Saturday, September 24, 2011

Little luxuries for stress relief

           I should be tooling away on my project, but I have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to photographs. I decided to oblige myself with a couple of camera phone pics. Today I'm sharing some of the products that give me some stress relief. When I'm busy, I gravitate towards bath and body products with scents, textures, and fragrances. These little luxuries for the senses are more keenly appreciated during these times.

Some of the things I've been reaching for are:

1. Dior Addict 2 - This is my most used fragrance. It's a strong feminine, floral, sweet, and very optimistic scent. It's young, but I think it still represents my personality quite well.
2. DKNY Be Delicious - I've spritzed this once in a while since it's apple season. It's more of a simple fruity tomboy type scent. Not my usual MO, but it's good to mix things up.
3. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser - I rediscovered this from my skincare stash. It's a very gentle cleanser with a lot of slip and a clean cucumber scent. The slip allows me to massage my face longer without tugging. I really like the scent too. This cleanser is not a heavy duty cleanser though! I only use it after my makeup has been completely removed or in the mornings.
4. LUSH Tea Tree Water - This is an astringent spray with tea tree and juniper. I'm not sure how effective its blemish fighting capacity is, however the smell and feeling is relaxing. A spritz on my face is a nice picker-upper while I'm working.
5. LUSH Ocean Salt - I love this salt and lime scrub. It's clarifying, and massaging. I love it.
6. Shu eyelash curler - I'm obsessed with my lashes. No matter what, I need to curl them and apply tons of mascara. Then I feel ready to tackle whatever comes my way!

          Thanks for reading! I've got to get back work, but I'll check back to see if there are comments =). Do you go scent and spa crazy during tough times too? I'm fascinated to know what scents people like. It says so much about their personality. I'm obviously a pink bottle type girl. Mr. Lovey is a woodsy type guy. What about you?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preview: MAC Hocus Pocus and Parisian Skies eyeshadows

          At work, things are about to hit the fan, so to speak. However, before that happens, I wanted to share pictures of my MAC Bloggers Collection picks: MAC Hocus Pocus eyeshadow and MAC Parisian Skies eyeshadow. I will try to post more detailed swatches, reviews, pictures, or ideas of each eyeshadow when I have more time. In summary, they are both gorgeous colors. MAC Hocus Pocus is a sooty warm grey color that makes for the easiest smoky eye ever. The hint of brown makes the color more wearable than cooler greys. It is a veluxe pearl finish. You don't even need to add a second color to blend it out. It looks great on its own. MAC Parisian skies is a greyed blue satin finish eyeshadow. This is definitely not an 80's type blue eyeshadow. The weathered color makes it so chic. I've worn this more than Hocus Pocus, if you can believe it. MAC Parisian Skies has a subtle smoky blue finish which really brings out my brown eyes.

          For these pictures, I imagined a brief vignette. Above, you can see the shadows resemble a pair of goggles. Since we're talking about the MAC Blogger's collection, we'll call them bloggles. So, put on your bloggles!

Bloggles on. The world starts to turn....

And then things really start to get psychadelic!

          As you can see I was in a silly mood. Thanks for taking a quick MAC's Blogger's collection trip with me! Each color is done so well. I highly recommend them if you've been on the fence. I just checked, and they're still available online.

          In other news, I think a black cloud has been following me this week. To give you an idea: I've been walking around with a neck support collar because I strained a muscle in my upper spine. It's not a serious injury, but it's painful! I hope this means my luck will turn around next week. Here's to hoping! Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

MAC Moleskin eyeshadow review

          MAC Moleskin eyeshadow was released as a part of the enormous 2011 MAC Me Over collection. It's probably as understated as you can get for an eyeshadow.  Despite this, it was the standout for me in the MAC Me Over collection. After seeing promo photos and swatches on Getting Cheeky, I succumbed to the temptation and purchased MAC Moleskin. I certainly do not regret it!

         MAC Moleskin eyeshadow is a light cafe au lait color with nude pink tones. The pink tones really appeal to me. I think they look more natural against my skin than a pure tan or brown, which can look muddy. I've used Moleskin every day since I've gotten it. I've been favoring a more natural eye lately, and this is the perfect crease color. It adds just a little depth and is subtle so that no-one would ever guess I even have a color in my crease. Prior to this, I would blend Urban Decay's Buck and Naked together for the same effect. Buck was a little too dark while Naked was too light. You can see comparison swatches further down in my review. Moleskin also makes a good blending color. I prefer to use lighter tans, instead of browns, to blend out harsh colors, so it fits the bill. The pigmentation and texture are also great. Often many matte neutral eyeshadows have a chalky feel, however this is not the case with Moleskin. I felt the quality was similar to my Bobbi Brown mattes, which is quite a compliment.

          I had to include photos with Moleskine notebooks. I admit that part of MAC Moleskin's appeal to me is in its name! Mr Lovey and I have a bunch of Moleskine notebooks littered around our apartment. My favorite is my Snoopy Moleskine.

          Finally, I have comparison swatches of other tan-toned matte neutral shadows to compare with MAC Moleskin. I was sure I would have a near duplicate of Moleskin somewhere in my collection, however I was wrong. I thought the pinky tones of Bobbi Brown Malted would make it identical to Moleskin, however you can see that it is much much lighter. As I mentioned above, Urban Decay Naked is lighter, while Urban Decay Buck is darker. Neither are as pink toned. Bobbi Brown Oat is the most similar shade, however it is more yellow-toned. Bobbi Brown Taupe is darker and browner than Moleskin.

MAC Moleskin, Urban Decay Naked, Urban Decay Buck , Bobbi Brown Malted, Bobbi Brown Oat, and Bobbi Brown Taupe eyeshadow swatches
         I hope you enjoyed my review of MAC Moleskin eyeshadow. It's a very basic color that is great for everyday use. If hints of pink in eyeshadow flatter you as well, this is must-have. Did any of you pick up Moleskin as well? Or do you already have the perfect neutral? On another note, is anyone going to try any of the pro longwear eyeshadows in the upcoming collections? Some of the colors look quite nice.

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Sitting in the sun and blogging on a cool breezy day reminds me how wonderful fall weather is. Hope you're enjoying the current climate as well =)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Bobbi Brown brush collection


         Here's a couple of quick pictures of my Bobbi Brown brush collection. These brushes are the foundation of my makeup application routine. The first brush I ever owned was the Bobbi Brown ultra fine eyeliner brush. The rest burgeoned once I started getting into makeup. I love the combination natural wood handles with the modern jet black ferrules. Something cute and helpful is that each brush has its name / function printed on it.

          My favorite Bobbi Brown brushes include the eyeshadow brush, the eye shader brush, the ultra-fine liner brush, and the face blender brush. The eyeshadow brush is soft and fluffy and perfect for picking up highly pigmented shadows like Bobbi's. The eye shader brush is a large flat topped brush that is perfect for brushing a base color all over my lid, which is the Bobbi Brown technique. The ultra-fine liner brush is beloved by many. It's great for drawing a smooth gel liner line. It's the last brush in the photo below. You can tell the wood is oxidized from old age. It also has doggie teeth marks, thanks to Baby Bird. The face blender brush is a multi-tasker. It was great when my brush collection was a smaller size. It has a fluffy and soft rounded head. I've used it for blush, highlighter, bronzer, and powder. It's good for diffuse application.

         My other brushes include the foundation brush, the lip brush, the eyebrow brush, the cream eyeshadow brush, the concealer brush and the eyeliner (synthetic) brush. The one brush I don't like is the lip brush. The brush has a black cover that doubles as the end of the brush. That way, you can throw it your makeup bag and keep things safe and clean. At the same time you get a full length brush when necessary. The idea is nice, but the fit of the cover is loose on the brush, so I'm worried it's going to fall off at any moment. Most of the brushes have natural fibers. The only synthetic brushes are the eyeliner brush and the foundation brush. I love this collection and many of these brushes daily. Sadly, I won't be adding more Bobbi Brown brushes to my set since I'm trying to buy cruelty-free synthetics these days. However, you can bet that if there's a new synthetic BB brush, I'll be sure to scoop it up!

          Thanks for taking a peek at my Bobbi Brown brush collection. They're a glimpse into my makeup history. Bobbi Brown was my first real makeup love. Before I discovered NARS, I was a Bobbi devotee. Bobbi's Makeup Manual was my only makeup study guide until I found blogs in the world wide web =). Do you build your brush collection around one brand as well? How did you get your start in makeup? I'm wondering if there are any beauty bookworms like me out there!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Makeup Minis

          As I mentioned in my first edition of makeup minis, I have so many makeup and cosmetic samples that need to be used. I constantly have a small collection of them on my makeup tray and stashed in other places, including my fridge! I certainly don't need a subscription service to samples, as I'm already swimming in them. Sampling can be fun because there are hits and misses. Here are my sample reviews in order from best to worst.


1. Burt's Bees Banana and Beeswax Hand Creme -  To be fair, Burt's Bees jar hand cremes are at HG status for me. The consistency is waxy and a little oily. It doesn't vanish as well as normal hand lotions. The moisturizing and healing capacity is amazing. In the winter, this is the only thing that can heal my painfully chapped hands.  My favorite formula is actually Almond Milk, but the Banana and Beeswax is nice too.

2. NARS Smudge proof eyeshadow base - I love this shadow base! It holds shadows and liner slightly better than Urban Decay Primer potion. The color is clear when applied. I've used up most of this sample, but I keep scraping with the wand hoping for more. I'm not sure if I will splurge on this in the future, although it is my favorite shadow base. The opaque bottle makes it hard to see how much is left and I don't like the un-hygienic wand. Because the bottle would be finished more quickly, I think it would become an expensive habit.

3. Smashbox Photo Finish lid primer - This is also a great shadow base. I'm surprised, since I haven't heard much about this before. I would say the eyeshadow and liner holding capacity is great. There is a color to the base that is more prominent than UDPP. It's almost concealer-like. I like how it covers up some of the vessels / imperfections in my lid. The color looks fine on my skin, but I think it might look odd on paler or darker skin tones. Again, I don't like the wand.

4. Benefit Ring my Bella fragrance - This is a fruity smell. It reminds me of Bath and Body Works' Sun Ripened Raspberry. I like raspberry, but I'm not that impressed, considering this is supposed to be a more expensive scent. The scent also seems rather synthetic.

5. Smashbox Lash DNA mascara - Can I count the number of ways I dislike this mascara? First, let's start with the pseudo-science-y name. I'm not sure what they were going for with "Lash DNA." Lashes don't even have DNA. Second, the barrel is impossibly large (see photo above).  Either you poke yourself in the eye, or end up applying to the tips. Third, the formula clumps. It's very volumizing, but incredibly clumpy. I've tried layering this on top of another mascara to add a little volume. It works, but adds too many clumps. I was glad to find it's been discontinued. 

         That ends this episode of Makeup Minis. Are there any mini hits or misses you've experienced lately? Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

America's pastime

          Tonight I did something out of the ordinary for me. I went to a baseball game on a Monday night! Thanks to free tickets from a thoughtful co-worker, I was able to enjoy the balmy weather atop the stadium. A full moon was out, and it was really nice night. I'm not much of a baseball fan, but somehow I've managed to attend three games this season. If you're not a beer drinker (or margarita drinker, as I saw margarita tanks being backpacked around the stadium) like me, things can get a little boring. However, there is something nice and nostalgic about sitting lazily in a stadium chair, enjoying the breeze, and watching the game go by.

          The few pictures I'm sharing were snapped with my HTC phone. I love the spontaneous feel of cell phone pictures. I don't know who the mother and son below are, but I thought they captured the essence of America's pastime as a family event.

          Thanks for taking a peek into my Monday night!

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MAC 211 pointed liner brush review

MAC 211 pointed eyeliner brush
          The first makeup brush I ever owned was an eyeliner brush. When I placed my first MAC online order last week, it seemed fitting that my first MAC brush purchase should be an eyeliner brush: the MAC 211 pointed liner brush.

         The MAC 211 pointed liner brush is listed as a part of the current MAC Me Over collection. It's a very small brush that is used for lining the eyes. I bought it for use with gel liner, although I'm sure it would be useful for a wet powder liner as well. The bristles are cruelty-free synthetic fibers. This is a big plus for me, as I try not to buy fur brushes. The bristles are arranged into a precise point, as you can see in my photos. The shape of the brush is quite firm, though it does have a little bend. According to the sleeve, this brush was made in the USA.

        So far I love my MAC 211. It holds its shape well and can draw an incredibly precise line. My previous go-to gel liner brush was Bobbi Brown's ultra-fine eyeliner, which is also a wonderful brush. The Bobbi Brown ultra fine eyeliner brush is a tiny flat brush so it is able to hold more liner and draw one continuous fluid line. However, it's not ideal for a precise wing, or lining underneath the eyes. The MAC 211 fills the gap I was looking for. It can draw a really thin line, so it's great for drawing a lash-like wing at the end of the eye. It's also great for using gel liner to line the lower lash line. The downside is that it can't hold as much product as my BB brush. I have to dip the brush a few times in the liner to completely line my eye. I have to use short strokes and sometimes layer if the line wasn't drawn thickly enough. However, this to be expected with a precise brush. You don't want it to pick up too much liner! Overall, this is a great brush, and I'm very happy to have this in my collection.

         Here's the MAC 211 pointed liner brush next to my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in black ink. You can see that it's a very small brush. You can also see that I love my gel liner! I haven't tried any MAC fluidlines yet, but I hope to do so soon.

          I hope you enjoyed the photos and review of my newest brush, the MAC 211 pointed liner. I'm excited to have it, and have been using it every day. It's my 3rd MAC brush. (The other two were gifts). I'm pleased with the quality of all my MAC brushes and hope to add more in the future. In fact, I've been exploring MAC quite a bit lately. It's still a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of products and finishes. I took the plunge and bought some permanent collection eyeshadows, as well as MAC Moleskin eyeshadow from the MAC Me Over collection. Hopefully I'll time to share some photos in the near future.

          Thanks for reading! What are your must-have MAC brushes?

Love, Dovey.

Monday, September 5, 2011

August Favorites

        August was a bare bones type makeup month for me. I didn't find much color inspiration and reached for the same things over and over again. As you can see in the photo above, I'm starting to make a dent in my NARS Grand Palais palette. The silver taupe has become the base color for most eye looks I do lately.

        My focus this month has been on eyeliner and mascara. I love the lasting power of my NARS Larger Than Life eyeliners. I also rediscovered an appreciation for my Bobbi Brown Gel liners. My experience with mascara has been lukewarm. I opened three tubes this month because I was disappointed with the results from the first two samples (Laura Mercier and Smashbox). I've been reasonably satisfied with an Estee Lauder primer and mascara sample so far. The poor mascara performance this month surprised me because many of my past mascaras have been great. This inspired me to search out and try new mascaras in the future.

My August Favorites:
1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Ceylan
2. NARS Coconut Grove eyeshadow single
3. NARS Grand Palais eyeshadow duo
4. Bobbi Brown Expresso Ink Gel eyeliner - draws a perfect line.
5. NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Madison Ave.
6. NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Via Veneto
7. NARS Smudgeproof eyeshadow base - my new favorite eyeshadow base
8. Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Blondie Pink - a natural light nude pink.

August Favorites on my blogroll this month:
The Former Girl at Bar -Lexi and I are both on the hunt for the perfect mascara this month!
Steal My Heart Lovee has some serious MAC Semiprecious MSF eye candy.
Ebrushka's Makeup Bag has a beautiful selection, including her go-to MAC palette.
Raspberry Rouge has pretty peachy coral Chanels.
Beauty Vigilante 's first favorite post ever!
Kelly's Makeup Bag has the pretty MAC Dashing Lassies palette.

       Thanks for reading my August Favorites post! I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Labor Day weekend by taking a nap and getting back to work. Hope everyone had a great weekend =)

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A crazy September state of mind

        Happy September 1st! I'm writing a brief update to let you know about potential changes to Cute and Mundane this coming month. September is going to be an incredibly busy month for me. I have to wrap up a project and prepare for evaluation. It's going to be all sorts of crazy. My brain waves will probably resemble what's going on it that photo above. Because of that, my posting, commenting, and activity will likely decrease during the month of September. I'll try to post once a week and to keep up with the blogosphere the best I can. I might not be able to comment as often, but I still do care a lot!

       On a more positive note, August was a great month for Cute and Mundane. Less importantly, my numbers increased by proportions that I never dreamed would happen. More importantly, I met new blogging buddies that are a constant source of fun, support, and inspiration. Thank you for helping this fledgling blog take flight! Finally, a huge thank you to all my readers. It is so exciting to know that individual people out there actually take precious time from their day to stop by my blog. It really wouldn't be the same without you!

Looking forward to October,

Love, Dovey.