Spiced latte hand soapWe love making our own soap and bath products so much that we thought we would share some of our favorites with you. All of these make excellent gifts too! Let's start with this spiced latte hand soap. It smells so good, and it's great for exfoliation.

Homemade beeswax candlesHomemade beeswax candles burn clean, smell amazing and are so pretty when they are lit.

DIY soap on a rope Soap on a rope would be fun to make with the kiddos. Aren't they cute?

Rose water face mist DIYFace mists are super refreshing, and they help set your makeup. This one is made with rose water and other natural ingredients, and it smells so good!Homemade bath bombsHave you tried making your own bath bombs? Be sure to watch this little video tutorial!

Grapefruit mint poppyseed soapThese grapefruit mint poppyseed bars are an instant pick-me-up.

Make your own minty cooling body mistHit the reset button with our cooling body mist made with peppermint and lavender oils. 

Color blocked soap DIYColor blocked soap is easier to make than you think! Are you already dreaming of color combinations?

Make your own pillow mistElsie swears by this DIY pillow mist every night. 

DIY stained glass soapLove how pretty these stained glass soaps are.

Green tea and lemon bath bombsSo cute. You can get really creative with the packaging if you're gifting these green tea and lemon bath bombs.

Make your own grapefruit lemonade lip scrubPair our grapefruit lemonade lip scrub with a soothing face mask, and you've got your own spa experience at home. 

Treat yourself this weekend!! xo -The ABM team

Color Correcting          Color Correcting        Color correcting has resurfaced as a makeup trend this year, and numerous companies came out with color correcting palettes and products to make it easy for anyone to try color correcting for themselves.

To be honest, I'm not a fan of having too many layers on my face. I love letting my skin breathe as much as possible, especially since my skin tends to be dry and moody. ;) But every now and then I do love to go all out and do a full face, especially for a night out or a special occasion. Let's be real, having alone time to sit and listen to music or catch up on a favorite show (totally watching Once Upon a Time from the beginning right now!) and just spend way too much time doing my makeup is sometimes the "me time" I love and need! Anyone else with me?? :)

Today I'm going to break down the idea of color correcting and make it super easy for anyone who wants to give it a go! So who's color correcting for? Really, anyone! If you have some discoloration, spots you want to hide, dark circles under your eyes or uneven skin tone, using a color correction method under your makeup can seriously do wonders! 

Where I struggle with discoloration the most is having blue/purple in the inner corner of my eyes, darkness under my eyes and a lot of redness around my nose area. Not to mention a few acne scars from my teenage years (boo!) and a few breakout spots on my face. I'll walk you through my personal process for color correcting, and then leave you with some easy tips for doing it on your own at home!

Most of the time people get overwhelmed by the colors and don't really know where to start and what colors to use where. As an easy reference, I've included a picture of a color wheel below. We are going back to the basics of color theory! If you take a look at the wheel, you'll notice that orange is directly across from the color blue. Green is directly across from the pinks and reds. The color that is directly across from the problem color you are trying to correct is the color you'll want to use on that area. Pretty neat, huh? Let's jump into the step-by-steps.

Color Correcting           Step One: Prime your face before getting started. I like to use a light moisturizer to prime my face before applying makeup. I suggest using your favorite primer. 

Step Two: I'm first going to address the dark blue/purple area in the corners of my eyes. I'm using a cream product, so I'll dab my finger in it to help apply to the area and blend in lightly. The trick is to not apply too much and not too little, just enough to cover the area until you no longer see the problem color coming through. It's OK if it leaves the color on your face, don't worry, we'll get it covered up.

Pro Tip: I always suggest applying your creams before your powders. If you do it the opposite way, your makeup can tend to break up and look uneven. Since I have a cream foundation and concealer, I decided to use cream correctors instead of powdered ones. Most kits are creams, so you shouldn't have a problem finding one you like!

Step Three: Using the light peach (because my skin tone is very fair), I blended this out under my eyes to help the slight dark circles in that area.

Color Correcting Made EasyStep Three: The green shade is one of my favorites since it helps even out redness. I tend to have a lot of hormonal redness around my nose, chin and cheeks, so I used my fingers and a brush to lightly apply the green in those areas. 

Color Correcting  Since those are the main places I wanted to address, I went ahead and stopped there.

Here is an easy guide on what colors to use for your skin needs below:

Purple: Corrects yellow. Brightens and helps with dullness and sallowness. 
Pink: Corrects brown. Great for dark spots, age spots and sunspots. Ideal for fair skin.
Yellow: Corrects purple. Covers mild redness and purple/blue under eye areas. Brightening.
Green: Correct redness. Great for more intense redness, visible capillaries and breakouts. 
Red: Corrects green/blue. Especially great for covering dark circles on deep skin. 
Orange: Corrects blue. Covers dark circles, better for medium skin tones.
Peach: Corrects blue. Also covers dark circles and hyper-pigmentation, better for fair skin tones. 

Color Correcting            Step Four: Using a beauty blender, I applied my foundation over the color correcting. After this step, you shouldn't see the color correcting you've done, instead you should have a very even look to your skin. 

Color Correcting Made Easy Step Five: To add brightness, I applied my concealer over my foundation where my face naturally has the most light (under eyes, bridge of nose, forehead, chin etc.) and as a little extra to some of those pesky breakouts. ;) 

Pro tip: Since we used so many layers, I suggest using a setting powder to set your under eye area in order to prevent creasing.
Color Correcting Made Easy  And we are done! This will give you a very even but one dimensional look, so I highly suggest adding a little color back into those cheeks with some contouring, blush and highlight. Check out my highlighting and contouring post for some of my favorite tips on that method! 

Color Correcting
So what do you think of color correcting? Is it something you would try out for yourself? I like that it's an option for an extra special occasion and possibly for those times here and there when certain areas are really struggling and I just want to brighten everything up. :) There are a lot of good palettes out there too! I used the one by Tarte, but this one, this one and these have all had great reviews too. Enjoy, friends! Lots of love, Sav

Credits //Author and Photography: Savannah Wallace. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Should I launch my blog with contentTime for another question in our Blogging Q&A series. If you missed the last few, check here. Today's question is again from a Blog Life student. I feel like I say that every time, but they have a lot of really good questions. :) She asks:

"This may be a silly question, but when I first launch my blog, do I launch it with posts in each category already posted prelaunch or just have a welcome post and a couple of posts on the day of launch? Just wondering what would interest readers more in your opinion. Thanks for all the awesome information!"

We actually hear this question pretty often from bloggers who are just starting out or who are in the middle of a rebrand and relaunch of their site. The number one rule is—don't over think it to the point that you don't press the go button! It's better to start than to be perfect. Because perfection is like a unicorn... we all understand the concept, but ultimately it's not a real thing. ;)

OK, here's a couple of considerations, even though we don't believe there's a black and white, right or wrong way to do this. So first, how many categories do you plan to write about? Some blogs are pretty focused while others have a few main topics and lots of mini topics from time to time. Here at ABM we fall under the "not super focused" category. Yes, we mainly write about home decor and food, but we also write about lots of other things that we are interested in or we've found our readers are interested in (like blogging tips, for example). If your site will focus on a bunch of different topics, it is a good idea to communicate this clearly out of the gate. This might mean having at least one post in each area, or it might be something you can communicate in your blog design or launch day post. But the main thing you are looking to avoid is if someone shows up the first week and it feels like your site is all about knitting, and then they show up the next week to a recipe post. They may feel confused, or if they don't like recipe posts, they may feel turned off. You don't want them wondering if it's the same site (since they are new, they may not have your logo, header, etc. committed to memory yet). And you also don't want them feeling like maybe you've already changed direction, so they shouldn't come back again. So think on those challenges before your launch. 

Second, if you already have an audience, like you are rebranding or you had a big audience on FB or IG and are just now starting a blog, then you also might want to consider finding ways to give them a taste of everything you will be focusing on. Again, this is just to help them understand what to expect and why they should keep reading. 

On the other hand, if you are launching and you are starting from ground zero (no audience to speak of, yet!), then you might be better off having 3-5 posts (or more) done in your drafts, but on launch day, just publish one post and save the others so you can spread them out and give yourself plenty of breathing room as you find your blogging zone. If you are new to blogging, finding any way to help take the pressure off and give yourself more time to create and make those posts the best they can be while you are still learning is SO helpful. 

But again, the most important thing is to START. Don't let small concerns, like how many posts to have ready before launch, slow you down. Choose something that fits your situation and get moving! We learn best if we are actually doing the thing rather than just thinking about doing the thing. :) 

Let us know if you have other blogging, business, or other questions that might pertain to this series as we love to know what your dealing with in your world! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elsie Larson. Image Design: Mara Dockery.

Ransom Note T-ShirtsHi there! Today I am really excited to work with our partner Canon USA to share a fun method for making t-shirts using iron-on transfer paper! In the past we've made t-shirts using a font, so today I wanted to try something a little different and create text using a photo! Watch the video for full DIY instructions! 

AR5A8857 (1)I used my Canon PIXMA iP8720 for this project. Using the Canon PRINT App, I was able to send the picture from my phone straight to the printer, making it so easy!  

Don't forget! You can use this method for lots of different things—human t-shirts (OMG! a baby tee would be so cute!), a backpack or even an apron. So many gift possibilities! 

And, since I can't resist, here's a few more photos of the pups modeling their new t-shirts!!!

DIY Ransom Note T-ShirtsDIY Ransom Note T-ShirtsDIY Ransom Note T-ShirtsAs you can see, Dolly and Suki love their new shirts. They used to hate dressing up, but lately they love it. Dolly practically jumped into her shirt. Ha! I guess it makes them feel fancy! 

Thanks so much for reading! xxoo -Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. 


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