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Monthly Favourites: March 2012

Once again, this month I have a good mix of new favourites and some re-discoveries as well thanks to the Project-Ten-Pan I am working on so let me get started on which products I have been using the most this month!

Starting with skin and body care, this month I have been using Jojoba oil and Witch Hazel to cleanse my skin and treat blemishes and my skin is looking better just in time for summer! Speaking of summer, I have also starting taking more care of my body and hence I have been giving my thighs a daily scrub with this Coffee Club Soap from Body Gourmet Malta that helps bust cellulite and prevents its formation.  My skin does feel taut after using this soap so I use shower gel afterwards but I do like the results so far!  To keep me smelling fresh all day, I have been using this White Musk deodorant that my auntie brought me from the States.

So, with regards beauty products, I'm gonna start with the face products first. With spring in full swing (the poet is coming out :P), I am ditching liquid foundation and opting for more lighter coverage products (not that I usually use heavy coverage products) such as the Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream when I need a little extra help and the Rimmel Lasting Finish Minerals Foundation on days when my skin is behaving itself.  All I do is just dab on the Essence Stay Natural Concealer over spots that need extra coverage and then, I set everything with the mineral foundation.  On the other hand, when I opt for the BB Cream, I just dab it on my face and blend it well with my fingers and I'm good to go as far as my skin is concerned... no need for concealer with this one! With me reverting back to mineral foundation, I also have a new brush to apply it with, the retractable powder brush from Born Pretty Store.

Moving on to eye products, this month I have really been enjoying the Catrice Intensif'Eye Wet & Dry Shadow in 010 Black or White Swan?!  It is a very nice eyeshadow that is best used wet for a more dramatic colour pay-off and dry for a more subtle effect.  However, I always make sure to use a primer when I use this eyeshadow dry as otherwise, it will fade away. Since I have included a mascara in my Project-Ten-Pan, I was using this everyday but for night time, I paired it with the Essence Multi-Action False Lashes Mascara for a more dramatic effect.  My fave eyeliner this month was hands down the e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner in Black because it is very creamy and once dry, it doesn't budge a bit!

For lips, I have quite a number of favourites, namely Chanel Rouge Allure 66 Confidentielle, Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipsticks in The Nuder The Better & Pink Me Up! as well as Catrice Colour Show Lipgloss in Toast With Champagne and e.l.f. Studio Glitter Gloss in Ruby Raspberry and last but not least Essence Stay With Me Long-lasting Lipgloss in I Like Cotton Candy.

So those are my favourite products for this month ladies :) Until next post, stay beautiful!

The Exit Interview Series: Volume #7

This month I've been on a roll with Spring cleaning my make-up/skin care/beauty products and while I have thrown away some bits and bobs (namely tween magazine freebies I've never used) I have been trying really hard to use other products which have been occupying space for ages.  I have also sorted out samples so I can use them as well.  I have also been concentrating on my Project-Ten-Pan products too so there is also an update on that further down.  But first, here are the products I have used up and general thoughts on them:

First of all, I have already re-purchased back-ups for all of these products so you can already tell that I love them.  The only one I didn't buy a back-up of is the Spiced Vanilla Body Scrub because I have purchased the Cocoa Butter one instead and this is only available during Christmas time. My skin feels so soft after using The Body Shop Scrubs and they never fail to impress me. Also, considering that I exfoliate twice a week, these last a long time too! The Montagne Jeunesse masques need no introduction and I just can't get enough of them! Seriously, I always look out for new ones to try but I am always faithful to my favourites such as the Green Tea Peel Off which helps me control zits. Robert's Rose Water is another favourite of mine and I like to use it as a toner to refresh my skin.  Lastly, Impulse deodorants are my faves because the fragrance lasts a long time and they have some nice smells too!

Project-Ten-Pan Update

Out of the products I have chosen for the Project-Ten-Pan, I have mostly been using the Rimmel Mineral Foundation, the Technic eye pencil, the e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Black and the mascara.  The mascara and the pencil are nearing the end now so it shouldn't be long before I use them up. I am also using the perfume and the Body Shop lip balm for everyday but till now I haven't seen much difference in volume. I hope that next month I would have finished some of these products and after that, I will be working on shampoos/conditioners/body lotions/shower gels and the likes.

Review: Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick in 190 The Nuder the Better and 110 Pink Me Up!

Lately I've been obsessed with lipsticks and the likes and you can blame my obsession on the change of seasons and much much brighter colours that have taken over the dark hues of Winter.  Consequently, I have been buying (read hoarding) a lot of lip products including two lipsticks from the newly-launched brand, Catrice. 

I went for two shades from the Ultimate Colour range which is more pigmented than the Ultimate Shine range to see if I like the formulation etc etc...

As usual, I'm going to start with a word about the packaging... it's very sleek and professional looking and you get the name and number of the shade at the bottom printed on a sticker which represents the actual colour of the lipstick. Also, these feel quite heavy compared to other lipsticks I own. A thing I'd like to point out is that there is no consistency when it comes to the lipstick bullets in that the top parts are different for these two lipsticks even though they belong to the same range.

Moving on to the more interesting part, these lipsticks have an excellent colour pay-off and they last around 4 hours on me.  I quite like the sweet scent as well and you don't have to tug at your lips to get some colour because they glide smoothly.

I really do like these lipsticks and I have been wearing them very frequently ever since I got them and I already have three more shades in my wishlist (hopefully they don't sell out)!

I got these lipsticks from Tony's Pharmacy in Gzira because so far only they stock Catrice and I paid €4.50 for each of these lipsticks.

Review: Born Pretty Store Magnetic Nail Polish in NL017 Blushingham Palace

Magnetic nails seem to be all the rage this season along with a few other nail trends including statement nail art so if you don't have time to visit a nail technician every so often but still want to create some fun nail art yourselves, keep on reading! have enhanced their nail polish/nail art section with magnetic nail polishes and they have a very large variety of colours to choose from. I was offered the chance to review one of their amazing colours and I chose NL017 Blushingham Palace which is a nice mossy green/purple duochrome.

The nail polish comes with a diagonal stripe magnet and the bottle contains 15ml of nail varnish.  While I like the nail polish colour and amount, I think I would have liked it better if you were able to choose which magnet design you want (diagonal, horizontal and star are the designs available).  However, you can always purchase the different style magnets separately. Magnets from other brands also work with the polishes from Born Pretty Store. One more point on the magnet, is that if it were curved to the fit the shape of the nail, I think it would have been better when creating the design but I do like the long handle.

As for the polish, I really like the formulation as it applies non-streaky and dries quickly so I suggest you do one nail at a time.  This nail polish works best if you apply a thin coat first and let it dry, then follow with a thicker coat and place the magnet over it without touching the polish and wait for a few seconds for the magnet to create the design. Et voila'! Magnetic nails in no time! You can also wear the nail polish as a regular polish if you like for a nice metallic finish.  On me, the nail polish lasted 5 days before tip wear started getting noticeable.
In direct sunlight (flakie polish applied on ring finger)

With flash

The brush is very nice to work with and while it may give the impression of crackle polish, the cap actually provides a nice grip and is very ergonomic.

Magnetic nail polishes from BornPrettyStore retail for $6.38 per bottle and the magnets retail for $2.03 per piece.  Moreover, when quoting the code EBABK31 at checkout, you will get 10% off your order.  Shipping is free worldwide.

PR Sample

OOTD: Spring Gone Nautical featuring Pupa Milano Jeans & Roses Make-Up look re-creation

Hey dolls :) Hope you're all having a fab weekend so far! Today is a very nice, warm, sunny day and I made the most of it by going shopping and afterwards we went to Rabat and Siggiewi for a nice ride in the countryside.  I wanted to share with you my outfit which was quite casual but smart at the same time and I also donned my new pair of loafers and re-created the Pupa Milano Jeans & Roses make-up look with products I have in my stash.

 Shirt , Miss Selfridge | Jeans & Loafers, Peacocks | Bag & Bead Bracelet, local shop

Products used to create the make-up look:

Rimmel Lasting Finish Minerals Foundation in 100 Ivory
Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige
Rimmel Powder Blush in 004 Pink Rose

E.l.f. Eyelid Primer
Light taupe eyeshadow from E.l.f. Limited Edition Party Palette over the entire lid
Collistar mono eyeshadow in shade no. 20 in the crease
Artdeco light blue eyeliner 
Essence Multi Action False Lashes Mascara in Black 

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in 66 Confidentielle

...and lastly here are a few pictures of little flower blossoms

Review: Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss in 05 I Like Cotton Candy

A while back I purchased some more stuff from Essence Cosmetics, amongst which is this lipgloss.  Till then I had never tried any 'make-up' products from Essence apart from nail polishes and their Stay Natural concealer which is my HG concealer. 

This lipgloss was on my wishlist after seeing it on other blogs so it goes without saying that I grabbed it as soon as I saw it on the display stand.  There were also a few other colours but they didn't really appeal to me as they were either too light or too Barbie pinkish so I skipped them.

The packaging of this lipgloss is nothing special but it feels nice and sleek and sturdy so I have no issues with that.  The applicator on the other hand is one I have never seen like before... looks like a cute little dumbbell shape and I actually like it as you can apply the product with the tip and still get a precise application of the product.

The texture of the gloss is quite nice and very pigmented as well and it is in no way sticky.  In fact, I mostly like to wear this lipgloss alone even when I want a bright lip as it really stands out.  As for lasting time, this gloss lasts around two hours on me before it wears off completely so I'd say that's pretty good! The smell of this gloss is really true to its name as it does remind me of cotton candy, so much so that it tastes good as well! (yepp I'm guilty of licking my lips when I have a sweet-smelling product on).

The price is probably the best about this lipgloss... €2.61 for 4ml!! I would definitely repurchase this gloss and maybe a few other nice shades from the range as well. I recommend this product to all beauty junkies out there and ladies who prefer lipgloss over lipstick as I think this really ticks all the good boxes!

Do you have any favourite lipglosses from Essence?

Review: Born Pretty Store Retractable Powder Brush

You might be aware that not only sells nail art supplies, but also a large variety of beauty and lifestyle products, amongst which are make-up brushes.  I was given the opportunity to try out one of their retractable powder brushes and I chose this black one with butterfly and flower motifs.

The outer packaging is very cute indeed but it is also practical as you get a metallic barrel which covers the bristles for easier closure and the cap closes tightly as well.  The only thing I don't like about the brush is the smell that the bristles give off when you open the brush for the first time but it goes away after washing.  Other than that, the bristles are very soft and I haven't experienced any shedding or bleeding to date. As for drying time, I left it to dry over-night and in the morning it was ready to be used!

The brush has come at a right time as I am trying to use up my mineral powder foundation and this brush is by far the best one I have tried to apply such a product (although kabuki brushes are the best to apply powder products, I am not a big fan of them because of their small handle). The reason why I like this brush so much is that the bristles are not stiff dense and while they pick up the product effectively, I can buff the powder foundation and other powder products over my face effortlessly for a nice and natural look.  Moreover, this brush is best used with mineral products as the bristles are made out of natural hair.  

The brush is conveniently sized to carry with you while travelling and being retractable, you don't have to fear that your bag insides are going to end up with foundation or blusher smeared all over them.

This brush retails for $6.53 from and shipping is free on all orders worldwide. You can get yours at 10% off be entering the code EBABK31 at checkout.

PR Sample

NOTW: Vintage Pastels

Good afternoon ladies :) I've been up since 4:30am today as my brother just left for a short study-related trip to Brussels & The Netherlands.  Since I couldn't get back to sleep, I might as well get on with blogging as I will be busy preparing for my official work interview next Tuesday. 

Being Sunday, I thought I'd start with my NOTW.  I have been wearing this pastel combination on my nails this week because these colours remind me of Spring! Not long now as days are getting warmer and longer and the sun is shining outside my window right now :D

A little flower covered in dew drops early in the morning 

It's a relatively easy manicure which you can either free-hand like I did or else use tip guides to help you if your hands are on the shaky side.  All you have to do is paint two coats of mint green nail polish (China Glaze For Audrey) over a base coat (Orly Nailtrition) and then create the abstract shapes with another two contrasting colours (China Glaze Second Hand Silk & e.l.f. Lilac).  Finish off with a coat of glitter polish (Essence Space Queen) and a glossy top-coat (Orly Top 2 Bottom). 

Review: e.l.f. Studio Glitter Gloss in Ruby Raspberry

 Ever since the launch of these new Glitter Glosses by e.l.f. USA, I had my eye on a few of them but I only ended up getting one shade after I have seen/read mixed reviews on them and from swatches, this was the only shade that really appealed to me.

I got the shade Ruby Raspberry and since the product is part of the Studio Line, it has very nice, sleek black packaging and I like the transparent bottom as I can see how much I have got left. The tube is small enough to fit in a clutch bag so it is ace to carry with you for touch-ups. The applicator is not the usual doe foot but it is a brush applicator instead. While some people tend to dislike this kind of applicator, I can say I like it, maybe because I have never had any issues with it.  One final note on the packaging is that the gloss closes tightly and the cap aligns perfectly with the rest of the packaging without leaving any messy residues.

Now this gloss is true to its name in the sense that it is extremely glittery and hence you can pair it with other lip products to give your lips a sparkly look but it is pigmented enough to be worn on its own.  I personally like to pair it with the following lipsticks mostly: e.l.f. Sociable, e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural, & Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick in Pink Me Up!  

I was kind of worried when I first got this gloss as I had seen countless reviews saying the glitter is very gritty and some even claimed they cut their lips on it.  With all honesty, I have never had such a problem with this gloss, but if you rub your lips together you will feel the glitter a little, just not as gritty as some have described it.  The texture is a bit on the sticky side but not too much (tip: eliminate stickiness by wearing the gloss over some lip balm). As for staying power, this gloss lasts around 3 to 4 hours on my lips.  One more thing I really like about this gloss is the sweet vanilla scent.

Overall, I would buy this lip gloss again once it's finished but if e.l.f. could use finer glitter, I think that would be better. I am really looking forward to try the Glossy Glosses now :) 

The Studio Glitter Glosses are available in 10 sparkly shades from the e.l.f. cosmetics website and they retail for €4/£3.50 for 6.8g of product.