BARRY M. TAKES AMERICA.

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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.

THE HAUL: NAILS.

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DSC_0041If the world of beauty products were a pet store, blush would probably be the fluffy teacup shi-tzu I’d go in to pet every single day (which may or may not be the beginning of Suki, my personal pup’s, life story), foundations/bases and lip products would be the litter of kittens I always stop to fawn over/can’t get enough of, and nail products would be the beta fish that sit on the $1 rack in the back of the shop. Sad, I know. One, because beta fish are ridiculously underrated and probably some of the most mysteriously majestic creatures to ever grace pet stores around the globe (Have you ever had a look at one of those? You can literally spend hours just staring and observing the ways in which they manage to do absolutely nothing.), and two, because most people are beyond obsessed with nail polish and have a larger arsenal of finger painting products than the rest of their makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love polish; I just get far too lazy to give myself a proper manicure every week and repaint them. Plus, let’s be honest here: if it comes down to getting that new foundation or Nars blush over three or four nail polishes, no way in H-E-double hockey sticks am I passing up a shiny new makeup thing to play around with. But I digress. I’ve always admired the idea of being the kind of girl that’s never seen without perfectly manicured nails, so I’ve made a promise with the new year that I shall be undergoing my transformation to becoming “that girl.”

Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity Trio//$29.00

I popped into Sephora in search of a friend’s birthday gift and happened upon this adorable set of mini Deborah Lippmann polishes that came out for the holidays for just $8 from the original price of $29, which I absolutely couldn’t say no to. I’d been wanting to try a shade from the range for the longest time, and the sizes are great. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through and entire nail polish before other than a bottle of Seche Vite, so they should last a while. I’d been on the hunt for a mauve-toned shade, so the set was perfect. You could even say it was meant to be…

Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat//$7.99

Not the most exciting of purchases, but my last bottle went gloopy (another reason I haven’t painted my nails in weeks), and I absolutely can’t live without this stuff. Foolproof and as fast drying as the name claims, this stuff just gets the job done with a hella bit of gloss thrown in to the mix. Love.

Essie Blanc Nail Polish//$5.49

I’d been on the hunt for the perfect opaque, non-streaky bright white polish since last summer (though the search may or may not have been forgotten in the fall), and lemme tell you right now, I have found the one. Perfect, full coverage in two coats. I have the feeling this is going to turn into more than just a short love affair, but I’ll keep you posted if any bumps in our relationship occur.

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil//$7.99

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have the cuticles of a forty year-old man that has spends his work week employed by a bag of cheeto’s in the office that is his living room couch. In a word, disgusting. *WARNING: slight dramatization of events. Actor portrayal.* They are gross though; dry, cracking, and overall terrible. So, in a desperate attempt to get a real job, my fingers quit their job in the cheetos bag and have put in for a transfer to warmer, more tropical climates. Like apricot groves wherever apricots are grown. They’re much happier now that they’ve retired and spend their time drinking up this apricot cocktail. Smells amazing, gets the job done, and injects moisture back into even the most die-hard cheeto-eating cuticles.

Have you picked up any products recently?

THE CAPSULE BAG #1.

the week #1With the New Year comes some changes to succhisimples., and the addition/replacement of a category on le blog. Rather than doing “The Weekly Edit” about which I posted sporadically during the last six months, I’m committing its re-vamped version, officially called “The Capsule Bag”. This way I don’t just post about what I’ve been loving over the week but really what my staple and bare necessity products have been for that week. So, I have officially started over, and am committing to doing this post once every single week. Pinkie Swear. So what’s in the capsule this week? First off Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blusher in “Liquifuschia” is gives the most stunning pink flush for winter weather, which pairs beautifully with the dewy finish of Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation. I’ve been addicted to tightlining with MAC’s Smolder Eye Kohl lately; it really adds the extra oomph to lashes after curling. Lastly, Buxom’s full-on lip polish in Leslie is the perfect plumping gloss that doesn’t add color, but makes you look like you’ve got “Porn-star lips” as Estée of Essiebutton once called the effect. A week in my makeup bag, done. Simples.

THE NYE EDIT.

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DSC_0248Happy New Year everyone! I’ve got quite a few begginning-of-the-year-themed posts lined up, but I wanted to share the manicure and eye look I sported last night with all of you. I didn’t go crazy with the nail art this time; just simple, black cherry/wine colored tips for the evening with a bit of sparkle. Butter London’s La Moss (can you tell it’s Kate-inspired?) is my go-to deep burgundy shade for this time of year; smooth formula and stunning in two thin coats. I added a little sparkle to the mix with another Butter shade, West End Wonderland on the accent nail and I was good to go in under ten minutes. Eyes were kept simple, an itsy-bitsy kitten flick courtesy of Mrs. Bobbi Brown and my gel liner of choice, Black Ink, with lashings of mascara. Apologies for not taking a better photo of the makeup; we had company and I was in a rush to snap some photos and go. End of the year eyes and tips, simples.

What did you sport on your eyes and nails for NYE? Let me know in the comments below!

THE SAMPLE REVIEWS.

le cpIf you happened to read my October Birchbox Unboxing post, you might have noticed that I received an itty-bitty sized sample of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I was kinda sorta beyond excited about. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement. I was over the moon. If you’ve been around the beauty blogosphere for a while now, odds are that you’ve probably heard our über-chic British blogger friends talking on and on (and on) about this little tub of joy. Problem is (or was, until Birchbox swooped in to save us all), Liz Earle products don’t normally ship to the U.S. bummer. I’ll save you the details of the story, since I talked on about it in the post, but basically Birchbox saved my bank account by sending me this bad boy and making it available here in good old ‘merica.

The product itself feels quite luxurious; it’s a cream in texture and massages into the skin like a dream. You’re meant to buff it onto dry skin to cleanse, followed by a quick towel-off with a muslin cloth. I found it a bit tough at first to work it in properly, since you have to use a considerable amount to effectively cleanse. In short, this is not one of those “a-little-goes-a-long-way” kind of products. It doesn’t bother me, per say, but it is something to think about if you don’t like the idea of repurchasing every so often. While it doesn’t have a particularly heavy scent, I find that it does have kind of a funny mint-ish smell to it. Personally, I don’t really enjoy the smell, but I’ve gotten used to it. For me, it’s just not a cleanser I massage in forever purely because of the joy of the scent, but I’m sure some people will love it. It’s not unpleasant, to me it just seems… weird. It definitely took some getting used to. In terms of its effectiveness? This thing cleanses off makeup with ease, although I find that prior removal of eye makeup if you wear waterproof mascara (like me) is necessary; it’s not the toughest stuff in the world. Do I love it? To be honest, not as much as I thought I would. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cleanser, and this just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. It’s okay, but for me it just isn’t the oneRight about now, I’m pretty darn glad Birchbox saved me from buying the full size for a third more than it costs (including shipping), only to find out I’m not in love with the product. Still want to give it a go? Have a look here.

Second on the docket today is a sample of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer that came with my Ambient Lighting Palette, which I did a post on here. I’ll admit, this is the first foundation primer I’ve tried, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only one I’ll ever try. It smooths out the skin like nothing else, leaving an even canvas to apply the rest of your makeup, whilst keeping oils at bay. Yes, it is expensive, but I’m definitely planning on purchasing when this product runs out.

Do you have any samples you’ve been trialling recently? Let me know below:)

OCTOBER BIRCHBOX UNBOXING

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DSC_0188The second Friday of every month is probably my favorite day of the month, purely because checking my mailbox reveals a little pink box of beauty for me to squeal about. Oh yes, I love me some Birchbox. I know that a lot of people prefer Glossybox to Birchbox, but I can’t compare the two, as I’ve only ever tried the latter, but this month’s box is definitely something to phone home about. So what’s inside? Have a look.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

While the name’s a bit of a mouthful, I’ve been trying this stuff for about a week now and it’s seriously good. I’d actually been trying to get my hands on a bottle, but it was nearly impossible to get it anywhere in the U.S. I was ready to order off the Liz Earle website and pay an extra third of the price for shipping when I heard Birchbox was launching it in the States. Hallelujah. Gorgeous scent and amazing product that leaves skin clean without feeling stripped. Love.

Liz Earle Muslin Cloth

Included in the little Tiffany-blue Liz Earle box was one of the brand’s muslin cloths, which actually counted as a separate product for this month’s box. While it is cute, the flannel is just okay. To be honest, I much prefer my own set of cloths from Wal-Mart that cost me $4 purely because I feel like they exfoliate much better than these, being a bit more scrubby, yet still thin. I’d say don’t break the bank and buy these at $6 for 2 cloths when you can go out and get a set of 18 better flannels for $4, but no qualms here about it being included in this month’s box.

Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Mineral Finishing Powder

I received the shade “Amber”, the darker of the two. Personally, the color is a bit dark for me, but then again the only other shade suits light skin tones, so I’m not sure that would be any better. This will probably suit me better in the summer when I have more of a tan, but for now, it works fine as a bronzer. This sample is actually a full size product, retailing for $25. The product alone is worth $15 more than the price of the box, so I was happy to see this month’s box having a great value.

theBalm “Stainiac” Cheek and Lip Stain

The shade Birchbox sent me was “Beauty Queen”, a gorgeous berry. I freaking love gel cheek/lip tints. Easy to apply, this gives just enough time for blending out on the skin before setting and staying put for hours. It’s also lightweight on the lips and seriously does not budge.

Birchbox Find: ChapStick Hydration Lock

I heard from the BB sneak peak video that this one is supposedly a great lip primer before using any sort of lipstick or gloss, and I actually really like this product. I’m a bit of a balm snob, if that’s a thing, and I typically stick to the same products, so I haven’t used ChapStick since  was seven. I liked how this wasn’t included in the 4-5 samples we received, and it’s versatile and really quite useful.

Overall, this has to have been my favorite Birchbox so far. I’ve actually just hit 400 Birchbox points to spend in the online shop, so check back soon to see what I’ve picked up! What subscription beauty boxes do you love?

Want to order a box? Here’s the link to the subscription: Birchbox Subscription 

 

THE LUST LIST #1.

As a professional wishlist maker, I’ve had one of these “Things To Buy” checklists running since before I turned seven. True, it has evolved ever so slightly in the past decade or so, but the habit remains. It’s probably not the best thing for my bank account, but I digress. Onto the products.

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 12.20.09 PMFirst up, the Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil, retailing at $36 a pop. Yes, it’s pricey, but after obtaining a sample from my local Sephora a few weeks ago, I have to say, it’s well worth the price tag. This stuff smells incredible, melts makeup right off, and leaves skin silky-soft. Again on the cleansing front, Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Quite the mouthful. Birchbox has just introduced this one to the states, making it readily available via their website (if you don’t know what Birchbox is, check back soon for an unboxing and intro to the subscription box!). The last skincare-ish lustworthy item on the docket is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm. A favorite in the British blogosphere, I’ve been wanting to pick this baby up for ever. Next up, the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. I first heard about this product from Estée, or essiebutton‘s videos. I’ve been looking for the perfect powder to wear with just a bit of concealer for no makeup-makeup days, and this one seems to tick all the boxes. Whilst in Sephora the other day, I finally got the chance to test out Josie Maran’s watercolour cheek gelées, gorgeous little pots of gel blusher that glide on the skin like butter. After hearing all the hype on blogs, this one is definitely wantworthy. And now, succhisimples’ most wanted, public favorite number one, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette. I’d been lusting after the shade “Dim Light” for quite some time, but after seeing this pop up on Makeup And Beauty Blog, I fell in love. No joke. For $58, you get three ambient lighting powders worth $45 a piece, including the limited-edition shade “Incandescent Light” and the warming “Radiant Light”, and a 0.16 oz. sample of the Mineral Veil Primer, which I’ve been dying to try, worth $18 alone. Great bang for your buck. Godwilling, she will be mine. Of course we’ve all heard of Diptyque from our über-chic british blogging friends, but the brand is, to say the least, elusive with regards to its presence in the American market, having only one store in the States located in New York City. The “Eau Duelle” Eau de Parfum is described as a “sensuous bourbon vanilla paired with a pod infusion for a rich fragrance with depth. It’s underlined by the amber animality of cistus and the warmth of ambroxan.”I adore warm vanilla scents, and I think that this one will be perfect for winter. I’ve heard great things about the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking mascara; I’ve actually never tried a super high-end mascara before, so I thought this would be a great place to start. Last but not least, we have the Nars Pure Radiant Creamy Concealer. It could be that I’ve simply been unimpressed with nearly all the drugstore concealer offerings I’ve tried, or that I’m just a snob when it comes to base products; either way, I want this. I’ve been in need of a good concealer for blemishes for a while now, and while this isn’t cheap, I’d really like to try it and see what all the hype is about.

So that’s it! My current most lusted-after items. I’m going to try to post one of these every month, so stay tuned. I’m also challenging myself to put up a post every day this month, so check back for more! What products are you lusting after this month?

WOMT #1: ESSIE LAPIS OF LUXURY

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Oh, I do love a good pastel blue. This one is no exception, but it’s a bit of a twist on your classic sky-blue, with more periwinkle and purple-ish undertones. While the shade IS gorgeous, the formula is kind of funny compared to your usual creamy, milky pastel polish, since this one’s really sheer. Here, I had to layer on three coats to get full opacity, but a white base might help.  All in all, a gorgeous spring and summer shade if you’re willing to put in extra work. While this was from a resort collection a few years’ back, you can get it here.