Beauty Find - NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact, Limited Edition

If you're mind is wandering towards new Fall fashion wish lists - then you're probably also ready for a new Fall smokey eye.

For Fall 2014, NARS has introduced the NARSissist Smokey Eye Kit.  It's a limited-edition collection of three must have shades, a mini Via Veneto Larger Than Life eyeliner and a newly designed travel sized wide contour Brush #43 for easy application on the go and for travel.

The three powder shadow shades (shown, above), from left to right include, Madrague, a matte cream, Bali a neutral grey/brown and Mekong, an.Espresso brown with gold shimmer,

Let's go into each of the shades in the kit, shall we?

Madrague was soft, finely milled and blended easily.  It was a great base for my smokey eye and wore very well through the day (even without eye shadow primer). 
Bali is a shade that will work on everyone.  It's matte, also very finely milled with great staying power as well.

Mekong is one of my personal favorite shades. It's a beautiful deep brown with very finely milled gold shimmer.  It's a warm tone and because the brown in matte, the shimmer stands out but is not overwhelming for day.  It was also very soft and smooth, but because of the shimmer, was not quite as blendable as the other two.  I needed to take a bit more time with this shade but it was worth it.  I loved using this all over the top and bottom lash line after using the Via Veneto, which is a classic matte black liner that glided along my lids smoothly.  It has lots of pigment and fantastic staying power of more than 8+ hours on me.

The #43 has a short handle with a fairly large brush. While the brush hairs are slightly scratchy, I still  found it very easy to work with the sharp, flat angled shape to blend my shadows and soften the lines on the lower lash line.

I think this is a great palette for those of you who love a brown-based smokey eye, want all of your core products in one place and have goof-proof shades that will work on everyone, for day or night. - RLB

Go-->NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact, Limited Edition 

*This product was provided courtesy of NARS PR for reviewing purposes.

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Nivea Skin Firming & Smoothing Concentrated Serum

So, as it's product name indicates, Nivea Skin Firming + Smoothing Concentrated Serum
is a product to help with improvement with firmness and smoothness of trouble areas like tummy, thighs, buttocks, and lower legs. 

However, this is does NOT mean it will make your cellulite disappear! This is really important to point out, because I'm a big believer in sharing products with you that work - and telling you what you they can and cannot do and who they're best for.

I stumbled upon this serum after someone telling me about it recently, and thought it might be nice to road test before an upcoming beach vacation to the west coast recently. The product claims that with regular daily use, it can improve skin's firmness in about 10 days. It contains Coenzyme Q10, Natural Lotus extract, and L-Carnitine. 

The texture of the serum is slightly thick and a bit sticky out of the bottle, but smoothed onto my skin very easily. It abosorbed very quickly and left no residue or greasy/sticky feeling. It has a very prominent floral scent, which I happened to like, that dissipated after about a minute or so. (But I do think that an unscented version would be a nice addition to the line for those who don't want or can't have products with fragrance). 

I needed about approximately 1 pump per body area e.g. tummy, and found that this will last me about a month or so with continued daily use. The product hydrated and smoothed my body very nicely, but the proof would be the results after the first two weeks.... 

 What I noticed was very impressive. There was an improvement in the texture of the skin on my thighs/legs, but equally as impressive was the improvement in firmness as well. Any cellulite was "reduced" in appearance due to the smoothing effect, but I was still very pleased. Since the initial two weeks, I have continued to use Nivea Skin Firming + Smoothing Concentrated Serum to maintain the results. 

Bottom Line? Yes, you have to keep up a healthy diet and exercise to really continue the results, but for me, this is worthy of staying in my permanent body care collection - especially in the summer months! - RLB

Go-->Nivea Skin Firming & Smoothing Concentrated Serum, 2.5 fl oz

Body Care Find - MoroccanOil Intense Moisturizing Treatment

Even in the summer months, those will drier skin will many times still have to work through dry cracked heels on feet, elbows and lower legs.

MoroccanOil, (famous for their Moroccan Oil hair treatment), now has a line of body products which cater to those with dry skin.  One of my favorites is the MoroccanOil Intense Moisturizing Treatment.

This is a thick gel/oil texture that is also a tad sticky out of the tube and when spreading it on feet, for example.  But if you're willing to deal with a little stickiness for a second or two, you will be well rewarded.

My feet were baby soft and smooth after using the treatment (especially overnight) and ready for any kind of summer sandal or open toed shoe. The finish is a nice glowing sheen and it soothed my skin instantly.

This is also great for flaking skin on other parts of the foot, like the bottom, to rub on dry elbows and knees before heading outside this summer.  There's no sun protection in the product, but since it's really meant as a spot treatment, I didn't have any issues using a sunscreen over these areas when applying to my body.

This is one of the best products I've tried recently for cracked heels, persistently dry feet. flaking skin and dry elbows/legs. It's also my go-to product to maintain a weekly pedicure by applying it to feet/toes and cuticles. - RLB

*This product was provided courtesy of Moroccan Oil PR for reviewing purposes.