Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blogging While Busy

With my first day of graduate school tomorrow and working full time, I know a thing or two about blogging while being busy. I'm going to be busier than I've ever been before when I step foot into my first graduate class, so I thought I'd share with you some tips and tricks to be able to keep blogging while busy.

Plan Ahead: Although this is something that you should be doing regardless of how busy you are, planning your posts ahead of time can really save you. I plan my posts on average two weeks in advance, that way I know what photos need to be taken, what features are coming up, and so I'm not rushing last minute to write up a post the day it goes live. Plus I don't have to constantly be thinking up brilliant ideas at a moment's notice.

Take Bulk Photos: Another good habit to get into regardless of how packed your planner is, taking a bunch of post photos at one time is loads faster and much easier. You already have your camera set up, you're in the mindset of taking photos, and there will only be one mess to clean up. I usually take my photos on Saturday mornings when the light is good and I don't have to rush off to work.

Take Stock Photos: The photo for this post was taken probably two to three months ago. I like to take a few "stock" photos whenever I'm doing a bulk photo shoot that can easily be used for any type of post. That way if I'm in a pinch for a post, I already have good non-specific photos on hand rather than having to take more photos at the last minute.

Guest Bloggers: If you find that you're just too swamped one week to post as much as you'd like, having people guest blog is a great way to get new content up while introducing your readers to a blog they may not have known about. If you're interested in guest blogging on microscopebeauty.com just shoot me an email at microscopbeauty@gmail.com!

Cut Back Your Posting Schedule: One of the biggest changes I'll be making to not drown myself in work and stress is cutting back my posting schedule. I've been posting seven days a week for about six months now without much trouble, but I really want to give myself the weekend to focus on homework and other tasks. I'll be posting during the weekdays only for the foreseeable future. 

Just because you're busy doesn't mean you can't keep blogging! Just stay focused and spend what time you do have wisely! I'd love to know what tips you have for blogging while being busy.

xoxo Kayla

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Favorites

On occasion there's a month that pops up where I do quite a lot of damage to my bank account. August saw a lot of new beauty purchases, but I also rediscovered an old favorite. My stash saw quite the change around after my huge clean out, but these products definitely came to the front this month as some real gems. I'm back with another favorites video rather than just a post too!

What were your favorite beauty products for August?

xoxo Kayla

Friday, August 29, 2014

Birchbox Man "Summer Camp"

My boyfriend Alex is back with his final review of his three month subscription to Birchbox Man.

This month's Birchbox was my last one and was part good and part bad.

Dr. Squatch Bar Soap (full size $6)
I was super excited to try this as I love the smell of pine. Many happy memories consist of sitting around a bonfire with the smell of fresh cut pine burning. The black nature of the soap was initially bizarre but left no negative side effects once rubbed into a wash cloth. The issue with this soap is that within a few minutes of using it and being out of the shower you have the sensation that your skin is being attacked by every insect with a bite or sting that leaves a horrible itch. I thought maybe it was just the weather so I used the soap at least 5 times. Each ending with me looking like Baloo rubbing his back on a tree. Such a let down.

Baxter of California Deodorant (full size $18)
This deodorant has a very fresh citrus smell and although it must be reapplied later in the day I enjoyed the occasional waft of lemon fizz when I checked to see how it was doing. I am not in love with this product but a solid product it is. Sadly the sample came in a push pop style similar to a Flintstones ice cream and I accidentally popped it out of the container at least once during each application. I hope the full sized version does not have this problem.

Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm (full size $12)
HUZZAH! This came right as my lips were drying out and I was going to the store to get lip balm. This stuff works! My lips immediately turned from desert to oasis after a few seconds of absorption. It does look like a medical ointment and some of my friends asked what the medicine was for but for how effective this was I will take any strange looks. Loved how it was pocket sized to take with me.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (full size $32.95)
THIS STUFF IS THE JAM! So there I am in the shower after a hard night of libations and excess and my face felt like I slept in a deep fryer. So I thought what better time than now to try and see how this stuff works. Bam! After a few seconds of rubbing it in and a quick rinse I felt like I just shed every poor decision away. I felt refreshed, the scent has a light citrus notes that perk you up and I really felt much better. It works so well I am looking forward to the next hangover to use it again.

Bison Made Double Wrap Bracelet ($40)
Wrist Wrap: Tasteful, simple, and practical. I like this because it can be, as Kayla says, dressed up or down. It looks great with a polo and nice khakis on or just a T-shirt and jeans. It really is a simple piece of jewelry that I would not have gotten for myself but now if I lost it would quickly buy another. Out of the three Birchboxes this is most likely my favorite thing!

My experience with Birchbox Man has been surprisingly pleasant one. I was not sure if I would be able to enjoy the face scrubs and body washes the way Kayla does but honestly they do a great job of sending you some really unique and interesting products. I am definitely asking for a re-subscription come holiday time. I really look forward to receiving it each month and seeing what new products I get to explore.

Get it for your guy for sure, he may not like it right away but after the first one he will understand how great a gift it truly is!

Would you give a Birchbox to your boyfriend or a man in your life?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Makeup Collection Clean Out & Organization

When Alex and I moved into our new apartment I decided to switch up my makeup organization and start keeping it in the drawer of my beauty desk rather than in my IKEA Alex unit. Since then things have gotten cluttered and out of hand. I even had an overflow drawer across the room for all the makeup that couldn't fit. It was definitely time for a makeup collection clean out! Check out the video to see my three easy steps and how I got on with the process. I feel great about getting rid of so many products I just wasn't using and now having everything in one easy to access place.

Are you in need of a makeup collection clean out? How do you organize your makeup?

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Reading List #3

Hands up if you're an internet junkie (raises hand as high as possible). I'm constantly on the computer be it at work or during my free time. So I do my fair share of blog reading, YouTube video watching, and just general surfing of the net. Here are a few things I've been reading and loving lately.

I'm obsessed with this blog that makes crafts out of washi tape. Now I just have to muster the courage to try a few myself.
A nicely compiled list of freelance advice from around the web.
This up-and-coming beauty YouTuber who is so cute and surprisingly good at what she does. I could learn a thing or two!
An amazingly classy way to feature a bra on a blog. Inspiration for a future post perhaps?
This handy craft show to do list to make a potential craft show in my future a breeze.
This couple's amazing vlogs. They're so cute and I love them!

What have you been loving on the internet lately?

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette + Giveaway

 Tarte deserves a standing ovation for this one. Just take a look at this beauty. I don't think I've ever found a palette more beautiful. It was definitely love at first sight and after a few weeks of pining over it I decided to just purchase it. 

Six shadows, a highlighter, a bronzer, and a blush in a beautiful circle palette. Whoever decided to make a circle palette was a freakin' genius. I feel so posh whenever I bring this bad boy out. Following the orchid trend the palette leans more towards the purple spectrum which I'm obsessed with lately. I'm also proud of myself for finally buying a palette that isn't primarily neutral. It may not be a completely neutral palette, but all of the shades are incredibly wearable. The shadows are creamy, a dream to blend, and always get me compliments. Seriously. Every time I wear any shadows from this palette someone compliments my makeup. A beautiful palette that guarantees a little ego boost? I'm already sold.

In the eye look I used "Up to No Gold" all over the lid, "Plum Away with Me" on the outer corner, "Make a Mauve" lightly in the crease, and "Bare to Explore" up to the brow bone. I tend to have a light hand when applying eye makeup (I'm working on getting more confident in my skill and going darker, but I digress), but the contrast between the gold and the purple really makes the look pop. This is definitely a do everything kind of palette. You have everything you need for a face of makeup and eye shadow shades that make it easy to transition from day to night. Everything about this palette is wonderful! My only compliant is that the bronzer is a touch too orange for my liking. With some extra blending though it still looks great.

After featuring the palette in a recent this week's most loved post there were a lot of the comments from readers drooling over this baby. Plus there were also a lot of comments from UK readers saying they wish they could get this palette, but it's not available there. I love this palette so much I wanted to share it with you! So as a thank you for being such loyal readers I'm giving one away! The giveaway is open internationally and you must be 18 years old or have parental consent. The giveaway will end in one week and I'll contact the winner with the email they use for the Rafflecopter giveaway. Thanks again for being such loyal readers and good luck!

What do you think of this palette? Would you wear lighter day looks with it like I do or vamp things up for a purple smokey night look?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Unloved #4

With makeup coming into my life on a weekly basis, it's easy to forget once loved products in favor of the newest trinket. A recent makeup clean out (you'll see and read more about this on Thursday!) had me sorting through my stash and uncovering a lot of products that have gone unloved lately.

I used to be obsessed with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils (full size $20) and used nothing else to tight line my eyes, but I've set them aside for a few months now and have been using a Stila offering instead. These liners produce the darkest line I've ever seen and last ages. I definitely need to throw them back into my makeup rotation or at the very least get a brown for more everyday wear.

More as just a general note, I've fallen out of love with eye shadow primers. I used to swear by them, but lately it just doesn't seem as important. Sure my eye shadow may not last a couple hours longer, but by five o'clock I'm ready to get home and take all my makeup off anyway. The extra step of an eye shadow primer just isn't in the routine anymore.

The Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipsticks from the Kate Moss Collection ($2.59 each) were some of my favorite matte lipsticks to wear back in the day when I was discovering makeup. Now I've hardly ever touched them and think it's time to part ways. They're just not my cup of tea anymore and my matte lip days seem to be behind me. I'm sure a friend will love them more than I am!

When I stumbled upon Essie's "Vested Interest" ($8.50) during my makeup clean out I couldn't believe that I forgot about it! A lovely denim green shade I used to love the death out of this. I'm sure it'll be back on my fingers in no time with fall peeking its head around summer. It's more of an autumn shade anyway.

What makeup has been going unloved in your stash?

xoxo Kayla