Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick and Beam Team Hydrate and Glow Review


There are a few complexion products in The Estée Edit line and three I'm reviewing today include the Pore Vanishing Stick ($28), Beam Team Hydrate and Glow ($42) and Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow ($42).

The Pore Vanishing Stick is described as a "dual-action formula" that "has an outer core of oil-absorbing powders and an inner core with a sheer pigment" designed to fit all skintones. On the skin it looks invisible and per the description can be used under or over makeup to either work as a primer or refresh makeup. With this one I have mixed feelings - on bare skin or over moisturizer, I swiped it on areas I notice pores are larger and my skin became instantly blurred and smoothed right in front of my eyes. The center is pretty much clear but it makes the skin look more evened out and matte. Once I add my foundation - whether applied with fingers, brush or sponge, the process of adding a liquid or cream on top seemed to wipe away any smoothing the stick accomplished. Over makeup (foundation or powder) as a touch up just didn't work for me. If you read the reviews at Sephora - there are a lot of positive experiences though so it may work for many of you.


One of the items that I was most interested in trying was the Beam Team Hydrate and Glow. When it initially launched there was only one shade but for summer they launched a Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow version. These are hydrating glow lotions - much like liquid or cream highlighters but with moisturizing elements. If you've liked the concept of glowy creams like MAC Strobe Cream or Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow but wanted something for deeper to tan skins, these are it! For years I've loved the concept of luminous creams you can apply as a base or mix in with foundation - however options in the warm gold or bronze category were pretty much non-existent. Most are either that classic opal color or if they came in other shades they are too shimmery to put on all over the face.

Each color has a portion that's a cream in a squeeze tube with a shimmering gold or bronze shade and inside the cap, there is a solid highlighter that is more dewy and shimmery.

I tried both a few different ways. Like most luminous liquids or creams they are very versatile. These look shimmery when swatched but when you blend they disappear into a very soft luminous glow. I swatched them heavily below to show the color but they blend out to a much sheerer finish.

Test Method 1: Apply all over the face over moisturizer and under foundation - the liquid creates an all over very luminous dewy effect. With foundation on top you get that glow from within kind of look that was almost too dewy for my taste but if you set with powder it turns out to be perfect. These are hydrating so if you have oily skin they may be a bit too much for you, especially in hot summer weather. I found it lasted until mid-day before I got very very dewy looking all over and had to touch up on the T zone. The regular Beam Team all over works best for me while the Bronze Beam Team is too dark for all over.

Test Method 2: Mix in liquid with foundation. This is pretty self explanatory - and I think this method will work for most skin types. It adds a nice glow without shifting the foundation color or making you look like a disco ball.

Test Method 3: Over foundation on cheeks to highlight. The liquid pretty much disappears into a hint of glow, but the solid in the cap as a highlighter on cheek bones is more visible as a natural dewy highlight.


Swatched heavy without flash:


With flash:


For fair skin beauty lovers I suspect these will be more like a bronzer for your skintone versus a glow product. For those medium to deep you will rejoice that there is finally an all over luminous liquid and cream better suited for your skintone versus the pale opal shades that are currently out there and these are non-orangey! As a medium light person I find the regular shade work best for me. I do love a good liquid bronze - but for deeper color I prefer the Flash Illuminators (they have a light option which is perfect for super fair skin tones too, review soon).

Bottom line I have mixed feelings about the Pore Vanishing Stick. I've tried it several ways and unless I go bare faced, it didn't work for me. Right now my skin isn't clear enough to go bare faced so I always need some kind of base on top.

The Beam Teams are both great but since they are hydrating, if you are super oily they may be too hydrating for your skin type. They aren't weightless but at the same time aren't super heavy. They leave the face feeling well hydrated and soothed but you can feel it almost like a moisturizer.

You can find the Pore Vanishing Stick ($28), Beam Team Hydrate and Glow ($42) and Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow ($42) all exclusively online and in stores at Sephora.

Estee Edit items provided for review consideration.


Monday, July 25, 2016

The Estée Edit Cocobalms Review


Estée Lauder launched a new line earlier this year called The Estée Edit. It's a line of makeup and some skincare items that are exclusive to Sephora online and in stores designed for a younger edgier kind of look compared to the more traditional classic Estée Lauder line. I've been testing out a few items from the line and up first is a review of the Cocobalm ($22 each for 0.34 oz) which comes in five colors and are packaged in some seriously cute round squeeze pods.

These are hydrating balms with coconut oil and actually smell like coconut too. They're described as a lightweight liquid online but in my testing experience it's on the medium-thick side and definitely balm-like versus liquid - which isn't a bad thing, just a bit different than what the online description says. By comparison to other squeeze tube balms, these Estée Edit Cocobalms have a bit more pigment compared to the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors but not quite as much as the MAC Tendertalk Balms. In terms of texture for a liquid balm, the most liquid kind of lip treatments I've tried include the Clarins Instant Light Lip Oils and Fresh Tinted Sugar Shine Lip Treatments.

The packaging of the Cocobalms is one of the most unique I've seen. I did worry about functionality when I first popped open the top but they are easy to apply on the lips with a beveled dispenser. Since they are on the slightly thick side I prefer to apply with a brush so I don't get my fingers messy. They cover the lip nicely with a cushion of moisture. It's not lightweight or weightless by any means but at the same time they're not overly thick or tacky. You do have to blend with a finger or brush to smooth out the color.

There are five colors total, pigment is similar across all shades which is sheer to medium. They do give a noticeable tint to my super pigmented lips but the effect is natural like most balms are:
  • Coco White is a sheer smooth milky white (it does look white on the lips, it's not clear)
  • Coco Peach is a soft light peach color
  • Coco Blush is the perfect medium pink shade
  • Coco Berry is a pretty soft mauve purple plum (my fav!)
  • Coco Currant is a deep brown but transforms into a true plum on my lips



For a sheer wash of color and hydration I like these a lot more than I expected. When I first saw them I thought there might be a chance I would like the packaging more than the product but was pleasantly surprised. My top two picks are the Coco Blush and Coco Berry shades. They offer long lasting hydration (I tested on bare lips) and stayed put for hours. As with almost every lip product there will be color or product transfer if you touch anything to your lips but they stayed put relatively well even in humid heat without melting or feeling like they were sliding off my face. 

If you need lots pigment and color you probably will find these too sheer in which case I'd recommend you opt for the Chanel Rouge Coco Stylos if you haven't tried them yet. Those are the best in terms of pigment and hydration that I've tried to date. If you don't like any feeling of product on your lips but want hydration and a soft hint of color opt for the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors instead. The Estee Edit Cocobalms aren't heavy but aren't weightless if that makes sense.

Bottom line is I am a fan. Here's a peek at other items I'll be reviewing from the line which includes The Barest Bronzer in Medium/Deep, Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat, Beam Team Hydrate and Glow, Beam Team Hydrate and Glow Bronze, Pore Vanishing Stick, Flash Illuminators (all shades) and the Skin Glowing Balm.

There will be another post this afternoon so stay tuned to see what's next!
More details to follow on each item I've tested from the Estée Edit. So far the Cocobalms are my favorite item out of the line especially since I'm a lip balm junkie and adore the packaging. The coconut scent is to die for and I do think they're worth a try. You can find the Estée Edit Cocobalms for $22 each, exclusively at Sephora.

Have you tested anything from the Estée Edit yet? What did you think?

Estée Edit items provided courtesy of the team for review consideration.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Philosophy x QVC Classic Shower Gel Collection + Giveaway


I'm the type of person who lives for bubble baths. Many beauty lovers say that on a bad day there's always lipstick (which I agree with) but for me there's nothing that helps me relax and unwind like a good bubble bath to melt away stress. Philosophy makes some of my favorite shower gels - many of them are multi-tasking products that you can use for the hair, body wash and bubble bath (and they actually work for both hair and body). My go-to for years has been the Amazing Grace Shower Gel and I've lost count of how many bottles I've used up. QVC has a lot of value sets and I'm excited to team up with them to share Today's Special Value in the Classic Collection which has four super-sized 32 fl oz shower gels in Lemon Custard, Orange Pineapple Smoothie, Fresh Cream and Cinnamon Buns. The set is offered at a value price of $79.96 for today only and QVC is also giving away one set via The Beauty Look Book.

When I first opened the box - I intended on splitting this up into gifts as each bottle is huge! On a few previous philosophy posts, several readers have mentioned that they buy the large sets and split them up as party favors for girl friends or just give them as gifts with a special note. I think that's such a sweet thing to do. After testing a couple of these though and don't know that I will be able to bring myself to give them away because they are really really good. At first sniff these smell incredibly rich and sweet. In the shower or bath they do soften up quite a bit - Cinnamon Buns smells just like Cinnamon Buns which seems like it might be an odd scent bathe in, but it's amazing. Fresh Cream is a sweet mix of vanilla and cream which is also another one I've fallen in love with. I mixed two pumps of Fresh Cream with a cap of Amazing Grace and the mix was quite interesting. I think I need to experiment more with mixing the scents in the tub because it gives you an entirely different kind of experience. The other two fruity options I've taken a quick smell at - still deciding whether to keep or gift away, but they smell like fruit smoothies.


If you're the type who prefers something fragrance or scent free, philosophy makes their Purity Made Simple Body Cleanser which is one of the best fragrance free gentle body washes I've tried. It also comes in the super size version which lasted me well over six months. Most of the scents are available for purchase separately as well. You can find Cinnamon Buns, Lemon Custard and Fresh Cream in the large versions (they all come with handy pumps) and also in a number of other set options. Based on what I've tried - all the body cleansers leave the body feeling squeaky clean and softly scented. For stronger fragrance it's best to layer with a lotion or body cream, but I prefer my shower gels to leave the skin with a soft hint of scent.

A few snapshots of the ingredients listed on the back of each bottle (you can click for larger viewing):




The 4 Piece Classic Collection Set is offered at a value price for today only (there's a handy countdown clock on their product page). The Classic Collection has Lemon Custard, Sweet Cream, Cinnamon Buns and Orange Pineapple Smoothie. There's also a Summer Collection Option which contains Vanilla Coconut, Beach Party, Senorita Margarita and Cabana Girl.

QVC is giving away 1 Classic Collection as shown in the post to 1 lucky winer. You can enter for a chance to win through the widget:
  • Giveaway is US only
  • Open to readers 18 years or older
  • Enter via the widget below
  • Entries will be collected through Wednesday the 27th
  • 1 winner will be selected randomly via widget and contacted via e-mail within 48 hours
  • QVC will ship the prize directly to winner
  • Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Many thanks to QVC for sponsoring this post and giveaway. 


Friday, July 22, 2016

Loving Right Now + Gift Card Giveaway


Happy Friday everyone! It's been one of those weeks I thought would never end and I am relieved that it's almost the weekend. Thank you to everyone who shared what you wanted to see on The Beauty Look Book blog in my last giveaway post. It's always great to hear feedback on what you've liked and also what you would like to read more about. There were a lot of requests for features on a wide range of topics and I am beyond flattered so many of you want to know what I think about well basically anything! Most popular requests were for higher end skincare (I did not realize you guys liked the skincare posts!), budget-friendly cosmetics, full skincare routine, current hair care routine, more hauls, favorites roundups, inside my purse posts, shoe features, tutorials, makeup storage, more travel (so happy many of you loved this), time management, exclusive promo events and videos!

Since reading your requests, I've started to pull items for a full summer skincare routine and hair care routine post. I do tend to test a lot of products on myself to review for you so my routine changes frequently - but I will pull my favorites and include items I've used up. A few notes:
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale hauls posted on the blog, makeup picks here and fashion and skincare items hauled here
  • Exclusive promo savings for readers via Space NK US here - my apologies for those who were not able to use the code on Oribe, after several e-mails to the team, they've fixed the code and it works on all Oribe items (full size and travel sizes)
  • Antica Farmacista is doing a special online promo code, enter code ANTICABLB at checkout for a mini body butter with any online order!
  • Summer bronzer edit posted here (many of you have been asking for this for weeks!)
  • On videos I am hoping to do some in the future!
  • Loving right now/favorites in this post here today!


Right now for skincare, hair care and the home, I'm loving the following:
  1. Chanel Fresh Body Cream is a summer go-to for body lotions. It smells lightweight and fresh and even though a tub is pricey. I use it sparingly but it has lasted a long time. It hydrates without feeling sticky and won't interfere with perfume. My wallet is crying at the thought of having to buy again but I think it is 100% worth the splurge.
  2. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover is what I use right now to remove mascara and eye makeup, its gentle but effective and doesn't feel greasy. You can find it in two sets for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the Chubby Lash Set and Take the Day Off Set
  3. Antica Farmacista is a line I just discovered and I really don't know how this has passed my radar for so long, I received a few samples and the line is exquisite! My favorite item is the Cucumber and Lotus Flower Candle which is the perfect cooling relaxing scent for the home, I am going to need this one in all formats, detailed review next week - if you have any favorites from the line let me know! If you order online they're offering a free mini body butter with any order, use code ANTICABLB
  4. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ample Angora Volumizing Mousse is something new to me, I will say up front I typically hate mousse products because they're usually sticky and make my hair hard to comb/brush, this one is really good though. I have naturally thick hair and find most volumizing products don't really add that much volume to my already thick hair (I have tried dozens of sprays, creams, lotions, shampoos etc.) This one combined with heat styling of the T3 PROi Dryer (best dryer ever, thanks RaeView for recommending to me!!) gives serious volume all the way through from roots to ends.
  5. La Mer The Tonic is a toner I alternate with the SK-II Clear Treatment Lotion, I like both but reach for the La Mer more these days to help remove impurities after cleansing and rebalance the skin. The formula has been a go-to for years and often times I try others in attempts to find a more affordable option, but this one never fails me.
  6. Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash is a favorite for every day multiple times a day. It's one of the few I can use frequently without it stripping my skin. I've tried and repurchased all her cleansers and this is the only one that won't irritate my skin on tender skin days. My brother has acne-prone skin that is even more sensitive than mine. I bought him this one to try and it's one of the few he says is gentle enough for his skin (he's in his early 20s). Also available in a larger 16 oz size with a pump and her Clinic Solutions Kit (I bought this for travel).

For makeup and fragrance:
  1. Hourglass Ambient Luminous Light Palette is nothing but pure love, it's a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive for this year's Anniversary Sale and I think it is perfect. If you already own the palette from last holiday or the individual colors you can skip this one. Also there's a new marble palette that's coming out for holiday that you might want to wait for as previewed on @gossmakeupartist's Instagram (it looks dreamy but I think the colors are different!). My review + swatches in this post here.
  2. Chanel Aqua Glossimers for summer are sheered out glossimers new for summer. Review on all the shades in this post here. These are nice for an effortless wash of shine and a hint of color.
  3. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Sugarcane is a perfect baby pink that covers the lip entirely, I also like Honeycomb which is a perfect nude, swatches + review of the neutrals in this formula can be found in this post here
  4. MAC Sunblessed Cremesheen (in the Nordstrom Sunblessed Kit) is a great pinky nude on me even though it looks more peachy in the tube. Swatched on my lips here.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips are almost too hot to handle. I adore her Matte Revolution formula and was thrilled to see more neutrals and brights launched in her Hot Lips Collection. All the shades purchased by me and swatched in this post.
  6. NARS Long Hot Summer Eyeshadow Palette (review soon) is an exclusive to NARS online and boutiques. This has great neutrals deep enough for medium to tan skintones. I'll review and swatch this soon.
  7. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is the perfect white floral summer fragrance. I love it. Review here.
  8. YSL Glossy Stain 07 is a ripe juicy peach that has enough color to be more than a neutral but isn't too bright so it will suit neutral makeup lovers (also in the Nordstrom Rebel Nudes Set)
I'm hosting one more Nordstrom eGift Card Giveaway! I'm giving away 3 $100 USD eGift Cards to Nordstrom. Details as follows:
  • Open internationally
  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • Enter through widget
  • Entries will be collected through Sunday 7/24/2016 11:30 AM PST
  • Winners will be selected at random via the widget, emailed Sunday evening
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What are you loving right now? Did you haul anything good from the Nordstrom sale or any other places recently?

Press samples featured include Shu Uemura, Antica Farmacista, Bite Amuse Bouche.


 

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