Every once in a while I’ll try a product and wonder what took me so long to try it. Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows fall into that category (along with some of the blushes reviewed here). For the longest time I’ve avoided many items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line simply because of the price points. So many of his products have been widely raved about, and rightly so due to their good quality and solid performance. Kevyn Aucoin recently launched a set exclusive to Space NK called The Making Eyes Kit ($125, a $160 value if you purchase items separately). This kit includes:
The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 (0.04 oz)
The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette (0.03 oz)
The Expert Mascara Black (0.4 oz)
The Eyelash Curler
The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black (0.04 oz)
Space NK kindly sent the set for me to try and part of me was really excited to try things I’ve always been curious about. The other part of me wondered if this would live up to the hype as the items look incredibly basic. I love beauty basics and classics but sometimes there are products that just simply seem a bit too basic to justify the splurge when less expensive options will work just as well. I was really impressed with the Eye Shadow Palette, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil. More thoughts on each item below.
Quick look at the box. The set comes cased in a large black box with a mirror. I like that everything has it’s own individually molded compartment so if you have this shipped to you, items stay in place. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the box at the moment. I suppose I could use it for travel by taking out the insert. The larger mirror is nice to have when you’re on the go. However the box is made of cardboard so I don’t know how well it will hold up traveling.
First a look at the items swatched:
For me the winner of this set is The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 which has a mix of cool tones. The set comes with a little instruction card on how to apply the colors but I took one look and decided to apply them my own way. I have no crease in the lids so most of the time I need to apply shadows differently from most other women anyways in a gradient. Since I have no fold or crease I don’t usually do the outer corner or v-shape blending.
Colors in this palette include a shimmering soft but pigmented black, lavender purple shimmer, beige satin, white frost, bone satin. All of the colors have some degree of shimmer but it is very soft on the skin. If you’re a no-shimmer kind of person for eyeshadows I think this will still work for you as the finish is VERY very soft.
The pigment is medium but buildable. Texture is very soft and looks natural on the eyes. As one who does not really like cool tones (especially white frosts) because they often look sharp or contrast with my olive skin I was surprised to find this one worked really well with my skintone for a cool-toned smoky eye with a hint of purple. The black looks like it could be chalky if you swatch it on the hand or arm. With a brush it’s intense and very pigmented but not too sharp. It’s a very good one to apply along the lash line and easy to blend and smoke out. Below shows all the items in the kit applied including the mascara, liner and brow pencil.
Next are The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette and The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black. The Precision Brow Pencil is very easy to use and Brunette is a good neutral to cool toned brown that works for my dark hair. For me I like that there is no red undertone which I find some brow pencils have, yet there’s not too much grey which can sometimes cause my brows to look ashy. I like that if you twist product up you can also twist it back down.
The Eye Pencil in Basic Black is one of the deepest black pencils I’ve tried. It has a smooth and super creamy texture. In terms of lasting power it stayed put on my eyes all day without any smudging or budging. I used it along upper lashes and waterline. That being said, I will usually also see how it holds up on the arm. When I test liners, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the arm, then take my finger and swipe it across the arm swatch to see how much it smudges. On the arm it smudged while some other liners set and don’t budge. That being said I tried this on a few different days and on my eyes it lasted all day without any budging so for me it’s a winner.
Last but not least are The Expert Mascara Black and The Eyelash Curler. Both of these have been raved about by many people. To date I have only tried the mascara in mini forms that usually come with the Space NK gwps and had not really been that impressed. The full size does perform better but my heart still belongs to the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascaras for volume, curl-holding and lasting power. The one from Kevyn Aucoin is a deep black, doesn’t clump or smudge. It does a good job at coating each lash but for me it simply does not hold the curl and doesn’t give me the volume the other two do. Do note that I have incredibly skimpy straight lashes so I need a miracle mascara to make it look like I have any.
The eyelash curler works well too. I was relieved to find there was no pinching (for me the Shiseido one everyone raves about just doesn’t work for me at all). It has a very lightweight feel which makes it easy to use but I prefer something with a bit more weight to it. That being said it performs well and I am happy to own it.
Bottom line a solid set of good eye basics. I am already plotting another eyeshadow palette purchase because this one is just so good. If you have any recommendations for the palettes or duos let me know! You can find all the items in this set individually if you prefer to pick and choose items on your own. However the Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit as a set is a Space NK exclusive.
Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?
The Making Eyes Kit was provided courtesy of Space NK for review.
September is a big month for beauty events and Space NK’s Autumn Beauty Edit is happening this week online and in stores. With any $250+ purchase, Space NK is giving away a gift bag filled with 29 beauty fragrance, skincare and makeup minis. If you’re one of the N.Dulge members you can shop the event early September 7-8th. There is an online code for N.Dulge members in case you can’t make it to the store, simply enter ESSENTIALS16 at checkout. The gift will be open to the public on September 9th in stores and online, while supplies last.
A peek at what’s inside this season’s gift bag. This is not your typical ordinary gift with purchase. In past seasons sometimes I’ve seen a number of repeats. While it’s nice to sample classics, I’m always looking to try new items. This year they have quite a few new items.
Space NK Limited Edition Cosmetic Bag
111SKIN Space Anti Age Day Cream NAC Y2 (15ml)
Aquareveal Satin Bright Soft Water Peel for Face (15ml)
By Terry Baume de Rose Crystalline (2.3g)
Derm Institute Anti-Oxidant Hydration Gel Masque (2 x 3ml)
Diptyque Eau De Toilette (10ml, assorted scents)
Diptyque Le Redouté Scented Candle (35g)
Dermarché Labs FullFill (2g)
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum (0.16oz)
Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser (50ml)
Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir (5ml)
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon (1g)
Juara Candlenut Body Crème (1.5oz)
Kat Burki complete b Bio-Correcting Face Crème (5ml)
Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara (4g)
Lipstick Queen Medieval Lipstick (1.5g)
Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer (1oz)
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30 (0.25oz)
Mila Moursi Lifting Serum (4ml)
Miriam Quevedo Platinum & Diamond Serum (50ml)
Natura Bissé The Cure Cream (5ml)
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask (5ml)
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo (15ml)
Ouai Finishing Crème (0.5oz)
Philip B. Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Crème Rinse (2oz) or Maui Wowie Volumizing & Thickening Beach Mist (2oz)
R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray (1.7oz)
Ren Flash Hydro Boost (10ml)
Rodial Bee Venom Moisturizer (5ml)
Smith & Cult Lip Gloss in Life in Photographs (0.08ml)
Many of you have asked for an update on my current hair care routine along with favorites. I have a two part post planned. Part 1 goes live today with a roundup of shampoo and conditioners. Part 2 will go live next week with a list of what I use for styling and treatments. I did an hair care loves roundup earlier this year and have done a few review posts but some of you prefer routine types of posts. For hair care, I wash my hair daily most of the time. There are occasions where I skip 1 day in between washes but those are rare, especially in the summer. On days I work out, I wash my hair twice in the same day. I have thick hair prone to frizz, I heat treat with a blow dryer or flat iron frequently, it’s never been dyed. When it comes to shampoos and conditioners, I love trying new formulas and brands – smell is probably the most important factor for me. If it doesn’t pass the smell test then I won’t even try it (no matter how many raves it has).
For shampoos and conditioners, I like to rotate frequently and often times I have more than 2 sets in the shower which drives my husband nuts because of the space it takes up. He has his 1 go to, often times it’s a 2 in 1 kind of product for hair and body (his favorite is Jack Black Turbo Wash). I on the other hand find that I do need different kinds. There’s the everyday kind of wash, the weekly cleansing or clarifying wash and then the wash for days you need extra moisture. Not to mention the masks or leave in products. (Please tell me I am not the only one who is high maintenance with their hair.)
Today I have a roundup of 7 brands of shampoo and conditioner I’ve put to the test with thoughts on each one. I will say up front that when it comes to shampoo I’m the type who will keep one around even if it’s not mind blowing or amazing. As long as it smells ok, cleans the hair well and doesn’t make it fall out or dry, I just can’t bring myself to throw out a partially used bottle.
My all time favorite that I can use daily is the Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. I stock up on this during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because they either have larger sizes or value sets. (This year’s set shown in this haul post.) This formula lathers well, moisturizes, strengthens, cleans the scalp well and leaves the hair shiny and healthy. Full ingredients list of the shampoo here and conditioner here. A huge part of me wants to try out all the shampoos from the brand but as some say, when you find something you love, you stick with it. In this case I’ve stuck with this formula.
Next best everyday is the Kerastase Cristalliste line which is designed for those with long hair. There have been a few formulas for fine or thick hair, I’ve tried the one for fine hair and it worked perfectly for my thick hair. It’s a great everyday option and I use both the shampoo and conditioner together. It cleanses the hair and and gets the roots clean too. It’s got a lightweight feel that leaves the hair feeling clean and bouncy with a super soft feel. I gave a few partially used bottles to a friend with long fine hair because she was curious about it but didn’t want to splurge without trying. She loved it too.
One line I had high hopes for is Ouai created by Jen Atkin. I started out testing a few styling products from Birchbox which included the Ouai Dry Shampoo and Wave Spray. I adore both and think they are worth trying out. More on both of these in my upcoming styling post. Since I had such a great experience with a couple of the styling products, I bought the Treatment Masque (pack of 8), Volume Shampoo and Volume Conditioner from Space NK. The Treatment Mask is great but the packaging isn’t the easiest to use. Both the Volume Shampoo and Conditioner were just ok for me – perhaps my expectations were just too high. They are both described as containing “Smart technology” to replenish moisture and lift strands. I found neither added volume. That being said I have yet to find a volumizing shampoo that will actually add volume to my thick hair (I’ve tried formulas from Living Proof, Phyto, Drybar – all lines I like, but the volumizing shampoos just don’t work for me). I’ve read a lot of reviews that this does work for those with fine hair. For me the Volume formula does a good job at cleansing daily – I do need to use both the shampoo + conditioner because the shampoo alone can be a bit drying on my hair type. I won’t be repurchasing but it’s one I can’t bring myself to throw out. (If you have any Ouai on your list there are still a few more days of the SpaceNK Explore Online Promotion, enter code BEAUTYNOW at checkout to save $20 off orders $100 or more until Aug 2nd.)
Bumble and Bumble is a line I’m always keen on trying out. Some of the shampoos and conditioners are heavily fragranced though and too strong so I’ve often tried minis or sets, used them up, but never repurchase. Two that I started using are the Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Creme Rinse Conditioner and WOW these get a huge thumbs up from me. Based on what I’ve read from other reviews it seemed to be best suited for those with thicker hair. I have thick hair and love this. It doesn’t necessarily add volume but it gives my hair that smooth fluffy beachy look. The scent is mild enough that I don’t notice it after rinsing. I can air dry my hair after using this duo and it gives a natural slightly beachy look.
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo in the Gentle Radiance formula for Normal Hair and Scalp. I previously reviewed the Shampoo and tried it by itself. The shampoo by itself is good once in a while as a clarifying shampoo, but for everyday I found it a bit drying. I used up a few bottles entirely and since I didn’t use it daily, they lasted a long time. I was just sent a sample of the Cleansing Oil Conditioner which is another rinse out product and was completely blown away with the combination of the two. The Shampoo by itself was good but not great. Add the Conditioner to the mix and my hair and scalp are left super smooth, tangle free, naturally shiny and also gives it the ability to air dry without any frizz. Most of the time I have to blow dry or add some kind of oil or cream to tame the frizz. I don’t use conditioners everyday even if I do wash the hair daily – I find most of the time I just don’t feel like I need it. This Cleansing Oil Conditioner is really a good one. I will definitely be repurchasing it once it’s used up.
Oribe Cleansing Creme for Moisture and Control is a favorite I’ve repurchased multiple times. Unfortunately it’s sold out online at Space NK so you can’t buy it to take advantage of the promo going on right now, but you can find it at places like Birchbox or Neiman Marcus. It could almost go into the treatment category for me, I don’t use it daily because I just don’t need that much added moisture, but it helps rebalance and rehydrate the hair and scalp. It tames frizz, adds shine and leaves hair feeling super soft.
New to me is Gloss Moderne which I’ve seen at Space NK quite a few times. In terms of shine shampoos, I find a lot are great as a 1 to 2x per week use kind of product otherwise they get heavy-feeling and weigh down my hair. The R+Co Moonshine Shampoo and Conditioner were both at the top of my list in terms of scent, shine and performance. I’ve used up a few bottles of both but haven’t repurchased for a while. The Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Shampoo and High-Gloss Conditioner have a similar effect but they both have a lush vanilla scent. I have to say that I had low expectations on this one before trying because the reviews are so mixed. I was beyond impressed with how this performed on my long thick hair – it restored shine and left the hair looking healthy and super glossy. Even though my hair is not color treated, the summer sun and heat has turned it into a reddish color about 2-3 shades lighter than it normally is. The heat from the sun also leaves the ends of my hair looking dry so they need a little something extra to get it back to it’s normal state. I really liked how the High-Gloss Shampoo and Conditioner added shine without weighing it down. I was able to use it three days in a row without it feeling heavy or without giving the hair the weighed down look. I will use these up to the end and I do really like these. Although for the shine and gloss effect, I think a styling product could provide the same result.
If you’re looking for a good shine/gloss finish shampoo, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Gloss Moderne Shampoo and Conditioners – some may feel they are overpriced but I do think they are solid performers. I’ve totally been in that place where I really like a product but don’t repurchase because of the price. It doesn’t mean something is bad – just that there are other alternatives I’d rather spend my money on. I hope this won’t deter you though – the Gloss Moderne line is really quite good.
If you’re looking for good travel-sized or trial-sized sets, I find that some brands will occasionally have a good travel set to try items out. Birchbox has sets of minis by product type with a mix of brands for you to test out multiple formulas which is nice. They’re $18-$28 each, some options include the Frizz Fighters Kit, Wavy Curly Hair Kit, Coily Curly Hair Kit and Beachy Keen Hair Kit.
In terms of finding a good volumizing shampoo and conditioner for my thick hair, I’m still looking for one that has that wow factor. I think many work well for fine hair but hair type does make a huge difference in performance. Some may feel that if you have thick hair you don’t really need a volume boost, I sometimes do need it and that’s where styling products come into play.
Don’t forget there are still a few more days for the Space NK Explore Promotion (US online only). Details in this post here but you can enter code BEAUTYNOW at checkout to save $20 off orders $100 or more. A few of you mentioned the code did not work for you – the issues have been fixed and it should work as long as you have non-sale items in your cart. The Space NK team did tell me if it still does not work you should be able to call their customer service and they will be able to help you. Brands they carry featured in this post include Oribe, Ouai, Bumble and Bumble, Gloss Moderne.
What are your favorite shampoos and conditioners for the summer? Do you
change things up when the seasons change or do you stick to your go-tos
Press samples featured include items from the Ouai (styling products only), Shu Uemura Art of Hair, and Gloss Moderne.
Space NK is hosting their Summer Explore Promotion again and they’re offering Beauty Look Book readers early access a week before the offer starts for everyone else. For those new to Space NK’s Explore Offer, every season they offer either a gift with purchase or savings deal to explore something new. This round you can save $20 off orders $100 or more at spacenk.com/us with code BEAUTYNOW at checkout. The code is valid now through 8/2/2016. Offer valid online only.
Several of you asked for a detail of what I hauled during my recent New York trip. You can find a full recap of their Prince Street store here in this post. There was a lot to explore from a wide range of brands. I was particularly impressed with the haircare selection in the store and picked up a couple things from Ouai and R+Co. I made a mental note of what I wanted to try so I could order when I got back home (I didn’t want to carry a lot of liquids back home with me, however I did end up shipping a big box home).
First a quick look at their amazing haircare selection. It’s literally Oribe heaven. Travel sized minis galore of multiple brands and formulas too.
Featured in the top picture are a few staples along with a couple new items I’ve tried in case you need recommendations or thoughts:
Diptyque Baies is not a haircare item, but it’s one of my favorite home scents, since Diptyque rarely goes on sale, these savings promotions are always a nice time to splurge on something and save a little.
Oribe Cleansing Cream (repurchased) is one of my favorite weekly shampoos to help restore moisture and cleanse at the same time
R+Co Park Ave Blow Out Balm is a product you work through damp hair before you use a blow dryer, I’m always eager to try new products like these because I heat dry my hair most of the time, this smells light and fresh and did give my hair a better look after blow drying, hair was left thicker, fuller and frizz-free and very smooth, the ends still needed a touch up, but for the rest, I really like how this works
Ouai Finishing Creme is described as a lightweight lotion for your hair that you can use as a heat protectant from styling, smoothing cream for dry ends or to add texture, I found it has a strong floral scent with a slightly thick texture, it gives the ends a more polished look with a tiny bit of shine but definitely helps add texture to the hair, by comparison the Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream has a thinner texture and adds weightless shine to the ends with a more glossy looking finish
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is a favorite, even though the full size is a better buy, I always end up repurchasing the travel size because it’s easier for me to store or carry with me
Ouai Treatment Masque comes in a pack of 8 individually sealed packets, it has a rich perfumed kind of scent, I used it as a mask, left it on for about 10 minutes then rinsed it out, it left the hair feeling super soft and shiny (after drying), I’m not the biggest fan of the packets for packaging, but it’s perfect to take one with you for travel or to the gym vs a huge tube, the product is a thumbs up, would love if this came in a large jar or squeeze tube
Terms and conditions as follows:
‘Explore Something New’ offer comprises $20 to spend on any product on the website www.spacenk.com/us. Your order must total $100 on full price/non-sale products before delivery has been added. Promo code BEAUTYNOW must be entered in the promo code box on the shopping bag page, before checkout, for the offer to apply. One use per customer and promotional codes cannot be applied retrospectively. The $20 discount will be applied at checkout where the order total equals $100 or more. This offer can be used in conjunction with our free shipping over $50. This offer is only available online between 12am Sunday July 17th, 2016 to 11:59pm Tuesday August 2nd, 2016 EST. This offer applies online only on the us.spacenk.com site, not the UK site and is not available in-store. We reserve the right to end it early or extend it without notice. Please note that all sale items, gift card purchases and promotional items are excluded from this promotion. The offer is not refundable and there is no cash value/alternative. The offer cannot be exchanged in-store or online for another product. This offer applies online only and is not available in-store. The offer is restricted to one per customer.
Many thanks to Space NK for extending this to Beauty Look Book readers. If you have anything on your radar whether it’s new haircare, skincare, beauty, fragrance from Space NK – let me know! I’m always eager to try new haircare products to help tame my naturally frizzy hair. I’m looking for a good wave spray, the Oribe Apres Beach Spray has been a good one that I just used up, debating whether to repurchase or try something new. Any recs greatly appreciated!
Last week I stopped by a few of my favorite beauty shops in NYC. Living in Southern California I am lucky to have access to most brands but often times don’t have a free standing boutique near me for some stores to get the full experience. I was beyond thrilled to stop by Space NK’s newest New York Boutique on 31 Prince Street in Nolita. This was my first time inside a free standing store and it is a beauty lover’s dream come true. Between Space NK and Birchbox Soho – you literally have all your beauty and grooming (for men) needs covered. Both stock a wide variety of mid to high end beauty brands and from the looks of it, they have everything one could need and in travel sizes too. As I was oohing and aaahing at all the shelves in Space NK, by I thought to myself I should have skipped the stress of trying to hoard minis and pack all my liquids into a quart size bag (since I travel carry-on style) and made this store my first stop in once I arrived in the city.
The store is located on the corner of Prince and Mott – it’s one of the most charming beauty spaces I’ve been inside. There’s a lot stocked in the store covering skincare, hair care, cosmetics and more – at the same time it’s very spacious with a wide open feeling that gives it a luxurious feel. Walking inside is pretty amazing – I could not help but wish that I had a space like this in my home. Displays are organized by brand and product type. Skincare is split into different walls for the natural brands, more techy brands etc. I had just missed a Dr. Lancer appearance and book signing which happened at the store a few days prior. There are decicated areas for Lancer Skincare.
Close up of Oribe heaven, full size wall and then stocked travel size minis:
Overall a must-stop if you visit New York City. There are quite a few Space NK stores located through the city, I was glad I stopped by this one as it’s in a cute neighborhood and Diptyque is just around the corner. It has a similar vibe and feel to the dedicated Space NK sections you may see inside a Bloomingdale’s (which I also love) but being able to visit a separate store is really a must if you can.
Many thanks to Space NK for allowing me to take photos inside their beautiful store. Next time I’m in New York I won’t be packing a lot of items, I know now that I can simply stop by here and purchase what I need as they carry my favorite brands.
Have you been inside a Space NK store before? I know they are all over the US but this is my first time visiting a dedicated store. Hope you enjoyed this peek into their space! Snippets on their social too @spacenkusa – something I live vicariously through since I don’t have a store near me. It’s nice to see snapshots of their stores around the country and new launch sneak peeks.
P.S. There’s a summer sale going on right now, some items are marked up to 50% off 🙂