Happy New Year! Hello 2018

January 1, 2018

New Year's Eve | The Beauty Look Book

Happy New Year from Florida! We had a few days of sunshine the last week of the year and today I woke up to rain and cold weather. A first for us since moving to Tampa Bay! I wrote months ago wondering if I was ever going to wear a leather jacket again and here I am wearing layers, jackets and more. The past year I have been all over the place (literally) and my one true constant has been this beauty blog. Thank you for following along on my weekly beauty discoveries and testings. Being able to share what I love and having your support means more than I could ever express. A few highlights I wanted to share from the past year and some thoughts looking forward for 2018.

Your Favorite Blog Posts

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Revolution and Valentine KISSING Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

The top five posts of the year were about bases and lips:

  1. Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation
  2. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer
  3. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couler Jumbo Longwear Lip Crayon
  4. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Revolution and Valentine KISSING Lipsticks
  5. Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Review + Swatches

I’m currently testing a few new bases that many of you have been e-mailing me about. It’s quite a process to test these but I’ll have them up as soon as possible! Stay tuned for reviews on Estee Lauder, Dior, Erborian, Tarte and more.

Your Favorite Instagram Posts

You girls went nuts over my #shelfies! I had no idea these would be so popular. I hope once we find a more permanent place to live that I’ll be able to do a beauty setup and organization post. The past few months I’ve been living out of bankers boxes and suitcases. I was lucky to have a good shelf in our last place.

Moving and Travel

Tampa Bay Home

This has been the year of moving and it’s been very stressful for me. In August we no longer had a home and since then we still haven’t found one. Details why we moved so much in my Six Months in Florida post and yes I’ve had a couple melt downs in the process. Since August we’ve made a move every month and this year we moved a total of six times. We had no idea how BIG Florida was! Each area has it’s own unique character, pros and cons. The beach areas are very different from the places closer to city center. Then there are suburban places which are quite dense with huge homes but traffic is pretty bad. We’re not quite ready to buy as we have plans to travel and possibly move again in the next year so finding a place to rent has been a huge challenge. We have pets and the areas we would like to live places go really fast. We’ve come close to finding a place several times but others have beat us to it! Right now we are in a temporary place (yet again) and hope to find a more permanent place soon. Fingers crossed! For those who have asked, our moves this year:

San Diego Home

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book


Apollo Beach

In Florida we first stayed at our in-law’s home in Apollo Beach. They bought their home to retire in within 1-2 years and asked us to rent it so they wouldn’t have to find strangers to rent. We thought we’d have plenty of time to settle in, explore and find our own place. They changed their plans, decided to retire early in July of this year and gave us a week’s notice that they were moving. This is one of the Apollo Beach neighborhoods – in a canal district where houses all have their own dock!

Apollo Beach Florida Neighborhood


St. Pete Beach – such a cute beach house with pool and near the beach! We found all our places on VRBO and Airbnb. In general we had better luck finding places with VRBO although for the beach areas there are a lot of added fees which can add up. We also used a property manager to rent one of the places below and we will probably never do that again. The process was such a hassle and they had an inconvenient application process even though we paid everything up front.

St Pete Beach House


St. Petersburg Cottage – the smallest place we’ve ever stayed at with only 740 sq ft, surprised we survived in this with out pets but it was so well put together and super cute! The location was so good, our favorite restaurants and coffee shops are all in Saint Petersburg!

Beach Cottage Vacation Florida


St. Pete Beach – house on the water which was SO amazing, we would have stayed here permanently but it was booked solid for months! We were lucky to find it when we did. The owner of the property was so nice, she restocked us the day we moved in with all the basic living essentials. New towels, sheets, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry detergent etc. With some of the vacation rentals they will have living essentials stocked, others are on the more sparse side as it’s really meant for short term like a vacation or getaway.

St Pete Beach


The last house of the year was a cute beach house, also in St. Pete Beach – beach house away from the water but still central to everything in the beach town. We stayed here for a couple of months.

St Pete Beach House

This year alone from the time we left our home in San Diego we went from San Diego, California to Tuscon, Arizona to El Paso + Houston, Texas, Pensacola, Florida. Once in Florida we were in Apollo Beach for a few months, then moved to St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg and South Tampa. For travel I did trips to Dallas, NYC, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Miami and Los Angeles. When we evacuated we made stops in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Perhaps this isn’t a lot for those who travel, but it’s the most I’ve ever traveled in a single year!

Most Impressed By

Venus Et Fleur Beauty Look Book

The most impressive thing this year has been the box of Venus Et Fleur roses Andrew gifted me on Valentine’s Day. They’re supposed to last an entire year (and yes they stay IN the box – details are all on their website). I’ve been documenting how they held up and they still smell fragrant and look incredible. They lasted the entire road trip in the back of a hot moving truck from San Diego to Tampa. Starting in the fall I haven’t been photographing them as they’ve been in storage with all of our other belongings. I just checked on them and they’re still good!

Best Beauty Finds of the Year: Sunscreen

Best Sunscreen | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve never been as diligent with sunscreen as I have this year and it’s all due to the Florida sun. I should have been better in San Diego but the climate is mild and I felt like I stayed indoors so much. Even indoors I know we still need it. I am excited to test more this year. Body Sunscreen Testing here. Face Sunscreen Testing here. My favorite sunscreen brand review on Supergoop! here.

Most Disappointing Beauty Buys

Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque Car Diffuser | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve been a long time die hard Diptyque addict and this was a very disappointing buy. They came out with a car diffuser called Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque. I was so excited I ordered it immediately. For me it was a total fail. For one it comes with just the case for $60 and you have to buy the scented refills separately for $38 each. I tried two scents in Baies and 34. Lasting power is probably good for only a week at best . The back has a rubber grip to insert into your vents and it warped into an odd shape so it would not hold it’s grip. I do understand the Florida heat can be intense but there are many things inside the car part of the actual design that do not melt, I felt Diptyque should have made a better grip. Ranked second biggest fail was the Jouer High Pigment Lip Gloss. These are so popular on the web, if you like these keep on loving them. For me I had such high hopes but they were all pretty much streaky with really bad lasting power.

Looking Forward

Miami Beach | The Beauty Look Book

I’m looking forward to the new year. I’m personally glad 2017 is over because it was the most exhausting year of my life. Hours have been spent trying to maintain this blog, quality content, respond to e-mails, read and reply to comments and the past two months I’ve been running on very little sleep. There have been many weeks where I’ve been up until 2:00 AM editing content, writing, etc. Often times I wake up super early to try and get a head start on e-mails. What you see as a reader is the finished product which may take 2-3 minutes to read, but countless hours of testing, photographing, organizing, swatching, editing, pulling comparisons, looking for links, responding to brands and PR companies, e-mailing back readers etc. But it has been a labor of love! I hope you can understand when any of you ask for more comparisons or swatches, it’s not something I’m always able to do. Looking forward I hope to start video this year – I’ve held off for so long for a number of reasons but am going to try and venture into it this year. Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see more of! I tried to mix it up this year – focusing still on beauty and skincare, but also adding some more of my life and travels.

Happy New Year to you! New beauty posts and reviews to resume very soon!


You Might Also Like

  • Sunnykm January 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Sabrina! I, too, welcome 2018 with much relief 🙂

    I think it would be really interesting if you did swatches with a friend(s) with other skin tones. Lighter, darker, pink, yellow etc would be super helpful.

    Love your blog and look forward to the vlog!


    • Kristin January 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Lol you’re username: my dog (avatar pic) is named Sunny & my initials are KM!

      • Sunnykm January 1, 2018 at 9:51 pm

        I updated my avatar with a pic of my girl, Bell! My initials are KM too

  • Olga Olis January 1, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    These roses look amazing! I can’t imagine how they last a year! Moving is very stressful on its own I can’t imagine how that would feel if I did it so many times in one year! You sound like a hero for getting through that! I wish that 2018 brings you all the best! I would love to watch your videos!!!

    Olga from Myme

  • picacupa January 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    I love your blog and am very thankful that you have continued through all your travels. I hope you settle soon, and perhaps can start showing more home/décor posts. Unfortunately, I do not live near the beach (though I am in Cali and am a born and raised Cali-girl!), but love the style. Take care and post when you can!

  • Jennifer Jones January 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Your blog has been my tranquility in times of stress. Your photos are so beautiful and strangely soothing. I hope your 2018 is stellar. 🙂

    Anywho, my favorite posts are about skincare and eyeshadow/lipstick swatches. I never really fancied skincare items until into my late 20’s. You’ve put Tatcha on my radar and my skin thanks you!

  • Kristin January 1, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    You’re photography is absolutely gorgeous; well-lit and arranged in an aesthetically inspiring way. I love that you have a substantial amount of neutral lip swatches- I usually do my eyes stronger, so the lips- are usually kept nude/berry/mauve, so your color choices generally are in line with what I gravitate toward myself. (And your in-car pics are giving me deja vu; I have that same brand of vehicle so everything looks extremely familiar!)

  • Mariya January 2, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Wish you all the best in 2018!
    x Mariya

  • urbanangel January 2, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Hi! I think you do an awesome job. Kudos for doing it in between your hectic life too! Hope you find a place you love to settle down.

    On a seperate note, the roses are gorgeous! And I am a big Supergoop fan too!

  • nic January 2, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Word on this blog being a time of calm in the dumpster fire of 2017. I love this site and please don’t do video. I also am an old lady and don’t like the change! But, I agree on different skin tones. I may live in Savannah, GA, but I am PALE!

  • Mary-Irene Marek January 2, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Hi Sabrina! Happy New Year!! Thank you so much for all of the effort and hard work you always put into every single blog post. It is because of the high quality content you produce that I buy on your recommendations. You are the ultimate resource for me when it comes to anything beauty or fragrance related. I always search your blog first for reviews and comments before I buy even the simplest product!
    With regard to your vlog idea, I would definitely watch anything you create. Your IG stories are already vlog like and are super interesting for me. I love the idea of beauty unboxings, studio setups, lifestyle related content (maybe coffee shops you visited or treats you like to eat), your pets, all of it! Can’t wait so see where you take this!

  • SoSuSam January 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I’m not surprised it’s so incredibly time consuming to create and manage your blog; it really is phenomenal. It stands out from just about anything else in the blogosphere both for the quality of your content and the beauty of your images and layout. I regularly feel grateful that I get to benefit from your extensive reviews and relax while looking at your lovely photos. Thanks so much for all of your hard work. 🙂 And good luck finding a more permanent abode in 2018!

  • Stephanie January 2, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I love reading about your travels and your Florida updates. I have to say that I’m really surprised that you haven’t visited the beaches in Siesta Key yet! They are much better than the beaches on Anna Maria Island and from what I’ve heard, the sand is softer than the beaches in Clearwater. Downtown Sarasota isn’t as much fun as St. Pete, but it’s worth a visit.

  • Jessica January 2, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Hi Sabrina, Thank you for all your labours. I love each and every post you make. Happy New Year!

  • Truth Lacks Lyricism January 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I truly appreciate all of the time and effort you put into your blog! Your posts are helpful, informative, and interesting, plus you take some of the most beautiful photos.

    I hope that 2018 is a more relaxing year for you. Looking forward to your content 🙂

  • Lauren January 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Happy New year! I’ve just recently started reading your blog regularly. I love how thorough your posts are (even though my skin tone/hair profile are completely different)and the quality of your photos. I also enjoy reading about your travels/life.

  • Shilpa Shetty January 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Happy New Year,.. OMG,.. it must be very tiring to pack and unpack during those shifting time,.. I’m packing for my maternity leave, as I will be moving to my in-laws place for few days and then to my Mum-s place.. I always used to love to pack during travel, but this time its too much stressful for me,.. I had to vacate from my current place and its chaotic with my pregnancy,.. I want Venus Et Fleur roses, they stayed for so long, really impressive,… take care,.. Have a nice year ahead,..

  • Shelleyeatz January 2, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Happy 2018, Sabrina! Your blog has been my favorite for a few years now 🙂

  • Daphney Degand January 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Your photos’ aesthetic is what initially attracted me to your post years ago. You never fail so thanks for putting so much work into it and for maintaining the same quality of work. I’m also of a completely different skin tone and hair type from you but it hasn’t stopped me from reading your blog.

  • Shelley collins January 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Happy New Year Sabrina!!
    Loving your blog for awhile now and look forward to anything else you may bring to the table eg.vlog…
    Great work on keeping up during all the craziness of 2017 and here’s to 2018 bringing you a sense of a more stable and peacefully productive year.

  • all that jae January 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Happy New Year Sabrina! I look forward to your blog posts in 2018.

    • Alix January 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Ditto! And we all appreciate the hard work that goes into each and every breathtaking post!

  • sasacoulton January 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Sabrina
    Wishing you a wonderful New Year filled with happiness, joy & many fabulous beauty finds in 2018.Good luck with the house hunting & many thanks for your informative & beautiful blog. Just started following you on IG. Best wishes from Australia xoxo

  • Ingrid Neubarth January 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I can only imagine how stressful this constant house moving must have been for you. Are you still on speaking terms with your in-laws?

  • Ellemomo January 2, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for the time you spend on your posts–its so obvious. I truly think you have one of the most beautiful corners of the web. Your gorgeously photographed and thoughtful posts are so enjoyable and frequently so helpful! Happy New Year!

  • Marina January 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Sabrina! wishing you a lot of time with your family and finally finding your permanent home! Thank you for all your hard work last year (and all years before). I adore your pictures and your blog and always checking your opinion before buying anything 🙂

    Best regards

  • SDG January 2, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Happy New Year! I’m very excited for you to do video! I can’t wait!

    Thank you for all your work. For me, your blog is so helpful when I’m shopping for beauty items, and, when I’m not seeking product information, it’s a wonderful, soothing escape. You deserve a medal for providing that, I’d say.

  • LJ73 January 2, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Sabrina- happy 2018! I have watched you evolve and grow since I starting following you 10(?) years ago.
    I appreciate the time and extraordinary detail that you provide in your posts.
    I hope you continue. I wish many good blessings for your time in Florida 💥❤️

  • SJ Sellers January 2, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you for all your efforts Sabrina!!! Yours is my VERY favorite beauty blog. You have an amazing talent for describing the qualities of the products and photographing amazing swatches. Thank you for sharing your gift with beauty lovers like me! Looking forward to more from you in 2018. All my best – SJ

  • prashant January 8, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Happy New Year your photos amazing.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae957d59865cdc2223ba906151c7f967e3c57f2a8ae871141d59f1369b3218ee.jpgzing and beautiful

  • Trudi January 10, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    You are the VERY best at what you do. I realized that it takes a few days to photo, type, edit and the final product is always perfect in every way. The time that you put into every blog is very time consuming and I for one appreciate it so much. I don’t buy anything beauty wise (being prices are so outrageous these days) without first looking at your reviews. I do a search on your website and get all the information that I need to make a well informed purchase. I so appreciate that you give us honest opinions even with the fails. Living out of boxes and moving is not always fun but your handling it quite well given you always bring out the very best blog that WE all admire and depend upon. Happy New Year 2018 to you and your HUB.