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November Collective Haul

November just flew by me in a whiff and so it is time for the mandatory end-of month collective haul. This month it was more about cosmetics and just a few clothing items so it will be quite a short post. Enjoy :)

First up is the Essence Merry Berry limited edition collection on which I have got quite a few pieces and you check them all out here including swatches. This Christmas collection is one of the most anticipated this year and I really urge you to go out and get it!

I had to make a separate trip to get two more products out of this collection after seeing more reviews about them and I managed to find both the highlighter and the nail polish in the shade 02 Purple With A Purpose. The highlighter was €3.50 and the polish was €2.10. I also bought some of the stuff from their permanent line including a gel eye pencil in the shade 05 Gunmetal for €2.30, a nail art designer set for €2.10, an express dry nail spray for €2.60, a light reflecting top coat for €2.10 and a black nail polish for €1.70.

Also from Essence I got the Liquid Ink eyeliner and another gel eyeliner in 01 Black Blaze. They cost €2.40 each. From Roseberry, I got a backup of the NYX HD Concealer which is my favourite concealer ever for my under eye area and it cost €9.99. I also bought the 2015 limited edition i-Divine in Enchanted Forest for €13.99 and you can check out all swatches here.

As for clothing, I placed an order on the River Island website where I got this tassel fol-over bag (€26), a khaki patchwork wallet (€22) and these black tassel front loafers (€35) which I cannot wait to wear. 

Lastly, from Orsay I got this black top and green faux leather skirt which were €19.49 each (with a discount) and I also got this denim skirt from Stradivarius for €22.95 which has been on my wishlist since the Pink Fashion Show.

Review | Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette

A few weeks ago I had posted a review on the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette which I purchased as I was on the lookout for a good contour palette and the said palette has met my requirements; yet, I still needed a cream contour palette for they are easier to blend.

Thus when Makeup Revolution announced the arrival of a new cream contour palette I went ahead and bought it straight away! I am a big fan of the packaging of these palettes including the outer box with the rose gold lettering and the actual palette with its glossy black casing and again, rose gold lettering - all so sleek!

The Ultra Cream Contour Palette comes with 8 pans of cream products, 4 of which are contour shades and the other 4 are highlighters. They can also be used as cream concealers! The palette also comes with a mirror. The shades in this palette correspond to the ones in the Ultra Contour Palette in which all shades are in powder form. I personally think this is a great idea because you can set your cream product with the corresponding powder to render it longer lasting.

All 8 shades in the palette have very good pigmentation and I would recommend this palette to makeup artists especially because you have every shade you could possibly need to achieve a perfectly contoured look on just about anyone! The consistency of all the creams in this palette is perfect for blending into the skin to avoid any harsh lines.

My favourite ones are the first and second ones on the bottom left row and the third one from left in the top row. I feel that this palette does a better job at contouring as you can really blend the product for a more natural finish. That being said, I like the powder palette to set the cream products and give a more defined look.

   Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette (top) vs
Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette (bottom)

The Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette retails for €11.18 from the Makeup Revolution website.

Event | Essence & Catrice Cosmetics Fall/Winter Products Launch

If there is a company for whose events I am always excited for, that is PharmaMT, the company behind Essence, Catrice and Lierac in Malta. Last week, it was time for the launch of the fall/winter products from sister cosmetics brands Essence and Catrice. And what better way than to spend a sunny November afternoon with a High Tea served at the elegant Hilton Quarterdeck Bar?

photos by Mark Pace

Brand manager Daniela guided us through the new launches and we were able to sample most of the products on the spot whilst enjoying herbal tea, coffee, water and array of delicious sandwiches, sweet treats and cakes, melted chocolate, clotted cream and jam. We were also given a goodie bag each and whatever products that were on display that we liked, we were able to take home with us.

Expect some exciting new product reviews! Follow Essence & Catrice on Facebook to keep updated with new product launches!

All of us bloggers with Brand Manager Daniela
photo by Mark Pace

Review | Sleek Makeup iDivine Eyeshadow Palette Enchanted Forest

Sleek Makeup have added a new palette to their i-Divine range, the Enchanted Forest palette and I got mine locally from Roseberry for €13.99 for 12 eyeshadows.

I expected Sleek to go the extra mile with the box as there is nothing creative about it. The palette comes in their signature sleek, black case with a mirror and 12 eyeshadow pans with 1.1g of product each and a transparent film with the eyeshadow names on it. The palette also comes with the usual double ended sponge applicator.

Sleek i-Divine Enchanted Forest in natural light (left) and with flash (right)

The palette was inspired by an enchanted forest and the names of the shadows really do reflect that, as they are named after symbolic items and characters from the popular fairy tale, Cinderella. The proposed colour palette is also very reminiscent of a forest with deep, dark hues spanning all throughout the palette with the exception of a couple of shades and of course, since the palette is inspired by Cinderella, there are a couple of blue shades as well.

Below are the swatches of the eyeshadows in the palette with flash and no primer:

left to right:
Glass Slipper - matte light beige, almost white
Beatrice - matte magenta
Perla - pearlescent periwinkle with lavender and grey undertones
Fairy Godmother - pearlescent champagne with peachy/pink undertones
Grand Duke - shimmery dark blue with strong purple undertones
Drizella - pearlescent dark olive green with brown undertones

left to right:
Pumpkin - pearlescent gold
Prince Charming - matte dark teal
Happily Ever After - pearlescent grey with bluish undertones
Anastasia - matte aubergine
Daphne - pearlescent dark green with dark grey undertones
Lady Tremaine - shimmery blackened aubergine with reddish purple reflects

Pigmentation is excellent for all twelve shades and my favourites are Perla, Drizella and Daphne. There is a good mix of shimmer and matte shades which is something I usually look for in a palette and I love that there are a lot of unique shades in there. The texture is buttery smooth for all formulations and the colours are very blendable and not powdery at all.

If you don't like colourful eyeshadow this palette is not for you but if you do like to experiment, do go ahead and get this!

Review | Essence Merry Berry Trend Edition Christmas 2015

One of the Christmas makeup collections I really wanted this year is the Merry Berry Trend Edition from Essence Cosmetics, a brand which is most definitely not new to this blog. As soon as I first saw pictures of this collection on a French blog, I knew I wanted to get my hands on it! 

I'm all about berry tones in winter and I was glad to see this collection deviating from the usual reds that this time of year is synonymous with. Let's have a look at the products that make up this collection, then proceed to swatches and pictures of the products I got. 

The star products in this collection are the highlighter and the scented gold dust powder but all products are packaged really pretty with the exception of the hair fragrance which has quite a plain appearance that contrasts with the glitz of the other products.

First up, the eyeshadows. There are two shades in the collection:
01 The Perfect Dress - light taupe/sand beige with a satin finish
02 The Masked Ball - aubergine purple with a satin finish

  Essence Merry Berry Trend Edition Eyeshadows
01 The Perfect Dress, left | 02 The Masked Ball, right

The transparent cases are quite simple but I still like them for the embossed confetti-like motifs on the eyeshadows and the actual colours still show through. I was surprised to see that these eyeshadows are not powdery as other Essence eyeshadows tend to be and that they have very good pigmentation and staying power. They cost €2.10 each for 2.5g of product.

Next is the Scented Gold Dust Powder which is only available in one nuance, 01 I Love My Golden Pumps. I'll admit this was an impulse buy just because it looks so cute, like an old perfume bottle! I will probably never use this to go out but when I tried it, one pump delivers quite an abundance of gold glitter and there is a good chance that your surroundings will end up all sparkly too. This product can be used on both hair and body. I really liked the vanilla scent this carries and just because it looks so chic, it has taken up permanent residence on my vanity. This costs €3.70.

Essence Merry Berry Trend Edition Scented Gold Dust Powder 01 I Love My Golden Pumps

Since the stand I bought them from was still intact when I went to buy the collection, I managed to get my hands on all three lipsticks. All three are in berry shades in keeping in line with the theme of the collection and I can say they are really up my alley! I like that the outer case is a true representation of the colour of the actual lipstick and has a satin matte appearance and the gold ring at the middle really adds a nice, festive touch! The three shades are:
01 Let The Berry-Tales Begin - deep burgundy purple with a creme finish
02 Pink & Perfect - straight up magenta with a creme finish
03 Red Rocks - raspberry pink with a creme finish

  Essence Merry Berry Trend Edition Lipsticks
L to R: 01 Let The Berry-Tales Begin | 02 Pink & Perfect | 03 Red Rocks

All three are very wearable shades and I think they will look good with many winter looks. The formula is very creamy and they last for a good 3 hours or so. The lipsticks cost €2.40 each for 3.8g of product.

Lastly, I have the nail polishes. I only got one of the opaque shades and the gold flakes top coat because I already have similar polishes in my collection. The nail polish I got is the shade 01 The Masked Ball which is the same aubergine purple as the eyeshadow bearing the same name. Under certain lights, this particular polish looks almost black. The packaging is what sold me to get this polish because it is just so cute!

  Essence Merry Berry Trend Edition Nail Polish
01 The Masked Ball, left | 01 I Love My Golden Pumps, right

The top coat 01 I Love My Golden Pumps comes in the same packaging and I was really impressed with the even application of the flakes which is not always the case with this type of polishes. Both polishes carry 8ml of product and retail for €2.10 each.

I really like this collection and I do recommend you go out and get it before it is gone as I anticipate it will sell out soon! The outlets at which the collection is available are the following:
Tony's Pharmacy, Gzira
Lowla, Zabbar
Trollees Supermarket, Qawra
Claire's Accessories St. Julians's
St.Catherine's Pharmacy, Zejtun
Arkadia, Gozo
Oviesse, Pavi
Rotunda Pharmacy, Mosta 
Pillbox Pharmacy, Naxxar 
Rational Pharmacy B'kara 

Brand Spotlight | 88 Rue Du Rhone Luxury Timepieces

When I think of luxury, I always include quality leather bags and watches in the equation and now, I have an extra watch brand to think about - 88 Rue Du Rhone.

I was introduced to the brand during the latest edition of the Pink Fashion Show and, well, it had me in a second! I have always loved watches and I never leave the house without one. I already have my eyes on a particular model I want from 88 Rue Du Rhone which I shall treat myself to as a Christmas present. I was pleased to see that the brand caters for ladies with small wrists like mine as well! The whole collection consists of 60% watches for men and 40% watches for women.

For those new to the luxury brand, 88 Rue Du Rhone was founded in 2012 by Elie and Pierre Bernheim, the grandsons of Raymond Weil, the legendary watchmaker. 88 Rue Du Rhone embodies the true spirit and excellence of Swiss watchmaking yet all their models fall within an accessible price range. 

Having a number for brand logo, really makes the brand stand out, for the number 8 is present in all designs and symbolizes good fortune and infinity. Moreover, 88 is the only number missing on Rue Du Rhone, the most prestigious street in Geneva and an emblem of absolute luxury. The banks of the River Rhone possess endless beauty and are witnesses to five centuries of Swiss watchmaking tradition - really WHERE TIME BEGINS.

88 Rue Du Rhone proposes a contemporary yet classic product that combines Swiss quality, elegance and precision with accessibility that appeals to a new generation of watch enthusiasts across the globe. In the brand's collections, Double 8 Origin, launched in the beginning of 2012 and Rive, presented at 2015 Baselworld, the number 8 seems to disappear into infinity in a fun, but equally elegant and refined manner, with the logo at 12 o'clock, the counter-weight of the colourful seconds hand and engraved on the crown and case back in the fine lacework or filigree guilloché finish on the dial and the movement's balance. As a final detail, the diamonds set on the cases total 88!

The brand was first launched at Selfridges in London in July 2012 and has been received exceptionally well in over 40 countries world-wide and has expanded to famous retailers such as Bloomingdales, Tourneau, Peter Jackson, Goldsmiths, Consul Group, Harmony, Manor and Galeries Lafayette to name a few. 

Being fans of the cinema, the Bernheim brothers have rolled up their sleeves and showcased to the public, two of the Double 8 Origin flagship models in short 60-second films and in a new movie campaign, adroitly blending modernity with tradition, power with refinement and mystery with revelation.They are also proud to be, for the third year, the Official Watch & Timing Partner of the BAFTA - the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the MIAMIFF, the Miami International Film Festival, for the second year. These screen partnerships are expanding further, with 88 Rue Du Rhone recently becoming involved with the Geneva International Film Festival/Festival Tous Ecrans as well as becoming the UK Watch partner of the Mad Men Ultimate season DVD launch.

In the words of Pierre Bernheim himself, '88 Rue Du Rhone does much more than just fill a void in the luxury timepiece category. It has a strong, dynamic identity steeped in Geneva's rich watchmaking history with inherent multicultural references.'

88 Rue Du Rhone is available locally at VIP in Sliema and Valletta. Follow the brand's success via social media under 88rdr.

Event | women'secret Re-opening

Last Wednesday was a very busy, albeit exciting day where I had the pleasure of attending two subsequent events. One of which was the re-opening of Spanish underwear brand women'secret. The brand already had stores in Malta in the past (from which I still have a couple of basic bras that still look like new!), and now, the new store is located on level 2 at Baystreet Shopping Complex in St. Julian's.

I made my way there with my dear friend Marija from Pocalocca after a very satisfying late lunch at one of the restaurants in the same complex, and we were very pleased to find wine and infused water to down our lunch with, and cute, yummy treats from Miss Ellen's to finish the day on a sweet note... I mean how cuter can sweets displays get?! We were also offered the opportunity to have our makeup and nails done thanks to the Looking Good team.

Since we were the first to arrive, we had a thorough browse around the shop and I, for one was very pleased to see that the brand has crossed to a sexier side while still maintining a pretty mood with their essentials range as well as a cosy, fluffy, thermal range of pyjamas and lounge wear that will involve even more effort to get out of the morning and brace the cold outside. The prices here in Malta are the same as in Spain with the exception of the lincesed items such as the Hello Kitty, Pink Panther, Garfield and Disney ranges which have retained European prices. The store also carries a range of accessories such as self-adhesive silicone cups, transparent bra straps, bed slippers and wash bags to name a few. Colours vary from lush burgudnies and dark greens to sexy blacks and flirty pastels.

I am a big fan of the decor in-store, featuring clean, pastel murals with touches of rose-gold - very flirty I might say!

Being the lingerie lover that I am, I, of course could not leave the store empty handed and bought a matching bra and Brazilian briefs set, another pair of panties and I was delighted to receive another mathcing black lace set from the sports range and the cheekiest water bottle ;) I was even happier to learn that women'secret caters mostly for B cups and since I seem to always struggle to find my size, the brand is God-send! However, they still offer larger and smaller sizes as well.

The staff are all very friendly and willing to go out of their way to help clients and make shopping at women'secret a breeze! Even the guys can be sure they will get all the help they need if they want to buy that something sexy for the ladies in their lives just in time for Christmas or any other occasion really! As for us ladies, let's just say that this a new store in town that will lend us a confidence boost ;)

Thank you to women'secret for allowing me to be a part of their re-launch. Looking forward for more pretty, comfortable, sexy trips to the store!

Review | KIKO Cosmetics Midnight Siren Limited Edition | Matte Muse Lipstick 06 Luxury Sangria

Is it just me or are there others who also think that KIKO Cosmetics Limited Editions are some of the best-looking products out there? Such is the case with their Midnight Siren collection and the Tahitian pearls inspired packaging of the products. The collection, which came out in the beginning of Autumn, consists of darker tones which we tend to favour more during the colder months.

Out of the entire collection, I only got a Matte Muse Lipstick in the shade 06 Luxury Sangria. Now, I already have God knows how many more similar coloured lipsticks but the packaging is what intrigued me to get this product. 

The lipstick is supplied in a black box with green and purple reflects that come to life according to how the light hits them. The actual product, is a liquid lipstick which comes in a rather heavy glass tube with a curved doe foot applicator. The cap is the same colour as the outer box which are meant to represent the colour of Tahitian pearls.

The shade 06 Luxury Sangria, is a true sangria red and has just a slight shimmer upon application. The lipstick takes some time to dry to a completely matte finish but it never feels drying on the lips. It fades uniformly to a stain after say 2 to 3 hours of wear.

I like the formula of this lipstick so much I would really like it if KIKO considered to have a permanent line of these!

KIKO Cosmetics Midnight Siren Matte Muse Lipstick is available in 6 colours at €6.90 for 8ml of product.