Drugstore Buy of the Week - Maybelline Facestudio Master Contour V- Shape Duo Stick



You've seen and probably tried a LOT of contouring products over the last year or so.

Many of them are great, but some have real disadvantages, like price, texture, ease of use, packaging, color selection, etc.

If you're in the market for a reasonably priced contour product that's also REALLY easy to use, look no further than Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick.

This cream duo stick lets you contour and highlight with just a turn of the tube.  The texture is what impressed me the first.  It's very creamy, and blendable, with a truly matte finish that allowed for easy contouring and highlighting (or strobing).  There are three duo stick shades, which include light and medium.  I used the darkest Duo Stick in Deep, (shown, above).



I think that cream products in general are very easy to work with, and this formula has almost a creamy-gel feel.  The easy texture, combined with the shape and pointed tip made contouring a breeze, especially if I was rushing in the morning.  The darker, contouring side is brown with cool tones, and the lighter highlighting side has a lot of yellow, and a sheen finish.  When blended however, the Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick melded seamlessly with my skintone..  There was no fading, streaking or creasing, and the color wore well throughout the day.  Tip: The lighter, highlighting side can also be used as a brightening cream for inner eye corners as well as blended with under eye concealer for a brightening effect.



For those of you who are new to contouring, or need help, there's also a handy sticker attached to the packaging which shows you where to place each side of the product to contour and highlight.  I used it to add soft definition to my face by using the contour in the hollows of my cheeks and along the jawline.  Sometimes, I also used it along the sides of my nose for light nose contouring as well.  I used the highlighter on the top of my nose, cheekbones, cupid's bow, brow bones and center of forehead. I liked working with my fingers best to blend these out. 

Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick is going to always be in my daily makeup bag, as well as my travel kit. Its perfect to have both shades in one stick and not have to use any brushes! - RLB

Purchase Here: Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick, Also available at most drugstores nationwide.

Nail Polish Find - Paul + Joe Summer 2016 Lim. Ed., Chocolate Eclair


This is a lovely twist on a classic summer nail shade.  

Chocolate Eclair (31) by Paul & Joe is a rich, chocolate brown (it shows up slightly darker than the picture above) with just a touch of dusty mauve to give it a unique and feminine effect.

This is perfect for in the mood for a "dark, daring" nail or for those of you with deep brown skin tones looking for a "nude" to compliment your fingers/toes.


Chocolate Eclair (31 is part of Paul & Joe's limited edition collection of nail colors for Summer 2016.  The hydrating formula includes organic ingredients like Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Olive Oil and Organic Safflower Oil.

The texture is creamy, smooth and streak free. It dries to a natural shine finish. With two coats I got the Chocolate Eclair (31) shade in the bottle (shown, left).  With a top coat, I got about 5 days wear before seeing any chipping.

This looks great on hands - and on toes for something a little unexpected too!  As always, the beautiful french-floral bottle design makes this a stunner on the vanity as well. Don't miss out on this Paul & Joe treat. - RLB

Purchase Here: Limited Edition Nail Polish Chocolate Eclair (31) 12 ml by Paul & Joe


*This product was provided courtesy of Paul & Joe PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask




My skin needed moisture but I was looking for a mask that was a a little different this summer - and I found just the product in e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask 

This is a mask which goes on like a gel texture and then combines with oxygen on you skin to "bubble" and turns into a thin layer of foam.  As the instructions state, I started off with slightly  damp, clean skin.  I applied the mask in a thin layer over my face. The bubbles tingled gently for the entire 10 minutes or so which I left it on, but it did not burn, irritate or make my skin itch while the bubbles were activated.
After 10 minutes I dampened my fingers, massaged what was left of the mask on my skin to create a further lather and then rinsed clean.  I loved how soft, smooth and toned my skin felt immediately afterwards.  My skin felft and look very fresh and balanaced.  My more oily areas were toned and my drier ones were hydrated.
This is a very hygengic mask because the product is dispensed through a top opening which must be pumped to release it directly to your gingers.  I used this about 3 x times a week, sometimes for on those particularly hot and scorching summer days when I'd been outdoors a lot, sweating, laying out in the sun, etc.


This mask is perfect for normal, combination and dry skin, and since it doesn't leave any heavy or oil residue, this would also work for oily skin that needs a good deep cleansing from the oxygen bubbles.  There's no real scent and the thickness of the gel texture allows it to spread very far, so a little goes a long way.



Also Try: e.l.f. professional Lip Exfoliator, Clear, .16 oz

If you have very dry skin, you can apply a serum/moisturizer afterwards, but on very hot, humid days this is all I needed to hydrate my skin.

I bought this a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it! The bubbling effect on your skin while you let it sit there, is beyond awesome. I have very oily skin due to my ethnicity and this is slowly making an impact on my face. Today I noticed that my face seemed less oily than normal and that's a huge bonus for me. I am very happy I read the review on this face wash, because I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase.


Purchase Here:  e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask

Drugstore Buy of the Week - Palmer's Flip Balm


Has it been a while since you've really gotten excited about a lip balm?

I know it has been for me.



Flip Balm Closed
But then I got my hands on the new Palmer's Flip Balms.


The new Palmer's Flip Balms come in three flavors (which are very yummy and authentic smelling - not too sweet or overbearing at all).  

Palmer's Flip Balms are very moisturizing and lightweight without being greasy or sticky.  I found they worked well under or over lip color, as well as on their own for a natural shine finish.






Flip Balm as it's being flipped open
Their shape doesn't seem unique at first (with the exception of the flower petal details in the lower case molding), as there are other sphere shaped lip balms, but unlike the others, these have a flip top lid built into the case

This makes it ideal for travel or on the go use in your car, etc.  The flip top lid is super cute which allowed me to open, apply and close them all with one hand.  It clicks to lock it open and then closed, which avoids any dust, dirt, crumbs, etc. getting on it.  They also fit easily into the palm of your hand.


Flip Balm opened for application.  

They come in three flavors:  Each version is in a package that represents the flavour, but the lip balm itself if clear.  The Coconut is authentic smelling and delicious, as is the Mango.


  • Juicy Watermelon (shown, above)
  • Creamy Coconut (shown, bottom)
  • Ripe Mango (shown, bottom)
The lip balm felt great going on my lips and gave them a bit of a moist and plumping feel. 

You May Also LikePalmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Cleansing Wipes, 25 ea

Each one of the flavors was great, and I loved switching them up depending on my mood.  Stock up on these! - RLB



Purchase Here: Target, Target.com and most drugstores nationwide. Approx $2.99 








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



Budget Beauty Find - Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lipstick





This is the summer to switch up your lip color!

Hard Candy Fierce Effects has taken the current bright and off beat lip color trend and combined deep color pigments with a smooth, moisturizing formula.  The packaging is all new and features cute crystal effects all round the tube. And it's only $5!

The new Hard Candy lipsticks comes in 16 bold, daring and unique shades that you can blend together for unique looks, or create pretty, everyday looks.

If you're looking for a pretty red, my favorite was Seduced (shown, left).  It's a orange-y red that's creamy and hydrating, with lots of pigment.  The formula is unique in that, as creamy and pigmented as it is, there's a bit of sheerness to it.  That meant when I was in the mood, I could layer it more for a bold look, or just add a bit with my finger and create more of a natural looking daytime stain.

Looking to try a purple or blue lip for fun? Night Queen is a medium blue (shown, top left) with a touch of purple.  Thunder is a deep blue-based purple (shown below, left)

If bright lips are not your thing, there are still some great shades in this collection, including a pale beige/nude, Nudist (shown below, left) and Galactica, a pinky- mauve.

All the shades go on smoothly with no 
dragging.  Note: They are on the soft side, so take care to not press too hard, as they can break at the base.

Pick up a few of these, including their bright pinks, a bold black, more purples and blues and play! - RLB

Purchase Here: Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lipstick












Beauty Find - CLINIQUE Stay Matte Universal Blotting Powder



If you normally have oily/combination skin which requires lots of powder, or summer brings on continual cases of the oily "breakthroughs" (even after using matte and/or oil-free products), then I have a new product you'll love.

CLINIQUE Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder is a clear, gel-based powder that works on all skin tones, soaks up oil, and doesn't disturb makeup when applied on top during the day.



I fell in love with CLINIQUE Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder the very first day I used it. I applied a light layer over my makeup in the morning, patting gently over my t zone using the enclosed sponge (I only used their sponge, not a powder brush).  It felt completely weightless and was absolutely clear - all I could see was my skin, with a fresh matte finish.


In the early afternoon, I checked for oil breakthrough, especially since I had been outside on a very hot day, and saw just a touch of shine on my forehead.  I applied again  and was impressed that my makeup/foundation was not disturbed or removed, and the matte finish returned, without any gummy, sticky or heavy build up.


On most days, I only needed to touch up twice, and it didn't clog my pores or cause any breakouts.  There is quite a bit of product in the case, and I see my CLINIQUE Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder lasting for several months, even with daily use.

Tip: You can also pat a bit of the Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder over lipstick for a matte finish/long lasting wear.  

I recommend ordering one for home and one for your purse/office so you're never without! - RLB

Purchase Here: CLINIQUE Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder


Fragrance Find - Michael Kors Coral Eau de Parfum



On a recent shopping trip in a Airport Duty Free store while on summer vacation, I stumbled across Michael Kors Coral Eau de Parfum.

I knew Michael Kors had many fragrances in his every expanding collection, but had not heard of this one, so I applied a spray and was wowed by how fresh, citrus-y yet still sophisticated and unique it was.

Coral doesn't smell anything like other Michael Kors scents, (including one of my favorites, Michael KorsSexy Amber).


The opening notes are a big juicy burst of sweetness from raspberry, but tempered with grapefruit, lemon and pink pepper which offset the sweetness beautifully. The raspberry was a pleasing note all the way through, until the dry down. There are also some tropical elements from the tuberose and orange flower which got warmer on me as the day went on. All in all, it remains bright, mouthwatering and fresh throughout the day. 

The dry down was soft and slightly spicier, with sandalwood and musk rounding out the scent.  The lasting power on my skin was about 6+ hours, and I loved reapplying in the evening, especially if I was going somewhere I would be outdoors, like a terrace or garden restaurant/bar.  It really was the perfect skin refresher for a hot summer day/night.


Coral is perfect for those who lean towards citrus scents but want something fresh with some tropical/floral elements. The projection for me was about average (arm's length).  I also love the orange/coral shade of the bottle with the gold topper - it really catches my eye and makes me happy when I use it. - RLB


Fragrance Notes:
  • Top - Lemon, pink grapefruit, mandarin, blackcurrant, pink pepper
  • Mid - Raspberry, orange flower, tuberose, jasmine tea NP
  • Dry - Ambrox, cedarwood, sandalwood, musk.

Purchase Here: Available at Macys, Macys.com and many Airport Duty Free stores nationwide.

Budget Beauty Find - e.l.f. Day to Night Lipstick Duo





I recently shared a sneak peak of the e.l.f. 2016 holiday makeup collections, and while I was at that event, I was given a new product that I've fallen in love with

e.l.f Day to Night Lipstick Duo contains two miniature lipsticks that are so pigmented and creamy I was completely (and pleasantly) surprised.  

The duo I tried was the Red Hot Reds (shown above, and left), and both shades are pretty and flattering to most skin tones.  They're easy reds that have enough warmth/coolness and pink/berry tones that they work, just as described, for both day and night.

The finish is a semi-matte, and they are hydrating all day long.  I loved using the day and night shades, respectively, but I also mixed two reds and flipped the night shade for day and vice versa, depending on my mood. Tip: I only wind the lipsticks up a little to apply, as if you wind them up all the way, they can sometimes feel a bit wobbly in the tube.

The staying power was also very impressive - even with eating drinking, I didn't have to touch up until late in the afternoon when there was some fading.

The lipsticks left my lips smooth and sooth, and there was no flaking, bleeding or smudging.  Just a few swipes of the lipstick were enough to get the opaque shade in the tube.




The packaging is very cute and convenient too. This is coming with me on all my summer travels and for only $6, I encourage you to get a few in various shades while they're in stock! - RLB

Purchase Here: e.l.f. Day to Night Lipstick Duo

*This product was provided courtesy of e.l.f cosmetics PR for reviewing purposes.

Budget Beauty Buy - e.l.f. Day to Night Lipstick Duo





I recently shared a sneak peak of the e.l.f. 2016 holiday makeup collections, and while I was at that event, I was given a new product that I've fallen in love with

e.l.f Day to Night Lipstick Duo contains two miniature lipsticks that are so pigmented and creamy I was completely (and pleasantly) surprised.  

The duo I tried was the Red Hot Reds (shown above, and left), and both shades are pretty and flattering to most skin tones.  They're easy reds that have enough warmth/coolness and pink/berry tones that they work, just as described, for both day and night.

The finish is a semi-matte, and they are hydrating all day long.  I loved using the day and night shades, respectively, but I also mixed two reds and flipped the night shade for day and vice versa, depending on my mood. Tip: I only wind the lipsticks up a little to apply, as if you wind them up all the way, they can sometimes feel a bit wobbly in the tube.

The staying power was also very impressive - even with eating drinking, I didn't have to touch up until late in the afternoon when there was some fading.

The lipsticks left my lips smooth and sooth, and there was no flaking, bleeding or smudging.  Just a few swipes of the lipstick were enough to get the opaque shade in the tube.




The packaging is very cute and convenient too. This is coming with me on all my summer travels and for only $6, I encourage you to get a few in various shades while they're in stock! - RLB

Purchase Here: e.l.f. Day to Night Lipstick Duo

*This product was provided courtesy of e.l.f cosmetics PR for reviewing purposes.