THE NEW GLOSS FAVORITES.

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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?

THE CAPSULE BAG #14.

capsule bagThis just in: we are well and truly in autumn territory. It was easy to pretend summer was (possibly?) still on its last legs here in sunny Florida, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, I dig fall. Here’s the catch: we here in the sunshine state don’t have a proper autumnal season. Fall means slightly cooler weather (and by that I mean low temperatures in the mid 70’s) and the same boring palm trees that sit there and refuse to change color all year round. No gold, red, and orange leaves lining the streets here; just a former vacation paradise that’s sunny and chilly and so-not-autumn-y all at the same time. But I digress. On to the products.

KORRES CHEEK BUTTER IN CHARA CRIMSON.

I mentioned this in a haul a while bag from Hautelook but didn’t really get much use out of it until now. The shade is perfect for fall; a lovely red-tinted deep rose that gives the perfect “Snow White” effect to the cheeks (as in that I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-snow look, not the I-was-raised-by-dwarves-and-don’t-know-how-to-put-on-makeup effect) that’s lightly moisturizing and leaves a dewy finish to the cheeks.

BOBBI BROWN CREAMY CONCEALER KIT IN HONEY.

This is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s quite hefty coverage for under the eyes, but I’ve been using a light hand with this for those days when I look like I haven’t slept in a while (i.e. most days). It’s quite thick, so don’t go overboard with this stuff: when Bobbi says creamy, she means creamy. I wouldn’t buy it in the kit again, as the pale yellow setting powder shade isn’t my favorite, but it is nice for on-the-go touchups when you don’t want to bring a separate powder to lock your concealer in place.

BENEFIT GIMME BROW IN MEDIUM/DARK.

I’ve been too lazy to do any real work with my brows on a day-to-day basis, so mornings see me slapping this on and heading out the door. Let me say this: it’s the most perfect brow product ever if you want something easy that you don’t have to think too much about. It’s a fiber brow gel that gives them a nice tint and somehow fills them in with easy, setting them in place so they don’t move around all day. Definitely a makeup stash staple.

BY TERRY OMBRE BLACKSTAR IN MISTY ROCK.

I mentioned this in my last post about By Terry, and I must say, it’s love. It’s the most beautiful rosy plum shade with gorgeous shimmer that lasts and lasts on my oily eyelids. Paired with a matte rose-toned plum brown in the crease (UD Nooner, MAC Quarry), this makes for the perfect effortless eye look for fall. Color me obsessed.

What products have you been loving this week?

 

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!

BARRY M. TAKES AMERICA.

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barry m 2But not really. A more appropriate title would’ve been Barry M. Takes Succhisimples(.), but that somehow doesn’t seem as eye-catching. And yet succhisimples HQ (look at me, getting all official and such) is USA-based, so here we are. A lovely friend of mine from London was kind enough to bring these back for me from her recent trip, and of course I was over the moon when she landed with these beauties in her suitcase. This is no exaggeration-maybe just a little bit-I was more excited about four nail polishes than any human being should be. But can you blame me? Those colors. I’ve got the shades (L-R in top photo) Blueberry, which I’m also sporting on my nails in the second photo, a stunning periwinkle shade, Mango (true orange), Kiwi (blue-toned green), and Guava (bright teal with a hint of yellow/green). The formula of these surpassed all expectations: they’re everything we here on American shores could hope for-judging from the extreme hype surrounding them on the blogosphere-and much, much more.  Opaque in a single coat, glossy, true gel-shine like you’ve never seen it before outside of the salon. Don’t even get me started on the lasting power: I wore the shade Mango on my toenails for two straight weeks without a single chip (this includes many, many beach days). These outperform even some of my high-end polishes in the succhisimples stash (Chanel, anyone?) for a fraction of the price. Bottom line: Barry M., America needs you.

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?

 

ICONIC JURLIQUE.

DSC_0068Again with the rambling about facial mists today, but this time we’ve got a triple threat skincare study going on. *Enter, Jurlique*. The lovely people behind the Australian brand were kind enough to send me a few of their most beloved iconic products to test out, and after a month of testing I can say it’s love. First up and probably the brand’s most popular product, the Rosewater Balancing Mist*. Let’s get one thing out of the way: the scent. Holy mother of God. If you like the smell of roses even the slightest bit, you need this in your life. Picture this: it’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted and just finished your evening cleanse, and spritz this all over as a toner and the world just seems to relax a little bit (I think I may have actually heard angels let out a sigh when I tried this for the first time, but it could have been creaky floorboards-no way to be sure). I love that you can use it both as a toner or over makeup in the morning as it’s so refreshing. Don’t like the idea of spraying all over the face? Jurlique has you covered. Spritz into palms a few times and press into the skin and bam-instant hydration (and I do mean instant). Next up, the Skin Balancing Facial Oil* was just as lovely in the long run but at first not my personal cup of tea. While I think it may do wonders for more combination/oily skins for the evening as it’s so light, after a week of wearing every night as a treatment on my dry/dehydrated skin, it did this strange thing where I’d wake up in the morning (feeling like P. Diddy-thank you Essiebutton) and my skin would actually feel drier than before. After cleansing, I found that I had somehow developed dry patches after a week or so of using. It does well for a few nights a week as an overnight treatment, but I’d say just be careful not to apply this on a daily basis. Then again, I don’t know many people who’d advise you to use an oil every single night in the first place, so partly melt fault here. The verdict? Lovely a few times a week to replenish skin. I found it helped any under-the-skin-bumps come to a head as well and helped clear my skin, which is lovely especially if you’re particularly blemish-prone. Last, the Purely Age-Defying Eye Cream* was another definite love. Here’s the deal with me and anti-aging skincare: yes, I’m under 20 and probably have you use for it, but I read an interview once (I think it was an article on Charlotte Tilbury) that you’re supposed to start using an anti-aging eye cream at eleven. Crazy, I know, but I figure now’a as good a time as any to start, seeing as I didn’t know they made eye cream when I was eleven. While I can’t speak to its anti-wrinkle
properties, I love how light this is even though it’s rich enough to use for evening wear and still deeply hydrating. Overall, the favorites remain the Balancing Mist and Age-Defying Eye Cream, with the occasional seeing of balancing oil during the week.

Have you tried anything from Jurlique?

(*denotes press sample)

ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE HAULIN’.

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DSC_0147Ah, Rouge Bunny Rouge. Please and thank you. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the adorable ring dish complimentary with a RBR order? So damn cute. I posted a little while ago about their reformulated Witchery Modelling Mascara here, so I thought today I’d share some of the new items I picked up during the sale I mentioned earlier. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re a Russian cosmetics line that is now London-based with an aesthetic reflective of their whimsical nature. The names of the products alone are enough to make even the strongest of will run to place an order; if the fact alone that their eyeshadow collection is named “When Birds Are Singing” and that each shade is named after a different rare bird doesn’t intrigue you, please see a doctor straight away (you may be suffering from a lack of imagination capacity). As you might have been able to guess, it was the brand’s eyeshadows that lured me in first; a shimmering purple hybrid shade named Delicate Hummingbird? Sign me up. I’d heard a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about their incredible formula and stunning shades (I fully blame Kate from Drivel about Frivol and Karima McKimmie from Shameless Fripperies for this purchase) and decided to pick them up when they were 30% off, though I may have added a setting powder to my shopping cart before checkout. I also received a sample of the Bronzing Glow Liquid in As If It Were Summer Still, but more on that later as I actually own the full size and am working on a review to come. Here are the shades I picked up:

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L-R: When Birds Are Singing Eyeshadows in Bohemian Waxwing, Umber Firefinch, Eclipse Eagle, Abyssinian Catbird, and Delicate Hummingbird; Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Essence in Amethyst Essence

As you can see from the swatches, I was in a bit of a purple mood. The shades pull less so in person, but the camera simply doesn’t do them justice; these are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. I kid you not. I’ve only had them for around two weeks now, and I must say, they’re some of the most incredibly formulated shadows I’ve ever come across. Buttery,  pigmented, and blend like a dream. The shades are particularly complex in comparison to anything else in my collection; they pull different tones depending on the lighting. Bohemian Waxwing is a sheeny light taupe shade. Umber Firefinch is a deeper, very cool-toned taupe-y chocolate. Eclipse Eagle is described on the website (here) as “the richer darker sister of Delicate Hummingbird”, and is a grey-plum with multi-dimensional silver shimmer running through it. Abyssinian Catbird is a bronzed olive shade. Delicate Hummingbird is a shimmering purple. Out of all the shades I purchased, I must say that Delicate Hummingbird and Eclipse Eagle are my personal favorites for my skintone. I do love all the shades, but I find the two together to be more flattering even than the beautiful Abyssian Catbird, which pulls a bit too green for my liking on an everyday basis. The other shades are lovely as well, and quality is consistent throughout; they’re definitely some of the best shadows I’ve found yet to invest in. Don’t get me wrong these are ridiculously pricey for your typical eyeshadow, but they are by no means your typical eyeshadow (hint: I’d repurchase in a heartbeat). I also received a complimentary Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Ink in the shade Amethyst Essence, a sparkling lilac/violet hybrid, with my order, and I can already say I’m dying to get my hands on two other shades of this. It’s a gorgeous formula, silky in spite of the heavy shimmer/glitter factor, glides on evenly, and stays put. I will say that because the shimmer in it is sort of suspended in the product, I had to go over the line again once I’d drawn it on to make everything nice and vibrant/opaque, but the finish was well worth it. Glittery eyeliner that lasts all day in a stunning purple? Count me in. I’ve got my eye on the shades Tiger Eye Essence and Tanzanite Essence (again, thanks to Karima after seeing her sport the blue shade in this video), but I did also pick up a setting powder with my order. I bought this one sort of on a whim to test out, and RBR did not disappoint. Their Impalpable Finishing Powder in the shade Diaphanous is the most truly translucent setting powder I’ve ever tried, and looks like nothing on the skin (as the name implies). Not even the most magnifying mirror in the world reveals you’ve applied it; no powdery finish to be found with this one. It sets everything in place with a veil that lets your natural sheen peek through while keeping oil at bay. What’s not to love?

Have you tried any Rouge Bunny Rouge products yet?

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?

THE PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes have you been loving lately?

THE CAPSULE BAG, #7.

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CAPSULE #7-3The week has seen the disappearance of foundation from the makeup menu (per chef’s orders to simplify, simplify, simplify.); my skin has been the site of an overload of Pompeii-like eruptions all of a sudden. Which reminds me. Anyone else beyond excited to see John Snow in Pompeii? That beautiful, beautiful man… But I digress. Case in point being, I’ve been far too lazy to faff around with layer after layer of foundation and concealer afterwards, even though my skin would probably look a lot better than it has this week if I did. In light of that, I’ve been trying to focus on giving it some extra TLC at night with my Tarte Maracuja Oil instead of my usual night cream. This one’s just a sample size from Sephora (hint: use code MARACUJA at checkout on the Sephora website for this sample); I’m debating between this and the Pai Rosehip Oil when I commit to a full size, but this has really helped heal those pesky blemishes. I’ve been relying heavily on my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) to inject in some much-needed glow. This one was limited edition, but you can get the individual shades except “Incandescent Light” here.  I’ve especially been loving Radiant Light on the cheekbones with Nars Laguna Bronzer to welcome Sister Spring and sunshine. I’ve had the Sigma E30 Pencil Eye Brush forever now, but I’ve only just gotten into using it on the daily with my battered-up version of the Stila Kitten Eyeshadow. As you can probably tell, this thing has been through hell and back; I have dropped it (possibly more than twice, but I refuse to confess to anything), broken it, and put it back together more than I care to mention, but it’s still a gorgeous highlight shade and works well in the inner corners using the brush. There you have it! The week, in review.

What have you been loving lately?