Friday, July 29, 2016

Favorite Luxury Lipstick Formulas


It's National Lipstick Day today so I'm rounding up some of my favorite luxury lipstick formulas. I think everyone has their favorites - many of you want to know what I think the best ones are and as always, I have to say it depends! It depends on color preference, formula, finish, coverage and packaging. I gravitate towards neutrals and nudes, often times I have duplicates of the same color - but there are so many nuances in undertone, shimmer, finish I think often times they are different enough to justify owning. I've split mine into formula categories.


Best Full Coverage
Best Matte
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution (Very Victoria and Sexy Sienna shown) hands down best matte because it's a luminous matte that also has a hydrating formula that won't dry out the lips, swatches here and here
Favorite Classic Formulas
  • Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lip Color (Pure Impulse shown) my all time favorite in the top 3 lipstick formula, I will have a dedicated post swatching and reviewing all of his lipsticks soon, they are fig scented, creamy and just perfect in terms of pigment and coverage
  • Tom Ford Lip Colors (Guilty Pleasure shown) always a favorite, this is also in my top 3 for the ultimate luxury splurge, formulas have either a cream or shimmer finish, coverage is smooth with medium to full coverage, swatches here
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys (Austin shown) perfect clutch-sized lip colors, multiple colors and shades reviewed and swatched here
  • Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G (Penelope Pink shown) review and swatches here and here
  • Chanel Rouge Coco (Marie shown) is a classic, they have a wide range of colors from neutral, pink, plum, reds and browns, eight shades reviewed + swatched here
  • MAC Lipstick (not shown but Sunblessed a Nordstrom exclusive featured in intro and final images) this has to be added to my favorites list because even though the formula makes my lips dry and peel a bit by day 2, I just can't resist the classic and edgy colors, they wear really well all day long and I wear them frequently, I just have to add lip balm to my lips like crazy at night
Most Hydrating
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo (Recit and Message shown) is the most hydrating and comfortable lipstick formula I've tried, I love the slim click up wand and the best thing about this one is it's not just a one-way click (you can click it back down too), all the colors reviewed here
Best Sheer and Glossy Formulas
  • Louboutin Sheer Voile (Rose du Desert) is the most expensive lipstick on the market and comes with a hefty price tag, I will say that I don't know that I think any lipstick is worth $90, but it doesn't mean that I won't buy one (or several), the Sheer Voile has a gorgeous glossy finish, it's sheer but gives the lips a visible tint, review on these soon
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine (Boy shown) is what I think of as the epitome of classic beauty, Rouge Coco Shines have been a favorite for years, if you want a natural tint of effortless color, these are the way to go
  • YSL Rouge Volupte Shine (Shade 47 shown) are another favorite, they are similar to Rouge Coco Shines but the YSL is a bit more emollient and comes with a fruity mango scent (swatches of the latest Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick eight shades here)



Best Liquid Lipstick Formulas
  • Too Faced Melted Chocolate are my favorites for liquid lipstick because these also have a chocolate scent! They come with a sponge tip applicator. Swatches of all the chocolate shades in this post here.
  • Anastasia Liquid Lipstick (Crush shown) come with a love-hate feeling from me. I love these because the color really does last all day long but I am not a fan of matte finish lipsticks. This one can be fixed by adding a bit of balm or clear gloss on top and then I have a lipstick that will last from morning to night and through snacks/lunch.
  • Chanel Rouge Double Intensite (shades shown Darling Pink, Bright Rose and Light Rose) is another one that will literally last all day on my lips. It's a two step application process, first color, let dry, then top with the clear gloss on the other end. Bright Rose swatched here. Darling Pink is the best baby pink I've ever tried (I don't think I've reviewed it) and Light Rose is a gorgeous pinky rose color too.
  • NARS Lip Cover (Get Dirty shown) is a liquid lipstick with a glossy finish. I have two shades in Get Dirty and Overheated. I believe these are limited-edition from summer, I hope NARS considers adding this formula to the permanent line because the formula is really really good. Both shades swatched on lips here.


That wraps up my lipstick favorites in honor of National Lipstick Day! What are your favorite lipstick formulas or colors?


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Scented Luxuries for the Home


I love little home accents to add a bit of luxury whether it's something as simple as a nice hand wash or a beautiful candle. Little details can add a bit of life to the home or give it a more personal touch. As many of you know, I'm beyond obsessed with Diptyque (my favorites in this round up here). There's nothing quite like a good scented candle to set the mood and since Diptyque has a wide range of options, there is something for everyone. They are quite the splurge but worth every penny.

I've rounded up a few more home fragrance options that I love including items that aren't candles. All of these can double as great hostess gifts - or really gifts for any occasion. I always have extra Diptyque candles stocked up for those moments I need a last minute gift, or when my husband needs a gift. Of course as one of my friends and I discussed, there are some people who won't appreciate the special nature of a Diptyque candle in which case we both agree great alternatives are hand creams.

Up first is a line that I just discovered called Antica Farmacista. I've seen it at Nordstrom and other retailers and after trying a few items I can't believe it took me this long to try it out. They've been kind enough to offer Beauty Look Book readers a mini body butter with any order, simply use code ANTICABLB at checkout.


I've tested out three products so far and a few of you have e-mailed me a few additional recommendations after seeing it featured on my social last week. Their Platinum Round Candles come in a 9 oz size with 60 hours of burn time. They're cased in a glass jar with a platinum leaf pattern. I've been burning Cucumber and Lotus Flower and scent fills the whole room even without burning. The throw is very good once burned and this is such a calming scent. It has a mix of Crenshaw melon, green apple, olive, coriander, heliotrope, rose and jasmine with cucumber. For something that has a lot of notes it smells very streamlined and clean. It is a green scent but a cucumber green versus a leafy green. I highly recommend it, especially with the hot summer heat - it gives the home a cooled effect.

The Reed Diffusers are beautiful. I've been using Aqua which is another fresh and clean scent. As with most diffusers the effect is softer than burning a candle or using a room spray but the scent is definitely noticeable. It's more prominent in smaller rooms like a bathroom, but I've placed this in our living room and it gives the entire room a soft clean scent. It's a huge plus for us since we have 3 furry critters at home (thank God for roombas). We bathe them frequently but and added help with scents is a life saver.

Last but not least are the Body Butters which are ultra luxurious. I normally prefer unscented body products or dry oils (the L'Occitane Extra Gentle Shea Butter is my go-to) but the Bergamot and Ocean Aria is one of the most incredible to die for clean scents I've ever tried. It leaves the body feeling silky smooth - no greasy residue left behind. I found it moisturized the body well and didn't irritate my super sensitive skin (I blow up in bumps if I use Kiehl's lotions, although I can use their shower gels just fine). Unlike other body butters, the scent lasted all day but was soft enough that it didn't give me a migraine. I was sent a couple minis, Orange Blossom, Lilac and Jasmine is a sweet orange blossom kind of scent. Prosecco is a citrus floral with black currant, apricot and passionfruit - it smells like a spa.



Next up includes the cutest travel sized set I think I've ever seen. I had to replenish on some shower gels from Molton Brown last month and browsed the site for a few things to add on to my order. I came across the Best Sellers Travel Hand Wash Set and immediately ordered. I literally squealed when they arrived in the mail because I'm a sucker for minis and these each come with a pump. They're bigger than the tiny baby shower gels which makes them a good trial size but more than a 3x use kind of product. They clean the hands nicely without drying them out and there's no film leftover after rinsing. My favorite is Pomegranate and Ginger.


These are 100 ml each compared to the full sized Hand Washes that are 300 ml each. Shown hand held also to show scale. I can't get over how cute these are! They are a little spendy if you break down the set price of $45, it comes out to a little over $11 per mini bottle. There are a few good promos offers online right now though. You can get a free 3.3 fl oz body wash when you spend $70 with code 70WASH at checkout (you get a choice from 15 options) and if you spend $150 you get a 4-piece Travel Set + Luxury Luggage Tag with code GETAWAY150.


Acrylic Tray by West Elm, on the nails Marc Jacobs Resurrection

Other favorite home luxuries include the Lumira Darsana Candle (review here). For those new to Lumira, they are an Australia-based candle company and their scents are incredible. My husband has the Cuban Tobacco in his office. My personal favorite is Tahitian Coconut. Darsana is part of their limited-edition Collezione Bianca launch and I love the clean white packaging.

Diptyque Baies and Figuier are my top two favorites from the line. They have a special limited-edition box in the mini size as part of their summer voyages collection. I splurged on the Large Scented Candle in Figuier once - it cost me an arm and a leg, but my husband wanted one for our home so I didn't resist. It lasted us for months because I burned a little at a time. We've since recycled it and I use it for large flowers or to chill champagne. If you shop at Club Monaco stores they often burn the large Baies candles there and it always smells great in the stores.

Last but not least are Le Labo x The Laundress Detergent. These are extremely pricey so I use them sparingly but they are worth every penny. I can't decide which one I prefer, Santal has that amazing musky sandalwood and cedar mix which I love. Rose on the other hand smells incredible for sheets and it's not too girly. On the last special gifting occasion we had my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for a Le Labo Detergent lol! He got me something else instead, he said, "I am not getting you laundry detergent for your birthday - even if it's fancy."


That wraps up my roundup of scented luxuries for the home. As always I'd love to hear about your favorites! I think the Antica Farmacista Reed Diffusers are nice alternatives to candles - especially since you don't have to worry about flames or smoke.

What ways do you add little touches to your home to give it an extra special touch? It doesn't have be something fragranced! I love adding little decorative objects but it usually takes me ages to find ones that I like. Flowers or candles are the easiest for me because they are so simple. I'd love to hear ideas from you!

Press samples include items from Lumira and Antica Farmacista. All others purchased by me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Estée Edit Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat


I'm working my way through reviews of the Estée Edit line. In today's review includes thoughts and swatches of The Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep ($32 for .56 oz) and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat ($32 for .27 oz). Both are exclusive to Sephora and are smooth finish pressed powders that come with an embossed surface. The textures are very soft and finely milled for flawless and streak-free application. 


The Barest Bronzer comes in two shades, Light-Medium and Medium-Deep. I was sent a press sample of the shade Medium-Deep which is one of the darkest bronzers I've tried so tan to deep skin toned girls will rejoice! On my complexion it's too deep and warm for my preference. There's a shimmering gold design on the surface but it's only overspray. I suspect the Light-Medium would be the better option for me, but given the extensive number of bronzers I already own (summer favorites in this post here), I did not venture to test it out. The finish is smooth and blends in seamlessly with the skin so it looks very natural in terms of texture/finish. Pigment is medium to rich but easy to blend out on the skin.

The Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat is a gorgeous highlighter. In the compact it looks like a champagne but it's got a peachy undertone to give it some warmth. It's on the shimmery side but unlike most highlighters this is one that smooths the skin, doesn't emphasize imperfections, doesn't make the pores look big and also doesn't look overly frosted. Those who love a good glow but think most of the popular highlighters on the market right now are too shimmery will love this one. It blends in beautifully with the skin and I highly recommend it. You can use it on the eyes or cheeks - anywhere you want a pretty sheen. I'm not sure why it's called a fluid because it's definitely a powder without any creamy feeling.

Both lasted all day on my cheeks from morning to late afternoon. The Barest Bronzer did warm up on my skin but it didn't oxidize too much.

Swatched on bare skin below:


Comparisons below:


Bronzer comparisons below:

I think both are solid beauty launches. The texture is smooth, well pigmented and super easy to blend on the skin. The Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep is too dark for me, but I can appreciate the good quality and texture. I think it will be something tan to deep skin beauty lovers will like. The Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder is something I absolutely love. It gives a pretty sheen to the skin and as you can see in the comparison swatches it has enough warmth in it that makes it better suited for my skin tone compared to other super pale highlighters.

You can find both The Barest Bronzer and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder exclusively at Sephora. If you've tried these or any of the other cheek products from The Estée Edit let me know in the comments!

Both items provided for review consideration.

Wednesday Wishlist


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Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. I took the day off yesterday for some me-time. Sometimes the weekends aren't just enough to unwind. I drove to LA early in the morning for a much-needed facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose, you can find recap and review on my previous experience here. Since my first visit, I've gone back and booked 3 more appointments and my favorite treatments are the Dermal Quench Oxygen Treatment and Signature Facial. The treatments are worth every penny and for me also worth the 2+ hour drive. Plus it's always fun to explore the area with Violet Grey next door (peek here), a beautiful Chloe boutique nearby, cute coffee shops and much more. Of course LA trips always leave me with a huge wish list! But it's nice to dream right? Sometimes distractions are good.

On the beauty front, I've pretty much spent my beauty budget on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives (my mega haul here). My favorite item of the sale is the Moroccanoil Set. Quite a few of the palettes have sold out already but you can still find all the NARS sets. I have my eye on the Nordstrom's Best Cheek Palette because it looks perfect for travel and contains all the colors one could possibly need.

Fall items are starting to trickle in and four things on my makeup radar right now include the NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos, YSL Vinyl Lip Cream (I bought 3 yesterday and am obsessed!), the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer for fall (I hope it's a new color!) and the Chanel Nail Gloss in Rouge Radical.

For the home Nordstrom has some gorgeous marble trays and accessories on sale. They have the Waterworks Black Marble Collection and White Marble Collection both on sale - the trays are beautiful!

Also on my wishlist include the Diptyque Do Son Shower Oil and Molton Brown Coco and Sandalwood Candle. I've been obsessed with their Pink Pepperpod Shower Gel for me and Water Mint Shower Gel for my husband. I went a bit crazy and placed a large order a few weeks ago to stock up. I wish I had waited though because they have some great gift with purchase offers going on right now.

On the fashion front, many of you asked if I ended up getting the Trouve Jacket I tried on - I waited too long and it sold out :( The Paige Transcend Jeans from the sale that sold out are now back online available on sale as a backorder. I think they are a really good deal and if you can wait for them to ship, I highly recommend them. An alternative is the Hudson Nico Ankle Super Skinny Jeans which are a similar fit and same length as the Paige. I would recommend picking the same size across both brands.

In terms of summer staples, the Madewell Whisper Cotton Tank is what I've been wearing a lot. I have it in multiple colors (I size down to XXS because they run a bit loose). The Whisper Cotton Pocket Tee is on sale for all the colors if you're a tees versus tank kind of girl. (I also size down for this style.)

For shoes, the J.Crew Cece is hands down the best I've tried for simple classic flats. They have a cushioned sole so they are comfortable to wear. The elastic won't dig into your heel but it's snug enough to keep them on the feet so they won't fall off. They are really well made and I think well worth the splurge. The regular leather had been sold out for a few months but just popped back in stock so I'll be ordering another pair soon. Also on my wishlist are these Ankle Lace Up Sandals which look like the perfect heel height. If you have any recs for good comfy lace up heels let me know.

Last but not least, I'm dreaming about the Chloe Small Drew. The Chloe store is so beautiful, you can't help but go inside and just wish your entire closet was made of Chloe. I'm debating between a few colors - the black is the most classic and versatile option but the caramel option is also gorgeous. I'm saving my pennies for one soon.

I hope your week is going well so far! What's on your radar or wishlist this week? Any new fall beauty sightings/thoughts yet?


 

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