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October Collective Haul

I think this month I have spent way more than I normally would but Paris is to blame :P In case you missed it, you check out my Paris haul here.  Anyways, with Essence cosmetics releasing their new products this month, I couldn't help myself but to buy a few items. So I will start with those first.

I bought a back-up of the Gel Look Topcost because I like the gel-like shine it gives to my nails and I bought some of their new nail polishes namely: Nude Glam 01 Cotton Candy, Colour & Go 142 Grey-t to be here, 119 Boho Chic, 113 Ballerina's Charm and 120 Cookie Love.  I also wanted to have a go with the Tip Painter and the eyeshadow in 03 Starlight.

The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trend Edition has made it's debut on our shores and I got the above products from it. Check out the full review here.

Lastly, I bought this jacket from New Look to further fuel my obsession with plum and burgundy hues (in reality it is more dark than in the picture).

NOTW: Holographic Fusion

I have finally found some time to do proper nail art this week. I have a lot of new polishes that I haven't used yet and I decided to start with one of my favourites... Gosh 549 Holographic Hero which Misha from Enigmatic Rambles kindly sent me.

I had wanted a holographic polish for ages and now I finally have one :D I was unsure how to wear it though so I opted to pair it with black and this is the end result:

Here's a step-by-step tutorial to achieve the look:

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

2. When dry, apply two coats of Gosh Holographic Hero to all the nails.

3. For the dots, start by painting half the nail with Essie Licorice in a diagonal fashion and using a medium-sized dotting tool, dot three or four dots along the lower edge of the black polish.  Place your dotter half on the silver polish and half on the black polish to make the black dots look like they are coming out of the black part.  Place black dots on the silver area as shown in the pictures.

4. Repeat with the silver polish on the black end to achieve the full effect.

5. Seal with a top coat to protect your design.

Review: Essence The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trend Edition {November 2012}

Essence Cosmetics have come out with The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trend Edition well before the November release date. I couldn't skip trying out a few products from this Trend Edition because (i) I had really enjoyed all the products I got from the Vampire's Love Trend Edition released last November (check out the collection here) and (ii) I love the Twilight Saga. 

Last week, I went to Rotunda Pharmacy in Mosta and luckily for me, most of the products were still available.  So this is what I got:

Shimmer Powder in 01 Bella's Secret

This shimmer powder contains pigments that give the skin a beautiful sheen when the light hits it. I like to apply it lightly just on top of my cheekbones, along my nose and on my cupid's bow.  It lasts till I take it off and it didn't break me out. The texture is very silky and the product carries a faint sweet smell that goes away on application.  The product is very pigmented so I suggest using a light hand when applying it and your best bet here is a fan brush. Although made of plastic, the packaging feels quite sturdy. 
Shimmer Powder retails at €3.30 for 11g of product and is only available in one shade.

Shimmer Powder in 01 Bella's Secret (left)
Lipstick in 01 A Piece Of Forever

Lipstick in 01 A Piece Of Forever
I was curious about this gold lipstick and the colour is precisely what lured me into buying it.  I also like the black packaging that apart from staying true to the theme of this Trend Edition, it makes the lipstick more expensive than it actually is.  The transparent band at the centre makes for easier identification.  The lipstick contains gold shimmers that instantly give the lips a nice shimmery appearance and it can also be layered over other lipsticks for some lustre.  It feels very mosturising on the lips and you need reapplying every 2 or so hours. 
This is the only shade of lipstick available in the collection and it retails for €2.70 for 4g of product.

Nail Polishes in 01 Jacob's Protection & 03 A Piece of Forever
I didn't get all the nail polishes this time because I already have similar shades to the two I skipped on. The formula and the brush of the two I got are very easy to work with and the glitter in 01 Jacob's Protection is evenly distributed and doesn't feel gritty.
01 Jacob's Protection is a midnight blue base with lots of blue, green and purple fine glitter
02 Alice Had A Vision Again is a dark purple with silver shimmer
03 A Piece Of Forever is a shiny yellow golden colour
04 Edward's Love is a black base with silver shimmer
Nail Polishes retail for €2.20 for 8ml of product

03 A Piece Of Forever (left) & 01 Jacob's Protection

I skipped on the other products in the collection for various reasons but I basically saw swatches of the products online and they didn't appeal to me as much as I thought they would. For example, the blush looks really red and I don't see me wearing it. Moreover, I already have similar shades for the lipglosses and pigments and lastly I don't really use glitter eyeliners so I overlooked them altogether.

Did you get anything from this collection? Anything you have your eyes on?

Monthly Favourites: October

One of my favourite months of the year is slowly coming to an end so here is stuff I have really been enjoying all throughout October!

I have slowly started to transition towards darker hues in terms of make-up and clothes and wine is probably my favourite colour at this time of year, hence the recurrence of the colour overload in my choice of products  this month. I find myself combining the M&S lip gloss in Dark Pink with Essence Stay With Me lip gloss in 05 Berry Me! and Essence XXXL Shine lip gloss in 020 Wood Of Roses all the time, now if only I could find a lipstick in such a beautiful hue...  On the other hand, for daytime, I was mostly using Revlon ColorStay lip liner in 02 Nude to line and fill my lips and then I finish off with Catrice Lip Appeal lip gloss in 090 Back From Vacation.  The Revlon lip liner also doubles up as a good lip definer under a dark coloured lipstick.  On days when I want a subtle hint of colour, I would use MAC Lustre Lipstick in Naked Paris.

To complement my lip colour choices, Catrice Defining Blush in 060 Rosewood Forest is the ideal companion and hence it was the blush I used most this month. In the eye make-up department, I have favoured browns more in terms of eyeshadow this month and my favourites were Catrice Intensif'Eye Wet & Dry Eyeshadow in 010 Black or White Swan?! and Essence Marble Mania Eyeshadow in 01 Seriously Mixed Up.  My favourite mascaras this month were both from Essence, namely Multi Action Waterproof Mascara and Blackest Black Mascara. They give lashes the perfect fanned out look without clumping and last till you take them off. With its ultra slim tip, Essence Sun Club 100% Splash Proof Eyeliner Pen made it to my favourites this month as it allows for precise eyelining with the most intense black colouration and lasts all day!  

Lastly, I mostly wore these Pimkie charm bracelets and earrings this month:

What were your favourite products this month ladies? Are you ready to wear the darker shades?

Review: Born Pretty Store Rhinestone Picking Kit

One of the questions I get asked very frequently is how on earth do I manage to pick up a rhinestone and place it exactly where I want it in a nail art design.  There are various ways how you can do this, from using a pair of rhinestone tweezers, to picking them up with a wet q-tip or using a dotting tool dipped in clear polish.

Today, I will be showing you another way of applying rhinestones.  Enter the Born Pretty Store Rhinestone Picking Kit.

Essentially, the kit comes with a white wax pencil to pick up the rhinestones/embellishments with, a small triangular tray in which to put your tiny pieces and a small tube (9ml) of E6000 glue which is mainly intended for craft use such as sticking cabochons for DIY jewellery and affixing larger embellishments such as plastic bows on mobile phone cases.

First up, a word about the glue. I didn't use this glue and I certainly do not want to, on my nails at least.  The reason being that E6000 is an industrial strength glue and I don't want to cause any damage to nails when taking off rhinestones.  Moreover, it is recommended that you work with this glue in a well ventilated area as it may cause nausea, dizziness or headaches and it can also irritate the skin and eyes.

With that out of the way, let's move on to the wax pencil and tray.  I think this pair is a novel idea that makes rhinestone picking easier especially where the smallest ones are concerned.  The pencil is made of white wax and I suggest you sharpen it to a flat edge so that there is more surface area for the rhinestone to stick to. (What I did was just sharpen the pencil as per usual and then, cut off the pointy edge with a pair of scissors).  The tray, proves to be very useful when for example you want to select a specific colour and the rhinestones are mixed in their storage container. You can easily spread them out and pick out the ones you want.  Furthermore, the shape makes up for mess-free storage of rhinestones back in their wheel or pot and for this reason, the tray also proves to be useful when doing caviar and velvet manicures!

I recommend this kit to anyone keen on DIY as well as nail art enthusiasts and you can even get yours for 10% off when entering the code EBABK31 at checkout. This kit retails for $4.17, alternatively you can opt for this kit that retails for $1.99.

*Until the 31st of October, if you enter the code BPS12 at checkout, you get 12% off your order. Shipping is always free worldwide*

PR Sample

Review: Born Pretty Store Quadrant Nail Art Stamping Plate TO-06

Nail art stamping plates have really been a revelation in the world of nails because now everyone can create intricate designs on their nails without trying too hard.

Born Pretty Store have now launched a whole new range of larger stamping plates with designs that suit even the smallest of nail beds.  My favourite is the TO-06 with a nice variety of the ever popular floral and butterfly designs as well as some other miscellaneous motifs such as snowflakes and hearts.

The plate comes with a protective cover (which you have to take off prior to use) as well as a protective thin plastic sleeve for storage when not in use.  There are 45 designs on any given plate which will leave you spoilt for choice. Moreover, the image plate is conveniently sized to fit in your nail art kit and is suitable for both professional and amateur use.

Basically, you use the image plate in the same way you would any other... apply a generous amount of polish (check out my review on the GCOCL Stamping Polish Set from BPS) on your chosen design, scrape the excess away, roll the stamper onto the design and transfer on your nails! Just remember that you have to be quite quick so that the polish does not dry out before you transfer your design.  Also, make sure you clean the plate, scraper and stamper after every use to ensure that all your designs come out nicely. Take care not to cut your fingers on the edges of the plate and if necessary, just file them down with some sand paper.

There was one thing I noticed with this plate that is different from the others I own.  Due to the small nature of the designs, some of them are not very deeply engraved and so they might not come out perfect.  I'd say use a very fine detailing brush to touch up your design and it should work out.

Here is a simple design I created:

BPS Products used: TO-06 Image Plate | AODL UV Gel Top Coat | 1.5mm round gold stud rhinestones

There are 8 plates in the range and they retail for $4.99 each.  Quote the code EBABK31 at checkout for 10% off your order and free shipping.

*Use code BPS12 for 12% off your order until 30th October 2012*

PR Sample

Paris & Birthday Haul

I have combined all the purchases I made in Paris and some gifts I received for my birthday in this post as there are quite a few items, so let's jump right into it!

The establishments I wanted to visit the most were Sephora and H&M as sadly we have neither of them on this tiny rock I live in. Luckily for me, both establishments were just a few doors away on Champs Elysees and just across the road from each other on Boulevard Haussmann (the same street where the largest Galeries Lafayette complex is located). The stores are huge but I was only disappointed with two things from H&M; 1. THE Anna Dello Russo Collection was nowhere to be seen & 2. only the bigger sizes were left from the Lana Del Rey Collection :( but I still managed to grab some stylish pieces including a pair of nude beige heels that I have been after for ages now!

First up are these two blazers which immediately caught my eyes because of their simple and elegant details. The first is a cream number that has a subtle double lapel and the other is a stone and black number that is very elegant and goes with a lot of things in my wardrobe.  These were €39.95 each.

More from H&M are some face masks (€1.95 each), this 12-pair earring pack for (€4.95) and this cable knit sweater which was only €24.95.  I also opted for a sleek black umbrella (€5.95) because I forgot to pack mine and the weather was quite gloomy on most days.

...and lastly, a pair of nude beige heels which only cost €29.95.

At Sephora, I darted straight towards the MAC counter and bought Naked Paris for myself and Verve (€18 each) for my Mum. I have to admit that apart from the colour, I was also drawn to the lipstick because of the name :). I also bought Chanel Rouge Coco in 39 Paradis (€30.31) for myself.  The other Chanel Rouge Coco (16 Taffetta's Rose) was much cheaper (€23.60) because I bought it duty free so I guess next time I will restrain myself and buy Chanel at the airport on my way back.

The last purchase from Sephora consisted of two perfumes; Chanel No.5 for me and Dior Addict for Mum. Although the Chanel perfume set me back €57.90 I am really happy that I finally got a larger bottle of my all time favourite perfume! I was also given a sample of Burberry The Beat and Zadig & Voltaire For Her.

This is probably the cheekiest purchase from the whole trip and I am guilty of buying these on impulse just to say that I have actually bought something from Galeries Lafayette...

...yepp, that's right...three pairs of undies from the Avant Premiere range that set me back €34.97.

Moving on to more accessories, I spent €24.80 at Pimkie in return for these babies:

Lastly, here are some souvenirs and collectibles...
I always buy a pretty shot glass whenever I visit somewhere new and I write down the dates of my visit on the bottom and I also bought a mini Eiffel Tower to keep in my room.  From Versailles, I bought a shoes' postcard (Queen Marie Antoinette was an avid shoe lover, the only thing I agree with her on) and anther postcard which sums up what I think myself to be... La Petite Parisienne ;). I couldn't pass up two collectors' editions of some Versailles stamps as well as 5 medallions with Paris' most famous landmarks.

I also bought two black and white prints to hang in my room:

The last purchase from Paris was this Bioderma lipbalm which I am hoping to find here in Malta because it is really soothing for chapped lips and it starts the repair process immediately! The nail polish, on the other hand, was an ebay purchase I made before jetting off and it arrived while I was away. It is a limited edition Wet n Wild from the Fergie Collection and it is called Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

As for birthday gifts, this year Mum, Dad and my brother all gave me cash to spend on holiday while Johan bought me this beautiful Tresor Paris bracelet which I have been after for quite some time now:

I wanted the white version because I wanted something different from the others I have seen.  The only thing is that he couldn't get it with lime green beads to match my new Tresor Paris earrings that I got for free from a Facebook event during the last weekend of September from which I was also eligible for a free Spinning Ring.

So that concluded this haul ladies! If there are any products you would like me to review or post OOTD's with any of the clothes, just let me know in your comments :)

Top Nail Polishes for Fall ~ 2012 Edition

Although there may still be a lingering thought that summer is not over yet, it is unfortunately well and truly is getting dark earlier, the evenings are cooler and we are also getting the occasional rainy day so with autumn paving it's way, here are my top nail polishes for this season in no particular order.

1. China Glaze Jungle Queen can be a classified as a close enough dupe to Chanel's Paradoxal. To me it is a very particular purple with eggplant undertones further enhanced by a lighter purple shimmer running through the polish.

2. Essence Vampire's Love Trend Edition 03 True Love is my favourite polish out of the 5 available in this limited edition. Again it is a purple but it leans more towards the red spectrum (therefore it has a warm undertone) and has a nice lighter purple shimmer running through.

3. Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in The Devil Wears Red is perhaps one of my go-to colours every Autumn. It is a sophisticated shade of vine red which turns out to be more brown than red on application of the second.  It is a nice all rounder as it will match most of your autumn wardrobe.

4. Essie Stylenomics is part of the brand's Fall 2012 collection bearing the same name as the polish. It is the IT colour of the season... a dark green with strong grey undertones that make it look like it is black.

5. Essence Colour & Go in 113 Do You Speak Love? is my favourite red this season. It is dark but not too dark and can carry you from the office to the bar and still look classy and elegant.

Those are my top polishes for this season. Do we have any common favourites?