THE NEW THING: ESTEE LAUDER CYBER LILAC.

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Dry//Wet

had been brainstorming about a witty title for this post, but I figured I’d spare you my severely lacking comedy skills and get on with the makeup, sans a punny post title (pun very much intended). Apologies for my lack of imagination, but you have to admit, just looking at this gorgeous product does something to inspire makeup creativity. I’ve been a faithful lover of purple eyeshadow for absolutely ages, but, being the play-it-safe kind of neutral shadow gal that I am, have always shied away from wearing it boldly as anything but eyeliner, or in the form of a toned-down taupe/purple like MAC’s aptly named Satin Taupe. As much as I love that shade, I’ve been on the hunt for a purple shadow that looks sophisticated on the eyes, rather than one that makes it look like a toddler that got too happy with a crayon and no mirror. Side note: the search may or may not have been inspired by the look sported by Lisa Eldridge in this video (you can find a separate tutorial here). Fast-forward past overturning my stash to a trip to Nordstrom, where I happened to spot this beauty, Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gelée Eyeshadow in the shade Cyber Lilac. What a mouthful. Name aside, it was love at first swatch: the texture is absolutely buttery, without the excessive fallout that usually comes with such soft powders. While it is a sort of hybrid product, meant to be a cross between the texture of a cream whilst still being a powder, this works stunningly well both wet and dry. Use it dry, and you still get wonderful color payoff that sheers beautifully if worn allover the lid and into the crease. It has a lovely, almost duochrome effect such that it looks blue-silver, depending on the lighting and placement on the eyes, making it definitely one of those shades to use if you’re looking to do bright, one-color smokey eyes. Used wet, it has a high-sheen, metallic finish that retains the vibrant color even after it dries. Yes, it’s still a bold, in-your-face color that can be quite scary to wear, but I think it’s a very chic, grown-up type of purple that keeps things from looking too wild.  (P.S.: the GWP from Estee Lauder on Nordstrom.com if you spend $45 is to die for, check it out here.) All in all, definitely a must-have if you’re in the market for a purple eyeshadow fix.

What are your tips for wearing bright eyeshadow?

A TRIP TO THE CHANEL COUNTER.

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DSC_0043In the spirit of picking things up again here on succhisimples., I may or may not have gone overboard at the Chanel counter at my local Saks. I’ve been itching to get my hands on the new Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation since it launched, so let’s call this a research-driven spree to let you all know what I think (and take some of the blame for the binge-shopping off my shoulders). I absolutely adore the packaging, it’s so sleek and compact, making it perfect for travel during the summer months. I’ll be formally reviewing it in a few days, including how it compares to the next product, so stay tuned, kids. Next up, my all-time favorite foundation has been repurchased, but alas, this tube’s not for me. Enter, Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua foundation. I actually picked up the shade 70 Beige for my mum, who’s been looking for a new summer base, as it’s a little too dark for my skin. Like I said, look out for a comparison in the review post for the Perfection Lumière Velvet sometime this week for more. And finally, finally, finally, I get to introduce the Les Beiges Healthy Glow PowderIt’s mine. I’ve put off purchasing this compact for absolutely ages, purely because it costs sixty dollars, which is absolutely ridiculous for a powder. After trying it, though, I would buy this again in a heartbeat. It’s the best touch-up powder for on the go I’ve ever tried; weightless, lightly mattifying, and perfectly undetectable on the skin. The packaging on this is a massive plus, it’s beyond gorgeous and will look oh-so-chic when touching up makeup out and about in the world. Love. Chanel’s waterproof eyeliner was actually the first I ever tried way back in the seventh grade: I  stole my mother’s and wore it down until it was this stub of wood. I decided to try out their twist-up waterproof version instead, and I must say, I’m impressed. The formula is drier than Urban Decay’s offerings, as this is more of a kohl-type pencil, so it doesn’t do wonders for tightlining, but it’s gorgeous smudged out on the upper and lower lashlines. Last but certainly not least we have my very first Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in the shade Deauville. It’s a muted brown-y pink shade that’s exactly my lip shade with a touch of shimmer and a bit more rose in it, so it’s perfect for the no-makeup makeup days to come with the hotter months. Simples.

Have you picked up any new beauty products? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

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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!

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMMerry Christmas everyone! So it’s the end of Blogmas, and of my first giveaway here on succhisimples. And the winner is… Heidi A! Congratulations, and we will be emailing you soon to ship over the goodies:) I have a lot coming up for the next year, so stay tuned for a few updates here on my blog. Thank you so much to all of you who entered, to Stylinspire for collaborating with me this month to bring you this giveaway, and to all my new followers! Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES # 12.

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The Neighborhood- Let It Go

So we’re nearing the end of this series as the year draws to a close, and I know I’m a little late with this post, but it’s just a quick bit today I promise. Not sure how many of you guys watch the Vampire Diaries, but I happen to be a huge fan, and I also follow the spin-off, The Originals (which I gotta say I’m starting to prefer over its parent show). Since the beginning, TVD has had one of the best soundtracks on  TV, and its sister show is no exception. We’ve all heard the buzz about The Neighborhood and Sweater Weather, but I actually prefer this one to the über-hyped track. It’s called Let it Go, and it’s one of the songs that played during The Originals’ Winter Finale. Have a listen here, and don’t forget to enter my Blogmas giveaway below! There’s still time to enter, and don’t forget to have a look at this Hop’s host blog, Beauties Unlocked.

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BLOGMAS DAY 2: HOLIDAY NAIL ART.

nail 2Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a great month so far. I’m more than a little late with this post, but here’s the second in the Blogmas series. If you don’t know what Blogmas is, check out my post here. I knew that for my nail post, I wanted to do something simple that didn’t require loads of stamps, etc., and I think this look turned out really well.

nails 1 First, I blocked out the shape of the tree with tape (I couldn’t find striping tape, so I actually used painter’s tape I bought from Home Depot forever ago and tore up little pieces with straight edges. I then painted the inside with Butter London’s British Racing Green and took off the tape while the polish was still wet. Next, I took a dotting tool and and painted the “ornaments” inside the tree with NYC’s Times Square Tangerine. I cleaned the dotting tool and painted the “star” at the top of the tree with OPI’s Goldfinger. Last, I used the same tool with NYC’s polish in White. After a quick swipe of Seche Vite, we’re all done! Christmas tree nails, done. Simples.

If you haven’t entered my giveaway with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire yet, enter below!

 

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BLOGMAS DAY ONE: HOLIDAY MAKEUP LOOK.

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look 2Hello everyone! Today’s post is the first official Blogmas post, a tutorial-esque holiday makeup look diy bit of mumbo-jumbo. If you haven’t heard of Blogmas, I will now defer you to my post that explains all about it here. This week we’ve got some beauty-centric Christmas bits, with another post going up on the weekend. Now, I am by no means a makeup artist, but I do love primping and prepping just as much as the average girl (maybe even more), so this is more of a “here’s how I do my makeup” sort of deal.

With the holidays of course  comes Christmas parties. Oh, how I adore thee. The most oft-used trick in the beauty books for fêtes around this time o’ year seems to be the bold lip, be it red, oxblood, berry-toned, etc, but to be honest, I find wearing bright lipstick to be far too high maintenance for this type of affair; you want to have fun and be festive, not worry if your lip product is going to smear or budge. I love a good red-toned bronze/copper shadow for Autumn/Winter, so naturally I broke out the perfect match from my stash. Meet Mac’s Ever Elegant Pigment. Unfortunately, it was in last year’s Tender Warm Crushed Metallic Pigment set along with four other shades (which do not compare, trust me), but you may still be able to find one floating around at a CCO someplace. If not, Clinique’s Black Honey eyeshadow is really similar (although it’s a pressed shadow), and probably easier to work with. After applying a primer all over the lid and through the crease (I used Mac’s Soft Ochre paint pot), I pressed the pigment on the eyelid with a damp flat shader brush to build up the intensity closer to the lashline. I then took a fluffy blending brush and blended out the pigment all the way into the crease, picked up some more product, and worked it into the outer V, blending the whole shebang out afterwards so it all looked seamless and smokey. I then took my Real Techniques Detailer brush and blended the pigment under my lower lashline. Lastly, I highlighted the browbone with a super cheap, great-quality drugstore option from NYC, I believe it’s called their loose shimmer powder. I have it in the lightest shade, Radiance, and blended it out with my finger. After adding some of my favorite eyeliner, Mac’s eye kohl in Smolder, to my upper lashline, waterline, and tightline, I curled them lashes and added a few coats of Maybelline’s the rocket mascara. *Quick tip: If you find that mascara smudges on the skin under your bottom lashes when you try to add more coats of mascara, try using a business card underneath the eye and applying the mascara that way.* This stuff is amazing, and I’ve got a full review of it here. Base products are my usual: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B40, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. For the lips, I took a nude lip pencil, this time it was Rimmel’s lip liner in Natural, and layered Nyx’s lip gloss in Beige over top to keep it simple. So there you have it! The nearly one-step smokey eye with a bit of sparkle, perfect for the holidays. Simples.

If you haven’t entered our giveaway yet, please do so below! What are your picks for holiday makeup looks this year? Let me know in the comments below:)

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INTRODUCING BLOGMAS + GIVEAWAY

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMHello everyone! I’m so excited to be working on a collab this month with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire. We’re dubbing December as Blogmas; we’ll be putting up two Christmas-related posts each week leading up to Christmas day. I will also be blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY this month, so please stay tuned! Want to win two limited edition makeup sets from Sephora? These are exclusive for the holidays, and the giveaway is live TODAY! The winner will be announced on Christmas as the last post for Blogmas. The first set is the Sephora Favorites Glitz+Glam set, a $159 value, which includes:

– 0.05 oz Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy
– 0.11 oz Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger
– 0.17 oz Nails Inc™ Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat
– 0.18 oz Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelèe
– 0.135 oz Lancôme Hypnôse Star in Noir Midnight
– 0.34 oz Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One HD Illuminating Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
– 1 x Sephora Collection False Eye Lashes in Celebrity
– 0.02 oz Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

 If that wasn’t enough, the second set, Stila’s Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze set, includes NINE of Stila’s picture-perfect Lip Glazes, and is worth $124. It includes shades: Cranberry, Persimmon, Melon, Dazzleberry, Wildberry, Strawberry Cream, Passion Fruit, Kaleidoscope, and Amaretto. The total value of this giveaway is a whopping $283. Just follow the directions and enter in the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

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NOVEMBER BIRCHBOX UNBOXING.

birchbox novemberI can’t believe how fast this month has gone! It feels like Halloween was yesterday and all of a sudden Thanksgiving is tomorrow… Crazies. I’m a little late with this post, since I got my box a few weeks back, but this way I’ve been able to trial all the products for an extended amount of time and give a full review on each:) Enjoy!

First up, the Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuschia.

Meh. That’s all I have to say about this. It’s quite sticky, about five levels up from my-hair-keeps-getting-stuck-to-my-lips-in-the-wind sticky. As the day wears on, it goes grainy on the lips and has this weird texture that’s gloopy but almost exfoliating at the same time. Do yourself a favor and just skip this stuff.

Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator.

Being that the last product was quite the let-down, it was a nice surprise to try a product that actually works. It’s basically an exfoliator, to be used up to 3 times a week. Where it differs from your typical scrub is that it includes enzymes to help break down the outer, dead layer of the skin. I am no scientist, but they must work just like it says on the back, because after use, my face definitely felt brighter and softer. It’s not the most abrasive scrub, which sensitive-skinned ladies will appreciate, but at the same time, it’s quite effective. Love.

Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection in Top Shelf. 

Let me tell you, I love getting nail polish in my Birchboxes. This one is no exception; glossy, with a gorgeous rose-gold hue, perfect for a subtle holiday look. Color Club polishes are generally fantastic formula-wise; not gloopy, but with decent staying power, and great color payoff, and this one is no exception.

Tiossan Body Cream.

This one is the highest-end offering of the bunch, priced at $38 for the full size. Honestly? Not my personal preference in the wide world of body creams. The smell is quite strange, almost powdery. That, I could get past, if it was truly hydrating. After trying it over the course of the last few weeks, I didn’t find the hydration long lasting. If I’m being frank, it really wasn’t hydrating at all. It left my legs still feeling a bit dry after each application. In summation, not worth its price tag.

Ahmad Teas.

I love getting lifestyle items like food in my boxes, and these are no exception. Personally, I’m partial to a steaming cup of earl grey with milk and sugar, but this I can dance with. Peaches? Mangos? Get in my mouth, please and thank you. Now.

So there you have it! November’s box, un-boxed. Simples.

If you haven’t seen my last post yet, you can take a look here. Interested in birchbox? Try out your own subscription by clicking here.

 

 

 

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 2013

monthly roundup 2I’ll admit, I’m just slightly late in posting one of these, since the last time I did was in July… Oops. I know I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to keep up with school and the blog recently, but I’m working hard now to try and stabilize everything, but thank you so much to everyone still following me through my erratic postings. So.

We’re officially in the winter swing these days, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas sneaking up far too early (though I’d be lying if I told you I mind), so my favorite products of October are quite seasonal, apart from the odd bits and bobs. First off, Real Techniques buffing brush and multi-task brush. Basically the buffing brush is an absolute dream for applying foundation, working product into the skin so effortlessly it leaves a completely seamless finish. And the other item in question? The multi-task brush, of the “Travel Essentials” set, is the perfect size for applying blusher just where I like it, about a third of the way into the apples of the cheeks and brushed slightly up the cheekbone. Love.

Next up, I went on the hunt for a berry blush for autumn from the drugstore, and found the perfect match in Maybelline’s FitMe blush in “Deep Wine“. It looks stunning applied lightly on the cheeks, giving a gorgeous lit-from-within rosy glow. Keeping with the brand, I also found the perfect oxblood/berry lipstick in Maybelline’s Color Sensational LipColor “Deepest Cherry”. Oh yes. My love for these two runs deep. Great price, and beyond versatile product. Try applying in an ombré style, patted out from the center of the lips, as a light stain with a slap of lip balm or gloss on top, or full-on cherry for a bold pout. Expect to see a post pop up soon on some winter lips…

If you’ve red my blog recently (which I hope you have), you will have seen my review on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette, so I shan’t go too far into detail about this little bundle of glowy-ness and the primer it includes, but I couldn’t not include it, since I literally haven’t stopped using it since the mailman Jim dropped it on my doorstep like a freaking Sephora Santa Claus; just know that it’s beyond fantastic, giving you everything you need for a flawlessly sculpted and perfectly “lit” face. Interested? Have a look at my review here.

Last but most certainly not least, the NARS creamy radiant concealer in “Ginger”. Oh my gosh. I can’t even describe my love for this little tube. First off, the packaging is beyond stunning. But the product? This thing blows everything you thought you knew about concealer out of the water. Yes, it’s true that none of us like the idea of showing off dark circles to the universe, but eventually you get sick of caking stuff under there, you know?

*Enter, NARS concealer*.

Never cakey, never creases, and gives natural, buildable coverage that never feels heavy. And the fact that it doubles up to erase them blemishes? Score.

So there we have it! That’s everything I’ve been in love with for the past month. Simples. What are your October favorites? Drop me a comment below, and please link up your post if you’ve done one on them so I can have a look!