A KORRES AFFAIR.

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One fine morning a few weeks ago my phone let off a buzz to let me know that Korres had just gone on sale on Hautelook, so naturally I popped over for a look and ended up picking up more than I anticipated. For any avid fans of The Office out there, this kind of thing happens all the time… “It’s just human natural.” Especially for the beauty obsessed. I actually only picked up three separate products; the Butter Me Up Lip and Body Collection that was limited edition for the holidays in 2012 and two of the cheek butters. The set comes with four body butters in the scents Basil Lemon, Apple Blossom, Jasmine, and Guava. The scents are all lovely, and the set itself is a great value for money. I’d definitely recommend getting the Hautelook app and changing your notifications settings so you get an alert when a sale comes on, since I paid $15 for a set that originally sold for $38 which was a great deal. I particularly love the Basil Lemon scent; it’s quite citrus-y and clean (obviously…not obviously… take your pick) and while these are great body butters, they make for better hand creams as they’re not as heavily scented as most body lotions and are quite rich, plus the size makes them handy for traveling. The set isn’t readily available but this wasn’t the first time I’d seen it pop up on Hautelook, so keep your eyes peeled, kids. In the meantime, they do offer some lovely sets that are quite similar which you can find here.

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L-R: Korres Lip Butters in Guava, Jasmine, and Quince; Cheek butters in Eros Coral and Chara Chrimson

The set also included three full-sized lip butters which are normally $12 each, so quite a bit of bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been meaning to pick these up for ages and after having tested the three shades I have (Quince, Guava, and Jasmine), I definitely see more shades in my future. These three aren’t by any means intensely pigmented, but they each have a different scent that I think is meant to correspond to the name, though I must say the Guava shade smells a whole lot like coconut rather than juicy guavas. Guava is a clear shade with a slight bit of milkiness, Jasmine is a sheer nude color, and Quince is a sheer rose shade that looks lovely for a subtle pink lip. Love. Last on the docket we have even more butter in the form of the brand’s cheek butters. I bought the shades Eros Coral (an orange-y rose shade) and Chara Crimson (a deepened berry/rose). They’re both lovely, especially on dry skin, and one of the few cream blushes that I’ve found to work well with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I know I’ll probably get some hate on the subject, but as much as I love the way it applies product, the bristles are quite firm and tend to poke little holes into whatever cream product I’m working with (anyone else feel my pain?). Because the product is quite waxy, the brush just glides over it and distributes the perfect amount of product swirled onto the cheeks. The effect is this gorgeous natural flush that looks perfectly dewy on the cheeks. They do look a bit scary in the pan, but they’re on the sheer side of things so no need to worry about going into drag queen territory. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, in which case these can, in fact, be built up to true-to-pan color, depending on your skin tone. All in all? I spy a home run on the Korres front.

THE CAPSULE BAG #8.

DSC_0254With spring on the horizon, I’ve gotten back into shades of pink and gold over the past week; think Nars Orgasm with a bit more punch to it. If you read my last blog post, you’ll be familiar with to of the products featured in the makeup bag: MAC’s mineralize blush in Love Thing and their lipstick in Morning Rose. I’ve been absolutely smitten with both these products, so naturally the rest of the makeup was centered around them. Apologies for the continuous raving about them, especially since I know first hand how hard that lipstick is to get one’s mitts on, but they’re just so. Good. Since I’ve been piling them on daily, the rest of the makeup has been minimal, including Maybelline’s The Falsies Flared mascara for heavy volume at the roots of the lashes, making them look über fluttery with a curl that lasts all day long. Love. To apply the blush, I’ve fallen back in love with my Sonia Kashuk stippling brush that I picked up on a whim from Target. It’s a great budget buy that not only applies bright blush effortlessly without making you look like a clown, but is super soft and blends to perfection. At the bottom of the bag, a firm favorite lately has been the Secret Agent Beauty Foreign Lip Affair Gloss in “Foreign Intelligence Flirt.” I actually received this in a Birchbox a while back and and it’s the perfect gloss for spring; adds enough color to make your lips very rosy and gives a great sheen without being sticky. And the smell. Ladies and gentlemen, the scent of this stuff is most definitely something to write home about. If you’re on the edge with this one, give it a whiff and don’t look back.

I was lucky enough to get featured today in a “Beauty Blogs Worth Bookmarking” post (here) by the lovely Natalie of Thunderlove, so a huge thank you to her for including succhisimples.! I absolutely love her blog; if you haven’t checked it out you can have a look here.

THE SPRING FLUSH.

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DSC_0287Are you sensing a theme in my spending menu here? I apologize for the MAC-heavy posts here on le blog, but I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling a little like Will Ferrell in Elf right about now. I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it. Yeah. I am. Let the angels sing it from on high, I’m having a fling with MAC and I don’t want it to end. Ever. If you popped into one of their stores or visited a counter since the beginning of the year, you’ll probably have seen their “Magnetic Nudes” collection. Now, like the frugal person I am (pretending to be), I exercised restraint here: in and out empty handed. I completely put it out of my mind until I saw Lily Pebbles in this video wearing a lipstick from the collection in “Morning Rose”, immediately looked up swatches, and became a woman obsessed. I looked online (sold out), had a friend who was visiting in Miami check every counter and store she could find (really sold out) and then gradually gave up on the idea. My last hope? The MAC counter in Dillard’s. Hallelujah, hallelujah. I may or may not have been happy-dancing my way around for the next five hours after finally finding my own tube of glory. It’s a lovely shade that’s exactly the perfect my-lips-but-better color for my skin tone and lips. The formula isn’t the smoothest and it’s lightly frosted, but for the color I can most definitely grin and bear it. As for the blush, MAC’s mineralize blush in “Love Thing” is a beautiful plummy rose that looks beyond shimmery in the pan and swatched, but fear not; no glitter to be seen once applied. I was actually slightly disappointed that the shimmer doesn’t translate as heavily, as it’s absolutely stunning in shades of pink and green duochrome, but it does give a healthy glow and perfect flush to the cheeks. Simples.

Will you be picking either one of these up soon?

FRIDAY FIXER.

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friday fixer 2I do my best to have a pamper night every Friday; I think it really helps to be able to just unwind after a long week. A good book, lots of candles, and of course a yummy-smelling bath bomb usually do the trick for me, so I thought I’d share my usual routine today. I tend to buy Lush bath products over more high-end oils; I just find them a bit more fun and obviously cheaper (although I do have my eye on the aromatherapy associates deep sleep oil). I usually pop in a half a bath bomb with some of my Apotheke-m shower oil which is basically a glorified bubble bath that smells like a fig grove in Greece. I kid you not. This week’s bath bomb of choice was the Luxury Lush Pud, which you might have seen in my Lush haul a few weeks ago here. It turns the bath this majestic shade of fuschia with little bursts of color, but has the same scent as my all time favorite bath bomb, Twilight. On the candle front, I usually opt for my three favorites: Yankee Candle’s Salted Caramel and Whoopie Pie (the most incredible chocolate scented item there ever was), and Bath and Body Works’ Mahogany Teakwood. I usually keep tea-sized versions on hand to pop on the side of the bath; it’s just easier than trying to fit three large candles on top of my tub (not to mention cheaper.) As a chronic film buff, I’ve been reading Roger Ebert’s “The Great Movies, which is every cinephile’s dream read. What are your must have bath time products?

DULL SKIN SAVIORS.

skangelsAfter all that partying to ring in the New Year, my skin seems to be at an all-time low. We’re talking dull and dry with more under-the-skin spots than I care to mention. The stress of the holiday season always manages to take a toll on my skin, so I’ve been relying on this roster of handy-dandy skangels (skin angels, obviously) to restore the balance, or at least make it look like it. On the actual skincare front, of course my Origins GinZing, which I’ve reviewed here, is a staple to perk up the complexion; it’s great for that morning-after (the party, I mean) feeling when your skin just needs to look that little bit brighter. To de-puff, I’ve been religiously applying Caudalie’s SOS Vinosource Eye cream in the morning as it’s light but moisturizing. The Revlon Nearly Naked is a year-round favorite for me, but when I’m faking healthy skin, it’s an absolute Godsend; gorgeous dewy but natural finish for a great price, followed by the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger to banish undereye bags. Lastly, to add to the healthy skin look, I top off the base with Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal on the cheekbones, chin, and down the bride of my nose. No powder to be seen here, nothing that might make the skin feel any drier than it already is, just your setting spray of choice and we’re ready for a photoshoot in a health magazine. Simples.

A VERY LUSH CHRISTMAS.

Let it come as no surprise, I am a huge lushie. I love most everything about the brand, from their whole natural philosophy to their adorable merchandise. So I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t at least a little giddy when their Christmas collection came out. The full collection includes over 30 different bath and body products, as well as a few skincare bits. I recently popped into the shop after a trip to my not-so-local Ikea store, but I mainly stuck to bath bombs, with a few scrubs in the mix.

cindersFirst up, meet Cinders. This one’s described as a “warming cinnamon crackler” by the brand, and it’s priced at $4.95 here. It’s meant to give you the experience of sitting fireside, and I have to admit it does make your tub look (and smell) like a vat of bubbling cider. While it did fizz when first popped in and bubbled for a while, I had expected more of the “crackling” action to be going on; instead, there’s a few pops in the beginning and then it kind of settles to a normal bath bomb experience, although it did leave my skin feeling soft and smelling yummy after use. It’s nice, but I don’t think I’ll be stocking up on this one for the year.

snowmanNext, we’ve got the scrumptious vanilla ballistic, Snowman, priced at $5.95. For any Butterball lovers, this one has the same scent, if in a bigger size. Lush says that, “Snowman’s cocoa butter melts into hot bath water to get skin seriously soft,” which I have to agree on. I’m a big Butterball fan myself, and this cute rendition is irresistible. Love.

secret santaAs soon as I saw this next one in the store, I almost fell over it’s so freaking cute. Enter, Secret Santa. Here’s what Lush has to say about this one: “Modeled after the very first LUSH Shop in Poole, England, this limited edition holiday invention holds an exclusive new perfume called 29 High St! Drop the entire house into your tub or break it in half for two baths and revel in the cheerful orange water as notes of jasmine, lime, tonka and Sicilian lemon envelop your senses.” This definitely smells of a lush shop (I’m even considering picking up that new perfume just because it smells so damn good) and I love that you can break it into three pieces and get three full baths out of it. It’s on the pricier side of their bath bomb range at $9.95, but totally worth it in my opinion for the large size. My personal favorite.

bombardinoThe undisputed winner of cutest bomb (which sounded way better in my head) is baby Bombardino. This little guy smells of lemon cheesecake and is supposed to have a bit of champagne in there too. In summation, he smells divine. Great quickie bath and great gift, especially for kids.

puddy in your handsLet me preface these next two bath ballistics by saying that I’ve got some pretty amazing friends, one of whom was shopping at the nearest Lush and immediately called to ask what I wanted her to pick up. SQUEAL. First we have Mr. Pud (whose full name is Luxury Lush Pud, if you were wondering.), who smells exactly like my all-time favorite, Twilight, but with festive colors. I love this one, and I love that it’s big enough to split into two baths, since I hate only getting one use out of bath bombs.

sex bombThe second bath bomb she picked up for me, which is actually not a part of the Christmas line but their most popular item I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, Sex Bomb. They’re not kidding, this one smells seriously sexy. It’s packed with Jasmine, among other things like Sandalwood to keep things sweet but a bit musky.

oh yes, please pass me my ponchoOff the bath train and into the shower, I picked up the Ponche shower gel. This stuff smells amazing, especially for those mornings when you’re feeling particularly groggy. It’s got orange and tequila in it, and really gets me going for the day. I would say use a scrub afterwards, as it leaves things a little film-y, which would normally be fine, but because of the color, it is a bit annoying to towel off and see that the cloth has turned orange-y. Guilty as charged.

I did also pick up the Popcorn Lip Scrub and was given the Santa’s Lip Scrub as another gift by the same amazing friend (are you sensing a trend here?), and I have a review on both to come, so stay posted!

We are also still in the midst of Blogmas, and the giveaway is ending in six days! If you haven’t already entered, please do so below! What are your favorites from the Lush Christmas 2013 line?

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Sephora favourites giveaway

Stylinspire Succhisimples

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!

 

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

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Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.

THE BLUSH GUIDE.

Flushed cheeks. Glowing cheeks. I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-forest-like-Snow-White-cheeks. Cheeks. The toughest trick in the world of lipsticks and mascara? Not really. Every woman, it seems, has, at one point, been on the journey to find the perfect blusher. With so many options today, how do you ever begin to find the right one? Blusher tends to be skin tone-specific; certain undertones in the shades look best on certain complexions. Sound tricky? Here’s my breakdown of the world of blush for every skin tone.

Porcelain Skin
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For the uber pale, glowy cheeks can easily be achieved with apricot-tinted blush. Try Nars “Luster” blush for a bit of shimmer to highlight cheekbones and give a gorgeous, luminous finish without being glittery. For a rosy flush, try out Dior’s Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush in #001 “Petal”. Adjusting to your skin tone, this one looks scary in the pan, but gives the perfectly natural pink  flush to the skin, especially for very light complexions. You can buy the Nars blusher here and the Dior one here.

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In most cases, blusher for fair-skinned women stays in the range of peachy-pinks. Try Nars “Orgasm” blush (which you can purchase here) for glowy cheeks all year round. To get the Snow White flush, try out something crazy pigmented for a bit of fun, like Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blush in “Liquifuschia”, sold here, or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty”, here.

 

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Like fair-skinned women, peachy-pinks, as well as corals, tend to be the most flattering on medium complexions; try out Benefit’s “Coralista” Blush, here. If a deeper version tickles your fancy, try out its pinkier sister, “Bella Bamba”, here. Bright rose shades are lovely for a pop of color, like Illamasqua’s cream blusher in “Laid”, which you can pick up here.Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.37.21 PM

Olive/Tawny Skin

Olive and Tawny skin tones (think Eva Mendes, Nina Dobrev, Freida Pinto) can get away with brighter shades. In general, the rule of thumb is: the darker the skin, the brighter the blush. There are exceptions, but that’s usually an okay rule to go by. Now, don’t go out and pop cherry blusher heavily on them apples and say I told you tom but it’s a good starting rule to know. Try out different shades of coral and amber for the perfect natural blush. For glowing skin, Nars “Luster” looks amazing patted on the apples of the cheeks, as does Nars “Torrid”. Olive-skinned ladies may have a problem with Nars “Orgasm” showing up on their skin; even though it’s meant to be universally flattering, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, for a pinky flush, Nars “Deep Throat”-its less shimmery, more pigmented counterpart-may be for you. You can pick up all four here. Try out MAC’s “Frankly, Scarlett” blusher lightly applied along the outer part of your apples for a true flush, here.

Almond Skin

Lastly, deep-skinned women can try out almost any bright blusher there is. Tangerine shades, however, tend to be the most flattering on almond skin. Although it looks absolutely terrifying in the pan, Nars’ “Taj Mahal” (here) blusher looks incredible on dark skin, giving it the most perfect golden-orange glow imaginable. For the perfect flush, try out fuchsia shades like YSL Crème de Blush in #5 Fuchsia Temptation (here). If you have a MAC Pro store nearby, check out their powder blusher in “Full Fuchsia”, or order it online here. Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.52.57 PM

So there you have it! My quick and easy guide for finding your perfect blush.  Simples.

INTO THE GLOSS

best glossesNo, not the uber-famous blog with a cult following. But two of the best glosses ever to grace my lips? Absolutely. On her last trip, one of my best friends (and uproariously funny cousin/sister) acquired these two stunning lip glazes from Nordstrom. Obviously, seeing the sleek black Nars packaging and the gleaming Clarins case, I had to have a look. The results? Nars lip gloss in Giza, described by the brand as being a “nectar” shade, and the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in #01 Rose Shimmer. So, naturally, when she went to her makeup bag the next morning, both happened to be gone, and so was I. Around town we went, the glosses and I, and I tested them both for a full week before returning them discreetly to her pouch, shaking my head no, of course I didn’t take them. The verdict? These two non-slippery lip glosses are beyond fantastic. The shade “Giza” is a beautiful nude-y shade with a bit of peach and apricot in it, perfect for olive/tawny skin. The scent, however, isn’t to die for; you’ve probably heard of the plastic smell of these glosses before. However, I can forgive Nars’ smell testers for their cosmetic blunder, since the stuff melts into the lips like butter, giving a glowing sheen. In the Clarins department, the Lip Perfector doesn’t give much color, but definitely gives the dewy, luminous appearance of fuller lips and a fresh face. The smell. It smells like cotton candy. No joke. Cotton freaking candy ladies and gents. So, if I was made to choose, the Clarins lip gloss would likely win out as my favorite lip gloss ever, but they’re both definitely ranked as the top two in the history of my world.