Monday, April 30, 2012

Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge #2 - Celebrity beauty sneak peek


           I'm excited to announce the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge #2: Celebrity Beauty. This time we were asked to pick our favorite red carpet look and write about it. I've included a hint of what you'll find in my challenge entry. I would love it if you took a moment to check out my entry and vote! I've included the updated and relevant links below and in my sidebar.

Links for voting /sharing Challenge #2:
  1. Your VOTE makes a difference! You can vote once every weekday. The voting for Challenge #2 closes on Friday morning. International voters can vote!
  2. Your TWEET makes a difference! You can tweet or modify this prewritten tweet which has my personal challenge entry linked. (Note: tweets don't count as votes, but are important too)
  3. Your FACEBOOK LIKE makes a difference!
Perks of Voting (up to once a day)
  • My gratitude
  • Allure's Week # 2 Prize: $1,300 pair of diamond earrings from Blue Nile
  • Allure's Grand Prize: $3000 three day two night trip to Fontainebleu Miami Beach and $1000 of Revlon products

          Thanks for reading! Which celebrity would you have picked? Are you a Hunger Games fan?

Love, Dovey

P.S. I just found out I have the 3rd highest score from last week!!!!! Thank you SO much everyone who voted, tweeted, liked, and made that possible.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Five


         It's been an exhilerating and exhausting week. Special moments in my blog, work, and life seem to be converging. I'm happy but desperately in need of a nap!  Thank you so much to everyone for the support this week in the form of tweets, comments, likes, and votes. Every day I feel so lucky to be a part of the beauty community and have the chance to interact with so many fun, gracious, kind, and generous people. This weekend I'll be dress and tripod shopping, making a presentation for work, cleaning for my mom and brother's arrival next week, and trying to finalize wedding details. Somewhere in there, I'll also prepare some blog posts, for my blogaversary and for the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge #2. Before I start off for my weekend checklist, here is my Friday Five list of posts I enjoyed this week:

1. I had fun clicking through the pages of The Sparkly Life after seeing a tweet by @lilladylife.
2. C of Lookin' Fresh can so pull of MAC's So Chaud.
3. If you have a copy of Elle, make sure you look for Laurie of  ProductGirl
4. Tracy at Beauty Reflections does a beautiful sunset eye with Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs Capri
5. Getting Cheeky's Inspired by literature post on Alice in Wonderland is a whimsical must see.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Package from Best Things in Beauty


          Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm sharing the contents of a wonderful package I received from Charlestongirl of Best Things in Beauty. Recently, I won Charlestongirl's Sunday Riley Prismasilk Eye Color in Moon Dust giveaway. You can imagine how excited I was to win; Sunday Riley is a brand I would not have had the chance to try otherwise! When I opened the package, I was delighted to find surprise treats inside:
1. Tom Ford Lavender Palm eau de parfum - the scent is unlike anything I have. I smell what I imagine to be a crisp earthy palm with a hint of the low key lavender. This is definitely not my usual, but I'm intrigued and find myself going back to sniff my wrists.
2. Sunday Riley Prismasilk Eye Color in Moon Dust - I'm not allowed to touch this until I get swatches. I'll try to work on that this weekend.
3. Chanel Le Blanc Brightening moisturizing creme - can't wait to try this. My face has recently been ravaged by a new found food allergy, so I'm waiting til things settle down before trying this treasure. The lotion has such a perfect lotion smell and I love brightening products in general.
4. Benefit "that gal" brightening face primer - I'm so happy to get Benefit samples. Even their minis have cute packaging! Benefit is a brand I'd love to dip a toe into.
5. Benefit High Beam - I've been wanting to try this for ages, and a mini is perfect since only a little is required. I blended out a swipe on my right cheek; it is a major highlight. High beam is the perfect descriptor.
         I'm all smiles after opening my package. Every little piece is something I'm looking forward to trying. Thank you Charlestongirl for your generosity. I'm really over the moon with Moon Dust and the rest of my new goodies!

        Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of the pieces shown here? Have you tried Sunday Riley? What are your favorite Benefit products?

Love, Dovey

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NARS multiples magnified #AllureBBA



My NARS multiples: practically melting in the sunlight
          We were allowed three photographs for the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards product review challenge. I really wanted to get it right and showcase simple, effortless photographs with a strong sense of colorful minimalism. To get said 'effortless' look, I pored over five hundred photographs before settling on these three. Ultimately, the pictures ended up being quite miniature, so I've posted magnified versions of the same photos in this post, plus a couple supplementary thoughts.

I had to chill these in the fridge before continuing my photographs
          The NARS Multiples show in my Allure 'favorite product' challenge post were Orgasm, South Beach, Luxor,  and Copacabana. I highly recommend checking out the post if you're curious about multiples; I wrote a comprehensive description of the NARS Multiple's history, controversy, and how to use it. If you've been following the blog, you might now that I'm going through a romance with the NARS South Beach Multiple lately. I'll try to review my South Beach and Orgasm multiples in the near future. I've already reviewed my NARS Luxor multiple (here) and NARS Copacabana multiple (here).

          I have some Multiple gossip to share too. There is going to be a new NARS multiple in the NARS Fall 2012 lineup called Undress Me. You can see it here, in French Vogue at the Thakoon show. I'm adding it to my want list, in addition to Maldives!

          Thanks for reading! What are your favorite multiples? Where do you fall on the love/hate Multiple debate? Are you looking forward to 'Undress Me' or is it way too early to think about Fall 2012?

Love, Dovey.


P.S. These pictures were taken for the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge #1. Thank you for all the support over the past two days! I'm still in the process of responding to comments, so check back for those! Also,  I've learned that it does take a bit of time to register to vote, so I am so grateful to those of you who took the time to do that for me. I've included the usual links below:
  • Your VOTE makes a difference! You can vote / enter to win the prize drawing once a day.
  • Your TWEET makes a difference! You can tweet or modify this prewritten tweet or compose one tagged with @cuteandmundane and #AllureBBA. Note: some of the tweet links on the Challenge site seemingly link to me, but actually don't. Make sure your tweet has some identifiable info linking to me!
  • Your FACEBOOK LIKE makes a difference! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

NARS Trouville nail polish review




        It was refreshing to see a wearable pink on the NARS Summer 2012 lineup. Often NARS is quite daring with nail polish colors, and I've safely passed on a number of them. NARS Trouville nail polish is described as a seashell pink. The color relates to its namesake village, Trouville, a fishing village in Normandy (northwestern France).

          I was drawn in by the description of 'seashell pink', however when I received my bottle, I was surprised. I did not see the soft pink found along the edges of a conch or fan-shaped shell. In my opinion Trouville is way too bright to be considered 'seashell'. Trouville is a bright yellow pink creme nail polish. I would say it falls somewhere in between a pastel and a candy color. My swatch of NARS Trouville below is pretty accurate, though in low lighting the color looks cooler and more candy colored.The formula is a bit thick and despite that two coats are required. The drying time is reasonable. In general, I like the glossy finish that NARS formulas dry down to.


        For a color comparison, I've photographed NARS Trouville next to NARS Vestale (reviewed here) and NARS Orgasm nail polish. Please keep in mind that in the strong sunlight, the colors tend to appear slightly warmer and more vibrant.

          Finally, I've made some comparison swatches of the above bottles and the closest pink I could find. Most of the pink nail colors I have tend to be cool pinks or pale pinks; it was hard finding something similar to Trouville in my collection. You can see that the NARS Vestale swatch is much paler and more muted; Trouville looks more candy colored in comparison. NARS Orgasm nail polish is significantly more peach. L'Oreal Trust Fund Baby, a mid toned pink, shows the slightly pastel character NARS Trouville.


           NARS Trouville is a bit of an enigma. Although I'm uncertain of whether I like the color up close,  it turns out very nicely in photographs and when seen from further away, like in the context of an outfit. I don't really have a color like this in my collection, so I consider this a worthwhile buy. I will porbably get more use out of Trouville when summer truly rolls in.

          Are you planning on adding NARS Trouville to your collection? What are some of your favorite yellow-pink nail colors? What kind of pinks do you like?

Love, Dovey.


P.S. Here is my Allure voting link and tweet link, in case you'd like to get in your daily vote and be entered to win the $500 gift card. Thank you to those who took the time to sign in on Allure (I know it did take time) and vote.

Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge #1 - My favorite product


          The Allure Beauty Blogger Awards is now open for voting! For Challenge #1, each of the fifteen bloggers wrote a post about their favorite beauty product. I've included a sneak peek of my favorite product above. Do you recognize it?

          I would really love your vote and/or support! There are five rounds, and who moves onto the next round / who is eliminated is decided by a combination of Allure editors and public vote. Although they do not count as votes, the editors keep tabs the number of tweets (tagged #AllureBBA) and facebook shares and may highlight the social media leader each week. Even pre-launch, so many of you tweeted on my behalf; I was so grateful and humbled by each and every one!


Here are important links for voting / sharing:
  1. Your VOTE makes a difference! Read my entry and vote (click here).  You can vote once every weekday. The voting for Challenge #1 closes on Friday. Some people asked whether international voters can vote. I could not find the information on the site. My guess is that you can vote, but may not be eligible for the prizes listed. It would be great if any international voters could try and let me know!
  2. Your TWEET makes a difference! You can tweet or modify this prewritten tweet (click here) which has my blog profile (...blogger/21) linked. You can also RT or compose your own tweet tagged with @cuteandmundane and #AllureBBA. (Note: tweets don't count as votes, but are important as stated above)
  3. Your FACEBOOK SHARE/LIKE makes a difference!

The Perks of Voting (up to once a day)
  • My gratitude
  • Allure's Week #1 Prize: $500 BEAUTY BAR
  • Allure's Grand Prize: $3000 three day two night trip to Fontainebleu Miami Beach and $1000 of Revlon products
          For the coming weeks, I've prepared a few postcard style voting reminders for my blog. I'll try to have a fresh idea or blurb for each one, to keep things interesting. Thanks for reading! If you were going to write a post about your favorite product, what would it be? Have you guessed what my post is about? For extra credit, can you guess the colors?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Shoutout to Jeanie and Lucia, who sent me uplifting emails this week:)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Seaside or Southwest? My NARS Ramatuelle eyeshadow trio review




           It's an understatement to say I look forward to NARS's releases each season. After studying up
on the NARS Summer 2012 promotional images, I knew my favorite piece was going to be the NARS Ramatuelle eyeshadow trio. Although NARS has released trios since Holiday 2010, Ramatuelle is my first NARS trio. I'm excited to share my NARS Ramatuelle review and swatches with you today!
          NARS Ramatuelle is an inspired and unexpected combination of a pale blue silver, pale sunlit beige, and a peachy terracotta. The silver and golden beige are frosty and well pigmented. The peachy terracotta is slightly sheer and nearly matte. I was relieved to find that the color wasn't too pigmented; it would be hard to wear the color too intensely on the eyes. All shades are smooth and long lasting with the NARS eyeshadow primer. When wearing the trio, I first dust the silver over the majority of my lid area for a brightening effect.  I then blend the sunlit beige color into the inner 2/3 of the crease to transition the colors into my skin. Finally, I take a fluffy brush and lightly blend the terracotta tone into the outer 1/3 of the crease and the outer V. Whenever I see orange mid-toned colors, I think of them as a neutral fit for providing depth in the crease. I don't find the appropriate for my lid area, but that is personal preference. Depending on your coloring and tastes, you may find it more fit to use the golden color as your lid color, and the silver as more of a highlight.


         Ramatuelle is a seaside village in southeat France. From Jessica's and Danielle's posts, it was easy to see where the color inspiration was drawn from! That said, before I knew Ramatuelle's name and inspiration, I had invented a very different sort of imagery in my mind from the American Southwest.

Arches National Park
          A desert furnace seems to be an inherent opposite of a Mediterranean seaside village, however, I found a striking similarity in color inspiration. At Arches national park, there is burnished red rock and red sand carved from the rocks lying everywhere. The terracotta tones, like the one in Ramatuelle, always bring me back to this place. The pale gold shade in Ramatuelle reminds me of the desert sun, which is so strong you feel as if you can see its rays, while the silver reminds me of a cool desert moon and the silvery bleached wood strewn across the sand.


          I gathered a few colors from my collection to do comparison swatches for NARS Ramatuelle. You can really see the blue tones in the silver when it is compared to Urban Decay Verve. The pale sunny beige of Ramatuelle is more beige and less yellow than Urban Decay Bootycall.  It is much paler than Bobbi Brown's Nude Beach eyeshadow. The terracotta color in Ramatuelle is more peach and slightly less intense than MAC Rule.

           Overall, NARS Ramatuelle is a beautiful and inspired trio. I would definitely recommend it; the colors and unexpected and the formulation for each is spot on. Even if you plan on passing, I think the color combination mapped out by this eyeshadow trio is worth adding to your summer repertoire.

         Thanks for reading! Has Ramatuelle made it into your collection already? Would you wear an orange like this? What is your favorite item from NARS Summer 2012? What kind of places or inspirations does this color bring to your mind?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. A huge thank you for your continued support, comments, tweets, and likes for my entry in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards! I have butterflies in my stomach since the voting for the first challenge begins tomorrow, Monday May 23 at 9am. I will be sure to make a reminder post / tweets to announce it and provide easy links to the site :)

Skincare Sunday - Reviva Lab Mud Masks and Peel review

 
          For today's episode of Skinacare Sunday, I have a small assortment of facial treatments sent to me for review by the folks at Reviva Labs. Reviva Labs is a natural and organic skincare line that can be found at Whole Foods and Ulta. All products shown today were made in the USA. I love mud masks and facial treatments, so I tried each at least a few times before writing this review.

          The Reviva Labs Problem Skin mask was my favorite of the three. It's a mask formulated for oily and blemished skin. The mask itself has a noticeable smell because it contains natural antibacterial / acne fighting ingredients like camphor and sulfur. However, I'm happy to wear a smelly mask it's a clear means to improving my skin. The mask should be left on for at least 20 minutes before washing off. Last month was stressful for me and I suffered from a number of breakouts and bad skin in general. I wore the mask a few times when my skin was especially irritated and it actually did a good job of calming my skin and drying out / shrinking my blemishes.

Problem Skin Mask Ingredients: Water, SD Alcohol, 39c, Zinc Oxide, Sulfur, Camphor, Sorbitol, Carboxy Methyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

          The Reviva Labs Mud Mask is a regular mud mask designed for normal to oily skin. It has both spring water and mud from the Dead Sea (which reminds me of AHAVA).  I also noticed it has a little Retinol in the ingredients list. It's a good mud mask with a smooth consistency that's not overly drying. It seems pricey, for 1.5 oz. of product, however I've noticed that the product is quite thick and you only need a small amount for each application. In general, I think better quality masks do tend to be thicker and less watered down.  

Dead Sea Mud Mask Ingredients: Dead Sea Spring Water, Dead Sea Natural Mud, Kaolin, Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Cerostearyl Alcohol, Magnesium Carbonate, Wheat Germ Oil, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Eucalyptus Oil, Citric Acid, Methylochloroisothiazolinone, Methyliscthiazolinone.

          The Reviva Labs Non-chemical Light Skin Peel is a non-chemical peel. It contain salicylic acid which is a commonly used ingredient in acne treatment, brightening products, peels, or skin turnover products. The peel has a custard-like consistency which is much more 'goopy' than the masks above. You apply it to your skin, wait a few minutes for it to dry, then peel it off. Again, only a small amount of product is required. When I applied it to my face, there was a very noticeable Thyme scent (which is due to the Oil of Thyme in the ingredients). It was strong, but as I mentioned above, I'm happy to put up with scents if they have a purpose. Thyme is known to have antibacterial properties. The mask is a bit tricky to peel off; it has a paper-like consistency as opposed to a more plastic consistency. I did wash it off by accident, once, and found that I preferred washing to peeling. Peeling is the intended method, but I don't like rubbing or scratching at my face, plus you have to wash off little particles anyway. Washing directly will probably miss out on some of the skin-peeling action, however I found that my skin was not irritated afterwards and I still benefited from the brightening effects. Despite not using this in 'peel' format, I still like it; when I'm having an irritated/blemished skin day, this does seem to reduce the infllammation. 

Ingredients: Purified water, SDA Alcohol, Crushed Almonds, Vegetable Oil, Zinc Oxide, Kaolin, Starch, Glycerin, Chamomile, Methylcellulose, Salicylic Acid, Allantoin, Papin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Oil of Thyme
Closeup of the products: Problem skin mask, non-chemical peel, and Mud mask (Left to Right)

          Overall, I'm pleased with my experience with the Reviva Labs products. They do seem to work well on reducing acute irritation or blemishes in my skin. Also, as you may know, I'm a big fan of more natural-based skincare for both health and environmental purposes. Thanks for reading!

         What are your favorite mask or facial treatment products? Do you find that some 'natural' ingredients seem to work well for you?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Allure Beauty Blogger Awards makeup



          I'm a more behind the lens kind of girl, so I can't even begin to tell how nervous it made me to submit a photo of myself for the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards competition. I wondered what do my fellow bloggers and readers expect me to look like? What do Allure readers expect a beauty blogger to look like?  I was tempted to wear a standout lip or eye, however in the end I opted for my everyday look. For better or for worse, I ended up looking like the real life me. In this post I'll go over the products I used to get my look.

          I started with Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer. Normally I skip primer, but for a photo I'll use it to really smooth out my skin's surface and help more foundation adhere better. If you're a blog regular, you probably know that NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Deauville is my favorite foundation (review of sheer glow formula here, foundation swatches here). It performs so well for me everyday and in photographs. For my photograph, I applied with fingers first, then blended out with my Make Up For Ever Kabuki brush. I used NARS Concealer in Vanilla to lighten the undereye area. For my cheeks I applied my NARS South Beach Multiple using a brush to get a very well blended effect. For strategic highlighting and extra dimension, I used NARS Copacabana Multiple on my cheekbones, nose bridge, and under eyebrows.

           For my eyes, I used my favorite palette this spring, Chantecaille 'The Coral Reefs' palette from Spring 2012 (reviewed here). I used the pale highlight color diffusely swept over my eye area, the taupe color on my lid, and the chocolate color lightly in the crease. I lined with Bobbi Brown Gel eyeliner in Black Ink and did my brows with NARS Coconut Grove single eyeshadow (reviewed here). My lips have been relatively pale lately, so Bobbi Brown lip color in Blondie Pink was a the perfect natural color. You can see swatches of all  colors below.


         So there you have it: my Allure Beauty Blogger Awards look, which can also be known as my normal look! I felt a bit shy about 'coming out' from my private cocoon, however so far it's been a happy and liberating experience. Thank you so much to everyone for all their words of encouragement with the  contest and my profile! Regardless of the contest outcome, I hope it will be an impetus for the continued metamorphosis of Cute and Mundane.

           What are your everyday colors? What kind of look would you have gone for?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. If you haven't done so already, you can read everything there is to know about me on my Allure Beauty Blogger profile page here. To  clarify, voting doesn't start until Monday April 23, but in the meantime, I would love it if you could 'LIKE' my profile or send a tweet tagged with #allurebba (both can be done from the profile page).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm an Allure Beauty Blogger Awards finalist!


           There's a secret I've been keeping that I'm excited to share with you today! I was selected to be one of 15 finalists in the 2012 Allure Beauty Blogger Awards!!  In this post, I'll introduce you to myself, the Allure Blogger Awards, and what you can look forward to.


Who am I?

          I'm Dovey, beauty blogger and Scribbler-in-Chief of Cute and Mundane. I'm a little artsy, a little obsessive compulsive, and very passionate about beauty. Like many of you, I'm the little girl who painted every single fingernail and toenail a different color from her mom's nail polish collection. I've built my blog around that same lighthearted love of color and cosmetics.

           Cute and Mundane beauty blog is very much a homemade creation with a homemade feel. I love discussing cosmetics and color in the context of art, travel, and everyday life. All the banners, buttons, writing, and photography seen here were pieced together by myself, so it's a lot like my personal scrapbook! For those of you who are new to Cute and Mundane, I've selected a few of my favorite entries from my blog archives below. You can also read more about me in my allure.com profile (click here).




What's at stake in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards? 
 
        There are fifteen finalists, but only one will be crowned Allure Beauty Blogger of the Year. There are a series of blogging challenges that each finalist will take part in. Each week, on Friday, a new challenge will be unveiled. During that week, the finalists will be judged (or eliminated, *gulp*) by a combination of an Allure panel and reader vote.

        The grand prize winner will be featured in the October 2012 issue of Allure magazine, get a trip backstage to a show at NYFW, attend the annual Allure Best of Beauty party, receive a trunk full of makeup, and a tour Revlon headquarters. In addition, the winner can submit work to be considered for Allure and allure.com!

What's in it for readers?

        You can vote once every weekday. By voting, you'll be eligible to win a trip to Miami beach! There will also be other great prizes available every week. In addition to prize drawings, you will also, of course, have my sincere gratitude. If you do vote for me, please leave me a comment so I can thank you personally!

I would <3 your vote

          I would love to win, but more importantly I'd love the chance to share all my work with everyone. Please help me advance to each round with your daily vote! Voting starts on Monday April 23 (I'll remind you!)

        In conclusion, I'm so grateful for the chance to compete and represent the beauty blogger community in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards. I'm looking forward to taking part, learning about my fellow participants, interacting with new and old readers, and enjoying the experience. Thank you to all my family, friends, fellow bloggers, and readers who helped  Cute and Mundane, once just a fledgeling of my imagination, take flight!

Love, Dovey.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dior Vernis in Bikini (Summer 2012) review

           Dior just seems to 'get' summer makeup. I'm not a year round Dior regular, but I always look forward to their unfurling of the summer collection. On my shortlist for Summer 2012 Croisette collection was Dior Vernis in Bikini - 537, a captivating coral. This month I can't seem to get enough of corals! To my surprise, my coral stash was quite slim, so I made sure to pick up Bikini during Sephora's Chic Week.

From left to right: Dior Vernis in Bikini, Aloha, and Riviera
          In general, orange tones in nail polish are difficult for me to wear; they often leave my fingers looking to yellow or pink. When there's a color family I don't wear well, it's helpful to try a higher end polish. The colors are carefully thought out and may be more flattering. I think this is how, despite being an orange-phobe, I keep buying orange-toned Dior Vernis colors. Above, you can see Dior Vernis in Bikini (Summer 2012), Aloha (Summer 2011), and Riviera (Spring 2012).

           Dior Bikini is a medium toned peachy coral. To me, the color is like that of canteloupe, melon, or papaya. Corals have a tendency to appear and photograph different depending on the light. In the low light of evening, the bottle of Bikini appears quite pink, while in strong sun it's more peachy. My favorite part of the formula is how quickly it dries; I worry less about mussing up my polish when it's a Dior. The formula of Dior Bikini is pretty good during application, but not perfect. I find that Dior formulas are a little thick. They're not fluid, so you can't pick up just a little and expect it to sheer out; you end with an uneven spread and texture.  If you pick up enough, it glides on beautifully. The brush is a thick tip cut on two different biases. It's good, but I still prefer the broad even tip of an OPI. (Also, the Dior brush tends to pick up too much polish for my liking). However, in general I am a fan of the Dior formula.

         Thanks for reading my review of Dior Vernis in Bikini! I'm quite smitten with the color, and will be sure to wear it regularly this summer. I'm currently on the hunt for a new swimsuit, and I think a color like Bikini would be perfect for an actual bikini, don't you think? I'll try to review Dior Riviera soon (you can see a preview of the color here). Riviera is love.

          Have you tried Dior Bikini or anything from Dior Summer 2012? Do you have a favorite Dior Vernis color? Have you found that some brands catch your eye during certain seasons?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Inspired by 9th/10th century Ganesha statue


          Lately I've been favoring a subtle streamlined look that packs some heat. For this 'Inspired by art' post, I'm featuring this photograph I took of a 9th/10th century Indonesian statue of the God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles. If you look closely, the statue has a rough porous texture. That's because it's carved from Andesite, an igneous volcanic rock. I can't help but wonder if that is the reason the display backdrop was painted a burning red-orange reminiscent of molten magma. The contrast between the calm ash grey rock and the fiery color of volcanic eruption evokes emotion that really transcends time. The simple combination works well for this ancient statue and for a more modern look that I'll describe below!


           A fiery color is best used in small doses. The perfect way to wear an undiluted magma-esque color is to wear a bright nail color. Bright orange and orange corals are very on-trend this season. My favorite colors for this are Dior Vernis in Aloha (Summer 2011) and Dior Vernis in Riviera (Spring 2012). Aloha is a bright orange, while Riviera is a bright coral that looks more orange or pink depending upon the lighting. When worn, brief glimpses of these intense color appear like flickers of flame on your fingertips!


          To keep with the elemental theme, makeup should be natural with only hints of color. Orange toned makeup can be overwhelming when over-applied, however, orange can add a beautiful element of intrigue when trace amounts are used to counter the eyes or cheeks.  NARS Multiple in South Beach can blended onto the cheeks for a sheer, warm, glowing effect. The same color can be used to add highlights or other color elsewhere. To keep the look minimal, I prefer not to add in other blushes, bronzers, or highlighters. MAC Rule eyeshadow, a burnished orange, can be lightly used on the outer V or in the crease for slight contouring of the eye. The result is similar to a nude face. However, the use of orange gives the face a lit-by-glowing embers effect as opposed to the typical sunkissed effect that bronzers and browns might give.


          The cool, calm, and carved stone sculpture above embodies a polar opposite state of its amorphous and volatile origins. To add some human precision into my look, I define the eyes with a liquid eyeliner. My Urban Decay 24/7 liquid eyeliner in Perversion has a nice small tip fit for the occasion. A slightly winged eye, or cat-eye, seems to be trending now. For a more intense look, a stony grey color like L'Oreal Sultry smoke can be smudged along the lashline.


         I hope you enjoyed this 'Inspired by Art' post! As you can see, I've been favoring orange tones quite a bit lately. What color palettes have you been wearing?


Love, Dovey.

P.S. I'm getting to comments--- the internet at my home has been intermittent (at best) for the past few days. Hopefully the repairman will solve things early next week!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Skincare Saturday - Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy review

         
           Last week my hands have had quite the rough patch because the humidity levels here have been so low. I drank water and applied lotion all day long! For this weekend's skincare topic, I thought I would review the hand cream that I keep stashed in my desk drawer at work: Crabtree & Evelyn's Ultra La Source Ultra Moisturizing Hand Therapy.

          Crabtree & Evelyn's La Source hand cream comes in aluminum packaging. I think it's quite charming and has a vintage feel. La Source is supposed to smell like the seaside. I find the scent to be pleasant and water-like. It's a nice alternative to the usual floral, fruity, or gourmand scents that most lotions seem to be. According to the packaging, this hand cream contains macadamia nut oil, shea butter, and seaweed extract to moisturize and soothe hands; it also contains myrrh to condition cuticules and nails.

          The cream is definitely a cream and not a lotion. It is a mid-to heavier weight hand treatment, so only a small amount is required for application. It's not as heavy of hand treatment as some of the thicker consistency products I keep at home like my Burt's Bees Almond Milk or J.R. Watkins Hand and Cuticle Salve. The La Source hand cream has a nice balance between feeling a layer of moisturizer lingering on your skin, but not so much that you'd feel the need to wipe your fingers before touching anything. Since it  does linger, the La Source hand cream is a pretty good 'intensive conditioning hand cream' as stated on the tube, however it can't completely heal really rough patches and cracks. I still need my other products for that. In summary, Crabtree & Evelyn La Source hand cream is a good choice for daytime use in dry weather. I'm happy to have it in my desk drawer.

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy ingredients: Water Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) starch, Hyddroxyethyl Urea, Emulsifying Wax NF, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter, Isopropyl Myristate, Saccharide Isomerate, Algae Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Distearate, Arginine, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Suscrose Stearate, Caprylyl Methicone, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Hydrolyzed What Protein, Hyaluronic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) oil, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol, Squalane, Ceramide 1, Phytosterols, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Eugenol, Linalool, Geaniol, Butylphenyl Mthylpropional, Methylisothizolinone, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.
           In addition to to my Crabtree and Evelyn I have five other hand lotions of creams in regular rotation, including great ones from: Clarins, Avalon Organics, Burt's Bees, J.R.Watkins, and Suave. I don't mind having so many since I do use all of them. Hand creams have such different consistencies that different products would be appropriate for different circumstances!

          Thanks for reading! What are your go-to hand creams? Do you have a small collection too? Have you tried any Crabtree & Evelyn products?

Love, Dovey






Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Five


          Happy Friday! After hearing about last week's Skincare Saturday, Mr. Lovey suggested I do a Friday Five post. It's not often that he volunteers beauty blog suggestions, so I had to follow through! Today I'm listing five new or new-to-me blogs I've come across recently:


          This weekend I'm hoping to catch up on some sleep, paint my nails, and finally flip through the pages of my InStyle magazine. In reality, I'll probably be consumed with the usual laundry list, but it's nice to romanticize the idea of relaxation! What are you up to this weekend? Are there any new or new-to-you blogs you've found recently?

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Haircare minis


          I have hair that's sometimes curly, sometimes wavy, and most of the time frizzy. Usually I just throw my hands up and deal with whatever state its in. Lately, however, I've become more interested in exploring haircare and have managed to accumulate a few haircare minis to try out. Today I have a review of Living Proof Full Thickening Cream, Moroccanoil Treatment, and Phyto Phytolisse serum.


         Living Proof Full Thickening Cream is a cream designed for giving thinner hair volume with natural movement. I have very thin hair, so volume is very welcome! The consistency is like a lotion. I usually squirt out a dime sized portion, pat/run it through the roots of wet hair, and distribute it with a comb. I'll finish by blow drying my hair near the roots as I normally would. There is a noticeable difference; my hair normally falls flat, but with Living Proof Full Thickening Cream it stays a little fluffier. I'm sure I could add more for a greater effect, but I'm trying to conserve my little sample and also not overload my scalp with product! I like that it's not crusty like some root lifters and I don't really notice it's there. It also doesn't seem to irritate my scalp, which is good since I don't want my thin hair to get thinner! I liked this enough to buy a full sized product during Sephora Chic week.

Living Proof Full Thickening Cream Ingredients: Water, Polyalkylaminoester-1, Polyacrylate-13, Fragrance, Myristyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Polyisobutene, Oleth-10, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Proprionate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Geraniol

           Moroccanoil's Moroccanoil treatment seems to have all the buzz lately. Even my mom had one when I last visited her! Moracconoil is a finishing product that will keep hair looking sleek. It has a thick oil-like texture. To apply rub a small amount between your hand and apply to wet or damp hair. It is a bit heavier so it works well for keeping hair straight and less frizzy. From the name, I thought that Moroccanoil was a natural oil-based treatment, however you can see from the ingredient list below that the first two ingredients are the silicones cyclomethicone and dimethicone which seem to be pretty standard hair treatment ingredients. Argan oil is the third ingredient. Despite not being as natural as the name suggests, I do like the Moroccanoil. At leas the ingredient list is not that long and it does do a good job keeping hair feeling smooth and in place.

Moroccanoil ingredients: Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Argania Spinosa Kernel oil (Argan Oil), Fragrance, Linum Usitatissimum (Lin seed) extract, butylphenyl methylpropional, benzyl benzoate, alphaisomethyl ionone, Cl 26100 (D&C Red No. 17), Cl 47000 (D&C yellow No.11)


          Phyto's Phytolisse serum is another serum for taming frizz. It's more lightweight than Moroccanoil. I think this would work well for someone with not too much frizz or as a frizz treatment that doesn't weight down hair. The light feel is nice, but it won't make your hair look sleek like an oilier product. In theory this should be better for days when I'm trying to make curls show. I tried it once, and wasn't that impressed with the frizz stopping action. Maybe I should have used more, or maybe I just have too much frizz for it to handle. The Phytolisse serum has a strong smell that reminds me of a water scent or men's cologne which I wasn't too fond of either. I will probably have to try it in different situations to see how I can best get it to work.


Phyto Phytolisse serum Ingredients : Cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, alcohol denat. (Alcool de Betterave), Panthenol (Provitamine B 5) Fragrance. Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Phytantriol


         Thanks for reading my first episode of haircare minis! I've been pleasantly surprised with my experience with these products and hope to explore more. Have you tried these brands? What kind of products do you use in your hair?

Love, Dovey.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Lavender + apricot



         Recently I wore a look composed of lavender and apricot. The combination of the cool blue lavender on the eyes with a warm golden apricot on the cheeks was a complimentary and unexpectedly fresh. The look centered around the pale lavender grey NARS 413 BLKR eyeshadow and the NARS South Beach multiple. NARS 413 BLKR (reviewed here) gives my eyes a brightening lavender sheen that works for spring. Subtlety works well for this look since the colors are contrasting. NARS South Beach is a new love of mine. I shyed away from it for a long time since it seems warm and orange toned in a heavy swatch. However, when worn sheered out, South Beach becomes a healthy apricot glow.

          The rest of my face was very basic. I kept my lips a natural pale color with Revlon Sugar Frosting (reviewed here), but a lot of other nudes are interchangeable. Lately I've gone back to using NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Via Veneto as a quick, easy, and long lasting liner (reviewed here). NARS Coconut Grove eyeshadow (reviewed here) was for my brows. For my face, I used Make Up For Ever HD foundation in #118 and NARS Concealer in Vanilla. For my lashes, I've been using a Lancome Cils Booster XL mascara base and a newly opened tube of MAC Zoom Lash. I'm hooked on using lash primers lately; I think they do make a difference. So far I'm pleased with Zoom Lash; it's not my favorite brush or formula, but a good product for the price.


          Thanks for checking out my current color story! Have you ever tried this combination? How have you been keeping things fresh this spring?

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Skincare Saturday: Whole Foods beauty haul


          Recently I've come to the realization that I have enough skincare products to fill a small pharmacy. Now that it's spring, and colors are light, my hunting/gathering to be more focused on skincare items, so I've decided to do a 'Skincare Saturday/Sunday' series on the blog. I hope I can keep it up and post regularly on the topic. Some posts will be reviews, some will be collections, and some I'm sure will be something entirely else. Today, to kick things off, I'm posting on my Whole Food beauty haul.


         Today I went to the  city Whole Foods for the first time. Mr. Lovey was there to pick up fish and a couple other groceries, so I figured I would see if they had of Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme, which I had been planning on picking up at Target. When I got to the beauty section, I was completely blown away. Not only did I find a huge display of Burt's Bees, I found multiple aisles of familiar and unfamiliar beauty products. I only had time to scoop up a few things, but I'll definitely be going back to explore further.

       As mentioned, I picked up my Burt's Bees almond milk hand creme, which is a staple. My hands have been very dry lately and nothing else seems to work. Almond is one of my absolute favorite scents, which is a big plus. I also bought my first tube of Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Tiger Lily. Whole Foods had testers out of all the colors, which was helpful. The color in the tube is gorgeous too. When swatched, the color is very sheer; however recently I've been skipping lip colors so this is just what I need. I'll try it out for a while before going back for more colors.

          Pacifica and Avalon Organics were two brands that I'm already familiar with, so I gravitated towards them amidst the overwhelming  selection. I picked up the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Wash. I used to have a hand creme of the same scent. I think Pacifica blood orange is one of the best citrus skincare scents on the market. I figure I can use to replace my LUSH Happy Hippy when it runs out. The body wash is sulfate free; I'm interested to see how well it lathers. My other citrus-y find was Avalon Organics Hand and Body Lotion in Grapefruit and Geranium. I love grapefruit scents and had been hoping to find this for a long time! I've used the Avalon Organics Lavender lotion before; that scent is more frequently carried in stores. This is the first time I saw Grapefruit and Geranium; you can imagine my excitement!


       I hope you enjoyed my Whole Foods beauty haul! Everything here was Mr. Lovey's treat :). I'm sure Whole Foods has now been added to his mental list of 'expect delays due to beauty products' locations list. Have you perused your local Whole Foods for beauty? Do you have recommendations? What skincare items have you hauled recently?

Love, Dovey.