Browsing Tag

Bobbi Brown

Eye Makeup

Mascara Hits and Misses

August 4, 2017

Mascara Testing Hits and Misses

I have a new updated mascara roundup. I’ve been trying a few new formulas and have some hits and some misses. The humidity in Florida is pretty high and the sun feels a million times stronger here than it did in San Diego. Finding one that holds up to the humidity has been a process.

  • Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a formula I had purchased from a duo over last holiday. I had it sitting in the box waiting for my other tubes to get used up. I was pleasantly surprised because the reviews with this were mixed. It had zero clumping, defined lashes, volumized, coated evenly, held the curl and had no smudging. For me this is a hit.
  • Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara is one I tried from the Nordstrom Color Twist Set (review here). Huge hit with this one even though the comb is so tiny it looks like it won’t grab lashes. It allows you to get right at the base without touching the skin. This usually isn’t a big deal for me if the mascara is good because a quick clean up with a Q-tip fixes it after application. However this one makes application easier. It volumizes, holds curl and doesn’t smudge.
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof is the first drugstore mascara I’ve actually liked. I’ve tried dozens and end up throwing them all away after 2 uses because they either dry to a grey looking black, smudge or don’t hold the curl. This literally was WOW with the first try. It’s everything I want in a mascara – volume, definition and holds the curl. I absolutely love the waterproof version because there is zero smudging. Blackest Black is the color I tried and it’s a true rich black. It does take more work to remove at the end of the day but is completely worth it. Huge hit.
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara has to be mentioned again even though it’s not new to me because it’s my favorite waterproof mascara. No smudging, holds the curl, volumizes – huge thumbs up. I’ve repurchased this one the most in the past year.
  • Chanel Le Volume Waterproof is another classic. The regular Le Volume is good, but I prefer the Waterproof version because it holds up better in the humidity. This is one of the few rubberized applicators I like – most other brands just don’t do it for me. A classic one for me.
  • Dior Pump N Volume Mascara was a big miss. The first application was decent for volume, holding the curl and having a true rich black color. Every application after that was a clumping disaster – even when I removed excess from the tube by cleaning it. When there’s buildup, every once in a while I’ll take the wand and run it in between a folded piece of paper. It’s just like you would do with a tissue or paper towel but using paper makes it so those cotton fibers from tissue won’t get caught in the bristles. The volume on this one is really good and there are quite a few rave reviews on this one, if it didn’t clump all the time it would be perfect.
  • Serge Lutens Comb Mascara is another miss for me. I had such high hopes for this one as it came highly recommended and the online reviews on the formula were stellar. It has a similar applicator to the Sisley-Paris one. For some reason this Serge Lutens one made my lashes look spidery. It took a while to dry and smudged with a few blinks. After it dried down it had decent staying power but didn’t hold the curl and didn’t have as rich of a black finish as other ones. It wasn’t the worst but there are much better formulas for me out there.

A few notes on other mascaras I’ve loved but didn’t feature in this roundup. Other long-time favs have included the By Terry Mascara Terrybly, Chantecaille Faux Cils, Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. Most of these still work for me in the humid hot weather, I’ve just been rotating through different options recently. If you’ve had your eye on the Chantecaille one I highly recommend you check out the Touch-Up Essentials Set while it’s still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it’s a great deal. The only one that doesn’t work so well for me in humid weather is the By Terry option, but they do have a waterproof version which I want to investigate.

Best Makeup Remover Lancome | The Beauty Look Book

For makeup removal longer lasting formulas and waterproof ones are going to be more difficult to remove in the evenings. Most of these I have to use a multi-step process to take them off in the evenings. Regardless of whether I double cleanse with a cleansing oil or cleansing water, I always use a cotton pad and soak it with eyemakeup remover first. My favorite formula used to be the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover but these days I’ve found it’s just ok. Some of the longer lasting formulas don’t come off anymore with this one and I don’t know if the formula of the makeup remover has changed or if I’m simply finding formulas with better lasting power. Some thing goes for the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It used to be a long-time go to but my last bottle didn’t perform as well as I remember it did in past years. My current go-to is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (available in this value set from Nordstrom here and here). For cotton I’ve tried a number of brands but my favorites are from Chanel and Sephora.

If I had to pick one mascara to use for the rest of the summer that would be a hard choice. I would be able to narrow it down to three: Sisley-Paris, L’Oreal and Tom Ford.

What are your favorite mascaras for the summertime?

 

Eye Makeup Highlighters

Bobbi Brown Peace, Love and Beach Highlighting Powders and Eyeshadow Trio

August 2, 2017

Bobbi Brown Peace, Love and Beach Collection Highlighting Powder and Love Eye Shadow Trio | The Beauty Look Book

For summer Bobbi Brown launched a few mini collections and my favorite one is the Peace, Love and Beach. In this collection are three new Highlighting Powders ($48 each for 0.28 oz/8g), three Eyeshadow Trios ($40 each for 0.25 oz/7.2 g) and two Nail Colors ($16 each). I picked up all of the highlighters in Sunrise Glow, Sunkissed Glow and Tawny Glow and the Love Eye Shadow Trio. At the time I bought these there was a little Beach GWP going on at the counter so I stocked up on a couple glosses as well and was able to try a couple of the Beach body items from the gift.

Up first is the Love Eye Shadow Trio which is the neutral taupe option. At first glance this reminded me of the Tom Ford She Wolf Trio launched a few years ago. Once I compared them at home I found the Bobbi Brown version to be warmer or more on the neutral side. You get a shimmering dark bronze, a glitter silvery taupe and a lovely beige taupe tan shimmer. It’s literally my taupe palette dream come true. I’ve also swatched it next to the Tom Ford Young Adonis Cream Powder Duo for reference (review here).

Texture is smooth for all three. The middle glitter color does have some chunky texture to it because it’s a glitter but it’s very smooth and adheres well to the lids. I had minimal fallout when applying and the shadows stayed put all day long.

Bobbi Brown Love Eyeshadow Bobbi Brown Love Eyeshadow vs Tom Ford She Wolf and Young Adonis swatched

 

Next are the three new Highlighting Powders. I had last year’s versions but never got around to reviewing them. They are really lovely highlighters that have the perfect in between shimmer of subtle and high frost. You can layer for more intensity but applied with a soft hand alone or over blush gives one of the prettiest glows I’ve ever seen. This year’s colors have a similar vibe to last year’s. I’ve swatched them side by side in case you already own them. As a quick note you can find Afternoon Glow in this Nordstrom Set. You can find Telluride and Afternoon Glow individually at Neiman Marcus. These were limited-edition so I don’t think those will be around for long.

New shades are limited-edition as well. This year’s shades are Sunrise Glow a soft warm pink, Sunkissed Glow the perfect subtle bronze shimmer and Tawny Glow a cool-toned mauve shimmer. Each one is just perfect – texture is ultra smooth and they have an almost creamy texture but are definitely powders. Lasting power is impressive and they stayed put for hours. I like to use these on the eyes as well.

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder Swatches

Two looks with the Love Eye Shadow Trio. For the cheeks, on the left is Sunkissed Glow, on the right is Sunrise Glow. I applied them with a light hand alone (just over my foundation/base).

Bobbi Brown Love Peace Beach Look Highlighting Powders

Last but not least a couple thoughts on the Beach items. Bobbi Brown’s Beach scent is one of the best beachy scents I’ve ever smelled. It is fairly strong so I’ve never splurged on the perfume. It has a blend of jasmine, white florals, mandarin and sea spray. The Body Lotion is quite amazing – it’s smooth and soft and transports me to vacation mode (full size here). The Shower Gel is also lovely, but right now it appears you can only find it in the Beach Collection Set. I would have bought the shower gel separately if I could find it but the set seems to be a good deal and I’m seriously considering it especially for the last few weeks of summer. This was part of the GWP I got below:

Bobbi Brown Beach GWP

Bobbi Brown Peace, Love and Beach Collection | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line not really a full color collection, but it has some great options. I’m 100% in love with everything I purchased. When I was at the counter there was a makeover event going on – the highlighters were being applied on women of various ages, 30’s, 40s and 50’s (by my guess) and they looked pretty wearable and naturally glowy on all of them. If you don’t mind glitters the trio is really pretty. I’m almost tempted to get a backup. There’s a pretty beige neutral nail polish I was tempted by, but I swatched it on the counter and it was a bit too warm for my current skintone shade.

You can find the Bobbi Brown Peace, Love and Beach Collection at counters now. All the items are limited-edition. I bought mine at Nordstrom. Also available at Bobbi Brown, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Have you checked these out yet? What’s been your favorite summer beauty collection to date?

 

Loving Right Now

A Few Things I’m Loving Right Now

July 27, 2017

Loving Right Now Replica Beach Walk Dry Oil Spray, Tatcha Body Mist, Sisley White Ginger Oil, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, Sisley Mascara, Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Thursday! Quick roundup post today of some things I’ve been loving lately. Summer is in full swing here and the humidity levels here in Florida keep rising. I’ve experienced summer thunderstorms for the first time and so much here is completely new to me as I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life. Even with the heat, we’ve been loving the sunshine and seeing real weather although lately we’ve stayed indoors to avoid sweating from the heat. At this point in my life fall fashion is something I cannot even start to think of and there are times I wonder if I will ever wear a leather jacket again while in Florida. Seven things I’ve been loving lately:

  1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is the best for me these days with this warm weather. It works for under eyes and redness. The creamy texture melds well with my skin and blends easily with other foundations. For my under eye area it definitely works to give a brightening effect and I like that it doesn’t crease as long as I set it with a good powder. Swatches of Custard, Macadamia and Ginger here.
  2. Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara in Deep Black is just so amazing. I bought it from the Nordstrom Sale reviewed here. I love it for the thickening and deep black color it has. No smudging and it holds the curl. It has the tiniest comb I think I’ve ever seen but it allows me to get the lashes right at the base without touching the skin around the eye area.
  3. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is another winner. I had a tube I bought from a set a while ago still sitting in the box. I was waiting for my other mascaras to hit the 3 month mark to toss them and try some new formulas. This one has no smudging. It lengthens, holds the curl, defines and doesn’t clump. Huge thumbs up.
  4. Replica Beach Walk Dry Body Oil Spray is summer in a bottle! A little goes a long way and even with a lot of spritzing I’ve barely made a dent in this one. The spritzer dispenses the perfect amount of product and sprays it evenly. I use a couple sprays on each leg to cover them entirely. It smells like the perfect beachy vacation. Compared to the perfume this one is almost identical, the oil just has a slightly salty scent to it making it more beach like. It’s just perfect for warm weather.
  5. Tatcha The Body Mist (Limited-Edition) is a new lightweight hydrating body spray. It smells like the Indigo line with a lightweight feel. I’ve used face mists before for moisture but haven’t really explored body mists unless they are oils. This one has a cooling feel and nice lightweight finish. The scent has a calming effect and I love the way it absorbs into the skin in a light way. I wish it weren’t limited-edition as I’d probably like to restock when this is finished, unfortunately by that time it will probably not be around anymore.
  6. Sisley-Paris White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs is one of the most luxurious and most expensive body products I own. I tried this in a sample packet from one of the subscription boxes, fell in love and ordered the full size. The sample packet lasted several days for both legs. I found it had enough uses for me to decide I needed it. At $190 per bottle this is insanely expensive but it feels amazing on the legs and has an energizing feel. Right after I ordered one, the Sisley team sent one in a press package so now I’m double stocked on this. I don’t know how this works in terms of the contouring effects – there are quite a few body creams and lotion on the market that claim to have this effect. I feel like you would have to use this for months to notice results. For me the finish, scent and feel is enough to justify the price. It’s the best silky feeling oil I’ve used on the legs ever. It is emollient but it does absorb into the skin after a few minutes. If you’re looking for an oil with a dry down, this may be too emollient for you.
  7. Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil is something I’ve rediscovered. I’ve been experimenting with the Shu Uemura cleansing oils again and will do a roundup review of all of them in a couple weeks. Right now I’ve been loving the Balancing One as it’s designed for sensitive skin and for me it leaves the skin clean and soft and removes all traces of makeup. There is also a new one called nutri:nectar cleansing oil in emulsion which has a thicker almost gel-like texture so it won’t run into the eyes like most fluid oils. It’s very gentle and effective. A more detailed review to follow on both – but these days double cleansing and starting with a cleansing oil for me is a must. The Shu Uemura team is offering Beauty Look Book readers a promo of 5 deluxe samples and free shipping on orders $50+ with code BLBXSHU (samples include mini laque supreme rd01, mini maxi:hydrability essence-in cream, sakura-rose-petal-mask, ultime8 cleansing oil mini, nutri nectar sample) – promo is valid online at both Shu Uemura USA and Shu Uemura Canada.

Don’t forget there’s still a few more days to enter my Charlotte Tilbury giveaway. Coming up next are reviews on new launches from Chanel and Bobbi Brown. What are you loving right now? Any favorite body care products you rely on during the summer months?

Press samples include the Tatcha Body Mist, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils and Sisley-Paris Ginger Contour Oil.

 

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Summer Foundation and Base Edit

July 7, 2017

Best Summer Foundations for Warm Weather | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have a roundup of foundations and bases I’ve been testing since I’ve moved to Florida where the weather is warm, sunny and humidity levels are very noticeable. By comparison, San Diego is very dry although to me it always felt moderate and what I considered normal. We live in the Tampa Bay area and so far the humidity isn’t quite as bad as I had expected. I’m saying this because in December we drove to Key West which is extremely wet and humid feeling – so humid the air feels like you’re walking around in a sauna. Also a few years ago we took almost a month to travel throughout Europe through Italy and the Mediterranean in late June. It was so scorching hot and humid during out travels I completely gave up wearing makeup on most of the days after trying and failing. That being said, yes Florida is humid and hot and finding a makeup base that stays put, doesn’t budge and that won’t slide off has been a challenge.

To date I haven’t found any makeup base or combination of products can truly 100% last or stand up to serious humidity especially if I sweat. I’m the type of person who doesn’t break a sweat easily but since moving to Florida I start sweating if I’m outside for 5 minutes and there’s no wind or breeze. I’m rounding up what I’ve tested by formula and coverage and note what I’ve found wears the best. Even though it’s humid here the reality is that both Andrew and I are rarely outside for long consecutive hours unless we’re at the beach or a park doing touristy things. Also even on those occasions we can take a break from the heat while in the car with the AC or take a stop at a coffee shop or restaurant.

Up first are the more natural looking foundations with sheer to medium coverage. The most requested reviews I get are for BB Creams and CC creams and I am sad to say that those are products I really do not like. Most feel thick on my skin or look pink in undertone. As one with really yellow/olive skin I can’t do bases that have pink so unfortunately I will probably not review any. Also a quick note on shades – many of you have commented over the years that you’re the same shade as me. Since moving to Tampa I’ve tanned quite a bit – it’s something I can’t avoid. I also lose my tan quickly so my color changes on a weekly basis. Because of this annoying fact I have to mix colors a lot – more than I ever have.

Shown below from left to right:

  • MAC Next to Nothing Face Color is the sheerest base I’ll do. It really has a super natural tint but adheres well to the skin. I fluctuate between Medium and Medium Plus. The shades run on the pink side but since the formula is so sheer it’s really forgiving. Review and swatches of all shades here.
  • Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer with SPF15 is more like a natural foundation. It’s sheer like a tinted moisturizer but gives better coverage than most that I’ve tried. It does contain Octinoxate 7.5% and Titanium Dioxide 3% so if those cause problems for your skin you may want to skip. I had no issues with this formula for my skin. If I were still in San Diego I would probably use this more regularly – since it has a mild moisturizing quality it can get a little bit dewy. I bought mine at Nordstrom but Bobbi Brown Online has more shades available.
  • NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint is one that really surprised me. It’s hydrating but not too rich or heavy. It makes the skin glow naturallyย  Review and swatches of all shades here. It was limited-edition so may be hard to track down.
  • NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 is one you’ll see me wearing a lot in beauty looks or lip swatches. This one has Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3% – it’s one that doesn’t irritate my skin and has a natural looking finish that isn’t too matte, just naturally velvety. I wear St. Moritz now but on my lighter wear Groenland or mix the two.
  • Diorskin Forever Foundation SPF 35 is one of the best foundation bases I’ve ever tried. The only downside is finding a match can be a bit tricky. I tested 30 and 31 first – in store I had one on each side and they both matched perfectly. When I got home and tested again I found they sometimes darkened about a 1/2 shade. 31 is more yellow while 30 is more pink so I kept 31. I went back to find the next shade down which is 21 (even though there are a lot of shades in between). 21 is the most yellow. If you’re normally my skintone go with either 21 or 25. I use both 21 and 31 mixed together to get my perfect match. For me it’s 100% worth it because this looks naturally flawless on the skin and gives me exactly the coverage I want. It also stays put the best for me. It has 3% Octinoxate and 1.75% Titanium Dioxide.

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next up medium to full coverage foundations which is what I usually prefer. Most people, friends and family included don’t realize that I’m almost always wearing a full coverage foundation until they see me with bare skin and see all my freckles. I was active in outdoor sports while in high school and even though that was YEARS ago I still got a lot of freckles and sun spots from being outside a lot. I have tried a number of whitening/brightening treatments over the years which has helped with acne scars and dark spots but I still have a lot of freckles.

Shown left to right:

  • Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer is hands down my most-worn foundation base. It offers medium to full buildable coverage and I love everything about it. For me Tom Ford Beauty has the best foundation shades to match my skin tone. It blends easily and covers my skin exactly how I like it without getting cakey. It lasts an impressive amount of time without sliding, creasing or budging. Review + swatches here.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation is the newest one I’ve tried. I got an early sneak peek at some of the shades and given my challenge finding a match in the Candleglow version I was skeptical about this one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a formula is for a base – if there’s no decent match, it’s going to be a no-go. I was lucky to find my match to either Buff or Dusk. Right now Dusk is the better match because it’s more olive. On a few occasions I have found I need to mix in a bit of Macadamia to lighten it just a slight amount. I am extremely impressed with this formula. You do need to blend quickly as it dries and sets in a short amount of time. Once it sets it gives a flawless finish that looks matte but not flat. This is one of the few true matte finishes I’ve tried that I like the look of. I’ve found it pretty budge-proof – this is one I wore this on the 4th of July. I applied a fresh face of makeup in the early evening before we headed downtown to scope out some firework locations. I had this on from 4:00 pm until around midnight. That evening the air wasn’t too and we were thrilled that it actually stopped raining by the time we found parking and walked a mile to downtown. After looking around the Channelside area we decided downtown was not for us so we walked back to our car and drove to Hyde Park Village for dinner. After we then walked another mile to Bayshore Boulevard to watch the fireworks. All this rambling is to explain how this formula held up. The humidity was probably the highest I’ve felt here to date – this one held up remarkably well although I did get very glowy looking, it did not slide off or budge.
  • Giorgio Armani Power Fabric is another long-lasting full coverage foundation that works well in this heat. Before I had to mix 4 and 6. Right now I’m probably 6.5 which is more golden, but I can make 6 work. If you can find a shade match this an exceptionally good one for lasting power.
  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick is one of my top picks for foundation sticks in this humidity. While in San Diego in my winter skintone I wore Warm Ivory. I’ve since moved up to Nude but only use this on areas I need extra coverage. It does warm up/darken a little. Right now I could probably use the next shade up but since I don’t use this all over my face I haven’t bought it yet.

Medium to Full Coverage Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Medium to Full Coverage Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next are cushions. I’ve always been interested in cushions but testers usually look pretty gross and also finding the right shade can be a challenge. Korean brands tend to run pink (at least the ones I’ve tried) but I’ve had luck with a few in the past. The best thing about the cushions is that they usually come with a refill pack so you’re getting 1 plus a backup. Right now there are 3 cushions I really like:

  • Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion is one I featured in my sunscreen story. It has SPF 50 and isn’t really a foundation but actually a skincare product. I can use this alone or as a base for other foundations. I think the swatches can be a bit misleading because you have to put this on your skin to see how it matches. 30 looks way too dark for me but because it’s sheer it blends in seamlessly with my skin.
  • Saturday Skin All Algow Sunscreen Perfecting Cushion Compact with SPF 50 is probably the best cushion I’ve tried. I ordered two shades online sight unseen. 05 Honey is my match as this darkens just a tiny bit on my skin. Color selection is pretty limited – so far I’ve only been able to find 4 total, 3 are available at Nordstrom and all 4 are available at Urban Outfitters. It offers medium to full coverage but pulls more towards the full size. It gives the skin a very natural looking glow without being too dewy. It also stays put and doesn’t budge. Active Ingredients are Octocrylene 2%, Octyle Methoxycinnamate 7%, Octyle Saliclate 4.8%, Titanium Dioxide 9%, Zinc Oxide 2%.
  • Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion has full coverage with limited shades. I bought the Brightening Version while in New York in 25 and 33 and after testing them at home was so disappointed to find they are simply too pink for my skin. I ordered the Perfecting Cushion in 25 to try instead which has fuller coverage and a better match. This darkens about one full shade on my skin. The formula is a bit on the heavy side for my preference but still holds up well in warm weather. I don’t hate this but don’t love it – I suspect it’s due to the fact that I don’t have a 100% shade match but I can make Shade 25 Deep Beige work for me.

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion | The Beauty Look Book

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next are a few miscellaneous items I love for powders, concealers and a couple tools. I own a lot of loose powders but in general prefer pressed ones because they’re not as messy and easier for touch ups.

Best Pressed Powders, Concealers and Tools | The Beauty Look Book

For pressed powders:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder has one of the longest product names I think I’ve ever seen but it’s seriously THE best pressed powder I’ve tried. I saw this applied in action on my BFF at a Charlotte Tilbury event. Her foundation/base had completely worn off already and she told the artist she didn’t really want to try the foundation. The artist applied #1 on her skin and it was literally transformed into a smooth flawless canvas in front of my eyes. My shade is #2 and although I think she could add more options this one has been my go-to for at least a couple years now.
  • Armani Luminous Silk Compact Dual-Use Powder is another great setting powder. This one has more color options compared to the Charlotte Tilbury. It offers medium natural coverage and comes with a dual-sided sponge so you can either apply it for sheer or more full coverage. I use a powder brush to set my liquid foundation with this one for the most part. The sponge is something I use for touch ups. Even though I’ve darkened quite a bit I’ve still found Shade #4 to work perfectly for me.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is one of the few mineral powders I actually like. I tried so many when mineral powders were in – so many just looked too heavy on the skin, even after buffing it in. This one offers medium coverage and I use a brush to set my foundation. It gives an airbrushed finish but it’s not completely weightless in feel. It is a very natural looking product though and holds up well with the heat/humidity.

For concealers, I really don’t find myself using concealer a lot anymore. I simply don’t need it with good coverage foundations but my 3 most-used ones:

Concealer Swatches Cle de Peau Beaute, MUFE, NARS | The Beauty Look Book

Tools, an updated brush tool series coming up soon on the blog, but for now my two must-haves:

  • beautyblender is the best foundation application tool I’ve used. I’ve tried a number of the different colors and while technically they should all perform the same, I don’t find they do. The best ones for me are the original beautyblender (bright pink), bubble and nude. Review from a few years ago in this post here.
  • MAC Brush 140 S Synthetic Full Fan Brush is probably the best powder brush I own. It launched with the MAC Next to Nothing collection and has the perfect density and softness to pick up powder and apply it in a sweeping motion all over the face.

I wasn’t able to face swatch and photograph all the foundations, but here’s a look at two and also what my bare face looks like. With the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Dusk I’m just wearing the foundation (no powder to set). It was taken with a low flash and I didn’t get any white cast or flashback. Lipstick is MAC Faux.

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer photographs the best in my experience. This was also taken with a flash and I’m facing a sliding glass door so some natural light is on my face. Lipstick worn here is Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk (you can also see it on me when I was a shade lighter here).

Foundation Face Swatches Tom Ford and Laura Mercier | The Beauty Look Book

I hope this roundup was helpful for you! A few notes on other formulas I tested, previous favorites and why I don’t use them as much now:

  • The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer worked better for me when I was in San Diego. Right now it’s really too dewy for my skin type. It’s still a great product for sheer coverage.
  • The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD is still an amazing line for the liquid and stick foundation. I used my shades up the first month I arrived here (this was back in March). Since I’ve gotten darker I haven’t had a chance to investigate other shades to find what my current match is.
  • The Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is too luminous for me right now. Earlier in the spring or even when I was here in December it worked perfectly. Right now it’s a no-go just because I have normal/combo skin.
  • I will be testing the new Diorskin Forever and Chanel Les Beiges cushions. Will keep you posted. I have tried the Lancome Cushion but it’s really heavy in coverage – too heavy for me.
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid is one of the most full coverage foundations I’ve tried, I do like the formula but it’s a bit too opaque for me on its own. I can wear it and find it has impressive lasting power in this heat but I need to mix it with a Strobe Cream or something along those lines to sheer it out for my coverage preference.

Some final thoughts and favorites:

  • Best foundation for me is anything from Tom Ford, but right now my favorite formula is definitely the Waterproof Foundation/Concealer. I used to use Bisque. Now I alternate between Natural (more neutral) and Sable (more olive/yellow).
  • Longest lasting matte base is the new Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion. If you have normal to dry skin definitely make sure your skin is well moisturized or add a hydrating primer. Reason for this is it’s medium to full coverage and matte formulas can emphasize lines. For me this one went on flawlessly without a primer but my skin is a bit more combination with the heat/humidity.
  • My most-used concealer is from NARS.
  • Best sheer/natural looking foundation is the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint.
  • Best new discoveries this year for me are the Diorskin Forever Foundation and Saturday Skin All Aglow Cushion.
  • I really can’t pick 1 favorite powder (sorry!) – it’s tie between the Charlotte Tilbury and Armani. If you want a flawless truly airbrushed look go with the Charlotte Tilbury. However shades areย  limited as there are only 3 so the next best option is Armani. The Armani has sheerer coverage with a brush.
  • For other touch ups and this heat I swear by the Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers. While my in-laws were visiting we went to Orlando. All of us were sweating with the heat, humidity and thunder showers. I kinda forced them to use these – even my husband didn’t want to use it, he looked at the little square and said “there’s no way that’s going to help.” I gave them 2 each and assured them it really would help and after they tried it I was really happy to find that they did feel a lot better after using them.

Finding a good base in truly humid weather is going to be a challenge and results will definitely vary depending where you are located. Even within the Tampa Bay area humidity levels vary depending on how close I am to the coast. We live in one of the canal areas and while we aren’t directly on the bay we can see if from our house. Temperatures just a few miles inland in certain areas fluctuate and since the weather changes by the hour here so there are some times and places where it’s so hot literally nothing will truly stay put.

For those who are looking for a new base to try I hope this gave you some good ideas. If you have any you swear by let me know in the comments!

Press samples featured include the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, MAC Next to Nothing, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, MAC Brush 140S Brush. All others purchased by me.

Beauty Favorites Loving Right Now Roundup

Spring Neutrals and Staples

May 16, 2017

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

I’m obsessed with fresh pretty neutrals for spring and I have a roundup today of some old and new things in beauty. Over the past few months some new formulas in lips, eyes and cheeks have launched and of course I had to check out the nude options. I feel like we didn’t really see any trends for spring makeup but rather more mini launches and a lot of reformulations on products. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom today to share a look at some things I’m loving right now along with some first impressions on new formulas.

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

First up my favorite category for lips. I’m a gloss girl at heart even with the liquid lip trend still going strong. I have dozens of neutrals and even though so many are similar I just can’t get enough. Glosses are more forgiving on dry lips compared to lipsticks or liquid lipsticks. A few I’ve been obsessed with, shown below left to right:

My most-used lip liner these days is MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare – it’s the perfect go with everything kind of rosy tone. MAC repackaged their Lipglass and changed some of the colors. I’ll do a full review soon but for now the neutrals I have top to bottom are Love Nectar, Spice, Lust, Beaux and Oh Baby.

All of these have medium coverage that shows up on the lips with the exception of Bobbi Brown Buff which is on the sheerer side.

Nude Lipglosses from Chanel, Burberry, Bobbi Brown and MAC | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches below (I added Chanel Caramel to the mix). If you’re looking for a less expensive option to the Chanel Caramel or Caresse, I’d say MAC Lust and Spice are pretty close in color. I do think the Chanel formula is superior, the MAC ones can settle in lip lines if you don’t have a base, liner or lipstick underneath. (My go-to lip base is the MAC Prep+Prime Lip.)

Neutral Lipglosses from Chanel, Burberry, Bobbi Brown and MAC | The Beauty Look Book

Next for eyes, I still think one of the best neutral shadow palettes is Urban Decay Naked2 but I’m always looking forward to new formulas and colors. Chanel launched two new formulas called Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow and Ombre Premiere Longwear Cream Eyeshadow. I ordered three sight unseen and WOW they are truly long-wearing. In the powder I ordered Flesh which is a satiny soft champagne with a very soft finely milled sheen. It’s just gorgeous! For the creams I ordered Scintillance, a peachy champagne and Undertone, a neutral brown taupe. Both have the most beautiful shimmer I’ve ever seen.

The powder has a super soft texture and has rich pigment that is easy to blend. It wears well alone or over the cream. The creams have a stiffer texture than you’d normally think of in a cream but the color is easy to pick up and blend with the little brush or with fingers. These stayed put all day from morning to evening through a hot day (it ranged from 80’s to low 90’s). I have dry lids so I don’t recommend layering the creams over each other – they set quickly to a long-wear finish without any emollient texture. I do think any powder layered over them quickly will help intensify the powder color.

I also checked out the NARS counter recently and a Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros caught my eye. I don’t know if it’s new or an older color but it’s a soft copper bronze. For those who want a tiny bit of shimmer but not frost this is a great option.

Chanel Ombre Premiere Cream and Powder, NARS Velvet Shadow Stick | The Beauty Look Book

After playing around with the new Chanel and NARS I thought they looked really similar to some Tom Ford and Burberry options I had. I had to pull them out to compare for you. There are similarities but the formulas and finishes are very different. I love the Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes but I know some of you find them a bit too emollient in which case I’d recommend you check out the Chanel Ombre Premiere because they stay put longer. The Burberry Eye Contour Shadow Stick in Pale Copper has more shimmer and is more pigmented compared to the NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros.

Chanel Ombre Premiere Cream and Powder, NARS Velvet Shadow Stick | The Beauty Look Book

For cheeks my go-to neutral blush is the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in First Love. It has the prettiest soft sheen and two colors to swirl together. I loved the formula so much I bought almost all the colors. It occurred to me that I never swatched them all so I’ve added them below. My next favorite is Ecstasy which is a pretty peach option.

Bobbi Brown launched these new Glow Sticks which are cream twist up sticks. I fell in love with Island at the counter because of the pretty soft gold sheen it has. They are emollient similar to the texture of the RMS Mix Master and Living Luminizer so if you can wear those you will like this formula/texture. If you’re super oily you may want to skip or try before you buy. On my skin Island has a barely there kind of glow. I’ve gotten tan so this one almost matches my skin tone. I wore it under blush the other day and it stayed put without getting oily. I haven’t tested it by itself yet but will keep doing so in the upcoming weeks.

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic First Love and Bobbi Brown Glow Stick Island | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swatches and Bobbi Brown Glow Stick Island | The Beauty Look Book

Ouai launched a new Rose Hair and Body Oil and it comes in a pink tinted oil. I’m obsessed with this as a body oil. Compared to the original Hair Oil the Rose version has a less powdery scent and has a lighter more fluid texture. For the hair I feel the original Hair Oil is more versatile to use as a pre or post styling treatment. For the Rose version I tried it several different ways – the best results for me were to use it on the ends of either towel dried hair or blow dry hair that was about 70 to 80% dry. Sometimes I just want my roots to dry first so it doesn’t irritate my scalp but I want the rest of my hair to air dry. Leaving it on ends of damp hair left the hair looking soft and shiny. A little goes a very long way – it’s fluid and absorbs quickly so I thought I wasn’t getting enough the first few tries, I applied too much and it left my hair looking stringy. I only use 1 pump and evenly distribute. On the body it leaves the skin feeling lightly hydrated and soft. It’s a win for me.

Ouai Hair Oil and new Rose Hair and Body Oil | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a few beauty staples that I love from Tom Ford Beauty. I’ve been playing around with different bases for the past few months but regardless of weather the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer wins. The name makes it seem like it might be too opaque or too heavy, but I assure you it’s not. It is full coverage but looks very natural, doesn’t cake, doesn’t oxidize and lasts all day. I love the finish and the colors in the Tom Ford line are always great for my olive/yellow skintone. My most-worn neutral polish is Sugar Dune which I highly recommend. It’s the best neutral nude pink with good smooth coverage. You do need 2 to 3 coats but the color is perfect and formula is excellent. With the hot humid weather more mascaras have started to smudge on me. The Waterproof Extreme Mascara is pure love. I need to buy another tube soon because this one is hitting the 3 month mark. It volumizes, holds the curl, doesn’t smudge and lengthens. Last but not least I think the best nude lipstick from Tom Ford is the Lips and Boys Lipstick in Bradley. I’ve featured it so many times on the blog – it’s the perfect peachy beige neutral and doesn’t wash me out. I lost mine and after looking for it for a week decided it was lost for good and bought another one.

Quick beauty look with:

Neutral Makeup | the beauty look book

Spring Beauty and Neutral Makeup | The Beauty Look Book

That rounds up my latest testing of spring neutrals and new beauty launches from Nordstrom. I hope you enjoyed and if you’re on the hunt for a good neutral nude lip gloss I hope the side by side swatches help! Also be sure to check out their Gift With Purchase page. There are a lot of great GWPs going on ๐Ÿ™‚

Shop the Post

 

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Ouai Hair Oil (original). All others purchased by me.

On My Radar Roundup

On My Radar / New In Beauty

May 13, 2017

On My Radar New Launches Ouai Rose Oil, La Mer Oil | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Weekend! A little roundup today of some things I have on my radar with new beauty launches. Most of the time these roundups are simply things on my radar that have caught my attention. I don’t always decide to purchase or feature everything, especially if I have a chance to test briefly in store. This round though I can say right now that I will be featuring at least 8 of the things shown. I’m feeling all kinds of neutral rose tones these days and love that there are some really pretty new neutrals out.

  • Ouai Rose Hair and Body Oil just launched and I could not be more excited. I found this in a trio at my local Sephora (haven’t seen it online yet) so I was able to try it before it officially launched in the full size online. It has a wonderful scent of soft rose mixed with bergamot, lychee and white musk. I previously reviewed the Hair Oil and wasn’t the biggest fan of the scent. I put it aside but started using it again and I’ve found that I like it now. The classic scent is better suited for warm weather for me, however the new Rose Hair and Body Oil scent is much better. Full review to follow, it’s silicone-free.
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts is another new launch, I’ve been such a huge fan of his Purifying Scrub and Cleansing Mask with Lemon, I know I need to try this. I have a list going in my shopping cart because the stores near me don’t appear to carry it.
  • La Mer Glowing Body Oil is something I tried at the counter last week and fell in love. I was so surprised to find that the counter rep told me it had sold out everywhere. I checked online and sure enough it was either sold out or on backorder.
  • Joie A La Plage Nice Sandals have been on my radar for months but I didn’t know what size I would be, depending on color I fit both the 6.5 and 7, I now have these in three colors – they’re perfect for warm weather!
  • Becca x Chrissy Teigan Glow Face Palette is beyond gorgeous, I’ll be reviewing this one soon.
  • Louboutin Metalinudes Nail Polishes are a nail polish lover’s dream come true, I ordered all three shades and can’t wait to start playing with them!
  • The Daily Edited Pouches in Taupe and Hazelnut are some of the prettiest neutrals I’ve seen, I’ve been going back and forth debating which colors to order, you can monogram them too!
  • One of my readers @ddelriobud messaged me to look into And Other Stories Candles – she said she found a Diptyque Figuier dupe! I don’t have a store near me but I’m dying to check these out now!
  • A lot of you ask what the tinted sunglasses I have are, they’re from J.crew in the Irving Style, but the blush color is sold out, you can still find that color in other styles like the Sam (shown) or the Franny as well
  • Chanel launched new eyeshadows in the Ombre Premiere Longwear Cream Shadow and Powder Formula, I ordered a couple of both formulas to test, stay tuned for the review! (and yes, I still have summer picks I will review as well)
  • Bobbi Brown Glow Sticks launched for summer, the rep at the counter said they are long wearing and won’t get greasy, it has a dewy feel (based on counter swatching) but I haven’t tried it on my face yet, I picked up Island which is a shimmery nude gold and will keep you posted

What’s on your radar this weekend? Anything you’ve been loving right now?

 

What's In My Bag

Spring Makeup Bag Update

March 27, 2017

Spring Makeup Update | The Beauty Look Book

Now that spring is officially here, everything in my wardrobe including my makeup and skincare have been going through a bit of an update. As always I find one of my favorite ways to update my look is to focus on new colors for lips and cheeks. There are a new launches I’ve been mixing into my weekly beauty routine and I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some colors I think will be great for the spring transition.

Up first are some cheek products – I’ve really been obsessed with all things from Tom Ford Beauty. As part of the Summer Soleil collection, they launched a Sheer Illuminating Cheek Duo in Reflects Gilt. Even though I own so many other highlighters I find this one unique in the formula and color. It gives the skin a luminous sheen and it can also be used on the eyes. Tom Ford also revamped all their Powder Blushes. I have not yet had a chance to investigate the new formula in all the colors in detail but a quick look at the counter did prove the shades have changed a little. I have two new shades I bought include Inhibition (a perfect peachy nude) and Gratuitous (a mauve plum). They have a very subtle sheen in the pan but the shimmer does not really show up on the skin. Both have smooth medium buildable pigment and apply beautifully on the face. I like that they’re neutrals, but not nude. Also they have color that shows upย  on the skin but they don’t darken or oxidize on me.

Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Inhibition, Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Inhibition, Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Gratuitous (plum) on the left and Inhibition (peach) on the right. I’m wearing Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque.

Tom Ford Blush in Inhibition and Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Next is my favorite category: new lip colors. I love a good glossy lip because the formulas are usually more hydrating, smooth and soft. They’re also more forgiving when it comes to fading as the day progresses. If you splurge on one item, I would again say go with anything from Tom Ford. I really love the Lips and Boys lipsticks, Bradley is the perfect nude (shown in the photo above with Inhibition Blush). For summer they launched Clutch-Sized Lip Balms in bright sheers. They feel really good on the lips and the colors add a nice healthy flush of color that is super natural but fun.

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup bag from Tory Burch.

If you’re a gloss kind of person, Chanel Rouge Coco Glosses are new. They come in a wide range of colors and finishes. If I could pick only one color, Tendresse is my favorite purchase because it’s rosy and gives the face a brightened effect.

YSL launched their Volupte Tint-In-Balms which have been nearly impossible to find because they keep selling out. I managed to order three shades in 1 Dream Me Nude, 2 Tease Me Pink and 3 Call Me Rose. These resemble the Volupte Sheer Candy, but the new Volupte Tint-In-Balms are supposed to be a lipstick balm hybrid with a bit more color. They have that amazing passionfruit scent and go on smooth but sheer. I was surprised to see color but if you don’t like sheer colors you may want to opt for the brighter ones (I bought mine sight unseen). I personally love these and definitely want a couple more of the brighter ones.

For something different I also picked a few of the new Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip colors. The packaging is super cute – they look like a chubby stick but it’s a squeeze tube for a super opaque creamy liquid lipstick. The finish is semi-matte but gives you full coverage. As one who really doesn’t like semi-matte finishes I’m undecided about these. They are comfortable on the lips but a little goes a long way, so the first few times I applied, I really overdid it. Pigment is incredible and they don’t dry down like traditional liquid lipsticks. Colors are on the bold side.

Last but not least, I bought the YSL Lip Perfector a couple months ago. It’s supposed to be a multipurpose product that nourishes, soothes and enhances your natural lip color. For me it’s a basic lip balm that feels nice and does a good job of hydrating the lips. It doesn’t do anything for my natural lip color (it applies clear and stays clear), but I have no regrets purchasing and it does work nicely under lipstick if you feel your lips are dry. That being said I still prefer the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade.

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

For the eyes, I picked up the YSL The Shock Mascara and many of you wanted to know my thoughts. I really like it! On me it doesn’t clump, it defines well, it holds the curl and it doesn’t smudge. So based on this it’s a thumbs up for me because so many mascaras either don’t hold the curl or smudge. I do wish it did a better job at volumizing because I have wimpy lashes, but I can get more volume by layering. I’ve featured the new MAC In the Flesh Eyeshadow palette a few times already but felt it was worth re-mentioning because I find it really versatile and wearable for everyday. I love the color combinations and find it easy to wear. It’s one of those palettes I feel is an effortless kind of palette to wear. Another item I’ve had on repeat is the Burberry Eye Color Contour in Pale Copper. It’s a shimmering bronze shade that is one I can wear on it’s own and feel like I’ve added depth, color and dimension to the eyes. I’ve been on the hunt for this color in powder form, but for now the cream version works for me.

MAC In the Flesh, YSL The Shock, Lancome Primer | The Beauty Look Book

MAC In The Flesh and Burberry Pale Copper | The Beauty look book

Right now Lancome has a gift with purchase at Nordstrom so I restocked on a couple items and picked up one thing new. Cleansing water in general is something I really love and use on a regular basis. I use it to double cleanse because it helps remove all traces of makeup. I’ve tried a number but the Lancome Micellar Cleansing Water remains one of my favorites because it’s gentle, effective and doesn’t leave a film on the skin. I have lost count of how many times I’ve repurchased! For a lash base/primer, many of you recommended I try the Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer as a base coat to help add volume and I loved it so much I bought a second tube. Also because I’m going to need a good primer now that I’ve moved to Florida, I decided to give the La Base Pro a try (it has an overwhelming number of positive reviews). Fingers crossed it doesn’t break me out. Quick note – with this GWP there are options to choose from so there’s a promo code you’ll need to enter at checkout. Minimum purchase is $39.50 but there’s also a step up.

Be sure to check their Beauty Gifts with Purchase page as well – they often have good promos there from other brands, sometimes there will be a good sampler bag with a larger purchase.

Nordstrom Lancome GWP March 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps it up for my first spring makeup roundup! As I go finish up testing more skincare and sunscreens I’ll have more roundups in the upcoming weeks. I’ve already had quite a few items I’ve been testing for the past month since I moved and hope to share the hits and misses as I progress. Do you change your routine as spring rolls around? What do you have in your spring makeup bag right now?

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include the Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Fathom and Bradley. All other items purchased by me.