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OH, HELLO



I'm Kayla. A 20-something obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time.


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4.30.2015

Lindi Skin Products





I'll be the first to admit that I'm a snob when it comes to skincare. I very rarely change my routine and often stick to the same products time and time again. Yet I decided to shake off my silly prejudices for once and have not been disappointed. 

What got me first was the story behind Lindi Skin. Originally created for people with compromised, sensitive skin (like cancer patients), these products are safe for the most sensitive areas. I personally have fairly resilient skin, but the tops of my cheeks are oddly sensitive to the point I usually avoid putting any sort of mask or peel on them. At first I worried I shouldn't be using a brand designed for people with cancer and other aliments, but found myself being silly for not wanting to try out a brand just based on who their primary market is.

The packaging is gorgeous. Heavy, luxurious feeling glass bottles with great pumps and secure tops. I get such a vintage, luxury vibe from this brand and I can't get enough. I've kept these on my counter top as I've been giving them a solid test out just because they're so pretty.

My favorite products are definitely the Lindi Lavender Face Serum and Lindi Lip Balm. The face serum is the gentlest I've used and left my skin feeling soft and nourished with no irritation. It smells light and not too strong . I like that in skin care. I don't want to be overwhelmed with the smell of roses or herbs. A little goes a long way too which I always love and my skin just feels happier. The lip balm reminds me a lot of the Burts Bees line, but closer to the consistency and feel of Vaseline I love so much. It's incredibly hydrating and helped heal my cracked lips. All you could want in a lip balm.

I don't necessarily dislike the other two products I tested, but they won't beat out the products in my normal routine. The Lindi Face Wash is incredibly thin and watery and I found it a bit hard to work with. I'm used to thicker face washes and found myself fumbling around. The scent was interesting, but not unpleasant. I just didn't feel like it got my face truly clean. I usually double cleanse as it is, but it only took off a bit of my makeup rather than cleaning everything off. It's definitely a great gentle alternative if you have sensitive skin, but isn't a miracle worker in cleaning off makeup.

The Lindi Eye Hydrator also didn't overly impress me, but most eye products don't. I never find that they do anything for my under eyes that sleep and water won't do better. The gel consistency is enjoyable and the packaging divine. The product sinks right into the skin nicely, but I just don't think I'm an eye cream kind of gal.

I'm proud of myself for giving a new skincare brand an honest test out. I've found a few great products I'm definitely going to enjoy including in my daily routine. Lindi Skin is definitely a brand to check out for sensitive skin gals.

Have you tried any new skincare brands lately? What do you think of Lindi Skin Products?

xoxo Kayla
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4.29.2015

Blushing Goodbyes


When it comes to the minimalist life quest, I'm definitely not perfect. I can't escape a good Sephora VIB sale and sometimes I break down in Forever21 and buy a top that I already own and love in a different color. Those weaknesses aside I feel like I'm starting to really make wise purchase decisions and understand what should or shouldn't remain in my life. 

Lately I've been eyeing my blush drawer knowing there are a few blushes hiding away in there that I haven't used for ages. They managed to escape my early spring clean, but the time felt right to say goodbye to them. Plus I recently purchased a Bobbi Brown blush trio so I really didn't need all of these. The bottom two are from random brands that I decided to give a go (LiSi Cosmetics and Sleek) and just didn't fall in love with them. The top two are from Revlon and NYX and were once loved, but just aren't ones I reach for that often anymore. They are taking up space and are a perfect means to show a little bit of my minimalist chops.

So they'll be given to friends or disposed of in the best proper method. I honestly won't even miss them in the slightest. I still have a wide selection of blush shades (some would say too many) that will help me along just fine. Now I'll just have to resist the urge to replace them with more shades.

Is there a section in your makeup collection that you know needs to be cleaned out? Are there products that are hanging on even though you don't use them?

xoxo Kayla
2 comments

Little Bit of Everything Tag


It feels like ages since I've done a good ol' tag video and after I saw ChrissyLilly post this one I knew I had to do it. I just love how random, yet personal the questions are and feel like it's really easy to learn a lot about someone! I'd definitely love to read your responses in the comments or leave a link if you do this video!

xoxo Kayla
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4.28.2015

The Sample Bin of Shame


It's like I'm asking for punishment by posting this post today. I have this bin full of samples. It's quite a large bin of samples. And it just sits there. The crazy thing is that I love to get samples with Sephora orders, yet they go untouched in a box that's starting to overflow. I'm writing this post as kind of a, "get your crap together" motivational piece in an effort to start using a lot of these samples up. I just get so swept up in new full size products that I completely ignore the perfectly perfect samples in the bin!

So over the next few months I'm making the effort to take a crack at this bin and start using products up. I encourage you guys to do the same! First step is getting rid of anything expired, as I'm sure there are quite a few things at the bottom of this baby that need to go to the trash. Then we can band together in our efforts to work towards a minimalist life of less samples! Plus you all can motivate me to keep at it when I know I'll start slipping and ignoring the bin again.

Let's start using up samples!

xoxo Kayla
6 comments

4.27.2015

365 Days of Photos: 109-115








This past week was an exciting one. Filled with lots of events, birthdays, and overall exhaustion. That's why I love Alex's 365 Days of Photos so much. Each day is documented with just a little glimpse of the world around us at that point in time. There's something very spring about this week's group of photos. I can dig it.

xoxo Kayla

[109] Blossoms [110] Oil on pavement [111] Light at parents' house [112] Little sorority sister's 21st birthday  [113] Paint our town blue [114] Hawaiian party [115] Tulips
1 comment

Don't Worry About Unfollowers


Stat obsessing has become kind of the norm around the blogging community  no matter how much we swear we don't do it. It's normal to want to find gratification in your follower number increasing, but I know I've been guilty in the past of caring just a little too much when I lost a follower or the number didn't change. It's taken me quite a while to come to terms with unfollowers, but have found blogging peace lately with these truths...

  1. Unfollowers mean a more solid community who you know are following you for the right reasons. Many follow because of a giveaway and will leave shortly after. The ones that stick around are the ones you know are following you for your content and not what you're giving away.
  2. Your content isn't for everyone and unfollowers are just a testament to that. You can't make everyone happy all the time, so when someone unfollows it just means what you're writing isn't for them. 
  3. The unfollowers aren't your audience, they are just passing through. Keep in mind that the people you're writing for (besides yourself) are the ones that are reading, not the ones that are leaving.
  4. Blogging goals should never be follower based, but should be more about quality anyway. If you're constantly stressing over your follower count then you aren't blogging for the right reasons. 
  5. There are people who love your blog and they are the ones you should care more about than the ones that leave. There are a few lovely girls in my little blogging world that are the greatest I have ever met and support me like crazy. I care way more about them than the ones who decide to not keep following my content.
At the end of the day it's all about perspective. I'm no longer going to stress about people unfollowing my blog but focus on the ones that stick around. They're the important ones that build this little community around my content and push me to be better. Figure out the thing/s that motivate you and focus on those, rather than your follower count.

xoxo Kayla
5 comments

4.25.2015

Bridesmaid Beauty

Bridesmaid Beauty




Just a quick photo heavy one for me today as I run out the door to my hair appointment. My sorority big sister's wedding is just hours away and I have the great pleasure of being in it! This will be my fourth wedding as a bridesmaid with only 23 more dresses to go to give Katherine Heigl a run for her money. I've gotten my bridesmaid beauty routine down to a science these days and usually pitch in to help with other people's makeup to make the day run smoother. I opt for my palettes to have a lot of color options and ave everything I need in one easy place. A good base, a lot of concealer, and a mascara that can hold a curl are a must.

I'm running late as it is so I'll leave these photos here for your perusal and I'll see you in the comments for any product questions!

Let's get her hitched!

xoxo Kayla
3 comments

4.24.2015

Empties | Spring 2015



Empty products are not the norm around here. I don't know what it is about myself, but I just can't seem to get to the bottom of products in a timely manner. I've somehow managed to gather up quite a lot (for me anyway) of empties for today's video. A handful of mascaras and a couple of my favorite primer, this empties video won't take up your entire day at least!

I'm going to make it my mission in the next few months to really start cracking on finishing up products. Do you have any tips or tricks to really start using up a beauty stash?

xoxo Kayla
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4.23.2015

LUSH Dorothy Bubble Bar


Whenever I've had just one of those long, exhausting days, nothing makes it better quite like a bath. I used to not be one for taking baths, but as I've gotten older having that quiet, uninterrupted time to myself to relax and de-stress gets more and more appealing. I almost exclusively use LUSH bath products, but one in particular is my all time favorite.

I don't know what it is about the LUSH Dorothy Bubble Bar, but it is my obsession. From the adorableness of the product itself down to the soft milky water it creates, I can only sing Dorothy's praises. It creates this beautiful sky like bath experience that I just can't get enough of. The water turns a beautiful deep blue and the white fluffy bubbles are perfection. Plus it's this lovely mixture of fruity and calming. 

What I love about LUSH products is that you can just cut one of the bubble bars into pieces and save them for more than one bath. I honestly can't tell any difference between a full bubble bar bath vs. one that's just a chunk. You can get a lot more usage out of it than just one go, making the price that much more reasonable.

I really hope they always carry this gorgeous bath product for I really don't think I can live without it.

Have you ever tried LUSH products? What's you favorite way to relax?

xoxo Kayla
2 comments

Loot Crate Unboxing | April 2015



It's safe to say that Alex and I are nerds. And we're proud of it! Board games and geeking out over awesome TV shows are some of our favorite things to do, so we thought Loot Crate would be right up our alley. We've know about Loot Crate for quite a while, but a few weeks back I decided to just commit and order a three month subscription for Alex. He works his butt off making stickers and keeping Oh, Hello running so I wanted to treat him to something fun! 

The crates are roughly $14 each with an extra $6 for shipping. $20 seemed more than fair to pay for a lot of the items we received. From an amazing Princess Bride deck of cards to some Game of Throne magnets and a bow tie, the box covered its cost and then some. Each box is based on a theme and comes with a little magazine that explains all the products. Plus it comes with a button for that month's box, so a collection is definitely underway!

This month's crate was all about Fantasy and we were not disappointed. You can definitely tell in the video that Alex was beyond excited about everything in that box. Plus it was a blast filming with him. I'm very by-the-books when I film so it's always interesting to mix things up and throw his carefree personality into the mix.

If there's anyone in your life (or yourself!) who likes awesome, nerdy perfection, this subscription is a winner. You can save $3 by using code SAVE3 which is always a plus! I just love subscriptions and am excited to get back into receiving them after a bit of a hiatus. This one is already a favorite and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

Do you get any monthly subscriptions? What did you like most in the Loot Crate?

xoxo Kayla
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4.22.2015

Plan With Me | Garden Royalty Theme



This is the first Plan with Me video I've posted on Microscope Beauty, so a little catch up is in order. If you've been an avid reader of Microscope Life and watch my YouTube videos regularly, than you're all too familiar with these posts and videos. For those lovely people who have not fallen down the rabbit hole that is the Erin Condren Life Planner, buckle up. Every week or so I like to sit down and plan out the upcoming week with all of you! It's a great time to chat about things going on in my life, give updates, and show you how I try to mix functionality with cuteness. It's a constant struggle, but one I think all who watch the videos enjoy!

I was feeling adventurous this week and pulled out one of the many $1 sticker books I have from Michael's. With my sorority big sister's wedding this week and my sorority little sister's 21st birthday, a garden royalty theme was definitely in order. These layouts I always find difficult because large stickers stress me out a little more than they should. I like to try and keep my layouts as blank as I can when I first lay out the week as a lot of things come up that I need space for. I'm pleased with how the layout turned out though and am looking forward to doing a mermaid one with another sticker book coming up soon!

Do you keep a detailed planner? Do you decorate it? Any ECLP lovers out there?!

xoxo Kayla
3 comments

4.21.2015

5 Things for a Perfect Evening

5 Things for a Perfect Evening

I'm a downright grandma when it comes to bedtimes. I'm more than happy to hop into bed around 9:30 and be snoozing by 10. There are a few things I like to do in the evening to set myself up for the perfect night's sleep free of worry and stress.

  1. Spending some time with my planner to figure out exactly what's happening the next day and the rest of the week. This really helps put my mind at ease. I can write in any events that have come up and make sure I know exactly what's happening at work the next morning. No surprises!
  2. Writing out to do lists the night before makes falling asleep a snap. I write out anything and everything I have to do the next day (and usually the few days following) so that when it's time for bed there is nothing lingering in my head to make me stress over while I'm trying to sleep.
  3. Watching an episode of Daredevil to relax for a minute. My life is pretty crazy most days so being able to turn off and turn on a good episode of whatever show we're watching makes my night so perfect. Daredevil is my go to show at the moment, but we're just about done with the season on Netflix.
  4. Talking with my boyfriend Alex. We're both going a hundred miles a minute during the day so I always really enjoy snuggling up in bed a few minutes earlier just to chat with him about what we got up to that day and our plans for tomorrow. 
  5. Avoiding technology the last thirty or so minutes before bed really helps me to disengage from my day job and evening job. I'm on social media for a living, so stepping away from it before bed makes it that much easier to shut off my brain and get a good night's sleep.
There are a few others I would throw into the mix (take a bath, do a long skincare routine) but these are my favorites for a simple, yet perfect evening. What are some of the ways you have a perfect evening? 

xoxo Kayla
1 comment

4.20.2015

5 Things to Do Before Hitting Publish

5 Things to Do Before Hitting Publish

When you're practically a daily blogger like myself, you learn a solid method of creating and publishing content that works for you. You have to or the entire process is tedious and terrible. Through my nearly two years of (almost) daily blogging, there are a few things I've picked up that are musts before you hit that publish button.

  1. Name your photos in the properties section to make them more searchable. SEO is always a topic of conversation and one I don't worry myself over too much as I'm not trying to become a full time blogger, but naming your photos can really help you pop up in searches more. If you use blogger, all you have to do is click on the photo in the post composition window, go to properties, and type in your post title into the two boxes. There's a lot of science behind it that I'm not too savvy on, but I've noticed more views coming to the posts that I do this on.
  2. Do a once over and read the entire post. I've gotten into a terrible habit of writing the post ad letting the chips fall where they may without rereading. Depending on what time of day you write your posts, there's a good chance you may be writing gibberish. Giving it a once open can help locate errors and make sure everything makes sense.
  3. Prepare a promotion plan so your post will get the most traction. I always like to think about exactly how I want to promote a post before I hit publish. Sometimes what I decide I want to do will effect the post before I publish it. If I want to post it on Instagram, the way I set up the photo may need to change so it can fit in a square shape. Maybe I'm working on a post I really want to go on Pinterest. I'll need to switch up the style of writing to a list (like this) and/or make the photo more engaging for Pinterest users. 
  4. Ask yourself "so what?" You could easily write a post for post's sake, but taking a moment to ask yourself what the point of the post is can make your content more engaging to your readers. Why would your readers be interested in this post? What's its value? I believe all posts have a time and a place, but asking yourself this can help you to think about rewording a section or switching things up to make your post that much better received. 
  5. Appreciate your hard work for creating yet another blog post. Blogging consistently can be a lot of hard work, especially if you feel like you aren't getting everything out of your blog you were hoping for. Every post you publish should feel like an accomplishment, because it is. You're doing something you don't have to do because you like to do it. That's work a pat on the back.
Whether you're blogging for yourself or blog for a living, taking a moment to think about these five things before hitting publish can definitely improve your blogging game.

What do you do before hitting publish?

xoxo Kayla
3 comments

Etsy Sticker Haul



Just because I run my own planner sticker shop doesn't mean I don't get that same itch to browse around Etsy and make a few cheeky purchases. I've been doing a lot of that lately and wanted to share my haul! I ordered from four different shops of some seriously talented gals. 

First up is Planneresque, my new found sticker pal who I'm sure we'll be exchanging stickers back and forth from now on. Her stickers are this very interesting slightly glossy, but still fairly matte texture that I'm now obsessed with. I was drawn to her shop for the bubble bath and no soda icons, but she spoiled me with a lot of other really awesome designs. I'll definitely be coming back for more!

Plan it On Paper is a brand I've heard about a number of times before, but could never really nail down her style in my head until I check out her shop. She's the queen of functional stickers and I've been eating them up since they arrived at my door. Her stickers are all matte, which makes them nearly impossible to reposition (something I need from time to time), but other than that I have no qualms. My favorite sheets I picked up were the samplers and the monthly sets. 

A shop I had never heard of before my browsing session was KGPlanner. I ended up only picking up one sheet from her shop because I felt that she was a tad more expensive than most, Plus I think her shop was the last place I put an order in and at this point I had done some sticker damage. I purchased an amazing grey/teal/and yellow sampler set that I've been eyeing up since it arrived at my door. I'll definitely have to do a spread featuring this sheet in the future.

One Orange Snowflake is a brand I've been familiar with since I opened my shop last year. Her shop is currently closed, but once it's open I strongly recommend you head on over there for a browse at the least. My favorite sticker sheet is the Doctor Who one. Swoon. A timelord theme is in order with that one.

What are your favorite Etsy shops for planner stickers and other bits and bobs? 

xoxo Kayla
No comments

4.19.2015

365 Days of Photos | Days 101-108









The 365 Days of Photos Project has been going on over on Microscope Life since the start of the year, but with the shift in blogging that I'm making the rest of the year is going to be housed here! Alex has been doing photography for years and has even completed a 365 project before, but this year has been seriously impressive. If you want to catch up on other weeks' photos, you can find them all here, but they'll be posted every Sunday for you all to enjoy! I really love the project because it not only showcases Alex's talents, but also is a glimpse into our lives through his eyes. 

This week is quite heavy on the Oh, Hello photos because it has consumed our lives more so than usual. We saw a huge jump in sales this week and have been working out asses off trying to keep up with the short shipping schedule we like to keep. Every second creating stickers with Alex is a blast and I'm so glad you all love them so much! We found some time to go get some Chinese food the other night which is where Alex snapped a shot of some sushi. 

Stay tuned for more 365 photos posts!

xoxo Kayla

[101] Containers of craft supplies [102] Glitter [103] Ink [104] Field near Target [105] Sushi [106] Order fulfilling desk for Oh, Hello [107] Designing stickers [108] Succulent
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4.17.2015

Ch..ch..Channgeesss


Things are going to start looking a bit different around these parts. After a lot of consideration I've decided to put my lifestyle blog on the back burner for a while and combine content efforts. I just felt like I wasn't giving my lifestyle blog the attention it deserved while there was something missing on this blog. I'm still keeping the lifestyle blog, but I'll just save it for a change of heart or if a new project emerges that warrants its return to the scene.

I just didn't like how it felt to have myself separated like that. I'm just one person, but I was segregating the parts of myself onto two different platforms rather than allowing everything to mix together in one, very "me" blog. So I'm going to start doing just that. There will be the same number of beauty posts as there are now, but there's going to be a lot more lifestyle posts thrown in. More planning, more board games, more photography, more stickers, and more of my everyday life. One happy family of all the things I love and love to share.

At this point in my online life this feels right. You'll be able to find me super easy now. Just one blog to follow and enjoy.

I'd love to know if you have any post requests or things you'd be interested in seeing!

xoxo Kayla
3 comments

This Week's Most Loved #64


I think I'm a little too excited about today's post. I've decided to return to doing This Week's Most Loved posts occasionally to give you all a glimpse into what I'm loving besides my monthly favorites. So let's hop into it!

MAC's "See Sheer" is back on my lips in full force as the weather is getting warmer. I love this color. It's such a unique shade of pink, red, and orange that always looks so flattering on the lips. I get more compliments over this baby than any other lip product.

The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has really been wowing me lately. I liked it when I first used it, but now it seems like a whole new mascara. Maybe it just had to dry out a bit to become an amazing mascara force to be reckoned with. My lashes have never looked so long, but there's also that volume added that I crave. It's definitely one worth checking out.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of tinted moisturizers and BB creams, but there's something about spring and summer that make me go nutty over them. Right now I've been obsessed with theBalm's BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer but I'm sure I'll be switching back and forth between all of the ones I own. This one has a great consistency, just enough coverage to hide any redness or uneven skin, and lasts all day. 

Guys. My board game obsession is getting kind of out of hand. We've played so many different and exciting games over the past few weeks and I don't think it's going to let up any time soon. My best friend Lauren is also really into board games, so we've been trading games back and forth to play ones we haven't yet. Last night we tried out King of Tokyo. It's an interesting dice game with monsters trying to take over Tokyo. It was a good time, plus I won which is always nice!

What board games do you love to play? What are your favorites this week?

xoxo Kayla
2 comments

4.16.2015

The Post that Changed...


When I originally did the content schedule for this week, today's post was going to be about the things I exclude in order to have time to do all the other things that I do. But as I sat down to write the post out, it just didn't feel right. So instead I'm going to get rambly and tell you what's been going on in my life, in no particular fashion.

Last night I finished one of my graduate classes for the semester. I took a course on adolescent literature for an elective for my degree and found myself loving and hating it at the same time. It was a course filled with teachers (duh) so I found myself discounted from a lot of the conversations, but having the opportunity to read books and get class credit for it was a nice change. We read Divergent,  Eleanor and Park, and others that I already owned. I'm happy that the course is over though because grad school is definitely trying when I much rather do the millions of other things on my to do list. I have another course to wrap up in the next few days and I'm only taking one course in the spring.

It's crazy to think that a few short months ago I didn't run Oh, Hello Stationery. It didn't even exist! Now it's a huge part of my life and a bigger part in my boyfriend Alex's life (he runs it while I'm at work). It's such an amazing addition to my life but brings some interesting new stresses to my life. Who knew we would worry so much about ink quality. It's insane. I have so many ideas for the shop but wish I had more time to implement them. Isn't that always the case though? 

If you watch my vlogs then you know that I've become pretty obsessed with board games lately. It's just an amazing way to be able to relax, yet still engage my brain, while spending time with friends. It's definitely a struggle these days to make time for the lovely people in my life, so coming together over a board game just makes it so much easier. I have a few posts/videos in the works about board games, even if the videos end up just being for my enjoyment!

I unknowingly shifted to creating more YouTube content than I have in the past (it just kind of happened) and it's been amazing. There's just so many things I want to talk about and share that video form works so well with. If you aren't following my channel yet I definitely recommend you do as there are just so many videos going up (3-4 a week)! I think I've finally found my video grove and I'm hoping I can ride the wave of productivity for quite a while.

Other than that my life consists of eating soup and bread sticks at the Olive Garden way too frequently and constantly having at least one sticker stuck to my clothes at all times. I'd love to hear what you've been getting up to in the comments!!

xoxo Kayla
1 comment

4.15.2015

How to Stay Organized

how to stay organized

One of the biggest prides of my life and one of my favorite ways to relax is organization. There's just something about a good to do list that gets my heart all a flutter. Plus it's the only way I'm able to accomplish everything I do in a day without going insane with anxiety and stress.

Organization and planning is different for everyone, but I use three things on a daily basis to keep everything in order. My beloved Erin Condren Life Planner is a no brainer, but I also use a blog content planner and a notebook for to do lists. So sit back and enjoy how I passionately walk through how I stay organized.

How do you stay organized?

xoxo Kayla
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4.14.2015

5 Things for a Perfect Morning


There's nothing glamorous or fun about waking up early, but I feel like I've gotten the hang of it. Even on days off I find myself up with the sun and starting to enjoy being an early riser. I attribute a lot of these good morning vibes to the things I do as soon as I wake up to give myself the best start to the day.

  1. Not checking social media/emails until I'm in the office about forty minutes after I've woken up. Avoiding my love of social media for a while each morning really helps to just focus on myself. I can let my brain wake up slowly and think about the day for what it is. 
  2. Drinking lots of water as soon as I'm awake. There are a lot of health benefits to this, but I just feel so much better with a couple of glasses of water in my system before doing anything else.
  3. Setting my alarm early and hitting snooze a couple of times to slowly wake myself up. I hate alarm clocks (doesn't everyone?) so I've come up with a pretty ingenious way to wake myself up every morning. I set an alarm about 45 minutes before I wake up, and hit snooze in ten minute increments until it's time to wake up. That way I'm slowly waking up through having to hit snooze that by the time it's necessary to get up, it isn't from a dead sleep.
  4. Keeping the noise level down until I get to work. I'm naturally a quiet person and enjoy the sound of silence in the morning. Loud noises when I just wake up jar me and make me grumpy. I even turn my phone to vibrate so in the morning my alarm is vibrations rather than noise. There's just something about a quiet and peaceful start to the day that preps me for whatever comes next.
  5. Spending some time with my to do list to figure out exactly what I'm doing today. Before I check my email or do anything else, writing everything down on the list I started the night before helps to clear my mind and let me focus.

Growing up I swore I would never be a morning person, yet I find myself loving the quiet of the morning more and more. Our apartment is downtown so I like listening to the city wake up as Alex snoozes for a little bit longer beside me. There's something pleasant in the early mornings before I dash off to work. It's time just for me with a few pets for our cat Tardis too.

What do you do for a perfect morning?

xoxo
3 comments

4.13.2015

Old Favorites Revisited


If I'm ever feeling particularly bored on a given day I sometimes like to scroll through the Microscopebeauty archives. I've written over 500 posts in the nearly two years of this blog's existence, so there's definitely a lot of content that's hiding just a few pages back. I recently went all the way back to the very first "This Week's Most Loved" post back in October of 2013. Besides the photograph quality being no where near where I like to shoot today, I thought it would be interesting to see if the favorites I loved then I still love now.

In the upper left hand corner of the photo is the Bobbi Brown Corrector in "Light Bisque." I have since used up that entire container and have moved on to a second. It's my go to concealer for my under eyes on days where I don't want to pack on the makeup to hide them. I think I may love it more now than I did back then...

The Essie polish is in the shade "Damsel in a Dress" and I just recently featured it in a favorite nail polishes post. I won't rant on too much about it since I gave it a good overview in the past last week. It's survived a few nail polish clean outs in its lifespan but now I know just how old it is. It seems in tip top condition still so I'll keep it around a little longer.

The last two products in this shot I'm no longer that crazy about. I got rid of my e.l.f. blushes in favor of my Tarte ones and haven't regretted it for a second. The e.l.f. blushes are fantastic for budget beauty gals or anyone starting out, but I prefer higher end ones in my collection. The Rimmel Stay Matte powder used to be my bread and butter, but lately it just hasn't done it for me. It just seems cakey in comparison to the other powders I've been toying around with. I don't wear too much powder to begin with so this definitely doesn't get used much. I'll probably toss it as I'm sure it's too old to keep around at this point anyway.

I find it so interesting to look back and see what things I was loving almost two years ago. What products were you obsessed with a few years back and are now meh about? Do you still have products you love just as much if not more?

xoxo Kayla 

2 comments

4.10.2015

My Beauty Desk



My beauty desk is one of my favorite "me" spaces. It's covered in my favorite little items and memories and houses my glorious makeup collection. For today's video I thought I'd give you a quick poke around and show you my favorite bits and bobs on the desk. If there is anything you'd like a closer look of I'll definitely film a closer look!

What does your beauty desk look like? How do you find a balance between functional and cute?

xoxo Kayla
3 comments

4.09.2015

Favorite Nail Polishes


I fall in and out of love with nail polish on a daily basis. But when I am feeling the polish vibes, there are a few shades in particular I find myself gravitating more towards. I've never been one to pick polishes based on season, so I'd pop these on my nails any time of year.

Let's start in the back left. Essie's "Damsel in a Dress" first seemed a little too dark for me, but I couldn't pass up the metallic color changing nature. It's downright fabulous on the nails. When the light hits it blues mix with greens and silvers and purples. It's quite cool and I always get compliments for it.

Every time I reach for Essie's "Mojito Madness" I surprise myself as I always thought I wasn't one for green. This grass green polish screams spring and St. Patrick's Day to me so I'll obligingly wear it for the holiday. It seems almost matte on the nails though; a complete contrast from the "Damsel in a Dress."

Probably my favorite polish of all time is Essie's "Splash of Grenadine." It's the perfect combination of pink and purple that's eye catching, but not too in your face. I first saw Essiebutton talk about this and she's the only one to ever really convince me that I need a nail polish. This one definitely does not disappoint.

There's something about China Glaze's "Lemon Fizz" that I just can't escape from. It's canary yellow and the craziest polish I have in my collection. Yet it's incredibly flattering on the nails if I'm looking to mix things up.

I feel like I've been talking about Rimmel's "Hot Cocoa" a lot lately, but that maroon pink has just been calling to me. These polishes are definitely my favorite formula and their brush is the best I've tried. The colors are pigmented and you could easily get away with one coat. 

Finally Essie's "Vested Interest" is just a good old denim blue that you have to have in your collection. I'm not one for the bright royal blue nails, so this polish is flawless. It's also a color I rarely find in the nail polish world so I like its uniqueness. 

I'd love to hear your favorite brand of nail polish/favorite shades to wear! Be my enablers!

xoxo Kayla
5 comments

4.08.2015

How to Keep Your Blog Photography Interesting


We all know how important photography is in the blogging world, and if you blog a decent amount of content weekly, getting new and interesting shots starts to take its toll. There are only so many ways a girl can photograph a lipstick right? Here are some ways to keep your blog photography from going stale and repetitive.

  • Switch up your location to see things in a new light. I used to always take my photos on a white desk, but lately I'm taking advantage of a lot of other really great spaces throughout our apartment. I'm currently in love with using one of the couches in our living room. It gets great light washing over it, plus the background is something new.
  • Change up your props and cycle in more options. For a while I just used the Rifle Paper notebooks you can see in this shot. The same three notebooks popped up in nearly ever photo. Getting a few more notebooks, a small plant, or a cute dish can help create an arsenal of props you can mix in match in your photos for a new look.
  • Try a different angle. Taking photography from straight above was one of the hardest habits for me to break. It was my bread and butter, but kept my photography looking the same day after day. Try to crouch down and shoot things at a 45 degree angle or choose one item to be the focus and get closer to that. Even a slight change in angle like in this photo can really liven things up.
  • Play with your depth of field to create a more interesting, dynamic photo. Put less important or more easily recognizable photos in the back so they can be a bit out of focus. Put the focus on an item in the right hand corner rather than the center of the shot. Focus can really snazz up an originally flat photo.
  • Think outside of the box and see what a photograph of your items on the floor looks like. What about on a blanket? What about outside? Don't be afraid to try something new. If it fails no one will even have to see it. 
  • Editing your photos can really help make them stand out more. I wrote a post a few weeks back about how to take better blog photos, which includes a lot of editing tips to make colors pop and to pull out the blacks to make the photo richer.
  • Photograph at different times of the day to find which light works best for you. Where you're photographing based on where the light is coming from can also change up your photography. In the photo above there was a window to the left. It created really interesting shadows on the products to build depth. Try different locations at different times of day. You never know what you may find out!
  • Spend more time with your camera besides just taking blog photos. Take it to the park, go to a family event with it. The more you spend time with your camera the more comfortable you'll be trying new things with it when it comes to blog photography.
Blog photography is still my favorite part about blogging. Although it can be difficult at times to constantly take engaging photos, follow these tips to bring some life back into your photography routine!

xoxo Kayla
6 comments

4.07.2015

Makeup Starter Kit Revisited



Over a year ago I shot these photos and wrote up a post about the products that would be great for beginners. I thought it would be a fun stroll down memory lane to read the thoughts I had in that post, and see how I still feel about them one year and a lot of makeup later.

Now that I'm a more seasoned makeup wearer, I wouldn't recommend a beginner to jump right into drugstore foundations. They are definitely a lot of misses and that money could be spent elsewhere in building up a small makeup collection. I would lean much more towards a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer to get the feel of coverage without having to worry too much about shade matching. For concealer I'm still nuts about the Match2Cover! Cream Concealer and you can't beat the price. For blush e.l.f. is definitely a very affordable option, but Milani has some amazing blushes that rival Tarte.

Although I still agree with past me that Maybelline Color Tattoos are great for beginners, there has been quite a few drugstore palette releases since then that are worth the extra dollars for a wider range of colors. L'Oréal Riche La Palette Nude 1 and 2 are both great new-in options that fainting nod towards the Urban Decay Naked palettes, but for less than half the price. The Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner is still a great option, but just starting out I wouldn't recommend going to heavy on the eyeliner (something I did a little too much of). For mascara I still rave about the L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara, but the drugstore is riddled with great mascaras so take your pick.

For lipsticks I would still highly recommend the Revlon Lip Butters to a beginner. They're pigmented enough that you can get really good color payoff, but more forgiving than most lipsticks. Plus they're hydrating for gals who aren't used to wearing lip products.

For tools you can't go wrong with Real Techniques brushes, but I definitely recommend an angled brush for blush like this one from Crown. It makes it so much easier to apply blush exactly where you want it so you aren't going to crazy starting out. You also don't need an incredibly fancy eye lash curler. I still use the same brand that I started out with.

If you or someone you know is entering the beauty world without hordes of money to splurge, the drugstore has a lot of really good options to get them started and exploring.

What products would you recommend to someone starting out? What makeup mistakes did you make when you started?

xoxo Kayla


3 comments

4.06.2015

Easter Lovin'




Mixing things up with a lifestyle post today because I just couldn't help but post about Easter. Growing up my Easter's were always epic. Filled with seriously impressive egg hunts, awesome treats, and presents for my Build-A-Bear (don't judge!), it always made me eager to pop on my bunny ears. Although I'm older and don't run around the house hunting for eggs anymore, Easter still holds a magical place in my heart.

This year Alex and I exchanged Easter baskets for the first time. He nailed it. Besides giving me a solid pound of chocolate and a hilarious shirt, he had a bunch of little eggs filled with the most adorable sentiments. I'm still swooning.

I'm super curious as to what you all did for Easter! Was there an epic egg hunt? Did you spend time with family eating delicious food? Let's chat about it in the comments!

xoxo Kayla
1 comment

4.03.2015

March Favorites





The end of March came out of the blue and definitely caught me by surprise. To be honest my makeup wearing these days is down to a 5-6 product routine. Yet there are a few products in my stash that I've been gravitating towards a lot more this month. Enjoy this video where I switched things up and took a new approach!

What are your favorite products for March

xoxo Kayla
2 comments

4.01.2015

Setting Sprays

Urban Decay Setting Spray vs. L'oreal

When setting sprays first came out I thought they were silly. A mist you spray on top of your makeup to help everything stay fresher and last longer? Are we talking witchcraft here? Yet as the noise died down around them I felt the urge to see exactly what these babies were about. 

The first one I purchased (and spoiler, my favorite) was on a whim in Sephora one day a few months back. That pesky stand right at the checkout called my name and I popped the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray in my bin without a second thought. And boy am I happy that I did. This setting spray noticeably transforms my makeup from looking alright to looking amazing. It blends out lines, seems to almost blur the makeup, and gives me that dewy look I always crave. Plus it's oh so refreshing to have a cool mist in the morning. 

In an effort to find a dupe and because I'm an addict and can't just be happy with a product I love, I picked up the L'Oréal Infallible Pro Spray & Set to see how it compared. I must say it's good, but not on the same level as Urban Decay's. I find this one to be a bit more watery feeling, lighter, and not as good at giving that flawless glow. It's a great product and if I would have tried it first I probably would like it more, but Urban Decay ticked every box before L'Oréal even had a shot. 

If you're looking for a lot of product and something affordable, L'Oréal's offering will be good enough, but I recommend the Urban Decay one more. There's just something about it that makes it just better.

Although I know I shouldn't ask and just be happy with the Urban Decay spray, are there any setting sprays I should try out that rival it? 

xoxo Kayla
6 comments
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