Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Birchbox for CEW Limited Edition Boxes

There are lots of things that I've learned about the beauty world since becoming a Birchbox subscriber. From handy tips and tricks, to discovering Holy Grail products, to meeting new and awesome bloggers, I owe them a lot of credit for expanding my beauty brain. And when it comes to the Cosmetic Executive Women Insider's Beauty Choice awards they were the ones who lifted the rock I'd been living under.

Every year the CEW Insider's Beauty Choice Awards award the best products in an array of categories, with separate competitions for prestige and drugstore beauty. Each year Birchbox teams up with the CEW to create two amazing Limited Edition Birchboxes filled with the products that were finalists and winners in their respective categories, giving us a little taste of the best of the best in beauty that year. One box is full of affordable drugstore finds, while the other samples luxury and high end beauty. I reviewed these boxes last year, and they were pretty amazing, which of course meant I couldn't pass up this year's boxes. Here's a closer look at what you get.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Glambag August 2014

The summer is drawing to a close, and for several of you out there that means school is back in session. For a working girl like myself not much changes in my life from August to September, with the exception that my commute is made longer by many a school bus. Still, that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate Ipsy's latest Glambag and feel nostalgic for the days of lockers and dorm rooms. Here's a breakdown of what I got in this month's "Beauty Schooled" bag.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Little Birdie Told Me…Vol. 3

There are so many amazing blogs out there on the internet, it's hard to keep up with them all! Here are just a few of my favorite posts from the last month.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette

A recent impulse purchase of mine (after hoarding Birchbox points) was the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette. It debuted a while ago, but as per the usual I was a bit late to the party. This gorgeous palette features 20 different neutral shadows that lean toward the rose and pink-toned end of the spectrum. I couldn't remember ever having tried any Coastal Scents products before, but with amazing reviews I thought this palette might be a good place to start. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Birdie Bites - Brown Sugar Salmon

Salmon is one of my absolute favorite dishes to bring to the dinner table. It's easy to prepare, cooks in a flash, and tastes pretty flippin' delicious. It's also extremely versatile as far as fish goes, jiving with a number of different flavor combinations. In particular, I think salmon lends itself really well to savory-sweet preparations, which is where I got the inspiration to come up with this recipe. Brown sugar, with it's rich molasses notes, seemed like the perfect complement to my favorite fish.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Organized - The Look-Ahead Pink Poppin Planner

Last week was a stressful one, and toward the end of it I felt like I needed a little pick-me-up. Naturally this translated to walking to Staples on my lunch break and browsing through the back-to-school displays. I don't know what it is about brightly colored office supplies, but they make me happy. I then realized that the perfect thing to get me back into a motivated mood would be a new planner. As much as my phone does an awesome job at helping me keep track of my life, I've always been a sucker for the paper kind.

That being said, at the end of 2013 I couldn't find one that I really liked, and I couldn't bring myself to buy an Erin Condren Life Planner (although they are flippin beautiful). It is surprisingly difficult to find a planner that is reasonably priced, utilizes space well, and is also pretty. I've perused the isles of Target, Wal-Mart, Staples and the like many a time without success. This time, I also thought I was going to leave empty handed, but the stars finally aligned. I noticed this guy on one of the island displays. It's The Look-Ahead Pink Poppin Planner and it is everything that I was looking for.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Budget Beauty Alternatives

Beauty splurges - we all have them from time to time. Sometimes it's worth spending the extra dollar for that super-smudge-proof eyeliner, or foundation that perfectly matches your skin tone. But let's be practical. A lot of us out there have the kind of budget that is much more suited for shopping at the drugstore. That's not to say that our cosmetic bags need to be lacking in quality products. More than ever, drugstores are carrying affordable alternatives to popular prestige products. Need some proof? Here are a few of my latest budget-conscious finds that will make you think twice about dropping tons of cash on their high-end counterparts.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birchbox August 2014

I've been waiting eagerly for this pretty pink package to arrive in my mailbox this month. Of course there is the usual excitement of getting some awesome new products to try and review. But this month in particular I've had a little something special going on in the Birchbox department that I couldn't wait to share.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hair Confessions

I love my hair.

I couldn't have made this statement my entire life. Actually, for quite a good bit of it I was cursing the universe for giving me what I considered to be flat, lifeless locks that seemed to absolutely refuse to cooperate with any attempts at styling. My roots were always greasy. My ends were always dry. Curls were an impossibility. In a lot of ways I had every right to be unhappy with the way that my hair looked and felt.

What I didn't realize, though, was that I wasn't born with terrible hair. I was just taking care of the hair I was born with in all of the wrong ways.

Here's how I learned (the hard way) to turn things around.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Maybelline - The Nudes Palette

With the success of Urban Decay's Naked series, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the neutral palette action. The hype is understandable. While bright, bold colors are fun and can add some serious punch to a look, neutrals have a certain versatility that makes them the bread and butter of the eyeshadow world. While there are many an offering among prestige brands if you're looking for a do-all palette, affordable options have been lacking.

Until now.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Birdie Bites - The Perfect Margarita

If I could only drink one cocktail for the rest of forever, it would be you, Margarita.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Playing Catch-up

You know that feeling you get when you realize you've neglected to respond to a text, and it's been just long enough that saying something now feels incredibly awkward?

This is what I feel like when I come back from a blogging hiatus.

As my co-worker Gigi has reprimanded me (lovingly, of course), "Lauren, you're slacking!"

It's true. I've been pretty absent for a while now.

There are a good 6 or 7 posts-in-progress crying for my attention. And I've got what feels like a billion other things to write about. But I've been pretty distracted with the happenings of life outside the blogosphere. Between the gentle (or sometimes not so gentle) words of encouragement of my friends and readers, as well as some excellent news that's come my way, I've decided I was way overdue to say hello.