Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

I honestly couldn't tell you what enticed me to pick up one of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the first place, but boy was I surprised when I first applied it. The consistency is a weird'un and I'm still trying to figure out the best way to describe it to people who haven't used them. It's weird, but in the kind of way that makes you want to buy a second one immediately (which I did). 

So let's get to trying to explain exactly how these lip lacquers are weirder than the rest. When you first begin to apply the product with the classic doe foot applicator, this stuff is wet. The incredibly wetness makes it so you have just the right amount of time to coat your lips fully (or fail miserably) before it dries. And it doesn't budge when it's dry. The liquid consistency at the start gives you time to really line your lips and fill them in before it sets to a nice matte finish. The first few times I really struggled getting a clean line around my lips as I'm used to just slapping a MAC lipstick on and not really caring about the edges. This takes a bit more patience, but the pay off is definitely worth it.

The first shade I picked up is the darker one of the two, "Lolita." Although it looks somewhat harmless as a hand swatch, this baby packs some serious vamp power. It's by far the darkest product I own and on most occasions I just apply a really light layer to not go too crazy. It's the best "dark" shade I could imagine though as it still has that mauve quality that I look for in most (read: all) of my lip products.

In an effort to branch out a bit and move down the color spectrum a bit, I picked up "Berlin" almost seconds after first trying "Lolita" (the VIB sale was good to me). Ironically enough this one is the pinkest lip color I own. In one product line I managed to get two extremes. I personally would wear another lipstick on top of this one as I'm not crazy about how it looks matte, but the color payoff is insanely rich and vibrant. Definitely a spring/summer color if I've ever seen one.

I really wish the range had more "wearable" colors, but I also like the fact that they're a little bit more adventurous. They aren't the basic shades which I've grown so happy with, but they're a clever blend of wearable, but still make a statement.

Have you ever tried these before? What shades are your favorite?


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Plan with Me | Animals on Bikes Theme

Happy Wednesday and Happy Plan with Me Day! This week I went to a completely new color scheme and love how it turned out. I also used another one of my Michael's sticker books to snazz things up. When I saw the "Ride my Bike" sticker book I thought it was just silly enough to be perfect. Tons of animals riding bikes? That needs to go into my planner. I also feature this weekly set from KG Planner that inspired the entire weekly layout! 

I'm not crazy about the way the lighting turned out in this video and I'm still on the hunt for the perfect setup and lighting for these videos. There aren't tons of locations I can film these in my apartment so I have to get creative. Next week I'm switching things up even more and departing from the white table to see how that works out! I'm sure I'll find a good setup soon and we'll be set for the next hundred plan with me videos!

What's your planner spread this week?

xoxo Kayla

Tips for Working with Brands

Let me start off this post by saying, I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to blogger/brand relationships as I've only done a handful myself. Like most/all advice posts, take it with a grain of salt and ultimately form your own opinions. But if you've never or only recently starting working with brands, these tips could come in a lot of help to make sure you are getting the most out of the collaboration.

  1. Create a disclaimer/update your current one so when you do start working with brands, they clearly understand how you handle partnerships. If you aren't sure how to write one, take a look at other, bigger bloggers' disclaimers and then recreate one for yourself. It also helps to better define your brand when it comes to collaborations.
  2. Be yourself when talking to brands. No brand wants you to be some cookie-cutter blogger doing the same thing. They contacted you for a reason, so let your personality shine through your emails and blog posts! 
  3. Know your worth and equally important, your blog's worth. It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of working with a brand, but don't let them push you around or dictate how you're going to write about their products. It's your blog at the end of the day, and there is value in that!
  4. It's ok to say no if you don't think a product is right for your brand and blog. There is a fine line between featuring products that make sense, and featuring things just because you got them as pr samples. Ask yourself if the products fit with your type of blog.
  5. Communicate with the brands throughout the whole process. Let them know when the products arrive, when you plan to write about the products, and do a follow up to thank them. I made this super handy sticker for the back of my planner to help me keep track of all the communication going in and out with each collaboration. Plus you should also provide them a link to your disclaimer so they know exactly how you handle pr samples. Open communication makes the brand feel like they're getting a good return on their investment and you look more professional.
  6. Stay honest in your reviews and communications about the brand and products. If you sincerely don't like the product, communicate that fact with the brand and/or your audience. Your disclaimer should clearly state that you give your honest opinions, whether or not they are good or bad. You may choose to not write a review if you know it's going to be negative, but you shouldn't feel afraid to write it if that's exactly how you feel.
  7. Understand that brand collaborations do not mean your blog is successful. A brand collaboration is great, but you shouldn't base your blog's value with how many you get. Sometimes you'll get two or three in a row, then nothing for months. That doesn't make or break your blog. Your blog is you and no amount of brand collaborations should change that fact.

As I said in the beginning of this post, it's up to you how you want to handle any aspect of your blog. There are so many grey areas in blogging, which make it exciting and confusing all at the same time. These are ways I've found to work for me when dealing with brands, and they may (or may not) work for you. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to value what you've created while making educated choices with brand collaborations. 

What are your tips for working with brands?

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Current Hair Routine

For a girl whose hair looks relatively the same every day, I sure use a lot of products. My hair is that kind of stubborn thin but plentiful variety that products do literally nothing to. So when I find a product that can do anything to it, it's a fast favorite. Since my hair can only accomplish varying degrees of straight, I opt for that messy, undone look and these products help me do it. I definitely don't use them all in one day, but a mixture of them will get the job done.

One product I use more than all the rest is the Living proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. This thick cream goes into the hair when it's still damp and provides a lot of volume and texture during the blow drying process. Suddenly my hair doesn't look so limp and lifeless any more. It doesn't last the entire day as my hair is super skilled at getting oily and falling flat, but it at least gives it the best chance I've ever seen.

Up next is a fairly new addition, but I've really been enjoying adding the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish to my hair when it needs a bit of a revival. This is a great product to use when my hair inevitably falls flat throughout the day when using the Living proof product. It helps to mess up my locks even more for a perfect, "I've just walked around the city for hours" look. The Bb Thickening Hairspray and the Surf Spray both do similar things to my hair. The salt spray definitely does not give me beachy waves, but it does provide that grit and texture I always have my eye out for.

Bb Texture is probably my least used product out of my hair care lineup as I find it a bit difficult to use. It's a cream like the Living proof offering, but leaves my hair a bit crunchy and hard to manage if I use too much. I'm still trying to find that golden zone as I know this product could really help my hair game once I perfect it.

I picked up this deluxe sample of the Living Proof Instant Texture Mist during one order or another from Sephora. It's surprising what this little baby can do and whenever I use a Living proof product I'm always happily surprised with the results. It's yet another texture giving product, but this one does it in a more subtle way. It provides a little lift and just the right amount of volume, but doesn't have the "BAM!" power of the others. A good alternative if I've ever seen one.

I'm always on the look out for good texturizing products and anything to give me natural looking volume. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

xoxo Kayla

Monday, May 18, 2015

Best Board Games | May 2015

Playing board games is one of my favorite ways to relax while having some social time with friends and family. It's so easy to bring out a board game and have some simple, cheap fun. I wanted to start a series to share my favorite board games with all of you! Each month I'll be talking you through 3-4 different games we've been enjoying for the past month. This month we've been all about Escape The Curse of the Temple, Mr. Jack, and the newly acquired Resistance. Each are quite different, but are good for a variety of different sized groups and skill levels. 

I hope you enjoy this new series! What board games have you been enjoying recently?

xoxo Kayla

Sunday, May 17, 2015

365 Days of Photos: 122-134

With the tulip festival last weekend I thought it best to just group two weeks worth of 365 photos into one post as to not bombard people with tons of photo heavy posts in one day. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but Alex and I keep pushing through, checking things off our to do lists, and still managing to get some sleep every once in a while. 

[122] Beer [123] Fondue [124] 3D Printer [125] Wonton soup [126] Tree [127] Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival [128] Glode [129] The Princess Bride playing cards [130] 3D printed bird feeder [131] Local Flint resident [132] Lights [133] Lawn ornaments [134] Park

Saturday, May 16, 2015

This Week's Most Loved #65

There have been quite a few beauty bits joining the ranks in my collection lately. It's been a whirlwind of new products, testing things out, and falling in love. There are quite a few favorites this week and every single one is a new product I couldn't be happier to have in my collection.

The Sephora VIB sale was quite the hit for me this year with a lot of good products coming out of it. I usually have one or two loves and the rest are just ok, but this time around they were all wins. The Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish is as good as I had dreamed it would be, but smells even better than I could imagine. It provides just the right amount of grit and texture to my hair, but nothing too crazy. Just the right amount of "lived in" style that I crave. I'm sure I'll be purchasing the full size soon.

I' keeping with my promise to rant and rave about the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue until I'm blue in the face. I'm obsessed. It's the kind of base that just makes my skin look flawless, glowy, and perfect. It's one of those products I just feel good wearing. The kind that gives me a boost of confidence and makes me think, "man I look good." It's going to take a  miracle of a product to beat out this bad boy any time soon. A fast holy grail that I'm sure is going to stick around for quite a while.

For concealer I've really been enjoying using my new Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. Although it smells a bit funny and doesn't last all day, the coverage it does provide is worth a reapplication later in the day. I don't usually have super long days and it lasts my entire work day (which is exactly what I need). The coverage is great and it doesn't look cakey or heavy under my eyes like other concealers do. It blends like a dream and the applicator is a doe foot with a very nice twist. Definitely worth checking out the next time you're near a Sephora.

The Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in "Lolita" is about two shades darker than I would have hoped, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I've fallen in love with it over the past few weeks. The consistency and formula of these liquid lipsticks are out of this world. They start of quite wet, but soon dry into a stain-like finish that lasts ages. I actually really enjoy the dark mauve of "Lolita," but you can definitely apply it with a light hand for something not so in your face.

The rest of my loves come from my good pal ChrissyLilly in Ireland. She was quite the doll and sent me over a lovely box of goodies with these three bits becoming fast favorites while I still test out the rest. The Max Factor Blush in "Seductive Pink" is my blush color. It's like this unicorn blend of peachy, pink tones that provide a gorgeous flush to the skin while lasting all day. The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in "Nude-ist" is just as great as she led on and now I'm even more upset I don't have these brands close at hand. There's always ASOS though if I'm feeling the itch. I would buy all the shades up in a heartbeat. 

I've also really been enjoying how great the Soap and Glory Solar Powder looks on my skin. It's the perfect amount of bronzey glow without making me worry about being too heavy handed. It's so easy to get the perfect amount on a brush with the two shades. Plus it's just gorgeous. I fell like one lucky gal for knowing ChrissyLilly!

I've been on a makeup high these past few weeks with a lot of exciting things coming down the pipes. Makeup has a way of getting me excited to wake up in the mornings and play a little bit more. So many great products, so little time.

What have you been loving this week?