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!

ICONIC JURLIQUE.

DSC_0068Again with the rambling about facial mists today, but this time we’ve got a triple threat skincare study going on. *Enter, Jurlique*. The lovely people behind the Australian brand were kind enough to send me a few of their most beloved iconic products to test out, and after a month of testing I can say it’s love. First up and probably the brand’s most popular product, the Rosewater Balancing Mist*. Let’s get one thing out of the way: the scent. Holy mother of God. If you like the smell of roses even the slightest bit, you need this in your life. Picture this: it’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted and just finished your evening cleanse, and spritz this all over as a toner and the world just seems to relax a little bit (I think I may have actually heard angels let out a sigh when I tried this for the first time, but it could have been creaky floorboards-no way to be sure). I love that you can use it both as a toner or over makeup in the morning as it’s so refreshing. Don’t like the idea of spraying all over the face? Jurlique has you covered. Spritz into palms a few times and press into the skin and bam-instant hydration (and I do mean instant). Next up, the Skin Balancing Facial Oil* was just as lovely in the long run but at first not my personal cup of tea. While I think it may do wonders for more combination/oily skins for the evening as it’s so light, after a week of wearing every night as a treatment on my dry/dehydrated skin, it did this strange thing where I’d wake up in the morning (feeling like P. Diddy-thank you Essiebutton) and my skin would actually feel drier than before. After cleansing, I found that I had somehow developed dry patches after a week or so of using. It does well for a few nights a week as an overnight treatment, but I’d say just be careful not to apply this on a daily basis. Then again, I don’t know many people who’d advise you to use an oil every single night in the first place, so partly melt fault here. The verdict? Lovely a few times a week to replenish skin. I found it helped any under-the-skin-bumps come to a head as well and helped clear my skin, which is lovely especially if you’re particularly blemish-prone. Last, the Purely Age-Defying Eye Cream* was another definite love. Here’s the deal with me and anti-aging skincare: yes, I’m under 20 and probably have you use for it, but I read an interview once (I think it was an article on Charlotte Tilbury) that you’re supposed to start using an anti-aging eye cream at eleven. Crazy, I know, but I figure now’a as good a time as any to start, seeing as I didn’t know they made eye cream when I was eleven. While I can’t speak to its anti-wrinkle
properties, I love how light this is even though it’s rich enough to use for evening wear and still deeply hydrating. Overall, the favorites remain the Balancing Mist and Age-Defying Eye Cream, with the occasional seeing of balancing oil during the week.

Have you tried anything from Jurlique?

(*denotes press sample)

OF SKIN BATTLES (& OTHER STORIES).

Beautiful-young-woman-with-face-maskMy skin is not happy. Quite the chatty post today, as I’ve been testing out quite the hefty roster of skincare products for the past week; serums, oils, cleansers-you name it, it was probably on my face in a hundred different forms at some point in the past seven days.On a good day, my skin is far from perfect-being frequently harassed by under-the-skin bumps and blemishes-but it is rather hardy. That is, I don’t usually get the feeling that someone’s burning my face from the inside after slapping on tons of product. In case you can’t tell, this has not been a good couple of days for mah face. Apparently there’s only so much it can take; yesterday’s plan of cleansing, then showering, then re-cleansing with a light scrub and then plopping a mask on top was halted short after the phase three (the re-cleanse). As soon as the mask I was applying touched my skin, the area just burned. Stubborn skincare fanatic that I am, I kept going, trying to smooth it out on both sides of my face in a maybe-it’s-supposed-to-burn-at-first fashion. Hint: it’s not. I’m sure you can guess what happens next, but my entire face went up in flames and it was all downhill from there. After some frantic splashing to try to rinse it off, an attempt with a muslin cloth, and various expletives yelled out in the heat of the moment, I was left with a red face that burned to the touch. My first thought-blame it on the mask-proved to be wrong, since absolutely everything I tried to put on to soothe my skin afterwards burned in exactly the same way. A few days later, I think it was probably just down to the fact that I had been constantly bombarding it with stripping scrubs and enzyme peels to the point where I had finally rubbed it raw, but thankfully I seem to be on the road to recovery these days after banishing all makeup from my face and taking a breather with the simplest moisturizer I could find. Not perfect, but better. I’m still dealing with quite a few rough, dry patches and my skin still isn’t completely healed, but I’m slowly nursing it back to health. I’ve started re-introducing some of the products I’d been using (one at a time), and so far they’ve all proved excellent, so I think it was just too much for my skin to handle all at once. Right now, it’s a slow uphill climb with regards to my face; I think the super deep cleansing wrath brought out by my little bout of burning skin is actually helping get rid of all my little pimples and spots: think, “It’ll get worse before it gets better”, but who knows. I have to say, it was the single most bizarre experience I’ve dealt with skincare-wise, so I thought today’s post would be the perfect chance to chat with all of you about skincare troubles, concerns, etc., and what products you use to save your skin when it’s going through a rough patch.

Let’s chat! What are your most bizarre skincare stories? Drop me a comment below:)

 

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…

 

 

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

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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?

 

 

 

 

 

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?

CURRENTLY TESTING: BOLD LINER.

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fotd 2I’m typically not one for adventurous eye looks; I’m much more of a stick-to-your-neutrals-one-sweep-wonder-eyeshadow kind of gal. BUT. With the new year come several resolutions: the box is broken, and I am stepping out. Into a new box. Boxed liner, that is. Whilst browsing on Sephora.com, I came across their not-so-little corner of the internet in which they post beauty tutorials, etc. and was so intrigued by their boxed eyeliner look I knew I had to try it for myself and share it with you all. Instead of the classic kitten flick, I started at the middle of the eyelid and drew a flick upwards. Then, at the outer corners, I drew a cat eye at an almost vertical angle with the same pencil liner, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Perversion. I find that pencil works better for this look than liquid; it’s much easier to shade in the box with, and this product didn’t budge all day. Lastly, I filled it in added some mascara and blush, and was good to go! I used Orgasm from the Nars One Night Stand Palette on the cheeks, paired with the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Tarte setting powder (review here), and the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. Not exactly the most wearable look, but I think it is a fun take on the usual angled liner for a chic night out. Simples. Will you be trying some new eye looks this season?

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.

 

 

 

MAYBELLINE THE ROCKET MASCARA.

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lashesWhilst roaming the aisles of the drugstore the other day, I wandered my way over to the Maybelline section of CVS to see if anything new had popped up, when the mascara section caught my eye. I’m not a huge fan of every Maybelline mascara I’ve tried (The Falsies Flared, here’s lookin’ at you), but I did fall in love with their Colossal mascara earlier this year. I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect high-end mascara for the longest time, but nothing I’ve tried seems to make the cut. So, coupon in hand, I thought I’d give this little blue tube a go. I’m sure we all heard the hype surrounding Maybelline’s The Rocket Mascara  when it first launched, and I’m telling you now, it’s worth it. Volumizing? Check. Lengthening? Check. Holds a curl? Double Check. I’ve got lashes that tend to droop an hour after I’ve applied lashings of mascara, and by the end of the day, they’re completely stick-straight, hence my tedious journey to find the perfect lash-booster. I always use waterproof mascara, as I find it holds a curl better than wetter normal formulas, and this one is no exception. By the time I get home eight hours later, my lashes are still holding up the same way they were when I first applied the mascara. I’ve been using it for about a month now, and I’ve also found that I can build up quite a few layers without it ever looking clumpy. The only downside is that the brush is rather large, so it makes it a little tougher to get to my bottom lashes, but in exchange for the way it makes my upper lashes look, I’m willing to sacrifice.

THE 3 PRODUCT FACE.

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Oh, how I do love a good cheek stain. I love how easy they are to apply, and how naturally rosy they appear on the cheek. I’ve been going through a pretty rough string of mornings lately in which I barely get five minutes to sit down and do my makeup, so we’ve kept things to the bare minimum. By that, I mean 3 (yes, that’s right, three) products. No base, no concealer, no powder, nada. Just flushed cheeks, glowy cheekbones, and lashings of some good ol’ Colossal mascara. Excuse the messy tube, I’ve had this one lying around for far too long; needless to say it’s past its prime appearance-wise, but still functional. Unfortunately, the gel tint for them chubby cheeks isn’t readily available in the U.S., since it’s from a Filipino brand from when I visited over the summer, but if you can find it in an Asian beauty store or if you’re ever in Asia, I highly suggest picking this up! A little bit goes a LONG way, and the pigmentation and lasting power are both great. It’s also really easy to blend, so no need to stress about it drying down too fast. Anywho. Enough about the product you can’t get (sorry about that). Lastly, shimmering cheekbones are courtesy of Bobbi Brown’s shimmer brick in Bronze, a Christmas gift from my mum last year. This thing is seriously gorgeous; it’s a warmed-up copper/champagne shade that looks gorgeous against a tan. It packs a pretty penny, but I’d definitely recommend this finely milled little parcel of sun. So there it is! Au natural, easy breezy, maybe even a little bit cheesy. Simples.