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Fragrance Home / Interiors

Loving Right Now: Spring Scents

April 10, 2017

Scents of Spring Cire Trudon, Antica Farmacista, Diptyque, Tom Ford and Jo Malone | The Beauty Look Book

Right now I’m obsessed with all kinds of scents that smell like spring. Since moving to Florida I’ve more into scents than I’ve ever been, but there’s something about warm sunny weather that makes me crave something that smells like a tropical vacation. I have a mix of home scents and perfumes I’ve been loving. Some are new launches others have been around for years. I did my spring transition scent post last month and loved hearing about your favorites. Over the years I’ve found a lot of scents I love for spring so this is by no means comprehensive of the best ones out there, but here’s a small selection of what I’ve been loving right now.

For the home I discovered Antica Farmacista last year thanks to the recommendation of Edward Bess. He knew I loved Diptyque and said that Antica Farmacista was a beautiful line with gorgeous diffusers and candles. I fell in love at first sniff and even though I had seen the line for years at Nordstrom I never really paid much attention. I stocked up on a lot of diffusers during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and over the holiday bought a lot of sets as gifts. The line is truly exquisite! Since diffusers do last a lot longer than a candle I’m slowly working my way through trying new scents.

Antica Farmacista Bergamot and Ocean Aria and Lush Palm | The Beauty Look Book

The latest from their line is Lush Palm which is a green floral with Tahitian Gardenia, banana leaf and palm. Notes include Herbaceous Green Accord, Crisp Apple, Pear, Aloe, Grapefruit, Bergamot, White Pepper, Pine, Tahitian Gardenia, Sambac Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Crisp Water Notes, Cedarwood, Mexican Vanilla, Labdanum, and Sweet Amber. It has a lush green floral feel that has an uplifting cooling and relaxing feel. We’ve been using the large diffuser at home and it fills our living room. The candle has pretty good throw. In their catalog they have scent combinations and one of them is the Bergamot and Ocean Aria. I’ve already burned through two of the candles for that one and adore it. They sent the room spray for me to try and as a bergamot lover it’s really lovely. If you’re looking for a nice mother’s day gift they have a Spring Diffuser Trio with minis of Acqua, Lush Palm and Bergamot Ocean Aria – it’s really perfect. Pair it with a nice bouquet of flowers and I think it would look super cute.

Antica Farmacista Bergamot and Ocean Aria and Lush Palm | The Beauty Look Book

For more in the home scent arena, one of my favorite spring time scents (also good for summer) is the Diptyque Tomas Maier Palm Beach (originally reviewed here). It was a limited-edition scent years ago but they keep restocking and you can find it exclusively at Diptyque stores or online at Diptyque. It has jasmine, iris, lemon, lime, salt and grass. It’s got a lovely lush tropical vibe that isn’t overly sweet. I’ve been exploring more in Cire Trudon. One of the cute stores near us is called the Oxford Exchange and they have a mix of things like a cute restaurant, coffee area, tea bar, Aesop Skincare and a shop with Cire Trudon. I spotted a mini duo called the Giambattista Valli and Cire Trudon Duet which has Positano and Rose Poivree ($105). So far I have not spotted the duo anywhere else online except on Cire Trudon’s website and online at Barneys New York. I’m a sucker for minis and even though this was extremely expensive I could not resist the beautiful design and cute box. Positano is a strong bright white floral with gardenia, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, tuberose and lily. Rose Poivree is a strong rose with pepper notes. You can also buy the individual full size at places like Net-A-Porter, Barneys New York or Lucky Scent. Cire Trudon candles are quite the splurge but in my experience the throw and intensity surpasses all other brands.

Cire Trudon Giambattista Valli Duet and Diptyque Tomas Maier Palm Beach | The Beauty Look Book

In perfume long-time readers know I like to switch things up. I finally splurged on a full bottle of the Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt after using up a few minis I had from sets and GWPs. It’s funny because when it first launched I did not like it – but I gave it another chance before I moved and fell in love. I love layering it with the Mimosa and Cardamom and Wild Bluebell both thanks to the rec from one of my favorite Jo Malone reps in San Diego).

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc remains one of my favorites for warm weather but the latest launch Sole Di Positano is just absolutely amazing, especially for bergamot lovers. It an extension of the Neroli Portofino line which gets better with eachย  new launch. This one has Italian bergamot, petitgrain bigrate, lemon and mandarin and shiso leaf. Sole Di Positano is not as citrus or sweet as the Neroli Portofino (one that I find smells great on others but not for me). It’s happiness in a bottle. The All Over Body Sprays have been around for quite some time but I never looked into them. I saw them in person for the first time (I finally discovered a counter near me) and was really surprised by how big the bottles were. They’re aerosol sprays and I decided to try Fleur de Portofino. I have the perfume version which I love for a more floral version of the Neroli Portofino line. I have mixed feelings about the sprays. When I’m indoors the scent lasts a long time on me with good staying power. However if I spray it on me and am outdoors for an extended period of time I find it fades after a few hours. I absolutely love the scent and am going to try layering the spray with the perfume. More thoughts to come soon – but Fleur de Portofino is another spring time favorite.

Last but not least Creed Virgin Island Water is pure love. It’s more of a summer scent but since it feels like summer where I am this is perfect. I don’t know that I’ve fallen in love with a scent as much as I have this one. I’m trying to ease up on use because I bought the smallest one and an worried I’m going to use it up too fast. I know it’s a silly thing to worry about since perfume is meant to be used – the small bottle was just so expensive!

Jo Malone Wood Sage Sea Salt, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc, Tom Ford Sole di Positano, Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water | The Beauty Look Book

Scents of Spring Cire Trudon, Antica Farmacista, Diptyque, Tom Ford and Jo Malone | The Beauty Look Book

That rounds up my loving right now spring home and perfume roundup. What are you loving right now? Do you have anything you’ve been obsessed with for the home? This time of year I feel like it’s the best time to makeover one’s home whether it’s updating bedding, home accents or new scents. Since we just moved, we are still in the process of furnishing our home. Going from a small loft to a full size house with a backyard and more bedrooms has been so exciting for us, but our furniture is pretty much swallowed up by the space. The last time we moved it took us about 6 months to fully furnish our loft because we started from scratch. This round I suspect it will also take time to fully furnish the home.

Press samples include Tom Ford Sole di Positano, Antica Farmacista Lush Balm and Bergamot Ocean Aria.

Fragrance

Spring Transition Fragrances

March 21, 2017

Favorite Spring Perfumes | The Beauty Look Book

Happy National Fragrance Day! Spring has just arrived and this is the time of year I start to shift my perfumes to something light or floral. Long-time readers know I love to explore light, clean and modern scents. What I wear changes depending on season, occasion and mood. I try to take my time with testing to see if a scent is something I feel is really me. Perfume is something that smells different on everyone’s skin – there are scents that smell completely different on my friends than it does me. I tend to rotate frequently although I’ve always wanted to have a signature scent. Here in Florida it already feels like spring with warm sunny skies. It’s warmer here than it was all winter long in Southern California. I’ve got spring on my mind and the scents I’ve been reaching for in the past month along with my husband’s go-to scent include:

  • Creed Virgin Island Water is probably my best fragrance purchase ever. It was on my wishlist for many many months. My friend and I were browsing the Creed counter at Neimans and she handed me a tester and said, “smell this, it’s going to change your life.” It literally did and I could not get it out of my head for months. I was going to wait until late spring to buy it, but the moment we knew we were moving to Florida I splurged on a bottle and have no regrets. I’ve been wearing it a lot here and it’s a scent that lifts my mood like no other. It’s like a vacation in a bottle and it literally gives me life. It smells of sweet coconut and orange with bergamot and a bit of sugar. I wish I had bought the larger size first.
  • Diptyque Eau de Sens Eau de Toilette is one of the few orange blossom scents I can wear. Orange blossom in general always smells amazing on my friends, and I love it as a home scent, but on me it’s usually too citrus or too floral. This was the first one I tried that I loved 100%. It always smells great on me. It has the perfect mix of sweet and bitter sweet to smell like spring in a soft floral citrus kind of way.
  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia is the first I’ve played with from his line. I discovered his scents at The Scent Bar in Los Angeles and everything has this next-level kind of sophistication. This one is a fresh mix of two of his scents Aqua Universalis and Aqua Vitae to create a fresh and spicy mix. It has lime, cool mint, blackcurrant, mimosa blossoms and musk. To me it just smells fresh with a hint of floral.
  • Christian Louboutin makes some beautiful perfumes. I reviewed Tornade Blonde in my Fall Fragrance Lineup and it’s one of the most luxurious smelling perfumes I’ve tried. The Women’s Parfume Collection (miniatures) has each scent in a small version bottle of the full size but without the spritzers. The lasting power is quite amazing on these.
    • Tornade Blonde notes include red rose, violet and cassis. It smells like romantic florals and to me this is the best year round kind of scent.
    • Bikini Questa Sera contains jasmin and tuberose and makes for another great spring time floral. If you like Frederic Malle Carnal Flower you will really like this one, the Louboutin one has a slightly sweeter feel to it.
    • Trouble in Heaven notes include iris, patchouli, tonka absolute and amber. It smells more like a fall or winter scent or possibly a great romantic date night scent.
  • Replica Glow Filter (reviewed here) is a scented perfume oil designed to be a primer for other Replica perfumes. I love this one for a very soft skin like scent that brightens the mood. It’s definitely hard for me to describe what glowing smells like, but this is pretty much it.
  • Jo Malone Wild Bluebell is a perfume I had many years ago. I just rediscovered it and love how fresh and light it is. My favorite Jo Malone rep back in California told me her favorite layering combination was this with the Wood Sage and Sea Salt and it’s just incredible. I have that on my list to buy in the next month or so.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum (reviewed here) is one of my favorites from Tom Ford. It’s spring to summer in a bottle but I’ll wear it any time of year. It’s one of the best white florals I’ve tried and it’s pure love. Plus Tom Ford scents last really well all day long.
  • Hermes Terre D’Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche is what my husband has been wearing. He’s the kind of guy who rotates through 2-3 scents at a given time, I’ve bought him quite a few to try and really anything he wears ends up smelling great. I would say this one could pass as a unisex scent but on him it transforms into an amazing earthy woody manly kind of smell with a fresh aquatic vibe.

That rounds up my current favorites for National Fragrance Day! As we transition to spring I’d love to hear about what you’ve been wearing and whether or not you’re changing scents or keeping the same ones in your daily rotation!

Press samples include scents fromย  Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Christian Louboutin. All others purchased by me.

Loving Right Now

Loving Right Now + Instagram Roundup

March 13, 2017

Nordstrom Beauty Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

Loving Right Now | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

Away x Popsuki Pink Luggage | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Black | The Beauty Look Book

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

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

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

That’s a wrap for my Instagram roundup/sneak peek! A Chanel post will go live tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Diptyque Fragrance Home / Interiors

Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle 2017 Launch

January 18, 2017

Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle Review | The Beauty Look Book

It’s a tradition for Diptyque to launch a special limited-edition rose-themed candle for Valentine’s Day every year and this year they’ve brought back Rosa Mundi. It comes in a Standard Candle ($68 for 6.5 oz), a Mini Candle ($35 for 2.4 oz) and a Scented Oval ($50). I look forward to each release for the whimsical designs of the jars as they create something beautiful and special every year. Rosa Mundi was last launched in 2014 in a white glass jar and pink tinted wax. This particular year Diptyque partnered with Antoinette Poisson, a creator and restorer of domino paper. The design has a thick label sticker as the exterior. As one who is usually really skeptical about sticker labels in general I have to say that I was pleased with the quality and placement of the labels. They are placed firmly on the jar without any visible bubbles and the paper feels like a high quality thick texture almost like wall paper.

Close up below of the mini versus standard. For those not familiar with Diptyque sizing you can see all the details like burn time and comparison for them in this post here. My personal candle care tips in this post here.

Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle Review | The Beauty Look Book

Diptyque Rosa Mundi | The Beauty Look Book

For those new to Rosa Mundi, this year’s is similar to previous launches (it has been launched twice before). It has excellent throw and the scent will fill up the rooms in my home within minutes just from opening the box. This one has a mix of damascena, the damask rose, and centifolia, the May rose. Additional notes include currant, bergamot, lychee and geranium. To me it smells like a young bright sweet rose. It’s very girly and I absolutely adore it. I haven’t kept every single used up candle jar I’ve burned although I do try my best to keep the special edition jars. I like to recycle them and keep them to store makeup brushes, pens, flowers, Q-tips, mini perfumes, rollerball perfumes, tiny skincare samples – basically anything. For those who just started getting into or noticing Diptyque, previous Valentine’s Day candles I have reviewed:

  • 2014 Rosa Mundi shown below (reviewed here)
  • 2015 Rosafolia (review here)
  • 2016 Rosaviola (reviewed here)

Diptyque Rosa Mundi 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Home Decor Details Shown Above

Chloe Attitudes Book, Love x Style x Life by Garance Dore, Capture Your Style by Aimee Song, Large Ceramic Diptyque Figuier Candle recycled. For those who have been asking about our furniture, our couch is the Rochelle Style from Crate and Barrel. Coffee table style is no longer carried but similar ones are the Switch Coffee Table or the Parsons Small Rectangular Coffee Table.

Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line love. By the time this post is going live I’ve already burned through a mini one. As always with these I recommend going with the bigger one even though they are more expensive. The recycle options are more versatile versus the minis. If you’re looking for a way to treat yourself either of these are great options. For those curious about the scented ovals – I’ve been gifted a few over the past years. They make lovely decorative pieces but the scent doesn’t last quite as long as I had hoped. They are also fragile – we have docile animals and they’ve knocked over quite a few things and the ovals did not survive the fall. If you have carpet they probably won’t break.

I bought mine from Nordstrom. You can also find the Rosa Mundi at Neiman Marcus, Space NK, Barneys New York, Selfridges, and Diptyque. Have you tried this one yet? If not do you have a favorite rose candle?

P.S. I’ve updated the comment system with Disqus so now you don’t have to re-log in each time you visit!

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On My Radar

On My Radar / New in Beauty

January 6, 2017

New Beauty Launches for Spring 2017 Diptyque Rosamundi, Chanel Le Rouge Crayon, Armani Powder Fabric, Tatcha Essence and more

Happy Friday! New beauty launches have started to trickle in and there are a few things on my radar this week. Most brands have yet to launch their spring color collections but I’m eager to see what everyone has in store for the season. Chanel launched theirs first with the Coco Codes and I’m loving everything so far.

  1. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur ($37 each) just launched online at Chanel with eleven color options, these are jumbo crayons for the lips and are retractable, I will have a review and swatches on these in the upcoming weeks
  2. Guerlain Happy Glow Pearls ($74) and Happy Glow Blush ($54) just launched, I think there are a few additional items launching for spring but these are the only two I could find so far, they look so pretty!
  3. Giorgio Armani Powder Fabric Foundation ($64) is Armani’s latest in base launches, I’m really intrigued by this and have high hopes for it to work for my skin type, I’m not sure when it launches in stores but will be keeping my eye out to see if I can find a good color match
  4. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm ($18) comes in stick form now! I love the tube version formula in Smashed, so I ordered the stick, it arrived yesterday and the testing will start this weekend
  5. KNC Beauty All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask ($24.99 for a 5 pack) from Violet Grey is something my bestie texted me asking, “have you tried this yet???” – I have not but the concept is intriguing so I had to order to test it out, I will definitely keep you posted! I don’t know how I feel about a sheet mask for the lips but I’m super curious!
  6. Tatcha just launched a new product called The Essence ($95) which is a resurfacing softener, when it comes to essence or softening lotions I have to say that I’m 100% confused about what they’re supposed to do, when to use them and what the difference is between the options, I’ve tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which did help improve texture and softness of my skin (I got lazy and stopped using it after I used up my minis), alternatively one of my friends swears by the La Mer Treatment Lotion which is also another softener – if you have any insight on essences or lotions I would love some insight!
  7. Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets ($34) have launched in 14 shades online at Sephora and Nordstrom, I have five that I ordered and will be swatching and reviewing them as fast as I can for you
  8. beautyblender just launched their beautyblender bubble ($20) and micro.mini bubble ($18) as a Sephora exclusive to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, they sent a lovely package over the holiday and I can’t wait to use them!
  9. Diptyque launches a special-edition Rosamundi Candle ($35 to $68) for Spring 2017, review to follow soon on this beautiful launch
  10. Charlotte Tilbury launched four Quick N Easy Sets ($75 each) designed with an edited selection of beauty products to create a look in 5 minutes, I’ll have these reviewed next week and will be hosting a giveaway so stay tuned for the post and details!

Have a wonderful Friday! What’s on your beauty radar right now?

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Beauty Skincare

At-Home Spa Essentials to De-stress During the Holidays

December 16, 2016

At Home Spa Essentials to Relax and Destress During the Busy Holiday Season

As much as I love the holiday season I find this time of year can sometimes be extra stressful with everything going on and finding ways to relax or de-stress can be challenging. Last week my husband and I took a much-needed vacation to try and escape reality for a few days. We were lucky to have one rare week where both of our schedules were clear to travel but for the times I can’t hop on a plane for a getaway, the next best thing is a mini at-home spa session. Doing little things here and there can make a huge difference. I think taking time for yourself to quiet the mind and soul are important. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my favorite at-home spa essentials to de-stress during the holiday season.

I’m a total bath person. If I could live in the tub I would totally do it. There’s nothing quite like a bubble bath to melt away any anxiety or stress so I do it frequently. I usually use shower gels and pour a capful under running water for a bubble bath, my favorites are the Diptyque Revitalizing Shower Gel and Fresh Life Bath and Shower Gel.

Fresh Sake Bath Sugar Cubes Le Labo Santal Shower Gel and Jo Malone Bath Oil

A few others to mention:

  • Fresh Sake Bath ($82 for 400 ml/13.5 fl oz) I used this many years ago but it has been such a long time since I last purchased I forgot what it was like. Many of you recommended I try this again, it’s a purifying bath soak that has ingredients to easy tension, detox, moisturize and smooth the skin. It’s pricey but a little goes a long way and I really love it. I think it was 100% worth the splurge.
  • Fresh Sugar Lychee Bath Cubes ($39 for 6.35 oz) are another way to create a nice bath soak. There are tons of products like this that dissolve in the tub but I have this thing where the ones with blue or pink colors make me feel uncomfortable. I’m all about the bath water looking clear or milky white so these are perfect. I use two cubes and it’s plenty to fill our tub.
  • Le Labo Santal Shower Gel ($50 for 8 fl oz) is one of the more spendy shower gels, if you like sandalwood and earthy scents this one is very unique but doesn’t have too much spice like some santal scents have.
  • Fresh Oval Soap ($15) come in assorted scents. I’m not much of a soap person because they usually dry out my skin or leave this film that makes the skin feel tight, but the ones from Fresh are among the few that I find hydrating and leave the skin clean.
  • Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin Bath Oil ($25 for 1 fl oz) is the ultimate spa scent for me, the oils are super concentrated and strong so you only need the tiniest bit, if you’re unsure of splurging some scents come in smaller travel sizes which are a nice way to test before buying the larger ones.

Up next are face masks. Based on previous posts and reviews I’ve done on face masks many of you are mask addicts just like me. I love trying new brands and formulas but when I find something I tend to just stick with it. My favorite line of masks is Glamglow hands down. I’ve tried every one that they have. I use face masks on a weekly basis. There’s something about using face masks that make you feel like a brand new person.

Favorite Face Masks from La Mer Glamglow Sisley and Kate Somerville

Shown above:

  • La Mer The Hydrating Facial Mask ($250 for six sets) comes in an upper and lower sheet for each application, this is one of the most luxurious hydrating masks I’ve tried but due to the price point I have only bought one box and use them on days I feel like I need extra care and pampering. These leave the skin feeling well hydrated and soft. In terms of hydration these offer the best moisture and hydration out of all the masks I’ve tried.
  • Glamglow is my favorite line. The Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment ($69 for 1.7 oz) is a go-to for me for hydration and smells absolutely delicious (I almost want to eat it). For those who don’t want to spend that much without knowing how it will perform they have minis in the 0.5 oz tubes for $22 each. For those who want a strong detox clarifying mask the Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment has volcanic rock to help with exfoliation, but if you have super sensitive skin, do not use this one. I have sensitive skin and can tolerate the tingle, but I would recommend you proceed with caution and do a patch test first. The Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment is one of the newer ones they launched. It’s a deep cleaning mask that absorbs oil and is more gentle than the Youthmud.
  • If you have sensitive skin but want a gentle clarifying and acne-prevention mask, the Kate Somerville Eradikate Mask ($54 for 2 oz) is hands down the way to go. It’s a foam activated mask so once you apply, it starts to foam after application. It has sulfur which reduces acne and prevents pimples. Once it foams it dissolved dirt and reduces oil. It doesn’t dry out the skin which I find rare for masks that clear up the skin. I don’t have severe acne or have frequent breakouts but using this keeps the skin clear and has worked wonders on my friends who are acne-prone. I think I must have bought at least a dozen bottles this year for my brother, friends and family (and myself).
  • For a glow the Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask ($128 for 2.3 oz) is one of the biggest splurges I made earlier this year. It cleanses the skin nicely and leaves it feeling soft, smooth and radiant. Skin feels like brand new after using it. I don’t know that I will repurchase because it’s just so darn expensive. I am pleased with the results though so if you want to know if it’s worth the price, I would say 100% yes.
  • Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask ($62 for 3.3 oz) is one that took me a long time to try. For Fresh I usually pick body items or the lip balms but haven’t explored the skincare line much. For those who have sensitive skin and find that purifying masks sting or dry out the skin too much, this is one that clarifies but has no stinging sensation – even on my super sensitive skin days. It’s very soothing on the skin with the chamomile and lavender water. A little goes a long way and if you only have certain areas like the nose or T-zone that need help you can use this as a spot treatment mask instead of applying all over the face.

Clarisonic Mia Fit Kate Somerville Scrub La Mer Face Mist

Some more favorites for the face:

  • Clarisonic Mia Fit is better than the other Clarisonic tools for me because the compact size and shape makes it easier to use. My husband has the grey Alpha Fit and I love that we have a his and hers version. I was super disciplined in using this when I first got it but tend to get lazy and use this once a week. My husband on the other hand uses his every day and it helps smooth and prep his face for shaving. For daily exfoliation I think it’s great.
  • Kate Somerville is a line that has pretty much changed my life. I had my first real facial at their clinic earlier this year and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced and put other facials I had to shame. They diagnosed my skin and helped me pick items that would help reduce redness, smooth texture and prevent wrinkles. The Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($24 to 85 depending on size) is one of their best-selling scrubs. It has lactic acid and fruit enzymes to smooth skin and make it brighter. It’s almost like a scrub and mask in one because you leave it on the skin for 30 seconds while it works it’s magic then you rinse. It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin. If your skin cannot handle any tingle you may want to opt for the Exfolikate Gentle Option. I’ve tried both and like them both.
  • I love a good face mist and I’ve tried lots. The La Mer Face Mist ($75 for 3.4 oz) is one of my favorites. Again it can be hard to justify the high price points for skin care but I’ve never been let down.

Last but not least having a good smelling candle can work wonders to de-stress at home whether it’s in the bathroom, in the living room or bedroom. My favorites are of course from Diptyque and I love the beautiful glass jars because you can recycle them after use to store pens, brushes, flowers, q-tips or paperclips. My top 3 from Diptyque change often but for right now I like Baies, Noisetier and Figuier. The Mini Candle Holiday 10 Piece Set is the best way to sample a lot of fragrances at a reasonable price. Other favorites right this moment are the Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label and also the Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin.

The Best Luxury Candles from Diptyque, Jo Malone, Antica Farmacista

For those who find it challenging to step back and de-stress I hope find this post helpful for ideas or inspiration to take care of yourself. There are times you have to try and force yourself to take a moment or two out of your day to calm the mind and relax. Little things here and there can help you keep your sanity during busy times. I hope you will find the time to treat yourself in the next few weeks! I know it’s a lot easier said than done, I’ve definitely had a few stress meltdowns over the past couple of months and even though I’m usually pretty good at managing stress I need a little extra help now and then.

For those who are doing last minute beauty gift shopping don’t forget to check out the Gift With Purchase page. There are some promotions that need a promo code at checkout so don’t forget to check the details. Also be mindful of shipping cutoff times.

Do you have any favorite at-home spa essentials to de-stress and relax?

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post.

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Diptyque Fragrance Holiday Gift Guide Home / Interiors

Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Luxury Candles For the Home

December 1, 2016

Luxury Candles for Holiday

I have a gift guide roundup including some of my favorite candles for the home this holiday. I love those warm and cozy feel good scents this time of year. Pine and spice scents are always fun to give the ultimate Christmas kind of vibe, but if you’re not into those kinds of scents there are still lots of other options that are great for holiday. Ifย  you don’t want your house to smell like a pine tree or pumpkin, but still want something for your home or for a gift, I’ve rounded up alternatives for you.

The cutest luxury set this year is the Jo Malone Christmas Miniature Candle Collection ($110 for 5 candles, 1.2 oz each). This is definitely quite the splurge but comes packaged in a beautiful box that looks like a small tent box. The throw on these is phenomenal even though they are small. It contains Sweet Almond and Macaroon, Green Tomato Leaf, Frosted Cherry and Clove, Pomegranate Noir, Peony and Blush Suede.

Jo Malone Christmas Miniature Candle Collection

Byredo carries some of the most expensive candles on the luxury beauty market. I’ve splurged on a few here and there and love them, but the price is something that holds me back from trying them all (otherwise I would). If you’re shopping for someone who already has almost everything Byredo have some unique options that I think are great.

This year they’ve introduced three candles in a gorgeous color glass version at $85 each. Fleur Fantรดme and Cotton Poplin are my favorites for their soft relaxing feel and I ordered those immediately to add some color and life to our home. Bibliothรจque is also available in a green tinted version (this one smells like a sweeter version of Bal D’Afrique perfume). Another thing they’ve brought back this year are minis! (I reviewed three a year ago here.) The minis run at $35 each and right now they have them in Fleur Fantรดme, Bohemia, Cotton Poplin, Tree House and Bibliothรจque. For those new to the brand, you can find Byredo at Neiman Marcus, Barneys’s New York and Net-A-Porter.

The white frosted ones from last year are also still available, Figue Glacรฉe ($95) is my favorite as I love fig scents and this one has red currant, whipped vanilla cream, violet, bamboo and sandalwood mixed in. The other two Prune Glacรฉe and Cassis Glacรฉe are both very sweet.

Byredo Candles Holiday 2016 and Minis

The most elegant holiday scent is Antica Farmacista Black Label Champagne Collection. I love this line so much I’ll have a dedicated post on my picks. I ordered the Full Size Candle and it’s such a beautiful sparkling sweet citrus. It has Satsuma citrus, floral notes of muguet to soften the citrus, passionfruit, sugared blackcurrant and apricot. The candle comes with a box of matches in the lid. Below is also shown the Travel Candle, Room Spray and one of the minis in the Diffuser Trio.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label

Lumira continues to be a favorite candle line. I’m beyond obsessed with their Tahitian Coconut candle. For holiday they still have the Holiday Trio Set which has their best sellers:

  • Tuscan Fig has notes of fig leaves, fig tree, blackcurrant, cedarwood, iris and musk
  • Cuban Tobacco is one my husband loves and has in his office, it has tangerine, cardamom, clove bud, mahogany, patchouli, musk, vanilla, tobacco and floral notes
  • Persian Rose is the best rose candle I’ve burned because it’s not powdery or dated, it has Top notes of sparkling mandarin, bergamot zest, sweet orange, Middle notes of budding Persian rose, geranium essence, Base notes of soft musk, patchouli, dark amber

Lumira Holiday Trio Minis

Le Labo x Violet Grey have done a collaboration to launch a special exclusive of the Santal 26 Candle which comes in a beautiful black glass jar instead of the clear ones. The scent is still the same as the clear one, both are named Santal which has notes including amber, vanilla, cedar, musk and sandalwood. It has an earthy almost raw feel. Another great sandalwood home scent is the Molton Brown Coco and Sandalwood line. I own this scent in every option including the hand cream, shower gel, room spray and body lotion. The candle gives all kinds of cozy warm vibes. You can find the candle in a Single Wick ($49) version or Three Wick ($74) version.

Le Labo Violet Grey Santal and Molton Brown Coco Sandalwood Candles

Diptyque is always fun during the holiday. I think their pine scent is the best one that comes out each year. This year’s special edition candles come in a Holiday Candle Trio ($100) with minis that has Sparkling Incense, Delicious Spices and Festive Fir Tree. My favorite is the blue one Sparking Incense which has cloves, vanilla and incense. Quite a few of you asked for other recommendations as some mentioned you were disappointed in this year’s holiday options. Noisetier ($32 to $62) is hazelnut which is a warm and sweet scent but it’s not overly sweet. It has a mix of fruity and woody in it as well making it a delicious option. Vanille ($32 to $62) is another option, it’s a different kind of smoky vanilla. I didn’t really love it at first, it’s one that took me a while to get used to, but it’s a cozy option. To date the best vanilla scent is Henri Bendel’s Vanilla Bean – it’s not too sweet which is my biggest issue with most vanilla based candles.

Diptyque Holiday 2016

One last roundup: Sheepskin Rug, Chenille Throw, Pillows found at Pottery Barn

Best Holiday Candles for Home

Hope you enjoyed this roundup of some of my favorites! If I had to pick just three to burn the rest of the month, my top picks would be Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label, Molton Brown Coco and Sandalwood and Diptyque Noisetier.

Do you have any favorite holiday scents for the home? Let me know in the comments!

Press samples included from Lumira, Molton Brown and Antica Farmacista.

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