FOR THE CONCEALER OBSESSED…

concealerI had to go through this entire inner monologue while writing my post regarding the appropriate number of dots necessary in the title of this post (or periods, if we’re being nitpicky). Which sounds ridiculous, but let me explain myself: every post since the inception of succhisimples has had a title ending in a single period. And so you can imagine the moderate anxiety I experienced whilst sitting at my desk writing about some dark circle saviors when I was overcome by this idea that not one, but three periods were required to give this post a resounding name. Dot-dot-dot. Now that I think about it, it still sounds ridiculous, but I am far too lazy to erase this entire paragraph and restart my story, sans the added period drama (see what I did there? Ha. Ha.). And so we begin, with a post dedicated to those of you out there who, like me, get concealer-happy when browsing at the local Sephora… (dot-dot-dot)

Here’s two you need, above all other undereye concealers. Contender #1: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I have the shade Ginger in this, and it was love from first swipe. This is the stuff makeup dreams are made of: a breeze to blend, good coverage, stunning satin finish that still looks like skin. Even though this does offer an industrial-strength cover-up for even the worst of morning panda eye syndromes, it’s über light on the skin, meshing seamlessly with your foundation and making you look years younger in an instant. Contender #2: Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in the shade Neutralizer. The variety of shade selections on this one is considerably more limited than the former option, but they are more on the one-size-fits-all kind of bandwagon. The shade I have works well as an undereye eraser when used sparingly on myself, but excels in its properties on my medium-tan skintone as a highlighter for the whole Kim K. effect: a dab on the tops of the cheek bones, swept in a triangle below the eyes, a touch on the bridge of the nose and chin. There’s also a pink-toned shade for correcting underneath concealer if you’re looking for the extra coverage, but as a day-to-day undereye brightener, this does the trick for much less than half the price tag on the Nars offering. Do you need them both? Yes and no. I honestly can’t live without both of these in my stash, so here’s the lowdown: if budget isn’t an issue, pick them both up at once. If the price tag seems to hefty on the Nars Radiant version, I would pick up both the Age Rewind and Maybelline’s FitMe Concealer, which I’ve found to be the closest drugstore dupe to the Nars. It doesn’t have the greatest coverage in comparison, but the texture is very, very similar if you’re looking to save some cash. Although I would still recommend saving up to get both the Nars and the Maybelline Age Rewind (which I did, and haven’t spent a moment regretting the decision since), because let’s be honest, a little added concealer splurge makes all the difference on sleepy Monday mornings.

What are your top concealer picks?

ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE HAULIN’.

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DSC_0147Ah, Rouge Bunny Rouge. Please and thank you. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the adorable ring dish complimentary with a RBR order? So damn cute. I posted a little while ago about their reformulated Witchery Modelling Mascara here, so I thought today I’d share some of the new items I picked up during the sale I mentioned earlier. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re a Russian cosmetics line that is now London-based with an aesthetic reflective of their whimsical nature. The names of the products alone are enough to make even the strongest of will run to place an order; if the fact alone that their eyeshadow collection is named “When Birds Are Singing” and that each shade is named after a different rare bird doesn’t intrigue you, please see a doctor straight away (you may be suffering from a lack of imagination capacity). As you might have been able to guess, it was the brand’s eyeshadows that lured me in first; a shimmering purple hybrid shade named Delicate Hummingbird? Sign me up. I’d heard a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about their incredible formula and stunning shades (I fully blame Kate from Drivel about Frivol and Karima McKimmie from Shameless Fripperies for this purchase) and decided to pick them up when they were 30% off, though I may have added a setting powder to my shopping cart before checkout. I also received a sample of the Bronzing Glow Liquid in As If It Were Summer Still, but more on that later as I actually own the full size and am working on a review to come. Here are the shades I picked up:

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L-R: When Birds Are Singing Eyeshadows in Bohemian Waxwing, Umber Firefinch, Eclipse Eagle, Abyssinian Catbird, and Delicate Hummingbird; Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Essence in Amethyst Essence

As you can see from the swatches, I was in a bit of a purple mood. The shades pull less so in person, but the camera simply doesn’t do them justice; these are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. I kid you not. I’ve only had them for around two weeks now, and I must say, they’re some of the most incredibly formulated shadows I’ve ever come across. Buttery,  pigmented, and blend like a dream. The shades are particularly complex in comparison to anything else in my collection; they pull different tones depending on the lighting. Bohemian Waxwing is a sheeny light taupe shade. Umber Firefinch is a deeper, very cool-toned taupe-y chocolate. Eclipse Eagle is described on the website (here) as “the richer darker sister of Delicate Hummingbird”, and is a grey-plum with multi-dimensional silver shimmer running through it. Abyssinian Catbird is a bronzed olive shade. Delicate Hummingbird is a shimmering purple. Out of all the shades I purchased, I must say that Delicate Hummingbird and Eclipse Eagle are my personal favorites for my skintone. I do love all the shades, but I find the two together to be more flattering even than the beautiful Abyssian Catbird, which pulls a bit too green for my liking on an everyday basis. The other shades are lovely as well, and quality is consistent throughout; they’re definitely some of the best shadows I’ve found yet to invest in. Don’t get me wrong these are ridiculously pricey for your typical eyeshadow, but they are by no means your typical eyeshadow (hint: I’d repurchase in a heartbeat). I also received a complimentary Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Ink in the shade Amethyst Essence, a sparkling lilac/violet hybrid, with my order, and I can already say I’m dying to get my hands on two other shades of this. It’s a gorgeous formula, silky in spite of the heavy shimmer/glitter factor, glides on evenly, and stays put. I will say that because the shimmer in it is sort of suspended in the product, I had to go over the line again once I’d drawn it on to make everything nice and vibrant/opaque, but the finish was well worth it. Glittery eyeliner that lasts all day in a stunning purple? Count me in. I’ve got my eye on the shades Tiger Eye Essence and Tanzanite Essence (again, thanks to Karima after seeing her sport the blue shade in this video), but I did also pick up a setting powder with my order. I bought this one sort of on a whim to test out, and RBR did not disappoint. Their Impalpable Finishing Powder in the shade Diaphanous is the most truly translucent setting powder I’ve ever tried, and looks like nothing on the skin (as the name implies). Not even the most magnifying mirror in the world reveals you’ve applied it; no powdery finish to be found with this one. It sets everything in place with a veil that lets your natural sheen peek through while keeping oil at bay. What’s not to love?

Have you tried any Rouge Bunny Rouge products yet?

OF SKIN BATTLES (& OTHER STORIES).

Beautiful-young-woman-with-face-maskMy skin is not happy. Quite the chatty post today, as I’ve been testing out quite the hefty roster of skincare products for the past week; serums, oils, cleansers-you name it, it was probably on my face in a hundred different forms at some point in the past seven days.On a good day, my skin is far from perfect-being frequently harassed by under-the-skin bumps and blemishes-but it is rather hardy. That is, I don’t usually get the feeling that someone’s burning my face from the inside after slapping on tons of product. In case you can’t tell, this has not been a good couple of days for mah face. Apparently there’s only so much it can take; yesterday’s plan of cleansing, then showering, then re-cleansing with a light scrub and then plopping a mask on top was halted short after the phase three (the re-cleanse). As soon as the mask I was applying touched my skin, the area just burned. Stubborn skincare fanatic that I am, I kept going, trying to smooth it out on both sides of my face in a maybe-it’s-supposed-to-burn-at-first fashion. Hint: it’s not. I’m sure you can guess what happens next, but my entire face went up in flames and it was all downhill from there. After some frantic splashing to try to rinse it off, an attempt with a muslin cloth, and various expletives yelled out in the heat of the moment, I was left with a red face that burned to the touch. My first thought-blame it on the mask-proved to be wrong, since absolutely everything I tried to put on to soothe my skin afterwards burned in exactly the same way. A few days later, I think it was probably just down to the fact that I had been constantly bombarding it with stripping scrubs and enzyme peels to the point where I had finally rubbed it raw, but thankfully I seem to be on the road to recovery these days after banishing all makeup from my face and taking a breather with the simplest moisturizer I could find. Not perfect, but better. I’m still dealing with quite a few rough, dry patches and my skin still isn’t completely healed, but I’m slowly nursing it back to health. I’ve started re-introducing some of the products I’d been using (one at a time), and so far they’ve all proved excellent, so I think it was just too much for my skin to handle all at once. Right now, it’s a slow uphill climb with regards to my face; I think the super deep cleansing wrath brought out by my little bout of burning skin is actually helping get rid of all my little pimples and spots: think, “It’ll get worse before it gets better”, but who knows. I have to say, it was the single most bizarre experience I’ve dealt with skincare-wise, so I thought today’s post would be the perfect chance to chat with all of you about skincare troubles, concerns, etc., and what products you use to save your skin when it’s going through a rough patch.

Let’s chat! What are your most bizarre skincare stories? Drop me a comment below:)

 

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

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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?

 

 

 

 

 

THE DEWY SPRING BASE.

DSC_0036The spring makeup menu means a lot of changes from warm  smokey eyes and dark lips that rule during winter. We got peachy lips, rosy cheeks, bright-hued tips… We got a lot goin’ on. But the ruler of the roost? Glowy, healthy, happy skin. That sheen-y quality that makes skin look like you’ve slept a full 12 hours on a palm tree hammock in Bimini is (or like someone replaced your skin with Miranda Kerr’s) is the stuff of dreams. Alas, we can’t all take a snooze in a tropical locale when we feel like we need a little help in the base department. Enter, the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation, arm in arm with the happiest looking beauty tool in town. Hello, Mr. Blender. On a bad skin day, I automatically reach for this duo to inject a little life back into my face. The foundation itself is gold; good coverage, long-lasting, and dewy for days, it’s almost impossible to make this look cakey even when some serious coverage buildup needs to take place. It’s light enough to wear on no-makeup days, but does double duty with a buffing brush when you’re not so in to having all your business on display. These days, I’m much more into this mid-range au naturel effect that the beautyblender gives when the two are combined, using the damp sponge to pat and blend the product into place, and voilà: medium coverage that keeps dew in check. Simples.

SMARTY BROWS.

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DSC_0255Anastasia (of Beverly Hills), you must be a genius, because you’re a wiz at creating good brows. I swear that sounded a whole hell of a lot better in my head than it does written here. If you didn’t pick up on my terrible joke, today’s product in question happens to be my first-ever foray into the realm of brow pencils, the Anastasia Skinny Brow Wiz in the shade Ebony. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big eyebrow lover; I love the look of a good strong brow that looks very modern and chic, I just tend not to faff around with my own brows much, mostly because I’ve never really had much experience with them. Brows have always been that area of beauty that fascinated me but I kind of never took the jump to start obsessing over. Until now. After having recently gotten my brows waxed at my local Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta, I picked up this itty bitty pencil to get to work with my face mane. I have quite bushy brows naturally, so I really wanted something to focus on just taming and defining my brows. Let me get this out now, I think I’ve found the one. Skinny Wiz and I get along quite nicely; it’s the sort of no-brainer product that’s quick and easy to use for even the most amateur eyebrow lover such as myself. The pencil is absolutely tiny, making it magic for drawing in hairs where before there were only gaps. The spoolie on the other end is one of the best I’ve tried; firm enough to disperse product but not so stiff that you feel like you’re raking through your brows. Plus, it cuts the time normally spent on scavenging around for a separate spoolie brush. Overall, it’s a great buy for quick and easy perfect brows. While it is on the expensive side of products, I think it’s well worth the price tag. Definitely a must buy for anyone looking to improve the look of their brows.

What are your favorite brow products?

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?

CURRENTLY TESTING: BOLD LINER.

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fotd 2I’m typically not one for adventurous eye looks; I’m much more of a stick-to-your-neutrals-one-sweep-wonder-eyeshadow kind of gal. BUT. With the new year come several resolutions: the box is broken, and I am stepping out. Into a new box. Boxed liner, that is. Whilst browsing on Sephora.com, I came across their not-so-little corner of the internet in which they post beauty tutorials, etc. and was so intrigued by their boxed eyeliner look I knew I had to try it for myself and share it with you all. Instead of the classic kitten flick, I started at the middle of the eyelid and drew a flick upwards. Then, at the outer corners, I drew a cat eye at an almost vertical angle with the same pencil liner, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Perversion. I find that pencil works better for this look than liquid; it’s much easier to shade in the box with, and this product didn’t budge all day. Lastly, I filled it in added some mascara and blush, and was good to go! I used Orgasm from the Nars One Night Stand Palette on the cheeks, paired with the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Tarte setting powder (review here), and the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. Not exactly the most wearable look, but I think it is a fun take on the usual angled liner for a chic night out. Simples. Will you be trying some new eye looks this season?

2013 EYESHADOW HALL OF FAME.

eyes-bestLooking back on the past beauty year in review is a typical thing going around the blogosphere these days, so I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring with a few of my own posts. I will be doing two more over the weekend; one for general beauty and one for fragrance and bath favorites, but these eyeshadows were so good I had to give them the honor of their own post. Yes, they all happen to be MAC; over the course of last year I really didn’t venture too far into single shadows from any other brand, and I fell so in love with these it was unnecessary to start. First up we have Mulch, a stunning deep bronze. This one is a firm favorite all over the lid and blended out into the crease and under the lower lashline for a quick and easy smokey eye all year round. For a bit of understated color I’ve been reaching for Sumptupous Olive all year long; I love this paired with Woodwinked, but it also looks amazing on its own smudged around them lashlines. Love. Handwritten is my favorite deep brown shade; it’s quite warm-toned which suits my skin better than say, Espresso. I love this as an alternative to liner on lazy days, but it’s perfect to create a smokey eye working its magic in the crease. The all-time favorite shadow award easily goes to Woodwinked. This was the first eyeshadow I ever (yes, ever) bought, and I may or may not have bought it in secret while out with friends and then hid it in my sock drawer so mum wouldn’t find out whilst I figured out how it worked, but I will confess to nothing. Let me just say this; if you’re at all into gold/bronze shades, you need this in your life. Rant over.

You can buy all the products here. What shadows have you been loving this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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!