DE-STRESS WITH AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES.

DSC_0080If you’re a regular blog-reader/big-time-bubble-bather, chances are you’ve heard some talk about Aromatherapy Associates. Their bath and shower oil started making the rounds on the blogosphere around a year ago and hasn’t left since for good reason: it’s bloomin’ fantastic. If the idea of a product that makes your entire house smell like a Parisian spa appeals to you at all, that stuff’s your guy, but I digress. Case in point: you’ve heard of them Associates and their wonderful spa goodies. I was recently lucky enough to test out the brand’s newest launch, the De-Stress Massage and Body Oil*. Here’s how the brand describes the product:

“A soothing massage and body oil, perfect to ease muscular aches and pains, pre and post exercise. This therapeutic blend of arnica and lavender combined with rosemary and ginger will help support healthy circulation and revive tired, overworked muscles whilst nourishing the skin. A must have for any sports enthusiast.”

 Its claims? Anti-inflammatory, helps to heal bruising and nourishing Anti-inflammatory Brings circulation to stiff muscles Warming to muscle and stiff joints, eases muscular aches and pains.” Allow me to come out and say it: I love this stuff. I’ve been testing it out for the past few weeks and it was love at first pump (which sounded much better in my head than it does now, I promise). First off, the scent is to die for; a mix of herbal smellies like Rosemary, it’s lovely and pungent enough to help you wind down at the end of a long day without being offensive. If slathering an oil on before bed doesn’t sound like your particular cup of tea, have no fear, this one’s more of a dry oil in that it sinks in fast and doesn’t leave a tacky finish to the skin. What it does do particularly well besides imparting the skin with a light lullaby fragrance is help to relive muscle aches and pains. Now this is no Tiger Balm, so don’t expect deep penetration (not a good enough excuse to use that word) and pain relief, but along with the scent it does seem to help alleviate minor aches as you massage it into the skin. I’ve also tested popping a pump or two of product into the bath as it fills up, and the results were definitely blog-worthy; lightly scented water and silky hydration after getting out, meaning there was no need for moisturizer on top before bed. Though it’s not cheap by any means at $63 for ___ mL of product, I’d repurchase in a heartbeat. Overall, I’m beginning to think this has sparked a bit of a love affair with Aromatherapy Associates, so wallets everywhere beware; this may just be the beginning of the end for your cash flow.

FOTD FT. MAC FACE+BODY.

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DSC_0262I’ve kind of fallen out of love with MAC in the past year; I think it’s the first brand we gravitate towards when we first fall in love with makeup, and as you learn more, you branch out and want to try new things, and poor buddy MAC gets left on the train travelling off to the far reaches of your mind (can you tell I’m feeling a little off today?). While at the mall this past weekend, I passed by my local MAC store and popped in for a look and realized, I need everything. It’s safe to say I am well and truly smitten with the brand again, and in the spirit of us getting back together, I finally got colormatched for their Face and Body foundation and picked up samples in the shades C3 and C4. C4 is definitely more my color, especially with summer coming up, and so far I’m in love; sheer yet buildable without looking cakey, very dewy finish that still looks like skin? I’m all over that. Review to come. I thought I’d share the look I’m sporting today for all of you: I opted for more hazy than smokey eyeshadow, a berry-tinted lip, and bronze-y peach cheeks in the spirit of summer. Shimmery, beachy, easy. Simples. 

BASE//Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer/ MAC Face and Body foundation in C4/Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger/Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette/MAC Harmony Blush/Nars Blush in Luster

EYES//MAC Eyeshadows in All That Glitters (over lid), Mulch (in crease), Wedge (transition), Naked Lunch (highlight)/Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners in Twice Baked, Perversion (to tightline)/Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara

LIPS//Revlon colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

BRUSHES//Sigma F84 (for foundation)/EcoTools Bamboo powder brush (to set foundation, to bronze and contour using MAC Harmony blush)/MAC 109 (for blush)/MAC 239, 217 (for eyeshadow)

Let me know if you like these “what I’m wearing”-type posts. What have you been wearing lately?

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!

THE LUST LIST: 2014 EDITION.

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 12.52.04 PMWhile I have several New Year’s resolutions concerning all things beauty, limiting my shopping list is not one of them. I realize the above photo shows an abnormally expensive roster of things I probably don’t need, but I wanted to share the items I’m hoping to be holding hostage in my room come December 31st. I’ve heard scads of bloggers raving on about the Oribe Maximista thickening spray, and I don’t thing I’ll be able to resist any longer, despite the price tag. The same goes for the Chloé Roses de Chloé fragrance; big fan of the original, big fan of roses… how could I possibly not be a fan of their baby? The Nars Yachiyo brush has been calling to me for a while now, and I think now is the time to act. In my defense, I’m planning on using it with the next product on the list, Tom Ford’s blusher in either Flush or Love Lust, which I’ve heard to be über-pigmented and require a light hand. I’m in desperate need of a new wallet, and Kate Spade has a stunning selection of reasonably priced offerings, this one being the Harrison Street model. In the high hopes of going on holiday in Europe this summer, I’m saving my pennies to throw myself a “treat yo-self” day (any parks and rec fans out there?) and pick up one of the Céline micro luggage totes at the original store. After hearing Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup raving on and on about the Malin+Goetz Dark Rum candle, I’m pretty positive I need it in my life, possibly more urgently than a Diptyque candle. Lipstick Queen has the stunning Big Bang glosses out, which I’ve been madly swatching at my local Ulta, so I’m hoping to pick up the shades Infinite and Time one of these days. Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyeshadow Quad in Dolce Vita has me absolutely dizzy, I want one so badly. You have no. Idea. I won’t go on about it, but yes, I’ve been stalking swatches, and it’s beautiful. Done. Now, I use a Nikon D5000 to photograph here on succhisimples., but I’m thinking it might be time to switch to the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. I’ve sampled Balenciaga’s Florabotanica quite a few times and am beyond head over heels in love. It’s floral, feminine, but just grown up enough. I’m also in need of a new round brush, and I’m mulling over the idea of investing in a $50 Ibiza one, but haven’t worked up the nerve to pay up just yet. Lastly, Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime is on my list to try when I run out of my dearly beloved Morroccanoil (though I’ll probably end up buying both just so I never have to be without the stuff). So there you have it! The year’s lustworthy items, simples.

What are you lusting after? I mean beauty/fashion related objects, people… Let’s try not to get too scandalous here 😉

THE LUST LIST #1.

As a professional wishlist maker, I’ve had one of these “Things To Buy” checklists running since before I turned seven. True, it has evolved ever so slightly in the past decade or so, but the habit remains. It’s probably not the best thing for my bank account, but I digress. Onto the products.

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 12.20.09 PMFirst up, the Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil, retailing at $36 a pop. Yes, it’s pricey, but after obtaining a sample from my local Sephora a few weeks ago, I have to say, it’s well worth the price tag. This stuff smells incredible, melts makeup right off, and leaves skin silky-soft. Again on the cleansing front, Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Quite the mouthful. Birchbox has just introduced this one to the states, making it readily available via their website (if you don’t know what Birchbox is, check back soon for an unboxing and intro to the subscription box!). The last skincare-ish lustworthy item on the docket is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm. A favorite in the British blogosphere, I’ve been wanting to pick this baby up for ever. Next up, the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. I first heard about this product from Estée, or essiebutton‘s videos. I’ve been looking for the perfect powder to wear with just a bit of concealer for no makeup-makeup days, and this one seems to tick all the boxes. Whilst in Sephora the other day, I finally got the chance to test out Josie Maran’s watercolour cheek gelées, gorgeous little pots of gel blusher that glide on the skin like butter. After hearing all the hype on blogs, this one is definitely wantworthy. And now, succhisimples’ most wanted, public favorite number one, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette. I’d been lusting after the shade “Dim Light” for quite some time, but after seeing this pop up on Makeup And Beauty Blog, I fell in love. No joke. For $58, you get three ambient lighting powders worth $45 a piece, including the limited-edition shade “Incandescent Light” and the warming “Radiant Light”, and a 0.16 oz. sample of the Mineral Veil Primer, which I’ve been dying to try, worth $18 alone. Great bang for your buck. Godwilling, she will be mine. Of course we’ve all heard of Diptyque from our über-chic british blogging friends, but the brand is, to say the least, elusive with regards to its presence in the American market, having only one store in the States located in New York City. The “Eau Duelle” Eau de Parfum is described as a “sensuous bourbon vanilla paired with a pod infusion for a rich fragrance with depth. It’s underlined by the amber animality of cistus and the warmth of ambroxan.”I adore warm vanilla scents, and I think that this one will be perfect for winter. I’ve heard great things about the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking mascara; I’ve actually never tried a super high-end mascara before, so I thought this would be a great place to start. Last but not least, we have the Nars Pure Radiant Creamy Concealer. It could be that I’ve simply been unimpressed with nearly all the drugstore concealer offerings I’ve tried, or that I’m just a snob when it comes to base products; either way, I want this. I’ve been in need of a good concealer for blemishes for a while now, and while this isn’t cheap, I’d really like to try it and see what all the hype is about.

So that’s it! My current most lusted-after items. I’m going to try to post one of these every month, so stay tuned. I’m also challenging myself to put up a post every day this month, so check back for more! What products are you lusting after this month?

IT’S A PERFECT WORLD

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So the other day, I’m going about my business, snooping through my mother’s cosmetic cabinet like every good girl does at least once a month, and something catches my eye. Not just anything, either. An ORIGINS thing. And tell me, what does one do when faced with a $30 body lotion stowed away, untouched and far from prying eyes, within the cosmetics cabinet of one’s own mother who, let me point out, neglected to mention its existence? One grabs the tub and runs all the way home, that’s what. Actually, it was more like I grabbed the tub and went to her office, demanding why I wasn’t told sooner. But still. It’s kind of a big deal.

The world is not that kind. Wait, scratch that. The universe is just too mean. It does not give away things for free, and it certainly does not give away origins things for free. But you know what it does do? Sometimes, if you look close enough, it opens a little door through which you have but seconds to run and grab one of your heart’s many (I assume, if you’re reading a beauty blog) cosmetic desires. And yet, that, in itself, is too rare of an occurrence to rely on for help when the old body butter runs low. But I digress.

In short, when the universe opens a door, run straight through and don’t ever look back.

And so it was that I ran, ran as fast as my short, stubby little legs would go, asked politely if, since she had deliberately withheld this magic from me, I could please steal it, since it obviously wasn’t as deeply loved as it should have been, to which she explained simply that it was a gift from last year that she didn’t even know she still had. Thanks, mum.

But the stuff. The Origins A Perfect World Body Cream? It’s the stuff of dreams, I say. Lightly whipped, it’s light enough to not sit on the skin and hydrating enough to lock in moisture all day and all night. And it smells yummy, but that’s just a bonus. Does origins make my skin happy and joyful? Yes. Could it possibly lead to my eventual bankruptcy? Oh yes.

 

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