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?

FRIDAY FIXER: FOUR THINGS.

FOUR THINGSIt’s the end of the week here on succhisimples, and we’re winding down with a couple exciting new launches, vloggers, and general itching-to-buy finds. First of all, October is well and truly here, and guess what? It’s October 3rd. Happy national Mean Girls day, all. For those of you who didn’t see this chapter from Lohan’s golden era, here’s a few bits that might catch your fancy…

THE NEW LAUNCH // That Nars Holiday CollectionI don’t think I’m alone when I say that I actually did a little gasp when I saw the photos released today. Remember the Guy Bourdin collection last year that sold out before we had a chance to get a good look at the products? This is that. Ladies and gents, if there’s even the slightest possibility that you’re going to want to get your hands on the products, do yourself a favor and pre-order them online. The Laced Edge for Holiday 2014 will be available on November 1st at narscosmetics.com . My prediction? That blush palette will be sold out in two weeks. I may have my eye on that lip pencil set as well… *WARNING*: Wallets everywhere, beware.

THE MUST-SEE BEAUTY VLOGGERS // Tara from Tar Mar and Diana from easyNeonI’m always on the lookout for new beauty mavens to watch on the ‘tube (the YouTube, that is. Although I do wish I was British and cool enough to ride the tube around.) and these two are absolute babes. Tara is just… One chic lady. I’ve been obsessed with her videos since I came across them about a month ago. Besides being ridiculously gorgeous, she’s got this efforless cool-girl style and killer taste. If you’re into watching makeup tutorials often (and what beauty-obsessed gal isn’t?) trust me, you’re gonna love Diana’s videos. Her style is quite different from most beauty vloggers: she does shorter videos than most without a voiceover, just the makeup and the music. Someone should write a song about that… The makeup and the music. But I digress. She has such a good eye for makeup: she often manages to incorporate unconventional shades into surprisingly wearable-and equally stunning- looks. It doesn’t hurt that she looks like a supermodel, either, so basically any makeup looks fantastic on her, but she simplifies looks that seem complicated so that even eyeshadow noobs like myself can handle a diy makeup application based on her videos. Kind of. I’m still getting the hang of it.

THE GET-IN-MY-CLOSET PICK // Whistles Bryton Chelsea Boots in Black.  I am a woman obsessed. I need these in my life, I need these on my feet, I need these to walk all around the world. Every season, I look for the perfect pair of boots: we’ve been through Burberry, Frye, even UGG boots in the old days (let’s never go back to those). I’ve had something of a conversion in the past couple weeks, realizing the bitter truth: I live in Florida. It is hot, it is humid, it has not experienced winter boot weather since the Ice Age. Though it has dipped into the upper 40’s in January’s past, in general the dress code adheres to a strict flip flops and sandals policy. But I could use these on that weekend trip to New York coming up… *Collective sigh.* A girl can dream.

 

COLORED CLAY.

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L-R: Tarte CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium; Tarte CC Eye Primer Stick

With the Monday post being a review of Tarte’s new collection for fall, I thought I’d bring you a few new pieces they’ve added to their permanent range: the Colored Clay CC Eye Primer* and CC Undereye Corrector*. We’ve all seen the whole CC/BB cream affair go down in the beauty world, so when Tarte was kind enough to send these over I was a little skeptical. According to the brand, the Undereye Corrector is meant to: “instantly mask undereye discolorations and dark circles while improving the appearance of skin tone and texture over time.” I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I can’t say much in the way of the skin under my eyes seeing much improvement, but I will say that this really does give a flawless, airbrushed effect under the eyes. It comes in two shades, Light-Medium (swatched above on the left) and Medium-Dark. Since the product is meant to be applied underneath your normal concealer, the shade isn’t much of an issue; overall, it gives a gorgeous brightening effect that really lifts the face without being drying or caking throughout the day. Love. What struck me first about the CC Eye Primer was the packaging; I find it eliminates the faff of having to dig your finger into a Mac paint pot to get a similar effect that evens out eyelids and gives a neutral base for eyeshadow in a convenient pencil form. It’s quite nice to use on the lower lashline as well because of its design, which means less time spent fiddling with smudging primer under your eyes in the morning (and less time getting ready overall- win). However, because I have quite oily eyelids, I didn’t find this to do much in the way of preventing eyeshadows from creasing throughout the day. I would say that if you don’t experience creasing with the formula of Mac’s paint pots, this is an excellent alternative, but I would skip on picking this up if you’ve got oily lids like me.

Have you tried any of Tarte’s new Colored Clay products?

 

FALL 2014: TARTE RAINFOREST AFTER DARK.

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DSC_0316Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the star of the Fall/Winter Beauty Collections. Leave it to Tarte to bring out the most gorgeous collection season after season. Remember the Aqualilies collection for Spring/Summer 2012? Love. Whether it’s bringing a bit of seaside flair to the range or, in this case, releasing a set of brand-new products straight from the Amazon, Tarte’s got it going on. Meet the Rainforest After Dark collection*. Things are getting sultry-sexy for fall with smokey shades and jewel-toned purples, and Tarte’s collection for the season is the perfect addition to makeup wardrobes everywhere. I recently got the chance to test out the new collection and I have to say, she’s a beaut. Included are a host of new additions to the range, including a pore-refining primer to go along with the Smooth Operator powders which are oh-so-lovely. The star of the show? That. Palette. Need I say more? At $38, it’s pretty much glorious- think bronzer, smokey eyeshadows, and a subtle highlighter all centered around a stunning new shade of their uber-famous Amazonian Clay Blushes. Unleashed is a matte nude rose shade. Playing the role of bronzer we’ve got the shade Park Avenue Princess, a lighter brown shade that’s cool enough to use as a contour on lighter skins and would suit light-medium skintones. Finally, the eyeshadows, shades Bare to Explore (pinky beige), Make a Mauve (plummy mauve), Plum Away with Me (shimmering deep plum), and Up to No Gold (a brightened gold), Tan-gled Up in You (nude tan), and Don’t Turn a-Brown (deepened cool brown) make for the perfect glamorous smokey eye for fall that doesn’t go too heavy. The formula on these is amazing: buttery smooth and foolproof to apply with zero fallout. The shade range is slightly unexpected; I wouldn’t pick a yellow gold with a deep plum for an eye look but surprisingly enough, they somehow work beautifully, blending like a dream. They’re all decidedly neutral and go on a bit deeper than they look in the pan, so pigmentation here isn’t an issue.  The verdict? If you have to pick one item from the collection, let it be this.

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The collection also includes a Be Charmed limited edition eyelash curler*($19) with a removable snake charm that’s too cute to be real. I was surprised at how well this curled my lashes; being a firm believer in the Shu Uemuras, this one rivals the best curlers in town. The shape here is key: It’s quite rounded and results in a full-on lash look that’s more exaggerated towards the middle of the eye, making eyes look bigger and rounder. Love. With the new collection comes new Colored Clay products, including an eye primer($21) and undereye corrector*($24) (stay tuned for a full review later this week). The new Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel*($21) is damn good stuff- not too wet, with a tiny brush that makes application easy and quick and eliminating extra faff. The one product I fell head over heels in love with from the range? The Timeless Smoothing Primer*($39). I haven’t found many pore-refining primers I’ve loved, having passed over Benefit’s Porefessional along with the Smashbox versions, but this offering from Tarte is definitely something to write home about. It blurs imperfections with ease and keeps oil at bay all day while not giving that drying, almost powdery feeling to the skin most primers leave behind. Color me obsessed.

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One of the standout products from the collection was definitely the Amazonian Clay Dual Liner in Bronze/Black* ($28). These are some of the creamiest eyeliners I’ve ever used, and the formula is an obvious winner here. Easy to apply without dragging on the eyelid, these set completely and don’t budge all day. I tested these out as eyeliners, eyeshadows, and eyeshadow primers, and they worked equally well as each. My favorite? The bronze shade blended out as a smokey eye or a base for other shadows. Even on my uber-oily eyelids, no extra primer needed here as these don’t crease at all, even in 95 degree florida weather.

DSC_0255Tarte also includes a new shade of the LipSurgence lipgloss*($19) in the color Envy, a glowing deep rose. While the color is nice, the formula on these isn’t my favorite; they’re quite tacky and feel heavy on the lips, more like a thick sticky consistency than being overly wet and gloopy. To their credit, these do stick around quite a bit longer than your average gloss and feel lightly moisturizing, but it didn’t seem to meld well with my lips throughout the day and was a little uncomfortable to wear. The applicator on this is nice, curving just so to fit the contour of the lips and dipping inward the to apply the perfect amount of product without having to go back into the tube. If you don’t mind that tacky feeling, you might want to look into this as a longer-lasting alternative to your usual lipgloss, but it wasn’t my favorite piece in the collection.

Last up, Tarte’s bringing out their answer to lash fibers for fall with their Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers*($19) set. There’s a 3-step process involved with this: 1)PREP with mascara: Prime upper lashes with the included lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara. 2)EXTEND with fibers: Using a gentle patting motion, apply fibers onto top of upper lashes starting at the middle and working outwards towards the tip. 3)SET with mascara: Apply a final coat of mascara to lock in the fibers and a dramatic, bombshell stare. The fibers are made of nylon and are meant to build onto your natural lashes instead of having to apply full-strip or individual falsies. Both the idea and the performance on the fibers is outstanding: think lashes with extra kick and volume that look intense and fluttery but still natural. I’m not the biggest fan of the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara purely because I have stick-straight Asian eyelashes that don’t hold a curl with anything other than waterproof mascara, so I would personally go for the waterproof version, Lights, Camera, Splashes (which is dynamite for lashes that don’t usually hold a curl), but if you have normal lashes, you’re set with the regular version, which looks stunning paired with the Lash Extending Fibers. Either way, the fibers don’t weigh down lashes and cause them to fall throughout the day, even on my (unstable, problematic, etc… need i go on?) eyelash hairs. Love.

Overall, the fall collection is definitely one you’ll want to have a look at while it’s out; with shades that transition beautifully from fall to winter and are sure to be well-loved through the Spring/Summer seasons, the entire range is a keeper (though I’d prioritize on getting my hands on that palette if I were you).

Will you be picking up anything from the collection?

 

(* denotes press sample)

IF YOU BUY ONE THING THIS MONTH…

DSC_0001…Let it be Mio’s Liquid Yoga*. If you read the online magazine Nouvelle Daily, then you’ve probably heard talk about this gorgeous soak bouncing around the blogosphere. I received a bottle to test out from Mio Skincare and needless to say, I was not disappointed. To compensate for my lack of exercise since I stopped dancing (as well as my habit of loading up on carbs), I’ve been biking on the daily to try and burn off some calories. Word to the wise: out of shape bodies aren’t too keen on sudden exercise. Had I realized this ahead of time I probably would have managed to avoid the end-of-the-week muscle aches, but then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience Liquid Yoga’s wonders to the fullest extent. You win some you lose some. By this point, you’re probably wondering about what exactly Liquid Yoga is. The brand says it’s formulated to: Relax and calm your busy mind; ease hard-working muscles and restore your body with our perfect milky-moisturising blend of essential oils, mineral salts and therapeutic herbs. In a nutshell, it’s a silky bath soak meant to ease muscle aches and help you unwind. So how well did it help out those biking aches and pains? I kid you not, they were gone after a single use. A warm soak with a dollop of this stuff is positively therapeutic; not only were my small aches gone but I the gorgeous sent did wonders to help me relax and sleep soundly. The best part? No lotion needed après soak, Liquid Yoga turns the water into the most gorgeous shade of mint that’s silky and moisturizing, so we get to skip the extra step after a dip in the tub. Even if you don’t exercise at all, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good at-home spa day: it’s easy to use-just shake and pour as the tub fills, is delicately scented with essential oils like lavender and chamomile to help you relax and sleep easy, and is the perfect quick fix to unwind at the end of a hectic day/week. One quick warning from the brand before I sign off: Liquid Yoga may cause relaxation and happiness. What’s not to love? 

Will you be picking up some Liquid Yoga?

THE FALL LINER FAVORITE.

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DSC_0045Everybody say it with me, I can’t believe it’s already September.  Let the record state, I’ve got that summertime sadness. That being said, I do love the introduction of green and burgundy shades that come popping up for autumn, so I wanted to share one of my favorite pre-fall looks with you that’s super easy to slap on in the morning and pull of without much faff at all. The centerpiece of the look (shown here on my lovely cousin Calie) is a smudged-in stripe of forest green liner in the form of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in the shade Mars. This one was limited edition with their Ocho Loco 2 set (review here), but the color Mildew from the permanent collection is really similar. Underneath we stuck with cream shadows: Estée Lauder’s Stay-On Shadow Paint in the color Chained along with the Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow stick in the shade Bad Girl Bronze blended along the lashline and then-you guessed it-blend blend blend with a MAC 217. After adding the liner, I used a pencil brush to work it into the lashline so the green was quite subtle and very-lived in; think a vibrant yet effortless, slept-in look (I’m really selling this look here-I promise, it made sense in my head). Finally, I highlighted the browbone with theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer and curled her lashes, topping it all of with a light layer of mascara Maybelline’s The Rocket mascara. And there we have it-the easiest autumn eye ever-simples.

Do you ever wear colored eyeliner? Let me know some of your favorites in the comments below!

 

AN ODE TO NARS SHEER GLOW.

DSC_0326Can we skip the part about how late I am to the party on this one? I know, I know, everyone and their mother is in love with this stuff and you know what? I am too.  Rewind a couple of weeks and you’ll see me at my local Nars counter (finally) getting color matched and picking up a sample. Rarely do I encounter love at first sight with beauty products but ladies and gents, I think I’ve found the one. The shade Cadiz was perfection, coverage was on point… Not to toot my own horn, but it was one of those ‘my skin has never looked so good’ moments that never, ever happens to me. After strolling through a few more counters at Saks I went to get color matched for YSL’s Touche Eclat just to see how the two compared and I had to stop the woman from applying the product on my face before wiping off Sheer Glow from underneath because she didn’t realize I was wearing any foundation the product blends so well. Fast forward slightly and I’m still in love with the stuff even a week after, and so the trouble begins. I’ll spare you my desperate journey for Sheer Glow, but I basically bought Sheer Matte instead on accident and then ended up buying (and loving) both. Review to come on the latter, but I digress. I. Love. This. Stuff. With just a single pump it’s incredibly smoothing and perfecting on the skin, making pores disappear without having to layer on product. If you’re in need of extra blemish cover it can be layered easily with absolutely zero cake factor added. Lasting power is also ridiculously good on this one; foundation especially seems to disappear on my skin like nobody’s business but somehow this withstands even the über humid Florida heat waves, so massive props to Nars for engineering that kind of wizardry. I know I keep harping on about the shades, but as someone with very in-between-undertones and darker skin I find it insanely hard to find a base that’s the perfect match. Nars have got it going on with their massive range of shades from almost paper white to deep tawny, so if you have trouble like me finding the perfect match this may just be the answer to your prayers. I know it’s called Sheer Glow, but it’s not the dewiest of foundations on the market, something I find to be right up my street. It’s more of a satin-y finish that let’s your natural sheen-iness peek through: basically, it looks like skin, no matter how much you layer on. (I told you it’s magic.) I find that on my dry-combination skin and an oily t-zone I don’t need to powder this one down, though adding a touch to set everything does help prolong staying power throughout the day. Let’s just say this: I’ve found the Holy Grail.

Have you ever tried Nars Sheer Glow Foundation?

 

TATCHA’S RITUAL DISCOVERY KIT.

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DSC_0047I mentioned a couple posts back about how the lovely folks at Tatcha were kind enough to send me some products to test out and review, and today we’ve got the second part of the products I tried. If you haven’t heard of Tatcha before, they’re a luxury Japanese skincare brand inspired by Geisha beauty rituals. Part two of the review? Tatcha’s Ritual Discovery Kit. The kit includes four of their most iconic products: the PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (25 mL), the SUPPLE Moisture-Rich Silk Cream (10 mL), the RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum (10 mL), and the POLISHED Rice Enzyme Powder (14 x 1g packets).

DSC_0037Here’s the description:

A two-week introduction to your essential four-step ritual. The Cleansing Oil removes makeup and melts away the day, while the Enzyme Powder exfoliates to reveal polished skin. The Brightening Serum evens complexion. Nourish skin with the anti-aging moisturizer tailored to your skin type.

DSC_0021First up and one of their most popular products is their cleansing oil offering. The brand describes it as: A beautiful blend of camellia and rice bran oils. Melts away even waterproof makeup leaving skin fresh and pure. I found this to be similar but slightly lighter in consistency than the Body Shop’s Chamomile Cleansing Oil, the latter being more heavy-duty makeup removing stuff in general. Tatcha’s version is a dream to use- lovely floral scent that’s not overpowering, silky texture, and melts makeup off at the end of the day. I will say that it’s not the most effective cleansing oil I’ve used in terms of removing waterproof mascara, but with an extra pump or two this gets the job done. I love the packaging on all the products, but I particularly love the inclusion of the travel-sized cleansing oil as it’s refillable and contains a pump, so once this runs out you could easily transfer some product into it for travel if you bought the full size or even save this one for weekends away when you need to pack light. Next up, the kit’s moisturizer is the definition of what the beauty community calls holy grail. There, I said it. I don’t throw the term around lightly here on succhisimples, but I have to say it. I. Love. This. Stuff. If nothing else, I would one hundred percent buy the kit myself just to have another adorable sample of this stuff. Tatcha calls it a Luxurious yet weightless feeling gel-cream of Liquid Silk, Squalane, Royal Jelly + HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex. The HADASEI-3 Complex and Squalane added are some of the brand’s trademark ingredients meant to rehydrate the skin, though even without knowing much about the chemistry that makes up this little tub of wonder I can tell you right now you need to at least try this once in your skincare lifetime. The consistency is definitely a gel-cream as they describe, it lacks the oily/greasy feeling of a gel but hydrates deeply like a cream. The closest match I could find to this was Origins’ GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer (review here), which doesn’t hydrate as deeply but is quite similar in texture. While this is very pricey in the full size, if you’re looking for a good skincare investment I can think of no better find thus far than this. Their RADIANT brightening serum that claims to “hydrate while making the skin appear more luminous” wasn’t exactly the standout product of the bunch; while it was nice and again a joy to use, I didn’t find that it outperformed any of my other serums I’m currently using, but it does seem to bump up the glow factor even after you’ve applied moisturizer on top, making the skin look healthier and more dewy in finish. Overall, I’d say a good addition and something worth trying if you’re interested in the set, but not one to run out and purchase in the full size until you know whether or not your skin sees a noticeable difference. Lastly, their water-activated POLISHED Rice Enzyme Powder comes in the form of some pretty neat packaging. The set includes 14 packets of the product, intended to be used once a day for two weeks. It’s meant to “exfoliate without harsh abrasives for effortless baby-soft skin.” Ladies and gentlemen, it does just that. Once you rip open the packet, you pour the contents into wet hands and massage into a (very) wet face to create a soft lather. It doesn’t feel scrubby in the least, so I expect the exfoliating action is more chemical than physical with this one, but I definitely saw a difference after just a few days of use. I’d say keep added skincare regimens like double cleansing or cleansing with a clarisonic to the minimum when using this product, as I found that my skin became slightly more sensitive than normal after use of this plus a face mask and my clarisonic the next morning to the point where I’d feel a burning sensation on applying a product. Case in point, conventional wisdom applies here: don’t overdo your skincare. Subsequent trial again a week later was beyond successful: my skin literally felt like the backside of a four month old baby, I kid you not. To try their enzyme exfoliator is to be converted; harsh scrubs begone.

Overall, I think the set is an excellent value for the money; while it is pricey, you get to test all the brand’s bestselling start-up products in one handy kit and I’m telling you-these are not ones to miss. Definitely worth the price tag.

Will you be picking up the new Ritual Discovery Kit from Tatcha?