GET IT WHILE YOU CAN: BENEFIT’S BELLA BAMBA.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Rt.) Benefit Cha-Cha Tint, Bella Bamba Blush

Behold: my first-ever Benefit Boxed Blush. While I am well and truly prepared for the collective “WHAT?!” ‘s that those words are likely to incite, ’tis the truth: never have I ever used Hoola on my cheekbones, Coralista for that peachy-golden flush, or any other famed boxed cheek product from the brand. I’ve had Bella Bamba on my list for a while now (thanks to Ms. Sharon Farrell of YouTube, check her out here) and somehow always shied away from picking it up on trips to my local Sephora. Until, that is, I heard the buzz around the beauty community that it was being discontinued. Lo and behold, the fates provided the push needed for me to snap it up in my online shopping cart and, well, here we are. Bonus: I got it in this Hot 2 Trot set along with their Cha-Cha Tint, something I’ve also been meaning to try for the longest time. 2 for the price of 1. Could the whole charade be any more perfect? And so, in response to the news that Bella Bamba is no longer available separately and is being phased out entirely, I’m telling you now: get this while you can. The blush itself is stunning: an iridescent warm coral/pink shade that has a bit more punch than Coralista, especially if you found the latter lacking slightly in the pigmentation department on application. Think of it as a brightened shade of Coralista/Nars Orgasm varieties everywhere. One more thing: it smells fantastic. Odd thing to say about a blush? Most definitely. But completely, totally true. If you’ve ever tried a Benefit Boxed Blusher before (which, unless you’re me, you most likely have), then the glorious scent isn’t such a novel concept, but… I can’t get over it. Enough said. Cha-Cha Tint was no disappointment compared to its kit mate; creamy, long-wearing, and a beautifully natural shade of mango that adds a bit more of a sunkissed glow to the cheeks. Just apply with the nail polish-like applicator along the cheek and blend, blend blend as fast as possible; this stuff has a tendency to set quickly and leave stripe marks behind if you don’t get to it with the blending action.

Will you be picking up this set?

THE SIMPLES. SUITCASE PART 1: BEACH HOLIDAY.

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

THE ESSENTIALS:

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

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

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

THE MAKEUP BAG.

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

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

 

 

WHAT’S ON MY FACE: URBAN DECAY NAKED 3.

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naked 3 review3Hello all. It’s been a while since my last post; I’ve been so busy for the last month with exams and work that I hadn’t had time to sit and take some decent photos for the interwebs. Now that summer is well and truly underway, I’m finally back into the swing of things with blogging and work and my Vitamix. Oh, the Vitamix. Yes, it’s a new relationship we have, but I think I may have found the one. Not to state things prematurely, but I am one hundred and seventy-seven percent positive that thing is God’s second gift to man (after lip gloss, or Ryan Gosling. Take your pick.). Hint: expect a post later this week. For now, let the tour of my face begin…

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Oh yes, she’s a beaut. This was actually a gift for my birthday back in March, but I never really thought it suited my skintone until I tested it today. Of course all the shades are gorgeous, but I always thought it would look better on someone with fairer ski, purely because of the lighter rosy tones in the palette. I’m happy to report I was beyond wrong; if your skin is similar (or darker) in shade to mine, fear not. This one really does seem to be universally flattering. On my skin, the rose gold leans very pink/purple, a welcome change to my usual neutrals and golds. I used the shade Liar all over the lid with Nooner buffed into the crease and sheered into the outer corner, and then followed up with Strange on the browbone and Covergirl’s single eyeshadow in 710 Champagne in the inner corner.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in 70 Beige

Base comes in the form of my all-time favorite foundation, Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua. They’ve actually expanded their shade range as well, and #70 matches me perfectly for summer. It’s a wonderful all-rounder, especially for warmer weather. Stays put and looks flawless, while still being one of the lightest feeling bases around.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger

I’ll save you having to read on about how much I love this stuff yet again. The breakdown: blends like a dream, good coverage, never cakey. Consider me obsessed.

Nyx Blusher in Pinched

Of course we’ve all heard the hype around Nyx’s blushers, but I never really saw them as anything to write home about until now. Don’t be fooled by the way they swatch; whenever I came across them instore, they always seemed dry with low color payoff. With a brush, though, these really are gorgeous buffed onto the cheeks. Think Nars Orgasm, but more pigmented with less blending required. Love.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude

Great for opening up tired eyes, and really stays put. My eyes water like nobody’s business, so much so that I spend more time looking like I just saw P.S. I Love You than not, and this little number holds better than a lot of the high end eyeliners I own, especially on the waterline.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara

If you’re into lashes of the semi-clumpy variety, look no further. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good mascara; builds volume with a single swipe, grabs all the lashes (even those pesky outer corners), and stays put with my oily eyelids. But… I’ve had it for around a month now and it’s too clumpy for my taste. I normally like mascaras after they’ve dried down a bit, but this one doesn’t layer up too well, even after drying slightly. It’s good for a one-swipe-wonder kinda deal, but anymore and things go from spidery (in a good way) to clumpytown until it looks like I only own four very wide eyelashes. Good, but not great.

NYC Liquid Lipshine in Pink Breeze//MAC Fanfare Lipstick

I went for a peachy-pink lip today, thanks to one of my favorite MAC Lipsticks. Fanfare is a gorgeous coral/peach shade that’s vibrant enough to avoid ever looking washed out on the face. It’s a great everyday shade when patted onto the lips for a subtle pout, while it layers beautifully for a pop of peach that looks fresh all day. I think this shade of the NYC Liquid Lipshine might be discontinued, but definitely still check out their range of current colors. These are among the stickier lipglosses I own, but they give the most amazing, almost metallic glow to the lips and stick around longer due to the tacky consistency. Pros>Cons.

What products have you been wearing lately?

 

 

 

 

 

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 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.

THE REVIEW: LORAC PRO PALETTE.

LORAC PRO 1After a long series of debates with myself on whether or not I should make the jump and treat myself to this, I finally took the plunge and picked up the Lorac Pro Palette (armed with a 20% off coupon. Score.). I’m sure you’ve all heard about it, but if you haven’t, it basically contains 16 eyeshadows, eight of which are matte and eight of which are shimmer shades. And yes, she’s a beaut. The shades are incredible buttery without being powdery at all, and each has some of the best pigmentation I’ve seen in a palette across all shades. I particularly love the shades “Pewter”, a purple-toned taupe, and “Garnet”, a rusty/orange-y brown.

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L-R: (Top Row) White, Cream, Taupe, Light Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black. (Bottom Row) Nude, Champagne, Gold Light Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

The palette retails for $42, so while it is an investment, for the shade selection I think it’s a great addition to any beauty junkie’s collection. If you’re just getting your feet wet with eyeshadow, this is a great place to start; for $10 less than the Naked Palettes, you get a wider range of shades to see what you like, so I definitely would say it’s worth a look. Every shade you could need for everyday wear, simples.

Will you be picking up this palette?

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #2.

baggit 2This week has been all about working towards flawless better skin and minimal makeup, so all products have been henceforth geared to enhancing that sort of effortless look. Is it working? Not sure. But. In an attempt to channel that sort of fresh-faced and wide awake look, I’ve been doing something I rarely do on the daily; reaching for concealer to cover up those hideous undereye demons. I generally don’t go for any extra coverage than foundation under my eyes to avoid looking too “made-up”, but since rediscovering the majesty of my once-loved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, I’m hooked all over again. It really gives you this veil of coverage that isn’t heavy or cakey, and looks oh-so-natural all day long. To keep things shine-free, my Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment primer has been on constant rotation. I won’t go on about it, but you can check out my review here. The whole casual shebang meant no lipstick/gloss to be seen, so I opted for a fresh wash of fuschia with the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 04 Succulent Pomegranate, which is a lovely moisturizing balm that leaves behind the perfect stain all day long. Lastly, if you read my review on the Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 set (if not, check it out here), you’ll know that it came with the shade Twice Baked, which makes for the perfect un-done eyeliner look. You can pick up some shades here. I had low expectations with this one, but the gold shimmer flecks and perfect effect when smudged along the lashlines proved me wrong. Love. The week’s makeup, in a nutshell. Simples.

I’m also trying to get more into social media with le blog, so don’t forget to follow me on twitter/instagram/everything else in the world (click the buttons in the sidebar to do so). Not to pimp out my accounts or anything. What have you been loving this week?

URBAN DECAY OCHO LOCO 2.

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ud 82I’m sure we’ve all heard our share about how incredible Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliners are, since the beauty world has hyped them up to the point of no return. I’ve tried sample sizes of the pencils before, and even then was completely blown away by how amazingly they get the job of defining them eyeballs (and lashes, of course) all too well. Even on my beyond-oily eyelids, once these set, they don’t budge ever. So naturally when I heard there was a set out for the holidays including not one, but eight full-sized pencils, I was a woman obsessed with getting my mitts on this year’s version of the “Ocho Loco.” The set includes three shades from the permanent collection (Perversion, Roach, and Deep End), and five that are new and exclusive (Mars, Ultraviolet, Tornado, Crave, Twice Baked).

ud 83L-R: Roach, Twice Baked, Crave, Perversion, Mars, Deep End, Ultraviolet, Tornado

Roach is a shimmering reddish copper.

Twice Baked is a medium bronze. It’s lighter than Roach, and less warm-toned.

Crave is a dark mate chocolate brown.

Perversion is UD’s classic matte jet-black shade.

Mars is a bold, shimmering green.

Deep End is a stunning aquamarine/teal.

Ultraviolet is a deep blue with noticeable shimmer. This one has quite a purple tone to it.

Tornado is a blackened, shimmery purple. It’s quite dark, and looks like a glistening black in some lighting.

Overall, I’m completely in love with this set. I was skeptical about a few of the brights, but I think they’ll be great for simple statement looks worn alone with mascara for summer. Ultraviolet in particular is beyond gorgeous on its own as a bold take on a cat eye, and Deep End is stunning on the waterline to thrown in a pop of color. While there are a few bright shades, I think the set is totally wearable on the whole with all the neutrals and a great way to get your hands on a lot of shades for a great price. It retails for just $59; if each pencil was bought alone, it would set you back a whopping $160, so it really is an amazing value. It also includes their Grindhouse pencil sharpener which is amazing, and worth $10 alone. Plus, you get the lime green exclusive one, which kind of makes the whole thing totally worth it. It is limited edition but still available at Ulta.com here and the Urban Decay website here. All the eyeliner you could ever need (for the next two months), simples.