THE MUST-TRY LIST: RADICAL SKINCARE.

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Radical skin care is a a brand I’ve been hearing about from UK bloggers for years now, but until recently I hadn’t head much buzz about the products Stateside. Which is ridiculous, because let me tell you, they’re life-changing. Yes, I really said that. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Lets be honest for a second here. My skincare shelf/stash is constantly overflowing with products, so coming to the point where. I’m completely committed to not just one, but THREE different products from a single brand, so much so that I won’t travel without every single one, is something to write home about. I recently got the chance to test out their Hydrating Cleanser*, Instant Revitalizing Mask*, and new SPF, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30*, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m hooked. I’ve been using the products steadily for a few months now to really get a feel for how they work into my routine, and at the moment, I can’t see myself ever being caught without all three in my stash. The Hydrating Cleanser* was my introduction to the brand; it was the first product I heard about from the range (thanks to Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup), and is probably my favorite of the bunch. Though meant as more of a post-cleanse after you’ve taken off the bulk of your makeup, I’ve been using this religiously as my morning cleanser and have found that it dipoles wonders , to really brighten and plump dull tired skin. A dollop of this massaged onto dry skin is the perfect morning facial that smells lovely and feels oh-so-wonderful. Additional note: I’m a sucker for peach, and the peach shade of this cleanser instantly gets rid if those Monday morning blues. Peach or non-peach-colored, this stuff is damn good. it’s on the pricier end of cleansers at $45 a pop, but I’ve been using my tube every morning, as well as some nights, for around three months now and I’m not even halfway done with the tube. 100% worth the price tag. The Instant Revitalizing Mask* does what it says on the tin: perks up dull skin and injects a good serving of hydration while leaving skin feeling clean afterwards. The brand describes it as: “the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy, and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions. It leaves skin amazingly revitalized, healthy, and glowing.” I must say, this is without a doubt one of the most fun products you’ll ever put on your face. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and it fizzes, pops, and bursts as the mask does its work, giving a lovely tingling sensation that tickles rather than stings. It’s the perfect pick-me-up mask for days when you need a quick fix for sallow or tired looking skin that leaves it looking refreshed and awake, as well soothing any redness or irritation you might have going on. A foolproof fix I’ll never be caught without in my skincare trove. The final product is the brand’s newest product, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30. We’ve all heard it before: SPF, SPF, SPF. Sun damage, they say, is the #1 source of wrinkles. But let’s be honest, no one wants to oil on yet another layer of product in the morning before we get to work on the tough job of putting on the daily face. Unless, that is, you’ve got an SPF in your arsenal that’s too light to detect on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast, and pumps up the glow factor, making your skin look dewy and lot-from-within before you’ve applied a drop of makeup on top. Enter, Radical Skincare’s solution to the sunscreens of days past. It looks slightly pink when squeezed out of the tube, but even on my über yelllow-toned skin it blends in effortlessly and doesn’t leave an odd tint behind. It does contain a bit of shimmer to add some dew to the mix, but on the skin it’s undetectable disappearing to add a seamless glow to the face. I know, we’re getting a little glow-heavy here, but there really isn’t a better word to describe the effect this gives. It doesn’t add any oil to the skin or have a that odd silicone-y feel, but simply does what it claims to: blurs imperfections and enhances the look of skin before makeup, giving a dose of protection without feeling like an extra layer of product. Enough said.

Have you tried anything from Radical Skincare?

AN ODE TO NARS SHEER GLOW.

DSC_0326Can we skip the part about how late I am to the party on this one? I know, I know, everyone and their mother is in love with this stuff and you know what? I am too.  Rewind a couple of weeks and you’ll see me at my local Nars counter (finally) getting color matched and picking up a sample. Rarely do I encounter love at first sight with beauty products but ladies and gents, I think I’ve found the one. The shade Cadiz was perfection, coverage was on point… Not to toot my own horn, but it was one of those ‘my skin has never looked so good’ moments that never, ever happens to me. After strolling through a few more counters at Saks I went to get color matched for YSL’s Touche Eclat just to see how the two compared and I had to stop the woman from applying the product on my face before wiping off Sheer Glow from underneath because she didn’t realize I was wearing any foundation the product blends so well. Fast forward slightly and I’m still in love with the stuff even a week after, and so the trouble begins. I’ll spare you my desperate journey for Sheer Glow, but I basically bought Sheer Matte instead on accident and then ended up buying (and loving) both. Review to come on the latter, but I digress. I. Love. This. Stuff. With just a single pump it’s incredibly smoothing and perfecting on the skin, making pores disappear without having to layer on product. If you’re in need of extra blemish cover it can be layered easily with absolutely zero cake factor added. Lasting power is also ridiculously good on this one; foundation especially seems to disappear on my skin like nobody’s business but somehow this withstands even the über humid Florida heat waves, so massive props to Nars for engineering that kind of wizardry. I know I keep harping on about the shades, but as someone with very in-between-undertones and darker skin I find it insanely hard to find a base that’s the perfect match. Nars have got it going on with their massive range of shades from almost paper white to deep tawny, so if you have trouble like me finding the perfect match this may just be the answer to your prayers. I know it’s called Sheer Glow, but it’s not the dewiest of foundations on the market, something I find to be right up my street. It’s more of a satin-y finish that let’s your natural sheen-iness peek through: basically, it looks like skin, no matter how much you layer on. (I told you it’s magic.) I find that on my dry-combination skin and an oily t-zone I don’t need to powder this one down, though adding a touch to set everything does help prolong staying power throughout the day. Let’s just say this: I’ve found the Holy Grail.

Have you ever tried Nars Sheer Glow Foundation?

 

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!

TATCHA LUMINOUS DEWY SKIN MIST.

DSC_0074A short disclaimer here: I love me a good face mist. I’ve tried different species of dew-ifiers and matt-ifiers in my time, and rarely do I find a product that I’m one hundred percent sold on in this department. Not to worry, there’s a method to my madness: a mental checklist of all the required attributes to award the title of success. A) Performs desired result. Be it keeping things matte or making skin look fresh and plumped, it better do what it says on the tin. B) Cooling/refreshing feeling upon application. C) Sprays a fine mist evenly without leaving splotches of product droplets all over the place. D) Light, pleasant scent. Face mists are meant to make you feel refreshed, not make your face smell like a chemical factory. E) Does not make skin feel tight. Ladies and gents, please allow me to inform you that I’ve found a spray that ticks not one, not two, but all the boxes. Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist* might just be the best thing to happen to me since the Devil Wears Prada (and that’s saying something). I was recently lucky enough to test out this product to share with all of you and I must say, it’s love. Here’s the what the brand has to say about it:

“What it is: A silky liquid moisturizer spray of Squalane, Red Algae and our HADASEI-3 complex can be misted for a boost of soothing hydration, resulting in dewy, luminous skin anytime, anywhere.

Why it’s different: This milky emulsion contains moisturizers and humectants leaving skin rehydrated. Does not contain high levels of alcohol and fragrance found in conventional hydrating sprays, which can dry out the skin.

Who it’s for: Ideal for dry and combination skin.”

Now, I know nothing about what the benefits of ingredients like Squalane and HADASEI-3 complexes, but allow me to break it down for you; this stuff’s damn good. It’s incredibly light and doesn’t sit on the skin, sinking in in seconds. Application seems to able down to the spray nozzle, I think because the holes are so small it sprays the finest mist I’ve ever come across. Unlike a lot of sprays, this one does what it claims, lightly hydrating, leaving skin looking plumped and healthy with just the right amount of dew. Be warned; you may face the temptation to continue spritzing for at least half an hour because this stuff literally feels weightless and as though you haven’t applied anything. I love the scent as it’s very light and barely-there. Combination/oily skins have no fear: TATCHA understands the difference between looking dewy and looking greasy. In other words, fear not about this making your t-zone look shiny after application. For reference, I’ve got dry/combination skin with an occasionally oily t-zone, and a spritz of this was perfect to set my face without making things look too shiny. If you’re very oily, I’d say stick to using this midday to freshen things up rather than to set your makeup first thing in the morning. It has the strangest consistency compared to every face mist I’ve tried; rather than a glorified can of water, this stuff looks milky in the tube and is more like a skincare product than a setting spray, working to keep skin hydrated and looking healthy. My advice? Try your best to avoid going ham on the spritzing action, believe me it’s tempting to spray all day long and while it is pricey, it’s definitely worth more than it’s weight in gold. Maybe an all-day spritz would be worth breaking the bank after all…

(* denotes press sample)

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…

 

 

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?

A TRIP TO THE CHANEL COUNTER.

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DSC_0043In the spirit of picking things up again here on succhisimples., I may or may not have gone overboard at the Chanel counter at my local Saks. I’ve been itching to get my hands on the new Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation since it launched, so let’s call this a research-driven spree to let you all know what I think (and take some of the blame for the binge-shopping off my shoulders). I absolutely adore the packaging, it’s so sleek and compact, making it perfect for travel during the summer months. I’ll be formally reviewing it in a few days, including how it compares to the next product, so stay tuned, kids. Next up, my all-time favorite foundation has been repurchased, but alas, this tube’s not for me. Enter, Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua foundation. I actually picked up the shade 70 Beige for my mum, who’s been looking for a new summer base, as it’s a little too dark for my skin. Like I said, look out for a comparison in the review post for the Perfection Lumière Velvet sometime this week for more. And finally, finally, finally, I get to introduce the Les Beiges Healthy Glow PowderIt’s mine. I’ve put off purchasing this compact for absolutely ages, purely because it costs sixty dollars, which is absolutely ridiculous for a powder. After trying it, though, I would buy this again in a heartbeat. It’s the best touch-up powder for on the go I’ve ever tried; weightless, lightly mattifying, and perfectly undetectable on the skin. The packaging on this is a massive plus, it’s beyond gorgeous and will look oh-so-chic when touching up makeup out and about in the world. Love. Chanel’s waterproof eyeliner was actually the first I ever tried way back in the seventh grade: I  stole my mother’s and wore it down until it was this stub of wood. I decided to try out their twist-up waterproof version instead, and I must say, I’m impressed. The formula is drier than Urban Decay’s offerings, as this is more of a kohl-type pencil, so it doesn’t do wonders for tightlining, but it’s gorgeous smudged out on the upper and lower lashlines. Last but certainly not least we have my very first Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in the shade Deauville. It’s a muted brown-y pink shade that’s exactly my lip shade with a touch of shimmer and a bit more rose in it, so it’s perfect for the no-makeup makeup days to come with the hotter months. Simples.

Have you picked up any new beauty products? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

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?

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.

THE HOMECOMING HAUL.

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hoco2Oh yes. I love homecoming week. It’s this incredible lapse of the year where everyone gets along, everyone’s friends, everyone comes together. Oh, and we get to go to school dressed in decade day apparel, animal costumes, and maybe even the occasional red solo cup outfit for stages of life day and “college days”. Yeah. I lurves it. Every year, as a part of the prep-process for HoCo week, I will admit to going on a slight spending spree. Well, not slight. That may just be a bit of an understatement. But hey, let’s be honest. It’s kind of a big deal. So yes, I splurge. It’s just that I usually do all my school year shopping around the end of July, and then ban myself from dishing out a cent on any sort of frivolity for the time being. But homecoming. That’s not just an excuse to buy useless stuff. It’s practically a sign from the universe saying, “You’ve been good. Now go buy yourself something special.” And everyone knows, if you don’t listen to the signs… It’s just bad. So really my small transgression against my bank account is totally justified, since I’m basically listening to the universe.

But I digress. On to the products.

I placed my first NastyGal order, and I gotta say, I’m kind of in love. Yeah. I’m having an affair with that website. But what can you do? You know what they say, you can’t help who you love. And I LOVE this. I bought two dresses, a simple, off-the shoulder black one and a more formal white number. The prices on the site are fantastic; you get great quality without emptying out your entire wallet. Their shipping is an absolute dream, if one can describe shipping as being dreamy. I originally placed the order with the complimentary 3-day shipping (which I gotta say, is incredible. I can’t believe they ship out that fast with no extra charge.), but I was worried it wouldn’t arrive on time, so I phoned in and asked how I could go about paying to upgrade my shipping. The response? No charge! Upgraded to Next-day shipping for free. Craziness. You can find the black one here and the white number here.

Next up, I got into some Sephora lurvin’. Ever since hearing all about the Hourglass ambient Lighting Powders around the blogosphere a few months ago, I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on one, but with the huge range of shades available, I had absolutely no idea where to start, plus there’s the ginormous price tag attached. So when I heard a palette with three shades was popping up for the holidays, I went beyond obsessed. No joke, I was mad woman crazy about getting it. It includes three shades: Dim Light, a neutral setting powder, Radiant Light, a warm, shimmery shade, and the limited-edition Incandescent Light, a stunning highlighter with green-pink micro shimmer. It packs a pretty penny, coming in at a grand total of $58, but I think it’s a great way to dip your feet into the world of Hourglass and try out a few shades. I never finish products anyway, so I’m not too worried about running out any time soon. Keep checking back; I should be posting a full review in a few days. Definitely worth the splurge. Have a look here.

Whilst on the Sephora site to order the palette, I decided to finally pick up the NARS radiant creamy concealer that everyone has been raving about in the shade Ginger. I’ve been in need of a new cover-all recently, and this one does it all. A few dabs under the eyes and a quick blend with the fingers is all you need to cover those unsightly shadows under your eyes, and a little stipple over blemishes and around the nose does an incredible job of giving flawless skin without looking cakey at all. It’s buildable, but not heavy, semi-matte but natural. Basically it’s the most perfect thing ever since God created Ryan Gosling. Or my dog.

Lastly, I popped on over to the Amazon to steal a few new brushes from the Real Techniques rainforest, as It’s been a while since I last added to my collection, and I’ve been wanting to try both the core collection and the travel set (purely because of the multi-task brush). They’re both excellent, as are all of Samantha Chapman’s brushes, but I especially love the buffing brush and multi-task brush. The former is even better than my beloved expert face brush for foundation; I find that the new addition blends the stuff in beautifully with no streaks, with which I tend to run into problems when it comes to the expert face brush. The multi-task brush, meanwhile, is my new favorite blush brush. I still love my MAC 109, but this thing applies the product exactly where I want it for a fraction of the price. My only beef? You can’t buy the brushes individually. But I can deal, considering the quality of these babes.

Homecoming was absolutely fantastic; I’m fortunate to be part of a wonderful class of peers that elected me for Homecoming Court for my second year in a row, so that was exciting. Hope you enjoyed! What beauty bits have you picked up recently?