SKIN SAVIORS: HADA LABO.

hada_labo_reviewOh, Monday. If you’re a regular reader of blogazine Into the Gloss, chances are those little Monday morning posts, “Because it’s Monday and we don’t want to work yet” somehow perk up my morning, serving as the perfect reminder that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels the same way I do at the beginning of the beginning of a very long week: lethargic, lazy, and stuck in a daydream about the oh-so-distant weekend. If you don’t read ITG, then you have no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve probably helped you doze off back to sleep. No matter, here’s a few products to help wake you up and banish those Monday morning blues. Hada Labo is a brand off the high street in Japan that’s available in Ulta, as well as certain drugstores Stateside, and let me tell you, you need to try this stuff. The products are affordable but effective, doing the hefty work of some of the most luxurious skincare products I’ve tried. In a word, the Replenishing Hydrator* is, well, fabulous. Is there any better way to describe a serum that feels like a cool splash of water to the face, sinks in quickly, and leaves skin supple, plumped, and without any dry patches to speak of? Maybe, but come on, it’s Monday, and I don’t want to work yet. So we’ll stick with just calling it fabulous. It’s so good that a bottle of this stuff apparently sells every two seconds in Japan. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser* is a great in-between for those who love the hyper-clean feeling of a foaming cleanser but don’t like the way skin feels afterwards- think dry, tight, and generally like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Hada Labo’s offering is described as a:

  • Rich creamy cleanser with foaming action, deeply cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and oil. Rinses clean.
  • Restores and preserves skin’s natural moisture while cleansing.

Check, and check. It’s the creamiest foaming cleanser I’ve found, and it truly does get rid of all that unwanted grime either from a day of walking around town or in the morning to remove residue from skincare products the night before, and yet skin somehow feels hydrated after washing it off. My only gripe? It does have that odd scent of fragrance-free products, but that’s something I can deal with as it’s completely safe for skin that’s prone to breakouts. Both products are hyaluronic-based, making them perfect for both dry skin and oily-combination that’s simply dehydrated. Overall? Yes, you need this in your life ASAP. Simples. 

(* denotes press sample)

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?

BY TERRY EYES + CHEEKS.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Right) Cellularose Blush Glacé in Frozen Petal; Ombré Blackstars in Misty Rock, Paradise Island, and Midnight Forest

 

Dear By Terry: where have you been all my life? Ever the elusive brand here in the States (it’s available in certain department stores and online, but far more accessible abroad), it’s one I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. If you’ve never heard of By Terry before, it’s a French line of cosmetics founded by makeup artist Terry de Gunzberg with the philosophy of a “less-is-more” approach to beauty. Over the years, they’ve developed a cult following among celebrities and beauty fiends (ex: yours truly) alike with iconic products like their Baume de Rose and, of course, those Ombré Blackstars*. I mean, Look at those shades. I have to say, never have I ever been so awestruck by an eyeshadow stick as I was when I got to have a good play around with these. They’re ridiculously soft and just glide over the skin like nothing else, not tugging the eyelid at all on application. Lasting power on these is out of this world: a quick hand swatch of the forest green shade, Midnight Forest, stayed put for hours even after washing my hands multiple times. Impressive? I’d say so. The same can be said for lasting power on the eyes, as these stayed put without a primer even on my oily eyelids all day long. My favorite shade hands-down has to be Misty Rock, a stunning mauve-y shade shot through with warm shimmer, perfect on brown or green eyes and easy to swipe on everyday to add a bit of a glimmer to the eye. The Cellularose Blush Glacé* in the shade Frozen Petal is quite the stunner. It has to be one of the most interesting blush formulas I’ve ever come across: a sort of whipped gel-creme that melts into the skin to provide a hydrating punch of color that genuinely looks like you’re glowing from within (side note: best product for a natural flush ever). Don’t let the slippery texture of this deceive you: it lasts and lasts (and lasts) on the cheeks, keeping the “just-pinched” look going all day. It’s the perfect all-season blush; light and seamless for hot summer days and beautifully hydrating for cold, biting winter weather. One of those products you truly can’t go wrong with, and let’s be honest: I’d be lying if I said I could find anything in my entire beauty stash half as cool as the consistency of this stuff. A most definite A+ from succhisimples.

Have you tried anything from By Terry? Comment your favorites below!

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?

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 NEW THING VOL. 2: ORIGINS GINZING MOISTURIZER

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I’ve been ogling the Origins GinZing Eye Cream for a good year now, but haven’t really had any urgent need for it; I don’t suffer from terrible dark circles and although my main issue, puffiness, is targeted by the product, I just have never seemed to be able to justify purchasing it. It’s not an outrageous price at all; I was ready to hand over my credit card for Bobbi Brown’s nearly $50 offering at once, it’s just that I always seem to get squeamish when I actually pick it up to get rung up at the till. It’s just that for me, I feel like it’s not an essential. But. Moisturizer? That’s a whole other ballpark.

I have extremely dry skin; I suffered from eczema when I was little and have been battling dry spots ever since. Even with the uber-hot and humid climate where I live, my skin generally stays dry unless properly moisturized. With school starting, early mornings are a comin’. So a moisturizer that wakes up my tired, dull skin after a late night of studying? That’s my kind of thing. This, I can justify, being an essential and all. So for anyone out there too scared to take the plunge with the GinZing eye cream, I’d start with the moisturizer and see how you like the idea.

After having sampled it for about a week and using it for a few more days, the verdict is clear: holy. grail.

This stuff is super lightweight, and, because it’s water-based, sinks into the skin and leaves it feeling plump and happy. I was worried that it wouldn’t be hydrating enough for me and might leave my skin feeling tight because of its claim to “wake up” the skin, but let me tell you, it’s hydrating at its finest. Lightweight AND soothing? Count me in. Never again will I repurchase my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream for $55. Well, maybe. It does smell nice. But this smells better. And it lives up to its claims; it de-puffs and makes skin feel energized, refreshed, and ready for the day, glowy and all.

Need a morning wake up call for your skin? Give the GinZing moisturizer a try. I’d say it’s love. Who knows? I might even pick that eye cream up after all. You can get the moisturizer here.