Life Update, Hello 2017.

Hey guys, I hope you're doing well and your 2017 is off to a great start. So...where in the world have I been and why have I been so quiet on Instagram and YouTube?? This will probably be a lengthy's just gonna be a bit of a brain dump, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read it and for sticking with me. Love you guys β™‘

It's been 3 weeks since I posted to IG (until last night) and more than a month since my last proper YouTube video, which feels like a lifetime! I kind of coasted through November and December because the Coraline video was still doing so well, which I was definitely not expecting, but was so grateful for. I always have a hard time making videos during the holiday season. But I'm glad people have been enjoying it! I've thought a lot about what I would say when I made my first post in so long...I've gone to post a couple times prior, but it's like I was almost afraid to post because it had been so long, I didn't know what to say...but if I'm being totally honest, though, one of the main reasons is I just didn't really feel like posting. And that makes me feel kinda bad, but I didn't want to post just for the sake of posting, ya know? Which isn't great for YouTube as far as earning money goes, but...that's how I felt. I have so many new lipsticks to swatch for you guys, a lot of videos on my list, things to make...but that'll come in time :)

The second reason is that at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017, I decided I wanted to move my handmade shop off of Etsy and onto its own website. And...that's pretty much all I've been working on this entire month. The actual website is just about ready to go, but I'm still working on inventory so I can have it stocked up a bit before I launch it. Hoping to launch by the end of the month, possibly early February. If you have no idea what I'm talking about haha, other than doing makeup, I love to crochet and knit, and I have a little shop called Courtney Little Handmade where I sell things I make (like beanies, stuffed animal toys, phone sleeves, blankets, scarves, etc.). I've tried a couple times in the past to get something started, but then I would lose interest. But I feel like now is my time, I'm taking it a lot more seriously, and I really want to make it work! I've been having a lot of fun making things, especially over the past few months since Halloween. If you're interested in that sort of thing, you can follow that IG account: @courtneylittlehandmade and/or subscribe to the newsletter:

Another little reason is that I've been having some issues with one of my eyelids being super dry and weird, which could just be winter-related, but I want to get that checked out before I put any makeup on it. Unless I'm doing something that involves me leaving the house, I haven't been wearing Any makeup, which A) I haven't done in forever, and B) I think has been really great for my skin. I've gotten some awesome PR packages already this year/end of last year, but I just haven't really been doing I usually unbox/swatch on Snapchat, though, so you can always add me on there (courteylittlej). I haven't been snapping a ton, but every once in a while I feel like snapping everything haha. I wasn't really using IG stories when I wasn't posting, but I may start putting unboxings and stuff on there again :)

As for YouTube - I have a lot on my mind about this [edit: this section is taking me forever to get done haha...I kept adding things in, so hopefully it doesn't feel too jumbled up]. I don't know if there are any other creators out there that feel the same, I'm sure there are plenty...but it's like when you're going and on a roll putting out content and posting all the time, it's so great and fun, but then...when you stop, even for like a week, it's so tough to get back going again. Maybe it depends partially on the kind of videos you do as well. Creativity ebbs and flows, sometimes we feel uninspired or creatively blocked or drained, unhappy with the content we've been putting out, and we fall into a rut. And as with a lot of other creators and artists, it all started out of fun, to share with others something we love. I want to remember the feeling - the first time I clicked the upload button 6 1/2 years ago. I want to find it and bring it back into my makeups and videos. YouTube has changed so much in the past few years, and I think I'm just feeling a bit lost at the moment. And it's not that I don't enjoy doing makeup or making videos just feels different...more like work (which makes sense). Sure, it's my job, I need to make money to pay my bills. But I have to remember that I love doing it. I love creating. That's how it all started in the first place. If I forget and just get caught up in the numbers game, which everyone does at some point, then why am I doing it? Not literally, just meaning I need to take a beat to think and reset - and then that begs the question, do you really even love it anymore if you have to keep reminding yourself? And I suppose that's for the individual creator to think about.

This year I want to focus on me. Creating things that I love, whether it be makeup, handmade, or other types of projects. I really want to get into more videography as well, not really sure what kind or how to start, but we'll see what I do this year. I got a second camera as well (just one model up from my current one, so I have a Canon t5i and a t6i now), so there are more possibilities for all kinds of videos! The other thing I'm planning on doing this year is getting rid of my little second channel that I started last...year..I think? At the time, I thought it would be nice to have if I wanted to post more personal videos, knitting/crochet videos, and just other random videos. I posted 2 videos on that channel. And just seems silly for me. If I want to post more of a lifestyle-type video, day in the life, a diy or anything other than a makeup tutorial...I'll post it to my main channel. That may not be the popular vote, and that's fine. Each video would be labeled, so those who don't want to watch it could just wait for the next one. I feel like there are a lot of YouTubers (or even those who want to Start a channel) that feel pressured to define exactly what their channel's 'theme' is/will be, and if they stray from that kind of content people are going to 'get mad'. But to that, I say...who cares (to an extent)? Give it a theme if YOU want to. Change it. Change it again. Add to it. It's Your channel. Of course you want to create something that your viewers will enjoy, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy. I think the happier you are, the better/more enjoyable the content will be, and people will recognize that and be able to connect with you more. It should be expected that you may just change as the years go by, and as you change and grow, chances are your channel will too. And that's good. People may leave, and that's fine too. It's bound to happen I think. Everyone changes, and that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Find what makes you happy, and do it. Don't be afraid to Not be doing something everyone else is doing. I found this quote on google, not sure who said it, but I want to remember it as I go through this year and for the rest of my life:

|   I'm not here to fit into your world, I'm here to create my own.

This will be a new chapter, and I'm excited. Even though I'm feeling a little lost with YouTube right now, my head is in a pretty good spot. Ready to take on new things and tweak the old if need be. I hope you are too. I do miss you guys, and me not posting doesn't have anything to do with you all. I'm so thankful for you guys that continue to stick with me through the years. I really appreciate you. Thank you β™‘

Other random life updates at the moment:

  1. I started a bullet journal a couple weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying it! Got a really cool skeleton notebook from Cognitive Surplus:
  2. I'm obsessed with Troye Sivan's 'Blue Neighborhood' and Panic At The Disco's 'Death of a Bachelor'. Ob-sessed.
  3. I got a new computer! I haven't edited any video on it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it!
  4. My yarn stash is growing, and it makes me happy. My storage shelves are almost full, and I just ordered about 20 more skeins the other day........
  5. I haven't worked out at all so far this year, but that needs to change. Anyone else?
  6. Can't think of anything else, so I guess that's it!

If you stuck it out till the end, thanks for reading the ramblings of my mind. I hope to see you again soon. THIS - blogging, is actually something I want to try to be more consistent with too....I'm pretty sure I said that last year tho πŸ˜‚  Maybe some favorites posts (which, I still owe you one...I'll do that before January ends hopefully), and I meant to do this last year as well...but posts for different makeups/videos/series. I've never been a good blogger, but I'm gonna try this year! Anyway. Thank you again. I hope you're all doing well, let me know what you've been up to, and I will be back on YouTube soon! β™‘

- Courtney

San Diego + Vegas Vacation

My sister and I got to take a little vacation with my dad this month (he travels for work a lot, and sometimes we get to tag along). We drove from Pocatello to Salt Lake, through Vegas and down to San Diego. We've made this drive several times over the years - I was born in San Diego and moved to Idaho when I was 8ish...we used to visit every year. The drive doesn't seem too bad now that I'm older. I took sooo many photos, I had the hardest time condensing for this post! There are still so many...but I hope you enjoy! 

On our way out of town, the mountains are so beautiful!

Somewhere between Inkom and McCammon, Idaho. 

Sunset in Southern Utah

Day 1, We went to Torrey Pines Gliderport/City Park. Our aim was to go to Torrey Pines State BEACH, but this is where we ended up - and it was Gorgeous. It was a hot, sunny, beautiful day, and we decided to stay until sunset. No regrets there. STUN-NING.

Ohhh just look at that water...

How freaking glorious is this view

So dreamy, one of my favorite shots of the day

Sunset on the water...

That guy was totally posing for this photo haha

Night 1 food, I was a dummy and didn't take my camera to dinner that night, but trust me, it was epic. We went to BJ's. I had a margherita flatbread and we all shared a massive amount of Pizookies. Actually, I have a couple Pizookie photos from my phone!

Pizookie trio (mini's) - Cookies 'N Cream, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Triple Chocolate

PB S'mores Pizookie - really good, BUT would have actually liked it more without the PB

Day 2, We decided to go to Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. Samantha had a photoshoot planned for later in the day, so we went up earlier so we could hang out on the beach. The weather was...not good for a beach day. It started out ok, but as we were driving, the clouds were rolling in and looked like smoke. It did make for a few cool photos, though. After a few hours, it was super chilly and started to rain. I opted to sit in the car while she finished up her photo shoot. It was fun while it lasted, and I still got some pretty pictures!

Clouds rollin' in, I completely thought it was smoke until we got to Solana Beach

This was a lucky shot as we were turning the corner *snappy thumbs up*

We will definitely be going back here in the future, it's such a beautiful and cool spot

My makeshift tripod to shoot some time lapses - selfie stick, Clif Bar wrapper, hair tie, and sand support. *another snappy thumbs up*

Night 2 food...Islands of course, mm mm mm 

My usual, the Toucan chicken teriyaki sandwich. That piece of chicken was HUGE, but oh so tasty.

We opted for a smaller dessert tonight haha, a hot fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream

Day 3, We actually got ready and headed up to the temple. It's still my favorite, incredibly beautiful. We always have to go when we're in town to snap some photos. This was our last full day in San Diego, so we had to go! (Lighting is different in a few because we went up the next afternoon as well...I forgot to film video when we went the first time - vlogging is hard! Haha)

...but before we head over, an In N Out stop for lunch

I love these little pink flowers so much β™‘

My iPhone pano from the first day we went up

Samantha took this pano on her iPhone the second time we went up

Behind the scenes, again taken on Samantha's iPhone.

Night 3 food, we went to Phil's BBQ...and once again I did not take any photos of my food. I did take some video, though, that'll be in the vlog - I had the pulled pork sandwich (if a restaurant has a good pulled pork, they get a thumbs up from me. And Phil's does not disappoint). Definite recommend if you have one in your area!

This is what was left over on Samantha's plate - she had the grilled chicken...with no bones I think. Chick-less dinner it might be called. I ate a bunch of the fries too. Ugh fries are so yummy!

Day 4, Travel day. San Diego to Vegas for the night. Before we left, we had brunch at an amazing pancake house...The Original Pancake House. Again...didn't take my camera in. Honestly, I was just being lazy, but I wish I would have taken it in. I did think to get an iPhone photo, though:

I ordered their Blueberry Pancakes (which were seriously perfect) along with some potatoes that you can kind of see in the background - YUM

We got to Vegas early enough (like 9 or 10PM) to go out for dinner and watch the fountain show at the Bellagio (which I did get to film as well!). We ate at Hexx, which was amazing - see mouth-watering photos below. Also, the service was β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†

I get hungry every time I look at this photo. This is their Margherita Pizza. It was delightful. I need more.

AND THIS CAKE. I guess they make all their own chocolate and ice cream in-house, and you can definitely taste it. This came with some kind of spice icing and chocolate ganache - recommendation: order a scoop of ice cream along with this, you'll need it.

...and a little more chocolate never hurts. I also want this plate.

A few photos from the strip:

I was pretty happy with myself for getting this pano haha

And the view from our hotel room window

I only took a couple photos on the way home from Vegas, I really wanted to get some of the rocks as you pass through Arizona. These were right after going through the coolest parts, I didn't really get any I liked of the actual rocks

That concludes our vacation! I had a lot of fun taking photos and vlogging (even though it was hard!), and that video will hopefully be up sometime in the next couple weeks. My computer is extremely slow and it's been really hard and kinda frustrating even just playing back the footage. But it'll all work out, and is on the way! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and felt a little like you were there with us β™‘



** All photos were taken on a Canon T5i unless otherwise noted, and I used both a Canon 40mm as well as 28mm lenses. Panoramas were taken on iPhone 6 Plus. Some were taken as we were driving, so they may not be the best - I tried! **

ENVY Makeup / Thought Process

" Envy is depicted as a man with cankered teeth, chewing on a venomous toad, poison running down his jaws...hides a deadly snake close to his chest. Inwardly, he devours himself, weeping over the wealth of others and rejoicing in their misfortune...grieves at the happiness of others and spews spiteful poison and abuse [on those who practice faithful Christian obedience]."

A few months ago, one of my friends asked if I would be interested in participating in a Seven Deadly Sins collaboration she was putting together (of course I was!). I was one of the first to choose their sin, and I didn't really pick envy for any specific reason...I guess it just kinda jumped out at me. I'm so happy that I chose it, though!

This mayyy be my favorite look I've filmed/edited so far...or at least in the top five. I had a lot of fun filming and putting together the intro especially, and the 'poison' was such a mess haha...I thought it through about 90% of the way basically. We'll just say there was a fair amount of cleanup required, but not a completely frustrating amount. It was laughable at least.

I'm also really excited to learn more in the editing department this year. I kinda just go with the flow and try new stuff and see if it works, google things when I get stuck. I mean, it works, but I know there are more efficient and cooler tools and methods out there.

I based my look off of the quote at the top of this post, which is from a book called Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins. Joe Rigney wrote the Envy section of the book, and the quote references Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene. That quote just really struck me, and I enjoyed researching this sin more than I would have even just a year ago. It's really cool and interesting to delve into the deeper meanings behind things for me now - and it's also interesting to me how much my mind and thinking has changed just in the past couple years.

I just want to mention a few other quotes and inspirations I found along the way -

A lot of the time, the first thing I'll do when researching a specific theme or topic, is google the word/find the basic definition. There are often several different definitions on various websites, but I just look for the very basic/core definition.

Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Green is the color of envy.

Contrary to charity - Charity rejoices in our neighbors' good while envy grieves over it. (that's also one of my favorite finds) -- Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas

Envy is the most joyless of the sins.

Vivid metaphors are used to describe various sins, but for some reason, images of envy are especially grotesque.

Described as the rust of the heart.

Envy follows success with a hungry eye. Why not me?

Researching topics is such a fun and interesting part of (my) creative process recently. It's often a word or phrase that sparks the entire idea for design. This has me thinking now - maybe a project or series in the near future - choose a set of things or themes that would really entail a bit of research. I mean, it may not be required for everyone, but it could be an awesome experiment for me personally.

Moving along - the photos! I just wanted to share a little bit of my creative process, and I wasn't really planning on it, but that's what happened. I'm actually planning on doing an entire post dedicated to what my creative process looks like. But let's get to the photos! Again, I had a lot of fun shooting these, and there are still a few more I might want to edit. I'm stoked with how it all came together. I hope you guys enjoyed the tutorial if you watched it - if you haven't and want to, it's right up there near the top of this post. Be sure to check out all the other ladies that participated, you can find their videos and info in my video description!

Here are some photos!

Thank you for stopping by today! Have a good weekend guys. xx



2015 In Review

To kick off the blog/new website, I thought why not take a look back at some moments from 2015? I think I will keep this one to makeup things, but I want to do a 2016/goals/reflecting-type blog post in the near future as well. You'll see some of my favorite looks from the year throughout this post as you make your way down. This ended up being a super long post, so grab a snack and settle in if you want to read some of my thoughts from the past year :)

Evil Fairy Look, February 2015 | Tutorial HERE

2015 was a pretty eventful year, full of both good, amazing, and ugly, a lot of new things, and plenty of milestones to look back on. I wasn't always consistent or feeling creative, but you guys were with me all the way β™‘ At the end of the day, I'm overall very happy with what I was able to put out into the world in 2015. Bring it on 2016!

One thing that stands out to me the most is the amount of friends I got to connect with, mainly online/over social media. Both fellow artists and followers, I got to know a bunch of you guys better and that's been such a cool experience! I really hope I get to actually meet people in real life this year haha!

My little Sparky paint. Some people thought it was a tattoo, and I kind of wish it was β™‘

It was also super fun to have the opportunity to collaborate with several artists throughout the year, and even though I tend to get a little bit stressed out sometimes doing collabs, they are such an awesome way to push yourself and get to know other artists and different styles. I dunno what it is about collabs, maybe it's having to work with different schedules or feeling creatively stuck/wondering is this look or idea going to be good enough or work with everyone else's?, but I always get a little nervous...up until everything is just about done at least. I think it must just be a confidence thing. Anyone else or is it just me? Haha

Along with meeting and making new friends, a big (huge) part of that was thanks to the NYX FACE Awards. It was CRAZY! First of all, when NYX announced the Top 30 for 2015, I about threw up and passed out. As I was looking over the photo of everyone, I first noticed Jordan Hanz. I was like oh my gosh, I FREAKING LOVE HER WORK. Like holy poo. (If you don't follow her...well...go follow her and subscribe to her YouTube channel RIGHT NOW - or after you finish this blog post ha)

THEN, at the very last second - I remember this so well haha - I looked up to the very top right corner, the picture was kinda dark...but then...I realized who it was. If you followed the competition last year, you already know who I'm talking about, but if was MYKIE. Mykie? Yes, MYKIE! 😱 This is when I basically passed out hahaha. I had found Mykie (aka Glam and Gore) on Instagram the summer before, and she is just phenomenal. So crazy, I remember when she was having a 60k follower contest on Instagram, and she's now nearing 1 million! Her tutorials are also bomb. I love how a lot of the intros for her videos are more like short films rather than plain ole intros (not that there's anything wrong with those). ANYway, I about died, but then I got excited because I knew it would be an amazing competition. And indeed, it was.

My entry for the FACE Awards | Tutorial HERE

Although I got extremely stressed out a million times during the three challenges I got to participate in, the experience was such an amazing one. Being up there with some of my favorite artists that I'm really inspired by, challenging myself, changing concepts a hundred times at least, making some amazing friends...that is what it's all about really. The experience. I mean, winning would of course be an even more amazing experience, but it's all the in-between stages that really make it all worth it in the end. And for that, I would definitely recommend and encourage you to enter if you've considered it over the past few years. NYX really pulled out all the stops last year, so who knows what it will be like with it being the 5th year this year! I'm still in the process of deciding if I want to enter again this year or not...what do you guys think?! I'm leaning more toward yes, but we'll see what's going on when the time comes. Third time's a charm, right? :) (For those of you who don't know, I entered in 2014 and made it to Top 20, and then last year I made it to Top 12, which was one round away from the big final challenge in LA!)

Timeless Beauty Challenge, part 1

Timeless Beauty Challenge, part 2 (Inner Demons) | Tutorial HERE

I am really proud of all the looks I was able to come up with - the first challenge was the 'easiest' for me, conceptually, and I love how it came out. You can check out the video linked above if you want to know more about it :) The second challenge (Paranormal Activity) was, oddly enough, the hardest one for me. I think I pulled two all-nighters filming and editing that one because my first idea did not work out. Once the video started coming together, I started loving it more and more. Of course, the amazing photos by my sister (Samantha Little Photography) really helped too. She's awesome, check her out. She is currently in the Salt Lake City area if any of you are interested :)

Paranormal Activity Challenge | Tutorial HERE

The third challenge was Mermaids, and really I just wish I could have done a lot more, BUT I was very happy with the actual makeup. I got a monofin and even made my own tail, which shoot, I completely forgot I was going to make a DIY video for that.....oops, sorry guys! Does anyone still want to see that? I could do that for my second channel. So anyway, I even got a camera that we could film underwater with so I could get some actual swimming shots. This was all so cool and amazing in my head. The problem was...where the heck do we film that? I live in Idaho. We have no beaches, few pools...we did end up filming a tiny bit of footage in a couple swimming pools, but then we were having issues with the it was just kind of a big mess. I did this makeup three separate times, once to film, then twice for photoshoot/intro purposes with my sister in Utah.

I became slightly obsessed with mermaids during the planning stages of this challenge, and seriously considered trying to become a professional mermaid haha. I would at least love to own a silicone tail one day. Super expensive, but oh so gorgeous. Someday...who knows what could happen?

Mermaid Challenge | Tutorial HERE

I'll try to keep the rest on the shorter side, wasn't expecting to talk about the FACE Awards that much! I have a few more looks I want to share too! After the craziness of the competition, I took it easy for a while haha. I don't even think I posted any new content to YouTube until Halloween season, yikes! I did do a throwback series, though, because I wanted to have all my super old videos on my new channel with the rest of my tutorials. Some people enjoyed it, some didn't. I thought it was cool to watch back and see the progression from then to now. You sometimes forget where you started out, so it's good to look back every now and again. 

Katherine Pierce TVD Inspired Look | Tutorial HERE

Consistency has never been my strongest suit, and keeping an upload schedule (so far) hasn't worked for me. We'll talk more about my goals for that in a different post. I seemed to get easily burnt out last year, and after Halloween season I took another break to regroup a little bit. Halloween season 2015 was pretty awesome, though! I didn't put up as many videos as the year before (that was crazy), but the quality of video I put out in 2015 was so much nicer than 2014. I did want to put up more videos, but I was happy with the content I was able to put out. So many goals for this year - next post, though!

We passed a few milestones along the way too! Let's see...on Instagram I think we passed 10k, then 15k, then 18k...and more recently 20k, which is crazy to me. Instagram is so fun, I absolutely love it. I feel like I get to connect with the Instagram peeps the most out of everyone and you guys get to share your stuff with me too, which is really awesome.

Then on YouTube, let me think about this...I can't remember where we started out the year...AH I'm going to look and find out real quick - ok wow that took forever. I had to scroll through my Facebook feed for the year haha. I add milestones to my page when we pass certain numbers :) At the beginning of 2015, we started out somewhere between 20 and 25k subscribers. We passed 50k at the end of July! By the end of the year, we were over 70K...we're going on 74K currently! That's crazy to me. I'm so grateful for all your support, you guys are always there for me, anything I want to do, and even through all my inconsistent uploading. I'm so happy you enjoy my creativity and that I'm even able to do what I do. I appreciate you all so so so much. The support you guys show me means the absolute world to me, and I just want you to know that! Looking forward to 2016, let's do this! You guys can do anything - I believe in you and your dreams. I hope this year will bring much happiness to you all β™‘

If you stuck through that entire thing...thank you! I hope it was semi-interesting. Future posts won't be so long haha, apparently I had a lot of thoughts for 2015. Love you guys! Enjoy exploring the new website. xx