Monday, December 28, 2015

December 2015 Favorites

It's hard to believe the final month of 2015 is already almost over! With all of the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas the weeks have seriously flown by, although I have definitely managed to still have my fair share of experimenting with fun new beauty products. Today I've got a round up of 10 goodies that I have been absolutely loving as per late and would highly, highly recommend you check out.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 2015 Birchbox

It's hard to believe that December only has a few days left. All the anticipation and festivities leading up to Christmas make this month fly by, although I can't really complain with all the good times that've been had. Today's post is all about my favorite gift that keeps on giving year round - my monthly Birchbox! This month's theme is All Wrapped Up, and the box is beautiful as any present you might have had under your tree. So, without any further rambling from me, let's see what's hiding under that tissue paper!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sephora Sale on Sale

The hustle and bustle of Christmas may be over, but the season of sales has only just begun. If you were lucky enough to score a Sephora gift card, or maybe just want to treat yourself to a little beauty goodie regardless, now is the time to consider cashing in. For a limited time you can get an additional 20% off everything on the Sephora sale page using the code EXTRA20. There are tons of great things to be found, from palettes, to holiday kits, to little essentials. Some of these goodies are sure to get snagged up quickly, so I would jump on purchasing whatever calls to you. To get your started, here are some of my top picks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Makeup Tutorial

Is anyone else as jazzed about Christmas as I am? Aside from the cookies, presents, and general feelings of warmth and goodness, the holidays are also a time for super festive makeup looks. Today I've rummaged through my collection to put together a classic combination for your next holiday party - gold eyes, winged liner, and sassy red lip. This look is surprisingly easy to re-create, so come see how to do it yourself!

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 2015 Empties

Hello there everyone and happy Monday! It's time yet again to rummage through my beauty trash before it leaves my hands forever. I haven't filmed one of these videos in a few months so there was A LOT to talk about. There's some good stuff in here though (and a few duds you want to avoid), so grab yourself a cup of tea or hot cocoa, get comfy, and be prepared to here all the deets!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Self Made Palette Review

Dear Sephora, I love you, but you are such an enabler to my beauty addiction. Hearts, Lauren.

I had been eyeing this palette for weeks. Months, probably. Longing from afar to play with its rich, buttery shadows. All the while I resisted, knowing that I have more eyeshadow palettes than a girl needs in her lifetime. Alas, when my $20 VIB reward card showed up in my mailbox, all of my willpower magically vanished. And now that I have it in my hands, I'm even more in love than I could have expected. This eyeshadow palette is so. good.


If you're the kind of person who wants easy, neutral, no fuss makeup, this is probably an entirely unnecessary addition to your collection. However, if you enjoy playing with colors and textures, and appreciate the process of experimenting with different eye looks, this palette is basically a dream.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Nudestix #TooCute Mini Lip/Cheek Pencil Set

Is anyone else as baffled as me that Christmas is right around the corner? I'm still trying to brainstorm gift ideas for my dad (the most difficult man to shop for in the world) and have a pile of things to wrap, and just realized that I've got ONE WEEKEND left before the holidays are here. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I swear, when you are a kid the month of December lasts for an eon, but as an adult you blink and two weeks have evaporated. Fortunately, even though I personally may be riding the Holiday Strugglebus, my favorite beauty brands are seriously bringing their festive A-game this season. Which brings us to this lovely little gift set!

This year I got an early present from my new beauty bestie, Nudestix. As a little thank you for sharing the love this year (and because they are oh-so-sweet) they sent me this SUPER ADORABLE set of mini lip and cheek pencils. Earlier this year I totally fell in love with the Lip +  Cheek Pencil in Ripe that came in the Limited Edition Prestige Headliners Birchbox, and couldn't help but exclaim my feelings from my theoretical internet rooftop. Somehow, miraculously, Nudestix heard said profession and reached out to me. Honestly, that is perhaps one of the coolest things about blogging. Obviously I have a bit of a passion for beauty products, and I get really excited to share my thoughts (good, bad, or otherwise), and I think it's so amazing that through a blog you can reach people all over the globe and form friendships that would otherwise never have come into existence. To know that beauty brands out there can read my reviews and say, "Hey, thank you for sharing your thoughts!" still blows my mind sometimes.

Speaking of which, let's get back to these #TooCute lippies. I was kind of devastated to see that this Limited Edition holiday gift set is sold out online already (although your local Sephora may have some still in stock), however, you can still snag a full-sized pencil at any time. All Nudestix products come in a handy little tin, making them perfect stocking stuffers for any fellow beauty lover. So, rather than shed a tear over missed opportunities, let's swatch and play a little bit instead.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

November 2015 Birchbox

So, I sat down at my computer last night and thought to myself, "What do I feel like blogging about?" I've got a ton of ideas for content, many of which involve filming videos and creating fun new makeup looks. But I was tired, after having kind of a miserable day, and realized that what I really felt like writing about was my super amazing Birchbox from last month. As you may know, these past few months have been a little rough for me, and it's kind of thrown me off my blogging game. I decided that the best way to preserve my sanity was to give myself permission to break some of my self-imposed rules, even if that meant blogging less, or not creating the same content that I was used to making every month. That being said, Birchbox has always had a special place in my heart, and I do genuinely enjoy sharing my thoughts on my monthly box. As much as I would like for my reviews to go up in the appropriate month, I realized that I'm way happier to actually write these posts when I've had ample time to test and try everything. So as much as there is a part of me that feels bad putting this post up over a week later than I ideally "should", there is a much larger part of me that realizes it's okay to let it go.

So, with all the good vibes being channeled, let's get to the fun stuff!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette Review

When it comes to being a beauty blogger, perhaps the most difficult type of product to hold yourself back from splurging on is a gorgeous looking makeup palette. I mean, let's be real. Makeup palettes are flippin' pretty. Whether it be eyeshadows, face powders, or some combination of the two, there's nothing that makes a makeup junkie's heart sing like a sleek compact full of different colors and textures to play with. Realistically though, if you aren't a professional MUA, you've only got one face to work with on a day to day basis, and probably can't justify buying every pretty palette that you encounter. Do I own more than the average person would consider necessary? Yes. But as someone who makes it a hobby to test and review beauty products, I try to be pretty selective about the palettes I invest in.

Enter, the Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette. As crazy impossible as it may seem, I realized that my collection was completely lacking a full-face palette for travel. Sure, its a lot of fun to experiment and create new looks with that gorgeous 20 pan shadow palette, but it's not always the most practical when you're trying to pack a suitcase. On the other hand, this sleek little number has everything you need to create a beautiful everyday look, including 6 coordinated eyeshadow shades to play with. It strikes the perfect balance between variety and practicality, and would be a great little addition to any makeup collection (even one as ridiculous as mine).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Black Friday 2015 Beauty Deals!

Holy deals, Batman! It's time to bust out that credit card and get to shopping. Whether you're on the mission to find the perfect holiday gifts, or you're indulging in a bit of personal retail therapy, now is the time to snag some serious deals on your favorite beauty and fashion goodies. I'll be on the lookout for great new deals as I find them, and will make sure to update this page as often as I can! Some of these deals are only good through tomorrow, while others last until Monday, so I tried to include the valid dates for you as well. Either way, these deals won't be here for long, so you'll want to jump on your favorite ones ASAP! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and have a great weekend ahead. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Duochromatic Smokey Eye Makeup Tutorial

If you saw the haul video I posted recently to my YouTube channel, then you've already seen me rock this gorgeous duochrome eyeshadow look. I decided to pick up the Sephora Favorites Superstars Kit during the VIB sale earlier this month, and one of the first things I had to play with was the Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Lounge. It's one of the most unique eyeshadows I've ever gotten my hands on, with a green to purple duochromatic finish, and it is unbelievably gorgeous! It also gave me a little bit of inspiration to create another makeup tutorial. I thought it might be fun to try out some of the other products from the kit while I was at it, so I've also included a few little first impressions for you as well. So grab your cup of tea, snuggle up, and get ready to indulge in some makeup-y goodness!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Black Friday Preview

Black Friday is almost upon us, and while some may love the total insanity of shopping in stores, others of us may prefer to score a deal without ever having to leave our beds. As the week goes on more and more stores are releasing previews of the sales they're hosting, but for now I wanted to share a couple of exciting ones that have already begun!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday Preview: Palette Envy

When it comes to the holiday wish list of a makeup junkie, there's a good chance at least one palette will make the cut. This year there are some seriously enviable options to choose from, so much so that it may be hard to pick just one! To get you started, I've rounded up 9 of the most hyped face and eye palettes on the beauty scene as well as a few dark horses that I think could very well steal the show.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Skincare Week: A Full Face Routine for Under $100

As sad as it is to say, it's finally time to wrap up skincare week. I've chatted about a lot of products, as well as some thoughts on my own skincare journey, and I thought I would leave you all with this: taking great care of your skin doesn't have to cost a fortune. While there are a lot of amazing luxury skincare products on the market, creating an entire routine out of them can easily set you back hundreds of dollars. And let's be real, how many of us can justify that kind of spending? Yes, above all else I think your skin is worth investing in, and if you want to spend $60 on an anti-aging serum I'll be the last one to judge. But if you're living on a budget, those kinds of splurges may just not be feasible.

Fortunately, with a little bit of shopping savvy, you can still put together a kick ass skincare regimen without breaking the bank. I've honestly been blown away by some of the products I've seen in the aisles of Target and CVS and truly believe that cost is not always indicative of quality. And that's why I wanted to create today's post. For less than the cost of a single bottle of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, you can buy these 8 products, covering every single important skincare base from cleansing and moisturizing, to sun protection and dealing with the occasional pimple. And if that alone doesn't entice you, I also made it my mission to pick products that utilized high quality, natural ingredients and would be suitable for just about any skin type. Sounds too good to be true? Just you wait and see.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Skincare Week: Tips & Tricks Roundup

As much as I've learned many a thing about skincare from trial and error, I've also got to credit many a blog post I've stumbled across on Pinterest or Bloglovin' to my current repertoire of advice. Since I can only cover so many topics in a week, I thought it would be nice to spread the love and share some great articles I've found to help you up your skincare know-how!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Skincare Week: An Intro to Facial Oils

When it comes to skincare trends, face oils are currently having a bit of a moment. It seems like every other day there's a new nut or plant or tree that's being pressed into the latest and greatest luxury oil (although I'm sure the communities where they are coming from have been utilizing them already for years). As someone who within the last decade was terrified of anything with the word "oil" in it, embracing this skincare trend was another counterintuitive step towards getting my face in check. I'm definitely still in the process of learning what differentiates one oil from the next, and if there is such a thing as a "best" oil for my particular skin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Skincare Week: Masks & Peels for All Your Skin Concerns

Let's be real. Most of our lives are crazy busy. Whether you've got midterms to study for, kids running around, a 10 hour shift to work, or a social calendar with very little wiggle room, a lot of us understand the struggle to find a little me-time. And while the idea of heading off to the spa for a weekly facial might sound glorious, most of us don't have the time or money to indulge in that kind of fantasy. That being said, if you can find 10 minutes in your week to incorporate a face mask or peel into your bedtime skincare routine, both your brain and your body will seriously reap the benefits. Even with an awesome regime of cleansing and moisturizing, sometimes our skin needs a little extra boost of exfoliation, hydration, or nourishment to look and feel its best.

These face masks and peels are some of my personal favorites, and address a number of skin concerns, from dryness to dullness to congestion or hyperpigmentation. Most of them take less than 10 minutes to use and are surprisingly easy to make time for. As a quick aside, some of these masks and peels contain absolutely zero physical exfoliants, while others of them do. If you're currently suffering from active acne, I'd recommend steering clear of any kind of skincare product with physical exfoliants, as they can irritate blemishes and unintentionally spread bacteria, worsening the problem. A mask with a chemical exfoliant (AHAs, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, etc.) on the other hand, breaks down and removes dead skin and debris in a more gentle way. Just remember that prescription acne treatments can sensitize your skin, and if you're under the care of a dermatologist, you may want to check with them before adding any kind of product like this to your skincare routine!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Skincare Week: Rethink Your Cleansing Game

When it comes to skincare, perhaps the most basic and essential step is washing your face. We all know that dirt, grime, pollutants, and makeup build up on our skin throughout the day, and that letting them sit there (especially while we sleep) can lead to breakouts, congestion, and irritation. That being said, how you go about cleansing can do just as much harm as good. A lot cleansers on the market contain harsh, irritating ingredients that strip your skin of essential moisture and throw it out of balance.

My fellow oily and acne-proned people will understand this struggle, as so many cleansers geared towards our skin type are the worst offenders. If you've ever felt that "squeaky clean" feeling after you've finished washing your face, you know what I mean. Your face feels dry as the Sahara for a few hours, and then the oil returns with a vengeance. It's an endless cycle, perpetuated by tricksy marketing ploys. Oils are not your enemy! Especially if you have oily skin. Your face needs sebum to protect itself from the elements. Sure it can be annoying when you've got way more than is necessary, but your skin will never learn how to regulate itself better if you keep washing all of it away.

These 5 cleansers have completely changed the way I think about washing my face. You'll notice a few common threads between them. They're gentle, suitable for all skin types, and free of irritating ingredients. They're also primarily made of oils, butters, and other nourishing ingredients that might seem totally unsuitable for an oily skinned gal like myself. But since I've made the switch over to gentle, hydrating cleansers, my skin has only been transformed for the better. I've got less breakouts, less congestion, and my skin generally gets less oily throughout the day. Each one of these formulas has its own unique benefits, while still being friendly to any skin type. Hopefully at least one of them piques your curiosity!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Skincare Week Starts Today!

Well hello there friend! I hope your Sunday is off to a lovely start. For some reason my brain was in denial about the fact that it was still the weekend this morning. Why I was convinced it was Monday I have no idea, but fortunately it is not (although I seriously just had to look at the calendar again for reassurance). The fact that it is indeed Sunday also means that it's the start of Skincare Week here on my blog! As much as I love makeup (and oh...oh I do), I've gotten really into skincare in the past year and have been making a huge effort to try and find (and stick to) a regime that works for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

LUSH-Tastic Bath Haul

Friends. Have you SEEN all of the new bath time launches at LUSH?! Maybe it's just me being a diehard Lushie/bath enthusiast, but honestly these new bath bombs and bubble bars are truly a spectacle to behold. Between holiday themed wonders, and extra colorful and imaginative additions to their permanent collection, there was no keeping me away from my local LUSH shop. While it was incredibly hard to choose, I ended up taking home these six lovely bath goodies, all of which I've never tried before.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Beauty Blogger Burnout

So you guys may have notice that I've been mysteriously absent in the past couple of weeks. I've been feeling crazy guilty about it, which in and of itself has also been bothering me. Every so often I think I go through a bout of beauty blogger burnout. I think we all go through phases where we need to escape or change up our routine, but perhaps on different intervals. Maybe it takes a year, or six months, or maybe you're on extra crazy mode and have been feeling out of sorts every couple of weeks. Ultimately my point is that we're all human, and we all get overwhelmed. For me I think it just took one week of getting out of the groove, and I've been having a really hard time getting back into it. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Get a Taste of Locally Made Goodness with Hammock Pack

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been MIA this past week. I've been a bit under the weather and really stressed at work so I decided to take a little me-time away from my computer to decompress. There was a lot of reading, napping, and cooking of comfort foods, as well as bit of good ol' Netflix binging. Now that I've had a bit of a breather I'm feeling refreshed and ready to get back to chatting beauty and other fun things with you all.

Speaking of which, how much fun is this box of Philly-themed goodies? I was recently contacted by one of the lovely people over at up-and-coming subscription service Hammock Pack and asked if I would like to check out one of their boxes and offer some feedback. As someone who totally appreciates local and handmade goods I was completely on board, and am really excited to share what I think with you guys.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

New York Never Sleeps: October 2015 Julep Maven Box

Hello there, friends! It's about that time in the month where my nail polish collection grows ever (and ever unnecessarily) larger. That's right, my Julep Maven box is here once again, with a few hand picked goodies carefully tucked inside its happy purple facade. In keeping with the cities around the world theme that Julep has taken on this year, October's collection is aptly named "New York Never Sleeps". With lots of bold metallics and glamorous glittering polishes, this month's collection definitely channels the edgy attitude that the Big Apple is known for. On the makeup end, Julep has also launched brand new eyeshadow sticks and a reformulated powder blush this month. Basically, lots of exciting things are happening in the Julep world! Let's take a closer look.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Limited Edition Everyday Glamour Birchbox Review

As the weather is getting colder and the nights are getting longer, its the perfect time of year for a little beauty pick-me-up. Fortunately Birchbox is one step ahead of the game and has curated another amazing Limited Edition box full of glamorous goodies to restore and pamper you on any day of the week. From a hydrating serum, to a luxurious body oil, to a perfect fall mani polish, to a restorative sheet mask there's loads of amazing products packed inside each box. Naturally, I couldn't resist cashing in my Birchbox points to treat myself to this awesome collection, and am finally here to give you guys an in-depth look at each of the products. So let's take the lid off the Limited Edition Everyday Glamour Birchbox and see exactly what's inside!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Holiday 2015 Preview: Gift Sets Galore

Is it just me, or do stores release their holiday goodies earlier and earlier every year? Maybe it seems a little crazy, what with it not even being Halloween yet, but at the same time, we all know that the 3 month stretch leading up to the Holiday season basically flies by. So what does it hurt to start making that wish list early? Or to get a head start on your gift shopping? We're all friends here. You know I won't judge! From skincare, to makeup, to beautiful brushes, the beauty world has really amped things up for the 2015 holiday season, and there are a TON of amazing gift sets to give or to get. To help you narrow down the sea of choices, here are a few of my top picks!

Monday, October 12, 2015

MUA Professional Smokey Eye Shadow Palette Review & Tutorial

Happy Monday, friends! I don't know about you, but my weekend went by insanely fast. I had a ton of blog related work to catch up on, as well as stuff to do around the house, and somehow that combination of activities basically created a time vacuum where you can blink and 6 hours have gone by. Such is the story of my life. Anyway, after all my hard work I've got a ton of awesome posts planned to share with you guys that will hopefully go up over the course of the week.

To kick things off I've got this sexy little number to tell you about. Now, I have to admit that my impression of Makeup Academy as a brand wasn't so great prior to my purchasing this palette. I had only ever tried one product from their entire range (a makeup brush), and it sucked so hard that I just didn't have all that much of a desire to try anything else. Alas, Tati and her magical powers of persuasion got me to give them a second chance after she raved about their eyeshadow palettes. From what I can tell, there are three different varieties to choose from - a Nude Palette, a Metallic Palette, and this little beauty, the Smokey Palette. I knew I didn't really need another palette of nude shades, and the metallic palette, while pretty, had a lot of colors I probably wouldn't wear often. This one, however, found a perfect middle ground (a very Goldilocks-esque situation, I realize).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Treat Yourself to All Natural Luxury With Tokyo Factory

I've been having a bit of a moment lately with all natural beauty products. Crafted with pure, simple, powerful ingredients and no artificial nastiness, green beauty is kind of a no-brainer. Now, I haven't made the transition to being 100% green, but when given the option I definitely find myself leaning towards the natural or organic option. One of my latest all-natural beauty discoveries is Tokyo Factory. This LA-based company handcrafts gorgeous, artisan soaps, skincare, and candles that are not only all-natural, but also vegan and cruelty-free.

I was clued into this amazing brand by Oly Shamrik over at TLV Birdie Blog, which has quickly become my go-to source for green beauty reviews. Oly's aesthetic is blow-your-mind gorgeous, and her posts are informative and lovely to read. If you've got a spare minute I highly recommend heading over to her site and taking a look around, although you may find it easy to totally get sucked in and lose track of time! TLV Birdie also hosts a number of really incredible giveaways, which is also how this post came to be. I wouldn't call myself a particularly lucky person, so when I found out that I was the winner of this amazing bundle of Tokyo Factory goodies I was completely shocked and overjoyed. After having a good month or so to test and play with everything I'm really excited to share my thoughts with you all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

YSL Rouge Pur Couture VoxBox*


I've got expensive tastes.

Now, I'm not one to name drop, nor would I ever buy something just for sake of flaunting how much money I spent. I just appreciate quality when I see it, and often (but not always) the nicer something is, the more it will cost you. As my father often says "someone could take the price tags off of everything and you'd still pick out the most expensive thing in the store". It's probably about as close to a super power as I'm ever going to get.

Despite my affinity towards nice things, I'm also your normal working lady on a budget. Splurge purchases are not something to be made every day, and I've got to pick and choose carefully when spending my hard earned cash. While a lot of quality products cost a little bit more, dollar signs are not directly proportional to awesomeness, as I'm sure many of us have learned by spending way too much money on something that was overly hyped.

But that's one of the reasons I love blogging so much. Not only do I get to help other people steer clear of the stuff that disappoints or clue them into hidden gems, but I also have an amazing network of blogger friends and brands that do the same for me in return. One really awesome website that anyone can work with is Influenster. They team up with brands to help them find the right consumers to test out their products. That means you get to try awesome stuff for free in exchange for providing your honest feedback on the web or through social media.

In the past year I've gotten to participate in a number of cool campaigns, but this one might just be my favorite to date. I've been oggling Yves Saint Laurent's lip products from afar for years. They look so incredibly beautiful, but the sticker shock has always been too much for me to get over. Needless to say I just about fell out of my chair when I saw that Influenster was sending me two YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipsticks to try. With a retail price of $36 a pop, these babies are definitely in the splurge category for me, and I am SO thrilled to finally be able to try them out and let you know whether or not they're worth the hype (and your dolla dolla bills, y'all).

Sunday, October 4, 2015

5 Minute Makeup Tutorial

Happy Sunday, all! I am cozied up at home with my cup of coffee, starting my day off being a little bit productive. It's been a cold, rainy, generally gross week, but finally the sun is shining again and I am ready to actually enjoy a little bit of fall. I'd love to go out and get a couple of pumpkins for my front stoop, maybe even bust out the Halloween decorations. It's October people, time to embrace all things festive!

On a day like today when I'm either going to be out and about running errands or relaxing at home, I like to take a break from full-face makeup. All I want is to look polished and put together without having to expend a whole lot of time and energy getting ready. In the spirit of having a little bit of fun, I thought I'd put my skills to the test and see if I could come up with a makeup look to share with you guys that you can do in five minutes or less.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Brows on Fleek: Nudestix Brow Stylus & Brow Wax Reviews*

Sorry vampy lips, there's another fall makeup trend that's seriously stealing the spotlight. Whether they're ultra defined or soft and natural, anything brows is so hot right now (Mugatu, anyone?). From pomades, to gels, to powders and pencils, the beauty scene is currently overflowing with products to help you get those #browsonfleek. Wanting in on the action, up-and-coming brand Nudestix recently launched their own badass brow products to add to the mix. There's the Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel, which ingeniously pairs a defining pencil and setting gel in one sleek stick and the Brow Wax pencil to help tame even the most unruly of brows. As someone who loves all things brows and all things Nudestix, when they asked if I'd like to give them a try my response was an incredibly enthusiastic yes. I've had my hands on these bad boys for a few weeks now, and can't wait to share my thoughts on them with you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

September 2015 Flashback

It's hard to believe it's time for another monthly recap! I'm not going to lie, I always look forward to October. It's the return of everything pumpkin, the leaves start changing, Halloween is around the corner. It's basically a good month to be a New Englander. But before I get ahead of myself, let's take a look back at all of the fun happenings here at Little Blushing Birdie from the last month!

September 2015 Glambag

In keeping with tradition, I once again am wrapping up my monthly subscriptions with my Ipsy Glambag review. I feel like I always get my bag sort of late in the month and am scrambling to try everything out before the next one has begun. Alas, here it is October already and I'm just getting around to writing my review. Perhaps I should be a little more zen and accept that this just the way it's going to go, but my ultimate goal is to have all of my stuff reviewed in the month I get it. Is this just a me thing, or do my fellow beauty bloggers also understand the struggle?

Putting my lack of timeliness aside, let's jump into the goodies from this month's bag. September's theme was Face Fashion, no doubt inspired by New York Fashion Week and all of the buzz around next year's spring trends. I'm not sure how fashion forward any of the products I got were, but the bag they came in was definitely super cute. Let's take a closer look!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 2015 Empties

September was apparently a majorly productive month for me, because I've got a TON of empties to share. I've got a little bit of everything - from makeup, to skincare, to hair, even to tea and candles. There were definitely some hits, and also some misses, and I've got no shortage of opinions on either. Since I had SO many things to talk about, I thought it might be fun to film another video for you guys instead of writing up an epic-ly long post. So get cozy, grab yourself a snack, and get ready for some serious beauty ramblings!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wantable Accessories September 2015

Oh Wantable. You basically make my life.

I'm so smitten with this month's box it's kind of unreal. From the moment I opened the package I'm pretty sure my eyes turned into hearts. With a mix of delicate and chunky pieces, elegant and glam styling, everything inside is so incredibly me. I do make it a point to review all of the pieces I get each month, and over time I think my stylists have really honed in on my personal tastes. I haven't included any kind of special message to my stylist either, so this was entirely based on my profile and what I've liked before. So, without any further rambling, let's take a look at each piece up close.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 2015 Favorites

Holy is it the end of September already?! I feel like I say this every time I'm writing up my monthly favorites post, but man, it seriously feels like August was yesterday. It's been a busy month for me both blog and life wise, which is probably why time just seems to evaporate. In addition to trying a whole bunch of new amazing products, I've also been working hard to get my YouTube channel off the ground. As much as I really enjoy writing and photographing posts to share with you guys, I think videos lend themselves really well to things like tutorials. It's so much easier to actually demonstrate how to contour or blend out an eyeshadow than to try to describe it in writing. If you haven't seen it yet, I posted a fall inspired makeup tutorial last week that you might want to check out as well as an unboxing video of a YSL VoxBox that I just received.

Anyway, on to the real reason you're here! There are so many good products to share this month it's hard to know where to begin. Trying to pick and choose what to show you out of what I've been using was no easy feat, although I think I managed all right. Let's dive on in, shall we?

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 2015 Birchbox

It's Birchbox's 5th Birthday, and there's serious cause to celebrate! This month Birchbox is all about saying thank you to its subscribers for being a part of their awesome journey. From creating a gorgeous box design inspired from the pinboards of three subscribers ('re beautiful too, Birchbox!), to a 20% off discount code for all subscribers to use in the shop, to the return of Customer Appreciation Day, Birchbox really knows how to treat its customers well. As much as the samples I get each month are great on their own, it's really the whole Birchbox philosophy that makes me glad I'm a subscriber (which I raved about here, in case you'd like to learn a little more). Speaking of samples, I'm absolutely in love with my box this month, both inside and out, and can't wait to share it with you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Inspired Makeup Tutorial

Despite the fact that everything pumpkin has already exploded everywhere, it is finally, offically, TRULY fall! As much as I may poke fun at Pumpkin Spice Lattes (Dunkin' Pumpkin Swirl fo life!) I do thoroughly enjoy all of the warm, spicy, delicious flavors and scents of this time of year. 

Know what else I love?

Fall makeup.

Berry lips. Golden hues. What's not to love? Fall colors are so rich and beautiful that I totally felt inspired to create a makeup look to share with you guys. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself by going full-on thanksgiving mode with a gold and cranberry toned eye, and a deep wine colored lip, know. Sometimes you gotta go big or go home. Since I think it's way easier to show you guys how everything works rather than just tell you about it, I even filmed a video (oh snap)! So come, grab your pumpkin chai, cozy up under that big o'l blanket, and see how you can recreate this super snazzy fall inspired makeup look.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New In: Drugstore Lippies

Guys...I've gone a little crazy with the lip products lately. Switching up your lip color is one of the easiest way to pump new life into your beauty routine, and what better place to snag a new shade than the budget-friendly aisles of the drugstore? There were a few products in particular I've heard fellow bloggers rave about that I really wanted to try for myself, so I rounded up my Extrabucks and my coupons and ended up with this little collection of lippies. I've had a few weeks to swatch, play, and test these bad boys out, and am finally ready to give you all a verdict!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cozy As Can Be: The David's Tea Fall 2015 Collection

When I think about the seasons, I'm definitely a summer baby. I love the heat, the long, sunny days, taking trips to the beach, eating ice cream. However, I'll also be the first to admit that there's nothing quite like fall in New England. The changing leaves, the cool, crisp weather, pumpkin flavored everything. And as much as I hate being cold, it also means that I can snuggle up under a big blanket with a delicious cup of tea. Now, I drink tea pretty much year round, but the flavors of fall are quite possibly my favorite. From sweet and spicy, to rich and nutty, everything about them just screams cozy. Which perhaps was the inspiration behind the David's Tea Fall Collection ($25). This set contains 5 of their 8 Limited Edition fall teas and is wrapped up in a package so adorable it's almost impossible not to want to take it home.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Maple Holistics Lavender Hybrid Bath Soak and Vitamin C Serum Reviews*

It's amazing how much junk we're tempted to put into our bodies on a day to day basis. Processed foods, sugary drinks, artificial dyes and flavorings - they're everywhere you turn (and sometimes in incredibly sneaky places). Take your beauty products, for example. If you were to reach into your bathroom cabinet and grab out of bottle, how likely would it be that the ingredients list on the back would be full of fillers and chemicals that you can't pronounce? Now, I'm not one to judge, as I too have tried my fair share of non-natural beauty products. However I find myself getting the most excited about the ones that are full of essential oils, plant butters, and other vitamin and nutrient rich ingredients that I know I can feel good about using.

Which of course is why I enthusiastically accepted Maple Holistics offer to let me try out a few of their products. Using the finest natural ingredients possible, their products are formulated to provide a number of therapeutic benefits for your body from head to toe. As an avid bath lover, I had to give their Lavender Hybrid Salts a try, and their Vitamin C Serum sounded delightful. I've been using them both for a few weeks now and have totally fallen in love!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 2015 Julep Maven Box

Happy Sunday, friends! It's a bit of a gray, cloudy day in my neck of the woods, which makes me want to cozy up at home and spend a bit of time pampering myself. One of my favorite lazy day activities is giving myself a manicure, and what better time than right after my Julep Maven box has arrived! Continuing with the trend of finding inspiration from cities around the world, September's theme is Kisses From London. I have a special place in my heart for UK beauty bloggers, who were some of the first that I ever started following and are sort of responsible for sucking me into this whole blogging scene. I'd never been one with wanderlust, but after spending so much time watching the videos of these lovely girls overseas I've found myself totally dying to walk the streets of London (and have myself a massive beauty haul while I'm there). This collection boosts beautiful, moody hues that totally capture the feel of what I've seen and heard about the city, and it was really hard to just pick a few shades for my box.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mini Ulta Haul

Who loves sale shopping? Lauren loves sale shopping. Is it true? Mhmmm. I do I do I do-ooo.

I don't get over to Ulta all that often because it's a little out of the way for me in my day-to-day wanderings, but last weekend I found myself in the area and couldn't resist poking around. If you've never been to an Ulta, it's basically like a beauty wonderland (complete with its own salon and a Benefit Brow Bar). Drugstore makeup, prestige makeup, hair styling tools, bath, body, name it, you'll find it. Aside from the awesome selection, Ulta also always has coupons, special offers, and sweet gifts with purchase available to give you the most bang for your buck.

As I was shopping around I noticed that there were a TON of amazing sets for purchase, and it took a whole lot of will power not to buy any. It was also the very start of the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale, which means every day for three weeks a different product will be on crazy discount for you to purchase. I'm thinking I might just have to do a "What's Hot at Ulta" shopping guide kind of post just to share with you guys all the amazing stuff that's available right now.

In the meantime, let me show you what I DID actually buy. I'm quite proud of myself for keeping my haul down to these four little goodies, and for only spending $17! That means I basically got everything here at a 50% discount (woop woop!). Let's take a closer look.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tarte Airblush Maracuja Blush & Glamazon Lipstick Reviews

Good morning everyone! Today is my Friday (hooray!) and I wanted to kick off the day with some happy makeup-related vibes. A few weeks ago I posted about the crazy, gigantic Sephora End of Summer Sale along with some of my recommendations of products to snag. While I pretty much wanted to buy everything, I decided to reel it in a little and only add this lovely pair of products from Tarte to my shopping cart. For those of you who may not be familiar with the awesomeness that is the Tarte brand, they create cruelty-free, ingredient-conscious beauty products that offer serious performance without lots of junk and fillers. From their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes to the ever popular Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, Tarte has a number of well loved products in the beauty community. Did these beauties follow suit? Come find out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sephora Favorites Brow Wardrobe Review

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you're slapping on a full face of makeup, DON'T neglect your eyebrows. Heck, even if you're going for a super low maintenance makeup look, giving your brows a little bit of attention makes a world of difference. A strong, clean brow really pulls together any look, and balances out all of your other features. Fortunately the beauty industry has really gotten behind the whole brow trend. There are TONS of amazing options to shape, define, and groom to your hearts content. The downside? It can also be totally overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

Before you panic from product overload, there is an answer. The awesome folks at Sephora have rounded up some of the best of the best from the brow world in their newest favorites kit. The Sephora Favorites Brow Raising Brow Wardrobe has basically got everything you need to take your brows from blah to badass in a single box.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Get a Perfect Flush with the Milani Limited Edition Rose Powder Blush

Guys, I have a problem. I have a serious weakness for blush. This is probably not shocking news, what with my writing a blog called Little Blushing Birdie, but I digress. It's just so darn lovely, and there are so many beautiful shades and formulas out there that I just can't stop trying new ones. One of my most recent purchases was this gorgeous Milani Limited Edition Rose Powder Blush in the shade Blossomtime Rose. I've been eyeing the Rose Powder Blushes for some time now, but since they're a permanent part of the Milani collection I'd kept myself from pulling the trigger. And then of course I saw the display of three new Limited Edition shades while I was at CVS, and with the added pressure of sales and coupons I cracked. I mean, who could resist taking home such a beaut as this when it was essentially free? It'd almost be a crime not to!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

BH Cosmetics Sculpt and Blend Brush Set Review

BH Cosmetics Sculpt & Blend Brush Set
*Affiliate Links used

Highlighting, contouring, strobing...oh my!

In the past year or two it seems like the beauty industry has exploded with products geared towards sculpting and defining your face. It's not that the techniques are new. Makeup Artists everywhere have been contouring and highlighting for years. But as celebs share their secrets for why their cheekbones look so flippin' amazing, the demand for products that can help you achieve the look has seemingly gone through the roof.

Full-on highlighting and contouring a la Kim Kardashian is probably not necessary for the everyday. However, incorporating a toned down version of these techniques can really make an amazing difference in your overall makeup look. It's a lot easier than you might think, especially when you have the right tools in hand. Which, of course, brings us to the topic of today's post. When I stumbled upon the BH Cosmetics Sculpt and Blend - 10 Piece Brush Set I just knew I had to take it home with me. With ten brushes specifically designed for precision application of powders, creams, and blushes, it's the perfect way unleash your inner makeup artist. Not only are these brushes beautiful, but they're also an incredible value! Come find out why.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

August 2015 Flashback

Who else is crazy excited that labor day weekend is finally here?! I don't know about you, but a three day weekend feels SO necessary after this past week. I've spent the first hour of my day so far snuggled up on the couch with my cup of coffee catching up on a bit of blogging work and it feels glorious. I love Saturday mornings on any given week, but knowing that I have three whole days of freedom ahead of me makes it even better.

So, to kick things off I thought I'd share this slightly overdue roundup of August blogging highlights. I hit a really productive streak mid month and was able to churn out so many posts that I had been wanting to write. It felt really good to be able to actually focus on blogging for a bit and made me wish I had that kind of time all of the time! So without more of my rambling, here's a look back at some of the happenings at Little Blushing Birdie from last month.

Friday, September 4, 2015

August 2015 Favorites

Hey friends! I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited to share last month's collection of favorites with you. I feel like I had SUCH a good month beauty-wise and really fell in love with a multitude of different things. Narrowing down the list to something that wouldn't make for an epic-ly long blog post was pretty challenging, but I think I've done all right. From makeup, to skincare, to some body bedazzlement, I think I've managed to cover all the major beauty bases. Come take a look!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August 2015 Ipsy Glambag

As per the usual, it's time to round up the last of this month's subscription reviews with my Ipsy Glambag. This month's theme was "prep school" which has me nostalgic for my college days and all the hustle and bustle of an impending new semester. I certainly don't miss the stress of exams and essays, but the opportunity to try and learn and explore is something I don't think I fully appreciated way back when. So before I go off on a wistful tangent, lets get back to beauty. I think Ipsy always does a pretty great job of finding products that fit with their theme, as these beauty staples would all be perfect for getting in that back-to-school mindset. Let's take a closer look!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 2015 Empties

Hi everyone! Somehow it's already the end of August, and I'm struggling to figure out how exactly that happened. Fortunately there are a few weeks of summer left, because I'm so not ready to say goodbye to the warm weather. In the meantime, let's take a look back at some of the products I finally finished up in the last month. As much as its sad to reach the bottom of the jar when a product is awesome, there's also a definite sense of accomplishment around it. This time around I feel like I made some headway in the bath and body department, which is good considering how much of a stockpile I feel like I've amassed at home.