Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Erno Laszlo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel Review

Erno Laszlo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel
*PR Sample/Affiliate Links used

Friends, today we are venturing into the land of luxury skincare. Generally I am quite content with my budget-friendly routine, but I think there will always be that part of me that's a teensy bit curious as to whether or not ultra-luxe purchases are ever worth it. Fortunately for my wallet, I occasionally get sent press samples (or PR) to review from different brands, which gives me the opportunity to try more products than I would if I was just buying things on my own (cause, you know, your girl has a budget).

Which brings us to the topic of today's post. Thanks to the lovely people over at Influenster and Erno Laszlo, I've been able to try out and review this $100 White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel for you. Yes, I did just say $100, and no I am not joking. Erno Laszlo has been known for nearly a century as a leading expert in skincare among celebrities, having graced the complexions of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie O. Their cult classic products come with a hefty price tag, but also some impressive claims. Could this peel possibly be worth a three digit splurge? Or are you just paying a whole lot for a name? Let's take a closer look and perhaps then you can decide.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Ultimate Girly Gift Guide: Pink & Pretty Things for Your Holiday Wishlist

The Ultimate Girly Gift Guide
*This post contains affiliate links

Friends, there is absolutely no denying that I am the walking definition of a girly girl. I pretty much always prefer to wear dresses, I have more makeup than I can use in a lifetime, and anything that's pink, polka dotted, or covered in flowers will basically steal my heart. It may be crazy to think that there was once a time in my life that I felt ashamed to be ultra feminine, but some people (some guys, especially) like to associate being a girly girl with being weak, overly dramatic, or vain.

The truth is, I am anything but weak, nor does my liking to wear makeup make me self centered or insecure. I'm proud of my femininity, of my love of all things pretty, and I will never let anyone make me feel ashamed or lesser than because of it. And with that being said, I am incredibly excited to share with you my Ultimate Girly Gift Guide for the holiday season. I've compiled a list of some of my most favorite accessories, beauty products, and home decor to inspire your holiday gifting, or even to add to your own wish list!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Latest Wardrobe Staple: The JORD Cassia Watch

Cassia Watch
*PR Sample

If you read my blog with any regularity, you're probably well aware that I'm a full-on nerd for all things beauty. I love reviewing makeup and skincare, and never tire of sharing my tips and product recommendations with you. At the same time, I've been itching to branch out and incorporate more fashion and lifestyle content here and on my YouTube channel. Anyone that knows me offline will vouch for the fact that I'm more than mildly enthusiastic about the things in my closet, so why wouldn't I want to bring some of that passion to this space?

And of course, with the universe and it's perfect timing, not more than a few days after I decide I'm going to start on this new adventure does JORD approach me about collaborating for the holiday season. JORD is known for their beautiful, handcrafted wooden watches, and they graciously offered to gift me the timepiece of my choice in exchange for an honest review.  I'm not going to lie, I don't think I had ever seen or heard of a wooden watch prior to this, but as soon as I started perusing their website I knew I was all in. JORD's watches are (no pun intended) incredibly timeless, with sleek, sophisticated designs for men and women. And let's be serious, there's something insanely cool about a wooden watch. It's unexpected, unique, and perfectly channels that casual-enough-to-wear-everyday-but-stylish-enough-to-dress-up kind of vibe.

With my not-so-subtle love for all things rose gold, choosing the Cassia Walnut & Vintage Rose Watch was pretty much a no-brainer. However, there are honestly a number of other gorgeous options I could have been equally happy with. So let's take a closer look at my lovely new watch, and chat a little bit more about what my experience with it has been!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wet N' Wild Pro Brush Collection for Holiday 2017

Wet N' Wild Pro Brush Collection
*Affiliate links used

Friends, I have absolutely no reason to add more makeup brushes to my collection. And yet, this new set from Wet N' Wild for the holidays was so darn pretty and such a ridiculous value, I couldn't resist picking it up to review for you. The new Wet N' Wild Pro Brush Collection contains 10 beautiful, cruelty-free brushes for only $30, and contains just about everything you need to create a complete makeup look. Having used them now for a couple of weeks I'm finally ready to report back and let you know what I think! So let's jump into things and I'll show you exactly what's in this set.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Jouer Skinny Dip Ultra Foil Shimmer Shadow Palette Review

Jouer Skinny Dip Ultra Foil Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette Flatlay
*Affiliate links used

If there is one makeup trend that I can't seem to get enough of lately, it's an intense, shimmery eye. Yes, I've always been one of those girls that oohs and ahhs over anything shiny, so it's entirely unsurprising that I'd fall in love with putting sparkles all over my eyelids. But for a while there I had avoided the trend all together. Having grown up in the 90s, I made some pretty strong associations between glitter and looking cheap or tacky (if you ever purchased Claire's makeup as a tween, you might understand what I'm talking about). For years that meant avoiding makeup with anything other than a slight shimmer or sheen.

But then cosmetics companies started doing something wonderful. They began to create stunning, glittery makeup that still managed to look sophisticated. Where glitter was once chunky and unappealing, it has now become micro-fine, brilliant, and elegant. And one absolutely perfect example of this transformation is the Jouer Skinny Dip Ultra Foil Shimmer Shadow Palette. These eyeshadows are an absolute dream to work with, and leave your lids with the most gorgeous, glittery, foiled effect. So if you too are a glitter lover at heart, but have been unsure of whether or not you've outgrown the days of wearing it, perhaps this palette will be a game changer for you as well.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's Back! DavidsTea 24 Days of Tea for Holiday 2017

DavidsTea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2017

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

I know. It's not even Halloween yet. But before you seriously side eye me for bringing up the holidays, I promise I have a good excuse. Today the DavidsTea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar is back in stores, and if this year is like every other one before it, it'll be sold out well before anyone has even thought about putting up a Christmas Tree.

If you're feeling a bit out of the loop, Canadian tea retailer DavidsTea curates a stunningly packaged Advent calendar every year containing 24 different loose leaf teas to sample in the days leading up to Christmas. If you've ever enjoyed one of those chocolate Advent Calendars as a kid, this basically takes things to a whole new level of indulgence. As a die hard tea lover there is nothing better than getting up each day and seeing what new flavor awaits me.

Thanks to the fact that I probably spend way too much money on tea every year, I received an email from the brand that allowed me to pick my calendar up a few days before the official launch. So let's take a closer look at exactly what the deal is with this year's collection and how it compares to the 2016 version.

Friday, October 20, 2017

My Newest Fragrance Addiction: Kenzo World Intense

Kenzo World Intense Eau de Parfum Flatlay
*Affiliate links/PR Sample Used

In the four years I've been blogging, I've written over 400 blog posts, filmed over 100 videos for YouTube, and shared 800 some odd pictures on Instagram. And in all that time, over all that content, I don't think I've ever been this compelled to write about a fragrance. Part of it is just the difficulty of trying to describe a product that's so highly personal and that can smell differently on different people, and part of it is that I just don't often find myself incredibly impressed by fragrances.

That being said, the fact that I needed to tell you guys about this perfume should tell you something. From my first whiff I knew that I had discovered a new favorite, and the countless compliments I receive every time I wear it solidifies the fact that it's just not my nose that understands. The Kenzo World Intense Eau de Parfum is like sprayable sexy magic in a bottle. It's an absolutely gorgeous, sophisticated yet flirtatious fragrance that I never knew I needed in my life.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Score Some Serious Savings: The Tarte Good-For-You Glamour 6-Piece Color Collection

Tarte Good For You Glamour 6 Piece Color Collection
 *Affiliate links used

When it comes to my general makeup buying preferences, I'd define myself as a dabbler. I own one or two products from a LOT of different brands, as opposed to having tons from any one in specific. I love to experiment and try new things, but generally only buy the products that really grab my attention. The one exception to all of this? Tarte.

Somehow over the last year I've amassed a giant collection of their products, and it's probably because almost everything I try ends up becoming an absolute necessity in my everyday makeup routine. Their Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil quickly took the number one spot over my Brow Wiz, the Double Take Eyeliner is the only one I ever really need, and the Shape Tape...well. I don't even think I need to explain my love of Shape Tape.The long story short of it is, I've probably tried more from Tarte than I have any other single brand, and its rare that I come across a dud.

Which brings us back to today's adventure in beauty. A few weeks ago I was somewhat mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook news feed, when up pops an ad for a set of Tarte products on QVC. Now, I'd never bought anything from QVC before, and I knew I had absolutely no need for any more Tarte makeup.

And yet.

This set was honestly such an amazing value I couldn't pass up the opportunity to review it. And not just that "Limited Edition Set" kind of value where it looks like you're getting a great deal but actually you're paying for a sub-par product that's in no way comparable to the original goods. No, this set contained multiple full-sized permanent products for a ridiculous price. Sounds pretty sweet, am I right? So let's break down exactly what you get and whether or not it was as awesome of a deal as it seemed.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Five Face Masks You Need in Your Life Right Now

Five Face Masks You Need In Your Life Right Now
*Affiliate links used.

As much as I love fall in New England, there is one particular downside to the changing seasons. Every time the weather cools off my face gets completely out of whack. Yes, give it a few months and I will have completed the transformation from full-on summer oil slick to a winter-fied combination complexion, but in the meantime I know I'm going to be a bit out of sorts.

That being said, I've learned a thing or two about skincare over the years, and this time around I'm much better prepared. The secret? I'm keeping an arsenal of face masks on hand for combating whatever crazy turn my face decides to take next. Feeling a bit parched? Got a mask for that. Pores looking clogged? Got a mask for that. Need to calm some irritation and redness? Okay, you get the picture.

While I've got a considerable number of awesome face masks at the ready, today I've got five cream-of-the-crop selections to share that'll help you tackle your different skin concerns. So whether you're going to spend the next month doing damage control like me, or just love having an extra excuse for 20 minutes of me-time each week, hopefully one of these picks will help you out!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Overcoming the Fear of Falsies: A Battington Lash Starter Kit Review

Battington Lash Cruelty Free Silk False Lashes
*This post contains affiliate links

Fun little fact about me: back in my college days I used to be a competitive ballroom dancer. No, I don't watch Dancing With the Stars (don't even get me started), but yes, the sport will always have a special place in my heart. While of course improving your dance technique and learning routines is a large part of what it means to be a ballroom dancer, there is also needing to wear elaborate costumes, donning your face in 10 pounds of makeup, and slathering yourself from head to toe in self tanner. Cultivating that perfect appearance of a professional dancer takes a whole lot of trial and error, and unfortunately for my much younger self, there was a lot of error.

If there was one thing I could go back in time and teach a college aged Lauren, having now had years of blogging and developing my beauty expertise, it would be how the heck to properly pick out and apply false eyelashes. Lord knows I had no idea what I was doing, and as a result I was completely turned off to the entire concept up until this last year. Honestly, I think falsies get that bad rep of being uncomfortable, difficult to use, or unnatural looking because a lot of other people are in the same boat as I was ten years ago.

But the truth is, false lashes don't really have to be any of those things. Take, for example, these Battington 3D Silk Lashes. Not only are they super lightweight and comfortable on the eyes, but I also know when I wear them it doesn't look like I'm wearing falsies. Yes my lashes look more full and beautiful, but they aren't obviously fake to the person I might be sitting across the table from. And, if the lashes themselves weren't awesome enough, this Birchbox exclusive starter kit that has everything you need to adventure into the world of falsies in one convenient package. Curious to know more? I thought you might be.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ten Lip Products to Try for Fall

Ten Lip Products to Try for Fall
*Affiliate links used

As much as it pains me to say goodbye to the long, sunny days of summer, I think I'm finally ready to embrace all things fall. Yes, bring on the blanket scarves, the plaid shirts, and everything pumpkin spice. I'm a New Englander, and when the leaves start to turn its hard to not find yourself getting swept up in that autumnal spirit.

One of the first places I turn to welcome each new season is my everyday lip collection. While it's true that there are no rules in makeup, I personally find it fun to change up shades and textures at different times of the year. Which, for right now, means trading in my peaches, corals, and vibrant pinks for rich reds, warm nudes, bold berries, and rusty hues. After spending a good amount of time swatching and playing with a somewhat ridiculous number of lipsticks, I've got ten gorgeous shades to share with you. From your classic mattes to sheer glosses, I think there's a little something here for everyone!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Juvia's Place The Saharan Eyeshadow Palette Review

Juvia's Place The Saharan Eyeshadow Palette Flatlay

Friends, if you haven't yet heard about Juvia's Place, and you consider yourself to be a lover of eyeshadow, I am about to blow your mind.

There have been few makeup brands that have impressed me as much as Juvia's Place has. If you want unique, high quality, cruelty-free eye shadows for an insanely reasonable price tag, and to support a female-owned brand designed with Women of Color in mind, you need, yes NEED to check out their products.

While they have certainly garnered popularity after NikkieTutorials started singing their praises last year, Juvia's Place is still relatively unknown by the average person. As a smaller indie brand you won't find their products on the shelves of Ulta, Sephora, or your local drugstore. Instead you'll have to head on over to their website, or get lucky like I did and manage to snag their products from Hautelook when a sale comes around. Yes, there is something to be said for putting your faith in an online purchase without having the opportunity to swatch and play with it in person. But I promise, this eyeshadow palette does not disappoint.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bloomingdale's Exclusive: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Bloomingdale's Exclusive Shades
*PR Samples/Affiliate links used

Guys, I am SO excited to finally have my hands on my very first Charlotte Tilbury products! As a makeup addict/lover of all things rose gold, Charlotte's line seriously speaks to my heart. Truly the only reason I haven't added her products to my collection is that they come with a luxury price tag, and given my current state of budgeting I've had to make some tough calls about what can and cannot be purchased off my wish list. However, the stars apparently aligned, and I was gifted two of her latest lip launches at a recent beauty event. I was over-the-moon thrilled to finally get to experience her makeup first hand, and to let you all know whether or not they are actually worth the splurge!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

SimplyScrub Body Scrub Review

SimplyScrub Chocolate Body Scrub
*PR Samples

In today's day and age of beauty, it seems that more and more brands are constantly trying to do it all. Companies are launching entire new collections left and right, to the point where it's almost overwhelming. Not only can I not keep up, but I also start to seriously question whether or not everything we're seeing is up to the same standards of previous launches.

That being said, to be introduced to a brand that does one thing, but that does it so well, is an entirely refreshing change of pace. That brand, my lovely readers, is called SimplyScrub. As their name so clearly suggests, SimplyScrub is all about delivering you quality, 100% organic body scrubs that won't cost you an arm and a leg. They have four delicious formulas to choose from, each with a slightly different flair, but all providing the same intensely hydrating, skin smoothing benefits. They ever so graciously sent me all four scents to try and review for you all (two in full sized jars, and two in samples) and I'm finally ready to report back on how they turned out!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Motives Mavens Element Color Box Review

Motives Mavens Elements Color Box Eyeshadow Palette
*This post contains affiliate links/PR samples

As someone that's tried hundreds upon hundreds of beauty products and that spends an embarrassing amount of time reading reviews and keeping up on the latest launches, it's a bit of a shock to come across a well-established brand that I've never heard of. While my immediate response is to feel like I've been living under a rock, I think it also goes to show that the world of beauty influencers is pretty heavily biased. Everyone always seems to be raving about the same big name brands carried at Sephora and Ulta, to the point that you can forget there's a lot of fantastic stuff going on outside of their doors.

By a matter of happy coincidence I was introduced a few months ago to Motives Cosmetics, which with over 2 million Instagram followers, is certainly not your small indie startup. In fact, they've been around for almost a decade under the umbrella of internet marketing and product brokerage giant Market America. They've got a pretty extensive range of products, have been featured by tons of magazines and websites, and have still managed to totally fly under my radar.

Of course, as is the case with any die-hard beauty fan, my curiosity was immediately piqued. What are their products like? Is there a reason no one is talking about them? Or was I about to stumble upon a beauty gold mine of underrated goodies? The only way to find the answer was to get my hands on some Motives products and find out for myself!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Drybar Hair We Go Travel Blowout Set Review

Drybar Hair We Go Travel Blowout Set

It doesn't take a very long time after meeting me to find out that I have a mild obsession with savvy shopping. Seriously. Getting a bargain is basically my version of thrill seeking. And of course, my excitement for finding a sale is something that can't be contained. The first thing I want to do after an epic couponing conquest is to go tell the rest of the world how to do the same. After all, when you work hard for your money, why would you not want to save as much of it as possible when purchasing the things you need or want?

And thus, here I am to tell you a tale of how I scored this adorable little set from Drybar for a ridiculously low price, and whether or not I think its worth the original price tag.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Morphe 35B Color Glam Eyeshadow Palette Review

Morphe 35B Color Glam Eyeshadow Palette

If there is such a thing as a color bug, I've been bitten by it. Either that or it's just all of the amazing colorful looks that I've seen while scrolling through my Instagram feed. Either way, I've had a hankering for putting bold bright shades on my eyes as per late, and had been looking to add something to my collection to give me a little more variety than what exists in all of my neutral palettes. At first I spent a fair amount of time hemming and hawing over the new Sephora Pro Editorial Palette, but spending $68 on something that I would only use for creating looks to film or photograph seemed like a bit of an unwise investment.

But then, I made a discovery. While prepping my shopping cart to purchase the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill collaboration, I noticed a palette that was EXACTLY what my heart desired. The Morphe 35B Palette had 35 stunning ridiculously colorful shades and retailed for only $19.99. Paying $68 for an artistic palette when you aren't a makeup artist is iffy, but $20? $20 I can justify. Surprisingly, I had never tried anything from Morphe before (the Jaclyn Hill palette was to be my first purchase) and I decided that this was a wonderful opportunity to explore the brand. So I snatched that baby up along with a few eye brushes that I thought would be helpful for getting my inner MUA on, and am here to report back on my thoughts!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Review

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liners
 *This post was sponsored by Maybelline. All opinions expressed are my own.

In the world of beauty, there are lots of myths and preconceived notions about certain products. Foundation does not, in fact, have to feel like a mask. Those with a natural flush to their cheeks can look beautiful wearing blush. And if the first image that pops into your head when you hear the word "lipliner" is that whole let's-rock-a-liner-10-shades-darker-than-my-lipstick trend, I am about to give you a whole new perspective.

As a self-proclaimed Lazy Girl it's true that applying a liner under my lipstick is not always something I make the time for. However, ever since Maybelline sent me their new range of  Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liners to review, I've been reminded how worth it that extra step can be. A great lipliner will not only give your lip look extra precision and wear time, but it can also open up a ton of artistic possibilities. Whether you want to create a custom lip cocktail, or a perfect ombre illusion, the world of lipliner is your oyster.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring 2017 Sephora VIB Sale Shopping Guide

Spring is here, and you know what that means. Flowers? Sunshine? Easter candy?...well, yes. All of those things. But ALSO the annual Sephora VIB sale! For those of you who are slightly less addicted to beauty and/or not a frequenter of Sephora, they've got a pretty sweet rewards program. Anyone can join for free and become a "Beauty Insider", which allows you to cash in on perks like a free birthday gift. But once you've spent $350 in store or online within a calendar year, you get upgraded to VIB status. VIBs get access to additional benefits, like special gift with purchase options, early access to product launches, and special discounts like this one! If you're all the way obsessed with beauty and spend $1000 at Sephora in a year you get upgraded again to VIB Rouge, which will score you free Flash shipping among other things (potentially including a small amount of shock and/or shame over how much money you spent on beauty products).

The other thing to know about Sephora (and about most luxury beauty shopping in general) is that they don't typically run sales. Yes, there is a "sale" section of the website with discounted product, but usually these are discontinued or seasonal items that they're looking to sell as quickly as possible. Normally if you want the latest Hourglass foundation or YSL lipstick, you best prepare to pay full price. And that's why us beauty enthusiasts go a bit bananas every year when this event rolls around. Whether we're looking to restock on essentials or experiment with some new launches, we'll wait patiently for our coveted postcard to arrive in the mail to let us know when we can save a few bucks on our favorite luxury brands.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring Fling: Glossy Lip Colors to Love

*This post contains affiliate links

I am SO READY to embrace all things spring. Give me sunshine. Give me flowers. And please for the love of all things good take my winter coat and bury it in the back of the closet. For me, this time of year is all about lightening up. Lightening up my clothes, lightening up my mood, and in the case of today's post, lightening up my lipstick. While I don't think the matte liquid lip trend is going anywhere anytime soon, I personally am in desperate need of a change. From sheer glosses, to creamy lipsticks I've been embracing a more cheerful, comfortable kind of lip product as per late. So if you're also craving a little springtime inspiration, here are a few of favorite lip products for channeling those vibes!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift Review

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift
*PR sample/Contains Affiliate links

Stress is one of those things in life that's good...until it's not. A small amount of stress is awesome for keeping us motivated and on task, but unrelenting, high stress environments can wreak havoc on our bodies. When we're under stress our body cranks out cortisol - the "fight or flight" hormone that gives us a quick boost of speed and energy to either fight off a predator or run away from it. A single surge of cortisol improves performance, but chronic exposure is known to lead to a whole slew of health issues. Weight gain, high blood pressure, decreased immune system function, and depression are just a few of the possible issues a person under high stress can develop.

And of course, from a beauty perspective whatever is going on inside our body will almost inevitably start showing on the outside. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and the skin around your eyes in particular is the most delicate of all. Show of hands, how many of you have looked in the mirror the morning after a particularly rough evening immediately noticed your eyes are giving you away? Puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines are like the tiny red flags that our bodies are in trouble.

Honestly, if you're dealing with chronic stress the best thing to do is engage in practices that will help bring those cortisol levels down and having you feeling better from the inside out (this article from Psychology Today has some awesome suggestions to start with). Despite my love of beauty, I'll be the first to admit that no product is a substitute for taking care of yourself. But if you want a little quick pick-me-up to pamper your peepers, this new launch from Dermalogica will definitely help you out!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

March 2017 Favorites

Hello there my beautiful friends! I feel like it's been a million years since I've sat down and written a blog post, which just goes to show how much technology skews our perception of time. March was a bit of a crazy and stressful month for me out in the "real world", and to be honest, I just needed some time away from my computer to recharge my batteries. It's crazy the amount of guilt I feel for essentially giving myself a month off from my blog. There is so much pressure to post to social media every day, to write blog posts multiple times a week, to promote them, to read other people's content, to pin, to share, and to basically absorb every second of your free time in blog-related business. And quite frankly, home girl just wanted to read a book. To cuddle. To veg out on the couch and watch The Office entirely guilt-free.

The truth of the blogging world is that there is immense pressure to be on your A-game every moment of every day if you want even the smallest chance of making it big. Unlike a 9 to 5, the internet never sleeps and knows no difference between a Monday and a Saturday. The lines between "work time" and "me time" become so blurred that all time that isn't "work time" feels like wasted time. But, here in America anyway, burnout is a mark of dedication. If you aren't exhausting every fiber of your being you aren't deserving of success. Even though I know that sounds crazy, I'm also aware of how much I've been buying into that philosophy. Of course I'm willing to work hard, but at what cost? Where's the admiration for balance? For time spent connecting with others in the flesh?

Before I overstay my place here on this soapbox, let me just say that I love you guys, and I love chatting beauty with you. I love the brands that I've worked with, and so many of the awesome products that they've made. I love this space that I've created for myself and for you guys to learn and share and have some fun. My absence is definitely not for lack of desire to be a beauty blogger. Just a desire to rediscover the parts of me that have felt lost along the way.

SO, now that we've had our little heart-to-heart, let's lighten things up a little bit. Even though I've been a little less beauty-focused as per late, I've still discovered a few awesome products that I wanted to share with you all. Let me give you the scoop!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ULTA 21 Days of Beauty Picks

If there is one thing I love more than beauty products, it's saving money when I'm shopping for beauty products. One of my favorite times to stock up throughout the year is during ULTA's 21 Days of Beauty Event. Held once in the spring and again in the fall, you can score unbelievable savings on cult classic products for three full weeks! Every day has a new special offer, usually at 50% off, from some of Ulta's most popular high-end brands. Over the years I've discovered so many top-shelf, Holy Grail products through shopping this event and saved a ton of cash doing so.

Even though my beauty collection is not really lacking in any areas at the moment, I always get excited to see what each new 21 Days of Beauty event is offering. And honestly, when it comes to Spring 2017, Ulta may have just set the bar at an all-time high. Yes, there are a few products I feel like I've seen every single time (I'm looking at you Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes), but there are also a ton of fresh, new finds that have me thinking "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY". Now, I know that shopping these kinds of sales can be a little overwhelming, what with everything being an incredible bargain. So I've rounded up some of my top picks to share with you all to hopefully help you narrow down your shopping list.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

New in: Glo Minerals' Latest Launches

I am an odd duck. Or at least, that's how I feel some days. I'm a total introvert and definitely need a lot of time to myself to charge up my emotional batteries, but I also LOVE meeting people and making new friends. There's something so fun about the process of getting to know a person and seeing your relationship change from being strangers to something more. It's the same with beauty. Every time I discover or am contacted by a brand I've never tried I feel that same fluttery excitement as I anticipate what our first encounter will be like.

Recently I was contacted by Glo Minerals and asked if I would be interested in trying a few of their newest product launches. At that point Glo was a brand I knew by name only, so I checked out their website to get a better understanding of what they're all about. As it turns out, Glo Minerals is the makeup line of Glo Professional, a brand designed for use by skincare professionals (dermatologists, estheticians, and the like). They're passionate about producing high-quality, cruelty-free cosmetics that will not only be safe and gentle for your skin, but also help protect it from UV and environmental damage. Their products are free of talc, non-comedogenic, and designed for use on sensitive skin.

As someone that totally nerds out over reading labels and likes to be conscious of the chemicals I'm putting on my face every day, I knew Glo Minerals was a brand that I would totally jive with. They ever so graciously sent me four of their newest product launches to play with, and I'm happy to report back and give you all the full scoop!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Flashback

Hello there, friends! For the shortest month of the year, I feel like so much happened beauty and blogging wise in February. I tested and reviewed A TON of amazing new products, filmed the most popular series on my YouTube channel to date, AND I hit a thousand followers on Instagram (speaking of which, you still have until the end of the day today to enter my giveaway!). Even though I'm still in a bit of denial that two months of 2017 are already behind us, I'm totally pumped for what's yet to come. So before we say hello to March, let's take a look back at all the fun happenings over at Little Blushing Birdie from February!

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 2017 Favorites

*Affiliate links/PR samples used.

Guys, I'm so excited to share this month's favorites with you I'm practically dancing out of my chair. 2017 has been off to the most amazing start beauty-wise, and it's got me more pumped to blog than ever. It's not like my passion for playing with product has ever really wavered, it's just that lately I've come across things that I'm genuinely loving so much that I find myself looking forward to doing my nightly skincare or putting on my makeup each morning. And of course, being the true enabler that I am, I can't wait to tell you about it all so you can fall in love right along with me!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Subscription Showdown: February 2017

Hello friends! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. It's been feeling particularly spring-like in these parts and I'm loving every single second of it. There's definitely a part of me that's a little perturbed by the fact that it was 70 degrees in Connecticut before the end of February, but as someone who hates cold weather I really can't complain. Anywho, back to the reason you're here! It's time yet again to unbox some beauty goodies and see which of my $10 monthly subscriptions brought their A-game.

For those of you that are new to these parts, I'm a huge fan of monthly subscription boxes and have tried quite a few different ones over the years (you can see which ones here). At the current moment the only two beauty subscriptions I'm receiving are Ipsy and Sephora Play, both of which are $10 a month and contain 5 deluxe sized beauty samples. While these two subs seem pretty identical on paper, they do each have their own unique flair. And that's why I created this series! Not only am I personally nosy and love seeing what other people are getting in their bags, but I also want to give you some perspective on the kinds of products you can expect to receive from each of these subs so you can figure out which one might be best for you!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pur~lisse Skin Survival Kit Review

*Affiliate links/PR Samples used

As much as I love playing with makeup, I've always been a total nut for skincare. Having suffered from acne most of my life, it's always been my personal quest to find products that keep my skin looking clear and feeling soft. That being said, the process has never been easy. It can take weeks before you can tell whether or not a skincare product is helping or hurting your situation, and you can invest a lot of money in things that ultimately disappoint.

That being said, I really like to take my time with testing skincare. Makeup I can try a few times and have a pretty solid opinion on, but skincare I like to introduce slowly and test very thoroughly before I go and share my opinion with the world. I want to give you all the best recommendations possible, and with skincare that process just can't be rushed.

Speaking of which, I took home a boat load of skincare from Generation Beauty LA and its been taking me quite a long time to work through testing it all. I've been enjoying a lot of it, but this set in particular really blew me away. The Pur~lisse Skin Survival Kit has all the essentials you need for a daily skincare routine and has been nothing short of spectacular for my face!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Score This Deal: Becca Create Your Own Light Set

Friends, I've discovered another seriously amazing makeup steal that you might want to jump on ASAP! As with most of my beauty finds, this was another thing I totally stumbled across by happenstance (thank you Facebook advertising) and couldn't believe what was on the screen in front of me. The BECCA Cosmetics Create Your Own Light Set is a Beautylish exclusive retailing for $69 and (yes you're hearing me correctly) contains FOUR full-sized products and one travel-sized product. Say WHAT? If you've ever shopped for BECCA Products before, you'll know that the average retail price of most of their primers, blushes, and highlighters is more than $30. Needless to say, this set is a GREAT deal.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to Curate Your Dream Eyeshadow Palette

If you're an average, non makeup-obsessed person, there are probably a lot of makeup junkie habits you could give the serious one-eyebrow-raise to. Are those ten nude lipsticks really all that different? Is it actually necessary to set your face with a different powder from your under eyes? And what the heck is with this contouring business? Trust, as much as I love the stuff, I will never tell you you need to own more than a single cosmetic bag's worth of makeup (or any makeup for that matter, you do you boo). But if there is one thing us makeup junkies have unlocked the secret to that I think the average person should totally get on the bandwagon with, it's building your own custom eyeshadow palette.

Am I getting the eyebrow now? Just hear me out. I know it may seem intimidating and potentially expensive, but I promise the investment is so totally worth it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Nude Lip Kit Review

If you guys saw my lip product declutter last week, you're probably well aware that I have a bit of a weak spot when it comes to all things lip related. With all of the variety in shades and textures and finishes, its easy to get carried away. Now, if you can live your life with a sole lipstick, more power to you. But I just can't help myself. I like to have options.

Which brings us to today's post. If you want to give me the judge-y one-eyebrow-raise for going out and buying MORE lip products, I understand. But when I saw this kit at Sephora I just knew I needed to swatch and review it for you guys. Crazy as it may be I will probably never tire of trying new lippies, nor will I ever stop being excited to clue you in to a great deal. And this one guys, is a pretty excellent deal. The Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip Kit ($28) is the perfect way to sample some of the newest lip releases in flattering neutral shades AND with a retail value of $88, you're definitely getting some serious bang for your buck. Sounds too good to be true, am I right? But I promise, it's as true as true can be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

MODA Prismatic Face Perfecting Kit Review

MODA Prismatic Face Brushes
*Affiliate links used

Considering today is Valentine's Day, I thought it might be fun to tell you a love story. Once upon a time I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, idly double tapping through the endless parade of pretty pictures when something stopped me in my tracks. Now, I have absolutely no idea how many makeup brushes I own (spoiler, its a lot), or that I've made googley-eyes at over the years, but these...these were different. These brushes were jewel-toned, ombred little pieces of art, and I knew right then and there that I needed to have them in my life. My heart was even happier to find out that they were part of Royal & Langnickel's MODA collection, a super affordable yet quality brush brand that's sold online or in Walmart stores. Not only was this wonderful news for my wallet, but I also knew that the brand would be part of Generation Beauty LA, and would possibly have them for sale. Much to my delight they had a very limited stock at their booth, and this beautifully little set flew home with me that weekend.

Of course, when it comes to love at first sight I've always been a bit of a skeptic. Attraction at first sight, sure. But love is one of those things you have to build over time as you get to know one another. And so there's always a little piece of me when going on a first date that fears I'm going to suffer the fate of getting super hyped over how cute someone is, only to be let down by how boring, arrogant, or generally jerky they turn out to be. No one likes being disappointed, be it be by a potential SO, or their makeup brushes, and I was feeling extra trepidatious as I pulled this set out of the packaging. Would all that hype be for nothing? Or would this be the start of a beautiful relationship?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Score This Deal: LORAC Lip & Cheek Set

Hey friends! I've got a serious savings alert coming your way. I stumbled upon this sweet little LORAC set while perusing the Ulta website, and wanted to clue you in to its existence. LORAC is one of those makeup brands that I don't think gets enough hype in the beauty-sphere. Known best for their amazing eyeshadow palettes (you can see my full review of the Pro 3 Palette here), I feel like the rest of their line has mostly slipped under the radar. I too am guilty of not taking the time to explore more from the brand, so when I had a few Ulta points to cash in on, I decided this set was a perfect investment! For only $30 you get a full sized blush, lipstick, and lipliner in coordinating shades. Purchased individually these same products would cost you $56, which is adds up to an almost 50% discount. I don't know about you, but that sounded pretty darn good to me!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Promise Organic Argan Body Collection

As an ingredient-conscious, green-leaning beauty blogger there's nothing that gets me more excited  than products packed full of natural goodness. Unfortunately, organic beauty can be as expensive as it is smart, and (much like a trip to Whole Foods) can put a serious dent in your bank account. Every time I consider spending $58 on a 1 oz jar of Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask the cries of desperation from my wallet keep me from pulling the trigger. I know from experience that its a total quality product, but that kind of premium is just way out of the price range of so many people (myself included).

Fortunately, budget-friendly green beauty brands are starting to pop up in drugstores around the country, and I for one am totally stoked about it. One of my newest obsessions is Promise Organic. Sold exclusively at CVS with all products under the $15 mark, Promise Organic is making ingredient-conscious beauty easily accessible to everyone. Their products are packed full of naturally-sourced, powerhouse ingredients that would easily have you thinking they cost three times as much as they do. I honestly don't know how they've managed to stay under the radar for so long, because everything I've tried from the brand has seriously impressed me!

Friday, February 3, 2017

January 2017 Favorites

Hello lovelies! It may be hard to believe, but it's already time to wrap up the first month of 2017! As far as beauty goes this year has been off to quite a start. Between an onslaught of new drugstore makeup launches, all the swag I took home from Gen Beauty, and whatever holiday deals I managed to scoop up at the end of December, I've got an almost overwhelming amount of new stuff to review. That being said, my January favorites are comparatively pretty modest. TBH, I'm pretty picky about what I choose to include in my monthly favorites round-ups. I only like to mention products that I've been using and loving consistently so I can be confident in my recommendations, and sometimes that means it can be a few months between when something hits my hands, and when I make a final verdict. Still, I think I've got some pretty exciting finds to share! If you're curious to learn more about what they are, keep on reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New in: Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo

Friends, it's time for a #realgirl moment. As many of you know, blogging is not my full time gig. Even though I would love to devote 8 hours of my day to all things beauty, I've got to be somewhat realistic about things like not defaulting on my mortgage. For now that means working full time and blogging in whatever other hours I can find. Most days I get up at 6 am, cram in an hour of blog work whilst chugging a cup of coffee, throw myself into the shower, and slap some makeup on before I hurriedly leave the house at 7:30. Sure I manage to make myself look presentable, but it's because I have an arsenal of products that I could probably apply with my eyes closed. On a weekday morning I am all about effortless, easy makeup. Which means that as much as I love a good matte liquid lip, ain't nobody got time for that.

At the same time, that doesn't mean I need to sacrifice luxury or feeling like a classy lady. At Generation Beauty LA I was able to take home a few shades of the latest lip launch from Hourglass, and I knew immediately we would be makeup besties. The Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo is a hydrating, buildable lip color that reigns supreme in my no-fuss everyday makeup bag. With the perfect combination of sophistication and practicality, it's basically got #girlboss written all over it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017 Flashback

I swear, the older I get, the faster time passes. How is the first month of 2017 already behind us? I guess it's true that a lot has happened over the last 31 days, but it still baffles me that it's already February 1st. While I take a minute to wrap my brain around how all of this is possible, let me give you a quick look back at all of the happenings over here in Little Blushing Birdie world.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Subscription Showdown | January 2017

Oooh snap, it's FINALLY time for a throwdown! Both of my monthly beauty subscriptions came while I was in LA for Generation Beauty, but I'm home and ready to unbox (unbag?) them both for you all. If you're new around these parts, Subscription Showdown is a series I film over on my YouTube channel where I compare my Ipsy Glambag and Sephora Play box. Both subscriptions only cost $10 a month and contain 5 deluxe-sized samples that are tailored to your unique beauty profile. Over the years I've discovered so many amazing products through both of these services, so its hard to pick an overall favorite. Instead, I just take things month by month to let you know which one is my personal victor. Curious to see which of these subs stole my heart this month? Just keep on reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What's New at the Drugstore | Winter 2017

Hey there, friends! Is anyone else as excited at I am about all of the new launches from the drugstore? After months of feeling not very enthused by anything in the affordable makeup realm, the shelves of Walgreens and CVS have essentially exploded in the last couple of weeks with products I could not wait to try. Over the past week on my YouTube channel I've put together a couple of videos sharing all of my new loot and putting it to the test for you guys. Curious to see how everything worked out? Keep on reading!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Save or Splurge? A Comparison of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette & Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Palette

Friends, I'm not even going to try to contain my excitement. I am SO jazzed for you to read this post! Not only is Save or Splurge one of my favorite series to write, but the palettes we're going to chat about today are SO amazing and SO hyped that I've basically been bursting at the seams wanting to talk about them since the moment they both ended up in my possession.

If you're new to these parts and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, here's the general scoop. With all of the beauty products I've tried over the years, I've found that time and time again a price tag is not always an indicator of how great something will perform. Yes, some luxury products are totally worth the investment, but there are plenty of budget-friendly drugstore alternatives out there that work equally well and can save you a ton of cash.

As you're already well aware, today's post is a throwdown between the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette and the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutral Palette. Now, I will say this right of the bat - these two palettes are in no way exact dupes of one another. The shade ranges each have their own unique offerings, and if you're a die hard makeup junkie like myself, that may be the justification you need to purchase them both. But with all the drama around the Sweet Peach relaunch and its almost $50 price point, having a super affordable alternative to get your warm-toned neutrals on might just be exactly what you're looking for.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Look: H2O+ Beauty

If there is one thing that my endeavors in beauty blogging has taught me, it's that finding the perfect skincare routine is about as easy as finding the perfect man. There's a whole sea of options out there, and yet finding someone (or some moisturizer) you click with is no easy feet. You know how it is. Those products that totally underwhelm are like those first dates where you keep checking your phone to see how much time has passed. Or you have those finds that you think are ah-maaaaazing on the first use, but then after a couple of weeks (much like that jerk of a guy who randomly stops calling you after the second date) end up breaking you out.

Of course there are those people who have been using the same products for the last 20 years and have amazing skin that I can only explain as the same phenomenon as people who marry their high school sweetheart and stay together until they're retired. If you are one of those people, kudos to you. But for the rest of us, we have many skincare loves and breakups in our lives, and need to wade through a whole bunch of junk in the process of finding our product soulmates.

Which brings me to the topic of today's post. One of the brands I've been "dating" over the past few months has been H2O+ Beauty. I remember seeing this brand on the shelves at Kohl's over the years, and not having my interest piqued. But after chatting with their lovely PR team during Gen Beauty back in September, I came to learn that in 2016 the brand totally revamped their packaging and reformulated their products to get rid of all of the parabens, mineral oil, and phthalates. Not only do I love the idea of cleaner skincare, but I am OBSESSED with their new aesthetic. Like a dude with a great new haircut, I was suddenly seeing the brand in a whole different light.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Maybelline 24K Nudes Palette Review

This post is sponsored by Maybelline. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information regarding my affiliations and disclosures click here.

Happy New Year, loves! Is your mind also blown that January is already here? I know this can be a rough month, what with all of the fun and excitement of the holidays behind us, but I do have one piece of good news to lift your spirits. A new year means that a TON of beauty launches are on their way, so you can at least look forward to having plenty of pretty new makeup to play with if you're cooped up indoors.

One of the things helping me get through the post-holiday slump is this Maybelline 24K Nudes Palette ($11.99). Maybelline was kind enough to send it to me to review along with some other fun eye makeup goodies to complete my look. It's got some really beautiful on-trend colors that I'm super excited to show you!