THE NEW GLOSS FAVORITES.

laura mercier lip glace set

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 L-R: Daiquiri, Bonbon, Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper

 There’s a new set of glosses in town for the holidays, and let me tell you, it’s a good ‘un. I’ve always been a fan of a good gloss (loyal ‘simples readers might recall my first-ever post was dedicated to the subject), but Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé’s have me absolutely hooked. As much as I do love the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, I have to say, Ms. Mercier has got the gloss game down-pat. This set of five of her best-loved lip glacé’s includes two brighter shades (Daiquiri & Bonbon) accompanied by three more nude-toned shades (Sweetheart, Bare Pink, & Whisper). Oh, and did I mention it’s now on sale on Nordstrom.com? The shades are truly perfect for all skintones; I initially put off buying for fear that the two lightest shades would be too nude for my medium-deep olive skin and was pleasantly surprised to discover just how well the shades adjust to the lips and melt in, forming a lovely sheen that adds a hint of a nude tone to any lipstick underneath. Nothing too flesh-toned here to make you look like a member of The Walking Dead’s zombie ensemble, just lovely glosses to add a bit of something extra to a nude lip. Glitter-haters fear not: I was most apprehensive about the shade Whisper and after a few weeks of use, I can safely say it’s one of my favorites in my entire collection. The shimmer isn’t obnoxious and contrary to its appearance in the tube, it’s quite fine and just gives a bit more shine to the gloss that catches the light beautifully. Best way to wear? Over nude lipstick on the center of the lips to add a bit of highlight. As lovely as the shades are, where these really shine is the formula. Not sticky at all (even less so than the Clarins offerings), these have just enough slip to feel cushiony on the lips while still lasting around four hours in terms of wear. They’re much less balmy than the YSL Glossy Stains, say, and don’t have the same feel to them, but for an everyday, no-fuss gloss that proves effortless and gives just enough shine, these are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Enough Said.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Lip Glacé’s yet?

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?

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 PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes have you been loving lately?

REVLON GOES RETRO.

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DSC_0266Holy mother of peach. I’m pretty positive all I want in life is to win an Oscar and become a buddhist. Why? One word. Reincarnation. Hell. Yes. Because that would mean that I could, theoretically, come back in another life as, you guessed it, a warm fuzzy peach. Or maybe you didn’t guess that. If you did, I actually might question your mental status and if I were you, I’d seriously consider getting a medical consult to be absolutely positive your mind doesn’t work the same way mine does, but I digress. Revlon has resurrected five shades of lipsticks past that were popular back when they first started in the 1930’s: Fifth Avenue Red, Icy Violet, Sandstorm, Jungle Peach, and Snow Peach. I first heard of these coming out on one of my favorite blogs to get a heads up on at the drugstore, Nouveau Cheap, and I immediately had my eye on the peach shades (obviously). So, after a witch hunt ransacking the aisles of the drugstore league of America, I finally found these two kids and snapped them up. Snow Peach is the punchier of the two, and I have to say, it was a bit of a let down for me personally. It’s a beautiful shade and the formula is excellent; great color payoff, glides on smoothly, all that jazz, but it just doesn’t seem to suit my skin tone. It makes me look very sallow and makes my teeth look slightly yellow, but I think in the summer dabbed in as a stain it will be very pretty. It’s not quite peach, it pulls very pink when applied and it looks like a dupe for MAC Impassioned lipstick, if only a tad less bright. The second shade, Jungle Peach, is a gorgeous light peach. On me, it’s a lovely nude color that doesn’t make me look dead and actually adds some light to the face, but I’m sure on lighter skins it’ll be a gorgeous everyday peach colors. Overall, I like the shades and I’d definitely have a look if you’re eying any of them up.

What lipsticks have you been liking lately?

THE CAPULE BAG, #9.

DSC_0253No but seriously, it’s Oscar night. For as long as I can remember, tonight has been the one night I look forward to the most every year (aside from Christmas Eve, because who doesn’t love going to bed dreaming about gifts in the morning?). Thus, the week’s makeup bag has been seriously lacking because I’ve been focused on… other things. Like watching the last few films before the show, prepping my couch for viewing, and dealing with more excitement than the nominees themselves. First up, the Oscar goes to Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua Foundation in B40 for best performance by a foundation in a leading role. Versatile, easy, perfect. Covers everything and feels like you have nothing on your face. For best performance by a beauty tool in a supporting role, Tweezerman travel tweezers. Gets rid of pesky hairs on your face. Need I say more? It was a tie between best performance by a lip product this week, featuring the  in Rimmel Apocalips in Stargazer atop Revlon’s lipstick in Jungle Peach (review to come). And they’d like to thank the Academy….

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

revlon lip butters

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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!

 

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: RIMMEL SHOW OFF LIP LACQUER.

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rimmel apocalips applicator

rimmel apocalips swatchesI know I’m a bit late on the bandwagon with these; they’ve been out forever in the UK and made an appearance in Stateside drugstores last year, but I’ve only just managed to track down a few shades. I finally picked up peachy-coral “Luna” at Ulta, which I’ve been eyeing up for forever. It’s a stunning cream gloss that goes on opaque in one coat. On me, it’s a little pale, but it does give a nice nude tint if applied sparingly. On paler skins, I can see this one being a gorgeous bright shade for the spring/summer season. The other shade I picked up, stargazer, is a shimmering champagne nude. This one is definitely my favorite of the two; it gives the lips a gorgeous golden sheen that screams sunkissed. It’s a very beachy shade that I can see looking amazing with a summer tan. While these are long lasting, they’re not all that moisturizing, so I would suggest applying a balm beforehand and blotting a bit off before applying. The doefoot applicator is nice, as you don’t have to keep going back to the tube to get more gloss, but I think it picks up too much product, and I ended up having to blot the lips after applying, so it’s a good idea to take off a little product before putting it on them lips. Long lasting? Check. Gorgeous shade selection? Check. A+.

WHAT I’M WEARING: SPOTTED.

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“Good Morning Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here. And I have the biggest news ever. Spotted: Lonely boy, shoe-less and clueless.”

Oh, how I do miss GG. I’m sure there’s a few of you reading this thinking the exact same thing. Give me New York, a killer wardrobe, and Chuck Bass any day over reality. But, for those of us still struggling to find our own way to the Upper East Side, we have to get our “Spotted” news elsewhere. And so, God created the spotted pant.

Yes. I wore polka dots. I picked these up on a trip to Manhattan’s H&M a few years back, but pushed them to the back of my closet, because come on. No one wants to look like they’ve just skinned a dalmatian. But. The other day I’m staring into my closet, trying to figure out an outfit, when these peek out from a pile of clothes on a rack, and I must say, I’ve has a change of heart . Yes, they’re absolutely outspoken and scary, but they have this cool artsy sense about them, something street-chic and completely spontaneous. Paired with a bright peach bag and black tee, also from the fashion house, and my trusty Prada flats, I think I’m in love.

Thoughts? Love it, hate it? What’s the last statement piece you sported? Drop me a comment below :)

THE NEW THING VOL. 3: KEVYN AUCOIN THE CREAMY GLOW BLUSHERS

kevyn aucoin blushersHappy Saturday everyone!

Apologies for my absence; I haven’t been on le blog in over an entire month. I’ve just been so busy with school lately and haven’t had the time to post anything at all, let alone take decent photos of products or buy anything new. BUT. If you’re still following me thank you so much for sticking around even though I disappeared for a few weeks. I’ve gotten into a good routine with schoolwork, so I promise to be much more active and post at least a few times each week; I’m putting together a blog schedule to regulate everything and be just that bit more organized. But I digress. Onto the products.

Oh, how I do adore cream blush. It’s just one of those things that’s so easy and effortless to use on the daily, and I love the look of a glowy, flushed cheek. I’ve been lusting after these Kevyn Aucoin the Creamy Glow ones for at least six months now, having spotted them first on one of my favorite blogs, ghostparties, written by the lovely and ever-gorgeous Kate. While professing her love for the little bright pan in the shade “Liquifuschia”, she mentioned picking up another shade, “Tansoleil”, a stunning peach-y apricot, so naturally I had to have them both. A bright pop of pink AND an apricot blusher? Yes please. The price, however, is not so perfect. These retail for $26 a piece, so naturally they’re not the most budget-friendly option, hence my waiting forever and ever to pick them up. But when the brand popped up on Hautelook, selling both for just $14 a piece, I knew it was meant to be, and, lo and behold, they were sitting on my dresser a week later being photographed for this post.swatchesOnto the review. These last FOREVER on the cheeks without any sort of setting spray or translucent powder over top, so they’re a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to pile on the products and still get a gorgeous glowy cheek. Once applied, they dry down to an almost tacky finish, but that goes away after a bit and leaves a gorgeous flush. The pink shade, “Liquifuschia”, is not for the faint of heart, being an almost 70’s-inspired hue that, at the very least, is sure to make a statement. However, color-shy girls fear not; it blends beautifully and sheers out effortlessly to a lit-from-within rosy glow. “Tansoleil”, on the other hand, is a lovely apricot shade great for anyone with warm skin, and gives an incredibly natural flush, even though pigmentation on both of these is out of this world. Final thoughts? It’s love.

While these aren’t on sale anymore, you can pick both up here.