Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review | Polaar Icy Magic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser & Multi Energising Eye Patch

My latest skin care brand obsession is all for Polaar Skin Care. I have completely switched to this brand which I have been hooked upon after attending an event they hosted for some of us bloggers last June.

I have already reviewed the Ice Pure and Ice Source Skin Care range which I use and I have found it to be very effective at caring for my skin. You can read all about it here.

Today, I will be reviewing another two products from Polaar. This time, both products are from the Icy Magic range which is specifically targeted for the sensitive skin around the eyes. The Icy Magic range boasts of three products that help combat puffiness and dark circles from under the eyes, hence giving us a more youthful appearance.

The first product that I will be reviewing is the Icy Magic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser. It is a roll on type of product that you apply around the eye contour starting from the nose and going outward towards to outer corner of the eye.

You can apply the product as often as you like and the 5ml tube makes it ideal to carry the product around in your bag. The cool roller ball instantly helps reduce any puffiness from the eyes and in conjunction with Siberian Ginseng, the active ingredient of the product, leaves the eye area energised and toned. Moreover, tetrapeptides visibly reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Personally, I tend to have dark circles quite often and I swear by this product to help fade them away. As for puffiness, I don't really get puffy eyes often except after the occasional tiresome night duty at work and this has fast become my holy grail product to care for such a sensitive area as the eyes.

I have never had issues with this product irritating my eyes or causing stinging and I definitely recommend you introducing this product in your skin care regime!

Next up are the Icy Magic Multi Energising Eye Patches. The aim of these patches is to use them as a weekly treatment over the course of one month to reduce puffiness and dark circles. I cannot give a full review because I only had one sachet to try.

The patches come in a plastic pouch and they have a clear protective backing which you remove prior to applying the patches. Basically you just apply the patches to the underside of your eyes and leave them on for 15 minutes to work their magic.  Like the Icy Magic roll on, they contain Siberian Ginseng and tetrapeptides to exert their action effectively.

After just one application, I could already see a difference in how much brighter my eyes looked so I will definitely buy more of these patches. Again, the patches never irritated my eyes in any way.  

When used together, the Icy Magic Eye Contour Multi Energiser and the Multi Energising Eye Patch, provide better and faster results so I would consider getting enough patches for a month and couple them with the roll on to see if there is any difference but nonetheless, I still recommend both products if you have any issues with dark circles or puffiness under your eyes.

Polaar Skin Care is available at leading pharmacies in Malta & Gozo, more information on which can be found on the local Facebook page.

PR Samples

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Brand Spotlight | Yves Rocher

This morning saw a very excited me getting ready to head out the door for a meeting with Yves Rocher Malta Marketing Manager, Pierre. 

I was invited over at their newly opened shop in Paola which also houses the trademark Botanical Spa that Yves Rocher is acclaimed for worldwide, but more on that in another post ;) In the meantime, keep reading to find out more about the brand and feast your eyes on the pictures I managed to take of the Paola outlet.

A selection of bath and body care products

Introductions first, here is a little information about the brand!

The French skin care brand Yves Rocher dates back to 1959, when founder Yves Rocher(!) created the botanical beauty brand on the basis of offering good quality, natural products at affordable prices. His expertise in the botanical field was essential in establishing the key foundations of the brand. Mr. Rocher started producing plant-extract-based ointments and later on cosmetics which he sold through mail orders. After three years, he went on to open his first shop and he never looked back. Today, the brand is available in over 80 different countries and it is the number 1 skin care brand in France and 4th worldwide among a staggering 600 brands!

Being a botanical brand, Yves Rocher produces skin care, perfumes and cosmetic products that are plant based and paraben free. They do not test on animals and have their own labs in the Bretagne region in the north-west of France where the phytochemists discover ways of implementing the most active of plant molecules in their products for the ultimate benefit of the consumers. New active ingredients means new products and in fact, Yves Rocher introduces a 100 new products per year!

The brand philosophy is that in order to  'protect it [our skin], repair it and stimulate it, it is best to offer it active botanical ingredients that are easily and naturally assimilated.' Their belief is that both our skin and plants are alive, hence plant based skin care works in harmony with our skin.

What is really fascinating about Yves Rocher as a brand is that the company is also harvester, botanist, manufacturer and distributor of all its products, meaning they have control over the whole development process, hence the consumer knows they are getting a genuine product and ultimately, benefit from affordable price tags!

Different skin care regimes for different skin types

Yves Rocher is a very eco-friendly brand and this has led them to establish the Fondation Yves Rocher which plans to plant 50 million trees by 2015. Customers can help them reach their target by purchasing products marked 'I Love My Planet' or 'Culture Bio' as for every product sold, the company will have a tree planted.

The brand's eco-friendly conscience is also reflected in their packaging which is made of recycled plastic and they also include a note on some of their products to remind people to sort their trash and recycle where possible. Moreover, some of their products even come in refill format to reduce the amount of plastics used!

Now, a few lines about the Paola shop! The location is quite central, in Antoine de Paule Square and once you step foot in there, it feels like you have just entered a mini garden of Eden - an immaculately clean space adorned with light wooden shelves and elements of green which truly evoke the brand's botanical background.

Fragrance selection

Men's range and more fragrances for her

Makeup stand

Summer 2014 Limited Edition Collection

Testers are available for the absolute majority of the products and the layout is very customer friendly. The sales girls are fully trained and apart from being very friendly, they are very knowledgeable about the products and the main ingredients. They take their time to recommend the best products that cater for the individual's needs and they look very presentable in their impeccable uniforms.

The shop houses an extensive range of skin care, body care, hair care, fragrances and makeup products and they even have a line dedicated for men. The skin care products cater for the needs of all types of skin, even aging skin!

Anti-aging product selection

In Malta, Yves Rocher have another two stores, one at Bisazza Street in Sliema and one in Merchants Street, Valletta. The Botanical Spa is only found at the Paola outlet where a wide range of beauty services such as facials, waxing and makeup application are offered at very competitive prices.

That's it for this post, but stay tuned for Yves Rocher product reviews and my own experience at the Botanical Spa! In the meantime, why don't you go and check out one of the stores for yourselves?! I guarantee you're in for a treat!

To keep up to date with special offers and product information, you can check out the local Facebook page and the Yves Rocher website.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review | KIKO Milano Daring Game Limited Edition Fall/Winter 2014 | Queen Of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette 03 Elegant Ebony

For the upcoming Fall/Winter season, KIKO Milano have released a Limited Edition collection inspired by the casino and card games - the Daring Game Collection.

The collection consists of a large array of products such as bronzer and highlighter duos, blush duos, eye pencils, lip pencils and matching lipsticks, eyeshadow quads as well as a duo face brush aimed to be used with the duo products. You can view all the products that make up the collection here.

Since I was only trying the brand for the first time, I limited myself to just one of the Queen Of Hearts eyeshadow quads and I settled on the variation 03 Elegant Ebony.

The packaging deserves a few lines of its own...the outer box looks like a pack of cards with embossed damask designs all over and ingredients at the back. The actual palette is a stunner in itself. The case is pearl white in colour with a red damask heart motif embossed on the front. It feels very sturdy and quite heavy compared to other palettes I own. It is well structured and clicks when closed.

On the inside, there is a large mirror on one side and on the other, there are 4 eyeshadow pans and a double ended sponge applicator. In my opinion it looks very luxurious.
The eyeshadows, although there is nowhere written that they are baked, can be utilised both wet and dry depending on how intense you want them to be. Personally, I have only used them dry and I was positively impressed with the pigmentation and longevity of wear. You do need a few good swipes with the first two colours though. 
The shades in the palette are all on the neutral side and all have a brownish element to them. I would describe them in the following manner:
- light beige brown with a matte finish
- medium brown with a matte finish
- very dark brown with a matte finish
- light gold with a shimmer finish

All four shades complement each other very well and are versatile enough to be used for day and night looks. They are very blendable and you can always build up the colour if you so desire. All four shades are ophthalmologically tested, hypoallergenic and paraben free.
The palette retails for €14.90 and is available for sale from the KIKO Cosmetics website for a limited time only.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review | Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Colour 370 Always Extravagant

My favourite lipstick as of late has been a Max Factor one and to get to know that I was one of the lucky winners in a Facebook competition a few weeks ago for a Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Colour was definitely welcome news :)
I went ahead and collected my prize and I got the shade 370 Always Extravagant which I believe is the shade that all winners got. The packaging is very luxurious looking and you can tell right away that you're in for a treat with this product.
You actually get two products - a lip colour and a clear balm top coat. The shade 370 Always Extravagant is a bright fuchsia based red that's perfect for all skin tones, thus a perfect all-year-round shade.
The applicator is a doe foot type for the colour and the balm is just a regular lip balm with a retractable bullet. The actual tubes are very slim and they won't take up a lot of space in your bag if you would want to carry them with you. Well, you can actually get away with carrying only the balm as the colour lasts for ages but more on that in a few.
The formula is on the thick side but still very easy to work with. I like the rich pigmentation and although the product dries to a matte finish, it still doesn't feel dry on the lips. The balm is actually there to add shine rather than moisture.
It is suggested that you apply the colour first and allow it to dry completely for a minute or so by keeping the lips apart. Then proceed by applying the balm for a glossy finish. You could say that the colour is transfer proof as once dry, it won't even transfer onto the balm bullet.
Max Factor Lipfinity 370 Always Extravagant just applied without balm (top)
& with balm (bottom)
Now I cannot vouch for the claim that this lasts for a full 24 hours but the name Lipfinity is very fitting as on all the occasions that I had worn it, the colour lasted for the whole time and I only needed to re-apply the balm every so often.
Max Factor Lipfinity 370 Always Extravagant after 4 hours of wear

I guess this will go down in my favourite lip products list as it ticks all the boxes! And with such a nice variety of shades, you're sure to find one you like!
Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Colour is available from various pharmacies and outlets across the Maltese Islands and they retail for €14.70.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review | KIKO Milano Brush Cleanser

It's been quite some time since I last posted a review or a blog post for that matter and so after sorting through some new products that I got lately, I better get back on track with reviews.
In last month's collective haul post, I have posted a picture of all the stuff I got from KIKO Milano as soon as I got to know they ship to Malta. I have been meaning to try the brand for a long time but I only became aware that they ship outside Italy last month. Following the post, I got a few requests to let you know what I think about the Brush Cleanser. And well, here is a full review!
The KIKO Brush Cleanser comes in a 50ml spray bottle format, all packaged in a small black box. The size is very convenient to carry around in your case if your doing makeup on other people and need to quick-clean your brushes in between clients but it's not exactly cheap at €5.90 so you might want to keep that in mind. One thing to note about the bottle is that it is leak-proof.
The cleanser has a floral smell that albeit is not overpowering and fades away quickly. Moreover, the spray nozzle delivers a nice, even mist so you don't have to worry about wasting your product.
I like to use this to clean my brushes in between makeup applications mostly and I'm really fond of how deep cleaning it is. It removes almost all traces of makeup from the brush bristles and since the spray dries fairly quickly, the brush will be ready for use within seconds.
It is recommended that you spray the cleanser directly onto the brush then wipe the bristles on a tissue paper or towel. I prefer to spray the product on the towel and then gently swirl the brush in it to take away the makeup residue.
I definitely like this Brush Cleanser and highly recommend it to makeup artists and ladies in general who like something gentle yet deep cleaning for their brushes. After all, clean brushes mean less breakouts on your skin!