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Empties Roundup Skincare


March 2, 2018

Beauty Empties via The Beauty Look Book

I’m starting a new series on empties which I’ll be doing every 2-3 months. As a beauty blogger, I test a lot of product and it’s pretty much impossible to use up everything. A lot of you have asked what I do with all the stuff I review or receive. I have favorites I use on a regular basis, I have tried-and-true products I don’t always feature on repeat because they’ve sold out or are limited-edition. Some items I keep on hand for comparisons. I also share a lot with friends, family and readers too! And of course as much as I’d hate to admit this, often times product expires before it gets used up so it gets tossed.

Things I use up or toss on a regular basis such as mascara, liquid eyeliner, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. that I probably won’t share unless you’re interested. In today’s post I’m showing you most of what I used up in January and February of this year. I say “most” because I actually did a huge purge of near empties when we moved. Andrew rescued some of these from our bathroom trash bin and said I should save them for an empties post because he was sure a lot of readers would want to know what I’ve used up. Press samples have a * next to them.

Part 1: Cleansers and Removers

Beauty Empties March | Beauty Look Book

I am obsessed with cleansing waters. I often use them as part of a multi-step process to clean my skin or to remove makeup in between swatches.

  • Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads are pretty much the only makeup remover that will remove my waterproof mascara – thanks to all my readers who recommended this to me via Instagram, also if you buy these in store note there are two variations, the one with the oil is the one you want to get!
  • La Roche Posay Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin – there are several variations of this, I think mine is an older version because the current ones are called Micellar Water Ultra – you can find at a wide range of locations like Target and Ulta, I ordered mine direct from their website
  • Elemis White Flowers Eye and Lip Make-Up Remover is something I used up but won’t repurchase, it takes at least 3 soaked pads for me to remove my waterproof mascara (I have to soak, press onto lids for a few seconds and remove, then repeat)
  • Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Polish Remover is my favorite nail polish remover that won’t dry out the nails or make them peel, it’s gentle enough for me to use frequently especially when I’m swatching nail product
  • MAC Brush Cleanser is something I go through a lot of, and yes you can use baby shampoo, but I actually don’t like it because it always leaves a film on my brushes
  • Bioderma Sensibio Lotion is a gentle toner that I love, I also have the larger size but keep minis on hand for travel
  • Bioderma Sebium H20 is one of my favorite cleansing waters, it won’t remove waterproof makeup but is great for the face (this one still has a tiny bit of product left, probably about 1/2 inch which is why you still see liquid inside)
  • Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleanser is something I use for a quick clean when I’m swatching, it’s also great for travel if you just need something to do a surface clean
  • MAC Gently Off Wipes + Micellar Water * is gentle to multiple times over when I’m lip swatching or face swatching
  • beautyblender cleanser solid is pretty much the best thing to clean beautyblender sponges


Part 2: Hair Products

March Empties Oribe, Moroccanoil, Christophe Robin

Some hair styling products I’ve used up:


Part 3: Bath and Shower

Beauty Empties | Beauty Look Book

I go through a lot of bath and shower products. I would say that it’s this category that is missing a lot of my empties because I threw out a ton of used up product a couple weeks ago.

  • Fresh Sugar Lychee Sugar Bath Cubes are my favorite to make the bath smell amazing, these are spendy and the rate I use these up is pretty expensive, but I love them!
  • Verb Ghost Shampoo (large size) I love this shampoo, it’s hard to find product that works well in Florida water! I also bought the conditioner but I don’t condition as much as I shampoo so they always last at least twice as long
  • Le Labo Shampoo and Conditioner are both ones I have mixed feelings on, I like the way they perform and the smell is amazing, but they’re not sulfate free, I don’t know if this is necessarily a bad thing, in Florida I think it’s almost essential to make things lather, the water here is very different from other parts of the US! My husband loves this formula though
  • Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser is a thin formula for body wash but very gentle on the skin
  • Sisley Phyto Blanc Lightening Foam Cleanser * has ingredients to lighten the skin, but I didn’t see much change in my skin, I find it gentle and brightening but not really lightening if that makes sense
  • Jack Black Face Buff is the best face scrub of all time according to Andrew, we both use this so we go through it pretty fast
  • Saturday Skin Rise + Shine Purifying Cleanser is a soft foaming cleanser that is good at removing excess oil without stripping the skin
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser is one of Andrew’s favorites as well, I like and use it a lot, I prefer the original version but this is more gentle and I can use it daily or just on oily skin days


Part 4: More Skincare

Beauty Empties | Beauty Look Book

More face and body products that were used up:

  • Glamglow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment (sample size) is a firming peel off mask, I did have the full size at some point and used it up, it’s suggested you leave on for 20-30 minutes for it to dry and work it’s magic, I don’t usually have that kind of patience but it does work well to firm the skin
  • Glamglow Supermud is the best mask to clear out clogged pores and reduce excess oil, I have lost count of how many I used up
  • Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel is the only face gel I’ve liked, most are too sticky or tacky, I’ve since switched to the Water Cream * which is more lightweight and thinner in texture
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Sunscreen is one Andrew likes for the fluid texture
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel UV Guard SPF is Andrew’s favorite face sunscreen, it’s thin and liquid so it absorbs into the skin and doesn’t feel greasy
  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen minis I always keep on hand, in the purse and in the car – it’s my favorite body sunscreen that I can reapply regularly without it ever feeling greasy


Part 5: Makeup

Beauty Empties | Beauty Look Book

A few makeup empties I kept and one almost there! I throw out mascara every month. There were some lip balms I used up recently as well but I didn’t keep the tubes.


Part 6: Fragrance

Beauty Empties | Beauty Look Book

I burn candles on a regular basis and often keep them to recycle for storage. At some point I accumulate too many so I’ve given away quite a few. In February I finished Diptyque Tomas Maier Palm Beach and Baies. I also used up a ton of the miniatures but didn’t keep those.

Creed is a favorite in our house these days. Much to my wallet’s dismay though, Andrew loves Aventus so much he has used up 3 bottles since we discovered it last year. I ended up buying him the flacons for Valentine’s Day and he has a black leather atomizer that he refills. I used up Virgin Island Water in the small size a few months ago but kept the bottle, I think it’s just so pretty I want to keep it!

I also used up Tom Ford Soleil Blanc in the small 5o ml size. Rather than repurchase it I bought the Travel Set (it comes with 3 vials) so I can carry it around with me in my purse. I have the new Eau de Soleil Blanc on my wishlist as well.

Beauty Empties | Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my empties! Will do another one in a couple of months and I’ve made a mental note to keep all things I use up and not toss so I can share for the next post.

Do you use up beauty products frequently? What did you use up in the last month that you can remember? Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m going to try and go through all the comments and answer your questions. New post on Sunday!

Monthly Favorites Skincare

Monthly Favorites in Skincare

February 5, 2018

January Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

I have my first monthly favorites of the year! I’m going to try and do more of these roundups and in the future will include both hits and misses. January included two moves which was a bit chaotic but it did not stop me from trying lots of new launches in skincare. There were quite a few new launches that I’ve been dying to share with you! I’ve been putting them to the test for an extended period of time in order to see if I could actually see results. My favorites list:

  • Tatcha The Essence
  • Tatcha Water Cream
  • Tatcha The Deep Cleanse
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask
  • Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
  • L’Occitane x Rifle Paper Company Shea Butter Trio
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter Cuticle Oil
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask
  • Aesop Redemption Body Scrub
  • Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and Hand Wash from the Mind Sway Kit
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle
  • Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
  • Chanel Sublimage La Brume Mist

Tatcha Favorites

Tatcha launched a new cleanser called The Deep Cleanse. It’s a gentle daily cleanser that has natural fruit exfoliants to cleanse the skin. It’s oil-free, gentle and lathers nicely with warm water. Leaves the skin soft and cleansed without any tight feel. The only thing I wish it came with was a pump although I’m not sure the thick formula is something that can be pumped easily. I’ve also continued using the Tatcha Water Cream which is one of my favorite daily moisturizers. I use it after I apply the Tatcha Essence which is my favorite essence out of all the ones I’ve tried. It’s lightweight and doesn’t have any sticky residue but makes a big difference in helping other products sit on my skin better. If you want something for travel or don’t want to buy the large size first, there’s a super cute mini Pore-Perfecting Moisturizer and Cleanser Duo available at Sephora.

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse, Water Cream, Essence | The Beauty Look Book

Aesop Favorites

Aesop continues to be one of our favorites, a lot of the products work for both men and women. They have some really great sets for gifts but I always end up buying them for myself. I bought the Enigmatic Mind Sway Kit twice (one for my brother and one for me). I love everything in it, but my top two favorites for January included the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash for the scent and formula. I just discovered they have a Resurrection Hand Sanitizer in a rinse-free version that I need to check out soon.

The Redemption Body Scrub also made my favorites list. This is Andrew’s favorite and for me tied with the Geranium Leaf Body Scrub. Both are really good for cleaning the body and getting rid of dead skin cells. The scents are really relaxing too.

My obsession with the Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask is still going strong. I always try keep a backup on hand because I don’t want to ever be without it. The mask helps draw out impurities like no other but doesn’t strip or sting the skin. Sometimes I’ll just apply it on the T-zone. It’s gentle enough I can use it multiple times a week if I’m having troubled skin.

Best of Aesop Skincare, Redemption Scrub, Hand Wash, Parsley Seed Mask


L’Occitane x Rifle Paper Company teamed up to launch some cute products this year. A lot of the sets have sold out online but you can definitely check your local store for some items. The solid Shea Butter was the first thing I tried from their line many years ago and it’s perfect for the cuticles. There is a limited-edition Petite Shea Butter Trio with three scents: Classic Shea, Apricot and Rose. The classic one remains my favorite. Another recent discovery is the Shea Butter Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil. This winter my cuticles have been really dry. They are normally fine year round but we had some extra dry weather here in Florida and this was the first time they cracked. This rescued them. There’s a little brush applicator which I love.

L'Occitane Rifle Paper Co, Cuticle Cream and Oil | The Beauty Look Book


Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is one of the latest launches from Supergoop! I rely heavily on their Everyday Sunscreen and was thrilled to find they launched something for the face. 100% excited that the formula is clear because the biggest challenge I have with face sunscreens is the white tint. Even though most of them say it will absorb into the skin and disappear I find so many leave that hideous white cast. This one is lightweight, long lasting, non-irritating and works well with makeup. I apply my skincare first, then the sunscreen and then foundation + powder on top. There’s no oily feel, no greasy residue, no white cast and no scent.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Other Loves

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is my newest obsession for face moisturizers. I picked it up at Sephora and it was love at first use. It’s a hydrating cream but not heavy and absorbs beautifully into the face. It just feels amazing on the skin. I love that it comes with a pump/press packaging that makes for easy application and keeps the cream itself free from any hand germs. It’s worked well with all of my foundations so far. I highly recommend you give it a look if you have normal/combination skin.

Fresh launched a new face mask called the Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask. I’ve tried the Lotus Youth Preserve cream before and thought it was just ok, but the mask is quite amazing. It has a very nice soothing, calming and relaxing feel to it. It’s a five minute mask that leaves the skin soft and radiant. It contains kombu seaweed which to me almost has that refreshing cucumber feel. I absolutely love it.

Two staples that continue to be staples for me include the Kopari Coconut Melt and Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle. Kopari Coconut Melt is my go-to for dry winter skin. I apply it at night before I go to bed and it helps with tightness and any itchy spots. The Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle is still one of my favorites that I use multiple times per week. I find regular exfoliation keeps my skin looking smooth and helps clear away dead skin. Andrew’s favorite is the Jack Black Face Buff which he insists is the best one on the market. It’s definitely a good one that I borrow occasionally, but I still like my Kate Somerville one because it’s more gentle.

Last but not least, face mist story and roundup still in the works but the Chanel Sublimage La Brume has been the best for me the past month with dry winter weather. It has the perfect mix of moisture and lightness to hydrate and refresh the skin without being too much.

New Skincare Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, Kopari Coconut Melt and Fresh Youth Preserve Mask

That wraps up my January Favorites! What were your favorite items the first month of the year? I love reading about what you love in beauty – can be anything for makeup, tools or skincare! Let me know in the comments.

Press samples include Tatcha Water Cream, Essence and Deep Cleanse, Supergoop! Unseen and L’Occitane products.


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.


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 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 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.