Monthly Favorites | Skincare, Haircare, Body and Fragrance

August 5, 2014

Several have requested a monthly favorites round up – welcome to The Beauty Look Book’s first monthly favorites feature! I wanted to feature some midsummer beauty favorites for the skin, body and hair. Many of these items are things I’ve been using all summer long.
  • Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Water is a gentle lightweight cleansing water that refreshes the skin. It won’t remove waterproof eye makeup or mascara all the way, but I like this for the face. I have this in the full size as well but like to keep the small travel sizes.
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a favorite this summer for dry body oils. (Three I tested here.) I alternate between this and the Caudalie Divine Oil, but lately I’ve been reaching more for the Nuxe, the fresh floral beach-like scent is perfect for summer. It layers nicely with most perfumes as it’s very gentle and not overpowering. I love that the skin absorbs it quickly.
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is an alternative to dry shampoo. I’ve tried several and don’t like the powdery crunchy look they give to the hair. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t leave any residue. It’s more of a texturizing spray that I like to use on days where my hair looks a bit flat. I love all things Oribe that I’ve tried it’s a brand I keep exploring and looking into. The signature Oribe scent is incredible.
  • St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is a new discovery this year and it is hands down my favorite self tan product. I purchased the mini size to compare it to the Gradual an Everyday Body Lotion from Sephora. I tested each one simultaneously with the mousse on one leg and the lotion on the other. The mousse gives a better tan without being orange. The lotion has a more gradual darkening effect. The tint to the mousse also helps you see where you applied product and helps as a guide for even application. It didn’t stain or transfer to white sheets and after letting it set for 10 minutes I found it didn’t transfer to a white denim skirt. I applied it for two consecutive days and my tan will last about 5 days. I have super sensitive skin and I’ve gotten allergic reactions to spray tans and other self tan products (like Clarins).
  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser was sent for review and it is an amazing cleanser. It has red clay which is suppose to draw out toxins, remove oil and unclog pores. It’s designed for combination or oily skin. My skin is slightly combination, dry on the cheeks area and slightly oily in the T zone. I found this to be amazing at unclogging pores. It comes with a slightly gel-like texture that is a reddish pink with a pearly shimmer. It works well with the hands, a washcloth and my Clarisonic Aria. It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin but very effective. I’m on my second tube.
  • Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi is one of Tom Ford’s latest, it’s one of two new scents that are an extension of the Neroli Portofino line. I can’t wear a lot of orange citrus scents but Tom Ford is the only one I can pull off. It’s the perfect summertime scent with citrus, florals and musk.
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is something I bought from the Flower Power Kit (has the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream in 1 oz, Rose Face Mask in 1 oz, Sugar Tulip and Rose Floral Toner 0.5 oz). I love this lightweight face cream for hydration. It’s too heavy for me right now for daily use but I like to use it 2x per week during the day and alternate this as a night cream. It has a refreshing cucumber scent and feels amazing on the skin. It makes the skin look refreshed and improves the overall skin tone by smoothing over time and is great for calming the skin.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil has been my favorite go-to for removing makeup at the end of the day. I did a roundup of several oils I tested and the MAC is one I keep reaching for because it has the best emulsifying quality and gets everything off without leaving a residue or drying out the skin.
  • Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is something I tried with the mini pods first. I liked it so much I bought the full size. It’s a mask that really works and clears pores. It has a slight tingly effect the first few minutes but it goes away. The charcoal and white clay both work to draw out pore-cloggers. I’ve used it up to 3x per week when my skin was messed up. I don’t recommend using it if you have broken skin or areas with irritation, but it is a gentle enough mask that won’t sting your skin. 
  • Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer is my summer favorite for a relative inexpensive lip balm with a nice lightweight gel formula. It’s super effective without being too rich or heavy for summer.
  • L’Occitane Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body has been a staple for me for years. It’s the only body lotion I’ve repurchased. It has a super lightweight feel that absorbs into the skin. It’s part of the Shea Butter line and is moisturizing and soothing.
  • Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer was a Sephora freebie. It’s a pre-styler product that I apply to the hair before blow drying and it helps smooth the hair, decreases frizz and protects it from heat styling. It smells absolutely amazing like coconut and vanilla. It adds softness and shine without weighing down the hair.
  • L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine Hand Cream Gel is a great alternative to regular hand creams for the summer. It’s a unique hand moisturizer that absorbs into the skin really quickly. It has an interesting dry down that’s smooth and soothing with a slight velvety feel. It comes in the new Frisson Verbena scent which is a lightweight summery lime. One tube was sent for review and I’ve already purchased a second one.
  • Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Papers are the perfect blotting papers for me. They are compact and easy to carry in the purse. I love how they are super absorbent without having any powdery residue. I use about one sheet with every use and it’s so much better than touching up with powder mid-day or late afternoon. Sometimes with the summer heat and humidity I’ve found adding powder to oily skin can get cakey (at least on me).
  • Chanel UV Essential Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is the only face sunscreen I like to use. It’s lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. I like to layer serum with moisturizer under my foundation but I don’t like anything that feels heavy. This sunscreen is light enough to wear with both a serum and moisturizer and foundation. It’s suitable for my sensitive skin. It also comes with an SPF 20 and SPF 30 versions as well.

What have been your summer favorites this past month?

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  • I've heard great things about that Origins charcoal mask. I really need to start trying out some new masks. Using a pore-cleaning mask is something that I really need to do more regularly.

    • The origins is a great one that really works, I love that they have mini sizes for purchase, it's a great way to try it at a cheaper price before spending more on the full size.

  • Lovely roundup πŸ™‚ And I totally see myself picking up that dry oil soon… been having a slight oil obsession for a couple months now, but been holding off on this! It's time to bring one home.

    • What's your favorite dry oil? The Nuxe really lives up to all the hype, I've been really happy with it. Always looking for more to try.

  • Have you tried the Glamglow mask? I have used both the Origins Charcoal and the Glamglow one and I have to say I actually like the GG one better despite the price difference. I look forward to this new monthly series.

    • Hi Kica! So funny you just mentioned this! I bought my first Glam Glow at the Sephora event this past weekend. Which one is your favorite? I tried the original black one when it launched and it hurt my skin. My friends told me the white one is more gentle and so I bought it and tried it today and LOVE it. Also testing the green and turquoise ones (sorry I don't know the names).

      Thanks for the tip on the GG!

  • I love this roundup! Lots of goodies within.
    I am a big oil obsessed lately – oil for my hair, for my face, for my body, for my teeth (yes– my teeth!!!). Easiest way to sell me something – formulate it with oil! πŸ™‚

    OT: I have a hard time choosing color for my toenails – do you have any advice for selecting? Or favorite colors for your toes? I love choosing nail color, but freeze up selecting a toe color. Thanks in advance!!

    • What are your favorite oils? I love hearing what my readers like πŸ™‚

      For my toe color it all depends what mood I'm in but I like to switch it up. This summer I've been going with the Chanel summer colors (Pink Tonic, Mirabella and Tutti Frutti) and reds or plums (NARS Paros or Chanel Dragon).

      Do you do your toes yourself or have them done at a salon? When I can't figure out what to wear I sometimes see what other girls are having done at the salon on the toes for inspiration (I can't paint my own toes).

    • I could go on and on and on about oils!!! The below is just a scant summary of my passion for oils πŸ™‚
      For my hair – I love Shu Uemura Essence Absolue and Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo. Shu also makes a cleansing oil shampoo and conditioner. I do NOT recommend the poo but the conditioner is very very very nice. I love it.
      Cleansing my face: I've been using Shu cleansing oils for years but just ordered the Tatcha based on your review and the Raeviewer. I have tried many many other cleansing oils: Amore Pacific (meh) and SKII (great). I am also planning to try out ByTerry's cleansing oil when it comes out in a few weeks.
      As a moisturizer: I love Sunday Riley Artemis for a nighttime treatment. My skins is so plump in the mornings!!! I highly recommend it for nighttime treatment. I typically use it every other night. I don't like it under makeup though. I got a sample of La Prairie Diamond Oil and I am in love – but it is super pricey. It works great under makeup. I would love to try Sisley's new oil but I'm afraid I would love it too.
      Body: Claudelie and Omorovisza Shimmer and Shu Uemura Oil for body. All of these are excellent and I would cry if I had to pick a favorite.
      Teeth: I brush my teeth with OraWellness Oil. Highly recommend. I also use Coconut Oil as mouthwash. Plaque is not water soluable, it is fat soluable. So coconut oil (or any oil really) is more effective than commercial brands. Try it and be amazed how clean your mouth feels! (ignore the nonsense on the internet about oil pulling and detoxing your body – it's just that: nonsense)

      Thanks for the toe polish tips! I just bought the Louboutin Rouge last night and I'm headed to the Salon to have it applied πŸ™‚

      Love your blog – it is my first internet destination every day!!!!!

  • Lovely picks! I've heard great things about that Red Clay cleanser and the Chanel sunscreen sounds perfect for summertime! xo

    • The Red Clay Cleanser was a huge surprise! First Aid Beauty is a great line and I keep discovering new loves.

  • Want the Chanel sunscreen and the L'occitane creams!
    Fantastic selection
    Lots of love, xx