A KORRES AFFAIR.

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One fine morning a few weeks ago my phone let off a buzz to let me know that Korres had just gone on sale on Hautelook, so naturally I popped over for a look and ended up picking up more than I anticipated. For any avid fans of The Office out there, this kind of thing happens all the time… “It’s just human natural.” Especially for the beauty obsessed. I actually only picked up three separate products; the Butter Me Up Lip and Body Collection that was limited edition for the holidays in 2012 and two of the cheek butters. The set comes with four body butters in the scents Basil Lemon, Apple Blossom, Jasmine, and Guava. The scents are all lovely, and the set itself is a great value for money. I’d definitely recommend getting the Hautelook app and changing your notifications settings so you get an alert when a sale comes on, since I paid $15 for a set that originally sold for $38 which was a great deal. I particularly love the Basil Lemon scent; it’s quite citrus-y and clean (obviously…not obviously… take your pick) and while these are great body butters, they make for better hand creams as they’re not as heavily scented as most body lotions and are quite rich, plus the size makes them handy for traveling. The set isn’t readily available but this wasn’t the first time I’d seen it pop up on Hautelook, so keep your eyes peeled, kids. In the meantime, they do offer some lovely sets that are quite similar which you can find here.

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L-R: Korres Lip Butters in Guava, Jasmine, and Quince; Cheek butters in Eros Coral and Chara Chrimson

The set also included three full-sized lip butters which are normally $12 each, so quite a bit of bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been meaning to pick these up for ages and after having tested the three shades I have (Quince, Guava, and Jasmine), I definitely see more shades in my future. These three aren’t by any means intensely pigmented, but they each have a different scent that I think is meant to correspond to the name, though I must say the Guava shade smells a whole lot like coconut rather than juicy guavas. Guava is a clear shade with a slight bit of milkiness, Jasmine is a sheer nude color, and Quince is a sheer rose shade that looks lovely for a subtle pink lip. Love. Last on the docket we have even more butter in the form of the brand’s cheek butters. I bought the shades Eros Coral (an orange-y rose shade) and Chara Crimson (a deepened berry/rose). They’re both lovely, especially on dry skin, and one of the few cream blushes that I’ve found to work well with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I know I’ll probably get some hate on the subject, but as much as I love the way it applies product, the bristles are quite firm and tend to poke little holes into whatever cream product I’m working with (anyone else feel my pain?). Because the product is quite waxy, the brush just glides over it and distributes the perfect amount of product swirled onto the cheeks. The effect is this gorgeous natural flush that looks perfectly dewy on the cheeks. They do look a bit scary in the pan, but they’re on the sheer side of things so no need to worry about going into drag queen territory. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, in which case these can, in fact, be built up to true-to-pan color, depending on your skin tone. All in all? I spy a home run on the Korres front.

OF SKIN BATTLES (& OTHER STORIES).

Beautiful-young-woman-with-face-maskMy skin is not happy. Quite the chatty post today, as I’ve been testing out quite the hefty roster of skincare products for the past week; serums, oils, cleansers-you name it, it was probably on my face in a hundred different forms at some point in the past seven days.On a good day, my skin is far from perfect-being frequently harassed by under-the-skin bumps and blemishes-but it is rather hardy. That is, I don’t usually get the feeling that someone’s burning my face from the inside after slapping on tons of product. In case you can’t tell, this has not been a good couple of days for mah face. Apparently there’s only so much it can take; yesterday’s plan of cleansing, then showering, then re-cleansing with a light scrub and then plopping a mask on top was halted short after the phase three (the re-cleanse). As soon as the mask I was applying touched my skin, the area just burned. Stubborn skincare fanatic that I am, I kept going, trying to smooth it out on both sides of my face in a maybe-it’s-supposed-to-burn-at-first fashion. Hint: it’s not. I’m sure you can guess what happens next, but my entire face went up in flames and it was all downhill from there. After some frantic splashing to try to rinse it off, an attempt with a muslin cloth, and various expletives yelled out in the heat of the moment, I was left with a red face that burned to the touch. My first thought-blame it on the mask-proved to be wrong, since absolutely everything I tried to put on to soothe my skin afterwards burned in exactly the same way. A few days later, I think it was probably just down to the fact that I had been constantly bombarding it with stripping scrubs and enzyme peels to the point where I had finally rubbed it raw, but thankfully I seem to be on the road to recovery these days after banishing all makeup from my face and taking a breather with the simplest moisturizer I could find. Not perfect, but better. I’m still dealing with quite a few rough, dry patches and my skin still isn’t completely healed, but I’m slowly nursing it back to health. I’ve started re-introducing some of the products I’d been using (one at a time), and so far they’ve all proved excellent, so I think it was just too much for my skin to handle all at once. Right now, it’s a slow uphill climb with regards to my face; I think the super deep cleansing wrath brought out by my little bout of burning skin is actually helping get rid of all my little pimples and spots: think, “It’ll get worse before it gets better”, but who knows. I have to say, it was the single most bizarre experience I’ve dealt with skincare-wise, so I thought today’s post would be the perfect chance to chat with all of you about skincare troubles, concerns, etc., and what products you use to save your skin when it’s going through a rough patch.

Let’s chat! What are your most bizarre skincare stories? Drop me a comment below:)

 

ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE WITCHERY MODELLING MASCARA.

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 10.51.41 PMSummer of 2014 sees the re-launch of one of Rouge Bunny Rouge’s most popular products, the Witchery Modelling Mascara. If you haven’t heard of the brand, they’re a Moscow-born brand now based in London-Moscow. The luxury brand is nothing if not whimsical; from the stunning packaging to product names reminiscent of fairy tales, the range certainly wins the title of most pinterest-worthy. The products don’t disappoint, either: stay tuned for an in-depth review coming next week on a few of their offerings. Here’s what the brand has to say about the newly formulated hit mascara:

“With its smart combination of a lightweight formula and a state-of-the-art brush, the Modelling Mascara embellishes your lashes with such ease, that we couldn’thelp but name it WITCHERY. The innovative rubber brush allows for the most accurate and impeccable lash-by-lash application, perfectly separating the lashes with no clumping or smudging. The brush tip of our Modelling Mascara is designed to reach even the finest, shortest lashes in the corners of the eyes.Free from Triethanolamine, silicone, fragrance and alcohol, the modern, creamy formula is based on extra pure pigments and softest blends of natural waxes, keratin, and conditioning ingredients.”

The mascara comes in two shades:

-Midnight (a brilliant, deep black)

-Golden Darkness (dark auburn)

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me. The description also mentions that the new lightweight formula allows for multiple touch-ups, so if like me, you struggle with keeping your peepers framed perfectly by them lashes at the end of the day, this might be one to check out. I’m interested to see how well it holds a curl on my stick-straight lashes, especially since the formula is supposed to be much lighter than the first time it launched. In summation: I’ll definitely be picking up one (perhaps two?) of these two review for you all. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in giving some RBR products a go, they’re running a fantastic sale on their website for their eyeshadows, which are currently all 30% off here. I’ve been hearing about how great these are for ages, so I’ll definitely be snooping around the sale and picking up some shades while the sale’s on, as the offer does end July 15. My personal shopping cart favorites? The eyeshadows in Delicate Hummingbird, Abyssinian Catbird, and Umber Firefinch. There’s also a giveaway on their facebook page (details here) to win one of their two new Tundra fragrances, so definitely have a look if you’re in the market for a new signature scent. For now, have a scroll through to see the official launch photos:

Modelling Mascara Closed

Midnight

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight

Golden Darkness

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Golden Darkness

ALMOST GONE.

DSC_0048I’ll admit it: I am something of a skincare floozy. My love for any particular product tends to be more fickle than not, so very rarely do I reach the very bottom of the tin on anything in my skincare stash. Call them what you will (the best name would probably just be empties, but we’re trying to get some imagination going), but these two products have kept my skin happy hippy long enough for me to stick around and have definitely stood the test of time.

ORIGINS GINZING ENERGY BOOSTING MOISTURIZER//$26.50

I bought this around the time it launched last summer, and I must say it’s been love ever since. It’s very lightweight with a very gel-like consistency (hint, it is a gel) that sinks into skin fast. I don’t love using it as a night cream, so I wouldn’t say this is the way to go if you’re looking for a moisturizer that does double duty day-night, but it might work layered with a serum underneath. The price tag doesn’t hurt either; compared with most high-end moisturizers this one doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t hurt nearly as much when you go to check out and pay the bill. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t leave skin feeling tacky and helps avoid an oily t-zone during the day, but it also hydrates pretty effectively and leaves skin feeling plumped and awake, not to mention the blast of citrus scent that might help curb that coffee habit by waking you up in the morning. Love.

 ORIGINS MAKE A DIFFERENCE + REJUVENATING MOISTURIZER//$39.50

Not to be confused with the MAD+ Rejuvenating Treatment, this richer version is much more of a cream than its gel counterpart. While it is rich enough to use as a day-night moisturizer, this never leaves the skin feeling oily throughout the day but definitely helps ease it if you’re experiencing a drought on your face. Lightweight and mega-hydrating? Count me in. Don’t even get me started on the way this thing smells… I’ll save you the trouble: it smells like there’s a party on your face. I can’t describe it, but pretty please, if you get the chance go and have a whiff; you won’t regret it. Definitely one to be repurchased as soon as I run out.

Have you finished any skincare products lately?

 

ELIZABETH AND JAMES NIRVANA: BLACK+WHITE.

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I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth and James for years now; the line has this very contemporary, edgy-feminine feel to it that always brought me back. On a completely separate note, I adore the Olsen twins. Like I want to be them. Then again, who doesn’t? Probably the Olsen twins on a really bad day, but I digress. The anatomy of the Olsen street style is a subject I am well versed in, and yet how I had no idea that two things (three, counting each twin) I have followed closely over the years were related is putting me in something of an existential crisis. ‘How could I not see this? I should have known… My life is a lie…’ and so on and so forth. Not really, but you get my drift. The Olsen twins had a clothing line. This I knew. That it was specifically E&J? Nope, I did not know that. The fact that it took the launch of a perfume years later for me to realize this is more than a little disturbing. Alas, Mary-Kate and Ashley have me covered. Their two new fragrances, Nirvana White and Nirvana Black, soothe all struggles, I promise. I snapped these two rollerballs up in Sephora a few months ago, and I can definitely say, we’re in love. Albeit we’re going through a twisted sort of love triangle, but these two scents are nothing short of gorgeous. Both are quite musk-based scents, with Nirvana White being the lighter of the two. The other notes in this more floral offering are peony and muguet, while Nirvana Black sees strong Violet, Sandalwood, and Vanilla. *I’m still working (very hard) on my fragrance terminology, so forgive any of my naiveté you might read.* In human terms, I find that the White version starts off quite fresh-smelling; it’s sweet without being garish. More of a soft, powdery floral than any Flowerbomb type scent. This one lasted around four hours on my skin, but being that it is in rollerball form it wasn’t much trouble to re-apply. Still, if you’re like me and prefer a fragrance to last all day, this doesn’t quite have the staying power. On the dark side we have the spicier scent of the two, Nirvana Black. This one had better lasting power on me at around six hours, but still shorter than I might have hoped. The scent is absolutely divine, especially if you like perfumes that have a slight masculine sort of feel to them. Never fear, things don’t get too manly with this one, as it does tend to sweeten over time. Again, very sophisticated scent that feels edgier than its sister. The real magic trick here is the two worn together, something I think the Olsen twins did really well to reflect the image of their brand: feminine with an edgy masculine kick (hence the name Elizabeth and James after their siblings). They work seamlessly to make the perfect mix of a deeper, richer floral that keeps things from getting too girly in any way. Overall, I think both scents are lovely, and I think most people will find one of the two that suits them quite well. Again, I’d like to get the smaller 1 oz size in each to be able to mix the two, but it does seem like a lot of hassle to go through for a perfume that doesn’t last well enough on the skin. In the end, I don’t think the hunt for my signature scent is quite over yet.

What are your favorite perfumes? I’d love to get your recommendations, let me know in the comments below!

THE NEW THING: ESTEE LAUDER CYBER LILAC.

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Dry//Wet

had been brainstorming about a witty title for this post, but I figured I’d spare you my severely lacking comedy skills and get on with the makeup, sans a punny post title (pun very much intended). Apologies for my lack of imagination, but you have to admit, just looking at this gorgeous product does something to inspire makeup creativity. I’ve been a faithful lover of purple eyeshadow for absolutely ages, but, being the play-it-safe kind of neutral shadow gal that I am, have always shied away from wearing it boldly as anything but eyeliner, or in the form of a toned-down taupe/purple like MAC’s aptly named Satin Taupe. As much as I love that shade, I’ve been on the hunt for a purple shadow that looks sophisticated on the eyes, rather than one that makes it look like a toddler that got too happy with a crayon and no mirror. Side note: the search may or may not have been inspired by the look sported by Lisa Eldridge in this video (you can find a separate tutorial here). Fast-forward past overturning my stash to a trip to Nordstrom, where I happened to spot this beauty, Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gelée Eyeshadow in the shade Cyber Lilac. What a mouthful. Name aside, it was love at first swatch: the texture is absolutely buttery, without the excessive fallout that usually comes with such soft powders. While it is a sort of hybrid product, meant to be a cross between the texture of a cream whilst still being a powder, this works stunningly well both wet and dry. Use it dry, and you still get wonderful color payoff that sheers beautifully if worn allover the lid and into the crease. It has a lovely, almost duochrome effect such that it looks blue-silver, depending on the lighting and placement on the eyes, making it definitely one of those shades to use if you’re looking to do bright, one-color smokey eyes. Used wet, it has a high-sheen, metallic finish that retains the vibrant color even after it dries. Yes, it’s still a bold, in-your-face color that can be quite scary to wear, but I think it’s a very chic, grown-up type of purple that keeps things from looking too wild.  (P.S.: the GWP from Estee Lauder on Nordstrom.com if you spend $45 is to die for, check it out here.) All in all, definitely a must-have if you’re in the market for a purple eyeshadow fix.

What are your tips for wearing bright eyeshadow?

THE CAPSULE BAG #10.

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Well, well, well. It’s been a while. So long that I’ve lost track of how many I’ve done of these (may or may not have thumbed through the simples. archives), but I promise, we’re well and truly back on the road. You might have noticed the new capsule bag roaming around le blog lately; I’ve given up my tattered Sephora gift-with-purchase bag in favor of this beyond adorable number from Kate Spade. It’s not available online anymore, but I’m sure you can still find it hanging around instores or at any Kate Spade outlets. Whilst on an impromptu shopping trip, I wandered into Ms. Spade’s boutique and saw this little “pencil pouch” as it was called sitting on the sale shelf and immediately snapped it up as a makeup bag on the go. Swooning over and thirty dollars later, she’s mine. Not the roomiest of cosmetic pouches, but certainly beyond cute with the glasses print; I will admit this one was inspired by the iphone case sported by Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup in her latest Weekly Vlogs. I’m not a vlog-watching kinda gal, but Anna has got me hooked as of late. Whether off camping, strolling around Ikea, or walking around London generally looking fabulous, I’m watching it. Not one you want to miss. On to the makeup. Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream has long been a staple in the beauty world, be it as a lip balm, cheek highlighter, you name it. I bought this tube a little less than a year ago and started using it as an overnight lip treatment right away. Back then, I used to wake up to horribly bumpy lips that looked like I’d developed rash X overnight, so this got kicked to the curb. Firmly believing I was allergic to the stuff, I left it alone in the back of my dressing table until this week. In a slight fit of emotion feeling less than myself (no doubt the effect of the Orphan Black finale), I slathered on the stuff and prayed for the best. Very lightly. A pea sized slather. Come morning, my lips were pillowy soft and moisturized. Don’t ask how; you might jinx it and I could end up with another lip rash. It happened. I think it’s down to the fact that my lips are in much better condition these days, having fought off some eczema spots around the area, but sensitive lips beware: you could end up with rash X. In the base category once again Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua has come out on top. Sheer, good coverage, long-lasting. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s maybe the most perfect summer, fall, winter, spring, you-name-it-base ever created. Clinique’s Cheek Pop Blusher in Peach Pop (review here) seems to be incapable of doing wrong; I’m quite heavy-handed when it comes to blush, meaning serious blending action needs to take place to try and fix whatever over-application happened almost every morning. This no-fuss-blush is nothing short of perfect. Easy to blend and build up, but difficult to over apply. Love. Lastly, MAC’s Fanfare lipstick and I have been having a serious love affair; I find it looks best patted onto well-moisturized lips with a peachy gloss on top. Paired with the Clinique blush, it’s peaches for days. Simples.

What products have you been loving lately?

SKIN SAVIORS: THE BODY SHOP.

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I recently had my first run-in with The Body Shop’s skincare line; I know, I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but better late than never. First up: the Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on Nude’s Perfect Cleansing Oil for absolutely ages, so when I heard Amelia Liana from Liana Beauty going on about how good this was and how it was comparable to-if not better than-the Nude option, of course I was hooked. This stuff is fantastic: lightweight, “silky” (as the name suggests), and takes off every scrap of mascara on the ‘ol face. My only gripe? It took time for me to come around and fully commit because of the amount of product needed to cleanse. Yes, it does take off even the most waterproof mascaras, but I find that I need to use at least two pumps, if not three, every night. Then again, having snagged it for just $11 online, I shan’t complain. Next up, the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream is quite the fail-safe product when skin needs some added TLC. It’s quite cushion-y, if you can call it that; while it is thick, it’s a dream to apply and is just so smooth. Another situation in which I’d happily buy a tub just to play with it it’s so soft. This one has been helping my skin out of a rough patch lately, it’s excellent as an intense moisturizer-mask hybrid as an overnight treatment. Speaking of overnight treatments, the Vitamin E Overnight Serum is a new offering from the brand, and it definitely a good ‘un. Because it’s both a serum and an oil together, it’s very lightweight and acts almost as a dry oil, sinking in quickly enough that there’s no need to worry about any rubbing off on your pillow when you go to bed. The results are almost immediate-you wake up with the most supple looking skin that gives the impression you’ve slept through the past few days. Definitely a guardian angel for late nights when you need to wake up looking refreshed without much sleep included.

What skincare products have you been loving lately?

THE SIMPLES. SUITCASE PART 1: BEACH HOLIDAY.

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Packing for a trip is probably one of the most tedious parts of travel: what do I bring? how many pairs of socks do I need? does that pair of heels have space priority over three pairs of shorts? Such are the burdening questions that must be dealt with before we fly off to soak up the sun. Whether you’re jetting to the Bahamas to sip piña coladas, taking a road trip for a city holiday, or heading for a weekend getaway in the countryside, I’ve got you covered.

THE ESSENTIALS:

-Swimsuit. A beach holiday is no beach holiday without-you guessed it-the beach. There are few feelings as horrible as realizing you’ve left your bathing suit at home just as you’re getting ready to descend to the shore. Make sure you pack one of these before anything, and I do mean anything, else; you don’t want to end up having to buy an overpriced swimsuit that makes your bum look sub-par when you reach your tropical locale.When in doubt, hit up your local Victoria’s Secret. You can find the bikini pictured here. They do some gorgeous patterns and styles that last forever, though I’m having serious daydreams about getting my hands on a Triangl bikini

-Sunblock. Everyone loves a good summer tan, but getting your glow on certainly isn’t worth developing skin cancer later on. The sun can be incredibly damaging, especially to the face, causing premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc. Is it a joy to put on? Absolutely not. But let’s be honest, you’re on holiday at the beach. Slathering on sunblock before exposure next to the ocean blue isn’t the worst thin in the world. I find that using the same sunblock I use on my body for my face tends to break me out; try using a facial sunscreen separate from your regular sunblock for the rest of your body to be safe. Neutrogena makes excellent offerings, and if you want to use the same sunblock all over, I highly recommend their Ultra Sheer Dry Touch sunblock range. Works like a charm, smells decent, and doesn’t break me out. Love.

-Sunglasses. Not only do they look beyond fashionable, these really are essential when out and about to protect eyes from harsh sunlight. You can find a ton of cute pairs as cheap as chips at stores like Forever 21, but it’s a much better plan to invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses to get the most bang for your buck in terms of eye protection. I’m very picky when it comes to shades; my general philosophy? If you’re not still in shock over how much you love them weeks after buying, you’ve got the wrong pair. I first got my hands on a pair of Tiffany lenses back in December (blogged about here), and ended up exchanging them for my current pair of Ray-Ban clubmasters, which I’m still head over heels in love with. Definitely a must-have for any summer holiday.

THE MAKEUP BAG.

I love a good sheer base, especially in the summertime, so of course my trusty Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation in B40 got drafted for the trip. Easy to apply sans brush faffing with just the fingers and long-lasting, she’ll be your best friend if you’re willing to take the plunge. Pinky promise. In terms of powder, of course it came down to another Chanel offering, this time in the form of their Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder, also in B40. It’s incredibly lightweight and practically invisible, but keeps shine at bay and comes in a touch-up friendly compact with packaging that’s absolutely to die for. To avoid any greasy situations on the ‘ol face, Korres’ Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is a gorgeous primer that really does keep oil at bay underneath it all (review here), while this teeny-weeny sample of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Opal is perfect for travel to add some glow back on them cheekbones after all this “mattification”. Lastly on the skin we have another Becca offering (are you sensing a theme here?), their mineral blusher in Songbird, which I spoke about in my last post. I love this stuff: it’s one of the longest-lasting blushes I own to beat the summer heat, and looks absolutely stunning in sunlight with the most gorgeous micro-shimmer that just makes you glow. On the eyes, the only thing we’re packing here at succhisimples. is the ever travel-friendly Clinique Neutral Territory 2 Palette (review here), which is the size of my palm but miraculously fits eight gorgeous, buttery shadows, making it the perfect smokey eyes product for the girl on the go. Last but certainly not least, Nivea do a great lip balm/sunblock hybrid (yes, your lips get sunburnt too-never a good look) that’s slightly mattifying and works as a great base under any lip product. On top, we’re doing Revlon’s lip butter in the shade Tutti Frutti, a delicious coral/orange that’s hydrating and easier to use than  Delphine from Orphan Black (did you SEE the finale? Let me know below. Let’s chat:)

What will you be packing on holiday this summer? Stay tuned for the next installments to come this week. So about Orphan Black…