Thursday, October 16, 2014

STYLE: Furry Fall Wishlist

I know that in a couple of weeks I will curse myself for ever thinking of this, but I actually am somewhat excited for the cooler temperatures. Of course, not for the chapped skin and shriveled up cold feet (I hope I'm not the only one that happens to), but for the accessories! Seriously, there is no better season for accessories than A/W. The jewelry is sparkly, the scarves are chunky, and the textures are to die for.

One of the textures I'm most excited for is fur. It's such a controversial thing that some people aren't even willing to wear faux fur, but I am all about it. Hoods, scarves, mittens, throws, name it, I probably want it. Naturally I've been scouring the Internet for my favorite accessories.

Are you looking forward to fur/faux fur? Are you anti-fur? Enjoy!
xo, Katie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BEAUTY: Wallgreens Drugstore Haul // Skin & Beauty

Lately I've been having somewhat of a small battle with my skin...and my small battle I mean "Should-I-even-go-out-in-public-or-just-cry-in-bed-all-day?" So a trip to the drugstore was in order. Of course while I was there, I found a few extras, and a few extra dollars later I walked out with this happy little bundle.

I will of course be doing a full review on all of these products in the coming weeks, but for now here is a little peek inside my spending habits. These pouches were on sale 3 for $4, and I've easily gotten two uses out of the Calming Mask. Definitely worth it, and I can't wait to do a review on these once I've tried them all.

Before I get a lecture about the horrors of pore strips- I DON'T CARE. It's just so disgustingly satisfying to pull all the dirt and oil out of those nose pores. Plus this charcoal mask was 50% off since I bought another Biore product. Check back for a review later this week! I have very confused emotions about it.

Lastly, these were the fun parts. I needed a new mascara and I've been desperate to try a new BB Cream. Sadly, I haven't had the chance to properly review the BB Cream since I grabbed the medium shade instead of light, but watch for reviews! The lipstick probably will just get a shoutout at some point, but the rest will have proper posts just as soon as the photos are taken. 

Have you tried anything new in the skin care department lately? Have there been any amazing offers you just couldn't walk past? We all know I'm a sucker for a good coupon. 
xx, Katie

Monday, September 29, 2014

LIFE: Happy National Coffee Day!

It is certainly no surprise that I am something of a coffee addict. I mean, college + fashion + journalism + blogging = most stereotypical coffee drinker ever. Naturally,  I've spent the entire day looking up coffee themed products, and here are some of the ones that have tested my self control to it's absolute limits. You can thank me later, bank account.

This is the perfect little print to educate those less knowledgable.

If I could have a case with my name + coffee + a pumpkin I would be the most basic white girl ever. And not even care.

Yup, no reason to not want this one.

This is the perfect sleep shirt or lazy day outfit tee. It even says so right on the shirt.

Equally as perfect.

Seth doesn't even like coffee, but he knows how much I do, so this would be perfect to hand to him on our anniversary.

Don't mind if I do. What's your favorite coffee drink? Or do you prefer tea?
Enjoy the day everyone, and drink a cup or two for me! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

STYLE: Varsity Team

Dress- Forever21 | Jacket-Express | Watch- Thrifted | Necklace- Forever21 | Shoes- Lucky Brand 

This is one of those outfits that I just threw two things together and said "ok, well, I guess this is what I'm wearing today" because I looked at the clock and realized I was already running late. Then when I walked into the office, Mary (my so lovely and talented photographer) asked me "So we're taking blog pictures today?" So if you've ever wondered if I really dress like I do in my pictures, the answer is yup, because sometimes I don't even plan on taking pictures and they still somehow end up on here.
xoxo, Katie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

STYLE: Tough Girl

Jacket- Forever21 (similar) | Tshirt- PINK | Jeans- Hollister (old) | Boots- Lands' End (similar) | Flannel- American Eagle (old)

Somehow, I seem to have landed in a time warp where everything is a complete whirlwind, I have no idea what is going on, and suddenly a month has gone by and it seems like all I did was blink.

Seriously, people, that has been my past month.

While this blog has been sitting lonely and vacant, collecting cobwebs and floating around in the internet, I have been (somehow) surviving my last first month of school. Ever. I actually have no control over my life at this point it feels like, and while so many wonderful things are happening, it is also happening frighteningly fast.

I've taken up a job as the Opinions Editor at my school's newspaper (which you'll be extremely familiar with if you read Elana's blog, Room-334), taken on the (nearly) impossible task of resurecting the dying fashion club on campus, continued to write for CollegeFashionista, and still maintain some semblence of a social life through Seth and my friends.

Can you see why I've gone a little crazy?

So please forgive me that I haven't spent time on my creative outlets, because I haven't even truly had time to breathe, let alone take outfit picture and write a blog post about it. However, now that things are settling into more of a routine, I think I can start to dust off my keyboard and slowly start relearning how to write a blog post.

Because clearly I'm just typing anything that comes into my head at this point in hopes that it at least appears that I know what I'm doing.
xoxo, Katie

Saturday, August 23, 2014

STYLE: Lands' End Haul

It is undeniable that one of the best parts about working in fashion is getting a discount on all the clothes you were going to buy anyway. I mean, apart from the fact that you're doing something you love every day...disclaimer: no one go into the fashion industry just for discounted things. It's not really that big of a deal.

But actually it is.

So anyway, since my internship ended on Wednesday (see some of my tweets about it on Twitter or view my farewell blog post here), I spent the week prior finding anything and everything I felt that I needed before I left. Most of the items there tend to skew a little older (and by that I mean 35+) but there are quite a few classic things that never go out of style, regardless of age. Take the puffer vest above. It's technically a "uniform" piece, but who doesn't love a good down vest to throw over a sweater on chilly fall nights? It's going to be absolutely perfect. 

Another easy item was the pair of flip flops. They were on super clearance as all the fall collection items have already gone online, but a pair of tan leather and gold flip flops are going to be perfect for any summer. I've already worn them a couple of times, and they do rub a bit if you're going to be doing any long haul walking, but they're perfect for when you want a laid back sandal. I used to just go crazy and buy 10 pairs of $1 flip flops at the Old Navy sale, but by next summer I'll be 22 and out of college (as if that is so old) and I feel like I need to at least own a pair of nice flip flops that don't reflect the dirt cheap price. 
Moving on to something a little more seasonably appropriate, this pair of suede booties could not be passed up. These aren't something I would usually pick up, I don't have the money to spring for the full priced version (even though the quality is completely worth it), but these were actually a pair that they used for a photo shoot so their price was majorly discounted! Some people might be weirded out by wearing shoes someone else has already worn, but my theory is that if a model wore them, then I'll look more model-esque by virtue of having the same pair. This somewhat flawed logic is also supported by the fact that I'm 100% certain she didn't wear them for more than a couple hours. So whichever camp of logic you fall into, it's a win.
And my last, and potentially favorite, purchase is this adorable iPad case. Some of you who follow me on Twitter might already know that last semester I won an iPad through a contest at school, and I've been avoiding carrying it anywhere because I hadn't found a case I really cared much for. I don't like cases that make things significantly heavier, but also wanted something that would protect the front and back panels. Voila! This hilariously adorable penguin case pretty well just fell into my lap, so I couldn't pass it up. The materials are a little heavy for the summer months, but come October the velour backing and thick stitch front will fit quite nicely into a brown leather handbag.

That is all I have to show for my shopping trip through the company, but not for a lack of findings. I just knew I wouldn't have too much space in my car to pack much else. Either way, I'm quite pleased with what I have, and I'll be repping Lands' End across campus this year, that is for sure!
xoxo, Katie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

STYLE: The Big Game

I would be hard pressed to be able to count the number of times the start of the football season will soon be upon us. Little did I know when I attached myself to my boyfriend how intense his love for Bears football would be, but it didn't take THAT long for me to catch the bug a little bit (ok, it's taken me almost a year, but common, you can't expect too much out of me). When Fanatics emailed me asking me to create a game day outfit for my favorite football team, I knew immediately that I had to do a good job. I would be disowned and left out of all the good game day food if I didn't do the jersey justice. Hopefully this outfit will do the team proud.

Thankfully I wasn't forced to work with a men's jersey (there is literally no flattering way for a woman to wear one of those...unless it doesn't involve pants), but even with the updated women's cut I wanted to take it a step further. A toned down pair of camo pants in a super skinny fit are feminine, but still mean business, and a pair of orange sneakers were literally the perfect fit. Let's be real, ladies, no matter how sexy you look in those heels, they just aren't going to end well after those beers at the tailgate. Adding a white leather jacket might seem a little risky, but getting one for $30 from H&M will mean that it wipes clean and won't be a tragedy if it collects a little hot dog mustard.

Probably my favorite piece from this outfit is the Alex and Ani bangle. Ever since I saw some of my fellow interns wearing all of their different versions, I've been dying to get my hands on a couple. This Bears version is one I might just be able to talk my boyfriend into buying for me...

All in all, I'm actually dying to buy this outfit now. Hang out with the guys, but still look like a girl with minimal effort and maximum comfort. What do you wear on game days?
xoxo, Katie
Disclaimer: No compensation has been provided for this post.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

STYLE: Pre-Wedding Shopping Haul

Why hello little readers of mine (all 12 of you left at this point if I'm lucky). Over this weekend I had quite a bit of shopping to do. My step-sister is getting married in The Big Apple this coming week, and the whole gang is flying out there to celebrate. Naturally then, I needed to make sure I looked the part of a fashion student and part time blogger if or when people asked me what I was up to! The above picture is a reflection of the places I went, and while I don't think it's necessary to air out the undergarments I purchased, I will highlight the other treasures I found.
At some point in stumbling through the Internet I think I watched some video about "fashion people" and how they make fun of people who wear ALDO shoes. Am I making this up? Has anyone else seen it? Well that was quite some time ago, but for some reason it had stuck in my much younger mind and I'd subconsciously avoided the place since then.

Well the allure of 50% off clearance shoes was too much to walk by despite my irrational aversion, and I am so happy I crossed that barrier. These bad boys were a complete steal, and the last pair in the entire store. Consequently they are a little bit scruff on the upper section (some sort of very finely cut and brushed suede) but how could I pass them up? I feel so fancy and posh (apparently I'm British now) walking around in these. I have yet to ACTUALLY wear them, however, so the true test is still to come.
So even though I know he was only trying to make a couple extra bucks, the salesman slipped these bad boys into the front of the shoes and I just went for it. I mean, it can't hurt to have a little extra cushion, especially since I'll surely be wearing them for at least a couple of hours at a time. 
The next little gems on the list are my purchases from H&M, and while it may look like I purchased a t-shirt, and Muppet, and a clutch from the 80s, you are oh so wrong.

That maroon blob is really a t-shirt "dress" with the fancy little pre-cuffed sleeves. I put quotations around the word dress simply because it is definitely intended to be a dress on most people, but on me it is of questionable length, especially when I move my arms at all. I might risk wearing it as a dress, but more than likely it'll be thrown over a pair of leggings and layered with necklaces for a super comfy lounge day that doesn't look so sloppy.
Secondly, this jacket is now the #1 reason I can't wait for chillier temperatures. It's a cardigan/collarless jacket that is just so fluffy and textured that it will make just about any outfit feel a little more elevated without being uncomfortable. I've seen more than a few fluffy cardigans floating around the bloggersphere, and I needed to get my hands on one before the weather cooled off. Also- it was only clearance! $40 cardigan for $10 + the 15% student discount. Yes, please.
Last, but never least, is this clutch/bag I also snagged from the clearance aisle. The one side is a velveteen/faux fur and the other is a pretty nice quality faux leather. The zipper is pretty sturdy for H&M standards, but I'll definitely be taking off the gold rope chain. It makes the bag look cheap with the bright gold color, and I really wanted this for a clutch to carry to the festivities anyway- it's a win win!

So I hope you all enjoyed reading a little about what I've bought recently. I actually have another haul coming up last in the week of some things I've bought from my internship company before my discount runs out. Can't pass that up right? But I'm finding it so difficult to photograph clothing hauls! It all just seems to come out looking amateur and rather unprofessional. Please leave me any tips you have in the comments!
xoxo, Katie

Sunday, July 27, 2014

LIFE: Health vs Lifestyle- Help Me Decide

Top left- 2 ingredient banana "pancakes" with green tea and agave nectar
Top right- Every day breakfast of oatmeal with fruit
Bottom left- Strawberry banana "ice cream"
Bottom right- typical breakfast smoothie

If you follow me on Instagram then you're probably wondering "why is she showing us pictures I've already seen?". And if you're not following me on Instagram...why aren't you following me on Instagram? 

Regardless of whether or not you choose to let me bully you into following my social media platforms, I've been posting quite a few healthy food pictures, and even posted a very sexy picture of myself sweaty and showing off my non-abs. So why does this matter to you? It might not, but I have been contemplating turning Wednesday into a "Health" section on this blog. That is where I could really flesh out any receipies I've tried (Instagram is a little cumbersome for that), give reviews on any products I've wasted my money on, or just anything a long those lines. 

I wouldn't be doing it to "keep myself honest" because let's face it. If I didn't want to post anything that week, it's all too easy to just skip out. I'd be doing it because now that my mind is thinking about these things more and more often, I find myself needing a platform other than Twitter and Instagram to really share my experience and thoughts on something. It also doesn't have to be a category. It could just be part of the Sunday lifestyle posts I've been doing and get filed in there (since sometimes I do struggle for weekly content on those).

So what do you think? Should posts like that be transformed into a new category or should I just file them under "lifestyle" and post them on Sundays as they come along?
xoxo, Katie

Saturday, July 26, 2014

OOTD: Do I really need a title?

Long time, no blog, yeah? It's mostly due to a general lack of inspiration and crappy weather. Occasionally it stops raining and I can run outside, however this outfit isn't my favorite, and actually spurred me to get myself back on track with food/working out.  I'm always surprised by how I look in pictures compared to what I think I look like. Sometimes it's good, sometimes...not so much.

Dress- Timo Weiland
Jacket: Forever 21

If anyone cares about my life outside of the clothes I wear, it's been getting harder and harder to find structure in my life as the summer progresses. My job is frustratingly wonderful, because while I actually love the career I'm going in to, my team continues to give me next to no responsibilities. It's mostly because a new assistant merchant started at the exact same time as me, and they've been giving her pretty much any job that would be appropriate for an intern. It doesn't help that my desk is no where near my team, so I pretty much have no way of knowing what's going in unless they go out of their way to clue me in...

But enough complaining. I've been learning a lot and I wouldn't go back and change anything. The last 7 weeks have solidified in my mind that I really do want to go into this field, which is valuable in itself. I have no reason to complain (especially since I'm getting paid).

In the style of Elana from Room334, I'll tell you what I've been watching lately (although I promise it's much less cultured). Sex and the City was completely under my radar until earlier this summer. Of course I'd heard of it, but never actually sat down to watch it. Boy, have I been missing out. It is the perfect guilty pleasure chick-flick style show that I love to indulge in occasionally. Have you been watching anything great recently, old or new?
xoxo, Katie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

OOTD: I Feel Naked

It's a weird thing, posting a picture of your wearing clothes on a fashion blog because you feel naked. I mean, does it defeat the purpose? Or am I just so hipster that wearing clothing that makes me feel clothed is too mainstream? Oh, the many questions that come with this post.

Dress- LUXE
Shoes- Steve Madden
Purse- Kate Spade
Sunglasses- Target

But in all seriousness- this "dress" is supposed to be a dress. Again, I'm not making much sense. However, it's because I'm so tall (and the fact that it's designed after what I can only presume is a toddler's dress from the 1960's) that this dress is more like a tunic, but really too long to be a tunic and much too long to be a shirt. So I just told myself I was channeling my inner 1970s plane stewardess and went for it.

I lasted about two hours. It's just so uncomfortable to feel this exposed! Even with shorts on underneath I felt like every eye was on me (my Millennial mentality is kicking in there) and the back of my legs. It was super fun while it lasted, though. It almost makes me wish I'd been a teen in the 60s and 70s-almost.

And before I go, I'm pretty sure the lady across the street from me hates me after taking that last picture. I didn't realize it was her actual driveway because it leads into this run down shack-like building that I NEVER see cars in. I just assumed it wasn't in use anymore. Fair game, right? Wrong, apparently, because as I was snapping this last picture her car came tearing around the corner and almost ran me over. As if taking pictures of yourself in public wasn't awkward enough...
xoxo, Katie

PS- Let's all just take a minute to look at my purse. I'm pretty obsessed with it at the moment- so much so that I'm going to do a review post about it sometime in the coming week. My love for quality leather goods knows no bounds.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

OOTD: Sporty Spice

Jacket- Express
Top- H&M
Skirt- Thrifted
Watch- Swatch
Shoes- JCP
I'm currently sitting at my desk, eating lunch, and trying not to get anything on this jacket, because I am that in love with it. Although I suppose if I really loved it that much I might have planned ahead better to not bring spaghetti on a day I wore it...
I snagged it in the sale Express had on their clearance items two weeks ago, and it was totally worth that whopping $14 I spent on it. I never buy anything from Express unless it is on sale because I really find that it isn't worth the extreme markup they put on everything. I could have found a jacket like this at Forever21 for $25, and this one was originally $50.
Lame assessment of the brand aside, I've been obsessing over anything sport inspired as of late. Varsity jackets, tennis skirts, sneakers, sports bras....ok I haven't gone far enough to wear a sports bra for anything other than working out, but at this rate I wouldn't put it past me. There is just something so fun (and comfortable) and wearing girly clothes with a pair of tennis shoes or a varsity jacket. Has anyone else been feeling the love lately?
xoxo, Katie

ps- you can check out the runway look that inspired my outfit and how I recommend styling it in my CollegeFashionista article this week!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

LIFE: bloom where you are planted

For some reason or another, these types of posts don't usually do very well on this blog, but I felt this was a pretty important topic that I needed to get out.
After having moved a couple of times (twice for school, and now my internship), I've realized the true importance of a quote like this. Too often people will make themselves unhappy because a situation is less than ideal or just not what they expected. Maybe the job you wanted is in a crappy part of the country, or the place you want to live doesn't have the right job for you. Maybe you were planning to get a job much higher up, and instead you're stuck at the bottom. Life will throw all sorts of curve balls we don't plan on, but the best thing to do is react them to and move forward.
Blooming where you are planted is all about making the best out of every kind of situation, because something can be learned from anything. Right now I'm living in my roommate's apartment that smells like cat litter and has dust bunnies pilled to the ceiling. What good is it going to do me to just complain about it? Instead, I've learned that regular cleaning really does make a difference (and makes it easier in the long run) and that my mom wasn't crazy all those years when she had us do a weekend cleaning of the floors, bathrooms, and kitchen. Parents really do get smarter as we get older.
Nothing turns out how we think it will. Another great quote to go along with this one is "life is what happens when you're busy making plans". It's just so true. It seems that most of the time there is nothing we can do in the long run but try our best to work toward something and then roll with the punches. If you're working in a company, looking at the CEO thinking "I want to do THAT", but you're stuck doing data entry, don't cry about it- do something about it. Whining isn't going to accomplish anything, and doing the very best data entry you can and looking for ways to improve it will not only create more purpose in you (creating a happier person), but also earn the recognition of those hiring that CEO. Taking root in a spot, making it the absolute best possible, and excelling at whatever task is at hand
So next time you're lamenting a terrible position or situation, take a step back and look at it for what it could be worth. More often than not, there is something to be taken from it, and think about a literal flower. Flowers that grow even in the most dried up undernourished dirt are absolutely amazing. Even more amazing than those planted in the store bought ultra-grow fancy soil. Be that flower. Be the flower that creates something out of nothing, that shocks everyone and truly flourishes in the environment that you are placed. There's nothing to lose except for the negative attitude holding most of us back.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

BEAUTY: Covergirl Outlast "Stay Fabulous" 3-in-1 Foundation Reivew

One of the best and worst things about being a blogger is people buying you random products for presents. This foundation wasn't even on my radar when my grandma (who is the best beauty gift giver- just mention something and she will almost always get exactly what you asked for) slipped this into my Easter basket a few months back. She had remembered me talking about wanting to try new foundations, and voila! It appeared. It sat in my makeup drawer for about a month until I picked it up the beginning of June, and after having tried it more than once, I think I can give a pretty solid opinion on this.

-Blends well

-Matte finish
-Shade matching

Over all, I'd say this is a pretty decent foundation. The pump makes it super easy to get the product out, and the glass bottle is quite nice for a drugstore foundation. The price is less than $10 at Wal-mart, and I even found it at Target for less than $7.

The actual foundation itself has a medium to buildable full coverage, which is heavier than I usually go for. The formula was noticeably thick (thank God for the pump), and I certainly wouldn't apply this with a flat foundation brush unless you want to look quite painted. Having said that, it blends out to a nice level with a little work, and if matched to your skin correctly won't leave an embarrassing line along your jaw.

And on that note, I did NOT have the right shade in this. It was much too light. Rarely do I wear a any color darker than the 2nd shade, but this looked ghostly on me, even with bronzer. I checked online and this is the lightest shade, but boy is it light. The matte finish didn't help that either. I usually prefer a dewy look, and at least a neutral, but this set almost powdery. I didn't notice any accentuation of fine lines or settling into creases, though, which I've noticed can be a problem with matte foundations. It lasted most of my work day, but if I planned to do anything afterward it would require minimal touching up.

Over all, it's worth a shot, especially if you prefer this kind of finish. I'm usually all about letting my natural freckles shine through, but if there ever comes a time when I want something a little more covered, I very well could find myself reaching for this.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

LIFESTYLE: Family Weekend + Shopping Haul

As the weekend is upon us once again, I've gotten a little sad about the slump in plans. Looking forward, I have great plans to visit my boyfriend for the 4th of July holiday weekend, and last weekend was an absolute blast because my mom and grandma made the 7 hour drive just for two days with me. I have the best family :)

1. The most amazing blueberry almond oatmeal. I'm normally not a big fan of blueberries, but this might have converted me. The best part? The restaurant is just 15 minutes from my house.
2. My goodies from the weekend. I went a little shopping crazy after actually having people to get out and about with for the first time in a long while.
3. The magazines I picked up for 50% off! You best believe I'll be reading these cover to cover and then using them for an inspiration board + two new lip products (more on those to come later)
4. I let out my inner gypsy with a satin open shoulder peasant top and dangle earrings. I've recently become obsessed with fun earrings. Maybe it's because it's getting to be too hot for statement necklaces.

We had the best time doing touristy things around the area I'm living, showing them where I've been working the last month, and just sitting down and enjoying each other's company. I didn't realize how much I would miss them! It makes me appreciate the time I do have that much more now.

PS- I struggled with where to "categorize" this post. The great thing about categories is that it makes blog planning super easy. I can assign a category to a day of the week and my life is so much simpler! The only snag is when random posts pop up that I want to blog, but don't fit neatly anywhere. So while this may not be a traditional "lifestyle" post, I'm just taking a deep breath and realizing not EVERYTHING has to tuck away neatly. Baby steps.
xoxo, Katie

Friday, June 27, 2014

OOTD: Terribly Awkward and Uneventful Milestones

Top- Thrifted
Jeans- Hollister
Shoes- Giveaway prize
Watch- Express
Necklace- Thrifted

Somehow I've come to this 2-year anniversary of blogging and I still haven't figured out how to pose adequately in front of a tripod. 

That's right, it's somehow come to be two whole years since I've started this little guy. Where does the time go? If it was a baby it would be walking, talking, and learning to pee in a toilet by now. (ok that was a little unnecessary, sorry)

So while this blog might not be out of diapers yet (ie, I'm not internet famous), I really do enjoy sharing content and thoughts. It's a great outlet for me, and maybe it's better that companies aren't emailing me about being sponsored or doing promos or anything else of that nature. Without all of that, I'm free to post whatever I'm really thinking about or feeling. I don't have to worry about deadlines or required content or legalities.

That isn't to say that I wouldn't love to have all those perks. Companies, don't hesitate to email me, because even though I just spent an entire paragraph bitching, I'm more than happy to take those "downfalls" and turn them into positives. I'm a very "glass half full" type of person.

So this is really just a random post to celebrate having made it this far without giving up yet. I don't have a fancy giveaway to offer my readers (we have to remember that I'm a poor college student/intern), I want to make sure that you readers know how much I appreciate you. I can't be completely selfless and say that I don't partially do this because I love hearing back from everyone. It's one of the major perks of blogging, and I'm forever grateful to those who have stayed around, and I can't wait to see who comes along in the next to years.

Cheers to you, blog.
xoxo, Katie

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BEAUTY: The Do's and Don'ts of Washing Your Brushes

Now, I can't claim to be an expert on all things makeup brushes, because let's face it- I'm horrible at remembering to clean them. I'm lucky if I take the time to clean then once every six months. I know, I know...but lately I've been much better about it, and there are a few hard and fast rules that are easy enough to stick to.

1. Do use a gentle soap.
 I used Neutrogena's Gentle Foaming Face Wash to clean mine, but even baby shampoo works well. Just make sure it isn't loaded with harsh chemicals or heavy perfumes.

2. Don't pull at the bristles.
While you're washing it can be tempting to pull at the bristles while washing or rinsing. Instead, swirl the brush into the soap in the palm of your hand and gentle separate the bristles while rinsing- but only if you absolutely have to. If you can, just let the water run through.

3. Do rinse your brushes thoroughly.
Leaving soap residue in the bristles can irritate your face and leave the brushes harsh after they dry. Don't hesitate to double rinse, just in case.

4. Don't let your brushes sit in water.
I learned this back in high school with actual painting brushes. Letting them soak in water will loosen the glue that holds the bristles in, and will also loosen the head of the brush from the handle. Simply hold your brushes under running water to rinse them

5. Do let your brushes dry completely before using them again.
Using wet brushes will not only make the makeup cake into the brushes, but it will ruin whatever you're trying to apply! Make sure you won't need a specific brush the next day if you're washing them at night, because my more dense brushes took at least 24 hours to completely dry.

6. Don't blow dry/fan/spread out the bristles.
I'm not sure why you would ever blow dry a makeup brush, but I've watched a friend attempt it! As for the fanning and spreading of the bristles, it may seem like they will dry faster, but in reality it will just cause your brushes to loose their shape, and you'll end up with a bunch of brushes with giant blobs for bristles. 

7. Do listen to your face.
That sounds a little strange, but pay attention to what your face is telling you. If it hurts or your skin becomes red after using a brush, it might be time to bite the bullet and buy a new one. If your face has been breaking out recently and nothing in your routine has changed, it might be a sign that your brushes need a good scrubbing.

8. Don't over-think it.
I know when I washed my brushes for the first time I was super intimidated for some reason. It was probably just because I had never attempted it before, but no matter the reason it lead me to put it off. Don't! Worst case senerio is you ruin a brush and have to buy a new one- so start with the cheap ones first, haha.

xoxo, Katie