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Florida Roundup Travel

Instagram Roundup / Life Lately

May 21, 2017

Poolside-Clarins-Supergoop-Havainas | The Beauty Look Book

It’s been almost three months since we’ve moved to the East Coast and Florida is finally starting to feel like home. The time has flown by and we’re loving it here (fur babies included!). The weather has been incredibly warm and we just went through out first couple of thunder and rain storms. I’m doing an Instagram roundup with some snapshots from our time in Florida so far over the past few months. Some of you have asked for more info on items I’ve done a sneak preview on Instagram and also about some shoes I’ve featured.

I am still testing sunscreen. I know it’s taking me a long time but I’m working my way through over a dozen formulas. Recently I’ve been testing the Clarins Sunscreen Oil Spray with SPF30 which is a nice lightweight multi-purpose oil. It’s good for skin, hair and face and absorbs quickly into the skin leaving it soft, hydrated and non-sticky. I’ve also been testing the new Supergoop! Sunscreen Mousse with SPF50 and love it. It’s a unique long-wearing formula that offers moisturizing ingredients, has anti-oxidants and is water resistant. It has a very nice lightweight refreshing scent but it’s not overpowering. It does not contain synthetic fragrance or oxybenzone. Also shown above shorts from STS Blue, sandals by Havaianas, Clarins Lip Oils reviewed here, iPhone case Gray Malin, sunglasses Marc Jacobs.

I’ve found that Tampa has quite a few good beauty shops. It’s still not like San Diego or Los Angeles, but there are a couple of great Sephora stores, a Nordstrom, a Neiman Marcus and a Blue Mercury store as well. The Nordstrom beauty selection is great and I’m in love with the setup inside (peek at NARS below). We went to Orlando for a day a few months ago and stopped by Disney Springs. Inside they had the prettiest L’Occitane store with an amazing sink in the middle. This was my first time inside a Blue Mercury store and it’s just AMAZING. I was only able to go inside for a few moments to pick up sunscreen (yes more, lol). They have Darphin, La Mer, Molton Brown … basically more than a handful of my favorite brands.

Nordstrom NARS Tampa and L'Occitane Disney Springs Orlando

The food here has been quite an experience. We’ve found some really amazing places thanks to Yelp but the reviews of course can be hit or miss. Much to our dismay we tried a couple Asian places that had high ratings but really were not good. People here are really friendly – extremely friendly! When people find out I’m from San Diego they always say the one thing I won’t find here is good Asian food like in California. There are other places to make up for it though and we love exploring. One of our favorite spots is Bartaco in Hyde Park Village. We’ve been back multiple times and love that the menu is set up a la carte so you can try a bunch of things. They have a secret menu item going on for the month so if you have a location near you definitely ask them!

Bartaco Tampa Hyde Park Village | The Beauty Look Book

Top left a closer look at Bartaco. Some other places we love include The Oxford Exchange especially for coffee and brunch (top right). They also carry Cire Trudon and Aesop in their gift shops which is a plus. The interior decor is to die for gorgeous! Bodega in Saint Petersburg has the most amazing juice bar (bottom left) and also incredible Cuban sandwiches. They’re so good my brother cried when he took his first bite when he came to visit us, lol. Life would not be complete without Sprinkles. We found one in Orlando and I was really excited to find one in Tampa as well. Their new Cookie Cupcake is the best one I’ve tried.

Two more places worth mentioning are Fresh Kitchen which is like a healthy non-Mexican version of Chipotle where you can create your own bowls. I love their juices even though they’re really pricey. Their tables inside are just the cutest! We also discovered this placed that has fresh gourmet popsicles called The Hyppo and I am obsessed. In three months even with all these food places I’ve somehow managed to lose weight. When I had my wisdom teeth removed in February I couldn’t eat anything solid for about a month. I lost around 10 pounds in a week and dropped two pant sizes. Since moving here I gained a little but lost it and then some. I’ve pretty much have maintained the same weight. We don’t eat fast food anymore and with the exception of cupcakes or ice pops, I attribute it to us cutting out a lot of sugar from our diet and the fact that we’ve started running again.

Tampa Fresh Kitchen and Hyppo Pops Hyde Park

The beaches here are amazing! We took a drive to Anna Maria Florida which is about an hour south of Tampa and the water is just beautiful. We went swimming one day when my brother came to visit but we all got stung by jellyfish! Luckily it wasn’t too bad and although we did get a reaction it disappeared within 30 minutes or so. Becca Sunlit Bronzer on the right in Capri Coast. We still have Miami on our list but if you have any other beaches you recommend please let me know in the comments! We’ll put it on our weekend exploring list 🙂

Anna Maria Florida Beaches, Becca Sunlit Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

My favorite beach is Clearwater Beach which has the softest white sand I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of a drive from where we are and gets busy on the weekends but I love it.

Clearwater Beach, FL

I did an Instagram post in partnership with Kopari to try their Coconut Body Glow and Coconut Melt – both are really good. Their coconut melt really does melt into the skin and adds the perfect amount of rich hydration. With the swimming, sun and different water in Tampa my body skin has felt more on the dry side and the coconut oil has been a lifesaver. If you’re unsure about what to try from the line they have a cute Coconut Multitasking Kit which has four minis of their Body Glow, Melt, Sheer Oil and Balm for $38 which you might want to check out. On the toes below was Chanel Le Vernis in Gitane.

Kopari x The Beauty Look Book

Sunsets in Clearwater Beach:

Clearwater Beach Florida

For some Instagram roundup snippets:

  • Top left: we stopped by Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel for brunch one weekend. The decor inside is so pretty! Shoes are Tory Burch Millers in a color from an older season, current white leather version here
  • Top right: The La Mer Glowing Body Oil is just amazing, if you find it buy it immediately. By the time I decided to get it the oil has sold out everywhere. It popped up online at Nordstrom and since then it keeps coming back in stock every now and then so keep checking. I hope it restocks everywhere because it has the prettiest soft shimmer and smells like a lightweight soft floral. Shoes are the rose gold Havainas, on the toes is Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium from their cruise collection.
  • Bottom right: I found some new sandals from Joie A La Place Nice in Black and am obsessed. The reviews say they run small but I found they were more true to size (I’m usually a 6 and 1/2). Still I bought these in a 7 just for a little more room in the front and they fit perfectly. Toes is the same color as the photo above Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium, Rouge Coco Gloss is Douceur (swatched here), body oil is from NARS.
  • Bottom left: Rag and Bone launched new perfumes, I just started testing Bergamot which is a light fresh kind of scent, Ouai launched their new Rose Hair and Body Oil, the mini is from a kit called The Morning After Kit which I found instore at Sephora (haven’t seen it online yet!). Lipstick is the Tatcha Cherry Blossom swatched here. Mirror is from Anthropologie.

Instagram Roundup @beautylookbook

Last but not least a look at one of this weekend’s OOTDs. With the warm weather I’ve finally felt that I can wear off the shoulder tops. I’ve been loving this one from Paige. You can dress it up or down. I’ve been loving the STS Blue Shorts I found at Nordstrom. My YSL Wallet on Chain has lasted for over two years now and even with regular use hasn’t shown any signs of wear. A number of perfumes have been in rotation and the Byredo Bal D’Afrique is still one of my favorites because it’s so unique. And because I loved the Joie A La Place Sandals so much I ordered a few other colors (found these on sale here!).

OOTD | Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my Instagram/Life Lately roundup! If you have any Tampa recommendations for food, shopping, where to find fresh flowers I’m all ears! Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend 🙂

Press samples featured from Clarins, Supergoop, Becca, Kopari, Rag and Bone and Tatcha.


On Instagram + eGift Card Giveaway

November 8, 2016
Instagram Roundup @beautylookbook

I have an Instagram roundup and an eGift Card Giveaway today! I can’t believe it’s already November. The weather has definitely shifted although the forecast predicts warm weather in the high 70’s to low 80’s here in San Diego the air feels dry and my skin has definitely felt it. I’ve been pulling a number of creams, oils and lotions to see what works best for dry sensitive skin and hope to have a roundup of the best very soon.

For Instagram I receive quite a few questions on the items I post. I tag everything to make it easy for you to identify anything that piques your interest – they’re meant to be highlights, previews or snippets of what I’m loving at the moment. Here’s a roundup with some more details:
  1. My desktop is always cluttered with item I’m testing, swatching or simply just using. I know I’ve promised a beauty organization post and I promise it’s coming! I’m a perfectionist when it comes to finding just the right items finding storage solutions that work has been a long process. Anyways on my desktop: the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (my favorite is Beaming Blush) and Glossier Serums (I bought these to see if they live up to the hype). One item I ordered from the Sephora VIB Rouge sale was the Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Rollerball Set and it’s sooo cute! My favorite is still Nirvana Black. Also on the desk are a couple NARS Velvet Lip Glides (review here).
  2. The founder of The Dry Bar Alli Webb just released her first book Good Hair For All. I was thrilled they sent me an advance copy. I love that it’s hardcover, has great photos and is easy to follow. I haven’t tried any of the tutorials but I they look like it’s actually possible to do the styles yourself.
  3. Two things I love for dry skin are the Lanolips Balm in Strawberry (available at Ulta and Net-A-Porter) and the Jo Malone Germanium and Walnut Hand Cream (picked up from Nordstrom). The Lanolips is one of the best balms I’ve tried I was really surprised as I did not know what to expect.
  4. One of my outfit flatlays, you can see the Coach Clutch here, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Med-Dark here, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Shimmer Shots here. Top is by Joie (no longer available), flats by Chloe, jeans by Frame. The Dior Addict Gloss in Nude is one of the prettiest soft pinks I’ve ever tried. I highly recommend it!
  5. Diptyque Noisetier, Figuier and Feuille de Lavande recycled with the Lanolips Net-a-Porter Duo shown. The Noisetier is hazelnut and one of my favorite home scents for fall. 
  6. Many of you have asked about my pets and how I manage their white fur. Short answer is that it’s a lot of work and it’s daily. We have 3 furkids, one ragdoll cat and two Jack Russell Terriers. As you might imagine they shed and have lots of energy so their fur gets everywhere. We have to vacuum multiple times a day, are always well stocked on swiffers and lint rollers. The lifesaver has been the iRobot Roomba 650 – we have gone through 3 variations in past the 11 years we’ve had our pets so they do last a long time (also available at Macy’s). It can be programmed to go off at scheduled times, has separate sensors towers so you can control where it goes. It does a great job at picking up hair, dust, lint etc. on hard surfaces and they are really easy to maintain and clean out. For the rug it does an ok job but we still need to vacuum with a regular one. If you have pets or kids even I highly recommend it. I have the iRobot Roomba 877 on my wishlist as ours probably needs to be replaced soon. 
  7. Aesop released a new item called Redemption Body Scrub. I’ve been a long time fan of the Geranium Body Scrub. The new one has a more invigorating scent and also has oils to help nourish the skin. Le Labo Santal Shower Gel is a splurge but I love it everytime I repurchase it. One of the best dry skin remedies is First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. It helps with irritated skin, is gentle, hydrates and doesn’t sting. If you haven’t tried this before I suggest looking at the Minis Kit – you won’t regret it.
  8. One of my favorite scents for fall is still Bal D’Afrique. Fall scent and fragrance roundup in this post here. I’ll have a home scent roundup for fall to winter soon.
  9. I use Truffle pouches daily and my current favorite is the Clarity Clutch Mini because it’s small enough to fit inside purses without taking up a lot of room. You can see the black mini in action here and here.
  10. I will have reviews of the Louis Vuitton Parfums and CoverFX Enhance Highlighter Click Sticks up. I feel as though I have a lot of items on my to-do list that have been there forever. I’ve been pretty good at managing things and life in general but have been battling borderline burnout for the past month. So I thank you for your patience when you see that I say posts are “coming soon” but feel like it’s taking forever!
Last but not least I’m having another giveaway – it’s my way of saying thank you and giving back. In a world filled with thousands of blogs out there I’m touched from the bottom of my heart that so many of you return to read this labor of love on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The eGift Card Giveaways seem to be the most popular choice. I also have some backups I have in my stash of hard to find items that I will be giving away in the next few weeks so stay tuned! For this one, simply enter for a chance to win through the widget below. Details:
  • I’m giving away five $100 eGift Cards to (US site)
  • It’s open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter
  • It will run through November 11, 2016 10:30 AM PST
  • Five distinct winners will be selected at random and contacted by e-mail from me
  • Each selected winner will receive one $100 eGift Card to Sephora
  • Please refer to terms and conditions for all details
  • The giveaway is not affiliated or sponsored

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway has a few fun interactive questions so check out the options in the widget 🙂

Good luck! I have lots to share and review coming up on the blog and can’t wait. I sometimes feel like I need to clone/replicate myself to edit and accomplish things faster. If you have any tips or tricks on battling burnout let me know in the comments! I’ve been trying things and so far have been able to manage stress by making lists, making a point to exercise daily, eat better to feel better from the inside out, I’ve juiced on and off for the past year and can share what I’ve tried if you’re interested!


On Instagram

May 30, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Instagram roundup on the blog. I’ve been incorporating a few accessory and fashion bits about new discoveries and loves. It’s peony season right now and although I suspect will be ending soon, I’ve been enjoying every bit of it while it lasts.
I’ll be in NYC and Brooklyn next month and would love any recommendations on what to see, eat or visit. I’ll only be there for a few days but I have a list in the making right now 🙂

I’ve been on a shoe kick recently – a few of my beloved J.Crew flats were seeing better days and I reluctantly threw them away and gave my shoe closet an update. Thankfully they brought back the Cece Flats which are the same fit but a lot more comfortable (I picked up the black suede and tan leather options). These Chloe Scalloped Flats are by far the most comfortable I’ve tried and well worth the splurge. There’s a $100 Sam Edelman dupe here and $42 version/similar style here. I haven’t tried either for sizing/fit but if you’re looking for a similar look you may want to check those out.

For sandals, the Madewell Boardwalk Lace-Ups are perfect for summer. I wouldn’t recommend them for active wear or super long walks, but they are comfortable for weekend beach wear. I sized a half size down (they ran a bit big). If you need something a bit more sturdy the Boardwalk Crisscross is more substantial option.

A few of you recommended the La Mer Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask a few weeks back. I was gifted a couple sheet sets and you were all right – it’s amazing!! I’m waiting for a good gift with purchase to pop up before splurging on a full pack. I’m also about to start testing the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sheet Mask as well so depending on how that one works I may wait and splurge on that set instead (review soon).
Several of you have been e-mailed me for bronzer recommendations. If you’re looking for something new and matte, the two Urban Decay Beached Bronzers are really nice (I prefer sunkissed). If you can’t do warm bronzers, Tom Ford Terra is the best neutral-cool matte I’ve tried. I’ll have a summer beauty round up soon and will do a separate bronzer post in the next couple of weeks.

Two last notes – if you’re in search of a beautiful coffee table book or gift, Gray Malin Beaches is amazing! I ordered a few of the special edition ones and the photographs in the book are phenomenal. (Regular edition available on Amazon.)
If you haven’t checked out the Diptyque Voyages Collection – I recommend doing so soon. They have select perfumes, skincare items and body care in mini travel sizes. The perfumes are so cute! (Quick post on one of them here.)
To my US readers I hope you are enjoying the day off this Memorial Day!

Lately On Instagram

December 1, 2015

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Did you score anything good for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Please share! I drove to the mall on Black Friday thinking everything would be less busy in the afternoon. I saw the parking situation was really bad and left immediately. I did venture to do a little shopping on Saturday but didn’t really pick up much that was on sale.

A few highlights and news bits from my Instagram feed. Since the holiday season is upon us, if you’re wanting to wear a red lip but are a neutral makeup lover like me, I rounded up 9 sheer red balms that are more natural looking than the traditional bold red.

For neutrals, I did a B2M for a few MAC Lipsticks in Koi Coral, Velvet Teddy and Patisserie. MAC lipsticks still make my lips dry out and peel, but the colors are so good I can’t stop wearing them.

Chanel relaunched the Les Tissages de Chanel in Tweed Pink – full review in yesterday’s post here. Did you end up purchasing it? Or are you waiting for spring to arrive at counters?

Last week I was thrilled to attend the Tom Ford Lips and Boys preview at the Beverly Hills store with Rae from The Raeviewer. We had so much fun and swatched up a storm. I’m waiting for a few to arrive this week and also my face is recovering from an allergic reaction – so thanks for your patience while waiting for the swatches. First impressions are that this year’s new colors are almost all shimmery. The one cream that stood out was Austin which is a nude pink cream. My heart belongs to Jake which is the perfect natural pink shimmer. I can’t wait to share the swatches of my picks.
Right now my favorite perfume is the L’Occitane Pierre Hermé Jasmin-Immortelle Neroli Eau de Toilette. I’m seriously considering a backup even though I’ve almost never backed up a perfume (I did it once for a limited-edition Jo Malone one).

My latest discovery is the Le Labo x The Laundress Detergent and I’m in trouble with this one. I bought Rose 31 and used it to wash our sheets and pillow cases and it’s amazing! I haven’t bought any Le Labo fragrances although I have smelled them at Barneys on numerous occasions. If you’re a Le Labo fan – please let me know what your favorites are!

Last but not least, if you’re a Nespresso lover, the holiday variations are out in three flavors: Vanilla Cardamom, Vanilla Amaretti and Ciocco Ginger. I ordered all three and my favorite is the Ciocco Ginger. I need to restock before they’re gone!

Hope your week is going well so far!

On Instagram + This Week’s Deals/Promos

August 3, 2015

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We’ve had cloudy mornings with warm sunny afternoons so I’ve been enjoying the summer evenings here in Southern California. Above are a few snippets from Instagram. Four accounts I’ve been loving lately include @thedaydreamings (such beautiful imagery and flatlays), @bentomonsters (makes me want to try making bentos), @graymalin (the best for getaway dreaming) and @fjarilflickans (cutest Ragdoll videos). If you’re having a meh kind of Monday – any of these are guaranteed to brighten your day.

Yesterday was the last day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but it looks like a number of the beauty exclusives are still up online available including the Sara Happ Sparkling Pink Lip Set, Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Duo, Ahava Hand Cream Duo, MAC Look in a Box Face Kit Sets, Bobbi Brown Secret To Standout Eyes Set and Laura Mercier Flawless in a Flash to name a few. I’m trying to resist backing up some staples.

If you’re over the #Nsale and looking for other deals, a few that popped up in my inbox recently:

  • GLOSSIER: Get a free Soothing Face Mist with any order using code SPRITZ (valid today and ends 8/3 midnight EST)
  • JURLIQUE: To celebrate their 30th Anniversary, they are offering a travel size Rosewater Balancing Mist and Rose Moisture Plus Gel Lotion with for orders over $65, use code ANNIVERSARY, valid until 8/13
  • LE LABO: City Exclusives Samples are available online for a limited time, full size options will be available for 4 weeks starting September 1st
  • MOLTON BROWN: Received a free Travel Size Body Wash or Lotion when you spend $55 with promo code SUMMER55, Receive a free 8-Piece Travel Set when you spend $95 with code SUMMER95, valid through 9/2
  • NARS: Receive a free complimentary NARS Audacious Mascara mini with any order online with code AUDACIOUS (valid through 8/31, my fall picks + swatches here)
  • TARTE: Friends and family 30% off discount ends today 8/3 with code FRIENDS
  • SEPHORA: Beauty Insider Appreciation Week gives you extra beauty insider points with any purchase, Beauty Insiders get 2x, VIBs get 3x, VIBs Rouge get 4x points.
  • TATCHA: Receive a complimentary Deep Hydration Lifting Mask ($28 value) on any order over $75 with code MASKGWP (limit 1 per customer, may not be redeemed with any other offers, expires 8/31)
As always, thanks to each and every one of you who follow me on Instagram! 

On Instagram

April 23, 2015

Today I’m bound for Dallas for the rewardStyle conference. I’m flying out this morning for the remainder of the week but have some planned posts on new spring releases. I can’t wait to share some new beauty items from Tom Ford and NARS. The colors are to die for! If you’re going to be attending the conference send me a quick note here, via Instagram or Twitter. I would love to meet you! In the meantime here’s a quick overview of what I’ve been up to via Instagram @beautylookbook.


Weekend Reads, Link Love + Instagram Favorites

March 29, 2015
Shown above: macarons picked up from one of my favorites Bottega Louie, home-made Nespresso with the Pixie, mugs part of the VertuoLine set, on the nails Marc Jacobs Daisy (reviewed), Fresh Sugar Nude (swatched), March 2015 issue of Vogue

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I’ll be attending The Makeup Show LA today for the first time even though this year marks the 7th year they have been on the West Coat. Stay tuned for a full recap of my experience. In the meantime I have a few reads that I’ve been loving this past week that I wanted to share.
  • Café Makeup reviews and compares the new Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Indiscretion to the previously released Spellbound
  • British Beauty Blogger has a preview of Chanel Les Beiges coming out this summer, I need one of everything please!
  • I have major envy of this beautifully edited and well organized makeup desktop on Tamira Jarrel (formerly Lipstick With Some Sunshine)
  • The RaeViewer has a gorgeous tutorial on how to use the MAC Nordstrom Naturals x15 palette
  • It’s been a while since I bought something from Clinique but the Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush looks utterly gorgeous on Temptalia
  • Beauty Professor has 6 shades of Burberry Kisses swatched and reviewed
I love using Instagram as a way to keep up with my favorite reads in beauty, fashion, travel and more. A few that I’ve been loving:
  • @theglowedit Kate Rooney has some of the most gorgeous beauty images filled with amazing marble backgrounds, Jo Malone, Tom Ford Byredo, and much more 
  • @gossmakeupartist is always a fun one to follow, right now he has a sneak peek of Tom Ford Beauty Summer and it’s to-die-for gorgeous
  • @savinachaiyj has a feed filled with crisp and clean imagery of all things beautiful
  • @parisinfourmonths is forever a favorite and brightens up my day every day
  • @bigskymunchkins is a must for kitty-lovers, the new kittens are too cute for words
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! (P.S. Above shown is Fresh Sugar Nude, in case you missed it, the review + swatches here.)