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Monthly Favourites: September 2011

Hello loves! September is up an gone already which could only mean one thing! It's time for my monthly favourites post again!  I have quite a good number of favourites this month so let's get right into it... The first thing I've been loving is my new working shift which leaves me with plenty of time for myself and consequently blogging :) 

Let's see which beauty products I have been abusing of mostly this month starting with skin care :P

Apart from my La Roche Posay Skin Care products which I use religiously everyday, I have been loving a selection of the new Montagne Jeunesse masques especially the Blemish Mud which is my go to mas to perk up my complexion and eventually clear out blemishes.  I have also been using this black head peel off masque from The Face Shop which I got off ebay to clear out my nose area from any black heads that might be present.  Furthermore, this stainless steel comedone extractor makes popping zits and black heads so much easier and is pain and mark-free!  Being made out of stainless steel makes for easy disinfection as well!

I have had quite some bad looking zits on my face this month thanks to mother nature and the crappy September weather we have here so I have been using my NYX HD foundation and with it the Inglot primer and the e.l.f. make-up fixer to keep my face looking flawless.  With using foundation more frequently, in comes the Sigma F80 brush which is absolutely the best brush ever to apply foundation with!

For work, I have been opting for the e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer in Rosy beige to let my skin breathe and set my under eye concealer with the e.l.f. Studio Complexion Perfection and the rest of my face with the e.l.f. Mineral Booster in Sheer.  To further conceal and treat my zits, I have been using the NYX Concealer in a Jar (Green) and the e.l.f Mineral Blemish Kit.  

For my eyes, I have been using pretty much the same two eyeshadows most of the time, namely Wet 'n' Wild Brulee and Double Espresso from the CG trio. I have also been using the e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pens (Black & Coffee) as well as the e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner (Black) quite a lot this month as I am trying to use up quite a few products before buying new ones (more on that in a later post).

Lastly, on my lips, I have been using mostly pink tinged colours and I am looking forward to get some more lipsticks and lipglosses in deeper pinky berry shades for Autumn.  This is what I have been using mostly this month: e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural, Barry M Special Edition glossy tube, Maybelline Water Shine Lipstick in 02 Cocoa Shake, Primark beauty pink lipgloss.

That's it for this month's favourites from my side ladies :) What have you been loving lately?

Collective Haul for September

This month, I have been very good to my wallet as I haven't spent so much money.  I only bought some of the stuff myself as the rest were all gifts as you will see.

First up, some graduation gifts I received from Mum, Dad & Johan:

Mum & Dad bought me this shift dress from Peacocks for €29 as well as this cute 'Graduation' porcellana statuette which will be nice to feature in my living room when I have my own home, but for now, it graces our living room :)

For my actual graduation ceremony this December, I bought this ponte dress from boohoo.  It was my first time ordering from the site and I will definitely be ordering more.  The dress arrived within a week and it arrived in perfect condition :)

Details of collar and waist belt

 Johan has ordered this set of black Akoya pearls to be custom made for me into a collier and a bracelet.  I wasn't expecting it to be honest but he always manages to surprise me with his gifts :) I have been wanting some black pearls for quite some time and now I have them and I am totally in love them! I have always seen pearls as something chic and being a huge Chanel fan (even though I don't own anything from her), you wouldn't be surprised to know I love pearls as well.  These particular pearls appear greenish in certain angles depending how the light catches them and I cannot explain how fond I am of them :) Thanks love xx

I also received some gifts from my cousins so if you wanna take a nosey, here's the link to the post.

And yes, you probably guessed it... I bought some more polishes off ebay.  This time I got two China Glaze Polishes from their latest collection, namely, Metro for Fall 2011 (Downtown).  I got Trendsetter, a unique dirty shade of mustard with gold shimmer running through it and Westside Warrior, a dark khaki green creme.  These were around €4 each.  I now have my eyes on Traffic Jam from the Uptown part of the same collection.  Swatches are two coats each.

From China Glaze, I also got Lubu Heels which is quite a unique shade representative of the trademark black and red Louboutin shoes.  Being a shoe addict, I couldn't pass this up could I?  In the bottle, there appears to be more red glitter than there will actually be on your nails but still, it is a unique shade and I totally love it!  The swatch consists of two coats as the first coat goes on very sheer.

I have also ordered the only Essie polish which was on my wishlist and I thought it would be my first and only Essie polish in my stash until my cousins got me another two :)  I got the shade In Stitches which is a beautiful  old rose colour and I have nothing like it in my collection.  I paid €5.97 for this.

I also ordered a comedone extractor for which I paid €1.15 as this would come in handy when popping pimples or blackheads without scarring my skin through using my fingernails.  I also bought a business card holder for like €2.  I need this as I am in the process of printing my first ever set of business cards to boost my nail tech business a bit.  Stay tuned for the post in which I will show them to you.  Lastly, I managed to get my hands on a glass nail file while shopping in Valletta.  I have been wanting one for ages and after hearing so many good things about them and how better they file the nails without chipping or splitting them, I was sold in getting one! I got one with a pink handle and some green and silver rhinestones and I parted only €3 for it.

Plaid pattern business card holder

Comedone extractor (the loop is for white heads and the other side is for black heads)

Pink glass nail file

I got a set of three fine nail art brushes for more intricate nail designs.  I haven't used them so I still have to see how they work.

Johan's Mum got me this nail and body care set from her trip to Hungary and so far I have used the cuticle oil and the body lotion and I really like how moisturizing they feel on my skin and nails :)

Mum also bought me a Nioxin shampoo and scalp therapy for my fine hair.  The shampoo was €11.50 while the scalp therapy was €12.95.  I really hope they work!

Finally, I was lucky enough to have won two notebooks from Tally Weijl in an email competition.  I especially like the leopard print one and the pink one has tiny Tally Weijl bunnies all over how cute is that?

What have you bought lately?

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Iced Crystal Exfoliating & Cleansing Facial

Hello cupcakes :) Today I have for you a review on one of the newest Montagne Jeunesse Masques from the women's range.  I haven't reviewed an MJ product in quite while because I was only using the Blemish Mud which I have already reviewed here but last time I was in New Look, I saw that there were three new masks and I couldn't pass them up for sure!  

The first one I am going to review is the Iced Crystal Exfoliating & Cleansing Facial.  As usual, the packaging is typical of Montagne Jeunuesse which means bright packaging illustrating the natural ingredients that make-up the product (all MJ products are cruelty free and are made of all natural ingredients, making them suitable for vegetarians).  The only thing I have to say about the packaging of this mask, is that the mask is almost transparent when you apply it and turns white while rinsing off so the colour on the pack may be a bit misleading.

The mask itself has a gel texture and is light greenish-blue in colour and contains fine granules of sea salt as exfoliator.  When you apply the mask, it may feel a bit stiff but it is still spreadable and doesn't feel too much abrasive so it is good for sensitive skin and skin that reddens easily.  The mask will not dry out and therefore doesn't feel taut on the skin.  To further reap more benefits of the exfoliating properties of this mask, you can always massage it a little bit more while rinsing off as the mask would be thinner and more manageable.

You get 15g of product in total and I managed to use the mask 5 times and each time, my skin is visibly brighter and smoother.  The smell of it is quite minty and fresh and if you accidentally get some on your lips, you will surely recognize the unmistakable flavour of sea salt :) I bought mine for only €1.20 from New Look.

I think MJ have done a very good job with this mask and I will definitely be looking for it time and time again and use it whenever my skin needs a refreshing pick-me-up!  Have you give this mask a go ladies?  If not you can get your fix of natural beauty products from the Montagne Jeunesse website and if you live in the UK, you can always place an order online!

Review: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails French Manicure Kit in Sheerly Opal

Good morning dolls :) Today I will be reviewing the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails French Manicure Kit in Sheerly Opal that my cousins got me earlier this month.  

As most of you know, Sally Hansen is a very popular brand when it comes to nail polishes and treatments, especially in the US.  I had a similar kit to this one a couple of years back but they discontinued them and now they have re-released them in a much much better formulation!  Basically, the kit consists of tip guides (which I am not a big fan of), a French white polish, a French base colour (in this case, a pink opal shade) and a UV top-coat which I got many questions about when I first posted about the kit.  All the kit contents are packaged neatly in a box that has a window on the front so you can view the French base colour.  There are also ingredients and instructions at the back as well as an illustration of how the polish will look on different skin tones.

The formulation of the polishes is very nice to work with... not too thick and not too liquid and the odour is pretty much like that of any other polish. The brush applicators are also very nice to work with and the caps are very ergonomic.  The base colour can be applied sheer or more opaque and all the polishes have a good drying time.  I really like the sheer finish and it looks perfect with lightly tanned fingers.  The tip white polish goes opaque in one coat and the formula is also pleasant to work with.

The one question I have been asked most about this kit is if there is need of a UV lamp to dry the top coat.  The answer is a simple no! The top coat dries in air just like any other regular polish and to be honest, I don't even know why it is called as such because there is no reference as to any special properties the top coat might have.  

The kit also contains some tip guides of which are both curved ones (for manicures) and straight ones (for pedicures).  I was never a big fan of tip guides myself because of how the tip polish appears when you remove them so that's why I have never used them.

My last comment on this kit would be how long the manicure lasted.  It lasted me one week before I took it off at which point I could only notice some minor tip wear.  All in all, these kits have greatly improved over the older one I had so I would now recommend them to anyone who wants a complete kit to do a French manicure at home in no time!

Have you ever tried this kit or any other Sally Hansen polishes? Do you have any recommendations? 

NOTW: Cherry Smash

Good morning ladies, I have crackle manicure for you today! I decided to name this manicure after the red crackle polish I used and it's name also inspired me to do some cherries.  Of course I kept the cherries to my ring fingers because of work and this is how it turned out:

Here's how you can do this mani yourselves:

1. Start with a base coat and apply a coat or two of a nude pink polish.  I used essie Vanity Fairest.

2. When dry, paint on a v-french tip with a black nail polish (see pic on right) and allow to dry fully before proceeding.  Here I used essie Licorice.

3. Follow the same pattern of the tip and apply a red crackle polish over the black tips. I used Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Cherry Smash.

4. To create the cherries, simply adhere two red rhinestones in a diagonal fashion on the ring fingers with some clear polish.

5. Use a green striper polish to create the stems and a small leaf.  Finish off with a darker green for the main vein of the leaf.

6. Top coat and you're done!

Do you like this mani ladies? I quite like it, I just wish the red crackle turned out to be more bright but otherwise, I am very pleased with it :)

Speaking of crackle polish, my neighbour's daughter came over one day when I was wearing this manicure and she asked me to re-create the same look on her nails.  Since her nails are teeny tiny and I don't like anything black on children, I paired China Glaze Crackleglaze in Broken Hearted with e.l.f.'s Teal Blue as a base colour.  I then added two pink rhinestones on each of her thumbnails and this is the end result (excuse the messy nail walls):