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Skincare

L'Occitane Skincare

Glowing Skin with L’Occitane

September 9, 2019

L'Occitane Divine Cream Grand Cru Edition

I’ve been such a long-time fan of L’Occitane skincare and I’m excited to partner with them to share a look at their Immortelle Divine Cream Grand Cru Edition. They’ve created this special launch to celebrate 10 Years of this classic cream. Bigger and better than the original Divine Cream, this limited-edition product packs in even more anti-aging power thanks to the use of highly concentrated Immortelle essential oils.

The L’Occitane Immortelle line has been one of my favorites for years. I love the cleanser and oil and think the line is especially good for the fall and winter season or if you have dry skin.The Immortelle Divine Cream is one of the most beautiful luxury creams I’ve tried for restoring hydration, firmness and improving elasticity of the skin. It has been a go-to for many fall seasons for me and a single jar lasts a long time. What makes the Immortelle Divine Cream Grand Cru Edition so special is that it contains essential oils from 800 Immortelle flowers that were harvested in a limited batch during the summer solstice. This provides the highest concentration of anti-aging ingredients and I find that a little goes a very long way!

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream

For me this is a great anti-aging cream to help smooth fine lines, replump the skin, restore hydration and glow. The texture is super smooth, blends into the skin flawlessly, absorbs quickly and dries down to a soft finish where I can still feel the moisture but not in a super heavy way. I can use this day or night, it’s perfect anytime my skin feels super dry and it is easy to incorporate and switch it in or out of your skincare routine anytime.

If you’re looking for a new moisturizer to try for the upcoming fall season I highly recommend you check out the Immortelle Divine Cream Grand Cru Edition.

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream

L'Occitane New Immortelle Divine Cream

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream New Grand Cru Edition

Ingredients: AQUA/WATER – C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE – CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE – GLYCERIN – OENOTHERA BIENNIS (EVENING PRIMROSE) OIL – DIMETHICONE – ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE – CETEARYL ALCOHOL – TAPIOCA STARCH – GLYCERYL STEARATE – HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER – CAMELINA SATIVA SEED OIL – CETYL ALCOHOL – HELICHRYSUM ITALICUM EXTRACT – HELICHRYSUM ITALICUM FLOWER OIL – MYRTUS COMMUNIS OIL – BORAGO OFFICINALIS SEED OIL – ECHIUM PLANTAGINEUM SEED OIL – MENYANTHES TRIFOLIATA LEAF EXTRACT – BELLIS PERENNIS (DAISY) FLOWER EXTRACT – ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT – HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL – MEL/HONEY – SODIUM HYALURONATE – ADENOSINE – PEG-100 STEARATE – CETYL PALMITATE – PHENOXYETHANOL – SUCROSE PALMITATE – CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE – TOCOPHERYL ACETATE – SODIUM CITRATE – CHLORPHENESIN – SODIUM HYDROXIDE – ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN – GLYCERYL LINOLEATE – PALMITIC ACID – STEARIC ACID – DISODIUM EDTA – SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE – POLYSORBATE 60 – CITRIC ACID – MAGNESIUM ASPARTATE – ZINC GLUCONATE – POTASSIUM SORBATE – COPPER GLUCONATE – SODIUM BENZOATE – TOCOPHEROL – PARFUM/FRAGRANCE – LIMONENE – CITRAL – LINALOOL – BENZYL SALICYLATE – GERANIOL

 

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream

You can find the Immortelle Divine Cream Grand Cru Edition available at L’Occitane now. Also available in a Immortelle Divine Collection Set. Have you tried anything from the Immortelle line before? Or any other of the L’Occitane skincare collections? What did you think?

Shop the post:

 

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

Nail Polish Skincare

Hand + Nail Care Routine Tips and Favorites

August 27, 2019

Best Nail Care Products | The Beauty Look Book

I get so many questions about my hand and nail care routine I thought it was time for an updated post. Readers ask me on a weekly basis whether or not my nail polish is done at the salon or at home on my own. I do most of my nail polish and hand care on my own and I have for a couple years now. Most as in practically all – the last time I was at a salon was at least a couple years ago! When I lived in San Diego I had my go-to salons that I went to almost weekly. It was the best way for me to relax, unwind and unplug! However since moving to Florida I’ve never really found anything that comes close and with the frequency that I change my polish it is just easier, more affordable and saves time for me to care for them them on my own.

I did a complete roundup and tutorial a couple years ago. Most of my go-to staples are still the same although there have been a few changes as formulas become discontinued and brands change. I used to never be able to wear Essie polish without getting horrendous tip wear within 1 hour, but I finally found a way to make it work. This goes for most brands of polish, some take different steps and combinations of base/top to make it last.

I have a full list of what I use, some good runner ups and tips on how I maintain my hands and nails. I will say that it will all get better with practice. I used to not be able to paint my right hand well because my left hand was clumsy and shaky. It’s still not perfect but it does get better with time!

Cuticle Care

Cuticle Care Essentials Deborah Lippmann Tweezerman Revlon

Cuticles can be a pain to keep healthy, especially if they’re dry or peeling. I think keeping hands well moisturized is key. If you’re cuticles aren’t in the best shape and you don’t know how to trim them I would suggest going to the salon to have them trimmed professionally. Observe their methods and steps until you’re comfortable doing it yourself at home. Key products I use:

  • The Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is my holy grail cuticle softener/remover of all time. I’ve tried a number of highly raved about brands but this is the best. This loosens and softens dead skin around the cuticle making it easier to push back to trim. For me this is essential.
  • Tweezerman Pushy and Nail Cleaner is also my holy grail (flat sided tip) for pushing back cuticles. Some prefer a rounded version but for me the flat tip gives more control. Often times the rounded end ones are too big for my fingers too. There’s a nail cleaner tip on the other end which is rounded (versus sharp) so it’s super gentle.
  • Revlon Cuticle Clippers have been a go-to for years, they have sharp tips to precisely cut away dead cuticles once they’re pushed back. They will cut well all the way so there’s no pulling the skin from partial trimming. These were actually my second choice because I needed a pair but couldn’t find my favorite Tweezerman Cuticle Nippers. The drugstore I went to only had ones from Revlon so I decided to give the a try. Both brands are really good.
  • Not shown but to cut and trip the tips I use a Revlon Deluxe Nail Clipper. I also like Tweezerman tools as well.

You can see a full step by step tutorial in this post here but I’ve reposted some of the steps below. Depending on how dry your hands are or how long it’s been since your last manicure you may want to soak, clean and moisturize your hands first.

Cuticle Care Steps Trimming Tutorial

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Nail Polish Remover and Filing Tools

Best Nail Polish Remover Zoya

Finding a good gentle remover is essential, especially if you have sensitive nails or fingers. You don’t want to dry out the hands or use something too harsh. Unfortunately the best ones aren’t always easily accessible for me so I’m always ordering online.

  • Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove Nail Polish Remover is one of my top two holy grails. It comes in a few different sizes and this one has a pump dispenser which is super handy. It’s gentle and effective and works on all polish brands that I use. It removes polish, preps and conditions the nails.
  • Deborah Lippmann The Stripper (not shown) is the other in my top two. She often has bundles available which makes it more affordable. This is also an excellent non-drying version (if I had to pick one this would be my top pick). She also has these in packet forms called Stripper To Go. They’re packaged in a very small packet but the pads are well soaked and the are really convenient for travel or if you need to change polish on-the-go, there’s no need to worry about a bottle leaking or exploding. One individual packet has enough to remove polish for all my fingers.
    • With these 2 removers I find I don’t need to use a nail cleaner to clean the residue/oils off.
  • For filing, buffing and cleaning excess paint I’ve always used what I could find at the grocery or drug store. Olive and June launched a line of polish and nail care products that are super convenient and well made. They sent some of their products to try and I am completely obsessed with The Tool Box. I use it to store most of my nail care tools and basics in one place. I think you can find alternatives for less at Ulta or Target, but for me I really like the Buffer Cube and Clean Up Brush. You can buy the Clean Up Brush individually and for me it’s perfect to clean the edges where polish may have transferred or look a little messy.

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My Favorite Base and Top Coats

Best Base and Top Coats Essie, Smoth Cult, Chanel and OPI

My favorite base and top coats often rotate as I use things up or formulas become discontinued. What I have in rotation right now is listed below (for regular nail polish, I don’t use gel):

  • OPI Natural Nail Base Coat is a good gentle but effective base coat that works with all of my polish formulas. It works well to prevent nails from yellowing from polish.
  • Smith and Cult Basis of Everything is another favorite for Base Coats and Above it All is an amazing top coat to make tips ultra shiny and manicures last.
  • Chanel Le Gel Coat is not really a gel coat, but it is a long-wear top coat that will give the nails an ultra glossy gel-like shine and effect. This works best with Chanel polishes and I’ve gone through many bottles.
  • Essie Speed Setter is the best fast-setting top coat that won’t cause major shrinkage.
  • Others I’ve tried and liked are Nails Inc (but my favorites have been discontinued), CND Sticky Base, CND Super Shiny Top Coats. The Christian Louboutin Loubi Kit is probably the best one I’ve tried and it’s been on my list to repurchase.
    • With the Chanel, Essie or Smith and Cult Top Coats I usually get at least a week of wear without chipping or tip wear. At the day 2 or 3 mark I recommend reapplying a layer of top coat to help protect the color and extend wear.

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Hand Creams and Moisturizers

Best Hand and Cuticle Treatments

I’m the biggest hand cream junkie! I’ve tried so many and have a lot in rotation at any given moment. I did a massive purge right before our move in June and gifted a lot of my products away. These are the ones I have in rotation right now. I apply hand cream daily, I use a scrub once a week, cuticle oils are used as needed.

  • Chanel La Creme Main is the best lightweight hand cream with a velvety soft dry down. I like this because it doesn’t leave any sticky residue. If you have ultra dry hands this is not the one for you though in which case I’d recommend you try La Creme Main Texture Riche or Le Lift (new). Both are better for dry skin and I love the packaging! I keep at least one of these in my purse. The new Le Lift does the best job at smoothing the skin. I’ve only used it for about a week now but I’m completely in love.
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is the best unscented option for ultra dry hands. I like this in the winter or when my hands are super dry. The fact that it’s unscented is a huge plus, especially if you work in an environment that needs to be fragrance or perfume free. Or if you’re just sensitive to added fragrance. (Comes in different sizes.)
  • La Mer Rejuvenating Hand Serum is one of the most expensive hand splurges I’ve tried. It’s also one of the most luxurious treatments I’ve owned. It is heavily fragranced with the signature La Mer scent but is really soothing and does indeed work to smooth and soften the hands. I’m still not over the sticker shock but I think it is quite amazing.
  • For cuticle oils I’ve tried so many. There are a lot of great options out there whether you want a thick cream, shea butter, oil, etc. I prefer oils because they absorb easily and aren’t goopy. My two favorites are the Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive System and L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil. They come with a brush tip applicator so it’s less messy than the dropper or bottle/brush style packaging. For the dropper style the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil was the best one I tried.
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter One-Minute Hand Scrub is amazing. This is my second tube and it makes such a huge difference in the texture and smoothness of your hands. I often neglect exfoliation on the hands but getting rid of the dead skin cells with a gentle scrub makes a world of difference. This is hydrating without having any residue and it’s very very gentle.
  • Other loves include Molton Brown, the Kiehl’s Scented Hand Creams, Aesop, L’Occitane Hand Creams (for winter). For one with SPF the Supergoop! Hand Cream is amazing (I’m all out, I often run out of this one). Moroccanoil is also great.

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Application Tips

Nail Polish Application Tips from Sabrina The Beauty Look Book

For application I will say practice makes perfect. I think the biggest mistake people make with application is getting the brush too close to the cuticles. Wet lacquer will move a little when it’s wet, so to prevent bleeding leave a tiny little gap between the brush and cuticle. For me I start a little farther from the cuticle than I think I should and it prevents the polish from moving/bleeding into the nail beds. Sometimes it is impossible to not get excess polish on the skin so I clean it up with a brush or my thumb nail in which case sometimes it’s best to paint the thumbs the last. Different formulas have different textures, some are ultra fluid, while others are thicker so your mileage may vary with application.

I recommend applying thin coats. Sometimes I’ll have to apply 3 depending on how sheer the formula is. As long as your coats are thin and even it should still dry relatively fast. I let mine air dry and try to do them before I think I’ll be typing for a long time or hands free while watching TV.

Applying on a flat surface is the best way to apply polish. The Olive and June Tool Box comes with a handy coated thick sheet to protect your surface. I also just use paper towels at home. Anytime I think I can just do my polish on my desk, on the couch or on the floor I end up spilling product. I dropped a bottle on a concrete floor once and it was SUCH a mess to clean up as the entire bottle shattered.

How to Paint your Nails

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Closer look at the Olive and June Tool Box (you can customize your picks online):

My own nail care selects, I use the box to store my tools:

Best Nail Care Products | The Beauty Look Book

I hope this updated roundup gives you some tips and ideas on how to do a DIY manicure at home! With things like cotton pads, nail files or buffer, I pretty much use what I can find at my local CVS or drugstore. I wish there was a complete one brand kit that I could find that has everything in a convenient box or pouch but I’ve found no single brand has everything I need. My top essentials for my routine include the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover, Tweezerman Pushy Stick and the Revlon or Tweezerman Cuticle Trimmers.

So many of you ask what my favorite polish brand is and I don’t have one. I love trying all kinds of brands! High and low. The three I wear the most these days are Chanel, OPI and Essie. I still really like Louboutin polishes but the packaging isn’t convenient so I find myself reaching for other brands more.

On storage, I used to have a lot of nail polish wall racks I found on Amazon where I stored my polishes. I got rid of them when we moved from San Diego to Tampa – we had to edit what we kept/tossed. These days I just keep them in drawers.

For the toes I also do them on my own, although I prefer salon treatments to get rid of callouses etc. I haven’t been to the salon in a while though – I broke a toe a year and a half ago and was so hesitant to let anyone touch my feet even after it healed. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have any hand/nail care holy grails! I’d love to hear about your favorites.

 

 

Olive and June Kit provided for review. All other products purchased and repurchased by me.

Beauty Favorites Skincare

June Skincare Favorites

June 29, 2019

Summer Skincare Favorites June | The Beauty Look Book

June has been a transition month for us literally as we’ve moved! We managed to do everything fairly quickly but with moving there’s always a chance things might take longer than planned, especially with the unpacking and getting everything setup. For my just-in-case things take longer scenario I made sure to pack our essentials in a few dedicated boxes that I set aside. In the humid months maintaining a good skincare routine is a must and I did not want to lose track of my essential cleansers, moisturizers and treatments. I packed my must-haves in a few travel cases and these are the items I relied on all month long. I could also call this my skincare on-the-go routine! I have the Truffle Clarity Jumbo Jetset Case featured above which just restocked and launched in new colors. You can see my previous review in this post here too.

Cleanse and Tone

Hydrate

  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream* has made my favorites list two months in a row, I love that it comes with a pump (versus jar) and it has been a great lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t feel too heavy, even on hot humid days, it works with all of my foundations too.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice Moisturizer is the best lightweight moisturizer I rely on for hot days, I have both the mini and full size.
  • Volition Beauty Strawberry-C Serum* has been a pleasant surprise for a Vitamin-C treatment to help brighten and hydrate, and it doesn’t irritate my skin (full review here).
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss’r Luscious Lip Balm has the best balm packaging I’ve seen in a while, it has both a squeeze tube and sponge applicator so there’s no mess on your fingers from applying! It’s hydrating and soft on my lips (goes on clear).
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Mini* something I got in one of the GWP bags a few months ago, always a favorite for night time, it’s the most lush rich lip balm I’ve tried.
  • Chanel La Creme Main is the best smelling hand cream I own that has a really nice velvety dry down.

Extras/Treatments

  • Glamglow Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment Mask is one I can never be without, I use this once a week during the humid season, even if it’s sometimes just as a spot mask, the full size is better, but I had minis on hand thrown into my travel bag.
  • GrandeLASH MD Lash Enhancing Serum* is the first lash serum I’ve tried that actually works for me, I started seeing results by the end of the first week of use (even Andrew noticed!), it also didn’t darken or irritate my lids like other formulas did.
  • MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ is a must-have for me as a multi-tasker, either to hydrate bare skin or set foundation/powder and make it look a little less powdery, I did give the new scented options a smell at the counter and bought Peony as it has the lightest scent of the four options.
  • Hero Mighty Patch Original is the best hydro colloid pimple patch I’ve tried, we got these from Amazon early in the year because my bestie recommended them. Since then we’ve tried other brands and I’ve been meaning to review them but Andrew uses them up so fast I rarely have them in stock at our home, I had to order a bunch and hide them from him lol. Full acne treatment post to follow on what we’ve tried, but we really like these.
  • Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Spot Treatment is something I’ve had to use more frequently this past month, even though I’ve been able to maintain clear skin with a good routine, moving this summer in the extreme heat took a toll on my skin. This has helped my skin tremendously for those unwanted spots.
  • Volition Beauty Turmeric Brightening Polish* has been a really good exfoliating treatment for me this past month.

That wraps up June’s most-used favorite skincare items. I had other things in rotation but these were my favorites! Did you have any favorites this past month? Do you switch things up as the weather heats up or stick with staples year round? For those who always want to know what I have on my nails in this photo I have the Olive and June EC Nail Polish* on (with three coats) topped it with the Essie Speed Setter Top Coat and it lasted a full seven days without tip wear or chipping.

 

 

Press samples featured indicated with a *. All other items purchased by me.

 

Budget Beauty Skincare

Summer Self-Care Shaving Routine

June 25, 2019

Walmart Joy Razor Review | The Beauty Look Book

Summer is officially here which means having a good clean shave is essential for swimsuit season. When things in life get busy or hectic for me having a good wind-down relaxation routine at the end of the day makes all the difference. My self-care time is usually in the bath tub in the evenings (I’ve always been a bath person). I’ll do a little spa time whether it’s a face scrub, face mask, bubble bath soak. Once every other week I’ll add in shaving, sometimes more frequently in summer. I have been experimenting more with different razor brands and shaving gels/foams this year. I truly love that there are more options for women! My latest discovery is the Joy razor line available exclusively at Walmart. They reached out and asked me to try their products and I’ve been pleasantly surprised, especially by the shave gel and shave mousse!

Walmart Joy Razors, Cartridges, Shave Gel and Mousse | The Beauty Look Book

There are currently six items available in the lineup. They have two color razor handle options, Pink or Teal, each one comes with two razor cartridges that are the Gillette five-blades. Blades also come in 4-pack or 8-pack refill options. For the shave products they have the Shave Gel and the Shave Mousse.

The razors themselves are super sharp and give a really close shave. I like the size and weight of the handles. They have a nice non-slip material on the handle which makes holding it easier. There is a strip on the tip to help prevent irritation, but as with any razor using a good shaving cream, gel or mousse is essential to lubricate the skin properly to prevent razor burn.

 

Walmart Joy Razor Pink | The Beauty Look Book

Walmart Joy Razor Pink | The Beauty Look Book

Walmart Joy Razor Review | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve always been more of a mousse kind of girl for shaving but hate the way most of them smell with the dry down. I love that foaming action but they usually have a chemical scent! For many years I’ve just used a shower gel to shave (or borrowed some of Andrew’s shaving cream products) because I really cannot stand the way most shaving mousses smell. The ones by Joy are so much better! The Shave Foam is called Summer Lily and it has a beautiful summer fresh floral scent. It has a really amazing foam and helps give you a super close shave. The Shave Gel is called Cucumber Aloe (teal) has a nice cucumber aloe scent, a cushiony feel, and hydrating smooth finish. I love the lather of these products, if I had to pick one to try first I’d recommend the gel as it feels a little more hydrating to me, but both are really nice.

The Shave Foam Summer Lily and The Pink Razor

Walmart Joy Razor Shaving Mousse and Pink Razor

The Shave Gel Cucumber Aloe and the Teal Razor (dispenser for the gel is different from the mousse, but both are well designed)

Walmart Joy Shave Gel and Teal Razor, Budget Shaving

I ordered a 4-pack of the refill cartridges, so I’m stocked up for a while now!

Joy Gillette Five Blade Razor Refills, 4-pack

Walmart Joy Razor Review | The Beauty Look Book

Overall love this line, especially for the price (these won’t break the bank). The Shave Gel is something I definitely see myself repurchasing in a near future. I like the way it foams and lathers up, plus is smells like a relaxing sweet cucumber. It’s been a nice added step to my bath routine for summer to get a really close shave without irritation. I think the razor handles are really cute and definitely a step up in aesthetic from the basic plastic handle ones that come in bundles. The grip handle comes in handy too.

You can find the Joy Razor line exclusively at Walmart. Have you tried these yet? Or any of the new razor brands that have launched recently? What did you think?

 

Many thanks to Walmart for partnering to sponsor this post! And special thanks to each of you who shop the brands that help support this blog.

Skincare

Brightening Radiant Skincare with the Best of Volition

June 21, 2019

Best of Volition Beauty Skincare | THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK

I’m so excited to share some new skincare that I’ve been using from Volition Beauty. Their products are clean and cruelty-free! I also think it’s so interesting that they create products based on ideas submitted by consumers. Skincare is made based on what real people need and want. You can read more about their Clean Beauty Philosophy on their website (I found it really interesting!). These days I’m all about getting that radiant glow so I was thrilled to give their three best sellers a test because they’re designed for brightening, exfoliating and hydrating. I’ve partnered with them to give you a closer look at The Best of Volition Kit ($64). It’s is an online exclusive with their cult favorites (currently 30% off). It includes:

  • Turmeric Brightening Polish 4 fl oz / 120 ml
  • Strawberry-C Serum 1 fl oz / 30 ml
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Pads 3 pads (individual packets)

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Turmeric Brightening Polish

Volition Beauty Turmeric Brightening Polish Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

I love a good scrub to exfoliate and keep the complexion smooth and clear. I feel like out of all the skincare steps this is one of the most important to keep my skin smooth and healthy. The Turmeric Brightening Polish is a gritty scrub that can be used on both the face and body. I gently massage it into wet skin and leave it on for a couple minutes to let it sink in. This one has Turmeric Extract to brighten, Olive and Sesame Oil to hydrate and soften, Sandalwood Extract to reduce inflammation and micronized Walnut Shell to exfoliate. I tried on both the face and body and really love it for the face. It did noticeably reduce some inflammation I had and did an excellent job at making my skin feel smooth afterwards.

Volition Beauty Turmeric Brightening Polish Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

Full ingredient list here.

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Strawberry-C Serum

Best of Volition Strawberry-C Serum | The Beauty Look Book

The Strawberry-C Serum is a brightening serum with 20% strawberry Vitamin C. It has ingredients to reduce dark spots over time and minimize pores. I could not detect any heavy scent to it but it smells like a hint of fresh cucumber. Most Vitamin C treatments are too strong for my skin to handle but this one was a pleasant surprise and gentle enough for my skin to tolerate use on a daily basis. It has a gel-like texture and after a few minutes it absorbs into the skin for a smooth finish dry down. I don’t have a lot of dark spots except for a couple of fresh red/brown acne scars from recent breakouts that are healing. I was really surprised to see that they have reduced in color significantly and already started to fade faster than normal with this serum.

Best of Volition Strawberry-C Serum | The Beauty Look Book

This also contains Kakadu Plum to add a glow and reduce redness, Hyaluronic Acid to plump, Cucumber Fruit Water to soothe skin. They recommend using this morning and might and under your regular moisturizer. I tried this alone and applied my regular foundation on top during the day and it worked really well. It helped regulate my oil with the humid weather right now too! I will definitely keep you posted on how this works over the longer term.

Full ingredient list here.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Pads

Volition Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least are the Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads which are amazing! The Best of Volition Kit comes with 3 or you can also buy 3 separately in their Try-Me Pack. (Also available in a 30 pack). I’ve been reading about incorporating apple cider vinegar into one’s skin care routine as a toner to reduce breakouts and inflammation but wasn’t keen on the idea of applying it straight from the bottle or the potent smell. The Volition ACV Resurfacing Pads are the perfect alternative and they also contain AHAs, Lemon and Orange Extract to remove dead skin, Witch Hazel to remove dirt and excess oil that may still be on the skin even after washing, and Glycolic Acid. The first time I used it I only applied on half my face to see how much of a difference there would be – there was a noticeable difference by morning! These do have an apple cider vinegar scent to the pads but it’s not as overpowering as I anticipated and it dissipates after a few minutes. I do have sensitive skin but these had a very moderate and gentle tingle. Quick note that I haven’t used any other acids, peels, retinols or vitamin C products on my face in a few weeks now so if you have those in your routine your skin may be extra sensitized and you’ll find the tingle a little more intense.

These pads are described as being gentle enough to use daily but I would probably use it 1 to 2 times per week max. Skin is noticeably more toned and it evened out some texture issues I had. I really like the anti-inflammatory properties ACV has to prevent breakouts. I’ve already ordered the full size box (has 30 pads). The packets are super convenient for travel and also keep the pads well soaked/protected but I would also love to see this in a bottle form.

Full ingredient list here.

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Best of Volition Beauty Skincare | The Beauty Look Book

First impressions with this brand are that I’m impressed! The Best of Volition Kit is available only online at their website but you can also find their individual products at Sephora. Volition offers free shipping and returns in the US and they’ll also send samples with every purchase for you to try out. I’m really interested in trying out their sunscreen and have their Grab-n-Go Trio in my cart right now (looks super cute).

Have you tried anything from Volition yet? What are some of your favs?

Many thanks to Volition Beauty for partnering to sponsor this post.

Sephora Skincare

Best Skincare + Haircare to Splurge on During The Sephora Spring Bonus Event

April 26, 2019

Best Skincare Haircare to Splurge on at the Sephora Sale

The Sephora Spring Bonus Event is happening again! It starts today for Rouge Beauty Insiders who get first access with a 20% discount off purchases online and in stores using code HEYROUGE. The event is open to Rouge Members from today Friday April 26 to Monday May 6. VIBs and BIs will have access starting next week. Today I have my roundup of the best skincare and haircare items I think are the most splurge-worthy. The event is a great time to save on new tries or stock up on favorites. For those interested in makeup, my holy grail makeup picks to follow in a separate post next week!

Quick recap of dates and codes for Beauty Insiders, valid in both US and Canada, available online and in stores. If you’re not a member yet check out their Beauty Insider page for details on how to join:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off, 4/26 through 5/6 with code HEYROUGE
  • VIB Members get 15% off, 5/2 through 5/6 with code HEYVIB
  • BI Members get 10% off, 5/2 through 5/6 with code HEYINSIDER

I’ve included recommendations by category since I know each person is looking for something a little different. I have normal combination skin that is acne prone. These are my tried and true.

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Face Cleansers and Makeup Removers

  • Kate Somerville wins for me on everything! If I had to use one brand of cleanser the rest of my life it would be Kate Somerville. I have to rotate formulas depending on season, but my go-to’s are the Eradikate and Exfolikate to keep skin clean and acne-free.
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Clearing Cream to Foam is another great purifying cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin and helps keeps pores clear.
  • Farmacy Beauty Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm* is the best solid makeup remover I’ve tried. It’s a solid that transforms into an oil to melt away makeup.
  • Farmacy Beauty Clean Bee is another one I’ve been a fan of for oily skin. This is ideal for me on super sweaty workout days or in the summer when my skin gets oily.
  • Lancome Eau Micellar is probably the one I’d pick if I had to pick one for the rest of my life.
  • Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is always in stock at my home. It’s one of my most-used cleansing oils. Some of you have mentioned to me you’re allergic to Camellia Oil in which case I’d recommend you try SK-II or Bobbi Brown’s instead. (I love that Sephora is one of the few sites that lists ingredients for most of their products.)

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Face Moisturizers

  • Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is the best all around everyday moisturizer for me. Even Andrew loves it so much he borrowed mine permanently so I had to buy another jar. It’s hydrating but not heavy and works with most of my foundations.
  • Farmacy Beauty Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer* is another stand out for me. It’s lightweight and also works really well under makeup.
  • Tatcha Water Cream* has been a long-time favorite of mine but I just started using the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream* and like it even more. I thought it would be too heavy based on the description but it’s actually not! It offers a more creamy feel than the water version. The Dewy Skin Cream makes the skin look supple and moisturized.
  • Eve Lom Brightening Cream is another nice super lightweight moisturizer that has a subtle brightening effect. I’ve used this one for years and it never fails me.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice is the best lightweight gel moisturizer. It’s been with me on most every trip since I discovered it. It’s great for humid weather on days I want something ultra light.

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Face Masks and Special Treatments

  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask is my most-used mask EVER. It’s the perfect pore refining and clarifying mud mask. Anytime I feel like my skin is clogged or breakouts are surfacing this helps tremendously.
  • Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment Mask is another favorite that brightens and exfoliates.
  • Drunk Elephant TLC Baby Facial is the only 1 of 3 acid treatments I liked enough to use consistently. Anytime someone tells me my skin looks smooth and glowing in person it’s usually after I’ve used this.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes is a night time lactic acid treatment that works to retexturize the skin. This is pretty strong for me but effective. I don’t use this every night – I typically use this whenever I feel like my skin is having texture issues. If you’re unsure about splurging on this definitely try it in a mini in one of the sets like the Flash Fix Kit or Power Trio Set.
  • Farmacy Beauty Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Mask is my favorite hydrating mask. For me this is huge as I really don’t like honey masks because of their thick gooey texture. This one is one I really like to help with dryness and dullness.
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Mask is another great calming and hydrating mask. It makes me feel like a brand new person when I use this one.
  • Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment is one of Andrew’s favorite spot treatments. It has 2% salicylic acid and we’ve been testing out a lot of pimple treatments. This is a winner for him.
  • Kate Somerville D-Scar Diminishing Serum works for both of us. I am embarrassed to admit I burned my forehead badly on four separate occasions with the curling iron. It was only a light tap on accident but contact was long enough to leave burn marks and scars. This helped reduce them back to my normal skin state. Andrew had bad acne scars from cystic acne. They normally go away with time he recently had some really bad ones. He put this on his shoulder area and it also made his scar disappear quickly.

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Scrubs and Exfoliators

I’m combining favorites for face and body in this one! I’ve always felt exfoliation is a key part of my skincare routine for the face and body to help get rid of dead skin cells and excess oil. Long-wear formulas for makeup and sunscreen are often hard to remove with just cleanser so exfoliating is key. Ones I find effective but gentle:

  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Treatment is hands down the best intense scrub I’ve tried. It is pretty intense so if you have sensitive skin it may be too strong for you. I use this once a week to keep skin glowing.
  • Fresh Sugar Face Polish is the best hydrating face scrub. It dissolves when you rub it into the skin and is super gentle.
  • REN Skincare Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Salt Scrub is the best hydrating balm in scrub form. It’s expensive and for me goes fast with how frequently I use it. It leaves the skin feeling hydrated and smooth without being greasy.
  • Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub is my all time favorite body scrub. I have yet to try it on the scalp but for the body it smells sooo so good and I love it to pieces.

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Body Moisturizer, Glow Products and Fragrance

  • Kopari Coconut Melt is my favorite body moisturizer. I put it on my body at night before I go to bed and wake up with super soft skin.
  • Sol de Janiero Glomotions in Copacabana Bronze and Rio Sunset are my new favorite glow products. I haven’t really been into body glows but I love the subtle sheen these give to the legs and arms. It’s perfect for warm weather date nights.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil has been a staple for years. It smells like summer in a bottle.
  • La Mer Reparative Body Lotion is something I’ve actually only had in minis. This is the most amazing body lotion I’ve ever tried and I have not been able to bring myself to splurge on it due to the price. I might splurge during this event.
  • Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt, Wild Blue Bell and Basil and Neroli are my top three favorites from Jo Malone! I really want to try the new Frangipani.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc and Eau de Soleil Blanc are my most-worn scents for summer in a bottle that smells fresh and light. If I had to wear just one perfume the rest of my life it would be either of these. The differences are really slight. One Eau de Soleil is lighter and a little more creamy.

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Sunscreen

  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen is my all time favorite. It’s never greasy, moderately hydrating, doesn’t leave a white cast, has no smell and is easy to reapply.
  • Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil with SPF 50 is another favorite. It has a spray tip applicator which makes it easy to apply. It’s not scented so it won’t interfere with perfume. Non-irritating and works well for me.
  • Sol de Janiero Bum Bum Sol Oil with SPF 30 is a shimmer oil with sunscreen. I used this in Miami where the sun is super intense (it’s further south from where we live and is a lot hotter there!). It worked well to prevent burning with regular reapplication. The shimmer isn’t gritty and is pretty subtle. It’s strongly scented so if you’re sensitive to strong creamy sweet scents you might want to opt for the Supergoop! instead.
  • A few others I’ve tried, loved and reviewed in the past linked below but I am going to do an updated sunscreen post next month.

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Haircare

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Extras

  • Glamglow Supertone Exfoliating Acid Solution Toner is one of the few acids I actually like. It’s not too strong and it’s more of a toner to exfoliate and clarify the skin. I’m so impressed by this. It helped clear up my skin during that time of the month when my face acts up. I use it other times every day only in the evenings.
  • Fresh Rose Floral Toner is a nice lightweight hydrating face mist that doubles as a toner.
  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist is my favorite face mist.
  • Sephora Collection Cotton is super affordable and they don’t have those little fibers that stick in your eyes or crevices of your face.
  • NARS Afterglow Lip Balm is probably my most-used glow lip balm (even more than Dior Addict Glows).
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask is my holy grail lip treatment, if I had to use one the rest of my life this would be it.

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Quick recap on Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Bonus Event details and dates. If you’re not a member yet check out their Beauty Insider page to join:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off, 4/26 through 5/6 with code HEYROUGE
  • VIB Members get 15% off, 5/2 through 5/6 with code HEYVIB
  • BI Members get 10% off, 5/2 through 5/6 with code HEYINSIDER

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I’m doing another giveaway! One reader will receive a $100 eGift card to Sephora. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Enter by completing at least one of the tasks in the widget below. Winner will be selected on 5/1 and e-mailed that day. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Press samples in post indicated with a *. All other items purchased by me.

Skincare

Testing the New Billie Starter Kit

March 21, 2019

Billie Razor Starter Kit Review | The Beauty Look Book

For as long as I can remember my shaving routine has always been pretty minimalist and basic. I’ve always thought the options for men have been much more impressive than those for women. They have so many subscription services, new brands, creams and shaving kits to choose from where I feel like the options for me are so limited. When I had the opportunity to try Billie, a shaving subscription service just for women, I jumped at the chance to try it out!

They set me up with the Starter Kit which comes with a Billie Handle (comes in several super cute colors to pick from), two 5-blade razor cartridges, and a magnetic holder you can attach to your shower wall for storage. The kit runs at $9 and they’ll deliver replacement cartridges depending on how frequently you shave as often as you need them. I shave once per week so the system is setup to deliver 4 replacement cartridges every 3 months. Shipping is free for the starter kit and replacements too.

Billie Razor Starter Kit | The Beauty Look Book

Billie Razor, Shave Cream and Dry-Bye Lotion Review via The Beauty look book

You can also add on a few extras like their Shave Cream or Body Lotion. I’ve put three Billie products to the test and here are my thoughts:

  • The Billie Razor gives a nice smooth close shave without any razor burn or bumps. There are five blades encased in aloe shave soap around the edges which when wet helps add a buffer to the skin for the shave. I’ve tried this on my legs and under arms and really like how it shaves.
  • The Billie Shave Cream is a thick creamy shave cream rather than a foaming shave cream. This has a nice smooth feel on the legs and leaves them feeling hydrated. (Full ingredient list is on their website.)
  • The Dry-Bye Body Lotion is my favorite thing out of all the items I tried. I’m so picky with body lotions formulas because I have sensitive skin and scents can often interfere with my perfume of the day. This one has a nice light citrus smell but the scent fades after a few minutes. It dries down to a nice velvety finish which is going to be perfect for me when the humidity rises here in South Florida.

Billie Razor Review for Sensitive Skin

Best Razor for close shave without irritation

Billie Razor Starter Kit Subscription Review

 

Billie Razor Starter Kit Review | The Beauty Look Book

Overall I’ve been really happy with my Billie Shaving Kit testing! The razor is something I will definitely keep using and if you’re looking for a matte finish or velvety finish lotion with a nice dry down the body lotion is definitely worth checking out! The price point is very good for the quality and design and I’m so excited to finally up my shaving game with this set.

 

 

What’s your shaving routine like? I’d love to hear about your favorites!

You can find the Billie Starter Kit at MyBillie.com.

Sponsored by Billie. As always all opinions my own.

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