Saturday, October 17, 2015

Making Magic: My Tips for Getting the Most Out of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Back in August of this year, a true childhood dream of mine became a reality: I went to Hogwarts. My boyfriend and I were Harry Potter fanatics for our entire lives before we met each other, so you can imagine how many times we had fantasized about jetting off to Florida to visit Universal Studios' The Wizarding World of Harry Potter once we started dating. This past May when I graduated college, we started discussing the possibility of going to Florida because we knew we would both have a gap in our life schedules, and discovered that Universal had some pretty affordable vacation packages available. With an overwhelming desire to see each other (we have been long distance for almost a year now) and our own money to spend, we decided to jump on the opportunity. We visited Florida in August and spent two days at Universal Studios and two days at Disney World, and I can honestly say it was the most fun and meaningful trip I have ever taken. There are, however, a few things I learned along the way through our experiences, both good and bad, so I wanted to share with you my tips on how to make the most of your trip if you ever decide to take The Hogwarts Express to visit Harry and his friends.

Hogwarts Castle 
  • Purchase a vacation package from Universal and stay at an on site hotel. That is the single biggest piece of advice I would give anyone who wants to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Besides the fact that these vacation packages are much cheaper than they would be if you purchased everything separately, visitors who stay at an on site hotel get access to The Wizarding World in both locations of the park an hour before the general public is allowed admission. I think our entire trip would have been much more stressful if we had not had access to the park starting at that early hour. We got so much done in that time on both days that by the time the crowds started to roll in, we could simply stroll the park at our leisure and really enjoy all the incredible details of the world around us.
    • A quick little plug for the Cabana Bay Beach Resort - we absolutely LOVED staying there! The staff was incredibly helpful, there was tons to eat, pizza available for delivery to your room, and tons of fun stuff to do in the hotel such as a bowling alley, arcade, and large gift shop with Harry Potter merchandise. A shuttle runs every five minutes to take guests to and from the park, so we never had to worry about waiting around to get back to our hotel. We really felt like we got our money's worth here.
    • Downside: There are a few on site hotels that have Fast Passes to the park included in the vacation package, but unfortunately, Cabana Bay wasn't one of them. Thankfully, using the Single Rider Line (to be explained shortly) significantly reduced our time waiting in lines and we felt like we still got to do everything we wanted to. 
  • You have to have a Park to Park ticket to be able to see both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley as well as ride the Hogwarts Express Between the two. 
  •  Plan your time and use your extra hour at the park wisely. If you are planning on spending only one day at Universal to cover both areas of the park, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, I would suggest going to Diagon Alley as soon as you are allowed early admission and get in line for the Escape From Gringotts Ride. Benjamin and I arrived right at 8 am and there was already a line all the way to the entrance of Diagon Alley. I would say we probably waited about an hour for the ride, so I can't even imagine how crazy the line was later in the day. If you are spending two or more days at Universal, I would plan on spending one full day in Hogsmeade and the other in Diagon Alley. When you visit Hogsmeade, you might want to spend your extra hour jumping in line for the Forbidden Journey ride. However, if you don't have early admission to the park and have to wait in line for Forbidden Journey, there will be lots to occupy you as you walk through Hogwarts Castle. 
  • If you don't mind riding alone, a lot of rides at Universal, including Escape from Gringotts, have a Single Rider line that goes pretty quickly. On many of the rides Benjamin and I chose this option for, we ended up getting to sit in the same car anyway, generally in front or behind one another. This is a great way to beat crazy lines so you have more time to explore.
Escape From Grintotts
  • The earlier you purchase your wands, the more magic you can do around the parks. The wands sold at Ollivander's are "interactive", meaning you can actually make things happen when you wave them at store fronts and other objects. This really added to the authentic feeling you get walking around because everywhere you look, adults and children alike are waving wands and really making things happen with them.
  • Before the park is open to the general public is an amazing time to wait in line at Ollivander's in Hogsmeade to see "The Ollivander's Experience". In this approximately five minute long show, an "employee" of Ollivander's picks someone from the crowd and lets the wand choose the wizard. Benjamin and I wanted to get our wands before just about anything else, so the second thing we did when we arrived in Hogsmeade at 8 am was get in line for The Experience. The line went very quickly at this hour - we were probably in line only about ten minutes max. There were also a fewer number of kids around, so we were hoping we would have a better chance of getting picked to have our wands chosen for us. Unfortunately, we weren't, but another girl around my age was. If you're an adult and desperately want this to happen to you, going when there are fewer children around will definitely up your chances. 
    • If I had my pick, I would go to the Ollivander's in Hogsmeade. It's smaller and feels more authentic than the one in Diagon Alley.
  • Depending on your plans, you might want to head to Hogsmeade first (if you're not waiting in line for Escape from Gringotts). Then you can take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley later in the day when it's hotter. Diagon Alley was designed to have cooler areas and awnings to beat the heat. Hogsmeade is definitely more out in the open. 
Diagon Alley
  • Pick up a lanyard in your house colors to put your Park to Park tickets in. When you are getting in line for the Hogwarts Express, it will make it easier for the attendants to scan your ticket and send you on your way. Plus, you gotta rep your house! They are sold in nearly every store. 
  • If you get motion sickness, be weary that a lot of the rides at The Wizarding World contain virtual reality videos - keep a pack of Dramamine on you. 
  • Bring a decent sized backpack or tote with you. There isn't even any point in trying to deny that you will be buying A LOT of souvenirs. Wand boxes, candy, scarves, Butterbeer mugs - it all starts to pile up in size, so plan accordingly. 
    • But make sure it's something you don't mind wadding up - the lockers to ride rides in the Wizarding World are SUPER small. 
Honeyduke's
  • There are special performances almost every hour in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, so be on the lookout for them. Ask an employee for a schedule. 
  • If you buy a pigmee puff at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, you will be instructed to place it on your head as the shop keeper announces your new adopted creature's name to the entire store. 
  • Be sure to walk a little past the entrance to Diagon Alley and you will see Number 12 Grimmauld Place. If you stick around a while, you might even see a familiar face peeking back at you from one of the windows. 
Number 12 Grimmauld Place
  • Something Benjamin and I did that I think really increased our enjoyment of the trip was that we went back to the hotel to take a rest in the middle of both days we were there. That way, we didn't have to stand in the heat as long, we could recharge, and come back in the evening when a lot of the families with small children had gone home. Plus, Diagon Alley is absolutely beautiful at night. 
  • Get the butterbeer. It's everywhere in the park so there's really no excuse. It's sweet and creamy and refreshing and everything wonderful about being alive. 
  • Get the frozen butterbeer. It's even better. 
  • If you get a reusable souvenir mug for a few dollars more, refills are only $1 around the entire park! 
  • Florean Fortescue's in Diagon Alley has a wide variety of ice cream flavors and toppings, so plan on going more than once. But you absolutely HAVE to get the Butterbeer ice cream. It tastes perfect in every way. I often say jokingly to Benjamin that one of the biggest downfalls of my entire life is that I can't have it every day. But I'm not really joking though.
Butterbeer Ice Cream 
  • Ride The Hogwarts Express both ways! The experience is different going from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley than it is the opposite way. And make sure you look out both ends of the compartment - there are things happening out in the hallway as well as out the window! 
  • In King's Cross Staion, if you want a picture or video of you walking through Platform 9 3/4, have a friend stay behind to capture the moment - I didn't realize you couldn't see yourself in any kind of mirror, so Benjamin and I walked through without any kind of keepsake from the moment, and I wish I had one! While waiting in line, you can see the people in front of you passing through, but you cannot see yourself.
  • Before you enter Diagon Alley, go spend some time and snap a picture with Stan and the Knight Bus! You might even get to have a real conversation with a shrunken head... 
  • Each wand you can purchase in Ollivander's has a specific description, so be sure to snap a picture of it so you can remember its qualities! And be sure to ask the shopkeeper which wand corresponds with which birth month! 
  • Plan to eat at The Three Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron either earlier in the morning for breakfast or later at night for dinner. Try to avoid long lines to get into the restaurants by going somewhere else for lunch... or just filling up on candy from Honeyduke's! Benjamin and I ate at the Leaky Cauldron around 7 PM one of the evenings and it wasn't crowded in the least. It made it feel much more authentic.
The Leaky Cauldron
  • Make sure to look up when you're exiting Diagon Alley - you'll see a message that made me tear up as we left on our final day at Universal. It reads: Wayfaring Wizards Welcomed. It reminded me so much of my favorite J.K. Rowling quote: "Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." 

  • No matter what you do or in what order, take in the magic around you. The details in the Wizarding World are absolutely incredible - every which way you look there is something new to find, and that sense of curiosity will make you feel the same way you did when you first cracked open the books all those years ago. Hug your loved ones and take lots of pictures - no matter what, your trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be one you remember and cherish for the rest of your life. 

Mischief managed. 

xoxo Kaley



Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Series: Currently Obsessed With

I thought it would be super fun to start a series on this blog that I've decided to call "Currently Obsessed With". These posts will be short little blurbs talking about products, things, and people that I'm currently adoring. Fall being my favorite time of year, there are so many things that I'm loving right now that make me feel happy and cozy, so let's jump right into it.


  1. Sam & Libby Ankle Booties - Anyone who knows me knows that I can't walk out of Target with only the things I originally went in to buy. Luckily, that worked out in my favor when I picked up these ADORABLE ankle booties for $35. I've been dying to jump on the ankle bootie trend for a while now, but wasn't willing to shell out $80 to $100 for a pair at Nordstrom or Dillard's. When I saw these there for such a great price, I knew I had to get them. They're right on trend, comfortable, and look more expensive than they actually were. Can't lose! 
  2. Celestial Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea - This time of year, my allergies are always getting to me, but I can't afford to get sick when I have shows to perform every night. I like to have some tea and Throat Coat on hand so that every time I start to get a scratchy throat, I'll take some Airborne and sip on some soothing tea. I just picked this flavor up for the first time last week and it has quickly become my favorite I've ever tried. If you love apple cider, you'll love this. It's perfect for this time of year and pairs so nicely with the herbal flavors of Throat Coat Tea, so if you're a singer, you should definitely check this out. 
  3. Cranberry Pumpkin Candle - If you know me, you know that I love my fall bakery scents from Bath and Body Works, but every once in a while, it's nice to get a different aroma going in my space. This candle has the perfect amount of sweetness and spice, and leaves my room smelling fresh and warm instead of too overwhelmingly sweet. It's also a perfect candle to transition into holiday time, so if you aren't someone who burns candles very regularly, you'll get a lot of bang for your buck out of this one since you can stretch it across different seasons. 
  4. Plum Cider Warmth Ultra Shea Cream - If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen me posting pictures of all the Fall Traditions body creams I picked up from BBW about a month back. This scent has quickly become my favorite. I'm someone who tends to apply body butters at night before I go to bed so I can wake up moisturized and not have to worry about feeling greasy. This body cream is warm and sugary and reminds me of all things fall and holiday, so it's the perfect scent to curl up with before bed. 
  5. Special Edition Harry Potter Box Set - It's no secret that I'm obsessed with the world of Harry Potter all the time, not just currently. I'm going to be traveling a lot within the next year, so I wanted to pick up paperback copies of the books that would be easier to keep with me in a carryon bag. When I saw this special edition box set at Barnes and Noble, I knew I had to have it. They're lightweight with durable covers, but what really sealed the deal for me was the incredibly beautiful new illustrations by Kazu Kibuishi. The publishing on the inside is the same font and style, so I can't wait to feel comforted by the familiar words on my travels. 
  6. Laura Geller Lasting Love Lip Stain in Pinot Noir - (Literally every time I wear this I sing the song from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) In my opinion, if you're going to wear color on your lips, you should only have to apply it once, and that's all I have to do with this lip stain from Laura Geller. It's the perfect marsala shade for this time of year and leaves your lips moisturized as well. But what I love most about it is the fact that it is a stain, so even as you eat and drink and the color begins to fade, you are still left with the most beautiful berry flush on your lips. 
  7. Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask from Lush - When I say I'm obsessed with this, I mean I'm obsessed with it. Because my skin is on the drier side but is generally very sensitive, I need skincare products with gentle microdermabrasion. This mask has real fresh ground coffee in it, so not only does it smell amazing, but after I have let it sit on my face for five to ten minutes, I gently exfoliate my dry patches by rubbing the mask into the skin. It leaves my skin supple and extremely soft. Oh, and it has agave syrup in it, so don't worry about it getting in your mouth.... Cause it tastes really good. 
What are you guys currently obsessed with? I hope this has given you a bit of fall inspiration and that you love these products if you decide to pick any of them up! Until next time! 

xoxo Kaley 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Headshot Makeup

I have been dying to write a post about makeup for headshots for a while now, but I wanted to wait until I had some visual examples to show you all, and after having done some gorgeous ladies' makeup this week, I have just that. I didn't edit any of these pictures or put a filter on them so you can see the true colors of the products I used.

As actors and actresses, we are taught that one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal is our headshot. It is the first thing the creative team of a show sees when you walk in the audition room - and something they refer back to throughout the entire casting process. If your headshot is an accurate representation of you - looks how you look in the room, captures your essence, and depicts you in a positive light - it is a tool that will help jog their memory about just how much they loved you. If your headshot is not accurate - i.e. doesn't look like you in real life, doesn't have any fire in the eyes, looks unprofessional - it could result in your headshot ending up in the trash. That being said, there is a lot of pressure on us as women to have just the right look for our headshots. We want to look like our most polished selves, but we also want that picture to be a true representation of our brand. So how do we begin to decide what makeup we will wear on the fated day we get new headshots taken? Luckily, I have had the opportunity to experiment with lots of different faces and have come up with some tips and tricks that I hope will help you look and feel like your most beautiful, authentic self when you get in front of that camera.


This gorgeous picture of my friend Liza was taken by Adriana Tomeu Photography with makeup by yours truly. 



Before The Day Of

  • There are a few things you can do before the day you get your headshots taken to prepare. One of the biggest and most important tips I have is to do some maintenance of the hair on your face. Unless you were blessed with peach fuzz that is completely bleach blonde, chances are you have some scraggly upper lip hairs, or perhaps some on your chin. More likely than not, your headshots will be taken in natural light, and those baby hairs will show up way more than they might in florescent lighting. Drop by Walgreens or CVS and pick up some Sally Hansen Wax Strips
  • High resolution cameras are pretty relentless in picking up scraggly eyebrow hairs, as well. If you don't feel comfortable getting your brows waxed or threaded before your headshot session, pick up a pair of Tweezerman Tweezers and do some brow maintenance. This small step can make a huge difference in how polished your face looks overall in your shots. 
  • If you feel like your teeth are looking particularly dull or yellow, you might want to invest in some Crest White Strips. Most photographers have the ability to do some photoshop editing, but you want to feel as comfortable with your smile as you possibly can. You also want your smile to be just as stunning in the audition room as it is in your headshot! 
  • You might want to invest in a magnifying mirror. I swear by mine because it gives me such a good idea of what sorts of things a high resolution camera will pick up. 
  • A few weeks before your headshot session is a great time to experiment with what products you love best on your face! If you're not happy with your foundation, do a little research and go pick one up that catches your interest. Places like Sephora and Ulta have AMAZING return policies, so even if you try a product and hate it, you can return it for your money back or store credit. 

Libby had perfectly manicured brows when I showed up to do her makeup for her headshots. It made such a difference in the ease of the makeup application process and gives her an overall polished look. All I had to do was fill them in a bit and set with with brow gel!  


On The Day

  • If you take one thing away from this post, let it be to do your makeup in natural lighting. There is such a stark difference in how blended and natural your makeup looks in florescent or manmade lighting as opposed to natural lighting. Because your headshots will very likely be taken with natural lighting, you want to get as close to that environment as you can when applying your makeup. 
  • If there is a second (and honestly, just as important) thing you take away from this post, let it be that less is more. A headshot is supposed to capture you as a person - not how fierce you can make your contour. You want your headshot to look like the best version of you, so don't load up on super pigmented eye shadows or a dark lip shade. Some dewey blush, a light eyeshadow in your creases, fluttery lashes, and a subtle lip gloss are the staples for looking fresh faced and natural. 
  • I can't stress how important it is to fill in your brows for your headshots. When done correctly, filling in your brows can make your entire face look more symmetrical and polished. When neglected, it can make your eyes fade into the background of your shot, leaving your face looking sullen and dull. No one wants that! I personally prefer an eyebrow pencil because I can make small strokes that look like real hair in a high resolution photo. If you have softer brow hairs, you might find that you prefer a brow powder and an angled brush. Find what works for you, but definitely don't skip this step. 
    • Don't fret too much if your brows aren't absolutely identical. You obviously want them to be close, but they should look more like fraternal twins than identical twins. 
  • The best thing you can do to make yourself look dewey and fresh faced for your session is to invest in a good face highlight. Apply from the apples of your cheeks up to your temples, and on your forehead, chin, and cupid's bow. My absolute favorite is by Laura Geller and comes in this palette. It is such a finely milled powder that glides on like silk and makes you look like you have the most naturally gorgeous skin in the world. And that's ultimately what we want when it comes to headshots - to look like you simply woke up like that! 

How stunning does my sweet friend Arden look? Look at how the light dances on her cheek highlight! She looks like she got twelve hours of sleep, and at Oklahoma City University, I can assure you she did not.

  • Apply very subtle contour to the hollows of your cheeks to make your cheekbones pop like Arden's. My current favorite comes in the Smashbox "Shape Matters" palette
  • If you read my post about my Do's and Don'ts of stage makeup, you might recall me saying that under-eye concealer or brightener is essential, even if you don't have discoloration under your eyes. The same applies here. Under-eye concealer will make you look awake, polished, and rested. Just make sure to blend it as much as you can with your beauty blender, and set it with some kind of translucent powder. 
  • Once you have applied your makeup and set it with setting spray (you can never go wrong with Urban Decay All Nighter), be sure to look at yourself from many different distances and angles as well as in different lights to make sure that your makeup is as blended, even, and natural as possible. This is a great time to check that your eyebrows are evenly filled and you don't have any rogue hairs sticking out that will bother you for years to come if they are captured in your headshot. 
  • When you're doing your makeup, ask yourself - How will you look walking into the audition room? While choosing products and colors, go for a look that you will be able to replicate on a daily basis. And remember to opt for a more natural look in the audition room as well - they just want to see you as a person, not how much makeup you can pack on your face. 

My gorgeous sorority sister, MaryAnn, was having a bit of a breakout when we were doing her headshot makeup, but you would never know! We opted for less foundation and more spot correcting with concealer. We used the Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer, and boy did it work! Look at how her cheeks pop!

My Headshot Makeup Routine

That's right, I'm sharing with you guys my Holy Grail products for headshot makeup that I not only use on myself, but my clients as well. Try them out and see what works for you! 


I love the way the Laura Geller Waterproof Gel Liner gives Carly such a defined lash line. Her lashes are on the thinner side like mine, but you would never be able to tell! Just bury the liner as deep into your lash line as you can get it for this trick of the eye effect!

But more than all of these things, it's important that you feel like YOU when you get in front of the camera. Use products that make you feel good about yourself and you can't go wrong. And of course, if any of you ever have any questions or need makeup advice, feel free to contact me through the blog or on Facebook if you know me personally. I really hope this post has been helpful because I've been planning these tips and tricks for a long time! And by the way, weren't all the ladies featured in this post absolutely stunning? I am so lucky to know such beautiful girls, inside and out! 

Ali's skin is like porcelain! I barely had to do anything to give her this natural, glowing look. 

Until next time, stay gorgeously you and please feel free to share this post on social media! All the links to do so are down below! And if you want gorgeous headshots like the one featured at the beginning of this post, be sure to check out Adriana Tomeu Photography. She took my most current headshots that are on my "About Me" page and I couldn't be more happy with them.

Love you girls!

xoxo Kaley 

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Bridal Shower Tips and Timeline

If you are over the age of eighteen and have a Facebook, chances are you know someone who is getting married. And whether it is your best friend or your brother like me, you will most likely be helping your loved ones walk down the isle as a bridesmaid at some point in the near future, if you haven't already.

But being a bridesmaid is about so much more than wearing a pretty dress and getting to carry a bouquet with the wedding's accent colors - it's about being present in the lives of the couple so that they feel your love and support as they gear up to begin this new adventure together. That is why throwing a bridal shower to make the bride feel extra special in the weeks leading up to her wedding can be such a fun and meaningful experience! I had the honor of throwing my sister-in-law, Lyndie, a bridal shower in August, so I thought I would share some tips that I learned along the way so that when it's your turn, you can throw a great shower that the bride will remember for years to come.


3ish Months Before
  • Talk to the bride about what she wants out of her shower. Does she want afternoon tea or an evening get together? Will her family and certain bridesmaids be in town on a particular weekend leading up to the wedding? If many of her loved ones can't convene until a few days before the wedding, hold off until then. Who does she want to invite? Communicate with her, because it will be a day honoring her, after all. 
  • If the shower will take place at a restaurant, private dining room, or other public venue, make the reservations. 
  • Finalize a guest list. 

2 Months Before
  • If other bridesmaids are helping you with the cost of the venue, establish a budget and discuss financial details such as who will pay the venue and who will be reimbursed. 
  • Purchase invitations for the shower or materials to make them. Websites like etsy.com, minted.com, and shutterfly.com all have great designs at a good price. 
  • If you are holding the shower at your house and making the menu yourself, sit down and plan out how long it will take you to prepare the food and drinks. Will you be able to do it all the morning of? Will you need to start baking cookies and other treats a few days in advance? These are all things that will creep up on you and stress you out, so it's important to plan your time wisely when you're a few months out. 
  • Compile and double check addresses for the guest list. 
  • Contact the venue about the menu for the shower and order any special items such as cocktails, pastries, tea, etc.




1 Month Before
  • Address and send out invitations. Make sure to include information about the couple's registries and the theme of the shower, if applicable.
  • Make sure the RSVP you include on the invitation is a medium that is easy for you to keep track of! I found that text message was the best method for me. I got RSVP's sent right to my phone and I kept a list of attendees in my notes app. 
  • If guests offered to bring their own treats and recipes to contribute to the shower, get in touch with them and finalize what they are going to bring. 
  • Start shopping for decorations. The venue where we had Lyndie's shower was already super cute, but we wanted to add some personal touches, so we ordered pink napkins from amazon (pink is the bride's favorite color)!

2 Weeks Before
  • If you are ordering flowers, place the order. 
    • Note: My mom and I found that the cheapest option for us was to pick up some big bouquets from the floral department at Kroger and then assemble arrangements in mason jars ourselves. We nestled pink roses into clusters of hydrangeas and wrapped each mason jar in burlap and a pink ribbon! It was a fun project for us to do together and was more cost efficient than it would have been to have ordered flowers and had them delivered to the venue.
  • Buy your shower gift(s) for the bride.
  • Decide on an outfit to wear. 
  • Purchase any ingredients that may be difficult to find if you are making the menu yourself. 
  • For a fun addition, invite the groom to the last 30 to 45 minutes of the shower so the couple can open up their presents together. But, sshh! Don't tell the bride - it will be an added surprise that will make her feel special. 

1 Week Before
  • Contact anyone you have not heard back from with an RSVP. 
  • Confirm your venue reservation, flower order, deliveries, etc. 
  • Assemble/gift wrap favors and/or prizes.
  • Buy groceries, spirits, etc. 
  • Touch base with the bridesmaids if they are bringing anything or have made their own reservations, orders, etc. 
  • It might be a good idea to go to the venue and chat with someone who will actually be working your event so you can brainstorm with them about how the room will be set up and/or any special needs you might have. 

MY TIPS
  • Tip #1: Come up with one or two fun (not cheesy) activities for the shower. Generally, something that gets everyone at the shower involved is some sort of trivia game about the bride and/or the couple. 
    • For Lyndie's shower, I downloaded these adorable "Who Knows The Bride Best?" trivia cards. At the shower, everyone filled out a card, including the bride, so we would have an answer sheet. The guest with the most correct answers won a mason jar full of fun, pink favors. We included pink nail polish, a pink nail file, pink lipstick, and even a small bottle of White Zinfandel. 
    • Another activity I came up with to help break the ice and pass the time was a station I set up at one of the tables in the private dining room we were in. I filled a mason jar with a bunch of wooden spoons and placed next to them a chalk board that read, "Grab a spoon and give Lyndie your best advice so she'll have the recipe for a wonderful marriage." All throughout the shower, guests had the opportunity to write Lyndie some words of love and encouragement. It gave guests something to do while trying to break the ice with one another and is also a great gift that Lyndie will have to look back on for years to come. Make sure you include writing utensils! I found that fine tip sharpies worked best on the wooden spoons - regular tips were far too thick and bled all over the place. 
  • Tip #2: If other bridesmaids are helping you host the shower, make sure to include their names somewhere, whether it be on the invitation or displayed at the shower itself. 
  • Tip #3: If you are making your own floral arrangements, a tip I learned is to start with your most substantial flowers first, and add in filler flowers such as baby's breath and other small foliage last. This will make your arrangement look fuller and more professional without as much daunting work on your part. 



  • Tip #4: Find cheap ways to incorporate your theme as much as you can. For our "pink" theme, we bought a bunch of tulle at Hobby Lobby and quickly tied big bows of it around each chair at the venue - It was a quick and easy way to add an even more personal touch. 
  • Tip #5: Contact the venue a few days before the shower to ask if music will be playing. If there aren't speakers at the venue, bring a small jambox or set of speakers and create a fun playlist to have playing during the shower. Like the activities, having music playing breaks the ice and creates a comfortable atmosphere. 
And, that's about it! Yes, hosting a bridal shower does require some planning, but it can be so fun and rewarding for both the bridal party and the bride if done right! I hope you all found these tips helpful! If you have thrown a shower before, what was your experience like? I'd love to hear all about it! Until next time! 

xoxo Kaley




Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Stage Makeup Do's and Don'ts


For those who read this blog and do not know, I'm an actress. I would also say almost 80% of the women I know, whether through my childhood dance studio, my high school choir program, my college sorority sisters, or my current colleagues, all perform on stage in some capacity, whether it be dancing, singing, acting, or all three. As I'm gearing up to start a three week-long run of a show myself, I thought I would share some of my favorite tips for keeping my stage makeup on my face instead of on my costumes, my teeth, or people around me.

DO'S

  • Do use a foundation primer. This is the most basic step to making sure your foundation and powder last all night long under hot lights and beads of sweat. My current favorite that keeps my makeup on all performance long is Benefit's Porefessional, but even a drugstore primer is better than nothing. Even if you don't think you'll be sweating much during your performance, a primer creates a barrier between your skin and your heavier-than-normal stage makeup so you are less likely to break out. 
  • Do use a beauty blender. This magic little guy will ensure that your base makeup is even and not caked on your face. If you like to use wedge sponges instead, make sure you throw them away after every use, as they do hold bacteria. 
  • Do use a foundation with a light consistency and cover up imperfections such as pimples and hyper pigmentation with concealer. The less wet, cake-y foundation you have packed on your face, the less it will start to slide around. My current favorite is the Borjois 123 Perfecting CC cream, but something like the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation is great for building coverage and won't break the bank if you're applying it nightly. 
  • Do use powder to set your liquid foundation. It doesn't matter if it's from the drugstore or the MAC counter as long as it matches your skin tone under bright stage lights and sets your base makeup. 
  • Do fill in your eyebrows. It doesn't matter if your brows are blonde or black, thin or thick, sparse or full - everyone needs to define their brows for the stage. Under bright lights and from long distances, the brows (and therefore the eyes themselves) can become undefined and disappear altogether. If you want the audience to be able to read your facial expressions, or even just see your features more clearly, you will fill in your brows. Whether you use a pencil or a powder and an angled brush, make sure your brows match the root color of your hair or the wig you're wearing. 
  • Do contour your cheekbones and jawline, even if it's just a little. Bright stage lights wash out a person's face, so while most people know it's important to use more blush than you normally would walking down the street, I think it's essential to define your cheekbones and jawline. I have a fairly round face, so this step is a must for me. As silly as you will feel, just make a duck face and lightly contour the hollows of your cheeks with a small tapered or fan brush, and then take what's left over and dust it along your jawline. 
  • Do use a cheek highlight. This is one of the best ways I know to bring luminescence to the face and draw the attention of the eye up, thus making your cheekbones look higher and your face more defined. My favorite way to apply powder cheek highlight is with a small stippling brush. 
  • Do use a long wearing lip product. Whether you are doing an on stage kiss or not, the first thing that is likely to start moving around on your face is your lip product. I always suggest using either a stain or the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. 
  • Do use a setting spray when you're all finished. My favorite will always be the Urban Decay All Nighter. 

DON'TS 
  • Don't cake on a ton of heavy liquid foundation. Unless you are inhuman and don't sweat during a performance and don't break out easily, this is the best way to make sure your makeup isn't sliding around on your face all night and/or giving you pimples to deal with in the morning. 
  • Don't line your bottom water line with black eyeliner. For the stage, even more so than in real life, we want to define our features and especially open up the eyes. Putting black on the bottom part of our eyes drags them down, in fact making them look smaller rather than defined or smokey. If you want to line your bottom water line with something, use a white or flesh colored pencil instead. This will make the whites of your eyes look much larger and draw attention to the upper part of your face, which is what we want the audience to be focusing on. 
  • Don't use bronzer all over the face to appear more tan. If you feel like you have to use a bronzer, use a big fluffy brush to dust lightly only on the high points of your face such as your temples and upper cheekbones. Otherwise, just stick to contouring your jawline and hollows of your cheeks. 
  • Don't forget to use concealer under your eyes. If you have a full face of makeup on but nothing under your eyes, even if you don't have dark circles or discoloration, something about your eyes will look out of place. Use just a tiny bit and apply with a beauty blender for an airbrushed look. And make sure to set it with translucent powder, or you'll have raccoon eyes fast. 
  • Don't apply shadows to your naked eyelid. While you should really be using an eyeshadow primer, even just a wash of concealer over the lids to give the shadows something to stick to will make your colors more vibrant and last much longer. 
  • Don't ignore your coloring and features. If you have bright blue eyes, golden shadows will make them really pop, and same goes for brown eyes with forest green. If you have dark hair, stick to pinker shades on both the cheeks and the lips to avoid looking too muddy all over. Want to make your round face look more angular? Amp up the contour and highlight. Look at what is special about your face and bring it out - in other words, put what is already so beautiful about you on display! 
  • Don't forget to wash your face and apply moisturizer before bed! We don't want all that makeup clogging your pores and causing a breakout. 
Oh, and one more thing. DO have fun and DO experiment with what products you love best. The stage is one of the only places where you can wear such bold looks, so don't forget that you're lucky that you get to play dress up and feel like a princess. And let me know what some of your Holy Grail stay-all-night makeup products for the stage are! Whether you are singing, dancing, acting, or just speaking at an event on the big stage, break a leg and have a blast. If you like what you see here on Mint and Mascara, click one of the links below to post it to Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest. I'd appreciate it so much! I'll talk to you all soon! 

xoxo Kaley 

**Costume by Jeffrey Meek

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Love Fall Tag

Fall is finally here, you guys. The PSL is out in those adorable new Starbucks cups, pumpkin scented/flavored everything is beginning to fill the shelves at our favorite stores, and as I look out my window while snuggled up in my favorite Hogwarts throw, even the Oklahoma leaves are starting to take notice of the subtle change in temperature and turn a bright yellow color. I am definitely a fall girl, so I thought, what better way to celebrate having the entire holiday season ahead of us than to doing a tag about my favorite fall products and all the things I love about this time of year? Click here to check out this tag done by one of my favorite tried and true beauty and lifestyle gurus, Ingrid Nilsen.


  1. Favorite Fall Lip Product - You guys know I love a dark, vampy lip in the fall, but I have to be honest that I don't generally wear a ton of heavy makeup during the day. While Charlotte by NARS is my favorite oxblood colored lip product, Syrup by MAC is definitely my go-to natural berry lip shade in the fall. It's perfect for days when I'm doing errands or just going to the mall and want to swipe on a bit of color before heading out the door. And, it's one of MAC's "lustre" lipsticks, which means it's super moisturizing. 
  2. Favorite Fall Nail Polish - Being the nail polish addict that I am, it's super hard to narrow it down to just one. But looking at my collection, there is one color that I always gravitate towards this time of year and put on my nails just about every other time I do them, and that is Seduce Me by China Glaze. It's a super glossy plum color that looks darker and vampier in different light. It's warm, festive, and sophisticated. Can't go wrong! 
  3. Favorite Fall Starbucks Drink - PSL. Is that even a question? 
  4. Favorite Fall Candle - You guys, don't even get me started, because once I get going on candles, I just can't stop. So I'm going to keep this short, sweet, and to the point. Favorite fall candle of all time? Leaves from Bath and Body Works. Current/new favorite? Pumpkin Pie  by BBW as well. You have to go out and smell it if you haven't yet. You get the pumpkin, you get the whipped cream, and you even get the scent of the flaky, buttery pie crust. I kid you not, one of the most accurate and delicious scents they've ever released. Okay I'm done. 
  5. Favorite Fall Scarf or Accessory - Without a doubt, this blanket scarf from Altar'd State. I love how festive a flannel blanket scarf feels this time of year. It makes me think of fall picnics, tail gating, and just wrapping yourself in warmth and coziness. Plus, there are about a zillion different ways to wear a blanket scarf, so this one addition to your wardrobe can create dozens of different outfits and looks. 
  6. Haunted House, Haunted Hay Ride, or Haunted Corn Maze? I've never done any of them! I'm planning on going to a haunted house before I leave Oklahoma City at the end of the month, though. 
  7. Favorite Halloween Movie - Hocus Pocus. I know that's basically everyone's favorite Halloween movie, but I feel like it's because it encompasses so much of 90's kids childhoods. Hocus Pocus came out in 1993, the year I was born, so I literally cannot remember a Halloween where I have not watched it. I have such wonderful memories associated with watching that movie with my family, and I am so happy that it is making a resurgence at Disney World  and that they are planning on making a sequel. 
  8. Favorite Halloween Candy - I'm not a huge candy person in my adult life (I would much rather have salted caramel ice cream, am I right?), but I remember going trick or treating in my childhood and coming home to root though my candy stash. I used to love those eyeball gum balls. And Kit Kats. Oh boy. 
  9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Well, I will be home in Dallas this Halloween for maybe one of the last Halloween's ever so I will be handing out candy to the trick of treaters. Maybe Miranda Sings? I already have the sweats (and the personality) for it. 
  10. Favorite Thing About Fall - Even thought it's almost impossible to pick out just one thing that I love about fall, I would probably have to say the smells. The smell of fall foliage after it has rained. The way the air starts to smell sharper in your nose as the temperatures get more crisp. The smell of blooming apples baking in the oven covered in brown sugar and butter. The smell of pumpkin everything. Candles and even body lotions smell warm and cozy, and it's not inappropriate for you yourself to smell like a cupcake covered in creme cheese frosting. Thank goodness. 

So, that's it! What are some of your favorite things about fall? I'd love to hear all about them. And if you'd like to read about some of my favorite products to help you transition from summer to fall, be sure to check out my last blog post here. Until next time!

xoxo Kaley





Saturday, September 12, 2015

Summer to Fall Transition 2015

With the equinox and the first official day of fall just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about swapping out that large slushi for a venti pumpkin spice latte. Fall is a time where my soul blossoms. To me, fall means deeply saturated colors, crisp and pleasant weather, baking, getting warm and cozy at home, and most importantly, spending more time with my loved ones. But here in the South, September still feels an awful lot like summer. Thankfully, there are a few products we can start swapping out to get us in the fall spirit without looking too much like this...



You can visit my Pinterest board here to view and purchase all the products I am about to mention.

Summer to Fall Transition 2015
  • CC/BB Cream to Foundation: No one wants to look too made up during the summer. A lot of girls I know opt for a more natural (and less sweaty) look by going for a BB or CC cream. But as fall rolls in, a more full coverage look is probably more appropriate. A favorite of mine that will give you full coverage without looking cakey is Laura Geller's Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation. 
  • Bronze Glow to Subtle Contour: While a shimmery bronzer can give you a healthy glow in the summer, it's time to start thinking about swapping it out for a more natural and chic look. Look for a more "muddy" as opposed to bronze color when searching for the perfect contour color in your skin range. We want to create shadows because hollows recede, so try to stay away anything that is a bit too golden. Smashbox Cosmetics sells a great contour kit that you can find at both Ulta and Sephora. 
  • Smoky Eye to Sharp Cat Eye: Something about a matte black cat eye paired with an oversized cable knit sweater just SCREAMS chic and fall to me. Two of my favorite liners are the Tarte Amazonian Clay Pot Waterproof Liner in Black and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. 
  • Bright Glosses to Dark and Vampy Mattes: While a bright pink gloss might be great for the beach, swapping out your brightest colors for some dark and vampy matte lipsticks is a great way to begin to bring the colors of fall into your makeup routine. If you don't know where to begin, NARS Cosmetics sells an amazing range of vampy shades in their Audacious Lipsticks collection. Go on over to sephora.com by following the link in my Pinterest board to find the best shade for you. My favorite is a dark and sultry plum/red called Charlotte. Just don't think you can rock a dark lip? Opt for the perfect mauve neutral. Syrup by MAC definitely fits the bill as my favorite Your-Lips-But-Better color for the fall. 
  • On the Nails -- Bright Pastels to Marsala Reds, Muddy Lilacs, and Subtle Taupes: Looking down at your nails and seeing some fall shades is one of the easiest ways to take your beauty routine from bright and girly to laid-back and chic. While I love my pastel lilacs and mint greens in the summer, a few of my favorite fall transition colors are Seduce Me by China Glaze (a super shiny red/plum), Don't Sweater It by Essie (a taupe-y nude), and Warm and Toasty Turtleneck by Essie (my favorite muddy lilac). If you want something a bit sexier, Bear Hug by China Glaze is the perfect So-Dark-It's-Almost-Black red/marsala color. 
  • Fragrance -- Summery Melons to Crisp Fall Must-Haves: September is the perfect time to start transitioning your fragrances. While juicy melon and coconut scents are perfect for being refreshed in the summer, now is a great time to start incorporating the scents of the fruits of the season. I LOVE apple scents this time of year. Something about it reminds me of back to school and crisp mornings. Being the Bath and Body Works addict I am, I just picked up their Fall Traditions collection of body care, and one of my favorite scents from the range is Suncrisp Apple Harvest. With notes of "Suncrisp Apple, Orchard Leaves, Harvest Lemon, Apple Blossom, and Jasmine Woods," it is a scent that immediately transports me to fall. If you're not a fan of apple, their Plum Cider Warmth scent is to die for, as well. 
  • Tanks and Tees to Sweater Shirts: As I said before, September is still one of the hottest months of the year here in the South. It's not practical for us to believe we'll be able to pull out our favorite sweaters for another month or so. So if you still want to feel comfy and cozy-yet-breathable, a sweater shirt is the perfect way to start transitioning your wardrobe to fall while feeling laid-back and cool. LOFT has some adorable sweater shirts on sale right now, so be sure to check out their website. 
  • Straw Sun Hats to Faux-Suede Panama Hats: A hat is a perfect way to start adding some fall warmth to your wardrobe without actually making yourself too warm. A faux-suede, wide brimmed hat is an easy way to make your outfit feel chic and fashion forward. I've found some of my favorites at PacSun. 
What are some of your favorite ways to transition from summer to fall? What are some of your favorite things about the fall season? Leave me a comment below and be sure to ask me if you have any questions about the products listed above. Until next time, I'll still be getting my pumpkin spice lattes even though it's 85 degrees outside! 

xoxo Kaley