Monthly Favorites

Monthly Beauty and Skincare Hits and Misses

January 31, 2017

January Hits and Misses for Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

I cannot believe the first month of 2017 has come and gone – I feel like the last few weeks have been a blur! I hope each of you have had a great start to the new year. In the beauty world I feel like things have been all about lips and highlighters. It appears the liquid lipstick trend is here to stay for quite some time. I still have my battle of the liquid lipstick post coming soon – with new launches almost weekly it seems like there’s more to test and try out. I’ve put a cut-off for testing though – I have two more detailed reviews to post before the official roundup. Today I have a roundup of the best and worst in beauty testing for January even though many of these have been put to the test for more than a month. Sometimes with products you know by the second or third use that a particular item just won’t work. Other items take a bit more testing to decide. By popular request here is my first Hits and Misses post of the year. We’ll start off with the hits.

January Favorites – Makeup

Monthly Beauty Favorites - MAC, Dior, Chanel, Marc Jacobs | The Beauty Look Book

This month’s favorite items and discoveries include:

  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is something I finally tried and can’t believe it took me so long, it gives the skin a nice soft diffused look, it removes shine without looking heavy or overly matte and the best thing about this one is the color selection which I think is pretty good (shown on the skin here and also worn here)
  • Diorskin Nude Air Glow Powder in 002 Freshlight (shown on the face here) has been my go-to soft bronzer shade for the past few months, it has the perfect amount of warmth and has a sheer but buildable finish that works for my winter skintone color right now
  • Chanel Joues Contraste in Elegance (review here) is my perfect everyday beige blush, it goes with everything and adds life to the face without looking too dark or orange
  • Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara is one that took me years to try because I tried a mini and thought it literally was the worst thing ever. Based on raves of a few friends who swore it was THE best thing in mascara I decided to order one and was blown away. They assured me the full size was better than the minis and they were right. I don’t know that I’ll repurchase this because even I have limits when it comes to expensive items. At a whopping $72 I don’t know that I can say it’s worth it but this mascara is really good. It lengthens, volumizes, holds curl, doesn’t smudge and doesn’t look crunchy. It’s supposed to have lash-growth ingredients but I haven’t used it long enough to see results.
  • Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo (c/o, swatches here) are great in terms of formula, color payoff and color selection
  • Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur (c/o, all shades swatched here) are my favorite lip launch of the year so far, I love a good glossy lip and these have a feel and look like the Rouge Coco Shines but with a lot more pigment
  • Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme in Truth or Bare (c/o, all shades reviewed here) is my favorite rose pink liquid lipstick
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow is something that is almost always in my purse these days (review of all shades here), my most-worn shade is either Lilac or Coral, the new Berry color (c/o) is a really pretty one too
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Douglas (c/o, review here) is my go-to these days for a soft cool-toned pink shimmer

January Favorites – Skincare

Monthly Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare favorites include a mix of old and new:

  • I’ve found myself reaching a lot for the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for evenings, both feel just so amazing on the skin giving it just the right amount of hydration, it’s brightened the skin and makes it feel healthier and smoother, if you don’t want to splurge on the full sizes you may want to consider the Day to Night Set which has miniatures of six items at a value price, alternatively if you visit you local Kiehl’s store they usually have samples so ask if they have these available (making a purchase will usually make it easier to get a couple samples)
  • Bioderma Sensibio was mentioned in my 2016 favorites, I use this as a toner and it’s just perfect for my sensitive skin, it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean, it has helped calm and comfort the skin, especially since I’m prone to flare ups or sensitivity, I have both the 250 and 100 ml versions (one I took with me on travel), can’t rave about this enough
  • Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel (c/o) is another good gentle moisturizer for sensitive skin, I’ve been reaching for this a lot, it hydrates without feeling greasy and gives relief for dry skin without being heavy, I will definitely repurchase once this is used up
  • Tatcha The Essence (c/o) is something I got a mini of with an order (I had a promo code) and fell in love with it immediately, I discussed essence a few posts back and many of you gave me some really good feedback on what to try! I’m currently testing three, this one from Tatcha and the SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence and Genoptics Spot Essence (c/o). It’s going to take me several weeks to see which one is truly the best, but I noticed results immediately from the Tatcha Essence. It softens the skin without feeling heavy or leaving a film on the skin like some other essence or serums do. It’s watery but not too runny so it’s easy to apply. It does make my moisturizer absorb into the skin better. As one who doesn’t like things that feel heavy on the skin I absolutely love this one.
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser is something I ordered the day it launched online at Sephora. By the time this post is going live I’ve already used up one full tube 85% of the way and the one shown is a backup. I don’t have acne but I do experience breakouts and earlier this month I started breaking out around the chin and cheeks from a combination of getting really sick and experiencing a high level of stress. Using this helped clear up the skin without drying it out. It has sulfur which targets acne and blemishes. Based on the formula I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone, but I’ve tried every single one of Kate Somerville’s cleansers and her line is the one I keep replenishing for cleansers. I can use this daily without it drying out my skin and love it. That being said I still love her Gentle Daily Wash for times when I don’t have skin issues.

January Misses

January Beauty Misses | The Beauty Look Book

Four items that did not work for me include:

  • Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (review here) did not work for me because the color selection just wasn’t flattering for my olive skin tone, even the neutrals did not work. Shades were either too light or too dark, colors lacked life and washed out my complexion. Formula-wise they were ok, but none of the colors worked for me leading me to call these a miss.
  • Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is something I bought months ago back in early fall. I had high hopes as it looked amazing on a few of my fellow blogger friends. I mixed two shades in Y315 and Y405 to get a good match although the product is so sheer an exact color match isn’t really necessary. This was a miss for me because it caused my skin to become irritated which I suspect is from the fragrance. Tiny bumps surfaced all over my cheeks and since I test a lot of skincare and foundations, this took months of testing to make sure this was the culprit and not something else. Formula also felt sticky because of the gel-like texture. Coverage was not enough for me. This was a huge let-down since I consider the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick and Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation to be in my top picks for foundation.
  • Glamglow PLUMPRAGEOUS Nudes got me based on their social media marketing. As a nude lip lover I just couldn’t resist and ordered 4 online sight unseen. The colors looked SO perfect! These come with a plastic spatula applicator which I found did not apply product evenly or easily. Second these are THE most painful lip plumping products I’ve ever tested – they burned my lips and if a tiny bit touched my tongue, a spicy tingle sensation went shooting to the back of my mouth. I tested two on separate occasions and the most I could tolerate was 45 minutes on the lips before I had to wipe it off and give the lips a thorough cleanse. I returned 3 of the 4. The one shown is going to a friend who is curious about this and doesn’t mind a tingle.
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara was an impulse buy. The packaging has written on it a few statements like 1,944% more volume, 97% saw intense volume and length, 94% said this mascara stays put all day. There is an asterisk that says based on consumer study results. I did not research how many people tested this or were part of it, but at $23 it seemed worth a try. I know some mascaras take a few pumps or uses to get going so I gave this one 6 tries on 6 separate occasions. It does add volume and length and the color is a rich deep black. However the clumps were seriously horrible with this one. Layering was an absolute no for me. It made my lashes look super spidery and when I tried to separate or comb them out the mascara just looked even more clumpy and made the lashes stick together. It’s also extremely difficult to remove.

That’s wraps it up for January’s beauty hits and misses! I’d love to hear about yours as well – so please feel free to share them in the comments. If you have any feedback about the items I tried let me know.

P.S. A number of you have sent me e-mails saying you weren’t getting the email newsletters anymore. I’ve re-added the subscribe feature on the sidebar at the top of the page (if you’re on a desktop computer). Let me know if you have any issues – if you enter your email address you’ll be sent a verification link and should be good to go!

Press samples indicated with c/o.

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  • Wow these are so many amazing products I really want to try some Chanel products

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • msh111

    Great post! I purchased the Chanel Codes Blush Harmony & Codes Subtil and I am loving both. It was a difficult decision between Elegance & the Harmony Blush but I missed several years of the Harmony Blush releases and made it a point not to let this one get away. I also really love the Dior “Lilac” lip glow, better than the pink or coral. Coincidentally I was going to try the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara next but may skip it now or get a sample first. My new favorite mascara these days is Bobbi Brown Smokey mascara, I have been using it for about 2 months now and I really love the coverage and that it doesn’t smudge on me all day. I never tried a BB mascara and the Smokey was a pleasant surprise.
    I want to try the MAC Studo Fix Plus this year too, but am leaning toward trying Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Powder for Spring & just read your review of this from 2013. Also may give the Marc Jacobs Lip Creme a try but I have so many lipsticks even I think my stash is over the top. I am not into the liquid lipstick trend so much as on me they streak which requires more time to apply correctly and too difficult to reapply daily. Give me my Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet or plain RA formula any day as it’s my go to formula.
    Thank you for your lovely blog. Happy New Year!

    • Hi MSH111 – you might want to still give the regular Too Faced Mascara a try, online reviews say it’s better than the Waterproof one I bought.

      Love your picks! I have to give the BB Smokey Eye Mascara a try again because I love her Eye Opening Mascara (it’s one of my HG).

  • I’ve heard quite a few people not like the new Makeup Forever foundation, which is not usual for MUF stuff. I’m not sure what they did with this line, but it doesn’t seem to be going over very well.

    http://aneducationindomestication.com

    • Interesting – I think reviews are so mixed with this one! The other formulas work so much better for my skin type though.

  • I couldn’t tolerate the GlamGlow lip plumpers too! I haven’t used a lot of lip plumpers so I’m not sure of the tingle intensity but those were some serious stuff.

    • Haha good to know I’m not the only one. It hurt SO bad. I’ve tried other brands like Buxom and Dior and those tingle but don’t sting.

  • Olivia

    hi Sabrina! would you compare the Chanel Elegance Blush to be similar to Warm Soul by MAC? Or how would you say they are different? I am interested in the Chanel blush but I am unsure if it is too similar to the one I own.

    • Hi Olivia, I don’t have Warm Soul anymore to compare. If I remember correctly I think the Chanel is a bit warmer on the skin.

  • Really want to try a Makeup Forever foundation however, might miss out on that one!
    http://www.flareaforte.com

    • I highly recommend any of the Ultra HD ones, stick will give more coverage and liquid will still cover everything but not quite as opaque.

  • I love these types of posts its always good to see what people like and dont like
    I was the same as you on the MUFE foundation it wasnt a bad foundation it just didnt have any coverage

    http://www.beautyandtheboy.com

  • Sarah

    I’ve never been a fan of Too Faced mascaras.

    • Interesting … good to know! What are some of your favorites?

      • Sarah

        Chanel le Volume, also I think I’m in the minority of really liking Dior Extase. Easily gives the best volume/curl/length without being goopy. Hourglass film noir is another personal fav for length. I really like the wand. Lancome Hypnose is another formula I really like, but the wand is a pain.

  • S Tea

    100% agree with you regarding the Chantecaille mascara. My first try was when it came out via a sample and I thought it was the worst product I had ever tried not only from them but the worst mascara EVER. 2 years ago during a Barney Beauty Event I was sent it instead of the cheaper version (which is quite nice); since it’s a hassle to return, I just kept and used it. WOW! Let’s just say it is now the only mascara I use and can’t imagine anything better. I purchase it during the Nordstrom Mascara Event; getting one for free makes me feel a bit better about paying the price, lol.

    • Hi S Tea – glad to know I’m not the only one who thought the minis were bad! And thanks for the top about the Mascara Madness event – going to be sure I stock up during the next one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bummer about the MUFE Water Blend – I love that foundation! I have super dry skin though and thankfully the fragrance doesn’t irritate it.
    I am dying to try one of the new Le Marc Lip Cremes – the shades look so pretty!
    Jaime | http://www.girllovesgloss.com

    • Happy you found one you love! I saw it on a few other bloggers and it looked SO amazing so if your skin loves it then yay!

  • i really wish the day to night set of kiehl’s serums is available here ๐Ÿ™ i’ve tried the sample of the midnight one and it’s seriously amazing. can’t imagine what kind of magic it would do once i purchased the full size *-* too bad the MUFE water blend didn’t work on you ๐Ÿ™

    • I feel the same way – I really didn’t want to splurge but it’s worth every penny!

  • Eileen

    In regards to beauty purchases, January has been a slow month for me as I have everything I want or need to see winter morph into spring, but I’m not really in the mood yet for full on spring; especially when it comes to color cosmetics. I did purchase two of Chanel’s Crayon de Couleur (Rose Violine and Rose Claire) and am really loving the balm like formula especially since the air has been so dry just lately. I do have to reapply frequently, but that has never been an issue for me. I also picked up Marc Jacobs lipstick in Slow Burn which is a slightly more beige version of the gel lip pencil which is one of my favorites. The pencil leans more rose and, in truth, I wish the lipstick did, too, but the lipstick is a lovely neutral and I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

    In regards to skin care, I’ve added Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Cream (Whew! What a name!) to my routine as my skin has been craving a constant supply of moisture. I’ve been very happy with it so far and it seems to be doing a good job of adding extra moisture without interfering with any of my other skin care products. I’ve also been using Tatcha The Essence for a few weeks now and am very impressed with it. My introduction to essence was with the legendary SKII about fifteen years ago and I’ve never looked back. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about good ones and think that Tatcha’s is unequivocally one of the best of the best for refining texture and evening skin tone. And, it really does boost the efficacy of my other skincare products.

    • Hi Eileen – loved reading about your picks. I have a sample of the Sunday Riley Tidal and am going to give it a try, I was really nervous about trying it after reading some really scary reviews on some of her oils. But if your skin loves it I know it’s going to be good ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sarah

        I actually really like Sunday Riley oils, and I have sensitive skin that’s prone to redness and reacts to a ton of stuff. Juno was a favorite. Although, once I went through, I didn’t replenish because truth be told I couldn’t tell the difference between her $90 oil and the $30 homemade oil I whipped together of argan, rosehip, almond, and marula. I will say that the scent of her oils takes some getting used to, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

  • rockytheray
  • Amy Case

    Hi Sabrina! That’s too bad about the Waterproof Too Faced mascara. I recently discovered the regular version of this mascara, and it’s excellent. I experiment widely with products, especially mascara, and I really like this one. Another good one is MAC Haute & Naughty (love these names, lol!).

    • Thanks Amy, maybe I’ll give the regular one another try ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda

    Thanks for mentioning the products that didn’t work for you. I find those posts very helpful.

  • Redsilas77

    I recently purchased the Kiehl’s nighttime face oil and adore it. I had just finished a sample of the Decleor Neroli face oil and love everything BUT the smell. The Kiehl’s is easier to spread/pat on the face and gentle for use every evening. I do use a heavy nighttime cream every other night because of the dry cold weather for my eczema, but I keep going back to the Kiehl’s.