THE CAPSULE BAG #11.

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Well, well, well. It’s been a while. So long that I’ve lost track of how many I’ve done of these (may or may not have thumbed through the simples. archives), but I promise, we’re well and truly back on the road. You might have noticed the new capsule bag roaming around le blog lately; I’ve given up my tattered Sephora gift-with-purchase bag in favor of this beyond adorable number from Kate Spade. It’s not available online anymore, but I’m sure you can still find it hanging around instores or at any Kate Spade outlets. Whilst on an impromptu shopping trip, I wandered into Ms. Spade’s boutique and saw this little “pencil pouch” as it was called sitting on the sale shelf and immediately snapped it up as a makeup bag on the go. Swooning over and thirty dollars later, she’s mine. Not the roomiest of cosmetic pouches, but certainly beyond cute with the glasses print; I will admit this one was inspired by the iphone case sported by Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup in her latest Weekly Vlogs. I’m not a vlog-watching kinda gal, but Anna has got me hooked as of late. Whether off camping, strolling around Ikea, or walking around London generally looking fabulous, I’m watching it. Not one you want to miss. On to the makeup. Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream has long been a staple in the beauty world, be it as a lip balm, cheek highlighter, you name it. I bought this tube a little less than a year ago and started using it as an overnight lip treatment right away. Back then, I used to wake up to horribly bumpy lips that looked like I’d developed rash X overnight, so this got kicked to the curb. Firmly believing I was allergic to the stuff, I left it alone in the back of my dressing table until this week. In a slight fit of emotion feeling less than myself (no doubt the effect of the Orphan Black finale), I slathered on the stuff and prayed for the best. Very lightly. A pea sized slather. Come morning, my lips were pillowy soft and moisturized. Don’t ask how; you might jinx it and I could end up with another lip rash. It happened. I think it’s down to the fact that my lips are in much better condition these days, having fought off some eczema spots around the area, but sensitive lips beware: you could end up with rash X. In the base category once again Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua has come out on top. Sheer, good coverage, long-lasting. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s maybe the most perfect summer, fall, winter, spring, you-name-it-base ever created. Clinique’s Cheek Pop Blusher in Peach Pop (review here) seems to be incapable of doing wrong; I’m quite heavy-handed when it comes to blush, meaning serious blending action needs to take place to try and fix whatever over-application happened almost every morning. This no-fuss-blush is nothing short of perfect. Easy to blend and build up, but difficult to over apply. Love. Lastly, MAC’s Fanfare lipstick and I have been having a serious love affair; I find it looks best patted onto well-moisturized lips with a peachy gloss on top. Paired with the Clinique blush, it’s peaches for days. Simples.

What products have you been loving lately?

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…

 

 

SUMMER BLUSHIN’.

DSC_0020 As much as I love plum-tinted, just bitten cheeks in Fall/Winter, summer corals and hot pinks have a hold on my heart that just might be as strong as Daenerys and Khal Drogo (can you tell I’ve still got my mind on Game of Thrones?). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “Snow White” pop of barely-there red in the colder months, but give me fresh coral-tinted apples any day over the whole “I’ve just been running through the forest” look. Even if it means giving up all seven of my dwarves. Prince charming, I’ll keep. The most subtle of the bunch comes in the form of Nars Luster. It’s an orange-tinged apricot with a golden sheen, perfect for everyday wear from Spring onward. While it is subtle on first application, it builds effortlessly, going from a peachy haze on the cheeks to a bright pop of almost-orange. It’s very much a toned-down version of Nars Taj Mahal, if a bit pinker. A step up on the pigment scale is Clinique’s Cheek Pop Blusher in Peach Pop. I love the finish this gives; very glowy, almost lit-from within, all down to the crazy weird formula the brand concocted in a laboratory that’s probably the closest thing to paradise. It looks like a cream in the pan, but applies like a powder  and blends like a dream. The product just melts into the skin, building with ease from a fresh peachy coral glow to an intense pop of color. Love. The newest buy of the lot is Becca’s Mineral Blush in Songbird, a brighter, more intense version of Nars Luster, if a bit more orange. Although it’s insanely pigmented, this one blends to perfection. The more it’s blended out, the more visible the highlighter-esque golden sheen becomes. It looks especially good on medium-darker skins, as it’s pigmented enough that it takes no effort at all to make it show up on deeper skintones. Easy-peasy. For a true cream option, Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow in Tansoleil is a beautiful option. These really are perfect for glowing cheeks: no shimmer to be seen, just a lovely dewy finish that stays put, even in hot weather. If it can handle Miami beach, it can handle anything. Believe me, this one’s not going anywhere; it lasts and lasts, keeping the dewy finish throughout the day. The no-fuss option for drier skin looking for some color with the extra glow. Last up, the budget-friendly blusher of the pack is Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy blush in Hot Tamale. This is definitely the “my friend made me do it” product; I was dead-set against this whole line, having heard awful reviews online about the lighter/medium shades. Fast forward three days and it was love. The texture is unlike anything else: think play-dough in a pan. Swirl a finger around on the top, blend onto the cheeks, and you’re good to go. It leaves a very similar finish to the Clinique blush, if in a brighter shade of pink. My advice? Buy two: one for makeup purposes, one to play with because it just might be more fun than real play dough. And there we have it! The best of the summer blushers to pop on those apples in hot weather. How do you like them apples?

THE PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes have you been loving 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.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS VOL. 1: SEPHORA COLLECTION

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Clockwise from the left: #11, #08, #09, and #03.

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Whilst wandering the glimmering aisles of the wonderland they call Sephora the other day, I passed by the store’s collection sprawled across shelf upon shelf of pure cosmetic bliss. For a moment, that short-lived nightmare almost came true; I nearly passed by it, without a second glance. Amen, I say: thank God for the Counterwomen. Because just as I started to stroll over to the aisles of Benefit, a perfectly manicured woman with saintly skin stopped me. “Did you hear about today’s sale?”

No, ma’am.

No I did not.

Thankfully, she did.

So the nightmare turned into this incredible reality in which I plucked out seven of the collection’s dreamy Volume Booster Gloss Serums, previously priced at $14.99, for $2.80 apiece. Talk about a sale.

Now, they’re not the most incredible glosses you’ll ever try, but for that price, they’re pretty much amazing. They do feel like they’re plumping your lips, but without the sting-y feeling you get from most lip plumpers. They’re not at all sticky, and, while wear time is pretty standard at around 2 hours, they don’t disappear in patches or leave funny marks and things behind, but instead leave you with a pretty stain. What really surprised me about these was the pigmentation; while the coral I picked up is on the sheer side, the brighter shades (here’s lookin’ at you, #09) had great color payoff. I swatched a few other items from the line whilst perusing in wonderland, but I thought I’d take it easy and try out a few of these before going at it with the rest of the collection. After seeing these things in action, I might just run out and buy me some face paint at dawn.DSC_0208

Clockwise from the left: #11, #09, #08, #03

Pictured on this post are only four of the six shades I picked up; the other two (a cherry red and blue-toned fuschia) were gifts for my cousin and mum, but performed just as well. Unfortunately, you can’t order these online, but have a look at your local Sephora to pick these up.