I have my first holiday gift guide of the year today featuring some great discovery gift sets. Birchbox and Sephora each have their own curated box sets with hand-picked items. They’re often grouped and boxed by themes such as dry shampoos, berry lips, nude lips, sunscreen, skincare etc. They’ve basically taken their best sellers and packed them into sampler boxes with minis at a value price. I love these for myself because it allows me to try a lot of items without having to buy the individual full sizes I’m unsure about. Each store has their own exclusive selection which makes them unique.
There are tons of boxes and kits to choose from. Many are pretty affordable and tons at the $25 price point. This year I shopped sets early as I know there’s a good chance the value sets of them will sell out early. My friends this year are all about hair styling and highlighters. It seems like every single female friend I have doesn’t have time to wash and dry their hair on a daily basis. The good thing this year is that there are TONS of dry shampoo sets and holiday styling sets for all hair types. Highlighters are also as popular among my friends as they are on Instagram lol. Sets are great because even though I think I can find the perfect highlighter or dry shampoo for my close friends we all have different tastes and preferences.
Up first are some of the Birchbox Kits. Birchbox is known for their monthly subscription boxes and for the longest time I thought that was all that they offered. Not true. The Birchbox Collection has an entire shop of discovery kits, limited-edition box sets, and much more. If you visit their store you’ll see their products grouped by product type and then brand. An entire wall will be dedicated to suncare and they’ll split it by types of sunscreens. Their value sets are really cute and well put together. You can also buy individual full-sized items as well.
Up first is The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit for $32 ($74 value) you get an amika (Fort)Tress Shower Cap, amika Perk Up Dry-Shampoo, R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo (one of my favorites), Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, Living proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.
To date the R+Co had been my favorite but has been replaced with the Oribe Dry Shampoo that just launched a couple months ago. Neither leave my hair looking dusty or matte and there is no white residue. One of my friends swears by the Living Proof one which I tried. It left my hair looking too matte. As this set is a gift I won’t be reviewing the other items but thought you would like a peek at this one.
Next is the one I’m just beyond obsessed with. In my What’s In My Bag post I mentioned this Birchbox + Oribe Styling Kit. It has five minis of Oribe – cute beyond words!! I ordered two of these, one for me, one for a friend. I suspect I will be ordering a few more as you just can’t go wrong with Oribe. It’s priced at $35, each bottle is tiny but if you’ve never tried Oribe before this is a great way to try out the line without having to buy individual bottles which are around $20 each for the minis.
One kit I received as a press sample was the Complete SPF Kit. When I visited the Birchbox Soho Store over the summer I was just blown away by the presentation and display of the store. If you’re in NYC definitely make a stop there. The bottom floor is for men’s grooming and skincare so bring your boyfriend, husband, brother or male friends with you. They can build their own Birchbox too!
This one is priced at $18 – you get mini sample sizes of Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream, MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50, Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day SPF 30 UV Sun Fluid, Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, COOLA Face SPF 30 Unscented, COOLA Daydream SPF 30 Mineral Makeup Primer. I have yet to try all of these but I’ve tried both the Coola ones and find them suitable for my sensitive skin.
Next are the Sephora Favorites. I think one could seriously get carried away with the sets because they have SO MANY good things in them! One of the complaints my friends have about makeup is that the size of some things are just too big and it take them forever to use something up. Minis are popular among friends who like to rotate items frequently because you can use them up faster.
Up first is the Sephora Favorites Scouted by Sephora set which is $24 for five minis. This one features 5 up-and-coming brands at Sephora. I received this one as a gift and haven’t had a chance to try the items yet, but have been really curious about Milk Makeup so I’m eager to try the mascara. It has a Bésame Cosmetics Red Matchbook, GrandeLIPS Hydrating Plumper, Makeup Eraser Mini in Pink, MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara, Wander Beauty Lip and Cheek Mini in Pink City.
Next is the Sephora Favorites Glow for It. This one sold out online but I spotted it in store and picked up two. It’s since been restocked online and I can see why it’s been a popular one. For $30 you get minis of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone, Benefit Watt’s Up, Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass – Radiance, Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light, MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil and a full size Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Crème Highlighter in Glowing Lights 06. The Lancome blush itself is $30 so the set is a steal.
I already have 3 of the items in the full size (Hourglass Strobe Powders swatched here) but almost want one for myself.
Another one is the Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Masks on the Go ($25). This one is listed as being an $85 value. It has quite a lot of product to sample – to date I’ve tried three of the items from Ouai, Phyto and Christophe Robin and all three are great. This one has Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque, Phyto Phytokératine Extrême Exceptional Mask, Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque, Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil
, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day® Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask, Ouai Treatment Masque, VERB Hydrating Mask, and two packet sets of Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine Treatment Step 1 & 2.
I wish I had this set last year when I was traveling for a month. It would have been perfect as it has packets small enough to pack in a carry on. One of my friends is obsessed with masks – skincare and haircare. She is going to freak out when she gets this one.
Last but not least is the Sephora Favorites Ready, Set, Style! This one was a bit pricier at $29 but the sizes of each spray was pretty impressive. You get five sprays for hair refreshers, volumizers and texturizers. It includes Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, IGK Down and Out Dirty Spray, Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray.
That wraps up my first holiday gift guide. I hope these give you a better idea of what the sets look like compared to stock photos although I do think that both Birchbox and Sephora do a really good job at giving us accurate stock images on their websites.
The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% off sale starts tomorrow November 4th and runs through November 7th. If you’re shopping online use code 20ROUGE. I received an early code from a Sephora employee so was able to shop the sale early. I’ll have my Sephora shopping recommendations roundup up later this afternoon for those who are trying to research early.
For now I hope this sets post give you some ideas for affordable gift options. The ones I featured are all very reasonable in price ranging from $18 to $35 which won’t break the bank if you buy multiples. They’re great for holiday gifts or to treat yourself. I’m seriously tempted to keep a few of these for myself – I may order one or two more once the Sephora sale starts.
The Birchbox Complete SPF Kit and Scouted By Sephora Set gifted as press samples. Remainder featured purchased by me.
Space NK is hosting their Summer Explore Promotion again and they’re offering Beauty Look Book readers early access a week before the offer starts for everyone else. For those new to Space NK’s Explore Offer, every season they offer either a gift with purchase or savings deal to explore something new. This round you can save $20 off orders $100 or more at spacenk.com/us with code BEAUTYNOW at checkout. The code is valid now through 8/2/2016. Offer valid online only.
Several of you asked for a detail of what I hauled during my recent New York trip. You can find a full recap of their Prince Street store here in this post. There was a lot to explore from a wide range of brands. I was particularly impressed with the haircare selection in the store and picked up a couple things from Ouai and R+Co. I made a mental note of what I wanted to try so I could order when I got back home (I didn’t want to carry a lot of liquids back home with me, however I did end up shipping a big box home).
First a quick look at their amazing haircare selection. It’s literally Oribe heaven. Travel sized minis galore of multiple brands and formulas too.
Featured in the top picture are a few staples along with a couple new items I’ve tried in case you need recommendations or thoughts:
Diptyque Baies is not a haircare item, but it’s one of my favorite home scents, since Diptyque rarely goes on sale, these savings promotions are always a nice time to splurge on something and save a little.
Oribe Cleansing Cream (repurchased) is one of my favorite weekly shampoos to help restore moisture and cleanse at the same time
R+Co Park Ave Blow Out Balm is a product you work through damp hair before you use a blow dryer, I’m always eager to try new products like these because I heat dry my hair most of the time, this smells light and fresh and did give my hair a better look after blow drying, hair was left thicker, fuller and frizz-free and very smooth, the ends still needed a touch up, but for the rest, I really like how this works
Ouai Finishing Creme is described as a lightweight lotion for your hair that you can use as a heat protectant from styling, smoothing cream for dry ends or to add texture, I found it has a strong floral scent with a slightly thick texture, it gives the ends a more polished look with a tiny bit of shine but definitely helps add texture to the hair, by comparison the Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream has a thinner texture and adds weightless shine to the ends with a more glossy looking finish
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is a favorite, even though the full size is a better buy, I always end up repurchasing the travel size because it’s easier for me to store or carry with me
Ouai Treatment Masque comes in a pack of 8 individually sealed packets, it has a rich perfumed kind of scent, I used it as a mask, left it on for about 10 minutes then rinsed it out, it left the hair feeling super soft and shiny (after drying), I’m not the biggest fan of the packets for packaging, but it’s perfect to take one with you for travel or to the gym vs a huge tube, the product is a thumbs up, would love if this came in a large jar or squeeze tube
Terms and conditions as follows:
‘Explore Something New’ offer comprises $20 to spend on any product on the website www.spacenk.com/us. Your order must total $100 on full price/non-sale products before delivery has been added. Promo code BEAUTYNOW must be entered in the promo code box on the shopping bag page, before checkout, for the offer to apply. One use per customer and promotional codes cannot be applied retrospectively. The $20 discount will be applied at checkout where the order total equals $100 or more. This offer can be used in conjunction with our free shipping over $50. This offer is only available online between 12am Sunday July 17th, 2016 to 11:59pm Tuesday August 2nd, 2016 EST. This offer applies online only on the us.spacenk.com site, not the UK site and is not available in-store. We reserve the right to end it early or extend it without notice. Please note that all sale items, gift card purchases and promotional items are excluded from this promotion. The offer is not refundable and there is no cash value/alternative. The offer cannot be exchanged in-store or online for another product. This offer applies online only and is not available in-store. The offer is restricted to one per customer.
Many thanks to Space NK for extending this to Beauty Look Book readers. If you have anything on your radar whether it’s new haircare, skincare, beauty, fragrance from Space NK – let me know! I’m always eager to try new haircare products to help tame my naturally frizzy hair. I’m looking for a good wave spray, the Oribe Apres Beach Spray has been a good one that I just used up, debating whether to repurchase or try something new. Any recs greatly appreciated!
There are two more days left of the Space NK Explore Promotion where you can save $25 off any online order of $100 or more with promo code EXPLORE15 at checkout (ends Sunday Oct 25th at midnight, terms and conditions here). If you’re looking for something new to treat yourself but want something that’s going to be a classic staple, I have a roundup of products from five brands I’ve been loving. The bonus is that that you can find these at Space NK and save a little with their promo.
Nudestix is a fun line filled with wearable neutrals with products in pencil form. My favorite item from the line is the Magnetic Eye Color Pencils ($24 each). These are creamy pencils that double as shadow sticks. They blend beautifully on the eyes and layer nicely together. Once they dry, they stay put all day long (pretty much budge-proof on me). I received 3 colors as press samples and I loved them so much I bought the rest of the colors (and accidentally bought one twice). Here are the colors. Left to right: Moon, Lilith, Gilt, Twilight, Angel, Spirit, Immortal and Night.
Eve Lom is a skincare line that I absolutely adore. The price points of the items are on the high side so I’ve rationed samples and minis, but I’ve been really happy with everything I’ve tried. The Hand Cream is one of the most gentle fragrance-free hand creams I’ve bought that still hydrate the skin well. The Brightening Cream ($110, c/o) is my favorite gentle moisturizer, I’m almost out of mine and it does brighten the skin and hydrates gently without feeling too heavy. I have high hopes for the Eye Lift Eye Cream ($75, c/o) which has really high ratings. I just started using it and am really eager to see how it works. Be sure to check out the gift set options for Eve Lom, there is a price break if you buy the sets versus individual items.
By Terry products are always a luxurious treat to have. These are extremely pricey but I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve tried. It’s hard for me to take the jump and splurge on her items but I end up loving the items I buy. The Baume de Rose ($60) is the most luxurious rose scented lip treatment. There are a lot of other cheaper alternatives, but none have the same lush texture as the By Terry. She also introduced tinted versions of her lip balm called Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur ($56). Lip balm is really just lip balm, but the ones I have from By Terry are really quite lovely. I can’t call them a must-have due to the high price point, but they are a luxurious splurge. (Lip swatches here and here.)
For lips, her Velvet Rouge ($46.50) in #1 Lady Bare is one of the prettiest velvet lip colors I’ve tried. It’s the perfect peachy nude. It feels like it has a slightly whipped texture. If you have dry lips this might not be the best option for you, but I adore the color.
For eyes the Ombre Blackstar ($43.50) is also on the pricey side. The colors are mostly metallic or shimmery but aren’t over the top glittery. I like them layered together or as a base for powder eyeshadow. Swatches of Bronze Moon here. Misty Rock, Frozen Quartz and Ombre Mercure swatched here. The best part of these sticks is that the formula is creamy but sets. So many shadow sticks end up drying out in the container before I can use it up. These haven’t dried up for me.
R+Co is a relatively new hair care line to me. I’m obsessed with the Moon Shine Shampoo ($24) and Conditioner ($25). Both have an amazing scent and make my hair super glossy and healthy looking. I wouldn’t recommend it as a daily shampoo but I use it 2-3x per week. Two other items I’ve been living are the Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($17 to $29) because it doesn’t leave any white residue on the hair and doesn’t make it look matte and dusty like many other dry shampoos do. I wash my hair daily on a regular basis. On the rare occasion that I am rushed and don’t have time to wash my hair, I like to use this to refresh the roots. The Rockaway Salt Spray ($25, c/o) gives textured beachy waves. The key to using this is to use it very sparingly. I hold it about 2 feet away from my hair, give it two very loose spritzes then run my fingers through the hair quickly distribute. It gives texture and smells incredible. I think it would be easier to use if the mister/dispenser sprayed out a finer mist though.
Last but not least, Smith & Cult is a fun cosmetic line to check out. The line was created by Hard Candy founder Dineh Mohajer. Her Nailed Lacquers ($18) are 5-free without Dibutyl, Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.
Swatches below of Nail Polishes in three colors. So far the shades have a mix of pigment. Some are sheer but they are smooth jelly sheers (like Ghost Edit). Pillow Pie was easy to layer for full coverage. Dark Like Me is a jelly color, I was able to get full coverage with two coats but some of the nail still shows through. I tested two of the lighter shades on separate occasions. Both lasted around 4 days before I saw any tip wear. No chipping occured.
The Shining Lip Lacquers ($22 each) have a lush glossy shine to them. They are pretty smooth on the lips. I bought several colors sight unseen. The formula is pretty sheer on the ones I ended up with.
Life in Photographs is a clear sheer pink
Flesh Riot is a sheer golden pink shimmer, also sheer (c/o)
One Word Chorus is a newer color with better pigment and coverage, it’s a medium rose with silver shimmer
Fade the Sun is an iridescent peach
Her Name is Bubbles is a sheer medium pinky peach cream
Have you ordered anything yet from Space NK for their Explore Promotion? I’m getting ready to place an order tonight to restock on some shampoo and conditioner from R+Co. I’m debating whether to re-order the Shine items or try something new. If you ordered anything let me know! I’m always looking for ideas of what to check out at Space NK.
Be sure to enter promo code EXPLORE15 online at checkout Space NK Explore Promotion to save $25 off any online order of $100 or more (ends Sunday Oct 25th at midnight, terms and conditions here, note this is for US only).
Select items featured are press samples that were sent for review consideration. Items marked with the note c/o beside them. All others purchased by me.
I have a monthly favorites roundup today featuring both beauty and grooming products for him and her. My husband had so much fun pulling his favorite things last month he wanted to participate again. We’ve both been experimenting with new products – for me it’s a regular thing since I’m a beauty blogger and constantly trying new things. For him, he’s found out trying new products takes quite a bit of time to figure out how they really perform. There are some things he wanted to toss after one use, but in the interest of giving things a thorough test drive he’s opened up to giving items more than 1-2 uses before writing things off. Our August beauty and grooming favorites this month:
Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (reviewed here) is the must-have highlighter duo this season. It gives the skin the most stunning glow. There seems to be mixed information about whether or not it’s limited-edition. I received an e-mail from the team at Tom Ford confirming that it’s limited-edition. Others report it is permanent. To be safe I bought 2 backups. It’s that good.
R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo Spray (Travel Size) is something I picked up a month ago. I’m the type of person who washes her hair daily so I don’t use dry shampoos a lot. There are days though where it’s so hot my hair needs a quick refresh. Many are white in color and leave my black-brown hair looking dusty and grey (even if I brush it out). This one is colorless and smells amazing. A few spritzes absorbs oil and gives the hair texture. I give it a huge thumbs up.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay has been a long time favorite. I’ve used this on and off for a year now (I like to switch up my cleansers). I think I’ve gone through 4 tubes. It’s amazing in this hot humid weather at cleaning the skin, unclogs pores and is gentle but really effective.
YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains have been in regular rotation (previously swatched/reviewed here). The colors are summer-perfect. It’s so easy to swipe on the lips and the stain makes the color last long. My two favorites for the last month have been Pink Rain and Wet Nude.
I acquired a few minis of the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream and it’s heavenly. I have been rationing three tiny bottles for months now (since around May) and I’ve fallen head over heels. I don’t want to splurge on the full size but there are some deal/value sets. I need to buy soon. It will be one of my biggest skincare splurges but it’s amazing on my skin. It hydrates, feels smooth, doesn’t get greasy and makes my face glow.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow is something I’ve been mixing in with foundation to add a subtle glow. I like that it has a yellowish golden undertone which I find rare in liquid illuminators which are often pinkish/opal.
La Mer Illuminating Eye Gel is something I’ve been using since the spring. It’s a good lightweight product for day and in this hot summer weather it’s just what I need. For a real deep treatment my go-to is still Chanel Sublimage but it’s a bit heavy for day in this super hot weather.
For the longest time my husband has been a loyal Jack Black user, but he opened up to trying some items I brought home from Kiehl’s. He really likes the Facial Fuel Energizing Facewash for Men. It lathers up well and really cleans the skin making it feel refreshed without leaving any film or stripping the face. The entire Facial Fuel line has a good masculine look to the packaging which he finds appealing. I tried this one and have to say it’s pretty darn good. For him, it helps prepare his skin for shaving by making it feel smooth.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Heavy Lifting Eye Repair is what he uses under his eyes to try and treat wrinkles and dry skin. This year he’s been keen on researching products and changing his lifestyle to prevent aging (or at least try to delay it). He’s on his second jar of this. He likes it because it hydrates and really helps with his wrinkles.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit Cleansing System for Men is a new device designed specifically for men. My husband had tried my Aria with his own brush heads. He liked the concept but didn’t like the design (he said it looked too girly and felt bulky). I bought this one for him – the video sold it for me. It has a good masculine look and fits in the hands easily. He uses his in the shower daily and finds it gives his skin a deep clean and has made a noticeable difference in texture and preventing blackheads/clogged pores. He has super thick facial hair and this Clarisonic has softened the ends of his hair so when he shaves it feels softer. It’s on the pricey side but he’s really happy with it. It fits on the shelf in our shower without taking up a lot of space.
Nuxe Men Multi-Use Shower Gel is his favorite right now. He likes the way it smells and how it lathers (for him the lather is important). It leaves the skin feeling clean and moisturized. I’m a fan of the way it smells on him too. Review here.
Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Deodorant is something he bought because he was researching Penhaligon’s shaving products. He decided to give this one a try based on online reviews he read. He likes it because it has a good fresh manly scent and doesn’t make his skin peel.
That wraps it up for our beauty and grooming favorites for the month!
It’s the last week of August which means summer is coming to an end soon. I suspect we will still have really good weather in Southern California for the next few months – although I haven’t been to the beach nearly enough this year. Right now I’m working my way through Chanel, Tom Ford, Sara Happ, and Eve Snow reviews along with some roundup features. Sometimes I feel as though the days go by so quickly and I find it challenging to accomplish as much I as I would like to. I need some organization and time management inspiration!
Right now I’m obsessed with Smith and Cult in She Said Yeah. It’s such a pretty vibrant girly lilac periwinkle colored nail polish – I like it on the toes. For bronzers I’m obsessed with Tom Ford Small Bronzing Powder compacts. I don’t know if they are limited-edition or not, but I picked up 2 of the Gold Dust. Armani Maestro Liquid Summer I got last year has still lasted me a long time (with a long way to go, I don’t know if I will ever use it up). I like how it blends into the skin naturally. There are three shades now.
For the lips, I’m still obsessed with the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors. I almost always have one or two colors in my purse. For fragrance I’m on a rollerball kick. I ordered this Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco mini recently. I’m forever in search of a good vanilla perfume I can wear that isn’t too sweet. I’m completely in love with it but my husband is not a fan. He doesn’t like vanilla scents on me at all (inserts sad face).
I featured R+Co in my July Favorites and I’ve been exploring more from the line. I’ve stocked up on a few mini sample packets from various gift with purchase offers. Most recently I was sent a sample of the Rockaway Salt Spray and it smells so so so amazing. The first few times I used it I sprayed too much too close to my roots. It does dry down even if you use too much but I recommend spritzing at least 6 inches from your hair. It gives a nice textured look and volume without making the hair feel crunchy.
The month of July has flown by so quickly I can’t believe it’s already over. It’s been a while since I’ve shared my monthly favorites so I decided to try something new – I’ve compiled a list of favorites in skincare, haircare, makeup and grooming in a his and hers edition. My husband has always been a well-groomed man and likes testing new things but is very particular about smells, textures and performance. He will research products to death before he splurges on grooming products so I always try to bring him home samples to try when I shop at Sephora or Nordstrom. When he saw me gathering a pile of products for this post, he said wanted to participate by sharing a few of his favorite grooming products too. I hope you enjoy this roundup of favorites we’ve been testing for the past month!
First up for me include fragrance, body, skin care and hair care favorites.
It was love at first smell with L’Artisan Mûre et Musc Eau de Toilette. This tiny Coffret Miniatures Set is the cutest thing ever with my two favorites the Mûre et Musc and Las Chasse Papillons. It’s too small to have a spritzer so you
have to dab it on the skin but it’s perfect for a clutch or
For body I’ve been loving the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for a dry body oil. It absorbs into the skin quickly and has an amazing smell. You can often find the deluxe minis online from https://us.nuxe.com/ – they have lots of good promos from time to time.
For the face I’ve been loving the First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist. It’s hard to describe the smell but it is very fresh and slightly sweet/citrusy. It makes the skin feel nice and hydrated and has a lightweight feel.
Beautylish has finally started carrying the travel sized Bioderma Sébium and Sensibio H20 Cleansing waters separately. They are the perfect size and price to try them out before buying the full sized versions. I’m obsessed with mini sized beauty products – these are beyond cute.
The Drybar Mudslide Hair Mask is the most incredible hair treatment that I’ve tried. I bought mine from Sephora in store (I don’t see it online, but it is available as a mini in this set). It leaves the hair super soft and silky. After I use it I can air dry my hair without it getting frizzy (no hair dryer or flat iron needed). I use it as a weekly treatment.
R+Co is a new brand I’ve been experimenting with. I picked up two of the items from Space NK and the Moon Shine Shampoo and Conditioner are among the best I’ve tried ever. It cleans the hair really well and leaves it feeling well hydrated, soft and shiny smooth without being too heavy. It leaves the hair feeling bouncy and weightless all day long. Since it is a hydrating product I wouldn’t recommend it for daily use but I like it 2 to 3x per week (I wash my hair daily but alternate shampoos). It smells amazing with a mix of orange, cardamom, fig, guava and amber. It sounds like a lot but it’s not too sweet or rich in scent.
Finally, the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Shadows are so so good. I’ve bought backups. They are on the same level as Tom Ford Cream shadows but come in more colors. Let me know if you want to see a review on these.
For the face, I finally got around to trying the Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super–Charged Oil–Free Foundation in Golden Medium. The formula is so incredible – I don’t know what took me so long to try this. It gives natural medium coverage that evens out the skin and lasts all day long. The color range seems pretty good with different undertones.
My husband’s name is Andrew. He’s always been a well-groomed man for which I am really grateful. For his group of favorites, he’s tested a few new brands in shaving and also pulled out some tried and true staples to share in this month’s roundup. In case you shop for any of the men in your life, he says he hope this is helpful for gift ideas or recommendations if they are looking for something new to try.
The L’Occitane Cedrat Stick Deodorant is an alcohol-free and aluminum salts-free deoderant (two of the things he checks for on the ingredient list). This one from L’Occitane lasts all day and smells really good. It doesn’t make his skin peel or feel oily. The entire Cedrat line has a good mix of masculine citrus and wood.
For skin his go-to moisturizer is the Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer with SPF 20. He uses this daily and it leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft. It dries down to a nice feel so there is no oily or greasy texture and absorbs into the skin quickly. He does wish it came with a higher SPF but so far it’s the best one he’s tried and he’s stuck with it for quite some time.
The L’Occitane Shave Cream is the best he’s tried because it’s thick, it lathers up well, and it keeps the blade from touching his skin. According to my husband, the cream is gentle with a clean scent and doesn’t break out his skin.
The L’Occitane Plisson Razor is crafted in France and comes with wood, chrome and brass handle. These come with the Gillette Blades that are easy replace. He likes the look of the wooden handle and the shape is tapered and long so it fits well into his large hands and won’t slip while he shaves.
Harry’s Shaving Sets come in several options. He tried the Truman Set which is priced at $15. It includes 1 Truman Razor Handle, a 3.4 oz shave cream, 3 German Engineered Blade Cartridges and 1 Travel Blade Cover. The packaging and presentation for the price point is all on point. According to my husband, he believes this is truly is the best shaving set for the price (he says drugstore prices can’t even beat all that is in the box for $15).
The Truman Razor is well designed and even though the handles are plastic, it’s very good quality with some weight to it so it doesn’t feel cheap. He likes the modern look and design and the blades are good for the price but not quite as sharp as Gillette.
The Shave Cream is ok – the packaging is on point and it does the job but it has a slight menthol scent and isn’t as thick as the L’Occitane (which gives him a better shave). He still thinks it’s definitely worth trying out. He ordered the Foaming Gel to give it a try.
For scent, his go-to these days is the Chanel Bleu de Chanel. He likes the travel size because it’s easy to carry in his briefcase and also doesn’t take up a lot of space on his desk at his office. He says it’s got a good masculine scent (that’s all he gave me for the description, lol).
For the hair, his favorite styling product is the Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade. He’s claimed several of my tubes as his own. He likes this because it’s lightweight and keeps the hair looking groomed and soft. It helps manage his hair without feeling or looking greasy. I agree with him and like how it adds shine and makes the hair soft – it lasts all day and leaves the hair feeling soft. Because we use it daily, we’ve gone through around 8 tubes already.
Last but not least he’s obsessed with the Muji clear flat zip pouches. The website is under construction but the options we bought are shown here. He likes the texture and feel.
That wraps up our July favorites for beauty and grooming. As always I would love to hear what your favorites were for the last month. If you have any recommendations for men grooming products my husband says he is open to suggestions! Also if any of you or if the men in your life know of any good men’s grooming blogs – please shoot me an e-mail or let me know in the comments below 🙂
This post features some items that were sent for review consideration including the Marc Jacobs Lip Lacquers, Harry’s Truman Set, L’Occitane Cedrat, Clarins Lip Perfectors and Burberry Shell Eyeshadow. All other items purchased by me.