Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Scent Rotation


Today I have a roundup of some of my favorite spring fragrances for right now. I have a mix of newly released fragrances alongside some classic staples. Purchasing fragrance is something I used to be so intimidated by. I found the options overwhelming and didn't understand notes. When shopping I always used to say, "I prefer something light." These days I'm not as timid in trying fragrances although I do prefer scent that are on the light fresh and floral side, sometimes with a bit of spice or amber mixed in. I think the best way to shop with fragrance is with a friend so they can give you a second opinion on the spot. It's something that can take time - if you're like me your nose can probably only take so many sniffs in one session. I like to browse reviews or new releases online and often make a smell list and take it to the counters with me. What I'm loving right now listed below. 

Diptyque Florabellio Eau de Toilette is a mix of apple blossom, sea salt, fennel, apricot-scented osmanthus mist and a hint of coffee. It's a sweet floral with a very slight musk feel. I like that it's light and refreshing and sweet but not too sweet. The coffee and sea salt give this one a bit of a more complex feel and prevents it from being too floral. Full review here.


Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino Eau de Parfum is the latest from Tom Ford and is new for summer. I have been a huge fan of the Mandarino di Almalfi for a bright citrus. I have a small decant of the first one released Neroli Portofino which is a stronger and deeper version. All three have a very similar vibe. The Mandarino is the brightest and most citrus. Neroli has more musk making it more unisex. The latest Fleur de Portofino has White Acacia Honey in it which gives it a more feminine feel and makes it less citrusy (but the citrus is still noticeable).

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette is the latest addition to the La Collection de Grasse line. It's described as a velvety iris and has a mix of both blue and white iris. This one is predominantly floral and is very sweet. Lasting power and strength seems to be much stronger than the other fragrances from the line. It's a fragrance that feels like pure spring. It's also available in some cute sets like the Mini Fragrance Set, Iris Bleu and Blanc Duo, and the Iris Bleu and Blanc Collection Set.


Chanel Beige Les Exclusifs de Chanel is my husband's current favorite on me. It took me forever to splurge on a bottle and I can see myself wearing this one for many years to come. It's described as having "Hawthorn, Freesia and Frangipani, with shimmering hints of honey" and I can't think of better words to describe it. It's the perfect floral and honey mix. The honey isn't overpowering so it's not overly powdery or sweet. Full review here.

L'Artisan Mûre Et Musc is my husband's second favorite and one of my top picks in terms of fragrance. I bought this based on the recommendation of one of my long-time friends Laura. She's a fragrance aficionada and my go-to when it comes to fragrance recommendations. It's my most repurchased scent. I always try to buy the smaller 50 ml size even though the 100 ml size is a better buy. This is one of the few sweet blackberry scents I can wear without getting a headache or feeling like I am wearing a fruit smoothie. It has a mix of black berries, red berries and musk. The musk is pretty strong in this one it dries down to a soft feel. If you like blackberry scents you might also want to look into Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay. I prefer the L'Artisan because it's not as sharp or sweet.


Tom Ford Shimmering Body Oil isn't a traditional fragrance but I'm completely in love with this one. I don't typically like shimmer or glitters but this body oil smells so incredible I am doing everything I can to make it work. This sprays a fine mist of tiny glitter particles but it's not overly glitzy. The body oil has a mix of white florals and amber sandalwood which I love in scents. My husband prefers florals on me rather than sandalwood or amber and this is the first scented product I've found that he approves of on me. It smells like summer in a bottle.

Byredo Black Saffron is another fragrance that has been on my wish list for ages. I bought this at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island which has the best Byredo counter I've been to. They are super friendly, patient and don't pressure you to buy anything. I like that they take the time to walk you through the fragrance options. Black Saffron is another berry scent that I can wear. The notes in this one are complex with the top notes: Pomelo, saffron, juniper berr, heart notes: Black violet, accord cuir, cristal rose and base notes: Blond woods, raspberry, vetiver. I have the travel size vials on my wish list.


Do you have a go-to scent this spring? I'd love to hear about your tried-and-true staples or any new discoveries. I'm always looking for recommendations!

The L'Occitane and Diptyque scents were provided as courtesy press samples for review consideration. All others purchased by me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Travel Beauty Picks for Spring



A couple weeks ago I attended the third rewardStyle conference in Dallas, Texas. It was such an amazing week and I was thrilled to meet so many incredible women, many of whom have been such a huge inspiration to me over the years. It was also great to discover and meet some new people. I loved hearing about how other bloggers got started blogging, their professional backgrounds, chatting about work/life/blog balance, and more. The week was packed with events, meetings and educational sessions but I managed to snap a few photos of my week there. Today I'm sharing the beauty items I brought with me. I waited to the last minute to pack my items and didn't plan in advance (which is how I ended up bringing 3 mascaras with me and way too many brushes). I'll go through what I packed, how I packed it and what I ended up using.

Quick snapshots from the rewardStyle conference. For more on the event, you can search the hashtag #rStheCon via social channels to see more of the festivities. One of the biggest highlights of my week was being able to hang out with Rachel from Beauty Professor (yay #bbloggers!):



Here's how I packed the vast majority of my beauty items. I brought a lot of items with me, most were to use for day or night. Some items I brought with intent of finishing up some posts and product reviews. Due to the busy scheduling of meetings and events I didn't get to complete the reviews I planned. Even though I brought a lot of items with me several pouches and brush holders helped keep everything compact and organized.



  1. Barneys New York Love Yourself 2015 gift with purchase bag is the perfect size to carry lots of compacts, lipsticks, tools, mascaras etc. I like that it's large but sturdy. For travel I usually travel with my Bobbi Brown Train Case (shown here and here) but the Barneys Makeup Pouch fit into my suitcase better for this trip.
  2. Make Up For Ever Dany's Pouch is a two-piece makeup pouch you can use to store brushes, pencils or mascara wands. It keeps the brush tips from getting smashed and when you travel it doubles as a brush holder.
  3. MustaeV Bloom Pouch (c/o) is something I received at The Makeup Show LA. The pouch comes in two sizes, small is shown above. Large version is shown here. These are flat zip pouches that come with a magnetic closure and a top that folds down so you can transform it into a brush holder. It's an innovative makeup bag that stays relatively flat when you zip it making it slimmer and easier to slip into small spaces.
  4. Truffle Large Clarity Pouch (c/o) measures 10 inches by 12 inches. The see thru plastic makes it easy to see what's inside so you don't have to dig around bags to find things. The flat shape is flexible but I personally like to keep flat things inside so the material doesn't become stretched. That being said, the Truffle bags are extremely sturdy so they tend to keep their shape.
  5. Quart-sized ziploc to keep all my liquids. I usually travel with one carry on and one personal item since I just find it easier to travel that way. My trips are usually on the shorter side so I can get away with one suitcase. 

The liquids, skincare, hair care and more:


I was able to fit all of these items in the quart sized bag. Most of these are minis I've been saving up for months from Sephora Beauty Insider offerings, online promo codes and gift with purchase events. A few brands I like offer travel items you can actually purchase. I wish more brands offered travel sizes you could buy or test out. Do you stock on up on minis to save for travel or do you use them as soon as you get them?
  1. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser mini gwp
  2. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask mini gwp
  3. MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel
  4. Bioderma travel size (review here)
  5. Lancome Bi-Facil travel size gwp
  6. Chanel Le Coton
  7. Q-Tips 
  8. Drybar The Chaser sample gwp
  9. Byredo Black Saffron mini sample gwp
  10. Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream travel size (c/o) 
  11. Cle de Peau Beaute Essential Correcting Refiner gwp
  12. Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist travel size (c/o) 
  13. Make up For Ever Instant Brush Cleaner travel size
  14. Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer gwp
  15. Bumble and Bumble Straight Blowdry Creme gwp
  16. Chanel Le Lift Creme gwp
  17. Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum gwp 
  18. Chanel Le Nuit sample gwp
  19. Chanel Sublimage Eye Cream gwp


For makeup, I packed summery colors with lots of shimmer. For cheeks, I layered the Tom Ford Cream blush with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting bronzer and blushes. To highlight I relied on Edward Bess's Afterglow. For the eyes I primarily used the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Duos and the MAC Palette. Those two were sufficient to get me through the trip. I didn't end up using the Burberry Shadows or any of the Cream Shadow Sticks I brought with me. 



  1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (review here)
  2. YSL Touche Eclat in 5.5 (swatched here)
  3. Chanel CC Cream in Beige 30 (review here)
  4. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Punjab (in mini empty sample jar I had on hand, review along with swatches here)
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza (review here)
  6. Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand (review here, c/o)
  7. Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Eyeshadows in Nude and Shell (review here, Shell c/o)
  8. MAC Warm Neutrals x15 Palette
  9. NARS Brow Perfector in Caucase
  10. Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Dune (swatched here)
  11. Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Caroube (review soon)
  12. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Brown Perfection and Frozen Quartz
  13. Burberry Bold Lash Mascara (c/o) 
  14. Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Mascara (c/o) 
  15. Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara
  16. Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eyeshadow Duos (review here, c/o)
  17. Marc Jacobs Poutliner in Honeybun (reviewed here)
  18. Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow (swatched here)
  19. YSL Glossy Stain in Wet Nude (review here)
  20. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Reveuse (review soon)
  21. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze (review here)
  22. NARS x Christopher Kane Lip Gloss (review soon)



For brushes and tools, I brought some of my favorites along with the Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleaner. It gives a good quick clean but doesn't give them a thorough washing like shampoo or traditional brush cleaners. Left to right includes:

Wayne Goss Holiday Brush (reviewed here)
old mascara wand I recycled for brows


Additional beauty items I brought with me:



  1. Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers (regular and evening versions)
  2. Misc hair ties
  3. Drybar Lemondrop Detangler Brush
  4. Lavanila Fresh Lemon Deoderant
  5. Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
  6. GHD Flat Iron
  7. Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips
I definitely overpacked beauty items, but it's something I almost always do. With the exception of foundation, I think I brought enough items to last a full month even though I was only traveling for a week. I used all of the liquids for skincare and haircare that I brought with me so I think those items were well packed (I relied on the hotel for other things like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste). For makeup, I could have left 60% of the items at home. I did intend to swatch/review a lot of the items but should have known better that time and energy would be limited while traveling. For brushes I used fingers to apply foundation during the week so I could have skipped the cream foundation brush. All of the other brushes were used during the trip and I could have left the instant brush cleaner at home but I found it handy to clean off the eye brushes for a quick clean.

There were a lot of skincare items I wanted to bring with me but didn't have small containers to pour out product into for travel. I know many of you have mentioned you buy small travel jars at Target or the Container Store for your travels, if you have any specific favs or other recommendations to store liquids or creams while you travel I would love to hear about them!

Do you travel a lot? If yes, how do you carry/store your beauty products? How do you edit what you bring with you? Are there any things you can't be without when you travel? I can't live without my hairdryer or flat iron so it usually goes with me on every trip even though they take up a lot of room in my suitcase.

P.S. For those planning a trip whether it's overnight or for an extended period, the Tumi Just In Case duffle is a lifesaver in terms of packing. I usually end up bringing more items home with me than I took with me and the Tumi Just In Case Duffle is something that folds into a small pouch you can store in your suitcase. You can see the diagrams on the Tumi website to see how it works, but it's a foldable sturdy nylon tote that has a their add-a-bag sleeve on the back so you can put it on the handles of your suitcase. 

Some items in this post were samples from gift with purchase events and some were press samples all of which are disclosed next to each listed item with a gwp or c/o note. The remainder items from my purchased by me.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Diptyque Beverly Hills Candle


To celebrate the opening of the new boutique in Beverly Hills, Diptyque has created a special limited-edition candle inspired by the iconic city. The Diptyque Beverly Hills Candle retails for $70 and is exclusive to the Beverly Hills store in Los Angeles. comes packaged in a stunning bright turquoise glass jar with contrasting yellow palm prints. It's a floral citrus that gives a fresh summer beachy vibe that I am completely head over heels in love with. The throw is quite good on this one and the scent fills up our living room within 10-15 minutes of burning. The notes in this one include: lemon essential oil, mint essential oil, orchid accord and freesia. The notes according to Diptyque:



Beverly Hills Candle next to a small full-twist photophore (boutique exclusive) and a small Baies

Diptyque Beverly Hills has a similar refreshing vibe to that of the Tomas Maier + Diptyque Palm Beach. The Tomas Maier candle is more citrusy while the Beverly Hills candle has more of a sweet more rounded tone to it. I've already burned through my first one in the course of two weeks (which is a record time for me, it takes me forever to burn through candles). Since it is limited-edition I stocked up on multiples when I ordered it and I'm glad I did because it's all I want my home to smell like right now.


Tom Ford Skinny Dip, Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunnies, Harper's Baazar, Moleskin Notebook

The Diptyque Beverly Hills candle is a limited-edition scent, exclusive to the Beverly Hills Boutique on North Beverly Boulevard. You can call the store at (310) 385-5941 to purchase over the phone or buy in store too. I highly recommend this one. The scent is refreshingly bright and summery and the turquoise and yellow packaging design makes for a fun colorful accent to your desk or shelf.

P.S. In case you are new to luxury candles, make sure to visit my Candle Care Tips post on how to burn them properly.

Have you checked out the Beverly Hills Diptyque candle or the store? 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color Sheers Skinnydip and Rose Soleil for Summer 2015


There are four featured Lip Color Sheers ($50 each for .1 oz/3g) for the Tom Ford Summer Beauty Collection. The two new shades are Skinnydip and Rose Soleil which come alongside Sweet Spot and Paradisio which are repromoted colors from 2014 (previously swatched here). I picked up the two new shades last weekend from Neiman Marcus Northpark in Dallas with Beauty Professor (we took a quick break from the rewardStyle conference to do some beauty shopping). Both of the new colors are to-die-for gorgeous. In my testing experience with Tom Ford Beauty, I find his lipsticks to be the best beauty product in his line and the new Lip Color Sheers are perfect for summer.

Both colors are shimmers, but they are not frosty. If you're familiar with the Lip Color Sheer formula from last year, you know some of the colors are sheer and glossy while the brights are glossy but rich. The new shades for Summer 2015 have the perfect mix of pigment and gloss with medium coverage. Skinnydip is a light nude rose peach with some gold shimmer. Rose Soleil is complex deeper rose pink with gold flecks mixed in. Swatched on the arms or the back of the hand they may appear sheer, but on the lips they meld with your natural lip tone to give the prettiest wash of color. On my lips they are visible and show up.

There is a soft vanilla scent to these. Lasting power is medium, they will stay put better than most sheer or glossy lip colors (as in they won't disappear or slide off within an hour). The sheer finish makes any fading more forgiving so you don't end up with contrasted color around the edges. I find it won't last through a meal or snacks, but I find that to be the case with most lipsticks or glosses (unless they are ultra long-wear or stains).   

Some more close ups and swatches:



Skinnydip on my lips along with comparisons swatches shown below. I pulled out last year's Lip Color Sheers in Pink Dune and In the Buff along with the Lips and Boys in William. There is a similar vibe but to me, Skinnydip has more peach and gold compared to last year's lip color sheers. Compared to William Lips & Boys, Skinnydip has less frost and is slightly more nude.

Indoor natural light:


In direct sun:


Comparison swatches:


Dior Rouge Dior Baume in Milly (reviewed here)
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine 22 Nude Indeed
Tom Ford 2014 Lip Color Sheers In the Buff/Pink Dune (reviewed here)
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Peter and William (swatched here)

Rose Soleil seems more unique compared to the other lip colors I own. It has a deep rose pink base but has a brightness to it that prevents it from looking dark. The gold flecks add dimension to it. The complexity makes this one look different in the tube depending on the angle or lighting. Sometimes I see more plum and berry, other times I see a darker base with gold flecks. Swatches below.




Comparison swatches below show that Rose Soleil has a unique mix of plum, pink, berry and gold. I find it most similar to MAC Viva Glam VI lipstick but the Tom Ford has more gold, more berry and more shimmer.


YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #11 and 7 (swatched here)
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bel-Ami (arm swatched here)
Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lipstick in Fabulous Rose (lip swatched here)
MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam VI

Quick re-swatch of Sweet Spot and Paradisio for reference:



One last shot of the Summer 2015 Lip Color Sheers in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil:


I've been told at the counters that both shades are limited-edition but I haven't confirmed it yet. Update: I just received confirmation from Tom Ford Beauty that the lip color sheers are permanent this round!! In my opinion both are quite beautiful, soft and fresh. They give the lips a healthy glow with just the right amount of color to show up but still look natural. For me I find both colors to be must-haves and I've purchased back ups.

Have you checked out the Tom Ford Soleil Collection for summer yet? In case you missed it:

Cream and Powder Eye Color Duos swatched/reviewed here
Cream and Powder Eye Color Duo comparison swatches here
Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand swatched/reviewed here

You can find the Lip Color Sheers at Tom Ford counters and stores now. Available online at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford.


 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2014 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK