False Lashes

On a random weekday the other week, I came home with a pair of Ardell false lashes + Duo lash glue. I was optimistically convinced it was just the solution my little eyelashes needed. I had gotten the idea from a fitness friend on Instagram whose amazing lashes make an appearance in all her photos — from the gym to dates with her fiancé.  I had always considered lashes the cherry on top of a glam look reserved for special days, but suddenly the world of wearing + reusing them daily opened up.

I turned to my go-to beauty YouTuber Jaclyn for the rundown on how to apply. With tweezers ready and lashes trimmed to fit my eye, I applied a thin line of glue and nervously waited the 60 seconds to begin. After a few minutes of awkwardly trying to align the false lash to my natural lash line I finally had the first one on. As I did a double take in the mirror my heart soured while my stomach sank.

I had chosen one of the most conservative pairs of lashes yet they were at least four times my natural length. Which isn’t hard when my lashes are a quarter of an inch long? But oh it just looked so contrived.

I fumbled even longer with the second eye, and ended up having to apply extra eyeliner to cover glue excess from sliding the lash down toward where I needed it. For something that I was romanticizing of simplifying my life, it sure was going to take time to get there. The other problem was the pit in my stomach of how it made me feel. I’ve grown accustomed to foundation, blush, powder, bronzer, mascara, eyebrow filler and eyeliner. But this new extra step, oh I was feeling it. And I felt like a fraud.

I wore the lashes for twenty minutes, took them off, set them in olive oil with the intent to try again another day. By that night, after hanging out with a few friends, I couldn’t shake the feeling that had set in since trying them earlier that day, and I’ve learned those are just the feelings that we need to be listening to. So I rinsed out the bowl of olive oil and tossed the false lashes one by one into the trash.

There might be a world of wearing false lashes daily, but right now, I don’t want to be a part of it.

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I am so grateful for Colbie Caillat’s new video — her encouragement and message is one we need to hear more often. I love beauty products, the packaging and the excitement of it all. But I need to stop forgetting that there is a source for feeling and being beautiful and it isn’t the beauty industry.

 

A Few Quick Steps For Applying Self Tanner

If we’re being completely honest, laying in a tanning bed is probably one of the easiest ways to get a tan. Laying out outside, for me, falls on the completely other end of the spectrum. I could lay outside for days on end, and get a hint of color. Using a self tanner falls somewhere in the middle of effort put in, and gets easier every time. To avoid my other posts being too long here are a list of steps to use when applying the St Tropez Self Tanner Mousse

  1. Shower and shave and/or exfoliate skin
  2. Moisturize, especially if your skin is dry
  3. Apply another light coat of lotion to elbows, knees, sides of feet + eyebrows prior to applying self tanner. I choose to apply at the end of the night, right before bed
  4. Instead of using bare hands to apply the self tanner,  use a self tanner mit or latex gloves. Whatever you do just don’t dive in bare handed. Trust me! This is possibly the most crucial rule in my book.
  5. Pump 2-3 pumps of product to your mit or glove and apply it to sections of the body at a time in circular motions. I start at the calf and work my way up.
  6. Don’t be afraid to go over the same spot twice. Know that in the end your tan will only be streaky if you miss a spot — so ideally, be in a room with good lighting and a full length mirror
  7. The color that you see initially is the guide color, which allows you to see where you’ve applied product. The actual tan takes 4-8 hours to develop. When applying the mousse it may appear streaky, but rest assured that that is only the guide color appearing that way.
  8.  Apply product to entire body + face
  9. Do a double and triple check in the mirror, are you covered? Good!
  10. Remove mit or glove but try to not get your hands wet til morning — washing your hands before hand will cause the color to wash off, leaving the area at the wrists streaky and not ideal. I learned this one the hard way. Do feel free to run your mit under water then, or to wash it in the morning.
  11. Sleep it off: lay a towel down if you like your sheets and catch some zzz’s.
  12. In the morning hop in the shower. You’ll see color washing down the drain which was the guide color and you should be noticeably darker.
  13. Your tan should fade gradually and evenly for the next week, especially if the skin is moisturized + hydrated.

Once you get the hang of things this process will be as simple as showering, brushing your teeth or shaving. But when you first start, don’t hesitate to reread this post or to look online for helpful YouTube videos so that you can be more comfortable and have the best results. Here’s one that was my go to when I first stared, skip ahead to 3:48. Or try this video from Tiffany D for a different perspective, and for the original formula, HERE.

Just incase you do mess up, I found that Lauren Conrad’s suggestion of a mixture of baking soda + lemon juice does the trick, and leaves the skin extra smooth after.

So those are the steps that work for me, and my husband when he steals some. Let me know if you have any other questions and click HERE for photos comparing the St Tropez Original and Dark Formula Mousse!


 

Sonnet James Dresses Love

I am a loyal girl, especially when it comes to brands. I love the feeling of walking into a store or clicking on a site and knowing that if I could I would buy one of everything. It feels good to see that someone out there is creating items that fits your style.The story of my life however, is being able to find thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, shoes, accessories, and workout clothes to buy no problem. But then when it comes to clothing I have a style identity crisis.

I love keeping clothing simple : perfectly fitting skinny jeans, v-necks that are a flattering cut and not too sheer, a few button up shirts, + sweaters and I’m good! I really don’t ask for much. But instead all I find are croptops, sheer tops, bright primary colors, or busy patterns, and dresses that are always just a little too short.

I go to my Pinterest board and remind myself, “kyra you have a style! you are not as inept as you feel!” And then a few weeks later I venture out with that handsome husband of mine, and wind up disappointed again after sorting through clothing racks. Leather boots, large face watches, gold rings, infinity scarves, workout leggings, no problem! But clothes, oh clothes shopping sucks.

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Then early this spring one of my favorite bloggers introduced her readers to Sonnet James, a new clothing line by Whitney Lundeen, and I was instantly intrigued + excited. Fastfoward to having the Reese dress hanging in my closest waiting to be put on tonight for photos with Landon, and I want every other dress she makes. There is something so refreshing about loving a brand, literally everything they make, and that not a single item would have to be altered for it to be modest.

Sonnet James DressesSonnet James Dress Love Sonnet James Dress Kate

It was when I was watching another video on her site, and she shared that “being silly with my boys didn’t come naturally to me” that I really fell in love. That’s me with Pait! And I officially had my first experience connecting with a clothing brand since finding a little boutique in Oregon 6 years ago.

I’m a little bummed I missed the chance for her Escape From  Alcatraz package on Kickstarter: “A flight to San Francisco, a Sonnet James gift bag (one of everything!) and a playful day touring the city with me in our dresses. Come see all of my favorite places–let’s bike across the Golden Gate Bridge with Bi-Rite ice cream cones in hand!” or the chance to have “a dress designed for you, made for you, named after you, and mailed to your door. Your signature dress will join the 2014 collection” but I’ll keep daydreaming about what my signature dress would look like.

Til I can share photos later this month, I wanted to share this post and express my genuine love for the Sonnet James dress line. If there ever was an apparel company that I’d pray for to never stop what it’s doing, it’d be this one. ♡

Color Analysis | Hair Color

One of the most important thing I got out of looking into color analysis is the idea of embracing our unique coloring and beauty. I grew up with parents who weren’t against colored hair, but who stood behind the idea that God is the greatest artists of them all. While that may be a little too spiritual or free-spirited for you, I think it’s a beautiful idea. I personally went light with my hair a few years ago then proceeded to go  lighter and lighter every year it seems. Then in 2012 I went very light and very short.

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I blogged about my experience with short hair, with the pros and the cons, here and I stand behind how good it was for me to go short. Looking back I wish someone would’ve sat me down and asked what my end goal was, because I would’ve said long + wavy, but that’s alright! I went for the pixie cut + went platinum/level 10 blonde. After going so short I saw hair differently, was free to switch it up monthly, and my perception of beauty changed.

And now after a year and a half of growing it longer, I’m ready to go a lot closer to my natural color, or to at least find the most flattering shade of hair for my coloring.

I tried out a new Aveda Salon in town earlier this month, after seeing great reviews for a stylist there on Yelp, and went in with great expectations. I wanted her to be on the same page with me of working to help grow my hair out, and to work to find the most flattering hair color for me. I had really thought the stylist and I were on the same page. She had nodded her head at everything I said, responded with words like “ashy” and “tone down redness in your face” which is everything I wanted to hear. And then, my hair turned out like this. Oh, this was bad.

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As she dried my hair, all of the lightener + toner washed out, she had my chair turned away from the mirror, and I could feel her apologizing with her fingers and she tenderly dried my hair. She took off the cape, told me how tan I now look, then walked me to the front desk without cutting my hair. Not about to have her walk me back after how things were going I tipped her over 20% [stupid. stupid. kyra] and left.

I put my hair up that weekend then called Monday morning explaining just how orange my roots were. Luckily the owner of the salon called me back, and offered to get me in Tuesday evening to fix it herself.

After three hours, that really only felt like 45 minutes, we had arrived at a color that we were both happy with. It’s not perfect, and it’s going to take a few more appointments + time to get to that perfect glossy natural blonde but I’m happy to say “so long!” to the level 10 platinum blonde highlights + all over color.

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If you want to play with your hair color, do it, of course! But after a few years of testing things out here’s my tips for moving forward:

  • When scrolling through inspiration pictures keep in my mind your long-term goal. It’s easy to be distracted by something you think is a beautiful style. But like with color, there’s a difference between a beautiful cut or color, and a cut or color that looks beautiful on you. The two aren’t always the same
  • Be comfortable with the idea of finding your best hair color, regardless of what’s trending. Why let a website or magazine tell you what will look best on you?
  • Don’t be afraid to sit down with your stylist or good friend and ask, “what would be the most flattering shade of color for me?”
  • If you do decide on a light platinum blonde, purple shampoo should be in your arsenal for keeping it pretty
  • Consider if you enjoy visiting your hair dresser often to get you color touched up. Turns out I don’t. I love going in for a cut or the idea of getting my nails done, but sitting in foils for hours isn’t my idea of relaxation and pampering. If I can avoid it, I will. I can’t wait for my roots to grow in, just for it to finally not be a big deal!
  • and finally, Find someone who will work with you. Do they offer suggestion, admit when they’ve made a mistake, and work with you to achieve the look you want?

I’m hoping the stylist I first saw at the Aveda salon was having an off day. But I was the most disappointed that she didn’t own up to the fact that things didn’t go how we’d planned. It’s hair, for goodness sake, so let’s also be comfortable realizing that happens. But I need to be able to count on having someone who will go back to the bowl with me, and make it better.

In 7 weeks I’m going back to the same salon, with an appointment with the owner. And I vow to not start the highlights cycle, where in a years time, I’m platinum blonde all over again.

Color Analysis | Which Am I?

In my previous post I introduced the idea of color analysis. Though the idea may sound unnecessary or complicated, I’m intrigued by the way it can make shopping, finding your style and building your wardrobe easier once you’ve got it.

Because I have naturally lighter hair, lighter than a medium brunette, I am either a Spring or Summer. After reading through the Into Mind Blog, and watching the videos below in my last post, I was feeling confident that I was a Summer.

colour analysisAs I continued reading and learning, I found that things have been updated, and that there are actually 12 seasonal types, 3 variants for each season, which is especially helpful for those that weren’t perfectly defined before. But also complicates things a bit. The four seasons remained, Fall, Winter, Spring Summer, in addition to Soft, Light, Warm, Bright, Clear and Cool. I’m able to cross off 9 of the options and look more closely at  Light Summer, Soft Summer + Cool Summer.colour analysisRemember if you have darker hair check out her blog and check out the other 9 that apply to you: Light Spring, Clear Spring, Warm Spring, Soft Autumn, Warm Autumn, Deep Autumn, Cool Winter, Clear Winter, or Deep Winter and comment below what you find out!

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color analysisFrom Into Mind:

1. Light: You are either a light Summer or a light Spring.
Your hair colour is light (blond or light brown), your skin is light for your ethnicity and your eyes are either a light blue, green or grey. You look best in the soft, light and muted shades of your colour palette, e.g. peach (Spring) or a pale lavender (Summer).

2. Cool: You are either a cool Summer or a cool Winter.
Regardless of whether you have light or dark skin/hair, your overall colouring has an underlying cool quality to it. Like the warm type, you also look best in the mid-range shades of your palette, e.g. emerald green (Winter) or periwinkle (Summer).

3. Soft: You are either a soft Summer or a soft Autumn.
There is little contrast between your skin, hair and eyes and your overall colouring is relatively close to neutral. Your hair is neither very light nor very dark. Your eyes are green, grey-blue, hazel or brown. You look best in soft, muted shades, e.g. olive green (Autumn) or blue teal (Summer).

She had me at the word soft + muted. Little contrast between skin, hair and eyes, yes. Neutral coloring, yes. Hazel/green eyes yes. Soft and muted shades, yes.  One last resource that helped me make my position from Reachel Bagley, Fashion Consultant over at Cardigan Empire comparing light summer + soft summer. She provides graphics for all twelve options so check her out if you’re still deciding. I’m officially calling myself a soft summer.

Most of all, I can see that though I can like wearing a variety colors, there’s a difference between wearing a beautiful color and wearing a color looking beautiful on you.

Which leads me to my next post, hair + makeup color. Until then, keep me posted on what you think!

Introduction to Color Analysis

The first time I was introduced to the idea of color analysis was a few years ago when a coworker shared an experience with me she had of going to  find her “season” back in the 80’s. At the time I thought it was mildly interesting at best, in a prim, proper and vintage sort of way.

Imagine my surprise then when a video popped up on my YouTube feed from a popular vlogger/stylist Mimi Ikonn, image consultant work background, discussing color analysis, in a modern, 2014 way. Though I didn’t personally like some of the colors she chose for her husband, I could totally see what she meant. He undoubtedly looked better in his color palette and season’s colors. It was then that I realized my whole life is a lie. OK not really, that’s a little dramatic. But try and watch that video without second guessing at least a few of your favorite tops.

After watching her video, I was hooked and wanted to know more. I found a blog Into Mind, a blogs about a minimalist approach to personal style and wardrobe building. She had put together an entire series about color analysis, which helped me to learn more about the topic overall, and start to determine what season I am.

Because I have hair that is lighter than medium brown I was able to quickly see that I will either be a Spring or Summer, not Fall or Winter. For my light haired readers follow along with me on this journey. For those of a darker haired variety check out her blog for more detail on the seasons that would suit you. And comment back and let me know what you find out!
Colours for the Spring Type

Colours for the Summer Type

So Spring vs Summer, the self diagnosing begins. Initially I feel like I’m a summer that dresses like a Spring, except for those greens, because, no. The coral, the light grey, deep blue and peach all have spots in my closet. Is that because those are colors I like, they’re easy to find in stores, or they truly look good on though, that is the question.

As I looked over the Summer colors though, I see some that would be a home run, but others are too pastel for my comfort zone.

Then I found that Mimi Ikonn did a follow up video, going through the shades of fabric she would give her clients in each season. One quick watch through this video helped me quickly settle the debate between Spring + Summer. That first cool toned, grey purple shade actually sealed the deal. I like the colors of the Spring pallet beautiful, but maybe more for accessories, bags, or bottoms. I am a Summer.

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With my options narrowed down, I was able to see either way, Spring or Summer, I wear too much black. Check out my next post to go more in detail with me of determining which color pallet suits me best.

Let me know your thoughts/experiences with building your style and which colors look best on you! Remember this applies most to the colors that are near your face.

xx

Workspace Inspiration

White Desk Inspiration

The next project I’d like to focus on in our home is a workspace/desk/office setup. I wanted to share the things that I’ve mentally put together in my head and will be working on in the near future! My main requirements were a white desk with clean lines and no drawers, and gold, white and mint/pink accents.

Desk Here and Here Square Lacquer Trays | Desk Lamp | Letter tray | Monthly Planner | Acrylic Tape Dispenser | Acrylic Pen + Pencil Holder | Business Card Holder | Capri Blue Volcano Candle | Diptyque Ambre candle | BKR Waterbotles | Be You Print | Mason Jars | iMac |

And that’s the vision for my workspace and office setup! Feel free to follow my Pinterest board for other workspace + home inspiration photos.