Friday, November 29, 2013

A few of my favorite things - November 2013

            I've always felt that November heralds the twilight of the calendar year. Deep blues and majestic hues color the long shadows cast upon the Northern hemisphere, punctuated by the festive glow of tiny twinkling lights that mark the beginnings of the holiday season. These wintry chroma certainly feed my flair for vivid colors, and also (incidentally) complement my 'winter complexion! Today, for my monthly A few of my favorite things series, I''ll be sharing snapshots of the threads and maquillage that I've adorned (and adored!) this November!

1. Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine
While most are donning perfumes laden with sugar and spice at this time of year, I've been helping myself to a seasonal slice of citrus! My spritz of choice has  been Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, a blood orange concoction that's anything but sweet. It has the bitterness of an orange rind, tempered by the slightly sour clarity characteristic of real citrus fruit!

My sample of Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine. (Thanks mom!)
2. Illamasqua Lover powder blusher
Illamasqua Lover adds the perfect whisper of peachy orange to my complexion. It also happens to be a great pairing to my embroidered sweatshirt below. I have a considerable collection of Illamasqua blushers, as the formula works well for me and agrees with my skin.

3. CHANEL Poudre Universelle in 20 Clair
When it comes to complexion, I've really come to rely upon CHANEL for my incredibly sensitive skin. CHANEL Poudre Universelle in 20 Clair is my latest acquisition from the line; the sheer finishing powder adds just the right touch to any look.

4. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner in 13 Mat Black
I've stashed away my brown pencil liners in favor of liquid blacks. There's nothing I like better than a crisp long-lasting line! The dramatic contrast is particularly flattering on those with cool winter complexions like myself.

4. Butter London Union Jack Black nail lacquer* (reviewed here)
I've been all about noir nails this month! Black is an unusual lacquer shade for me, but it's a perfect complement to this season's monochrome styles. My favorite has been Butter London Union Jack Black, which applies beautifully and dries fairly quickly; it's been a great go-to for nights out.

5. My custom MAC Quad
As you know, I'm a big fan of the MAC custom quad, which allows me to precisely arrange the color combinations I require. As you can see, my current custom foursome contains a set of very basic, monochromatic colors, including MAC Blanc Type, MAC Electra, MAC Concrete, and MAC Soot. MAC Blanc Type is my newest acquisition; it's the perfect cream base with pink undertones.

6. J.Crew floral sweatshirt in navy
Normally I'm not a pattern person, but it was hard to resist this gorgeous embroidered sweatshirt from J.Crew fall! I love the Dries van Noten-esque feel of the patterning, and the defining contrast between the navy and coppery orange threads. I've been wearing this comfy-cool piece all month long.

Closeup of the embroidered paneling on my J.Crew floral sweatshirt in navy.
          I hope you've enjoyed my favorites this month! I've really been embracing navy and noir this November, inspired by the lengthening shades of winter light. Orange punctuation makes for a natural embellishment on this twilight aesthetic, adding a hint of the warm candle-lit glow seen twinkling through frosty windows!

        Thanks for reading! What perfume, makeup, or threads have you been loving this November? Do we share any favorites?

Love, Dovey.

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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Butter London Illusionists collection (Holiday 2013) : Bramble, Petrol, Stardust, and Stratford Honey review + swatches

Butter London Bramble, Petrol, Stardust, and Stratford Honey (clockwise from top left)
         As winter nights grow longer, inky purples and starshine decorate the sky, adding a sense of mystique to this wonderful season. Naturally, I've been inspired by these twilight tints - and have been showcasing these shades at my fingertips!

         As you can imagine, I've been enjoying the Butter London Illusionists nail lacquer collection (Holiday 2013) courtesy of Butter London. This ensemble features four new night-sky-shades perfect for layering and includes Bramble, Petrol, Stardust, and Stratford Honey.

Butter London Bramble
         Butter London Bramble nail lacquer is a beautiful dark purple creme. I love how flattering this shade looks on my nails! I've been wearing it on and off all week. (It helps that the color complements Baltimore Ravens purple --- you know I'm a big fan!)

Butter London Bramble and Butter London Petrol
        Butter London Bramble nail lacquer is a dark blue toned purple creme. You can see my comparison swatches below.  I've compared it to Butter London Pitter Patter (reviewed here), which has more red tones.  

        Butter London Petrol overcoat is meant to be worn over other nail lacquers, however with 3-4 coats it can stand on its own (see swatch above). Petrol exudes a complex iridescence, much like an oil slick; it's a pink-purple base that reflects blue in the light. I've compared it to another iridescent polish, OPI Not Like the Movies (Katy Perry collection) to give you an idea of how exactly it reflects.

Butter London Union Jack Black
            I've really been loving black nails as of late, which is unusual for me. They are an appropriately mod statement for the current season and they look chic with shorter nails. Butter London Union Jack Black is a part of the brand's regular lineup and the Illusionists collection. It's a perfect background for the three new 'overcoats' (more on that below). 

Butter London Stardust and Butter London Statford Honey
            I've swatched the three new Butter London Illusionists collection overcoats atop Butter London Union Jack Black. Butter London Stardust overcoat is a very dense collection of silver holo microglitter. With a few coats, it could probably stand on its own. The finish isn't particularly glossy. If you want more shine, it would be worth adding a clear topcoat. Butter London Stratford Honey overcoat is a significantly less dense collection of small gold glitter particles. Even with several coats, you'll never achieve full opacity with glitter. As you can appreciate from the bottle above, the gold is a lighter yellow (as opposed to a 24K) type of gold. The finish of this topcoat is very glossy. I showed Butter London Petrol overcoat alone above, and atop black polish below. You can see that the pink-purple base is less visible. The special bluish sheen is the final effect.

          With layers of Butter London Illusionists nail lacquer collection (Holiday 2013), I can keep shades of the night sky at my fingertips! I'm most fond of the new creme color, Bramble. (You know I love my cremes). That said, I love the touch of starshine that Butter London Stratford Honey adds to my tips as well!

          Thanks for reading! Which shades from the Butter London Illusionist collection strike your fancy? What hues have you been wearing this holiday season?

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CHANEL Rouge Allure Lip Color in Radieuse review + swatches

         There's something magical about pale pink; the airy kiss of color offers up the impression of blooming rosebuds and their delicate petals. I must admit I'm quite partial to the hue, as I wore pale pink lipstick to my wedding. It's delicate, feminine, and allows my natural features to shine.

          As you might imagine, I'm always on the lookout for new shades within this rosy slice of the color wheel. When I saw CHANEL Rouge Allure Lip Color in Radieuse in the CHANEL Nuit Infinie collection (Holiday 2013), I knew it would find its way into my collection!

          When it comes to lighter lip colors, finding the right shade can take a bit of finesse. Slight variations in undertone and transparency can make a world of difference! My skin currently runs on the cooler end of the East Asian spectrum, so I find that neutral to slightly cool colors are most flattering on me.

       CHANEL Rouge Allure Lip Color in Radieuse is quite light on me and tones down my lips considerably! The finish is satin. The formula is relatively comfortable; it's not quite creamy, but not too drying either. I find that Radieuse's undertones work well with my 'winter' complexion (dark hair, light skin, cool tones). It may be a challenging shade, however, for those with a warmer complexion!

         CHANEL Rouge Allure Lip Color in Radieuse is a pale to light rosy pink with neutral to cool undertones. Pale pinks can be nuanced, so I've drawn up comparison swatches below. MAC Sunny Seoul lipstick (reviewed here) is considerably brighter and more saturated in color. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout is a cool bubblegum pink; you can see that Chanel Radieuse is more neutral and natural. Bobbi Brown Pale Mauve is quite similar when swatched, but a bit darker when worn. It's also the slightest bit warmer and more mauve. I've also swatched CHANEL Rouge Allure in Indécise (reviewed here), another light shade from the Chanel Nuit Infinie collection. You can see the stark contrast between these two shades. Chanel Indécise is so much warmer!

          I love the pale-petaled pink of CHANEL Rouge Allure Lip Color in Radieuse! This lovely light color looks oh-so-chic when paired with eyes lined with the deep black of the winter sky. It's a favorite-worthy shade that should carry me well through the winter months!

           Thanks for reading! Have you tried CHANEL Radieuse or anything else from the CHANEL Nuit Infinie collection? What are your favorite pale pink lipsticks? What CHANEL shades should I try next?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Be sure to check out my review of  CHANEL Rouge Allure in Indécise, also from the Chanel Holiday 2013 collection!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friday Five : What's on my bookshelf edition

           Happy Friday! I love the way bookshelves become populated with personal artifacts from both past and present, evolving into squared-off microcosms of our lives! Recently I shared a snapshot of one cube in my bookshelf on Cute and Mundane's Instagram, the aftermath of a mini organization session. I loved the homey effect of the arrangement, and thought it would be fun to share a little personal history by cataloging five of my personal effects seen here!

1. Magazine subscriptions
I seem to have accumulated quite a number of subscriptions this year! (They were, in fact the impetus for this organization session --- having been previously scattered across every nook and cranny of my home). As I've mentioned before, I adore Harper's Bazaar, which is by far my favorite read. My current beauty and fashion glossies also include Marie Claire, Allure, and Elle.

2. Pink magazine files
I'm of the opinion that office accessories (or any accessories, really) are always better in pink! I picked up these pink IKEA files years ago when I first moved to Chicago.

3. Dior Addict 2 perfume
Dior Addict 2 was my signature scent when I met Mr. Lovey and it's the only perfume I've bought more than one bottle of. Sadly, the optimistic pink perfume is no longer in production, and the juice left in my bottle has lost its pep. I keep the bottle as a memento of a longtime love!

4. Wooden dog marionette
Wooden marionettes are a staple for those who love to sketch! I especially love this artist's version of man's best friend, as I've been a dog person for as long as I remember. Plus, it has floppy ears like both Baby Bird and Robin!

5. Perfume books 
I've collected quite a few perfume reads over the past year. (You can find a list in my Perfume Book post here). My favorite texts have been by perfumer and author Jean-Claude Ellena, exclusive perfumer for Hermès. I suppose it's natural that I enjoy his prose almost as much as I enjoy his olfactory compositions! The titles I own include Perfume : The Alchemy of Scent and The Diary of a Nose.

           Thanks for reading! What personal artifacts do you keep on your bookshelf? What magazines, books, or perfumes have you been loving lately?

Love, Dovey.

LUSH Mr. Punch, Noriko, and Orange soap review + photos

          Every holiday season, festive delights and colorful cakes line the frosty windows of LUSH boutiques nationwide! Crafted from essential oils, fruits, and vegetables, LUSH soaps are among the most inspired of their original creations. Today I have slices of LUSH Mr. Punch soap, LUSH Noriko soap, and LUSH Orange soap from the LUSH Holiday 2013 collection to share with you today, courtesy of the folks at LUSH!

Love the little 'fruit slices' in LUSH Mr. Punch soap
            I was delighted to see the return of LUSH Mr. Punch soap, which debuted this time last year. Mr. Punch has a bright fruity blackcurrant scent, mixed in with an undercurrent of gin. Contained within the soap are blackcurrant absolute, fresh lime oil, juniper berries, and a splash of gin. The soap cakes are even crafted to look like fruit punch!

LUSH Noriko soap is as creamy as it looks!
           LUSH Noriko soap is a new addition with Asian flair! This delicate floral soap boasts ingredients like sake, rice decoction, and tofu for a creamy cleanse. The soap smells of rose, ylang ylang, lavender, and orange oil.

          LUSH Orange soap is sure to add a sunny squeeze to dark winter days. This new addition to the Holiday 2013 lineup contains fresh OJ to cleanse, and Brazilian orange oil to tone; orange slices embedded in a squishy gel can be seen contained within the translucent block!

So many of layers of orange in LUSH Orange soap!
          LUSH Mr. Punch soap, LUSH Noriko soap, and LUSH Orange soap (3.5 oz. for $6.95) each provide a little slice of paradise during these cold winter nights! I'm loving all three, but if I had to choose, LUSH Mr. Punch would have to be my favorite. There's something about the berries and gin combination that's delectably unique!

           Thanks for reading! Have you browsed LUSH Holiday 2013? What are your favorite LUSH soaps? Which holiday LUSH soap would you choose?

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Literal Arts

              I'm very much a minimalist when it comes to self-decor. I prefer simple colors to speak for themselves, as opposed to donning a cacophony of chromaticities. I do, however, make an exception for the written word! There's something iconic about text; it can be a 'literal art' within itself. Lettering can be stylized in the inked flourishes of calligraphy, while textual arrangements can create fun formations, as seen here in Harper's Bazaar 'My List' (which happens to be among my favorite columns... or should I say circles?).

Butter London Union Jack Black and Essie Blanc
            Today I'm sharing photos of a simple nail look I wore this weekend, using words as art! It's a simple project, really. I used black and white for modern contrast. (Shown here are Butter London Union Jack Black* (reviewed here) and Essie Blanc*). I freehanded the letters, but I'm sure one could use an actual paintbrush for more control! To keep things from being over-the-top (i.e. staying minimalist), I kept my other hand letter-free for effect.

          I loved my simple little lettered mani! I'd venture to say the real fun is in picking  the actual word to paint. I was in the mood for Italian today with ciao, however, as you can imagine, the possibilities are endless!

          Thanks for reading! Have you worn a lettered mani? What message would you leave at your fingertips?

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