Beauty Find - Michelle Phan em Cosmetics Makeup Mood Enhancer


YouTube Star Michelle Phan em Cosmetics Makeup Mood Enhancer is just the little "extra" product you need in your makeup collection.

What is so nice about this product is how "pretty" it made my skin look - healthy, radiant and glowing.  I used the deep sheer bronze shade, Sparkles in the Sand, (shown above). This is a perfect shade for deeper and brown skin tones, and there are 4 other lighter shades which will work with yellow and pink based undertones as well.

The texture is also quite lovely - very lightweight and creamy which allowed me to apply with my fingers or a foundation brush in an instant.  It absorbed quickly and left a pretty, glowy finish with just a touch of shimmer (perfectly appropriate for daytime/office).  There's the perfect amount of slip in it, so it smooth and blended like a dream.  For someone like me, with normal/combination skin, this provided sheen to my skin without looking at all oily.

I love how you can use this in a few different ways.  First, this can be mixed with foundation or BB cream for a dewy, glowy finish (with no over the top shimmer).

You can also apply all over skin after foundation or BB cream for slightly more illumination.

The third way to use it is to apply as a liquid highlighter, on the top of the cheek bones, brow bones, bridge of the nose and in the inner corners the eyes.

The budding makeup mogul (and soon to be store owner - em Cosmetics in NYC), Michelle Phan has gotten it 100% right with this product!  Stay tuned for a few more great items from the line I'll be sharing with you. - RLB

Go-->Michelle Phan em Cosmetics Makeup Mood Enhancer

*This product was provided courtesy of Michelle Phan em Cosmetics PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color







If you long for a moisturizing lipstick experience which starts with beautiful, unique packaging, the  Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color is a fantastic choice.

I loved the quick, natural looking color, and the smooth creamy finish.  The packaging is super feminine and slightly retro, and I loved seeing it on my vanity or pulling it out of my handbag for touch ups.

My favorite "my lips but better" shade is Wing Woman (shown, above), a pinky-brown natural shade which is practically goof proof. Other stand out naturally flattering shades are: Talk Flirty and Nice n Teasy.

The texture was so cushiony soft and smooth (packed with shea, mango butter, and vitamin E), it had the feel of a soothing balm with a lipstick inside.  The lipstick bullet is designed with a double-slanted tip which made applying it a breeze. The finish is a natural semi-shine and it did make my lips feel soft and smooth during the day.  Since it's not a long wearing formula, I did need to touch up after eating drinking, but it was a pleasure to do so. 

When I applied first with a lip brush in the morning, I was able to create a bit of a base "stain" so that I always had a layer of this beautiful, natural shade on my lips even when the majority of it wore off. Note:  Because of the shape and placement of the cap, make sure you twist the lipstick bullet all the way down before placing the cap on, or the lipstick will break slightly and get on the tube.

There are lots of pretty pinks, neutrals and corals in the collection - with both cream and shimmer finishes to choose from which will flatter all skin tones.  You'll want more than one - I promise you! - RLB

Go--> Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color

Celebrity Fragrance Find - Katy Perry Killer Queen

 

 
So...celebrity fragrances are not going anywhere anytime soon.
 
This may (or may not) be great news to you if you're a real fragrance lover.  But the fact is, there are still some bright spots in the celebrity fragrance landscape even after all these years.
 
Katy Perry's third scent, Katy Perry Killer Queen , is a sign that there are still some fresh ideas in this fragrance category.  With a beautifully crafted bottle shape, inspired in party by a royal scepter and the classic Chambord liqueur bottle, this scent makes the typical "sweet" fragrance just different enough to stand out.
 
To be honest, Katy Perry Killer Queen took more than a first try for me to really appreciate it.  The reason is that the opening notes, while sweet and slightly musky, were not unique in and of themselves. But after about 30 min or so - and then much later on in the dry down, the scent developed into something quite impressive. 
 
The scent which starts off very sweet, with berry notes, and became progressively much spicier and "mature" as the day went on.  However, the staying power of this scent on my skin was about 4-5 hours max, so I did have to reapply at least once during the day.  The dry down was very warm, spicy and almost "syrupy" in it's remaining sweet notes.  It's bold and different, without being too overwhelming. Basically, this is a grown up version of her pervious Meow and Purr scents.  So if you're not in your teens or early 20's, and like bolder scents, this could be right up your ally.
 
Back to that bottle. I love the design and color.  It's a real stunner if you're a packaging lover.  But, like a few other fragrances I've reviewed in the last year with unusual bottle shapes, this bottle does have to lie on it's side on the dresser (there is no base on which to place the narrow tip at the end to stand upright).
 
If you're looking for a sweet and spicy scent for a reasonable price, this is one you should give a try.  - RLB
 
Fragrance Notes:
Wild Berries, Red Velvet Flower. 

Go-->Katy Perry Killer Queen 


*This product was provided courtesy of Katy Perry Fragrances PR for reviewing purposes.

Super Cute! - Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Lip Balm



In this series of beauty and personal care product finds - Super Cute! - I share with you products which have innovative, artistic, fantasy, child-like, vintage and/or retro themes and an "irresistible" quality to them!

These make perfect little splurges and gifts for yourself or for the girly girl (or someone youthful in spirit!) in your life too.


There's nothing better than a new philosophy collection - it's always guaranteed to combine fun packaging, with amazing fragrances - and very good products.

Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Lip Balm is their latest limited edition lip care product and I love it!  The scent, on a take on "sweet almonds" is a blend of vanilla, almond and some slight berry-like scents.  It's definitely a stronger lip product scent than you may be used to, but I liked the prominence of the scent.  The taste is also slightly sweet, again with a nice vanilla blend. 

As for the moisture, it provided the perfect base for my lipsticks, and although it did need to be reapplied during the day a few times after eating, drinking, etc., overall it did a good job of keeping my lips hydrated and feeling soft.
 
Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Lip Balm has a semi-glossy finish, non sticky or waxy. The large domed top allowed me to easily swipe it across my lips at one time.  This is one you'll want to stock up on for the holiday stocking stuffers! - RLB

Go-->Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Lip Balm 0.25 oz

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush



This week's Drugstore Buy of the Week is not only an amazing price, dupe for a new some much more expense blush brands on the market - but it's SUPER cute as well.

Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush, Natural come in 2 shades: natural, (shown above) which I used, has more coral tones, and Rose which has more cool pink tones.  The blush gives the skin a flush of flattering color with a bit of natural shimmer (and a little cocoa extract too!). Much like some of my other Physicians Formula finds, this one also had a fragrance that's really pleasant and unique. It's a vanilla-floral scent that was noticeable upon application, but faded out within a few minutes, (basically by the time I had finished my makeup, it was not very noticeable at all).

The blush was perfect for giving me a bit of color and glow, and had incredible staying power during the day. The powder is smooth and silky and was easy to blend, and build up to a slighter brighter cheek if I wanted.

On my skin tone, she shade was a peachy-pink mixed with the deeper pink in the high heel in the center of the blush. I simply swirled my brush around the pan for the perfect mix. The finish is more of a satin glow, but there is a small amount of fine shimmer mixed in as well.

The outer box packaging is covered in fishnet, and the mini blush brush is tucked away in the back compartment.  The pump detail in both the actual blush pan, as well as the pump charm on the outer packaging also make this the perfect little gift to give yourself, or stock up on for holiday stocking stuffers for the beauty lovers in your life. 

Trust me, even if you or your gift recipient have similar shades in more expensive brands, the combination of the color, fragrance, finish and cute details make this way too hard to not pick up and use - often! - RLB

Go-->Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush, Natural, .19 oz

*This product was provided courtesy of a Blogger Social Media Event for reviewing purposes.

Hair Care Find - Philip Kingsley Swimcap


If you've ever wished that you could protect your hair while swimming and NOT have to wear a tight swim cap, then Philip Kingsley has the answer!

Philip Kingsley Swimcap is an intensive hair treatment which not only conditions and smooths hair, but also protects your tresses from the drying and color-dulling effects of chlorine, salt water and extended sun exposure.  This product will work on all hair types, including relaxed, very curly or color treated.

All you have to do is dampen the hair, and then apply the swimcap after rubbing for a few seconds between your palms to help soften the cream and help distribute it better through the hair.  If you have very curly hair, you could also try combing it afterwards with a very wide tooth comb to ensure even distribution.  The cream is very thick, but still has a silky and slightly lotion-like feel.  After it's on the hair, it doesn't feel super greasy or heavy, but you are aware you have a treatment on your hair. The fragrance is also quite nice, a very sophisticated soft floral with a bit of sweetness as well.

After applying to the hair, it's best to either put hair in a bun or high ponytail.  Note: If you are also pairing this with an actual swim cap for added protection, here's the BEST one I've ever used.

So after a long swim, I was able to really see the difference in my relaxed hair (as well as my little "sporty spice's" long curly/wavy hair).  I rinsed the treatment out in the showers and my hair was extremely soft and smooth, with no tangles.  If you like, you can then add your regular shampoo/conditioner, or simply add your normal styling products.  Post shower, hair was perfectly primed and smooth for blow-drying and even with air-drying.  Our hair had very little frizz, and most pleasantly - shine with movement and no heavy or sticky feel.

This is a must have product for the regular swimmer, or for your beach/pool-side vacations to keep your hair in amazing shape! - RLB 

Go-->Philip Kingsley Swimcap

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

Revlon's New Parfumerie Scented Nail Polishes Are Too Cute to Resist

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind




They look like little perfume bottles... but wait! They're actually nail polish. But wait! They also smell like perfume. Wait, what? Okay, so Revlon's new line of fragranced nail polish may not be ground-breaking, exactly – in fact, they already have a pre-existing line of scented lacquer – but this revamped collection is definitely the cutest. The brand's new Parfumerie line elevates the perfume-meets-polish concept with adorable packaging, plus new scents, categorized by type (which just so happen to also coordinate with their color profiles) – Sweets, Spices, Fruits, Florals, and Freshes.

And before you roll your eyes, scrunch up your nose, and dismiss these polishes as a beauty product hybrid gone wrong, don't knock it till you try it! Unlike saccharine-sweet scents of most polishes that attempt to hide their "natural" scent, these lacquers actually smell nice, in a surprisingly sophisticated sort of way. Plus, it's nice to be able to touch up a chipped manicure in public without having to worry about irritating your neighbors. Look out for the Parfumerie line at your local neighborhood Walgreens store starting in November! - Alexandra Gambardella

Beauty Find - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette



A few months ago I shared with you one of my favorite Hourglass products, the Ambient Lighting Powder.

Now, there's an even better option for those of you who want the full power of contouring and highlighting - or just want to be able to sample 3 of the Hourglass shades in a convenient way - the limited edition Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.

The three shades included (from left to right) are Dim, Incandescent and Radiant.  What I love about this trio are the different ways it can be used.  It should be noted however, the overall effect with any of the shades with be with at least some shimmer/sheen, so please keep in mind this is not for a "matte" look.

Radiant is one of my favorite shades, and I loved using this down the center of my face, particularly on my nose bridge, and sometimes mixed with blush.  The Dim I often used as either an all over powder after finishing my makeup, or as a bit of a contour underneath the cheekbones.  Incandescent is a perfect highlighter, which I used on top of my cheekbones, brow bones and cupid bow. I loved how soft and finely milled these powders were and they easy they were to blend.  The powders just melted into my skin and made me look instantly polished and glowy.  You can use your favorite powder brushes for the powders, but I loved using the Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush.

These are perfect shades no matter your skin tone, because you can either use the darker ones as a true bronzer, or the lighter ones as a highlighter that leaves a sheen and not  "color" on the skin.  Now that we're moving into the winter months, this is the perfect palette to keep a bit of glow on the skin.

By the way, in addition to the three powders, you also get a mini bottle of their amazing Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 .  The powders are also so densely packed with product, even using daily, it will several months before you've really put a dent into it.  Treat yourself to this one, or put it on your holiday gift list for your beauty treat! - RLB

Go-->Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

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

Giorgio Armani Breaks Ground with the First-Ever "CC" Lipstick, Rouge Ecstasy

This guest post is courtesy of Thefind




CC lipstick? Yep, you read that correctly – the alphabet skin care trend is finally making its way to the lipstick realm! So what does this mean, exactly? In the case of Giorgio Armani's innovative new lipstick, Rouge Ecstasy, CC stands for color and care – velvety, rich, high-shine shades (36 different hues, to be exact) with the softness and wearability of a hydrating balm. The extensive list of shades boasts plenty of options, from flattering nude hues to several different reds, and of course, the very on-trend bordeaux.

Unlike many lipstick-balm hybrids, Rouge Ecstasy applies with sharp precision (no feathering or bleeding lines here!), and won't budge or slide off by mid-morning. And can we talk about the packaging? The sleek, cherry red case is uber-glam, and of course, boasts the brand's signature magnetic closure. Sure, each lippie will set you back a hefty $34, but it's a small price to pay for a lipstick you'll want to wear every day! Not to mention a ground-breaking formula! - Alexandra Gambardella

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Mixed Chicks Spring Bands for Hair

Here's a GENIUS product from Mixed Chicks hair care, which specializes in hair products for women with curly and multi-textured hair. They're called Spring Bands and they make creating ponytails and braids SO easy for hair that can easily tangle and break.
 
The Spring Bands are made from a stretchy and smooth lightweight rubber that's coiled much like curly hair (think an old-fashioned telephone cord).  The material is so smooth it just glides over curls, coils and kinky hair - and they're cute too!
 
They come 5 in a pack and there are 5 colors to choose from and mix and match.  Grab a few packs for yourself or your little curly haired ones and take the "ouch!" out of making (or taking out) ponytails or braids. - RLB
 
Go-->Available at most drugstores and online. Mixed Chicks Spring Bands for Hair

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

Health + Wellness Find - Pur Pak Active Lifestyle Supplement




When it's after lunch and not quite time for dinner, that's when the "snacking" time can take over - and sometimes wreck an otherwise great day of healthy eating.

Pur Pak Active Lifestyle Supplement is a powder vitamin supplement I've recently discovered which is a great little item to add into your daily routine.  It's similar in concept to a powdered drink like Crystal Light, but this is a supplement gives you a BIG does of  vitamins and other healthy nutrients your body needs.  It also tastes good and fills you up until you can have your next healthy meal!

I tried Pur Pak in all three of their flavors: Tangy Berry, Citrus and Super Green.  I loved how easy the packets were to toss into my bag and open to mix with water.  Each pack only has 15 calories and they're Gluten, Dairy, GMO free with no artificial sweeteners and a host of daily vitamins, mineral and even probiotics. The supplement is also designed to aid in the exercise recovery process and especially important for those of you who are avid runners, bikers, etc.  And if that's not enough, it also replenishes electrolytes after working out, heavy activity, etc.

I would add one of the packs to a 16 oz. bottle of water either before working out or in the late afternoon when I would normally reach for a snack. The powder is finely milled with a slightly sand-like texture out of the pack, but I was surprised how smoothly it blended into the water.  The result after a few shakes was almost like that of a juice - it had a bit more heft to it than a normal powdered drink.  I loved the Tangy Berry in particular, which tasted like a very zesty combination of sweet berries with some slightly tarte citrus flavors.  I loved the energy boost I felt and the quenching of my thirst and hunger all in one. - RLB

Go-->Pur Pak Active Lifestyle Supplement


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

Beauty Find - NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Collection


 
Guy Bourdin was a French fashion photographer whose iconic images have graced the pages of numerous legendary magazines like French Vogue.  NARS Founder François Nars was influenced early on by Bourdin's color-saturated, sensual and glossy style.  In this latest limited-edition collection, Nars honors Bourdin's legacy with the NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Collection.   
The collection includes 17 shades, including four new nail shades, three blushes (including Exhibit A from the permanent collection) a new formula in the form of five eye shadows and five lipsticks, featuring the Cinematic formulation created just for the NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection.
 

Let's get to some of my favorite products and shades!


In the nail polishes, the No Limits Nail Polish (shown at the top of the page) is a stunning, fuchsia magenta.  The formula is cream and streak-free. It also has a jelly/cream finish with lots of shine.  This is the perfect shade to add punch to your nails when you don't wan to go the typical "Red" route.

The new Cinematic Eye shadows are extremely velvety and creamy.  They are also some of the most pigmented in the NARS range.  NARS Cambodia (shown left) was my go-to shade.  It's a warm, copper with a touch of red/orange and a slight frost/shimmer.

If you're looking for a show stopping Red lipstick for the holidays, it's here.  NARS Future Red Lipstick, (shown, left) is a bright, medium red with orange undertones.  The finish is a beautiful silky satin.  The color also has great staying power without being drying.

For blush, I'm crazy about the Exhibit A shade (shown, below), which is luckily also in their permanent collection.  This is a shade that can be used on all skin tones (it's not as bright on the skin as it appears in the pan!), with a light touch or built up for a bolder cheek color.  I love the orangey-peach and how it just wakes up my face.

If you're interested in gifting options for the collection, Sephora will also have some exclusive palettes and makeup accessories, like the NARS Bourdin Collection Promiscuous makeup pouch (shown, at the bottom of the page). I love the blue lips - one of Bourdin's iconic images! :) -RLB






Go--> The NARS Guy Bourdin Color collection launches, Oct. 15th at NARS boutiques and Narscosmetics.com.  The Holiday 2013 Gifting items will be available beginning November 1st. at Sephora.

 










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




Health + Wellness Find - Stur Liquid Water Enhancer


If you love water, but sometimes want a healthy change of pace (I fall into this category) OR you're not crazy about the taste of water on it's own, but don't want sodas or premade vitamin waters with artificial sweeteners -  you need Stur in your life!

Stur Liquid Water Enhancer works in a similar way to others on the market - but with a BIG difference.  There are no artificial colors, sweeteners or dyes - and No Calories, No Sugar, and 7 essential Vitamins - Vitamin A D E B3 B5 B6 B12 for increased energy naturally.   Each bottle makes about 18 drinks.  It's also light and small enough (about the size of a golf ball - but it's a "flattened oval").  The flavors are sweetened with natural Stevia Leaf Extract.

All you have to do is squeeze the bottle for 10 full seconds, releasing the liquid into your still (or sparkling) water.  It dissolves instantly and so thoroughly  that there is little need for actually mixing or shaking, but you can certainly do this is it's your preference.  Added to a large 12 oz bottle of water, it makes sipping water during the day so easy and enjoyable.  Continue doing this each and every day, and you'll enjoy the benefits of feeling fuller, hydrating your body and even improving the look and appearance of your skin!

My personal favorites are Honestly Lemonade, Only Mint/Cucumber (unsweetened), and Truly PomeCranberry.  My little sporty spice was crazy about the Simply Strawberry and loved mixing it with the Orange Mango or Honestly Lemonade.  The flavors are delicious, and don't have any harsh or artificial aftertaste.  It really did feel like I was putting these fresh ingredients into my water.  Another great thing about the flavors is that they mix so well together, and if you really want to have something different, you can add them to flavored sparkling water e.g. Honestly Lemonade to a Lime Sparkling water was delicious!

My suggestion is that you buy a pack with several flavors and combine, have fun and DRINK MORE WATER! - RLB 

Go--> Stur Liquid Water Enhancer




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

Drugstore Buy of the Week - CoverGirl The Capitol Collection

 
 
 
CoverGirl has a genius new collection!  They've teamed up with the soon-to-be released second installment of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, to release a limited edition makeup and nail line.   

Even if you're not a Hunger Games fan (or super fan!) there's a little something for everyone in this collection.

The overall color palette focuses on shimmery, metallic versions of purple, green, gold, orange and red.  The collection has nine nail polish shades, six Smoochies lip glosses and a special Flamed Up Mega Curl Mascara.  And that's not all!  There's also CoverGirl's very first nail stickers in different designs, like the flames (shown above).

Let's start with the polishes:  These are their mini-versions of the full sized Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss bottles, called Glosstinis.  The polishes still feature a full sized brush  with flexible bristles, however, for easy application.

Unlike most of the shades in their permanent Nail Gloss range, these are much more sheer, with a thinner, yet still smooth texture.  They are buildable, but overall, these will provide much more of a shiny, shimmery effect that deep pigmented color, no matter which shade you choose.

Some of my favorite nail shades were, Black Heat (a very cool deep forest green with a black base and gold/green metallic shimmer).  Inferno is a very nice shade for Fall, combining a maroon with gold and bronze metallic shimmer.  If you're looking for a cool Red, Rouge Red is a Orange-Red with lots of golden metallic shimmer.  Another shade that was nice for a soft, shimmery look is Scalding Emerald.  This is a very sheer green, filled with green, blue, gold and bronze metallic shimmer - so pretty!  Keep in mind Scalding Emerald is one of the sheerest shades in the collection however (even with several coats).

The nail stickers are fun and have a clear background which were perfect to layer over any of the Glosstini shades.

The collection also features the six, equally sheer, shimmery Smoochies Sizzle Glosses, and the Flamed Up Mega Curl mascara for those of you who really want to amp up naturally straight lashes. - RLB
 
Go-->Available at drugstore and mass retailers nationwide.  Visit CoverGirl.com/Catching-Fire to view makeup looks inspired by each Hunger Games district, which use the Capital Collection and existing CoverGirl products. 

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

Beauty Find - Estee Lauder Pure Color - Cheek Rush

 
 
 
 
 
 
The newest addition to the Estee Lauder Pure Color range, Cheek Rush is handy product that's not only a joy to apply, but really does deliver a beautiful flush of color that sets almost instantly - and stays put ALL DAY.
 
One of my favorite shades was the Pink Patent (shown, above), which a true, medium-deep pink, with slightly cool undertones.  The texture is a thin, smooth gel and the best way to apply it is with a foundation brush.  I simply added a small drop of the gel directly on to my brush and then began applying right on the apples of my cheeks in quick strokes.  Then I blended the blush very quickly (I can't stress the enough - you must work quickly with this formula!) outwards towards my temples.  Another tip is since this is a gel formula as opposed to a cream, if you have dry/very dry skin, use a hydrating primer before applying the Cheek Rush.
 
This color instantly brightened up my face and if I was in a rush in the AM, I would just refine my brows and do a quick liquid eyeliner and I looked bright, awake and cheery!  The finish is "natural" matte and does stain the cheeks so this color will go on and on with you (even in very hot climates) until you remove it in the evening.
 
I also love the packaging in their color coordinated pump tube.  It's perfect to toss into your makeup bag or travel bag.  The tube is also very well designed to deliver precisely the right amount of product.  I would say just a half a pump is all that's needed for a an average application.  Once you try one shade you'll start to want more! - RLB
 
 
 

Fragrance Find - Tory Burch the Fragrance



If you're a big fan of Tory Burch (the person, the fashion line or both) then I'm sure you've heard about her debut scent, Tory Burch Tory Burch .

Visually, the bottle and packaging are very much in tune with the Tory Burch aesthetic and story - for example, there are pops of the trademark orange and gold.  And the shape of the bottle and cap was inspired by Burch's mother's collection of vintage perfume bottles.

The scent, was a bit of a surprise for me, and a pleasant one at that.  It's less of a chic or glam take on fragrance and more of what Tory terms "tomboy meets feminine".  That means there are some florals - but not an overabundance of them, and there is some citrus - but done in a much more masculine way.  This is a direct influence of Tory's father and brothers' signature scents, which she grew up also loving.

The opening of the scent was a big burst of a bit of grapefruit and tuberose on my skin.  The blend was an immediate "strong" one - not very soft at all, but it caught my attention.  Later, a few more of the florals came in and more of the citrus. 

Overall, this is a sharper, more masculine scent to me (despite the appearance of it's bottle I think).  The majority of the fragrance has a lot of the Vetiver and neroli, a much more earthy, green feel that on my skin got a little stronger as the day went on.  The dry down was very green, and I thought a bit sexy, as well.

I would say this is a very "grown up" scent for a confident women who doesn't want to smell like everyone else, but wants to have her presence known.  I really loved it for this reason and if you're a lover of fragrances (men's or the green/earthy variety) then this is a line to explore.

Tory Burch Tory Burch Eau de Parfum Spray is part of her new beauty collection, which also includes a lip/cheek color, Tory Burch fragranced body products and other beauty accessories. - RLB

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

Beauty Innovation - Miyu Hydrate Mi Beauty Pairing

  


 
 
My latest beauty innovation find in from Miyu, and their lovely new way to hydrate your skin and treat yourself from the inside out.

Miyu Hydrate Mi Beauty Pairing combines their Hydrate Mi beauty essence, which is a facial mist that provides the benefits of a serum and moisturizer all in one.  It can be used alone on normal-slightly oily skin, or used on dry skin as the first layer to prime skin for additional moisturizer or a hydrating primer. 


To use the products, I misted my face with the essence after cleansing morning and evening. The scent is beautiful - a blend of roses and other delicate florals that is strong enough to linger for just a few minutes and no more.  My skin was immediately soft and supply and the mist absorbed into my skin within just a few seconds. 

Afterwards, my skin didn't have any sticky or stiff feeling and I had a beautiful glow, thanks to the formula which includes Sodium hyaluronate (binds up to 1000x its own water weight, attracting much needed water to the skin).  I found that this did work on it's own on more humid days when my skin was not very dry, and on colder days, I could still layer a light moisturizer or primer over it before beginning my makeup in the morning with nice results.

The essence is paired with their Hydrate Mi beauty tea, a delicious blend of Green rooibos, which contains nine types of flavonoids to ward off age-accelerating free radicals and essential electrolytes to help hydrate from within. Goji berries deliver a healthy dose of Vitamin C, necessary for collagen production.

Since I'm a BIG Goji berry fan, the taste of this tea was perfect for me - a slight berry essence with a bit of green and floral.  It tastes wonderful with a touch of honey, on it's own, or even as an ice tea!  The tea is recommended in particular for people who don't tend to drink enough water, consume a lot of caffeinated beverages or live in dry climates.



This duo is also a perfect pick me up after a long day a the office before heading back out for the evening, or post workout at the gym. 

The tea bags are beautifully packaged individual triangular mesh bags, which can easily be put in the included smaller zip lock (inside the pink container) to take to the office or in a travel bag. 

The pair of beautifully designed products comes in a soft pink drawstring bag which can be used to carry the products themselves, as well as additional room for more makeup, travel fragrance, etc. before jetting off on a getaway.  It's also a great gift idea for the beauty lover in your life or a shower idea for a bride/mom-to-be! - RLB
 

.  MIYU beauty essences are also:
•    alcohol-free
•    fragrance-free (natural scent from botanicals)
•    non-irritating
•    clinically tested
•    allergy tested 
 
 
Go-->Miyu Hydrate Mi Beauty Pairing

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

Voya "Lazy Days" Seaweed-Based Bath is Surprisingly Relaxing

This post is courtesy of Thefind




While Fall definitely has its perks (cozy sweaters, boot weather, pumpkin spice lattes), it also has the potential to be a significantly stressful time of year. School is in full swing, it's the start of the final business quarter of the year, holiday shopping season is looming ahead, (and whatever else you have on your plate!), plus you've likely already used up most of your vacation days over the summer.... so chances are, you're likely looking for a new way to relax. Irish-based beauty and skincare brand Voya has an interesting new remedy – their Lazy Days bath.

Now, this isn't your typical light-some-candles-and-unwind type of bath. In fact, if you're typically squeamish about slimy seaweed at the beach, this is definitely not for you. Featuring hand-cut kelp and Dead Sea salt, this at-home bath treatment detoxifies, soothes, moisturizes, and stimulates circulation to help with skin redness, acne, and even cellulite. It's pretty darn genius (after all, it's a treatment that's been passed along for generations and generations), as long as you can get past the sliminess of it all. The best part? The seaweed can be dried and used again within three days... You know, if you're really stressed! - Alexandra Gambardella

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Dove Clear Tone Pink Rosa Deodorant




Think of a layer of beautiful fragrance roses...right under your arms!

It's not as strange as you might think, because I got very close to the real thing when I tried the Dove Advanced Beauty, Clear Tone Antiperspirant Deodorant, Pink Rosa.

It's one of the most beautifully scented deodorants (certainly from a mass brand) I've ever used. The notes are floral - rose and violet - with just a touch of fruit from the raspberry blossom note. 

This scent is light and fresh - and never overwhelming. But have no fear this is just a cover up for a mediocre product. This deodorant does exactly what it says, keeping you dry and fresh all day long, while also moisturizing dry, irritated underarm skin. It also has the added benefit of the Clear Tone technology to help lighten dark marks that many women experience as a result of post shaving hyperpigmentation.

It is white in the tube, very smooth but dry to the touch. It goes on (and stays) clear, so I never had to worry about the dreaded white marks on my clothes. It also provided very good odor and wetness protection. I used it on busy days, travel, out in very warm/humid temperatures and I also felt confident and fresh. 

For those of you who experience dryness and irritation after shaving, this is also very hydrating and soothing thanks to their new formula which has calendula, sunflower seed extracts and classic Dove moisturizers. After using daily for several weeks, I also saw a definite improvement in the overall color of my underarm area, and will continue to use to maintain the effects! - RLB

Go-->Dove Advanced Beauty, Clear Tone Antiperspirant Deodorant, Pink Rosa, 2.6 oz


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

Body Care Find - Biotherm Lait De Gommage Gentle Exfoliating Milk




I can't be the only that gets drawn in by a body/face product which have the word "Milk" in them - can I? :)

The idea of a body cleanser that combined the moisturizing properties of a Milky texture and feel with exfoliation was right up my ally...

Biotherm Lait De Gommage Gentle Exfoliating Milk starts out as a fairly thick, grainy cream.  I applied it  once my skin was completely wet. Then, it was such a treat to start scrubbing! I loved the texture of the scrub once it had contact with water and I began cleansing/massaging the product into my skin. It did in fact, turn pale while and "milky" in texture. 

The exfoliating grains are very fine, and gritty. It's the perfect balance to really slough off dry dead skin cells, and still be gentle. After rinsing off, my skin was super soft and silky to the touch, with the added benefit of a nice amount of moisture - without any oily or sticky film left behind. If you have very dry skin, or very dry areas, like elbows, feet, etc., you will still need to add body lotion/oil post-shower, however. The other amazing feature of this scrub is the scent! It's a very uplifting and a unique citrus that you don't usually find in body washes/scrubs. 

For those of you who like to multi-task, yes this can also be used as a cleansing scrub for the face as well. Since the grains are coarse, for best results, use on a damp face and mix a bit of water into the scrub and massage in your hands first before applying to the face. This one body care product you'll keep reaching for! - RLB

Go-->Biotherm Lait De Gommage Gentle Exfoliating Milk 200ml/6.76oz

This product was provided courtesy of Biotherm PR for reviewing purposes.

Hair Care Find - Ouidad Curl Recovery Curl Defining Styling Souffle






 
Ouidad's new Curl Defining Styling Soufflé is just what curly or wavy girls need to quickly hydrate and refine/elongate the curl pattern, while also taming frizz and adding add day moisture.
 
As you'll see in a moment though, this product is also versatile for those of you who have relaxed and natural hair as well.
 
Used on loosely curly or wavy hair that is dry, the best way to use this product is on slightly damp (misted or freshly washed) hair.  Then use about a nickel to quarter-sized amount and spread first though the palms of your hands - this is important to avoid using too much product or having an uneven amount in certain areas of the hair. Then spread throughout hair, concentrating on the ends if your ends are very dry/frizzy. If you have more tightly coiled curls, the same steps apply, but you may need to adjust the amount of product that you use.
 
The next step is to simply gently finger comb and shake hair to reset your curl/wave pattern. This product contains Mafura Butter and Kalahari Melon Seed Oil for rebuilding, nourishing and protecting hair. It also has natural emollient oils from Avocado, Radish, Coconut and Meadowfoam.  
 
It also contains a cuticle smoothing polymer which helps define curls/waves and keep curls from frizzing - but without a stiff or crunchy hold.
 
The texture of the cream is very whipped and airy, but does have a lot of slip to it which makes it easy to work into hair. It's lightweight in feel and has a slightly sweet, cocoa butter based scent which is also very pleasant and dissipates over time as well.
 
This product can also be used for those of you with relaxed hair that are transitioning back to your natural curls. Simply apply the Soufflé to the hair regrowth before styling to prevent breakage and tame frizz. Once you are completely curly/natural then you can use the product (as described at the beginning of this post). - RLB
 
 
*This product was provided courtesy of Ouidad PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil



By now most of you have probably gotten over the "fear" of using a oil to cleanse your face...

But if you're new to the concept, or still need more convincing, the newest Shu Uemura cleansing oil may help you to make the leap.

While Shu Uemura's cleansing oils are well know for removing makeup and dirt superbly (all without clogging pores, aggravating acne-prone skin or stripping drier skin), their latest version offers even more benefits.

Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil is meant to cleanse and brighten the skin tone. Note: This is not necessarily a product to lighten hyperpigmentation, but it does leave the skin looking "brighter" and with a glow similar to that of post manual exfoliation.

While this is an "oil", it's a very advanced formula which feels - and acts more like a lightweight water-like liquid than the original Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, for example.  It has a nice, fresh, slightly citrus scent that I also loved.

To use this oil, it is important to follow the instructions for it to be most effective.  First, I massaged just a pump of the oil all over my face (a really nice and relaxing part of the whole process I may add!).  Then I added water to the palms of my hand and rubbed together, adding to my face and then continuing the massaging motion to emulsify the mixture.  After another minute or so, I rinsed off with warm water. 

My skin was soft, smooth, completely clean and fresh with a nice level of hydration in the parts that needed it.  Every single speck of makeup (particularly eye makeup) disappeared and my skin had a lovely glow and tone.

Because of the cleansing properties, brightening effects and hydration, this product CAN work for both more oily and drier skin tones alike as well. 

For those of you who wear heavier amounts of makeup, I would also recommend this as a first step in your cleansing process, by using it as an all-over makeup remover first and then cleansing with your preferred cleanser.  This method will free you up from using the traditional cotton pad makeup removal step, which can sometimes aggravate the skin around the eye area.  This takes care of that problem.

It should be noted that the bigger bottle (450 ml) should last even with (2x day usage with 1-2 pumps per wash), well into a year for most people.  The smaller one (150 ml) about 6-7 months depending on how much you use it. Nice! - RLB

Go-->Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil

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