Antica Farmacista Holiday 2016 Champagne Black Label

I discovered Antica Farmacista over the summer thanks to a recommendation from a friend and have been enamored with what I’ve discovered so far. The team sent over a few pieces for holiday and I was so smitten with the Champagne Black Label scent I went ahead and ordered other items such as the candles for the home and for gifts. I included items in my Luxury Candle Holiday Gift Guide and today I have more items to review. Home fragrance comes in a number of options and formats. While I love burning candles for creating the perfect relaxed ambiance, diffusers and room sprays are great alternatives.

What I have tested:

The Champagne Black Label scent is one of the prettiest feminine home scents I’ve ever smelled. It’s sparkling, sweet and has a very fresh feel – reminds me of what a luxury spa smells like. It has Satsuma citrus, muguet, apricot, passionfruit and sugared black currant. The throw of the mini diffuser in the trio set has decent throw that it fills up the entire bathroom (we have a small one). It’s girly but not too girly that it bothers my husband. For the candles I prefer the larger size, the small one is cute and the packaging is adorable but it burned through quickly. Throw and lasting power of the Room Fragrance Spray is good as a refresher and it lingers for at least one hour. If you want something that lasts longer, opt for one of the larger diffusers or candle.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label Diffusers and Room Sprays for holiday

Little details and touches make all the difference and I’m absolutely smitten with the fact that the Champagne Black Label Candle (in the full size) comes with matches inside the lid of the box. I get easily excited about small things like this but I have never bought a candle before like this with such pretty packaging.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label

The diffuser I reviewed back in July is about 75% used up. I bought several other scents during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and gave a few to my husband to put in his office. Several readers who have tried the line commented that some scents have good throw for the reed diffusers while others do not and I agree with their assessment. The ones for holiday have very good throw in my experience – I have both the mini 100 ml size and full size 500 ml size.

Another beautiful limited-edition set is the Home Ambiance Diffuser Trio. My husband has a full-size Manhattan in his office and likes it for a nice subtle warm citrus with spice and pepper. He put it in the restrooms of his office to keep them smelling nice. I’ve have the Champagne Black Label opened in our home. I have not yet tried or smelled the Vanilla, Bourbon and Mandarin and given the fact that these diffusers seem to last a long time it may be a few months before I open it up. The holiday set is beautifully packaged and fairly reasonable at the $64 price point. I think it’s one that can make a great hostess gift and can also work well for co-worker or office gifts. Home scent can be tricky for gifting as fragrance of any kind is personal but I do think these will be suitable for any age or style.

Antica Farmacista Home Ambiance Trio Set

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label Room Spray and Diffuser

Tray from West Elm but no longer available, similar style here and here

Overall I’m impressed and everything I’ve tried from Antica Farmacista so far is just exquisite. The scents are strong and long lasting. They add a sophisticated touch to the home and I love that the scents are feminine but not too girly. The Champagne Black Label is limited-edition and if you’re looking for a good holiday scent that won’t leave the home smelling like a Christmas Tree or Pumpkin Spices this is a great one to try this season or gift. All my friends and family say that I’m the hardest to shop for and I always tell them not to stress and if they want to get me something, I’m beyond thrilled with something simple like a Diptyque candle (because I do use them a lot) or candy because I’m the biggest sugar addict. For those who are hard to shop for this line is one line I think you can’t go wrong with.

You can find Antica Farmacista at their website, also available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

If you’ve tried anything from this line let me know what your favorites are!

Press samples provided including the diffuser, diffuser set, and room spray. Candles purchased by me.

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Hourglass Ambient Strobe Blush Palette reviewed from the Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book

For holiday Hourglass Cosmetics launched a new limited-edition palette called the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette ($62 for 3 x 0.09 oz/ 2.55 g). It launched as a Sephora VIB Rouge Exclusive on Cyber Monday and I ordered it as soon as it popped up online. This palette combines the illuminating particles from the Strobe Lighting Powders mixed with Blush Pigments for a radiant glow. Those familiar with Hourglass powders from the Ambient Lighting Line already know the powders are hand made with a special mixing technique which makes every powder different and unique. The colors in each palette will all similar to each other based on the formula but there will be slight variations in depth of color depending on how much highlighter your palette has versus blush pigment.

I’ve acquired almost all of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palettes (all except for holiday 2015) and a number of individual colors. The latest Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette is the most glowy out of all the palettes and powders I’ve tested, even more so than the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders (reviewed here).

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Texture and pigment in this palette is ultra smooth and glowy without being frosty. There are three colors, Incandescent Electra is supposed to be the same as the one available individually, but the ones I have from the original 2014 blush palette and one I have in individual form are different from this season’s palette. The Incandescent Electra in my Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette is significantly more glowy but the color is the same if that makes sense. Descriptions per Hourglass’s website:

  • INCANDESCENT ELECTRA: A cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Strobe Light for a celestial glow.
  • BRILLIANT NUDE (NEW): A deep amber blush blended with Brilliant Strobe Light for a lustrous glow.
  • EUPHORIC FUSION (NEW): A soft lilac blush blended with Euphoric Strobe Light for a resplendent glow.

On my medium complexion, the colors in the palette I purchased are all more like highlighters on my skin versus blushes. Yours may vary depending on the swirl you have and also differ if you have different skintone. Close up and swatches:

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book BlogHourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Comparisons to the other two palettes I have:

Top – the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (review from 2014)
Middle – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016 exclusive (review here)
Bottom – Holiday 2016 Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette

Hourglass Palette Comparisons from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Comparison swatches:

Hourglass Palette Comparisons from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Overall a lovely addition to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting line. Even though I already own Incandescent Electra the one in this palette has more glow and shimmer compared to previous versions that I own. It is on the glowy side so the colors are more highlighter than blush on my skin. I wasn’t able to swatch comparisons to the other holiday launch Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light (review here) before I left for my trip however I will say that between the two I prefer the larger one for the colors. Both palettes are different enough to justify both if you don’t mind having a lot of blush or highlighter.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book BlogBottom line I love it and the glimmer in each of the powders is perfect for adding a bit of a nice holiday glow on the eyes or cheeks. They layer well with other blushes (both powders and creams), meld nicely with the skin and don’t emphasize my pores like some highlighters can do if they have lots of shimmer. Whether or not you’ll like this will most likely depend on your skintone. On fair to light skins the colors will most likely show up more. On my medium olive toned skin the color shows up o arm swatches but once on my face, Brilliant Nude and Euphoric Fusion are more highlighter-like and almost nude in the sense that they give a glow rather than a tint like blush. My MAC shade right now is about an NC30 in the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (swatched here with other foundation shades). Note that since I tan easily I fluctuate in color by a few shades on a regular basis depending on how much sun I’ve been exposed to. How this palette shows up your skin will also depend on how much pigment your palette has swirled in compared to strobe powders.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette now online exclusively at Sephora. I ordered mine online. At this time I’m not sure if will launch at other retailers.

Dior Jadore Eau de Toilette and Sauvage Eau de Toilette

I’ve been thrilled to work with Dior Beauty more these past few months as I’ve been a long time fan of their makeup. Today I have collaboration to share with you featuring pieces from their fragrance selections. My husband and I are almost opposites when it comes to testing fragrances – I love to switch things up on a regular basis, often changing scents each season. My husband on the other hand prefers to keep things simple and streamlined and sticks with a select handful of 2-3 staples. Dior Sauvage is one I bought him a little over a year ago when it launched as something new for him to try, he fell in love and it’s been one of his everyday staples. For me I’ve never quite found “the one” from Dior until I smelled their J’adore Eau de Toilette the “New Eau Lumiere” which is exactly what I like: fresh, clean, modern, feminine, bright with a hint of rose but not too sweet. It’s rare that both my husband and I like the scents from the same brand and I was thrilled when I asked my husband to smell the J’adore Eau de Toilette on me and he gave it a thumbs up.

Dior Jadore Eau de Toilette and Sauvage for Men

The J’adore Eau de Toilette is clean, feminine with a modern twist. It has a lighter feel compared to the J’adore Eau de Parfum which is also lovely but a tad bit too rich for my taste with stronger floral notes. The Eau de Toilette version (one featured in this review) has a brighter feel with top notes of citrus blood orange, and a slight hint of magnolia, vanilla and lemon to round out the floral feel making it fresh and lively but not too floral and not too sweet. It’s soft enough to wear during the day but also great for date nights on occasions where you want to smell nice but don’t want something overpowering or too strong. Lasting power is very good on my skin – a few spritzes will last from early morning until late afternoon without any touch ups needed. The strength is just right for me so when you spray it on the skin, it melds well with my natural body chemistry and doesn’t turn like some florals do.

Dior Jadore Eau de Toilette The New Eau Lumiere

Shown above, Tra-La-La Le Vernis

The J’adore Eau de Toilette currently comes in one size in a 3.4 oz spray – the bottle as expected with all Dior products is beautifully designed with a distinct look. It’s elegant and fits nicely into the hand for spritzing. I hope they will introduce smaller sizes of this one for travel as I’d love to be able to carry one in my purse for pre-date night touch ups on days I don’t have time to go home and freshen up.

Dior Jadore Eau de Toilette

My husband has used up several bottles of Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette and by now has tested out the entire line of products. Being able to use an entire line from head to toe of the same scent is the best thing he can think of when it comes to men’s grooming. This scent is one of the few he likes enough to repurchase after using up – the Sauvage Solid Deodorant is in his top two favorites of all men’s deodorant.

Dior Sauvage

Sauvage is one that makes his top shelf list and it works for him because it’s fresh, clean and modern. The bergamot notes combined with a hint of wood and pepper give it that masculine feel with a raw edgy kind of vibe. My husband likes strong scents and this one has a good balance of strong yet subtle so that it’s conservative enough to wear to work or for daytime but lasts all day. Out of the entire scented line his favorite items are the Shower Gel and Deodorant Solid (he wants to specify that the solid is better than the spray version). He has sensitive skin under the arms and there are few deodorants he can use that won’t irritate his skin. This one also works really well to cover body odor and a plus for him is that it without fail lasts all day.

Dior Sauvage for Men Review

Dior Jadore Eau de Toilette and Sauvage Review

Finding “the one” for fragrance can take quite a bit of time. So much depends on mood, season, occasion and scents often smell different depending on your skin type and chemistry. When testing scents I often have to spritz samples on and let them sit for a day before deciding whether or not I like it. For my husband the Dior Sauvage is one of his staples (to be exact he has 3 right now, two he switches out for day, and one he uses for night). For me I love rotating on a weekly basis because I’m more complicated and finicky with beauty products so I change them a lot. I do think the J’adore Eau de Toilette is one that I’ll be able to wear for years to come. It’s a timeless kind of scent that is both modern and classic, plus it’s suitable for any occasion. Scent can often be a good mood changer and this one has a bright vibrant feel with a feminine touch that lifts my mood and gives me a brighter outlook on the day.

You can find both the J’adore Eau de Toilette and Sauvage at Dior.com.

Do you have a signature scent right now? If you have a husband or boyfriend what are his go-to’s?

Many thanks to Dior for partnering to sponsor this post.

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). 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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Clutch-Sized-Beauty-Holiday

The holiday season is in full swing and finding small beauty items that fit inside a clutch or an emergency makeup bag can sometimes be challenging. The upside of holiday season for beauty is the fact that there are tons of sets with smaller sized minis that are perfect for testing out product and also compact enough to fit in the smallest of purses. I’ve picked out some favorites for quick touch ups or refreshers along with some long-lasting options that don’t require any touch ups if you’re on the go or out during holiday parties or gatherings.

Up first are picks for the lips. I’m a glossy lip kind of person whether it’s a sheer lipstick with shine or straight up gloss because they’re more forgiving when it comes to fading. You don’t get that dark ring around the edges like you do from remnants of lipstick. But sometimes for the holidays liquid lipsticks are the way to go because they last a long time and you don’t have to worry about touch ups.

Holiday Lip Essentials Laura Mercier Tom Ford Lips and Boys Armani Lip Magnet Stila

  • Laura Mercier Kiss of Shine Lip Glace Collection (c/o) has five miniature glosses, one sparking sheer white and the others are creams, I received a press sample of the kit without names so unfortunately I don’t know what each color is called
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys (c/o) are the perfect clutch-sized lipstick, current holiday favorites are Ashton, Bradley and Jake (shown)
  • Armani Lip Magnets are the best liquid lipstick I’ve tried because they have a satiny matte finish but don’t look like matte lips, these last a long time, longer than most lipsticks so they’ll stay put and you don’t have to worry about lipstick to teeth transfer, I bought some of the neutral shades and will have them reviewed on the blog soon (quick take is even the lighter neutrals are still on the bright and deep side, there aren’t really any nudes in the formula, at least not yet)
  • Stila Stay All Day, Sparkle all Night Lip Set has five mini liquid lip colors and a shimmering top coat for the lips, these dry to a matte finish and truly last all day, the set has tiny ones that are small enough to fit in the tiniest of clutches

Laura Mercier Lip Glace minis set swatched:

Laura Mercier Kiss of Shine

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks swatched:

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set

If you need to refresh the hair Oribe is always a great option with minis and Laura Mercier has a cute compact with all the colors you need that will go with virtually any outfit you wear for day or night.

Oribe Mini Dry Texturizing Spray Dry Shampoo and Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette

Next Oribe Gold Lust Set (Nordstrom Exclusive) has both the Dry Texturizing Spray and Dry Shampoo great for hair refreshers. In the set you also get a hair oil but it’s not really purse-friendly so it’s not shown in this post. The Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette has four neutral eyeshadows in Coffee Ground, Vanilla Nuts, Boudoir, Steal Pink, two blushesin Poesie and Bellini which are just perfect and a shimmering peach gloss in Bellini. I like that the shadows have a partition to keep the powder inside so it doesn’t transfer to the blushes.

Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette Swatches

Finding a classic simple black leather clutch under $100 is harder than it sounds like it would be, this textured leather clutch shown from Halogen fits all the things I need and is simple and sleek. For perfume there are tons of rollerball perfumes at Nordstrom. Also be sure to check out the holiday fragrance sets because lots of brands have sampler sizes and minis. I have some Jo Malone minis I saved from previous sets. This year’s Cologne Collection has Lime Basil and Mandarin, Basil and Neroli, Pomegranate Noir, Mimosa and Cardamom, Wood Sage and Sea Salt. For the cheeks as much as I love powder, for on the go you need a brush to apply so creams for parties and touch ups are the way to go for me. The RMS Mix Master is something that adds a sheer sheen and dewy glow. MAC Studio Quiktrik Sticks are double sided with a shimmery side and a contour color you can use on cheeks and eyes. I like Softly Does It/Tight and Tawny which is the one shown below. I’ve also swatched another color as well. For mascara the Stila Huge Lash is one of my favorites and it comes in a mini size in the Huger than Huge Duo.

clutch-beauty-mac-rms-stila-jo-malone

MAC Quiktrik Stick and RMS Mix Master

One last look:

Clutch Essentials Holiday Oribe Mini Dry Texturizing Spray Dry Shampoo and Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette

Hope you enjoyed this post! You can shop the items from Nordstrom below, also don’t forget to check out their Gift With Purchase page. There’s a 25 piece GWP going on right now in beauty:

What are your holiday party beauty essentials? Do you have small items you keep for your clutch?

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post.

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