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MAC

MAC Fruity Juicy Collection Review and Swatches

May 18, 2017

MAC Fruity Juicy Collection Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC launches their Fruity Juicy Collection online today and it has some of the cutest packaging I’ve ever seen. The collection has summery vibes with a mix of bright shades with bronzers and I have a few pieces to review today. Items with descriptions:

  • Pearlmatte Face Powder in Oh My, Passion! is a pretty soft peachy powder when swirled that doubles as a highlighter and blush for me, if you get one thing from the collection I think this should be it – the sheen is just divine on the skin without being too frosty, colors are embossed in a gorgeous floral print (individual shades swatched below)
  • Bronzing Powder in Baiana Bronze is a neutral cool matte brown, I thought it would be too dark/cool for my skin but the texture and finish actually works really well, I love that it has a silky smooth finish and doesn’t darken or look muddy
  • Prep+Prime Fix+ in Coconut has the most fun fruity design on the bottle, it has a very subtle coconut scent to it and I love that it’s not overly sweet
  • Cremesheen Glass in Summer Succulence is a sheer light milky beige, it’s pretty much clear on me but adds a soft light colored sheen to the lips
  • Cremesheen Glass in Cha-Cha-Cha is a sheer melon pink, it’s sheer but really lovely
  • Amplified Creme Lipstick in Love At First Bite is a super bright hot pink, it’s super pigmented with a slight sheen, texture is ultra creamy and smooth

MAC Fruity Juicy Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

A closer look at the items and swatches, up first are the two cheek products Baiana Bronze and Oh My, Passion!:

MAC Fruity Juicy Baiana Bronze and Oh My, Passion! | The Beauty Look Book

I swatched the colors for Oh My, Passion separately and swirled. Together it gives the skin such a pretty soft peachy tint!

MAC Fruity Juicy Baiana Bronze and Oh My, Passion! swatches | The Beauty Look Book

A look a the lip colors and a quick beauty look, shown left to right is Cha-Cha-Cha, Summer Succulence and Love at First Bite:

MAC Fruity Juicy Lip Cha-Cha-Cha, Summer Succulence and Love at First Bite | The Beauty Look Book

Swatched left to right is Summer Succulence, Cha-Cha-Cha and Love at First Bite:

MAC Fruity Juicy Lip Cha-Cha-Cha, Summer Succulence and Love at First Bite | The Beauty Look Book

Lip swatches on bare lips, beauty look has the Oh My Passion Pearlmatte Face Powder, Honeylust Eyeshadow, Love at First Bite applied and blotted down topped with Cha-Cha-Cha gloss.

MAC Fruity Juicy Lip Cha-Cha-Cha, Summer Succulence and Love at First Bite | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a look a the Prep+Prime Fix+ in Coconut, I’m in love with the packaging. It’s so fun and summery and the colors matched all the flowers we have in our backyard.

MAC Fruity Juicy Prep+Prime Fix+ Coconut | The Beauty Look Book

That rounds up the pieces I have from the collection. Everything is limited-edition. The items launch online today at MAC Cosmetics and Nordstrom. It should be available at other counters and MAC stores as well.

 

Most of the Fruity Juicy items featured provided as press samples. Oh My Passion purchased by me.

Loving Right Now Roundup

Spring Neutrals and Staples

May 16, 2017

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

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

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick beauty look with:

Neutral Makeup | the beauty look book

Spring Beauty and Neutral Makeup | The Beauty Look Book

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

Shop the Post

 

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

MAC

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora Review + Comparisons

May 5, 2017

MAC partnered with 10 YouTubers and Instagram influencers around the world to create custom made lipsticks this spring. These special collaborations have been done in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Australia and the Middle East and you can only find the lipstick from each region specific to the area the influencers are from. For the US there were two launched for YouTube stars Laura Lee with #MACxLarLarLee (matte finish) and Gabriel Zamora for #MACxGabrielZamora (satin finish). Both were online exclusives and if you’re like me you blinked and then saw them sell out pretty fast. I’m hoping MAC will restock but won’t hold my breath as they were listed as limited-edition. As a MAC fan I would have loved to be able to buy all 10 as I think it’s so cool these influencers were able to make their own unique shade.

I know not being able to get these now is a bit heartbreaking (they were online exclusives to MAC’s website). I was traveling over the past few weeks and wasn’t able to get the review up early but thought it might be helpful to swatch these next to other lipstick colors. Many of you love the comparison swatches and if I can help you find a dupe or something similar (and even save you $$ in many cases) then my day is made. First a look at both shades.

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

On the nails is Essie Spin the Bottle (my fav neutral nail polishes here)

Both of these are beautiful neutrals but as many of you know, nudes and neutrals can be tricky to pull off depending on your lip tone and skin tone. I personally love shades like MAC Blankety, Angel, Creme Cup and Creme de Nude on my hand, but on my lips alone they are a complete disaster. #MACxLarLarLee is described as a universally flattering neutral pink with a matte finish. On me it pulls a bit cool as there is a tiny bit of mauve undertone. I think it photographs decent but in real life it’s too cool and tad too light for my olive skintone especially since I have darkened a couple shades since moving to Florida. Right now I’m a solid NC35-NC37 in the Studio Fix Fluid (NC25, NC30, NC35 and NC37 swatched here). Topping it with a gloss or adding a bit of liner like MAC Whirl makes it wearable for me. The closest option I could find is Yash which is nearly identical, but Yash is the slightest bit deeper and warmer with more beige.

#MACxGabrielZamora is the warmer and deeper option of the two. It’s described as a brown nude shade and I love the way this looks on Gabriel. On me it pulls slightly terracotta-ish. Almost like a 90’s version of nude but a lot more wearable than the classic MAC Spice Lipliner. This is another one I think photographs well but will look completely different depending on your skintone. I suspect if you are lighter or fairer than me it will definitely pull more red. On deeper skin tones or lip tones this will look more nude.

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches:

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

Close up lip swatches:

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

I couldn’t really find dupes but pulled what I had to compare, Set 1 has all MAC shades. I suspect that the Gabriel Zamora shade might be close to Creme in Your Coffee but I don’t own that one so I couldn’t swatch it.

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora Comparison Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Thoughts on the shades from left to right (P.S. Nordstrom has MAC on 10% off today, not sure how long it’s going on but they are price matching):

  • MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Japanese Maple is a lot lighter and glossier almost white-looking by comparison
  • MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Pure Zen is more peach and warmer
  • MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Modesty is a more wearable version of #MACxLarLarLee on my lips, it has a similar vibe but since it has more pigment it gives me the look I hoped #MACxLarLarLee would be on me
  • MAC Matte Lipstick in Yash is slightly deeper and more beige but really close
  • MAC Amplified Lipstick in Half n Half is a shade lighter and less warm compared to #MACxGabrielZamora
  • MAC Lustre Lipstick in Hug Me is in between both shades in color, a lot sheerer and glossy
  • MAC Liptensity in Doe is a lot more beige compared to either and Toast and Butter is more brown-based (both on the lips here)
  • MAC Matte Lipstick Velvet Teddy is deeper than #MACxLarLarLee and not as red/warm compared to #MACxGabrielZamora (Velvet Teddy on the lips here)

Set 2 has a mix of other brands from NARS, Tom Ford, Kat Von D, Tarte, Bite and Charlotte Tilbury.

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora Comparison Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Thoughts on colors from left to right:

MAC Lipsticks #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora | The Beauty Look Book

I do think both the #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora are unique and special in their own way. On me I can make them work but since I have pigmented lips and am really picky with neutrals find that these both need a tiny bit of tweaking to make them more wearable. #MACxLarLarLee is a bit too light for my complexion, the next best options for me are MAC Modesty or NARS Raquel. #MACxGabrielZamora is a gorgeous brown nude but pulls a bit warm on me so I prefer something with a bit more blue like Bite Beauty Chai or something more neutral like MAC Velvet Teddy.

At any rate I hope that this post helps you if you missed out on both. Fingers crossed that MAC restocks these or that they launch all the collaboration shades everywhere, but I don’t think that will happen.

Did you order any of the MAC Influencer Lipsticks? If so which shades and what did you think? P.S. today’s the last day to enter my Antica Giveaway!

MACย #MACxLarLarLee and #MACxGabrielZamora provided courtesy of MAC for review.

Loving Right Now

Loving Right Now

May 4, 2017

Loving Right Now, On My Beauty Vanity | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s almost the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a roundup of some things I’ve been loving right now. So many of you have been asking for lightweight foundation recommendations. I’ve traditionally been a medium to full coverage kind of person and those who have met me in person are usually surprised that I’m wearing full coverage foundation set with a powder foundation. I suppose this is a good thing because that means it doesn’t look heavy or caked on! With the Florida sunshine and heat I’ve found that I have been loving lighter sheerer foundations. I’ve really liked the MAC Next to Nothing Foundation and Powder combination. I do still need concealer since the formula is so sheer but I love the weightless feel. I just bought some cushions from Sulwhasoo and Saturday Skin and also the NARS Hydrating Glow Tint (it was available online at Nordstrom a few days ago but looks like it’s been pulled from the site). I’ll have a warm weather base roundup in the upcoming weeks.

MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Powder | The Beauty Look Book

For highlighters I really can’t get enough of the gorgeous NARS Banc de Sable Highlighting Trio. I love the packaging, the sturdy compact and the finely milled smooth shimmers in this formula. The size of the pans is decent too so it’s easy to dip a cheek brush into them or swirl together. Swatches of this beauty here and here.

NARS Banc de Sable highlighting palette | The Beauty Look Book

I haven’t always been a fan of RMS Beauty but the more I try the more I love. My first product I bought was the Living Luminizer years ago and even though it has cult-status it just wasn’t for my skintone or skintype. The second item I bought was the Solar Eye Polish which is a golden shimmer. It’s a dewy kind of shimmer which I absolutely love. I used it up entirely many years ago and never repurchased until I saw the line pop up at Nordstrom and I’m thrilled to see it available at Sephora now too ๐Ÿ™‚ I bought Mix Master a while ago and it’s what I wanted the Living Luminzer to be on my skin. It has a peachy tint which blends in with my skintone to give it the softest dewy sheen. Because I liked it so much I ordered the Magic Luminizer sight unseen which is paler and gives my skin more of a highlight. I think the Magic Luminizer will be better suited to lighter/fair skins but I still really like the glowy effect it gives. If you want glow without the shimmer these are definitely worth looking into.

Tom Ford recently launched a smaller newly packaged version of Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust and I received an overwhelming amount of e-mails asking if it was the same as the second one launched in the square bottle. Having multiples is redundant but I decided to order it for my readers who don’t have access to the brand or want to know. I assumed they would be the same but since so many of you asked I had to find out for myself. Below left is the new Fire Lust 0.5 oz ($50) and right is the original Fire Lust 1 oz ($72).

Swatches below next to the Shimmer Shots in Spin Spin Sugar and Lust for Life. Also the small vs large Fire Lust swatched. I deem them to be almost identical. In the swatches the new small Fire Lust is slightly more peach while the original Fire Lust has more visible gold. However once blended on the face the difference is impossible to see. Formula-wise they have the same feel, same pigment, same texture and finish. Based on the price per oz the larger one is the better buy but you may like the packaging design of the smaller one better. At any rate I hope this saves you money if you already have a Fire Lust from previous years.

For lips neutrals and nudes are always winners in my book. A few favorites include YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick in Beige Blouse (previously reviewed/lip swatched here). I’ve also been loving the Surratt Lip Lustres in Au Naturelle and Ensoille (both swatched here).

Surratt Lip Lustre and YSL Beige Blouse

Surratt Lip Lustre and YSL Beige Blouse

Last but not least some skincare, fragrance and haircare loves:

Skincare and Fragrance Loves

Some thoughts on the items shown above from left to right:

  • Chanel Huile de Jasmin is a beautiful face oil. It has Camellia Oil, Limnathes Alba Oil and Jojoba Oil. It’s wonderfully lightweight and has a beautiful soft floral scent. I’ve been loving this at night but find it also wears well during the day under foundation. My personal preference is to not wear oils under foundation because sometimes they can break down makeup. My super sensitive skin loves this for one of the more lighter weight oils that offers nice hydration without any heavy feel. I received this as a press sample and it’s pricey but I would have no regrets splurging on this and will definitely repurchase once mine is used up.
  • Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt is something I finally splurged on and I’ve been obsessed. It’s perfect alone and for layering. It’s a great year-round scent and I love it as a great alternative to spring florals. I know that not everyone loves florals and it can be tricky to find a scent that isn’t floral, spicy, or beachy. This is a unique option that’s different.
  • Verb Ghost Oil has been a favorite for months. I’ve already gone through one bottle. I love the size, the pump and it’s the best smelling fresh hair oil I’ve smelled. I love that it’s lightweight and won’t make the hair look greasy. Review of this one along with other hair oils in this post here.
  • Last but not least I’ve discovered some new favorites from Tatcha. The Essence is something I’ve already featured and I love it. I’ve also loved the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence but never repurchased due to the price. The Tatcha is similar in concept but it feels just a tiny bit more lightweight and doesn’t leave a film on the skin like some other essence products do. I know the point of some essence is to feel it, but I’m all about weightless and the Tatcha is one I’ve been using daily for several weeks now and it really helps other skincare absorb better into the skin. There were two new creams that they launched including The Silk Cream and Water Cream. I didn’t know which one to try for my skin type so I bought the Starter Ritual Set for Normal to Oily Skin and love it. I brought these along with me on recent trips and the size is just perfect. For Tatcha moisturizers I’ve only found one that I love for my normal combo skin which is the Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer. I love their serums and sheet masks but in general the line seems more geared towards those with dry skin. The Water Cream has a more lightweight feel that almost has a water like feel on the skin. Tatcha describes this as being a unique water-burst cream that breaks upon application and it does just that. It’s so lightweight it feels like it might not do anything but I put it to the test and absolutely love this one. It’s the lightest cream I’ve ever tried and it offers just the right amount of hydration for my normal skin. If you’re unsure of which moisturizer to try they have four different Ritual Starter Sets for Normal to Dry Skin, Dry Skin, Sensitive Skin and the one I bought for Normal to Oily Skin. I’m buying more for upcoming trips as they’re great for travel.

Loving Right Now | The Beauty Look Book

Shown in top and bottom image, mirror from Anthropologie, black marble trivet from Willams-Sonoma, table from Crate and Barrel. Rose-gold eyelash curler from Charlotte Tilbury. Card case by Gucci. Recycled candle by Byredo (color is limited-edition).

That wraps up my Loving Right Now roundup for this week! What are you loving right now? P.S. I’m doing a fun giveaway on Instagram with Antica Farmacista – details on how to enter here.

Press samples featured include MAC Next to Nothing, Tom Ford Fire Lust (larger size), Chanel Huile de Jasmin Oil.

Base Makeup MAC

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour and Pressed Powder

April 30, 2017

MAC Next to Nothing Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC recently launched a new line of base products for a natural look with new formulas of foundation, powder and two brushes in their Next to Nothing collection. The items are designed for a natural skin-like effect to give a radiant look to the face. I’ve found that over the years MAC base and powder formulas have been hit or miss for me. I have super sensitive skin and tried their Studio Fix Powder Foundation when I was in high school and it caused severe allergic reactions on my skin. To this day I approach their powders and foundations with caution only doing a patch test first. I can safely use their primers, skincare and some foundations without any issues and was thrilled to find that the Next to Nothing line works well for my super sensitive skin.

In the collection we have:

Next to Nothing Face Colour comes in 9 shades from Light to Dark Deep, my shade is either Medium or Medium Plus. This is a super sheer tinted cream foundation that allows the skin to breathe. It’s sheer but has enough pigment to even out the skin slightly. This is what I wanted the Make Up For Ever Waterblend Foundation to be (which broke me out and felt too sticky for my skin, I suspect I had an allergic reaction to the fragrance). The effect of the MAC Next to Nothing is similar to that of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (which I’ve re-discovered and love) but the MAC is less dewy and not as moisturizing. If you need coverage this will probably not be the foundation for you, although you can definitely use this as a good base and then take a higher coverage foundation and layer on top for a more lightweight feel. There’s no detectable scent, it comes in a glass bottle with a pump, it’s easy to blend, it’s lightweight and lasts all day. Shades do run on the pinkish side but since the formula is sheer I was lucky that they worked on my yellow olive skin.

MAC Next to Nothing Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The #141 Synthetic Face Fan Brush is an odd shaped brush designed for the foundation. It performs well and gives the face a streak-free foundation application. It’s soft without being pokey but I’m still very much a sponge person when it comes to foundation application. That being said it’s a very good brush, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try it.

Next to Nothing Powder/Pressed comes in 9 color options. I received 3 as press samples but none of them were a match so I ordered two more sight unseen in Medium Plus and Medium Dark since I’ve been getting darker since moving to Florida. My Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shade is Medium Plus and in the Next to Nothing Powder I can wear either Medium Plus or Medium Dark. Right now I’m in between shades. This is a finely milled powder that has a lightweight finish. It is very soft to the touch with an almost creamy feel. On the skin it has a more natural looking finish compared to the Mineralize Skinfinish Powder. Next to Nothing also feels just like the name implies next to nothing. There is a very tiny bit of fine pearl in the powder so it blurs the skin. For me I feel like the shades swatch a little bit on the lighter side, they look lighter in my swatches compared to what I see in the pan, but they will adjust slightly on the skin as it warms up. They do not oxidize in color on me though. I really love this powder.

MAC Next to Nothing Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book MAC Next to Nothing Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Compared to some of my other favorites Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Powder #2, Armani Powder Foundation #4, and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus. If you asked me to pick one favorite, I would not be able to. I would say the sheerest is MAC Next to Nothing, Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation is what I use to set with a brush, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural feels a bit thicker compared to other powders due to the mineral finish. The Charlotte Tilbury has the fullest coverage for me.

Pressed Powder Charlotte Tilbury, Armani, MAC | The Beauty Look Book

#140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush is THE best thing in this collection and probably the best powder brush I’ve ever tried. I’m a huge fan of flatter powder brushes because I find they are easier to dust my entire face compared to a round brush. Flat brushes can be tricky for me though – some are too dense or too floppy. This one has the perfect density, shape, size and feel. I’m going to need to order a couple more – I like to have multiples for powders on hand for blending and application.

Overall as a sensitive skin person I’m thrilled to find that both the powder and foundation worked for me and did not cause any allergic reactions. I’m typically a medium to full coverage kind of girl for base products but my skin has improved over the years so I can get away with less coverage these days. Also with the heat in Florida I feel the need to find lighter weight products that will allow my skin to breathe. It’s only the start of spring and I know it will get warmer in the upcoming months. This will be one I use frequently even if I will still need to layer.

Have you tried these yet? If you’re a natural or sheer base kind of beauty lover, what other brands/formulas do you love? You can find the MAC Next to Nothing Collection available now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and soon at Ulta Beauty.

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MAC products provided as press samples for review. Two MAC powders purchased by me.

Highlighters

Highlighter Edit for Spring

April 13, 2017

Highlighter Roundup | The Beauty Look Book

The glowy highlighter trend is still going strong and as a fan of all things luminous I could not be happier! By popular request I’ve put quite a few new formulas, palettes and colors to the test. There’s lots to love and the great thing about the launches these days is that there is literally something for everyone. After extensive testing I will say up front that my absolute top favorites still remain the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers, Edward Bess All Over Seduction, Laura Mercier Face Illuminators, Tom Ford Shimmer Shots and Hourglass Luminous Light (reviews linked for each one).

For highlighters there are so many factors to consider when picking one. Skintone plays a key role in determining whether a highlighter will actually look like a highlight or more of a bronzer on you. I know for many fair skin beauty lovers many colors that look like a highlighter on me turn peachy or bronzey on lighter skin tones. On the flip side some super pale highlighters will look more true to pan on fair skins while on medium to deep skins like me, some will just look like a white frost.

Skin type and shimmer preference are also other things to consider. If you have a lot of texture or larger pores sometimes the more glowy powder shimmers will emphasize fine lines or settle into pores. If you’re oily you will probably prefer powders if you’re normal to dry creams may be better for you.

I have a lot to roundup today, but first since many of you have asked, I can finally share the details about the upcoming Sephora Beauty Insider event today. If you’re a Beauty Insider member check your mail or e-mail for the codes! We have the official dates:

  • 4/18 to 4/24 Rouge will receive 15% off
  • 4/19 to 4/24 VIB will receive 15% off
  • 4/20 to 4/23 RBI will receive 10% off

Up first is the palette I was most excited about but did not end up loving. I’m a huge fan of the Anastasia Glow Kits even though they tend to be more on the intense side of shimmer. The limited-edition ABH x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit comes in the prettiest pink packaging with gorgeous glowy colors. There’s a mix of pink, mauve, peach, white, gold and tan – unfortunately on my medium skintone they pull a lot lighter than what you see in the pan and most of them look very similar. I knew before ordering that it would be on the extra glowy side but the shades are all too intense to wear on the face. I love them with a super light hand on the eyes but I prefer Sun Dipped by far for more variety and more wearable colors. It’s currently sold out online but check your stores to see if they still have them.

ABH Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit | The Beauty Look Book ABH Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Chanel Plisee Lumiere de Chanel Illuminating Powder. This is from the Energies Puretes Collection reviewed here. Some asked for a face swatch of the highlighter alone since the blushes were ultra pigmented. This is a champagne highlighter with sparkles that give the skin a wet-look effect. The shimmers aren’t as intense as the Camelia highlighter but they are still on the strong sparkly side.

Chanel Plisse Lumiere de Chanel | The Beauty Look Book Chanel Plisse Lumiere de Chanel swatches | The Beauty Look Book

I have it alone on the cheeks and on the eyes. Foundation worn is Becca Aqualuminous in Beige (review here), lipstick is YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm #1 (review here), brows have the Diorshow Brow Styler Universal Brown, top by Madewell (also available here).

Chanel Plissee Lumiere de Chanel Highlighter | The Beauty Look Book

Up next are some liquid drops. Cover FX launched three new shades of the Custom Enhancer Drops and I bought two in Blossom and Rose Gold. Both of these have a softer finish compared to the first round they launched (reviewed here). I really loved the first round of shades even though they are shimmery. You can easily blend for a pretty glow. Blossom is the prettiest shade of soft pink and rose gold is a soft rosy peach gold. Both are close to my skin tone so they look very natural on me but the color still shows up. The drops are fluid and easy to blend and layer.

Marc Jacobs Beauty launched a Coconut Gel Highlighter called Dew You? and it’s a lovely light gold. The texture is a gel and you have to work quickly with this one because it dries fast. The nice thing about the texture is that it’s great for oily skin and I found it lasted longer on me than most liquid highlighters. Once it sets it pretty much does not budge. It also smells like coconuts ๐Ÿ™‚

Third are some Algenist Concentrated Luminizing Drops. A while back I received a mini duo that you can buy as a set, but you can also find them separately in the full size. I am obsessed with the way they smell – it’s not really scented but it has this makeup scent that I really like. These are probably among the most subtle and sheerest out of the drops I’ve tried. Once on the face the shimmer almost disappears into a very subtle sheen. I would say these are probably best for mixing in with your foundation for a subtle glow. Because they are so sheer I found they did not do much for me other than add a sheen. That being said these have a serum skincare element in them so I do suspect they are meant to apply all over the face under foundation for a very soft glow.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew You, Algenist Concentrated Luminizing Drops | The Beauty Look BookCover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew You, Algenist Concentrated Luminizing Drops | The Beauty Look Book

Next up is the Laura Mercier Lightstruck Prismatic Glow Palette. As a huge fan of the Face Illuminators I had high hopes for this one but after testing this I found this was completely not for me. First I’m not into the holographic makeup trend – it just doesn’t work well for my skin coloring. That being said the packaging is more prismatic than the creams, but the lighter creams are on the glittery side. Aurora and Reflect have a softer smooth texture but they’re so sheer they disappeared on my skin completely. I do like a good neutral glow sometimes but I feel like there are so many other products on the market that already do this – this just didn’t really wow me.

Laura Mercier Lightstruck Prismatic Glow Palette | The Beauty Look Book

Laura Mercier Lightstruck Prismatic Glow Palette | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve already featured the MAC Quikstick Sticks before with the Work It Out review but had shot the photos before I reviewed them. I do believe they are limited-edition so if you have your eye on any I’d recommend checking them out soon. These have a highlighter on one side and a blush/contour on the other.

MAC Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book MAC Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book

Perhaps my favorite launch of all the new highlighters I’ve tried are from NARS. I featured the Sheer Pop Multiples when I reviewed the Pop Goes the Easel Collection a few weeks ago. Navagio Beach is a pretty soft sheer gold (exclusive to Nordstrom), but my heart was completely won over by the Banc de Sable Highlighter Palette (exclusive to Sephora). A close up and swatches of both below. The Banc de Sable has a finely milled shimmer that glides on the skin smoothly and without any harsh frost. I wish more highlighter formulas and finishes were like this – it looks smooth and pretty on the skin and doesn’t emphasize lines or pores. Complete win for me on this one.

NARS Banc de Sable Palette Sephora Exclusive | The Beauty Look BookNARS Banc de Sable Palette v Sheer Pop Multiple Navagio Beach | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least because I’m a lover of all things Tom Ford, I had to include the new cheek duos again in this roundup. I really love both Reflects Gilt and Paradise Lust. I’m in the process of packing for a few trips at the end of the month and will be packing both of them to bring with me. Full review here.

Tom Ford Summer Soleil Reflects Gilt and Paradise Lust | The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Summer Soleil Reflects Gilt, Paradise Lust and Bicoastal | The Beauty Look Book

So even though I mentioned at the top I prefer some other ones over these I do think there are a lot of new launches that are different and unique enough to justify splurging on. Picking one will depend on your preference for shimmer intensity.

  • My top picks of the new releases: Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, NARS Banc de Sable, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Rose Gold.
  • For me misses were the ABH Nicole Guerriero and Laura Mercier Lightstruck Palette.

There are so many more that have launched recently I could not possibly test them all. If you’ve tried the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter let me know your thoughts.

Do you have a favorite go-to highlighter? Or have you splurged on anything recently from new launches that you have fallen in love with? Let me know what your favs are!

Press samples featured include MAC Quiktrick Sticks, Laura Mercier Lightstruck, Tom Ford Cheek Duos, Algenist Mini Reveal Drops Duo and Chanel Plissee Lumiere Highlighter.

What's In My Bag

Spring Makeup Bag Update

March 27, 2017

Spring Makeup Update | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup bag from Tory Burch.

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

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

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

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

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

Nordstrom Lancome GWP March 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

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

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