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Guerlain

Fragrance Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Ideas from Guerlain

December 18, 2023

Holiday Gift Ideas from Guerlain

We have one week before Christmas and I am so excited to share a look at some exquisite last minute gift ideas from Guerlain. They sent over a few things to try, all of which I think would make an exceptionally beautiful gift whether you’re looking to treat yourself or a perfume lover. I’ve ordered several things from Guerlain in the past year, and they always come beautifully boxed and wrapped.

For last minute gifts they are offering complimentary express shipping on all orders now through 12/21 and also offering a 4-piece Abeille Royale Gift Set on orders $200+ with code HOLIDAY2023.

Holiday Gift Ideas from Guerlain

Holiday Gift Ideas from Guerlain

Skincare Sets

For the skincare lover they have quite a few Abeille Royale Skincare Sets this year. If you love the Watery Youth Oil they have it in multiple sets, some come with cute makeup bags. The Honey Care Ritual Set ($195) has a full-size oil along with a small Abeille Royale Eye Cream and KissKiss Bee Balm in 258 Rose Glow (a pretty pink). This one comes in a boxed set.

Guerlain Abeille Royale Honey Care Ritual

Perfume Discovery Sets

Guerlain L'Art & La Matiere The Perfumer's Floral Harmony Set

I love perfume discovery sets and I think they make great gifts. They’re the perfect way to try on different scents at your own pace at home.

This year they have a few different perfume discovery sets for their L’Art and La Matiere perfume line. I bought one a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. I ended up splitting the set up among friends to try and sample. Guerlain perfumes are among the best in terms of quality and lasting power with a unique mix of options.

Guerlain L'Art & La Matiere The Perfumer's Floral Harmony Set

above: Floral Harmony Perfumer’s Set

They launched their Perfumer’s Set in two variations: the Iconic Harmony and Floral Harmony ($380 each). A lot of you have been asking for recommendations on floral perfumes and the Floral Harmony Set is a beautiful option to try and find your perfect floral. The set contains Neroli Outrenoir, Musc Outreblanc, Rose Cherie, Rose Barbare, Cruel Gardenia, Angelique Noire, Herbes Troublantes, Joyeuse Tuberuse.

I’ve already found 2 that I have on my wishlist for my next splurge. I’ve tried Musc Outreblanc a few times and love it for the soft clean skin like musk scent that has long lasting power. The Neroli Outrenoir and Herbes Troublantes are also both beautiful.

Guerlain L'Art & La Matiere The Perfumer's Floral Harmony Set

If you like a more diverse range of notes the Iconic Harmony is a great option. It has their Spiritueuse Double Vanille (one of the best vanillas I’ve tried) along with some of their other classics. It also has that Musc Outreblanc I love.

Their Hive of Wonders Advent Calendar ($720) is one of the most beautiful advent calendars out there. It has a mix of perfumes, mini candles, soaps, skincare and a few other things. All boxed up in a super chic bee hive. If you’re looking for the ULTIMATE splurge gift for the beauty lover, I can’t think of anything more luxurious than one these advent calendar gifts.

Guerlain Hive of Wonders Advent Calendar 2023

Guerlain Hive of Wonders Advent Calendar 2023

Perfume and Scented Options

The L’Art and La Matiere collection is absolutely beautiful. In my years of trying fragrances, I feel like there are few perfume lines that feel as luxurious as Guerlain’s. When you smell the line you can really tell the difference in quality of ingredients and the throw/ lasting power is very VERY good.

Guerlain Les Matieres Confidentielles Eau de Coton

I’ve been really curious about the Les Matieres Confidentielles line of Eau de Toilettes and my first experience is Eau de Coton ($180). It’s a fresh powdery velvety citrus. There is a hint of soft musk. I think it’s going to make a nice layering scent. On it’s own it smells like fresh cotton with a soft and airy feel. Notes include orange blossom, almond, musk.

Guerlain Figue Azur Scented Diffuser

Guerlain also has a full line of candles and diffusers. I know buying scents blind can be tricky but the Figue Azur Scented Diffuser ($130) is the most exquisite fig scent I’ve ever smelled. It’s sweet, fresh and green in a bright way. The throw on this diffuser is very strong. This one is quite the splurge but if you’re looking for a diffuser that will fill the entire room and one that looks beautiful too, this is something I think you will really love. I have my eye on one of the candles to try, Palais D’Orangers or Figue Azur both sound beautiful. (Candles are refillable.)

Holiday Gift Ideas from Guerlain

Available at Guerlain. There is still time for last minute gifts as they are offering complimentary express shipping on all orders now through 12/21 and also offering a 4-piece Abeille Royale Gift Set on orders $200+ with code HOLIDAY2023 (while supplies last).

If you’re looking for some last minute gifts I hope you found this roundup helpful!

Guerlain items gifted for review consideration.

Base Makeup

Guerlain Terracotta Le Teint Foundation + Luminizers

March 22, 2023

Guerlain Terracotta Le Teint Foundation 3N and 3.5N

It’s been a while since I’ve tried any Guerlain makeup but they just launched a new natural glow foundation called Terracotta Le Teint ($62) and I ordered it the second it popped up online. I picked out Shade 3N and 3.5N to try based on what I’ve tested from the brand before. I also ordered the new Terracotta Luminizers ($59 each) to try. They added a new Kabuki Foundation Brush ($58) to go with the new foundation but since I already own a lot of brushes and sponges passed on the new brush. The foundation is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Guerlain.

Terracotta Le Teint

Guerlain Terracotta Le Teint Foundation 3N and 3.5N

The Terracotta Le Teint is a natural finish foundation with medium coverage. It has a glowy look but sets to a budge-proof finish so even though it’s glowy, it doesn’t feel super emollient once it sets. On me I find it long-wearing right now in our mild warm spring temperature. Once the heat and humidity arrives, I don’t know how it will hold up, but right now I’m impressed.

Ingredient listing includes alcohol high up on the list and this foundation also contains fragrance, both which can be hit or miss for my skin. After testing this for a couple weeks now I haven’t experienced any irritation from the fragrance or alcohol. I pulled the ingredients from online:

Aqua (Water), C9-12 Alkane, Alcohol, Undecane, Silica, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin, Tridecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Barium Sulfate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Lauryl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Propylene Carbonate, Parfum (Fragrance), Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Isostearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Mica, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Palmitic Acid, Tocopherol, Magnesium Hydroxide, [+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride)].

Shade wise I’m in between 3N and 3.5N, but I’m wearing 3N in this post. Below with bare skin:

Bare skin no makeup

With foundation + eyeshadow + lipstick (no powder or concealer worn):

Guerlain Terracotta Le Teint Foundation 3N

In one of my orders I got a couple sample packets of 2N and 4N which I’ve swatched below. There seems to be a huge gap between 3.5N and 4N. There is a 3W and 3.5W which might fill the gap but I don’t have the foundation at any counters near me to try in person.

Quick skintone note: I’m currently lighter than my usual Chanel Les Beiges in the B40 shade and wear a mix of the B30 and dab of B40. I also swatched the Tom Ford Foundation Sticks in 6 Natural and 6.5 Sable.

Guerlain foundation swatches

I like this Guerlain Le Teint formula a lot better than the Guerlain L’Essentiel which I found thick and heavy on the skin. I wouldn’t call the new formula completely weightless as I can definitely feel it on my skin, but it is lightweight and feels nice.

Compared to other glowy foundations I still prefer Chanel (especially the Les Beiges Water Fresh Complexion Tint) but this one from Guerlain is very good.

Terracotta Luminizer

Guerlain Terracotta Luminizers Cool Ivory and Warm Gold

Guerlain also launched two new highlighters called the Terracotta Luminizer ($59 each). There is a light pink shimmer called Cool Ivory and a warm golden shimmer called Warm Gold. The formula and finish is exquisite for a really beautiful glow. Out of the two I like Cool Ivory the best for a natural pretty highlight. Warm Gold pulls very yellow on my skin and I prefer other golds or peach tones like the Charlotte Tilbury Gilded Glow or Bobbi Brown Peach.

Highlighter swatches

Below wearing:

Cool Ivory

Guerlain Terracotta Luminizer Cool Ivory

____

Warm Gold

Guerlain Terracotta Luminizer Warm Gold

Guerlain Terracotta Le Teint Foundation Review

Overall I really love the new foundation. I think the highlighters have a really beautiful formula and even though I have a million highlighters, I really love the finish and look of Cool Ivory.

Will you be checking out any of these?

 

 

Available at at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Guerlain.

Beauty Beauty Favorites Roundup

Five Summer Beauty Loves

July 2, 2017

Summer Beauty Essentials | The Beauty Look Book

I love the summer sunshine and warm weather. It’s one of the main reasons we picked Florida to move to from San Diego because we really just love the sun. I’m especially fond of summer for beauty because bronzer is in and even though I wear it year round, I’m always looking forward to new formulas and colors. There are quite a few new summer launches that I’ve been loving – if I made a comprehensive list it would be quite long. Many of you want a super edited version so I’ve picked my top five summer beauty essentials to share today.

Summer Beauty Lovin' | The Beauty Look Book

Shown above: Towel // Sunglasses // Sandals // Stripe Pouch // Replica Beach Walk // Supergoop! Sunscreen Mousse // Tory Burch Bel Azur Fragrance // Clarins Lip Oils // Guerlain Ultra Shine Bronzer // Shorts // Swimsuit

My five simple summer beauty must-haves include:

  • A good body oil – I just did a roundup of summer body oils for soft glowing skin, of course right after I did my testing Maison Margiela launched a Replica Beach Walk Dry Body Oil (thanks to one of my readers Lori for putting this on my radar!). I still really love my top picks as mentioned in my previous post, but Beach Walk is a summer beach vacation in a bottle. This one has a salty more beachy feel compared to the fragrance version. I think the two layered together makes for the ultimate summer combo. The Dry Oil feels silky smooth on the skin and is nicely hydrating. Also huge plus it comes with a spritzer! Notes include Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Coconut Milk, Heliotrope, Musk, Cedarwood, Benzoin. There’s also a Body Lotion and Shower Gel version too.
  • An everyday sunscreen – my go-to winning brand this summer is Supergoop! with a tie between the Sunscreen Mousse and Everyday Sunscreen. I carry both in my purse almost all the time (I alternate between the two and they both come in travel sizes). Both have SPF 50 and are easy to reapply. I find it impossible to stay out of the sun here in Florida and sun protection is a must. Both have been really good at preventing the burn and protecting skin. Review here and here if you want more info.
  • Summer fragrance – I’ll do a roundup of the best summer smells soon, Tory Burch just launched a new fragrance called Bel Azur and it’s just beautiful. It comes in a few sizes. It has a light fresh and sweet combination with a bright feel. Notes include Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon, Neroli, Pink Peppercorn, Peony, Patchouli Heart, Vetiver Heart, Cedarwood Oil. I notice peony and neroli a lot in this one.
  • Lip moisturizer – I’m a lip balm junkie and I’ve been really loving the Clarins Lip Oils. They have a nice lush feel and are super easy to just swipe and go. They launched new shades this spring including two that will change color with your lip chemistry. In case you missed it, review and swatches in this post. There are 7 shades total now. They give the lips just a slight tint of color.
  • Bronzer – I’ll forever be loyal to Edward Bess’s Daydream as my holy grail, but this season I’ve also been loving the Becca Sunlit Bronzers and Guerlain Terracotta Ultra Shine Bronzer. For the Guerlain one I have to say Cafe Makeup made me do it. We both stopped by the Guerlain counter during our beauty trip in New York earlier this spring. It rained in the city the day we met up but it didn’t stop us from going all around town to scout out the best in beauty. The artists put this on her at Bergdorfs and it just made her skin glow in a naturally beautiful way! This one is really gorgeous.

Also not beauty-related, but to date the best summer sandal splurge I’ve made are the Tory Burch Miller flip flops. They are really quite expensive but 100% worth the splurge. I wear them everywhere and am a bit embarrassed to admit how many different colors I’ve bought by now but they’re really comfortable and they make wearing flip flops fashionable.

To celebrate summer beauty, I’m giving away 4 $100 eGift Cards to your choice of Nordstrom or Sephora. It’s open internationally but you must enter through the widget below and be 18 years or older. Full details listed in the Terms and Conditions:

  • Four separate people will be selected at random to win a $100 eGift Card to Nordstrom or Sephora
  • Giveaway runs from 7/2/2017 to 7/10/2017 11:45 PM EST
  • Open internationally
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Enter by using at least 1 of the steps provided in the widget
  • Winners will be selected at random and e-mailed by 7/12/2017
  • You must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be selected
  • Winners will be announced on this widget in this post once selected
  • Giveaway not sponsored or affiliated

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tory Burch Fragrance, Beach Towel Sunglasses, Clarins Lip Oils, Supergoop! Sunscreen gifted.

 

On My Radar

On My Radar / New in Beauty

January 6, 2017

New Beauty Launches for Spring 2017 Diptyque Rosamundi, Chanel Le Rouge Crayon, Armani Powder Fabric, Tatcha Essence and more

Happy Friday! New beauty launches have started to trickle in and there are a few things on my radar this week. Most brands have yet to launch their spring color collections but I’m eager to see what everyone has in store for the season. Chanel launched theirs first with the Coco Codes and I’m loving everything so far.

  1. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur ($37 each) just launched online at Chanel with eleven color options, these are jumbo crayons for the lips and are retractable, I will have a review and swatches on these in the upcoming weeks
  2. Guerlain Happy Glow Pearls ($74) and Happy Glow Blush ($54) just launched, I think there are a few additional items launching for spring but these are the only two I could find so far, they look so pretty!
  3. Giorgio Armani Powder Fabric Foundation ($64) is Armani’s latest in base launches, I’m really intrigued by this and have high hopes for it to work for my skin type, I’m not sure when it launches in stores but will be keeping my eye out to see if I can find a good color match
  4. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm ($18) comes in stick form now! I love the tube version formula in Smashed, so I ordered the stick, it arrived yesterday and the testing will start this weekend
  5. KNC Beauty All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask ($24.99 for a 5 pack) from Violet Grey is something my bestie texted me asking, “have you tried this yet???” – I have not but the concept is intriguing so I had to order to test it out, I will definitely keep you posted! I don’t know how I feel about a sheet mask for the lips but I’m super curious!
  6. Tatcha just launched a new product called The Essence ($95) which is a resurfacing softener, when it comes to essence or softening lotions I have to say that I’m 100% confused about what they’re supposed to do, when to use them and what the difference is between the options, I’ve tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which did help improve texture and softness of my skin (I got lazy and stopped using it after I used up my minis), alternatively one of my friends swears by the La Mer Treatment Lotion which is also another softener – if you have any insight on essences or lotions I would love some insight!
  7. Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets ($34) have launched in 14 shades online at Sephora and Nordstrom, I have five that I ordered and will be swatching and reviewing them as fast as I can for you
  8. beautyblender just launched their beautyblender bubble ($20) and micro.mini bubble ($18) as a Sephora exclusive to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, they sent a lovely package over the holiday and I can’t wait to use them!
  9. Diptyque launches a special-edition Rosamundi Candle ($35 to $68) for Spring 2017, review to follow soon on this beautiful launch
  10. Charlotte Tilbury launched four Quick N Easy Sets ($75 each) designed with an edited selection of beauty products to create a look in 5 minutes, I’ll have these reviewed next week and will be hosting a giveaway so stay tuned for the post and details!

Have a wonderful Friday! What’s on your beauty radar right now?

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Sephora

Sephora Beauty Haul + Sephora VIB 20% Off Sale Info

November 11, 2016
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

I have my huge Sephora sale haul post for those who wanted to know what I bought during the VIB Rouge sale last week. For those who have VIB Member Status the 20% off Sephora Sale starts today 11/11 and runs through 11/14/2016 with code 20VIB if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com. You can use the code multiple times online and there are no product or brand exclusions. Up first are staples I stocked up on:

The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Left to right:

  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is something I bought in the 1 oz travel size, I have the full size but it’s nice to have a mini on hand for travel or mini trips, original review here in case you want more details
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is one of the most gentle face scrubs I’ve used, in recent years I’ve stopped using most scrubs because I have very sensitive skin, this one is a good one!
  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut is pretty much the only brand of deodorant I use, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t say how well this holds up for those who do sweat a lot, but it lasts all day, isn’t irritating, smells great and aluminum-free, sometimes on days I’m in a rush it’s all I wear and I get compliments from random strangers saying “you smell really good, what are you wearing?”
  • Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner is one of my favorite quick-clean kind of sprays, it won’t clean brushes 100% but it’s great for powder shadow or blush brushes (anything powder like bronzer, highlighter etc.) – also available n a mini size
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix is one of the best makeup setting sprays I’ve tried although I have to say that I have not tried that many, ones I have tried are just ok, but this one is great, it sets makeup, makes powder look less powdery without messing up your makeup, helps extend wear, has no scent, and is also availble in a mini size
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt has been featured here before and a single tub will last a long time, I use it 1x per week to every other week now and am getting close to finishing another one so I stocked up, review here and here in case you’re curious
  • Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads are great basic cotton pads that won’t leave fibers in your eyes, I stocked up on 3 packs because apparently my husband has been using mine although he doesn’t use toner or need/use makeup remover so I’m not sure what he’s using them for, either way they are inexpensive even without the discount and don’t disintegrate
  • YSL L’Homme Deodorant is a restock for my husband and it’s one of his favorite deodorants of all time, he has sensitive under arms but this one works for him – I bought it because the Sephora sales rep told me it was “the best” he tried and that I would not regret buying it, he was right! My husband loves the smell and I love the smell, it lasts all day on him and is non-irritating, he wants me to tell you that he thinks it will make a good stocking stuffer for guys, lol
Next are some sets that I found interesting and ordered online because of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. One is being returned.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

  • Peter Thomas Roth masks have been raved about by so many I decided to finally try the Mask-A-Holic 5 Piece Kit ($75 for a $230 value), there is also the Mask Vault ($225 for a $352 value) but the 5 piece set seemed like a much better value/deal – if you’ve tried them let me know what you think or if you have favorites!
  • Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil 7 Piece Body Butter Collection is something I bought for stocking stuffers, I tried Gingerbread Vanilla and had a friend over and asked her to take a whiff to make sure it just wasn’t me, these are very strong in scent and very very sweet, if you like sweet or vanilla you’ll love these, me and my friend found them too strong so it’s going back, I don’t think my friends will like these
  • Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Set has four 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Eau de Parfum mini rollerballs in Nirvana Black, Nirvana White, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose, it’s a great way to try all four or keep one in a clutch
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio has a lot of positive reviews, they are clay masks that are supposed to transform into a foaming cleanser when you add water, I haven’t tried it yet but have high hopes!
  • Skin Inc. Prep + Peel Set is something I bought to try the peel described as “non-abrasive” – will keep you posted as I try these, I may wait until after Thanksgiving to try these just in case I have an allergic reaction to anything
Elizabeth and James launched two candles in Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, both are online only (at least for the moment). They also have a couple sets with the candle like the House of Nirvana Black Gift Set. I haven’t burned it yet but it smells amazing from just opening the box. The Nirvana Black is my favorite and I think having this as a home scent will be incredible. The Find Your Nirvana Set minis shown next to candle for scale.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Elizabeth and James - Holiday 2016

Makeup picks where I went for minis and stocking stuffers:
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Minis - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

Last but not least, I did buy the Laura Mercier Iconics Holiday Box Set. I went back and forth debating whether to buy it as there are a number of other Advent Calendar/Box Beauty Sets that are tempting this year. At the $170 retail price the 12 items in the box average to about $14.17 per item. With the 20% off the set price is $136 which makes each item about $11.33 (not including sales tax). The presentation is gorgeous and even though the box appears to be cardboard it’s very well made. I said I would review this earlier but after looking at it and seeing as I have already tried 8 of the 12 items I am going to save this as a gift for a very special someone although I don’t want to say who because it’s supposed to be a surprise. Everything is individually wrapped but if you want to see real life photographs I can carefully open the box to photograph for this post. Here’s the stock image as a place holder for now.

Hope you enjoyed this haul post! To recap, if you have VIB Member Status you can save 20% off purchases starting today 11/11 and through 11/14/2016 at Sephora. Use code 20VIB at checkout if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
P.S. I am expecting my Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes to arrive today so I hope to photograph, test and swatch everything for my VIB readers before the sale ends even if it will be a first impressions kind of post.

Are you hauling anything during the sale this weekend? Or did you already shop last weekend for the VIB Rouge?
On My Radar

On My Radar / New In Beauty

July 29, 2015

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a roundup of new beauty releases on my radar. I was planning to share this tomorrow but there’s a super special amazing deal that can’t wait. Fall collections are trickling in and the new releases look amazing. My first post will be on NARS fall (which is incredible) and I’m currently swatching my picks from Chanel. Several have asked for the post on my travel carry-on contents – I promise to have it up as soon as I can! I’m editing the photos today and tomorrow. Here’s what’s on my radar from the top left then clockwise:

Sephora Pro has launched a collection of 5 brushes in the hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection. Each brush comes encased in a beautiful rich red box. The brush tips are a pale white and grey color. Handles are lacquered in a shiny red with silver embossed labels. The presentation is just phenomenal. I’m testing the brushes this week and hope to have a review with first impressions soon.

Tom Ford Beauty has some amazing things coming out this fall. I’m most excited about the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo (currently available for pre-order, I’ve ordered it). I’m also intrigued by the Skin Primers that come in a Pink and Peach version.

One of my BFFs shared her love about Korean Skincare Peach and Lily over the weekend. She ordered some of the Cremorlab Sheet Masks and said “you need to try them.” She has super sensitive skin and also knows her ingredients as she works in product development and closely with chemists. If she says something is good I trust her 100% – I’m ordering a few over the weekend. If you have any recommendations I’m all ears!

For Chanel fall I’m obsessed with the new Le Vernis shades in Vert Obscur, Ecorce Sanguine and Chataigne. Two are very very dark but they are perfect for fall. The new Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is to die for. My personal favorites are the four new Stylo Yeux Eyeliners.

Fresh has a new Limited-Edition Rose Face Mask launched to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. They’ve teamed up with London-based artist Jo Ratcliffe to create a beautiful special-edition floral design for the packaging. It’s gorgeous.

Guerlain Fall isn’t expected to arrive until next month but there is a new Terracotta Bayadère Face & Eyes Contour Palette that has caught my eye. I need to check it out immediately.

Marc Jacobs Beauty has three new face products that just launched. I need the Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer for sure. It wasn’t on display at my Sephora last week but I hope to check it out soon. There is also a new Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and a a new brush to go with it called The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush.

Armani has a new Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. I’m a 6.5 in the Luminous Silk and was matched to shade 4 at the counter. I’m not entirely sure it’s the right match but I’m giving it a go anyways. The other colors in the 5, 5.5 and 6.5 range looked very pink to me. I’ll report once I’ve given it a proper test.

Tatcha just launched a new Pore Perfecting Suncreen with SPF 35 (also available in a travel size). I’m really anxious to try this as I’ve been testing sunscreens all summer long. I have high hopes for this one.

Last but not least, many thanks to a couple of my readers who let me know Diptyque is on Hautelook for a limited time. There are a few select pieces available – but the deals are really good and it’s worth a look. I bought two of the Lilac pillars although now I need a photophore to store it. This is my first time ordering from Hautelook.

What’s on your beauty radar this week?

Boutique France Hauls Travel

Paris Shopping Guide: Beauty

June 28, 2015

Shopping in Paris was quite an experience. I was thoroughly impressed by the excellent customer service. We observed tourists shopping from a number of different countries – I was impressed by the fact that many associates were fluent in multiple languages including English, German, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and more. Beauty shopping in Paris is unlike anything else – almost all the stores we stopped by had associates that were knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and very patient.

Before I left the US for Europe, I made a list of stores I wanted to visit and mapped them out. The city of Paris is divided into twenty districts called arrondissements. Mapping out all the monuments, shops, restaurants and hotels of interest helped us plan our days in Paris. In the time we were in Paris – we spent most of our time sight-seeing and enjoying the parks and cafes. I didn’t get to see all the shopping places on my list – I could have spent an entire week just window shopping or browsing and still not have made a dent in seeing what the city has to offer.

The beauty places I shopped, browsed and stopped by, sorted by arrondissment:

French Pharmacies
Location: all over the city

I was thrilled to visit several French Pharmacies around Paris. Quite a few of my friends here in the US who have been to France and studied French in college said the pharmacies are like CVS and Rite Aid in the US – they are on almost every corner and stock items locals aren’t really excited about. I didn’t know what to expect but was really impressed by the selection. Stores were stocked with Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, Phyto, Caudalie, Nuxe and more. Some had an entire wall of Nuxe or Phyto. I only made a few small purchases since most of what I was interested in were liquids – I wouldn’t have been able to fit them in my quart-sized carry on. I went inside about a dozen – most stock similar items. Some have more variety compared to others. I was really impressed with the reps in each store. The vast majority seemed to wear white lab coats, they were very knowledgeable in all the lines and options. They were really helpful too. I was able to snap few quick photos inside a couple with my iPhone. I was really impressed by the selection of sunscreens available – had I planned our itinerary better, I would have shifted our Paris week to the end of the trip and filled a suitcase with liquids (skincare, body care, jams, jellies, tea and all the things you can’t carry on). Bioderma minis were plentiful and cheap – usually around 2-3 € or sometimes in packs.

Printemps Louvre
Location: 99 Rue de Rivoli, 1st Arrondissment

There is a small Printemps store underneath the Louvre in the Carrousel Shops. The upside of shopping here is there are a lot of stores in one place and most are opened on Sunday. The beauty section in Printemps Louvre was the only store in Paris I wasn’t thrilled with. The store was extremely packed and busy the first time I visited (although it was on a weekend). Associates weren’t as friendly as other stores I had visited. There was a beautiful Louboutin display of all the nail colors along with shoes, clutches and wallets. I stopped by a second time on our trip back to the US to buy one of the new Scarabée colors – however all the associates were visibly upset with all the shoppers touching and moving the Louboutin nail polishes. They stood guard and kept moving them back into place – understandable if they wanted to keep the display pristine, however if there was a look but don’t touch rule, they should have sectioned it off or put up a sigh. I made sure not to touch any since I didn’t want to make them upset. I wanted to purchase a few but they were so rude I left without buying anything. (I ordered the three new ones from Nordstrom and they were waiting for me at my house when I returned to the US, I hope to swatch soon – they are gorgeous!)

Diptyque Paris
Location: 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 5th Arrondissment

Being the die-hard Diptyque fan that I am, visiting the store on 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain was at the top of my list. The store is exquisite in a quaint and inviting kind of way. I wish I could have transported the store and put it inside my home – the decorations and displays were beautiful. The store associate was very friendly – we chatted about the boutiques that had opened up in California (San Francisco, Beverly Hills, South Coast Plaza and Larchmont). The store offerings were almost identical to those in the US with the exception of the room sprays. When I go back to Paris I hope to buy more of the room sprays. I left buying one, Feuille de Lavande which is incredible (similar but stronger than the candle version). For me this was heaven.

Cire Trudon
Location: 78 Rue de Seine, 6th Arrondissment

I wasn’t able to make it into the Cire Trudon store. We stopped by it on the way to dinner but they had already closed and I never made it back. I hope to visit on my next trip to Paris. The displays in the store looked beautiful – the photos I took were too dark but I did get one snapshot of the outside.

Sephora Champs-Élysées
Location: 70-72 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 8th Arrondissment

The Sephora store on the Champs-Élysées was unreal. It was the ultimate beauty shopping store. I’ve never seen such a large store and it was amazing. The entrance had a large red carpet with kiosks along the side with beautiful Dior displays. The entire wall was covered with Dior. Also inside included brands you don’t see in Sephora stores in the US: MAC, Serge Lutens, a beauty bar for makeup application, a nail bar where women were getting nail touch ups, By Terry, Chanel and so much more. I could have spent an entire day inside – but I limited myself to the Dior and travel section so I wouldn’t do too much damage.

Guerlain Champs-Élysées
Location: 68 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 8th Arrondissment

I only briefly walked through this beautiful boutique. It was filled with so many different perfumes I think it would take me weeks to learn about all the options. I only use a couple items from Guerlain so I didn’t purchase anything from the store. If I could describe it in one word though it would be “magical.” There is at least one more Guerlain store in Paris, but this one was recommended as the best to me.

Chanel Beauté
Location: 382 Rue Saint Honoré, 8th Arrondissment

Chanel is easy to find in Paris. The Rue Cambon Boutique has a beauty section in the store but it was very busy. Around the corner there is a little beauty store on Rue Saint Honoré which is dedicated to beauty, skincare and fragrance. The store itself is extremely small. There were 5 other customers inside, myself and 3-4 associates roaming around helping people and we barely had room to navigate. It’s very cute inside and minimalist. The associate who helped me was very nice – I asked to test a few powders and she showed me some of the new Sublimage skincare that had just launched. They have the Exclusifs line – the bottles lined up on the wall looked so beautiful.

Printemps Haussmann
Location: 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th Arrondissment

This was my favorite store out of all the shops I visited. So many brands within one store, beauty floors on multiple levels. They have a special Diptyque candle called Primavera to celebrate the 150th anniversary. I think pictures are worth a thousand words – so I’ll let the pictures do the talking here even though they don’t do the store justice. Here are some snapshots I took with my iPhone. It’s a beauty addict’s makeup heaven.

Galeries Lafayette
Location: 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th Arrondissment

Galeries Lafayette is one of the most famous department stores in Paris. The inside of the store is beautiful from every angle. The ceiling is exquisite. They carry a diverse range of luxury beauty and fashion items – Hermes, Goyard, Chanel, Dior, Guerlain and so much more. Since this store carries a lot of brands under one house, it is extremely packed and very busy. I made a few fashion purchases here but wasn’t able to go to any of the counters. There were simply too many people although I did venture in on a Saturday – probably not the best time to shop.

A few thoughts on beauty shopping in Paris:

Take note, most stores and shops are closed on Sunday,
although some in major tourist areas are open on Sundays (i.e. those on
the Champs-Elysees). Visiting individual brand boutiques can be really fun to see each line in their independent settings – how each brand displays the products and the presentation of collections is a sight to behold and really quite stunning. This however can be a bit time consuming so if your shopping time is limited, you can find most items at the larger department stores. My personal favorite was Printemps Haussmann (many readers commented this was the best department store to shop in Paris and I agree!) – the associates at Diptyque, Chanel and L’Artisan were so helpful and threw in so many samples my jaw dropped.
Many international travelers already know this, but if you reside outside of the European Union, are 16 years +, have a passport and spend €175+ in the same store on the same day in Paris, you can be eligible for a 12% tax refund. There are several ways to claim it – by mailed check, ACH back to your credit card, or cash back upfront at certain department stores. Some have automatic kiosks to process your receipts that are easy to use but often have lines. I used a kiosk at one of the stores and accidentally pushed the button for cash refund – in total we waited about 35 minutes in the line. Each store may have a slightly different policy for what you can or can’t combine if it’s a department store – any associate can help explain how it works. To process your refund, you need to have it validated by customs within 3 months of purchase date at the airport, train station or border. Galeries Lafayette has a comprehensive overview of the tax refund process here.

When in doubt, ask for assistance – I was impressed by the French men and women who worked at the beauty shops and counters. Many of my readers and other bloggers have mentioned they learn something new every time they venture into Paris for shopping. This was my first time to Paris and I was really impressed by the level of customer service, professionalism and friendliness. The French take shopping to a new level. A few personal observations:
  • The stores in Paris are well stocked with inventory where in the US often times stores like J.Crew or even Nordstrom (these days) don’t carry as much inventory compared to online. In the US I am fed the phrase “we can order it for you online” more and more in physical stores these days. It’s a nice service to have – but time is precious and the more I find things sold out in stores (and not even limited-edition items) the more I feel like just shopping online to save time. Shopping in person is better to see things in person whether it’s clothes, makeup, items for the house or really anything. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find in-store inventory decreases more and more even though the number of physical stores sometimes increases.
  • Department stores and retailers like Sephora France carry a wide range of brands making one-stop-shopping truly possible. Printemps for example has multiple beauty floors – I found this a bit confusing as we moved from one floor to the next seeing multiple Dior or Chanel booths. But it did make it nice to navigate and see different setups. In the US, if I want to see all the beauty brands I have on a list, I often have to visit 3-4 distinct stores to purchase to Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Diptyque, Caudalie, Fresh and Hourglass (as an example).
  • Parisian beauty counters and shops seem very generous with samples and not just any flimsy sample packets, actual good ones! The Chanel Beauty boutique on Rue Saint Honore gifted a deluxe mini of the exclusifs bottle of Gardenia along with skincare and foundation packets (although I did spend a substantial amount there). Printemps Chanel threw in minis and a deluxe-sized mini of Bleu de Chanel for my husband. For Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain threw in so many skincare packets and some fragrance minis although I have to say the Diptyque store at South Coast Plaza in the US is also very generous to loyal customers.
Have you shopped for beauty in Paris before? What was your experience? Did you have any favorite stores or amazing beauty finds? I hope to go back in the near future. There is so much to explore!