THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

revlon lip butters

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jan fav 2Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present you with the first monthly favorites of 1997! (*High fives all around*)I mean 2013. 2014. Whatever. I may or may not still be dealing with the post-New Year disorder in which I am quite literally stuck in the past. I know my people are out there somewhere, all you rebels still signing the date as 1/__/13, but I digress. On to the products.

jan fav swatches

L-R: Revlon Tutti Frutti, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle, and Peach Parfait; Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze; Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger.

Revlon Lip Butters– Peach Parfait, Pink Truffle, Berry Smoothie, and Tutti Frutti

These have been my go-to lip product all month long, and for good reason; They’re moisturizing, lightweight, and give the perfect amount of color for everyday wear. The three pink-toned shades are perfect your-lips-but-better offerings; peach parfait gleans a pretty shimmer that reflects perfectly to make lips look glowy, pink truffle deepens your natural lip color to a just-bitten pink, and berry smoothie packs a lovely punch with a hefty bit of fuschia added for good measure. Tutti Frutti is very spring/summer, but for the current season, it’s lovely dabbed onto the lips as a pretty stain (or worn full-on to turn some heads.)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

This is hands down the best primer I’ve ever tried; it smoothes out the skin beautifully and leaves a porcelain, almost powder-like finish that’s soft to the touch but not in the least bit drying. A little bit goes a long way; I’ve been using this since I got it with my Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) in October, and it’s still going strong, plus it’s just the itty bitty 5mL size. Love.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush– Hot Tamale

This was a purchase egged on by my best friend ages ago; I was skeptical at first, mainly because of the fiery color, but also because from what I had heard buzzing around the internet, these were a no-go. BUT. This little pan of hot pink is such a stunner. It gives that perfect flushed look dubbed by one of my favorite bloggers, Essiebutton, as the “Snow White flush” that makes you look like you’ve just been running through the forest.  Plus, the texture is unlike anything else I’ve tried; it’s like a densely whipped, fluffy marshmallow not unlike memory foam that (ironically) doesn’t bounce back. Weird, I know, but I promise, pick one of these up and have a squish for yourself.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer– Ginger

Probably the best concealer I’ve tried thus far, this blends seamlessly into the skin, banishing dark circles. It is pricey, but it’s honestly incredible for both the undereye area and any blemishes you might have lying around, and in my opinion, well worth the price tag.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick– Bronze

I’ve had this around for a long time in my collection, but it really is a stunner. In some lighting, it shows up as a rose gold sheen, while when out and about in the sunlight, it leans much more towards a golden tint. It’s not the most finely milled of highlighters, but because it blends so seamlessly into the rest of your makeup, the larger flecks of shimmer are barely noticeable. Fishing for complements on the state of your face? Pull out this bad boy and count the catch of the day; I guarantee you’ll get plenty.

Tweezerman Mini Tweezers

I picked up this adorable pair of brow helpers in TJ Maxx before Christmas on sale for just $11.00, including a travel mirror for on the go. They work exactly the same as the full size for a fraction of the prize, and are totally worth all the hype. They really are the best tweezers I’ve ever tried; the sharp tip is very precise and allows you to get even the tiniest of hairs. The Christmas  mistletoe print doesn’t hurt, either, making these perfect for travel.

L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara

This little tube honestly gives the best volume right at the root of the lashes I’ve seen from a mascara in a long time, and gives extra oomph to the bottom lashes to really make eyes pop. It layers really well too, without going spidery and turning into an overly made-up mess. A must-have for any mascara lovers’ collection.

There you have it! All the products I’ve been obsessed with this month. What have you been loving in January? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

A GIVEAWAY UPDATE…

Kimberley's Beauty Blog

A quickie in-between post today; I just wanted to make sure you all got the chance to enter this giveaway from the lovely Kimberley of Kimberley’s Beauty Blog! She’s giving away some fantastic prizes within this Macadamia Travel Set, including a jumbo size of their Deep Repair Masque. If you haven’t heard of it you’ve been living under a rock for most of your life. No need to thank me for letting you know, but unless you’re Patrick Star, you should seriously consider re-vamping your housing situation… I jest. It is, however, an amazing balm to soothe dry, damaged hairs. On your scalp. Shocking, I know, but having tried it a few times before, I can honestly tell you it does wonders. The drawback? It’s some pricey hair balm. Which is why I wanted to make sure you all had the chance to enter the giveaway, which is currently in its last leg and ending soon, as Kimberley runs an amazing blog and is giving away some great prizes! You can enter here.

SICK DAY SAVIORS.

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sick days #2There aren’t many perks to having to stay home all day other than getting to watch Youtube beauty videos nonstop. Even watching lipstick collections gets to be depressing after a while when you’re shifting between shivering with goosebumps to sweating because of a fever. Since I’m currently battling a bit of a virus, I thought I’d share some of my essentials for stuffy-nosed days.

Origins Make A Difference + Moisturizer

I’ve raved on about this for a while now, but basically it’s a nice and thick morning and night moisturizer. When you get sick, the skin tends to get quite dehydrated; even though I’m wearing absolutely no makeup, I still cleanse morning and night with coconut oil and slather this on (especially around me nose) to keep everything nice and hydrated.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

I actually picked this up on sale at TJ Maxx for just $12, so if you’re thinking of picking up your own tube, make sure you check there first. This has been working wonders at night for my lips, which are more sore than ever since I’ve been licking them nonstop because of my cold. Love.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

I love this stuff for everyday use at night, but my hands need a little extra TLC right now because I’ve been washing them so often, so this has been an absolute angel for my dry skin. I also love the Soap and Glory Hand Food as a cheaper alternative, seeing as it’s just as moisturizing, but I think hand cream in general is a must-have for sick days in.

Nivea A Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm

Nothing fancy here, but I find that slapping this on throughout the day just gives no-faff moisture that’s positively foolproof, not to mention much cheaper than expensive lip masks. As much as I love the Nuxe Rêve de Miel version, this one has a bit more slip and is more comfortable to wear all day long. I’ve actually been using this since I was six, and never once has it failed me.

Hand Sanitizer

Okay. Apologies for the boring products, but if you don’t have a tube of this beside you at all times, please do not expect to recover dramatically any time soon. I’m a firm believer in washing/sanitizing my hands every single time I touch my face, blow my nose, etc. when I’m sick; not doing so spreads the germs to your clothes, bed, glass, phone, whatever and makes the bug that much harder to get rid of because you’re constantly keeping in contact with it. I’ve actually noticed that when I don’t take care to wash and/or sanitize my hands as often when I’m sick, even though I’m alone at home and not worried about spreading to anyone else, the time I spend sick with the cold is doubled. I kid you not.

Toilet Paper

I’m not kidding. I hate. Repeat. HATE. Kleenex. I always accidentally end up buying the packs that have lotion inside the tissues, or are menthol-scented to “clear your nostrils”, when all I really want is plain tissue paper. I find that lotion-infused offerings don’t do anything to hydrate around my nose, but rather leave this odd film and make it impossible to feel clean when you’ve blown your nose. My solution? A roll of toilet paper and a plastic bag beside the bed at all times, especially at night (right beside the sanitizer). Toilet paper, plain and simple, is a godsend for those of us stricken with illness. In the middle of the night, I don’t have to fiddle with a box of tissues when I need to sneeze, I can just unroll a bit and toss into the bag, followed with a “cleaning of the hands.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely the strangest product review that shall ever grace succhisimples.

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

This is a bit of a strange favorite, but I love juicing some oranges and eating as many as I possibly can to help combat the virus; if you’ve never done this before, the Vitamin C boost does wonders to shorten the length of your symptoms. Quick, easy, and beyond yummy.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and hopefully it can be of some help to any of you struggling with a cold right now. What are your essentials for sick days in?

 

 

CURRENTLY TESTING: BOLD LINER.

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fotd 2I’m typically not one for adventurous eye looks; I’m much more of a stick-to-your-neutrals-one-sweep-wonder-eyeshadow kind of gal. BUT. With the new year come several resolutions: the box is broken, and I am stepping out. Into a new box. Boxed liner, that is. Whilst browsing on Sephora.com, I came across their not-so-little corner of the internet in which they post beauty tutorials, etc. and was so intrigued by their boxed eyeliner look I knew I had to try it for myself and share it with you all. Instead of the classic kitten flick, I started at the middle of the eyelid and drew a flick upwards. Then, at the outer corners, I drew a cat eye at an almost vertical angle with the same pencil liner, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Perversion. I find that pencil works better for this look than liquid; it’s much easier to shade in the box with, and this product didn’t budge all day. Lastly, I filled it in added some mascara and blush, and was good to go! I used Orgasm from the Nars One Night Stand Palette on the cheeks, paired with the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Tarte setting powder (review here), and the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. Not exactly the most wearable look, but I think it is a fun take on the usual angled liner for a chic night out. Simples. Will you be trying some new eye looks this season?

THE CAPSULE BAG #4.

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the capsule bag #4-3The week in beauty has been through a bit of re-discovery with some new bits thrown in after my previous haul. I’ve done an entire post about my new purchases here, if you’d like to take a look. On the bases front, I’ve been sampling Smashbox’s CC cream like nobody’s business. This stuff is uber-creamy and blends in effortlessly when paired with my long-time brush lover, the Real Techniques Buffing brush. I know I rave on and on about the Nars One Night Stand cheek palette, so what’s one more post featuring it as the centerpiece of my affections? Maybe too much. Definitely too much. In short, I made up my mind long ago to never give in to the hype surrounding Nars Orgasm, thinking it would be too sheer against my medium/tan skin, but I’m so in love with this shade that I’ve forsaken every other blush I own for the past week in favor of this golden peach tint. See the review here. The Tarte Aqualilies Smooth Operator Setting Powder was featured in the haul post linked above, and it’s been great to keep my T-Zone shine free all day. Let me know if you’d like to see a review on this one below. Lastly, I’ve been getting back into eyeshadow with a bang lately, and the Wet N’ Wild for Beauty Benefits Ultimate Expressions Palette is absolutely stunning. A gift from a certain best friend, the gold shade packs a serious punch with some shimmer to match that of my all-time favorite shadow, MAC woodwinked. (If you’re interested in seeing some of my other MAC shadow favorites, take a look at this post.) And there we have it! All the products I’ve been loving for the past week, simples.

THE HAUL: JANUARY 2014 EDITION.

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DSC_0289I call this the “January Edition” not because I’m planning on doing a haul every single month (my bank account isn’t nearly large enough to afford twelve of these posts a year), but because I know that coming up in March for my birthday there will be quite a large haul, followed (hopefully) by a Paris haul in the summer. This month, I took the plunge and made an impulse Sephora purchase and picked up a few things I’ve been putting off buying for ages. The first, Origins’ Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Moisturizer, I’ve gotten samples of not one, not two, but four times at my local counter. I even made a friend accompany me last time to get an extra sample and pass it off as hers. I kid you not. Needless to say, the woman who works there despises my presence every time I approach, so I placed the order online. Ha. It’s the most gorgeous, lightweight moisturizer to use as a night cream, and the smell. Oh. There are no words. Basically it smells like there’s a party happening. On your face. While you sleep. Not to mention you wake up with the softest, most supple skin imaginable. Love. Next up, I’ve been meaning to try Tarte’s Smooth Operator Micronized Setting Powder for ages, and I saw on Sephora.com that the limited-edition version released last year with the Aqualilies collection was on sale. Same powder, but prettier packaging, ten dollars off? Please and thank you. Into the cart it went, so there will be a full review up sometime next week. Stay tuned, kids. The rest of the Sephora items were actually samples; the site was running a promotion that gave you the option to pick 2 luxury-sized samples (hint: use code VICESWAP to shop the deal) so I picked the Tarte Maracuja oil and Becca’s bronzing skin perfector. First off, I’ve never actually tried a proper skincare oil before, and the results were fantastic; brighter, softer, and hydrated skin all came to light in the morning. I’m currently deciding between the full size of this or the Pai Rosehip Oil, but I digress. The Becca sample is actually aimed to give you that tan glow to your skin. Now, I’m basically brown all year round, so no word here on whether or not that helps in the fake tan department. Personally, I lvoe Becca products, especially their Skin Perfector Line, so I think this will make a great cheekbone highlighter-type shade for the summer to help on top of a bit of bronzer. I also got the birthday kit from Benefit they give if you’re a Beauty Insider, since I accidentally put my birthday in as a January birthday when I signed up. #Sorrynotsorry. The kit includes a sample of their Watt’s Up! highlighter, a lovely champagne-golden shade, and the They’re Real! mascara, so lot’s of exciting stuff here, judging from all those exclamation points Benefit brands their products with. Honestly though, the Watt’s Up! gives a great, long-lasting sheen to the cheeks, and the mascara is perfect for separating lashes. If your lashes don’t typically hold a curl, I’d recommend a layer of waterproof mascara first before a layer of this, but it really is fantastic. Lastly, I finally got myself the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm, which is lovely at night as a sort of lip mask, since it’s quite thick. So there you have it! All my recent purchases from the month, simples.

What have you picked up recently? Let me know in the comments below!

MAC PAINT POTS: A STUDY.

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L-R: Vintage Selection, Eclair, Soft Ochre

I’m a big fan of cream eyeshadows; I love their swipe-and-go nature and how simple they are to smoke out and run out the door with. MAC’s offerings are some of the best I’ve tried; incredibly creamy, lightweight, and easy to apply, they’re what made me fall in love with cream shadows. My collection of these isn’t all that extensive, but the three shades I have to share with you today are Soft Ochre, Eclair, and Vintage Selection. Soft Ochre was one of my first ever makeup products, which I bought as an eyeshadow primer. This is the more yellow-toned version of the two nude shades they offer (the pink-toned one being Painterly), and really suits my skin tone. They do work wonders as primers, since eyeshadow really sticks to them and doesn’t let up for hours. Plus, this cancels out the redness I may have going on around my eyelids, so bonus points for that. Love. The next two, Eclair and Vintage Selection, were actually limited edition, but they tend to get re-promoted quite often (Vintage Selection in particular). I’ve already done a review on Eclair, a warm rusty bronze tone which makes for the perfect brown smokey eye look, so have a look here to see more. Vintage Selection, on the other hand, is a pinky-beige shade that leans champagne; it’s very multidimensional and looks gorgeous as a base for shadow. Apologies for the photo, but it really is difficult to capture the color on camera. It’s quite pink, but if you’re not on the fairer side, this works fabulously as a highlighter under the browbone. In comparison to other high end brands, MAC’s cream shadows are on the cheaper side of the spectrum, and pack more of a punch in terms of quality and pigmentation  than a lot of high-end brands’ offerings. If you’re not a cream shadow lover, I’d definitely say try these out; they just might convert you. Welcome to the dark side.

What are your favorite cream shadows? Let me know in the comments below!

JANUARY BIRCHBOX UNBOXING.

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january birchbox unboxing 3The first Birchbox of the New Year has just arrived, and I have to say, I’m a little less than excited about the products. I’ve been holding out hope for some higher-end bits since I first got my subscription almost a year ago after hearing Ingrid from Missglamorazzi raving about her subscription in her unboxing videos. Somehow, she always seemed to get great samples; I was waiting for some Laura Mercier, maybe a little Nars lovin’ to come to my mailbox when I finally realized it wasn’t happening. This was three days ago. I love shopping on the Birchbox shop; they have an excellent point system and some really great products stocked that are hard to get anywhere else, but it’s just not worth getting your hopes up for every month. So, I’ve made the decision that my March box marking an entire year of subscriptions shall be my last. I said it. I’m cashing in my points and looking for the Vegas of beauty subscription boxes. Problem in point? I can’t find Vegas. If any of you have suggestions for beauty boxes that run more on the high-end scale of things, please please please let me know below. Onto the products, this month I received deluxe samples of Fekkai’s Glossing Range Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve used these before, and while they are nice, I think they’re overpriced for what they do. I much prefer the results of the L’Oréal EverCrème Range to the slightly flat finish these left on my hair, and it doesn’t hurt that you can get both the shampoo and conditioner for under $10. I also got a sample of the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette, which was probably my favorite sample for the month. The shadows are buttery smooth and uber-pigmented, not to mention long-lasting. Burt’s Bees also made an appearance with their Day Lotion. This has a lovely cucumber scent that reminds me of summer, but feels heavy and sits on the skin rather than sinking in for a good half hour. I tried it in place of a night cream a few times, thinking it would be nice and light, and woke up with an oil-slick nose. Not exactly sexy. I can understand a bit of oiliness in the morning, both because of residue from whatever night cream I’ve used and due to my slightly combination skin, but we’re not talking a little bit of morning dew here, people. NEWS ALERT: Happening now, the BB (See what I did there? Burt’s Bees…) Oil spill. On my face. Foundations everywhere currently in mourning due to sudden breakouts.

january birchbox unboxing swatchesBirchbox seems to be smitten with Harvey Prince fragrances, and for good reason; they smell absolutely fantastic. Included in January’s box was the Journey perfume, which is sweet with a kick of blackcurrant to keep things a little spicy. So there you have it. Sadly, it’s the beginning of the end for my Birchbox subscriptions. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your recommendation for high-end beauty boxes!

THE CAPSULE BAG #3.

the capsule bag #3The week here at succhisimples. has been more productive than usual on the products front; there have been quite a few new discoveries/rediscoveries going on lately. The first of which, the L’Oréal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara, was something of an impulse buy. If you’ve been following le blog for a while now, you’ll know a few bits about my obsession with every single post on viviannadoesmakeup.com. After hearing its author, Anna, swear by this lash booster for so long, I was on the hunt for it until I heard her mention it got discontinued. But. The new kid in town, the Shocking Extensions version seems to be floating around a few U.S. drugstores, so as soon as I spotted it I snapped up my own tube. It’s amazingly lengthening (as the name would suggest), but I’ve been using it mostly on my bottom lashes, and I can honestly say it’s the best I’ve ever tried for them. The small wand makes it super easy to get each eyelash on the lower lashline, and the fibres really help to avoid chunkiness. Plus, no clumps to be seen here. Love. One of my rediscoveries was the Revlon Lip Butter in the shade Pink Truffle. It looks like a scary browned pink in the tube, but it really gives the most stunning your-lips but better wash of color that’s effortless. With winter officially over in my mind, I’m totally ready to jump into the spring/summer makeup mood, so I’ve been slowly adding my all-time favorite bronzer, Nars Laguna, back into the mix, paired with my first-ever MAC brush, the 168, to get it placed just where I want it; on the lower part of the cheekbone and slightly under to give a hint of contour. What products have you been loving lately?

FRIDAY FIXER.

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friday fixer 2I do my best to have a pamper night every Friday; I think it really helps to be able to just unwind after a long week. A good book, lots of candles, and of course a yummy-smelling bath bomb usually do the trick for me, so I thought I’d share my usual routine today. I tend to buy Lush bath products over more high-end oils; I just find them a bit more fun and obviously cheaper (although I do have my eye on the aromatherapy associates deep sleep oil). I usually pop in a half a bath bomb with some of my Apotheke-m shower oil which is basically a glorified bubble bath that smells like a fig grove in Greece. I kid you not. This week’s bath bomb of choice was the Luxury Lush Pud, which you might have seen in my Lush haul a few weeks ago here. It turns the bath this majestic shade of fuschia with little bursts of color, but has the same scent as my all time favorite bath bomb, Twilight. On the candle front, I usually opt for my three favorites: Yankee Candle’s Salted Caramel and Whoopie Pie (the most incredible chocolate scented item there ever was), and Bath and Body Works’ Mahogany Teakwood. I usually keep tea-sized versions on hand to pop on the side of the bath; it’s just easier than trying to fit three large candles on top of my tub (not to mention cheaper.) As a chronic film buff, I’ve been reading Roger Ebert’s “The Great Movies, which is every cinephile’s dream read. What are your must have bath time products?