THE ONE THAT EVERYONE LOVES.

porefessional reviewYou know that trove of products hailed by the entire beauty community as the Holy Grail of put-on-your-face items? The ones everybody and their mother is obsessed with, can’t live without, etc. etc. You get my drift. And then there’s the particular problem that arises when you give a member of said Holy Grail of products a go and just can’t seem to make it work, and you spend months and months wondering what you’re doing wrong; is it the way you’re applying it, your uneven skin… And finally you’re resigned to think that there has to be some sort of issue on your end if the rest of the world is in love with it. *Cue sad violin melody.* Alas, Benefit’s POREfessional presents such an enigma in my beauty stash. I’ve been trying to get into this for a few months now since picking it up, and I’ve finally decided: it doesn’t work for me. I know, I know, all this sounds blasphemous at best, but before you throw me in blogosphere prison for treason, allow me to explain. While I do wholeheartedly agree that it does an excellent job at filling in pores and reducing their appearance (its main claim to fame), I just can’t get over how this leaves my skin; chalky, powdery, and a little dry on application. While it does smooth over everything before foundation, it leaves dry patches significantly more visible and doesn’t do much for a longer-lasting base. If you have more combination skin, I’d say you’d enjoy this more simply to keep shine at bay as you shouldn’t have much of a problem with it feeling particularly drying if you’ve got an oilier complexion, but dry skins, beware. I realize it’s only meant to do the job of blurring pores (which it does remarkably well), but if I’m going to go the extra mile to slap on a primer in the morning, it needs to do some extra work to keep my face happy throughout the day.

Have you ever tried Benefit’s POREfessional primer?

COLORED CLAY.

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L-R: Tarte CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium; Tarte CC Eye Primer Stick

With the Monday post being a review of Tarte’s new collection for fall, I thought I’d bring you a few new pieces they’ve added to their permanent range: the Colored Clay CC Eye Primer* and CC Undereye Corrector*. We’ve all seen the whole CC/BB cream affair go down in the beauty world, so when Tarte was kind enough to send these over I was a little skeptical. According to the brand, the Undereye Corrector is meant to: “instantly mask undereye discolorations and dark circles while improving the appearance of skin tone and texture over time.” I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I can’t say much in the way of the skin under my eyes seeing much improvement, but I will say that this really does give a flawless, airbrushed effect under the eyes. It comes in two shades, Light-Medium (swatched above on the left) and Medium-Dark. Since the product is meant to be applied underneath your normal concealer, the shade isn’t much of an issue; overall, it gives a gorgeous brightening effect that really lifts the face without being drying or caking throughout the day. Love. What struck me first about the CC Eye Primer was the packaging; I find it eliminates the faff of having to dig your finger into a Mac paint pot to get a similar effect that evens out eyelids and gives a neutral base for eyeshadow in a convenient pencil form. It’s quite nice to use on the lower lashline as well because of its design, which means less time spent fiddling with smudging primer under your eyes in the morning (and less time getting ready overall- win). However, because I have quite oily eyelids, I didn’t find this to do much in the way of preventing eyeshadows from creasing throughout the day. I would say that if you don’t experience creasing with the formula of Mac’s paint pots, this is an excellent alternative, but I would skip on picking this up if you’ve got oily lids like me.

Have you tried any of Tarte’s new Colored Clay products?

 

THE SIMPLES. SUITCASE PART 1: BEACH HOLIDAY.

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Packing for a trip is probably one of the most tedious parts of travel: what do I bring? how many pairs of socks do I need? does that pair of heels have space priority over three pairs of shorts? Such are the burdening questions that must be dealt with before we fly off to soak up the sun. Whether you’re jetting to the Bahamas to sip piña coladas, taking a road trip for a city holiday, or heading for a weekend getaway in the countryside, I’ve got you covered.

THE ESSENTIALS:

Swimsuit. A beach holiday is no beach holiday without-you guessed it-the beach. There are few feelings as horrible as realizing you’ve left your bathing suit at home just as you’re getting ready to descend to the shore. Make sure you pack one of these before anything, and I do mean anything, else; you don’t want to end up having to buy an overpriced swimsuit that makes your bum look sub-par when you reach your tropical locale.When in doubt, hit up your local Victoria’s Secret. You can find the bikini pictured here. They do some gorgeous patterns and styles that last forever, though I’m having serious daydreams about getting my hands on a Triangl bikini

Sunblock. Everyone loves a good summer tan, but getting your glow on certainly isn’t worth developing skin cancer later on. The sun can be incredibly damaging, especially to the face, causing premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc. Is it a joy to put on? Absolutely not. But let’s be honest, you’re on holiday at the beach. Slathering on sunblock before exposure next to the ocean blue isn’t the worst thin in the world. I find that using the same sunblock I use on my body for my face tends to break me out; try using a facial sunscreen separate from your regular sunblock for the rest of your body to be safe. Neutrogena makes excellent offerings, and if you want to use the same sunblock all over, I highly recommend their Ultra Sheer Dry Touch sunblock range. Works like a charm, smells decent, and doesn’t break me out. Love.

Sunglasses. Not only do they look beyond fashionable, these really are essential when out and about to protect eyes from harsh sunlight. You can find a ton of cute pairs as cheap as chips at stores like Forever 21, but it’s a much better plan to invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses to get the most bang for your buck in terms of eye protection. I’m very picky when it comes to shades; my general philosophy? If you’re not still in shock over how much you love them weeks after buying, you’ve got the wrong pair. I first got my hands on a pair of Tiffany lenses back in December (blogged about here), and ended up exchanging them for my current pair of Ray-Ban clubmasters, which I’m still head over heels in love with. Definitely a must-have for any summer holiday.

THE MAKEUP BAG.

I love a good sheer base, especially in the summertime, so of course my trusty Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation in B40 got drafted for the trip. Easy to apply sans brush faffing with just the fingers and long-lasting, she’ll be your best friend if you’re willing to take the plunge. Pinky promise. In terms of powder, of course it came down to another Chanel offering, this time in the form of their Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder, also in B40. It’s incredibly lightweight and practically invisible, but keeps shine at bay and comes in a touch-up friendly compact with packaging that’s absolutely to die for. To avoid any greasy situations on the ‘ol face, Korres’ Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is a gorgeous primer that really does keep oil at bay underneath it all (review here), while this teeny-weeny sample of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Opal is perfect for travel to add some glow back on them cheekbones after all this “mattification”. Lastly on the skin we have another Becca offering (are you sensing a theme here?), their mineral blusher in Songbird, which I spoke about in my last post. I love this stuff: it’s one of the longest-lasting blushes I own to beat the summer heat, and looks absolutely stunning in sunlight with the most gorgeous micro-shimmer that just makes you glow. On the eyes, the only thing we’re packing here at succhisimples. is the ever travel-friendly Clinique Neutral Territory 2 Palette (review here), which is the size of my palm but miraculously fits eight gorgeous, buttery shadows, making it the perfect smokey eyes product for the girl on the go. Last but certainly not least, Nivea do a great lip balm/sunblock hybrid (yes, your lips get sunburnt too-never a good look) that’s slightly mattifying and works as a great base under any lip product. On top, we’re doing Revlon’s lip butter in the shade Tutti Frutti, a delicious coral/orange that’s hydrating and easier to use than  Delphine from Orphan Black (did you SEE the finale? Let me know below. Let’s chat:)

What will you be packing on holiday this summer? Stay tuned for the next installments to come this week. So about Orphan Black…

 

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #10.

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DSC_0021The week has seen the introduction of more than a few products as the result of birthday binge-shopping (haul to come; keep your peepers peeled) so I’ve been trialling quite a few makeup bits since buying. First up, my base collection has added a new member to the family. Please welcome the oh-so-professional POREfessional primer from Benefit. This actually happens to be my first full-size product from the brand, and I have to say, I’m beyond impressed. First  of all, a non-silicon-y primer that manages to fill in pores while smoothing the skin and prepping for the rest of the day’s face paint? Sold. You had me at hello. This baby lives up to its name; pores are minimized when first applied and then do their own disappearing act as soon as foundation comes to play. While it is more expensive than many drugstore offerings, it doesn’t break the bank the way the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer does (review here). I actually stole this Dior Nude Tan Bronzer in 003 Cinnamon from my mum’s makeup collection, and we’ve had quite the love affair so far. Silky smooth formula, minimal shimmer, and the perfect amount of glow. Because I have skin on the darker side of the spectrum, I often find that my beloved Nars Laguna bronzer is a bit too light to impart the sunkissed glow I’m always after, so I love this darker shade to give a bit more of a punch. It’s also great applied with a fluffy brush like the Real Techniques blush brush just under the cheekbones and blended up to give a hint of contour. It also comes in quite a few colors if this shade is a little too dark (or light) for you. I’ve been obsessed with the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in Ebony since opting for a bit of a stronger brow in last week’s post. I won’t rave on about this since I’ve reviewed it here, but let me say this: She’s a beaut. Last up, I finally picked up YSL’s Glossy Stain in the shade Corail Aquatique (no. 7). This was my first foray into their range, and I want them ALL. I kid you not, these are bloomin’ fantastic. They go on like the most buttery gloss and start to “set” to more of a balm texture that feels cushiony on the lips and moisturizes all day long. These also layer better than any gloss/liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried; as soon as the product sets, you can keep applying coats until you’re happy with the intensity. This shade, in particular, is a gorgeous peach/coral (can you tell?) that doesn’t lean so orange that it makes your teeth look white, but is a stunning spring/summer shade. Consider me obsessed. 

What have you been loving this week?

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

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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!

 

 

MAC PAINT POTS: A STUDY.

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L-R: Vintage Selection, Eclair, Soft Ochre

I’m a big fan of cream eyeshadows; I love their swipe-and-go nature and how simple they are to smoke out and run out the door with. MAC’s offerings are some of the best I’ve tried; incredibly creamy, lightweight, and easy to apply, they’re what made me fall in love with cream shadows. My collection of these isn’t all that extensive, but the three shades I have to share with you today are Soft Ochre, Eclair, and Vintage Selection. Soft Ochre was one of my first ever makeup products, which I bought as an eyeshadow primer. This is the more yellow-toned version of the two nude shades they offer (the pink-toned one being Painterly), and really suits my skin tone. They do work wonders as primers, since eyeshadow really sticks to them and doesn’t let up for hours. Plus, this cancels out the redness I may have going on around my eyelids, so bonus points for that. Love. The next two, Eclair and Vintage Selection, were actually limited edition, but they tend to get re-promoted quite often (Vintage Selection in particular). I’ve already done a review on Eclair, a warm rusty bronze tone which makes for the perfect brown smokey eye look, so have a look here to see more. Vintage Selection, on the other hand, is a pinky-beige shade that leans champagne; it’s very multidimensional and looks gorgeous as a base for shadow. Apologies for the photo, but it really is difficult to capture the color on camera. It’s quite pink, but if you’re not on the fairer side, this works fabulously as a highlighter under the browbone. In comparison to other high end brands, MAC’s cream shadows are on the cheaper side of the spectrum, and pack more of a punch in terms of quality and pigmentation  than a lot of high-end brands’ offerings. If you’re not a cream shadow lover, I’d definitely say try these out; they just might convert you. Welcome to the dark side.

What are your favorite cream shadows? Let me know in the comments below!

THE CAPSULE BAG #2.

baggit 2This week has been all about working towards flawless better skin and minimal makeup, so all products have been henceforth geared to enhancing that sort of effortless look. Is it working? Not sure. But. In an attempt to channel that sort of fresh-faced and wide awake look, I’ve been doing something I rarely do on the daily; reaching for concealer to cover up those hideous undereye demons. I generally don’t go for any extra coverage than foundation under my eyes to avoid looking too “made-up”, but since rediscovering the majesty of my once-loved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, I’m hooked all over again. It really gives you this veil of coverage that isn’t heavy or cakey, and looks oh-so-natural all day long. To keep things shine-free, my Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment primer has been on constant rotation. I won’t go on about it, but you can check out my review here. The whole casual shebang meant no lipstick/gloss to be seen, so I opted for a fresh wash of fuschia with the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 04 Succulent Pomegranate, which is a lovely moisturizing balm that leaves behind the perfect stain all day long. Lastly, if you read my review on the Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 set (if not, check it out here), you’ll know that it came with the shade Twice Baked, which makes for the perfect un-done eyeliner look. You can pick up some shades here. I had low expectations with this one, but the gold shimmer flecks and perfect effect when smudged along the lashlines proved me wrong. Love. The week’s makeup, in a nutshell. Simples.

I’m also trying to get more into social media with le blog, so don’t forget to follow me on twitter/instagram/everything else in the world (click the buttons in the sidebar to do so). Not to pimp out my accounts or anything. What have you been loving this week?

KORRES POMEGRANATE MATTIFYING TREATMENT.

 

korres.Korres has always been an intriguing brand to me; of course we’ve all heard about their lip butters, but what really drew me in was their unique style. The minimal packaging, the adorable little colored pots of balms, the whole nine yards. Asides from those and what I had heard about their bath products, I really had never seen the rest of their lineup. So, whilst perusing Sephora’s internet aisles, I picked up their Pomegranate Mattifying treatment. It’s a primer of sorts that is meant to take away shine before applying foundation, etc, especially on the T-Zone. First off, the packaging definitely did not disappoint; it’s completely luxurious with the added pump, which is a nice touch; usually primers just come in a squeezy-tube that ends up too messy to use. And the product? Please and thank you. It does exactly what it claims to, keeping shine at bay and oils nonexistent before they break through your foundation. It’s also lightweight, so it works perfectly atop a moisturizer, unlike some primers which tend to just slide of if any lotion-esque substance comes to play. Well worth the price.

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:)

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 2013

monthly roundup 2I’ll admit, I’m just slightly late in posting one of these, since the last time I did was in July… Oops. I know I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to keep up with school and the blog recently, but I’m working hard now to try and stabilize everything, but thank you so much to everyone still following me through my erratic postings. So.

We’re officially in the winter swing these days, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas sneaking up far too early (though I’d be lying if I told you I mind), so my favorite products of October are quite seasonal, apart from the odd bits and bobs. First off, Real Techniques buffing brush and multi-task brush. Basically the buffing brush is an absolute dream for applying foundation, working product into the skin so effortlessly it leaves a completely seamless finish. And the other item in question? The multi-task brush, of the “Travel Essentials” set, is the perfect size for applying blusher just where I like it, about a third of the way into the apples of the cheeks and brushed slightly up the cheekbone. Love.

Next up, I went on the hunt for a berry blush for autumn from the drugstore, and found the perfect match in Maybelline’s FitMe blush in “Deep Wine“. It looks stunning applied lightly on the cheeks, giving a gorgeous lit-from-within rosy glow. Keeping with the brand, I also found the perfect oxblood/berry lipstick in Maybelline’s Color Sensational LipColor “Deepest Cherry”. Oh yes. My love for these two runs deep. Great price, and beyond versatile product. Try applying in an ombré style, patted out from the center of the lips, as a light stain with a slap of lip balm or gloss on top, or full-on cherry for a bold pout. Expect to see a post pop up soon on some winter lips…

If you’ve red my blog recently (which I hope you have), you will have seen my review on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette, so I shan’t go too far into detail about this little bundle of glowy-ness and the primer it includes, but I couldn’t not include it, since I literally haven’t stopped using it since the mailman Jim dropped it on my doorstep like a freaking Sephora Santa Claus; just know that it’s beyond fantastic, giving you everything you need for a flawlessly sculpted and perfectly “lit” face. Interested? Have a look at my review here.

Last but most certainly not least, the NARS creamy radiant concealer in “Ginger”. Oh my gosh. I can’t even describe my love for this little tube. First off, the packaging is beyond stunning. But the product? This thing blows everything you thought you knew about concealer out of the water. Yes, it’s true that none of us like the idea of showing off dark circles to the universe, but eventually you get sick of caking stuff under there, you know?

*Enter, NARS concealer*.

Never cakey, never creases, and gives natural, buildable coverage that never feels heavy. And the fact that it doubles up to erase them blemishes? Score.

So there we have it! That’s everything I’ve been in love with for the past month. Simples. What are your October favorites? Drop me a comment below, and please link up your post if you’ve done one on them so I can have a look!