SKIN SAVIORS: HADA LABO.

hada_labo_reviewOh, Monday. If you’re a regular reader of blogazine Into the Gloss, chances are those little Monday morning posts, “Because it’s Monday and we don’t want to work yet” somehow perk up my morning, serving as the perfect reminder that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels the same way I do at the beginning of the beginning of a very long week: lethargic, lazy, and stuck in a daydream about the oh-so-distant weekend. If you don’t read ITG, then you have no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve probably helped you doze off back to sleep. No matter, here’s a few products to help wake you up and banish those Monday morning blues. Hada Labo is a brand off the high street in Japan that’s available in Ulta, as well as certain drugstores Stateside, and let me tell you, you need to try this stuff. The products are affordable but effective, doing the hefty work of some of the most luxurious skincare products I’ve tried. In a word, the Replenishing Hydrator* is, well, fabulous. Is there any better way to describe a serum that feels like a cool splash of water to the face, sinks in quickly, and leaves skin supple, plumped, and without any dry patches to speak of? Maybe, but come on, it’s Monday, and I don’t want to work yet. So we’ll stick with just calling it fabulous. It’s so good that a bottle of this stuff apparently sells every two seconds in Japan. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser* is a great in-between for those who love the hyper-clean feeling of a foaming cleanser but don’t like the way skin feels afterwards- think dry, tight, and generally like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Hada Labo’s offering is described as a:

  • Rich creamy cleanser with foaming action, deeply cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and oil. Rinses clean.
  • Restores and preserves skin’s natural moisture while cleansing.

Check, and check. It’s the creamiest foaming cleanser I’ve found, and it truly does get rid of all that unwanted grime either from a day of walking around town or in the morning to remove residue from skincare products the night before, and yet skin somehow feels hydrated after washing it off. My only gripe? It does have that odd scent of fragrance-free products, but that’s something I can deal with as it’s completely safe for skin that’s prone to breakouts. Both products are hyaluronic-based, making them perfect for both dry skin and oily-combination that’s simply dehydrated. Overall? Yes, you need this in your life ASAP. Simples. 

(* denotes press sample)

BY TERRY EYES + CHEEKS.

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L-R: (Unblended Swatch on Left, Blended Swatch on Right) Cellularose Blush Glacé in Frozen Petal; Ombré Blackstars in Misty Rock, Paradise Island, and Midnight Forest

 

Dear By Terry: where have you been all my life? Ever the elusive brand here in the States (it’s available in certain department stores and online, but far more accessible abroad), it’s one I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. If you’ve never heard of By Terry before, it’s a French line of cosmetics founded by makeup artist Terry de Gunzberg with the philosophy of a “less-is-more” approach to beauty. Over the years, they’ve developed a cult following among celebrities and beauty fiends (ex: yours truly) alike with iconic products like their Baume de Rose and, of course, those Ombré Blackstars*. I mean, Look at those shades. I have to say, never have I ever been so awestruck by an eyeshadow stick as I was when I got to have a good play around with these. They’re ridiculously soft and just glide over the skin like nothing else, not tugging the eyelid at all on application. Lasting power on these is out of this world: a quick hand swatch of the forest green shade, Midnight Forest, stayed put for hours even after washing my hands multiple times. Impressive? I’d say so. The same can be said for lasting power on the eyes, as these stayed put without a primer even on my oily eyelids all day long. My favorite shade hands-down has to be Misty Rock, a stunning mauve-y shade shot through with warm shimmer, perfect on brown or green eyes and easy to swipe on everyday to add a bit of a glimmer to the eye. The Cellularose Blush Glacé* in the shade Frozen Petal is quite the stunner. It has to be one of the most interesting blush formulas I’ve ever come across: a sort of whipped gel-creme that melts into the skin to provide a hydrating punch of color that genuinely looks like you’re glowing from within (side note: best product for a natural flush ever). Don’t let the slippery texture of this deceive you: it lasts and lasts (and lasts) on the cheeks, keeping the “just-pinched” look going all day. It’s the perfect all-season blush; light and seamless for hot summer days and beautifully hydrating for cold, biting winter weather. One of those products you truly can’t go wrong with, and let’s be honest: I’d be lying if I said I could find anything in my entire beauty stash half as cool as the consistency of this stuff. A most definite A+ from succhisimples.

Have you tried anything from By Terry? Comment your favorites below!

SICK DAY SAVIORS.

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sick days #2There aren’t many perks to having to stay home all day other than getting to watch Youtube beauty videos nonstop. Even watching lipstick collections gets to be depressing after a while when you’re shifting between shivering with goosebumps to sweating because of a fever. Since I’m currently battling a bit of a virus, I thought I’d share some of my essentials for stuffy-nosed days.

Origins Make A Difference + Moisturizer

I’ve raved on about this for a while now, but basically it’s a nice and thick morning and night moisturizer. When you get sick, the skin tends to get quite dehydrated; even though I’m wearing absolutely no makeup, I still cleanse morning and night with coconut oil and slather this on (especially around me nose) to keep everything nice and hydrated.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

I actually picked this up on sale at TJ Maxx for just $12, so if you’re thinking of picking up your own tube, make sure you check there first. This has been working wonders at night for my lips, which are more sore than ever since I’ve been licking them nonstop because of my cold. Love.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

I love this stuff for everyday use at night, but my hands need a little extra TLC right now because I’ve been washing them so often, so this has been an absolute angel for my dry skin. I also love the Soap and Glory Hand Food as a cheaper alternative, seeing as it’s just as moisturizing, but I think hand cream in general is a must-have for sick days in.

Nivea A Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm

Nothing fancy here, but I find that slapping this on throughout the day just gives no-faff moisture that’s positively foolproof, not to mention much cheaper than expensive lip masks. As much as I love the Nuxe Rêve de Miel version, this one has a bit more slip and is more comfortable to wear all day long. I’ve actually been using this since I was six, and never once has it failed me.

Hand Sanitizer

Okay. Apologies for the boring products, but if you don’t have a tube of this beside you at all times, please do not expect to recover dramatically any time soon. I’m a firm believer in washing/sanitizing my hands every single time I touch my face, blow my nose, etc. when I’m sick; not doing so spreads the germs to your clothes, bed, glass, phone, whatever and makes the bug that much harder to get rid of because you’re constantly keeping in contact with it. I’ve actually noticed that when I don’t take care to wash and/or sanitize my hands as often when I’m sick, even though I’m alone at home and not worried about spreading to anyone else, the time I spend sick with the cold is doubled. I kid you not.

Toilet Paper

I’m not kidding. I hate. Repeat. HATE. Kleenex. I always accidentally end up buying the packs that have lotion inside the tissues, or are menthol-scented to “clear your nostrils”, when all I really want is plain tissue paper. I find that lotion-infused offerings don’t do anything to hydrate around my nose, but rather leave this odd film and make it impossible to feel clean when you’ve blown your nose. My solution? A roll of toilet paper and a plastic bag beside the bed at all times, especially at night (right beside the sanitizer). Toilet paper, plain and simple, is a godsend for those of us stricken with illness. In the middle of the night, I don’t have to fiddle with a box of tissues when I need to sneeze, I can just unroll a bit and toss into the bag, followed with a “cleaning of the hands.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely the strangest product review that shall ever grace succhisimples.

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

This is a bit of a strange favorite, but I love juicing some oranges and eating as many as I possibly can to help combat the virus; if you’ve never done this before, the Vitamin C boost does wonders to shorten the length of your symptoms. Quick, easy, and beyond yummy.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and hopefully it can be of some help to any of you struggling with a cold right now. What are your essentials for sick days in?

 

 

THE SAMPLE REVIEWS.

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

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

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

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

OCTOBER BIRCHBOX UNBOXING

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

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

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

Liz Earle Muslin Cloth

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

Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Mineral Finishing Powder

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

theBalm “Stainiac” Cheek and Lip Stain

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

Birchbox Find: ChapStick Hydration Lock

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

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

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