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, #7.

CAPSULE #7-1

CAPSULE #7-2

CAPSULE #7-3The week has seen the disappearance of foundation from the makeup menu (per chef’s orders to simplify, simplify, simplify.); my skin has been the site of an overload of Pompeii-like eruptions all of a sudden. Which reminds me. Anyone else beyond excited to see John Snow in Pompeii? That beautiful, beautiful man… But I digress. Case in point being, I’ve been far too lazy to faff around with layer after layer of foundation and concealer afterwards, even though my skin would probably look a lot better than it has this week if I did. In light of that, I’ve been trying to focus on giving it some extra TLC at night with my Tarte Maracuja Oil instead of my usual night cream. This one’s just a sample size from Sephora (hint: use code MARACUJA at checkout on the Sephora website for this sample); I’m debating between this and the Pai Rosehip Oil when I commit to a full size, but this has really helped heal those pesky blemishes. I’ve been relying heavily on my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) to inject in some much-needed glow. This one was limited edition, but you can get the individual shades except “Incandescent Light” here.  I’ve especially been loving Radiant Light on the cheekbones with Nars Laguna Bronzer to welcome Sister Spring and sunshine. I’ve had the Sigma E30 Pencil Eye Brush forever now, but I’ve only just gotten into using it on the daily with my battered-up version of the Stila Kitten Eyeshadow. As you can probably tell, this thing has been through hell and back; I have dropped it (possibly more than twice, but I refuse to confess to anything), broken it, and put it back together more than I care to mention, but it’s still a gorgeous highlight shade and works well in the inner corners using the brush. There you have it! The week, in review.

What have you been loving lately?

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?

 

 

CURRENTLY TESTING: BOLD LINER.

fotd 22

fotd23

fotd 2I’m typically not one for adventurous eye looks; I’m much more of a stick-to-your-neutrals-one-sweep-wonder-eyeshadow kind of gal. BUT. With the new year come several resolutions: the box is broken, and I am stepping out. Into a new box. Boxed liner, that is. Whilst browsing on Sephora.com, I came across their not-so-little corner of the internet in which they post beauty tutorials, etc. and was so intrigued by their boxed eyeliner look I knew I had to try it for myself and share it with you all. Instead of the classic kitten flick, I started at the middle of the eyelid and drew a flick upwards. Then, at the outer corners, I drew a cat eye at an almost vertical angle with the same pencil liner, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Perversion. I find that pencil works better for this look than liquid; it’s much easier to shade in the box with, and this product didn’t budge all day. Lastly, I filled it in added some mascara and blush, and was good to go! I used Orgasm from the Nars One Night Stand Palette on the cheeks, paired with the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Tarte setting powder (review here), and the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. Not exactly the most wearable look, but I think it is a fun take on the usual angled liner for a chic night out. Simples. Will you be trying some new eye looks this season?

THE CAPSULE BAG #4.

the capsule bag #4

the capsule bag #4-2

the capsule bag #4-3The week in beauty has been through a bit of re-discovery with some new bits thrown in after my previous haul. I’ve done an entire post about my new purchases here, if you’d like to take a look. On the bases front, I’ve been sampling Smashbox’s CC cream like nobody’s business. This stuff is uber-creamy and blends in effortlessly when paired with my long-time brush lover, the Real Techniques Buffing brush. I know I rave on and on about the Nars One Night Stand cheek palette, so what’s one more post featuring it as the centerpiece of my affections? Maybe too much. Definitely too much. In short, I made up my mind long ago to never give in to the hype surrounding Nars Orgasm, thinking it would be too sheer against my medium/tan skin, but I’m so in love with this shade that I’ve forsaken every other blush I own for the past week in favor of this golden peach tint. See the review here. The Tarte Aqualilies Smooth Operator Setting Powder was featured in the haul post linked above, and it’s been great to keep my T-Zone shine free all day. Let me know if you’d like to see a review on this one below. Lastly, I’ve been getting back into eyeshadow with a bang lately, and the Wet N’ Wild for Beauty Benefits Ultimate Expressions Palette is absolutely stunning. A gift from a certain best friend, the gold shade packs a serious punch with some shimmer to match that of my all-time favorite shadow, MAC woodwinked. (If you’re interested in seeing some of my other MAC shadow favorites, take a look at this post.) And there we have it! All the products I’ve been loving for the past week, simples.

THE HAUL: JANUARY 2014 EDITION.

DSC_0280

DSC_0287

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!

AN ODE TO THE ONE NIGHT STAND.

palette exterior

palette interiorMy love affair with blush is nothing new, but this… I mean, come on. When it first came out, all the major bloggers declared themselves obsessed. These are the people I trust the most with what to put on my face every single day, so yes, I’ll admit: I was intrigued. I remember back in the day, Fleur of Fleur de Force on youtube was going on about the Nars Danmari All About Cheek Palette, which was, to say the least, beautiful. And limited edition. So, I gave up on getting my mitts on one of Nars’ massive six-shade palettes until this came out. The Nars Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Cheek Palette. Please and thank you. But I resisted, I swear. I even managed to talk myself out of this purchase, being that it costs a whopping $65. I was nearly off the hook when the product sold out at Sephora everywhere (as in, no more are being made sold-out, not check back soon.)… And then I went online and stalked swatches. And more swatches. And finally more. And all of a sudden? Back in stock. Alas, ’twas fate. But I digress. I only own one other Nars blusher, Luster, and the Laguna bronzer, both of which I’m completely obsessed with. But having six good-sized shades in one handy palette? Genius. First up, the highlighter of the bunch, Devotee, is an almost frosty offering, but if blended well gives the most gorgeous high-sheen finish in a pinky beige that pairs beautifully with the blushes. Nars laguna is an old favorite, giving incredible warmth to the face without going on orange-y at all. The only matte shade, Misinguette, looks terrifyingly bright in the pan, but translates beautifully on the skin to brighten and wake up the complexion. Deep Throat is a great staple pink shade for everyday. I’m happy to report that the next offering, the cult shade Orgasm, lives up to its hype, giving the most stunning, lit-from-within glow. Lastly, Goulue, my favorite of the bunch, is gorgeous for autumn; when applied with a light hand, it’s just the product for the whole flushed Snow-White-running-through-the-forest look I love so much. François Nars, if you’re listening, do me a solid and release this babe in a full-sized single. Pretty please. Unfortunately, the palette has just sold out again on sephora.com, but keep looking in individual stores and online; I’m sure they have more on the way. And I might just have a giveaway of one of these coming up… Stay tuned. In summation, a must-have for any blush fanatic.

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…

IT’S A PERFECT WORLD

origins lotion

whipped action

So the other day, I’m going about my business, snooping through my mother’s cosmetic cabinet like every good girl does at least once a month, and something catches my eye. Not just anything, either. An ORIGINS thing. And tell me, what does one do when faced with a $30 body lotion stowed away, untouched and far from prying eyes, within the cosmetics cabinet of one’s own mother who, let me point out, neglected to mention its existence? One grabs the tub and runs all the way home, that’s what. Actually, it was more like I grabbed the tub and went to her office, demanding why I wasn’t told sooner. But still. It’s kind of a big deal.

The world is not that kind. Wait, scratch that. The universe is just too mean. It does not give away things for free, and it certainly does not give away origins things for free. But you know what it does do? Sometimes, if you look close enough, it opens a little door through which you have but seconds to run and grab one of your heart’s many (I assume, if you’re reading a beauty blog) cosmetic desires. And yet, that, in itself, is too rare of an occurrence to rely on for help when the old body butter runs low. But I digress.

In short, when the universe opens a door, run straight through and don’t ever look back.

And so it was that I ran, ran as fast as my short, stubby little legs would go, asked politely if, since she had deliberately withheld this magic from me, I could please steal it, since it obviously wasn’t as deeply loved as it should have been, to which she explained simply that it was a gift from last year that she didn’t even know she still had. Thanks, mum.

But the stuff. The Origins A Perfect World Body Cream? It’s the stuff of dreams, I say. Lightly whipped, it’s light enough to not sit on the skin and hydrating enough to lock in moisture all day and all night. And it smells yummy, but that’s just a bonus. Does origins make my skin happy and joyful? Yes. Could it possibly lead to my eventual bankruptcy? Oh yes.

 

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