Fragrance Find - Lubin Paris Grisette Eau De Parfum

My latest fragrance pick is for those of you who love a niche, luxury perfume - with a fun backstory. 

French fragrance house Lubin was founded in 1798.  The house has created fragrances for the Imperial court and is known throughout Europe for its captivating, original fragrancesThis makes Lubin is one of the world’s oldest and most illustrious perfume houses.

Lubin doesn't introduce with new flankers - or debut new perfumes on a regular basis - so I was very excited to hear about their latest creation, Grisette Eau De Parfum.

What a breath of fresh air this fragrance is!  As you might imagine, I try and collect many scents, but it still puts a smile on my face when I smell something sophisticated with a sense of fun and happiness.  I think this will very easily become a classic in years to come. Actually, the name "Grisette" - the inspiration for this scent, harks back to a young 17th Century French working class girl who always wore grey fabric dresses, loved to party and have romance in her life (much like today's "It" girls!).

The fragrance notes, in and of themselves may be very familiar to many of you - particularly if you have other Lubin fragrances.  But as always, it's not just the notes that can really make their mark in a perfume, but their quality, composition and blending precision.

The scent opened up very bubbly, fizzy and full of citrus, enhanced nicely with a significant amount of aldehydes (Note: if you're a big fan of CHANEL No. 5, then you are predisposed to aldehydes, which have a champagne-like, sparkly, fizzy odor that makes fragrance fly off the skin).  I loved how the crisp, wood notes and the floral notes complemented either other after the top notes faded away.

The dry down was also quite lovely - it was a bit of a rose soap feel, with a soft, very light musk.

I got so many compliments when wearing this scent - from men and women.  It's a "grown up" scent for a women who is not afraid to make a statement - but without being overbearing.

On my skin, with a liberal spray I got about 5+ hours of wear - a little more on very hot summer days.  For me, this was crisp and light enough to wear in the summer, but I will also be continuing on with it into the Fall.

The bottle design is also vanity worthy with it's stunning bottle cap. It's a translucent light pink jade stone that you simply will look at with joy each day you own it.  

Take a dip into the Lubin Paris pool with this fresh, beautiful French fragrance with a fun side. - RLB

Purchase Here: Lubin Paris Grisette Eau De Parfum (50ml)

Fragrance Notes:

Top: Citrus, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Rose concrete
Middle: Iris concrete and incense.
Base: Musk, Amber, Cedar wood, Madagascan vanilla absolute.

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

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Softsoap Fresh + Glow Hydrating Shower Cream Body Wash

Softsoap Fresh + Glow Hydrating Shower Cream Body Wash has everything I love in a body wash - beautiful, creamy texture, rinses clean, and smells amazing!

This body wash almost has creamy lotion feel out of the bottle, but it quickly blends with the water to create big, moisturizing lather.  I found it was also quite concentrated, so no more than a dollar coin sized amount was needed to feel really clean and also have the added moisture.

Now for the scent!  For those you who really like a nice fragrance when you shower, the almond and soft coconut can't be beat.  There's also a slight, fruity tropical note, but it's very well balanced and doesn't veer into the "Pina Colada" territory.

After rinsing, my skin did feel like it had a very light lotion on it, but it wasn't sticky, greasy or irritating in any way.  I actually appreciated not having to use much post shower body lotion at all in fact!

The bottle is very striking and fresh looking - and I loved the shape which made it very easy to grip and open the top cap while in the shower.

With the current great price make sure you pick up a few Softsoap Fresh + Glow Hydrating Shower Cream Body Wash. - RLB

Purchase Here: Softsoap Fresh + Glow Hydrating Shower Cream Body Wash, 15 oz

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

Celebrity Fragrance Find - Halle Berry Wild Essence

If you're looking for reasonably priced, fresh "green" scent with a bit of spiciness, then look no further that Halle Berry's latest scent.Wild Essence Halle Berry Women's Fragrance 

I've been road testing this scent for several weeks and I really enjoyed it!

For me, the (albeit beautiful) Wild Essence Halle Berry ads and promo pictures of Halle in the Forest are a bit not in line with the actual scent.  At first glance I thought the rain forest pictures and copy depicted a scent that was more spicy/sultry/musky.  However, it's actually more the "fresh green plants" essence of a rain forest that I think the brand was going for.

I found  Wild Essence Halle Berry to be a very fresh and floral/green scent.  It's perfect for those of you, who, like me, tend to lean a more towards scents that are not extremely sweet or fruity.  It's light, airy and "crisp" - the perfect scent of sweltering hot and humid days.  It's perfect to wear every day/office/running errands as you'll never overpower others, but you'll have a nice faint, subtle trail of scent to enjoy closely on your skin. 

The dry down was also very light, subtle and only slightly spicy/warm with a touch of sandalwood.

The lasting power is not as long much as some of her other scents - more in the 3-4 hour range on me.  But I enjoyed it enough to reapply in the late afternoon/early evening on many days.  Halle's scents may seem like the typical celebrity fragrance fare, but as I've discovered on several occasions now, they really are some of the best in the moderate/mass fragrance category.

While the bottle shape and design are not particularly unique or ground breaking, many of you will appreciate it's classic, simple and chic design.  I think Wild Essence Halle Berry is now one another 1 of my favorite Halle Berry scents, and a perfect, inexpensive fragrance treat to pick up for yourself. - RLB

Fragrance Notes:

Sicilian Begramot, Black Currant .Mandarin Zest

Freesia in Bloom, Linden Blossom, White Rose, Cotton Flower 

Silk Musk, White Patchouli, Crystal Amber, Sandalwood Bark

*This product was provided courtesy of Halle Berry Fragrances PR for reviewing purposes.

Budget Beauty Find - CoverGirl Outlast All Day Primer

Drugstore Primers have come a long way in the last few years, and CoverGirl Outlast All Day Primer, Clear, is now one of the best on the market.

The All Day Primer comes out of the tube white, and is clear once I applied it to my skin. The texture of this primer is wonderful.  It was very silky and creamy, with lots of slip that allowed me to be able to massage it into my skin before my makeup application.  It hydrated my skin and created an instant, even smooth surface, with just a touch of immediate "tackiness", which allowed my foundation/bb cream to adhere and stay in place all day.

I found that it was best to apply the CoverGirl Outlast All Day Primer and then wait 3-5 minutes to let it set and then use that time to set up my coffer/breakfast etc in the morning. After a few minutes, the initial tackiness dried down to a completely smooth surface.

I loved how it extended my makeup with a morning application.  And not only my foundation/BB Cream, but also my blush stayed vibrant for 10+ hours with no fading, streaking or drying out.

If you're looking for an advanced primer that also provides additional moisture - and doesn't break the bank, CoverGirl Outlast All Day Primer is the one to pick up. -RLB

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

Beauty Innovation - illuMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask

This may very well be the future of skin care beauty lovers!

IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask uses phototherapy technology and is designed with the detail and precision of those folks over at apple :)

If you've never heard of phototherapy or had a in-office dermatologist laser treatment, basically it means the use of light to safely and effectively treat skin conditions. Now IlluMask  has created a way for you to get a laser treatment right in the comfort of your own home!  Not only that, but because each mask will give you 30 treatments*, it's also very economical.

The IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask is very easy to use.  I added the batteries to the controller, slid on the face mask using the two handles (which work like you are putting on a pair of glasses).  Inside the mask, there are no openings for your eyes, but instead eyes fit into a pair of black inner eye goggles. Then I pressed the "on" button on the controller for 1 sec and the mask lit up from within.  The lights were red and just a touch warm.  Because of the inner eye goggles, my eyes could remained closed or open and they were never irritated by the light.

Then I just laid down, face up.  Throughout the 15 minutes the lights appeared to be going through a sequence of higher and lower levels of light, and at one point they became slightly warmer - and then much cooler at the 14 min mark.  

I looked forward to using this mask at night after washing and toning my face.  It was extremely relaxing for me (I fell asleep with it on a few occasions).  The mask doesn't press down on your mouth or nose, so you can breath/talk.

After using for about 10 treatments, I did see clearer skin, and it felt much more tightened and toned.  While I don't have wrinkles, I did like how hydrated and radiant my skin looked on a daily basis while using it.  My skin felt smooth and I didn't experience any breakouts or reactions to the light.  

You May Also Like: IlluMask Anti-Aging Eye Mask

So, as great as IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask is, there are a few things to note: 

1. *This mask can ONLY be used for 30 treatments.  Every time you press the button to start your 15 minute treatment, the number automatically decreases on the controller - so there's no way to get "more" treatments out of this mask, as there might be with a traditional mask.  This also means that you will need to buy a new mask for every 30 treatments you want. 

 2. The two eyeglass-like handles on the side of the mask do fold inward, just like eyeglasses, but you will also need their specially designed travel case for the easiest way to pack it for traveling, due to the masks rounded shape.  

Does this feel different than using a traditional cream/gel mask or sheet mask?  Absolutely. (There's no "tactile/massage sensation that you get like when applying/using those masks). But I was very impressed with IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask's easy-to-use technology, design and the actual results, I will continue to rotate this treatment with some of my "traditional" skin masks in the future.

There's also an IlluMask Anti-Aging Eye Mask and a IlluMask Anti-Acne Light Therapy Mask in the line (stay tuned for a review from one of our editors who is acne prone and testing this one!). - RLB

illuMask Anti-Aging Phototherapy Mask includes:
  • Mask
  • Controller
  • 4 Alkaline batteries (2 double "A" batteries are needed for the controller, however)
Purchase Here: IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask, 1 ea

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

Beauty Find - Sally's Box Friendly Cherry Blossom Hand Mask

Ready for the latest way to hydrate and beatify your hands from Korea? It's Sally's Box Friendly Cherry Blossom Hand Mask. Each pack contains a pair of double layered gloves. The outer glove has a plastic texture and the inner glove is soaked with the hydrating essence in a thin cotton layer. The gloves were easy to slip on, and large enough for all hand/finger sizes. I simply slipped them on and relaxed for about 15-20 minutes.

There was no messy liquid seeping from them, (although I really couldn't "use" my hands during the treatment because the wrist area of the glove is open).  When I took them off, I rubbed in the remaining essence into my hands and nail beds and my hands were soft, with a beautiful sheen. My cuticles were moisturized - and my hands smelled absolutely amazing. 

 In the morning, my hands were still very soft and still had the faint scent of the mask. I would say after about 3 hand washes, I felt like I had to moisturize my hands again with traditional hand cream I'm obsessed with this mask - they're so easy to use and to pack for travel, going to the gym/sauna or even laying on the beach this summer. 

 Another Korean Skincare Treatment: Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX 80ml.

 When the temps get colder, I'll also be rotating this treatment into my routine to keep my hands soft and have less nail breakage. Once you try these, you're going to love them! P.S. The packaging is Super Cute too! - RLB 

 Purchase Here: Sally's Box Friendly Cherry Blossom Hand Mask

Super Cute! - SEPHORA Collection Lip Service Set of Two Makeup Sponges

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.

Time to refresh your makeup kit - or just bored with your current makeup sponges?

SEPHORA COLLECTION Lip Service Set of Two Makeup Sponges is just what you need!

This set of cosmetic sponges, shaped like a set of lips and a lipstick tube are the perfect addition to your makeup kit. 

            You May Also Like:  SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Contour Kabuki #82

Like all of the other SEPHORA COLLECTION makeup sponges, they are smooth, soft and flexible, while also being very durable and reusable wash after wash.

They has the perfect density that allowed me to easily apply any liquid or cream makeup with no streaking or skipping and I used them both dry and damp with great results.

I also appreciated the level of porousness the sponges had, which didn't suck up too much product, but held a good amount in order to apply to my skin without having to waste product.

Pick up a few Lip Service Set of Two Makeup Sponges for yourself, and a few more for your beauty loving friends/family for a little beauty treat! - RLB

Purchase Here: SEPHORA COLLECTION Lip Service Set of Two Makeup Sponges

Beauty Find - NARS Audacious Mascara

Are you ready for the next level in mascara?

Leave it to Francois Nars to create a mascara that is truly unique.  It's called NARS Audacious Mascara Black Moon  and is perfect for creating lashes that are super long - and separated from the roots to the tips.

First, there's the brush.  It has over 200 molded bristles and tiny little "hooks" which latch on to the lashes.  Note: The first few times I used it, I had to get used to a slightly scratchy/tickling feeling at the base of my lashes from the hooks.

But it's well worth it since the hooks helped me to reach the inner and outer corners of the top lashes, with ease.  I was also able to easily pull my lashes up with the brush, and they were instantly separated. 

The mascara formula is shiny black (it only comes in 1 shade), lightweight, silky and just a touch wet. I used about 2-3 coats to get my desired effect and they dried within about 30 seconds. The mascara didn't clump or flake and was extremely long lasting throughout the day.   

While it's easy to remove at the end of the day, I was also impressed that I could easily go back in with another coat of the mascara in the early evening for a little extra "oomph", and my lashes still didn't feel sticky or clumpy.

This mascara excels in the separation and lengthening area (this made my eyes look so much wider and open!), so if you don't need, or want, as much of a thickening effect, you will really love this mascara. - RLB

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

Beauty Find - Yves Rocher Refreshing Gel Cleanser

During these dog days of August summer, there's nothing better for skin than a good, non-stripping gel cleanser.

Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Refreshing Gel Cleanser is a favorite of mine this summer, because the smooth, slightly thick gel is perfect for all skin types and not only cleanses effectively and gently, but it can also double as a makeup remover.  

The gel didn't foam or bubble while cleansing, but remained gel like until I rinsed it off. It has a very light, refreshing slightly green scent (and while traveling recently, in a pinch I also used it for a nice body wash).  Although it is a hydrating formula, there was no oily or greasy residue on my skin. My slightly drier areas like my cheeks were nicely hydrated, but my more oily t zone still felt refreshed and toned.  After using it, my skin felt very soft, toned and balanced.

This cleanser is also recommended for sensitive skin and I loved using it with my clarisonic.

Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Refreshing Gel Cleanser will be in constant rotation in the summer/hot weather environments.  It's hard to find in stores in the states, so your best bet is online (link below). -RLB

Beauty Find - SEPHORA Collection Color Lip Last

This summer, if you want to look just as great coming out of the pool or from the beach as when you step out at night, then SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Lip Last  is the perfect, waterproof solution.

Unlike many lip products in this longwear/waterproof category,  SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Lip Last in shade also happens to come in many, bright and well as neutral, flattering shades which are non-drying, creamy and silky to apply.

Want to play up your summer tan with a neutral, goes-with-everything red?  SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Lip Last in shade 19 Pure Red (shown, above), is perfect.  This has a creamy, matte finish that still gave my lips all day moisture and was truly waterproof (I went in the pool and the ocean with it).   There was no smudging, melting or flaking all day.

The pigments were so long lasting, I was able to still have a great amount of color on my lips later in the day.  I easily removed Color Lip Last with a cream or oil-based remover in the evening. 

Perhaps you want a neutral lip.  SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Lip Last in shade 04 Brown Is Back! (shown, left).  It's a medium, pinky brown that works well for either a nude or "your lips but better" effect and works on lighter and darker skin tones.

There are tons more options in the line, from deep burgundies and bright pinks to pale pinks and corals.

Pick up a few of these for the summer - and beyond - when you need a great lipstick that you don't have to think about for the rest of the day! - RLB

Purchase Here: SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Lip Last