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What I Packed for a Miami Getaway / Travel Diary

April 5, 2019

Away Travel Bigger Carry On + Everywhere Bag Review Miami Getaway Pack List
We had so much fun in Miami I almost didn’t want to come back home! Last weekend Andrew told me he wanted to go to Miami for a spontaneous getaway trip – spontaneous as in “let’s go tomorrow.” I’m normally one who prefers more advance notice but all he had to do was mention The Salty Donut and I did not hesitate to immediately start throwing things into a suitcase. I don’t think I’ve ever packed so fast in my life! If you haven’t tried The Salty Donut in Miami add it yo your list. They have the best donuts I’ve ever had and if I lived in Miami I think eating there would be a weekly habit.

Since moving to Florida so many of you have asked me about packing tips for your vacations. You want to know what to wear, how hot it gets, what sunscreen wears the best, etc. I’ve also received so many questions about the Away Luggage and other accessories like their packing cubes, everywhere bag and backpacks. I’ve put together a travel diary to share exactly what I packed, what I wore and thoughts about everything we’ve tried from Away.

Loews Miami Beach Getaway

This trip we stayed at the Loews Miami in South Beach. We’ve stayed in a few different areas in Miami before and we really love staying by the beach areas. Other neighborhoods also have their benefits but being in South Beach is so fun. You can literally just stay at a hotel in the area and have everything you need for a fun vacation without a car. We like to get around and since we live in Florida we drove 4 hours from Tampa to Miami. We had a pleasant stay at the Loews! Staff is really attentive, rooms were clean, pool and beach area were really nice. The food and coffee bar were spendy but that is expected in South Beach. We tried breakfast at their Preston’s Market which was pretty good – we ate outside on the covered patio which was really beautiful and relaxing.

Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Jcrew Tank, 7 for All Mankind Cutoff Shorts, Chloe Mini Marcie

Vacation casual outfit, Jcrew Pale Blue Tank, 7 For All Mankind Cutoff shorts, Chloe Mini Marcie Bag

Tank – J.Crew / Shorts – 7 ForAll Mankind / Sandals – Sam Edelman Beckie runs true to size / Belt – J.Crew / Mini Crossbody Bag –  Chloe Mini Marcie (review here) / Sunglasses – Rayban 55 mm round (love these!!)

This is our fourth trip to Miami and each time we plan a mini vacation. We leave feeling like we should have stayed longer! We’ve already found some favorite eats but force ourselves to try something new each time. That being said, my ride or die must-eats for every trip are The Salty Donut and Panther Coffee in Wynwood. We bought a box of four Salty Donuts and walked over to Panther Coffee down the street for a perfect snack. This round we tried the Guava and Cheese, Coconut Lychee, Chocolate Marshmallow and Traditional Glazed Donuts. They’re AMAZING!

Best Donuts and Coffee Miami Wynwood The Salty Donut and Panther Coffee

Sunglasses – Rayban / V-neck Tee – J.Crew / Short – AGolde Parker Shorts in Rock Steady / Sandals – Sam Edelman Gaia (runs true to size and comfortable enough for walking around in all day) / Card Case – Gucci / Lips – Dior Addict Lip Glow

For shopping we stopped by the Glossier Miami Pop Up which was a few blocks away, also in Wynwood until April 28th. Full recap plus haul in this post. If you’re in town definitely visit – it’s super cute!

Glossier Miami Pop Up

Just around the corner, Wynwood Walls:

Miami Wynwood

During our trip we did a tiny little bit of shopping. We did a quick stop in the Miami Design District to walk around, window shop and browse. I splurged on a pair of Celine Round Sunglasses which I’m really excited about! There’s also a tiny Aesop Store and Andrew bought a few skincare items to try including the Control Anti Blemish Gel and another bottle of Mouthwash. I had my eye on the Sao Paulo Kit for travel but decided to think about it.

Miami Design District

Tank – Nation LTD / Shorts – L’Agence Zoe Shorts / Sandals – Sam Edelman / Purse – Chloe Mini Marcie / Sunglasses – Rayban / Necklace – Nordstrom

There’s a really cute Taco Truck inside the Miami Design District called La Pollita which has cute snacks and drinks. We were stuffed from food earlier in the day otherwise would have tried the tacos, we took a few sneaky peeks at what other people were eating and it looked and smelled delicious.

Nation LTD Tank, L'agence Shorts, Sam Edelman sandals

Celine Sunglasses Haul

Since we stayed in South Beach we spent the rest of our time near the beach areas. This time of year it’s warm but not too humid and the water temperature is so nice to swim in! We love the blue shallow water, it’s one of the nicest places to swim. We rented lounge chairs and an umbrella at the beach. You can also rent them even if you’re not a hotel guest. Policy might be different depending on hotel, but we’ve also found in Tampa a lot of the hotels will rent their beach chairs and cabanas to anyone.

Away Backpack Miami Beach

Tank – Nation LTD Dakota Henley / Shorts – 7 For All Mankind / Hat – Eric Javits / Belt – J.Crew

Miami South Beach

Nation LTD Tank, Eric Javitz Sunhat

Tank – Nation LTD / Shorts – 7 For All Mankind / Hat – Eric Javits (love this because the top has enough material to have it rated SPF50 and it prevents your scalp from getting burned, it really works!) / Swimsuit worn underneath not shown is the Tory Burch Costa Top and Bottom

A few more new eats we tried this time included Yardbirds on Leonox Ave and Havana 1957 on Espanola Way. We enjoyed both immensely! If you’re new to the Miami South Beach area, quick note that some restaurants automatically include tip in the bill labeled “Service Charge.” We didn’t realize this at one of the places we ate until after we left and looked at the bill and realized we ended up leaving a seriously hefty tip because we tipped on top of the tip. A few people had mentioned this to me before but I had forgotten about it! I feel like I still have yet to really explore Miami enough to find the best eats. I’d love to explore more of Wynwood though.

Miami Eats La Pollita Truck, Loews Preston's Market, Yardbirds, Havana 1957

Since first discovering Away I’ve now tried their Carry-On, Bigger Carry-On, Medium Suitcase, Everywhere Bag, Packing Cubes and Backpack. Everything has exceeded our expectations in quality and function. I’m an Away Ambassador so the items I’ve featured were gifted but I stand by everything 100%. I have also bought many suitcases on my own to gift to family and it’s been well received, even among the most skeptical and picky ones. Everything has held up really well. My thoughts on each item:

  • Suitcases:
    • Carry-On Suitcase is best if you’re a light packer or traveling on international flights with smaller suit case carry on restrictions
    • Bigger Carry-On is our favorite to fly with and travel with in general. Works on flights we’ve flown with Delta, United, American Airlines. It’s roomier than the Carry-On but still fits in the overhead compartments for the listed airlines.
    • Medium Suitcase makes more sense for us for longer distance trips. We brought this with us on our California trip over the holiday and think it’s much more convenient to have something larger vs. carry ons for our needs. I plan on buying a second one soon.
  • Everywhere Bag is the best travel bag I’ve ever tried. I normally use my totes and end up stuffing them full. These bags have well thought out storage zippers and pockets as well as a roomy interior. It fits perfectly under the airplane seat in front of you but is roomy enough to carry a laptop and other essentials you might need for on the plane. There is an exterior pocket to store documents for easy access before you get on the plane. It also has a pocket to attach onto your suitcase handle.
  • Packing Cubes have gone through a couple design changes, the current ones with mesh top are a lifesaver to organize your clothes, underwear, shoes etc and keep them in place. I bought a set for Andrew and he didn’t want to use them. I begged him to try and he’s now convinced it’s one of the best things invented. He can organize all his clothes by type and he loves how they truly keep things in place without shifting.
  • Backpack is the larger option of the two they carry, this one has three main compartments to store things that allow you to be truly hands free. We love that it’s cushioned and that the base is flat so it can actually stand up on it’s own if you set it down. There are a couple nicely hidden compartment zippered pockets for things like your passport etc. It fits a lot more than we anticipated!

A closer look at the Backpack which now has a personalization option! There are some more of their soft goods you can personalize with 3 letters which I think is so fun. I have my initials on the backpack. We brought it with us to the beach both back home in Tampa and in Miami. It has really well thought out pocket placement so there’s a place for everything. This one can fit a laptop inside as well.

Away Backpack Miami Beach

Tank – Nation LTD / Hat – Eric Javits / Shorts – 7 For All Mankind / Sunglasses – Rayban / Sandals – UGG Kari Sandal (runs true to size) / Backpack – Away

My full pack list linked below, makeup and beauty to follow in a separate post! We each packed a Bigger Carry-On, an Everywhere Bag and shared the Backpack space. Our trip was open ended – we didn’t know how long we’d be away when we left Tampa.

Miami Pack List

What I packed (including a couple things I didn’t wear but brought just in case):

You always love reading my thoughts on what I brought and what I missed so I’m doing it again! For a very casual laid back last minute getaway I had everything I needed. I still need to find a good beach coverup and an updated beach tote (although our backpack works better than any beach tote I’ve used). I didn’t pack a nice dress for a just-in-case occasion. Some of the restaurants are dressier and require something other than shorts. This round we were ok with everything very casual. I packed a denim jacket and some long denim pants just in case but didn’t end up wearing them. The three pairs of sandals I brought worked perfectly! I probably could have gotten away with just 1 pair of sandals but I like having options for a few days.

Away Bigger Carry On

If you’re going to be in Florida know the weather can be unpredictable. Bring a few extra sets of clothes packed with you just in case you need to change if you get rained on or sweat too much. When we’re going out to the beach even in Tampa Andrew always reminds me to bring an extra set of clothes to change into. I feel like it’s a bit of a hassle but I’m always really happy when I do have that extra dry clean set to change into. Aside from the obvious good sunscreen and sunglasses, a good hat is a MUST. I really am so impressed with the Eric Javits one I bought – it is large enough to cover the face and has the perfect amount of flop/stiffness with the brim. I’m going to buy one in black too.

Our other Miami Florida trips:

Hope you enjoyed this packing post and mini travel diary! We’ve been in Florida for a little over two years now and there’s still so much more to explore. I still want to go to Palm Beach and perhaps Key West again. If you’ve been to Florida what are your favorite areas?

Florida Glossier

Glossier Miami Pop-Up Shop

April 3, 2019

Glossier Miami Pop Up Wynwood

I’m back from a mini vacation! We took a few days off to visit the other side of Florida and drove to Miami for some good food, more sunshine, more beaches and shopping. Several of my readers let me know about the Glossier Pop Up Store in Miami so we stopped by to check it out. It is one of the cutest pop up installations I’ve ever seen! It’s located in Wynwood on 222 NW 26th Street, open until April 28th. Hours are listed on the Glossier website. There are a lot of testers for you to play with, helpful staff and it’s basically an Instagram dream come true. Cute displays, mirrors for makeup application and selfies, postcards and the entire Glossier + Glossier Play line. Weekends can get pretty crowded and busy with a line but they move fairly quickly. We went to the pop up on two separate days because our first time there it was so crowded I didn’t want to wait to check out and purchase product.

Glossier Miami Pop Up

Glossier Pop Up Miami

Glossier Pop Up Miami Wynwood

Glossier Pop Up Miami Wynwood

Glossier Miami Pop Up Store April 2019

Glossier Pop Up Miami Wynwood

Glossier Miami

Glossier Pop Up Miami Wynwood

Glossier Pop Up Miami Florida

Glossier Miami via The Beauty Look Book

Mini haul below including the Glossier Zit Stick, new Mango Balm Dot Com, Lash Slick, Glossier Play Niteshine in Pale Rose and Deep Copper, High Shine Lip Lacquers in Pony and Blow Up. I also tested their Milky Oil which seemed pretty impressive in taking off the eyeliners from the back of my hand. Unfortunately they were sold out so I ordered it online. I haven’t had a chance to test the makeup but the highlighters are tiny – they girls at the store explained they are dab and blend kind of highlighters and that does seem the best way to apply. A little goes a long way. I did try the new Mango Balm Dot Com and it has the most delicious sweet mango scent to it. I didn’t think I would like it because it’s really sweet, but I actually really love it.

Glossier Haul Picks

Swatches of the makeup items I bought. I actually had a third highlighter on my list but they accidentally gave me two of the same shade. I’m giving away my extra (details in the widget at the end of the post).

Glossier Play Swatches

We also saw the cute Mango Pop Up cart in the Miami Design District! You can check their Instagram to see where it’s going to show up next. On our second trip to the Pop Up we saw they had moved these to the actual store in the hallways but they might move again.

Glossier Mango Cart Miami Design District

Definitely worth checking out! It’s super cute and fun to see all the items in person. If you’re not near a store you can always order online (that’s how I’ve always bought their products). If you want to use my referral link you can save 10% off your first order. I have some extras that I picked up so I’m giving away some goodies to 1 lucky reader. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Enter through the widget below. Giveaway entries are going to run through April 7th, 2019 11:59 PM EST. ONE winner will be selected within 72 hours after giveaway ends and emailed by me. Prizes ship within one week. Not sponsored or affiliated.

Giveaway items:

  • Glossier Mango Balm
  • Glossier Lash Slick Mascara
  • Glossier Play Niteshine in Pure Copper
  • Assorted Miami Pop Up Post Cards
  • Zip Pink Pouch
  • Stickers I got at the store

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

To recap, the Glossier Miami Pop Up is going to be open in Miami through April 28th. Hours are on their website. Have you been to any of the Glossier Pop Ups before? If yes which ones?

More on our Miami trip, packing + outfits to follow! Lots of you have been asking about all the sandals I’ve been wearing and I’ve promised to share everything I wore with size info soon.

 

Florida Packing Travel

Summer Miami Getaway

July 26, 2018

EAST Miami Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

Earlier this month we took a spontaneous trip to Miami. This was our third visit to Miami (first trip here during Art Basel and second trip snippets here for the Boat Show) and we decided to try all new things. Some might say staying in South Beach is one of the best ways to experience Miami. I think it’s definitely worth doing and we loved staying at the beach on previous trips. There’s actually a lot more to explore around the city too! This round we stayed in Brickell for three days and had a great time. We also spent time in Wynwood (where the food is amazing!). There’s still so much on my list that I want to see, I hope next time we can stay a little bit longer. Trip recap, food recommendations and highlights below.

Where We Stayed

We booked a room at EAST, Miami located in Brickell. It came highly recommended by a few friends and we decided to try it. It’s attached to the Brickell City Centre which has some really good shopping like Diptyque, Saks, Sephora etc. In addition it’s one of the stopping points for the Metromover which is a free transit system. They are mini metrorail cars which take you short distances from Brickell to Bayfront Park or Museum Park.

I found a good deal on Hotels.com for a Bay King Room. These are corner rooms that run around 410 sq feet with views of the city and bay plus a wrap-around balcony. Our room was on the 26th floor and the views were amazing! We had a really nice stay and both highly recommend it. Rooms were clean, beautifully designed, modern and the views were incredible with both sunshine and stormy skies. Summer weather in Florida can be a bit crazy but we are used to it living in Tampa now for a year and half (time flies!). As we drove into Miami we passed through a major thunder lightening storm. Rain was so heavy we could barely see the cars in front of us. By the time we arrived at Brickell the skies were clear but we did see storms throughout the week. Lightening shot through the entire sky in the evening which was both scary and fascinating at the same time from high up in the sky. Storms are usually scattered and often pass through quickly. However there are times multiple storms pass through!

East Miami Hotel Review Stay

Top Bella Dahl, Shorts STS Blue, Sunglasses Kate Spade

East Miami Hotel Views City

East Miami Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

Views during a storm and at night:

Miami Skyline Brickell

East Miami Hotel Pool

Where We Ate

Again a priority on our agenda was to find amazing food. We had a rather indulgent few days but it was 100% worth it. Our previous favorites include Bodega and Taquiza in South Beach and we were both dying to go back but forced ourselves to try new places. We had one miss, but the rest were hits! Places we tried:

  • All Day located at 1035 N Miami Avenue @alldaymia – We stopped here for breakfast, as we drove up we had second thoughts but decided to try it anyways because of the reviews. This was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. Don’t let the exterior deter you! Inside is minimalist and cute. We ordered the Runny and Everything, Avocado Tartine and one regular croissant. For our caffeine fix I had the Double Shot + Milk and Andrew ordered the Pourover. Everything was excellent although a bit steep in price.
  • Coyo Taco (Brickell) located at 1111 SW 1st Ave @coyotaco – This was our only miss. Perhaps the other locations are better, but the food was just ok. Not worth the calories for either of us even though the menu looked really good!
  • Panther Coffee (Wynwood) located at 2390 NW 2nd Ave @panthercoffee – Dozens of you recommended this place to me months ago. I’m so glad we finally made it. This place has the strongest and most intense coffee and espresso I’ve ever tried.
  • The Salty Donut located at 50 NW 23rd St #112 @thesaltydonut – Life changing donuts. I think the flavors change but the Tres Leches was the best one. We bought extras to take home to Andrew’s parents and I wanted to eat them all the 4 hour drive back to Tampa. I will do anything for these donuts.
  • 1-800-Lucky located at 143 NW 23rd St @1800lucky – This is a food court-style restaurant with different Asian food stations. We thoroughly enjoyed the buns and dumplings.
  • Taiyaki NYC in Miami, located inside 1-800-Lucky @taiyakinyc – I’m so impressed Andrew found this place! He told me earlier in the day that he found the perfect place for dessert but wouldn’t tell me where. They had a limited Pineapple Twist that comes inside a small pineapple. I ordered one of the rainbow sprinkle options in their fish-shaped ice cream cone which has red bean at the base. My hands were entirely covered with melting ice cream as I ate it all.

Miami Eats: All Day, Coyo Taco, 1-800-LuckyMiami Sweet Eats Taiyaki, Panther Coffee and The Salty DonutThe Salty Donut Miami

Tee Madewell, Sunglasses Kate Spade, Nail Polish OPI Climb Every Castle

Other Visits

We took our time to explore and do a little shopping. We actually didn’t make it to South Beach this round because there was so much to do and see in Brickell and Wynwood! The weather this time of year is heavy with thunder and lightening storms. They are scattered similar to Tampa. One area will be experiencing a downpour while a few miles away will be clear and sunny.

  • Brickell City Centre – This is a cute mall and I stopped by at Saks Fifth Avenue since we don’t have one in Tampa. There are always so many cute clothes inside this one! I bought this Joie top and wore it right away (also on sale here). There’s a Diptyque store as well with the Miami candle but I had stopped by on previous trips so didn’t go back this round.
  • Museum Park – We stopped by to walk around the beautiful park area and visit the Perez Art Museum but the day we stopped by the Museum was closed. Hopefully next time! We got some really good pictures as the area is beautiful.
  • Wynwood Walls and the neighborhood – We had driven through Wynwood during Art Basel last December. If you’ve ever been to Miami during that time you know it’s pretty chaotic everywhere! We were happy to stop by this time when it was less crowded. We ate at a few places here, stopped by the Wynwood Walls and walked around the area.

Miami Travels

Museum Park Miami

Top by Joie, Shorts by BlankNYC (similar), Sandals Tory Burch, Bag Chloe, Sunglasses Kate Spade

 

Miami Wynwood

Miami Wynwood Walls

Miami Wynwood Le Labo Posters

Miami Vacation East Hotel Elevators

What I Packed + What I Wore

I packed a bunch of shorts and tank tops. This light blue top from Bella Dahl has been one of my favorites for months now. It’s perfect for Florida weather. I also picked up a few things while in Miami. I had to change each day as we ended up leaving our umbrella in the car each time we were out and got caught in downpours. I was 100% drenched head to toe. Each time we thought the rain would pass within 15 minutes or so, but it did not. The good thing about Florida rain is that it’s hot warm rain. Once it stops you can dry off fairly quickly but even damp clothes are prone to sticking to you with the humidity. My note to self is to bring my own umbrella even if Andrew says “it’s probably not going to rain.”

Summer Packing Away Bigger Carry On

What I packed in my Bigger Carry-On from Away. We brought two other suitcases with us, one for Andrew and one for workout clothes and sneakers. I didn’t end up wearing any of my sneakers during the trip. I’m forever in sandals!

Away Bigger Carry-On Luggage

Outfits I packed for a mini getaway, two of the tops I bought on the trip:

Summer Miami Outfits Packing Picks

From left to right, top row first, then bottom row:

Accessories and Shoes:

Summer Vacation Accessories Lack of Color, Chloe Mini Marcie, Tory Burch Marsden, The Daily Edited

Shown above I packed one small crossbody (which held up in the rain really well, I wouldn’t recommend letting it get soaked though) and one tote. I also brought a couple hats but didn’t end up wearing them this round.

Makeup Picks: I was really impressed that my makeup held up in Miami heat. Even Andrew was! The only problem is with travel photographs the color doesn’t always show up in photos but in real life it looks good and stays put! If you want a full list of everything let me know and I’ll list it all. I found the Armani Neo Nude Powder and Becca Be a Light Palette in Light/Medium to be amazing for setting the face and staying put. I finally tried the Armani Face Fabric (my shade is #4) because so many of you were asking me to. I don’t like the ingredients but it truly performed well and looked like skin in a natural matte way. The key is to apply with fingers and rub it in a circular motion. No clogged pores or irritation with this one! The Chanel Les Beiges Multi Color Powder in Medium served me well all through the trip. My top skincare pick is the Kate Somerville Eradikate Cleanser because it really helps prevent breakouts. And as always my go-to sunscreen is anything from Supergoop!. Everything fit inside The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case and Large Cosmetic Case.

Summer Travel Makeup Essentials

A few other snapshots:

Miami Brickell

Miami Wynwood Street Graffiti

Andrew’s sneakers are Cole Haan Grandpro Stitchlite from the Nordstrom sale (also just ordered him these), mine are the Tory Burch Sienna Sandals in white (I went up 1/2 a size from my normal Tory Burch sizing). My toe polish color is Chanel Resplendisant.

 

Miami Wynwood Travel Diary

Miami Travel Diary

We had a really nice and relaxing time. Miami can get pretty hectic if a major event is happening so it was nice to explore the city when it was a bit calmer. In hindsight we should have booked one or two more days to enjoy the city more, but for a last minute spontaneous trip I think we’d call it a success! Hopefully we can go back to Miami soon. I’m dying for another Salty Donut. I was in a state of sugar bliss the entire day after we stopped by.

Thanks for following along! As always I truly appreciate your travel recommendations. If you have any more Miami recs let me know in the comments! I have some really exciting news I’ve shared on Instagram @beautylookbook today – thank you so much for all your love and support 🙂

 

Florida Home / Interiors Lifestyle

Instagram Roundup

February 27, 2018

Miami Weekend Wear | Beauty Look Book

Rounding up some FAQs from my Instagram feed! The sunshine is finally back in South Florida and everything is starting to warm up. I’ve been so lucky to live in a city that has warm weather but from New Year’s Eve through a couple weeks ago we had some low temperatures down to the mid 40s. I finally got to wear my leather jackets again! Now that we are back to warm weather I’ve been shopping around for new sandals and spring weather clothes.

Two weekends ago we drove to Miami for the day to see the Miami Boat Show. We’ve now been in Florida for almost a year and with all the water, keys and beaches around us are looking to buy a boat. I’m not familiar with boats at all so it was really incredible to see all the different models, sizes, types and designs. We did not buy anything but had the best time taking the day to browse and explore. We were in Miami last December for Art Basel and it was so packed and busy we were not able to see everything I wanted to. This trip I made sure we had some time to see the Bal Harbour Shops so I could visit the Diptyque store there. This was hands down the most luxurious shopping center I’ve ever seen in the US. I bought several of the Miami Candle (you can buy them in the two Diptyque Miami stores, the other is at Brickell City Center). They will also ship if you order over the phone.

So many of you asked questions about my outfits from Instagram stories. For reference on sizing I’m 5’3″ – top is from O’Neill (XS, true to size), shorts are from STS Blue (Size 25, shorts in general run big on me, I usually wear a 26 or 27 in denim), sandals are the Tory Burch Millers (true to size, I wear 6 1/2). Tote is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM which is the medium size. Straps have a lot of patina since it’s been exposed to a lot of humidity, oil and rain. It holds a lot of items and is quite sturdy.

Diptyque Miami Bal Harbour and Miami Beach

This past weekend we had family in town so we rented a boat for the day. We also wanted to get a feel for what a small boat would feel like. We rented a small 20 foot motor boat and WOW when boats are in the water they look and feel so much smaller compared to what they look like when they’re above ground. Four of us took the boat for a spin around Tampa Bay. It was my first time driving a boat in open water.

What I packed with me included: Straw Tote Bag from Revolve, miniature R+Co Dry Shampoo, Supergoop! Mousse Sunscreen, new Invincible Setting Powder * (review soon), Everyday Sunscreen * (my favorite), Sisley Phtyo-Lip Twist in Shade#11, Tory Burch Foldable Sunglasses, Defense Refresh Spray + other minis from this Meet the Minis set. Leica Sofort Instant Print Camera, same Tory Burch sandals I wear almost all the time.

The boat had a cover but we were in the sun a good portion of the day. I touched up once while we were out and got a little color but no burn, yay! Some of you asked why I had so many sunscreens with me. When I’m out and about I bring more than one kind of sunscreen because everyone I’m with usually has different preferences for what formula and finish they like. My husband has his fav and I have mine too. I try to buy the smaller travel sizes so it doesn’t weigh down my bag.

Tampa Bay Boating Essentials

Outfit details: top is from LA Made Aria Top, shorts are from O’Neill (size 3)

Weekend Boating Tampa

A few snippets from home. I found this simple bath tray from Amazon. We have a really wide tub and this was one of the few that would expand wide enough to fit. It comes with a removable book stand as well but I’m never in the bath long enough to read. I searched through dozens of options and reviews. I’m pretty happy with the quality and sturdiness of this one!

Also shown includes the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Face Scrub (I use this once a week because it’s pretty strong), the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask (a great five minute soothing, cooling and refreshing face mask), Shu Uemura POREfinist Cleansing Oil (all formulas reviewed here), Glossier Shower Oil (yes I know it’s for the shower, but I still use it in the bath), Aesop Geranium Body Cleanser from the Sway Set (I usually get the larger size with the pump) and Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts.

Bath Essentials Fresh, Aesop, Herbivore Botanicals

For those who don’t know you can always tap my Instagam photos for brand tags. I still received so many questions about this clothes rack. I bought several different options from Ikea to test them out. This one is Rigga Clothes Rack and it was only $12.99! It was very easy to put together and is fairly sturdy. I also bought a few of the Mackapar Coat Racks to try out. I’m still putting everything together so I’ll do a more detailed review and room tour later.

Bench is from Wayfair, rug is from Pottery Barn, mirror is from Anthropologie.

Beauty Look Book White Clothes Rack

Details about some of the shoes I had on display as well. My most-worn shoes are the Hermes Oran Sandals and Tory Burch Millers. I tend to find a couple styles I love and buy all the colors. Details below and some notes on sizing in case you’re ordering online. Sometimes if I can’t try in person I’ll buy two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit. Most places are good about returns as long as you don’t wear them or ruin the soles. I make sure to always test on a rug!

Top row from left to right: Splendid Knotted Sandals in White Leather 6.5, Hermes Oran Sandals in 36 1/2, Tory Burch Millers in 6.5, Avec Les Files in size 6, Splendid Knotted Sandals in Dark Blush Suede 6.5

Bottom row: Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Ankle Strap Sandals in Size 6, the best comfortable heels I’ve tried with no break in period and no pain for me!

Favorite Sandals from Splendid, Hermes, Tory Burch, Stuart Weitzman

Another look below at the Avec Les Files sandals in white. On me they run similar in size to the Stuart Weitzman (which is big). They have a slight cushion sole which makes them comfortable to wear. Other items shown include OPI Lisbon Wants Moor OPI, Byredo Eau de Parfum in Mojave Ghost, NARS Lip Cover in Embrasse Moi* (review here), Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation in Y320*, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray mini size, Chanel La Creme Main * (review here), Sisley Brow Gel * (review soon), Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Glow Stick (review soon).

So many of you ask what my favorite Byredo is. It changes with each season but my top two are Mojave Ghost and La Tulipe. I think most of us can agree that perfume is something we should all smell in person first before buying, but some brands aren’t easily accessible for us all. You can purchase the 6-Piece Discovery Set at a number of retailers with 12 ml vials. This runs at $220 for 6. There are also trios available. This is still very spendy and online at Byredo they have a Small Discovery Service Set set for $20 with six 2 ml spritzers which I think all perfume brands should have.

Flatlay Byredo, Marc Jacobs Shameless, Avec Les Files Sandals

I posted a snapshot of my vanity and everyone had two questions:

  1. What Nail Color is shown – it’s Chanel Organdi Le Vernis (swatched and reviewed here)
  2. My thoughts on the Lawless Soft Matte Liquid Lipstick – shades I bought include George, Leo and Brad, I’ll have a separate review but first impressions are they are super soft, they have a whipped lightweight texture, lasting power is pretty good and there’s a fruity scent to them. They don’t dry out the lips or leave them looking like raisins but the finish is definitely matte.

Beauty Counter, Marc Jacobs Coconut Dew Drops, Darphin Oil, Glossier Balm, Lawless Liquid Lips

Last but not least, every time my fur babies make an appearance I get questions of how I deal with the fur and keep everything so clean. First, my husband Andrew is OCD with cleaning. Second our house require constant vacuuming + Swiffers. Third, our clothes require that we keep a stockpile of lint rollers. We have three pets with white fur – it wasn’t intentional, it just happened. They do shed quite a bit especially with the warm weather. Every time we rented an Airbnb or VRBO home over the last year, we spent the last two-three days of our stay vacuuming and cleaning every nook and corner. The cat leaves a poof of fur everywhere he goes. When we lived in San Diego we had a Roomba 980, but with regular daily use multiple times a day it died. We haven’t bought another one since since the ones that work best for us are of course the most expensive ones. I love the fur babies like crazy but I wish they didn’t shed so much!

Ragdoll Kitty

Hope this covers all the questions I’ve received! I do my best to answer Direct Messages but I get so many I can’t always get to all of them. Press samples featured indicated with a *. Stay tuned for more beauty reviews to follow!

 

Florida

Happy New Year! Hello 2018

January 1, 2018

New Year's Eve | The Beauty Look Book

Happy New Year from Florida! We had a few days of sunshine the last week of the year and today I woke up to rain and cold weather. A first for us since moving to Tampa Bay! I wrote months ago wondering if I was ever going to wear a leather jacket again and here I am wearing layers, jackets and more. The past year I have been all over the place (literally) and my one true constant has been this beauty blog. Thank you for following along on my weekly beauty discoveries and testings. Being able to share what I love and having your support means more than I could ever express. A few highlights I wanted to share from the past year and some thoughts looking forward for 2018.

Your Favorite Blog Posts

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Revolution and Valentine KISSING Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

The top five posts of the year were about bases and lips:

  1. Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation
  2. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer
  3. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couler Jumbo Longwear Lip Crayon
  4. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Revolution and Valentine KISSING Lipsticks
  5. Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Review + Swatches

I’m currently testing a few new bases that many of you have been e-mailing me about. It’s quite a process to test these but I’ll have them up as soon as possible! Stay tuned for reviews on Estee Lauder, Dior, Erborian, Tarte and more.

Your Favorite Instagram Posts

You girls went nuts over my #shelfies! I had no idea these would be so popular. I hope once we find a more permanent place to live that I’ll be able to do a beauty setup and organization post. The past few months I’ve been living out of bankers boxes and suitcases. I was lucky to have a good shelf in our last place.

Moving and Travel

Tampa Bay Home

This has been the year of moving and it’s been very stressful for me. In August we no longer had a home and since then we still haven’t found one. Details why we moved so much in my Six Months in Florida post and yes I’ve had a couple melt downs in the process. Since August we’ve made a move every month and this year we moved a total of six times. We had no idea how BIG Florida was! Each area has it’s own unique character, pros and cons. The beach areas are very different from the places closer to city center. Then there are suburban places which are quite dense with huge homes but traffic is pretty bad. We’re not quite ready to buy as we have plans to travel and possibly move again in the next year so finding a place to rent has been a huge challenge. We have pets and the areas we would like to live places go really fast. We’ve come close to finding a place several times but others have beat us to it! Right now we are in a temporary place (yet again) and hope to find a more permanent place soon. Fingers crossed! For those who have asked, our moves this year:

San Diego Home

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

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Apollo Beach

In Florida we first stayed at our in-law’s home in Apollo Beach. They bought their home to retire in within 1-2 years and asked us to rent it so they wouldn’t have to find strangers to rent. We thought we’d have plenty of time to settle in, explore and find our own place. They changed their plans, decided to retire early in July of this year and gave us a week’s notice that they were moving. This is one of the Apollo Beach neighborhoods – in a canal district where houses all have their own dock!

Apollo Beach Florida Neighborhood

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St. Pete Beach – such a cute beach house with pool and near the beach! We found all our places on VRBO and Airbnb. In general we had better luck finding places with VRBO although for the beach areas there are a lot of added fees which can add up. We also used a property manager to rent one of the places below and we will probably never do that again. The process was such a hassle and they had an inconvenient application process even though we paid everything up front.

St Pete Beach House

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St. Petersburg Cottage – the smallest place we’ve ever stayed at with only 740 sq ft, surprised we survived in this with out pets but it was so well put together and super cute! The location was so good, our favorite restaurants and coffee shops are all in Saint Petersburg!

Beach Cottage Vacation Florida

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St. Pete Beach – house on the water which was SO amazing, we would have stayed here permanently but it was booked solid for months! We were lucky to find it when we did. The owner of the property was so nice, she restocked us the day we moved in with all the basic living essentials. New towels, sheets, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry detergent etc. With some of the vacation rentals they will have living essentials stocked, others are on the more sparse side as it’s really meant for short term like a vacation or getaway.

St Pete Beach

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The last house of the year was a cute beach house, also in St. Pete Beach – beach house away from the water but still central to everything in the beach town. We stayed here for a couple of months.

St Pete Beach House

This year alone from the time we left our home in San Diego we went from San Diego, California to Tuscon, Arizona to El Paso + Houston, Texas, Pensacola, Florida. Once in Florida we were in Apollo Beach for a few months, then moved to St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg and South Tampa. For travel I did trips to Dallas, NYC, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Miami and Los Angeles. When we evacuated we made stops in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Perhaps this isn’t a lot for those who travel, but it’s the most I’ve ever traveled in a single year!

Most Impressed By

Venus Et Fleur Beauty Look Book

The most impressive thing this year has been the box of Venus Et Fleur roses Andrew gifted me on Valentine’s Day. They’re supposed to last an entire year (and yes they stay IN the box – details are all on their website). I’ve been documenting how they held up and they still smell fragrant and look incredible. They lasted the entire road trip in the back of a hot moving truck from San Diego to Tampa. Starting in the fall I haven’t been photographing them as they’ve been in storage with all of our other belongings. I just checked on them and they’re still good!

Best Beauty Finds of the Year: Sunscreen

Best Sunscreen | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve never been as diligent with sunscreen as I have this year and it’s all due to the Florida sun. I should have been better in San Diego but the climate is mild and I felt like I stayed indoors so much. Even indoors I know we still need it. I am excited to test more this year. Body Sunscreen Testing here. Face Sunscreen Testing here. My favorite sunscreen brand review on Supergoop! here.

Most Disappointing Beauty Buys

Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque Car Diffuser | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve been a long time die hard Diptyque addict and this was a very disappointing buy. They came out with a car diffuser called Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque. I was so excited I ordered it immediately. For me it was a total fail. For one it comes with just the case for $60 and you have to buy the scented refills separately for $38 each. I tried two scents in Baies and 34. Lasting power is probably good for only a week at best . The back has a rubber grip to insert into your vents and it warped into an odd shape so it would not hold it’s grip. I do understand the Florida heat can be intense but there are many things inside the car part of the actual design that do not melt, I felt Diptyque should have made a better grip. Ranked second biggest fail was the Jouer High Pigment Lip Gloss. These are so popular on the web, if you like these keep on loving them. For me I had such high hopes but they were all pretty much streaky with really bad lasting power.

Looking Forward

Miami Beach | The Beauty Look Book

I’m looking forward to the new year. I’m personally glad 2017 is over because it was the most exhausting year of my life. Hours have been spent trying to maintain this blog, quality content, respond to e-mails, read and reply to comments and the past two months I’ve been running on very little sleep. There have been many weeks where I’ve been up until 2:00 AM editing content, writing, etc. Often times I wake up super early to try and get a head start on e-mails. What you see as a reader is the finished product which may take 2-3 minutes to read, but countless hours of testing, photographing, organizing, swatching, editing, pulling comparisons, looking for links, responding to brands and PR companies, e-mailing back readers etc. But it has been a labor of love! I hope you can understand when any of you ask for more comparisons or swatches, it’s not something I’m always able to do. Looking forward I hope to start video this year – I’ve held off for so long for a number of reasons but am going to try and venture into it this year. Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see more of! I tried to mix it up this year – focusing still on beauty and skincare, but also adding some more of my life and travels.

Happy New Year to you! New beauty posts and reviews to resume very soon!

 

Florida

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Diptyque Minis

Merry Christmas to everyone! Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday and a happy new year. This is our first Christmas in Florida and our pups Jake and Lucy are living their best lives in the warmth and sunshine. (They actually turned 13 this year but they’ll forever be my pups.) We are thrilled to have some family in town on two separate occasions this season. We’ll be spending time at the beaches here.

Beauty Look Book Puppies

Jack Russell Pups

Lucy

New posts, best of the year roundups and giveaways to resume tomorrow! In the meantime I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Hope Santa brought you something good!

 

 

Florida Travel

Miami Beach Travel Diary

December 19, 2017

Miami Beach Travel Diary via The Beauty Look Book

As promised I have another travel diary to share today! We did two back to back trips to Los Angeles on the West Coast for a wedding and then flew back to the East Coast to visit Miami for Art Basel. Miami has been on my list for over a year now and I couldn’t have been more excited for our trip. This was my first time there and we spent a total of four days in South Beach. We had an amazing time although Miami was extremely packed due to the crowds of people coming into town for the art shows, parties and events. We knew this would be the case but planned a trip anyways for a few events and to plan our last getaway before the end of the year. If you’re looking for a beautiful warm place to vacation put this on your list! This post is photo heavy so grab a cup of tea or coffee before reading. I’ve recapped most of everything we did!

South Beach Miami

Where We Stayed

Since everything tends to go up in price and get booked quickly when there are large events in town, I’d recommend planning your trip at least two months in advance if you go during busy times. We found even with advance planning most of the hotel rates were more than double their normal rates. We found a few good Airbnb options that had great reviews in Coconut Grove and around Miami, but we wanted to stay in Miami Beach. Andrew booked two hotels for our four day stay at the Royal Palm South Beach Miami and the Stiles Hotel. Both are located on Collins Avenue in South Beach near tons of cute restaurants, cafes and shops. During non-busy times their rates are fairly affordable and we had a pleasant stay at both of them. With some of the boutique hotels we were a bit worried as reviews are so mixed. We were so relieved to find both had clean rooms, excellent service and had great locations.

Royal Palm South Beach View

We would definitely consider staying at the Royal Palm South Beach again. The hotel rooms were cute and beds were super comfortable. There are cute restaurants inside the hotel, there’s a beautiful pool and outdoor bar. There are organized beach chairs and cabanas right along the beach in the hotel and they have rooms with an amazing view of the water. If you want a hotel that’s right along the beach that you can walk out and lounge around this one is a great one that’s affordable.

Royal Palm South Beach Miami Hotel, review

The Stiles Hotel is more of a budget hotel in a more simplistic way. It reminded both of us of some of the European hotels we’ve stayed at with the no-frills simple kind of approach. There’s no driveway to park the cars although they do offer valet services. The elevators are tiny and on the slow side much like some of the older boutique Parisian hotels. The staff was extremely friendly and courteous. They recommended a parking garage around the corner which they told us would be significantly cheaper to use than their valet service. While there isn’t anything luxurious about this one, sometimes all you need is a clean place to sleep while traveling and if you want an affordable option this is a great pick.

Stiles Hotel Miami Beach

Where We Went

We had a few meetings, lunches and events on our agenda and then planned to take our time exploring in between. Since our hotels were near the beaches we spent a lot of time just walking around Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. There are lots of cute Art Deco style buildings which was fun to see.

One of our favorite things to do each time we visit a new place is go on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours. It’s a great way to see the city without having to worry about getting lost, hectic traffic and parking. Plus with the double-decker buses you can see a lot from the top. I’m not sure how we would have survived the heat if we tried this a month or two ago, but we did go on these in the heat of Europe and still had a lot of fun. Due to time restraints as we had meetings to get to we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked on these. If you’re new to an area and don’t know exactly where you want to go these buses hit all the popular hot spots. It gives you a good idea of where everything is, then you can go back on your own later to the spots you want to spend more time at. We’ve tried a number of different ones, this time we did the Big Bus Tours.

Miami Beach Ocean Drive

Miami Big Bus Tours View - Downtown

Miami Big Bus Tours View - Downtown

Miami Beach Ocean Drive

Also on my list was the Museum of Ice Cream. Tickets had been sold out in LA and San Francisco and I had been dying to see this. We bought preview tickets before it opened to the public and it’s literally the most pink EVERYTHING that I have ever seen. I’d definitely recommend going. It does seem better suited to girls, if you have a girls trip planned it’s the perfect place for photos. Everything is perfectly designed for Instagram photos and they give you ice cream or candy in every room.

Museum of Ice Cream Miami

Museum of Ice Cream Miami

Museum of Ice Cream Miami

Shopping

The shopping is something I’d definitely go back for. There was so much on my list but we had to save it for another trip. We did go to Aventura Mall (for Nordstrom to pick up a few things).

Louboutin Beaute Aventura Nordstrom

We had a breakfast meeting in the Brickell District and there’s a new multi-story mall there with Diptyque and Sephora. The Saks store there is what all Saks stores should be like. I feel like they’ve lost their luster over the years but this one is amazing! The shoe department is heaven.

Brickell City Centre Mall | Miami

No trip is complete for me without a stop to a Sephora!

Brickell City Centre Sephora and Diptyque

Not really shopping but we had breakfast at EAST Miami Brickell. The hotel space is lovely, I’d really love to stay here next time we visit Miami. Plus it’s connected to the mall!

EAST Miami Brickell Hotel

The Design District had a lot of events, pop-ups and new store openings. We went to see the new Creed Boutique and Sisley-Paris store openings – both of which I was so excited to see!

Miami Design District | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Miami Opening Party December 2017

Creed Boutique Miami Store | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Miami Store Opening Viking

Sisley store sneak peek:

Sisley-Paris Boutique Miami Design District

Gorgeous Louboutin Store

Louboutin Store Miami Design District

Food Picks

There were so many restaurants we wanted to try but after some bad eating habits in LA we started to gain weight and tried to limit our junk food eating while in Miami. We stopped by a few casual eating places in Miami – thank you SO MUCH to each of you who gave me recommendations! I have a solid list of 50 spots to try on our next visit when we have more time to explore. We found this cute French sandwich shop where you order and eat at the counters. They have the biggest sandwiches I’ve ever tried. We liked it a lot.

La Sandwicherie Miami

Miami Eats

I didn’t get a photo of every place we ate. We tried coffee and pastries at Shepherd Artisan Coffee (cute but wouldn’t recommend), tacos at Taquiza (would definitely go back!), La Sandwicherie in Miami (so fun), Michael’s in the Design District (delicious), Bodega in Miami (best fish tacos we’ve ever had), Rosetta Bakery on Collins (sooooo cute!!).

Some more Miami Beach Travel Diary photos

South Beach Sunrise

Miami Beach Beauty Look Book

Miami Beach Boardwalk Beauty Look Book

Royal Palm Hotel Miami

I never travel without my favorite sunscreen ever, Supergoop! (favs here). My full comprehensive sunscreen testing stories below from this summer, ingredients, recommendations etc below:

Summer Sunscreen Testing Part 1: For the Body

Summer Sunscreen Testing Part 2: For the Face

Supergoop! Miami

Miami Beach Beauty Look Book

South Beach

Miami Beach in December

South Beach Miami

If we were to do our trip over again we would have definitely picked another time to visit for our first trip together. Things during Art Basel week can get pretty hectic and busy. Traffic is pretty bad. We did go see exhibits at Art Basel although there were tons of installations and pop ups all around the city. I didn’t take any photos inside as I felt a little weird taking pictures of other people’s art – not sure why exactly, but it just didn’t feel right to me. We enjoyed a lot of people watching, walking along the beaches, enjoyed the sunshine and wished we had another week to just explore at our leisure. The good thing is we had a great last trip of the year and definitely plan on going back. We returned back home to St. Pete Beach which is a lot quieter and more laid back than Miami. If you’re looking for a warm beachy place to really kick back and relax, I’d recommend opting for the other side of Florida (our favorite Tampa Bay spots here). If you’re looking for something more cosmopolitan and energetic, Miami is the place to be.

Hope you enjoyed this Miami travel diary! I could have probably split this up into several posts. We definitely want to go back and see more. There’s a lot we didn’t get to. If you have any favorite Miami Beach spots you’ve been to let me know in the comments.

Beauty reviews coming soon on Laura Mercier, Tom Ford and NARS. I’ve been swatching away the past week and hope to have the posts up shortly.

 

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