THE ONE THAT EVERYONE LOVES.

porefessional reviewYou know that trove of products hailed by the entire beauty community as the Holy Grail of put-on-your-face items? The ones everybody and their mother is obsessed with, can’t live without, etc. etc. You get my drift. And then there’s the particular problem that arises when you give a member of said Holy Grail of products a go and just can’t seem to make it work, and you spend months and months wondering what you’re doing wrong; is it the way you’re applying it, your uneven skin… And finally you’re resigned to think that there has to be some sort of issue on your end if the rest of the world is in love with it. *Cue sad violin melody.* Alas, Benefit’s POREfessional presents such an enigma in my beauty stash. I’ve been trying to get into this for a few months now since picking it up, and I’ve finally decided: it doesn’t work for me. I know, I know, all this sounds blasphemous at best, but before you throw me in blogosphere prison for treason, allow me to explain. While I do wholeheartedly agree that it does an excellent job at filling in pores and reducing their appearance (its main claim to fame), I just can’t get over how this leaves my skin; chalky, powdery, and a little dry on application. While it does smooth over everything before foundation, it leaves dry patches significantly more visible and doesn’t do much for a longer-lasting base. If you have more combination skin, I’d say you’d enjoy this more simply to keep shine at bay as you shouldn’t have much of a problem with it feeling particularly drying if you’ve got an oilier complexion, but dry skins, beware. I realize it’s only meant to do the job of blurring pores (which it does remarkably well), but if I’m going to go the extra mile to slap on a primer in the morning, it needs to do some extra work to keep my face happy throughout the day.

Have you ever tried Benefit’s POREfessional primer?

FRIDAY FIXER: FOUR THINGS.

FOUR THINGSIt’s the end of the week here on succhisimples, and we’re winding down with a couple exciting new launches, vloggers, and general itching-to-buy finds. First of all, October is well and truly here, and guess what? It’s October 3rd. Happy national Mean Girls day, all. For those of you who didn’t see this chapter from Lohan’s golden era, here’s a few bits that might catch your fancy…

THE NEW LAUNCH // That Nars Holiday CollectionI don’t think I’m alone when I say that I actually did a little gasp when I saw the photos released today. Remember the Guy Bourdin collection last year that sold out before we had a chance to get a good look at the products? This is that. Ladies and gents, if there’s even the slightest possibility that you’re going to want to get your hands on the products, do yourself a favor and pre-order them online. The Laced Edge for Holiday 2014 will be available on November 1st at narscosmetics.com . My prediction? That blush palette will be sold out in two weeks. I may have my eye on that lip pencil set as well… *WARNING*: Wallets everywhere, beware.

THE MUST-SEE BEAUTY VLOGGERS // Tara from Tar Mar and Diana from easyNeonI’m always on the lookout for new beauty mavens to watch on the ‘tube (the YouTube, that is. Although I do wish I was British and cool enough to ride the tube around.) and these two are absolute babes. Tara is just… One chic lady. I’ve been obsessed with her videos since I came across them about a month ago. Besides being ridiculously gorgeous, she’s got this efforless cool-girl style and killer taste. If you’re into watching makeup tutorials often (and what beauty-obsessed gal isn’t?) trust me, you’re gonna love Diana’s videos. Her style is quite different from most beauty vloggers: she does shorter videos than most without a voiceover, just the makeup and the music. Someone should write a song about that… The makeup and the music. But I digress. She has such a good eye for makeup: she often manages to incorporate unconventional shades into surprisingly wearable-and equally stunning- looks. It doesn’t hurt that she looks like a supermodel, either, so basically any makeup looks fantastic on her, but she simplifies looks that seem complicated so that even eyeshadow noobs like myself can handle a diy makeup application based on her videos. Kind of. I’m still getting the hang of it.

THE GET-IN-MY-CLOSET PICK // Whistles Bryton Chelsea Boots in Black.  I am a woman obsessed. I need these in my life, I need these on my feet, I need these to walk all around the world. Every season, I look for the perfect pair of boots: we’ve been through Burberry, Frye, even UGG boots in the old days (let’s never go back to those). I’ve had something of a conversion in the past couple weeks, realizing the bitter truth: I live in Florida. It is hot, it is humid, it has not experienced winter boot weather since the Ice Age. Though it has dipped into the upper 40’s in January’s past, in general the dress code adheres to a strict flip flops and sandals policy. But I could use these on that weekend trip to New York coming up… *Collective sigh.* A girl can dream.

 

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!

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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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…

 

 

THE DEWY SPRING BASE.

DSC_0036The spring makeup menu means a lot of changes from warm  smokey eyes and dark lips that rule during winter. We got peachy lips, rosy cheeks, bright-hued tips… We got a lot goin’ on. But the ruler of the roost? Glowy, healthy, happy skin. That sheen-y quality that makes skin look like you’ve slept a full 12 hours on a palm tree hammock in Bimini is (or like someone replaced your skin with Miranda Kerr’s) is the stuff of dreams. Alas, we can’t all take a snooze in a tropical locale when we feel like we need a little help in the base department. Enter, the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation, arm in arm with the happiest looking beauty tool in town. Hello, Mr. Blender. On a bad skin day, I automatically reach for this duo to inject a little life back into my face. The foundation itself is gold; good coverage, long-lasting, and dewy for days, it’s almost impossible to make this look cakey even when some serious coverage buildup needs to take place. It’s light enough to wear on no-makeup days, but does double duty with a buffing brush when you’re not so in to having all your business on display. These days, I’m much more into this mid-range au naturel effect that the beautyblender gives when the two are combined, using the damp sponge to pat and blend the product into place, and voilà: medium coverage that keeps dew in check. Simples.

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?

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 CAPSULE BAG #8.

DSC_0254With spring on the horizon, I’ve gotten back into shades of pink and gold over the past week; think Nars Orgasm with a bit more punch to it. If you read my last blog post, you’ll be familiar with to of the products featured in the makeup bag: MAC’s mineralize blush in Love Thing and their lipstick in Morning Rose. I’ve been absolutely smitten with both these products, so naturally the rest of the makeup was centered around them. Apologies for the continuous raving about them, especially since I know first hand how hard that lipstick is to get one’s mitts on, but they’re just so. Good. Since I’ve been piling them on daily, the rest of the makeup has been minimal, including Maybelline’s The Falsies Flared mascara for heavy volume at the roots of the lashes, making them look über fluttery with a curl that lasts all day long. Love. To apply the blush, I’ve fallen back in love with my Sonia Kashuk stippling brush that I picked up on a whim from Target. It’s a great budget buy that not only applies bright blush effortlessly without making you look like a clown, but is super soft and blends to perfection. At the bottom of the bag, a firm favorite lately has been the Secret Agent Beauty Foreign Lip Affair Gloss in “Foreign Intelligence Flirt.” I actually received this in a Birchbox a while back and and it’s the perfect gloss for spring; adds enough color to make your lips very rosy and gives a great sheen without being sticky. And the smell. Ladies and gentlemen, the scent of this stuff is most definitely something to write home about. If you’re on the edge with this one, give it a whiff and don’t look back.

I was lucky enough to get featured today in a “Beauty Blogs Worth Bookmarking” post (here) by the lovely Natalie of Thunderlove, so a huge thank you to her for including succhisimples.! I absolutely love her blog; if you haven’t checked it out you can have a look here.