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Sephora Spring Bonus Event Recommendations Part 2

April 13, 2018

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale Recommendations 2018

Today I have my top picks to recommend in makeup for the Sephora Spring Bonus Event which starts today! To recap the dates, details and codes:

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

My favorites and recommendations by makeup category below with links to previous reviews and swatches where applicable. Press samples mentioned have a * next to them. Some items I haven’t had a chance to review yet but hope to soon.

Bases and Foundations:

Cheeks and Complexion:

Eye Makeup:

Lips:

  • NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound is the best neutral-mauve that I’ve found, there are also 5 new shades in Xenon, Paradise Garage, Mars, Roseland and Swing which I ordered sight unseen and started playing with yesterday (review soon but spoiler alert is Bound is still the best one in my opinion)
  • NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara is one of the best everyday neutrals I own, I’ve used up two tubes since the formula was first launched years ago (swatch here)
  • Tom Ford Lip Colors are 100% worth the splurge, and since they never go on sale, the Sephora event is the best time to save! Color shown is Pink Dusk is shown, I also love Bad Lieutenant and Sugar Glider (swatch here), Indian Rose is probably the best wearable medium neutral that isn’t too light or dark (shown here)
  • Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick in Realness (swatches of more shades here)
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balms are must-haves, my favorite is Coral but there are new shades that launched this year which are stunning! (all shades reviewed here)
  • Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick * has a super opaque long-lasting creamy formula, I still hate the price tag, but as I’ve mentioned before the formula is excellent (all shades swatched here)
  • YSL Volupte Liquid Color Balm is the most pigmented tinted balm I’ve tried, I can’t pick a favorite color, they’re all really pretty! (my picks swatched here)

Whew! I feel like this is quite an extensive list! If I had to narrow it down to just 5 of my top recommendations in makeup, they would be the Pat McGrath Eyeshadow Palettes (any of them), Natasha Denona Diamond Blush Palette in Citrus, Dior Addict Lip Glow (any shade), Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose and NARS Highlighting Powder in Fort de France.

Some of you have asked what I’m shopping for. I’m pretty well stocked but will most definitely be getting some beautyblenders. I tried to find cheaper dupes and after testing several other brands found that the beautyblender is still the best one (let me know if you want a full review). I also have some foundations on my list that I want to check out in store to see if I can find a match. I’m almost out of shampoo and conditioner so I’ll probably stock up on a few favorites. Finally I’m about to hit pan on my La Mer Pressed powder so I may buy another one. I really love the formula but the price is such a big ouch!

I’ll share my haul in the next week! What’s on your shopping list? Are you going in store or shopping online? I really just want to do an online haul but I really should try to get foundation matches in store rather than guess my shade!

 

Haircare Sephora Skincare

Sephora Spring Bonus Event Details + Recommendations Part 1

April 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

Shelf 1:

Shelf 2:

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

Shelf 3:

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

Shelf 4:

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

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

Makeup recommendations to follow next!

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

NARS Sephora

NARS Narsissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Review

November 26, 2017

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Review | The Beauty Look Book

There’s a new palette launching tomorrow from NARS called the NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette ($59 for 0.04 oz/1.5 g x 12) and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s going to launch exclusively online at Sephora for one day on November 27th and then at NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com on November 29th.

There are quite a few warm toned rose eyeshadow palettes out right now as it’s quite popular but I’ve never found one where I could wear all the shades. I’ve swatched Urban Decay Naked Heat, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance and Tarte Tartette Toasted Eyehadow Palette on numerous occasions in store. I’ve been tempted as the pigment these days is amazing but they all have at least 3 shades I know I’d never use. At first glance I thought the same about the Wanted Eyeshadow Palette. I was thrilled to find they sent one as an early preview that I could review and I have to admit my heart sank a little when I opened it and saw 3 rosy reds. However I felt the same about the NARSissist Loaded Eyeshadow Palette and it completely surprised me so I kept an open mind with this. I’m glad I did because it’s truly beautiful.

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Review | The Beauty Look Book

This comes in a rectangular mirrored compact. The eyeshadow pans appear to be the same size as the NARSissist Loaded but the overall size of the compact seems slightly smaller. I love that the top has a non-mirror surface on the outer packaging because as lovely as they are they show all the fingerprints and it drives me nuts.

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Sephora Cyber Monday Exclusive | The Beauty Look Book

The colors are all excellent in pigment, texture and color payoff. Some NARS palettes in previous years have had some hit/miss shades. This one is all good, but there are a few glitzy shades so I know there’s a chance this might be a no-go for some of you. Some of the shades are made of a new formula with powder suspended in a liquid-binding system which I suspect are the super sparkly ones. In this palette:

  • Biarritz – perfect creamy neutral matte cream
  • Satisfaction – shimmering light pink with a soft gold shimmer
  • Delirium – metallic rose sparkle
  • Temptress – satin paprika red
  • Seven Heaven – matte neutral sand
  • Shadow Hill – matte warm brown, NARS describes this as matte saddle
  • Mendoza – sparkling pink copper
  • Wicked Game – satin cranberry with a soft sheen
  • Shooting Star – sparkling glitzy pink champagne
  • La La – shimmering warm bronze
  • Fallen Star – shimmering antique bronze with a khaki-sparkle sheen
  • Coconut Grove – matte deep brown

The mattes are smooth and almost silky feeling. The shimmers are my favorite texture and I would think this would be more universally appealing if it had all shimmers vs sparkles, but I actually really love the sparkly shades. The new formula is pretty glitzy – there is fall out when I apply on the lids with a looser fluffy brush so I found it best to pack on with a denser brush. The good thing is that it’s the kind that is really easy to clean up under the eyes. The worst thing about some glitters is that they stick so hard to the face it’s almost impossible to clean. Once these were on my lids they stayed put pretty well – but I did pack them on the lids with a slightly damp brush.

A closer look at the shades, swatches, a look and then a side-by-side to the Loaded Palette.

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Close ups:

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette with Labels

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette With Flash

More swatches:

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Quick beauty look wearing:

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette

Close up of the eye look. You can definitely intensify the color but I like to blend everything out:

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Eye Look

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Review | The Beauty Look Book

A side by side of Wanted next to Loaded, since there are so many colors I couldn’t swatch them all on the same arm but you can see my review of the other palette here:

NARS Narsissist Wanted vs Loaded Eyeshadow Palettes

One last look, bottom line it’s love for me:

NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette Review | The Beauty Look Book

You will be able to find the NARS Narsissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette exclusively at Sephora for one day on Cyber Monday. I’m excited to see what else they’ll launch on that day – in the mean time they have launched a Cyber Weekend Sample Bag.

Stay tuned for another early Cyber Monday review and the full Cyber Monday Beauty Shopping Sales Guide!

NARSissist Wanted sent courtesy of NARS for review.

 

Hauls Sales Sephora

Sephora Sale Haul First Impressions, Hits and Misses

November 12, 2017

Sephora Sale Beauty Insider Haul

I have my huge Sephora sale haul with some first impressions on items I was able to test in a few days. I stocked up on a few favorites and also ordered some things I had been curious about for quite some time. This haul is a pretty hefty one and as the first round of the sale was just a little bit ago I haven’t been able to test everything. I did swatch all the color items as makeup is easier get an idea of with the first application. I had quite a few misses. Everything is going to take some time to work my way through. Let me know if you want a more detailed review on anything in particular and I’ll try to do one at a later date. The sale runs through November 15th. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to use the code for your Beauty Insider tier!

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

_________________________________

Lip Picks

Up first are the lip items. By now I think I’ve been pretty good at picking things online and sight unseen but having misses is bound to happen. Thank goodness Sephora has a pretty good return policy because 3 of these are going back.

Sephora Sale Lip Haul Picks | The Beauty Look Book

Sephora Lip Haul Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

  • Kopari Coconut Kiss Kit – hit! The set lives up to the raves. These are sheer tinted balms with a nice coconut scent. They have an emollient feel with fun colors. All the shades are bright but sheer so they are very wearable.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in Purr-Fect! – hit! this is a really pretty soft nude, it’s sold out online but check your local store to see if they have it in stock.
  • Bite Beauty Champagne Discover Lip Set – this was a miss on everything except the lipliner in Cashew. I’ve tried the Multisticks before and found them incredibly dry for the lips. I decided to give it another try and it’s still a solid miss for me. The Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Champagne is thick and so metallic it’s not flattering on my skin tone. I know many people love these formulas so it may be a hit for you. For me just not my thing.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Molton Liquid Lipstick in Copper – this was a huge miss because it’s also not flattering on my skintone. I had high hopes because I love and adore the same formula in Rose Gold.
  • Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color in Casablanca – I’m undecided, it’s a lot darker than I had anticipated. This is the first in the formula I’ve tried and it took over 50 clicks to get any product out. The color is rich and pretty but it settled a tiny bit into lip lines. I think it’s a great color for fall. I’ll need to test it out longer to decide.
  • Burberry Lip Color Contour in Medium – huge miss, I’ve swatched this on my hand at the stores numerous times over the past year, on my lips it just makes my whole complexion look dead and lifeless. It’s one I’ll have to layer with other shades to get to work. I’m going to try and make it work for me as the formula is smooth and feels nice on the lips – alone it just doesn’t look so great.

_________________________________

Face and Eye Picks

For face and eyes, I bought a few foundations in darker colors because I’ve gotten even more color from the sun. To me this is a little puzzling as I’ve really made a conscious effort to stay out of the sun with the heat. Apparently I haven’t tried enough because I’ve gone a full shade darker:

Sephora Sale Haul Picks | The Beauty Look Book

Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Kit in Radiant and Marc Jacobs Scandalust Swatches

Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Swatches

  • Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer in Tawny is a perfect match! I don’t know why I ever stray from Tom Ford foundations because their colors work the best for me.
  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Golden I guessed my shade because Nude was a bit too light. Golden works ok but alone all over my face it’s a bit too yellowish. If I use it on areas I just need more coverage it works just fine.
  • beautyblender in Nude restock for me
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Kit in Radiant – undecided on this, I tried it and found the pigment beautiful with smooth texture. It’s easy to blend and layer but the colors are a lot darker than I had anticipated. They also oxidize and deepen on my skin without getting muddy, but as my skin warms up they get deeper/darker so I have to experiment more with application. If you have deeper skin tone and struggle finding blushes pigmented or dark enough to show up on you, definitely give this a look. I think the pigment is excellent!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Sugar Frost and Moonlight (repurchase), I’ve swatched all my current Caviar Eye Sticks and Matte Caviar Eye Sticks below
  • Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic in Scandalust is a palette I received as a press sample months ago but it arrived completely shattered. I was able to test the broken bits and fell in love with the colors. I decided to buy one to replace it. It pulls warm but it’s so pretty for the season.
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara – I actually meant to get the waterproof version, but I do remember liking the original so I’ll keep this one!

_________________________________

For fragrance and hair:

Sephora Haul Atelier Cologne Set, Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner, Verb Mask, Elizabeth and James Choose Your Own Nirvana

  • Atelier Cologne Set – LOVE! there are several Atelier Cologne sets online, it was hard to pick one, but I decided on the Necessaire Curated by Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel. It has Sud Magnolia, Pomelo Paradis, Orange Sanguine, Vanille Insensee, Bois Blonds, Cedre Atlas. Orange Sanguine is one of the best citrus scents I’ve smelled. Vanille Insensee is one of two vanilla scents I’ve found that I can actually wear. Bois Blonds is already a favorite. I’m trying to wait until I can visit a free standing store again before I buy full size bottles. I stopped by one in San Francisco over the fall and had the best time exploring there.
  • Elizabeth and James Choose Your Nirvana Coffret Warm and Spicy has generously sized minis of the Amethyst, Black and Bourbon. I like them for fall but don’t know that I can pull them off in Florida’s kind of fall/winter. I felt the minis were the best way to enjoy them without committing to the full sizes just in case.
  • Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner – LOVE! I actually bought both of these weeks ago and they are both my newest shampoo/conditioner obsession. Many of you want something that’s sulfate free and these are great options for a good clean rinse that leaves hair shiny and bouncy. They are back in my cart for round 2 so I can stock up on the larger size that comes with a pump.
  • Verb Hydrating Mask – LOVE! I tried a sample packet before and fell in love, it’s really hydrating, but I still favor the Ouai Mask (just hate the packaging of those packets).

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Skincare Restocks and Splurges

Skincare Haul Sephora Sale | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare is where I spent the most, I restocked on staples and also picked new things to try:

  • Restocks and replenishment on the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle Treatment, EradiKate Cleanser, Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser
  • Caudalie Glow Activating Trio – this line has been on my radar for the fine lines and wrinkles, I have those forming on my forehead area and have high hopes this will help with those!
  • Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator has really high ratings with the customer reviews and as I’ve really liked a lot of their skincare decided to give this a try, I have high hopes!
  • Glamglow Glowsetter Makeup Spray has also been on my radar, will keep you posted on how this compares to my favorite MAC Fix+
  • SK-II Pitera Mid-Day Essence – excited to try this one, although I have a feeling this may be too moisturizing for me. I gave it a quick mid-day test the day I received it and it felt a bit too rich for my skintype me. I’ll have to test it more before I can say how well it works.
  • Drunk Elephant Baby Facial – also excited to try this as it has really promising reviews online!
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer is something I bought months ago, in our multiple moves it has been buried in one of our moving boxes, I repurchased it and hope it’s as good as the rest of her ExfoliKate line.
  • Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion is something I also have high hopes for. It appears MAC discontinued my favorite Prep+Prime Blemish Control Gel which was one of the few that worked for me and did not turn my face red. I’ve been in search of a replacement and hope this will be the one!
  • Farmacy Green Screen Daily Environmental Protector with SPF30 is a mineral sunscreen with impressive rave reviews. People say it doesn’t have a white cast on the skin and is non-greasy. The description says it has solutions for fine lines and wrinkles so I’m going to give it a try.
  • Lancome BiFacil Face is something I’ve been so curious about. I really love their Micellar Water so it will be interesting to see how this compares. In the bottle I find it interesting that a very very small portion at the top is suspended (the oil portion).

In summary I still have a lot of testing for these items before I can make a proper assessment. For makeup I find it easier to judge on color and application alone. Three of my lip purchases were definitely misses. The Hourglass foundation could be a better match but I find there are often gaps in their color lineup for bases so I’ll have to go to the store and see. The Anastasia Beverly Hills blush kit is lovely, but is just a lot darker than I expected. I think the SK-II mist may be too rich for my skin type.

Sephora Sale Haul Picks for Holiday

That wraps it up for my haul! Did you pick up or stock up on anything during the sale? This time of year there are lots of sales going on and with the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday events approaching there’s definitely plenty of time to find good deals. Oftentimes I wish these sales were spread out a little more. In case you missed it, my top recommendations in this post here (e-gift card giveaway has ended and winners have been e-mailed!).

The Sephora Beauty Insider Sale runs through November 15th. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to use the code for your Beauty Insider tier!

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

Did you get anything from the Sephora sale yet? Or are you waiting for other sales? I’ll be covering some holiday launches from Tatcha soon as their Friends and Family sale is also happening and many of you have asked me for a review on their lip launches.

Haircare Sephora

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Blown-A-Ouai Set

November 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Dyson Blown A Ouai Set Sephora

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

Dyson Supersonic Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

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

Dyson Supersonic Dryer in White/Nickel

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

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

For the features:

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

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

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

Dyson Travel Storage Bag

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

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

Ouai Haircare Products in the Set

Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set Hair Care products

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

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

Dyson Supersonic Dryer Demo

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

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

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

Dyson vs Harry Josh vs T3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sales Sephora

Sephora Beauty Insider 20% Off Rouge Sale Event Recommendations + Wishlist

November 3, 2017

Sephora Rouge Holiday Sales Event Recommendations + Wishlist

It’s that time of year again for the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale! The 20% off sale starts today November 3rd and runs through the 6th for Rouge Members online and in store. If you’re shopping online use code 20FORROUGE. In addition there’s a bonus weekend for Rouge Members to shop the sale for a second round from November 10th to the 15th. My top recommendations and a few things on my wishlist:

  1. Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipsticks are among my favorites formula-wise and are available in several formats:
  2. La Mer The Powder Brush ($80) is one of the most plush brushes I’ve tried
  3. La Mer The Powder Loose ($95) is my current go-to loose setting powder, cheaper alternatives that are just as good for me are the:
  4. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick ($24) my favorites are Whip and Chutney (swatched here)
  5. Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade ($33) is still one of my favorite lip moisturizers!
  6. Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts ($53) is one of the best volumizing cleansers I’ve tried (summer review here)
  7. beautyblenders ($20 each) in the Bubble, Nude or original color are my favorite foundation sponges, I’m stocking up on these during the sale
  8. Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers ($56) are in my top picks for highlighters (swatches of all 4 here), alternatives in palette or liquid form that I’d recommend this season include the Becca x Chrissy Teigen Palette, Laura Mercier Exotique Face Illuminator Palette or the CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops Set
  9. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3 ($80) is so sooo pricey so having a sale helps with the pricing (swatches here)
  10. Tom Ford Lip Colors ($54 each) have launched in a wide range of new colors (my picks swatched here), there are also the clutch-sized Boys and Girls ($36 each) in new colors this season (girls swatched here)
  11. Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara ($45) probably my favorite high-end mascara ever
  12. Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition ($49) is one of my favorite easy-to-wear neutrals (swatches here)
  13. Pat McGrath PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencils ($25) are super smooth, creamy and long-lasting (just reviewed here)
  14. Pat McGrath PermaGel Ultra Glide Eyeliners ($25) my one pick just reviewed here
  15. Rag & Bone launched fragrances a while ago and it looks like they just launched online at Sephora! I have and love Bergamot, they have a Fine Fragrance Collection Sampler ($99 for 8 3.5 ml vials), I’m debating this set or more of the Atelier Cologne Sets as I really love their fragrances (I’ve only bought Bois Blonds so far but have tried a number of samples)
  16. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Bronzer Brush in White ($78) is the best bronzer brush I’ve used, I also use it for loose setting powder (review here, also available in the regular black/white version)
  17. Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set ($399) is something that was on my wishlist but I hauled last week, I had hoped to receive it in time to test and review before today but it ships ground due to the contents so I didn’t get it in the mail yet, I will try to test and review ASAP but it looks like a pretty good value with the extras you get
  18. Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick and LuxeTrance Lipsticks ($38 each, not shown in the collage) are among the best I’ve tried in lipstick formula (my picks swatched here)
  19. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30, not shown in the collage) is probably my favorite all purpose concealer, I use the shade Ginger (swatched here)
  20. NARS NARsissist Loaded Eyeshadow Palette ($59, not shown in the collage) is still my favorite bold neutral eyeshadow palette (swatches here)
  21. Natasha Denona Chroma Crystal Top Coats ($28 each, not shown in the collage) are so pretty for the upcoming holiday season, they’re super glitzy but still really pretty (swatches and review here)

For my wishlist I have some skincare I want to stock up on. My favorite cleansers are the Kate Somerville Daily Gentle, Kate Somerville Eradikate, Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder, Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser. I’ve also been enjoying a lot from Kiehl’s including the Midnight Recovery Oil and the Kiehl’s x Kate Moross Midnight Must-Haves looks like a really good travel set. I’m a lipbalm junkie so I added the Kopari Kiss Set to my card. I also plan on getting another Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation + Concealer, Jo Malone Geranium Walnut Body Scrub and the La Mer Brilliance Brightening Mask. Andrew has asked for some replenishments on the Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb, Jack Black Turbowash and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel to name a few. I’ll do a haul post as soon as I can!

Dates and discount for all tiers:

  • Rouge – November 3rd – 6th and 10th – 15th, 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB – November 10th – 15th, 20% off (will list code as soon as I get it)
  • Beauty Insiders – November 10th – 15th, 15% off (will list code as soon as I get it)

I’m hosting a giveaway for the sale! It’s open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter and qualify. I’m giving away FIVE $75 e-gift cards to Sephora. Simply enter through the widget below. Giveaway is not sponsored and will run through November 8th. I’ll pick five separate winners through the widget and e-mail them by the 9th just in time for the second round. Please note you will need to respond within 24 hours or another person will be selected in your place. E-gift cards will be sent to the selected winners within 24 hours after I receive a response confirmation.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy shopping!

Lips Pat McGrath Labs Sephora

Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance, MatteTrance, Permagel Eye and Lip Pencil Review

November 2, 2017

Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance, MatteTrance, Permagel Review

I recently did a massive Pat McGrath Labs beauty haul from Sephora. A large number of you have asked me for a review on the MatteTrance Lipsticks ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) and since I’ve never really been big on matte lips I did not plan on looking into these. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many review requests on a single product so once I saw that she launched a creamy formula called LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) I ordered a handful online sight unseen. I also added some of the MatteLuxe Lipsticks, Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) and one shade of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) to my cart to try out. A couple days ago I finally saw the line in person at my local store and everything is just stunning! Since I just received my order recently this is more of a first impressions rather than a detailed review.

A look at the stunning display in store:

Pat McGrath Labs Sephora Tampa | The Beauty Look Book

First can we talk about the box packaging? I know super pretty boxes and packaging can be a waste, but the presentation is just so pretty. Opening any of the lipsticks or pencils is like opening a present. I don’t know if the gold embossed icons on the front have any meaning but everything is so artistic and creative.

Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance, MatteTrance, Permagel Review

The Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils and Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliners are super smooth and creamy. They glide onto the skin and are waterproof. They have about the same smoothness as the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencils (which last long but aren’t budge-proof on me). The Pat McGrath Labs pencils have VERY impressive lasting power. I swatched them on the hand and they would not come off easily. On the lips they stay put all day long. The liner on the eyes does not smudge all day. They have enough of an emollient smooth gel-like quality that you can apply and blend it out a little before it dries and sets. But once it sets it stays put. Pigment is ultra rich, there’s no tugging with application, it feels comfortable and performs well.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil and Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil

Colors I bought:

  • Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff is a medium neutral pink
  • Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Done Undone is a lighter pink nude with a hint of pearl
  • Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Bare Rose is a pretty soft rose with a slight sheen
  • Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Suburbia is a deeper rose pink
  • Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner in Blitz Brown is a deep bronze with shimmer

At the store I also looked at Supernatural and Contour. Both were more brown without any pink tones, along the lines of MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown. I didn’t buy any more as I had already hauled quite a few. I don’t typically wear brown lipliners with the exception of MAC Stripdown and Oak so I felt the pinks and neutrals were my best bet. I do think I’ll consider other shades of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner but for now I love the one I have. All the pencils come with a sharpener.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff, Done Undone, Bare Rose, Suburbia, Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Blitz Brown

Comparison swatches below to NARS Man Ray Velvet Eye Pencil in Santiago, Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner in Earthquake, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude and Pillow Talk, MAC Lip Pencils in Boldly Bare, Whirl, Dervish, Spice and Soar.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff, Done Undone, Bare Rose, Suburbia, Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Blitz Brown swatches

Pat McGrath Labs Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

Next are the lipsticks which are mind blowing good. It was pretty risky for me to order so many colors in a new-to-me formula sight unseen. The last time I did that with a brand I hadn’t tried before, it was total a fail. These Pat McGrath LuxeTrance and MatteTrance Lipsticks do not disappoint and they are easily among the best I’ve tried. I would say the matte formula tops all other matte formulas I’ve tried with the exception of the Louboutin Mattes. I’ve said that Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks (also swatched here) have been in my favorites list. That was before I tried Pat McGrath’s.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance and MatteTrance Lipsticks

The lipsticks come in a sleek metal black and gold tube. Both formulas have the same packaging. They have a cute gold embossed/raised lip which I think could have been really tacky to be frank, but they managed to make it look sleek and luxe. There is a good weight to the tube so it feels solid. They are well designed in every way.

LuxeTrance of course is my formula of choice. It’s a creamy opaque lipstick with full coverage. All the shades are creams without shimmer. They’re one-swipe wonders and make the lips look full. They glide onto the lips, feel super smooth, have a comforting feel and have impressive lasting power. I would say you get similar coverage with the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipsticks. They are also just as opaque as the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche formula but more creamy with a bit more slip. The LuxeTrance isn’t super thick but it does have substance and when you wear it, it looks like you are definitely wearing lipstick. Colors I picked:

  • Donatella is a pale nude, it pulls pinkish on me
  • Sextrology is a light salmon pink
  • Realness is a perfect peachy nude
  • Valletta is a light peachy pink
  • She’s Heaven is a neutral brown-pink
  • Beautiful Creature is a stunning plum
  • Attitude is a neutral brown

For other nudes, I also saw La Beija in store. The online swatch made me think it might be too dark/brown so I did not order it. In real life it’s a lot lighter than the stock swatch. It’s a pretty light-medium peachy beige and I would have bought it but they were sold out.

The MatteTrance Lipstick formula has a unique almost whipped like feel. They glide onto the lips and have a nice sheen even though they are clearly matte. They don’t make the lips look dried out or flat. They didn’t dry out my lips and lasted a decent amount of time. The texture of the lipstick in the tube looks almost like they took a sponge to make an imprint on the exterior. There is no texture when you apply though – it’s 100% smooth.

  • 1995 is a stunning light neutral pink nude
  • Omi is the perfect rose pink

As far as I can tell there’s no detectable scent with these.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance in Donatella, Sextrology, Realness, Valletta, She's Heaven, Beautiful Creature, Attitude and MatteTrance Lipsticks in 1995 and Omi

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance in Donatella, Sextrology, Realness, Valletta, She's Heaven, Beautiful Creature, Attitude and MatteTrance Lipsticks in 1995 and Omi swatches

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance in Donatella, Sextrology, Realness, Valletta, She's Heaven, Beautiful Creature, Attitude and MatteTrance Lipsticks in 1995 and Omi

 

Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance, MatteTrance, Permagel Review

Bottom line pure love and lots to explore. There are a lot of bold shades in all the formulas. I did take a look at the Eyeshadow Palettes which are quite impressive in size and color selection. Each one had quite a few glitzy shades or at least 2 shades in each palette I didn’t think I’d use so for now I’ve passed. I do hope they launch more palettes or singles so you’d be able to pick and choose. For now I’m more than happy with my lip picks and eyeliner.

You can find Pat McGrath Labs exclusively at Sephora and Pat McGrath Labs.