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

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty AW16 Color Collection


For fall Tom Ford Beauty has launched new items for lips and eyes along with a few repromoted shades. Many of you have been eagerly waiting for the review and I can say that the new launches do not disappoint. By now the items have arrived in store and counters - I ordered these sight unseen and only have one that I would say I regret buying. For the AW16 Color Collection, items include:

The item I was most excited about was the Eye Color Duo called AW16 which was featured on the runway for this year's fashion week. The online stock photos are not accurate though. Based on the online images I expected a soft peachy shimmer and neutral-cool brown taupe neutral shimmer. The duo is a lot more neutral in real life. Many of you have asked how it compares to Nude Dip (originally reviewed here). I'll show comparisons below. As a die hard Tom Ford eyeshadow lover there was nothing that would have stopped me from purchasing it. There are subtle differences if you look closely. The duo has a brighter shimmer for the pale side and the deep side is deeper than Nude Dip's darkest color. However they are remarkably similar. Texture is the same for the duo and quads which is my favorite formula from Tom Ford. They are very pigmented and easy to blend. The shimmer is just unmatched with any other brand.

AW16:


AW16 layered over Platinum (the right side looks faded because I hold my camera sideways and the flash always washes that side out):


Nude Dip vs AW16:


AW16 swatched on the left, Nude Dip on the right:


Next are the Cream Color for eyes, both repromoted shades Pink Haze and Platinum. I've received dozens of requests for swatches compared to the originals (yes I still have them, they are still good and haven't turned in color or scent) and also compared to the Golden Peach Cream Powder Duo. The artist at my local counter said they were different, I think they are really close so there's no need to re-buy if you already own these from past seasons. These are some of my favorite cream shadows. They are easy to blend, super creamy and work well with my skintype. I like layering them together for an effortless look.

Pink Haze is a medium warm pink shimmer. Platinum is the perfect fawn brown taupe.



Love Lust was repromoted with this launch but when I saw photos pop up online it looked drastically different from the one I own. Out of curiosity I had to buy it. I adore Tom Ford Blushes anyways so having an extra one was ok in my mind. It's been a while since I've looked at their blushes because they really do last a long time, but the current one is lighter and less peach than the original one I have. I don't know if there are differences in batches or if they changed the color. If you own it let me know what you think yours looks like.



Swatch comparisons:


Last but not least are the Lip Contour Duos. Each product has a lip shaping liner with tiny glitter flecks and a cream lip color on the other end. The liners match the lipstick and they are both full coverage. The liners are on the stiff side and I broke the tips of a few when I applied them on bare lips although I will say they were a bit on the dry side. I found application best for the liner if I prepped the lips with a bit of balm first and then applied in short strokes. For me the liner glitter isn't as chunky as I expected and is very subtle so even the conservative makeup-wearer can still wear these. The liners have a matte finish and truly extend the lasting power of the lip color. For me when I used the liner the lip color lasted a lot longer.

The lipstick side is a full coverage cream. They have a soft finish and glide across the lips. Many of the shades have a 90's vibe to me and as a neutral lip lover I found quite a few options I can wear for everyday. In addition there are some lovely pinks, mauves and a plum. I skipped the bright reds as the only two reds I really wear are Edward Bess Amor Lip Gloss or the Louboutin Rouge Loubilaque.

There's the AW16 Lip Contour Duo shade and eight in the regular Lip Contour Duo lineup (I picked out the lightest ones):


Colors as they apply on me, liners match lipstick almost exactly with the exception that the liners have tiny gold flecks:
  • AW16 is a super pale beige cream, this is the only shade I regret buying, alone it's just pure death, if I layer a pinky or peachy gloss on top I can make it work
  • Public Display is a beige cream nude
  • Fling it On is a peachy pink color
  • Dream Obscene is a mauvey lilac color
  • Show it Off is a mauve plum (my favorite!)
  • I'll Teach You is a deep fuschia pink
  • Make Me is a drop dead gorgeous plum
Close ups, first the lipstick:


 Lip liner side:




Quick look with AW16 + Platinum for eyes, Love Lust on the cheeks (current version which is almost like a highlighter on my skintone) and Public Display on the lips:


As a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty I think there are some lovely items in the fall collection. The prices are among the highest in the beauty world but in my experience the quality, color payoff and textures are really good. The AW16 Duo has a lot of similar qualities to Nude Dip so if you're debating which one to get, I'd say go for Nude Dip.

Out of the Lip Contour Duos, my favorites actually are the mauves and plums with Show It Off being the winner for me. In the neutral zone I think there are some good options but regular lip colors like Pink Dusk, Revolve Around Me and Spanish Pink are still my favorite neutrals from his line. Still the Lip Contour Duos are solid performers and the lipstick side is among the creamiest formula I've tried with full coverage in one swipe.

At this time I'm not sure which items are permanent or limited-edition. I think it's safe to say the AW16 items are limited. There are also some new Private Blend Fragrances that have launched. I gave them a brief sniff at the counter and got a mini sample made of one, but of course I've forgotten where I put it and can't remember which one it was. Once I find it I'll report back.

You can find the Tom Ford Beauty Autumn Winter collection at Tom Ford counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford. Note that the BG Rewarding Beauty event is still going on through the 18th - as Tom Ford is pretty spendy the event is a nice time to have some savings off splurges. Details in this post.

Have you checked out the Tom Ford fall collection items yet?
What did you think? Any winners for you?


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bergdorf Goodman Rewarding Beauty Event 9/15 to 9/18


There's a promotion happening now at Bergdorf Goodman called the Rewarding Beauty Event. It's available in store and online where you receive savings off purchases in three tiers. If you're shopping online use code BEAUTY at checkout (now through 9/18), savings are as follows:
  • Receive $25 off purchases $250+
  • Receive $75 off purchases $500+
  • Receive $200 off purchases $1,000+
I've teamed up with Bergdorfs to share a roundup of items I consider splurge-worthy in skincare, face basics and makeup. Many of these are tried and true staples but a few are newly launched items.

Up first are a few base favorites. I'm still in the process of testing foundation and frequently rotate product. For setting powders I prefer pressed because it's less messy and just easier for me to use in general. Two holy grail setting powders for me are the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (I use #2) and Armani Luminous Silk Compact (I use #4). Both work well to set foundation, they're great for touchups, they add just the right amount of coverage to smooth the skin without getting cakey or darkening.

For concealer, I've tried a number and have quite a few favorites, but if I were pressed to pick just one for the rest of my life it would be Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer. There is a reason why this one has reached cult status. It nearly killed me to spend this much the first round, but it lasts forever, a little goes a long way, and coverage is perfect. At my lightest I used to use Beige. About a year ago they added a few more shades so I found Almond to be a good match. Right now that I'm tan Ochre is best for me. I'll repost swatches of all the shades that I did a year ago.




For the face two of the most unique luminous cheek products include the Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush (reviewed here) and Edward Bess Threads of Silk Powders (reviewed here). I've reviewed both in detail and will include swatches below for reference. The Marc Jacobs Air Blush melds beautifully with the skin and gives a natural glow of color. The Edward Bess Threads of Silk Powders are just the prettiest powders I've ever seen. They'll add shimmer without being frosted.

Marc Jacobs Air Blush:


Edward Bess Threads of Silk:


For lips plums and mauves are always what I'm in the mood for during the summer to fall transition. Left to right are:


For eyes, two staples are the Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes, favorites include Pink Haze and Platinum. I already own the original Pink Haze from a while ago that was in a larger pot. When I saw this one pop up online I did not realize I already owned it until my order arrived. It's a pretty pink color you can use as a wash without getting a pink eye look. If you need something more neutral Platinum is my favorite base shade. If you remember when Tom Ford launched new quads during the spring, Honeymoon sold out and was gone for months. It's now back and has the perfect mix of warm shimmery colors for fall.


Next up are skincare splurges and staples. I really don't like spending a lot on skincare but sometimes one just has to. The best affordable line for me is Kate Somerville. I could do an entire dedicated post on the items I use and love from her line, but for now three things I swear by include:
  • Gentle Daily Wash which is the best daily cleanser for me that won't strip the skin
  • Dry Skin Saver (formerly known as her Eczema Cream) is something you can use on face and body and really does work to calm flare ups, soothe skin, moisturize and for me it reduces redness from irritation, when my skin gets irritated on the legs or arms sometimes it feels tight from the dryness and I don't want to put anything on it because products often sting when my skin flares up, this one never stings for me
  • Nourish Daily Moisturizer never lets me down and her moisturizers in the tubs come with the most innovative push pump dispenser so you don't have to worry about dipping hands or fingers into the container
In terms of luxury skincare I've had luck with La Mer and SK-II even though I am always reluctant to splurge due to the high price tag. I can say these are worth the splurge and I know many of my friends and probably some of you will agree.


  • La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream has been a favorite for me, it's a softer and lighter weight version of the regular cream (which is too heavy for me), I did not want to splurge on this so for a long time I lived off minis I got as GWPs, this is worth the splurge! For summer I've had to use this sparingly because even though it's lighter than the cream in hot humid weather it can get a bit heavy feeling.
  • La Mer Soft The Moisturizing Soft Lotion is one of La Mer's latest launches, it's been out for a few months and it took me a while to decide whether or not to buy it because it does come with a hefty price tag, for me it's almost identical in performance to the Moisturizing Soft Cream, but it's a bit more fluid and comes with a pump. I'm all about the packaging and pump as I really don't like dipping fingers into cream pots. After using this one skin feels noticeably softer by the next few days even though I only use this for day time. If I had to pick the Soft Cream or Soft Lotion, I would say I have a slight preference for the Soft Lotion.
  • La Mer The Tonic is the toner I've repurchased the most in my adult life, it never fails me, doesn't strip the skin but at the same time makes sure skin is clean and rebalanced .
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Sheet Masks are my weakness when it comes to sheet masks, I love that they are soft and feel cool upon application, skin is always left brighter and refreshed, if I could afford to use these every day I would.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Facial Cotton is something some may find silly to splurge on, but they are worth every penny, they're thick but soft and don't leave tiny fibers in my eyes when I use them to remove mascara or eyeliner, I've lost count of how many boxes I've bought and hope they never discontinue them.


I'll be posting swatches and reviews of Tom Ford AW16 and Edward Bess Lipsticks over the next two days so you can take advantage of the savings if you're buying sight unseen.

In the meantime I hope you found this roundup helpful! If you end up ordering anything let me know in the comments :) I always love hearing about your hauls and picks. Some of you have asked for a "best of ..." series. This roundup was a little teaser with a few categories. If more of you are interested let me know in the comments and what categories you'd like to see.

To recap, enter code BEAUTY at checkout if you're shopping online at Bergdorf Goodman. Promotion runs through September 18th.
  • Receive $25 off purchases $250+
  • Receive $75 off purchases $500+
  • Receive $200 off purchases $1,000+
Many thanks to Bergdorf Goodman for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own. Press samples include the Edward Bess Lipsticks and Powders, Kate Somerville Nourish Moisturizer, Tom Ford Platinum Eyeshadow and Marc Jacobs Lip Lacquer + Air Blushes.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekend Links and Loves


Happy Sunday lovelies! I hope you had a great weekend. I wanted to share a little sneak peek of what's coming up on The Beauty Look Book and also a few loves. Four classics that never let me down include the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Duo (review here), Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Ibiza Nights (on the lips here), NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (swatched here) and Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Opale (swatched here). With so many new items launching weekly I rotate through items frequently, but these are items I find to be among my tried and true.

For this upcoming fall season I've been really excited about the fragrances that are launching. I was able to test and see all the scents Louis Vuitton launched in the Les Parfums line. I bought the Miniatures Set which has all 7 in 10 ml mini bottles. Unfortunately they are not sprays or else I would think they are absolutely perfect. I could not decide on one so this set was the best way for me to sample them all. I'm almost finished testing each one and will have a review soon.

The Maison Margiela Replica Filters in Glow and Blur were on my radar last month. I've been lusting over these for weeks now but after my last perfume mishap ordering sight unseen, I told myself to wait. In this case I could have ordered blind and been completely safe because I finally smelled both last week and it's pure love. I will have a more detailed review soon, but both are perfume oil sprays designed to be a perfume primer to layer with their regular scent. The effect is lighter than a traditional perfume, but for me both are suitable to wear on it's own. I'll be testing and layering against the other Replica fragrances I own in the upcoming days. So far I have spritzed and worn them alone. I could pick one scent that I feel is really truly me in a bottle, it would be either one of these. Glow is a bit more citrusy while Blur is more like a cotton musk.

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos launched in eight shades for the regular lineup and an AW16 shade that was featured on the runway last week. I'm working as fast as I can to have my picks up and swatched for you. First impressions on the AW16 shade is that it's very light and pale. I feel as though the online stock photos are misleading because it looks like a wearable peachy nude but in real life it's a pale pale nude. For me it has a similar in effect on my lips to the SS16 Lip Shine, so alone the liner/lipstick combo simply looks horrible. Like a concealer on the lips. I've heard it's best to use with other colors as a layering kind of product. To test it out I just put NARS Vida Loca and Chelsea Girls on top as a test and the look was dramatically improved. I think layering can be fun but at $53 a pop I'm not sure I want a lip product to be high maintenance color-wise. The regular lineup is much easier to wear though.

Some link love:
  • NYFW has been in full swing and I'm living vicariously through others via Instagram and Snapchat and am seriously missing New York City right now. I find so many fashion bloggers inspirational and so so creative! Their looks and styling tips have so much more meaning to me than a magazine. A few favorites include @pamhetlinger, @andeelayne, @hellofashionblog, @extrapetite, @9to5chic and @brooklynblonde1.
  • MAC is launching a new lip formula called Liptensity on September 20th. Fall is always a huge season for new lipstick shades and formulas. I did a little sneak peek on Instastories @beautylookbook which was only up for 24 hours so by now the preview is gone but you can see a snapshot here. For now if you can't wait to see my review, I recommend you check out Temptalia for swatches of all the colors.
  • One of my favorite bloggers Tamira Jarrel has been nominated for the Bloglovin' Awards for Best Beauty Blog. I want to give her a shout out and hope you'll support as well by voting for her! Link to the place to vote in her Instagram @tamirajarrel :)
  • I finally gave the Bite Beauty Multisticks a test at Sephora and bought two shades to try out (review soon). I found the swatches Karen did at Makeup and Beauty Blog super helpful because she swatched them all side by side.
Hope you enjoy the last bits of your weekend! Lots of posts coming up soon on the blog including the new No 5 L'Eau from Chanel, Le Teint Ultra Tenue Powder Foundation, swatches of all the lipsticks from Edward Bess, a look at the new Rouge Dior and thoughts on the Louboutin Loubi Nail Care Kit.

Any recent finds from the past week's beauty events? Did you order anything new or stock up on some beauty loves from Space NK or Barney's? In a moment of weakness I ordered the Chantecaille Faux Cils mascara. I hope I'm not disappointed. Don't forget the Barneys Love Yourself Event ends today!


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty Velvet Orchid Lip Color and Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum


I reviewed the a few items from the Tom Ford Orchid Collection last month and today I have two more to share thoughts on which includes the Velvet Orchid Lip Color ($53) and Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum ($82 to $168). If you recall from my last post I was waiting for the pink highlighter powder in Velvet Bloom to arrive before posting this particular review. Turns out they had a mix up on the website and shipped the wrong color with my order. I went to the store to exchange and it was actually a good thing that I went in store to try it. I've read mixed reviews about pink option and the one I tested in store was very sheer with non-existent pigment. It looked chalky with a hard stiff texture and barely any color showed up as I swiped it with a finger and also a brush that was a tester at the counter. As much as I adore Tom Ford cheek products, I decided to pass.

Up first is one of the limited-edition lip colors that comes packaged in a deep violet embossed packaging. Size is the same as the regular lip colors - only the exterior is different. I opted for the lighter option which is called Velvet Orchid. It's a plum pink with silvery shimmer. It's medium to full coverage and falls somewhere in between medium to bold in color. It's not quite dramatic or deep enough to be bold but it's still not a neutral. The shimmer is visible on my lips but it's a pretty kind. 


Below it's swatched on bare lips. It pulls neutral to cool on me. With the flash the silvery shimmer shows up more than without a flash.
 

Swatch comparisons below:
  • Tom Ford Lip Color in So Vain (review here)
  • Tom Ford Lip Color in Negligee (review here)
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Daniel and Malik (posted here)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Bond Girl (on lips here)
  • Chanel Rouge Coco in Suzanne (review here)
  • Dior Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine in Sophisticated (on lips here)


It's a lovely color for fall that pulls mauve, plum and pink all at the same time. If you have the Lips and Boys in Daniel I do think it's similar enough that you can skip. So Vain is warmer with a bit less shimmer.

Up next is the Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum. I bought the 30 ml version which is a Sephora exclusive (other sizes can be found at all other Tom Ford retailers). I ordered this one without testing it and I must admit the beautiful rose gold packaging was calling my name as soon as it popped up. It's a warm cashmere floral but it has notes that makes me think of licorice and root beer. Once I had those two in my head I just couldn't get them out and all I can think of is food when I wear this. I will say this one is just not really my cup of tea. I asked my husband what he thought. He usually likes Tom Ford fragrances on me. His response, "not my favorite, but I don't hate it." I feel the same.
  • Top notes: bitter orange, tuberose, cypress, peppercorns
  • Middle notes: lily, spider lily, black orchid, clove
  • Base notes: cashmeran, patchouli, vetiver, ambroxan, sylkolide, vanilla, chestnut cream

I'm still working my way through testing a few new scents that have launched this fall. I hope to review them soon for those curious. I will say that so far I'm head over heels in love with Louis Vuitton Parfums Apogée and Matiere Noire along with the Replica Filters.

Bottom line, both nice to have, but given the comparisons for the lips, I don't think Velvet Orchid is a must, especially if you own So Vain or Daniel. There are little differences that make them different enough to justify though so if it's your kind of color I'd say go for it. After all I have dozens of the same neutral pink for lips but will never stop getting excited about new ones that launch. Perfume is so personal I think Orchid Soleil is hit or miss. If you like warm florals with a bit of spice you may want to give this a spritz at the store. For me I'm glad I bought the smallest version so it wasn't as expensive of a mistake as buying the larger sizes.


I found the 30 ml Orchid Soleil at Sephora. The rest of the Orchid Collection including the Velvet Orchid Lipstick, Black Orchid Lipstick and Nightbloom Powders are available exclusively in the US at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Tom Ford. At this time I believe the lipstick and powders are limited-edition.

Have you tried these yet? I will have reviews of the new Lip Contour Duos and the AW16 collection up as soon as I can! First impressions are very good and I can't wait to share them with you.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Beauty and Skincare Favorites


1   /   2   /   3   /   4   /   5   /   6   /   7    /
8   /   9   /   10   /  11  /  12  /  13  /  14   /  15

Quite a few of you have asked that I bring back my monthly favorites roundups so I have one for you today. Many of you like the rotation and roundup kind of posts, I still have the nail/hand care, foundation, hair styling and skincare ones in the work. For those who can't wait I'll say that my top three favorite foundations still remain the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (still Groenland + St. Moritz mixed), Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (I use 125/Y315, all shades also available online in this value set now) and the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (my best match is 123/Y365).

Onto my favorites for this month which was difficult for me to narrow down. I'm still enjoying these Molton Brown mini hand washes and these lip treatments. In addition these liquid lips are really very good. I have managed to narrow down a list of my top favorites for this past month though even though a lot of loves have gone unmentioned:
  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows have been in heavy rotation because of their silky smooth texture, rich pigment, blendable finish and easy to wear shades. You can pick and choose your own colors to create quads, the one shown above has Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate. To date I've accumulated quite a few you can see swatched here and here.
  2. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is something I discovered in a set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love this because it thickens, volumizes and holds the curl. It also looks super dark on the lashes. I will repurchase this.
  3. Dior Vernis in Minimal (c/o) is my current perfect pale polished nude. Review + swatch here.
  4. Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder (c/o) is relatively new to me but it is hands down the most naturally luminous highlighter I've tried this year (out of the new ones launched this year). I think it's a must, swatches here.
  5. Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped is one of the prettiest palettes I think I've seen in a while. If you don't mind a good shimmer this is a great one for eyes and cheeks. I like mixing and swirling colors before applying to the eyes. Review + swatches here.
  6. MAC Eyelash Curler is something I picked up recently and was pleasantly surprised. My go-to Chanel lash curlers have seen better days after years of use and I don't think they're carried in the US anymore. The one from MAC comes in close second for my eye shape.
  7. Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o) best nude for me right now (actually since April of this year). You can see it swatched on my lips in this post here.
  8. Edward Bess Deep Shine Lip Gloss in French Lace is a pretty soft pink. All of his lip glosses reviewed in this post here.
  9. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kidman's Kiss (shown) and Super Cindy are both pretty close neutral peachy colors, I think the entire Hot Lips Lipsticks have been a knock out success, especially for those who like matte lips (she has the best matte lipstick formula in my opinion). The entire launch reviewed and swatched here.
  10. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude are my most reached for liners. Pillow Talk is a deeper pinky color while Iconic Nude is a brown nude. Both swatched here.
  11. Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo wins for best shampoo to clean the hair well with a squeaky clean feel but won't dry out the hair. It has a mild but fresh beachy kind of scent. Leaves the hair feeling soft and fluffy (but not frizzy). Even my husband likes it. September beauty events are just around the corner. I recommend putting this on your shopping list. I will repurchase this.
  12. Bumble and Bumble Surf Conditioner also is a winner. I rarely am in love with both shampoo and conditioners of the same formula/brand and typically have to mix and match. This combo is pure love. More in this review here.
  13. Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel (c/o) is something I received earlier in the spring. It took me a long time to get into testing this because frankly I don't like face gels. They're often sticky or tacky and just don't absorb well into my skin. This one does indeed have a gel like consistency but if you massage it into the skin it melds in nicely and doesn't leave a film like other brands. I've been alternating this with Kate Somerville Nourish, both of which are lightweight for warmer weather. Neither will get greasy but have enough for my normal-combination skin. They wear very well under foundation too. The Pore Perfecting Water Gel is also available in a mini travel size. I love the packaging, the pump and the way it feels on the skin. Huge thumbs up. It also helps to smooth out pores.
  14. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask remains my tried and true clarifying mask that is gentle, even when my skin has flare ups. It sucks up excess dirt and oil. I have finally lost count of how many tubes I've bought and used up.
  15. Kate Somerville RetAsphere™ Micro Peel (c/o) is a leave-on treatment for night that helps with skin uneveness and really works to improve texture. It's very gentle but I use it once a week. It's a micro-peel that infuses skin with retinol with 10% glycolic acid and lactose to help resurface skin. Out of all the skincare lines I've tried, I feel that Kate Somerville has truly been one of the game changers for my skin as I transitioned from my 20's to 30's. During that transition I went through a lot of stress and my skin suffered a lot with texture issues and repeated break outs. While I've worked to manage the stress, finding the right skincare has played a major role in improving texture. I've tried so many lines and out of all the ones I have tried, Kate Somerville all around has worked the best for me. I don't use a night treatment every night because I sometimes just want to let the skin breathe. The RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream is one of the best most gentle yet effective night treatments I alternate with the Micro-Peel. The Micro-Peel makes the favorites list though because just using this once a week has improved my skin texture tremendously.
What are you loving right now? Do you have any favorites from the past month? As always I love reading about what you've tried, love and recommend. Even if something you tried hasn't worked for you, I still love reading about those experiences as well. Are there any colors or collections you've been smitten with as we transition to fall beauty?

Press samples featured indicated with a "c/o". As always all opinions my own.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty Black Orchid Eau de Parfum + Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom


For fall Tom Ford Beauty is launching a few mini collections, the first is the Orchid Collection which highlights two fragrances in Black Orchid and Orchid Soleil along with corresponding powders and lipsticks to match the mood of each scent. A lovely package of the Black Orchid Eau de Parfum ($120 for 50 ml) and Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom ($80) arrived a few months ago but I decided to wait closer to fall to review these. Scent is often very seasonal for me and some perfumes I can't get in the mood for if it's not the right time of year. Now that fall is approaching I am ready to review two items from the Orchid Collection. I have also purchased the Orchid Soleil perfume and a few other pieces which I hope to review in the next couple of weeks.

Both the Nightbloom Powder and Black Orchid Eau de Parfum come in matching packaging with the embossed striped black case and gold accent. The powder compact is the same size as the small bronzing powders and cream cheek colors from summer.


Black Orchid Eau de Parfum is not a new frangrance - it's been a classic in the Tom Ford Beauty line for many years. For me this is a rich and spicy scent with a dark feel. To me it's distinctly feminine, but pulls on the masculine side. Notes include bergamot, citrus accord, mandarin, gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lotus, orchid spicy floral accord, orchid, patchouli, sandalwood, incense, vanilla. If I were to sum it up in three words it would be "dark seductive floral." Lasting power is very good - I find all Tom Ford scents to be long lasting, but this one is one of the strongest I've tried. While I am drawn to unisex scents that have notes like sandalwood and amber, Tom Ford Black Orchid is a bit darker than I would normally wear, even for date nights. It has a distinct and unique scent that feels very luxurious. I'm just not sure that it's my cup of tea - but my nose has been known to change in taste. There are a few fragrances I did not like in my mid-20's that I adore right now that I'm in my mid-30's.


The Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom is a gold shimmery highlighter with a strong yellow sheen. It has a very soft fragrance added but it does not really smell like the Black Orchid perfume. The shimmer is visible with lovely silver and gold sparkles. It has a smooth medium to medium-full coverage for pigment and is easy to blend. Quality-wise it's excellent, doesn't emphasize pores, doesn't look overly frosted and stays put all day long without fall out or fading. Color-wise, I've mentioned numerous times before that I tend to stay away from yellowy-gold highlighters because it often clashes with my skintone. Alone on the skin it is indeed very yellow, but once I add a bronzer or blush, the yellow tones balance out a bit.



Swatch comparisons below to a few other highlighters. Tom Ford Night Bloom as the strongest yellow undertones.



Both the Black Orchid Eau de Parfum and Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom are luxurious splurges that I was thrilled to be able to try. I'm a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty and some of his fragrances are among my favorites (right now I'm obsessed with Soleil Blanc). Black Orchid as I suspected based on previous sniffs and spritzes at the counter is one of those scents that I distinctly seductive and beautiful, just not one I can see myself wearing on a regular basis. For me, my best date night scent is still Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb.

The Nightbloom Powder is beyond gorgeous in every aspect from the packaging, texture, shimmer and color. However, since I tend to gravitate to peachy champagne colors for highlighters I can't call this a must-have for me but I am very grateful a sample was sent for me to test out. I have high hopes for the pink one which I just ordered so stay tuned for a review on that one soon! Quality wise both items are a solid thumbs up.

Right now the Orchid Collection appears to have certain pieces that are available at select locations. The powders, lipsticks and solid perfumes can be found only at Tom Ford, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman (for pre-order) and Selfridges (each of the stores list the collection as exclusive). The regular spray perfumes can be found at all other Tom Ford counters and stores.

Have you tried anything from the Orchid Collection yet? What did you think?

Black Orchid and Black Bloom both provided for review consideration.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Fragrance Rotation


Happy Friday everyone! This has been one of those busy weeks where I felt like I was not able to be as productive as I had hoped. I'm relieved that the weekend is almost here. I have quite a few reviews in the works. Testing is a non-stop continuous process and I have a lot of posts partially completed - stay tuned for posts on new launches from Lancôme, Dior, Chanel, Birchbox, Cle de Peau Beaute along with the roundup/routine type posts many of you have requested. Continuing another one of my routine posts you asked for, today I'm rounding up my warm weather fragrance edit. Summer is nearing it's end (I keep seeing end of summer promos everywhere!) but scents are the kind of beauty product I feel can be transitional in some cases. It takes me forever to use up a perfume and I tend to accumulate them in batches - there are a few of these I've had for a long time.

Up first are the scents I think are most unique. I don't mind wearing popular mainstream perfumes but sometimes it's nice to have something a little more unique.

Shown above, left to right:
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique has been on my wishlist for ages. I have it in the small travel sized vial from a holiday discovery set I bought last year. I finally caved and bought the full size. It's a sweet warm floral that I feel smells like it has apricot but it does not. Notes include bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, violet, jasmin petals, cyclamen, black amber, musk, vetiver and Moroccan cedarwood. It also comes in other formats such as the Body Wash (just splurged), Body Cream (review here), Bath Oil and is also in the current Floral Discovery Set.
  • Lumira Paradisium (c/o) is one of my favorites and it's very unique. I feel I can wear this one year round. Full detailed review here. For a quick take, it has bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, heart of fig nectar, guava, vetiver, sea moss and cedarwood. It's one of the few scents that has fig that I can wear.
  • Diptyque Eau de Sens (c/o) is an orange blossom which I think most will think is best as a spring scent. I agree except that this is one of the very few orange blossom scents I've been able to wear so I've been spritzing it over the summer. Also reviewed in this post here.
  • Oribe Côte d'Azur (c/o) is an Oribe lover's dream come true. The signature scent that you find in most Oribe products is bottled in a perfume version and it's amazing. If you find the hair products to be strongly scented you probably can get away with just wearing the styling creams or sprays instead of buying the perfume. I personally find the hair sprays fade in scent after a few hours, the perfume definitely lasts all day long on me.

Next are two sweet options from Urban Outfitters. These are part of the Gourmand Line and are priced at $18 each. They are both on the sweet vanilla coco side - I know many of you like vanilla-based scents. I have a hard time wearing them because so many are too strong.
  • Sel Ocean is described as having honeysuckle, muguet, pink sea salt which I think is an accurate description. It's very sweet so if you don't like sweet scents, definitely try to test before buying.
  • Lait de Coco is a milky white fragrance you shake to mix the contents. Notes include bergamot, vanilla praline and creamy coconut. It's the closest scent I've found to the long discontinued Jo Malone Sweet Milk.

In my experience and opinion, the best date night fragrances are from Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb. It has a distinct scent that is easily recognizable but smells amazing on everyone.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb note include bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • There are occasional limited-edition variations launched, the Flowerbomb La Vie en Rose is a lighter version of the original with a sparkling feel if that makes sense. Top notes are grapefruit, mandarin, pink pepper, green tea. Middle notes have jasmin, orchid and rose. Base notes have patchouli and amber.
  • Spicebomb is the cologne version for men and it's my husband's favorite. It's what I think all hot guys smell like lol. It's more of a date night fragrance but my husband find it suitable to wear everyday. He's already used up a travel size and full size bottle. I bought the Spicebomb Fresh for him because I often like the lighter/fresh versions. We both agreed it's too light and not masculine enough. It's a good one for those who like light scents but Spicebomb is better.

Last but not least, the scents that are true summer and warm weather scents that make you feel like you're on a tropical vacation somewhere on the beach.
  • NARS Monoi Body Glow II is the ultimate tropical vacation scent. It's not a perfume but rather a scented body oil which I can't get enough of. It has the most delicious monoi oil scent and has a tiare flower inside that has been soaked in refined coconut oil to capture the essence of the unique process used to make the oil. Scent lasts all day on me and gives the skin a nice glow.
  • Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is the lightest Tom Ford fragrance launched and therefore priced at a lower price point compared to his perfumes. It's a lighter version of the Neroli Portofino which I like on others but don't really like on myself. The Neroli Aqua Portofino is a citrus beachy scent with hints of amber. Also featured in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is a white floral that has a beachy vacation like feel. Full review in this post here.
  • Urban Outfitters Gourmand Thé Matcha is one of the few I've used up entirely and am on my second bottle. It's a simple fresh fragrance that has a sweet clean green tea scent with citrus and white flowers.
My most-worn scents of the summer are the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua, Soleil Blanc and Lumira Paradisium. For evenings out or special occasions it's been either of the Viktor and Rolf fragrances. I also really like Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau (reviewed here) which wasn't featured in the roundup because I feel it's moer of a fall scent, but still nice for going out.

Do you have a favorite go-to for summer? Or do you stick with scents that you wear year round? As always I'd love to hear your favorites - for any season! There are so many scent options out there it's overwhelming to find a good scent so I rely heavily on recommendations!

Items provided courtesy for review consideration marked with a "c/o".

 

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