THE CAPSULE BAG #12.

capsule bagCan you tell the week was a little Nars-heavy? We started things off here at succhisimples. with a new foundation purchase in the form of Nars Sheer Matte. In short: happy accident. I meant to buy Sheer Glow after hearing the raves and trying out a sample (hint: I loved it), picked up the bottle from the back of the rack at Sephora to be sure it was safe-sans the scratches and wear/tear of customers scrabbling for products-and lo and behold, ended up still in sheer territory, but well, matte. And then? It was love. I have to say, I wanted to like Sheer Glow better purely because of the love everyone and their mother professes for it, but Nars really seems to have it going on in the flawless base department. If you have skin that gets even slightly shiny throughout the day, listen up: you need this in your life. Good coverage that feels impossibly light on the skin, controls shine, and isn’t drying at all? My kinda thing. Confession: I may have also bought Sheer Glow. What can I say? You can’t help who (or what) you love. Moving on to other Nars dreamstuffs, the foundation pairs beautifully with their Radiant Creamy Concealer. For reference, I use the shade Ginger, which is perfect year-round under the eyes to brighten without looking like you’re wearing it. In a word- invisible. Somehow this melts into the skin and seems to look better as the day goes on. Need I say more? Wait, I need. If you haven’t try it, stop reading here and rush out to buy. Last on the Nars docket is an old favorite, the blush in Luster. I’ve raved on about this one since ‘simples. started, but my feelings remain the same: it’s damn good. If there ever was a blush to epitomize the “healthy glow” look, it would be this. The perfect apricot that works just as well on tan skins as it does on pale complexions, this is glowy cheeks in a pan. Last on the glow factor docket we’ve got FACE Stockholm’s Cream Hilighter in the shade Dignity. I’ve reviewed it here, but the short version is it’s a more pigmented version of the RMS Living Luminizer and a bit drier in texture. Still natural “wet look” cheekbones that glisten in the sun (thank you Twilight) with added staying power. The final addition to the week’s capsule bag was a new one to my lipstick collection, MAC’s lipstick in See Sheer. Stay tuned for more on this next week, but it’s basically the perfect sheer coral shade that doesn’t look too bright or pastel, even on my-now seven shades-darker skin. Lovely for an everyday, “I’m-still-not-convinced-summer’s-over” kinda thing if you know what I mean.

 

What products have you been loving lately? Any recommendations? Leave them below!

ALMOST GONE.

DSC_0048I’ll admit it: I am something of a skincare floozy. My love for any particular product tends to be more fickle than not, so very rarely do I reach the very bottom of the tin on anything in my skincare stash. Call them what you will (the best name would probably just be empties, but we’re trying to get some imagination going), but these two products have kept my skin happy hippy long enough for me to stick around and have definitely stood the test of time.

ORIGINS GINZING ENERGY BOOSTING MOISTURIZER//$26.50

I bought this around the time it launched last summer, and I must say it’s been love ever since. It’s very lightweight with a very gel-like consistency (hint, it is a gel) that sinks into skin fast. I don’t love using it as a night cream, so I wouldn’t say this is the way to go if you’re looking for a moisturizer that does double duty day-night, but it might work layered with a serum underneath. The price tag doesn’t hurt either; compared with most high-end moisturizers this one doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t hurt nearly as much when you go to check out and pay the bill. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t leave skin feeling tacky and helps avoid an oily t-zone during the day, but it also hydrates pretty effectively and leaves skin feeling plumped and awake, not to mention the blast of citrus scent that might help curb that coffee habit by waking you up in the morning. Love.

 ORIGINS MAKE A DIFFERENCE + REJUVENATING MOISTURIZER//$39.50

Not to be confused with the MAD+ Rejuvenating Treatment, this richer version is much more of a cream than its gel counterpart. While it is rich enough to use as a day-night moisturizer, this never leaves the skin feeling oily throughout the day but definitely helps ease it if you’re experiencing a drought on your face. Lightweight and mega-hydrating? Count me in. Don’t even get me started on the way this thing smells… I’ll save you the trouble: it smells like there’s a party on your face. I can’t describe it, but pretty please, if you get the chance go and have a whiff; you won’t regret it. Definitely one to be repurchased as soon as I run out.

Have you finished any skincare products lately?

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #11.

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Well, well, well. It’s been a while. So long that I’ve lost track of how many I’ve done of these (may or may not have thumbed through the simples. archives), but I promise, we’re well and truly back on the road. You might have noticed the new capsule bag roaming around le blog lately; I’ve given up my tattered Sephora gift-with-purchase bag in favor of this beyond adorable number from Kate Spade. It’s not available online anymore, but I’m sure you can still find it hanging around instores or at any Kate Spade outlets. Whilst on an impromptu shopping trip, I wandered into Ms. Spade’s boutique and saw this little “pencil pouch” as it was called sitting on the sale shelf and immediately snapped it up as a makeup bag on the go. Swooning over and thirty dollars later, she’s mine. Not the roomiest of cosmetic pouches, but certainly beyond cute with the glasses print; I will admit this one was inspired by the iphone case sported by Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup in her latest Weekly Vlogs. I’m not a vlog-watching kinda gal, but Anna has got me hooked as of late. Whether off camping, strolling around Ikea, or walking around London generally looking fabulous, I’m watching it. Not one you want to miss. On to the makeup. Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream has long been a staple in the beauty world, be it as a lip balm, cheek highlighter, you name it. I bought this tube a little less than a year ago and started using it as an overnight lip treatment right away. Back then, I used to wake up to horribly bumpy lips that looked like I’d developed rash X overnight, so this got kicked to the curb. Firmly believing I was allergic to the stuff, I left it alone in the back of my dressing table until this week. In a slight fit of emotion feeling less than myself (no doubt the effect of the Orphan Black finale), I slathered on the stuff and prayed for the best. Very lightly. A pea sized slather. Come morning, my lips were pillowy soft and moisturized. Don’t ask how; you might jinx it and I could end up with another lip rash. It happened. I think it’s down to the fact that my lips are in much better condition these days, having fought off some eczema spots around the area, but sensitive lips beware: you could end up with rash X. In the base category once again Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua has come out on top. Sheer, good coverage, long-lasting. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s maybe the most perfect summer, fall, winter, spring, you-name-it-base ever created. Clinique’s Cheek Pop Blusher in Peach Pop (review here) seems to be incapable of doing wrong; I’m quite heavy-handed when it comes to blush, meaning serious blending action needs to take place to try and fix whatever over-application happened almost every morning. This no-fuss-blush is nothing short of perfect. Easy to blend and build up, but difficult to over apply. Love. Lastly, MAC’s Fanfare lipstick and I have been having a serious love affair; I find it looks best patted onto well-moisturized lips with a peachy gloss on top. Paired with the Clinique blush, it’s peaches for days. Simples.

What products have you been loving lately?

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?

NEW IN: CHANEL PERFECTION LUMIERE VELVET.

DSC_0024Fun fact: my first ever makeup purchase was Chanel’s Perfection Lumière Foundation. At twelve years old. I saved my pennies, ran to the counter, and went home with the most beautiful bottle of stuff I’d ever seen. True, it’s a lovely product, and will forever illicit nostalgia to my beauty naiveté of days gone by, but I don’t get much wear out of it these days since I fell in love with the Vitalumière Aqua. The original perfection lumière formula is just a tidbit too matte and slightly too full coverage, to the point where things can get a wee bit cakey. The makeup gods over at  Chanel have answered our prayers for a lighter semi-matte base for warm weather that doesn’t look like too much with their new launch, the Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation. Think the a cross between the Perfection Lumière and the Vitalumière Aqua and you just might end up with a bottle of this. Gold. It blends like a dream and really does leave the silkiest finish-more matte than dewy but with the most stunning radiance peeking through you’ve ever seen. Makeup tends to be nowhere to be seen on my skin by the end of the day, and this champ stays put for absolutely ages. Good coverage, beautiful packaging, and a base that looks like skin. What more could you ask for?

SICK DAY SAVIORS.

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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?

 

 

THE HAUL: JANUARY 2014 EDITION.

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DSC_0289I call this the “January Edition” not because I’m planning on doing a haul every single month (my bank account isn’t nearly large enough to afford twelve of these posts a year), but because I know that coming up in March for my birthday there will be quite a large haul, followed (hopefully) by a Paris haul in the summer. This month, I took the plunge and made an impulse Sephora purchase and picked up a few things I’ve been putting off buying for ages. The first, Origins’ Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Moisturizer, I’ve gotten samples of not one, not two, but four times at my local counter. I even made a friend accompany me last time to get an extra sample and pass it off as hers. I kid you not. Needless to say, the woman who works there despises my presence every time I approach, so I placed the order online. Ha. It’s the most gorgeous, lightweight moisturizer to use as a night cream, and the smell. Oh. There are no words. Basically it smells like there’s a party happening. On your face. While you sleep. Not to mention you wake up with the softest, most supple skin imaginable. Love. Next up, I’ve been meaning to try Tarte’s Smooth Operator Micronized Setting Powder for ages, and I saw on Sephora.com that the limited-edition version released last year with the Aqualilies collection was on sale. Same powder, but prettier packaging, ten dollars off? Please and thank you. Into the cart it went, so there will be a full review up sometime next week. Stay tuned, kids. The rest of the Sephora items were actually samples; the site was running a promotion that gave you the option to pick 2 luxury-sized samples (hint: use code VICESWAP to shop the deal) so I picked the Tarte Maracuja oil and Becca’s bronzing skin perfector. First off, I’ve never actually tried a proper skincare oil before, and the results were fantastic; brighter, softer, and hydrated skin all came to light in the morning. I’m currently deciding between the full size of this or the Pai Rosehip Oil, but I digress. The Becca sample is actually aimed to give you that tan glow to your skin. Now, I’m basically brown all year round, so no word here on whether or not that helps in the fake tan department. Personally, I lvoe Becca products, especially their Skin Perfector Line, so I think this will make a great cheekbone highlighter-type shade for the summer to help on top of a bit of bronzer. I also got the birthday kit from Benefit they give if you’re a Beauty Insider, since I accidentally put my birthday in as a January birthday when I signed up. #Sorrynotsorry. The kit includes a sample of their Watt’s Up! highlighter, a lovely champagne-golden shade, and the They’re Real! mascara, so lot’s of exciting stuff here, judging from all those exclamation points Benefit brands their products with. Honestly though, the Watt’s Up! gives a great, long-lasting sheen to the cheeks, and the mascara is perfect for separating lashes. If your lashes don’t typically hold a curl, I’d recommend a layer of waterproof mascara first before a layer of this, but it really is fantastic. Lastly, I finally got myself the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm, which is lovely at night as a sort of lip mask, since it’s quite thick. So there you have it! All my recent purchases from the month, simples.

What have you picked up recently? Let me know in the comments below!

JANUARY BIRCHBOX UNBOXING.

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january birchbox unboxing 3The first Birchbox of the New Year has just arrived, and I have to say, I’m a little less than excited about the products. I’ve been holding out hope for some higher-end bits since I first got my subscription almost a year ago after hearing Ingrid from Missglamorazzi raving about her subscription in her unboxing videos. Somehow, she always seemed to get great samples; I was waiting for some Laura Mercier, maybe a little Nars lovin’ to come to my mailbox when I finally realized it wasn’t happening. This was three days ago. I love shopping on the Birchbox shop; they have an excellent point system and some really great products stocked that are hard to get anywhere else, but it’s just not worth getting your hopes up for every month. So, I’ve made the decision that my March box marking an entire year of subscriptions shall be my last. I said it. I’m cashing in my points and looking for the Vegas of beauty subscription boxes. Problem in point? I can’t find Vegas. If any of you have suggestions for beauty boxes that run more on the high-end scale of things, please please please let me know below. Onto the products, this month I received deluxe samples of Fekkai’s Glossing Range Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve used these before, and while they are nice, I think they’re overpriced for what they do. I much prefer the results of the L’Oréal EverCrème Range to the slightly flat finish these left on my hair, and it doesn’t hurt that you can get both the shampoo and conditioner for under $10. I also got a sample of the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette, which was probably my favorite sample for the month. The shadows are buttery smooth and uber-pigmented, not to mention long-lasting. Burt’s Bees also made an appearance with their Day Lotion. This has a lovely cucumber scent that reminds me of summer, but feels heavy and sits on the skin rather than sinking in for a good half hour. I tried it in place of a night cream a few times, thinking it would be nice and light, and woke up with an oil-slick nose. Not exactly sexy. I can understand a bit of oiliness in the morning, both because of residue from whatever night cream I’ve used and due to my slightly combination skin, but we’re not talking a little bit of morning dew here, people. NEWS ALERT: Happening now, the BB (See what I did there? Burt’s Bees…) Oil spill. On my face. Foundations everywhere currently in mourning due to sudden breakouts.

january birchbox unboxing swatchesBirchbox seems to be smitten with Harvey Prince fragrances, and for good reason; they smell absolutely fantastic. Included in January’s box was the Journey perfume, which is sweet with a kick of blackcurrant to keep things a little spicy. So there you have it. Sadly, it’s the beginning of the end for my Birchbox subscriptions. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your recommendation for high-end beauty boxes!

THE CAPSULE BAG #2.

baggit 2This week has been all about working towards flawless better skin and minimal makeup, so all products have been henceforth geared to enhancing that sort of effortless look. Is it working? Not sure. But. In an attempt to channel that sort of fresh-faced and wide awake look, I’ve been doing something I rarely do on the daily; reaching for concealer to cover up those hideous undereye demons. I generally don’t go for any extra coverage than foundation under my eyes to avoid looking too “made-up”, but since rediscovering the majesty of my once-loved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, I’m hooked all over again. It really gives you this veil of coverage that isn’t heavy or cakey, and looks oh-so-natural all day long. To keep things shine-free, my Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment primer has been on constant rotation. I won’t go on about it, but you can check out my review here. The whole casual shebang meant no lipstick/gloss to be seen, so I opted for a fresh wash of fuschia with the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 04 Succulent Pomegranate, which is a lovely moisturizing balm that leaves behind the perfect stain all day long. Lastly, if you read my review on the Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 set (if not, check it out here), you’ll know that it came with the shade Twice Baked, which makes for the perfect un-done eyeliner look. You can pick up some shades here. I had low expectations with this one, but the gold shimmer flecks and perfect effect when smudged along the lashlines proved me wrong. Love. The week’s makeup, in a nutshell. Simples.

I’m also trying to get more into social media with le blog, so don’t forget to follow me on twitter/instagram/everything else in the world (click the buttons in the sidebar to do so). Not to pimp out my accounts or anything. What have you been loving this week?

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.