IF YOU BUY ONE THING THIS MONTH…

DSC_0001…Let it be Mio’s Liquid Yoga*. If you read the online magazine Nouvelle Daily, then you’ve probably heard talk about this gorgeous soak bouncing around the blogosphere. I received a bottle to test out from Mio Skincare and needless to say, I was not disappointed. To compensate for my lack of exercise since I stopped dancing (as well as my habit of loading up on carbs), I’ve been biking on the daily to try and burn off some calories. Word to the wise: out of shape bodies aren’t too keen on sudden exercise. Had I realized this ahead of time I probably would have managed to avoid the end-of-the-week muscle aches, but then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience Liquid Yoga’s wonders to the fullest extent. You win some you lose some. By this point, you’re probably wondering about what exactly Liquid Yoga is. The brand says it’s formulated to: Relax and calm your busy mind; ease hard-working muscles and restore your body with our perfect milky-moisturising blend of essential oils, mineral salts and therapeutic herbs. In a nutshell, it’s a silky bath soak meant to ease muscle aches and help you unwind. So how well did it help out those biking aches and pains? I kid you not, they were gone after a single use. A warm soak with a dollop of this stuff is positively therapeutic; not only were my small aches gone but I the gorgeous sent did wonders to help me relax and sleep soundly. The best part? No lotion needed après soak, Liquid Yoga turns the water into the most gorgeous shade of mint that’s silky and moisturizing, so we get to skip the extra step after a dip in the tub. Even if you don’t exercise at all, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good at-home spa day: it’s easy to use-just shake and pour as the tub fills, is delicately scented with essential oils like lavender and chamomile to help you relax and sleep easy, and is the perfect quick fix to unwind at the end of a hectic day/week. One quick warning from the brand before I sign off: Liquid Yoga may cause relaxation and happiness. What’s not to love? 

Will you be picking up some Liquid Yoga?

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…

 

 

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 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?

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

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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!

 

 

THE SAMPLE REVIEWS.

le cpIf you happened to read my October Birchbox Unboxing post, you might have noticed that I received an itty-bitty sized sample of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I was kinda sorta beyond excited about. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement. I was over the moon. If you’ve been around the beauty blogosphere for a while now, odds are that you’ve probably heard our über-chic British blogger friends talking on and on (and on) about this little tub of joy. Problem is (or was, until Birchbox swooped in to save us all), Liz Earle products don’t normally ship to the U.S. bummer. I’ll save you the details of the story, since I talked on about it in the post, but basically Birchbox saved my bank account by sending me this bad boy and making it available here in good old ‘merica.

The product itself feels quite luxurious; it’s a cream in texture and massages into the skin like a dream. You’re meant to buff it onto dry skin to cleanse, followed by a quick towel-off with a muslin cloth. I found it a bit tough at first to work it in properly, since you have to use a considerable amount to effectively cleanse. In short, this is not one of those “a-little-goes-a-long-way” kind of products. It doesn’t bother me, per say, but it is something to think about if you don’t like the idea of repurchasing every so often. While it doesn’t have a particularly heavy scent, I find that it does have kind of a funny mint-ish smell to it. Personally, I don’t really enjoy the smell, but I’ve gotten used to it. For me, it’s just not a cleanser I massage in forever purely because of the joy of the scent, but I’m sure some people will love it. It’s not unpleasant, to me it just seems… weird. It definitely took some getting used to. In terms of its effectiveness? This thing cleanses off makeup with ease, although I find that prior removal of eye makeup if you wear waterproof mascara (like me) is necessary; it’s not the toughest stuff in the world. Do I love it? To be honest, not as much as I thought I would. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cleanser, and this just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. It’s okay, but for me it just isn’t the oneRight about now, I’m pretty darn glad Birchbox saved me from buying the full size for a third more than it costs (including shipping), only to find out I’m not in love with the product. Still want to give it a go? Have a look here.

Second on the docket today is a sample of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer that came with my Ambient Lighting Palette, which I did a post on here. I’ll admit, this is the first foundation primer I’ve tried, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only one I’ll ever try. It smooths out the skin like nothing else, leaving an even canvas to apply the rest of your makeup, whilst keeping oils at bay. Yes, it is expensive, but I’m definitely planning on purchasing when this product runs out.

Do you have any samples you’ve been trialling recently? Let me know below:)

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?