Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lazy-girl Approved Products from Eva NYC

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. As a person who gets up every day at 6 am and still has minimal time to get myself together before work, I love that I can do the bare minimum and still have it look all right. Most days I'll just comb it out with some leave-in conditioner, throw in a little sea salt spray, and let it air dry. I know that if I put in 20 minutes of effort with a blow dryer and a round brush I could give my style a little oomph, but most days I am supremely lazy before the sun comes up.

While my hair certainly fits my low-maintenance lifestyle, it seems to be even lazier than I am. It's the friend that doesn't want to take their sweatpants off and get dressed when everyone is going out on Friday night. It refuses to hold any kind of a curl, slips out of braids, and falls flat after an hour. Forget the party, my hair just wants to Netflix and chill 24/7. Every time I see a picture of a girl with long hair styled into big, beautiful curls I just want to yell at my head, "can't you just...try? Just a little?"

The struggle is real, guys. The struggle is real.

In the end, I'm always on the hunt for hair products that strike a happy medium for me - something that will help my hair look great while still being realistic for my hectic, ain't-no-body-got-time-for-that lifestyle. Recently I got sent a package of goodies from Eva NYC to try out, and I'm happy to report they're right up my no-fuss alley. I've sampled a few products from this brand through Ipsy before, but this is the first time I'm giving their brand a proper review. So if you're on the hunt for some great, lazy-girl friendly hair products, keep on reading!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Whimsical Blue Fairy

Are you ready for Halloween? CAUSE I'M SO READY FOR HALLOWEEN!

It's been a long time since I've really busted out my makeup skills for a Halloween look (holla back to this deer look I created when I first started my blog), and with so many amazing bloggers and MUAs going ham this year, I decided I wanted in on the action! It's probably no surprise that super creepy and/or gory costumes are not really my jam, although I totally respect the amazing artistry that goes into them. I've just always been a girly girl. Maybe I've been spending too much time Snapchatting with the butterfly crown filter, but my almost immediate instinct was that I needed to be a fairy.

I lucked out big time by finding this prom dress for $10 at a local consignment shop, and then scouted out a wig and wings at a Halloween store. When it came to makeup I was totally inspired by my new Kat Von D MetalMatte Eyeshadow Palette, which had the perfect shades for my blue fairy transformation. I had way too much fun filming this tutorial, and I think the end look I came up with is whimsical without being OTT. Hopefully it'll give you a little inspiration for your own Halloween look!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shop the Stash: Brows

Has anyone else noticed that I am SUPER overdue for my next installment of Shop the Stash?! I've been a little bit distracted with all the new goodies I took home from Gen Beauty (can you blame me?), which means my quest for rediscovery got temporarily put on pause. But now that I've had plenty of time to play I'm ready to get back to business!

For those of you who might have missed out on my first couple of posts from this series, we're going through my makeup stash one category at a time in the hopes of rediscovering amazing products I've been neglecting. As we "shop the stash" I'll be giving you mini reviews of each product and tips on how I like to use them. So far we've covered my collection of eye primers, concealers, and bronzers, and today we're going to be chatting all things brow-related!

For the longest time I never considered eyebrows a necessary step of my makeup routine, but now I feel naked if I leave the house without them done! As a result I've ended up with quite an arsenal of products to fill, define, and highlight those bad boys. So let's take a look at everything and see which of these brow goodies are my absolute faves!

Monday, October 17, 2016

500 Subscriber Giveaway!

Are you guys ready to do a happy dance? 'Cause I'm ready to do a happy dance.

I finally hit the 500 subscriber mark over on my YouTube channel! My YouTube journey thus far has been quite the learning process. Even though I've been blogging here for years, I only started posting videos to my channel at the end of last summer. I had no lighting, no backdrop, no editing software, and pretty much no idea of what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to be able to bring some of my content to life, and to give you guys a chance to get to know the face behind the makeup.

Over the course of the last year I feel like my videos have come a long way (those first ones...those first ones are pretty rough). I've worked my butt off trying to learn from my mistakes, and am always pushing myself to make every video just a teeny bit better than the last.

So yes, 500 may seem like a comparatively tiny number, but to me that's 500 more people that are supporting me doing something I love than I had a year ago. And I think that's flippin amazing. I really can't thank you guys enough for all the love that you've given me here and on my channel, but as a small gesture of appreciation, I want to give you all a chance to win some sweet beauty loot!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kat Von D Beauty MetalMatte Eyeshadow Palette Review

With the holidays fast approaching, the beauty world has completely exploded with exciting new releases. Gift sets, limited edition palettes, and blinged-out packaging can be found just about everywhere you turn. And while its tempting to want to run out and review everything for you guys, I'm a firm believer in being selective about my purchases. Even though my passion for product is pretty intense, I'm also not one to buy into hype. I always consider my current stash, my style, and the feedback of my fellow beauty addicts before I invest in something. Sure, once in a while I'll take a gamble and try something out on a whim. But for the most part, I like to do my homework.

Sometimes when I'm researching what's new and interesting and I'll come across a product that totally blows me away and realize no one is talking about it. Maybe it's a personal preference thing, or maybe its just that certain brands are more likely to get attention, but either way, it never fails to surprise me.

This palette is one of those products.

Guys, when I say this palette is unbelievably good. I mean, this is like a "if I could only use one palette for the rest of my life I would probably pick this one" good. I want to profess my love for its buttery, beautiful, shimmering goodness from the rooftops. Just...just wait until you see the pictures. And then you will understand.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall 2016 Stitch Fix Unboxing & Review

Guys, I am SO PUMPED my next fix has arrived! Fall fashion is hands down my favorite of the entire year. Cozy sweaters, plaid button-downs, scarves, boots - the obsession is real. Having learned from my first couple of fixes, I decided to be extra proactive this time around and create a Stitch Fix specific Pinterest board to share my favorite trends with my stylist. I can tell that she totally used some of the outfit pictures I posted for inspiration when she put together this fix for me, which meant that I ended up with some pieces I really loved!

Of course, I had to film an unboxing video to show you guys my first impressions of everything I got. And now that I've had a few days to think it over, I've finally made my decisions about what I'm purchasing and what I'm sending back. Curious to see what made the cut? Keep reading to find out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Warm, Cozy Fragrances for Fall

One of the things I undoubtedly love most about fall are its smells. Crisp leaves crunching beneath your feet, wood fires burning in the evening, pumpkin pie in the oven, hot cider brewing. Even just thinking about them now immediately transports me to a magically warm, cozy place.

Much like I swap out my sandals and dresses for sweaters and boots come autumn, I also like to switch out my fragrances for scents that capture the feeling of the season. Warm, spicy notes, woodsy undertones, and a little bit of sweetness immediately put me in a fall mindset.

Today I thought I'd share three autumn-appropriate perfumes I've been obsessing over in the last couple of weeks, all of which are in super travel friendly sizes!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Final Farewells: My Fall 2016 Empties

Friends, it's time yet again to go through my beauty trash. I love filming empties videos, but I also totally can see how strange the whole concept probably is to someone who isn't as immersed in the beauty world as my crazy self. Because really, who else hoards expired makeup and empty bottles?

In all seriousness, the reason I think empties posts are so awesome is that when you've used a product to the very last drop, you really know how you feel about it. It's like a relationship. In the beginning its all excitement and newness, and you're probably willing to overlook the little flaws and annoyances. But time goes on, and when the honeymoon phase is over you've either found yourself a beautiful partnership, or end up realizing that that't as awesome as you originally thought.

It's been a couple of months since my last empties round up, so I've got A TON of products to share with you guys. Did I find true love? Or was I already checked out of our relationship? If you want to know, grab yourself a snack, cozy up, and get ready for some real talk (beauty style).

Friday, October 7, 2016

$5 Makeup Challenge!

Guys, this post was the definition of a labor of love. I've been planning this challenge for months, and was so excited to finally go out, shop, film and put it all together for you. If the title hasn't already given it away, today I'm going to be showing you how to create a beautiful smokey eyed makeup look using all products (AND tools) that cost $5 or less. I love incorporating budget-friendly makeup into my everyday routine, and I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to find really great, super-affordable products that I could recommend to you all.

So I plan, I set everything up, I film last weekend, edit my photographs...I was feeling pretty on top of my A-game. I knew I was going into New York on Wednesday and decided I could use my 2 hour ride each way to edit my footage. Everything seems to be going swimmingly until I'm on the train, on my way to Manhattan when I realize that a 10 minute chunk of my footage is missing. Just GONE. My memory cards are both wiped clean, and I am an unhappy panda.

Needless to say I had to wait until after work last night to come home and refilm the missing footage so I could finish editing my video and still get it posted (albeit very late) on Thursday night. Posting consistently has been one of my blog goals, and I was DETERMINED to stick to my schedule, even if that meant losing a few more hours of sleep.

So, after much frustration, but a lot of love and hard work, I'm finally able to actually show you all some really great, budget-friendly makeup that you can add to your collection! Let's get this challenge started.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

All That Glitters: IT Cosmetics for Ulta Brush Set Review

I know what you're thinking.

"Really, Lauren? You're busting out the Christmas decorations already?" Trust me, I get it. It's a little crazy to start talking about the holidays when we haven't even gotten to Halloween yet, but before you give me the side-eye, I PROMISE you'll be happy to have the heads up on this one!

A few weeks ago when I was at Gen Beauty the awesome people over at IT Cosmetics gave me this new Ulta Exclusive brush set to check out before it launched online. Truth be told, I've been lusting after their brushes for years, and the only thing that's kept me from splurging on a set is sheer willpower. My rational brain knows I already own enough makeup brushes, but my beauty-brain is never satisfied. I want to try them all...ALL THE BRUSHES ARE BELONG TO ME (#nerdreference).

ANYWAY, this stunning set is finally available for purchase on the Ulta website, so I wanted to give you guys my thoughts in case you'd like to add it to your holiday shopping list (or wish know I won't judge).

Sunday, October 2, 2016

September Favorites

September, where the heck did you go?? Last month was a bit of a whirlwind for me, but it was honestly one of the best I've had in a long time. I got to go on my first international vacation, got to attend my first Generation Beauty event, and have been feeling better about my content here at Little Blushing Birdie than ever. I feel like my brain is bursting with inspiration and I'm truly so excited to share all of my ideas and opinions with you guys.

But before I get ahead of myself, let's give September a proper send-off by recapping some of my favorite beauty discoveries from the last month. Many of these were products I scored at Gen Beauty and haven't been able to put down since. So, get yourself nice and cozy, grab your cup of tea, and let's chat September faves.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Review

As a beauty blogger there's seriously nothing more exciting than stumbling upon a product you've literally heard nothing about, taking it home, and discovering its a total gem. It's like getting to play beauty archeologist. You know, instead of uncovering the bones of what could be a new species of dinosaur you're scouting out products that might be the next big craze.

A few weeks ago I was perusing the makeup aisles at CVS, struggling to decide what I wanted to spend my Extrabucks on. It's funny because earlier this year I had the opposite problem. There were so many new launches hitting the shelves, and I had to seriously restrain myself from buying everything. But by now I'm sort of over the hype, and most trips to the drugstore have me feeling uninspired. I was on the verge of giving up and buying some toothpaste or whatever else I might need around the house when something glittery caught my eye. At first glance I assumed these duos were nail polish, which I wasn't all that interested in, but then I noticed that the picture next to them was of an eye.

An eye? I did a double take and walked over to further investigate. No, these weren't nail polishes at all. Before me was a rainbow of cream eyeshadow duos called the Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art. I was in serious disbelief that I had no idea these things existed. With glitter and metallic shadows being so in right now, how was it possible that people weren't talking about them? Was I just late to the party? Or had I stumbled upon one of those amazing underground bars only the locals know about? Either way, I was intrigued and after a long debate about which shades to buy, I picked two to take home.