Fall Makeup Routine

I have a lot of time to myself in the mornings but I don’t like to spend much time on makeup these days. In highschool I did a full face almost every day. Why. I also over-plucked my eyebrows, but I’d rather forget about that.

I diminished my makeup collection to pretty much only the necessities so it takes less time. My everyday makeup routine is 80% Glossier. That’s a brand I’ve truly fallen in love with. Cruelty-free. Light coverage. Minimal packaging. Must I go on?

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Moisturizing and priming come importantly before my makeup. I remember the days before I knew what primer was. Not a great time. I absolutely love the Smooth Viper Venom Micro Blur Fix Primer from Nip + Fab. IN. LOVE. My face is smooth and any makeup I put on top of it stays on all day. I’m currently in the market for a new moisturizer but for now I’m finishing up the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream. It’s not my favorite, and it kind of makes my face tingle? In the bad, chemically kind of way. Wouldn’t recommend.

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Okay.. on to Glossier

I was not a fan of the Perfecting Skin Tint at first because it has such a light coverage, but that’s exactly why I love it now. It makes an even skin tone across my face so it helps with any redness I have without changing the color of my entire face.

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I love this shade of Cloud Paint – Puff. It’s so natural. I’ve always been really bad at putting on blush for some reason, too so this is just right for me. I also use it on my eyelids sometimes. The Cloud Paint is probably my favorite product right now.

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Stretch Concealer is a must. I don’t get many breakouts, but when I do… Yeah. This really does the trick and lasts all day. It isn’t cakey – Hallelujah.

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I use the Perfecting Skin Tint in medium, and the Stretch Concealer in light. I learned that through trial and error. The light Skin Tint will be my go-to once I start losing the rest of my tan I got from the beach. However, the medium stretch concealer is too orange-y for my skin tone.

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But the most important part of my makeup routine?  

Brows.

I flick a little Boy Brow though my eyebrows to shape them up a tad, and boom. Done. Now that I finally learned how to properly use the Boy Brow, I love it! Personally, coming from using a traditional pomade every day, I had no idea what to do with this eyebrow spoolie, but it’s much more simple. The shade I chose is brown, but next time I’d like to try the clear.

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I use a little more for a night out, but Monday through Friday, this is what you’ll see me in.

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I’ve honestly never been so obsessed with a brand like I am Glossier. If you’d like 10% off your first purchase, follow this link. Their customer service is also amazing when handling returns or exchanges. (I also work in customer experience, so I really pay attention to those details!)

xx

kayla

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Let’s Talk Podcasts: August & September

These days I’m listening to podcasts more than I watch television. I’ve been traveling a lot more and popping on a new podcast can make a 5 or 6 hour drive go by 10x faster. True crime stories really catch my interest so I try to find all that I can. Podcasts these days are really going above and beyond normal storytelling. Some of these investigative journalists are actually solving crimes that might have been cold for years. It’s amazing.

Aside from true crime, I have really gotten into fictional stories. I thought it was a stretch at first, but now that’s what I find myself listening to them the most. Here’s what I’ve been listening to these days:

Knock Knock
This true crime story takes place in Starkville, Mississippi. Two elderly women were killed on Labor Day weekend in the early 90s. Now, the grandson of one of the victims is determined to figure out who committed this obscene crime.

I lived in Starkville for two years during college and had no idea this ever took place. Best of luck to everyone involved in this investigation – I hope you get to the bottom of it!

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In The Dark
Jacob Wetterling was abducted while riding his bike home and never to be seen again more than 20 years ago. This podcast dives into the story, the suspects, and how the law enforcement mishandled information. The bigger picture here is – what questions should we be asking when someone goes missing. It’s hard to hear how easily evidence can fall through the cracks. Truly a great listen!

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Tanis
This story is so hard to wrap my mind around because it’s so well thought out it has me thinking…Is this actually in our world? I really can’t explain “what” Tanis is, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
Tanis is a truly compelling narrative that I would recommend anyone who is fascinated by lore or urban legend-type stories. Episode after episode I am left wondering. I have so many theories! It’s hard to stop this one.

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Homecoming
Another very convincing fictional story based in a secret military project that went sideways. Soldiers reluctantly took place in an experiment that lead to negative lasting effects. That’s all I can say without giving too much away.
Very in-depth character development with many twists throughout the storyline.
This psychological thriller features a few well-known voices like Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, and Michael Cera!

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xx
kayla

A Day at Kimpton Aerston Hotel

One of Kimpton’s newest hotels recently opened here in Nashville. The interior is to die for with its classic look and modern, industrial details. I got to spend some time exploring it – now I just need to treat myself to a staycation. Every detail is so effortless but creates a polished feel overall. They incorporate art in ways I’d never imagine. The details at the entrance incorporate metal and earth – those are rocks hanging down. Genius. Beautiful. I love it.

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I highly suggest a cocktail from Henley, the Aertson’s artisan restaurant. The restaurant kindly tucked in the first floor of the hotel.

You can’t miss Bette Davis’ inviting eyes as she leads you to the bar. This is by far my favorite art. The books and couches make Henley so cozy. I can definitely see myself snuggling up with a book this winter with a cup of coffee. Is that allowed?

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I fell in love with the bold details and colors everywhere. This is such a gorgeous place.

I can’t wait to come back and bring my girlfriends for a drink soon. Or maybe a date night. Definitely can’t go wrong.

xx
kayla

All photos by Brendan Lowry

You Should Probably Be Budgeting

Budgeting is something everyone needs to practice.

It can be hard, especially if you don’t think you make enough to put any in savings after bills. I started budgeting recently when I realized I had nothing to fall back on if my cat became ill or need repairs on my car.

50/30/20 rule is a system created by breaking down your monthly expenses. It’s great for those who have the same pay every month. This method can also work for those who work in the food industry or a job where monthly income isn’t always the same. Slight adjustments make this method easy for anyone.

Add up all your expenses.

This includes rent, utilities, student loans, and groceries. All the things that are non-negotiable. This alone will be a real eye opener at how much your paycheck is spent by default.
Normally, this will equal to around 50% of your monthly income.
Now add unnecessary expenses.
 
Essentially, unnecessary expenses include internet, eating out, gym, and cell phone bills. But we all know these are actually necessary – things you could live without though if mandatory. This should be 30% of your monthly income.

These add up fast.

What’s left over?

20% left to savings and future goals. Looking to finance a new computer or save up for a house? That’s where this will come from.

If you spend the same every month it’s easy to direct deposit to a savings account. Then, you’ll never have to think about it. This process is almost fool-proof and leaves you with money for going out with friends, and all those lattes you need to get through the week!

It’s beneficial to transfer something over, even if you’re not able to deposit the same amount of money every month. It’s been a goal I’ve set for myself this year. Now If I ever have an emergency, I am confident I can support myself, and that’s a great feeling.
How do you organize your monthly budget?

FINESSE: Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Review

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Recently I’ve been trying to embrace my natural beauty. I took a leap and performed a ColorOops treatment of my hair, followed by a hydrating hair mask. The results are exactly what I wanted – closer to my natural hair color! I loved the darker brown, but it didn’t feel like ‘me’. I wasn’t so surprised by how frizzy my hair was even after I used the hair mask.
I’ve used so many different types of shampoo over the years. I won’t even go into the time I went through a period where I washed my hair with baking soda and vinegar (I also wasn’t shaving my arms or legs at that time, so it makes sense). Anyway, I’ve tried it all – Cleaning conditioners, fancy salon brands, and various brands from drug stores. I’m definitely a “don’t know it until you try it” kinda gal.
For about a week Finesse has been the only shampoo and conditioner combo I used. I researched the company before hand and read they’re known for reducing frizziness. I was hoping it would be my saving grace.
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My hair has a natural wave but unfortunately I apply heat to it so much I swear they’ve lost their luster. I stopped applying all heat to my hair while using Finesse to get the full-effect of the product. Except my bangs…because if you have bangs you know how stubborn they can be.
I was expecting both products to smell floral or like some type of sweet fruit, like most shampoos. But, there’s not much of a scent at all which I found to be quite refreshing. I didn’t need a lot of product to produce a nice lather over my entire scalp so this bottle will last me a month or two.
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After the first wash I immediately noticed how soft it was! It wasn’t harsh on my hair at all and I didn’t have to wash it again for 3 days, which is pretty normal for me.
A week in and my hair is soft and wavy again. I still have frizziness here and there but that’s expected. You can purchase Finesse shampoo and conditioner at Walgreens or order online here.
Thanks, Finesse for sponsoring this post. I received this product in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

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Bridge Nine Candle Co. | Pineapple Sage

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Living in the South has always been such a blessing I take for granted. The weather is pretty much always warm. We truly don’t know what a real winter’s like here (I experienced it first hand in NYC back in December and it was more than I expected). Okay, we have our sold spells but it’s really nothing compared to the winter ‘up there’.
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However, down here we get a taste of the sun’s warmth sporadically through the winter months so it’s pretty tempting to begin gardening and spring cleaning a little early every year. After all, it allows more time to actually stop and smell the flowers once they decide to make their appearance.
For spring this year I want to incorporate more plants in my home (hopefully I won’t kill them), flowers, and everything else that makes a home feel alive and bright but still sink-in-the-couch-and-binge-Golden Girls-comfortable. I absolutely cannot wait until the warm weather is a constant and friends are in and out of the house all the time. I’m at my happiest when I host a group in my home. That’s why it’s so important for the living space and kitchen to be warm and inviting.
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One thing that never fails to add coziness to a space are candles. I usually keep a mixture of all different scents I use anytime throughout the year – I just put away a pumpkin spice candle I’ve been burning since September. No shame.
The scent filling up my home currently is Pineapple Sage from Bridge Nine Candle Co. These soy candles are  sourced from American farmers, which makes this product worth every penny. It’s fruitiness intertwined with the earthy sage has great depth. I really love that the sage cuts the sweetness of the pineapple that creates such a happy blend. The scent coats my entire living room as soon as I light it up and even comes with a book of matches! Adorable. It’s the little things.
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 Bridge Nine Candle Co. is offering all of my readers a 20% discount off all orders – simple use the code ‘neutralfig’ when purchasing. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to stay updated with the latest blog posts and special offers.
Image credits: Max Palmer 

Make it Yourself: Choker Tee

I recently stumbled upon this kind of shirt and I’m obsessed. Finding a shirt I wanted to use was the hardest part. If you have any kind of old t-shirt laying around, you can easily create a built-in choker.

Your supplies:
-White crayon or any kind of fabric marker
-Scissors

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Mark your shirt with curved lines that go from the collar to a center point. I put on the shirt and marked how far down I wanted it to go to make sure I didn’t cut too far down. I went down about mid chest. (Wasn’t quite sure where I wanted my lines to go, can’t you tell? I’m no artist, anyway)

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Cut along the lines. ~ Don’t cut the collar! Follow the seams around it. If your lines make you cut unevenly, here’s your time to make any extra snips. Tug on the fabric where you just made your cuts. It makes it look a little more worn and natural.

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That’s it! I love the grungy look it gives this band t, but you can always use an unprinted shirt and give it a little edge.

Love,

I Attended Nashville’s Women’s March on Washington & These are the Thoughts Going Through My Mind

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, two friends and I marched with 15,000 men and women in downtown nashville to support women’s right and that means women of all races and transgender individuals, too. In a world where there is so much hate and judgement it’s especially important to be confident in what you believe in.

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While at the march I felt such an overwhelming sense of pride and freedom “I’m an American. I have the freedom to do this,” wouldn’t leave my mind. I saw people of all ages and races walking, singing, and laughing together. We were all there supporting each other. I do have a voice and in this free country we live in we are able to express that.

The Women’s March on Washington is not solely a march about abortion. That has something to do with it, yes we all know that. But I can guarantee there were many people in that crowd who personally do not believe abortion is right.

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As a Christian, this has been a conflicting topic for me. I know God does not see it as okay, ever. However, I do not believe Christians should steer the reigns on how the general public lives their lives. Not everyone in America is part of the Christian religion. Therefore, we should not force people to live by those standards.

So a bunch of people who call themselves ‘feminists’ go shout and protest with their signs downtown. But what exactly is a feminist?

Feminist (n) : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
***equality of the sexes***

Please now feminists are not all:
– Man-haters
Liberal
Full of hate
Non-religious or Anti-Christian
Pro-choice

There will always be individuals who make a group look bad. Always. Those who are hateful, disrespectful, or just outright unpleasant. Do not associate all feminists with those who are spreading hate. Feminists are regular men and women who think we should all be treated the same.

In an article on The Odyssey by Gina Davis titled “I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists,” she goes on about how she doesn’t appreciate the way ‘feminists’ put men down for being nice…or just simply for being a man in society. Davis mentions feminists are infuriated when a date pays for their check which definitely an over exaggeration. I can just go ahead and say if you’re giving me free food, I will never say no. The females who would reject a date paying for her meal, in the name of feminism, probably has the wrong attitude towards it. Chivalry is still a thing and we do appreciate it. 

As a feminist (remember that means someone who believes in being treated equally), I take pride in taking my boyfriend on dates and paying for his meal from time to time. That is equality. That is feminism. My boyfriend still takes care of me and I would never tear him down for doing so. Davis is not speaking about actual feminists, but speaking of those who label themselves as feminists but are in fact giving us a bad name. 

When you do not agree with a certain opinion, such as the idea as feminism (or your warped perception), it’s easy to find a million things wrong with it. I get that.

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Which leads me to start talking about the man who we now call president. 

This walk was not a pro-Trump event, either. So automatically, if you are pro-Trump, you’re probably anti Women’s March on Washington and the word ‘feminism’ anyway. He has degraded women and that alone was enough reason to march on Saturday. I’m not going to go into political mumbo jumbo, but he is scary. He might “Make America Great Again,” and I honestly doubt he will, but as the president I hope he does. America has voted in a TV reality star to guide this country. This is a JOKE

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At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your (or my) political perspective is. What I do care about is kindness, and I do not support anyone who is disrespectful when it comes to accepting difference of opinion. Whether we have the same views or not, if you cannot accept someone thinks differently than you, please sit back and evaluate your attitude. We do live in America, a free country, and it’s important to understand why someone thinks the way they do.

Coming from a conservative family, I’d like to give a shoutout to my dad for teaching me that difference of opinion is okay. My parents listen to me and I listen to them. We agree to disagree. At the end of the day, they still love their liberal daughter who isn’t scared to stand up for what she believes in. 

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Bloomin’ Jack-O-Lantern DIY

Fall is here. Finally! September 22 is the day most of us have been waiting for! The leaves are starting to change and the sun isn’t as harsh when it’s shining, but it’s still warm here in Tennessee. These are all things I find beautiful along with the spookiness and crispness of Halloween time.

This year, along with some Pinterest inspiration, I found the easiest and, in my opinion, cutest decor for outside your front door. These pumpkins are easily found at Walmart or any other store that sells Halloween costumes, and they are usually no more than $1. When I was little I only remember them being neon orange though….not pink and green or blue? Oh well. I’m not asking any questions.

I absolutely love plants. I’ve really picked up on my green thumb lately. I would suggest to double check and make sure the plants you choose are made to last during the fall and winter months. I know a lot of stores are still trying to get rid of the leftover summer plants.

This craft is right up my alley, because all together it cost me under $20. The real task is going to be keeping the flowers alive! Wish me luck. I’d like to give a shoutout to my mom for helping me make these. She said she never crafts, but she enjoyed making them with me.

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Things You’ll Need:

  • plastic Jack-O-Lantern candy bucket
  • Primer spray paint* (white)
  • Any fall color spray paint*
  • Fall Plant
  • Extra Potting Soil
  • Hammer + Nails (trust me)

*make sure the spray paint you choose is made for plastic, I used Rust-oleum. It will say if it’s plastic-friendly on the label.

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Step 1:

Pull the handle out of the jack-o-lantern and apply the first coat of primer. Let that dry for about 20 minutes. You’ll probably notice the color still peeking through, so apply a second coat of primer and let that dry completely. About 20 minutes each coat.

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Step 2:

Once the second coat of primer has dried completely, it’s time to apply the color. I actually thought this color was more bronzy but it turned out to be orange, so it’s still actually very appropriate. It’s called Satin Cinnamon if you were wondering.

We also applied 2 coats of the color to ensure complete coverage. It’s pretty much impossible to complete this without getting a little paint on you, so just embrace it! #doitforthecraft Allow the paint to dry completely.

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Step 3:

So the plant will drain properly when watered, turn the dry jack-o-lantern upside down and nail about 4 holes into the bottom.

Step 4:

Now for the fun part!

I chose these gorgeous yellow flowers, they actually match perfectly with the paint color I chose. The label on thesesaid they would last all through the cold seasons too, so we’ll see about that. They were each $6 at Walmart.

Make sure you do a comparison of the flower pot to the pumpkin. We had trouble getting the plant to fit at first. We added soil in the jack-o-lantern to make sure there was enough to touch inside. With a little fluffing and adjustments, we have a completed flower pot to go outside!

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This is the first part to the many, many fall-friendly decor ideas I have. I’d love to see your fall plant or inside decor. Post a photo on Instagram using the hashtag #NFgreenthumb and #NFcrafts !

Keep up with me on social: Insta: @blowfishemoji | snapchat: @kay0

Love,