Dose of Colors: Brick, Kiss of Fire & Berry Me 2


I was minding my business enjoying the Internet when all of a sudden I saw this post about Dose of Color's Berry Me 2 by Mango and Fudge.  The color was so beautiful I went straight to the Dose of Color's website and ordered a Berry Me 2 for myself. I don't remember if they were having a promotion or if I needed to spend a certain amount to get free shipping but I also picked up Fiery Red and Brick. I apologize for the memory lapse but this was back in May. I remember that the shipping was very fast and they gave me a cool sticker. (I love stickers. Do you?) I started wearing two of the three colors. I took pictures of all three colors because I planned to do a blog post and here is that post...  two seasons later. 

Dose of Colors per their website(here) was founded in 2013 by a freelance make up artist.  Fun fact they were the lipstick of choice for Beyonce's pregnancy/goddess Grammys performance this year (here). Brick, Kiss of Fire and Berry Me 2 are liquid matte lipsticks($18/.16 oz). All three are listed as vegan and cruelty free on the Dose of Color's website.  

Brick is my least favorite of the three. I can't really describe what it looks like on me but it's not the rust like reddish brown I had in mind when I bought it.  I think it looks more like clay. I'm sure you savvy shoppers are saying well clay<->brick and I hear you, but at the end of the day it turned out that it was not the look I was going for.  Kiss of Fire is a classic true red that can do no wrong. I've worn this one quite a bit and it's a crowd pleaser. It was in my What's In the Bag post (here). Last but not least is the song of my heart when it comes to the three colors- Berry Me 2. I love this color. I think it's just such a beautiful shade of berry/purple/fuchsia that would be flattering on just about every skin tone. 

Like most of the liquid lipsticks I've tried before I've found that I have to be very careful with my application of these so that they don't end up more on my teeth than my lips. But that's probably user error on my part. All three colors have a slight toasted sugar smell to me. I've only worn Kiss of Fire and Berry Me 2 regularly. Kiss of Fire wears like iron. I usually still have traces of it even after using a make up remover. Berry Me 2 lasts a full work day with minimal touch up needed after meals. It's a lot easier to remove at the end of the day than Kiss of Fire though and I can't figure out why. I'm not a big fan of liquid lipsticks. I was simply bewitched by Mango and Fudge's post. It turned out well though because I found two great colors to add to my lipstick wardrobe. 

What are your thoughts on liquid lipsticks? Have you tried anything from Dose of Colors? 


Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - Cape Town, South Africa

I love a nice garden and Kirstenbosch Garden in Cape Town did not disappoint. Established in 1913 Kirstenbosch has been called the most beautiful garden in Africa. It is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The first time we went to Kirstenbosch we were caught in the rain so we ducked into the on site restaurant Moyo and had a great meal by the fireplace. We returned a day or two later and took our time enjoying the grounds. The garden is nestled below the majestic Table Mountains and is a little under 90 acres. In addition to the beautiful flowers and fauna you can enjoy great views of the city.  I would have loved a third visit but I was already pushing it by coming back a second time. If you make it to Cape Town I would highly recommend a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. 

Have a great weekend!


Diptyque Holiday 2017

Fiery Orange(Dragon) 6.5 oz/ $70

Frosted Forest(Unicorn) 6.5oz/ $70 

Incense Tears(Phoenix) 6.5 oz/ $70

Constellation Carousel/ $50

A little carousel fun ☝

Hello. We are rapidly approaching December which means it's time for Diptyque's holiday collection which I also refer to as Merry Christmas from me to me. Diptyque's holiday theme this year is the constellations and their mythical animals the dragon(Fiery Orange), the unicorn(Frosted Forest) and the phoenix(Incense Tears). The animals were designed by artist Philipe Baudelocque. His images depict particles and light drawn in chalk on a black board to represent the skies as they stretch above the travellers they watch below the night sky.

The notes for the dragon candle(Fiery Orange) are blood orange, smokey woods and cloves. I am burning the dragon candle in my bedroom now and it smells warm and spicy yet subtly sweet. I think this one is perfect for this time of year and I plan to buy a back up. Legend has it that Athena during a battle grabbed the dragon by the tail and threw it into the heavens where it remains to this day.

The notes for the unicorn candle(Frosted Forest) are fir needles, hinoki wood and mint. I think the unicorn candle has the most traditional holiday smell. Maybe it was the fir and the mint because although those two together smelled nice it wasn't particularly unique. It reminded me of just about every other fresh pine candle I've ever smelled. I suspect I will enjoy this one more if I burn it along one of the other two candles instead of using it on it's own. There are no legends associated with the unicorn constellation. It was discovered by the Dutch theologian/astronomer Petrus Plancius in the 1600s. 

The phoenix candle(Incense Tears) is a blend of incense, myrrh and cinnamon. This one surprised me. I expected it to be somewhat similar to the dragon candle(Fiery Orange) due to the myrrh and cinnamon. Instead I found it to be delicate, airy and relaxing. It smelled more marine than end of the year holidays to me. This one would make a great year round burn. The phoenix is the symbol of rebirth. Legend has it that the phoenix at the end of its 500 year life cycle would build a pyre out of twigs and spices and allow itself to be consumed by the flames. Out of the flames a new phoenix would be born.  

The constellation carousel fits atop Diptyque's 70g candle and is powered by the heat of the flame. I know... cool right!

Last but not least is the Advent calendar that I was really excited about getting this year. When it sold out last year before I could buy it I set myself a reminder to make sure I got one this time around. I was that serious folks.  If you are not familiar with an Advent calendar it's a special calendar used to mark down the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. In the calendar pictured above every number marks a perforated box and behind every box is a small Diptyque product that's the gift for the day. (Insert squeal here 😆).  I'd love to give you guys a sneak peek but I'm looking forward to opening each box on the days leading up to Christmas so I'll have to do some type of a recap instead. 

I said it last year and I'm saying it again this year. I love how creative the Diptyque holiday collections are.   You can see a cool video about the 2017 Diptyque collection here, and my review of the Diptyque 2016 collection here

Have a great week! 


The Art of Tea

I love a good cup of tea and I average about two cups a day. I tend to drink mostly herbal/fruit blends with little to no caffeine because caffeine gives me a headache. Lately the dandelion tea bags I found at my local grocery store, the loose leaf Milk oolong from Capitol Teas (here) and the Dragon Fruit Devotion from Teavana(here) have been in heavy rotation at casa Ofthecomely. 

I prefer tea bags for when I'm traveling because all you need is a cup of hot water. I like Teavana's cup with strainer and Capitol Tea's magic tea maker for when I'm in the mood for some loose leaf tea. They're also great for the office because they don't take up much space. The Breville Tea Maker is the most recent addition to my tea making arsenal. I'd been thinking about getting one for about a year and finally pulled the trigger due to a Teavana store closing discount. With the Breville I can simply set the time and the temperature for the best brew of the type of tea I'm making and the machine will let me know when it's done, and keep it warm for up to an hour. I can also program it so that it will have a pot of tea brewed for me when I wake up in the mornings just like a coffee maker. 💘 I know right!! I have achieved team making nirvana. As happy as I am about my new found tea bliss I have to admit that the circumstances that made it possible make me sad.  All of the Teavana stores in the US are being closed. Teavana was bought by Starbucks in 2012 and per my local Teavana rep Starbucks has made the decision to close down all 379 of the Teavana stores due to under performance. I found an article about the store closings (here). I don't drink coffee so I appreciated having a dedicated store like Teavana for my tea fix.  I'm going to miss them. 

Most of my friends in a birds of a feather flock together type of situation are tea drinkers.  But according to the statistics we are in the minority.  I'm curious about you guys. What's your hot beverage of choice coffee or tea? 


What's In the Bag?

Cole Haan Genevieve Weave N/S Tote
Dimensions: 14 1'2" L x 13" H X 4 1'4" D/ 8" Drop

1. Wallet - Mulberry
2. Green pouch used as makeup case -Bought in South Africa
3. Sunglasses- Burberry
4. Iphone 6 case - Henri Bendel
5. Small notebook- JFK airport Muji store
6. Pencil case - Ted Baker
7. Small red pouch used for headphones - Bought in South Africa

1. Cross pen/stylus here
2. Dose of colors - Kiss of Fire(Review coming one day soon. In the meantime check out this excellent review of the brand here )
3. Jin Soon- Doux here

Hi there. It's time for another fun edition of What's In the Bag?  The bag in question is once again from Cole Haan. What can I say? They make great bags.  I'm going to try to add the bag's dimensions when possible to these posts because I always find that information helpful when deciding on a bag. Most of the bags I've featured in these type of posts are bags I use for work so that means that in addition to everything pictured I'm also carrying my work laptop, the laptop charger and a mouse in the bag. The N/S Genevieve holds everything and fits comfortably on the shoulder without being bulky. 

I picked up some colorful pouches while in Cape Town this summer that I've been using for makeup and ear buds. 

I've been doing either neutral or red nail polish lately. I'll usually always have a bottle of nail polish from either my current manicure or my next scheduled manicure in my bag.

I like a bold lip and Kiss of Fire is a classic bold red that I get compliments on every time I wear it. I've been meaning to do a review but you know life, laziness and the pursuit of sleep have caused some delays. I'm getting to it though. 

My favorite sales lady at Chanel gave me that Gabrielle perfume tester. It's nice but I'm not sure I want to pull the trigger and purchase it just yet. I want to check out Jo Malone's Orange Bitters first. Bitters is described as having amber and orange notes which sounds like a great combination to me. 

Last but definitely not least I am thrilled to report that I have reached my Goodreads goal of reading thirty books for the year. I've actually read 32 books to date. The majority of those have been library books but I found myself in a Barnes & Nobles recently and I decided to pick up Ready Player One. It has an interesting premise and got excellent reviews. After Ready Player One the plan is to use that Amazon gift card I've had since last Christmas( I hope they don't expire) to buy What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons. Mainly because I saw the beautiful cover while looking for an air filter in Target. After I stopped drooling over the cover I looked it up and found that it also got some pretty good reviews. I moved the gift card from my desk at home to my bag to remind me to use it. I'll let you know if that worked.

All right now it's your turn. What's in your bag? 


Cape Town, South Africa : 33.9249° S, 18.4241° E

View from the cableway at Table Mountain National Park 
Sunglasses: Burberry
Scarf: Target
Jacket: Lululemon
Sweater: Banana Republic
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Boots: Cole Haan
Purse: Coach

Camps Bay
View from our backyard 
V&A Waterfront

Robben Island. Our tour guide told us Mandela hid his manuscript for his biography in this garden. 

Nelson Mandela's cell
They used to let people go inside until someone stole the spoon from the tray. <Insert face palm here >

Cape of Good Hope 
Happy Feet at Boulders Beach 

A short video of one of our last nights at Camps Bay

This summer the crew here at OTC went to South Africa. The choices were Johannesburg or Cape Town. Cape Town won because all of the reviews highlighted that in Cape Town you could experience both the mountains and the beach. 

South Africa is on the southern most tip of the African continent. From my neck of the woods in the southern USA I had a layover in Atlanta then a connecting flight in Johannesburg before arriving in Cape Town. On the way back I had a lay over in Paris, and a second layover in Atlanta before heading home. I did not need a visa to visit South Africa.  Flying time was a little over a day coming and going. Winter in South Africa is from June to August so while we were there the temperatures ranged from the low 50s and 60s during the day, and dipped into the 40s some nights. 

The official currency of South Africa is the rand. The exchange rate was approximately $1 US to $13 rand. I found the prices of goods, services and meals to be more or less comparable to what I would pay at home. We used Uber to get around most of the time while we were there. I hadn't used Uber internationally before so I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. The drivers were prompt and courteous and they always knew how to get us to where we wanted to go. 

Cape Town is beautiful! We had a great time enjoying the food and the scenery. There really was something for everyone. I had no trouble finding good vegetarian options. The South African wines which are reportedly world renowned were given good reviews by my friends. We stayed in Camps Bay and arrived early in the morning. I will never forget that first glorious sight of the waves breaking on the beach.  The next day we were even more awestruck as we made our way to the beach again this time from a different direction and at night. 

If you get a chance to go to Cape Town please do. My must experience recommendations based on my one time 😜visit are:

1. Camps Bay Beach(Plan to stay long enough to the see the area at night)
2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens  ( Plan to eat at the excellent restaurant there- Moyo)
3. Robben Island(Technically not Cape Town but a fairly short boat ride away)
4. Table Mountain Park
5. Boulders Beach(One word-penguins! )
6. Cape of Good Hope( Wear shoes with some traction as the rocks are slippery and you'll want to 
                                      walk around and take pictures here)

If you've been to Cape Town or any other part of South Africa let me know in the comments. Thanks for dropping by!