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 ♡ 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 ♡

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 not....it 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 camera....so 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 ♡

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

Courtney