GET IT WHILE YOU CAN: BENEFIT’S BELLA BAMBA.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Rt.) Benefit Cha-Cha Tint, Bella Bamba Blush

Behold: my first-ever Benefit Boxed Blush. While I am well and truly prepared for the collective “WHAT?!” ‘s that those words are likely to incite, ’tis the truth: never have I ever used Hoola on my cheekbones, Coralista for that peachy-golden flush, or any other famed boxed cheek product from the brand. I’ve had Bella Bamba on my list for a while now (thanks to Ms. Sharon Farrell of YouTube, check her out here) and somehow always shied away from picking it up on trips to my local Sephora. Until, that is, I heard the buzz around the beauty community that it was being discontinued. Lo and behold, the fates provided the push needed for me to snap it up in my online shopping cart and, well, here we are. Bonus: I got it in this Hot 2 Trot set along with their Cha-Cha Tint, something I’ve also been meaning to try for the longest time. 2 for the price of 1. Could the whole charade be any more perfect? And so, in response to the news that Bella Bamba is no longer available separately and is being phased out entirely, I’m telling you now: get this while you can. The blush itself is stunning: an iridescent warm coral/pink shade that has a bit more punch than Coralista, especially if you found the latter lacking slightly in the pigmentation department on application. Think of it as a brightened shade of Coralista/Nars Orgasm varieties everywhere. One more thing: it smells fantastic. Odd thing to say about a blush? Most definitely. But completely, totally true. If you’ve ever tried a Benefit Boxed Blusher before (which, unless you’re me, you most likely have), then the glorious scent isn’t such a novel concept, but… I can’t get over it. Enough said. Cha-Cha Tint was no disappointment compared to its kit mate; creamy, long-wearing, and a beautifully natural shade of mango that adds a bit more of a sunkissed glow to the cheeks. Just apply with the nail polish-like applicator along the cheek and blend, blend blend as fast as possible; this stuff has a tendency to set quickly and leave stripe marks behind if you don’t get to it with the blending action.

Will you be picking up this set?

SKIN SAVIORS: THE BODY SHOP.

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I recently had my first run-in with The Body Shop’s skincare line; I know, I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but better late than never. First up: the Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on Nude’s Perfect Cleansing Oil for absolutely ages, so when I heard Amelia Liana from Liana Beauty going on about how good this was and how it was comparable to-if not better than-the Nude option, of course I was hooked. This stuff is fantastic: lightweight, “silky” (as the name suggests), and takes off every scrap of mascara on the ‘ol face. My only gripe? It took time for me to come around and fully commit because of the amount of product needed to cleanse. Yes, it does take off even the most waterproof mascaras, but I find that I need to use at least two pumps, if not three, every night. Then again, having snagged it for just $11 online, I shan’t complain. Next up, the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream is quite the fail-safe product when skin needs some added TLC. It’s quite cushion-y, if you can call it that; while it is thick, it’s a dream to apply and is just so smooth. Another situation in which I’d happily buy a tub just to play with it it’s so soft. This one has been helping my skin out of a rough patch lately, it’s excellent as an intense moisturizer-mask hybrid as an overnight treatment. Speaking of overnight treatments, the Vitamin E Overnight Serum is a new offering from the brand, and it definitely a good ‘un. Because it’s both a serum and an oil together, it’s very lightweight and acts almost as a dry oil, sinking in quickly enough that there’s no need to worry about any rubbing off on your pillow when you go to bed. The results are almost immediate-you wake up with the most supple looking skin that gives the impression you’ve slept through the past few days. Definitely a guardian angel for late nights when you need to wake up looking refreshed without much sleep included.

What skincare products have you been loving lately?

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…

 

 

SMARTY BROWS.

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DSC_0255Anastasia (of Beverly Hills), you must be a genius, because you’re a wiz at creating good brows. I swear that sounded a whole hell of a lot better in my head than it does written here. If you didn’t pick up on my terrible joke, today’s product in question happens to be my first-ever foray into the realm of brow pencils, the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in the shade Ebony. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big eyebrow lover; I love the look of a good strong brow that looks very modern and chic, I just tend not to faff around with my own brows much, mostly because I’ve never really had much experience with them. Brows have always been that area of beauty that fascinated me but I kind of never took the jump to start obsessing over. Until now. After having recently gotten my brows waxed at my local Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta, I picked up this itty bitty pencil to get to work with my face mane. I have quite bushy brows naturally, so I really wanted something to focus on just taming and defining my brows. Let me get this out now, I think I’ve found the one. Skinny Wiz and I get along quite nicely; it’s the sort of no-brainer product that’s quick and easy to use for even the most amateur eyebrow lover such as myself. The pencil is absolutely tiny, making it magic for drawing in hairs where before there were only gaps. The spoolie on the other end is one of the best I’ve tried; firm enough to disperse product but not so stiff that you feel like you’re raking through your brows. Plus, it cuts the time normally spent on scavenging around for a separate spoolie brush. Overall, it’s a great buy for quick and easy perfect brows. While it is on the expensive side of products, I think it’s well worth the price tag. Definitely a must buy for anyone looking to improve the look of their brows.

What are your favorite brow products?

THE CAPSULE BAG #6.

the capsule bag #6Don’t say it. I know what you’re thinking, this is the ugliest blog photo in the history of man, but A) I haven’t posted anything since last Wednesday, so there goes my schedule and B) I’ve been so busy the only time I’ve been able to take some blog photos is at nine at night with worse lighting than the first Twilight film. Shameful? Absolutely. It had to be done. Apologies for the late weekly favorites post, but here are… last week’s loves. Whoopsie. Here we go.

Zuzu Luxe Mineral Bronzer in D-28

My mum actually picked this up from the beauty aisle in Whole Foods (who’d have thought?) and, as it was getting dusty in the back of her drawer, I took it upon myself to spread the makeup love to this little pot of sun and ohmygosh. I lurves. It’s quite the intensely pigmented bronzer and much more shimmery than my all-timer, Nars Laguna, so I do use a light hand, but for no-highlighter days (which almost never, ever happen here at succhisimples.) this has been my go-to.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Grape Vine

For no-makeup days when lips need the extra boost of TLC and a flush of color, I’ve been swiping this bad boy onto them smoochers. Easy, breezy, and with less pigmentation than their “Cherry Me” offering, it’s great for those who don’t want too much of a flush but still love a berry tint.

Nyx Love in Paris Palette

This is one of the most adorable palettes in the universe, being that it’s smaller than my palm, and comes handy for days when I don’t want to break out seven different palettes to get all the shades I need. It’s naked, in a smaller, much more French version. Need I say more?

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Honey

My love affair with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is still going strong, but my skin hasn’t been the best lately with all the stress it’s been battling, so Bobbi’s got them breakouts taken care of with her heavy duty but not heavy-looking cover-all. Say that five times fast.

And there you have it! Last week’s favorites, this week… Simples. Which makes no sense at all, but I promise to be back on schedule with a new post (hint hint, Lorac Pro Palette Review) this Wednesday. Don’t forget to check back then! What have you been loving lately?

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.

INTRODUCING BLOGMAS + GIVEAWAY

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMHello everyone! I’m so excited to be working on a collab this month with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire. We’re dubbing December as Blogmas; we’ll be putting up two Christmas-related posts each week leading up to Christmas day. I will also be blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY this month, so please stay tuned! Want to win two limited edition makeup sets from Sephora? These are exclusive for the holidays, and the giveaway is live TODAY! The winner will be announced on Christmas as the last post for Blogmas. The first set is the Sephora Favorites Glitz+Glam set, a $159 value, which includes:

– 0.05 oz Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy
– 0.11 oz Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger
– 0.17 oz Nails Inc™ Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat
– 0.18 oz Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelèe
– 0.135 oz Lancôme Hypnôse Star in Noir Midnight
– 0.34 oz Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One HD Illuminating Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
– 1 x Sephora Collection False Eye Lashes in Celebrity
– 0.02 oz Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

 If that wasn’t enough, the second set, Stila’s Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze set, includes NINE of Stila’s picture-perfect Lip Glazes, and is worth $124. It includes shades: Cranberry, Persimmon, Melon, Dazzleberry, Wildberry, Strawberry Cream, Passion Fruit, Kaleidoscope, and Amaretto. The total value of this giveaway is a whopping $283. Just follow the directions and enter in the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

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