July 31, 2013

The top 5 mistakes I've made as a Blogger (online class)

I've really learned so much about blogging in these past 2.5 years. Whenever I talk to someone who is interested in starting a blog, or growing their blog, these 5 mistakes I've made come to mind. I want to explain how to avoid them, and in turn, how to be a better blogger! 

I'll cover sponsors, content, monetizing, editing and more.

I'm excited to be teaching another class on the Influence Network on Monday evening at 9p EST! This is an online class, meaning you can log in and watch from anywhere! If you haven't attended a class before, basically after you sign up you'll get an email with a link to view the class before it starts. You must have access to a computer with a fairly decent internet connection. You do NOT need a webcam. You will not be seen or heard during the class. You can interact with me via a chat box within the classroom.

There will be time at the end of the class for Q & A where we can discuss anything that was covered in the class.

If for any reason something comes up and you can't make the class, you'll get a recording of it that you can watch at a later date! 

For more information + where to sign up, click here!

I wish I would have filmed it

Justin and I went out to celebrate our exciting news on Sunday, but we left early so we could swing by Babies R Us to get our hands on some strollers.

I've been doing some research on my own, but Justin and I hadn't really sat down and talked about what we want. I thought it would be helpful to get in a store, test drive a few of them, and talk about our options.

Every time we do something "baby related" (WHOA that could mean something really different than I intended. . .get your mind out of the gutter. . . ) , I consciously make a decision to pause for a second and cherish it. I didn't know when/if/how we would be doing this. And it's hard to imagine just 5 short months ago I was praying feverently for either a pregnancy or for God to help me understand His plan for us.

So I make a mental note about how "special" this moment is, and as we walk into the store I think to myself, "whoa."

There is a lot of stuff here. How could something so small need so much? 

We wander over to the stroller section and I spot the Britax B-Agile stroller that I wanted to test out. I really liked the one-handed close feature, and thought that would be important down the line.

We pull it off the shelf and I begin to scope it out. Justin and I are hovering around this thing, poking and proding it as if we are waiting for it to come to life. I'm pressing buttons, Justin is testing the brakes, and I finally decide to give the one-handed close feature a test drive. I find the strap in the seat and yank it up.

Nothing happens.

"Maybe I have to give it a really hard yank?" I ask Justin.

"Uh, sure. Try it."

I start really giving this thing a good pull, so much so that it's lifting off the ground, and I think to myself, "This is a piece of junk! It doesn't even work!"

We study the object for a few more minutes, way too prideful to ask for help. We were determined to beat this piece of machinery at it's own game.

Justin notices a button on the side of the stroller, pushes it, and grabs the pull to close the stroller. And the thing collapses like a beach umbrella in 90 mph winds.

"OOooohoohhhhhhhhhh. .. ..  It has a LOCK so it doesn't close by itself or something!!" I exclaim, "I LOVE THIS THING. HOW SMART!"

Since we had earned our way into an elite level of parenting by figuring out the stroller ourselves, we decide to test out the car seat connectors and see how easy/hard it is to insert the car seat.

I leave Justin by the stroller and go grab the carseat. The connectors were already in place, so we simply slipped the carseat in and it locked in place. I push it up and down the aisle and think, "huh. we got 'dis."

Justin knocks it around a little to see how sturdy it is. He really gives it a few good pushes and shoves, as if we intend to take our newborn on a running hike up a rocky mountain. It was a little wobbly, but I'm sure with our actual typical usage (think sidewalk, Target aisles, etc.) it would be just fine.

After deciding I had seen enough, we tested out a few others. We also tossed around the idea of getting a carseat caddy system (stroller attachment made just for carseat) and then getting just a plain stroller for when our boy is a little bit older. My engineer husband is big on "having the right tool for the job", and this is why I brought him stroller shopping. He thinks about things so differently than I do, and I'm grateful for his perspective and logical thinking.

I could be sold on something just because it's grey and "popular" while he really thinks about usage, functionality, etc.

Since we had been considering a carseat stroller situation, we decided to give one of those a test drive as well. We grab the Chicco KeyFit Caddy and push it over to the carseat section. I find a random Chicco carseat on a shelf, and attempt to remove it from the base. I'm looking blankly at the instructions, pressing the buttons and nothing is happening.

"Okay, I can't get this thing out!"

"Let me try" Justin says, and puffs out his chest as he approaches the carseat.

I'm over his shoulder, watching, learning, and realizing that he can't figure it out either. We're both pressing buttons, grabbing straps, yanking handles, and nothing is happening.

We finally manhandle this thing to the ground, still attached to the base, and hover over it to try to detach it from a different angle. I can feel our elite parent status melting away. As this point I'm prepared to kick the carseat apart from the base. Justin remains calm and is trying to figure out the logical way to remove the carseat.

An employee walks by, and I look to him with sweat on my brow and desperation in my eyes.

"Um, kind sir? Could you help us with this carseat?"

"Sure ma'am. . ."

Kindly, he walks over and pressed the button on the back of the carseat and it practically floats away from the death-grips of the base. This mysterious, hidden button apparently appeared when he came around because I swear it wasn't there while we were working on it. (It was there.)

He explains that most carseats have this button in the back and I immediately chime in with "Oh thank you for showing us! We are first-timers!" Trying to scrape up any last remaining shred of dignity. 

As the employee walks away, we breathe sighs of relief and begin to assemble the carseat into the caddy. Works like a charm. I'm pushing it up and down the aisle, beaming with pride, and the employee walks by and says, "Lookin' good!" I smile, showing all of my teeth, and thank him once again for his help. 

And I think "oh the stories these employees must have. . . . we are one of those couples now. . ."

We decide to leave on a high note, no more sold on what we want for a stroller than when we walked in, but much more educated and aware that we are in for quite the life-overhaul come December.

And we can't wait to figure out all this baby stuff together.

July 30, 2013

Bump Styled: If it weren't for stripes, I'd have no clothes.

Gold Rings (mixed with other rings I already have) : c/o Maya Brenner (use code SMALLTHINGS20 for 20% off now thru 8/5/2013)
Yellow Clutch: BrighterDay on Etsy
Dress: Gap (not maternity)
Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie
Nail Polish: Cajun Shrimp by OPI

I was shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding this weekend and ultimately settled on this one. I can dress it up a bit with jewelry and possibly a fancier hairstyle, but it's still casual and comfortable for summer. 

I may add a belt, but to be completely honest I'm not a huge fan of the "belt above the bump" look. Maybe it's just me, and maybe it will look different once I'm a big bigger, but sometimes I feel like it cuts me off in a strange place. 

Anyway, I grabbed my new favorite clutch as I left to go shoot this outfit. I love how the look turned out a little bit nautical. The gold stacking rings were the perfect simple compliment to the statement necklace

Would you like to win your very own Sanibel Pendant necklace? You can choose either gold or silver! Enter using the giveaway tool below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 29, 2013

Messy Bun with a Braided Wrap

Do NOT be intimidated by this hairstyle. It may look a little challenging but I assure you it is a simple 3 step process. You can start with absolutely any texture of hair, straight, curly, curled, wavy, etc. I actually think it would look fantastic with tight ringlet curls. 

When you are braiding, try to hold the braid a little looser than usual. If you braid it too tight, the look may be more severe than you want. And like I mention in the video, make sure you aim the braid backwards so it lies flat against your head.

*If you need help with a messy bun, see this tutorial

Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie

July 26, 2013

It's a . . .

We are thrilled to announce we found out that we are having a boy in December! Everything looked fantastic during the anatomy scan, and he even opened his mouth up a few times as if to say hello!

We feel immensely grateful for this gift already, and are very thankful that he's healthy!

Building Your Makeup Collection : Part 3

Read Parts 1 and 2 on Building Your Makeup Collection!

It's fun to play around with a few extras every once in awhile! These are some of my picks for "non-essentials" that are still great to have on hand.

9. Bronzer adds warmth. Bronzer comes second to blush, in my opinion. And once you find a bronzer that works for your skin color, it may become your favorite product to date. The key when shopping for a bronzer is to look for something that isn't too orange/red, but is warm enough to add a subtle glow. Trying out a variety of bronzers may take awhile, but it's worth finding the right one.

10. Highlighter is a oftentimes a forgotten product that will give you a beautiful glow. I didn't start really using highlighter until the last year or so. I never found one that made a big enough difference. I tried Bare Escentuals Luminizer in "The Shining Moment". It was the perfect mix of brightness with the most subtle shimmer. If you are looking for a very concentrated highlighter, go for a cream/liquid. Once you rub it in, it will look really natural and give you a beautiful glow.

11. I really think a bold lip color is an "eventual essential" for anyone's makeup collection. It doesn't have to be the first lipstick you buy, but I think it needs to be something you eventually add once you feel comfortable (and confident!) with makeup. Either classic red, or something fun (like a punchy coral color). Wearing a bold lip color, with minimal eye makeup, is a really fresh and youthful look. If I need a "statement lip", I grab my favorite red lipstick

12. Have at least one fun piece to experiment with. It can be false lashes, and colorful eyeshadow palette, or maybe even a liquid liner pen that makes drawing a cat eye super simple. Find a product that excites you and that you grab to use for girls night out, or a fancy event you have to go to. Most recently, my "fun" product is the Naked 2 palette. It's neutrals so it is completely acceptable for everyday wear, but it allows me to be really creative in the morning with the huge variety of shadows to choose from! 

And this wraps it up! These are my 12 makeup basics (with a couple extras) to either get you started or to help you fill in the holes of your makeup collection. The only thing I completely forgot to add, that I use on a daily basis is brow color. It's kind of a "boring" thing to do, but it truly is a necessity! 

I'm planning on hosting a live blog chat on Monday night (7/29) at 9p EST to answer any questions about this Makeup Collection Series. Feel free to ask other random makeup questions as well! If you want to see how a "live blog chat" works, you can watch this one
Be sure to "like" The Small Things Blog on facebook as I will share the link for you to watch  the chat live on the page!  
The best way to have your questions answered during a live blog chat is to tweet them at me during the chat! You can find me on twitter at K8_smallthings !

July 24, 2013

Nursery Inspiration

I absolutely cannot wait to find out what gender this baby is tomorrow. This week has absolutely crawled. I've been feeling kicks and punches for the past few days, and I'm ready to call this baby by name and ask him/her what is going on in there.  

I don't have a clear vision for what I want the nursery to look like yet, and I'm sure that will change once I know if the baby is a boy or a girl, but I gathered a few of my favorite things that I've collected on my private pinterest board. 

I'm leaning towards soft pastel colors. That's all I'm gravitating to at the moment. And I'm sure that you are not surprised that there are cats involved. I almost ordered one of those BlaBla cats immediately, but I restrained myself to wait until friday. They are so cute! 

I've already picked up a glider very similar to the one I included in this collage. I couldn't find an exact replica online, nor at Costco.com, so that one is as close as I can get. My mom and I are going to look for a "pouf" or some sort of ottoman to go with it while she helps me decorate.

I've been slightly intimidated by the sheer length of registry lists that I'm coming across online. However, I'm very thankful I have friends to help me go through them and weed out what I don't need.

In other news, I watched a video of how a breast pump works while I was wide awake at 4:00am. Thanks baby.



I hope to breastfeed. I plan on it. I'm truly grateful to be well informed by my friends that breastfeeding is not always a guarantee. And sometimes it's more challenging than you can even imagine. I'm glad to be disillusioned by the dreamy idea that it "will surely be an absolute breeze to breastfeed". I think that will help me be better prepared for what to expect, although I'm sure, no matter how much I mentally prepare, it will still feel like a brand new obstacle. And all that to say, there's a chance it may be easier than I think as well. It will depend on the baby, me, and whatever the heck is going on. Lots of new ground to cover. Lots to learn. 

As the nursery comes together at our new house, I'm sure I'll share photos of the progress. I'm also sure I'll leave the rest of the house in shambles and work on the nursery first. I'm way too excited about it.

I plan to share the gender of our baby here on the blog next week! But for now, I'd love to hear your guesses on it! Use the poll below to vote!

Do you think it is a boy or a girl?
pollcode.com free polls 

An Elisabeth Ashlie + Umba Box Collaboration

I'm a pretty good secret keeper. 

My sister and I have been secretly working on a collaboration between Elisabeth Ashlie  (our etsy shop) and Umba Box. For those of you that haven't heard of Umba Box before, here is a review I wrote about a couple boxes I received. 

Umba Box provides consumers with a better way to get their hands on beautiful handmade products by scouring the handmade community to find the freshest goods from a wide variety of categories including home goods, women's accessories, jewelry, stationery, and bath products. One month your Umba Box may include one large item, and the next month it could be three smaller items. They package their collections and send subscribers delightful, surprise box handmade goods. Umba Box offers month-to-month recurring subscriptions and prepaid 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions that include $25 of handmade products each month. They also have a Limited Edition version of Umba Box, which is only available as a 3-month subscription. The Limited Edition box sells out quickly and features $50 worth of handmade products each month for 3 months.

So, what does the collaboration between Umba Box and our etsy shop look like? They're offering $10 off a Limited Edition box subscription to 20 of our readers! Our earrings are being featured in their next round of boxes, which means that if you purchase the Limited Edition subscription, you'll get a pair of them in your box! We're sworn to secrecy, so you won't know which pair you'll be getting until you open your box! All you need to do is enter code UMBAEARRINGS when subscribing to the Limited Edition box. Remember, the first 20 people to do so get $10 off!

We're thrilled to be partnering with such a great company that celebrates handmade products and shares them with their subscribers! You have until the end of this month to sign up in order to receive the box featuring our earrings, so head over there and sign up!

July 23, 2013

Bump Styled: The Stripes Don't Lie

19 weeks! 
maternity jeans: Gap
wedges: Nine West

Stripes (check)
Grey (check)
White (check)
Jeans (check)
Nude wedges (check)

(check is not a store, don't be confused)

If I had a "signature outfit", it would be this one. And I love that I have a baby bump to dress. I find it quite fun.

By the end of the day my bump is quite round. It's so strange that in the morning it's easy to hide, and by nighttime I stare at myself when I'm brushing my teeth thinking "well dag 'on" <---that's my attempt to sound southern. I picked it up from my southern hubby. 

Speaking of accents, I really wonder what this baby will sound like. I feel as though pregnancy has brought out my northern roots. I hear myself sounding more northern than usual (which I secretly love. I love sounding northern in the south). And while my husband is a "southerner", from Virginia, he doesn't have a thick accent. At all. It's kind of neutral.

However, he did come chock full of southern phrases and those have been a blast to try to figure out through the years.

Let's go through some, shall we? I will need to teach my child what these mean. Or perhaps it will be innate since he/she does have southern blood too.

"I'll get up with y'all later" 
northerner: you will wake up from a nap with your friends later
southerner: I will get together with you later. Perhaps I will call you. Or send you a text. I will make some sort of contact with you later.

"Well dag 'on" 
northern: well dang. wow. well, geez.
southern: well, dang. wow. well, geez.

"I might could do that"
northern: ::confusion:: might and could kind of mean the same thing there. 
southern: I will not completely commit, but I will give you much hope that I may possibly/probably do that.

"Cut on the lights"
northern: take a pair of scissors and cut the lights until they come on.
southern: turn on the lights.

"She was so ill!"
northern: she was very sick. Perhaps on her death bed.
southern: she had a crappy attitude. she was rude.

"That's the berries!"
northern: those are berries.
southern: that is awesome!

"He was being ugly"
northern: He could not help that he looked ugly.
southern: He was being mean/rude/disrespectful.

"I use-ta could"
northern: no idea.
southern: I used to be able to _______.

northern: the sound of a sheep.
southern: bye!
(I do this)

Well this took a different turn than I was expecting. I'll claim "pregnancy brain".

*I loved reading all your responded to the southern phrases I shared "definitions" to in yesterdays post! I realized after the fact that I totally made my husband sound like a southern woman. He doesn't say half of these things. Once I got the ball rolling with the first phrase (which he does actually say), it became a generic "southern phrase" post.  AND I can't believe I left out "fixin' to". That's a huge one.

July 22, 2013

FAQ Video

Check out my weekend wear makeup look featuring Almay Cosmetics!

Questions answered in this video:

1. I've been trying to give my hair a break and let it air-dry more often. However, every product I try to put on my wet hair (mousse, gel, etc) leaves my hair feeling crunchy. What can I do to make my hair look better after it's air-dried? What product recommendations do you have?

2. How do you part your hair? Mine is straight and severe, while yours looks soft and natural.

3. Other than $300 extensions & prenatal vitamins-any advice on speeing up your hair to grow faster?

4. Is there really a remedy to help split ends besides cutting them off?

5. How do your prevent your lookse curls from migrating together throughout the day?

6. What are your thoughts on wet-to-dry flat irons? Do they actually work/save time or do they just cause damage to your hair?

7. Shampoo twice, Condition once. I have just recently heard of people who shampoo their hair twice and condition once. Is this something you would recommend? 

Products Mentioned:

July 19, 2013

Pregnancy Notes : 18 weeks

I did not know what kind of "pregnant gal" I'd be. I would have assumed that I would be crazy research lady who wouldn't take a step before researching it.

Turns out, I'm much more chill than I thought I would be. And for that, I am grateful.  (I wrote a little about why in this post)

I also thought I would feel compelled to blog more about this little baby but I simply haven't. I don't really know why. It could be because I talk about it with my clients and friends during the day. . .who knows.

But, in an effort to write a bit more about this joyous chapter of my life, I shall embark on a post about this pregnancy. I'm not going to commit to anything weekly or monthly quite yet, but let's just say I'll share a little bit more about what's going on here on the small things blog. AFTER ALL, this is the smallest thing I've had yet so. . . it's only fitting.

18 weeks

Let's reflect on the first trimester, shall we?

That was a rough one. I did not anticipate it to be as hard as it was. I was knocked flat out for a few weeks. Scrounging on crackers, grapes and ginger ale. It was a tough chapter. I also think my hormones took quite a drastic turn and I found myself feeling quite blue. It was weird. But, after the 8 week appointment, and the prescription for Zofran, I began to perk up again.

Frequent vomiting didn't hit until about week 12/13. And didn't end until week 16. The nausea was more annoying than anything. And I'm glad I've passed that phase.

I began to feel even more like myself during week 17. And last thursday (17.5 weeks-ish), I felt the baby move.

I was sitting at the salon, between clients, and I felt this little movement in my belly. It did not feel like a butterfly at all. I had been waiting for the butterfly feeling that everyone told me I would feel. . .and this felt like a tiny worm wiggling against the inside of my belly. 

"Was that it?" I thought to myself. I held my hand on my stomach just hoping it would happen again. It didn't immediately, so I carried on with my day, constantly wondering if tht was it. 

I had similar little feelings on friday, and by friday night I decided that had to be the baby. It was a new feeling, and while it was maybe a tiny bit early for a first pregnancy, I knew it could be nothing else. 

Then yesterday (18 weeks) I continued to feel the baby move occasionally, and at one point in the afternoon there was a strong wiggle that tickled me. It was the coolest feeling. 

I find myself sitting patiently between clients, without the distraction of the phone or computer, to just wait and see if the baby is moving around. I love feeling him/her move.

I cannot wait for my husband, my sister and my family to be able to feel the kicks from the outside. 

I'm experiencing mild back pain after a long day at the salon. And I find that if I sit for too long, I have subtle pain in my diaphragm area. I googled both of these things, and am not concerned about either. I think both are pretty darn normal. There is a lot of changing going on inside me, so things a bound to get pushed around.

I swear this baby is going through a growth spurt or something. So far this week I've woken up at 4am on Monday and Tuesday morning with ripping starvation. I trudge downstairs, eat a bowl of cereal and drink a huge glass of chocolate milk, and then go back to bed. Thursday morning I didn't even make it to 2am before I was awoken with starvation pains. Notice these are not hunger pains. These are starving pains. 

I eat all day, I'm getting plenty of protein, eating snacks (fruit, protein bars, yogurt) between clients. But apparently I need to be eating even more.

I'm very curious about my weight gain ( I don't own a scale, never have). At my last appointment (14 weeks) I hadn't gained a pound since my previous appointment (11 weeks), but I was still quite nauseous during those weeks. I hope I've gained at least a pound or two! 

We find out the sex next week! For the most part, Justin and I have both felt that it's a boy (for no reason, just simply a feeling/guess), so I'm anxious to see if we were right or if we were way off! 

What do I hope it is? Either. I feel for the first baby, either gender is exciting. And for the second, if God gives us this gift again, I think there will be stronger feelings of hope for the opposite gender than the first. But on that same note, I loved having a sister, so siblings of the same gender are fine too! 

I feel pretty settled on the names we picked out. We have 1 boy name (first and middle) and 1 girl name (unsure of middle). I haven't decided if I'll share the name we choose here or not. . .but I think we probably will. 

I have not bought a single thing for the baby yet. Though I've been overwhelmingly blessed  with sweet gifts from friends and clients. I have this little pile in the guest room of baby things. It's surreal to walk past that room and see the stuff sitting there. I have to remind myself that we'll have a baby in December that will actually be using those gifts! 

I'm getting very excited about the nursery in the new house. I'm so glad that we are going to own the home that the baby will come home to, only because I can feel really settled and permanent with the nursery. I can hang shelving and paint, without the thought of "well, we may move in a few months so this may have to be packed up. . .".

I've mentioned before that my mom is an incredible interior decorator, so I'm handing practically all the reigns over to her for this new house + the nursery. I'm so grateful that she's able to help (read: do all the designing/decorating) for her first grandchild! 

That's all the baby news I have for now! I can't wait to share our news next week of whether it's a boy or girl!  

July 18, 2013

Building Your Makeup Collection: Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series about Building a Makeup Collection. Read part 1 here

5. I would argue that concealer is a very, very important part of any makeup collection. Either for under the eyes, blemishes or any other hyper pigmentation, concealer will help even out your skin tone in difficult places. When shopping for an under-eye concealer, look for creamy, hydrating products that are specifically made for the eye area. Sometimes drier formulas can look cake-y under the eyes. My favorite under-eye concealer is Bobbi Brown's Corrector (post about it coming soon). It corrects dark circles, and provides great coverage. Some makeup artists would argue that you need a concealer on top of the Corrector, but I think that's up for negotiation. My favorite concealer, for both under-eyes and blemishes is Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer. And my second favorite concealer is Mac's Pro Longwear Concealer.

6. Eyeliner can be a huge hit or a HUGE miss. If you are nervous or unfamiliar with eyeliner, it's worth the time investment to talk to a professional about what formula and application method will work for you. Eyeliner can dramatically change the shape of your eye, either for the better or worse. 
You can't go wrong with a kohl pencil liner to start with. Kohl is a softer, smoother formula than just a pencil, and will glide across your eye. Then, as you get more comfortable, expand into the gel and liquid categories. I wrote a short post about eyeliner's here and broke down the different between them here!

7. Invest in a few good neutral shadows. I think every woman should own at least 1 flattering eyelid color, 1 crease color, and 1 highlight/brow bone color. Usually, sticking with cool tones is safest, but experiment with a few different shades to see what works for you. And always use an eyelid primer before applying eyeshadow. It will completely transform how well your makeup applies AND how long it lasts! 
I love the Naked 2 Palette for a handful of semi-dark neutrals. Urban Decay also makes the Naked Basics palette for lighter neutrals (good for those new to the makeup world). I also like the mini palettes sold by CoverGirl! They put really beautiful shades together that work on a lot of skin tones. 
It doesn't matter whether you start with cream or powder eyeshadows. It's simply a matter of preference. I didn't venture into the cream eyeshadow world until about 6-8 months ago. I use powder eyeshadows much more often, but love my cream shadows for a base.

8. My friend Kacia would agree that I'm a big proponent of lipstick. Lipstick completes your look and makes you look pulled together. And it doesn't have to be a heavy, dark red color. Finding the "Your Lips but Better" shade is all I'm suggesting to start with. And then grow from there. If you hate lipstick, look for a balm with a little bit of color pigment. If you love lipstick, like me, find that perfect pink-y peach shade that you can wear with every single item in your wardrobe. 
A lip gloss is also a great option for a hint of color. And the more sheer the gloss, the more often you can just pop it over any base lip color!

Part 3 will come next week! 

July 17, 2013

Does Benefit's Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer Really Work?

The cute packaging was enough to sell me on this new product from Benefit. I'm a fan of their blushes and creaseless cream eyeshadows, but other than those products I haven't experimented much with the rest of their line. 

 However, when new products hit the market, especially ones with strong claims like this one, I'm the first in line to give it a try. I do it for you, reader. And for myself. I've always been this way. It's just much more fun now that I get to share it with you!

So, Benefit has a video on their site showing how to apply this product. You can follow their method, or try what I do. It's not very different.

*in case you ever wanted to see me without a stitch of makeup on

Once the primer is applied, immediately apply your foundation. I used liquid, but you can use whatever foundation you normally use.

If you are interested in seeing the steps I took to get the final look, watch this video. I used a few different products along the way, but the concept is generally the same. I did use my Arbonne foundation, in case you were wondering. 

So what did I think of Benefit's Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer

I was very impressed with a few things:
1. The product consistency. It's slightly tacky, but that means it works.
2. The sheer, non-greasy finish.
3. The longevity. My makeup really looked fresh all day. Even in the heat + humidty.

So, my overall thoughts? I'm sold. And I think this product launches at the perfect time of year. This is the exact month that my makeup starts melting off from the heat of summer. I'm happy to have found a great product to keep everything in place. 

Buy it at Sephora for $32.00. PLUS, Sephora has a great return policy in case you don't love it.

Enjoy your melt-free days of flawless makeup! 

July 16, 2013

Tailor and Stylist Giveaway

Red Necklace: c/o Caroline G shop (use discount code: kate50 for 50% off!)
Maternity Jeans: Gap

With clothes these days, it's all about strategy. I'm looking for things I can grow into. Pieces that are versatile and can be worn in a few different ways.
There is plenty of room for growth in this shirt from Tailor and Stylist. And I think it would look adorable with a pencil skirt in the fall!

Today, Tailor and Stylist is giving away a $100.00 gift certificate to their store! If you would like to enter, use the giveaway tool below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you ever wondered how to incorporate blue into your makeup routine, check out my suggestions here

July 15, 2013

Emma Stone Inspired Casual Bun

I've loved this simple little updo that Emma wore a long time ago. I thought it looked fresh and young, and for some reason it took me until now to finally create a tutorial for it!
This is a great option for those of you with shorter hair. If you have a lot of layering, like I do, you may need to pin those stray hairs in place. Don't overdo this style though! It's supposed to be casual, soft, and not "perfect". 

Dress: Gap Outlet (not available online)
Earrings: Autumn Equinox on Etsy
necklace: J.Crew Factory (no longer available)
lipstick: Mac Lovelorn

(in case you missed it, I picked out some of my favorite nude/neutral nail polishes here!)