Just wanted to do a quick check in post to say hi and see how you are all holding up. The world feels like everything has been turned upside down and life feels like one long extended nightmare. In Florida we are now on a state-wide stay-at-home-order although it started earlier in our county with lots of businesses closing except for the essentials. Grocery stores, pharmacies, take-out food and pet stores etc are still open, but our beaches have been closed as well as some parks. A lot of our favorite bakeries and cafes have closed. The panic buying continues here (it started a lot later here than other places). It’s still nearly impossible to find toilet paper in stores. The paper towel aisle and cleaning sections always seem to be cleared out.
We are holding up just fine – we are social distancing but continuing outdoor walks to stay active and trying to support local businesses with take out as much as we can. We took our bikes for a ride last weekend at some parks and nearby trails – although with many parks being closed we aren’t sure how long we can do this. At home we are enjoying time in our backyard, doing more home work outs, cleaning and organizing. We just started watching the new season of Ozarks and Westworld. Better Call Saul is also on my list. I’m trying to stay distracted to stay sane and positive. Really looking forward to the days when things can and will go back to normal.
I haven’t been getting good sleep lately. Unfortunately I’m sure this is the case for many of you. I’ve woken up with puffy eyes more and these 111Skin Eye Masks have been life savers for me. I really love the Sub Zero De-Puffing Eye Masks (blue ones) are my favorites. I also really like the Rose Gold Illuminating Eye Masks as well (pink package). They’re a really nice treat in the mornings and I think they’re 100% worth the splurge. Some retailers carry them in 1 sheet packs too. I haven’t had much luck with melatonin sleep aids in the past but I’ve ordered the HUM Beauty zzZz to try as I really like their other supplements. If you have any favorites let me know.
My favorite at-home comfy things to wear are the APL Techloom Slides. I own them in so many colors and bought some for Andrew too. They have nice support and are so much better than flats or sandals that have no cushion. We wear ours everywhere. The lighter colors are easy to clean up – I just throw them in the washing machine but air dry them. Below is the color Parchment (toes is an older nail polish color in Chanel Resplendissant).
My sweet girl Lucy and me in our backyard, she’s 15 this year! We really miss Jake who passed away over the summer. (Wearing Dior Addict Stellar Halo Shine in Peace Star.)
For those asking about DIY manicure tips, I’ve done several hand nail care routine posts in the past. I’ve been doing my own since we moved to Florida (for over 3 years now) since I’ve never quite found a salon that I really liked. In case you want to do your nails at home and want some tips you can find my most recent Hand and Nail Care Routine article here. Quick note that I think some of my holy grails from Deborah Lippmann have been reformulated. I ordered replacements and they don’t perform the same! I’m trying out some other cuticle softeners/removers from Sally Hansen and CND hoping they’ll work better.
How are you all holding up? What are some things that have helped you remain calm or sane? Any good new TV shows to binge watch? Good movies you love to re-watch? How are you staying active at home or are you able to go outdoors?
Hoping you are all well and safe. Sending lots of love. I’m doing a lot of stress eating at home to cope!
Happy Friday! I have an Instagram roundup on some outfits and accessories I’ve been loving lately. A few of you have asked for more info on sizing/scale of the mini bags I’ve posted in a few flatlays so I’m sharing all the details today!
Quick note that a few retailers are having sales going on right now that you might want to take advantage of. Many of my accessories are on sale!
Shopbop’s sale ends April 13th (extended by one day) with code EVENT19 you can save 20% off orders under $500 and 25% off orders over $500
Nordstrom is price matching a lot of the items from the Shopbop Sale (you’ll have to search by brand or product name)
Tory Burch is having a sale event through April 15th, 20% off $200, 25% off $350 and 30% off $500 (there are quite a few exclusions), use code SPRING
J.Crew is having a sale with 50% off sale styles and 40% off everything else, online only with code SALEUPGRADE, ends April 15th (update)
I did a quick series on Instagram Stories about one of my Ark Bags. This one shown above was a gifted dupe and it’s a very well made one. The differences between the real Cult Gaia and this one are slight, I wish I knew where it was from but it was a gift and I’m a little embarrassed to ask! A few of you mentioned you think it’s this one from Amazon or possibly this one from Tuckernuck. Based on what I’ve seen for the bamboo/wood ones the dupes are very well constructed. If I knew where my exact dupe was from I would 100% buy it.
My favorite sandals this season are from Sam Edelman. I bought a couple pairs and these Gala Sandals are on sale at Shopbop. They run true to size and are very comfortable.
I recently rediscovered J.Crew denim, I always thought their jeans were pricey but with the sales it makes them 100% worth it. The 9 inch high rise has a good fit where it doesn’t feel like they are falling off like lowrise ones. No belt needed for this style and at the same time they aren’t too high it makes me feel like I’m wearing pants up to my chest. They’re a little stretchy but still sturdy enough to hold everything up and in! My favorites however are still from Paige in the Verdugo Ankle style (any color). Out of all the brands/styles I’ve tried I think Paige has the most flattering cuts and fit.
My curiosity got the best of me and I felt like I just had to know what the original was like. I bought the real Cult Gaia Ark Bag in the Mini Size Natural Color from Nordstrom (also available at Shopbop) and think it’s SO cute. The real ones have the Cult Gaia branding inside the handle and in between the strips are tiny round beads while the dupes usually have a gap with the clear plastic showing. I’m 5’3″ and find minis fit my frame better in general but they aren’t always practical because of how little they hold. The mini measures 6.25 inches tall, 9 inches long, 2.5 inches deep. (Scroll down for a photo of me wearing the mini.) I think it’s the cutest thing ever and it is big enough to hold my wallet, phone, keys, a compact, sunglasses and a couple lipsticks. I do think the bigger sizes, even the small is more practical to hold more things without overwhelming your frame. I’m keeping the mini I bought and my gifted dupe – think both are the perfect summer bag, even years after it originally launched. If you want something more unique opt for the Tortoise or pretty Acrylic Colors, I love the blue and melon colors!
Quick note on my sunglasses from Rayban, the style code I have is RB2185 and I have the polarized options which are slightly more expensive than the non-polarized versions. I did not realize this until after I bought mine. I know people say polarized sunglasses have better protection for the eyes, but sometimes I don’t like the way they shift colors. I still really love mine and I own quite a few polarized sunglasses. Just wanted to tell you in case you wanted to know or wanted something around $50 cheaper opt for the regular versions.
I’ve had the Staud Mini Shirley bag for a little over a year now and love it! As with the minis vs small, I do like my mini, but the bigger options are going to be a lot more practical. I wish I bought the small size but since I use this for days I only carry essentials. It’s perfect for date nights or quick trips out. It doesn’t have a shoulder strap or long handle to throw over the arm which is the only downside to this style for me. They did just launch another clear option called the Clear Bissett Bag which seems more practical if you need a longer handle to hold over the shoulder or want something a little bigger around.
These style Tory Burch Emmy Sandals run a little small, I’d recommend going a 1/2 size up. I normally wear 6.5 in their millers, with these I opted for a 7. The classic Millers are still the most comfortable as the sole of these are stiffer, but they’re still easy to wear for me.
I bought the AGolde Parker Shorts the last time Shopbop had a sale and this was the first time I tried high rise shorts. They’re on the high side as described but it’s a nice change from the shorter lower waist options I’ve tried. Color shown is Swapmeet which is a lighter blue and they have some fun distressing giving them a more casual vibe. I also love the color Rock Steady which is a more traditional classic blue jean color.
To this day Tory Burch Millers are still my favorite sandals. The sand patent has lasted the longest for me. I’ve worn my others TO DEATH and they are starting to wear, but they have lasted probably 5 years and I’ve worn them EVERYWHERE so I think they were well worth the splurge. My brown leather ones have seen better days – but they have lived through a lot of travel, rain, humidity and moving. I’m planning to repurchase and replace them soon.
Another sale splurge last month was the Clare V Petite Sandy and I did not realize how small it was going to be even after checking the dimensions online. I still love it and think it’s the perfect size for me! (See one photo down to see how small it is.) The larger Sandy is more of what I envisioned this being like though because it’s bigger and has a longer strap to hold over the shoulder. You can buy a separate shoulder strap from Clare V for a lot of their bags which is something I’m considering for my petite option.
Another pair of Sam Edelman shoes I’ve been loving are the Beckie Style in Natural Raffia (runs true to size for me). They have a similar style called Bay Cutout which has solid/smooth leather but I have not tried those yet. The Beckie options are the woven material and it’s very sturdy and comfortable with a slight cushion like the Gala.
By request, a few mirror selfies to show scale of the bags. I’m 5’3″ and 118 pounds (I’ve gained weight with our indulgent Miami vacation eating and have also gained muscle weight with our weight training). The struggle to stay fit is real when there are so many tempting good food places to try when you travel. I’ve been fluctuating like a yoyo.
One last post from Instagram! I mentioned the Anthropologie Cloudfleece top a while back and a lot of you wanted to know what it looked like on. I posted a photo sharing the Mint color. It’s super soft and lightweight and hangs nicely for a relaxed fit. I’m wearing the XS here.
You also wanted to know how big/small the Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody is on me. It measures 9.25 by 5.5 and 1.25 deep. Here it is on me over the shoulder and worn as a crossbody. I wish it had an adjustable strap to make it a tad bit shorter but it’s easy to wear and most of you are taller than me so it’s probably going to be the perfect length! I wear it all the time and it has some slots inside to put cards so you don’t need a wallet. I’ve owned it since last July and it’s held up very well even in Florida humidity and rain.
It’s been two years now since we’ve moved to Florida and I cannot believe how fast time flies! It seems like it was just yesterday we drove across country from San Diego to Tampa. It’s been quite a transition for us but we’ve really fallen in love with everything here. We love the beaches, the people and the casual relaxed vibe. Every week I get questions from readers asking what to pack for vacation trips to Florida and my answers usually depend on what time of year they’re visiting and where they’re going. Florida is a big state and the weather varies depending on how far north or south you’re visiting (it’s more humid and hotter the further south you go). There is a long distance between Tampa, Orlando and Miami so temperatures and humidity changes depending on how close you are to the coast. Weather is also fairly unpredictable depending on what time of year. Right now the weather is mild in the Tampa Bay area with temperatures ranging from low 60’s to low 80’s. Last week weather was in the high 80’s! I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my go-to warm weather essentials for South Florida.
My favorite layering piece is a good denim jacket. For me the best ones are from Madewell because they come in a wide range of washes and fits whether you want something classic, loose or cropped. Temperatures can change from morning to mid-day to night. Also indoors they love to put the AC on full blast making it icy cold. I like that you can dress up or dress down any outfit with a classic denim jacket. I typically size up for a more slouchy relaxed look.
Good shorts are absolutely a must in Florida. Since moving here I’ve tried so many different brands and styles. For those who want a true mid-rise with a casual look I highly recommend checking out the STS Blue Raw Denim shorts. They’re the best affordable denim shorts I’ve found. Even the light blue distressed ones hold up remarkably well after lots of washes in the washing machine. I also love these ones from 7 For All Mankind and Blank NYC.
A simple small crossbody bag is perfect for just carrying the essentials. When it’s hot and humid out it’s nice to have something light and small that you don’t even notice is weighing you down. I splurged on the Chloe Mini Marcie and love it to death. The Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody is a less expensive alternative and I have also been contemplating the Madewell small crossbody as well for something simple.
The tees and tanks I pretty much live in are the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tank, V-Neck Tee and Northside Vintage Tee. They’re lightweight, super comfortable and come in so many different colors. I am a little embarrassed to admit how many of these I own. They’re great as a casual tee by itself, layered with a sweater or jacket, nice for the beach, also perfect for at-home lounging. They’re not really designed for workouts but sometimes I’ll wear the tank during a run or at home when we’re lifting weights too. I also have and love the Stripe Version.
For shoes I live in the Tory Burch Miller Sandals and Converse Sneakers – they go with everything! I find the classic Converse Chuck Low Tops to be among my favorite and most comfortable sneakers. They don’t give me blisters and are nice to walk in for extended periods of time. I think they’re a super cute sneaker even for the girls who feel like they aren’t really sneaker girls.
One last essential I have to mention is sunscreen. We have tested dozens and our favorite that isn’t heavy, doesn’t smell like sunscreen, has no flash back, is lightweight, easy to apply and also is the best at preventing burn is the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen. No matter what we try, this is the one we keep going back to.
Outfit details, for sizing reference I’m 5’3″ – petite!
For 2019 I made a list of goals I wanted to share as I’d love to hear about yours as well! I’ve taken a lot of your feedback to heart. I asked in a recent poll what you would like to see more of here on The Beauty Look Book. The things you’ve asked to see more of aligns with what I want to cover as well! I tend to make an evolving list of personal goals throughout the year. I feel like it’s a great way to grow. Topics I want to focus more on and goals for 2019:
Health, Wellness and Fitness – So many of you asked for more posts about health and wellness along with fitness beauty favorites. I’ve received a number of e-mails from readers about recent blog posts saying I look healthy and happy! It’s been a work in progress but both Andrew and I have never felt better because we have focused on our personal health and well being. This has been a major focus in my life in general. I haven’t write much about it but in the months leading up to our move to Florida a couple years ago I was not healthy. I had high stress, high blood pressure and a physical indicated I wasn’t in the best shape. 2017 was a stressful year with our additional moves/exploring and by the first portion of 2018 my health suffered after getting sick multiple times. Both Andrew and I made a conscious effort to take better care of ourselves. We’ve been consistently exercising, building strength and started weight training. We’ve also changed our diet to incorporate clean eating. It’s taken months to create good habits. I didn’t want to adopt anything drastic or temporary just to lose weight or get fit quick. I wanted to incorporate things I knew I could sustain. More on these topics soon! For now some of my fitness favorites can be found here in this post.
Tutorials and How-To’s – I always want to evolve and change to be a better beauty resource for you and tutorials are something I know can be more helpful than just swatches. I’ve incorporated more looks this past year but I do want to take it to the next level with video and photo tutorials. I’ll be experimenting with both!
Hair Posts – I was touched by all the love you gave me on getting the highlights! It was a big step for me but I think it was a good one. I literally felt like I had my own cheerleading squad with all the love from you! There have also been a large number of requests for curling tutorials, more hair dryer reviews, and more hair products/tools in general. More coming your way this year! I will say that I’ve still been using the Harry Josh and Dyson regularly and still really like them both.
Budget Beauty Brands – You loved the Budget Beauty Post #1 and I wanted to do more but never got around to doing more round ups. I’ll be focusing more on affordable beauty and try to find more dupes this year. So far L’Oreal and OPI remain my favorites but I’m going to try out more options this year to review for you. Let me know what your favorite budget brands are 🙂
Daily Looks – As a beauty blogger I’ve focused mainly on product reviews as I feel like the easiest way to present them. A large number of you want more look posts with a mix of what I’m wearing or using or loving like my Sweater + Red Lip Post and my Holiday Glow Looks feature. I’ll be sure to do more of these!
Regular Favorites Posts – My favorites rotate as the weather shifts and seasons change and also as new formulas come out I discover new loves. I’m asked on a weekly basis what my ABSOLUTE tried and true daily go-to favorites are. I’ll try to compile an updated list of my ride or die beauty favorites each month.
Lifestyle and Travel – Even though this is a beauty focused blog, LOTS of you have asked for more travel posts! Particularly the travel diaries with the places we eat, stayed and shopped. Full California travel diary coming your way soon from our recent trip. I hope that we will travel more frequently this year. For lifestyle you’ve asked for more home decor and organization posts. Organization is something I struggle with on a daily basis but I have found some things I think are essential for keeping things more put together and easily accessible. More on all of this to follow this year!
I’ll still be doing a lot of the same product reviews and swatches so if you love those don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere! I want to be a better resource and share more things beyond makeup swatches and flatlays. I’m really excited for the new year! I have nothing but high hopes looking forward.
As always I’d love to hear what your 2019 goals are! Do you make a New Year’s Resolution list or have any goals? They can be big or small!
I’m so excited it’s finally sweater weather here! We have hot humid weather almost year round here in Tampa making it too hot to even wear denim jeans most of the time. While I love the sunshine I’m thrilled that it has cooled down enough to haul some cute sweaters. By popular request I’m combining two topics today that many of you have been asking for: best holiday red lips plus a sweater try-on haul.
I’m a neutral lip lover so I was actually really surprised to find how many red lip products I own. I sorted through around 35+ colors and formulas to narrow down my absolute top picks for the best color, pigment, lasting power and a few budget friendly options. I’ll discuss each color with the sweaters I paired below.
Everlane Cashmere Crew + L’Oreal Color Riche Shine
I did my first Everlane haul and picked three styles to try out. I haven’t tried the line before so I relied on online customer reviews for height and weight to decide on XXS and XS depending on style. I lucked out because I’m really happy with what I ordered. For sizing reference I have been losing weight but also gaining a little bit of muscle with our weight training. I’m 5’3″ and currently 114 pounds. I usually wear XS in most sizes, sometimes XXS because I’m on the shorter side.
It’s been a long time since I’ve invested in anything cashmere (again because it’s simply TOO HOT to wear here) so I can’t compare to current styles of other brands. I have tried J.Crew, Vince and Theory to name a few which I’ve loved in previous years. I think the styles I ordered from Everlane are just as good. For the Everlane Cashmere Crew ($100) I picked Light Oatmeal in XS and it’s a PERFECT fit. This is my favorite one of my purchases. It’s soft, lightweight but not tissue thin. I plan on getting a couple more colors. Denim worn are the Paige Verdugo Ankle (for me ankle jeans are the best because I usually don’t have to hem them!).
Up next is the Everlane Cashmere Rib Round Crew ($145) in Heather Grey in XXS. I would have bought XS but one of the models on the website was wearing that size and quite a bit taller than me. I’m happy with the fit of XXS. This is a nice soft semi thick ribbed sweater. It’s one of the ones I was wearing on stories.
I paird this one with the NARS Powermatte Pigment in Starwoman. There are a lot of reds in this formula this one seems the most classic to me (Vain is warmer, Light My Fire is brighter and there are options with either more blue or deeper tones too). This is one of the nicest liquid matte lipstick formulas that is matte but doesn’t shrink my lips to look like raisins. It has excellent staying power and doesn’t transfer on my teeth. (If you want a neutral option American Woman is the best chestnut neutral rose out there.)
Leith + Everlane with Tom Ford Dylan
Tom Ford Lips and Boys Dylan isn’t a new color but remains a favorite for a semi-matte finish. It’s a classic bright bold red with a warm undertone. I’m wearing it below with two sweater colors. A soft nude pink fitted Metallic Pullover from Leith ($49, XS is pretty fitted) that I bought at Nordstrom and the Everlane Cashmere Waffle Crew in Black ($150, XXS) which is boxy but I think has a nice hang to the sides. I like the side slit detail too which makes for a little more interesting sweater.
Another look at the Everlane sweater so you can see the neckline, it’s hard to see the detail but check out their website for close ups which you can see better.
1.State + Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Wild Cherry
In terms of red lips I don’t think it gets better than Pat McGrath. I could have done an entire dedicated post to swoon over all her lipsticks but wanted to give some other brands and formulas some love. If you feel like you can’t wear full on red lips, opt for a sheer gloss or balm. The Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Balm in Wild Cherry is a great sheer but buildable red. I reviewed it in this post here.
In looking through my closet I find that I own a lot of white tops and sweaters. It’s funny because in San Diego I used to wear all black and grey, or stripes. Since moving to Florida I’ve suddenly found my closet has changed. So many of you have been asking about all the white tops I’ve been wearing. This is a cute one from 1State Convertible Zip Neckline Sweater ($109). This is an XXS and runs big but slouchy. It’s cute to tuck in or belt. I’m not 100% sure I love this style. The zipper is adjustable which makes it so you can wear this a number of ways. A similar option that I have really liked in a tee form is the Free People Nikala Tee which I find has a better fit.
For affordable sweaters that aren’t itchy or scratchy I’ve found some amazing deals from Loft. They have cute cable knit basics. I tried two styles. One is the Loft Textured Button Cuff Sweater in XS ($49.50 but I got mine 50% off, they have online holiday sales so check their site for current code). At $20 it was a steal. This one is a little long for me but on most people I think it will be just the right length. I’m wearing it with the Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipstick in Rebel Red which is one of the most fun sparkly blue red lip colors I’ve tried. Full review here.
Loft + Em Cosmetics
Another Loft find is the Cable Knit Trim Sweater in Silvered Heather Grey (XS, $49.50). I could have sized down for a shorter fit but this one is super cute and easy to wear as well. I paired this with the Em Cosmetics True Gloss in Scarlett Knight which is one of the best red plumping glosses I’ve tried. I need to review this formula for you, I have been sitting on all the colors for a while now. It’s been on my to-do list! They have some cute sets for the holiday I think are worth checking out. I have all the colors individually otherwise I would have ordered one.
Sweater worn is the BP Heritage Stitch sweater in XXS. It’s so soft and plush. Unfortunately it just sold out online, but you might want to check in stores to see if they still have some near you. It does run on the large side, I ordered an XXS and it’s very roomy!
Lipsticks worn/featured in this post (all shades are press samples):
Pat McGrath and Tom Ford options swatched next to two of the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution colors. I used to think the Charlotte Tilbury formula was the best, I still think it’s very good, but Pat McGrath’s formula wins 100%.
Makeup breakdown worn in all other photos include:
The best red nail polish I’ve tried is from Christian Louboutin’s Red, although OPI is also a favorite of mine, I just don’t own any reds from them at the moment
I hope you enjoyed this sweater try-on haul and red lip roundup! If you love a good red lip let me know what your favorites are in the comments. I love cozy sweaters and I would haul more if we had cooler weather in Tampa.
I didn’t have time to post yesterday but did not forget my giveaway for the week! One reader will win four Pat McGrath lip products including: Opulence 1995, Opulence Flesh3, winner’s choice of two other lips formulas. Not sponsored or affiliated. Open internationally to those 18 years or older. Simply enter via the widget below. Giveaway runs this week and I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after giveaway ends and contact via e-mail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Sunday! I have another fun bag review today featuring a detailed look at the Senreve Mini Maestra in Sand ($695). This is a relatively newer brand and I love the entire look and aesthetic of their edited line. As a petite person it can be challenging to find purses proportional to my height and the Mini Maestra is perfect for me. It’s small enough to fit my petite frame but also roomy enough inside to hold day-to-day essentials. When they reached out and asked to work together on a feature I was thrilled to put one to the test. Not having seen these in person yet I did not know what to expect but after trying it out I can say that it exceeded all of my expectations. Their line is primarily available on their Senreve website but they do have a few pop-ups. However, if you’re like me and don’t have a location near you, I think you can safely rely on their website descriptions and photos to give you an accurate shopping guide.
The Mini Maestra comes in a wide range of colors and finishes. Prices depend on material and color. The one I have is Sand which is a beige tan nude color. This one comes in the Pebbled finish which is a stiffer and very durable finish. It’s supposed to be scratch-resistant and so far it does seem to be very sturdy and structured. I truly appreciate their detailed descriptions of all their finishes on their website. It makes the decision process of picking one so much easier!
The bag is small enough to not overwhelm my frame but roomy enough inside to hold a lot of things. The design is really versatile and you can wear it in a number of ways: over the shoulder, over your arm, as a crossbody and even as a backpack. Dimensions:
Width at base: 8.625”
Width at top: 11.875”
Drop handle: 1.75”
Adjustable straps: 18-23”
Weight: 1.8 lbs (2-3 pounds lighter than similar bags)
Central compartment fits iPad
Worn as a backpack:
A closer look at the details. These bags are made of genuine Italian leather and the quality and craftsmanship are truly excellent! The front has a magnetic clasp which you slip through a loop to close – double closure to secure everything. The interior design is what I’d consider the BEST part of this bag. They’ve included pockets that are actually functional and I am beyond obsessed! There’s room enough for my phone, phone charger, sunglasses, card cases, perfumes, small items, etc. There is even a loop with a key holder inside. Front:
Base come with little feet:
What I can fit inside with room to spare below. Interior is made of micro-suede, it’s soft and really pretty inside!
For those who don’t want lipstick + gloss floating around, there is enough space inside to hold a smaller makeup pouch. I can easily fit a couple of the Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches inside. Also shown below (press samples have a *):
Sunglasses, iPhone, Away Charger (from one of my suitcases), Gucci Card Case
Lipglosses: Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Sparkling*, Lawless Matte Liquid Lipstick, NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Roseland (review here), Dior Addict Lip Glow (swatches here), Cle de Peau Radiant Lip Gloss (review here), Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips (my picks here), Pat McGrath Lip Fetish* (swatches here)
Other makeup: Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel (review here), Chanel Hand Cream (review here), Byredo Travel Atomizer*, Supergoop! Sunscreen Spray, Byredo Mini Perfume Vial in Blanche, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC35, IGK Dry Shampoo Mini
Another look at the detailing – they have clasps and closures to help keep the straps in place after you adjust them. This is something I don’t often see in a lot of purses.
Shown how I’ve been wearing it a few more ways:
Overall I’m really impressed. The mini is perfect for me although the same design comes in two larger size options in the Maestra and Midi Maestra for those who prefer bigger purses. Quality is excellent and I highly recommend it! So many of you asked me on Instagram how it compares to the Celine Belt Bags. I do think it has a similar shape to the Celine Belt Bag that I used to own. When I bought mine years ago I had the smallest size option called the Mini Belt Bag (reviewed here). One photo of me wearing it in this post here. It was still on the big side for me, but I really did love them! A few years later they came out with smaller options called the Micro and Nano. I’ve been wanting to buy one for a while now but wanted to buy them in person and just haven’t had a chance to go to a store yet (there aren’t any near me!). As soon as I decided I wanted to smaller ones I decided to sell both my Black and Light Taupe via a few blog sales so I no longer have them to compare. Off the top of my head, other than size and design difference, the Senreve is more structured and square-like while the Celine had a material that was softer and thinner, shape was also not quite as square. I want to say the grained finish is similar but since I don’t have the Celine anymore I can’t do a side by side. If I still end up buying the Nano or Micro I can do a comparison if you’re interested.
A few other notes and thoughts. A lot of you want to know about color transfer. Living in Florida the weather is HOT! I can count the number of times I’ve worn dark jeans and pants on one hand this year. Most of my denim has been washed several times over so I have not experienced any staining or color transfer even though Sand is on the lighter side. That being said I have not tested it against brand new dark denim.
On shape/structure with other bags, if you add product inside it can be prone to sagging a little. The Senreve has enough structure and stitching to keep its shape. No sagging with this one! At least not yet.
I hope you found this review helpful! I’ve really been enjoying the Senreve Mini Maestra. Even Andrew approves and he doesn’t always like my taste in handbags (he did not like the way the Celine looked on me because of the size, but that did not stop me from loving them, lol). If you’ve been wondering about these bags but aren’t able to see in person I hope this gives you a good idea of size, shape, how to wear etc. The quality is really really well made. Let me know if you have any questions!
You can find these available online at Senreve. There are so many colors to choose from!
Many thanks to Senreve for sending a bag for review.