Showing posts with label Tom Ford Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Ford Beauty. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

August Favorites


I have a monthly favorites roundup today featuring both beauty and grooming products for him and her. My husband had so much fun pulling his favorite things last month he wanted to participate again. We've both been experimenting with new products - for me it's a regular thing since I'm a beauty blogger and constantly trying new things. For him, he's found out trying new products takes quite a bit of time to figure out how they really perform. There are some things he wanted to toss after one use, but in the interest of giving things a thorough test drive he's opened up to giving items more than 1-2 uses before writing things off. Our August beauty and grooming favorites this month:
  1. Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (reviewed here) is the must-have highlighter duo this season. It gives the skin the most stunning glow. There seems to be mixed information about whether or not it's limited-edition. I received an e-mail from the team at Tom Ford confirming that it's limited-edition. Others report it is permanent. To be safe I bought 2 backups. It's that good.
  2. R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo Spray (Travel Size) is something I picked up a month ago. I'm the type of person who washes her hair daily so I don't use dry shampoos a lot. There are days though where it's so hot my hair needs a quick refresh. Many are white in color and leave my black-brown hair looking dusty and grey (even if I brush it out). This one is colorless and smells amazing. A few spritzes absorbs oil and gives the hair texture. I give it a huge thumbs up.
  3. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay has been a long time favorite. I've used this on and off for a year now (I like to switch up my cleansers). I think I've gone through 4 tubes. It's amazing in this hot humid weather at cleaning the skin, unclogs pores and is gentle but really effective.
  4. YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains have been in regular rotation (previously swatched/reviewed here). The colors are summer-perfect. It's so easy to swipe on the lips and the stain makes the color last long. My two favorites for the last month have been Pink Rain and Wet Nude.
  5. Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre in Soigne is one of the prettiest shimmering rose pinks. It looks very metallic in the tube and when swatched on the hands but on the lips it's not as frosty. It's the perfect soft rosy pink shimmer. See it on my lips here.
  6. I acquired a few minis of the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream and it's heavenly. I have been rationing three tiny bottles for months now (since around May) and I've fallen head over heels. I don't want to splurge on the full size but there are some deal/value sets. I need to buy soon. It will be one of my biggest skincare splurges but it's amazing on my skin. It hydrates, feels smooth, doesn't get greasy and makes my face glow.
  7. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium to Dark is my go-to bronzer this month. You can see the full review + swatches here. I'm completely obsessed.
  8. Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow is something I've been mixing in with foundation to add a subtle glow. I like that it has a yellowish golden undertone which I find rare in liquid illuminators which are often pinkish/opal.
  9. La Mer Illuminating Eye Gel is something I've been using since the spring. It's a good lightweight product for day and in this hot summer weather it's just what I need. For a real deep treatment my go-to is still Chanel Sublimage but it's a bit heavy for day in this super hot weather.
  10. This hakuho-do x Sephora Kusuriyubi Angled Concealer Brush is amazing. I did a full review earlier in the month which you can see here, but this is my favorite concealer brush of all time now.
  11. For the longest time my husband has been a loyal Jack Black user, but he opened up to trying some items I brought home from Kiehl's. He really likes the Facial Fuel Energizing Facewash for Men. It lathers up well and really cleans the skin making it feel refreshed without leaving any film or stripping the face. The entire Facial Fuel line has a good masculine look to the packaging which he finds appealing. I tried this one and have to say it's pretty darn good. For him, it helps prepare his skin for shaving by making it feel smooth.
  12. Kiehl's Facial Fuel Heavy Lifting Eye Repair is what he uses under his eyes to try and treat wrinkles and dry skin. This year he's been keen on researching products and changing his lifestyle to prevent aging (or at least try to delay it). He's on his second jar of this. He likes it because it hydrates and really helps with his wrinkles.
  13. Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men has been in regular rotation for skincare. He likes this because it softens the skin without feeling greasy. It absorbs quickly and makes the skin feel invigorated. He actually got this one in Men's Starter Kit because he likes bottles with smaller packaging.
  14. Clarisonic Alpha Fit Cleansing System for Men is a new device designed specifically for men. My husband had tried my Aria with his own brush heads. He liked the concept but didn't like the design (he said it looked too girly and felt bulky). I bought this one for him - the video sold it for me. It has a good masculine look and fits in the hands easily. He uses his in the shower daily and finds it gives his skin a deep clean and has made a noticeable difference in texture and preventing blackheads/clogged pores. He has super thick facial hair and this Clarisonic has softened the ends of his hair so when he shaves it feels softer. It's on the pricey side but he's really happy with it. It fits on the shelf in our shower without taking up a lot of space.
  15. Nuxe Men Multi-Use Shower Gel is his favorite right now. He likes the way it smells and how it lathers (for him the lather is important). It leaves the skin feeling clean and moisturized. I'm a fan of the way it smells on him too. Review here.
  16. Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet Deodorant is something he bought because he was researching Penhaligon's shaving products. He decided to give this one a try based on online reviews he read. He likes it because it has a good fresh manly scent and doesn't make his skin peel.
That wraps it up for our beauty and grooming favorites for the month!
What were your favorites for August?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Loving Right Now

It's the last week of August which means summer is coming to an end soon. I suspect we will still have really good weather in Southern California for the next few months - although I haven't been to the beach nearly enough this year. Right now I'm working my way through Chanel, Tom Ford, Sara Happ, and Eve Snow reviews along with some roundup features. Sometimes I feel as though the days go by so quickly and I find it challenging to accomplish as much I as I would like to. I need some organization and time management inspiration!

Right now I'm obsessed with Smith and Cult in She Said Yeah. It's such a pretty vibrant girly lilac periwinkle colored nail polish - I like it on the toes. For bronzers I'm obsessed with Tom Ford Small Bronzing Powder compacts. I don't know if they are limited-edition or not, but I picked up 2 of the Gold Dust. Armani Maestro Liquid Summer I got last year has still lasted me a long time (with a long way to go, I don't know if I will ever use it up). I like how it blends into the skin naturally. There are three shades now.

For the lips, I'm still obsessed with the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors. I almost always have one or two colors in my purse. For fragrance I'm on a rollerball kick. I ordered this Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco mini recently. I'm forever in search of a good vanilla perfume I can wear that isn't too sweet. I'm completely in love with it but my husband is not a fan. He doesn't like vanilla scents on me at all (inserts sad face).

I featured R+Co in my July Favorites and I've been exploring more from the line. I've stocked up on a few mini sample packets from various gift with purchase offers. Most recently I was sent a sample of the Rockaway Salt Spray and it smells so so so amazing. The first few times I used it I sprayed too much too close to my roots. It does dry down even if you use too much but I recommend spritzing at least 6 inches from your hair. It gives a nice textured look and volume without making the hair feel crunchy.

The Supergoop! Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam SPF 50 has been on regular rotation for body. It absorbs quickly, doesn't feel greasy, doesn't have that sunscreen smell, keeps sunburns away and doesn't irritate my super sensitive skin. I started testing the cream Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 with Cellular Response Technology and it also works well without irritation issues. I'll have a sunscreen testing roundup soon. 

Last but not least, Truffle has new Clarity Pouch colors! Above shown are Large Seafoam Mint Cranberry and Small Pewter Lime Slate.

What have you been loving this week?

Press samples in this feature include items Smith & Cult, R+Co, Clarins and Truffle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Current Base Testing Rotation


I have a love-hate relationship with foundation these days. The summer sun is impossible to avoid here in Southern California and I've gotten a bit of color even with sunscreen. On our three weeks trip to Europe we spent a lot of time outdoors and on beaches - I got 2-3 shades darker. I've been trying to stay indoors more since I've been home so my tan is fading and I'm in that in-between stage of foundation colors. Some I have to mix to get the right match. These days I've been loving sheerer coverage formulas that are more forgiving. They have enough coverage to even the skintone but are sheer enough that you don't need a 100% exact match.

Another tricky thing about foundation is color matching at the counter. In the past several trips I've made to the beauty counters and asked about foundation, the reps have looked at my skin and asked, "do you want to be darker or lighter?" Foundation is supposed to be a close match and I understand it can't always be exact, but I can't count the times I've been mis-matched at the counter. My solution is to ask to try 2-3 shades on the jawline, side by side and decide for myself. Or just go to Sephora where I know I can shop on my own and swatch at my own leisure.

I have a roundup of some new formulas I've been trying out along with a few tried-and-true. Some formulas I've found the next shade up is too big of a jump for me to purchase. Here are swatches of all the colors shown above. More detail below by coverage type.



Sheer Coverage


Sheer coverage foundations are something I haven't been able to wear for a long time, but my skin has cleared up over the past 6 months thanks to skin resurfacing treatments like the Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Night Serum and regular use of clarifying masks from Aesop, Caudalie and Glamglow.
  • I recently received a sample of the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint ($26 for 1 fl oz) in Medium. There is a skin chart online to help determine what color will be your match. I wasn't sure what to expect - this looks like the kind of product that looks so sheer it might designed for those with near-perfect skin. I've tested this for the past month and am really pleased with it. It is truly a skin tint. It's very sheer so it's forgiving but it gives the skin that natural healthy glow. It evens out the skin and brightens. I do need to set with powder or powder foundation but it's really good. It's lightweight and lasts all day without getting greasy. No breakouts or reaction to the formula either.
  • Armani Luninessence CC Color Control Bright Moisturizer ($52 for 1 fl oz) has been raved about by so many. I know Armani foundations are really well-loved, I like a couple of the formulas but find the color selection very limited in the ones I like (Luminous Silk has the most options and it's one I cannot wear more than 1 hour without getting greasy-looking). When this product launched I was in between shades. Since I got a bit darker I thought it was the perfect time to try Shade 5. It's pink-based but very sheer so it adjusts to my skin without looking too pink. I do wish it was a tad bit more olive, or that they released yellow versions of this formula. It gives the skin a natural glow with sheer coverage. It's on the hydrating side so I think it's better suited for normal to dry skin. If it had a wider color selection I'd give this a rating of 8.5 out of 10 stars.
  • By Terry Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream ($86 for 1.41 fl oz) is extremely expensive but in terms of formula for CC creams, it's the best I've tried. It's very lightweight, very hydrating and sheer but buildable. It gives the skin a well-rested glow look like you just had a facial. I like that it has enough yellow in it for my skintone. Right now it's a bit light but since it's sheer I can make it work by dusting a bit of darker powder like Chanel Les Beiges 30 on top. If the next shade up was a good match I would get it, but my rep said there's a huge jump and that it would be too dark. If you have oily skin I don't think this is the product for you. For normal to dry skin it's a great one.
  • Chanel Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid ($45 for 1 fl oz) is a sheer glow product. The colors pull pink but the formula is very sheer so applying this all over gives the skin a warm glow. I like to use this as a base and then layer a heavier coverage foundation on areas that need more coverage. It gives the skin a natural healthy look.
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Medium Coverage

Three medium coverage base products I've had in rotation are from La Mer, Charlotte Tilbury and NARS. This is my foundation coverage of choice. I like medium coverage to cover the entire face but something that still has a bit of transparency so if it's not an exact match it will adjust.
  • La Mer The Reparative Skin Tint ($95 for 1.4 fl oz) is the most I think I've ever spent on foundation. Color selection is limited but it's sheer to medium in coverage and adjusts to the skin after it sets. My closest match is Light Medium 3. It looks pinkish in the swatch but it blends out really nicely. The warmth gives a glow to the skin and makes it glow. When I went to the counter to try this I really appreciated the honesty of the rep who helped me. His initial thought was that I would be in between shades but was really nice and swatched two colors, one on each side. We were both surprised #3 matched. I had one of my friends with me to give a second opinion. She gave it the thumbs up so I bought it. It gives a similar glow to that of the By Terry but it has more pink undertone and it has more coverage. It has SPF 30. I hate to say it but I really love this one.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder ($45 for 1.4 fl oz) is an amazing foundation. It gives the appearance of a youthful glow with perfect medium coverage. It's thin-to-medium in texture so it feels weightless. It blends into the skin flawlessly and lasts all day long. The downside is the color selection and until now I've been in between colors. I swatched #6 and #7 above to show you the jump. If you're at the counter and look at the shades in consecutive order you may find them confusing. There's a huge jump in colors and undertones. Right now I'm a perfect match to #7 but I can tell any day I'll have to mix in a light color to adjust it. If you can find a good color match this one is amazing in formula.
  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($43 for 1.9 fl oz) has been my holy grail medium coverage tinted moisturizer for a long time. My go-to shade has been Groenland but over our trip I found St. Moritz to be a better match. I got even darker than St. Moritz however the next shade up is too dark. I still love this formula - it's the best tinted moisturizer I've tried but it doesn't have that tinted moisturizer feel. It has medium coverage and feels super lightweight. It evens out the skin and looks very natural.
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Medium to Full Coverage


I have a few favorites for medium to full coverage but I can't wear all of them now with hot humid weather. There are only two that truly hold up to the heat.
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet ($47 for 1 fl oz) has never let me down. In my lightest I wear 20, I'm normally a 30, right now I'm a perfect match to 40. It's been a long-time go-to for me. It has a perfect velvet finish without looking too matte. It holds up really well in the heat and for the coverage and pigment I'm really happy it doesn't oxidize or darken.
  • Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Oil-Free Foundation ($48 for 1 fl oz) is my new favorite (tied with the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet). It's an oil-free foundation that comes in a wide selection of color undertones. I matched myself at Sephora to Golden Medium which is really yellow (I swatched 4 different colors on my face at the store). It's concentrated but fluid so you only need 1-2 pumps to cover the entire face. It's lightweight but gives medium to full coverage. It blends out nicely and is easy to layer. I don't know what took me so long to try it but it lasts all day.
  • Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80 for 1 fl oz) is something I repurchased recently. I'm usually Bisque 4 but it pulls light so I went up to Natural 5. I really adore this for the coverage, color selection and finish. In hot humid weather this time of year it just feels too heavy. It holds up pretty well to the heat but on the skin if I'm outdoors I can feel it.
  • Chanel CC Cream Complete Correction Sunscreen ($55 for 1 fl oz) is another Chanel love of mine. It has a high SPF of 50 and covers the skin really well. I wore this all through spring and have been using it on and off in the summer. In 83+ degree weather it feels thick on the skin although it holds up well and looks good. I'll be saving this for cooler days. It still works on warm days I just prefer something that feels more lightweight.
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Overall my top three picks for right now include the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, Marc Jacobs Genius Gel and Glossier Skintint. The La Mer follows close behind but due to the price and limited color selection I don't know how likely it is I will repurchase once I finish it up. NARS is almost always at the top of my list but I don't have a color match. Do you have a summer favorite right now? If yes, please share!

The Glossier Skintint was provided as a courtesy sample for review consideration. All others purchased by me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had a hot weekend here in Southern California - it was nice to have lots of sunny weather but I do hope it will cool down soon. A few new items on my beauty radar right now:
  1. Louboutin Beauté is launching 38 shades of lipstick in September retailing at $90 each. These are encased in a heavy duty metal cases that look like mini jeweled ornaments. There will be three formulas in Silky Satin, Sheer Voile and Velvet Matte. All will come encased in a gold base and cap except three Rouge Louboutin shades (one in each formula) which comes in a solid black metal case.
  2. Lipstick Queen has six new shades of a Cupid Strikes Lip Pencil ($22 each). These are a lipliner and lipstick in one kind of product. I have my eye on the colors in Golden Arrow and Apollo - they look really pretty.
  3. Clinique for Men launched a new Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush ($89.50). My husband has been using my Clarisonic for a while (he has his own brush heads) but I'm glad to see some lines launching ones for men's skin. Reports indicate the brushes are slightly different for men's facial hair. This one has a nice sleek masculine look to it.
  4. Clarisonic has a men's tool in the new Alpha Fit Cleansing System for Men ($189). This one is quite a bit more pricey compared to the Clinique. I ordered this already a few weeks ago - the video demonstrated how how versatile it is. My husband likes the look - it has a good design and compact look. He's testing it right now.
  5. Tom Ford Beauty has launched 13 new shades of Lip Color (in the full size, $52 each). I have my eye on so many colors, in particular Guilty Pleasure, So Vain and Lilac. Some swatches of the colors on the Tom Ford Forum via Specktra.net.
  6. Allure and Butter London teamed up to create a collection of 6 nail lacquers ($15 each). The colors include Disco Nap, I'm On the List, It's Vintage, Lust or Must?, Nude Stilettos and Statement Piece.
  7. Bobbi Brown has a small Greige Collection with a Eye Palette, two Nail Polishes and two Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks. I need to investigate the eyeshadows.
  8. Frederic Malle now carries the travel sized vials individually. They are expensive when you break down the price per ounce but it's still a nice way to buy a smaller size instead of splurging on the full size bottle if you're unsure. My go-to scent is Carnal Flower. I have my eye on Eau de Magnolia, Lipstick Rose and Dries Van Noten.
  9. and 10. Last but not least, Burberry Beauty has launched at Sephora.com! The full makeup line is available along with some new releases. Sephora has an exclusive Burberry Beauty Box (VIB Rouge exclusive). Other new items include the Kisses Lip Gloss, First Kiss Glossy Lip Balm, Face Contour Pen for Face & Eyes and a new 3-Piece Nail Color Set for Fall.
What's on your beauty radar this week?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tom Ford Beauty Moodlight Skin Illuminating Powder Duo


Tom Ford Beauty has some exciting new releases for fall. It appears new products are launching in a few mini collections, up first is a focus on face makeup for flawless and glowing skin. New products include:
Today I have a review of the gorgeous highlighter duo in Moodlight. I ordered mine online as soon as it popped up for pre-order and it arrived a couple of weeks ago. It's so gorgeous I've since purchased a couple of backups. I'm not sure at this time if it's limited-edition, but my local counters received limited stock (as soon as I confirm, I'll update this post). Update Aug 18, according to Tom Ford, the duo is indeed limited-edition.

Moodlight is a powder duo. It comes in the large rectangular Tom Ford compact with a soft iridescent opal white shade and a medium bronzey peach pink champagne. The texture is very soft and easy to blend. Pigment is buildable but visible on the skin. The shimmer is pretty strong in both shades but on me the duo glows without that garish frost. The powders are embossed with the prettiest cross-hatch pattern and TF initials.


The colors have this beautiful mix of pigments. It makes the skin glow in a youthful way. I suspect on fair skintones, the light shade will be more subtle as it will match your skin and the bronzey shade will look more like a darker bronze. On my medium skin the light color shows up as a gorgeous opal highlight and the bronzey shade appears like a soft peachy bronze contour blush highlight. Darker skintones will see more contrast. The colors are truly stunning - I think this is going to be a universally flattering palette - it will look gorgeous no matter what skintone. Some more photos and swatches below.





Many have asked for a number of comparisons. I've pulled two batches for what I could fit on my arm. My personal thoughts on highlighter are that you can never have enough glow. The Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo gives that perfect glow-from-within combination. It mimics the effect Armani Fluid Sheers have minus the oily-overly-dewy factor you can get with warm weather.

Comparison Set 1:
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Comparison Set 2:


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The swatches and photos can't do Tom Ford's Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in  Moodlight justice. I've swatched it with a heavy hand to show you the color and complexity but it is easy to blend and on the skin it's not overly shimmery or frosty. If you ask me if I think it's a must-have I say absolutely yes. It's like the now-discontinued Burberry Fresh Glow Powders minus the garish frost. If you want my thoughts on what the closest dupe is, I would say that the Edward Bess All Over Seduction Highlighters give the most similar effect but they are creams and slightly more dewy while the Tom Ford is a powder and more shimmery. Here it is applied on the cheeks. On the lips is Spanish Pink. On the eyes is the Nude Dip quad. For skintone reference I'm wearing the Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Natural #5.


I've been playing with Moodlight for several days now. It's a good highlighter that isn't overly frosted. It gives a youthful glow + subtle color. I like adding a bit of blush or bronzer for more color, but at my skintone right now I find I can wear it alone. (I wear Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting in Shade 5 Natural now, when I'm lighter I wear Shade 4 Bisque, swatches of all colors here + review on Shade 4 here).


There seem to be a number of new highlighters that have launched this season. Since I'm a huge highlighter fan I can't pick just one as my favorite. I do think the Tom Ford Moodlight is a winner and backup-worthy. It lasts all day without getting too glowy-looking. I like that it's a powder with a slight creamy finish so it adheres well to the skin. Also a huge plus is the fact that it doesn't emphasize pores (at least on me). I give it a huge thumbs up. It's mega expensive but worth every penny.



The Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo comes in one shade Moodlight. It retails for $80 and is limited-edition. Available now at Tom Ford Beauty counters. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Loves


Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week - mine was a very long one and I'm glad it's almost the weekend. A few things I'm loving right now are summery-themed.

Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom $12 is described as a "vacation in a tube." It does indeed smell like a dreamy vacation with a delicious coconut scent. It's Glossier's do-anything skin salve for the lips, eyes, cheeks or cuticles - basically anywhere you need an added moisture boost. It's very creamy so I've only been brave enough to test it on the lips and so far I love it. It's hydrating, soothing and smells incredible.



Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino $215 was one of my biggest summer splurges. It's a summery white floral citrus. Similar to the Neroli Portofino and Mandarino di Amalafi but with a floral twist to it. It's bright and very rich. Lasts all day on me and makes me feel like I'm at the beach. If you own either of the others I would say you probably don't need the Fleur de Portofino as they are similar. There are noticeable differences, the original Neroli is the strongest and more unisex, Mandarino is the most citrus, Fleur has floral notes which I like the most.


Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 $12-34 has been in regular rotation. The concept of a sunscreen in oil form is new to me. I'm super hesitant about trying new sunscreens in general but this one has been gentle enough for me to wear without any irritation or reaction. It's meant for both the face and body but I haven't been brave enough to test it on the face.


Chanel Tutti Frutti $27 is my favorite coral pink nail color for summer. It's been on my nails a lot lately. I plan on getting a pedicure this weekend for the toes.


Smith & Cult recently launched Lip Lacquers $22 each. I've been testing a few that I ordered sight unseen. They are all relatively sheer in finish but have a lush glossy shine to them with a hint of color. My personal favorite is Her Name Is Bubbles (in large part because I like the name). I'll have a more detailed feature soon on the glosses but for now below are a few swatches. You can find them at Neiman Marcus, Net-A-Porter, Birchbox. If you want to see Her Name is Bubbles on the lips, you can see it in my peachy makeup loves post.



I hope you have a wonderful weekend! What have you been loving this summer?

The Glossier Lip Balm was provided as a courtesy sample for review. All other items purchased by me.

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 29, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a roundup of new beauty releases on my radar. I was planning to share this tomorrow but there's a super special amazing deal that can't wait. Fall collections are trickling in and the new releases look amazing. My first post will be on NARS fall (which is incredible) and I'm currently swatching my picks from Chanel. Several have asked for the post on my travel carry-on contents - I promise to have it up as soon as I can! I'm editing the photos today and tomorrow. Here's what's on my radar from the top left then clockwise:

Sephora Pro has launched a collection of 5 brushes in the hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection. Each brush comes encased in a beautiful rich red box. The brush tips are a pale white and grey color. Handles are lacquered in a shiny red with silver embossed labels. The presentation is just phenomenal. I'm testing the brushes this week and hope to have a review with first impressions soon.

Tom Ford Beauty has some amazing things coming out this fall. I'm most excited about the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo (currently available for pre-order, I've ordered it). I'm also intrigued by the Skin Primers that come in a Pink and Peach version.

One of my BFFs shared her love about Korean Skincare Peach and Lily over the weekend. She ordered some of the Cremorlab Sheet Masks and said "you need to try them." She has super sensitive skin and also knows her ingredients as she works in product development and closely with chemists. If she says something is good I trust her 100% - I'm ordering a few over the weekend. If you have any recommendations I'm all ears!

For Chanel fall I'm obsessed with the new Le Vernis shades in Vert Obscur, Ecorce Sanguine and Chataigne. Two are very very dark but they are perfect for fall. The new Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is to die for. My personal favorites are the four new Stylo Yeux Eyeliners.

Fresh has a new Limited-Edition Rose Face Mask launched to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. They've teamed up with London-based artist Jo Ratcliffe to create a beautiful special-edition floral design for the packaging. It's gorgeous.

Guerlain Fall isn't expected to arrive until next month but there is a new Terracotta Bayadère Face & Eyes Contour Palette that has caught my eye. I need to check it out immediately.

Marc Jacobs Beauty has three new face products that just launched. I need the Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer for sure. It wasn't on display at my Sephora last week but I hope to check it out soon. There is also a new Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and a a new brush to go with it called The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush.

Armani has a new Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. I'm a 6.5 in the Luminous Silk and was matched to shade 4 at the counter. I'm not entirely sure it's the right match but I'm giving it a go anyways. The other colors in the 5, 5.5 and 6.5 range looked very pink to me. I'll report once I've given it a proper test.

Tatcha just launched a new Pore Perfecting Suncreen with SPF 35 (also available in a travel size). I'm really anxious to try this as I've been testing sunscreens all summer long. I have high hopes for this one.

Last but not least, many thanks to a couple of my readers who let me know Diptyque is on Hautelook for a limited time. There are a few select pieces available - but the deals are really good and it's worth a look. I bought two of the Lilac pillars although now I need a photophore to store it. This is my first time ordering from Hautelook.

What's on your beauty radar this week?

My Favorite Lipsticks of All Time


In honor of National Lipstick Day I've compiled a mini guide covering my absolute favorite lipsticks. I'm a your-lips-but-better kind of girl when it comes to lip color, but I like playing with all kinds of textures, formulas and finishes. A lot of women ask me what's the one lipstick I would recommend. My answer is usually, "well, it depends ..." The right lipstick really does depend on what you are looking for. Sheer or full-coverage? Matte or glossy? Neutral or bright? The options and types of lipstick available today is mind-blowing. I've split my favorites into several different categories. It was really difficult to narrow down my picks - I've tested dozens of brands and formulas, many of which are all very good. This is my edited list of tried-and-true.

Colors shown in above photo: Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Viviene, Burberry Beauty Kisses in Tulip Pink, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Intrepide, Edward Bess Lip Color in Island Blossom, Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Anais


So many lip products are scented. A lot of my readers are super sensitive to any fragrance in lip products. I too have a sensitive nose but don't mind certain scents like vanilla, rose (in small doses), fig or mint. I think most lipstick I've tried have some kind of scent or another. Finding a fragrance and taste-free lipstick with a smooth hydrating feel is a challenge, but the newly launched Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colors are hands down the best ones I've tried. They come in a wide range of colors from nudes, rose pink, plum, coral, reds, brick and berries. There is literally a shade for everyone. The colors are shimmer-free (at least the ones that exist now). They cover the lip entirely and the color is easy to build. Full review + swatches in this post here.

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If you're looking for a full coverage lipstick that has super rich pigment but one that won't leave the lips looking flat or dull, there are three formulas that I am obsessed with. First is the the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. There is a wide range of colors available. If you love neutral lip colors, there are tons of options. Many look similar but NARS created them with slight variations in undertone so you're bound to find at least one neutral that will work whether you have pink, yellow, olive undertones. My top picks: Raquel, Anita, Barbara and Julie. Review + swatches on lips here. Note that most of the shades can be found at most NARS counters, however 10 of them are exclusive to narscosmetics.com and Barneys New York (Vanessa, Julie, Carmen, Ingrid, Dominique, Kelly, Sandra, Vivien, Silvia, Marisa).

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks also have an amazing rich full coverage finish. They are super pigmented and very rich so they do require some blending or a tiny bit of blotting. She has some amazing neutrals and the perfect 90s pink-brown shades along with really good pinks and nudes. My top two favorites: Confession and Penelope Pink. Swatches of my picks here. Note these do have a vanilla scent.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes have the most incredible opaque full-coverage formula. The finish is flawless and lasting power is very impressive. The color range is for those who prefer the bold lip. The range contains a lot of bright and deep colors. Swatches of the entire lineup in this post here. My top three picks are Infamous, Boy Gorgeous and Blow.

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Above Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers Skinnydip and Rose Soleil
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine #8, Volupté Sheer Candy #14, Volupté Shine 22, Volupté Sheer Candy #15
Chanel Rouge Coco Shines Confident and Intime

My personal lipstick formula of choice is usually glossy and semi-sheer. I find sheer lipsticks more forgiving on the lips so you don't need a super precise application. They are easy to swipe when you're on the go and the sheer glossy finish usually means fading is more gradual and natural. My top four sheer lipstick formulas are with brands that have a lovely shine and sheen with the perfect hint of color.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shines and Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are a classic staple. The Rouge Volupté Shines have a cushiony feel with a wonderfully soft but sweet grapefruit candy scent. It's sweet but not overly sweet. Colors have medium lasting power because they are super glossy but have decent pigment for a sheer lipstick. My favorite shades are #8, #9 (swatched here) #22 (shown above third from the left) but really all the shades are amazing.

Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are super sheer and give the slightest wash of color but leave the lips glossy and pretty. I like the bright ones because they give the lips a nice soft wash of color that is bright but the sheerness tones down the color so it really gives them a natural tint. My top picks are #1, #9, #15-17 (#15 through 17 swatched and reviewed here).

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers = pure luxury. Four shades were introduced for summer: two repromoted in Paradisio and Sweet Spot and two new shades in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil swatched here. I like these because they have a lot of color even though the formula is sheer. The brights are very bright but the neutrals are just amazing. I brought along Skinnydip and Rose Soleil with me on my month long trip to Europe and they were perfect for the entire trip.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine always a favorite among my friends. This is the ultimate sleek modern chic lipstick. The formula is lush and glossy. It's the ultimate swipe and go kind of no-fuss lipstick. There is a shade for everyone in this line. I would be hard pressed to pick just one shade, if I did, I would say for light to tan skintones Boy is a classic.

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I don't usually like liquid lipsticks. I find the finish to be drying or cakey but the one exception is Dior Addict Fluid Sticks. Some may say they are more of a gloss, but others say it's a lipstick + lipgloss hybrid. I put them in the liquid lipstick category because the coverage and finish is super opaque like a lipstick. They go on like a gloss but it thickens a bit once it dries and has rich coverage like a lip color. There have been a number of shades released for summer and fall. I'm working my way through testing some, but the original shades are amazing. Lip swatches here.

Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gels have a unique gel formula. They are called sheer but they aren't really all that sheer. The pigment and coverage is medium to full but you can control coverage easily. My favorite neutral is Role Play but there are a number of great nudes and corals in the line. Swatches + review of all the colors here.
 
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Last but not least, my personal top picks for the ultimate luxury lipstick. I know each person has their own favorite. Edward Bess has been a long time favorite. His lipsticks are perfectly creamy and go on the lips flawlessly. They have a natural shine with rich pigment. Each of his lipsticks contains the most perfect lush fig scent. Rose Demure is the perfect neutral rose. Island Blossom is the best bright peachy coral ever. Pure Impulse is my holy grail nude. (I love Island Blossom + Pure Impulse layered together.)

Tom Ford Lipsticks are amazing in all the formulas. The regular Lip Color is my favorite with Pink Dusk and Spanish Pink being at the top of my list (Pink Dusk is swatched here). The Tom Ford Lipsticks have this super rich super pigmented formula that I find unique. It provides coverage to the entire lip with lasting power that stays put from morning to night. The Lips & Boys from last holiday was pure genius. Most of the colors have sold out but you can still find some online. my personal favorites are Peter, William and Luca. Peter is the prettiest nude shimmer. These are some of the most expensive lipsticks on the market but in my mind they are worth every penny if you can splurge.

Surratt Beauty Lipsliques are something I've been accumulating one at a time since they launched at Sephora. I have a review of two shades Gamine and Hevyn here but have added 3-4 more colors over the past few months. Given the size and amount of product you get, these lipsticks are extremely expensive but the formula is phenomenal. It's a richly pigmented glossy lipstick in a sleek twist-up tube. Gamine is nude peach perfection. Hevyn is nude pink mauve perfection. There's no tweaking required with these - they are that good.

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I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my favorite lipstick formulas. As always I would love to hear about your favorite lipsticks. Do you have a favorite formula or color that you're obsessed with?

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Lipsticks were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for previous collaborations. All others purchased by me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Peachy Makeup Loves


Right now I'm obsessed with peachy makeup for lips and nails. All variations from peachy nudes, lush peachy apricots and bright coral peaches. Anything with peach is actually a staple for me - the color is almost a neutral to me because I find it goes with everything, almost every occasion or any color outfit. I've pulled a few of my favorites that I have had in rotation this summer.

Lips: Clarins, NARS, Tom Ford, Smith & Cult, Marc Jacobs Beauty, YSL and Fresh


  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector Sticks (c/o) have been in regular rotation. I'll have a review of all six shades hopefully this next week. All the colors have the perfect amount of color and shine for a tinted lipbalm. 02 Coral is a sheer light peach.
  • NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss (c/o) is a new shade for fall, it was previously in pot form. It's now in tube form and seems a bit deeper in color compared to the original making it more wearable.
  • Tom Ford Skinnydip Lip Color Sheer is my favorite peachy nude gold shimmer, it makes the lips look shiny and naturally full.
  • Smith & Cult Her Name is Bubbles is something I've been testing out. I ordered 3 glosses, so far the gloss in Her Name is Bubbles is my favorite, it's a bright coral in the tube but goes on the lips a sheer lush peach. It smells like soft vanilla.
  • Marc Jacobs Uproar (c/o) is the prettiest sheer peach sparkle. It has an ultra luxe cushiony texture that feels super moisturizing on the lips. Review and swatches of all Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquers in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Lips & Boys in William is a high shimmer warm gold peach nude. The frost factor is high but I like it. If you can't do high shimmer frosts, try Skinnydip instead.
  • YSL Pop Water Glossy Stain in Wet Nude is the best sheer nude peach gloss ever. (Swatches and review of more colors here.)
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Shines now come in more shades, Sugar Nude is a sheer peachy nude shimmer with a high shine finish.


Lip swatches of a few of the colors:

Nails: Dior, Smith & Cult, Chanel and Essie



  • Dior Sunkissed is the prettiest peach nude I've ever tried. It's super flattering and brightening on the hands without looking too pale, too pastel, or too peach.
  • Dior Majesty was released in the US as a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive. It's a brighter peach but still a soft color. Against a tan it makes the hands look darker but it's a fun bright peach without being too bright.
  • Smith & Cult Ghost Edit is a super sheer glossy nude peach. It took three coats for me to get the color to show. It's a nice glossy neutral that lets the whites of your nails show through. The look is polished and natural.
  • Essie Sunday Funday is such a pretty coral peach with a tiny hint of shimmer. For the price, the pigment and color is really good. I have yet to find a good base/top coat combination that makes an Essie nail polish last more than 3 days on me (I am still getting major tip wear by day 2). But the colors are fun to wear and affordable.
  • Chanel Mirabella is my favorite orange peach. I'm glad it hasn't been discontinued even though it was released last year. It's a pretty bright orange.

What's your favorite peachy lipstick, lipgloss or nail polish?

 

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