Drugstore Buy of the Week - IMAN Skin Tone Evener BB Creme SPF 15

Iman has created IMAN Skin Tone Evener BB Cream SPF 15 for women of color, and as she did with her liquid mineral foundation product (one of my go-to foundations for pictures and on-camera work as a matter of fact) - it's a home run!

First, I chose my shade using Iman's amazingly accurate online shade finder tool, I was given Earth Medium as my shade match (which worked perfectly). The shades will work for all women of color, right through to the deepest brown shades - yay!

The texture of the BB creme is very lightweight, freshly scented and smooth with a nice amount of slip that allowed me to easily apply with either my fingers or beauty sponge.  There was no streaking or flaking while applying, and I was very impressed with the nice amount of coverage that only one coat provided.  (This product can be layered for additional coverage to a medium level if needed).  The finish was very nice - my skin immediately looked healthy, smooth I got nice amount of coverage for small discolorations, etc.  However, please keep in mind that if you need medium-full foundation level of coverage for your day-to day look, this may not provide enough pigment for you. I found that a little under a dime sized amount was enough for full face coverage.

As for wear during the day, I liked how it gave me a nice amount of oil control in my T-zone (I did also use primer and a light layer of finishing power over it daily). It's a semi matte, very natural finish, so it was perfect for work, weekends and travel.  The is perfect for the "no-makeup/makeup - my skin but better" effect.

The other major feature of this BB Creme is the skin tone evening (Using their Skin Tone Evener Complex enriched with Acai, Licorice and Grapeseed).  As of this week, I had not yet used it long enough to see the long term effects to some light hyper pigmentation (but will provide an update to this review in a few weeks on that aspect of the creme).  

But for now, I love the fact that I'm also getting  SPF 15 in this creme as well (and when combined with a moisturizer or primer of your choice with at least SPF 15 - you're good to go for the day with sun protection!). - RLB

Important Note: This product is not designed for acne-prone skin, so please keep this in mind as some of the ingredients are known to affect people with this skin type.

Go-->IMAN Skin Tone Evener BB Cream SPF 15

Find out where IMAN Cosmetics is having their next in-store event! http://www.facebook.com/IMANcosmetics/events

Budget Beauty Find - Crabtree + Evelyn Nail Lacquer

Crabtree + Evelyn has decided to also get into the nail polish category, and their new line is one you'll love.

Crabtree + Evelyn Nail Lacquer are long-lasting, richly colored, fast-drying - and only $6 a piece! The formula is creamy and medium thick and didn't streak. The color was very nice with one coat, and bottle perfect with two. The brush is standard and easy to coat the nail beds.  With a top coat, I got about 4 days before any noticeable chipping. 

There are 21 shades in the line.  Some of my favorites are Clementine (shown above), Sky (a pale, creamy blue) and Apple ( a true, cherry red).  There are a lot of classic, standard shades as well as surprising unique ones like metallic greens and deep blues.

They've also managed to create a formula which has non of the toxic chemicals (like camphor, dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde or toluene). 

Pick up a few of these for spring and treat yourself without breaking the bank. - RLB

Special! Get 3 nail polishes for $12 Go--> Crabtree + Evelyn Nail Lacquer 

*These products were provided courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn PR for reviewing purposes.

Fragrance Find - Angel Aqua Chic by Thierry Mugler, Summer 2013 Edition

Calling all Thierry Mugler Angel perfume fans!

Thierry Mugler Angel Aqua Chic is your new way to wear this classic scent for the warmer weather.

The recent Angel Eau de Toilette was a great version of the original Angel for me, and now with Aqua Chic I can go just a little lighter, and more citrusy - which I love.

The overall "Angel" essence that Thierry Mugler created years ago is still there, but Aqua Chic has taken the fruit/patchouli/vanilla structure and made it more transparent and fresh.  It still has all the silage the other versions do, with a beautiful spicy/musk dry down.  The opening notes have a lot more citrus/green notes , but it blends very well with Angel's original fragrance notes of Vanilla and Patchouli. The result is a impactful scent that is lighter, yet just as impressive and chic as the original. Note: If you've never worn the original, this might also be a great fragrance to start with, as it's a lighter introduction to the original, which, for some people, is just too sweet and strong.

While Aqua in the name might give you the impression that it has "aquatic or marine notes" that's not the case.  Actually, Mugler has also used a special process called hydrosol, which  means flower water was added (from roses in this case) that gives you the benefit of getting the smell of flowers without the concentration. Of course Aqua also refers to the beautiful blue shade of the perfume itself in the bottle. The result is a fresh and airy fragrance without the heavy impact of the original Angel. As the scent warmed up on my skin, the vanilla and sweeter notes came through gently.

And let's talk about the bottle.  If you're a fan of Angel and collect the different versions of the bottle that have come out over the years, this one doesn't dissapoint either.  It's a gorgeous blue and silver star, and the star has a slight ombre silver spray-paint effect on the bottom half of the star.  The bottle is also refillable, so you can add this to your collection as well.  To display, this bottle lays flat,on a small, square shaped part of the back of the bottle, giving the effect of a star fish found on the beach!    

This is one "Angel" you'll love all summer long. - RLB

Fragrance Notes:
Rose Water, Raspberry Blossom, Green Apple Granite, Vanilla, Patchouli

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

Nail Polish Find - butter LONDON for Goop Candy Coated Trio

Even though Spring is taking it's time to arrive here on the East Coast, you can surround yourself with pretty, spring pastel shades with the new butterLONDON Candy Coated Trio for Gwyneth Paltrow's website GOOP as part of her exclusive collaborations.
buttonLONDON was inspired by the charming colors and silhouettes of the 50’s with this collection. Immediately gravitated towards "Jasper" which is a creamy, perfect yellow.  The other two shades are "Fruit Machine" pink and "Fiver" green.  All three shades are very creamy and smooth and work well with either one coat or two.  The polish didn't streak and the brush is always very easy to use if you're doing an at home manicure.  The finish is shiny and the wear with a top coat is at least a week.
This is also a great little beauty gift for the nail polish lover in your life.  Or if you only have one favorite, split the cost with girlfriends so you all get your favorite shade for a budget friendly price. For those who are very creative and big nail art fans, these three colors would make adorable color combinations and Easter egg nail themes as well! - RLB

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

Get a No-Regrets Head Start on Your Summer Tan with St. Tropez Moisturizer

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind

I live in San Francisco, where pool parties are scarce and even the most summery of weather hardly calls for anything sleeveless. I also don't have any plans for a tropical getaway anytime soon. So what does that mean, exactly? My tan needs some serious work and there's little opportunity to work on it. Tragic, I know. Considering the fact that an artificial bronze glow often ends up looking exactly how it sounds – artificial – how does one stop being pasty without showing up to work the next day a completely different hue than the day before – especially since it's not even officially springtime yet?

St. Tropez is helping sun-starved gals like me work on my golden glow gradually with the help of its Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer. If you're looking for subtle results that will simply help your skin stop glowing under blacklight – and possibly get a head start on a serious tan for when you are ready to embrace the bronze goddess look with full force – this lotion will provide natural, buildable, streak-free color that doesn't look overdone or orange! And the best part? Unlike other self-tanning products, it smells as subtle as it looks! - Alexandra Gambardella

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream and Lash Serum Duo Kit

Olay has created a 2-in-1 product that has something for everyone.

The lash serum from the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream and Lash Serum Duo Kit was really what drew me to this product.  I fell in love with it.  The serum is a light weight gel that combs through the lashes very well.  It's light weight, non- sticky or greasy and upon drying does not flake.  Used with the brush, it gave me super defined and separated lashes.  Note: You do need to wait about 5 minutes for the serum to completely dry if you're interested in wearing mascara over it.  

However, my favorite way to do the treatment was by applying the serum at night before bed, so there was never any dry time issue.  After a few weeks of use, I did notice how much softer and healthier may lashes looked even before adding mascara.  My lashes did also appear thicker, and I plan on continuing use to see if my lashes continue to have great results.

While this won't replace mascara, using the serum alone in the day time is a great option if you want a very natural but nicely separated lash look.  When I did use it as a "lash primer" under my favorite mascaras, it made a huge difference in the length and thickness of my lashes as well.

Having an eye cream in the opposite side of the tube is very convenient   I liked using a dab just to smooth out any morning dryness around the eyes and help with brightening the area.  The cream is very silky and smooth and absorbed very quickly.  The cream didn't leave any heavy film or interfere with concealer/other makeup on the eye area.  

Since this is a perfect size, I will also always have this in my travel bag as a staple to also do quick touch ups on the plane as well! - RLB
This product was provided courtesy of Olay PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

I've loved many NARS products, but have not until recently, ventured into their concealers.

The new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is very smooth, lightweight and easy to layer for all needs - under eye, skin evening, brightening darker areas and camouflaging spots/pimples.  

There is a tremendous amount of pigment, so a little really goes a long way.  My favorite way to use it was either with the included applicator or with a concealer brush and tapped on to my skin in very small, light strokes until I got the coverage I wanted. 

There are a very nice range of shades, but keep in mind that the color shifts a tad bit. (The shade I used is Cafe, pictured above), so it may appear a bit lighter directly upon application, but after a few minutes the color settles, the concealer doesn't budge and you'll get all day coverage.  This formula blends really well, is easy to layer and dries very smooth. If you have more oily skin, this also works very well at keeping you looking matte.

I loved how it never creased, smudged or transferred and it also worked well with a bit of eye cream when I needed more hydration in that area.

If you've been looking for a great all-around concealer that's worth the $, this one is worth a try! - RLB

Go--> NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

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

Fragrance Find - Dolce + Gabbana The One Desire

Dolce and Gabbana are back with a truly sexy and decadent spin off of one of my favorite Dolce and Gabbana fragrances, The One.  The new scent, The One Desire, is designed by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, in cooperation with Givaudan's in-house perfumers.

This flanker is topped with a black gemstone on the cap and housed in a beautifully designed heavy, chic black and gold bottle (it is also inscribed with Stefano Gabbana’s elegant handwriting of "Desire" in gold lettering). The fragrance plays with some of the original notes (Lychee, Lily of the Valley, Vanilla), while also adding new ones which create a more intense scent experience.

It opens with a very full, decadent mix of citrus and florals.  Slowly the tuberose becomes very intense and warm - but not overwhelming.  For the next stage of the fragrances' wear on my skin, the lovely sweet notes of vanilla and caramel blended so beautifully with the spicier, more masculine notes of sandalwood and musk.

Hours later, the dry down was completely sensual and continued to draw me in (and others too with lots of compliments!)

This is a fragrance for a women who wants to have her presence known - whether at a gathering, on a romantic date or a big bash.  You'll make your mark but never be overbearing - people will just wonder - "what is that fragrance she's wearing?".

This is another winner from Dolce and Gabbana fragrance and a wonderful splurge for yourself or to put it on your gift wish list for this Spring. - RLB

Go-->Dolce + Gabbana The One Desire 
Fragrance Notes:
Top Notes
Bergamot, Mandarin, Lychee, Lily of the valley 
Middle Notes
Madonna lily, Tuberose, Jasmine, Plum nectar
Base Notes
Caramel-infused vanilla, Sandalwood, Musk, Cistus labdanum
*This product was provided courtesy of Dolce and Gabbana PR for reviewing purposes.

Budget Beauty Find - mark That's Brilliant Face + Eye Luminizer

Are you as picky about illuminizer products as I am?

Sometimes the applicator is not easy to use, or color is not natural, or the consistency is too thick, or there's too much glitter/shimmer...

But, I've found one that I love that just might fit the bill for you too.

mark That's Brilliant Face + Eye Luminizer is a creamy lumizier with built in brush applicator that is truly multi-purpose and does exactly what it's supposed to.  The product gives skin a beautiful glow that's noticeable and flattering (yet still natural looking).

It's also so easy to apply!  With a click of the medium-sized brush pen at the end of the squeeze tube (which has a nifty on/off function), I would press just a pea sized amount and use in a variety of ways.

Often to add brightness to my inner corners of my eyes, under the brow bones and along my cheek bones after applying my foundation or BB cream.  Another great way to wear this is by applying as a brightening primer all over the face or just in targeted areas before foundation or BB cream/tinted moisturizer.

The actual shade will work on all skin tones - a beautiful, warm, peachy light bronze shade that is truly "luminous" - not at all sparkly or glittery.  The texture is very light, slightly gel-like and creamy/sheer, so you can layer it if needed with great results. - RLB

*This product was provided by mark Cosmetics PR for reviewing purposes.

Living Proof Full Discovery Kit for The Girl Who Lusts After Lush Locks

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind

Have you ever watched one too many episodes of Sex and the City, bitterly wishing you could trade your own limp strands for Carrie Bradshaw's lush, voluminous locks? While she's certainly an extreme example of one end of the hair spectrum, you wouldn't be alone in lusting after thicker hair... but what if achieving thicker, fuller hair was as simple as making your own locks realize their full potential? 

Living Proof's Full Discovery Kit contains four products specifically targeted to help add volume and buoyancy to blah, limp locks that need some serious uplifting (literally)! Full Shampoo and Full Conditioner provide hair with the perfect balance of deep-cleansing and hydration without stripping strands of vital nutrients or weighing hair down, while Full Thickening Cream helps add some serious va-va-voom to the styling process – no ratting comb required! And of course, don't forget the Full Root Lift, which adds volume directly at the roots while still maintaining flexibility and natural movement. 

Sure, the haircare mavens at Living Proof aren't miracle workers (pretty darn close though), but this is undoubtedly a handy arsenal of products to add new life to lackluster hair without looking like you stuck your finger in an electrical socket! - Alexandra Gambardella

Hair Accessory Find - Hot Buns

Do you admire the hair buns, top knots and chignons of celebs like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian, to name a few?

They are always SO perfect - right?  High, round and perfectly formed....

I've discovered a secret that will give you the ability to create your very own perfect bun  - at home.
And yes it is easy to do.

Hot Buns Hair Accessory make it easy to simply roll your hair onto the special foam piece, and then keep it in place - without using any pins!

The basic steps are shown in the graphic below, but here are a few tips. 
  •  It's best to start out with dry, fully detangled hair.
  •  Next, put hair into a pony tail with a elastic hair band.
  •  Open the hair buns roll  (there are two sizes for shorter and longer hair included) and place it at the end of your hair, and roll it toward your scalp.  Take your time with this step to ensure the neatest bun!
  •  Then snap the flexible but sturdy Hot Buns ring closed and fan the hair out along the ring, covering it with your hair. There is also a small little pulley string located inside which you can use to make the bun tighter if desired and ensure it never "falls" or droops while you're wearing it.
The great thing about the Hot Bun ring is that you can position it anywhere on your head.  So experiment with at the very top, at the nape of your neck and even the side of your head.  If you want to leave hair out in the front/have bangs, just brush the hair you want in the bun and gather in a ponytail before your begin.

There are two versions to choose from to match hair colors - one lighter and one darker.  I used the darker one and the soft doughnut material didn't snag or tangle my hair, so it's safe even for hair that's more breakage prone.

Another great bonus with the Hot Buns is when you take your hair out of the bun, you get a great loose, beachy waves or curls depending on your natural hair texture.  So you can use this at night, sleep in it and wake up in the morning to bouncy waves or curls which stay in place all day.  If you want tighter curls, simply wrap the Hot Bun around damp hair, air or blow dry, spray with holding hair spray and then release it. 

You'll be surprised all the things you can do with this little $10 wonder. RLB

Tell Hot Buns where your favorite place to wear a bun is and you could win a $250 Amex and Hot Bun!  
Here is the link to enter! You must "Like" the page first to see.

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

Hair Care Find - Pssssst Instant Dry Shampoo for Wavy, Curly Hair

Dry shampoo has traditionally been a great way for people with naturally straight (and leaning towards oily) hair to get clean, fresh smelling hair quickly and easily.
In the last few years there have been more brands creating dry shampoos to give the same cleaning and fragrance benefits - but without stripping the hair/causing breakage and even worse - leaving visible white powder on the roots and hair.  

The results have always been mixed for me.  Until I found Psssssst Instant Dry Shampoo for Wavy or Curly Hair.
While Pssssst Instant Dry Shampoo has been around for a while, they've recently improved on the formula and created a product that curly girls will love (and even those of you with chemically straightened/relaxed hair!)

This version is completely clear with no residue and leaves hair smelling fresh all day.  It's perfect for travel, after the gym if you don't want to do a full wash, and of course for the "morning after" a late night partying to remove smoke smell from the hair.
I loved how the made my hair feel clean and free but did not dry it out at all (it contains moisturizing Argan oil).  It never left it stiff or sticky, hard or "crunchy".  I loved adding it to my brush first and then going though my hair, but for those who have more oily roots or ends, you can spray directly on the hair and then brush it through.  The fragrance is so feminine  - a little floral and green, but not too heavy.

It's also perfect for those of you who avoid frequent washings due to them drying your hair out. Another smart use is on hot, humid days when you don't have time to wash and want to cool down and freshen your scalp.

For just about $7 this is a hair product you need in your life.

Beauty Find - NARS Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Satin Lip Pencil has found a permanent place in my makeup collection - and it will in yours too.

These new pencils combine the pigmentation of a lipstick, with moisture and a beautiful sheen finish.  They are silky, creamy and feel absolutely amazing going on.

The texture of the pencil is not too soft or mushy - or hard and gritty.  The product retained it's shape through multiple applications and never melted or broke off. (When the point does wear down, you will need to use a large pencil sharpener however).

While you may have glossy or tinted lip pencils, this one is packed with beautiful color that goes on evenly with just one swipe and has very good staying power. 

My lips felt soft and hydrated all day and I never felt like I had to add additional balm or other products for touch ups.  

Best of all, even with all this color and coverage, the lip pencil was so lightweight it felt almost as if I didn't have anything on my lips.

Two of my picks from the collection of 13 shades are Lodhi (pictured at the top), for a fun spin on a soft coral/pink lip.  It's a very bright orangey coral with opaque coverage.

Another favorite is Luxembourg (pictured, above) which was packed with a pink-red combination (yes, like the watermelon shade it is described as).  This stained my lips pretty much all day with no feathering or drying out my lips.
You're not going to be able to stop at just one! - RLB

*These products were provided courtesy of NARS PR for reviewing purposes.

Reader Giveaway! - Counter Girls e-Book

This giveaway is now over, but find out more about the book by following on Twitter (@counter_girls) or Facebook.com/CounterGirlsBook

This week we are giving 3 lucky Palacinka Beauty Blog readers a digital copy (which can be read on a Kindle, Nook, Smartphone, Android-device or your computer!) of the newest beauty-industry fiction novel from real life makeup artist, Felicia York, Counter Girls.

Felicia says, "I wrote this book because working at various makeup counters opened my eyes to a world I completely did not notice as a customer. The artists that impacted my life had lives of their own that were full of color and drama. I saw them as these Svengalis that knew so much more than I did but in all actuality they were just people who were good at their job. Working in retail also opened my eyes to the business of makeup and what a business it is! I wanted to write about what I know and what better than to start at what I do each and every day?"

About The Book:

Counter Girls, is a fiction novel that reveals the secret life of the women (and men) who work for your favorite makeup brands. Deeply analytical, light-hearted and chock full of makeup tips and tricks; it is a great read for everyone from the cosmetics connoisseur to the person who doesn't know their lipstick from their eyeliner. Root for the underdog, despise the villain and then realize that they may be one in the same.

To enter this giveaway: Please send an e-mail to: palacinkabeauty@gmail.com with the word "Counter Girls" in the subject line. Since it will be a digital download, 1) your name and 2)e-mail is all that's needed to enter.

This giveaway ends Friday March 15th at 12pm Midnight EST

One entry per person please.

Good Luck! - RLB

Ardency Inn Boasts the "World's Baddest" Eyeliner Marker

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind


Usually, drawing one's makeup on with a marker is highly discouraged (case in point: sharpied-on eyebrows), but this new felt tip liquid eyeliner has my inner coloring-book-loving child raging. Ardency Inn, a hip, New York-based, new-to-Sephora makeup brand, is coming out swinging with their Punker World's Baddest Eyeliner – a bold liquid liner with a pen-inspired design for maximum precision and control. Perfect for the uncoordinated makeup lover who just can't seem to master liquid liner, no matter how many hours have been spent in front of the mirror with a stash of extra-strength makeup remover on hand, Punker's handy felt tip makes it infinitely easier to perfect that thick, punk-rock winged effect. 

Admittedly, the first application appears a little more dull Magic Marker than Sharpie-like black and intense, but adding a second coat provides the ideal bold, blacker-than-black, rockstar-worthy line. Try it out for yourself for only $19 at Sephora and let us know what you think! - Alexandra Gambardella

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Pantene Pro-V Overnight Miracle Repair Serum

Ahh...the word "miracle" in beauty products can either bring a wave of relief when you see it on a shelf - or make you roll your eyes in disbelief.

In the case of the Pantene Pro-V Overnight Miracle Repair Serum I had high hopes (having had a great amount of success with Pantene products over the years).

The products is creamy, but lightweight and most importnat non-sticky.  The promise is to help hair at the weakest points - like split ends, frizz, and lackluster hair - all without leaving
any residue on your pillow at night.

During this very dry winter, I wanted something to make a real different in the ends of my hair, as well as add overall shine.   Pantene Pro-V Overnight Miracle Repair Serum delivered on
every front. The texture of the product is a gel/cream and I used as directed (One pump to cover ends of hair.  If you have very thick/long hair try starting with one pump and work another half/whole pump to achieve total coverage).  It absorbed almost immediately and I could tell it had sealed the ends of my hair and made it slightly damp and smooth.

The next morning I was very impressed.  My ends very super soft, and my hair overall had a nice shine to it.  My hair was smoother after brushes and I noticed after a few uses that there was also much less breakage on my brush.

I also noted that this worked equally well on both damp and dry hair, making this ideal to use as a post shampoo treatment/leaving in conditioner to use before heat styling or air drying.  It does have a noticeable fragrance (very pretty fresh light floral) but it's not overwhelming and I found it very pleasant.  After daily use I was very impressed with how moisturized, healthy and smooth my hair looked and behaved, as well as it's help in breakage and the appearance of split ends.

This is destined to be a Pantene "must have" product (which is under $6 by the way) so get yours asap to amp up your daily hair care routine! - RLB

Beauty Find - Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate

They say that some things in life can be a "double" edged sword - meaning a little good and a little bad will come from them, but in the case of Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate there's only one outcome - amazing, glowing, healthy skin.
This serum has a dual chamber system which combines two formulas into one unique serum that firms skin , reduces wrinkles, produces a more even skin tone and minimizes pores.
Sounds like an awful lot for one serum to do, but I'm happy to say that it really does deliver.

The pump dispenser released an equal amount of serum from both chambers.  I only used 1 pump morning and evening. The serum has a lovely light floral scent which dissipates quickly. I then blended the serums together and "pressed/patted" them only my face.  The texture of the serums when it first hit my skin was ever so slightly oily, but it immediately absorbed into my skin after about a minute.  It felt so soft and silky, and at the same time very lightweight.  Clarins Double Serum  provided moisture to my drier areas and a beautiful glow to my skin. 

After using  Clarins Double Serum  2x day for just a few weeks I could see a significant improvement in the overall l texture and tone of my skin.  My usually drier areas like my cheeks were baby soft and I has not irritation or clogged pores.  I had a beautiful glow in the morning and the texture of my t zone was smooth and even.  On most mornings, my skin looked good enough to just add a little primer (but no additional moisturizer) and then either tinted moisturizer or BB cream for added finish.  I've continued on for another week and I'm still seeing great results.  It's one of Clarins more pricey products, but it's very concentrated so a little will go a long way when making this great skin investment. 

This is a serum I'll be adding to my permanent skincare rotation and you should too! - RLB

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

Beauty Find - Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil

Josie Maran has grown her Argan Oil - based skin care and cosmetics product line in the most amazing way over the last few years.
She seems to really get at the heart of what women want in a beauty product (that's also natural and/or organic).

My latest favorite is her Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil is one of those products that's destined to become a beauty cult classic for her line.
It works as a hand cream, cuticle moisturizer, lip balm, hair tamer, facial hydrator and highlighter and more...

It's a creamy oil formula, so while it starts out as a oil, as soon as you run your hands together and warm the product it instantly turns into a creamy/lotion texture.  It's very concentrated, so I only needed a pea-sized amount for my hands, with enough left over to give my cuticles a nice massage and also apply to my lips.  What I love about this is even though you would expect some greasiness, there is absolutely no oily residue - it absorbs completely within seconds, leaving a nice sheen on the skin.  

The scent is also fantastic - a fresh, light orange like fragrance that also dissipates quickly and is not overbearing.  It feels so soothing and luxurious.

Some other great ways to use it are patting it lightly on cheeks after makeup application to add more moisture on a very cold/dry day and give skin a added glow, use on dry ends of hair and to tame flyaways during the day.  This is also a great treatment for dry feel and and to conditional cracked, chapped heels.  It can also be used pre-makeup application on very dry/flaky skin as a wonderful primer treatment - and even to tame eyebrows (not to mention even more uses stated on the packaging).

Pick this up and make sure you always have it on hand! - RLB

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

Body Care Find - LaVanilla The Healthy Body Wash 2-In-1 Shower + Shave


I've shared with you last year that I thought LAVANILA's natural deodorants in decant, beautiful fragrances were the "Rolls Royce" of natural deodorants.
Now I'm hooked on another one of their natural products, LAVANILA The Healthy Body Wash 2-In-1 Shower & Shave Vanilla Lavender.
The vanilla infused body wash is silky smooth and the one I tried, Lavender was beautifully blended   I loved how smooth and creamy the body wash felt when lathering, and it provided the perfect amount of protection and "slip" for shaving as well.  The razor glided easily over the wash, and I didn't experience any irritation.   At the same time my body didn't feel like it had any residue or product left after rinsing.  

While the formula is scented, it's still gentle enough for most skin types, including sensitive/dry skin.  I also found it very moisturizing - and for all but those of you with very dry skin, this will more than likely eliminate the need for additional moisturizing post-shower.
As for the scent, it was deliciously fragrant while I was showering - but it left only a very faint trace after drying off.  So this is great if you're layering with a different scent for the day,
but if you want it become more prominent, you will need to add your favorite LAVANILA scent over it.
If you're a big fan of LAVANILA's fragrances and other products this is the perfect companion for scenting your day - and saving time in the shower too! - RLB
If you're interested in other scents, this also comes in Grapefruit (another favorite of mine), Coconut and Passionfruit - RLB
*This product was provided courtesy of Lavanilla PR for reviewing purposes.

Ciate Joins The "Holo" Craze with Their Very Colourfoil Manicure Set

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind

While I typically tend to keep it simple and favor classic solid shades when it comes to my manicures of choice, I'm all for branching out with the help of nail art. That is, as long as said nail art is a) ridiculously easy for a total n00b like me to apply, b) not too crazy/textured/3D, and c) fairly long-lasting. In other words, count out Ciate's whole caviar craze; same goes for those bizarre stick-on appliques that threaten to poke my eye out whenever my hands get anywhere near my face. 

You'd think a list of strict requirements like that, combined with my general lack of motivation towards anything crafty, I'd have a winning recipe for "let's not even bother," but I think I've found a nail art set a lazybones like me can actually get onboard with. Ciate's latest creation, the Very Colourfoil Manicure, takes full advantage of spring's hologram effect craze with a three-step kit that's simple enough for even someone like me to apply with little to no frustration. 

Simply the apply the base shade – either coral, mint, or a slate grey, depending on your kit of choice, top with the special Foil Fix applicator, then apply the multicolored foil to create the desired metallic-finish effect. I swear, people will think you either spent a ton of money getting your nails professionally blinged-out, or that you're just really crafty... and neither of those have to be true! - Alexandra Gambardella

Drugstore Buy of the Week -Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer


This is one of those times is actually not a bad thing to be "lazy".
Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer in Cocoa Radiant is a non-greasy, fast absorbing spray lotion that will get you in and out of your bathroom in just a few minutes.
What I love about the spray is that is has a nice, smooth continuous flow and a light (in this case cocoa) scent which disappeared completely after it's dried.  The specially designed spray nozzle allows you to easily apply it to the back, legs, neck, etc. 
I started by holding the can about 4 inches away and pressed firmly on the cap. My favorite way to apply it was to start at the bottom left foot and spray "up" all the way to my shoulder in one continuous motion.  Then I would quickly rub the lotion in.  By the time I started on the right hand side, from the top shoulder spraying all the way "down" to my foot the left side was not only completely dry but soft, smooth with a nice healthy sheen from the cocoa butter.  The texture of the spray feels a bit thicker than you're average water spray e.g. Evian, and comes out as a very fine mist. Note: Shake the can very well first in order to get the best mist coverage.  I was able to get immediately afterwards, so this is absolutely a time save in the morning! So no excuses for moisturizing your entire body in the morning now (note the beginning of this post)...
This is the perfect way to apply lotion on-the-go while you're in the car commuting or after working out during a busy day.  It left no residue, grease or powdery substances on either clothing on interiors/furniture.  During the summer this will be my go-to product since it's so light as well.
The hydration level for this lotion is very good for those of you with normal to dry skin.  I would recommend for those of you who have especially dry areas like feet, top of legs, etc to do a second spray just in that area for additional hydration, however. - RLB