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Dior Hydra Life Skincare

May 26, 2017

Dior Hydra Life Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

Today I have a review on the new Dior Hydra Life Skincare line and am thrilled to have been able to test every item in the collection over the past several months. The Hydra Life collection is a complete skincare routine created with gentle ingredients to make the skin look and feel healthy and luminous. I’ve used Dior skincare for years, their face cleansers and cleansing waters had been long-time staples and I was sad to see them discontinued. As one with super sensitive skin I am happy to report the Hydra Life line works well with my skin type. I’ve been switching things up as I’ve moved from the west coast to the east coast. Differences in climate, water conditions and air have made it necessary for me to experiment with new products and the Hydra Life lineup does not disappoint.

There are nine pieces in the collection and with these items Dior has four skincare programs they recommend based on your personal preferences. I have combination skin and and prefer the Mix It Up and Multi Mask as I don’t have super dry or super oily skin. You can read more about the programs here and see which items they recommend.

I put every item to the test and will cover each one by category: cleansers, masks and moisturizers and at the end I’ll share which ones were my favorites. The first thing I noticed with this line was the packaging. Everything is well designed and the products come with generous sizes. The pumps on the cleansers are just perfect – they dispense product well and the tops are sturdy which I really appreciate.

Dior Hydra Life Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

Cleansers

Up first are the four cleansers. These include a foaming cleanser, cleansing water, cleansing oil and exfoliating powder. I’m a bit of a cleanser fanatic, it’s the one skincare item I’ll try lots of because finding the right ones are so personal. For traditional face washing I prefer a cream or liquid cleanser, but these days with long wearing makeup I find double cleansing absolutely essential. Sometimes I will use three steps to cleanse my skin if you count exfoliation. The Hydra Life collection contains everything needed to completely cleanse and prime the skin for skincare and makeup. They do have a lightweight fresh scent but it’s not irritating or overpowering.

Shown above from left to right and ingredients also shown:

Micellar Water – No Rinse Cleanser ($42 for 6.7 fl oz) is a new cleansing water formula that has Echinacea flower extract to soothe skin and work as an antioxidant to cleanse the skin, remove impurities and leave it glowing. I am extremely picky with cleansing water even though it’s one of my favorite items to try. This leaves no film on the skin and does indeed remove all face makeup. It won’t remove long-wear eye makeup or mascara but then in my experience most cleansing waters don’t and I use a separate bi-phase remover for the eyes.

Oil to Milk – Makeup Removing Cleanser ($42 for 6.7 fl oz) is a cleansing oil with sweet almond oil to nourish the skin. It glides over the skin well and emulsifies easily with arm water to cleanse the skin. It has a nourishing moisturizing feel to it and does an excellent job at removing makeup. Normally with cleansing oils I tend to avoid using it on the eye area. It’s nearly impossible to not get some in my eyes when I rinse with water and it either stings or fogs up my vision for a few minutes until I completely rinse it with water. This one rinses off easily and does remove eye makeup. I still prefer to use a cotton pad soaked with eye makeup remover to remove eye makeup first, but this is an excellent cleansing oil. I do think it will be best suited for those with normal to dry skin.

Dior Hydra Life Cleansers | The Beauty Look Book

Lotion to Foam – Fresh Cleanser ($42 for 6.3 fl oz) is a liquid lotion type of cleanser that has a pump which dispenses product into a light airy foam. Although it’s light in texture it has a moisturizing and cooling feel leaving skin refreshed. It contains a white tea leaf extract to remove makeup and purify the skin. It’s designed to be a cleanser and toner in one. It cleans the skin thoroughly while leaving it feeling soothed without that tight/dry feeling. There is a softening feel to it but without any film residue left behind.

Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser | The Beauty Look Book

Time to Glow – Ultra Fine Exfoliating Powder ($45 for 1.4 oz) is a soft powder you activate with water. It has sugar extract and lotus seeds to smooth skin texture and polish the face. I often find most scrubs too harsh but still need to use something to exfoliate and these kinds of face powder cleansers are perfect because they’re gentle but effective. Out of all the items I would say based on the size this is the one item that feels more on the expensive side but I find it’s made the biggest difference in improving skin texture for me.

Dior Hydra Life Time to Glow Exfoliating Powder | The Beauty Look Book

Hydration

Up next are the two products for moisture that they have in the lineup. There is a Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence ($73 for 40 ml) and a Fresh Hydration Sorbet Creme ($69 for 50 ml). These are said to be suitable for all skintypes. For me I’ve needed skincare with more moisture as the water has dried out my skin a bit. However after testing a number of creams for dry skin I found them too thick and heavy as I really prefer weightless feeling products for serums, lotions or creams but the Hydra Life Essence + Creme combo is just perfect. Together they give the skin a refreshed feel for a perfectly balanced base.

Dior Hydra Life Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence and Fresh Hydration Sorbet Creme | The Beauty Look Book

The Sorbet Water Essence is a lightweight serum that glides on the skin without leaving any sticky residue or tacky feeling. It has a water-like feel in the sense that it’s weightless and refreshing. After regular use my skin feels more balanced and naturally hydrated. The Sorbet Creme is another refreshing product. It has a unique creme gel texture and gives the skin a more plumped and radiant look. For me it absorbs well into the skin but the essence helps it absorb better. I never tried the original version so I can’t compare but the current one is a win.

Dior Hydra Life Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence and Fresh Hydration Sorbet Creme | The Beauty Look Book

Masks

Last but not least are the three masks, each designed for different skin types. These are quick 3 minute masks. The Pores Away Pink Clay Mask ($69 for 1.7 oz)is one of the most gentle clay masks I’ve ever tried. It has a whipped texture that minimizes pores and gently draws out impurities. It has a refreshing cooling feel and only takes 3 minutes. Once removed the skin feels instantly bright and clean. Since this one is very gentle I don’t think it will extract deep imperfections but it is effective for those with sensitive skin. It rinses off easily and I like that when it dries it doesn’t shrink or pull the skin like some other masks do. I like this one best on my nose or T zone area because it’s a bit on the pricey side, I want to try and limit where I put it.

The Extra Plump Smooth Balm Mask ($69 for 1.7 oz) is the only one that I would say is not for my skin type. It is a balm designed for dry skin and I found it very hydrating. It’s a plumping mask with pine oil that you apply then wipe off and it does what the name implies. It smooths, plumps, hydrates and makes the skin look like it’s glowing naturally. Skin is left feeling super soft and smooth. For me it was just too hydrating. It has a soft light floral scent.

Last but not least is the Glow Better Fresh Jelly Mask ($69 for 1.7 oz) which leaves the skin fresh feeling with the most natural looking glow. It citrus fruit to smooth the skin and apricot seed powder to exfoliate. In terms of exfoliation effects the product is very gentle but it does feel more geared towards those with normal to oily skin.

Dior Hydra Life Masks | The beauty look book Dior Hydra Life Mask | The Beauty Look Book Dior Hydra Life Mask | The Beauty Look Book Dior Hydra Life Mask | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Hydra Life Skincare ReviewOverall a beautiful skincare line with a nice variety of products. My favorites from the collection are definitely the cleansers with the top three being the Cleansing Water, Cleansing Oil and Exfoliating Powder. Each one cleans well without stripping the skin and I like that they leave the skin feeling clean, soft and nourished but without any film. The products in the Hydra Life line do have a soft light fresh floral scent so if you’re super sensitive to any scent you may want to try these out in person first. I have super sensitive skin but didn’t experience any irritation or break outs from the products. The Water Essence + Sorbet Creme is perfect for my skin right now although it does have a more hydrating finish and feels better suited for normal to dry skin types. With the humidity levels increasing as summer approaches I suspect this may be a bit too heavy for warm humid weather for my skin type. Overall a beautifully designed line with gorgeous packaging, generous product amounts and gentle but effective formulas. Regular use for two months has given me smoother looking skin that feels more plump and hydrated.

You can find the Dior Hydra Life Skincare Collection now at Dior.com and all Dior counters. Have you tried anything from this line yet? Or do you use anything from any of the other Dior Skincare collections? What did you think? I’ve been really interested in the Dreamskin 1 Minute Mask as I adore the cushion. If you’ve tried it let me know if you think it’s worth the splurge.

Many thanks to Dior for partnering to sponsor this post. As always all opinions my own.

Dior Highlighters

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder – New Shades

February 6, 2017

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder | The Beauty Look Book

The Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder in 001 ($56 each for 6 g/0.21 oz) was my favorite highlighter discovery last year for the beautiful lightweight sheen it gives the skin. This spring Dior has added three more shades to the formula in 002, 003 and 004 and I could not be more thrilled. The Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder is described as “light as a breeze” and it is indeed lightweight and melds into the skin perfectly for a really pretty natural luminous glow. The shade will look different on you depending on skin tone, the original 001 has a gorgeous medium champagne beige with a slight golden peachy undertone. It looks different in the pan depending on how the light reflects on the compact. The shimmer is complex with a mix of different colors but it’s not frosty on the skin. I love how the color adds just the right amount of glow to the skin.

001 is still the best color for me in my opinion, but 004 is also really stunning. For me these highlighters are life! Close ups and descriptions of each shade. Everything about these is beautiful – they come with an embossed surface. Since they are highly reflective if you google reviews and swatches they may look different in photos depending on what light is used to photograph these. However the color really only varies in the pan, on the face it’s more consistent – of course it will look different on different skin tones though.

  • 001 is a classic champagne beige gold
  • 002 is a pale light opal pink
  • 003 is a yellow gold shimmer
  • 004 is a tan shimmer

Each of the highlighters comes with a protective soft pouch and mini kabuki style brush for application. The brushes are well made and usable but they tend to be smaller than what I prefer to use for highlighting powder so I keep them for setting powder touch ups instead.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches with different lighting to capture the shimmer:

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Swatches 001, 002, 003, 004 | The Beauty Look Book

Undertone shown more here:

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Swatches 001, 002, 003, 004 | The Beauty Look Book

Close up of 001:

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder 001 | The Beauty Look Book

Close up of 002:

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder 002 | The Beauty Look Book

Close up of 003, long-time readers know I’m usually anti yellow gold highlighter for my already yellow olive skin. The combination of yellow golds often just makes my skin look really sallow, this one from Dior is a lot more wearable for me compared to the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Addiction (scroll down for comparisons):

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder 003 | The Beauty Look Book

Close up of 004, in my opinion the world needs more tan or darker highlighters, this one isn’t really all that dark, but it’s the darkest option and I think it’s just stunning:

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder 004 | The Beauty Look Book

All four swatched on the cheeks. I’m still learning how to do full face shots – the lighting, flash etc is tricky to get accurate. On the face I’m wearing the following items. Note that I only have the highlighters on the cheeks applied with a heavy hand so you can see the color differences. On normal days I would also add bronzer or blush and I would usually blend or sheer out the highlighter.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder Face Swatches 001, 002, 003 and 004 | The Beauty Look Book

Left to right: 001, 002, 003 and 004

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

001 is my favorite because it looks the most natural. 003 is the most glowy/metallic on my skin – although I did apply with a rather heavy hand. If you apply and blend it with normal application it won’t look as frosty.

Comparison swatches:

Laura Mercier Face Illuminators in Indiscretion (peach), Devotion (pink), Addiction (yellow), Seduction (bronze) have a slightly more chunky sparkle by comparison even though I would not really call the shimmer chunky, they are a bit more sparkly in finish. Review of these powders here.

Natasha Denona All Over Face Glow Face and Body Shimmer in 02 is one of the prettiest tan shimmers I’ve ever seen but has a really strong frost shimmer, Diorskin Nude Air 004 is similar but slightly cooler in tone. Review of the Natasha Denona here.

I have more comparisons of the original in the Dior Skyline Fall 2016 post here.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder vs Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line love. I own a lot of highlighters and have collected quite a few limited-edition shades over the years so I do own shades similar to 002 and 003 with a pink or gold undertone so I wouldn’t call them a must. That being said I do think the shimmer and finish is really pretty and the powders are versatile enough to use on cheeks and eyes or anywhere you want to highlight. I like that they don’t emphasize pores or look dry on my skin – many highlighters sometimes either emphasize pores or make my skin look kinda dry when they emphasize texture. The powder melds beautifully with the skin and I love how they wear. 001 is still my favorite and 004 is my new favorite because I find the color unique. At $56 each they are on the pricey side but I love how they look and wear. The compact is fairly sturdy as well. If I had one thing I would say I wasn’t a huge fan of is the fact that the mirrored compact gets dirty easily with fingerprints, however one gets over it quickly and they are easy to clean so no worries on that aspect.

If you have fair skin I suspect 001 will look more peachy or bronzey on your skin and therefore will find 002 to be more of a true highlighter on your skin. If you’re medium to tan I think all four would look good on your skin tone. Medium to darker skin beauty lovers I think will love 004.

I personally think 001 and 004 are both a must.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powders at Dior.com and Sephora. I hope they are here to stay. P.S. there’s a super cute Valentine’s GWP online at Dior.com where you can get a Limited-Edition Coffret with any $175 purchase with code VDAY2017 at check out (while supplies last).

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers provided courtesy of Dior for review.

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Dior Skincare

Dior Addict Lip Glow, Lip Glow Pomade, Lip Sugar Scrub and Lip Maximizer Review + Swatches

January 24, 2017

Dior Addict Lip Glow, Lip Glow Pomade, Lip Sugar Scrub, Lip Maximizer Review | The Beauty Look Book

For spring Dior launched two new lip additions to their Backstage Pros line with the Addict Lip Glow in Berry ($33 for 3.5 g) and a Lip Sugar Scrub ($33 for 3.5 g). I’ve been a long-time fan of the Addict Lip Glows for their pretty color adjusting quality and for their soft moisturizing feel. Sometimes the Lip Glow is all I wear because they give the lips a natural healthy looking tint. They also work well as a lipstick base to moisturize and smooth the lip. I have the new spring launches to review today but also decided to share a roundup of all the Dior lip products I own including the other three shades of Addict Lip Glow in Pink, Coral and Lilac, Addict Lip Glow Pomade and a Addict Lip Maximizer in Beige Sunrise. I did a roundup of three of the lip glows last year but I thought it might be helpful to revisit all of them + new ones in a single post.

New for Spring: Addict Lip Glow Berry and Lip Sugar Scrub

Up first are the two new lip products for spring. The Addict Lip Glow in Berry gives the lips a medium cool toned berry tint. It looks dark in the tube but if you’re familiar with these you know what you see in the tube isn’t what you get on the lips. They will look different on everyone depending on your lip chemistry. On me they definitely change color after about 20 seconds to a brighter or deeper shade. Next is a new product called the Lip Sugar Scrub. This is an exfoliating balm that has tiny grains of sugar in the tube. The concept is really different than anything I’ve tried before. I’m usually not a fan of lip scrubs because I find them messy. With this one, once you apply the particles melt away into the lips so there’s no grainy finish left over. It is a color-changing product and on me turns into a rosy pink flush. Lips are left incredibly smooth. It has a sweet minty scent. It’s very gentle and not harsh on the lips. I don’t know that I would call it a must-have but I do like it and think it’s a really interesting product.

Dior Lip Sugar Scrub and Lip Glow Berry | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Lip Sugar Scrub and Lip Glow Berry

Close up below of the tips:

All four of the Addict Lip Glows shown below, Pink 001, Coral 004, Lilac 005, Berry 006, all four appear different on my lips, these will look different on everyone though depending on your lip chemistry. I love these because they are easy to wear and you don’t need a mirror to apply. They feel amazing on the lips – smooth, hydrating and lush.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pink, Coral, Lilac and Berry | The Beauty Look Book

A closer look at some other Dior Backstage Pros products. The Lip Glow Pomade is one of my favorite balms. It’s supposed to also be a color-reviving product, but goes clear on my lips without changing the color. I’ve tried two tubes and both did nothing for the color, but I love the smooth non-tacky feeling on the lips and almost always carry one with me. The Addict Lip Maximizer is a collagen active lip plumper. It has a very slight tingle as it plumps the lips. In terms of tingle comparisons this is one of the most gentle out of all the brands I’ve tested. Beige Sunrise is what I have right now and it pretty much goes on clear on the lips. You can use this underneath lipstick as well. Lip Glow in Lilac shown below for comparison purposes.

Dior Lip Glow Pomade, Lip Maximizer, Addict Lip Glow Lilac | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches:

Dior Addict Lip Glow Swatches

Lip Swatches, all done on bare lips:

Dior Addict Lip Glow Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Addict Lip Glow Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line is I’m still a huge fan. Since my post last year I’ve already used up a full Addict Lip Glow in Pink and Coral. My favorite one is the Addict Lip Glow in Coral although I’m also a huge fan of the Lip Glow Pomade. The two new spring launches in Berry and the Lip Sugar Scrub are fun and nice additions to the line. I think Berry comes off as a nice healthy plum tint that gives the lips a healthy glow.

You can find the two new spring additions now online at Dior.com and Sephora. The other products are available at all Dior stores and counters.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Addict Lip Glow in Berry and Lip Sugar Scrub provided for review. All other items from my own collection.

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Base Makeup Dior

The Perfect Base with Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation

November 30, 2016

Diorskin Air Flash

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation and am excited to team up with Dior Beauty to re-visit it this month. With the holiday season in full swing finding base makeup that covers the face entirely, photographs well with a flash, lasts a long time and still looks natural can be a challenge. I have normal to combination skin and even when I set my base with a good powder I usually find I need a quick touch up at least 2 times a day. I like a base that has visible coverage but sometimes fuller coverage foundations can feel thick or look flat. Formulas have improved across brands over the years with better lasting power, lighter textures and unique glowy finishes, but the Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation is hands down among the best of bases that hits all the marks on what I want: long lasting, photographs well with flash, covers the face entirely but looks natural.

Diorskin Air Flash

The Airflash comes in an aerosol spray can and dispenses an ultra fine even layer of foundation in a mist. It gives the skin an airbrushed finish. Simply shake it for a few seconds, hold about 6 inches from the face and spray from the top down in a zig-zag motion. There can be a bit of a learning curve to figure out exactly how far to hold it from your face when you spray it – I sometimes wear a band around my hairline to keep the hair back and out of the way. After spraying I’ve blend a bit with a sponge or a brush. You can also add more on areas by spraying the product directly on the brush and patting on the face. Any tool will work but I just discovered the Backstage Buffing Brush #18 and it has the perfect density and angled shape to blend out foundation to a flawless streak-free smooth finish. For color matching, in the past I’ve been a match to the shade 300 Medium Beige, but right now I’m a better match to 201 Linen.

Diorskin Air FlashDiorskin Air Flash

Below is a closer look at the spray foundation with the Backstage Buffing Brush #18. It’s the perfect size for smoothing across the face. So many foundation buffing brushes are on the smaller side, this one has a larger head which makes it easier to swipe in larger motions.

Diorskin Airflash and Buffing Brush 18

Swatches below with the Airflash Spray Foundation in 201 (color I’m wearing in photos) and 300. Over the past few months I’ve also been using the Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion and mix 020 and 030 – I initially thought it was a foundation but was told by a few reps that it’s actually part of their skincare line and can be used as a primer or just a regular tint. It’s swatched heavily below but the cushion is significantly lighter in coverage and very sheer. Let me know if you want a dedicated review on the cushions.

Diorskin Airflash vs Dreamskin Cushion Swatches

Below on the left is me wearing just the Airflash Foundation in 201 and a bit of the Dior Lip Glow in Lilac to prep the lips, photographed without flash. For me the Airflash has enough coverage to cover dark under eye circles most of the time. There are some days where I do need extra coverage so I’ll layer on something under the eyes or around the nose. Below you can see that with just the foundation everything looks like it’s covered. Everything as in my acne scars on the chin and freckles and sunspots on my cheeks aren’t visible.

On the right side is the base with some color added. This photograph is taken with a flash to show that the foundation doesn’t give a white glare or cast that you see with some other foundations. This makes it a great one to wear for holiday gatherings, dinners or parties. You won’t have to worry about getting holiday photos with your face looking garishly white in contrast to your neck or body.

Diorskin Airflash 201 Linen

Makeup worn is with a light hand and everything blended, products shown below as well. What I’m wearing:

Dior Beauty Holiday Glow Natural Beauty Look

Right now Dior.com has a special online promo where you can get a mini kabuki brush with any Airflash foundation purchase. The packaging is always exquisite – if you’re looking for a place that will wrap and package everything perfectly, Dior has it all covered.

Dior Holiday Packaging and Airflash GWP

Diorskin Air Flash

Bottom line I think the Diorskin Airflash is a classic. In the past few weeks I tried it without any setting powder – we’ve been having dry weather and air here (even with the rain) so my skin hasn’t been as oily as normal. I almost always set with a powder but the Airflash lasted an impressive amount of time without it. It’s one I’ll be wearing all holiday long because it performs well and truly holds up all day long. It gets extra points from me for covering my skin entirely while still looking natural.

Have you tried the Diorskin Airflash? What color do you use? If not what’s your go-to base for holiday photographs or gatherings? You can find the Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation for $62 at Dior.com.

This post was sponsored by Dior. As always all opinions my own.

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Dior Eye Makeup Highlighters

Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016

August 23, 2016

The Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016 is the first fall collection I’m reviewing this year. A lot of you have been e-mailing me and messaging me about fall beauty which has just started to arrive at counters. The most highly requested item for review has been the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in this collection and I will say right up front go buy it now – Dior never disappoints with highlighters and they give a very pretty glow. The Dior team has also created a special promo code for Beauty Look Book readers so if you see any items that catch your eye, scroll down to the end of this post for details.

The items from fall that I have to review:

Up first are the standouts in my opinion which include the Diorblush Light and Contour Sticks and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer. I already reviewed and swatched the contour sticks but I will repost photos for reference. As a quick recap, the Diorblush Light and Contour sticks are natural looking contour creams that are very easy to use and that won’t give you a harsh look. They blend nicely along the cheeks and for a contour-dummy like myself, they’re impossible to overdo.

A closer look at the contour sticks:

The Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 for fall is absolutely stunning. It comes with an embossed design on the surface. This is one of those shades that will look different on everyone. Fair skin-toned beauty lovers will find this almost peachy while deeper skintones will find this more pale. On my medium skintone I find it to be a champagne gold with slight peachy tones. It’s finely milled, blends in with the skin flawlessly, doesn’t emphasize pores, stays put all day and has the prettiest sheen. The highlighter comes with a tiny kabuki brush which is well made but for me on the small side so I find it best for touch ups or on-the-go rather than for regular application.

Left is swatched heavily, right is blended out. You can blend or sheer out the color more if you prefer a more diffused glow. It’s absolutely perfect!

Swatch comparisons below show that the Nude Air Glowing Gardens 002 from spring is a tiny bit lighter than the Nude Air Luminizer for Fall 2016. On my face they are almost identical, I put one on each side of my face and they looked pretty close. Photos of course cannot do the shimmers or texture justice but I hope these help show the difference. And yes, even if you already own the spring versions, I think the one for fall is still a must.

Up next are the two Skyline Eyeshadow Palettes. These also come with a stunning embossed surface. Texture is similar to that of the highlighter – they’re powders with a slightly creamy feel. Pigment is medium but buildable and the texture melds in with the skin so they don’t look powdery. If you apply them with a slightly damp brush the color can be intensified.

Capital of Light has a mix of shimmery and satiny shades including a gorgeous grey taupe, pale ivory white shimmer, satiny baby pink, shimmering tan and deep violet plum. The mix of colors creates a pretty smokey plum eye.

Parisian Sky has all shimmery shades. This one is better suited for an everyday kind of look. The colors include a shimmering tan, light sand shimmer, pale blue shimmer, silvery blue sparkle and deep chocolate shimmer. The blues give a sheer wash on the eyes and brighten the entire eye area when layered with the sand and beige colors. As one who rarely wears blue colors on the eyes, I found these surprisingly wearable.

Next up are two lip colors for the fall collection which is the Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks ($35 each). There are a few repromoted colors like Incognito 316 which is a classic neutral pink that pulls cool on my skintone. There is one new limited-edition color called Sophisticated 927 which is a cool-toned plum with a silvery sheen. These have a smooth sheer to medium coverage and glossy shine. If you’re one who likes glossy finish lipsticks but want something to give visible coverage these are it. They have more coverage than the Rouge Dior Baumes but have that same glossy finish. These have a semi-thick almost gel-like feel which makes the pigment adhere well to the lips. Adding a liner of course will help extend the wear but they feel very comfortable on and fade nicely. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent.

I applied these on the arm with a lip brush because these are the types of lip colors that don’t show up well on arm swatches straight from the tube, but do on the lips:

Below, applied straight from the tube on bare lips:

Last but not least are the Dior Vernis nail polishes in Minimal and Skyline. Both look very standard in the bottles and borderline boring. I will say at first glance I thought they looked a bit unimpressive but Dior polishes rarely disappoint. In my opinion, out of all the luxury brands that have reformulated their nail polishes over the years, the Dior revamp has been the best. Formula has always been top notch with a smooth, glossy flawless finish. They improved the brush by rounding the tips so application is really easy. Minimal is a perfect creamy beige peachy nude. Good nudes can be hard to find and this one brightens the hands without looking too pale. Skyline is a gorgeous chocolate cream, also not the most unique color but it has the perfect mix of brown and vamp to give the hands a perfectly polished look.

A lot of you have asked for nail comparisons – I’m fresh out of nail wheels so I will post comparisons in a separate post as soon as I get them in the mail. I will say right now though that Minimal is almost an exact dupe for Chanel’s discontinued Secret (the Dior is a bit brighter and has smoother/better coverage) and by comparison Chanel’s discontinued Emprise is a lot peachier and darker.

Two coats in sunlight:

Two coats of Skyline:

Bottom line gorgeous. Top three stand outs to me are the Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 and Dior Vernis in Skyline and Minimal. The Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks comes in close fourth for formula – right now I’m still in the summer state of mind but I think Sophisticated is perfect for fall. Quality-wise everything is excellent. Pigment on everything is rich and visible on the skin but easy to blend and layer for those who like a natural refined beauty look. If you buy just one item I would say go for the highlighter unless you already have a lot and don’t feel the need for one more in which case I would say opt for the Minimal nail polish. It’s a great everyday neutral that will give the hands a clean polished look.

Dior is offering an exclusive promo for Beauty Look Book readers. Dior.com usually offers complimentary samples with any online order but starting today through the end of the month they are giving my readers extra deluxe samples. With any $100+ purchase using code BEAUTYLB at Dior.com you will get some extra deluxe minis including a 5 ml Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming fragrance, mini Hydralife Sleeping Mask packette and mini Diorshow Maximizer 3D. Code is valid today through 8/31/2016, while supplies last (U.S. site only).

You can find the Dior Skyline Collection for fall available now online at Dior.com and at all Dior counters. All the items are limited-edition. Have you checked out the fall pieces yet? What did you think? If you haven’t, what’s on your wishlist?

Skyline Collection provided courtesy of Dior for review consideration. Many thanks to Dior for providing my readers with a special promo code!
Dior Highlighters NARS

Easy to Wear Contour and Highlight Sticks

August 10, 2016

I have mixed feelings about the contouring technique for beauty. Mainly because I’m not very good at doing it myself on my own face. I have used a bronzer like Bronze Universel de Chanel or NARS Laguna in a 3 shaped motion along the sides of my face to warm up the complexion and add depth, but for the popular contouring powders and creams – I find they are easy to overdo and while they look great in photos, in real life I think it can look very much overdone. I do own quite a few contouring powders and the most natural ones to date that I’ve tried are the Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Light Filtering Powders for flawless finish and textures that blend beautifully with the skin. I haven’t really found a cream product that I love – there are a number of compacts others rave about but cream compacts get messy so I haven’t really found anything that speaks to me. Today I have a roundup of four brands of contour sticks, several of them are multi-tasking and great for travel because they are double-sided.

I find it rare to find all items I test in a category phenomenal in the sense that I think all aspects  of the product are great but this is one of those rare occasions. I tested highlight/contour sticks from Burberry, Wander Beauty, NARS and Dior and all of them are impressive to me and perfect for a natural look. If you need a contour product for dummies (like me) these are the perfect option for you because they look very natural, easy to use and blend really well. Picking one will come down to brand, texture or color preference.

Up first are the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighting Luminous Pen in Nude Radiance 01 and Face Contour Effortless Contouring Pen for Face and Eyes in Medium 01. In terms of a highlight the Burberry Fresh Glow Pen is on the sheer and subtle side. You will see a glow on the face if you highlight the cheekbones or eyes but it gives a luminous glow versus a more visible shimmer. The fresh glow highlighting pen comes in 1 shade, if you’re similar to my skintone or lighter the effect will be more subtle, but if you’re tan to deep there will be more contrast and it will show up better on your skin. Texture is creamy but dries down quickly. It is easy to blend before it dries down so you don’t have to rush.

The Face Contour Pen comes in two colors and I picked the lighter option. It dries to a matte finish and blends easily on the skin for a very natural contour. It is on the warm side but it’s not too warm. This one is the easiest for me to use by applying a few stripes along the cheeks and then blend with either a finger or brush. This is the easiest to use along the sides of the nose because it’s slim. You can find these at Nordstrom, Sephora and Net-A-Porter.

There are two On-The-Glow Bronzer Duos from Wander Beauty. I received both items to try out, each one has the same highlighter in Candle Glow. The lighter option is Malibu which is a neutral brown and Capri is the darker/deeper option. If you go to their website you can see it on different skintones. These have a thicker creamy texture but they don’t feel greasy and look completely natural once blended. I love Malibu because it’s a lighter color and the perfect shade for my skintone for a barely there contour. Candle Glow Highlighter has the perfect mix of gold and warmth so it doesn’t look yellow on my olive skin. You can also find these at Sephora.

Next up are the NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos which are currently Sephora exclusives. I had very high hopes for these as I’m a huge fan of the multiple sticks and they did not disappoint. The texture of the highlighter multiples are stiffer than I normally see in multiples so they do not swatch well on the arms. They do swipe a 100x better on the face or eyes. I found these to be on the more subtle side which I think is due to the slightly stiffer/harder texture. The bronze/contour sides are amazing though. As a lover of lighter contour shades I love the Copacabana and Sidari Beach duo – it’s a peachy pinky color on my skintone which makes for a less traditional brown contour.

As you can see below they look to be on the sheer side. I think the highlighters are all sheerer than most multiples I’ve tried from NARS. The darker contour sides are creamy with little to no shimmer. They look streaky on the arm but blend out easily on the face.

Last but not least are the Diorblush Light and Contour Sticks which are part of the fall 2016 collection launch. They just launched at Dior.com and there are three shades each with a different color of shimmery highlighter and contour cream which has no shimmer. These are my favorite of the bunch because the round tip makes them easy to glide along the face. The flat tips of the others are still easy to apply but having the round tip is easier for me to put on the cheeks. My favorite color is 001 but 002 is probably better suited for my skintone. The browns are on the warm side which I found a bit too warm for my nose but for the rest of the face or eyes it’s perfect. Texture is very creamy but natural looking without being too dewy.

Here’s a quick look of before and after the Diorblush Light and Contour Duo in 002. Also worn on the face includes NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Groenland and St. Moritz mixed, Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped on the eyes, Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara, Lancome Juicy Shaker in Lemon Explosion. On then nails is Dior Minimal.

I couldn’t fit all the items on my arm so I split them between the contour side and highlighter side with a few added items to compare.

That wraps it up for thoughts and swatches on four brands of contour sticks that are easy to wear and natural looking. My personal favorites are NARS Copacabana/Sidari Beach and Diorblush Light and Contour Duo 001 – but all of the ones I tested are pretty good for that natural contour. In terms of application I put these on the face after foundation and powder. I like putting these on the cheeks in stripes along the side of the face directly from the tube and then either blend with fingers or a duo fibre brush like the MAC 159 or any synthetic brush like the ones in this post here.
Do you have any contouring favorites? If so please share in the comments what your skintone is and your favorite shades or brands. If you haven’t tried contouring and are interested in starting with natural looking products, I hope this post helps you find something new to try!

Press samples include products from Wander Beauty and Dior Beauty.
Dior Eye Makeup

Dior Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette – Nordy Girl

July 23, 2015

Dior has a new Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Palette for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale called Nordy Girl ($62 for 9.3 g/0.32 oz). This is a similar palette to the first version Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette 001 I reviewed back in March (swatches + review here). The overall effect, pigment level and finish of the shadows between the two is almost identical with the Nordstrom exclusive version being more pink and rosy.

The Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette provides a selection of five soft neutrals that will give the eye a super soft polished look. The texture of the shadows is very soft and the colors meld onto the skin smoothly and evenly. Each of the 4 shadows layers well with each other and there is a dark gel liner at the end which has good pigment. I found the liner to be budge proof but it is creamy so it will take a little time to set and dry. I prefer topping any pencil or gel liner with a bit of power shadow to help it set.
If you’re looking for a super conservative eye look that you can do everyday these are the palettes for you. Either of the Eye Reviver Palettes are pretty much goof proof and impossible to overdo if you want a soft looking eyeshadow look.

The colors of the Dior Nordy Girl palette include:
Soft matte pale pink white
Shimmering pigmented light pink frost
Shimmering mauve plum
Shimmering pink mauve
Shimmering mauve
Matte plum-brown liner

For comparisons, I pulled both the 001 and Nordy Girl to swatch side by side.

Close ups:

I had mixed feelings about the original version (post + eye look here). These palettes are good staples but given the neutral nature of each, they are very easy to dupe and if you own a lot of eyeshadows or palettes it’s likely that you probably own similar colors. That being said, Dior does make very good quality palettes – the shadows are smooth with soft medium buildable pigment that makes for a polished look no matter what colors they have. These Eye Reviver Palettes have soft texture shadows that fall in between a full matte and full shimmer. The shimmer is finely milled but super natural on the eye so if you hate frost eyeshadow or complete mattes, the shadows in these palettes fall somewhere in between. If you prefer all mattes, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are hands down my top picks.

Since they both seem very similar, I don’t think you need both. The pigment of the colors with Nordy Girl is better in the sense the colors are richer and more pigmented on the skin. The 2 lightest shades have really good pigment, however the next 3 medium shades are almost identical on my medium olive-toned skin. The pigment of the Original 001 is slightly sheerer but there is more contrast between the five shades which allows for more variation.

I own a lot of similar shadows so I can’t call them must-haves for me. I am pleased with the quality, lasting power and overall color scheme. If I were to recommend a good starter palette to someone new to makeup, I would recommend these as goof-proof easy to use eyeshadows.

If I had to pick one of the two, I favor the Original Version because it has more contrast in the colors. The Nordy Girl is more visible on my skin and has a more dramatic feel because cool tones look sharper on my olive skintone. If you’re deciding between the two, I would say base your decision on your preference for warm (opt for 001) or cool tones (pick Nordy Girl).

The Nordy Girl Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette is a limited-edition product for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (retails for $62). I hope you found the review of both Eye Reviver Palettes helpful.

Did you check out the palette from Nordstrom? What did you think?