Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

          Happy Halloween! For the occasion, I'm sharing an old painting of mine from middle school art class. It's tempera paint; I'm sure many of you can relate to the large red, yellow, blue, white, and black containers of paint that are a mainstay in grade school. I've always been a believer that each of us carries an ingrained artistic style that can manifest in anything from a school art project to blog photography. Looking back on this painting from a Halloween past makes me smile, because I  recognize my penchant for vibrant colors and shadow blocking even at a younger age.

          I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween day. In light of current events, I'd like to mention that my thoughts and best wishes go out to friends, family, everyday people, and heroes working through the hurricane's aftermath. Thanks for reading! Do you have Halloween plans? Will you be amongst those celebrating a delayed Halloween this year? Have you ever looked back on artwork from your childhood and recognized stylistic tendencies?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BECCA Beach Tint in Papaya review + swatches

          BECCA Beach Tints are fruit-inspired two-in-one cheek stains for both lips and cheeks. They're fan favorites from the BECCA cosmetics line that has recently become available at Sephora online and in select stores. Three bright new colors were recently added to the BECCA Beach Tint lineup: Dragonfruit (Poppy Pink), Papaya (Hot Red), and Lychee (Hot Pink). I have BECCA Beach Tint in Papaya to share with you today!

           BECCA Beach Tint in Papaya is an intense orange, much like the sweet flesh of papaya fruit. BECCA Papaya has a watery gel consistency. The color from the tube is very concentrated and only a small amount is necessary. When layered like below, it's much more concentrated than anything I own. Compared to the juice orange of MAC Optimistic Cremeblend blush, BECCA Papaya looks hotter and a slightly redder. NARS Liberte blush (reviewed here) is more burnished orange. Tarte Frisky is a red toned blush; you can see that BECCA Papaya is more orange than red. BECCA beach tint is best blended on with fingers for a sheerer effect. The idea of a water-resistant stain is taken quite seriously; I had a tough time removing the color off my arm after swatching.

          BECCA Beach Tint in Papaya is an awakening orange that is sure to add brightness to any look. It looks intense when full power, but blends out to be a pretty orange tint. Thanks for reading! Have you tried BECCA Beach Tints? Are there any on your wishlist? What are your favorite gel or cream blushes?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more BECCA, be sure to check out my review of BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone (see here).
Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Monday, October 29, 2012

LUSH FUN review + photos

        Something very 'FUN' made it into my hands this week: LUSH FUN! The inventors at LUSH are constantly pushing the boundaries of bath products with different textures including jellies, bombs, and smoothies. Their newest creation, LUSH FUN, is a multi-purpose moldable soap. I like to think of it as soap in play-doh form. LUSH Fun rolls come in five different colors: pink, red, blue, yellow, and green. Today I have green and yellow to share with you.

          LUSH FUN comes wrapped in candy-like rolls of biodegradeable cellophane. The label is written in Japanese almost in entirety. This calls attention to FUNd, a LUSH initiative supporting charities that will create safe places for children to play in areas affected by the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. Two and a half percent of the LUSH FUN purchase price goes towards FUNd. Each LUSH FUN bar has a scent that corresponds to its color: pink (vanilla and tonka), red (orange peel oil), blue (chamomile and lavender), green (lime), and yellow (vanilla ice cream and cookies). The scents are mild when you smell the rolls themselves, but are amplified when run under hot water. The bars can be used as soap, shampoo, or as bath bubbles. When using it on a loofa or as a bubble bath, it's best to crumble LUSH FUN first. The product is very effective in bubble production. I found that simply washing my hands of the residue left after molding FUN resulted in more than enough cleansing action.

          LUSH FUN looks like play-doh, but it has a drier consistency and requires a bit more power to mold into a shape (like clay). The dryness is good, as the product won't lose its moisture quickly. It does tend to crumble a bit, but that can be remedied by working in a touch of water. The easiest way to make shapes is to flatten LUSH FUN and cut it to shape using a cookie cutter or butter knife. Molding with fingers is also a good option, but it will give finger muscles more of a workout. Cracks on the surface can be smoothed over with a little water. The results are cute one-of-a-kind shapes that can be used in the bath, sink, and shower!

           LUSH FUN ($6.95 per roll) is sure to delight both kids and adults. It does take a little work to mold FUN, however the results are delightful creations that add extra cheer to bathtime. Thanks for reading! Have you tried LUSH FUN? What do you think of a moldable soap? What would be the first creature/object you would make from LUSH FUN?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF 25+ in Moonstone review + swatches

           To celebrate BECCA Cosmetic's recent partnership with Sephora, I have a review of BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF25+ in Moonstone to share with you today. The Shimmering Skin Perfectors are a fan favorite from the BECCA line of cosmetics. These liquid illuminators can be used in a number of ways: dabbed on the cheekbones and nose bridge as highlights, under foundation as a luminizing base, or mixed in with foundation for a brightening effect.

          Moonstone is the newest color in the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector lineup. There are six colors total, four of which are carried at Sephora. The upright packaging has a matte plastic feel and has a nice metal logo detailing on cap top. The Shimmering Skin Perfectors contain 1.7 oz of product, which should last a very long time if you are only using it for highlighting purposes. I did notice that one full pump is way too much for simple highlighting on my cheekbones. The product has a thicker moisturizer like feel, as opposed to a runny consistency.

          BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone a light golden beige highlight color that looks natural against my light skintone. NARS Copacabana Multiple (reviewed here) is lighter and has more beige and pink tones. You can appreciate the intensity of color and sheen when compared to the pale powder highlight color of MAC Crew. MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish is very similar and perhaps only slightly more golden. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City (reviewed here) is more yellow-gold and less beige.

         BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF25+ is a natural golden beige highlight that will complement a range of skin tones. Its versatility allows it to be used alone as a highlight or as a part of a foundation/base. Only a small amount is required; the key is knowing how much to pump out per use. Thanks for reading! Have you tried BECCA Shimmer Skin Perfectors? What are your favorite BECCA products? What is your favorite illuminator/highlighting product?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Le Metier de Beaute True Colour Eye Shadow in Nutmeg review + swatches

          It's that time of year when everyone seems to be cradling a pumpkin spice latte. It's an autumnal taste people can't seem to get enough of. (You might remember the minor pandemonium caused by the rumored 'pumpkin spice shortage' piece published in the Wall St. Journal earlier this month). So, what is 'pumpkin spice'? It's not pumpkin flavor, to be sure. It's more like the supplemental spices that one would find in a pumpkin pie, at the heart of which is nutmeg: a spice capable of upturning the corners of any mouth at first whiff. In addition to beautiful flavor, the nut has golden orange tones that coordinate effortlessly with the gourds and falling leaves of autumn. Today I'll be sharing a review of  Le Metier de Beaute True Colour Eye Shadow in Nutmeg, which embodies both the color and spirit of its namesake nut!

          Le Metier de Beaute True Colour Eye Shadow in Nutmeg has a rounded black casing with a rubberized feel. It's similar to NARS packaging, however the surfaces are flat, not rounded. There's a mirror embedded inside the lid. The eyeshadow contain 0.13 oz. of product (compare to 0.05oz for a MAC eyeshadow). The shadow is smooth and pigmented. According to Le Metier de Beaute's website, the shadows are quadruple milled.

          Le Metier de Beaute Nutmeg is an orange copper eyeshadow with a golden sheen. I was surprised at how orange it was when swatched, I had imagined it to be more gold. You can see that it it's quite different from the gold tones in Urban Decay Half Baked. Nutmeg is more orange and less coppery than Urban Decay Chopper. (Both Half Baked and Chopper were from my Urban Decay NAKED2 palette reviewed here). Urban Decay Penny Lane looks is a coppery orange that looks quite orange in the pan (see it in my Urban Decay Vice palette review here). It is still less orange than LMdB Nutmeg. Laura Geller Creme Brulee is a much darker and more coppery.

          This fall I'll try to step outside of my comfort zone and add a dash of 'Nutmeg' into my makeup routine. It will certainly add a nice autumnal glow to the looks I'm attempting. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Le Metier de Beaute True Colour Eye Shadow in Nutmeg? What are your favorite LMdB eyeshadows? Have you reached for any copper or orange tones this fall? Are you a pumpkin spice latte person?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection review + swatches

          For Holiday 2012, fresh has a number of colorfully packaged gift sets to brighten up the season. The whimsical packaging design was inspired by vintage Champagne catalogues in France and is meant to embody a spirit of merrymaking and cheer. I have the fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection to share with you today!

         The fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip collection contains six miniature lip treatments. The fresh tinted lip treatments include: Sugar Rose, Sugar Honey, Sugar Coral, Sugar Berry, and Sugar Passion. There classic fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is also included. Each lip treatment has SPF15 and is 0.08oz. (full sized fresh lip treatments are 0.15oz.) The tubes are constructed from the typical fresh plastic coated with metal. The caps to these mini lip treatments should be twisted (as opposed to pulled) off.

          The swatches of each fresh Lip Treatment is shown below. Each lip treatment is sheer as one would expect of tinted lip balm. Sugar Rose is a light sheer pink. Sugar Honey is a warm nude. Sugar Coral is a pink coral. Sugar Berry is a sheer pink mauve. Sugar Passion is a red-pink. Sugar is a clear lip treatment.

          The fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection ($48) is a festive and practical set to give or get this season. The sets are a great way to try a variety of the popular fresh lip treatments without breaking the bank. The set I have has six fresh lip treatments, however other sets are available in three, five, and eight tube sizes. Thanks for reading! Have you tried fresh lip treatments? Which is your favorite? Have you tried any other products from fresh?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Five : Halloween Edition

          Happy Friday! It feels like October has spirited away and Halloween is already upon us. To celebrate, I bought a jack-o-lantern print shirt for Baby Bird at Target and she's been sporting that for the past week. I'm hoping to do some more late Halloween / early Thanksgiving decoration shopping this weekend to spruce up the apartment. In the meantime, I've been enjoying my LUSH Halloween goodies (see here), especially Pumpkin Soap. With the turn of the season and impending holiday, one will find a plethora of new products and creative ideas to look forward to in the blogosphere. Here are five such blog posts I enjoyed this week:

1. Makeup Magpie has a spectacular Halloween nail post.
2. A zombie and brains are on display at Makeup Withdrawal.
3. Making up 4 my age has pretty Halloween nails and gruesome fake wound.
4. Vampy Varnish has swatches of OPI Skyfall. I'm loving Die Another Day and Skyfall.
5. I love the sheep sweater (look at their legs) and red pairing in Atlantic Pacific.

          Thanks for reading! What are your weekend plans? How are you preparing for Halloween this year?

Love,  Dovey.

P.S. For more Instagram photos, be sure to check out 'cuteandmundane'!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LUSH Mr. Bumble gift review

           Today I've got the 'buzzz' on a darling new gift set at LUSH: Mr.  Bumble! LUSH Mr. Bumble is a LUSH knot-wrap filled with honey scented goodies. I love bees for their cheerful coloring, hardworking behavior, and the delightfully buoyant look they have during flight. You can imagine my delight at getting my hands on this charming honeybee themed gift from LUSH!

          LUSH Mr. Bumble is a knot-wrap. LUSH knot-wraps are patterned cotton kerchiefs that can be folded to create a small parcel (or gift wrap) for LUSH goodies. LUSH knot wraps are sold as a wrap alone or pre- packaged with products like Mr. Bumble. There are variety of patterns available from florals to stripes to rubber ducks.

          LUSH Mr. Bumble has the cutest bee face and wings. He's even got a stinger on his bee butt! The knot is convenient for picking him up. You can smell the sweet candied honey scent through the fabric of his body. It's absolutely gorgeous.

          Below you can see what LUSH Mr. Bumble looks like unfolded. Folding him into bee-shape is quite simple. Once the products are inside, fold the tail end in first, followed by the head end. To finish, make a double knot with the 'wings.'

           Inside Mr. Bumble, there is a full size LUSH Honey Bee Bath Bomb and a semicircular molded piece of LUSH Honey I Washed the Kids Soap.  LUSH Honey Bee Bath Bomb has a sweet honey toffee scent that smells wonderful straight from the bomb. In the water, it becomes a nice mellow scent. Inside the bath bomb there's uplifting orange oil and Moroccan Rhassoul Mud to soften skin. I've tried LUSH Honey Bee a couple times already and can't wait to put this one to good use. LUSH Honey I washed the Kids Soap has a delicious caramel honey scent. The creamy soap contains real Canadian Honey and orange oil to pamper the skin. It's one of LUSH's most loved soaps. The contents of Mr. Bumble are detailed on the product tag and on a little sheet so the gift-ee will know exactly what's inside.

          LUSH Mr. Bumble ($15.95) is a sweet as honey gift that is bee-yond cute. This has to 'bee' the cutest packaging I've ever seen, and the products inside are wonderful too. Eventually, I'll have to use contents of Mr. Bumble, however since the knot wrap is reusable, I'll be sure to fill him with another bath bomb so he can live on. Thanks for reading! Have you seen Mr. Bumble in stores? Have you tried LUSH Honey I washed the Kids soap, Honey Bee Bath Bomb, or any other LUSH knot-wraps? What are your current LUSH favorites?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Monday, October 22, 2012

NARS Andy Warhol 'Flowers 3' eyeshadow palette review + swatches

          My good friend and fellow NARS enthusiast Ponyo sent me a surprise package. You can imagine my excitement when I found the NARS Andy Warhol Flowers 3 eyeshadow palette inside! (Excitement is an understatement, actually). The Flowers 3 palette is a part of the NARS Holiday 2012 Andy Warhol collection that was recently released at Sephora. Of the three different NARS Andy Warhol 'Flowers' eyeshadow palettes, Flowers 3 has the most neutral, wearable colors. It's both beautiful and practical.

         The NARS Flowers 3 eyeshadow palette comes packaged in the limited edition Andy Warhol glossy silver box, which likely pays homage to Warhol's 'Silver Factory' studio. (Regular NARS boxes are a matte black). The eyeshadow palette has the same rubberized packaging that is typical of NARS products, however the logo is done in silver, instead of white. There is no protective plastic sleeve on the inside of the palette. Perhaps this was to prevent rubbing of the overspray or so that it would not clash with the inscription on the mirror. Each NARS Andy Warhol palette has a different quote. The one inscribed in NARS Flowers 3 reads "All is Pretty."

          My NARS Andy Warhol Flowers 3 eyeshadow palette was packed with three different leaflets. The first (shown at top) is a paper booklet with images, quotes, and descriptions related to Andy Warhol. The second two pieces are simple instructions on how to create a look with the palette. Both sheets are identical.

          NARS Flowers 3 has a flower pattern that is reminiscent of his 'Flowers' artwork. There are four different flowers on the palette, with a greyed purple background. The black detailing on the palette is a decorative overspray that will disappear upon first swipe. I think the shape of the flowers may be somewhat retained after all the overspray is gone, however some regions may become more amorphous. I'm going to try to use the purple from a single area so that I can preserve the flowers as long as possible!

          I've swatched all four flowers and the background color below. My first observation when using the palette was that all the colors were more shimmery and slightly more sheer than usual for NARS eyeshadows. The texture is similar, though possibly softer, than the regular eyeshadow line. The background color is a shimmery greyed lavender. There is a dark chocolate brown that I had to layer to get the swatch below; it seems more like a blending color as opposed to a liner. There are two medium rosy champagne colored flowers that appear to be the same color. I've swatched both below. I think they are ever so slightly different, but functionally the same. Finally, there's a shimmery icy white to provide a very bright highlight.

          To get a better grasp of the colors, I've compared swatches of the purple and medium flower to a few colors from my NARS collection. The greyed lavender background of NARS Flowers 3 is darker and less cool than NARS 413 BLKR (reviewed here). It is a similar intensity to NARS Lhasa (reviewed here), however Lhasa is more taupe toned. The medium champagne of NARS Flowers 3 has golden tones, however it is more rosy than NARS Cyprus. You can see that it shares similar rosy tones as NARS Lola Lola, but is much lighter.

         The NARS Andy Warhol 'Flowers 3' eyeshadow palette is a fun piece for makeup and modern art lovers. I'm pretty utilitarian when it comes to makeup, even when pretty patterns are involved, so I've already dug in. For those afraid to dip their brush into Flowers 3, I would say just go for it. The general patterns are simple, so they'll stay intact for a while. Plus, there's something so fanciful about applying your eye makeup from a field of flowers. Thanks for reading! (And thank you Ponyo for the amazing gift!) Have you tried or eyed anything from NARS Andy Warhol? Do you buy and use patterned palettes? Who is your favorite modern artist and why?

Love, Dovey.

Giveaway Winners: MAC Moth Brown eyeshadow and Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum

Congratulations to Cute and Mundane readers Maggie L. and Julie L., who won my MAC Moth Brown eyeshadow and Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum giveaways, respectively! Thank you to everyone who entered and takes the time to stop by to read Cute and Mundane.

There is another giveaway that is currently running, so be sure to enter it soon! I'm giving away three bottles of Victoria's Secret Dark Orchid Eau de Parfum worth $75 each (Enter here)! 

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute' Breathless' Kaleidoscope review + swatches

          For Fall 2012, Le Metier de Beaute channels the glamour of Hollywood and classic cinema in their newest lip kaleidoscope. The Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope features bold red lip colors, as well  as pretty glosses to mix things up. It's a beautiful take for fall, and has me looking forward to the holiday season when these colors will take center stage.

          The Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope is packaged in reflective silver plastic packaging. It differs from the black packaging of other kaleidoscopes, presumably because silver better complements pink and red tones. The LMdB Kaleidoscope appears to be a paperweight, however I was surprised to see that it was actually light in hand. I was pleased to find a flip top mirror, which makes application with the kaleidoscope self sufficient. When the mirror is flipped open, there was a continuation of the silvery packaging at the inner top of the package with the LMdB logo. The silver mirror on mirror effect is pretty cool. I only wish the visible magnet and the white plastic hinge had been embedded to make things even more perfect.

          The construction Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope complements the film theme of the palette. The circular shape and moving parts remind me loosely of an old movie film projector. As you can see the colors can be flipped out of the packaging on a hinge. While having all four colors flipped out at once looks cool, it's not the most practical. I like to pull out only one or two at a time. The four colors in this lip palette can either be worn alone or used together. Le Metier de Beaute's 'couches de couleurs' technique suggests for the palette colors to be layered upon each other in order from the base upwards. From the bottom up, the four colors in the Le Metier Breathless Kaleidoscope include: Celluloid, Beau, Existential, and Cinema.

          I've swatched the colors in Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope below, in the order from bottom to top. There are two sheer glossy sparkly colors and two pigmented matte colors. Celluloid is a sheer strawberry red pink with sparkles. It has a softer feel than the mattes. Beau is a bright pink red satin color. Existential is a sheer mauve gloss with sparkles. Cinema is a strong red that leans slightly cool. When all four colors are layered in the 'couches de couleurs' format, the result is a cheerful pink red that has shine.

          The Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope is a fun set for the red lip lover. It can be worn now, and will likely prove useful when mistletoe season rolls around. One can use the 'couches de couleurs' technique, other creative combinations, or each color alone to achieve a number of looks. Thanks for reading! Have you tried the Le Metier de Beaute 'Breathless' Kaleidoscope? Have you tried any other LMdB Kaleidoscopes? When in the season do you usually start pulling out your red lipsticks?

Love, Dovey.

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

LUSH Enchanter Bath Bomb review

          Today I enjoyed a spell-binding soak with LUSH Enchanter Bath Bomb. LUSH Enchanter is a limited edition bath bomb from the LUSH Halloween 2012 collection (read my collection overview here). True to its name, LUSH Enchanter has a couple tricks up its sleeve. The peach and lemon striped exterior suggests a bath with yellow orange bubbles. This does happen initially. However shortly into the release process, large streams of pink bubbles become apparent. It's quite mysterious as pink is nowhere to be seen on the bath bomb's surface. Out of curiosity, I did a little excavating and found that indeed there is a pretty pink surprise hidden in the core of the bomb.

          The effervescent peach and pink, yellow, and peach bubbles fizz away to reveal an orange tinted bath. With the orange tint, one would expect to sniff a clementine or orange, however the bath reveals a citrus of a different sort. LUSH Enchanter imparts a the sweet and tart scent of lime gummy candies. It's an uplifting and delicious scent that brings to mind Halloween sweets. The lime and neroli oils in the bath provide toning benefits to skin. The bath bomb imparts a clean feeling after stepping out (as opposed to a moisturizing residue found in conditioning focused bath bombs).

          LUSH Enchanter Bath Bomb is quite the enchanter, with unexpected colors and scents up its sleeve. The refreshing lime aroma will please citrus lovers and fits in well with the Halloween spirit. Thanks for reading! Have you tried or sniffed LUSH Enchanter? What are your favorite bath bombs? Will you be picking up any Halloween themed bath products this year?

Love, Dovey.
 Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for consideration by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lancome La Vie Est Belle L'Eau de Parfum review

              Life is beautiful. Even in name, the new Lancome La vie est belle L'Eau de Parfum has the character of an optimistic and oh-so feminine scent. I sought it out in Sephora a while back with high hopes. However, after a cursory sniff, I dismissed it as a an easy-to-wear light floral formulation that typifies Lancome. Fortunately, I was given a second chance to experience La vie est belle through a sample leaflet sent in a care package from my good friend Ponyo. I wanted to blog about it, so I shook the little vial out and gave it a go.

          The novelty of Lancome la vie est belle lies in the idea that it is the first ever iris gourmand. Iris and gourmand is a unique combination, however, it should be considered that not all combinations were meant to be. An airy powdery iris flower mixed with a heavy dessert-like gourmand could potentially lead to a muddled mess. Imagine tossing a green stem of iris into a simmering pot of creme brulee. The combination doesn't seem palatable. For further illustration, one can imagine the strange aroma that would result from a combination of Prada Infusion d' Iris (Iris scent) and Prada Candy (dessert/gourmand). So, how can the two decidedly contrasting scents coexist? The answer is: they don't.

          The structure of Lancome La vie est belle is a brief opening followed two-part experience that I would liken to reverse flight. After an ephemeral sweet floral burst, the first prominent scent experienced  at dry-down is the gourmand. It is then followed by the flighty scent of iris, the second scent. This is peculiar, as most floral fragrances follow a top down approach. Typically, you'd expect your florals to burst out of the bottle singing, mellow out, and then settle into a musky (or other) base. Lancome La vie est belle has a delicious base followed by a flying floral; it's a floral fragrance experience in reverse.

         Lancome La vie est belle begins with a yummy gourmand with a light/medium strength. This gourmand base has the hints of amber spice, traces of patchouli, and the smoothness of musk. There is a sweet stickiness and vanilla to make things delectable. Warmth from jasmine blends in seamlessly add an extra air of femininity. This gourmand base can be experienced with a smooth, even, inhalation. However, towards the end of said breath, a new scent makes itself known: the flighty iris. The iris takes off, as if lifted faster and faster by an invisible gust of wind. I find myself inhaling at increasing speeds, following it almost to the point of stitches, to try to reach a conclusion that just isn't there. That's iris.

           I've seen some say that Lancome La vie est belle does not have a true iris scent. Perhaps it doesn't, when compared to scents like Prada Infusion d'Iris, which is more like an iris magnified and personified. Iris is a modestly scented flower. It's green, a little powdery, and kind of like too-fresh air. The uplifting smell of the flower is almost more of an experience than a scent. I do think iris has a contribution in La vie est belle, in the initial watery green burst as well as in the second half of the scent despite the lack of an overt 'power-flower' type character. I believe iris to be the too-fresh airy scent I find myself chasing in vain at the end of La vie est belle. It's also working alongside orange blossom, which has a similar upwardly mobile character. The combination of iris and orange blossom and iris really propel this scent higher and finally out of the reach of my nose.

           While trying to wrap a finger around my Lancome La vie est belle experience, I found a visual that kept surfacing behind my shuttered eyes. The experience of this iris gourmand was much like holding a white ribbon securely in the warmth of my palm, until a sudden a gust of wind blows and the ribbon all too quickly slips and dances away from my outstretched fingertips. After several iterations, I can back down to earth and prepared to write this entry. I gently tore open the paper leaflet and gasped. There, facing me was the bottle. There was the ribbon swept off to the side, as if a silvery gust of wind was keeping it a flight. The pretty pink fragrance sat elevated, seemingly cupped in an invisible palm.

          Packaging is a personal obsession of mine, as I find repetition across the senses to be a fascinating topic. (You may have picked up on this preoccupation in previous posts in Cute and Mundane). The uncanny similarity between my imagined analogy and the shape of the bottle just blew me away. Could the ribbon analogy have been influenced by my subconscious knowledge of the bottle shape? Possibly, but most likely not, as I typically don't expect things to be so literal. The surprise of my olfactory and visual observations walking hand in hand was the cherry (or should I say bow) on top of a cool fragrance experience.

         Lancome La vie est belle is a light, pretty, and pretty delicious floral. It's an easy to wear fragrance that will be a crowd pleaser. While the appeal may seem too everyday given a casual sniff, it's worth delving deeper and chasing down the 'iris gourmand' notes offered. I found the sequence of the scent to be fascinating, and was happy to find the spirit of iris present, as I am quite taken with the flower at the moment. With La vie est belle, life is beautiful, and well fragranced too. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Lancome La vie est belle? Do you have any favorite Lancome scents? What are some flowers or fragrances you're loving right now?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The smelliest shoebox

           Baby Bird has a tendency to move her doggie toys, pile them up, and sit gloatingly on top of  them. The toys never stay in one place for long, else something should happen to them when she's away. Lately I've come to the realization that the two of us are not so different. Like a dog and its bone, I am constantly digging up my perfume samples and moving them around. The result is that I have fragrance leaflets poking out from everywhere. I've got them stuffed in the fridge, shopping bags, on my desk, in my dresser, and on my vanity. The pendulum always swings between preservation (in the fridge) and practicality (out for use). In an attempt for organizational normalcy, I designated my best-looking shoebox (it's dark brown with the Cole Haan weave pattern) for my fragrance sample collection. Now, when I open my box, I find a dancing rainbow of colors and scents. It's much like a secret treasure trove. I love my new shoebox organizational scheme, but I do wonder how long it will last.The instinctual tendencies that cause me to collect, pile, and shuffle around my perfume samples already have me wondering if I should just toss everything back in the fridge! Thanks for reading! Where do you store your fragrance samples? Do you have any bizarre beauty storage tendencies? What kind of things do you share in common with your pet?

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Uber Pink review + swatches

          There are moms and there are beauty blogger's moms. Even without my asking, my mom saved her brand new Bobbi Brown Uber Pink Rich Lip Color unused and in the box for weeks, just so I could photograph it for Cute and Mundane. Suffice it to say, moms are thoughtful and patient, even in the most unexpected ways. (Thanks Mom!).  Bobbi Brown is a line that both of us have enjoyed for quite some time. My mother has a lip palette of different Bobbi Brown lip colors and the pan she used up the fastest was Uber Pink Creamy Lip Color. When  Uber Pink was released as a Rich Lip Color in the Bobbi Brown Uber Basics Collection (Fall 2012) it made sense to purchase a tube.

           Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Uber Pink is a natural light-medium pink. It runs on the warm end of the spectrum, without having really peachy or brown contributions. I've compared it below to a few other Bobbi Brown lipsticks in my collection. You can see that it's similar in tone to Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Blondie Pink and Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Lilac. Bobbi Brown Blondie Pink is more brown. Bobbi Brown Lilac is much cooler and mauve. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Heather Pink is darker and browner.

           Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Uber Pink is a pretty and very wearable color. The Rich Lip Color formula is creamy, comfortable, and pigmented; it's one of my favorites. I also appreciate the streamlined aesthetic of the matte and glossy black on black casing. While Uber Pink is a great fit for my mom, I'm looking forward to getting a tube of Rich Lip Color in Uber Beige, which is more 'me'. Thanks for reading! Did you pick up anything from the Bobbi Brown Uber Basics collection? Have you tried the Rich Lip Colors? What is your favorite basic pink?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more of the Fall 2012 Bobbi Brown Uber Basics collection, see my review of Bobbi Brown Black Chocolate eyeshadow here.
P.PS. Want to read more on Mom? Read about some of her  travel favorites here.