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?

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!

THE HAUL: JANUARY 2014 EDITION.

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DSC_0289I call this the “January Edition” not because I’m planning on doing a haul every single month (my bank account isn’t nearly large enough to afford twelve of these posts a year), but because I know that coming up in March for my birthday there will be quite a large haul, followed (hopefully) by a Paris haul in the summer. This month, I took the plunge and made an impulse Sephora purchase and picked up a few things I’ve been putting off buying for ages. The first, Origins’ Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Moisturizer, I’ve gotten samples of not one, not two, but four times at my local counter. I even made a friend accompany me last time to get an extra sample and pass it off as hers. I kid you not. Needless to say, the woman who works there despises my presence every time I approach, so I placed the order online. Ha. It’s the most gorgeous, lightweight moisturizer to use as a night cream, and the smell. Oh. There are no words. Basically it smells like there’s a party happening. On your face. While you sleep. Not to mention you wake up with the softest, most supple skin imaginable. Love. Next up, I’ve been meaning to try Tarte’s Smooth Operator Micronized Setting Powder for ages, and I saw on Sephora.com that the limited-edition version released last year with the Aqualilies collection was on sale. Same powder, but prettier packaging, ten dollars off? Please and thank you. Into the cart it went, so there will be a full review up sometime next week. Stay tuned, kids. The rest of the Sephora items were actually samples; the site was running a promotion that gave you the option to pick 2 luxury-sized samples (hint: use code VICESWAP to shop the deal) so I picked the Tarte Maracuja oil and Becca’s bronzing skin perfector. First off, I’ve never actually tried a proper skincare oil before, and the results were fantastic; brighter, softer, and hydrated skin all came to light in the morning. I’m currently deciding between the full size of this or the Pai Rosehip Oil, but I digress. The Becca sample is actually aimed to give you that tan glow to your skin. Now, I’m basically brown all year round, so no word here on whether or not that helps in the fake tan department. Personally, I lvoe Becca products, especially their Skin Perfector Line, so I think this will make a great cheekbone highlighter-type shade for the summer to help on top of a bit of bronzer. I also got the birthday kit from Benefit they give if you’re a Beauty Insider, since I accidentally put my birthday in as a January birthday when I signed up. #Sorrynotsorry. The kit includes a sample of their Watt’s Up! highlighter, a lovely champagne-golden shade, and the They’re Real! mascara, so lot’s of exciting stuff here, judging from all those exclamation points Benefit brands their products with. Honestly though, the Watt’s Up! gives a great, long-lasting sheen to the cheeks, and the mascara is perfect for separating lashes. If your lashes don’t typically hold a curl, I’d recommend a layer of waterproof mascara first before a layer of this, but it really is fantastic. Lastly, I finally got myself the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm, which is lovely at night as a sort of lip mask, since it’s quite thick. So there you have it! All my recent purchases from the month, simples.

What have you picked up recently? Let me know in the comments below!

MAC PAINT POTS: A STUDY.

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L-R: Vintage Selection, Eclair, Soft Ochre

I’m a big fan of cream eyeshadows; I love their swipe-and-go nature and how simple they are to smoke out and run out the door with. MAC’s offerings are some of the best I’ve tried; incredibly creamy, lightweight, and easy to apply, they’re what made me fall in love with cream shadows. My collection of these isn’t all that extensive, but the three shades I have to share with you today are Soft Ochre, Eclair, and Vintage Selection. Soft Ochre was one of my first ever makeup products, which I bought as an eyeshadow primer. This is the more yellow-toned version of the two nude shades they offer (the pink-toned one being Painterly), and really suits my skin tone. They do work wonders as primers, since eyeshadow really sticks to them and doesn’t let up for hours. Plus, this cancels out the redness I may have going on around my eyelids, so bonus points for that. Love. The next two, Eclair and Vintage Selection, were actually limited edition, but they tend to get re-promoted quite often (Vintage Selection in particular). I’ve already done a review on Eclair, a warm rusty bronze tone which makes for the perfect brown smokey eye look, so have a look here to see more. Vintage Selection, on the other hand, is a pinky-beige shade that leans champagne; it’s very multidimensional and looks gorgeous as a base for shadow. Apologies for the photo, but it really is difficult to capture the color on camera. It’s quite pink, but if you’re not on the fairer side, this works fabulously as a highlighter under the browbone. In comparison to other high end brands, MAC’s cream shadows are on the cheaper side of the spectrum, and pack more of a punch in terms of quality and pigmentation  than a lot of high-end brands’ offerings. If you’re not a cream shadow lover, I’d definitely say try these out; they just might convert you. Welcome to the dark side.

What are your favorite cream shadows? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

 

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

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Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP- JULY 2013 EDITION

It’s the end of another month, which means it’s time for my first monthly roundup! Summer has flown by, and I can’t believe in a few weeks I’ll have to start worrying about school supplies again. Ugh. BUT. Here’s to a wonderful month, and a lot of great products.

Lately, it’s been ninety-four degrees outside, so makeup’s been kept to a minimal for the past few months. My love affair with Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua foundation in B40 is still going strong (review to come), since it’s uber-light and looks totally natural. It’s a no faff base product that I don’t need a brush for, since it gives a wonderful finish just by buffing it in with your fingers. Simples. But on those good skin days (of which there are few), I’ve just been pulling out my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in the shade “Honey” to cover any blemishes or under eye issues and setting with powder. This stuff is seriously creamy (surprise surprise) and a little goes a long way. For bronzer Nars “Laguna” has been my go-to since I got it and it’s gotten its share of love this month, while a sample of theBalm’s inStain Blusher in “Swiss Dot” (thanks, Birchbox!) has been keeping my cheeks a coral flush that lasts all day. Though I have a serious penchant for eyeshadow, I don’t own the Naked Palettes the whole world goes on about, and instead have a MAC palette I’m slowly building up. Now, that’s not to say I don’t seriously eyeball the little tin of shimmer every time I go into Sephora, I just always find a reason not to pick it up. I’ll save you the time of me explaining every eyeshadow in the palette since it isn’t even full, but keep your eyes peeled for a separate post on it. Anyway, my MAC palette has gotten a lot of use on the days I do wear eyeshadow; my main squeezes this month have been Woodwinked and Mulch. Back in June, I picked up the MAC 217 blending brush from my local CCO and I have to say, it’s love. This thing is worth every bit of the hype, blending out powders, creams, and pigments seamlessly. Lastly, my beloved YSL volupté Sheer Candy in #04 “Succulent Pomegranate” has been amazing this summer, giving the perfect juicy pout to go with a golden tan.

BRING IT, BRAZIL.

brazil nut Brazil nut. Anything new? Nope. But the Body Shop’s revamped brazil nut     line? That’s a different story.

Ladies and gentlemen, this stuff is worth phoning home about.

My love affair with The Body Shop is, to say the least, short-lived, seeing as I only just discovered it about a year ago, along with beauty blogs and youtube videos to make my face look a little less like I haven’t slept in a few years and a little more like I care about life. BUT. That isn’t to say that I am not deeply, deeply smitten with the brand. This is love.

I first found their coconut body butter through watching essie-button‘s youtube videos, in which she often spoke about her undying love for the stuff, and instantly had it in my head that I needed it in my life. So, I took a trip to the mall and pranced into the store to take a whiff, and let me be the first to tell you, it is incredible. One sniff, and you’re transported to this warm, charming Hawaiian island, watching yourself sip Mai-Tai’s in a bikini on white sandy beaches. Well, not really, but kind of. It’s a warm, comforting scent that I now cannot live without. My mum, born and raised in the Philippines, grew up around a whole lot of coconuts. Naturally, after purchasing my own small tub of magic, I ran home to her office and made her smell it, to which she reacted with a wrinkle of the nose and frantic motions for me to remove the stuff from her nostril area. Unfortunately, she hates it. Fortunately for the rest of the world, this is the most accurate test available for the authenticity of the scent; her hatred comes from smelling the fragrant scent of the fruit all her life. Thus, we both vouch that it smells exactly like real island coconuts. And so began the affair.

A few months ago, while out shopping with my best (and similarly makeup obsessed) friend, we waltzed past the shop and saw the new display of the brazil nut line, which the brand discontinued a few years ago. Naturally, the only thing to do was zoom in for a look. And so it was that I sniffed the body scrub for the first time.

The way that stuff smells. Holy. It’s this caramel-y scent that’s almost like a macchiatto with vanilla thrown in that envelops you in this warm cocoon of bliss. It’s INCREDIBLE. Against my better judgement, I decided against buying it, running in to Sephora instead to sample Nars “Sin” blush for the hundredth time to keep my mind off the beautiful scent. Fast forward to about a month ago, and both the scrub and body butter wound up in my basket at the check-out counter and later on my bathroom counter. After having used them for a while, I can safely say both are beyond amazing. The scrub has just the right amount of scrubbi-ness to exfoliate well and leave skin baby soft without being too harsh, and the body butter hydrates deeply and smells divine. I’ll be stashing these until long after I turn eighty.

You can purchase both at The Body Shop by clicking here.