Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keeping it Simple

If you're looking at the photo thinking, "that's simple?!" I feel ya. Yet I can do all of these steps in a matter of five minutes to produce a simple makeup look that works even on my most tired of days.

For me, primer is a must and I look no further than my raved over Stila One Step Correct. On days where I'm keeping it super simple I'll wear just this as a base. It evens out my complexion while adding a little bit more hydration. For base I've been mixing together my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with a bit of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I was still on the fence about the Laura Mercier offering until I combined with with the NARS one. The perfect shade and I can really tell the difference the Laura Mercier moisturizer adds. The Bobbi Brown Corrector in "Light Bisque" is just the thing to cover up any pesky under eye circles that love to linger. Then I sweep a little bit of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in "Fearless". The bold pink pop adds just the right amount of life to my skin.

For the eye area it's an easy few steps. First it's brows and I bounce between the Anastasia Brow Wiz in "Light Brown" and my other brow pencils. Then I take a combination of the Maybelline Color Tattoo in "Sleek & Spice" and mix it with "Chocolate Suede" for the perfect shimmery bronze. I dab a bit more of "Chocolate Suede" on the corners of my lids, sweep on some of Clinique's High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara (a full review is coming soon), and my eyes are done.

For lips I wish I could tell you I get adventurous, but it's MAC "Syrup" almost on the daily for me. I found my lost tube when cleaning out my car one day, so now I have two. Perfectly fine by me as I struggle to wear anything but.

I'm sure I can simplify my makeup routine down even more, but this provides me just enough coverage to make me feel like I'm looking good no matter what day it is.

What do you do for your simple makeup routine?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Paints

When I stumbled upon the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Paints in the drugstore aisle a few weeks ago I couldn't get them into my basket fast enough. I resisted the urge to buy them all and picked up "Rich Russet" and "Pomegranate." They seemed like the perfect lazy girl's tool for an easy makeup look. I've used them for a few weeks and am diligently reporting back my findings. Buckle up for a mixed review.

The packaging and applicator are great. It's sort of a spongy tip but remains firm when brushed across the lids. There is plenty of product in the tubes so these will last you for quite a while. The pigmentation is fantastic and they last all day without fading.

Yet I find that I still haven't figured out the best way to apply them. At first I just swept a little of the product on my lids and then blending out with my fingers, but the results were faint and not as pigmented as I wanted. I then tried using the applicator to brush the product all over my lid. It provided a much more pigmented result, but the product felt quite wet and I worried it wasn't fully dry when I wanted to move on to my next step. It oddly enough felt wet on the lids, but I couldn't seem to blend out the sharp line well. So it was wet yet dry at the same time. I took a brush and went at it for a while and managed to get a decent blend in the end. I love the way it looked after all was said and done, but the process was less than ideal.

If you have time and energy to spend with this product to get it just right, you won't be disappointed. It has some serious pigmentation and staying power. But as a lazy girl's best friend it doesn't get a passing grade. I'll definitely keep using them and recommend them to friends, but won't be bringing them out on mornings I'm running late.

Have you tried these yet? What are your thoughts?

xoxo Kayla

Friday, January 23, 2015

This Week's Most Loved #54

When I was gathering products for this post it became quite clear that I have been gravitating towards the bronzey shades lately. Be it in product or packaging, I've been all about it. Up first is the newest addition to my Maybelline Color Tattoos collection, "Chocolate Suede." Although this is quite similar to "Bad to the Bronze," I wanted to give their Leather collection a go. I still like "Bad to the Bronze" more, but really enjoy the deeper muddier shade of "Chocolate Suede." It's exactly the same consistency and pigmentation of the other Color Tattoos and a welcome addition to my little flock.

Although I gave the NARS "Tolede" Lipstick a mixed review a few months ago, I've found myself loving it on days where I don't want to wear a "look I'm wearing lipstick" color. Which, believe it or not, has been happening quite a lot lately. I love that it evens out my lip color and lasts ages. So much ease!

The Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm has found itself in my routine this week. I've been mixing it in with my primer to add another level of skin unifying goodness. I don't like the smell of this stuff, but when it's mixed with another product I can barely notice. I don't think it's a "run out and buy right away" kind of product, but it's been nice to throw it into the mix.

The Almay Intense I-Color Shimmer Eyeshadow for Green Eyes (mine are blue but whatever) is back and better than ever this week. I used to be downright obsessed with this trio for it's easy, pigmentation, and blendability. It's the perfect palette for mornings when you just can't be bothered to spend a lot of time thinking about what eye shadows to blend together. I ignored it for quite a while in favor of other palettes, but I've been more than happy to return to it this week.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Fake Looking Awake

When it comes to mornings, I'm all too familiar with them. They come too soon and leave me looking like I went to a crazy party the night before even though I just worked on Etsy orders. I've become quite skilled at using makeup to give the appearance that I got my beauty sleep the night before. 

Enjoy the video and let me know what you do to fake looking awake!

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Taking a Beauty Risk

Even if you've only been reading this blog for a week, you'll know that I am not one to take beauty risks. I like my routines, my-lips-but-better lipsticks, and keeping things simple. Yet I've suddenly found myself with an itch to start exploring makeup avenues I used to avoid. And I need your help.

I've always been incredibly interested by contouring, but don't have a clue where to begin. Any advice, product recommendations, videos to watch, or tips in general would be greatly appreciated. I'm a fairly pale person so dark contouring products are definitely out. I understand the basic technique to get a good contour, but just can't seem to get it right. Can you just use a bronzer for contouring or do you need something special?

I'm also very stuck in my ways when it comes to lipsticks. There is a color zone that I stay within if I plan to our not and I'd love to start trying to break out of it. I've had red lips on the brain since becoming obsessed with Taylor Swift and her new CD, so any good red lip recommendations for a red lip phobic person like myself would be fantastic. I'm not afraid to go bold if the lipstick is just that good. I'm ready to take a risk.

It's easy to be perfectly happy in a routine and never even think about changing, but I want to mix things up and test my limits. I've been mulling over a big fashion shift as well (more on this in the future I'm sure) and thought I'd shake it up across the board and throw makeup into the mix too.

As always you guys are the perfect source for advice and recommendations so I'm eagerly awaiting to see what gems you put in the comments.

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 Products to Buy This Month

These products will be quite familiar to you if you're a regular reader of Microscope Beauty. I've ranted and raved about them time and time again so it was about time I brought them all together to share what products you should buy this month if you're feeling spendy.

My love for Stila seems to know no bounds and the Stila in the Light Palette is definitely my most beloved palette (and last I checked on sale for $20! What?!?). The usage this baby gets. Even if it's just to use the fantastically large mirror to see my makeup up close, I can confidently say I use this on a daily basis. The color range is phenomenal as well as the color payoff. The shades are wearable and easy to blend. It can do no wrong in my book. Now to just get my hands on some of the other palettes Stila does...

I won't go too into the Clinique Chubby Stick in "Grandest Grape" since it does have an entire post dedicated to it, but if you haven't tried any of the balms from this line you are missing out big time. The Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray exceeds my expectations time and time again. It's a snap to spritz on my face in the mornings and I can actually see a difference in my makeup after application. I've always been a fan of the dewy look and this takes it one step closer to perfection.

I'm trying to not exhaust you with constant ramblings about the Too Faced Melted Liquefied Lipstick in "Melted Fig" but my damn is this stuff pigmented. The color pay off is out of this world, application is a breeze, and I'm so glad I got over my weird silly qualms over the packaging to give it a go. I have my sights on more, that's for sure.

A product that I downright adore but haven't seemed to give it the attention it deserves is the Stila Smudge Stick in "Damsel". The best liner I've used to date, hands down. Pigmented, creamy, no pulling, lasts ages. Everything you could possibly want and an impressive shade range to boot. 

What products would you recommend that I just have to buy this month?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, January 19, 2015

Where I Get My Stationery

I try as best I can to be minimalist when it comes to material possessions, but I can't say no to some good stationery. If I feel like I'm not alone in this constant need for more paper goods so I thought I'd round up my favorite places to buy stationery supplies!

  • Target's Dollar Spot is a mecca for stationery goodies. I swear I go a couple of times a week just to peek at their dollar section to see if they've put out anything new. Their Valentine's stuff is the best I've seen to date and I'm already getting excited to see what is in store for St. Patrick's Day. Their actual stationery section is also amazing if you're looking for something particular or want a set of cards.
  • Rifle Paper Co is a must for the beauty blogger. It's like if you don't own the set of Botanical Journals and use them occasionally in blog photos then you aren't a real beauty blogger. I'm sure that's not really the case, but they're the perfect little journals to add to photography, make your desk prettier, and to just cheer a girl up. The hilarious thing is I actually haven't written in any of the ones I own. I use them strictly for blog photos.
  • Paper Source is one of those stores that I don't shop at often, but I when I do I leave with a huge haul of stationery goodies. They also have an amazing selection of home-ware and gifts. I have to stop myself almost daily from buying the entire doughnut collection.
  • Etsy is filled with different shops that are selling some seriously amazing paper goods at reasonable prices. I recently discovered this shop from the Netherlands that sells downright adorable sticky note sets. I may have scooped up a bunch of them to decorate my planner with...a haul is imminent.
I would love to hear your favorite places to scoop up stationery as I'm always looking for an excuse to buy more! Do you hoard stationery like I do? What do you use those adorable little journals for?

xoxo Kayla