Social Butterfly: Lauren Elizabeth

By / Cover stories / December 15, 2016

YouTube star, lifestyle blogger & actress Lauren Elizabeth spills secrets on navigating the social media stratosphere

Hello beautiful human beings of the internet! I’m Lauren Elizabeth!”

If you’re one of Chicago native Lauren Elizabeth Luthringshausen’s nearly 1.3 million YouTube subscribers, you’ll recognize the cyber greeting. It’s typically followed by a transparent look into her life: a tour of her apartment, a video of her getting a tattoo or a peek inside her oversized Alexander McQueen tote.

The 22-year-old started her channel in 2011, producing beauty and makeup tutorials, before switching to comedy and lifestyle.

In the beginning, she was a moderate success. “In the first few years, I climbed to 120,000 [subscribers], and then I uploaded a video where I said I wasn’t going to be like anyone else anymore and I was going to do my own thing,” Lauren says. “After that video, I went from 120,000 to a million in less than year.” Titled “The Truth About Me,” the video has more than 564,000 views.

Since then, candid clips like “My Morning Routine” ­—  in which she reveals her method for treating blemishes, pointing to one on her chin — and “My Most Embarrassing Moment” have helped her amass an additional 1.1 million Instagram and 637,000 Twitter followers. She’s also launched her namesake app — a one-stop-shop for fashion, fitness an food content — and made a name for herself in Hollywood, appearing on award show red carpets and landing roles in the 2015 Vimeo on Demand film “Bad Night” and, most recently, “We Love You,” which debuted on iTunes earlier this month.

While home for the holidays — she’s based in LA — the social media sensation let Splash in on her New Year’s Eve style tricks, tips for taking the perfect Instagram and how to pull off leggings and a tee on a night out.

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 Ringing in the New Year & other style tips



Though she was teased at first, Lauren Elizabeth was at the front of the combat boot trend. “I remember I wore combat boots in high school and was made fun of,” she says, “and then all of a sudden every single girl was wearing combat boots. I realized I needed to take style risks first and start the trend, instead of waiting for it to come around.”



The outfit Lauren says she’d wear for the rest of her life? Lululemon leggings and a graphic tee from Brandy Melville ( or a shop at Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California. “I’ll throw on a really cute pair of embellished booties and a nice leather jacket,” she says. “What [people] don’t know is that underneath the jacket and my booties [are] pajamas.”



At this year’s American Music Awards, Lauren walked the red carpet in a blush gown from Reformation and what she considers to be this year’s must-have trend: a diamond layer choker (hers, above, was designed by New York-based Danielle Guizio). What else is trending this year? “I really love the look of fishnets under ripped jeans with the fishnet [coming] up on your waist with a crop top.”



When it comes to ringing in the New Year, Lauren gives glitter the green light, but recommends limiting it to just one part of your face, whether you do a glitter highlighter, eye or lip. (She recommends Pat McGrath’s kit, $60; She suggests going gold for darker, tanned skin, or sticking to silver if you have a lighter complexion.

Try these: BECCA highlighter ($38; — “for a good pop of shimmer on the cheek,” she says — and Benefit Roller Lash mascara ($24;

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How to get Insta perfection

1. Get the perfect shot (a how-to)


Step 1: Say goodbye to selfies … sort of. Lauren uses selfie mode for photos, but has a friend hold the camera. Her top tech tool: the iPhone 7. “The front camera is next level,” she says.

Step 2: “You want natural light or a non-yellow light, like an LED [or] cool-toned ring light — not a lamp.”

Step 3: “Never take a selfie from the center of [your] face. I tilt my head to my right, arch my eyebrow and [try] to not make too much of a duck face, but do a little pout.”

Step 4: “The secret is using Snapchat filters and saving [the photo], then uploading to Instagram. Snapchat has a pretty filter I’m guilty of using that airbrushes your face.”

2. Find a like-minded role model

instarolemodelBesides her mom, local food writer Kiki Luthringshausen, Lauren looks up to fellow social media star Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad. “[I love] her style — she can wear the girliest outfit and pull it off and then wear the most punky-grungy outfit — her tattoos, her business that she’s built, her lifestyle,” Lauren says. “That’s who I aspire to be like.”

3. Stay true to yourself


While most social media stars show a picture-perfect look into their lives (and homes), Lauren offers a more authentic take. In a recent YouTube video tour of her LA apartment  — which racked up more than 203,000 views — Lauren wasn’t afraid to show her abode as is (think makeup products all over the bathroom counter, unhung art and pillows hiding the TV wires).

4. Define your aesthetic


One look at her Instagram page, @Laurenelizabeth, and it’s clear: Lauren has a very uniform look. “I get everything to look cohesive by using the same two filters — HB1 and HB2 — on a [photo editing] app called VSCO [free in the App Store]. I always turn the saturation and temperature down [so the image isn’t] orangey.” She also ups the contrast and sharpens her photos.

laurenextra1_1200pxAT THE SHOOT

We pegged the party pros at Chicago-based Paris312 to deck out a suite at the dana hotel and spa for our cover shoot with Lauren Elizabeth. Tissue paper poms, giant balloons and — of course — lots of sparkle made our New Year’s Eve dreams come true.

Photographer: Maria Ponce

Stylist: Elizabeth Margulis, Big Hair Big City

Hair & makeup: Kyrsten Bryant, Ford Artists

Props: Paris312;

Shot on location at: dana hotel and spa, 660 N. State; 

Top: Needle & Thread, $285, Felt Chicago, 2317 N. Milwaukee;  Pants: fab’rik, $54, 1543 N. Milwaukee;  Skirt: custom by Laura Gordon*;  Belt: White House Black Market, $118, 520 N. Michigan;  Shoes: Public Desire, $39.99;  Necklace: T&J Designs*, $108;  Chokers: All Choked Up*, $16-$26;  Earrings: $180  Bangles: $135-$165  Both by: Giselle Gatsby*;  Gold bracelet: Lauren’s own    Lipstick: mixture of MAC Cosmetics Viva Glam Ariana Grande I, $17,, and NARS Dragon Girl lip pencil, $26,  Props: poms and fans, starting at $26, balloons and tassles, starting at $60, Paris312*;  *Chicago-based labels


Pants: THE ORDER*, $198;  Shoes: Anne Michelle, $28, fab’rik, 1543 N. Milwaukee;  Bell-sleeve tunic: Christina Karin*, $198;  Blouse: Frame, $275, Felt Chicago, 2317 N. Milwaukee;  Cape: $118  Necklace: $58  Both by: T&J Designs*,  Earrings: Giselle Gatsby*, $85;  Lipstick: mixture of Cruella and Dragon Girl lip pencils, $26 each, NARS;  Props: Happy New Year banner, $24,  balloons and tassles, starting at $60, Paris312*;  *Chicago-based labels



Necklace: $75, Giselle Gatsby;  Tights: Forever 21, $6.90;  Boots: Stuart Weitzman, $798, 520 N. Michigan;  Shorts: Topshop, $68;  Top: Opening Ceremony, $375, Felt Chicago, 2317 N. Milwaukee;  Coat: vintage fur, Knee Deep Vintage, 1425 W. 18th;  Props: confetti push-pops, $24/set of 4;


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