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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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4.29.2016

The Products that Got Me Through April



Ah April. I must say I'm happy to see you go you crazy, rainy, hectic month. I'm much more excited about May and am glad it's just around the corner. My first of two (!!) bridal showers is in May along with a lot of fun, exciting ways to break up the daily grind (tulip festival anyone?). April wasn't all crazy and hectic thanks to these super products for helping me push through.

For makeup I couldn't get enough of the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara. It's one of those mascaras that gets better and better every time you use it. My lashes look long, fluttery, and nice and full. It's definitely giving all my other favorite mascaras a run for their money for the number one spot it's just that good. Plus it holds a curl for ages and the packaging is spot on.

The Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipsticks have my heart as of late and specifically "Valentine." These lipsticks are too dang creamy and they last an incredibly long time for not being matte. I probably got a good six hours out of one application without a sign of fading. "Valentine" is incredibly pigmented and has some impressive richness in color. If I wore at hat it would be off to Elizabeth Arden for this one.

I've been getting into the habit of cycling through my Naked Palettes more regularly these days and now up in the rotation is the cool toned Naked 2 Palette. This was the last palette I added to my collection and it's slowly stealing my attention from the others. I wasn't a huge fan of the cooler tones at first, but now it just suddenly clicks. Every shade makes my blue eyes pop and I'm a big fan.

The oddball of the month is definitely the Body Shop's Cheek and Lip Stain in "Bright Peony." Such an odd little product with a doe-foot applicator that packs a serious pop of color on the cheeks. Be quick to blend it out or risk looking blotchy and crazy, but if done right the color payoff and finish is amazing. 

I've gotten over my fear of using my Erin Condren Journal and have dove in head first to making random notes and to do lists about literally anything. It's a great little notebook to have on hand to jot down business ideas and blogging inspiration. Plus the Sticky Corner Pockets are super handy to tuck in papers in the back without worrying that they'll fly out. Such a cool little invention that has saved me a few times already.

My Happiness Boutique necklace has been getting a lot of wear this month as I attempt to look a little bit more put together to impress the new neighbors. Nobody wants to be known as the work-from-home-all-day-every-day-pajama girl and the Silver Pearls Crystal Statement Necklace makes any outfit so much nicer to look at. 

Like clockwork every year I find myself re-watching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. Now that's a bit of an exageration, but I've probably seen the entire series at least six times all the way through. It's an amazing show about family, growing up, talking fast, and being yourself. It was a huge influence on my teenage years as I watched the new episode week to week and I love watching it now as I continue to grow up. The best show ever no doubt.

What are your favorite products for April?

xoxo Kayla
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4.28.2016

How to Handle Brand Collaborations Like a Blogging Pro

How to Handle Brand Collaborations Like a Blogging Pro

Brand collaborations are definitely a given in the blogging world, yet no one ever talks about how you should go about handling them if you find yourself involved in one. Nothing is worse than the exciting moment when you receive a collaboration email and you haven't a clue how to respond in a way that's professional and cultivates a lasting relationship. I thought it about time I covered everything from finding/obtaining brand collaborations to keeping them around for longer than one blog post.

Of course I first have to start off by saying you shouldn't be blogging just to get free stuff. If that's your motive then your blogging experience won't be a happy one in the long run. This post is geared more towards helping out people who find themselves in a brand collab. situation rather than those out hunting for free swag.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way. Let's do this thing.

If you want to start working towards brand collaborations
  • Create a disclaimer page that's clearly visible so companies know what to expect when they're working with you. You want to say something about how you can't be paid to say good things about a brand, etc. Check out mine if you want any tips or ideas of what it should say.
  • Provide your contact information in an easy to find location so they can contact you.
  • Keep an eye on your stats. Keep track of how many followers you get each month and your blog's engagement. Brands may want to know this when working with you.
  • Create a consistent blog content schedule so when brands do find your site, they see you're active on your blog and don't just post occasionally.
  • Engage with brands on social media. Tag them in blog photos you post on social media. If you're already talking about their brand they might be more interested in helping you continue talking to your audience about them.
  • Clearly figure out what your blog is about and how you market it. No one wants to collaborate with a blog that's all over the place and doesn't have a clear subject matter.
If the brand contacts you
  • Always respond promptly and use the person's name who sent you the email.
  • Say thank you. It's super nice of them to reach out to you.
  • Decide if the brand fits with your blog and your subject matter. You shouldn't accept hair care items to review if you talk only about home decor. If you post about something randomly outside of your subject genre then your audience might falter as they realize you're just writing about the product because you got it for free. 
  • Figure out what collaboration they're wanting to do. They could just want to send you some samples of their products or they could want to sponsor a specific post about their brand. If it isn't clear what they're hoping to achieve, it doesn't hurt to ask for clarification.
  • If they want to sponsor a post, give them your prices and always direct them back to your disclaimer so they know what to expect from any collaborations with you.
  • Suggest doing a giveaway with the brand to engage your audience even more than with just a post.
If you contact the brand
  • Remember that they probably get hundreds of emails every day like the one you're sending so be concise and don't get upset if you don't hear anything back.
  • Clearly explain why a brand collaboration would be beneficial to them by showing them your blogging stats, discussing your audience demographics, and providing social media information.
  • Provide them with a detailed list of exactly what you plan to do for their collaboration. Are you going to make YouTube videos and blog posts or just feature their products in other posts you're already writing? Give them a sense of what to expect.
  • Target the email specifically to them rather than just sending a blanket mass email you've sent to hundreds of other brands.
  • Remember that you're contacting the brand because you enjoy it and think a collaboration coudl be beneficially to both of you, not just to get free things.
Things to remember once in a collaboration
  • If they decide to send you products, be sure to email them once they arrive so they know that you've received them.
  • Email them links to posts and videos you've featured the products in so they can access your information easily without having to remember to go look for it.
  • Tag their brand in all social media posts.
  • If you have any questions about the products or want to make sure your info about the brand is correct, don't hesitate to email the person you've been talking to back.
  • Check back in with them a few weeks/months after the initial collaboration to share with them links of other posts you've written since you first got in contact with them. It's a great way to show them that you're still engaging with their products after the first collaboration is technically over.

Brand collaborations vary from brand to brand and from blog to blog, so definitely do what works best for you and your blog. Brand collaborations are exciting, but make sure you're doing them for the right reasons and accepting products that really fit your brand and image. 

Have you done brand collaborations before? What would you add to this list?

xoxo Kayla

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4.27.2016

The Body Shop's Spa of the World is Out of This One

The Body Shop's Spa of the World is Out of This One

The Body Shop has become one of those brands in my arsenal that I can just count on. Their skincare products are fab and luxurious without being too expensive. So when I tried the Body Shop's new Spa of the World line I had high hopes, and I definitely was not disappointed.

First off, this line seems so lush. The packaging is sturdy (expect for the unfortunate cracked lid), high quality, and gorgeous. I've already ranted on and on about the Hawaiian Kukui Cream in videos and other blog posts because it's just so dang good. It's thick, moisturizing, and the tub feels like you could whack a bad guy over the head without any difficulty. Somehow that gives me uncontrollable joy and even more pleasure using it. 

The other products from the line I've gotten my hands on are just as high quality. The Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay is such a fantastically cool idea that I feel like definitely should exist more. A clay mask for your body? Sign me up ten fold. The mask removes impurities and any dirt and grim built up in the skin. My limbs felt like smooth butter after just one use and even more smooth after a few uses. 

The Thai Lemongrass Massage Oil was the hardest product in the bunch for me to get along with just for usage only. I don't often need a massage oil and the lemongrass sent is a bit too overpowering for my sensitive nose. The product itself is nice enough, but I can't get past the scent to really even give a proper opinion. Alex loves it however and commandeered it as his own without much protest from me.

The Body Shop's Spa of the World collection is so unique and interesting, plus I felt like I got to travel to new places and test out their products. Have you tried this line yet?

xoxo Kayla
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4.26.2016

My Night Stand Essentials

My Night Stand Essentials

Now my nightstand is not riddled with countless beauty products that I might need at a moment's notice. It actually only has a couple of things that would even remotely fall into that category. My bedside table acts more like a mini work space with a handful of must have essentials.

Everything in my nightstand aims to make my life a little bit easier as I'm lounging around. I have a lighter for any nearby candles, a pencil case full of pens, scissors, and highlighters, and a sizable stack of Erin Condren notepads for any late night to do lists. This drawer also houses my glasses and case because every other location I tend to forget where I put them. This is the best bet for making sure that I remember where they are. Underneath them is my Vera Bradley checkbook cover and checks. More often than not I find myself in bed paying bills. I try to smooth activities I hate by doing them in places I really enjoy.

There's also a little flashlight just in case the power goes out at night, and my vlogging camera. I like to charge the battery for the camera in the bedroom so it's there when I need it in the morning. So it just makes sense to keep the camera itself close by.

As for actual beauty bits, I have a giant tub of the Body Shop's Spa of the World Hawaiian Kukui Cream and a small container of Vaseline. I've talked about the kukui cream in a past favorites video and I'm still just as obsessed with the smell and the moisturizing wallop it packs.

I'm super curious to hear what you keep in your bedside table as I'm confident I'm missing some serious essentials. Leave your recommendations in the comments!

xoxo Kayla

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4.25.2016

Who Even Reads Blogs Anymore?!


Has blogging become uncool? Have I officially fallen back into the uncool crowd who blogs like I was an awkward member of back in 2007? Do people even read blogs anymore?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I personally love blogging and what it's done for my life. It's given me a voice, my own uncontrolled outlet to express myself, and it's brought me a lot of new friends. Yet it just feels like the blogging days are over and most people are constantly coming back from "blogging breaks" and vanishing just as quickly as they returned.

So what is it about blogging these days that makes it not-so glamorous anymore? Everyone and their sister is hopping on YouTube, but I still find that my blog gets the most organic love and attention. I do love myself a good YouTube video, but there's just something about rambling on, fingers to the keyboard, about the things that give us passion. 

Maybe it died down because people weren't getting the rise to fame like they expected. I don't find blogging easy. Even after almost a decade of doing it on one platform or another, finding topics and motivation is hard. Yet I wouldn't want to just stop and abandon something I put so much time and energy into. Blogging isn't something you're going to get rich doing. You aren't going to gather tons of loyal brands to constantly send things to you. You aren't going to get mountains of free things and money. 

Bloggers seem to be dying off and with that the readers who tuned in. Hopefully I'm just being dramatic and that's really not the case, but it just feels different these days. Less people sharing posts, engaging with content, and cursing the blogosphere for convincing them to buy yet another foundation. Although I fear that the lack of readership may be a fact and something that's here to stay, I don't want to quit. I started blogging because I loved it as a creative art form and I'll probably continue doing it until it becomes like teaching cursive in schools. I just can't give up on it.

Are you out there people? Are there people who still read blogs? You tell me.

xoxo Kayla
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4.22.2016

The Body Shop's Vitamin E Range


My Body Shop collection just keeps growing and growing these days as I explore the different lines and products. It's just one of those brands you can get lost in and still never really experience everything they have to offer. I've fallen down the Vitamin E rabbit hole and have been enjoying the tumble. Here's what I've found.

Of course the Body Shop Vitamin E Body Butter is a dream. It's thick, rich, but has that lovely soft scent the Vitamin E range is known for. It provides the perfect amount of moisture as it slowly sinks into the skin and is something I like to use right before bed to really let it get into my pores throughout the night.

The Body Shop's Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask reminds me a lot of the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask without being so intense. I'd say it's a summer compliment to Origins if you're looking for something lighter, more refreshing, and less full-on. It works incredibly similar though in application and results. It's nice to have another option when I don't want something so serious.

My favorite product from the entire range has to be the Toner. I've used a good three or four bottles of this stuff and it's the only toner I reach for day after day. It cleans off any remaining makeup while feeling gentle and soft on the skin. I don't feel sticky or gross after usage and it just does the job well. Definitely a toner to give a looksie next time you are in the market for one.

The oddest product of my Vitamin E collection is the Aqua Boost Essence Lotion. It's more like an oil than a lotion and unlike anything I've used before. It's incredibly moisturizing, sinks into the skin quickly, and leaves it feeling plump and happy. It also taught me I'm not a big fan of oils as I tend to be a bit of a hot mess. I couldn't seem to find its existence on the internet so it might be a new product coming out soon or I'm terrible at google searching. It's a toss up really.

Overall the Vitamin E line is so gentle and lovely. It doesn't irritate my occasionally sensitive skin in the slightest yet still adds moisture and health back into my dull complexion. Now to dive down another Body Shop rabbit hole and see where I end up...

Have you tried the Body Shop's Vitamin E range before?

xoxo Kayla

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4.21.2016

Concealers for Dark Under-Eye Circles

Concealers for Dark Under-Eye Circles

I'm definitely no stranger to dark under-eye circles. Regardless of how much sleep I get they're there in the morning really cramping my style. I've tried my fair share of concealers and only a handful have been able to really stand up to the under-eye test and make me look like a human being.

The NARS Creamy Concealer was the first concealer to really do something for my under eyes. It's medium to light weight while blending in like a dream. It doesn't completely cover up any discoloration, but it makes everything look way less noticeable and brings more light to my complexion. The only downside is that it doesn't last worth a damn. I love how it looks but it definitely does have some maintenance issues.

For days where my under eyes aren't bright purple monsters, the Bobbi Brown Corrector is the perfect thing. It's salmon colored so correcting is in its nature, but it's also super lightweight and creamy. It's not too heavy in the coverage department which makes this a great warmer months option when you don't want too much product sliding around your face.

The most full-on of the bunch is definitely the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. This stuff is incredibly thick and creamy and covers up practically everything. It also lasts ages on the skin, yet I find that it never really settles in. It's always a bit slippery and comes off on my fingertips if I brush my under eyes. So it's a toss up for sure. 

The middle of the road concealer is the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. It's all of the best aspects of the other three concealers without much fluff or fuss. It's light to medium coverage, sinks into the skin, lasts twice as long as the NARS offering, and covers nearly everything while brightening up the eye area. It's not as heavy coverage as the IT Cosmetics option, but isn't all over the place either. 

There's a concealer for every under eye type out there, but I find myself grabbing the UD one more often than not if I want something simple and fuss free. While the other options are all great at covering up dark circles, the number one spot is clearly taken in my heart.

What is your go-to favorite for under eye concealers? I'm always on the hunt for something new!

xoxo Kayla

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4.20.2016

The Makeup Bin Mix-Up

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I'm in a serious "use what you got" mindset these days so I've been working harder than ever to really explore my makeup stash. When all of my makeup was just strewn about in drawers I usually just reached for the same products again and again rather than poking around. Enter the makeup bin. Each week I take out products and add new ones in. Giving me a constant rotation of different products to keep me exploring my personal stash. Here's what's in the bin currently.

No matter how hard I try I can't do without my Stila One Step Correct primer; it's a given. I've also been deeply smitten with the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. It provides just the right amount of coverage and I still can't get over my shock at how much SPF it packs. The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder is another product I'm giving the full once over and so far I've been enjoying it. I don't necessarily notice a huge different in the finish of my makeup, but it definitely doesn't make it look bad.

 Blushes get switched out pretty frequently and I usually keep a couple of options. Right not I'm popping between Tarte's "Fearless" and the Body Shop's "Bright Peony" Lip & Cheek Stain. Both very bright pink shades but with completely different finishes and applications. My current concealer in rotation is the IT Cosmetic's Bye Bye Under Eye which is the thickest concealer I've ever used. It works great though and I like mixing it with other concealers for the perfect mixture. I also have Soap and Glory's "Solar Powder" for days when I want to go the extra mile in my makeup routine.

It's seriously IT Cosmetics lately in the makeup bin as I'm still exploring the recent products I got. I really like their Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil for its large nib and nearly flawless shade match. There's also a Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner in "Damsel" if I feel like tight-lining and whichever mascara I'm welding at the moment. Lately I've been working hard to finish up my Lancome Hypnose Mascara before it dries up on me. 

For lips I definitely need a couple of options so I usually pop in a few shades of a brand I'm testing out. Right now I have some Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche options and a Elizabeth Arden lipstick. They're likely in the mauve family I'm sure.

I'm loving this makeup bin and mixing up my makeup game. Who knew all I had to do was segregate my beauty stash to finally explore it to its fullest?!

xoxo Kayla
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4.19.2016

The Spring Edit


While I know spring technically started a good month ago, Michigan didn't really get the message until just recently. The days are finally warmer and it seemed about time to do a makeup regig and bring out some of my more seasonally appropriate bits.

For base it's all about the SPF now that the sun is out and making its point. I'm a sucker for a light base most months, but it gets serious when the sun comes around. The two rivals in my collection are the bareMinerals Complexion Resuce and the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. Both are fairly similar in coverage and lasting power, but they lay slightly different on the skin. They're great for hotter days where you don't want too much makeup caked on your face, but still want a little something.

It's these warmer days that really make it obvious just how pale I am, so I fake it with Soap and Glory's Solar Powder and some brighter blushes. Tarte Cosmetics is an obvious blush choice any time of year, but Bobbi Brown has a few good, bright offerings as well. 

For eyes I'm all about rose gold lately and nothing does that better than the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. A lovely blend of shimmery and matte shades that all make me feel like a Greek goddess who just happens to be away from her gorgeous beach house.

Lipstick is the easiest way to inject a little spring into a makeup routine and anything coral or pinky will do. Of course I tend to gravitate towards more natural looking shades like MAC's "Crosswires" or "See Sheer," Urban Decay's Revolution Lipstick in "Rush," and Elizabeth Arden's "Wildberry." If you're more of a brighter lipstick person, Urban Decay's Gwen Stefani Collab in "714" is a great orange-red matte shade with serious lasting power.

So here's to warmer days and actually being able to go outside for longer than a few freezing seconds!

How are you mixing up your makeup for spring?

xoxo Kayla
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4.15.2016

Recipe: Delicious Chocolate Mousse





Chocolate mousse might have to be my favorite indulgent dessert ever since I learned how to make it myself during a Sur la Table baking class. It was the perfect choice for the first recipe in my new Bake with Me series, even though you don't actually do any baking.

Makes about 4-6 servings

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
8 ounces baking chocolate (I like to use a combination of semi-sweet and sweet)
Various toppings

Directions
  • Heat ¾ cup cream in a saucepan until it simmers. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture back to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and can coat the back of a spatula. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla. 
  • Melt chocolate in a microwave safe container in short increments until melted, stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
  • Beat remaining 1¼ cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Whisk one third of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly until color is consistent. 
  • Spoon mousse into ramekins or other containers and chill. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. Mousse can be frozen and keeps in the fridge for up to five days.
After this recipe I definitely feel like I can make just about anything. All it takes is a little patience, a few reads of the recipe, and willing taste-testers!

xoxo Kayla
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4.14.2016

How to Streamline Your Closet if You Can't Handle a Capsule Wardrobe

How to Streamline Your Closet if You Can't Handle a Capsule Wardrobe

The blogging world is definitely abuzz with the minimalist trend lately. Gone are the days of hording makeup and enter ones filled with less things and more purpose. I'm definitely so on bored with decluttering and have shared my two cents on Marie Kondo's book to boot. Yet a capsule wardrobe of only a few shirts and things each season just isn't doable no matter how hard I try. So if you want to get on board with less is more but can't hack a 37 piece wardrobe, here's how to streamline your closet.

  1. Go Marie Kondo and empty everything out of your closet. Literally everything. Throw it into a large pile and decide what stays and what goes. You can be as strict as Kondo demands, or your own version. Just as long as you're being honest about what should say and what should go.
  2. Pretend you are making a capsule wardrobe, but don't limit yourself on pieces. Seriously consider what you wear most often and fill in wardrobe gaps where you see them. 
  3. Organize your closet based on categories so you can really see what types of clothes you have more of than others. I personally have at least 10 different colored cardigans. For some that would seem nuts, but I love wearing them over tank tops or blouses. This method could also help you realize you have way too many tshirts and you need to get rid of some more.
  4. Keep clothes that reflect your lifestyle and get rid of those that don't. If you have dozens of formal dresses but never go to anything formal, they're no longer needed in your closet. I have a lot of office casual clothes that I recently parted with now that I work at home. Sure I might find the need for them one day, but if that time ever comes around I'll just buy new ones as my current ones will be worn out and moth ridden by then.
  5. Try the hanger trick and flip all your hangers around backwards. When you wear something, put it back the hanger with the hanger turned back the normal way. After three months see which clothing items you haven't worn and say goodbye to them. You can't argue with a clear visual representation of what you do and don't wear.
These are a few quick ways to streamline your closet if you just can't muster the courage to try a capsule wardrobe. You'll feel so much better with a cleaner closet, feel a part of the minimalist trend, but still keep your sanity.

xoxo Kayla
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4.13.2016

Why I Was Wrong About Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipsticks

Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick Lip Swatches

Yet another instance where judgmental, stuck in her ways Kayla was missing out on a seriously awesome brand. For ages I just assumed the Elizabeth Arden was a brand for the older crowd with outdated products and lackluster quality. Boy was I an idiot.

Their lipsticks are really what made me change my tune. The Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipsticks are exactly what the name suggests. They're incredibly pigmented, have a buttery consistency, and aren't drying on the lips. The packaging alone had me running up to Alex just to show him just so someone else could experience the beauty. The product is elegant, well thought out, and definitely not dated. 

So let's round the gang up. "Valentine" (top left) is a cross between a berry and a red that I find works best when dabbed on the lips for a more everyday look. It's incredibly full-on when applied normally and would be awesome for a formal event or a night on the town. At first I thought "Pink Pink" (top right) was just too pink, but it's actually quite flattering on the lips without washing me out. My favorite of course is "Wildberry" (bottom left) since it's the closest to my beloved mauve shades. Yet I find "Marigold" (bottom right) incredibly unique and super fun to wear. It's my most complimented lipstick of the bunch and isn't too orange or over the top. All the lipsticks fade beautifully and end up looking like a stain on the lips if not reapplied after about four hours. 

I've also used Elizabeth Arden's Grand Entrance Mascara for a few weeks and find it incredibly similar to a lot of lengthening mascaras from the drugstore. It reminds me a lot of the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara as they both do a great job at separating the lashes and adding length. It's definitely not terrible in the volume department, but I tend to like my lashes as fake lash looking as possible without actually wearing fake lashes. I've been pairing it with Maybelline's The Rocket Volum' Express and loving the results. 

As a way to make amends for my foolish judgement of a brand I'm now obsessed with, I'll be giving away three lipsticks ("Wildberry," "Pink Pink," and "Marigold" and a Grand Entrance Mascara! The giveaway is open internationally to everyone over 18 or with parental consent!


Boy was I wrong about Elizabeth Arden. They products are amazingly high quality and rival some of my favorite brands with ease. Their prices are comparable but that packaging makes you feel like you're getting more for your money. I'll definitely find a reason to pull out my lipstick in public just to show it off.

Have you tried Elizabeth Arden before?

xoxo Kayla 
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4.12.2016

Making a Statement with Happiness Boutique

Happiness Boutique Statement Necklace

Happiness Boutique Statement Necklace

At this point I think we're all aware at how simple and fluff-free of a person I am. I'm a strong believer in everything in moderation and that extends to all aspects of my life. Yet moderation doesn't mean starvation and I do enjoy a few nice pieces to spice up a collection. My jewelry collection has been paired down to about five or six pieces but I was looking for a statement necklace to round everything out. Happiness Boutique delivered.

Happiness Boutique is a German brand that has some seriously impressive pieces. I could hardly pick just one as I browsed page after page of seriously impressive necklaces. I decided on the Silver Pearls Crystal Statement Necklace as it felt like a good everyday necklace that could definitely transition to formal wear. 

It arrived super quickly even though it came from Germany and was packaged in a gorgeous, sturdy box that I'm trying my hardest to get rid of and not horde. The necklace itself is incredibly high quality. I always expect statement necklaces to feel like Forever21 quality, but this is so much nicer. It has weight, but not too much that I feel like my neck will be sore by the end of the day. The toggle clasp holds well and there isn't a risk of it coming undone randomly.

Happiness Boutique offers free shipping worldwide and you can get points to redeem for free gifts. The pricing throughout the site seems fair for the higher quality of jewelry. I have a feeling I'll be on this site a lot come Christmas time when I have to find thoughtful gifts for my new sisters-in-law!

I already have plans to wear this bad boy to my upcoming bridal shower Alex's mom is hosting me next month. Nothing screams Breakfast at Tiffany's like a little glam! I love it and know I'll be showered in compliments when I take this gem out on the town.

xoxo Kayla

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4.11.2016

Which Eye Shadow Palette Should I Get? A Palette for Every Need

Which Eye Shadow Palette Should I Get? A Palette for Every Need

Eye shadow palettes are my Achilles heel of makeup products. Regardless of how many I have, there's always a reason to get just one more. With more eye shadows than my eye lids will ever use, I've learned a thing or two about palettes and which one is good for what.

Before we dive in it's safe to say that all these palettes are top notch. Although they vary a little here and there, they're all buttery, pigmented, and the cream of the crop of eye shadows. No risks here.

Which palette...

For everyday use
If you're looking for just a solid, all-around perfect palette to accomplish everything you could possibly need, theBalm's NUDE 'tude or the LORAC Pro Palette are the ticket. Their shade range varies enough you'll be able to pull off multiple looks without ever leaving the palette.

For travel and on-the-go
A smaller palette is an obvious choice and my favorite has to be the butterLONDON Shadow Clutch in "Natural Charm." The shadows can be mixed and matched within the smaller packaging to create the perfect shade combination. Plus the mirror is massive and great for on-the-go application. The Urban Decay Naked Basic palettes are another great choice for a more basic look.

For special occasions
The LORAC Pro Palette and any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes are exactly what you'll need to create any type of look for a special event. The LORAC palette has a lot of non-neutral shades to mix things up and add a pop of color. The Urban Decay palettes have the longest staying power of any shadow I've tried so they're not going to disappear during the night. 

For specific tones and shade families
Look no further than the Urban Decay Naked palette family. The first palette has your warm tones, the second your cool tones, the third is all about rose-gold, and the smokey palette does what it says on the packaging. I would say you'll never need another palette again if you pick up whichever shade family works best for you, but we all know once you get one it's an obsessive addiction to collect them all. 

For beginners
Nothing beats the Naked Basic palettes if you're just getting into makeup and aren't really sure what's what. They have just enough shades to create a standard look without being too overwhelming. Plus they're more affordable since they're smaller so you won't be spending an arm and a leg on something you aren't sure will work for you.

Nothing beats a good ol' eye shadow palette, but if you're in penny saving mode it's best to get one that meets your needs rather than going heart-eyed emoji and buying them all up in one frantic motion!

Which palette is your go to?

xoxo Kayla

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4.08.2016

Planner & Beauty Haul






It's been quite a while since I did a full-fledged haul and of course it's packed with hordes of planner supplies from Erin Condren. I couldn't help but throw in a few beauty bits as well to keep things interesting. You can find all the links to products in the description of the video if you're curious about anything in particular.

I couldn't go overboard on planner supplies without thinking about you guys! I'm giving away a few of Erin Condren's newest releases as well as some stickers from Oh, Hello. The giveaway is open internationally to anyone over 18 or with parental consent!



Good luck!

xoxo Kayla
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4.07.2016

The Truth About StriVectin

StriVectin Skincare and Hair Review

It's no where near as scary as it looks. StriVectin is one of those brands who don't really wow you when you look at the packaging. My first exposure to it had me nervous and a bit scared to dive into the clinical looking products, but man am I glad it did. Behind their somewhat uninspiring packaging is some seriously awesome quality stuff.

My favorite product that I've tried from the brand is the Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner. It aims to minimize the appearance of pores and I've actually been able to tell that it's working. More often than not products like these just manage insecurities rather than actually doing anything. The packaging is well thought out, the cream sinks into the skin without much effort, and it feels hydrating when applied. The proof is in the pudding with this one.

The Repair & Protect Moisturizer and the Multi-Action Restorative Cream are very similar in appearance, consistency, and texture. Honestly I can't really tell them apart when it comes to what they do for my skin. But after using both of them separately and together, my skin does look healthier, happier, and more moisturized. That's really all I'm looking for in my skincare anyway.

StriVectin recently introduced a hair care line that has me questioning my deep obsession with my current hair routine. Which is probably for the best since I'm downright awful at branching out in the hair department. Their shampoo and conditioner are good at getting hair clean, but it's the Root Lifting Spray and Bodifying Radiance Serum that I've really been enjoying. The root lifting spray leaves my hair more volumous without feeling sticky. It doesn't hold up all day, but the lift does last a good chuck of time and doesn't leave my hair looking oily and flat after it wears off. The radiance serum helps my hair look shiner and healthier without weighing it down or making it look greasy. All good things.

Now the worst thing about StriVectin is the price. You're definitely paying a pretty penny for their scary-looking products, but at the same time you're getting quality products and a lot of it. It's a hard sell for someone like me who can barely muster taking off her makeup every night let alone dishing out serious money for skincare. Yet if you take skincare much more seriously than I do, you may want to invest. StriVectin makes good products, it's true. But the price is definitely a turn off.

Have you tried StriVectin before?

xoxo Kayla
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4.06.2016

IT Cosmetics Top Five

IT Cosmetics Top Five Brand Overview

IT Cosmetics Top Five Brand Overview

IT Cosmetics Top Five Brand Overview

I popped a little teaser in last week's March Favorites video about this post coming on the horizon. and now it's officially arrived. I've known about IT Cosmetics since the brand first came out, but I never went farther than a few swatches in the store until recently. Now I've fallen head first into the brand and am resurfacing to share my thoughts on their most popular products.

The Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream was the first product I tried and totally made me do a full stop. Dang is this product fabulous. It's a light to medium coverage foundation that packs a serious 50+ SPF. No sun is getting to my cheeks with this stuff. It's super easy to apply and looks great blended in with a brush, fingers, or beauty blender. It covers up redness and any discoloration without looking too obvious or cakey. It lasts practically all day and has the most lovely satin, glowy finish. Plus it's a squeeze tube with a pump. Two of my favorite things.

IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Under Eye is the product I've heard about most over the blogosphere and I can get the hype, but have some mixed feelings about it. I love how thick and great at covering under eye circles it is, but it never feels to really sink into the skin. If I happen to brush my under eyes I come away with a bit of product on my fingers. Yet I love the coverage and how it brightens up my eyes. So maybe I need to get more serious with my blending and adapt a setting powder routine...

The Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil made an appearance in my March Favorites as a product that's giving the Anastasia Brow Wiz a run for its money. I really like the soft brown taupe shade and larger nub for application. The spoolie is nice and big and I love how natural my lashes look after use. The only downside is the fact that it's more expensive than the Anastasia offering.

One product I haven't really gotten behind yet is the Bye Bye Pores Finishing Powder. I rarely use finishing powders to begin with so I've struggled working it into my daily routine. When I have used it though I really enjoyed its light texture and ease of application. It didn't settle into my pores or wrinkles, but I couldn't tell if it was really doing anything. I don't like applying makeup just for the sake of applying it. I'm just not necessarily sold on its effectiveness, or any finishing powder for that matter.

IT Cosmetics' Super Hero mascara on the other hand I can totally get behind. The packaging alone is adorable and uniquely shaped. It's great at separating the lashes to create a nice, natural looking end result that holds a curl. It doesn't clump and adds a decent amount of volume to boot. 

Overall IT Cosmetics really has it going on. Underestimating brands is kind of my thing and this one is no different. The packaging is on point, there's quality in every product, and the results are exactly what I'm looking for. My biggest concern is the price. It rivals a lot of the bigger name brands and just has me a bit standoffish to fall in love completely. Everything feels five dollars more than I'm comfortable spending. A bummer, but definitely not a deal breaker if the quality is there.

Have you tried IT Cosmetics before?

xoxo Kayla
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4.05.2016

The Body Shop Makeup: An Introduction


My first real experience with The Body Shop was strictly skin care. I didn't even know they had makeup until nearly a year later when I put two and two together and realized the beloved honeycomb bronzer was by them (a product I still have yet to try). So like with most things, I'm finally getting around to trying out some of their makeup with pretty positive results.

First up is the Fresh Nude Foundation. I have the shade "Chelsea Porcelain" which is way too light for me. Beyond its obvious shade faults, the product itself is lovely. Comparable to a lot of drugstore foundations I've tried, it's medium coverage with a finish somewhere between satin and dewy. The wear time isn't fantastic, but these days I'm not pushing my foundation to the limits anyway. I'd definitely pick it up in my actual shade at next opportunity.

The Lip and Cheek Stain in "Bright Peony" is my favorite product of the group and my first experience of using non-powder blush. It's incredibly pigmented and one little dab from the doe-foot applicator is all you need for a serious pop of color. It dries quickly so one cheek at a time is the way to go if you don't want one side to end up blotchy (trust me from experience). This stuff lasts ages without fading or budging. I'm converted.

The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara is just your good ol' fashion lengthening and volumizing mascara. It isn't anything life revolutionizing, but you don't have to worry about it. It holds a curl, doesn't clump, and does the trick. I wouldn't say it's super volume bringing, but it definitely does the trick.

My least favorite product is their Skin Primer Matte It. Matte primers just don't work for my dry/combination skin and leave it feeling off and stiff. Compared to other matte primers though this is the best I've tried that doesn't make me feel the urge to immediately take another shower or wash my face. So that's something at least.

Overall The Body Shop has some seriously solid products in the makeup department. I didn't find a diamond-in-the-rough-holy-grail-where-have-you-been-all-my-life product, but I did find lots of high quality products that are nothing to scoff at. I say that's a win.

Have you tried Body Shop makeup before?

xoxo Kayla
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4.04.2016

Vintage Oh, Hello Subscription Giveaway



Oh, Hello is well into its second year of sticker subscriptions and I thought it was about time to do a run through of all of the ones I've saved. From animals in sweaters to love monsters, there has been quite the variety of subscriptions over the months! Plus I always get lots of questions to see old subscriptions so what better way than through a walk-through video!

I'm giving away some extra copies of vintage subscriptions as well! The giveaway will run for a week and a half and is open internationally to anyone over 18 or with parental consent. Thanks so much for all your support and good luck!


xoxo Kayla
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4.01.2016

March Favorites



This month has been a crazy one, but I've managed to find the time to try out a lot of new products. Apparently I just need to be busy in order to trick myself into trying new things! 

The first March favorite is a giant, I mean giant, tub of lotion. The Body Shop's Spa of the World Hawaiian Kukui Cream is an amazingly, thick and luxurious lotion I've been slathering all over my body right before bed. The smell is divine and unlike anything I've ever experienced before in a way that makes me actually crave putting it on every night. My skin feels hydrated and happy every morning. Plus the giant tub will last literal ages.

For hair I've finally pushed myself to try something new besides my usual go to. The LivingProof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo is a great all-around solid shampoo. My hair feels extra squeaky clean after usage and there isn't a lot of oil build up by the end of the day. I've really been trying to wash my hair every two days and this shampoo has definitely helped me not feel so gross that second day. 

Another new addition to my shower routine is the Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser. Now this stuff is weird. It doesn't lather up on the skin and feels almost dry when I massage it around and wash it off. My skin feels drier after usage, but not in a bad way. Strange I know. A few hours after use my skin feels happy and hydrated, it's just up until that point that things are just a bit odd. When it works it works though so I'll take the weird feeling skin for the results.

Makeup this month has been a blind obsession over IT Cosmetics. I recently got officially introduced to the brand and two products have rose in the ranks quickly. The CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream is like my beloved bareMinerals Complexion Rescue but better. GASP. It's just the right amount of medium coverage, a touch of dewy finish, and lasts all day. Any imperfections or redness are masked perfectly and the finish is great regardless of how it's applied. The pump applicator is also a huge plus. I've also been in love with their Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil over the Anastasia Brow Wiz these days. It's the perfect cool toned brown taupe and I love the thicker oval shaped nub to apply it with. If it doesn't have a spoolie I'm not interested and this one's is definitely the best I've tried.

There are also quite a few non-beauty favorites that made their way into this month's video including The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I wrote a whole post about what I learned from the book so I won't go into too much detail, but it's definitely worth a read if you've somehow managed to avoid it until now. I've also been downright obsessed with long, lined notepads. I have a few from Erin Condren, but honestly any will do. They're great for shopping lists, daily to do lists, and just jotting down any ideas I might have. 

March was a crazy month and I'm sure April will give it a run for its money! What did you get up to in March? What are some of your favorite products?

xoxo Kayla
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