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Boutique Fragrance

Creed + High Camp Gardenias for Mother’s Day

May 1, 2017

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

For Mother’s Day this year Creed has partnered with High Camp Gardenias to create a special limited-edition gift set available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th. High Camp Supply specializes in fresh gardenia vines and blooms which are cut to order in California and then shipped in a beautiful glossy white box. Together both companies have created a memorable gift with a few options depending on how many flowers and perfume you pick. For this collaboration they have the Vine and Bloom Gift Sets which come with a mix of loose gardenia blooms and gardenias on the vine.

  • Creed x High Camp Supply Vine and Bloom Gift Set (25 to 30 flowers) $479 to $549
  • Creed x High Camp Supply Deluxe Vine and Bloom Gift Set (45 to 50 flowers) $539 to $609
  • Available fragrances for purchase to choose from include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina or Fleurs de Gardenia

I was fortunate to be gifted Spring Flower and the Vine and Bloom Gift Set (bottle is the 2.5 fl oz) and as a lover of flowers and perfumes find this to be unique and simply exquisite. The price of the perfume ($350) and gardenias ($129) individually add up to the same price as the set so there’s no price break.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

The gardenias arrive in a white glossy cardboard box that’s sturdy. There is a cold pack inside the box to keep everything temperature controlled and fresh while it’s being shipped. The perfume is wrapped with a plastic sleeve so the box is protected from any condensation that occurs while it’s in transit. There are care instructions for how to unbox and care for the flowers. They arrive closed but open up within a few hours with the most exquisite gardenia scent I’ve ever smelled. I love that there is a mix of blooms and vines.

When we moved we didn’t bring all of our dishes with us (we gifted away a lot of things we couldn’t fit in our moving truck). I only had a West Elm round lacquer tray with handles so I tried using it as a bowl by taping the holes. The lacquer won’t hold up water for an extended period of time around the base so we made a quick trip to Crate and Barrel to pick up a Serving Bowl which worked perfectly. For the vines I placed them in a large recycled ceramic Diptyque Candle jar.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

After a few hours the blooms fully open up and the fragrance from these flowers literally filled our entire home. Care instructions that come with the box:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Blooms straight out of the box placed into a vase and bowl:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Fully opened blooms after a few hours:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Shown above: Lip color is Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 728 Rose Pulpe over Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink, top by Paige, nail color is Essie Topless and Barefoot

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

While in NYC last week I was able to meet up with a long-time blogger friend Cafe Makeup and we made a stop at the Creed Boutique on Madison Avenue. I had the best experience there. The staff there is very knowledgable and friendly. The boutique experience can be hit or miss in my experience and this visit was one of the best ones I’ve had. Even though I only own a few pieces from Creed, the brand has special meaning to me, in particular the scent Spring Flower. While I was in college I went on a study abroad program in Oxford for a summer. My room mate Laura (who became my bestie) and I arrived in the UK a week before classes started so we would have some time to explore London. She was on a mission to find Spring Flower and took me all over London looking for a store that carried Creed because at that time it was not available near us. At that time I was not into perfume at all and I completely credit her for sparking my interest in fragrance. Onto a quick peek at the boutique. I bought one gift for my husband which I’ll share in my NYC post later this week. I now have Aventus for Men on my wishlist to give to him as it’s probably the hottest male scent in a bottle I’ve ever smelled.

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue New York | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed this roundup and peek into my recent NYC trip. If you can visit the store while in NY I highly recommend it. I did a sneak peek on Instagram last week and was thrilled to find so many other Creed lovers! You gave me some amazing recommendations which I’ve noted and will be taking with me on my next counter visit (there’s a counter near me in Tampa!).

Quick recap on the Mother’s Day set. It will be available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th, orders must be placed by 12 pm PST. Available scents with this set include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina and Fleurs de Gardenia. Prices vary depending on the scent you pick and which flower box you choose.

Do you have any Creed favorites? I’ve been spritzing Spring Flower since I got back home to Florida every day and am obsessed although I still really love Virgin Island Water.

Many thanks to Creed for gifting this beautiful set and for allowing me to photograph the inside of their NYC store.

Boutique Fragrance

Scent Bar Los Angeles

February 21, 2017

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

I stopped by the Scent Bar in Los Angeles over the weekend and this store takes the perfume experience to a new level of amazing. It’s been a while since I stopped by the store as I tend to gravitate towards larger retailers for my beauty shopping – but this place is the best I’ve shopped at for perfume. For those in-the-know you are already aware of all the reasons why this place is great: unique selection, relaxing intimate store setting, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and there is absolutely no sales pressure. The store is primarily organized by notes to help you find variations of what you like by mood. There are also a few areas organized by brand. They carry a wide range of brands including Tom Ford, Byredo, Creed, L’Artisan, Cire Trudon, Serge Lutens, and Escentric Molecules to name a few. The experience you’ll have shopping here is going to be different than most other beauty shopping experiences. I think it’s great because it’s suitable for anyone no matter what level of perfume expertise they have. They have a unique selection for those who want something unusual or different. At the same time they carry a good selection of more main stream but still luxurious brands to pick from. If you’re a complete perfume novice I think it’s perfect as they’ll really help you find your perfect scent as well.

On Saturday afternoon I was delighted to find the store wasn’t busy when I stopped by and was lucky to have the whole store to myself for a little while while. It quickly filled up with a lot of customers within the next hour but the staff was still extremely patient, friendly and I was really impressed with how well they were able to meet everyone’s needs even when it became busy. A look at the store for those who haven’t been before:

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Everything is organized and sorted by notes, although some brands are grouped together:

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Steven at the store helped me and he was amazing to work with. I shared a few of my favorites with him to see what he would recommend. At the top of my list right now included Tom Ford Soleil Blanc, Creed Virgin Island Water, L’Artisan Mure et Musc and L’Artisan L’Ete en Douce. He immediately identified my tastes as liking clean, beachy and fresh scents. I told him I love vanilla but couldn’t find one that I could wear so he pulled an almond option which I fell in love with immediately. He pulled few suggestions for me to smell and it was literally like magic – all of his recommendations were great.

  • Profumum Confetto is a sugared almond that smells like a delicious sweet scent without the overpowering notes of vanilla that you usually find, they were unfortunately sold out but this was next level delicious
  • Parfumerie Generale Le Musc and La Peau was recommended as a good skin scent since I loved L’Artisan L’Ete En Douce (once of the few I’ve used up entirely), it has a white musk blend with light florals and smells like skin, but fresh and has a hint of sandalwood, this was at the top of my list and I almost came close to buying it but they urged me to take a sample home and wear it to enjoy it over a few days and take my time deciding
  • Escentric Molecules was an interesting line try, I smelled a few and they had a small sample pack which they gave me to try, I sprayed one on my hand and I could not smell anything but they did explain it’s something others can smell on you rather than something you can smell on yourself, I’ll report after I’ve had a chance to try them
  • Maison Francis Kurkdijian is a line that has intrigued me but one I’ve been intimated to try at department stores because of the pressure I experience from pushy sales associates, the Scent Bar is the perfect place to try these as an alternative, Steven patiently went through the line and picked his five favorites that he thought I might enjoy, the top three being the Petite Matin, Aqua Universalis and A La Rose, I am going to try to go back and see if they have the discovery set in store to buy
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost is one I’ve smelled before, another one that tempted me but I still have Bal D’Afrique and Black Saffron which have a long way to go before being used up, so decided to wait on this one

I left by buying a Cire Trudon candle in Ernesto which is one of the most amazing candles I’ve ever burned (I had a mini from a trio set a few years ago). They will make samples for you so I left with a couple on a card to try at home.

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line perfume heaven and a beauty lover’s dream come true. They have candles and some body products as well, but the primary focus is perfume. These days online shopping has been my go-to for convenience, no pressure and also no attitude, but with scent often times you have to just experience it in person to decide what to buy. Even though I’m a beauty lover, I really don’t like shopping for perfumes in stores because of the pressure to buy. The Scent Bar however offers a really unique experience without the pressure. You can learn about different lines or perfumes at your leisure and take your time to find something you’ll truly love. This place is definitely worth the visit if you’re ever in Los Angeles. They’re located at 7405 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036. If I lived closer to this place I know I’d be in here on a regular basis. They do sell items online too on their website Lucky Scent.

Have you been to their store before? If not where do you like to shop for your perfumes?

Boutique Travel

Birchbox Soho Flagship Store in NYC

July 1, 2016

While in New York I stopped by the Birchbox Flagship Store located at 433 West Broadway in Soho. Most of us know Birchbox for their monthly subscription boxes but if you were able to stop by one of their #Birchboxinmycity Road Trip Destinations last year you were able to catch a glimpse of what their store setup looks like road trip style (Los Angeles covered in this post here). If you’re in NYC I highly recommend giving this store a visit. For the ladies who travel with their husbands, boyfriends or brothers – it’s not just a store for women, there’s an entire floor dedicated to men’s grooming and lifestyle. You can bring your male travel companions with you, send him to men’s floor while you look at makeup, skincare and fragrance and don’t have to worry about him being bored or impatient while you shop ๐Ÿ™‚

This store is really a one-stop-shop for beauty and skincare essentials. As mentioned in my last post, between Birchbox and Space NK I found that they carried all the items I would need for a week’s worth of travel. One of the nice things about Birchbox is that they have curated Discovery Sets stocked with minis in addition to travel-sized beauty items you can buy so you don’t have to worry about buying large full size items that you can’t bring put inside a carry-on. I will say though during my trip I ended up picking up quite a few full-sized liquids over the security limit. I ended up shipping items in a large FedEx box home so I didn’t have to check it. (More on this in my packing post soon.)
Onto a look inside the beautiful store. Birchbox organizes their store by product category rather than having brand-dedicated sections. The staff at the store is very helpful and knowledgeable – if you need help picking out items someone is there to guide you and give recommendations. There are two levels, the ground level is for women and there’s a lower level for me.

Sun care, hair care, Oribe Travel Surf Set and Volume Set Trios (both reviewed here) alongside the limited-edition Sunny Side Boxes for summer:

Smith and Cult polishes:

More Hair Care to explore:

Makeup:

Skincare shown on the left, Discovery Sets on the right:

At the end of the store they have a Build Your Own Birchbox station where you can pick out 5 items to build your own box. You pick out 1 item from 5 categories covering skincare, body, fragrance, makeup and hair.

A look at the Men’s Shop with grooming, skincare, fragrance and body care and BYOB stations:

A few last shots of the women’s shop:

I built two Birchboxes in the store, one for husband (he did not go to the store with me) and one for myself. Inside my husband’s are minis of Baxter of California Grooming Lotion (his favorite hair grooming product), Baxter Facial Scrub, Eau Profonde Cologne, Junk Stuff (the name got me lol), Under Eye Patches, and a USB Cable – the men’s boxes have a lifestyle option.

For mine I picked out minis of Coola Sport Sunscreen in Fresh Mango SPF 50, Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo, Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, Comptoir Sud Pacific Vanille Abricot and Mally Shadow Stick in Copper Rose.

 

So happy I was able to stop by the store and that the social team let me take photographs to my heart’s desire. I visited bright and early right when the store opened and had a lot of fun exploring. I think I could have spent an entire day inside – everything is very clean and organized which makes for a great shopping experience.

If you are in the area I highly recommend giving it a visit for a fun yet relaxing beauty shopping experience. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside the store! For those planning a visit, check out their Birchbox Soho page for location, hours and store events.
Boutique Travel

Space NK Boutique – 31 Prince Street in Nolita

June 30, 2016

Last week I stopped by a few of my favorite beauty shops in NYC. Living in Southern California I am lucky to have access to most brands but often times don’t have a free standing boutique near me for some stores to get the full experience. I was beyond thrilled to stop by Space NK’s newest New York Boutique on 31 Prince Street in Nolita. This was my first time inside a free standing store and it is a beauty lover’s dream come true. Between Space NK and Birchbox Soho – you literally have all your beauty and grooming (for men) needs covered. Both stock a wide variety of mid to high end beauty brands and from the looks of it, they have everything one could need and in travel sizes too. As I was oohing and aaahing at all the shelves in Space NK, by I thought to myself I should have skipped the stress of trying to hoard minis and pack all my liquids into a quart size bag (since I travel carry-on style) and made this store my first stop in once I arrived in the city.
The store is located on the corner of Prince and Mott – it’s one of the most charming beauty spaces I’ve been inside. There’s a lot stocked in the store covering skincare, hair care, cosmetics and more – at the same time it’s very spacious with a wide open feeling that gives it a luxurious feel. Walking inside is pretty amazing – I could not help but wish that I had a space like this in my home. Displays are organized by brand and product type. Skincare is split into different walls for the natural brands, more techy brands etc. I had just missed a Dr. Lancer appearance and book signing which happened at the store a few days prior. There are decicated areas for Lancer Skincare.

Wall of skincare featuring By Terry, Chantecaille, Sunday Riley, Eve Lom, Tata Harper:

So much love for By Terry, can I have one of everything please?

The Hourglass display complete with Ambient Lighting Powders, Foundations, Brushes and more:

Eve Lom foundations and powders to the left, Smith & Cult to the right:

More beauty from Kevyn Aucoin and Lord and Berry:



Wall of heaven stocked with Oribe minis, Ouai, Sachajuan, Gloss Moderne and more: 

Brow kiosk and Lipstick Queen:

Close up of Oribe heaven, full size wall and then stocked travel size minis:

Overall a must-stop if you visit New York City. There are quite a few Space NK stores located through the city, I was glad I stopped by this one as it’s in a cute neighborhood and Diptyque is just around the corner. It has a similar vibe and feel to the dedicated Space NK sections you may see inside a Bloomingdale’s (which I also love) but being able to visit a separate store is really a must if you can.
Many thanks to Space NK for allowing me to take photos inside their beautiful store. Next time I’m in New York I won’t be packing a lot of items, I know now that I can simply stop by here and purchase what I need as they carry my favorite brands.

Have you been inside a Space NK store before? I know they are all over the US but this is my first time visiting a dedicated store. Hope you enjoyed this peek into their space! Snippets on their social too @spacenkusa – something I live vicariously through since I don’t have a store near me. It’s nice to see snapshots of their stores around the country and new launch sneak peeks.

P.S. There’s a summer sale going on right now, some items are marked up to 50% off ๐Ÿ™‚
Boutique Diptyque

Diptyque Beverly Hills Candle

May 1, 2015

To celebrate the opening of the new boutique in Beverly Hills, Diptyque has created a special limited-edition candle inspired by the iconic city. The Diptyque Beverly Hills Candle retails for $70 and is exclusive to the Beverly Hills store in Los Angeles. comes packaged in a stunning bright turquoise glass jar with contrasting yellow palm prints. It’s a floral citrus that gives a fresh summer beachy vibe that I am completely head over heels in love with. The throw is quite good on this one and the scent fills up our living room within 10-15 minutes of burning. The notes in this one include: lemon essential oil, mint essential oil, orchid accord and freesia. The notes according to Diptyque:

Beverly Hills Candle next to a small full-twist photophore (boutique exclusive) and a small Baies

Diptyque Beverly Hills has a similar refreshing vibe to that of the Tomas Maier + Diptyque Palm Beach. The Tomas Maier candle is more citrusy while the Beverly Hills candle has more of a sweet more rounded tone to it. I’ve already burned through my first one in the course of two weeks (which is a record time for me, it takes me forever to burn through candles). Since it is limited-edition I stocked up on multiples when I ordered it and I’m glad I did because it’s all I want my home to smell like right now.

Tom Ford Skinny Dip, Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunnies, Harper’s Baazar, Moleskin Notebook

The Diptyque Beverly Hills candle is a limited-edition scent, exclusive to the Beverly Hills Boutique on North Beverly Boulevard. You can call the store at (310) 385-5941 to purchase over the phone or buy in store too. I highly recommend this one. The scent is refreshingly bright and summery and the turquoise and yellow packaging design makes for a fun colorful accent to your desk or shelf.

P.S. In case you are new to luxury candles, make sure to visit my Candle Care Tips post on how to burn them properly.

Have you checked out the Beverly Hills Diptyque candle or the store? 

Boutique Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics Flagship Store Opens on Abbot Kinney

September 21, 2014

On Thursday Hourglass Cosmetics hosted a special preview event to celebrate the opening of their Flagship Store on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. The unveiling of their first retail store marks the brand’s 10 year anniversary. Per Hourglass founder and CEO Carisa Janes, “it is a milestone occasion” where a”brick-and-mortar location is an opportunity to bring the brand to life with state-of-the-art design and exceptional service.”

I was thrilled to be able to attend the preview celebration and was thoroughly impressed with the sleek and modern design of the store. The store itself is 1400 square feet with an upper level for makeup application, lessons and private services. At the event they had several stations where you could get your lip makeup done by one of their artists. By the time I arrived I found the entire store was extremely busy and packed with makeup artists, editors, bloggers and other industry experts who were invited. I only stayed for a short time but saw some familiar faces and said hello to Beauty Professor and Beauty Frosting. Even though it was very crowded, I managed to weave my way through the store and snap a few detail shots. The store has an exquisite design that is beautiful. It is sleek, modern and inviting. I hope to be able to visit Venice Beach again in the upcoming month to experience the store in its entirety.

The store officially opens to the public on Septenber 22, 2014.

Among the items I was able to preview in the store include the line’s first skincare item, the Equilibrium Serum which will be exclusive to the boutique for a while (scheduled to launch soon). There was also an Ambient Lighting Bar which looked interesting and I need to find out more about. It’s designed to be a way for clients to customize their own palette with three shades of the Ambient Lighting Powder (review on Luminous Light and Radiant Light). I saw most of the product lineup displayed with the exception of the eye palettes/shadows but it could have possibly been something I simply missed due to the crowd. I was really hoping they would have the new Ambient Lighting Blush Palette available for preview at the store but it had not arrived yet.

As we left there was a small gift bag given away to each attendee, mine included one of the Ambient Lighting Powder Palettes. Since I already have one of the palettes, I’m giving my extra one away. You can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below (refer to the widget for terms and conditions). There are several ways to enter and I’m making this an international giveaway where 1 winner will be selected to receive 1 Ambient Lighting Palette (you must be 18 years or older).

A huge thanks to Hourglass for hosting such a lovely and well organized preview event for inviting me! I can’t wait until my next visit to the store to experience the entire line in person. The store officially opens to the public on September 22, 2014.

You can enter the giveaway below, there are multiple ways to enter, entries will be collected through the 25th of September and end at 11:45 PM PST. See terms in widget for more information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boutique

NARS 8412 Melrose Boutique

April 4, 2014

I made my first trip to the NARS Boutique in Los Angeles on Melrose last weekend (follow them on Twitter @NARS8412Melrose or the official NARS account @NARSissist). The boutique has a sleek and modern design with large wall-sized NARS prints, clean crisp kiosk displays and individual mini booths in front of large mirrors for makeup application. One of the artists helped show me how to use the new contouring powders. In addition I loved playing with the new brush line and matte multiples. The Melrose store opened in late 2012 – if you haven’t been to a NARS boutique before,  I highly recommend visiting one.

Some snapshots the store kindly let me take of their beautiful store:

Have you been to a NARS boutique before? If so, which one?