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!

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.

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 PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes 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!

 

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #2.

baggit 2This week has been all about working towards flawless better skin and minimal makeup, so all products have been henceforth geared to enhancing that sort of effortless look. Is it working? Not sure. But. In an attempt to channel that sort of fresh-faced and wide awake look, I’ve been doing something I rarely do on the daily; reaching for concealer to cover up those hideous undereye demons. I generally don’t go for any extra coverage than foundation under my eyes to avoid looking too “made-up”, but since rediscovering the majesty of my once-loved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, I’m hooked all over again. It really gives you this veil of coverage that isn’t heavy or cakey, and looks oh-so-natural all day long. To keep things shine-free, my Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment primer has been on constant rotation. I won’t go on about it, but you can check out my review here. The whole casual shebang meant no lipstick/gloss to be seen, so I opted for a fresh wash of fuschia with the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 04 Succulent Pomegranate, which is a lovely moisturizing balm that leaves behind the perfect stain all day long. Lastly, if you read my review on the Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 set (if not, check it out here), you’ll know that it came with the shade Twice Baked, which makes for the perfect un-done eyeliner look. You can pick up some shades here. I had low expectations with this one, but the gold shimmer flecks and perfect effect when smudged along the lashlines proved me wrong. Love. The week’s makeup, in a nutshell. Simples.

I’m also trying to get more into social media with le blog, so don’t forget to follow me on twitter/instagram/everything else in the world (click the buttons in the sidebar to do so). Not to pimp out my accounts or anything. What have you been loving this week?

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.