Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inspired by Louis Welden Hawkins

          Today I have a very special 'Inspired by art' post. I'm sharing a cosmetic color palette inspired by the painting Severine by Louis Welden Hawkins (circa 1895). Severine hangs at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The photograph above was taken by Jessica of Getting Cheeky during her travels. She generously shared her photography with me for this post. I love how we can see a reflection of the museum's window architecture in this photo; It almost feels as if I'm right there gazing at Severine myself.

          Severine can hold your gaze for quite a while. There is a peculiar quality about the painting, as if something is out of place and you can't put your finger on it. The striking gilded background is reminiscent of paintings from the renaissance. It's something you might imagine seeing in an old cathedral. Her hands are clasped together and her eyes gaze upward reminiscent of prayer. However, we begin to see evidence that this work is more modern than upon first impression. Severine's gestures and expressions are more pensive than prayerful. When our eyes move downward, we see a flurry of correspondences strewn about a desk. Severine's generously proportioned forearms seem to be front and center, lending importance to the idea of writing. Finally there are some delicate adornments, such as the pinky ring and slightly droopy flower, that add a touch of whimsy to the piece.

           There are faded earthy colors with a golden warmth. At first the colors seem like fall, however in my opinion it is more reminiscent of spring awakening from winter slumber. This seems metaphorically fit for subject of the piece. Since we're currently in this sort of season, I felt that Severine would be a perfect color inspiration for the moment.

           In the painting I noticed the following colors: a striking gilded background, the pale yellow parchment, her slightly ashy complexion, red-brown highlights of her hair and books, the cool brown tones in her hair and text, the olive in her gown, the lavender-pink of her flower, and the blue-grey of here eyes and jewelry. The colors I pulled from my collection are:
  • Gold - Make Up for Every aqua eyes liner in #9L and Urban Decay Half Baked eyeshadow. The new green tinged gold in the NARS Paramaribo eyeshadow duo would be excellent.
  • Pale yellow - Urban Decay Foxy eyeshadow
  • Complexion/shadows - Urban Decay Tease
  • Red-brown - Stila Cherie and Chocolat eyeshadows mixed. Both are from the Stila Pretty in Paris palette.
  • Cool brown - NARS Coconut grove
  • Olive - Bobbi Brown Sage eyeshadow
  • Lavender-pink - Maybelline dream bouncy blush in Orchid Hush and Revlon colorburst lip butter in Sugar frosting
  • Blue-grey - Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Silver lining
           The swatches of the colors are shown below. Here is how I imagine the look should pull together: The eyes should be both ethereal and earthy.  Gold tones could cover the lid or line underneath. The parchment, red browns, bark, or olive are layered on for some grounded depth. There will be just a faint blush on the lips and cheeks, reminiscent of Severine's flower pin. Blue-grey nails are a nod to the cloudy lake color of her eyes, bracelet, and the ring on her little finger.

          Thanks for reading and thank you Jessica for providing wonderful inspiration! I had a lot of fun putting this together. It was completely different from the palette I put together for Renoir (and admittedly more challenging). I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


         Recently Cute and Mundane reached the 300 follower milestone. Hurrah! I am so very honored. I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect and indulge in a little imagination.

         Indulgences first. When dreaming up this post, I had visions of Gerard Butler and the exotic enemy hordes from the movie 300. I wanted to have an 'intense' photo inspired by the movie, but made of makeup. I came up with the mascara wands above. They were the 'scariest' looking things I found in my stash. I find eyelash curlers to be quite fearsome too.

           Now, reflections. I think I've been around the blog block for longer than I'd care to admit. It's been a roller coaster, but I think I've found a pretty steady and happy place as of late. Here are a few things that I like to keep in mind:

Stay positive - Blogging should make you feel good. It's a hobby (for many of us) after all. If something makes you unhappy, figure out what it is and address it head on. Blog in a way that makes you happy. If you need a break, take a break.

Make a qualitative (not quantitative) blog-improvement goal - I think focusing on qualitative goals is more rewarding and positive in the long run. Setting goals in quantitative terms (followers, comments, page-views) can be immediately satisfying, but can also be disappointing. If you've read the Phantom Tollbooth, I would say it's analagous to eating subtraction stew. Qualitative goals could include trying twitter, making a new blog header, improving your writing/photos, responding to more comments, reaching out to more bloggers, or getting a domain name. When I focus on upgrading qualitative aspects of my blog, the numbers seem to follow.

Be creative - You don't have to purchase all the latest products to have a successful blog. Really. Product review is just one aspect of beauty blogging. Empties, favorites, face of the days, lists, how-tos, and opinion pieces are some, just to name a few. Pick something that speaks to you and really put your spin on it. My favorite blogs aren't the ones that haul and share every single color available. I enjoy personality, ideas, and seeing the real-life choices people make.

Find your style- The best and most enigmatic advice given to bloggers is 'be yourself.' To some this comes naturally. To me, finding myself distilled into blog form was more like Finding Nemo. There was sadness, confusion, swimming with different schools, learning new things, and finally happiness. I think everyone has an inherent, unique, and cool style. It just needs to be actively found and developed. I'd really love to write a 'finding style' thought piece some day. It's a pretty tall order, but perhaps that should be one of my qualitative goals :)

        Thanks so much for reading my 300 post. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to stop by, read, leave their thoughts, and/or encouragement. It really brings a lot of light into my days. Please feel free to say hi, I love Gerard Butler, or anything about yourself below. I know I've never met or chatted with many of you, and I would love the chance to say hello and thank you!

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sultry Smoke, an infallible eyeshadow

          I've seen a number of L'Oreal infallible eyeshadow reviews around the blog block. I wasn't planning on purchasing one, however the makeup aisle lady at Walgreens in Chinatown offered me four dollars worth of coupons when she saw me contemplating the L'Oreal infallible display. I mean, how could I say no? That's how I ended up with L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Sultry Smoke.

          People have often compared L'Oreal's infallible eyeshadow line to Armani's Eyes to Kill. This is a pretty high complement since Eyes to Kill is so well loved. Something worth noting is that Armani cosmetics belongs to the L'Oreal conglomerate. I think it's safe to say that the similarities between the two are not a coincidence. If you examine cosmetics company ownership structures, sometimes you can see that different 'brands' within the same company sometimes will release a similar product. It only makes sense to capitalize on good technology. Infallible might not have the same bells and whistles (i.e. packaging and complex color) as Eyes to Kill, but it may deserve its high quality status.

            I'm not exactly sure which side of the packaging is the bottom and which is the top. I am guessing that the lid was meant to be the bottom because it's a lot less pretty. When you open the container, there's a small plastic lid that can protect or pack the product underneath. The texture is a lot drier and more powdery than I was expecting it to be. I was imagining a cream! It is almost like slightly damp powder. Although it has a drier texture, it definitely can dry out. I saw one in the display that was defective or tampered with and the product inside was clearly shrunken and dried out.
         I apply using a finger. I haven't tried a brush since it works so well without. I don't use a primer, yet the lasting power is very good. Normally I have to use primers under my powder shadows. This is quite a plus; if I'm in a hurry I can just swipe and go without a primer or complex blending. The Infallible eyeshadow works pretty well as an eyeshadow base too. I'm not sure it holds eyeliner as well as I'd like though.  The color of sultry smoke is almost matte and not very dimensional. I can add a little extra intrigue by layering on shadows on top. The grey base can  intensify grey shadows like NARS Tzarine (see swatch below). I've also layered more brown leaning tones like Urban Decay pistol for a different effect.

          L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in sultry smoke is a dove grey. It's a medium grey with a hint of blue. There's no overt shimmer, but it's not a pure matte. It's the type of grey I normally like. You can see the swatch of Sultry Smoke compared with NARS Tzarine and MAC Scene below. It's a touch more blue than the other two. You can also see how well it applies in layered and sheer form. It blends out quite well.

          Overall, I am impressed with this my Infallible eyeshadow in Sultry smoke. I like the color, lasting power, and blendability. The quickness and convenience of application on-the-go is a big plus. Despite those things, I don't find myself running to the store to snatch up the whole set. The L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow line offer a nice range of colors, however they don't really strike my fancy. I would prefer lmore basic neutral shades as opposed to colors like purple or ice blue. That said, I'm still considering purchasing Continuous Cocoa. Also, Bronzed Taupe is a shade that many will like.

          Thanks for reading! Have you tried any shades of Infallible eyeshadow? What are your thoughts? Do you prefer this to Maybelline color tattoo? (Incidentally, Maybelline also belongs to L'Oreal).

Love, Dovey.

Note for cruelty-free beauty lovers: It is worth noting that L'Oreal is not cruelty free (what a shame). If it weren't for that, I'd be singing their praises. I really hope that one day this will change.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brunch and Blogs

          This weekend Mr. Lovey and I went out for brunch at an natural / organic-y restaurant. There was a artsy vibe with large modern art pieces and small jewelry displays for sale on the walls. The music was funky (think Gorrilaz). Mr. Lovey started with a cup of blueberry rooibos tea. It was aromatic and delicious.

          The wait staff made a mistake and served us soup from another couple's order. They couldn't take it back, so we were the lucky benefactors. When life hands you free soup, it is your job to enjoy it!

         Here's brunch from my point of view. I had a nice large glass of grapefruit juice to accompany my biscuits with duck confit gravy. If you grew up anywhere remotely near the south, could you resist biscuits and gravy? The biscuits were topped with two sunny-side-up eggs.

         In the spirit of brunch and blogs, I'm offering up a menu of blog posts that have me feeling sunny-side-up this week:

Getting Cheeky shares a Great Gatsby inspired post. It's a must-read just like the book.
Bloomin' beauty shares her ambition (more specifically Illamasqua blush in ambition). I'm entranced.
Beauty reductionista makes me laugh. Here's 7 things you should know about her.
Makeup Magpie shares a sneak peek of her NARS picks. I want to see more!
Steal My Heart Lovee shares a lovely top 11 of '11. It's a whole list of excellent products.
Everyday beauty posts on aging. There is a sexy librarian poster in the mix...
Product Doctor had a makeover done by Edward Bess himself. Lucky lady!
Eye Heart It has a memorable and beautiful golden smoky eye-of-the-day.

         Thanks for reading, and Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the Dragon, which sounds pretty fearsome. What have you eaten lately? What have you hauled lately?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Inspired by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

          Welcome to another episode of 'Inspired by art'! Today I want to share a look inspired by Pierre-Auguste Renoir's painting Two Sisters (1881). Two sisters was set on a restaurant terrace on the Seine River at Chatou. Incidentally, the two girls in the painting were not true sisters! I chose this painting because the warm brights mixed with the relaxed cool background reflect my wish for spring in the midst of winter.

          There is such a vivid yet genteel array of colors in the painting. The colors that I extracted included: the crisp ivory white of the little girl's outfit, the creamy white of the elder sister's complexion, the lavender blue of the railing, trees, and river, the ultramarine blue in the outfits, the mahogany railing, the red-orange of the hats, peach in the cornucopia and flowers, and an irreverent hint of fuschia in one flower of the little girl's hat.

          When choosing makeup colors, I focused on mattes and pretty colors. The products I chose to represent this Renoir-inspired look were:
  • Ivory white - Bobbi Brown Ivory eyeshadow
  • Creamy white - Bobbi Brown Navajo eyeshadow
  • Lavender blue - Bobbi Brown Plum Navy eyeshadow
  • Ultramarine blue - NARS Outremer eyeshadow
  • Mahogany - Bobbi Brown Velvet Bronze eyeshadow and MUFE 18L eyeliner
  • Red-orange - Chanel Peregrina lipstick mixed with a hint of NARS Red Lizard lipstick
  • Peach - NARS Deep throat blush and NARS Sex Appeal blush
  • Fuschia - OPI Koala Bear-y nail polish

          The seamless combination of colors is where the inherent beauty of the Renoir lies. However, it was challenging to combine them for a cohesive makeup look! The eyes should be simple. An ivory or creamy white base should be used all over the eye. The focus of the eye can be a simple line. For blue eyes, a mahogany pencil liner can be used  and the smudged with a similar colored or bronze eyeshadow. For brown eyes, a a damp angled liner brush can be used to draw a precise line with NARS Outremer. Cheeks are peach. NARS Sex Appeal can be used for a subtle matte peach finish or NARS Deep Throat can be used for a more flushed finish. Lips are a muted but pretty red-orange. I don't have this color so I mixed Chanel peregrina (a peach) with NARS Red lizard (red). Finally for an unexpected pop, I painted my nails a bright fuschia color.

          Thanks for reading! I enjoyed creating a look inspired by Renoir. What colors are inspiring you this (almost) spring? Where do you find your color inspirations? Do you have any favorite artists?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dreaming of dream bouncy blush

           I've been bitten by the drugstore beauty bug. You might have seen my post on Revlon lip butters, a product that I'm certainly loving lately. However, it was not the lip butters that had me running to the store. It was the Maybelline Dream Bouncy blushes that did me in. The whisper soft colors and the surrealistic 'Dream Bouncy' name were irresistible. I walked away with two in hand: 45 Orchid Hush and 15 Rose Petal.

          The most important $8 question I'm supposed to be answering in this review is 'what is the texture of a 'dream bouncy' blush?'. Everyone seems to have a creative way of describing it. It is definitely not a traditional creme blush. Creme blushes are smooth, slippery, and melt upon contact with you warm finger. I don't think Dream Bouncy is more of a putty like texture. Instead of melting, it can be pushed around by your finger. In addition, I get the sensation of airy pockets beneath the putty. It's really something quite different! Application must be done by by hand. It can't be picked up by a stippling brush; as I mentioned it is not a creme. This makes me happy since I love blending with fingers. When I swipe my fingers on the blush, I can barely feel any product on my finger. However, when I look there is definitely pigment there. It is like a powder-creme hybrid. In terms of allergies and breakouts, I haven't had any significant ones yet which is encouraging. However, I will monitor this carefully over time and update if I come to a different conclusion.

          The Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush colors I chose were Orchid Hush and Rose Petal. Orchid Hush was love at first swatch. It is a pale pink with a hint of lavender. I still feel starry-eyed just thinking about it. The hint of 'orchid' that makes it perfect for this season. Rose petal is a pale pinky peach. The color doesn't match up as well with the name; I usually imagine rose petals to be pink. It gives a really nice peachy glow. Both colors are pale and sheer. I don't think they were designed to be pigmented. This is fine, because I prefer subtle color. That said, these were among the lighter colors in the Dream Bouncy display. You can find more beautiful swatches at Planet Martha and Getting Cheeky.  

          In my imagination, the soft and pretty dream bouncy blushes seem to play to the tune of "Dream a little dream of me." I felt happy wearing Dream Bouncy every day this week. I'm so pleased with my drugstore beauty experience so far. The next time I see a display, I'm going to re-examine pink plum, fresh pink, and coffee cake.

          Thanks for reading! Have you tried the Dream Bouncy blushes yet? How would you describe their texture? What are some of your favorite drugstore or high end creme blushes? (I'm hoping to explore a bit more).

Love, Dovey.

 Note for cruelty-free beauty lovers: It is worth noting that Maybelline is not cruelty free (what a shame). If it weren't for that, I'd be singing their praises. I really hope that one day this will change.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Urban Decay Naked 2 review

         Hello! Today I'm throwing my hat into the ring and sharing my review and impressions of the Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette. As an owner of the original Naked palette, it took me a long time to decide whether I needed Naked 2. I knew I would really like a few shades including tease, pistol, and verve however I wasn't sure about the rest. What ended up tipping the scales were the reviews and looks by my good friend Lexi of The Former Girl at Bar. I can usually count on my taste being aligned with hers!

          The Naked 2 case is made of metal, as opposed to the velvet cardboard casing of Naked 1. The inlay where the shadows sit are plastic, as opposed to the cardboard in Naked 1. The palette seems heavier as well. For everyday use weighty feels nice. For travel, I would prefer a lighter palette.

           Here is a picture of the back of the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette packaging. I think the crushed eyeshadow pictures are so pretty.

           The palette comes with a mini Urban Decay Lip Junkie lip gloss in Naked and a dual ended brush. I haven't used the Lip Junkie gloss much since I'm not a gloss person. It seems like a good natural color and texture that most people would like. I will probably throw it in my everyday makeup bag for those rare situations when I do feel like topping my lips with gloss. The dual ended eyeshadow brush is great. I use the fluffy dome shaped end (shown below) for application of the shadows. The synthetic fibers are so soft. It works really well for blending eyeshadows. It doesn't lay down too much pigment at one time which I consider to be a plus since Urban Decay's shadows are very pigmented. I think it was well designed for use with Urban Decay shadows. The other end of the brush is a rounded flat liner brush. It's not very thin, so it 's better for drawing a more smudgy line. I really like the dual ended brush because it works well with the palette.

          I've included a closeup of the hinge of the Naked 2 palette's case. I noticed that it is made of plastic (not metal) joints which is a weak point. Sometimes when bent too much and too often, plastic joints can break! I hope this is not the case with the plastic in this case. I would be really upset if it broke. You can also notice there's a nice big usable mirror on the inside of the lid.

        Here is a comparison picture of Urban Decay Naked (left) vs. Urban Decay Naked 2 (right).  I think Naked 1 has more warm browns, pink tones, and dark colors. Naked 2 seems to have a better selection of light shades which seem to lean yellow/peach. I do think the shades are a bit more subdued and a touch cooler than Naked 1. In my opinion Naked 1 is more warm and intense. Naked 2 is more relaxed and neutral.

         Here are close up shots of the colors in Urban Decay Naked 2, shot in indirect light so you can see the colors without the sheen seen above.

         Finally, here are the swatches of all the colors in Urban Decay Naked 2 shot indoors. I wanted to eliminate shine to better appreciate the base colors. I'd also like to mention that I've organized them out of order to go from light to dark. I think it is easier to understand the spectrum of colors this way.

          Foxy is a matte cream. It looks almost invisible on my skin.  This is a great base color and was definitely lacking from Naked 1. Bootycall is a shimmery pale peach which is natural and brightening on the eyes. Verve is a cool oyster. I love the hint of grey in this highlight shade. Suspect is an infinitely wearable shade. It is an antique gold that is not too warm for me. Half Baked is my nemesis. I never reached for this in Naked 1. It's too warm and too gold for my taste. I was surprised to hear that most people love it. That said, I think I can make it work in small amounts with my fluffy dual ended brush. Chopper the copper is a shade I thought I would hate too. Coppers are usually to warm and red for my eyes. However, I was surprised that I found myself reaching for chopper fairly often. Again, the fluffy brush allows me to add the smallest hints of copper. I also find that chopper is a slightly cool copper which helps. There is glitter that does fall out, but it doesn't bother me since the glitter isn't colored. YDK is a rosy neutral which is also very pretty. Tease is my favorite color from the palette. I love this rosy tan matte eyeshadow. It's perfect in the crease and blends well with all the colors. Snakebite is a bronze. I prefer this to Smog from Naked 1. It's a little cooler and darker. Pistol is a grey taupe and one of the best shades in the palette. I don't have a shade in my stash quite like it. Busted is a dark plum. Blackout is a matte black.

          Overall I love this palette. I'm happy with the colors and the brush. I can see msyelf packing Naked 2 as the solo eyeshadow palette for a trip.What makes this palette standout from Naked 1 are the matte colors. It has a complete set of highlight/base (Foxy), medium blending (Tease), and liner (Blackout) matte colors unlike Naked 1 which only had two medium tone mattes. The other colors are lighter and more neutral to cool which is a lot easier for me to wear. I prefer this palette to the original Naked, but I do think it is worth owning both. They seem quite different to me. In conclusion, Urban Decay Naked 2 makes me happy!

          Thanks for reading! Have you or are you planning on trying Naked 2? Do you prefer one over the other? What are your favorite shades?

Love, Dovey.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday Soak

          After a marathon session of watching NFL playoff games with Mr. Lovey today, I decided that I needed to unwind. We love football, but too much can be stressful! Inspired by Getting Cheeky's weekend pampering and Beauty Reductionista's LUSH Golden Wonder bath bomb posts from today, I decided to indulge in a bath.

        My bath bomb of choice was LUSH Sex Bomb. You can see the 'detonated' version above. It smells of beautiful jasmine, sage, and ylang ylang. I really love how it turns the water a rose pink. I haven't tried all the LUSH bath bombs yet, but this is my favorite so far. I had a really long and relaxing soak 

          After my bath, I followed up with a few items to pamper myself. I used a sample of Philosophy one minute microdelivery purifying peel. Afterwards I applied Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and Avalon Organics Vitamin C serum. The Vitamin C serum is a current stand in for a face cream. When my skin isn't happy with other skincare products I'll stick with this serum; it always seems to do the trick. I used my Revlon lip butter in Strawberry Shortcake (reviewed here) for a fresh pink pout. I applied J.R. Watkins Mango Hand and Cuticle salve to seal in moisture to my hands which have been suffering from dryness lately. Finally, I gave myself a quick manicure with OPI Bubble Bath nail polish. The name is fitting, don't you think?

          Thanks for reading about my Sunday Soak! I hope everyone had a good weekend too. What are your favorite bath bombs or bubble baths?

:Love, Dovey.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters

          On Friday Mr. Lovey and I stopped by Chinatown for some takeout. There was a Walgreens in nearby so I decided to stop in and see if I could find anything on my drugstore makeup wishlist. (My neighborhood's drugstores never have any exciting displays in stock).  It was my lucky day! I found a selection of Revlon Colorburst Lip butters in the Revlon display and Mr. Lovey scouted out an even larger display with more colors (he knows the way to a dove's heart).  I chose four colors to try: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sugar Frosting, and Creme Brulee. True to my usual tendencies, these colors fall on the light end of the lip butter spectrum. Today I have a review and swatches of my shiny new lip butters.

            I love the colorful translucent lipstick cases that the Revlon lip butters come in. They're so optimistic and bright; you can't help but feel happy with them in hand. They're practical too since they correspond to the color of the lip butter inside. The front and back of the lipstick tube have the Revlon crosshatch pattern, while the other two sides are smooth. I've never owned a Revlon lipstick before and was didn't know that the crosshatch pattern wasn't on all four sides.        

         The top of the lipstick tubes are clear, revealing the color of the lip butter inside. The colors on top look quite intense and bright. However, when worn the colors become sheer as seen in my swatches below.

        When I swatched my four Revlon Colorburst lip butters below, I used at least two layers of lipstick. They are sheer in the swatches, however they do add visible color to the lips. Lately I've been favoring sheer lipsticks so these really hit the spot. Sugar frosting is a sheer pale pink. Cupcake is a very cool light pink. Strawberry Shortcake is more of a regular pink; however it still falls in the cool spectrum. I was surprised since from the color of the lip butter stick itself appears to be slightly warm. Creme Brulee is a light warm peachy nude. The finish of the Revlon lip butters are slightly shiny, but not nearly as much as a gloss. I like it because it's like having a sheer lipstick + hint of gloss in one product.

      The texture of the Revlon lip butters are like a thick balm. They are slightly tacky in texture. They're not weightless, but they're still comfortable. They do a pretty good job of preventing my lips from drying out even though I wouldn't call them moisturizing. So far they haven't dried or caused peeling of my lips, which is great. The lasting power is quite good. Normally most lipsticks disappear on me (i.e. get eaten) quickly. These lip butters seem to last as long, if not longer, than normal lipsticks.

          Overall, I'm a big fan of my Revlon Colorburst Lip butters. The colorful packaging, colors, and quality are wonderful, especially considering the price. I think the texture may not be as weightless as some higher end products, but it is a small sacrifice. I'm really glad I took the plunge with the Revlon lip butters. I've wanted a sheer lipstick for a while, but didn't want to invest in the pricier versions. I think this is one case where I would prefer to have a larger number of drugstore shades as opposed to one high end product! My only regret at this time is that I didn't try more shades. I'd love to add Cotton Candy, Peach Parfait, Sugar Plum, and Creamsicle to my collection.

         Thanks for reading! Have you tried the Revlon lip butters yet? What are your favorite colors? Where do you stand on the drugstore vs. high end sheer lipstick debate?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. You can find many more swatches on Planet Martha and Karlasugar

NARS Niagara lipstick review

          It's spring (at least in the the makeup world) and that calls for fresh pinks! NARS Niagara lipstick was a recent addition to my collection in anticipation of the coming season. I think it is afitting color for spring, as it was released in the NARS Spring 2010 collection. I am hoping that Niagara will be a nice way to mix up my normally nude lip wardrobe.

          NARS Niagara is a pretty medium coral pink lipstick. It is a 'satin' finish NARS lipstick so it is relatively opaque with only a hint of shine. Like most NARS lipsticks, the feel is lightweight and scent-free. Generally I prefer this lightweight feel to lipsticks that are thicker and creamier. Compared to my usual standard, NARS Niagara is a bright color so I like to wear it with simple or nude eyes.

          Here are my comparison swatches. I'm comparing it other medium bright pretty pinks. With my naked eye, my NARS Niagara swatch appeared very similar to Chanel Rouge Coco in Coquette. They're definitely not dupes though. Chanel coquette has more guava tones in its pink while NARS Niagara has more red-coral tones in its pink. Lancome Voile de Rose is a pink of similar intensity, however it is more of a true rose pink.

          Overall, I think NARS Niagara is a very nice color. It works well now, despite true spring being a ways a way. It has the optimistic pink of spring with a hint of red, which to me is a winter color, mixed in. I want to challenge myself to wear brighter lipstick colors once in a while. I think NARS Niagara falls in that category without being too far out of my comfort zone!

          Thanks for reading my review of NARS Niagara lipstick! Is this a color in your collection? Do you have a favorite pretty pink? What kind of lipstick colors are you favoring this January: winter or spring? 

Love, Dovey.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sugar, sugar

          I've realized that I have quite a sweet tooth when it comes to showering. My current most-used bath products seem to feature sugary smells like vanilla, honey, coconut, cinnamon and almond. I think this is partly due to the cold weather. Nothing is quite as comforting as the smell of warm desserts! Today I'm going to share with you the sweet treats that are found in my shower.

          First, here are the bar soaps. On top is my last piece of LUSH Snowcake soap. Almond scents are my favorite and the perfume in this bar is just gorgeous. It's no surprise that it has a large following. It's a creamy soap which is fitting for the scent. A more recent discovery is Trader Joe's Oatmeal and Honey soap. I wish I had discovered this sooner!! It's a soothing soap that smells to me like oatmeal cookie dough. I love it! It's a pure vegetable soap and incredibly cost effective. I will definitely repurchase this after the two bar pack runs out.

          Next up, I have the two shower gels. It's Raining Men is the newest addition to the LUSH permanent line of shower gels. It's touted as smelling similar to the popular LUSH Honey I washed the kids bar soap. The smell is more honey based and quite different from my other shower products. The addition of 'exotic flowers' adds a nice touch. It's a very sweet smell and not for sugar-phobes. I also keep the Philosophy Happy Birthday, beautiful!  shower gel from Sephora in my shower. I'm actually a fan of the smell. It wasn't quite the cake smell I was expecting. It reminds me of vanilla extract, including the slight alcohol smell that comes with it. Whenever I bake I love taking whiffs of pure vanilla extract, so I like this. I find that the smell doesn't permeate throughout my shower as effectively as LUSH or other products that are based on essential oils and natural extracts; I'm guessing the fragrance is more synthetic based.

         Finally, I have a small tub of LUSH Almond and Coconut smoothie. This smells to me like almond  and coconut, just like the name. The fragrance is so beautiful! I would say it rivals Snowcake. The texture is a runny cream. It would be great for this would dry skin. It is for showers, but I don't think it is going to have the cleaning capacity of shower gels, so I only use this once in a while. A LUSH sales associate once told me the proper way to use it (and to save product) is to apply before showering. I don't really think this saves product---I find that applying after wet seems to work better for me. Either way, a lot gets used up in one go, so this is not really a cost effective product. I wish they could turn this scent into a shower gel or lotion form instead.

          Thanks for reading this review on the sweet treats that can be found in my shower! What are some of your favorite sweet smells? Other scents I've loved in the past are Bath and Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar and aromatherapy in Warm milk and honey.

Love, Dovey.

P.S.  After taking my pictures I realized that I omitted LUSH American Cream conditioner. It has a nice 'pudding' smell according to LUSH. I can't quite put my finger on how to describe the smell myself, though!