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Three Days in New York – My Packing List, Beauty Shopping Map and Haul

May 9, 2017

Byredo Store Wooster St Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share my packing list, shopping map and beauty haul for NYC! As mentioned in my previous post I was in NYC for 3 full days. 1 day was for a conference, I had 1 full day of exploring and meetings with my friend Cafe Makeup, and then the following day I had until around 12:30 before I had to head to the airport to catch my flight. On my third day I decided to go to Soho for a quick stop at Away in the morning but most stores did not open until 11:00 AM so my shopping/browsing time was a bit limited. Next time I go to New York I will be staying in Soho – the area is just so charming and I could walk around for hours!

First a look at what I packed. The weather was mild – by Florida standards it was cold, but in comparison to the winter in San Diego it was very similar. I packed three tops, two pairs of jeans, three jackets and then also had the clothes I wore to NY which included a tank, jeans and a cotton cardigan sweater. Being a high maintenance hair girl of course I packed my hair dryer and flat iron. Since I had just come from a quick trip to Dallas I used a lot of the same beauty products and skincare. In hindsight since I only had one day in between trips I could have flown straight to New York but I was getting homesick and really wanted to see the hubby and fur babies.

Luggage, totes and accessories packed included a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM, Away Bigger Carry On (c/o – click this referral link save $20 on your first order), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches (navy one c/o) , Glossier Pouch, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case, Tatcha Travel Bag (discontinued) and a Tumi Just In Case Tote. The Tumi actually folds up into a flat compact square – I stuffed it for the photo so you could see the size. I’ve had this for years (and a few older variations) – they’re great to bring with you just in case you need an extra bag to bring home. For this trip I did check my luggage and many of you have asked how the Away luggage holds up. Between Dallas and NYC I checked it 3 times and it held up really well. No deep scratches and only surface scuffs and dark marks. I asked the reps at the store how to remove them and they recommended warm water and a washcloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I did a little demo video on my Instagram stories which you should be able to see until around 6:00 PM EST. The magic eraser method really does work! Of course anything you check will get marks and eventually dents.

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

What I packed here ended up being similar to my Dallas trip, but slightly more edited. I wanted to make room in my luggage to bring home some things and hauls. Most everything fit inside the Away Bigger Carry On (you can use this referral link to save $20 off your first order).

Away Bigger Carry On Packed | The Beauty Look Book

Away Bigger Carry On Packing List via The Beauty Look Book

Clothing pack list:

  • Short Trench from J.Crew (old style, current classic version here)
  • Leather jacket by Joie (old style, similar here)
  • Black woven jacket from Banana Republic (from several years ago)
  • Black raw hem denim by Paige
  • Classic skinny jeans denim by Frame
  • Flats by Chloe
  • Chambray button down by Joie
  • Stripe tank from Rag and Bone
  • Cashmere sweater from Club Monaco (old style)

Clothing Pack List for NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup packing list:

NYC Makeup Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare and haircare packing. I hoard my minis from GWPs as much as I can. Things here that you can buy individually:

NYC Skincare Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Before I met up with Amy we discussed where we wanted to go shopping. I told her I was open to anything she wanted to see as she was taking the train up to see me for the day. I shared a map I had made last year (minus the tourist spots). I’ve done this for almost every trip I’ve gone on – I map out EVERYTHING from coffee shops, photo spots, restaurants, breakfast places, shops etc. This is an edited version with just beauty as my full maps get very cluttered. Thanks to Amy for asking me to publish this. She did an amazing one for Paris which I highly recommend. We didn’t get to everything on the map – in the course of one day we made it to around 6 places including lunch spots. We took our time, on our priority list was Creed and Bergdorfs and then we said we’d just take the day as it came. The map should be clickable/interactive – I’m not sure how it will look or work on mobile though.

This is what I ended up hauling, mainly beauty this trip. First a look inside Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Shopping | The Beauty Look Book

Next stop was Barneys New York – how cool is their Mask Bar?!

Barneys New York Mask Bar | The Beauty Look Book

From Barneys New York I bought two Sheet Masks from Starskin in the Diamond Mask and Close Up options, Cremorlab Silk Pearl, and the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Set. From Bergdorf Goodman I bought a couple cushions from Sulwhasoo (I also ordered the third option from Nordstrom when I got home). Will be testing and report back soon!

Barneys and Bergdorfs Haul | The Beauty Look Book

At Creed I bought my husband the Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl – he’s been getting more into skincare and shaving and I thought this might be a nice unique gift for him even though it’s about 3x what he normally spends on a shaving soap. They wrapped everything beautifully and even made a couple fragrance samples for him!

Creed Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl | The Beauty Look Book

Some late night shopping at the Sephora in Times Square, they have Tom Ford, Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath. On Instastories a couple days ago I mentioned how many beauty insider points I had. I forgot that I had redeemed A LOT for Drybar and Supergoop goodies. I think I asked for all the sunscreen minis they had lol!

Sephora NYC Times Square Tom Ford | The Beauty Look Book

What I hauled from Sephora was more than I intended. I only was going to get the new Dior mascara but what was I thinking, I always leave the store with more than I had planned on buying:

Mega Sephora Haul | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a quick stop at Byredo. I had looked for the mint Hand Cream Duo at Barneys but they were sold out so I made a trip to the Byredo store on Wooster and it was very minimalist inside. If you’re looking for this you can find it online at Byredo and also online Neiman Marcus. It was beautiful but very sparse. Online and at counters the travel size perfumes come in pre-made sets. Usually you have to buy a set of 3 with the same scents although they occasionally release mixed discover ones. In the store you can make your own 3 piece or 6 piece set but they don’t have all the scents available. I made my own with 2 Mojave Ghost (I’ve had this on my wishlist for over 2 years, I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it earlier) and 1 Flowerhead. They recommend you only carry them inside the leather cases because the glass is fragile. I’m trying to be extra careful with mine as I have broken a couple.

Byredo Soho Wooster NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo Haul | The Beauty Look Book

This is a shot of what I had with me on my way back home:

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back 🙂 If you have any favorite spots whether it be shops, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels etc please let me know in the comments! I’ll bookmark them for my next trip!

Travel

Springtime Travels – Three Days in NYC

May 8, 2017

NYC Springtime Travels | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday lovelies! As promised I have a NYC post for you from my recent trip last month. I was in NYC for three days at the end of April. One day was for a conference and the other two days were for fun, exploration and a few meet-ups. Now that I’m on the East Coast, travel is a lot easier for me. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Tampa to NYC and I could not be happier! This was a short trip and I wish I could have had more time but I packed in as much as I could. This is Part 1 of 2. In this post I will share about where I stayed, what I saw and where I ate. In Part 2 I’ll share my full packing list and also what I hauled.

I flew into JFK and normally would have taken a taxi to the city, however my husband booked me a NY airport limousine service called Carmel Limousine. It was a bit pricier than a taxi but the fare covered tip and tolls and my husband wanted me to try it out. When it comes to travel and transportation I tend to be on the cheap side when traveling alone, my husband on the other hand always wants the best experience – he’s always really thoughtful when he helps me book my flights etc. When I flew in I was a bit worried about how I would find the car and driver. The way this works is you book your car and provide them your flight information and destination. The cars are usually waiting nearby or in the cell phone lot around the time of your arrival. There’s a number to call as soon as you land and they text you within seconds how soon the car will arrive and what model it is. In the window there will be a sign with your last name so you can tell which car is yours. My total wait time from the time I called was less than 5 minutes.

Cars were very clean, air conditioned and the drive was smooth. NYC taxis can be hit or miss with cleanliness and using this service was definitely a nice experience. If I were traveling with another person I think I would definitely use them again. On my way back my husband was going to book it again for me but since I didn’t know where I would be in the city I told him I’d just take a taxi back to the airport.

I couldn’t resist doing an Eva Chen-inspired shot (minus the fruit lol). Neverfull MM tote with a small Truffle Clarity Clutch mini (c/o) to hold all my travel essentials. Flats by Chloe. Jeans by Frame.

NYC Springtime Travels Carmel Limo Service | The Beauty Look Book

I traveled alone this trip so I decided try a smaller hotel. I had planned everything at the last minute and did not realize that the Tribeca Film Festival was happening the same week I was going to be in NY. In the course of a few days almost every hotel I had on my visit list was booked and almost double in price from their normal rates. Luckily I found one that was affordable with good reviews in Times Square in the theater district called RIU Plaza New York Times Square. I booked a King Size room and was thrilled to find that at check-in they gave me a room on the 26th floor (they have 28 floors). True to NYC style the room was very small, but it was clean, modern and functional. I had a pleasant stay – I would definitely stay here again, the location can’t be beat!

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

During my stay the weather was cloudy with some rain. I had checked the weather beforehand. Since moving to Florida I feel like I’ve been living in shorts and tanks and I knew the rest of the US was most likely not going to be in the high 80s. I packed an umbrella, several sets of layers, a few jackets and one pair of flats. The only thing I would have done differently for packing would have been to also pack some running shoes for easier walking. My flats were comfortable but there was a point where I wanted to walk through Central Park to find all of the cherry blossom trees (it was my first time seeing them in person!). I only made it about 1/2 a mile before I decided my feet and flats would not make the entire 2.5 mile walk in the rain.

Cherry Blossom Trees Spring NYC | The Beauty Look Book

One of the days I spend the entire day attending a conference in Soho. The conference was held by a company called Fohr Card and while I was dying to explore Soho, I was really happy to meet some other bloggers and make a few new friends. I ran into another blogger Kali from In Spades Blog and found out that we were both from San Diego, went to the same college and graduated the same year as me! Such a small world! We grabbed some dinner afterwards at Totto Ramen which I had been dying to try to catch up on life since graduating from business school. It was delicious! A quick snapshot of some other quick eats – on this trip I was on the go most of the day until late evening so relied on places open late. My brother made me promise to try this Indian street food place called Kati Roll and it was pretty close to my hotel so I did. It was also pretty good. One of the nights I grabbed some pizza by the slice near Times Square – I have really high expectations for pizza and even though it had really high ratings on Yelp I thought it was just ok. It hit the spot though – unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it.

NYC Eats - Totto Ramen, Pizza by the slice, Kati Roll

The following day was the highlight of my trip. I met up with long-time blogger friend Amy from Cafe Makeup. We’ve been pen pals for years and I’ve followed her blog for as long as I can remember. We spent the day exploring and shopping and had the best time! A look our stops below. We covered a lot of ground in one day: light breakfast at the Palm Court, a trip to B&H Photo (amazing!), a stop at the Creed Boutique, fun at Bergdorf Goodman, search for By Terry at Barneys New York, lunch and a meet up with Edward Bess, and then another trip back to Bergdorfs because we decided we needed more bronzer in our life.

Palm Court breakfast:

Palm Court NYC with Cafe Makeup

Perfume heaven at Creed:

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC

Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Shopping Heaven | The Beauty Look Book

Excited to see the entire line of Christian Louboutin Beauty in person!

Bergdorf Goodman Louboutin Beaute Counter | The beauty look book

Walking into the beauty level at Barneys New York, can you spot the By Terry counter?

Barneys New York beauty level makeup heaven | The beauty look book

Afternoon dessert with Edward Bess, I look so tan next to him! Thanks Cafe Makeup for the snap 🙂

Edward Bess x The Beauty Look Book selfie time

Beauty playtime with Edward:

Lunch with Edward Bess | The Beauty Look Book

Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:

Soho Springtime NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Soho NYC Byredo | The Beauty Look Book

Had to make a stop at the new Away store in Soho. They will deliver anywhere in New York and often have same day delivery which is genius! For those who know they’ll need an extra bag to take home items with them but don’t want to fly into the city with extra luggage this is perfect! They’ll deliver to your hotel 🙂

Away Travel Store in Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Bryant Park at night:

Bryant Park at Night | The Beauty Look Book

Selfie at my happy place Sephora Times Square, short trench by J.Crew (old style, current Icon Style here), denim by Frame, iPhone case by Gray Malin.

Sephora Times Square NYC | The Beauty look Book

I hope you enjoyed this mini travel diary! I had so much fun in the short time I was there. Have you ever been to NYC for a short trip? What recommendations, tips or advice do you have for quick short trips? Give then amount of time I was there I was happy with what I booked in. I did waste some time by getting lost (I did a lot of walking) but sometimes getting lost takes you some fun unexpected places.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow with my packing list and haul!

Travel

Dallas Travel Diary + What I Packed

April 28, 2017

Away Bigger Carry On - Travel Dallas | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Friday lovely readers! I’ve been a bit MIA and have neglected to post on the blog while traveling over the past two weeks. I’m currently trying to get back into the swing of things after taking two quick trips to Dallas and NYC. I’ve been active on Instagram and Instastories and many of you have been sending me some really good recommendations for what to see and where to eat so thank you! I was only in each city for a few days for conferences so I wasn’t able to explore as much as I wanted but had such a great time in each area. I received an overwhelming amount of requests for packing posts so here is the one for Dallas combined with snippets of what I did during the conference. A NYC post to follow soon as well.

I flew to Dallas from Tampa to attend my third rewardStyle conference. It was for two full days with day time meetings and classroom sessions combined with three nights of happy hours and parties. While in Dallas I stayed at the Hotel Crescent Court (where the conference was held this year). I had a pleasant stay but don’t know that I would go back. It had everything one could ask for in terms of basics – friendly service, nice concierge, clean rooms, nice facility. The rooms had a bit of a dated feel, but I have no complaints. If you have any favorite Dallas hotels let me know so I can check them out if I go back.

Hotel Crescent Court Dallas | The Beauty Look Book

I got to hang out with my beauty friend Beauty Professor. We live on opposite coasts now and it’s been a while since I’ve seen her so it was great to catch up!

Beauty Look Book x Beauty Professor

rS The Con

Shake Shack obsessed:

rS The Con - Shake Shack

rS The Con

rS The Con Loccitane The Daily Edited

Crescent Court Happy Hour:

Hotel Crescent Court Dallas | The Beauty Look Book

rStheCon April 2017

I’m still a carry-on traveler as I’m a minimalist when it comes to what I fly with and am a huge fan of the Away Carry-On. I’ve traveled with mine quite a bit over the past year. You can see what I’ve been able to fit inside here and here. They’ve since added more sizes so for this trip I tried out the Bigger Carry-On. For those worried about sizing and fit, it will fit just fine in the overhead compartments for American Airlines and Delta. The larger size made it easier for me to fit more inside. If you’re flying within the US it should work with almost all the airlines. European Airlines do have smaller restrictions so in that case the regular Carry-On will be better. (You can use this referral link to save $20 off your first order.) What I packed for my trip:

Away Bigger Carry On Luggage | The Beauty Look Book

I packed three day time outfits and three dresses (not shown). What I packed from left to right:

  • Outfit 1: Navy silk top by Ted Baker, white ankle jeans by Paige (I like the Skyline Ankle, and for white jeans in the line I go up one size because they run small on me)
  • Outfit 2: Button down linen top by Joie, white lace mini skirt by J.Crew (old style)
  • Outfit 3: Off the shoulder top by Paige, ankle raw hem jeans by Paige
  • Black sandal pumps by Stuart Weitzman (I size a 1/2 size down from what I usually wear in other brands, I typically wear a size 6.5 but with Stuart Weitzman I wear a 6)
  • Outfit 4 and 5: I packed two shift dresses that are older styles, both are from Rag and Bone from previous seasons, I love classic pieces that are timeless!
  • Outfit 6: An off the shoulder navy dress (shown in the collage below) by Felicity and Coco (I went with a Petite XS, I’m 5’3″ and 120 pounds for sizing reference)

Travel Outfits | The Beauty Look Book

 

Travel Outfits | The Beauty Look Book

Thank you Beauty Professor for the snaps 🙂

The beauty products, makeup, skincare and tools that I packed. I fit all my liquids in a ziploc bag. I’m still trying to get my life together after moving so a lot of my bags and travel accessories are still in boxes.

Travel Makeup | The Beauty Look Book

The makeup packing list:

Travel Skincare | The Beauty Look Book

The skincare packing list:

Travel Makeup Tools | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty Tools packed:

Travel Tote Neverfull MM | The Beauty Look Book

Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM Tote with:

And last but not least for the fun stuff. I only had a limited amount of time for exploring. I stopped by Forty Five Ten with Beauty Professor and fell head over heels in love with the store! They have Edward Bess, Diptyque, Byredo, Cire Trudon and so much more. Now I want a Serge Lutens eyeshadow palette – I could not bring myself to splurge though! As a die hard Diptyque fan I was overjoyed to find an exclusive called 4510. It has a woodsy scent (I will have to investigate about the notes). They also have an Edward Bess exclusive lipstick called Dallas Pink.

Forty Five Ten Dallas Beauty

 

For those who wanted a haul post, I did a tiny haul. I bought two candles and a chocolate bar from Forty Five Ten. I was able to pick up a few other gifted goodies from the rewardStyle conference from Supergoop, L’Occitane, Collen Rothschild, Topshop and The Daily Edited. I was saving my $$$ for the New York trip (haul details for that one in my New York post to follow next week).

Diptyque Haul

I hope you enjoyed this Dallas post! I’ve been going through a whirlwind of emotions over the past few months. We made a huge move across the country at the end of February and while we both love Florida it’s been a process for me to adjust. As I introduced myself to new people during the conferences I hesitated when people asked me where I was from. Tampa is our home for now but my heart is still in San Diego – I have two homes now! I had a very emotional moment when flying back to Florida from Dallas. It’s such a beautiful place and seeing it from the air is just so amazing. As I flew into the bay, I had a few teary minutes on the airplane because part of me just couldn’t believe how lucky I am to call this beautiful city home. A lot of you have asked whether or not this move is permanent and I don’t have an answer. We moved to try something new and to be closer to places we want to travel. We’re in the process of testing it out and will be figuring things out as the months progress. Both my husband and I had been in San Diego for a long time (long before we met each other) so we were ready for a change. There’s so much to explore and so far we love it here. We have a yearning to explore and this was our first step towards active exploration. He’s promised to take some time off work soon so we can go somewhere tropical and I can’t wait.

Tampa Bay Home

Have you been to Dallas before? What were your favorite places to see, shop or eat?

 

Travel

Update / Hello from Florida!

February 28, 2017

Tom Ford Soleil Sneak Peek | The Beauty Look Book

Hello from sunny Florida! Just wanted to give you a quick update as I’ve been MIA and haven’t posted in a while. We drove over 2,000 miles from the west coast to the east coast in a moving truck and a trailer to tow our car. Since we have 3 furry pets to transport we decided to move everything ourselves, as we’d have to drive anyways. Our pets aren’t the type that would do well in an airplane. We made the trip in 5 days and only had one incident. On the highway in Las Cruces New Mexico one of the wheel bearings on the trailer broke. Luckily we didn’t get into any accidents and were able to get it replaced at a nearby repair shop. This put us back about 4 hours but our pets were so well behaved the entire trip it was a smooth move. We did come across high winds and some rough roads along the way which was pretty scary – driving across country in a moving truck isn’t something either of us plan to do again. Main places we stopped for the nights included Tucson, Arizona, El Paso, Texas, Houston, Texas, Pensacola, Florida and finally arrived in Tampa on Day 5.

I have a quick sneak peek at Tom Ford Soleil above. I was able to attend a preview event at Violet Grey the morning before I moved and everything is just beyond gorgeous. The pieces just launched online at Sephora and Tom Ford and should arrive at counters in the next week or so. Shown above is a new Sheer Highlighting Duo in Reflect Gilt, a new Sheer Cheek Duo in Paradise Lust, and Clutch-Sized Lip Balms.

In addition there is a new bronzer formula that is for the Large Size bronzers only. It has an embossed texture and soft luminous glow. Small bronzer formulas are the same. I just ordered two of the new Cream and Powder Eye Colors in Sun Worship and Young Adonis and am waiting for those to arrive in the mail so I can photograph everything together before I start swatching. Review to follow soon!

Also a quick note that I’ve been experiencing some issues with my host/server so you may have had trouble accessing my site over the past week. I’m working with a developer to move everything to a new host which will take a few days so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see new posts over the next week.

Just wanted to let you know all is well here! We arrived in Florida safe and sound. We’re unpacking and settling in. Fur kids are adjusting quickly and love the sunshine. Thanks to everyone who sent warm wishes via Tweets and Instagram Messages via @beautylookbook. I can’t wait to get back to blogging, I have some exciting launches I can’t wait to share with you. Also I finally splurged on my dream scent Creed Virgin Island Water and with this 80+ degree weather I’m experiencing in Tampa it’s just perfect. In the meantime follow me on Instagram – I’ll be posting things as time allows 🙂

Currently catching up on e-mails and messages!

Travel

A Week in Florida

December 27, 2016

Clearwater Beach Florida Trip December

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday! I took a few days off for Christmas to recover from a cold but I’m back with a travel roundup today! Earlier this month my husband Andrew and I packed our suitcases for a mini getaway to Florida. We spent a week exploring Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Petersburg, Naples, the Everglades, and Key West and had a great time. For those who read my packing post, you know Miami was originally on the list but the week we arrived in Florida the weather was rainy, cloudy and unpredictable so made a few last minute changes and went to Key West to chase the sunshine.

For this trip I left all the planning to my husband since this was his pick for a vacation spot. This was my first time to Florida so for me everything was new. If you’ve read a few of my previous travel posts, you might remember that my husband literally plans things on the go. We stayed in a different city each night and booked hotels sometimes only an hour before we checked in. Since we were traveling before the busy season, everything worked out and we were able to find rooms easily at good rates. For those curious my husband used Hotels.com to book almost all of the hotels we stayed at and also checks TripAdvisor for reviews and ideas of things to do or see. It was definitely more of an adventurous kind of trip (versus relaxing) since we were on the move exploring and driving a lot each day, but we had a lot of fun. Even with last minute spontaneous changes we enjoyed our week playing tourist and were able to see quite a bit of Florida in a short period of time. I’ve added links for all the places we visited, stayed and ate in case you want to see more about each location.

Tampa:

Our trip was mainly focused on exploring the beach areas but we did drive around some pretty areas in Tampa.

What we saw: We made a stop at the Florida Aquarium in Downton Tampa which was on the small side but still a lot of fun. We spent quite a lot of time driving around the bay side of Tampa along Bayshore Boulevard. If you’re visiting the area I highly recommend you do so, you’ll see some of the prettiest views and neighborhoods in that area! My in-laws were with us for two days of the trip so we made a stop at one of the malls International Plaza and Bay Street to check out a few of the stores. I didn’t buy anything for myself but picked up the Kiehl’s Scented Hand Cream Trio (restocked online at Neimans) and Ultimate Strength Hand Salve for my mother and father-in-law as they asked for a recommendation on a good hand cream for cold dry climates. I’ll have to ask them to see if the creams worked for them!

Tampa Aquarium and Saint Petersburg Kiteboarding

Where we ate: When it comes to travel I love exploring new restaurants. We made a breakfast stop at The Oxford Exchange which is one of the most charming restaurants I’ve ever seen complete with a book store, gift shop and coffee shop. The interiors are to die for gorgeous and beautifully stocked with Cire Trudon candles, an Aesop store and lots of little gifts. Later in the day we picked a gastropub called Datz for our dinner spot. We’ve been trying to eat healthier for quite some time but the reviews we saw of this place made us change our minds for a splurge. I had the Carolina On My Mind sandwich and my husband had the Waffles N’Tweet. If you’re on a weight watchers plan or want something healthy this is not the place for you, but if you don’t mind indulging, I highly recommend it. There’s a Donut store next door called Dough, since we were already on a roll breaking our healthy habits we picked up a few and they were well worth the extra calories.

Oxford Exchange Tampa Restaurant and Aesop Store

 

Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg:

We stayed in Clearwater Beach at the beginning of our trip and I fell head over heels with the gorgeous white sand beaches they have there. The beaches are pristine with the softest sand I’ve ever felt between my toes, making California sand almost seem like sharp rocks in comparison. We returned to this beach area on the last day or our trip to sun bathe and relax and would definitely go back.

Where we stayed: We booked a suite at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort. The rooms were clean and spacious and we picked a room with a partial gulf view. I found the rooms to be slightly dated, but everything was nice clean so I had no complaints and we had a lovely stay.

What we saw: In Saint Petersburg we drove around the beach areas, visited St. Pete Beach, and along one of the beach areas we saw kiteboarding and windsurfing near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on one of the windy days. In Saint Petersburg we ate at a cute European-style restaurant called the Cassis American Brassiere.

Clearwater Beach Florida Hyatt

Clearwater Beach Florida Hyatt

Clearwater Beach Florida

Naples:

After exploring St. Petersburg we drove 2 hours south to Naples which was absolutely charming!

What we saw and where we shopped: We stopped by the beach areas near the pier and walked around main street on Fifth Avenue South. Before we left for our trip we saw temperatures in the mid 80s so we packed tees and shorts for the entire week. When we arrived weather was more in the 60s so we had to make a few stops to pick up a few pieces of warmer clothing. We stopped by the Waterside Shops and the Saks Fifth Avenue there was one of the prettiest Saks stores I’ve ever seen! The staff was really friendly and the rep in men’s department recommended we stop by either Bar Tulia or Osteria Tulia for dinner and it was a cute restaurant spot. There is a more casual bar side and then a more traditional dinner side. They both looked similar and we went with the one that had tables available immediately which was the Osteria. The ambiance and food was phenomenal. It’s a cute rustic Italian restaurant with fresh quality ingredients – we both highly recommend it.

Where we stayed: My husband booked our hotel during dinner at the Inn on Fifth right in the heart of downtown Naples. By the time we booked it, there were only two rooms left so we booked one of the Club Level Suites which comes with concierge level amenities in a separate building. The service was excellent and concierge welcoming and friendly. This was one of the cutest boutique hotels I’ve ever stayed at and I did not want to leave.

Naples Florida

Naples Florida

Naples Florida

Key West:

The last couple of days on our trip we had a few options of what to see: Orlando, Miami or Key West. Based on the weather forecast we went for Florida Keys to avoid the rain and were glad we did. It took us around 7 hours to drive from the mainland through the Everglades and the Florida Keys to get to Key West and we can’t wait to go back. This was my first time to Florida so I had never seen the Everglades before. On the freeway there are areas and swamp banks where alligators hang out and of course crowds of people pull over to see them. My husband being one of them. I refused to get out for obvious reasons but there is a fenced off area called the Oasis Visitors Center where there are solid chain fences in between the parking lot and the water where the alligators are so I felt ok looking at them there. We saw a lot of people fishing alongside the roads which to me did not seem safe but as a non-local I can’t really say for sure.

Key West Bridges Water

The drive along all the keys takes quite a bit of time but the views are unlike anything else and the color of the water is almost unreal! By the time we arrived the sun had just started to set, we checked into the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa. The hotel is in a great location and has a nice laid back kind of vibe. There are turtles in a few of the areas which I thought was cute. Our stay was pleasant but I don’t know that I’d go back – our room had a very humid, slightly damp and dusty kind of feel to it. The humidity level was pretty and as one who always gets bitten by mosquitoes or (as they call them there no-see-ums) I was really worried I would be covered in bites. Luckily I did not get any bites although we did buy some bug spray at the CVS there to be safe.

What we saw: We spent a full day exploring Key West. Most of the areas we wanted to go to were within walking distance from our hotel. We took one of the hop on and hop off Old Town Trolley Tours to see all of Key West in a short period of time. Two places of note included the Ernest Hemingway Home and because my husband likes to watch documentaries we stopped by the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.

Where we ate: The evening we arrived we decided to stop by Blue Heaven based on Yelp reviews. The food was excellent and the restaurant had a really fun and carefree vibe. One of the most interesting things to me was to see wild chickens and cats that roam the streets and outdoor areas. Even in restaurants we saw wild chickens and roosters walk by our table. We were tempted to go back again the next morning for brunch but decided to try something different and stopped by a cute cozy breakfast spot called Le Bistro on Duvall Street. Our last stop in the afternoon before we headed back to the mainland was Garbo’s Grill which made THE best tacos I’ve ever had. I would go back to Key West just for those tacos.

Key West

Key West Croissants de France Le Bistro

Key West Chickens

Blue Heaven during the day and at night:

Blue Heaven Key West

Hemingway House and Museum:

Key West Hemingway House Museum

 

Key West

What we missed: We would have loved to stay a couple more days to enjoy the water. We had hoped to rent some jet skis but missed the last cut off – note if you’re visiting they recommend you book and check in at least 30 minutes before their listed take off time.

Roundup of our eats:

Florida Eats

The last night we were in Florida we drove back to St. Pete Beach to stay at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora so we would be relatively close to the airport. We considered staying in Key West another night but since the drive back to Tampa would be 7+ hours we decided it would be cutting the time too close. The hotel was very modern and seemed freshly remodeled as they had to repair a lot from hurricane damage. We had a really lovely stay here and our room had a view of the beach although it’s not one of the beach front hotels. We would definitely stay again although next time we want to try one of the ones right along the water.

There were a lot of other things we wanted to see but we were really happy with how much ground we covered in a week’s time. My husband and I were a bit worried with all the driving we might get bored or possibly drive each other nuts being in such close proximity for 7 days straight but I’m happy to report that we had plenty to keep us entertained (even in the long car drives) and had a really great trip. The highlights of the trip for me included visiting Clearwater Beach and Key West.

I had a packing post planned for this trip and I’ve photographed everything we traveled with. I’m not sure that I will post it because we packed all the wrong things hoping for heat and sunshine but arrived to clouds, partial clouds and rain. Let me know if you still want to see it! To those who followed me on Instagram, thanks for following along on my trip and on Insta-stories! I’m recovering from my cold but beauty posts will resume in the new year starting with Chanel spring and later this week I’ll have the best of 2016 posts go live.

Have you been to Florida, in particular any of the spots we visited? What did you see or do? Any recommendations for what we should see next time? We have so much on our list that we didn’t get to but were beyond thrilled to have covered the ground we did this trip 🙂

Travel

Packing For a Mini Getaway

December 7, 2016

Away Luggage Carry Ons Packing Travel

I’m packed up and on my way to Florida for a mini getaway! I’ll still be posting beauty reviews while I’m away. This will be my first time visiting Florida and we’ll be in Tampa and Miami. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments. My husband and I are traveling carry-on style again. This one will be a short trip so packing hasn’t been too hard. I have to admit though I don’t know how I survived an entire month in Europe last year with just a carry on back pack and a tote.

If you’re interested in a travel packing and beauty post I can definitely do another one. Many of you liked my previous packing posts and I always enjoy reading about what others bring with them on their travels. I am bringing my Drybar Baby Buttercup Hair Dryer. It folded up nicely to fit inside my suitcase without taking up too much room. For other beauty items I’ve packed the Les Minis de Chanel Brush Set, Bioderma Minis in the Hydrabio and Sensibio, and as many skincare minis I’ve been able to squeeze in my quart sized bag. As I type this post I’m still trying to narrow down my picks for makeup.

I’m bringing three pairs of shoes: two pairs of sandals and a comfy pair of running shoes. I bought the Nike Free RN shoes last month and even though they’re supposed to be for running I’ve found them really comfortable for walking too.

The iPhone cases shown in the top photo are from Gray Malin. He has a number of options available which I’m completely obsessed with. I think I’ve accumulated around 5 different designs by now. They always brighten my day as his photographs are so inspirational and always have me dreaming of a getaway.

Away Luggage Carry On in Sand

For this trip we’re bringing our Away Carry-Ons again (previously reviewed here, referral link to save $20 on your first order). My husband’s is the black one and he’s checked it a couple of times. It’s held up pretty well but there are some scratches on his (as expected with the way bags are handled). Above you can see a real life photo with the Gift Set I mentioned a few days ago. I did not know what to expect for size – the mini case is absolutely adorable! The Gift Set is basically a gift card packaged in a cute case with socks and Aesop minis. You can order a gift card for any size suitcase as a gift. It’s a great way to gift someone something unique but still allow them to pick out their own color. It’s limited-edition and available this season only (ships to US addresses only as well). I’ve been such a huge fan of their line for their simple no-fuss yet well made luggage. When I first discovered them they had 1 suit case size and have since expanded their product range.

I’m excited to be able to host a giveaway of 2 Away Gift Sets for the Carry On size via Instagram (US only)! The giveaway will go live later today so be sure to follow me @beautylookbook for all the details on how to enter.

Away Carry On Luggage Packing for Florida

For those curious about the black pouches shown, the one in the top is a Truffle Clarity Clutch Mini and the larger zip case is the Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case. I’ve traveled with both numerous times and highly recommend them! I’m excited for a much needed vacation but the hardest part about traveling is leaving our fur kids behind – but we’ve placed them in good hands. The place we’re boarding our kitty has a webcam so I’ll be able to check on him at any part of the day. Since I’ll be traveling comments might take a while for me to moderate but I’ll be checking in every now and then. Any recs for Tampa or Miami would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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Holiday Gift Guide Travel

Holiday Gift Guide For the Traveler and Girl on the Go

December 2, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveler

Today’s gift guide is a roundup with ideas for those who travel frequently or for the girl on the go. Even though over a year has passed since our Europe trip, I’ve still been dreaming of traveling and hope to do more of it in the near future. There is so much to see in the world and although I haven’t been able to travel much in past years I’ve enjoyed the few trips I’ve been on and it makes me really happy when I get emails from some of you about my travel posts. I’m really touched that many of you are so supportive when I incorporate new and different content on this blog. A quick note that I will be traveling to Florida later this month – we’re going to be visiting both Tampa and Miami and parts in between. If you have any recommendations on what to see in a week’s time let me know in the comments!

  1. Truffle Clarity Mini and Card Case Duo ($55) comes in four color options with a mini clutch and card case, I use these clear pouches on a regular basis, for those who want options, you can buy just the clear pouch individually and there are other sizes and colors you can pick from in the Small and Large
  2. Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones ($34.99) the ones shown are white marble but they also come in other colors
  3. Rib Knit Scarf ($39) you can’t go wrong with a classic scarf, I usually buy the Tissue Weight Cashmere and Wool ($99) blend every year for a nice lightweight wrap, but for those who need something warmer the rib knit one is very cozy
  4. Away Gift Set ($225 and up) is a cute way to gift one of the Away Suit Cases, it’s basically a gift card packaged in a mini case with travel-sized Aesop products
  5. Away Carry On Luggage ($225) now comes in two new colors Snow and Asphalt, since reviewing their carry-on over the summer in this post, they’ve launched a Bigger Carry-On Size ($245) as well, I haven’t tried it but for me the regular Carry-On Size is just perfect
  6. Ugg Australia Travel Set ($88) has a cozy blanket and sleep eye mask in a gift set, it comes in three colors
  7. Mophie Powerstation ($39.99) is something I’ve used for years, I have the black one (shown here) and it’s lasted years for me, I always carry one with me even on day or weekend trips
  8. Tom Ford Lips and Boys ($36 each) are the cutest mini lipsticks ever, all 25 new shades swatched in this post, they’re perfect for travel because the mini size barely takes up any space
  9. Byredo Hand Cream ($35) is the ultimate splurge for hand creams, I’ve purchased two in the past and the scent is pretty good for a hand cream, if you want something a bit more affordable but just as good I recommend the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($15) which also now comes in three scents Coriander, Grapefruit and Lavender ($15 each), Molton Brown also has good ones to gift away, having a good one on hand is a travel must
  10. Oribe Styling Kit x Birchbox ($35) has five minis of their sprays, review of this one here
  11. Laura Mercier Brush it On Luxe Collection Travel Brush Set ($98) has six travel-sized brushes in a roll case, their travel brushes are always well made, I’ve accumulated quite a few over the years
  12. Slip Silk Eye Mask ($45) is on my own wishlist as I have one of the Slip Silk Pillow Cases and really like it
  13. Fleur’t Night Night Eyelash Eye Mask ($23) with the eyelashes is just too cute
  14. Sephora Luxe Combo Travel Brush ($15) is a great travel hair brush it also comes in a Gold Color for holiday
  15. Ouai to Travel Set ($32) has three travel-sized hair products in a white zip case
  16. Drybar Baby Buttercup Dryer ($135) is a compact but powerful travel hair dryer, on numerous trips I’ve debated whether or not to take a dryer with me, I’m the type who needs their own hair dryer, ones in hotels simply just don’t work the same for me, review on this one soon, if you’re into sets for holiday it also comes in the Let it Blow! Set for the same price as the individual dryer
  17. Chanel Les Minis de Chanel ($125) is the first Chanel brush set I’ve bought, I love their mini sets that they launch each year but in previous seasons there has been at least 1 or 2 brushes in the sets that I didn’t think I’d use so I passed, this year has ones I would actually use, I haven’t tried it yet but will be bringing it with me on my upcoming trip
  18. Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Case ($330) is one of the most expensive beauty items I’ve splurged on but it’s great for travel to keep everything beauty related in one place, it was featured here and here, if you don’t need something compact the Bobbi Brown Beauty Case is also a great one for travel

Do you have any travel favorites or must haves? I’m going to be busy packing this weekend so I won’t have new posts up Saturday or Sunday, but stay tuned for a new post to go live on Monday 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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