Drugstore Buy of the Week - Burt's Bees Limited Edition Mint Hot Cocoa Lip Balm

We've only got a few months to go before a new year of beauty, so when I try great 2015 limited edition products now, I'll make sure I hurry and share them with you!

Burt's Bees Limited Edition Mint Hot Cocoa Lip Balm is perfect for all you Burt's Bee's lip balm fans.  It has all the moisturizing coconut and Shea butter to keep lips nicely moisturized and a healthy dose of shine, but now it comes in this fun flavor.  I loved how smooth and creamy the texture is, while never feeling too oily, or greasy.  I also used this under lip colors, as well as on it's own or with a lip pencil.

Chocolate flavor/scent in beauty products is hit or miss with me, but I liked this version. Note: For me the scent and flavor was less like a mint/chocolate chip ice cream and more like tootsie rolls with a dash of mint. I actually detected more of the mint flavor (which I loved!).   

So if you're in the market for a new lip balm, beauty holiday stocking stuffers or just want to collect this one before it goes away, pick one up ASAP! - RLB   

Purchase Here: Most major drugstores nationwide, and at BurtsBees.com

*This product was provided courtesy of Burt's Bees PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Blithe Patting Splash Mask, Rejuvenating Purple Berry

Can great skin care treatments get quicker than 1 minute?

Yes, they can!  I've just discovered one of the newest type of Korean masks - it's called a splash mask. It's essentially a concentrated blend of extracts and lactic acid that is meant to be patted on the skin and splashed off with water, (or poured into a basin/bowl of water to dilute, and then splashed on the face).  

Blithe Patting Splash Mask, Rejuvenating Purple Berry also contains antioxidants to help ensure a brighter complexion, and glycerin, which helps sooth and protect the skin.  

The mask has a liquid/gel texture - it's not exactly as thin as water, but it's not as thick as a lotion, for example.  It had enough weight/heft to it that I could pour a capful and pat/press it all over my face without it dripping and/falling between my fingers/hands.

Interested in more Korean Skincare?  Click Here!

Since I did the shower application, I simply used my hands to collect water from the shower head and then splashed it over my face to rinse off - that's it!  All together this mask takes 30 seconds to apply

Once I got out of the shower I could indeed see how much softer my skin was - and with such a beautiful glow!  I skin was supple, plump and hydrated, without any lingering residue or film. The scent was also quite nice - a soft, gentle berry/sweet combination that wasn't artificial or cloying.

Note: While $48 may seem like a splurge, because of the concentration, used 1-2 times a week, you should get more than a few month's use out of it.

If you're looking for the latest in quick effective skincare treatments, you simply must get a bottle of this. - RLB

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

Nail Polish Find - NARS Cosmetics X Steven Klein Nail Polish in Black Fire

The new NARS x Steven Klein Collection has more than a few amazing pieces, but by far one of the best shades is the new Black Fire Nail Polish.

Like many of NARS colors, it's a unique one, and one which you can't take the name of too literally.  Black fire is not actually "Black" or even a "Black Metallic" shade, but it is a great color that gives you deep grey shimmer and LOTS of dimension.

This is a perfect shade when you want a darker, rich nail with a "sophisticated" sparkle.  The mixture of grey/blue and black is dusted with fine micro glitter.  It's shimmer fine enough that you can wear this to the office or out for a big night.  I loved the dimension after two layers.   This is also a perfect shade to mix it up for the upcoming holiday parties and events.

Want to make this great shade last longer?  Try this top coat.

The formula is med/thick, creamy didn't streak or clump as I applied.  The brush is short and fairly wide, making it easy to use.  The finish has a natural shine. This color is going in my permanent dark nail polish rotation for 2015/16! - RLB

Purchase Here: NARS Cosmetics x Steven Klein Nail Polish in Black Fire

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

Beauty Find - TonyMoly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch

It looks like a large lip shaped gummy bear and has oh so cute packaging, but  TONY MOLY Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch is also a great way to soften and hydrate lips, and lots of beauty insiders and hollywood stars have discovered this Korean beauty product.

This is a single use gel lip mask, covered in serum.  All you have to do is open, place over your dry lips and leave on for anywhere from 15-20 minutes.

TONY MOLY Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch is very soft, flexible and lightweight and even smells like blueberries.  The one thing I had to ensure was that I was laying back with my head slight elevated so that the mask would not slip off my mouth (it does not "stick" on to the lips).  Other than that, the mask felt cool with no tingling sensation.

Afterwards I removed the patch and there was still quite a bit of essence left on my lips and around my mouth, so I massage the remaining essence into my lips.  My lips felt very soft, plump and hydrated.  I then added a light layer of lip balm to lock in the hydration.

This is a great treatment to do before going out at night when you want to have a bold, bright lip that requires very pigmented lipstick, to ensure maximum smoothness.  It's easy to toss in any bag for a little beauty treatment on a plane or while you're on vacation.

While the results are temporary, TONY MOLY Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch makes a great quick treatment to get your lips looking their best, quickly.

Note: If you have very dry, flaky lips, I recommend exfoliating them FIRST, before using this for the best results! - RLB

Drugstore Buy of the Week - NYC New York Color for Halloween Looks

If you need a great basic black to take this year's Halloween Costume Look to the next level, I've found 2 great products that won't even break the bank (and you'll love them so much you'll use them the rest of the year too!)

NYC New York Color Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Black Lace Crème (only 99 cents!) is perfect to top off your nails for classic Halloween beauty looks like Witches, Black Cats, Superheros (or Villains), Vampires, etc. I was very impressed that such an inexpensive polish could be so creamy and smooth.  With just one coat the polish is a rich black and two just takes it up a notch with great shine.  And it is long wearing.  With a top coat, I got 5+ days of wear before any real wear and tear.  This is also the perfect price point for teens/tweens who want to do nail art to create spiders, monsters, etc.

Want to make your polish last even longer?  Then try this no chips top coat!

All Halloween looks can be played up by great eye makeup.  And NYC New York Color City Proof 24 Hr Waterproof Eye shadow in New York At Night ($2.99) is perfect for that classic cat eye, leopard spots, cat whiskers, as well as more dramatic, creative effects. The pencil is retractable with an impressive creamy, smooth texture.  It can be used for both shadow on the lids, as well as an eyeliner, drawing lines and other shapes.  

It's a long wear product that will get you though all your Halloween parties in tact!  There was no creasing, smudging, flaking and the rich, dark black did not fade all day for me.

When Halloween is over, these two products will continue to be in rotation in my makeup kit for great smoky eyes and dark dramatic nails too! - RLB

Purchase Here: Most major drugstores, Target, Walmart and newyorkcolor.com

*This product was provided courtesy of NYC New York Color PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep Night Recovery Gel Balm

I love a great overnight skincare product, and on a recent trip to CVS, I discovered another winner for dry or mature skin or those of you in cold/winter conditions.

Vichy Laboratoires Idealia Dkin Sleep Night Recovery Gel Balm is a very thick, creamy concentrated cream that has a bit of a gel feel (but more cream than gel) to it that provides great slip to apply and absorb easily.

About a dime's worth was all I needed to massage on to my skin after washing in the evening.  It went on smoothly, gently and made my skin feel "quenched" and slightly sticky/damp for a few seconds (I would not advise putting your head on the pillow directly after applying this!).  The scent was very soft and pleasant and evaporated quickly.

In the morning on the first night I used it my skin was very soft and had a nice, "awake" look to it. My skin was completely moisturized and felt very balanced with a great tone.

I continued to use Vichy Laboratoires Idealia Dkin Sleep Night Recovery Gel Balm every night for 2 weeks and could not be happier.  My skin looks fresh, makeup applys well in the morning, and even with the colder temps and drier air, my skin skin looks and feels hydrated.

Pick this up now and be prepared to have great looking skin all Fall/Winter. - RLB

Purchase Here: Vichy Laboratoires Idealia Dkin Sleep Night Recovery Gel Balm

*This product was made available courtesy CVS Beauty Club PR for reviewing purposes.

Hair Product Find - Rusk Elixir Mist Thermal Shine Mist

Hair serum in a mist....sounds good doesn't it?

Well, Rusk Elixir Mist Thermal Shine Mist  is good.

This is now one of my favorite new hair products to deliver truly weightless moisturize, shine and offer heat protection for blow drying and flat ironing.

Since this is actually a serum, it's quite concentrated, so I found that adding a few short sprays of this ultra fine (and completely silent because of their eco-friendly patented air delivery system!) mist were best to start, and then I added more after combing, etc. It's also interesting to note I sprayed the mist it was completely silent because of Rusk's eco-friendly patented air delivery system. If you have very thick or dry hair, you'll certainly be able to use more without it looking or feeling greasy.  I had amazing shine all day.  Note: You can also spray the mist into your hands and apply the serum directly to hair or ends, as well.

This works well on all hair types, particularly hair that's been straightened, relaxed or blown out.  Rusk Elixir Mist Thermal Shine Mist can also be used on damp and dry hair, so you can really have 1 post-shampoo product for all your styling needs.

Now for another great feature - the smell!  It's like cutting opening a crate of fresh coconuts. I didn't find it artificial smelling, heavy or cloying. The majority of the scent dissipates after a few seconds, but there was a faint trace of it throughout the day which was very nice.

There's no alcohol, so it's non-drying and also helps to reduce frizz for curlier hair types.

Rusk Elixir Mist Thermal Shine Mist should be your next must-have product in your hair collection. - RLB

Purchase Here: Rusk Elixir Mist Thermal Shine Mist 2.5oz

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

Beauty Find - TonyMoly I'm Real Tomato Mask Sheet Radiance

I've tried a few beauty products over the years that contain large amounts of tomato extract, but it took innovative Korean skincare brand, TonyMoly to create one that really delivers results.

I picked up the Tonymoly I'm Real Mask Sheet, Tomato, at the New York TonyMoly store after hearing great things about it.

Each mask is individually wrapped and infused with tomato essence, which helps to increase radiance and refreshed skin.

I honestly wasn't expecting miracles, but did love the packaging and the masks' features, which also include peach fruit extract, and a three-layer durable cotton sheet 

This is a very "wet" mask, yes pretty much dripping with liquid, but I was able to apply on my skin and it adhered very well, without slipping or sliding off my face.  It's a standard shape with a two eye and 1 nose opening which was big enough to fit my face.

Then I just laid back and relaxed for about 20 min.  This mask doesn't really get dry, and when I peeled it off, there was still some essence that I used to massage into my skin more as well as my neck and upper chest.

Once I rinsed off the excess I was very happy with the results.  My skin was so soft and smooth, and it really did have an amazing glow like I had just had a spa facial.  It was brighter, toned and yet very moisturized without my more oily areas feeling greasy or oily.

I didn't experience any irritation or clogged pores after using it about 2x week. Note: If you have allergic reactions to tomatoes or other citrus fruits I would recommend doing a patch test first on the inside of your wrist with some of the liquid from the mask.

When you want a quick, easy and inexpensive addition to your skin care routine for an extra glowy complexion,  Tonymoly I'm Real Mask Sheet, Tomato, is your secret weapon.  - RLB

Nail Polish Find - Essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat

I've featured some great new nail polish shades over the years, but if you're investing your own time to do your nails at home, the one thing you want is for that great color and shine to LAST.

That's where the amazing essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat Anti-Chip + Shine comes in.

 essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat Anti-Chip + Shine has a small flaw in that it take s little extra time to dry...but it is well worth it because this top coat really works to keep chips at bay.  And if you've splurged on nail polish, then you know you need something like this.

The brush may be a little more narrow and shorter than you are used to, but don't worry, this forces you to apply it in very thin, smooth layers.  The texture will feel a bit tacky/sticky, but again, this goes away as soon as it's spread over the nail.

Once I had No Chips Ahead on, I needed to let it dry for close to 10 min.  This may seem like an unreasonable amount of time to wait, but with the results I got, it was well worth it. Note: Sometimes it felt dry after about 6 min, but I had the best results waiting for a full 10 min.

Once it set, it was like a hard clear shell, which is what actually protected my nail polish/lacquer.

The final results were I got at least 5-7 days more wear with my nail polish before I even saw a single chip.  The shine remained thought this period as well. This was even when I was really using my hands a lot for errands/dishes, etc.  I also found that if I added it on top of an in-salon manicure I got closer to 9 days.  That's amazing!

essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat Anti-Chip + Shine is very reasonably priced here, and can also be found at CVS where you can also get in-store discounts by joining their CVS Beauty Club. 

Get this top coat NOW. - RLB

Purchase Here: essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat Anti-Chip + Shine, .46 oz

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Wet n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain Moisturizing Lip Colour

I hadn't tried any Wet n Wild products in what seems like years - so when I stumbled upon Wet n Wild Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip Color at my CVS store that was the perfect soft brown nude for my lips, I was very excited!

Wet n Wild Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip Color is fantastic quality at a price that just can't be beat. This creamy balm stain delivered great color payoff, moisture and long lasting color.

I chose Caffeine Fix (shown, above) which is a light brown with a touch of pink (the color of the crayon is exactly the color on the lips).  It was very creamy and slightly thick in texture, but didn't feel heavy or greasy on my lips.  Since this was a neutral shade, I was very surprised by how much color was left on my lips after the initial 2-3 hours (including eating and drinking). I usually touched it up only at the end of the day.  The finish is a nice, satin effect that's slightly dewy with no shimmer or glitter.  I was also easily able to use Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip Color over or under deeper lipsticks as well for more color and staying power.  My lips stayed soft, moisturized and soft all day as well.

Caffeine Fix in particular is perfect for the office, or very casual weekend looks.  Also, if you prefer a lip shade that looks quite subtle/natural, this is a great choice.  The lip color is also buildable, so that if you really want it sheer, you can just dab a few dots on the lips and use fingers/brush to sheer it out.

But you don't have stop there with the colors!  There are other great Wet n Wild Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip  shades in pinks, reds and deeper plums/wines.  I also picked up the great neutral red shade Red-Dy or Not.

The best part, especially for paring down beauty products for travel, is that because these have such creamy moisture and pigment, they also double easily as cheek color.  I used my Red-Dy or Not. for blush and sometimes the Caffeine Fix for a bit of a highlighter effect.

If you want a goof-proof, convenient lip color product that's super affordable without sacrificing any quality or color payoff, stock up on these Wet n Wild Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip Colors pronto - RLB

P.S. Helpful tip: When you put the cap back on, press down firmly until it clicks into place so that it doesn't come off in your bag. 

Purchase Here:  Wet n Wild Megaslicks Moisturizing Lip Color, Caffeine Fix, .1 oz

*This product was provided courtesy a gift card via CVS PR for reviewing purposes.

Drugstore Buy of the Week - L'Oreal Infallible Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen, Black Smok

On a recent drugstore trip I discovered one of THE easiest and best ways to get a goof-proof, smoky eye look.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen is simply brilliant. It's actually a creamy powder in a pen.  There's NO fallout like with eye shadow and it's glides along the eye like a dream with no tugging or pulling. I was able to get away with almost no blending with fingers/brush or anything.

The pen design is also unique.  The top is actually a screw on.  This reveals the large sponge tip applicator which is where the powder is actually housed I used the wide, pointed tip to line my upper and lower lash lines. I loved that I could vary the width by putting it along the side, or by using the tip only. The texture of the powder was so creamy and smooth I could not believe it! 

Instantly I got a soft, powdery black color that looked as if I had already smudged/blended eye shadow around my eyes. Yes, this little miracle does ALL the work for you. (Note: This eyeliner is not meant to create a standard thin line).

The finish has just a touch of sheen/satin- effect, but there's no glitter or shimmer.  I usually grabbed the Black Smoke (shown, above) for day to day looks, but when I wanted to mix it up or have a softer eye I LOVED the 702  Brown Smoke and 703 Taupe Smoke (tiny bit of shimmer in this one). P.S. There's also a 704 Purple Smoke.

The great thing about the L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen, is that this can also be used as an over-all shadow, blending it with an eye shadow brush into the outer corners, in conjunction with a pencil or liquid eyeliner, or layered under powder shadow for a deeper and more dramatic smoky eye.

If you love a smoky eye, but don't have the time, skill or patience to play with powder shadows and brushes, these Powder Eyeliner Pens should be a permanent fixture in your makeup kit - STAT! - RLB

Purchase Here: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen, Black Smoke, .03 oz
Purchase Here: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen, Brown Smoke, .03 oz
Purchase Here: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen, Taupe Smoke, .03 oz

*This product was provided via a CVS sponsored gift card, for reviewing purposes.

Budget Fragrance Find - Vera Wang Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla

If you're looking for a pretty, simple, and understated fragrance (that won't break the bank!) I've found it in the new Vera Wang Embrace Collection, Vera Wang Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla perfume.

This was a real pleasure to reach for on a daily basis.  It's simple in that the roses and warm vanilla are the prominent notes throughout. (The opening notes for me were more vanilla than rose). But there's a little added touch in some of the fresh notes like orange blossoms that linger throughout, along with warm musk with the dry down.

I loved the fresh, creamy feel that this gave me as it warmed up during the day.  The rose and vanilla never got too sweet or powdery - it remained fresh and clean.  The dry down was warm with musk and sandalwood, but still very soft and worked well with the lingering floral notes on my skin.

This is a great all-season fragrance, and I got fairly good lasting power from it, with it going at least 4+ hours before having to touch up.  Vera Wang Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla is an pleasant, wearable fragrance that can take you from day to night, the office, weekends or dinner.  

It's not overly complex or unique, but it really hits the mark as a fresh, feminine fragrance that's very attainable, price wise (and smells a lot more expensive than it is by the way).

Very pretty, classic bottle too!  - RLB

Purchase Here: Vera Wang Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla perfume

Fragrance Notes: 

Top notes: rose, mandarin orange and damask rose. 
Middle notes: are cyclamen, iris and magnolia. 
Base notes: are musk, vanilla and sandalwood.

*This product was provided courtesy Vera Wang Fragrances PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Korres Moisturizing Hand Cream with Almond Oil and Calendula

It's always a pleasant surprise when I can officially add a new hand cream to my top favorites (I'm really picky about hand cream!).

Korres Moisturising Hand Cream with Almond Oil + Calendula not only looks beautiful with a unique tube packaging, but has a beautiful formula.

It does everything that it needs to, like completely moisturizes my hands, nails and cuticles, smells (softly) amazing with a floral and slightly sweet fragrance, and absorbs quickly while leaving just a touch of sheen on my skin.

My hands felt soft and silky without being greasy of feeling like there was too much residue on them  There's also lots of great natural ingredients like Almond Oil, Calendula, Aloe and natural butters that kept my hands moisturized all day.

Once you try Korres Moisturising Hand Cream with Almond Oil + Calendula you'll want to get a few for several rooms in your house and your bag. - RLB

Purchase Here: Korres Moisturising Hand Cream with Almond Oil + Calendula 2.54 oz

Note: This does not contain SPF, so for some, this may be best used at night, at the office, etc. only.

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

Beauty Find - Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion

Kendall Jenner is the new front woman for Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion (in an ad that made me really stop and take notice when flipping through my Fall Fashion Magazine issues).  

But beyond the ad campaign, the ideal of a moisturizing, liquid lipstick was very appealing to me with Fall here, so I gave Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion a go in a beautiful, brownish-plum neutral shade, Potion Bittersweet  (shown, above).

This is really an impressive product. Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion that goes on like a creamy lip gloss but settles instantly like a creamy, pigment rich lipstick.  It was non-sticky, lightweight and so easy to use since just one swipe on my upper and lower lip gave me full, rich color like in the tube.  

Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion was also intensely moisturizing with the perfect amount of slip for application.  The formula blends avocado, jojoba, and sunflower oils, but the finish is not slick or overly shiny looking - it's a very wearable satin-matte finish. 

I got about 4+ hours of full color after drinking and light drinking, and had to retouch about 1x during the day.  Although the color payoff was amazing, I did find that it could be layered for a more intense color effect with no heavy or sticky effect at all.  By the end of the day, my lips still felt soft and hydrated, with no flaky or dry areas.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion is the perfect, higher-end lip color for those of you who want the color payoff of a stain, the luxe feel of lipstick with chic packaging and real, long term moisture.

I'm already thinking about my next few shades I'll pick up, which will include that Kendall Jenner, Lethal Red - RLB

Purchase Here: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion Potion Bittersweet 0.2 oz