THE NEW GLOSS FAVORITES.

laura mercier lip glace set

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 L-R: Daiquiri, Bonbon, Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper

 There’s a new set of glosses in town for the holidays, and let me tell you, it’s a good ‘un. I’ve always been a fan of a good gloss (loyal ‘simples readers might recall my first-ever post was dedicated to the subject), but Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé’s have me absolutely hooked. As much as I do love the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, I have to say, Ms. Mercier has got the gloss game down-pat. This set of five of her best-loved lip glacé’s includes two brighter shades (Daiquiri & Bonbon) accompanied by three more nude-toned shades (Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper). Oh, and did I mention it’s now on sale on Nordstrom.com? The shades are truly perfect for all skintones; I initially put off buying for fear that the two lightest shades would be too nude for my medium-deep olive skin and was pleasantly surprised to discover just how well the shades adjust to the lips and melt in, forming a lovely sheen that adds a hint of a nude tone to any lipstick underneath. Nothing too flesh-toned here to make you look like a member of The Walking Dead’s zombie ensemble, just lovely glosses to add a bit of something extra to a nude lip. Glitter-haters fear not: I was most apprehensive about the shade Whisper and after a few weeks of use, I can safely say it’s one of my favorites in my entire collection. The shimmer isn’t obnoxious and contrary to its appearance in the tube, it’s quite fine and just gives a bit more shine to the gloss that catches the light beautifully. Best way to wear? Over nude lipstick on the center of the lips to add a bit of highlight. As lovely as the shades are, where these really shine is the formula. Not sticky at all (even less so than the Clarins offerings), these have just enough slip to feel cushiony on the lips while still lasting around four hours in terms of wear. They’re much less balmy than the YSL Glossy Stains, say, and don’t have the same feel to them, but for an everyday, no-fuss gloss that proves effortless and gives just enough shine, these are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Enough Said.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Lip Glacé’s yet?

OF OIL PULLING (& OTHER STORIES).

DSC_0060To celebrate the end of the year with summer just around the corner (and the end of exams i.e. hell on earth), there’s a new feature being added to the simples roster: & OTHER STORIES. Apologies for stealing the name of one of the UK’s most celebrated new shops, but I’ve been meaning to incorporate more real-life beauty hacks/lifestyle-ish posts since the beginning, so let this be the introduction to a whole realm of DIY-related, kitchen beautician-style posts here on le blog. I was quite late to the party with this topic, since apparently it was bouncing around the beauty community a few months ago, but after reading an article about it on Into the Gloss here, it had to be tested and shared with the rest of the simples fam. You may (or may not) be wondering, What’s this oil pulling business then, Kristina? Well. Let me tell you. It’s gross. But totally worth it. Definitely one of those “it hurts to be beautiful”-type things that’s not one for the faint of heart (or of stomach). So here it is: take a tablespoon of your favorite oil-most people use coconut oil for the healthy components-and swish it around in your mouth like mouthwash for 20 minutes. No swallowing allowed. It’s meant to draw out the toxins from your saliva and break down oil-soluble plaque for a whiter smile, not to mention aligning your chakras or whatever else the Kale-eating hipsters of Coachella lore claim it does. Naturally. A lot of reviews I read said that it reduced headaches as well as cleared skin, so I set out to pull a tablespoon of semi-hard oil between my teeth every day for a week. The things I do for blogging. I have two spots of hypo-calcification on my front teeth, areas where not enough calcium was available when they developed thanks to previous milk allergies that manifest themselves in two large white spots. They’re not horrible anymore after a few rounds of dental whitening, but the hope was that oil pulling might slightly reduce the contrast between the spots and the rest of my teeth. I do recommend using coconut oil, not least of all because it tastes a little better than pure olive oil in large quantities, but make sure whatever oil you use is organic and unrefined or extra virgin. Processing strips the beneficial qualities from the oil and basically makes the process obsolete. Oil picked, it has the strangest consistency when you first put it in your mouth because it’s slightly hard, but it melts down to a runny oil straight away. The first and last two minutes proved to be the hardest every time; not swallowing has never been this hard. I would usually put it in and sit to watch an episode of whatever T.V. show I needed to catch up on and swish, swish, swish. After 20 minutes, spit, brush, and voilà. No residue whatsoever on the teeth. After a week, I noticed the biggest difference in my skin rather than my teeth. Clear, free of any pimples, with no little under-the-skin mountain ranges whatsoever. After stopping the “treatment” for around a week, blemishes were back in style on my face, while the second week saw the re-emergence of the Alps around my forehead. It was bad.  It’s all about keeping a consistent regimen here, folks: try pulling oil once or twice a week to keep things in check. I can’t report super-significant teeth whitening, but if you’re thinking about pulling oil one of these days, do it for your skin: you can thank me later.

What’s the weirdest beauty regime you’ve followed for results? Let me know below!

THE CAPSULE BAG #10.

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DSC_0021The week has seen the introduction of more than a few products as the result of birthday binge-shopping (haul to come; keep your peepers peeled) so I’ve been trialling quite a few makeup bits since buying. First up, my base collection has added a new member to the family. Please welcome the oh-so-professional POREfessional primer from Benefit. This actually happens to be my first full-size product from the brand, and I have to say, I’m beyond impressed. First  of all, a non-silicon-y primer that manages to fill in pores while smoothing the skin and prepping for the rest of the day’s face paint? Sold. You had me at hello. This baby lives up to its name; pores are minimized when first applied and then do their own disappearing act as soon as foundation comes to play. While it is more expensive than many drugstore offerings, it doesn’t break the bank the way the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer does (review here). I actually stole this Dior Nude Tan Bronzer in 003 Cinnamon from my mum’s makeup collection, and we’ve had quite the love affair so far. Silky smooth formula, minimal shimmer, and the perfect amount of glow. Because I have skin on the darker side of the spectrum, I often find that my beloved Nars Laguna bronzer is a bit too light to impart the sunkissed glow I’m always after, so I love this darker shade to give a bit more of a punch. It’s also great applied with a fluffy brush like the Real Techniques blush brush just under the cheekbones and blended up to give a hint of contour. It also comes in quite a few colors if this shade is a little too dark (or light) for you. I’ve been obsessed with the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in Ebony since opting for a bit of a stronger brow in last week’s post. I won’t rave on about this since I’ve reviewed it here, but let me say this: She’s a beaut. Last up, I finally picked up YSL’s Glossy Stain in the shade Corail Aquatique (no. 7). This was my first foray into their range, and I want them ALL. I kid you not, these are bloomin’ fantastic. They go on like the most buttery gloss and start to “set” to more of a balm texture that feels cushiony on the lips and moisturizes all day long. These also layer better than any gloss/liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried; as soon as the product sets, you can keep applying coats until you’re happy with the intensity. This shade, in particular, is a gorgeous peach/coral (can you tell?) that doesn’t lean so orange that it makes your teeth look white, but is a stunning spring/summer shade. Consider me obsessed. 

What have you been loving this week?

THE CAPSULE BAG #5.

capsule bag #5The week’s makeup bag is very Nyx-heavy, which is strange for me, since I’m really not a big fan of the brand as a whole. First up, I’ve kind of fallen in love with their cream blush in the shade “Glow” (here), which I’ve had in my collection for ages now. It’s much more of a bright, neutral pink than I’d normally go for since it’s nearly pastel, but it looks lovely on the cheeks to pull together a very fresh, dewy look. I think going in to spring, it’s nice to move away from that “Snow White” berry flush and get into some more dewy peaches and pinks, so this is a great transition color. Again from Nyx we have the lipgloss in “Beige”, which is not beige at all. People of Nyx, please re-name this, it drives me insane. The actual product, though, I love. It doesn’t add much color to the lips, but paired with a my-lips-but-better shade like MAC syrup (review here), this adds some glow and doesn’t feel sticky at all. Love. I’ve been very into smudgy liner this week, (as usual, but we’re talking like, uber smudged. Review here) and the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Crave paired with the Elf studio contour brush used to blend it out has been perfect. I bought the brush on kind of a whim a while ago and really hadn’t found a use for it until now; it’s too dense to use to contour around the nose and isn’t the greatest for blending large areas, but on the lower lashline, this is perfection. The liner is just barely gray enough that it doesn’t look harsh when blended, so it doesn’t seem too over-the-top rocker chic for everyday wear. I’ve especially been loving the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. I know everyone harps on about this, but it really is incredible; I actually wore this without primer boating today and it lasted a full eight hours. I kid you not. Lastly, my itty-bitty sample of the Benefit Watt’s Up! highlighter from my recent haul has been a lifesaver as cheek topper this week, swipe, blend, done. Simples.

What have you been loving lately?

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: RIMMEL SHOW OFF LIP LACQUER.

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rimmel apocalips applicator

rimmel apocalips swatchesI know I’m a bit late on the bandwagon with these; they’ve been out forever in the UK and made an appearance in Stateside drugstores last year, but I’ve only just managed to track down a few shades. I finally picked up peachy-coral “Luna” at Ulta, which I’ve been eyeing up for forever. It’s a stunning cream gloss that goes on opaque in one coat. On me, it’s a little pale, but it does give a nice nude tint if applied sparingly. On paler skins, I can see this one being a gorgeous bright shade for the spring/summer season. The other shade I picked up, stargazer, is a shimmering champagne nude. This one is definitely my favorite of the two; it gives the lips a gorgeous golden sheen that screams sunkissed. It’s a very beachy shade that I can see looking amazing with a summer tan. While these are long lasting, they’re not all that moisturizing, so I would suggest applying a balm beforehand and blotting a bit off before applying. The doefoot applicator is nice, as you don’t have to keep going back to the tube to get more gloss, but I think it picks up too much product, and I ended up having to blot the lips after applying, so it’s a good idea to take off a little product before putting it on them lips. Long lasting? Check. Gorgeous shade selection? Check. A+.

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?

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 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.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMMerry Christmas everyone! So it’s the end of Blogmas, and of my first giveaway here on succhisimples. And the winner is… Heidi A! Congratulations, and we will be emailing you soon to ship over the goodies:) I have a lot coming up for the next year, so stay tuned for a few updates here on my blog. Thank you so much to all of you who entered, to Stylinspire for collaborating with me this month to bring you this giveaway, and to all my new followers! Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

BLOGMAS DAY ONE: HOLIDAY MAKEUP LOOK.

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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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