Friday, July 29, 2016

CHANEL Rouge Coco Shine in Mighty review + swatches

         Happy Friday! I'm excited to be back after a far to long hiatus (last in 2015, can you believe it?). Life has been in flux. Last year was one of the busiest ever; there's so much to say, but I'll save it for later. At the end of June, I finally finished, packed up, and am now living in Philadelphia! After (nearly) a decade in Chicago, it's been an adjustment, but I'm discovering new places, new routines, and am overall loving it here.

        Today I'm sharing a shade I've really loved since this past spring, CHANEL Rouge Coco Shine in Mighty! It's actually my first Rouge Coco Shine; I've tested many, but hadn't completely fallen for any til this. I feel like choosing a Rouge Coco Shine can be tricky; because they're sheer, the effect when worn is quite different than what you seen in tube. Likewise, CHANEL Mighty appears nearly neon, but becomes a light and bright pink than worn.

        I really like how CHANEL Mighty is a clean pink without particularly strong undertones. Because of this, it would naturally favor cooler, pink based skin-tones. On me, it tends to be a pretty posy pink. I think on warmer skintones, it becomes more of a statement (almost Barbie) pink.

        I've compared CHANEL Rouge Coco to a few of my favorite pinks below. As you can see, it's not a red-pink, warm pink, or nude pink. It really is a pure, bright pink! I think the nearly neon tones make it brighter than the other shades; the sheerness makes it wearable.

            I have to say this shade was an overall win for me! I'm happy that my first experience with CHANEL Rouge Coco Shines was a success. That said, I feel like you can't go wrong with CHANEL Spring! Summer on the other hand...

         Thanks so much for reading! I know it's been a while, so it makes me happy to know that old (and new) friends are taking there time to visit my small slice of the web! Let me know if you have CHANEL Rouge Coco Shine recs, I'd love to hear what I should try next!

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Nor-Cal weekend Part 2 : Pinnacles National Park + Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Sitting on one of the sandstone formations in Point Lobos!
            When it comes to vacation, Mr. Lovey and I are park people. I imagine it's because we've had our share of city living. Between the two of us, NYC, Chicago, Boston, and SF have been home at some point! Lucky for us, California has an amazing selection of National Parks, and natural wonders. Hence for part 2 of my NorCal weekend (you can read part 1 here), I have a few park pictures to share with you today!

            With a weekend trip, time is of the essence. Initially, I had hoped to re-visit Yosemite, as it's a quintessential National Park, however at this time of year, it's largely closed. Instead, Mr. Lovey and I decided to focus in on Pinnacles National Park (the newest NP!), as well as make a quick morning stop and Point Lobos State Park in Monterey.

The coastline here was absolutely gorgeous! That and you'll get to spot the occasional sea lion or sea otter.
1. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve - is a beautiful park within Monterey county. (You've probably heard of Monterey Bay as being one of the most beautiful pieces of California shoreline. The park has a gorgeous shoreline trail that makes for a nice morning stroll (or run), as well as a cover for scuba divers.

         Along the shoreline, you can soak in all the breathtaking hues of marine blue. It's a great spot for wildlife as well. At the little cove above, we heard the barks of sea lions, and even a couple basking in the sun and swimming in the surf. The park is said to have sea otters as well (sea otters are the cutest!), though I didn't personally see any that day. I'd recommend bringing binoculars, if you have a pair. We didn't think to bring them, but we noticed a number of people who'd brought them for a better view of the wildlife.

The shores are lined with pretty, variegated sandstone formations!
          As a side note, I actually hadn't planned on a hike, so I ended up walking the trail in my suede J.Crew flats. It probably wasn't the best choice of footwear, but other than collecting some dust and pebbles, they worked out reasonably well!

2. Pinnacles National Park - is the newest national park in the U.S.. Previously it had been a National Monument, but was upgraded in 2013! The park's variegated terrain formed as a result of multiple volcanic eruptions that occurred some 23 million years ago.

        The park itself has convenient proximity to the more urban San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Interestingly, unlike most other National Parks, it's most popular in the cooler months (as summer temperatures can be extreme), making it perfect for my December trip!

It's a good idea to wear a helmet, in case rocks rain down from above! (Incidentally, they don't protect your face, as I found out the hard way...)
          As Pinnacles National Park (given its name) is a great climbing destination, we decided to enlist the help of a guide through Outdoor Adventure Club! We ended up having a fantastic time; our guide Eric set up a number of top-roped routes for us to try, in addition to a 100 ft (or so) rappel down a cliff. From a climbing perspective, the conglomerate rock can be a bit hard on the hands, but it makes for some pretty fun features.

        I'd definitely recommend a climb here if you have time. A lot of local climbers enjoy the spot in winter, as other popular destination like Yosemite are less available. With a guide, it's accessible to outdoor  beginners as well. For non-climbers, there are a lot of hiking trails throughout the park, including a couple cave routes!

As you can see, a lot of great potential climbs in Bear Gulch! 
         Both Pinnacles National Park and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve were unexpectedly gorgeous stops on my weekend trip to NorCal (see part 1 in San Francisco here). Both are beautiful stops for a winter weekend trip! There's so much to do in the region, I'd love to visit again. I'd definitely love to trek up Half Dome in Yosemite, as well as visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, amongst other things!

        Thanks for reading! What parks have you visited recently? Which would you recommend?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Nor-Cal weekend Part 1 : San Francisco

Roaming the halls of the Legion of Honor
        Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to share snaps from my recent weekend trip to Nor-Cal! Mr. Lovey's been living in San Francisco for the past several months, finishing up a fellowship. With my current job, vacations and full weekends are few and far between --- last weekend, I finally had a chance to head out west! We spent some time touring the region, enjoying some of the usual and more unusual sites. I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with you on Cute and Mundane today!

        By the way, California weather always throws me off with its lack of seasonality! (I think I was the only person on the plane to Cali wearing a down parka and Uggs). I found that a combination of my favorite J.Crew cashmere boyfriend sweater and Lululemon Jet Crop Slims made for a Cali-friendly combination. I had also indulged in a Patagonia Better Sweater in Birch White, which was a great weight for San Fran weather. (As an East Coaster originally, I'm more North Face, but seems like Patagonia's the way to blend in out west...). But anyway, on to my travels...

The breathtaking view from Twin Peaks
1. Twin Peaks - What better way to start the day than with coffee and a view? Mr. Lovey lives up in the hills, so we started the day off with a bird's eye view of sky, water, and city. The view above is more residential, if you turned leftward, you'd see more of the San Francisco skyline.

(Side note: it was quite nice to enjoy an iced coffee in the middle of December...)

The Monet's at Legion of Honor have a wonderful pastel, ethereal feel.
2. Legion of Honor - I had hoped to explore a little bit of San Francisco's fine arts scene, so we decided to head to the Legion of Honor Museum. It's a smaller museum, located in the more elevated NW region of SF. (The nearby views of the Golden Gate bridge are pretty fantastic as well).

A closeup of Monet's Water Lilies 1914-1917.
       My favorite Gallery featured a few very pretty Monets (yes, even for Monets!) I especially loved the Water Lilies at Legion of Honor. I've seen a number of versions of Monet's water lilies hung elsewhere (in fact, Chicago's Art Institute has an impressive collection of Monet works), however I loved how this particular one had such an ethereal, optimistic feel.

A closeup of Monet's Waves Breaking 1881.
        I was also struck by Monet's Waves Breaking (of which you can see a partial closeup of above). I don't think I've come across a Monet like this previously. I'm intrigued by how much motion is in frame. It's so pretty, yet so different from his other watery still lifes!

It's an upward hike to Cliff House (from the beach, at least)
3. Lunch at Cliff House -  For lunch, Mr. Lovey took me to Cliff House, on Ocean Beach. (It's a fitting name, as you can probably appreciate from above!) As a Marylander at heart, I'm a blue crab proponent, however I thought I'd give Dungeness crab a try. We had Dungeness Crab crab cakes, as well as in the Cioppino below. (I'm feeling a little hungry now, reliving the photo...)

         Incidentally, I learned that Cioppino originated from San Francisco! I love Cioppino and have enjoyed it on previous occasions but had assumed it was a typical Italian dish. Regardless, it was a delicious meal, enjoyed with the accompanying wave-side views.

A closeup of our Dungeness Crab Cioppino.
           Here's a look at Ocean Beach, while headed back down the hill! To me it looks like a typical picture of white surf near the shore, until you realize the scale! The waves pound the shore with such force that all the sheets of surf appear white with froth.

Looking down on Ocean beach. To give you an idea of the wave scale, you can see all the little footprint indents to the left!
4. Dinner at the Plant Cafe - The last time I visited San Francisco, I remember stopping at the Plant Cafe. The idea of organic eats tickles the Whole Foods junkie in me. Inadvertently we ended up stopping at the exact same Plant Cafe in the Marina district. I'm kind of obsessed with their Plant Burger; it's soft and fresh, unlike your typical frozen veggie burger. I like to get the Wasabi version, which comes with sauerkraut and wasabi, and a raspberry vinaigrette side salad.

Fish tacos and a 'Plant Burger' at the Plant Cafe.
5. The Golden Gate Bridge (near Planite Granite) - The two of us love climbing, so we stopped at the San Francisco branch of Planite Granite, which is Mr. Lovey's usual. Luckily, Planite Granite is just a short walk away from a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge! It was really nice to enjoy this SF mainstay from the docks.

A near-sunset view from the docks. (On the other side, you could see Alcatraz).
         Well, that wraps up Day 1! To summarize, I'd say that Starbucks, Water Lilies, ocean surf, cioppino, and plant burgers make for a good day, any day. I'll have a few more photos from my NorCal travels to share, so look for those soon!

          Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite things to do in SF? I'd love to hear so I can plan for the next chance I have to go back!

Love, Dovey.

Monday, October 12, 2015

NARSissist Blush, Contour, and Lip palette review + swatches

           Today I'm enjoying an unexpected day off! I can't tell you have wonderful it feels to be at home, wearing my new pink UGG slippers (thanks Mom!), and putting in some quality time into my blog. It's been a whirlwind past several months for me, with a new job and new responsibilities. It's going to be a work in progress, but I hope I'll continue to find ways to find ways to incorporate Cute and Mundane into my schedule!

         I'm excited to share my newest beauty acquisition, the NARSissist Blush, Contour, and Lip palette. I'd actually been eyeing this set for some time,  including on my most recent trip to Sephora. One of my dearest friends must have read my mind, as she sent this my way! I can only begin to express my delight...

Both the top and inside of the palette are mirrored!
           The top 'shelf' of the NARSissist Blush, Contour, and Lip palette contains three blushes. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe that Enrapture, Enthralled, and Roman Holiday are all limited edition blush shades. I prefer this to  other blush palettes that contain shades that I already own, as I'd rather not have repeats. I found that all three formulas were quite pigmented. Because the pans are smaller, I have to experiment with which brush to use. Ideally I'd like a fluffier loose brush due to pigmentation of the shades, however, a small head would be idea to fit the pans. Hm.
One can never have too much pink...
          I really love the selection of shades, as they're ones I'd actually use! NARS Roman Holiday blush (better known in lipstick form) is a gorgeous shade of cool pink. Cool pinks are my favorite, and I'm looking forward to using this as an alternative to my everyday pink, NARS Gaiety (click for review). I'm also loving NARS Enthralled blush, as it's a deeper pink that would make a nice contour color for me. I've been using blush as opposed to bronzer for contour, as it seems to better suit my coloring. (My usual as of late has been NARS Oasis). I'll have to experiment with NARS Enrapture blush, it seems like another great contour shade for warmer toned makeup - perfect for the fall season.

         The palette top flips up to reveal the contour and highlight shades below. Unlike the limited edition upper shades, the bottom shades are classics: NARS Albatross highlighter and NARS Laguna bronzer.  Believe it or not, I actually did not yet own NARS Albatross! (I've been more of a NARS Copacabana girl). Albatross is a pretty pale yellow-gold highlight. It's also pretty pigmented. NARS Laguna bronzer is a shade I do own (swatched here), though haven't reached for as often as I'd like because it does tend to run quite warm. That said, I noticed while swatching this palette that Laguna was relatively sheer, which makes it potentially usable for me.

          Finally, the palette comes with the cutest little NARS Lip gloss in Istria. It's a really pretty light pink. Because my lips are fuller, I usually don't use an all over gloss; however a dab of this shade would add just the right touch to finish off my usually light pink lip colors. It's nice to have a mini, portable version as I don't consume enough gloss to justify a full size!

           Here are swatches of the NARSissist Blush, Contour, and Lip palette! I'm really loving NARS Roman Holiday blush, NARS Enthralled blush, and NARS Istria Lip Gloss. My skin still has some of it's summer warmth here, but as usual, my mildly pink undertone makes these swatches pull slightly warmer than they might look otherwise!

         I'm really excited to add this little NARSissist beauty to my collection! Not only do I love it's cute packaging, it's a practical, compact set that I can pack for the gym or on short trips. As I haven't had much time to shop for beauty as of late, I'm thankful to my friend for this thoughtful gift! It's nice to receive a much needed new infusion into my beauty routine.

         Thanks for reading! What palettes have you been loving lately? What NARS shades are you reaching for this fall?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Blurple (and Leopard)

         Hello, at long last! There's something magical about the month of October that's pulled me out from a blogging slumber. The crisp sixty degree weather has me drawing my windows open, wrapping myself in fleece blankets, and enjoying the change of seasons.

        I've also been reveling in the rich, gorgeous colors of fall, that seem to be everywhere you turn. I found unexpected delight in the rich 'blurple' shades of these ornamental cabbages decorating the walk to work! My goal is to incorporate this new color inspiration into my wardrobe this month!

       Speaking of my work wardrobe, I've picked up a few new basics that I've been totally loving this month. First, are my J.Crew Gemma leopard flats, which I've been wearing almost non-stop. I'm hoping J.Crew comes up with more pretty patterns in this design. I've also been loving my Lululemon Jet Crop Slim pants in black. (ends of which are seen above). They're a sneaky way to sneak comfort into my work wardrobe! Pair these with a J.Crew featherweight cashmere sweater, and I'm good to go!

       Thanks for reading! And I hope the month has found you well! What fall basics have you been loving lately?

Love, Dovey.