Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Window shopping

          Last week I took a stroll around the mall with my mother. I'd already satiated my shopping desires through purchases earlier in the week so it ended up being more of a window shopping trip. I thought I'd share some phone pics that I snapped up of pretty things that caught my eye.

Above: I didn't know Chanel made plastic flip flops, but I guess why not?
Below: I admired the lamps at this cushy Chanel counter (amongst other things). 


 I passed by a Mackenzie-Childs display where this colorful floral explosion of a sofa caught my eye.

          I made sure to sniff some Jo Malone testers. I've been wanting to try one after seeing them on Lil Lady's Life and Beauty Look Book. I liked Grapefruit and Nectarine and Honey. French Lime blossom was nice, but a bit too floral for me (I lack the correct specific descriptors). Vanilla and Anise had nice notes of vanilla, but was a bit too spicy. I think it might be nice to layer it in very small quantities. I would have tried more had I had the chance to sniff in peace, however I was intimidated by looming sales associates and scurried away!

There was a whole table devoted to Chanel fragrances.

There were many pretty jeweled partridges in golden trees.

 I was sucked in by the shine, glass, and color of the Tory Burch storefront.

The over-sized metal sparkles in the Burberry window were quite festive.

I love the minimalist aesethetic of Max Mara. So much space, so few coats.

My favorite find was an embedded pocket display at the Cole Haan store. I love the crystalline gold and silver flats paired with the leopard bag. Wouldn't they look nice paired with one of the above coats? Speaking of which, I found a nice leopard bag for myself recently, which I'm excited about.

          Thanks for reading! What displays catch your eye?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Odds and ends

         I hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving last week! It's been a couple weeks, but the prodigal blogger has returned. I had a wonderful thanksgiving with family. I stuffed myself as if I was preparing for hibernation. I'm still thinking about a certain mini pecan pie... I also attended the beautiful wedding of a good friend who I hadn't seen in a long time.

          When I traveled out of town I thought it would be easy to rely on my family's camera and laptop. I brought only an iPad to keep up with blogger. However, I found that straying outside my usual setup and location threw me off. I'm definitely a creature of habit. For the same reason, I normally travel with a caravan's worth of goods. The phone pictures in this entry were taken while I was packing to leave. Normally I will pile all my makeup and jewelry together before organizing them neatly into pouches and bags. Some of the items featured include NARS Sheer Glow in Deauville, a red necklace made by my mother, NARS Mandchourie eyeshadow duo, CHANEL Graphite nail polish, LUSH It's Raining Men shower gel, and a MAKE UP FOR EVER Kabuki brush, amongst many other things. The little sample containers in the last picture are samples of foundation I made for my mom.

         It's good to be back. I'm working on getting back into my usual routine, which should include blogging! I have a tube of MAC Creme D'Nude lipstick from fellow blogger Kelly of Kelly's Makeup Bag that waiting to be photographed. In the meantime, some current obsessions include:

The Revlon lip butters at don't call me Jessie
MAC Iris Apfel promo photos on Glitter.Gloss.Garbage
Dior Silver Lake nail polish at Makeup Magpie
Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque on Getting Cheeky
The auction - there are a number of bid-worthy items catching my eye!

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ponyo's Sephora F&F and VIB haul

          Today I'm excited to share the first guest post on Cute and Mundane! My good friend Ponyo has sportingly agreed to be a beauty blogger for a day. Ponyo is a long time friend of mine, but only a recent makeup addict. We both share a love for NARS and Sephora by OPI, however you may notice that our color palettes are a bit different. Ponyo is able to wear brightening, shimmery, feminine colors, while I tend towards my moody stormy tones. (It is worth noting that Ponyo is the Queen of Cute).  Isn't it fascinating how personality can manifest in color? Today Ponyo is sharing her recent haul from the Sephora Friends and Family and VIB sales. Enjoy!
Love, Dovey.
"1. Nail Polish: I went a little SOPI crazy during the VIB event this year! I brought a friend, and she pointed out the nail pens which were hidden on the other side of the store, away from the big display of SOPI nail polishes.  Normally I'm a big fan of the shimmery nail polishes, but I envisioned using the white nail pen on solid colors and thought it'd be really cute.  So I picked up the white pen and went on the hunt for a light pink (I ended up choosing Sephora by OPI  True Romantic - I liked the way it looked with my skin tone more than Dear Diary). While I was there, I was also intrigued by all of the glittery new colors - I put Sephora by OPI Chest-Nuts About You on one of my nails and both my friend and I fell in love - and each had to get a bottle!  Then I rounded out my collection with SOPI strengthener, a top coat (the one I had at home was old and getting gross), nail polish remover (mine was also running out so I thought I'd try SOPI's), and the Quick Dry Spray.  P.S. The nail pen didn't work so well for me - it was so difficult to get the color to actually come out.  I actually punctured through some of my nail polish the first few times I tried and had to redo everything.  I exchanged it for another pen to see if I'll have more success; I'll keep my fingers crossed.  The pen's design may just be flawed though, as the reviews on Sephora's website are similar to my experience. :(

3. Eyeshadow: I've been eyeing NARS eyeshadow for a long time, ever since I went a NARS national artist event this past summer and the makeup artist did an awesome smoky eye on me.  She used NARS Coconut Grove, which looked super dark on my eye.  I've been thinking about buying it ever since then.  So, I took advantage of the discount and picked up the Coconut Grove!  I also got a Duo Eyeshadow - I have been craving one of these as well, but there were always SO many beautiful pairs that I couldn't choose.  I finally settled on NARS eyshadow duo in Alhambra, because I wanted some colors that I could use for a daily natural look.  The colors are really beautiful.  Currently, I like the left side (metallic rose mist) more than the right side (golden champagne); the golden champagne isn't as complimentary to my skin tone as the rose is.

4. Brushes: I knew I wanted to get a new gel eyeliner (I chose Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink after Dovey recommended it), and I also wanted to get a good brush to go along with it.  I've had success with Sephora Professional brushes in the past so I picked up their gel eyeliner brush.  It works fantastically.  (As does the eyeliner - I absolutely LOVE it!)  I also picked up a few Sephora Pro brushes for eyeshadow (Medium Eyeshadow Brush #14 and Smudge Brush #11).

5. Bliss: I have been obsessed with Bliss lotion for a few years now, so every time there's a sale, I try to stock up on it.  Lemon + Sage has always been my favorite, although my friend recently gave me a small tube of the high intensity hand cream with macadamia oil + grapeseed extract - and I really like that one too!  It's a perfect size to carry in my purse.  So I picked up a Lemon + Sage tube, and a cute 'winter wonder-hands' pack to hopefully keep my hands moisturized this winter!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In my makeup bag

         This Monday morning, I had quite the shock. Somehow I my alarm clock didn't wake me. (I suspect I accidentally pressed off). I woke up in the nick of time, took Baby Bird (the dog) out, fed her, and rushed to work like a madwoman. I literally threw my contacts and a tube of mascara in my bag and ran out the door. I thought I would be fine without makeup for one day, but I realized I looked pretty crazy when I looked in the mirror. Not to mention, I think the fluorescent light didn't do me any favors. At this point, I realized my carry-along cosmetic bag was not prepared for 'emergency' situations. Today I made do with a little lipstick, eyeliner (without primer, which of course creased) and mascara. For my eyebrows I made really, really light dots with my mini MUFE black eyeliner and sheered it out. Black is not natural, but it looked a lot better than nothing!  The whole look looked a lot better than no makeup, however foundation and eyeshadow were much needed. On the positive side, this experience inspired me to share what can be found in my carry-along makeup bag.

          Despite the aforementioned product deficiencies, I'm quite pleased with the lip product selection that's found it's way into my bag. The tone selection is quite balanced, so I'm usually in the mood for something in my bag. You can see that Bobbi Brown Beige lipstick, MAC Shy Girl lipstick (Cremesheen), and MAC Blankety lipstick (Amplified) cover nude, peachy, and pink tones respectively. They're all quite pale colors, but this is what I wear most of the time. I should probably throw a lip scrub into this bag since I have drying issues with MAC Shy Girl. I'm glad that I've been using MAC Blankety lately. When I first got it this summer, I couldn't make it work and even contemplated returning it. It's a pale beige-pink. The beige is a little cool, so it's not as easy to wear as typical warm beiges. I think it will easier to wear as I become fairer during the winter. Blankety is definitely a try-before-you-buy color. I also have BUXOM Big and healthy lip stick in Sydney, which I got as a part of a 500 point perk. I'm actually quite in love with it. It's a twist-up lip crayon that can be used as a lip color or a liner. It's fatter than lip pencils, so it can quickly fill in lips. It has the Buxom minty feel and vanilla smell, which I love. I use this a lot under MAC Blankety or under my NARS Greek Holiday lip gloss.

          Lately I've been stuffing all my carry-along cosmetics into the futuristic silver bag from my MAC ICe Parade set.  There are a couple more things hanging out in my pouch, including a mini brush, hair ties, and blotting sheets (that I never use). Today I switched to a larger pouch, so I can acommodate a larger hand lotion and some more 'emergency' products. At the very least, I need to pump a foundation into a little sample container and tote it around from now on. Lesson learned!

        Thanks for reading! Is your cosmetic bag prepared for makeup emergencies? How many lip products are you toting around?

Love, Dovey.

MAC Ice Parade Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag (Holiday 2011)

          MAC has unleashed a parade of frosty, glittery, and icy goodies for Holiday 2011.After a brief beauty brain freeze, I decided upon MAC Ice Parade Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag as the one kit I had to have. I fell in love with the eyeshadow duo of  silver lilac and darkened teal with copper shimmer. I also liked how the components of the set were mostly full sized, and not in limited edition packaging. The Silver Delights Eye Bag included the Silverwear / Blue Spruce eyeshadow duo, a Full size Zoom Fast mascara, a Full-size Technakohl eyeliner in GraphBlack, a MAC 275SE angled eyeshadow brush, and a futuristic silver cosmetics pouch.

          The cosmetics pouch is a reflective silver. The circle on the front is just decorative, and non-functional. The zipper pull is a long clear plastic rod with sparkles. It's not huge, but it holds the few products I like to tote around with me during the day.

           I'm actually quite pleased with all the components of the set. The MAC 275SE is a fluffy angled eyeshadow brush. It works quite will with Blue Spruce eyeshadow below. It's nice for applying and blending a pigmented shadow , and I find the angle to be helpful for going along the lashline. The length of the brush actually isn't too short, so it's easy to work with. I only wish that MAC would make more high quality synthetic shadow brushes, instead of the default fur/natural fibers; I'd really go nuts over these sets! I'm quite impressed with MAC Technakohl liner in Graphblack. It's a twist-up crayon type eyeliner. I love twist-ups because they're so convenient and I don't risk tugging my eye with pencil shards. I was surprised at the staying power (on top of primer and shadow of course). It is similar to my NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner, except the diameter of the crayon was smaller. This is great, since I can draw a thinner line. Graphblack has been my go to liner for the past week. I'm considering buying another color in the future. I haven't opened MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash mascara yet.

           Finally, here is the star of the show: MAC Silverwear and Blue Spruce eyeshadow duo.

          MAC Silverwear is a pale frosty silver lilac. It's a frost eyeshadow. It is difficult to get the pretty lilac to show up well. The swatch below required a couple layers I still like this color, despite sheerness. I think it adds a nice lilac sheen and brightness to the eyes. It's a nice balance to the more pigmented Blue Spruce. MAC Blue Spruce is a velvet eyeshadow. It's a darkened teal shadow with copper sparkles. The texture is very nice, smooth, pigmented, and blendable. The mixture of dark blue and green tones made this quite special. It's a nice alternative to a standard navy blue shadow. You can see comparison swatches in my NARS Mandchourie post. My only complaint is that there is a little fall out when applying Blue Spruce. It may be a side effect of a lot fine pigment on a fluffy brush during application, however, a little always makes it under my eyes.

         Overall, I find the MAC Ice Parade Silver Iced Delights Bag to be a nice set. I'm happy to have this eyeshadow duo. I think the colors are different from colors available in the MAC permanent collection, and they make an interesting and unexpected holiday duo. I'm pleased with the other components of the kit as well, so it was worth it for me.

          Thanks for reading! Have you gifted yourself with any MAC holiday lately? Is teal and lilac a bizarre holiday combination? Do you have any MAC basics (liner, mascara, etc.) that deserve more attention than they get?

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Butter London Toff and Chanel Graphite nail polish

          Recently I treated myself to a small nail polish haul. My fall/winter polish color collection is not extensive, and I couldn't find anything that wasn't too dark or too light that I wanted to wear. The two colors I chose were Chanel Vernis in Graphite and Butter London Toff. It is a happy coincidence that these are my first Chanel and Butter London nail polishes, respectively. Perhaps you might find this to be surprising? I love nail polish, however I've developed an extraordinary ability to resist temptation. Nail polish is the one cosmetic item that I can successfully enjoy vicariously through blogs. However, once in a while, some colors are just needed. This is where Chanel Graphite and Butter London Toff come in.

         Aside from being my first bottles from their respective brands, the color and story behind how I acquired Chanel Graphite and Butter London Toff are quite different. I've been obsessed with Chanel Graphite ever since it came out. I don't like shimmer or glitter, however Graphite was the exception. I also love greys, as you might know. I swatched it when it first came out, however I just wasn't in the mood for a sparkly wintery grey in summertime, or even early fall. However, recently it's just what I need now. I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I went out and bought it. I know I'm late on the train, but that's fine with me! Butter London Toff was a color I didn't specifically plan to purchase. I had the Ulta Friends and Family coupon and figured it was my chance to buy something from Butter London. I love the idea behind the brand, however most of the Butter London color renditions just don't speak to me. I decided to pick Toff because I knew I could use a medium mauve toned color for my collection. Toff debuted as a part of the Butter London Fall/Holiday 2011 collection, so it is fitting for the season.

          I love the little detailing on the bottles. I love glossy black casing with monochrome details. Then Chanel cap and wand are of course immaculate. The Butter London wand has a dent in the bird. I've deduced this is from a point the inside of the cap. The pointer finger on the cap is a sticker decal, and isn't printed on the actual casing. Despite this, I still find the packaging charming.

          Finally here are my swatches of Butter London Toff nail polish and Chanel Vernis in Graphite. Both colors were painted on with two coats and have nice formulas. Butter London Toff is a mauve / purple rose creme polish. The rosy color in my photos and swatches looks similar to how the bottle looked in store. However at home, I find the color to be more purple and less rose. I'm wearing it now, and would say it appears considerably more purple than in my swatch. I'm not a fan of purple tones, however I find this color easy to wear for everyday use. I think I will use it a lot this season. Chanel Graphite is a silver grey glitter that seems to flash green in some lighting. It's really complex and pretty. I think Graphite fits my idea of a festive holiday color.

         I'm excited to wear both Graphite and Toff this season. Both are fun in an understated manner. I'm pretty sure these colors, along with Owl's Night will be staples for me. I'm pleased with the quality of the formula, packaging, and colors, and look forward to adding Butter London and/or Chanel sporadically to my collection in the future. Thanks for taking a peek at my nail polish haul! What are your must-have colors this season? Do you have any favorite Butter London or Chanel colors?

Love, Dovey.

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Owl's Night package

          Today I'm so excited to share a package I received from beautiful fellow beauty blogger Jessica of Getting Cheeky. I recently won her Owl's Night nail polish giveaway, and had been eagerly been awaiting the its arrival. You can imagine my excitement at coming home to a neat little package on Friday. To add to the surprise, I found a beautiful card and little goodies tucked in as well. I'm so excited about my NUXE sample after reading about it on Jessica's French pharmacy and product posts; you certainly can't find this in US stores. The orange towlette is just precious; I don't want to use it up because it's so cute. And there are only good things to be heard about Philosophy microdelivery. Thank you so much Jessica! I've been all smiles since receiving this!!

          The star of the package was L'Oreal Owl's Night nail polish.

           Of course I immediately painted both my tips and toes with Owl's night.

          Owl's Night is a gorgeous blackened brown with golden shimmer. It might be golden-green shimmer, but I'm not sure if that is just a trick of the eye when gold is mixed with brown. The darkness of the brown reminds me somewhat of Urban Decay's Darkhorse eyeshadow, which is one of my favorite colors in the Naked palette. You can't go wrong with a blackened expresso brown and the shimmer which brings it to life. I'm so happy to add this to my collection, as I don't have anything like it. I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of Owl's night this fall =).

         I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my Owl's Night package. I feel very lucky to won a giveaway, especially from one of my good blogging friends =). Thank you Jessica!

Love, Dovey.