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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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3.29.2016

The Only Eye Brushes You'll Ever Need

The Only Eye Brushes You'll Ever Need

I'm a beauty girl who keeps things simple. Like really simple. Usually no makeup and a messy bun simple. Yet when I do manage to not be a hot mess and put some effort it, these three brushes are the ones I reach for time and time again for the perfect eye look.

For all over the lid my favorite brush isn't a makeup brush at all. It's a Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine's Mop I picked up from JoAnn Fabrics years ago. It's the best brush I've ever found for having sturdy, close together bristles that apply shadow right where I want it as dense as possible. The handle is nice and long and you could almost never tell it wasn't an actual makeup brush.

For blending everything out and make the whole look more streamline, it's all about the Mirabella Blending Brush. The brush itself is gorgeous, but the bristles are just so fluffy and light. The perfect brush for just a touch of highlight under the brow bone and a great blending all over.

The MAC 217 is the best brush I've ever used hands down. I like to use it for the outer corner definition, but it rocks at literally anything you could possibly think of. It's the only MAC brush I currently own (I know *gasp*) and it makes me want to buy every single other brush MAC produces if there's even a chance they're as good as this one.

This trio is the perfect combination for anything from everyday looks to the smokiest eye I can muster. 

What are your go to eye brushes?

xoxo Kayla
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3.25.2016

DIY Lush Bath Bombs at Home

DIY Lush Bath Bombs at Home

Alex is the type of guy who feels like you can DIY almost anything. I on the other hand, much rather pay someone else to do it to save me the headache. Yet when it comes to Lush-alike bath bombs, Alex is oh so right.

A few months back he got it into his head that he wanted to try to make some of his own. I was skeptical, but he produced some seriously gorgeous bath bombs that really do the trick. And now there's an adorable video of him showing you how to do it too. Plus he wears my apron, which is hilarious.


What You'll Need:

1/2 cup Baking soda
1/4 cup Citric Acid
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 Tbs Oil (Coconut Oil is great!)
Food Coloring
2-3 drops of Essential Oils
Possible sprinkles! 

Now I'll keep going to Lush for Bath Melts and other pamper-y bits, but I'm all set in the bath bomb department and couldn't be happier about it.

xoxo Kayla

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3.23.2016

What Marie Kondo Taught Me

What Marie Kondo Taught Me

Like most things I waited for the hype surrounding Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to die down before I grabbed a copy. I know that if I rode the hype train every day I'd be broke and in possession of too many things I didn't really want. So the waiting game is my best method to guaranteeing I don't just want something because it's popular. This book I definitely wanted.

Now if you are one of two people in the world who haven't read this book yet, then let me tell you it's a pretty drastic, all-in guide that most won't take everything away as gospel. I myself left some ideas to the wayside knowing that they just wouldn't work for me. That's totally ok. You have to find what works for you. This book just really makes you figure that out. Here's what it taught me.

  • If it doesn't spark joy you don't need it. Of course at first I thought this was a bit nuts. I thought that there would be so many things in my life that didn't spark joy, but I definitely still needed. Pots and pans for example; not world changing things. Yet I sat down with all of my things and asked myself the question, and I started to see that some things (even pots and pans) made me happier than other things. So the things that made me happy I kept.
  • You don't feel regret for getting rid of things. I thought I would. I paired down my memory box quite a lot to photos and items that really spoke to me. I thought for sure I'd feel regret the next day about throwing out photos from old birthday parties and journals from the fourth grade. But I don't. Kondo talks a lot about holding onto the past and the fear of the future guiding people into keeping things they don't really need. She also speaks about how we shouldn't hold on to things to remember every single event in our lives. We'll naturally remember the really important ones and the other memories of events have already served their purpose. They've shaped us to be who we are now. I completely get this and feel so much lighter for only having the mementos that speak to me.
  • Objects have feelings. And I don't mean that in a Sesame Street kind of way. Objects have a purpose and a life span with a person. A house wants to shelter you and keep you safe. Clothes want to protect you and keep you warm. It's important to have respect for these objects because they'll be able to do their job better. It's when they no longer have respect that they no longer serve a purpose. So that sweater you just never wear anymore deserves to feel respect from someone else. It needs to move on.
  • To appreciate my things and thank them for what they do for me. And it's made a crazy difference in my happiness. I say goodbye and hello to our house every time we come and go and it gives me a relationship with my home. I thank old objects for what they've done for me before I donate them or throw them away. I feel so much more in touch with my belongings and my emotions doing this. It just feels right to do.
  • I was already ready for the change. I just needed a push to do it. I had already started getting rid of unnecessary clothing and random objects. I just needed the final shove to tackle everything else in my life. Kondo made it feel so obvious, like I was already doing it but just not to the best of my ability. 
  • Everyone's peace with their belongings is different. What I feel like is enough isn't necessarily what you'll find to be enough things. There isn't a yard stick to measure your success in decluttering. You'll know if you half-assed it or have gone to your limit.
I have a feeling I'll return to this book a year or so down the line and have a completely different relationship with it. It really makes you think about what your belongings actual are to you and how to interact with them. Things no longer feel like things and that's a crazy feeling.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

xoxo Kayla
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3.22.2016

Saying Yes to the Yes to Coconut Skincare Line


In lieu of a moving related post (since we have in fact been in the new home for a solid week now), I thought I'd just jump right back into the swing of things around these parts. Nothing like a bit of normalcy to ease the stress of change.

I've heard a lot about the Yes to brand over the years but never really bothered to really dive into the brand. My first exposure to Yes to was their makeup wipes and I tend to be pretty picky about my favorites (as I am with most things). Yet when I heard about the Yes to Coconut range my beauty ears perked up and I had to see what all the fuss is about. It's good.

The Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser reminds me of a less thick version of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, but in a much better package. I always get a little grossed out dipping my fingers into the giant Clinique pot of product regardless of whether or not I literally just washed my hands. Having a squeeze tube makes it just that much easier that digging around in product. It works just like the Clinique offering, a paste like gel goes onto dry skin to become an oil that sloughs away makeup and gunk. Add some water and it becomes a nice lather to get even deeper into the pores. The best thing? It's way cheaper than the Clinique one. I'm sold.

Their Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask is also a good'un for adding moisture and hydration back to dry skin. It makes skin feel plump and refreshed and with my skin getting drier and drier by the day, I can definitely use that. I do love my leave-on masks, but this 10-minute one is a super quick way to kick skin into moisture gear.

Now if you know anything about me, I'm not a fan of eye creams. I can never tell if they work and they just feel like an extra unnecessary step in an already too complicated skincare routine. Sadly I feel the same way about the Yes to Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm. It's a great consistency and sinks into the skin quickly, but still doesn't easy my dark circles or make any obvious change to the under eye regions. This skeptic will remain skeptical.

Overall I'm pretty chuffed with the Yes to Coconuts line and of course am obsessed with the scent. The price is a huge win and the quality is definitely not lacking. Thumbs up from this lazy skincare girl.

Have you tried any Yes to products before?

xoxo Kayla
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3.10.2016

Project Empty: The Before-the-Move Empties


There's nothing like living in an apartment full of boxes and finding what to wear out of a suitcase. We are just days away from moving to our new home in Grand Rapids so I've been working my butt off to get rid of as much as possible, including some beauty bits I was scrapping the bottom of anyway. So I'm happy to say these guys will be finding their way into the trash rather than taking the pointless journey to our new house.

I've been a big fan of the OGX Thick and Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo for quite a few years now. It makes my hair feel actually clean and not weighed down by product. When I first started using it I definitely noticed a change of thickness in my hair, but since I've been using it so long there hasn't been any change since then. I'm sure I'll keep coming back to this for quite a while.

It wouldn't be a empties post if I didn't include a tube of the Stila One Step Correct. I go through this stuff like water and only wish it wasn't so expensive to fund my addiction. It's the best primer around and one I've been hard pressed to find a replacement or comparable substitute. 

I also finished up a tube of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara and have quickly opened up my replacement tube. It's my favorite everyday mascara for natural, long looking lashes. It's not one for volume, but mixed with other volume giving mascaras it's the perfect addition. 

It took my ages to finish the Clinique All About Eyes because I wasn't really a fan of it. I have yet to find a good eye cream that actually does something notice-able. It was a nice product in consistency and how quickly it sunk into the skin, but I can't report on if it made a change or not. I just can never tell.

I'm glad to be able to chuck these into the waste bin and avoid unnecessary moving of products. Now to finish packing...

xoxo Kayla

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3.08.2016

Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Just Got Better

Living Proof Perfect hair Day Shampoo, Conditioner, fresh cut split end mender

Living Proof just gets hair. Every single product I've tried from the brand has left me craving more and falling more deeply in love. It's a love story for the ages you guys. And just when I thought it couldn't get even better, these bad boys came into my life.

I don't know what it is about my strange beauty habits that caused me to avoid the shampoo and conditioner from the Perfect hair Day range, but I tend to be a bit odd when it comes to shampoos. I finally talked myself out of being crazy (at least this time) to give them a go and of course they're better than ever. My hair feels softer, fuller, and way cleaner. I tend to get greasy near the end of the day and am struggling to not wash it every day. This combo makes it seem much more doable as it cuts grease in half throughout the day. Second day hair finally seems something I can manage. Ch...ch...changes are afoot. Plus the packaging just soothes my minimalist heart and I want to display these everywhere.

Every time I talk about my hair I feel like it's a constant revealing of troubles and woes. Split ends are kind of my besties and nearly impossible to avoid what feels like days after a hair cut. Maybe it's because I go absurd lengths between them that my hair is like, "come on now I'm just going to keep splitting." The Living Proof Fresh Cut Split End Mender makes me feel way less of a slacker while making my hair look way less of a mess. Its consistency is a lot like that of the 5-in-1 Styling Treatment but a little more runny. A quick application to the ends of my hair and I actually think it fakes the appearance of freshly cut hair. It's wizardry I tell ya.

Anything that Living Proof comes out with I'm sure I'll be mad in love over. Give them a purusal if you're near a stand. 

Have you tried Living Proof before?

xoxo Kayla
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3.04.2016

Five Brands I Love



Although I'm never loyal to any one brand for anything, five brands have risen above the rest as my go-to favorites. So let's break them down and give you the what's what.

  1. Urban Decay. It's become quite apparent over the past year or so that my Urban Decay obsession should be addressed. Their palettes are a given for any beauty lover; rich shades, creamy pigmentation, and serious lasting power. But their blushes are worth talking about too. Just as creamy and pigmented as their shadows, the blushes are downright divine in buttery goodness. The revolution lipsticks are also some of my favorites to date. I've ranted on about the shade "Rush" until I'm blue in the face because it's just that good.
  2. Stila Cosmetics is a brand I don't hear about too often throughout the interwebs, but is definitely a top contender for this addict. Their One Step Correct is the one and only product I've repurchased half a dozen times because I can't find anything that gets my skin like it does. Of course Stila is much more than just that one primer. Their eye shadows are just as good if not better than Urban Decay's and could easily be confused as such if there weren't any labels on the packaging. My favorite shade is definitely "Kitten" for it's champagne perfection. Another why-isn't-this-talked-about-more product are their eye liners. Holy guac are these the best I've ever tried. They stay put and are bold on tight lines and lash lines. Seriously worth their weight in gold.
  3. butterLONDON isn't just a nail polish brand in my book. When I hear the name I actually don't even associate them with nail polishes anymore although they're fab at it. Their makeup line is a constant surprise and boasts some of my favorite products. The Shadow Clutch palettes are fantastic for travel and easy every day wear on par with Urban Decay and Stila. They also have some incredibly well thought out lip crayons that come with a sharpener built into the lid. Brilliant.
  4. Maybelline beat out all the other drugstore brands in my collection to make it on to the list. Maybelline just knows how to make a mascara. My favorite duo at the moment is their LashSensational and Rocket Volum'Express. I also really enjoy the Superstay Better Skin Foundation for a little shake up in my base routine. It's a matte-esque formula that sits somewhere in the middle for coverage. Definitely one to check out if you're wandering the drugstore aisles.
  5. Living Proof had to be included in the lineup of favorites as it's just too damn good not to talk about. It's my go-to hair care brand and I rarely branch out to anything else. I've gone through tube after tube of their 5-in-1 Styling Treatment and am finally digging into their Shampoo and Conditioner. I nearly squealed when their new Fresh Cut Split End Mender landed on my doorstep. Their brand feels clean, fresh, and my hair loves it. That's all I need to know.
These five brands are consistently good and clutter my makeup drawers with holy grail products I couldn't live without. What brands are on your top five list?

xoxo Kayla
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3.03.2016

The Body Shop's Vitamin C Lineup

The Body Shop's Vitamin C Lineup

I'm not stranger to the Body Shop's Vitamin C lineup and thought it about time to really dive into what makes this line so good. There are other products in the line besides the ones featured today, but I'll get you a good overall idea of what it's all about.

The entire Vitamin C line's goal is to add life back to dull and boring skin. I'm pretty lucky when it comes to my non-problematic skin, but I do find that it just isn't glowing without some effort. The Vitamin C line replenishes moisture and plump-ness back to the skin in the best kind of way.

My favorite product from the Vitamin C line is by far the Facial Cleansing Polish. I've also actively used the microdermabrasion as well, but the cleansing polish is everything you could want in a cleanser. It has little beads to get deep into the skin, without feeling harsh or abrasive. The smell is divine (something I don't say too often around these parts) like a mix between oranges and good mornings. I love how clean and fresh my skin feels after a good cleanse with this stuff. 

The Daily Moisture Lotion is another really great product from the line and I'm on my second tube of it. It's a classic hydrating moisturizer that isn't fancy. It's not overly hydrating, but is more of an every day kind of deal. It's like one of those products that isn't flashy or elaborate, but just gets the job done without a complaint. 

The Vitamin C Skin Boost is a new-to-me product from the line that I've really been loving testing out. I'd say it classifies as a serum of sorts but reminds me a lot of a thicker moisturizer in consistency and application. It aims to add even more brightness back to the skin and it seems to be doing the trick thus far. I don't have to constantly reach for my super dewy foundations anymore and can branch out to other options without worrying about my skin looking lifeless and flat. 

Overall I really enjoy the Vitamin C range and find myself constantly coming back to it in my skincare routine. It's fun, smells great, and isn't fussy. That's my kind of skincare.

Have you tried the Vitamin C range before?

xoxo Kayla
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3.02.2016

How to Keep People Coming Back to Your Blog


Although I'm such a strong advocate of blogging for yourself, it's also nice when people read and experience what you put so much effort into. So here are some ways to keep people coming back to your blog time and time again.

  • Write interesting content that's fresh and exciting. People love advice and tutorials. Look at your post data and see which posts are the most popular. Take what information you find and write posts similar to those.
  • Be consistent in posting. Nothing annoys me more than people coming back from a three month break, posting five posts within a week, and disappearing again. Even if you only post once a week, being consistent means readers know when to expect new content. 
  • Have good, bright photography throughout your blog to make it an enjoying viewing experience. Crappy, dark photos aren't going to engage readers to keep coming back.
  • Have your own voice rather than trying to do what everyone else is doing. There isn't a clear recipe for blogging success so why bother copying what someone else has done. Just because it's worked for them doesn't guarantee that it'll work for your blog. So just be yourself.
  • Clearly organize your blog so readers can click into different categories to read more posts they're interested in. No one is going to scroll twelve pages back to read old posts or hunt for posts on topics they like. But if you categorize them well it's likely readers will scroll back a few pages within a category.
  • Engage people on social media so they know when you've published a new post and also so they know you're a real person. Obviously you are, but engaging with people on social media makes you that much more down to earth and relate-able. Plus you're probably on social media anyway.
In the end if you write consistent, interesting content you'll have no problem with keeping people coming back to your blog. Now get to posting!

xoxo Kayla
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3.01.2016

The Drugstore Beauty Bits that Survived the Purge


A little while back I did a deep purge of my makeup collection and have been loving every day since. It's so much easier to find what I'm looking for, use up products, and get the most out of my makeup every morning. A lot of drugstore beauty left my possession that day, but these few products survived to tell the tale.

A surprising number of foundations made the cut. After really assessing each foundation's strengths and differences these three actually vary quite a lot. The Maybelline Superstay Better Skin is much more matte than the other two with a slightly dewy finish. It's coverage is decent and I like the lasting power. The Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation is much more dewy and lighter on the skin. It's more like a tinted moisturizer in the way I use it. I never like my foundation to be too heavy no matter the coverage, so I use very little product. It's a great drugstore alternative to the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue if you can't swing the price difference. The Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation is right in between the two on basically all accounts. These foundations have me covered.

Two blushes made the cut and are incredibly different from each other. Max Factor's "Seductive Pink" Blush is a traditional rosy pink shade while the Revlon Blush in "Wine Not" is much deeper and more berry toned than any other blush in my collection.

My love of drugstore mascaras means I had to keep a fair share.I love the Maybelline Rocket Mascara and the LashSensational Mascara together and separate. The Rocket adds serious volume while LashSensational gives you great length. Perfection.

The only lipstick I kept from the drugstore is one that a Helloigan sent me a few months ago. It's "Freida's Nude" and is a lovely purple toned natural shade. It reminds me a lot of MAC's "Syrup" in coloration and consistency.

Those are all the drugstore bits that survived the makeup purge. What products do you love from the drugstore?

xoxo Kayla
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