FOR THE CONCEALER OBSESSED…

concealerI had to go through this entire inner monologue while writing my post regarding the appropriate number of dots necessary in the title of this post (or periods, if we’re being nitpicky). Which sounds ridiculous, but let me explain myself: every post since the inception of succhisimples has had a title ending in a single period. And so you can imagine the moderate anxiety I experienced whilst sitting at my desk writing about some dark circle saviors when I was overcome by this idea that not one, but three periods were required to give this post a resounding name. Dot-dot-dot. Now that I think about it, it still sounds ridiculous, but I am far too lazy to erase this entire paragraph and restart my story, sans the added period drama (see what I did there? Ha. Ha.). And so we begin, with a post dedicated to those of you out there who, like me, get concealer-happy when browsing at the local Sephora… (dot-dot-dot)

Here’s two you need, above all other undereye concealers. Contender #1: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I have the shade Ginger in this, and it was love from first swipe. This is the stuff makeup dreams are made of: a breeze to blend, good coverage, stunning satin finish that still looks like skin. Even though this does offer an industrial-strength cover-up for even the worst of morning panda eye syndromes, it’s über light on the skin, meshing seamlessly with your foundation and making you look years younger in an instant. Contender #2: Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in the shade Neutralizer. The variety of shade selections on this one is considerably more limited than the former option, but they are more on the one-size-fits-all kind of bandwagon. The shade I have works well as an undereye eraser when used sparingly on myself, but excels in its properties on my medium-tan skintone as a highlighter for the whole Kim K. effect: a dab on the tops of the cheek bones, swept in a triangle below the eyes, a touch on the bridge of the nose and chin. There’s also a pink-toned shade for correcting underneath concealer if you’re looking for the extra coverage, but as a day-to-day undereye brightener, this does the trick for much less than half the price tag on the Nars offering. Do you need them both? Yes and no. I honestly can’t live without both of these in my stash, so here’s the lowdown: if budget isn’t an issue, pick them both up at once. If the price tag seems to hefty on the Nars Radiant version, I would pick up both the Age Rewind and Maybelline’s FitMe Concealer, which I’ve found to be the closest drugstore dupe to the Nars. It doesn’t have the greatest coverage in comparison, but the texture is very, very similar if you’re looking to save some cash. Although I would still recommend saving up to get both the Nars and the Maybelline Age Rewind (which I did, and haven’t spent a moment regretting the decision since), because let’s be honest, a little added concealer splurge makes all the difference on sleepy Monday mornings.

What are your top concealer picks?

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!

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?

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

naked 3 review

naked 3 review2

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 CAPSULE BAG #6.

the capsule bag #6Don’t say it. I know what you’re thinking, this is the ugliest blog photo in the history of man, but A) I haven’t posted anything since last Wednesday, so there goes my schedule and B) I’ve been so busy the only time I’ve been able to take some blog photos is at nine at night with worse lighting than the first Twilight film. Shameful? Absolutely. It had to be done. Apologies for the late weekly favorites post, but here are… last week’s loves. Whoopsie. Here we go.

Zuzu Luxe Mineral Bronzer in D-28

My mum actually picked this up from the beauty aisle in Whole Foods (who’d have thought?) and, as it was getting dusty in the back of her drawer, I took it upon myself to spread the makeup love to this little pot of sun and ohmygosh. I lurves. It’s quite the intensely pigmented bronzer and much more shimmery than my all-timer, Nars Laguna, so I do use a light hand, but for no-highlighter days (which almost never, ever happen here at succhisimples.) this has been my go-to.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Grape Vine

For no-makeup days when lips need the extra boost of TLC and a flush of color, I’ve been swiping this bad boy onto them smoochers. Easy, breezy, and with less pigmentation than their “Cherry Me” offering, it’s great for those who don’t want too much of a flush but still love a berry tint.

Nyx Love in Paris Palette

This is one of the most adorable palettes in the universe, being that it’s smaller than my palm, and comes handy for days when I don’t want to break out seven different palettes to get all the shades I need. It’s naked, in a smaller, much more French version. Need I say more?

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Honey

My love affair with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is still going strong, but my skin hasn’t been the best lately with all the stress it’s been battling, so Bobbi’s got them breakouts taken care of with her heavy duty but not heavy-looking cover-all. Say that five times fast.

And there you have it! Last week’s favorites, this week… Simples. Which makes no sense at all, but I promise to be back on schedule with a new post (hint hint, Lorac Pro Palette Review) this Wednesday. Don’t forget to check back then! What have you been loving lately?

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

revlon lip butters

jan fav 3

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!

 

 

URBAN DECAY OCHO LOCO 2.

ud 8

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.

 

 

 

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #1.

the week #1With the New Year comes some changes to succhisimples., and the addition/replacement of a category on le blog. Rather than doing “The Weekly Edit” about which I posted sporadically during the last six months, I’m committing its re-vamped version, officially called “The Capsule Bag”. This way I don’t just post about what I’ve been loving over the week but really what my staple and bare necessity products have been for that week. So, I have officially started over, and am committing to doing this post once every single week. Pinkie Swear. So what’s in the capsule this week? First off Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blusher in “Liquifuschia” is gives the most stunning pink flush for winter weather, which pairs beautifully with the dewy finish of Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation. I’ve been addicted to tightlining with MAC’s Smolder Eye Kohl lately; it really adds the extra oomph to lashes after curling. Lastly, Buxom’s full-on lip polish in Leslie is the perfect plumping gloss that doesn’t add color, but makes you look like you’ve got “Porn-star lips” as Estée of Essiebutton once called the effect. A week in my makeup bag, done. Simples.

DULL SKIN SAVIORS.

skangelsAfter all that partying to ring in the New Year, my skin seems to be at an all-time low. We’re talking dull and dry with more under-the-skin spots than I care to mention. The stress of the holiday season always manages to take a toll on my skin, so I’ve been relying on this roster of handy-dandy skangels (skin angels, obviously) to restore the balance, or at least make it look like it. On the actual skincare front, of course my Origins GinZing, which I’ve reviewed here, is a staple to perk up the complexion; it’s great for that morning-after (the party, I mean) feeling when your skin just needs to look that little bit brighter. To de-puff, I’ve been religiously applying Caudalie’s SOS Vinosource Eye cream in the morning as it’s light but moisturizing. The Revlon Nearly Naked is a year-round favorite for me, but when I’m faking healthy skin, it’s an absolute Godsend; gorgeous dewy but natural finish for a great price, followed by the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger to banish undereye bags. Lastly, to add to the healthy skin look, I top off the base with Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal on the cheekbones, chin, and down the bride of my nose. No powder to be seen here, nothing that might make the skin feel any drier than it already is, just your setting spray of choice and we’re ready for a photoshoot in a health magazine. Simples.

BLOGMAS DAY ONE: HOLIDAY MAKEUP LOOK.

look 1

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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