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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blogging Secrets #2: How to get GOOD music for Youtube videos + Youtube's go-to music websites!

Hey Guys! 
This is my second blogpost in my "Blogging Secrets" series about all the little things successful bloggers/ vloggers seem to know how to do, but we don't. I am nowhere near that "success" status, but I got such a great response from my Custom Youtube Thumbnails post that I decided to keep this going and
 share what I have learnt so far!

Today is all about BACKING MUSIC! I have struggled with this since I uploaded my very first video back in December 2012, but more so now that the copyright laws on Youtube have become even more strict. Everyone wants to use their favourite song of the moment as the intro song in their latest video, but that obviously earns you a copyright strike, which affects monetisation as well as the potential to join a YouTube partner company. So, here are a few tips for you when it comes to choosing music for your videos!

1. Find an original artist
This is by far my favourite way to beat the Youtube copyright laws. There are plenty of talented people on the web or even in your school, college, workplace etc. who would love to get some exposure for their singing/ production talents and contacting them to feature their songs in your video is the perfect opportunity. I have found some amazingly talented people by using this method including laurazocca  edelyn agustin , Courtelizz and kristenwilliams and using new music is fresh and unpredictable for subscribers. Try searching covers of your favourite songs and connect with the artists by leaving them encouraging messages, subscribing and just loving on their stuff. Not only do you possibly get the opportunity to help them help you, you make new online friends! Don't forget to list their information and links in the downbar as a way of thanks!

2. If you really have to use your favourite song, use snippets.
Lots of Youtubers use popular songs from the charts, and most of the comments say " How comes you used that song, isn't it copyright?" But notice that they rarely use more than half a minute of the same track. Technically, this is fair use of a song and this is a possible option if you really really have to use that special song in your video. But to be honest, it is better to play it safe and forget that option altogether!

3. Use instrumentals
iMovie used to be the go to for Youtube background music as instrumentals don't usually pull copyright issues. Although it is not the choice anymore, for videos such as tutorials, it can still provide some texture to your video. If you do use instrumentals, be sure to check that the content is royalty free and get permission to use the track first. There is nothing worse than uploading and then having your content blocked/deleted hours later.

So, where do Youtubers ACTUALLY get their music from?
Sophonics has been featured on many popular Youtuber blog/ vlog channels ( think Aspyn, Zoella, Jack and Finn and Alfie) and I see alot of viewers asking where they can get the songs from. Similarly, the artist ionics is also popular, more so for music effects and transition music.

 These tracks are available from sites such as AudioJungle and auddiomicro, but, they are not free. The cost of a song can range from $5 to $80 depending on how many times the song will be used, where the song will be uploaded and for what kind of project it will be featured on. Clearly, this is not a wise option if you do not have an income or if Youtube is just a hobby for you, but if it becomes more than just a pastime, I would recommend investing. Be wise and select music you are likely to use over and over again. Remember that sound effects are readily available for free on alternative websites, so don't spend $50 on the sound of rain on your windowpane! You will need to make sure you purchase the right license, otherwise the use in your video will classed as copyright.
So that is the basics: here are my favourite music websites.

kevinmacleod   - holiday/ uplifting music
joshwoodward - drum/ bass
soundcloud - this is great for remixes and orignal music (make sure you get permission)

Royalty free/ paid:

Sophonics- Sweet Ukulele/ Upbeat Ukelele/ Happy
ionics- Kinda Awkward ( for those bloopers!)

That is all for today; I hope I covered everything! If not, let me know what else you would like to know about music as well as any other blogging secrets you would like me to spill! 


Thanks for reading, have a great week! 

God Bless,
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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

First Impressions: Beautyuk High Brow All in one Brow Definition Kit

My faithful Maybelline Natural smokes eyeshadow palette turned eyebrow kit shattered on me quite a while ago and its replacement, Buck from the NAKED palette, is looking extremely low; so I decided it was time to buy a proper kit and treat my brows to something new.
I saw this Beautyuk kit while running an errand for beauty essentials at Superdrug and decided to give it a go.

~ T H E  K I T~

The kit comes with three eyebrow shades, ranging from a  nude brown to a very deep chocolate brown, as well as a clear wax. In addition, the kit has a cute pair of travel sized tweezers, and of course an application brush to apply the wax and powder.  As usual, there is always something that draws me into buying a product and the additional tools did it for me.

The brush is dual ended- on end is angled, and the other looks like a soft concealer styled brush, which I thought was pretty odd actually.

I'm happy to say that the solid black rounded box packaging is quite sturdy although I am slightly disappointed with the supposed 'magnetic well' where the tools sit, which should hold them in place. In short, everything cluttered to the ground when I opened the lid.
 I appreciate when beauty kits include instructions: even if you know how to use the products, it is always nice to find out how the company would use the products to get the best results. The instructions are printed on the backside of the palette, which I definitely prefer to a separate fancy card. 

 ~A P P L I C A T I O N~
(please excuse my skin; I am not wearing any makeup and pores need treatment, but we will just work with it for now!)
I started off with the wax (as instructed) and applied that to my eyebrows with the angled brush. I haven't used an eyebrow wax for my eyebrows before, namely because I barely have any, but, I did notice that my hairs collected together nicely and gave the impression of thicker, thus, more hairy brows. One thing I didn't like about the wax was the colour payoff. Although it is supposed to be more or less clear, it appeared quite white on my skin, so I had to remove the excess. To be honest, that result was probably because I am dark skinned, but it wasn't so much of a put-off to be a deal breaker. I just tend to be a little dramatic sometimes.

The next step was the most problematic. I proceeded to apply the brow powder ( I went with the middle toned brown) with the 'soft blending brush' and ended up with fat unsightly brows! This again may be down to the fact that I barely have any brows and they are much more on the thin side, but it overwhelmed my face and, if I am honest, looked as if a child had drawn them on with one of those fat crayons.
So, I reapplied using my angled brush from Sigma, which is my usual choice, and finished by plucking stray hairs with the tweezers.

~R E S U L T~
After using my Sigma brush, my brows definitely appeared cleaner and defined; the eyebrow hairs themselves lay flat and looked tidy. I wore my brows all day and found no smudging or running makeup. To remove them, I used a regular face makeup remover and thankfully, everything came off without rubbing.

Overall, the palette is a nice and cheap kit, which would be great for anyone looking to start using eyebrow kits. The palette was only £3.99, which is by far the cheapest kit I have seen with great colour payoff, sturdy and sleek packaging and a good choice of tools. The only part of this product I did not like was the blending brush ( I don't really know how you are supposed to blend colour into your eyebrows?!) but if you already have an angled brush, you are good to go! If not, I'd recommended wiping the wax form the supplied brush and using that instead- that blending brush is better for the application of eyelid primer, which by the way, applied beautifully!

Thank you for reading, let me know if you have tried/ will be trying this product!
More reviews on the way, don't forget to get your double dose of me every week on this blog and over on my beauty YouTube Channel.

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God Bless, 
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