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Away Travel

Loving Right Now

Loving Right Now + Instagram Roundup

March 13, 2017

Nordstrom Beauty Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday lovelies! I hope you all had a great weekend. So many of you have sent me the sweetest notes, comments and messages about my recent move. We’ve all adjusted quite well and are loving the Florida sunshine. I’m still on west coast time internally and with the recent time change now I’m even more confused about timing. The first couple days we arrived in South Florida were the hardest for me. I didn’t realize how homesick I’d get – but I am adjusting and each day we love exploring the Tampa Bay area. We’ve driven all over the place in search for cute places to visit, explore and also have found some really amazing food places. My mother in-law flew in to visit us for a week and having her here was the best. We’ve also found that the Bahamas are only a little over an hour flight away so we have already started planning some fun weekend getaways!

I have upcoming reviews from Tom Ford, Chanel, MAC, Sisley and more coming this week, but first I wanted to do a quick post of what I’ve been loving right now and an Instagram roundup as there are some things I don’t want you to miss.

Loving Right Now | The Beauty Look Book

First, in the top image has a mix of long-time favorites and new items. The MAC Work It Out collection has three new scented Prep + Prime Fix+ Sprays that come in the mini size. They launched scented versions a long time ago (I missed out) and have brought back Lavender, Coconut and Rose. I received Lavender as a press sample and loved it so much I bought the other two. These are setting sprays to make your makeup look a little less powdery. Or you can spray it before you start the makeup process to add a bit of hydration. There are also new eyeshadow palettes from MAC in the x9 version or a x15 version called In the Flesh. I prefer the larger palettes with the full size pans as they’re a bit easier to use and dip a brush into.

Also the weather in Florida is quite a bit warmer than what we’ve experienced this winter in Southern California so I’ve had to experiment with different moisturizers, foundations and bases. Two I’ve really been liking are the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation (Bisque) and the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation (Bisque, all shades swatched here). My go-to setting powders are still the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (Medium Plus) and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Powder (Shade 2) – but I suspect I’m going to have to do more testing with my other formulas to see what will last the best in warmer humid weather.

The first thing I did when we arrived in our new home was to burn candles to try and make it smell like home. We went from a 1,100 sq foot loft to a 3,000+ sq foot home and we love all the space we have now! I also ran around spraying a different room spray in each room. I’m still hoping that Diptyque will launch all the scents in the US eventually. Baies and Figuier reviewed here. Gingembre and Fleur D’Oranger reviewed here. I usually buy mine from Nordstrom.

Diptyque Room Sprays Baies, Figuier, Lavender | The Beauty Look Book

One of the things I’m most excited about is the Away x Popsuki Collaboration. I’m a huge fan of their carry-ons and so is my husband. We’ve used ours in the Carry-On size for many trips and are obsessed. The latest is a limited-edition pink in all their sizes. Since I first discovered them last summer they’ve since added more sizes. They have a new Bigger Carry-On which they sent over and I can’t wait for our next getaway so I can use them. You can see my review of the carry-ons in this post here from our New York trip (save $20 off your first order by clicking this referral link).

Away x Popsuki Pink Luggage | The Beauty Look Book

Next is a sneak peek at two new-to-me brands. I just started testing the Sisley cosmetic line with the new Phyto-Blush Twist. I had used a few sample packets of their skincare before and it’s just SO amazing. I do love and use the Radiant Glow Express Mask. Based on raves from many of you I found a few packets at my local counter before I moved and my wallet is crying that I now love their Black Rose Mask and the Creamy Mask with Tropical Resins. I also started testing out some Maison Francis Kurkdijian – Aqua Celestia is amazing!

Maison Francis Kurkdijian and Sisley Twist Blush | The Beauty Look Book

Many of you asked for a close up and more thoughts on the Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Sandals. They are pricey but for me well worth the splurge. Different retailers have different colors and finishes so you may have to shop around to find the exact combo you want. At 5’3″ I am high-heel challenged. Most are too high for me to wear. These are just the right height and there’s no pain or break in period. They do run large so I recommend sizing a 1/2 size down. In most American brands of shoes I’m a 6.5, but with Stuart Weitzman I go down to a size 6. Below is the Naked Suede from Nordstrom.

Outfit Celine Belt Bag and Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Sandals | The Beauty Look Book

Another close up shot taken by Jessica Alexander of the Black Nappa Leather:

Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Black | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a sneak peek of some upcoming Chanel goodness. I bought a few of the Rouge Coco Glosses before I moved. My favorite is Tendresse. I just started testing more of the colors and will swatch what I have as soon as I can. I know many of you have asked for comparisons of old colors to new ones. I’m still unpacking (it’s going to take me forever) and we are planning some remodels to a few rooms, so for now I’ll most likely only be able to review the new colors for you. Cute eyelash mug below is from Etsy. Many of you asked when the Le Blanc Energies Et Puretes collection would launch in the US – it’s finally here! Currently only available on Chanel.com and this will be reviewed in tomorrow’s post.

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

One last note, I splurged on a couple new leather goods and a few of you also asked whether I prefer the Gucci Marmont Card Case in the fold over wallet style or the traditional Card Case. I prefer the fold over larger one as it holds more but is still compact. You can fit cash inside and there’s plenty of room for ID, bank cards, credit cards without having it feel like it’s stuffed (I usually carry around 5-6 cards including ID). The leather is soft and plush but has held up remarkably well so far, both are great though.

That’s a wrap for my Instagram roundup/sneak peek! A Chanel post will go live tomorrow πŸ™‚

Travel

Packing For a Mini Getaway

December 7, 2016

Away Luggage Carry Ons Packing Travel

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

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

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

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

Away Luggage Carry On in Sand

For this trip we’re bringing our Away Carry-Ons again (previously reviewed here). 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 πŸ™‚

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On My Radar Roundup

On My Radar / New In Beauty

August 15, 2016

Hope everyone had a great weekend! There are a few new launches on my radar plus some promos I wanted to share with you. Fall beauty and fragrance launches are trickling in and this year it seems like there are a few mini launches in between the larger full color collections.

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos (1) have launched online at Tom Ford. You can see swatches on Really Ree’s blog and I think all the colors look phenomenal! At $53 each though I’m going to do my best and wait for them to launch at Nordstrom or Neimans to see in person first. I am hoping they will arrive soon as the Orchid Collection finally popped up online at Neiman Marcus for pre-order. (I have 2 items to review soon.)

Christian Louboutin just added two new colors to The Noirs Nail Color Line (2) in Miss Mars (gunmetal) and Miziggoo (vamp brown), available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora and Christian Louboutin.
Marc Jacobs Beauty launched a new eyeshadow palette called Style Eye Con No. 20 (3) I ordered it last week and expect it to arrive today. Review as soon.
Maison Margiela added two new layering fragrances in mini-sized bottles called REPLICA Filter (4) in Glow and Blur. Right now they’re Sephora VIB/Rouge exclusives online and are expected to launch in September. I usually try before I buy when it comes to fragrance but given the fact that I’ve fallen in love with every one from the line I’ve tried, I may just make an exception. They are described as fragrance primers that you layer with scents from the regular collection.
More on the new fragrance launch, Elizabeth and James (5) added Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose. I’m surprised how many reviews there already are on Sephora considering these just launched. If you’ve tried these let me know what you think!
Just when I was ready to do a foundation and base routine post, new formulas popped up and many of you have asked me to review them. Chanel launched Le Teint Ultra Tenue in an Ultrawear Flawless Compact Foundation with SPF 15 (6) and liquid Ultrawear Flawelss Foundation (7). I have high hopes for both of these as I found the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation from summer a huge disappointment.
NARS launched new shades of Audacious Lipstick (8) as part of their Chic Out Collection. Colors are currently exclusive to NARS online and boutiques starting today. Available at all counters starting September 1st.
Away Travel (9) has partnered with four other brands including Solid and Striped, Soludos, Serena and Lily and Ouai Haircare to upgrade your packing list. They’ve created a site for you to shop select travel items from each brand on packyourbag.co and offer free nationwide shipping. NYC customers can get the items delivered sameday via UberRUSH. This will be available until August 19th. They’re hosting some amazing giveaways (including a trip to Cuba) so be sure to check out their site Pack Your Bag and enter! As a huge fan of the Away carry-on luggage (reviewed here) I had to share.
Last but not least, Diptyque has added three items to their skincare line (10) including an Essential Face Cream, Nourishing Lip Balm and Infused Face Oil. My local boutique left me a message over the weekend about these so I’ll be checking them out soon. If you’re shopping online at Diptyque they have a promo code where you can get a set if Infused Facial Oil 4ml, Nourishing Cleansing Balm 5ml, and Infused Facial Water 15ml with any $150+ order using code FACECAREUS at checkout (valid while supplies last or until September 9th).
One last note since I just missed this – if you’re shopping online at Nordstrom there are a few sample gift with purchase bags with any $50 purchase but you need to add a promo code at checkout. I usually forget to check the gift with purchase page. Enter in PINK, ORANGE or BLUE – there are different options in each bag.
I’ll have one more post up this afternoon with a review so stay tuned!
Travel

Packing for a Summer Getaway with Carry-Ons

July 6, 2016

This is the post many of you have been waiting for and I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and also your patience while I try to get myself back together. It doesn’t matter how long or short a trip I take – it takes me a long time to unpack and organize things. This summer my husband and I planned a 2 week getaway with one week in New York and another week for Florida. The second half ended up being postponed for a later date due to work conflicts combined with my anxiety about leaving our two energetic Jack Russell Terriers and a very temperamental Ragdoll cat. This was the first trip we boarded them and while we knew we were leaving them in very good hands, I still think of them as my babies and leaving them for any period of time is hard for me especially since our fur kids are very high maintenance. But I digress – we packed for a two week getaway with carry-ons only as both my husband and I like to travel light. Many of you liked my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry Ons post last summer. This year we were lucky to try something new with carry on luggage from Away Travel.

Those following me on social have seen a few sneak peeks featuring Away – they are a relatively new company that carries affordable travel luggage. At the time of our trip they stocked one size of luggage the Carry-On ($225) which measures 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”. While in New York I stopped by their pop up Concept Store on in Noho at 325 Lafayette Street and discovered they just launched two additional sizes The Medium ($275) and The Large ($295). At this time you can order them direct from their website or purchase in store. If you click this referral link you can save $20 off your first order.

A quick look inside the concept store and then a review of the carry on followed by what I packed for the trip. The store currently stocks a few items you can only find in the store. There are two themes for the store, one is Tokyo inspired and the other has a Swedish theme. Both are based on what the founders are passionate about. While in the store I bought a travel blanket/scarf they call a Blarf ($125). I hope they carry this online soon or have it in more colors. It’s the perfect size, thickness and density for the airplane. So many recommend carrying a large scarf or small blanket and I think it’s hard to find something the right size and thickness for the plane.

 above image, courtesy of Away

 above image, courtesy of Away

Below are some images I took of the store. The staff was very kind and allowed be to browse. They have stations inside where you can see the product in person. They also have a kiosk stocked with folded shirts and tees like a demo station as a way help you figure out what size luggage will work best for your travel packing needs.

Bottom left – try out station with clothing so you can see which size best fits your needs based on what you plan to pack. Bottom right an Away x Capsule Beauty Box Collaboration set.

A closer look at the luggage. Away sent both my husband and I carry ons to test out for our trip. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the box – but they are shipped in a perfectly fitted box and they also come with their own dust bags for storage. Upon opening it I was really surprised how lightweight it was. The exterior is made of a Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate. It has some give to it if you touch it – it’s not 100% solid like metal or glass but still very thick and surprisingly sturdy. When we both unboxed ours I have to admit we were both concerned about the sturdiness since it’s so lightweight. After putting it to the test though I can report that it’s very sturdy. We did take these on the plane with us as carry-ons so I am not sure how the exterior will hold up if you check it.

For something so compact and streamlined, it has a lot of features I found practical but genius. The space is very well designed inside and out. There’s minimal wasted space inside for maximum packing – most luggage has a lot of unusable space inside because of the handles or pockets. It comes with a built in USB charger which I found very handy. The interior comes with a compression system which helps hold all your clothes in place so there’s minimal shifting even if it’s not completely full. There is also a removable laundry bag packed at the base – it rolls up into a compact zip pouch so once again, valuable packing space is not taken up. It comes with four wheels that have a 360 degree spin so rolling it around flat or angled is easy and seamless. Handles expand up to 20.3 inches.

There are four lights that indicate how much charge is left in the battery. Each case comes with a TSA approved lock as well:

Many of you saw my preliminary packing list in this post here. This is what I ended up packing inside, I also had the clothes I was wearing to and from our destinations. In addition to our carry ons, I had a Louis Vuitton Neverful Tote in the MM size and my husband had a laptop case. Not shown below is what I packed inside my tote which included my liquids, wallet, small truffle pouch with cosmetics, makeup brushes in a MustaeV bloom pouch, laptop and one pair of flats.

All packed up:

A quick look at the interior, more shots and details on their website:

What I fit inside the left side with the zipped portion. Each is the same in size. This is the first suitcase I’ve tried where both sides are the same – most have either a deep base with a cover. The Anya Hindmarch case fit inside with everything shown below (hat not packed but rather carried by hand). In the left side I packed 2 pairs of jeans, 2 blouses, 4 tees/tanks, makeup case, 2 sweater shells, three dresses.

On the right side is a compression case. It has a zip pouch where I stored socks and underwear. Packed inside were 3 boxes of Laduree tea (for on the way home), 3 sweaters, 1 pair of jeans (yes a 3rd pair, lol), 1 summer dress, 1 black tank, 1 pencil skirt, a pair of heels in dust bags, 1 tank, yoga pants and my camera case. My clothes are small and were lightweight so it was easy to roll or fold things in a way to fit without overstuffing.

Beautywise, everything fit inside 1 Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case to keep everything compact, 1 MustaeV Bloom Pouch for brushes and pencils, and 1 quart sized ziploc bag for liquids. Some of you may be wondering what happened to my clear pouch that I bought last year for liquids. Even though the description says it’s quart sized and reviews indicate many airports take it, there have been a few instances where security took one look and I had issues getting through. I was still able to get through in the end but since it looks like it carries a lot many suspect that it’s over the quart size limit. I decided to skip it this round.

The beauty pack list:

Cases:

Eye makeup:

Face Makeup:

Cheek and Highlighters:

Lips:

Misc:

Liquids and skincare:

For those wondering how well the luggage will hold up to scratches, I did not check the bag and so it was not exposed to serious contact damage with other bags. I did find one mark light scratch on the surface that happened from another bag sliding in the overhead compartment against mine. It was easy to remove but it was not a deep scratch and there was no indentation in the surface. I used a warm wash cloth and a tiny bit of hand soap to wipe the surface and the mark was almost 100% gone with a couple swipes.

A few final thoughts about packing for a week in New York City for the summer. I could have skipped the hat and my heels. Even for dressier occasions or meetings, my black flats worked just fine. In the streets I saw women mainly wore sandals, flats or short heeled wedges. I saw very few heels although I suspect some may just simply carry them in their totes to change for work or going out – if any New Yorkers want to chime in let me know!
  • I could have skipped the hat. I didn’t want it to get squished so I carried it on the plane. I did not end up wearing it at all as I felt it would have just gotten in the way.
  • I walked most of New York City in either my Chloe flats or Tory Burch Millers. Yes, sandals were not the best idea, but being a California girl I just have to. My feet did ok – no blisters and they did not get too dirty. Both pairs of shoes survived without any damage from extensive walking.
  • I packed more than I needed for a week – but we did intend to be away for 2 weeks instead of 1.
  • Next trip to NYC I’m packing super light on the beauty side. All I need can be found at Birchbox Soho or Space NK, not to mention all the Sephora stores around the city. 
  • I really missed my hair dryer but I survived with the one in the hotel.
  • My husband only packed jeans and even after a trip to Banana Republic in the city for some last minute things, he only picked up shorts and polos. Next time I will be packing a nice pair of slacks or khakis for him. There were a few restaurants I wanted to go to that we could not because he only had jeans as he was on “vacay” mode.
  • I did bring a pair of my Pumas that I had from last year as my sneaker/walking shoes. My husband informed me I need to invest in a pair of better looking shoes. He gave them that “these should be burned” look when he saw me wearing them. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
  • By the end of my trip I had several full sized liquids and other items I bought while in NYC that would not fit inside my carry on or tote. I shipped them back home via FedEx. Quick note on pricing – make sure you double check price quotes online. I shipped everything home for a little over $40, box weight was about 20 pounds. A little over a week later I received an invoice from FedEx stating I owed an additional $120. I called them to ask about it and was informed that prices are just estimates in the store and additional charges may occur for residential deliveries, weekday deliveries, declared value and size etc. They said the best way to get an accurate quote is to use the calculator online or to call them directly. They were very nice and professional on the phone, this obviously was my first time shipping something this large from FedEx and I told them I was just a bit surprised there was such a huge difference from the estimate to the actual cost. They waived the extra $100 without me complaining or asking, which I thought was really nice of them and something they did not have to do at all. If you are a newbie shipper like me – just be aware of the shipping estimates if you ship large boxes or items home. If in doubt just ask about any potential added charges that may be incurred.
I hope you enjoyed this packing post and review of the Away Carry Ons. Right now the only place to buy is direct from their website and you can save $20 off your first order by using this referral link. Both my husband and I were really impressed with it. It’s practical, priced right, works just the way you want a carry on to work and sturdy. The little touches and features make a huge difference. I was impressed with how much I was able to fit. I am planning to buy one for my brother and brother in law soon as they are both in need of good travel gear.

Do you have any tips or things you do for packing in carry-ons? Or are you the type that always checks luggage?

Press samples featured courtesy for review include the Away Carry Ons, MustaeV Bloom Pouch, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Edward Bess All Over Seduction. Some minis were from gift with purchases I’ve collected over time.

Travel

Packing for A Week in New York

June 19, 2016

I’m packing for a week long trip to New York and am beyond excited to be traveling again. This month my husband and I are traveling carry on style again although since our trip is shorter than our month-long venture last year, packing will be much easier. I will try to blog while I’m gone but it may be a bit quiet on the blog. A full recap of my trip, visits, finds will be on the blog for summer travel but in the meantime you can follow me along on my travels daily through New York City and Brooklyn on social via Instagram @beautylookbook.

As mentioned in previous posts, I tend to bring carry on luggage only for travel (most of my trips are shorter trips). This is for convenience and to help limit what I bring along with me. If I’m traveling with my husband efficiency is key because is has no patience to wait in lines to check luggage or pick it up at baggage claim. When we traveled through Europe bringing carry on bags only with us for 3 weeks and stopped at 9 cities via 7 flights. Having carry on luggage saved us hours of waiting. In case you want to see what I fit into last year’s trip you can see my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry-Ons. Fitting everything in such a small space is like playing a game of Tetris trying to make sure no space is wasted.

This year is different. I’ll be in New York City and Brooklyn for a week. As I’m tying out this post I’m still trying to sort everything out for casual and business casual looks. Half of the time I will be able to be a tourist in New York, the other half is booked with meetings and a conference. I’ve found some really cute summer dresses from Nordstrom and Madewell. Ones that are forgiving for those who don’t have perfectly toned bodies. My biggest challenge right now is narrowing down what shoes to bring. I struggle between the desire to wear cute shoes and the need to be practical for such a short trip.

The preliminary pack list below, subject to change:


Full recap of what I end up bringing and review of what worked and what didn’t to follow. Many of you liked my lessons learned posts last year. I know I always like reading those kinds of posts. Sometimes learning what not to do is just as good as the success stories.

If you have any recommendations on where to eat in the city please let
me know! On one of my trip days I will have a couple hours of downtime
in Brooklyn – any recs for what to see in a short time would be awesome!

P.S. I’m trying out some new carry on luggage courtesy of a company called Away (one shown above is Sand). They have one product which is a Carry On style luggage and it’s priced under $250. Their items come in a few colors and it’s equipped with a charging dock in the handle which is awesome. Full review to follow!