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Monthly Favourites: August

This month was all about trying out new products so the absolute majority are all new products not yet released on the market from Essence & Catrice.

Starting off with face products, I have three new favourites, namely, Essence Trend Edition Marble Mania Blush in 01 Swirlpool, Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-up in 010 Light Beige, Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder in 010 Fairy Dust. I love the light coverage of the foundation and the light shimmer of the highlighter that emphasises my cheekbones. Both of these products will be available in September 2012.  On the other hand, the blush is part of a limited edition released earlier this year and it gives a subtle, healthy glow to your face.

Moving on to lip products, I have been in a peach and pink mood this month and the same colour trend carries on with my most used eyeshadows.  All of the products shown are subtly pigmented except for the Ultimate Lip Glow which emphasises the pink undertones of my lips by turning a nice rosy pink colour and the Essence lipstick is a subtle, nice everyday red. All of these products will be available in September except for the limited editions.

Next up, eye products, starting with mascaras.

Basically, I have been using these three mascaras all throughout the month and I like the volumising effect they have on my lashes and I especially like the Pupa Vamp! mascara as it gives a nice contrasting blue colour that goes very well with the colour of my eyes.  I have also been loving the Essence Sun Club 100% splash-proof eyeliner pen for its fine tip and pigmentation.  It truly is waterproof and once dry, it doesn't budge.

Lastly, these are the eyeshadows that I have been reaching for the most:

Essence Mono Eyeshadow in Dance All Night
Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition Eyeshadows in 01 Seriously Mixed Up and 03 Swirl It Baby!
Catrice Intensif'Eye Wet & Dry Shadow in 01 Black or White Swan
Catrice Absolute Colour Eyeshadow in 540 Rose Marie's Baby
What were your favourite products this month? Any new discoveries?

August Collective Haul

This month I was a bit of a good girl when it comes to shopping primarily because of my upcoming trip and also because the people at PharmaMT have been overly generous during the Essence & Catrice bloggers' event and gave each one of us a lifetime's supply of make-up ;P

I will start with some essentials from Peacocks which you have already seen in one of my outfit posts.  I was on the lookout for some cute nude flats and came across these which were discounted to only €8.75 in the Peacocks summer sale and I also needed a black holdall to double up as hand luggage so I bought this rather big bag (that is still proportional to mon petite frame) for the discounted price of €17.95.

Aldo Shoes were having a warehouse sale earlier in the month and obviously I had to go! I didn't walk out empty handed as I bought this cute mint clutch bag for only €15 instead of €35.

I also bought a cute little camera pouch for my newly acquired Olympus VH-210 for the price of €3.54 from ebay. It is very sturdy and since the interiors are hard casing, it will do it's job well!

The last purchases for the month are all beauty related starting with a limited edition polish from the OPI Minnie Mouse Collection and a Chanel Paradoxal dupe from China Glaze's Safari Collection named Jungle Queen.  The OPI polish was around €9 while the China Glaze was around €5.

I finally bought a lipstick rack also off ebay and it holds 24 lipsticks. I only got one because I wanted to see how it would fit in my make-up cabinet but I'll have to buy another one soon as it wasn't enough.

Lastly, I went ahead and bought some more items from Catrice's Cruise Couture Limited Edition along with some more essentials.  The total for this purchase was €29.60.

That is all for this month ladies! Any interesting purchases on your side?

The Exit Interview Series: Volume #12

This month, apart from empties, I have some other products to share with you that I have cleared out of my make-up stash simply because I just don't use them or because they don't cut for me so I'm gonna start with those first...

Starting with elf, the Studio Cream Eyeliners in Midnight and Metallic Olive have dried out! I think it is because of the plastic pot. I won't be repurchasing any of these as I have found my Essence and Catrice ones to work better and they come in glass jars so hopefully they won't dry out. Also, the prices of most elf products have gone up.  Also from elf is the Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I find this too harsh looking and I rarely get around to use it. I like my gel eyeliners far better. Lastly, the two eyeshadow trios that came with some Limited Edition Christmas set. I have dupes for all colours which are far more pigmented than these and they last much longer.

I have also thrown out an array of pencils because I have finished them up (the Estee Lauder lip pencil and the Technic kohl pencil were part of my P10P too) or simply because I never got round to use them (they are mostly tween magazine freebies).  A sticky twist up lipgloss had the same fate as did the Witch skin clearing primer which did nothing for my skin except break it out more.

Moving on, here are the actual products I managed to use up this month:

The facial wipes, the Essence concealer and the nail polish remover surely need no introduction as by now you know that I buy backups of each before I finish the product. One thing to mention though is that the Lycia wipes now have a new packaging and the wipes have a new texture to them to help remove make-up more effectively.

I was trying to use up the Nivea toner as part of my skin care product detox programme so I ended up using it instead of Rose Water to freshen up my skin from time to time. I am now trying to use up the Bioderma Sebium and Witch Hazel Skin Toner which hopefully I would have finished by next month.

Lastly, nail polishes. I has a nail polish clear out too and threw away any gloopy nail polishes that I came across and these are the ones that hit the bin.  I have already bought a larger back-up of the Orly Nailtrition as seriously it is the best base coat for nails as it contains keratin and bamboo extracts if I'm not mistaken. Also, my nails don't stain.  On the other hand, the Orly Top 2 Bottom makes for a great base coat too, not so much of a top coat though as polish starts to chip within 2 days.  I liked the Essence High Shine Top Coat but I am now using their Gel Look Top Coat as it gives more shine to a manicure.  The other two are just nail polishes that I have used up.

Lastly, here is a product that was in my P10P but I didn't manage to use up because I dropped it when clearing out my stash and it ended up in pieces:

Max Factor Creme Puff in 85 Light 'n' Gay
Have you used up any products this month? or did you clear out items you don't use/need?

Review: Essence Soul Sista Trend Edition (March - April 2012)

The next Trend Edition from Essence that I will be reviewing, is the Soul Sista by Sun Club.I believe this is currently available in various pharmacies around Malta (we get products much later than other countries do). The Soul Sista collection gets you in the mood for summer while being reminiscent of the 1970's with shimmery shades and glittery products too.  I got both eyeshadow palettes, two lipglosses and a nail polish from this collection.

Eyeshadow Palettes in 01 Hey Sista Soul Sista & 02 Call It Boogie

Both palettes are comprised of 8 shades, all of which are fairly pigmented, including the lightest ones. The packaging feels sturdy and they each come with a decent double ended applicator and a small mirror located just under the applicator.  The shades in the two palettes look very much alike and in fact, there are some repeated shades. However, in my opinion, the first palette is more suited for soft looks while the second one is more suited for the more dramatic looks. I suggest using a primer underneath these eyeshadows to make them last longer and enhance the pigmentation.

01 Hey Sista Soul Sista

02 Call It Boogie

Lipgloss in 01 Shake Your Booty & 02 Lounge Chair Affair

I managed to get my hands on both of the lipglosses available in the collection and I'm so glad I did! 01 Shake Your Booty is a nice shimmery yellow gold lipgloss which remind me of summer sunsets and golden , sandy beaches while 02 Lounge Chair Affair is a bright neon pink and has summer written all over it! However, the lipglosses are not as pigmented on the lips as they only give a hint of shimmer/colour to the lips.  I do like how moisturizing they feel and the fact that they are not sticky.  They last around 3 hours on me. The tubes hold 6.6ml of gloss.

01 Shake Your Booty

02 Lounge Chair Affair
Nail Polish in 04 Totally Retro Nude

This is the only nail polish that I got from this collection, primarily because I already have shades similar to the other ones available.  The formulation is very nice to work with and only two coats are needed for maximum opacity. Dries fairly quickly and the colour is a nice cream coloured nude with light golden reflects.

04 Totally Retro Nude (swatch no.4)

The collection also consisted of a number of bronzing products and a kabuki brush.

Which product is your favourite out of the whole collection?

PR Samples

Review: Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition (March - April 2012)

Last March/April, Essence released the Marble Mania Trend Edition (limited edition) and I really wanted the blush but the collection sold out in a matter of a few hours and I couldn't find the blush anywhere so you can imagine how my face lit up at the Essence and Catrice bloggers' event held by Pharma MT (importers of the products in Malta) as soon as I saw the whole collection there! Even better, we were allowed to take anything we liked for free! Needless to say, I went up to the display and got hold of the blush faster than you could say Essence! I also got some more products from the Marble Mania collection which I will be reviewing in this post, starting of course with the blush itself! The packaging is pretty standard but I do like the clear compacts and tubes as the marbling effect shows nicely through them.

Blush in 01 Swirlpool

I cannot stop looking at this blush! I was always intrigued by the look of marbled make-up products and this blush has a nice mix of a dark-ish pink, an old rose shade, a mauve-lilac shade and a light peach shade all of which impart a nice, healthy glow to the cheeks when mixed together. The blush has a subtle shimmer to it  which is not that obvious on the cheeks and it smells of roses. For me, this blush has the right pigmentation and I have been using it almost everyday. I want to save it though because it is so beautiful! I just wish Essence release it as part of their permanent collection! On me, it lasts all day until I take it off. You get 7g of product and I think this retailed for like €3 or something.

Blush in 01 Swirlpool, Eyeshadows in 03 Swirl It Baby! & 01 Seriously Mixed Up

Eyeshadows in 01 Seriously Mixed Up & 03 Swirl It Baby!

While I was there, I managed to get two out of the three shades of eyeshadows available in the collection. I didn't get the second shade as I thought it looked similar to the first one when swatched.  01 Seriously Mixed Up is a nice brown swirled with a peachy-pink and some gold accents with a slight silver shimmer while 03 Swirl It Baby! is a mixture of baby pink, old rose, black and silver linings.  The colour payoff of these eyeshadows is amazing and they can be used both wet or dry.  You get 1.5g of product but I don't know the price for them (maybe around €2).

Lipgloss in 02 Peach and Mix

The collection also consisted of two lipglosses but I only managed to get my hands on one.  However, these lipglosses have been re-introduced in the permanent line and will be available in a total of 5 marbled colours which I will surely buy! As the name implies, Peach and Mix is a peachy lipgloss (a mix of coral, creamy peach and orange) with silver shimmer and a sweet vanilla scent.  It gives a super glossy look to the lips and lasts an average of 3 hours.  The shimmer is only slightly noticeable but it still gives the appearance of fuller lips.  The lipgloss comes with a standard doe-foot applicator and does not feel sticky at all. Comes in an 8ml tube.


Mascara in 01 Michael's Black or Silver

This is the last product I got from the Marble Mania collection. It intrigued me because I have never seen a marbled mascara before and I wanted to see if there is anything different to it.  Basically, the pearly white parts are silver shimmer particles while the actual mascara is a volumizing one. I find it gives my lashes a nice volumized look and thanks to the shimmer particles, my lashes appear glossier and my eyes wide awake.

So that's my take on the products I have from the Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition.  The other products  in the collection included 4 mini nail polishes and a nail art kit (sponges, a mini striper brush and wooden cuticle pushers).

Did you get any of the products from this collection? What are your thoughts on them?

PR Samples

Review: Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-Up in 010 Light Beige

As I was sorting all the make-up products I got from the Essence and Catrice bloggers' event in the beginning of the month, I realised I didn't get many face products as opposed to the quantity of nail polishes and eyeshadows and other stuff I got.  I only chose two blushes myself and I got the new Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-up in 010 Light Beige and the Catrice Prime and Fine Highligther in 010 Fairy Dust in the Catrice goody bag.

Since I sorted my skin problem, I am trying to stick to products that I know for sure that they won't break me out or wreck havoc with my sensitive skin.  However, I was still intrigued by Catrice's new foundation and I was happy that I got one in my goody bag.  Moreover, the shade 010 Light Beige is the perfect shade for my skin tone.

The packaging is very sleek and light-weight, just like the actual product! And believe it or not, it was one of the factors that convinced me to try the foundation. Why? Because ever since I learnt that I will be going to Paris, I started wrecking my brain over which products to take with me because of the bulky packaging beauty products are sometimes supplied in. I thought that I'd give this foundation a go and if it works for me, I'll pack it and luckily for me, it worked! Also, I think the packaging makes the product look more expensive than it actually is (I believe it will retail around the €6 mark once it is available in September).

The tube holds 30ml of product and after you take off the twist off cap at the bottom, you just squeeze out the required amount of product through a tiny hole. Thereby, you can control the amount of foundation that comes out.  The only downside of the packaging is that you cannot see how much product you have left.

Now, on to the actual product. The texture of the foundation is very light-weight and consequently it doesn't feel heavy on the skin and when blended out it gives a nice, even tone. Moreover, it is easily absorbed. It dries to a semi-matt finish and lasts all day on my oily skin. Foundation is not something I use everyday but for the purpose of testing this out, I even wore it to work and got a ton of compliments on how fresh and natural the product looks (even after 12 hours in a full on a/c environment).  

Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-Up in 010 Light Beige
It provides medium coverage which I love (I tend to go for light-medium coverage foundations), it is oil-free and is therefore suitable for people with oily skin types and also has UV filters. Although it is oil free, this foundation deeply hydrating and this makes it suitable also for people with drier skin types. This foundation is dermatologically tested and is non-comedogenic.  In fact, it hasn't broke me out.

This foundation is available in 4 shades namely, 010 Light Beige, 020 Sand, 030 Honey & 040 Sun Beige with the first two having a pink under-tone and the latter two bearing a yellow under-tone. Judging by the colours, I don't think they are suitable for the very dark skin tones but they are aimed more at paler and medium skin tones.

To sum up, I totally recommend this foundation to anyone (provided they don't have very dark skin) wanting a nice foundation for everyday use that won't clog pores and feels nice and fresh till the end of the day.

Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-Up will be available in pharmacies in September 2012.

PR Sample

OOTD: Pink Lace & Denim

Last Sunday was our last day off work, so we headed to our favourite relaxation spot on the island later in the day... Mdina, the Silent City. There is something about this place which was once the old capital city of Malta that I just can't get enough of... the aura, the beauty of the buildings... If you have ever been here, you will know what I am talking about and if you ever visit Malta, a tip to this beautiful city is a must. Here's the view from the little tea garden we went to:

I chose a relaxed outfit to fit the occasion and I opted for this delicate pink lace top and teamed it with a pair of denim shorts and my new ballerina flats and bag.  As for make-up, I wanted to try out more of the Essence & Catrice products I was given at the bloggers' event earlier this month so I used a handful of eyeshadows. I'll leave you to the photos now :)

Lace top, Tally Weijl | Denim shorts, Peacocks | Belt, Dorothy Perkins
Bag & Ballerina flats, Peacocks | Pearl stud earrings, Tenda Accessories
Chamilia Bangle & Spinning Rings, 202 Jewellery | Faux diamante charm bracelet, Orsay

Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-up in 010 Light Beige
Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Studio Complexion Perfection (now Tone Correcting Powder)
Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition Blush in 01 Swirlpool
Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder in 010 Fairy Dust

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base
Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow in 07 Jim-Me Blue & 09 For Fairies
Catrice Absolute Eye Colour in 160 I Trust Stardust, 550 Saw It On Blue Tube, 210 The Queen Is Amused & 540 Rose Marie's Baby
Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition Eyeshadow in 03 Swirl It Baby!
Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in 11 Sea My Eyes! (light pink shade)
Pupa Vamp! Mascara in 300 Deep Night

Essence Kiss Care Love Lip Balm in 03 Friutylicious 
Essence Lipstick in Sparkling Romance

Review: Born Pretty Store Bamboo Nail Art Brush

Finding the right detailing brush for nail art is no easy quest to accomplish and I am always on the look-out for the ideal brush. What I look for mainly is a nice fine point on the bristles for detailed works such as flowers and the likes. To date, I have accumulated quite a good number of detailing brushes since I like to replace them often.

Thereby as soon as I was asked by Born Pretty Store to choose some products to review, I picked this bamboo brush. Which comes with a protective plastic sleeve for the bristles. I have never had a bamboo brush for nail art so this was what intrigued me to try this brush the most.

I wasn't disappointed with my choice as the brush feels very sturdy and it is quite long, making it more ergonomic to hold and hence, you can achieve nice, detailed nail art effortlessly.  I am really happy with the quality of this brush as it is easy to clean and has never shed a single hair.  I also like that the hairs are just the right length and hence, the results are flawless, especially where lines are concerned.

Finally, here are two designs that I created using solely this brush:

The brush retails for $1.95 from the Born Pretty Store website.  You can take 10% off the price when quoting the code EBABK31 at checkout.

PR Sample