Saturday, March 26, 2011

A quick Teenage Dream (OPI) swatch

 Right now I shouldn't be here. I should be frantically working on my presentation. However, I just can't stay away, so I snapped a few quick pictures this sunny Saturday morning to share. I've been in a really pink-polish mood lately, so I thought I'd share OPI Teenage Dream from Katy Perry's Collection. I won it from an Oh My Polish! giveaway (see awesome winnings here). It's an uber glittery pink glitter polish with a sheer medium pink base. I really like the effect of having a tinted pink base, it really adds to the pink effect of the polish on my nails. The glitter is all different sizes and is a lot more bling in person than in my photos / swatches! Dry time is fast, which is always good.

Conclusion: this polish is great when I want to O.D. on girliness (sans tutu).

In terms of makeup and polish, I'm really digging cool and neutral pinks lately. When I'm finished my presentation, I think I'll probably be posting a series of mostly pink polish. To be frank, I wasn't really in the mood for OPI teenage dream today, and I took it off and instead applied OPI Isn't that precious? instead. Isn't that precious is a sheer cool pink from OPI Softshades 2010. I have all four bottles in the collection, but have yet to swatch them because the nuances in color are so difficult to capture! That'll be my next polish project. In terms of newer OPI collections, I'm still lemming the sorbet colors from OPI texas, and I can't wait for the launch of the pirates collection, especially skull and glossbones =D. 

Anyhow, trabajo ahora...

Love, Dovey

P.S. OPI animal cruelty info: Still OK'd by PETA. However $ still goes to animal tester Coty.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Winging it, with wet eyeshadow (Bobbi Brown, MAC)

Right now it seems like the winged eye is having another heyday (think Kate Moss for Dior). Which, is perfectly fine by me since I've always found a slight wing to be really flattering to my eyes. Normally, I'm a gel person, but recently I began experimenting with powder liners, which led me to wet powder liners. By wet, I mean dampening an eyeliner brush, then picking up the eyeshadow. I'd heard before how Bobbi Brown's dark shadows weren't that striking, unless used wet. So, I recently gave that a go, and am now hooked on using wet shadows as my liners. Wet shadows impart a really opaque line, almost as dark as gel. However there's a lot more control with the brush and the line can be drawn thinner (meaning less running underneath the eye).

First up, here are some of the products and brushes I've been using lately:

1. Bobbi Brown Smoke eyeshadow- Smoke is a really pretty soft blackened brown. It has great texture as a regular eyeshadow, and blends up really well for a dramatic smoky eye.  Smoke is probably the lightest / weakest of Bobbi Brown's dark brown or black shades that are suitable as liners (see comparisons below). However, unlike the other liner shades, it can have dual life as an eyeshadow/liner. I think it's great if you want a more subtle daytime line, or have lighter eyes that would look a unnatural with a stark black line.

2. MAC Soot eyeshadow-  Soot is a great dark charcoal color that leans a bit blue. I'm glad I have it, because it's like Bobbi Brown Smoke, but with blue, not brown tones. Great blendability as a powder shadow--- I like it both wet and dry. (However I think my BB shadows work better wet).

3. EcoTools angled eyeliner brush - This is the softest of the three angled eyeliner brushes and feels gentlest on the eyes. I think the quality is amazing for the price (~$5), and I wouldn't mind using this all the time.

4. MAC 263 angled eyeliner brush- This was a present from my bro and I do tend to reach for this the most. The angled edge is a teeny bit longer than EcoTools, allowing for longer strokes and a more artful wing. However, it is a little stiffer. I also love that it's synthetic (no animals harmed!).

5. Bobbi Brown Eyeliner brush- This brush is also a great eyeliner. It's quite stiff, and synthetic like both MAC and EcoTools. It's not angled, but this makes it the easiest to use as a plain liner brush. You can use short strokes that won't wander off by accident.

Second up, I have some swatches of my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows (both as a wet line, and a dry shadow):

1. Bobbi Brown Charcoal - is the blackest, and is insanely pigmented, and makes an awesome line when the brush is used wet.
2. Bobbi Brown Expresso - is a dark brown, and is also insanely pigmented, making for a dark line as well.
3. Bobbi Brown Smoke - is a soft blackened brown that makes a softer line.
4. MAC Soot - is a soft blue-toned charcoal that also makes a softer line.

I used to have Bobbi Brown Caviar as well. I haven't bought it again yet, but definitely will. It's a black-brown like smoke, however it's more pigmented, along the lines of Charcoal and Expresso.

And finally, a picture of the palettes I used for this entry. Taking out my palettes always makes me happy =). So, whaddya think? Are wet eyeshadow liners something you use regularly too? Any good recommendations for more MAC liner colors? (I've been looking into that, but there are so many!)

Hope you're having a great weekend! What's rest of mine will be spent working on a really important presentation. In fact, I'll probably be mostly MIA for the next couple weeks because of it. I'm sure that won't keep me away from reading your blog entries though =P. Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caramel or Clay? OPI San Tan-Tonio

Here's my only pick from OPI's Texas collection, OPI San Tan-Tonio. I passed it once, but ended up getting it in the middle of one of my ten-pans. Oops. I was drawn to the dreamy creamy coffee color. I love nude shades, so I figured a darker nude would be perfect. However this color's a little tricky. In some lights, like in the outdoor swatch below, I love how the color takes a cooler coffee tone. Perfect. And love. (Especially against the gunmetal blue background).

Here's another outdoor swatch, however you can see that things are starting to look a little more caramel here. Still love.

And unfortunately a really warm toned coffee / caramel in this indoor pic. I'm not really wild about this warm toned look, it's a little too warm and kind of looks dirty to me ... like muddy water... or other things. I'm thinking in summer when my arms are much tanner it might look better... or maybe in a different setting outside, like the beach and the sun.... it'll look fabulous. Yep.

I've compared OPI San Tan-Tonio to SOPI Going Nude Eh? (see here and here) Obviously they're really different, and OPI STT is really brown. I think a pinky-brown or a cooler brown might have been more flattering, so the jury's still out on how much I love it and I'll report back when it's warm. And sandy. And summer. Otherwise, application is great, as expected. In terms of animal testing, PETA still support's OPI's pledge to remain cruelty free, so I've decided to indulge once in a while... but really try to limit myself. I've really liked swatches of OPI's Guy meets Gal-veston though...

Well, that's it. Simple and short. Now that days are getting longer, it's really lovely to be able to see the sunset and a pink and blue sky. It just really does something good for the soul. Keeps me hoping for spring!

So, thoughts on this brown? Caramel? Muddy? Love? Hate? Meh?

Love, Dovey

Saturday, March 12, 2011

February Favorites - C is for...

can you see the sea of C's?
Sorry cookie monster, this month C is for CHANEL. (Although cookies are good too). I was so moved by their spring collection--- kind of like that gravitational shift Jacob has in Twilight (oops, did I just let on that I read that series?) I'm not really loving the summer 2011 collection, but Fall 2011 might bring out the crazy in me again. Have you seen their graphite nail polish? And the grey-gold eyeliner?

Well, here are my February Favorites. My face inspiration this month has been "fresh and bright", so you'll see the new Chanels, plus a lot of my HG products. I know this is the third time I'm featuring Bobbi Brown's palette on favorites (see January and December). Because of that I'm trying hard in March to give some other products a chance!

1. Bobbi Brown Warm Eyeshadow palette - I've been using this continuously for at least two months. Not sure why I don't have an entry devoted to this HG.
2. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate - Liquid love! Skin savior! Definitely deserving of all this alliteration! My future mother-in-law gifted me a 0.5oz bottle of this serum a while ago, and I only recently started using it. Of course skin health is multifactorial, but I think this is the reason my face tone and appearance has been really improving lately.  My breakouts/scars have been reduced and my skin is calm enough to a point where I've been happily going without foundation pretty often without feeling self-conscious. Hooked!
3. NARS blush in Orgasm - my HG blush. Looks so natural and glowing. 'Nuff said. (see "O" swatches)
4. Chanel Glossimer  in Nakkar - Really pretty strawberry pink gloss. I hate the "gloss residue" from glosses though, so I've been wearing more lipstick lately. For more Nakkar click here!
5. Bare Escentuals All over face color in Pure Radiance - This was a sample size from a Sephora 500 point perk, however the full size does exist. It's a pretty sun-kissed golden-peachy sheen that's great for minimal blush / highlighter on my warm skin. You can't layer too much without looking too shiny and silly, so it's tricky to use because it's powder form. I like it because of the minimal paraben/chemicals though.
6. Urban Decay Primer Potion Professional Size - I like this so much more than the wand form. I always thought the wand was a little unhygienic, not to mention getting the remaining stuff out is a pain. People don't like that it's hard to squeeze, however I find that the amount that comes out is just right. I only like to apply a pinhead sized amount on each lid at one time, because too much potion might cause creasing. So now my eyeshadow looks and stays better than ever! (And I'm less paranoid about having a bacteria factory).
7. Chanel Rouge Coco in Peregrina - My everyday go-to for a peachy pout. My swatches look orange-y, but it's a nice subtle peachy pink on. The formula's nice and light, although it does accentuate lines/chapped lips.
8. Chanel Rouge Allure in Coquette - A really pretty warm bright pink when I'm in the mood for more color. Chanel really gets color minutia just right.
9. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 Beige Pastel - A foundation that looks light, natural, and looks better as the day wears on. (more here).
10. EcoTools Bronzer Brush - If each person was allowed only one brush, this would be it.  It's so soft, and perfect for blush, bronzer, powder... you can read more EcoTools Bronzer brush adulation here.
11. MAC Angled Eyeliner brush - Since I recently discovered the wonders of using powdered liners wet, this has been an everyday staple. I find it's really great for winging out at the corners of my eyes. This was part of the awesome Christmas present from my little bro. I love it, however EcoTools has a great alternative on the cheap. MAC is a little more angled, has a longer edge, and is a little stiffer.

All in all, a great makeup month filled with bright naturals. Makes me want to start wearing colorful matching tweed skirtsuits and pearls. I haven't see a lot of other favorite collections on my blogroll this month, but here's some blog love for what I've seen so far: Orange to L.A.Miss Diorista. If there's any other good favorite posts out there, let me know so I can add. Do you guys have any must-tell the world faves this month? If so, spill!

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I started "watermarking" because I'm proud of my images, even though this is a small blog.  I'm using the font in my header, because I'm in love with it. Is it odd to feel so strongly about a font?

P.P.S. There's definitely going to be polish in my March 2011 favorites post. There were none this time; I kind of had a polish dry spell.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I heart CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua!

Late February I bought CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua from a Nordstrom in the burbs to replace a different foundation that just wasn't working for me. I wanted something light that wouldn't mess up my skin, so I don't have to be dependent on foundation all the time to look good. At the time, I'd given up on foundation, thinking that I just must be reactive to foundation in general. However,  after reading Beauty Look Book's foundation series, I realized that other people have the same problems, and there are foundations out there that might better for sensitive people. So, after seeing a rave review about Vitalumiere aqua, I took the jump.

I bought the color B10, Beige Pastel, which is the lightest of their yellow-toned colors. I'm really not the palest person you'd meet, however this matched the color of my neck although my face is half a shade darker. I'm a little worried as to what will happen in summer when I tan a little! The initial finish is a little matte, which is fine by me because I don't like too dewy, which can appear oily later. I have combo with an oily T-zone later in the day, however this foundation looked better as the day wore on! I'd heard that before, but now I actually believe it! I don't know if I can ever go back to other brands now. Color oxidation was also very minimal, if any. I was also amazed because my previous experiences in other foundations resulted in me feeling too yellow/orange at the end of the day. Coverage was light/medium with the amount I used. My skin looked flawless, except for the scars, which still showed through. I didn't use any powder (a first) and the foundation seemed to last the entire day. Oh, and it feels weightless. So essentially, awesome, love,  love.

I'll report later about break-out issues. So far, not much problem. I think if I leave it on from morning to night, it might cause my skin to be unhappy, but no major issues thus far. If I find I have more problems, I'll update.

The bottle is plastic, which seems less luxe, but it doesn't really bother me. It's really pretty though I wish you could see the actual color inside! All the bottles are opaque with the same color on the outside. I guess practically, it's good for the foundation, because there's no light exposure. The bottle is a squeeze bottle, like you see in the photo below. I think squeeze is mostly a good idea, however sometimes it makes me nervous. I think the foundation can get a lumpy quality in the bottle (which is ok, just shake), so it doesn't always flow easily out--- you have to squeeze. And that makes me nervous because I'm afraid with too much pressure a lot of foundation will explode out!! I think the squeeze is hygienic, but not perfect.

I only use two or three small drops to cover my entire face. A little really goes a long way. Chanel recommends application with fingers, and I really think that's for real. A brush would be horrible--- you'd get way too much product. In fact, I read a comment somewhere complaining about the foundation because it was too heavy (well--because they used a brush to apply!!)

OK, so this is definitely a two thumbs up. Pros would be weightless feeling, lack of break-outs, and looking better as the day wears on. Cons would be color selection and difficulty dispensing.

On a final note, how do you guys feel about makeup counter sales associates? I feel like it is such a mixed bag. When I bought Vitalumiere Aqua, I went to a Nordstrom that wasn't my usual downtown location. I was at a Nordstrom in the really rich burbs. I've only been there twice, but each time, I felt like the SA's were a bit snooty. Granted, the store is busy on Saturdays, but it took for. ever. for a Chanel SA to even ask if I wanted to be helped when I clearly did. I had the same problem with Bobbi Brown last time I came. The SA did do her job and swatched colors well, however the feeling I got was lukewarm. It seemed really clique-y, with them focusing on their usual clientele. (On a side note, MAC SA's were nice.) Next time, I'm sticking to downtown. I guess I'm just surprised that city SA's are nicer than the ones in the burbs!

OK, well lesson learned! On a more positive note, I'm loving yellow right now. I recently bought China Glaze's Happy-Go-Lucky, which I'd been wanting since last year. And the yellow flowers in my photos were a surprise from my fiance the other morning. Life is always happy with a lot of yellow!

On that note, hope things are happy in your neck of the woods, and thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey

Friday, March 4, 2011

a SOPI nude, sequins, and some food

This morning I wore my favorite super-soft sequined J.Crew T-shirt, and I thought  Sephora by OPI Going Nude Eh? would be the perfect soft-neutral to wear with it.

I've been painting my nails in the mornings now. I just think they just look more fresh that way, and I really hate the feeling of wearing polish for prolonged periods of time, so it's really nice to apply, then take off before I go to bed. Going Nude Eh? is a polish I wrote about a while ago. It's like a latte--- with a lot of extra milk added. Although it's a neutral, I think it's a tricky color for me to wear. In some lights (incandescent) it looks awesome and chic, however in fluorescent light, not so good. I think this may be because winter makes my skin take on unflattering pink and green tones.

When I got home, I tried adding a top coat of SOPI Only gold for me (see swatch) on top, just for fun.

And finally the deeeee-licious brunch my fiance brought for me this morning before I went to work! He worked the night shift, so he stopped by one of our favorite brunch places and brought home three different kinds of french toast. Super yum!

TGIF everyone!

Love, Dovey