Thursday, June 28, 2012

Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blusher review + swatches


          I can't help but break out into song when thinking about Illamasqua cream blush in Zygomatic:
         
The hip bone's connected to the backbone
The backbone's connected to the neck bone.
The neck bone's connected to the head bone
Now shake dem skeleton bones...

          Illamasqua’s color collection is typified by punchy names, and Zyomatic is no exception.  Zygomatic refers to the zyomatic bones, which are found in the skull. They’re your cheekbones to be exact! In the photograph above, the zygomatic bones are color coded in orange. (The illustration is from Netter’s, which the classic medical textbook used when studying human anatomy. Almost all the illustrations in it were hand drawn and painted by Frank Netter, M.D. who was both physician and artist.)  How cheeky is it to name a blush after cheek bones?

          Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blusher is a ‘peachy beige’ blush released as a part of Illamasqua’s Naked Strangers Summer 2012 collection.  I also purchased its pink counterpart, Illamasqua’s Naked Rose powder blusher (review to come).  I’ve been following Illamasqua for a while now, but this is my first purchase. Despite having a wild promotional photo resembling an intergalactic warrior princess, the colors in the collection are natural and easy to wear.


          The Illamasqua packaging is a warped square, which to me coincides with their out-of-the-box take on makeup. In the sunlight, you can see a cool prism effect from the lid.

 
 
          Illamasqua Zyogomatic is a cream blush. All cream blushes have different consistencies. When I first attempted a swipe Zygomatic off the surface, I didn’t use enough pressure and got just the oily condensation on the top and no color. I had to press quite hard to get a sudden indentation in order to pick up the blush.  Essentially, this cream was more solid than I expected. I often end up picking more cream than I need when I push into the product. Maybe over time when I muss it up more, it will be easier to use. Overall, it is still easy to use and I don't have any major complaints. Perhaps the decreased ‘meltability’ will contribute to a longer lasting color on the face as opposed to softer creams like my NARS multiples. It's also worth noting that the color is impressively pigmented and easy to spread and blend on the face.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Palmitate, Petrolatum, Cera Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax), Candelilla Cera (Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax), C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Kaolin, Tocopherol, Parfum (Fragrance) And May Contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Red 7 CI 15850, Yellow 5 Lake CI 19140, Red 36 CI 12085, Red 21 Lake CI 45380, Carmine CI 75470, Blue 1 Lake CI 42090, Manganese Violet CI 77742, Mica]. May contain Carmine as a colour additive.
         Illamasqua Zygomatic is described as a ‘peachy beige’ blush. In the pan it certainly looks so, especially in sunlight. However, when worn and compared to swatches of other colors I consider ‘peachy beige’ it was quite different than I expected. Normally when I think of peachy beige colors, I think of warm colors. You can see from the swatch, that this isn't the case. The beige adds an element of coolness, which is especially evident when compared to Maybelline Coffee Cake, a orangey brown. Zygomatic also seems to be significantly more pink in my swatch than I imagined it to be. When worn on my face, it looks a little more peachy. I would say due to the 'beige' part, Illamasqua Zygomatic is a 'muddied' color that tones things down. What I mean is that this is not like a pretty flowery color. It has a slight air of sophistication similar to NARS Oasis. You can also see that Illamasqua Zygomatic is a fairly toned blush. I wouldn't say it's pale, but you can see that when compared to NYX Hibiscus, it's light. I also swatched it next to Illamasqua Naked Rose. These two look similar in the swatches, but are very different when worn. Naked rose is, well, a rose color and Zygomatic is more of a beige nude.


          Overall, Illamasqua cream blusher in Zygomatic has me grinning ear to ear or rather cheekbone to cheekbone. Despite being touted as a plain ol' peachy beige, it's actually more interesting than I'd imagined it to be. It gives me an air of cool, yet sunny, sophistication that I'm really liking. Have you tried Illamasqua Zygomatic? What are your favorite Illamasqua blushes or products?

Love, Dovey.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kiehl's Facial Fuel No-Shine-Hydrator + UV Guard SPF50+


          Getting men to wear sunscreen and moisturizer can be a battle. One trick that seems to work is purchasing products with 'for men' labels. They appeal both in name and in functionality. Men do, after all, have some different skin-care needs. Kiehl's has been catering skincare products to men for decades now and their latest line 'Facial Fuel' is cleverly designed, packaged, and named to appeal to men. With a name like 'Facial Fuel', one might imagine men raring to get their skincare on at the start of a day. Not to mention, the cobalt bottles with the retro biplane motif would look manly-chic on any countertop. Kiehl's Facial Fuel line flies high on presentation marks, however, seasoned beauty lovers know that it's what's inside the bottle that counts. So let's get on to the review!

 
          Kiehl's Facial Fuel No-Shine Hydrator is a fragrance-free, oil-free moisture gel for men. Men's skin tends to be thicker and produce more sweat and sebum, so this moisturizer is geared to reduce the effects of oil and shine. I think a gel moisturizer formulation for men is brilliant.  Prior to this, I've been successful asking Mr. Lovey to wear one of my gel formula lotions. I think that he's just more likely to use a lighter formula as opposed to a thick lotion-y one.  He was quite willing to pick up and test Kiehl's No Shine Hydrator for  me. Getting him to use a moisturizer is most of the battle won, so I'm already a fan of the product. The texture of Kiehl's No-Shine Hydrator is light and it sinks into the skin very quickly. The effect a brightened complexion (I can see the difference when he wears it). Although I cannot attest to the oil control since Mr. L has dry skin, the lotion does impart a matte feel, which I imagine will help to a certain extent.

          While convincing your man to use lotion may be a challenge, getting them to use sunscreen is another one all together. However, it's an important issue since men (over fifty years of age) are more than twice as likely as women to develop skin cancer. This is probably due to an increase in exposure in addition to a reluctance to use sunscreen. Mr. L is quite fair, so I'm always trying to get him to sunscreen, if only during extended outings. Kiehl's Facial Fuel UV Guard SPF 50+ has powerful sun-blocking capacity along with a light waterproof, oil-free, and fragrance-free formula. The bottle is actually a squeeze bottle with a nozzle tip. The sunscreen inside has a light liquid feel. It's a bit bizarre; I've never encountered one this liquid-y. It  spreads easily and dries fairly quickly (though slower than the hydrator). The finish is matte and doesn't have a colored cast and there is only a faint sunscreen scent. This will be a great facial sunblock to use on top of the hydrator for a day at the beach or on the golf course. I'm happy since I know I'll be able to convince Mr. Lovey to wear it!


         Overall, I'm happy with both Kiehl's Facial Fuel No Shine Hydrator and UV-Guard. With the light feel, nice packaging, and 'Facial Fuel' name, Kiehl's is trying their darndest to appeal to men and I appreciate that. I'm sure we'll run both of these bottles down to the last drop. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Kiehl's skincare? What are your favorite Kiehl's products? What kind of skincare do the men in your life use (if any)?

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. 
 Ingredients (No Shine Hydrator): Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Isoproply Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Allyl  Methacrylates Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Diacaprylyl Carbonate, Inululin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Acrylates, Polyethylene, Magnesium PCA, Zinc PCA, Sodium PCA, Fmla 685560 7 Code F.I.L D50597/4
Ingredients (UV Gaurd): Active: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%. Inactive: water, cyclopentasiloxane, alcohol denat., silica, dicaprylyl ehter, styrene/acrylates, copolymer, PEG-30, dipolyhydroxystearate, dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, polymethylsilsesquioxane, nylon-12, dicaprylyl carbonate, phenoxyethanol, lauryl PEG/PPG-18/19 methicone, sodium chloride, caprylyl glycol, PEG-8 laurate, methylparaben, tocopherol, poly c10-30 alkyl acrylate, disteardimonium hectorite, isostearyl alcohol, caffeine, ascorbyl glucoside, disodium EDTA, dodecane, poloxamer407.

Monday, June 25, 2012

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow review + swatches - OE, 4E, 6E, 8E, 20E, 22E, 30E


           Whether you fancy synchronized swiming or just lounging by the pool this summer, MAKE UP FOR EVER has you covered with their new MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadows. According to Make Up For Ever lore, Dany Sanz created the line to have the vivid colors and lasting power suited for performers in ballet, opera, theatrer, and even synchronized swimmers. Waterproof is taken pretty seriously! You may be familiar with MAKE UP FOR EVERs Aqua Eyes eyeliners and Aqua Cream eyeshadows. Aqua Shadow is MAKE UP FOR EVER's newest waterproof offering, this time in eye shadow pencil form.

          MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow functionality seems to fill a niche between the eyeliner and cream shadow lines. The Aqua Shadows are chubby pencils that can have the convenience of, but can cover much more area than an Aqua Eyes eyeliner pencil. As a fan of Aqua Eyes eyeliners, I can only imagine this to be a good thing. Because Aqua Shadows are in pencil form, you'll find that the formula to be less creamy and blendable than the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Creams. I do prefer the Aqua Shadows to the Aqua Creams. The Aqua Creams, though well loved by many,  were a little dry and flaked on my lids. I find the Aqua Shadows to be more comfortable and a better formula on me.

          Eyeshadow pencils straddle a line between creamy blendability and the need to maintain structural integrity of a tip. If the shadow is creamy it is easy to blend and work with, but runs a higher risk of creasing since it may not dry down effectively on the eye. I think MAKE UP FOR EVER must have placed more emphasized lasting power. The Aqua Eyes eyeshadow glides on relatively easily, however they're not as slippery as some other eye pencils I've come across. As you can see, this is probably because of the high wax content. This is likely what keeps your eyeshadow to be long lasting and waterproof. That said, the warmer your pencil is, the more easily it will glide on. The color deposition is rich and vibrant, as one would expect of a MAKE UP FOR EVER product. They formula is difficult to blend with fingers or brushes, however this is why the product is long lasting. If you want to blend in different colors, I find that layering with different Aqua Shadow pencils works to achieve a blended effect.

         After a test drive, I think the colors can last a few hours before some creasing. I didn't use primer, which usually is a must for me with powder shadows. Additionally, the creasing wasn't the immediate white-line-like crease that has happened to me before with NYX and NARS eyeshadow pencils. The creasing isn't devoid of color, it's more like the color was present but weakened at those spots. In that sense, I'm impressed at the lasting power of this eyeshadow pencil when compared to other eyeshadow pencils. The formula does seem to be waterproof. I don't have a pool on hand, but I did notice it was a pan to scrub off my arm swatches under running water! The eyeshadow also survived a non-soapy facewash.

Ingredients (based on 20E) - Cyclopentasiloxane, Synthetic Beeswax, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Magnesium Silicate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Myristyl Lactate, Stearoyl Inulin, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Myristyl Alcohol, Silica, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Stearic Acid, Tin Oxide, [+/- Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77400 (Bronze Powder), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide)]. Made in Germany

         In terms of  colors, MAKE UP FOR EVER treats makeup like art. Instead of generating most excitement from limited edition seasonal colors, they focus on a comprehensive set of basic colors for you to work with. I was lucky to have the chance to try several colors from the new MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Shadow line.The collection is divided into matte colors and pearl colors. As you can see from the swatches below, the matte colors I have are 0E a matte black, 4E a matte taupe grey, 6E a matte navy blue, 8E a matte green, 20E a pearly taupe, 22E a pearly copper, and 30E a pearly pink beige. All the colors are quite rich and opaque. I've noticed that the pearly shades have a slightly smoother formula than the mattes.

          Needless to say, I'm going to have some fun with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadows this summer. I'm especially thrilled with the pearly shades, and would recommend starting there if you're interested in trying Aqua Shadows. The formula is slightly nicer and the colors are easy to wear. I can see 20E, the taupe, being a favorite. Thanks for reading! Have you tried the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadows? What are your favorite waterproof makeup products?

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, June 22, 2012

Fragrance, a mini menagerie


          This summer I've found my nose perusing the fragrance shelves of Sephora again. I figured it was time to pull out the deluxe sized fragrance samples I've collected from fragrance kits or gift with purchases. Most are florals or fruity florals, which are general crowd pleasers. I'll give a quick breakdown of my thoughts. Stella McCartney Stella is an old favorite of mine; I actually have the bottle in full size. This is really one of the best rose scents out there. Escada Especially Escada is my newest sample; it might still be available as a 100 point perk on Sephora. I haven't pieced through the elements in the scent, but it has a different fruity edge that I'm really liking. The bottle is gorgeous too. Coach Poppy and Versace Bright crystal have smooth fruits mixed in their scents; they'd be easy for even non-fragrance lovers to wear. Dior Addict Shine isn't available anymore online. It's a shame because I did enjoy the fresh blend of cedar and raspberry in it. Givenchy Very Irresistible and Ralph Lauren Romance were ok, but haven't yet left lasting impressions. I believe I wasn't terribly fond of Marc Jacobs Daisy and Juicy Couture Juicy Couture. It's a shame since both of the scents have cute bottles.
           Even with all these delightful bottles, I can't help but eye new scents. I still have my eye on Dolce + Gabbana Light Blue (and its summer counterpart), Chanel Chance Eau Tendre (even though it smells nearly identical to my DKNY Fresh Blossom), and maybe the Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin which I recently read about on The Non-Blonde. I have a little tester of Prada Infusion d'Iris too, which is in a category of its own. However, before I go off the deep end, I'm announcing a fragrance ban until I review each and every one of the samples shown here. I'm inwardly groaning at the thought, but I know it's for my own good. What deluxe fragrance minis do you have on your dresser? What samples or scents have you been liking this summer?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I already reviewed Coach Poppy (see here). One down!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Umberto Beverly Hills Roman Oil Serum review


          Is there life after Moroccanoil? My sample bottle of Morocconoil (seen here) is running woefully low, and the auditioning process for replacements has begun. Let's just say frizz control for my wavy hair is a necessity in the summer! Enter Umberto Beverly Hills Roman Oil Serum, a cost effective option available at Target. I wasn't kidding when I alluded to the similarities between Umberto Roman Oil and Moroccanoil. If you check out the ingredients lists, the first two to three ingredients are silicones and the next is an oil. Moroccanoil has Argan oil, while Roman oil is mainly olive oil (the name 'Roman' seems to be a play on this). I'll usually apply a few pumps of Roman Oil when my hair is wet. My hair really drinks it up. It requires less product than when used on dry hair. If you want to use product on dry hair, rub the oil between you hands and lightly run them through your hair. The texture is a highly viscous liquid, though somewhat less than Moroccanoil. The scent is lightly fruity like olive oil; I prefer this over the more exotic Moroccanoil scent.  In addition to conditioning and smoothening, my fine hair feels thicker after blow drying, which I assume is due to the effects of the silicones.  Overall it does a good job keeping hair in place, though I would say it is a little less effective at frizz control than the Moroccanoil. Keep in mind my curly/wavy hair is much more prone to frizz, especially if not ironed. Those with already mostly straight or straight-ish hair can get away with a little less product weight.

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Cylcomethicone, Dimethicone, Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Tocopherol, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Fragrance, D&C Yellow 11, D&C Red 17

          Overall, at around ten dollars at Target beauty, Umberto Beverly Hills Roman Oil Serum is an accessible and cost effective find for those looking to keep their hair smooth and in control this summer. I like the light scent and feel and plan on keeping this handy when I attempt to tame my tresses. (Especially if I end up getting that flat iron I've been wanting). Have you tried Roman oil or other hair 'oils'? What's your favorite way of keeping frizz at bay during the summer?

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, June 19, 2012

My NARS sheer lipstick collection

          Every girl has a line of lipstick that just speaks to her. For me, NARS sheer lipsticks have the confluence of feel, finish, and color that keep me coming back for more. I favor a light natural look, so sheer lippies are a must. I don't want to look like I'm wearing lipstick; I want to look as if my lips are naturally cohesive with my look, whether it be makeup or outfit. NARS Sheer lipsticks are significantly more tinted than a tinted lip balm, however they allow some natural lip color to shine through. The formula is lightweight and comfortable, and they don't make my lips peel. If I don't have any lip balm on hand, I'll use one of these to hold me through. I also like that the shine is minimal. I don't like to add too much glossy shine to my larger lips. I find that glossy formulas add a wet look, but usually ends up being more drying in the long run. I love the rubber casing too, mostly for aesthetics, but it's also good for grip.

           The NARS sheer formula lipsticks I have in my collection are Love Devotion (just got this!), Belle de Jour (most used), Pago Pago, Mayflower (my first), and Dolce Vita (wasn't a fan originally, but now love). Colors on my immediate wishlist are Cruising, Barbarella, and Roman Holiday. It's just a matter of time before they're mine!

         I've swatched my collection below. They do appear sheer on my skin, however the colors are more pronounced on the natural pink of my lips. Each tint is quite different from the next. NARS does a really good job of describing them, so forgive me if my description is similar. NARS Love devotion lipstick is a really pretty guava. It's perfect for summer; I've been pairing it with all my warmer toned and peach/orange based looks. Can you believe I didn't have a pinky coral lipstick before this? Was I living under a rock? NARS Belle de Jour lipstick is famous for currying Kim Kardashian's favor. The girl knows makeup, because I love it too. It's a beautiful peachy beige nude. I've worn this more times than I can count. NARS Pago Pago lipstick  is a light pink with silver sparkles. It's actually quite pale on the lips and I'd prefer no sparkles even though they make only a miniscule contribution. I wore this a lot the summer I first got it. I haven't worn it much recently, but I still like it. NARS Mayflower lipstick is a strawberry pink with a small amount of silver sparkle. This is perfect for naturally pretty pink lips. It's a fresher my-lips-but-better alternative to Dolce Vita. NARS Dolce Vita lipstick is so many beauties' holy grail color, and rightfully so. I wasn't too fond of this when I first reviewed Dolce Vita (see here). It's too dark when I have flushed lips, but when I have pale healthier lips it does look pretty. That said, this is probably still more of a fall season color for me.




          Thanks for reading! Now that it's summer I'm especially favoring sheer lips. When it comes to lips and other cosmetics, I'm pretty focused and brand faithful. Me, a NARS fan? Nah, more like a fanatic. When I find something I like I stick to it because I know I'll use it! Do you have a favorite lipstick formula or brand? What are you favorite NARS lipstick colors?

Love, Dovey.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting in Tahitian Glow review


           This is big. Literally. Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting in Tahitian Glow is the  largest piece of makeup own. Tahitian glow is used to give a glowy look for both face and body. (Due to the behemoth amount of product, I'm guessing the folks at Laura Geller were taking the use for body seriously). However, what exactly is a baked body frosting? Is it a bronzer? Highlighter? Both? Read on to see what I made of Laura Geller's Baked Body Frosting in Tahitian Glow.


         First, I'll cover the stats. Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting weighs in at 0.85 oz. (compare with 0.28 oz. for NARS Laguna bronzer). It's good for liberal use on the body. Not only is there a lot of product, it's encased in plastic packaging that makes it look even larger. You can see above that the lid is at least an inch thick. The product doesn't dome much above the pan, but the cap is huge. The extra room is to hold the puff that is meant to apply the product on your body. There's also a disposable quality plastic tray that holds the puff. To be honest, it's a bit impractical. I'd rather have a puff-less product with a smaller lid, or a built-in-shelf for the puff to give it a more luxe feel. I received Tahitian Glow as a part of Laura Geller's Glow and Behold Set (QVC exclusive), however it is sold individually for $45. While the quality of the product inside is nice, it could use sleeker packaging.


           The swirling tan, cream, and pearly pink are beautiful in the pan. They remind me of MAC's mineralize products. I think these swirls are a fun aspect to the product; each individual product will look a little bit different. Laura Geller's Baked Body Frosting formula can be used both wet and dry. It's well pigmented and has a smooth but slightly thick and powdery texture which seems to be characteristic of baked products. The ingredient list isn't too long and it doesn't contain mineral oil or parabens.

Ingredients: Mica, Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Isopropyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 20, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauroyl Lysine, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retynyl Palmitate, BHT, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Clockwise from left: NARS Laguna Bronzer, Laura Geller
           Now I'll get back to the question of what exactly a baked body frosting is. Laura Geller refers to it as a 'glow'. A number of online reviews refer to this as a bronzer. I would say it's more like a bronzer and higlighter hybrid: an illuminator if you will. It has more frosted shine and slightly less pigment than your typical bronzer. In this sense, it is made with body in mind. For body use, you don't want too much color; faking a tan with a powder product isn't practical and might end up looking a bit dirty. A slightly bronzed shine will go further to contour the body with strategic glow. You can see from my swatches below that Laura Geller Tahitian glow is frostier than my other bronzers. It falls somewhere in between the golden brown of NARS Laguna bronzer and the peachy tan of Dior Aurora bronzer (reviewed here). When swatched, Tahitian glow is a natural light tan glow on my light-medium skin. When worn, I can't see much tan color unless I start to layer it on. I prefer to use a fluffy brush and not the puff to achieve a more natural effect.



          Overall, Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting in Tahitian Glow is a fun addition to my summer makeup collection. The swirled product looks beautiful in the pan, though the packaging is a bit bulky. It's a less messy alternative to liquid illuminators for the body, and if used lightly can provide a strategic J.Lo glow to the body. Due to Tahitian glow's frosted nature, I'd be hesitant to layer this on heavily for an actual color change of your skin. The color looks nice on the face as well, though I would purpose this more towards illuminating purposes as opposed to bronzing or contouring. Thanks for reading! Have you tried Laura Geller's baked body frosting? Do you have products in your collection designated for body use?

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, June 17, 2012

Vitamin C peel review: Philosophy Microdelivery and Murad Radiance-C


          I love a good Vitamin C peel. Vitamin C peels are usually once a week treatments that can give an immediate brightening and freshened effect to the face. Vitamin C is usually combined with physical or chemical exfoliants to get a brightening effect. They do tend to be at the pricier end of treatments, so it's important to consider what you're looking for before investing. Today I'll review the two Vitamin C peels I have in my stash: Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel and Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

1. Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel was my first Vitamin C peel, and is one of the most popular peels out there. It comes with two parts, or ingredients, if you will. There are two parts to this treatment: a 2oz. tub of Vitamin C peptide resurfacing crystals and a 2oz. bottle of lactic/salicylic acid activating gel. First, you use massage the crystals, which are many small particles (size of salt or smaller) in a orange colored paste that smells like orange, onto your face. The grains exfoliate and add the Vitamin C. The lactic/salicylic is a thick liquid added on top to infuse the skin with Vitamin C and provide secondary exfoliation. When you add it on top of the 'crystals' there is a nice warm sensation. This treatment really works; the physical and chemical exfoliation leave the skin looking fresh and bright. I remember my package said there were about ten uses of product, however I found that I got many more uses out if it.

2. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel - I received Murad's Intensive-C Radiance peel as a sample for consideration. It contrasts from Philosophy in that it is very simple to use. The peel comes in lotion form and easily applies to the face. The sensation upon application is kind of neat; it's a cold and hot feeling. It's more stimulating than the warm relaxing feel of Philosophy. The glycolic acid does the exfoliating in this product. It does not have the physical exfoliating capacity of Philosophy, but it does effectively brighten. Those with more sensitive skin might enjoy this product since it lacks the physical abrasion. Each use doesn't require too much product, so this tube should last a while.

          Both peels are nice and workable. It really depends what you're looking for. The Philosophy Microdelivery peel is a more multi-step, spa-like, and adds physical exfoliation. The Murad Intensive-C peel is more quick and easy for someone on the go; plus it has a cool icy-hot effect. Have you tried either of these products? What are your favorite peels?

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, June 16, 2012

A little LUSH haul


          It's a like a candy store. When I walk into a LUSH, I can't help but succumb to its bright colors, fragrant scents, and general charm. If you can believe it, I can easily browse a Sephora and walk out with nothing. That's a piece of cake. LUSH, however, is a weakness of mine. I went in to get a bar of shampoo and walked out with a couple extra things. The things is, I don't even feel bad about it. They're products are cruelty free and environmentally conscious, and work for me. I don't have  difficulty using things down to the last drop. Without further ado, here's my little LUSH haul.


           I picked up LUSH Seanik bar shampoo (reviewed here). This is my fourth repurchase, at least, and that's not counting the ones I bought for my mom. I've never had a shampoo that suds up, clarifies, and decongests my scalp as well as this. I've noticed decreased hair fallout since I've been using this. Who doesn't like thicker hair? LUSH Mask of Magnaminty (reviewed here) is one of my favorite masks. After running out of my last tub, I figured I would try some more cost effective mud masks. From that experience, I realized that I missed Mask of Magnaminty. This time, I got the smaller sized tub. I only apply a thin layer of mask and this tub should be last through the four month expiration date, even with frequent use. My final item is LUSH No Drought dry shampoo. There's no doubt that I'm excited about No Drought. I prefer dry shampoo in powder form (as opposed to aerosol) and this is great so far. It works in well and has a really nice natural citrus scent. I have a feeling that this is going to be yet another staple for me.

          Finally, if you're familiar with LUSH products, you might know that they put stickers with the likeness of person who made you product (see below). I've always thought this was fun and made each product more personal. LUSH is also really good about providing the expiration dates of each product, which is important since each has fresh ingredients mixed in. To be honest, I don't take the expiration dates to be hard and fast rules. I think they're 'safe' dates and if you store the products well (like in the fridge for Mask of Magnaminty), you'll be good for a while longer.



         I've started digging into each of these three products already. With two staple products and one will-be-staple product, you can say I'm a happy LUSHie. While there, I asked for samples of LUSH R+B hair cream, LUSH Veganese conditioner, and LUSH Ultrablam. I'm looking forward to testing them out too! Thanks for reading! Have you hauled from LUSH recently? What are your favorite LUSH products?


Love, Dovey.

Friday Five

          Most of this last week was spent pondering foundation colors and formulas. After vacation, my skin has changed from a light to a medium tone. I sampled my usual foundation NARS Sheer Glow in two darker tones, Punjab and Santa Fe. My skin has also been acting up a lot; I haven't pinpointed the cause, but I decided to branch out and try a different foundation formula in case: MUFE's Face + Body. You can see my little pots of Sephora foundation samples above! What have you been exploring this week? Here's my Friday Five list of blog posts that caught my eye this week:

1. I'm entranced with the idea of depotting thanks to Zuzu's Petals
2. A cool collaboration between The Sartorialist and J.Crew.
3. Something smells like sun, sand, and hot gold on Daly Beauty.
4. I'm pining for See Jane's spearmint dress.
5. Go on a space odyssey with MAC Heavenly Creature on Musings of a Muse.

Have a great weekend!

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original review


         I was told that Jenni 'JWoww' Farley is a fan. While I'm not a reality TV junkie, I won't complain if Batiste Dry Shampoo geves me Jersey Shore-like voluminous hair. It took me a while to try a dry shampoo, since I didn't see the need seeing as the chance that I would let my hair go unwashed is slim to none. However, I've found that dry shampoo is perfect for reviving my end-of-the-day kinda oily hair and giving it an extra clean volume boost. It's great when I need a quick refresher before heading out for an evening. Dry shampoo is pretty much a staple product for me now. I was excited to have the chance to try and review Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original. Batiste is a best selling UK dry shampoo brand that's made it's way across the pond to the U.S.

          Dry shampoos come in two formulations that I'm aware of: aerosol and powder. This one is in aerosol form. Clean and Classic is the original scent; it smells mildly like air freshener. While I prefer unscented products, this scent isn't too overwhelming and does give hair a clean type of smell. To use Batiste Dry shampoo, shake well and spray about a foot away from your hair. Instead of a continuous spray, I lift up different sections of hair and aim at the roots to get a better distribution where needed. The dry shampoo is white and my hair is quite dark. To avoid patchy white Bellatrix Lestrange type hair (see here), I tousle vigorously until the white has blended in to my liking.

          Just when I was thinking Batiste was the bomb, I looked at the ingredients and wondered if it indeed was a bomb! The first three ingredients are butane, isobutane, and propane, which are aerosol propellants. What that in mind, keep Batiste dry shampoo away from heat, and use in a well ventilated area. Batiste uses rice starch to absorb the oil in your hair. Different brands of dry shampoos seem to use different kinds of starch, however the concept is pretty much the same: starch absorbs the oil that makes your hair look unclean.

Ingredients:  Butane, Isobutane, Propane, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Alcohol denat., Parfum (fragrance, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Distearyldimonium chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride


          Overall, I enjoyed using Batiste Dry Shampoo. The Batiste dry shampoo is great for cleaning up the oil in my end-of-the day hair and giving it a hair-raising boost. I bet it will also come in handy for unseen hair emergencies, camping, and other situations where I just don't have the time or resources to wash. The spray form is quick and really easy to use in a pinch. It tends to be a little less messy than dry shampoos in powder form. (That said, I still do like powder-form shampoos since you can work more in, don't have to worry about chemical inhalants, and can travel with them. For me, it's worth having both spray and powder dry shampoo). I'm happy to have Batiste Dry Shampoo in my collection. It's so convenient and easy to use. I know I'll be reaching for it often. Have you tried Batiste products? Have you tried dry shampoo?

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, June 11, 2012

Oyster + Sand

          Though there are many beautiful shells in the sea, I often find myself drawn to that of the humble oyster. There's something endearing about the knobbly mottled exterior. Lately I've been weaned myself off brights and have been wearing subtle neutrals instead. Neutral can describe so many different palettes. The one I'm describing today was inspired by the opalescent pink, greige, and beige colors in oysters and wet sand. The products used are shown above: MAC Vex eyeshadow, MAC Moleskin eyeshadow, Sunday Riley Moon Dust eyeshadow, and OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh.

           Speaking of greige and beige, do you remember how Urban Decay's NAKED2 palette (reviewed here) was supposed to be a greige version of NAKED? Although this didn't apply to all the  eyeshadow colors, I did use the greige toned eyeshadow Verve from this palette for my 'Oyster + Sand' theme. NAKED2 really has been my most used palette this year; I can't say enough good things about it.



          To get my 'Oyster + Sand' themed look, I've been shuttling between three complex oyster like colors: MAC Vex, Sunday Riley Moon Dust (reviewed here) and Urban Decay Verve as lid colors. You can see from the swatches that Sunday Riley Moon Dust is a a greyed off-white, Urban Decay Verve is a frosty silver beige, and MAC Vex is a pale beige with pink opalescence. As seen in the shell above, I'll mix a beige, MAC Moleskin (reviewed here), into the crease to add some extra dimension. To top things off, I paint my tips and toes with the sandy chic color OPI Did you ear about Van Gogh? (reviewed here). This color always reminds me of wet sand. Put together, I think the overall effect is relaxed and beachy.

          Thanks for reading! Do you like oyster or sandy colors? Do you like oyster? (I feel a little Walrus-and-the-Carpenter saying this, but I love a good oyster on a half shell). What colors have you been wearing recently?

Love, Dovey.

Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen, a luxury sunscreen?



          When it's time to get out my beach towel, I head to the nearest drugstore or superstore to pick up a bottle of sunscreen. Usually I end up getting what's on sale; I'm pretty equal opportunity about brands. Recently I had the chance to try Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen - Broad Spectrum SPF50 which just hit the shelves this June 2012. At twenty-three dollars a 5 oz. bottle, it begs the question: what are the merits of this high end sunscreen?

          First, Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. You can see from the active ingredient list I've typed below that there are quite a number of different chemical sunscreens present in the formula. It is worth noting that there is no Titanium dioxide, a physical sunblock agent. The actual sunscreen ingredients in the formula are typically found in other sunscreens, however Kiehl's claims that the specific levels they've used increase the photostability of the formula. I can't attest to the veracity of that statement, so I'm neutral as to whether this is a merit since generally most sunscreen formulas tend to work anyway.

          Second, Kiehl's included three antioxidants thought to provide protective effects against sun-related aging: Goji Berry (traditional Chinese medicine), Vitamin E, and Einkorn wheat (trivia: one of the earliest cultivated forms of wheat ~7500BC). The introduction of antioxidants does seem like cool idea, and is part of what adds to the 'higher end' nature of this sunscreen.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6% Ingredients: water, dimethicone, isododecane, styrene/acrylates coplymer, propanediol, silica, isononyl osononanoate, inulin lauryl carbamate, nylon-12, caprylyl methicone, sucrose tristearate, lycium barbarum fruit extract, tocopherol, hydrolyzed triticum monococcum seed extract, phenoxyethanol, stearyl alcohol, PEG-8 laurate, triethanolamine, polymethyl methacrylate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/steareth-25 methacrylate crosspolymer, dimethiconol, xantham gum, disodium EDTA, glycerin


          Third, the formula is supposed to be non-comedogenic and safe for sensitive skin. The formula is described as ultra lightweight, oil-free, and paraben free. This is where we can observe an actual (instead of theoretical as above) difference. The sunscreen has a lighter lotion-like feel when compared to your average sunscreen. It's very comfortable going on and lacks a lot of the greasy shininess that typical formulas might have. It is indeed lightweight as claimed, and is a big practical plus. I was curious as to the 'safe for sensitive skin' and 'dermatologist and allergy tested' statement, since I am someone who is sensitive to most sunscreens, particularly chemical sunscreen. I wore Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen on my arms and legs for a day of shopping. Most of the day passed without notable events (which is typical for me when using sunscreen on my body), however toward the end, I did notice some irritation. This is unsurprising considering the high levels (SPF50) of chemical sunscreen. Those with known chemical sunscreen sensitivities like me may still have to pass. That said, the majority of people shouldn't encounter that problem if you regularly wear sunscreens without issue.

          Overall, I think Kiehl's Activated Sun Protection Sunscreen SPF50 is a nice sunscreen. The addition of known skin antioxidants and the very light lotion-like formula makes it a bit more luxurious than your typical sunscreen. It's worth a peek if you're looking to upgrade your skincare this summer. Have you tried a higher end sunscreen? What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorite Kiehl's products on your vanity?

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, June 10, 2012

Sunday Riley Prismasilk Eye Color in Moon Dust review + swatches


          It's Sunday: what better to post than a review of  Sunday Riley Prismasilk Eye Color in Moon Dust? Sunday Riley is a relatively new cosmetics company that's found its way into the heart of luxury cosmetics lovers. I was lucky to win Sunday Riley Moon Dust prismasilk eye color from a Best Things in Beauty giveaway (see Charlestongirl's review of Moon Dust here). Today I'm sharing my review, photos, and swatches of Sunday Riley Moon Dust with you!


         When I first opened Sunday Riley Moon Dust indoors, I was under the impression that it was a regular white shadow. However, outdoors it was more like an off white or very pale beige. The sunlight and camera seems to amplify this beige color in my photos.


          I was initially surprised at Sunday Riley's choice of packaging. Clear plastic lids are commonly seen on drugstore products. That said, it is convenient to see the color inside, and the construction is more luxe. As you can see below, the clear lid is actually a very thick slab-like lid. At one point while photographing, I saw the faintest little rainbow being cast on the shadow by a prismatic effect. The lid has the Sunday Riley 'SR' logo indented, while the shadow pan itself has Sunday Riley embossed in it. The texture of the shadow in the pan seems firm. Not much is kicked up when I run my brush on it, although product is coming off the surface.  
         When seen in the pan outdoors, Moon Dust can take on a pale beige color as seen above. When worn or swatched, it takes on a greyer tone. This might be because the beige is absorbed into the background tone of the skin, thus highlighting the grey tones in the shadow.  I've swatched Moon Dust next to some other white eyeshadows in my collection so you can get a better handle of the color. You can see that Moon Dust is significantly less pure white than the icy white of Sephora Aspen Summit and the golden white of NARS Exotic Dance (reviewed here). The off white/ beige character is similar to Urban Decay Virgin (from the NAKED palette). Urban Decay Virgin, however is more strongly pigmented and a more frosty peach beige. Sunday Riley Moon Dust has a slightly more soft satin grey color.

           Moon Dust goes on very sheerly, though it does spread evenly and well. It took me multiple brush strokes to build up the swatch below. When worn on my eyes, the color was practically invisible, save for a subtle lightening effect. The eyeshadow has a formula suitable for wet or dry use, so I used a wet brush. This worked quite well to build up the color to a soft white-grey. I could see where Moon Dust gets its name from!


         Overall, I'm excited to have tried Sunday Riley Moon Dust. The subtle grey-white suits my taste and I do appreciate the effect of barely-there and brightening shadows. Though I do like Moon Dust, I would recommend a try-before-buy since the color does seem to be sheer, which is not everyone's cup of tea. Thank you to Charlestongirl for the wonderful giveaway and thanks for reading! Have you been eyeing  or trying any Sunday Riley colors? Do you have a favorite off-white eyeshadow?

Love, Dovey.