Browsing Category

Haircare

Empties Haircare Men's Grooming Skincare

Beauty Empties

May 2, 2018

Beauty Empties - What I Used Up | The Beauty Look Book

As promised I have another round of beauty empties of things Andrew and I have used up in the last couple months! (Round 1 here.) As usual most of our empties are skincare-related but I have a mix of everything from makeup, hair care, skincare and men’s grooming. If you have any recent empties let me know in the comments!

Skincare

Beauty Empties Skincare Makeup Wipes, Cleansers, Masks

I’ve been experimenting more with makeup wipes but at the end of the day my favorites are still the Koh Gen Do and MAC Gently Off. Skincare I used up in March and April:

Andrew’s Empties

Men's Grooming Empties

Andrew’s empties from the last couple months include:

  • Aesop Mouthwash – This is his second bottle and he put it on his list to repurchase a third one this week.
  • Baxter Grooming Cream – A gentle and not overly greasy grooming cream for the hair.
  • Jack Black Turbo Wash (not shown) – This is his favorite body wash + shampoo in one with a good lather and cleanses the skin well. (I often borrow it.) We buy the largest size with a pump. I think I might have purchased this over 50 times since we discovered this.
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve – This is his favorite hand cream because it’s the most moisturizing one he’s used and he likes that it’s not really scented.
  • L’Occitane L’Occitan Roll-On Deodorant – He just went through 2 of these and we just stopped by L’Occitane today and bought him two more, he likes that it doesn’t irritate his sensitive under arms and lasts all day. He loves the natural way the L’Occitan line for men smells (they also have shower gels, cologne etc.).
  • Le Labo Shower Gel Mandarin – He discovered the Le Labo shower gels that I ordered and is obsessed with the scent, it’s really strong in the shower or bath, he thinks Hinoki and Mandarin are the best ones. Note these are the newer ones which I think smell a lot stronger and better than the ones that coincide with the perfumes.
  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen – Our favorite, but if you read this blog you already know that!

Home

Diptyque Empties, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Detergent, Boy Smells

Home candles I burned up and a fancy detergent I’ve become obsessed with:

  • Boy Smells Candle in Gardener – Most of these come in the black jar, I found the white jar as a limited-edition release sometime last year, this smells like a fresh garden that isn’t too floral or too green, it’s the perfect in between of sweet and fresh.
  • Diptyque Baies Candle – Always a favorite! Burned up another full size and small size.
  • Diptyque Tomas Maier Palm Beach – Smells of a tropical vacation with iris, jasmine, lemon, salt and grass (Diptyque boutique exclusive). Aside from Baies this is probably the one I’ve burned the second most. I stocked up the last time I was at boutique!
  • Diptyque Holiday 2017 Incense Tears Phoenix – Limited-edition release, previously reviewed here, I have plenty of other candles to explore but wish I had bought a backup of this one!
  • Diptyque Miami Candle – Another great fresh tropical scent that smells of lime, magnolia, citrus and a hint of vanilla (available only in Miami boutiques).
  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Laundry Detergent – This comes in three forms that are currently exclusive to Neiman Marcus, there is one for light clothes, dark clothes and a fabric softener, the detergent smells like a more fresh grown up version of the perfume, it has enough strength to be noticeable on the clothes and sheets, we can smell it on our sheets for several days before it fades, I used up the Light version first and immediately bought it again along with the other two. I highly recommend these.

A Little Bit of Everything Else

Empties Oribe, L'Occitane, Sisley Rituel, Maybelline Mascara, HUM Hair Sweet Hair

Other items:

  • Drybar On The Rocks Shampoo and Conditioner – I really loved both of these for a clarifying shampoo and gentle conditioner, I’m considering buying again but currently experimenting with other formulas and brands.
  • Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture and Control – One of my favorite cleansing creams to re-hydrate dry hair, I’ve gone through so many bottles I’ve lost count!
  • Sisley Hair Rituel Regenerating Hair Care Mask – Full review on Sisley Hair Rituel soon, but this is the best hair mask I’ve ever tried, it’s designed to nourish both the scalp and hair, it leaves hair soft and tangle free and shiny!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold (mini) – My most-used cream shadow base for an all over wash or base for powder shadows.
  • L’Occitane Lavande Lavender Foaming Bath – Creates the best bath bubbles EVER! Also love the relaxing scent.
  • Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara Regular and the Total Temptation Mascara Waterproof – I was really underwhelmed by both of these, I had really high hopes they would work but they fell short of my expectations. The waterproof version is decent and makes for a great layering mascara, but I feel there are much better ones out there on the market for me.
  • Beautyblender Liquid Beautycleanser – I need to find this in a supersize version or cheaper alternative because I go through this way too fast. I know so many of you like baby shampoo, I don’t like using it because it always leaves a film on the brushes no matter how much I rinse.
  • HUM Hair Sweet Hair Gummies – When I bought these in March they were a Sephora exclusive, but now they’re available elsewhere like Nordstrom, I found they tasted AMAZING but results were just ok. My hair did grow a little over 2 inches within 1 month and I noticed it was stronger with less breakage. However I don’t typically measure my hair growth so I don’t know if this was more than usual. I didn’t see any added shine or bounce so I’ve now switched to trying Nature’s Bounty (will report once those are finished).

Beauty Empties Used Up Products | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps it up for the last couple months of empties! As usual let me know what you’ve used up recently, would love to know what you’re using! Do you use any biotin supplements that you love or have any favorite hair masks/face wipes?

The only press sample featured is the Sisley Hair Rituel mask. All other items purchased by me.

Haircare Sephora Skincare

Sephora Spring Bonus Event Details + Recommendations Part 1

April 11, 2018

Sephora Beauty Insider Recommendations Skincare, Fragrance, Haircare via The Beauty Look Book

The Sephora Spring Bonus Event starts this Friday for Beauty Insider Members that have Rouge Status! It will also be open to VIB and BI Members starting next week. The dates, details and codes:

  • Rouge Members: receive 15% off 4/13 through 4/16 and 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYROUGE
  • VIB Members: receive 15% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYVIB
  • BI Members: receive 10% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYINSIDER

More information about the Beauty Insider program and tiers here. You can shop in store and online. This year only Rouge clients can extend the offer to a friend – you should have received a mailer card by now. By popular request I have a recommendations list! It will be split into two parts. Up first are some of my most-loved in skin, hair and body. This is quite an extensive list but I wanted to cover a little from each category since I know not everyone is a makeup fan. Others prefer haircare vs skincare or vice versa. My recs listed by shelf.

Shelf 1:

Shelf 2:

  • Jo Malone Wild Blue Bell and Wood Sage and Sea Salt Colognes ($65 to $135) are my two go-to’s from Jo Malone. One of the reps I shopped with in San Diego said this was her favorite layering combo and I’ve been hooked for years!
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer ($65 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a great everyday moisturizer for me. It was inspired by her classic ExfoliKate Intensive Scrub (which I also love) and has AHAs of glycolic and lactic acids with fruit enzymes to help with uneven skin texture.
  • Kate Somerville Cold Cream * ($48 for 3 oz/95 g) is a whipped cleansing cream you apply on dry skin and remove with a warm wash cloth. It’s a hydrating cleanser and makeup remover in one. More details in this post.
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Cleanser ($38 for 4 oz/120 ml) is the best for rebalancing oily acne prone skin. I actually adore all her cleansers detailed in this post. EradiKate is my husband’s favorite of the moment and also one I reach for frequently.
  • Tatcha Cleansing Oil ($48 for 5.1 fl oz/150 ml) is the best cleansing oil for dry sensitive skin.
  • Tatcha The Essence * ($95 for 5.1 oz/150 ml) is a skin softener that makes a huge difference in how your serums and moisturizers absorb into the skin.
  • Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil ($12 to $34) is my favorite sunscreen oil for the body. It has broad spectrum SPF 50 and absorbs nicely into the skin and is lightweight.
  • Supergoop! City Serum Sunscreen with SPF 30 ($42 for 2 oz/60 ml) is one of my favorite face sunscreens that’s a serum. It’s Andrew’s current favorite for it’s lightweight non-greasy feel. For him it has enough moisture to hydrate his skin but feels weightless when it dries.
  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen with SPF 50 ($19 to $48) is my absolute favorite body sunscreen. For hot humid Florida weather this is our favorite because it is really effective. It helps prevent burning. We can reapply easily without it feeling greasy or heavy. It also doesn’t leave a white cast and doesn’t have that typical sunscreen smell.

Shelf 3:

  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum ($145 to $595) or the new Eau de Soleil Blanc ($122 to $171) are both beautiful options for spring to summer, Soleil Blanc was my go-to last year and this year I’ve opted for the new version.
  • Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 for 2.1 oz/60 g) is a must-have for me. I don’t use it everyday but I do use it regularly as a gentle exfoliating cleanser. I’ve tried all the versions and right now like the Classic and Indigo formulas the best.
  • Supergoop! Invicible Setting Powder * ($30 for 0.15 oz/4.4 g) is a great way to touch-up your sunscreen on the face mid-day. Swatches and review in this post here.
  • Kopari Coconut Deodorant * ($14 for 2 oz) is what I’ve been using this year for deodorant. My usual go-to has been anything from Lavanila which I still like. But since I only use 1 at a time I decided to try something new. It’s a sweet coconut with an emollient feel. It keeps odor away for me the entire day. Your mileage may vary depending on your body chemistry and how much you sweat.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26 for .52 oz/ 15 g) is probably one of the best hydrating lip treatments on the market. The newest one I have is Maple which I haven’t reviewed on the blog yet. You can see Smashed and Champagne reviewed here and here though.
  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist ($30 to $90) is my favorite light-weight face mist that is refreshing and not too heavy.
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt ($19 to $53) is my go-to clarifying hair cleanser. I use it once a week to clean the scalp and remove buildup. I’ve bought so many I can’t recall how many I’ve bought. I also really love his Cleansing Volumizing Paste and Cleansing Mask with Lemon.
  • Drunk Elephant Sukari Baby Facial ($80 for 1.69 oz/50 ml) is a gentle AHA 25%/BHA 2% resurfacing mask that has a blend of several acids. You leave it on the skin 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. I have sensitive skin but with this one the tingle factor has varied to no tingle to a sharp tingle. The first time I used it I saw no difference. With regular use around 1-2x per week I started to see smoother fresher looking skin after a month. Also available in a mini in the Acid Trip Kit.

Shelf 4:

  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Mask ($25 to $62) is the best calming refreshing radiance mask I’ve tried. It’s soothing and really hydrating in a gentle way.
  • Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf and Hibiscus Firming Mask * ($54 for 3.4 oz/100 ml) is the newest from Kiehl’s. I don’t like most sleeping/overnight masks because I find them too heavy and sticky. This one is nicely moisturizing without the tacky feel. It firms and smooths the skin and has a nice velvety dry down.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($22 to $45) is my favorite overnight mask. It smells delicious, hydrates the skin, doesn’t feel heavy and makes the skin glow.
  • Tatcha The Water Cream * ($68 for 1.7 oz/50 ml) is one of my favorite lightweight moisturizers.
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover ($20) is my holy-grail cuticle remover. So many of you ask how I maintain clean looking manicures even when I do them on my own. I call this my secret weapon. I’ve tried a number of other brands but this one is the best. My hand care routine here.
  • Kopari Coconut Melt (mini shown) ($18 to $38) is the best body moisturizer that hydrates the skin on my driest days. I had a large bottle but used it up. I plan on restocking during the Sephora event. More on the Kopari products in this post here.

The Event Fine Print: Weekend #1 US & CA (Rouge Early Access) : 15% offer valid for Rouge clients on merchandise purchases made from 4/13/18 through 11:59 PM PT on 4/16/18, and from 4/20/18 through 11:59 PM PT on 4/23/18 in Sephora U.S. stores, Sephora Canada stores, Sephora inside JCPenney stores, and online. Offer not valid on jcp.com. On Friday, 4/13/18 in stores only, Rouge client and one guest of Rouge who is a member of the Beauty Insider program and is present at the time of redemption will be eligible for 15% off all merchandise purchases, along with a sample set and card case free with any merchandise purchase. Sample set and card case offer valid only in Sephora U.S. and Canada stores and Sephora inside JCPenney stores. Limit of one sample set and one card case per Rouge client and one per guest and provided on a first-come basis. Quantities are limited. Not valid on The Ordinary-branded items and not valid on purchases of customizable sets online or through Sephora’s Customer Service. Clients are limited to the purchase of one Dyson – branded item and three Drunk Elephant-branded items per SKU per transaction. Not valid on previous purchases, purchases of gift cards or eGift cards, FLASH, PLAY! by Sephora, gift wrapping, packaging, taxes, or shipping & handling charges. Return of discounted merchandise will be for the price actually paid. Sephora is not responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen promotional barcodes. Promotions have no cash value and may not be altered, sold, or transferred. Rouge status must be attained prior to redemption. No minimum purchase required. Due to heavy demand, Sephora FLASH delivery times cannot be guaranteed for this promotion.Not valid on orders shipping outside the U.S. or Canada. Cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes. Sephora and JCPenney employees are not eligible for these offers. Offers are subject to change, alteration, or termination by Sephora at its sole discretion at any time.

I’m hosting a giveaway! I’m giving away 5 $100 eGift Cards to Sephora. Open internationally. Simply enter through the widget below and follow the instructions. Giveaway will run through April 14th 11:59 PM EST. Five separate winners will be selected and contacted via e-mail or Instagram DM on the 15th. Selected winners must respond within 48 hours or another person will be selected in their place. Prizes will be sent out within 24 hours. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

To quickly recap the dates, details and codes for the Sephora Spring Bonus Event:

  • Rouge Members: receive 15% off 4/13 through 4/16 and 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYROUGE
  • VIB Members: receive 15% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYVIB
  • BI Members: receive 10% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYINSIDER

Makeup recommendations to follow next!

Products that were press samples have a * next to them.

Haircare Sephora

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Blown-A-Ouai Set

November 10, 2017

Dyson Supersonic Dryer Blown-A-Ouai Set Review | The Beauty Look Book

I finally splurged on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer because Sephora has a Dyson x Blown-A-Ouai Set this season. It’s one of the most expensive beauty tools I’ve purchased and based on my testing I think it 100% lives up to the hype. After reviewing the new Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer I was thrilled to see how many of you love haircare posts and especially surprised many expressed interest in a review of the Dyson Supersonic. This dryer has been out on the market for quite some time now and it has caught my eye on numerous occasions but I could not bring myself to splurge as I already own and love several other dryers. The Sephora set pushed me over the edge and for those who have been contemplating it for the Beauty Insider Sale I hope this review helps you make your decision either way. This dryer comes with an ultra-hefty price tag but it 100% exceeded my expectations and to me I think it lives up to the hype.

The Beauty Insider Sale starts for round 2 from 11/10 to 11/15 – if you’re shopping online:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
  • Beauty Insiders get 15% off with code INSIDER15

The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer currently runs at $399 which includes the dryer, smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator, diffuser, non-slip mat and storage hanger. There are a few value sets available at various retailers that come with a case or other accessories. The Sephora Blown-A-Ouai Set caught my eye because it comes with all the nozzles, diffuser, mat and hanger but also has a travel bag and four Ouai haircare products including the Repair Shampoo (2 fl oz), Repair Conditioner (2 fl oz), Soft Mousse (1.7 oz) and the Hair Oil (1.5 fl oz). Because of the mousse do note this must ship ground so it may take a little longer to get to you if you order it. Also it appears that this is an online exclusive at Sephora.

Dyson Blown A Ouai Set Sephora

I didn’t take pictures of the boxes but the entire set comes beautifully boxed in three separate boxes. The dryer + attachments come in its own box. The bag has it’s own box. The Ouai products also come in their own box. Everything is packaged in a way that even in transit nothing moves around and all pieces are held securely in place. It may seem excessive but I really appreciate when items are carefully packed (especially liquids) and to me this is super important especially at the price.

Dyson Supersonic Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

I must admit I thought there was a chance this dryer was going to be a high-tech gimmick but we’ve owned a few Dyson products for the home and found them 100% worth the splurge. We also own a Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum that we bought four years ago and it’s held up remarkably well even with daily use. We find it essential as we own 3 pets with white fur and they shed constantly. We are always vacuuming, using swiffers and washing the pets. When Andrew first saw this dryer out of the box he did not think it was going to be anything special. Then I turned it on and we did a side by side performance comparison to the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi and we both saw that the Dyson Supersonic has a lot more power, more control options, and although it is odd-shaped for a dryer, very ergonomic and easy to hold and maneuver. The air flow is a lot more controlled and for some reason the way it’s designed makes for a less frizzy blow out. I’ve experienced a lot of hair breakage from hair ties over the past few months and as parts of my hair have grown out I find my hair is prone to a lot of static or flyaways that stick up. This of course can be fixed with a bit of pomade, gel or shine product. The Dyson dryer seemed to reduce all frizz for me.

Dyson Supersonic Dryer in White/Nickel

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

This is one of the fanciest products I beauty tools own. It has what Dyson calls Intelligent Heat Control technology because it measures temperature 20 times a second and transmits data to the microprocessor. This in turn controls temperature to prevent heat damage. Power-wise- it has a Dyson Digital Motor V9 which is supposedly on average 6 times faster and a third of the weight of other dryer motors. The motor is actually in the handle which is why it feels different in your hands compared to a traditional one. It is so powerful it nearly knocked off all the things on my counter as I didn’t pay attention where I was pointing it when I turned it on.

For the features:

  • There are four heat settings and a constant cold mode
  • There are three airflow power settings
  • The nozzles and diffuser are magnetic and easy to rotate
  • There is a removable filter cage at the base you can remove for easy cleaning
  • One of the best things to me is the mat which helps prevent it from slipping or getting scratched once you set it down
  • I don’t have the hanger cord shown below as I’m always losing little things like hair ties and I’ve already misplaced the little hanging device

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Due to the high power it does indeed give me a super fast blow out. I like the lightest or medium heat setting for my hair type. It isn’t the quietest I own or the lightest but it’s easy to hold and use. The only con I see is the extra long cord. This could be seen as a pro or con depending on your preference and needs. I find it long and cumbersome and it takes up a lot of space. The bag it comes with doesn’t quite fold over at the top like the stock photo shows but it’s not a deal breaker. It holds the dryer, it’s super long cord + two nozzles which is perfect for travel. The cord takes up most of the space. I don’t usually use a diffuser so I did not test it out, but both nozzles provide precise control.

Dyson Travel Storage Bag

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

For the Ouai products that come in this set I have already tried and fell in love with the Repair Shampoo and Repair Conditioner. I have been meaning to restock on the full sizes but just bought the Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner which I also really like. The Hair Oil is something I wasn’t a fan of originally because of the scent but it has grown on me over the past year. I gifted several partially used bottles away to friends who were dying to try it but didn’t want to buy the full size without trying it first. I’m glad I have another one now. The Soft Mousse is new to me. I’m not a mousse fan simply because I don’t like the texture and find them sticky. This one is exceptionally soft like the name implies and has a very nice dry down.

Ouai Haircare Products in the Set

Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set Hair Care products

A quick hair demo. Since I just got this I haven’t been able to put weeks of testing into this. I have tried it 8 times so far and used this multiple times in a single day. My hair has held up just fine to the heat and power. I do find the highest heat setting too strong for me right now (just for scalp sensitivity) but it did not scorch or dry out my hair. Do note the components will get hot so after you dry your hair I recommend you don’t touch it. I used the Ouai Hair Oil to prep my towel dried hair. Hair was dried very quickly within 5-6 minutes. The result was perfect evenly dried hair with a lightweight feel and airy feel without any signs of frizz. My ends needed a bit of work but I haven’t had a haircut in months.

Quick Demo with the highest airflow and middle heat setting and highest heat setting

Dyson Supersonic Dryer Demo

Because I know you all love the comparisons here is a side by side look at the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi. I really cannot pick a favorite. All three perform exceptionally well. The Harry Josh and T3 are both lighter in weight than the Dyson. The Harry Josh is the most gentle on the hair – if you have sensitivity to heat, this one has the softest (but still powerful) heat settings so you don’t get that crispy feeling on the scalp after drying your hair. The T3 gives me shinier hair after a blow out but doesn’t cut down the dry time. The Dyson is by far the most powerful. When you look at the Dyson it doesn’t look like it would be travel friendly but when I compare it to the other two, based on the shape and design I think it is.

If I were forced to pick one to keep right now I’d say I would keep the Dyson. Harry Josh comes in very close second. Why? Simply because the Dyson packs in more power and the fact that it leaves my hair with zero frizz is really impressive. That being said I did read some of the negative reviews online and if you have very dry hair or a sensitive scalp, I’d recommend opting for the Harry Josh instead. While the Dyson did not dry out my hair I think the sheer strength and power could be too much for some.

I have a couple upcoming trips before the end of the year. I’ll be sure to let you know which one I end up packing with me as I know many of you like my packing posts as much as I love sharing them 🙂

Dyson vs Harry Josh vs T3

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi Hair Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a winner for me. I wholeheartedly recommend it and for me it 100% lived up to the hype. Definitely worth the splurge for me and I still can’t believe I spent $400 on this (I ordered it before the sale started). While I love it, I don’t think you need to spend this much to get a good quality dryer. There are definitely other more affordable tools that will get the job done well.

Dyson Supersonic Blown-A-Ouai Set Sephora Review | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set exclusively at Sephora for $399. If you’re shopping the Sephora sale it runs from 11/10 to 11/15 – if you’re shopping online codes and discounts:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
  • Beauty Insiders get 15% off with code INSIDER15

There are a few other sets available right now and as the holiday season approaches I suspect more could pop up. You can find the Iron/Fuchsia with a Platinum Case at Nordstrom for $399. There is the Iron/Fuchsia with a Light Pink Case at QVC for $399. Also three variations of the Supersonic + Living Proof at QVC for $399 as well.

Have you tried the Dyson Supersonic before? What did you think? P.S. My Sephora haul from round one is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon. Let me know if you want to see a haul post!

 

Haircare Holiday Gift Guide Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros for Holiday

October 27, 2017

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Holiday 2017

Sometimes there are beauty collections that are simply too cute to handle and the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Brothers Collection for holiday is one of them. Many years ago I used to use and buy a lot from Shu Uemura. It was hard to find in the US so I first discovered the items in Asia and UK during my college days. They eventually launched in a few stores like Sephora and Neiman Marcus. When I lived in California I’d sometimes make a long drive from San Diego to their boutique at South Coast Plaza. Unfortunately they decided to pull the brand from all retail stores and they kept it online only. I hope they will bring it back to more places someday! The holiday collection is super cute and speaks to the young at heart.

Color items and makeup come in limited-edition packaging:

  • Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in M PK375 ($30) is the first matte lipstick I’ve tried from Shu Uemura and wow is the formula impressive. I’m not a fan of matte lips in general but this formula is smooth and manages to look velvety without that dried up look. Pigment is opaque and smooth, there’s no tugging and lasting power is really phenomenal. It stays put adhering well to the lips. It also leaves a slight stain on the lips so if as it fades or transfers the color pretty much stays put. PK375 is a pinkish berry color.
  • Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine in Saved Peach ($30) is one of those sheer glossy peachy colors in the tube but on my lips it turns more pinkish. This has a soft glossy finish with a cushiony feel. Lasting power isn’t as good as the matte but it does feel nice and hydrating on the lips. It has quite a bit of slip and while it looks pretty I’m not the biggest fan of the formula.
  • Tint in Balm in Fire of Flower ($30) is a lush pigmented balm. The formula is so good with this one and even though the color is a lot brighter than what I normally wear, I think it’s worth checking out if you are in the market for a brighter red. Lasting power with this is also very good, especially for a balm. I definitely plan on checking out the other colors in the regular line.
  • Drawing Pencil in Matte Black ($24) is a classic rich opaque smooth black eyeliner. It has a soft matte finish and on my eyes it lasted all day without smudging (even in humidity).

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Holiday 2017

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Holiday 2017 Lips and Eyes

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Holiday 2017 Lip Swatches

The hair care line Shu Uemura Art of Hair is carried on it’s own website, separate from the makeup and skincare items. Each holiday season they usually repromote classics with the holiday packaging so in the event you don’t like the designs you can always buy them with the standard bottles.

  • Cleansing Oil Shampoo ($57) is a classic shampoo I’ve used up entirely multiple times. With my hair type it’s best as a clarifying one to two times a week kind of formula. I always combine it with the corresponding conditioner and the two together are really good for soft clean hair.
  • Cleansing Oil Conditioner ($58) is the coordinating conditioner for the Cleansing Oil Shampoo. I actually like this formula a lot better than the shampoo and use this one with other brands of shampoo. I’m one who washes my hair daily. Back in California I didn’t condition it every day because I didn’t need to. In Florida the water is different and while the weather is hot and makes me prone to sweat more, the water dries out my skin and hair (even with filters). I’ve found I need some kind of conditioner daily and this one is definitely a favorite because it’s light enough to add moisture but not so heavy and rich that it makes my scalp oily.
  • Essence Absolue ($69) is one of their best-sellers and for good reason. It’s a lightweight oil that can be used in a number of ways. I apply it to freshly washed and towel dried hair and it works as a detangler. I also use it pre-heat styling and as a finisher on the ends. It’s consistently in my top picks for hair oils because of the lightweight texture, beautiful scent and great shine it gives my hair without weighing it down. I absolutely love that it comes with a pump dispenser.
  • Master Wax ($39) is another classic from Shu Uemura but this was the first time I’ve ever used a wax. I had to do some research on how to use and apply it because I usually associate a hair wax with a men’s grooming kind of product. It has a nice lightweight scent but feels thick like a gooey pomade. Instructions say you can use on damp or dry hair – I tried both. A little goes a very long way. With my hair styling I usually do the same thing every day. I just like it down and free flowing unless I’m working out and then tie it up. I rarely use hair spray as it gives my hair that crunchy feel. This wax seems like it would be the perfect styling product if you style your hair and need it to stay in place or get that piecey look all day without stiffness. For the most part I’ve had longer hair, at least slightly past the shoulders. There have been times I cut my hair shorter and found it extremely difficult to maintain and style. Shorter hair means there’s less weight and I found my hair kinda flew around in ways I couldn’t manage. Had I known about hair wax back then I think it would have been a styling savior. For now since I’m very minimal with my hair styling I prefer the Essence Absolue or softer creams.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair x Super Mario Holiday

Beauty, skincare and makeup items are available online at Shu Uemura and Shu Uemura Canada. The team has offered Beauty Look Book readers a special offer for orders. With code BLBXSHU online you will receive 5 free deluxe samples and free shipping on orders $50+. Samples include: a mini laque supreme sample rd01, maxi:hydrability essence-in cream 13 ml, sakura-rose-petal-mask 13 ml, ultime8 sublime cleansing oil 15 ml and nutri:nectar sample 15 ml.

The hair care line can be found at their own site Shu Uemura Art of Hair.

Shu Uemura x The Beauty Look Book GWP

That wraps up my look at some of the holiday pieces from the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Collection! Have you tried anything from Shu Uemura recently? What are your favorites? I’m still working on my skincare routine but I’ll say for now that their Sakura Rose Petal Mask is one of my latest obsessions for hydration and soothing.

Holiday collection items and promo code provided courtesy of the Shu Uemura team.

 

Haircare

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer

October 23, 2017

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share a review of the new Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer ($349) which launches exclusively at Dermstore this week. For those who aren’t familiar with the line, Harry Josh is a celebrity stylist who has created a line of hair tools called Harry Josh Pro Tools. His products have a signature soft mint green color which I think is fun and unique. I was sent one to test out and this is my first time using anything from his line. Since I’ve already tried and fallen in love with a number of other great hair dryers including the t3 PROi, ghd Air and DryBar (reviewed here) I did not think this one could be better than what I’ve tested but it is.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Also shown above is the Round Brush 2-inch size.

For as long as I can remember I’ve blow dried my hair on a regular basis because I find it essential to tame my thick unruly hair with a slight natural wave. If you’ve read some of my packing posts you know that even though I’m a carry on traveler for the most part I still insist on bringing my own hair dryer with me. The two main inconveniences include the fact that they take up a lot of space and also it weighs down the luggage. The Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer is smaller than the average dryer and extremely light weight under 1 pound. A lot of dryers are design to be “lightweight” but this one is noticeably lighter but still feels like it has substance. It’s easy to hold in the hand for an extended period and easy to maneuver.

Even though it is compact, it has a very powerful motor with a speed of 94 mph which makes for super fast drying time. I set my stopwatch to time my hair drying process with this one on 12 different occasions of using this and each time I was able to get completely dried hair in under 6 minutes (usually around 5 minutes and 46 second mark). Most of the dryers I own take around 7 to 10 minutes for me to get completely dried hair.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

A quick look at the drying steps from wet towel dried hair to all the way dried hair. Also held and shown for scale. I’ve tested drying with a number of hair products for prep and heat styling. Lately I’ve been alternating between the Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Mist (c/o, it’s lightweight and detangles my hair), Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue (c/o, available in a fun Super Mario packaging version for holiday) or the Moroccanoil Light. The last image shown is without any extra shine or finishing product so I could show you how the dryer performs on its own as much as possible. To finish and smooth the ends I usually add a bit of the Shu Uemura product, Moroccanoil or Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream. Also shown above: The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Bag (review soon), Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips, Diptyque Berlin Candle (city exclusive).

My drying process includes a quick rough dry all over. Then I section it by parting my hair or by using clips. If I don’t have clips I simply flip over sections and part my hair to separate it.

For brushes I still use a CHI Turbo Small Paddle Brush to do most of my brushing or drying. Then I finish with a bristle brush to smooth everything out. I tried the Harry Josh Pro Round Brush (made of boar and nylon bristles, made in China) and it was surprisingly easy to use and very effective in smoothing out flyaways. I say surprising because even though I know boar/nylon bristle brushes are the best for smoothing out hair I find them difficult for me to use in general just because of my hair type.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer In Action | The Beauty Look Book

I’m not the most savvy when it comes to hair dryer technology, but I do know that I see a difference in results with regards to smoothness, shine and the frizz factor. All three that I had previously reviewed provide excellent results: smooth, sleek, frizz-free finish. The Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer also delivers with ion technology and has two ion settings: off will deliver full voluminous style, on will give a smooth sleek finish. I tried both settings and feel that there is actually a visible difference with the two settings as the booklet describes.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

For the settings, there are:

  • 3 temperature control settings
  • 2 ion settings (as mentioned above)
  • 2 settings for speed/air flow
  • 1 cool shot button
  • 2 removable nozzles
  • removable air filter
  • 9 foot extension cord

For other features it’s relatively less noisy than other dryers but not 100% silent. It is described as being energy efficient with the dual filtration system. The tool is made in France and with the power and settings I was particularly impressed at how fast it dried my hair without making my head feel super hot from the heat like it does with most other dryers.

Size comparison to the T3 PROi (c/o, previously reviewed here):

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer vs T3 PROi | The Beauty Look Book

I didn’t want to fall in love with this pricey hair dryer but I have. As with everything I test regardless of whether it’s a press sample or something I purchased on my own I do assess it for the price point to see if I think it’s worth it and in this case I think it is. Still it is very spendy and you can definitely find great hair dryers for less. This one wins for me on dry time, size, weight and performance. It’s truly exceptional in every way and among the best ones that I’ve tried. If there is one thing I think it’s missing it’s a dust bag or something to carry it in for travel – but that being said most of the dryers I’ve seen don’t come with one either. Performance-wise I still think the t3 PROi and ghd Air are also very good ones. The main difference for me is the weight and dry time.

A lot of you have asked me over the past year if I’ve tried the Dyson Hair Dryer and I have not. However this season there’s a Dyson Blown-A Ouai set available which might push me over the edge to try it out. Let me know if you’ve tried it and what your thoughts are or if you would like to see a review.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line the Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer gets a huge thumbs up for me. You can find it exclusively at Dermstore. Have you tried anything from Harry Josh yet? If not what’s your current favorite hair dryer? I’d love to hear what you use!

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer and Round Brush sent by Dermstore without charge for review. Other press samples featured indicated with c/o.

 

Haircare

Summer Haircare Loves

August 16, 2017

Summer Haircare Loves Styling and Shampoo | The Beauty Look Book

I have an updated hair care routine for summer to share today. Since moving to Florida I’ve been struggling for months to find a good shampoo + conditioner combo. The water here is so different from California and even with a filter in the home, many shampoos and conditioners simply don’t rinse or lather the same. I’ve tried a lot of my tried and true favorites alongside probably at least 15 other formulas and it’s been a real challenge to find something that works. Also with the heat, humidity, chlorine and salt my hair behaves differently. It gets dried out easily but the humidity also means sweat and oils surface so it feels like everything is just a hot mess. For a quick recap on my hair – I have long thick frizz-prone hair. It’s never been colored or highlighted (at least not yet). Many of the styling product favorites remain the same. My current favorites right now listed below.

Shampoo, Conditioners and Rinses

  • Molton Brown Inspiring Basil and Vetiver Shampoo and Conditioner ($30 each for 10 fl oz) is part of a limited-edition collection Molton Brown created for the Seabourn cruise line. This is my current holy grail duo. I’ve tried at least a dozen other brands and formulas over the past months and nothing compares to this duo for a good wash. It cleanses and leaves the hair feeling super soft and naturally shiny. It has a very soothing soft natural scent. I’m a bit upset it’s limited-edition as I’d love to keep repurchasing this for like FOREVER. I’m stocking up so I’ll be able to have this for a while. The entire Molton Brown x Seabourn Collection is amazing. I highly recommend you check it out.
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts ($53 for 250 ml) is seriously an amazing volumizing past. You apply it to dry hair and scalp, add water and it foams up into a volumizing paste that feels airy and thick at the same time. It leaves the hair bouncy and full without any added weight.
  • Oribe Cleansing Creme for Moisture Control ($46 for 8.5 oz) isn’t shown because I’ve run out twice since moving to Florida. It was a favorite in California and is still a favorite here in Florida. I use this about 2 to 4x a week switching it out for regular shampoo/conditioner. It’s perfect to restore dry hair to a more natural balanced state.

Styling Sprays

  • Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo ($22 to $44) is something I keep in purse occasionally in the smaller size as a refresher. I wash my hair everyday, sometimes twice a day – it’s something I’ve always done and with the summer humidity I think it’s an absolute must. I tend to use dry shampoo as a refresher to absorb oil if I’ve been out for a while and don’t have time to go home to wash it (ie mid-day). There’s really nothing that will fix extreme humidity or wet hair from being rained on, but I find this is a pretty good fix to refresh hair. Back in San Diego there were occasions I did skip a day of washing here and there. This is my go-to for a dry shampoo. It doesn’t have a white cast and as someone with dark hair I really hate any that make my hair look dusty, ashy or grey.
  • MarulaOil Rare Oil Style Extending Primer ($30 for 130 ml) this is a primer spray that’s designed to extend the life of your hair styling. It smooths and primes the hair for heat styling. On me it works to detangle wet hair. I like the way it smells and it keeps hair looking smooth and frizz free all day even with humidity.
  • Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Mist with Aloe Vera ($39 for 150 ml) is a light detangling spray with the most amazing natural soothing scent. It really does work well as a detangler. I have a slight preference for this over the MarulaOil one although they have a similar effect.

Oils and Creams

  • Shu Uemura Art of Hair Blow Dry Beautifier Thermo BB Serum ($39 for 150 ml) is another favorite right now. I reviewed this back in June alongside the BB Cream. Both are really good lightweight primers for heat styling or air drying. They help keep shape but in a natural looking way. If you’re familiar with Shu Uemura Art of Hair these both have a similar effect to the Satin Design Polishing Milk but have a lighter finish/feel. If you’re more of a spray person I’d recommend the Wonder Worker. You really can’t go wrong with any of them – they’ve all performed extremely well for me as multi-tasking preheat or post styling treatments. Right now I like the BB Serum the best.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment Light ($15 to $44 depending on size) is one of those versatile multi-taskers that great for anything. I can use this as a a styling or finishing product. I love both the regular and light version but for summer I’ve been loving this light one to add a natural shine. I can add it to clean towel-dried hair and just let it air dry. For heat treatment it helps protect the ends and keeps it looking nice and shiny.
  • Verb Ghost Oil ($14 for 2 oz) is another great lightweight oil. It smells fresh and light and won’t weigh down the hair. It comes with a pump (huge plus for me) and gives the hair a fluid soft sheen.
  • Ouai Rose Hair and Body Oil (miniature shown from Morning After Kit here and here, full size here) is something I reviewed a few months ago. I still love this for both body and hair. I like this on damp hair or on ends to add a bit of shine with a nice scent.

Hair Perfume

  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Hair Mist ($65 for 70 ml) is a beautiful hair perfume. After all these years of hair mists I still haven’t tried many as I’d rather just spray perfume in my hair. This has completely changed my outlook. This one is light and soft and alcohol-free. It’s a soft floral with a bit of citrus and musk and mists the hair in a fine veil of scent. Lasting power is quite good on me – I was able to smell it even in late afternoon.

In terms of styling tools, I still haven’t found a brush that I 100% love for function and looks. Right now I use a CHI Turbo Paddle Brush which I’ve had for years and is pretty worn down. If you have any ones you love let me know in the comments. For blow dryers my go-to’s are in this post and you can also see my hair type there as well.

That wraps up my summer hair care loves! What are your current favorites right now? If you can share your hair type as well that would be super helpful 🙂 If you live in Florida or have traveled here for an extended time I’d love to hear what you’ve used or use while here!

Press samples include the Shu Uemura BB Serum, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Hair Mist, Christophe Robin Volumizing Paste, Christophe Robin Leave-In Mist, Molton Brown Seabourn Collection.

 

Beauty Favorites Haircare Skincare

Best Skincare and Haircare Discoveries 2016

December 30, 2016

Best Skincare and Haircare 2016

Today I’m rounding up my top picks in skincare and haircare for the year. I discovered a lot of great items for my sensitive skin – it was a challenge to narrow it down to such an edited list. I used up quite a bit over the course of the year – to do a post listing all the items I used and repurchased in the last 12 months would be quite extensive. Part of me wanted to do a favorites roundup for every category, perhaps I’ll do one in the new year, but for now here’s are my top picks:

Haircare

Face Cleanser and Toner

  • Bioderma Sensibio Tonic Lotion is a toner I discovered a few months ago, it’s gentle and perfect for sensitive skin to balance and soothe, it’s available in two sizes and I bought the full size as well – wish I had discovered it sooner! Now I don’t have to spend $90 to replenish my La Mer The Tonic because I’ve found a great alternative
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser (review here) is a mud to foam cleanser, it’s the best clarifying one that helps absorb excess oil, reduce redness, and prevent breakouts, in the summer I use this daily in the evenings or post-workout, during non-hot months I use this 2-3x per week
  • Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash (reviewed here) is the cleanser I reach for the most and have repurchased the most, best gentle everyday cleanser I’ve tried that doesn’t dry out the skin but still leaves it clean, I’ve tried all of her cleansers and they are all great (yes ALL of them) but this one is the best for me for daily use (my brother loves this one as well), she just launched an EradiKate Cleanser and I rarely say this these days but this is something I absolutely feel the NEED TO TRY, it’s in my shopping cart right now

Face Mask

  • Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask (reviewed here) one of my favorite purifying masks that’s still gentle
  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (reviewed here) a stronger option but draws out all excess oil and helps clear up the skin, if you have broken skin or extremely sensitive skin, I’d recommend using this as a spot treatment or patch test first

Moisturizers

Night Treatments – as someone who has extra sensitive skin, I cannot use most creams with any Vitamin C or Retinol without peeling or redness, Kate Somerville is one of the best lines for me in terms of night treatments

Extras

  • Armani Prima Day-Long Skin Perfector (reviewed here) best primer I tried this year and I’m kinda an anti-primer girl because they usually don’t do anything for my skin to extend makeup wear time
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover (reviewed here) is the key product I use to keep my cuticles looking groomed and healthy, I know an updated hand and nail care post is long overdue – I’ll do a 2017 version in the new year
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade (also featured here and here) one of the best nourishing treatments, it’s so good I bought a second one to keep in my purse and one to keep at  home
  • Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift (review here and here) combines hyaluronic acid and oxygen to help prevent wrinkles and give the skin a more even looking texture, this is probably the best thing I have discovered in skincare
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment is the best pimple treatment, the key is to use it the minute you feel something start to surface and don’t use it on open wounds or broken skin, my husband uses this and it makes me giggle when we have matching pink spots on our faces at night because it looks so ridiculous, but it works!
  • Kiehl’s Scented Hand Cream Trio 2 of 3 shown is part of a limited-edition set exclusive to Neiman Marcus, you can find the three scents available in larger sizes individually as well or in the original unscented-version
  • Lano Lips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm in Strawberry (reviewed here) is tied with the Dior Pomade for best lip balm discovery of the year
  • Lavanila Deodorant is the only deodorant I’ve used for the past two years, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t report on that aspect, but I love that it’s natural, keeps odor away and lasts all day long for me, I’ve tried around 4 different scents by now and all of them were great, the travel-sized ones are perfect to throw in the purse or to travel with

In the upcoming year I plan to be more diligent about testing and using eye creams. I’ve gone through a few this year but did not use them on a regular basis (mainly because I was lazy). I know with the eyes, wrinkle prevention and sun protection are key so I need to stop procrastinating and start acting now! If you have any recommendations for someone who is 35 years old (me) let me know in the comments and I will be forever grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! I feel as though I left out quite a few good discoveries but tried to keep the list to under 30 products so I wouldn’t end up regurgitating the entire year of blog posts for hair care and skin care.

What were your 2016 favorites in skincare and hair care?

Save

Save

Save