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Loving Right Now What's In My Bag

Effortless Beauty For Spring to Summer

May 23, 2017

Warm Weather Beauty Makeup Bag Picks | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

Nordstrom Delfonics | The Beauty Look Book

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

What's Inside My Bag | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warm Weather Lip Picks | The Beauty Look Book

Warm Weather Lip Picks Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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

Tom Ford Cream Powder Eye Duos | The Beauty Look Book

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

What's Inside My Bag | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

Loving Right Now Roundup

Spring Neutrals and Staples

May 16, 2017

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

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

Spring Beauty Neutrals | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick beauty look with:

Neutral Makeup | the beauty look book

Spring Beauty and Neutral Makeup | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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 🙂 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 🙂 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.

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 🙂

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.

Bronzer + Blush NARS

NARS Pop Goes the Easel – Nordstrom Exclusive

March 9, 2017

NARS Pop Goes the Easel Nordstrom Picks | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Thursday everyone! I’m back and have a review of the NARS Pop Goes the Easel collection today. This is currently a Nordstrom Exclusive collection with new shades for lips and cheeks consisting of:

  • Three new Powder Blushes ($30 each) in Misconduct, Peep Show and Threesome
  • Four new Velvet Lip Glides ($26 to $28 each) in Bait, Suck, Impossible Red and Disruptor (not sure why one shade is listed at a higher price online)
  • Three Sheer Pop Multiples ($39 each) in Motu Tane, Cote Basque and Navagio Beach

I ordered two of the lip products and all three multiples to test out. I’ll say up front I love the Sheer Pop Multiples, the Velvet Lip Glide colors are nice but not must-haves in my opinion.

Up first are the Velvet Lip Glides. I picked the lightest color options in Bait and Suck since I don’t really wear a lot of orange or reds unless they’re sheer. (By the way I’m obsessed with the new Tom Ford Lip Balms, the colors are perfect for spring to summer and I love the formula.) Bait is a bright cool-toned pink that has a bit of a streaky finish with one swipe but it can be smoothed out with a finger or brush. Suck is a medium peachy nude, it’s like if you mixed Playpen and Unlaced (both of which were reviewed here and I didn’t really like color-wise). I do like this color, but I can’t help but feel like it’s a bit on the boring side. If you want a good neutral nude, the Tom Ford Revolve Around Me, Lips and Boys Bradley or Edward Bess Pure Impulse are much better although they are lipsticks versus the velvet lip formula.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide Suck Bait | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Velvet Lip Glide Swatches Unlaced, Playpen, Stripped, Suck Bait | The Beauty Look Book

Next are the Sheer Pop Multiples which appear to be a new formula. These have a more weightless formula that isn’t quite as dewy as the regular version. These have a soft shimmer finish and considering how sheer they swatched on the hand and arms I was surprised that the color payoff on the face is really good. Navagio Beach is a sheer champagne gold, Motu Tane is a light pink with impressive pigment, Cote Basque is a coral with tiny gold flecks of shimmer. They dry to a powdery finish although they stay creamy long enough that you can easily blend on the cheeks and layer depending on how much color you want. I would say the finish can definitely be sheered out for a sheer wash of color, but you can still build to medium coverage. I like these better than the regular multiples. They layer well over foundation and powder without looking cakey or dragging your base off the face.

NARS Sheer Pop Multiple | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Sheer Pop Multiple | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Sheer Pop Multiple | The Beauty Look Book

A quick comparison of the Navagio Beach Multiple to the Banc de Sable Highlighter Palette (Sephora exclusive). The palette is to die for gorgeous and I’ll review it soon. If you’re one who want a sheerer glow of shimmer go with the multiple. If you want more pigment go with the palette. Are they different enough to justify both? I think the formulas are different enough to justify both but I’ll have to do a bit more testing with both on the face at the same time to tell you. I’ll be sure to address this when I review the palette. At the moment I’m more inclined to say I like the palette more – but that’s mainly because I like the darkest shade A LOT.

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

I’m trying something a bit different with face looks of the products. If you prefer the up close lip swatches let me know and I’ll resume that style in future posts. In both posts I’m wearing the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque with Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Powder #2.

Look 1 has Sheer Pop Multiple in Motu Tane and Velvet Lip Glide in Bait.

NARS Sheer Pop Multiple Motu Tane and Velvet Lip Glide Bait | The Beauty Look Book

Look 2 has Sheer Pop Multiple in Cote Basque and Navagio Beach mixed with Velvet Lip Glide in Suck.

NARS Sheer Pop Multiple in Cote Basque and Navagio Beach and Suck Lip Glide | The Beauty Look Book

Overall love the Multiples. I like the Velvet Lip Glide colors but don’t think they are must-haves. Bound is still my favorite out of the bunch, but if you found the nudes in the original launch off, I think many will find the color Suck more wearable.

NARS Pop Goes the Easel Nordstrom Picks | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the NARS Pop Goes the Easel collection exclusively at Nordstrom. Have you checked out the colors yet? If you saw the powder blushes in person let me know what you thought!

P.S. My site has been migrated to a new host! If you have any issues with viewing the posts on your desktop or mobile device please shoot me an e-mail and let me know what device you use and also what browser you use (Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc.) – thanks!

Base Makeup NARS

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 17, 2017

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS launched a new concealer called the Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30 for 0.21 oz) and being the fan that I am of their bases I knew I had to try it. To date the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30 for 0.22 oz) has been one of my favorites for under the eye and around the nose to help with redness and create a more brighter more awake look. Since I tan easily and also because I use a different shade under the eyes versus spot concealing, I rotate between three shades. I used to mix Custard and Ginger together for my best match. Then NARS added another color in between which is Macadamia with slight peachy tones. This one is perfect for me as I actually prefer something with the tiniest bit of peach for under eyes. The warmth helps brighten the eye are for me. For the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I ordered the same three shades. The colors are pretty close between formulas for the ones I bought, not identical but pretty close.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Soft Matte Complete Concealer offers full-coverage finish with a soft matte look. It’s oil free, light weight yet ultra pigmented so a little goes a long way. It feels creamy and soft to the touch, almost like it has just the slightest bit of bounce. I tried it under the eyes and on a few spots using the finger to dab and blend. Under the eyes it was like an instant eye lift with a blurring effect. It didn’t cake or darken and lasted all day (I did set with powder). For spots it didn’t cover them 100%, but I would say that it still did a really good job at covering them to about 85% of the way. For the corners around the nose it works well to reduce redness.

Color-wise these look a bit dark in the pot. Also side by side I thought they all looked the same in the container. Even when swatched on the back of my hand and arm I thought they were all going to be too dark but they actually work better than I expected on the face. I love that it blends effortlessly on the skin and even though the coverage is near full it still manages to look natural on the skin. I will say that I have normal combo skin – since it’s matte and opaque I do think if you have dry under eyes it could emphasize dry patches. In this case I would just make sure you have a good primer to hydrate the eye area (I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer for dry skin days).

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

3 shades of the matte formula swatched on the face, under eye area and along jawline, on the lips is Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Custard was too light for me, but I put Macadamia on one side and Ginger on the other, both look like they’re a good match, right now I have a slight preference for Macdamia:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a long-time go-to for me. I tend to prefer something with a tiny bit of radiance because I find it blends better on my skin type and also looks more natural. Matte often looks too opaque, too matte and therefore a bit fake on the skin. For years the Radiant Creamy Concealer was one of the few I could use under the eyes no matter what condition my skin was in regardless of season and weather. I still love it.

If I had to pick one, I would say Radiant Creamy wins because of the packaging and also because I like something a bit more creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of pots because they tend to get messy. I also really don’t like matte finishes because I find they don’t work the best with my skin – they tend to emphasize pores, imperfections and look cakey. However for a matte formula the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer is seriously impressive and I do think it’s worth owning even if you have the other formulas. I found it easy to blend, but that being said if you need something with a bit more slip to blend easier, go with (or stick with) the Radiant Creamy Concealer formula.

I didn’t swatch the Radiant Creamy one on the face as it blends out slightly sheerer so it’s a bit more forgiving color-wise. When I use any of the shades, Custard, Macadamia or Ginger, it blends to match the skin really well – it looks so natural you can barely tell there’s anything on the face. I do have side by sides of the corresponding shades in both formulas. You can see the difference in finish. Colors are pretty close but I feel the Radiant Creamy formula has slightly more yellow undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid win. Macadamia is the best match for me, but if I need a bit of brightening I can mix in some of the Custard to lighten or brighten certain areas. Since I tan easily I suspect Ginger will be a match within the next few months and as I’m often in between shades I don’t mind owning multiple colors so I can mix them as I transition between colors. I don’t know how I feel about the pot style. I’ve avoided this type of packaging for years and a quick look at my concealer stash shows that they are literally all either wands or twist/click up pens. I also don’t like that NARS does that matte almost velvety finish packaging on their face products because it gets dirty so easily. If you get any bit of concealer or cream product on it, it’s pretty much stuck there forever (I’ve tried getting it off, but it’s near impossible). It’s not a deal breaker though and that’s just me being picky.

You can find both the Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Radiant Creamy Concealer at all counters now. I bought the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer from Sephora. It’s also available at NARS, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what are your current go-to concealers?

P.S. I’m also testing out concealer formulas from Too Faced, Tarte and will compare them to Kat Von D in the next couple of weeks.

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What's In My Bag

What’s In My Celine Belt Bag Mini

January 4, 2017

What's In My Celine Belt Bag Truffle Pouch Jcrew Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have the first what’s in my bag post of the year. Lately the purse I’ve been carrying the most frequently is the Celine Belt Bag in the mini size (review of what fits inside plus thoughts on style in this post here). I own two of the same style, just in different colors. I alternate between the Light Taupe (shown) and Black. For the spring 2017 season they added another size called the Micro which is smaller, has a longer removable strap and can be worn as a crossbody. I took a quick peek while in LA at one a couple months ago and promptly walked away so I would not be tempted – but I will say it’s really cute!

I picked up some new sunglasses from J.Crew called the Irving Sunglasses in the Smoke Olive color. I love the ones that come in lighter colors because they’re fun and different. These frames are small enough for my face size and shape so I could not resist! The store near me only carried it in two colors otherwise I would have probably bought the light clear pink ones.

I’m currently carrying multiples of the Clarity Clutch in the mini size from Truffle. I ordered the Nude and White last fall during one of their sales and like that they are small enough to throw in most of my purses. They’re just the right size and proportion to fit what a few things and keep contents edited.

As usual I have one too many lip products carried with me. I have my two favorite balms of the moment the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade and Lanolips in Strawberry. I’ve used them repeatedly for weeks now. The weather has been on the cold side so we’ve cranked up the heater in our place which makes everything dry. Plus I’ve still been trying to get over a cold so my lips have been extra dry. These have kept my lips from peeling and cracking – I’ve been sure to apply on clean fingers instead of directly on the lips to keep them clean and free of germs.

Other staples for lips include NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight which I like to layer with MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare, Whirl or Dervish (neutral nude lip liners swatched and compared in this post here). The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme (c/o) in Truth or Bare and Slow Burn have been worn frequently the past week. The Chanel Gloss Volume is pretty basic but it’s one of my favorite clear lip glosses for the pretty shine it gives and cushiony feel.

For fragrance I’ve been reaching for Byredo options a lot, I’ve been loving Oud Immortel although I probably need to switch things up to something a bit lighter and more cheery to lift the mood. I’ve still been dreaming about splurging on the Unnamed Perfume. It’s one of those scents I spritzed at the counter back in August and it still haunts me even months later. However I have promised myself to save up for the Creed Virgin Island Water before I buy any other perfume. Right now I don’t think it’s quite appropriate for the current weather or season, but in a couple of months I think it will be perfect and by then it will be mine! It’s the ultimate dreamy tropical vacation kind of scent I want to wear all spring to summer.

Last but not least I can’t help carrying the Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette. It’s not really all that practical to carry around but I love the sturdy compact and large mirror makes reapplying lipstick so much easier compared to the tiny mirrors you get in most compacts. If you haven’t checked them out I recommend you do (review on both colors here). They are both 100% worth the splurge.

Hope your first week of the new year is going well! I’ll have some reviews on MAC Shadescents and the Louis Vuitton perfumes coming up next! They’ve been on the to-do list for weeks now – I know many of you have been waiting so thanks for your patience!

What’s in your bag right now?

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