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The Exit Interview Series: Volume #5

Not much has been wasted this month lol... just two products which I repurchase over and over just because I like them so much!  Enter, Nivea Invisible Deodorant and Lycia Make-up Remover Wipes for combinations, oily & impure skin.  The deodorant was a revelation as it doesn't stain clothes and smells really nice, however, I won't be buying the roll-on version again as I'm not much of a fan but I have already got two mini spray back-ups to keep in my bag.  As for the wipes, these are the only wipes that do not sting or irritate my skin/eyes and remove the make-up effectively!

Monthly Favourites: January 2012

And January is out, so that means that it is time for me to show you the products I have been loving most.  The majority are lip products as I have been experimenting with bold and bright lips alike but I also have some other products so let me get started!

My most favourite product, even though I didn't use it a lot so as not to waste it, is without any doubt my Givenchy Rouge Interdit in Illicit Raspberry. I love everything about this lipstick: the packaging (oh so luxurious), the shade, how long it stays, etc...

Next, up are two new purchases from e.l.f. cosmetics, namely Sociable lipstick from their essential range and the Studio Glitter Gloss in Ruby Raspberry.  I have been enjoying wearing both together because the shades complement each other so well and although I am not a fan of the lipstick packaging, I really love the shade as well as the smell of the lipgloss!

The last lip products, I have, I think you have seen them a million times over over but I just can't seem to put them down! They are Max Factor lipstick in Midnight Plum, M&S lipgloss in Dark Pink, Maybelline Water Shine Lipstick in Beige Glace, e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural and Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm.  I have also rediscovered this Caboodles twist-up lipgloss of which I really like the chocolatey-honey smell!

As far as make-up products and tools go, I have another four new purchases from e.l.f. that I have been liking this month, namely, Studio Translucent Matifying Powder, Contour Brush, Mechanical Eyelash Curler and Cream Eyeliner in Black.

I have also been liking these Joico Shampoo & Conditioner which have greatly improved the moisture levels in my hair without weighing it down.  With regards body products, I have been using this Body Shop Cocoa Butter scrub and this White Peach & Almond Hand Cream from M&S religiously to combat dry skin hand and hands respectively.   I have also been treating my skin to a deep cleanse once a week with this Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser.

So that's it for my monthly favourites ladies! What products were you enjoying during the first month of the year? 

NOTW: Colour Blocking

So I'm back from a day's work and although we weren't that busy, 12 hour shifts are still tiring... on to my nails.  I have been giving my nails a break from nail polish but last Friday, I had a birthday party and I went for a simple colour block nail design, matched to my new clutch bag from New Look :)  Keep on reading for the tutorial!

1. Prep nails with a clear base coat and apply two coats of a nude beige polish like e.l.f. Desert Haze.  Leave to dry completely.

2. I used nail guides (Nailene Perfect Tips & Toes) to do the stripes to get them as accurate as possible but you can always free-hand them!  Start with the side stripe... adhere the guide as shown in the picture and paint the left side with a bright coral polish. Here I used one by Eugene Perma.

3. When the nail polish is totally dry, affix the guide to define the nail tip and paint it black.  I used Essie Licorice.

4. Carefully remove the tip guide and apply a top coat!

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a half moon manicure on gel nails I did for a client:

I'm off to bed now lovelies! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend :) Good night, sweet dreams!

First Collective Haul of the Year!

I can't believe January is out in a flash! It feels just like yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and welcoming the New Year! I have been a naughty girl this month with regards shopping but hey it's sales month :P In this post, I will be showing you purchases I made online while you can have a look at my first sale picks here. So, let me start with some nail art related stuff...

I placed my first ever order on earlier this month and my order was here within a week (read my experience here).  Being my first order it was quite small and I decided to get some nail foils as I couldn't find any on ebay.  I ended gettin two nail foils, Black Lace and Fuchsia Fantasy as well as a foil adhesive and nail art sealer.  Since I spent more than £10, I qualified for free shipping and the I also got the nail adhesive for 20% less because of my choice of nail foils!

More nail art stuff... I got a display rack to show off al my colour gels at my home salon.  I think it looks nicer than the nail wheels which I will still keep in my kit for when I have to go to a client myself and I also purchased a compact storage box so that I can organize my rhinestones in it rather than carrying a whole load of wheels with me and it also saves on space.

Finally, I also got a carbide bit for my nail drill and an Orly Top 2 Bottom Top & Base Coat in One.  All of this was from ebay.

From ebay as well, I also got Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser as my maternal granny used to swear by it and she had flawless skin and very little wrinkles even at 87! So I'll try it out and see how it will work on me :)  My last purchase from ebay are these two hair sectioning clips which will come in handy when I'm straightening my hair now that it is quite long.

I have bought some other things which I haven't yet received amongst which are some exciting purchases but more on those next month ;p what did you splurge on this month ladies? Link me your posts in the comments section, I'd love to check them out :)

I made it to the Top 5 and now I need your votes!

Remember my e.l.f. collection in the form of a butterfly? Well, I managed to make it to the top 5!! Actually my entry was the first to make it! Now, I need you to vote for my entry through the Distribeauty UK facebook page by clicking this link and voting for my name, Lara Azzopardi.  I would be very grateful if you could help me win this competition ladies :)

Many thanks in advance!!

Review: e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadows in Outdoorsy, Socialite & Caffeinated

Hello my lovelies! I have so many e.l.f. reviews to do I figured out I better get started! I'm going to start off with the Mineral Eyeshadows, of which I have three shades, Outdoorsy, Socialite & Caffeinated.  I got these eyeshadows a couple of months ago to give them a try as I have read a lot of good things about them.

At the time, e.l.f. cosmetics UK were running a promotion where with every £10/€12 order, they offered free shipping and a mystery gift with products worth up to £10.  I couldn't miss on the offer but since most of the items I needed were out of stock, I added two shades of mineral eyeshadows to my order to get the total amount to a little over €12.

I picked up Socialite because the colour intrigued me as it is quite unique and I also got Caffeinated as I love my neutrals!  I then ended up getting Outdoorsy for free in the mystery box, and I'm not at all regretting it as it is such a lovely colour!

So, the Mineral Eyeshadows, as the name implies, are part of e.l.f. cosmetics Mineral range, and consequently, they are 100% natural and are paraben-free, and contain no chemical additives and dyes.  Your skin will thank you for using such products! Moreover, elf claim that these eyeshadows contain Vitamins A & B to hydrate and minimize the appearance of fine lines.

The eyeshadows come packaged in a small, clean white box and you get the shade names at the side and the ingredients on the backside of the box.  The actual eyeshadows are supplied in 0.85g transparent jars with a sifter and a screw-top black lid.  They come with a sticker over the sifter holes to prevent fall-out but I took that off as I find that piercing one or two holes doesn't bring out much product.  The eyeshadows come in powder form, just like pigments.

Since they are powdery, I like the apply them over a primer base to make sure they stay in place and they are really easy to blend.  They can also be used wet to intensify the colours and bring out the shimmer more.  They are all very pigmented, yet they are buildable if you use a light hand to apply them.  Here are swatches of the three eyeshadows:

Socialite: I would describe this is a very dark black/grey shimmery chrome colour with purple and brown undertones.  It is very unique and online swatches are what intrigued me to try it in the first place.  The first picture is taken in natural daylight while the other is taken with flash.  The pictures really do not do any justice to this beautiful shade but you get the idea, hopefully!

Caffeinated: This is a very nice shimmery gold eyeshadow, perfect to create a dramatic smokey eye with neutral tones. Again, the top picture is taken in natural light while the bottom one is taken with flash.

Outdoorsy: As I said, I got this one for free in the mystery box and I was really pleased because I love green eyeshadows as they suit me.  However, I have nothing like it my collection.  It is a deep, shimmery forest green that will come out a little blackened if used dry so I prefer to use it wet to bring out the intensity of the green.  Natural light swatches are the ones in the first picture.

The only downside I can find to these eyeshadows is that they can be very messy to take out in the tray and apply and also, expect some fallout so I recommend applying foundation and concealer after putting on the eye make-up when using these eyeshadows.  However, I really like the intensity of the shades and the quality and I like to use them wet over a primer to bring out the colours more.  At only €3.50 per pot, you can't really go wrong!

I want to get some more of these eyeshadows so if you have any recommendations feel free to leave them in the comments section below :) Do you own any of the elf mineral eyeshadows?

My e.l.f. Cosmetics Collection as at 24/01/2012

Hello dolls :) So yesterday, I posted my elf cosmetics collection to take part in the competition that is being run by the Distribeauty team.  Johan came up with the idea to display the collection in the form of a butterfly and this was the end result:

Would you like reviews of any specific products? Let me know in the comments section below :)

Do we have any products in common? What do you think of them?

FOTD: 20/01/2012

Hello lovelies :) So this post is a bit over due but I was somewhat busy this weekend, hence I will be posting more posts to make up for it.  Anyways, last Friday was a very nice day outside albeit chilly but that didn't stop me from going out :) Johan was on leave and we decided to grab lunch at Bugibba after I bought some new colour gels for my clients to choose from (if anyone is interested in seeing my collection, let me know in the comments section).  

I missed getting dolled up with work and my Masters dissertation proposal taking up most of my time so I took the chance to put on some make up even if it was just for lunch. I opted for a neutral look with a brightish lip and this is what I came up with:

Inglot Under the Make-Up Base
Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Oily/Combination Skin in 180 Sand Beige
essence stay natural concealer in 01 Soft Beige
NYX Concealer in a Jar in CJ12 Green
e.l.f. Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder
e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral 

e.l.f. Eyelid Primer
e.l.f. All Over Color Stick in Persimmon
e.l.f. Everyday Brights 32 Piece Eyeshadow palette (matte brown, shimmery blush pink, light gold)
e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner in Metallic Olive
Estee Lauder Eye Defining Pencil in Deep Brown
e.l.f. Lengthening & Defining Mascara in Black Brown

e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Coral
Napoleon Perdis Protege Lip Gloss
H&M lipgloss in Queen of Peach (nude shade)

Shirt, Terranova
Jeans, Stradivarius
Heeled Military boots, Peacocks
Earrings, Tenda
Belt, Promod (came with a pair of shorts)

As I said it was chilly so I also wore an olive green bomber jacket from Peacocks but I didn't take a picture of me in it.  The picture below are of the views from the restaurant.