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March Collective Haul

This month, I skipped buying new clothes but lately I have been going shoe crazy and I have added three gorgeous numbers to my collection thanks to River Island. I went onto the website to check out their new stock after receiving one of those oh so tempting emails and two pairs of sandals caught my eyes...but obviously that wasn't enough so I also checked out the sale section and found a very good deal on the slit front ankle boots. They were down to €35 from €95!
The sandals, being new, were still a little on the expensive side at €45 for the printed sole ones and €55 for the black ones. I needed them though (no, seriously I do) so it's all good. Now all there's left is for summer to make its way to Malta so I can wear them :D
Also from River Island, I bought this cute baby pink clutch bag, just in time for Spring where sugary pink hues will be all over. This cost €20 and is roomy enough for all my essentials.

Lastly, skin care and makeup purchases. I mainly bought backups of stuff I finished so nothing new here except for the Blue Green Algae toner and the Honey & Oat cleanser from Michael Todd True Organics. I got the Jojoba Charcoal facial scrub and the Cleanse and Tone cleanser as well and they even threw in a 4-sample pack. One thing that bothered me this time is that I had to pay an extra €11 duty on delivery of the parcel, something which never happened before. I guess it's because I have exceeded the weight limit for parcels outside the EU? Anyways, the original total for the order was €62.90.

More beauty backups...I had to restock on Rose Water (approximately €2.00) and the Nivea waterproof eye makeup remover (€3.52) as well as Lidl's Acetone free nail polish remover (€1.59) and I couldn't skip getting Pupa Milano's Vamp! Mascara in the shade 300 Deep Night (€12.95) which is my favourite blue mascara.

So yeah that's pretty much what I bought this month. Do you have any interesting purchases you'd like to share?

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #30

March is also on its way out and with it, the following products...
Skin care goes first with the only non-repurchase being the Fresh & Clean makeup remover wipes. I still have another pack of these to go through and I have resorted to using them to clean swatches from my hands rather than to remove makeup because they tend to make my eyes burn and my skin feels very taut after using them. The rest of the products, I have already bought backups for and I believe you all know how much I love using them by now.

Moving on, I have some random products, all of which have made the cut to be repurchased time and time again. First up, Nivea Invisible deodorant which apart from smelling good all day, doesn't stain clothes or leave any white marks on my skin. The travel size is great to keep in your bag or weekend getaways too. Staying on a fragrance theme, I have used up a sample of Mexx Magnetic which is one of my favourite perfumes from the brand. I find perfume samples handy to keep in my bag for touch-ups and they are a good way to try out perfumes before actually buying full sizes of them.
The Rimmel Cuticle Scrub is indispensable in my manicure routine. It keeps cuticles neat, clean and supple and it also has a nourishing element. The other exfoliant is the E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator which is always out of stock whenever I want to order (I always order more than one in fact). It is my favourite lip scrub primarily because of the lipstick format. The sweet vanilla sugar smell and taste are an added bonus and it does a very good job at keeping my lips smooth and polished! 

Lastly, I have some makeup items. First up is the Pupa Milano Vamp! mascara in the shade 300 Deep Night. I really love this mascara and consequently I bought a backup immediately after I finished it. I love the blue hue and how lush my lashes look with it.
Next, I have two clear lipglosses which I have struggled to use up because I hated how they sticky they feel. In fact, I gave up on using the Rimmel one entirely. No repurchase for any for these, sorry!
Lastly, the E.L.F. Studio Complexion Perfection (rebranded as Tone Correcting Powder) is another product which I didn't finish completely and will not be repurchasing. When I first got this, I used to really like it but after trying different powders, I stopped using it. I reverted back to it a few weeks ago but I noticed my skin looked way too pale whenever I had this on so I just threw it in the empties rack, knowing real well I will not be reaching for it again.

Which products have you used up this month?

Review | MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel in Blacktrack

Hello lovelies :) Today I will be sharing with you a product that is very much hyped about and with good reason! As you can tell by title, I will be reviewing MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel in Blacktrack, probably the most talked about black gel liner.
A good friend of mine, Marija from Pocalocca was kind enough to ask me if I needed anything from MAC since she was going to the UK and I asked her to get me Blacktrack because the E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner I was using dried out.
I had been wanting to try this particular gel eyeliner for a long time and the only thing I regret is not getting it earlier! MAC Fluidline comes in a small black box, like all other genuine MAC products and the gel liner itself comes in a nice glass jar rather than a plastic one (for some reason, gel liners tend to last longer in glass jars). Very simple packaging but it still looks (and is) expensive.

The gel eyeliner has a very creamy consistency that is easy to work with but you still have to be quick because once it dries, which is quite quick, it will stay put. Pigmentation is awesome and I feel safe to say that this is the blackest gel eyeliner I ever laid my hands on. Staying power is also a plus as I have yet to see this eyeliner budge throughout the time of only goes away with makeup remover!

Being MAC, the product is on the pricey side at approximately €20 for 3g of product but I do not regret getting it and I will definitely repurchase it once I run out.

Review | Catrice All Matt Plus Shine Control Makeup 010 Light Beige

Recently I found myself experimenting more with foundation even on a daily basis especially on days when my skin needs some perking up. My latest obsession in this regard has been the new foundation from Catrice, the All Matt Plus Makeup in the shade 010 Light Beige.
I came to know about this foundation during last month's new products' launch event and it had me at the words 'shine control'. Having oily skin can be a nightmare when it comes to finding the right foundation so I am always open to new and different options. Read on to see what my opinion about this new foundation is.
The packaging speaks volumes. It gives the illusion of a more expensive product and the satin finish on the glass part suggests the same finish on your skin. The foundation comes with a handy pump dispenser which enables control on the amount of product that comes out. For me, one pump is enough to cover my whole face and bring the foundation down to my neck. The formula blends seamlessly with my skin and does not oxidise on me.

The texture, albeit on the thick side, is easy to work with and doesn't take long to dry. It has medium to high coverage and my skin doesn't feel dry while wearing this foundation. Being oil-free, it helps prevent makeup meltdown due to sebum being produced by the skin itself and the long-wearing formula is great to take you from day to night.
Catrice All Matt Plus Foundation 010 Light Beige
{left - unblended; right - blended}
 One thing to note is that the foundation doesn't look cakey and feels very light on the skin all throughout the time of wear and I never found the need to re-touch it with powder or anything. I didn't get any breakouts from using this product either so it's all good!
Would I recommend this foundation? Definitely yes! Especially to people with oily skin who need a good foundation that stays matt all day. The only con I can think of with this foundation is that the choice of shades is only limited to 4 tonalities.
Catrice All Matt Plus Foundation can be found in authorised stockists across Malta & Gozo. For more information, like the Catrice Malta Facebook page.

PR Sample

Review | La Roche Posay Respectissime Densifying Mascara Black

La Roche Posay is well known for their exceptional skin care ranges and now the brand is also delving into the world of makeup...with a difference! All their makeup is specifically targeted towards the needs of sensitive skin and eyes, namely mild, fragrance-free formulas that still deliver optimal results, and all products are backed up by scientific studies and approvals.
Today, I am happy to share with you my latest discovery from the brand... Respectissime Densifying Mascara. I have been using this mascara everyday this past week and all I have are words of praise for it!

First and foremost, let's have a look at the packaging. As is standard for LRP, the packaging is clean and sleek and the mascara is supplied in a box with the LRP logo in red (all makeup range carries the red logo as opposed to the blue one for skin care). The all black mascara tube conveys sophistication and who doesn't like that?!

The brush is a little different from what we are used to... it has a crescent shape which hugs the lashes and coats them from roots to tips effortlessly. I like that the wand is on the small side because it separates the lashes nicely and while coats can be built up, this mascara is the perfect complement for a natural day time look. That said, the pigmentation is extremely good and this one of the blackest mascaras I have ever tried.

One thing I noticed is that there is never any flaking or clumping all throughout the time I'm wearing this mascara and I have never experienced any irritation whatsoever, even while wearing contact lenses.

Respectissime Densifying Mascara boasts a fragrance and paraben free formula enriched with purified pigments, arginine and pro-vitamin B5 for thicker, stronger and more voluminous lashes. In fact, LRP claim that this mascara doubles up as a lash treatment and thicker, stronger lashes can be perceived in two weeks. With regards, thickness, I haven't seen much difference on my own lashes but I definitely think they have grown stronger considering that I never lost an eyelash when taking the mascara off at the end of the day.

Thereby as a concluding remark, I can definitely see myself recommending this mascara to people with sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers and anyone who wants thicker and more volumized lashes in general.
La Roche Posay Respectissime Densifying Mascara is available for sale from authorised pharmacies across Malta and Gozo. For more information about stockists and the LRP product range, check out the La Roche Posay Facebook page.

PR Sample

Review | NYX Round Lipsticks LSS619 Flower & LSS627 Fusion

When NYX opened their first store in Malta last summer, the products I wanted to try most were the Round Lipsticks which are very popular in the blogosphere and they always get very good reviews.
I have finally added two of these lipsticks in my collection, namely LSS619 Flower and LSS627 Fusion. Both have sleek, black packaging and the bullets go all the way down...a must for me so as not to nick the lipstick when replacing the cap.

One thing I'm fond of with these lipsticks is the swatch at the base so if you store your lipsticks upside down, you know which colour to pick. Also, being so small, these lipsticks are great to pop even in the tiniest of bags.

The formula of these lipsticks is very creamy indeed and glides on to deliver optimum colour pay-off that lasts for a good number of hours. Flower is a blue-based medium pink whilst Fusion is an iridescent plum shade. Both feature a pearly finish and feel very moisturising on the lips.
NYX Round Lipstick LSS619 Flower
NYX Round Lipstick LSS627 Fusion

As a concluding remark, I definitely recommend these lipsticks to beginners and professionals alike and I cannot wait to add more colours to my collection!

NYX Round Lipsticks are available at the NYX Cosmetics store on Tower Road in Sliema and retail for around €5 if I'm not mistaken.
Which Round Lipstick shades do you recommend me to get?

Review | E.L.F. Glitter Mascara in Gold & Silver

E.L.F. Cosmetics have recently introduced Glitter Mascara as part of their Essential line and I bought the Silver and Gold variations to use during the past holiday season to add a little bit of glitz to my makeup looks.
While I may be a bit late in posting this, read on to see what I think about these mascaras; and besides, who says glitter has to be left just for party season?!
The packaging didn't impress me much to be honest but I do like the transparent part and the innovative applicator.
The applicator grooves fit the lashes nicely and I found it very practical to apply the glitter mascara on top of a regular one with this kind of applicator. You do however, need multiple coats for the glitter to show up. That said, I like the fact that the glitter is evenly distributed and the intensity can be built up according to taste. Unfortunately I could not get the glitter mascara to show up on camera so I took hand swatches instead.
Both of these glitter mascaras lasted until I took them off and I didn't experience any irritation whatsoever near my eyes while using them. You best bet to remove the mascara effectively without having glitter all over your face is to use a cotton disc soaked in waterproof makeup remover and leave it on your eyes for a few seconds before gently swiping it away from your face.
E.L.F. Glitter Mascara retails for €3.04 from the E.L.F. Cosmetics website.

Review | Essence Gel Nails At Home Clear Gel Top Coat

A while back, Essence has launched the Gel Nails At Home system which comprises everything you need to have your nails done by yourself and still have that gel finish as in salons. I was intrigued to try the Clear Gel Top Coat as I had been looking for a good gel top coat at the time.
Gel top coats that work with regular nail polish are extremely hard to find but this one does just that! It is designed to work with any Essence nail polish (no gel polish needed) but you do need a UV lamp to cure it. You can also opt to buy the range's own LED lamp. Anyways, back to the Top Coat.
It is supplied in a coated brown glass bottle that holds 7ml of product and it also comes neatly packaged in a small carton box.

The consistency of this top coat is rather thick so always be careful not to overload the brush as if the gel top coat leaks onto the cuticles and nail wall, it results in the polish just peeling off after a couple of days. However, despite the consistency being thick, it easy to work with and doesn't end up thick on the nails. Furthermore, the brush is a good size too even for my narrow nail bed.
This top coat imparts a high shine look to any manicure and it stays like that throughout the time of wear, which on my natural nails is a week. After that, you can opt to peel off the manicure especially if you have used the peelable base coat; I prefer to remove the manicure with a gel polish remover though.
I have tested the top coat with various brands of polish and it still works brilliantly. All you have to do after curing it for 1 minute under the LED lamp (2 minutes under UV), is cleanse your nails with the nail cleaner to remove the tacky layer. Alternatively, you may opt to use alcohol instead.

I highly recommend this top coat and with its price tag of just €4 you won't break the bank for sure!

For a list of outlets stocking the Essence Gel Nails At Home system, check out the Essence Cosmetics Malta Facebook page.

Review | Lierac Paris Mesolift Serum

When it comes to skin care, everyone loves a little bit of pampering and sometimes splurging on just one product can do trick. Luxury French skin care brand Lierac Paris fits the bill when it comes to the ultimate in skin care and today I will be sharing you a must-have product from this high-end label; enter Mesolift Serum.
I was first introduced to Lierac Paris last year when I was invited to attend the introductory meeting and subsequently the official launch by PharmaMT who are the importers of the brand. Of course on both occasions we were given some products to test drive (click to read my thoughts on the Tonique Éclat and Gommage Douceur) and now it's time to share my thoughts about this serum.

The packaging already indicates that is a luxurious orange glass bottle with a glass dropper, nicely packed in a matching box which also includes an information leaflet.

The actual serum is light orange in colour and has a faint smell which I cannot really assimilate. It has a very fluid texture compared to other serums and thanks to that, you only need a small amount of product. The formula feels very fresh and it is rapidly absorbed into the skin. 
Mesolift Serum boasts a concoction of vitamins (A, C, E, B5, B6), minerals (Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese) and Hyaluronic Acid known as Mesolift Cocktail which is targeted towards re-energizing the deep skin tissues and to help your complexion look more radiant, plum and toned. Mesolift Serum contains a 15% concentration of the Mesolift cocktail to combat the signs of dehydration, appearance of fine lines and loss of tonicity as well as loss of radiance. 
I like to use the dropper and apply half a drop of my forehead and a drop on each cheek and then use my fingers to massage the serum after cleansing and toning and before applying moisturiser. It is recommended to use the serum for at least 4 consecutive weeks and you can continue using it all year round. I personally use it every night and have seen a difference in the way my skin looks and feels.
This is actually my first serum and I can definitely see the benefits of using such a product...I'm not 15 anymore so my skin needs that extra boost to help it maintain a youthful appearance and I'm glad I found it in Mesolift Serum.
Consequently, I definitely recommend this product. I would describe the serum as a pick-me-up for the skin especially after night duties at skin never looks fatigued or dehydrated anymore!
Lierac Paris products can only be bought from authorised retailers. For stockists and further information, please like the Lierac Malta Facebook page.
PR Sample

Review | NYX Eyeshadow Trio TS10 Tropical/Yellow/Lime Green

This week, I had a major makeup clear-out which was much needed cos I really don't have anymore space to put all the products I have accumulated throughout the last few years. While going through my eyeshadow collection, I noticed I had a bunch of similar coloured ones (some of them were never even used) so I swatched them next to each other to keep the ones that were the most pigmented of the bunch.
When swatching the yellows, oranges and lime greens, this summery NYX trio made the cut. I have used this palette multiple times in summer in fact but not so much in winter when I tend to stick to neutrals mostly. This eyeshadow trio was actually part of a goodie bag that was given to me at the NYX Bloggers' Preview event in celebration of the brand's first store opening in Malta last August.

The packaging is very sleek and professional looking, reflecting the NYX brand status...professional makeup at affordable prices. The casing feels very sturdy and on the inside you get, a good sized mirror, a double ended sponge applicator and of course three eyeshadows.

The variant I have, TS10 has the colours Tropical, Yellow and Lime Green but of course there are other combinations you can choose from. Tropical is an orange based red with coral undertones; Yellow is a gorgeous lemon yellow while Lime Green is true to its name...dark lime green! I would say this combination of colours would suit brown, hazel and green eyes best.
All three shadows have a satin finish with excellent colour pay-off and all are easily buildable and blendable. Fallout is not really an issue with any of these shadows so that's another point in favour. 

As for staying power, I cannot really say how long they last on their own because I always use a primer underneath and that insures that the colours stay vibrant and in place all throughout the time of wear.
The whole range of the NYX Trio Eyeshadows is available at the NYX store in Tower Road Sliema. Check out their Facebook page for more info and to stay updated with the latest news from NYX world!

PR Sample

OOTD | Of Daisies and Glass Heels

After lots of trials and tribulations and countless minutes staring at my wardrobe wrecking my brains as to which outfit to pick for the Catrice PR Event last Thursday evening, this daisy print crop top I had bought from Boohoo a while back, magically popped in my mind. From then on, it was easy to pick the rest of the outfit and this is the result:

Blazer, Promod | Daisy print crop top, | Pencil skirt, Miss Miss
Heels, Marks & Spencer | Envelope clutch bag, New Look
Earrings, Orsay | Bracelets, Accessorize and Pimkie
Watch, Michael Kors

I don't know if it's just me but whenever I am going to an event, I like to wear something new and I knew I wanted to wear these new shoes I bought from M&S the other day so I planned my outfit around them and the afore mentioned daisy crop top which is long enough to be worn from underneath this high waisted pencil skirt. Since it is still quite chilly, I donned this orange blazer which adds a nice pop of colour and complements the heels. What do you think of this ensemble?

For those interested, this is a list of the makeup products I used:

Inglot Under The Makeup Base
NYX Concealer in a Jar CJ12 Green
NYX HD Foundation HDF02 Soft Beige
Catrice Camouflage Cream 010 Ivory
Essence Stay Natural Concealer 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Mineral Booster
E.L.F. Studio Blush Peachy Keen

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Milk
Pupa Milano Wet & Dry Eyeshadow Vamp! 200 True Gold
Catrice Absolute Eye Colour 010 Sunny, We Love You
Catrice Absolute Eye Colour 580 Carrots Of The Caribbean
Catrice Intensif'Eye Wet & Dry Shadow 010 Black or White Swan?!
MAC Fluidline Blacktrack
Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Mascara Waterproof
Pupa Milano Made To Last Eyes Automatic Eye Pencil Waterproof 100 Black
Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick 190 The Nuder The Better
Pupa Milano Shiny Lip Fluid 001 Princess Nude

Monthly Favourites | February

Time for monthly favourites again ladies and this month I have quite a few products to show you, some of which are new discoveries. So let's jump right into it!
First up are some hair products starting with the Rainforest Balance Shampoo & Conditioner for Oily Hair from The Body Shop. I have been using these ever since I got them and my hair never felt this clean and refreshed! So much so that they have fast become firm favourites in my hair care routine.
The same can be said for John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray. I purchased this as I have finished the Straightening Potion, also from John Frieda and since I couldn't find it anywhere in stock I decided to try this instead. The results are practically the same except that my hair maintains a style better...definitely a favourite thing! 
In the lip department, nothing has changed really as I still favoured nude lips all throughout February and my go-to products for such a look have been Pupa Milano Shiny Lip Fluid in 001 Princess Nude, Essence Stay Matt Lip Cream in 01 Velvet Rose and Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick in 190 The Nuder The Better.
I have been reaching for this Catrice Defining Blush in the shade 060 Rosewood Forest everyday this month. I love the subtle rosy tint it gives to my cheeks and it lasts for a long time too. Having a gazillion mascaras in your stash can sometimes leads to trying out new ones and forgetting other ones. While looking for an opened and never finished mascara in my stash, this Essence Get Big Lashes Waterproof Volume Boost Mascara caught my eyes. When I first got it, I had mixed feelings about this mascara but I have grown to love it this month. It gives the lashes a full appearance and it is true to its name as to being waterproof. A must-have in my opinion!

Lastly, I have another two new products which were actually a gift from a friend. The first of which is this Chanel quad 208 Tisse Gabrielle which is the same quad used in their Dallas Metiers D'Art show. I love the colours in the palette and they last really long. Also, it's Chanel!

The last product I have to show you was also a gift and it is the J'Adore L'Eau Cologne Floreale by Dior. I own the original J'Adore too so I knew I would like this one and I ended up using this almost everyday just because I like it so much and it is not overpowering for everyday use.

And that concludes my February favourites! Which products did you love most this month?

Review | Essence Stay Matt Lip Creams

Lately, in my monthly favourites posts, I have shared the Essence Stay Matt Lip Cream 01 Velvet Rose as one of my go to colours at the moment. However, I feel that they deserve a full review so I will be sharing my thoughts on the two shades I own from the core range of four as well as a limited edition shade.
I had a love-hate relationship with matt lip colours up to a few months ago until I tried one of the matt lip creams from Essence's Guerilla Gardening Trend Editon earlier last year. I loved it so much I couldn't wait for the local distributors to get the Stay Matt Lip Creams and when they finally made it to our shores, I went in and got the shades 01 Velvet Rose and 02 Smooth Berry.
The packaging is very simple and I like that the bottom part is transparent so I can see the colour. Also, the cap closes tightly and the doe foot applicator makes for a precise application of the product.

All three shades are very pigmented with a buttery soft texture and a sweet vanilla scent. The first time I tried these, I expected the colour to dry but it does not. It just stays creamy, a bit like lipstick and it feels very moisturising on the lips. In fact, my lips never dry out when wearing these matt lip creams. As for lasting power, I'd say they last for 2 or 3 hours on me so you definitely need to touch up during the day; however, I find that the darker shades tend to stain the lips so they appear to last longer.

Now onto the swatches.

01 Velvet Rose is a nude pink crème that is slightly darker in person than in the picture.

02 Smooth Berry is a raspberry pink crème 

02 Floral Glam (limited edition shade from the Guerilla Gardening Trend Edition) is an orange base red crème 

I really like these matt lip creams especially because they don't dry out the lips, which is not the standard with matt lip products.
Essence Stay Matt Lip Creams retail for €2.10 for 4ml of product and can be found from various pharmacies around Malta & Gozo.
To keep up to date with Essence news, like their Facebook page!