SKIN SAVIORS: HADA LABO.

hada_labo_reviewOh, Monday. If you’re a regular reader of blogazine Into the Gloss, chances are those little Monday morning posts, “Because it’s Monday and we don’t want to work yet” somehow perk up my morning, serving as the perfect reminder that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels the same way I do at the beginning of the beginning of a very long week: lethargic, lazy, and stuck in a daydream about the oh-so-distant weekend. If you don’t read ITG, then you have no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve probably helped you doze off back to sleep. No matter, here’s a few products to help wake you up and banish those Monday morning blues. Hada Labo is a brand off the high street in Japan that’s available in Ulta, as well as certain drugstores Stateside, and let me tell you, you need to try this stuff. The products are affordable but effective, doing the hefty work of some of the most luxurious skincare products I’ve tried. In a word, the Replenishing Hydrator* is, well, fabulous. Is there any better way to describe a serum that feels like a cool splash of water to the face, sinks in quickly, and leaves skin supple, plumped, and without any dry patches to speak of? Maybe, but come on, it’s Monday, and I don’t want to work yet. So we’ll stick with just calling it fabulous. It’s so good that a bottle of this stuff apparently sells every two seconds in Japan. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser* is a great in-between for those who love the hyper-clean feeling of a foaming cleanser but don’t like the way skin feels afterwards- think dry, tight, and generally like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Hada Labo’s offering is described as a:

  • Rich creamy cleanser with foaming action, deeply cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and oil. Rinses clean.
  • Restores and preserves skin’s natural moisture while cleansing.

Check, and check. It’s the creamiest foaming cleanser I’ve found, and it truly does get rid of all that unwanted grime either from a day of walking around town or in the morning to remove residue from skincare products the night before, and yet skin somehow feels hydrated after washing it off. My only gripe? It does have that odd scent of fragrance-free products, but that’s something I can deal with as it’s completely safe for skin that’s prone to breakouts. Both products are hyaluronic-based, making them perfect for both dry skin and oily-combination that’s simply dehydrated. Overall? Yes, you need this in your life ASAP. Simples. 

(* denotes press sample)

THE MUST-TRY LIST: RADICAL SKINCARE.

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Radical skin care is a a brand I’ve been hearing about from UK bloggers for years now, but until recently I hadn’t head much buzz about the products Stateside. Which is ridiculous, because let me tell you, they’re life-changing. Yes, I really said that. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Lets be honest for a second here. My skincare shelf/stash is constantly overflowing with products, so coming to the point where. I’m completely committed to not just one, but THREE different products from a single brand, so much so that I won’t travel without every single one, is something to write home about. I recently got the chance to test out their Hydrating Cleanser*, Instant Revitalizing Mask*, and new SPF, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30*, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m hooked. I’ve been using the products steadily for a few months now to really get a feel for how they work into my routine, and at the moment, I can’t see myself ever being caught without all three in my stash. The Hydrating Cleanser* was my introduction to the brand; it was the first product I heard about from the range (thanks to Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup), and is probably my favorite of the bunch. Though meant as more of a post-cleanse after you’ve taken off the bulk of your makeup, I’ve been using this religiously as my morning cleanser and have found that it dipoles wonders , to really brighten and plump dull tired skin. A dollop of this massaged onto dry skin is the perfect morning facial that smells lovely and feels oh-so-wonderful. Additional note: I’m a sucker for peach, and the peach shade of this cleanser instantly gets rid if those Monday morning blues. Peach or non-peach-colored, this stuff is damn good. it’s on the pricier end of cleansers at $45 a pop, but I’ve been using my tube every morning, as well as some nights, for around three months now and I’m not even halfway done with the tube. 100% worth the price tag. The Instant Revitalizing Mask* does what it says on the tin: perks up dull skin and injects a good serving of hydration while leaving skin feeling clean afterwards. The brand describes it as: “the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy, and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions. It leaves skin amazingly revitalized, healthy, and glowing.” I must say, this is without a doubt one of the most fun products you’ll ever put on your face. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and it fizzes, pops, and bursts as the mask does its work, giving a lovely tingling sensation that tickles rather than stings. It’s the perfect pick-me-up mask for days when you need a quick fix for sallow or tired looking skin that leaves it looking refreshed and awake, as well soothing any redness or irritation you might have going on. A foolproof fix I’ll never be caught without in my skincare trove. The final product is the brand’s newest product, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30. We’ve all heard it before: SPF, SPF, SPF. Sun damage, they say, is the #1 source of wrinkles. But let’s be honest, no one wants to oil on yet another layer of product in the morning before we get to work on the tough job of putting on the daily face. Unless, that is, you’ve got an SPF in your arsenal that’s too light to detect on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast, and pumps up the glow factor, making your skin look dewy and lot-from-within before you’ve applied a drop of makeup on top. Enter, Radical Skincare’s solution to the sunscreens of days past. It looks slightly pink when squeezed out of the tube, but even on my über yelllow-toned skin it blends in effortlessly and doesn’t leave an odd tint behind. It does contain a bit of shimmer to add some dew to the mix, but on the skin it’s undetectable disappearing to add a seamless glow to the face. I know, we’re getting a little glow-heavy here, but there really isn’t a better word to describe the effect this gives. It doesn’t add any oil to the skin or have a that odd silicone-y feel, but simply does what it claims to: blurs imperfections and enhances the look of skin before makeup, giving a dose of protection without feeling like an extra layer of product. Enough said.

Have you tried anything from Radical Skincare?

THE NEW GLOSS FAVORITES.

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 L-R: Daiquiri, Bonbon, Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper

 There’s a new set of glosses in town for the holidays, and let me tell you, it’s a good ‘un. I’ve always been a fan of a good gloss (loyal ‘simples readers might recall my first-ever post was dedicated to the subject), but Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé’s have me absolutely hooked. As much as I do love the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, I have to say, Ms. Mercier has got the gloss game down-pat. This set of five of her best-loved lip glacé’s includes two brighter shades (Daiquiri & Bonbon) accompanied by three more nude-toned shades (Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper). Oh, and did I mention it’s now on sale on Nordstrom.com? The shades are truly perfect for all skintones; I initially put off buying for fear that the two lightest shades would be too nude for my medium-deep olive skin and was pleasantly surprised to discover just how well the shades adjust to the lips and melt in, forming a lovely sheen that adds a hint of a nude tone to any lipstick underneath. Nothing too flesh-toned here to make you look like a member of The Walking Dead’s zombie ensemble, just lovely glosses to add a bit of something extra to a nude lip. Glitter-haters fear not: I was most apprehensive about the shade Whisper and after a few weeks of use, I can safely say it’s one of my favorites in my entire collection. The shimmer isn’t obnoxious and contrary to its appearance in the tube, it’s quite fine and just gives a bit more shine to the gloss that catches the light beautifully. Best way to wear? Over nude lipstick on the center of the lips to add a bit of highlight. As lovely as the shades are, where these really shine is the formula. Not sticky at all (even less so than the Clarins offerings), these have just enough slip to feel cushiony on the lips while still lasting around four hours in terms of wear. They’re much less balmy than the YSL Glossy Stains, say, and don’t have the same feel to them, but for an everyday, no-fuss gloss that proves effortless and gives just enough shine, these are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Enough Said.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Lip Glacé’s yet?

GET IT WHILE YOU CAN: BENEFIT’S BELLA BAMBA.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Rt.) Benefit Cha-Cha Tint, Bella Bamba Blush

Behold: my first-ever Benefit Boxed Blush. While I am well and truly prepared for the collective “WHAT?!” ‘s that those words are likely to incite, ’tis the truth: never have I ever used Hoola on my cheekbones, Coralista for that peachy-golden flush, or any other famed boxed cheek product from the brand. I’ve had Bella Bamba on my list for a while now (thanks to Ms. Sharon Farrell of YouTube, check her out here) and somehow always shied away from picking it up on trips to my local Sephora. Until, that is, I heard the buzz around the beauty community that it was being discontinued. Lo and behold, the fates provided the push needed for me to snap it up in my online shopping cart and, well, here we are. Bonus: I got it in this Hot 2 Trot set along with their Cha-Cha Tint, something I’ve also been meaning to try for the longest time. 2 for the price of 1. Could the whole charade be any more perfect? And so, in response to the news that Bella Bamba is no longer available separately and is being phased out entirely, I’m telling you now: get this while you can. The blush itself is stunning: an iridescent warm coral/pink shade that has a bit more punch than Coralista, especially if you found the latter lacking slightly in the pigmentation department on application. Think of it as a brightened shade of Coralista/Nars Orgasm varieties everywhere. One more thing: it smells fantastic. Odd thing to say about a blush? Most definitely. But completely, totally true. If you’ve ever tried a Benefit Boxed Blusher before (which, unless you’re me, you most likely have), then the glorious scent isn’t such a novel concept, but… I can’t get over it. Enough said. Cha-Cha Tint was no disappointment compared to its kit mate; creamy, long-wearing, and a beautifully natural shade of mango that adds a bit more of a sunkissed glow to the cheeks. Just apply with the nail polish-like applicator along the cheek and blend, blend blend as fast as possible; this stuff has a tendency to set quickly and leave stripe marks behind if you don’t get to it with the blending action.

Will you be picking up this set?

THE CAPSULE BAG #14.

capsule bagThis just in: we are well and truly in autumn territory. It was easy to pretend summer was (possibly?) still on its last legs here in sunny Florida, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, I dig fall. Here’s the catch: we here in the sunshine state don’t have a proper autumnal season. Fall means slightly cooler weather (and by that I mean low temperatures in the mid 70’s) and the same boring palm trees that sit there and refuse to change color all year round. No gold, red, and orange leaves lining the streets here; just a former vacation paradise that’s sunny and chilly and so-not-autumn-y all at the same time. But I digress. On to the products.

KORRES CHEEK BUTTER IN CHARA CRIMSON.

I mentioned this in a haul a while bag from Hautelook but didn’t really get much use out of it until now. The shade is perfect for fall; a lovely red-tinted deep rose that gives the perfect “Snow White” effect to the cheeks (as in that I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-snow look, not the I-was-raised-by-dwarves-and-don’t-know-how-to-put-on-makeup effect) that’s lightly moisturizing and leaves a dewy finish to the cheeks.

BOBBI BROWN CREAMY CONCEALER KIT IN HONEY.

This is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s quite hefty coverage for under the eyes, but I’ve been using a light hand with this for those days when I look like I haven’t slept in a while (i.e. most days). It’s quite thick, so don’t go overboard with this stuff: when Bobbi says creamy, she means creamy. I wouldn’t buy it in the kit again, as the pale yellow setting powder shade isn’t my favorite, but it is nice for on-the-go touchups when you don’t want to bring a separate powder to lock your concealer in place.

BENEFIT GIMME BROW IN MEDIUM/DARK.

I’ve been too lazy to do any real work with my brows on a day-to-day basis, so mornings see me slapping this on and heading out the door. Let me say this: it’s the most perfect brow product ever if you want something easy that you don’t have to think too much about. It’s a fiber brow gel that gives them a nice tint and somehow fills them in with easy, setting them in place so they don’t move around all day. Definitely a makeup stash staple.

BY TERRY OMBRE BLACKSTAR IN MISTY ROCK.

I mentioned this in my last post about By Terry, and I must say, it’s love. It’s the most beautiful rosy plum shade with gorgeous shimmer that lasts and lasts on my oily eyelids. Paired with a matte rose-toned plum brown in the crease (UD Nooner, MAC Quarry), this makes for the perfect effortless eye look for fall. Color me obsessed.

What products have you been loving this week?

 

BY TERRY EYES + CHEEKS.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Right) Cellularose Blush Glacé in Frozen Petal; Ombré Blackstars in Misty Rock, Paradise Island, and Midnight Forest

 

Dear By Terry: where have you been all my life? Ever the elusive brand here in the States (it’s available in certain department stores and online, but far more accessible abroad), it’s one I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. If you’ve never heard of By Terry before, it’s a French line of cosmetics founded by makeup artist Terry de Gunzberg with the philosophy of a “less-is-more” approach to beauty. Over the years, they’ve developed a cult following among celebrities and beauty fiends (ex: yours truly) alike with iconic products like their Baume de Rose and, of course, those Ombré Blackstars*. I mean, Look at those shades. I have to say, never have I ever been so awestruck by an eyeshadow stick as I was when I got to have a good play around with these. They’re ridiculously soft and just glide over the skin like nothing else, not tugging the eyelid at all on application. Lasting power on these is out of this world: a quick hand swatch of the forest green shade, Midnight Forest, stayed put for hours even after washing my hands multiple times. Impressive? I’d say so. The same can be said for lasting power on the eyes, as these stayed put without a primer even on my oily eyelids all day long. My favorite shade hands-down has to be Misty Rock, a stunning mauve-y shade shot through with warm shimmer, perfect on brown or green eyes and easy to swipe on everyday to add a bit of a glimmer to the eye. The Cellularose Blush Glacé* in the shade Frozen Petal is quite the stunner. It has to be one of the most interesting blush formulas I’ve ever come across: a sort of whipped gel-creme that melts into the skin to provide a hydrating punch of color that genuinely looks like you’re glowing from within (side note: best product for a natural flush ever). Don’t let the slippery texture of this deceive you: it lasts and lasts (and lasts) on the cheeks, keeping the “just-pinched” look going all day. It’s the perfect all-season blush; light and seamless for hot summer days and beautifully hydrating for cold, biting winter weather. One of those products you truly can’t go wrong with, and let’s be honest: I’d be lying if I said I could find anything in my entire beauty stash half as cool as the consistency of this stuff. A most definite A+ from succhisimples.

Have you tried anything from By Terry? Comment your favorites below!

THE ONE THAT EVERYONE LOVES.

porefessional reviewYou know that trove of products hailed by the entire beauty community as the Holy Grail of put-on-your-face items? The ones everybody and their mother is obsessed with, can’t live without, etc. etc. You get my drift. And then there’s the particular problem that arises when you give a member of said Holy Grail of products a go and just can’t seem to make it work, and you spend months and months wondering what you’re doing wrong; is it the way you’re applying it, your uneven skin… And finally you’re resigned to think that there has to be some sort of issue on your end if the rest of the world is in love with it. *Cue sad violin melody.* Alas, Benefit’s POREfessional presents such an enigma in my beauty stash. I’ve been trying to get into this for a few months now since picking it up, and I’ve finally decided: it doesn’t work for me. I know, I know, all this sounds blasphemous at best, but before you throw me in blogosphere prison for treason, allow me to explain. While I do wholeheartedly agree that it does an excellent job at filling in pores and reducing their appearance (its main claim to fame), I just can’t get over how this leaves my skin; chalky, powdery, and a little dry on application. While it does smooth over everything before foundation, it leaves dry patches significantly more visible and doesn’t do much for a longer-lasting base. If you have more combination skin, I’d say you’d enjoy this more simply to keep shine at bay as you shouldn’t have much of a problem with it feeling particularly drying if you’ve got an oilier complexion, but dry skins, beware. I realize it’s only meant to do the job of blurring pores (which it does remarkably well), but if I’m going to go the extra mile to slap on a primer in the morning, it needs to do some extra work to keep my face happy throughout the day.

Have you ever tried Benefit’s POREfessional primer?

BARRY M. TAKES AMERICA.

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barry m 2But not really. A more appropriate title would’ve been Barry M. Takes Succhisimples(.), but that somehow doesn’t seem as eye-catching. And yet succhisimples HQ (look at me, getting all official and such) is USA-based, so here we are. A lovely friend of mine from London was kind enough to bring these back for me from her recent trip, and of course I was over the moon when she landed with these beauties in her suitcase. This is no exaggeration-maybe just a little bit-I was more excited about four nail polishes than any human being should be. But can you blame me? Those colors. I’ve got the shades (L-R in top photo) Blueberry, which I’m also sporting on my nails in the second photo, a stunning periwinkle shade, Mango (true orange), Kiwi (blue-toned green), and Guava (bright teal with a hint of yellow/green). The formula of these surpassed all expectations: they’re everything we here on American shores could hope for-judging from the extreme hype surrounding them on the blogosphere-and much, much more.  Opaque in a single coat, glossy, true gel-shine like you’ve never seen it before outside of the salon. Don’t even get me started on the lasting power: I wore the shade Mango on my toenails for two straight weeks without a single chip (this includes many, many beach days). These outperform even some of my high-end polishes in the succhisimples stash (Chanel, anyone?) for a fraction of the price. Bottom line: Barry M., America needs you.

FOR THE CONCEALER OBSESSED…

concealerI had to go through this entire inner monologue while writing my post regarding the appropriate number of dots necessary in the title of this post (or periods, if we’re being nitpicky). Which sounds ridiculous, but let me explain myself: every post since the inception of succhisimples has had a title ending in a single period. And so you can imagine the moderate anxiety I experienced whilst sitting at my desk writing about some dark circle saviors when I was overcome by this idea that not one, but three periods were required to give this post a resounding name. Dot-dot-dot. Now that I think about it, it still sounds ridiculous, but I am far too lazy to erase this entire paragraph and restart my story, sans the added period drama (see what I did there? Ha. Ha.). And so we begin, with a post dedicated to those of you out there who, like me, get concealer-happy when browsing at the local Sephora… (dot-dot-dot)

Here’s two you need, above all other undereye concealers. Contender #1: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I have the shade Ginger in this, and it was love from first swipe. This is the stuff makeup dreams are made of: a breeze to blend, good coverage, stunning satin finish that still looks like skin. Even though this does offer an industrial-strength cover-up for even the worst of morning panda eye syndromes, it’s über light on the skin, meshing seamlessly with your foundation and making you look years younger in an instant. Contender #2: Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in the shade Neutralizer. The variety of shade selections on this one is considerably more limited than the former option, but they are more on the one-size-fits-all kind of bandwagon. The shade I have works well as an undereye eraser when used sparingly on myself, but excels in its properties on my medium-tan skintone as a highlighter for the whole Kim K. effect: a dab on the tops of the cheek bones, swept in a triangle below the eyes, a touch on the bridge of the nose and chin. There’s also a pink-toned shade for correcting underneath concealer if you’re looking for the extra coverage, but as a day-to-day undereye brightener, this does the trick for much less than half the price tag on the Nars offering. Do you need them both? Yes and no. I honestly can’t live without both of these in my stash, so here’s the lowdown: if budget isn’t an issue, pick them both up at once. If the price tag seems to hefty on the Nars Radiant version, I would pick up both the Age Rewind and Maybelline’s FitMe Concealer, which I’ve found to be the closest drugstore dupe to the Nars. It doesn’t have the greatest coverage in comparison, but the texture is very, very similar if you’re looking to save some cash. Although I would still recommend saving up to get both the Nars and the Maybelline Age Rewind (which I did, and haven’t spent a moment regretting the decision since), because let’s be honest, a little added concealer splurge makes all the difference on sleepy Monday mornings.

What are your top concealer picks?

THE CAPSULE BAG #13.

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With chilly temperatures starting to set in, I thought it was time to start incorporating a bit of fur somewhere here on succhisimples. The week has been pretty bog-standard with the past month, so this is more of a monthly favorites than a weekly Capsule Bag, but why let tradition go to waste? Here’s what I’ve been loving for the past week (er, month).

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 04

My skin’s been pretty blemish-prone as of late, so to combat the telltale marks about my face region I’ve been digging into what’s left of this little pot with my Bobbi Brown Ultra-Fine Liner brush (perfect for pinpoint concealing à la Lisa Eldridge). The reason? It’s pretty much the only concealer in my stash that’s the correct match for my skin at the moment, so this is more of a desperation pick than a this-stuff’s-fantastic selection. It’s good, but not my absolute favorite in the way of blemish concealing. Though it’s supposed to be heavy-duty stuff, I find it’s a bit sheerer than I’d like on application, so it takes quite a bit of building up, but it does the job.

MAC Lip Pencil in Spice

I went into my local MAC store recently looking for the perfect my-lips-but-slightly-more-kylie-jenner-esque lip liner that was still quite close to my natural lip shade (think a bit more rosy/brown), and this fit the bill perfectly. It’s surprisingly creamy and has great lasting power, all the while giving you that notorious “porn star lip” look coined by Estée from Essiebutton once topped off with some gloss or a lipstick of choice. Your lips, but pouty and fabulous. Simples.

MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick

This was quite the popular shade back in the day around the blogosphere, so on the same MAC trip I figured it was time for me to bite the bullet and see for myself what all the hype was about. Now I get it. I can’t stress enough what a gorgeous shade it is; sheer, nude-y, slightly shimmery without being over-the-top. Where it really excels, though, is in layering; it looks stunning to top off lip pencils (esp. the aforementioned Spice) or lipsticks that are a bit more reddish or brown, muting down the warmth of the color underneath a notch and giving a much more sophisticated air. Think cherry-on-top goodness that pulls everything together. Do you need this in your life? Absolutely.

theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer

Let me tell you now, this will be your best friend in the way of beachy, glowing skin. It’s deep enough in shade to be a bronzer but has a gorgeous kick of shimmery luminescence to it that nixes the need for extra highlighter (although if you’re anything like me, you add extra highlighter on top anyway because let’s face it, you’re addicted to the stuff) but doesn’t give that disco-ball, this-chick-got-glittered look. If you typically shy away from shimmering bronzers, have no fear; the only detectible glimmering that transfers to the skin applies so beautiful it looks like you’re glowing, not sparkling. Betty-Lou saves the day.

What have you been loving lately?