Browsing Category

Beauty Favorites

Beauty Favorites Nail Polish

Top 5 Best Nude Nail Polishes

February 15, 2019

Top 5 Best Nude Neutral Nail Polishes

By popular request I’m sharing my top five most worn neutral nail polishes. I’ve done a few rounds of my favorite neutrals in past years and these days I feel like it’s all I want to wear on my fingers. I’m constantly asked for neutral polish recommendations every single week! There are so many different definitions and variations of “nude” for polish. When someone asks me for a good everyday nude polish they can mean so many different things. Some think of a pale off white neutral, others a pink neutral, some envision a camel beige, neutral beige, pink beige, brown pink, mauve nude etc. What neutral looks like also depends on skin tone and how well the color matches or contrasts with your skin tone.

I like something that is lighter or a lot lighter than my skin tone. Something that matches exactly ends up looking like mannequin hands which is not a good look on me. These are my current top five nude nail polishes I wear the most and also always get compliments or questions on.

Top 5 Neutral Nail Polishes for Sabrina

Top Five Neutral Nail Polishes for Spring

____________________

Smith and Cult Peaceful Paranoia is a neutral creamy neutral cool beige-pink that flashes iridescent pink. It is one that matches my skin tone fairly close but has enough contrast to give a polished look. Marc Jacobs Flourescent Beige is similar but something about the mauve-grey base didn’t go well with my skintone. More swatches of Peaceful Paranoia here.

Smith and Cult Peaceful Paranoia swatch, neutral nail polish

____________________

OPI Machu Peach-U is the most perfect neutral nude peach ever made. I’m so sad it appears to be limited-edition. If you can locate it buy it immediately. It’s part of the Peru Collection and I think it should be made permanent! I was able to find some at my local Ulta even though it’s not online. You can still find it on Amazon.

OPI Machu Peach-U Peru Collection Swatch

____________________

OPI Tiramisu for Two has been a go-to neutral beige pink for years. I love that it has full smooth coverage and doesn’t turn or look yellowish on the hands. It has a tiny bit of pink/cool undertone to prevent it from looking too beige. It’s the perfect everyday neutral. OPI has so many great neutrals but a lot of them are sheer. This one is opaque which makes it a winner in my book.

OPI Tiramisu for Two best opaque neutral polish

____________________

OPI Samoan Sand is one of the sheer ones but it’s not as sheer as Bubble Bath. I still need 3 coats for full coverage but for a beige it’s really so perfect I don’t mind. Finding a good beige nude is hard because of the yellow undertone in so many. It ends up making my skin look sallow. This has enough peachy undertone to make for the perfect sheer beige nude.

OPI Samoan Sand Nail Polish swatch, best nude polish

____________________

Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi is the most complimented nail polish I own (as listed in this post here). It’s neutral and pink and just perfect for any season or occasion. It applies perfectly with just two coats. The Le Gel Top Coat is the best one to make Chanel polish last.

Chanel Organdi nail polish swatch, best nude pink polish color

____________________

I wanted to add one more swatch for you since so many of you sent me Direct Messages about the spring colors from Chanel. I was pretty let down by the offerings this season (and last season too) so I only bought 2 of the spring nail polishes. Neither made my heart sing even though I really tried to love them. This Instagram post I did about the Bleached Mauve Le Vernis was one of my most liked posts on Instagram this year though which means it might be right up your alley! It matches two of their Rouge Coco Glosses which I love in 714 and 716 so I thought it would be perfect, but I’m sad to report that it did not work for me. It’s too brown/warm but maybe my skintone isn’t the right shade to go well with this. I feel like OPI’s Dulce de Leche is close but has a tiny bit more pink to make it more wearable. I do think the new Pierres de Lumiere polish colors look absolutely stunning based on stock photos. The entire collection just launched online.

Chanel Bleached Mauve Le Vernis

Runner ups for color:

Other recommendations:

I’ve accumulated quite a few polishes over the years. My 2017 favorites linked here. I’ve since found myself wearing the same neutrals more often on the fingers. Recent pink polish colors have been from the OPI Tokyo Collection which I’ll review soon (Rice Rice Baby and Another Ramen-Tic Evening are perfect!). On the toes I often do nudes or bright corals. I don’t have any go-to rule about mixing or matching nails on tips and toes, I feel like you can really do anything your mood calls for!

Hope you found this helpful for my top 5 most-worn neutrals! Would love to hear about yours and what your definition of nude polish is!

 

Have a great weekend!

Beauty Favorites

Top 16 Beauty Products That Always Get Me Compliments

January 31, 2019

Most Flattering Makeup | The Beauty Look Book

I’m rounding up the top makeup and beauty products I use that get me the most compliments. This doubles as an FAQ post because these products coincide with the “what are you wearing?” questions I get the most from reader and friends. These are the things I wear that YOU think look the most flattering – both in person and from what you see from the blog, Instagram and stories!

Your lips look so full and lush! What lip color are you wearing on your lips?

I have naturally full lips. I used to hate them because they would get so much attention and the tiniest bit of gloss made them look huge! So for that reason I don’t use lip plumpers. The lip color I get the most compliments on is the Pat McGrath LUST Gloss. Flesh Astral is the one that I get asked about all the time (swatches here, new shades swatched here). I also am often wearing NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing – this is another one that gets tons of questions because it’s such a universally flattering neutral (on the lips here). The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow (worn here) is another popular one I get asked about whenever I’m wearing it. It makes my lips look luscious with a super smooth glass like shine.

 

Your hair looks so shiny and healthy! Can you share your ENTIRE routine?

Since moving to Florida I’ve had a really hard time with hair products. The water here (even when filtered) is impossible! Hardly anything lathers in the water here like it does in other states. Also since coloring my hair I’ve experimented with a wide number of shampoos but I haven’t found my true love yet. All this being said anytime someone tells me my hair looks amazing and so shiny/healthy it’s after I have used the Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask with Temporary Coloring in Warm Chestnut (as shown here). My wallet is literally so sad because I’ve already gone through two of these and I’m going to need this the rest of my life. The Sisley Hair Rituel Hair Oil (review and on the hair here) and classic Moroccanoil Treatment are in my regular routine and both get compliments on scent and shine. They won’t weigh down my hair, even in hot humid Florida weather.

 

Your skin looks so smooth, like you had an amazing peel and your base looks so flawless!

Anytime someone says my skin looks smooth it’s after I’ve used either the Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial or Sunday Riley Good Genes. I consider myself to have sensitive skin so I don’t use them as frequently as I should but they make the most visible difference in texture. Both are excellent and I am often asked which one I prefer. My answer is that they’re really different. The Drunk Elephant is more of a once in a while treatment for me while the Sunday Riley is something you can leave on the skin overnight. For me the Sunday Riley treatment is effective faster, but the Drunk Elephant makes the skin feel noticeably softer after regular use.

For my base, my go-to anytime someone tells me my skin looks flawless is a combination of the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Buff (it’s matte, but note flat and holds up REALLY well to the heat and humidity) plus the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (it really lives up to the description and hype and I didn’t think it would be THAT amazing but it is, swatches of all shades here).

 

You’re glowing!

I’ve been asked by several people over the past few months if I’m pregnant because they say I’m glowing and look so healthy and happy. I’m not pregnant, but both Andrew and I are very happy and working diligently on our health and wellness. I actually attribute the glow 100% to the Armani Neo Nude Powder (swatches here) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, in particular Incandescent Electra (on the face here). Out of all the highlighters out there I still think the Tom Ford Moodlight Duo is one of the best. I still wear this a lot and it always gets questions when I’m out and about wearing this.

 

You smell amazing!

The most complimented perfume I wear is Byredo La Tulipe (but my favorite these days is actually the Jo Malone Neroli and Basil perfume).

 

Your nails look so healthy – do you get regular manicures or have recommendations for strong nails?

I haven’t gotten a manicure or pedicure in maybe a year now! Everything has been DIY these days. In the time we’ve been in Florida I just haven’t found a go-to place like the ones I loved back home in San Diego. I attribute my healthy looking cuticles to the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover. I’ve tried several brands of cuticle softeners and hers hands DOWN is the best. As a quick side note last year I started taking biotin supplements. I tried the HUM Hair Sweet Hair and Nature’s Bounty which made my hair grow like CRAZY but I didn’t really see that much of a difference in my nails. My hand care routine and favorite tools here.

I need that nude nail polish!

The polish that gets the most compliments is Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi (swatched here). It’s a nice basic neutral nude pink cream. Lasting power is very good on me. My favorite top coats are the Chanel Le Gel Top Coat or the one from Smith and Cult. I do not like Seche Vite because it always has major shrinkage on me.

 

Most Flattering Makeup and Haircare Products | The Beauty Look Book

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! These are the items I use the most whenever I get questions from you, strangers or friends about what I’m wearing or using. I’ve been asked by a lot of you for a list of my absolute can’t live without products are. I’m thinking long and hard about that one because so many of the things I’ve fallen in love with have been limited-edition or discontinued but stay tuned because that list is coming!

For those what to know about the shelf and accessories the shelf itself is the Ikea Billy Bookcase. Small gold wire basket is from Crate and Barrel. Glass shadow box is from West Elm. Tan bag is the Chloe Mini Marcie (reviewed it in depth here). Clear bag is the Staud Mini Shirley bag. Sweatshirt worn in top image is by Reformation (I didn’t show the front, but Andrew picked this out for me, lol).

Also for those who want just the list, here are the Top 16:

  1. Pat McGrath LUST Gloss in Flesh Astral
  2. NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing
  3. Fenty Gloss Bomb
  4. Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask with Temporary Coloring in Warm Chestnut
  5. Sisley Hair Rituel Precious Hair Oil
  6. Moroccanoil Treatment
  7. Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial
  8. Sunday Riley Good Genes
  9. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation
  10. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
  11. Armani Neo Nude Powder
  12. Tom Ford Highlighting Duo
  13. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra
  14. Byredo La Tulipe
  15. Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover
  16. and Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi

If you have anything beauty-wise that always gets you compliments please share them in the comments below. I’d love to read about what is the most flattering on you 🙂

Beauty Favorites Roundup

Best of 2018 Beauty Favorites

December 30, 2018

Best in Beauty Favorites 2018 | The Beauty Look Book

What a year it has been! I cannot believe that 2018 is nearly over, it flew by so quickly. Today I’m rounding up my Best of 2018 Beauty Favorites with a mix of new discoveries alongside a few staples from previous years. I went through this entire year of blog posts to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Also a number of you have asked for my absolute favorite tried and true staples so I’m going to put together a separate post of beauty things I cannot live without. For this roundup I focused mainly on new products I really loved that I tried this year.

Complexion, Highlighters and Base Products

Best Eye Makeup

Favorite Lip Products

Skin Care Loves

I really found myself gravitating to a lot more skincare tries this year compared to makeup. I wasn’t able to review everything as testing often takes so long to truly see results. I’ll do an updated skincare routine post in the new year so if you have any questions please leave them in the comments! My absolute favorites:

Hair Favorites of the Year

That wraps up my favorites for the year! I hope you found some new loves too. Let me know in the comments what your favorites were! Also I’ve been a little behind on giveaways with my recent travels so I’m doubling up and giving away 2 sets of beauty goodies. Two readers will be selected to win all these items listed below:

  • 1 Away Mini Travel Case (winner can select 1 choice of Pink or the Halo color)
  • All 3 Fenty Gloss Bombs in Fenty Glow, Diamond Milk and Fussy
  • Fenty Holiday Duo with lip minis of Spanked and Griselda
  • 1 Beautyblender Original
  • 1 Mini Drunk Elephant Serum
  • 1 Mini Tatcha Watercream
  • 1 Mini Living Proof Dry Shampoo

Open internationally to anyone 18 years or older. Runs through 1/5/2018. Simply enter by completing at least one of the steps in the widget below. Two winners will be selected at random within 72 hour of giveaway end time and will be winner names will be displayed / announced on the widget. I’ll contact winners directly via e-mail. Prizes typically ship within 1 week. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Press samples featured indicated with a *.

 

Beauty Favorites Budget Beauty

Affordable Budget Beauty Favorites No. 1

September 17, 2018

Affordable Budget Beauty Favorites Under $20, L'Oreal, OPI, Garnier

By popular request I’m going to start covering some of my favorite budget beauty tries and buys! For my beauty blogging life I’ve primarily focused on mid to high-end luxury brands but every week I get questions about more affordable options or dupes. I’ve been experimenting more with different brands based on feedback and started testing things I think look interesting. I have some budget beauty items to share with you today of items I feel are worth trying. Prices vary depending on retailer and promos you can find, but at the full retail price, everything is under $20.

1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara is hands down my favorite drugstore mascara. It lengthens, volumizes, defines, holds the curl and does not smudge on me. I’ve gone through quite a few tubes of this! Several of you have commented it’s prone to clumping after a few uses. To solve this I take the wand once every other week and run it through a folded piece of paper in the crease to clean it. It does waste a lot of product but I do this with most of my mascaras but it’s the only way I can remove buildup. I have actually tried both the non-waterproof and waterproof versions. I think both are really good. Given the fact that I live in Florida where the humidity is intense, I prefer the waterproof version as a better smudge-proof option.

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

2. After the success I had with the mascara, I bought the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer as soon as it launched with high hopes. It was a hit! It works well to prime and condition the lashes. It’s pink tinted so you can see how much you’ve actually applied. The trick with this is to not let it dry down all the way before you add mascara. I apply a coat of mascara almost immediately after I apply the primer and it works like a charm. If I let it dry completely it almost becomes crunchy and mascara doesn’t adhere well.

Loreal Lash Paradise Primer Review

2. OPI Nail Polishes are my go-to for favorite affordable nail polish brand. I know many others love Essie or Zoya, but for me OPI is the best for lasting power and color. My favorite neutrals are from OPI including Tiramisu for Two, Samoan Sand, Let Me Bayou a Drink and more. I’m going to be putting together an updated neutral nail polish post, but you can see my Favorite Neutrals in this roundup here. I also really like the Natural Nail Base Coat to help protect the nails, prime them for polish and prevent yellowing.

Best OPI Neutrals Tiramisu for Two, Samoan Sand, Let Me Bayou a Drink

3. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover Sensitive and Waterproof are great micellar cleansing waters. I really love the ones from Lancome and Koh Gen Do, but I needed to find a budget friendly option as I go through a lot of remover with my swatching. I tried both the Sensitive Option and Waterproof Version and think they are both great. The waterproof version is stronger and better for removing darker lipsticks or eyeliner. For my long-wear waterproof mascara it’s not strong enough in which case I recommend you try the Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. It’s the only thing remover that has enough power to actually removes my waterproof mascara these days. I bought this based on reader recommendations and they were 100% right at how effective it is.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Waters

4. L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks are a close dupe for the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick. When I read others claiming this I was skeptical. I did not think it was possible! I bought a few shades and really like them. I was then sent the entire lineup for review. After testing them I do not think they are 100% identical but they make for an impressive cheaper alternative. The L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks have the same balmy feel, comfortable wear and nice shine. I actually like them a little bit more because there’s less slip to them so they adhere better to the lips. They do have a completely different scent, the L’Oreal ones have that super sweet candy like scent. There are a couple colors that apply patchy because of how pale they are in comparison to my natural lip color, but most of them are solid wins. The only two iffy colors are Shining Peach and Dewey Petal for me – they run really pale.

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks Review

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Lips

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Deeper Brights

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Deeper Bright Shades

5. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion is something I would call a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. This comes in four color options, Fair Glow, Light Glow, Medium Glow and Deep Glow. This is similar in concept to the Charlotte Tilbury product because the Lumi Glotion can also be worn alone, under makeup, to highlight or bronze. It has a subtle luminous glow that you can see on the skin but it’s not overly shimmery or frosted. I do think the color range differs for the deeper shades. If you’re fair to medium the colors are close. I like either Light or Medium to highlight and Deep works as a slightly deeper bronze shimmer.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Review + Swatches

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Swatches

That wraps up my first Budget Beauty Buys and Tries roundup! I’ll be incorporating 1-2 roundups per month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these and what your thoughts were. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also if you have any dupe requests please leave a note in the comments and I’ll try to do some research for the next round.

I buy these brands primarily at Target, Ulta Beauty or CVS. If you have a go-to destination for budget beauty shopping I’d love to hear in the comments!

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion and Color Riche Shines provided as press samples. L’Oreal Lash Paradise initially provided as a sample, but I’ve since repurchased it on my own many times.

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Best Pressed and Loose Setting Powders

July 30, 2018

Best Setting Powders Laura Mercier, MAC, Armani, Chanel, La Mer

By popular request I’m rounding up the best setting powders I’ve tried for normal/combination skin in pressed and loose formats. I did a roundup of my Favorite Setting Powders back several years ago and sometimes looking back I cannot believe how long I have been blogging! I have normal skin but live in South Florida where the humidity and heat can get very intense! The last time I did my roundup I was living in San Diego and around 1-2 shades lighter in skintone. Living in Florida you cannot escape the sunshine even with hats and good sunscreen. Since I’m deeper in skin tone I usually avoid translucent powders that are white or super pale in color because no matter how “translucent” they claim to be, a lot of times they still leave a slight white/powdery cast. There are exceptions of course and I’m always happy when I find translucent powders that have just even a slight tint.

As a beauty blogger I try and test a lot of powders on my face. My preferences change throughout seasons (sometimes it can get dry here in the winter) and as I travel. I’ve included thoughts on powders I’ve reached for frequently this past year.

Pressed Favorites in Rotation

Best Pressed Setting Powders Armani, Becca, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel Les Beiges and La Mer

For many years I actually used pressed powder foundations to set my makeup. So many think that layering powder foundation on top of powder will always result in a cakey heavy finish, but there are a lot of formulas that work if you apply with a brush!

  • Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation is in my Top 2 most repurchased powders. My match is Shade 4, the other shades up aren’t yellow enough or too dark and I’m really surprised this color has worked for me even though I’ve darkened with my Florida tan. This powder has super natural lightweight coverage. I use it as a setting powder because it has a more natural finish. It evens out the skin in a very subtle way, sets my makeup and is great for touch-ups.
  • Armani Neo Nude Compact Powder Foundation (reviewed here) is my favorite glowy setting powder. It smooths and illuminates skin in a beautiful way. I wore this during my Miami trip and was really surprised it didn’t look greasy even with the glow and a tiny bit of sweat. If you have super oily skin you might want to opt for a matte version though. For an all over finishing powder I can get away with three shades swatched here, I have Shade 4 shown above. This is currently exclusive to Nordstrom or Giorgio Armani Beauty. I love this texture so much I feel like I could buy a darker color as a contour/bronzer.
    • With both the Armani powders I would say they are definitely more powders, not really like a full coverage powder-foundation. Just wanted to note in case you were worried it would be too heavy for all over. Or if you’re looking for a fuller coverage powder I’d recommend trying different brands. I apply both with a brush.
  • Becca Be A Light Palette in Light-Medium has two finishing powders that work really well for my skin tone. The lighter one is more brightening but the darker one on the right is perfect to blur the skin and give a soft luminous glow. It’s not quite as glowy as the Armani but is pretty close. I like this because it has four colors for a perfect natural blush + contour look. Also available in a Medium-Deep option swatched here.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Perfecting Powder #2 is my next most repurchased powder. Color selection is limited but I’ve always managed to pull off #2. This is the best medium-full coverage powder I’ve tried. Skin is instantly smoothed in the most beautiful way. It’s silky, smooth and never fails me. It’s matte so it will reduce the shine and keep makeup set without getting thick.
  • Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour in No 20 (shown) and 30 have been powders I’ve used since they launched back in 2013. I usually find No 20 is best for an all over setting powder. It has SPF 15 but doesn’t have any flash back with flash photography. It is scented which I know some people don’t like. Another downside is that there’s a huge gap between 20 and 30. I can use the deeper colors as a soft contour. The powder has natural sheer to medium coverage you can buff into the skin and not overdo. While there’s no shimmer it does have a soft brightening glowy look when I apply.
  • La Mer The Sheer Pressed Powder is one of the best pressed powders I’ve used. It’s very expensive and color selection is limited but it wears very well. I’ve used both Light and Medium. Up until right now I used Light (used it enough to hit pan and repurchase). I’m finally tan enough to wear Medium (shown above). It softly blurs fine lines, sets makeup, looks natural and stays put. There’s a translucent option too which I have not tried.

Pressed Powders from MAC

MAC Next to Nothing Pressed Powder, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder

MAC gets it’s own category because they win hands down for best color range. I used the MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation years ago and had a horrible allergic reaction to it. Many of their foundations caused my skin to flare up so I resisted using it for a long time. I decided to give the line another try after reading reviews from others who had similar reactions. In recent years some have suspected the ingredients changed because they could start using their foundations again. I have not tried the powder foundation again (I might eventually) but I’ve had HUGE success with their pressed powders. I should make it a mission to try all their powders.

  • Next to Nothing Pressed Powder is the next best thing to La Mer’s Sheer Pressed Powder. Color range is pretty good but Medium and Medium Plus are neutral borderline pink and I typically need something golden/olive. Still this one works really well for a natural setting powder, looks great, doesn’t oxidize and the price point is reasonable to me. Review and more swatches here.
  • Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus and Medium Golden are my favorite mineral setting powders. I hit the base on Medium Plus and really like it. Coverage is heavier than a traditional powder and with mineral formulas they can sometimes feel heavy. I recommend applying with a buffing method.
  • Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder is one of the newer formulas. It’s very matte and with a sponge has full coverage. It sets and stays put for hours. There are two colors/portions with a warm/cool option that allows you to mix and customize your color. Coverage is smooth and really nice. It doesn’t feel heavy but upon application you can really see coverage.

Current Favorite Loose Setting Powders

Best Loose Setting Powders from Laura Mercier, Hourglass, La Mer, Becca, Marc Jacobs and La Prairie

From top to bottom:

  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder is a classic and her loose powders are the only ones used up entirely several times. I’ve always been more of a pressed powder person because it’s more convenient and less messy. Hers is one of the best. It’s white but truly translucent. Many years ago she also had this in tinted versions and my heart broke when it was discontinued. I love this applied with a puff or a brush. It’s a staple to set makeup without adding any color or coverage.
  • Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder is one of the newest launches I’ve tried (reviewed here). It has the lightest weight texture out of any powder I’ve tried. Blurs fine lines and smooths skin. Completely colorless when you apply. Suitable for all skin types.
  • La Mer The Powder is a loose beige powder with a very tiny bit of luminosity to it. Coverage is medium in the way it smooths the skin but on me it’s colorless once blended. I love this but think the original version was better. The new version comes in a hefty glass jar which isn’t travel friendly but very sturdy. It’s infused with their Miracle Broth but I didn’t see any changes in skin hydration or texture wise. I was really happy with my splurge but due to the price I don’t think I’ll repurchase.
  • Becca Hydra-Mist Set and Refresh Powder is a cooling powder that feels like water mist when it touches the skin. It reminds me of the Prescriptives Magic Powder without the pink iridescent sheen. The Becca option does have light reflecting particles but it’s not pink like the one from Px. It sets makeup nicely and is translucent on my skin. A little goes a long way – I also feel this is probably better suited for those with dry skin.
  • Marc Jacobs Coconut Fine-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder is the most matte powder I’ve tried. It’s also light in color but translucent. It has five forms of coconut and cocoa butter which makes sense to me as it’s not weightless. It’s on the semi-heavy side in terms of how it feels on the skin, especially when compared to the Laura Mercier or Hourglass options. It’s not cakey or drying. It does make the skin look fully matte without adding color.
  • La Prairie Cellular Treatment Loose Powder in Translucent 2 was one of my biggest splurges. I ordered this sight unseen based on online reviews. The color I picked is too dark for my skin unless I’m tan (like right now). The tub is HUGE and it also comes with a travel size. I really wanted to order Translucent 1 for a long time but didn’t want to splurge especially with less expensive alternatives. It’s an excellent ultra fine powder but sometimes it looks dry on my skin. If I use a hydrating foundation, spray my base with a good mist or tinted moisturizer the powder looks good. If I apply this over a matte finish foundation it ends up looking a little dry. It has coverage on me even though it’s “translucent.” Definitely not lightweight but it does a good job at keeping oil away throughout the day. I absolutely have to use a brush. Using the puff results in a very powdery looking face.

My favorite makeup brushes and puffs

Best Makeup Brushes and Puffs for Setting Powders

My favorite tools and puffs:

  • Laura Mercier Velour Puff is a classic no-fuss option. I wash it in the sink with liquid soap. You can air dry it, but I sometimes put it in the dryer. It’s 3# in diameter.
  • Cle de Peau Puff is an equally soft and fluffy powder puff. It’s slightly smaller in size compared to the Laura Mercier option.
  • Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush is one of her newly redesigned brushes. So many brands have revamped their tools brushes the past couple of years. I often use bronzer brushes for setting powder because they’re bigger and fluffy. This one is super soft and picks up powders well. It picks up just the right amount of color to apply product evenly on the face.
  • Laura Mercier Powder Brush is a flat large brush, it can double as a bronzer brush as well.
  • Hourglass Veil Powder Brush – super soft and fluffy with two sides. The larger is good for all over and the smaller side is nice for setting the under eye area.
  • MAC 140S is one of the best large powder brushes I’ve used. It is dense so I think it’s best used for pressed powder, but it’s versatile and I think you can really use any powder brush however you like!
  • Chanel Precision Powder Brush is a nice option for smaller areas or for touch ups. Many of you were surprised to learn their brushes were redesigned. You can see a more detailed post about it here.

Additional ones I’ve tried worth mentioning plus some more thoughts:

  • I still find the ones from my previous roundup excellent, especially the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed and Loose Powders but I have explored other options since moving to Florida.
  • The Laura Mercier Candleglow is a pressed powder I still consider a wonderful option for a soft glowing diffused finish. In high humidity it can get a bit glowy looking for everyday. It’s an excellent option for night (for me). I find myself gravitating towards more matte options these days.
  • MAC’s Patrick Starrr Set Powder is among my favorites but it was limited-edition. I suspect it might be similar to one of the regular MAC Set Powders but I haven’t checked in person to confirm.
  • I have also tried the Kat Von D Lockit and Cover FX Loose Powders, both are good, but I prefer the other options. For those with deep skin tones and feel that ALL white/translucent powders leave a cast, checkout Cover FX’s Perfect Setting Powder because they have a deep translucent option!
  • By Terry has a loose powder called the Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder that is highly rated, it’s translucent but the color is white. It does disappear on my skin but I feel leaves a very slight white cast and I think it is better suited for dry skin. Mine is normal. It also feels a little too powdery on my skin. I also might be the only person on the planet that didn’t love this.
  • Many years ago mineral powders were all the rage. They might still be today but I haven’t kept track of them. With the exception of the ones from MAC, most other mineral powders tend to be too heavy for what I’m looking for. They end up darkening and looking cakey on my skin type.
  • I still find the La Mer Powder Brush and Wayne Goss Brushes to be excellent for powders. I still use them on a regular basis but the ones above are what I’ve been reaching for lately.
  • Depending on humidity levels sometimes there’s nothing that will 100% last all day. If there’s humidity and you have sweat, you’re going to have to touch up at some point. But that doesn’t mean your entire face will slide off. Finding a good setting powder to make your base last is a plus, but what you wear underneath (moisturizer and foundation) is also going to impact how long your makeup will last throughout the day.
  • This Sephora video on the Difference Between Setting and Finishing Powder was interesting to watch. I personally feel like using 1 powder to set and finish works for me, but it was interesting to see their artist’s take on the difference and how to use them. I do sometimes layer powders like the Hourglass or Becca Be a Light on top of my set base.

My top three picks would be pressed options as I find them easier to use for touch up and for travel. Right now I would narrow down my picks to the Charlotte Tilbury, Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation and a two-way tie between La Mer and MAC Next to Nothing. Favorite loose powders are Laura Mercier and Hourglass right now. I also still love the MAC Patrick Starrr Patrick’s Powder but it was limited-edition. If you’re in the market for a good powder I hope this guide helps you pick a few to try! What are your favorite setting powders?

Press samples include the MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier brushes, Hourglass Veil Powder + Brush, Chanel Precision Powder Brush and Becca Be A Light Palette.

Beauty Favorites Beauty Tools

Best Beauty Tools and Accessories 2017

December 31, 2017

Best Beauty Tools and Accessories | Beauty Look Book

This is the last post of the 2017 where I round up my best beauty tools and accessory finds of the year. Ideally I’d love to find just one brush line that has all the tools I need but I have yet to find one. These are my favorites from this year. Press samples listed with a *.

Best Beauty Tools and Accessories 2017

  • The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Bag –  Taupe shown, I also have it in Black (shown here and here). This is one of my best makeup bag buys. I reviewed it in more depth with my Travel Beauty Cases post and mentioned that while it’s super functional and sturdy the quality isn’t 100%. I still find that for the price, the shape and size is really good and both have served me well this year.
  • Away Mini Suitcase * – These came back this year and sold out super fast! I tried to review as soon as they came out and hope you were able to buy one! It’s not really intended for just beauty, but you can carry pretty much anything small inside. Review and interior shown here. I really hope they bring this back permanently!
  • Glamcor Riki Skinny Vanity Mirror from Beautylish – This mirror is one of the best things I’ve tried, it lights up with adjustable brightness. It also comes with a stand to prop up and the center is magnetized to hold a magnifying mirror and cell phone holder to do lit selfies. I’ve been a longtime fan of simplehuman sensor mirrors, but with the round ones you have to get up close to see your face and often times you can’t see your entire face. This one from Glamcor doesn’t have the same quality magnification as simplehuman, but sometimes all you need is a larger mirror with lights to do your makeup. It’s portable enough that I’ve been taking it with me each move.
  • Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – Best hairdryer splurge ever. My review here and yes 100% worth every penny.
  • Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers – The only blotting papers I use as they absorb excess oil without disturbing your makeup. Also love that there’s no powder on it like some others so it won’t leave the face looking dusty or white. In San Diego one would do the trick. In Florida sometimes I needed 3, but even when soaked with sweat they don’t fall apart or disintegrate.
  • Glamboxes Glamboard Tray – This isn’t new to me this year but I’ve found it great to hold beauty essentials that I need in the moment. Sometimes I just want a tray that can hold what I need for a full face and this does the trick. Any small tray will do but this has pull out drawers that can expand across a sink if you do your makeup in the bathroom and don’t want things rolling around your counter.
  • MAC Full Lash Curler – The best lash curler I’ve used for a long time since my favorite one from Chanel was discontinued. The MAC ones perform well without pinching the sides of my eyes.
  • beautyblender original and beautyblender nude – These are the best makeup sponges and I find that they work better than any foundation brush. You can find a better value in their Gold Mine Set which is limited-edition. They often have value sets or packs so I’d recommend you opt for those instead since they can be spendy.
  • Wayne Goss Makeup Brushes * are available exclusively at Beautylish. I’ve been so impressed with every single one I’ve tried. The quality is excellent, they’re super soft, there is never any poking on the face. The sets are expensive but every single brush is well made and very functional for flawless makeup application. They really do perform better than your average brush. Also if you buy brushes from any line individually they’re going to add up in price so if you break it down they’re actually very reasonably priced.
  • Chanel Makeup Brushes * were redesigned this year. I was really impressed with the new sleek design and quality. my favorite three are the Precision Powder Brush, Flat Eyeshadow Brush and Eye Contouring Brush. Full review of the lineup here.
  • MAC Brush 239 (now 239S) – The 239 is a classic but has recently been discontinued. All the brushes are being redesigned/relaunched in a Synthetic Version. Online at MAC the product says “coming soon” but you may be able to find them in MAC stores now. It’s where I found mine and it performs the same as the original version. This is the classic eyeshadow brush for me because of the shape and density!
  • MAC Brush 140S – Best large flat powder brush I tried this year.
  • La Mer The Powder Brush – Best loose powder brush I’ve ever tried as well, worth the splurge to me because it’s sooooo soft and plush!
  • Last but not least, this isn’t really a beauty tool or accessory but I had to include it, the Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Throw was the best splurge of the year and a lot of their items are on sale for 20% off right now at Nordstrom (not sure how long this is going on). It’s the softest and warmest blanket I’ve ever bought and so cozy.

That wraps up my Best Beauty Tools and Accessories 2017 roundup for the year! I’m doing one last giveaway for the year, I’m picking 5 people to win one $75 eGift Card to Sephora (US). Enter through the widget below! Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify for an entry. I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after the giveaway ends by e-mail. I usually ship prizes within a week. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beauty Favorites Skincare

Best Skincare of 2017

December 29, 2017

Best Skincare 2017

Rounding up my top picks in skincare this year! I attribute the biggest improvements for my skin to lifestyle changes more than my skincare routine. I’ve made a conscious effort to take better care of my body with more exercise and better eating habits. This year I stopped drinking soy lattes (opting for almond or coconut milk instead in and smaller doses). I also reduced my coffee significantly intake as it was contributing to irregular heartbeats (don’t worry I got checked out and I’m completely ok). I switched to green tea, reduced sugar in everything, cut back on eating bread and over time I saw some pretty amazing changes from the inside out.

Skincare testing has still been a huge part of my life this year – especially as I age I’ve become more conscious of protecting my skin. The strong Florida sun can be brutal and the heat intense even if you’re not in direct sun. Finding good sunscreen and skincare has been essential otherwise I’d be completely fried.

This is a pretty extensive list as I switched things up quite a bit over the year. We’ve traveled from coast to coast and experienced climate changes. As many of you have advised me when I moved here, even though Florida is hot, there is a fairly lengthy dry season. That combined with the water conditions here (plus with swimming in the ocean and pools) has kinda messed with my skin. The weather can change daily! Then there are the late spring to summer months where the humidity is almost unreal and everything feels like it could slide off your face the second you step outside. Finding a routine and re-balancing my skin has been a process and I’m really thankful I’ve found quite a few really great products. You can see my bare skin here and here. Press samples have a * next to them.

Shelf 1, left to right:

  • Sisley-Paris Express Flower Gel Mask * – Best gently hydrating mask for dry or tired-looking skin but without the over emollient feel that some moisture masks have, 100% worth the splurge and I bought a backup tube because I don’t want to be without it.
  • Sisley-Paris Radiant Glow Express Mask – A gentle cleansing glow mask with red clay to remove impurities without drying out the skin, leaves skin feeling super soft.
  • Tatcha The Water Cream – I’d rank this in my top 3 moisturizers of the year, Tatcha seems to have been the first to develop a water cream which is a truly lightweight moisturizer that feels like a refreshing burst of water, it’s been perfect in humid climate, I’m on my second one.
  • Eve Lom Brightening Cream * – A long-time favorite for a soft lightweight cream that over time does improve the brightness of the complexion, it contains anti-oxidants that correct hyperpigmentation and smooth skin, also available in the holiday Perfecting Ritual Set.
  • Tatcha The Water Gel – I’m one who actually hates skincare gels because they’re sticky and don’t typically work with my foundations, this one is just perfect in every way.
  • Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil – Out of all the cleansing oils I tried this one turned out to be my favorite for the year for super soft skin.
  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen – This is my ULTIMATE go to for body sunscreen, it was the most effective for me without any scent or sticky feel which is super important to me, it held up well in the Florida humidity without making me feel greasy and even with regular re-application it absorbs well (I’ve also converted my husband to using this one although he still prefers Kiehl’s).
  • Supergoop! Hand Cream – I often forget the hands when it comes to sun protection and I don’t realize how much the sun hits the hands especially when driving, this has been essential and comes in a small size that I can throw in my bag.
  • Sisley-Paris Black Rose Skin Cream * – Best lightweight cream almost feels like a water cream, moisturizes and refreshes the skin lightly in the most amazing way.
  • Shu Uemura Sakura Rose Petal Mask * – Best plumping moisturizing mask that soothes skin, Beauty Look Book readers a special promo of deluxe samples + free shipping on orders $50+ with code BLBXSHU. Deluxe samples include: mini laque supreme sample rd01, maxi:hydrability essence-in cream 13 ml, sakura-rose-petal-mask 13 ml and nutri:nectar sample 15 ml. Valid online at both Shu Uemura US and Shu Uemura Canada.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle – My favorite weekly face scrub to purify and decongest the skin.

Shelf 2, left to right:

Shelf 3, left to right:

  • Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate – Probably my favorite face oil of the year to hydrate dry skin.
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil – One I use at night to maintain elasticity and moisture, I noticed my skin sometimes feels dry with the water here after I wash it at night, this doesn’t feel greasy although it is emollient.
  • 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil * – One of the most amazing night treatments I’ve tried, it has 1% pure retinol so I use this every other night or every 2 nights because I have sensitive skin, it’s still gentle enough to not burn my skin like many retinol products do, it helps diminish fine lines and spots.
  • Kopari Coconut Melt (mini) – The best body moisturizers for days when my body is so dry, especially since winter hit Florida, I apply it on the body at night before I go to bed. Especially good to restore moisture if skin is dried from summer heat.
  • Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription Program*  – The only beauty subscription I’ve kept this year, full review here – it’s available in 3, 6 or 12 months options.
  • Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder – Best gentle cleanser that I use as an exfoliator to help get rid of dead skin and polish the face.
  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment – In my top 2 for fixing problem skin if I have breakouts.
  • Sisley-Paris Confort Extreme Nutritive Lip Balm – An amazing non-scented and less thick version of the classic By Terry Baume de Rose, moisturizing and works like a charm for dry lips.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose – Always a classic for the thickest rose scented lip treatment.
  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist – New to me this year, but it has the finest mist out of the face mists I’ve tried! Beautifully hydrating in a light way which is just how I like it.

Shelf 4, left to right:

  • Caudalie Glow Activating Trio (eye cream not shown because I’ve packed it up) – Truly impressed with this line, I bought it from Sephora this year and like the way it really makes the skin glow and moisturize the skin without feeling heavy, I’m purchasing the eye cream after I use up some others, I feel like the serum + moisturizer have started to really help with fine lines I have on my forehead.
  • Darphin Hydraskin Light – One of the most impressive lightweight creams I tried this year!
  • Fresh Mask Wardrobe from the holiday set, Sugar Face Polish and Rose Mask have become two Fresh staples that I know I’ll have to replenish very soon.
  • MAC Fix+ Lavender – MAC came out with scented Fix+ in Coconut, Rose and Lavender, I’m obsessed with these, I stocked up on so many because they’re so nice to use mid-day and refresh the skin.
  • Kate Somerville Dermal Quench (mini) – This was something I discovered a while back after getting a facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic, the entire line has changed my life in terms of improving my skin, this was the biggest game changer in improving texture and reducing fine lines.

One more shelfie because these couldn’t fit in the photo above:

Best Skincare of 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Left to right

  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist – One of my favorite most repurchased mists even though I really hate the price tag, it dispenses a very fine veil of moisture on the face.
  • Chanel Sublimage La Brume Intense Revitalizing Mist – I’m obsessed with the Sublimage line although I can’t bring myself to repurchase the creams or eye treatments (so I try to find mini samples when I can), I bought the mist because it comes with three refills which seemed to justify the price more to me, this is a super hydrating mist but has a very fine mist – the dispenser is well designed, I love how it revitalizes the skin.
  • 111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask – This is my ride or die sheet mask, it surpasses all other sheet masks I’ve tried for hydration, plumping and smoothing the skin making it feel like it’s completely new (comes in a pack of 5). I was sent a couple sheets for review, but have since splurged on 3 boxes.
  • Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion with SPF50, this doubles as a light makeup base and lasts all day.
  • 111Skin Space Defense Bright Eye Lift Gel * – The only eye gel I’ve used that doesn’t leave a sticky residue, it makes this compatible with my foundation/concealer and eye makeup, it’s lightweight but you can still feel it on the skin, keeps the eye area hydrated without any greasy feel.
  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Eyes * – I love this line for the smooth hydrating feel it gives, I like this at night for a soothing hydrating veil of moisture.
  • Chanel La Creme Main * – This has one of the best dry-downs for a velvety feel while still adding moisture, I love the cute packaging on this as well.

That wraps up my list of the Best Skincare 2017. I realize this is a very long list of favorites. Obviously I don’t recommend using all of this at once – I’ve spent months testing and rotating depending on location, season and skin needs. I moved from San Diego to Tampa Bay. I’ve also done quite a bit of traveling back to California, to New York, Texas, further south to Miami Beach and even north up to Georgia and Kentucky. Because I know many of you will ask, here are my ABSOLUTE top picks by category:

  • Best cleanser: Kate Somerville anything
  • Best moisturizer: four-way tie between Darphin Tatcha Water Cream, Sisley Black Rose Cream and Eve Lom Brightening Cream
  • Best night treatment: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil
  • Best toner: Sisley Floral Toner
  • Best exfoliator: weekly is Kate Somerville, daily is the Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder
  • Best purifying mask: Glamglow Supermud and Aesop Parsley Seet Mask
  • Best moisture mask: Sisley-Paris Express Flower Gel Mask and 111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask
  • Best face mist: tough pick, but tie between Chanel Sublimage and Omorovicza Queen of Hungary
  • Best sunscreen for the face: Diorskin Cushion
  • Best sunscreen for the body: Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
  • Best eye treatment: still searching for THE one
  • Best body moisturizer: Kopari Coconut Melt
  • If you splurge on 3 things, I’d recommend: Sisley Beauty Subscription, 111Skin Sheet Masks and stock up on Supergoop! Sunscreen
  • My best skincare tips: Double cleanse at a minimum if you wear makeup or triple cleanse to add an exfoliator on a regular basis.

I’m doing another giveaway! One person will be selected through the widget below to win::

  1. Fresh Mask Wardrobe (includes Sugar Face Polish, Rose Face Mask, Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Mask – all 1 oz)
  2. Nude Lips Duo
  3. Deluxe sampler pack that I got as a GWP.
  4. Full Size Sugar Cream Lip Treatment in Blush

Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway will run through January the 6th. I’ll pick someone within 48 hours after it ends. I usually ship prizes within a week. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What were your skincare favorites of the year?

powered by chloédigital