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Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide Men's Grooming

Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts for the Guys

December 10, 2018

Best Gifts for Guys Holiday 2018

Happy Monday! I have a roundup of gift ideas for the guys in your life including some of Andrew’s favorite things I’ve gifted him. We’re in the process of putting together our best of skincare posts which I hope to have up soon, but for now here are some things we both think would make great gifts for any of the guys in your life.

1 Body Spray / 2 Best Body Wash / 3 Best Face Cleanser + Mask in one / 4 Travel Atomizer / 5 Best Wireless Earphones for Running / 6 Roll-on Deodorant / 7 Yeti Tumbler / 8 Creed Aventus Flacon / 9 Best Sunscreen / 10 Shave Tonic / 11 Best Body Scrub / 12 Everyday Moisturizer / 13 Apple Watch / 14 Classic Sunglasses / 15 Best Exfoliating Soap / 16 Best Compact Speakers (ours are the old version, current one here) / 17 Shaving Brush / 18 Best Hand Cream / 19 Best Starter Skincare Set

Jack Black makes some of the best skincare options and sets for guys. I think these are no-fail sets for anyone regardless of age. I even borrow some of the products from the line as well. Andrew thinks it’s best to buy individual items to pick and choose the best, but since everyone has different skin types I think the sampler sets are the nice way to start. His top picks are the Turbo Wash (only body wash he swears by), Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser (leave it on a few minutes and it doubles as a mask), Face Buff (is his go-to face scrub).

 

 

He’s been trying some other things in skincare and has been really impressed with the Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Cream and Baby Facial. He also uses the Kate Somerville Eradikate line almost as religiously as I do. We both think those are no-fail options for a wide range of skin types. I think everyone we know has to deal with breakouts every now and then, the Eradikate Cleanser is one of the best ones to help with preventing acne.

 

 

For body care, aside from almost exclusively using the Jack Black Turbo Wash, Andrew also swears by the Aesop Redemption Body Scrub and their hand washes. There are a number of Aesop Gift Sets that are great unisex gifts regardless of age and skin type. After trying my Aquis Hair Towels he looked more into the line and found some things on Amazon. He bought the Aquis Exfoliating Back Scrubber and says it’s one of the best ones he’s tried.

Fragrance is something I think can be tricky and very personal, but the best scent we’ve ever smelled for men is Creed Aventus. After going through several bottles very quickly I bought him one of the Flacons last year. It was such a splurge but buying it saved me so much money as it lasted him an entire year (it’s down to the last drop now). If you’re unsure of what scent to buy you can always opt for a refillable atomizer. I’ve gifted Andrew a couple and he uses them all the time. Other nice options include Chanel Bleu de Chanel or Dior Sauvage which are nice, fresh and modern.

 

 

Shaving gifts are always great. The Art of Shaving makes some of the best gift sets at all price points. Andrew’s Safety Razor Stand is from their line along with his favorite Shaving Brush.

 

 

For the sporty guy in your life you truly cannot go wrong with an Apple Watch, sport headphones or anything from Yeti. Andrew’s two “can’t live without” things are his Yeti Tumbler and his Jaybird True Wireless Headphones. The headphones are the one item he bought himself after doing a lot of research. They’re small enough that they fit inside the ear, they’re truly wireless and work best even through a sweaty run.

 

 

Since Andrew already owns everything here I’m putting together my gift list for him. Apple came out with a new version of the Nike Watch and we plan on trading his current one in for a newer one (love how they will give you some store credit for trade ins!). Louis Vuitton’s L’Immensite has been on my list for a few months after smelling it in store, but he would probably be happy with another bottle of Creed Aventus. He’s a big fan of Cole Haan shoes and Nike running shoes too so I’m browsing through the newer options this season. Since we’re more active with weight lifting and running he’s been more into active wear so Lululemon is also something on his wishlist.

Hope you found this men’s gift guide helpful! One of my girl friends was telling me her hubby seriously needed to up his grooming game and she couldn’t convince him to use better skincare. When it comes to the guys in my life I think the best way to have them try new things is to buy it for them and put it on their counter or send it in a cool looking package. So if the guys in your life need some help in the grooming or skin care department, I hope this gives you some ideas!

I’m wrapping up gift guides this week but in case you missed the previous ones:

Holiday Gift Ideas $50 and Under
Best Luxury Candles for Holiday
Ideas for the Girls Who Have Everything
Holiday Home Decor + Gift Wrap Ideas

 

Holiday Gift Guide Home / Interiors Lifestyle

Christmas Home Decor + Cute Gift Wrap Finds

December 9, 2018

Christmas Decor Holiday 2018 | The Beauty Look Book

I’m sharing something a little different today with a look at some of our home decor pieces for the holiday along with some fun gifting accessories. An overwhelming number you requested a home decor post in a recent poll and so I have a peek at a few things we’ve done to make our place a little more cozy. We have one holiday themed corner in our living room to get in the spirit and everything is fairly simple and minimalist. I do love the beautiful elaborate wreaths and garlands I see everywhere else and maybe when we find our forever home someday we will go all out. For now I’m really just happy to keep things simple with a few key accents. Fur babies are included below. Our two Jack Russells Jake and Lucy are 13 years old this year! Kitty turned 6 in August.

7.5 Foot Flocked Christmas Tree

Our tree is a 7.5 foot Flocked Tree we bought at Home Depot. We considered getting a real tree but after some thought we opted for an artificial one and I love it! It’s pre-decorated so it already has lights and pine cones. The tips are flocked which give it a festive feel. I particularly love that we don’t have to water it and we can use it again in the future!

We did add some ornaments to it. Over the years we’ve found some pretty ones from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and other places but when we moved a couple years ago we didn’t bring a lot of our little things (we gave a lot away). This year we stopped by Target to get some wrapping paper and I was so thrilled to find a wide range of beautiful affordable ornaments. They have a wide range of colors for the ornament balls. We also stopped by Michael’s which I find has even more affordable budget options, for the quality and price Target has better ones.

Left Silver, Clear, White, Blue set (42 pieces) from Target, middle silver ornaments from Michaels, right red and gold mini ornaments from Target. 20 mm silver bells from Michaels. String star twinkle lights are Philips Lights from Target. Throw from West Elm.

Affordable Ornament Picks Target Michaels

 

As much as I love beautiful wrapping paper for gifts I feel like it can often times be so wasteful as it always gets thrown out! Target had some really nice budget options from their Wondershop and their Sugar Paper line. Ribbons and string are also from Target and Michael’s. If you need a specific color of ribbon Michael’s literally has every thickness, material and color you can imagine. Most of them were on sale for the holiday too.

Wrapping paper rolls, bows, string and scissors are from Target. Gold ribbons and bells are from Michael’s. I’ll link everything below.

Pretty Affordable Wrapping Paper Finds Target

 

For the gifts we are putting together ourselves that require a box we found some nice sturdy simple options at Michael’s. They come in a wide range of colors including the basic brown tan which can be easily dressed up with a simple ribbon, gift topper or cute gift tag. Target Sugar Paper has some nicer pre-decorated options as well. I can’t find the cute North Pole gift tags online but I did find them in store at Target.

Christmas Boxes and Tags from Target and Michaels

 

Other fun things include these Gold Jingle Bells from the Sugar Paper Line. I found some cute take-out boxes also at Target which you can fill with candies or use to send guest home with baked goods.

Christmas Wrapping Accessories, Bells, Take Out Boxes

Holiday Christmas Decor

Perhaps the easiest and simplest way to add some holiday cheer to the home is with candles. My favorite holiday ones already rounded up in my Favorite Luxury Candles for the Holiday post. I was able to buy the full-size Diptyque Carousel when it restocked, but it sold out again. The small one is still available in the Carousel and Candle Set with Baies + Tubereuse.

Diptyque Holiday Carousel | The Beauty Look Book

Holiday Christmas Diptyque Candles | The Beauty Look Book

Shown above: mini tree, white copper string lights, tray, coffee table, throw

I’ve really been loving Byredo as their scents are so unique and the candles have amazing throw. Chai is new this season, I don’t know if it’s limited-edition or not but it smells just like chai tea and it’s so cozy! I think Woods and Tree House are also amazing options for Christmas but versatile enough to burn year round as well.

Byredo Chai Candle | The Beauty Look Book

Other details shown below linked: mistletoe, mini burlap wrapped tree (also available in flocked version), small lights, round globe lights, mirrored tray, gold photophore is an older style from Diptyque (boutique exclusive, other options here)

Christmas Home Decor and Wrapping Essentials | The Beauty Look Book

I hope you enjoyed a peek into our holiday decor! If you’re still in the process of picking up things to decorate a quick tip is to always check online for items first, even if you’re going in store. So many places like Target and Michael’s have a store stock locator option which is so helpful! Sometimes you can reserve online to pick up in store. Other times if you just want to go in yourself but want to check to see if they have things in stock it will tell you which aisle items are located. It’s super handy so you don’t end up driving all over the place searching for things!

The Christmas countdown is on and my goal is to have everything wrapped by tomorrow. I do think the best and most efficient way to shop for gifts is to simply order online and have things shipped directly. But if you have gifts you’re giving in person I hope you found these ideas helpful!

Do you decorate your home for the holiday season? Any tips or tricks or traditions you want to share? Let me know in the comments! Two notes:

I’ve started up Instagram giveaways again are announced every Wednesday on stories. In case you missed the announcement last week this week’s giveaway is a Diptyque Miami + Vanille Candle. All you have to do is follow me @beautylookbook, comment on at least 2 posts during the week and like my posts! Super easy 🙂 I announce winners and contact via DM on Instagram.

I’ve also decided to start up my blog giveaways again. Every Sunday on the blog I’ll announce a new one. For the blog this week I’m giving away two Diptyque Candles  to one reader! Simple enter through the widget below and one person will be selected on next Saturday to receive one Miami City Candle and one Tomas Maier WDR candle (both purchased by me). Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Ideas for the Girls Who Have Everything

December 4, 2018

Holiday Gift Ideas for Girls Who Have Everything

1 oribe set / 2 compact light up mirror / 3 chic hand trio / 4 cozy throw / 5 bubble bath / 6 best mask set / 7 dry shampoo / 8 bougie candle / 9 best body care set ever / 10 face roller / 11 lip mask / 12 sweet treats / 13 le labo set / 14 aquis x ouai / 15 most comfy slides / 16 mini candle set / 17 luxury la mer duo

By popular request I have my holiday gift guide with ideas for the girls who have everything. I’m “that person” in my circle of friends and family and most of the time people think I’m hard to shop for. It’s actually not the case at all! If you have someone in your life who seems like they have the latest and greatest of everything there are plenty of gift options you can pick from. Restock them on their favorite things they’ll for sure use up like sheet masks, lip balm, hand cream or dry shampoo. Sweet treats are a no-fail option and I’m going to list my favorites below. There are also lots of practical things you can buy like a cozy throw or something nice for the home.

Universal Gifts for Any Age and Skin Type

The top brands I think have the best and most universal to gift are L’Occitane, Molton Brown and Fresh Beauty. They have such a wide range of things to choose from. L’Occitane and Molton Brown make the best affordable stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank with plenty to pick from the $25 and under mark. They also have the luxury sets if you want to splurge. In my opinion Fresh makes the Best Face Mask Set for the holidays (also love this Rose Set) – it’s one of those things you don’t have to worry if someone says “I already have that” because you really can never have too many of these. I sent my brother a few masks and he has super sensitive skin but loves them. He told me, “I feel like a brand new person” after using one of the Black Tea masks. L’Occitane has the cutest hand creams and ornament sets. You can’t go wrong with Molton Brown’s hand wash, lotions or shower gels. They’re among the best!

 

Best of Aesop

Aesop is a favorite at our home for body care so it gets its own category! Any single item would be a perfect gift. They have beautiful sets during the holiday season including the classic 4-piece Jet Set Travel Kit, Contours of Discovery Kit (my favorite items are in this set!), Resurrection Hand Wash and Balm Duo and much more. Our top five favorite items are the Redemption Body Scrub, Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, Parsley Seed Mask, Geranium Leaf Body Balm and Rose By Any Other Name Body Wash. Andrew is also obsessed with their Mouth Wash. I’ve linked them all below as well.

 

Best Body Care and Hand Care Sets

Other sets I love for body and hands are from Kiehl’s, Le Labo and Chanel. There are a number of cute options this season. The Le Labo Hinoki scent is one of the most unique and best ones I’ve tried. We have their hand wash in one of our bathrooms and it’s always so nice to use. The best base and top coats I’ve tried are from Chanel so their Perfectly Polished Manicure Set is super luxe and chic for gifting.

I think the best bubble baths are the L’Occitane and Laura Mercier. The L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath is something I wish I could buy by the gallon. Laura Mercier makes some of the most sweet fancy bath soaks you can find. Other stand outs are from REN Skincare and anything from Susanne Kaufman (her hand cream is amazing!).

 

Best of Home Scents

All of my favorite candles for the holiday rounded up in this post here. Giving a beautiful candle set or a single luxury candle is a no-fail gift for the person who has everything. If you’re really dead set on gifting something they don’t have, there’s a pretty good chance they don’t have Byredo Chai because it’s new this season. There are also some pretty stunning candles by Overose Paris including a brand new purple wax candle (you’ll most likely have to order online because they’re a bit hard to find).

 

Cozy and Fun Gift Ideas

The best thing I’ve ever bought for the home was the Barefoot Dreams Throw last year. It was meant to be a gift but it was so plush and soft I kept it for myself. Andrew nearly fainted when I told him the price, but when I started sleeping with it at night he noticed how soft it was and tried to share it with me. The one I bought isn’t big enough for two so I bought him his own lol. We both love them, it regulates body temperature in the most perfect way ever so you’re just the right amount of cozy. If Barefoot Dreams isn’t within your budget UGG also makes some really amazing throws at lower price points. West Elm also has some super affordable throws (many are on sale!) that are chic and super soft. For things that are fun or practical, you can’t go wrong with simplehuman. Their soap dispenser is a must for hands-free application. It’s so useful in the kitchen! I plan on getting one for my mother-in-law. The Compact Mirror is also a really nice item I think would make an amazing gift.

 

For sweets the best holiday candies, hot chocolates and marshmallows are hands down from Williams-Sonoma. I used to work there many years ago while I was in grad school. The Peppermint Bark is for sure one of the best classic holiday treats. They have a lot of other options too if peppermint isn’t your thing. I’m also a huge fan of Sugarfina for cute candies.

 

Best in Skincare

There are so many great skincare sets to choose from! I might do a separate gift guide on the best skincare sets. I know it might seem overwhelming to pick one because everyone has different skin types. I’ve linked a few I think are great regardless of skin type. I still think the Drunk Elephant Big Reveal set I bought during the Sephora sale is one of the best finds this year (it’s online only). You can also never go wrong with a face mist or sheet masks – everyone I can think of can benefit from this!

 

Hair Styling Products

Last but not least you can’t go wrong with a mini dry shampoo or set of hair care products. Every single one of my friends loves dry shampoo and they’re always looking to try ANYTHING! A few that I’ve tried plus some great sets linked below. I also still really think the Aquis Hair towels are great!

 

 

I hope this roundup gives you lots of ideas for those who are hard to shop for! Maybe some ideas to hint for yourself too 🙂 I tried to include a little from every category because I know everyone has different tastes and favorites!

 

Diptyque Holiday Gift Guide Home / Interiors

Favorite Luxury Candles for Holiday

November 21, 2018

Best Holiday Candles Diptyque, Le Labo, Byredo, Cire Trudon and Lumira | The Beauty Look Book

I’m getting in the holiday spirit more and more as the days go by! Burning warm and cozy home scents are one of the best ways to put me in the mood for the holiday season so I’m rounding up my favorites. Many are these are same tried and true year over year. I tend to stick to a few brands because I’ve ordered some sight unseen (they weren’t available near me) and while I’ve had mostly hits I had a few misses which made my wallet grouchy enough to shy away from trying too many new brands.

Diptyque always has the most beautiful offerings each Christmas season. I just bought the holiday Legende Du Nord Candle Set in the minis but will review in a separate post if you’re interested! Each year they make the best Pine scented candle called Sapin that is fresh and green, but not too green. This year they have the Sapin de Lumiere Candle with Room Spray in a set.

The carousels have been launched a few times past holidays, but this is the first time it seriously caught my eye. The full-size has restocked and sold out several times but the small one in the Carousel and Candle Set can still be easily found. I absolutely love it! It comes with the smaller size to fit the 2.4 oz candles and the set comes with Tubereuse and Baies. The heat from the flame makes the carousel twirl and I’ve been playing with it non-stop since I bought it.

Diptyque Holiday Carousel Duo and Sapin Candle Holiday 2018

Out of all the questions I receive, the ones I probably receive the most are, “what are your favorite Diptyque scents?” and “which one do I need to try first?” I haven’t come across one I didn’t like, but I have not tried them all. Someday I hope to. If you haven’t tried the brand before I 100% recommend you buy either the 5 Piece Mini Set or 10 Piece Mini Set. They come with miniatures in 35 g which give you just enough burn time to sample the scents.

My favorite picks change based on season. I always have back ups on hand as I burn through a lot. For fall to winter my most-burned through candles are Baies, Vanille, Ambre and Noisetier. I have several of the size options below to show scale and variation:

Best Diptyque Candles Baies, Vanille, Ambre and Noisetier | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo is another brand I have so much love for. I asked Andrew for the Woods candle for Valentine’s Day and I’ve been rationing it to make it last longer, lol! Notes include raspberry, jasmine, Tuscan Leather, ambroxan and white cedarwood. I love the mix of the fruit, floral and cedar for an earthy mix. To me this is better than the traditional firewood or wood scents. For fall I absolutely love Tree House. I visited the Byredo store in Soho for the first time last year and this was burning in their store. Notes include bamboo, pimento, hay, labdanum and leather. It’s so hard for me to describe but it has a good leather + sandalwood mix.

New this season is Chai which is the perfect Masala Chai scent. I don’t think I’ve ever burned anything chai scented in my home and this one smells just like the perfect spicy chai tea latte. It does have a very seasonal feel to it, so if you want something more neutral I’d opt for Woods or Tree House.

Best of Byredo candles, Tree House, Woods and Chai + Minis | The Beauty Look Book

For this season they’ve brought back the minis! You can buy a few of them individually or in a 3-box set with La Selection Violette Mini Candle Trio with Fleur Fantome, Bibliotheque and Burning Rose or La Selection Bois with Bohemia, Cotton Poplin and Tree House. With the minis I was gifted a set and am so excited to burn through them. I’ve bought and used up Bibliotheque and Fleur Fantome before. This was my first time trying Burning Rose.

  • Burning Rose is one I have not yet burned, it smells like a smoky leather with rose notes
  • Bibliotheque has peach, plum, violet, peony, patchouli, leather and vanilla, to me it smells similar to the Bal D’Afrique perfume
  • Fleur Fantome is a soft floral with rhubarb, lemon, violet, tulip, galbanum, heliotrope and suede

Byredo La Selection Violette Mini Candle Trio

Lumira is another brand that I’ve had a long love affair with. The Tahitian Coconut is the best coconut and the Persian Rose is the best rose in my humble opinion. The line is based in Australia but their website does offer international shipping. This year they recently launched at Barneys New York in the US and Selfridges in the UK so if you have a store near you I’d recommend checking them out. It’s rare that I like all the scents in a brand but with Lumira, Almira the founder has created exquisite variations in every single candle.

For the holiday season she launched Nuit de Noel which smells like Christmas. Notes include black pepper, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, aniseed, pear, cumin, rose, lavender, coriander, clary sage, oriental, amber, labdanum, sandalwood, tonka bean, cedarwood, patchouli. I really adore her accessories. She has the prettiest Glass Dome (shown below) along with the best Wick Trimmer I’ve tried (it has an angle which makes it easier to get into smaller jars without tilting the trimmer part) and a Candle Snuffer which I’ve never invested in before but am really happy to own one.

Lumira Nuit de Noel Candle Holiday 2018

Many of you love classics from Jo Malone and Le Labo. I’ve burned through a few scents in each line but still keep going back to Diptyque and Byredo. From Jo Malone right now I’m burning Wood Sage and Sea Salt which is a nice option for fall if you don’t want your house to smell like cinnamon, pine or spice. From Le Labo the Santal Candle is my favorite for a strong sandalwood kind of scent, notes include amber, coco, vanilla, cedar, spices, musk and sandalwood. I bought the Violet Grey x Le Labo Santal candle and stocked up when it was in stock. It’s the same as the clear glass version just with black glass.

Jo Malone Wood Sage Sea Salt Candle and Le Labo Santal x Violet Grey | The Beauty Look Book

Senreve Mini Maestra (c/o) shown above. I still really love it! Full review here. I’m also ecstatic I found peonies at Whole Foods!

Cire Trudon is my most expensive splurge for candles. One of my readers messaged me on a weekly basis for months urging me to buy Ernesto. I finally did and there is no going back. It’s one of the best ones out there. I know scent is so personal but so many of you have told me you also love this. It has a masculine vibe with notes of leather and tobacco. Because it’s so expensive I’ve only burned through a small handful of these (and a few minis). Sometimes they’ll do this one in special packaging so I bought the Rose Gold Ernesto which is a little more pricey but really beautiful. Notes include rum, grapefruit, bergamot, clove, oak wood, patchouli, labdanum, tobacco, moss, leather and amber.

The entire line is available at a local store near me and I smell them all every time I visit. Nazareth is the most Christmas-like smelling candle I’ve ever smelled. I really want to buy their Six Candle as well but the steep price tag is pretty hard to justify.

Cire Trudon Ernesto Rose Gold Candle

Other brands that I love that are more affordable and have great gift options include Nest Fragrances and Henri Bendel. The Nest Fragrances Holiday candle is a classic that comes in a wide range of size options. I’ve tried several of the mini ones and the throw is pretty impressive! For the sizes the prices are very reasonable. Henri Bendel makes some really amazing options for the price and the scents are nice – not overly sweet or saturated. Their Vanilla Bean is one of the best not-too-sweet vanillas I’ve ever burned.

For those who cannot burn candles, diffusers and room sprays are nice alternatives. I haven’t tried many diffusers although I have loved the ones from Antica Farmacista. In terms of room sprays Molton Brown makes amazing ones. Andrew is obsessed with the Coco and Sandalwood one. Diptyque also makes some amazing ones, unfortunately if you’re in the US you don’t have easy access to all the scents, but I’m happy they have at least a few. I’ve been drooling over the Byredo ones for months now but haven’t taken the plunge to splurge. Putting it on my Christmas Wish List though!

For me, a key accessory for candle care is a wick trimmer. You can definitely use your regular scissors but having one just for candles is nice because the tip is beveled so you can cut the wick straight. It also prevents your scissors from getting burnt remnants on them and the tip catches the cut off end.

The Diptyque Wick Trimmer has been one of the best things I’ve ever bought but I think Lumira makes a better one. It’s sleeker and the angle of the wick trimmer makes it easier to trim wicks straight. Also the angle of the handle makes it easier to hold for me. I never felt the need to invest in a candle snuffer but Lumira sent over their Candle Snuffer and I think it’s really nice.

Lumira Candle Snuffer and Diptyque Wick Trimmer

I hope you enjoyed this holiday candle roundup! With all the options out there I think mini sets are the best way to sample candles, especially if you can’t smell them all in person. It can be overwhelming with all the options out there. I think it’s nice to treat yourself to a small handful at a time. They set the mood for the home in such a nice way.

 

I’ve linked the accessories shown in the post in case you want to know the details of the trays, books and lights for your own home decor. What are your favorite holiday candles?

 

Press samples include Byredo Mini Trio and all Lumira products shown. Senreve Bag also gifted. All other items purchased by me.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Natasha Denona

Natasha Denona Holiday 2018 Gold Palette, Mini Star + Chroma Crystal Top Coats

November 19, 2018

Natasha Denona Holiday 2018, Gold Palette, Mini Star and Chroma Crystal Metal Bronze + Metal Black Review and Swatches

Natasha Denona’s Holiday 2018 Collection is stunning! As usual she has launched some pretty phenomenal palettes I feel are really unique and different in today’s beauty world. The holiday options have quite the sparkle and glitz. If you can’t do glitter but still want something different and bold for the holiday season I’d recommend opting for the Pat McGrath Opulence Collection instead. I have a look at her new Gold Palette ($129 for 15 shades), Mini Star Palette ($25 for 5 mini shades) and two new Chroma Crystal Top Coats ($28 each) in Metal Bronze and Metal Black.

Natasha Denona Gold Palette Review and Swatches

The Gold Palette ($129 for 15 colors 15 x 0.08 oz/ 2.5 g, made in Italy) is pricey but if you break it down the $8.60 per shade isn’t that bad in my opinion. As always, my recommendation with palettes are to buy if you think you’ll wear or like most of the shades. This has a mix of all kinds of finishes: matte, shimmer, glitter, sparkle.

The nice thing about large palettes like this is you can create a wide range of looks. The downside for me is that they can kind be overwhelming. Quality-wise the colors in this palette perform really well. Everything swatched with very good pigment and color payoff. There will be some fallout with the glitter when you’re applying so you will need to clean up some sparkle on your cheeks. However after applying I found they stayed put on the eyes without transfer. Some of the sparkle shades are better applied with fingers in a patting motion versus a brush.

Natasha Denona Gold Palette Review and Swatches

Natasha Denona Gold Palette Swatches

Colors include:

  • Lime Chrome is a duochrome olive gold
  • Python is a satin teal navy
  • Sparks is a glittering champagne
  • Aria is a matte warm cafe color
  • Cava is a sparkling warm champagne gold
  • Aurora is a metallic teal with gold shimmer
  • Dijon is a mustard matte
  • Oro is a shimmery warm yellow amber gold
  • Log is a matte brown
  • Varis is a shimmering medium brown
  • Brass is a sparkling brass gold
  • Sand Stone is a matte tan brown
  • Alchemist is a shimmery amber gold
  • Teak is a matte brown with warm tones
  • Aurum is a shimmery gold

She has another palette in the mini size called the Mini Star Palette which is supposed to be a small version with select colors from her Star Palette. The formula isn’t quite the same as her full size. Some of the minis feel creamier and slightly sheerer in color payoff but the corresponding colors with same shade name are really close. I think the mini is one of her more wearable options for the season. There aren’t any strong glitter shades with this one.

Natasha Denona Mini Star Palette Review

Colors include:

  • Orion is a blue green brown shimmer
  • Atik is a matte warm pinkish tan
  • Bellatrix is a shimmering peach champagne
  • Earth is a deep matte brown
  • Cosmo is an antique brass sparkle

Natasha Denona Mini Star Palette swatches

Then there are two Chroma Crystal Top Coats in Metal Bronze and Metal Black, both of which are similar to her previous launches but this round the colors have a lot more pigment in the base. Previous options had a more clear base with colored sparkles. The ones for Holiday 2018 are ultra pigmented with finger application. With a brush it’s more sheer but buildable. They do set on the fast side so I recommend applying and blending quickly. My past top coats have since hardened and dried out a bit but it has not impacted color payoff. I’m not sure how these will last with the color – they’re really pretty once you layer and blend them but they aren’t the easiest to apply. I feel if she had made these pressed pigments more along the lines of the Hourglass Scattered Light or Marc Jacobs See-Quins Shadows which are not really creamy but more like pressed powders it would be less prone to hardening. I like the way these look and the color payoff. Metal Bronze is a pretty brown with gold flecks while Metal Black is a deep black grey with silver flecks. I wish the formula was different.

Natasha Denona Chroma Crystal Metal Bronze + Metal Black Review and Swatches

Natasha Denona Chroma Crystal Metal Bronze + Metal Black Review and Swatches

A look with the Natasha Denona Gold Palette on the eyes wearing Aria, Cava, Aurora and Log. Cheeks are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Palette. Lips are Becca Glow Gloss in Opal. Tee is from J.Crew. Base worn is the Tatcha Water Cream, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Buff, Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder to set. Brows are Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil in Soft Brunette.

You can see better looks on her Instagram Page @natashadenona which show the glitz and sparkle better.

Natasha Denona Gold Palette Review + Look

Natasha Denona Gold Palette + Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Palette | The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Holiday 2018 Review and Swatches

Overall the collection has some beautiful pieces. I think the Gold Palette is the standout piece although it’s really expensive and has some shades that are very glitzy – glitzy out of my comfort zone. I do think the teals are easy to wear and layer with the golds which makes for a very unique look. For me the Mini Star and Chroma Crystal Top Coats for holiday are a pass simply because I already own the full size Star Palette and the for the Top Coats I’d rather just wear a cream shadow stick or layer a powder shadow.

To pick the best palette this holiday palettes this season is going to depend on your color preferences. I have not tried them all and I still have the new Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quads I’m eager to start testing. From the ones I have swatched and reviewed I think the easiest one to wear and most conservative is the Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes. For those who like reds and pinks but don’t want something too pink, the Urban Decay Naked Cherry is a nice and very wearable option. The ones I feel are most unique are from the Pat McGrath Opulence Collection. The NARS Holiday Provocateur has the most unique palette mix for cooler smokey tones. The Natasha Denona Golds Eyeshadow Palette is unique for a gold and glitz palette with the widest range of options and finishes from you to choose from. It is very well made and the colors perform well.

You can find the Natasha Denona Holiday 2018 collection out now. Available at Sephora and Beautylish.

Natasha Denona holiday pieces provided for review.

 

Becca Holiday Gift Guide

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Kits + Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss Review

November 18, 2018

Becca x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Collection Review + Swatches

I have a review of a some things from a few recent Becca collections today. The Becca x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Kits are perfect for the holiday season and after playing with both I’ve decided these are what I’m wearing on Thankgiving! They’re glowing, effortless and versatile! I also have a look at three of the Volcano Goddess Glow Glosses which are limited-edition but still available at Ulta Beauty.

I’ve been the biggest fan of the first Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette. It’s one of my most-worn palettes to date (review here). If you don’t own it I highly recommend checking it out. Even with all the other options I find it has the perfect tones for bronzer, blush and highlighters. It has gone with me on almost every trip. The Becca x Chrissy Holiday kits are truly some of the cutest set options for holiday. I think they’ve made sets suitable for any age and skin color. They would make super cute gift sets for teens, college age, even full on adults like myself. I can even see my mother-in-law wearing these kinds of colors and we have completely different coloring.

The BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit has four mini lip glosses. The colors are so good I wish they came in full sizes but given the number of gloss I already have I don’t mind. I’ll for sure use these up and they’re tiny enough to fit in the smallest of holiday clutches or a small pocket. They’re all very smooth and have nice even coverage.

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit

Colors have a soft vanilla scent to them:

  • Creme Brulee is a sheer shimmering soft pink with sparkles
  • Cinnamon Bun is a medium shimmering bronze
  • Sugar Plum is a soft plum gold, on me plums pull red, but if you have neutral lips this might pull more true to tube
  • Candy Cane is a bright warm bold red creme

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit Review

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit Swatches

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit Lip Swatches

The BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Glow Recipe Kit has three glow items, four if you count the duo as two items. I think they’re perfect to create an almost entire look. You just need your base, liner and mascara. Maybe a blush or bronzer if you want more color on the cheeks. These are sweet sugary smelling (except the eyeshadow).

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Glow Recipe Kit Review

Colors include:

  • Confectionary Glow Powder in Cinammon Sugar is a shimmering warm gold
  • Liquid Lip Matte Lip Souffle in Red Velvet is a neutral pink brown (pulls warm on me)
  • Glow Souffle Eyeshadow and Face Highlighter Duo in Cinnamon Churro has a perfect shimmering warm soft brown and a glossy glowy sheer gold cream highlighter that almost feels like a jelly (it’s pretty dewy but blends out smoothly)

BECCA x Chrissy Teigen Glow Recipe Kit swatches

Beauty look shown below wearing:

Becca x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Beauty Look Review

I received the entire Volcano Goddess Limited-edition makeup collection for the fall season. These arrived a few weeks ago so they’re not new – you’ve probably already seen these pop up on your feed. There’s a pretty Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette, Lava Gold Highlighter and 3 Glow Glosses. Given the vast number of launches this season, I decided to only keep the glosses and saved the other items for giveaways. The Glow Glosses are really pretty. The formula is one of my favorites (review of other Becca Glow Glosses here). The three in the Volcano Goddess Collection do not disappoint!

Becca Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss Review

Colors:

  • Metamorphic Gold is PERFECTION on my lips! It’s a sheer pale gold that flashes pink and pearl sparkles, I love the transparent quality which gives my lips a pretty glow
  • Molton Mauve is a full coverage cool-neutral mauve pink brown color with some gold flecks
  • Ruby Fire is one of the prettiest sheer red plums with gold flecks, it is sheer so my natural lip shows through

Becca Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss swatches

All three swatched alongside Red Velvet from the Chrissy Glow Recipe Kit:

Becca Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss and Becca Chrissy Red Velvet

Gloss comparison swatches for reference to other Becca colors, lip swatches of the other Becca Glow Gloss shades here. I think the holiday ones are different enough from the current lineup to justify buying.

Becca Glow Gloss Swatch Comparisons

Beauty look with Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss in Metamorphic Gold on the lips and the Becca x Chrissy Glow Face Palette on the cheeks. Same base, eye shadow and mascara colors worn as listed in the photo above. Nail color is Chanel Organdi which is the perfect everyday neutral pink – and it doesn’t chip or get tip wear for around 5 days (sometimes 7) for me.

Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette and Volcano Goddess Glow Gloss

Becca x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Collection Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line solid wins! If I didn’t receive these as press samples I would 100% love to find this under my Christmas Tree or stocking. I think anyone would! They’re really easy to wear, don’t take any extra effort. Colors will work with a wide range of top colors: black, red, beige, pink, plum – really anything you can imagine wearing this holiday season.

These sets put me in the holiday spirit while I was swatching and photographing the items. I also have really enjoyed reading about some of your holiday traditions in my last post! We really haven’t had any specific traditions since our lives have changed over the past couple of years with our move. Andrew and I do always spend the holidays together no matter what we’re doing – this will be our 17th holiday season together!

You can find the Becca x Chrissy Teigen Holiday Collection at all Becca retailers now. Online at Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Beautylish, Becca Cosmetics. The Volcano Goddess collection looks like it’s still available even though it’s limited-edition but I could only find the Glow Gloss at Ulta Beauty and Becca Cosmetics.

 

 

 

Becca sets + gloss provided for review. As always opinions are my own.

 

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Ideas $50 and Under

November 16, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide For Her Under $50

I have my first Holiday Gift Guide of the year up today with some ideas $50 and Under! Based on your feedback I’m putting together a series of gift guides in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned for more ideas and inspiration. First I want to mention that Sephora’s Beauty Insider Holiday Event for Beauty Insiders Starts today in stores and online, use code BIBONUS for 15% off from Friday 11/16 to Monday 11/19. They’ve also extended the savings this weekend to VIB and Rouge Members with 20% off in store and online using code ENJOY. So if you still had things on your list, you can still shop and save!

Gift Ideas Under $50 shown above

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My gift ideas $50 and Under are broken down by category. I have not started any holiday shopping yet – I still can’t get over the fact that it’s mid-November! I’ve been bookmarking all the cute gift ideas as I make these gift guides. Out of all the ones I’ve looked at so far, I think the easiest most universal options for stocking stuffers with cute packaging are from L’Occitane, Fresh and Molton Brown. They’re already boxed in a cute cracker or box so it takes any extra work out of wrapping it. From my own personal experience items from those lines are always well received even from the pickiest of people I know.

For the Hair Care Lover

So many good travel or trial sets out there! I found some cute ones from Living Proof, Oribe, Ouai and Bumble and Bumble. As usual you can find some really nice deals with the Sephora Favorites collections. I also think you can’t go wrong pairing the Aquis Hair Towels with any mini hair care product. There are some nice affordable options from Oribe this year too including their 10th Anniversary Dry Texturizing Spray which comes in special packaging.

 

Makeup Sets + Palettes

Holidays are the best times for mini sets and palettes. As a lip gloss and lipstick junkie this is an easy win category. The Becca x Chrissy Teigen Lip Icing Glow Gloss Kit is the cutest (swatches coming soon). MAC always has great options for the holiday season.

 

Skincare Junkies

This is the category I shop for myself. Skincare is so personal so unless you truly know one’s skin type or skincare routine, this area can be a bit tricky. Safe bets are from First Aid Beauty, L’Occitane, Fresh Beauty. The Fresh Sugar Jetsetter is priced at a really good deal! L’Occitane has the cutest ornaments. Molton Brown has their holiday Shower Gel Baubles which you can buy individually or in a set.

 

Fragrance and Home

I tend to categorize fragrance or home with higher price points but there are a number of options that are more affordable. You can’t go wrong with a soft throw. West Elm has so many good options, we bought this Coziest Throw and it’s so soft and cozy. Byredo and Diptyque are expensive luxury brands but there are mini candle options under $50 this year. Byredo has some of their scents like Fleur Fantome, Bohemia and Burning Rose in the mini size individually. Diptyque has a wide range of candles in the mini size, Vanille is perfect for fall to holiday. They also have cute miniatures like this Do Son + Tubereuse Surprise Pocket Set. Jo Malone also has some fun Christmas Crackers and Christmas Ornaments this year.

 

Just for Fun

For the fun or extras, I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with the Away Minis. Full review here. They’re great for travel and gifts. Alone the regular ones are $35 each and you can fill them with fun travel size beauty items or candy as a cute gift. J.Crew has some cute cold weather accessories like this Ribbed Beanie and Fuzzy Slippers. Sleeping masks can be really cute, I have one of the Slipsilk Pure Silk Sleep Masks and really like it. There are fun patterns available this season in case you want something more than the basic silk (although I like any of them). Aesop’s Jet Set Kit has four minis I think are perfect for sampling or travel. I’ve bought this many times over, they’re super cute. And for something practical the S’Well Bottles (a couple of mine shown here) are things I use on a regular basis and love.

 

Gift Ideas Under $25

Some options all $25 and under for lower price points. One of the brands I think is simple but really handy is Tweezerman. I bought a Tweezerman Nail Set for my husband last year. We had moved a lot and his was packed in storage in one of many boxes (we didn’t want to search through them all). I got him one of the travel sets which I can’t find online anymore but he uses it all the time. This year they have a cute Mini Nail Rescue Set you can find a number of places like Sephora, Ulta and Neiman Marcus. Bundle it with a mini hand cream or polish and it makes for a cute + practical gift.

 

This week’s giveaway is a Mini Away Suitcase in Pink! One reader will receive a Mini Away Travel case filled with surprise beauty goodies. I usually pre-pick items for the giveaway but this time I’ll be putting together custom picked goodies from my backup stash tailored to the winner’s skin type and preferences. Open internationally 18 years and older. To enter for a chance to win simply follow at least one of the steps in the widget below. Giveaway runs through Tuesday November 20th, 11:59 PM EST. I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after giveaway ends and contact via e-mail. Not sponsored or affiliated. I usually ship prizes within 1 week and provide tracking information.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

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