Drugstore Buy of the Week - CoverGirl Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipstick, Monarch

CoverGirl Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipstick in the new shade, Monarch, was one of those shades that I just knew would be a knock out even before I used it.  *It's also featured in the new CoverGirl Queen Collection ad with Janelle Monae and looks spectacular!

The CoverGirl Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipstick is a new, ten shade collection of lipsticks that launched with the new CoverGirl Queen Because We Rule Collection for Spring 2016. The difference between these Queen Collection Stay Luscious lipsticks and similar CoverGirl Outlast Long Wear Lipstick are that these feature deeper, richer and warmer shades created for warmer and darker skin tones.  These shades are loaded with pigment, smooth and hydrating with gorgeous colors.

If you're looking for a glamorous, sexy warm red, look no further than the Monarch shade. The texture and weight are just right.  It felt light, but very creamy on my lips.  I could immediately feel how hydrating and comforting it was.  The pigment was incredible.  With just a light swipe of the tube, I got full, opaque color and the beautiful, deep berry red shade.

The finish was semi-matte and did not smudge or bleed through (but there was transfer to cups, straws when drinking as this is not a stain or long wear formula).

Monarch is a must-have deep red (& under $8!), but if you're looking for  beautiful deeper pink, fuchsia and purple shades, CoverGirl Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipstick line has plenty of those as well! - RLB
*This product was provided courtesy of CoverGirl PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer

I mentioned last week on Twitter that one of my favorite concealers was discontinued in my local Sephora, but a lovely associate recommended Anastasia 's new concealer -  and boy was she right on the money.

What I love about Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer  is that the texture and consistency both in the bot and on the skin is like creamy silk.  The color match, which I was a little concerned about based on her color system (it's broken into warm/cool shades with red, yellow, peach, golden, pink or rosy undertones), turned out to be perfect.  My color match was 6.25 (shown, above), which is considered a cool shade with red undertones.  

Since this is a pot Concealer, I used it with my concealer brush, but if you don't mind using your fingers, it also works by pressing it slightly with your fingers and patting on under eye circles, etc.  I would use the brush to put a small amount on the back of my hand the then move the brush over it for a few seconds to warm it up.

The coverage is full, to very full depending on how much you layer.  However, Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer is so pigmented that a pea-sized amount may even be too much for the average under eye concealing.  Even better, it not only works for the under eye area, but on any dark patches, scars or uneven pigmentation.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer is creamy and hydrating, so it's perfect for those with drier skin or fine lines   It is also very long wearing - it did not fade or smudge on me at all during the day.  It also worked well over any of my favorite foundations, BB Creams or tinted foundation products.  My skin looked natural, flawless and even. This is now 1 of my top 5 concealers in my makeup arsenal. 

Good things can happen when you least expect it!  - RLB

Purchase Here: Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer 6.25 0.35 oz

Beauty Find - MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Finally Free Lipstick

Finally Free is the first product from Caitlyn Jenner X MAC Cosmetics. One hundred percent of sales from Finally Free lipstick will go towards the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative, which provides funding to organizations and programs that help the trans community. 

The lipstick is an easy-to wear, medium-dark rosy pink with warm undertones and a subtle sheen finish.  Cailtyn envisioned this precisely because she wanted as many people as possible to be able to buy it (and wear it) - and thus contribute more to the MAC AIDS Fund. I think this was a brilliant strategy and the resulting shade is beautiful and versatile. 

Finally Free (which is an online exclusive), is going to become a staple in my nude-easy pink lipstick shade collection. The texture is smooth and glided easily across my lips. There's quite a lot of pigment and it was deposited evenly. It has opaque coverage which can be layered for a bolder lip. There's no shimmer and a natural shine.

This was perfect for an every day look, a natural, feminine weekend look or days when I wanted a pink lip that I knew would work with anything I was wearing, etc.  Finally Free was hydrating, but not overly oily, and while not a long wear formula, it sat very well on my lips and left a nice stain even after drinking/eating, so my touch ups were very light during the day. 

Word in the beauty industry is that Finally Free lipstick is just the beginning and there are more makeup products from this duo on the way. I, for one, am eager to see what else is on the horizon for MAC x Caitlyn Jenner! - RLB

Purchase Here: MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Finally Free Lipstick

Fragrance Find - Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte

When Tory Burch debuted her first fragrance, I told all of you how impressed I was.  This was no cookie-cutter scent.  It was created with a sophisticated, chic woman in mind, who still likes to stand out from the rest.

Her newest scent, Tory Burch Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte also follows this tradition.  It's a floral scent, heavy with Lily of the Valley and Jasmine. For those who love green, fresh scents, like I do, there's plenty of it, but without sacrificing a well-rounded, sophisticated scent.

The scent opened with very green (soapy-fresh) notes, and then a burst of white florals came through.  During the day, the scent kept the light green structure, but the florals warmed up nicely.  The dry down was very interesting.  It was warm and still crisp, but with a creamy, nutty feel.

The lasting power on me was medium (about 5 hours) and the sillage* was average.

This is a perfect scent for Spring/Summer when you need something easy going and feminine to wear for all occasions, including work.  I also think this would be a great addition to a Mother's fragrance collection, particularly if she's a floral scent lover.  If you're personally looking to lighten up your scent (or change from warm, spicy ones), this is your scent as well.

Luckily, Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte also comes in a roller ball version for travel . - RLB

Purchase Here: 

Tory Burch Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray

Tory Burch Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte Rollerball 0.20 oz Eau de Parfum Rollerball

Fragrance Notes: 
Lily of the Valley, Jasmine Absolute, Mandarin, Neroli Oil, Dewey Green Accord, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Musk. 

*Sillage= How far a scent travels or projects from the body.

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush, Pop Of Peach

Maybelline's Baby line of products are the epitome of cute.  If you're just starting out with blush, or prefer a sheer pop of color, Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush, Pop Of Peach is perfect.

The blush head is a round, dome shape (similar to EOS lip balm).  The photo above makes the blush look a bit more chubby and big that it really is.  In real life, it can easily fit between fingers easily to apply.

Not only is the color and shape adorable, but the formula is a creamy gel that smooths on easily.  I played around with applying it directly on the apples of my cheeks and using the applicator to smooth it out, and smoothing it out with either my beauty blender or fingers. 

The finish is hydrating and has a nice sheen that will be good for those of you with normal to dry skin ( it may be too much for those with very oily skin!).  The gel felt moist on my skin but not too wet and it dried down to a dewy, slightly sticky finish with a tiny amount of shimmer.

Tip: These Cheek Flushes, will work best over just moisturizer or a very light tinted moisturizer, rather than a full foundation/ BB Cream. They for a light, natural, young playful look, so if you have great skin tone/no real discolorations, this will look the best on you.

Due to this sheer finish, I would not consider this a long wear blush or one to wear on very hot, humid days.

If you have darker skin, like myself, note that this will be for a more natural, dewy pop of sheer color.  For lighter and medium skin tones, you will be able to build this to a more prominent peachy shade.  There's also a medium pink shade,Pinking Of You
so try them both! - RLB

Purchase Here: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush, Pop Of Peach, .12 oz

Body Care Find - Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion

If you have dry skin yet still want a product with a lovely tropical fragrance, it doesn't get much better (or price friendly!)  than Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion 

Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion  contains ethically and sustainably sourced Coconut Oil and Tahitian Monoi Oil, infused with Tiare flower petals.  The combination of these ingredients not only makes for a luscious, hydrating body lotion, but also a decadent fragrance that will make you feel like your in a tropical local - no matter where you happen to be physically.

What I loved about this formula was that it is silky and medium in weight, so it felt great going on - and it absorbed quickly.  Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion  left a beautiful sheen to my skin - without feeling greasy or too oily.  I got long term hydration from this formula - most days my skin stayed soft and supple right up until showering again.

For those that love a coconut (NOT cocoa butter) fragrance, this will be a real treat (it's very well done and not too strong or overbearing).  The coconut, blended with the Monoi and Tiare, smelled amazing.  It is prominent enough to wear on it's own as a scent - particularly when the weather starts heating up.  - RLB

Purchase Here: Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion  (About $6.00)

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

Beauty Find - NARS Dual-Intensity Blush, Liberation

NARS Under Cover 2016 Summer Collection is a stunner! It features products with beautiful shades and intense pigments - along with unique, illustrated packaging.

My favorite piece from the collection is the limited edition blush duo, NARS Dual-Intensity Blush, in Liberation (shown, above). The shade on the left is a shimmering pink and the right hand shade is a bronze-rose.  I loved layering these shades, which work beautifully together..

You Might Also Like: beauty blusher by beautyblender

Of course, if you want to use the lighter and darker shade them more as a contour/highlighter, they also work very well.

The lighter pink shade on the left is a warm medium pink with a frosted finish.  Since these blushes work both wet and dry, if you are interested in a more shimmery/metallic finish, I recommend applying them with a damp beauty blender.  The formula is smooth and silky both wet or dry, and easily blendable and well as buildable.  The warmness of both shades and the pretty finishes will work with a wide variety of skin tones, and especially when those who are naturally fair get tan this summer.

The deeper bronze rose ion the right s also a warm shade, with a slight shimmer.  If you want this shade to appear darker, you can apply it damp.  The shade stayed true on my skin all day with no fading (and even longer when I applied it damp).
I love this compact's size and the outer package design in particular (I'm a packaging junkie, of course!) so it will be a permanent collectible in my makeup kit  - RLB
*This product was provided courtesy of NARS PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme, Opal

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme IS worth adding to your collection/kit - (even if you have a few -or many! highlighters already in your collection).

Why?  Because this formula, and in particular the Opal shade (shown, above), is one of the most stunning, good-for-all skin tones highlighters I've used in a long time.

This cream compact formula is the best of both a liquid and powder highlighter.  The cream is extremely pigmented and silky and soft, which made it a breeze to apply. I only needed a touch on top of the cheekbones (in a C shape starting from my outer brow bone around to the top of my cheekbones).  It was enough to give me a healthy glow with just a touch of shimmer.  The shade has a blend of beautiful tones and also features ultra fine pigment pearls which adjust to your skin's undertones.

This Opal shade gave me a pearly golden finish which still managed to look very natural, even in day time.

As for applying, I got the best results using a beauty blender (fingers are not good for this compact).  I liked using BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme on top of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, as well as my brow bones if I has a few seconds more in the morning.

If you want a more glam or bold look, the cream can be layered more heavily and will still keep a very lightweight feel on the skin.  There are two other equally beautiful deeper shades for those that want/need a darker highlighter, Rose Gold and Topaz.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme is perfect when you need a quality highlighter that doesn't scream highlighter on your skin. - RLB

Purchase Here: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme

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

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Dove Dry Oil Bodywash

I love Argan oil and it's skin softening and hydrating benefits.  I've featured several products on the blog with it, and now I can add Dove Dry Oil Bodywash to my list of Argan Oil product favorites.

Dove Dry Oil Bodywash is perfect for those of you with dry and/or flaky skin.  The texture is very thick and creamy, and didn't feel oily at all.  Once my skin was wet in the shower however, the cream turned into a very fine oil/lotion texture and the beautiful, slightly spicy/sweet scent was released. Note: Dove Dry Oil Bodywash has a very prominent scent - not overbearing, but if you're very sensitive to smell, this may be too strong for you.

Given the texture of the body wash in the shower, it's a low suds formula, which some of you may not be used to, but I loved how soft and fresh it made my skin feel while I was still cleansing in the shower.  Once I dried off, I could really see/feel the difference in my skin, especially in areas like my lower legs, which are naturally dry. 

My skin was smooth and had a touch of sheen, but didn't feel or look overly greasy/oily and there was no residue left on my skin.  On most days, I didn't even need to follow up with additional lotion (although of very dry/cold days I did add a bit of this before toweling off for extra moisture).

The scent is also a highlight of Dove Dry Oil Bodywash.  It gently lingered in the bathroom and on my body for a few minutes, but didn't interfere with any other scents I added later in the day.

The great thing about Dove Dry Oil Bodywash is that it will work for both men and women due to the scent, so if you're a man or you have a man in your life who also battles dry/flaky skin, he needs this in his life as well.

Stock up on this one! - RLB

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

Beauty Find - The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder White Mud Exfoliating Scrub + Mask

I started sharing some of my finds from the new Estee Lauder The Estee Edit line a few weeks ago, and now I'm back with a skincare product from the line that's work every penny.

The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder White Mud Exfoliating Scrub + Mask, inspired by new Korean skincare productsis the perfect 2-in-1 product that gives skin a gentle yet thorough cleanse - as well as plumping moisture.

Purchase Here: The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder White Mud Exfoliating Scrub + Mask

The White Mud works to draw out impurities and excess oil from skin and the creamy, fine porcelain clay feels like silk and rinses clean. This is the perfect treatment to brighten up a dull complexion, reduce blackheads or revive dry, flaky skin. 

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The mask is very creamy, yet lightweight and concentrated with lots of "slip" to easily apply it. I only needed about a dime-sized amount for my entire face. I loved the fresh minty/citrus fragrance, which was so uplifting. I left it on for about 10 minutes as a mask and then added water and massaged in circles for a scrub. The scrub was gentle, yet thorough, with jojoba exfoliating beads.

After rinsing, my skin looked and felt fantastic.  My skin was smooth, my pores completely clear while drier areas like my cheeks were plump and glowing.  I loved the mask so much I started using 3x week to keep up the effects.  I also loved using this as a pick me up while traveling after a long flight, or after a long day before going out in the evening.. Note: You can also use this separately as just a mask on some days and a scrub on others, depending on your skin types and needs.

Treat yourself to this great multi-tasking mask! - RLB

Purchase Here: The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder White Mud Exfoliating Scrub + Mask

Beauty Find - Slip Silk Pillowcase

Many of you have heard how beneficial it is to sleep on silk pillowcases - especially after a blow out, to keep your hair soft, smooth and prevent breakage, dryness and tangles for curly/kinky hair.  They can also do wonders for your skin as they eliminate creases from sheets unlike cheaper, cotton cases. 

Purchase Here: Slip Silk Pillowcase

Now the brand Slip has created a luxurious line of pillow cases to fit all size pillows  The silk is 100 Percent Pure Mulberry Silk (22 Momme). and felt like a dream to sleep on.  The Slip Silk Pillowcase comes in 5 colors (including pink, shown above and black, shown left), which will work with most bed sets. If you have dry hair, relaxed hair and very curly/kinky hair in particular, this is a must have luxury that will make all the difference.

Purchase Here: Slip Silk Pillowcase

The Slip Silk Pillowcase stayed nice and cool throughout the night, and in the morning, my hair (and face) never had any tangles or creases and my hair was smooth with no frizz.

These can be washed either by hand on in the washing machine on the delicate cycle.  If you can make the splurge, I urge you to get two and save one for travel - you won't regret it. There's a travel case included in the package as well. 

Slip Silk Pillowcase is one of those beauty luxuries that will keep your hair looking and feeling healthier - plus you'll have for years so it will pay for itself.  - RLB

Purchase Here: Slip Silk Pillowcase

Hair Care Find - Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler

If you love a good blow out, but always struggle to coordinate a blow dryer and paddle brush for a smooth, sleek finish, Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler is like a gift from heaven.

This is one of the easier tools I've used in a long time to achieve a smooth blow out.  Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler combines a fan based dryer with a large brush with flexible bristles for a more gentle, yet sleek blow dry.

Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler is perfect for curly hair (all types), wavy,  and relaxed hair.  I was very impressed with just how easy it was to use not only on myself, but also when blow drying my little sporty spices hair (she has very long, thick, curly/wavy hair (3A + 3B), *Click here for a curl chart.  The innovative design allowed me to dry in the same way as I would normally brush my hair.  There are 4 heat settings, and the High dried my hair in about 10 minutes (I also used this product to prep my hair before drying).  If you want a quicker dry, I recommend using on air dried hair, not dripping wet.  Even at the highest setting, I didn't feel like my scalp or hair was burning or overheating.

The air flowed out the Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler evenly and I worked in sections brushing from top to bottom.  The large and flexible bristles allowed me to get through my hair with very little pulling or discomfort (if you have very curly hair for best results I recommend you detangle completely before using this, however).  The brush is also very wide, so you can cover wide sections of hair quicker.  This is truly one of the easiest hair tools I've ever seen - even tweens/teens will be able to use it easily.   

Try This After Blowdrying: L'Oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair Extraordinary Oil

After my hair was fully dry it was very smooth. silky and straight.  But depending on your hair type/thickness and the finish you like, you may need to do a quick pass with a flat iron afterwards.  The Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler also features Ionic Conditioning while drying, so my relaxed hair had much less frizz, as did my naturally-curly haired daughter.  It's fairly lightweight for it's size, so I would recommend for travel when you want to keep up your blow outs.

Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler is a product that may have people wondering how you can "afford to get professional blow outs all the time"? This is now a must have, holy grail hair tool for me now. P.S. It also makes a nice beauty gift. - RLB

Purchase Here: Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler

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