Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Cool Sand (2.25) review + swatches

        I've wanted to try the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick for what feels like forever! I love the idea of combining a creamy, blendable texture with a no-fuss applicator. It's perfect for everyday use and handy for the times when I'm on the go (which seems to happen more often than not...).

       As someone who's very particular about matching skin tones and undertones, it's a definite plus that the foundation stick comes in 24 shades (the broadest of all Bobbi Brown foundations)! I decided to go with Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Cool Sand (2.25), a relatively new shade in the brand's lineup!

        I'm quite excited to see Cool Sand (2.25) as a new shade in the Bobbi Brown foundation range! Bobbi Brown foundations are yellow-based (which, historically speaking, was an important concept for the line). They look natural, but tend to run on the warm side. As someone with a hint of pink in my natural undertone, I do need a little bit of pink/peach in my foundation to make it match my neck. I think Cool Sand is a much-needed a cooler counterpart to the existing shades Sand and Warm Sand.

The foundation stick packaging is a twist-up stick, kind of like a really really large concealer!
          The best part of the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is the ease of application. I apply the stick directly to my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. (I think it works better this way as the product warms up on skin, preparing to blend). The formula is creamy and blendable, though it does set over time. It's easy to draw on / layer on parts that need more coverage.

          Blending can be performed with fingers, sponge, or foundation brush. I prefer foundation brush, since it keeps my fingers clean! I've found that the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face brush (reviewed here) and the Bobbi Brown foundation brush are great options. Once blended, I found that the finish to be very natural and quite much like 'skin' - really lovely.

          I have a feeling that Bobbi Brown Cool Sand may have been an awesome match for my light skin pre-Palm Beach. However, as I've mentioned previously, this Chicago girl's a shade or two darker thanks to some time in the sun! So, keep that in mind when examining my swatches below!

        Despite my recent shade change, I really like how Bobbi Brown Cool Sand meshes with my undertones. It definitely has a peachiness to it (thanks to incorporating a little cool undertone with Bobbi's typically yellow formulas). I might have to try Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Cool Beige in store to see if that slightly deeper shade might be a good fit for the moment!

        In terms of shade comparisons, I was surprised to see that Cool Sand was on the lighter end of my foundations. You can see that Bobbi Brown Cool Sand is a touch lighter and pinker than NARS Sheer Glow in Deauville (which is yellow + pink, according to NARS). It's also lighter and cooler here than CHANEL Perfection Lumiere in B20. 

           I'm really happy to add the iconic Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($44) to my foundation repertoire. I can see why they're so well loved. It's so easy to swipe, blend, then go! The portable shape is really handy for purses or gym bags, unlike your typical glass foundation bottle. The only downside I can think of, is that one could go through product more quickly than liquid formula. Coverage is great and layerable. I'd say the emollience probably makes it well suited for normal to dry skin.

            Of course, I'm also really excited about the shade Cool Sand as well (can't wait to put this to good use once my tan fades)! I think it's a much-needed shade in a line that tends to be warm. Hopefully we'll see this popping up in other foundation from Bobbi's lineup!

         Thanks for reading! Have you tried Bobbi Brown's foundation stick? What are your favorite cream foundations?

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!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush review + photos

             When I first started out with makeup, I remember that Bobbi Brown brushes were amongst my first major investments. Admittedly, the reason I started was because I love Bobbi's line (and they looked so nice photographed in the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual - yeah, I collect her books too!) However, they've worked and held up so well over the years (see my core collection here), I have to say it was a wonderful decision in retrospect!

           Periodically, I check Bobbi Brown online to see if new brushes pop up. I'd been crushing on the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush, a relatively new design which seemed to be getting excellent reviews online. You can imagine I was pretty excited to receive it to share with you today, courtesy of the folks at Bobbi Brown!

A full head of bristles... all soft, without poking!

         The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage brush has a full head of short, tightly packed bristles (see above). They're designed to be great for buffing foundation and providing a full-coverage, even finish. Though powder foundation is the initial designated media, the brush can be used with liquid foundations too!

         Of course, I tested the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Brush with all different formulas. I started with my usual liquid foundation, CHANEL Perfection Lumière by pumping small drops onto the brush head at a time, then blending over different portions of my face. (I suppose you could apply to the back of your hand first, but I prefer to skip that step). The brush worked beautifully to work in the liquid foundation. I liked that the brush itself didn't soak up a lot of the foundation and instead deposited it onto the face.

I had to share a quick snap of one of my favorite new plants! I love the color of the rubber plant's leaves --- as well as how it's supposed to help with air purification!

         I had similarly good results with my new Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick (review to come soon!) I used the foundation stick to 'draw' stripes on my face before blending it in with this brush. This full headed brush seems like a nice tool for blending in cream formulas, which sometimes require a little more buffing work than liquid.

        In terms of powder foundation (for which this brush was designed), the full head of bristles work well for buffing. I don't typically wear powder foundation alone, however I found that the brush worked well to distribute my finishing powder (CHANEL Poudre Universelle or Double Perfection Lumiere) over my liquid foundation. I felt that the short bristles were able to hold onto more, and therefore distribute more powder for more coverage on my face. It's kind of conveniently actually, as I can use the same brush for applying both liquid and powder foundation!

My Bobbi Brown foundation brushes : Face Blender, Foundation, and Full Coverage Face
         For reference, I've compared my new Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush to the other foundation brushes in my collection. Of note, both my Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush and my Bobbi Brown Foundation brush date from before a recent redo of brush handle length. However, the heads should be the same!

         As you can see, the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush has much denser and shorter bristles than the Face Blender Brush. (Typically I find the latter to be better for sheer application of finishing powders or blush). The bristles are shorter and more similar in length to a Foundation Brush. The short, thick, handle is nicely shaped for using the brush perpendicular to the face.

        I'm really loving my multi-purpose Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Foundation Brush ($44) and have only positive things to say. It's a buffing brush, so I do think that it's well suited for those who regularly use cream or powder formulations. That said, I've been using it with my everyday liquid foundation as well. As mentioned above, a plus is that I can use the same brush for both liquid and powder foundation in succession (as an alternative to my usual Foundation Brush followed by the Face Blender Brush)! Overall, the Full Coverage Foundation Brush is a handy addition to my core collection; plus, I'm happy to see a great buffing brush added to Bobbi's lineup!

        The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Foundation Brush is available online at Bobbi Brown (which I tend to like, for the nice samples and expanded color selection) and of course at counters nationwide.

       Thanks for reading! What Bobbi Brown brushes have you tried? What are your favorite foundation brushes?

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!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bobbi Brown blush in Nude Pink (29) and Pastel Pink (33) review + swatches

       I hope everyone's weekend got off to a great start! I managed to check off a few things on my to-do list, including an intense yoga session, picking up the Harper's Bazaar beauty issue, and planting the mini herb garden! (It's got flat-leaf parsely, rosemary, sweet mint, sweet basil, and lavender, in case you're curious). Having had such a great day, I figured what could be better to end on than typing up a blush post? Today I'm sharing my review of Bobbi Brown blush in Nude Pink (29) and Pastel Pink (33).

        If I recall correctly, the first blush I ever owned was Bobbi Brown's Desert Pink (which, by the way, is still a part of the permanent lineup). The brand has an amazing blush lineup, especially if you're talking natural, photo-friendly mattes. What I've noticed recently, are more light pink options - perfect if you're a light pink aficionada like me. When asked about what Bobbi Brown products I'd like to try, I had to go with Bobbi Brown blush in Nude Pink (29) and Pastel Pink (33)!

Love the Bobbi Brown palette system! The shade names always travel with the colors.
           Before getting into the colors themselves, I thought I'd mention the Bobbi Brown interchangeable palette system. To date, it's still my favorite customizeable palette system (after all, it's one of the originals). The colors easily pop in and out of their cases (see above) and what's nice is that the name label (on the back of each shade) travels with the product into the palette, so I can easily reference them.

          To give you an idea of size, I have palettes in 2,4, and 6 pan sizes. My mom has this awesome 9-pan palette that was a Neiman's limited edition from way back. How great would it be to have an entire 6-pan palette filled with Bobbi blushes? (It's next on my bucket list...)

          Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is described as the 'palest pink'. To be fair, it is one of the lightest shades in the lineup, but I'd probably say it's more of a clean, light pink. The formula is pigmented and smooth.

         Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink is one of the newer shades in the blush lineup. It's described as a 'light pink lilac'. I don't notice an overt lilac tones, but it definitely is a cool-leaning light pink. This has the same smooth pigmentation as above.

         I'm actually glad I have both blushes to show you, as they look quite similar at first glance. If you look below, it's easy to appreciate the difference between the two. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is a touch warmer and perhaps more natural (hence nude), while Pastel Pink is cooler and touch brighter.

I think here, you can really notice the differences between Bobbi Brown Nude Pink and Pastel Pink!
            I've swatched both shades below, next to a couple of my favorite pinks. For the record, my arm is probably two shades tanner than usual, thanks to my recent trip to the Floriday Keys - so keep that in mind when comparing this to previous posts.

            Because I have a good amount of pink undertone, I tend to gravitate towards cool pink shades. Both NARS Gaiety and MAC Peony Petal (reviews linked) are among my everyday kind of pinks. (They look a bit stark here since swatched heavily on my tan...).  As you can see, Bobbi Brown Nude Pink and Pastel Pink are cool, but not as starkly cool as Gaiety and Peony Petal.

           I'd say the difference between the two is more pronounced (vs. in my swatches) when worn. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink has a more natural finish, while Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink is pinker and brighter. As you can tell from the swatches below, both have the natural feel that Bobbi is known for.

         Both Bobbi Brown blush in Nude Pink (29) and Pastel Pink (33) are gorgeous shades, especially if you're a fan of light pinks, like myself. I love how soft and natural both look, and can't wait to incorporate them into my routine. I'm really happy that Bobbi has added more light pink shades to the permanent collection. I've already got my eye on 'Pale Pink', 'Peony', and even my old favorite 'Desert Pink'!

       Thanks for reading! What Bobbi Brown blushes do you have in your collection? When it comes to blush, do you prefer pinks or peach/corals?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I'm working on more of my new Bobbi Brown basics, so expect more in the near future!
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!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Preview: Beauty basics from Bobbi Brown

             As a beauty aficionada, I've come to realize the value of great beauty basics. As the purveyor of a generous sized collection, there's not much I truly need. (I'm pretty sure I've covered all the colors of the rainbow in eyeshadow alone). For that reason, when I feel like freshening up my routine, I focus on beauty products that I know will get a lot of everyday love.

           When I think of beauty basics, I can't help but think Bobbi Brown. My first real product was Bobbi's gel eyeliner. It was well loved back then, and still is today! Here, I've handpicked a few new favorites for myself. A good number are new(ish) products or shades to the Bobbi Brown lineup that haven't been extensively reviewed online, as of yet! I'm really looking forward to sharing. Hope you enjoy!

Love, Dovey.

P.S. In the meantime, check out my most recent Bobbi Brown post, on Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadows in Malted and Slate ! Both are amazing shades that I'm really loving at the moment.

Snap, shimmer, pop!

           Happy Friday! It's an overcast day in Chicago, so I've been spending my morning in with my MacBook Air and a mug of Tazo Organic Peach Cobbler (so good!).

           Current conditions in mind, I had to share this quick snap of TOPSHOP Glow Dust in Radiate ($18). (Mesmerizing, no?) The velvety loose powder adds a gorgeous golden glow - perfect for setting sunny intentions even on the cloudiest days! Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

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!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sonia Kashuk Contour brush (No.30) + Precision Pencil brush (No.31) review + photos

           Can I say that I'm obsessed with the shape of Sonia Kashuk brushes? The curvilinear and ergonometric shapes are amongst the coolest out there. Of course, their functionality has earned them quite a following as well.

          Today I have two new additions to the brush lineup to share with you : the Sonia Kashuk Contour brush (No.30) and the Precision Pencil brush (No.31).

          The Sonia Kashuk Contour brush ($15.79) has an interesting paintbrush shape. It's a shape that isn't available in every brand's lineup, but seems to be more popular as of late. (I have one from MAKE UP FOR EVER, which I've actually used quite a bit). As suggested, this brush is handy for contours. It can be used on the thin edge for highlights or as a broad brush for bronzer/contours. In a pinch, I've used this kind of shape for finishing powder as well. The brush itself is made from natural fibers, with a soft and dense head.

           The Sonia Kashuk Precision Pencil brush ($9.79) is one of my personal favorite shapes, as I love to use pencil brushes for softly smudged liner/shadow. It can also be used for inner-eye highlighting or even to apply concealer. The brush comes to a decent point without much splaying, which is what I look for in pencil brushes. I believe this is natural fiber as well.

        Both the Sonia Kashuk Contour brush and Pencil brush are lovely additions the Sonia Kashuk brush collection. They're both shapes I use often, so I'm happy to add this to my current rotation. (The aesthete in me wants to grab the whole lineup - if only they made more of my favorite synthetics!) If you're interested, be sure to check out the Sonia Kashuk brush lineup next time you're at Target.

       Thanks for reading! What are your favorite Sonia Kashuk brushes? Do you buy singles or brush sets?

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!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday Five: Status post road trip edition

I'm really inspired by tropical brights lately, thanks to my subtropical travels! (Paintings here by Matisse).
            Hello from Maryland! Today Mr. Lovey and I are relaxing with family (pups included) after logging 3,000 miles on a roadtrip down south.

         We love U.S. National Parks, and had already been to quite a few in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. This time we checked off a number of parks in the Southeast, including Congaree (South Carolina), Biscayne (Florida), Everglades (Florida), and Dry Tortugas (Florida). Dry Tortugas was the toughest; we drove all the way down to Key West and from there took a 2 hour ferry across the ocean! Of course we took time to relax as well, and spent time at a number of beautiful beaches, including those at Hilton Head, Palm Beach, and at Key West. I've shared a few picture on my Instagram feed; I'm hoping to share a few more, as well as specific park/beach visiting tips on the blog in the near-ish future.

        We're getting ready for the last leg of the trip back to sunny Chicago! While I had an amazing time on vacation, I'm looking forward to catching up with life at home. In this edition of Friday Five, I'm listing the five things I'm looking forward to back in the Windy City:

Baby Bird's a well weathered traveler as well! Here she's found a little hideout away from home.
1. Trying hot yoga for the first time
I've really enjoyed practicing yoga regularly for the past few months. It's had a noticeable effect on my strength (during climbing) and given me an overall sense of well being. Lately I've become more curious about hot yoga. I was able to pick up a cute towel-mat on Lululemon's We Made Too Much (a.k.a. sale) section that I'm hoping to put to use. Apparently Bare Feet Power Yoga (a hot yoga studio) is practically next to Brooklyn Boulders Chicago, so I'm thinking that's where I might head next.

2. Playing with Bobbi Brown 'Sandy Nudes'
Thanks to the beach, I went from translucent to tan! I'd guess that I'm a couple shades darker at this point, so I'll have to experiment with my beauty regimen. I prefer a more natural look for warm weather, so I've had my eye on the Bobbi Brown Sandy Nude collection for Summer 2015! The Bobbi Brown Face & Body Bronzing duos look particularly gorgeous. I'm hoping to have the chance to play with this as well as a few other pieces from the collection.

3. Planting a mini herb garden
We had the most delicious home barbecue today, garnished with fresh rosemary, mint, and Italian parsley from the garden. While city gardening can be a bit tricky, there's just enough room to have a small herb garden. I've been all about clean eating lately (much do to my numerous food allergies and sensitivities) so this seems like a complimentary endeavor.

4. Painting (canvases) for home decor
It's time for a little refresh when it comes to my apartment decor. I'm hoping to add a little color with some paint and canvas! It should take a bit of planning and preparation, but should be a fun project overall!

5. Penning perfume reviews
I've been going through my blog archives, and realized I have quite a few partially written posts on perfume! It's high time I polish these up to post, as well as explore new scents to share here. Perfume reviews can be the most time consuming, yet rewarding posts for me  to write on this blog. I feel like I can always discover something new upon dissecting individual notes! In the meantime, I've reread some of my old reviews; I'd recommend my posts on Diptyque Eau Duelle and Diptyque Eau Moheli if you're looking for scented reads.

Thanks for reading! How have you been? I'd love to hear about your to-do's or travel plans!

Love, Dovey.

P.S. I know it's technically Saturday, not Friday, but I guess I'm still on vacation time!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Five : Spring, it's a thing! edition

         Happy Friday! I've been enjoying a lovely, green week on the East Coast. As a Chicagoan, it's nice to get out of the city and back to my country roots. There's something about wading through gravel and tall grass in wellies that leaves me feeling so much more connected to nature and the world around me. It's been a much needed refresher, to say the least! With that renewed spirit, here are five things I've been loving this week:

1. Spring issues
I felt like the May issue of Architectural Digest resonated with my newfound sentiments this week! For me, the brightest note was a tour of an 18th century riad, once home of Chilean painter Claudio Bravo (as seen on the magazine cover). Decor in turquoise, mint, and refreshing shades of green breathed life into what might otherwise be a traditional space. I'd love to find away to incorporate this into my home as well!

Of course, there were other Architectural Digest highlights this month, including trip to Cuba, a look at LA's newest landmark contemporary art museum : the Broad, and brief snaps of Goyard's new Upper East Side flagship.

I love the feeling of lightness here. It feels like the blooms are ready to float up to the sky!
2. A profusion of flowers
Walking down the road, I was struck by a profusion of gorgeous spring blooms --- not the kind you'd want to put in vase, but rather enjoy in nature, en face. Flowering trees have this wonderful effect; they're laden with an impossible number of blooms, yet seem to remain alight. I especially loved seeing a number of pear blossom trees (like above) - with their classic oblong shapes resembling balloons ready to take flight!

I wish I knew the name of this tree. The pink blossoms smell as lovely as one might imagine them to be!
3. Spring perfumes
I'm a spring perfumista at heart, so this is a wonderful season for my nose. I've been easing into spring florals with a wash with Pacifica California Star Jasmine, which is a nice light take on a potentially indolic bloom. I have a feeling I'll be working my way into my favorite Hermès Jour d' Hermès soon. I'm hoping to take the time to sniff out a few new spring scents this month. Hermès Jardin de Monsieur Li and Diptyque Florabellio are on my list thus far.

I love the renewed spring greens in these evergreens!

4. Road tripping
It's been a while since both Mr. Lovey and I have had time to hit the open road. Baby Bird and Robin (a.k.a. the pups) will be 'summer camping' at grandmas while the two of us continue our American explorations. Hopefully I'll have more to report, both here and on my Instagram feed!

 5. Lavender pink lacquer
Truth be told, I love this clean shade year round, but even more so as of late. I've been wearing Essie French Affair practically non-stop for the past couple of weeks. (I even packed the little bottle to take with me, in case I needed a new coat). At the moment, I've got on L'Oreal Hint of Lavender; my mom picked up the bottle recently. Apparently we're on the same wavelength with color!

          Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear what you've been up to lately!

Love, Dovey.