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


The Five Product Face | Collab with Madeline1f

When Madeline from Cappuccino and Fashion (Madeline1f on YouTube) contacted me asking if I wanted to do the Five Product Face challenge with her I immediately said yes! Madeline is the first friend I made from making videos on YouTube and I couldn't pass up this opportunity! 

Believe it or not it's also the first video I've ever filmed where I apply makeup on camera. You get to see all the awkward angles and weird faces I have when putting on makeup! Oh joy!

Don't forget to watch Madeline's video! What five products would you use?

xoxo Kayla


How to Blog Daily

I pride myself in updating nearly every single day of the week (sometimes the weekend escapes me). It's been quite the journey getting to where I'm able to keep up with my full-time job, social life, and blog, but I think I've finally mastered the perfect balance. Here are some of my tips on how to get new content on your blog daily.

Stay organized:
I recently wrote a post all about how to stay organized with blogging so I won't go into too much more detail here. It's seriously the most important factor in trying to blog daily. You have to be an expert at planning ahead. I take all the photos for my blog posts for at least the next week on the weekends and then find time throughout the week to write up the posts and schedule them. Same with videos. I will film a handful of videos on the weekend and then schedule when they go live on YouTube. My full-time job leaves no room for much work during the work week, so scheduling has become my savoir.

Read fellow blogs:
Writers block can happen to anyone, definitely if you're trying to put up new content every single day. Reading fellow bloggers' blogs can really help inspire you and give you ideas for your own blog. No way am I suggesting stealing blog posts or anything like that. Use it more as a tool for inspiration and less as a tool for content acquisition. Reading other blogs can also help inspire your photography as well

Stay up on new releases:
Staying up to date on when new products are being released can help give you ideas of posts. You could review the newest lipstick from Covergirl, etc. Just make sure you're being timely with these sorts of posts...there are enough Naked 3 Palette reviews out there already. And don't go buying new products just to have a jump on the reviews...that's much too expensive for anyone.

Branch out: 
If you're struggling with posting beauty posts every single day, try going beyond makeup to include some lifestyle posts, how to posts, etc. This makes your blog more attractive to a variety of readers while making things easier for you. Plus it's always fun to share recipes and exciting outings!

Try YouTube: 
Making videos can help add content to your blog as well as making your posts more engaging. If you're looking for a way to spice up your blog, getting a YouTube channel is a good way to do it. You just have to be confident in yourself, set up a camera, and get filming!

What tips do you have for posting daily?

xoxo Kayla


First Impressions: Sample Society's January Box

Sample Society has me all sorts of "meh". This is the second box I've received after signing up to their $15 a month service and I've just been unexcited and unimpressed by their product selections. When I saw the Butter London product I got excited, but my excitement wavered when I realized I wasn't getting my opportunity to try a Butter polish, but getting a nail care product. Perfume samples are never a good idea in my book either. Plus the StriVectin-SD products leave me confused and feeling unintelligent. The moisturizer has me interested and I do love good typography packaging. 

I think I'm going to cancel my subscription and find another one. Do you have any recommendations for monthly subscription boxes I should sign up for?

xoxo Kayla



Review: Sample Society's December Box

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Night Moisturizer
I still have mixed feelings about this product and will be continuing to test it out. When I first put it on my face, it smelled really strange and burned my sensitive cheeks a little. However after a few minutes it settled in fine and the smell went away or I just didn't notice it anymore. So I'm still not sure...

dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 
Definitely not a product for me. It's difficult for someone clumsy like me to use and seems more like a hassle than anything else. 

IPKN New York IPKN Moist & Firm BB SPF 02 Light 
This was incredibly dark when I first put some onto my hand, but it ended up blending out fairly well on the skin and when I used very little. It's definitely not going to be replacing any of my other BB creams any time soon but it was nice to give another brand a try.

Alterna Caviar Dry Shampoo 
I am much too loyal to my Dove dry shampoo to replace it any time soon. This shampoo was alright, but I'm not a fan of powders and I could tell it left a bit of a weird coloration behind when I massaged it in.

Jane Iredale Lash Conditioner
My favorite product from this month's box was this lash conditioner. I'm not entirely sure at how effective it actually is, but it seems to do a great job at separating my lashes to prepare them for the mascara to follow.

Overall I am really disappointed. Maybe I hyped up Sample Society too much in my head or something, but this first box definitely left me wanting. It's no Ipsy, that's for sure.

To hear more reviews watch the video!

What do you think of Sample Society?

xoxo Kayla


Haul: LUSH, LiSi, and Stila

A beauty haul was definitely around the corner seeing as I hadn't purchased anything in a while! I blame Hautelook for the initial purchases and LUSH gets me every time! Hautelook was having a sale on eye shadows and blushes from a brand named LiSi Cosmetics which I had never heard of. The prices were good and I'm always down to try new brands. Unfortunately one of them came broken. Boo. There was another Hautelook sale where I got the Stila lip crayon. Plus all my little LUSH gems! I didn't mention the face mask in the haul video because I actually forgot to get it out of the fridge!

What products have you picked up recently?

xoxo Kayla


Guest Post: Winter to Spring Nail Polish Picks

I recently had the opportunity to guest post on Dungarees And Donuts! I thought I'd share the post I wrote for Jess with you all just as a bonus post for today.

Hello everyone! I'm Kayla from Microscope Beauty and am really excited to be guest posting for Jess! If the UK is anything like Michigan right now, it's downright cold. However spring is just around the corner! Here are a few polishes that will work well during that transitional period from winter to spring.

Essie's "Damsel in a Dress" ($8.50) is your classic deep plum shade that's perfect for the winter months, but as the weather gets warmer I still can see myself wearing it as it's just a lovely, attention-getting color. On the other end of the spectrum is Sally Hansen's "Jaded" ($6.49)*, your typical spring pastel shade. I for one love wearing colors like soft light blues in the winter as it makes me feel like a snow queen or one with the weather. It'll be a great color to welcome in warmer days. Rimmel's "Steel Grey" ($3.99) touches on the cooler tones of winter but also has lovely lilac notes that promise spring is just around the corner. This is my personal favorite of the bunch as it's an amazing formula with a nice brush. 

Next up is China Glaze's "Re-Fresh Mint" ($7.50). I'm a sucker for mint. I'd find a way to wear it all year round if I had to. It's on the cooler side which makes it a perfect contender for the winter months, but will transition easily into the early spring months. Finally, Essie's "Vested Interest" ($8.50) reminds me of denim shorts and showing some skin after a bundled up winter. It still has my go-to cool blue tone that I gravitate towards in the winter though. The perfect transition shades.

What nail polishes do you wear during the transition period from winter to spring?

Be sure to stop by my blog and say hi!

xoxo Kayla


Sunday Stuff #4

It's been much too long since my last Sunday Stuff post! I haven't really been mixing up my Sunday routine very much so posting the same products again and again would get a little silly. However this Sunday I'm doing things a bit differently. I picked up the Brazened Honey fresh face mask ($6.95) from LUSH recently and am excited to try it. I also have plans to set some time aside to paint my nails since that hasn't seemed to be happening lately. There's always just too much to do! I'm thinking I'll do the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Color in "Jaded" ($6.49)* as I've been gravitating towards the blues lately. Finally my brushes are in desperate need of a good wash! A thorough brush cleaning is definitely in order.

What are you doing on your Sunday?

xoxo Kayla



This Week's Most Loved #11

This week was kind of a slow week on the beauty product front. I had my first full week of getting to work at 8 A.M. and working till 5 P.M. so I was getting used to those early mornings. I was after quick and easy looks last week and found myself reaching time after time for my theBalm NUDE'tude Nude Eye Shadow Palette ($36). I gravitated more towards the pink shades in the palette as a conscious way of fighting off my desire for the Naked 3 by using the pinks I already have. This palette is completely brilliant and not talked about enough! On the nails I wore Essie's "Vested Interest" ($8.50) for the majority of the week. It's a solid denim shade and something I just find myself wanting to put on my nails time and time again.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla


Recipe: S'Mores Cookies

I'd thought I'd try a new post with you today and share a recipe for s'mores cookies! I've really started getting into baking lately and usually spend my Sunday afternoons working on blog posts and trying out a new recipe. Let me know if you'd like me to make these recipe posts a more frequent thing!

Sadly I don't know where I got this recipe from. I've scoured everywhere I could think of, but I typed up the recipe and printed it off to put into my "off the internet" recipe binder and never included the source because I never thought I would need it. There are loads of places to find s'mores cookie recipes though! I've added some commentary based on my experience with the recipe

Makes 18-20 cookies

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla (Seriously.)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (Regular size works fine too)
18 fun sized Hershey's bars, broken into smaller pieces (You may have extra. Just some to snack on!)
2-3 full honey graham crackers, broken into smaller pieces
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

With a mixer (or by hand), cream together softened butter, and both sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda (or just use the one bowl and not dirty more dishes) Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Use a muffin top pan (I used a whoppie pie pan because it was the closest I had), or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Measure about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into each section of the pan or onto the sheet. Press the dough down and stick Hershey's bar pieces, graham cracker pieces, and mini marshmallows into the top of the dough.

Bake 11-13 minutes or until edges of cookies turn golden brown.

(The cookie dough will seem really dry compared to most cookie dough but that's normal! The cookies also won't change shape much so definitely pay attention to the edges browning)

There you have it! A delicious easy, yet fancy looking recipe! Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this! I'll be sure to try and keep better track of where I got the recipes from!

What's your favorite cookie recipe?

xoxo Kayla



First Impressions: January Ipsy Glam Bag

The December Glam Bag was definitely a hard act to follow after bringing that beautiful Mirabella Eye Blender brush into my life. The January bag is solid though and has brought a few products I'm really interested to try. The foundation, lip balm, and body balm have me immediately curious while the Benefit the POREfessional has me interested mostly because of all the reviews I've been hearing lately. I could have definitely done without the face wipes though. They always seem to disappoint and then I'm left with upwards of seven or eight wipes I won't use but don't want to just throw away. I'll give them an honest go regardless as well as all the other products.

What are your initial thoughts on the January glam bag?

xoxo Kayla


Review: December Ipsy Glam Bag

NYC Extra Creamy Round Lipstick
The surprise of the bag, I actually really enjoyed this lipstick. The color was sheer, yet build-able and incredibly moisturizing. It didn't last incredibly long, but I personally don't mind reapplying lipstick throughout the day. I'm definitely considering adding a few more of these babies to my collection.

Be a Bombshell That One Stick
This just wasn't the right color for me. I like the concept of the product, but there's no way I'm putting that bright red anywhere near my cheeks when the blend-ability of this product isn't the best. Plus I don't see it being really easy to apply to my lips with it being a flat top, large blob of color.

POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio
This ended up being a pretty solid eye shadow trio. I found myself not using the middle shade all that much in the past month as it disappeared when placed on my lids. I wouldn't necessarily use this trio on its own, but could see myself borrowing a shade for a look here and there.

Nicka K New York Nail Color
The disappointment of the bag. The rose gold bottle and interesting dusty rose/brown color had me all sorts of intrigued and excited. Yet it was like as soon as the polish hit my nail it was already chipping. I'm not a fan of a polish I have to coddle with top coats and base coats and extra time drying, so this is definitely not a polish for me.

Mirabella Eye Blender Brush
Oh. my. goodness. This brush. Worth the price of the bag and so much more it's SO good!! I've ranted about it a few times before in videos and posts so I'll leave it at that. But damn.

What are your thoughts on the December Glam Bag?

xoxo Kayla



LULU by Lulu Guiness Mint Wallet

I stumbled upon this LULU by Lulu Guiness Mint Wallet ($26.99) while shopping for dress pants at JC Penney and just couldn't leave without taking it with me. I never heard of the brand before this chance encounter and now I'm definitely hooked. I wasn't able to find this exact wallet on the website so I linked to the general brand page. 

The bow detail reminds me slightly of Henri Bendel (a brand I will probably never own) which makes me really happy. It's a lovely mint shade and opens up to having tons of slots for cards. Plus there's a back pocket with a little coin purse insert that you're able to remove to use separately. It feels incredibly nice and well-made. LULU has a variety of really beautiful, well-structured handbags that have me itching to save up some spare cash to get one (like this one). 

If you want to see more close-ups of the inside and back pocket of the wallet, watch my most recent fashion haul video where I show it in more detail.

What do you look for in a wallet?

xoxo Kayla

What I Look for in a Beauty Blog

Beauty blogs are a dime a dozen these days and reading them is by far my favorite past time. I browse new blogs daily and have noticed that there are some specific qualities I look for in a blog before I hit that "follow" button.

1. Good photography
Above all else a blog's photography is the most important factor in determining whether or not I'll follow a blog. If the photos are blurry, dark, or grainy I'm instantly not interested in reading any posts, regardless of how insightful they may be. Unfortunately photography can be the hardest part about maintaining a blog. There's tons to learn and lighting can be unpredictable. However it can make or break a blog in my book.

2. Frequent Posting
I pride myself in posting nearly every day on this blog (the weekends sometimes get me) so frequent posting is definitely an important thing for me. I'm not saying it has to be daily, but a post every two weeks or so making excuses for the lack of posts just doesn't do it for me.

3. Engaging/Unique Posts
There's only so many times someone can read a swatch post about the new Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. Unique posts are a must for me. I don't mind the traditional, usual posts, but having a series that's unique to your blog is definitely a plus. Posts that talk about products that aren't all over the blogosphere also perk my interest. It's like I'm being let in on a secret about a product others haven't heard about yet!

4. Responds to Comments
Nothing's worse than leaving a comment and never hearing anything from the blogger. It doesn't make me want to keep reading the blog if the writer doesn't have enough time to respond to their readers. If a reader takes the time to leave a comment that's a HUGE deal to me! Responding to comments is a really nice gesture that you value your readers not just for their views.

5. Style and voice
One thing I really love about reading beauty blogs is the different personalities that come out with each blog. Finding your style and voice for your blog is incredibly important but also sometimes really challenging. It's easy to want to get swept up and follow big named bloggers style of posting, but you have to find what works for you! Be yourself!

What sorts of things do you look for when finding new blogs to follow?

xoxo Kayla


Geometric Jewelry

As per my usual fashion when it comes to jewelry trends, I've found myself itching to get some geometric inspired jewelry after the trend has nearly died down. While shopping the Forever21 50% off clearance sale I decided to pop over to the jewelry page to see if I could find anything that peaked my interest. Two necklaces caught my attention and I couldn't be happier with them!

The first is the Triangle Charm Necklace ($4.80) which is a really simple piece with three different colored triangles at the end of a fairly long chain. It's completely perfect in my book. Simple yet unique and can be worn with anything! The second necklace I couldn't find on the website anymore. It's the Simple Stated Geo Necklace ($5.80) and makes a bigger statement than the other one. The chain is a bit shorter and only the top two sections move. I'm in love!

Check out what else I picked up during my online/in-store shopping spree with this video!

Do you own any geometric inspired jewelry?

xoxo Kalya

Liebster Award

Thank you to the every lovely Becca at Perfectly Polished Paws and Bellatula who nominated me for the Liebster Award. Before the nomination I hadn't a clue with the Liebster Award even was! So I'm pretty pumped about the nominations!
The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself
3. You must answer the 11 questions given by the nominee before you. 
4. You pick 11 nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions. 
5. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
6. You must tell the nominees that they have been nominated by you.

11 random facts:

1. I have an older sister who is 2 and a half years older than me. She was the first person to introduce me to makeup, but she's not nearly as into it as I am.
2. I used to play water polo in high school.
3. I graduated college this past December with a Bachelor's degree in Communication with a minor in photography.
4. I'm an incredibly picky eater mostly due to the texture of the food
5. I studied abroad in England for a few weeks. I've also been to France, China, and various islands in the Caribbean.
6. I have a pet cat named Tardis.
7. I've always been a very introvert, quiet person.
8. I have a full-time job doing marketing and alumni relations for the university I graduated from. I have an office and everything!
9. I love writing letters and sending snail mail to friends. It's so much more personal getting a letter in the mail then a message in your Facebook inbox.
10. My favorite books are "Looking for Alaska" by John Green and "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.
11. My dream job would be running/designing a beauty magazine.

Here are the questions I was given to answer by Becca:

1. What is your favorite high street shop?
We don't have "high street" shops in the United States like they're known in the UK. However I love Forever21, which I would consider to be a high street short of shop.

2. What is your favorite make-up brand?
Lately it's been theBalm. The Frat Boy blush and the NUDE-Tude palette are completely brilliant. I also really love Revlon as they're overall just a really great brand.

3. What was your favorite beauty product in 2013?
My Mirabella Eye Blender brush. It's the best brush I've ever used!

4. What products are you looking forward to trying in 2014?
There are more products than I could possible say that I want to try in 2014. My recent wishlist post details just a few that I have my eye on.

5. You can only take one beauty product on holiday - what would it be?
Definitely mascara. It makes a huge impact on my overall look and I look dead without it.

6. What is your favorite part of your skincare/beauty routine?
For my skincare routine I love moisturizing. All the other steps make my skin feel raw and vulnerable, but as soon as I put that moisturizer on I feel like a new woman! For my beauty routine I love putting on my blush or lipstick. Before Frat Boy I never even liked blush, but I'm in love. Lipstick brings the whole look together in one fell swoop and it's a perfect ending!

7. What color nail polish do you love to wear?
Blues. Tons and tons of blues. Basically every single shade.

8. What type of product could you never own too many of?
Lipsticks. At least that's what I tell myself when I keep buying more and more deep mauve shades.

9. What do you prefer and why - Autumn/Winter clothing or Spring/Summer clothing?
I prefer spring/fall clothing because it's like the best combination of all of my favorite things. I love sweaters, but I hate wearing big bulky jackets on top of them. I also hate being warm or having to wear tank tops and feel self-conscious about things. I also love wearing boots!

10. Do you prefer heels or flats? What about if you could only choose one?
Flats. Definitely. I do love heels but they're so impractical with my job at a university where I could be walking all over campus in a day. 

11. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I started this blog as a means to share my passions with like-minded people. There are very few people in my "real" life that are interested in beauty products like I am. It can get really lonely not having people to talk to! Plus I love photography and saw this as a great opportunity to expand on my skills!

Here were the questions I was given to answer by Bellatula:

1. If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
This question is always really hard for me to answer because I feel like all superpowers come with a downside. I think I'd like to be able to heal people with just one touch though or have really good hearing.

2. Who/what was your first blogging inspiration?
I have kept a blog for years before I decided to start a beauty blog. I think EssieButton was a big push because I loved how she did her blog and it made me feel like I could do it too.

3. Name one beauty technique you have found it very hard to master.

Foundation seems so tricky to me. It's so hard to find the right shade and then knowing how much to use! It's probably the first thing people learn but I've never really figured it out.

4. What is your favorite beauty brand?

As I said in the last questions lately it's been theBalm but I also really love Revlon.

5. What is your favorite beauty product?

Lipsticks are my favorite things to buy, but mascara is my favorite product for making a noticeable difference to my face.

6. If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

It would be a pair of jeans and a sweater. Nothing's more comfy to me than that!

7. What is your favorite song?

"Fix You" by Coldplay

8. What is your dream job?

I touched on this in my 11 random facts but I would love to have my own business with my boyfriend Alex producing a beauty magazine and doing photography on the side.

9. What is your favorite word and why?

I used to have one but now I can't seem to remember it!!

10. Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

London has a special place in my heart since I studied abroad there a few years ago. I also really love Samana in the Dominican Republic. I've never seen a place as beautiful as there!

11. What is your proudest achievement?

I have so many things I'm proud of! Graduating college with the highest award a student can get from my university, starting this blog and actually having people read it, I think the list goes on and on as it should. You should always be proud of yourself, and not just for one thing!

The people I would like to nominate are:

Some of these lovely blogs have more than 200 followers, but definitely deserve this nomination! Most of the blogs I follow have way more than 200 followers as well so my list is only 9!

My questions for you to answer are:

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. What are your favorite things to blog about?
3. What are your goals for your blog in 2014?
4. What's your favorite types of beauty products?
5. What's one type of beauty product you don't know much about but want to learn more about in the next year?
5. What's your dream job?
6. If you had $500 what kinds of beauty products would you buy?
7. What have you gotten out of beauty blogging? Community?
8. What's your must have beauty product? 
9. What's one beauty mistake you've made?
10. If you could guest blog on any beauty blogger's blog, who would it be?
11. What beauty product do you have too much of but just can't get enough?

I can't wait to see your answers! Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo Kayla



This Week's Most Loved #10

For the past few weeks I've really been trying to mix it up with my daily makeup routine. I've thrown in a lot of new products, but these three I found myself reaching for day after day. The Essence Match 2 Cover! Cream Concealer ($3.49) is a well kept secret. I first heard about it in an eleventhgorgeous video quite a while ago. I stumbled upon a stand at Ulta and picked up the duo. It's downright amazing. It's very nearly a dupe to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but it's lacking a bit of the oomph the NARS concealer packs. I use the left darker concealer under my eyes to create a very natural look while still covering up my dark circles. Seriously an amazing product and incredibly inexpensive!

For blush it's been nothing but theBalm's Frat Boy ($21). Before this blush I'd oftentimes skip this step in the morning. Blush just didn't seem to be all that important. Frat Boy changes everything. It's safe to say it's my holy grail blush. It's the perfect peachy coral color and it goes on the cheeks like a dream. Get used to see me talking about this bad boy because it's a love affair to remember. 

I received a sample of the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer (full size $21) when I purchased the Pro Palette a few months ago. I used the primer on and off but lately it's been nothing but this guy priming my lids. It dries translucent which isn't my usual draw when it comes to a primer. It keeps the eye shadow on and bold. All you can ask for in a primer!

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla 


Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Color

If you take one glance at my nail polish collection it's obvious immediately my affection towards China Glaze and Essie. It's nice to mix things up every once in a while though and I always like to challenge my favorite brands with other ones. I had the opportunity to try three polishes from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Color ($6.49 each)* line, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by them.

The Sally Hansen website boasts that these polishes give your nails, "a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired color, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in 1 bottle." That's a bold statement. Too bold in my opinion based from my schooling in advertising, but to each their own. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this polish is the end-all-be-all polish. Those are some big shoes to fill. However it's pretty damn good.

These polishes tick all the boxes for me. They're pigmented, have a large brush that makes applying the polish a breeze, and have quite the range of colors in the line. They aren't completely chip-resistant though as I did see some minor chipping at the end of the first full day. Touching up was easy though and considering I didn't use a top-coat to see the polish in action, I think it did pretty well. My favorite of the three is "Pat on the Black" as it's the most pigmented and could really only be worn with just one coat. Out of habit I applied the second coat after barely any wait time. These polishes are quick to dry. "Red My Lips" has me intrigued because its my first red nail polish. I know, I know. I can't believe it either. The light blue polish was the hardest to work with as it appeared to have a thinner consistency than the other two, but it was still good regardless.

Overall I'm impressed. I would have never tried this line of polishes on my own and I definitely think I would have been missing out. I may have to sneak out and purchase a few more. Top on my list is "Black and Blue". That baby is a beaut!

Which polish is your favorite? Will you put the line's claim to the test?

xoxo Kayla

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


Current Beauty Wishlist #4

Post holidays and my bank account is drained. Plus with my recent graduation from college it means I'm officially on my own in the finance department. The bills are already raining down. I've had to slow my makeup/beauty spending immensely, but that doesn't stop me from accumulating a pretty long wish list!

1. L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara $8.99
 I heard a few whispers about this mascara on the interwebs, but I haven't heard much so I'm definitely intrigued. I've always been a fan of L'Oréal mascaras since I started wearing makeup. I love the packaging and this product just has me curious. Definitely something I'll be picking up when I go to the drugstore next.

2. NARS Cordura Duo Eye Shadow $34
This eye shadow duo better get comfortable on my wishlist because it's not going to get off of it any time soon. These colors are beautiful and I would love to own them, but at $17 for each shadow I just can't convince myself it's worth it. It's completely gorgeous though and I'll be lusting after it fondly.

3. Bumble and Bumble Texture Hair (Un)Dressing Creme $29
I really need to stop reading any post from that features B&B because after reading it I have my wishlist out scrawling all the products names down. Without fail. It's a problem. I just really would love to see if B&B could do anything to my hair. Many products have tried and failed in an attempt to add volume or texture to my straight, fine locks.

4. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette $52
I feel foolish admitting that I want this palette. I swore up and down in my 2013 Beauty Favorites video that I was content with my Naked 1 palette and just wasn't interested in the Naked 3. Oh how wrong I was. I recently was able to play with a friend's Naked 3 and I was instantly smitten. I swear I didn't want to give it back to her. I had half a mind to run away and never look back. Plus when I went out later that night with these lovely shadows on my lids the compliments kept pouring in. I am converted. I need this palette.

Another item that will remain firmly on my wishlist until I find a money tree, this lipstick is simply gorgeous. I'm nuts about the mauve rose shades now that I know that they're my lips' true love. I've heard nothing but great things about these lipsticks too. A girl can dream.

6. Origins Make a Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturizer $39.50
I'm a huge fan of the Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer and have featured the little orange jar on my blog time and time again. I keep hearing the Make a Difference moisturizer's name pop up though which has me curious. If it's anything like the GinZing moisturizer I'm already hooked. But with yet another high price tag attached to it I'll have to wait for a good sale or a money fairy to make this purchase happen.

What products are on your wishlist right now?

xoxo Kayla


My Favorite Beauty Blogs #4

It's that time of the month again where I share with you my new favorite beauty blogs. One of my favorite pastimes is to hunt for new blogs, which does wonders in changing out my favorite blogs of the moment. Lately I find myself eagerly clicking on new posts from these lovely blogs!

A Little Boat Sailing

One of my favorite things about A Little Boat Sailing is that Amy talks about products I actually use or are considering using. It's nice to read posh blogs that buy or receive very expensive items, but I find my heart with the ones that are much more realistic to my personal makeup habits. Her blog also has a very healthy mix of different types of posts. You'll never be bored scrolling through this blog! 

Harlean Rose

Harlean Rose is one of those blogs that suck you in with the great photography but you stay for the amazing voice that comes through the writing. Jo is absolutely stunning and her love of vintage definitely comes through her photography. It's also nice when you find a fellow blogger from the United States. I do love a good UK beauty blog, but seeing products you can't get can depress an addict like myself.  

Suzie is a darling and I don't even know her (besides her blog of course). Her posts are unique and engaging. I particularly like her recent "A Grey Area" post. She also makes incredibly adorable and well-made YouTube videos. I have a weak spot for good bloggers who make good YouTube videos. Definitely worth checking Suzie out!

Whenever I read posts from this blog I get the overwhelming sense that I have a long way to go with my blog, post wise and photography wise. It's not a bad thing, it's just that these ladies know what they're doing. They write posts I didn't think I'd need but after the first few sentences I'm alarmingly aware of how badly I needed a post like this in my life. They recommend amazing brands and amazing products. I'm hooked.

What blogs have you been loving lately? I'm always looking for a good new read!

xoxo Kayla
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How to Save Money When You're a Blogger/Beauty Addict

Before I started blogging I barely paid any attention to trends, hype, or new releases. In just a few months I became obsessed with all things beauty and makeup. If you're like me, saving money when you're a blogger and beauty addict is no easy feat. I've come up with a few ways over the months to help save dollars.

1. Keep a wishlist
I went through a phase where if I saw a product I wanted, I'd more often than not just get it. Great for my makeup collection, terrible for my wallet. Now I keep a pretty lengthy wishlist of products I'd love to try which helps me choose products more thoughtfully rather than just spending like a mad person. It also helps remind me which products I'm interested when a good sale comes around so I stay focused on things I know I want instead of veering off to things I haven't done research on or looked into. Lists are where it's at.

2. Try a spending ban
At the end of last year I participated in a self-prescribed 60 Day No Beauty Buy. Although I wasn't completely perfect in those 60 days, I became even more aware of my spending habits and made sure everything I purchased I did with thought and reason. It's important not to beat yourself up if you have a moment of weakness over a limited edition palette. You're human. To me, a spending ban should shed light and make you much more aware of what you've been purchasing, rather than put a padlock on your spending cash.

3. Live vicariously through others
I'm by no means a famous beauty blogger. I don't have companies sending me things or inviting me to launch parties. I don't get paid anything to blog except for a few pennies from Google ads. It's irrational to think I could keep up with famous full-time bloggers. So rather than even attempting to purchase the fancy items they receive or purchase themselves, live vicariously through them and enjoy reading their posts.

What tips do you have for bloggers and beauty addicts to save money?

xoxo Kayla


The Everyday Base

So my everyday base is a bit different from most as it tends to be very light and excludes foundation. I've never been one for foundation. I've started to get into it lately, but I just haven't had the best luck in the past. First off I prep my skin with the Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer ($29). It instantly adds a lovely radiance to my dull complexion and has me looking awake. I then take my trust NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in "Vanilla" ($28) and cover my dark under eye circles and any blemishes that may have popped up. Next I spread on my Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream ($10.99) and either use my fingers or my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush ($9) to blend everything in. Then I very sparingly use my Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder ($4.99) to keep everything in place. I use very little as I prefer a more dewy look and powders tend to look cakey on my skin and draw attention to dry patches. And that's it, my simple everyday base is complete!

What is your everyday base routine?

xoxo Kayla


Blogging Tip #1: Staying Organized

I recently had a friend approach me asking for help starting a lifestyle blog. She said her biggest problem in the past has been keeping with it, so I thought I'd write up a post about my #1 blogging tip to help her and others out there who struggle with constantly posting.

For me, consistent blogging is all about planning ahead. I use the Sugar Paper Large Classic Casebound Planner in Black ($19.99) from Target as my primary planner. If you want to see my photos and the layout of the planner, I devoted an entire post to it. I use the weekly views for work and general life happenings, but I use the month view strictly for blogging and YouTube. At the start of every week I sit down and figure out what posts I'm going to write (the items in purple in the last photo). I like to post daily on my blog, but YouTube is much less frequent. I make all my decisions usually on Saturdays, and then use Sundays to take the photos or film the videos for that week.

If I'm really on my game, I'm able to schedule a week's worth of finished posts within the first few days of the week. That way I can work on more detailed posts without feeling rushed or worried about not getting content up.

The best advice I can give about staying organized is to make sure you look at your planner. It doesn't do anything to write all this stuff down if you don't constantly refer back to it. I probably look at my planner a minimum of ten times a day. We're best friends, and he keeps me on track and keeps the blog posts coming.

I also have a separate notebook (the floral one in the top photo) that I use for blog ideas, video ideas, and anything else that may pop into my head. Having a place where you put all your ideas makes remembering things easier. Having just one place where you put everything also makes it easy to find ideas again. I used to have the hardest time locating the ideas I knew I had because I kept them all over the place. 

I hope this helps you if your New Year's resolution is to post more frequently, or helps you just in general to get more organized!

What advice would you give to stay organized?

xoxo Kayla 


Caribbean Cruise

For nine days over Christmas and New Year's, my family and I (including my boyfriend Alex) went on a cruise to the Caribbean. We stopped at ports in Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and The Dominican Republic. It was by far one of the best vacations I've ever been on and had such an amazing experience. I filmed each day of the cruise and uploaded the videos to my YouTube channel. Below are just a few of my favorite days during the trip.

You can watch all the other days of the cruise on my YouTube channel!

xoxo Kayla
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Mini Reviews #1

I, like most beauty bloggers I'm sure, have a ton of samples. I have a box for all of them in my beauty drawers and every time I get new samples I toss them in with the others. This box has everything from skincare to perfume to makeup and back again. For a 2014 beauty resolution I want to start using up these samples more, so I thought I'd share with you my mini reviews of them whenever I finish up a few.

I had wanted to try this eye cream for a while so I was excited when I was able to get a sample of it before spending $34 on it and not liking it. The cream was thicker than eye creams I've used which I actually really liked. The thickness felt like it was doing something. It didn't really have a smell which I greatly enjoyed. There wasn't enough uses in the sample to see any noticeable different in my very prevalent dark circles, but I'd definitely consider purchasing the full size of this.

I really enjoyed this mascara. It's subtle and natural on the lashes but adds more length than volume regardless of it being marketed as a volumizing mascara. It does an amazing job at separating the lashes and making sure each one gets a healthy coat of mascara. I could see myself using this mascara everyday to enhance my lashes rather than trying to add loads of volume. If an opportunity arises I'll repurchase a full size of this mascara.

If you read a recent Living Proof post of mine you will have seen that I've already sort of repurchased this product in a larger sample size in the set I purchased during Black Friday sales. The cream makes my hair smell really good and makes my hair feel soft and fluffy. I'm not entirely sure how good it is at keeping my style because I tend to wear my hair naturally, which is stick straight. I do think it makes a difference in reducing the oils in my hair throughout the day. My only real complaint is that it makes blow drying my hair take noticeably longer. 

I did not like this. At all. It was just terrible for my hair. When I first put it in it smelled like oranges and was really enjoyable. After I blow dried my hair it felt thicker and richer. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly until a couple of hours passed. Then the grease hit. My hair was limp, greasy, and just disgusting. I ended up having to take another shower because I just couldn't stand my hair being so gross. Definitely not something I want near my hair again.

Would you give any of these products a try?

xoxo Kayla
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