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Monthly Favourites: December

How are you all today? The year is officially at an end and as it so happens at the end of each month, here are my monthly favourites. I am also planning to do a series of Best of 2012 in terms of beauty products so let me know if you would like to see that kind of posts.

My most favourite item this month has been a fashion item, more specifically a pair of shoes, and even more specifically, a pair of boots. Enter the Nine West that my bf bought me for Christmas :)

They're the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever owned and I really like how they dress up an outfit effortlessly while at the same time lending it a bit of an edge. 

Now on to cosmetics, starting with lip products. If you have a look at my OOTD posts, I rarely wear a single lip product, but I tend to pair up products more often than not. My favourite pairs this month have been Liptini Lip Liqueur in 4013 Pink Lady which stains the lips a nice dark pink colour together with Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 15 True Love & Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick in 190 The Nuder The Better and Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 08 Glamour To Go.

Moving on the eye department, I have quite a few products, most of which are new discoveries. With regards mascara, I have been reaching for Catrice's Glamour Doll Mascara mostly and when paired with RevitaLash Volumizing Primer, they give my lashes a whole new dimension. I also have a new favourite eyeshadow and glitter eyeliner, courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta with which I did the NYE make-up in yesterday's post. You can also check out my full review on both products here. Lastly, since I have really been into neutrals this month, I opted for a brown kajal liner for everyday use and my favourite has been Catrice Kajal Designer in 150 Up&Brown&Up&Brown...

Next come the face and body products, namely Zadig & Voltaire Tome 1 - For Her La Purete and Burberry The Beat for perfumes and Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette.  The palette is definitely my favourite contour tool as the bronzer is matte and matches my pale skin tone without looking too obvious and the blush is a pretty pink colour. The highlight provides a delicate pearly finish, perfect to emphasise cheekbones and your lips!

What were your end-of-year favourites ladies? Happy New Year to all!

Emerald & Gold Glitter - NYE Make-up Look featuring Pupa Milano Christmas 2012 Deco Collection products

As promised, here is a make-up look you can wear on NYE if you are still undecided. I have also included  a list of products used for your reference so keep reading to see how you can re-create the look :)

1. Start with the eye make-up first so that you can clean up fall-outs easily. Apply some scotch tape at 45 degree angle starting at the tail of your brows.  This will help to create a more accentuated outer-v.

2. Prime lids with an eye primer. Next, apply a gold eyeshadow with a shader brush on the inner third of your eye and proceed with a deep brown on the second third, moving outward (left eye).  Use an emerald green shadow on the outer corner and make sure that you create a defined line against the scotch tape (right eye). Here I chose to take the emerald shadow a little higher than the crease of my eye for a more dramatic look .  It is best if you use an angled eyeshadow brush for this step.

3. Take a fluffy blending brush and go over the gold eyeshadow once again, taking care to blend it with the brown eyeshadow. Do the same for the brown and emerald eyeshadows making sure that the line above the crease is nice and neat.

4. Apply a matte eyeshadow close to your skin tone on the brow bone for highlight and add some brow gel to keep brows in check.

5. Use a glitter eyeliner to line the upper lash line and the inner corner and with a slant eyeshadow brush, mirror the colours on the lid and line the lower lash line. Make sure you connect the shadow at the outer corner.

6. Curl lashes, apply a mascara primer if you wish and finish with several coats of your favourite mascara.

7. Now, for the face. Apply concealer and foundation as you normally would, taking care not to ruin the eye make-up. Set with a translucent powder and apply some fixer to avoid caked up make-up. Choose a foundation that doesn't have SPF so you don't end up looking white in photos.

8. Contour your face by applying highlighter to the bridge of your nose, cupid's bow and cheekbones; bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks and blush to the apples of your cheeks.

9. Lastly, since we have so much going on with the eyes, I opted for a nude lip and applied Catrice Ultimate Colour lipstick in 190 The Nuder The Better and topped it with Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 08 Glamour To Go for extra sparkle!

NYX Concealer in a Jar in CJ12 Green
NYX HD Foundation in HDF02 Soft Beige
Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder
Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette
E.L.F. Studio Make-up Mist & Set

E.L.F. Eyelid Primer in Sheer
Essence Eyeshadow in 02 Dance All Night
Pupa Milano Diamond Eyeshadow in 04 Emerald Glitter Deco
E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow in Outdoorsy
Wet 'n' Wild Single Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee
Pupa Milano Diamond Eyeliner in 03 Copper Glitter Deco
RevitaLash Volumizing Primer in Navy
Catrice Glamour Doll Mascara

Catrice Ultimate Colour lipstick in 190 The Nuder The Better
Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 08 Glamour To Go 

Happy New Year everyone :)

December Collective Haul ~ Clothing and Christmas Gifts

Christmas is not Christmas if you don't treat yourself to a little something after you have bought all those presents for friends and family right? And that I did! Here are the clothing items I bought this month as well as the gifts I received for Christmas, starting with, two pairs of shoes!

The red kitten heels are from New Look and they only cost €16.75 while the shearling boots were from one of my favourite shoe stores on the island (Gauda of Paola) and they were only €24. I shop a lot from the store and the shop owner knows my tastes only too well so when I went in and asked for the boots, he immediately told me that he had a pair in my size, and even better, it was exactly as I wanted it! I have already worn both shoes and I can confirm they are extremely comfortable!

Moving on, from Terranova I found this cute grey lace cardigan for only €19.99. I paired it with a pair of grey tailored trousers, a black vest and a black blazer with the red shoes shown above and it gave a girly edge to an otherwise serious outfit.

Most of my purchases this month were from Orsay. I always tend to walk past the store but the other day I was in Valletta with Mum and decided to check it out and boy they do have some amazing stock in there! I ended up spending €88.75 in total but I am pretty pleased with all my purchases and I am already thinking of different outfits with them.  The coral knit and the mint cardigan were €24.95 each, the beige and silver jacket was €29.95 and the earrings cost €3.95 (green) and €4.95 (mustard).  The transparent blouse is from Peacocks and features a flower and zigzag applique all over the front. Its cost is €28. Also from Peacocks, I bought this sparkly hair-comb for €5.50 to jazz up my short hair for special occasions.

Finally, here are all the Christmas presents I received, starting with the smaller ones :)

Mum & Dad got me this cute shoes 2013 Diary from Next that I had seen a few days before. I am lost without a diary and I usually keep two: one in my bag and another one at home.  They also got me some The Body Shop stuff, namely, a Face & Body Brush, Coconut Body Scrub and a red bath lilly.  Moving on, my brother got this skull clutch bag from SuiteBlanco which I chose myself as it looks very much like an Alexander McQueen.  I also got a Deborah Hydracolor in 28 Baby Rose from my beautician and the silver tray & candles was a gift from one of Dad's clients. Now I have a very good excuse to shop as my neighbour gave me a gift voucher from New Look.

Now for the more expensive gifts! Johan bought me this pair of Nine West beauties that I had been lusting after from the moment I saw them. They are the most comfortable pair of boots I own and they really dress an outfit effortlessly! And last but most definitely not the least, Mum & Dad also bought me this very elegant coat from Bortex. Mum will also customise it with a detachable vintage fur collar for me :)

What did you get for Christmas? Any treats for yourself?

December Collective Haul ~ Beauty Products

So, as it is, this is the final collective haul for 2012. I will be splitting the haul in two parts, namely cosmetics and clothes/Christmas presents.

First up, two China Glaze polishes from the brand's latest Cirque Du Soleil Collection. The only two that appealed to me were It's A Trap-Eze and Get Carried Away.  The former is a milky white base with tons of multi-coloured glitters that vary in size and shape while the other is a transparent black jelly base with long black flitters along with red, silver and black hex glitters and small black dots.  I also bought a bottle of Fast Forward Top Coat. The polishes were all around the €6 mark.  

I finally managed to find the Kate Moss Lipstick from her newest collection for Rimmel which is comprised exclusively of matte shades. I wanted shade 107 which is to one she wears in the advert. The lipsticks retail for €4.98 each.

Essence cosmetics have released the Home Sweet Home Trend Edition but I only got two products out of it as nothing else really stood out to me. The blush is called 01 Knits For Chicks (€3.10) and the nail polish is Red-y to Relax (€2).  I bought the products at Health Plus on Campus at University and I was very pleased to find some old stock of Catrice products and I ended up buying two of the Million Styles top coats, namely C06 Godfather of Pearl and C08 Have An Ice Day which I think were around €4 each. I also purchased a bottle of coconut and scented nail polish remover from Essence for €1.25. 

Since I finished up my bottle of Rose Water I bought a back-up as well as some Veet wax strips for touch ups.  I also bought a face mask to treat my skin with after all the partying that accompanies this time of year as well as a foot cooler...much needed after wearing all those high heels!

Lastly, I bought two back-ups of Lycia facial wipes and another Rimmel lipstick in 206 Nude Pink. The wipes were €1.85 for each pack of 20 and the lipstick cost €4.15.

Coming up in Part 2, Clothing and Christmas Gifts :) 

OOTD: Burgundy Leather Jacket

Yesterday I finally got round to wearing this leather jacket I have had in my wardrobe for quite some time. We went shopping in Sliema and while I found nothing that fits me, I still enjoyed spending the day out.  The weather has turned chilly these couple of days but it's still sunny at the same time.

The jacket is a quite unusual as it has a shorter back and I really like the gold zips and buttons as they add a nice contrast.  The fact that it is very comfortable and warm is an added bonus! Here's how I wore it:

Burgundy leather jacket, New Look | Beige roll-neck top, Tally Weijl
Jeans, Terranova | Brown ankle boots, Tally Weijl
Ring, local retailer, Feather earrings, Pimkie

As for make-up, these are the items I used:

Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder
Catrice Defining Blush in 060 Rosewood Forest

Catrice Kajal Designer in 150 Up&Brown&Up&Brown...
Catrice Glamour Doll Mascara Estee Lauder Eye Defining Pencil in 12 Deep Brown

Essence Lipstick in 12 Sparkling Miracle
Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 020 Wood Of Roses 

The Exit Interview Series: Volume #15

This month I have been busy trying to use up more products before I buy any more of the same kind. I am currently working my way through shower gels and body lotions and the likes and I am pleased to say that I used up a handful of products. As usual, here are is the picture and short product descriptions:

Starting with Camay Pink Shower gel, I have used two bottles of this shower gel between October and December and I will definitely buy it again once I go thorough all of the other shower gels I have. It smells very nice and the scent lingers on for quite some time. The bottle is convenient for travelling too because of it's slim packaging. Camay has been one of my fav brands even when I was little and now they are surely going to remain one with their amazing shower gels!

I always make sure to have a The Body Shop scrub in my shower! I just can't get over how soft my skin feels after using them and this month I have used up the Cocoa Butter one. Coconut will always be my favourite but this one was equally good.

This month, my skin was treated twice a week with H&M face masks and they work great! They didn't break me out and my complexion was immediately brighter after using them! A definite re-purchase when I get to hit an H&M store again!

Roberts Rose Water surely needs no introduction, and it goes without saying that, yes, I already bought a back-up.  Sometime, I switched rose water for LRP Effaclar Astringent Lotion and I really liked how it took off excess sebum without drying out my skin. I think I will end up buying this product.  However, I cannot say the same for Effaclar Duo which gave me some small zits on my chin.

Lastly, Nivea Refreshing Cleansing Wipes.  I got these for free from the supermarket and while they do a good job at removing make-up, they did burn my eyes a little, so I am going to stick to my trusty Lycia wipes.

NOTW: Pink Christmas Trees

Hey all :) How was Christmas? Mine was filled with good food, great company and amazing presents as well as a girly manicure which I am going to show you how to achieve in this post :) I wanted something Christmassy but at the same time different, hence I opted for pink Christmas trees :)

1. Start with a base coat to protect your natural nails.

2. Apply two coats of a shimmery pink nail polish such as Rimmel 60 Seconds 400 Starlet on all nails, omitting the ring fingers.

3. On the ring fingers, apply two coats of a shimmery grey. My choice was O.P.I. The World Is Not Enough from the Skyfall collection.

4. Make sure that the base colour is fully dry on the ring fingers before proceeding. Subsequently, apply two strips of striping tape, leaving a triangle in the between. This will be your Christmas tree, then apply another two strips crossing over each other on the top part of the triangle and repeat this step a little lower. 
5. Paint over the triangle in a solid pink such as Zoya Lara. Wait a couple of seconds and being to peel the tape off gently. You will be left with a Christmas tree with 'tinsel'.

6. Using a shimmery silver polish such as Orly Dazzle, place dots randomly on the tinsel to make them look like baubles.

7. With a fine detailing nail art brush and the same silver polish, paint a little star on top of the tree.

8. Finish with a glossy top coat and you're done! 

Review: Pupa Milano Limited Edition Diamond Deco Collection

Inspired by the iconic movie stars of the 1930's, Pupa Milano have created the Diamond Deco Collection (limited edition).  The collection consists of unique pieces in rich, metallic colours that are very reminiscent of that era.

In this post, I will be reviewing the Diamond Eyeshadow 04 and Diamond Eyeliner 03.

The eyeshadows in the Deco Collection are presented in a luxurious looking compact with a thick gold rim on the lid (the one I received is a sample product, hence the different packaging).  The clear part of the lid makes it easy to pick the colour you want and the each eyeshadow comes with a sponge applicator.  The 3-dimensional faceted shape lends a more luxurious feel to the product by making it look like a diamond or precious stone...very 1930's!

Pupa Milano never fails to impress both in terms of packaging as well as quality of their products. The eyeshadow is amazingly pigmented and can be used both wet or dry.  The effect is equally fantastic but the emerald reflects are enhanced further when the product is used wet. I haven't had any issues with fallouts and the product lasts well both with and without primer, irrespectable of wet or dry application.  I would describe the colour as dark brown with deep purple undertones and gold/emerald reflects throughout. Truly a unique colour and the pictures really don't do it any justice!

Wet, no primer; dry, no primer (left)
Wet, with primer; dry, with primer (right)
There are four different colours of eyeshadow in the collection and the one shown here is 04 Emerald Glitter Deco.  RRP €12.50 for 3.5g of product.

Next up is the glitter eyeliner gel in 03 Copper Glitter Deco. Now this is a product that although it looks beautiful with its gold, blue, silver and orange glitter mix, I would have skipped it with the idea that the glitter would now show up as beautifully on my eyes.  In that case, I would have been very wrong!

When I first swatched the product, I was totally blown away with the quality of it and I really liked the fact that the glitter is not sparse at all! The applicator is a small brush and delivers a good amount of product with each application.  Packaging is all plastic and is typical of liquid eyeliners.

What's different with this eyeliner is the gel base which even though it does take some time to dry, I think it is a good point somehow because it gives you time to correct mistakes. However, once dry, it will stay put until you take it off and you won't be left will glitter all over your face. The product can be used both on its own or on top of eyeshadow/eyeliner/eyepencil for an extra sparkly look. 

Diamond Deco Glitter Eyeliner is available in 4 sparkly shades. RRP €10.90 for 4.5ml of product.

Also available in the Diamond Deco Collection are 2 XL Retractable Lipsticks (€10.50 each), 2 Light Diffusing Illuminating Gels and 4 beautiful metallic nail polish shades (€5.60 each).

Watch this space for a sparkly party look featuring both of these products just in time for NYE!

PR Samples.

Looking Back On 2012

The year when the world was supposed to end is almost over.  It is needless to say that it has brought with it many ups and downs but the ups were certainly more than the downs. Overall, I can say that it was a year that I will remember for all my lifetime.  

To start with, I have been working in my dream job for a year and I am now officially appointed. Although  work can be stressful at times, I love the challenge it brings with it and I am pleased to say that I have the best colleagues one can ever have. Moreover, working on a shift basis does have leave me with more time to myself and allows me to carry out my freelance nail tech thing better.  

As for beauty, this year has seen me join a team of successful individuals and be part of Malta's first ever beauty portal I love blogging there and being a total feminist myself, I feel very proud and thankful of forming part of such a venture aimed especially at women. Here I have to thank Daniel and Bertrand for inviting me on board. Blogging also led to me being featured along side 4 other top Maltese beauty bloggers in The Sunday Times of the 7th of October (which happens to be my birthday) in an article by Ramona Depares; sepcial thanks also go to the photographer.  In August, I also had the opportunity to attend a bloggers' event at the PharmaMT offices which is the company who imports Essence and Catrice in Malta thanks to Daniela. It is surely an event I will remember!

The highlight for this year, however, is without any doubt, the week I spent in Paris with my boyfriend and his family. I am in awe of this beautiful city and if I could live there I totally would! From shopping on the never ending Champs-Elysees to visiting Versailles, this holiday rekindled memories of my first visit in Paris 10 years ago with my family and I hope I visit again soon!

Looking back on this year, I think I have achieved a few more life-goals such as starting driving lessons. I am now almost done with them and hopefully, I will take my practical test earlier next year. I have also stuck to most of the resolutions I made last year including going to the dermatologist ad excercising regularly. I still have some time left to do the others though :P.

Lastly, I would like to thank all those individuals who made my year a successful one and here's to an even better 2013 and a very Happy Christmas to everyone!

NOTW: Icy Snowflakes

This week I was feeling a little festive and I opted for some snowflake nail art. Snowflakes really fascinate me and it is sad to say but I have never seen one in my life. We don't get snow here in Malta and I don't really like travelling to colder climates so I guess I have to stick with seeing snowflakes on TV and in end up re-creating them on nails!

This nail art is very easy to achieve, you just need some white acrylic paint and a little water to dilute it with. A small tip when using acrylic paints on nails, always make sure you are wearing a base coat over your nails and always seal with a top coat as otherwise, all you nail art will wear off the first time you wash your hands. Also, if you want to create detailed nail art, you will have to dilute the paint with a little water first.  If anyone wants a more detailed post on how to use acrylic paints in nail art, please let me know in the comments section.

So, let's start the tutorial!

1. Start with a clear base coat to protect the natural nails and paint two coats of a sheer iridescent blue polish such as Catrice Million Styles C06 Godfather Of Pearl. Leave to dry thoroughly and apply some foil adhesive at the very tips of the ring fingers. Allow the glue to go tacky before proceeding.

2. Dab a piece of silver nail foil over the glued areas and gently lift off. This will give the illusion of icicles. When finished, paint on a coat of a silver holographic polish like Catrice Million Styles C08 Have An Ice Day over all the nails.

3. Dilute a little white acrylic paint with water and using a detailing brush draw a snowflake in one corner of the ring finger as shown in the pictures. Move on to draw a small one in the opposite corner and a smaller one next to the big snowflake.

4. When dry, seal everything with a glossy top coat and you're done!

Review: RevitaLash Volumizing Primer in Navy

Last month I finally got my Meg's Make-up points package and among all the amazing stuff that was in there, there was this tube of RevitaLash Volumizing Primer.  I was quite excited about this product as I know that RevitaLash products are of optimal quality but they can be quite expensive.  Here is what I have to say about this product.

Starting with packaging, the primer is supplied in a blue carton box on which there are listed the ingredients, company address, and as you would expect, product name and volume. On the box it also says that the primer is Dermatologist and Opthalmologist reviewed, it is clinically tested, hypoallergenic and non-irritating. The company also states that it is part of Eco-Coalition and that a portion of all proceeds go towards breast cancer research initiatives.  The company also states that the finished product has not been tested on animals. The primer itself is presented as a navy blue mascara with a standard wand and carries a 6 month expiry period.

Now, a lash primer is not something I would have bought myself primarily because my lashes are quite long and mascara holds nicely on them but seeing the RevitaLash one provides lashes with volume (something I always look for in a mascara) and it claims to strengthen the lashes, I thought of giving it a go just the same.

Right from the very first application, Ii noticed that my lashes appeared more volumized but using the product didn't make a difference as to the length of stay of the mascara.  However, after a few uses, I did notice that I wasn't losing any eyelashes while removing my eye make-up so I guess the strengthening properties of the primer must have kicked in. I have never experienced any irritation in my eyes while using this product even when wearing contact lenses.

RevitaLash applied to the upper lashes of the right eye. Left eye bears nothing
Mascara only on the left upper eyelashes, mascara over RevitaLash primer on the right upper eyelashes

I like that the primer is blue in colour as I think it is easier to coat with mascara and it also doubles up as a blue mascara if you wanted to! Also, I didn't have any issues with removal.

Overall, I really like this primer and I would totally recommend it to anyone with sparse eyelashes as well as anyone seeking more volume to their lashes. The only thing that's making me hesitate to buy the product myself is the price as I don't think spending $24 on a product that you have to throw away after a short time is sensible.

RevitaLash Volumizing Primer retails for $24 for 7.39ml (0.25 Fl. Oz.).

Product was sent to me by along with other products after submission of 250 make-up points and payment of $15 international postage fee.