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.

A KORRES AFFAIR.

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One fine morning a few weeks ago my phone let off a buzz to let me know that Korres had just gone on sale on Hautelook, so naturally I popped over for a look and ended up picking up more than I anticipated. For any avid fans of The Office out there, this kind of thing happens all the time… “It’s just human natural.” Especially for the beauty obsessed. I actually only picked up three separate products; the Butter Me Up Lip and Body Collection that was limited edition for the holidays in 2012 and two of the cheek butters. The set comes with four body butters in the scents Basil Lemon, Apple Blossom, Jasmine, and Guava. The scents are all lovely, and the set itself is a great value for money. I’d definitely recommend getting the Hautelook app and changing your notifications settings so you get an alert when a sale comes on, since I paid $15 for a set that originally sold for $38 which was a great deal. I particularly love the Basil Lemon scent; it’s quite citrus-y and clean (obviously…not obviously… take your pick) and while these are great body butters, they make for better hand creams as they’re not as heavily scented as most body lotions and are quite rich, plus the size makes them handy for traveling. The set isn’t readily available but this wasn’t the first time I’d seen it pop up on Hautelook, so keep your eyes peeled, kids. In the meantime, they do offer some lovely sets that are quite similar which you can find here.

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L-R: Korres Lip Butters in Guava, Jasmine, and Quince; Cheek butters in Eros Coral and Chara Chrimson

The set also included three full-sized lip butters which are normally $12 each, so quite a bit of bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been meaning to pick these up for ages and after having tested the three shades I have (Quince, Guava, and Jasmine), I definitely see more shades in my future. These three aren’t by any means intensely pigmented, but they each have a different scent that I think is meant to correspond to the name, though I must say the Guava shade smells a whole lot like coconut rather than juicy guavas. Guava is a clear shade with a slight bit of milkiness, Jasmine is a sheer nude color, and Quince is a sheer rose shade that looks lovely for a subtle pink lip. Love. Last on the docket we have even more butter in the form of the brand’s cheek butters. I bought the shades Eros Coral (an orange-y rose shade) and Chara Crimson (a deepened berry/rose). They’re both lovely, especially on dry skin, and one of the few cream blushes that I’ve found to work well with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I know I’ll probably get some hate on the subject, but as much as I love the way it applies product, the bristles are quite firm and tend to poke little holes into whatever cream product I’m working with (anyone else feel my pain?). Because the product is quite waxy, the brush just glides over it and distributes the perfect amount of product swirled onto the cheeks. The effect is this gorgeous natural flush that looks perfectly dewy on the cheeks. They do look a bit scary in the pan, but they’re on the sheer side of things so no need to worry about going into drag queen territory. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, in which case these can, in fact, be built up to true-to-pan color, depending on your skin tone. All in all? I spy a home run on the Korres front.