Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Five : Yankee Candle Edition

             Happy Friday! This past week I got 10lbs of candles in the mail. It was, quite literally, a haul. Yankee Candle had a 'Buy Two Get Two Free' (a.k.a. 'two' good 'two' pass up) deal on their large jar candles. I'm always happy to add new Yankee Candles to my collection. I like that the candles are made in the USA and, as a former New Englander, the brand name makes me smile. The jars are pretty klutz proof (I had a recent misadventure where I blew out the flames of a different candle and ended up splattering adherent micro-droplets everywhere... oops), which is good for me too.

          I chose two new holiday collection Yankee Candles: Pinecone and Lime and Peppermint Bark (as seen on Instagram). I also picked up two regular collection staples: Midnight Jasmine and Fresh Cut Roses. My new holiday candles have already gotten a lot of love. Their scents are the perfect complement to our new Christmas Tree; plus, there's nothing like the flicker of warm candlelight on a cold winter night! On that glowy note, here are five posts that brought a sparkle to my eye this week:

1.Thesmalllittlethingsinlife takes us on a tour of the Bite Beauty Lip Library.
2. Front Row Beauty creates a stunning look with Tom Ford Dark Orchid on lips and cheeks.
3. Lil Lady's Life has all you ever wanted to know about the NARS Yachiyo brush.
4. The Non Blonde lists her top ten leather scents.
5. EauMG recounts a childhood perfume creation in her 'Hindu Honeysuckle' review.

          Thanks for reading! How was your week? What candles are you burning this holiday season? What are your favorite Yankee Candle scents?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Victoria's Secret Beauty : makeup haul + review

          Anyone who's waited in the checkout line at Victoria's Secret knows that there's more to the boutique than lingerie; there's an impressive beauty section full of fragrance, body products, and makeup. However, it's a lot to take in for the brief amount of time you spent in the queue! Today I'm posting an overview of new makeup products that might make a nice shortlist to explore next time you're in-store.

           Victoria's Secret has a new line of nail polish that is packaged in sleek and flat rectangular bottles, a la Butter London. The cap lifts off to reveal a small application handle inside. I have the VS Nail Lacquers in Room Service and Mischief. The nail polish formula is smooth but a bit thick; it becomes opaque after 1-2 coats. Below, you can see the VS Makeup Eyeshadow Quad in Overnight Sensation. It contains a purple and gold combination, along with a liner and highlight shade. The formula has a smooth application, medium pigmentation, and a sheen finish. A number of other pretty color combinations are available too.

            The VS Pro Smooth FX Lip Scrub & Balm is a lip scrub and balm in one product. The strawberry scented scrub is in a small pot with a twist-off topper. The top of said topper flips open to reveal a pink lip balm. Victoria's Secret Minty Kiss Lip Shine is a minty lip gloss with lots of shine and good lasting power. It's a good find, especially if you like a mint. The VS Pro Radiant FX Face Illuminator is a liquid illuminator with a subtle pink sheen.

           The VS Makeup Graphic Liner Pen is a felt-tip liquid eyeliner that makes liquid lining easy. It reminds me of MAC Penultimate liner. The black color in this liner is well pigmented. The VS Makeup Volume Lift Mascara has a large teardrop shaped wand for volumization. True to name, this mascara does a great job of lifting lashes! It adds good length too. The VS Makeup Kajal Liner is a smudgy black kohl product, good for smoky eyes. Because it is meant to be smudged (like kohls in general), its lasting power is not as strong as your typical eyeliner.

          I've swatched the color products from this post below. The VS Pro Radiant FX Face Illuminator is a pink beige with light sheen. The sheen is much subtler than those found in NARS illuminators. It would be hard to overdo this color. The VS Makeup Eyeshadow Quad in Overnight Sensation has four hues: matte black, a purple with sheen, a golden beige with sheen, and a white with sheen. VS Nail Nail Lacquer in Room Service is a taupe beige with silver shimmer. VS Nail Lacquer in Mischief is a shimmery blue teal.

            As you can see, there's quite a variety of Victoria's Secret makeup to choose from. My favorites from the bunch were the VS Volume Lift Mascara, VS Pro Smooth FX Lip Scrub & Balm, and the VS Minty Kiss Lip Shine. Thanks for reading! Which of the above products catch your eye? What are your favorite Victoria's Secret Beauty products? When was the last time you stopped by a Victoria's Secret boutique?

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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate serum review

          REN is a plant-based skincare line with a growing following of in-the-know beauty lovers. Their products are full of feel-good ingredients and are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colors, and silicones. Today I have the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate to share with you. After all, what could be better than a moisturizing serum to pamper your skin on these cold winter nights? The serum contains bio-extracts including 100% naturally derived Vitamin A, pro-Vitamin A, and Retinoid analogue; these elements are thought to combat the appearance of wrinkles, imperfections, and age spots.

          The REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate serum is oil-based and has a nice olive oil and marmalade/peach scent. It's best to take a few drops of serum, warm it on your palms, and gently pat it onto your skin. The finish is warm and comfortable; it's not a fast-drying serum. There is a layer of oil that leaves skin looking dewy, so you could conceivably skip a moisturizer.

Ingredients Rosa Rubiginosa seed oil, Glycin soja (soybean) oil, Gossypium Harbaceum (cotton) seed oil, Bidens pilosa extract, Hippophae rhamnoides fruit extract, Parfum*, Linum Usitatissimum (linseed) seed oil, Tocopherol, Linalool. *100% Natural Fragrance

         The REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate ($60 for 1.02 oz.) is a nice nightly retinoid treatment for skin. The moisturizing finish of the serum makes it appropriate for normal to dry skin, and nice for winter. When my parents stopped by to visit, my dad decided he liked it, so this little bottle went home with him. It's hard to get him to use any skincare whatsoever, so I think that says something. Thanks for reading! Have you tried REN skincare? What are your favorite products from the line? What nightly serums have you been using lately?

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, November 26, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending Brush review + photos

          Meet the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending brush! As the name suggests, this brush was created to smudge out Urban Decay's 24/7 glide-on eyeshadow pencils; it also works well for softening the edges of any eye makeup. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending brush is like a small precise finger for blurring the edges of long lasting eyeshadows. Creamy eyeshadow pencils and eyeliners impart quick and intense color. However, because they are pencils, an obvious line of demarcation between shadow and skin is often left. Most soft brushes do not have the power to smudge edges, and fingers tend to be too large and inaccurate. Hence, a good dome-shaped brush like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending brush is handy. I've successfully used this brush to smudge my Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 eyeliners (reviewed here), as well as my MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow pencils (reviewed here).

Size and shape comparisons
          The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending brush has a small dome shaped head. The size is smaller than a typical eyeshadow brush, and comparable to other short dome-shaped brushes (see photograph above). The fibers are soft, but don't have a lot of bend, which is necessary for the kind of blending I've discussed. The synthetic fibers are cruelty-free and well suited to withstand the vigorous cleaning required to remove a cream product.

           Overall, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Blending Brush is a great brush to have if eyeshadow pencils or smoky eyes are on your agenda. Don't get boxed in by the name; this brush can be used with eye products from Urban Decay, as well as other brands. I enjoyed using this brush, and hope to explore more from Urban Decay's Good Karma brush line. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Urban Decay Good Karma brushes? What are your favorite Urban Decay 24/7 eyeshadow pencils and eyeliners? How do you use domed/smudge brushes?

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, November 25, 2012

The end of my fragrance ban + Dior Addict Shine review!

My deluxe size sample of Dior Addict Shine
            Today is the end of a journey I started this past June. Five months ago, I started a self-imposed fragrance buying ban that would only be lifted when I finished reviewing the contents of my miniature-fragrance collection (see here). I'm so excited (and relieved) to bring you my final review, as well as thoughts regarding my fragrance ban experience.

          Dior Addict Shine Eau de Parfum is my favorite scent from my miniature fragrance collection. You could say I've saved the best for last! My predilection for Dior Addict Shine is not a surprise, as I do enjoy most scents in the Dior Addict series. Dior Addict Shine is a zesty fruity floral. It opens with a lemon rind that bubbles up and out like sparkling water. The lemon melds well with the tartness of raspberry. This joining is smoothed over with a stem of gardenia that adds a silky femininity and preserves the simplicity of the scent. Finally, the fragrance is finished off with a shot of clean cedar. The overall effect is crisp, optimistic, and beautiful. Dior Addict Shine is no longer available at mainstream U.S. retailers; fortunately I have good amount left to savor in my little bottle.

The fragrance ban cohort. All these scents have been reviewed, finally!
          Now that my fragrance ban is over, how did I do? The aims for my self-imposed fragrance ban were 1) to appreciate the scents I already have and 2) to actively incorporate my enthusiasm for scents into Cute and Mundane. It turns out that the ban was more successful than planned! The original ban dictated that I should review eight samples. I enjoyed reviewing fragrance so much that I ended up doing twenty-two posts! I kept getting sidetracked by new smells, which is probably why this whole thing took five months to complete.

           I enjoyed how writing reviews forced me to think critically about a scent. It taught me to appreciate the experience, as opposed to focusing on feelings of 'like' or 'dislike'. I like more scents now, but I love fewer scents. (This conveniently curbs the urge to buy). I rekindled an appreciation for the beauty found in simplicity.  Currently, I'm enjoying scents that sing in duets, as opposed to those that play in a symphony of blooms. 

            In addition to being a good exercise for my nose, the fragrance ban provided new photographic opportunities. Perfume bottles differ in size and shape, allowing for fun and different  compositions. And then, there were paper packets. Typically, fragrance bloggers will use stock and other illustrative images when describing a sample vial; however, I prefer to rely upon personal photographs, so I shot the leaflets instead. While photographing freebies might not be glamorous, I like that it reflects reality: I have a shoebox full of samples (see it here), not a cabinet of couture bottles!

Prada Infusion d'Iris gift set
          I've had five months to think about the first fragrance I'd purchase when my time was up. It was an easy decision; I had already fallen in love with a sample of Prada Infusion d'Iris early on in the ban. Today's the day I get to open the box, so I'm off to spritz my new fragrance to my heart's content! Thanks for reading and supporting me in this very fragrant journey! Have you ever tried a fragrance (or other) ban? What perfumes are you liking currently? What are your tips for writing about scents?

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set review + photos

          I received a request for a closer look at the items in the Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set, so I'm sharing a few photos of it today! The set has five brushes housed in a pretty gold and pink striped pouch. There's an extra slot for mascara or another brush, plus plenty of room to stash everyday makeup essentials. I'd say the pouch is about 1 inch deep.

          The Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set has five basic brushes for everyday use: a powder brush, a blending fluff brush, an angled eye shadow brush, a small crease brush, and an angled liner liner / brow brush. I would consider the brushes to be full size, though they are slightly shorter than the other brushes in my collection by ~1-2cm. The brushes in this set (from Too Faced online) have golden ferrules and pink handles with the Too Faced logo, while the Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair brushes at Sephora have black handles with pink ferrules. All the brushes are soft and made from cruelty-free synthetic fibers.

          The Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set is a cute and useful brush set. The design of the pouch is handy too since it has room for both makeup and brushes. Thanks for reading! I hope this quick overview was helpful. Have you tried Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair brushes? What are your favorite synthetic brushes? What was the last Too Faced product you tried?

Love,  Dovey.

P.S. Be sure to check out my review of all sixteen Too Faced La Creme lipsticks here!
Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent to Cute and Mundane for giveaway purposes by PR. The ideas and opinions in this post are genuine and my own.

Laura Mercier Sephora 500 point perk (November 2012) review + swatches

           During the Sephora VIB sale this month, I cashed in my points for the Laura Mercier Sephora 500 point perk. If this post seems like déjà vu, you'd be right; this is my second Laura Mercier perk (read about the first one here). The funny thing is, I don't find myself using the brand very often. So, just like last time, I've collected this small bounty to give to my mom who does use it!

          The Laura Mercier Sephora 500 point perk contains a Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic, Eye Basic in Wheat, Tinted Moisturizer in Nude, and Foundation Primer. I've swatched all the colors below. The Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic is the star of the collection. I believe that this sample contains about half the amount of product in a full sized shimmer bloc. The sample packaged in a size similar to a Laura Mercier eyeshadow. (This is much better than the teeny Laura Mercier eyeshadow sample I received last time). When blended equally, the final effect is a shimmery peachy bronze. One could tailor the blend, depending on which colors you touch your brush on. The Laura Mercier Eye Basic in Wheat is a peachy nude. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude is swatched below. It seems to have an orange-y tint on my skin. Nude is the color that is typically included in Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer samples.

           This Laura Mercier Sephora 500 point perk has only four items, as opposed to the usual five deluxe samples one would expect. However, I thought this gift was quite nice because the Shimmer Bloc, Eye Basic, and Tinted Moisturizer are very useable. The foundation primer is a 'filler' item that I could live without. Overall, this 500 point perk was on the nicer end of Sephora's recent perks, so I'm happy. Thanks for reading! What Sephora perks or gift-with-purchases have you liked recently? What was the last 500 point perk that appealed to you? Have you tried any of the Laura Mercier products in this set?

Love, Dovey.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Five : Black Friday edition

          Happy Black Friday! Like many, I set out to burn off all those extra Thanksgiving calories (in my case from too many slices of pecan pie) by shopping. Beauty was on the back-burner today; the majority of my Black Friday allowance was spent at The Home Depot. Their Christmas displays were out in full force, including the cute Nutcrackers above (from Instagram). Mr. Lovey and I invested in our first artificial tree, a 7.5 ft. tall Wesley Pine. I also picked up a cute Norfolk pine strung with baubles and a Christmas cactus to add some extra greenery to our apartment. I can't wait to put everything together this evening! I've also been enjoying the seasonal spirit entering the blogosphere. Here are five wonderful wintry blog posts that caught my eye this week:

1. The faux fur snood on Wendy's Lookbook has me feeling warm and fuzzy.
2. I'm loving golden simplicity of Guerlain Altoum shine on Mostly Sunny.
3. The Burberry Smoky Grey Eye Palette on The Beauty Look Book is right up my alley.
4. Planet Martha shares a gorgeous look with Tom Ford Enchanted and Narcissist.
5. Lenallure has an icy nail look with SpaRitual Ice Ice Baby.

          Thanks for reading! Did you shop any of the sales today? What kind of pie did you have this Thanksgiving? Have you started hanging your holiday decorations? What kind of tree will you choose this year?

Love, Dovey.

Stella by Stella McCartney Eau de Parfum review

          Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Parfum was a purchase from early on in my fragrance exploration; it was an evening appropriate counterpart to my light floral collection. Even visually, the blackened rose gradient stands out amongst my largely pink or clear fragrances; the bottle design beautifully depicts the dramatic floral scent inside.

           Stella McCartney Stella is the personification of a ripe, resplendent rose. It captures the flower at the moment when the heavily perfumed petals can barely stay alight. The intended notes include rose, peony flower, mandarin, rose absolute, and amber. Rose is the dominant and almost singular note. The other notes are built underneath to bolster the natural character of a fragrant rose. As mentioned above, this rose is mature , not one of a green bud. Peony adds an opulence and fuller body to the rose scent; one might imagine that our basic rose has gained a multitude of burgeoning petals like a peony. The mandarin was not readily apparent; I had to sift through layers of the scent to find a true mandarin at the heart. The juiciness of this mellow citrus complements the sweet nectar component of the rose. Stella has an amber base. The amber scent is clean, with just a hint of spice running throughout. I would describe Stella as a medium to heavy scent due to the strength of the rose, as opposed to a strong amber, musk, or patchouli base. Though it is a heavier floral, it may still appeal to light floral lovers due to its simplicity and lack of exotic or heavy base notes. As someone who typically wears light florals, I consider this to be an evening scent. However, I have heard Stella called a daytime fragrance; I think it's just a matter of personal preference and perspective.

Stella Jr., trying on Stella's hat for size.
          Stella McCartney Stella is the essence of a full petaled rose. In reality, this rose is too voluptuous to be a a true rose. This sleight of mind is accomplished via a supporting cast of scents used to bolster the natural character of a rose fragrance. Rose scents can come across as mature or dated. However, the simple structure of the scent and the clean amber base keeps it fresh. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Stella? Would you wear this in the daytime or evening? What are your favorite rose fragrances or body products?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I'm 'petal'-ing through the last requirements of my fragrance ban (see here). After this, there's only one more scent to go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New LUSH Haircare part 2: Roots Hair Treatment + Sea Spray Hair Mist review

            Welcome back to my coverage of new haircare from LUSH Cosmetics! As I mentioned in New LUSH Haircare Part 1 (see here), LUSH is launching eight new products in their haircare lineup. In my last post, I covered new shampoos and conditioners that were inspired by bananas, blooms, and bees. In today's post, I'll be covering new hair treatments that are infused with leaves of mint and water from the sea!

            A healthy scalp is like healthy soil. Hair, like a garden, thrives in a good environment. With this in mind, LUSH Roots Hair Treatment is a revitalizing treatment for both the scalp and hair. It has a mint infusion and mint oils to stimulate the scalp, and olive oil and honey to strengthen hair. The mask is scented with sweet orange and neroli oils to add an uplifting fragrance in addition to the mint overtones. LUSH Roots is targeted to those with fine and thin hair (in which case I am the perfect test subject), though it should be a nice treatment for just about anyone. The creamy gel-like texture should be massaged into the scalp for 15-20 minutes. It takes some effort to work into dry hair at first, but becomes easier as more hair gets coated. The mask imparted a definite cooling and invigorating feeling to my scalp during the entire time. (To be honest, I didn't massage my scalp for the entire recommended time; I let the mask sit on its own and I could still feel it working). The mask readily washes off in water; I like to use a little shampoo to remove any residual oiliness at the roots, since my scalp produces enough on its own. Overall, I really enjoyed the treatment; it felt actively refreshing. I'm so happy that LUSH made a hair mask specifically for fine hair. A good scalp refresher to stimulate hair growth with a light moisturizing effects on the ends is exactly what my fine hair needs.

LUSH Roots Ingredients - Fresh Mint Infusion (Mentha piperita), Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Honey, Peppermint Oil (Mentha arvensis), Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Spearmint Oil (Mentha spicata), Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradis), Nettle Absolute (URtica urens), Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. 

          LUSH Sea Spray is a sea water (really, see the ingredients) and sea salt spray that's meant to add a beachy volume, texture, and shine to hair.  Salt is a natural volumizer and texturizer; it's found in LUSH's popular 'Big' shampoo. While I love the volumizing salt in Big, it can only be used in the shower. LUSH Sea Spray is a great complementary product, since it can be used at any time and targeted to the long ends of my hair. I've used LUSH Sea Spray on both wet and dry hair. If I spray and comb the product through my wet hair, the texturizing effect is more subtle and creates more defined waves and shine. If I spritz and scrunch Sea Spray on dry hair, the texturizing effect is more evident. Interestingly, I don't find that LUSH Sea Spray makes my naturally curly hair any curlier; if anything, it seems a bit more relaxed due the traces of essential oils. Finally, it's worth noting that  grapefruit and neroli oils add a beautiful fragrance to LUSH Sea Spray; the spray can double as a hair perfume!

LUSH Sea Spray Ingredients: Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Sea Water, SD Alcohol, Glycerine, Fine Sea Salt (Sodium chloride), PVP, Fragrance, Limonene, Linalool, Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradis), Rosewood Oil (Aniba rosaeodora), Hydroxycitronella, Geraniol, Citral, Farnesol, Benzyl Benzoate, Methylparaben.

           LUSH Roots hair treatment ($19.95 for 8.4 oz.) and LUSH Sea Spray hair mist ($12.95 for 3.3 fl.oz.) will be available in-store on Black Friday! As someone with hair that could use a little volumizing, both of these products are right up my alley. Thanks for reading! Have you ever tried LUSH hair products? Will you be looking for LUSH haircare on Black Friday? What are your favorite hair masks or salt sprays?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more new LUSH Haircare, check out LUSH New Haircare Part 1 (see here) and my review of LUSH Shine So Bright (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, November 19, 2012

New LUSH Haircare Part 1: Fair Trade Honey shampoo, Blousey shampoo, and Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner review

          I've been having a lot of 'lush'-ious hair days recently, thanks to a brand new haircare collection from LUSH Cosmetics! The eight piece collection consists of shampoos, conditioners, and hair treatments. LUSH haircare is a staple in my everyday routine, so I've been having a blast testing out the latest products before they hit store shelves. My coverage of LUSH haircare will be split into two parts: 1) Shampoos and Conditioners and 2) Hair Treatments. I have reviews of LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo, LUSH Blousey shampoo, and LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner to share with you today!

           I'm a honey aficionada, so I was excited to try LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo. LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo has a beautiful amber color that looks a lot like honey. That's because 50% of the product is honey! Honey provides natural luster, volume, and shine to hair. It's also a natural preservative; jars of honey stored in tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs for millenia remain edible to this day! For this reason, LUSH Fair Trade does not require any other preservatives. LUSH Fair Trade Honey is a thick liquid and lathers surprisingly well for a honey shampoo. The trick is to make sure you start with enough to work into your hair. I like to let it sit in my hair for a minute or two before rinsing. The effects are immediately evident. There is a tactile difference to strands; they have the thick moisturized feeling that honey imparts. There is a hint of shine as well, though not nearly as much as imparted by an oil. Overall, I really like LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo. It's cleansing enough for my oily hair, yet imparts a healthy level of moisturization to the dry ends of my hair. I'm going to try and rotate between this and my more stripping shampoo bars.

NOTE: You might notice that LUSH Mr. Bumble made a reappearance in my photos. You can find a whole post devoted to the sweet little bee here!

           LUSH Blousey shampoo fills an important niche within LUSH's shampoo lineup, as a gentle and color-friendly hair shampoo.  It's a non-stripping, preservative-free cleanser that is full of moisturizing bananas and butters. LUSH Blousey lacks the super sudsy Sodium Laureth Sulfate found in most LUSH shampoos; instead it has Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. LUSH Blousey has a thick paste-like texture. It does take a bit more effort to lather up than typical shampoos, however it did a good job of cleaning my hair. Even after rinsing, a good amount of moisturizing treatment is left to condition your hair post-shower. One of the most appealing points to the LUSH Blousey is its beautiful floral and banana scent. Rose, blackcurrant, thyme, and rosemary oils and extracts that will add fragrance to your hair both in and out of the shower. In fact, 'Blousey' was named for the big, floppy, 'blousey' flowers that the fragrance brings to mind. LUSH Blousey shampoo is a great cleanser for normal to dry or color-treated hair. The level of moisturization is a bit heavy for my already-oily scalp, but I may use it once in a while as a fragrant mask-like treatment for my hair.

          LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner has an orange blossom and neroli scent that imparts a mood as joyous as its name would suggest. LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy is vegan and relies on rose water, orange blossom water, and almond milk to soften hair. The conditioner has a super-light creamy feel, and absorbs into wet hair upon contact. In terms of conditioning power, I would say this is at the lightest end of LUSH conditioners, near Veganese. Because the formula is light, I would recommend rinsing only briefly (if at all) to preserve the beautiful scents. Because the scent is top note heavy, it will fade somewhat quickly so that only hints are left. LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy is a light and uplifting conditioner that's sure to please a number of noses. I always keep a range of LUSH conditioners on hand so I can accommodate different hairstyles. LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy would be great on days I'd like my hair to be natural and light.

         LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo ($9.95 for 3 oz.) , LUSH Blousey shampoo ($24.95 for 8.4 oz.), and LUSH Happy Happy Joy conditioner ($12.95 for 3.3oz.) will be available in stores on Black Friday! LUSH has done a great job with their new haircare collection; each product offers a beautiful scent and new function to the current lineup. My favorite of the three would be LUSH Fair Trade Honey Shampoo, since it suits my hair well and I love anything honey related! Thanks for reading! Have you tried any LUSH Haircare? Which one of these new products appeals to you most?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more new LUSH Haircare, check out my review of LUSH Shine So Bright (see here). The second half of my LUSH New Haircare review is coming up, so stay tuned!
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.

Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Cream lipstick collection review + swatches

          For Fall 2012, Too Faced released a smooth new lipstick line in their Art of Sexy collection. The Too Faced La Crème Color  Drenched Lip Creams have a pigmented and creamy formula with moisture rich lotus flower and power peptides. The collection consists of sixteen beautiful new colors that I'm excited to showcase for you today.

          The Too Faced La Crème lip colors are organized into four groups: nudes, spices, pinks, and reds. You can see the color-coordinated dots on the packaging above. The pink box is too pretty, with fanciful patterning that includes a white peacock, a white rabbit, and a tree full of flowers. I plan on keeping the packaging; it's too pretty to toss, plus it helps to keep things organized.

          The Too Faced La Crème lip colors are packaged in golden tubes with raised Too-Faced logos. The cases have a matte shine finish and do not track fingerprints. Too Faced La Creme lip colors have a soft formula and creamy feel. The lipsticks apply with a balmy thickness; this may cause the formulato catch on areas of lips. Pressing your lips together a few times evens things out very nicely and dryness will disappear under the uniform creamy layer. The finish is glossy; I can even feel some of the gloss-like texture when wearing the lipsticks. In general, glossy and 'creamy' lipstick formulas tend to become uncomfortable as they dry out during the course of a day. I found that Too Faced La Crème lipsticks did have the weighty feel of a cream lipstick, however the formula remained comfortable during the wear time. The Too Faced La Crème lip colors apply medium to opaque in one swipe. Two or more swipes will give a full amount of color.  The lasting power is reasonable as long as you're not eating/wiping etc, however like most soft formula lipsticks, these will have to be reapplied at some point. The Too Faced La Crème Lipsticks do not have a taste and the lipsticks have a distinct scent that reminds me of lemon cookies.

          I've taken photos of the lipsticks up close so you can get a better idea of their individual nuances. They're grouped into four categories, as I mentioned above. The Too Faced La Crème Nudes include: Naughty Nude, Naked Dolly, Nude Beach, and In the Buff.

          The Too Faced La Crème Spices lipsticks include: Spice Spice Baby, Cinnamon Kiss, Honey Bear, and Sweet Maple.

         The Too Faced La Crème Pinks include: Marshmallow Bunny, Razzle Dazzle Rose, Juicy Melons, and Fuchsia Shock.

           The Too Faced La Crème Reds include: I Want Candy, Coral Fire, Stiletto Red, and Divine Wine.

          I've swatched each of the Too Faced La Crème lipstick colors below. First up are the 'Nudes' and 'Spices.' Naughty Nude is a light nude with pink tones. Naked Dolly is a pale pink peach. Nude Beach is a pale pink. In the Buff is a warm beige nude that is of similar intensity to Naughty Nude. Spice Spice Baby is a light-medium with brown tones. Cinnamon Kiss is medium spiced pink. Honey Bear is a medium mauve brown. Sweet Maple is a plum brown.

            The Too Faced La Crème 'Pinks' and 'Reds' are swatched below. Marshmallow Bunny is a pale cool pink. Razzle Dazzle Rose is a light cool rose pink. Juicy Melons is a light pink coral. Fuschia Shock is a beautiful bright fuchsia pink. I Want Candy is a medium pink coral. Coral Fire is a medium coral. Stiletto Red is a neutral classic red. Divine Wine is a classic bordeaux.

          The new Too Faced La Crème collection is very much 'la crème de la crème' of Too Faced's lip color line. The line has a gotten a lot of love from other bloggers and I can see why. The formula is smooth and comfortable for a 'cream' formula lipstick. The finish has a glossy shine, so you could easily skip the lip gloss application step in the morning. What I like best is the color range. The selection is vibrant, modern, and has all the basics. My favorites would be the nudes (you know me), though I found deeper colors like Fuchsia Shock and Bordeaux to be quite beautiful as well. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Too Faced La Crème lipsticks? Which colors stand out to you? Do you like creamy lipstick formulas?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Be sure to enter my Too Faced 100K facebook follower giveaway! One lucky Cute and Mundane reader will win $296 worth of Too Faced makeup! Click here to go to the giveaway.
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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boscia One Step Wonders (Holiday 2012) review

          Boscia has launched their first ever holiday collection! The centerpiece of their Holiday 2012 collection is the Boscia One Step Wonders collection. The collection has a festive Japanese-inspired wave-print packaging. Inside, there is a full-size Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27++ (1.75oz.), a sample size Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cleansing Oil (1.7 oz.), and a sample size Boscia Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm (0.14 oz).

          I was delighted to try the set, as it's a great introduction to the Boscia line. I had been hoping to try the Boscia B.B. cream for some time. It's one of very few B.B. creams that do not contain chemical SPF (which I'm allergic to). Thankfully, it does not have micro-glitter either, as some B.B. creams do. The formula is said to be 'self-adjusting' to one's skin tone. It looked a bit dark when squeezed out, however I found that it was a reasonably good match for my light skin. Like a tinted moisturizer, this B.B. cream should match a broad range of light skin tones. The consistency of the Boscia B.B. cream is thought to be drier than others. I found that application over a moisturizer worked well. I also found that distributing it on my palms and patting it on gave good results too. The coverage was light to medium, depending on how much was layered on. The Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cleansing Oil does a good job dissolving foundation and I found that it was able to break down some stubborn eye makeup too. It has a refreshing mint scent that I enjoy. The oil is very fluid and easy to work on the face.  The oil washed off nicely, which I prefer to cleansing oils that leave a residue. The Boscia Super-Cool Depuffing Eye Balm is a solid twist-up gel stick meant to hydrate and depuff eyes. I don't have heavy circles, so I can't attest to its depuffing functionality. That said, I did enjoy this eye balm a lot. One swipe under each eye gives a cooling and refreshing sensation.

           Boscia One Step Wonders is a great starter set for the botanical beauty lover, as well as a practical set for a seasoned Boscia fan. It was nice to receive a full size B.B. cream; full-size items certainly improve a set's appeal. I was pleasantly surprised by the cleansing oil and depuffing eye balm. Overall, I'm very pleased with the set and plan on rotating the items into my routine. The Boscia One Step Wonders set is exclusive to Sephora and Boscia online. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Boscia B.B. cream or skincare? What are your favorite items from the line? What are your favorite B.B. creams and cleansing oils?

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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Givenchy Very Irresistible Eau de Toilette review

          Givenchy Very Irresistible pays homage to a time when fashion and cinema were intertwined. The scent is a union between the elegance of French cinema and the pizzazz of American film. I can imagine the slender shape and slightly swept curvature of the pink bottle to be an abstraction of a startlet's dress.
          Givenchy Very Irresistible is a rose and anise scent with light to medium strength. The intended notes include Centifolia rose, Peony rose, Fantasia rose, Passion rose, Emotion rose, Verbena Leaf, and Star Anise. The scent opens with rose blooms; after all, they list quite a selection in the intended notes! The rose is clear, but relaxed. It's not a full-bodied rose bouquet like Stella McCartney Stella. The experience is more like a rolling dewdrop passing from petal to petal. I can't detect a strong contribution from the Verbena leaf, though there is a light freshness that might be attributed to it. Anise adds a touch of interest and charm to the scent. It's present at the opening and a light licorice scent pervades throughout. The floral fades rather quickly to focus on the Anise. After time passes, the fragrance settles on my skin to include a hint of vanilla. Givenchy Very Irresistible doesn't contain traditional base notes like musk, amber, or patchouli. Without a grounding base, this mid-tone focused scent imparts a floating feeling, perhaps like the dress described above.

          Judging from the description and pink packaging, Givenchy Very Irresistible Eau de Toilette should be a scent that appeals to me. That said, I wore it only once, despite having this sample for quite some time. Most fragrances forge an emotional connection in my memory, however I could not put my finger on how I felt about Givenchy Very Irresistible. After smelling it again for the purpose of review, I agree with my initial impression. It's a pleasant and wearable fragrance, but I'm not persuaded into any particular direction. Perhaps the mixed classical and pop inspirations have guided the scent into a middle ground. Overall, Givenchy Very Irresistible is a pretty scent that would be nice to wear in daytime. While the fragrance has a quiet neutrality, there are hints of glamour, beauty, and intrigue that become evident to those who lean in close. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Very Irresistible Givenchy? Have you tried other Givenchy fragrances? Do you like rose or anise in a perfume?

Love, Dovey.

 P. S. For a very different take on rose and anise, you might want to read my review of Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir (read here).

Monday, November 12, 2012

SpaRitual Fall 2012 : Rock collection review + swatches

          I've had a long-standing fascination with rocks. As a kid, I would dig around for fun and try to unearth pieces of smooth slate or whitest, least red-veined, piece of quartz I could find. More recently, I had an amazing time in Volcanoes national park in Hawaii, where a fascinating array of extruded earth-turned-rock was on display. Rocks have such an organic, unplanned beauty. Sparitual has drawn inspiration from these natural sculptures in their Fall 2012 collection. I'm excited to share the SpaRitual Fall Rock collection with you today!

          The SpaRitual Fall 2012 : Metal collection consists of six nail lacquers: Conglomerate, Basalt, Quartz, Marble, Slate, and Lithophonic. The drop shaped bottles have brown rubbery cap applicators. The shape, texturized siding, and rubbery feel of the caps make it easy to get a secure grip while applying nail polish. The brush inside is a classic rounded nail polish applicator.

            Below you can see the promotional imagery from the line. The SpaRitual Rock collection is inspired by the natural sculptures of the earth. There is beautiful red rock in the foreground, followed by taupe hills and blue-grey mountains in the background.

          The SpaRitual Rock collection for Fall 2012 has an array of nature inspired colors and finishes. Conglomerate is a charcoal grey polish with large salt and pepper glitter and a golden microshimmer sheen. The result is a unique textured feel. Basalt is a dark grey creme that leans blue. Quartz is an earthy red creme with muted orangey brown tones. Marble is a opaque shimmery white. Slate is a grey taupe shimmer. Lithophonic is an espresso brown with an interesting micro green and pink secret shimmer. The sheen is barely evident but adds a bit more interest to an otherwise brown color.

          The SpaRitual Rock collection (Fall 2012) has an array of beautiful colors, finishes, and textures. I can really see how the collection has drawn upon its natural inspirations. It's a real delight for both rock enthusiasts and nail polish lovers. My favorite colors are Conglomerate for its unique finish and Basalt and Quartz for their beautiful coloring. Thanks for reading! Which one of the SpaRitual Rock collection colors catches your eye? What are your favorite SpaRitual colors? What kind of colors have you been wearing this fall?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more SpaRitual, see my review of the Holiday 2012 : Metal collection (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.