Monday, July 28, 2014

Review | Pupa Milano Viva Carioca Summer 2014 Collection Chubby Gloss 005 Shiny Papaya & Long Lasting Eyliner 003 Parrot Blue

This summer, Pupa Milano's makeup proposition is a very vivid, colourful and exotic collection of brightly pigmented products that take inspiration from the traditions and colours of Brazil; and more specifically, the inspiration behind this collection is Carmen Miranda, a 40's and 50's icon who has helped diffuse Brazilian music on an international scale. Brazil happens to be the host of the latest World Cup edition, making this collection a true summer hit. Consequently, the Viva Carioca Collection is every bit summery with colours ranging from blues to oranges and bright fuchsia to yellow and everything in between. 

image courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page
image courtesy of Pupa Style Blog

The collection consists of:
4 Vamp! Compact Duo Eyeshadows - contrasting shades with intense colour payoff (€12.95 each)
4 Long Lasting Eyeliner - the shades are coordinated with the Vamp! compacts for a stunning result (€9.95 each)
3 Chubby Gloss - three fantastic shades that make the lips appear fuller and with a glossy finish (€10.20 each)
2 Like A Doll Luminys Blush - for a perfect complexion (€14.40 each)
4 Lasting Colour Gel Duos - to finish off your look, paint your finger and toe nails in one of the stunning colour combinations, made to match the eyes! All sets carry a metallic shade and a glossy shade (€9.18 per set)

I was sent two products from the collection, namely Chubby Gloss 005 Shiny Papaya and Long Lasting Eyeliner 003 Parrot Blue. Since the ones I have are testers, they do not reflect the actual packaging of the products you will find on sale which bear the exact colour of the product.
I think that blue and orange go well together so I decided to try both products in the same look.

I will start by reviewing the Chubby Gloss. The shade I got is 005 Shiny Papaya and the name really fits this bright orange beauty. Orange lips are very on trend right now and once you find your perfect shade, it is easy to carry it off. This one is quite bold so it goes better with tanned skin and darker skin tones...

...or so I thought! I tried it on around the house to see if the colour suits me or not and I was delighted to see it does :) Usually I tend to go for muted oranges because of my pale skin but changing things up is nice sometimes! I loved it so much I wore it that same evening to a family bbq and I was very much impressed with its lasting power! I'd say it survived a good three or four hours of laughing, talking, eating and drinking and the glossiness still prevailed!

I am also really fond of the pigmentation and again, the glossiness which means I can skip lipgloss - in summer, less is more! It feels very moisturising on the lips and the glossy finish really makes lips look fuller. I like the concept of the chubby bullet which twists up from the bottom, the same way a lipstick would; it makes application easy and there's no need to sharpen it! A definite 10 on 10!
Next is the Long Lasting Eyeliner in the shade 003 Parrot Blue, again a very fitting name. It reminds me of Blue Macau feathers - so bright and vibrant! It comes with a pointy sponge applicator, which in my opinion is easier to manage than a brush applicator as I feel it gives more control and preciseness.

The eyeliner doesn't take long to dry and I think they should change the name to 'ever lasting' because once it's dry, it's dry! It won't smudge or budge or anything until you take it off with an appropriate make up remover.

Blue is one of my favourite colours to wear on the eyes (I'm even wearing Pupa Vamp! Mascara in 300 in the picture above) and it also a current trend for summer. Pigmentation is ace - with just one swipe, you have enough blue on your eyes for the ocean to envy you! Another 10 on 10 product from Pupa Milano!
The Viva Carioca Collection is currently on sale from authorised retailers. For more information, kindly check out Pupa Milano in Malta on Facebook or the Pupa Milano website.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review | Max Factor Excess Volume Extreme Impact Mascara

Mascara, to me is an everyday makeup staple and I rarely leave the house without it. Obviously, being a makeup addict, I have mascara for everyday use and others for more dramatic night looks. Max Factor's Excess Volume Mascara falls into the latter category and it has been my go-to evening mascara ever since I was introduced to it as part of a competition that Max Factor Malta was holding on their Facebook page.
The mascara is presented in a rather big 20ml double ended tube and it has a 'Extreme Volume' side and a 'Dark Lacquer' side. The wands are very different, with the volumizing one being very thick and made of rubber while the lacquer one is more meant to separate and darken the lashes, hence it is more of a traditional bristle wand.

Pigmentation is quite strong and with just one coat, the lashes already look darker and more volumized thanks to the specially designed wands. I like to apply two coats from the Extreme Volume side first to top lashes only, then follow with another two coats of the Dark Lacquer on the top lashes and a coat on the bottom lashes for a dramatic look as in the picture below:

I do recommend this mascara to anyone who's into dramatic lashes and doesn't mind splashing out a little - retail price is €15.90. I like the dual-ended concept and I would really love to see this mascara in a waterproof version.

For more information, kindly check out the Max Factor Malta Facebook page :)

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review | Polaar Ice Pure & Ice Source Skin Care

What can kill summer heat and keep skin hydrated with a fresh feeling? Polaar Ice Pure and Ice Source Skin Care of course!
I was introduced to French skin care brand Polaar last month during a fun event at the brand's local representatives' (Ta' Xbiex Perfumery) premises. You can read all about what went down and made the event a unique one here.
Polaar is all about selecting the best natural ingredients from the Arctic and Antarctic flora to deliver the best possible skin care in an ethical manner. The principle is simple but in my opinion makes a lot of sense - the flora that lives in the harsh conditions of the north and south poles has adapted itself to survive such environments successfully, hence, they are very good candidates for the answer to beautifying skin care.
At the end of the event, all attendees were each given a very generous goodie bag that mostly contained products from the Ice Pure range, the latest line by Polaar, which was the main attraction on the evening. I couldn't resist keeping the products for when I finish my current skin care products and I used them straight away when I got home that day! I liked them so much that I decided to treat my skin to them on weekends to make them last while at the same time use up the other products so I can fully switch to Polaar - it's good to switch brands every once in a while as your skin tends to get used to certain products.
Today I will be reviewing the Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Micellar Water, Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Gentle Scrub and Ice Source Moisturising Gel. The other product shown in the picture is the Icy Magic eye roll-on which I will review in a separate post.
As you can tell, the packaging is very minimal and clean - truly reminiscent of the origin of the main ingredients of the products. To be honest, I like it when skin care products have minimal use of flashy colours and such as I think it conveys the image of a clean and as pure as possible product. In fact, all Polaar products are free from parabens, mineral oils and alcohol.
Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Micellar Water
The first product I will be reviewing is in actual fact the Micellar Water, one of three products comprising the Ice Pure range (there's also a scrub which I shall be reviewing next and a cleanser which I don't have). The products in the Ice Pure range are dubbed as pre-treatment skin care products designed to prepare the skin for application of further treatments.
I have a very generous 50ml sample format right now but the actual product comes in a 150ml format with a handy pump dispenser that you just put a cotton disc on and gently press downward to get the product out - very practical don't you think!
The product is basically a fresh, lightly scented micellar water that also incorporates a toner. It is designed to be used on the face, eyes and lips to remove makeup and excess sebum without drying out the skin. In fact, my skin doesn't feel taut after using this and it removes all traces of makeup effectively without unnecessary tugging at delicate areas such as the eyes. In the case of waterproof mascara, however, you will need to use a makeup remover to effectively take off any remaining product. It is recommended not to rinse the product off but instead, lightly dry your skin on a towel.
The active ingredient in the Ice Pure range is Arctic Cotton which makes the line especially suitable for the most sensitive of skins. It also nourishes the skin cells and provides adequate hydration. The Ice Pure Micellar Water also exhibits detoxifying and soothing properties on your skin.
For more information on the mode of action of micellar waters, click here.
Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Gentle Scrub
Next comes my favourite product! I love all sort of scrubs...face scrubs, body scrubs, hand scrubs...I feel much cleaner after I use one but on my face I have to limit myself to using a scrub just once a week to avoid over stimulation of sebum production. The good news for those with drier ski types is that this scrub is recommended for use twice weekly.
The Scrub has the same fresh scent as the Micellar Water and its texture is very fine indeed. Even the exfoliating particles are very fine to suit sensitive skins, which is ultimately the targeted skin type with this range. Again, Artic Cotton is the main active ingredient and it is very beneficial to soothe, hydrate and nourish the skin especially considering the fact that the scrub also has a mechanical peeling action. The peeling and polishing actions serve to remove dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, more even complexion.

In fact, I have noticed that my skin looks much better when I use this scrub rather then when I use my current one. It is softer and more luminous. In my opinion, if you try something out of this range, make it this scrub!
Ice Source Moisturising Gel
The last product for this post is the Ice Source Moisturising Gel. The Polaar Ice Source range is all about hydration and it is composed of a range of moisturisers to suit different needs. The active ingredient in this case is Encapsulated Glacier Water which is extracted from a natural, pollution-free environment to guarantee its purity. The Glacier Water is encapsulated in liposomes (tiny bubbles/vesicles made out of the same 'material' as a cell membrane) to optimise penetration into the skin for long-lasting hydration and to reinforce the skin's suppleness and softness.
The Ice Source Moisturising Gel is very lightly scented with a delicately light gel texture that makes this product the ideal moisturising agent for oily and combination skins. It also mattifies the skin while deeply hydrating it and can be used as a makeup base.
Again, my personal experience with this product has been a positive one as my skin remains shine free for a good number of hours and my makeup remains intact for a whole day.
I would recommend you trying out this brand, they have a full range of products for skin and body care as well as a sun care range and a whole range specifically tailored for men, the biggest I have ever seen to be honest. I have already treated my father to some skin care from them and even though he is not a fanatic, I can tell he loves the products for he is using them consistently!
For more information about Polaar products, kindly check out the Facebook page or the Polaar website.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tag | Liebster Award

So a few weeks back I was tagged by the lovely Maya from Blue Jeans and Red Lipstick and more recently I was tagged again by the gorgeous Allyson from Smashing Darling to do the Liebster Award Tag.
I haven't done a tag post in ages and since I have finally found some time for myself (been too busy enjoying summer so I definitely can't complain), here are my answers!

But first, let me take a selfie  here are the rules:
  • You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
  • You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
  • After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  • You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
  • You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.
Maya's Questions

How long have you been blogging?
This June has actually marked my fourth year of blogging. I feel my hobby has been very rewarding indeed...through it I found a love for writing and also got to be part of an ever-growing community of fantastic people with interests similar to mine :)
Is there one international blogger whose style you admire most, or aspire to be like?
Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad is definitely one to watch. She's got style, she's got class and everything in between.
What are your top three summer essentials?
Hmm...kind of tricky to just limit myself to three products but that's got to be waterproof mascara, Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer and Lierac Paris Sunific Preparateur Tan Starter Serum.
Naked face or naked nails?
Again, trick question to ask to a beauty blogger/nail technician but I think I'll go with naked face. I go bare faced or put on just some concealer most of the time but I very rarely have naked nails.
What are you reading at the moment? Or the last book you read!
Inferno by Dan Brown. Very good book that's hard to put down if you're into that kind of literature.
What’s your most recent beauty or fashion related purchase?
Heh where do I start?? So beauty wise, the last thing I bought was a Max Factor lipstick in the shade 655 Lilac Wine and fashion wise, the last purchases were from River Island.
How do you feel about fashion or beauty trends? A definite must, or more like guidelines that you might incorporate into your own style if you like them?
Trends come and go both beauty and fashion wise but it's nice to keep up with them and see which ones suit your personal style and discover ways of how you can adapt them to your liking :)
One thing you’re planning to do this summer?
Lots of weekend getaways and maybe a skydive trip to Sicily.
Are you strict with yourself when it comes to scheduling your blogging, or do you prefer to blog as inspiration hits you?
I like to keep my blog as a hobby and consequently, I prefer to blog from time to time. Sometimes I draft three or four posts and schedule them to be published across the week. Other times, I just write a post for that day. It also depends on how much time I have on my hands.
One tip or trick you’ve learnt that helps you with your blogging?
I'm kind of a perfectionist so I always make sure to re-read my posts before publishing. Good use of the language you are writing in is a must in my opinion. Also, it is always helpful to include good pictures of whatever you are writing about.
If you had an unlimited budget, where would you love to travel to?
Going round Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, etc would be a good place to start. Or else I would be a super luxurious yacht and go all around the world starting at Capri, Portofino, Monte Carlo.... a girl can dream right ;)
Allyson's Questions
What's your absolute favourite nail polish colour?
Another tricky question. Kind of hard to choose between 200+ polishes but I'd go for OPI Witch is Which? - a gorgeous mix of silver glitter that is easy to wear alone or layered over other polishes.
Would you ever consider doing YouTube videos? If you already do, what are your goals?
For the moment, YouTube videos are not on my agenda but I won't say it's a definite no.
Earrings or necklaces?
Earrings! I have well over 50 pairs in my collection and I never leave the house without a pair on.
What is your dream Job?
Something that has to do with fashion and beauty magazines would suit me just fine :)
Worst beauty/makeup product ever tried?
I don't like thrashing products as what doesn't work for me might work for someone else but if I really had to pick one product I'd choose MUA Lip Boom in LMK. While I love the colour, I hate how it fades to just a thin line at the rim of my lips after only a couple of hours and the glitter in the gloss part is too chunky for my liking. I do like the sweet smell though.
If you had to describe yourself as an animal, what would it be?
A cat. I love cuddles :)
What are your strengths?
I like to think of myself as a good leader and I am also a good listener. Hope that didn't sound like I'm bragging :/
What makes you nostalgic?
Catching up with old friends and looking at photographs makes me relieve the day in question but I am quite happy to be where I am right now :)
What is your most loved possession?
It has to be my Chevrolet Spark :) I worked hard to buy it and it's my first car :)
What was the last gift you got?
The cutest Me to You teddy bear and a very original card to go with it from my boyfriend :)
If you could change your name what would that be?
I quite like my name but if I had to change it, I would have loved if my parents named me after Audrey Hepburn.
Now, here are my 11 questions and bloggers I nominate for this award:
1. If you were to time travel, which era would you choose and why?
2. What is your favourite summer drink?
3. Do you prefer stamping nail art over hand painted nail art?
4. Skirts or trousers?
5. Do you prefer statement eyes or bold lips?
6. If you had to have dinner with three persons (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
7. What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought for yourself?
8. Which fashion trend are you most excited about this summer?
9. If you had to pick one thing that blogging has taught you, what would that be?
10. What is your all time favourite perfume?
11. If you had to splurge on a designer evening gown, which designer would you pick?
I nominate:
Martina from All Things Fabulous
Natalie from Natalie's Beauty Land
Charlene from A Cosmetic Affair
Misha from Enigmatic Rambles
Jessica from Kellina's Thoughts
Davina from Lady With No Name
Jasmine from Babacroc
Dyna from Makeup by Dyna
Steph from Think.Love.Makeup
Elle from Beauty She Wrote

Looking forward for your answers :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review | Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer

Summer makeup calls for fresh skin and minimal use of products especially if you live in places where the heat is too much to bear, like we do here in Malta. However, with most weddings and special occasions taking place during the hot summer months, we still need to look our best and sometimes we cannot help not to wear a full face of makeup.
To prevent makeup melt down, a primer is a must and luckily, Max Factor have introduced the Face Finity All Day Primer with SPF 20. I say luckily because I have found this primer to be much lighter than the usual silicon primer I use and it has always given me impressive results. Furthermore, SPF 20 is a good factor to wear on your face all year round, not just in summer.
The primer is luxuriously packaged in a 30ml transparent glass bottle with a matching plastic cap and a black and gold pump dispenser. I always like it when the packaging is see-through as I can tell when the product is about to finish. The pump dispenser is also a good idea as you can control the amount of product that comes out. What's more? The pump even closes if you turn it to the left to prevent accidental loss of product.

Now on to the actual product. The primer is presented as a white, light-weight fluid that easily seeps through the skin to offer a uniform canvas on which to apply makeup and being a primer, it also serves to extend the wear of foundation. It dries to a transparent, satin smooth finish and bears no scent whatsoever.

What I really like about this primer apart from the light-weight formula, is that even in the scorching summer heat we get in Malta, my makeup stays put all day. Moreover, it never irritated or broke out my skin.

Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer is available from authorised pharmacies and outlets and retails for around €17. For more information, please check out the Max Factor Malta Facebook page.
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