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Festival Vibes with Rimmel London Ink Me Collection

Let me start this post by a rather in your face statement - I don't like tattoos! I appreciate them and the art involved on other people but I don't want them anywhere on my body. Having said that, I do like the gold temporary ones that seem to recur year after year especially during summer parties and music festivals so I was delighted when I received a teaser from Rimmel London's Ink Me collection in the mail a couple of months ago. I know, it took me ages to post this review and I do apologise for that; but in my defence, it was still early for summer parties and festivals so these had to wait a bit before I got to use them. Moreover, I haven't been to any summer parties this year so I had to postpone using the products again :(

Anyhow, I finally got round to using them and I can finally share my thoughts with you :) First up, a word about the collection - it consists of transfer tattoos, ink stamps and eye/body liners, meant to give an edge to your makeup.

I got the temporary tattoos and two ink stamps - one in the shape of a star, the other in the shape of a heart. The star stamp was the first one I used during a photoshoot as it tied in exactly with the look I was going for. I was impressed with how well the ink stayed on and the application is straight-forward. Just stamp the design wherever you want! Both designs stamp well and the shapes do not bleed either. To remove, just shower or use a makeup remover - simple!

Photo by Go Raw Photography

I finally got round to apply one of the temporary tattoos down my back for a night out. Transferring the tattoo was again pretty easy as all the directions are printed on the packaging and on me, the temporary tattoo lasted for 5 days before gradually starting to fade away.

I think the Rimmel Ink Me collection is a great alternative to 'inking' yourself without the need for needles and commitment! What about you? Are you a fan temporary or permanent tattoos in general?

PR Samples

Replenish lost salts and minerals with Erba Vita MgKC

Whether we like it or not, sweating is an essential function for our bodies to cool down in the heat - be it while exercising or just because temperatures reach soaring heights. Through sweat, we do not only lose water but also salts and minerals which are essential for our bodies to function properly. To counteract this, we are advised to drink at least 2 litres of water every day, but this only replenishes water levels in our bodies. To replenish salts and minerals, we need a little extra help, and this is where Erba Vita MgKC comes in.

Each box of Erba Vita MgKC comes with 20 sachets of powder containing magnesium, potassium and vitamin C that you dissolve in water and drink in order to replenish your body's mineral and hydration levels. MgKC also contains extracts of acerola which is rich in vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. It is also known that athletes use acerola to improve endurance. Baobab extracts further enhance the MgKC formula with their excellent levels of potassium and re-mineralizing properties. Moreover, Baobab has been identified by the World Health Organization as an optimum natural re-hydrator: in fact, when comparing the effects of intaking a solution containing Baobab to a standard saline solution, usually used for re-hydrating children affected by diarrhoea, the benefits registered were significant.

To get maximum benefits out of the product, it is advised to have 1 to 2 sachets per day, leaving at least 4 hours in between and preferably consume them between meals. If you suffer from high blood pressure though, it is advised to only consume 1 sachet a day because of the potassium content, but always consult your doctor or pharmacist. MgKC tastes of citrus which I like and they are great for travelling because of their size too! What makes MgKC better than other mineral-replenishing products? Well, it's sugar-free and has stevia instead (making the product suitable for diabetics) and real orange juice.

Staying hydrated has never been easier! Get yours from pharmacies and all Good Earth shops!

PR Sample

Rani Zakhem Couture Show at Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture 2018

July was a magical month for me – I got to visit my favourite city for the third time for something I never thought would happen in a million years, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week!

It all started with an invitation from a production house that is in charge of organizing some of the shows during this highly anticipated week. I admit I was a bit sceptical of the invitation primarily because I never imagined I would attend fashion week in Paris, let alone be invited to one of the shows! Also, I’m ashamed to admit I had never heard of the designer but that’s nothing Google can’t fix.

And that is precisely what I did – I looked up the production house and the designer in question, Rani Zakhem and once I saw everything was legit, I let myself breathe again, jumped up and down with joy for a couple of minutes, called my fiancé to share the amazing news and booked our flights and accommodation with a big smile that I couldn’t wipe off my face. Finally, all that was left to do was fly to Paris of course, and patiently wait for days to roll by for the 5th of July!

Here’s a bit of background information I found online about Rani Zakhem. Hailing from Lebanon, Rani Zakhem is one of the country’s top couture designers and after seeing his work up close, I would even dare say he is on par with compatriots Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab, two of my favourites. 

His timeless creations have earned him a reputable presence across the Middle East, all the way to Hollywood. Born in Lebanon and raised in Kenya, Rani Zakhem has pursued a career in design from a very young age. He first obtained a degree in architecture in Lebanon and then moved on to graduate in fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design in New York. Today, the Rani Zakhem brand has three main lines - ready-to-wear, couture and bridal.

With that in mind and having had a look at some of his past works, including his first debut in Paris during the SS18 Haute Couture week, I knew I was in for a spectacular show of the finest in haute couture. I wasn’t let down just one bit – to be invited to experience Paris Haute Couture Week is a dream come true and it most certainly did feel like a dream. A dream with beautiful beaded gowns and exceptional tailoring being paraded in the most beautiful of settings - Pavillon Cambon. The collection is a vibrant tribute to the combating woman, the ‘Glamazonian’ who is fatally seductive when like a warrior goddess she puts on her crystal armour.

Rani Zakhem redesigns the camouflage motif used in battle in different grounds and transforms it into new opulent, embroidered, crystalline tonalities of emerald green, gold, black, red and silver as can be seen on sheath dresses, jacket cuffs and pencil skirts, along with other military insignias such as the glittering gold chevrons. Another dominant colour in this collection is white, which although considered fragile, Rani Zakhem re-invents it as luminous, bold, a symbol of renewal and resilience. Through this collection, Rani Zakhem also wants to convey a poetry of an imaginary jungle depicting a delicate guardian of a paradise that she will not let falter. Heavy embroidery on skirts shows images of flora and fauna blending in a palette of sky blue, pale pink, gold and copper, brought beautifully together by flights of black birds here and there. Dragonflies flutter over pastel hues of aquatic vegetation on another exquisite ball gown, as well as a bright, colourful sheath dress in tulle cascades from orange to pink – a reminder of poisonous flowers of the jungle or panoply of native warriors.

This collection includes subtle references from Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan and Azzedine Ala a, between a Saharienne detail, a draped moulage or simply the powerful minimalism of a white dress, all expertly given Rani Zakhem’s personal interpretation!

Hair was either slicked back or braided in a horseshoe shape at the nape of the neck – away from the face, ready for battle, while makeup was fairly dramatic on the eyes, much like war paint, complemented with bare lips and matte skin.

By the end of the show, I was speechless. It is a truly marvellous collection. A true celebration of the glamorous warrior in women, all set in the equally glamourous Pavillon Cambon Capucines right in the heart of Paris! Thank you Mephistopheles Productions for inviting me and again, bravo Rani Zakhem!

Production: Vigari, Mazzini Eventi
Consulting & casting: Paola Rebeiz
Music: Sebastien Perrin
Photos: Imax Tree
Hair: Sebastien Bascle
Makeup: L’Oreal, La Roche Posay
PR: Mephistopheles Productions

Paperless Post Review

I have always believed that an invitation to an event sets the tone of the event, but, more often than not, printed invitations end up in the bin (at least I hope it's the recycling one) which translates to money down the drain for the person sending the invitations.

Fortunately, Paperless Post is a godsend! Not only is it a way of saving the environment one invitation at a time, but it is a great way to save money on your invitations and make you look tech-savvy in this technological age we're living, all at the same time!

So, the company reached out to me and offered to credit my account with coins to spend. I chose to use them on 'save the dates' for our wedding. Here's my review of the website and the whole designing and sending experience.

First things first, Paperless Post offers online designing of flyers, invitations and cards which can either be customised with your photos or chosen from the vast selection of designs they offer. From time to time, they partner with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co. The customising process is really easy to follow. Let me guide you through the 'save the dates' customisation that I chose ;)

Set up an account first so that you can purchase coins and save your designs as well as keep track of the invitations and cards you send out. To view all the available designs for Save the Dates, just hover over the 'Weddings' Tab, and select 'All' under 'Save the Dates'. I then chose the 'Queen Anne (Square)' designed by Rifle Paper Co. as it is the closest to what I had in mind.

I started entering the details of the event and designing the envelope and cards to match. Once satisfied, all there was to do was send the cards to recipients via email. To make sure that everything is perfect for your guests, you might want to send a preview to your own email address so you can view your invitations. Once sent, you can follow-up on who opened the invitation or not and track the event, and you can set up an address book with all your contacts ready for the next Paperless invitation!

The Save the Dates I chose came to just 7 coins per person! Coins can be purchased from the website to redeem towards personalising your cards, invitations and flyers being for professional use or individual use!!

I think Paperless Post is the way forward to sending your greetings, hassle free! Let me know if you try it, I know I enjoyed creating and sending mine!

An International Night of Culture Through Fashion - Gala Night at Palazzo Verdala

The charming, fairytale-like gardens of the Verdala Palace in Rabat were the idyllic backdrop for a midsummer's dream, An International Night of Culture Through Fashion organized by the Chamber of Fashion (Malta).

8 designers hailing from Malta, Italy, South Africa and Croatia, presented their fashion and jewellery collections throughout the night with models descending a majestic staircase and walking along a red-carpeted runway.

The night kicked off with Italian designer Giada Curti whom I had the pleasure to interview during Wednesday's Press Conference. Giada comes from a family of couturiers which started with bridal couture dresses and now also boasts haute couture collections, and more recently, prêt-a-couture which is a line of high-end dresses that are more wearable. Her Jackie collection opened the gala night with a collection of beautiful summer dresses and garments inspired by the 1970's fashion icon as she holidayed and cruised around the Mediterranean, more specifically, the island of Capri. The collection has a bright, summery colour palette and featured playful ruffles, colourful floral prints and flowy fabrics. This was, in fact, my favourite collection from the night. Brava Giada!

Next up was another Italian designer, Marina Corazzari who Giuseppe Racioppi from the Camera della Moda Italian affectionately referred to as 'la regina di gioielli' (the jewel queen) during the Press Conference, and now I could see why and I can't agree more! Big, opulent, original pieces adorned the models' necks and most of them got me thinking of the Byzantine, Greek and Roman empresses and their intricate gold and precious stones jewellery, all three of which are ancient Mediterranean civilizations - the sea the collection aims at representing. With all it's colours and tumultuous history, the Mediterranean Sea has many facets still waiting to be explored and seeing different fashion and jewellery designers being creative in their interpretations if it is always fascinating to see, especially for someone coming from an island located right in the middle of it!

4 colourful collections from South Africa followed - brightly colourful clothes paired with tribal-inspired jewellery reminiscent of the South African culture paraded down the runway in a perfectly executed choreography. The four designers, Sibu Misimang, Brenda Quin, Katherine Montague and Karla Morton were represented by Danny Moodliyar under the label ONE AFRICA. Each designer had to produce 6 garments, with a palpable South African feel, including subtle tributes to the late, former president of the country, Nelson Mandela such as the patterned prints which instantly reminded me of the colourful garments he used to wear. I really enjoyed the different elements in this show, so well done to all designers!

The penultimate show of the night came courtesy of our own James Dimech and his White Paper Stars collection. It is a collection of sustainable fashion made out of white papers which were folded into different origami shapes before being sewn onto dresses and headdresses. I really enjoyed this original presentation and so proud it came from a local designer.

The final show of the night was from Croatian designer Sladana Krstic and her collection of show-stopping dresses and head-dresses as part of her Farnese and Colours are Direct Emotions collections. This was another jaw-dropping show which I thoroughly enjoyed!

And now for what I wore. I got to wear a princess dress from Nilara's latest collection. I love the embellished top and big skirt. I'd say the colour is like a mauve with silver reflects, hence while I chose to pair it with silver accessories, black sandals and bag. 

Photo by Bernard Polidano

Caroline and myself, both wearing Nilara
Photo by Neil Psaila

Bloggers looking as glam as ever!
Photo by Mark Soler

I'd like to thank the Chamber of Fashion for inviting me to experience this night of grandeur as well as all the sponsors, without which such an event wouldn't have been possible - Malta Tourism Authority, AirMalta, Retail International Ltd., Marks & Spencer, The Palace Malta, Busy Bee Caterers, Stivala Group, Dean Gera Salons, Brittania Tours, Beauty Plus, SU29 Boutique Hotel, Porsche by Continental Cars, Hilton Hotel, Nexos & Co. Ltd., Tower Supermarket, Bernard Polidano Photography, Niumee, Digigraphics International, Camilleri Paris Mode, Mediterranean Ceramics, Myoka Spas, Alfsons Enterprises, All Clean Services, PressH Juices, Deco Manufacturing, Barba Italiana, Il-Malti Restaurant and Queens Laundry and Dry Cleaning.

Catwalk photography by Bernard Polidano