Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate review


         It's been a fit February thus far! Mr. Lovey and I signed up for memberships at Brooklyn Boulders, the newest indoor climbing gym in Chicago city proper. In addition to getting more wall time, I've been enjoying their yoga classes as well. It's been fun working through new poses and vinyasas, and finding elements to add to my routine at home. (Though, as a result, I've developed a little obsession with Lululemon - I expect you'll be seeing more on that later.)

         The other good-for-me routine I've been working on this month is skincare! The best addition to my skincare lineup has to be Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate. The name really says it all - the serum concentrate is designed to lift, firm, and reduce pores. As for packaging, I'll be the first to admit that the dark brown bottle lacks a bit of pizzazz. That said, I've long since learned not to judge a bottle by its cover! I'm on my second bottle of Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, which shares a similar lengthy moniker and nondescript packaging (it's almost like they want the good stuff to go incognito).

        Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate contains a blend of micro-filtered yeast extract and geranium essential oil for efficacy. I was pretty excited about the yeast extract (as bizarre as that might sound), as I'm hoping it can provide results a la famed ferment in SK-II. The texture is consistent with previous Kiehl's concentrates; it's slightly thicker than lotion and I find it easier to pat on to the face. It's not a particularly slippery serum!

Wearing Essie French Affair on my tips here!


           In terms of performance, the concentrate seems to be meshing well with my ingredient sensitive skin. I can't comment on the wrinkle/pore reducing capacities as they're not active issues for me. However, I can say, that my skin does seem healthy and well protected - a tall order in Chicago winters! (It's zero degrees outside, literally). I'll definitely be keeping up with Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate, as I've had good results with the line thus far. We'll see what the yeast extract will deliver over time!

            Overall, I've found Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate ($64 for 1.7 oz) to be a lovely addition to the Kiehl's lineup, worth a moment of exploration next time you stop by a Kiehl's boutique or online at www.Kiehls.com.

          Thanks for reading! What are your Kiehl's favorites? Have you spotted the Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate in stores? What are your thoughts on yeast extract?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. If you're looking to build a lifting/ firming routine from the Kiehl's lineup, check out my reviews of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery concentrate (which I adore), as well as the Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum!
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!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

EVE LOM Rescure Mask, Moisture Mask, and Cleanser review


          It's been a busy winter for me, spent in and out of airports and constantly on the move! The past few days, I finally had the chance to sit back, relax... and catch up on Scandal on Netflix. (Is anyone else obsessed with Olivia Pope's gorgeous wardrobe? I think my favorite piece has to be the white Calvin Klein halter dress from Season 1. You see it, along with other gowns on the Washingtonian!)

           Of course, I've been catching up on some much need skincare as well. Air travel and subzero temperatures call for extra care on this front! Today, I'm looking forward to sharing a few skincare favorites that I've been utilizing to this end, courtesy of EVE LOM! EVE LOM skincare products have received a lot of love as of late, so I couldn't wait to put these to the test!

          The products I'll be sharing today include the EVE LOM Cleanser, EVE LOM Rescue Mask, and EVE LOM Moisture Mask.


            The EVE LOM Cleanser / Créme Demaquillante ($135 for 6.8 fl.oz.) is the iconic piece from the brand's lineup. The cleanser contains a blend of four aromatic oils with cleansing, decongesting, soothing properties. The cleanser itself look solid in the tub, but melts and picks up easily to touch. The scent is herbal / aromatic intermixed with paraffin.

            I'd say that the EVE LOM cleanser is most similar in concept to a cleansing oil, (though waxier/thicker in texture). When it comes to using this cleanser, there's a prescribed routine, which requires the use muslin cloths (two are included in the box):

"Apply cleanser to the face using circular movements. Dip the muslin cloth in hot water and wring out. Press onto the face and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Rinse the cloth in warm water and remove all traces of make-up and cleanser making circular movements to exfoliate. Rinse cloth in cold water and re-apply to the face for 5 seconds to close the pores. Gently pat skin dry with a towel."

            The routine is absolutely lovely. The cleanser dissolves all traces of makeup and massages easily into skin. I loved the addition of the muslin cloths to the routine; the warm water soaks are oh-so-relaxing, while the clothes themselves were woven to have just the right amount of coarseness for gentle exfoliation. The extra steps are definitely worth the time; the warm soaks open pores and improve circulation. I'm definitely looking forward to incorporating the EVE LOM Cleanser into my everyday routine!

EVE LOM Cleanser Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum (mineral oil), PEG-30 Lanolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, Aluminum stearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, PEG-75 Lanolin, Phenoxyethanol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (clove) Leaf oil, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) oil, Chamomilla Recutita Imatricariaj Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, BHT.


          I'm actually wearing the EVE LOM Rescue Mask / Masque Reparateur ($85 for 3.3 fl.oz.) mask as I type! The mask is meant to be used as a weekly deep cleanse or as an emergency mask when skin needs extra attention. The instructions are as follows:

"After cleansing, apply over the entire face, avoiding the area around the eyes. Leave on for between 15 and 20 minutes. Rub off gently with upward movements, then wipe skin clean with a damp buslin cloth."

          The kaolin clay based mask has a the texture of a thin paste. (It won't hold shape as some clay mixes do). The scent is that of soft camphor. I'd say it has a gentle combination of deep cleansing kaolin and moisturizing ingredients that would be perfect for regular to sensitive skin. Almond seed meal offers gentle exfoliation as I rub off the mask (remember, upward strokes!) As per its namesake, this EVE LOM mask is for rescue; it's relaxing, not aggressive. (Also, a little goes a long way --- I usually get overzealous with the amount of product and end up waiting a while for the mask to dry!)

EVE LOM Rescue Mask Ingredients: Kaolin, Aqua (water), Glycerin, Alcohol denat., mel (honey), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet almond) seed meal, phenoxyethanol, camphor, magnesium aluminum silicate, calcium chloride, Magnesium chloride, Sodium chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aluminum Chlorohydrate, Allantoin.


           I was the most curious about EVE LOM Moisture Mask / Masque Hydratant ($90 for 3.3 fl. oz.). The EVE LOM moisture mask offers an intense boost of hydration to dull, dry skin subjected to extreme temperatures / weather conditions (hello, Chicago winter!) and travel. The directions here are quite simple:

"For best results, use this leave-on mask in the evening after cleansing or whenever your skin needs extra hydration."

        In its glass tub, the EVE LOM Moisture Mask has the texture of a very viscous clear liquid. It reminds me of the texture of a slippery cleanser (but thicker). I only need the smallest touch of the moisture mask to spread over my face. It's effective at protecting and immediately hydrating; it's the kind of mask that will sit atop the face, as oppose to soaking completely into skin. The mask can be worn overnight (or if you're like me, while hanging out at home). I really like how this mask delivers an actual H2O 'moisture boost' as promised, as opposed to simply providing a coat of oils as a thick cream might. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one.

EVE LOM Moisture Mask Ingredients: Aqua (water), glycerin, ceyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Coconut alkanes, Glyceryl polyacrylate, Acrylates copolymer, PHenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-3-oleate, Propanediol, Coco-caprylate/Caprate, Tocopherol, Sodium PCA, Urea, Sodium hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Sodium hyaluronate, Trehalose, Lecithin, Avena strigosa seed extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment filtrate, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, Polyquaternium-51, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phytic acid, Hydroxypropyl bispalmitamide mea, Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Potassium sorbate.

               Overall, I've had a wonderful experience with my new EVE LOM skincare. The line has lovely minimalist packaging, and products that add a spa-like feel to my everyday routine. At the moment, my must-have of the three (and I'm sure many would agree) would be the EVE LOM cleanser. Both the product, as well as the routine are relaxing, yet effective. If you're a fan of cleansing oils, I have a feeling you'd really like this one. The EVE LOM Moisture Mask is the best mask fit to my sensitive, dry winter skin at the moment! Intense hydration is always welcome at this time of year! You can learn more or shop EVE LOM skincare and color at www.evelom.com, as well as Sephora and fine department stores.

          Thanks for reading! What EVE LOM products have you tried? Which ones are on your wishlist? What are you currently using for your winter skin?

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!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Five : Gehry x Louis Vuitton edition

Keeping things cozy with a wool blanket and a pile of glossies!
            Happy Friday! I've been spending the week spoiled with daily french toast, made from mom's organic home baked bread! In the midst of the work I'm supposed to be doing, I've been watching Season 1 of the Blacklist (on Netflix) and stretching out with a few sun salutations. I thought it was high time for a Friday Five, so here are the five things that have been on my mind as of late:

1. [Recent reads]: Architectural Digest
I've been looking for decoration inspiration as of late. Thankfully, at my mom's house there's a backlog of Architectural Digest issues that I've been working through this past week! My favorite thus far has been the October 2014 feature on Frank Gehry x Louis Vuitton! The Gehry-designed gallery has the most delightful shell of glass sails; the interplay between sky, light, and reflection is portrayed beautifully within the glossy pages! Though that issue is now out of print, you can see photographs of the Fondation de Louis Vuitton from the Architectural Digest Article online!

2. [Shopping Diary] : Nike, mostly
My shopping tends to be thematic, and lately I've been adding athletic pieces to my collection. I suppose its a roundabout way of working on my general fitness resolution! (After all, working out is so much better when there's cute clothes involved). During my past couple trips to Nike, I've picked up a cute racerback (screenprint here on instagram) and a couple of much needed leggings. I'm thinking they'll work out nicely for both yoga and rock climbing (provided I'm on a wooden, not textured wall ... abrasives don't play well with polyester).  As a side note, I also picked up a couple bottles body wash in Pacifica California Jasmine and Pacifica Persian rose from Marshalls. I've seen Pacifica in a couple stores now, so it may be worth a look if you're interested!

I just can't get over the sky shades reflected in the Fondation de Louis Vuitton here. Gehry's work is simply gorgeous!
3. [The Starbucks Situation] : Guatemala Laguna de Ayarza
I'm someone who seems to function better with a cup of Starbucks in hand (even when it comes to touring desert gardens...)! At my east coast home away from home, I've been relying on K-cup versions of the brew. Most recently, we picked up Starbucks Guatemala Laguna de Ayarza, a single origin coffee with citrus and deep chocolate notes. It's a supermarket variety, I think, which must parallel the new Guatemalan blend Starbucks Casi Cielo that's being sold in-café. I was on an African coffee kick, but I'm really loving the smooth South American beans. I may have to pick up a bag of Casi Cielo when I get back to Chicago...

4. [Routine de Soin] : Keeping it Fresh 
I've been sticking to my resolution of using and enjoying items in my stash, especially when it comes to skincare! My current routine involves a full line of Fresh products; I've been exfoliating with Fresh Brown Sugar Scrub, then cleansing with Fresh Soy cleanser, then patting on Fresh Black Tea Toner, and Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Cream (set reviewed here). The combination is wonderfully gentle and hydrating. I'm hooked on the Soy Facial cleanser again, and I'm not sure what I'll do once I run out! I've also been doing daily Fresh Rose Face Mask treatments. Typically this would seem over-indulgent to me, but my new philosophy is to use it before I have to lose it.

5. [Beauty-to-buy list] : Baby Pinks
I feel like I've found great balance in my current collection, and am happy to report that I haven't felt the urge to collect in quite some time. That said, there are a couple things that have caught my eye. First up is NARS Reckless blush (Spring 2015); the sheer silvery pink looks like something that would be right up my alley. I'm glad that NARS has gone lighter this time; it's hard for me to wear the more daring medium to dark shades that seem to more common as of late! I've also been eying CHANEL Rouge Allure in Badine as well; love my light pinks!

         Thanks for reading my little diary of rambles! Hope all is well - I would love to hear about anything from your recent reads, shopping diary, starbucks situation, routine de soin, or beauty-to-buy list!

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dr. Jart+ Skincare routine review


         The past couple months, I had the luxury of testing out a new skincare routine, thanks to Dr. Jart+! Winter is the perfect time for me to try new things; I'm always looking for emollient lotions and creams to combat an all-too-parched complexion that is a product of Chicago winters. I had the chance to hand pick the products that caught my eye... and at long last have an overview and review to share with you today!

        For those of you familiar to Dr. Jart+, you'll know it's a Korean skincare line well known for their BB creams. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a myriad of items in their skincare line, divided into different color coded categories. I decided to try items from a variety of groups, including the Dr. Jart+ Premium, Black Label, Water-Sure, and Pore Medic lines. The specific skincare pieces I have to share with you Include the Dr. Jart+ Firming Sleeping Mask Overnight Treatment, Dr. Jart+ O2 Cleansing Foam Detoxifying Cleanser, Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel, and Dr. Jart+ Derma @ home Peeling.


        The product I just had to try was the Dr. Jart+ Premium - Firming Sleeping Mask. It was listed as a favorite of Jenna Lyons in a New York Times article on her skincare routine. (And you know how I feel about J.Crew!) This overnight mask is designed to lock in moisture and deliver nutrients at night, and can be applied over your regular skincare products. It contains niacinamide and kava extract as well as traditional Korean herbs (I can smell a hint of ginseng, which is a Korean favorite).

        In terms of my experience, I typically take ~2 pumps per use, which is actually a small amount. The formula comes out as an amber colored gel and spreads easily. I don't notice it's there while wearing the mask, but I can feel it come off during my morning cleanse. So far, I'm really loving the Dr. Jart+ Premium - Firming Sleeping Mask ($48). I feel like my skin does look more refreshed in the morning. It's definitely a keeper.


          I'm a bit of a cleanser aficionada, so I was curious as to how I'd like the Dr. Jart+ O2 Black Label Detox - Cleansing Foam ($24). Per their descriptions, the cleanser is formulated with O2 water which contains 3x more dissolved O2 than normal, with the idea of delivering detoxifying bubbles to skin. In addition to cleansing, the the SLS-free, vegetable based formula provides antioxidants and lycopene to protect skin.

         Practically speaking, I found that the foaming cleanser applied gently and the fluffy white cloud-like texture made for a lovely experience! After washing it off, I found that my skin was left with a deep cleansed feeling, without drying the skin. I do find that this cleanser is more aggressive, as in it's particularly great for when my skin's acting up and all oil/makeup needs to be removed. That said, it works just as nicely on a normal basis. I have to give this a thumbs up as well.


        I'll admit that I gravitated towards Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse - Water-Sure Gel ($38) because of it's pretty aqua packaging! The oil-free formula contains hyaluronic acid for hydration, as well as extracts from the olive leaf, cranberry leaf, and baobob tree. I also found that it comes with a little scoop, which I actually quite like, for measuring the cream and not having to dip fingers in.


        I found that the gel formula felt hydrating to the touch, and applied in the lovely way that gel formulas do. I also liked that the formula continued to hydrate skin after initial application making it even winter appropriate; I don't often wear gel formulas, but have tried formulas in the past that seem to disappear after application! The Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse - Water-Sure Gel seems like a good options for those who like light skin coverage that doesn't disappear right away.

        I think it's important to supplement at-home skincare with different masks, treatments, and peels. Regular care can make a difference, and comes with a lighter price tag than clinic visits! Because of this, I couldn't resist trying the Dr. Jart+ Pore-Medic Derma @ home Peeling kit ($42). The two-step kit provides Thermal Crystal Scrub (1.7oz) to provide gentle exfoliation, and a 60 second bubbling peel (2.2 oz) to remove dead skin cells, minimize pores, and brighten skin. Ingredients include Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Vitamin E.

        I found that the peeling kit was gentle and effective. It does seem quite comparable to kits like Philosophy's, which I've purchased a couple times in the past. The first step is a thick exfoliating cream that warms the face; I like to massage this on for ~30 seconds or so to work off any dead skin cells. The second step, the bubbling peel is added on top; it foams slightly while reacting with the first layer. After washing off the mask, I enjoyed an overall smoother and brighter effect (as is expected of these kind of peels). I liked that my skin wasn't particularly dry or flaky afterwards, which can happen with harsher ingredients! Overall, I think this is a cost-effective alternative to similar peels on the market. I only used a small amount each time, and think the entire kit should last for many uses.







        Overall, I've really enjoyed my first foray into Dr. Jart+! The set has been gentle and effective on my skin; and I'll be using in the days to come. My favorite has to be Dr. Jart+ Premium - Firming Sleeping Mask, which locks in moisture overnight for a refreshed look the next morning. The Dr. Jart+ O2 Black Label Detox - Cleansing Foam comes in at a close second, for its thorough, comfortable clean! Both are wonderful options for those looking to start out in the line; of course, Dr. Jart+ skincare is also organized into easy-to-explore categories for those looking to find targeted solutions as well!

        Thanks for reading! Have you tried anything from the Dr. Jart+ BB cream or skincare line? What skincare products are you loving lately?

Love,
Dovey.

New Year's Resolutions - 2015

In the shade of a silvery palm... (Balboa Park // San Diego)
          Happy 2015! I hope that so far, the New Year has found you full of hopes and dreams! I just got back from a whirlwind trip to San Diego; there's something so magical about warm California weather...I imagine I soaked up more sunshine in one day, than I have all winter in Chicago! More than anything, I'd wanted to see a California sunset, and thankfully the one evening I was there I made it to La Jolla beach just in time. I can't express how phenomenal it was to stand in the cool Pacific surf, soaking in the fiery colors of sun and sea. I made a stop at Balboa Park (see above photo) early the next morning, and was able to enjoy the architecture and gardens before the museum crowds rolled in. I have a long-standing love for wild cacti and succulents and went a bit nuts with phone photos... (not to mention, everything photographs so much more vividly in the California sun!) If interested, you can check out highlights from my trips on my Instagram.

          After that much needed recharge, I've realized it's high time that I tackle my New Year's resolutions. I love hitting that restart button in January, with opportunity for self reflection and betterment. Every year, I have general concepts in mind, but it requires pen and paper (or in this case Wi-Fi and a MacBook) to make things official! So without further ado, here's what I have planned for 2015!

1. Become a healthy Whole Foods nut
I'm already quite the Whole Foods nut. I love the environmentally friendly and body friendly ideas behind organic ingredients. As a very allergic / ingredient sensitive person, it definitely makes a difference when I eat organic. That said, the past year, I spent way too many meals subsisting on cookies, thanks to a busy schedule. Despite being baked from scratch, they're not really a sustainable option. I'm hoping to explore more varied, healthier options this year!

2. Have an Instagram friendly apartment
The past few years organization has really fallen by the wayside, to a point that it affects my sense of well-being. Part of its that I have too many things, part is due to a very busy schedule. This year, I'm hoping to move in a positive direction, day by day. Seeing so many creative and organized spaces on Instagram has really inspired me to make this a goal for 2015!

3. Stay active, on the wall and off
Last year, I resolved to climb better. I did manage to climb a couple 5.11a's, as per my resolution, however I don't really consider myself to be generally fit. This year I'll use climbing as inspiration again, however my goal is to stay active on a more regular basis. I'll be incorporating yoga (which I've enjoyed for quite some time), as well as more physical workouts to improve strength (hello barely used Jillian Michaels DVD!) I've picked some cute new workout gear, as well as a new pink yoga mat and pink weights to this end...

4. Diversify my blog content
It seems that I've been at this blogging thing for quite some time now, perhaps I'm somewhat of a dinosaur. Call me old fashioned, but I still find that community, personality, and genuine conversation are the highlights of blogging; they're something worth preserving in the current more corporate driven environment. I'd like to build on these aspects and continue to mold Cute and Mundane into a more personal place, with more tidbits from my everyday life and travels!

5. Love what I have
Over the years, I've gone through emotional ups and downs when it comes to beauty. Sometimes I'm eager to experiment and add new beauty to my collection, other times I've felt a sense of guilt at the number of products in my stash. However, at this point in time, I'd like to take on a more positive, attitude to the situation. I'd like to to think of my stash not as a burden, but as an opportunity to choose from a carefully curated collection of things I love. Likewise, instead of focusing on getting rid of things, I'd like to focus on using and enjoying them!

            Thanks for reading - and accompanying me on this journey,whether it's been for the past few days or past few years! Wishing you the best in 2015!

Love, Dovey.