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Holiday Gift Guide On My Radar

Merit Le Gloss Set for Holiday 2023 + Everything I’ve Tried From the Line

November 9, 2023

Merit Beauty Review

Merit launched a limited-edition set for holiday called the Le Gloss Holiday Essentials Set ($80). It looked like a beautiful set with effortless kind of essentials for an easy glowing look so I ordered it immediately and I think it’s beautiful.

A number of you have messaged me over the years singing praises of the line. I don’t think I’ve ever done a full roundup review of the brand so today I’m giving you a closer look at the holiday set along with thoughts on everything I’ve tried.

Le Gloss Set

Merit Le Gloss Set Holiday 2023

The Le Gloss Set has five products with a mix of full-size items and minis (it’s exclusive to Everything in the set is new to me and I thought it would be a nice way to sample some of their classics. In the set you’ll find:

  • Great Skin Instant Glow Serum (mini) is something I have not yet had a chance to try yet as I’m in the process of testing other skincare right now but I’ve heard great things about it.
  • Clean Lash Lengthening Tubing Mascara (mini) offers a nice lengthened and defined look and I plan on ordering the full size.
  • Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade in Neutral is exclusive to the set, it goes on clear and I really like how it grooms the brows. I’m now intrigued and want to try one of the tinted options.
  • Signature Lip Sheer Lip Liner in Bespoke is a new product exclusive to this set. It has a really interesting formula to me. It’s sheer and glossy but still offers a minimalist hint of definition and color. On me it’s almost a taupe brownish shade with a tiny hint of pink.
  • Solo Shadow Sheen Eye Color in Glace is exclusive to the set. This is the star product of the set in my opinion and I really hope they make this shade and formula permanent. It has a little bit more slip than the Solo Eyeshadow Mattes so the Sheen formula is easier to blend. It still sets very quickly so blending or patting on fast is still essential. The color is hard to detect on camera but in real life it gives you a really pretty wash of color. That being said if you have dry lids I think this could possibly emphasize fine lines.

Merit Le Gloss Set Holiday 2023 - MINIS

Merit Le Gloss Set Holiday 2023 - Solo Sheen Shadow Glace

Merit Le Gloss Set Holiday 2023 - Sheer Lip Liner Bespoke

Merit Le Gloss Set Holiday 2023 - Sheer Lip Liner Bespoke

Merit Le Gloss Set Look

Look wearing:

By now I’ve played around with quite a few things from Merit. I know many of you are die-hard fans. Not everything has worked for me although I think there are solid staples for the minimalist who wants a no-fuss beauty routine.. Here are some quick thoughts on what I have tried. I’ve ordered most everything from Sephora although you can also order from the Merit website.

The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick ($38) is a twist-up style concealer + foundation in one. I like the concept and the portability. It offers medium coverage. For foundation I think it’s a little too pigmented and thick to wear all over, but it seems to be designed as more of a touch up product. I wear either Sand or Camel – the color matches are very good for me. I think this is a solid product but I don’t find myself reaching for it often.

Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

Flush Balm Cream Blushes ($30 each for the full size, also available in limited-edition minis) are the blushes that seem to be most loved by readers. Unfortunately I found them too dewy for my skin type and most of the colors I tried do not show up very well on my skin tone. The darker ones do give a nice soft flush of color with a stain so those show up, but the neutrals and baby pink tones disappear on my skin once blended out. Lasting power is absolutely non-existent on my skin type.

Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush

Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush swatches

Solo Shadow Cream-to-Powder Soft Matte Eyeshadow ($24) are pure love for me, although I will say that I’ve only tried the lighter shades. I love the tones, lasting power and the way they look as a subtle contour. It makes you look a little more polished without a lot of work. Feedback from many of you is split – those who did not like these found them too matte and dry and difficult to blend/work with. I do agree they are very matte and they set fast so blending quickly is KEY! The Brush No. 2 that was created for this formula is pretty good.

Merit Solo Shadow Cream to Powder Soft Matte Eyeshadows

Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick ($26) is another super popular product that did not work for me. I will say I think the colors are beautiful, but I did not like the pigment (too sheer) and the texture was off.  These had good smooth coverage and natural looking color payoff, but the texture felt thick and waxy. It did not feel comfortable on my lips, almost had a drying feel and I had to wipe them off immediately.

Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick

Shade Slick Gelée Sheer Tinted Lip Oil ($24) is pure love for me. They’re sheer thin tinted oils which I find unique for an oil formula because they really don’t have an oil-like feel at all. They’re almost like a water tint – sheer put enough color to tint the lips in a really pretty flattering way. Unfortunately lasting power isn’t really there but I like how the look and feel enough to not really mind re-applying.

Merit Shade Slick Gelée Sheer Tinted Lip Oil

Overall some beautiful things for a natural fuss-free look. I am all about a natural makeup look but I didn’t really find any product from the line that stands out as an absolute must-have. I gravitate more towards Westman Atelier for natural looking makeup with sheer color payoff. That being said I’ve had fun testing and playing with the products I have picked up at Sephora. I think it’s nice when a makeup line is very edited and streamlined. Makes it a little easier to explore!

Shop the Post

That wraps up my Merit roundup! Have you tried anything from the line? What did you think?

On My Radar

On My Radar / Wishlist

April 22, 2020

On My Radar New Diptyque, Tom Ford and Sephora additions

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / sixteen / seventeen

I haven’t done one of these on my radar/wishlist posts in a while and thought it would be fun to put together one today. There are a few really cool launches I wanted to alert you to so you don’t miss out.

Tom Ford Soleil launched an edited collection this year with new Face and Body Illuminators in three shades (1), a new Glow Tinted Moisturizer (2) and new colors of the Ultra Shine Lipstick (3). I’m still debating what to order as everything is still online only/buying sight unseen. In case you missed out on last year’s Soleil Neige Glow Drops they’re currently on sale at Sephora for $35.

Diptyque launched a special Coloring Spring collection (4) with five of their candles in bright colored glass jars. I think they’re so beautiful! They are available individually, limited-edition and available until they sell out. I placed an order and can’t wait to add them to my home.

Westman Atelier added a new shade of highlighter called Peau de Rose (5). It’s a stunning pearly pink and I can’t wait to put it on my face. I have it sitting on my shelf waiting to be tested!

The mirror everyone keeps asking about from Instagram + stories is from Target (6). I think it’s well made and very sturdy. Highly recommend it! There are so many cute affordable home decor items at Target. I am considering some of their vanity makeup organizers too (7).

There are some new launches at Sephora I have my eye on. Gucci Makeup launched new Brow Pencils (8). Givenchy launched a new Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm (15). Overose is now available at Sephora too (9)!

As much as I love candles I keep getting asked about diffusers. Vitruvi (10) is popping up on my Instagram feed all over the place. I like the look of their stone diffusers and think I may order one as there are also a few colors available at Sephora. Also available at many other retailers.

There are so many new bases out this season. I am going to have a review of the Armani Luminous Silk line shortly (it’s so good). I just started testing the Neo Nude Foundation (14). I ordered my regular shade 6.5 and so far it’s wearing really nicely! Full review soon.

Instagram influenced me to buy Necessaire body care and it 100% lives up to the hype. We’ve been loving the Fragrance-Free Body Lotion (11) and Body Wash (12). I ordered some more to try and am hooked!

I saw a few people using the Hourglass Vanish Concealer Brush (13) on YouTube and they made it look so perfect. I have it in my cart right now. If you’ve tried it let me know your thoughts.

For the home I am the biggest lover of APL Techloom Slides. I need them in the new Faded Peach color (16). I’m also looking for a new yoga mat. I have and love our Manduka ones but want something with more cushion. The ones from Lululemon (17) might fit my needs. If you have any favorites let me know!

What’s on your radar this week? I’m still trying to narrow my haul picks for the Sephora sale. I have so many things on the wishlist for the home. It’s been a while since I baked sweets so I ordered a new hand mixer to try out some new recipes. Would love to hear about any good home buys you’ve found recently!

On My Radar

Summer Wishlist / On My Radar

July 8, 2019

Summer Wishlist On My Radar

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / sixteen / seventeen

I hope you had a lovely weekend! If you’re in the US I hope you had a great 4th of July. We spent our fourth at home by the pool and also on the beach in St. Pete and think it’s been our best one yet! I have lots to share with you including some haul picks, new Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 and more. In the meantime here are a few things that have been on my radar / wishlist.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts this week for cardholders and I’ll have a full haul post with swatches of the beauty exclusives as soon as I can. Above I’ve included a sneak peek! Note that the product pages won’t be shopable quite yet but you will still be able to see the pages/details. Nordstrom will open up items for purchase to cardmembers online starting the 12th. Above includes the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Trio (3), Charlotte Tilbury Mini Eye Palette (10), Dior Addicted to Glow Lip Set (9), Jo Malone Miniature Fragrance and Body Set (6), NARS Hot Tropic Lip Gloss Set (15), NARS Mini Afterglow Lip Balm Duo (16). I put together more sneak peeks on this page here.

In the perfume world Diptyque re-launched some of their top selling scents in travel sizes! If you’re a long time Diptyque fan you may remember they had a few in minis many years ago. They’ve brought back five, my favorite is Eau de Sens (1) for summer. Byredo has some new combinations of the travel trio sizes and La Selection Boisee (8) has Black Saffron, Mojave Ghost and Super Cedar which are all the ones I want right now.

For body and skin, I fell head over heels in love with the Ouai After Sun Body Soother (2) because it has a cooling sensation on the skin. I gave this to my sister-in-law who was visiting last week and got a serious sun burn from the Florida sun. I’ve ordered a few more for us to keep in stock at home. I noticed a new philosophy Amazing Grace in Magnolia (7) pop up online, as a fan of the original, I think I need to try this one too! I love micellar cleansers and the new Omorovicza Peachy Micellar Cleanser (11) looks super interesting to me.

I’ve been using my mini Tory Burch Perry Mini every day since I got it (review here). I’m contemplating a second color. There’s a cute New Cream (4)  ivory color, on the Tory Burch website they have a new online exclusive shade called Perfect Sand (5). I’ve been holding out to see what Nordstrom will have on sale as they usually have super cute styles.

For summer I’m into the tan and neutral colors, I’ve been eyeing these sandals (13), sunnies (12) and have also been trying to track down the L’Oreal Summer Belle Bronzers (14).

Last but not least, one of my favorite brands for clear travel cases Truffle launched new colors of their Jetset Clarity Case (17) and Jumbo Jetset. There’s a new blush color I think is so cute! Review of the black ones here.



What’s on your radar this week?


On My Radar

Spring Wishlist / On My Radar

February 25, 2019

Spring Wishlist

No. 1 Light denim jacket / No. 2 Boxy knit sweater / No. 3 Classic tote / No. 4 Nude sunglasses / No. 5 Mini crossbody zip bag / No. 6 New eyeshadow palette / No. 7 Fancy sunscreen drops / No. 8 Tan slides / No. 9 Dainty gold bracelet / No. 10 Peachy bronze nude eyeshadow / No. 11 Pale coral shimmer polish / No. 12 New Rouge Coco Flash / No. 13 Dainty gold necklace / No. 14 Newest Laura Mercier Foundation / No. 15 Zip clutch / No. 16 Gold hoops / No. 17 Milky orange coral gloss / No. 18 Nude lip / No. 19 Hair mask in new packaging

Happy Monday – the weather has started to warm up here in Florida and it finally feels like spring is coming! Rounding up some things on my radar right now for spring. I’ve already bought a few of the items and started testing them out. A few thoughts and notes.

I’ve been obsessed with the Madewell Denim Jackets for the perfect fit and classic style. I’ve been on the hunt for a lighter color wash and they just launched a Boxy Crop version in a light wash that I just ordered. I also am thinking about ordering the Everlane Denim Jacket because I’m obsessed with everything I’ve bought from them so far.

For tops I’m still really into chunky or lightweight knits for layering. The weather can be unpredictable and also indoors they always blast the AC in stores, restaurants and pretty much any building to the point it feels like an icebox so I always bring something to layer. I love the look of the H&M Knit Sweaters. I also have and love Anthropologie Cloudfleece Tops because they’re loose fitting and hang perfectly.

For totes and bags, I’ve been on the hunt for minimalist options. I want a solid colored leather tote and the Everlane Square Tote looks like it might be small enough for my frame. I did try on the Tory Burch Perry Tote in store and it’s SO beautiful, I’m hoping to find a more affordable alternative but it’s so well made and the material is gorgeous (a couple colors on sale at Shopbop through March 2). My favorite Tory Burch crossbody the Marsden Wallet on Chain is back in stock (I bought it last summer, also compared to a few other bags here) and is now available in a pretty white color. As much as I love flat zip pouches, sometimes I want a little more room. Cuyana has a cute pouch called the Work Clutch which seems to be the perfect in between solution of a flat zip pouch and clutch.

For makeup I’m working my way through some new product launches. I’ve been using the NARS Lipgloss in Outrage more and think it might be a favorite for this upcoming season (swatches here). I received a cute press kit of the new Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation but the shades didn’t match. I stopped by the store over the weekend and found my perfect match in Latte and bought it. It has such a beautiful finish, full review soon.

Chanel launched an entire line of new lipsticks called Rouge Coco Flash which I think is replacing the Rouge Coco Shine. I took a quick peek over the weekend but didn’t buy any. I’m thinking a good place to start for me is with their pink neutral shade in Boy. I also have the Pierres de Lumiere Collection on my radar but decided to order the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette instead (launches at Sephora on 2/27).

One more quick note is that a large number of you have been asking for an updated sunscreen post. I did one a couple years ago but am working on a new one. We just bought the Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops with SPF 50 to try out. Andrew said he was impressed after 1 try at the beach. It didn’t clog pores, didn’t feel greasy or oily, prevented the burn and by the end of the day it didn’t feel thick or oily. We will keep you posted!



What’s on your spring wishlist right now?

On My Radar

Summer Wishlist

June 26, 2018

Summer Wishlist | The Beauty Look Book

Rounding up some things on my summer beauty and accessory wishlist! I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect beach tote and am still on the hunt for one, if you know of any favorites let me know in the comments! Some other things on my radar recently:

  1. Byredo Triple Gagnant Bois Hair Perfume Set ($120) – mini hair perfume trio perfect for travel and this comes in two options! Bois has Bal D’Afrique, Gypsy Water and Mojave Ghost. There is also a Fleurs version which has three different scents.
  2. Chanel La Base Mascara ($32) – part of the New Eye Makeup Collection, I’m not sure if this is a reformulated version of their mascara base or a repromote but I’ve ordered it to test!
  3. Chanel Longwear Eyeshadow Primer ($32) – Also part of the eye makeup collection, have ordered to test, will review once I’ve received and tried it!
  4. Madewell Tie Front Keyhole Camisole ($58) – I’ve been loving all things Madewell lately, I already own this top and love it, I also want it in black and pretty much everything else they have right now.
  5. STS Blue Distressed Boyfriend Denim Shorts ($39) – Probably my favorite brand for affordable denim shorts, I bought so many last year and this year I love the distressed versions. I pretty much live in shorts here in Florida so I’m stocking up! I also love these from 7ForAllMankind but they’re a lot pricier.
  6. J.Crew Circle Straw Crossbody Bag ($128) – This is the year of the straw bags! I see them everywhere and love the way they look. I already own this in the light color, contemplating the dark option for something different!
  7. Tory Burch Sienna Strappy Sandals ($158) – I already own the other two colors in White and Multi-Color and I really love them, these are a nice alternative to my go-to Miller Flip Flops, her sandals are expensive but the quality is so good, mine have lasted for ages and still look nice.
  8. Rodin Olio Lusso Mermaid Luxury Illuminating Liquid ($50) – This looks like the prettiest shade of tan illuminator! I’m trying to wait to see more swatches online as I suspect it could be too light for my summer tan.
  9. La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion ($260) – This has been on my radar for months, it sounds perfect for Florida weather but I’m trying to use up some other things before buying this. I do think Andrew would use it regularly though, he loves their Moisturizing Soft Lotion more than I do.
  10. Chanel Paris-Deauville Eau de Toilette ($130) – One of three new scents that launched from Chanel. I promised myself not to buy perfume without testing it first, but I have this on my list for the next time I’m in a city that has a free-standing Chanel boutique.
  11. Tory Burch Miller Canvas Tote ($348) – I love all things Tory Burch and love the simple look of this one! I’m desperately trying to find a cheaper alternative.
  12. Le Specs Bandwagon Sunglasses ($59) – Obsessed with colored sunglasses! These look promising, especially for the price.
  13. Replica Beach Walk Dry Body Oil ($60) – I bought this last year and love the way it smells. I want to buy another bottle, I especially loved that it comes with a spritzer. The only downside is that it’s not travel or purse friendly.
  14. Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Pink Lipstick Set – This is not officially out yet but will launch during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale next month with three new colors! The sale catalog has finally been launched online – sale details, dates, beauty exclusives preview and what’s on my radar in my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 page here.
  15. Chantecaille Sirena Bronzer and Highlighter ($78) – This has mixed reviews but I can’t get over how pretty the embossed pattern looks! I’m going to have to investigate. Texture looks interesting for summer.

What’s on your summer radar or wishlist right now? I’m also doing a blog giveaway today (and stay tuned for another fun one at the end of the week as well). Two people will be selected to win a $100 eGift Card to Nordstrom. Enter by completing at least one of the tasks via the Rafflecopter widget below. Ends 6/29/2018 11:45 PM EST. I’ll pick the winners within 48 hours after giveaway ends and e-mail them. Selected winners must respond to e-mail within 48 hours after I contact them or another winner will be selected in their place. Open internationally, but you must be 18 years or older. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On My Radar

On My Radar / New in Beauty

January 4, 2018

New Spring Beauty Launches 2018

Spring launches are trickling in and I’m so excited to see what will be launching in the next few weeks! A few new spring items that have caught my eye – highlighters still make my heart sing. I will have reviews of everything in this roundup in the upcoming weeks.

What’s on your radar this new year?


On My Radar

On My Radar

October 2, 2017

On My Radar October Beauty New Launches | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday everyone! I’ve been a bit MIA as we are moving and we had a few last minute changes in our plans for this month. Thanks to everyone who has sent their kind thoughts and wishes – we are all well and good in Florida and thankfully there was no damage to the area we lived and the neighborhood my in-laws house is ok as well. We are in a transition phase but I hope to have the Tom Ford Lips and Girls review, new post on By Terry launches and the full living in Florida recap this week. A lot of you messaged me asking if I was planning on reviewing the Diptyque City Exclusives – I was able to order four of the cities, but many of them sold out the day they launched online (I’m missing Shanghai and New York). I’ll try to review the ones I do have soon though. A few things have popped up on my beauty radar:

  • Mansur Gavriel has been on my radar for a long time, I’ve been waiting to go to NY to see the new colors and all the sizes at their pop-up store in person, but my trips keep getting postponed! I’m 5’3″ so I love that they have minis and mini-mini sizes, I’ve been so tempted to just order one online from Net-A-Porter but have decided to wait and see them in person – if you have any of their bags let me know your thoughts!
  • Tom Ford launched new shades of Lip Color and Lip Color Matte, had I known these were coming I would have skipped some of the Lips and Girls Lip Sheers and opted to purchase these instead, I haven’t seen the colors in person yet though
  • Chanel La Creme Main is one of the most interesting packages I’ve seen for a hand cream, I received a sample of this but I’m living out of a suitcase this week so review will happen in the next week or so, I’m anxious to see how it performs!
  • Byredo Velvet Haze is one of the latest from Byredo, I sampled a mini from the September Barneys Beauty Bag Event and love the warm fall vibe it has, it’s still hot as heck here in Florida but we are hoping to do some travel in the next couple of months and it’s definitely on my wishlist
  • Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds has been my go-to the past month, I bought a mini size while I was in San Francisco and wish I had just bought the larger size, it’s the perfect summer to fall transition fragrance and I need to buy another one soon
  • By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powders are some of the prettiest face powders I’ve ever tried, they’re designed to mattify, highlight and set all over – but since these have colors that look like both blush, highlight or bronzer I don’t see how they’ll really work as a setting powder, I purchased all the shades and will review soon – they look lovely on the cheeks or as a soft contour/highlight
  • Bobbi Brown launches her beautiful Beauty Cases each year, this year’s color is a pretty red, she also has a bigger Deluxe Beauty Trunk available but I haven’t seen any inside photos of this year’s version
  • Truffle has some new launches including a Clarity Jetset Case and Clarity Pouches with a wider base, they look promising for travel!
  • Laura Mercier Matte Caviar Stick Eye Colors are among the best soft matte cream shadows I’ve tried, I’ve only tried a couple shades so far in Au Naturel, Caramel and Blossom which are pretty darn good, I have a few others I haven’t gotten to yet but if you’re one who prefers minis some holiday sets have just launched including this 4-piece Mod to Modern Holiday Caviar Stick Set (also available at Sephora)
  • Barneys New York Blow Out in a Box looks like a killer gift set, it has four full-size items from Oribe, Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Rodin and Sachajuan at a value price, this For the Jet Set Box is an even better buy (for the value)

What’s been on your radar lately? I feel like we just started seeing fall beauty collections and this weekend I’ve already started seeing holiday sets out!