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Tatcha

Lips Tatcha

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Contour Trio

May 15, 2017

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look Book

Earlier last month Tatcha launched new lip products in their Twilight Cherry Blossom Lip Contour Trio ($85) and it sold out almost immediately. If you missed out I have exciting news to share from Tatcha that the set and the individual items will be restocked today at 1:00 PM PST. The Cherry Blossom collection is exclusive online to Tatcha.com and per the team it’s going to be available only on their site. If you like natural fresh looking beauty I highly recommend you check the entire collection out. Tatcha calls this “a fresh take on nude lips” with a “universally flattering pink blush.” An FYI for this restock – the trio won’t have the purple makeup pouch as they wanted to bring the collection back as soon as they could.

A look at the collection which includes:

  • TWILIGHT: A Cherry Blossom Contouring Lip Liner is my favorite piece of the collection, it’s an ultra creamy, full pigment perfect pink beige that glides on the lips
  • TWILIGHT: A Cherry Blossom Silk Lipstick is a stunning soft petal pink, it has a glossy sheer to medium finish, it has a different formula that is lighter, sheerer and more glossy compared to their Plum Blossom and Kyoto Red
  • CHERRY BLOSSOM Camellia Lip Balm is a sheer soft tinted pink balm, on my lips it’s pretty much clear with a smooth hydrating feel

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look BookSwatches:

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look Book

Lip swatches, foundation worn is Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer in Natural (out of all the bases I’ve tried I still think this is the best foundation I have). Setting powder used is the Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation in #4. I also re-swatched the now discontinued limited-edition Sunrise Plum Blossom to compare for you!

The Cherry Blossom Lip Balm is clear with a very soft sheen on my lips. The Lip Pencil pulls warmer and slightly beige on my skintone. The Lipstick is a neutral pink. Plum Blossom is a lot deeper, more pink and brighter.

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look Book

All three lip items applied. I applied the balm first to prep the lips, then followed with the lipliner to line and fill and then topped with the lipstick. On the eyes and cheeks I’m wearing the Becca x Chrissy Teigan Glow Face Palette (which is pure love!). Dress is an older style from Rag and Bone, similar here, here and here. When I layer all three lip products in the Cherry Blossom Lip Trio I get a soft petal pink with a beige and slightly peachy sheen. Also I am in desperate need of a hair cut – in San Diego I used the same two stylists for nearly 10 years. I’m debating whether or not to wait until I go back to visit, although I suspect I’ll have to try someone new. If you have any Tampa hair salon recommendations let me know.

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look Book

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio + Becca Chrissy Teigan Palette Look | The Beauty Look Book

And because I know you girls love comparisons, I pulled a handful of neutrals to compare. I did find a couple shades that look similar but the gorgeous presentation, packaging and formulas from Tatcha just simply cannot be matched. First a look at Cherry Blossom vs Plum Blossom (previously reviewed here), I have an untouched backup because that shade was also limited-edition:

Tatcha Cherry Blossom vs Plum Blossom | The Beauty Look Book

Lipstick comparison swatches to:

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lipstick Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Lipliner swatches:

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Liner Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Last month I saw Cherry Blossoms for the first time in NYC and the packaging of this collection matches the petal color perfectly!

Central Park NYC Cherry Blossoms Spring | The Beauty Look Book

Tatcha Cherry Blossom Lip Trio | The Beauty Look Book

I love all three – how can one resist the pretty pink tints and packaging? For the liner and lipstick there is no detectable scent. There is a very subtle scent in the lip balm but it’s barely detectable. If I had to pick one favorite it would be the lip pencil, although the other two are also very special. I’m dying for the pink lipstick packaging. Tatcha Lipsticks are made with the most exquisite details and have a gorgeous heavyweight feel. I know many women who hate paying a lot for lipstick but still think their Tatcha splurges were well worth every penny spent (myself included).

The Cherry Blossom Lip Contour Trio retails for $85. Individual items are expected to be listed online exclusively at Tatcha this afternoon. The collection is scheduled to restock today 5/15 at 1:00 PM PST. Have you tried these yet? If you were able to get them the first round what did you think?

Many thanks to Tatcha for sending the Cherry Blossom set for review.

 

Loving Right Now

Loving Right Now

May 4, 2017

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

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

MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Powder | The Beauty Look Book

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

NARS Banc de Sable highlighting palette | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

Surratt Lip Lustre and YSL Beige Blouse

Surratt Lip Lustre and YSL Beige Blouse

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

Skincare and Fragrance Loves

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

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

Loving Right Now | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

What's In My Bag

What’s In My Bag

April 9, 2017

What's In My Bag | The Beauty Look Book

It’s been a little over a month since we moved to Florida and I cannot believe how fast time flies! I’ve been sharing snippets of our weekly explorations of Tampa on Instagram Stories and I’m touched by those who’ve sent kind words of support and even restaurant recommendations. This move has been such a huge change for me as I’ve lived in California most of my life. Living in the south is such a new and different experience but change can be good and my husband and I are loving it so far. Yesterday I shared a quick what’s in my bag video on Instagram – I received so much positive feedback I thought I’d do a post on it in case you missed it. One thing that has surprised us about Tampa is that the city seems a lot bigger and more spread out than we expected. On days (primarily weekends) where we are out and about it feels like we are out for extended periods of time and because of this I’ve found it necessary to pack an extra set of clothes in the trunk since temperatures can change a lot. I’ve also had to pack some extra things in my bag since making a quick trip home isn’t always an efficient option time-wise.

I do switch up my bag contents frequently and I don’t always carry this much with me but let’s call this my weekend out and about edition of what’s inside my bag. A look at what was inside my Neverful MM bag yesterday:

Inside My Bag Truffle Pouches | The Beauty Look Book

So up first are some tech things. By popular request I’ll be doing an updated camera post on what I use to shoot my blog photos. I did one a few years ago but have since acquired a couple more cameras. My long-time favorite was the Sony NEX-6 but it was discontinued. It has held up for a long time and I love it but unfortunately dropped it and broke the lens. It is an easy replacement but since newer models have come out, I decided to try the Sony Alpha 5100 because it has a flip screen and a slightly smaller body. Review on this soon, but first impressions are that I like the design and features of the NEX-6 a lot better because of the viewfinder, dial and option for external flash. (The current version is the Alpha 6000.) Another camera I’ve used for a long time is the Canon G16, another model that has been discontinued. The more popular version which is the closest equivalent is the G7x Mark II which has the flip screen option for vlogging or selfies.

So inside my bag yesterday I carried two cameras to test outdoors. For my Sony I have an older leather camera case, similar options here and here. For my Canon I never bought a proper case. It usually stays in good condition if I put it inside my purse alone, but since I’ve been carrying more sunscreen and mini perfumes (to reduce swelling for bug bites if I get them), I try to protect it a bit more. I’ve found the Glossier bubble pouches are a cheap quick fix for now. Also inside my bag is a Gucci Card Case, iPhone case is from Gray Malin, sunglasses are by Marc Jacobs (currently 25% off at Nordstrom).

Inside My Bag, Sony Alpha 5100, Canon G16, Gucci Card Case | The Beauty Look Book

For body, skincare and makeup, I find that pouches by Truffle are essential to keeping everything organized. I tend to prefer open totes and have found that things can get cluttered and messy without dividers. I should invest in a separate purse insert/divider but for years I’ve loved the clear pouches for almost anything and everything.

Truffle Clarity Clutch Small and Mini | The Beauty Look Book

I have an older style of the Truffle Small Clarity Clutch (older ones had the red trim, current version has a white trim) to carry hand creams, skincare and sunscreen. In this weekend’s bag I had the Molton Brown Hand Cream in Pink Pepperpod, Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (mini from this set), Fresh Sugar Sport Sunscreen (for my husband) and the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray with SPF50. I’ve still been putting a number of sunscreens to the test. I’ve found Shiseido comes highly recommended by a lot of my readers but I’ve never found a sunscreen I could convince myself to buy because the creams have a white cast. The spray version is clear and today it did a pretty good job at protecting me and by the end of the day I had no reaction or bumps like I get with most brands of sunscreen.

I also like to use the Truffle Mini Pouches because they’re more compact. Other items include the Commodity Travel Spray in Bergamot (thanks to some readers who recommended I try this brand!), Tatcha Blotting Papers, Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation (I’m still shade #4), Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade, YSL Tint-in-Balm (swatched here), Tom Ford Lip Balm (review here) and Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist (travel size).

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my bag! So many of you were so sweet on my Instastories I wanted to share it in a blog post. If there’s anything else you want to see on Instagram let me know. I’m new to taking video clips but I’m having lots of fun with it. Some quick notes on what’s coming up soon on the blog: an updated skincare routine (since my skin has become a lot drier since moving to Florida), sunscreen roundup (might be another week though), some more Tom Ford goodness (new fragrance, a look at the Paradiso Eye Duo and thoughts on one of the body sprays), thoughts on the new MAC Next to Nothing foundation and some loves in body care/home. Basically a little bit of everything!

Since moving to Tampa from San Diego, both my husband and I have experienced dryness in skin and hair. We’re not really sure what the cause is as we expected to be more oily with the heat and humidity. We’ve both been drinking plenty of water, we’ve made an effort to have as little sun exposure as possible, but this is kinda impossible in Florida, we’ve been eating healthy – if you have any insight on what could be the cause let me know in the comments. I suspect it could be the difference in water, but we’re both baffled!

Press samples featured include the Tom Ford Lip Balm, Truffle Clarity Clutch (small, older style) and Molton Brown hand cream.

Monthly Favorites

Monthly Beauty and Skincare Hits and Misses

January 31, 2017

January Hits and Misses for Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

I cannot believe the first month of 2017 has come and gone – I feel like the last few weeks have been a blur! I hope each of you have had a great start to the new year. In the beauty world I feel like things have been all about lips and highlighters. It appears the liquid lipstick trend is here to stay for quite some time. I still have my battle of the liquid lipstick post coming soon – with new launches almost weekly it seems like there’s more to test and try out. I’ve put a cut-off for testing though – I have two more detailed reviews to post before the official roundup. Today I have a roundup of the best and worst in beauty testing for January even though many of these have been put to the test for more than a month. Sometimes with products you know by the second or third use that a particular item just won’t work. Other items take a bit more testing to decide. By popular request here is my first Hits and Misses post of the year. We’ll start off with the hits.

January Favorites – Makeup

Monthly Beauty Favorites - MAC, Dior, Chanel, Marc Jacobs | The Beauty Look Book

This month’s favorite items and discoveries include:

  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is something I finally tried and can’t believe it took me so long, it gives the skin a nice soft diffused look, it removes shine without looking heavy or overly matte and the best thing about this one is the color selection which I think is pretty good (shown on the skin here and also worn here)
  • Diorskin Nude Air Glow Powder in 002 Freshlight (shown on the face here) has been my go-to soft bronzer shade for the past few months, it has the perfect amount of warmth and has a sheer but buildable finish that works for my winter skintone color right now
  • Chanel Joues Contraste in Elegance (review here) is my perfect everyday beige blush, it goes with everything and adds life to the face without looking too dark or orange
  • Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara is one that took me years to try because I tried a mini and thought it literally was the worst thing ever. Based on raves of a few friends who swore it was THE best thing in mascara I decided to order one and was blown away. They assured me the full size was better than the minis and they were right. I don’t know that I’ll repurchase this because even I have limits when it comes to expensive items. At a whopping $72 I don’t know that I can say it’s worth it but this mascara is really good. It lengthens, volumizes, holds curl, doesn’t smudge and doesn’t look crunchy. It’s supposed to have lash-growth ingredients but I haven’t used it long enough to see results.
  • Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo (c/o, swatches here) are great in terms of formula, color payoff and color selection
  • Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur (c/o, all shades swatched here) are my favorite lip launch of the year so far, I love a good glossy lip and these have a feel and look like the Rouge Coco Shines but with a lot more pigment
  • Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme in Truth or Bare (c/o, all shades reviewed here) is my favorite rose pink liquid lipstick
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow is something that is almost always in my purse these days (review of all shades here), my most-worn shade is either Lilac or Coral, the new Berry color (c/o) is a really pretty one too
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Douglas (c/o, review here) is my go-to these days for a soft cool-toned pink shimmer

January Favorites – Skincare

Monthly Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare favorites include a mix of old and new:

  • I’ve found myself reaching a lot for the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for evenings, both feel just so amazing on the skin giving it just the right amount of hydration, it’s brightened the skin and makes it feel healthier and smoother, if you don’t want to splurge on the full sizes you may want to consider the Day to Night Set which has miniatures of six items at a value price, alternatively if you visit you local Kiehl’s store they usually have samples so ask if they have these available (making a purchase will usually make it easier to get a couple samples)
  • Bioderma Sensibio was mentioned in my 2016 favorites, I use this as a toner and it’s just perfect for my sensitive skin, it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean, it has helped calm and comfort the skin, especially since I’m prone to flare ups or sensitivity, I have both the 250 and 100 ml versions (one I took with me on travel), can’t rave about this enough
  • Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel (c/o) is another good gentle moisturizer for sensitive skin, I’ve been reaching for this a lot, it hydrates without feeling greasy and gives relief for dry skin without being heavy, I will definitely repurchase once this is used up
  • Tatcha The Essence (c/o) is something I got a mini of with an order (I had a promo code) and fell in love with it immediately, I discussed essence a few posts back and many of you gave me some really good feedback on what to try! I’m currently testing three, this one from Tatcha and the SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence and Genoptics Spot Essence (c/o). It’s going to take me several weeks to see which one is truly the best, but I noticed results immediately from the Tatcha Essence. It softens the skin without feeling heavy or leaving a film on the skin like some other essence or serums do. It’s watery but not too runny so it’s easy to apply. It does make my moisturizer absorb into the skin better. As one who doesn’t like things that feel heavy on the skin I absolutely love this one.
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser is something I ordered the day it launched online at Sephora. By the time this post is going live I’ve already used up one full tube 85% of the way and the one shown is a backup. I don’t have acne but I do experience breakouts and earlier this month I started breaking out around the chin and cheeks from a combination of getting really sick and experiencing a high level of stress. Using this helped clear up the skin without drying it out. It has sulfur which targets acne and blemishes. Based on the formula I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone, but I’ve tried every single one of Kate Somerville’s cleansers and her line is the one I keep replenishing for cleansers. I can use this daily without it drying out my skin and love it. That being said I still love her Gentle Daily Wash for times when I don’t have skin issues.

January Misses

January Beauty Misses | The Beauty Look Book

Four items that did not work for me include:

  • Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (review here) did not work for me because the color selection just wasn’t flattering for my olive skin tone, even the neutrals did not work. Shades were either too light or too dark, colors lacked life and washed out my complexion. Formula-wise they were ok, but none of the colors worked for me leading me to call these a miss.
  • Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is something I bought months ago back in early fall. I had high hopes as it looked amazing on a few of my fellow blogger friends. I mixed two shades in Y315 and Y405 to get a good match although the product is so sheer an exact color match isn’t really necessary. This was a miss for me because it caused my skin to become irritated which I suspect is from the fragrance. Tiny bumps surfaced all over my cheeks and since I test a lot of skincare and foundations, this took months of testing to make sure this was the culprit and not something else. Formula also felt sticky because of the gel-like texture. Coverage was not enough for me. This was a huge let-down since I consider the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick and Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation to be in my top picks for foundation.
  • Glamglow PLUMPRAGEOUS Nudes got me based on their social media marketing. As a nude lip lover I just couldn’t resist and ordered 4 online sight unseen. The colors looked SO perfect! These come with a plastic spatula applicator which I found did not apply product evenly or easily. Second these are THE most painful lip plumping products I’ve ever tested – they burned my lips and if a tiny bit touched my tongue, a spicy tingle sensation went shooting to the back of my mouth. I tested two on separate occasions and the most I could tolerate was 45 minutes on the lips before I had to wipe it off and give the lips a thorough cleanse. I returned 3 of the 4. The one shown is going to a friend who is curious about this and doesn’t mind a tingle.
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara was an impulse buy. The packaging has written on it a few statements like 1,944% more volume, 97% saw intense volume and length, 94% said this mascara stays put all day. There is an asterisk that says based on consumer study results. I did not research how many people tested this or were part of it, but at $23 it seemed worth a try. I know some mascaras take a few pumps or uses to get going so I gave this one 6 tries on 6 separate occasions. It does add volume and length and the color is a rich deep black. However the clumps were seriously horrible with this one. Layering was an absolute no for me. It made my lashes look super spidery and when I tried to separate or comb them out the mascara just looked even more clumpy and made the lashes stick together. It’s also extremely difficult to remove.

That’s wraps it up for January’s beauty hits and misses! I’d love to hear about yours as well – so please feel free to share them in the comments. If you have any feedback about the items I tried let me know.

P.S. A number of you have sent me e-mails saying you weren’t getting the email newsletters anymore. I’ve re-added the subscribe feature on the sidebar at the top of the page (if you’re on a desktop computer). Let me know if you have any issues – if you enter your email address you’ll be sent a verification link and should be good to go!

Press samples indicated with c/o.

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On My Radar

On My Radar / New in Beauty

January 6, 2017

New Beauty Launches for Spring 2017 Diptyque Rosamundi, Chanel Le Rouge Crayon, Armani Powder Fabric, Tatcha Essence and more

Happy Friday! New beauty launches have started to trickle in and there are a few things on my radar this week. Most brands have yet to launch their spring color collections but I’m eager to see what everyone has in store for the season. Chanel launched theirs first with the Coco Codes and I’m loving everything so far.

  1. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur ($37 each) just launched online at Chanel with eleven color options, these are jumbo crayons for the lips and are retractable, I will have a review and swatches on these in the upcoming weeks
  2. Guerlain Happy Glow Pearls ($74) and Happy Glow Blush ($54) just launched, I think there are a few additional items launching for spring but these are the only two I could find so far, they look so pretty!
  3. Giorgio Armani Powder Fabric Foundation ($64) is Armani’s latest in base launches, I’m really intrigued by this and have high hopes for it to work for my skin type, I’m not sure when it launches in stores but will be keeping my eye out to see if I can find a good color match
  4. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm ($18) comes in stick form now! I love the tube version formula in Smashed, so I ordered the stick, it arrived yesterday and the testing will start this weekend
  5. KNC Beauty All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask ($24.99 for a 5 pack) from Violet Grey is something my bestie texted me asking, “have you tried this yet???” – I have not but the concept is intriguing so I had to order to test it out, I will definitely keep you posted! I don’t know how I feel about a sheet mask for the lips but I’m super curious!
  6. Tatcha just launched a new product called The Essence ($95) which is a resurfacing softener, when it comes to essence or softening lotions I have to say that I’m 100% confused about what they’re supposed to do, when to use them and what the difference is between the options, I’ve tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which did help improve texture and softness of my skin (I got lazy and stopped using it after I used up my minis), alternatively one of my friends swears by the La Mer Treatment Lotion which is also another softener – if you have any insight on essences or lotions I would love some insight!
  7. Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets ($34) have launched in 14 shades online at Sephora and Nordstrom, I have five that I ordered and will be swatching and reviewing them as fast as I can for you
  8. beautyblender just launched their beautyblender bubble ($20) and micro.mini bubble ($18) as a Sephora exclusive to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, they sent a lovely package over the holiday and I can’t wait to use them!
  9. Diptyque launches a special-edition Rosamundi Candle ($35 to $68) for Spring 2017, review to follow soon on this beautiful launch
  10. Charlotte Tilbury launched four Quick N Easy Sets ($75 each) designed with an edited selection of beauty products to create a look in 5 minutes, I’ll have these reviewed next week and will be hosting a giveaway so stay tuned for the post and details!

Have a wonderful Friday! What’s on your beauty radar right now?

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Men's Grooming

Men’s Grooming and Skincare Essentials For 2016

December 31, 2016

Top 20 Men's Skincare and Grooming Essentials

This year my husband tested quite a few products, razors, face cleansers and moisturizers in search for the best in men’s grooming. Several of you have sent me e-mails asking for a list of his favorites to share with your husbands and boyfriends. I’ve incorporated men’s grooming bits here and there over the past year and I’m always thrilled anytime I receive feedback from you! Most of these he did the research on his own to pick and purchase what to test out. There are a couple items I bought for him as gifts over past years that he ended up loving and repurchasing. In the past he always used an electric shaver but recently decided to try razors for a better closer shave. Finding the right one along with the right blades was a tedious process for him, as you can imagine one of the biggest challenges with shaving is finding the right items to avoid razor burn. He had quite a few misses for moisturizers and cleansers. Some either were too heavy or greasy feeling, others dried out the skin, some didn’t lather to his satisfaction. For the final cut, here is my husband Andrew’s top 20 for what he considers his grooming and skincare essentials for the year.

  1. Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette โ€“ in his top three for everyday light and fresh men’s fragrances, his brother stopped by smelled this one and promptly asked for me to buy one for him as well
  2. Dior Sauvage Deodorant tied with the YSL L’Homme for best smell and lasting power
  3. Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette โ€“ a long time staple, by now I’ve lost count of how many bottles I’ve repurchased for him (he also likes the travel sized versions)
  4. Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35 โ€“ loves this because it dries to a matte finish
  5. Gilette Silver Blue Razor Blades โ€“ these have a medium sharpness so there is no razor burn, others he tested were too sharp
  6. Muhle Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor, R89, Chrome Plated Metal โ€“ Andrew tested 10 different razors this year, this was the best for weight, balance and angle of blade for control and ease of shaving
  7. Kiehlโ€™s Facial Fuel Energizing Facial Wash โ€“ energizing and deep cleaning, he tried approximately a dozen face cleansers over the year designed for men, this is his favorite
  8. Jack Black Epic Moisture MP 10 Nourishing Oil โ€“ย  an essential product to help moisturize the skin and create a proper barrier between the razor and the face
  9. Art of Shaving Unscented Shave Cream โ€“ really rich lather
  10. Baxter of California Shave Tonic โ€“ soothing aftershave without alcohol or burn
  11. Clarisonic Alphafit โ€“ he’s dedicated to using this daily and has improved texture of his skin, reduced the number of breakouts drastically and helps exfoliate
  12. Mangroomer Ultimate Pro Back Shaver โ€“ the back shaver can reach anywhere
  13. Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20 โ€“ most days he doesn’t need any added moisturizer, but when he does use it, this is his favorite because it’s not oily or greasy feeling
  14. Fresh Sugar Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 โ€“ has the best and most effective coverage
  15. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush โ€“ best sonic toothbrush that gets all the hard to reach places, he says it is worth every penny
  16. Wahl Professional Half Pint Travel Trimmer โ€“ for around the ears and back of the neck
  17. Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb Eau de Toilette โ€“ best date night scent for him
  18. Hermes Terre Dโ€™Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche โ€“ has an earthy raw quality
  19. Baxter Grooming Lotion โ€“ favorite hair grooming product to add a tiny bit of shine and it’s also weightless and doesn’t get greasy or heavy as the day progresses
  20. Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser โ€“ exfoliates and tightens skin, also doubles as a mask and sometimes I borrow this for myself too

A quick note on the sequence of products and steps used for shaving for those who don’t know when to use the items. His shave process to get a clean shave and avoid razor burn is:

  1. Clean the face with the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel + Clarisonic Alphafit to exfoliate and smooth skin
  2. Sometimes double cleanse with the Jack Black Deep Dive Facial Cleanser to tighten the skin and draw out impurities
  3. Apply the Jack Black Epic Moisture Nourishing Oil to hydrate the skin and help create a good barrier for shaving, allow this to absorb and dry
  4. Apply the Art of Shaving Cream
  5. Shave
  6. Use the Baxter Shave Tonic as an aftershave to tighten pores, tone skin and seal in moisture

If your husband, boyfriend, brother or any of the men in your life have grooming favorites you know of, please share in the comments! Always love hearing what you recommend, in particular if you have any eye cream recommendations for men let me know.

That wraps it up for 2016! I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful New Year!

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Haircare Skincare

Best Skincare and Haircare Discoveries 2016

December 30, 2016

Best Skincare and Haircare 2016

Today I’m rounding up my top picks in skincare and haircare for the year. I discovered a lot of great items for my sensitive skin – it was a challenge to narrow it down to such an edited list. I used up quite a bit over the course of the year – to do a post listing all the items I used and repurchased in the last 12 months would be quite extensive. Part of me wanted to do a favorites roundup for every category, perhaps I’ll do one in the new year, but for now here’s are my top picks:

Haircare

Face Cleanser and Toner

  • Bioderma Sensibio Tonic Lotion is a toner I discovered a few months ago, it’s gentle and perfect for sensitive skin to balance and soothe, it’s available in two sizes and I bought the full size as well – wish I had discovered it sooner! Now I don’t have to spend $90 to replenish my La Mer The Tonic because I’ve found a great alternative
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser (review here) is a mud to foam cleanser, it’s the best clarifying one that helps absorb excess oil, reduce redness, and prevent breakouts, in the summer I use this daily in the evenings or post-workout, during non-hot months I use this 2-3x per week
  • Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash (reviewed here) is the cleanser I reach for the most and have repurchased the most, best gentle everyday cleanser I’ve tried that doesn’t dry out the skin but still leaves it clean, I’ve tried all of her cleansers and they are all great (yes ALL of them) but this one is the best for me for daily use (my brother loves this one as well), she just launched an EradiKate Cleanser and I rarely say this these days but this is something I absolutely feel the NEED TO TRY, it’s in my shopping cart right now

Face Mask

  • Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask (reviewed here) one of my favorite purifying masks that’s still gentle
  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (reviewed here) a stronger option but draws out all excess oil and helps clear up the skin, if you have broken skin or extremely sensitive skin, I’d recommend using this as a spot treatment or patch test first

Moisturizers

Night Treatments – as someone who has extra sensitive skin, I cannot use most creams with any Vitamin C or Retinol without peeling or redness, Kate Somerville is one of the best lines for me in terms of night treatments

Extras

  • Armani Prima Day-Long Skin Perfector (reviewed here) best primer I tried this year and I’m kinda an anti-primer girl because they usually don’t do anything for my skin to extend makeup wear time
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover (reviewed here) is the key product I use to keep my cuticles looking groomed and healthy, I know an updated hand and nail care post is long overdue – I’ll do a 2017 version in the new year
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade (also featured here and here) one of the best nourishing treatments, it’s so good I bought a second one to keep in my purse and one to keep atย  home
  • Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift (review here and here) combines hyaluronic acid and oxygen to help prevent wrinkles and give the skin a more even looking texture, this is probably the best thing I have discovered in skincare
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment is the best pimple treatment, the key is to use it the minute you feel something start to surface and don’t use it on open wounds or broken skin, my husband uses this and it makes me giggle when we have matching pink spots on our faces at night because it looks so ridiculous, but it works!
  • Kiehlโ€™s Scented Hand Cream Trio 2 of 3 shown is part of a limited-edition set exclusive to Neiman Marcus, you can find the three scents available in larger sizes individually as well or in the original unscented-version
  • Lano Lips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm in Strawberry (reviewed here) is tied with the Dior Pomade for best lip balm discovery of the year
  • Lavanila Deodorant is the only deodorant I’ve used for the past two years, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t report on that aspect, but I love that it’s natural, keeps odor away and lasts all day long for me, I’ve tried around 4 different scents by now and all of them were great, the travel-sized ones are perfect to throw in the purse or to travel with

In the upcoming year I plan to be more diligent about testing and using eye creams. I’ve gone through a few this year but did not use them on a regular basis (mainly because I was lazy). I know with the eyes, wrinkle prevention and sun protection are key so I need to stop procrastinating and start acting now! If you have any recommendations for someone who is 35 years old (me) let me know in the comments and I will be forever grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! I feel as though I left out quite a few good discoveries but tried to keep the list to under 30 products so I wouldn’t end up regurgitating the entire year of blog posts for hair care and skin care.

What were your 2016 favorites in skincare and hair care?

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