drunk elephant

if i could create a skincare line with a name that represents me, drunk elephant would fit the bill.  in all seriousness, it is no secret that i love a good cocktail, wine flight or bubbles and my favorite animals on earth are elephants.


admittedly, my skincare regimen has been pretty simple for the last decade or so as i spent a lot of time in my adolescence working on my skin to get it to a stage where i could just maintain it.  however, when i turned 29 last year, i realized how close 30 was and how i needed to pay closer attention to my skin.  i implemented a few new products to just protect my skin from the wear and tear of aging + the california sun.  i think a lot of my friends have been paying closer attention to things like skin, hair and nails – we are no longer at an age where we can take these things for granted.  the bounce back is not what it used to be.


fast forward to my 30th birthday this past february.  there were a variety of things i did to celebrate but the biggest celebration by far was vegas.  it was truly one for the books.  friends and family came from all over the country to celebrate.  little did we know that for many of us, it would be the last time we were all together before being quarantined in our homes due to covid-19.  while i told my friends that their presence was my present, i am still sorting through gifts from that weekend.  my friends jason and vana gifted me some amazing products from drunk elephant and i have been using them most nights before bed for the last few weeks.


prior to this, i had no nighttime skincare routine on days where i was not wearing makeup.  terrible, i know.  but look, we are all evolving and now i have a nighttime skincare routine that uses three products simultaneously.  i am not a person that is cut out for something that requires like 43 steps.  when i am ready for bed, i am ready for bed.  the end.


let’s get to these products!  first, there is the b-hydra intensive hydration serum which is all replenishment and evening out both skin texture and tone.  i combine this serum with the tlc framboos and the virgin marula luxury facial oil. these two products can be bought together and are referred to as the nighbright duo.  the tlc framboos gets rid of dead skin while tackling fine lines and reduces pore size.  the virgin marula luxury facial oil is filled with antioxidants and gives a really healthy glow.  the nightbright duo helps to lock in the hydration serum.



i simply place a pump of each into the palm of my hand after washing my face and rub it all over my face, neck and chest.  a little really does go a long way.  my skin is softer, smoother and more even.  i cannot wait to try more of their products, especially with all of them being natural, fragrance free and made right here in the u.s.


do you have any drunk elephant products?  if so, which ones are your favorites?



k. tap



k.tap’s dirty 30 in sin city



i have been trying to write this post for almost a week but really wanted to make sure i did it justice.  it needs to be detailed, informative, provide tips/connections, full of gratitude and just fun.  all of that requires energy i did not have prior to waking up this morning in boston so here we are.


first things first: if you know me, you know i love birthdays.  turning 30 was an incredibly huge deal to me.  so huge that i started discussing plans shortly after my 29th birthday.  by june 13th (yes, a full eight months before my 30th birthday), i sent out an aggressively detailed paperless post.  it had dates, a location and polls for the guests to vote on re: what hotel to stay in.  i wanted a firm rsvp sooner rather than later but when coordinating what ended up being close to 40 people over a 72 hour period, that was tougher than anticipated.  if i could do it all over again, i would definitely hire a day of/week of coordinator.  if i had a dollar for the number of text messages i received leading up to the event that could be found in either the paperless post or one of the group strands i sent (broken down by night so no one had to suffer with being on a strand that had nothing to do with them), i could easily pay my rent for next month without touching my checking account.  even though it was tough to coordinate that many people, each person i invited was someone i wanted there because they played a role in me becoming who i am today.


the rundown:

my friends reens and sam flew into lax on wednesday night (the 12th) so i was able to pop a bottle of champagne at 12:01am with them on the 13th.  i went to work that day and when i got home, they loaded up my car and we went to go swoop up my mom and the largest suv ever to take to vegas.  the four of us drove to my aunt’s house (on the way to vegas) to pick her up and continued on our journey.  we checked into the mgm signature thursday night and reens and sam decorated my hotel suite.  they did not leave until 4am and i did not go to bed until nearly 6am.  it was worth it.  the suite was ready for action – fully decorated, a stocked fridge and the most delicious cupcakes baked by my dear friend, genevieve.  if you are in the la area, contact her.




people really started arriving on friday.  i decided that each night, i would host a pregame starting at 9pm both so people could get a buzz on and actually be able to have conversations to get to reconnect or meet one another before we were in a club with music so loud that it was thumping in our chests.  that night, we went to this newer club at park mgm: on the record.  it was smaller, intimate and predominantly hip hop based.  it was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.  the marquee was such a sweet touch.



*for details on my friday fit, click here.


saturday, more people arrived and i knew this night would be absolutely nuts because my mom, godmother, aunt sheila and aunt tannisha would all be joining us out.  we ended up going to omnia, and more specifically, the hip hop room.  it was a tight fit for 30 people but it was truly a blast and we made it work.  everyone’s feet were in pain the next day because there was non stop dancing and screaming song lyrics while slamming shots.  truly a sight to be seen.  and of course, my mom wanted us to arrive as one so we took a party bus there.  she is the best.  also, i tend to feel like in the years since my grandmother passed, she finds a way to show up at each of my birthdays.  this weekend, it was in the form of bottle service girls wearing her absolute favorite color – purple.



*for details on my saturday fit, click here.


somehow, sunday ended up being both my favorite day/night and seemingly, the guests favorite as well.  i kicked off the day with a quick solo coffee date with marilena (since we had not seen each other since august) followed by a group brunch with about 15 of us at the only buffet i will willingly go to – the buffet at aria.  i like that they commit to not just bottomless mimosas, but bottomless drinks.  they also have a great seafood bar and truly have something for everyone, no matter your dietary restrictions.  after that, i came back and caught up with some of the girls before heading to my makeup appointment at the mac at miracle mile courtesy of my friend leighia.  if you are ever in vegas, be sure to call ahead to request mike.  his ability to work with black skin really impressed me.


i was able to come back, take a bath and pregame and give a heartfelt toast to my guests to thank them for coming and let them know what their presence meant to me.  it was a wonderful way to kick off the night.


now, when jason told me sunday would be one for the books, i don’t think i understood the magnitude.  my mom paid for another party bus since she kept winning at the venetian and rode the bus to drop us off at the club.  once we arrived at drais, it all started to make sense.  not only did we have the best table in the house with a perfect view of the stage (which would come in handy when keyshia cole performed), my face was literally everywhere.  from being screened onto our bottle service tables to being on fatheads carried in by our bottle service girls to being on every screen in the club, it was very clear that my 30th birthday was being celebrated.  initially, i think i found it to be a bit overwhelming and i was more or less in shock.  then, i snapped out of it.  i thought to myself if i am typically doing this to celebrate others whether it be for a birthday, a graduation, a wedding, etc., i should allow others to be just as excited to celebrate me.  when we left the club that night, everyone had sore feet, raspy voices and full hearts.  there was also something incredibly special about being able to ring in my 30th with my little brother, pooh bear.  we have lived in different places for more than 10 years so being in la at the same time and him being able to come to vegas meant the world to me.  i don’t know if i would ever be able to replicate that night.




after drais, five or six of us gathered in my room and i made bagels and drinks for everyone and just recapped the night.  it was the best.


on monday, people left at a variety of times ranging from 6am to 11pm.  a true testament to how people that love you will move mountains to show up for you.


now, you know i would not leave you without some useful information in the event you do something on this scale for your next birthday or event.


here are some tips:

  1. even if you feel like you are being annoying, firm up your head count at least 60 days before the event
  2. let your guests know (if money is involved) that their head is not counted until money is received (i typically am firm about this and was a bit looser this trip and took people at their word – it bit me in the ass in a variety of ways from people trying to change plans at the last minute with no consideration for the money already spent/contracts signed + me reaching the maximum amount you can transfer on venmo in one week and having to spend hundreds of dollars to withdraw my own money from vegas atm machines)
  3. have someone on the ground of where you plan on going/celebrating that is going to celebrate you the way you would celebrate your very best friend.  at this point, i think both my mom and my brother would adopt jason rose into their homes after the phenomenal time they had on both saturday at omnia and sunday at drais (truly some next level shit – my brother was blown away and he is hard to get excited about anything)
  4. give people time to recover from each event – i had an event each night (friday, saturday and sunday) but my only daytime event was a late brunch on sunday (at 1pm) that was optional.  for the nighttime events, i just had people tell me what they wanted to attend.  maybe there was a night that worked better for them than others or perhaps they had a favorite club in vegas and based it on that.  either way, people were typically rested by the time we went out at night because the days were not stacked with events
  5. be sure the guest list is visible to all attendees.  i say this because i personally hate surprises.  just because you are friends with all of these people does not mean they are all friends with each other.  whether it be exes, ex best friends or whatever the case may be, it is better when people know exactly what (and who) they are walking into.


now, for the final piece…


gratitude – the state of being grateful: thankfulness.

i truly could not be more appreciative of each person who received an invitation and took the time and money to plan to come out to vegas to make my 30th birthday one for the books.  outside of jason (who literally is the promoter you should use for all things vegas), there was only one friend who attended who lives in vegas.  that means every other person had to book a flight or road trip in.  i literally had to reference my spreadsheet to be sure i did not miss anyone but here it goes:

a big thank you to michelle, rebecca, kennie, amanda, taylor, marilena, jared, victoria, z, alan, pooh bear, tannisha, hilly, leighia, michael, michael c., michael t., sam g., godmother, auntie sheila, jess, jon, april, gio, liz, jason, vana, cortney, whitney, teki, theo, makensy, melissa and marc.  it would not have been the same without you.

and a special thank you to my mom, reens, sam and alexz for literally helping me get everything together and for keeping me sane throughout the weekend.

and jason, you are one of a kind.  i will never do another vegas trip without you.  thank you for helping me coordinate sheer madness.  let’s do it again sometime.


to all of you who reached out with a thoughtful text, card, gift or surprise in my hotel suite, i truly appreciate it more than you know.


30 already feels better than 29 in more ways that one.



k. tap


p.s. i know i am still missing pictures from this weekend so if you are holding out, send them over!


the best bath bombs

one of my favorite ways to decompress is in the bathtub.  i can honestly spend hours in the tub whether it be in silence, with a great playlist, with my macbook sitting on an ottoman streaming a show i am behind on or just stretched out with a good book.  i am all about ways to enhance my bathing experience.  because my work wife (reens) knows this about me, she surprised me last week with a dozen bath bombs.




life around 2 angels is a california based brand and can be purchased via etsy or amazon (you’ll get them extra fast if you are a prime member).  what i love most about them aside from how wonderful they smell and how soft/silky my skin felt afterwards is that there was not an ounce of color in my white bathtub afterwards.  the first bomb i used was the black raspberry vanilla and when i saw the deep eggplant color spread throughout my bathwater, i was holding my breath just thinking about how much i would need to scrub the tub afterwards.  that could not have been further from the truth.


i noticed that i did not need to apply as much lotion post bath because the bomb served as a gentle moisturizer without leaving a residue on my skin.  while i could smell hints of berry and vanilla on my skin afterwards, it was not overpowering and did not clash with the perfume i wear almost daily.  after looking on amazon, there is a reason why with over 7800 reviews, life around 2 angels has five stars.


i am already dreaming about my next bath. the hardest decision will be what scent to use next.


what is your favorite way to enhance your bath?



k. tap

one year anniversary

for those of you who grew up listening to r&b, just know that i have been singing “anniversary” every single day for the last week.


one year.  today marks one year of blogging on keepupwithktap.com, getting to know more about so many of you and getting to know one hell of a lot about myself.  it has been lesson after lesson about vulnerability, letting go of being a perfectionist and realizing that authenticity is definitely underrated.


i had planned on reviewing my analytics to find out which posts you all liked most but luckily, top nine did that for me.  two things stood out to me:

  1. you are unafraid to dive deep with me
  2. i need to show more of my face on the gram since you all seem to like those photos




for those of you who have not been reading since the beginning, i have linked the top nine posts below:

1. a much needed psa

2. bikinis for big girls

3. 29 and fine

4. family does not mean

5. people in therapy

6. pale pink + polka dots

7. #100

8. graduation (started from the bottom, now we’re here)

9. veuve polo classic – east coast edition


to say i am grateful to each of you who has read along in the last year would be a gross understatement. i am so excited for year two together. as we enter 2020, a new decade and my 30th year on this earth, i will continue to talk about some topics you can’t get enough of (psych, relationships and self-improvement). i will cover some new topics you’ve requested (like dating, narcissism, wedding season and more things fashion oriented).


i cannot wait to connect with you all on instagram live tonight at 8pm pst.


sending you all so much love and here’s to the next year together. 😘



k. tap

colourpop hyaluronic tinted moisturizer

colourpop strikes again!


as you may know from both my post yesterday and my snaps on the gram, i am currently on the east coast for work.  i am still blogging from boston and while exhausted am loving every minute of it.  with that being said, i wanted to be able to sleep in as long as possible but still look refreshed even if i am battling major jet lag.  i tend to be an all or nothing person when it comes to makeup.  i essentially have three levels.  zero makeup whatsoever.  full face.  full face with lashes.  that all changed this morning.  well technically, it changed at the end of september.


colourpop released hyaluronic tinted moisturizers in 24 shades.  something i greatly appreciated was that they had swatches for every single shade on that exact skin tone.  even still, i had never owned a tinted moisturizer, concealer or liquid foundation.  so what did i do? i sent a text to my girl ashton with the two shades i was stuck between and she told me deep dark 22 n would be perfect for my skin tone.


now, the main reason why i wanted to purchase this (aside from the ultra affordable price point of $14) is because i wanted to add a fourth level to my makeup.  instead of jumping from zero makeup to a full face to a full face with lashes, it seemed like there had to be something between zero makeup and a full face that i was missing.


that is wear colourpop’s hyaluronic tinted moisturizer comes in.




it is lightweight yet somehow has completely full coverage.  a little goes an incredibly long way.  it works easily into the skin and can be done with your fingertips or a beauty blender.  there is truly a color for everyone.  and it wears so well across a long day.




the photo above was taken after over seven hours of wear and after doing walking tours of two college campuses.  the best part?  my makeup took me less than 10 minutes to apply today.  of course, i primed my face with my favorite serum and sunscreen but after that, it was a cakewalk.  i filled in my brows a bit, lined the bottom of my eyes, applied a bit of blush to warm up my cheeks, a brightening finishing powder all over and a couple of different highlighters for a bit of a glow.  i finished it off with setting spray, mascara and of course, my lip balm and matte lipstick combo.


what i love is that my face looks fresh yet it looks finished.  i cannot recommend colourpop’s hyaluronic tinted moisturizer enough.


do you have a favorite tinted moisturizer? i would love to hear about it.



k. tap