GUEST POST: LORAC Mega PRO 2 Palette Tutorial

Today, we’re going to try something new and I’m hella excited about it! Today we’re going to talk about the LORAC Mega PRO 2 palette with a very special guest!

Meet Kimberly from BlogsForDays! Today she’ll be showing us a tutorial with the beautiful LORAC Mega PRO 2 palette! If anyone remembers, I lusted hard after this baby a few months ago, but didn’t get it.  As soon as I found out Kimberly had it, I had to have her on the blog showing it off.

Without further ado, I’ll throw it to Kimberly!

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look

Hello Candidly Kelsey readers! With the invitation of the awesome owner of this blog, I am coming to you with a guest beauty post. My name is Kimberly! I’m so excited to be sharing this with you all because it is… a eyeshadow look tutorial! This is my first ever official makeup tutorial as a matter of fact… no, really! I’ve never posted a makeup tutorial on my blog or anywhere else. I’ve tried filming one before but it was a sad, sad, saaad excuse for a tutorial.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly KelseyGuest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Anyways, I’m super happy to bring you all this gold coppery smoky eye look using the LORAC Mega Pro 2 palette. I just recently got this palette and I don’t think I even did a swatching or review post on my blog as there are just sooo many shadows in this gorgeous set-up. This is going to take you step by step through how I got this look (with pictures!). Now I’m going to apologize in advance as I have terribly small eyes and that makes this not the best to watch because it looks so much better on the YouTube beauty gurus of the world.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Above are photos of the completed look! Even though this is purely an eyeshadow tutorial, I went ahead and showed you all what I chose for a lip color to go with it. You can obviously go less drastic with a nude color or pretty much any color you feel like you can rock with it!

Step One

I first took my Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer and applied that all over the lid and little under the eyes. After I will be taking Sugar and applying that all over the lid with a big fluffy brush to set the primer and give the rest of the shadows a good base to sit on top of. After that I took Porcelain and applied it to the brow bone with a flat concealer brush. Once that’s completed, I took Saddle and applied it in the crease, really blending it out with that same fluffy brush from before.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

 

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Step Two

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey
For this step, I took Black with the big fluffy brush from before and focused it mainly on the outer corner and slightly into the crease to give the look some more dimension and not be so natural looking.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Step Three

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

The next step was where the real colors came into place. First I took my NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk and applied it all over the lid just below the crease. I blended this out with my finger and then a bit with the concealer brush from before. After that I took my L’Oreal Infalliable Setting Spray to wet that concealer brush and applied Penny with the damp brush to really get the color to come through.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Step Four

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

After I applied the Penny shade over the lid under the crease, I applied Gold Leaf on the very center of the lid to just make it pop a bit and get it more dimension with the concealer brush. I think these colors too great together. After that I just blended the shades so they didn’t cut off with harsh lines with the fluffy brush.

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Step Five

Next, I put Prosecco in the inner corner and a little bit into the inner corner, then I took Black with a smaller, straight brush and connected it to the rest of the shadows in the outer corner. I blended all of this with a small pencil brush. Then, I put NYX’s Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk on my waterline. Lastly, I applied Revlon’s Super Length mascara in the black shade (I don’t know if that’s the exact name or not).

Guest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

Lastly, if you want to add a dramatic lip with this like I did, then I applied NYX’s Velvet Suede cream lipstick in Vintage. And that completes this look!

Guest Post: LORAC Mega PRO 2 Eyeshadow TutorialGuest Post: Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette Eye Make-Up Look | Candidly Kelsey

I really hoped you all enjoyed this little tutorial! I know it’s simple and not exactly hard but I enjoyed doing it for you all. I also love the LORAC Mega Pro 2, and am excited to try new looks with it. If you’re interested in more from me, you can visit me at www.blogsfordays.com! Thank you for reading! ?

 

You can check out Kimberly at Blogsfordays.com, on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Bloglovin’. And don’t forget to check out her blog, as you may recognize a very beautiful, charming, and fun face over there today. Hint: it’s me.

 

xo, kelsey (2)

How I Edit My Blog Pictures

Also known as “Kelsey’s Rachet Media School”

Welcome. My name is Kelsey, and I am your Professor.  Sit back, relax, and sip your coffee while I show you how to my favorite picture editing apps and how to use them to edit your pictures like a total pro. Or something.

How To Edit Blog Pictures Online For Free | Candidly Kelsey

1. I take pictures with my trusty iPhone 5s.  The camera is only so-so, and my photography skills are even less than. So make sure you have plenty of natural light, and also make sure to take at least 15,000 pictures at different angles.  At least one of them has to be in focus, right?

2. Then import picture into the editing apps I keep on my phone.  Depending on the picture I will do the following:

ALWAYS: Edit it in my favorite picture editing app called Afterlight. Here I will crop slightly, rotate it, adjust the brightness, exposure, shadow, highlight, or temperature, depending on what is needed. I always boost the contrast to make the colors pop.

THEN, if the picture has a lot of white space, I will then import the newly edited image into another picture editing app called Snapseed. Using the “Selective” tool you can adjust the brightness in individual areas by swiping left or right across the screen. Just click and place the little circle on the area you want to edit. You can also adjust the size area that you are editing by pinching the screen and zooming in or out. This can help make white backgrounds brighter, and be super useful if your lighting is uneven or heavily shadowed.

How to Edit Blog Pictures For Free | Candidly Kelsey

3. Then, I email the picture to myself from my phone so I can import it to my computer.

4. After downloading the image onto my computer, I then open the image on PicMonkey.com.

Here is where I do final resizing and cropping to fit my blog format, tweak brightness, exposure, highlights, and contrast a bit more as needed.

If it is a relatively simple image, like shown below, I add the writing using the text option.  I always make sure I am using the same fonts, and same colors that go with my blog theme.  When finished, I save the image to my computer and then I’m done!

How To Edit Blog Pictures Online For Free | Candidly Kelsey

5.  However, if it’s a more complicated image, like a chart, or something I want a more detailed design on it, I will then open the image in Canva.com.

Canva has a ton of free options to create more complicated designs on images.  For example, I used the tools on Canva to help create blank blank blank, as shown below.

What’s especially great about Canva is that it has a ton of templates already created for free.  If you ever get stuck and need an idea, it’s really easy to grab one of their pre-made images and adjust it to your brand.

Once I create an image that I am happy with, I name it and download it as a PNG file.  And voila, you have an image for your blog post.

How To Edit Blog Pictures Online For Free | Candidly Kelsey

See, now wasn’t that easy? Only 3-5 different picture editing apps, and two different electronic devices, and you got yourself a snappy image.  Only a little complicated, but all totally free online photo editing  — which is my favorite part.

Anyone else use these apps, or would be interested in a tutorial on any of them? Let me know! I not only use them for my blog, but also to create the marketing material for my day-job, so it really can be used to make great images if you take your time.  It would really pay off to become comfortable with these websites and all they can do.

Happy editing!

xo, kelsey (2)

Blog Goals for 2016

2016 Blog Goals
Alright, I’ll give.  I have hopes and dreams, and I’m not afraid to talk about it.  Here are my blogging goals for 2016:

Reach 100,000 views.  I want this for no other reason than I think it would be cool, and to feed my ego. Not sorry.

Start working a week ahead, and follow an editorial calendar.  I have struggled with posting on a schedule, and have missed at least one post per week for the past few weeks due to poor planning.  I’d like to continue posting at least 3 times per week, but want to work up to being at least a week ahead on blog posts so that if time does get the best of me– as it usually does– it won’t ruin things.  And having an editorial calendar will be far more organized than my current system of having 500 half-finished posts saved as “drafts”.

Do make-up tutorial posts or make-up look videos. A lot of my friends ask me for make-up advice now and I really do love talking about it, so I think it’d be really fun! And some things are so much easier to explain on video than in writing.

Start a newsletter. I’m late to the blogging game on this one, but I thought it’d be useless to start a newsletter if I can’t post consistently enough to use the newsletter  I mean, I could fill the blank space with knock-knock jokes, but that might get old pretty quick. Or not.  Maybe I should try it?

Do more personal posts.  I loooove reading personal posts on other blogs, so why not do more of my own on here? If I like reading them, I’m sure there are others who would like reading them too.  Plus I love to over share my life anyway. See my Twitter and Snapchat (@iamkelskels) if you don’t believe me.  I’m thinking 1-2 more personal posts per month would be a good start.

Register with a blogging network so I can go to in-person events.  That’s the beauty of living in a major city now: there are tons of things like this around Chicago. I need more real friends who blog too so I can stop calling and talking to my mom about things she doesn’t understand.  If you’re a Chicago blogger and want to be my friend, let me know! Let’s go get lattes and then Instagram them!

Become fluent in Google Analytics.  This is something I have been wanting to do since I started this damn thing, but still have yet to invest time in.  I don’t understand how to read Google Analytics, and I need to.  If anyone has tutorials, please let me know! I’d like to be able to start tracking my growth using more than just my social media stats and Blogger page view count.

Professionalize my blog.  I’d like to get some real pictures taken of me (not iPhone selfies) that I can use for branding, as well as have an expert take a look at my theme and simplify it all.  I’m sure my DIY attempts to do my own theme for free up has made my site run slower than it should, so I’d like to see if having it professionally done could make things run faster.  Because we need that instant gratification, ya know?

And that’s all.  Goodbye 2015, you’ve been good to me, but I have big dreams for 2016.  Think good thoughts for me and my work ethic!

Have any blog goals? Leave them in the comments, or leave a link to your 2016 Blog Goal post too! I’d love to read them.

 

xo, kelsey (2)

DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

I got this idea after having a ton of leftover fabric from making my “Merry Christmas” Burlap Banner last year.  I loved the Christmas colors with non-traditional patterns, and couldn’t stand to see the extra fabric sit in storage all season. It was too cute!

I had been planning on doing a lot of Christmas DIY this season, but the idea of trashing my tiny apartment to do so did not sound fun to me. Then, I was shopping the Target Christmas decoration sale, and saw something super similar to this garland, but with tassels instead of fabric.  I didn’t have any yarn, but realized that I did have leftover fabric, and twine.  Easy-peasy.
You can obviously do this with any color scheme or theme. It doesn’t have to be Christmas, you could do blues for Hanukkah, or any colors for any sort of holiday.  I think this would even be cute for just daily decorations, especially in a kids room.  Customize it as you please!
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
To begin, cut your fabric into inch-wide strips.  You can make them as long as you like, just
keep in mind that after you tie them, they’ll be slightly shorter than half of their original length once they are hanging off the line.
I chose a mixture of 16 inch, 12 inch, 10 inch, and a few tiny bits to use up leftover scraps.  It’s going to be a mix-match no matter what, so as long as it is long enough to tie around and leave two little tails hanging off each side, it’ll fit in just fine.
It’s about 12 strips per every 12 inches, so keep that in mind when choosing the length you want your garland, and how much fabric you think you need.
Example: You want a 6-foot long garland? If 12 strips = 1 foot, then you need enough fabric to have at least 72 pieces of fabric.  12 x 6 = 72. #CraftingMath
This is assuming you want your fabric knots relatively close together, like I have pictured.  They are looped around the string, so you can adjust how far apart they are to the look you like, and to help decrease or increase the length.  Use your judgement here and arrange it the way you think is best.
On your twine, begin tying the fabric strips in a fold-over fashion, alternating colors and sizes.  If you want a more structured look, tie them so all the knots are facing the same direction.  I preferred a mis-matched look, so I tied them randomly.
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
Continue in this fashion until you have your desired length.  Fluff up your garland, and hang it where you please. Add some bows to each end, or hang a few ornaments. I hung a my tiny hand-knitted stocking from the middle of mine. I recommend getting those tiny clear Command strips to hang the garland, as it’s not too heavy. Works perfectly and super cheap without damaging your walls.
And voila, you have a gorgeous and cheap holiday garland.
If you make this, make sure to take a picture and tag me on social media– all my links are to the left! I’d love to see them all!
Got any other super easy DIY holiday decorations? Let me know!

 

xo, kelsey (2)

5 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Budget

I love food, but I also love saving a buck.  Which is why I also love budget grocery shopping.

Other than rent, and food is my #1 money pit.  Cooking is so much fun, and I can get bored with food very quickly if it doesn’t taste good.

But damn, food is expensive.

I’ve done a lot of research (see: Pinterest-ing) on budget grocery shopping, cheap meal plans for one, and all those life hacks.  As a single lady*, I am very much into the ease of cooking a large meal and living off of it for a few days.  Bonus points if that large meal is delicious, extra points if it’s cheap.

Some hits I’ve had are crockpot taco bowls, super easy chicken and dumplings, and beef and mushroom stroganoff.  These have been in continuous rotation, along with some side bar affairs with chicken, pizza, and ice-cream-for-dinner, but we don’t have to talk about those.  For the most part, these are all pretty easy to make on a low-budget, and are easily adaptable if they’re not made for a low budget.  As the kind hearted soul I am, I wanted to share some of the hacks I’ve picked up along the away for budget grocery shopping. AKA: keep your grocery bill low, but your stomach full.

5 Tips for Budget Grocery Shopping

1. Use fewer ingredients.

The more ingredients, the higher the grocery bill.  If a recipe calls for tomatoes, but also green chiles, combine them: buy a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles already in them.  Almost every recipe calls for parsley.  I skip it, and save a few bucks.

Pictured above: Balsamic asparagus tossed with leftover baked chicken (cooked in salt and pepper) and whole grain pasta with garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Seven ingredients for a fully satisfying meal.

2. Shop your freezer and fridge.

If you have leftovers, alway stick them in the freezer; meals, ingredients, whatever. I had a bag of frozen peas left over when I first made the beef stroganoff.  I wanted to fluff up the recipe, so I added the bag of frozen peas. I also subbed the sour cream for milk, as I already had milk in the fridge.

Awhile back, I even read about grating carrots and keeping them in the freezer, then adding them to bulk up meals.  I’ve done this with my taco bowls.  You can’t even taste them, but it adds volume to the meal to make it go longer, plus extra vegetables!

3. Invest in better ingredients.

Budget Bytes talks about using “Better than Bouillon” concentrated stock instead of buying liquid stocks for food.  It’s a concentrated solid that you keep in a jar in the fridge, then add 1 teaspoon to 8oz of boiling water to make stock.  It was around $6 at my Walmart Fresh Grocer, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have them for the rest of my life.  Think about how much money I will save on buying liquid stock from now on!

 

5 Tips for Budget Grocery Shopping

Same with frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, beans, spices, and more.  Watch for sales, and stock up when they’re cheap.

4. Bulk meals with pasta and rice.

This one may be controversial, because gluten/carbs/bread/grains/everything is the enemy, but it’s cost effective.

When pasta is cheap, I buy a few boxes; the same for bags of rice.  It’s really easy add some vegetables and protein to a pasta, or add rice to soups or other “pour over” meals.  They bulk up the meals, and keep you full longer.  To keep it healthier, just watch your vegetable : protein : pasta/rice ratio.  More vegetables and protein, keep the pasta as a filler as opposed to the star of the dish.

5. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!

Do not go shopping without a plan.  Visit a few different stores to get the best prices (no shame!), and don’t deviate from the list.  The easiest way to run up your grocery bill is to go shopping hungry, or without a plan.

I like to plan my meals for the foreseeable future (usually 1-2 weeks) and keep them similar to another so I can share ingredients.  Taco bowls, then stir fry.  Can use the rice for both, chicken for both, can buy frozen bell peppers (cheaper), and onions that will be used in both, so they don’t go to waste.  Pick recipes that compliment another to keep grocery bills low.

And if you really want to keep bills low, enter the chance to win free stuff! — See how I did that? Seamless transition, ya know?

There are only two days left to enter my The Body Shop 24 Happy Days Advent Calendar giveaway! It’s super easy, and the calendar is so adorable and has great stuff in it.

And that’s it! Got any more tips for budget grocery shopping? Let me know in the comments!

*You sang the song, didn’t you? Admit it.

xo, kelsey (2)