Sunday, October 19, 2014

TOPSHOP Mercurial Lipstick and more... review + swatches


          It's a cool fifty degrees here in Chicago - a reminder that seasons are changing and new seasonal beauty is in order! Fall makeup tends to be tricky for me; while I subconsciously gravitate towards the rich browns and berries, they aren't the most complimentary shades to my complexion. (I'm more of a winter-spring girl). I'd been autopilot-ing with my beauty basics, until I received a lovely package filled with TOPSHOP Beauty!

          TOPSHOP's latest beauty collection is Molten Metallics - a set of metallic lipsticks and blushes for Fall 2014. It's a fall inspiration that I'm really loving for this season. Today I have look at a metallic lipstick from the collection, as well as some great TOPSHOP beauty basics.


           TOPSHOP Lips in Mercurial is one of three lip colors in the Molten Metallics collection. The silvery pink shade is a remix on your classic nude lip. The effect is a washed-out lip color with metallic glow. Admittedly you have to 'own it' to wear it; it's not a my-lips-but-better type of shade. That said, I'm loving this unique shade; it's just what I needed to spruce up my makeup routine (sans browns and berries). The finish comfortable and non-drying, though not particularly moisturizing.

Can't get enough of TOPSHOP packaging!
         I've been adding more kohls to my routine as of late; I love the dramatic smoked gradient they provide. (Usually I'll line first with a long-lasting liquid, then reapply kohl throughout the day to get add more depth to fading lines). TOPSHOP Kohl in Sable is a dark brown pencil with great intensity. It applies smoothly and has quite good lasting power for a kohl (which are usually short lived relative to other liners). I'm very happy with this pencil; it's a worthwhile addition to my everyday makeup pouch.


Inside are a little spoolie, tweezers, and brush!
          I have a thing for brow kits. (You should have seen the gleam in my eye when I spotted the TOPSHOP Brow Palette in Whatever). As someone with thinner brows, it makes a big difference when I take the time to do and touch up brows throughout the day. The TOPSHOP Brow Palette in Whatever is a conveniently sized case with a pull-out drawer of three mini brow tools (a spoolie, a tweezer, and dual ended brush. Inside, is a warm creamy brown wax and a grey-taupe shadow. They're meant to be layered for effect, but I tend to use more of the powder shadow. The brow kit is also available in a lighter set of shades.


          I adore the pretty dotted packaging of TOPSHOP Cream Blush in Afternoon. The bright pink is not a shade I would have initially picked for myself. However, I've found that just a couple dabs of the creamy formula blends out to create a surprisingly subtle brightening effect on my cheeks. It pairs nicely with Mercurial (above), as I find that I have to add more cheek color to balance out paler lips. TOPSHOP Lip Paint in Hibiscus is a rich opaque, creamy lip color. It wears comfortably, and is a nice option for when I'm feeling bright.



         I have to say, I'm loving my first trial with TOPSHOP Beauty. My favorites from this selection are TOPSHOP Lips in Mercurial, Kohl in Sable, and Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea. (I've already tucked them into my everyday makeup pouch!) I'm thinking a visit to the TOPSHOP boutique on Michigan Ave may be in order; the new metallic blushes are calling my name...

Thanks for reading! Have you tried TOPSHOP Beauty? What are your favorite products and shades?

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!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Essie Minimalistic nail polish review + swatches


         If you need your daily dose of pink, this pink polish post is for you! When it comes to staple shades like pink, I tend to collect a number of nuances. After all polish preferences such as shade, shimmer, and sheerness change depending on the season.  Around this time of year, I shed the sheers and reach for opaque cremes, a la Essie Minimalistic.


Essie Minimalistic nail polish
       Essie Minimalistic is an opaque pale pink creme. It has a clean feel with neutral to cool undertones. Usually two coats is sufficient for full effect.


My collection of light pink Essie polishes! (I'll try to do a post with my Essie pink sheers someday...)
          I've compared Essie Minimalistic to opaque pink Essie creme polishes in my collection. Essie French Affair is darker and cooler, with lavender tones. Essie Neo Whimsical is darker and also has some lavender tones mixed in. Essie Fiji is the most similar polish to Minimalistic; that said, it is a warmer pink. Essie Not Just A Pretty Face is darker and much warmer with beige undertones.

            Essie Minimalistic is one of my favorite Essie pinks. I love how pale and  clean the color is; it doesn't have lavender, coral, or beige undertones, as many pinks often do. It's surprising how much a small change in undertone can affect overall appearance. I personally find Essie Minimalistic to be generally more wearable for me than Essie Fiji, though it's hard to tell which one's which at first glance!

          Thanks for reading! What are your favorite pink polishes? What Essie pinks do you have in your collection?

Love, Dovey.

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.