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?

FRIDAY FIXER: FOUR THINGS.

FOUR THINGSIt’s the end of the week here on succhisimples, and we’re winding down with a couple exciting new launches, vloggers, and general itching-to-buy finds. First of all, October is well and truly here, and guess what? It’s October 3rd. Happy national Mean Girls day, all. For those of you who didn’t see this chapter from Lohan’s golden era, here’s a few bits that might catch your fancy…

THE NEW LAUNCH // That Nars Holiday CollectionI don’t think I’m alone when I say that I actually did a little gasp when I saw the photos released today. Remember the Guy Bourdin collection last year that sold out before we had a chance to get a good look at the products? This is that. Ladies and gents, if there’s even the slightest possibility that you’re going to want to get your hands on the products, do yourself a favor and pre-order them online. The Laced Edge for Holiday 2014 will be available on November 1st at narscosmetics.com . My prediction? That blush palette will be sold out in two weeks. I may have my eye on that lip pencil set as well… *WARNING*: Wallets everywhere, beware.

THE MUST-SEE BEAUTY VLOGGERS // Tara from Tar Mar and Diana from easyNeonI’m always on the lookout for new beauty mavens to watch on the ‘tube (the YouTube, that is. Although I do wish I was British and cool enough to ride the tube around.) and these two are absolute babes. Tara is just… One chic lady. I’ve been obsessed with her videos since I came across them about a month ago. Besides being ridiculously gorgeous, she’s got this efforless cool-girl style and killer taste. If you’re into watching makeup tutorials often (and what beauty-obsessed gal isn’t?) trust me, you’re gonna love Diana’s videos. Her style is quite different from most beauty vloggers: she does shorter videos than most without a voiceover, just the makeup and the music. Someone should write a song about that… The makeup and the music. But I digress. She has such a good eye for makeup: she often manages to incorporate unconventional shades into surprisingly wearable-and equally stunning- looks. It doesn’t hurt that she looks like a supermodel, either, so basically any makeup looks fantastic on her, but she simplifies looks that seem complicated so that even eyeshadow noobs like myself can handle a diy makeup application based on her videos. Kind of. I’m still getting the hang of it.

THE GET-IN-MY-CLOSET PICK // Whistles Bryton Chelsea Boots in Black.  I am a woman obsessed. I need these in my life, I need these on my feet, I need these to walk all around the world. Every season, I look for the perfect pair of boots: we’ve been through Burberry, Frye, even UGG boots in the old days (let’s never go back to those). I’ve had something of a conversion in the past couple weeks, realizing the bitter truth: I live in Florida. It is hot, it is humid, it has not experienced winter boot weather since the Ice Age. Though it has dipped into the upper 40’s in January’s past, in general the dress code adheres to a strict flip flops and sandals policy. But I could use these on that weekend trip to New York coming up… *Collective sigh.* A girl can dream.

 

COLORED CLAY.

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L-R: Tarte CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium; Tarte CC Eye Primer Stick

With the Monday post being a review of Tarte’s new collection for fall, I thought I’d bring you a few new pieces they’ve added to their permanent range: the Colored Clay CC Eye Primer* and CC Undereye Corrector*. We’ve all seen the whole CC/BB cream affair go down in the beauty world, so when Tarte was kind enough to send these over I was a little skeptical. According to the brand, the Undereye Corrector is meant to: “instantly mask undereye discolorations and dark circles while improving the appearance of skin tone and texture over time.” I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I can’t say much in the way of the skin under my eyes seeing much improvement, but I will say that this really does give a flawless, airbrushed effect under the eyes. It comes in two shades, Light-Medium (swatched above on the left) and Medium-Dark. Since the product is meant to be applied underneath your normal concealer, the shade isn’t much of an issue; overall, it gives a gorgeous brightening effect that really lifts the face without being drying or caking throughout the day. Love. What struck me first about the CC Eye Primer was the packaging; I find it eliminates the faff of having to dig your finger into a Mac paint pot to get a similar effect that evens out eyelids and gives a neutral base for eyeshadow in a convenient pencil form. It’s quite nice to use on the lower lashline as well because of its design, which means less time spent fiddling with smudging primer under your eyes in the morning (and less time getting ready overall- win). However, because I have quite oily eyelids, I didn’t find this to do much in the way of preventing eyeshadows from creasing throughout the day. I would say that if you don’t experience creasing with the formula of Mac’s paint pots, this is an excellent alternative, but I would skip on picking this up if you’ve got oily lids like me.

Have you tried any of Tarte’s new Colored Clay products?

 

LIFE UPDATE AND A BLOGIVERSARY.

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As you may (or may not, depending on exactly how perceptive you feel on Monday mornings) have noticed, today’s post is maybe slightly photo-heavy. I’ve just recently returned from holiday in the Bahamas, so I wanted to share some photos from the trip and do a bit of a chatty post to kick things off this week. But first, a confession: I’ve been a bad blogger. With things around the simples. household getting busy in trip prep the past few weeks, I doled out a fair bit of neglect with regards to le blog. I just couldn’t find time to sit and write up blog posts to schedule for the week I was away, and while on holiday, wifi was something of a luxury around the island so I wasn’t able to run any sort of damage control. All this leading up to the major pitfall; that time when my website shut down entirely for two days. It was bad. In order to save you the grief of having to read through my troubles first thing this week, let’s leave it at this: it was bad (and I’m working on it). I’m officially back in business and working to get back into the blogging groove today, and just realized that succhisimples.’ blogiversary passed me by while I was away. Ladies and gents, succhisimples. is officially one year old. It certainly doesn’t feel like an entire year has passed since starting out in my little corner of the internet, but now that things are back to normal I wholeheartedly promise to post on schedule for the next year to come. Pinky swear.

But I did mention that I just got back from holiday in the Bahamas, so I wanted to share some photos taken and memories made with all of you since it was such a wonderful experience. 20140804-094842-35322491.jpgRather than taking a plane to the islands (because God forbid we go the easy way) my family took our boat from Florida to the island closest to the states, Bimini, and spent a week diving/snorkeling/under-the-sea-ing that was absolutely fantastic. As fast as it may have been to take a plane to the island, the boat ride was as wonderful as the trip itself, as we stopped both in the Keys for an overnight stay and in the middle of the Gulf Stream to take a dip. The island is beautiful; we’re talking crystal-clear waters, even at 25 feet deep and the most stunning beaches you’ve ever seen. I kid you not. The lack of wifi was definitely a small price to pay for the amazing time we spent there. It’s a lovely, very non-commercialized locale that’s perfect for an island getaway, so if you’re looking for a less expensive vacation spot that’s more scenic even than the traditional tourist spots like Grand Bahama, look no further (but please do, because I did add a few more photos after this paragraph).

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THE HAUL: NAILS.

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DSC_0041If the world of beauty products were a pet store, blush would probably be the fluffy teacup shi-tzu I’d go in to pet every single day (which may or may not be the beginning of Suki, my personal pup’s, life story), foundations/bases and lip products would be the litter of kittens I always stop to fawn over/can’t get enough of, and nail products would be the beta fish that sit on the $1 rack in the back of the shop. Sad, I know. One, because beta fish are ridiculously underrated and probably some of the most mysteriously majestic creatures to ever grace pet stores around the globe (Have you ever had a look at one of those? You can literally spend hours just staring and observing the ways in which they manage to do absolutely nothing.), and two, because most people are beyond obsessed with nail polish and have a larger arsenal of finger painting products than the rest of their makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love polish; I just get far too lazy to give myself a proper manicure every week and repaint them. Plus, let’s be honest here: if it comes down to getting that new foundation or Nars blush over three or four nail polishes, no way in H-E-double hockey sticks am I passing up a shiny new makeup thing to play around with. But I digress. I’ve always admired the idea of being the kind of girl that’s never seen without perfectly manicured nails, so I’ve made a promise with the new year that I shall be undergoing my transformation to becoming “that girl.”

Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity Trio//$29.00

I popped into Sephora in search of a friend’s birthday gift and happened upon this adorable set of mini Deborah Lippmann polishes that came out for the holidays for just $8 from the original price of $29, which I absolutely couldn’t say no to. I’d been wanting to try a shade from the range for the longest time, and the sizes are great. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through and entire nail polish before other than a bottle of Seche Vite, so they should last a while. I’d been on the hunt for a mauve-toned shade, so the set was perfect. You could even say it was meant to be…

Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat//$7.99

Not the most exciting of purchases, but my last bottle went gloopy (another reason I haven’t painted my nails in weeks), and I absolutely can’t live without this stuff. Foolproof and as fast drying as the name claims, this stuff just gets the job done with a hella bit of gloss thrown in to the mix. Love.

Essie Blanc Nail Polish//$5.49

I’d been on the hunt for the perfect opaque, non-streaky bright white polish since last summer (though the search may or may not have been forgotten in the fall), and lemme tell you right now, I have found the one. Perfect, full coverage in two coats. I have the feeling this is going to turn into more than just a short love affair, but I’ll keep you posted if any bumps in our relationship occur.

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil//$7.99

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have the cuticles of a forty year-old man that has spends his work week employed by a bag of cheeto’s in the office that is his living room couch. In a word, disgusting. *WARNING: slight dramatization of events. Actor portrayal.* They are gross though; dry, cracking, and overall terrible. So, in a desperate attempt to get a real job, my fingers quit their job in the cheetos bag and have put in for a transfer to warmer, more tropical climates. Like apricot groves wherever apricots are grown. They’re much happier now that they’ve retired and spend their time drinking up this apricot cocktail. Smells amazing, gets the job done, and injects moisture back into even the most die-hard cheeto-eating cuticles.

Have you picked up any products recently?

URBAN DECAY OCHO LOCO 2.

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ud 82I’m sure we’ve all heard our share about how incredible Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliners are, since the beauty world has hyped them up to the point of no return. I’ve tried sample sizes of the pencils before, and even then was completely blown away by how amazingly they get the job of defining them eyeballs (and lashes, of course) all too well. Even on my beyond-oily eyelids, once these set, they don’t budge ever. So naturally when I heard there was a set out for the holidays including not one, but eight full-sized pencils, I was a woman obsessed with getting my mitts on this year’s version of the “Ocho Loco.” The set includes three shades from the permanent collection (Perversion, Roach, and Deep End), and five that are new and exclusive (Mars, Ultraviolet, Tornado, Crave, Twice Baked).

ud 83L-R: Roach, Twice Baked, Crave, Perversion, Mars, Deep End, Ultraviolet, Tornado

Roach is a shimmering reddish copper.

Twice Baked is a medium bronze. It’s lighter than Roach, and less warm-toned.

Crave is a dark mate chocolate brown.

Perversion is UD’s classic matte jet-black shade.

Mars is a bold, shimmering green.

Deep End is a stunning aquamarine/teal.

Ultraviolet is a deep blue with noticeable shimmer. This one has quite a purple tone to it.

Tornado is a blackened, shimmery purple. It’s quite dark, and looks like a glistening black in some lighting.

Overall, I’m completely in love with this set. I was skeptical about a few of the brights, but I think they’ll be great for simple statement looks worn alone with mascara for summer. Ultraviolet in particular is beyond gorgeous on its own as a bold take on a cat eye, and Deep End is stunning on the waterline to thrown in a pop of color. While there are a few bright shades, I think the set is totally wearable on the whole with all the neutrals and a great way to get your hands on a lot of shades for a great price. It retails for just $59; if each pencil was bought alone, it would set you back a whopping $160, so it really is an amazing value. It also includes their Grindhouse pencil sharpener which is amazing, and worth $10 alone. Plus, you get the lime green exclusive one, which kind of makes the whole thing totally worth it. It is limited edition but still available at Ulta.com here and the Urban Decay website here. All the eyeliner you could ever need (for the next two months), simples.

 

 

 

 

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.

THE NYE EDIT.

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DSC_0248Happy New Year everyone! I’ve got quite a few begginning-of-the-year-themed posts lined up, but I wanted to share the manicure and eye look I sported last night with all of you. I didn’t go crazy with the nail art this time; just simple, black cherry/wine colored tips for the evening with a bit of sparkle. Butter London’s La Moss (can you tell it’s Kate-inspired?) is my go-to deep burgundy shade for this time of year; smooth formula and stunning in two thin coats. I added a little sparkle to the mix with another Butter shade, West End Wonderland on the accent nail and I was good to go in under ten minutes. Eyes were kept simple, an itsy-bitsy kitten flick courtesy of Mrs. Bobbi Brown and my gel liner of choice, Black Ink, with lashings of mascara. Apologies for not taking a better photo of the makeup; we had company and I was in a rush to snap some photos and go. End of the year eyes and tips, simples.

What did you sport on your eyes and nails for NYE? Let me know in the comments below!

SCRUB A DUB DUB.

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scrub 2I’ve always loved me a good ol’ lip scrub, but I’ve mostly made my own since they’re incredible easy to whip up, so I haven’t really seen the need to spend money on one. That is, until all the buzz started up about the Lush Popcorn lip scrub, and then of course I had to have it. So, on my latest quest to my not-so-local Lush shop, I finally went home with my own little tub, and I am so in love with this thing it’s probably unhealthy. The taste is amazing, it has this incredible salty-sweet taste that’s basically the best popcorn medley in the entire world all in one little glass jar. The only downside I found with this one is that because it is on the dryer side of lip scrubs, it is messy since the sugar tends to break up when you apply the product, but I put a few drops of water into the tub (and I do mean drops) and it totally did the job. While browsing the lush website, I also happened upon the new Santa’s lip scrub for Christmas, which is cola-flavored with cherry and date infusions, and even includes little edible red hearts. This one is beyond cute, and seriously tastes like a good cherry cola. Fortunately, I have an amazing friend who happened to be on her way to a Lush store and picked one up for me, so yeah, I’d say it was kind of a Kwanzaa miracle, but I digress. Do you need at least one of these? Yes. Will your life be a thousand times more enjoyable with both? Absolutely.

What are your favorite products to exfoliate your lips? Let me know below! And don’t forget to join in on Blogmas and enter the giveaway below!

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BLOGMAS DAY 2: HOLIDAY NAIL ART.

nail 2Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a great month so far. I’m more than a little late with this post, but here’s the second in the Blogmas series. If you don’t know what Blogmas is, check out my post here. I knew that for my nail post, I wanted to do something simple that didn’t require loads of stamps, etc., and I think this look turned out really well.

nails 1 First, I blocked out the shape of the tree with tape (I couldn’t find striping tape, so I actually used painter’s tape I bought from Home Depot forever ago and tore up little pieces with straight edges. I then painted the inside with Butter London’s British Racing Green and took off the tape while the polish was still wet. Next, I took a dotting tool and and painted the “ornaments” inside the tree with NYC’s Times Square Tangerine. I cleaned the dotting tool and painted the “star” at the top of the tree with OPI’s Goldfinger. Last, I used the same tool with NYC’s polish in White. After a quick swipe of Seche Vite, we’re all done! Christmas tree nails, done. Simples.

If you haven’t entered my giveaway with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire yet, enter below!

 

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