Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Bobbi Brown Ultra fine eyeliner brush - a whodunit

Here's some photos for you of Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner brush, followed by a mini-mystery involving said brush.  Recently I purchased a new ultra-fine eyeliner brush for my mom at the Bobbi Brown friends and family sale to replace one she'd lost. This brush is renowned to be one of the best tools to use with gel eyeliners, including BB's own gel liner. It's soft, very small, and works quite well. My ultra-fine liner brush was actually my first makeup brush ever (incidentally gifted from mom), back when makeup was a mystery to me. I didn't really know how to take care of it, so it got pretty beaten up--- I thought you were supposed to jam the plastic protective cover back on, which lead to the permanently splayed end fibers you can see below. Despite the abuse, it's served me well, and I've used it for years now!

After getting the new brush, I thought I'd do a quick comparison review with my old brush. Overall the sizes are similar, although the new brush's head looks slightly more pointed.

While the head of the new and old brushes are largely similar, there is quite a difference when they're seen in full. My old brush is short! The short length of my old brush is partially due to the old brush style, before BB standardized handle lengths. However, if you look closely, it takes on a peculiar... chewed appearance at the end. So, whodunit?

Baby Bird, of course! She's not a big chewer, but apparently this brush had some mysterious tasty appeal. That little rascal.

I could have replaced my old brush, but I kind of like it with all the teeth marks. It's got character. Has your dog or cat gotten to anything lately?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bobbi Brown Summer 2011

It's no secret that I'm a Bobbi Brown fiend! I've been scouring the web for any sign of the Bobbi Brown Summer 2011 collection for the past few weeks, and finally hit upon something! It looks like some items are now available for sale at Nordstrom! Normally I'm not big on posting collection previews, but I was so excited I felt I had to share =).

It looks like there are three glosses in a new Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss formula. The colors (see at left) are Pink Tulle, Citrus, and Bellini. I'm not a huge fan of shimmery gloss, but I love the names, they're so evocative of the summer season!
It also looks like Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer SPF15  and Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 are also new items available in tube (not jar) form. I'm pretty sure I'm not getting these, as I've had bad reaction to Bobbi foundations before. Sad. 

I can't wait til more information on the collection and its products comes out online (or I guess I could take a trip to the Nordies and find out for myself.

On second thought, I should probably stay away from the counter since BB's friends and family sale, as well as Sephora's FF sale have taken up a chunk of my beauty budget. =P

But overall, YAY!

Love, Dovey.
P.S. Is it just me, or does the model look like she's got a slight smirk?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bobbi Brown bronzer, illuminating bronzer, and shimmerbrick

The lengthening days and warmer weather have germinated the idea that I need a sun-kissed glow. It's become a minor obsession. My light skin tans quite easily, however, I prefer to avoid tanning too much (though it's inevitable in summer despite my best SPF attempts) because I think it muddies my complexion. So what do to? Enter, makeup. In the past, I never cast a glance towards bronzers, because I don't want to be bronze! However, I've realized that light bronzers or shimmer can be used strategically to give a warm sun-kissed look. Not muddy, and not bronze.

So, here's my little arsenal of faux-sunshine goodies, all by Bobbi Brown.

Going clockwise, there's a Bobbi Brown shimmer brick, bronzing powder, and illuminating bronzing powder. Shimmer bricks are highlighters with little if any color. Bronzing powder is matte and the most pigmented. Illuminating bronzing powders are in between with pigmentation and shimmer.

Here are swatches of all three. Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Natural isn't the lightest shade available. I have it because it came in palette form with other items. I only use it for some light contouring, if anything. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Aruba is a recent purchase from the friends and family sale. It's really a really light golden color, and I think would be hard to overdo on even fairer skin tones, which makes me really happy. I tried to layer it on in the swatch, but you can see it's still quite light. I can barely see anything when I dust it all over my face, which is my goal. Not bronze or orange at all! Bobbi Brown Shimmer brick in beige is another new acquisition. There are 5 strips of color that look baked. Shimmer bricks are one of my favorite products (I had one a while ago, but threw it out when a lot of my makeup went bad due to heat). This brick provides a light golden glow, that's really subtle. It's a great highlighter that I'll use on my cheekbones. For an extra kick of highlight on my cheeks or brows, I've found that using the top bar of color (white gold) is nice alone as well. Supposedly the brick can multitask as eyeshadow, however I haven't tried this yet; I'm not a fan of to much sheen on my eyes!

I haven't had these products for too long, but I think they fit the bill! I'll get a very subtle, slight golden glow from them, that doesn't appear to frosty, pigmented or overdone. I think if you're a BB fan, or a fan of really natural appearing products, these are great choices. The color range offered is so much better than the one-color-fits-all philosophy some other brands.

And of course, I love the packaging too. Sleek and black is  the way to go.

Overall I'm really pleased, and excited to put these to use. Of course, I'm a big Bobbi Brown fan, so this shouldn't be too surprising. I purchased a few more items from the BB friends and family event, so I'll be posting on them in the coming weeks.

In terms of life, my Monday was a looong day at work. Here's to hoping the weekend comes soon!

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Donuts, in Hi-Def

Sunday brunch is really one of best times in the week.

I was out all day yesterday with friends, and woke up at 11am. Yikes. In fact, I would have slept longer, but Baby Bird (my poodle) started sitting on my head, subtly indicating it was time for her morning walk. Afterwards, I got a call from my not-lazy-like-me fiance asking me what I wanted for brunch. And I thought... donuts! I haven't had donuts in months, but lately I've really been craving those cute, sweet, unhealthy foods like donuts, cupcakes, cake....

So, I thought I'd share pictures of these deep fried goodies... (pictures are lo-cal after all). First up, is the chocolate sprinkle donut. All the sprinkles are on one side, as if they'd been pulled over by some magnetic force. While this donut might be the most photogenic, it's packs the least punch on taste. And the crunchiness of the sprinkles is a little much.

Next is french cruller. It's so light and airy inside--- full of big holes. I really loved the texture.

Third, classic glazed. Can't go wrong with this one.

And the lot. There was also a blueberry cake and jelly donut that I tried.

So all in all I had about three donuts this morning. Thought it'd be fun to take a quick break from makeup posts and put my camera to new use =P.  So, thoughts on donuts? Favorite kind? Krispy Kreme or Dunkin? (I'm usually a Dunkin kind of gal myself...)

Finally, I have a picture of the other, healthier half of brunch, in case you've undergone calorie overload after seeing enormous donuts on screen: some veggies getting ready for an omelette!

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

March Favorites - minimalist me

In like a lion, out like a lamb. March was intense at work, building up to a finale that wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated. Because of the general "busy" state of things, there wasn't much going on in the makeup department. Usually I'd just throw on mascara, some gloss and head out the door. It was really nice actually; sometimes simple is good. Unlike last month, this month was pretty nail polish full. Manis and pedis are relaxing, colorful, and low maintenance!

1. China Glaze Zombie Zest- A completely gross name, but a good polish. It's an olive-gold sparkle that's really flattering on my warm skin tone  (swatches here) 
2. OPI San Tan-Tonio- A buttery smooth tan that is comfortable nudish neutral. I loved this as both mani and pedis (swatches here)
3. Sephora by OPI Fiercely Fabulous- A fire-y warm red. I like this on my toes to perk me up (swatches here)
4. NARS Orgasm- My HG blush. It gives me the perfect sheer natural flush. (seen here)
5. OPI Not Like the Movies- A complex grey with pink and green sheen. (swatches here)
6. Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara- A mini size that came in a Bare Escentuals Eye Kit. This mascara is surprisingly great. It delivers both volume and length to my lashes, and they keep their curl as well. If I didn't have such a large mascara stash, I'd definitely consider repurchasing, since the price is a little lower than other high end mascaras (and no parabens, I think). There was a lot of product in the tube, even though it was a mini. I've been using it heavily for over a month and there's still product left!
7. Urban Decay Primer Potion- This stuff is just necessary for oily lids. Tube form is great.
8. Bobbi Brown Cool Eyeshadow Palette- I switched things up, and instead of my warm palette, I've been using the cool palette. I found that layering Flint (the cool taupe color) along with Rockstar (the light silver) looks really pretty. I usually don't layer colors, but I might experiment with that more.  (more pictures here)

The warmer weather has me craving the sunkissed look, so I ordered myself a shimmery bronzer. I've never bought bronzer before because I'm one of few who'd rather not look more tan.... and generally the purpose of bronzer is to look more tan. I'm hoping to use it to highlight, rather than darken my complexion! I also have a matte bronzer (unused by mom, bestowed to me) that I'll try contouring with. Contouring is a pretty alien concept to me, so we'll see how that goes. Good suggestions are desperately needed!! =)

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone's week is chugging along well...  I think I need a few more zzzZs already.

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Juicy + bright polish for summer

Today's such a nice balmy day in the city, I can't help but feel more optimistic. This weekend was a largely work-free weekend, so yesterday I spent downtown shopping for a bachelorette party gift, shopping the sales for myself (hehe), and met up with some friends for Indian food. By the way, shopping for bachelorette gifts drove me nuts. I went to store, after store (including two different Victoria's Secrets) and could not choose anything! I think I have an aversion to scratchy mesh polyester textures, which kind of nixes most choices. So, I ended up picking some aptly named goodies from LUSH instead. I can always count on LUSH =). 

On to nail polish...

Summer, to me, is prime polish season. I can actually see the colors on my tips and toes because they're no longer jammed into mittens or boots! Lately I find myself reaching for really juicy and bright colors in my stash. And then I realized I only have four colors that really fall into that category: OPI Guy meets Gal-veston, SOPI Hi-Def, SOPI Arm Candy, and ORLY Lola. (I actually have few more, but they're older L'Oreals that I usually avoid showing on the blog for cruelty-free purposes).

Here are one-finger swatches of each, at two coats per finger. My love for brights has become tantamount to an obsession. After purchasing OPI Guy meets Gal-veston, I've been wearing it non-stop for the past week. I just can't stop looking at my nails. I'm planning on getting my paws on a few more OPI "sorbets" to add to my bright collection.

I'm not sure if brights are a fad every year around this time, or it's this year in particular. I've seen swatches of OPI's Touring America collection online, and there are three shimmery brights that look fantastic. Anyone else loving juicy colors now?

Love, your rehabbed neutral addict, Dovey

P.S. I picked up a pair of light grey Cole Haan ballet flats from Nordstrom Rack, that pair so well with these colors. The selection at Rack was quite nice this time--- worth a look if you're on the hunt for spring or summer shoes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's in my makeup bag?

Here's a quick mid-week snapshot of what I've been toting around recently. I try to keep my makeup bag light so I'm not breaking my back over my face! Usually I just switch out lip stuff to whatever I'm using that day.

1. Tokidoki Nail File - I bought this in a pack of three. Each one has a different pattern, but I really liked the pink and blue graphics on this one and "Diamante" the little angry diamond on it. There's a nice little plastic case to keep the sandpaper from scratching everything else in my bag! This nail file will last forever, because I rarely use them to shape my nails. It's just there in lieu of nail clippers, since I'm OCD about keeping my nails short!

2. Pacifica Blood Orange Body Butter - I love the raspberry-orange smell of this creme. In fact, almost everyone loves it! The texture is nice too, and no parabens.

3. Chanel Nakkar Glossimer - I've been in the mood for bright juicy colors. So I've been toting around this gloss, even though I hate residues glosses leave behind. Nakkar is a really pretty strawberry pink  (see more Nakkar here)

4. Shiseido Blotting Paper - Shiseido is a bad bad bad animal tester that I don't buy from normally. However, my mom got me these from Marshall's, so I don't feel so bad, since cosmetics that end up there are things that no-one wants, and profit margins for the original department store that purchased it is probably quite low. I rarely use these because a tissue usually does the trick, so it's been in my makeup bag for months.

5. Burt's Bees Pomegranate Replenishing Lip balm - one of my many Burt's lip balms. This one is really soothing and replenishing (like the name) to my lips if they're feeling flaky or dry from lip gloss residue. It's a tad oilier and less waxy than the original mint Burt's bees, as well as the Honey balm, which is why it feels better going on. I think it's a bit oily to be ideal to put under a lip product though; I'd recommend original instead. There's also a slight mauve tint, which is nice.

6. Burt's bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - Smells great and citrusy. I don't use it often, but the tin is light and easy to carry around. The consistency is pretty waxy/thick so I think it'll stay good longer than a lot of  cremes. I keep it around in case I don't have room to carry around heavier tubes of lotion.

Overall, I've been a bit confused about my makeup lately; I've been experimenting with different neutral eyes and different lips. It's mostly been a slightly more smoked eye rather than the "bright" look I've been wearing for spring. And, I've been craving new lighter lippies lately. I think we've reached the "in-between" point for spring-summer makeup. Maybe it's time to splurge on a tube of the new Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color I've been eying for a while now. Otherwise, life is really good.  I can't believe it's only Tuesday! Hope the week's treating you well so far!

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April showers... Bobbi Brown, OPI, and other goodies

After a bit of a dry spell, I've accumulated a few goodies this weekend from OPI, Bobbi Brown, LOFT, and... Costco. As my first "presentation-free" weekend in a while, I went out to brunch with some friends, and then took a turn around the city. Although I love going out to stores to try new things, I'm the antithesis of an impulse shopper. Everything I buy, especially makeup, is something I've mulled over for weeks. This week I finally made it to the "buy" stage, so I'm pretty excited to share my haul.

1. Bobbi Brown Dress for Success Set - a really incredible gift from my mom, who knows how obsessed I am with Bobbi products. It's a Macy's exclusive, and all the proceeds are donated to the charity "Dress for Success" which empowers women by providing support, training, and clothing so that they can become self-supporting. This set must be flying off the shelves, because it's no longer available online. If you're interested I would check in-store.

2. Kirkland by Borghese Age-defying Protective Moisturizing Lotion SPF15 - Picked this up at Costco for $13 because I ran out of all my sample sized SPF lotions. Normally I avoid most drugstore / cheaper brands (like Olay, Aveeno) at Costco because their companies or parents companies are all animal-testing guilty. However, I didn't really want to shell out $50 for a dept. store brand SPF day lotion, so I picked up the Borghese lotion. They're not PETA approved, however the back of the packaging claims "Product not tested on animals" and there's little other info out there, so I'm trusting what I see for now. According to the package, key ingredients include Rice Bran Protein, Mineral Salts, and Sea Salts. That sounds nice, but I'll see if it agrees with my sensitive skin and review it later.

3. OPI Guy meets Gal-Veston - After seeing this on Short N Chic , I started lemming this polish. I like my nail polish to be sheer and shiny, but I also like bright colors. This polish is all those rolled into one! I now have  a need for jellies (or sorbets shall I say--- ha). Must. Get. More. OPI Big hair, big nails was my top choice, but apparently it was everyone else's favorite too. Ulta was clean out of that color only. Fortunately, there's always Amazon!

 Well, that just about wraps things up. In terms of life, my presentation went better than I expected, although there are still loose ends I need to tie up this weekend. Work was pretty intense the last couple weeks, however a few things got me through, including coffee (duh), flowers from the fiance, and taking quick breaks here and there to read everyone's blog posts. So thanks to all you bloggers for brightening my days =). 

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Can you believe there's still sporadic snow? It's April! As in month of  rain showers and flowers!!  I just bought a planter box that I'm going to fill with yummy greens this summer, but it looks like I shouldn't start planting anytime soon.