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Monthly Favourites: April 2012

April is over too and that marks my end-of-month appointment to share with you my favourites for this month! Let me start with a few things about life in general first.

I have started my driving lessons in the beginning of the month and I still can't believe I haven't started before! I must admit I was very scared of driving but I really shouldn't have and I am really looking forward to each and every lesson now! This is an achievement for me as it was also one of my new year's resolutions to at least take up driving lessons.  Last week I also learnt that I have finally been appointed as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. This was a huge sigh of relief for me as now I have a permanent job for sure!

Now, on to beauty-related favourites. I only have a handful of products this month but this is what I have really been using:

This month I think I must have gone through some stressful periods and the result was obviously a bad breakout on my face.  It was quite severe, almost to the point where I wouldn't want to go out without any foundation on.  Consequently, I have been cleansing my face with Jojoba oil every two days (for the rest, I used my Effaclar cleanser) and I used Witch Hazel as a toner and my skin has cleared up and I had no marks left from the pimples. I still have a few more zits to treat but thankfully my skin is now much better.  As for covering up, I have been using Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream for day and NYX HD Foundation for night. 

For me, the best complement to healthy skin is a nice, healthy glow and my go-to product for that has fast become the Essence Blush Gelee in Bloody Mary from the Vampire's Love Trend Edition which I was told that it was sold out and I happened to stumble upon earlier this month! I find it is a very nice product and it gives me nice, healthy, flushed cheeks with a tint similar to the one you get after a nice jog in the sun. Definitely a must have so I'm hoping that Essence include it in their permanent range!

Other products from Essence that I have been loving are the Multi Action False Lashes mascara (which has become my new favourite mascara) and the Stay With Me lip glosses in My Favourite Milkshake and I Like Cotton Candy.  I have also been enjoying these two Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipsticks, especially The Nuder The Better during the day and Ginger & Fred for nights out. I love the creamy formula and colour pay-off and the price of these lipsticks so much that I will get more of them for sure!

That concludes my favourites for this month cupcakes! Which products did you enjoy most during the last four weeks?

April Collective Haul

Time for yet another collective haul! I'm going to start with some exciting purchases (for me at least)! So, Essence Cosmetics have launched their Marble Mania Trend Edition along with another two Trend Editions and I really want to get the blush from the Marble Mania Collection so I went to a pharmacy in Senglea but the owner told me that the collection was sold out :( However, I managed to get hold of another limited edition product that I wanted really bad... the Vampire's Love Blush Gelee in Bloody Mary!! I was told this was sold out too in another pharmacy so you can imagine my delight when I saw this staring back at me screaming 'get me before I'm gone'! I also bought a back-up of my new favourite mascara from Essence, the Multi Action False Lashes Effect mascara in Black.  I paid €2.79 for the jelly blush and €2.78 for the mascara... you can't really beat that can you? While hunting for the Marble Mania blush which so far has been unsuccessful even from an outlet at University, I bought another three Essence polishes and their Get Big Lashes Waterproof Mascara. I paid €1.40 for each of the polishes and €2.70 for the mascara.

Colour & Go nail polish in A Lovely Secret, Nude Glam polishes in Cotton Candy & Hazelnut Creme Pie

Going on with make-up, I made a cheeky little Catrice purchase from another pharmacy in Vittoriosa this time and I bought an Ultimate Colour Lipstick in Ginger & Fred, an Ultimate Nudes Nail Polish in Karl Says Tres Chic (the name intrigued me to buy it but I love how the shade looks on me) and lastly an Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss in My Favourite Milkshake.  The lipstick costs €4.50, the nail polish €2.80 and the lipgloss retails for €2!

The last beauty-related purchases this month are this roll-on wax from Nair to replace the Veet wax strips and this Rimmel cuticle which from an impulse purchase, ended up being one of my most used products in a matter of days! I bought the wax from a seller on ebay for something around €10 and the cuticle scrub was only €2 - €3 from a convenience outlet at the hospital.

Now, this month I haven't shopped much for clothes and accessories so these are the only things I got:

The jeans are from Stradivarius and I paid something over €25 for them (if I'm not mistaken) and the top is just a basic powder blue long sleeve number from Terranova which I got on sale for €6.50. From Terranova, I also got two more gym pants which were on sale for €9.49 each and this cute Betty Boop top for which I paid €12.99.

From New Look I bought this very colourful pair of dangly earrings for only €4.99 and from ebay I bought a hair cuff and this gorgeous necklace for a total cost of not more than €10!

Last but by no means least is this cute silver bracelet that Johan's grandmother bought me as a gift from Orsay. I love how delicate it's chain is and the cute different sized diamond-shaped dangles :)

What did you buy this month ladies?

The Exit Interview Series: Volume #8

I'm so excited to bring you this month's instalment of the Exit Interview Series as I have used up a lot of products! I cleared out expired medicinals and beauty products in the beginning of the month and while I didn't take a picture of all the junk, I gained a much better insight as to which products were nearing the end so I could use them up and de-clutter. So let me start straight away!

Nail polish remover is something I have to have in 'bulk'. I keep one bottle with my nail polish stash, 1 in the upstairs bathroom and 1 in the one downstairs.  I have finished one this month and this is the one I keep buying because it is such good value for money and it doesn't dry out my nails since it is acetone free.

I have also finished these Veet waxing strips which I will only keep buying the face version of as the ones for legs seem to harden to the point that you cannot use them if you do not use them up for too long.  Instead I bought some warm wax from Nair and I'm hoping for better results.

With regards skin care, I have used up quite a few products this month such as some Montagne Jeunesse masques (yes, even one designed for men just because I like its deep cleansing action), Effaclar AI Targeted Breakout Corrector and an olive oil/bottled water eye make-up remover.  I always have a surplus supply of MJ masques and I have to re-purchase the breakout corrector after I finish the spot products I am currently using.  As for eye make-up remover, I will be sticking to my Lycia wipes (which incidentally I have used up another pack of) to remove most of the make-up and then proceed with my usual cleansing routine.

To prepare my footsies for sandal season, I have been giving them a pedicure twice weekly thanks to Scholl products and I have used up this Hard Skin Reducing Cream and an Exfoliating Creams.  My feet always look better when I use Scholl products and I already have another exfoliant cream, while I am using a Cracked Heel Repair Cream to care for sores caused by shoes. 

Clearing out the bathroom(s) cabinet(s), I have come across some shower gels, shampoos, hair conditioners and body lotions that I had completely forgotten about so I have taken them out to use them but so far I have only used up this Attirance Strawberry Shower Gel.

Project-Ten-Pan Update

Lastly, as a Project-Ten-Pan update, I have used up three mascaras which I will repurchase none of simply because the elf ones were clumped as soon as I got them and the other one was a little thought from my neighbour but I have never seen the brand anywhere.  I am now working on the other products and I will be sharing some tips on how to succeed with such a project in a separate post!

This was quite a lengthy post but I feel very pleased with myself at having used up all these products in a month so now I can see which products I really need and those that I don't so I will save my pennies for something better next time :P

Review: Essence Multi Action False Lashes Effect Mascara vs Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Waterproof Mascara

Today I will be comparing two mascaras from Essence Cosmetics which I recently bought and have been using almost everyday.  After my favourite e.l.f. mascaras arrived all clumped up even though they were sealed, I didn't bother repurchasing or asking for a replacement but instead, I went ahead and bought the Multi Action False Lashes Effect Mascara from Essence while I was checking out some new stock and I recently also bought the waterproof version of the Get Big Lashes range.  

Mascara is an indispensable item for me especially when I want to look more polished.  Actually, it was the first make-up item  I experimented with the most when I was still a youngster as I was always in awe at the power just a tiny wand has to elongate the lashes and give the eyes a whole new dimension.  Therefore, it comes natural that I would want my mascaras to do a very good job.  Now, my lashes are long and curly but I still like to accentuate them so I usually look for volumising versions the most.

Back to Essence mascaras, I first bought the Multi Action False Lashes Effect Mascara just because I saw the 'false lashes effect' part in its name.  While I like to wear falsies on special occasions, my boyfriend hates them so I have to compromise on the effect on certain days, thereby such a mascara will do the trick!  On the other hand, I bought the Get Big Lashes one just because I didn't have any waterproof mascaras and it will come in handy during hotter days.

As you can tell from the picture, the packaging is different and I think I prefer the Get Big Lashes for that just because the tube isn't black.  Consequently, even the amount of product you get varies as with the Multi Action one you are getting 8.5ml for €2.79 while with the Get Big Lashes, you are getting 12ml for €2.70.  Hence, it is safe to say that with regards value for money, the Get Big Lashes range fits the bill.

The wands are drastically different too and I much prefer the Multi Action wand as it fits my eyes better and gives me better results and also, I prefer my wands to be made out of synthetic rubber.  I have used both of these mascaras and I can say that I much prefer the Multi Action False Lashes one over the Get Big Lashes for the simple reason that my lashes are more defined with the first one while the latter didn't do anything special and I still cannot see any big volume difference despite the bigger wand.  That said, the mascara can only be removed with a make-up remover as it really is waterproof.

Wearing Multi Action False Lashes Effect mascara over top and bottom lashes (top)
Get Big Lashes mascara (bottom) 

To sum up, I have already bought a backup for the Multi Action False Lashes Effect Mascara just because I like it so much.  Whereas the Get Big Lashes is good enough for the summer months when I tend to wear more natural looks but if you want a really volumising mascara, save your pennies and opt for another one.

OOTD: Shopping on a Sunny Saturday Morning

Last Saturday, I went shopping (again!) with Johan and my brother. I didn't plan to get anything in particular because we were only going for some bits and bobs the boys needed but you will have to wait till I publish this month's collective haul post to see what I got.  Anyways, since the sun is finally shining everyday, I am starting to wear some of the new spring/summer pieces that have been hanging in my wardrobe for ages so expect loads of outfit posts! This is what I wore last Saturday:

Check shirt, Terranova | Blush pink trousers, Stradivarius
Belt, Peacocks | Blush pink flats, Stradivarius
Wooden stud earrings & silver bracelet, Orsay | Necklace, ebay

Spinning Rings, 202 Jewellery | Stack rings, Orsay

After shopping at Tigne' Point, we headed to Bugibba just because the boys wanted some ice-cream. Here are some pictures from the day:

Lockets signed by couples at Tigne' Point as a symbol of unity and to seal their love ^.^

Sea view from Bugibba

Review: Catrice Intensif'Eye Wet & Dry Shadow in 010 Black or White Swan?!

Catrice Cosmetics, the more professional sister of Essence Cosmetics, has recently been introduced in Malta and as soon as the first stand was set up, me and some of my fellow blogger friends headed over to get our hands on some stuff.  I had already picked out two lipsticks and a gloss and I was debating whether I should get this eyeshadow or not but just before I was going to pay for the lip products, I grabbed it and it joined my other purchases :)

I'm so glad I did as right now I have a thing for marbled make-up (in fact I'm already on the hunt for the Essence Marble Mania Blush).  There were four shades for sale out of the available 6 and I settled on this one purely because of the way the colours are blended are together.

The eyeshadow comes in a round, clear plastic container with holographic silver lettering on the front.  The lid of the container closes tightly and feels sturdy so I'm glad about that.  The eyeshadow is dome shaped like most baked make-up products and as the name suggests, it can be used both wet (bold metallic effect) and dry (subtle shimmer).

I would describe the shade as a jet black base with silver, bronze and gold highlights topped off with fine golden shimmer.  However, the black is softened thanks to the metallic hues but having said that, it is a very pigmented eyeshadow.  I find it is a bit on the powdery side so a primer is always recommended otherwise, it will eventually fade away.

Thanks to its texture, this eyeshadow is really easy to blend and to ensure maximum colour payoff and staying power, I like to apply one dry layer over primer followed by a wet layer for a more intense look.  I mostly wear this eyeshadow with just a flick of black gel liner for the ultimate smoky eye/pin-up look.  Here are swatches to show the intensity of the eyeshadow with different bases:

I am very pleased with this eyeshadow and I will probably get some more of them. I just hope Catrice don't discontinue such a great product!

I bought mine for €4.20 and you can find Catrice at various pharmacies and authorised shops around Malta & Gozo.  Stay up to date with new stock notices by following the Essence Cosmetics Malta facebook page.

OOTD: Mdina Medieval Festival on Sunday

Yesterday was such a lovely day and since me and Johan were both off work, we took the opportunity to enjoy it as much as we could! So we headed to Mdina, the Silent City as there was a Medieval Festival going on and since we are both history fanatics, we never missed it! Mdina is also one of my favourite places on the island and I never get tired of visiting this magical place.  I wanted to share with you my outfit as well as some pictures from the event :)

Acid wash cropped denim jacket, Tally Weijl | Top, Springfield | Beige denim trousers, Stradivarius
Shoes, Zara | Bangles & belt, Vintage | Silver bracelet, Orsay
Spinning Rings, 202 Jewellery

Clutch bag, local shop | Nail polish, Catrice Ultimate Nudes in Karl Says Tres Chic

I kept my make-up fairly neutral with just a light cover of NYX HD Foundation in HDF02 Soft Beige and Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige paired with a light dusting of e.l.f. Studio Blush in Peachy Keen and a light sweep of Wet 'n' Wild eyeshadow from the Baked not Fried palette.  I finished the look off with some e.l.f. Lengthening & Defining Mascara in Black Brown and black kohl pencil on my lower lash line.

Here are some pictures from the festival itself:

People dress with costumes from the era eating Medieval style food

Johan trying his aiming skills in an archery session

Some displays of swords and Medieval warfare / cookware

The door of a very old house in Mdina and the traditional 'Habbata' (door-knocker)

Another house in Mdina

NOTW: Arabesque design for Easter

Hey dolls sorry for not posting much this last week but life got the better hold of me and also, the Holy Week is my favourite time of year so, needless to say, it was full of going out and whatnot.  Sadly, yesterday we didn't celebrate Easter like past years due to bad weather... we usually have a procession in the morning with the statue of the Risen Christ but yesterday it was so windy (and so is today) and rainy that no celebrations took place.  Anyways,  I had done my nails last Thursday for Easter and opted for a green and blue combo to match my outfit and I completed the look with a white acrylic paint design on each of my ring fingers.

It looks complicated but once you get the hang of it, it is relatively easy to complete.  However, you do need a steady hand with this one.

For the ring fingers, I painted on two coats of e.l.f. cosmetics Teal nail polish all over the nail over a base coat and then for the French tip, I first put on a layer of Essence Colour & Go nail polish in Choose Me in a side swipe fashion and topped it off with a coat of Essence Colour & Go nail polish in Blue Addicted.  I repeated the French manicure part over the other nails too.

For the arabesque, all you need is a small detailing brush, white acrylic paint and some water.  Start by dipping the brush in water and dry it between your fingers.  Next, dip the brush in the white paint and let your imagination guide you! I went for something simple because of my bold base colours but you can always create designs that suit your personality! Don't forget to top coat your nails otherwise, all the acrylic paint will wash away on the first occasion you wash your hands!

Have fun recreating this design, and if you want, share your pics on the blog's facebook page!