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.
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!
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
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?
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 up on the skin but they don’t darken or oxidize on me.
Gratuitous (plum) on the left and Inhibition (peach) on the right. I’m wearing Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The holidays are approaching and if you’ve started to look for gifts I have a roundup of some super cute beauty gifts under $50. There are tons of great gift sets and minis at Nordstrom and I’ve teamed up with them to share some of my favorites. I like their site because it’s easy to shop their gift section and filter by pretty much any category like him, her, kids, home and also by price point.
Up first are some cute lip sets which I actually want to keep for myself. I love the minis because they’re a great way to try tons of colors, you can use them up quickly or you can split them up for stocking stuffers or little gift bags. Three that caught my eye include: the Clinique Tiny Temptations which as 20 minis of their Chubby Stick in the most adorable pink tin, Fresh Sugar Lip Charmers which has 4 mini lip balms, and the Fresh Sugar Bliss Cracker. There are tons of options from both brands under the $50 price point so I’ll link them below.
Kiehl’s always has the best skincare sets for both men and women. It’s one line my husband loves and he got into the line when I bought him a starter set a few years ago. Since then I’ve bought quite a few for him, my brother and my brother-in-law. This year they have great eye-catching packaging. I picked up the Jeremyville Healthy Skin For Him (it’s only $26) and also the Must-Haves Mini Masque Set. (I’m keeping the mask trio for me!) Sometimes finding universally appealing gifts are challenging. If you’re the type who wants to get multiples of the same sets for all your loved ones to make things easy, I really don’t think you can go wrong with Kiehl’s.
A closer look at the masks – have you tried these? I cannot wait to test them out!
Rounding up some more gift sets, all still under $50 although there are more options online at higher price points if you want to splurge 🙂
For the hair lover, two favorites are the Drybar and Moroccanoil. They have great minis and this year the Drybar has the Four-Pack with the Money Maker Hairspray, Sparkling Soda Shine Mist, Detox Dry Shampoo and Tripe Sec Spray. You can buy the minis separately (most of them start at $13 each) but the set gives you a price break with some savings. Moroccanoil has a cute mini Moroccanoil Ornament for $15. There are also some nice value gift sets this holiday. It’s my husband’s favorite line and one of mine as well. He likes it so much he uses the hydrating shampoo and conditioner to wash our dogs so they smell good (yes I’m horrified he does this!).
Jo Malone, Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown all have great beauty gifts to choose from as well. Jo Malone always created the most elegant splurge gifts. Most are on the spendy side but there are a few options under $50, one is the Christmas Cracker Set which has a mini Mimosa and Cardamom Body Cream, Basil and Neroli Cologne, Blackberry and Bay Body Wash. For the vanilla or sweet scent lover, Laura Mercier has the Hand and Body Creme Collection for $32. This year’s set has Almond Coconut Milk Hand & Body Crème, Ambre Vanillé Hand & Body Crème, Crème Brûlée Hand & Body Crème and Tarte au Citron Hand & Body Crème. For the mascara lover Bobbi Brown Party All Night Duo has the No Smudge and Eye Opening Mascara. I love the Eye Opening one and wanted to buy it anyways to stock up so I picked up the duo to try the other one.
Last but not least MAC and Nordstrom have an exclusive Nutcracker Sweet Nude Mineralize Kit. It has a mini mineralize skinfinish, full size mineralize lipstick and lipgloss in a bright zipped makeup bag. My friends love MAC and a handful ask for something MAC-related every year for Christmas. There are tons of great options in makeup, sets, minis and brushes. This one is one of my favorites but if you’re a nude pink lip lover be sure to check out the Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Kit too.
That wraps up my Nordstrom Beauty Holiday Gift Picks for sets and minis under $50. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to check their Gift With Purchase page as it gets updated frequently. If you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments. Please note that I’m working to get the comment section up and working – my site is going through some updates this week and there are areas I’m working to get fixed. If you have issues – shoot me an e-mail email@example.com and let me know what errors if any you’re seeing.
Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!
Many of you have asked for a review on this year’s edition of the Bobbi Brown Beauty Case ($160, limited-edition) and today I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share what I can fit inside it. This is a new travel case for the holiday season with two zippered tiers and compartments to house anything from makeup, skincare, beauty tools and travel-sized minis.
There have been various launches of the Bobbi Brown train case over the years in different materials, colors and set options. The first one I received was the classic black leather one back in the 2002 time frame and it has special meaning to me. My boyfriend bought it for me when we first started dating (now my husband). He picked it up while in London at the airport and was so excited when he came back to the US that he had found something he knew I would get a lot of use out of. He said “it can hold all your makeup!” It was just so thoughtful and since we had only been dating for under a year I was so surprised he would know to even look for something like that as a gift for me. I was even more touched that he carried it on the plane all the way from London. It’s held up remarkably well and I’ve carried it on the plane (without liquids of course) and also on other occasions packed in my suit case.
This year’s version comes in a rich burgundy faux patent leather material. As with most patent materials it will be on the more delicate side so you will need to be careful about it touching materials that could have color transfer. Fingerprints will show so I’d recommend using clean hands to handle it, but I would recommend that for any type of leather good whether it’s patent or not. It is well made though and very sturdy so I do believe it will hold up well. The color is simply gorgeous.
It’s the exact same in size as the previous cases on the exterior measuring approximately 9 inches wide, 5.75 inches tall and 5.75 inches deep. The configuration inside is a bit different in this year’s version as the top portion has a horizontal separator to help keep items in place and the base has no pockets. The top of the lid does have a pocket to store items. It has another elastic pocket inside which can hold your brushes in place.
If you’ve followed me for a while you will know that I pack a lot with me on travel and even in my daily or weekly bag I tend to accumulate a lot with me. Many of you are amazed that I’m able to pack so much in limited spaces – it does take careful placement and maneuvering like Tetris to make things fit in a way that as little space is wasted, but you can fit a lot inside a suitcase or travel case if you arrange things in a certain way. I’ve included a wide variety of items, brands and products I would actually travel with to see what I could fit in the Beauty Case. As usual I’ve found that this little case can house a lot of items from face and base makeup, blush, highlighters, skincare, brushes, lip color, eyeshadow, powders, mascara, gloss, eyeliner and an eyelash curler. As I’ve used my black travel case on numerous occasions and weekend getaway trips I really find it to be perfect.
If you’ve been eyeing the Bobbi Brown Beauty Case for holiday I hope this gives you an idea of what kinds of things you can fit inside. I think it’s great for travel or mini getaways – especially if you’ll have some trips coming up for the holiday season for family get-togethers you can store a little bit of everything inside. I’ve used mine on mini trips ranging from 3 days to a full week. It’s worked for me on road trips as well. I’m glad she re-launched the case in a new version this year. I would still love for it to be a permanent addition to the line. It is on the pricey side but I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my black leather one (going on 15 years now!) and it’s held up really well.
You can find the Bobbi Brown Beauty Case right now at Nordstrom. Don’t forget to check out the Gift with Purchase page as they do update their special offers section frequently.
This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. Press samples featured include the Armani Prima, Kate Somerville Dilo Oil, Kate Somerville Eye Serum, MAC Liptensity, Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick. As always all opinions my own.
As we transition to the fall season I feel a shift in my mood for makeup to cooler tones and my fragrance preference has changed for deeper more complex kinds of scents. I always look forward to new launches and beauty trends for fall and this season has brought quite a few smaller mini collections rather than color-themed launches (with a few exceptions). There doesn’t appear to be any “it” color this season and if right now you’re unsure of what to wear for the upcoming fall season I say go for anything! I really don’t think you can go wrong with any color this season whether it’s shopping your own stash or adding a new lip or nail color. Mauves and plums will always be a classic go-to for the fall and will be wearable all the way through winter. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to round up some of my favorite timeless and classic colors. If you can’t wear purplish plums on the lips or cheeks, you may want to opt for light to neutral mauves or reddish plums which I feel are easier to pull off.
Since everyone has different interests and preferences for what they like in beauty, I’ve split the beauty recommendations by category for lips, cheeks, nails, eyes and fragrance. Many of you have asked for a full dedicated feature on fall fragrance for perfumes and one for home fragrance – I promise to have one on each very soon! I’m testing a few more items and will hope to have reviews over the next two weeks.
Up first are the lip recommendations, my personal favorite. Quite a few of you have asked for neutral light pink-mauve lip recommendations for colors that won’t turn too blue or fuchsia on the lips. I have a wide range from light to deep that I like.
MAC Lipstick in Modesty has been a classic light pink mauve lip color. It’s similar to Syrup which is another very pretty color. Modesty has a bit more warmth with more pink. The coverage is more opaque as well. They’re very close – some of my friends have told me they can’t wear Syrup because it’s a bit too cool toned, in that case opt for Modesty!
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors are relatively new to me. I discovered them this year and Bobbi is one of the newest shades that is a grege-beige color that doesn’t wash me out. It’s creamy and gives the lips full coverage with one swipe.
Diptyque repackaged their Nourishing Lip Balm in tube format this season. It has a nicely hydrating formula that’s thick and coats the lips with a veil of moisture. In terms of clear squeeze tube balms I think the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is still my favorite for sensitive lips that can’t tolerate scent. Both are very good though.
Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector #08 is a pretty warm deep plum red. Finish is sheer to medium. The color is deeper and brighter than the rest of the shades in the formula so this shows up better on the lips.
Chanel Rouge Allure Ink just launched in eight shades. Most are very bright and vibrant – I bought the only neutral which isn’t plum or mauve. Amoureux is a pinky peach color. The verdict is still out on this one. I’ll have a more detailed review soon but for now below is a sneak preview swatch.
Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Recit is one of the prettiest plum reds I’ve tried before. This formula is excellent and I highly recommend it. All the shades are phenomenal in that range.
Next are cheeks. I’m sure by now many of you are already well stocked on plums or mauves for lips. For me finding a coordinating cheek color has been tricky. I used to always gravitate towards peaches, corals or bronze for the cheeks for the summer and finding a good versatile cheek color to go with any variation of plum/mauve was tricky but I have managed to find three.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure is one I find goes well with the lighter mauve lips or darker lips. For something a bit more neutral with brown and pink mixed in is Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Sex on Fire. It has the prettiest soft glow to it (not overly shimmery) so it wears very naturally on the skin while adding color and depth. MAC Blush in Plum Foolery is a classic shimmery plum. The gold shimmer adds an interesting warmth to the skin which I find naturally flattering. In the event you don’t do shimmer on the cheeks, you may want to check out MAC Breath of Plum for a matte version.
For a good natural highlight and contour, I don’t think it gets more classic than the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. It goes with everything for me and I love the packaging. The texture is really soft and blendable so it won’t give you a harsh contoured look or sharp frost.
For eyes I love a good neutral shimmer whether it’s tan, taupe, pink or bronze. Two favorites have been the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia (tan) and Telesto (bronze). For fall NARS launched a shimmery warm pink Rigel. These work well as an easy all over wash to brighten the eyes. Mascara wise I’ve raved about the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. I just bought a second tube for my on-the-go makeup bag. It thickens, volumizes, holds the curl and doesn’t smudge. It has a big fluffy brush which grabs my skimpy lashes and coats them evenly. I’m so glad I discovered it! Lash curling is always a must and I still find that the MAC Full Lash Curler has been performing really well for my eye shape.
Three shades shown above swatched below alongside a few other colors:
For nails I have yet to see an “it” polish color for fall. I think the two classics you can never go wrong with are a good vamp in which case Chanel Vamp is a classic or a classic nude pink. For me the two best neutral nude pinks are Chanel Organdi or Tom Ford Sugar Dune (paler on me). A new dark almost-black shade called Gris Obscur launched with the Lip Inks. I spotted it in store at counters so it should be available online very soon.
Last but not least are a few fragrances. As mentioned above I’ll have a full fall fragrance line up but these are three I’ll be transitioning from season to season. First is the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb which I still think is the perfect date night fragrance and the one my husband loves the most on me. It’s one I consider very mainstream but one I think is just so so good in a spicy floral kind of way. I love that the Travel Spray version is indeed a spritzer versus the roller-ball format. Replica Lipstick On is one of the prettiest feminine fragrances that smells like vintage makeup. It’s hard to describe in words except that it makes me feel girly without having that overly sweet smell. Le Labo Santal is one I recognize instantly on anyone who wears it whether they are male or female. I actually prefer it in candle form for the home but I love all things with any kind of sandalwood in them.
What colors and scents are you wearing right now as we transition to fall? Are you embracing any on trend makeup shades or wearing classics? There are lots of great new fall beauty launches and each one has been unique in it’s own way.
Would love to hear what you’re keeping in your fall transition makeup bag or routine right now! For more recommendations Nordstrom has their Fall Beauty Trend Event section with Ultra Pretty Neutrals and Bold Shades of what is trending now at their stores.
Many thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. Press samples featured include the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors, Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo, Chanel Vamp and Organdi and Replica Lipstick On.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Friday everyone! In the “what would you like to see” survey posted a few giveaways ago, an overwhelming number of you requested I do more haul posts. I tend to buy things in little bits here and there – with free shipping or affordable rush shipping, it’s easy to place several orders as I think about things rather than do a larger one-time haul. Sometimes I’ll see something in store and decide to wait and think about it and then a few days later I decide to buy it. July was a very pricey and spendy month due to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I already did two haul posts on my picks (here and here) – since it only happens once a year and there were so many good exclusives/value sets I could justify the extra haul. I also found a lot of little things at Sephora so I’ve combined my recent picks into a haul post.
Up first are Nordstrom picks, some are non-sale items:
My Nordstrom hauls, mostly from online orders:
Antica Farmacista Santorini Reed Diffuser – I discovered the Acqua Reed Diffuser as shown in this home luxuries post and fell in love. Several of you told me there were a number of options on sale at Nordstrom. I bought five variations of the 8.5 oz version. I haven’t opened any of them yet – for those who use these, do you use one at a time completely before opening another one? Unlike candles, I suspect you can use for a little bit and store away since the reeds become completely soaked with the oils?
Ivanka Trump Ellyn Lace Up Sandals in Rich Chestnut suede are super comfortable and I found them to be true to size. The color is just a tiny bit darker than the stock photo but very close, heel is at 2.5 inches which makes them easy to walk in and 100% pain-free (at least for me).
Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Telluride is actually something I ordered from Sephora, but accidentally put it with the Nordstrom haul, it’s a luminous soft pink with a very pearly finish, full review next week.
Louboutin Loubilaque in Akenana and Bikini (not on sale), based on the good performance I saw with the Rouge Louboutin Loubilaque, I decided to order a few other shades, I haven’t tested them on my lips yet because I swatched a number of other lip products the past couple of days and one item ruined my lips so I’m waiting for them to rebalance/recover.
YSL Vinyl Lip Cream in 404, 407 and 412 are items I was really excited to try. I adore the Glossy Stains (reviewed here and here) and a cream version just sounded like a dream come true. 407 and 412 worked perfectly like a lightweight stain but in creamy form. 404 gave me a WTF moment – it was extremely streaky and for some reason turned my bottom lip bright red, almost like a reaction but there was no tingle, sting or odd feeling. It’s now about 24 hours after I lip swatched it and my lip is still red. I tried makeup remover, cleanser and a very gentle rub with a washcloth – it’s the oddest thing!
Vince Camuto Drape Front Blazer is something I stalked the web for the anniversary sale, it went out of stock in Size 0 and 2 but restocked. I’ve been searching for a white blazer for a long time and this has a drapey flowy fabric that feels comfortable. It’s a tiny bit long in the arms for me, but fits the shoulders well – it will need minor alterations for me, but I really like it.
Vince Camuto Feina Booties are items I ordered as well, my local store was sold out, but they found them for me and had them shipped to my home. This is the first time I’ve tried Vince Camuto boots so I don’t know how they size compared to other styles. The sales associate recommended I size down since in her experience they run big. Size 6 fits like a glove with room for thin socks.
Hudson Nico Ankle Super Skinny Jeans are very comfortable and they fit like a glove. The fabric is thick enough to be sturdy but not stiff so these feel good to wear. I’m normally one who opts for Paige, but I was really pleased with these. The raw hem gives them an edgy look. As one who is short, these are the perfect length that I don’t need them hemmed.
One more look at the Hudson Nico Jeans (top is an older style silk tee from J.Crew, shoes worn are by Stuart Weitzman which run large on me so I take these in a 6):
Up next are the Sephora haul picks:
Sephora Play! July box contents includes minis of Benefit Dew the Hoola, Ouai Wave Spray, Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer, First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, NEST Citrine Perfume and Beautyblender Blottertazzi, I have yet to try everything in last month’s box, but Dew the Hoola is swatched here
Bare Minerals GEN NUDE Radiant Lipstick in Strip is a medium nude pink beige – finally balmy glossy lipsticks that have pigment! I picked up two shades (yes, they look almost identical) and love love love the way these feel and look, they’re effortless kinds of nude with the feel of Chanel Rouge Coco Shines but more pigment.
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Trance is a gorgeous pinky mauve shimmer, formula feels a bit thick and dry without a base but it does stay put on the lips, I’ll need to experiment more with bases on this one. It’s not drying, it just looks a bit dry if that makes sense.
Formula X Color Curators in Makeup by Rose XOXO Edition in Mahhveous Rose, Puffin! and Acoustick Dreams, these look gorgeous for fall, I’ll have swatches of all three shades soon.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation in Nude which is one shade darker than Warm Ivory but too dark for my skintone. Warm Ivory is a better match, but if I mix both shades the match is a 100% exact match.
Kat Von D Lock-It Creme Concealer in M19 and M27 – I matched myself in store and can’t believe I braved using a tester on my face in store. When I applied it my skin was a bit dewy as it was late afternoon and hot. It blended to a flawless finish so I bought two shades. When I got home and tested it the following days I found it looked cakey and patchy under eyes on my regular skin. I’m still testing with other eye creams and primers as a base to see how best to make it work. I’m not ruling it out quite yet, I’m determined to put it to the full test as I really like her foundation.
Becca Champagne Splits in Flowerchild and Champagne Pop – by this point I have Champagne Pop in all the forms possible and I do think it’s a bit overkill. The individual powder and poured cream (both swatched here) are my favorites. I definitely did not need it in a split pan with a blush, but what can I say – I think we all get sucked in sometimes by pretty packaging.
Formula X The System Xcel is something that just popped up online, I already own and use the original System (reviewed here a while ago), the Xcel set is designed for a gel-effect so I’m curious to see how it compares to the original!
Beauty Insider Points minis
Lip picks swatched:
I won’t be reviewing everything in this haul in a separate posts, so here are lip swatches for reference. The Bare Minerals GEN Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick in Swag was one of the Beauty Insider minis (love the color, not a fan of the matte finish). Above Bare Minerals Strip and Honeybun look identical, on the lips you can see the difference. If you click to enlarge the photo you can see how patchy YSL 404 applied on my lips, especially on the lower lip.
That concludes my haul picks from July from Nordstrom and Sephora. There are still a few more days left for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (prices go back up Aug 8th). I’m hosting one last giveaway for the summer and giving away three $100 eGift Cards. The selected winners will have a choice of getting an e-gift card to either Nordstrom or Sephora. Details:
Enter via the widget below, there are several ways to enter:
You must be 18 years or older
Three distinct winners will be selected at random via Rafflecopter
Winners will be selected at random on Sunday afternoon and contacted via e-mail by me
If you’re a selected winner you must send me a response confirming within 48 hours or another winner will be selected, prizes will be sent by the following business day