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Holiday Gift Guide

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Best Holiday Candles and Gifts for the Home

December 13, 2017

Best Holiday Candles to Give as Gifts | The Beauty Look Book

I’m a die hard lover of home scents and good candles. They help change the mood of a room and during the holiday there are all kinds of great seasonal options to make the house smell like Christmas. I’ve rounded a few picks of what I think are the best holiday candles and gifts for the home. If you have any favorites you like to burn during the holiday season let me know in the comments below!

The holiday season would not be complete for me without Diptyque. I’ve bought the seasonal pine scent each year and this is the first year I’ve felt their pine is a bit different with a minty green touch to the scent. They have three seasonal candles with colored wax, a black jar in a cosmic theme with gold magical creatures on the exterior. It’s really just so beautiful! I bought the Cosmic Seasonal Candle Trio ($105 to $210). You can also find these individually although the orange one has pretty much sold out everywhere. Unicorn Frosted Forest Scented Candle is fir with a hint of mint and hinoki, Feu d’Argumes/Fiery Orange Dragon is a warm smoky orange clove and Larmes d’Encens/Incense Tears Phoenix with incense, cinnamon and myrrh. All three are phenomenal this year.

Diptyque Cosmic Seasonal Candle Trio | The Beauty Look Book

There is also the 10 piece Mini Candle Collection ($150) which makes for the ultimate luxury home gift. It’s the best way to sample a lot of Diptyque in a more affordable way than buying each one individually. Burn time is quick on these but it’s long enough to get a good sense of what they smell like when burned.

Diptyque 10 Piece Mini Candle Collection

Antica Farmacista has some of the most elegant holiday sets. I just discovered them last year and love their diffusers. After writing about them last holiday I discovered that many of you have loved this line for years! Their Silver Cedar is a holiday release this year and it has everything I love for holidays: cypress, sandalwood, spruce and juniper in the most elegant combination ever. They’ve also brought back the Champagne Black Label which is the best sparkling sweet champagne scent I’ve ever tried. I have used this in the candle, room spray and diffuser and love it. All of their gift options here. You can find products directly from their website Antica Farmacista and also at Nordstrom. Shown below is the 100 ml Diffuser Trio ($64) with Silver Cedar, Champagne Black Label and Sandalwood Amber and their Candle Set with Silver Cedar, Champagne Black Label ($98) and a gorgeous wick trimmer. The diffusers are perfect for the guest bathrooms! They come beautifully boxed.

Antica Farmacista Diffuser Trio and Candle Set Holiday 2017

This year they also launched a gorgeous 12 Days of Antica Calendar ($175) with deluxe sized minis of their candles, diffusers, body products and a wick trimmer as well. I can’t think of a better luxury home gift than this set.

Antica Farmacista 12 Days of Antica

Molton Brown is also another favorite line. My favorite scent for any time of year is the Coco and Sandalwood 3 Wick Candle and Home and Linen Mist, but for the holiday they always have fun limited-edition launches. I was able to try the Vintage With Elderflower Candle and it’s such a lovely sweet holiday scent. It has grapefruit, mandarin, elderflower, petigrain, coriander, vetiver and ambergris. If you like something on the sweet side but not candy sweet this is a beautiful sweet citrus option. I’ve been burning it for the past few hours as I’ve been putting this post together and it’s definitely lifted my mood with a bit of energy. Other holiday scent options on their website as well including Fabled Juniper Berries and Lapp Pine along with their classic Festive Frankincense and Allspice.

Molton Brown Vintage Elderflower Candle Holiday 2017

That wraps up this year’s holiday gift guide for the best candles I’ve found. There are tons of great options and individual options from so many brands. I find that my top three brands year over year are Diptyque and Molton Brown, and Antica Farmacista has been added to the mix. If you’re looking for more affordable holiday options that still have amazing throw with a luxury vibe, Nest is a great line to check out. I also really like the Henri Bendel candles as well. One that isn’t new is Cire Trudon Ernesto which is probably the best luxury scent for the home, my husband smelled it for the first time right when we moved to Florida and said “that’s what we should burn all the time.” It really is phenomenal and I need to repurchase it at some point soon. There are a number of new ones out for holiday which I was really tempted to order, but given the price and the fact that I’m not that familiar with the entire line, I feel like they are something I need to smell first before buying – especially since part of me thinks it might not get better than Ernesto. I usually include something from Jo Malone and I do think their Pine and Eucalyptus Candle is a classic. This year they have a gorgeous one with a green label for holiday. I was debating whether or not to buy it (I usually do every year) but with the Florida sunshine combined with our travels this month I wasn’t sure I would have time to burn it before Christmas and I usually feel pine is best done in November/December. I skipped it this year.

What are your favorite holiday scents to burn? Other gift guides below:

Best Luxury Holiday Candles (2016 edition)

Gifts for the Guys

Gifts for the Girls Who Have Everything

Best Travel Beauty Cases

Beauty Gifts Under $50

NARS Man x Ray

MAC Snowball

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out this week’s giveaway! You can also enter via the Rafflecopter Widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Press samples featured from Molton Brown and Antica Farmacista.

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Girls Who Have Everything

December 11, 2017

Holiday Gifts for Girls Who Have Everything

I’m wrapping up my holiday gift guides this week! Today’s roundup includes gift ideas for girls who seem to have everything aka the hard-to-shop-for. If you have friends who are like me and seem like they have all the latest and greatest in makeup there are still plenty of options for gifts. Products like a nice hand cream, luxe lip balm, luxury candle or sheet masks are great ideas because they’ll get used and with winter weather their skin will appreciate it. Even if they already have them!

  1. Space NK x Nordstrom Holiday Heros Silver Edition ($99, valued at $225) great value set with Space NK’s classics, also available direct from Space NK in a different variation.
  2. By Terry Baume de Rose ($60) a classic balm that you really cannot go wrong with, it’s hydrating and luxurious with a super smooth feel. It also comes in a tube version but the pot gives you more product.
  3. Original Beauty Box Deluxe Size ($159) is one of my best beauty buys to organize my makeup, I own several of these although I only have one with me at the moment (the others are in storage). The image above is one filled with my own products to show height and what fits. You can see them displayed in my San Diego Home Loft Tour post as well to get a better idea of what other items will fit inside.
  4. Diptyque Mini Candle Collection ($150) has 10 miniature candles, this is the best way to sample multiple scents without having to buy the full size.
  5. Byredo Hand Cream ($35) comes in multiple scent options, it’s one of the most luxurious scented hand creams I’ve tried, my favorite of the moment is Mojave Ghost.
  6. Bobbi Brown Beauty Case ($160) a beautiful deep red beauty case, review here and last year’s shown here.
  7. Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Throw ($147) O-M-G this is the softest throw I’ve ever felt! I bought one and it was supposed to be a gift but after touching it I’ve decided to keep it. It’s so soft I want to wear it everywhere. Luckily they have an entire line of sweaters and I will be ordering some for myself.
  8. Boy Smells Candle Trio ($44) I’ve bought a few of the Boy Smells candles and they have incredible throw at a more affordable price compared to Diptyque, Byredo or Cire Trudon.
  9. Glamcor Riki Skinny Mirror from Beautylish ($195) is an amazing mirror that lights up with different light intensities with daylight lighting. It has a magnetic clip where you can mount a magnified mirror or iPhone holder. It’s large enough to see your entire face!
  10. Oribe Dry Styling Collection ($75) you can’t go wrong with this gift set, I think every girl I know would love this regardless of hair type or length, even if they already own these I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having a back up!
  11. Antica Farmacista 12 Days of Antica ($175) this is the best advent calendar I’ve seen this year, it’s already sold out at a number of places so I’d recommend you order soon if you are interested. Antica Farmacista is one of the most elegant home fragrance lines I’ve tried to date and EVERYTHING is beautiful. This one is still available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s New York.
  12. Chanel La Creme Main ($50) is one of the most uniquely packaged hand creams I’ve ever seen. It has a soft velvety finish so there’s no greasy feel. I like that it’s nicely hydrating but not heavy. Review on this one here.
  13. simplehuman Sensor Mirror Pro ($249.99) is the best mirror I’ve tried, the magnification and lighting is just phenomenal.
  14. Antica Farmacista Lush Palm Diffuser ($26) is one of the best fresh clean scents I’ve ever smelled, I’ve since used up a few of these over the past months and it’s a nice way to add home scents if you can’t burn candles where you are (ie traveling or in any building with restrictions).
  15. Tatcha Camellia Kisses Trio ($85) is a beautiful tinted lip balm trio in Red Camellia, Cherry Blossom Camellia, and Plum Blossom Camellia, review and swatches in this post here.
  16. Glamboxes Glamboard ($59.99) is a great display tray made of good quality acrylic. Each section expands or collapses so you can change the size depending on your counter space.

If you have someone super hard to shop for hope this gives you some ideas! For me when in doubt, I can never go wrong with any kind of face masks, sheet masks, hand creams or nice lip balms. Gift cards also work! What do you usually gift to those who are hard to shop for?

Press samples featured include the Glamcor Mirror, Antica Farmacista 12 Days of Antica, Tatcha Camellia Kisses Trio.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Men's Grooming

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For the Guys

December 9, 2017

Best Holiday Gifts for Guys

It’s a countdown to Christmas which is just around the corner. I can’t believe how fast this holiday season has flown by! I have a few more gift guides to share before the shipping cut off times for Christmas delivery. Today’s gift guide is a roundup of gifts for the guys. For me the guys in my life are the easiest to shop for. They tend to be very loyal to a few small handful of brands in each category, so I know what skincare, body care or fragrance to look for. They don’t mind repeats because for grooming they prefer to stock up. On the flip side for those who don’t know what to try starter and travel sets are a great way to nudge the men in your life to up their grooming game without being too pushy.

I’ve already given these gifts to the guys in my life (Christmas came early for them). Cologne can be a tricky one to give. I feel like it’s something you should only give if you really know their taste or if that person is close to you. However Andrew has tested a number of colognes I’ve bought him and I do think the ones in this post are ones you cannot go wrong with.

  1. Kiehl’s First Class Essentials Collection $30 – this has a little bit of everything perfect for traveling and quick trips, there are a number of other men’s grooming sets to pick from as well
  2. Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette Set $123 – this one is is a classic for everyday wear
  3. Leica Sofort Compact Instant Camera $299 – such a fun gift and it works better than other instant print cameras I’ve tried
  4. Apple iPad Mini starts at $399 – perfect size for on-the-go
  5. Away Mini Suitcase $35 individually, sets start at $45 (see the inside and review here)
  6. Creed Aventus $375 for 75 ml, this holiday if you order direct from Creedboutique.com, with any 75 ml or larger purchase you receive complimentary engraving on a gold medallion which adds a personalized touch!
  7. Creed Travel Atomizer $175 is a perfect way to travel with colognes or perfumes
  8. Penhaligon’s Gentleman’s Fragrance Collection Gift Set $59 – something Andrew picked himself to sample as he’s a huge fan of the Blenheim Bouquet Shaving Cream (he says it’s THE best shaving cream he’s tried)
  9. malin+goetz Grooming Kit $40 – another great starter set with a little bit of everything to try, my brother really likes this line
  10. Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker $109 – I’ve bought Andrew multiple Bose speakers for his office, for his work space at home and this one is perfect for bringing along to the beach or if you’re outdoors
  11. Kiehl’s Age Defender Eye Repair $30 – this is what Andrew is currently using
  12. Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb Set $120, is a classic date night scent, also in a square gift box here
  13. Jack Black The Jack Pack Set $49 – they have the best men’s grooming body care, I also borrow the Jack Black items from Andrew
  14. Jack Black The Balm Squad Set $25 – a great manly looking lip balm option
  15. Ray-Ban Chris 54mm Gradient Lens Sunglasses $143 – not shown because I forgot to add them to the photo, but sunglasses are always a good idea and you can’t go wrong with Ray-Ban, I just bought these ones for Andrew which are a nice more trendy variation of classic aviators

That wraps up my Men’s Holiday gift guide! If you have any questions or need recommendations let me know, I’ve had both my husband and my brother test out a lot of product to see what works for them!

Press samples featured from Creed and Chanel.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Skincare

Holiday Gift Guide: Skincare Sets

December 6, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide Skincare Sets | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Wednesday and hello from Miami! We are here for a few days and I’m thrilled to be visiting for the first time. I have another gift guide today rounding up some skincare gift sets for the holiday. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I have personally tested everything featured here and can vouch for them as great sets. Of course finding the right one for you or someone you want to gift something to depends on their skin type. With the holiday season it’s nice to try sets out or stock up on favorites because there are often value deals.

Top Shelf

Shelf #2

Shelf #3

Bottom Shelf

What are your favorite skincare sets or skincare items these days? I’m really loving the Caudalie items and Kate Somerville for affordable skincare that still works. Let me know if you have any sets on your wishlist! Right now I’ve got my eye on some 111Skin sheet masks and more things from Sisley. I keep putting things in and out of my online shopping carts!

Other gift guides for this holiday:

Best Travel Beauty Cases

Beauty Gifts Under $50

NARS Man x Ray

MAC Snowball

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets

 

Press samples featured from First Aid Beauty, Tatcha, Eve Lom.

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Gifts Under $50

December 4, 2017

Best Holiday Gifts Under $50 for the beauty junkie | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday! Today I’m rounding up some holiday gift guide ideas on beauty gifts under $50. I feel like beauty gifts in this price range tend to go fast! A few of these have already sold out online which I’ll note below but you may be able to find them in stores.

Palettes and Color

Best Holiday Makeup Palettes Under $50

There are a lot of great sets this year under the $50 price point from the MAC Snow Ball Collection. Their lip sets are the cutest with different color themes for pink and nudes. They also have some great face sets.

Lip Gifts

Lip Gift Sets Fresh, NARS, MAC, Kopari | The Beauty Look Book

The lip sets are everywhere this holiday! For some reason I think these are the most fun and with the winter season you can’t go wrong with any lip balm set.

Holiday Crackers and Ornaments

Best Holiday Beauty Crackers and Ornaments

These are always fun because they’re like little surprise gifts. Fresh has some of the best lip sets this year both under and over $50 – I’d recommend you act quick on those if you see any you like because a lot of their sets have sold out.

Others

A few other cute gifting options. Perfume can be a tricky one as scent is so personal, however as long as you’re pretty certain of your friend’s taste and preferences, sampler sets can be a great option.

Holiday Beauty Gifts Under $50

Best Holiday Beauty Sets Under $50 | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my roundup of beauty gifts under the $50 price point! If you are in search of ideas I hope this guide helps you:) How far along are you on your holiday shopping? Have you already bought all your gifts or do you still have a ways to make through your list?

This week’s giveaway is going to be a mix of 4 products/sets featured in today’s post! I’ll select 1 winner at random through the Rafflecopter widget below and they will win all 4 sets. Giveaway is open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Simply complete one of the tasks in the widget. Giveaway will run from 12/4 to 12/9 11:59 PM EST. I usually pick a winner within 48 hours. If selected you must respond via email within 48 hours or another person will be selected. I typically ship prizes within 1 week. Not affiliated or sponsored.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Press samples featured include the Cover FX Palette, Fresh Sweet and Sporty Lip Set, NARS Man Ray Lip Pencil Set, NARS The Veil Palette, Tatcha Kissed with Gold, Away Mini Suitcase and the JINsoon Trio.

Holiday Gift Guide Travel

Holiday Gift Guide: Best Travel Beauty Cases

November 22, 2017

Best Travel Makeup Bags | The Beauty Look Book

I have my first holiday gift guide of the year! Today I’m rounding up some of the best travel beauty cases and makeup bags I love. If you’re in need of ideas for a fun unique gift, I think any of these would be great gift for the beauty lover or frequent traveler. When it comes to travel prep I’m always looking for good storage and packing solutions to organize and carry my things, especially beauty items. I’ve tried a lot of different options over the years. Many times I’ll use the freebies from gift with purchase events, but sometimes it’s nice to have something a little better quality that’s sturdier. If you’ve followed my packing travel posts you’ll probably recognize several of these bags. I’ve put each one to the test on different kinds of trips. I’m primarily a carry-on traveler so in general I’d say these bags work best for shorter trips. Quick note that all the cases come empty with the exception of the Away Mini Suitcases, but I’ve filled all of them with some of my favorite things to help show what you can fit inside. I hope this helps decide which option is best for your needs!

Mini Beauty Trunk Case

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case ($160, measures 6.406″ L x 3.844″ W x 8.609″ H) is something that has special meaning to me as Andrew gifted me a black leather case many years ago when we were in college. This was in our early dating days before he knew I was a beauty junkie! He found it at the airport in London before he flew back home one summer. It was the perfect gift and I used it for many years (I still have it!). Each year Bobbi Brown has released a new version. This year’s is a beautiful deep red. You can see everything that I fit inside the 2016 version which is nearly identical to this year’s inside.

I have actually fit this inside a carry-on suitcase in previous years, but as you can imagine it does take up a lot of room. For weekend trips it’s perfect. There have been times I just packed a weekender bag and this case. My black leather one has held up remarkably well. It can get dirty inside, especially if you store dirty brushes or have powders that spill. Mine has been relatively easy to clean with a damp cloth and canned air. Canned air works wonders to remove debris from almost anything!

This one has two levels, a top tier that can hold brushes or skinny perfumes and then a sectioned portion to hold compacts, liquids or lipsticks. The base is bigger/deeper so you can stack more inside. There is a nice gap on the top of the bottom (if that makes sense) so there’s a lot more room than you might think.

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case 2017 Holiday

Clear Double-Sided Zip Pouch

Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Travel Case ($275, measures 8.7″D x 3.2″W x 4.7″H) is one of my most expensive makeup bag splurges. I can’t remember the exact date that I bought this but I know I’ve had it for over two years. It’s clear and has two zippered sides, one for Take-Off and one for Touch-Down. You can really put anything you want in it, but for flying it’s nice to have two sides to separate items so you don’t have to dig around your makeup bag to search for things. This bag has gone through a lot of travel and still has held up really well. It’s been through quite a bit of squishing, packing and use. Many of you have asked if I think this purchase was worth it. In this case I don’t know that I can say it’s worth the price tag because it’s soooo expensive, but it has held up a lot better than I anticipated, especially since it’s made of clear plastic and patent leather. So that being said I’m still 100% happy with this splurge because the quality has proved to be excellent.

Anya Hindmarch In-flight Travel Case

A closer look at both sides, on the Take-Off side I can stack 3 compacts flat to fit inside. The Touch-Down side is skinny in the opening but can still hold long tubes like Chanel glosses, cream shadow sticks, etc.

Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case | The Beauty Look Book

Clear Flat Snap-Closure Pouch

Ouai Clear Envelope Pouch ($25) is currently sold out on their website which is the only place I could find to buy it. Right now you can buy it in their Under the Mistletoe Set. I’m hoping they restock eventually because it’s a great large flat pouch! Do note that since there is only one button clasp smaller things can be prone to falling out if you stuff it (versus a zip bag that won’t let anything spill). But for medium to larger size bottles it’s great! What I’ve fit inside below: Ouai Wave Spray, Ouai Hair Oil, Ouai Smooth Spray, Sunglasses, Byredo Hair Perfume in Mojave Ghost, Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo Mini, Oribe Swept Up Powder Spray, Fresh Sugar Lip, Atelier Cologne Minis, mini L’Occitane Divine Cream. I think the world needs more clear pouch options – they’re so handy for everything!

Ouai Clear Envelope Clutch | The Beauty Look Book

Large Leather Monogram Makeup Bags

The Daily Edited is a brand I discovered earlier this year. Their entire line is designed so you can have it customized and monogrammed! I ordered three items: one Black Large Cosmetic Case, one Taupe Large Cosmetic Case ($100 each, measures H 5.3″ x W 8.9″ x D 4.3″) and one of the Travel Cases ($120, measures H 5.9″ x W 9.4″ x D 3.5″). I have by initials in the blind embossed style SS. These are made of Saffiano Leather and are decent in quality, but the lining is not the best on the market. For something in the $100 range these are very good and I feel the large cosmetic cases are the best ones I’ve tried in terms of size, proportions and function. They are sturdy but the leather isn’t as thick or stiff as some other luxury brands so it’s bendable and prone to slight stretching in areas. Based on the occasions that I’ve used mine I just don’t think it’s something that will last as long as say something from Louis Vuitton. That being said, I do understand if you throw something in a suitcase packed with other items it’s bound to get smashed or worn so this isn’t a deal breaker for me. I brought one of the large bags with me on my trip to San Francisco and felt it was perfect in shape/size. It gets the job done and even though I think it could be better quality these are among my favorites for the style.

I’ve also used the Large Travel Case and it has an upper portion with compartments and leather straps with holes. This seems to be perfect for someone who wears a lot of jewelry or travels with different pieces. You can store earrings and also keep items separated. I’m a minimalist when it comes to jewelry, especially with travel as I’m always worried I’m going to lose something so this part didn’t really appeal to me. There’s a bottom portion that’s larger where you can store beauty products, compacts or other accessories. For an all around travel case it’s beautiful. For beauty I’ve found other options better suited to what I pack but it is a beautiful case and I can see many people using it for accessories, jewelry, etc.

The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case and Travel Case

A look inside and side view of the Large Cosmetic Case:

The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case Black

A look at the Large Travel Case, both tiers:

The Daily Edited Large Travel Case

Mini Travel Cases

Away Mini Suitcases are back this year! If you remember last year they had the Grey/Asphalt color as gift card cases which were super cute. They measure 7″ x 5″ x 3″ and this is the first year they’ve offered them to the public in 10 different colors, including their winter colors Frost and Pool. Each mini is available as a stand-alone for $35 or free with the purchase of a gift card. There are also some curated sets ranging from $45 to $95 packed with some of their TSA-sized essentials. Shown below are White, Asphalt and Brick Mini Suitcases next to the Away Carry-On (the black one been well-loved by my husband, this is the original one they launched back in 2015). You can buy all of these directly from their website Away Travel or one of their stores (New York, San Francisco, LA and Austin so far).

Away Mini Suitcases Holiday Sets

Each one has the same interior which has a grey mesh pocket and open inside, much like the Away suitcases. Below I have a closer look at the interior and some of the fun curated options they have. You can mix and match the colors in any of the sets. Right now they are sold out of the Beauty Set and Essentials Set but I’ve been told they are going to restock soon. The pink one is going to be restocked (they hope next week!). All others are limited-edition while supplies last. I love that these come wrapped in a drawstring cloth sack – it’s an extra special touch that makes these so cute. I was gifted 3 and promptly ordered a bunch more to give as gifts this year. Cameras shown below include the Leica Sofort Instant Print Camera and Sony NEX-6 (discontinued, current model is Sony A6000 Camera). You can also see my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer review here (and yes I still think it’s my favorite).

Away Carry On Suitcase with Holiday Mini Suitcases

So many of you have asked for a look at the inside of these cases so are more photos. They plan on restocking the sold-out sets around next week so keep an eye out for them! For now you can still buy the Individual Mini Suitcase in all the colors for $35 each (some have sold out, but pink is going to be restocked).

  • The Beauty Set $75 comes with mini Malin + Goetz Shampoo and Conditioner, RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Bloom, IGK Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo, Herbivore Deluxe Rose Mist, Wallpaper’s City Guide to Paris
  • The Essential Set $45 comes with Malin + Goetz Mini Face Moisturizer, Mini Face Wash, Marvis Toothbrush, Marvis Toothpaste, Deep Sleep This Works mini pillow spray, Wallpaper City Guide for London
  • The Field Set $75 comes with a mini Harry’s face lotion, Malin + Goetz deoderant, Public Supply Notebook and Wallpaper City Guide forย  for Austin
  • Interior color is the same for all cases, one mesh pocket and an open interior

Away Holiday Gift Sets Mini Suitcases

Clear + Leather Pouches

Truffle Clarity Jetset Cases ($85 each, measures 7 1/2โ€ L X 5 1/4โ€ H X 2″ W). They launched non-flat pouches this year and I was thrilled! I ordered two of the three colors for myself and really like how they are constructed. They are on the expensive side for the size but I think they’re great for throwing in your carry-on tote. I find the quality pretty good and there’s enough structure to it that it will retain its shape well. I didn’t want to love these at the price but now that I’ve purchased two I’m really glad that I did. I’ve been a fan of the flat pouches for such a long time it’s nice to see something with more depth!

Truffle Clarity Jetset Cases and Mini Clarity Pouch | The Beauty Look Book

Large Open Clear Zip Bags

MAC Clearly MAC Large Rectangle ($30, measures 8.5″ x 5.38″ x 5″) is one of the more affordable clear bags that I own and think it’s sturdy and well made for the price. They’ve had several variations over the year and this is the current one. They also have the Clearly MAC Rectangle ($26, measures 9.25″ x 3.5″ x 3.38″) which I’ve had on my wishlist for brushes. I’ve tried a number of brush rolls in the past and while they’re great – sometimes I just want something more basic, simple and open. View of the front, back and side – it’s pretty roomy!

MAC Clearly MAC Large Rectangle Makeup Bag

On My Radar

Net-A-Porter Holiday Beauty Kit ($115) is one that I do not own but spotted it online for one of their holiday kits and it looks like a steal! If you’re budget is around the $100 mark and want to gift a little bit of everything this kit has just that. The clear case looks promising for travel as well.

Net-A-Porter Holiday Beauty Kit

That wraps up my gift guide on favorite travel beauty cases for carry-on travelers. If you have any friends or family that already have all the beauty products and you’re stumped on what to get them, I think a makeup bag or travel case is a great alternative.

This week’s giveaway is going to be a Bobbi Brown Beauty Case + Away Mini Suitcase in Brick! I bought a Bobbi Brown case but was also sent one as a press sample, so I’m giving away my extra. I also ordered a ton of the minis to give away as gifts and I’m adding one to this giveaway. As a bonus I’ll be filling both with some makeup goodies but the picks will be customized based on the winner’s skintone, skintype and preferences. This giveaway is open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Simply follow any of the tasks provided in the widget below.

  • Runs through 11/29/2017 11:45 PM EST
  • I’ll pick 1 winner via the Rafflecopter widget below and e-mail them within 72 hours after giveaway ends
  • Winner must respond to e-mail within 72 hours or another person will be picked in their place
  • I usually ship prizes within 1 week
  • Open internationally
  • Not sponsored or affiliated

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have any favorite travel makeup bags? Are you a carry-on traveler or do you check your suitcases? Stay tuned for more gift guides, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales Roundup and more!

Press samples include the Away Mini Suitcases and MAC Clearly MAC Rectangle Bag. Other pouches and bags purchased by me.

Holiday Gift Guide MAC

MAC Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

November 16, 2017

MAC Snow Ball Collection Review and Swatches

I’m rounding up one of the prettiest holiday collections this year with the MAC Snow Ball Collection. Everything is limited-edition and some pieces are harder to find as there are a few retailer exclusives. By now some of the items have sold out online but you may want to check your local stores to see if you can find anything. The entire collection launched a few weeks ago but as this is a pretty hefty collection it’s taken me a while to swatch, test and review everything. I received a number of press samples but tracked down some items at my local Nordstrom and MAC store. There’s still a massive amount of sets and palettes not featured today so know if you’re into more bold shades, pinks, glitzy glitters etc. there are definitely some other options to pick from that you can still find easily. Featured today includes:

MAC Snow Ball Lips

First are some lip picks. I love the MAC holiday lip sets because they often have minis and are color-themed. Being the nude lip lover that I am I knew I had to get the Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag because it has one of the prettiest nude lipsticks!

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks

There are six individual Snow Ball Lipsticks in the collection. It seems they’re sold out everywhere except MAC online. I have four which I purchased including:

  • Warm Ice which is a metallic pale gold beige (similar to Gel)
  • Holiday Crush is a metallic soft pink rose
  • I’m Glistening is a metallic taupe grey mauve
  • Elle Belle is one of the prettiest deep red creams

MAC Warm Ice, Holiday Crush, I'm Glistening, Elle Belle Lipstick swatches

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks Swatches

The Nude Lip Bag is my absolute favorite even if it seems dupe-able:

  • Sending Love Cremesheen Lipstick is the one of the most perfect nude pink lipsticks I’ve ever seen
  • Doubletime Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is permanent, it’s a toffee pink brown
  • Iced Dream Lipglass is a sheer sparkly pink gloss

The Snow Ball Nude Mini Lip Gloss Kit has three mini glosses all exclusive to the set, I love all the colors and they wear very well:

  • Below Freezing is a Cremesheen Glass formula with clear base with loads of pale pink sparkles
  • Iced Over is a Metallic Vamplify formula in a metallic but very wearable beige shimmer
  • Winter Warmer is a Cremesheen Glass formula which is a warm pink brown with a tiny bit of sheen

MAC Nude Lip Bag Swatches, MAC Nude Lipglass Mini Swatches

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks Swatches

MAC Snow Ball Highlighters

For the face there are lots of highlighter options. I don’t even want to admit how many MAC highlighters I own because it’s a ridiculous amount. I’m always surprised they manage to make new ones because it seems like all the colors have to have been done already. There are two individual Face Powders in an Opalescent Finish. They’re called Happy Go Dazzling which is a pale beige gold and Here Comes Joy which is a peachy shimmer. Both are noticeable on the skin but in comparison to other highlighters they have a slightly stiffer texture which makes them sheerer and less metallic. I love these because they don’t look garish on the skin but have a soft diffused look.

There are also some sets called the Snow Ball Face Bag which are a MAC and Nordstrom exclusive. Nordstrom has two options, a Peach Face Bag with Show Gold Extra Dimension Skinfinish (duochrome pink peach with loads of sparkle) and the Gold Face Bag which has Whisper of Gilt (metallic gold). These come with a sequins bag and small 140S brush in a metallic handle.

MAC Snow Ball Face Powders Happy Go Dazzling and Here Comes Joy, Snow Ball Face Bag Show Gold

I added a swatch of Whisper of Gilt that I have from older launches:

MAC Snow Ball Face Powders Happy Go Dazzling and Here Comes Joy, Snow Ball Face Bag Show Gold

MAC Snow Ball Eye Makeup

MAC Snow Ball Eye Makeup Swatches and Review

There are a few palette options, I received a press sample of the Snow Ball Eye Compact in Gold. Palettes can be tricky especially if you don’t 100% love all the shades. This one performs well for a smoky eye look but two of the colors are very glittery with a lot of fallout unless you pat it on the lids.

Mac Snow Ball Eye Compact in Gold swatches

For eye makeup all the single Extra Dimension Eye Shadows pretty much sold out the day they launched. I tracked them all down in stores and am not really sure why they sold out in record time. They are indeed super beautiful but very metallic. The texture is smooth and easy to apply. On the lids they are perfect party-wear shadows. Only Starry Starry Night, Delicate Drift and It’s Snowing are ones I feel like I could wear for regular everyday wear. The swatch photos don’t capture the metallic quality as well as I’d like but I hope they give you a good reference. Colors include:

  • Frostwinked metallic white glitter frost
  • Delicate Drift metallic soft pink glitter
  • Stylishly Merry duochrome bronze pink glitter
  • It’s Snowing shimmering silvery mauve
  • Starry Starry Night shimmering deep charcoal with silver flecks

There’s an eye bag set called the Snow Ball Smoky Gold Eye Bag with a duo of Extra Dimension Shadows of Just Gleaming (champagne pink) and Snowdusk (shimmering taupe) with a Technakohl Eyeliner in Photogravure and In Extreme Lash Mascara in Black.

MAC Snowball Extra Dimension Eyeshadow and Snow Ball Smoky Gold Eye Bag swatches

Last but not least is one of the brush sets which is the Snow Ball Brush Set Mini. It has three short-handled rose gold brushes in a brushed metallic handle finish including 421SE, 535SE and 560SE. I feel like I know my MAC brushes well but don’t remember seeing any of these numbers before. They perform really well for MAC brush sets – I often find the quality of the brush sets aren’t as good as the full size/individual brushes but these are really good for powders.

MAC Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit

One last look below. Overall lots to explore and love in this holiday collection. I really think there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for something under the $50 price point for gifts I think any of the lip bags are great. I love the Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag for $39.50 and the Mini Lipstick Kits or Gloss Kits are $29.50 each. I would personally pass on the eyeshadow palettes as I don’t 100% love all the shades. The individual eyeshadows are stunning but are on the glitzy side which makes them a bit challenging for everyday wear if you need a conservative look.

MAC Snowball Collection Review and Swatches

You can find the MAC Snow Ball Collection online and in stores at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Everything is limited-edition and I’d definitely recommend you browse all the retailers as each store has something exclusive.

Press samples and purchased items featured. Press samples include the Face Powders, Mini Lip Gloss Kit, Eyeshadow Palette, Mini Brushes and Eye Bag Set.