Showing posts with label DryBar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DryBar. Show all posts

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Beauty and Grooming Favorites


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 small bag.
  • 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.


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.
  • For shaving, two brands have been in rotation. First his regular go-to is the L'Occitane Cade Plisson Razor + Shave Cream Duo. His quick take on each:
    • 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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer + SinglePass Compact Flat Iron Set - Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusive 2015


I picked up the T3 Compact Styling Set ($150, limited-edition set) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It's a two-piece value set that comes with the Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer (retails separately for $150) and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron (retails separately for $79). I've had the compact dryer on my wishlist for a while and the sale helped me pull the trigger. Both are very compact and perfect for travel or if you have limited space in your bathroom. I've been testing both for a few days and have comparisons to other styling hair tools that I currently own.


The T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer is really well designed. It comes in a simple sleek black design with a removable nozzle. I like that it's lightweight but still has a lot of power. The noise level is minimal, it's designed with a quiet motor which you can still hear but it's not as loud as others that I've tried. The handle absorbs vibration from the motor which is nice so it's not bothersome if you have to dry your hair for an extended amount of time. It comes with 2 speeds and 2 heat settings along with a cool shot option. I have thick hair that gets frizzy without any hair treatment (product or styling tool) so it takes a long time for me to dry my hair. Dry time with this one was fairly quick - about 15 to 20 minutes when dried in sections.

I photographed the dryer in my hands so you could get a sense of the size. It's small and compact but not too small. I like that it has a folding option which makes it nice for travel or storage. (On the nails is Chanel Le Vernis in Chataigne, new for fall.)


I now own three hair dryers with this purchase: T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer, Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer and a mini from Original & Mineral. The best ones I've owned were from Solano, in particular the Supersolano which is hands down well worth the price - it makes the hair ultra sleek and shiny and doesn't overheat the hair. I went through two and after my second one died (after about 6 years) I decided to try new things. I wish I hadn't because they are just so good.

Onto the ones I own. I've had the Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer for quite some time and really like it. It dries the hair nicely, it's large but not heavy, noise level isn't too loud and it comes in a fun bright yellow color. Since it's a larger dryer there is more room for options. It has three temperature settings, two speeds and self-lock cool shot so you don't have to hold it down with your thumb.

I bought the Original & Mineral one that came in a Net-A-Porter set which is super cute and compact. It has a lot of power for something that tiny, but unfortunately the design is very simplistic and the handle doesn't absorb any vibrations so you can feel it in your hand. It does a good job at drying the hair quickly though which is nice.

The T3 Compact Dryer has less power compared to the Drybar, but more power than the O&M. I've brought the Drybar one with me on trips although it does take up a lot of space. The T3 is much more travel-friendly. It's also dual voltage 125V/250V for worldwide use while the Drybar option is 100V/120V and requires a step-down converter + adapter.


Close ups of the options:


The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron is basically a free add-on with the Nordstrom Anniversary Set. I purchased the SinglePass Straightening Iron (full size) a number of years ago and hated it. It left my hair frizzy and made it look fried. Based on the number of rave reviews on the compact version, I decided to give it a try since the set came at a really good price. The SinglePass Compact Flat Iron performs much better than the Full Size (maybe I had a dud), but I would say for me it doesn't really live up to the name "single pass." It takes at least two passes per section for my super thick hair but it does leave the hair shiny, sleek and smooth. I could probably section off smaller amounts of hair but it would take 3 times longer to straighten everything. The iron is really well designed and comes with a cap which I wish all flat irons came with.


Comparisons to two other flat irons I own. GHD Bird of Paradise is a full-size flat iron that measures 26.5 cm long with plates that are 2.4 cm x 9 cm. I've had this since December of last year and really like it although out of all the flat irons I've owned, the HAI Ceramic Convertible Iron is hands down the best one I've tried (mine died after I dropped it on a hard surface, but it lasted 4 years before it stopped working).

The CHI Smart Titanium Ceramic Travel Iron is fairly new to me. I received this one at a QVC event a few weeks ago and really like it. I can't find the temperature listing anywhere but I was told it heats up to 390 degrees. This one measures 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm x 7.5 cm. For my hair it does a better job at straightening with a single stroke but it is very small so it takes longer to straighten my hair.

The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron by comparison heats up to 410 degrees. It's similar in size to the CHI. The T3 Compact Iron is 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm wide x 7.8 cm long.

I'm overall really pleased with the set. I had the Compact Dryer on my wishlist and the Flat Iron with this set was an added bonus. I really like the Dryer - it performs well, it's compact and well designed. It will be my travel dryer for all my upcoming trips.

For the flat iron I have mixed feelings. With any travel sized flat iron I think it should be expected that it won't work the same as a full sized flat iron for my super thick hair. The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron works well but it takes more time for me to straighten my hair compared to ones from GHD and HAI. Out of the two travel flat irons I featured, I have a slight preference for the CHI, although the two are very close in performance. The T3 has a more visually pleasing design and the cap is an added bonus for me (even though many brands have an extra storage or carrying case for travel).

That being said I have close friends who are die-hard loyal fans of T3 and swear by the line. Since I don't need two travel flat irons, I will probably be regifting this one to a friend.


The T3 Compact Styling Set retails for $150 and is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive (it's a $229 value). In case you miss out on the sale this month, you can purchase the Featherweight Compact Dryer and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron individually. I give the compact dryer a huge thumbs up and the compact flat iron a semi-thumbs up mainly because I am super picky about flat irons in general, but it's great for the size and travel purposes.

Did you check out the T3 Styling Set from the sale? Do you have any T3 favorites? If not what are your favorite styling tools?

The CHI flat iron was gifted as a press sample. All other items purchased by me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Travel Beauty For Three Weeks in Europe


Today I have a roundup of what makeup I brought with me on my 3-week vacation. My travel beauty picks for makeup and tools were packed into my Anya Hindmarch In Flight Patent leather-trimmed travel case and MustaeV Bloom Pouch (liquids, skincare and fragrance packing in this post here). These kept everything compact, organized and made everything relatively easy to find. Above photo: Longchamp Expandable Tote, Marc by Marc Jacobs Rimless Aviators, sandals by Hermes. Beauty details broken down below.

First up makeup breakdown. I limited myself to 1 eyeshadow palette. I usually almost always bring one of the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes with me on travel because they are versatile and can be used to create a number of looks. I decided to try something new for this trip and brought the MAC Nordstrom Naturals Palette with me instead. It worked just as well to create a number of different looks - I like that there's a good mix of matte and shimmer. If you're limited on space - there are some good browns that can double as brow powder.

For face products I brought a mini tube of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz (currently only in one size, I was lucky it was a good shade match). Other face cream products listed in my liquids post. For powder I brought my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Shade 2, I knew there was a chance I would get a tan on my trip so I brought the Chanel Powder Foundation in Beige 30 and 40 with me (40 shown above).

For cheeks products I brought the NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Craving, Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow, Edward Bess Bronzer in Daydream, Tom Ford Cream Blush in Pink Sand (discontinued) and Charlotte Tilbury Blush in Ecstasy. I definitely could have skipped a few of these but I'm one who always layers cheek products.

Eye makeup included my favorite stick shadow Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold. For pencils I brought Marc Jacobs Ro(Cocoa) which is the perfect bronzey taupe liner (it lasts all day). I also brought the Tom Ford Liquid Eyeliner, NARS Brow Perfector, Chanel Fresh Effect Eyeshadow in Caroube and Charlotte Tilbury Chameleon Pencil in Amber Haze. I also brought my NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia which is a good bronzey tan beige shimmer for the lids and one waterproof mascara by Guerlain.

I kept my lip products edited to one lipliner in Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk. For lipsticks I brought three including Tom Ford Summer Lip Color Sheers in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil and one Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Reveuse.

Tools and brushes:


Above (excuse the messy brushes, I haven't had a chance to wash them yet):

MustaeV Bloom Pouch (large, also featured here and here)
MAC 135 Large Flat Powder Brush is a new brush from MAC, it's large fluffy and flat which is perfect for a sheer dusting of powder or bronzer
MAC 239 and MAC 219 Brushes
Chanel Powder Brush is a dense brush ideal for powder foundation
Chanel Eyelash Curler (discontinued)

Several of you have asked about the Anya Hindmarch case that I've previewed on a few posts and on Instagram. I bought mine from Net-A-Porter although several have told me they've found it discounted at Duty Free locations while they were traveling. Based on online photos and reviews I couldn't tell if it was one open case with two openings or if it had two compartments. It has two compartments - one is slightly deeper than the other. It's fairly pricey for a makeup pouch but the material is very sturdy and it's very well made.



The MustaeV Bloom Pouch comes in two sizes, small and large. I discovered the line at The Makeup Show LA earlier this year and love them. I brought the large one with me on this trip. The small one was featured in this travel post back in April. I've added a repost shot of the large one below to show how it stands up.


For three weeks I brought plenty to last me the entire trip. I did miss my eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses but given the heat and warm weather a good portion of the trip was makeup-free for me so it didn't really matter. I worried that skipping concealer would be a mistake but my skin has cleared up pretty nicely in the past few months so for face coverage, tinted moisturizers and powder was enough.

In case you missed it, how I packed all my liquids in this post here (Muji containers, clear pouches, his and hers travel skincare, fragrance and body care):

http://www.thebeautylookbook.com/2015/07/his-and-hers-travel-essentials-skincare.html





What do you like to bring with you on extended trips? Do you have any packing tips or favorite carrying cases?

The MustaeV bloom pouch and easy go brush was gifted during The Makeup Show. The Afterglow highlighter was also a gift courtesy of Edward Bess.

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's In My Bag - May 2015


TGIF everyone! This week feels like it has been a really long one for some reason so I'm really happy it's Friday. It's been a gloomy week here in Southern California and we've had a bit of rain. I've been chasing the sun as it peeks through the clouds every once in a while - I shouldn't complain because we have sunny weather here 90% of the year. I have a what's in my handbag post today. Here's what I've been carrying around lately. The tote is the St. Louis by Goyard in the PM size. In case you are wondering, the color is called Gris.


Inside my bag I have the Goyard Pouch that comes with the St. Louis Tote, also:


For makeup most of these things fit inside the bag with the exception of the Tatcha Beauty Papers, Chanel Kabuki Brush and L'Occitane Hand Cream. The base of the Clearly MAC Trio Bag is wide at the bottom so you can fit more items inside compared to the MAC Clear Bag Set (featured here). What I have with me is way too many lip products - I add one each day to the bag and end up with more lip products that I can wear at any given time.


I hope you have a lovely weekend! What has been in your bag this week?

Some press samples have been included in the post, those noted by c/o note by each item.

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.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale / VIB Rouge Haul


I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale and used my VIB Rouge discount for a massive haul. I planned on stocking up on skincare and haircare staples, but there seemed to be a wave of new beauty launches too. I ended up placing a couple of orders online. Here is the majority of what I bought. I have one more package coming in the mail but I'll be out of town when it arrives at my home later this week. Be warned, this list is very long.

1 + 2 + 3 / Surratt Beauty just launched at Sephora, most of what I wanted was already sold out by the time the sale started, but I managed to order three Artistique Blushes in Guimauve, Parfait and Aurelole plus the Large Custom Palette Case. I also bought one Lip Lustre in Coquette.

4 / Urban Decay released the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in a wide range of colors. Each of the main shades come in Warm, Neutral and Cool. I picked out Medium Light Warm, I hope this is the right color for me, it's hard to tell in stores.

5 / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light come highly recommended by my readers as all over setting powders. I have Dim Light in the Palette Form which I really like but feel it's easier to dip a large fluffy brush in a larger compact. I've been obsessed with Diffused Light after testing it for a few days, it's the perfect all over setting powder.

6 / Koh Gen Do Cleansing Wipes are a must for me. I stocked up on the 3-pack.

7 / Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze Compact in Ritual is new for me, but I don't think it's a new shade. I have swiped it a couple times on the hand and it looks very dark, but there is a pretty pink glow mixed in. From what I have read, each one has different swirl patterns.

8 / Lavanila is new to me and I usually buy Dove deodorants but the concept of a soft vanilla scent in deodorant seemed really interesting. Fresh Vanilla Lemon is a light vanilla with a hint of citrus.

9 / SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil has been on my list to try for a long time. I decided to use the discount to save on this since full retail is $70. Review to come as I play with this.

10 / Christian Louboutin Nail Colour in Wherever is a deep but bright blue cream. I reviewed all of The Nudes here. I have several of the brighter Pops Colors and love the formula.

11 / Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover are really pretty neutrals. Swatches and review posted here.

12 / Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers Duo is a Sephora exclusive. Review of the full size version here. This duo has a small pack of Evening Papers in a darker color that is purse-sized. I haven't tried them yet but I couldn't resist a small one for clutches or small bags.

13 / YSL Gloss Volupte in Nude Carat has been on my radar for a while. The sale made me do it.

14 / I've loved everything I've tried from the Drybar line. These Hold Me Hair Clips are perfect for sectioning hair up when you curl, straighten or blow dry the hair. They are large and angled so they really grip large sections of hair without tugging, pulling or getting tangled without leaving dents.

15 / Tarte is a line I haven't explored much of but the Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner has gotten so many raves. I bought Sunstone Bronze.

16 / Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer seems promising as it comes highly recommended by Beauty Professor. I don't have immediate access but I ordered Shades 4 and 5 based on her swatches. I'm excited to try it.

Other items on their way include some haircare, skincare and lipgloss:

Make Up For Ever Plexi Gloss in 101, 201 and 105P

There are still a few more hours left to shop the sale. It ends tonight online, codes valid through end of today 4/21/2015 11:59 PM PDT.

VIB Rouge Members get 15% off with code ROUGELOVE
VIB Members get 15% off with code VIBLOVE
Beauty Insider Members get 10% off with code BILOVE

Did you buy anything from the Sephora sale? I would love to hear about your hauls!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Travel and Trial-Sized Beauty


Here is my first gift guide for the holiday season. This time of year always brings about tempting value sets and travel-sized beauty gifts. I think these travel-friendly sets are a great way to try new skincare without committing to the full-sized options. For color, if you're one of the types that takes forever to use up an eyeliner or lipstick, minis are the way to go and get more options for the same price. Here are some gifts this year that I think look like great samplers.

2 Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Party Essentials Sampler
6 Diptyque 5 Piece Mini Candle Set
8 Fresh Sugar Cravings Kissing Trio 
12 Marc Jacobs Beauty The Sky-liner 7 Piece Mini Set
13 NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette

Have you bought any good sets this year yet? I'd love to hear what you've been eyeing and any loves so far. I'm always up for recommendations on what is the latest and greatest on the market for the holiday sets and gifts.

Some more gift set ideas below:



Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Beauty Look Book Hair Care Loves


I get a lot of questions about my hair care, both online and in person. Many like the smooth glossy texture, and I usually get comments that I must have really good genes when it comes to hair, but what most people don't understand is that my hair actually takes a lot of work. I've always had super thick unruly hair. Frizz has always been my biggest problem, when I was in high school and early college days, my hair was so thick, fitting a rubber band around it twice to pull it back was always a stretch (I broke quite a few that snapped because my hair was so thick). Color wise, my hair has a natural subtle ombre effect depending on lighting conditions and season (it gets lighter in the summer). It's basically black but I have natural red highlights are sometimes look really bright, especially on the ends. The lighter color can sometimes make it look dry on the ends even though I've never color-treated my hair.

In high school and early college days, my friends told me "you need to try blowdrying your hair, it will change your life." I went through several hair dryers and straighteners, none of which did anything for me (mainly Conair, T3, and Revlon). I used to be a regular reader on Makeupalley and back in the early 2000's the message board recommendations and product reviews were a lifesaver.

The second biggest issue I've had with hair is sensitive scalp. I don't have dry scalp issues but many shampoos and conditioners I've tried end up drying up my scalp or leave heavy residue which is difficult to rinse out properly.

Over the past decade, thanks to my stylist recommendations, trial and error along with blog recommendations, I've discovered quite a few hair products that I've fallen in love with. Having longer thick hair means I tend to go through product fairly quickly. I've been meaning to do a hair-care loves post for quite some time, but given that I use up items fast and am constantly testing new items, they don't always last long enough for me to get pictures. I thought a summary of my tried and true might be helpful.


Phyto's Phytojoba Shampoo (1) is hands down my Number 1 holy grail shampoo. It has the most amazing scent of jojoba with coconut but isn't overly sweet or overpowering. It's designed for dry and unruly hair and lathers up into this amazing foam. It's rich enough for my hair that it treats dryer scalps while moisturizes the hair but doesn't weigh it down. The only reason why I don't buy this more frequently is because it has a very fluid texture which is easy to over pour. It is also something I find I go through very quickly (which gets expensive). Performance-wise it's my all time favorite.

A good everyday shampoo and conditioning duo is Drybar's Happy Hour Blowout Shampoo and Happy Hour Weightless Conditioner (2). Both have really good scents and give me bouncy shiny hair. The conditioner is one of the few I've tried that is truly weightless but still gives the hair that extra conditioning you need. It's also good to use daily which I find rare with most conditioners.

Kérastase has been on my radar for a long time but they have so many options I found it a bit overwhelming to choose one. I recently ordered the Cristalliste Bain Cristal Shampoo Thick (4), Lait Cristal Conditioner (5) and Volumifique Bain Volumifique Shampoo (6) and have been really impressed. The Cristalliste line is designed for long thick hair, I find both the shampoo and conditioner work really well to give hair a clean smooth look without weighing it down. They clean the hair really well and almost feel like a rebalancing kind of shampoo/conditioner. Both lather nicely and smell amazing as well. The Volumifique Shampoo is designed to give volume and lightness. For me I haven't seen any volumizing effects but it works wonders in terms of making it feel lightweight and frizz free. With the Kerastase items I've tried I can let my hair air dry naturally and not worry about frizz.

Oribe is another favorite line of mine, I've tried a number of the sample packets of their hair care and my favorite is the Shine Shampoo and Conditioner (16). When I use Oribe, I tend to use it every 2-3 days, alternating with a different everyday shampoo, mainly because of the high price points, but the items in the line are extremely good and worth every penny. The Shine line gives lush glossy hair with a super smooth finish.


For hair treatments, I usually blow dry and straighten my hair. I like to use treatments that are multi-functional for both pre-heat treating and finishing. A staple in my weekly hair routine is Moroccanoil's Treatment (14). It gives the hair a smooth texture that helps keep moisture in with blowdrying, it's also good as a finishing product to smooth ends. A little goes a long way and the bottle will last you a long time. Drybar's The Chaser (13) shine pomade is a must-have for me in terms of styling/shine products. It's also good for a pre-heat treatment or post-styling product. There's nothing like this that gives a lightweight shine that lasts all day without making the hair greasy or heavy looking.

Edward Bess recently launched his Hair Hero (11) on QVC. It's my do-everything kind of hair product. It smooths the hair, adds texture and adds shine. You can read the full review here.

Dry shampoos have a lot of appeal in terms of time saving properties and styling. I haven't found one that I could use yet that didn't leave my hair looking flat, dusty looking or crunchy. Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray (12) is a dry shampoo alternative which I find works the best for adding texture and volume to the roots or absorb oil. I almost always wash my hair everyday, but on mornings when I am rushed and need to skip 1 day, this works wonders as a hair refresher.

Having a good shampoo and conditioner routine (along with a well-balanced diet) should be sufficient to keep your hair healthy and well moisturized but sometimes I do need a weekly mask treatment. The Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask (15) is my favorite for dry weather and winter months to give my hair that extra boost it needs.


For tools, I've been a loyal to Solano Hair Dryers for years. I went through two over the past 13 years and when I needed to a replacement, I decided to try the Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer (3). My husband bought this for me while we were at Sephora because he thought the packaging was fun (lol). After having such good experiences with the Drybar salons and products, I decided to give it a try. This has an extremely powerful motor but is still very gentle. It's more lightweight compared to Solanos and more gentle. It comes with two different nozzles, three temperatures and two settings. Most hairdryers I've tried come with a switch for cool-air that you have to hold down to keep the cool air flowing. This one has a turn on/off switch for the cool hair which keeps your fingers free. It dries hair fairly quickly and doesn't overheat or dry out the hair. I can't say it's better than Solano, but rather just different. Solano has more heavy duty dryers that are the best I've tried. Drybar's is also excellent and I have no complaints, it's gentler on the hair and takes slightly longer for me to dry hair, but if you have sensitive scalps or weaker hair, this one is very gentle and easy to use but still effective.

For brushes, I alternate between CHI's Turbo Paddle Brush (7), Mason Pearson Pocket Brush (9) and Detangling Comb (8) (review on Mason Pearson here).

Last but not least, my favorite hair straightening tool is the HAI Ceramic Convertible Flat Iron (10). I've tried several, and this is the one I keep going back to (I'm on my second one). It leaves the hair with a super sleek smooth straight look that doesn't fry the ends or dry out the hair.

I hope this summary helps give you some ideas on hair care items to try. This is by no means a list of all the items I've tried, there are many other items from Phyto, Malin + Goetz, Neutrogena, Kiehl's etc. that I've tried (among my favorite brands for hair), but what I've listed includes my absolute favorites.

What kind of hair do you have and what are your favorites?

 

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