Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Snapshot

Starbucks Ethiopia, cinnamon roll from scratch, and CHANEL Rouge Noir!
          Hi everyone! I've had a fairly busy start to the fall quarter, with applications, odd work hours, and more. I've been relying on coffee and the little, eclectic things in life to keep me going! Here's what I've been loving lately:

1. What beauty collections are you most looking forward to?
Gucci Beauty has to be my most anticipated collection this year. In fact, it's already here, but it has yet to touch down in the blogosphere. I don't jump for every couture collection, but I'm loving the serious logo bling on their compacts. (PSA : you can find the entire Gucci Beauty collection here).

2. What's your drink de jour? 
I had to visit three different Starbucks before finding a bag of Starbucks Ethiopia coffee beans with a good date. (Desperate caffeine-dependent times call for desperate measures...)'Ethiopia' has a velvety dark cocoa edge on a light citrus background.  I've been enjoying this medium-strength brew this past week. I'm thinking of trying Starbucks Kenya next. 

3.  What are you making / baking right now?
I have a bit of an addiction to the cinnamon rolls at Au Bon Pain. It's not the healthiest habit, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and whip up a healthier version at home (see above!) Mine have organic flour, organic sugar, and sunflower oil (instead of butter).

4. Any new additions to the wardrobe?
I'm having a workwear moment lately; I've been collecting a number of pieces from the J.Crew Super 120's set. The J.Crew Bridget Dress, a V-neck sheath, is my favorite cut. It's not a style that's currently available, so I'm constantly on the lookout for it in the sale section. Recently it popped up in light heather grey ... just in my size! Score.

5. What's your current lacquer love?
I think a lot of us have a signature CHANEL red. If I had to choose, CHANEL Rouge Noir would be mine. I tend to favor deeper darker red cremes, with as little undertone as possible. CHANEL Rouge Noir is a great shade all year round - and an especially nice one for fall.

Thanks for reading! What have you been up to lately? (Feel free to use the same Q's).

Love, Dovey.

Monday, September 8, 2014

TATCHA Jet Set Travel Kit review + photos


       If all goes well, I'm hoping to do a bit of traveling in the upcoming months. I guess TATCHA must have read my mind, because they sent me a cute kit that should come in handy for a girl on the move! Today I have a look at the new TATCHA Jet Set Travel Kit to share with you today!

        TATCHA is a lovely niche Asian-inspired skincare brand that's always welcome in my skincare routine. I love the carefully crafted aesthetic of their packaging, and of course the product within. It can be tricky to know what to invest in first, so I've noticed that the brand has conveniently created a number of skits, including the TATCHA Jet Set Travel Kit, as a great starting point. (This one happens to include favorites that work well for the busy traveler).


          The entire TATCHA Jet Set Travel Kit is housed in a pretty lavender PVC zip pouch with gold logo detailing. The front is clear, while the back is an opaque lavender. It's cute, practical, and TSA-friendly!



          Inside the TATCHA Jet Set Kit you'll find the following:

  • TATCHA Travel Size Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream (click for my review) - It's worth noting that the Indigo collection is one of my favorite TATCHA collections! The full size Indigo hand cream has been a long-time resident in my work purse; it sinks in quickly with just the right amount of hydration. 
  • TATCHA Aburatorigami Blotting Papers (click for my review) - These gold-flecked sheets are such an indulgent set of mini blotting papers. I have a close-up of the textures in my linked review!
  • TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (click for my review) - This is a really handy hands-free skin moisturizer. As I wrote in my review, my favorite use for the skin mist is as a hydrating / smoothing base before foundation. (I'm thinking it'll come in handy for keeping skin hydrated on flights as well...)
  • TATCHA Gold Camellia Nourishing lip balm - I've been testing the Camellia for some time now, but have yet to write a full review! Overall, it's got a nice texture that's smooth without being overly emollient.



  • TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask
  • TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask 
       The Jet Set Kit comes with the above facial and eye masks as well. I'm debating whether I want to use these now, or save them for a later travel date! They'd be perfect for a mini spa treatment for someone with a busy itinerary (as is often the case during my travels...)


      Overall, the TATCHA Jet Set Travel Kit ($125) is a delightful little set of TATCHA favorites that I'm planning on enjoying both now and on my travels-to-come. It has a nice mix of full size items (like the mist and balm), as well as miniature ones. Should the Jet Set Kit tickle your fancy, it (and other TATCHA treasures) can be found at Tatcha.com!

         Thanks for reading! What TATCHA treasures have you been enjoying lately? What kind of skincare kits do you construct for traveling?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I'm planning on mixing and matching from different Tatcha sets during my travels. Be sure to check out my review of the TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit for more travel friendly skincare!

Monday, September 1, 2014

YSL La Laque Couture in Gris Deco review + swatches


        When I was little, my mom would joke that she was a 'grey lady'. Her wardrobe was filled with shades of grey; I often wondered how she didn't tire of the monochrome. Years later, it seems like I've become a grey-lady in my own right. I can't seem to get enough of the shade! Today I'm sharing my most recent acquisition : YSL La Laque Couture in Gris Deco.

         When it comes to color, I'm a purist. I love that YSL Gris Deco nail lacquer is a standard grey without blue or yellow undertones. You'd be surprised at how hard they are to find!

By the way, the YSL cap secures itself to the bottle with a nice magnetic click!
           YSL La Laque Couture in Gris Deco is a pale grey creme. It has an almost imperceptible touch of pearl, which adds a brightening effect. (It's less than the 'secret' shimmer often described in CHANEL polishes, that I often find to be less-than-secret!) The finish is a touch sheer, which adds to the light, clean feel of the polish. I find two coats to be perfect. (However, if opaque is your thing, three does the trick).

          Of note, YSL La Laque Coutures come with a wide paddle brush. Personally, I enjoy wide brushes for the efficient application, however I know some people prefer traditional round tips. The polish formula was smooth and dried quickly (always a plus).

You can see that YSL Gris Deco swatches on the light spectrum of greys!
         I've been absolutely loving YSL Gris Deco! It's the perfect accompaniment to my monochrome wardrobe. The subtle sheerness and shimmer create a wonderfully clean feel to the shade. Its undertone-free quality, also makes it unique in a sea of yellow and blue toned greys. YSL Gris Deco happens to be my first foray into the La Laque Couture lineup - and I have to say it has me wanting more! Overall, it's a lovely pick for grey-loving-ladies like me!

       Thanks for reading! Do you have any grey-polish favorites? What shades from the YSL La Laque Couture nail lacquer have you loved?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CHANEL Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation in B20 review + (swatches)


         It's no secret that I'm a fan of the CHANEL Perfection Lumière lineup. I'm on my third bottle of the original Perfection Lumière (reviewed here) and I've hit pan on the powder version, Double Perfection Lumiere (reviewed here).

          My interest was piqued, to say the least, at the launch of CHANEL Perfection Lumière Velvet. While I was disappointed to find out that unlike the original Perfection Lumière,  this formulation contains chemical sunscreens (which I can't wear), I did get my hands on a the cutest little sample so I could share my thoughts with you today!



          I found that CHANEL Perfection Lumiére Velvet does indeed have a velvety feel, probably similar to the 'dry oil' (read : silicone) feel popularized by Armani Maestro. It smooths on and blends in very nicely. I'd say finger application is best, unlike the original Perfection Lumière which takes a bit more effort and seems to work best with tools. In terms of coverage, I think it conceals more than the original, and is more matte. Though the square squeeze bottle is reminiscent of CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua, it's almost the opposite in formula; it's opaque while the latter is sheer and oil based while the latter is water based.

          My CHANEL shade is B20, generally speaking. I've made some comparison swatches with CHANEL Perfection Lumière Velvet so that you can see how it looks next to other foundations in my collection. It's slightly darker and more beige than CHANEL Perfection Lumière in B20 and NARS Sheer Glow in Deauville (formula reviewed here). I'd say the color is quite similar (though more opaque) than MAKE UP FOR EVER Face & Body in 20.



          Overall, I really like the CHANEL Perfection Lumière Velvet formula. It has a great velvety feel going on, with an opaque matte finish. I'd most likely have invested in a full size bottle by now, if it weren't for that pesky chemical sunscreen (story of my life). In terms of color, I could probably do my usual B20 for my summer skin, however I might consider mixing in some B10, as B20 does make me look a little more tan.

        Thanks for reading! Have you tried CHANEL Perfection Lumière Velvet? What CHANEL foundations do you enjoy? What foundations have you been reaching for lately?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Butter London Colour Hardware Nail Art Tool Kit review + swatches



         When you're painting on one of life's littlest canvases, it's pretty tricky to achieve fine detail when working with a nail polish brush. (And that's not even counting your wide paddle shaped applicators!). With that in mind, here's a reason to rejoice: the new Butter London Colour Hardware Nail Art Took Kit!

        Butter London has packaged a set of five miniature nail art tools and a shaping file into a cute tin, perfect for the aspiring DIY nail artist. The tools are quite mini (most likely smaller in real life than you're seeing here on your computer screen) and include the following :



  1. Clean Up Brush - to clean up any messy edges
  2. Dotting Tool - this is my favorite tool and is the easiest to use; there are two different ends to give you two different sized dots
  3. Long Striping Brush - I haven't figured out the perfect use for this brush, but it seems good for stripes; the long head makes it easier for longer, continuous strokes
  4. Ombré Brush - this one is also easy to use for creating a gradient effect on the nail; I bet it would be great for those with long nails
  5. Striping Brush - theoretically this seems useful for drawing in little details, however practically speaking, it's still a work in process for me
        Overall, I really dig the idea of Butter London Colour Hardware Nail Art Took Kit ($30). There is a learning curve to effectively use some of the tools, and I don't think I'm anywhere near pro-artist status at this point; however the experience is so much more facile and fun than trying to make do with your typical polish brush. Cleaning up is pretty simple too --- just a little polish remover and paper towels are necessary.

       Thanks for reading! What do you think of a DIY nail art tool kit? Do you enjoy experimenting with nail art?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own. As usual, no ads or affiliate links!