Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter - Nifty Shades of Gray

I just love grays.  I know that the color is usually associated with sadness or gloom, but it's actually a pretty cool shade.  It's a neutral with the unique ability to make most fabrics it graces to look softer, more cozy.   And silver reminds me of icicles and tinsel... things mostly associated with winter.  So let's look at a few items in these two colors, shall we?  Let's start with makeup...

Need a dark color for contrast on your eye, but don't want to use black?  Lorac's Starry-Eyed Baked Trio in Movie Star has a dark, sooty, granite gray that would be a beautiful substitute.

Movie Star is super soft to the touch, unlike a lot of baked shadows, and yielded quite a wallop of color with very little effort.

The swatch above was applied dry, however, to make it more intense and give it more of a "foiled" look you could use it wet like most baked shadows.

If you're in the mood for a little more drama than gray can offer, why not try a great silver?  MAC offers one called Electra.

Electra is a silver-gray eyeshadow with a frost finish.  It has excellent color payoff and is very easy to work with. 

Speaking of silver - if you want the benefit of its sparkle, but would prefer not to have it on your entire lid, why not line your eye with it?  Ulta has a silver liner that may pique your interest.

This eye pencil from Ulta is a silvery white with small chunks of silver-white glitter.  It was a little hard to swatch and did not glide on as smoothly as I would have liked. 

After a few passes, it did yield a fair amount of color and the glitter was fairly noticeable.

You don't really hear too much about gray eyeliners, but they do exist.  If you're so inclined to buy one, I have one that would be worth checking out.  Prestige makes a pretty one called Storm.

Storm is a lovely rainwater gray with subtle shimmer.  I had no problems at all swatching this; it was soft enough to deposit a sufficient amount of color without much effort.

We've indulged in options for the face, but now what to wear?   I've got some ideas...

How about an adorable, heather gray, babydoll knit dress?

Or in lieu of leather, why not rock a textured, charcoal wool handbag?

And top it all off with a great set of earrings...

So you see, grays don't have to be the "Debbie Downer" of the color scale!  And with a slew of shades to choose from, there's bound to be a gray that would totally suit your tastes as well as your wardrobe.  They, along with silvers, are just perfect for rocking during this cold winter season. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hair Love - Moroccanoil

I have to admit that even though my skin seems to struggle a little with dryness during the winter, my hair holds up rather well.  I don't find myself having to do special oil treatments, hot or otherwise, to gain or retain moisture and my regimen stays pretty simple: wash, condition, blow dry and flat iron.  I typically use about two different serums on my hair at one time so I certainly don't need to add another one and risk having my hair weighed down with a bunch of silicones, but when I saw this on my sister's dresser, curiosity got the best of me.  I had heard a lot about it, so I wanted to see if Moroccanoil was all that it was hyped up to be.

Exotic oils such as argan and maracuja seem to be all the rage as of recent.  Everything from beauty products to makeup to hair products have boasted the inclusion of these oils and their numerous benefits.  Moroccanoil makes a line of haircare products that are infused with argan oil, a vitamin rich oil that is extracted from kernels found in the fruit of the North African argan tree.   Besides shampoos and conditioners, they offer an oil treatment in the form of a serum that is supposed to promote shine and health, thus creating well-conditioned hair that is silky smooth to the touch. 

My sister goes to the hair salon every other week and when I commented on how shiny and soft her hair was, she said that her stylist uses Moroccanoil hair products on her.  Now to give you a little background, my sister also has relaxed hair and her texture is coarser than mine.  So to see her hair become so brilliant and soft after knowing its humble beginnings, I was very impressed and so was she; she ended up snagging a free bottle of their serum from her stylist, which was now sitting on her dresser tempting me to try it.  So I did and I have to say that I'm pretty keen on it, too.

Now the directions say to apply it to damp hair, but I applied a teensy bit to my hair after it was blow dried and then proceeded as usual.  And I did feel a difference.  My hair was slightly shinier, a tad bit softer.  Later when I used it on my wet hair as a treatment (no heat, no plastic cap, straight from the bottle), my tresses didn't fare as well; my hair was a little limp and didn't hold my curls as sharply as I like because my normally moisture-balanced hair absorbed the oil and became over saturated, so it was weighed down - which is a testament to its deep conditioning properties.  I knew an oil treatment would be doing a little too much for my hair, but I at least wanted to give it the old college try.

Moroccanoil Oil Treatment is a fantastic serum that is suitable for all hair types.  It's another gem in my arsenal of hair products.  And the smell is amazing!  OH. MY. GOODNESS! It's hard to describe, but it's sweet, tropical and spicy all rolled into one.  Love it!  And you can use it on wet or dry hair - obviously, I prefer the latter.

Moroccanoil products can be found at select hair salons and online at Amazon and  The oil treatment retails for about $15 (small bottle).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holding On

I did a post not too long ago where I talked about my ongoing process of having to release my attachment to certain people and things.  Well, with a new year quickly coming around the corner and my desire to get more organized and streamlined, I have found quite a few things that I'm holding on to.  Why?  I'm not too sure, but I decided to "out" myself and list some of the beauty items I just can't seem to let go of.

I bought this Shea Cashmere hand cream from Bath and Body Works a couple of years ago because I was seduced by the sweet smell of it.  I used it once or twice then put it away for safe keeping?  Safe keeping?!  Why would hand cream need to be safely kept?  And, honestly, I don't think this cream is all that moisturizing so why in the world am I holding on to this?  I need to either use it up already or give it away.

Another delicious smelling product: Giovanni's Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub.  It is an all-over body exfoliant made of shea butter, sugar and crushed cocoa beans (as well as some other ingredients).  I love this stuff... And, yes, it is as decadent smelling as it sounds.  But I've only used half the jar and haven't dared used the rest.  Why, you ask?  Was it limited edition and no longer in stores, you ask?  Why, of course not!  You can find this in many different drug stores, Targets and health stores.  I could easily buy this again once I use it up.  So why am I holding on to this?  I DON'T KNOW!

And here is my beloved Cocoa Bean lipstick from Revlon.  I bought this years ago during my "browns only" lipstick phase.  Such a lovely shade.  This has been discontinued, but I didn't know that until I grabbed what I thought was a back up, but was actually Coffee Bean, which is a beautiful toffee color so I ended up keeping it.  But still... I couldn't believe it was gone; I checked Revlon's site, eBay and everything.  Gone!  But guess what?  There are plenty of brown lipsticks.  Besides, I don't even really wear brown that much anymore.  So, I need to get over it, stop hording the few brush swipes I have left in the tube and use it up already!

Ahh, the ubiquitous Naked palette by Urban Decay.  I love the colors, the packaging, the quality of the shadows... this one totally fit the neutral bill for me in every possible way.  This is the original one that came with the dual ended eyeliner (it now comes with a brush), which I was able to snag quite by accident when it was first released.  But they do still make this palette, so this is not obsolete.  In fact, as you already know, they have since come out with two more versions of the Naked palette.  So, why have I not been using this palette?  Do you see the shadows above?  Barely a dent.  Why am I holding on to this?!  And I just noticed that I still haven't removed the plastic covering on the mirror!  Oh, boy... 

And finally, the highly coveted Marine Life from MAC's To the Beach collection that came out a few summers ago.  I saw this and I simply had to have it because it's so pretty.  As soon as I bought it and got it home, I de-boxed it to stare at its awesomeness then quickly put it back in the box and stored it away.  I haven't taken it out of its box again until now...

Marine Life is a half coral, half pink highlighting powder/blush exquisitely embossed with a golden seahorse.  This was limited edition.  But don't cut me any slack because of that!  I am not one to buy things that are meant to be used and then not ever use them because I figure that to be a waste.  I don't want to put this on display under a glass case or locked away in a vault.  That's not why I bought it.  Yes, what compelled me to procure this lovely item were the colors and unique design, but ultimately I bought it to use!  As you can see, I haven't even swatched it.  Why?  Well, I kinda don't want to mess up the pretty horsey, but this is a little silly.  I need to start using it.  Why am I holding on to the pretty horsey?  Forget the pretty horsey!  I need to stop holding on to the idea of this product and fulfill its purpose for being made: to put on my darn face!

So you see, as much as I have purged myself of a lot of stuff and things, I have also held on to quite a bit.  Let's not even talk about my numerous non-beauty items that I still have, some of them dating back to high school.  Yikes!  (Hmm... for fun, I may list them in a later post.)  And I'm not talking about using products that are limited edition or have had their formulas changed sparingly so you can make them last.  I'm talking about not using said items and/or readily available items AT ALL.  This is my problem.  And part of the solution is first admitting you have a problem.  So...

Hi!  My name is Dolce Dawn and I hold on to a lot of beauty items unnecessarily... 

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Tis the Season! Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to send a Christmas shout out to everyone and send warm greetings to all during this holiday season.  No matter what your faith or what you may or may not celebrate, I wish for you a happy, safe, wonderful Christmas day! 

And for everyone who has taken the time to read my various blatherings, whether you've become a "Closet Raider" via subscription, membership directly on the blog or just peek in from time to time, I want to thank you so much for reading my thoughts and ideas.  Thank you for the delightful and engaging interactions.  I, like many others, find writing cathartic.  However, it is also very often an isolating, solitary endeavor so to have a tangible audience for my words, stories and opinions just sends me over the moon.   Thank you so much!

Enjoy your holiday to the fullest, guys!!!


Guess what I found, guys?  Remember in my last post when I listed the two cream shadows and makeup palette as the only Kevyn Aucoin products I own?  Well, it turns out that I also have two lip products from him as well that I totally forgot about.  Totally.  I wore one of the items almost all summer last year, but have yet to wear this one out and about.  I remember being really excited when I got this because I have nothing else like this.  Nothing!  Allow me to talk to you a little about Kevyn Aucoin's Jupitesse.

Jupitesse is a part of the Liquid Patent Lip line, a line of high-gloss lip products that come in a twist-up pen topped with a brush applicator.  It is an absolutely gorgeous, dark blueberry with multicolored shimmer.  Its lightweight, non-sticky formula glides on smoothly and deposits semi-sheer, but buildable, color to the lips.

Jupitesse in direct sunlight.

I can't begin to tell you how psyched I am to wear this out somewhere now that I've rediscovered it.  It's pulling a little on the purplish side of blueberry due to the natural red hue in my lips, but you could manipulate it to your desired shade with the right product beneath.

Although this product has been discontinued, I still wanted to share this unique color product with you to perhaps inspire.  Or, at the very least, amuse.  I have seen blue lipsticks - granted, not many and not in this shade of blue, but even Inglot has come out with a blue lip line that may be worth checking out.

Sooo... A bit of blue shellacking for your lips, anyone? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lush and Deceit

Does anybody remember these?  Has anyone ever tried these before?  These are two Prime Color Creme Shadows from Kevyn Aucoin.  Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus used to carry them, but have since discontinued them.  However, I believe you can still find them online at and on Amazon.  I just happened to stumble upon these after digging through my makeup drawer and kinda wanted to chit-chat about them a little.

I don't have a whole lot of products from the famed makeup artist; I have a Kevyn Aucoin makeup palette (which I did a mini-review on here) and two of the cream shadows, Lush and Deceit.  I thought it interesting that the shadows came in a twist-up pen that, when wound, pushes the product through small holes at the tip. 

Lush is a frosty, dark, forest green color.  It gives off a nice opaque coverage and is smooth to apply.  The formula is supposed to be creaseless, a claim that I cannot confirm when wearing it alone.  However, I have used it once as a base with a primer underneath and had no issues.

Deceit is a beautiful, frosty rose color and it swatched just as smoothly and was just as opaque as Lush. 

When using cream shadows, I am very careful to use a good eye primer underneath because I have oily lids.  When swatching these, I noticed that they did dry down a little, but not fully to a powder (it still had some slip to it) so I would be wary of wearing these creams on their own.  But they are very pretty and Lush worked well as a base, so no qualms there for me.  I haven't used Deceit yet, but don't anticipate any problems while using it as a base, either.

Well, thanks for indulging me for a few...  I was just curious to see whether anyone else had ever bought and/or used these because I really haven't heard much about them, past or present.  You know me - I'm willing to try practically anything at least once and, thankfully, wasn't disappointed with my Kevyn Aucoin purchases.