Friday, August 28, 2015

Monthly Favourites | August

Last month I skipped the favourites post because there were really no new products to show you but this month has definitely made up for it for I have quite a lot of new things to share with you!

For starters, I have two new summer favourites courtesy of Lierac Paris and Kiko Cosmetics. Let me start with the Kiko Summer Wipes first. These wipes are meant to dissolve salt from the skin after swimming so that you can refresh yourself and they have proven to be God-send when we went to the beach in the afternoon and stayed there late for a bar-be-que as well on days by the pool to refresh my skin. They are quite handy in that regard and I like the tight closure the packet comes with as that way the wipes don't dry up.


Next is the Lierac Paris Sunific Solaire 2 Iridescent Milk Mist with SPF15. This came at the right time when I already had a tan and just want to preserve it and still protect my skin. It goes on as a light white mist that just melts into the skin as an iridescent sheen with a very nice scent.

Next up are some skin care products starting with this Micellar Water Gel Makeup Remover and Ultrafine Scrub from La Roche Posay. Both products have intrigued me from the first time and they have now become part of my skin care routine. After trying other varieties of the Yves Rocher Exfoliating Shower Gel, I decided to give this summer limited edition version a try. It is in Apple Star Anise and I immediately took a fancy to the fresh, invogorating smell. It does a good job at gently exfoliating the skin, is gentle enough for everyday use and perfect when you're in a hurry!


Also shown in the photo is the Kiko Cosmetics XL Travel Pochette. I got it in my most recent order and it is practically the only one use now! It holds all my toiletries and makeup in just one place and feels very nice and sturdy.

Next, I have some nail product favourites. I have bought this Kiko Cosmetics glass nail file and I also picked up another one while visiting Dubrovnik and they do a better job at preventing the nails from splitting than any other nail file! I have also been liking the Essence Nail Caring Oil for my cuticles which despite being very cheap, it works just as well as the more expensive ones I have.


Moving on to makeup, I have some new MAC favourites, namely Prep+Prime Fix+ Refreshing Mist, Lipstiks in Velvet Teddy and Hot Gossip and Powder Blush in Dame. I could finally see what all the hype about Fix+ is because it is such a versatile product and essentially, you don't need any other primer or fixer after you try this!


The lipsticks are both new shades to me and come in my favourite finishes from MAC, Matte and Cremesheen. They glide smoothly with amazing pigmentation and last very long. Lastly, the blush is a very lovely colour that suits every complexion giving you a nice, healthy glow. It is quite sheer but buildable and stays on all day.

Next is another Kiko Cosmetics (I promise it's the last one in this post!) - the CC Cream Cushion System in the shade 30 Warm Beige. I got two shades of this, one for summer and one for winter. 30 Warm Beige, is the darker colour and it turned out to be a good match for my tanned skin. This CC Cream has quite an unusual packaging as opposed to similar products from other brands. The product itself is very light and blends really well into the skin covering all imperfections and just giving you an overall uniform complexion.


Of course sometime, we still need help in some areas and for my under-eyes, this Max Factor CC Colour Corrector in yellow does the trick! I shall be reviewing this in a separate post so I am not going to go into any details about it other than saying I love it!!

If on the other hand I needed something more for other areas of my face, my new favourite product for those instances, is the Makeup Revolution Ultra Base Contour Palette. This has everything I need in one place and even has a darker concealer that is perfect for me to use when I am more tanned!


I have also been liking the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette which has everything if you're still into contouring as well as good highlighters to try your hand at strobing.

Lastly, I have really been enjoying using the Naked Smoky palette from Urban Decay. It has everything you need to achieve the perfect smoky eye and I really like the quality of the eyeshadows! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tommy John Inspired Date Night Outfits for Him & Her

Date night is quite a special occasion whether it is your first time meeting someone or scheduling an appointment where you can enjoy the company of your significant other in between hectic life routines.

I for one, always take my time into planning the perfect outfit in which I feel comfortable and I know my better half would like but a first date can be awkward since you don't really know the person and what they are looking for in a potential partner. At the same time, I think we all agree that first impressions count and tuning up in a stylish outfit for your date can really leave a positive impression on them. This holds true for both genders and I love it when I get to style my man when he calls for help when we're going out.

Comfort is of utmost importance both in terms of the outfit as well as the underwear beneath it. I feel that ill fitting underwear can totally ruin a good outfit. Here is a date night outfit idea for her and one for him including what I think is the best underwear to go with them:

Date Night Outfit for Her

Summer is all about having fun and that includes fashion too! I went for this bright dress in a shape that will flatter most figures and paired it with nude strappy heels and gold and green accessories for that something a little out of the ordinary. As for lingerie, I went for a nude colured set that will not show through. The lace gives it a more girly feel and I don't know about you but lace underwear gives me a confidence boost :)


Date Night Outfit for Him

As for the gentlemen, here is a comfortable smart casual outfit featuring trousers instead of the usual jeans. I personally prefer my man in a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up for a smarter look and the smart leather sneakers pull the outfit together. A watch is sort of a must for men as is a pair of good fitting boxers such as these ones from Tommy John. They come in a variety of colours to choose from and are a very good alternative to boxers that continually ride up. You don't want to spend all the time tucking in your boxers do you?


So there you go! I hope this post has offered a little bit of inspiration to women and men alike for that special night :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review | Catrice Luminous Lips Lipsticks 030 Undercover Nude and 040 Pretty Little Valentine

Catrice cosmetics have relaunched the Ultimate Shine lipsticks in a whole new format and are now calling them Luminous Lips. Personally, I had been waiting for this re-formulation to happen for a long while now because I always skipped purchasing the old ones because even though the colour selection was truly beautiful, they seemed to melt quickly (summers in Malta are very hot) and I generally didn't like them much.

However, with this new 14 colour range, I am definitely much more pleased. I chose two neutral colours to review which may seem very close but one is slightly darker than the other. 

The packaging is this smooth, satiny silver case which I really prefer over the mirror ones of the old range because you don't get finger prints all over them and you get the shade name and number on the bottom. 


Since these lipsticks belong to the Ultimate Shine range, they are on the sheer side but pigmentation is still decent and they have a shiny finish which feels very comfortable on the lips. I would say these last a couple of hours so it is best to carry them with you for touch-ups.

The shades I have are:

- 030 Undercover Nude ~ a standard nude medium brown with a shiny creme finish


- 040 Pretty Little Valentine ~ a nude medium brown that is a share or two lighter than shade 030 and has a golden shimmer running through. 


Overall, I am much more pleased with this new range from Catrice and look forward to trying more shades especially since they retail for a little over €4 if I can remember correctly.

PR Samples





My Ideal Makeup Bag (by brand)

The other day, I was talking to my friend Marija from Pocalocca when inevitably, discourse fell on the newly launched Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette (watch out for a post dedicated to it) and we both agreed that if someone had to ask us for the best eyeshadow brand (prices aside), we would suggest Urban Decay hands down. That got me thinking into writing up a post with different products that would constitute my ideal makeup bag by brand. Where possible, I shall list products from both drugstore and higher end brands to try and accommodate all budgets. 

Primer

Primer is an essential product in any makeup bag to make makeup last longer and I personally have a bunch of favourites. However, I would narrow my choice down to just two - Inglot Under The Makeup Base {€21} and MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Skin Refresher/Finishing Mist {€18}. I like the Inglot one better for winter because of the 'heavier' texture since it is silicone based and I favour MAC Fix+ more in the summer because it delivers a fine mist that is lightweight on the skin. Both prolong the wear of makeup beautifully and since the price of most drugstore primers fluctuates in the same price range, I would just buy one of these without hesitation. 


Foundation

Foundation is a very personal thing for a lot of reasons - coverage, shade, finish, smell, etc all depend on the tastes of an individual. Sure, you can always splurge on a good foundation since it is the basis of a good makeup application but my favourites both come from drugstore brands. First off, my all time favourite NYX HD Photogenic Foundation {around €12} which has no SPF and consequently photographs beautifully. The other is the Catrice All Matt Plus{around €6} which offers higher coverage and is more suited for winter for that porcelain skin finish.



Concealer

Again, NYX and Catrice are the winning brands for me in this category with the HD Concealer {around €10} and Camouflage Cream {around €4} respectively. The NYX concealer is an all rounder while I prefer to use the Catrice one for blemishes as it tends to crease under my eyes. Another very good concealer is the Max Factor CC Colour Corrector in Yellow to correct under eye circles {€10.40}.



Setting Powder

Catrice is a winner here with their Prime and Fine Translucent Mattifying Powder Waterproof {€5.60}. It provides a longer wear to makeup and mattifies any look effortlessly.



Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter

I rarely use bronzer and highlighter and limit them just for contouring, for which my favourite products are the Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Kit {$21} and the more budget friendly alternative Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Palette {£8}. As for blush, I would hands down choose MAC. Be it their Powder {€18} or their Mineralize Blushes {€21} (the ones I have), I love both of them for their excellent pigmentation and longevity of wear.



Eyeshadow

As explained above, for me, nothing beats Urban Decay eyeshadow's buttery soft texture and insane pigmentation, even from the lightest shades. The Naked 3 and the Naked Smoky {€54 each} palette are my favourites but I also have a couple of single eyeshadows {$19} which I use all the time. They come at a price but honestly, it is justified.


Mascara, Eye pencil & Eye liner

Max Factor is a winner here with their False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara {around €12} and the Excess Intensity Eye Pencil. As for eyeliner, I choose MAC Fluidline {€18.50} for obvious reasons!



Lipstick & Lip liner

MAC lipstick {€19 each} is a cult favourite and no doubt I would choose their lipsticks over anything else anytime.


As for lip liners, Essence have some really good ones for around €2! If you want to splurge, I suggest you go for Revlon ColorStay which retail for around €10 if I am not mistaken.



Do you agree with the above suggestions? Anything else you would recommend?


Monday, August 24, 2015

Review | Born Pretty Store 3mm - 6mm Flatback Marble Nail Decorations

Marbled nails is one nail art look that I can't get enough of and when I saw these new decorations on Born Pretty Store I knew I had to get my hands on them.

They come in a typical nail art wheel in three different shapes for each of the four colours. They all have a flat back which makes it easier to adhere to the nails and their size varies according to shape from 3mm to 6mm.


In this manicure I used the blue teardrops but since they are quite domed, they didn't prove very practical for work but for special occasions, they are a nice addition to your nail art designs.


Buy them from Born Pretty Store at $3.52 and don't forget to enter the code EBABK31 at checkout for a 10% discount!



PR Sample