Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #40

Empties are the kind of post I know you, my readers really enjoy and thus I try to do it at the end of every month. I personally like these posts too as I get to see what other thinks of products they have used up and its a quick way to say what you think about a product without having to dedicate a whole review to it, especially when time not always permits.

Here are the products I have used up during February. First up I have one of my favourite moisturisers which I have been using for a few months now. It is the Polaar Ice Source Moisturising Gel and I use this along with other Polaar products for my skin care regimen. It is very light and rapidly absorbed by the skin without leaving it shiny so it is perfect for use any time of day.

I have also used up a sachet of Lycia facial wipes and Nivea Makeup Remover (next picture) which you all know how much I love.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub has reached its end last month and while I have the Vineyard Peach variety for now, it is needless to say that I will repurchase my favourite scrub of all time! I have also used up a sample sized perfume of Nina Ricci and I have also used up the penultimate Essence Stay Natural concealer in my collection. Sadly there will not be a repurchase for this one this time as I have found a better alternative.

As for nails, I have gone through this bottle of Sally Hansen polish remover of which I love the rapid action and even though it is acetone based, I never had any problems with it drying out my nails. They have now repackaged it so won't find this kind of bottle any more. I have also gone through Essence 2 in 1 profi file which I think is the ideal nail file to carry around as it comes with a case. I already bought a backup for it too.

And that's it for this post! Stay tuned for more exciting posts and reviews coming up!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Event | Make-up Designory at Roseberry

Last week I was introduced to the fantastic world of Make-up Designory (MUD), a brand that is mainly aimed at professional makeup artists and is available in Malta thanks to Roseberry in Valletta.
The MUD brand is also very appealing to those who are avid makeup enthusiasts and those who specialize in special effects makeup. There is so much to say about this brand so here's a little word of warning that this will be a lengthy post. So make yourselves a cup of tea, kick back and relax for a few minutes while learning about the wonderful world of MUD!

First things first - the event was held at the newly opened Roseberry shop in Valletta on Republic Street, right next to Tommy Hilfiger and it was a blogger/makeup artist exclusive event. I made my way to the premises with my good friend Marija from Pocalocca where we met up with Fiona from Cruelty-Free Malta and we were curtly shown to Roseberry's Champagne Nail Bar downstairs. 

While we waited for other bloggers to join in for the exciting couple of hours ahead, we were treated to glasses of wine and tasty looking sweets and nibbles which I kept my hands off because of Lent. We were also handed a nice little gift pack courtesy of MUD as well as the Roseberry Loyalty Card.

The event was led by Ms. Elizaveta Kudryashova who is herself a fashion makeup artists and school director for MUD Europe, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She guided us enthusiastically through the process of how the brand came to be and also gave use very detailed descriptions of the brand’s range of products.

MUD first started out around 20 years ago in the US as a makeup school, specifically to offer courses for those intended to work in show business. Students at the school were being met with the lack of certain shades and products on the market and so the school started creating these products exclusively for use within the school to fill in this blank space in the industry.

Seeing that alumni kept being unsuccessful in finding certain products, MUD eventually expanded to the general market so that other makeup artists could make use of their products. An interesting point to note is that the majority of MUD School alumni make it through to become leading makeup artists to the stars and on reality television shows.

Therefore, MUD is a brand created by makeup artists for makeup artists and this is very evident in the way the products are manufactured and presented. For example, optimal hygiene practices are of utmost importance within makeup artistry, especially when one is working on different clients; hence, MUD has a full range of tools including a mixing palette and palette knife to help in this regard and to ensure a flawless makeup application. The brand even does a booklet with disposable paper-like palettes to facilitate things when applying makeup to a lot of clients at one go, say at a fashion show for example.

The mixing palette and palette knife are two indispensable tools which facilitate a makeup artist’s work and we could really see this duo at work during the event as Ms. Elizaveta kept mixing products on the palette to show us how versatile they are. This is exactly the second point that shows us that MUD has makeup artists in mind as just by mixing a little of their silicone based primer to any given product, the said products take on a whole new level – say an eyeshadow can be transformed into an eyeliner, hence saving up space and things to carry. It can also be mixed with foundation to give it a more liquid texture or make it lighter in colour.

Here a common misconception was addressed and I personally think it makes sense - we are always being told that silicon is not good for the skin because it inhibits it from breathing and that is true if you apply 10 layers of it onto your skin. A thin layer however, say a primer can actually prove to be beneficial as it still allows the skin to breathe while at the same time creating a barrier between the makeup and your skin, hence preventing it from absorbing makeup.

MUD also has an airbrush makeup system that is more suited for hot climates and high humidity levels so for Malta it is perfect! One thing to note is that all MUD products, except for the lip products are perfume free to make sure they suit even the most sensitive of skins.

What interested me the most are the palettes that come either fully assembled or empty to be filled according to one's needs. There is even an empty lipstick palette where you can depot your lipsticks in or mix them together to create new colours! There's a contouring palette, a foundation palette and a concealer palette, all of which are cream based and have a generous amount of product.

As for pricing, MUD is a little high up the ladder since it is a professional makeup brand but the products are guaranteed to last you for a long time so I guess that justifies the price. You can find the full MUD range at Roseberry Valletta.

Lastly, I would like to thank all involved in the organization of this event and I really look forward to using the beautiful products I was given to try out :) P.S. Isn't that makeup bag the cutest thing?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review | Born Pretty Store 30pcs Gold Nail Art Decorations

Today I have a beautiful set of gold nail art decorations from Born Pretty Store to share with you. 

Lately, I have been quite uninspired as to what to do on my nails primarily because two of them broke but these decorations have really inspired me to go for an efforless design that looks good on both short and long nails.

I would describe the design as being a gold baroque motif. However, Even though the decals are marketed as being gold, you can also choose to stick them reverse side up as it has a beautiful copper tone.

The decals are very easy to apply, you just need to give them a bit of a curve on a brush handle or dotting tool to make them fit the curve of your nails. You can also opt to cut them in half for say a half-moon type of manicure - the possibilities are endless!

One thing to be careful with is not to press them too much on wet nail polish as it will seep through the cut-out holes and onto the decal.

On me, they lasted for 5 days with regular top coat and I think they add a nice, unique touch to a special occasion manicure.

You can get these decals or any of the other varieties available from Born Pretty Store for just $2.79 for 30 pieces with free shipping! Don't forget to enter my code EBABK31 at checkout for 10% off your entire order!

PR Sample

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review | KIKO Makeup Milano Clics System

Today I have a very exciting review about the KIKO Clics System as you can tell by the title of this post.

What is this all about? Well I guess we have all been into an eyeshadow depotting stage to save space and have all our singles in one place but it's kind of time consuming and you're never really sure you're not going to break an eyeshadow or two or three in the process. KIKO have come up with the perfect solution though...

The Clics System consists of palettes with 1, 3, 4, 9 or 24 empty spaces and two varieties of eyeshadows that fit in them, the Infinity Eyeshadow and the Infinity + Sparkle Eyeshadow. The palettes vary in prices accordingly and are only tailored for these two types of eyeshadows so they are ideal if you have a lot of KIKO Infinity eyeshadows and want to store them in one place but I guess more brands can take cue from KIKO and have their own empty palette system.

I got myself a 3 pan palette and two eyeshadows in my last KIKO haul. To be honest I wasn't going to get the palette but I'm so glad I did because it saves me from opening the individual boxes every time I want to use the eyeshadow.

Let's have a look at the packaging first. The Eyes Clics 03 palette comes in a black carton box while the actual palette is made of plastic and has a very sleek, matte appearance and a glossy design right in the middle on the front. On the right, it has the KIKO logo printed in silver. The palette features a glossy interior with three empty spaces ready to house your choice of Infinity or Infinity + Sparkle Eyeshadows and it has a magnetized closure mechanism. It is very light weight and is thus ideal for travel.

The individual eyeshadows have their own packaging - a black carton box with a window on the front to see the colour and they all come with a transparent lid that you remove prior to putting the eyeshadows in the palette.

One thing I like about this system is that the eyeshadows come with a peel-able and re-usable sticker at the back bearing the shade number that you can stick to the palette lid from the inside right above the corresponding eyeshadow. The eyeshadow pans click (hence the name of the system) in place, thus assuring they won't fall off but you can always re-position them if you so desire.

Finally, a word about the eyeshadows themselves. I think they are fairly pigmented last a good number of hours provided you use a primer underneath. They can be a little powdery though but overall, I think they are very good quality.

KIKO Eyes Clics 03 retails for €3.90 while the Infinity Eyeshadows retail for €4.90 each for 2g of product.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review | Yves Rocher Active Sensitive Derma-Care Treatment Redness Relief

Today I have a little skin care gem to share with you all - Yves Rocher Active Sensitive Derma-Care Treatment Redness Relief. I was introduced to this product when I was invited to the Yves Rocher Botanical Spa a few months back and after trying out the samples that were given to me, I decided to buy the full-sized product.

Yves Rocher Active Sensitive Derma-Care Treatment Redness Relief comes in a 50ml glass jar and in very clean packaging which I like. The only downside to the packaging is that I find the mouth of the jar to be a little small and since I have long nails, I always get the product under them and I don't really like that.

The cream has a rich consistency which makes it the perfect treat for the skin in winter and even more so, the product is claimed to help reinforce the skin against cold weather. Yves Rocher Active Sensitive Derma-Care Treatment Redness Relief is part of the Active Sensitive skin care range which is targeted towards the needs of sensitive skin and contains Botanical Sophorine and Anta Bean extract which help the skin become more tolerant. I personally cannot detect any smell to the product.

It is recommended to apply the cream morning or evening after perfectly cleansing the skin and personally, I like to use this as my night cream. My skin looks even toned by morning and all signs of redness just disappear. Despite the cream consistency, my skin doesn't get oilier and I like that the product does what it says effectively. I have not experienced any adverse reactions when using this product. 

Yves Rocher Active Sensitive Derma-Care Treatment Redness Relief can be bought from any of the three Yves Rocher shops in Malta for €16.50. Check out their Facebook page for store locations and weekly offers!