Sunday, January 31, 2016

Little Blushing Birdie Has a YouTube Channel!

Hey friends! I hope you all are thoroughly enjoying your weekends. So far mine has had a pretty nice balance of work and play. I've been doing a lot of filming and editing, with plenty of relaxation and lazy goodness thrown into the mix. Today looks like it'll be much of the same, with a couple of blog posts to work on and movie night with my friends to look forward to. And as I was sitting here, drinking my coffee and working on my January Birchbox post (which I'm terribly late at getting up), I had a bit of a realization. I know I've mentioned here and there in my posts that I've revived my YouTube channel, but I never made a formal announcement about it. So there is a good possibility that some of you may not even know that I've been posting other content elsewhere on the interwebs.

*dramatic gasp!*

I know what you're thinking. "Why have you been holding out on us, Lauren!?" Quite frankly, I have no idea. I certainly don't want you guys to miss out on any of the other reviews and tutorials I've been posting. So, before too many months go on without my officially saying so, I wanted to announce to you all,


Monday, January 25, 2016

Disappointing Products, Part II

Consider today's post a PSA to the beauty world. For the past year I've been putting aside products that for one reason or another were a let down to me. From wonky formulas to lackluster pigmentation, there are many a reason a product can disappoint, and it's really frustrating to waste your money on something that you just don't enjoy using. Hating on beauty products is not something I like to do, but sharing my true feelings is important to not only keep me honest, but to also help steer you all in the right direction. Cause let's be real, we work hard for our cash money, and if we're going to spend it on a new mascara it better not give us raccoon eyes!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara Review *

When it comes to makeup products I use on the daily, mascara is always near the top of the list. Even if I feel like doing the bare minimum, a few coats of mascara always make me feel a little bit more pulled together. That being said, I'm pretty ruthless about the types of mascaras I'll use. I want something that will give me blacker than black, pumped up lashes that isn't going to flake, smudge, or make me look like a raccoon at the end of the day. And with my stockpile of products to test and try, if a formula doesn't deliver, I'm not going to waste my time with it.

Up until the last month or so I'd gone back to using my trusty Maybelline Lash Sensational, which you all are probably sick of me talking about at this point (it's just so good, forgive me). And then I got some amazing news. Influenster was going to be sending me the Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara to test out! I'd never tried a Marc Jacobs product before, although I've made googley eyes at their displays for quite some time now, and what better place to start than with one of my most tested beauty staples? I had high hopes and high standards for this mascara to live up to, and had my fingers crossed that it would be every bit as amazing as it sounded.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tools of the Trade: My Favorite Makeup Brushes

As someone who's played with A LOT of makeup from all different price points, I've learned a bit of a valuable lesson when it comes to putting your best face forward. Whether your eyeshadow costs $3 or $30, if you're using a junk brush to apply it, the end result is bound to disappoint you. Show of hands, how many of you have bought a pretty eyeshadow compact from the drugstore and used the little sponge tipped applicator inside to put it on? And how many of you were ready to swear off makeup when you ended up looking like a streaky, unblended mess? I am here to tell you - it's not your fault! The game was rigged before you even got started.

The truth of makeup is that a great formula is only half the battle. You need a few awesome tools at your disposal to get the most out of your product. Whether you're talking foundation, blush, or shadow, the right brush can make a HUGE difference in application and finish and take your makeup game to a whole new level. And, just like the makeup you're putting on, great brushes don't have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are tons of budget friendly options in the market, some of which I even prefer to ones that cost ten times the price!

Which brings us to why you're here today. I'm sharing my favorite brushes, from $3 miracles to super luxe finds from Sephora. Whether you're just starting out your brush collection, or are one of those there-is-no-such-thing-as-too-many-brushes beauty addicts, hopefully you'll find these recommendations helpful!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Colourpop Forever Freshman Super Shock Shadow Collection

When it comes to cult beauty, I feel like I'm totally slacking by beauty blogger standards. There are so many brands I hear great things about on the daily, and for one reason or another haven't got around to trying yet (I still don't own a single MAC product. Not a one. *Sigh*). That's not to say that I haven't put my fair share of products to the test, cause let's be real, my collection is sort of ridiculous. But for the most part I stick to my same old drugstore brands and reliable Sephora and Ulta favorites. In 2016, though, I'm ready to branch out, to put some beauty blogger cult favorites to the test and finally understand what the hype is all about.

My first endeavor of the year was to get acquainted with the super trendy, often cheeky, and ultra-affordable LA-based brand Colourpop. As their name would suggest, Colourpop is primarily focused on color cosmetics, so you won't be finding any foundations or concealers amidst their offerings. However, if you want a badass lip color, or an intense metallic shadow, your options will be plentiful. They've done some awesome blogger collabs (including KathleenLights, who I think is just THE most adorable) and are known for putting out amazing quality products at drugstore prices.

As much as I wanted to place a massive order and just try everything, I decided to be a little bit more reasonable and narrow things down to a single collection. Of all the Colourpop products I'd heard about, their Super Shock Shadows really piqued my interest. The formula is super unique, and the pigmentation in every swatch I saw was unreal. And thus, I ultimately decided to order the Colourpop Forever Freshman Collection, a set of 6 gorgeous shadows in a range of matte and metallic finishes. With everything I'd heard I knew the bar would be set high when they finally arrived at my doorstep. And oh.

Oh they did not disappoint.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New in: Drugstore Beauty for Winter & Spring 2016

Guys, the temptation to haul drugstore beauty right now is real. Have you seen how many amazing new launches hit the shelves for the new year? From on-trend makeup to rival hyped high-end brands, to all-natural skincare goodies to make any green beauty lover swoon, there's something for pretty much everyone to get excited about. I'm not gonna lie, I've already picked up a few things that I just couldn't resist trying out for myself, but there so much more out there I'm dying to get my hands on. Here's just a few of the latest products to appear in the drugstore this season that I think are worth checking out!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NYX Prismatic Shadow Review

Eyeshadow. It's the one product that I can never seem to get enough of. Really though. The colors, the textures, all of the possibilities for creating beautiful makeup looks. What's not to love? Unfortunately, finding quality powder shadows at a reasonable price is not always an easy task. Sure, there are countless amazing palettes on the shelves at Sephora, but sometimes a girl needs to stick to a budget. Needless to say, when I discover a truly fantastic eyeshadow at the drugstore I want to shout from the rooftops


If you haven't already guessed where I'm going with all of this, today's review is on a product that I cannot say enough good things about. The pigmentation is crazy, the finish is amazing, the texture is creamy and buttery soft. And it is only $6.


So what is this miraculous pot of metallic wonderment? None other than the NYX Prismatic Shadow.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Best of 2015 Beauty: Skincare, Hair, Nails and More

And we're back with part two of my favorite beauty products of 2015! Today we're going to chat about all things non-makeup related - from haircare to skincare, to perfume and nail polish. Throughout the year I tried A LOT of makeup, so I could very comfortably pick a favorite from each product type, but when it comes to skincare and such I tend to experiment a little less. So, rather than try and come up with a favorite for each category (best hairspray, best serum, etc.) I just decided to round up my absolute best discoveries from the last year. Perhaps some of these products will have your mutual love, or maybe you'll find something new to try in 2016!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Best of 2015 Beauty: My Makeup Picks

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe, but 2016 is already here. It's amazing how quickly 12 months can fly by and all of a sudden its January again. While 2015 was a relatively low key year for me in my personal life, I feel like it was pretty exciting for me blog-wise. I started out my first affiliate partnerships, revamped my YouTube channel, worked with some great brands, and tried SO. MANY. PRODUCTS. I wrote 171 posts (that's more than the two previous years combined!), totally revamped my site design, and have finally started to figure out this whole social media thing. In the end, blogging is definitely a labor of love, but I couldn't be happier about investing my time and energy into creating this space that I can share with all of you. I've got so many plans and goals for the coming year, and hope that you'll all be up for joining me on that journey.

But, before we get to ahead of ourselves, I want to give 2015 a proper send off. I've spent the last few weeks rifling through my cabinets, digging through my drawers, and perusing my old blog posts to come up with an epic list of my most favorite beauty products from the past year. For a moment I considered making one short list encompassing my best-of-the-best products, only to quickly realize that it's kind of impossible to just pick one favorite makeup or skincare item from the hundreds that I've tried. So instead, I offer you this. Over the next few days I'll be sharing my best beauty discoveries of 2015, with each post focusing on a particular group of products. So let's start things right by talking about everyone's favorite beauty addiction - makeup.