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Home Loft Tour

February 23, 2017

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Today I’m taking you inside our loft with a peek at our living space. Over the past couple of years so many of you have asked for a home tour. I’ve shown snippets here and there but as a rather private person I’ve been a bit hesitant to share our home, but today I’m finally giving you a look into our loft.  This post is bittersweet for me because as this post is being published we’ve actually packed everything up inside a moving truck and are on the road as we are relocating to Tampa, Florida! If you remember our Florida trip over the holiday this was a trip to explore the area and see if we could actually live there. I’ve lived in California for pretty much my entire life but both my husband and I felt like we were ready for a change of scenery and so decided to embark on a new adventure. There were a number of reasons we picked Florida, but the main reasons were weather and pet-related. We both like warm weather (I can’t remember the last time we’ve seen snow!) and the warm Florida climate seemed like the perfect place to transition to. Also because we have two dogs and a cat we ruled out cities for the time being. Our dogs need a nearby park or a backyard to run around in. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions for me. I can’t help but feel excited, sad, thrilled, apprehensive, and happy all at the same time. California has been home and I’ve never lived in another place since I was seven (aside from a couple months of travel) so leaving kinda breaks my heart. However we aren’t really saying goodbye. Who knows what will happen in the future, we may return or might find we fall in love with another city. Right now we’re saying yes to new adventures.

Enough rambling, onto our home tour. When we moved into this loft we were looking for a small-to-medium yet modern looking space. The floor to ceiling windows were just to die for beautiful and we fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. The concrete building was so different from our beach house that we had lived in previously for almost a decade. Out of all the places I’ve lived this has definitely been one of the most unique and memorable. I wanted to document bits here and there for memories and thought I’d share it with you too.

I have an empty space photo to show, this is what it looks like right before we moved out, empty just like it did when we moved in. Since it’s a loft it’s primarily an open space although the kitchen area is lined up  on a dividing wall to separate the bedroom/office area.

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

How we furnished the living room below. Since lofts tend to be small, all space had to be used or multi-purpose. The living area also has a work out section with a treadmill and a marble desk that doubles as a dining area and work space. By the time I took these photos we had already started packing up some of our things but this is pretty much what it looked like while we lived here. I’ll list our furniture at the bottom by room.

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft Pets | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Our loft is basically one big open space however we did have a partial dividing wall to separate an area for the bedroom and a corner by the window that I could use as my blog/work/storage area. The bedroom area was large enough for a king size bed and Ikea closet units with plenty of room for dressers and a side chair (not shown).

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Bathroom:

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

My work corner and a peek at how I organize my beauty products. Organization has always been a challenge. As a beauty blogger I go through quite a bit of product for testing and also for use. Being able to find things is essential especially for referencing items for comparisons or just know where something is when I want to use it. The organization system has always been evolving. I’ll do a separate post on organization for beauty. For now here’s a look at the different items I’ve tried. My husband had begged me for months to invest in a good tall cabinet or tall drawer unit. I was reluctant to install a closet system anywhere because for beauty products I either needed shallow drawers to be able to see things laid out versus stacked. Or I needed something clear to be able to see things easily.

Since I don’t use products from a single brand, bur rather many and also since makeup and skincare comes in a shapes, sizes, heights, widths etc. finding something to store a wide range of items has been challenging. I started with Muji acrylic drawers which I find great for lipstick, glosses, small compacts, but it requires you to lay things flat. Also sizes are limited. It took me over a year of research to decide what other acrylic units to invest in. Many are expensive and the biggest deterrent for me was the time it took to make and ship the units. Some said it would take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks as each one was custom made. I lack patience when it comes to shipping so I didn’t order one until I found two options that would ship immediately. GLAMboxes launched on QVC with inexpensive quick shipping so I ordered the GLAMboxes GLAMpetite with a Partial Lid ($199). Another one I found with good reviews is the Original Beauty Box and they did not have a long wait time for shipping so I also ordered the Deluxe Beauty Box ($159) to compare. Both are well made and the drawers slide easily and smoothly which was really important for me. I haven’t seen a wide range of acrylic units so I can’t report on quality comparisons to other brands, but both are functional, well made, sturdy and work well. Since the Original Beauty Box has drawers that are taller it worked better for me. Although it can get heavy if you stack items – I haven’t had any issues opening the drawers with what I put inside though. I liked the Original Beauty Box so much I ordered two more.

Other storage units include Ikea Alex Drawers (I like the wider ones). Inside I use Container Store plastic bins and lipstick dividers to store and organize products. They aren’t completely filled with plastic bins as I find some items are ok free floating.

To organize new products to be tested or swatched I started using clear plastic shoe boxes from the Container Store. The ones I bought were relatively cheap in price and look and feel cheap, but they are functional and fit my bookshelves perfectly so right now they work.

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Modern California Loft | The Beauty Look Book

Below, left to right: GLAMboxes GLAMpetite with a Partial Lid, Muji Acrylic Stand, Ikea Alex Drawer with Container Store plastic dividers

Beauty Storage Glamboxes vs Original Beauty Box | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve tried to list everything by room for those curious about where we bought our home furnishings. It took us at least six months to fully furnish the place as we found it challenging to find what we wanted that would ship within a reasonable time. It had been a few years since we did major furniture shopping so we did not realize that buying furniture would require sometimes several months for delivery time. If there’s anything I missed let me know – I will be traveling cross country this week but will get back to you as soon as we’ve had a chance to settle in.

Living Room

  • Rochelle Couch from Crate and Barrel
  • Rochelle Side Chairs from Crate and Barrel
  • Wooden coffee table from Crate and Barrel, discontinued old style, current version here
  • Tulip round side tables (one marble, one black wood) from Rove Concepts
  • Side rectangular glass tables from Crate and Barrel
  • Large floor lamp from CB2
  • Black leather chairs from IFN Modern
  • Blue rug from Crate and Barrel
  • Large metal tray from Pottery Barn (old style)
  • Walnut shelves and console from Modani (older styles)
  • Treadmill from Nordic Track (last year’s model, current one is the 1750 here)
  • Yoga mat by Manduka (old style, but it’s the PRO version)

Bathroom

Bedroom

  • Bed from Crate and Barrel, Tate Style
  • Bedding from a mix of West Elm (braided quilt and mini stripe coverlets) and Pottery Barn (old style)
  • Closet solutions and shoe storage from Ikea
  • Night stand tables from Crate and Barrel (Osborn style, discontinued)

My Office Space

I hope you enjoyed this home tour even though by now we have moved on. There were some areas such as our closet, kitchen details and bathroom areas which I didn’t photograph but hope this gives you a glimpse into how we decorated and styled our home. My husband and I have similar but different tastes. He loves more color and fun accents while I would be thrilled to have an entire monochrome house with neutrals. I think we found a good balance with this one. For our next home the space we will have is going to be 2x the size of our loft so there will be a lot of space to fill and decorate.

Many of you have asked how we keep the loft clean with three fluffy pets, all of which have white fur and shed a lot. My husband is the organized and clean one so he did a lot of research on vacuums and pet grooming. We have used an iRobot Roomba for the past 10 years. They get regular use on a daily basis so we’ve gone through 3. We always bought the cheapest option which runs around $400. For Christmas Andrew decided to get the 980 iRobot Roomba as my Christmas present. It’s more than double the price but works noticeably better and hands down well worth the investment – especially if you have pets or if your home gets dusty easily. If you want a list of the other vacuums he’s bought I can list them in this post, but the Roombas are a life saver.

I’ll be on the road for the next several days and will have limited access to my computer while we make our way across the US to our new home. You can follow along on Instagram @beautylookbook as I’ll be posting a few things here and there along the way.

Hope your week is going well! More fun beauty reviews to come as soon as I’ve settled in. I was able to get a sneak preview of the new Tom Ford Soleil items yesterday (details on Instagram and if you can catch IG stories before they disappear) and everything is to die for! I also bought three of the Rouge Coco Glosses which I’ll be putting to the test while on the road.

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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Fragrance Holiday Gift Guide Home / Interiors

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label for Holiday

December 14, 2016

Antica Farmacista Holiday 2016 Champagne Black Label

I discovered Antica Farmacista over the summer thanks to a recommendation from a friend and have been enamored with what I’ve discovered so far. The team sent over a few pieces for holiday and I was so smitten with the Champagne Black Label scent I went ahead and ordered other items such as the candles for the home and for gifts. I included items in my Luxury Candle Holiday Gift Guide and today I have more items to review. Home fragrance comes in a number of options and formats. While I love burning candles for creating the perfect relaxed ambiance, diffusers and room sprays are great alternatives.

What I have tested:

The Champagne Black Label scent is one of the prettiest feminine home scents I’ve ever smelled. It’s sparkling, sweet and has a very fresh feel – reminds me of what a luxury spa smells like. It has Satsuma citrus, muguet, apricot, passionfruit and sugared black currant. The throw of the mini diffuser in the trio set has decent throw that it fills up the entire bathroom (we have a small one). It’s girly but not too girly that it bothers my husband. For the candles I prefer the larger size, the small one is cute and the packaging is adorable but it burned through quickly. Throw and lasting power of the Room Fragrance Spray is good as a refresher and it lingers for at least one hour. If you want something that lasts longer, opt for one of the larger diffusers or candle.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label Diffusers and Room Sprays for holiday

Little details and touches make all the difference and I’m absolutely smitten with the fact that the Champagne Black Label Candle (in the full size) comes with matches inside the lid of the box. I get easily excited about small things like this but I have never bought a candle before like this with such pretty packaging.

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label

The diffuser I reviewed back in July is about 75% used up. I bought several other scents during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and gave a few to my husband to put in his office. Several readers who have tried the line commented that some scents have good throw for the reed diffusers while others do not and I agree with their assessment. The ones for holiday have very good throw in my experience – I have both the mini 100 ml size and full size 500 ml size.

Another beautiful limited-edition set is the Home Ambiance Diffuser Trio. My husband has a full-size Manhattan in his office and likes it for a nice subtle warm citrus with spice and pepper. He put it in the restrooms of his office to keep them smelling nice. I’ve have the Champagne Black Label opened in our home. I have not yet tried or smelled the Vanilla, Bourbon and Mandarin and given the fact that these diffusers seem to last a long time it may be a few months before I open it up. The holiday set is beautifully packaged and fairly reasonable at the $64 price point. I think it’s one that can make a great hostess gift and can also work well for co-worker or office gifts. Home scent can be tricky for gifting as fragrance of any kind is personal but I do think these will be suitable for any age or style.

Antica Farmacista Home Ambiance Trio Set

Antica Farmacista Champagne Black Label Room Spray and Diffuser

Tray from West Elm but no longer available, similar style here and here

Overall I’m impressed and everything I’ve tried from Antica Farmacista so far is just exquisite. The scents are strong and long lasting. They add a sophisticated touch to the home and I love that the scents are feminine but not too girly. The Champagne Black Label is limited-edition and if you’re looking for a good holiday scent that won’t leave the home smelling like a Christmas Tree or Pumpkin Spices this is a great one to try this season or gift. All my friends and family say that I’m the hardest to shop for and I always tell them not to stress and if they want to get me something, I’m beyond thrilled with something simple like a Diptyque candle (because I do use them a lot) or candy because I’m the biggest sugar addict. For those who are hard to shop for this line is one line I think you can’t go wrong with.

You can find Antica Farmacista at their website, also available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

If you’ve tried anything from this line let me know what your favorites are!

Press samples provided including the diffuser, diffuser set, and room spray. Candles purchased by me.

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Diptyque Fragrance Home / Interiors Lifestyle

Scented Luxuries for the Home

July 28, 2016

I love little home accents to add a bit of luxury whether it’s something as simple as a nice hand wash or a beautiful candle. Little details can add a bit of life to the home or give it a more personal touch. As many of you know, I’m beyond obsessed with Diptyque (my favorites in this round up here). There’s nothing quite like a good scented candle to set the mood and since Diptyque has a wide range of options, there is something for everyone. They are quite the splurge but worth every penny.

I’ve rounded up a few more home fragrance options that I love including items that aren’t candles. All of these can double as great hostess gifts – or really gifts for any occasion. I always have extra Diptyque candles stocked up for those moments I need a last minute gift, or when my husband needs a gift. Of course as one of my friends and I discussed, there are some people who won’t appreciate the special nature of a Diptyque candle in which case we both agree great alternatives are hand creams.

Up first is a line that I just discovered called Antica Farmacista. I’ve seen it at Nordstrom and other retailers and after trying a few items I can’t believe it took me this long to try it out. They’ve been kind enough to offer Beauty Look Book readers a mini body butter with any order, simply use code ANTICABLB at checkout.

I’ve tested out three products so far and a few of you have e-mailed me a few additional recommendations after seeing it featured on my social last week. Their Platinum Round Candles come in a 9 oz size with 60 hours of burn time. They’re cased in a glass jar with a platinum leaf pattern. I’ve been burning Cucumber and Lotus Flower and scent fills the whole room even without burning. The throw is very good once burned and this is such a calming scent. It has a mix of Crenshaw melon, green apple, olive, coriander, heliotrope, rose and jasmine with cucumber. For something that has a lot of notes it smells very streamlined and clean. It is a green scent but a cucumber green versus a leafy green. I highly recommend it, especially with the hot summer heat – it gives the home a cooled effect.

The Reed Diffusers are beautiful. I’ve been using Aqua which is another fresh and clean scent. As with most diffusers the effect is softer than burning a candle or using a room spray but the scent is definitely noticeable. It’s more prominent in smaller rooms like a bathroom, but I’ve placed this in our living room and it gives the entire room a soft clean scent. It’s a huge plus for us since we have 3 furry critters at home (thank God for roombas). We bathe them frequently but and added help with scents is a life saver.
Last but not least are the Body Butters which are ultra luxurious. I normally prefer unscented body products or dry oils (the L’Occitane Extra Gentle Shea Butter is my go-to) but the Bergamot and Ocean Aria is one of the most incredible to die for clean scents I’ve ever tried. It leaves the body feeling silky smooth – no greasy residue left behind. I found it moisturized the body well and didn’t irritate my super sensitive skin (I blow up in bumps if I use Kiehl’s lotions, although I can use their shower gels just fine). Unlike other body butters, the scent lasted all day but was soft enough that it didn’t give me a migraine. I was sent a couple minis, Orange Blossom, Lilac and Jasmine is a sweet orange blossom kind of scent. Prosecco is a citrus floral with black currant, apricot and passionfruit – it smells like a spa.

Next up includes the cutest travel sized set I think I’ve ever seen. I had to replenish on some shower gels from Molton Brown last month and browsed the site for a few things to add on to my order. I came across the Best Sellers Travel Hand Wash Set and immediately ordered. I literally squealed when they arrived in the mail because I’m a sucker for minis and these each come with a pump. They’re bigger than the tiny baby shower gels which makes them a good trial size but more than a 3x use kind of product. They clean the hands nicely without drying them out and there’s no film leftover after rinsing. My favorite is Pomegranate and Ginger.

These are 100 ml each compared to the full sized Hand Washes that are 300 ml each. Shown hand held also to show scale. I can’t get over how cute these are! They are a little spendy if you break down the set price of $45, it comes out to a little over $11 per mini bottle. There are a few good promos offers online right now though. You can get a free 3.3 fl oz body wash when you spend $70 with code 70WASH at checkout (you get a choice from 15 options) and if you spend $150 you get a 4-piece Travel Set + Luxury Luggage Tag with code GETAWAY150.

Acrylic Tray by West Elm, on the nails Marc Jacobs Resurrection

Other favorite home luxuries include the Lumira Darsana Candle (review here). For those new to Lumira, they are an Australia-based candle company and their scents are incredible. My husband has the Cuban Tobacco in his office. My personal favorite is Tahitian Coconut. Darsana is part of their limited-edition Collezione Bianca launch and I love the clean white packaging.

Diptyque Baies and Figuier are my top two favorites from the line. They have a special limited-edition box in the mini size as part of their summer voyages collection. I splurged on the Large Scented Candle in Figuier once – it cost me an arm and a leg, but my husband wanted one for our home so I didn’t resist. It lasted us for months because I burned a little at a time. We’ve since recycled it and I use it for large flowers or to chill champagne. If you shop at Club Monaco stores they often burn the large Baies candles there and it always smells great in the stores.

Last but not least are Le Labo x The Laundress Detergent. These are extremely pricey so I use them sparingly but they are worth every penny. I can’t decide which one I prefer, Santal has that amazing musky sandalwood and cedar mix which I love. Rose on the other hand smells incredible for sheets and it’s not too girly. On the last special gifting occasion we had my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for a Le Labo Detergent lol! He got me something else instead, he said, “I am not getting you laundry detergent for your birthday – even if it’s fancy.”

That wraps up my roundup of scented luxuries for the home. As always I’d love to hear about your favorites! I think the Antica Farmacista Reed Diffusers are nice alternatives to candles – especially since you don’t have to worry about flames or smoke.

What ways do you add little touches to your home to give it an extra special touch? It doesn’t have be something fragranced! I love adding little decorative objects but it usually takes me ages to find ones that I like. Flowers or candles are the easiest for me because they are so simple. I’d love to hear ideas from you!

Press samples include items from Lumira and Antica Farmacista. All others purchased by me.

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Birchbox Beauty in Bloom Box for Spring (Limited-Edition)

May 14, 2016
Birchbox launched a new limited-edition box for spring called Beauty in Bloom ($64 for a $188 retail value). Many of you are familiar with the monthly subscription boxes they offer for both women and men, but they also have special Limited-Edition Boxes available that are really good deals. The Beauty in Bloom Box is one of those boxes you can purchase whether or not you’re a subscriber that has a pretty mix of makeup, skincare and accessories – all of which I will use. Sometimes pre-made kits can be a miss even if the set is a good deal – if there’s a good portion in the set you don’t think you’ll use or are interested in trying, even a good deal can be a waste. This one is a really good one and has a mix of full-sized items with trial-sized minis.

Here’s what’s in the box, I’ve linked the full-size individual items from Birchbox in the image for reference if you’re only interested in some of the items but I’ll list them below as well:


The box comes beautifully packaged in a large pink box which makes it all ready to go for gifting if you’re looking for a spring birthday gift (or for any occasion):
  • NEST Fragrance Votive Candle (mini) in Grapefruit – I tried NEST for the first time over the holiday and was so impressed with the throw and strength of the candles, I find they are reasonably priced, this is my first time smelling grapefruit and it’s sweet but not overly sweet – the little votive fills our entire place with the scent in a matter of minutes
  • NEST Fragrances Indigo Eau de Parfum – this is my first time trying NEST fragrances, the little one comes with a rollerball tip which is really convenient, Indigo is a very sweet blackberry floral, along the lines of Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay but more floral, it’s very strong but doesn’t cause migraines for me, I’m undecided on this one because it’s extremely sweet, but I like having a decent sized mini to try out
  • Lollia Relax Shea Butter Hand Cream – Travel Size – my box has the lavender one which I have not yet had a chance to try but the packaging is really cute and I like lavender scents for hand creams, since the box is limited-edition I wanted to write about it and let you know before it sold out
  • Davines OI/Oil – I used this many years ago and did a blog post on this in the early days of the Beauty Look Book blog, my local salon carried the line but over the years they downsized what they carried in store so I never repurchased, it’s a versatile oil you can use pre-heat styling or after, I love the way it smells which is hard to describe but it adds shine and makes the hair super soft without feeling heavy or greasy, there are over 4,700 reviews on this one online at Birchbox, I really believe this one is worth the splurge of a full bottle, I need to make a note to myself to order
  • Laura Gellar Baked Blush in Maui (full size) – different boxes get different colors, mine had Maui inside which is a soft matte pink, in general I don’t like baked matte blushes because they almost always darken on my skin and make it look flat/lifeless, Maui is a soft buildable pink with a smooth texture that’s flawless, I’m still testing this out but it didn’t darken on my skin
  • Stila HUGE Extreme lash mascara – I love mascara minis but am the biggest skeptic when it comes to trying mascara, I have straight lashes and often times mascaras do not hold the curl or smudge like crazy on me, I had little to no expectation for this one and was surprised to find how amazing this one is, it held the curl, made lashes look huge without being clumpy and did not smudge, the only downside is I found it very challenging to remove at the end of the day, but given the effect and results I’m willing to overlook that
  • Mally Beauty Eye-Amplifying Shadow Liner (full size) in Stone – there are different color options for the boxes, I’m not sure if you’re able to pick out the color, Stone is a cool silver taupe that blends with impressive pigment, you do have to blend quickly because once it sets it does not budge at all, I like the formula but the color seems on the light side to be a liner, it works well as a shadow for me
  • Darphin Intral Toner (travel-size) is something I’ve always wanted to try but didn’t want to buy the full size without being able to test it, I haven’t used this one yet but it’s on my list to try out in the upcoming week
  • Smith and Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in Hi-Speed Sonnet is a medium rosey pink with high shine and shimmer, as many of you know most of the Smith and Cult glosses are very sheer in color, this one had a lot more pigment and color payoff compared to the others I’ve tried
  • Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist (travel-size) is a classic staple as far as face mists go, it’s a gentle and soft refresher you can apply before moisturizer
  • Umbra Prisma Tray is the cutest tray I’ve seen in a long time and well made for the price (it’s $15 separately), I love how the brass accent adds an edgy but classic touch to it while the neutral canvas base makes it look feminine and soft

Swatches of some of the color items:

Quick snapshot of the lips and cheeks:


One last look:
For $64 I think the Beauty in Bloom Box is a steal. I think it’s a well balanced kit that has a little bit of everything and all the items in it are products I can see myself using. I think accessories are sometimes hard to pick out for others or for kits – everyone has different styles or tastes. There have been some kits with hair accessories I would never ever wear. The tray in this one is one I think is possibly universal regardless of style or age – it makes a great accent piece. The minis are generously sized which gives you more than just a 1-3x use so you can give them a better test drive before deciding to buy any full sized version.

I give this one a thumbs up. You can find the Birchbox Beauty in Bloom Box for $64 online at Birchbox. Do note it’s a limited-edition box. 

Beauty in Bloom was provided courtesy of Birchbox for review consideration.

Diptyque Fragrance Home / Interiors

The Beauty Look Book Diptyque Favorites

April 18, 2016

I’ve been a long-time Diptyque lover and many of you have seen that their candles and fragrances are a huge part of my everyday life. This post has been highly requested as many of you ask me for recommendations on a regular basis. I think fragrance shopping can be overwhelming if you’re new to the line or don’t have in person access to smell their products. When I first discovered Diptyque it was hard to find – only a few stores carried it and they were at least a 2 hour drive away from where I lived. Sometimes it took me several trips that happened over a few months before I could decide to splurge on one. You know the drill – sometimes you have to smell something and think about it before deciding whether or not to buy a scent whether it’s perfume or for the home. In the past 5 years they’ve expanded their offerings to more retailers which I’m thrilled about and have also opened up quite a few new free standing boutiques. I thought it was time I did a roundup of my favorites and a mini guide on the brand in case you’re new to the line and want some ideas of where to start exploring.

For me fragrance is seasonal and home scents are no exception. I’ve tried to include non-seasonal launches that will work for right now (spring to summer). Diptyque occasionally launches limited-edition seasonal options typically in the spring with a rose-theme (the latest one was Rosaviola) and also options during the holiday.

In terms of home fragrance brands in general, my favorite lines of the moment include Diptyque, Henri Bendel and Byredo. I do enjoy items from Malin + Goetz, Cire Trudon, Le Labo and Jo Malone as well – but my most-burned candles are hands down from Diptyque. Fragrance preference is so personal and for me Diptyque remains at the top of my list for adding a special touch to the home. I find the scents to be beautiful and love how well designed the packaging is. I love the way they burn and how the scents can lift one’s mood. I truly think they are worth the splurge.

Standard Candles and Size Options
Up first is a breakdown of the standard scent options and sizes. Shown below from left to right are the standard options you can buy individually.

Colored Glass Candles $90 for 10.2 oz
Estimated Burn Time 90 hours
Available in Baies, Figuier,
Tubereuse, Ambre, Feu de Bois
Standard Glass Jars $62 for 6.5 oz 
Estimated Burn Time 60 hours
Available in the widest range of scents in the line

Large Scented Outdoor Candles $290 for 51.2 oz
(shown repurposed as a flower pot)
Estimated Burn Time 190 hours
Available in Baies, Figuier,
Tubereuse, Feu de Bois

Mini $32 for 3.2 oz
Estimated Burn Time 20 hours
Available in a smaller selection of 15 scents

Standard scents are split into categories like Fruity, Woody, Spicy, Herbal, and Floral. Most of the scents can be easily found at a wide range of retailers. You can also find the Collection 34 options at most retailers too. These come in a slightly different jar that is a matte porcelain jar currently available in 3 options (all shown in this post here, also priced slightly higher than the standard options).

For the standard options my top four picks include:
  • La Prouveresse (from Collection 34) – pulls on the masculine side with notes of fig, cypress and cedarwood with an earthy and raw feel
  • Feuille de Lavande – strong lavender with an earthy feel
  • Baies (black colored version c/o) – mix of blackcurrant and rose
  • Figuier – the best warm fig I’ve ever tried

Boutique Exclusives are scents that are exclusive to Diptyque stores and their website. In my experience their website frequently goes out of stock on a number of these options but they do restock frequently. Stores tend to have more stock compared to their website and although I find ordering online is what I prefer, their boutique have excellent customer service. My top picks on the boutique exclusives include:
  • Cuir – leather and birch bark with a very clean feel
  • Aubepine – hawthorn, powdery floral that has an almond feel
  • Tilleul – sweet linden scent with a hint of lime, floral fresh and green
  • Tomas Maier Palm Beach – mix of citrus and floral, with noticeable hints of jasmine, iris and sea salt with a green touch
Also shown below is a pair of the Wick Trimmers which I’ve found invaluable in trimming and catching burnt wicks. They can be found at all Diptyque retailers.

Photophores are decorative accessories and come in several options. For the most part these are exclusive to the boutiques. Here’s a quick snapshot I took of the glass options lined up in Printemps when I visited Paris last year. They are on the pricey side but they make beautiful decorative accents for the home. In recent holiday seasons they’ve started offering the Large Photophore + Baies or Large Photophore + Feu de Bois as a set (one with straight lines) at multiple retailers.

If you’re curious on which ones I own, I have the Large Full Twist (shown here), Small Full Twist (shown here) and Oiseaux Photophore (shown here).

Perfumes from the line are tricky for me. I adore the way many of them smell but there’s something with my body chemistry that doesn’t work the best with Diptyque perfumes. Others work well as a home fragrance like fig or vanilla but aren’t scents I feel comfortable wearing. Three that I really love:
  • L’Ombre Dans L’Eau is the Baies equivalent in perfume form. It’s a heavier blackcurrant kind of scent that I think is perfect for special occasions. For me it’s not one I can wear everyday although my husband really likes it on me. (I have this one in a couple of the mini vials.)
  • Eau de Sens (c/o) is the newest fragrance from Diptyque. It’s the best orange blossom I’ve found that works with my chemistry. Most turn too sweet or have a bitter dry down, this is just perfect as an in between kind of scent. It has orange blossom, bitter orange, juniper berries, angelica and patchouli.
  • Florabellio (c/o) was last spring’s launch and to this day it’s one of the most unique scents I own. It’s description makes me think it would be the last scent I would ever wear as it has a mix of apple blossoms, apricot, fennel, sea salt, coffee and toasted sesame. It’s sweet and summery.

Room Sprays – I just did a post on the two new ones Gingembre and Fleur D’Oranger (c/o) here so I won’t repeat the review. Figuier and Baies reviewed here. I think they are all really good so I can’t pick a favorite but I would say right now it’s a tie between Baies and Gingembre. Thoughts on the difference between the candles and room sprays in both review posts linked above. (Note the lavender one isn’t available in the US.)

Frequently asked questions:
  • Where is the best place to buy Diptyque? 
    •  You can find these at a wide range of retailers. My preference is to shop in the free-standing stores/boutiques because they have the best customer service in my experience and also have the widest selection. Since I don’t have one near me though I also order online from Nordstrom and Space NK.
  • Do these ever go on sale?
    • I’ve never seen them go on sale, although they do offer occasional gift with purchase minis, these are unfortunately hard to find. Check Nordstrom during their Double or Triple Points Events, Neiman Marcus during their Incircle or Beauty Weeks, individual free standing stores often have promotions too.
  • I’m going to be buying my first Diptyque candle? Which one should I start with?
    • Oooh, tough one! I would say that it really depends on what kinds of scents you like but the three I’ve gifted the most frequently include Baies, Figuier and Roses – I don’t think you could go wrong with any of these. You might want to consider the Mini Candle Trio to start. Some retailers still have the 10 Piece Holiday Candle set from the holiday season too.
  • How long does a candle last?
    • For me a standard candle can lasts months – I don’t know why but it takes me forever to finish burning a candle! Notes on burn time near the top of the post next to each sizing. I haven’t actually timed the burn time from start to finish though.
  • Are there any tips on how to care for candles?
    • Yes, lots of tips in my Candle Care Tips post – be sure to trim the wicks after each burn, also note the timing of the first burn is important to make sure you avoid tunneling.
  • The sides of my candle start burning and turn black with the residual burn, is this normal?
    • Sometimes wicks can migrate so you need to push them back to the center if they start to move. Be sure you trim the wicks before you burn – having long wicks can make them smoke and burn the sides.
  • Is the wick trimmer worth the price?
    • Yes I do think it is. You can use regular scissors or nail clippers or anything sharp to cut the wick too – but it is nice to have a dedicated tool so the wick doesn’t smudge other things you have. The beveled tip also makes it nice to catch the trimmed portion.
  • Is there a difference between shopping at a retailer like Nordstrom or Space NK vs shopping at the individual stores?
    • Yes – individual stores have exclusives, offer beautiful gift wrapping and often have promotions that larger retailers don’t. In my experience the staff at Diptyque stores are very knowledgeable, friendly and I’ve never felt pressure to buy. I’ve done a few stories on boutiques including South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa), Maiden Lane (San Francisco), Larchmont (Los Angeles), 34 Boulevard Saint Germain (Paris).
  • What about their body products? Any thoughts on those?
  • Best way to clean out residual wax once the burn is finished? 
    • There are a number of different ways to remove remaining wax. I have a tutorial in my Diptyque Candle Jars Recycled post. My favorite way is to use warm water and dish soap in repeated steps to soften the wax and help clean the edges. Although others recommend freezing or boiling, I wouldn’t recommend those methods which I find can make the glass prone to cracking or can damage the sticker labels.
  • What do you do with all the empties?
    • I recycle or repurpose most of them! You can use them to store pens, makeup brushes, beauty minis, roller-ball perfumes, q-tips, etc.

I hope you found this round up guide on Diptyque helpful! I’ve been a fan for years and still haven’t tried every scent they have. For me everytime I visit a boutique I learn something new. I’ve tried a lot more than I’ve featured in the recommendations above but as a starting point I wanted to share the ones that were my absolute favorites. I get asked on a weekly basis what my top picks are and I think there is so much to explore and preferences depend on the season, but if I were to narrow down my top five favorites right now, they would include Baies, Figuier, Cuir, Gingembre Room Spray and Tomas Maier Palm Beach.
You can find Diptyque at a wide range of retailers these days. I’m always thrilled when I find they’ve expanded their distribution because it makes it easier for me to find. Available at Nordstrom, Space NK (special TBLB promo code valid through May 1st), Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Diptyque.

Some items featured include press samples indicated with “c/o.”
Most items featured purchased by me.
Diptyque Fragrance Home / Interiors

Diptyque Room Sprays Fleur D’Oranger and Gingembre

March 23, 2016

Diptyque launched two new room sprays for spring called Fleur D’Oranger and Gingembre ($65 each for 150 ml / 5 fl oz). Both are fresh and bright home scents with a citrus feel. I’ve been a fan of several others from Diptyque including Baies and Figuier because they are great room refreshers and also make for nice mood lifters for the home.





Fleur D’Oranger is a honey orange blossom scent with a citrus floral smell. I can clearly detect the orange notes but there is a strong floral feel to it. I asked my husband what he thought this one smelled like and all he could smell was “floral.” When I told him it was orange and honey he had to take a minute to recognize the citrus notes. Overall Fleur D’Oranger has a very strong feel to it – it only takes a few sprays to fill the entire room – but this of course will depend on the size of the room you are trying to refresh. As mentioned in previous reviews on the Diptyque room sprays, the scent lingers for several hours but will fade slowly. The scents won’t linger as long as the candles do, but the scent power of the sprays is more concentrated and stronger than the candles which I feel is what makes them last in a room for a while. Sometimes I like to spray it on our sofa cushions so I’m literally sitting in a beautiful bright-feeling fragrance.

Above: Love, Style Life book, Smythson Notebook, Gucci Sunglasses (discontinued, similar here and here), Truffle Clarity Clutch Mini in White (c/o), Surratt Prismatique Lips (swatched here)
The other scent Gingembre is a bright ginger scent with strong citrus notes. When I first spray it, Gingembre smells like a straight citrus orange scent, but after it sets for a little ginger notes become more visible for a very pure and fresh scent. It makes me feel alive and awake. Out of the two, I would say it would be very hard for me to pick a favorite – but I have a slight preference for the Gingembre.

A quick look at our little collection of Diptyque Room Sprays. They last quite a long time each. At this time we’ve used up one bottle each of the Baies and Figuier and repurchased both. My husband likes these because they refresh a room faster than waiting for a candle to burn and fill up the room with scent. I’ve been trying to ration the Feuille de Lavande because it’s one you can’t buy in the US (we bought ours in Paris last summer and I wish I had brought home more of the scents available in Europe) it’s the most amazing relaxing home fragrance I’ve tried.

Bottom line both are beautiful home scents for spring. I hope they consider making Gingembre into a candle form. As with most Diptyque products these come with a steep price tag. Taking the first step to splurge is the hardest (it was for me) but once I tried one I fell in love. I know many friends who have also felt the same way and we’ve never regretted any Diptyque purchases.

You can find the new Diptyque room sprays at Diptyque stores and online. They are also available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York. These just launched so I suspect more retailers will stock these soon. Have you tried any Diptyque room sprays? Which ones are your favorites? If not do you have any favorite home fragrance room sprays?

Fleur D’Oranger and Gingembre provided as courtesy press samples for review. All others from my personal collection and purchased by me.