Wednesday, January 23, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY: PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHERS!

Hey guys!

In case you were TOTALLY counting........ (not)..... we are *only* 627 days until our wedding!!!!! as of jan 23

Hahahahahaha yes, really.

I am so grateful for our long engagement because it has allowed us to take our time choosing vendors for the big day and not rush any major purchases and/or decisions. Another main perk? Pretty much every vendor is still available! We get freeeeee ranged pick of the lot.

So far in the wedding planning process we have chosen our date (October 11th, 2020) and our venue. I'd like to keep the venue a secret for a while but I'll let you know that it IS in Raleigh. We're embracing our new home and see ourselves here for years to come so it only seems natural to share this new place with all of our friends and family. It's a destination wedding for... pretty much everybody other than us. Oops.

In addition to the date and venue, we also just signed our contract on our photographer. I have been thinking about the photographer for my wedding longer than I have thought about any other major details like the cake or even my dress! I am a photographer at heart and I follow quite a few professionals that I've loved since I first picked up a camera. I wanted to bring you all through my inspiration of styles for photographers that I love.

Firstly, I had to start off with Jordan Voth. He's located in the Pacific Northwest but in 2011 he did a road trip around the country and I was going to have him do my senior portraits for high school. Unfortunately, I was on a family vacation when he came through my area but I always told myself I'd think of him first when I got engaged. I did not end up booking him for the wedding but not for any reason other than distance. All of the photographers I am showcasing here today are ones I've followed for years but are not local to Raleigh. The photographer we did end up booking is INCREDIBLE and is also a local! A total win-win.

Here is some of Jordan's work:



Next is another photographer that I discovered around the same time as Jordan. His name is Taylor McCutchan and he is insaaaanely talented. In addition to his near-perfect photos and impeccable edits, he does some really cool double exposures that you'll see an example of below:



A more recent discovery of mine is Duke Moose. He's based in Utah and, well, his location speaks for itself. He captures people in Utah's unbelievable scenery so majestically. It's really unfair that all of America doesn't look like it.

Here are a couple of my favorites by him:


Last but certainly not least for my inspirational photogs is the first-ever wedding photographer that I followed. I remember being a freshman in high school, sitting in the corner of the computer room of my school's photo lab. I had just discovered Shannon Nicole Smith (now: Vine and Light Photography) and fell in love with her work. It was the first time I'd seen candid wedding photography where people look happy, lively and NORMAL. I've kept tabs on her in the years since and felt it was a necessity to include her in this post.




Now for the real deal! I wasn't sure I was gonna share my vendors as we booked 'em but honestly..... how could I hold back on this one? We booked Three Region Photography and let me tell ya-- I am so freaking happy I decided to look local because if I hadn't, one of the photographers listed above would have been booked and I would have missed the magic that is Jessica's work.



I try very hard to separate photographic skill and "the eye" from post-processing work. I haven't always been this way and really only recently learned that anyone can slap a Lightroom preset on a photo, call it a day and look impressive. I now appreciate someone who can capture a perfectly crisp image in a scenario that is ever-moving and quickly changing. Jessica recently posted something on her Instagram that I thought was so incredible, as it was very different from my personal experience as a (hobby) photographer and think it exudes the confidence in her ability: she said instead of shooting on burst, she sits and waits for the moments that need to be captured. I believe she likened it to being a Nat Geo photographer waiting for a specific action of an animal in the wild and I think that speaks to her incredible work tremendously.

Now, let me back up and say that editing IS important. That is what initially caught my eye with Three Region. There's a slight moodiness that never leans too dramatic and her work just feels grounded. It's not bubbly but it still exemplifies joy. It's not stiff but you will still get all of your necessary, more posed shots. Simply put: it feels real. She is everything that I wish I could be as a photographer and I am SO excited to have her photograph our big day.

That's all for today's Wedding Wednesday! I believe the next major detail that's up for choosing is...... THE DRESS!!!!!! See you all then :)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

HOW TO DRILL HOLES IN POTS (HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN DRAINAGE HOLES)

Hi there!

I'm here to write a post that I wish had been on the Internet this time, last year. 2018 was surely the year of the houseplant and I fell deeply victim to the trend. The one thing I kept having trouble with? Finding cute pots WITH drainage holes. Don't let anybody fool you-- no amount of rocks on the bottom of a pot will create as good of drainage as an actual drainage hole. If you're serious about your plants, you won't mess around with rocks. What you will do is..

buy a diamond drill bit.

Yep. You're gonna need a drill if you want to have botanical fun this year! This revelation pushed me to buy a drill that I already was in dire need for because of the amount of furniture I assemble and DIY projects I take on. If you don't have a drill, you'll eventually need one as time goes on so just consider this an investment into adulthood.

As I was trying to navigate the world of drainage, I kept seeing blips of advice from random plant websites and blogs talking about the need for a masonry drill bit. These bits are blunt and dull and truly take AGES to get through well-constructed pots, if ever. There is a much higher risk of cracking your planter using one of these as well given the amount of pressure necessary to get a hole going.

Diamond bits are like slicing cheese with a razor compared to masonry bits.

Let's go step-by-step...

Screenshots are from a previous Instagram story so don't mind my green, semi-unappealing text
1. Attach the bit to your drill.
        You can get a variety of different sized bits but I went with a smaller one (1/4") because of cost. It would be better for you to buy a bigger one for this purpose because what I usually ended having to do was drill multiple holes in pots to ensure proper drainage-- you'll see below. If you were curious, this is the drill that I own. This is the drill bit.



2. Prepare your pot
        I usually drilled my holes within my kitchen sink so I could continually have cool water running on my workspace. Just like cutting tile, you need to keep the area you are drilling into constantly cool to protect your pot from cracking. The friction of this drill bit on the pottery makes the spot very, very, VERY hot without running water atop it.

This planter I was working on is the Wood Base Planter from West Elm. West Elm looooOoves to put drainage "wells" in the bottom of their pots in lieu of drainage holes but again, don't fall for it. That is not going to work. In 2019 I've already seen stores such as Target really embracing the plant pot as a trend and the majority of theirs are cheaper than the stores/outlets that used to sell pots before they were trendy AND typically have drainage holes already. Thank goodness.


3. Begin drilling
        You must begin drilling at a 90° angle which, given the nature of this project, is sometimes difficult. Try your best. What you're needing to do is get the rough side of the drill bit to get past a glazed exterior and begin to actually work itself into the pot. Once you have a decent enough depth in, you can turn the drill upwards and begin drilling normally. You are creating a ring shape that will eventually make its way through the pot and out the bottom, creating a perfect hole.
        You can only drill normally as deep as your initial 90° angle depth. Once you've hit your max, angle the drill again and keep digging down. Some pots/planters are super thick and will take some time to get through. Some are thinner or softer (like terracotta) and won't take much time at all. PLEASE be gentle! Thinner or softer materials can crack if you apply too much pressure. Just keep at it and take your time while letting the drill do the hard work for you.


4. All done!
        You may want to add a few more if you're working on a larger pot like I was. You do this the same way you did the initial hole-- just be aware that the base is slightly compromised with a hole in it now and could become more fragile during subsequent hole drills.


Like I mentioned previously, I sometimes add extra holes to assist in drainage so there isn't a ton of water sitting in the bottom of my pot waiting in queue to drain. I only want my plant getting the absolute exact amount of water that it needs.

That is pretty much it! I hope this helps some people because I know for sure it would have helped me. Just remember-- diamond bit > masonry bit. No matter what people say!

If you have any questions at all, leave me a comment below. Or if you just want to share your plant parent success stories I am ALL ears! I love seeing people's indoor (or outdoor, really) jungles.

If you want to shop this post, I've listed any items I mentioned today below (for pot and ones similar to it) or within this post as links (for drill, drill bit):

Monday, January 14, 2019

HOW TO FILL IN GAPPY EYEBROWS

Happy Monday, friends!

Today I wanted to take you all step-by-step on my current eyebrow routine. One of my eyebrows is much ehm, *needier* than the other.. read: it's thin and sparse in the most important area-- the arch.

I've been team brow powder since the first day I ever filled mine in. I prefer powder soooo much to anything else and every time I try something different, I always come right back. I used to religiously use Urban Decay's 'Secret Service' eyeshadow but I've also now added Anastasia Beverly Hill's brow powder duo in 'Medium Brown' to my arsenal.

Although I love powder, I have had issues filling in my needy eyebrow with only powder and having it last and also look crisp. Over the years I have started using alternative products JUST where they are needed in order to create a more sculpted, balanced brow. This post will show you just how I do that!


Firstly, here is my wacky left eyebrow. It is missing the all-important arch and is also fairly short in the tail.


The first step in my process is to define the gapped area with either a brow pen or pomade. In the above photo, I used this brow pen in 'Dark' by Stila. I switch between that pen and Anastasia's Dipbrow pomade in 'Soft Brown' depending on my mood.



The most important thing to do after applying your intense defining line is to brush the product out with a clean spoolie. Be aware of what direction you are brushing so the product doesn't migrate beyond where you are intending it to be. If it gets a bit fuzzy, use a makeup wipe (if you do your brows first) or some foundation or concealer (if you do your brows last) to clean things up.


After I have defined the necessary spot, I fill in the rest of my eyebrow with my usual powders. With the brow powder duo, I use the lighter shade towards the front of the brow and the darker color on the tail end.


Finally, set with a brow gel. Sometimes I use a tinted one, sometimes a clear (like in the above photo) and sometimes I even use a thickening pomade. None of this makes a huge difference in the gappiness of the eyebrow since you already solved the problem with either the brow pen or pomade.

I hope this helps some of you out in the brow department! I know I'm always disappointed when I think I can simply run a thickener through my brows to create symmetry and end up lacking but I just make sure that any time I do my makeup, I also do this eyebrow routine so I'm looking put! together!

Shop this post below:




Friday, January 11, 2019

15 CUTE POTS + PLANTERS FOR SPRING 2019

2018 was the year of the houseplant. I got deep into the trend and I know so many of you did as well. It seemed the mass market stores weren't aware of the trend or at least couldn't keep up with demand if they were beacause the problem I continued to have throughout the year was finding cute pots and planters from regular stores. Thankfully, 2019 is starting off on a good foot in that regard because they are much easier to find now and we're only half a month into the new year. I have compiled a list of my favorite pots, planters and plant stands on the market right now. Some of these I currently own, have owned in the past (but got rid of when I moved and downsized my plant fam), have seen in-store or just know to be of good quality from my research. whod have known/b

If you're worried about drainage holes, fret not. I have a post coming next week about adding holes to ANY pot you get, even ones without any drainage to begin with. Stick around for that post before you go out to buy rocks for the bottoms of your pots :)


1. World Market Sevilla Planters (Click for black collection, white collection and grey collection, two sizes)
2. Target Project 62 Ceramic Planter with Metal Stand White/Black (three sizes)
3. Target Project 62 Stoneware Planter with Stand Orange/Gold (two sizes)
4. World Market Dark Turquoise Ceramic Planter with Wood Stand
5. Target Threshold White Planter (smaller size)
6. Target Project 62 Stoneware Floor Planter with Wood Stand White/Brown
7. CB2 Lupa Planters (two sizes)
8. Urban Outfitters Bistro 12" Rattan Planter + Stand
9. Target Project 62 Ceramic Planter with Stand White/Black (three sizes)
10. Target Project 62 Hexagon Stoneware Planter Terracotta (three sizes)
11. Urban Outfitters Parker 6" Planter + Drainage Tray Sets (also comes in 4" and 10")
12. West Elm Half Dipped Planters (two sizes)
13. Target Smith & Hawken Plant Stand Black & Wood
14. Serena and Lily Dip Dyed Stools (two sizes, three colors)
15. Target Project 62 Terrazzo Plant Table

I hope you all enjoy these decently affordable pots, planters and plant stands. I'm probably going to be buying a couple for myself soon in preparation for spring. To make shopping a bit easier, I've added most of these planters to the widget below for you:



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

MY GO-TO LIP GLOSSES

Happy 2019 everybody!!!

I am happy to report that I've successfully relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina and finally feel settled in. I've already met some really great gals in the "influencing" space down here (hate that word) who I feel will become fast friends and provide a wealth of knowledge to me. I've never sought out ladies with similar goals as my own so I can only imagine what stuff I'll learn as we bounce ideas off one another this year.

Today I wanted to chat lip gloss. Since the matte liquid lip era ended, lip gloss has taken over as the new trend. Just as everyone wants dewy, glowing skin, they also want dewy lips. I'll be honest, I once bought a MAC lip glass in 2005 and decided I disliked lipgloss and never tried again until this new era arose. I was so unfair to gloss as a whole because MAC lip glasses are the worst and the glosses I'm going to mention below are not!

If you've tried lip gloss before and didn't like the stickiness, read on to see which formulas I love that don't give that gross feeling. You'll notice a trend... they're all pinky nudes. That, for now, is as far as I will dive into lip glosses. I've only had negative experiences with more pigmented tones separating every time my lips touch but rest assured that one day I will venture away from this grouping!

lip glosses lined up and swatched on arm

In descending color order I have my five favorite lip glosses that are my fave because of either color, formula or both. Here are some on-lip swatches on my (typically) Fenty 110/120 skin with a bit of a faux tan.

swatches of my favorite lip glosses on lips versus bare lips

The first gloss up is fitting to lead. The Bite Beauty French Press lip gloss in 'Flat White' my most surprisingly consistent product in this group. I use it OFTEN. Like, I'm-gonna-run-out-any-minute often. I love the entire French Press collection by Bite because everyone should be able to find a suitable nude for their skintone, even with a limited range of shades. I commend Bite for that! True to their name, these glosses have a strong coffee bean scent that I really enjoy. If you don't, no prob. The scent barely lingers past application. Stickiness factor: 2.5/5

Bite Beauty 'Honey' is a pretty, neutral gloss with very subtle gold shimmer. I like to wear this whenever I'm wanting a tone less fair than Flat White. It's not sold anymore so it's not much use but I wanted to include it here since I wear it often enough. That being said, there is a sticky factor involved with this one so I usually aim to have my hair up or stay inside whenever I rock Honey. If you're interested in this but can't buy it for obvious reasons, keep reading a couple of paragraphs down... Stickiness factor: 4/5

Next up! Not to spoil this post but my favorite gloss out of all of these? The Glossier clear lip gloss. It's so plush. So comfortable. Lasts a decent length of time but has ZERO stick. You can't get any more versatile than a clear lip gloss and if you need to buy one gloss from this post, it's this one. It works wonderfully as an eye gloss, too! Stickiness factor: 1/5

I got the Becca Cosmetics Glow Gloss in 'Lilac Geode' from the Lilac Love Lip and Highlighting Duo at Ulta alongside a matching highlighter. I only purchased the set because I liked the highlighter but have been very pleasantly surprised by this gloss. It's a sheer rose gold that comes across similarly to Bite 'Honey' on me if you were wanting to get that one but couldn't. It is fairly sticky but nothing tar-like. I'd say stickiness factor: 3/5

Lastly, the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in 'Fu$$y'. I had heard allllllll the hype and decided to finally give in. The first Gloss Bomb release was far too brown for my complexion, the second much too frosty for my liking. This shade? Perfectly pink. The shimmer threw me a bit initially because it is a cooler tone but once on the lip you really can't tell and you can not feel any grit either (usually associated with sparkly lip products). I loOove the large applicator and how plush this gloss is. Stickiness factor: 1/5

If you're interested in any of the products I mentioned in this post, feel free to shop this post below:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

NEW FENTY BEAUTY MATTEMOISELLE LIPSTICKS IN 'BALLERINA BLACKOUT', 'THICC', 'PUMPKIN ROSE' AND 'FLAMINGO ACID'

Oh. MY GOSH.

GUYS

Fenty released their new Mattemoiselle shades. You BETTER BELIEVE I ordered them the morning they launched. I was so so so so tempted to buy the 10/10 set but held out because I only wanted a few shades out of those ten and was just hoping the shades would be released individually. Lo and behold... here we are.

Here are the four shades I picked up: Ballerina Blackout, Thicc, Pumpkin Rose and Flamingo Acid.

on-arm swatch fenty beauty mattemoiselle ballerina blackout, thicc, pumpkin rose, flamingo acid

And most importantly, on-lip swatches on my Fenty 110/120 skin tone:

on-lip swatches of new fenty beauty mattemoiselle lipsticks in ballerina blackout, thicc, pumpkin rose and flamingo acid on 110/120 or NC15 skin

Here's my quick breakdown by shade...

I decided at the last second to purchase Ballerina Blackout because my go-to lipstick shade is a bubblegum pink but I had a feeling this wasn't going to work out and, well, I was right. It's much too white-based and leans too blue for my liking. I don't see this one being a universal favorite for anyone, really. It reads very 2000's mod pink ala MAC's 'Pink Nouveau'.

The one shade I was most excited for was Thicc and yet another disappointment. Unfortunately for me, Thicc does not show up as pink on me like it does on other skin tones that I've seen so I'm not sure I'm even going to keep it. Formula-wise though, Thicc is one of the "good ones" and is very silky

'Pumpkin Rose' is riiiiiight up my alley. I love a good yellow-orange. This shade is described as a "marigold" and on the promo photos appeared almost like a mustard tone but on me? A super poppy orange. I freaking LOVE this shade. I thought I loved Saw-C from the debut release of Fenty's Mattemoiselles but I prefer Pumpkin Rose to Saw-C now for sure. The formula is nicer this go around, too. Less chalky and more like the rest of the shades.

Lastly, another random addition to my cart, Flamingo Acid. This shade is the winner of the lipsticks I purchased. It is soooOOo pigmented and really, really flattering. This will easily be a universal favorite-- I will call it right now! The formula is on point; it leaves a LASTING stain on the lips and has one swipe coverage. 

I was also intrigued to see Pumpkin Rose compared to Saw C and Lime Crime's 'Squash'. Pumpkin Rose is pretty much Squash in the Mattemoiselle formula. Saw C is more vibrant/neon and slightly redder. Clearly, as I mentioned, I have a thing for orange lippies.

side by side swatch comparison of fenty beauty mattemoiselle in pumpkin rose versus saw-c and lime crime squash

Overall, I am pleased with this second set of additions to the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle line. I appreciate the funky color options and will most likely purchase some more down the line. For now? Catch me rocking out with Flamingo Acid and Pumpkin Rose on my lips every single day.

Feel free to shop this post below if you're interested in trying any of the 24 shades:

Friday, December 28, 2018

MY HOLY GRAIL MAKEUP BRUSHES



Hi guys! I hope you all had a lovely holiday, whichever it is that you choose to celebrate. If you're reading this the week I'm posting it, rest assured that I have exhausted myself by moving my life to another state!!!! I can't wait to share my new home with you and adventure the state of  North Carolina.

Until then,

I wanted to talk about my holy grail makeup brushes. I have been playing with makeup for many, many years. About 13 years so far. That brings me back to 7th grade where I specifically remember rocking this L'Oreal shadow duo daily. Yes, really. That is when I learned that I loved yellow eyeshadow and that purple shadows were difficult to formulate. Here's photo proof of young Bailey rocking a yellow lid much like I still do nowadays.

Anyway, my point is that I've worked my way through a lot of makeup and thus, a lot of makeup brushes. The ones I am about to list are not only all dependable but also affordable and long-lasting. I don't own any high-end brushes so I hope this collection will be useful for all, no matter the budget!

my favorite makeup brushes lined up with labels of what they are


First is my eyebrow brush. I rely on a brush to do my eyebrows because I utilize powders and pomades, not pencils. This Anastasia Beverly Hills #7 brush is stiff enough and a decent enough length to get eyebrows done quickly yet precisely. The bonus spoolie on the end is always useful, too.

Next is the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush. This is a more recent favorite of mine and I like it because I can apply a decent amount of product on the outer crease-to-brow bone area to build depth. My eyes are deep set and I have to use a lot of shadow to show continuity between my eye and my outer crease and this brush gets it done quickly. I usually use another blending brush to blend the product after applying it down.

The Benefit Hoola brush was something I didn't know existed until this year. I was skeptical to buy a brush from a company that really doesn't make or focus on brushes but I was very pleasantly surprised.  I have now replaced my previous bronzing brushes with this guy. It fits into the contour of the cheek very nicely and the rounded shape allows you to define while simultaneously blending out edges.

I didn't start wearing foundation until this year and although I don't wear it every time I apply makeup,  I wear it often enough to need to understand how to properly apply it. The world of foundation brushes was so foreign to me and I really thought I could get away with just using my Beauty Blender for all applications. Well, that proved difficult as my foundations dry down and make blending out evenly quite difficult with just my blender. I decided to trust the good reviews on this Real Techniques Expert Face brush and pick it up. I now use this to evenly distribute product around my face before melting it into the skin with my blender. What can I say, I love the thing. But this Real Techniques brush is the perfect partner-in-crime!

The Real Techniques Setting brush is quite possibly my favorite brush that I own. It's intended use is to set under the eyes which, let me say, it is incredible at. In addition to setting the undereye, I also use this as a highlighter brush. It is the PERFECT size for the tops of the cheekbones and fits under the browbone and in the inner corner, too. Three seconds of swirling will get you glowing seamlessly.

When I was a freshman in college I splurged and purchased my first proper makeup brush set. In that set was the Sigma E40 which would quickly become my go-to blending brush. Although I loved this brush, I always felt a bit out of the loop as the rest of the beauty world was utilizing the Sigma E25 religiously. Years later I decided to buy said Sigma E25 and you know what? I prefer the E40. It's a bit rough on the eye but the shape of the brush blends shadow SO beautifully into the crease. You barely have to do any work at all. The E40 is superior to all other Sigma blending brushes! 

One of the first makeup brushes I owned was this Sephora Collection Shadow and Smudge brush. Ask me why and I'll say I have no idea because I remember this brush being $18 which was UN-IMAGINABLY expensive for young me BUT this brush is so soft and so dense and makes packing product onto the lid a breeze. It's dual-ended and the soft packing brush is paired with a short, stiff lining brush that has created sooo many liner looks for me throughout the years. Unfortunately, this brush is no longer available but I had to include it because it has survived the test of time and has remained a favorite of mine for over a decade.

Last but not least is the Sigma P88. This is my most recent brush purchase-- I got it in a set from Marshall's BUT I was days away from buying it full price! I couldn't believe my eyes when I found it discounted there. I love love love this brush for cleaning up an winged shadow gone awry on my outer corner/crease region. I pick up my concealer and carve out a straight line and it immediately pulls a look together. When I don't feel like blending out my concealer with my finger, I use this brush for that as well.

I hope I've inspired you to pick up one or some of these tried-and-true brushes. If you have any questions or have opinions you'd like to share, please feel free to below. 

Feel free to shop this post below:

 
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