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Skincare

Fall Skincare Routine + New Tries

October 7, 2020

Fall Skincare Routine | Sabrina The Beauty Look Book

I have an updated fall skincare routine with a full breakdown of what I’ve been using and used up over the past few months! The weather turned here for a few short days and I almost thought we were going to have colder cooler weather but then it popped back up to the high 80s! The weather still has shifted for fall so I’ve changed up some of my moisturizers and serums. This is what I’ve been loving lately by category.

Cleansers

Best Cleansers and Makeup Removers Kate Somerville, First Aid Beauty, Bobbi Brown

I’ve been a bit obsessive with cleaning my skin multiple times a day. I always cleanse in the morning. Right before a workout and right after a workout. And then in the evening before I go to sleep.

  • Tatcha Rice Wash is a newer gentle exfoliating cream cleanser. There are tiny rice powder particles that I feel are gentle enough that I don’t feel any grit on the skin. It’s creamy when you add water and is good for normal to dry skin. (Also available in this mini duo.)
  • Kate Somerville Cleansers – all Kate Somerville cleansers in general are well loved in our home, I’ve tried all of them and always have a backup stash, for family who visit and have skin issues, I always recommend and gift them one of these when they shop/raid my beauty closet!
    • Eradikate is the best to deal with acne issues, it’s the one that has effectively prevented maskne by cleaning out the pores and any clogged areas, the 3% sulfur + oat extract helps absorb excess oil. I can rarely use anti-acne skincare because it’s often too drying or harsh and ends up stripping my skin. The entire Eradikate line is one of the few I can use that does not irritate my skin.
    • Exfolikate is best for normal to oily skin. This one has exfoliating ingredients including glycolic and lactic acid to help resurface the skin and fruit enzymes that also help with natural exfoliation. It’s not harsh even though it’s an “exfoliating cleanser”.
    • Delikate Cleanser* is the best calming cleanser I’ve tried. I will often use this in the morning and then one of her other cleansers at night.
  • First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser is a great everyday cleanser that is gentle but effective. It has a creamy almost foaming texture when you add water. Andrew loves this, my brother loves this, I love it too. I think it’s reasonably priced!
  • Sisley Triple Oil Balm Makeup Remover and Cleanser* – best makeup remover balm-oil in one, gentle and non-stripping (tied with the Farmacy Green Clean for a more budget friendly option and one that is just as good).
  • Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover – best eye makeup remover, takes of my liner and mascara!
  • Good Molecules Facial Cleansing Mitt – I almost always use a washcloth to wash my face, but I often ruin them with makeup or mascara remnants. I ordered a few of these face mitts to use just for when I have makeup to remove or wash off and they’re small but really nice! I want to look into other brands of reusable washable cleansing cloths like this. I bought a pack of three and really like them.

Toners

Best Toners for Sensitive Skin, La Mer, Sisley and Farmacy

The top three toners I have in rotation:

  • La Mer The Tonic – this is another formula I’ve used for years that is a great no-fuss refreshing kind of toner to balance and purify the skin. (La Mer’s website also has this in a smaller travel size version.)
  • Sisley Floral Toning Lotion – this is one I’ve written about so many times. It’s alcohol free, gentle, hydrating and refreshes the skin beautifully. It’s very expensive but 100% the splurge (I have bought several bottles of this to replenish my skincare cabinet).
  • Farmacy Clean Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner – I’ve been using this on and off for a few weeks now and really like it! I find most toners with any kind of acid either are too strong or too sticky. This is one of the few I’ve tried that doesn’t turn my skin beet red or sting. I feel it’s gentle enough for my skin to not have any tingle but still effective enough to clean out my pores. (I tried the Paula’s Choice BHA toner and my face felt like it was on fire! It turned horribly red and irritated for a solid week before it finally calmed down.)

Skincare Makeup removers and Cleansers

Serum Moisturizers

Fall Skincare Routine Moisturizer and Serums

I’ve tried to improve my serum and moisturizer routine as the weather turns. I’ve included a few new items I’ve added to my routine and also wanted to mention a few Andrew uses.

  • Sisley Pure Bright Activating Serum* – this is Andrew’s favorite brightening serum. He has permanently “borrowed” this from my beauty cabinet and uses it religiously (LOL!). For his skin he’s struggled with darker sun spots on his cheek bones since we moved to Florida. This is the only product that he finds that works to brighten dark spots over time. He like that it feels lightweight, it’s simple to use and it works.
  • Sisley Hydra-Global Hydration Booster Serum* and Gel Cream Moisturizer* – the Sisley Hydra-Global line is a great one for normal to dry skin. Andrew uses these on whenever he feels dry and likes that they’re both hydrating without that greasy overly heavy feel.
  • La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift* – this is the newest serum I’ve tried and it BLEW MY MIND. It’s a lifting and firming serum with two chambers. One has a milky emulsion serum and the other has encapsulated caviar beads. To activate the serum there is a pump to mix the products together for a beautiful smoothing serum. Skin is left firm and smoother and softer. I’ve just ordered a few more La Prairie items I’ve had on my wishlist from the line and cannot wait to try them.
  • Kate Somerville Delikate Recovery Serum* and Recovery Cream* – this has been my most frequently used duo all through summer and now in the fall. It’s a great everyday calming duo that smooths the skin. I initially used it on only dry-skin days but have found it’s really versatile for me. Sometimes I will skip the serum and only use the cream.
  • Kate Somerville Peptide K8 Power Cream* – this is my second most-used moisturizer. I feel like everything Kate Somerville just works without any extra effort of fuss.
  • Kate Somerville Dilo Age-Defying Oil* – I started incorporating a few oils into my routine and have used this one again every other night. It’s my favorite!
  • Chantecaille Rose de Mail Face Oil* – This is a new to me oil which is designed to soften fine lines and brighten the skin. It has a floral rose scent but compared to other rose oils I’ve tried it has a more botanical vibe rather than straight up rose. It feels a little thicker in texture while other oils I’ve tried are more fluid but it absorbs into the skin beautifully. I just started using this so I can’t really report on the effects yet, but it’s like a veil of protective moisture.
  • Sisley Black Rose Eye Contour Fluid – this has been my go-to eye treatment for a few months. I loved it for its lightweight feel and the applicator has a beautiful cooling sensation which helps with puffiness in the mornings. It’s nearly used up and I will be trying a different eye cream soon!
  • For my night time treatment, I’ll use the Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel 2-3x per week to help with gentle resurfacing and smoothing.

Masks/Treatments

Best Sheet Masks and Hydrating Masks

My masks have been the same for months now. I’m really interested in trying new formulas but for now have stuck with what works. For hydration I alternate between the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask (lush and thick) and the By Terry Baume de Rose Le Mask* (love how this bubbles/foams, will 100% repurchase). For a sheet mask my latest love is the La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Sheet Mask. It leaves the skin feeling soft and refreshed.

For acne issues or pore clearing my Glamglow Supermud has been my go-to – I only use this when I feel like my skin needs a pore clean out.

For eye masks my go-to is still the 111Skin Sub Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask or the 111Skin Rose Gold Illuminting Eye Mask. I prefer the depuffing version. Also thanks to the recommendation of many of you I ordered a box of the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Masks and am OBSESSED! I love how these masks hydrate and brighten. I read you can use them on smile lines but haven’t tried it there yet – I may put a few on my forehead area to try.

For acne I’ve finally gotten any spot acne under my chin under control. I think the influx in stress and hormonal issues caused skin issues for me earlier this year. For the occasional pimple I still rely on Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment (Andrew uses this religiously and has me buy him multiple tubes at a time) and the Kate Somerville Eradikate Acne Treatment.

Tools

Mount Lai Gua Sha and LeMieux

I’ve been neglecting almost all of my beauty tools except for a couple things. I really still like the Le Mieux Skin Perfector* which I’ve had for many many years! It’s a great gentle pore cleaner that has tiny pulses from ultrasonic waves. There are different variations and models out there from other brands but this is one that has worked for me for years so I’ve stuck with it. I have also been really liking the Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool in the Jade or Rose Quartz options. They both really has helped improve my circulation and radiance of the skin.

That wraps up my current fall skincare routine! As always I’d love to hear about what you’ve been loving lately! Let me know in the comments! I love getting ideas from you to see what you’re using and loving.

 

 

Press samples indicated with a *. All others purchased by me.

 

Skincare

Summer Skincare Routine + Testing

June 29, 2020

Summer Skincare Routine | The Beauty Look Book

I have an updated skincare routine and testing roundup today! Summer is here so I’ve changed some things in my daily and weekly routine. This year has been a challenging one for all of us. For me added stress, hormonal changes and wearing face masks has definitely taken its toll on my skin. In May my face had a total freak out – I was breaking out in places I’ve never had issues with, I had texture issues + redness and increased sensitivity. Part of the reason why I haven’t been posting as many makeup reviews lately is that I’ve been trying to let my skin breathe and recover – thank goodness by now it has!

For some background on my skin type. I have normal combination skin. I do feel I run on the sensitive side although I can handle some acid treatments in moderation. My main skin concerns are keeping a smooth skin texture, depuffing the eye area in mornings and anti-aging. This year I turned 39 and fine lines have kept creeping into my forehead. I have not had Botox although I’ve talked about wanting to try it for a couple years now. I’m deathly afraid of needles and a few of you have emailed me and assured me it’s quite tolerable. I’ve never had bad acne issues until this year with some hormonal issues which caused bad painful breakouts around the chin although this could have also been due to wearing a face mask. I’ve since gotten it under control.

Many of these things you’ve seen on the blog before – I have a lot of tried-and-true products. There are some new items I’ve incorporated and tested. I’ve split everything by category and given my thoughts for the new items I’ve tried. For example, I think some are better for dry skin vs. oily skin so I’ve put notes below on each product I’ve tested.

Summer Skincare Favorites Sisley, Kate Somerville, Fresh, Sunday Riley

Makeup Removers + Cleansers

Out of all the skincare categories I go through cleansers and makeup removers the most. I love testing different formulas but I typically use only 2-3 at any given time.

Best Makeup Removers and Face Cleansers

For makeup removal I almost always remove eye makeup separately from the rest of my face. I find long-wear mascara and liners are easiest to remove when soaked with a pad or bi-phase remover first. My top 2 are Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover and Almay Longwear Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Both have an oil in the formula but do not sting my sensitive eyes.

These days I’m all about solid balm cleansers to remove makeup and my go-to is the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm. It’s one of the few that will rinse off completely and does not leave a greasy film on the skin. Another good option is the Sisley Radiance Foaming Cream*. It’s an effective one-step cleanser that removes makeup but won’t strip the skin. They just added two more items to this line and I just tried their new Triple-Oil Balm Makeup Remover* and it is quite amazing! It has Babassu, Shea and Macadamia oils, melts into the skin and rinses off nicely.

For a traditional rinse-off cleansers:

My latest try is the new Kate Somerville DeliKate* line which I think is phenomenal. I’ve been using the DeliKate Soothing Cleanser in the morning or before bed and it really works to calm stressed out skin. It’s a cream formula and super gentle. The Kate Somerville team has offered my readers a special offer, if you order from their website, use code SABRINA20 at checkout to save 20% off sitewide now through 9/30.

Regular exfoliation is essential but I try to do this in moderation with scrubs. The best daily gentle scrub I’ve tried is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish because it melts into the skin and isn’t harsh or too gritty (also available in a mini if you want to try it out first).

Toner

Favorite Alcohol-Free Toners

My go-to toner is the Sisley Botanical Floral Toning Lotion. It’s alcohol free and leaves the skin fresh and soft. I have also used and really enjoyed the Revive Balancing Toner for another soothing option. Other formulas I’ve tried include the Eve Lom Rescue Toner* which I think is a nice gentle option and La Mer Tonic. My favorite out of all of these is the Sisley formula.

Moisturizers

Favorite Moisturizers and Eye Treatments

My favorite daily moisturizer has probably been the Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Cream but I’ve used it up and decided to try something new. The Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Serum* and Recovery Cream* are really nice for normal to dry skin and work to reduce redness and soothe the skin. I’ve been using this on dry skin days or at night and it really does work to soften and help redness. For daytime my latest obsession has been the Kate Somerville Peptide K8 Power Cream*. It’s a great smoothing moisturizer that blends in nicely and has really helped even out tone after regular use.

I’m not the most diligent when it comes to using eye creams and after trying so many I still haven’t found THE one. I don’t have eye wrinkles yet and my main concerns are with puffiness. Three I have tried recently include the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream (nice lightweight hydrating option), Chanel Le Lift (does noticeably help with lifting) and the Sisley Black Rose Eye Contour Fluid. Quick note that I don’t look for super rich or thick eye creams this time of year. I only need a light amount of moisture and these 3 all were light enough to work for me. Out of these three the one I like the best is the Sisley option. It was quite the splurge but I like the cooling applicator which helps depuff and makes application a fun process. The formula works nicely to smooth and hydrate the skin.

Sisley Black Rose Eye Contour Fluid

Hydrating Masks

Best Hydrating Face Masks Sisley, By Terry and Fresh

For hydrating masks I really like formulas with rose for their soothing, calming and gentle plumping properties. The Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask is the best splurge to hydrate and plump. For a more budget friendly option the Fresh Rose Face Mask is a beautiful calming one that leaves the skin feeling super fresh. The newest one I’ve tried is the By Terry Baume de Rose Glowing Rose Mask* which is a brightening and clarifying option. It bubbles on the skin and when rinsed off leaves the skin supple and smooth.

The 111Skin Eye Masks are the ultimate indulgence for me. I love the Sub Zero De-Puffing Eye Masks in the mornings to help cool and depuff. The Rose Gold ones are nice for brightening and soothing.

Retexurizers + Acne Treatment

Best Acid Treatments and Acne Spot Treatments

Since I live in sunny Florida I cannot avoid sun exposure so I try to keep acid treatments and retexturizing treatments to a minimum. They are essential to help get rid of dead skin and keep pores clean. Your mileage will vary depending on skin type and tolerance to acid treatments.

The best exfoliating treatments that are like leave on masks are the Drunk Elephant TLC Baby Facial and Kate Somerville ExfoliKate. I use as needed 1x a week or every other week.

For acne or clogged pores treatment depends one what kind of acne you have. Most of the time I find the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment with salicylic acid works best for blackheads and whiteheads. It helps reduce inflammation and exfoliates the dead skin to unclog the pores. Another good mask to help clear out pores is the Glamglow Supermud Charcoal Mask. Sometimes I will only use it on the T-zone or chin area where I have clogging.

My favorite night time treatments have been the Sunday Riley Good Genes, an effective lactic acid treatment, best for removing top layer of dead skin or the Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel, the only Retinol Glycolic treatment my skin has been able to tolerate, best to stimulate collagen and cell turnover. I don’t use these at the same time as I either use lactic acid or retinol. I’m currently using the one from Kate Somerville and only use it 1-2x per week.

An interesting peel product I’ve tried is the Saturday Skin Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel. It has fruit enzymes and exfoliates the skin in a peel gel. You leave it on the skin for a few minutes so it dissolves dead skin. It’s very mild and gentle so it’s not harsh. It does contain alcohol denat though so if that is irritating to your skin you may want to pass.

Sunscreen

Supergoop! Unseen Suncreen and Glow Screen

My go-to sunscreens are from Supergoop!. The Unseen Sunscreen with SPF 40 is my go-to choice for everyday. I also really liked their City Sunscreen Serum with SPF 30 but keep forgetting to re-order it.

Skincare Favorites

I know I covered a lot! To help simplify the roundup, here is my current routine and favorites:

Morning Routine

Cleanser: Drunk Elephant Beste or Kate Somerville DeliKate
Toner: Sisley Floral Toner
Moisturizer: Kate Somerville Peptide K8 or Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Cream
Eye Treatment: Sisley Black Rose Fluid
SPF: Supergoop!

Afternoon (pre-workout)

Remove makeup with a balm cleanser: Farmacy Green Clean
Double cleanse with a gel cleanser: Drunk Elephant Beste

Night Time

Eye Makeup Remover: Bobbi Brown most days, if I’m wearing waterproof mascara I’ll use the Almay Pads
Cleansing Balm (if I’m wearing makeup): Farmacy Green Clean
Face Cleanser: depends on how skin feels, most of the time it’s Drunk Elephant or Kate Somerville
Night Toner: Revive Soothing Toner
Night Treatment: Kate Somerville Retasphere Micro Peel (1x per week) on dry skin nights I’ll use a light moisturizer, most of the time I let my skin breathe
Acne Spot Treatments: Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment

As Needed

1x per week or every other week acid, pore cleaning masks
2x per week hydrating masks as skin needs it
2-3x per week eye masks

I hope you found this helpful! Would love to hear what you use right now or if you transition your products as the weather gets warmer! If you’re looking into any of the Kate Somerville products don’t forget to use my code SABRINA20 for 20% off sitewide now through 9/30.

 

Press samples indicated with a *. All others purchased by me.

Lips Skincare

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm

May 14, 2020

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm

Givenchy recently launched their new Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm ($36 each) and I’m completely obsessed! I hauled a few shades from Sephora including 001 Perfect Pink, 30 Vital Glow, 23 Solar Pink, 17 Nude Chill and 14 Nude Soul. These are smooth cushiony tinted liquid balms that have a very smooth feel. The balms have shea butter, cranberry oil and pink pepper extract. They’re not weightless as they are balmy but they feel comfortable on the lips, are nicely hydrating and have a floral fruity sweet smell.

There is a very subtle plumping effect but it seems to be very natural and I didn’t notice any tingle on the skin.

Pigment is sheer-medium on these. It’s natural but color is visible. There’s one color-shifting shade 001 Perfect Pink which is similar in concept to the Dior Addict Lip Glow. The rest are tinted balms that don’t shift in color once applied. I think the Liquid Balm is much better than the original twist up stick Le Rose Perfecto Balms. I reviewed them a little over a year ago and hated them – they applied on me so patchy! These Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balms have much better application with the color payoff.

Colors have names and numbers, on the actual tube label there are just the numbers:

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm review

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm swatches

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001 Perfect Pink

001 Perfect Pink doesn’t always look the same on me. Sometimes the pink is a softer pink, other times it turns into a vibrant flushed pink color. (Also worn here.)

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 001

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 001 Perfect Pink swatch

Beauty breakdown look wearing:

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30 Vital Glow

30 Vital Glow is a soft medium peach-orange cream.

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 30 Vital Glow

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 30 Vital Glow

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23 Solar Pink

23 Solar Pink is a coral pink with a very slight hint of shimmer. On the lips the shimmer isn’t visible.

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 23 Solar Pink

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 23 Solar Pink

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17 Nude Chill

17 Nude Chill is a brown beige nude with a subtle golden shimmer.

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 17 Nude Chill

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 17 Nude Chill swatch

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14 Nude Soul

14 Nude Soul actually looks more like a soft muted rosewood plum rather than a nude.

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 14 Nude Soul

Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm 14 Nude Soul swatch

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Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm

Bottom line love! These make for some really lovely tinted lip balms. They’re the perfect hybrid of a balm and gloss to me. If I had to compare the texture of the Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balms to another product I would say they have a similar feel to the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Gloss, but just not as shiny and slippery feeling. Lasting power is pretty good – I found they stayed put as long as I didn’t touch my lips to any food or drink. Hydration seems to last on the skin even after they’ve faded.

 

 

I bought mine from Sephora. Have you tried these yet? Do you have any favorites from Givenchy Beauty?

 

Haircare Sephora Skincare

Current Favorites for Skin, Body + Hair from Sephora

April 21, 2020

Best Skincare Sephora

By popular request I’m doing another updated roundup for my favorites in skin, body care and hair from Sephora! In putting together my list it I discovered that most of these are tried and true repeats. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to skincare although I love trying new things. I always try to scout out the minis or travel sets to try first. While there are quite a few brands I love that aren’t carried at Sephora (ie Oribe, Chanel, 111skin, etc). Most of what I love can be found at Sephora.

Quick recap on the spring Sephora April sale dates/details (use code SPRINGSAVE):

  • Rouge Members – Save 20% off 4/17 to 05/01
  • VIB Members – Save 15% off 4/21 to 4/29
  • Insider Tier – Save 10% off 4/23 to 4/27

To help give some context on my routine and what I use I have normal/combination skin and in my late 30s. Since moving to Florida I’ve experienced a wider range of climate changes compared to what I experienced in California. The dry season is very dry and then there are humid days where outdoors feels like a wet blanket. And there’s everything n between.

Product rotation and routine changes depending on season and also time of the month as skin oil production changes with climate (ie humidity or lack of) + hormones. I also have different products for morning vs afternoon or evening. Morning routines are pretty much the same. The afternoon/evening routine is different depending on if I have makeup on, if I just worked out, if I just went to the beach and have sunscreen + sweat on etc.

When it comes to finding a good a routine I think it depends on so many factors. If what you’re using works, no need to change it! No need to have a complicated routine but beauty is my job so I don’t mind trying out new launches and products.

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Face Cleansers + Makeup Removers

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Moisturizers + Mists + Essence

Night Treatments

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Scrubs + Exfoliators + Acne

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Hair Care

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Body Care + Fragrance

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Sunscreen

I had such a rough time with sunscreen last year. I really wanted to try a wider range of brands because so many of you asked how it held up in the Florida sunshine. I had so many allergic reactions, I’m scared now to try new brands. My tried and true from Sephora are from Supergoop! and Sol de Janeiro.

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Lip Treatments

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Hope you found this helpful! I’m picking a giveaway winner from my last giveaway today. Also I’ll be hosting another one soon at the end of the week so check back! I’m going to try my best to have the NARS summer picks and Natasha Denona haul swatched before the end of the sale.

Roundup Skincare

Winter Skin Care Loves

January 9, 2020

Winter Skin Care Savers

makeup bag set from Cuyana

It’s our third winter in Florida and I cannot believe how the time has flown! It feels like it was just a short while ago that we were driving across the country to start a new chapter of our lives. Most of the year we find Florida to be sunny and warm but we’ve had a cold winter (it’s been colder than I remember it being in past years) and everything is significantly more dry. My skin has definitely felt it and so I’ve changed up my routine. Here are some things I’ve been loving recently for lips, hands and body to combat the dry weather.

Hydrating Lip Favorites

Favorite Hydrating Lip Essentials NARS, Hourglass, EM Cosmetics, Fresh

I’m still recovering from shock that Bite Beauty discontinued my holy grail lip mask and I know many of you are too. They’ve done some sneak peeks of their brand revamp on social and they’re launching their new Agave+ Intensive Vegan Lip Mask on January 10th at Sephora. I will be ordering it to try out. In the meantime, what I have in rotation now:

  • NARS Afterglow Lip Balms* are my most reached for balms these days. I always keep one in my purse! The original Orgasm shade swatched here. New spring shades swatched here. I’m constantly asked for an alternative to the Dior Addict Lip Glow because they often shift to an unflattering color. The ones from NARS have a more subtle color change and are nicely hydrating. I can wear it to the gym, use it for touch ups or on low-key makeup days.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose (mini size shown which was limited-edition) is the thickest most lush hydrating pot lip balm I’ve tried. It’s also one of the most expensive lip splurges I’ve made and repurchased several times over because I do think it’s 100% worth it. I will need to repurchase the full size very soon as I’ve nearly finished all the minis I’ve kept on hand.
  • EM Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour* is more of a color product rather than skincare, but it’s the most hydrating lipstick I’ve ever tried! It feels lush and hydrating and smooth on the lips and is very comforting. I feel like it is a truly universally flattering color (as described) and it comes in the prettiest peachy pink nude with a lush shine. I hope they will launch this in more colors! Full review + swatches soon.
  • Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil in any of the tinted shades are the best lip oils I’ve tried. There are a number of “oil-infused” launches this spring and I will be doing an updated lip roundup soon. Many of them just don’t hold up to my expectations for hydration. A lot of them will add a nice shine to the lips like a gloss but don’t have the same hydrating properties like a true oil. As expensive as the Hourglass ones are I think they’re among the best. You can see the tinted versions swatched in my last year’s balm hits and misses here.
  • Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment is a balm I always find myself gifting away. I accumulate a lot from GWPs, press samples and various sets so I’m always splitting them up and sending them off to friends, family and readers. I finally decided to keep one and try it for myself and WOW! This is significantly more hydrating than the regular Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments (ones with tint) and I absolutely love it. It’s hydrating, smooth, smells delicious and prevents peeling. Also available in mini size in various sets like this 6-piece Travel Size Set, Travel Duo, On-The-Go Set to name a few.

Body + Hand Care

Winter Skincare Hand and Body Creams

For the body I’ve been loving a few unscented body creams or super light oils. As much as I love a good fragranced body lotion or cream, sometimes I just want something that won’t interfere with my perfume or one I can sleep in easily. Sometimes heavily perfumed face products or body creams prevent me from falling asleep.

Two body creams I’ve been loving are the Necessaire Body Lotion in the Fragrance Free version. I ordered it over the holiday as I’ve seen it everywhere on Instagram and I was influenced to buy it. I really like that it’s hydrating, smooth and has a soft velvety dry down. It absorbs into the skin nicely and doesn’t feel too heavy. I think it’s reasonably priced. (On the nails is the new Chanel Le Vernis in Daydream, review soon.)

I’ve also loved the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Nude Cream which I reviewed last November when it launched (it made my favorites list). It’s now also available at Sephora. I still use it almost every day and love how it’s hydrating, soothing and smooths out the skin. I’m not the biggest fan of the packaging because I find it a little bulky but it’s not a deal breaker and I actually do like the pump. It has a soft velvety dry down so it’s not greasy feeling. I feel like this is like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream in body cream form (many of my friends have told me they’ve used the face cream as body cream).

I also wanted to mention that the Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver is another great unscented body cream that works for my skin. Both Andrew and I really like it.

For body oils the Chanel Gentle Oil for Body and Hair* has been at the top of my list for body oils. It’s lightweight, absorbs beautifully, makes the skin ultra soft and has the most beautiful lightweight fresh scent. If you’re familiar with the Fresh Body Cream version, the oil smells the same.

For hand creams I’ve been reaching for the Chanel La Creme Main Texture Riche and Le Lift the most. Some other of my favorites I’ve had in rotation in my Hand and Nail Care Essentials post.

Skin Care Loves

Winter Skincare Favorites Chanel, Augustinus Bader, Joanna Vargas and Fresh

For skincare my favorite moisturizer is still the Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream* for it’s lightweight texture and beautiful finish. On days I need extra moisture I’ve found myself loving the SkinRX Lab MadeCera Cream* that I got from Soko Glam for an ultra calming and affordable hydrating cream. (Full review here.)

I’ve also really been loving the Augustinus Bader Cream and Rich Cream which I bought in the mini 15 ml sizes directly from their website. The minis run at $85 each but they have a Discovery Duo on their website for $150 for 2 x 15 ml. They also have the 2 x 30 ml for $305 available on their website, Nordstrom, Saks, etc. I’ve been testing the Augustinus Bader Cream, Rich Cream and Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvinating Moisturizing Primer for several weeks now. The Rich Cream is the best for winter or very dry skin. The Cream is my favorite for year round for my skin type. Both of these made my skin look significantly smoother and healthier. I think the Victoria Beckham version is nice for summer but it is the lightest out of the three and didn’t add a significant amount of moisture for my skin.

I will most likely be purchasing the regular Cream in the larger size once I’ve used up the mini.

For a more affordable option that works I’ve also been loving the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream. The rose scent is subtle and isn’t overpowering once it absorbs into the skin. I like that it really is super hydrating without feeling heavy or greasy. It calms my skin on the days it has flare ups from allergic reactions. It soothes when it’s super dry and itchy. I think it’s a nice one to try!

For night time I usually let my skin breathe naturally without product except lip balm or eye cream, but I have started using the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Oil again and love it. It helps balance out the skin overnight and is a great moisturizer that absorbs into the skin. You can also find it in a mini size in their Nourishing Essentials Set that comes with their Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.

For eyes I’ve been rotating between the Tatcha Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream* and the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. Both are super hydrating and have helped smooth out those tiny little lines that creep up when my skin is dry. I alternate between the two for day or night. They are on the rich/heavy side so when the hot humid weather returns to Florida these will most likely only be used at night for me.

For face-mists I’ve been loving the Chanel Sublimage La Brume for extra moisture but with a super fine mist. I feel like a broken record raving about it but I truly love it. I never want to be without it.

For sheet masks my I feel like my favorites will forever be the 111Skin ones. I have tried a few other ones recently (roundup soon) and really love the Joanna Vargas Forever Glow Anti-Aging Face Mask for a hydrating calming one and the Twilight Face Mask for deeper moisture and softening. The Forever Glow feels fresh and hydrating while the Twilight is heavier and makes the skin feel like baby’s skin. She has a Glow to Go Mask Set that has one of every sheet mask formula if you want to try them out before buying a full set.

That wraps up my winter skincare favorites! Would love to hear what yours are right now. I know Florida has a mild winter compared to other places, but it’s still dry and I hope this roundup gives you some ideas on what to try in case you’re looking for extra moisture for your skin.

I have the new Bite Beauty launches on my radar and also really want to try the Drunk Elephant F-Balm Mask. Also in case you missed it last year the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask is finally back!

 

 

Press samples featured have a * next to them.

Chanel Skincare

Chanel Sublimage Skincare – New Additions

December 23, 2019

Chanel Sublimage Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

Chanel has some new additions to their Sublimage Skincare line and after putting them to the test for the past couple of months I have a review to share today. The Chanel Sublimage line has been one of the most luxurious lines I have ever tested. I’ve loved the Eye Cream, Face Mist and Texture Fine Cream in the past. New items to the collection have launched and I’ve been getting so many messages from you to review. I’m thrilled to have been able to put the new launches to the test:

There is also a new Sublimage Le Savon de Soin that launched recently as well but I have not tested it. If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts! It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a bar soap for the face.

The Sublimage line is best suited for normal to dry skin types (in my opinion) but there are some great products for normal combination skin too. It’s an excellent anti-aging line and comforts the skin in the most luxurious beautiful way. My thoughts on each product below along with some alternate suggestions in case you don’t have dry skin. Mine is more normal to dry right now.

Sublimage L’Huile en Gel de Demaquillage

Chanel Ultimate Comfort and Radiance-Revealing Gel-to-Oil Cleanser

The Sublimage L’Huile en Gel de Demaquillage is their Ultimate Comfort and Radiance-Revealing Gel-to-Oil Cleanser. It’s super gentle and hydrating and dissolves makeup when you rub it into the skin. It contains antioxidants and purifying ingredients to leave the skin feeling extra soft and clean. This is the most hydrating gel-to-oil cleanser I’ve tried. I really like it – it makes my skin feel so soft!

Long-time Chanel lovers might remember the Le Blanc line had a similar product which was reformulated to the current Le Blanc Tri-Phase Makeup Remover cleanser (which I have tried and loved but haven’t repurchased in a while). If you have more oily or combination skin I would recommend opting for the Le Blanc version or the L’Huile Anti-Pollution Cleansing Oil which is a very soft cushiony cleanser more along the lines of a traditional cleansing oil remover.

Sublimage Ultimate Comfort and Radiance-Revealing Gel-to-Oil Cleanser vs L’Huile Anti-Pollution Cleansing Oil, on the nails is Le Vernis in Organdi

Chanel Sublimage L'Huile En Gel Cleanser vs L'Huile Cleansing Oil

Sublimage L’Eau de Demaquilllage

Chanel Sublimage L'Eau de Demaquillage Refreshing and Radiance-Revealing Cleansing Water

The Sublimage L’Eau de Demaquilllage is their Refreshing and Radiance Revealing Cleansing Water. This is also a very hydrating makeup remover and does just as the name implies: refreshes and adds radiance. It won’t take off waterproof eye makeup but it’s great for regular face, lip or eye makeup. It has a very soft fluid feel and is very moisturizing.I found it gentle and soothing on the skin. It has a small rubber opening at the top to control how much product you dispense. A little goes a very long way!

I think it’s a beautiful product but best suited for normal to dry skin. For other cleansing waters I’ve really loved the Lancome Eau Fraiche Micellar Cleansing Water and the Chanel L’Eau Micellaire. I feel either of these will be better for normal or combination skin. I’ve gone through a full bottle of the Chanel L’Eau Micellaire and liked it enough to repurchase. It’s a really nice one!

Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille

Chanel Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille

The Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille is the fanciest face scrub I’ve ever tested and the most gentle one too! If you have ultra sensitive skin that can’t handle most abrasive scrubs this is one I think you might want to look into. It has Vanilla and Jojoba seeds that are super fine and suspended in a gel base. It has a smooth feel and while I can feel some subtle exfoliation it is very gentle. I love the Sublimage scent and wish it came in a body cream form. It’s the most calming and soothing vanilla scent I’ve ever smelled.

I wish I could compare it to something else but this is a unique scrub in my experience. It’s so gentle and soft, it almost doesn’t feel like a scrub.

Chanel Sublimage Purifying and Radiance-Revealing Vanilla Seed Face Scrub

Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme

Chanel Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme Travel Size

The Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme now comes in a mini form that is the perfect size for travel or to try out the formula. It’s still quite spendy at $125 but the 0.5 oz format is perfect to me! I hope they consider launching the other formulas in this size too. Right now you can find regular La Creme in a travel size only in their Sublimage Le Voyage Set.

With the Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme there’s a little spatula to help keep the cream itself clean. Every cream comes sealed to preserve the product. A little goes a long way and it’s ultra hydrating and smoothing. Skin is instantly calmed, tightness is removed and it gives the skin a luminous finish. I’ve been wearing this one at night more often than for day time because it’s so hydrating.

This year my most-used moisturizer has been the Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream. It’s the perfect lightweight texture for my skin. It’s a lovely one to try if you have normal skin.

Sublimage La Brume Intense Revitalizing Mist

Chanel Sublimage Face Mist

One last mention is the Sublimage La Brume Face Mist which is still one of my favorite face mists ever. This is quite the splurge at $200 but it does come with three refills which made the price easier for me to stomach. It dispenses a super fine mist and refreshes the skin without feeling heavy. Even if you have normal or combination skin I don’t think you should let the “intense” part of the name intimidate you. I feel it’s suitable for all skin types.

Chanel Sublimage Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

For those of you who have been asking for the Sublimage review I hope you found this helpful! If you’ve tried the Sublimage line I’d love to hear your thoughts! If not, have you tried any other Chanel skincare products?

You can find all the new Chanel Sublimage launches online now at Chanel.com.

P.S. The Spring-Summer Collection has already launched online and it looks so beautiful! Review coming soon 🙂

New Chanel Sublimage Skincare items gifted for review.

 

Skincare

5-Step Korean Skincare with Soko Glam

November 20, 2019

Korean Skincare 5-Step Routine with Soko Glam

I’m excited to share some new skincare I’ve been incorporating into my routine over the past few months! A number of you have expressed interest in seeing more Korean skincare reviews on the blog and I’m thrilled to partner with Soko Glam to put one of their 5-Step skincare routines to the test. I have a full review of all the products I tried. They’ve curated some great sets to help you address your specific skin concerns by skin type.

I took their Skin Quiz and connected with one of their Soko Experts for a skincare consultation to find the best products for my normal but sensitive late 30’s skin.

Korean Skincare from Soko Glam

The 5-Step Normal Skin Set was recommended for my skin type and it was very easy to incorporate into my regular routine. It’s priced at $95 (valued over $139) and includes things you can use both day and night:

  1. Oil Cleanse AM/PM with the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert
  2. Water-based Cleanse, AM/PM with the Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser
  3. Toner AM/PM with the Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner
  4. Essence AM/PM with the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist
  5. Moisturizer AM/PM with the SkinRX Lab MadeCera Cream

If you have different concerns or skin type, they also have other 5-Step Bundles (and 10-Step) for Brightening, Combination Skin, Dry Skin, Oil Control and more.

My thoughts on the 5-Step Normal Skincare Routine below! You can find the full list of ingredients on each specific product page.

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5-Step Korean Skincare | Step 1: Oil Cleanse

Soko Glam Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert

I love solid makeup removers and the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert is one that contains rice, rice bran and soy bean to gently break down makeup for cleansing. It melts like butter into the skin! I found it super gentle but effective and it left my skin super soft.

Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert Solid

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Step 2: Water Cleanse

Soko Glam Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser

The Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser is a gentle gel cleanser that is lightweight, effective and calming. I had a few skin flare ups over the past month and this helped calm down the skin. It has a hydrating finish and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft. The texture has no foaming/bubbling action which is really nice!

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Step 3: Toner

Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner

I use toner religiously and have a few staples I rely on. Trying new formulas always makes me nervous with my sensitive skin. The Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner was mild enough to use 2x per day after cleansing and left the skin brighter, more even and softer. It contains their fermented yeast extract to help cellular turnover. I will definitely repurchase this one after it’s used up!

Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner

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Step 4: Essence

Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist

I often neglect essence but anytime I add it, I find my skin is significantly more balanced. With the cold dry weather here for the fall/winter adding the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist has been a lifesaver. It dispenses a super fine mist (one of the finest I’ve seen!) to evenly spritz the skin. It’s fragrance free. I also find it makes a nice setting spray for makeup.

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Step 5: Moisturizer

SkinRX Lab MadeCera Cream

The SkinRX MadeCera Cream has such a high number of rave reviews and I was interested in seeing if it lived up to the hype. It 100% does! I was so impressed by this – especially for winter! It’s a great moisturizing cream that is perfect for sensitive or normal-dry skin. It sinks into the skin nicely and hydrates, soothes and reduces redness. On super tender skin days it helped calm the skin. There is also a Sheet Mask Pack available from the same line which I want to try next!

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Korean Skincare from Soko Glam

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Additional skincare tries

Soko Glam Pimple Patches CosRX Missha

I tested a few other things from Soko Glam for acne. I’ve really loved the CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch for a hydrocolloid treatment so I restocked! They come with different sized patches which is convenient since I usually have different size pimples whether it’s a whitehead or blackhead. I find these work best on whiteheads to absorb excess oil and pull the debris to the surface. The Missha Speedy Solution Anti Trouble Patches were recommended to me by a few readers so I bought a pack to try. These contain salicylic acid and tea tree oil and work to reduce redness and penetrates the skin to dissolve the debris that is clogging your pores.

5 Step Korean Skincare Routine Normal Skin Set

Overall I’ve really enjoyed the 5-Step Normal Skincare Set. All 5 products are winners and easy to incorporate into my routine. The SkinRX MadeCera Cream is the highlight for me. For cleansing I also love solid makeup removers and the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert has been really nice to use for an effective cleanser. If you have any skincare lovers you’re looking to gift skincare to, I think either the cream or sherbert cleanser would be great for any skin type.

You can find all the products I reviewed at Soko Glam. They have a wealth of information on their blog and you can easily navigate recommendations by skin concern or skin type! They’ve started Cyber Week early with some savings! From 11/15 through – 12/1 @ 11:59 PM EST save 30% off most things with code: SGBF19. In addition all orders $135+ will receive a Soko Glam branded jade roller Note: Code SGBF19 is valid between 11/15/19 at 12:00PM EST through 12/1/19 at 11:59PM EST. Exclusions apply: not applicable on purchase of sets (including 5- and 10-Step sets), gift cards, Then I Met You products and The Little Book of Skincare. Not valid with other promotions or discount codes. Gift with purchase available while supplies last. Purchases of $135+ after 30% discount applied.

Do you have any Korean Skincare favorites? Have you tried anything from Soko Glam? What do you recommend?

 

Sponsored by Soko Glam.

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