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Skincare

Favorite Face Scrubs + Exfoliators: His and Hers Edition

November 17, 2017

Favorite Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

Today I have Part 2 of my current skincare routine focused on my favorite face scrubs and exfoliators. This post has an added portion for Andrew’s favorites as several of you mentioned you liked the men’s grooming recommendations I’ve done in the past. I haven’t always been a fan of face scrubs. I’ve found so many too gritty and harsh for my skin but with a lot of trial, error and recommendations from friends and experts I’ve discovered that regular exfoliation has been a major key to maintaining good skin. Both Andrew and I have used each other’s skincare to see what works best. In general ones for men are indeed tougher or more gritty as I think men typically have tougher and thicker skin than women but there are actually some of his skincare items that I like to borrow on a regular basis from Jack Black.

Favorite Face Scrubs for Her

Favorite Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

My favorite exfoliators are gentle ones. I don’t usually exfoliate everyday unless it’s with a rice powder that’s activated by water. I’ve found scrubs gentle enough for daily use but really find that every other day is enough for me. I’ve used several variations of the Clarisonic including the Mia2 and Mia Fit. I must admit that I’m not the most diligent about using it consistently – especially when traveling. Sometimes having a small bottle or tube of face scrub is just so much easier and convenient. My favorites below plus one that I’ve just started trying:

  • Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator is the newest scrub I’ve tried. I bought it during the Sephora sale because of the high ratings. It has a cream base which makes it less harsh than a lot of scrubs and it works well over wet skin. I like that it’s gentle for me and effective. Skin feels cleaner and smoother. I do think it’s better for oily or combination skin. It has a slight citrus scent that I’m not the biggest fan of. I will use it until the end but don’t know if I’ll repurchase.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion is in my top picks for face scrubs. I thought it would be too harsh based on what I felt on my hands. When applied over a wet face it’s a great scrub. It’s also one Andrew has used and liked. It has crush microshells from the ocean sand, Willow Herb to sooth, shea butter and sea algeanates. Over time with regular use I do believe it helped minimize our pores.
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle is one of my most repurchased face scrubs. It has papaya, pumpkin, and pineapple enzymes reduce pore size, stimulate circulation, and improve oxygen flow. It’s a more gentle version of her regular Exfolikate which sometimes has too much tingle for me. I’ve had both applied on me during Kate Somerville facials which are the best facials I’ve ever had. I recommend any of her products.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Laura Mercier Face Polish is one I have in a mini right now but I have bought and used up the full size multiple times. It’s a great all around basic face scrub that does the job well without being too harsh. It does have a grittier texture but there’s a good cream base to balance it. With this one there is a slight almost apricot scent to it. Once you rinse it off you don’t notice it as much. I would say this one is better for normal to dry skin.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Fresh Sugar Face Polish is a newer favorite that I suspect will be in my top three. I bought mine in a mini size from the cutest Fresh Mask Wardrobe which I think would make a super cute gift. This scrub is an emollient brown sugar scrub with strawberry seeds that smells like sugary lemons. It’s emollient and leaves the skin feeling well nourished without leaving any oily film or residue. Skin feels super soft and has the smoothest feel out of the scrubs I’ve tried. I 100% recommend and will be getting the full size soon.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Sisley-Paris Gentle Facial Buffing Cream is an excellent face scrub that I reviewed here. It’s very pricey but one I think is excellent with one of the best formulas I’ve tried. It is better suited for normal or dry skin types in my opinion. I’ve been trying to use mine as sparingly as possible because it’s so good and I want to make it last as long as I can.
    • Currently working on finding the full ingredient list.
  • Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders come in different formulas for skin type. I’ve tried all of them and find the difference between them is subtle but still noticeable. Over the summer I used the Deep Polish (green one) but also alternate with the Indigo Soothing Rice (for sensitive skin) and Classic. You can find these in travel sizes online at Tatcha.
  • Clarisonic Mia2 shown in purple is the traditional Clarisonic with the handle. It comes with a compact storage case that doesn’t take up a lot of room making it convenient for travel and it also protects the brush. This helps with gentle exfoliation and the sonic facial brush cleanses the skin up to 6 times better than hands alone. I do think it does a better job at keeping skin clear and washing the face than hands. It’s just one more step in the routine that I skip when I’m rushed in the mornings or feel tired at night.

Favorite Exfoliators for Andrew

Men's Face Scrubs and Exfoliators | The Beauty Look Book

Andrew and I are really close in age. He has thicker skin than I do. His main concerns are primarily related to sun damage and sun spots. His skin type is normal to oily and with the Florida heat and humidity his skin has become more oily. Out of all the skincare he’s tried he feels daily exfoliation is the one thing that has improved his skin (or rather to maintain clear smooth skin). There are four he’s tried recently, his favorite is the same no matter what he tries (ones for men or even mine). In general his two favorite skincare lines are Kiehl’s and Jack Black. I’ve bought him numerous skincare gift sets over the years and that’s how he’s discovered what he’s liked.

  • Away has brought back their Minis for the holiday! You can buy the Mini Suitcase Individually, as a Gift Set (there are multiple options) or as a Gift Card Set. I’d recommend ordering soon as they are selling out really fast. I was lucky to get my hands on a few over the past year and absolutely love them for travel.
    • You can see my review on their Bigger Carry On here. Regular Carry On here.
  • Kiehl’s Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser is something I bought for him because he likes multi-tasking products and I thought this could be a good 2-in-1 scrub. Turns out he says it’s more like a cleansing cream with tiny beads but not really a scrub. It’s supposed to double as a mask that you can leave on to help exfoliate skin. He says it’s not bad, he just doesn’t love it and feels like it’s a knock-off of the Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser which is another one of his staple go-to’s.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub is his favorite face scrub. He’s tried to convert me to loving this as much as he does. I do like it a lot and have used it many times. It has fine particles, methol and vitamin c to invigorate the skin and help prepare it for shaving. He finds this helps clear up congested pores the best and helps prevent breakouts.
  • Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion (also shown above in my review) is one Andrew thought he liked the most, but after going back to his Jack Black decided that was his favorite. This one is good according to him but he likes something with more grit to exfoliate more.
    • Ingredients listed here.
  • Clarisonic Alpha Fit is something Andrew was diligent about using every day in the shower until we moved and started living the nomadic life in August. After moving month to month exploring and traveling he stopped using it and opted for face scrubs instead. In case you missed it our six months in Florida post here.

A few other favorites of his shown but that aren’t scrubs include the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Cleanser, Molton Brown Russian Leather Eau de Toilette, Creed Aventus for Men.

That wraps up our favorite face exfoliators of the moment! What are your favorites?

Press samples featured include the Sisley Gentle Face Scrub, Away Mini Suitcase, Molton Brown Russian Leather.

Skincare

Updated Skincare Routine and Testing: Cleansers and Toners

November 6, 2017

Favorite Face Cleansers and Toners | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I’ve compiled a series of posts on my updated skincare routine and testing. Skincare routines are challenging for me to write about as I am frequently testing new things and I like to switch things up on a regular basis. Since moving from California to Florida my skin has had quite a time trying to adjust to new climates and water conditions. My skin has become truly combination as the weather can make me a bit oily outdoors but the water dries out my skin. I’ve always had sensitive skin and that has pretty much remained the same – I usually react immediately if I have any kind of allergic reaction and then it takes at least a full week for my skin to recover. Luckily with cleansers I’ve had no reactions with what I’ve tested and I’m kicking off my skincare series with cleansers and toners.

I have a rather complex cleansing routine and you definitely don’t need to have one this complex. In the mornings I use one cleanser and then follow with one toner. In the afternoons after workouts or in the evening I definitely double cleanse on a regular basis, sometimes I triple cleanse with an exfoliator added to the routine (scrubs and exfoliators will be covered in a separate post). To try and help simplify things I’ve split all my testing this year by category. At the end of the post I’ll list my top picks and recommendations.

Cream and Gel Cleansers

Favorite Cleansers Sisley, Kate Somerville, L'Occitane, Glamglow, Saturday Skin | The Beauty Look Book

I prefer traditional liquid cleansers because I find they lather best to really clean the skin (vs gels, balms or oils). Ones I’ve been testing this year along with some tried and true favorites:

  • Sisley Phyto-Blanc Lightening Foaming Cleanser * ($130 for 3.8 oz/108 g) is a creamy gel cleanser that has a foaming quality when you add water. It’s gentle but effective and does help give the skin a more glowing look to it. It removes excess oil without stripping the skin and doesn’t make the face feel tight after rinsing. Key ingredients according to their website includes white mulberry and scutellaria extracts to lighten the complexion, lemon extract to tone and restore radiance, vegetable glycerine to moisturize, lavender essential oil to sooth and balance and marjoram essential oil to soothe.
  • Kate Somerville cleansers in general are my favorite because they work the best for my skin type and are affordable for the quality and performance. I often have to rotate skincare because my skin gets used to a product and then I find it becomes less effective. This is not the case with Kate Somerville. My husband also uses these and my brother who is in his early 20’s with sensitive skin also loves these as well.
    • EradiKate Daily Cleanser Acne Treatment ($19 for 1.7 oz/50 ml to $38 for 4 oz/120 ml) is the best for clearing up the skin. It is part of the EradiKate line with sulfur which is their line that helps with acne and blemishes. It’s meant for oily combination skin, but if you’re dry I think it’s still suitable for weekly use or during times you have break outs. Often times anti-acne skincare is too strong for me and ends up stripping my skin so much. This does not dry me out. Ingredients here.
    • Gentle Daily Wash ($36 for 4 oz/120 ml, also available in a larger 16 oz size with pump at Nordstrom) is the best everyday kind of gentle wash. I use it in the morning frequently and in the evenings as well. This is my brother’s favorite. Ingredients listed here.
    • Exfolikate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash ($38 for 4 oz/120 ml) is a exfoliating cleanser but doesn’t feel like a scrub. It has AHAs and natural fruit enzymes to purify the skin. If you’re looking for an exfoliating wash that doesn’t have scrubby particles this is a great one. Regular use for me helped improve texture and glow. Ingredients listed here.
  • Glamglow SUPERCLEANSE™ Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser * ($32 for 5 oz/150 g) is the new formula and packaging of their Supercleanse Cleanser. I really loved the original version and was really upset to find there was a new one. I still prefer the original version because I found it stronger and better for clarifying and reducing redness. The new one is still good but it’s creamier, a little more gentle and almost feels like it’s hydrating. It has a pore refining triple charcoal complex with three charcoals: coconut, ubame white oak, and gray bamboo, all designed to detox skin. Mediterranean clays absorb oils to mattify skin and restore balance. I just think the original was better. Ingredients listed here.
  • Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser * ($80 for 5.1 oz/150 ml) is one of the most hydrating cleansers I’ve tried. It has a cream feel with a cream finish to the skin. It’s a detoxifying cleanser and almost has a cooling hydrating feel once you rinse it off. Skin is left feeling refreshed and hydrated. If you want to try this in a smaller size you can find it in the Holiday Cracker duo the or on Omorovicza’s site you can create your own custom mini travel trio. I would not recommend this for oily skin. My husband and I like to use this on our triple cleanse days to add moisture. Ingredients listed here.
  • Saturday Skin Rise + Shine Purifying Cleanser ($26 for 4.05 oz) is something I tried and liked, but didn’t love. I think it’s a good basic purifying cleanser, but there’s not really anything special that it did for my skin. It has apple and peach extracts which are supposed to remove impurities without stripping. It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, synthetic fragrance-free, synthetic color-free if these factors are important to you. It does a good job at cleaning the skin without drying.
  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Foaming Cleansing Cream * ($39 for 4.2 oz) was something I previously reviewed here. Quick recap is that it’s a great cleanser that gentle and soothing  on the skin. I’m nearly done with a tube. It does have a soft scent that you find in the Immortelle line but it’s not strong and does not irritate my skin.
  • Huxley Secret of Sahara Be Clean Be Moist Cleansing Gel ($30 for 6.76 oz) was something I purchased from Nordstrom when they had the Korean Beauty Pop Up. They no longer carry it but you can find it now at Saks Fifth Avenue. This is one of the most gentle gel cleansers I’ve used. It is a hydrating cleanser but doesn’t leave a film on the skin and it leaves the skin feeling very clean. In general I find I don’t really like gel-like cleansers as they don’t lather as well as others. This one is one I used up entirely and liked, but I prefer Kate Somerville and Sisley.

Toners + Cleansing Waters

Face Toner and Cleansing Water Favorites La Mer, Sisley, Bioderma, La Roche Posay, Erborian

Finding good toners that don’t cause my entire face to flare up has been a challenge. My three go-to’s below:

  • Sisley Botanical Floral Toning Lotion * ($103 for 8.4 fl oz/250 ml) is one of the best toners I’ve tried. It’s an alchohol free toner that is designed for dry/sensitive skin, but suitable for my normal combination skin. Since the water here in Florida tends to dry out my skin having a slightly moisturizing toner works well for me as the water strips my face and the toner helps rebalance everything. It has rose extracts, cornflower and witch hazel. The rose scent is super soft and soothing. I’m super picky about rose scents. The By Terry line is excellent but their skincare is often too strong in scent for me (I’m ok with the lip products though). The Sisley toner is soothing and softening. I’ve accumulated minis from GWPs and have been hoarding them.
  • Bioderma Sensibio Tonic Lotion ($9.90 to $16.90) is the best toner I’ve used under $25. It’s soothing and softly hydrating. I’ve bought several travel-sized options which is still a bit pricey but cheaper than high-end brands. Ingredients online at Beautylish.
  • La Mer The Tonic ($90 for 6.7 oz) has been one of my favorite toners for years. I can’t recall how many bottles I’ve purchased. It helps to rebalance the skin and make it feel completely refreshed and clean. I hate repurchasing it though because it’s so expensive. It does last a long time but the price is always a huge ouch to the wallet. Ingredients listed here.
  • Another not shown:
    • Darphin Intral Toner is another favorite to soothe skin and help with redness. It doesn’t sting even on sensitive days. I’ve actually been a fan of multiple products from the Intral Line including the Sunscreen and Mousse Cleanser.

Cleansing Waters have been in my skincare rotation for years. I find using these in the evenings to remove makeup really help improve clarity of my skin if I use in conjunction with a regular cleanser.

  • Bioderma makeup removers have been great for gentle makeup removing. I’ve tried multiple formulas that I’ve ordered from Beautylish. I really like that they have small travel sizes which are convenient to pack for short trips. The Sensibio H20 is the most gentle, Hydrabio H20 is for dry skin, Sebium H20 is for oily skin. None of these remove waterproof mascara or eye makeup for me, but they do work nicely to remove face makeup. I still need to do a regular cleanse with a regular cleanser but doing a double cleanse with a cleansing water or oil first really helps to make sure all traces of makeup are washed off and gone. Ingredients are all listed on Beautylish.
  • La Roche-Posay Micellar Water ($19.99 for 400 ml, available at Dermstore, Ulta, La Roche-Posay) is a great all purpose cleansing water. It does a really good job at removing face makeup – it’s more effective at removing makeup than the Bioderma for me. It’s gentle but effective. It doesn’t leave a film on the skin. It comes in multiple size options. Ingredients at Dermstore.
  • La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water ($50 to $90 for 3.4 oz to 6.7 oz) is something I had high hopes for. I ordered mine from Nordstrom and it’s lasted a long time. I think it’s a great cleansing water, but you can get something similar or just as good for a lot less. Still I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try it. Ingredients listed here.
  • Erborian Cleansing Micellar Water ($26 for 6.4 oz/190 ml) is another great cleansing water that I tried. It’s a three-in-one like many other micellar waters to remove makeup, refresh and clean the skin. It feels more fresh than others although performance is very similar to others I’ve tried. Ingredients here.
  • Other favorites not shown:

Cleansing Oils

Cleansing Oils Shu Uemura, Tatcha, Sunday Riley | The Beauty Look Book

Cleansing Oils are also fun to use. I like these for the double or triple cleanse to dissolve and remove face makeup before I wash the face. Sometimes I’ll use a cleansing oil, follow with cleansing water + cotton pad and then use a regular cleanser.

  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils * were previously reviewed in this post here. You can find all the details plus a special Shu Uemura promo code for beauty look book readers. Ingredients for all the oils in my original review post.
  • Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 for 150 ml) has been a long-time go to for years. It has a mix of Camellia and Rice Bran oils and is super gentle with a hydrating finish. It removes all face makeup well. You can find smaller trial/travel sizes in a number of Holiday Gift Sets. Also in a few duos at Sephora. Ingredients at Tatcha.
  • Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil * ($38 for 3.4 oz/100 ml) is one that I didn’t like for my skin. I found it a bit too drying for my skin type. If you have normal or oily skin you will probably like this. It is very effective and rinses off well without leaving a film. Skin is left smooth and completely clean, just a little too tight for me. Ingredients here.

Cleansing Balms and Solid Cleansers

Cleansing Balms and Solid Cleansers | The Beauty Look Book

Balm Cleansers have a melting effect on the skin. They are often solid or thick and once you work it into the face it melts and transforms into a balm or oil. I have mixed feelings about these. I feel like they are better suited for normal to dry skin. They often have a creamy moisturizing finish on the skin, almost like a film of moisture. I often follow with a regular cleanser after to make my skin feel more clean.

  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm * ($44 for 2.3 oz) was reviewed here. I like this for a super relaxing feel on the face.
  • Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser ($60 for 3.2 fl oz/100 ml) is a new cleanser from Eve Lom similar to their classic  Cleanser but in a pump with a hybrid gel-to-balm like finish. This has a similar oil/balm like formula. It has clove oil, Egyptian chamomile oil, grapeseed oil and eucalytus oil. This one has antiseptic properties for healing and protection. It has a rich moisturizing feel with a strong scent, but it’s not irritating. If you have normal to dry skin but found the regular solid Cleanser too rich, give this one a try. Ingredients at Space NK.
  • Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy * ($34 for 3.2 oz/90 ml) is probably my favorite melt away balm cleanser that I’ve tried. It has a similar gentle feel to the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm which I liked but found it didn’t take off all my face makeup. The Farmacy is more effective at removing my foundation, powder and blush and leaves the skin feeling very soft. Ingredients here.
  • Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm * is something I got in a mini. It comes highly rated by online reviews but did not work for me. I found it too rich and oily feeling. I couldn’t get it to rinse off properly with just my hands and after reading the instructions I found you have to use a wash cloth to remove. I tried it with that method and it did come off, I still found it left a film on my skin. For me it was too rich. Ingredients here.

So after this year’s testing so far my favorites have remained my favorite cleansers are from Kate Somerville. I find all the ones I’ve tried to be the most effective yet gentle for my super sensitive skin. They work well to remove dirt, makeup and impurities and keep my skin clear and smooth. I really can’t pick one – every one I’ve tried works well. Still with the heat, humidity, sun, and long-wear makeup a single cleanser can’t remove everything 100%. My favorite cleansing water is still the Lancome Micellar Cleansign Water (I’ve used up two bottles this year) although I’ve really been enjoying La Roche Posay as well. Bioderma is still very good and remains a classic but sometimes it’s nice to try new things. In terms of cleansing oils, I rediscovered the Shu Ueumura ones this year and have been pleasantly surprised. I have reviewed and used up the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil which I feel is one of the best ones I’ve tried alongside Tatcha’s. I haven’t repurchased the SK-II as I’m trying to work my way through other formulas. When it comes to balms or solid cleansers I think they are definitely interesting and there are a number of great options – I’m still one that prefers liquid ones instead.

That wraps up Part 1 of my updated skincare routine and testing. I tried to link ingredients where I could find them for each product. I’ll hope to have the rest of my skincare posts up before the end of the month to cover exfoliating scrubs, moisturizers, masks and face mists. If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

As always I’d love to hear what your favorite face cleansers are!

Press samples and GWPs indicated with a *.

 

Sisley-Paris

Sisley-Paris September Subscription Box Spotlight

September 4, 2017

Sisley Paris Spotlight September 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Earlier in the summer I shared a look at the Sisley-Paris Subscription Service featuring 6 month’s worth of boxes. I’ve been exploring more from Sisley over the past few months and have been extremely impressed – it’s truly everything so many of you have raved about! This is the first year I’ve tried the Sisley Subscription Service and it’s hands down the best one I’ve tried for beauty. Finding good skincare that works can be a tricky process as we all have such different skin types and needs. Factors like age, sensitivity and climate also make a huge difference on being able to find what works. Being able to sample skincare before investing in it is essential to me. I love brands that offer a subscription program, travel/trial sets or smaller-sized options. I’m more likely to splurge if I’m able to try something first to see if it will work! The Sisley Subscription Service comes in 6 or 12-month option at an affordable price. Each month you receive 5 samples in the mail – it’s been the perfect way for me to explore the line and the samples they send you are the good ones!

Each month has a different theme. September’s box contains five of Sisley’s Most-Talked About Items. I’ve discovered a few new holy grails. As you can see in the image directly below, the subscription comes with deluxe sized miniatures. There are 5 per month in each box:

Sisley-Paris September Subscription

I have all five in the full sizes to review for you. I was lucky to get an early preview of these so I could put them to the test. I’ve been dying to share thoughts on these and am thrilled I can do so today!

Sisley Paris Spotlight September 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Express Flower Gel Mask is a hydrating and toning mask. It gives the skin a refresh in just 3 minutes with lily and iris extracts to give it a serious boost of hydration. This is one of the most soothing masks I’ve ever used and skin is baby soft after use. Out of all the face masks I’ve tried this one gives me the softest skin I’ve ever felt.

Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask

Eye Contour Mask is an eye mask that you leave on for 10 minutes and then wipe off without rinsing. When it comes to eye concerns my biggest one is with puffiness. This one works well to reduce swelling when I’ve had a long day or didn’t sleep well. It has a semi-thick cooling feel once you apply it. After I remove it my eye area is well hydrated and refreshed.

Sisley Eye Contour Mask

Best Sisley Masks

So Intense Mascara is a classic must-have. I just discovered it a few months ago and it has a tiny comb that catches all the lashes right from the base. It has a rich black color that dries quickly. It holds the curl, adds definition and volume and doesn’t smudge on me. I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner.

Sisley So Intense Mascara

Gentle Buffing Cream is exactly as the name implies. I struggle with face scrubs as I have extremely sensitive skin. This one is very gentle and you apply it to clean dry skin. You let it dry for a few minutes then massage and buff until the particles disappear. A little goes a long way and the jar has a generous amount. Rinse with water and skin is softly exfoliated and is left smooth without that dried out raw feeling.

Sisley Gentle Facial Buffing Cream

Soir D’Orient is one of the deepest spiciest fragrances I’ve tried. It’s a spicy floral that dries down to a rich rose. It has a deep vibe that feels like fall. Top botes are saffron accord, middle notes include Turkish Rose and the base has Somalian Incense. It’s a unisex scent that both my husband and I tried. We both feel it pulls a bit more feminine but could go either way. For this one I recommend letting it sit for a minute to see how it transforms – the dry down is really beautiful. Lasting power is strong and it remains on my skin from morning to early evening.

Sisley Soir D'Orient

I think all of September’s box contents are a hit. My favorites are the Gentle Buffing Cream and Express Flower Gel Mask. You can find the Sisley Subscription Service exclusively online at their U.S. website.

 

As a bonus I’m thrilled that Sisley has offered to do an amazing giveaway to 5 U.S. readers! Five distinct U.S. readers will be selected via the Rafflecopter widget to receive a 6-month Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription. To enter – you must follow all 3 steps in the widget below for us to collect entries:

  • Open to U.S. residents only
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Follow steps in widget to 1) follow @beautylookbook on Instagram 2) follow @sisleyparisusa on instagram and 3) sign up for the Sisley-Paris newsletter (all three are linked via the widget below)
  • Note you must complete all 3 tasks!
  • Giveaway will run from  9/4/2017 to 9/9/2017 11:45 PM EST
  • Five U.S. winners will be selected within 24 hours after the giveaway period ends and contacted by me for information
  • Winner information will be passed along to Sisley-Paris USA
  • Selected winners will each receive a 6-month beauty subscription from Sisley-Paris

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you tried any Sisley-Paris skincare or makeup? What are your favorite items?

Items provided courtesy of Sisley for me to be their ambassador for September. Giveaway also provided courtesy of Sisley.

Eye Makeup

Mascara Hits and Misses

August 4, 2017

Mascara Testing Hits and Misses

I have a new updated mascara roundup. I’ve been trying a few new formulas and have some hits and some misses. The humidity in Florida is pretty high and the sun feels a million times stronger here than it did in San Diego. Finding one that holds up to the humidity has been a process.

  • Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a formula I had purchased from a duo over last holiday. I had it sitting in the box waiting for my other tubes to get used up. I was pleasantly surprised because the reviews with this were mixed. It had zero clumping, defined lashes, volumized, coated evenly, held the curl and had no smudging. For me this is a hit.
  • Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara is one I tried from the Nordstrom Color Twist Set (review here). Huge hit with this one even though the comb is so tiny it looks like it won’t grab lashes. It allows you to get right at the base without touching the skin. This usually isn’t a big deal for me if the mascara is good because a quick clean up with a Q-tip fixes it after application. However this one makes application easier. It volumizes, holds curl and doesn’t smudge.
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof is the first drugstore mascara I’ve actually liked. I’ve tried dozens and end up throwing them all away after 2 uses because they either dry to a grey looking black, smudge or don’t hold the curl. This literally was WOW with the first try. It’s everything I want in a mascara – volume, definition and holds the curl. I absolutely love the waterproof version because there is zero smudging. Blackest Black is the color I tried and it’s a true rich black. It does take more work to remove at the end of the day but is completely worth it. Huge hit.
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara has to be mentioned again even though it’s not new to me because it’s my favorite waterproof mascara. No smudging, holds the curl, volumizes – huge thumbs up. I’ve repurchased this one the most in the past year.
  • Chanel Le Volume Waterproof is another classic. The regular Le Volume is good, but I prefer the Waterproof version because it holds up better in the humidity. This is one of the few rubberized applicators I like – most other brands just don’t do it for me. A classic one for me.
  • Dior Pump N Volume Mascara was a big miss. The first application was decent for volume, holding the curl and having a true rich black color. Every application after that was a clumping disaster – even when I removed excess from the tube by cleaning it. When there’s buildup, every once in a while I’ll take the wand and run it in between a folded piece of paper. It’s just like you would do with a tissue or paper towel but using paper makes it so those cotton fibers from tissue won’t get caught in the bristles. The volume on this one is really good and there are quite a few rave reviews on this one, if it didn’t clump all the time it would be perfect.
  • Serge Lutens Comb Mascara is another miss for me. I had such high hopes for this one as it came highly recommended and the online reviews on the formula were stellar. It has a similar applicator to the Sisley-Paris one. For some reason this Serge Lutens one made my lashes look spidery. It took a while to dry and smudged with a few blinks. After it dried down it had decent staying power but didn’t hold the curl and didn’t have as rich of a black finish as other ones. It wasn’t the worst but there are much better formulas for me out there.

A few notes on other mascaras I’ve loved but didn’t feature in this roundup. Other long-time favs have included the By Terry Mascara Terrybly, Chantecaille Faux Cils, Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. Most of these still work for me in the humid hot weather, I’ve just been rotating through different options recently. If you’ve had your eye on the Chantecaille one I highly recommend you check out the Touch-Up Essentials Set while it’s still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it’s a great deal. The only one that doesn’t work so well for me in humid weather is the By Terry option, but they do have a waterproof version which I want to investigate.

Best Makeup Remover Lancome | The Beauty Look Book

For makeup removal longer lasting formulas and waterproof ones are going to be more difficult to remove in the evenings. Most of these I have to use a multi-step process to take them off in the evenings. Regardless of whether I double cleanse with a cleansing oil or cleansing water, I always use a cotton pad and soak it with eyemakeup remover first. My favorite formula used to be the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover but these days I’ve found it’s just ok. Some of the longer lasting formulas don’t come off anymore with this one and I don’t know if the formula of the makeup remover has changed or if I’m simply finding formulas with better lasting power. Some thing goes for the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It used to be a long-time go to but my last bottle didn’t perform as well as I remember it did in past years. My current go-to is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (available in this value set from Nordstrom here and here). For cotton I’ve tried a number of brands but my favorites are from Chanel and Sephora.

If I had to pick one mascara to use for the rest of the summer that would be a hard choice. I would be able to narrow it down to three: Sisley-Paris, L’Oreal and Tom Ford.

What are your favorite mascaras for the summertime?

 

Loving Right Now

A Few Things I’m Loving Right Now

July 27, 2017

Loving Right Now Replica Beach Walk Dry Oil Spray, Tatcha Body Mist, Sisley White Ginger Oil, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, Sisley Mascara, Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Thursday! Quick roundup post today of some things I’ve been loving lately. Summer is in full swing here and the humidity levels here in Florida keep rising. I’ve experienced summer thunderstorms for the first time and so much here is completely new to me as I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life. Even with the heat, we’ve been loving the sunshine and seeing real weather although lately we’ve stayed indoors to avoid sweating from the heat. At this point in my life fall fashion is something I cannot even start to think of and there are times I wonder if I will ever wear a leather jacket again while in Florida. Seven things I’ve been loving lately:

  1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is the best for me these days with this warm weather. It works for under eyes and redness. The creamy texture melds well with my skin and blends easily with other foundations. For my under eye area it definitely works to give a brightening effect and I like that it doesn’t crease as long as I set it with a good powder. Swatches of Custard, Macadamia and Ginger here.
  2. Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara in Deep Black is just so amazing. I bought it from the Nordstrom Sale reviewed here. I love it for the thickening and deep black color it has. No smudging and it holds the curl. It has the tiniest comb I think I’ve ever seen but it allows me to get the lashes right at the base without touching the skin around the eye area.
  3. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is another winner. I had a tube I bought from a set a while ago still sitting in the box. I was waiting for my other mascaras to hit the 3 month mark to toss them and try some new formulas. This one has no smudging. It lengthens, holds the curl, defines and doesn’t clump. Huge thumbs up.
  4. Replica Beach Walk Dry Body Oil Spray is summer in a bottle! A little goes a long way and even with a lot of spritzing I’ve barely made a dent in this one. The spritzer dispenses the perfect amount of product and sprays it evenly. I use a couple sprays on each leg to cover them entirely. It smells like the perfect beachy vacation. Compared to the perfume this one is almost identical, the oil just has a slightly salty scent to it making it more beach like. It’s just perfect for warm weather.
  5. Tatcha The Body Mist (Limited-Edition) is a new lightweight hydrating body spray. It smells like the Indigo line with a lightweight feel. I’ve used face mists before for moisture but haven’t really explored body mists unless they are oils. This one has a cooling feel and nice lightweight finish. The scent has a calming effect and I love the way it absorbs into the skin in a light way. I wish it weren’t limited-edition as I’d probably like to restock when this is finished, unfortunately by that time it will probably not be around anymore.
  6. Sisley-Paris White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs is one of the most luxurious and most expensive body products I own. I tried this in a sample packet from one of the subscription boxes, fell in love and ordered the full size. The sample packet lasted several days for both legs. I found it had enough uses for me to decide I needed it. At $190 per bottle this is insanely expensive but it feels amazing on the legs and has an energizing feel. Right after I ordered one, the Sisley team sent one in a press package so now I’m double stocked on this. I don’t know how this works in terms of the contouring effects – there are quite a few body creams and lotion on the market that claim to have this effect. I feel like you would have to use this for months to notice results. For me the finish, scent and feel is enough to justify the price. It’s the best silky feeling oil I’ve used on the legs ever. It is emollient but it does absorb into the skin after a few minutes. If you’re looking for an oil with a dry down, this may be too emollient for you.
  7. Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil is something I’ve rediscovered. I’ve been experimenting with the Shu Uemura cleansing oils again and will do a roundup review of all of them in a couple weeks. Right now I’ve been loving the Balancing One as it’s designed for sensitive skin and for me it leaves the skin clean and soft and removes all traces of makeup. There is also a new one called nutri:nectar cleansing oil in emulsion which has a thicker almost gel-like texture so it won’t run into the eyes like most fluid oils. It’s very gentle and effective. A more detailed review to follow on both – but these days double cleansing and starting with a cleansing oil for me is a must. The Shu Uemura team is offering Beauty Look Book readers a promo of 5 deluxe samples and free shipping on orders $50+ with code BLBXSHU (samples include mini laque supreme rd01, mini maxi:hydrability essence-in cream, sakura-rose-petal-mask, ultime8 cleansing oil mini, nutri nectar sample) – promo is valid online at both Shu Uemura USA and Shu Uemura Canada.

Don’t forget there’s still a few more days to enter my Charlotte Tilbury giveaway. Coming up next are reviews on new launches from Chanel and Bobbi Brown. What are you loving right now? Any favorite body care products you rely on during the summer months?

Press samples include the Tatcha Body Mist, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils and Sisley-Paris Ginger Contour Oil.

 

Sisley-Paris

Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set

July 24, 2017

Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set | The Beauty Look Book

The Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set from Nordstrom has three items from the line that I’ve been dying to try but couldn’t bring myself to splurge on. It contains three full-sized Sisley items in the Phyto-Eye Twist in #1 Topaze, Phyto-Lip Twist in #2 Baby and the So Intense Mascara in #1 Deep Black. The set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is priced at $100 which is steep, but individually the items retail at $167 so you do get a nice price break with this trio. The price break pushed me to splurge and I’m glad I did. I’ve looked at Sisley makeup for quite some time but the price points have deterred me from splurging sooner. Earlier this year I was able to get my first look at the makeup with the Phyto-Blush Twists and fell in love with them for the classic natural look they give. These items in this set were worth the splurge for me and I was happy to explore more of the line.

Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set Nordstrom | The Beauty Look Book

Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The Phyto-Lip Twist is a Tinted Balm. Baby is a light neutral-cool baby pink. It goes on a bit lighter in color compared to what I see in the tube itself but has a smooth very hydrating feel. The finish is like a rich cushion-like balm on the lips. Coverage with Baby is medium to full – one swipe gives a sheer-medium veil of color. A few more strokes gives full coverage. Compared to other tinted balms this one has a thicker feel. A more weightless balm for me is the YSL Volupte Tint in Balms. I think this one is the perfect baby pink color – it felt emollient but stayed put longer on the lips compared to other tinted balms. I usually don’t mind reapplying lip colors especially if it’s a balm or glossy formula. This one stayed on longer than most. There’s a very faint scent if you closely smell the product but I couldn’t detect it while applying on the lips.

Sisley-Paris Phyto Lip Twist Baby #2

The Phyto-Eye Twist is a one of those multi-tasking eye products. You can use it as a base, a shadow or liner. It’s a twist up formula so once the tip wears down I’m not sure how easy it will be to apply as a liner, but as a shadow I really like it. Topaze is one of those perfect neutral lid colors. If you blend it sheers out quite a bit but you can re-layer on top for more color. It glides on easily without tugging and on me it lasted all day without sliding off or fading. Topaze is the one color I had my eye on so it was perfect that it happened to be in this set.

Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist Topaze

The So Intense Mascara has also been on my radar for ages. When I finally saw the brush in person I was concerned it would not work for me as the ones with the super fine combs usually do nothing for my lashes. The applicator is not like your typical mascara wand – it has very tiny comb. The description says that it has vitamin-rich peptides designed to lengthen and thicken within two weeks. I have not yet had a chance to use it for that long, but I have tested it 5 times now and am extremely impressed. It is quite an impressive formula. It coats the lashes evenly without clumping and the tiny wand gets the lash even at the base easily without touching the skin. I find it gives volume, has an ultra black finish, dries relatively quickly and holds the curl. On me it did not smudge with regular activity, however there was one morning I was outside in extreme heat and sun for about 15 minutes and started dripping with sweat everywhere. It’s not sweat proof to that level of sweating, but on all other tests: dinner outside in humid weather, being indoors most of the day, and also being outside during the weekend for lunches/exploring – it held up remarkably well.

Sisley-Paris Color Twist Set | The Beauty Look Book

This was worth the splurge for me. Out of the three items I’m most impressed with the mascara. At the price points I don’t know if I’ll be buying more from the lip or eye formulas. I do think they are 100% worth it – but the price points are still very expensive. As much as I like the Phyto-Lip Twist formula I’m a bit hesitant to check out the other shades in person because I think I’ll have little will power to resist buying a couple. For now I’ll most likely be sticking with what I have for tinted balms. I may wait until the fall to splurge on a few more.

Bottom line, Sisley-Paris proves to be excellent in quality and finish again. If you are ok with splurging I think these are really good. The colors are great for that classic understated look in that natural Parisian kind of way. For those who have been wondering about the Phyto-Blush Twist in Glow I reviewed in the spring, it finally restocked online at Neiman Marcus! It’s one of those shades that was available and sold out immediately but it’s back! I don’t know if it will pop up other places but if you missed out keep checking 🙂

You can find the Sisley-Paris Phyto Color Set at Nordstrom for a limited time during the Anniversary Sale. All the shades are available individually as well in case you are only interested in one or two of the items.

Have you tried any of the Sisley-Paris makeup line? What are your favorites?

Skincare

Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription 6 Months

July 11, 2017

Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription | The Beauty Look Book

Sisley-Paris is one of those beautiful skincare lines with cult-status products and extremely expensive prices. I’ve tried a small handful of things to date and splurged on a few face masks which are really quite amazing. Due to the price points I haven’t looked at the line in detail even though many readers recommend the Black Rose Precious Face Oil. They launched a beauty subscription program which allows you to sample five things a month at a pretty reasonable price. The Beauty Subscription service is exclusive to the Sisley-Paris website in either a 6-month subscription for $60 or 12-month subscription for $100. The cost is like you are essentially paying for postage. I’ve been lucky to receive it for a few months now courtesy of Sisley. However since my move across country, other skincare projects, having to adjust to new surroundings and weather, and also other things happening in life I haven’t had a chance to try most of the items. The good news is that I saved up six months worth of boxes to be able to share with you today what 6 months looks like. Sometimes seeing more than one month’s worth makes it easier to decide whether or not to sign up for a subscription program.

Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription | The Beauty Look Book

Each month you receive a little black box, small drawstring bag, five skincare, fragrance or makeup samples, a little card explaining each product and a promo code for extra points if you purchase anything from the box. I’ve never ordered anything direct from their site as I used to buy my Sisley-Paris items from my Neiman Marcus back in San Diego, however they do have a rewards program. Gold and Platinum members receive the subscription for free. Here are the box contents from January through June 2017, US:

Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription USA 6 Months | The Beauty Look Book

What was in each box by month. Each month has a different theme to add a fun twist. Notes on what I tested below:

  • January – The Detox
    • Ecological Compount
    • All Day All Year
    • Botanical D-Tox
    • Phyto-Blanc Buff and Wsh
    • Eau du Soir Shower Gel
  • February – The At-Home Spa
    • Buff and Wash Facial Gel
    • Facial Mask with Linden Blossom
    • Moisturizer with Cucumber
    • Energizing Foaming Exfoliant for the Body
    • Eau de Champagne Lotion
  • March – The Instant Beautifiers
    • Eau Efficace
    • Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age
    • Double Tenseur
    • Sisleya Le Teint
    • Izia Eau de Parfum
  • April – April Showers
    • Phyto-Blanc Lightening Cleansing Mil
    • Hydra-Flash Mask
    • Hydra Global
    • White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs
    • Restorative Body Cream
  • May – May Flowers
    • Lyslait Cleansing Milk
    • Sisleya Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate
    • Black Rose Precious Face Oil
    • Phyto-Teint Eclat Foundation
    • Eau Tropicale Eau de Toilette
  • June – Long Weekend
    • Sisleya Essential Skincare Lotion
    • Supreyma Cream
    • Eye Contour Mask
    • The Neck Cream
    • Eau de Champagne Body Lotion

As you can see I had saved all the packets but was able to test some of them over the past few weeks. With skincare I like to take my time anyways so I have these saved in a box that I can try at my leisure. Things I really loved:

  • Buff and Wash Facial Gel is a very gentle facial scrub suspended in a gel wash, this was very gentle but still effective, I find most scrubs too harsh for my skin and this one is among the most gentle that I’ve tried.
  • Facial Mask with Linden Blossom is designed for the most sensitive skin, it has a very soft and soothing feel to calm and smooth the skin, you leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off, it’s an excellent calming mask.
  • Energizing Foaming Exfoliant for the Body is such an amazing body scrub, I’ve mentioned that I’m a die-hard loyal fan to Aesop, this one is more gentle with a more feminine spa-like feel, I’m adding this to my buy list for when I see a good GWP.
  • Eau de Champagne Lotion is a lightweight cream that smells like a bright citrus champagne green scent, it has a light enough scent that it’s not overpowering, I love how it absorbs quickly, I’m more of a body oil kind of girl now, but would consider using this in humid weather as it’s quite refreshing.
  • Izia Eau de Parfum is a lovely soft rose scent, I’m more into green or white florals, but this is one of the most wearable rose scents I’ve tried.
  • Black Rose Precious Face Oil is the most raved about item and most recommended from my readers, I’ve been a long-time devotee to Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate and Midnight Recovery Oil. I tried the Black Rose Oil twice (each sample is a 1-time use and I had an extra one from another GWP) – both at night. It’s a richer oil but a little goes a long way, it’s beautifully hydrating and when I use it overnight I wake up with super soft skin.
  • I’ve also tried all the milk cleansers, I’m more of a liquid or gel cleanser person but these have been nice to try.

Sisley-Paris Beauty Subscription | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve featured a few other beauty subscriptions on the blog that I signed up for including this one from Sephora and this one from Birchbox. I cancelled both before I moved from San Diego. The monthly cost was reasonable but the contents were hit or miss. I’ve discussed beauty subscriptions with a few friends – some say they think subscriptions aren’t really worth that $10 to $25 per month because they’ve gotten things they just don’t care about. Others have said it makes more sense for a luxury skincare line because you’d have a better idea of what you’d be sampling from rather than a bunch of random brands or colors of lipstick or highlighter you’d never wear. I agree with both sides. For the Sisley Subscription Program you can find a lot of these in GWPs and I’ve definitely accumulated quite a few sample packets over the years. I had a good relationship with one of the sales associates at my local stores and they would often pull samples of what they could find. The nice thing about the subscription is you don’t have to spend $100 to $300ish for the minimum for just a few samples – it’s a lot more affordable this way.

A few last thoughts: The size of the packets and tubes you get are most of the time a single or two-time use. Some of the larger bottles of cleanser or makeup remover you can definitely get more use out of (I’ve used some 5 times and there’s still a lot left). With skincare I do feel like more product would definitely be helpful in testing these items – so whether or not this would be useful or worth it to you will depend on your preferences. There are some discovery sets with larger sizes available to purchase at retailers like Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom to give you a better sampling. Still at the price point of this subscription program this is a nice way to try new things each month.

You can find the Beauty Subscription Program exclusively online at Sisley-Paris. Full size items and sets also available at Beautylish, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter.

Have you tried anything from Sisley-Paris? What are your favorites?

Beauty subscription provided courtesy of Sisley-Paris.