Would You Redesign Makeup and Beauty Blog?

Published in: Just For Fun


Makeup and Beauty Blog 1.0, April 2007

Happy Thursday, girls! I’m prepping posts on Shu Uemura’s Fall 2008 collection and MAC’s Cult of Cherry (on counters today!), but first I wanted to get your opinion on something I’ve been thinking about for a while: a redesign of Makeup and Beauty Blog.



I’m not a good web designer at all, but I feel like the blog could use a redesign. I don’t know… Maybe I just get a little tired of looking at the same thing.

The current design has been up since April of 2007, when I changed my web hosting from the free wordpress.com setup (similar to blogger) to a paid godaddy.com account (about $5/month) and migrated to wordpress.org using a free theme. That’s also when I got the makeupandbeautyblog.com domain name. Then, I got a copy of Photoshop Elements for Mac ($59) and a book on how to use it, found a cursive font I liked (Mariette) and put together the banner. If you’re curious about any of the early steps I took with the blog, leave me a comment and I’ll go into more detail.

Before that April the blog looked like the picture above (no banner, fewer categories, but overall the same idea). Sixteen months is a lifetime in blog years, and so I think it might be time for a change, like painting a room, buying new drapes, cleaning the carpets, etc.

Time for Makeup and Beauty Blog 3.0?

Is there anything you would like to see changed in Makeup and Beauty Blog 3.0? Or should the blog remain exactly the same? Any changes to the layout or colors? Is the pink too pink? Would you like to see a new banner up at the top? Do you like the current three columns, or would you prefer two? Is the font too small?

A Menu at the Top?

What about a drop-down menu up at the top of the page for the categories, which could replace the list of categories over in the right sidebar? Would that be easier to see?

An Image Gallery?

An image gallery to more easily browse through all the pictures on the blog? There are a lot of them, and a gallery might be a neat way to quickly zip around.

Games, Contests, Twitter?

Would you like to see me build more games and hold more contests? Does anyone use Twitter? I don’t know the first thing about it, but people tell me it’s fun.

Advertisements?

How about the ads? Are they well placed? Do they get in the way? Do you think they’re better than the Google text link ads I was using before? I know most people don’t like ads at all … but they do help pay the blog rent and help keep me motivated to write. That doesn’t mean they have to be obnoxious, though.

Share Your Thoughts

I know how busy you are, but I could sure use your help in the comments.

If you could change anything about the design of Makeup and Beauty Blog, what would you change? Please take a minute to throw some links or ideas at me in the comments.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

35 Comments

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  1. melissa says:

    I like the blog exactly the way that it is. I like the idea of a image gallery. What about flickr for that? I’ve seen some blogs with flickr image galleries that look neat.

    I love that slot machine game too. More games like that would be good.

    Maybe a new banner at the top with your picture in it.

    Thanks Karen!

  2. E.D. says:

    I would put the comments section directly after the article and put the “related article” links at the end, but that’s about it.

    I’m not a huge fan of pink, but you don’t have too much now.

  3. Kelly says:

    You know, sometimes the advertisements on the left side do seem to get in the way. Other than that, I think you have a very fun and whimsical blog. The only reason I would change it, if I were you, is if you are trying to change the tone (i.e. more serious, etc.).

    Your blog is one of my favorites. You are consistent with posting, have lots of how-to pictures, and you actually test the products that are coming out, not just regurgitate the press releases ;)

    Good luck with your project, whatever you decide to do. I am sure it will be great!!

    k

  4. Nell says:

    It is so beautiful as it is now, I wouldn´t change it at all! I´m very design-conscious and I love the look of your site. The colors, the banner, it´s perfect!
    Maybe I´m a bit neurotic, but change is BAAAAAAAD ;)

  5. Paula says:

    First, you *must* get on Twitter. There are so many other great beauty bloggers out there, that it’s a treat to interact with them so easily and quickly. (If you click on my url, you can see who I follow, too.)
    Second, I happen to read your feed in my RSS reader (Google Reader), so I don’t appreciate your site as much as I could regularly. But I do happen to like they way you have it now – nice muted colors makes the pink headlines stand out.
    I am sure you will make it look fabulous whatever you do, but I just enjoy *what* you say more than how it would look. :)

  6. Hey gorgeous,

    My only rec would be change the banner pic, to something more newer. That image came out with Prep + Prime I believe, right? Also, I think your site is amazing. I probably need to change mine, I’m sick of black and pink. But oh well, other than that your site rocks. <3

    i♥makeups last blog post..Sushmita’s Beauty Secret

  7. rexopolis says:

    i think that a drop down category menu at the top instead of the side bar would be good, but honestly,i really like the layout you have. it’s simple and airy, i hate websites that are all cluttered and hectic looking.

  8. Misti says:

    I like the layout of the site; I’m not too big of a fan of your banner but thats more cosmetic. (I love your cat with the lipgloss, though; its really shows your playful outlook)

  9. Glosslizard says:

    There are a lot of things I like about your blog layout! Your colors never distract from your content, the pink and gray look classy and don’t overshadow your photos or graphics. I’m also a big fan of the 3-column layout, it keeps the ads to one side and the useful navigation tools on the other. I like the current font layouts and find it all very easy to read and navigate. I also like the way you have a permanent banner (which I’m rather fond of) and change the one below it as the mood hits you (I can has lipglossing?). I know nothing about Twitter, so I can’t chime in there!

    A nice feature to add would be a “current posts” list to quickly navigate through the last 8-10 post headers without scrolling down all those pages (lazy, lazy me)! An image gallery would also be a great addition!

    So if you yearn for change, have some fun! Your current layout works very well, but I’m sure you can come up with twists that we’ll all love! Layout aside, your content couldn’t be better! :)

  10. Elle says:

    I’ve only been reading for a few months, but I personally really like the layout. I also know nothing about Twitter or anything like that (yup, the worst 25-year-old you’ll ever meet in terms of technological knowledge…I, uh, know how to use my iPod…) so I’m helpless in that area, but I do like the idea of an image gallery and a “recent posts” menu. I think your site is awesome and easy to navigate, and the content is always great. :)

  11. Elena says:

    Hey Karen,

    I love your blog the way it is, but I can understand wanting a redesign just for fun. I echo the suggestion that a new banner is a quick & easy way to spice up a website (but I really like this one a lot). Since you review such a diverse range of products, I’d love to see all the brands you’ve reviewed in the “Categories” listing for easy searching. :)

    If you were to change anything else, you could try widening the main center box and shortening the length of the page in general. This could give more attention to the most recent posts and a shorter page would make it easier for the page to load faster, too. Also (though I’m not sure how much control you have over the placement of the ads) you could try lowering the left side ad and raising the “Link Love” to the “Categories” level so that they frame the most recent post.

    Honestly, though, the site looks great and is by-far one of the best organized sites I’ve seen online. Twitter could be fun, but honestly I don’t think it’s so necessary for someone who updates their blog as often and detailed as you do. It’s awesome as is, Karen. :D

  12. Jenna says:

    Seriously, your blog has my favorite layout of all the ones I read. Don’t change it!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi ladies,

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far! This feedback is so helpful. :)

    Keep ‘em coming!

  14. me :) says:

    Hi Karen! I’ve been a silent reader since you started this blog. I purchased my first MAC lipstick (mellow flame!) because of your review and because I could finally see how lipstick looks on someone that has the same coloring as me (I’m filipina too!). Anyway, one suggestion I would make is to perhaps break down your categories into more specific groups – like eye looks (purple/neutral/pink etc) and things like swatches. Anyway, keep up the great work!

  15. Dao says:

    Hi Karen,

    One thing I need to say before I forget: more Tabs! If you can make him a guest blogger, I’d love to see that too :) Your blog has a very homely vibe and I love it. I don’t care about the ads at all. They’re ok and well placed. Wow, you’ve gone a very long way. I’m still learning the rope. Please do share your experience to a newbie. I really appreciate it!

    Daos last blog post..My Makeup Blog Poll

  16. Louise Gray says:

    Hi,
    Compared to other blogs, I like yours best. It is not cluttered up with junk. It is eye-catching without being distracting. The only suggestion that I would make and please bear in mind, that I am low-tech, is the following. Sometimes, when I want to post a reply, there are several places on the bottom of the blog which may be linked to a previous post and probably noone reads them because they are “old news” . I have sometimes posted there and the dates are in the past. So I am saying that it is a little confusing on the bottom for some of us “elders” who still want to communicate. Otherwise, I do like your format. Louise

  17. Erin says:

    I love this blog, so don’t do anything drastic. I think a little color change, and a banner change would be sufficient for me! I’d like a pic of you in that banner, maybe with Tabs LOL!

  18. Amanda says:

    Karen,
    I love your blog! It’s my favorite one…it’s just about perfect IMO. So I don’t think it needs any type of major overhaul. I don’t do Twitter either so I have no opinion on that, and as for ads, yup they can kind of be a nuisance but yours aren’t. As you said it helps pay the “blog rent”. :-)

    As someone else said already, the things I appreciate the most are the content, not cosmetic things (haha-I’m punny). Your personal style, always responding to comments, care in writing and reviews (a big thanks for not just regurgitating the press releases as Kelly said), all the “little touches”…Tabs, your humor, your love of C. Bale….I feel like we’ve gotten to “know” Karen and that you are a trusted beauty lovin’ friend. That’s what I love most. :-) So whatever you decide to do on the outside of the blog, if you keep the content the same I’ll be happy!

  19. Tiffany says:

    Hey Karen! I also think that the layout is great as it is, but I like change, so I think some small changes would probably be fun and shake things up. My only complaint is that sometimes the ads on the left enlarge and cover part of the middle column so I can’t read the post and I have to refresh until it works itself out. I don’t know if this is happening because of my browser or screen size or what. But I understand that ads are totally necessary.

    I looove the games! They are super awesome! and I don’t use twitter so I can’t help you there.

  20. Tiera says:

    Hi Karen!

    As someone who is very responsive to visuals, I can see why after a good long 16 months you might think it’s time for a change! And what a great thing about blogs, they can be updated as often as you’d like!

    I like the simplicity of your design. It’s not “in your face” with too much color or clashing elements. It’s extraordinarily easy to navigate and overall very user-friendly. I also like that it’s very cohesive. The color theme runs repeatedly through every page and similar headers/fonts are used so as not to confuse readers.

    I think twitter can be a great social and networking tool. I’ve only been on it for a few weeks, but I’m incredibly addicted! And you can even set it up so that it posts when you’ve put up a new blog entry, which can be great for getting your twitter followers to come on over to the blog! And since twitter is such a simple tool, non-bloggers are all over it, too. The posts are very short, so more people are inclined to use it more often. It can often be a source of ideas or where you can find out what your friends + readers are interested in.

    HTH!

  21. Denise says:

    I love the layout of your blog. I would just change to banner to an image of someone like you, if you know what I mean:) Or just use an image of your cat. I use my cat in my blog design too – I just had a series of illustrations of her made in several outfits and poses and I use them for everything.

    I love everything else. The background is perfect and I love the way you use Comic Life. Good luck on your redesign:)

  22. Meaghan says:

    Hi Karen-
    I love your blog! Don’t change a thing! It so user friendly and I love the way you incorporate pictures. As someone already said, it is so refreshing to have someone post real reviews and not just regurgitating press releases. There’s a saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and I think it hits the nail right on the head!

    Meaghans last blog post..MAC’s Starflash/ Lustre Twin Collection Review and FOTD

  23. ParisB says:

    Hi Karen, I actually like your layout a lot. I find it easy to read and it looks good. I would however update the header and maybe do something about the navigation bar where it says Home and About. A dropdown categories listing would be useful but you don’t have a ton of categories so its still manageable. Otherwise everything looks great :)

    ParisBs last blog post..The Body Shop Deadly Desires – Autumn 2008

  24. Elyse says:

    Some things I’d probably want to change on your blog are…

    1. The layout’s width, which I think is contributed by your title image’s width of 1024px. Even though my screen is set to 1024×768, sizing it down to 1000px would allow me see whole layout (i.e. no horizontal scrollbars and reading words on the right such as “about” instead of “abo”).
    2. The number of columns. Two instead of three would be nice, especially since your content is much lengthier than the number of links and ads combined in one.
    3. The image on your header. A woman’s face smeared with cream is something I could do without. An artsy design, that cat with sunglasses, your comic-like blurbs, those infamous hearts you use on your fave products, or even a pic of yourself, is a much better replacement. Heck, those comic strips you make would really fit your blog’s main image.

    Other than that, I’m pretty content with everything else :)

  25. Marisol says:

    Time for Makeup and Beauty Blog 3.0?
    I think change is a good thing and if you feel like you are tired or bored with the layout, then change it up. I think you are extremely creative and would so something awesome. I loved the animation/comic book post you made yesterday (or the day before) so maybe you could do something like that for the banner. Like different pictures with your different beauty adventures.

    A menu at the top?
    I like the menu on the side because it is noticeable as I scroll through the blog. I don’t know how hard this would be but could you maybe do a drop down menu at the top of all the different brands you have reviewed.

    An Image Gallery?
    I think it would be great especially for all the FOTD’s that you do. Easier to scroll through them and pick one or two that perhaps we would want to recreate. Maybe a Flickr banner or something resembling that.

    Games, Contests, Twitter?
    I think Twitter would be awesome. I use it and became addicted to it. You could tweet when your new posts are up or anything you wanted to share with us. I like twitter because I get to know more about the bloggers that I follow.Games and contests will be fun too. I am still remember how addicted I was at the slot machine you posted not too long ago.

    Advertisements?
    I understand that you need to have advertisements in order to help cover the cost for the blog. Not sure if you have ever thought of doing a “tip Jar” on your blog. I am sure you have a paypal account and people could donate to your blog. I know that I would and I also know that every little bit helps. I doesn’t have to be too obvious but I think that a lot of your readers would tip for the awesome content that you produce. It could also maybe help pay for any contests that you may want to throw. Even if it just pays for the shipping that alone would help.

    I really like your blog and look forward to reading it every day. Thanks for all that you do. I like that you take the time to reply to every comment. It’s interactive and for the reader, it makes us feel good that you acknowledge our opinions and/or answer our questions.

    Marisols last blog post..…And Now You Know

  26. Karen says:

    Hey girlies!

    Ya’ll have been so helpful. Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer these questions. :) WOOT!

  27. Asta says:

    I agree. This site is pretty, tasteful and well set up. If you want to add content of course that’s fine! A place for us to submit pics would be neat, but I don’t know how feasible that is. Keep up the good blogging!

  28. xtina says:

    I think that games and contests sound wonderful! ;) As long as the images in your image gallery had links to the posts they pertain to, I believe it would be an intriguing idea. Also, if I had to choose colors I’d probably pick a mint green and a nice chocolatey brown. Always a nice color combination, or maybe a firecracker red and orange :) Whatever you decide, I’m sure I’ll love it.

  29. Ditte says:

    The pic in the top left corner in the top banner could be changed – you (thankfully) don’t review so many creams, so a pic with make-up or a beautiful made-up face (like yours) would be great.
    An image gallery would be cool – like make-up land fantasy ;) Otherwise I think the design is splendid.

  30. Miss QQ says:

    Hi Karen. I like how your blog looks clean, fresh and modern. It gives me a sense of well-being and pleasure when I arrive at your blog. Perhaps I like the colour scheme. :) I like the layout too. The advertisements are ok, they don’t get into my way.

    I would like it if the reply to a comment can be added directly below each comment. I do like the banner a lot but no doubt an updated version of it would give the blog a new look. But hopefully not something too different, lest the familarity and continuity of the blog is lost. A menu at the top is good! I like this blog more than the one before April 2007, which I just take a look. I only started reading your blog since around April 2008. Keep up the good work, Karen!

  31. Megan says:

    Hey Karen…as usual, you know i’m going to write a novel. I like the blog pretty well as is. One thing…the girl with the paint on her face does nothing for me. She never has. I typically don’t use the categories…as I try to keep up on a regular basis. I think an image gallery is a great idea…and to have that categorized would be awesome. I think that more contests would be great. There’s another blog on the network that I read from time to time that has way way more giveaways…and from my understanding that blogger get some stuff free by writing and asking the companies…stating she’ll do a review and a contest for exposure. My thing is that the topics and writing are much less to my tastes than your blog… but I love the contests. Games are not a priority to me…i would however love for you to keep up all your fun pictures/graphics etc. The ads are much better than they used to be and I don’t mind them.

    One thing that i think would be cool is if you could make the banner and menu bars static…so that when I get done reading I don’t have to scroll to the top to get back to home. Or you could put some buttons like home or return to top at the bottom (under the comments).

    I like the pink and grey…but I am with you… I think it might be time for some updates. I’m such a dork…I just looked through my mail archives and on 9/18 it will be my one year anniversary of reading your blog…anyway I think if you stick the with same colors, you should switch it up a little…maybe put a subtle (not too busy) pink pattern on the darker grey background…or reverse the colors… i honestly don’t know. If it were me…I would just play with it for awhile.(Honestly…lets face it…if it were me, it would be blue… LOL)

    Another thing that I know i’ve said before…but I know logistically is hard is that I sometimes wish you were much paler with pink undertones so I could see how your swatches would look on me. Maybe you could occasionally feature a friend for pics. So btw the thought just crossed my mind about putting makeup on Tabs…and reminded me that my cousin used to have a white cat named snowball…and he got painted on more than one occasion… in fact he had pink spots for quite some time…but she was only 5 at the time..so it’s hard to blame her.

  32. Betsy says:

    I would say that I like it just the way it is now!
    Too many games detract with the content..I like your style, your layout, your way of reaching out to your readers. In other words…don’t change a thing Karen!

    Betsys last blog post..Memories from France II: l’embarras du choix

  33. Beth says:

    I love the blog as it is. In fact [retty much every time I stop by I look at it and think “God, I wish my blog looked as good as this..”

    I like the idea of there being a picture of you in the banner though, its your blog after all!

    Beths last blog post..Late-Summer Clean and a serious case of the What If’s

  34. jeannie says:

    Hi Karen!
    Can you please tell me how you switched from wordpress.com to wordpress.org? I was worried b/c I’m not that web savvy and wouldn’t know how to build a layout. Can you please email me and let me know? tokyostargirl@live.com
    Thanks so much!

    jeannies last blog post..threading

  35. Erin says:

    I think a gallery would be a neat idea. One suggestion is when you’re swatching things if you could show them on the actual lip or eye, and without any additional products? You seem to usually try on a lip liner, lipstick and gloss all at once, which looks nice but doesn’t really show me what the individual pieces look like.

    Oh, and more of that cute kitty! :)

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