Monday, May 26, 2014

NARS Gaiety blush review + swatches

         In the spirit of eclecticism, shall we start with an assortment of things I've been loving lately? First up are fresh peonies. (I'm enjoying their dewy sweet perfume even as I write!) So much attention is given to their visual aesthetic, but I'd have to argue that their scent is equally (if not more) alluring.  Second, I'm loving Angelina Jolie on the cover of Elle. It's a truly striking shot, although I may be biased as Angie's one of my favorite celeb style icons. I'm looking forward to seeing her in Maleficent (speaking of which, I spotted the Maleficent collection at MAC counters this weekend)! Third, I'm loving NARS Gaiety blush, a gorgeous pale pink and the topic of discussion for the day....

         You know I love a cool pink. There's something so magical, brightening, and feminine about the shade. I fell in love with NARS Gaiety blush when it debuted, as it was (and still is) the coolest pink in their collection. I ended up waiting before buying; even though I'm a diehard fan of NARS shades, I'm plus/minus on the formula on my sensitive skin. (That and I tend to think, rethink, then think some more about my beauty buys, as my collection has already reached critical mass...).

Peony petals are pretty, but their perfume is prettier! 
         The compact is of course packaged in the classic rubbery NARS material, a modern and practical touch that I really like. I know some folks don't like how they tend to be powder magnets, but I haven't really had the same issue. It might be because I leave the protective plastic inserts in my compacts.

        NARS Gaiety is a cool pastel pink. Though it has cool tones, I wouldn't say it has significant blue tones (my photos are leaning a bit more blue on my monitors than I'd like!) Its powdery pastel-like nature gives it a more brightening effect than some other pinks in the same spectrum. That said, it also may apply slightly more sheer for that reason as well.

         I've drawn up some comparison swatches for NARS Gaiety blush to some of the other cool-ish pinks in my collection. Tarte Adored (click for review) is a darker rosier pink. MAC Peony Petal (click for review) is the coolest pink of the bunch. You can see how Gaiety isn't as blue-pink as Peony Petal. I was surprised to see how dark NARS Angelika swatched on my skin, as it's lighter in the pan.  Illamasqua Nymph is a pretty bubblegum pink that's less pastel in tone. Of note, I don't own Dior Rosy Glow, but I've heard it's very similar to NARS Gaiety.

          I'm smitten with the cool pink tones in NARS Gaiety. It has such a lovely brightening effect on my neutral/cool skin and is a perfect way to add a dash of peony-inspired pink to my spring routine!

         Thanks for reading! What blooms are decorating your desktop as of late? Have you tried NARS Gaiety? What pretty pink (or other) blush shades have you been reaching for this spring?

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

J.Crew Lillian mirror metallic low wedges in 'metallic gold' review + photos

         I've indulged in a bit of spring shoe shopping as of late. (After all, there's nothing like end-of-Uggs season to inspire the need for cute kicks!) Though I've shared a few style picks on my Instagram (@cuteandmundane), I've been meaning to share more with you on the blog for some time now! Today I'm talking shoes, with my newest aquisition / obsession, the J.Crew Lillian mirror metallic low wedges in 'metallic gold'.

           I chose the J.Crew Lillian mirror metallic low wedges in 'metallic gold' to match my new architecturally detailed party dress. (It's the J.Crew Carson dress in silk dupioni in 'carribbean sand', in case you're curious!) I had been quite set on a mirrored gold shoe, and had initially planned for one with a higher heel; unfortunately, that plan was set back by a two month backorder. I decided to try the lower heeled Lillian wedge instead.

           I find the J.Crew Lillian wedge in 'metallic gold' to be quite versatile. At 1 3/4", it's quite a bit shorter than I'd like for an evening shoe, yet has enough character thanks to its golden mirrored finish. It can easily be repurposed as a shoe to be worn on a more casual basis, which I'm looking forward to doing this summer.

           When worn, I found the J.Crew Lillian wedge in 'metallic gold' to be quite comfortable, though I haven't walked long distances yet. The shoe is made in Italy. The semblance of quality makes the price slightly more palatable. The shoe felt pretty true to size, though I tend to have a pretty standard sized foot in general. If anything, it errs on the roomier side on the heel end, which I felt made it more comfortable.

         I'm having a mirrored gold moment lately, so I'm head over heels (pun intended) for my J.Crew Lillian mirror metallic low wedges in 'metallic gold'! (The color is so fabulous that I'm still eyeing the backordered stiletto version as well). I love that this pair should work for both events and everyday. In terms of matching accessories, I've picked out a cute pair of Kate Spade studs to coordinate. I'm still toying with the idea of a matching clutch, though that's still a work in progress!

        Thanks for reading my first shoe review! Are you a fan of metallic shoes? Do you have a go-to shoe for summer events? What kicks have you added to your collection lately?

Love, Dovey

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A few of my favorite things - May 2014

           In addition to the proverbial raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I have 'A few of my favorite things' from May to share with you today! It's been a very busy spring so far; with twelve hour workdays becoming the norm, I've had to rely on a few carefully curated items to reach for on a day-to-day basis. Here's what made my shortlist:

1. Kate Spade white purse
This season I can't get enough of structured squares (the boxier the better)! This has been my go-to bag ever since I got it a few months ago. Not to mention, white is my favorite neutral (which you may have already guessed by now...)

2. Little rosettes
I just had to pick up these darling little rosettes; they have such a cute English garden-like feel! They're from my local Whole Foods (South Loop), which always carries a great seasonal selection.

3. CHANEL Poudre Universelle compacte
I love the iconic design of this little compact. It adds a soft finishing touch to my complexion! (Plus, I find that a little powder is necessary now that warmer weather is finally on its way).

4. Tortoiseshell shades
I'm so very partial to tortoiseshell patterns (probably a reflection of my New-Englander tendencies...) These shades have made a number of appearances on my Instagram and in my real-life rotation.

5. CHANEL pink lips
While peach does tempt me from time to time, at heart I'm a pink-lippie kind of girl. CHANEL makes some of the prettiest pinks --- I've been reaching for CHANEL Rouge Coco in Dedicace (click for my review) again. I keep meaning to pick up Magnolia and Liaison, which would make great additions to my collection as well!

6. Harper's Bazaar May 2014
When it comes to glossies, I'm a Harper's Bazaar kinda girl. (Have I converted any of you yet?) This month's issue is particularly fun, as it's their first beauty issue ever. Plus, I'm loving the fabulous swinger dress on cover-girl Kate Moss!

       Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this month's edition of A few of my favorite things! What makeup, accessories, or glossies have you been enjoying recently?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Eau de Parfum review

         I have a soft spot for delicate details, so you can imagine how sweet I am on Dolce & Gabbana Dolce, a fresh feminine scent inspired by the Sicilian countryside. I've been coveting the new scent since its debut; after all, I'm all about green florals! The perfume resides within Dolce's lovely vintage flacon with a beautifully sculpted stopper. You can imagine my delight at being sent a bottle courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, and invited to share my thoughts about Dolce with you today!

          Speaking of sculpted details, did you know the floral stopper was inspired by marzipan? It adds such a delightful sense of nostalgia. (I can still remember my first encounter with the sweet nutty confection when my father brought back a selection from Europe.) I would love to someday taste the traditional Sicilian confections from which this particular stopper was inspired. But enough on aesthetics, let's take a journey through the lucid green fluid within....

Notes: neroli leaf, papaya flower, white amaryllis, narcissus, water lily, cashmere, musk
          Dolce & Gabbana Dolce features a light blend of fruit, florals, and wood. It starts with a transient green burst of neroli leaf that's tangy and lightly bitter. The soft sweet nectarine-like character of amaryllis flower makes the next play, filled out with a pinch of juiciness from papaya flower. (D&G touts this perfume as the first time white amaryllis is featured --- the essence of which was approximated using headspace technology!) Water lily comes a bit later and smooths out the middle with its nice aquatic touch (it's a note I tend to enjoy in general). The scent unfolds to the base quite quickly, where I find considerable dry wood laced with a plant-like spice (perhaps the contribution from narcissus).

         Dolce & Gabbana Dolce has the breezy, facile character of Italian-inspired perfumes, with hints of water fruit and florals. However, it's a softer feminine approach relative to optimistic blends a la D&G Light Blue; one finds the dulcet tones of water lily instead of salty seawater, sweet fruit tones in place of the traditional sharp bergamot, and soft florals instead of heady jasmine. It's more genteel garden than sunny seaside.

Totally gorgeous, right?
         Overall, I find Dolce & Gabbana Dolce to be a lovely light bouquet! (Not to mention, I'm very partial to the vintage bottle design that happens to look oh-so-nice on my vanity). The scent is well suited to work environments and to those who enjoy wearing their scents close. The delicate florals do fade relatively quickly, however touches of the sweet, fruity floral character are retained, providing character to the full wood base hours later.

       Thanks for reading! Have you tried Dolce & Gabbana Dolce? What are your favorite D&G perfumes and colognes?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more from Dolce & Gabbana, be sure to check out Twitter @dolcegabbana, Instagram @dolcegabbana, and Facebook, as well as #DGbeauty and #DGDolce.

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