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On My Radar

On My Radar / New in Beauty

April 1, 2015

It’s a brand new month and this time of year summer beauty collections start to trickle in. So far I’ve been building a wish list that is primarily Chanel, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. Can’t wait to see what everyone has in store for the upcoming season. Right now there are a few new things that are on my beauty radar:

Edward Bess recently launched his Matte Artist Eyeshadow Palette (1) I’ll have a review on this in the upcoming weeks. This Friday Edward will be on the QVC Show at 5pm EST where he will be featuring some new product launches. One is his new Fully Defined Brow Duos (2). They will come in a choice of Neutral or Rich (on right) and both feature the same brightener shade to lift the arches.

If you missed out on the two latest runway shades from Marc Jacobs Limited Edition Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers in Milk and Wine Not (3), the good news is they are now online at (VIB Rouge for now). Swatches of both shades here and here.

Guerlain has a four new shades of the Terracotta Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo (4). The compact is a stunning pearly color and the powders are super soft in texture. Review to come soon.

Nuxe fans will be happy to know they’ve expanded the Rêve de Miel line with a Gentle Shampoo (5). I’ve been testing this and have fallen head over heels. It’s an amazingly soft sweet honey scented shampoo that is gentle and leaves the hair soft. I’ll have a detailed review on this soon too.

Surratt Beauty (6) just launched online at I’m thrilled there is a new place to buy Surratt items. For reference, three of his lip items previously swatched and reviewed here.

The Dior My Lady – Diorblush Glowing Color Cannage Palette (7) is calling my name but I just purchased this one so I fear the colors will be too similar to justify both. They’ve re-launched the Coral Lip Glow (8) and it’s in my wishlist.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks (9) have finally launched in the US. I’ve been waiting for these to launch for months here.

Last but not least, By Terry (10) has 5 new shades of Hyaluronic Sheer Nude Hydra-Balm and 4 shades of a new Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream. I have the CC Cream in Shade 3 (review soon) but initial thoughts are that it offers good natural sheer to medium coverage that’s buildable and is very hydrating.
What’s on your beauty radar this week?


October Beauty Favorites

October 31, 2014

October’s beauty favorites include:

SK-II Skin Refining Treatment (1) has been a miracle worker in improving my skin. It’s a night time skincare treatment that helps to refine the skin and remove dead skin cells overnight. I have been using it regularly since September and it is gentle but very effective at clearing up the complexion and giving it a more radiant look.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Luxe Color-Lasting Lip Lacquers in Sweet Stiletto and Seduction (2) are both great pigmented neutrals. I have Sweet Stiletto swatched and reviewed here. Since then I’ve bought a few more of the glosses (and really like them). Let me know in the comments if you are interested in seeing a review.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (3) has been a staple this past month. During my move, I had most of my beauty items packed away in bubble wrap and boxes, I kept a small handful of things in a makeup case for regular use. This was one of them, I used this almost exclusively the past few weeks. It’s versatile and goes with just about any kind of look. Swatches and review can be found here.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Moonlight (4) is a new shade I discovered in the Mini Caviar Stick Eye Color Set for this holiday. I just reviewed it a few days ago but purchased it the first week of October (sometimes testing takes a long time for me). I will definitely be purchasing the full size of this color soon. It’s the perfect platinum warm taupe shimmer.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger (5) are my two newest concealer discoveries. I’m super picky when it comes to concealer (I’ve used Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry almost exclusively for years, swatches of all Cle de Peau Beaute shades here). I’ll have a full review up next week, but the NARS lives up to the hype. It’s quite incredible.

Wayne Goss Brush #16 is a large super soft domed brush (6). I bought it from Beautylish which describes it as being “designed for controlled application and pristine blending.” This brush is one of the largest shadow brushes I own. I’ve been using it to apply Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes. It’s a soft but dense brush that picks up the powder nicely and gives smooth application.

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder Shade 2 is another new favorite (7). The powder comes in three shades, I was matched to #2 which is a very good match for my Chanel 30 / Tom Ford Bisque 04 skin tone. I’m normally not a fan of pressed powders because I find that they look chalky or end up darkening my face (I prefer powder foundations instead). This one by Charlotte Tilbury changed my outlook completely. I saw it applied on my friend who is very fair in Shade 1. The artist brushed it over her skin as a touchup without adding any foundation or concealer and the effect was quite incredible.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics (8) is the best matte eyeshadow palette I have tried. You can see swatches in this post here. I’ve been reaching for this one quite frequently as my no-fuss go-to everyday kind of palette.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil Spray (9) has made my favorites list for a nice pick-me-up. It has a really nice soothing scent and hydrates the skin nicely without being too heavy. More thoughts on three dry oils here.

By Terry released six tinted shades of her cult classic Baume de Rose called the Baume De Rose Nutri-Couleur. I splurged on four of the shades but I’m smitten with the plum shade in Fig Fiction (10).

Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil (11) is a regular favorite. The past month I’ve been using it more frequently as my hands and fingers have been dryer than normal. It smells like lush coconut. Works like a charm to fix dry cuticles.

Tom Ford Spanish Pink (12) is my favorite nude pink lipstick of the moment. There’s nothing like it that I’ve tested. It has just the right amount of warmth in it to make it look slightly peachy but not too much. Swatches here.

What were your beauty favorites in October?

Monthly Favorites | Skincare, Haircare, Body and Fragrance

August 5, 2014

Several have requested a monthly favorites round up – welcome to The Beauty Look Book’s first monthly favorites feature! I wanted to feature some midsummer beauty favorites for the skin, body and hair. Many of these items are things I’ve been using all summer long.
  • Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Water is a gentle lightweight cleansing water that refreshes the skin. It won’t remove waterproof eye makeup or mascara all the way, but I like this for the face. I have this in the full size as well but like to keep the small travel sizes.
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a favorite this summer for dry body oils. (Three I tested here.) I alternate between this and the Caudalie Divine Oil, but lately I’ve been reaching more for the Nuxe, the fresh floral beach-like scent is perfect for summer. It layers nicely with most perfumes as it’s very gentle and not overpowering. I love that the skin absorbs it quickly.
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is an alternative to dry shampoo. I’ve tried several and don’t like the powdery crunchy look they give to the hair. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t leave any residue. It’s more of a texturizing spray that I like to use on days where my hair looks a bit flat. I love all things Oribe that I’ve tried it’s a brand I keep exploring and looking into. The signature Oribe scent is incredible.
  • St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is a new discovery this year and it is hands down my favorite self tan product. I purchased the mini size to compare it to the Gradual an Everyday Body Lotion from Sephora. I tested each one simultaneously with the mousse on one leg and the lotion on the other. The mousse gives a better tan without being orange. The lotion has a more gradual darkening effect. The tint to the mousse also helps you see where you applied product and helps as a guide for even application. It didn’t stain or transfer to white sheets and after letting it set for 10 minutes I found it didn’t transfer to a white denim skirt. I applied it for two consecutive days and my tan will last about 5 days. I have super sensitive skin and I’ve gotten allergic reactions to spray tans and other self tan products (like Clarins).
  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser was sent for review and it is an amazing cleanser. It has red clay which is suppose to draw out toxins, remove oil and unclog pores. It’s designed for combination or oily skin. My skin is slightly combination, dry on the cheeks area and slightly oily in the T zone. I found this to be amazing at unclogging pores. It comes with a slightly gel-like texture that is a reddish pink with a pearly shimmer. It works well with the hands, a washcloth and my Clarisonic Aria. It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin but very effective. I’m on my second tube.
  • Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi is one of Tom Ford’s latest, it’s one of two new scents that are an extension of the Neroli Portofino line. I can’t wear a lot of orange citrus scents but Tom Ford is the only one I can pull off. It’s the perfect summertime scent with citrus, florals and musk.
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is something I bought from the Flower Power Kit (has the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream in 1 oz, Rose Face Mask in 1 oz, Sugar Tulip and Rose Floral Toner 0.5 oz). I love this lightweight face cream for hydration. It’s too heavy for me right now for daily use but I like to use it 2x per week during the day and alternate this as a night cream. It has a refreshing cucumber scent and feels amazing on the skin. It makes the skin look refreshed and improves the overall skin tone by smoothing over time and is great for calming the skin.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil has been my favorite go-to for removing makeup at the end of the day. I did a roundup of several oils I tested and the MAC is one I keep reaching for because it has the best emulsifying quality and gets everything off without leaving a residue or drying out the skin.
  • Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is something I tried with the mini pods first. I liked it so much I bought the full size. It’s a mask that really works and clears pores. It has a slight tingly effect the first few minutes but it goes away. The charcoal and white clay both work to draw out pore-cloggers. I’ve used it up to 3x per week when my skin was messed up. I don’t recommend using it if you have broken skin or areas with irritation, but it is a gentle enough mask that won’t sting your skin. 
  • Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer is my summer favorite for a relative inexpensive lip balm with a nice lightweight gel formula. It’s super effective without being too rich or heavy for summer.
  • L’Occitane Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body has been a staple for me for years. It’s the only body lotion I’ve repurchased. It has a super lightweight feel that absorbs into the skin. It’s part of the Shea Butter line and is moisturizing and soothing.
  • Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer was a Sephora freebie. It’s a pre-styler product that I apply to the hair before blow drying and it helps smooth the hair, decreases frizz and protects it from heat styling. It smells absolutely amazing like coconut and vanilla. It adds softness and shine without weighing down the hair.
  • L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine Hand Cream Gel is a great alternative to regular hand creams for the summer. It’s a unique hand moisturizer that absorbs into the skin really quickly. It has an interesting dry down that’s smooth and soothing with a slight velvety feel. It comes in the new Frisson Verbena scent which is a lightweight summery lime. One tube was sent for review and I’ve already purchased a second one.
  • Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Papers are the perfect blotting papers for me. They are compact and easy to carry in the purse. I love how they are super absorbent without having any powdery residue. I use about one sheet with every use and it’s so much better than touching up with powder mid-day or late afternoon. Sometimes with the summer heat and humidity I’ve found adding powder to oily skin can get cakey (at least on me).
  • Chanel UV Essential Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is the only face sunscreen I like to use. It’s lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. I like to layer serum with moisturizer under my foundation but I don’t like anything that feels heavy. This sunscreen is light enough to wear with both a serum and moisturizer and foundation. It’s suitable for my sensitive skin. It also comes with an SPF 20 and SPF 30 versions as well.

What have been your summer favorites this past month?


Loving Right Now

March 3, 2014

I can’t believe it’s already March. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I wanted to share a few things I’m loving right now. As always, I’d love to hear what is on your favorites list – please share in the comments below. I often discover new favorites through my readers.

White lacquered tray is from West Elm
  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat – this is the perfect glowy pink-poppy flush (see my swatches from yesterday here)
  2. MAC Cremesheen + Pearl Glass in Floating Lotus – these were released a while ago with the Cremesheen+Pearl collection, I’m so glad MAC made the lipsticks and glosses permanent, there are some really gorgeous classic pinks, Floating Lotus is a lovely sheer natural pink
  3. Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armani #513 – this is one of the prettiest cool beige shimmers, it has a hint of pink and it doesn’t wash out the complexion (swatches here)
  4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – see my review on body oils here, I usually prefer the Caudalie, but right now I keep reaching for the Nuxe
  5. Tom Ford Foundation Sticks in Bisque 04 and Natural 05 – I started with Natural 05 but got a bit of a tan so was in need of one shade darker, it was a good thing I asked the artists at the counter for their help because the odd thing with these is Bisque 04 is actually darker than Natural 05 even though the shades are supposed to be in sequence (lighter shades are supposed to be the lower numbers) I’ll have a more detailed review soon, this is very pricey but it’s an amazing product and worth every penny
  6. L’Artisan Mûre et Musc – a discovery thanks to one of my long time friends, this is a beautiful blend of blackberry and musc, it’s not overly sweet, my review on this from a holiday the trio a few years ago here
  7. MAC Viva Glam IV – this is a classic rose frost, not too red, berry or neutral, just the right mix of pink and rose
  8. Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer – this came in last month’s Barneys Love Yourself gift bag, it’s my first time trying anything from the brand, the price seems very reasonable for a lip balm, I’m incredibly impressed, it feels amazing on the lips
  9. Tom Ford Lip Sheer In the Buff – I’ve been wearing this non-stop, some have mentioned it doesn’t show up or is too pale, but for me, it’s my perfect everyday nude (swatches here)
  10. Chanel Glossimer Sonate 179 – from the spring collection, this is a lovely coral gloss from Chanel that actually shows up on my pigmented lips (swatches here)
  11. Tom Ford Eau de Parfum Oud Wood – I don’t wear a fragrance everyday, I’m often rushed in the mornings and this is often last on my list, if I were to have an everyday fragrance this would be it, it’s neutral enough to not be overpowering at the office (review here)


Luxury Body Oils: Caudalie Divine Oil, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse and Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil

January 8, 2014

I discovered Caudalie’s Divine Oil last October thanks to a recommendation from one of my long-time BFFs. We were at SpaceNK looking at all the skincare items and when I said I hadn’t tried Caudalie before, she told me, “you need to buy this, it’s amazing.” The $9 price tag of the small travel size seemed affordable enough to try without making a huge dent in the wallet. I had avoided oils for a long time mainly because I tried ones that were too heavy in texture and in fragrance. The Caudalie Divine Oil proved to be very different and I fell in love with it. Since then I’ve wondered how it compared to other cult-status luxury body oils. Thanks to the recommendations of some readers, I was convinced to test the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse and Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil as well. I’ve put the three to the test for a few weeks now. If you’ve tested these I would love your input and thoughts.

The Products: The Caudalie Divine Oil and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse oils are designed as a multi-purpose product for face, body and hair. I’ve only tested on the body and hair. I found them perfect for the body, mainly legs and arms. I tested a bit on the hair and found them a bit too heavy for my taste. To date I have not tested on the face. Moroccanoil’s Dry Body Oil is designed for the body only. These oils absorb quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
Pricing and Size Options: The three oils come in a variety of sizes but breaking down the price per ml shows they are all priced similarly within the $0.50-$0.60/ml range. For the individual oils, the prices and sizes are as follows, although do note both Caudalie and Nuxe have some nice value sets you may want to look into:
  • Caudalie has three sizes: a 0.5 oz for $9, a 1.7 oz for $32 and a 3.4 oz for $49
  • Nuxe comes in two sizes: 1.7 oz for $29 and 3.3 oz for $45
  • Moroccanoil has one size: 3.4 oz for $38
Scent: All three oils have a noticeable distinct scent, but each one is light enough to not interfere with your daily perfume. I have a sensitive nose – there are some fragranced oils that induce a migraine for me. Each of these three managed to be soft enough for my sensitive nose.
  • Caudalie’s Divine Oil has the freshest overall feel. It’s a light spa-like floral. I detect a bit of cucumber (although I am in the minority). I suspect it’s just the fresh feeling I associate with it. I found the scent to be the medium-lasting. It lingers but is still very soft.
  • Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse has the most floral scent out of the three. The scent does fade the most out of the three. I could still smell at the end of the day, but it did fade nicely. My husband preferred this one on me out of the three options.
  • Moroccanoil’s Dry Body Oil has that signature Moroccanoil scent. It’s difficult for me to describe but it’s a raw type of scent mix of argan, olive and avocado oil. This one lasted the longest for fragrance.
Texture: All three oils absorbed quickly into the skin. I found the Moroccanoil to be the most liquid/fluid and thin in texture. It also dried very quickly to a silky finish. Both Caudalie and Nuxe had more of a slip to the texture which I preferred. They felt a bit thicker and also took slightly longer to dry but did not leave a greasy residue. They both left the legs looking well moisturized with a very soft sheen.
Packaging: I’ve included photos of the oils side by side below for comparison. I purchased the largest size option for the Nuxe for the spritzer at the top (the smaller size is a twist-off cap). All of Caudalie’s options have spritz caps which I find convenient. All the oils come in sturdy heavy-weight bottles. My preference for design and ease of application is the Caudalie – the lid stays on while the others have semi-flimsy caps that can fall off easily. I would not recommend picking up the Moroccanoil or Nuxe by the lid (which I can do sometimes) – you may find the bottle will drop since the lids are a bit loose. The actual spritzer lids are firmly attached to the bottles so if you don’t have a preference for the caps, each of the applicators are similar in size and design.

My thoughts on each one:

Caudalie Divine Oil is my favorite of the three for the packaging and scent. I love the fact that there is a small travel size available with a spritzer on the top. The packaging is sturdy and well designed for easy application. This one has a blend of grape, hibiscus, sesame and
argan oils combined with a patented anti-oxidant. I’m 100% smitten with the way this smells. It’s refreshing and soothing and wears well with any fragrance. I find it strong enough in scent to wear by itself. The small version I carry in my purse is perfect for refreshing mid-day. Ingredients here. Makeupalley reviews here. Additional reviews on Café Makeup, Mostly Sunny and Ghost Parties.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse comes in close second. It has a unique combination of 30% Precious Plant Oils and Vitamin E to nourish,
repair and soften your face, body and hair. This felt amazing on the skin with a beautiful floral scent. It smells the most luxurious of the three and it’s my husband’s favorite. I know there are many who are die hard fans of Nuxe – it’s one of the most popular beauty oils I’ve read about. I think preference between the Caudalie and Nuxe will come down to scent preference. Ingredients here. Makeupalley reviews here. Additional thoughts on Café Makeup, Anna Talks Beauty and Essie Button.
Moroccanoil is the most lightweight out of the three. It has that signature Moroccanoil scent that I love in their Hair Oil. It proved to be a nice lightweight oil, but I found it to have the least moisturizing effect. It dried very quickly on the skin and I needed a bit more moisture. However I will say that I’ve found this winter season to be particularly dry. I’ve needed extra help with moisturizers and conditioners for all areas of face, hair and body. I suspect this one will be perfect come summer when one is in need of a lighter-weight moisturizer for the body. It’s a nice product but has no comparison to the Caudalie and Nuxe (at least in my mind). Ingredients here. Additional thoughts on Ommorphia Beauty Bar.
My top two picks are Caudalie and Nuxe, with a slightly stronger preference for the Caudalie. I haven’t tested these on my face yet, at this time I don’t know that I will. I’ve tested a few face oils in the past month and the results were not all that great (I found them much too heavy). I really like these for the body though.

Where to Buy: I found the
Caudalie the easiest to find at multiple locations such as Nordstrom,
Sephora and SpaceNK. The others I had to travel and search a bit to
purchase (or buy online). Some of the items I couldn’t find in store
even if carried online at the same retailer. Many of these can be found
at small boutique-stores that carry specialty items as well.
Have you tried these body oils before? I know I’m late to the party testing these so I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are your favorites? Additional thoughts on comparing Caudalie vs Nuxe?