speed of word-of-mouth or social media will be the same as broadcast. Broadcast’s ability to actually move markets is not what it used to be. For some media, it’s not working at all, which is why newspapers are either going out of business or are much smaller. Ads don’t work anymore.

Marketers need to be up front with client leadership, and let them know how much time word-of-mouth marketing takes and why.

Ted says word-of-mouth marketing campaigns will see movement in the first 10 weeks and significant movement in the first 30 weeks. Plus, an entire year’s worth of word-of-mouth marketing covering the whole country costs less than one flight of television ad buying time for one network show.

Source: Social Media Examiner

The beauty industry has taken advantage of influencers, but I think there is still so much word-of-mouth marketing that can be done offline. Like Ted Wright said, this is the age of conversation. I think it would be really cool if a beauty brand decided to do WOM marketing IRL like PBR did with Fizz. Listen to the podcast. You’ll be inspired to start your own WOM campaign.


P.S. If you like infographics, here’s one:

The State of Influencer Marketing #infographic