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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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:)

 

OF OIL PULLING (& OTHER STORIES).

DSC_0060To celebrate the end of the year with summer just around the corner (and the end of exams i.e. hell on earth), there’s a new feature being added to the simples roster: & OTHER STORIES. Apologies for stealing the name of one of the UK’s most celebrated new shops, but I’ve been meaning to incorporate more real-life beauty hacks/lifestyle-ish posts since the beginning, so let this be the introduction to a whole realm of DIY-related, kitchen beautician-style posts here on le blog. I was quite late to the party with this topic, since apparently it was bouncing around the beauty community a few months ago, but after reading an article about it on Into the Gloss here, it had to be tested and shared with the rest of the simples fam. You may (or may not) be wondering, What’s this oil pulling business then, Kristina? Well. Let me tell you. It’s gross. But totally worth it. Definitely one of those “it hurts to be beautiful”-type things that’s not one for the faint of heart (or of stomach). So here it is: take a tablespoon of your favorite oil-most people use coconut oil for the healthy components-and swish it around in your mouth like mouthwash for 20 minutes. No swallowing allowed. It’s meant to draw out the toxins from your saliva and break down oil-soluble plaque for a whiter smile, not to mention aligning your chakras or whatever else the Kale-eating hipsters of Coachella lore claim it does. Naturally. A lot of reviews I read said that it reduced headaches as well as cleared skin, so I set out to pull a tablespoon of semi-hard oil between my teeth every day for a week. The things I do for blogging. I have two spots of hypo-calcification on my front teeth, areas where not enough calcium was available when they developed thanks to previous milk allergies that manifest themselves in two large white spots. They’re not horrible anymore after a few rounds of dental whitening, but the hope was that oil pulling might slightly reduce the contrast between the spots and the rest of my teeth. I do recommend using coconut oil, not least of all because it tastes a little better than pure olive oil in large quantities, but make sure whatever oil you use is organic and unrefined or extra virgin. Processing strips the beneficial qualities from the oil and basically makes the process obsolete. Oil picked, it has the strangest consistency when you first put it in your mouth because it’s slightly hard, but it melts down to a runny oil straight away. The first and last two minutes proved to be the hardest every time; not swallowing has never been this hard. I would usually put it in and sit to watch an episode of whatever T.V. show I needed to catch up on and swish, swish, swish. After 20 minutes, spit, brush, and voilà. No residue whatsoever on the teeth. After a week, I noticed the biggest difference in my skin rather than my teeth. Clear, free of any pimples, with no little under-the-skin mountain ranges whatsoever. After stopping the “treatment” for around a week, blemishes were back in style on my face, while the second week saw the re-emergence of the Alps around my forehead. It was bad.  It’s all about keeping a consistent regimen here, folks: try pulling oil once or twice a week to keep things in check. I can’t report super-significant teeth whitening, but if you’re thinking about pulling oil one of these days, do it for your skin: you can thank me later.

What’s the weirdest beauty regime you’ve followed for results? Let me know below!

AN UPDATE.

suki photoI rarely do lifestyle posts here on le blog, so I thought today’s post (which was supposed to go up yesterday… Sorry about that.) could be a quick bit about what’s going on with succhisimples., as well as my own life. I realize many of you prefer to just read beauty-related content, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to skip over this one. No judgements made. Not really.

So first off, I tweeted earlier about my new blogging schedule for this year. There will be a new post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and my weekly favorites, a “capsule bag” post each and every Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled for a lot of new content coming up. I don’t want to purely do boring reviews, so if you lot have any ideas for new posts, pretty please comment them below! Let me know what you’d like to see more of here on the site. I was fortunate enough to reach 300 followers on Bloglovin’ this month, and I can’t even express how much that meant to me. Thank you to all of you who have been reading since. I started blogging in January, and to all my new viewers, I hope you haven’t found me too boring just yet. Trust me, it could happen any day now, so try to bear with me and stick around. My new goal is to hit 500 Bloglovin’ followers by my birthday on March 10th, so if you’re not already following, it would mean the world to me if you would! If I do reach my goal by my birthday, I’m planning a huge giveaway for all my lovely readers (which may or may not be a bribe, but I refuse to confess to that.), so please help me get there! Leave a comment below telling me what you’re interested in getting a chance to win for the giveaway, and I’ll just pick the most popular item(s). Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on all that social media buzz in my sidebar:)

On the lifestyle end of the spectrum, yes that is my baby bro Suki in the photo above. He’s something of a model, if you will, so I thought I’d share his most vogue-worthy shot with all of you. I also just got a new lens in, the Nikon 50mm f1.8, which is absolutely fantastic if you’re a blogger out there looking for a good lens to take product photos with. TV series have taken up quite a bit of my free time lately, suffice it to say that I currently follow at least twelve. But, rather than bore you with the details, let me know if you’d like to see what I’ve been watching in terms of film and tv in the comments below! (PS, Game of Thrones, please and thank you.)

There will be another post up tomorrow to get back into my blogging routine, so don’t forget to check back. xx

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #14.

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Long Black Road-Electric Light Orchestra

… And here we are. It’s the last of the fourteen weeks for this blog hop as 2013 comes to a close, so I won’t bore you by droning on and on about this week’s pick. I’ve been loving listening to the American Hustle soundtrack (which is incredible, by the way) as a little 70’s throwback, and the song Long Black Road? Yes. I’m obsessed. It’s not for everyone, but I do love listening to it while jogging (I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to 70’s and 80’s music…). I can’t believe I actually managed to do every single post in the blog hop; I’ve been quite busy but I’m happy I stuck with it and did all fourteen. Wishing you all a very happy New Year’s tonight :)

 

MY FAVORITE BLOGS OF 2013.

blog favesWith this being the year I got into both reading blogs and running my own site, I wanted to give a nod to the ones that both inspired me to start my blog and those that I’ve enjoyed reading all year long.

Porcelain Shree

I adore Shree’s blog; she always keeps her reviews detailed, but still very to the point. A lot of blogs I read usually don’t include any lifestyle/personal bits, so I love how refreshing it is that even though she stays true to chatting about beauty, she gives her readers peeks into her own life and updates us about what’s going on. Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty blogs, and her new layout is seriously gorgeous. Love.

20/30 Glam

My first ever comment from a reader on one of my posts came from this lovely pair of bloggers, Julie and Ashley. Besides being two of the sweetest people, they keep the reviews coming and I seem to always end up ogling the products on their blog. I don’t tend to see many tips/tricks posts around the blogosphere, so I love that they’ll do series of quick bits about new ways to use the products you’ve got.

But First, Coffee.

I’ve been reading Kallie’s blog for a while now, and I actually just saw that she reached a thousand Bloglovin’ followers, which is huge, so congratulations to her! First off, she’s seriously gorgeous, and I love watching her on youtube as well (you can check out her channel here). She gives great reviews for products, and I love reading her Sunday Inspiration posts as well.

Ana Céline Labod

I started reading Ana’s blog a few months back after seeing her Face of The Day post (here) and I remember noticing how absolutely stunning she is. I read a few of her older reviews and loved her style as well, and from there I was hooked. I love the way her blog looks (sensing a pattern here?), and her reviews are honest and concise, with some gorgeous photography thrown in.

hanhabelle

Since discovering Hanh’s blog a little while ago, I always do that thing when a post of hers pops up on my bloglovin’ reader where I drop everything to read. She has lovely taste, and her blogging style reminds me a lot of Kate’s from ghostparties., one of my favorite blogs. I love good photos when flipping through blogs, and hers are no exception, always sharp and stunning.

The Beauty Recensionist

Giada’s been a pretty constant reader of my blog, which always makes me happy; I love knowing that people out there actually care about what I write. Her own blog is fabulous; great photos, reviews, the whole nine yards, very reminiscent to me of Vivianna Does Makeup. Lovely read.

There you have it! My most-read blogs of 2013, simples.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMMerry Christmas everyone! So it’s the end of Blogmas, and of my first giveaway here on succhisimples. And the winner is… Heidi A! Congratulations, and we will be emailing you soon to ship over the goodies:) I have a lot coming up for the next year, so stay tuned for a few updates here on my blog. Thank you so much to all of you who entered, to Stylinspire for collaborating with me this month to bring you this giveaway, and to all my new followers! Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES # 12.

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The Neighborhood- Let It Go

So we’re nearing the end of this series as the year draws to a close, and I know I’m a little late with this post, but it’s just a quick bit today I promise. Not sure how many of you guys watch the Vampire Diaries, but I happen to be a huge fan, and I also follow the spin-off, The Originals (which I gotta say I’m starting to prefer over its parent show). Since the beginning, TVD has had one of the best soundtracks on  TV, and its sister show is no exception. We’ve all heard the buzz about The Neighborhood and Sweater Weather, but I actually prefer this one to the über-hyped track. It’s called Let it Go, and it’s one of the songs that played during The Originals’ Winter Finale. Have a listen here, and don’t forget to enter my Blogmas giveaway below! There’s still time to enter, and don’t forget to have a look at this Hop’s host blog, Beauties Unlocked.

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14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #11.

 

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Baby, it’s Cold Outside.

Hello everyone! Another quickie post today on my recent favorite song pick of the week. With Christmas fast approaching, we’ve all been humming caroling tunes in the shower (or holding a full-on performance in the bath), so I wanted to mention a Christmas tune for you all this week. I know, everyone has a favorite, and mine happens to be “Baby, it’s Cold Outside.” Ohmygosh. I love. That. Song. We’ve all watched Elf (I should hope) and have heard Zoeey Deschanel’s silky voice crooning it from the Gimbel’s shower while inadvertently being accompanied by Will Ferrell, so of course that was the only version I could possibly think of to link up here. Suffice it to say I’ve been singing this one since before Halloween in preparation.

 

Now, onto the Blogmas front, apologies for my lack of posting! I’ve been swamped with work for my finals coming next week, but I promise I will have my post up by tomorrow. And don’t forget to follow the host blog of this blog hop, Beauties Unlocked. If you haven’t already entered my giveaway yet, please do so below! What’s your top Christmas song?

 

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14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #9.

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Haim-Don’t Save Me

So a few weeks ago, I’m sitting with a cup of earl grey in sweatpants and my favorite socks, watching one of my favorite shows on the planet, Saturday Night Live, when up on the screen pops an itty bitty notice that says in massive, bold letters, NOVEMBER 23: JOSH HUTCHERSON AND HAIM. So yeah, I guess you could say I flipped out (just a little). I did a little dance. Because Haim? Please and thank you. I know I’ve gone on and on about them, but honestly those girls are so good. If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few months… I jest. They’re this beyond-cool trio of sisters from California with killer style, both musically and in fashion. Very unique on the whole. Anyway, this sounds like the beginning of a love letter to the band, so I’ll stop my fangirling and just tell you how I’m beyond obsessed with their song “Don’t Save Me”. Don’t forget to get your bunny on and join the hop (see what I did there?:) over on the host blog, Beauties Unlocked here.

What have you been listening to lately? Drop me a comment below!