THE BIG PALETTE GIVEAWAY.

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DSC_0005It’s celebration time. I’ve been planning this giveaway for a while now for the occasion, and I can’t believe it has come around so fast. That’s right people, succhisimples. has reached a thousand followers on bloglovin’. W-O-W-Z-A. My goal for the year had been to reach five hundred of you lovelies reading my ramblings by June, so it doesn’t seem real to me that I’m celebrating twice that number in half the time I was planning for. So, as a huge thank you to all of you who still put up with me, I’ve been hoarding these little treasures away to ship out to one lucky reader! Remember the Nars Guy Bourdin Palette that came out over the holidays? I may or may not have bought a second to give away, along with the Clinique Neutral Territory 2 Palette and the Urban Decay Naked 3 (hint hint: I did.). Just enter in the rafflecopter form below for a chance to win. Simples.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

THE HAUL: NAILS.

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DSC_0041If the world of beauty products were a pet store, blush would probably be the fluffy teacup shi-tzu I’d go in to pet every single day (which may or may not be the beginning of Suki, my personal pup’s, life story), foundations/bases and lip products would be the litter of kittens I always stop to fawn over/can’t get enough of, and nail products would be the beta fish that sit on the $1 rack in the back of the shop. Sad, I know. One, because beta fish are ridiculously underrated and probably some of the most mysteriously majestic creatures to ever grace pet stores around the globe (Have you ever had a look at one of those? You can literally spend hours just staring and observing the ways in which they manage to do absolutely nothing.), and two, because most people are beyond obsessed with nail polish and have a larger arsenal of finger painting products than the rest of their makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love polish; I just get far too lazy to give myself a proper manicure every week and repaint them. Plus, let’s be honest here: if it comes down to getting that new foundation or Nars blush over three or four nail polishes, no way in H-E-double hockey sticks am I passing up a shiny new makeup thing to play around with. But I digress. I’ve always admired the idea of being the kind of girl that’s never seen without perfectly manicured nails, so I’ve made a promise with the new year that I shall be undergoing my transformation to becoming “that girl.”

Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity Trio//$29.00

I popped into Sephora in search of a friend’s birthday gift and happened upon this adorable set of mini Deborah Lippmann polishes that came out for the holidays for just $8 from the original price of $29, which I absolutely couldn’t say no to. I’d been wanting to try a shade from the range for the longest time, and the sizes are great. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through and entire nail polish before other than a bottle of Seche Vite, so they should last a while. I’d been on the hunt for a mauve-toned shade, so the set was perfect. You could even say it was meant to be…

Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat//$7.99

Not the most exciting of purchases, but my last bottle went gloopy (another reason I haven’t painted my nails in weeks), and I absolutely can’t live without this stuff. Foolproof and as fast drying as the name claims, this stuff just gets the job done with a hella bit of gloss thrown in to the mix. Love.

Essie Blanc Nail Polish//$5.49

I’d been on the hunt for the perfect opaque, non-streaky bright white polish since last summer (though the search may or may not have been forgotten in the fall), and lemme tell you right now, I have found the one. Perfect, full coverage in two coats. I have the feeling this is going to turn into more than just a short love affair, but I’ll keep you posted if any bumps in our relationship occur.

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil//$7.99

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have the cuticles of a forty year-old man that has spends his work week employed by a bag of cheeto’s in the office that is his living room couch. In a word, disgusting. *WARNING: slight dramatization of events. Actor portrayal.* They are gross though; dry, cracking, and overall terrible. So, in a desperate attempt to get a real job, my fingers quit their job in the cheetos bag and have put in for a transfer to warmer, more tropical climates. Like apricot groves wherever apricots are grown. They’re much happier now that they’ve retired and spend their time drinking up this apricot cocktail. Smells amazing, gets the job done, and injects moisture back into even the most die-hard cheeto-eating cuticles.

Have you picked up any products recently?

THE CAPSULE BAG #10.

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DSC_0021The week has seen the introduction of more than a few products as the result of birthday binge-shopping (haul to come; keep your peepers peeled) so I’ve been trialling quite a few makeup bits since buying. First up, my base collection has added a new member to the family. Please welcome the oh-so-professional POREfessional primer from Benefit. This actually happens to be my first full-size product from the brand, and I have to say, I’m beyond impressed. First  of all, a non-silicon-y primer that manages to fill in pores while smoothing the skin and prepping for the rest of the day’s face paint? Sold. You had me at hello. This baby lives up to its name; pores are minimized when first applied and then do their own disappearing act as soon as foundation comes to play. While it is more expensive than many drugstore offerings, it doesn’t break the bank the way the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer does (review here). I actually stole this Dior Nude Tan Bronzer in 003 Cinnamon from my mum’s makeup collection, and we’ve had quite the love affair so far. Silky smooth formula, minimal shimmer, and the perfect amount of glow. Because I have skin on the darker side of the spectrum, I often find that my beloved Nars Laguna bronzer is a bit too light to impart the sunkissed glow I’m always after, so I love this darker shade to give a bit more of a punch. It’s also great applied with a fluffy brush like the Real Techniques blush brush just under the cheekbones and blended up to give a hint of contour. It also comes in quite a few colors if this shade is a little too dark (or light) for you. I’ve been obsessed with the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in Ebony since opting for a bit of a stronger brow in last week’s post. I won’t rave on about this since I’ve reviewed it here, but let me say this: She’s a beaut. Last up, I finally picked up YSL’s Glossy Stain in the shade Corail Aquatique (no. 7). This was my first foray into their range, and I want them ALL. I kid you not, these are bloomin’ fantastic. They go on like the most buttery gloss and start to “set” to more of a balm texture that feels cushiony on the lips and moisturizes all day long. These also layer better than any gloss/liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried; as soon as the product sets, you can keep applying coats until you’re happy with the intensity. This shade, in particular, is a gorgeous peach/coral (can you tell?) that doesn’t lean so orange that it makes your teeth look white, but is a stunning spring/summer shade. Consider me obsessed. 

What have you been loving this week?

SMARTY BROWS.

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DSC_0255Anastasia (of Beverly Hills), you must be a genius, because you’re a wiz at creating good brows. I swear that sounded a whole hell of a lot better in my head than it does written here. If you didn’t pick up on my terrible joke, today’s product in question happens to be my first-ever foray into the realm of brow pencils, the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in the shade Ebony. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big eyebrow lover; I love the look of a good strong brow that looks very modern and chic, I just tend not to faff around with my own brows much, mostly because I’ve never really had much experience with them. Brows have always been that area of beauty that fascinated me but I kind of never took the jump to start obsessing over. Until now. After having recently gotten my brows waxed at my local Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta, I picked up this itty bitty pencil to get to work with my face mane. I have quite bushy brows naturally, so I really wanted something to focus on just taming and defining my brows. Let me get this out now, I think I’ve found the one. Skinny Wiz and I get along quite nicely; it’s the sort of no-brainer product that’s quick and easy to use for even the most amateur eyebrow lover such as myself. The pencil is absolutely tiny, making it magic for drawing in hairs where before there were only gaps. The spoolie on the other end is one of the best I’ve tried; firm enough to disperse product but not so stiff that you feel like you’re raking through your brows. Plus, it cuts the time normally spent on scavenging around for a separate spoolie brush. Overall, it’s a great buy for quick and easy perfect brows. While it is on the expensive side of products, I think it’s well worth the price tag. Definitely a must buy for anyone looking to improve the look of their brows.

What are your favorite brow products?

THE REVIEW: CLINIQUE NEUTRAL TERRITORY 2.

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DSC_0284I’d like to introduce you to the most perfect travel eyeshadow palette in the history of the world. Clinique, you have outdone yourself. Feast your eyes, ladies and gents. She’s a beaut. Please welcom Clinique’s Neutral Territory 2 Palette. The palette itself is just about the size of my palm, containing eight of Clinique’s eyeshadows from the permanent collection. I was especially stoked about seeing the shade Black Honey in the palette, having lusted after it since Anna’s (yes, we’re on a first-name basis) post here. The shadows are all absolute stunners: silky smooth, intensely pigmented, the whole nine yards. I found that there isn’t actually much fallout from the shades at all, compared to other similarly buttery-textured eyeshadows. With a dab of primer underneath, these have great lasting power and don’t crease at all. I’d been wanting to pick this up since it first came out at the beginning of the year, and then it got put off until later, and later, and later… You know the drill. Until while out shopping for my birthday this weekend, Clinique was having one of their fabulous goodie bag offers that included a full-size lipstick, a nail polish, and travel sizes of the eye makeup remover, foundation, and visible difference moisturizer, so I knew I had to make the splurge. If you’re thinking about getting this palette, stop. Don’t think about it, just get your hands on it as soon as humanly possible. With spring and summer holidays coming up, I can see myself getting a ton of use out of this, especially because of the size. My only qualm about this is probably the shade selection; while they are all gorgeous colors, I think they could have included a few more mid-toned shades for deeper skin tones as all over lid colors. For those with Olive/Tan skin or darker, most of the non-dark shades verge on being different shades of highlighters rather than true swipe and go colors. For the quality, though, these are fantastic, and if you have lighter skin, it shouldn’t be a problem. My verdict? Because it’s limited edition, and for the quality, do yourself a favor and please, treat yo self here.

SPRING CLEANING VOL. 1: FAVORITE BRUSHES.

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mBrushes are definitely one of those beauty vices I can’t seem to get enough of. Personally, I don’t usually mind investing in good quality brushes; with the right tools, you can make even the cheapest of products look fantastic. With spring fast approaching, I thought I’d do a little series here on le blog of some of my favorites from different beauty categories that are definite survivors of the yearly product spring cleaning operation. While many of the best brushes do come at a high price, Sam (and yes, we’re on a nickname basis) Chapman of Pixiwoo proves that you don’t necessarily have to shell out fifty dollar bills to get amazing quality tools. If you haven’t already ventured into her line of brushes, Real Techniques, stop reading and go buy them now. Great prices with every brush and collection under $20 and amazing quality that rivals quite a few of my MAC and Bobbi Brown brushes. The bristles are made of synthetic taklon, making them easy to clean and softer than Angelina Jolie’s skin (if you can mentally picture touching her glorious face), which is obviously the deal breaker with all soft things. If comparable in softness to her face, then purchase. Done. My two favorites have to be the Buffing Brush, which I use for blending in foundation and concealer every day without fail, and the Multi-Task brush, amazing for everything from setting powder to blush to bronzer. MAC were the first higher-end brushes I’d ever tried, with the award to first ever brush bought going to the Angled Contour Brush, the 168, which is perfect for bronzer to give a subtle hint of a contour and maintain that sunkissed glow. Purchase of the 109 soon ensued; this one’s the most  perfect brush to contour with, being dense enough to blend and deposit product in all the right places. I love it for blush too, when I want really precise application on the cheekbones. If you’re looking to buy a new MAC face brush, I’d say start here. It’s incredibly versatile; use it for foundation, blush, contour, bronzer, highlighter, etc, and it maintains its shape perfectly. Love. Next up, if I could only use two brushes on my eyes for the rest of time (which I probably will, since I’m so in love with these), they would be the 217 and the 239. Everyone and their mother raves about the 217, and you know what? Listen to the mothers. Those women know what they’re talking about. This thing is the most perfect crease, concealer, do-it-all blending brush ever created. It’s also great for a soft wash of color over the lids for an easy everyday look, while the 239 does a great job of packing on product to the lids or smudging shadow under the eyes. Last, for the non-MAC offerings, I adore the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Liner Brush for gel eyeliner and the ELF contour brush to smudge eyeliner on the lower lashline. The Bobbi Brown brush is amazing for two basic looks: thick lines or super-thin, sculpted lines. It also does a great job of flicking up cat eyes because of the pointed tip, so if you’re into gel liners, I’d definitely give this a look. It won’t replace your basic angled liner brush, but it’s a great addition to any brush hoarder’s collection. Last, but not least, ELF’s contour brush is the bargain of the bunch, weighing in at just $3. It’s the best brush I’ve ever found to smudge eyeliner on the lower lashline for that lived-in, smokey effect that makes everything look more natural, and for the price, it’s an amazing buy. Oh yes. Brushes. . . I loves them.

What are your favorite makeup brushes?

REVLON GOES RETRO.

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DSC_0266Holy mother of peach. I’m pretty positive all I want in life is to win an Oscar and become a buddhist. Why? One word. Reincarnation. Hell. Yes. Because that would mean that I could, theoretically, come back in another life as, you guessed it, a warm fuzzy peach. Or maybe you didn’t guess that. If you did, I actually might question your mental status and if I were you, I’d seriously consider getting a medical consult to be absolutely positive your mind doesn’t work the same way mine does, but I digress. Revlon has resurrected five shades of lipsticks past that were popular back when they first started in the 1930’s: Fifth Avenue Red, Icy Violet, Sandstorm, Jungle Peach, and Snow Peach. I first heard of these coming out on one of my favorite blogs to get a heads up on at the drugstore, Nouveau Cheap, and I immediately had my eye on the peach shades (obviously). So, after a witch hunt ransacking the aisles of the drugstore league of America, I finally found these two kids and snapped them up. Snow Peach is the punchier of the two, and I have to say, it was a bit of a let down for me personally. It’s a beautiful shade and the formula is excellent; great color payoff, glides on smoothly, all that jazz, but it just doesn’t seem to suit my skin tone. It makes me look very sallow and makes my teeth look slightly yellow, but I think in the summer dabbed in as a stain it will be very pretty. It’s not quite peach, it pulls very pink when applied and it looks like a dupe for MAC Impassioned lipstick, if only a tad less bright. The second shade, Jungle Peach, is a gorgeous light peach. On me, it’s a lovely nude color that doesn’t make me look dead and actually adds some light to the face, but I’m sure on lighter skins it’ll be a gorgeous everyday peach colors. Overall, I like the shades and I’d definitely have a look if you’re eying any of them up.

What lipsticks have you been liking lately?

THE CAPULE BAG, #9.

DSC_0253No but seriously, it’s Oscar night. For as long as I can remember, tonight has been the one night I look forward to the most every year (aside from Christmas Eve, because who doesn’t love going to bed dreaming about gifts in the morning?). Thus, the week’s makeup bag has been seriously lacking because I’ve been focused on… other things. Like watching the last few films before the show, prepping my couch for viewing, and dealing with more excitement than the nominees themselves. First up, the Oscar goes to Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua Foundation in B40 for best performance by a foundation in a leading role. Versatile, easy, perfect. Covers everything and feels like you have nothing on your face. For best performance by a beauty tool in a supporting role, Tweezerman travel tweezers. Gets rid of pesky hairs on your face. Need I say more? It was a tie between best performance by a lip product this week, featuring the  in Rimmel Apocalips in Stargazer atop Revlon’s lipstick in Jungle Peach (review to come). And they’d like to thank the Academy….