THE CAPSULE BAG #14.

capsule bagThis just in: we are well and truly in autumn territory. It was easy to pretend summer was (possibly?) still on its last legs here in sunny Florida, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, I dig fall. Here’s the catch: we here in the sunshine state don’t have a proper autumnal season. Fall means slightly cooler weather (and by that I mean low temperatures in the mid 70’s) and the same boring palm trees that sit there and refuse to change color all year round. No gold, red, and orange leaves lining the streets here; just a former vacation paradise that’s sunny and chilly and so-not-autumn-y all at the same time. But I digress. On to the products.

KORRES CHEEK BUTTER IN CHARA CRIMSON.

I mentioned this in a haul a while bag from Hautelook but didn’t really get much use out of it until now. The shade is perfect for fall; a lovely red-tinted deep rose that gives the perfect “Snow White” effect to the cheeks (as in that I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-snow look, not the I-was-raised-by-dwarves-and-don’t-know-how-to-put-on-makeup effect) that’s lightly moisturizing and leaves a dewy finish to the cheeks.

BOBBI BROWN CREAMY CONCEALER KIT IN HONEY.

This is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s quite hefty coverage for under the eyes, but I’ve been using a light hand with this for those days when I look like I haven’t slept in a while (i.e. most days). It’s quite thick, so don’t go overboard with this stuff: when Bobbi says creamy, she means creamy. I wouldn’t buy it in the kit again, as the pale yellow setting powder shade isn’t my favorite, but it is nice for on-the-go touchups when you don’t want to bring a separate powder to lock your concealer in place.

BENEFIT GIMME BROW IN MEDIUM/DARK.

I’ve been too lazy to do any real work with my brows on a day-to-day basis, so mornings see me slapping this on and heading out the door. Let me say this: it’s the most perfect brow product ever if you want something easy that you don’t have to think too much about. It’s a fiber brow gel that gives them a nice tint and somehow fills them in with easy, setting them in place so they don’t move around all day. Definitely a makeup stash staple.

BY TERRY OMBRE BLACKSTAR IN MISTY ROCK.

I mentioned this in my last post about By Terry, and I must say, it’s love. It’s the most beautiful rosy plum shade with gorgeous shimmer that lasts and lasts on my oily eyelids. Paired with a matte rose-toned plum brown in the crease (UD Nooner, MAC Quarry), this makes for the perfect effortless eye look for fall. Color me obsessed.

What products have you been loving this week?

 

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?

THE CAPSULE BAG #13.

capsule bage number what?

With chilly temperatures starting to set in, I thought it was time to start incorporating a bit of fur somewhere here on succhisimples. The week has been pretty bog-standard with the past month, so this is more of a monthly favorites than a weekly Capsule Bag, but why let tradition go to waste? Here’s what I’ve been loving for the past week (er, month).

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 04

My skin’s been pretty blemish-prone as of late, so to combat the telltale marks about my face region I’ve been digging into what’s left of this little pot with my Bobbi Brown Ultra-Fine Liner brush (perfect for pinpoint concealing à la Lisa Eldridge). The reason? It’s pretty much the only concealer in my stash that’s the correct match for my skin at the moment, so this is more of a desperation pick than a this-stuff’s-fantastic selection. It’s good, but not my absolute favorite in the way of blemish concealing. Though it’s supposed to be heavy-duty stuff, I find it’s a bit sheerer than I’d like on application, so it takes quite a bit of building up, but it does the job.

MAC Lip Pencil in Spice

I went into my local MAC store recently looking for the perfect my-lips-but-slightly-more-kylie-jenner-esque lip liner that was still quite close to my natural lip shade (think a bit more rosy/brown), and this fit the bill perfectly. It’s surprisingly creamy and has great lasting power, all the while giving you that notorious “porn star lip” look coined by Estée from Essiebutton once topped off with some gloss or a lipstick of choice. Your lips, but pouty and fabulous. Simples.

MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick

This was quite the popular shade back in the day around the blogosphere, so on the same MAC trip I figured it was time for me to bite the bullet and see for myself what all the hype was about. Now I get it. I can’t stress enough what a gorgeous shade it is; sheer, nude-y, slightly shimmery without being over-the-top. Where it really excels, though, is in layering; it looks stunning to top off lip pencils (esp. the aforementioned Spice) or lipsticks that are a bit more reddish or brown, muting down the warmth of the color underneath a notch and giving a much more sophisticated air. Think cherry-on-top goodness that pulls everything together. Do you need this in your life? Absolutely.

theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer

Let me tell you now, this will be your best friend in the way of beachy, glowing skin. It’s deep enough in shade to be a bronzer but has a gorgeous kick of shimmery luminescence to it that nixes the need for extra highlighter (although if you’re anything like me, you add extra highlighter on top anyway because let’s face it, you’re addicted to the stuff) but doesn’t give that disco-ball, this-chick-got-glittered look. If you typically shy away from shimmering bronzers, have no fear; the only detectible glimmering that transfers to the skin applies so beautiful it looks like you’re glowing, not sparkling. Betty-Lou saves the day.

What have you been loving lately?

SKIN SAVIORS: THE BODY SHOP.

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I recently had my first run-in with The Body Shop’s skincare line; I know, I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but better late than never. First up: the Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on Nude’s Perfect Cleansing Oil for absolutely ages, so when I heard Amelia Liana from Liana Beauty going on about how good this was and how it was comparable to-if not better than-the Nude option, of course I was hooked. This stuff is fantastic: lightweight, “silky” (as the name suggests), and takes off every scrap of mascara on the ‘ol face. My only gripe? It took time for me to come around and fully commit because of the amount of product needed to cleanse. Yes, it does take off even the most waterproof mascaras, but I find that I need to use at least two pumps, if not three, every night. Then again, having snagged it for just $11 online, I shan’t complain. Next up, the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream is quite the fail-safe product when skin needs some added TLC. It’s quite cushion-y, if you can call it that; while it is thick, it’s a dream to apply and is just so smooth. Another situation in which I’d happily buy a tub just to play with it it’s so soft. This one has been helping my skin out of a rough patch lately, it’s excellent as an intense moisturizer-mask hybrid as an overnight treatment. Speaking of overnight treatments, the Vitamin E Overnight Serum is a new offering from the brand, and it definitely a good ‘un. Because it’s both a serum and an oil together, it’s very lightweight and acts almost as a dry oil, sinking in quickly enough that there’s no need to worry about any rubbing off on your pillow when you go to bed. The results are almost immediate-you wake up with the most supple looking skin that gives the impression you’ve slept through the past few days. Definitely a guardian angel for late nights when you need to wake up looking refreshed without much sleep included.

What skincare 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?

WHAT’S ON MY FACE: URBAN DECAY NAKED 3.

naked 3 review

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naked 3 review3Hello all. It’s been a while since my last post; I’ve been so busy for the last month with exams and work that I hadn’t had time to sit and take some decent photos for the interwebs. Now that summer is well and truly underway, I’m finally back into the swing of things with blogging and work and my Vitamix. Oh, the Vitamix. Yes, it’s a new relationship we have, but I think I may have found the one. Not to state things prematurely, but I am one hundred and seventy-seven percent positive that thing is God’s second gift to man (after lip gloss, or Ryan Gosling. Take your pick.). Hint: expect a post later this week. For now, let the tour of my face begin…

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Oh yes, she’s a beaut. This was actually a gift for my birthday back in March, but I never really thought it suited my skintone until I tested it today. Of course all the shades are gorgeous, but I always thought it would look better on someone with fairer ski, purely because of the lighter rosy tones in the palette. I’m happy to report I was beyond wrong; if your skin is similar (or darker) in shade to mine, fear not. This one really does seem to be universally flattering. On my skin, the rose gold leans very pink/purple, a welcome change to my usual neutrals and golds. I used the shade Liar all over the lid with Nooner buffed into the crease and sheered into the outer corner, and then followed up with Strange on the browbone and Covergirl’s single eyeshadow in 710 Champagne in the inner corner.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in 70 Beige

Base comes in the form of my all-time favorite foundation, Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua. They’ve actually expanded their shade range as well, and #70 matches me perfectly for summer. It’s a wonderful all-rounder, especially for warmer weather. Stays put and looks flawless, while still being one of the lightest feeling bases around.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger

I’ll save you having to read on about how much I love this stuff yet again. The breakdown: blends like a dream, good coverage, never cakey. Consider me obsessed.

Nyx Blusher in Pinched

Of course we’ve all heard the hype around Nyx’s blushers, but I never really saw them as anything to write home about until now. Don’t be fooled by the way they swatch; whenever I came across them instore, they always seemed dry with low color payoff. With a brush, though, these really are gorgeous buffed onto the cheeks. Think Nars Orgasm, but more pigmented with less blending required. Love.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude

Great for opening up tired eyes, and really stays put. My eyes water like nobody’s business, so much so that I spend more time looking like I just saw P.S. I Love You than not, and this little number holds better than a lot of the high end eyeliners I own, especially on the waterline.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara

If you’re into lashes of the semi-clumpy variety, look no further. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good mascara; builds volume with a single swipe, grabs all the lashes (even those pesky outer corners), and stays put with my oily eyelids. But… I’ve had it for around a month now and it’s too clumpy for my taste. I normally like mascaras after they’ve dried down a bit, but this one doesn’t layer up too well, even after drying slightly. It’s good for a one-swipe-wonder kinda deal, but anymore and things go from spidery (in a good way) to clumpytown until it looks like I only own four very wide eyelashes. Good, but not great.

NYC Liquid Lipshine in Pink Breeze//MAC Fanfare Lipstick

I went for a peachy-pink lip today, thanks to one of my favorite MAC Lipsticks. Fanfare is a gorgeous coral/peach shade that’s vibrant enough to avoid ever looking washed out on the face. It’s a great everyday shade when patted onto the lips for a subtle pout, while it layers beautifully for a pop of peach that looks fresh all day. I think this shade of the NYC Liquid Lipshine might be discontinued, but definitely still check out their range of current colors. These are among the stickier lipglosses I own, but they give the most amazing, almost metallic glow to the lips and stick around longer due to the tacky consistency. Pros>Cons.

What products have you been wearing lately?

 

 

 

 

 

OF OIL PULLING (& OTHER STORIES).

DSC_0060To celebrate the end of the year with summer just around the corner (and the end of exams i.e. hell on earth), there’s a new feature being added to the simples roster: & OTHER STORIES. Apologies for stealing the name of one of the UK’s most celebrated new shops, but I’ve been meaning to incorporate more real-life beauty hacks/lifestyle-ish posts since the beginning, so let this be the introduction to a whole realm of DIY-related, kitchen beautician-style posts here on le blog. I was quite late to the party with this topic, since apparently it was bouncing around the beauty community a few months ago, but after reading an article about it on Into the Gloss here, it had to be tested and shared with the rest of the simples fam. You may (or may not) be wondering, What’s this oil pulling business then, Kristina? Well. Let me tell you. It’s gross. But totally worth it. Definitely one of those “it hurts to be beautiful”-type things that’s not one for the faint of heart (or of stomach). So here it is: take a tablespoon of your favorite oil-most people use coconut oil for the healthy components-and swish it around in your mouth like mouthwash for 20 minutes. No swallowing allowed. It’s meant to draw out the toxins from your saliva and break down oil-soluble plaque for a whiter smile, not to mention aligning your chakras or whatever else the Kale-eating hipsters of Coachella lore claim it does. Naturally. A lot of reviews I read said that it reduced headaches as well as cleared skin, so I set out to pull a tablespoon of semi-hard oil between my teeth every day for a week. The things I do for blogging. I have two spots of hypo-calcification on my front teeth, areas where not enough calcium was available when they developed thanks to previous milk allergies that manifest themselves in two large white spots. They’re not horrible anymore after a few rounds of dental whitening, but the hope was that oil pulling might slightly reduce the contrast between the spots and the rest of my teeth. I do recommend using coconut oil, not least of all because it tastes a little better than pure olive oil in large quantities, but make sure whatever oil you use is organic and unrefined or extra virgin. Processing strips the beneficial qualities from the oil and basically makes the process obsolete. Oil picked, it has the strangest consistency when you first put it in your mouth because it’s slightly hard, but it melts down to a runny oil straight away. The first and last two minutes proved to be the hardest every time; not swallowing has never been this hard. I would usually put it in and sit to watch an episode of whatever T.V. show I needed to catch up on and swish, swish, swish. After 20 minutes, spit, brush, and voilà. No residue whatsoever on the teeth. After a week, I noticed the biggest difference in my skin rather than my teeth. Clear, free of any pimples, with no little under-the-skin mountain ranges whatsoever. After stopping the “treatment” for around a week, blemishes were back in style on my face, while the second week saw the re-emergence of the Alps around my forehead. It was bad.  It’s all about keeping a consistent regimen here, folks: try pulling oil once or twice a week to keep things in check. I can’t report super-significant teeth whitening, but if you’re thinking about pulling oil one of these days, do it for your skin: you can thank me later.

What’s the weirdest beauty regime you’ve followed for results? Let me know below!

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 #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.

FOTD FT. MAC FACE+BODY.

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DSC_0262I’ve kind of fallen out of love with MAC in the past year; I think it’s the first brand we gravitate towards when we first fall in love with makeup, and as you learn more, you branch out and want to try new things, and poor buddy MAC gets left on the train travelling off to the far reaches of your mind (can you tell I’m feeling a little off today?). While at the mall this past weekend, I passed by my local MAC store and popped in for a look and realized, I need everything. It’s safe to say I am well and truly smitten with the brand again, and in the spirit of us getting back together, I finally got colormatched for their Face and Body foundation and picked up samples in the shades C3 and C4. C4 is definitely more my color, especially with summer coming up, and so far I’m in love; sheer yet buildable without looking cakey, very dewy finish that still looks like skin? I’m all over that. Review to come. I thought I’d share the look I’m sporting today for all of you: I opted for more hazy than smokey eyeshadow, a berry-tinted lip, and bronze-y peach cheeks in the spirit of summer. Shimmery, beachy, easy. Simples. 

BASE//Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer/ MAC Face and Body foundation in C4/Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger/Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette/MAC Harmony Blush/Nars Blush in Luster

EYES//MAC Eyeshadows in All That Glitters (over lid), Mulch (in crease), Wedge (transition), Naked Lunch (highlight)/Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners in Twice Baked, Perversion (to tightline)/Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara

LIPS//Revlon colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

BRUSHES//Sigma F84 (for foundation)/EcoTools Bamboo powder brush (to set foundation, to bronze and contour using MAC Harmony blush)/MAC 109 (for blush)/MAC 239, 217 (for eyeshadow)

Let me know if you like these “what I’m wearing”-type posts. What have you been wearing lately?