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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives Nude Lip Haul

July 17, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives Lip Haul | The Beauty Look Book

Today I’m reviewing and swatching my lip haul from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I bought three sets in store from MAC, YSL and Dior for Early Access. After browsing some more online I decided to stick with what I bought for the most part (I ordered a couple more items) as most of the sets consist of existing colors this year. As usual my picks are all in the neutral category. Also since I already have some colors from other sets offered in the sale, check back later today and I’ll have swatches of those up for reference.

Up first is my favorite, the MAC Look in a Box Saint No Angel Mini Lip Kit ($26.50 for a $40 value). Every year the neutral lip sets sell out first so I’m hoping they stocked more this year in anticipation of that. This year has minis which is why the set is less expensive. I love these colors so much I wish they had made them full size instead – I wouldn’t have minded if it were double the price for bigger ones. There are two lipsticks and two lipglasses:

  • Love Me Lots Matte Lipstick is a medium nude pink
  • Dandy Apple Satin Lipstick is nude peach-pink
  • Saint No Angel Lipglass is a sheer shimmering light pearly pink
  • Totally Buff Lipglass is a neutral pink with a slight hint of mauve

MAC Look in a Box Saint No Angel | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Look in a Box Swatches | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

MAC Look in a Box Saint No Angel Nordstrom Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The Dior Addicted to Nude Lip Set ($70) has existing shades and after I got home I realized I already owned one of the colors. There is another option Addicted to Pink (with Baby Dior and Lazy) but my local store did not have it. The price of the individual lipsticks is $35 each so with this one you’re getting the mini Lip Maximizer and bag for free. For the nude lip set option I believe you can get both separately. Inside the Addicted to Nude Lip Set:

  • Dior Addict Lipstick in Bobo is the perfect coral shimmer, the formula is just so pretty and smooth
  • Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Underground is the perfect neutral-cool everyday mauve pink (also wearing it in this beauty look here)
  • Dior Lip Maximizer mini is a plumping lip product

Dior Nordstrom Set Addicted to Nude | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Addicted to Nude Nordstrom Set | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Nordstrom Set Addicted to Nude Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the YSL Lip Set in Nude ($74 for a $106 value). I don’t own any of the colors in this set, one is a Nordstrom Exclusive for the sale:

  • Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick in Decadent Nude 61 is a shimmery nude pink mauve, the shimmer doesn’t really show up on the lips (Nordstrom Exclusive Shade)
  • Rouge Pur Couture in Le Nu 70 is a peachy nude
  • Volupte Tint in Oil in  Make Me Nude 9 is a sheer nude with a hint of shimmer that makes the lips look full and voluptous

YSL Nude Lip Set Swatches Nordstrom Anniversary Sale | The Beauty Look Book

YSL Nude Lip Set Swatches Nordstrom Anniversary Sale | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of the Nude Lip Set compared to individual existing shades, it appears the Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick 44 and 47 (reviewed here) are sold out almost everywhere online now except for Neiman Marcus and YSL Beauty (in store stock may vary).

YSL Nude Lip Set Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Swatch Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Upate: As promised swatches of the Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Chantecaille Lip offerings from the sale. I didn’t buy the sets as I already own the colors, for reference in case your store doesn’t have these or if you can’t get to a store I hope this helps!

Chanel has two gloss sets in the Chanel Rouge Nude Mood Coco Gloss Moisturizing Trio with 774, 714 and119 and the Bright on Brights Trio has shades 728, 738 and 172. I’ve put the stock photo next to photos I took of the real live product for reference and swatched them below.

Nordstrom Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Trios | The Beauty Look Book

Nordstrom Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Trios | The Beauty Look Book

Chantecaille Touch-Up Essentials has a full size Brilliant Lip Gloss in Charm which is pretty much clear on my lips along with the Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara and a mini eye makeup remover.

Chantecaille Morning Touch Up Set Nordstrom | The Beauty Look Book

Chantecaille Morning Touch Up Set Nordstrom | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury has two lip sets. Day to Night Lip Set in Hot Lips Nude has KISSING Lipstick in KKW and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Super Cindy along with Pillow Talk Lip Liner. Day to Night Perfect Pink Lip Set has KISSING Lipstick in Kiss Chase and Matte Revolution in Between the Sheets (previously limited-edition and relaunched for the sale) along with Pink Venus Lip Liner.

For additional reference, the nude lips swatched in this post here. Pink lipstick shades are in this post here.

Charlotte Tilbury Nordstrom Day to Night Lipstick Sets | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Nordstrom Day to Night Lipstick Sets | The Beauty Look Book

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives Lip Haul | The Beauty Look Book

FYI, in all the swatch photos I’m wearing a mix of MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC25 and NC37 set with the Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Plus. To sum up the lip options – there are lots of repeats for existing shades. I picked two I could find that have exclusive or new colors. I’m really happy with all my purchases even though it turns out I already own one of the Dior lipsticks. If you’re a beauty junkie like me you might already own a lot of the colors as well and find this year’s offerings repetitive. I found some interesting sets and think a lot of these could make for great gifts later on in the year. I stocked up on some of the MAC ones.

Early Access runs through the 20th and opens up to the public on the 21st. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to check their Gift With Purchase page – it gets updated frequently!

Did you shop the sale yet? Any lip sets catch your eye?

 

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.

YSL Beauty

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm

April 7, 2017

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Review | The Beauty Look Book

Earlier this year YSL launched a new lipstick called the Volupte Tint-In-Balm ($34 each for 0.12 oz/3.5 g, made in France). There have been numerous teasers on social but have been nearly impossible to find for quite some time. Shades kept selling out and going on back-order and as a makeup junkie I’ve been trying to track them down for weeks. They’ve finally arrived at most retailers. I ordered three from Nordstrom as seen/swatched in my Spring Makeup Bag post. I stopped by Sephora recently and picked up a few more shades and have 8 of the 12 to review for you today. The Volupte Tint-In-Balms appear to have replaced the Volupte Sheer Candy formula. They have a very similar feel in terms of having a glossy texture, sheer pigment, moisturizing feel and grapefruit scent (although YSL calls it pomegranate). These have the cutest little lip-shaped centers which runs from the top to bottom throughout the core – these have moisturizing ingredients like apricot butter and jojoba oil.

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Review | The Beauty Look Book

I really love these balms. They have a nourishing emollient feel and are super easy to apply. If you like products like the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines or even the YSL Volupte Shine Oil in Stick I suspect you will like these YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balms. I would say by comparison the YSL runs a bit more sheer with a jelly-like slightly transparent finish. Your natural lip color will show through. The YSL also has a more emollient balmy feel by comparison to the Chanel.

Many of you might wonder how these compare to the Tom Ford Clutch-Sized Lip Balms from the Summer Soleil collection (reviewed here). I would say the YSL has a softer more glossy texture. It has a more emollient feel while the Tom Ford balms are a bit harder. The Tom Ford balms feel like they adhere a bit more to my lips while the YSL has more slip. I can’t say one is better than the other, but for months where the weather is hot and humid I think I’m going to prefer the Tom Ford.

A quick note on Fresh Sugar tinted lip balms since I know many of you have asked me to compare. I had quite a few before but they kept breaking on me so I stopped buying them. I don’t know if they’ve changed the formula or packaging but mine always broke on me. Texture/pigment I find the Fresh balms to be a lot thicker but with slightly more pigment.

Due to the sheerness of pigment these will look different on you depending on your natural lip tone. The Sephora website has them swatched on two skintones, fair and deep. I am somewhere in the middle so none of the swatches on the chart resemble what the colors look like on me, but it does give you a good idea on the difference in undertone.

The shades I purchased:

  • 1 Dream My Nude is a nude pink with mauve tones
  • 2 Tease Me Pink is a soft pink
  • 3 Call Me Rose is a pale baby pink
  • 4 Desire Me Pink is a bright watermelon color
  • 7 Flirt Me Coral is a medium peach
  • 9 Tempt Me Pink is a hot bright pink
  • 10 Seduce Me Pink is a pink berry
  • 12 Try Me Berry is a bright pink with plum tones

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Review | The Beauty Look BookYSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Review | The Beauty Look Book

I love every single shade, although on me brighter pinks tend to look the same on my lips. I don’t test testers on myself at the store (I only hand swatch them), so it was impossible for me to tell that some of them would look nearly identical on me. If I were able to do it over, I would have opted for #5 Dare Me Plum instead of #12 Try Me Berry. I would have also picked #4 Desire Me Pink, #9 Tempt Me Pink or #10 Seduce Me Pink (not all three).

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm | The Beauty Look Book

Here’s what they look on me below. They were swatched over a few different days, but I’m wearing the same foundation in all the photos which is the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque (although in the past week I’ve gotten a bit more color and probably should be wearing Natural or Sable instead).

Swatches as always are on bare lips, no liner or foundation or concealer as a base:

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

One last look, top row is: 1, 2, 3, 4 and the bottom row is 7, 9, 10, 12

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm Review | The Beauty Look BookAs a neutral lip lover, my favorites are 1 Dream Me Nude, 2 Tease Me Pink, 3 Call Me Rose and 7 Flirt Me Coral. I love that the brighter ones give a healthy wash of color without feeling overdone. As a lipstick and lip balm junkie I think these are great. They’re nice to throw in the purse for a bit of color that will go with any look or occasion. Lasting power of course isn’t going to be as long as a lipstick or liquid lipstick. I am able to get a decent amount of wear without fading but these days I’m trying to better about drinking more liquids to stay hydrated so the constant sipping has impacted the lasting power of lip products. For some reason since my husband and I have moved to Florida our skin has felt significantly more dry even though we thought the opposite would happen with the warm humid weather. We’re switching up our skincare and body care so stay tuned for a spring skincare update soon.

Bottom line, I love these. I think everyone should check out at least one color. That being said if you don’t like sheer and want visible color, check out the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick instead (I still swear by #47 Beige Blouse).

You can find the YSL Volupte Tint-in-Balm at all counters now. Some stores may be sold out of shades as I’ve found they keep selling out. You can also find them online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and YSL Beauty.

Have you checked these out yet? What did you think?

What's In My Bag

Spring Makeup Bag Update

March 27, 2017

Spring Makeup Update | The Beauty Look Book

Now that spring is officially here, everything in my wardrobe including my makeup and skincare have been going through a bit of an update. As always I find one of my favorite ways to update my look is to focus on new colors for lips and cheeks. There are a new launches I’ve been mixing into my weekly beauty routine and I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some colors I think will be great for the spring transition.

Up first are some cheek products – I’ve really been obsessed with all things from Tom Ford Beauty. As part of the Summer Soleil collection, they launched a Sheer Illuminating Cheek Duo in Reflects Gilt. Even though I own so many other highlighters I find this one unique in the formula and color. It gives the skin a luminous sheen and it can also be used on the eyes. Tom Ford also revamped all their Powder Blushes. I have not yet had a chance to investigate the new formula in all the colors in detail but a quick look at the counter did prove the shades have changed a little. I have two new shades I bought include Inhibition (a perfect peachy nude) and Gratuitous (a mauve plum). They have a very subtle sheen in the pan but the shimmer does not really show up on the skin. Both have smooth medium buildable pigment and apply beautifully on the face. I like that they’re neutrals, but not nude. Also they have color that shows up  on the skin but they don’t darken or oxidize on me.

Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Inhibition, Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Inhibition, Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Gratuitous (plum) on the left and Inhibition (peach) on the right. I’m wearing Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque.

Tom Ford Blush in Inhibition and Gratuitous | The Beauty Look Book

Next is my favorite category: new lip colors. I love a good glossy lip because the formulas are usually more hydrating, smooth and soft. They’re also more forgiving when it comes to fading as the day progresses. If you splurge on one item, I would again say go with anything from Tom Ford. I really love the Lips and Boys lipsticks, Bradley is the perfect nude (shown in the photo above with Inhibition Blush). For summer they launched Clutch-Sized Lip Balms in bright sheers. They feel really good on the lips and the colors add a nice healthy flush of color that is super natural but fun.

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup bag from Tory Burch.

If you’re a gloss kind of person, Chanel Rouge Coco Glosses are new. They come in a wide range of colors and finishes. If I could pick only one color, Tendresse is my favorite purchase because it’s rosy and gives the face a brightened effect.

YSL launched their Volupte Tint-In-Balms which have been nearly impossible to find because they keep selling out. I managed to order three shades in 1 Dream Me Nude, 2 Tease Me Pink and 3 Call Me Rose. These resemble the Volupte Sheer Candy, but the new Volupte Tint-In-Balms are supposed to be a lipstick balm hybrid with a bit more color. They have that amazing passionfruit scent and go on smooth but sheer. I was surprised to see color but if you don’t like sheer colors you may want to opt for the brighter ones (I bought mine sight unseen). I personally love these and definitely want a couple more of the brighter ones.

For something different I also picked a few of the new Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip colors. The packaging is super cute – they look like a chubby stick but it’s a squeeze tube for a super opaque creamy liquid lipstick. The finish is semi-matte but gives you full coverage. As one who really doesn’t like semi-matte finishes I’m undecided about these. They are comfortable on the lips but a little goes a long way, so the first few times I applied, I really overdid it. Pigment is incredible and they don’t dry down like traditional liquid lipsticks. Colors are on the bold side.

Last but not least, I bought the YSL Lip Perfector a couple months ago. It’s supposed to be a multipurpose product that nourishes, soothes and enhances your natural lip color. For me it’s a basic lip balm that feels nice and does a good job of hydrating the lips. It doesn’t do anything for my natural lip color (it applies clear and stays clear), but I have no regrets purchasing and it does work nicely under lipstick if you feel your lips are dry. That being said I still prefer the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade.

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

Spring Lips | The Beauty Look Book

For the eyes, I picked up the YSL The Shock Mascara and many of you wanted to know my thoughts. I really like it! On me it doesn’t clump, it defines well, it holds the curl and it doesn’t smudge. So based on this it’s a thumbs up for me because so many mascaras either don’t hold the curl or smudge. I do wish it did a better job at volumizing because I have wimpy lashes, but I can get more volume by layering. I’ve featured the new MAC In the Flesh Eyeshadow palette a few times already but felt it was worth re-mentioning because I find it really versatile and wearable for everyday. I love the color combinations and find it easy to wear. It’s one of those palettes I feel is an effortless kind of palette to wear. Another item I’ve had on repeat is the Burberry Eye Color Contour in Pale Copper. It’s a shimmering bronze shade that is one I can wear on it’s own and feel like I’ve added depth, color and dimension to the eyes. I’ve been on the hunt for this color in powder form, but for now the cream version works for me.

MAC In the Flesh, YSL The Shock, Lancome Primer | The Beauty Look Book

MAC In The Flesh and Burberry Pale Copper | The Beauty look book

Right now Lancome has a gift with purchase at Nordstrom so I restocked on a couple items and picked up one thing new. Cleansing water in general is something I really love and use on a regular basis. I use it to double cleanse because it helps remove all traces of makeup. I’ve tried a number but the Lancome Micellar Cleansing Water remains one of my favorites because it’s gentle, effective and doesn’t leave a film on the skin. I have lost count of how many times I’ve repurchased! For a lash base/primer, many of you recommended I try the Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer as a base coat to help add volume and I loved it so much I bought a second tube. Also because I’m going to need a good primer now that I’ve moved to Florida, I decided to give the La Base Pro a try (it has an overwhelming number of positive reviews). Fingers crossed it doesn’t break me out. Quick note – with this GWP there are options to choose from so there’s a promo code you’ll need to enter at checkout. Minimum purchase is $39.50 but there’s also a step up.

Be sure to check their Beauty Gifts with Purchase page as well – they often have good promos there from other brands, sometimes there will be a good sampler bag with a larger purchase.

Nordstrom Lancome GWP March 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps it up for my first spring makeup roundup! As I go finish up testing more skincare and sunscreens I’ll have more roundups in the upcoming weeks. I’ve already had quite a few items I’ve been testing for the past month since I moved and hope to share the hits and misses as I progress. Do you change your routine as spring rolls around? What do you have in your spring makeup bag right now?

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include the Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, Fathom and Bradley. All other items purchased by me.

Beauty Beauty Favorites Roundup

Best Beauty Discoveries 2016

December 29, 2016

Best makeup discoveries in 2016 Tom Ford Chanel Anastasia NARS MAC

I can hardly believe another year has flown by! Thank you to each and every one of you who followed me along on my beauty journey this past year. Today I have a round up of my 2016 favorites in makeup (skincare to follow in a separate post). As a long-time nail polish junkie I was surprised to find this past year was pretty light on the nail polish features and reviews – I remember in past years going through tons of nail wheels and bottles of polish remover. Perhaps by now I simply have collected all the possible colors? 2016’s focus seemed to be all about lips and highlighters for me. As always I’d love to hear what your favorite makeup discoveries were for the year! I picked out items that were new in 2016 (they’re listed in alphabetical order by brand):

Lips

Face and Cheeks

Eyes

Nails

  • Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi (review here) was my most-worn color this year
  • Louboutin had the best colors and formulas for me this year, I loved Miss Mars and the Hawaii Kawai Trio minis were so fun to shoot, there were three Red Nail Extensions that I was able to play with back in May to swatch for you, months later I ended up buying Jazzy Doll and Edgypopi

What were your makeup favorites this past year? They can be new launches, rediscoveries or new-to-you products! I love reading about your favorites so please feel free to share in the comments below. Several of you have asked that I bring back the monthly roundups on a regular basis, some have asked for a hits and misses roundup as well. I’ll be starting a monthly review series in the new year!

Sephora

Sephora Beauty Haul + Sephora VIB 20% Off Sale Info

November 11, 2016
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

I have my huge Sephora sale haul post for those who wanted to know what I bought during the VIB Rouge sale last week. For those who have VIB Member Status the 20% off Sephora Sale starts today 11/11 and runs through 11/14/2016 with code 20VIB if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com. You can use the code multiple times online and there are no product or brand exclusions. Up first are staples I stocked up on:

The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Left to right:

  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is something I bought in the 1 oz travel size, I have the full size but it’s nice to have a mini on hand for travel or mini trips, original review here in case you want more details
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is one of the most gentle face scrubs I’ve used, in recent years I’ve stopped using most scrubs because I have very sensitive skin, this one is a good one!
  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut is pretty much the only brand of deodorant I use, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t say how well this holds up for those who do sweat a lot, but it lasts all day, isn’t irritating, smells great and aluminum-free, sometimes on days I’m in a rush it’s all I wear and I get compliments from random strangers saying “you smell really good, what are you wearing?”
  • Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner is one of my favorite quick-clean kind of sprays, it won’t clean brushes 100% but it’s great for powder shadow or blush brushes (anything powder like bronzer, highlighter etc.) – also available n a mini size
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix is one of the best makeup setting sprays I’ve tried although I have to say that I have not tried that many, ones I have tried are just ok, but this one is great, it sets makeup, makes powder look less powdery without messing up your makeup, helps extend wear, has no scent, and is also availble in a mini size
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt has been featured here before and a single tub will last a long time, I use it 1x per week to every other week now and am getting close to finishing another one so I stocked up, review here and here in case you’re curious
  • Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads are great basic cotton pads that won’t leave fibers in your eyes, I stocked up on 3 packs because apparently my husband has been using mine although he doesn’t use toner or need/use makeup remover so I’m not sure what he’s using them for, either way they are inexpensive even without the discount and don’t disintegrate
  • YSL L’Homme Deodorant is a restock for my husband and it’s one of his favorite deodorants of all time, he has sensitive under arms but this one works for him – I bought it because the Sephora sales rep told me it was “the best” he tried and that I would not regret buying it, he was right! My husband loves the smell and I love the smell, it lasts all day on him and is non-irritating, he wants me to tell you that he thinks it will make a good stocking stuffer for guys, lol
Next are some sets that I found interesting and ordered online because of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. One is being returned.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

  • Peter Thomas Roth masks have been raved about by so many I decided to finally try the Mask-A-Holic 5 Piece Kit ($75 for a $230 value), there is also the Mask Vault ($225 for a $352 value) but the 5 piece set seemed like a much better value/deal – if you’ve tried them let me know what you think or if you have favorites!
  • Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil 7 Piece Body Butter Collection is something I bought for stocking stuffers, I tried Gingerbread Vanilla and had a friend over and asked her to take a whiff to make sure it just wasn’t me, these are very strong in scent and very very sweet, if you like sweet or vanilla you’ll love these, me and my friend found them too strong so it’s going back, I don’t think my friends will like these
  • Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Set has four 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Eau de Parfum mini rollerballs in Nirvana Black, Nirvana White, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose, it’s a great way to try all four or keep one in a clutch
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio has a lot of positive reviews, they are clay masks that are supposed to transform into a foaming cleanser when you add water, I haven’t tried it yet but have high hopes!
  • Skin Inc. Prep + Peel Set is something I bought to try the peel described as “non-abrasive” – will keep you posted as I try these, I may wait until after Thanksgiving to try these just in case I have an allergic reaction to anything
Elizabeth and James launched two candles in Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, both are online only (at least for the moment). They also have a couple sets with the candle like the House of Nirvana Black Gift Set. I haven’t burned it yet but it smells amazing from just opening the box. The Nirvana Black is my favorite and I think having this as a home scent will be incredible. The Find Your Nirvana Set minis shown next to candle for scale.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Elizabeth and James - Holiday 2016

Makeup picks where I went for minis and stocking stuffers:
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Minis - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

Last but not least, I did buy the Laura Mercier Iconics Holiday Box Set. I went back and forth debating whether to buy it as there are a number of other Advent Calendar/Box Beauty Sets that are tempting this year. At the $170 retail price the 12 items in the box average to about $14.17 per item. With the 20% off the set price is $136 which makes each item about $11.33 (not including sales tax). The presentation is gorgeous and even though the box appears to be cardboard it’s very well made. I said I would review this earlier but after looking at it and seeing as I have already tried 8 of the 12 items I am going to save this as a gift for a very special someone although I don’t want to say who because it’s supposed to be a surprise. Everything is individually wrapped but if you want to see real life photographs I can carefully open the box to photograph for this post. Here’s the stock image as a place holder for now.

Hope you enjoyed this haul post! To recap, if you have VIB Member Status you can save 20% off purchases starting today 11/11 and through 11/14/2016 at Sephora. Use code 20VIB at checkout if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
P.S. I am expecting my Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes to arrive today so I hope to photograph, test and swatch everything for my VIB readers before the sale ends even if it will be a first impressions kind of post.

Are you hauling anything during the sale this weekend? Or did you already shop last weekend for the VIB Rouge?
What's In My Bag

What’s In My Bag / Céline Mini Belt Bag Review

October 30, 2016
The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Celine Belt Bag

I have a what’s in my bag and purse review today! Many of you have asked for a review on the Céline Mini Belt Bags that I have and I’ve finally feel ready to provide my thoughts about it today. To date there are two sizes of the Céline Belt Bag and I have the smaller version called the “mini” size. It comes in a variety of material finishes, I bought two of the grained leather earlier this year in February in the Light Taupe and Black. It’s one of my larger purses but it has good proportions so it doesn’t overwhelm my petite 5’3″ frame. Full dimensions and current color options can be found on the Céline website by season. Price will vary depending on material, size and season – mine were $2,400 each before tax. They were indeed very expensive purchases and I had thought long and hard about buying them for over a year before splurging. I could not decide on a color so I did what I usually do with clothing and shoes – I bought multiples. I did think the style would be classic enough even though it’s on the trendy side. It seemed like a versatile kind of purse for my lifestyle and taste so I decided it was worth the splurge.
First before I go into the review I want to point out that Truffle is having a 20% off sale on full-priced items. Use code INSIDER20 at checkout for 20% off (ends October 31). The Clarity Clutch Mini is shown in this post and it now comes as a standalone item (without the gold card case). Click on the Truffle tag at the bottom of this post to see other features and reviews of their products. They really help with organization and also make cute gifts!

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Truffle Clarity Mini

Both of the Belt Bag I have has a grained leather which is very sturdy. It comes with gold hardware, a removeable strap, outer zip pocket and interior pocket. I usually take very good care of my purses as the ones I buy tend to be on the expensive side so I want them to stay in good condition and last as long as possible. I had placed my light taupe bag (seen here) on one of our sofas and our cat had a spurt of energy and went running and jumping over every surface he could reach in the house. He decided the bag on the couch would be something good to pounce on/attack. It survived and there is a slight noticeable scratch on the bottom front corner that you can only see if I point it out. I have since stopped putting them in areas where the cat can jump to.

The bag comes with protective studs/feet on the base so it helps keep the bottom corners looking better than if there were no studs. There’s still some contact from the way the leather bends at the base but the studs really help. The base measures about 12 inches wide by 7 inches deep so it can fit a lot of things and therefore can be easy to overload. The straps or handle are sturdy so it will carry a lot. Since I want to make sure this lasts as long as possible I try to limit what I carry so there’s not too much strain on the bag.

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

Mine looks slightly navy in some light, although it’s a black bag. One of my biggest concerns with bags is wear and sagging. I prefer bags that are flexible but don’t want them to lose their shape. Some bags like the Goyard St. Louis and Longchamp totes just aren’t designed to hold a structured shape so that’s understandable. But with bags like this I was worried it would lose it’s shape with wear. So far I have to say it’s held up remarkably well. It’s softened slightly after months of use but still retains it’s structure and the base is still solid without any sagging. 
The one thing that took time to get used to was the clasp. The way the bag is designed there’s a round knob on the flap which latches onto a buckle as you can see below. To unlatch and latch it requires you hold the base of the bag with a hand, set it down on a solid surface or use your hip or knee to prop it open. At first it was extremely annoying as it’s not an effortless kind of bag to open/latch. I do think keeping it latched/closed keeps all your contents safe and prevents items from falling out so it’s necessary. Eventually you get used to it and for me it’s not a dealbreaker.

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag
A look at the interior. It looks like the lining is velvet and leather. Mine is more on the navy side of black. Hardware is gold but the lighting here is a bit off due to the sunlight shining through tinted glass windows so it looks a bit greenish here.

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

What’s inside my bag: Tory Burch Makeup Bag, Truffle Mini Clarity Clutch in Black, Coach Clutch in Glovetanned Leather used as a wallet, Jo Malone Geranium and Walnut Hand Cream, baby Oribe Dry Shampoo

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Celine Belt Bag

Onto what’s inside my bag. I mentioned the Coach Glovetanned Leather Clutch in a roundup a few weeks ago after spotting it in store. I decided to order it in the Black Copper/Black color and it is exactly what I had hoped for! For years I’ve had the Goyard clutches that come with the St. Louis totes but they only have one interior pocket and because of the stitching there isn’t much room for a lot inside. The Coach Clutch is part of their 1941 Collection and comes in a soft plush Glovetanned Leather. It measures about 7″ long by 4.25″ tall. There are plenty of pockets inside: a front pocket, a larger pocket behind to fit your cell phone, a smaller pocket behind in between the front and zippered section, a zippered pocket, a back pocket, two card holder slots inside and also one opening pocket in the back. There’s a removable wristlet strap (I removed mine as I usually don’t like those). I love the sleek simple design and the size is perfect. It’s a great wallet/clutch that you can use to grab essentials if you don’t want to carry your entire purse somewhere.

The leather is soft and smooth – at this time I don’t know how well it will hold up – but in my experience I’ve bought a lot of the smooth leather Coach wallets for my husband in the past and they’ve worn really beautifully.
The Clutch in Glovetanned Leather that I bought in the smooth leather has sold out in most of the colors, but is still available in Black, Denim Teal and Grey. It’s also available in a new Colorblock version for preorder. The Bordeaux color looks really pretty and on that product page you can see the side interior view.

The Beauty Look Book - Goyard Clutch vs Coach Clutch

For the beauty items in my bag, I had three of the baby sample size Oribe sprays in the 1 oz size. I don’t carry a lot of hair products with me but I had toted 3 with me to give to a friend. To date they are usually only found in sets like the monthly Birchbox subscription boxes or as gift with purchases but you can now buy them online at Birchbox in their Oribe Styling Kit (contains 5 minis!!). I photographed 3 next to the Travel Size (size you can buy individually) for reference. I’ll have a more detailed review on the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo but first impressions are WOW. It’s really good and leaves no white residue or dusty matte looking finish like most others do.

Next I have a mini First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream inside my bag that I use for quick fixes on dry patches. It works really well for dry sensitive skin and it’s been a long time favorite. I should review their line in more detail because it’s a great one. I’ve neglected featuring it because makeup has pretty much taken over my life. It’s a favorite among friends and family. Right now they have a super cute Ultra Repair Cream Minis Kit for holiday which has two 2 oz minis. They are small enough to carry one in a makeup bag. They also recently launched it in a Vanilla Citron (c/o) scent which is amazing!!
For hands and lips I’m always carrying way too many of these in my bag. I throw one in here and there every few days and before I know it I am carrying a ton of things with me. From left to right is the Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive System. It’s a travel-size nail care oil which is easy to apply without getting messy like their regular Creme Abricot. Since it’s a gel-like oil it won’t drip like regular oils and it has a brush tip applicator to control how much you dab. I’ve found it’s great for just the cuticles, especially in this dry weather. It’s expensive for the size but 100% worth the splurge.
For hands Jo Malone launched a Geranium Walnut Hand Cream for holiday and it’s incredibly emollient and hydrating. There is some slip and moisture so if you need a dry down, you may have to wait a few minutes with this one. The scent is to die for like a mini spa. The size is perfect for the purse.
For lips, my three go-to’s right now are the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade, Armani Him Her Lip Care (swatched here) and the Lanolips Strawberry Balm. All three are great for adding hydration and moisture for my sensitive lips. If I had to pick one it would be very difficult – I’m beyond impressed with the Lanolips and just ordered the Strawberry Peach Duo from Net-A-Porter.

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag Oribe, First Aid Beauty, Laura Mercier

For the face, I’ve been putting the Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (c/o) and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter (c/o) to the test. I’ll have a full detailed review soon but I will say right now the powder is amazing. (Shade #2 shown for powder.) Also two other staples I carry frequently with me are the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Duo and short handled MAC brushes (168SH Large Angled Brush shown).

Last but not least, a collection of lip products I’ve accumulated in my bag:
MAC Liptensity in Gumball and Toast and Butter (swatched here) – c/o
MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl (swatched here)
Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Script (review) – c/o
YSL Rouge Volutpe Shine #47 Beige Blouse (swatch here)
Rouge Dior in Bal (review here) – c/o

The Beauty Look Book - Inside My Bag

That’s a wrap for my for my Céline Belt Bag review plus a peek at what’s inside my bag. On a few sale notes, the Space NK Explore Promotion ends today 10/30 (use code EXPLORE30 for $25 off orders $125 or more). The Truffle sale ends 10/31, use code INSIDER20 at checkout for 20% off full-priced items. The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% Off sale starts next week on 11/4 through 11/7 with code 20ROUGE 🙂

Hope you found this review helpful and enjoyed taking a peek into my frequently changing hand bag.

Press samples featured indicated with c/o next to the product names.