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


1 Year Blogiversary + 500 Follower Giveaway!!

First off, I can't believe it's been a year of blogging. I can't even comprehend that. Second off, I can't believe over 500 of you follow Microscope Beauty. That's just insane in the membrane. To celebrate my blog being one year old today and to thank everyone for following, I'm doing a giveaway! 

In keeping with the spirit of birthdays, I've wrapped the main giveaway prizes so it'll be like a birthday surprise for whoever wins! The wrapped prizes are from Tarte and Urban Decay though just to peak your interest! I'm also giving away this statement necklace from Forever21 and this Radiant Orchid makeup bag from Sephora!

The giveaway will run one week and is open internationally! You must be 18 years or older or have parental consent to enter. I'll be emailing the winner after the giveaway ends to get their address. Thanks again for an amazing year and I look forward to years to come!



May Favorites

May was definitely the month of new products. I purchased a lot of new items and got to try a lot of brands I've never had access to before. Months like these are why I'm obsessed with beauty. There are just so many good products out there to discover and share with all of you!

What products did you love in the month of May?

xoxo Kayla


Stila After Glow Lip Color

This post has been in my drafts for much too long. I'm still trying to get a handle on taking lip swatches and never seem to be happy with any of the photos so these types of posts keep getting pushed back behind other ones! Practice makes perfect though (plus I had help from Alex this time)! I also couldn't help myself and included one of the random shots he took of me regardless of the fact that I'm makeup-less apart from the lip swatch (it's one of those weeks).

I've had these Stila After Glow Lip Colors ($18) for quite a while now and they're some of the first lip crayons that converted me to the concept. "Party Pink" (left and top lip swatch) and "Festive Fushia" (right and bottom lip swatch) are very close to the same color, but "Party Pink" is much redder while "Festive Fushia" is more on the purple/pink side. These crayons are the perfect combination of moisturizing yet lasting (without drying out the lips). I like that they're bright, but not neon. They stand out on the lips but in a way that makes them very wearable. They also apparently glow under black lights although I've never tested out this claim.

Overall they're just solid, good lip crayons that don't get the attention that they deserve. They're currently on sale on the Stila website for $9 but "Festive Fushia" doesn't seem to be available. I'm interested in testing out this UV light aspect too. I'm always down to experiment with a good novelty product although it sometimes falls flat (I'm looking at you Revlon Parfumerie nail polishes). 

Have you tried these lip crayons before?

xoxo Kayla


Coral Obsession

When spring hits I immediately find myself gravitating towards the coral items in my collection. I'm not sure what it is exactly that has me reaching for all things coral, but I do it like clockwork. Coral is such an easy shade to rock in the spring and I've accumulated a small bunch of coral products; enough to make me notice I have a little obsession!

I really started to notice that I was collecting quite the stash of coral products when Tori from Pretty Lovely Girls gave me a Marcelle Blush in "Coral" ($15.99). It's the perfect "flushed" looking cream blush that's super easy to apply with your fingertips or a brush. I like to use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply it just because it keeps my fingers clean for other tasks. Another very similar blush to the Marcelle one is the Revlon Photo Ready Cream Blush in "Pinched" ($12.99). "Pinched" is slightly muddier looking in comparison, but doesn't show up that way on the cheeks. They have a very similar if not identical look on the cheeks. Benefit's CORALista ($28) is more on the shimmery side of things with more of a orangey undertone rather than pink. They're all incredibly similar blushes though at the end of the day.

I'm not an overly crazy coral person when it comes to lip products, but I do have my fair few. The Revlon Lip Butter in "Juicy Papaya" ($7.99) is my most worn color as it's just so natural on the lips. It's definitely more on the orange side of the coral spectrum which is a bit out there for me in regards to lip colors, but it's pretty sheer on the lips which increases wear-ability. My Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor in "Shocking Coral" ($7.49) probably gets the least wear out of the bunch as it's pretty neon on the lips. It's bright. Like, really bright. It's still nice to have in my collection though as it falls on the pink side of coral and gives me another option if I'm not into "Juicy Papaya" at the moment. Finally I randomly have the Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss in "Sizzle" ($7.99) despite the fact that I keep away from lip glosses. It fits perfectly into my coral obsessed world though!

Are you obsessed with a color lately? What are your favorite colors for spring and summer?

xoxo Kayla


Soapopotamus Soaps

Soap. In the shape of food. Like, what?!?!?! How insanely adorable right? I stumbled upon the Soapopotamus Etsy store randomly during my daily travels around the internet and knew as soon as I opened the url that I'd be making a purchase. It couldn't be avoided. Plus the prices are incredibly reasonable.

The first thing I knew I just had to have was the Pizza Party - Single Pizza Slice ($5). It's shockingly realistic and too cute to pass up. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it just yet, but for $5 it just made sense. I think this would make an amazing hostess gift or just something cute to give out at a party or something. It's so unique and I know people would find it just as cute as I do. 

Being a little bit more sensible I purchased the Baby Cinnamon Rolls ($6.50). They came in a set of six and are about the size of meatballs (sorry for the weird reference. I really couldn't think of anything else similar haha). I'm currently using these in our bathroom and I just love how adorable they look sitting in a little bowl on our sink. They smell just like cinnamon rolls too. They don't lather up much, but leave my hands feeling super clean. Oddly enough my hands also don't smell like cinnamon rolls after use; I'm not sure how that happens.

I'm a sucker for donuts so I couldn't pass up the Chocolate Frosted Donuts ($6.50) set of six. I plan on giving them to Alex's mother to share with her the awesomeness that is Soapopotamus, but I may have to go back and purchase some for myself once I've used up all of the baby cinnamon rolls. I haven't smelt these yet since I didn't want to open the package before giving them to Alex's mom, but I bet they smell very similar to donuts!

Finally the Chocolate Chip Cookies ($5) jumped into my basket before purchase and I have since given them all out to friends. I still can't get over how sweet they smell. I'm not sure how shop owner Regina does it, but she's a soap master. They are also incredibly realistic looking to the point that I had to make sure to tell my friends they were soap or risk having them bite into them!

I'm so happy I found this shop and was eager to share it with all of you! The shipping didn't take very long and I'm more than happy with all my goodies! I'm already planning out my next purchase and have my eye on the sushi set!

Regina is offering a 10% discount to anyone who is interested in making a purchase before July 31st. Just use the code "SUPERHAUL" at checkout and let her know that I sent you! She ships internationally!!

What do you think of Soapopotamus soaps?

xoxo Kayla


Getting out of a Creative Rut

I recently had the opportunity to guest post on Becky's blog and I wanted to share with you the post just in case you don't follow her (which you should because her blog is awesome). 

We all fall into creative ruts sometimes. Here are some ways to get yourself out of one.

Go for a walk
Write down any and all ideas, no matter what they are
Talk to other creatives
Look through your old posts
Take you camera with you for a week, shoot anything and everything and blog about it
Spend some time away from the internet
Flip through a magazine

I hope some of these help you get back into the creative mood!

xoxo Kayla


Correct & Incorrect

Although these primers make look alike, that's where the similarities stop. I've written a full review on the Almay Smart Shade primer if you fancy a read so I won't go into too much of a rant over how crappy it is in this post. I much rather talk about the better of these two lookalikes anyway. 

The Stila One Step Correct ($36) is what I hoped the Almay offering would be but failed miserably. The Stila offering produces a nice light blend of the three ribbons and they blend together to look more like a tinted moisturizer or BB cream in color and consistency. It has a smell, but nothing I can put my finger on or is off putting in any way. It smooths into the skin effortlessly and produces a really nice base that feels like you aren't wearing anything. 

It's a perfect starting point to put on a foundation on top of it. I've also worn it on its own for a very minimalist look. It honestly looks like my skin, but without the usual redness or dullness of my skin without makeup. It's what you want in a primer, and it could very well beat out the long reigning Benefit "That Gal" primer as my favorite. Definitely worth the price and I'm glad I didn't stop after the Almay one went so horribly. 

Have you tried either one of these primers before?

xoxo Kayla


This Week's Most Loved #27

I'm sure this will come as no surprise to you that this week's favorite products are straight out of my recent Sephora haul. I've been seriously loving all of my purchases but these three items have really wowed me. The Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in "Rush" ($22) is the lipstick of my dreams. It's creamy, long lasting, and the perfect my lips but better shade. Plus the packaging is to die for. I'm completely sold on the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes ($26). This is the shade "Peaceful" and damn is it beautiful. It adds this unbelievable glow to the cheeks while giving the perfect amount of color. My bank account is definitely not safe with these out in the world waiting to be snatched up. Never in a million years did I believe the Clinique Take Off the Day Cleansing Balm ($28.50) would be this good. Heavy eye makeup and liquid eyeliners don't stand a chance against this stuff. It literally melts all your makeup away then a quick rinse and presto. It's just as good as everyone says, if not better. This is definitely changing my skincare game.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla


First Impressions: May Ipsy Glam Bag

Sigh. Just when I thought Ipsy was on the up and up they release this confusing, weird bag and I'm back to feeling "meh" about them. Apart from not being able to pronounce half the names, the bag is filled with products I'm just not interested in. The shadow duo is chalky and not overly inspiring, I never get excited about sunscreen, and the hair mask has a weird smell. The only thing I even remotely am interested in is the Calvin Klein "Endless Euphoria" perfume. I'm happy that they didn't give those crappy perfume samples and provided a substantial amount with a roller ball.

Sigh. What were you thinking with this one Ipsy? Be sure to watch the open bag video to see all my confused expressions and first reactions to opening this month's Ipsy Glam Bag!

xoxo Kayla


Review: April Ipsy Glam Bag

I've said this time and time again but I'm just going to keep saying it, when Ipsy's hot, they're hot. However if they're off their game, they're off bad. Luckily April was a hot month and they definitely redeemed themselves after the craptastic March Glam Bag. Let's get into the products.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil Travel Size
It's a tie between this product and another for my favorite item of the bag. I've wanted to try an Urban Decay Eye Pencil for ages and just never made the the leap. When I saw the cardboard package I was worried it was going to be a perfume sample, but it was oh so much better. This pencil is the perfect tight-line liner and I was definitely missing out before this came into my life. A full size will definitely be in my future when I've finished this one.

dr. brandt microdermabrasion
Is anyone else feeling as lackluster about skin care samples as I am lately? I'm happy with my skin care routine at the moment and I have more skin care samples than I can count. Yet when I'm in the mood for some skin care exploration I'll be happy to have this sample in my stash to give it a go. I can't really report on it since I didn't give it much of a try-out.

Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow in "Champagne"
Much to my shock and disbelief, I did not have a champagne shadow. Sure I have some light tan shades in various palettes, but this Elizabeth Mott shadow nails the champagne color perfectly. It's also an incredibly pigmented shade and really high quality. The glitter is fine and stays on the lids well without being overly shimmery. I had never heard of this brand before this shadow and I'm curious to see what else they offer.

Mary Kay At Play Jelly Lip Gloss
Nope. I'm still wishy washy when it comes to lip gloss and this one was just too old school tube of goop for me. It's a nice peachy shade that I would probably really enjoy in lipstick form, but it's just not for me.

Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray Mousse
It's between this and the Urban Decay Pencil for my favorite product this month. This stuff actually does something to my hair. It gives my stick straight locks some grit and a nice touch of volume to the roots. Nothing va va voom or anything like not, but something. I'm definitely a fan of anything that can win over my difficult do.

Interested in Ipsy? Sign up here!

xoxo Kayla


Canadian Beauty Swap

While in Canada I had the opportunity to meet my blogging buddy Tori from Pretty Lovely Girls. We had been chatting for a while and had decided to do a beauty swap about a month or so ago. We had both collected our items, but when I decided that I would be going to Toronto we decided to do the swap in person!

I am so happy I got a chance to meet her and blown away by the lovely items she gave me! The only product I sort of knew/hoped I was getting was the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum as Tori had asked me what shade I thought I was. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have this beauty in my possession! I can't wait to start using it. Another Bourjois product she got me was a Colour Boost Lip Crayon in "Peach on the Beach". I loved that she picked this color for me as it isn't something I usually would get myself, which is what's awesome about a swap! 

From Annabelle she got me a Roll-On Eyeshadow + Liner for "Hazel Eyes" which I'm incredibly intrigued by. Two products in one?? Color me interested. She also got me her favorite (cream) blush from Marcelle in "Coral". This shade screams my name when I look at it. The perfect everyday flush tone! Finally she gave me two sample sets of the Arbonne RE9 Advanced line. She's been working with the company for about a month and is always raving about how good the company and products are. I'm excited to see for myself!

Tori picked out some really fantastic items for me and I hope she enjoys the products I got for her! I'm incredibly thankful and glad to have her as a friend. It was such a blast gathering items and I look forward to doing more swaps like this in the future! Maybe I'll try to do one with the UK next?!?

Have you ever done a swap before?

xoxo Kayla


Toronto Haul

Although I was only in Toronto for roughly 24 hours, I manged to do a little bit of damage at the Eaton Centre. The H&M was the biggest one I've been to, so I had fun looking around while trying not to get overwhelmed by how big it was. I picked up a very bold necklace ($17.95) that I wouldn't normally pick for myself. I was feeling adventurous though so I went for it. I can't seem to find it on the Canadian H&M website or any of the other pieces so I'm really sorry!

For clothes as soon as I saw this short sleeve button up ($12.95) I had to get it. It's definitely my style of shirt and I like to wear them to work tucked in with a blazer or cardigan. The pattern screams spring/summer and is unlike anything else I own. As soon as I saw this red dress ($20) I suddenly realized that I didn't own a red dress or anything with red in it. It was on special and a good length (something I hate about dresses. Why are they all so short?!?) so I scooped it up!

I took a very quick trip into Shoppers before we left to return home. There have always been a few items that I've lusted after but are nearly impossible to get in the states. I'm pulling a lot of the links of the beauty bits from a Boots website. I'm leaving off prices because they are in pounds and aren't exactly what I paid for everything.

 First up was the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. I've heard beauty bloggers talk about this stuff for ages and we just don't have this line in our stores. Like all foundations I worry that I went too light, but we shall see! While I was looking at the stand I saw the Rimmel Stay Blushed liquid blushes. I picked up "Touch of Berry" and am really curious to see how this stuff works as I've never used a liquid blush before.

Annabelle is a brand that we don't get in the states so I choose the Quad Eyeshadow in "Java Jive" ($10.95) to see what the brand is like. Plus I'm a firm believer in that you can never have too many neutral shadows! I also got a Quo Crease Blender Brush (at least I think that's what it is...) just to give it a spin.

What excited me most was the Bourjois section. So many months I've drooled over products that were so difficult to get a hold of and then there it was in front of me. I kept my cool and only got the Java Rice Powder and the Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder. I've heard amazing things about these two products for far too long and although the hype surrounding them has died down, I still want to know what all the fuss was about. Plus the Rice Powder packaging is to die for. Now I can swoon over it in person.

Canada was a blast and I am so glad I got to pop in to a couple stores and scoop up some items!

xoxo Kayla


Toronto Makeup Bag

Over the weekend Alex and I went to Toronto! We've wanted to have a bit of a weekend getaway for a while now and when Essiebutton announced she was going to have a meetup in Toronto on Sunday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Since it was only a weekend trip I tried to scale down my makeup to include what I knew I was going to use.

For base I'm still testing out the Stila One Step Correct ($36) primer. So far I've really been enjoying it and am in the works on writing a full review for everyone interested. I also brought my deluxe sample of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (full size $43). It's quite the sheer coverage, but I like how natural yet glowing it makes my skin look. As always, my concealer of choice was the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29). For blush I've been all over my new (and first) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in "Peaceful" ($26). It's darker than my usual blushes but oh so fantastic. It lasts ages and really puts some life back into my cheeks. In the evening I patted on a bit of theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer ($24). This stuff can get out of hand quickly so I've learned that a little on the ring finger to dab on the cheeks works perfectly.

I brought two eye shadow options, but I didn't actually use the Almay Eyeshadow Trio in "Smokey Brown" ($6.99). TheBalm's NUDE'tude Palette ($36) was beyond perfect for this trip. For the day time I would use "Selfish" all over the lid and add "Sexy as an outer corner definer. For night I would bump up the smokey factor by throwing in some "Sophisticated" and adding more "Sexy". This palette guys. You need it.

For brows I'm still madly in love with my Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Pencil ($18). It matches my brows really well. For liner I used my Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide on Pencil (full size $20) to tight line my eyes. I actually wore winged eyeliner the entire trip! I think I've only worn winged eyeliner once or twice before, but I was feelin' festive. My favorite liquid liner is the e.l.f. Essentials Liquid Eyeliner ($1). It's insanely affordable and also really easy to use. I lined my lower lash line with the NYX Wonder Pencil in "Light" ($4.50) to open up my eyes. For mascara I'm trying to use up the Maybelline Vlolum'Express Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara ($5.99). I like it for a really casual, everyday mascara, but it's definitely not good at really building up the lashes.

Finally for lips I wore nothing but the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in "Rush" ($22). It's the perfect everyday shade for me and I have a feeling I'll be talking a lot about it in the coming weeks on this blog!

So that is all the makeup I brought with me for Toronto! Stay tuned in the next day or so for a Toronto haul featuring some makeup items I picked up that we don't have in the states as well as some H&M goodies! Be sure to check out the vlog from the trip as well as the post all about it on my lifestyle blog!

xoxo Kayla



Two for (Some) Texturizing

The never-ending quest for anything but flat lifeless hair. It's still underway. Sadly. I purchased the L'Oréal TXT It Tousle Waves Spray ($3.99) and the Garnier Fructis Style De-Constructing Beach Chic Texturizing Spray ($4.59)  a while back and have given them both a nice long testing period. I've been on the hunt for an affordable option because I just can't justify spending a lot of money on a product I'm not sure is going to work for me.

I can see them being good for people who have a bit thicker, more manageable hair. But my hair laughed in these sprays' faces. The L'Oréal one did add a bit more grit to my hair and helped it stay a bit tousled for a few hours, but without fail my stick straight and very fine hair won out in the end. They both smell nice and are easy to use, but just didn't cut it.

What texturizing sprays work for you? Any recommendations for fine hair?

xoxo Kayla



This Week's Most Loved #26

This posts seem to be coming faster and faster lately. Just slow down weeks! I've fallen back in some serious like for my MAC Lipstick in "Plumful" ($16). It's been hanging out in one of my desk drawers at work and is in a prime spot to be picked up first for a quick application of color. It's bright without being over the top and just different enough from my natural lip color to really add something to a look. I've also really been enjoying the Maybelline Master Glaze Glistening Blush Stick in "Pinch Pink" ($8.99). It doesn't have the greatest pigmentation or staying power, but it's just so easy to use. I run a line on my cheekbones and blend with my fingers. The easiest way to get a nice flush of color. My skin savior lately is Origins Clear Improvements Active charcoal mask to clear pores ($24). It's been doing wonders at fixing my skin woes.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla


Sephora Beauty Haul

So I may have gone a little overboard with Sephora the last couple of weeks. Three small trips equal a nice hefty haul right? I've been feeling down and out about my makeup stash lately after the very deep spring purge a month ago. Sure I didn't really like or use most of the stuff I gave away, but there was a huge hole in my makeup collection I felt the urge to fill with some goodies. 

Have you picked up any beauty goodies recently?

xoxo Kayla


Overview: NYX

NYX is one of those brands that I've only recently gotten into. For the longest time I believed I didn't have access to it (um...Kayla did you just forget about the internet?!) because there wasn't an Ulta close by. I got my first NYX products in various Ipsy glambags and now have an Ulta close to me. Over the past year my little NYX collection has grown and it felt about time to write an overview on the brand.

One of the main reasons I began to gravitate towards NYX is because of how affordable it is. The Natural Shadow Palette ($7.50) comes in well under $10. However the palette is probably one of my least favorite NYX products. It's not very pigmented and doesn't last as long as the single shadows or my other eye shadows. It sure is beautiful though and I wonder if I just have to keep working the product to loosen it up and get it to better pack on my brushes. When it comes to single eye shadows, NYX does a lot better. I own a few different shades, but "Skinny Dip" ($4.50) and "Fantasy" ($5) are my two favorite ones. "Skinny Dip" has great pay off and is a lovely matte shade while "Fantasy" comes off a bit more sheer than you would expect. Ultimately NYX isn't my go to for eye shadows, but they are definitely good budget-friendly options.

I've talked a few times already about my love of the NYX Eye Shadow Base in "Skin Tone" ($7). It's a thick, creamy consistency that leaves a really solid, opaque base on the lids. It helps my shadows last ages longer and I love that I can see it still on my lids before applying shadow on top. So many primers just disappear into my lids and I can never really tell if they're working or not.

NYX really shines in the blush department. The one pictured above is the Mosaic Powder Blush in "Silk" ($7). The NYX blushes are super pigmented, blend well, and have a decent lasting time. There is also a seriously impressive range of blushes to choose from. I try to avoid them if I can because to me they're like Pokémon, I want to catch them all.

Another standout product is the Wonder Pencil in "Light" ($4.50). A soft, cream colored eye liner this stuff is a really affordable option if you're looking for a good liner. I use this on my lower lash line to open up my eyes and make me look more awake (trust me I need all the help I can get). It's not my favorite white liner, but for the price it definitely can't be beat.

A huge letdown is the Slim Lip Pencils ($3.50). This one is in the shade "Pale Pink" and it just didn't work well for me. It felt waxing and tugged at my lips without any color pay off. I wanted to give lip pencils a go without spending a lot of money just in case I didn't like them, but I really don't think this gives me a true representation of what they're like. Any lip pencil recommendations are welcome! The Butter Glosses ($5) are a much bigger hit with me though. "Vanilla Cream Pie" is my favorite of the ones I own and they're the best glosses I've tried yet. They're pigmented and feel more like a balm on the lips than a gloss. They last quite a while and don't annoy the crap out of me like the majority of lip glosses do.

Overall NYX is one of those hit or miss brands. When you find a hit, you love it even more for the affordable price and color ranges. However the misses miss hard. It's a brand I feel comfortable exploring in because things aren't overly expensive, but I find myself reaching for other products over NYX quite often. For anyone starting out in the makeup world, this is a good jumping off point, but for evolving makeup snobs (shyly raises hand), I rather spend the money elsewhere.

What do you think about NYX products? What are some of your favorites?

xoxo Kayla



Blog Organization

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is how I can stay organized enough to post daily on two different blogs. After a lot of trial and error I'm finally happy with an organization method and I'm sharing it on my lifestyle blog today! So if you're interested or are a lover of planning and organizing life myself, be sure to head over there to check it out!

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Skin Woes

Anyone else have one of those mornings when they wake up and suddenly their skin is just shit? I've never experienced that stomach sinking feeling until just recently. I walked into the bathroom one morning to find blemished skin on top of these weird bumps just hanging out beneath the surface. Plus my skin just looked dull and tired. Yuck. What happened?!?

Since that awful day a few weeks ago I've been hard at work whipping my once (nearly) perfect skin back into shape. I'm not standing for this bumpy business. A few products have stood out from the rest for helping my skin get back to where it belongs. The leader in the quest for my skin to return to normal is the Origins Clean Improvement Active charcoal mask to clear pores ($24). I didn't fully appreciate this mask until now. As soon as I wash this weirdly colored stuff off my skin feels cleaner and on the right path again. My skin feels a bit tight after using it mostly because I have generally dry skin. Some moisturizer does the trick to helping my skin feel absolutely wonderful after using the mask.

For my everyday cleanser I've been all about my Body Shop Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish ($16.50). There are really fine little grains in this face wash that really get down to the nitty gritty and remove my makeup and any dirt on my skin. Plus it smells fresh and wonderful; the perfect pick me up after a long day or a tiring start to the morning.

Finally the Perlier Honey Miel Royal Gold Elixir ($99)* has been helping my skin feel softer and more vibrant. I've been kicking my skin's butt trying to clean its act up and this serum is like the treat I give my skin after I've cleansed it nice and good. I wrote a review about this elixir a week or so ago if you want to read more about this delightful serum.

My skin isn't out of the woods yet, but it's definitely looking a lot better than it was!

What do you use when your skin is acting up?

xoxo Kayla


Shop the Stash

I definitely do not shop my stash enough. I'm a sucker for a new product or trying a well blogged about beauty item, but I often neglect or forget about the lovely gems tucked away in my ever filling beauty drawers. I'm going to make it my mission to spend more time shopping my stash and I've already found a few goodies after my first brief trip into the depths of the drawers.

The Bobbi Brown Corrector ($24) was the first high end item I ever purchased. It's long since sat in my concealer bin as I tend to exclusively reach for my NARS Creamy Concealer. It's not as heavy or as good as covering my dark circles as the NARS offering is, so it's often overlooked. It's still a great concealer for days where my dark circles aren't so menacing though.

The POP Beauty "Bright Up Your Life" Trio (full palette $24) came from a Ipsy GlamBag and I almost immediately forgot about it once the next month's bag arrived. It's the perfect little trio for an easy eye look. The shades aren't crazy pigmented, but they can be built up and last a decent amount of time. The packaging is what got me to pull it out of my stash again and give it a look over. The flower design is just beautiful.

With my obsession with theBalm's FratBoy blush going stronger than ever it's easy to neglect all my other blushes. I completely forgot I even owned this NYX Blush in "Amber" ($5). When I first purchased this blush I still hadn't quite grasped the whole blush thing. I had a much too heavy hand and this blush never looked right on me. Now it looks downright lovely and a tad darker than I usually go for. I'm excited to have this already in my collection.

I'm a hard core mauve lip fan, but there are sometimes when I suddenly have a itch to wear some pink. I didn't think I even owned any good pinks until I gave my lip drawer a once over and spotted the aptly named Revlon lipstick "Gentlemen Prefer Pink" ($8.99). It's a sheer enough pink that I don't feel weird wearing it, but it still gives me a perfect pink wash to the lips. Plus it saves me a trip and some cash at the drugstore.

Do you shop your stash regularly or are you like me and neglect your beauty bits for newer products?

xoxo Kayla


Unsung Heroes

We all have those beauty items we use on a daily (or close to daily) basis that never get the praise they deserve. I say no more! Today's post is all about those unsung heroes that make our lives a little bit easier. I used to hate bobby pins with a passion. I only ever experienced them in high school dance hairstyles when they were poking me in the skull. When I really started getting into makeup and beauty though we made up bobby pins and I and now have a great relationship. I use a bobby pin every day to pin back my bangs when I put on my makeup. I also use them in an occasional hairstyle if I decide to do something more than just wear my hair down or in a pony tail. 

I don't know what I did before eyelash curlers. I remember thinking (as I'm sure we all did) that they were creepy torture devices that go much too close to the eyes. And then I tried them and my life changed forever. They make a world of difference to my straight, droopy lashes. Now I can't go a day without curling them if I'm wearing makeup.

Makeup wedges are the newest addition to my beauty tools and it's another thing I don't know what I did before them. I use them dry or damp to apply my foundation for a more flawless, lighter finish. They're so easy to use and then I just toss them. No fuss, no mess. Just love.

what items do you use that go unappreciated?

xoxo Kayla


Sexy Hair "Big Sexy Hair 911 Kit"

I blame this very convincing video as to why I decided to take advantage of this ipsyMe offer ($19) a couple of weeks ago that I shared with everyone on my Facebook page. I've used a few sexy hair products in the past from Ipsy Glam Bags and wanted to give them a go. Plus the video showing the products in action made me feel like my hair could be something more than the lifeless locks it currently is made of. 

The 911 Kit comes with a full size Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($17.95), a full size of Powder Play ($16.95) and a deluxe size of Get Layered (full size $17.95). It was definitely worth purchasing the set since the dry shampoo alone was almost the cost of the entire kit.

I've only given the Volumizing Dry Shampoo a go since purchasing the kit and I'm not too keen on it. Maybe I used too much, but my hair was left feeling stiff and gross after spraying this into my roots and trying to massage it in. I'll report back with a full review once I've given it a more honest go, but so far not so good. I'm curious to see how the other two products shape up though.

Have you tried any of these products before? What do you think of Ipsy's ipsyMe offers?

xoxo Kayla
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This Week's Most Loved #25

Spring has definitely arrived in Michigan (finally) and I've been able to transition my makeup to reflect the warmer, sunnier days. I'm in heaven. Lighter bases and peachy blushes for everyone! My love for the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($42) has reached an all time high this past week. I tried a new technique earlier in the week of putting the moisturizer straight on my skin without a primer and it's completely enhanced the entire experience. I've worn nothing else the entire week and now fully understand what the hype is all about. The Revlon Photo Ready Cream Blush in "Pinched" ($12.99) has begun what I'm sure will be a summer long relationship with my cheeks. Is that a weird thing to say? It feels like it is...It adds just the perfect amount of flush to the cheeks without looking heavy. It provides more of a healthy glow than anything else and it goes great with the lighter base.

Another Revlon favorite this week is Revlon's Lip Butter in "Berry Smoothie" ($7.99). The most recent addition to my lip butter collection it's the most pigmented of the bunch and gives a great raspberry hue to my lips. Like all lip butters though it's moisturizing and light. It's one of those hassle free lip products that are going to be popular for adventures and days out.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla


5 Things to Buy this Spring

It's a toss up as to whether spring or fall is my favorite season. I think spring is my favorite makeup season while fall is my favorite season for activities (donuts!!). Regardless, this spring if you're going to buy anything, you really need to get these lovely items to knock your beauty socks off (sorry I'm in a weird mood).

I've said this before and I'll say it again, you need theBalm's FratBoy ($21) in your life. It's the perfect coral pink and my go-to blush. It provides the perfect flush that can be built up if you want it to be more dramatic. It looks amazing on my pale skin and even better when I get a bit of color. When I first picked up the Maybelline Color Tattoo in "Inked in Pink" ($6.99) I worried I had officially lost it and bought something I would never use, but it's become a fast favorite and frequent star on this blog. It's a lovely soft pink, shiny shadow that blends out nicely on the lid for a simple, fuss free look. It's different than a typical brown though, and I get more compliments when I'm wearing this than any brown shade.

If you haven't picked up the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29) yet after hundreds of blog posts and rave reviews then your will power is impeccable. You need it. You're going to love it. Just do it! I've found the perfect spring shade in the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in "Rikugien" ($25). It's a nice pink nude that doesn't wash out the complexion. I've written a full review about it already if you need more persuasion.

For nails Essie's "Fashion Playground" ($8.50) screams spring. A lovely green pastel beauty that's a bit sheer so be sure to use at least two coats. It's totally worth the extra coat though it's just perfect. When I look at it I can't help but be happy!!

What products would you recommend to pick up this spring? 

xoxo Kayla


Feeling Uninspired

For the first time since I started blogging daily back in March, I've been feeling uninspired. It's not that I don't have a ever growing list of blog post topics to blog about, but it's more that I hit a motivational wall and life has been getting in the way big time. I hope no one has noticed! Usually I'm about a week and a half ahead in posts while leaving room to pop in special features here and there if something springs up (like a new release I can't help but snag up). With the past week of graduation activities, evenings full of social activities, a heavier workload at my full-time job, and just a general "meh" I've found my usually impeccable blogging process getting choked up. 

I don't want to stop daily blogging though. I downright love it and it brings me so much happiness each and every day to post. So in an effort to get myself back on track I've been working on my lunch periods to take photos and write posts. And you know what? I've been loving it. I love feeling productive and nursing my secretly limping blog back to health. It's in stressful times that you figure out what's important to you and what you want to give attention to.

So although you probably haven't noticed anything different about the blog on your end, I'm back and better than ever!

What do you do when you're feeling uninspired?

xoxo Kayla 



Perlier Honey Meil Royal Gold Elixir

When the small package containing the Perlier Honey Miel Royal Gold Elixir ($99)* fell on my doorstop, my curiosity had definitely been peaked. I had looked into the product as I waited for its arrival, and it definitely talked a big game. Made in Italy with honey from African bees, the facial serum is said to" stimulate collagen production and provide vital nutrients and anti-oxidative properties to the skin." The price made me determine that I would be a very tough critic. For $100 this stuff better be sent from heaven.

Like most skin care claims, I'm not sure if this serum does all that it says it does, but it is downright decedent. It's the most luxurious product I've used. The packaging is lovely. Heavy, but not annoyingly so and sturdy yet sophisticated. The product itself is a creamy consistency that blends into the skin flawlessly to leave incredibly soft skin and a radiant glow. It doesn't feel satiny though like a lot of face primers do. I'm definitely not a fan of the common face primer feeling but this serum gives that soft base without there being a layer or something on the skin. Plus the smooth feeling lasts ages. I still had a soft back of my left hand three days after my first test of the product.

The serum can be used both day and night and I do just that. It provides a lot of moisture to my dry morning skin and helps to round out my evening routine. My dry skin isn't letting up although winter has finally packed its bags and I've been loving how hydrated my skin feels after using this. And it smells amazing. A mix of floral notes, honey and other things I could never explain as I've always been terrible at describing scents. I'm obsessed with how the serum smells though. I usually am not fond of how skincare smells (apart from the delicious orange scent of Origins GinZing moisturizer of course) and don't expect much, but this sets the bar at a whole new level of heavenly scents.

The biggest downfall is the price. It's an amazing product, but I still don't know if I could justify $100 no matter how in love with it I am. However there is a lot of product in the bottle and I'm sure the serum could last at least six months. I'm definitely going to continue enjoying this skincare gem for as long as I have it!

What are your favorite serums to use? Would you try this serum?

xoxo Kayla


Happiness #2

A list of ten things that have made me happy lately

1. Seeing (and filming) three of my favorite people graduate
2. Exploring photography and shooting for fun
3. Macaroni and cheese almost every day
4. A promotion at work
5. Sleeping in 
6. Checking things off the to-do list
7. Spending time with my best friend Lauren
8. Naps
9. Sending packages
10. Brownies

What has made you happy lately?

xoxo Kayla


Starting from Scratch

If suddenly all of my makeup up and left me and I had to start all over from scratch? Easy. It really is. At first I thought gathering the items I would run out and get immediately would be hard to collect, but it was oh so easy. So let's start at the base.

It'll come as no surprise that I'd want my Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer ($29 full size). It has never led me astray in providing the perfect glowy start for the rest of my makeup. For foundation it just has to be my L'Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup ($12.99). It was love from the first application and I have yet to find anything I like more. Same goes with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29). I've tried and failed time and time again to find a concealer that can compete. I'm getting down to the last scrapings of my current tube and will be repurchasing immediately.

For eyes you know I have to say theBalm's NUDEtude Palette ($36). It's cheaper than the Naked palettes, has less fall out, has more variety in one palette, and has much more sassy packaging. Perfection. For a hassle-free eyeshadow it's the Maybelline Color Tattoo in "Bad to the Bronze" ($6.99). My current one is on its way out the door I've used and loved it so much. I'm sure everyone is getting tired of my rants of praise over this gem!

A new love is the Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil (full size $20). I've only recently starting playing with it, but already know that if my makeup just vanished, this would be the eyeliner I went out and got that same day. Black, smooth, and tug-free, what more could you ask for in a liner?! For mascara I'll always go back to my first love the L'Oréal Voluminous Volume Mascara ($7.99). It gives you bold, black lashes without fuss or a weird wand. I can definitely tell that if I had to start my makeup stash over from scratch, I'd want it as fuss free as possible.

For finally touches theBalm's FratBoy ($21) blush is a must. The perfect coral flush to add life back into my cheeks. I'm positive the first place I'd run after the news of my makeup being gone would be to the MAC counter to pick up "Syrup" ($16). I need it in my life. If I suddenly can't find it in my purse I'm sent into a mad panic to locate it. It's another product that is almost completely used up I love it so. 

What products would you buy if you had to start from scratch?

xoxo Kayla



Polishes that Please

I'm one of those people who go through phases where I'm switching up my nail polish almost every other day. There are also bouts where I go weeks without putting anything on my nails. Lately it's been the former, wanting to have every polish on my fingers at once so I'm changing things up frequently. I find that what I'm loving lately has also strayed away from the typical spring shades, and I'm enjoying every second of it.

First up is Essie's "Vested Interest" ($8.50)/ This has been on of my favorite polishes since I got it sometime last fall. It's a lovely denim blue shade that's fuss free to apply. I always eye it whenever I open up my nail polish drawer but know I need to give other polishes a chance every once in a while. I've had Zoya's "Odette" ($9) polish for a few months now and am still obsessed. It's the perfect blend of purple and pink while keeping things interesting. This definitely is up there for my favorite color and I love that I have it in nail polish form.

On the nude side of things has been Essie's "Cocktails and Coconuts" ($8.50). I picked this up when I was deep into my "perfect nude nail polish" quest and couldn't be happier with it. It's a lovely sandy color with little flecks of glitter in it that make the polish a lot more dynamic. It doesn't quite check all the boxes for my perfect nude shade (it's a bit too brown if that's possible), but I'm starting to believe I'll never be perfectly satisfied with a nude polish. This one definitely gets close though.

I've also oddly been attracted to Rimmel's "Hot Cocoa" ($3.77). It's this burnt orange color that goes in and out of my fancy and it's definitely been in as of late. I can't quite explain why, but I've been all over it. Although I've been branching away from the typical spring colors I still have been loving Essie's "Fashion Playground" ($8.50). The perfect mint green shade screams spring and I've always had a thing for mint!

What polishes have you been wearing a lot lately?

xoxo Kayla



This Week's Most Loved #24

The This Week's Most Loved post that follows after a favorites post is always the hardest for me. I just ranted and raved over a bunch of products I had loved the last month and then pow, have to choose some more. When I finally took the time to really think about it though a few products popped into my head.

Up first is my beloved L'Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup ($12.99). I'm in the shade N1-2 Soft Ivory/Classic Ivory and it still is a perfect match to my skin tone. I had set this aside for quite a while last month as I explored my love for the dynamic duo, but it caught my eye and has returned to my daily lineup. I love this foundation. It's made me fall in love with bases and I've already purchased another bottle of this as mine is about two thirds used up. I don't want to risk being without this. 

I've also really been enjoying my Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Volum'Express Mascara ($5.99) that I'm positive is a new mascara release from the brand. I've been giving it a go the past couple of weeks and will be writing a full review on it shortly. At first I didn't like it at all, but it's the kind of mascara that seems to get better with age.

Finally, and much to my surprise, I've been using my Big Sexy Hair Root Boost (full size $17.95) that came in my latest Ipsy Glam Bag a lot lately. When I first saw it I wasn't too optimistic about it, but it's really helped to add some volume to my roots. I'm not overly crazy about how it makes my hair feel, but I can't argue with the results.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla


NARS Satin Lip Pencil in "Rikugien"

My NARS obsession continues! I've been eyeing up the Satin Lip Pencils for a while now and just couldn't decide which shade I wanted to get. Finally during one trip to Sephora I just picked a shade that I usually gravitate for in picking other lip products. The NARS Satin Lip Pencil in "Rikugien" ($25) has been in my possession for a couple of weeks now and (of course as it goes with all NARS products) I love it.

"Rikugien" is a bit more sheer and lighter than the packaging would suggest, but applies like a dream. It's like butter going on the lips and it stays for ages. It's completely set the bar for what I refer to as long lasting. All other products I've once said last a long time definitely don't last as long as this. It feels more like a lip balm now that I think of it. I love the shine it gives to my lips and what an easy, everyday color it is.

I'm already figuring out which one I want to get next. The obsession has begun. I'm thinking "Hyde Park" as it'll give me more of the dark mauve color I originally thought I was getting with "Rikugien". Or maybe I'll give one of their Velvet Matte Lip Pencils a go as that line has a lot of shades that are right up my alley.

Have you tried the Satin Lip Pencils before? What are your thoughts?

xoxo Kayla

P.S. My April Lifestyle Favorites are up on my Lifestyle blog. From My Little Pony to Easter eggs, it's quite the mix!
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