Boutique Fragrance

Scent Bar Los Angeles

February 21, 2017

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

I stopped by the Scent Bar in Los Angeles over the weekend and this store takes the perfume experience to a new level of amazing. It’s been a while since I stopped by the store as I tend to gravitate towards larger retailers for my beauty shopping – but this place is the best I’ve shopped at for perfume. For those in-the-know you are already aware of all the reasons why this place is great: unique selection, relaxing intimate store setting, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and there is absolutely no sales pressure. The store is primarily organized by notes to help you find variations of what you like by mood. There are also a few areas organized by brand. They carry a wide range of brands including Tom Ford, Byredo, Creed, L’Artisan, Cire Trudon, Serge Lutens, and Escentric Molecules to name a few. The experience you’ll have shopping here is going to be different than most other beauty shopping experiences. I think it’s great because it’s suitable for anyone no matter what level of perfume expertise they have. They have a unique selection for those who want something unusual or different. At the same time they carry a good selection of more main stream but still luxurious brands to pick from. If you’re a complete perfume novice I think it’s perfect as they’ll really help you find your perfect scent as well.

On Saturday afternoon I was delighted to find the store wasn’t busy when I stopped by and was lucky to have the whole store to myself for a little while while. It quickly filled up with a lot of customers within the next hour but the staff was still extremely patient, friendly and I was really impressed with how well they were able to meet everyone’s needs even when it became busy. A look at the store for those who haven’t been before:

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Everything is organized and sorted by notes, although some brands are grouped together:

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Steven at the store helped me and he was amazing to work with. I shared a few of my favorites with him to see what he would recommend. At the top of my list right now included Tom Ford Soleil Blanc, Creed Virgin Island Water, L’Artisan Mure et Musc and L’Artisan L’Ete en Douce. He immediately identified my tastes as liking clean, beachy and fresh scents. I told him I love vanilla but couldn’t find one that I could wear so he pulled an almond option which I fell in love with immediately. He pulled few suggestions for me to smell and it was literally like magic – all of his recommendations were great.

  • Profumum Confetto is a sugared almond that smells like a delicious sweet scent without the overpowering notes of vanilla that you usually find, they were unfortunately sold out but this was next level delicious
  • Parfumerie Generale Le Musc and La Peau was recommended as a good skin scent since I loved L’Artisan L’Ete En Douce (once of the few I’ve used up entirely), it has a white musk blend with light florals and smells like skin, but fresh and has a hint of sandalwood, this was at the top of my list and I almost came close to buying it but they urged me to take a sample home and wear it to enjoy it over a few days and take my time deciding
  • Escentric Molecules was an interesting line try, I smelled a few and they had a small sample pack which they gave me to try, I sprayed one on my hand and I could not smell anything but they did explain it’s something others can smell on you rather than something you can smell on yourself, I’ll report after I’ve had a chance to try them
  • Maison Francis Kurkdijian is a line that has intrigued me but one I’ve been intimated to try at department stores because of the pressure I experience from pushy sales associates, the Scent Bar is the perfect place to try these as an alternative, Steven patiently went through the line and picked his five favorites that he thought I might enjoy, the top three being the Petite Matin, Aqua Universalis and A La Rose, I am going to try to go back and see if they have the discovery set in store to buy
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost is one I’ve smelled before, another one that tempted me but I still have Bal D’Afrique and Black Saffron which have a long way to go before being used up, so decided to wait on this one

I left by buying a Cire Trudon candle in Ernesto which is one of the most amazing candles I’ve ever burned (I had a mini from a trio set a few years ago). They will make samples for you so I left with a couple on a card to try at home.

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Lucky Scent - Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Scent Bar Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line perfume heaven and a beauty lover’s dream come true. They have candles and some body products as well, but the primary focus is perfume. These days online shopping has been my go-to for convenience, no pressure and also no attitude, but with scent often times you have to just experience it in person to decide what to buy. Even though I’m a beauty lover, I really don’t like shopping for perfumes in stores because of the pressure to buy. The Scent Bar however offers a really unique experience without the pressure. You can learn about different lines or perfumes at your leisure and take your time to find something you’ll truly love. This place is definitely worth the visit if you’re ever in Los Angeles. They’re located at 7405 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036. If I lived closer to this place I know I’d be in here on a regular basis. They do sell items online too on their website Lucky Scent.

Have you been to their store before? If not where do you like to shop for your perfumes?

Beauty

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 17, 2017

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS launched a new concealer called the Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30 for 0.21 oz) and being the fan that I am of their bases I knew I had to try it. To date the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30 for 0.22 oz) has been one of my favorites for under the eye and around the nose to help with redness and create a more brighter more awake look. Since I tan easily and also because I use a different shade under the eyes versus spot concealing, I rotate between three shades. I used to mix Custard and Ginger together for my best match. Then NARS added another color in between which is Macadamia with slight peachy tones. This one is perfect for me as I actually prefer something with the tiniest bit of peach for under eyes. The warmth helps brighten the eye are for me. For the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I ordered the same three shades. The colors are pretty close between formulas for the ones I bought, not identical but pretty close.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Soft Matte Complete Concealer offers full-coverage finish with a soft matte look. It’s oil free, light weight yet ultra pigmented so a little goes a long way. It feels creamy and soft to the touch, almost like it has just the slightest bit of bounce. I tried it under the eyes and on a few spots using the finger to dab and blend. Under the eyes it was like an instant eye lift with a blurring effect. It didn’t cake or darken and lasted all day (I did set with powder). For spots it didn’t cover them 100%, but I would say that it still did a really good job at covering them to about 85% of the way. For the corners around the nose it works well to reduce redness.

Color-wise these look a bit dark in the pot. Also side by side I thought they all looked the same in the container. Even when swatched on the back of my hand and arm I thought they were all going to be too dark but they actually work better than I expected on the face. I love that it blends effortlessly on the skin and even though the coverage is near full it still manages to look natural on the skin. I will say that I have normal combo skin – since it’s matte and opaque I do think if you have dry under eyes it could emphasize dry patches. In this case I would just make sure you have a good primer to hydrate the eye area (I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer for dry skin days).

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

3 shades of the matte formula swatched on the face, under eye area and along jawline, on the lips is Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Custard was too light for me, but I put Macadamia on one side and Ginger on the other, both look like they’re a good match, right now I have a slight preference for Macdamia:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a long-time go-to for me. I tend to prefer something with a tiny bit of radiance because I find it blends better on my skin type and also looks more natural. Matte often looks too opaque, too matte and therefore a bit fake on the skin. For years the Radiant Creamy Concealer was one of the few I could use under the eyes no matter what condition my skin was in regardless of season and weather. I still love it.

If I had to pick one, I would say Radiant Creamy wins because of the packaging and also because I like something a bit more creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of pots because they tend to get messy. I also really don’t like matte finishes because I find they don’t work the best with my skin – they tend to emphasize pores, imperfections and look cakey. However for a matte formula the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer is seriously impressive and I do think it’s worth owning even if you have the other formulas. I found it easy to blend, but that being said if you need something with a bit more slip to blend easier, go with (or stick with) the Radiant Creamy Concealer formula.

I didn’t swatch the Radiant Creamy one on the face as it blends out slightly sheerer so it’s a bit more forgiving color-wise. When I use any of the shades, Custard, Macadamia or Ginger, it blends to match the skin really well – it looks so natural you can barely tell there’s anything on the face. I do have side by sides of the corresponding shades in both formulas. You can see the difference in finish. Colors are pretty close but I feel the Radiant Creamy formula has slightly more yellow undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid win. Macadamia is the best match for me, but if I need a bit of brightening I can mix in some of the Custard to lighten or brighten certain areas. Since I tan easily I suspect Ginger will be a match within the next few months and as I’m often in between shades I don’t mind owning multiple colors so I can mix them as I transition between colors. I don’t know how I feel about the pot style. I’ve avoided this type of packaging for years and a quick look at my concealer stash shows that they are literally all either wands or twist/click up pens. I also don’t like that NARS does that matte almost velvety finish packaging on their face products because it gets dirty so easily. If you get any bit of concealer or cream product on it, it’s pretty much stuck there forever (I’ve tried getting it off, but it’s near impossible). It’s not a deal breaker though and that’s just me being picky.

You can find both the Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Radiant Creamy Concealer at all counters now. I bought the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer from Sephora. It’s also available at NARS, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what are your current go-to concealers?

P.S. I’m also testing out concealer formulas from Too Faced, Tarte and will compare them to Kat Von D in the next couple of weeks.

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GWP

Space NK Spring Beauty Edit GWP

February 15, 2017

Space NK US GWP Feb 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

It’s that time of year again where Space NK USA has their spring beauty edit event! N.Dulge Members have early access through 2/15, and it opens up to the public for one day only on 2/16. With any purchase of $250 or more you’ll receive a gift with purchase bag filled with minis and products valued at over $400. You can shop the event in stores and online, while supplies last. Inside the gift this year:

  • Space NK Limited Edition Cosmetic Bag
  • 111 Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2 (5ml)
  • Bumble & bumble All-Style Blow Dry (15ml)
  • By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder (1.3g)
  • Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara in Black (4g)
  • Derm Institute Anti-Oxidant Hydration Gel Masque (3ml x 2)
  • Dermarché Labs Roloxin Lift (2g x 2)
  • Diptyque Roses Scented Candle (35g)
  • Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Toilette (2ml)
  • Eve Lom Brightening Cream (10ml)
  • Evologie Stay Clear Cleanser (22ml)
  • Goldfaden MD Facial Detox Clarify + Clear Mask (5ml)
  • Hampton Sun Broad Spectrum Protection SPF35 Continuous Mist Sunscreen (1oz)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (4ml)
  • James Read Gradual Tan H20 Tan Mist (30ml)
  • Juara Candlenut Body Crème (1.5oz)
  • Kat Burki Hand Therapy (1oz)
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Guardian Angel Cream Highlighter in Halo (0.8g)
  • Lipstick Queen Belle Époque in Belle Wine (full-size)
  • Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer (1oz)
  • Mila Moursi Neck Contouring Fluid (4ml)
  • Miriam Quevedo Extreme Caviar Intensive Anti-Aging Luxe Masque (1.7oz)
  • Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Eye (2ml)
  • Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo (1oz)
  • Ouai Treatment Masque (1oz)
  • Philip B Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo (15ml)
  • R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo (1.6oz)
  • Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask (10ml)
  • Rodial Pink Diamond Instant Lifting Serum (5ml)
  • Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream (8g)
  • Tata Harper Purifying Mask (7.5ml)
  • Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask (0.05oz)
  • Veneffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment (3ml)

Space NK USA Spring Beauty Edit GWP February 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

The gifts sell out every year quickly so if you plan on shopping in store I recommend you visit as soon as possible or call ahead of time to reserve/pre-sell for the gift. If you’re an N.Dulge Member and shopping online on the 14th or 15th at SpaceNK.com simply login to your account and use code SPRING17 at checkout to add the gift to your cart with any $250+ purchase (US only).

To recap, the gift is available at Space NK US, online and in stores. N.Dulge Members can shop online and in stores 2/14 or 2/15 with code SPRING17. Public has access on 2/16. As always while supplies last. If you miss out on this round not to worry as Barneys New York usually has a really good gift with purchase event as well in March which is just around the corner. Both Space NK and Barneys usually have the best beauty event gift bags – so far there aren’t really any other retailers who do it as well as they do!

Thanks to Space NK for sending a preview of the Spring Edit GWP.

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Beauty

My Favorite Everyday Neutral Nail Polishes

February 14, 2017

Best Neutral Nude Pink Polishes for Everyday | The Beauty Look Book

Today’s post is another one by popular request. It seems like neutral nail polishes are what a lot of you need recommendations for and I totally understand the pain of finding a good one. There are so many neutral options but many are that either too sheer, too light, too pink or really beige and if you’re like me you’ll go to the store, look at all the OPI or Essie options and think hmmm a lot of these look really similar. I’ve found that something with a bit of pink and nude mixed together works best for my olive skintone. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect light nude peach that isn’t too yellow, too orange or beige. I love the look of OPI Samoan Sand on others but on me it’s a bit too dark and a bit too peachy. I did a similar post back in 2014 of my Favorite Nude Pink Polishes. Today I have an updated version although a few of them will be on repeat because I just haven’t found anything better.

If you see me wearing a nude polish, there is a really good chance that it’s either Tom Ford Sugar Dune, Essie Topless and Barefoot or Burberry Nude Pink. All three are very similar – the difference is slight in undertone but pigment and wear time is also different. Many times you just don’t know what a color will look like until you try it on your hands. Something that looks incredibly boring in the bottle like Tom Ford Sugar Dune ends up being one of the prettiest soft nude pinks ever. If you think all these look the same you’re right but I’ll add descriptions on what makes them each unique so you can find the right one for you.

Lineup in natural light:

Best Neutral Nude Pink Polishes for Everyday | The Beauty Look Book

Descriptions as I see them and notes on how many coats it takes for full coverage:

  • Essie Spin the Bottle is a nude pink with slight warmth to it, it’s one of the few ones that has a bit of beige and peach that I can wear, this one takes two coats for full coverage and the best way to make it last is with Seche Vite top coat, although many of you have recommended the Essie No Chips Ahead
  • Essie Topless and Barefoot is one of my most-worn polishes, it’s a nude pink and has more pink than Spin the Bottle, this one unfortunately almost always gets tip wear on me within 7 hours to 1 day no matter what top coat I use, but I still love the color so with this one I’m going to try it with the Essie top coat once I have a chance to go pick one up, this one always need 3 to 4 coats for me
  • Louboutin Tutulle (all 10 of the nudes swatched and reviewed here) is one of the best nude beige pink polishes I’ve tried, all the Louboutin nudes are just flawless, it has smooth shiny coverage and only takes 2 coats and usually lasts a minimum of 7 days without chipping or tip wear
  • Tom Ford Sugar Dune (reviewed here) is a light powdery looking cool pink, on the hands it gives the most polished elegant look I’ve seen, I get full coverage with two coats but there are times I need three
  • Chanel Organdi (reviewed here) is another great neutral, this is one of the darker colors but it’s still light enough in color that it gives the hands the look of being lighter and brighter, this has medium coverage in texture but you can get full coverage with two thin coats
  • OPI Mimosas for Mr and Mrs is one of the sheerest neutrals I own and takes a minimum of 3 coats, the result is a clean looking light pink neutral though so sometimes when I have patience I’m ok with the extra work it takes
  • OPI Be There in a Prosecco (application shown here) is one of the lightest polishes I have that isn’t a pure white but pretty close, it has a bit of cream in it without being yellow, this gives the effect of white polish but it’s not as harsh on the skin, this one has full coverage with two coats, the first coat will be streaky but it will even out with the second
  • Dior Incognito is a classic neutral pink with warmth, for me this looks better when I have a tan, but I love that it’s semi sheer but still incredibly smooth with a flawless high shine finish, I need two coats with this one
  • Burberry Nude Pink (also reviewed here) is another classic, it’s lasted over two years and is still just as good as when I bought it, many of mine last for years, it’s a great opaque neutral nude pink, full coverage achieved with two coats
  • Nails Inc. Bond Street Passage is a new one to me, it’s not really one I’d consider in the neutral category because it looks more like a mauve pink in the bottle, on the hands it pulls more like a neutral with a pink kick, this is a one coat wonder but I still prefer it with two coats to get a more cushiony look, I haven’t tried much from this line, so far only 3 polishes, but every time I do I’m really just blown away by the pigment in their polishes!

Swatches on the nail wheel, all of these have two coats with the exception of OPI Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. which has 4 and Essie Topless and Barefoot which has 3:

Neutral Nail Polish Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches in natural lighting for each of these polishes, OPI Be There in a Prosecco (Ulta Beauty), two coats:

OPI Be There in a Prosecco | The Beauty Look Book

OPI Mimosas for Mr and Mrs (Ulta Beauty), three coats:

OPI Mimosas for Mr and Mrs | The Beauty Look Book

Two coats, mug from Etsy:

OPI Mimosas for Mr and Mrs | The Beauty Look Book

Essie Topless and Barefoot (Ulta Beauty), three coats:

Essie Topless and Barefoot | The Beauty Look Book

Essie Spin the Bottle (Ulta Beauty), three coats:

Essie Spin the Bottle | The Beauty Look Book

Burberry Nude Pink (Nordstrom), two coats:

Burberry Nude Pink Polish | The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Sugar Dune (Nordstrom), two coats:

Tom Ford Sugar Dune

Chanel Organdi (Chanel.com), two coats:

Chanel Organdi Le Vernis | The Beauty Look Book

Louboutin Tutulle (Nordstrom and Sephora), two coats:

Louboutin Tutulle Nail Polish | The Beauty Look Book

Nails Inc Bond Street Passage (Sephora), two coats:

Nails Inc. Bond Street Passage | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Incognito (Sephora), two coats:

Dior Incognito Nail Polish | The Beauty Look Book

Another look of the polishes lined up in sunlight with flash:

Best Everyday Neutrals for Nails | The Beauty Look Book

You definitely do not need all of these, but I hope this helps compare colors in a side by side and swatch manner. I’ve accumulated many polishes over the past few years and these are my favorite neutrals that you can still find today. A few other favorites have been limited-editions from Dior and you can’t find them anymore so I didn’t want to include those in the roundup. As many of you have asked for recommendations that are in the more affordable price range I included Essie and OPI to the mix. I usually consider myself a lover of brighter or bold shades for the fingers like Chanel Camelia or Louboutin Miss Mars, but I really like the clean and almost brightening look of neutral nails.

My top three favorites of the moment: Tom Ford Sugar Dune, Louboutin Tutulle and Chanel Organdi.

Do you have any neutral favorites? I know the word “neutral” can mean something different to everyone, but I’d love to hear what yours are! They don’t have to be nude pinks like the ones I featured, let me know what has worked for you and if you can share your skintone that would be super helpful as well 🙂

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Beauty

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017

Venus Et Fleur Eternity Roses | the beauty look book

Just wanted to wish my lovely readers a lovely Valentine’s Day! Hoping your day today (and everyday as well) is filled with love. This year my husband surprised me with one of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received, a box of Venus Et Fleur Eternity roses. They’re supposed to last an entire year! I’m over the moon as my husband is usually one for giving practical gifts. For Christmas he bought us a new vaccuum the iRobot Roomba 980 as a gift for us, lol. For those wondering if it’s worth the extra price over the cheaper models, hands down yes it is.

There are a lot of rose box options you can pick from Venus Et Fleur. They have round and square box options and you can pick colors of roses for each arrangement – unfortunately the round ones are only available for delivery in NY (at least right now). These are real roses from Ecuador – they appear to have a light coating sprayed on them which is what I suspect helps keep them alive for an entire year, but according to their site they use a special method to keep color and freshness. No water is needed – all you need to do is keep them away from direct sunlight and at normal temperatures (card says 60 to 70 degrees).

I’m obsessed with the colors my husband picked out because when it comes to girly stuff he really has no idea about colors or things like that. A look at the roses – it’s a box of perfection!

Venus Et Fleur Roses Valentine's Day | The Beauty Look Book

New beauty post to follow very soon within the next hour or so. Hope your day is special whether you have a significant other or are single! xoxo

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