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Skincare

Quick Dry Skin Fixes

January 3, 2018

Best Dry Skin Fixes | The Beauty Look Book

If you’ve been experiencing extra dry skin since winter arrived I have a roundup of skincare I’ve tried in search for some quick fixes. There are hits and misses for me and I hope this might help you find something to try for instant relief. I’ve suddenly had a renewed obsession with trying all kinds of face mists (full dedicated post on that soon). I’ve also finally tried a few beauty oils that have cult status – oils are always tricky for me as I have sensitive skin and some can cause an allergic reaction on my skin.

Face Oils

Face oils are great for instant relief of dry skin but I prefer to wear them on weekends or evenings when I don’t have a lot of makeup on. There are so many beauty oils on the market that I want to try but they tend to make me a bit nervous because I have sensitive skin. I finally tried a couple of Rodin face oils. The Jasmin and Neroli Oil is the original classic version which is the richest out of the two that I tried but too heavy in finish and fragrance for my skin type and preference. Geranium and Orange Blossom was better suited for my skin with a slightly lighter feel to it and beautiful scent. There’s also a Lavender version for calming which I have yet to test. These oils are very expensive running at $170 for 1 fl oz, but they also have a smaller version of .5 fl oz for $89. If you’re unsure of splurging this much on an oil and don’t have a counter near you to try, there is a Couture Kit which is a sampler for $60. I just ordered it and am in the process of trying each item. Let me know if you want a more detailed review.

Darphin has some amazing body oils so I ordered the holiday Essential Elixir Set for the face. The holiday version came with four miniatures of the 8 Flower Nectar Oil, Jasmine Aromatic Care, Chamomile Aromatic Care and Tangerine Aromatic Care. These are miniature oils which I think are the perfect size for sampling. I’ve only had a chance to sample them for three weeks but Tangerine and Chamomile feel the best on my skin, 8 Flower Nectar is the most aromatic and emollient, Jasmine has the most pleasant smell for a jasmine-based oil (usually it’s way too strong). My favorite is Tangerine. Their holiday set is now sold out, but you can find another one with different options here.

Bottom line, I still like my Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, Kate Somerville Dilo Oil, L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil best. I have also had the Sisley Black Rose Oil on my wishlist as it’s the best oil I’ve tried. I’m waiting for a good gift with purchase to purchase it. For the most sensitive skin days the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream works better compared to oils for me.

Face Mists

I’ve always liked face mists but had a renewed love for them this year. The best ones I tried were the Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist, the Sublimage La Brume and Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist. All three have enough moisture but aren’t heavy. They also have really well designed mist dispensers so your face doesn’t get drenched or splotchy. They dispense a really fine mist! L’Occitane’s Immortelle Precious Mist has always been an affordable favorite, I stopped by the store back in November and discovered they actually have other options! I bought all of them in the Reine Blanche Illuminating Mist, Peony Perfecting Mist and the Shea Butter Comfort Mist. My favorites are Immortelle and Reine Blanche and I definitely want to try more of the brightening line now!

A sad miss for me was the Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol spray. I really love all things Aesop but this was disappointing. The spritzer didn’t dispense a fine mist and it left my face feeling covered with a thick somewhat sticky feel. It felt hydrating but not in a good way. The best thing is the scent but for the face the formula didn’t work out for me. A quick look at the ingredients shows that this one has the bad kind of alcohol too.

I’ve been testing quite a few – a comprehensive roundup to follow once I’ve finished the testing process. A sneak peek is that I’ll be including Chanel, REN, L’Occitane, La Mer, Omorovicza, Saturday Skin, SK-II to name a few – if there are any others you want me to try or thin I should add let me know in the comments!

Body Oils and Hand Creams

I love a good body oil and unfortunately my favorite from Nuxe is no longer carried in the US. I received a gorgeous gift of the the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil over the holiday and it’s amazing! It’s way better than the Dry Oil Spray I tried earlier this year (perhaps the only thing I do not like from Tom Ford). If you love the Soleil Blanc scent like I do this is the perfect layering oil to use with the perfume. It’s hydrating, non greasy after a few minutes (you have to give it a little time to absorb) and the smell is to die for!

I already mentioned my love for the Chanel La Creme Main for the best velvety hand cream in my best of 2017 post. Other favorites include the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and By Terry Baume de Rose Hand Cream. Kiehl’s is always a classic as well, my husband swears by the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and I love the scented ones, right now they’re still available in this limited-edition Disney x Kiehl’s Hand Cream Trio. I didn’t have them to shoot for the post as everything is packed up in boxes again and we are house hunting this week.

Lip Treatments

This year I’ve really loved the Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviving Balms and Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade (review and swatches of Pink, Coral, Lilac and Berry here). I’m so excited there are tons of new shades this year including holographic ones. Review to follow soon. The By Terry Baume de Rose in the pot and tube have both been in constant rotation. Later in the year I decided to splurge on the Sisley Confort Extreme Nutritive Lip Balm. It’s more expensive than the By Terry but really really good! If you don’t like the rose scent or want something that isn’t quite as thick, the Sisley is a one well worth the splurge that I’ve found very hydrating and smooth on the lips.

What are your dry skin fixes? Any tips on beauty oils or favorite face mists you want to share?

Press samples include the Rodin Oils, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil.

Beauty Favorites Skincare

Best Skincare of 2017

December 29, 2017

Best Skincare 2017

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

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

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

Shelf 1, left to right:

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

Shelf 2, left to right:

Shelf 3, left to right:

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

Shelf 4, left to right:

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

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

Best Skincare of 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Left to right

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What were your skincare favorites of the year?

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.

Skincare

Favorite Face Scrubs + Exfoliators: His and Hers Edition

November 17, 2017

Favorite Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

Today I have Part 2 of my current skincare routine focused on my favorite face scrubs and exfoliators. This post has an added portion for Andrew’s favorites as several of you mentioned you liked the men’s grooming recommendations I’ve done in the past. I haven’t always been a fan of face scrubs. I’ve found so many too gritty and harsh for my skin but with a lot of trial, error and recommendations from friends and experts I’ve discovered that regular exfoliation has been a major key to maintaining good skin. Both Andrew and I have used each other’s skincare to see what works best. In general ones for men are indeed tougher or more gritty as I think men typically have tougher and thicker skin than women but there are actually some of his skincare items that I like to borrow on a regular basis from Jack Black.

Favorite Face Scrubs for Her

Favorite Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

My favorite exfoliators are gentle ones. I don’t usually exfoliate everyday unless it’s with a rice powder that’s activated by water. I’ve found scrubs gentle enough for daily use but really find that every other day is enough for me. I’ve used several variations of the Clarisonic including the Mia2 and Mia Fit. I must admit that I’m not the most diligent about using it consistently – especially when traveling. Sometimes having a small bottle or tube of face scrub is just so much easier and convenient. My favorites below plus one that I’ve just started trying:

  • Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator is the newest scrub I’ve tried. I bought it during the Sephora sale because of the high ratings. It has a cream base which makes it less harsh than a lot of scrubs and it works well over wet skin. I like that it’s gentle for me and effective. Skin feels cleaner and smoother. I do think it’s better for oily or combination skin. It has a slight citrus scent that I’m not the biggest fan of. I will use it until the end but don’t know if I’ll repurchase.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion is in my top picks for face scrubs. I thought it would be too harsh based on what I felt on my hands. When applied over a wet face it’s a great scrub. It’s also one Andrew has used and liked. It has crush microshells from the ocean sand, Willow Herb to sooth, shea butter and sea algeanates. Over time with regular use I do believe it helped minimize our pores.
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle is one of my most repurchased face scrubs. It has papaya, pumpkin, and pineapple enzymes reduce pore size, stimulate circulation, and improve oxygen flow. It’s a more gentle version of her regular Exfolikate which sometimes has too much tingle for me. I’ve had both applied on me during Kate Somerville facials which are the best facials I’ve ever had. I recommend any of her products.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Laura Mercier Face Polish is one I have in a mini right now but I have bought and used up the full size multiple times. It’s a great all around basic face scrub that does the job well without being too harsh. It does have a grittier texture but there’s a good cream base to balance it. With this one there is a slight almost apricot scent to it. Once you rinse it off you don’t notice it as much. I would say this one is better for normal to dry skin.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Fresh Sugar Face Polish is a newer favorite that I suspect will be in my top three. I bought mine in a mini size from the cutest Fresh Mask Wardrobe which I think would make a super cute gift. This scrub is an emollient brown sugar scrub with strawberry seeds that smells like sugary lemons. It’s emollient and leaves the skin feeling well nourished without leaving any oily film or residue. Skin feels super soft and has the smoothest feel out of the scrubs I’ve tried. I 100% recommend and will be getting the full size soon.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Sisley-Paris Gentle Facial Buffing Cream is an excellent face scrub that I reviewed here. It’s very pricey but one I think is excellent with one of the best formulas I’ve tried. It is better suited for normal or dry skin types in my opinion. I’ve been trying to use mine as sparingly as possible because it’s so good and I want to make it last as long as I can.
    • Currently working on finding the full ingredient list.
  • Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders come in different formulas for skin type. I’ve tried all of them and find the difference between them is subtle but still noticeable. Over the summer I used the Deep Polish (green one) but also alternate with the Indigo Soothing Rice (for sensitive skin) and Classic. You can find these in travel sizes online at Tatcha.
  • Clarisonic Mia2 shown in purple is the traditional Clarisonic with the handle. It comes with a compact storage case that doesn’t take up a lot of room making it convenient for travel and it also protects the brush. This helps with gentle exfoliation and the sonic facial brush cleanses the skin up to 6 times better than hands alone. I do think it does a better job at keeping skin clear and washing the face than hands. It’s just one more step in the routine that I skip when I’m rushed in the mornings or feel tired at night.

Favorite Exfoliators for Andrew

Men's Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

Andrew and I are really close in age. He has thicker skin than I do. His main concerns are primarily related to sun damage and sun spots. His skin type is normal to oily and with the Florida heat and humidity his skin has become more oily. Out of all the skincare he’s tried he feels daily exfoliation is the one thing that has improved his skin (or rather to maintain clear smooth skin). There are four he’s tried recently, his favorite is the same no matter what he tries (ones for men or even mine). In general his two favorite skincare lines are Kiehl’s and Jack Black. I’ve bought him numerous skincare gift sets over the years and that’s how he’s discovered what he’s liked.

  • Away has brought back their Minis for the holiday! You can buy the Mini Suitcase Individually, as a Gift Set (there are multiple options) or as a Gift Card Set. I’d recommend ordering soon as they are selling out really fast. I was lucky to get my hands on a few over the past year and absolutely love them for travel.
    • You can see my review on their Bigger Carry On here. Regular Carry On here.
  • Kiehl’s Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser is something I bought for him because he likes multi-tasking products and I thought this could be a good 2-in-1 scrub. Turns out he says it’s more like a cleansing cream with tiny beads but not really a scrub. It’s supposed to double as a mask that you can leave on to help exfoliate skin. He says it’s not bad, he just doesn’t love it and feels like it’s a knock-off of the Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser which is another one of his staple go-to’s.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub is his favorite face scrub. He’s tried to convert me to loving this as much as he does. I do like it a lot and have used it many times. It has fine particles, methol and vitamin c to invigorate the skin and help prepare it for shaving. He finds this helps clear up congested pores the best and helps prevent breakouts.
  • Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion (also shown above in my review) is one Andrew thought he liked the most, but after going back to his Jack Black decided that was his favorite. This one is good according to him but he likes something with more grit to exfoliate more.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Clarisonic Alpha Fit is something Andrew was diligent about using every day in the shower until we moved and started living the nomadic life in August. After moving month to month exploring and traveling he stopped using it and opted for face scrubs instead. In case you missed it our six months in Florida post here.

A few other favorites of his shown but that aren’t scrubs include the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Cleanser, Molton Brown Russian Leather Eau de Toilette, Creed Aventus for Men.

That wraps up our favorite face exfoliators of the moment! What are your favorites?

Press samples featured include the Sisley Gentle Face Scrub, Away Mini Suitcase, Molton Brown Russian Leather.

Skincare Tatcha

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets + A Few of My Favorite Things

November 13, 2017

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets and Favorite Skincare | The Beauty Look Book

Tatcha is having their holiday Friends and Family Sale online at Tatcha.com until November 16th! With code FF2017 you will receive 20% off your order. They have a few lovely holiday gift sets you can only find on their website. I have a few to review for you today along with a roundup of my favorites. I’ve found Tatcha skincare to be great for sensitive and normal to dry skin. They’ve recently added more items for normal to combination skin which I’ve really loved. A few years ago they launched their first makeup item the Kyoto Red Lipstick. They’ve also added Plum Blossom and Cherry Blossom all of which have sold out numerous times. I hope they will restock and bring them back to be added to their permanent lineup because they are really beautiful!

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets and Favorite Skincare | The Beauty Look Book

Up first is a look at some holiday launches. Their Holiday Gift Sets are always so beautifully packaged. Even their shipping boxes have a special touch with the packing and purple packing stickers on the outside. I’ve gifted Tatcha to a number of friends and the first thing they comment on is the beautiful packaging. Hearts are won even before they open the box!

Tatcha Holiday Gift Sets A Joyful Discovery and Kissed with Gold Set | The Beauty Look Book

If you’re looking for a good sampler set with minis the Joyful Discovery Set ($115) has six of their travel-sized favorites. If you’re new to Tatcha I think the best thing is that they have travel sizes they sell separately that have exceptional packaging. This one has:

  • One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil 25 ml
  • Classic Rice Enzyme Powder 10 g
  • The Essence 25 ml
  • Radiant Deep Brightening Serum 10 ml
  • The Silk Cream 10 ml
  • Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream 3 ml

Another cute set is the Kissed With Gold Set Duo ($32) which has their Camellia Gold Spun Lip Balm and a beautiful Gold Leaf Travel Mirror. This would make for an adorable stocking stuffer for anyone that wants a special lip balm. It’s smooth and nourishing and the gold flecks make for a beautiful looking balm.

Tatcha Holiday Lip Sets and Oil | The Beauty Look Book

For lip color there are three offerings this holiday. Two sets including the Camellia Kisses Lip Balm Trio ($85) which has three full-size tinted lip balms and the Blossoming Joy Silk Lipstick Trio ($60) which has three miniature lipsticks of their Kyoto Red, Sunrise A Plum Blossom and Twilight A Cherry Blossom. Unfortunately the lipstick set has sold out but I’m hoping it will be restocked because this is the perfect mini lipstick set! I ordered these during their early access sale and am glad to have snagged them! The third item launches is the Kyoto Red Tinted Lip Oil ($30) which is a beautiful sheer moisturizing red. I rarely wear reds but sheer ones are perfect for neutral lip lovers like me. They look more natural but still have a lovely tint.

As a quick FYI in case you don’t want the balms as a set, you can find the Red Camellia, Gold Spun and Cherry Blossom available individually online.

Tatcha Blossoming Joy Lipstick Miniatures, Camellia Kisses Lip Balm Trio, Kyoto Red Tinted Lip Oil

Tatcha Blossoming Joy Lipstick Miniatures, Camellia Kisses Lip Balm Trio, Kyoto Red Tinted Lip Oil swatches

Tatcha Blossoming Joy Lipstick Miniatures, Camellia Kisses Lip Balm Trio, Kyoto Red Tinted Lip Oil Lip Swatches

Last but not least are my favorites from Tatcha. I test a lot of skincare and Tatcha is one that always manages to calm my skin down and helps immensely with dryness when it occurs. My two absolute favorites for normal combination skin are the items in the soft sea green packaging. I hope they expand the line!

Tatcha Skincare Favorites from The Beauty Look Book

My personal favorites:

  • The Water Cream is one of my favorite water burst moisturizers. It’s super lightweight and feels like water on the skin but does adhere well to give it moisture. I’m beyond obsessed with it – it’s worked extremely well in humid Florida weather. It hydrates without looking shiny or getting too moisturizing.
  • The Water Gel (sold out on Tatcha but available at Sephora) is practically the only face gel I like and use. It’s gone on many travels with me and has a bit more substance/thickness than the water cream but applies smoothly and works well under all my liquid foundations.
  • The Silk Cream is best suited for dry skin, I will use this at night sometimes because during the day it’s a bit too rich for hot humid climates. It works well to hydrate and smooth the skin.
  • The Essence is my favorite essence of the moment. I really didn’t think it was doing anything to my skin but once I used it regularly I noticed everything else that followed absorbed better into my face. Also I notice when I don’t use it my skin doesn’t feel as balanced.
  • Camellia Lip Balm (sold out on Tatcha but available at Sephora) is a classic lip balm that smooths, hydrates and plumps. The gold leaf adds a special touch to it!
  • Violet-C Radiance Mask is one of the softest most gentle brightening masks I’ve tried. It has ingredients that give the skin a brighter glowing look. I didn’t notice immediate visible results from a one-time use, but skin feels very soft after you rinse it off. Regular weekly use has improved brightness for me. If you need a stronger mask this may not be the one for you.
  • Classic Enzyme Rice Powder is a staple for soft gentle daily exfoliation. I use this in conjunction with my regular liquid cleansers from other brands because I like traditional cleansers better for clean skin. I use the Tatcha Rice Powders in place of a face scrub to exfoliate in the most gentle way possible.
  • Dewy Skin Mist is a must for travel as my skin gets dried out on airplanes. I do find it too dewy for mid-day touch ups here in Florida. I hope they consider launching a lighter weight spray mist for oily skin because that would be my dream come true!

Favorites not shown because I’m all out and plan on restocking:

Do you have any favorites from Tatcha? I know a lot of you are huge fans of the line – let me know what you’ve tried and what has worked for you! The 20% off sale runs online at Tatcha.com through November 16th with code FF2017.

Holiday gift sets gifted courtesy of Tatcha for review. All full-size items featured have also been press samples in past features but I’ve since repurchased all the items featured in this post on my own.

 

Skincare

Updated Skincare Routine and Testing: Cleansers and Toners

November 6, 2017

Favorite Face Cleansers and Toners | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I’ve compiled a series of posts on my updated skincare routine and testing. Skincare routines are challenging for me to write about as I am frequently testing new things and I like to switch things up on a regular basis. Since moving from California to Florida my skin has had quite a time trying to adjust to new climates and water conditions. My skin has become truly combination as the weather can make me a bit oily outdoors but the water dries out my skin. I’ve always had sensitive skin and that has pretty much remained the same – I usually react immediately if I have any kind of allergic reaction and then it takes at least a full week for my skin to recover. Luckily with cleansers I’ve had no reactions with what I’ve tested and I’m kicking off my skincare series with cleansers and toners.

I have a rather complex cleansing routine and you definitely don’t need to have one this complex. In the mornings I use one cleanser and then follow with one toner. In the afternoons after workouts or in the evening I definitely double cleanse on a regular basis, sometimes I triple cleanse with an exfoliator added to the routine (scrubs and exfoliators will be covered in a separate post). To try and help simplify things I’ve split all my testing this year by category. At the end of the post I’ll list my top picks and recommendations.

Cream and Gel Cleansers

Favorite Cleansers Sisley, Kate Somerville, L'Occitane, Glamglow, Saturday Skin | The Beauty Look Book

I prefer traditional liquid cleansers because I find they lather best to really clean the skin (vs gels, balms or oils). Ones I’ve been testing this year along with some tried and true favorites:

  • Sisley Phyto-Blanc Lightening Foaming Cleanser * ($130 for 3.8 oz/108 g) is a creamy gel cleanser that has a foaming quality when you add water. It’s gentle but effective and does help give the skin a more glowing look to it. It removes excess oil without stripping the skin and doesn’t make the face feel tight after rinsing. Key ingredients according to their website includes white mulberry and scutellaria extracts to lighten the complexion, lemon extract to tone and restore radiance, vegetable glycerine to moisturize, lavender essential oil to sooth and balance and marjoram essential oil to soothe.
  • Kate Somerville cleansers in general are my favorite because they work the best for my skin type and are affordable for the quality and performance. I often have to rotate skincare because my skin gets used to a product and then I find it becomes less effective. This is not the case with Kate Somerville. My husband also uses these and my brother who is in his early 20’s with sensitive skin also loves these as well.
    • EradiKate Daily Cleanser Acne Treatment ($19 for 1.7 oz/50 ml to $38 for 4 oz/120 ml) is the best for clearing up the skin. It is part of the EradiKate line with sulfur which is their line that helps with acne and blemishes. It’s meant for oily combination skin, but if you’re dry I think it’s still suitable for weekly use or during times you have break outs. Often times anti-acne skincare is too strong for me and ends up stripping my skin so much. This does not dry me out. Ingredients here.
    • Gentle Daily Wash ($36 for 4 oz/120 ml, also available in a larger 16 oz size with pump at Nordstrom) is the best everyday kind of gentle wash. I use it in the morning frequently and in the evenings as well. This is my brother’s favorite. Ingredients listed here.
    • Exfolikate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash ($38 for 4 oz/120 ml) is a exfoliating cleanser but doesn’t feel like a scrub. It has AHAs and natural fruit enzymes to purify the skin. If you’re looking for an exfoliating wash that doesn’t have scrubby particles this is a great one. Regular use for me helped improve texture and glow. Ingredients listed here.
  • Glamglow SUPERCLEANSE™ Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser * ($32 for 5 oz/150 g) is the new formula and packaging of their Supercleanse Cleanser. I really loved the original version and was really upset to find there was a new one. I still prefer the original version because I found it stronger and better for clarifying and reducing redness. The new one is still good but it’s creamier, a little more gentle and almost feels like it’s hydrating. It has a pore refining triple charcoal complex with three charcoals: coconut, ubame white oak, and gray bamboo, all designed to detox skin. Mediterranean clays absorb oils to mattify skin and restore balance. I just think the original was better. Ingredients listed here.
  • Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser * ($80 for 5.1 oz/150 ml) is one of the most hydrating cleansers I’ve tried. It has a cream feel with a cream finish to the skin. It’s a detoxifying cleanser and almost has a cooling hydrating feel once you rinse it off. Skin is left feeling refreshed and hydrated. If you want to try this in a smaller size you can find it in the Holiday Cracker duo the or on Omorovicza’s site you can create your own custom mini travel trio. I would not recommend this for oily skin. My husband and I like to use this on our triple cleanse days to add moisture. Ingredients listed here.
  • Saturday Skin Rise + Shine Purifying Cleanser ($26 for 4.05 oz) is something I tried and liked, but didn’t love. I think it’s a good basic purifying cleanser, but there’s not really anything special that it did for my skin. It has apple and peach extracts which are supposed to remove impurities without stripping. It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, synthetic fragrance-free, synthetic color-free if these factors are important to you. It does a good job at cleaning the skin without drying.
  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Foaming Cleansing Cream * ($39 for 4.2 oz) was something I previously reviewed here. Quick recap is that it’s a great cleanser that gentle and soothing  on the skin. I’m nearly done with a tube. It does have a soft scent that you find in the Immortelle line but it’s not strong and does not irritate my skin.
  • Huxley Secret of Sahara Be Clean Be Moist Cleansing Gel ($30 for 6.76 oz) was something I purchased from Nordstrom when they had the Korean Beauty Pop Up. They no longer carry it but you can find it now at Saks Fifth Avenue. This is one of the most gentle gel cleansers I’ve used. It is a hydrating cleanser but doesn’t leave a film on the skin and it leaves the skin feeling very clean. In general I find I don’t really like gel-like cleansers as they don’t lather as well as others. This one is one I used up entirely and liked, but I prefer Kate Somerville and Sisley.

Toners + Cleansing Waters

Face Toner and Cleansing Water Favorites La Mer, Sisley, Bioderma, La Roche Posay, Erborian

Finding good toners that don’t cause my entire face to flare up has been a challenge. My three go-to’s below:

  • Sisley Botanical Floral Toning Lotion * ($103 for 8.4 fl oz/250 ml) is one of the best toners I’ve tried. It’s an alchohol free toner that is designed for dry/sensitive skin, but suitable for my normal combination skin. Since the water here in Florida tends to dry out my skin having a slightly moisturizing toner works well for me as the water strips my face and the toner helps rebalance everything. It has rose extracts, cornflower and witch hazel. The rose scent is super soft and soothing. I’m super picky about rose scents. The By Terry line is excellent but their skincare is often too strong in scent for me (I’m ok with the lip products though). The Sisley toner is soothing and softening. I’ve accumulated minis from GWPs and have been hoarding them.
  • Bioderma Sensibio Tonic Lotion ($9.90 to $16.90) is the best toner I’ve used under $25. It’s soothing and softly hydrating. I’ve bought several travel-sized options which is still a bit pricey but cheaper than high-end brands. Ingredients online at Beautylish.
  • La Mer The Tonic ($90 for 6.7 oz) has been one of my favorite toners for years. I can’t recall how many bottles I’ve purchased. It helps to rebalance the skin and make it feel completely refreshed and clean. I hate repurchasing it though because it’s so expensive. It does last a long time but the price is always a huge ouch to the wallet. Ingredients listed here.
  • Another not shown:
    • Darphin Intral Toner is another favorite to soothe skin and help with redness. It doesn’t sting even on sensitive days. I’ve actually been a fan of multiple products from the Intral Line including the Sunscreen and Mousse Cleanser.

Cleansing Waters have been in my skincare rotation for years. I find using these in the evenings to remove makeup really help improve clarity of my skin if I use in conjunction with a regular cleanser.

  • Bioderma makeup removers have been great for gentle makeup removing. I’ve tried multiple formulas that I’ve ordered from Beautylish. I really like that they have small travel sizes which are convenient to pack for short trips. The Sensibio H20 is the most gentle, Hydrabio H20 is for dry skin, Sebium H20 is for oily skin. None of these remove waterproof mascara or eye makeup for me, but they do work nicely to remove face makeup. I still need to do a regular cleanse with a regular cleanser but doing a double cleanse with a cleansing water or oil first really helps to make sure all traces of makeup are washed off and gone. Ingredients are all listed on Beautylish.
  • La Roche-Posay Micellar Water ($19.99 for 400 ml, available at Dermstore, Ulta, La Roche-Posay) is a great all purpose cleansing water. It does a really good job at removing face makeup – it’s more effective at removing makeup than the Bioderma for me. It’s gentle but effective. It doesn’t leave a film on the skin. It comes in multiple size options. Ingredients at Dermstore.
  • La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water ($50 to $90 for 3.4 oz to 6.7 oz) is something I had high hopes for. I ordered mine from Nordstrom and it’s lasted a long time. I think it’s a great cleansing water, but you can get something similar or just as good for a lot less. Still I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try it. Ingredients listed here.
  • Erborian Cleansing Micellar Water ($26 for 6.4 oz/190 ml) is another great cleansing water that I tried. It’s a three-in-one like many other micellar waters to remove makeup, refresh and clean the skin. It feels more fresh than others although performance is very similar to others I’ve tried. Ingredients here.
  • Other favorites not shown:

Cleansing Oils

Cleansing Oils Shu Uemura, Tatcha, Sunday Riley | The Beauty Look Book

Cleansing Oils are also fun to use. I like these for the double or triple cleanse to dissolve and remove face makeup before I wash the face. Sometimes I’ll use a cleansing oil, follow with cleansing water + cotton pad and then use a regular cleanser.

  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils * were previously reviewed in this post here. You can find all the details plus a special Shu Uemura promo code for beauty look book readers. Ingredients for all the oils in my original review post.
  • Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 for 150 ml) has been a long-time go to for years. It has a mix of Camellia and Rice Bran oils and is super gentle with a hydrating finish. It removes all face makeup well. You can find smaller trial/travel sizes in a number of Holiday Gift Sets. Also in a few duos at Sephora. Ingredients at Tatcha.
  • Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil * ($38 for 3.4 oz/100 ml) is one that I didn’t like for my skin. I found it a bit too drying for my skin type. If you have normal or oily skin you will probably like this. It is very effective and rinses off well without leaving a film. Skin is left smooth and completely clean, just a little too tight for me. Ingredients here.

Cleansing Balms and Solid Cleansers

Cleansing Balms and Solid Cleansers | The Beauty Look Book

Balm Cleansers have a melting effect on the skin. They are often solid or thick and once you work it into the face it melts and transforms into a balm or oil. I have mixed feelings about these. I feel like they are better suited for normal to dry skin. They often have a creamy moisturizing finish on the skin, almost like a film of moisture. I often follow with a regular cleanser after to make my skin feel more clean.

  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm * ($44 for 2.3 oz) was reviewed here. I like this for a super relaxing feel on the face.
  • Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser ($60 for 3.2 fl oz/100 ml) is a new cleanser from Eve Lom similar to their classic  Cleanser but in a pump with a hybrid gel-to-balm like finish. This has a similar oil/balm like formula. It has clove oil, Egyptian chamomile oil, grapeseed oil and eucalytus oil. This one has antiseptic properties for healing and protection. It has a rich moisturizing feel with a strong scent, but it’s not irritating. If you have normal to dry skin but found the regular solid Cleanser too rich, give this one a try. Ingredients at Space NK.
  • Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy * ($34 for 3.2 oz/90 ml) is probably my favorite melt away balm cleanser that I’ve tried. It has a similar gentle feel to the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm which I liked but found it didn’t take off all my face makeup. The Farmacy is more effective at removing my foundation, powder and blush and leaves the skin feeling very soft. Ingredients here.
  • Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm * is something I got in a mini. It comes highly rated by online reviews but did not work for me. I found it too rich and oily feeling. I couldn’t get it to rinse off properly with just my hands and after reading the instructions I found you have to use a wash cloth to remove. I tried it with that method and it did come off, I still found it left a film on my skin. For me it was too rich. Ingredients here.

So after this year’s testing so far my favorites have remained my favorite cleansers are from Kate Somerville. I find all the ones I’ve tried to be the most effective yet gentle for my super sensitive skin. They work well to remove dirt, makeup and impurities and keep my skin clear and smooth. I really can’t pick one – every one I’ve tried works well. Still with the heat, humidity, sun, and long-wear makeup a single cleanser can’t remove everything 100%. My favorite cleansing water is still the Lancome Micellar Cleansign Water (I’ve used up two bottles this year) although I’ve really been enjoying La Roche Posay as well. Bioderma is still very good and remains a classic but sometimes it’s nice to try new things. In terms of cleansing oils, I rediscovered the Shu Ueumura ones this year and have been pleasantly surprised. I have reviewed and used up the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil which I feel is one of the best ones I’ve tried alongside Tatcha’s. I haven’t repurchased the SK-II as I’m trying to work my way through other formulas. When it comes to balms or solid cleansers I think they are definitely interesting and there are a number of great options – I’m still one that prefers liquid ones instead.

That wraps up Part 1 of my updated skincare routine and testing. I tried to link ingredients where I could find them for each product. I’ll hope to have the rest of my skincare posts up before the end of the month to cover exfoliating scrubs, moisturizers, masks and face mists. If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

As always I’d love to hear what your favorite face cleansers are!

Press samples and GWPs indicated with a *.

 

Skincare

Glowing Skin with the L’Occitane Divine Collection

September 21, 2017

L'Occitane Divine Collection Skincare Immortelle Oil | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve been a long-time fan of the L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil and Youth Cream for the gentle yet effective anti-aging properties. This fall season they reformulated their Divine Youth Oil to increase the concentration of Immortelle essential oils to improve the anti-aging properties. L’Occitane has also expanded the Divine Skincare Collection with new cleansers and I’m thrilled to have been able to get an early peek at them to put to the test. I have five items featured today. For those new to my blog I’ll give you a little background on my skin type and concerns. I’m in my mid-30’s and have sensitive but otherwise normal skin. I’m extremely sensitive to many kinds of fragrance and any kind of reaction (to scent, ingredients etc.) usually happens immediately. I’ve used L’Occitane since I was a freshman in college starting with their Shea Butter hand creams and cuticle treatments, ventured into their body treatments and then skincare. They’ve consistently been a favorite for natural gentle and effective formulas for my skin type. For most of my life I lived in Southern California where there was mild but warm climate and the Divine Youth Oil was perfect for cooler weather and also for times I felt dry. I currently live in Florida where the heat and humidity are pretty high but I’ve still experienced dryness due to the water. My primary concerns are anti-aging, finding something lightweight but with enough moisture to hydrate the skin, and also finding cleansers that will remove all traces of sweat, makeup and dirt at the end of the day.

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil Review | The Beauty Look Book

The Immortelle Divine Youth Oil has been a long-time go-to and the new formula is just as good as the original. It has a lightweight soothing natural earthy scent to it, absorbs quickly into the skin and makes all tightness (if you are dry) disappear. On me it’s instantly soothing and hydrating with a good dry down but still has that soft emollient feel. Skin feels noticeably more plump and smooth. It’s one of my favorite oils ever.

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L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream Review | The Beauty Look Book

The Immortelle Divine Youth Cream is also one of my favorite face moisturizers because it has a very soft consistency. This one also absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave any heavy or goopy residue. It leaves the skin looking like it has a natural glow and it’s compatible with the different formulas of foundation that I use. In general I’m more of a cream person than an oil person for day so if I had to pick one, I’d probably opt for the cream over the oil.

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L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Eyes Review | The Beauty Look Book

The Immortelle Divine Eyes isn’t new, but it’s new to me. My personal favorite eye treatment has actually been the Immortelle Precious Eye Balm, but I love trying all kinds of eye treatments. The Immortelle Divine Eyes comes with a nice pump that dispenses just the right amount of product for me to cover both eyes (I only use a tiny bit). It’s a creamy gel formula that has a lightweight feel. Often times I can’t use the rich formulas for eye cream because they run into my eyes and sting them. This one has a light enough texture that it sets within a few minutes and make the skin feel smoother and softer.

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L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm | The Beauty Look Book

There are two new cleansers this season for a double cleanse routine including the Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm (in a jar) and Cleansing Foam (comes in a squeeze tube). The Divine Cleansing Balm is a super hydrating balm-in-oil formula that you massage into the skin to remove makeup. Once you work it in a circular motion on the face it transforms into an oil. It removes all face makeup (I still use a regular eye makeup remover to remove mascara and eyeliner first) and almost feels like a mask treatment after you rinse. L’Occitane recommends using the Cleansing Foam after as a double cleanse to further remove impurities from the skin. I’ve tried both together and also separately. In the mornings I find I can just use the Cleansing Foam. In the evenings I like the double cleanse routine to completely clean the skin. It’s something I do anyways as I wear makeup pretty much everyday and with the long-wear formulas I find double cleansing essential to fully cleanse the skin.

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cleansing Foam

As a beauty blogger I love putting new things to the test but I still like to have a routine. The nice thing about brands like L’Occitane is that you can easily incorporate one or two new items into your morning or nightly skincare rituals without having to overhaul your entire routine. As cooler weather approaches I always have to switch things up a bit as my skin adjusts to temperature changes. I start using oils more frequently and if you’re looking for a nice gentle one I highly recommend giving the L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil a try for glowing skin.

L'Occitane Divine Collection | The Beauty Look Book

As an added bonus the L’Occitane team is giving away everything featured in this post to 1 lucky winner. Enter through the widget below. It’s open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Simply follow through the instructions in the widget and a winner will be selected at random and contacted by me via e-mail by 9/25/2017 11:45 PM EST.

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Many thanks to L’Occitane for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.