Fragrance Find - Thierry Mugler Womanity

FragranceNet.comWhat I've found over the years is Thierry Mugler's fragrances elicit either a strong "Love it" or "Dislike it" opinion - there's really nothing in between for most people.

Thierry Mugler's first fragrance, Angel, (based on Chocolate notes), is still one of the best selling perfumes world wide - it's also one which many people absolutely do not like.
Mugler's third and latest fragrance, Womanity, is a complete departure from both Angel and his 2nd scent, Alien, (which is based on Amber) in that it's the first ever fragrance based on sweet and savory notes - specifically fig and caviar.

This combination might strike some of you as an odd coupling right off the bat - and to be sure, if you are a Angel fan (a sweet gourmand), this may not be for you at all. However, if you're like me and love long lasting, memorable scents that have citrus, marine, salty and drier sweet notes, this will be a winner for you as it was for me.

The opening on my skin picked up the primary sweet note - the fig. This particular essence of the fig fruit was extracted using a revolutionary new technique called Molecular Distillation, which allowed the perfumers to fully recontruct the aromatic body of the fig.
This fig note is sweet, "creamy" and while very present on my skin, not "loud" by any means. Some citrus made it's way in the opening of the scent as well, which balanced the fig out for me.
Soon, I began detecting that oceanic, somewhat salty caviar note, which I just loved - it turned into an almost musk-like smell with the dry down of the scent. The warmer part of the dry down is from the fig wood and fig leaf, and this gave it the sensual dimension that Mugler's scents are known for.

You'll also note that once again Mugler has created an original, statement making bottle to house Womanity. It's a bit tribal, mysterious and rocker "edgy" all at the same time with the silver totem head detail and chain-ring attached to the bottle opening. Which makes sense. Mugler wanted this scent to reflect the infinate expressions of womankind. He says that "It's a muscial fragrance tuned to the emotions of the woman who wears it."

To Mugler's point, I can say is that it smelled wildly different from person to person when I was at the Womanity fragrance launch event. On me, as I mentioned, the fig stayed with me a long time until the more marine-caviar and milky notes appeared. On others, the citrus was very prominent, on still other friends the milky, drier notes.

I think if you're in the market for a brand new scent experience, or are a real Mugler fragrance fan, you will be very pleased to add Womanity to your fragrance collection. - RLB


*Womanity products were provided courtesy of Clarins Group for reviewing purposes.

Budget Beauty Find - Wet n Wild Mega Volume Mascara If you're on a really tight beauty budget (or just don't like investing too much money into a mascara), Wet n Wild Mega Volume Mascara is a great choice.

I recently discovered this little drugstore gem and was actually very impressed with the formula and brush (especially given the $2 price tag!).

Mega Volume did a very nice job thickening my med/fine lashes with just about 2 coats, while providing some additional length as well. It's a moist, medium-weight formula that dried fairly quickly, and didn't clump or smudge all day. I loved that the brush allowed me to get a precise application in the inner and outer corners of my lashes, as the brush is narrow. I didn't experience any flaking or eye irritation.

I used this in the black shade, and the finish is what I would call a "enhanced natural" lash effect. This is perfect for day time, the office or just running around on the weekends when you want your lashes kicked up a notch, but not with overly dramatic fullness/length.

This is also great to purchase for a "spare" mascara for the office or a travel bag because of the wallet-friendly price tag. - RLB

Go-->Wet n Wild MegaVolume Mascara available as most drugstores and mass merchants nation wide.

*This product was provided courtesy of CMM PR for reviewing purposes.
**Image courtesy of WetnWild

FS $25, GC

Beauty Event - The New Pantene Hair Collection is Here! If you've been in the drugstore lately, you've no doubt noticed a change in the hair care isle - it's the new Pantene hair care collection.

Like me, you may already be a big Pantene fan and have your favorites from previous Pantene collections, such as the Pro-V line, or my personal favorite for very dry, relaxed and very curly/kinky hair - the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural line.

So, you may be thinking, "What do I use now?"

Well, I was recently invited to a very intimate event for the new Pantene hair collection launch - and what I learned will not only clear up how the collection can best be used for your unique hair type, but also clear up some misconceptions about hair care and the Pantene products.

The event was hosted by Pantene Sr. Scientist, Jeni Thomas and celebrity hairstylist for Pantene, Tippi Shorter (pictured, right), who works with stars such as Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna, to name just a few.

They took us through the new hair collection, which is made up of 4 lines to match 4 specific hair types - fine, med/thick, curly, and color treated.

This is a completely different way of categorizing hair care and a big departure for the brand, but with their advanced scientific research on hair and new product formulations, they have created one of the best mass market hair care lines on the market - one that you can mix, match and tailor to any hair type.

Many women of color will gravitate towards the Curly line, and this is a great choice for those of you with naturally curly hair in which you either want one of two results:

Curls to Straight -These products loosen the curl and prepare and protect it when straight styling, such as with a flat iron/blow dryer. The second choice are the Dry to Moisturized products which hydrate and define your curls while controlling frizz. As far as the curly line goes, I'm a big fan. Both of the product types in the line cleanse well, while keeping moisture in the curls. Depending on what you want to do with your curls, each of the ancillary styling products does exactly what they say they will do, from smoothing frizz, to protecting hair from heat styling tools. Not only have I seen first hand that this is a fantastic line on my own little "Sporty Spice", who has naturally long, curly hair that tends to frizz, but Pantene also tested the frizz fighting products in the line on hair in a facility which was 80 degrees with 80% humidity for 24 hours to ensure they worked!

Note: Pantene will still carry the popular Relaxed and Natural line, which is still a fantastic choice for many women of color with very dry hair that is also relaxed or worn in it's naturally very curly/kinky state -including braids and dreadlocks. It's important to also note that although this line is marketed towards "women of color" (and will still have the wording on it's packaging) it's the perfect solution for women of any background with extremely dry and or thick/brittle hair. Case in point: Tippi told us that one of her favorite products to use on Lady Gaga was the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural intensive deep conditioner. Why? Because all the hair bleaching Gaga does on a regluar basis left her hair extremely dry and damaged - perfect for the Relaxed and Natural line.

The best way to think of the new Pantene hair system is to establish 1) what type of hair you have and 2) what type of hair you want.

If you have extremely dry hair and moisturizing is your top concern, then you can go directly to the Relaxed and Natural line, and use the products best suited to you e.g. daily conditioning cream, conditioner, etc.

If however, your top concern is not extreme moisture, you can use the following 3-step process to make your product choices, by determining if you have:

1. Non-colored or Colored hair. If your hair is Non-colored go on to step 2 and 3. If it is colored, you can stay in this line and choose the products to help you achieve the look you want, e.g. shampoo, conditioner, treatments, etc.

2. Straight or Culy hair. If your hair is Curly, then you can stay in this line and choose the products choose to help you achieve the look you want, e.g. shampoo, conditioner, treatments, etc. If It's straight (even by chemically relaxing), then move to the 3rd variable.

3. Fine or Medium-Thick hair
Decide if you have fine hair (less volume, limp in it's natural state) or medium/thick hair (more volume, naturally full). This is the final factor that will determine the core products and coordinating treatments for the final results you desire. You will use the Fine products for fine hair and Medium-Thick products for medium-thick hair.

So, for example, a woman who has highlighted, relaxed hair that is somewhat dry can use the dry to hydrated products in the Color hair care line. A woman who has curly, non-color treated hair that likes to flat iron it a few times a week would go directly to the curly line, using the Curls to Straight products.

Tippi also gave some great tips such as:

*Use a paddle brush to better evenly distribute conditioner through the hair while in the shower.

*Remember to follow the directions on the bottle as to how much conditioner to put in your hair (tons of conditioner is not better for your hair!). In most cases a quarter-sized amount is enough. Also take note of how long to leave the conditioner on. Again, leaving it on for an hour when the bottle says 5 minutes is not going to give you better results.

* Take Pantene's intense treatment ampoules on vacations when you're going to be in a sunny/hot climate because they're easy to pack and provide great reparative conditioning in these conditions.

Another huge myth that Tippi dispelled - heat does not really increase the effectiveness of most conditioners (unless it specifically states that it's heat activated). She also reminded us that like many cosmetic products, such as foundation, we should also think of our hair care seasonally - so that the shampoo/conditioner and even styling products that you use in the winter may need to be changed for the summer months.

The Pantene event was a eye opening education in the advances in hair care science to create a truly all-inclusive hair care line. Hopefully now you've got the information you need to go out and try the products that will make your hair look and feel it's very best - all at a great price too! - RLB

Let me know if you've tried the new Pantene products - and what your experience has been with them!

*Pantene products were provided courtesy of DeVries PR for reviewing purposes.

Budget Beauty Find - Rimmel London Royal Gloss Delicious Lip Gloss, inc. Is a light, sheer, inexpensive, tube-applicator gloss more your speed for summer?

Rimmel London Royal Gloss Delicious Lip Gloss is just right for you.

I loved the sheer color, super lightweight and layerable formula with a nice touch of shine. It does have a soft, bubblegum flavor, which is fun for those that don't mind candy scents, and it's not too overwhelming even for those of you who prefer fragrance free lip products.

This gloss was not sticky at all and it left my lips extremely soft and supple throughout the day. The shine is pretty and natural, and not over the top, without any glitter or shimmer - so this is a great choice for younger girls, and teens as well.

My three favorite shades in the collection are Berry Crush (shown in picture above), Peach Crush, and Pink Taffy, which are a warm mid-tone rose pink, peach and soft pink respectively, that will look good on most skin tones, especially layered over a complimentary lip shade. Stock up on these for the summer! - RLB

Go-->Rimmel London Royal Gloss Delicious Lip Gloss $4.99

*This product was provided courtesy of Rimmel London for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Philosophy The Supernatural Superbeautiful superhealthy, hybrid makeup spf 20 Looking for a light, everyday foundation with wonderful skin benefits? Philosophy's got just this product for you! Their Philosophy Supernatural Superbeautiful - Good-For-Skin Makeup SPF 20 is a wonderful option.

This liquid makeup is very unique in texture - a real cross between a tinted moisturizer and a foundation. I loved how easy it was to blend when applying (I liked using it with a foundation brush by the way).

If you have fairly good skin with few discolorations, you can use this over your entire face and skip concealer. However, if you have very dark circles or more intense spot coverage is needed, I found that it did also work well with concealer.

The finish is also unique. I found I could see my skin "through the makeup" - but it still looked polished and "finished" - as if I had used a heavier foundation. It's a matte/dewy hybrid that will flatter every woman and is perfect for daytime or night time makeup looks.

I used the Extra Rich shade because I'm tan now, but the Rich will be a good match in the Fall/Winter. As you've heard me say before about other brands, the color selection could always be larger, particularly in the end of the spectrum with much darker browns, but overall, the shades will work on many women, especially in the "mid-tones".

I found that it provided nice hydration without making me oily in my t-zone, and the coverage lasted all day (especially with a primer added first). It also did not clog my pores or streak.

All in all, this is a wonderful choice for those of you with fairly good skin tone, who just want flawless skin and great skincare benefits, like sunscreen and good for you moisturizers, included. - RLB

Go-->Philosophy Supernatural Superbeautiful - Good-For-Skin Makeup SPF 20

*This product was courtesy of Philosophy for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Sally Hansen Diamond 12 Hour Lip Treatment

20% off Vitamins & GNC I've discovered a new (inexpensive) lip gloss that is perfect for those of you who want:
moisture, high shine finish, a brush applicator, and subtle, but distinctive color.

Sally Hansen Diamond 12 Hour Lip Treatment was a joy to use. I loved how smooth and light the gloss was, and the shine via the real micro fine diamond particles (not chubby glitter).

Since it's a gloss and not a long lasting lipstick, expect there to be some fading (so I didn't get 12 hours worth of color), but what was nice is that as it faded during the day, there was still some lovely shimmer left on my lips. Just 1 additional swipe for a touch up and the full effect was back. The gloss did continue to moisturize my lips and keep them soft throughout the day however, even if I didn't have time to reapply. The applicator allowed me to control how much gloss I put on the brush, and it had a pleasant, slightly vanilla scent.

My favorite shade was
Eternity (sheer coral/peach with a touch of bronze), shown in picture above. I also loved Solitaire (sheer baby pink), and Marquise (sheer watermelon pink). These glosses work perfectly on their own, but if you want more color dimension on your lips, they also work equally well over light lipsticks.

You'll also love the price! $5.99 each - RLB

Go-->Sally Hansen Diamond 12 Hour Lip Treatment

*This product was provided courtesy of Sally Hansen for reviewing purposes.
*Image courtesy Sally Hansen/Walgreen's.

FS $25, GC

Your Must-Have Makeup Primers For Summer!

This guest post is courtesy of

Back in the day, when I was still somewhat of a makeup maven but didn't believe in multi-step beauty processes, I liked to keep things simple with just a layer of foundation, a swipe of shadow, some eyeliner and mascara. No primers, no powder, no finishing spray -- it all just seemed like a lot of unnecessary work when the finished look was basically the same. Yes, I was young and foolish. Little did I know that my runny eyeliner, smudged mascara, and creased foundation that required lots of mid-day touch-ups could have been totally avoided if I had just taken the simple extra prep step!

Especially in the summer, when the sweaty weather works hard to ruin your look and you don't want to look (or feel) like your makeup is caked on,
makeup primers are essential to keep your look low-maintenance and in place. I'm especially diggin' Smashbox Photo Finish in Bronze -- it gives you that subtle summer glow while prepping your skin for powder with plenty of staying powder. I swear by Urban Decay's Primer Potion in Sin -- it's just like the original primer potion but with a shimmery champagne hue. Wear it alone as eyeshadow, or just as a base for other shades. Also, if you're a multi-tasker, Cover FX's primer is a concealer and base in one! No matter what your problem area, these primers have you covered in a way that won't make you feel suffocated!

Save on makeup primers at
Ulta from's coupon site., Inc.

Beauty Innovation - Olay Total Effects Plus Cooling Hydration The first day I tried the latest product in the Olay Total Effects line up, Olay Total Effects Plus Cooling Hydration, it was an unseasonably hot day in the spring time - the kind where you wake up hot and it just keeps on going from there.

I loved the idea of Total Effects including a cooling component when I attended a special launch event for the brand several months ago, and I now can tell you that when it's hot - this is one moisturizer you want to have on hand.

The moisturizer did exactly what it says, provided a refreshing, cooling feeling as soon as I applied it to my skin. It was lightweight, smooth with no sticky feeling. My skin felt soft and hydrated without making my T-zone too oily (big concern when the temps get high!).

I love the packaging in the solid pump, which made it easy to apply just a few pea sized drops in order to cover my entire face.

What I also love about this moisturizer is that in addition to the cooling effect (thanks to a mint extract) and light, but effective moisturization, you're also fighting the 7 signs of aging by, among other things, minimizing fine lines, protecting skin from free radicals, minimizing pores and brightening skin.

This is also a great moisturizer to toss in your gym bag for a post work out moisturizer application that will also cool you down and refresh you! - RLB

Go-->Olay Total Effects Plus Cooling Hydration

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

FS $25, GC