Browsing Tag


Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | November

November 19, 2023

Best Candles for Fall from Diptyque, Byredo, Jo Malone

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Ask Me Anything roundup! The months flew by since the summer. It feels like time is passing by so fast and I feel like we will blink and it will be the new year. Here’s what you’ve been asking lately!

1. How are the moving plans coming along? Moving still? Are you staying in Florida? Are we staying here indefinitely? Where would you move if not California or Florida?

This is the number one question I’ve received from everyone. The move to Miami is still on! Life just got very hectic with life things. It has been a challenging year for us but Andrew and I are powering through it. We had hoped we would be in Miami by now, but things don’t always go as planned and we are rolling with it. The plan is to move in the early new year.

2. Are you getting another puppy for Ollie?

Calvin and Ollie

The second most asked question is about another dog. So many of you are doodle lovers and send me videos of doodle puppies, your pets (doodles, ragdolls, and more) and I LOVE IT!!!

We really want another dog for Ollie to have a buddy. He does play with the kitty and they like to chase each other around the house but kitty is 11 so his energy level isn’t the same.

Our two Jack Russells were with us for 14 and 17 years. We got them in our early 20s and while I loved them SOOO soooo much, I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work and it limited what we could do (ie travel, where we could live, etc). They were so nuts I had to walk them separately.

Right now it’s manageable with one dog because Ollie had good training and is very well behaved. We are not sure we can handle two. We will see though!

3. Best decluttering advice for large makeup collections? Do you ever get overwhelmed?

Beauty Lookbook Shelfie

I don’t have the best answer since beauty is my job. I go through a lot more product than the average beauty lover. Yes of course it’s overwhelming but I’ve been a lot more selective these days about what I review, purchase or accept. I used to post a new review 5x per week. These days it’s more like 2x per week, sometimes 3x.

The best decluttering advice I can think of is to use up what you have before you buy anything new. Unfortunately sometimes it’s impossible to use everything up before the expiration date. If you have things that haven’t been contaminated like a dry shampoo bottle, perfume – I recommend gifting to friends or family. Donating is always an option but a lot of times what they’ll accept is limited to new products only.

I know a lot of people use the 2 out 1 in kind of rule. So before they buy anything new, use up 2 things completely before you buy.

4. Favorite designer/luxury brand for purses? Next splurge on my wishlist?

I would say my top 3 favorite lines are Loewe, Celine and Chanel. I’ve been eyeing the Loewe Compact Hammock, Small Puzzle Edge and a few things from Bottega, but I’m at a point where I need to declutter my current collection. There are maybe seven or so bags/wallets I haven’t used in months that I want to sell. I’m debating whether to use a consignment company or do another blog sale.

5. How long did it take for me to become a full-time influencer? What has been your career journey? What’s next? Do you ever miss your corporate job?

Glowing Skin Makeup look featuring Hourglass, Fenty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Charlotte Tilbury and more from Sephora

Lots of questions about my blogging/influencer journey! I’ve done quite a few posts in the past on what I did before I started blogging full-time. Quick version is my background is in finance. I’ve worked in lots of different industries. The last industry I worked in was commercial aerospace.

I started my blog as a hobby while I was in grad school at the age of 27 and wrote something almost everyday for about 5 years before I even knew I could make it a career. I didn’t know anything about blogging as a career and I was rarely ever sent any press samples. Around 4-5 years into it, another blogger told me about affiliate marketing, helped me get approved into a network and by that time I had a loyal enough following and enough traffic to my site that my blog started converting day 1.

My blog grew quickly and so did the earnings. Blogging was taking so much time and soon it exceeded my corporate salary at which point I took a huge risk and decided to leave the corporate world and blog full time. I was so nervous about it. I had confided in maybe 10 close friends and family about this new venture and 8 out of 10 told me not to do it. Nearly everyone told me I was crazy so I decided to just do it any not tell anyone for a while (except for those 10). I didn’t even tell my company or work colleagues where I was going or what I was doing (only 2 from work knew and they kept my secret). I don’t think I told my dad about leaving my corporate job until maybe 1 year later because I knew he would be SO worried and would be obsessively asking me for updates on a daily basis “how is your business doing” or “did you write a business plan?” or “are you sure you are ok?” and “can you ask for your old job back?” and “do you want to come work for me?”.

All this could have been something that did not work out. But here we are nearly 10 years later and I have zero regrets. I don’t miss the corporate life at all – there was lots of high stress, corporate politics, endless meetings, always worrying about what would happen if you were laid off or if management changed. There is still work stress in life, but the type of stress is different. I think all the years of working for different companies and people were very valuable to me.

What’s next? I have no idea! I’ve never been the kind of person who had an answer to the question “where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” For those who keep asking why I’m not on YouTube, I would love to be. I just need to do it. But shooting and editing video content is not easy. If I were to do YouTube I feel like I would have to drop this blog or social media or hire someone to help manage/edit.

6. Can you do a follow-up on meal prep/meal plans?

Ahh yes. I had planned to do an entire review on this. Andrew and I have tried so many meal prep plans. We’ve tried pre-made meals, meal plans that you prepare on your own (ie everything is measured), our own meal prep recipes. We have yet to find a plan we love and do not get tired of.

The plans where you make on your own like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh ended up taking too much time. They may have gotten better over the years but when we tried it (this was when were in San Diego, so maybe 10 years ago) the recipes weren’t easy and they did not save us a lot of time.

Finding a good plan to fit your diet needs can be hard. There are tons of “healthy” options that don’t taste great. As a picky eater I need it to taste good for me to stick with it. We’ve tried some premade ready to eat meals and there are some really good. The problem is the quality hasn’t always been consistent (sometimes they go bad before the expiration date) and although they have different types of foods and meals, eating them day after day gets really boring. Some we have tried and like:

Cook Unity
Fit Life Foods (this might just be local to Tampa)

We did not like Sakara Life although I know it’s super popular. Right now we are back to cooking meals ourselves or going out to eat. I’ll make eggs for breakfast and we’ll add a piece of avocado, toast or sausage. I love cottage cheese + a little bit of jelly or granola for breakfast. I’ve been into making smoothies again. We’ve been on a Jersey Mikes kick for lunches. For dinners I usually do something simple like something from Trader Joes plus lots of fresh steamed vegetables.

The easiest meal prep I’ve done is making a huge batch of ground chicken meatballs + steamed vegetables for the week (you can also use ground turkey). There are tons of great recipes online, I like the Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs. I’ve tried a few recipes and love this one.

7. Personal questions: How old are you? Height? Plans for kids? What does your husband do? How long did you date before you two got married?

Cavapoo Puppy 12 Weeks Ollie

I’m 42 and 5’3” tall. No plans for kids (just more fur babies maybe). Andrew is an attorney. We dated for 7 years before we got married. I sometimes say 7 years minus 3 months (haha) because we broke up once very early on for a short time.

8. Any traveling plans this holiday?

We are not sure. Back in August we had plans to go back to California for a month and then travel all holiday. Work (and life) suddenly became very busy for both of us and we just haven’t had time. We might do another trip over Christmas like we did last year.

9. What are your winter skincare must-haves for mature skin?

Winter Skincare Favorites La Mer, Sunday Riley, Prequel, Bobbi Brown

This is the first winter my skin has felt extra dry and sensitive (due to dryness). Florida is a lot more humid than other places, but we haven’t gotten a lot of rain in our area and everything SO dry. I’ve had to use my rich creams, more hand cream, Vaseline etc. My skin is definitely maturing but I think skincare recommendations depend more on type vs age.

My top favorites right now though:

Prequel Barrier Therapy Skin Protectant for Face and Body has been great for skin flare ups. I had some terrible eczema flare-ups on my hands a couple weeks ago (to the point I couldn’t sleep it was so painful). This helped tremendously.

Chanel L’Huile Vanille Body Massage Oil is my favorite body oil. It’s so big it feels like it will last forever. Very expensive but 100% worth the splurge.

La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream is my go-to for moisturizer. For something richer I’ve really been loving the Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream or Biossance Squalane+ Vitamin C Rose Firming Oil. I just started testing out the Caudalie Premier Cru The Rich Cream and it’s SO LUXURIOUS (also available in this trio set). It’s a bit rich for my skin type but very hydrating and has a lovely texture, I might try the Premier Cru The Cream version.

Vaseline Cocoa Butter for lips is one of the best things you can buy for lip hydration. The only thing I don’t like is how it’s packaged, but it’s so thick I don’t think it would work in a squeeze tube format. The Sugar Cookie flavor for holiday is super fun too.

I also really love the Bobbi Brown Extra Plump Lip Serum (on sale for 30% off at Ulta Beauty right now). The plumping is minimal and not super strong (no tingle) – it’s more of a subtle plumping with a smoothing effect and really nice hydration. I’m on my 3rd tube and am going to stock up on a few while it’s on sale.

Even if your skin is dry I still think you need to do some kind of exfoliation or acid treatment. I swear by the Sunday Riley Good Genes 1-2x per week.

10. Best beauty splurge you’ve ever made, you can only pick 1 thing.

Dyson Airwrap Styler

This is a tough one! I think the best beauty item I own is the Dyson Airwrap (original version). This was a gift from Andrew. A couple years ago he asked me what one thing I wanted but wouldn’t buy for myself and this was it. I didn’t want to buy it because I had already splurged on the Supersonic a few years before. I use the Airwrap nearly every single day.

But to pick the best beauty splurge I bought with my own money … I really can’t pick JUST one thing. I would have to say three-way tie between the Hourglass Face and Eye Travel Brush Set, La Mer Treatment Lotion Sheet Masks and a large outdoor 5-wick candle I bought from Diptyque.

That wraps up this week’s Ask Sabrina series!

Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | August

August 2, 2023

Ask Sabrina and Ollie Cavapoo

Sharing another roundup of frequently asked questions in this week’s Ask Sabrina series!

1. What’s your favorite bag right now?

Loewe Small Puzzle in Grained Sand

I’ve been really loving my Loewe Small Puzzle. It’s the perfect size for me – not mini but not too big. Love that the shoulder strap is adjustable. I have a couple of the Mini Puzzle Bags and love those too, but the Small is a lot more practical! There are a few different formats in the puzzle, for material they have grained and smooth. So far I’ve only tried the grained which I like for the finish. They have softened quite a bit since I got them for a slightly more slouchy look.

Loewe Small Puzzle Bag Grained in Sand

Top: Reformation, Shorts: Agolde, Bag: Loewe Small Puzzle Sand (grained), Sunglasses: Celine

I’ve also seen on a few YouTube videos that Loewe is going to phase out the current puzzle style and start making them all the Puzzle Edge like this one. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I just searched for the styles/colors I have and they are pretty hard to find now (at least online).

I really love all things from Loewe, I’m considering a Small Puzzle Edge or Compact Hammock for my next splurge.

2. Best raffia bag?

Loewe Shell Basket Bag

I have quite a few by now and love them all. Each one serves a different purpose (ie size/shape/color). The two I’ve used the most are the Loewe Shell Basket (small) which I think may be discontinued now and Square Raffia Basket.

10 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Loewe Small Square Leather-Trimmed Raffia Basket Bag

3. What is your favorite movie?

It’s hard to pick just one! My favorite movie of all time is Elf. I could probably watch it every week and laugh until I cry every single time. I also love all the Harry Potter movies, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually and Notting Hill. We recently re-watched all the Bridget Jones movies and I thought they were hilarious.

4. TV show recommendations?

This is a follow up from my poll from you! I’m really happy to hear a lot of you watch the same British crime dramas we watch. I have to confess they are really more Andrew’s favorites but I have slowly become addicted. Popular picks from you have been Line of Duty, Midsomer Murders, Happy Valley, Bay (we watched those too!).

We are currently watching The Tower Season 2 and tonight we will probably finish Hijack. We are also working our way watching re-runs of 30 Rock.

Recent shows I’ve really enjoyed: Ted Lasso, Silo, Night Sky, Queen’s Gambit, Only Murders, Hijack, White Lotus (Season 1 was better than Season 2). Black Mirror is pretty good although some episodes are a bit too disturbing.

Older shows I loved: The Office, Fleabag, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Yellowstone (although we did not finish the last season), Modern Love, Movies That Made Us and I thought Severance was pretty good. I know I’m forgetting tons of great shows on this list.

The Top 10 Shows you recommended (in order of popularity): The Bear, Succession, Ted Lasso, Shrinking, Suits, Silo, Beef, And Just Like That, Jack Ryan and Black Mirror. (I really wanted to love And Just Like That but I couldn’t even finish the first episode.)

5. You mentioned you’re not a reader but like podcasts. What podcasts do you listen to?

I am still exploring and I haven’t found a series that I like every single episode yet. A lot of the podcasts I have bookmarked are over an hour long so it takes me a while to finish them. I think there are quite a few I’ve started but never finished. Two I’ve been really enjoying are the All-In Podcast and Diary of a CEO.

6. Best wedding lipstick follow-up – your responses surprised me!

Tom Ford Beauty Boys and Girls Lipstick 2018 review

Another follow-up from my poll and your responses surprised me! About 1/3 of the responses were “not married or not married yet” and another 1/3 said “didn’t have a wedding.” For the longest time I have felt like I was the only one who did not have a wedding ceremony. Both Andrew and I feel truly lucky to have found each other and we are very happy, but a huge part of me feels like we missed out by not having a wedding. Hearing that a lot of you also skipped the wedding makes me feel so much better.

From the remaining 1/3 who responded most of you did not remember what lipstick you wore on your wedding day. For those who did the top 3 brands were Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford and MAC. These were the most worn colors according to you

  • Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, Nude Kate, Pillow Talk
  • MAC Sweetie, Twig, Velvet Teddy, Whirl
  • Tom Ford Indian Rose, First Time, Blush Nude, Sugar Glider

7. Best shampoo and conditioner follow-up – your responses/feedback!

Oribe Gold Lust Favorites | The Beauty Lookbook

Hundreds of you responded and your favorite brand is Oribe by a huge landslide! There are lots of different formulas among your favorites but the Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner seemed to be the most popular as I think it should be! It’s hands down my favorite and the one I repurchase the most. The Gold Lust Set ($102) is still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale thru the 6th at the sale price. I just bought one to stock up.

8. Do you think you’ll ever stop blogging and just do social media?

I’ve thought about this for years. A lot of you have asked if I’ll move to YouTube versus the blog too. I really don’t know! I’m always evolving and changing and I hope to continue to do so! The Beauty Lookbook has been a labor of love and something I enjoy but it takes a lot of time. I really do love that I own my website and all the content I produce is my own. I would love to just focus on one platform but they are all so different. I’ve blogged for so long I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon, but who knows?! I’d love to do YouTube. However creating video content is still really challenging for me and it takes a lot of time to create/edit. I don’t know that I can.

9. Are you doing any other anti-aging cosmetic treatments outside of Botox? Which cosmetic procedure are you considering next?

I’m currently not doing any cosmetic procedures other than the Botox treatment from May. I’m the biggest chicken when it comes to any level of pain or discomfort. I can’t even look at a needle on TV without feeling like I’m going to faint. I would like to get a peel but it’s so hot and the sun is so intense, I don’t think my skin can handle it right now. Based on what I’ve read I don’t think I’ll ever get filler, it sounds too painful.

10. One last thing, not really an answer to any question, but Kitty turns 11 today! He’s been with us so long and we love him so much.

RIP Jake and Lucy xoxo

Happy 11 Birthday Kitty

That wraps up this week’s Ask Sabrina roundup! Stay tuned for the next one in a couple of weeks!

Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | July 2023

July 9, 2023

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Ginger

Happy Sunday! It’s time for another Ask Sabrina roundup! You sent in SO many great questions in my last poll on the blog and on Instagram, I think I have a list long enough to keep this series going on for the next several months!

Here are 10 more questions I’m answering today. As always if you’re curious about something personal, my background, etc. you can always click on the ASK SABRINA category to read past posts!

Even though many of you have been with me from the beginning (ie before I ever showed my face to the world) there are lots of new readers who want to know more about how I started my blog, how to become a beauty influencer/blogger, why we moved to Florida and more. All of these are answered in past Ask Sabrina posts, but I’ll elaborate on a few since many of you have asked follow up questions.

Miami Beach | The Beauty Look Book

1. Can you tell us more about your upcoming move? Why are you moving again? How can you decide between San Diego or Miami?

Andrew and I love exploring and our jobs give us the flexibility to do it! San Diego is still home to me. I have family and friend there although many have moved away over the past decade. A lot of our friends moved away from San Diego to bigger cities like LA or San Francisco for more job opportunities. Also when the pandemic hit and everything was shut down many of our friends moved to different states to be closer to family.

We might move back to San Diego because of Andrew’s job and my family there. But right now our heart is set on Miami for our next adventure. We are exploring our options and are are taking our time exploring both.

For our move to Miami, I’ve always wanted to live in a big city and we both love all that Miami has to offer. It’s significantly bigger than Tampa and whenever we travel to Miami we are always sad to leave. We still love Tampa/St. Pete but we’re ready for a change after being here 6 years.

And who knows? We might be back after a year or so! A lot of readers have told me they have places on both coasts. They travel back and forth depending on what vibe they want. Tampa/St Pete is more casual laid back and relaxed while Miami is busier and has more energy.

Ask Sabrina 1.10.2020 | The Beauty Look Book

2. Do you ever regret leaving your 9-5 corporate job? Do you feel your education and background in finance helps you with your blogging career today?

I have ZERO regrets about leaving the corporate world. When I quit my corporate job to blog full time nearly everyone told me I would regret it. At the time I decided to leave I was really torn. It was the first company I worked at that had a good workplace culture and environment. I really loved the team I worked with and the management. All that said, I still felt limited in what I could do and how I could grow. I was expected to advance to a managerial position eventually and managing people is not my thing at all. The transition of working at a big company to working alone was quite a shock for me. It took some time to get used to but I haven’t regretted it at all.

All of my experiences have been beneficial to me in some way. I do think my education helped in many ways. I don’t know that I would call it essential for me now, but I’m happy I went through it.

Best Concealers YSL, Natasha Denona, Givenchy, NARS and Armani

3. What is your favorite concealer these days?

I still swear by the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but there are LOTS of great new options out today. My top 2 right now are the Natasha Denona Hy-Glam Concealer and Givenchy Prisme Libre Concealer. Also really love YSL Touche Eclat (best for brightening) and the Armani Luminous Silk Concealer (always a classic).

For blending I usually use a beautyblender but my 2 favorite brushes are the Real Techniques 210 Brush and the Hourglass Vanish Concealer Brush.

4. What is one beauty product you wish existed but doesn’t?

I REALLY love that Chanel makeup applicator machine from the movie Fifth Element. Instant look that’s also Chanel? Sign me up! For something more realistic, I would really love it Chanel brought back their best colors they discontinued (ie Nude Lip Liner, Seashell or Glow Glossimer, or any of the glossimers really).

Chanel Fall 2022 Rouge Allure Lipstick | The Beauty Lookbook


5. Best wedding lipstick?

This would be a great question for me to ask YOU! I’d love to do a poll on what lipstick you wore to your wedding because Andrew and I didn’t have one. We got married at the courthouse in San Diego because planning a wedding was overwhelming. Andrew proposed while we were both in grad school. We had been dating for nearly 7 years and knew we were ready, but school was very time consuming for both of us. We had very busy schedules and I felt like we barely saw each other for 3 years!

We had planned on having a big ceremony a year later after we both graduated when we had more time to plan and have fun with it all. But by the time a year rolled around we were both very happily married, felt like we didn’t need a big wedding and decided to save the $$$ for a future honeymoon trip.

For weddings I’ve attended I actually don’t recall what beauty products I’ve worn, but I feel like for lipstick it would have usually been something from Tom Ford or Chanel. It’s really the ceremony or being there for loved ones that I remember versus what I wore. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a wedding – most of our friends all have kids by now!

6. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Hands down anything sweet. I love Jeni’s Ice Cream and Trader Joe’s Pancake Bread. I also love Swedish Fish and Haribo gummies.

7. Do you like to cook or bake? What are your favorite foods?

Yes, I love baking and cooking! I used to work at Williams and Sonoma and assisted in their cooking classes. I had to stop baking though because it was incredibly unhealthy.

When we moved to Florida we both started cooking a lot to eat healthier but right now I actually don’t cook very much. Andrew wanted to find a way to help cut down on my cooking time so we’ve been trying out some meal plans. If you want an overview or recs I can definitely share them. Finding one we both like has been a challenge because I’m the ultimate picky eater. We’ve tried a lot!

8. What’s a habit you’ve build into your routine?

Both Andrew and I have made an extra effort to improve our health and wellness and it’s made such a huge difference in our lives. We don’t always eat healthy, we still like to indulge, but we’ve made a huge effort to cut down on sugar intake and we’ve never felt better! It’s been a challenge since I have a sweet tooth, but we really make an effort to consume it in moderation.

9. You’re stuck on a desert island, what 5 beauty products do you want with you?

This question always has me laughing because I have follow up questions! Am I by myself? Who else is there? Can I escape or get off the island? If I’m by myself chances are that I really won’t care about beauty products and would rather want something to get me off that island!

But I can’t live without baths or showers so I’d want a lifetime supply of good shower gel (if I had to have only one, I’d steal Andrew’s Jack Black Turbo Wash because it will double as a shampoo) and face cleanser (probably First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser). Sun protection in which case I’d have my Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion Sunscreen. Native Deodorant because even if I’m by myself I don’t want to smell bad. A good lip balm, I think the Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter would be my pick. Also I’d probably cheat and ask to be allowed a 6th product which is a really good hair brush.

Calvin and Ollie

10. Pet stuff! I’m combining 2 in one. What shampoo and grooming products do you use for Ollie? Do Ollie and Kitty get along?

We started with Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Fragrance Free because that’s what we used on Jake and Lucy for over a decade. We’ve since started using the Ouai Pet Shampoo because it smells amazing (available at Sephora and Ulta). We alternate between the two brands.

I did take a whiff of the Aesop Pet Shampoo but thought the scent was too strong so I didn’t buy it. I could see myself using it, but I felt like it would be too much for Ollie’s nose. If you have tried it on your pet let me know!

Ollie still hates baths so we wash him in the shower which he tolerates.

And yes Ollie and Kitty get along well. They don’t snuggle but they actually play together now and have zoomies where they chase each other. Sometimes the cat is the one who initiates play time with some playful swatting. It’s so cute.

That wraps up this week’s Ask Sabrina series! If you want to share your wedding lipstick in the comments I’m sure future brides would be absolutely grateful to hear what your favorites are! I’ll also do a poll on Instagram this week and share results in my next Ask Sabrina series.


Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | Summer 2023

June 26, 2023

Nordstrom Beauty Spring Launches 2022

Happy Monday! Doing another round of Q&As for my Ask Sabrina series! I think I might do this every other week going forward! Also hosting another giveaway!

Creed Love in White

1) Do you ever wish you were in a different line of work? If you weren’t a beauty influencer/blogger what would you be doing today?

Yes of course! There are some days when I wish I was doing something different but I am really happy being my own boss. I left the corporate world when I was 33. I am grateful everyday that I found something of my own to do and that I can make a living doing what I love. Being self-employed has a lot of challenges and as a team of 1, it can get overwhelming. I’ve been doing this full-time for 9 years now and there have been lots of ups and downs. Things have changed so much since I started blogging but I think every industry goes through lots of changes.

If I weren’t a beauty influencer today I have no idea what I would be doing. When I left my corporate job I was actually interviewing for several other finance positions in other companies. I ended up withdrawing my applications after several rounds of interviews to pursue blogging full-time. A lot can happen in 9 years. If I weren’t a blogger I might still be working in a corporate 9-5 type job but then who knows? I might be doing something completely different too.

Away Travel Bigger Carry On + Everywhere Bag Review Miami Getaway Pack List

2) Do you have packing tips for city trips? What about European travel?

I think packing tips depends on the city. Every city I’ve traveled to is so different! For summer trips I would recommend packing comfortable walking shoes (ie New Balance or APL sneakers are my favs right now). I love the Celine sneakers I splurged on last year, but they are leather so they can get hot. They are really comfortable though and there was no break in period. They only have whole sizes and as a true 6 and a half/36.5 I went with the 36 and they fit perfectly.

A good crossbody bag or tote is essential for me. I’ve been loving the Loewe Puzzle Bag (in small) and love it as an over shoulder bag. I like that it has a zipper closure at the top so you can keep things more secure. Summers are usually hot everywhere but some areas have chilly nights so I’d recommend packing layers like a lightweight denim jacket or sweater. I love the Jenni Kayne Cropped Cabin Sweater. The AG Robyn Denim Jacket is one of the softest jackets I own. It runs very fitted though so I’d recommend sizing up 1-2 sizes.

It’s been so long since we’ve traveled to Europe! I really want to go back. In 2015 we did a month trip to Europe covering 10 cities (I think). If you’ve been a long-time reader you may remember Andrew allowed me to bring 1 backpack for travel. Yes, it was pure insanity, but we made it work. His logic was that since we were going to Paris, Rome, Athens, Istanbul and a Mediterranean cruise and back to Paris that we were going to be in and out of lots of airports. Having a back pack would shorten our travel time and be more convenient than having to check luggage, wait at baggage claim etc.

We traveled in the summer so I rolled everything as tightly as I could and packed tanks, swimsuit, shorts and maybe 2 pairs of shoes (plus the ones I wore on our flight).

I don’t think we’ll ever pack that light again. We had lots of fun but had to buy extra luggage for our trip back because I did some shopping and we didn’t have enough room in our backpacks to bring souvenirs home. I guess the short version is that I don’t have good packing tips for Europe. Backpacking is do-able but I did not look cute the entire trip.

3) Favorite luxury purchase this year?

Oooh tough one! I’ve been really loving the Chanel Coco Crush ring and necklace I splurged on. You can see them here.

4) Best bronzer / your fav right now? One cream, one powder.

Another tough one! I would say Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream in 392 is my favorite for cream and Gucci Eclat Soleil Luminous Bronzer Shade 3 is the one I’ve been reaching for in terms of powders. Also really like the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème Contour and Powder Duo which has both cream + powder in one compact (I like She’s Sculpted).

Best Bronzers Chanel and Gucci Beauty

5) What are the top 5 beauty products you cannot live without?

This changes all the time, but right now: 1) Dior Lip Maximizer in 038 Rose Nude 2) Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Complexion Touch 3) NARS Orgasm Blush 4) Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder 5) Patrick Ta Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette

Patrick TA Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette review

6) Best summer perfumes?

This will be a dedicated post! I’ll share my top 3 though: Celine Parade, Loewe Ibiza Eclectic, Creed Virgin Island Water

Creed Virgin Island Water

7) Botox update please! Do you still like the results? Any regrets? Will you do it again?

I’m at the 1 month mark and have so much more movement in my forehead. I can raise my eye brows now a bit and my 11s are coming back. My deep forehead wrinkles are still not fully back yet but I’m starting to see them re-appear. I have no regrets. I will 100% do it again. I don’t know that I will get the same areas done and for sure will ask for fewer units.

When I did my first update 1/2 of you told me you get it done every 6 months. The other half said that was insanity and that it only lasts 3 months. Based on my experience I do think I will need it ever 3 or 4 months for a refresh which means the next appointment will be in August.

8) What’s your summer skincare routine?

I feel like this could be a full blog post too! I haven’t changed much in my routine except I haven’t used retinol or acids as much because of increased sun exposure with it being sunnier right now.

Summers in humid areas are brutal on skin! On one hand I get sweaty and oily when outdoors. My skin also becomes dry with the constant air conditioning or extreme heat from outdoors.

I’ve been double cleansing a lot. I love the Chanel Sublimage Gel-to-Oil Cleanser for a cleansing oil that also hydrates. I like the formula better than a regular oil cleanser because it’s less messy. I’ll follow with a regular cleanser like First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser or the Dior Off/On Foaming Face Cleanser. On days I want a bit more exfoliation I use the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant too.

I mask once a week to clarify with the Glamglow Supermud Mask (my holy grail). For hydration I am obsessed with the La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Sheet Masks. They’re hands down the best sheet masks I’ve tried. For acne spots that surface I alternate between the Neutrogena Rapid Clear (but be warned it has benzol peroxide which bleaches colors, I use it at night) or the Bliss Acne Spot Treatment.

For my daily moisturizer I alternate between La Mer Soft Moisturizing Cream or Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. For eye creams I’ve also been alternating between La Mer and Drunk Elephant.

I rarely use anything at night because I like to let my skin breathe. I still use Sunday Riley’s Good Genes but in moderation since it’s an acid.

Summer Skincare Routine

9) Are you a reader? What are your favorites?

I am not a reader. It has been a very long time since I’ve read a book (longer than I care to admit). I do like to listen to podcasts or watch them on YouTube while I’m editing photos. I feel like the older I get the less patience I have to sit and read. I know it’s terrible but reading takes so much time (I am not a speed reader) and I would much rather watch or listen to something. If you have any books you absolutely loved please let me know. I might pick up one or two to read.

10) We love Ollie! Did you put him through training? He’s so well behaved! Does he sleep through the night? Did you crate train? Does he have separation anxiety?

We put Ollie through a 2 week board and train when he was 5 months old. It was life changing. They were so good to him and he learned so much. He learned to listen, sit, lay down, stay, walk without tugging or impulsively jumping and lots of obey commands even with distractions. We are thinking of sending him back for a refresher soon.

For crate training we failed. We did keep him in a crate for as long as we could but he just never stopped crying. When he was around 4 and a 1/2 months he started sleeping with us. He has a little bed in the corner of our bedroom that he sleeps on sometimes. But he also jumps up and likes to sleep on my feet. All of the pets we’ve had decided they like to sleep on my feet, or on my head lol.

He does sleep through the night but he has night time zoomies and it doesn’t matter how much activity or exercise he’s had in the day, even with evening walks, he spends at least 30 minutes to an hour going nuts before he goes to sleep and it’s only at night. It’s like he doesn’t want to miss out on anything.

Doodles seem to have a lot of separation anxiety and Ollie does since he’s half poodle. He’s getting better though. When he was a puppy he would follow us everywhere around the house and would not let us out of his sight. Andrew likes to bring him with us everywhere we can. We can now leave him at home for short periods of time. He has kitty to keep him company at home. They play with each other all the time and it makes my heart melt.

That wraps up this week’s Ask Sabrina! I’m giving away one box of beauty goodies to one reader! Open to US and Canada readers 18 years or older. To enter complete ALL the steps in the widget below. I’ll pick a winner on Thursday 6/29 and email them directly. Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | June 2023

June 12, 2023

Ask Sabrina

Happy Monday! I’m doing a Q&A from the questions you submitted last week. It was fun reading through all the questions! I’ve picked 10 questions to answer. It has been a couple of years since I last did this type of post, perhaps I should start it up again? Let me know!

1) Have you and Andrew considered relocating to Miami since you visit so much? Would you go back to live in SoCal?

I feel like many of you may have read my mind on this as this is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive! Andrew and I are moving to Miami or San Diego hopefully this year. We’ve actually been traveling to Miami so frequently for this reason. We’ve been looking for a place since December. Currently narrowing down the specific area to move to – there are so many options, each with different pros and cons for what we are looking for. San Diego has also been an option we’ve talked about to be closer to my family and our friends back home.

Currently exploring our options with both cities and we will keep you posted!

Miami South Beach Christmas 2022

2) Favorite current luxury handbag? Best crossbody bag? Best raffia bag? Next splurge?

Oooh this is a tough one! I rotate frequently but would say my top 3 are the Bottega Mini Loop, Loewe Mini Puzzle and Celine Pico Belt Bag (review here). All of these are cross body. Each style is also carried in larger options with straps if super minis aren’t your style.

I think Loewe raffia bags are my favorite. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the Shell Basket (small). For a larger beach tote I’m in love with the Anagram Basket in Ochre (medium).

What’s my next purchase? I’m very happy with my collection right now. However I have had my eye on the Bottega Arco Tote or Loewe Mini Flamenco.

Bottega Mini Loop in White

Bottega Mini Loop Bag White

Celine Pico Belt Bag in Light Taupe

Celine Belt Bag Pico Outfit

Loewe Shell Basket (small)

Loewe Shell Basket Tote

Loewe Anagram Basket

Loewe Anagram Basket Ochre, Rails Ellis Top

3) Best walking shoes when on vacation?

I love APL Techloom Breeze Sneakers or New Balance 327 (also love these) or the 524. Both are very comfortable and aren’t too thick/heavy so your feet can breathe. Leather sneakers are easier to keep clean/maintain but I try to save those for cooler weather as my feet get sweaty.

New Balance Sneakers

4) Favorite travel moment / trip?

So many great travel memories for me! I have two favorites. The best travel memory I have was a trip to Oxford England in 2001. I went to Oxford on a study abroad trip in college one summer and made friends that have become lifelong friends. I met my best friend on this trip (we were roomies) and I also met my future husband on this trip (Andrew was one of the TAs).

I would say the best trip I’ve been on was a month long Europe trip Andrew and I took back in 2015. We would love to go back to Europe for an extended trip. Probably not this year since we are planning a move. Hopefully in 2024!

Rhodes, Greece

5) How do you find places to travel with your fur babies?

Ollie has been really easy to travel with and we love it! So far we’ve only taken him with us to Miami which is close to us and super dog friendly. We haven’t taken him on a plane yet as we are not sure if he will fit under the seat for a carry on pet. Kitty has come with us to Miami a couple times but he does not like car rides at all.

It was pretty difficult to travel with Jake and Lucy. The Jack Russell breed is very energetic and they don’t always play well with others. They were always very competitive with each other, I had to take them on walks separately. They also couldn’t see one leave the house without the other so I had to distract one pup and quickly sneak out with the other dog. We did take them on a few road trips and we had fun but it was a lot of work.

When they were young we brought them on a road trip from San Diego to Seattle for Andrew’s work for around 1 week. They had fun in a lot of parks! We also drove Jake, Lucy and Kitty across country from San Diego to Tampa when we moved which took around 5 days. Finding dog friendly hotels on the road was a challenge. All three also travelled from Tampa to Louisville (and back) when we evacuated for a hurricane one year.

Ollie and Kitty

6) What is your exercise routine?

I’m embarrassed to admit I have been neglecting my exercise routine for months. It’s currently very sporadic but when we were exercising regularly Andrew and I did weight training 3-5 times per week with cardio mixed in. We found a great a trainer and worked with him for the past 3 years. Our exercises are split by category, one category per workout: Push Day, Pull Day, Leg Day. Sometimes we add in a shoulder day or active recovery day.

We also have a treadmill and assault bike. I’m getting back into it. Right now my chest and triceps are really sore from my last workout a couple days ago. I’ve been interested in trying Pilates but am not sure I have the core strength to do it.

7) What are your favorite make-up looks for a beach day? My eye make-up always runs.

My beach makeup has evolved over the years to be more minimalist. I’ll use the Supergoop! Glow Screen or Chanel CC Cream (which I am hoping comes back in stock). Sometimes I will set with a lightweight pressed powder. Add a tiny bit of cream bronzer like the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Cream Bronzer or Tower 28 Sculptino (I like Getty).

For eyes if I do wear makeup it’s a cream shadow stick like the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick (I wear Golden Amber or Golden Pink the most). Some of the darker shades can be smudged along the lash line to double as liner. I rarely wear liner or mascara because no matter how “long-wear” it is, products simply don’t hold up to REAL humidity or heat.

For the best longwear eyeliners I really like the Tarte Quick Stick Eyeliner or the Sisley Phyto Liner Matte.

If you need a little color/bronze glow I love mixing in the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Serum Drops with moisturizer or using it all over the face.

I love a good lip oil or tinted balm. Top two right now are the Hermes Lip Oils (reviewed and swatched here) and NARS Afterglow Sensual Shine (swatched here).


Hermes Hermesistible Infused Lip Care Oil

Supergoop! Glowscreen Golden Hour


Bobbi Brown Long-wear Cream Eyeshadow Sticks

8) What a good tinted moisturizer (Chanel cc cream is sold out!!)?

I’m still waiting for it to come back too! I was told at a store that Chanel is reformulating it but I don’t know for sure if it is. Nothing is as good, but some other alternatives I like are the Supergoop! CC Screen, Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint (I’m in between Shade 4 and 5), Caliray Freedreaming Blurring Skin Tint (I wear Shade 6), Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF30 (I wear 35 Point Dume), and the Too Faced Born This Way Healthy Glow Skin Tint (I wear Warm Beige).

I like the Too Faced the best.

Best Summer Makeup

9) How are you liking Botox now that you’ve tried it? Will you do it again?

I love it. I’m glad I finally did it. I’m still terrified of needles but I know it’s something I can manage. Trolls have been telling me to fix my face for years – well I finally fixed it. It’s not the reason I did it though, it’s been on my list for years. I just nearly pass out at the thought of needles. If you want more I’ve saved the details to my BOTOX Instagram Highlights.

For those who don’t use Instagram I had a Botox injection for the first time ever at age 42. The areas that were done included my forehead and 11s with nearly 40 units. We went to @marissathepa for our first Botox injection ever and I highly recommend her. Andrew got Botox too!

I have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback! So many of you were cheering me on! I am really touched that many of you shared your personal experiences, procedures, frequency, pricing etc. It still makes me a little sad that this is something many of you are not comfortable sharing or talking about openly because of negative judgement from others.

We were both very happy with the results, the feeling and sensation just takes getting used to. The first two weeks I could not move my forehead and it was so relaxed I felt like I had to strain to open my eyes a little. Feedback from many of you was to get 30 units next time for more movement. My deep set lines disappeared on my forehead and in the 11 area.

The one month mark will be this Saturday and I’ll do my next update then. I’m not sure if we will be doing this every 3 or 6 months. Some say they can do it 1x per year. Many of you messaged me that it only lasts 3 months for most of you. If you have any questions please feel free to email or DM me.

10) Best new beauty buy/launch of 2023?

Another tough one! If you count Botox as a beauty buy I think that was my best purchase this year. For new launches I have been really impressed with the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream. They reformulated it this year and it’s been my absolute favorite skincare item. I still have some left of the original formula and definitely notice the new one absorbs better into the skin, feels better and just overall works better.

La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream, The Concentrate and The Eye Concentrate

For something that is TRULY new (as in not a reformulation or repromote) I love the Tom Ford Eyeshadow Palette in Golden Hour. I have not reviewed/swatched it but you can see it in action here. I also think the Dior Solar Body Oil is just beautiful.

Summer Makeup Essentials

Dior Solar Body Oil

The new Armani Luminous Silk Glow Blush is one of the best blush formulas I’ve tried. I have Shade 51 in action here. I just bought a few more. It has a soft buildable texture with the best natural kind of glow.

Armani Luminous Silk Glow Blush

That wraps up this week’s Ask Sabrina! If you have any more let me know in the comments or you can always email me!

Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | Part 3

February 1, 2021

Ask Sabrina Part 3 Cameras, Equipment and Editing Tools | The Beauty Look Book

Today have my Ask Sabrina Part 3! I’m sharing more about my cameras, photography tips and tools I use! I’ve always loved snapping photos – even from a young age. I do not have a professional background in photography. Most of what I do has been through experimentation and learning through YouTube videos. My younger brother has a BFA from an art university and studied photography for a part of his schooling so he helps with some of my questions and gives me tips sometimes. This is by no means a list of the best tools – it’s just a look at what I use and have tried.

For those who have asked for a comprehensive list of my equipment and more, I hope you find this helpful!

Ask Sabrina Part 3 Cameras, Equipment and Editing Tools | The Beauty Look Book

1. What camera do you use?

My current camera is the Sony a7RIII. I bought this in November 2020 after my other camera stopped working. I had the Sony a7RII since around 2015 and I still think it’s an excellent camera – after many years of use and accidentally dropping it a few times the shutter stopped working.

My main lens is the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. I also have a B + W 82mm XS-Pro Clear MRC Nano #007M Filter on my lens. I occasionally shoot with a Sony 55mm but prefer the zoom style lens even though prime lenses are better for what I do.

2. What do you think Sony vs Canon, Nikon, Leica etc?

I’ve stuck with Sony because it’s what I used from my early blogging days and it is what I am familiar with. My first serious camera was the Sony NEX-6 (discontinued) which I loved! The current versions have improved significantly with better technology and more features. I would eventually like to try other brands but it will take quite an investment for the body, lens, etc. so I’m holding off for now. I have tried Canon (loved my brother’s 5D) and a few Leica models.

3. What equipment do you use to take your photos? Tripod, reflectors, light modifiers etc.?

Tripod, Reflectors, Cameras, Equipment and Editing Tools | The Beauty Look Book

I think many of you will be surprised to learn that my equipment is very basic! There is so much I have on my wishlist to buy for taking better photos. I use natural light with an on-camera flash. I don’t have any light modifiers but really want and need to invest in some. I shop primarily at B&H Photo, Adorama and Amazon for my equipment and tools.

  • Main cameraSony a7RIII with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens
  • Small vlog cameraSony ZV-1 (I have the bundle with the grip tripod)
  • Camera tripod – I have one main tripod which is the Manfrotto 190 3-Section Aluminum Tripod, I bought this many years ago and it was such a big investment I haven’t tried anything else since. I like it because it’s sturdy enough to hold a heavy camera + lens. However for me it’s not really easy to change angles or rotate quickly. It’s also fairly heavy so it is not travel-friendly. If you need something stable and don’t plan on moving your camera around a lot for different angles it’s great!
  • iPhone tripod – I bought the UBeesize Selfie Stick Tripod based on raves from a few girls I follow on Instagram and I kinda hate it. It works but I find it very flimsy and lightweight, it does work to hold my iPhone and it is extremely inexpensive but I’m not a fan.
  • Reflectors – I have two reflectors that I use to bounce light off of. I like this 32” Glow Portable 5-in-1 Reflector Kit from Adorama (available in multiple sizes). I also bought a larger 42” Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc from B&H Photo. I use these at primarily at home. When I’m traveling it’s usually just me and Andrew – we don’t have a third pair of hands to help us hold the reflector.
  • C-Stand – I have one stand which is a Flash Point 10’ C Stand from Adorama. I really like it because it has a super sturdy base that doesn’t move and it’s well made. I haven’t used it for much other than my reflectors but I have the arm grips and attachments for other items.
  • Lights – I have two small lights from Apurture that I just started playing around with, the Apurture MC RGBWW LED Light is a great little tool that you can use for a portable light. I like that you can control the brightness and color. The battery does run out fast if you have it at the max output. But I like the concept and the fact that it is portable!
  • Flash – I use the Sony HVL-F60RM Wireless Radio Flash on my camera
  • SD Card – when I used the Sony a7RII I used the SanDisk Extreme PRO Memory Cards with 170 MB/s, now that I have the Sony a7RIII it has two card reader slots that are different and I now use the Sony SF-G Tough Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card.
  • Accessories

4. Where do you get your backgrounds?

White paper background for product shots

BTS look at one of my shoots for Bite Beauty from their Amuse Bouche launch many years ago

I pick up colored paper backgrounds from a local art store. I’ve had a Blick Art Store near me in both San Diego and Tampa. I usually pick up foam boards or color paper for backgrounds there. For my white background I’ve used the Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad, it has a bright surface with a thick texture that is sturdy and smooth. It reflects sunlight and flash well for me. It’s what I use for taking sunlit photos.

5. Who takes your photos? Do you take them yourself or do you have a photographer take your face/outfit shots?

Sony Image Edge Mobile app

I take most of my own photos. For my own face photos and product shots where I’m holding something I use my iPhone as a remote that I connect to my Sony camera through the Image Edge Mobile app. You can adjust and control the camera settings right from the app too! It’s really useful and allows you to transfer images to a computer or phone. It also doubles as a remote. When using the connect to smartphone remote feature you can see the image you’re shooting on your screen. Ideally I would also have an external monitor or tether the camera to an iPad or laptop. But I am a super minimalist and just haven’t taken the time to buy more tools. I do have an equipment purchase list that is ongoing. The options are overwhelming but I’ve found a lot of YouTube videos helpful.

For outfit or travel photos Andrew takes my photos. He has helped me with some photos for a few projects at home too. I think he’s better at taking my photos, but the process is time consuming and he still has his own job/firm to run.

Here are some photos I took myself with a tripod + remote:

Volition Beauty Turmeric Brightening Polish Skincare Review | The Beauty Look Book

Armani Luminous Silk Concealer 6.5

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Everyday makeup favorites

Versus some of the photos Andrew took for me below:

Anthropologie Cloudfleece Top, STS Blue Shorts, Tory Burch Crossbody


Spring Outfit Favorites Chloe Mini Marcie Tan

Senreve Mini Maestra Review | The Beauty Look Book

Vacation casual outfit, Jcrew Pale Blue Tank, 7 For All Mankind Cutoff shorts, Chloe Mini Marcie Bag

Glowing Makeup Looks with Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Lip Glosses Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

6. How do you edit your photos?

BTS Louboutin Hawaii

Quick look at one of my favorite projects for Louboutin Beauty! Setup in progress in the above photo, one of the final edits below

I edit most of my photos (as in 90%+) in Photoshop on my desktop computer. As much as I would like to do everything on my phone it’s just better for me to do it on a computer for better quality. If I’m posting a video for stories I’ll use the Tezza App.

7. Best photo editing apps? What app has the best presets?

Storyluxe App

My favorite photo editing apps are Afterlight, Snapseed and the Tezza app. I’ve bought so many presets from a number of influencers and quite frankly most of them do not work for me. The only one I love and use is the Tezza app! It has presets and also has options for you to customize your edits on your own – with or without filters. I love that her app also allows you to edit videos.

For Instagram stories and templates I love Storyluxe.

8. What’s your favorite style of photography?

I think I have a number of favorites! My earliest photographs were all product photos mainly shot in direct sunlight with a flash, often on a pure white background. I would love to take all my product photos this way but like to mix things up. I’ve tried to mix in a bit more lifestyle and application photos versus just product photos.

In Florida the heat gets so intense I often get sunburned and products can melt quickly. I could shoot indoors and mimic sunlight with lights but I don’t have any (yet).

9. Tips for better photos?

I think having good light is the best thing you can do for better photos! But the rest is more personal. Do you like sharp photos? Something with a grain? Edited with a filter? Reduced saturation? Sunlit or natural light? I think it is really a matter of personal preference!

I did ask my brother for his opinion on how I could improve my photos many years ago (aside from professional lighting, or better camera settings, or learning how to shoot in RAW) and he said it is actually the small things that can improve photos. Taking extra time for a proper setup is key. He showed me some examples of professional beauty ads and said the setup can be sometimes hours!

Little things like cleaning up dust (with a small dust blower like the one in this Zeiss Lens Kit) can help make your product photos look better. Wiping smudges from compacts or removing splash water marks from mirrors helps. A lot of times it is hard to see the small details in the viewfinder and I don’t catch it until after I’ve taken a batch of photos. You can edit out small dust particles or smudges with the spot healing tool in photoshop and a lot of apps like Snapseed also have this feature. I don’t have perfect photos, I still have smudges, finger prints, hair, dust etc on my compacts and mirrors. My lighting isn’t always consistent since it is natural light which changes depending on time of day, weather conditions, season and even time of year!

YouTube is the great resource for improving photos and learning new things. The best way to take improve photos is to problem solve specific things. Asking yourself more targeted questions will help you improve. For example do you want your photos to be sharper? Maybe you have camera shake so add a tripod, or try a different lens or different camera settings! Looking for brighter photos? Look for tutorials on how to change your settings on manual, also sometimes things can be fixed in editing! Are you looking for tips on posing or ideas for props? Are you looking for some more creative inspiration? There are lots of resources other creative minds have put together.

Sony a7RII vs a7RIII vs ZV-1

10. Best camera for beginners?

This is a tough one because it really depends on what you want to do, for example are you looking for video or photography? For photography do you want to take photos of products, faces, outfits, or something else? There’s no one size fits all but I do think the Sony A6400 is a great versatile camera! The best way to find the right camera for you is YouTube – there are tons of videos on every camera imaginable with side by side comparisons for different subjects, light scenarios etc.

That wraps my camera and photography Q&A part one! I know some of you have more detailed questions and you can feel free to leave them below! But hope this is a good starting point for those curious about the basics and my equipment.


Ask Sabrina

Ask Sabrina | Part 2

January 17, 2021

Top Hair Care Loves Oribe, Olaplex and Christophe Robin

Welcome to my Ask Sabrina series Part 2! This week I’d love for you to share your answers to these questions in the comments so I can learn more about you as well!

1. What are your holy grail hair care items? Hair care routine?

My most recent Current Haircare Routine is rounded up here. If I had to pick my top 5 brands they would be: Oribe, Hair Rituel by Sisley, Olaplex, Living Proof and Dyson Hair.

Hair care depends so much on hair type, thickness and whether or not you have color-treated hair. I’m still in the process of growing out my highlights. You can see the first time I color-treated my hair in this post. Now that I’m growing out the bleached ends I would say my absolute top 5 must-haves are the Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, Olaplex No 5 Conditioner, Sisley Hair Oil, Oribe Detangling Spray, Moroccanoil Treatment.

For hair tools I just got the Dyson Airwrap Styler for Christmas and am absolutely obsessed. I think it’s the best hair dryer and curler in one that I have ever used. Working on a review + demo for you and hoping it restocks soon!

Hair Care Essentials for Smooth Blow Out

2. What’s your educational background?

I have a BBA from the University of San Diego and an MBA from San Diego State University. I studied business administration and political science in undergraduate school. For some time I had considered going to art school for photography or graphic design and I spent my freshman year attending 2 schools: one for my business degree, the other at a local community college for art classes to build my portfolio. My parents encouraged me to pursue my passion for the arts but I felt like it would not be an easy career. I decided to go the business school route instead.

I worked in the corporate world for 2 ½ years before applying for grad school. I went to San Diego State for my MBA and it was one of the most valuable experiences I’ve ever had!

3. What did you do in your career before you blogged full time?

I’ve worked as a financial analyst in a number of different industries. My first job out of college was at JP Morgan Chase – I worked in auto finance. Over the next several years I also worked in the mortgage industry, pharmaceutical world and also in commercial aerospace. Early in my career the best way to advance was to find new opportunities every few years at different companies that were either looking to grow or start new divisions.

Another thing many of you don’t know is that while I was in grad school, I worked part time in retail at Williams-Sonoma. It was a great experience and I had so much fun there so I kept working there after I graduated. Even after I found a full-time corporate job I stayed on for a couple more years. For several years I had a full-time corporate job, a part-time job and was trying to grow my blog. These were definitely some of my most stressful years but I know I was not alone. I worked alongside many others working multiple jobs while going to school as well.

Eventually realized I couldn’t do it all and keep my sanity, so I focused on my corporate job with blogging on the side. I learned a lot in that time – developed valuable relationships and friendships too. Different experiences both good and bad help you develop and grow.

4. Are APLs worth it? Can we see your collection?

APL Techloom Breeze, Cotton Citizen Sweatshirt, Lululemon Align Leggings

Above wearing APL TechLoom Breeze (color is Beach), Lululemon Align 25 Length Leggings, Cotton Citizen Hoodie, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Pillow Talk

Yes I think they are 100% worth it! My bestie and a number of readers had been raving about them and finally convinced me to try them. I love them for everyday wear, for weight training, and long extended walks. I am not a runner so I can’t really say how they hold up for runs. (I’ve never liked running no matter how much I’ve tried). My favorite style is the Techloom Breeze for comfort. Quick rundown of my favorites:

  • TechLoom Breeze is the most comfortable for my feet
  • TechLoom Pro has the most support, the shoe is more structured and has a more cushioned/stiffer sole
  • TechLoom Wave is more roomy in the front compared to the other two, the back is more elastic on the heel/ankle portion
  • TechLoom Tracer is the most structured and has a tighter fit around the top area of the foot – opening is smaller than the other styles so it hugs the foot/ankle more closely

For the other styles my bestie has the TechLoom Bliss and says they are like walking on clouds! My hubby says the TechLoom Phantom is his favorite style for the fit (they stretch nicely according to him) and he likes the look.

They run similar in sizing to Nike. In most shoes I’m a 6.5 to 7. In sneakers I’m almost always a 7 or 37 – I wear this size in both Nike and APL. I usually buy them from Athletic Propulsion Labs online. I’ve also ordered from Shopbop or Revolve. They’re easy to clean – I throw them in the washer and air dry them.

APL Sneaker Favorites SABRINA

5. How do you efficiently go through all your products?

The short answer is that I don’t. As a blogger I encounter a lot of products and new launches for testing and reviewing. It is not humanly possible to use up everything before its expiration date. For many years this stressed me out because of the waste. But I started this blog to be a resource whether it’s through a review, swatches or makeup looks. My main goal is to help you and others with the swatches and comparisons so as long I’m still good a resource I’ve achieved my main goal. I don’t review or try everything that is sent my way. I filter out products based on what I find the most interesting or what you’ve asked to see reviewed. I also still purchase product on my own that I don’t receive in PR and sometimes I don’t get to everything in a timely manner. Unused products that haven’t expired are either donated or gifted away to friends and family. Pre-covid times I also gifted away a lot of products to my readers in giveaways.

I do tend to use up a lot more skincare and hair care than I do for makeup. I share a lot of my skincare products with Andrew too so we tend to use them up frequently. Hair care is something I go through a lot of naturally. I’m one who has to wash their hair daily especially with sweating from workouts and Florida humidity. With the cooler weather during the winter though I will sometimes go up to 2 days without washing my hair as long as I don’t have a heavy workout.

6. Has your husband always been into taking care of his skin or did you have to convince him?

I feel lucky that Andrew has always had a really good skincare and grooming routine. I’m especially grateful after hearing from my girl friends who cry about the fact they cannot get their husbands to put moisturizer on their face at all! In more recent years I feel like he has been the one to influence me to take better care of myself in terms of health, strength, having a better diet and more.

7. How do you keep your house so clean? How do you have the discipline to vacuum daily? How do you prevent pets from ruining your furniture?

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vaccum

We clean our house daily because with multiple pets we have to. Lucy is a Jack Russell with a long rough coat and Calvin is a Ragdoll with long hair. They both shed and are pretty active so cleaning daily is essential. Right now we vacuum daily with our Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. We also give the floors a thorough wet clean around 2x per month which takes hours but I just discovered the Bissell Symphony Vacuum and Steam Mop – I partnered with HSN to show a demo of it on my Instagram stories it’s on sale at a special price at 1/17/2020 only – you can see more on stories @beautylookbook before it expires at the 24 hour mark! In case you miss it I will save it to my Instagram HOME highlights for the mini review/demo.

My main secret to a clean house is Andrew. He’s the clean one and meticulous about keeping the house tidy. For our furniture we are lucky our pets are well behaved. Lucy doesn’t bite or dig at the furniture. Our cat only claws his cat tree so we don’t have any issues with our chairs or couches.

8. How do you feel about Botox, fillers, injectables, etc?

Botox is on my list of things to do this year. I’m terribly afraid of needles which is why I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve told myself THIS IS THE YEAR. Many of you have emailed me about Botox with encouragement and support about this. For that I am thankful! I have seen it work wonders on my friends and they have assured me it’s not painful.

I don’t know much about the other kinds of procedures – I have nothing against them, but since I already have full lips and feel like I will pass out at the sight of a needle they aren’t on my list to try yet. One of my friends gets lip injections to plump her lips and she usually has bruising for a couple of days. I think she is beautiful without the fillers but if it makes her feel better and she likes it I’m all for supporting her!

9. How old are you?

I am 39.

10. What’s your next handbag purchase?

I have so many on my wishlist! I’m trying to narrow down my next splurge but I think it will either be something from Celine (I have been eyeing the Pico Belt Bag) or Loewe (love the Mini Gate).

That wraps up round 2 of Ask Sabrina! I’d love to hear your answers to these same questions if you want to leave them in the comments! Also feel free to leave more questions below or you can email me.