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?

THE CAPSULE BAG #12.

capsule bagCan you tell the week was a little Nars-heavy? We started things off here at succhisimples. with a new foundation purchase in the form of Nars Sheer Matte. In short: happy accident. I meant to buy Sheer Glow after hearing the raves and trying out a sample (hint: I loved it), picked up the bottle from the back of the rack at Sephora to be sure it was safe-sans the scratches and wear/tear of customers scrabbling for products-and lo and behold, ended up still in sheer territory, but well, matte. And then? It was love. I have to say, I wanted to like Sheer Glow better purely because of the love everyone and their mother professes for it, but Nars really seems to have it going on in the flawless base department. If you have skin that gets even slightly shiny throughout the day, listen up: you need this in your life. Good coverage that feels impossibly light on the skin, controls shine, and isn’t drying at all? My kinda thing. Confession: I may have also bought Sheer Glow. What can I say? You can’t help who (or what) you love. Moving on to other Nars dreamstuffs, the foundation pairs beautifully with their Radiant Creamy Concealer. For reference, I use the shade Ginger, which is perfect year-round under the eyes to brighten without looking like you’re wearing it. In a word- invisible. Somehow this melts into the skin and seems to look better as the day goes on. Need I say more? Wait, I need. If you haven’t try it, stop reading here and rush out to buy. Last on the Nars docket is an old favorite, the blush in Luster. I’ve raved on about this one since ‘simples. started, but my feelings remain the same: it’s damn good. If there ever was a blush to epitomize the “healthy glow” look, it would be this. The perfect apricot that works just as well on tan skins as it does on pale complexions, this is glowy cheeks in a pan. Last on the glow factor docket we’ve got FACE Stockholm’s Cream Hilighter in the shade Dignity. I’ve reviewed it here, but the short version is it’s a more pigmented version of the RMS Living Luminizer and a bit drier in texture. Still natural “wet look” cheekbones that glisten in the sun (thank you Twilight) with added staying power. The final addition to the week’s capsule bag was a new one to my lipstick collection, MAC’s lipstick in See Sheer. Stay tuned for more on this next week, but it’s basically the perfect sheer coral shade that doesn’t look too bright or pastel, even on my-now seven shades-darker skin. Lovely for an everyday, “I’m-still-not-convinced-summer’s-over” kinda thing if you know what I mean.

 

What products have you been loving lately? Any recommendations? Leave them below!

ICONIC JURLIQUE.

DSC_0068Again with the rambling about facial mists today, but this time we’ve got a triple threat skincare study going on. *Enter, Jurlique*. The lovely people behind the Australian brand were kind enough to send me a few of their most beloved iconic products to test out, and after a month of testing I can say it’s love. First up and probably the brand’s most popular product, the Rosewater Balancing Mist*. Let’s get one thing out of the way: the scent. Holy mother of God. If you like the smell of roses even the slightest bit, you need this in your life. Picture this: it’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted and just finished your evening cleanse, and spritz this all over as a toner and the world just seems to relax a little bit (I think I may have actually heard angels let out a sigh when I tried this for the first time, but it could have been creaky floorboards-no way to be sure). I love that you can use it both as a toner or over makeup in the morning as it’s so refreshing. Don’t like the idea of spraying all over the face? Jurlique has you covered. Spritz into palms a few times and press into the skin and bam-instant hydration (and I do mean instant). Next up, the Skin Balancing Facial Oil* was just as lovely in the long run but at first not my personal cup of tea. While I think it may do wonders for more combination/oily skins for the evening as it’s so light, after a week of wearing every night as a treatment on my dry/dehydrated skin, it did this strange thing where I’d wake up in the morning (feeling like P. Diddy-thank you Essiebutton) and my skin would actually feel drier than before. After cleansing, I found that I had somehow developed dry patches after a week or so of using. It does well for a few nights a week as an overnight treatment, but I’d say just be careful not to apply this on a daily basis. Then again, I don’t know many people who’d advise you to use an oil every single night in the first place, so partly melt fault here. The verdict? Lovely a few times a week to replenish skin. I found it helped any under-the-skin-bumps come to a head as well and helped clear my skin, which is lovely especially if you’re particularly blemish-prone. Last, the Purely Age-Defying Eye Cream* was another definite love. Here’s the deal with me and anti-aging skincare: yes, I’m under 20 and probably have you use for it, but I read an interview once (I think it was an article on Charlotte Tilbury) that you’re supposed to start using an anti-aging eye cream at eleven. Crazy, I know, but I figure now’a as good a time as any to start, seeing as I didn’t know they made eye cream when I was eleven. While I can’t speak to its anti-wrinkle
properties, I love how light this is even though it’s rich enough to use for evening wear and still deeply hydrating. Overall, the favorites remain the Balancing Mist and Age-Defying Eye Cream, with the occasional seeing of balancing oil during the week.

Have you tried anything from Jurlique?

(*denotes press sample)

CREAMY CHEEKS WITH FACE STOCKHOLM.

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DSC_0139FACE Stockholm is a brand whose name I’d heard bobbing around the blogosphere sometime last year, but never looked much into. It wasn’t until I saw the lovely Kate from Drivel about Frivol review their range of cream blushes that I was really intrigued, but then Kate has tends to lure you into new products with her stunning photographs and gorgeous makeup looks on her site. If you haven’t read her blog yet, I’m not exactly sure what you’re doing with your life, hurry over and have a look here. Fair warning: prepare to be obsessed with her site. It is beautiful, and it is quite  the addictive blog. But I digress. After reading Kate’s post, I was well and truly a woman possessed with the idea of these perfect little pans of cream blush, so you can imagine my excitement when I received them to review for you all. I was sent the creme blush* in the shades Munich and Milan, as well as their cream highlighter* in the shade Dignity. Munich is a creamy rose shade, while Milan is definitely in jelly territory in terms of consistency and is a stunning shade of red. And can we take a moment to talk about the packaging? Love. Housed in oh-so-simple(s) sleek containers with no extra faff, these products are the perfect handbag essentials. The brand describes them as “Drop dead gorgeous pots of smooth, creamy blush for a natural, dewy, healthy glow” that can be applied with the fingers, a brush, or a sponge (so basically any conventional method of application, *cue “Any Way You Want It” by Journey playing in background*). I found the finish of these to be slightly different than expected on my skin; not as dewy as Stila’s Convertible Colors, but less matte than say, Chanel’s Creme de Blush formula. It definitely does lean more towards the dewy end of the spectrum, but not so much as it would even potentially pose a problem for oily skins. I really enjoyed using these; they’re quite smooth and pigmented, and leave a truly natural flush to the cheeks. My only gripe was that they seem to set quite quickly and weren’t as easy to blend as other cream blushes I’ve tried. They do leave a lovely, healthy glow to the cheeks, especially the shade Milan (think those “Snow White” cheeks I love so much). Winter is coming, people. Gotta get on those “I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-snow” flushed cheeks. Because I loved the cream blushes so much, I have to say the highlighter was at first something of  a let-down. The color itself is stunning- think the RMS Living Luminizer with a bit more opacity- but the texture is where things start to go downhill. On first swatch it’s quite dry and almost grainy as you rub your finger on the product, but once you get rid of that harder first layer of product it’s glowy goodness. Oddly enough, even on my skintone I love that the shade is on the white side rather than gold- it somehow gives an almost wet appearance on the cheekbones that lets off a sheen obvious enough for disco ball highlighter lovers like myself  that still looks natural. Love.

Have you tried anything from FACE Stockholm?

(*denotes press sample)

ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE HAULIN’.

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DSC_0147Ah, Rouge Bunny Rouge. Please and thank you. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the adorable ring dish complimentary with a RBR order? So damn cute. I posted a little while ago about their reformulated Witchery Modelling Mascara here, so I thought today I’d share some of the new items I picked up during the sale I mentioned earlier. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re a Russian cosmetics line that is now London-based with an aesthetic reflective of their whimsical nature. The names of the products alone are enough to make even the strongest of will run to place an order; if the fact alone that their eyeshadow collection is named “When Birds Are Singing” and that each shade is named after a different rare bird doesn’t intrigue you, please see a doctor straight away (you may be suffering from a lack of imagination capacity). As you might have been able to guess, it was the brand’s eyeshadows that lured me in first; a shimmering purple hybrid shade named Delicate Hummingbird? Sign me up. I’d heard a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about their incredible formula and stunning shades (I fully blame Kate from Drivel about Frivol and Karima McKimmie from Shameless Fripperies for this purchase) and decided to pick them up when they were 30% off, though I may have added a setting powder to my shopping cart before checkout. I also received a sample of the Bronzing Glow Liquid in As If It Were Summer Still, but more on that later as I actually own the full size and am working on a review to come. Here are the shades I picked up:

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L-R: When Birds Are Singing Eyeshadows in Bohemian Waxwing, Umber Firefinch, Eclipse Eagle, Abyssinian Catbird, and Delicate Hummingbird; Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Essence in Amethyst Essence

As you can see from the swatches, I was in a bit of a purple mood. The shades pull less so in person, but the camera simply doesn’t do them justice; these are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. I kid you not. I’ve only had them for around two weeks now, and I must say, they’re some of the most incredibly formulated shadows I’ve ever come across. Buttery,  pigmented, and blend like a dream. The shades are particularly complex in comparison to anything else in my collection; they pull different tones depending on the lighting. Bohemian Waxwing is a sheeny light taupe shade. Umber Firefinch is a deeper, very cool-toned taupe-y chocolate. Eclipse Eagle is described on the website (here) as “the richer darker sister of Delicate Hummingbird”, and is a grey-plum with multi-dimensional silver shimmer running through it. Abyssinian Catbird is a bronzed olive shade. Delicate Hummingbird is a shimmering purple. Out of all the shades I purchased, I must say that Delicate Hummingbird and Eclipse Eagle are my personal favorites for my skintone. I do love all the shades, but I find the two together to be more flattering even than the beautiful Abyssian Catbird, which pulls a bit too green for my liking on an everyday basis. The other shades are lovely as well, and quality is consistent throughout; they’re definitely some of the best shadows I’ve found yet to invest in. Don’t get me wrong these are ridiculously pricey for your typical eyeshadow, but they are by no means your typical eyeshadow (hint: I’d repurchase in a heartbeat). I also received a complimentary Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Ink in the shade Amethyst Essence, a sparkling lilac/violet hybrid, with my order, and I can already say I’m dying to get my hands on two other shades of this. It’s a gorgeous formula, silky in spite of the heavy shimmer/glitter factor, glides on evenly, and stays put. I will say that because the shimmer in it is sort of suspended in the product, I had to go over the line again once I’d drawn it on to make everything nice and vibrant/opaque, but the finish was well worth it. Glittery eyeliner that lasts all day in a stunning purple? Count me in. I’ve got my eye on the shades Tiger Eye Essence and Tanzanite Essence (again, thanks to Karima after seeing her sport the blue shade in this video), but I did also pick up a setting powder with my order. I bought this one sort of on a whim to test out, and RBR did not disappoint. Their Impalpable Finishing Powder in the shade Diaphanous is the most truly translucent setting powder I’ve ever tried, and looks like nothing on the skin (as the name implies). Not even the most magnifying mirror in the world reveals you’ve applied it; no powdery finish to be found with this one. It sets everything in place with a veil that lets your natural sheen peek through while keeping oil at bay. What’s not to love?

Have you tried any Rouge Bunny Rouge products yet?

LIFE UPDATE AND A BLOGIVERSARY.

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As you may (or may not, depending on exactly how perceptive you feel on Monday mornings) have noticed, today’s post is maybe slightly photo-heavy. I’ve just recently returned from holiday in the Bahamas, so I wanted to share some photos from the trip and do a bit of a chatty post to kick things off this week. But first, a confession: I’ve been a bad blogger. With things around the simples. household getting busy in trip prep the past few weeks, I doled out a fair bit of neglect with regards to le blog. I just couldn’t find time to sit and write up blog posts to schedule for the week I was away, and while on holiday, wifi was something of a luxury around the island so I wasn’t able to run any sort of damage control. All this leading up to the major pitfall; that time when my website shut down entirely for two days. It was bad. In order to save you the grief of having to read through my troubles first thing this week, let’s leave it at this: it was bad (and I’m working on it). I’m officially back in business and working to get back into the blogging groove today, and just realized that succhisimples.’ blogiversary passed me by while I was away. Ladies and gents, succhisimples. is officially one year old. It certainly doesn’t feel like an entire year has passed since starting out in my little corner of the internet, but now that things are back to normal I wholeheartedly promise to post on schedule for the next year to come. Pinky swear.

But I did mention that I just got back from holiday in the Bahamas, so I wanted to share some photos taken and memories made with all of you since it was such a wonderful experience. 20140804-094842-35322491.jpgRather than taking a plane to the islands (because God forbid we go the easy way) my family took our boat from Florida to the island closest to the states, Bimini, and spent a week diving/snorkeling/under-the-sea-ing that was absolutely fantastic. As fast as it may have been to take a plane to the island, the boat ride was as wonderful as the trip itself, as we stopped both in the Keys for an overnight stay and in the middle of the Gulf Stream to take a dip. The island is beautiful; we’re talking crystal-clear waters, even at 25 feet deep and the most stunning beaches you’ve ever seen. I kid you not. The lack of wifi was definitely a small price to pay for the amazing time we spent there. It’s a lovely, very non-commercialized locale that’s perfect for an island getaway, so if you’re looking for a less expensive vacation spot that’s more scenic even than the traditional tourist spots like Grand Bahama, look no further (but please do, because I did add a few more photos after this paragraph).

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DE-STRESS WITH AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES.

DSC_0080If you’re a regular blog-reader/big-time-bubble-bather, chances are you’ve heard some talk about Aromatherapy Associates. Their bath and shower oil started making the rounds on the blogosphere around a year ago and hasn’t left since for good reason: it’s bloomin’ fantastic. If the idea of a product that makes your entire house smell like a Parisian spa appeals to you at all, that stuff’s your guy, but I digress. Case in point: you’ve heard of them Associates and their wonderful spa goodies. I was recently lucky enough to test out the brand’s newest launch, the De-Stress Massage and Body Oil*. Here’s how the brand describes the product:

“A soothing massage and body oil, perfect to ease muscular aches and pains, pre and post exercise. This therapeutic blend of arnica and lavender combined with rosemary and ginger will help support healthy circulation and revive tired, overworked muscles whilst nourishing the skin. A must have for any sports enthusiast.”

 Its claims? Anti-inflammatory, helps to heal bruising and nourishing Anti-inflammatory Brings circulation to stiff muscles Warming to muscle and stiff joints, eases muscular aches and pains.” Allow me to come out and say it: I love this stuff. I’ve been testing it out for the past few weeks and it was love at first pump (which sounded much better in my head than it does now, I promise). First off, the scent is to die for; a mix of herbal smellies like Rosemary, it’s lovely and pungent enough to help you wind down at the end of a long day without being offensive. If slathering an oil on before bed doesn’t sound like your particular cup of tea, have no fear, this one’s more of a dry oil in that it sinks in fast and doesn’t leave a tacky finish to the skin. What it does do particularly well besides imparting the skin with a light lullaby fragrance is help to relive muscle aches and pains. Now this is no Tiger Balm, so don’t expect deep penetration (not a good enough excuse to use that word) and pain relief, but along with the scent it does seem to help alleviate minor aches as you massage it into the skin. I’ve also tested popping a pump or two of product into the bath as it fills up, and the results were definitely blog-worthy; lightly scented water and silky hydration after getting out, meaning there was no need for moisturizer on top before bed. Though it’s not cheap by any means at $63 for ___ mL of product, I’d repurchase in a heartbeat. Overall, I’m beginning to think this has sparked a bit of a love affair with Aromatherapy Associates, so wallets everywhere beware; this may just be the beginning of the end for your cash flow.

TATCHA LUMINOUS DEWY SKIN MIST.

DSC_0074A short disclaimer here: I love me a good face mist. I’ve tried different species of dew-ifiers and matt-ifiers in my time, and rarely do I find a product that I’m one hundred percent sold on in this department. Not to worry, there’s a method to my madness: a mental checklist of all the required attributes to award the title of success. A) Performs desired result. Be it keeping things matte or making skin look fresh and plumped, it better do what it says on the tin. B) Cooling/refreshing feeling upon application. C) Sprays a fine mist evenly without leaving splotches of product droplets all over the place. D) Light, pleasant scent. Face mists are meant to make you feel refreshed, not make your face smell like a chemical factory. E) Does not make skin feel tight. Ladies and gents, please allow me to inform you that I’ve found a spray that ticks not one, not two, but all the boxes. Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist* might just be the best thing to happen to me since the Devil Wears Prada (and that’s saying something). I was recently lucky enough to test out this product to share with all of you and I must say, it’s love. Here’s the what the brand has to say about it:

“What it is: A silky liquid moisturizer spray of Squalane, Red Algae and our HADASEI-3 complex can be misted for a boost of soothing hydration, resulting in dewy, luminous skin anytime, anywhere.

Why it’s different: This milky emulsion contains moisturizers and humectants leaving skin rehydrated. Does not contain high levels of alcohol and fragrance found in conventional hydrating sprays, which can dry out the skin.

Who it’s for: Ideal for dry and combination skin.”

Now, I know nothing about what the benefits of ingredients like Squalane and HADASEI-3 complexes, but allow me to break it down for you; this stuff’s damn good. It’s incredibly light and doesn’t sit on the skin, sinking in in seconds. Application seems to able down to the spray nozzle, I think because the holes are so small it sprays the finest mist I’ve ever come across. Unlike a lot of sprays, this one does what it claims, lightly hydrating, leaving skin looking plumped and healthy with just the right amount of dew. Be warned; you may face the temptation to continue spritzing for at least half an hour because this stuff literally feels weightless and as though you haven’t applied anything. I love the scent as it’s very light and barely-there. Combination/oily skins have no fear: TATCHA understands the difference between looking dewy and looking greasy. In other words, fear not about this making your t-zone look shiny after application. For reference, I’ve got dry/combination skin with an occasionally oily t-zone, and a spritz of this was perfect to set my face without making things look too shiny. If you’re very oily, I’d say stick to using this midday to freshen things up rather than to set your makeup first thing in the morning. It has the strangest consistency compared to every face mist I’ve tried; rather than a glorified can of water, this stuff looks milky in the tube and is more like a skincare product than a setting spray, working to keep skin hydrated and looking healthy. My advice? Try your best to avoid going ham on the spritzing action, believe me it’s tempting to spray all day long and while it is pricey, it’s definitely worth more than it’s weight in gold. Maybe an all-day spritz would be worth breaking the bank after all…

(* denotes press sample)

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:)