THE MUST-TRY LIST: RADICAL SKINCARE.

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Radical skin care is a a brand I’ve been hearing about from UK bloggers for years now, but until recently I hadn’t head much buzz about the products Stateside. Which is ridiculous, because let me tell you, they’re life-changing. Yes, I really said that. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Lets be honest for a second here. My skincare shelf/stash is constantly overflowing with products, so coming to the point where. I’m completely committed to not just one, but THREE different products from a single brand, so much so that I won’t travel without every single one, is something to write home about. I recently got the chance to test out their Hydrating Cleanser*, Instant Revitalizing Mask*, and new SPF, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30*, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m hooked. I’ve been using the products steadily for a few months now to really get a feel for how they work into my routine, and at the moment, I can’t see myself ever being caught without all three in my stash. The Hydrating Cleanser* was my introduction to the brand; it was the first product I heard about from the range (thanks to Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup), and is probably my favorite of the bunch. Though meant as more of a post-cleanse after you’ve taken off the bulk of your makeup, I’ve been using this religiously as my morning cleanser and have found that it dipoles wonders , to really brighten and plump dull tired skin. A dollop of this massaged onto dry skin is the perfect morning facial that smells lovely and feels oh-so-wonderful. Additional note: I’m a sucker for peach, and the peach shade of this cleanser instantly gets rid if those Monday morning blues. Peach or non-peach-colored, this stuff is damn good. it’s on the pricier end of cleansers at $45 a pop, but I’ve been using my tube every morning, as well as some nights, for around three months now and I’m not even halfway done with the tube. 100% worth the price tag. The Instant Revitalizing Mask* does what it says on the tin: perks up dull skin and injects a good serving of hydration while leaving skin feeling clean afterwards. The brand describes it as: “the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy, and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions. It leaves skin amazingly revitalized, healthy, and glowing.” I must say, this is without a doubt one of the most fun products you’ll ever put on your face. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and it fizzes, pops, and bursts as the mask does its work, giving a lovely tingling sensation that tickles rather than stings. It’s the perfect pick-me-up mask for days when you need a quick fix for sallow or tired looking skin that leaves it looking refreshed and awake, as well soothing any redness or irritation you might have going on. A foolproof fix I’ll never be caught without in my skincare trove. The final product is the brand’s newest product, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30. We’ve all heard it before: SPF, SPF, SPF. Sun damage, they say, is the #1 source of wrinkles. But let’s be honest, no one wants to oil on yet another layer of product in the morning before we get to work on the tough job of putting on the daily face. Unless, that is, you’ve got an SPF in your arsenal that’s too light to detect on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast, and pumps up the glow factor, making your skin look dewy and lot-from-within before you’ve applied a drop of makeup on top. Enter, Radical Skincare’s solution to the sunscreens of days past. It looks slightly pink when squeezed out of the tube, but even on my über yelllow-toned skin it blends in effortlessly and doesn’t leave an odd tint behind. It does contain a bit of shimmer to add some dew to the mix, but on the skin it’s undetectable disappearing to add a seamless glow to the face. I know, we’re getting a little glow-heavy here, but there really isn’t a better word to describe the effect this gives. It doesn’t add any oil to the skin or have a that odd silicone-y feel, but simply does what it claims to: blurs imperfections and enhances the look of skin before makeup, giving a dose of protection without feeling like an extra layer of product. Enough said.

Have you tried anything from Radical Skincare?

THE CAPSULE BAG #8.

DSC_0254With spring on the horizon, I’ve gotten back into shades of pink and gold over the past week; think Nars Orgasm with a bit more punch to it. If you read my last blog post, you’ll be familiar with to of the products featured in the makeup bag: MAC’s mineralize blush in Love Thing and their lipstick in Morning Rose. I’ve been absolutely smitten with both these products, so naturally the rest of the makeup was centered around them. Apologies for the continuous raving about them, especially since I know first hand how hard that lipstick is to get one’s mitts on, but they’re just so. Good. Since I’ve been piling them on daily, the rest of the makeup has been minimal, including Maybelline’s The Falsies Flared mascara for heavy volume at the roots of the lashes, making them look über fluttery with a curl that lasts all day long. Love. To apply the blush, I’ve fallen back in love with my Sonia Kashuk stippling brush that I picked up on a whim from Target. It’s a great budget buy that not only applies bright blush effortlessly without making you look like a clown, but is super soft and blends to perfection. At the bottom of the bag, a firm favorite lately has been the Secret Agent Beauty Foreign Lip Affair Gloss in “Foreign Intelligence Flirt.” I actually received this in a Birchbox a while back and and it’s the perfect gloss for spring; adds enough color to make your lips very rosy and gives a great sheen without being sticky. And the smell. Ladies and gentlemen, the scent of this stuff is most definitely something to write home about. If you’re on the edge with this one, give it a whiff and don’t look back.

I was lucky enough to get featured today in a “Beauty Blogs Worth Bookmarking” post (here) by the lovely Natalie of Thunderlove, so a huge thank you to her for including succhisimples.! I absolutely love her blog; if you haven’t checked it out you can have a look here.

THE SPRING FLUSH.

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DSC_0287Are you sensing a theme in my spending menu here? I apologize for the MAC-heavy posts here on le blog, but I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling a little like Will Ferrell in Elf right about now. I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it. Yeah. I am. Let the angels sing it from on high, I’m having a fling with MAC and I don’t want it to end. Ever. If you popped into one of their stores or visited a counter since the beginning of the year, you’ll probably have seen their “Magnetic Nudes” collection. Now, like the frugal person I am (pretending to be), I exercised restraint here: in and out empty handed. I completely put it out of my mind until I saw Lily Pebbles in this video wearing a lipstick from the collection in “Morning Rose”, immediately looked up swatches, and became a woman obsessed. I looked online (sold out), had a friend who was visiting in Miami check every counter and store she could find (really sold out) and then gradually gave up on the idea. My last hope? The MAC counter in Dillard’s. Hallelujah, hallelujah. I may or may not have been happy-dancing my way around for the next five hours after finally finding my own tube of glory. It’s a lovely shade that’s exactly the perfect my-lips-but-better color for my skin tone and lips. The formula isn’t the smoothest and it’s lightly frosted, but for the color I can most definitely grin and bear it. As for the blush, MAC’s mineralize blush in “Love Thing” is a beautiful plummy rose that looks beyond shimmery in the pan and swatched, but fear not; no glitter to be seen once applied. I was actually slightly disappointed that the shimmer doesn’t translate as heavily, as it’s absolutely stunning in shades of pink and green duochrome, but it does give a healthy glow and perfect flush to the cheeks. Simples.

Will you be picking either one of these up soon?

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.

THE NEW THING VOL. 2: ORIGINS GINZING MOISTURIZER

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I’ve been ogling the Origins GinZing Eye Cream for a good year now, but haven’t really had any urgent need for it; I don’t suffer from terrible dark circles and although my main issue, puffiness, is targeted by the product, I just have never seemed to be able to justify purchasing it. It’s not an outrageous price at all; I was ready to hand over my credit card for Bobbi Brown’s nearly $50 offering at once, it’s just that I always seem to get squeamish when I actually pick it up to get rung up at the till. It’s just that for me, I feel like it’s not an essential. But. Moisturizer? That’s a whole other ballpark.

I have extremely dry skin; I suffered from eczema when I was little and have been battling dry spots ever since. Even with the uber-hot and humid climate where I live, my skin generally stays dry unless properly moisturized. With school starting, early mornings are a comin’. So a moisturizer that wakes up my tired, dull skin after a late night of studying? That’s my kind of thing. This, I can justify, being an essential and all. So for anyone out there too scared to take the plunge with the GinZing eye cream, I’d start with the moisturizer and see how you like the idea.

After having sampled it for about a week and using it for a few more days, the verdict is clear: holy. grail.

This stuff is super lightweight, and, because it’s water-based, sinks into the skin and leaves it feeling plump and happy. I was worried that it wouldn’t be hydrating enough for me and might leave my skin feeling tight because of its claim to “wake up” the skin, but let me tell you, it’s hydrating at its finest. Lightweight AND soothing? Count me in. Never again will I repurchase my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream for $55. Well, maybe. It does smell nice. But this smells better. And it lives up to its claims; it de-puffs and makes skin feel energized, refreshed, and ready for the day, glowy and all.

Need a morning wake up call for your skin? Give the GinZing moisturizer a try. I’d say it’s love. Who knows? I might even pick that eye cream up after all. You can get the moisturizer here.