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September Collective Haul

This month is known with me as the 'Fashion Olympics Month' and with all the new season stock coming out in the shops I couldn't resist not buying a few bits and bobs from the new collections so I will be starting out this collective haul with clothing and accessories. 

The first purchases from New Look were this gorgeous navy blue lace peplum dress and this cute pair of shorts which also came with this brown leather and gold detail belt. I also bought a pair of black stud back seam tights from their Gold by Giles range (designed by Giles Deacon) as well as some pretty undies (the red and polka dot ones were bought by Mum). The total for all purchases was €79.94.

I am going through a nude clothes and accessories phase right now and from Peacocks I bought a beige nude clutch bag with black scallop trim and a new wallet that is perfect for smaller bags, both for €26.

The last clothing purchase is this shirt from which unfortunately turned out to be quite large for my frame. Mum is going to alter it to fit me because I really like the sequin detail on the collar and cuffs. I had a 20% off and free shipping code to use on the site and so the shirt came down to €20 instead of €26.

Moving on to the cosmetics department, I have bought a handful of nail polishes starting with this Carnival Multi Glitter from Technic, a duochrome from Florelle, Essie Stylenomics from the Fall 2012 collection bearing the same name, Essence 113 Do You Speak Love?, Gosh Holographic Hero which Misha kindly sent me and Rimmel 60 Seconds 510 Euphoria which I simply had to buy after a colleague of mine invited me try hers.

I also won 5 more nail polishes from Pro Nails (formerly Professionails) from a Facebook competition they were running.

Moreover, I bought the Essence Nail Polish Remover in Strawberry and Passion Fruit as well as a Montagne Jeunesse face masque.

The last purchase from this month is from Born Pretty Store. After obsessing on the new paper lashes from Essence's new Cherry Blossom Girl Trend Edition, and I saw these eyeliner tattoos on the BPS website, I went ahead and got all three variations. I haven't yet found the perfect occasion to wear them to but I think they'll look pretty on. (You can quote the code EBABK31 for 10% off your order).

So that's it for this month ladies! What did you buy?

The Exit Interview Series: Volume #13

This month I feel really proud of myself in terms of empties as I have managed to use a product that was included in my Project-Ten-Pan and 4 more skin care products that I was trying to go through amongst others. So let's dig into it!

First up is Nivea Creme which has been a staple product for years now. I had this small tin in my work bag so that I could apply it after each time I was my hands as constant washing with a alcohol-based soap and latex gloves can really irritate the skin.  It is not my favourite hand cream mainly because of the thick consistency that takes ages to be absorbed and it still feels greasy after.  I definitely won't be re-purchasing this and I am glad it came for free in a goody-bag.

Moving on to skin care and beauty in general, this month I used up quite a few products:

Starting with another Nivea product, this month I finally managed to use up this Caregloss & Shine in Natural after it lasing me for ages and I decided to include it in my Project-Ten-Pan. I really liked this product and when I am out of lipbalms (I still have a lot to go through) I will buy one again, maybe in another variety.

I also used up a deodorant from D&P Perfumum that a friend of mine gave me.  Basically what they do at D&P Perfumum is they have a list of perfumes and they can give you an imitation in either deodorant format or perfume format.  The downside is that they only come with the perfume code so in my case I didn't know what the perfume was but I liked the scent and it lasted all day.  I have another to go through but while I really liked them, I think I will stay faithful to Impulse's Hint of Musk as it is my favourite deodorant.

As for the skin care products, I am only going to re-purchase the Effaclar Mat moisturizer and the Montagne Jeunesse Mask.  I have said it before how much I like both of these products and I like the results they deliver so here is no doubt they always find they way in my skin care stash.

On the other hand, I won't be repurchasing the others for various reasons.  Let me start with the Iseree pads first.  These do their make-up removal and exfoliating jobs well but you have to use quite a lot to take off all the make-up and they tend to leave a sticky film of moisture behind. The same goes for the Bioderma Sebium. It is an excellent product and it hasn't broke me out or anything but I don't like non-rinse formulas. I had to wash my face after using this so I was defeating the product's purpose. And yes I purely bought it because of all the hype it was receiving on other beauty blogs and it totally deserves it. It's just not my cup of hot chocolate tea.

Lastly, the Witch Hazel Skin Toner. This is another good product which unfortunately I won't be repurchasing. While it does a very good job at helping prevent and treat current spots, this toner is very drying, hence you have to rinse it away.  I much prefer rose water as I can even use it around my eyes, it doesn't dry me out and I don't have to rinse it off.

That's it for this month's empties! How did you do this month?

Review: Essence Vampire's Love Trend Edition (November 2011)

In anticipation of the Essence Breaking Dawn Trend Edition coming out in November, here's a thorough look at the past year's Vampire's Love Trend Edition.

The Vampire's Love Trend Edition was created with the various vampire series which were all the hype (and still continue to be).  At first, I was only interested in the Cheek Stain or Blush Gelee but when the stand was available at the blogger's event organized by PharmaMT, I also got all 5 nail polishes and the two lip stains.  The other products were either already taken or they didn't appeal to me.

Blush Gelee in 01 Bloody Mary

I was intrigued by this blush because I had never used a jelly blush before and I really wanted to try one. Also, being from Essence I wan't going to break the bank and spend a lot of money on a product I didn't even know I liked.  It took me quite some time to find this on sale as apparently the collection sold out within a few hours so you can imagine my joy when I popped into a pharmacy to get something else from Essence and found this blush calling me out! I grabbed it faster than you can say Essence and it was finally mine!
It may look scary in the bottle and at first I thought about using it as a lip stain instead but after seeing the product featured on other blogs, I convinced myself to use as intended. You really need a teeny tiny amount of this as a little goes a loooong way and make sure to wash your fingers thoroughly as it tends to stain the skin.  I like how it give me a nice healthy, pink flush and it dries to a nice matt finish.  The pump dispenser is very convenient as you can control the amount of product that comes out and the bottle being clear lets you know how much product there is left.  The blush has a sweet smell that eventually fades away. You can have a more in depth review on this product here.  I bought mine for €2.79 for 13ml.

Lipstain in 01 Bloody Mary & 02 True Love

The colours of both of these lip stains are both very reminiscent of vampires and fit the theme exactly. I haven't worn these yet but from the swatches I can definitely say that the colour pay-off is excellent and that they really do stain the lips.  I really love the sweet scent they impart and I am sure I will get a lot of wear of them this Fall season! 01 Bloody Mary is a deep plum while 02 True Love is a nice jelly red.

Blush Gelee in 01 Bloody Mary (left)
Lipstain in 01 Bloody Mary (far right, top) | 02 True Love (far right, bottom)

Nail Polishes

There were 5 nail polishes in this collection all of which are very dusky with a variety of effects. My favourite is 03 True Love. As a general note, the brushes are the perfect size to work with on my nails and the formulas are all easy to work with and they dry quickly.

01 Gold Old Buffy ~ Black creme with gold shimmer
02 Into The Dark ~ Mid navy blue with silver shimmer
03 True Love ~ Metallic plum purple
04 The Dawn is Broken ~ Grey creme with black particles
05 Hunt Me If You Can ~ Black creme with silver shimmer

Also available in the collection were a six piece eyeshadow palette, volume lash powder (now part of the permanent line), shimmer powder, eau de toilette.

I am already planning what to get from the new Breaking Dawn Trend Edition and on top of my wishlist is the perfume. Anyone got any of these products? What will you be getting from the new collection? 

All products were PR samples except the Blush Gelee

Review: Born Pretty Store AODL UV Gel Top Coat

If you recall this review about one of Born Pretty Store's soak off gels, I had mentioned that I would have liked it more if the range had a top coat to go with it, so you can imagine my joy when I logged on the Born Pretty Store website to choose the next products to review and saw this gel top coat as part of the new nail art arrivals!! So let's have a look at the packaging first.  Basically the gel top coat comes in a white painted brown glass bottle (due to UV light sensitivity) and it has the basic polish brush applicator. I found that the brush is the ideal size as you only need a couple of swipes to cover the whole nail.

The consistency is thick but still very easy to work with, just be careful not to load the brush too much otherwise, the gel will slide onto the nail wall (skin surrounding the nails) and cause the polish to lift. Also, make sure to cap the free edge of the nail to ensure maximum wear. The topcoat does have a strong scent but it goes away once it is cured for 4 minutes under UV light.  It can be used on gel nails, acrylics and even natural nails! That means that now you can wear your favourite nail polish longer...two weeks to be exact as that is how long nail polish lasted on me with this top coat. After a week I started noticing a little tip wear on some nails but on the second week it was more evident so I took off my manicure.

Freshly applied polish with AODL UV Gel Top Coat

Tip-wear after 1 week
I also tried this to coat over glitter polish and it really smooths it out and removes that gritty glitter feeling. Moreover, rhinestones and other nail art embellishments last until you take them off yourself.

Glitter polish with AODL UV Gel Top Coat
It is important to cleanse nails with some nail cleaner to remove the sticky residue that the gel top coat leaves and also, make sure that the nail polish underneath is fully dry before applying the top coat as otherwise the nail polish will end up wrinkled. To remove, simply soak nails in some nail polish remover or else, you can use the foil removal method where you wrap a cotton pad soaked in polish remover around your nails and hold it in place with some aluminium foil and take everything off after a few minutes.

Overall I am really pleased with the results this top coat delivers and would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't have that much time on their hands to change nail polish regularly as well as anyone wanting a high shine finish to their manicure!

AODL UV Gel Top Coat retails for $10.10 from the Born Pretty Store website.

Get 10% off your order when quoting the code EBABK31 at checkout!

PR Sample

Review: Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipsticks

If I had a Euro for every time someone tells me that Catrice lipsticks are amazing, I would probably have accumulated a small fortune. And...if I get another Euro for each compliment I receive on the pigmentation whenever I wear one of their lipsticks, I would have enough money to buy myself a pair of Louboutins!! 

Joking apart, today, I will be reviewing the Ultimate Colour range today to ascertain that yes, Catrice Cosmetics do amazing lipsticks! For Catrice virgins, the cosmetic line has two lipstick ranges, namely, Ultimate Colour and Ultimate Shine.  The differences between the two are
a) Ultimate Colour lipsticks have a black case whilst Ultimate Shine lipsticks have a shiny silver case
b) the Ultimate Colour range consists of richly pigmented shades that offer high coverage and shine while the Ultimate Shine range consists of more shimmery (though not all), moisturizing shades.

To date, I have 5 Ultimate Colour lipsticks and obviously, I have my eyes on more (I was even thinking of buying the whole range! but sadly, some of them don't suit me). I had already reviewed the first 2 shades I got so you might want to check this post out for a more detailed review on 190 The Nuder The Better & 110 Pink Me Up!

Anyway, let's start with the packaging first.  As I said earlier, the Ulitmate Colour lipsticks come in a sleek, black metal case which feels very sturdy and makes the product look more expensive than it actually is! The sticker at the bottom bears a swatch of the actual colour as well as the name and the number of the shade.  I like this as I can store them with the sticker upwards in the lipstick rack so I can easily see which one I want.

030 Ginger & Fred | 130 Frozen Rose | 070 Light The Fire
190 The Nuder The Better | 110 Pink Me Up!
The bullets are not always the shape as can be seen in the picture below and I have to say I much prefer the flat type but most lipsticks seem to come with the lip-hugging bullet. The pigmentation of these lipsticks is awesome and there is a vast range of colours to suit all tastes and complexions.  What I like most about this range is the number of red lipsticks available. We all know how difficult it can be to find THE prefect red lipstick but with the Ultimate Colour Lipsticks range from Catrice, you are bound to find your perfect shade!

The lipsticks all feel very moisturising and creamy and they glide on your lips effortlessly with maximum coverage right from the very first application and that pretty much explains why my marriage with Catrice lipsticks will stay in the honeymoon stage! Moreover, the lasting power is around 3 hours which is excellent in my opinion.

Finally here are the swatches:

030 Ginger & Fred |   070 Light The Fire  |  110 Pink Me Up! 
130 Frozen Rose | 190 The Nuder The Better | 
190 The Nuder The Better
Basic beige nude that suits light skin tones perfectly
130 Frozen Rose
Muted pale pink that suits most skin tones even the slightly darker ones
110 Pink Me Up!
Bright pink suitable for all skin types
070 Light The Fire
An orange based red that suits darker skin tones and
people with fair skin and dark hair
030 Ginger & Fred
A nice deep wine colour with subtle golden shimmers
Looks great on all skintones
The Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipsticks range comprises 16 shades, 2 of which are new and they retail for €4.50 each from the main pharmacies around Malta & Gozo. 

070 Light The Fire is a PR Sample.

Review: Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder in 010 Fairy Dust

With the new Catrice products launching later this week, I thought I'd fit in another review.  This is the second face product that I got at the launch and even though highlighter is not a product I use everyday (in fact this is the only actual highlighting powder I own), I was still intrigued by the product.

What drew me to it was actually the sleek, sturdy, black packaging and... the name! The product is in fact a pressed highlighter powder that has a very fine, silky texture and light-reflecting pigments that give a subtle gold shimmer to the face and decollete.  Thereby if you are not really fond of shimmer on your face, I'd suggest you stay away from this product.

Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder in 010 Fairy Dust
with flash to show the subtle gold shimmer

In natural light
I like to apply this highlighter with a fan brush and using a light hand.  I just apply a little on top of my cheekbones and temples as well as along the bridge of my nose and on my Cupid's bow to emphasise my lips.  Highlighting really gives a new dimension to your face especially when paired with a little contouring!

Thus, as a concluding remark, I am very fond of this product and I am now happy to incorporate highlighter in my make-up routine! Also, based on other product reviews, the Prime and Fine range is really worth a try!

Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder in 010 Fairy Dust will be available in pharmacies this week. I think the retail price will be between €4 and €6.

Review: Catrice Ultimate Lip Glow in 010 One Shade Fits All

Today I am going to review one of the products I was most excited about at the new Catrice products launch. Enter Catrice Ultimate Lip Glow in One Shade Fits All.

As soon as I saw the product, it reminded me of the same concept of lipstick from L'Oreal and Maybelline, minus the hefty-for-a-drugstore-product-price-tag so I was obviously curious to see how the product works.
Luckily for me, I had of these babies in my goody bag and it was the first thing I reached for and applied  it straight away!

It may come across as a scary in-your-face bright orange lipstick once you twist the bullet up from the sleek and sturdy silver tube (same as the Ultimate Shine range but the Lip Glow has Catrice written all around the cap in pink lettering) but in reality you just have to apply it and watch the magic happen!

There is only one shade available and the name is very apt... One Shade Fits All! What this Lip Glow does is basically intensify the natural colour of your lips and it turns to a unique pink colour depending on the natural pigmentation of your lips.  For example, on me it turns out to be a nice rosy bright pink.

Before - bare lips

The actual product glides on smoothly and feels very moisturizing on the lips. With regards staying power, the lipstick lasts for an average of 3 hours on me but the colours seems to stay on a bit longer.

Catrice Ultimate Lip Glow will be available later in September and I believe it will retail for around €4.50.

40 Questions Tag

It's been a long time since I last did a Tag Post and since a few days ago I was tagged by the lovely Rachel & Jessica from Beauty is Our Passion, I decided to go ahead and do this fun 40 Questions Tag! So, here goes!


-How many times do you wash your face daily?
Twice - when I wake up and before I go to sleep

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)
I have combination oily/sensitive skin

-What is your current facial wash?
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Wash Gel

-Do you exfoliate?
Yes, every other day

-What brand do you use?
Nivea Visage Young Smooth It! Mild Exfoliating Scrub

-Which moisturizer do you use?
La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat

-Do you have freckles?
Just a little and they are barely visible

-Do you use eye cream?
Eye gel, yes

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
No, just the occasional zit every now and then

-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
No, never 


-What foundation do you use?
NYX HD Foundation in HDF02 Soft Beige
Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Make-up in 010 Light Beige

-How about concealer?
Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige
NYX Concealer in a Jar in CJ12 Green (for spots)

-Do you know your undertone color?
Yes, pink (cool)

-What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I prefer the more natural ones as they can help define your own lashes better. However, fantasy lashes are great with special effects make-up too!

-Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes, but I do throw them out when the mascara is dried up

-What brand of mascara do you use?
Various but mostly Pupa Milano, Essence & Catrice Cosmetics

-Sephora or MAC?
Never tried Sephora so I can't really compare the two

-Do you have a MAC Pro-card?

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Brushes (Sigma, E.L.F, Essence & Fraulein 38) or my hands

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Yes, Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base

-For the face?
Inglot Under The Make-Up Base

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
Very difficult to choose but right now my favourite is Essence Mono Eyeshadow in 02 Dance All Night
(shimmery gold)

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Kohl pencils and gel eyeliners

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Erm... never

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
Don't use them much but I do have a few and they can be very versatile

-Do you use mineral makeup?

-What is your favorite lipstick?
Chanel Rouge Allure in 66 Confidentielle
Givenchy Rouge Interdit in 20 Illicit Raspberry
Catrice Ultimate Colour in 190 The Nuder The Better

-How about lipgloss?
Catrice Cosmetics Lip Appeal Lip Gloss in Little Red Dress

-What is your favorite blush to use?
Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition Blush in 01 Swirlpool

-Do you buy your makeup on ebay?
Just a few NYX products and nail polishes

-Do you like drugstore makeup?

-Do you go to CCO’s? (cosmetic company outlets)
I have never been to a CCO

-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?
No as there are plenty of tutorials on youtube. I did take a beauty care course though.

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I take my time to put make-up to ensure it looks perfect!

-Name a makeup crime that you hate?
Nude lips against a dark brown lipliner

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
Depends on my mood but I do love a pillar box red lipstick!

-Which celebrity always has great make up?
Kim Kardashian & Mila Kunis

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?

-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
Depends on my mood

-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Chanel, Catrice & Essence

-What do you think of Makeup?
To me make-up is an art medium that should be used to enhance one's best features while letting natural beauty shine though :)

I tag everyone who feels like doing this fun tag post!

Catrice Cruise Couture & Coolibri Limited Editions ~ Out Now!!!

Just like sister brand Essence, Catrice Cosmetics have also come up with two Limited Editions which are currently on sale, namely, Cruise Couture and Coolibri. I have had the chance to try some products from these limited edition collections during the Essence & Catrice bloggers' event in the beginning of August but after seeing swatches of the other products that other bloggers got, I went ahead and bought the rest of the products that I most wanted.

I'm going to start with Cruise Couture first as it is my favourite out of the two collections (well, anything nautical inspired is!)

Cruise Couture
As the name implies, this collection is all about nautical inspired shades with a twist I might add as instead of the traditional red lipstick that is usually associated with nautical looks, Catrice opted for hot pinks and corals along with shades of blue. Some products from this collection were already available as part of the permanent line.

Eyeshadow Palette in 01

I fell head over heels for this palette as soon as I saw it mainly because of the packaging. It is all cardboard and has a magnetized closure which I am particularly fond of.  I was even more awe struck when I swatched the actual colours...amazing pigmentation without the need of a primer and the colours complement each other very well. The texture is silky smooth and you get both shimmery and matt shades.  There is also a double ended eyeshadow applicator.

Ultimate Shine Lipstick in 110 Shy Flamingo

There are two lipsticks with this collection, both of which were already available in the permanent line. However, Shy Flamingo is going to be discontinued while Mrs. Brightside is one of their latest additions to the Ultimate Shine lipstick range.  I had bought Shy Flamingo some time ago because I think it looks pretty on, but be warned... it is not for the faint hearted! Basically, it is a bright orange-based coral with silver shimmer and it hits the nail on the head when it comes to this summer's orange lips. The lipstick feels very moisturising on the lips and lasts for around 3 hours on me.  The only downside to this lipstick is that it melted a bit in the summer heat so make sure to store it in the refrigerator. Cost: €4.50.

Lashes to Kill Waterproof Volume Mascara in 010 Black

This mascara is also available as part of the permanent line of Catrice mascaras. I am always looking for a good waterproof mascara and this really fits the bill as it give nice volume, length and curl to the lashes right from the very first application. It doesn't smudge and doesn't clump. A waterproof eye make-up remover is necessary to take it all off.

Gel Eyeliner in C01 Nautica

The only gel eyeliner available in the collection is this creamy deep blue which almost looks like black when swatched. However, it is much less harsh and gives the eyes a brighter look. Cost: €4.50.

Ultimate Nail Lacquer in 01 Hi, Society!, 02 Jetsetter, 03 Welcome To Pink Tropez, 04 Feel the Yacht Beat & 05 Nautica

I all the nail polishes out available in the collection and I absolutely love the ship wheels motif on the caps.  The formulation of the polishes is very nice to work with and they dry fairly quickly. The brush makes for an easy application with fewer strokes. 01 Hi, Society! is a pale peach with coral-gold reflects all throughout; 02 Jetsetter is a bright coral pink creme; while 03 Welcome To Pink Tropez is an Italian pink creme; 04 Feel the Yacht Beat in a sky blue with royal blue shimmers in it and lastly, 05 Nautica is a dark blue with royal blue shimmers. Cost: €2.80 each.

Beauty Bag

This is the ultimate essential to carry all these limited edition goodies around! Perfect for travel and carrying everyday essentials!

Also available in this collection is are two lipglosses and a duo blush.


Moving on to the next limited edition collection, Coolibri by Catrice which is inspired by the colourful feathers from the Amazon. There are a few more items from this collection that I had wanted to get at first but by the time  I got to the display at the event, most of the stuff was already gone (I was too busy with the other products ;P) and I haven't yet found them on sale at the pharmacies I usually go to.  I did get two lipglosses and two eyeshadow pens though.

Nectar Gloss in C01 Birds Flying High & C04 Exotica

Basically, there are four sheer lipglosses in the collection the texture of which is quite thick but they are not at all sticky.  They are not very pigmented though except for the blue one as I find it makes it me looks like I'm on the verge of hypothermia so I would never wear that alone.  On the other hand, the orange imparts a nice coral sheen to my lips which is more me. The applicator is a brush tip as opposed to the traditional doe foot and it delivers just the right amount of product.

C04 Exotica

C01 Birds Fliying HIgh

Eyeshadow Pens in C03 Virgin Forest and C04 Exotica
I quite like the concept of eyeshadow pens especially for the orange one as I intend to wear it as a lipstick instead.  I am very fond of the pigmentation and colour pay-off of both of these eyeshadow pens and they are very easy to apply too! One thing to note is that Exotica has a matt finish whilst Virgin Forest has a metallic finish. The colour of the packaging is exactly what the actual product looks like as the photo can testify. They last well but a primer is always a good idea to make them last longer.

PR Samples