BARRY M. TAKES AMERICA.

barry m 1

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.

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?

 

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?

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?