Browsing Tag

Summer 2016

Sales

Space NK Explore Promotion – Early Access for Beauty Look Book Readers 7/17 to 8/2

July 17, 2016

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.

Another look at more brands to choose from including Sachajuan, Gloss Moderne, Malin + Goetz and more (you can click to view a larger image):

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

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=MeQoh28EORo&subid=&offerid=417140.1&type=10&tmpid=11586&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.spacenk.com%252Fus%252Fen_US%252Fhaircare-1%252F

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!

Update: Code now works! Sorry for the delay!

Clarins Lips Skincare

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors + New Shade Extentions

July 13, 2016

 

I first tried the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($25 each for 12 ml/0.35 fl oz, made im France) over a year ago in Rose Shimmer 01 and have been so thrilled to find quite a few Clarins fans among my readers. For summer I always feel like multi-tasking products are in and the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors combine makeup and skincare in one product. These come in the squeeze tubes with a sponge tip applicator. There are tiny holes in the tip so you simply squeeze the tube to dispense product. This summer there are new shades that have been added to the permanent lineup and three new shades which are limited-edition. The Clarins team sent over all the shades for me to play with and I’ve swatched all the colors to share today.

 

The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors have a glossy finish with semi-sheer pigment similar to the Instant Light Lip Balm Perfectors (the stick version) but the squeeze tubes have a slight sheen and shimmer to them. They have a pleasant sweet scent and taste to them, like a sweet vanilla but not overly sweet. The Lip Perfectors contain mango, shea and licorice to protect and moisturize the lips. Color-wise most of the original shades look pretty much the same on my lips once blended out. They have a sheer finish but there is a noticeable tint. I have pigmented lips so some of the shades will most likely show up better on your lips compared to mine. The colors have names and numbers, but on the tubes there is only a number label.

 

 

A quick look at the packaging and applicators:

 

 

The new shades include 7 and 8. New limited-edition shades include 10, 11 and 12 which have a special design on the packaging. These all have some degree of shimmer in them but on the lips it’s not visible – the shimmer gives them what Clarins calls a 3D effect. Shown below are the colors in numerical order, left to right:
  • 1 Rose Shimmer is a light medium neutral pink
  • 2 Apricot Shimmer is a light apricot color
  • 3 Nude Shimmer is a light peachy shimmer
  • 4 Petal Shimmer is a pale light baby pink
  • 5 Candy Shimmer is soft medium pink
  • 6 Rosewood Shimmer is a neutral medium brown pink
  • 7 Toffee Pink Shimmer is a neutral mauve
  • 8 Plum Shimmer is a red plum
  • 10 Pink Shimmer (limited-edition) is a bright sheer pink
  • 11 Orange Shimmer (limited-edition) is a bright sheer orange shimmer
  • 12 Red Shimmer (limited-edition) is a bright sheer red

 

 

 

 

All swatched on bare lips, no lipliner or lipcolor underneath. This is the case with all lip swatches unless another color is specified. The only reason I mention it is because I frequently receive e-mails asking what lipliner I’m wearing or why I would wear a dark lipliner with a light lip color. I have pigmented lips and in many cases light colors that have a transparent finish will allow my natural lip pigment to show through, especially around the edges.

 

 

Many of you have e-mailed me in addition to leaving comments about these and out of the tinted balms out there, this formula appears to be well loved. That surprised me considering how sheer these are, but I will say that the formula is comforting and hydrating on the lips. As with any lip balm they won’t last all day long. They do stay put and don’t slide around as long as you don’t snack or drink. Since they feel nice I don’t mind reapplying. The packaging is pretty and the sponge tip makes it easy to apply.

 

Shades 1 through 4 almost look identical on me. Shade 5 shows up better than Shade 1. My favorites in the line are the new shade extensions 6, 7 and 8. For the limited-edition colors 10 is the one that has my heart. If you like the concept but don’t like the packaging/style the Instant Light Lip Balm Perfectors come in a twist up stick format although they don’t have all the same colors. If you prefer a more hydrating formula but in an oil format, you might want to check out the Clarins Instant Light Lip Oils instead.

 

You can find the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors now at all Clarins counters. Online at Clarins, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

 

Have you tried the new colors yet? If not do you have a favorite shade in the original lineup?

 

Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors provided courtesy of Clarins for review consideration.
What's In My Bag

Summer Date Night Beauty Favorites and Clutch Essentials

July 12, 2016

Summer is in full swing and I thought I’d put together a roundup of some date night beauty favorites for the season. I like to keep things on the makeup side soft and shimmery – pretty much the same as everyday kind of colors but add more on the eyes. A good neutral lip can give a nice polished look and will go with every color of outfit. A good classic red, coral or bright pink lip can add more oomph to your look – if you like a good bright classic, I think the best color and formula right now are from the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lines. If you’re a neutral lip lover, read on for my top picks.

First a note on clutches and pouches. Finding a good classic flat zip clutch is harder than you would think.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been into the simple classic
streamlined zip pouch, but being petite at 5’3″ it’s hard for me to find
one that isn’t too large. I’m forever looking for good classic options. The envelope style is pretty chic (one affordable option featured in this post here also eyeing this nude blush one here) but for some reason my heart belong to the flat zip ones.

My two most-used clutches are the Clare V Leopard Clutch (8″ H x 11″ W) and Truffle Privacy Clutch (6 1/2″ H x 10 1/2″ W). Small compact coin purses or card cases are also essentials for me. Any kind of textured leather makes wallets more sturdy and last longer, the Chanel classic quilted caviar is one of my favorites. The Tory Burch Robinson Coin Case is actually more like card case but also works as a more affordable option but still extremely well made and sturdy.

The best date night fragrances for me, some come in the tiny roller ball or small spritzer version to fit inside a clutch:

  • Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau which comes in a limited-edition travel size for summer. It’s the fragrance version of Baies candle which I was surprised works well as perfume and has a mix of blackcurrant leaves and rose.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is the ultimate date night fragrance (travel spray was taken with me on my summer trip). For daytime I feel like it’s more of a fall/winter fragrance, but I think it’s amazing for summer nights. It’s a hard one to describe but the notes are bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • Chloé Eau de Parfume is another favorite, I have a small bottle, but you can find it in a travel size as well, it’s another classic floral with notes of Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
  • For those who want something more unique, Byredo is always a good option. I bought the Discovery Set over the holiday which has a sampler mix of scents. It’s been discontinued but the current version is the Floral Discovery 6 Piece Set which has Blanche, La Tulipe, Bal D’Afrique, Inflorescence, Flowerhead and Rose Of No Man’s Land. I highly recommend the travel/discovery sets. It’s a great way to try out different ones without having to splurge on the full size bottle. Another option is the Nécessaire de Voyage Eau de Parfum Travel Set which has Black Saffron and Blanche with a case.

For eyes I like shadow sticks because they’re easy to apply and blend with the fingers. They’re great for touch ups or if you’re on the go and compact enough to carry in a clutch if you don’t have time to go back home to fix your makeup for date.

I like a good shimmer for the eyes because it dresses them up a bit whether it’s to add highlight or deepen with a golden smokey shade. Favorites shown and swatched below include:

For lips, I’m all about the soft pink and peachy shades. Current favorites shown below to mix and match or layer:

Shown above but not swatched:

Swatched below:

For pressed powders, the two I’ve been reaching for the most include the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in No. 20 and Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral. I’ve been on the hunt for a good retractable brush that’s flat but not too small and I finally found one from Hakuhodo which is the H611 Portable Brush. It’s soft and fluffy and super compact. If you don’t need a powder to touch up, but want a good blotting paper to carry to absorb shine, the Tatcha Blotting Papers are the best ones I’ve tried (details on why they’re the best in this review here).

That rounds up my summer date night beauty favorites! As always I’d love to hear what you love to wear and/or carry with you. If you have any favorite clutches or zip pouches – please share! One last note, shoes featured are from Ann Taylor.

Press samples featured include Tatcha Blotting Papers, Tom Ford Lip Color, Edward Bess Lip Definers, Truffle Clutch.

Charlotte Tilbury Lips

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Collection Review

July 11, 2016

 

Charlotte Tilbury launched a new collection of lipsticks called Hot Lips ($32 each). This launch features 12 new lipsticks shades designed in collaboration with 12 celebrities to support Women for Women International a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women survivors of war and injustice. $2 from each lipstick sold will be donated to the organizations in the first two months of sales.

 

The launch features 12 new shades of both her lipstick formulas Matte Revolution and K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick which you can purchase individually for $32 each. The Hot Lips shades have a special box packaging with red lips on the exterior and the actual lipstick tubes themselves have a lip print embossed on the front of the product. There are a few re-promoted shades with this launch. On Charlotte Tilbury’s website there is an exclusive set that features all 12 of the new Hot Lips and a lipstick holder called the Hot Lips Luxury Collection for $350. I ordered this set direct from her site – purchasing 12 shades individually would have retailed at $384. I have all 12 shades swatched today.

 

Here is what the lipstick holder looks like, it’s an exclusive to Charlotte Tilbury’s website and only comes with the set.

 

I’ve split the twelve shades into two color groups, neutrals and brights:

 

 

Neutrals shown below from left to right:
  • Penelope Pink K.I.S.S.I.N.G  is a repromote, it’s a neutral light nude pink
  • Very Victoria Matte Revolution is a repromote, it’s a cool-toned mauve nude pink brown
  • Kim KW K.I.S.S.I.N.G is a pale flesh toned pink nude
  • Super Cindy Matte Revolution is a medium 90’s shade nude with peach tones
  • Kidman’s Kiss Matte Revolution is a light peach pink
  • Liv It Up K.I.S.S.I.N.G is a neutral-cool light pink
  • Secret Salma Matte Revolution is a berry mauve pink

 

 

Brights and bolds:
  • Hot Emily K.I.S.S.I.N.G is a bright orange cream
  • Miranda May Matte Revolution is similar to Hot Emily, Miranda May has a bit less orange and more pink, it’s a bright color
  • Tell Laura Matte Revolution is an orange warm red
  • Carina’s Love Matte Revolution is a bold blue-based red
  • Bosworth’s Beauty Matte Revolution is a medium bright cool pink
  • Electric Poppy Matte Revolution is a hot pink
  • Hel’s Bells Matte Revolution is a deep purple plum

 

 

Swatches of the 12 Hot Lips Shades on bare lips below. For skintone reference I’m wearing the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundations in 6 and 7 mixed together set with the Flawless Finish Powder #2.
A few comparison sets below to other shades from her line. I’ve reviewed and swatched her lipsticks quite a few times before. For those new to her lipsticks, she has two formulas. The K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks were the first formula she launched. This is a creamy high pigment lipstick with medium to full coverage and a natural shine. She later launched a matte lipstick called Matte Revolution which is a luminous matte lipstick. These also have full coverage and have a satiny sheen to them even though they are matte in finish.They have a slight vanilla scent and while they aren’t moisturizing like a lip treatment, I find they are hydrating and they do not make my lips peel. In terms of prep, I rarely wear lip liner these days but the ones I reach for the most are Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude which will go with a wide range of colors. For a base I like her Lip Magic to help moisturize and prep the lips or the MAC Prep and Prime Lip.

 

Comparison Set 1:
  • Hot Lips include Kim KW, Super Cindy, Kidman’s Kiss, Liv It Up
  • Matte Revolution includes Miss Kensington (swatch), Between the Sheets (here), Very Victoria (review)
  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks include Nude Kate, Penelope Pink, Bitch Perfect and Stoned Rose (a;; swatched here)
  • Lip Cheat Lip Pencils include Iconic Nude and Pillow Talk (swatched here)

 

 

Comparison Set 2:
  • Hot Lips include Hot Emily, Miranda May, Tell Laura, Carina’s Love, Secret Salma and Hel’s Bells
  • Matte Revolution shades include Sexy Sienna, 1975 Red (here), Walk of Shame, Bond Girl and Love Liberty (rest here)
  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G shades include Kiss Chase (swatch)

 

 

Lip swatches for other shades linked above in comparison labels, but here are a few reswatched for reference:

 

 

Out of all 12 shades I think 10 are perfect. There were only two that I found a bit patchy or hard to apply including the lightest and darkest shades. Kim KW which I suspect is going to be one of the most popular options is one of those light nudes I cannot wear easily. It took me a lot of layering and blending to get smooth streak-free application. It’s very opaque and contrasts with my natural lip tone so it washes me out a little bit. Hel’s Bells went on my lips streaky and a bit patchy but did smooth out with layering. Adding a lipliner under both shades can fix any uneven application – and this might not happen to you if your natural lip tone is different from mine.

 

 

Some of the Hot Lips colors look nearly identical to each other in the tubes. The difference definitely shows up on the lips though. I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite because every single color is amazing. I will say that I do think Tell Laura looks identical to 1975 Red (discontinued). If you already own 1975 Red, skip Tell Laura. On the flip side if you missed out know you can buy Tell Laura as an exact dupe. My perfect Charlotte Tilbury nudes are still Penelope Pink and Bitch Perfect although Super Cindy and Kidman’s Kiss are both great peachy neutrals.

 

Overall the colors are all great which I think is rare for me to say on an entire collection launch. Charlotte Tilbury created a good range of wearable color options that are suitable for any occasion and any season. 100% worth the splurge for me. Because I know many of you will insist that I pick my top favorites, my top 5 are Super Cindy, Hot Emily, Secret Salma, Kidman’s Kiss and Liv It Up.

 

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Luxury Collection Set exclusively online at Charlotte Tilbury. Individual shades also available online and in stores at Charlotte Tilbury, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, Beautylish and Selfridges.

 

Have you ordered any shades yet? Which ones?

 

Uncategorized

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm Review

July 8, 2016

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms ($20 each for 3g/.1 oz) launched earlier this summer in five shades. These are what MAC calls smart lip conditioners because they adjust in color based on your body chemistry. The concept is similar to that of the Dior Addict Lip Glow Revivers and Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector #3 where the formula is balmy and soft and also where colors will look very different on your lips compared to what you see in the tube is different.

The MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms come packaged in a sleek streamlined case much like the Huggable Lip Colors (some featured here and here). Tendertalks have an iridescent packaging that has a holographic 90’s feel. It flashes all kinds of fluorescent colors depending on how the light hits the packaging.

There are five shades which is the most I’ve seen for this kind of color-shifting lip product. To date most of the color options I’ve seen are the light pink that often shifts to fuchsia on me or a coral. MAC added a few more options that are perfect for that semi-sheer bright summer lip look. The sheerness gives the balms a more effortless casual feel compared to an opaque full coverage look.

Do note these will most likely look different on you depending on your lip chemistry but I thought these were worth reviewing and swatching anyways.

Colors from left to right:

  • Candy Wrapped is a sheer almost transparent pink that turns into a bright pink on my lips.
  • Pretty Me Up is a sheer peachy color that also turns pinkish on my lips.
  • Play With Me is a sheer red that deepens and brightens in color on me.
  • Teddy Pink is a bright cool pink in the tube it turns more mauvey and cool-toned on me.
  • Side Dish is a cool pink that turns into a deeper mauve bright pink.

Another look and swatches on my lips. They took about 30 seconds to adjust in color on me. Once on, they did leave a slight stain on the lips, but it was easy to remove with makeup remover (I used the Clinique Take the Day Off).

Everyone knows I’m a neutral lip lover at heart, but for this launch my two favorites are the deeper brights in Play With Me and Side Dish. For summer I love the sheerer-brights. Many of the brighter lip color that has a bit of transparency gets a thumbs up from me – they’re perfect for the summer season but wearable even for someone like me who almost always wears nudes or neutrals.

Texture is smooth and balmy without having a greasy feel. They are easy to apply without any tugging but not so soft that they feel like they will melt or break. Once on the lips there is a noticeable balmy feel like a cushion but it’s not heavy. They have the signature soft vanilla scent that most MAC lipsticks have. I found they stayed put very well once on the lips – no sliding around and lasting power was good until I drank or ate something. They left a slight stain on my lips, but it was easy to remove with makeup remover. Moisture-wise they do have a moisturizing feel and they did not dry out my lips or make them peel like other MAC lip products do.

I like these for summer. There are however quite a few tinted new lip balms out this summer – I’ll be reviewing the Estee Edit Cocobalms, the added shades of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors and the limited-edition summer colors of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors in the upcoming week. Depending on your preference for formula and packaging you may want to explore other options, however the ones from MAC are unique in the sense that they are the color-adjusting kind and have a brighter summery look in terms of color.

You can find the MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms at counters now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Selfridges. Have you tried these yet? They launched last month so they’ve been out for a few weeks by now.

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms provided courtesy of MAC for review consideration.

Travel

Packing for a Summer Getaway with Carry-Ons

July 6, 2016

This is the post many of you have been waiting for and I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and also your patience while I try to get myself back together. It doesn’t matter how long or short a trip I take – it takes me a long time to unpack and organize things. This summer my husband and I planned a 2 week getaway with one week in New York and another week for Florida. The second half ended up being postponed for a later date due to work conflicts combined with my anxiety about leaving our two energetic Jack Russell Terriers and a very temperamental Ragdoll cat. This was the first trip we boarded them and while we knew we were leaving them in very good hands, I still think of them as my babies and leaving them for any period of time is hard for me especially since our fur kids are very high maintenance. But I digress – we packed for a two week getaway with carry-ons only as both my husband and I like to travel light. Many of you liked my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry Ons post last summer. This year we were lucky to try something new with carry on luggage from Away Travel.

Those following me on social have seen a few sneak peeks featuring Away – they are a relatively new company that carries affordable travel luggage. At the time of our trip they stocked one size of luggage the Carry-On ($225) which measures 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”. While in New York I stopped by their pop up Concept Store on in Noho at 325 Lafayette Street and discovered they just launched two additional sizes The Medium ($275) and The Large ($295). At this time you can order them direct from their website or purchase in store. If you click this referral link you can save $20 off your first order.

A quick look inside the concept store and then a review of the carry on followed by what I packed for the trip. The store currently stocks a few items you can only find in the store. There are two themes for the store, one is Tokyo inspired and the other has a Swedish theme. Both are based on what the founders are passionate about. While in the store I bought a travel blanket/scarf they call a Blarf ($125). I hope they carry this online soon or have it in more colors. It’s the perfect size, thickness and density for the airplane. So many recommend carrying a large scarf or small blanket and I think it’s hard to find something the right size and thickness for the plane.

 above image, courtesy of Away

 above image, courtesy of Away

Below are some images I took of the store. The staff was very kind and allowed be to browse. They have stations inside where you can see the product in person. They also have a kiosk stocked with folded shirts and tees like a demo station as a way help you figure out what size luggage will work best for your travel packing needs.

Bottom left – try out station with clothing so you can see which size best fits your needs based on what you plan to pack. Bottom right an Away x Capsule Beauty Box Collaboration set.

A closer look at the luggage. Away sent both my husband and I carry ons to test out for our trip. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the box – but they are shipped in a perfectly fitted box and they also come with their own dust bags for storage. Upon opening it I was really surprised how lightweight it was. The exterior is made of a Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate. It has some give to it if you touch it – it’s not 100% solid like metal or glass but still very thick and surprisingly sturdy. When we both unboxed ours I have to admit we were both concerned about the sturdiness since it’s so lightweight. After putting it to the test though I can report that it’s very sturdy. We did take these on the plane with us as carry-ons so I am not sure how the exterior will hold up if you check it.

For something so compact and streamlined, it has a lot of features I found practical but genius. The space is very well designed inside and out. There’s minimal wasted space inside for maximum packing – most luggage has a lot of unusable space inside because of the handles or pockets. It comes with a built in USB charger which I found very handy. The interior comes with a compression system which helps hold all your clothes in place so there’s minimal shifting even if it’s not completely full. There is also a removable laundry bag packed at the base – it rolls up into a compact zip pouch so once again, valuable packing space is not taken up. It comes with four wheels that have a 360 degree spin so rolling it around flat or angled is easy and seamless. Handles expand up to 20.3 inches.

There are four lights that indicate how much charge is left in the battery. Each case comes with a TSA approved lock as well:

Many of you saw my preliminary packing list in this post here. This is what I ended up packing inside, I also had the clothes I was wearing to and from our destinations. In addition to our carry ons, I had a Louis Vuitton Neverful Tote in the MM size and my husband had a laptop case. Not shown below is what I packed inside my tote which included my liquids, wallet, small truffle pouch with cosmetics, makeup brushes in a MustaeV bloom pouch, laptop and one pair of flats.

All packed up:

A quick look at the interior, more shots and details on their website:

What I fit inside the left side with the zipped portion. Each is the same in size. This is the first suitcase I’ve tried where both sides are the same – most have either a deep base with a cover. The Anya Hindmarch case fit inside with everything shown below (hat not packed but rather carried by hand). In the left side I packed 2 pairs of jeans, 2 blouses, 4 tees/tanks, makeup case, 2 sweater shells, three dresses.

On the right side is a compression case. It has a zip pouch where I stored socks and underwear. Packed inside were 3 boxes of Laduree tea (for on the way home), 3 sweaters, 1 pair of jeans (yes a 3rd pair, lol), 1 summer dress, 1 black tank, 1 pencil skirt, a pair of heels in dust bags, 1 tank, yoga pants and my camera case. My clothes are small and were lightweight so it was easy to roll or fold things in a way to fit without overstuffing.

Beautywise, everything fit inside 1 Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case to keep everything compact, 1 MustaeV Bloom Pouch for brushes and pencils, and 1 quart sized ziploc bag for liquids. Some of you may be wondering what happened to my clear pouch that I bought last year for liquids. Even though the description says it’s quart sized and reviews indicate many airports take it, there have been a few instances where security took one look and I had issues getting through. I was still able to get through in the end but since it looks like it carries a lot many suspect that it’s over the quart size limit. I decided to skip it this round.

The beauty pack list:

Cases:

Eye makeup:

Face Makeup:

Cheek and Highlighters:

Lips:

Misc:

Liquids and skincare:

For those wondering how well the luggage will hold up to scratches, I did not check the bag and so it was not exposed to serious contact damage with other bags. I did find one mark light scratch on the surface that happened from another bag sliding in the overhead compartment against mine. It was easy to remove but it was not a deep scratch and there was no indentation in the surface. I used a warm wash cloth and a tiny bit of hand soap to wipe the surface and the mark was almost 100% gone with a couple swipes.

A few final thoughts about packing for a week in New York City for the summer. I could have skipped the hat and my heels. Even for dressier occasions or meetings, my black flats worked just fine. In the streets I saw women mainly wore sandals, flats or short heeled wedges. I saw very few heels although I suspect some may just simply carry them in their totes to change for work or going out – if any New Yorkers want to chime in let me know!
  • I could have skipped the hat. I didn’t want it to get squished so I carried it on the plane. I did not end up wearing it at all as I felt it would have just gotten in the way.
  • I walked most of New York City in either my Chloe flats or Tory Burch Millers. Yes, sandals were not the best idea, but being a California girl I just have to. My feet did ok – no blisters and they did not get too dirty. Both pairs of shoes survived without any damage from extensive walking.
  • I packed more than I needed for a week – but we did intend to be away for 2 weeks instead of 1.
  • Next trip to NYC I’m packing super light on the beauty side. All I need can be found at Birchbox Soho or Space NK, not to mention all the Sephora stores around the city. 
  • I really missed my hair dryer but I survived with the one in the hotel.
  • My husband only packed jeans and even after a trip to Banana Republic in the city for some last minute things, he only picked up shorts and polos. Next time I will be packing a nice pair of slacks or khakis for him. There were a few restaurants I wanted to go to that we could not because he only had jeans as he was on “vacay” mode.
  • I did bring a pair of my Pumas that I had from last year as my sneaker/walking shoes. My husband informed me I need to invest in a pair of better looking shoes. He gave them that “these should be burned” look when he saw me wearing them. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
  • By the end of my trip I had several full sized liquids and other items I bought while in NYC that would not fit inside my carry on or tote. I shipped them back home via FedEx. Quick note on pricing – make sure you double check price quotes online. I shipped everything home for a little over $40, box weight was about 20 pounds. A little over a week later I received an invoice from FedEx stating I owed an additional $120. I called them to ask about it and was informed that prices are just estimates in the store and additional charges may occur for residential deliveries, weekday deliveries, declared value and size etc. They said the best way to get an accurate quote is to use the calculator online or to call them directly. They were very nice and professional on the phone, this obviously was my first time shipping something this large from FedEx and I told them I was just a bit surprised there was such a huge difference from the estimate to the actual cost. They waived the extra $100 without me complaining or asking, which I thought was really nice of them and something they did not have to do at all. If you are a newbie shipper like me – just be aware of the shipping estimates if you ship large boxes or items home. If in doubt just ask about any potential added charges that may be incurred.
I hope you enjoyed this packing post and review of the Away Carry Ons. Right now the only place to buy is direct from their website and you can save $20 off your first order by using this referral link. Both my husband and I were really impressed with it. It’s practical, priced right, works just the way you want a carry on to work and sturdy. The little touches and features make a huge difference. I was impressed with how much I was able to fit. I am planning to buy one for my brother and brother in law soon as they are both in need of good travel gear.

Do you have any tips or things you do for packing in carry-ons? Or are you the type that always checks luggage?

Press samples featured courtesy for review include the Away Carry Ons, MustaeV Bloom Pouch, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Edward Bess All Over Seduction. Some minis were from gift with purchases I’ve collected over time.

Travel

Langham Place New York

July 5, 2016

It’s been over a week since I’ve returned home from New York and I’m still energized to the point of almost glowing from my trip because I had such an amazing time. Today I’m sharing something a bit different than I normally do on The Beauty Look Book because when I have an experience that is out of the ordinary I want everyone to know. During our week in New York my husband and I stayed at Langham Place New York located in Midtown Manhattan and it is the best hotel we have ever stayed at. Prior to our trip it took quite a while for me to research hotels – to date my husband and I plan our trips on our own and my go-to review source for hotels is TripAdvisor which helps me narrow down places by location, ratings, price point etc. I picked out Langham Place New York after much consideration and I am beyond thrilled that I did. The hotel exceeded our expectations in every way. I think it is rare that I can say that something was perfect in every way, but my experience staying here was. The service was top notch right from the time we booked our rooms all the way to the day we checked out. In a city that never sleeps, being able to stay at a place that feels like a relaxing home away from home was priceless.
Langham Place New York is located on 5th Avenue within walking distance from the Empire State Building. We found it to be the perfect location for us even though getting around the city is very easy, we found it central to all the places we wanted to visit. Aside from location, spacious modern rooms, luxurious feel, the best thing about this hotel is the service. Everyone was welcoming, friendly, professional, courteous and each person went out of their way to be helpful in any and every way possible.

The rooms have a residence feel with a very open and spacious feel. A repeated theme on hotel reviews for New York is that hotel rooms are small and expensive. If you read the reviews on Langham Place New York, one thing that will stand out is everyone comments on how spacious the rooms are and most have said the service is phenomenal. I wholeheartedly agree and upon entering our room, both my husband and I were blown away. He did not want to splurge for our trip on the hotel, but this experience changed his mind completely and by the end he agreed that this place is indeed worth the splurge. Our room had a mini kitchen and separate living area near the entrance. Also not shown included a Miele laundry machine + dryer. I did not do laundry on this trip but my husband did as he hates traveling with dirty socks even if he brings extra pairs with him.

A look inside the hotel, mainly our room. After staying here for four nights, I did not want to leave. If you look closely below you will see a Nespresso machine. Heart won! They also leave the most amazing cookies on the nightstands during turn down along with bottled water. Heart won yet again 🙂

View from our room:

A very kind welcome note left by the Managing Director. I’ve never received a welcome note before so this touched my heart to the core!

Can I transport this bathroom to my own home please? 

TV monitor built into the mirror!

Husband’s half of the bathroom:

Travel minis that I brought with me:

Sunset view:

Travel beauty: 

Fully equipped fitness center:

In room breakfast with a view: 

During our stay we had room service for breakfast once which was simple yet refreshing. We wanted to try the restaurant Ai Fiori as it had amazing reviews but we were only in town for a short time and chose to explore the city instead. Everyone on the staff from the doormen to concierge and room service was very helpful – I cannot express in words how impressed I was. Literally everyone greets you in the most welcoming way (this happened throughout our entire stay).  The Langham Place New York hotel takes luxury to a new level and after having such a great experience and I will definitely have this place at the top of my list for the next time I visit New York.

I will have a post tomorrow on packing and how I fit everything into a carry on going to New York, but I wanted to make a quick note that by the end of my trip, I had more than I could carry in a suit case so I decided to ship a large box back home via FedEx. I packed what I wanted to ship in a large bag and was about to hail a cab to a FedEx shipping center when one of the doormen kindly told me the concierge would pack and ship everything for me from the hotel. I was still curious about how much it would cost (and how long it would take) to ship on my own for reference in case some readers are traveling to a hotel or destination that does not offer the same service. He kindly pointed me in the direction of a FedEx that was a lot closer than the one I was headed towards initially. It was within a 5 minute walk and actually inside the Empire State Building (just around the corner from the main entrance). As I was shipping my box I thought was pretty neat to be inside the side walls of the Empire State Building. The shipping process was quick and easy, they measured, boxed and packed everything for me and sat me down at one of the stations to enter my shipping and payment information. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes at most and there was no line when I arrived. It cost me only $40ish to ship a large box about 20 pounds second day which I thought was very reasonable.
Back to a few more thoughts on Langham Place New York. I think there’s nothing that can match a really good hotel experience and if you are able to stay here while in New York, I think you will enjoy it as well. In all the years and places I’ve traveled to there have been very few hotels I’ve stayed at that have made a strong enough impression to be memorable, Langham Place has made the list. You can see more about their rooms and amenities on their website gallery.
If you’re researching New York City hotels for trips I hope you found this review helpful! The number of options are almost overwhelming and it took me hours and days of making lists, checking availability and checking my list again to narrow down which one to stay at. I hands down recommend Langham Place New York. If you have any favorites I would love to hear about where your go-to spots are. It’s been a long time since I’ve last been to New York and after having visited I do think I need to try to go more often. I already cannot wait until my next trip back.