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Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters, Cheek Hug Brush + Collagen Lip Bath

June 20, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filter, Cheek Hug Brush and Collagen Lip Bath

Charlotte Tilbury launched Part 2 of her Beauty Filters collection focused on lips and cheeks. I picked up all three of the items including the Pretty Youth Glow Filter Kit in Pretty Fresh and Seduce Beauty ($60 each for blush duo + brush) along with the new Collagen Lip Bath ($35). I reviewed Part 1 last month on her Bigger Brighter Eyes Collection. Part 2 for lips + cheeks do not disappoint color and quality-wise.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters Seduce Beauty and Pretty Fresh | The Beauty Look Book

The Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters are duo cream cheek palettes and the kits come with the Cheek Hug Brush at Nordstrom. It is only because of this brush that I think these palettes are worth the high price tag of $60. (The blush is available individually at Charlotte Tilbury’s website though.) In terms of quality and pigment both colors are really good but to me it seems as though there is very little product. These each contain a highlighter and blush – the brush is perfectly shaped and very well made to pick up both colors and apply them in a perfect blush/highlight motion. I simply swipe across the palette and apply in a swipe up method on the cheeks, then blend/buff with either my fingers or a separate blush brush. Texture is a silky cream finish. It’s truly a cream to powder like the description states. Color on me is medium to sheer.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters Seduce Beauty and Pretty Fresh swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Seduce Blush is the more neutral/muted option with a soft champagne and pinky-nude. There is a slight hint of shimmer in the pan but on the cheeks it’s very diffused and satiny.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters Seduce Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Wearing Sunday Riley The Influencer Foundation 190, Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Shadows in Star Gold and Rose Gold mixed together, Collagen Lip Bath.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filters Seduce Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Pretty Fresh is a brighter option with a paler rose shimmer and brighter pink. This one is my favorite of the two. It can be built up for more color but blends out to a very nice flush.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Fresh | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Fresh | The Beauty Look Book

Closer look at the Cheek Hug Brush:

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek Hug Brush | The Beauty Look Book

Overall these had medium lasting power on me. I’m still experimenting with primers and bases to find what will last through the humidity. I felt like I had it all figured out last summer. Then we had about six months of truly mild weather here and I feel like I’ve forgotten what worked in humidity! I think these blushes are both excellent. I still really love her Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow for texture and finish and think if she had made these Pretty Youth Glow Filters colors in powder form I’d snap them up in a heart beat and that others would too. I’d say in terms of finish/texture the lasting power and pigment, the Pretty Youth Glow Filters is similar to that of the Sisley Phyto-Twist Blush sticks.

Some swatch comparisons:

Charlotte Tilbury Swatch Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Collagen Lip Bath

Then there is the Collagen Lip Bath which all of my friends were texting me about asking if I had tried it and if I thought it was worth the price. I love all of Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Lustres and Lipsticks so had high hopes for this even though it looked like it was basically a clear gloss. As soon as I opened my heart both sank and then rose back up.

Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Review | The Beauty Look Book

When I removed the wand I was completely shocked at how little product there actually was in the tube. The wand takes up 1/2 the space! Then the actual wand itself is shaped like the top of a heart which is the cutest applicator I’ve ever seen. After getting over the shock of how little product there was I swiped it and fell in love. It makes my lips look lush and plump without any tingle or sting. They truly look super healthy and plump in the best way I’ve ever seen. It’s supposed to have peppermint extract to cool, but for some reason I did not feel any cooling sensation. It’s basically clear even though it’s a soft rose tint in the tube. Below is what my lips look like with clearish gloss, they almost always turn rose pink.

Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Swatch

So in terms of performance and what it does, I 100% love it. I’m still peeved at how little product there is and I feel like I’m one who rarely gets upset about product weight. I still really like it and will use it up entirely in no time at all.

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filter, Cheek Hug Brush and Collagen Lip BathOverall beautiful. In my mind Charlotte Tilbury can do no wrong with the quality and color choice of her products. I think the Pretty Youth Glow Filters and Collagen Lip Products are beautiful additions to her line. I’d recommend them for anyone who wants a soft pretty and natural feminine glow. I do think the price points are a little steep, especially for the amount of product you get. I do feel the Cheek Hug Brush is really well made and makes the duos worth the splurge. For creams they aren’t too emollient but if you have super oily skin you might want to try before you buy if you can. As for the Collagen Lip Bath, I love it, but I don’t love the price. I wish it came in a squeeze tube like the MAC clear lipglass. The brush tip is nice and the design quite innovative but not a game changer to make it worth the steep price.

For other recent Charlotte Tilbury reviews:

Hollywood Flawless Filters Review + Swatches
Star Gold, Rose Gold, Duchess, American Sweetheart and English Beauty
Bigger Brighter Eyes Collection Review

You can find the Pretty Youth Glow Filters and Collagen Lip Bath out now at Charlotte Tilbury counters. I bought mine from Nordstrom. Also available at Charlotte Tilbury and Beautylish.

P.S. You can buy just the blush duo individually without the brush at Charlotte Tilbury for $40.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty

October 17, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury just launched her fourth Instant Look in a Palette in a neutral-cool toned option called the Smokey Eye Beauty. This is currently a Beautylish exclusive and in terms of color options this is one of the deeper ones that she has launched. The colors themselves are pretty basic and standard but the quality is on point and colors are easy to use so it makes for a good everyday option.

These Instant Look in a Palettes are designed for a basic five minute face. They have enough colors that you can do a quick look with or use on-the-go. In concept the number of colors in the palette is just the right amount for a full look for makeup color (minus base, concealer, lips, mascara, brows etc.). I’ve found that I still need 2 more eye products to really finish the look for me as I tend to do a lot of blending and I need some kind of creamy shadow stick as a base to help the powders adhere or blend better. My previous reviews of the other three linked with Natural Beauty, Seductive Beauty and Beauty Glow.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Smokey Eye Beauty has three eyeshadows, one bronzer, two cheek colors and one highlighter. The top three eyeshadows include a pale champagne shimmer, medium cool brown matte, dark matte black with navy tinge. All three are extremely smooth and well pigmented. They are easy to blend and apply but they are on the powdery side with powder kick up. The contour bronzer is a light to medium brown, it has a subtle sheen to it which makes it natural looking. It’s cool-toned on my skin. The two cheek colors are a light warm pink and a medium warm pink, both soft and also natural looking. The highlighter is a pale gold which is supposed to be the Bar of Gold. I never tried it so I can’t compare it to the original. This one has a stiffer texture which makes it look sheer on my skin. Long-time readers know how I feel about yellow golds. This one is pale enough that you can’t really see the yellow tone once on the skin so for me it’s actually a lot more wearable than I anticipated just from looking at it in the pan.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Below wearing:

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty Look | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty close up | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty Look | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid performer. Colors, texture and pigment are all very wearable. As with powders there will be some powdery-ness and kick up, this one seems to have a little more than most but it wasn’t problematic. Color-wise the shades to me aren’t the most unique or exciting but they show up in a natural and soft way that is 100% wearable. I do think the combination of colors is great for ease of use. Sometimes an effortless palette is just what I need – this one is versatile enough to wear for a number of occasions and will go with all kinds of lip colors, light, deep, warm and cool. I give it a thumbs up. I will be reviewing the Instant Eye Palette soon (waiting on my order) – reviews have been really mixed, so it will be interesting to test this in person.

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty exclusively at Beautylish right now. It retails for $75.

Thanks to Beautylish for sending this to me to review.


Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Collection

September 20, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Collection Review | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have a review + swatches of the entire Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Collection. This collection launched a few weeks ago with new makeup formulas for lips (liquid lips) and cheeks (contour wands and a new highlight wand). I’m still playing catch up with posting about new beauty launches – these have all been put to the test for several weeks by now. The entire collection has a glamorous theme with luxe packaging. For me there are some hits and misses with this launch. More details on each below.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

For the lips there are 10 shades of a new liquid lipstick called Hollywood Lips which are soft matte liquid lipsticks that have a plumping effect. I’m still not a fan of liquid lipsticks because I have full lips and matte shades tend to make my lips either look flat, dark or wrinkled like prunes. The best thing about liquid lips is the lasting power once they set and don’t budge after they dry however for me the “setting” factor isn’t something that works in my favor. They usually make my lips look like dry cardboard and I end up looking aged. Adding a balm or primer underneath can help with the finish for me but it’s an extra step I’m not thrilled about (I did that here with the NARS Powermatte Lips). In terms of matte lipsticks in general, the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula is the best matte I’ve tried (reviewed here and here). I had high hopes of the new Hollywood Lips as her colors are usually 100% on point but I was still unsure of the formula. These come with a beveled sponge tip applicator and have full buildable coverage. Texture is smooth and easy to blend but they still dry to a soft matte finish. Once on the lips they don’t budge or slide around but they aren’t transfer proof as they never set or dry completely. The thing that struck me the most was how full they made my lips look – without any tingle or plumping feel. The formula is one of the better ones I’ve tried for a matte liquid lip but it still has not made me fall in love with liquid lipsticks. Out of all the liquid lipstick formulas I’ve tried the Burberry Lip Velvets have the best formula and finish but if you remember my review from a while ago, none of the colors worked for me. With the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips the colors work well, but formula is still a bit dry-looking.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

Descriptions of the colors:

  • Charlotte Darling is a light peachy pink
  • Best Actress is a perfect nude
  • Dolly Bird is a cool-toned light pink
  • Platinum Blonde is a pink nude
  • Rising Star is a medium neutral pink
  • Pin Up Pink is a deeper brighter rose
  • Too Bad I’m Bad is a deep coral pink
  • Show Girl is a perfect plum mauve
  • Dangerous Liason is a deep brick red
  • Screen Siren is a bright red

My favorites are Best Actress, Platinum Blonde, Too Bad I’m Bad and Show Girl. All the darker shades performed the best for me. I was relieved to see all the lighter colors worked as well color-wise, the formula not so much with Charlotte Darling and Dolly Bird – they looked extra dry on my lips.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

Next are the contour and highlight which I wasn’t excited about in the least. To this day I’m not huge about contouring as I have a round face and there’s really only so much I can do to create the illusion of sharper cheek bones. I do use products to contour softly in a 3 shape (or backwards 3 on one side) with creams or powders but it’s usually a very quick process for me. I don’t have the patience to do a proper contour. There are two shades of the Hollywood Contour Wand in Light-Medium and Medium-Dark. Swatched on the arm you can clearly see the difference in undertone but on my face both look very similar in the sense they look dark straight out of the squeeze tube. The Beauty Light Wand highlighter comes in one shade Spotlight which looked super frosty when I swatched it but was surprisingly wearable once blended onto the face. Both come with a sponge tip applicator which is soft and cushiony. I don’t know how well it will hold up after use – it’s something that looks like it could get really dirty quickly.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand and Beauty Light Wand

The pigment is intense and quite rich but very easy to blend for a natural look. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like these. They do set after a few minutes so I’d recommend blending quickly. The Double-Ended Complexion Contour Brush is very good and quite clever with the smaller angled tip so you can easily blend along the nose or other areas where you want a more detailed contour or highlight. I’ve lost some of my tan with recent travel and the heat here in Florida has made it where I’ve pretty much stayed indoors as much as possible. I like the Light-Medium color but think it has enough of a cool undertone to work for those lighter in skintone than me.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand and Beauty Light Wand



Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand and Beauty Light Wand

A quick look with two of the Hollywood Lips and the Contour Wand + Beauty Light Wand. I’m wearing the Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation in 21 mixed with 31, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Powder #2, Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brow Gel in Supermodel, Contour Wand in Light Medium and the Beauty Light Wand in Spotlight (both on eyes and cheeks).

Right side: Hollywood Lips in Platinum Blonde, left side: Screen Siren

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips and Contour | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a nice collection for lips and cheeks. The Hollywood Lips are definitely among the better formulas I’ve tried since they don’t dry down 100% and aren’t super matte. The colors are all beautiful and easy to wear. I was pleasantly surprised by how wearable and easy to use the contour wand and highlighter are. They’re compact and easy to travel with or apply on the go if you need to touch up or apply makeup  in the car.

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Collection now at Charlotte Tilbury and Beautylish. Also available at all other Charlotte Tilbury counters.

Many thanks to the Charlotte Tilbury team and Beautylish for providing products for me to review and swatch for my readers.

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow Set

July 21, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow Set | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury has a special Nordstrom beauty exclusive called the Filmstar Bronze and Glow Blush Set ($75). This is a limited-edition set that’s part of the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which opens up to everyone today! Out of all the makeup items I purchased this one is by far my favorite. My local Nordstrom didn’t have this so I ordered it online and think it’s the best cheek duo she’s launched to date. I’ve been a long time fan of her original Filmstar Bronze and Glow because it’s an effortless contour and highlight palette I find really versatile. She’s released a few other variations but this is the first that has a blush color. The set comes with a mini Artistry Blush brush which didn’t look like it would be the best quality from the cut but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft it felt and also how well it performed.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow Set | The Beauty Look Book

The bronze shade in this duo is the lightest out of all the Filmstar duo palettes but still has enough color to add warmth to my medium tan skin. If you’re super fair or light and want a natural looking bronzer I think this is an excellent option. The blush shade is a soft shimmering soft coral pink with a soft peach/gold sheen. To me it’s like a pink less frosted version of NARS Orgasm Blush. On me it looks medium but on lighter skins it will be more pigmented/brighter.

Texture of both sides is soft and luminous without any frost. This is perfect for summer to add a soft sheen. I found it perfectly soft – I was able to layer for more pigment by putting a tiny bit of cream blush or highlighter underneath to pick up more color. I feel like if I could only buy one makeup item from the sale, this would be it.

Close ups of each side and swatches, bronze side:

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow | The Beauty Look Book

Blush side:

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow | The Beauty Look Book


Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow Set | The Beauty Look Book

Look wearing:

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow | The Beauty Look Book

A few sets of comparisons, first a look at the Powder and Sculpt brush in the full size compared to the mini in this set. As you can see the mini seems to have a different cut on the brush – something I thought would be scratchy or harsh. It’s actually surprisingly smooth and easy to use.

Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt Brush vs Mini Blush Brush

Next a look at the three Filmstar Bronze and Glow Duos, the Light-Medium, Medium-Dark and Bronze and Blush Glow. As you can see the Nordstrom exclusive has the lightest/softest looking bronzer.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow vs Bronze and Blush Glow Set | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Light Medium, Medium Dark and Bronze and Blush Glow Set Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

For a blush comparison, long-time readers know I’m a huge fan of her Cheek to Chic blushes for their soft luminous glow. They each have two colors to swirl and pop for depth but I really just swirl a brush in the pan and mix before applying to the face. The Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow shade resembles Love is the Drug the most, but it still has a slight hint of warmth to it while the blush is clearly pink.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow vs Cheek to Chic Blushes

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow vs Cheek to Chic Blushes

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow Set | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid winner and for me I call it a definite must-have. It’s naturally pretty, soft, luminous and easy to wear. I found it easy to control pigment by blending for a soft wash or layering for a more visible glow with color. I do think if you have dry skin this might not show up well on a bare face – it is powdery and with the soft texture it can feel a tad bit powdery. Make sure you have a well prepped face with some kind of tinted moisturizer or base. I found the duo performed well over a liquid base + powder, but it can look a bit powdery on bare or dry skin. Sometimes this can be fixed by spritzing a tiny bit of face mist like MAC Fix+ before applying powders or simply add a bit of a cream blush, luminizer or bronzer underneath to help the color adhere better.

For me it’s pure love and I think it’s 100% worth the splurge. I love these so much I’m going to giveaway 5 Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Palettes. Five distinct winners will be selected at random to pick their choice of 1 palette: Filmstar Bronze and Glow Light-Medium, Medium-Dark or Bronze and Blush Glow via the widget below. Simply enter by following one of the steps in the Rafflecopter widget. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Giveaway runs through July 29th 11:45 EST. I’ll select and email the winners within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. Prizes will be mailed within 1 week after I receive a response. Please refer to terms and conditions in the widget for all the details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow set exclusively at Nordstrom for the Anniversary Sale. There’s a GWP going on online as well – check their Gift With Purchase Page as it gets updated regularly. All the other Beauty Exclusives here.

Are you shopping the sale today? What’s on your list?


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 naturally  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 are  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.

Loving Right Now What's In My Bag

Effortless Beauty For Spring to Summer

May 23, 2017

Warm Weather Beauty Makeup Bag Picks | The Beauty Look Book

I’m all about the natural makeup look and with the warm weather here I’ve been into items that are easy to apply and effortless to touch up on-the-go. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share a few new makeup bag finds along with some previously launched staples that I’ve been loving lately. I’ve always been a sheer glossy lip or tinted balm kind of person and right now I have tons inside my bag. I featured some of my favorite neutrals last week. Today I’ve rounded up some items that will give a bit more color and life.

First, as a lover of flat pouches, I’ve found that Nordstrom just launched some great simple pouches from Delfonics. Sometimes I just want a no-nonsense basic streamlined pouch and these small PVC zipped pouches are exactly what I needed. Right now there are two sizes available online – I ordered a couple colors in both sizes because sometimes multiples are necessary depending on what you carry. The exterior is on the thin side so I’d try to keep these for smaller items or flat products but the larger one is quite roomy so you can fit a lot in the pouch. The Large Pouch measures 10 1/4”W x 7 1/4”H x 1/2”D and the Medium Pouch measures 7 1/2”W x 5 1/2”H x 1/2”D. (Sandals below by Joie.)

Nordstrom Delfonics | The Beauty Look Book

Warm weather beauty loves, makeup beauty details and swatches below. With hot weather I’ve been using more dry shampoo simply to refresh and touch up. The humidity levels are increasing here and so I’ve been experimenting with more. The Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo has been a long-time favorite. For touch ups I also really like the Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. It sounds like it could be heavy based on the product name but it’s one of the most lightweight powders I’ve tried and I use to set my makeup and also for touchups. It looks natural and doesn’t cake up.

What's Inside My Bag | The Beauty Look Book

Bronzer has always been a must for me. I’ve reviewed quite a few luminous bronzers, like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers which double as a bronzer and highlighter in one. Some of you prefer a matte finish and the one I reach for the most is the Tom Ford Small Bronzing Powder in Terra. It’s sheer to medium and one of the lightest colors I own making it wearable and effortless. Another great option is the new NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside. It’s the lightest option and looks peachy in the pan but wears beautifully on the face for a natural wash of color. Also I know some of you prefer the no-shimmer look, but the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow is one of the prettiest glowy bronze shades I own. I wear it on both the cheeks and eyes. Anytime I wear it on the face I always get asked, “what’s that pretty glowy highlight you have on your face?” and it’s usually this one.

Bronzers Tom Ford Terra, MAC Global Glow, NARS Seaside | The Beauty Look Book

These look dark because I swatched them with a heavy hand but I assure you they can sheer out on the face for a more natural look.

Bronzers Tom Ford Terra, MAC Global Glow, NARS Seaside, Laguna | The Beauty Look Book

Lip products are my weakness. I always carry so many with me even though I really only need 1 or 2 products max at any given time. The Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors are the definition of effortless beauty when it comes to tinted balms. I have and love all the shades, Apricot Shimmer is a light sheer peach. You can just add a bit of liner like Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk for color and you’re all set. They’re really easy to touch up too.

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Melted Honey is a great sheer gold shimmer to add a nice soft glow. It’s sheer so if you need more color there are others to look into like Douceur or Amuse Bouche. They’re moisturizing and add a pretty shine to the lips. Louboutin launched new Meatlinudes Loubilaques and I’m OBSESSED. All the colors are amazing! Detailed review on the entire collection to come soon but the first one I’ve put on is Bronzissima which is the prettiest flawless bronze shimmer. 100% worth the splurge.

Clarins added new shades of their Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil and two of them transform in color to your lip pH to create a unique color. Tangerine is the best kind of juicy peach red for summer.

Tom Ford launched their Clutch Sized Tinted Balms early spring and I’ve been obsessed for months. There’s a light peach shade for the neutral lip lovers in L’Odissea but I adore the sheer brights like Fathom.

Warm Weather Lip Picks | The Beauty Look Book

Warm Weather Lip Picks Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least the Tom Ford Cream Powder Eye Duos have been a staple since they first launched and Naked Bronze and Golden Peach have been favorites. They’re so easy to apply even if you’re on the go. I can apply these with the fingers and it’s pretty much goof-proof. This year they launched three new shades in Young Adonis, Sun Worship and Paradiso. I’ve already reviewed these new launches but re-swatched them side by side for reference. Paradiso is indeed different from Golden Peach but they are very similar so I don’t think you need both. I prefer the cream in Paradiso and the glitter in Golden Peach.

Tom Ford Cream Powder Eye Duos | The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Cream Powder Eye Duo Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

What's Inside My Bag | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up some of my favorites for warm weather beauty! With the heat I’ve been experimenting with different bases and will have a roundup on those in the upcoming weeks. For now I hope you liked this post for ideas on effortless beauty. I included some non-neutrals but colors that are still easy to wear and natural looking. As always I’d love to hear your favorites. What are you loving these days as we transition from the spring to summer season? You can find all my picks at Nordstrom.

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Many thanks Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include lip items from Clarins and the Tom Ford Clutch Balm.

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 🙂

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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.