Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Review

 *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


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

*This post is about 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


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


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


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!