Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holiday 2016: Cyber Monday Beauty Deals

Does anyone else remember when Cyber Monday was just about tech deals? Like, unless you needed a laptop or the newest gaming console, Black Friday was really where the sales were at. And if you wanted to shop Black Friday, you had best be prepared to stand in line for hours in the middle of the night, whilst freezing your butt off in the cold. Fast forward to 2016, where internet shopping reigns supreme, and Cyber Monday deals put Black Friday to shame. Granted, now people sit perched in front of their computers, impatiently refreshing websites so they can click "checkout" the moment a sale goes live.

But they can at least avoid the cold.

Now, we all know Mondays are enough of a struggle without trying to make sure you don't miss out an epic deal. So I've got your back! I'm compiling a list of the best beauty and fashion Cyber Monday deals I can find so they'll all be accessible in one easy place. I'm going to try and update this list as much as possible over the next 24 hours as I'm able to discover new offerings, so make sure you bookmark this page and check back later for new info!

Friday, November 25, 2016

What I'm Thankful For: Beauty Edition

So, this post comes along with a bit of a funny story. Maybe funny not funny in the "ha ha" sense, but funny in the "I see what you're doing there, universe" kind of way. I woke up yesterday morning feeling energized and productive, which was fortunate because my to-do list for the day was pretty ambitious. I had hoped to get my Thursday video done earlier this week, but between life and sheer exhaustion, it just never happened. That left me Thanksgiving morning to shop a few sales, beautify myself, film, edit, and make Deviled eggs all in time to meet my parents at 1:00. I was a little nervous that I would end up scrambling around at the last second, but I actually was making great time all day. There I am, feeling like a boss, putting on my eyeshadow with hours to spare and BAM.

The power goes out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Channel Those Summer Vibes With the Sol de Janiero Brazilian Body Boom

If there's one thing a beauty blogger is proud to be, it's an enabler. If we stumble across something amazing, we can't help but shout it from our internet rooftops. We get excited about beauty, and the energy can be pretty contagious. And this is why things like the "YouTube Made Me Buy It" tag exist. Word travels fast, and when the entire beauty community is buzzing about a specific product, its hard to resist giving in to the hype. Now, I personally haven't gotten around to sharing my take on this tag, but when I do you can rest assured that these two products will be a part of it.

The Sol de Janiero Brazillian Bum Bum Cream and its silly yet intriguing name piqued the curiosity of beauty gurus from near and far this past summer, and before long it felt like everyone and their mom was talking about it on their channel. Even though the purpose of this lotion is to make your bum (bum) appear more toned and firm, the biggest selling point seemed to be its intoxicating pistachio caramel scent.

15 videos later, all I knew was that I needed to go to Sephora, and I needed to smell this stuff for myself.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Subscription Showdown | November 2016

Hey friends! It's time for another Subscription Showdown. For those of you not already familiar with this series on my YouTube channel, every month I sit down and unbox my Ipsy Glambag and Sephora Play box so I can show you how they stack up against one another. Each subscription is only $10 a month and contains 5 deluxe beauty samples, so I'm always curious to see whether one outshines the other. Want to see how these two beauty subs threw down this month? Keep on reading!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Holiday 2016: Black Friday Beauty Deals at Ulta & Sephora

Friends, prepare your wallets. Black Friday is almost upon us.

As someone who can never pass up a good bargain, its hard to not go a little crazy with the beauty shopping at this time of year. There are just so many amazing little sets and great deals to be had, and it's tempting to buy...just about everything.

For the sake of my bank account, I'm trying to be extra choosy about what I put in my shopping cart this year. Black Friday is one of the worst times for impulse purchases, what with the pressure of the time crunch and fear of things selling out, so I'm making an effort to try and plan as much of my shopping ahead of time as possible. Fortunately I've got my hands on some sneak peeks of beauty deals that are going live this Thursday at Sephora and Ulta, which gives me a few days of deliberation before I have to hit that checkout button. Curious to see what this year's offerings look like? I'm more than happy to share!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

E.L.F. Vox Box Unboxing

Guys, I'm not going to lie. This week was pretty rough. From about 6:45 Monday morning onward I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle against the universe. When we get to today's video I explain a little bit more of what happened, but let's just say I felt like I was non-stop riding the strugglebus.

Fortunately, my week did have one seriously bright spot in it. My E.L.F. Vox Box arrived! For those of you who haven't seen my previous unboxing videos, Vox Boxes come from an online community called Influenster. Influenster works with different brands to help spread the word about their products and provides freebies to different influencers to test and review. Anyone can join, so don't worry if you aren't a blogger! All you need is to be willing to try cool stuff and share your opinions on social media and such. Over the past two years I've been part of some pretty amazing campaigns, and feel really lucky for all the opportunities they've given me.

This time around I've been sent a bunch of goodies from budget-friendly beauty brand E.L.F. Cosmetics. Prior to 2016 I don't think I had given E.L.F. enough attention. They have a massive line of insanely affordable makeup and skincare that I'm always hearing great things about. It's been on my to-do list to get more familiar with their products, so I welcomed this Vox Box with open arms!

Friday, November 18, 2016

L'Oreal Pure Clay Mask Review

When it comes to skincare, nothing excites me more than a good face mask. Whether they're to hydrate, brighten, or detox your skin, I think a good mask is just as essential as a cleanser or moisturizer in any skincare routine. Having invested years of trying out different skincare regimens, I've come to realize that in the weeks I've skipped out on using a mask my skin always ends up noticeably more dull and congested.

Needless to say, I was totally pumped when I found out BzzAgent was sending me all three of L'Oreal's new Pure Clay Masks to try. I've seen these masks popping up all over Pinterest and my Bloglovin' feed, and have been incredibly curious to try them out for myself! Using a mixture of three different clays infused with other powerhouse ingredients, each of these masks is formulated to target specific skincare issues and help you put your best face forward. Let's take a closer look!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Haul First Impressions

If you guys saw my recent fall beauty haul, then you're already well aware that I've acquired a boat load of new makeup to review. Between a trip to the new NYX store in Union Square, goodies sent from a friend in the UK, and my own inability to restrain myself, I've ended up with a whole lotta loot. Life has been a little crazy lately, which ultimately translated to the majority of my new beauty ending up in a pile waiting to be loved. This weekend finally afforded me the opportunity to get some blogging hours in, and I stared at said pile feeling a little overwhelmed with my options. Where the heck should I even begin? And then I had a brilliant idea. Why not try it all and let you in on the process? I'm all about being real with you guys and sharing my honest thoughts on beauty. So why not capture my completely unscripted, entirely unpredictable first impressions on camera? Not gonna lie, filming this video was a whole lot of fun, and I don't think the look I created in the end was too shabby. So if you're curious to see how these new goodies worked out for me, keep on reading!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Makeup Revolution Iconic Nudes Brush Collection

Friends, let's take a moment for the appreciation of pretty.

I have been head-over-heels in love with this new Limited Edition brush set from Makeup Revolution since the moment I laid eyes on it. And really, how could I not? The combination of cream, pink, and rose gold speaks to my girlie-girl heart. Honestly, the only thing that's better than a beautiful set of makeup brushes is a beautiful set of makeup brushes that wont cost me an arm and a leg, and this one meets both qualifications.

Now, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time you're already well aware that my love for Makeup Revolution is strong. As far as affordable cosmetics go, they're consistently on point in terms of both packaging and quality, and have become one of my top recommendations for anyone shopping on a budget. Unfortunately Makeup Revolution originated over in the UK, and only a limited selection of their line is available at Ulta stores here in the states. While I can't complain that I can at least get my hands on some of their products, the one thing I've been dying to try are their brushes. They've got some incredible looking dupes for the Artis and Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes that are constantly calling my name.

I don't know what my problem is with paying for shipping, but it kind of kills me to tack on an extra $15 or $20 in fees to a beauty order. Alas, its almost a given when ordering internationally, which means that I figured I'd have to add shopping MR brushes to my London bucket list. But then, a miracle happened! One of my lovely beauty enthusiast friends studying abroad overseas was kind enough to scope out this set and send it my way! Seriously guys, I was overjoyed. It was even prettier than some of the permanent collection sets I had my eye on. Let tell you more about it!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fall Beauty Haul

I'm not going to lie. I'm ever so slightly embarrassed to have a haul to share before the holiday shopping season has even ramped up.

Back in September I acquired a massive amount of new beauty to play with from my trip to Generation Beauty. That haul alone had more than enough newness to keep me occupied for the rest of the year. But as any beauty blogger will tell you, between PR samples, promotions, and an unwavering curiosity about all things new in beauty, it always seems like its only a matter of time before you've ended up with another pile of product to test out.

So, as unnecessary as it all may be, I've got a ton of fun new stuff to show you guys that I'll be testing and reviewing in the next couple of weeks. Curious to find out what? Keep on reading!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holiday 2016: Wish-List Worthy Eyeshadow Palettes

Now that Halloween has officially past, I think it's safe to admit that the holiday shopping season is in full swing! If the rest of the year is any indication, the weeks between now and Christmas are going to absolutely fly by, which means you have way less time to get everything on your shopping list checked off than you think. If you're feeling a little lost and uninspired, don't you worry. I'm going to be posting tons of awesome beauty-related (and maybe some non-beauty related) gift ideas over the coming weeks to help get you started.

In true Lauren fashion, I'm kicking things off with perhaps my greatest weakness among makeup products - the eyeshadow palette. There have been SO many incredible launches this year it was hard to narrow down my list of recommendations. But after having spent a slightly embarrassing amount of time researching what's new, what's hyped, and what might be a hidden gem I think I've got a pretty solid list for you to check out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Holiday 2016: DavidsTea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar

If there is one thing outside of the beauty realm that I am head over heels obsessed with, it's tea. Ask anyone from my office, but there isn't a day (maybe even not an hour) when you'll find me without a cup at my desk. I've got an entire cabinet in my kitchen devoted just to the goods, as well as most of the cabinet in my cubicle.

What can I say, it's basically my lifeblood.

From a spicy chai, to an earthy oolong, to a fruity herbal, I'm definitely not picky when it comes to flavors, and am on a bit of a personal quest to try as many different teas as I can. But (much like my obsession with makeup) being a tea enthusiast can get a little pricey, which usually means being extra selective about which ones I want to buy. Fortunately, DavidsTea rolled in to my local mall a couple of years ago, and they have THE BEST tea sampler sets. They're constantly releasing new seasonal collections, and have a ton of different ways for you to sample multiple flavors without breaking the bank.

Perhaps the ultimate of all of these sets is the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar. I honestly can't think of a better way to ring in the holidays than by getting to try a different tea every day (you know, without spending hundreds of dollars). Last year was the first time I picked one of these bad boys up, and I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't help but put the beauty on pause for a day so I could share the 2016 version with you guys. Come take a look!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 2016 Favorites

Is it just me, or is 2016 passing by at an alarmingly fast rate? Even though fall is almost two months underway, I'm still very much in denial that it's not still summer. I need to wear gloves now? Like, what? Thanksgiving is three weeks away? I...I don't understand what is happening here.

In all seriousness, these past couple of months have been a whirlwind, albeit an exciting one. I've been working extra hard in the last month to keep to my consistent Sunday and Thursday YouTube schedule, and my channel is growing beyond my expectations. In mid-October I finally hit my 500 subscriber goal, and by the 31st I'd grown to over 700. I am SO appreciative of every single person that reads my posts and watches my videos. In case you haven't noticed, I am a giant nerd for all things beauty, and knowing there are people out there who find all of my random musings and tips and tricks helpful is kind of the best feeling. So THANK YOU for being here, and for sharing my passion with me. If we want to talk about favorites, you all are really at the top of my list.

I know, I know. I'm getting all mushy on you guys. I can't help myself from being a big ol' softie. But before I derail myself completely, let's get back to the subject at hand. There were a TON of products that I fell in love with in October (several of which will probably come as no surprise) and I can't wait to share them with you!