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Updated Skin Care Routine | Morning & Night Skin Care Regimes

Following my skin care stash clear out and replacing products that didn't work for me anymore, it's high time I did an updated skin care routine. I still follow the same skin care routine, but I changed some of the products. I'll start with my morning routine first.

Since I would have thoroughly cleansed my face the night before, I don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning my skin in the morning so I just cleanse my face with Michael Todd True Organics Cleanse and Tone One Step Cleanser and Toner. Apart from doing a great job and helping me not to breakout. this product also cuts down my morning regime as I don't have to tone my skin. Subsequently, I just moisturize my skin with La Roche Posay Effalcar Mat Sebo-Regulating Moisturizer and I finish by gently dabbing a little Skin Truth Face Eye Contour Gel around my eyes to reduce puffiness I get from my hay-fever. So that's my morning routine.
Now, on to my night time regime. I don't wear makeup everyday especially if I'm not going anywhere I would just skip it to give my skin a break. However, here I will guide through the full skin care routine when I need to take off full face makeup.

First off, I soak two cotton pads with Wjcon Bi-Phasic Makeup Remover and I put them for a few seconds on my eyes to dissolve the eye makeup. With gentle out-sweeping motions, I wipe away the eye makeup. To remove mascara, I dip a cotton bud into the same makeup remover and gently go over my lashes and under eyes until there is no more mascara left. If I'm not wearing eyeshadow or heavy eye makeup, I would skip this step and wipe my face thoroughly with Lycia Makeup Remover Wipes for Oily, Blemished and Combination Skin. With the backside of one of the same cotton pads, I then proceed to remove my lipstick.

Soaking another two cotton pads, I go over my face to remove all the face makeup. Once done, I wet my face with a little lukewarm water and use Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser to deep-clean my skin and make sure all makeup is dissolved away. After this step, I would treat my skin to an exfoliating scrub such as St.Ive's Apricot Scrub followed by a Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque two or three times a week.

When the skin is free from any product, I apply some Roberts Rose Water to tone it and refresh it and then I would follow with La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat and Skin Truth Eye Contour Gel.

So that's my current skin care regime what's yours? Do you use any of these products?

Monthly Favourites | May

End of May, means it's monthly favourites time again! This month I have been super busy with clients and I am really excited to have introduced Orly Gel FX to them. I have already had a few clients booked in for such a service and I am now waiting for their feedback so that I can then write a full review on the whole system etc. For my Maltese followers, do not hesitate to check out my facebook page here.
As for the typical monthly favourites, this month I was favouring the no-make up look over full on makeup. To create a perfect base, I was using Wjcon Primer Corrective Anti-Redness and NYX Concealer in a Jar CJ12 Green. What I really like about this primer is that the green tinge sort of melts into your skin to counteract the redness and you can skip foundation altogether if you so desire. It helps makeup lasts longer and skin looks matte for hours.
With regards foundation, I have been reaching for the Rimmel Lasing Finish Minerals Mineral Foundation 100 Ivory on days when I didn't need much coverage and on days when I just felt like putting on something to look more fresh-faced, I opted for the E.L.F. Mineral Blemish Kit to cover up and treat blemishes and finish with the E.L.F. Mineral Booster Sheer.
My two favourite blushes that are very much suited for this time of year, have been Essence Marble Mania Trend Edition Blush in 01 Swirlpool and E.L.F. Studio Blush Candid Coral. 
Since I have been using mineral foundation, I have re-discovered a favourite brush, the E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush which is certainly well know in the beauty blogsphere. On the other hand, I have only recently tried a beauty blender dupe to apply liquid foundation with and I can say I am pretty pleased with the airbrushed look it gives.
Lastly, eye and lip products. I am going to start with the only lip product I have, namely the E.L.F. Studio Glossy Gloss Berry Blush. I like the pigmentation with these glosses and the fact that they are not sticky and since I have been leaning towards more natural makeup this month, this is the perfect companion to any look! As for mascara, I really enjoyed using Essence Multi Action Mascara Blackest Black and Catrice Lashes to Kill Waterproof Mascara paired with a few Eylure Individual Lashes to added impact to otherwise neutral eyes.  The E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeliner in Black and Catrice Long Lasting Eyeliner Pen Stay On 080 I Like Blue Mondays have once again made it to my monthly favourites!

What were your favourites this month ladies?

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #20

It's the end of the 5th month of the year, and that means, it's time to show you which products I used up over the last 4/5 weeks!

I will go with skin care first. So I have used up La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser which is in itself a very good product targeted for oily/sensitive skins. However, I was still getting the odd breakout and I have now switched to Michael Todd True Organics. The LRP Effaclar Cleanser is still my no.1 recommendation for teens though as it is mild and paraben & soap free. It will last a long time as well and it is not pricey at all. This was my second bottle and it's a good place to start at as far as skin care goes.
Also from the same range, I have used up the LRP Effaclar Mat Sebo-Regulating Moisturizer. This is the best moisturizer for me as it mattifies my skin and helps keep oil production at bay. I have already re-purchased a back-up and I totally recommend it to anyone with oily/sensitive skin or individuals with enlarged pores.
The last skin care product I used up are the Lycia Makeup Remover Wipes for Oily/Blemished Skin. These are my go-to makeup remover wipes especially when I am too lazy at night to thoroughly wash my face. These do the job well and I can take off all my makeup with just 2 wipes. As usual, back-ups already bought!
Speaking of makeup, this month I finished another tube of Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 01 Soft Beige. Needless to say, I always stock up on this concealer which is my favourite to cover under-eye dark circles. I also finished the E.L.F. Studio Mattifying Translucent Powder which I really like as a setting powder. I won't be repurchasing for now though as I still have to go through the Complexion Perfection a.k.a. Tone Correcting Powder and Mineral Booster before I decide which one I should get. I really like the packaging and I have decided to keep it and re-use it.
That brush in the picture is from Avon and it is a retractable lip brush. I am throwing it away because... it has rusted!! I wash this brush like the other brushes and leave it to dry flat so I don't know how that happened but I thought I'd share this with you guys. I am quite gutted as I liked the brush and I think it's a pity to throw it away.

I have also used up Essence Moisturising Nail Polish Remover that smells of Coconut and Papaya as well as Impulse Hint Of Musk Deodorant. The remover is good and I like the smell but I won't be repurchasing as I am now using the acetone-free one from LIDL that comes with a handy pump dispenser. As for the deodorant, Impulse is my favourite brand and I always make sure I am stocked up on it and this is my favourite scent.

Lastly, I have a perfume sample, namely Vanitas by Versace and E.L.F. Nail Polish Remover Pads. The perfume has actually been one of my favourites this month and it smells very fresh and floral and it's perfect for spring. I will not be buying the perfume though as I have way too many to go through first but I will keep it in my wishlist as it is definitely up my street! As for the polish remover pads, I will definitely repurchase once E.L.F. re-stock as they are very handy to have in your purse and I really like the citrus smell they carry.

May Collective Haul

That's right...I did it again :S Let's dig into this month's collective haul!
I finally got round to trying Bottega Verde which is an Italian brand that only stocks natural and organic cosmetic products. They even have a make up range but to be honest they are a bit overpriced so I just bought a pomegranate body scrub as my coconut one from The Body Shop is running out. It costs €15.99 for 200mL and I was also given a loyalty card, and some product samples.

I also needed to stock up on my Effaclar Mat moisturizer so I got that and a sample of La Roche Posay's new BB cream. The moisturizer was €12.90.

With my cousin's wedding and Johan and my brother's birthdays coming up in June, I tried not to spend too much money on clothes but I really couldn't resist some items at New Look and ended up spending a total of €92.46 in one session! I bought this Aztec print bikini where the bottoms cost €9.99 and the top €14.99. I also stocked up on Montagne Jeunesse's Blemish Mud which cost €1.25 each. The earrings were a surprise from Johan as he heard me say a million times this month that I needed a royal blue pair and he bought them for me from Tenda Accessories.
Also from New Look, I bought a pair of beige cuffed chinos for €24.99 and a pair of high-waisted shorts which were on sale for €10.  The dungarees were €29.99 and they are a welcome addition to my summer wardrobe.
I did some shopping on ebay as well, mainly nail tech supplies such as glue, nail files and the likes but they're nothing special so I am not going to bore you with them. Here is the more fun stuff instead! I bought 12 colours of flocking powder (€2.31) to create velvet nails with as well as some shoes, lipstick (€3.02) and Eiffel Tower decals (€3.16).
More ebay purchases... two covers for the Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini mobile phone that I am planning on buying (€3.68 for the Eiffel Tower one and €1.41 for the butterflies one), a pair of Peacock tail paper lashes (€4.00), two Beauty Blender sponge dupes (€1.48 each) and a nose clay pack (€4.41).
Lastly, from ebay I got a little jar of embossing powder to basically turn an ordinary polish in a textured one. That cost €5.82. I also bought two products from Sally Hansen, namely the Instant Cuticle Remover and the No More Breaks Nail Strengthener. They were €7.40 each. The last nail related purchase this month was  actually a though from Dad...the April/May 2013 issue of Perfect Hair & Nails Magazine. 
I bought this cute pair of yellow earrings from Orsay for €4.95 to add to my collection and from Wjcon I bought this Automatic Lip Liner in Bimbo to match their Sublime Matt Lipstick N.611. If I'm not mistaken this cost €4.90.
Dad also surprised me with some magazine freebies from a friend of his so thanks to both of them :)

This month I went crazy with earrings and so I placed an order on I was really impressed with how fast the order came through. The total was €7.63 and I really like all of these earrings, especially the round ones with the butterflies.
My Dad and my boyfriend also surprised me with this cute and sparkly cat keyring and shoes & handbag mug respectively this month. Then lastly, I bought myself a cute Chamilia shoe charm when we bought a gift for Mum for Mother's day. As soon as I saw the charm, I knew it had to be mine! I paid €39 for it.


So that is all from my part! Share your purchases below in the comments!

NOTD | La Ville Des Lumieres

Good afternoon everyone :) This week I was looking through some pictures and I came across the ones from my last visit to Paris and since I have recently bought a pack of Eiffel Tower nail decals, I thought I should create some nail art with them.

When I think of Paris, a million adjectives cross my mind, especially the city's 'nickname' la ville des lumieres (city of lights) and I came up with this manicure. Read on to learn how to achieve the same look!

1. Apply a base coat to protect the nails.

2. Follow with two coats of a dark lilac polish. I used Essence Colour & Go 131 Ballerina's Charm.

3. When dry, apply a glitter polish such as China Glaze Snowglobe to the base of each nail. Start by dabbing the glitter onto the nail and gently drag it up towards the centre to achieve a gradient look. Allow to dry.

4. When dry, pick a sticker the size of your nail and affix it in the centre of the nail, a little above the base to give the illusion of lights behind the Eiffel Tower.

5. Seal with a top coat for a longer lasting manicure.



Review | Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover

A few days ago, fellow Maltese blogger Davi posted a review on this Instant Cuticle Remover from Sally Hansen. I always steered clear of cuticle removers before as you should never ever cut or completely remove your cuticles as they are there to protect your nail from infection. However, we all know how unsightly thick and dry cuticles can be, especially when they grow over the nail plate. For more information about cuticles and how to properly take care of them, please check out this post.
Back to the original subject, I bought this product from the hospital convenience store as Davi's review really convinced me to get it. Basically, the product is supplied in a white carton box with Sally Hansen's logo and product information and ingredients all around...pretty much like all Sally Hansen Nail Treatments.
The actual cuticle remover comes in a light blue plastic squeeze bottle and it has a gel-like texture but it's more on the watery side. It is clear in colour. The nozzle through which the product comes out is the perfect size to control the amount of product and it fits comfortably on the cuticle and nail wall areas.
Basically, what you do is just squeeze out an adequate amount of cuticle remover onto the cuticles and under your nail tips, wait 15 seconds and gently push back the cuticles and the dead skin and true cuticle (cuticle left overs onto the nails) are dissolved away. Be careful not to leave it on for more than a minute then just wash away the excess in warm, soapy water.
I have tried this on my own nails the other day and I was amazed at how much cuticle was removed from my nails! Cuticles on the nails can be the cause of gel extensions lifting away and nail polish not lasting long enough or peeling so this product is definitely something each one of us should have in their nail care stash!
My boyfriend was kind enough to volunteer to have his excess cuticles removed for this post. So what you will see in the pictures are actually his nails. Just a little disclaimer here; some pictures can be gross and just to make it clear, he had trimmed his own fingernails and dead skin surrounding the nails by himself moments before. So here goes!
Left: Where you should apply the product
Right: Before applying the cuticle remover

Scraping off the dry cuticles
All the scraped off dry cuticles from one nail!

Result! Nice and free from dry cuticles and callouses!
Pretty amazing right?! Even Johan himself was amazed! This is definitely a product I wouldn't want to be caught without! Way to go Sally Hansen ;)

Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover retails for €7.40 for 29.5mL of product.

NOTW | Chevron Half-Moon Manicure

Hey all :) Hope your Sunday has been great! Here is the nail art tutorial for this week where I took a modern take on the half-moon manicure with a classic colour combination...nude pink and gold. Read on for the tutorial!

1. Prep nails with a base coat to protect your natural nails and help the polish last longer.
2. Paint two coats of a gold nail polish onto the ring fingers making sure to allow enough drying time for each coat. I used Essence Colour & Go 140 Go Bold. For the other nails, apply two coats of a nude pink polish. I used Essence Nude Glam 02 Iced Strawberry Cream. It is imperative to leave the nails to dry thoroughly before proceeding. 10 minutes should be enough.
3. Using striping tape, adhere two strips at the base of each of the pink coloured nails, forming a triangle and paint this triangle with the same gold polish used for the ring fingers. Wait for a couple of seconds and gently peel off the tape. Remember to take off the last piece of tape first.
4. Seal your design with a top coat and you're done!


Review | Wjcon Bi-phasic Waterproof Makeup Remover

Apart from an extensive makeup range, Italian brand Wjcon also have their own skin care range. However, it is more of a general skin care range rather than targeted for specific skin types. I decided to try their Bi-phasic Waterproof Makeup Remover.

The product is supplied in a conveniently sized 150mL bottle. Being transparent, it enables me to see how much product I have left and with me, that is always a plus. Ingredients and product information are printed on the back of the bottle.

Most of the time, I favour makeup remover wipes over bi-phasic makeup removers as they tend to leave an oily film on my skin, even though I cleanse my face thoroughly afterwards. This is surely not the case with the Wjcon Bi-phasic Waterproof Makeup Remover! It effectively removes all makeup, even the toughest, waterproof makeup and I do not have to worry about any oily residues being left on my skin. I did notice that there seems to be more of the aqueous element rather than oil so I guess that might be reason why it doesn't feel that oily.
Typically, I would use 4 cotton pads soaked with this makeup remover to take off all makeup including foundation; I use 1 for each eye, so that's 2 already, then I use the back side of one of them to remove lipstick and an additional two to remove foundation. I then cleanse, tone and moisturize skin before heading to bed (full updated skin care routine to be posted this week). I also use one q-tip to remove any left-over traces of mascara but most of the time, it isn't necessary...that's how effective this makeup remover is.
I have never had any issues with skin irritations or breakouts while or after using this product and I will therefore award it a full 5 star rating!
Wjcon Bi-Phasic Waterproof Makeup Remover is available from the Wjcon shop at Naxxar Road, Birkirkara or for Italians across Italy or online from Retails price is €5.90 for 150mL.
Have you been to Wjcon yet? Any favourite products?

NOTW | Blue & Green Watercolour Manicure

This is the nail art I have proposed for you this week...watercolour nails! It's very easy to do and of course you can choose your own colour combinations, the effect is simply beautiful! Read on for the tutorial!

1. Prep nails with a base coat and leave to dry.

2. Paint two coats of a white nail polish on the fingers you want to do the watercolour effect on and paint a French tip on the others. Here I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 300 White On. Leave to dry thoroughly.

3. Seal the French manicured nails with a top coat and apply one coat of a fast drying top coat to the all white nails.

4. Pick the colours you will be using to create the watercolour effect with. I chose Catrice Cruise Couture Limited Edition Ultimate Nail Lacquer C04 Feel The Yacht Beat and E.L.F. Mint Crème. Put a couple of drops of each nail polish separately on a piece of aluminium foil and with a pointed or square tipped nail art brush dipped in nail polish remover, thin each colour out.

5. When satisfied with the colour, just touch the brush onto the white nail in random areas. Repeat for all the colours and when totally dry, seal with a top coat!