First Instagram Collab

I recently hosted my first Instagram collab! 

Our theme was “otherworldly”.. As in other worldly creatures.

I was a mermaid and both of the other makeup artists in the collab chose to be villains! 
I had so much fun doing this collab and really love the Instagram makeup community. Hope you like our looks!
Check out the fabulous and ultra talented Jade and Julie on Instagram! 

@therealslimjadee_ & @julie_odsgaard

Julie was inspired by Cruella Deville! Such a great take. 

Beauty Q&A with Kayla Hagey 

I first discovered YouTube Makeup artist, Kayla Hagey when I was searching for a review of a particular palette that I had been considering ordering, which wasn’t available in stores near me. I wanted to be able to see it in action. The look Kayla did with this particular palette was so stunning and unique. I instantly ordered the palette that I had been going back and forth on for weeks!

Kayla has over 90k YouTube subscribers and over 50k Instagram followers. Talk about a massive following! She has done almost 300 YouTube tutorials and reviews showcasing her amazing work. One of my favorite things about her makeup is that she makes even the boldest looks look pretty. 

Kayla quickly made her way into my list of top 5 favorite beauty vlogger/Instagram mua’s and I’m so excited that she was kind enough to be my beauty Q&A guest this week! 

Wild Swan: What is your beauty background like? Are you a self taught or certified MUA or aesthetician? 

A: I’m self taught – but I learned pretty much everything I know by watching YouTube tutorials! 

Wild Swan: I love that you add lots of pops of color to your online makeup looks, but always keep it looking pretty and wearable, or at least not too crazy. What’s the secret to creating a fun, yet wearable look? 

A: I think the secret to creating a ‘wearable’ colorful look is to just start out with a little bit of color if you’re not used to it. The more comfortable you get with wearing color, the more you can start to incorporate it into your looks, and soon it just starts to feel normal or wearable! But I will say when I want to avoid it looking too crazy or out-there, I’ll just focus the majority of the color on my eyes and keep my lips a neutral color. 

Wild Swan: What are your favorite eyeshadow primers and what are some of your favorite eyeshadow palettes? 

A: I’m actually super lazy when it comes to eyeshadow primer so I just use concealer! I feel like concealer does the trick really well. My favorite eyeshadow palettes change pretty often, but as of right now I really love the NYX Ultimate Brights palette, the SugarPill pro palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance. 

Wild Swan: How important are the makeup brushes we use? In your opinion, what are some of the best ones?

A: I didn’t realize it until a couple of years ago, but I think the makeup brushes we use are really important! When I started using better-quality makeup brushes I found that I got a LOT better at blending and my confidence increased in my abilities. Not that there’s anything wrong with cheaper brushes – I think there are definitely some out there that can do the job just as well – but I think if you’ve been practicing and practicing and not noticing much improvement, you may want to invest in some better brushes (especially for the eyes). My favorites are from Smith Cosmetics, specifically the 230, 232, 235, 247, 253, & 256. Those are my must-have eye brushes.

Wild Swan: What are your current beauty product/cosmetic obsessions?

A: I’ve currently been really into light-weight foundations (this hot weather in SoCal makes it feel like my face is melting off if I’m wearing too much heavy makeup). I really like to mix a bit of moisturizer or the KVD primer with my Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation to sheer it out a bit. And I’ve also recently jumped on the Tarte Shape Tape train – I love it for undereye circles. I love this foundation + concealer combo and wear it pretty much every day. 

Wild Swan: What’s one current beauty trend you can’t live without and one you couldn’t live with? 

A: [without] Hmmm, probably glowy skin! I feel weird if I forget to put on some liquid or powder highlight. And as far as one I couldn’t live with…probably using random (and slightly dangerous) household objects to contour your face. I know it’s just for Instagram, but c’mon!

Wild Swan: What are some of your all-time favorite “go to” products?

A: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation, Shape Tape concealer, Kat Von D Trooper liner, any style of House of Lashes, Makeup Geek eyeshadows, & Ofra Cosmetics liquid lipsticks!

Wild Swan: How long did it take you to build a dedicated following, and what advice do you have for aspiring makeup artists who may want to get into YouTube, Instagram, etc? 

A: I’ve been making YouTube videos for 3-4 years now. I think my best advice is to get a decent camera (even some iPhones take great photos) and make sure you have good lighting, whether it’s a fairly cheap ring light from Amazon or natural lighting in front of a window. As far as content, just be yourself and try not to do something just because other people are doing it. Find a niche if you can that sets yourself apart from others. Consistency is key, too – try to upload a video or photo at least once a week! Your audience will grow as long as you keep posting. 

Wild Swan: What are your favorite cosmetics brands, high end to drugstore and everything in between? 
A: I’d say my favorite drugstore brand is probably NYX – they have such a wide range of products and I like almost everything I’ve tried. My favorite higher end brand is definitely Kat Von D for the same reason! 

Wild Swan: What is your skin care routine like? What really removes all the crazy makeup? What products do you love and what is your skin type? 

A: My skin care routine is pretty minimal. I just use makeup remover wipes (or sometimes coconut oil if my makeup is being especially stubborn) and then to wash my face I use a bar of African Black Soap. To moisturize I use Sky Organics jojoba oil which I really like – it makes my skin feel super hydrated. I have lots of skin issues (dermatitis, dryness, redness, breakouts, etc.) so I try to use pretty natural skin care products for the most part. 

Wild Swan: What would you say are the most important products to “splurge” on if you could only have a few higher end products? 

A: I’d say skin care first and foremost, especially if you’re having troubles with your skin! But I actually do really like a lot of drugstore products – I think you can find pretty good foundations, concealers, eyeliners, and various other things for pretty cheap. That being said I usually choose to splurge on higher end eyeshadows and liquid lipsticks because I feel like for the most part, I haven’t found any eyeshadows or liquid lips at the drugstore that I like as much. 

Wild Swan: You did a YouTube video on a $6 concealer you found at Walmart by Hard Candy. Is it really as great as you say? How does it compare to your other favorite concealers that may be higher end? I know everyone’s always looking for a great concealer, esp., at $6!!

A: Yes! I still love that concealer, but I don’t wear it as much because it’s super heavy duty and like I said, I’m more into lightweight coverage at the moment. I do think it’s probably a concealer that most people would love but some might hate if they’re more used to thinner consistencies. The coverage is similar to the Shape Tape but it definitely feels a bit heavier. But I would definitely recommend trying it out if you’re looking for a cheap one!

Wild Swan: Something I notice about you in your videos is that your skin appears perfect and porcelain. Any tips on how to achieve a flawless looking foundation or face makeup application? 

A: Oh, thank you! But it’s definitely far from perfect! I think one of the most important steps is to make sure you’ve properly moisturized your face before applying foundation, and make sure you give it at least 5 minutes to set in first. I also love my Beauty Blender & Real Techniques sponge to apply my foundation – I’m not a huge fan of using brushes alone because I feel like most of the time they’ll leave weird streaks or apply too much. I also really like to use the Pixi Beauty Glow Mist to spray over my foundation because I feel like it makes my face feel more hydrated and less cakey. 

Wild Swan: What is your every day makeup look like and if you only had 5 minutes to get ready everyday, what would you do or what products would be most important to you to apply? 

A: Oh man, honestly my every day makeup look is no makeup! At least lately it has been. When I’m just working around home I’m way too lazy to do anything to my face unless I have to go outside and run errands or something. If I only had 5 minutes to get ready every day I would probably have no idea what to do because I usually do a full face of makeup if I have to go out anywhere! But I think I would just apply a little more Shape Tape than usual to conceal everything, bronze up my face with a Marc Jacobs bronzer and also just use that to add some color to my eyes. Then maybe a brow gel and a tiny bit of mascara, some lip balm, and I’d be good to go!
Wild Swan: What are your thoughts on the crazy contour craze? I feel like every where I look these days I see cheekbones that could cut ice and blind you at the same time. What would you say is too much, what’s too little, what’s just right? 

A: I think that it’s definitely become a trend over the last few years especially to get the most chiseled cheekbones possible (and I’m definitely guilty of applying way too much contour in the past). Personally on myself I’ll either cream or powder contour but I’ll hardly ever do both together – that’s when I feel like it can go overboard fast. But I do think that some people rock the heavy contour and some people look amazing with no contour as well, it just depends!

Wild Swan: What are a couple of your personal favorite YouTube looks you’ve posted so far? 

A: I think my favorite recent look I’ve done is this jewel toned makeup ( A subscriber of mine came up with that idea and I thought it turned out pretty good! I don’t use those deep jewel tones too often so it was nice to get a little bit out of my comfort zone.

Wild Swan: How long have you been on YouTube for and how did you decide to start doing these videos and tutorials? 

A: I’ve been on YouTube for almost 4 years, I think. I was in college when I decided to make my channel and I didn’t expect anything to come of it – I just wanted a fun hobby to distract myself from the stress of being a college student. I watched a ton of makeup videos and tutorials and thought it looked fun, so I decided to give it a shot! 

Lastly, my reader question for you comes from Jane. 
She is looking for a great under eye concealer, one that will look good on camera, and she says something with more natural ingredients or less chemicals, would be amazing. 
Wild Swan: I thought perhaps something by Tarte, I know a lot of You-tubers use Tarte Shape Tape for full coverage and Tarte leaves a lot of nasty chemicals out of their products. What do you think Kayla?

A: I bet you can guess what I’m going to say from my other answers! Haha I would definitely recommend Shape Tape! I love that they don’t include those nasty chemicals and I think the product itself is truly amazing and worth the hype.

Wild Swan: Thank you for bringing a little bit more beauty to the internet! It’s so amazing that women of all ages can easily learn about great and new products and how to apply makeup better because of YouTubers/MUA’s like you! 

Kayla: Thank you so much for having me on your blog! YouTube definitely helped me out so much when I was first starting out so I’m happy that I may be able to do the same for other people!

Forever 21st Century

When I used to hear the name Forever 21, I laughed. It was just a silly name to me and I didn’t really understand shopping there. 
I’m sorry to say, I thought it was tacky.

Now when I hear the name Forever 21, I think, Forever 21st Century.

I recently walked past the window of a huge Forever 21 store in a high end shopping center. In the window was a Treasure Trolls shirt that said 90’s kid. 

I couldn’t believe i wanted it, but I had to have it, as I was a 90s kid who collected Treasure Trolls. What a great marketing idea for a store called Forever 21, btw, as we are 90s kids. 

My first thought walking into the store was that I felt like I had just walked into a giant, Instagram page, lol. Very now, very young, very trendy. Unicorns, mermaids, Holographic hot pants. 

I love this Trolls shirt I purchased, but I wear it around the house as pajamas. It’s so comfortable. It compelled me to go online and find a few more comfortable shirts to order as pajamas or “loungewear”. 
Most everything is so super affordable. 

I couldn’t believe I could get 3 cute t-shirts for like, under $30. Usually that’d cost just under $300 when I go shopping, or at least $150! 

I finally get it, it’s nice for young people to have a place that’s so affordable and cute yet specific to being hip and trendy. I know my college aged sister shops there, for instance. 

Also, If you are looking to be Instagram famous, shop here, lol! That is what the influencers wear after all. 

I definitely see a knock off of Gucci mules & a Chanel Slide, at first glance and I’m not a fan of knock off’s, but they were done in a cute way and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who would buy a $40 shoe that made them think of Gucci or Chanel.

At the end of the day I think this store has the stamp of approval from me for all the hip young folks out there. I don’t know that I would personally go on a shopping spree there. I just like the fact that you can get a super comfortable $9 T-shirt to wear around the house, but you know what.. their swimsuits are adorable as well, if you don’t mind two sparkly ice cream cones over your… watermelons! 

This just has me thinking.. what came first, the chicken or the egg? Is Instagram, Forever 21? Or is Forever 21, Instagram? Or are all the influencers just in their 20’s? 

Is this the ultimate time for Forever 21?