Saturday, July 26, 2014

TATCHA 'Ritual Discovery Kit' review + photos

       I have a soft spot for pretty packaging. Thanks to TATCHA, I've been enjoying the wonderfully wrapped TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit! The set has sample sizes of four skincare favorites for those looking to experiment in TATCHA's geisha-inspired skincare ritual (or convenient travel sizes for the jet-set types).

       When it comes to minis, aesthetic quality can be variable (after all, the point is usually the product inside). That said, I love the attention to detail crafted into this set. The set has beautiful white and gold pieces, with the weight of glass. The molded paper presentation has an equally beautiful and clean feel.

          The four parts of TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit has four pieces, for an ordered ritual.

  • Step 1: PURE is the TATCHA One Step Cleansing Oil. The full size version is a staple in my everyday routine as of late, so I'm happy to have a smaller version to take with me on my travels. 
  • Step 2: POLISHED is the TATCHA Gentle Enzyme Rice Powder. It comes in fourteen single use packets --- the powder transforms into a wonderful texture upon mixing with water; rice bran and papaya enzyme exfoliate. 
  • Step 3: RADIANT is the TATCHA Deep Brightening Serum, which is a fan favorite. 
  • Step 4: SUPPLE is the TATCHA Moisture Rich Silk Cream. This little white jar is too cute! It locks in moisture with TATCHA's usual finish.

          I hope you've enjoyed this tour of the TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit ($59). It's a lovely little set, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the TATCHA ritual during my everyday routine and travels!

         Thanks for reading! Have you experienced TATCHA? What are your favorites from the line? Do you take skincare miniatures with you on your travels?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more TATCHA, be sure to check out my review of the TATCHA Indigo collection. The TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit, as well as other staples can be found at
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. As usual, no ads or affiliate links!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Snapshot

       I'm about to head out for dinner, but I have a few minutes to share a Sunday Snapshot! Here's a quick diary of the beauty and fashion topics on my mind as of late...

1. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
It's the talk of the town, so here are my two cents. I haven't picked out anything as of yet, which is fine by me. I did contemplate a pair of Cole Haan boots, but found out they had leather soles (not so practical for Chicago snow). I'm currently considering a new strap for my MICHELE.

2. NARS in shades of grey
I'm loving grey again, which is nice, as the shade works well for my complexion. I just painted my toes with NARS Storm Bird (click for review). I've been incorporating a slight wash of NARS Tzarine (a classic!) into my eye color as well.

3. J.Crew dresses
J.Crew dresses are a current everyday staple. I love the simple designs and the fact that for me, the sizing is pretty straightforward. (It's nice to order without worrying about fit!) I just placed an order for a silk taffeta dress in 'Aged Driftwood' and a super-120's wool dress in 'Heather Flannel.' (Again, shades of grey...)

4. A casual clutch collection
Lately I've been collecting cute clutches. I tend to favor natural textures and prints, like my J.Crew Cork Clutch, shown here! I'm excited for my latest acquisition, the J.Crew Stationery clutch in raffia to get here.

3. Harper's Bazaar August 2014
I'm loving the oceanic blue on the cover of this month's Harper's Bazaar! Typically, mid-toned blues get little play in my wardrobe, but I'm hoping to find some way to incorporate them in this month. I considered a dress, but I might stick with smaller accents like a blue nail lacquer instead.

        Thanks for reading! What's on your mind / shopping / collection list as of late? What colors are you loving this month?

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NARS Lost Coast eyeshadow duo + NARS #42 Blending Eyeshadow Brush review + swatches

           Can you imagine my delight at receiving surprise package in the mail from NARS? Needless to say, the package was torn apart in a flurry to uncover the goodies within. Today I'm sharing a quick overview of my two new treats. NARS Lost Coast eyeshadow duo is a gorgeous piece from the Summer 2014 collection and something I'd been eyeing for quite some time! The NARS Blending eyeshadow brush #42 is part of their new-ish brush lineup. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

           The NARS Blending eyeshadow brush #42 has long cylindrical barrel with a red lacquer finish at the end (it feels very Asian zen). I wasn't sure how this non ergonometric design would work, but it has a nice weight and feels stable in my hands. The brush is constructed from animal fur, and has a soft fluffy feel. I love using this brush for a sheer even wash of color. It's been my go-to shadow brush for the past week! (I'd be lying if I said I didn't love my first foray into NARS brushes --- however I'd be even happier to see some synthetic options in the NARS lineup as well).

         NARS Lost Coast eyeshadow duo would have been my pick from the Summer collection if I'd had time to head to a counter during my crazy-busy quarter! I'm so excited about the pale orchid half of this duo. It's just the pale purple-pink shade I was looking for. (I'd been subsisting with NARS Baby Girl, but the shade is a bit sparkly and is a pure pink). The other half is an intriguing platinum-greige  shade. It reminds me a lot of NARS Vent Glacé. This duo applies somewhat sheerly and has an overall brightening effect.

        When it came to swatches, the first thought I had was to compare NARS Lost Coast eyeshadow duo to NARS Nouveau Monde. Both have a similar purple / kakhi pairing. However you can see how the former applies more sheerly and has a brightening effect, while the latter is more pigmented and earthy.

        I'm thrilled to add both NARS Lost Coast eyeshadow duo and the NARS Blending eyeshadow brush to my ever-growing NARS collection. I'll be putting them to good using in the days ahead!

       Thanks for reading! What new NARS have you picked out recently? What NARS products are you loving right now?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more NARS, check out my reviews of NARS Paloma, NARS Gaiety, and NARS Deep Throat!
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. As usual, no ads or affiliate links!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A few of my favorite things - July 2014

          Happy Saturday! I've been enjoying a week filled with brown paper packages (tied up with strings), thanks to some major hauling this past fourth of July weekend. I can't wait to share new discoveries from J.Crew, Cole Haan, and my favorite beauty brands, as soon as I have the chance to take a few snaps. In the meantime, I have stationery, songbirds, and other delights to share with you on this edition of A few of my favorite things!

1. Kate Spade Saturday notebook
Knowing my Kate Spade aficionada ways, my mom picked up this cute paper notebook for me. The pages are lined with fun yellow graph paper.

2. Parker ballpoint pen in Pink Ribbon
I'm loving this sleek little pen; it's a chic alternative to your usual twelve-pack pens. (And it's pink!)

3. CHANEL Poudre Universelle Compacte in 20
There's something iconic about this CHANEL compact! I'm loving the soft finish it adds on top of my CHANEL Perfection Lumière foundation.

4. CHANEL La Nuit de Chanel Evening Recharging Face Care
I'm loving this little sample of La Nuit de Chanel (the evening cream from CHANEL's new skincare lineup)! The frankincense extract adds a luxurious aroma to the experience.

5. US Postal Songbirds stamps
You know me, I had to pick up this bird themed set of Forever Stamps. Every time I head to the post office I'm tempted to start collecting again...

6. Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Cement
I've been falling in love with my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows (for the umpteenth time). Cement is among my signature shades.

7. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Brow in Ash (click for my review)
After going the eyeshadow route for my brows these past months, I finally converted back to using MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Brow formula. It adds a little more lasting powder during warmer months.

         Thanks for reading! What have you been loving lately?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

J.Crew Camden Jeweled Sandals review + photos

         The shoe lover in me has emerged as of late. (I suppose it's a summer phenomenon, there always seem to be cute new sandals to collect!) On that note, I'm particularly excited about my new J.Crew Camden sandals! The design was a particularly popular one... By the time I saw photos in the catalog and floating around on Instagram, they were no longer for sale. I managed to snag a pair on pre-order during the second wave of availability. After over a month's wait, they finally arrived in the mail!

        You know I love a good nude sandal. I especially love how they blend into the background and allow other elements to shine --- in this case the large jewel encrusted bling seen here! I have yet to take them for a spin on Chicago's streets, but they seem comfy at first fit. My only concern is for the longevity of the crystal detailing and the shoe itself. I recently returned a pair of J.Crew slides as the sole quite literally peeled off the front of my relatively new shoe (I'm guessing from moisture, as it happened after a rainy day; I was surprised, to say the least). That said, the J.Crew Camden sandals were made in Italy, unlike the former, so I'm hoping they hold up to a reasonable standard of quality.

        Overall, I'm thrilled to have my new J.Crew Camden jeweled sandals in hand (or should I say on foot?) I love the unique combination of nude leather and jeweled bling. I can't wait to slip them on during what's left of Chicago's summer! At this point, it seems that the Camden sandal sold out (again) before making it off pre-order. The newer J.Crew Ankle Strap jeweled sandals are an available alternative, though the crystals are significantly toned down in this version.

      Thanks for reading! Have you ever pre-ordered shoes? What is your experience with the quality of J.Crew shoes? If you've added any cute sandals to your wardrobe this summer, do share!

Love, Dovey.

P.S. For more from my shoe collection, check out my post on the J.Crew Lillian low wedges!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash and Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector review

          It's been a glorious 4th of July weekend here in Chicago! My days have been filled with good eats, lakeside strolls with the dogs, and of watching the world cup. I also had the chance to spend an afternoon doing some long-awaited gardening in one of my unfilled planters --- thanks to Mr. Lovey who picked up a few trays of Marigolds. I'm loving the lively look they've added to our city perch!

        I've also been playing around with some new skincare treats, thanks to Kiehl's. (I'm always happy to add more Kiehl's to my collection!) Today I'll be sharing photos and a review of the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash and Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector.

         Here's a shot of my marigolds, pre-planting. They have such a wonderful bitter herb smell! On that note.... did you know Marigolds belong to the Calendula family?

          Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash ($29 for 7.8 fl.oz.) is a soap-free, paraben free face wash. It's a new addition to the line that fans of popular Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-free Toner will be happy to see! I'm a fan of soap-free cleansers, so I was pretty excited to try the face wash. It has a great viscous foaming texture that spreads easily onto the face, along with an herbal glue scent (kind of what you'd imagine from an apothecary). When Kiehl's says 'deep cleansing' it's not a joke! This wash strips off all makeup and grime for a squeaky clean feel. It's a bit aggressive for the dry areas on my sensitive skin, however I bet those with oily / acne prone complexions would enjoy this (especially in the melting heat of summer).

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash Ingredients: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Coco-betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/Tetrasodium EDTA, Nepeta Cataria oil, Lemon peel oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Geraniol, Methylisothiazolinone, Citral, Citronellol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.

           Next up, I have Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector ($35 for 1.0 fl.oz.), a fascinating new product. It doesn't fit into a traditional beauty/skincare product category. My best description would be that it's like a top-coat for your complexion. (Perhaps somewhat like a finishing spray... in cream form). Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector is meant to be applied on top of your makeup during the day or atop your skincare at night.  It visibly smooths (and blurs) skin and contains ingredients that will refine texture over time. Personally, I found that it was effective at mattify-ing a shiny complexion during the course of a day (without having to blot and remove a layer of makeup). It has a smooth texture, though I have smaller pores so I can't really comment on how well it works on them. In terms of blurring, there might have been a slight effect when I did a side to side comparison on my face, though not to the extent that would replace foundation or concealer.

Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Isononyl Isononanoate, Alcohol Denat., Vinyl Dimethicone / Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Boron Nitride, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Silica Silylate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Perlite, Magnesium Sulfate, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Menthyl Lactate, Lens Esculenta Seed Extract / Bisabolol, Fragrance, Dextrin, Dimethiconol, CI77491, CI77492, CI77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Eperua Falcata Bark Extract, Farnesol, Limonene, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Alph-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Aluminum Hydroxide.

         It's been a good weekend - filled with flowers and a foaming facewash, amongst other things! To summarize my thoughts on my new Kiehl's goodies: the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a soap-free face wash with great texture that would be best for normal to oily skin. If you're looking for a new 'finisher' for your daily complexion, it might be worth giving the Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector a look! I'm planning on toting mine around as an anti-shine agent this summer. If either of these strike your fancy, you can find them at as well as your local counter.

        Thanks for reading! Have you tried Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash or Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector? What Kiehl's products are you loving lately?

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. As usual, no ads or affiliate links!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma review + swatches

         I love the idea of strategic contouring. After all, who doesn't want their cheekbones to appear a little sharper or features a bit slimmer? Typically, bronzers are used for the job. However, finding the right contouring product for cool-toned skin can be tricky, as the vast majority of bronzing products are warm, warm, warm. (After all, that's kind of their point.)

         You can imagine how happy I was to see the NARS Countouring Blush lineup, with three palettes that tended to be more neutral/cool than the average bronzer! I finally picked NARS Paloma, the medium shade of the bunch, as it has slight rosy undertones that work well for my skin.

NARS Paloma, compared to a couple of NARS bronzing / highlighting classics
        I was concerned that NARS Paloma might be too intense for me, as I have light skin (usually CHANEL B20 / NARS Deauville) and delicate features. The color is quite dark, however, I can get around it only the lightest tap of my Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush. I think NARS Olympia, which is lighter, may have been an easier shade for me to use, however I preferred the rose undertones in Paloma.

        I've compared NARS Paloma Contour Blush to a couple classics in my NARS collection, so you have an idea of what to expect. You can see that NARS Laguna Bronzer (which reminds me, I yet to review this piece) is significantly more golden and shimmery. You may be able to better appreciate how Paloma is 'pinker' via my swatches below. When compared to the highlight in NARS Paloma, NARS Copacabana Multiple (click for review), you can see that it's less shimmery, lighter, and less beige. I love how the highlight of NARS Paloma blends so seamlessly into my skintone!

         I hope the simple swatches below show you how NARS Paloma is quite specifically a contour product to add light and shadow, as opposed to shimmer or warmth. As someone who believes in the importance of undertone, I should mention that Paloma can look quite different depending on the individual. The shades in NARS Paloma swatch as a fairly neutral cream and tan on my skin, as a I have some pink undertones. On bloggers with more warmth / yellow tones in their skin, I've noticed that the rosy tones in Paloma become quite prominent.

Comparison swatches of NARS Paloma taken in full Chicago sunlight!
        Overall, it's love! If I were comfortable with wearing blush/bronzer on my sensitive skin, NARS Paloma would be an every-day kind of palette for me - in small doses of course. I think it's a great shade for those with neutral to cool skin who have trouble finding a good contour shade. For warm skintones, I'd recommend a try-before-buy to avoid a potential ashy effect. While it is awesome for contouring, I wouldn't recommend it as a substitute for all-over bronzer or shimmery highlighter, as not really geared towards providing a healthy glow.

         Thanks for reading! Have you tried the NARS Contour blushes? Which shades (Olympia, Paloma, or Gienah) stood out to you? What are your favorite contouring colors?

Love, Dovey.