THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

revlon lip butters

jan fav 3

jan fav 2Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present you with the first monthly favorites of 1997! (*High fives all around*)I mean 2013. 2014. Whatever. I may or may not still be dealing with the post-New Year disorder in which I am quite literally stuck in the past. I know my people are out there somewhere, all you rebels still signing the date as 1/__/13, but I digress. On to the products.

jan fav swatches

L-R: Revlon Tutti Frutti, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle, and Peach Parfait; Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze; Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger.

Revlon Lip Butters– Peach Parfait, Pink Truffle, Berry Smoothie, and Tutti Frutti

These have been my go-to lip product all month long, and for good reason; They’re moisturizing, lightweight, and give the perfect amount of color for everyday wear. The three pink-toned shades are perfect your-lips-but-better offerings; peach parfait gleans a pretty shimmer that reflects perfectly to make lips look glowy, pink truffle deepens your natural lip color to a just-bitten pink, and berry smoothie packs a lovely punch with a hefty bit of fuschia added for good measure. Tutti Frutti is very spring/summer, but for the current season, it’s lovely dabbed onto the lips as a pretty stain (or worn full-on to turn some heads.)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

This is hands down the best primer I’ve ever tried; it smoothes out the skin beautifully and leaves a porcelain, almost powder-like finish that’s soft to the touch but not in the least bit drying. A little bit goes a long way; I’ve been using this since I got it with my Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) in October, and it’s still going strong, plus it’s just the itty bitty 5mL size. Love.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush– Hot Tamale

This was a purchase egged on by my best friend ages ago; I was skeptical at first, mainly because of the fiery color, but also because from what I had heard buzzing around the internet, these were a no-go. BUT. This little pan of hot pink is such a stunner. It gives that perfect flushed look dubbed by one of my favorite bloggers, Essiebutton, as the “Snow White flush” that makes you look like you’ve just been running through the forest.  Plus, the texture is unlike anything else I’ve tried; it’s like a densely whipped, fluffy marshmallow not unlike memory foam that (ironically) doesn’t bounce back. Weird, I know, but I promise, pick one of these up and have a squish for yourself.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer– Ginger

Probably the best concealer I’ve tried thus far, this blends seamlessly into the skin, banishing dark circles. It is pricey, but it’s honestly incredible for both the undereye area and any blemishes you might have lying around, and in my opinion, well worth the price tag.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick– Bronze

I’ve had this around for a long time in my collection, but it really is a stunner. In some lighting, it shows up as a rose gold sheen, while when out and about in the sunlight, it leans much more towards a golden tint. It’s not the most finely milled of highlighters, but because it blends so seamlessly into the rest of your makeup, the larger flecks of shimmer are barely noticeable. Fishing for complements on the state of your face? Pull out this bad boy and count the catch of the day; I guarantee you’ll get plenty.

Tweezerman Mini Tweezers

I picked up this adorable pair of brow helpers in TJ Maxx before Christmas on sale for just $11.00, including a travel mirror for on the go. They work exactly the same as the full size for a fraction of the prize, and are totally worth all the hype. They really are the best tweezers I’ve ever tried; the sharp tip is very precise and allows you to get even the tiniest of hairs. The Christmas  mistletoe print doesn’t hurt, either, making these perfect for travel.

L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara

This little tube honestly gives the best volume right at the root of the lashes I’ve seen from a mascara in a long time, and gives extra oomph to the bottom lashes to really make eyes pop. It layers really well too, without going spidery and turning into an overly made-up mess. A must-have for any mascara lovers’ collection.

There you have it! All the products I’ve been obsessed with this month. What have you been loving in January? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

SICK DAY SAVIORS.

sick days #3

sick days #1

sick days #2There aren’t many perks to having to stay home all day other than getting to watch Youtube beauty videos nonstop. Even watching lipstick collections gets to be depressing after a while when you’re shifting between shivering with goosebumps to sweating because of a fever. Since I’m currently battling a bit of a virus, I thought I’d share some of my essentials for stuffy-nosed days.

Origins Make A Difference + Moisturizer

I’ve raved on about this for a while now, but basically it’s a nice and thick morning and night moisturizer. When you get sick, the skin tends to get quite dehydrated; even though I’m wearing absolutely no makeup, I still cleanse morning and night with coconut oil and slather this on (especially around me nose) to keep everything nice and hydrated.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

I actually picked this up on sale at TJ Maxx for just $12, so if you’re thinking of picking up your own tube, make sure you check there first. This has been working wonders at night for my lips, which are more sore than ever since I’ve been licking them nonstop because of my cold. Love.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

I love this stuff for everyday use at night, but my hands need a little extra TLC right now because I’ve been washing them so often, so this has been an absolute angel for my dry skin. I also love the Soap and Glory Hand Food as a cheaper alternative, seeing as it’s just as moisturizing, but I think hand cream in general is a must-have for sick days in.

Nivea A Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm

Nothing fancy here, but I find that slapping this on throughout the day just gives no-faff moisture that’s positively foolproof, not to mention much cheaper than expensive lip masks. As much as I love the Nuxe Rêve de Miel version, this one has a bit more slip and is more comfortable to wear all day long. I’ve actually been using this since I was six, and never once has it failed me.

Hand Sanitizer

Okay. Apologies for the boring products, but if you don’t have a tube of this beside you at all times, please do not expect to recover dramatically any time soon. I’m a firm believer in washing/sanitizing my hands every single time I touch my face, blow my nose, etc. when I’m sick; not doing so spreads the germs to your clothes, bed, glass, phone, whatever and makes the bug that much harder to get rid of because you’re constantly keeping in contact with it. I’ve actually noticed that when I don’t take care to wash and/or sanitize my hands as often when I’m sick, even though I’m alone at home and not worried about spreading to anyone else, the time I spend sick with the cold is doubled. I kid you not.

Toilet Paper

I’m not kidding. I hate. Repeat. HATE. Kleenex. I always accidentally end up buying the packs that have lotion inside the tissues, or are menthol-scented to “clear your nostrils”, when all I really want is plain tissue paper. I find that lotion-infused offerings don’t do anything to hydrate around my nose, but rather leave this odd film and make it impossible to feel clean when you’ve blown your nose. My solution? A roll of toilet paper and a plastic bag beside the bed at all times, especially at night (right beside the sanitizer). Toilet paper, plain and simple, is a godsend for those of us stricken with illness. In the middle of the night, I don’t have to fiddle with a box of tissues when I need to sneeze, I can just unroll a bit and toss into the bag, followed with a “cleaning of the hands.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely the strangest product review that shall ever grace succhisimples.

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

This is a bit of a strange favorite, but I love juicing some oranges and eating as many as I possibly can to help combat the virus; if you’ve never done this before, the Vitamin C boost does wonders to shorten the length of your symptoms. Quick, easy, and beyond yummy.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and hopefully it can be of some help to any of you struggling with a cold right now. What are your essentials for sick days in?

 

 

BLOGMAS DAY ONE: HOLIDAY MAKEUP LOOK.

look 1

look 2Hello everyone! Today’s post is the first official Blogmas post, a tutorial-esque holiday makeup look diy bit of mumbo-jumbo. If you haven’t heard of Blogmas, I will now defer you to my post that explains all about it here. This week we’ve got some beauty-centric Christmas bits, with another post going up on the weekend. Now, I am by no means a makeup artist, but I do love primping and prepping just as much as the average girl (maybe even more), so this is more of a “here’s how I do my makeup” sort of deal.

With the holidays of course  comes Christmas parties. Oh, how I adore thee. The most oft-used trick in the beauty books for fêtes around this time o’ year seems to be the bold lip, be it red, oxblood, berry-toned, etc, but to be honest, I find wearing bright lipstick to be far too high maintenance for this type of affair; you want to have fun and be festive, not worry if your lip product is going to smear or budge. I love a good red-toned bronze/copper shadow for Autumn/Winter, so naturally I broke out the perfect match from my stash. Meet Mac’s Ever Elegant Pigment. Unfortunately, it was in last year’s Tender Warm Crushed Metallic Pigment set along with four other shades (which do not compare, trust me), but you may still be able to find one floating around at a CCO someplace. If not, Clinique’s Black Honey eyeshadow is really similar (although it’s a pressed shadow), and probably easier to work with. After applying a primer all over the lid and through the crease (I used Mac’s Soft Ochre paint pot), I pressed the pigment on the eyelid with a damp flat shader brush to build up the intensity closer to the lashline. I then took a fluffy blending brush and blended out the pigment all the way into the crease, picked up some more product, and worked it into the outer V, blending the whole shebang out afterwards so it all looked seamless and smokey. I then took my Real Techniques Detailer brush and blended the pigment under my lower lashline. Lastly, I highlighted the browbone with a super cheap, great-quality drugstore option from NYC, I believe it’s called their loose shimmer powder. I have it in the lightest shade, Radiance, and blended it out with my finger. After adding some of my favorite eyeliner, Mac’s eye kohl in Smolder, to my upper lashline, waterline, and tightline, I curled them lashes and added a few coats of Maybelline’s the rocket mascara. *Quick tip: If you find that mascara smudges on the skin under your bottom lashes when you try to add more coats of mascara, try using a business card underneath the eye and applying the mascara that way.* This stuff is amazing, and I’ve got a full review of it here. Base products are my usual: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B40, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. For the lips, I took a nude lip pencil, this time it was Rimmel’s lip liner in Natural, and layered Nyx’s lip gloss in Beige over top to keep it simple. So there you have it! The nearly one-step smokey eye with a bit of sparkle, perfect for the holidays. Simples.

If you haven’t entered our giveaway yet, please do so below! What are your picks for holiday makeup looks this year? Let me know in the comments below:)

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THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 2013

monthly roundup 2I’ll admit, I’m just slightly late in posting one of these, since the last time I did was in July… Oops. I know I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to keep up with school and the blog recently, but I’m working hard now to try and stabilize everything, but thank you so much to everyone still following me through my erratic postings. So.

We’re officially in the winter swing these days, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas sneaking up far too early (though I’d be lying if I told you I mind), so my favorite products of October are quite seasonal, apart from the odd bits and bobs. First off, Real Techniques buffing brush and multi-task brush. Basically the buffing brush is an absolute dream for applying foundation, working product into the skin so effortlessly it leaves a completely seamless finish. And the other item in question? The multi-task brush, of the “Travel Essentials” set, is the perfect size for applying blusher just where I like it, about a third of the way into the apples of the cheeks and brushed slightly up the cheekbone. Love.

Next up, I went on the hunt for a berry blush for autumn from the drugstore, and found the perfect match in Maybelline’s FitMe blush in “Deep Wine“. It looks stunning applied lightly on the cheeks, giving a gorgeous lit-from-within rosy glow. Keeping with the brand, I also found the perfect oxblood/berry lipstick in Maybelline’s Color Sensational LipColor “Deepest Cherry”. Oh yes. My love for these two runs deep. Great price, and beyond versatile product. Try applying in an ombré style, patted out from the center of the lips, as a light stain with a slap of lip balm or gloss on top, or full-on cherry for a bold pout. Expect to see a post pop up soon on some winter lips…

If you’ve red my blog recently (which I hope you have), you will have seen my review on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette, so I shan’t go too far into detail about this little bundle of glowy-ness and the primer it includes, but I couldn’t not include it, since I literally haven’t stopped using it since the mailman Jim dropped it on my doorstep like a freaking Sephora Santa Claus; just know that it’s beyond fantastic, giving you everything you need for a flawlessly sculpted and perfectly “lit” face. Interested? Have a look at my review here.

Last but most certainly not least, the NARS creamy radiant concealer in “Ginger”. Oh my gosh. I can’t even describe my love for this little tube. First off, the packaging is beyond stunning. But the product? This thing blows everything you thought you knew about concealer out of the water. Yes, it’s true that none of us like the idea of showing off dark circles to the universe, but eventually you get sick of caking stuff under there, you know?

*Enter, NARS concealer*.

Never cakey, never creases, and gives natural, buildable coverage that never feels heavy. And the fact that it doubles up to erase them blemishes? Score.

So there we have it! That’s everything I’ve been in love with for the past month. Simples. What are your October favorites? Drop me a comment below, and please link up your post if you’ve done one on them so I can have a look!

 

IF YOU BUY ONE THING THIS MONTH…

ambient lighting palette.Please, please let it be this. Yes. She’s a beaut. You’ve probably even seen her flitting around the blogosphere, stealing the hearts of even the most frugal beauty addicts. But how can you resist? Of course we’ve heard fellow bloggers go on and on about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and their ability to blur imperfections, add radiance… The list goes on. But how do you pick a shade? What if you want to keep things blurred and matte around the t-zone but sun-warmed and bronzed on them apples, all the while lifting the cheekbones with stunning micro-shimmer reminiscent of the most flattering lighting imaginable?

*Enter, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.*

In a word, it’s photoshop at its finest, encased in a handy-dandy palette, so you can bring a customizable studio lighting kit everywhere you go. It includes three shades, two of which are permanent (Dim Light and Radiant Light), and one limited edition shade exclusive to the palette (Incandescent Light). The first, Dim Light, is a stunning setting powder, doing the job of blurring out fine lines and somehow giving the appearance of the smoothest skin you’ve ever seen. I kid you not. Next up, Radiant Light amps up the bronze factor, warming up the complexion with a subtle shimmer. I’m talking micro, ultra finely-milled shimmer particles. Lastly, rounding up the bunch is a highlighter like no other, with tiny flecks of greeny-pink shimmer to lift them cheekbones. In terms of size, a full-size Ambient Lighting Powder retails at $45 a pop for .35 oz. The palette, priced at $58, weighs in at a total of .348 oz, with each shade being .116 oz. While it’s not exactly a bargain, since you are paying extra for packaging, I think it’s still a great way to try a few different shades before taking the plunge and buying the full size, plus it’s great for travel, since you have everything you need all in one. Did I mention it includes a mini size of the renowned Mineral Veil Primer?

swatches.

L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, Radiant Light.

veil mineral primer.Well, it does.

This thing is absolutely everything it’s hyped up to be and more; a few tiny dabs blended in gives the smoothest canvas for foundation in the history of ever. This one retails at $52 for the full size, making it one of the most ridiculously expensive things on the planet, but the sample size alone is worth $8 for .16 oz. Will I be purchasing when this runs out? As much as it pains my bank account to admit it, yes. No question.

So, if you’re looking at all the new holiday palettes, save yourself the trouble of trying to figure out which to choose and just buy this already. Although I do have my eye on the NARS One Night Stand Palette for Christmas, but that’s a different story entirely…

THE HOMECOMING HAUL.

hoco

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?

 

THE LUST LIST #1.

As a professional wishlist maker, I’ve had one of these “Things To Buy” checklists running since before I turned seven. True, it has evolved ever so slightly in the past decade or so, but the habit remains. It’s probably not the best thing for my bank account, but I digress. Onto the products.

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 12.20.09 PMFirst up, the Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil, retailing at $36 a pop. Yes, it’s pricey, but after obtaining a sample from my local Sephora a few weeks ago, I have to say, it’s well worth the price tag. This stuff smells incredible, melts makeup right off, and leaves skin silky-soft. Again on the cleansing front, Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Quite the mouthful. Birchbox has just introduced this one to the states, making it readily available via their website (if you don’t know what Birchbox is, check back soon for an unboxing and intro to the subscription box!). The last skincare-ish lustworthy item on the docket is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm. A favorite in the British blogosphere, I’ve been wanting to pick this baby up for ever. Next up, the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. I first heard about this product from Estée, or essiebutton‘s videos. I’ve been looking for the perfect powder to wear with just a bit of concealer for no makeup-makeup days, and this one seems to tick all the boxes. Whilst in Sephora the other day, I finally got the chance to test out Josie Maran’s watercolour cheek gelées, gorgeous little pots of gel blusher that glide on the skin like butter. After hearing all the hype on blogs, this one is definitely wantworthy. And now, succhisimples’ most wanted, public favorite number one, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette. I’d been lusting after the shade “Dim Light” for quite some time, but after seeing this pop up on Makeup And Beauty Blog, I fell in love. No joke. For $58, you get three ambient lighting powders worth $45 a piece, including the limited-edition shade “Incandescent Light” and the warming “Radiant Light”, and a 0.16 oz. sample of the Mineral Veil Primer, which I’ve been dying to try, worth $18 alone. Great bang for your buck. Godwilling, she will be mine. Of course we’ve all heard of Diptyque from our über-chic british blogging friends, but the brand is, to say the least, elusive with regards to its presence in the American market, having only one store in the States located in New York City. The “Eau Duelle” Eau de Parfum is described as a “sensuous bourbon vanilla paired with a pod infusion for a rich fragrance with depth. It’s underlined by the amber animality of cistus and the warmth of ambroxan.”I adore warm vanilla scents, and I think that this one will be perfect for winter. I’ve heard great things about the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking mascara; I’ve actually never tried a super high-end mascara before, so I thought this would be a great place to start. Last but not least, we have the Nars Pure Radiant Creamy Concealer. It could be that I’ve simply been unimpressed with nearly all the drugstore concealer offerings I’ve tried, or that I’m just a snob when it comes to base products; either way, I want this. I’ve been in need of a good concealer for blemishes for a while now, and while this isn’t cheap, I’d really like to try it and see what all the hype is about.

So that’s it! My current most lusted-after items. I’m going to try to post one of these every month, so stay tuned. I’m also challenging myself to put up a post every day this month, so check back for more! What products are you lusting after this month?