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Aesop

Skincare

Aesop Skincare Favorites and New Discoveries

June 30, 2017

Aesop Skincare Favorites and Sets | The Beauty Look Book

Aesop is one of those lines where you’ll try one thing, fall in love and feel like you want to switch everything in your body care routine to their brand. I’ve been a long time devoted fan of the Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, Geranium Leaf Body Scrub and Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque and I’ve converted quite a few of my friends to these three. The line is unisex so it works for both men and women. I have a lot of girl friends who love their masks, and my husband and also brother use the body care line. If you’re new to the brand and don’t know where to start, they have some good travel sets that can work as a great introduction to the line. I’ve partnered with Spring, a relatively new online retailer, to share a closer look at my favorites and to also try some new items. They carry a wide variety of brands where you can shop multiple items from different stores and they’ll handle the shipping and fulfillment for you like a one-stop-shop. Occasionally they’ll have some pretty good promos and sales as well. The beauty selection is quite extensive – they have Aesop, Charlotte Tilbury, Fresh, SK-II, Tarte and much more.

Aesop Skincare Favorites and Sets | The Beauty Look Book

First are my favorites from Aesop. The Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque ($45 for 2.4 oz/60 ml) is my all time favorite purifying mask. It comes in a squeeze tube and is an anti-oxidant clarifying mask for deep cleaning. For my sensitive skin this is the most gentle but effective mask I’ve tried to refresh the skin, draw out impurities and clean pores. You only need a very tiny layer to cover the face and let it dry for up to 15 minutes and then rinse. Skin is left feeling just the slightest bit firmer (not too tight or dry) and completely clean. Sometimes I’ll just use this as a spot mask on areas like my nose or where I feel like a pimple is surfacing. I usually find it dries within 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque | The Beauty Look Book

The best body scrub I’ve tried is the Geranium Leaf Body Scrub ($35 for 5.7 fl oz/170 ml) which has a blend of bamboo and pumice to stimulate the skin from scrubbing. It has just the right amount of grittiness to remove dead skin and give the body a good cleanse. The scent of this is really natural with a geranium citrus feel. When I use it I literally feel like it’s scrubbing off any stress or anxiety that I’ve had, and the worst days it helps reset my brain to a relaxed and calm state. For hot summer months it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and you feel like a brand new person. I use this 1x per week.

Aesop Skincare Favorites and Sets | The Beauty Look Book

Aesop seriously has some of the best gift sets that I think would suit any type of person regardless of taste or style. I’ve never kept any of the ones I bought though as I’ve purchased them as gifts and they’ve always been well received. This round I decided to keep two for myself. One is The Constant Gatherer ($72) which has two body care staples, a full size Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser (16.9 fl oz/500ml) and Rind Concentrate Body Balm (4.1 oz/121ml). The body wash is a staple that I try to keep stocked at our home at all times. It’s a low lather shower gel that just smells like an earthy citrus like kind of spa. It leaves the skin feeling clean and soft without any film or residue.

This was my first time trying the Rind Concentrate Body Balm which has the most amazing citrus grapefruit like scent in a thick balm form. Given how thick it was I was pleasantly surprised to find it did dry down nicely and didn’t leave any greasy feel. I like it on the elbows and knees or at night. It leaves the skin feeling soft and well nourished.

Aesop Basic Body Duo | The Beauty Look Book

The set comes in a large black felt-like zippered case. There’s a cardboard divider/separator inside to keep the tube in tact until you gift it which is nice. The full size body washes always come with a pump and this one is stored inside separately. The case is something I feel like anyone would get use out of for travel as well.

Next is the Boston Travel Essentials Set for Women and Men ($75 for 8 travel-sized minis). It comes in a black zippered case that’s a bit smaller in size compared to the Constant Gatherer version but just as still functional and perfect for travel.

Aesop Boston Travel Skincare Set | The Beauty Look Book

I absolutely love this set and think it’s a pretty good deal for the price. Some items were new to me so I’ll add thoughts on what I liked and didn’t:

  • Classic Shampoo 50ml / 1.7 oz and Classic Conditioner 50ml / 1.7 oz – these are the only two items I’ve tried from Aesop that I wasn’t 100% in love with. They are both basic shampoos and conditioners. I’ve bought both before in the full sizes and used them up completely, but prefer something with a little more moisture. For me they are good just not great for my hair type. If you have normal to oily hair I do think these are worth trying out.
  • Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser 50ml / 1.7 oz – always love for this one!
  • Rind Concentrate Body Balm 50ml / 1.7 oz – notes on this above 🙂
  • Fabulous Face Cleanser 15 ml / 0.5 oz – I was particularly impressed with how clean my face felt after using this. It really took away all the excess grease and sweat from a hot day. I would definitely consider buying this in the full size.
  • B & Tea Balancing Toner 15 ml / 0.5 oz – Trying new toners always make me nervous because my skin is sensitive and balancing ones usually end up making my skin more oily. This one was perfect – it balanced the skin after cleansing to add a bit more moisture and freshen the skin. This is another one I will be buying in the full size.
  • Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream 15 ml / 0.5 oz – this cream comes in a tube in the set. It’s described as being for normal to dry skin and I was worried it would be too rich for me. With the Florida humidity but hard water my skin has become mixed. It gets oily with humidity and sweat, but the water dries it out, especially at night. I need something different for day vs night. This cream has the perfect amount of moisture without feeling thick – it’s just what I needed. Most creams that have more moisture are simply just too thick or emollient for my taste. This one has a nice dry down. I’m going to use the tube up entirely before splurging on the full size but first impressions are positive.
  • Mouthwash 50 ml / 1.7 oz – this is one of the most gentle mouthwashes I’ve tried. So many minty ones are really sharp and super minty. This one has a smooth taste and feel while still refreshing the mouth. It’s so different from anything I’ve tried – I’m a bit undecided on it although I do love that it’s gentle and doesn’t sting.

Aesop Skincare with Spring | The Beauty Look Book

I really love the Boston Set and think it’s a great way to try a lot from the brand and also perfect for travel. If I could recommend just two things though, I would hands down still recommend the Geranium Body Scrub and Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque. I’ve lost count of how many tubes I’ve used up and repurchased and I love that my husband likes these too so we both get use out of them.

If you have any Aesop favorites let me know in the comments. Would love to hear if you’ve tried any of the other hair care products like the masks or any of the hand washes and if you think they’re worth the splurge. You can shop the post below – all items are from Spring.

 

Many thanks to Spring for partnering to sponsor this post.

 

Nordstrom Skincare

Body Care Staples for Soft and Smooth Skin

October 18, 2016
The Beauty Look Book - Body Care Routine for Soft Skin

As the weather has started to shift to cooler and dryer temperatures I’ve felt the need for some extra skincare boosts when it comes to body care. I have extremely sensitive skin so I usually stick to a few select brands for body lotions, scrubs and shower gels. There are some lines that cause an allergic reaction for me (scent or fragrance isn’t always the issue) so I always try to do a patch test first. Today I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some tried-and-true body care staples I use to keep my skin smooth, itch-free, and hydrated.

I usually prefer light weight lotions or dry oils because I don’t like things that feel thick or heavy. Three I swear by include the L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body, Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver, and L’Occitane Foot Cream. You can click on the icons in the images below to shop the products directly from Nordstrom.

My most repurchased lotion is the L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body because it’s truly gentle but still effective. I love the Shea Butter line from L’Occitane for the soft soothing scent it has that’s truly comforting. It absorbs into the skin well, leaves skin feeling soft, and I can wear this at night while I sleep without sticking to my sheets or blankets.

Kate Somerville previously had their Eczema Cream which has been renamed Dry Skin Saver. This has a slightly thicker texture compared to the L’Occitane Lotion but is unscented and helps give instant relief for dry skin. It’s suitable for face, body and lips. I gave one of these to my brother who is in his early 20’s, has dry skin that is probably more sensitive than mine and he really likes this one.

I tend to neglect my feet as I find that my 2x a month pedicures are usually enough to keep them looking decent. There are a number of foot creams I’ve tried but they usually feel greasy or smell horrible. I tried the L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream from a small travel size I received from a gift with purchase years ago and was immediately hooked because it’s not thick, it absorbs quickly, instantly soothes any dry spots and has a slight lavender oil scent which is really relaxing.

Next are a few bath products and scrubs. I almost could say that I’m one who lives for bubble baths. There are few things that I enjoy as much as a long bath. It really does help melt away stress and helps me relax.

Fresh Bath and Shower Gels are one of the few shower gels where the scent actually lasts bath the shower or bath. There are a wide range of options and my current favorite is the Fresh Life which is a bright sweet citrus kind of scent. It lathers up really well with a wash cloth or loofa and leaves the skin clean.

In one of my previous shower gel posts a few of you told me to try the Le Labo Santal 33 Shower Gel. I’m all for trying new luxury products but the $50 price tag prevented me from buying for a long time. I eventually did and was instantly hooked. This is a truly luxurious splurge – but I’m one who loves sandalwood scents that aren’t too woody or earthy and this one is just perfect. I’m on my third bottle and the price is indeed very steep so I will be using this sparingly.

For scrubs, my favorite body scrub formulas have all been discontinued (from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Kiehl’s). They’ve either brought new formulas out or discontinued the items completely which has made me very sad. The one favorite that I’ve found hasn’t changed is the Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub which leaves the skin revitalized and super smooth. It has an emollient base which makes it easy to move over areas of the body in the shower but doesn’t leave the skin with a greasy film.

Bath and shower oils are items I try every now and then. I know many of my readers love them because they leave the skin feeling super hydrated and soft. I’m still more of a shower gel kind of person but the ones from Jo Malone are very good. They come in a number of scent options and they have both bath oils and shower oil options. I bought the Blackberry and Bay Bath Oil and it’s amazing. It also comes in the smaller travel size and also the shower gel format.

One more shower gel that deserves a mention is the Diptyque Revitalizing Shower Gel for Body and Hair. This is probably my favorite one of all time but I go through it so quickly I’ve tried to find cheaper alternatives because it gets spendy. I have yet to find one I like as much as I like this one though.

Last but not least two items I think we usually associate with summer beauty routines but I still find suitable for year round use.

The Soleil de La Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan Lotion is the only one I’ve liked enough to use on a regular basis. The formula is gentle so it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction on my skin (many other formulas do). The scent is pleasant and doesn’t have that strong chemical odor you find in self tanners. It also doesn’t turn my skin orangey or yellow which is a huge plus. I see a tan start to develop by the second day of use. There’s no streaking or transfer to clothing. It’s expensive but worth the splurge.

I alternate between body oils and find I gravitate towards different ones depending on season. The Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil is one I found too heavy during the summer but I love it for right now. It has that signature Moroccanoil scent which I find natural, earthy and soothing all at the same time. I love that this comes with a spray dispenser – I think all body oils should come with one. It absorbs quickly into the skin. The scent has a warm and cozy feel which was probably why I didn’t really use it a lot over the summer time but now that it’s cooler, it’s perfect.

For those who like body care products I hope you found this post helpful in case you’re looking for items to soothe dry skin that are also suitable for sensitive skin (and noses). As always I’d love to hear your favorites! Many of you have asked for a roundup on face moisturizers and serums I use since I have sensitive skin. I’m in the process of testing a few brands but will have a post up in the next few weeks.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. As always all opinions my own.
Monthly Favorites Roundup

August Beauty and Skincare Favorites

September 1, 2016
1   /   2   /   3   /   4   /   5   /   6   /   7    /
8   /   9   /   10   /  11  /  12  /  13  /  14   /  15

Quite a few of you have asked that I bring back my monthly favorites roundups so I have one for you today. Many of you like the rotation and roundup kind of posts, I still have the nail/hand care, foundation, hair styling and skincare ones in the work. For those who can’t wait I’ll say that my top three favorite foundations still remain the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (still Groenland + St. Moritz mixed), Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (I use 125/Y315, all shades also available online in this value set now) and the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (my best match is 123/Y365).

Onto my favorites for this month which was difficult for me to narrow down. I’m still enjoying these Molton Brown mini hand washes and these lip treatments. In addition these liquid lips are really very good. I have managed to narrow down a list of my top favorites for this past month though even though a lot of loves have gone unmentioned:
  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows have been in heavy rotation because of their silky smooth texture, rich pigment, blendable finish and easy to wear shades. You can pick and choose your own colors to create quads, the one shown above has Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate. To date I’ve accumulated quite a few you can see swatched here and here.
  2. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is something I discovered in a set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love this because it thickens, volumizes and holds the curl. It also looks super dark on the lashes. I will repurchase this.
  3. Dior Vernis in Minimal (c/o) is my current perfect pale polished nude. Review + swatch here.
  4. Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder (c/o) is relatively new to me but it is hands down the most naturally luminous highlighter I’ve tried this year (out of the new ones launched this year). I think it’s a must, swatches here.
  5. Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped is one of the prettiest palettes I think I’ve seen in a while. If you don’t mind a good shimmer this is a great one for eyes and cheeks. I like mixing and swirling colors before applying to the eyes. Review + swatches here.
  6. MAC Eyelash Curler is something I picked up recently and was pleasantly surprised. My go-to Chanel lash curlers have seen better days after years of use and I don’t think they’re carried in the US anymore. The one from MAC comes in close second for my eye shape.
  7. Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o) best nude for me right now (actually since April of this year). You can see it swatched on my lips in this post here.
  8. Edward Bess Deep Shine Lip Gloss in French Lace is a pretty soft pink. All of his lip glosses reviewed in this post here.
  9. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kidman’s Kiss (shown) and Super Cindy are both pretty close neutral peachy colors, I think the entire Hot Lips Lipsticks have been a knock out success, especially for those who like matte lips (she has the best matte lipstick formula in my opinion). The entire launch reviewed and swatched here.
  10. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude are my most reached for liners. Pillow Talk is a deeper pinky color while Iconic Nude is a brown nude. Both swatched here.
  11. Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo wins for best shampoo to clean the hair well with a squeaky clean feel but won’t dry out the hair. It has a mild but fresh beachy kind of scent. Leaves the hair feeling soft and fluffy (but not frizzy). Even my husband likes it. September beauty events are just around the corner. I recommend putting this on your shopping list. I will repurchase this.
  12. Bumble and Bumble Surf Conditioner also is a winner. I rarely am in love with both shampoo and conditioners of the same formula/brand and typically have to mix and match. This combo is pure love. More in this review here.
  13. Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel (c/o) is something I received earlier in the spring. It took me a long time to get into testing this because frankly I don’t like face gels. They’re often sticky or tacky and just don’t absorb well into my skin. This one does indeed have a gel like consistency but if you massage it into the skin it melds in nicely and doesn’t leave a film like other brands. I’ve been alternating this with Kate Somerville Nourish, both of which are lightweight for warmer weather. Neither will get greasy but have enough for my normal-combination skin. They wear very well under foundation too. The Pore Perfecting Water Gel is also available in a mini travel size. I love the packaging, the pump and the way it feels on the skin. Huge thumbs up. It also helps to smooth out pores.
  14. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask remains my tried and true clarifying mask that is gentle, even when my skin has flare ups. It sucks up excess dirt and oil. I have finally lost count of how many tubes I’ve bought and used up.
  15. Kate Somerville RetAsphere™ Micro Peel (c/o) is a leave-on treatment for night that helps with skin uneveness and really works to improve texture. It’s very gentle but I use it once a week. It’s a micro-peel that infuses skin with retinol with 10% glycolic acid and lactose to help resurface skin. Out of all the skincare lines I’ve tried, I feel that Kate Somerville has truly been one of the game changers for my skin as I transitioned from my 20’s to 30’s. During that transition I went through a lot of stress and my skin suffered a lot with texture issues and repeated break outs. While I’ve worked to manage the stress, finding the right skincare has played a major role in improving texture. I’ve tried so many lines and out of all the ones I have tried, Kate Somerville all around has worked the best for me. I don’t use a night treatment every night because I sometimes just want to let the skin breathe. The RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream is one of the best most gentle yet effective night treatments I alternate with the Micro-Peel. The Micro-Peel makes the favorites list though because just using this once a week has improved my skin texture tremendously.
What are you loving right now? Do you have any favorites from the past month? As always I love reading about what you’ve tried, love and recommend. Even if something you tried hasn’t worked for you, I still love reading about those experiences as well. Are there any colors or collections you’ve been smitten with as we transition to fall beauty?
Press samples featured indicated with a “c/o”. As always all opinions my own.
Roundup

My Favorite At-Home Pamper Essentials

April 22, 2016

I have a roundup of things I wanted to share that I find best for at-home pampering. I try to take care of my skin on a daily basis but try to give it extra care on the weekends – kinda like doing a DIY at home spa session for a good reset or cleanse. There are a few body products I’ve been meaning to write about for a while – ones I found well worth the splurge. I’ve included several recommendations by category – there’s no one product fits all so I’ve tried to cover a variety of options in case you’re looking for something specific whether it’s to purify skin, firm the skin, etc.

Cleansers


  • Cle de Peau Beaute Synactif Soap is probably one of the most expensive face cleansing products I’ve ever bought. I’ve gone through 4 of these – I probably would have purchased more if it came with a cheaper price tag. It gives the skin a very thorough cleanse without leaving a film. It cleans out all the pores and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean. When I feel like my face is getting clogged this helps clear up the complexion. With daily use 2x a day a single bar lasts about 4 months.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser has been mentioned before in my spring cleanser roundup. I really can’t rave enough about this – I used mine up so I stocked up on a few more during the Sephora sale earlier this month. It cleanses the skin and helps keep it clear but gentle enough for daily use.
  • Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser (c/o) is a super gentle milk cleanser that won’t leave a film. I really don’t like milk cleansers because I often find them too rich for my skin type and they rarely leave my face feeling fully clean. A few of you mentioned you have really sensitive skin – this is a good one to try. It does give the face a good cleanse without drying it out. I still do a double cleanse with this one in the evenings (I remove all my makeup first with a cleansing oil or cleansing water), but in the morning it’s perfect to use alone.
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is one of my favorite purifying cleansers. I’ve gone through several bottles and it’s one I keep going to. In hot summer months I can use this daily (usually in the late afternoon or evenings, or post work out), for now I like to use it weekly to help give the skin a thorough cleanse. It helps reduce redness and irritation too.

Masks


  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is hands down one of the most effective clearing face masks. It does have a tingle feeling when you apply it but it’s not too strong and doesn’t irritate the skin. It sucks out impurities and leaves the skin feeling super firm and tight.
  • Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment is one of the newer masks from Glamglow. This one you leave on the face for 20-30 minutes and peel off. I normally don’t like masks that require more than 15 minutes of application because I’m super impatient with skincare, but this one is worth the extra time. It is more on the gentle side for a firming mask and I feel like the effects are more immediate vs. long-term, but it does leave the skin feeling super firm and lifted.
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Mask is the best purifying mask for my sensitive skin. It dries up the gunk in your skin and leaves it feeling thoroughly clean and tight. Many have mentioned to me that their skin cannot handle the Glamglow because they find it too harsh. If that is the case and you still want a purifying mask to draw out impurities, try the Aesop.
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate is one of the most gentle acne-clearing masks. It works in a similar way to the other clarifying masks mentioned above but is super gentle and non-irritating. It won’t leave the skin feeling tight. It’s gentle enough to use daily – I wouldn’t recommend using it every single day, but on weeks where I have some breakouts, I use this nightly for about 4-5 nights and it really helps clear up the skin.
Body

I usually don’t splurge on body products. I typically keep things simple with L’Occitane or Nuxe, but I’ve discovered some new-to-me things that I am really excited to share with you.


  • Chanel Fresh Body Cream is something I’m beyond obsessed with. It’s one of the most expensive body products I’ve ever bought and it’s a bit hard to find (you can’t find it at all counters). You can basically find this at any store or counter that sells the Exclusifs Fragrances. It’s a super gentle body cream that smells really fresh but won’t interfere with perfumes. I like to use this at night before bed because I have a sensitive nose and scents sometimes prevent me from falling asleep. This one is soothing enough that it doesn’t interfere with my sleep. It’s hydrating and non-greasy. I will keep repurchasing this one for as long as they make it.
  • Byredo Bal D’Afrique Body Cream is another pricey splurge but I adore the Bal D’Afrique scent I had to try it in the body cream. This one is super emollient and has a body butter feel which is super lush. A little goes a long way and the moisture lingers for an emollient feel. You can definitely feel the moisture after you apply but it’s not greasy. That being said if you need a body product to have a dry-down you may find this too rich.
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body is another favorite. I’ve featured this a few times in past years. It has all the moisturizing and soothing qualities of items from the regular Shea line but it’s lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. Anytime I have irritation or flare ups – I use this and skin is instantly soothed. I love that it’s non greasy, gentle, but effective.
  • NARS Monoii Body Glow II is the ultimate scented tiare body oil that makes you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. It lifts the mood instantly and absorbs quickly into the skin. There’s no greasy feel or residue after it’s absorbed into the skin. I’m about 99% happy with this one – if it came with a pump dispenser it would be perfect.
Home Fragrance


  • Lumira Travel Candles (c/o) are super compact and cute, I love having a few scattered around the house to burn. To date I don’t think I’ve brought a candle with me while I travel but there are times when I have traveled that I wish I had one with me. I’m trying my best to save the mini ones for my next trip. My favorite from their line is the Tahitian Coconut.
  • Lumira Mini Destinations Box Set (c/o) launched over the holiday a boxed trio of the most popular scents from the line in Tuscan Fig, Cuban Tobacco, Persian Rose. I just finally started burning Tuscan Fig today – it’s amazing and smells of sweet figs (Diptyque’s Figuier by comparison is greener). Top notes are fig leaves and fig tree, middle notes are blackcurrant and cedarwood, base is iris and musk.
  • Diptyque Gingembre Room Spray (c/o) was reviewed a month ago (I can’t believe an entire month has gone by). I won’t repeat the review but it’s a really nice bright and cheery kind of home scent.
  • Diptyque Colored Candle in Baies (c/o) is a classic. The larger size gives this one a stronger throw compared to the smaller ones. Don’t forget if you have any Diptyque on your wishlist you can save online at Space NK US by using my special promo code through May 1st.

Lips
I have very sensitive lips when it comes to lip treatments. There are quite a few very popular options that make my lips go numb (Kiehl’s, CO Bigelow, Chapstick etc.) so that may give you an idea of just how sensitive they are. The ones below are Beauty Look Book approved. Of course it’s not a list of all the ones I’ve tested or like, but ones I like most for right now.


  • Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a great lip treatments that is also affordable. It’s emollient and I love the simple classic squeeze tube packaging.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed is my current favorite for the most moisturizing lip treatment to help with dry or cracked lips (swatched in this post here and here).
  • AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is one I just used up (review from winter in this post here), it’s the best scent and taste-free lip treatment I’ve tried. Most others have some kind of scent or flavor. If you’re really sensitive to any scent, I’d recommend you try this one.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Coral Stellar is one of the prettiest tinted lip treatments I’ve tried. Review + swatches here. It’s worth the splurge.
  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care is a good lip treatment but I do think it’s overpriced for what you get. That being said I’ve never regretted buying this one and if you’re willing to splurge it’s a good gentle one that always soothes my lips. (More on this compared to others in this post here.)
If you’re looking for something to help reset the skin, calm the complexion or give your body an extra boost of moisture, I hope you found this roundup helpful! I have super sensitive skin and there are some body lotions and creams that cause an immediate allergic reaction (I always do a patch test first). If a good purifying mask is what you have been looking for but want something suitable for sensitive skin I hope the recs above help you find something gentle enough for your skin type!

What are your favorite at-home pampering products? I really love hearing about your favorites. So many of you have recommended some great things for me to try. I’m pretty set on masks but I do have my eye on a few sheet masks. I’m intrigued by mainly the two from La Mer – if you’ve tried them should I go for the Brightening Facial Masks or Hydrating Sheet Masks? Or should I wait for the Eve Lom Brightening Sheet Mask to launch in the US?

I hope you had a great week! Enjoy the weekend 🙂

Uncategorized

Monthly Beauty Favorites: Skincare

October 2, 2015

Happy October everyone! I hope you had a great September. It’s officially fall but we’re still having really warm sunny days in the high 70s and it feels like fall weather will never arrive. September brought about a number of new beauty discoveries, in particular new lipsticks. I think I fell in love with every single new lipstick formula I tried from Charlotte Tilbury (hands down one of the best mattes ever), Louboutin (oh so luxurious), Buxom Cosmetics (so many good colors with an amazing formula) and Tom Ford (how can you not love TF lipsticks?).

I decided to do a different favorites roundup this month and focus on skincare loves. Smooth clear skin has been a focus lately and I’ve been trying new things over the past few months. It takes time to see visible results – so here are some things I’ve been putting to the test and absolutely love. My skin has improved a lot – even my husband has commented on it. As always if you have any skincare recommendations I’m all ears! I just picked up this AmorePacific Moisture Bound Set because so many of you raved about the Enzyme Peel in the comments.

Here’s what I’ve been loving this month (the bag above is one of the pouches from the MAC Clearly MAC Trio):

My go-to moisturizer all throughout the summer has been the Eve Lom Brightening Cream ($110 for 1.7 fl oz). It’s described as a hydra-cream designed to “correct pigmentation and boost luminosity to reveal beautifully radiant and even-toned skin.” It has a brightening ingredient called Dermapep™ that corrects hyperpigmentation – after using this I’ve noticed my skin is visibly more bright, complexion is smooth and dark spots become less noticeable. I would say it’s better as a daily lightweight moisturizer rather than a spot corrector – but it has kept my skin smooth, lightly hydrated and works well with all the foundations I use. Even with daily use for months I still have a good portion of the jar left – so I’m thrilled it’s lasted a long time.

Last month I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose (more on this soon). It was hands down the best facial I’ve ever had and I highly recommend the clinic. Since then I’ve been slowly incorporating some Kate Somerville items in my routine. On your first visit they provide a detailed questionnaire for you to fill out on your skin type, preferences and goals. Mine included dark spot correction, texture improvement, anti-aging prevention, help with wrinkles on my forehead, brightening. The facial and products are used in various treatment processes in concentrated formulas based on your needs. Three things I’ve been loving:
  • The Daily Detox Cleanser ($34 for 4 fl oz) is a really good deep-cleaning cleanser for everyday. I use it with my Clarisonic. It helps fight acne and removes impurities from the skin. It’s helped to rebalance my skin and even with the heat we’ve been having my skin is less oily. It contains phytic acid which helps fade post-acne scars and reduce inflammation. I can’t rave about this enough.
  • Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($95 for 2.5 oz) was recommended as a replacement for my regular toner. It’s a product that helps combat all my skin issues: aging, wrinkles, uneven skintone. It also helps with dryness – and I’ve seen a big improvement in my skin. Forehead lines have started to soften and using this helps prep the skin for serums or moisturizers.
  • RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream ($85 for 1 fl oz) is something I’ve been experimenting with as well. It’s been recommended by many that I incorporate some kind of retinol treatments into my routine. I have super sensitive skin and things I’ve tried in the past have been too strong for me. This one is ultra gentle and as a night time treatment, I’ve noticed it’s helped smooth the skin while increasing firmness. My skin looks more glowing and soft. I’ve tried this every other night for several weeks and I’ve had no irritation.
The Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ($39 for 60 ml) still remains a tried and true favorite. It’s my go-to cleansing and clarifying mask that really draws out all the yuck from your skin. It’s recommended use for 2x per week, but I’ve found it gentle enough for me to use 4x per week on trouble spots. I love how effective it is while still being suitable for sensitive skin.

I’ve tested a number of cleansing oils and have several favorites. These days I’ve been loving the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil ($70 for 8.4 oz). It has a lightweight pleasantly refreshing scent to it. It has a good medium thickness to it – it’s fluid but not too fluid. I love how it blends into the skin easily and seamlessly. It emulsifies well with warm water and removes all trace of makeup (I still remove my waterproof mascara/eyeliner with a cotton pad first though). Leaves the skin feeling completely clean, soft and hydrated with no greasy residue.
Tatcha is always a favorite in my regular skincare routine. The Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($68 for 2 fl oz) is my holy grail face sunscreen. It has a smooth texture that disappears completely into the skin (no white cast). It helps control oil on me and doubles as an amazing primer for foundation. The Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream ($38 for 2 fl oz) is a staple for sensitive or dry skin. I’ve bought many tubes and given them as gifts to friends. The entire Indigo line is phenomenal. If you’re new to the line, there is a mini set that I also recommend.

I’ve featured the MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22 for 05 fl oz) before and it’s still a staple. It’s one of the few acne spot treatments I can use during the day without it making the skin look weird and goopy (others leave a weird clear film that is noticeable). It’s also one of the few that really works to help acne spots disappear without making the skin super red by the next day. I think I’m on my third tube – I also recommended my husband try it and it’s strong enough for his skin.

Last but not least for lips, I’ve been loving the Glossier Coconut Balmdotcom ($12) and Dior Crème de Rose ($28). Both are super hydrating and make the lips feel smooth without that greasy feel. My lips are super sensitive and I’ve gotten reaction to several lip balms (they go numb and then tingle and swell up). These are perfect for my sensitive lips and keep the dry flakes away.
I hope everyone has a great Friday and will have some time to enjoy the weekend! As always I’d love to hear about your current beauty favorites. It’s a great way for me to learn about new things 🙂
Press samples featured in this post include items from Kate Somerville, Eve Lom, Tatcha and Glossier. All other items purchased by me.
Uncategorized

Favorite Bath and Shower Gel Splurges

April 6, 2015

For most of my life, I’ve been a bath and shower gel kind of person versus the bar soap kind mainly because I find shower gels do a better job at making the skin feel clean without leaving any film or making the skin feel dry. My favorite go-to shower gel has been the Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower Gel in the Original Scent. It’s one of the classic staples that is gentle enough for my super sensitive skin. I like it because it lathers up really well and leaves the skin feeling super clean and it’s also unisex. For scented shower gels I’ve tested quite a few over the years. There is nothing like a beautifully scented shower gel to wake you up in the morning or to help you relax at the end of a day. I have a roundup of my favorites that I’ve purchased numerous times along with a few new discoveries.

Diptyque has a few of their fragrances available in shower gel form including the Tam Dao, Do Son, and L’Ombre Dans L’Eau to name a few. These are quite spendy but if you’re a fan of the fragrances this is another nice way to experience it. I’ve tried a couple – Tam Dao is very lightly fragranced with a thicker gel-like texture. It doesn’t lather up like some others but makes for a nice bubble bath. L’Ombre Dans L’Eau has a stronger scent to it (it’s the fragrance version of their Baies candle) and a better lather. A little goes a very long way. Out of all the shower gels from Diptyque my favorite is the Revitalizing Shower Gel for Hair and Body. I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought this one, it’s worth every penny in my opinion because it lathers up really nicely and smells refreshingly clean and unique. My husband really likes this one as well (for him). It leaves the skin feeling super soft and lingers on the skin but won’t interfere with your perfumes. Ingredients listed online here.

Next up is the Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser for Hair and Body (also available in a smaller size). This one is designed for men and is my husband’s all time favorite, but I like to borrow it too. My husband is all about products that multi-task, this one really is good for both hair and body. This one is his favorite because it suds up really well and cleans the skin without leaving any film or residue. It has a mix of rosemary, eucalyptus and juniper berry which makes it smell incredibly fresh and crisp. The eucalyptus has a cooling feel that energizes the body and wakes you up in the morning but it’s not as sharp or strong as other scents with eucalyptus making it softer around the edges. I’ve bought him a number of travel sized minis from other brands to try out but this one remains his favorite. Ingredients listed online here.

My latest discovery is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Cleansing Gel for Face and Body. This one is designed for dry skin. It has that sweet honey and sunflower scent which I usually find too powdery or floral in other lines but it’s something Nuxe does the best. It’s really thick and concentrated so a little goes a very long way. I like that it lathers up to a gentle lather – since it’s on the thicker side it won’t foam up like some others making it adhere better to the skin when you’re in the shower or bath. That being said it does rinse off completely but leaves the body feeling well hydrated. I haven’t tested this on the face yet but if you have dry skin and like honey-scented products this is amazing for the body.

Ingredients:

Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser is a staple but also extremely pricey. This has a gel texture that lathers up nicely but since it’s more liquid than others it won’t necessarily foam up like the Diptyque or Neutrogena. It’s a nice soft geranium scent that is very mellow but still refreshing. You only need two pumps for the entire body and it cleans the skin like nothing else I’ve tried. Ingredients listed here.

Last but not least is the L’Occitane Bonne Mere Rosemary Shower Gel. I’m normally not a fan of rosemary scents for the body because they are often too sharp and too herbal-smelling. This one is very different. It’s incredibly difficult to describe but it’s a softer more refreshing version of the Jack Black Turbo Wash minus the eucalyptus. The entire Bonne Mere collection is designed to be extremely gentle on the skin. I’ve tried several items from the line and love the Rosemary Shower Gel, Olive Shower Gel and Liquid Marseille Hand Soap. The Rosemary has been repurchased 4 times already.

Ingredients:

If you’re in the market for a new bath or shower gel I hope you found this roundup helpful. There are a number of scented showers gels I love for the fragrance but aren’t so great in terms of giving the skin a good clean feeling. The ones above do both for me and are gentle enough for my sensitive skin. Do you have a favorite splurge? I would love to hear about your favorites!

The Nuxe and L’Occitane were press samples provided for review consideration. All other items purchased and repurchased by me.

Monthly Favorites

February Favorites

February 28, 2015

I haven’t done a monthly favorites roundup in a while since I find my favorites rotate quite frequently. I like to mix things up and change things around. This month I narrowed down a favorites list to some items I’ve been enjoying thoroughly. As always I’d love to hear from you about your favorites for the past month. (The items below include links to previous reviews where applicable.)
This month feels like it’s been all about new lip releases. I’m still working on reviews for the new Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine but will say right now these new Dior  glosses are phenomenal. I’ve been loving them a lot – they have the perfect mix of color and shine. I have all the swatches and review finished but still need to pull colors for comparison swatches.

Other lip staples this month include Charlotte Tilbury Confession, Marc Jacobs Beauty Infamous and Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Peter. I’ve also been reaching for the Chanel Hydrabeauty Lip Balm. Initially I thought this was just an average lip treatment. The more I use it the more I like this as a lightweight lip balm that doesn’t feel heavy on the lips and adds a nice veil of moisture.

For the skin I’ve been going through a lot of masks. My favorite is the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. It’s the best clarifying face mask I’ve tried that is good for sensitive skin. It will draw out impurities and is gentle enough to use multiple times a week. I like it because it smells like a spa and it doesn’t irritate the skin. My favorite new cleanser discovery is the Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser. It’s a bit too strong for daily use but I do use it multiple times per week.

For eyeshadow palettes, the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con in The Dreamer has a beautiful mix of warm neutrals. There are golds, corals, champagnes and tan shimmers with a really good matte brown. This one is what I wanted Lolita to be. Let me know if you want a full review of this one.

My current foundation routine includes a mix of Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow + NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. This combo gives the perfect glow with medium to full coverage.

For fragrance, I’ve become smitten with the Byredo Bibliothèque, Cotton Poplin and Fleur Fantôme set from Net-A-Porter. These are so cute although pricey, it’s a nice way to try the candles at a cheaper price than buying the full size. My favorite is still Fleur Fantôme (which I have the full size of). Full review to come soon.

Last but not least, I’ve still been loving the Lumira Paradisium perfume. It’s the perfect mix of florals with a hint of fig.

What have your favorites been this month?
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