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Guest Post | Tips for Buying Makeup Online

Hello everyone! I have only been up for a couple of hours after my cousin's wedding last night...we really had a blast and it was all so elegant and chic! I have a blog post for you today by Marcela de Vivo who has already contributed guest posts on this blog in the past. She always comes up with interesting subjects and I hope you enjoy her posts as much as I do!

Buying cosmetics online can save a lot of time, especially for women with hectic schedules that don’t allow them to go to the store every time they need to replace eyeshadow or lipstick. If you run out of a favorite beauty product and don’t have the time to drive to the store and deal with the crowds and lines, shopping online for your makeup replacements—and new items as well—is an easy solution.

However, online shopping has it’s own pitfalls as well, therefore, you should pay attention to return policies and-- if you’re buying from an unknown vendor or trying a new product-- be sure to do research thoroughly before plunking down your hard earned cash.

Here are some things to pay attention to when shopping online for cosmetic and beauty products:

1) Pay attention to return policies. This is particularly true if you are buying colored cosmetics that you’ve never used before. In most department stores or large beauty retailers, you have the luxury (or sometimes the onus) of trying every shade until you find the right match. Or there will be able salespersons happy to assist you in finding the right color.

Regardless of how much the websites try to represent the a particular shade correctly, sometimes the color is not the same as you would see it online. What you thought was the right shade for your skin may be off by one or two tones. If you don’t research the return policy prior to purchase, you may end up stuck with unopened makeup that doesn’t meet your needs. Look for beauty websites that offer 100-percent satisfaction guarantees, regardless on whether or not the package has been used or opened.

2) Buy beauty products through websites that offer multiple brands. Instead of buying through just a company site, use larger retailers such as or You may find a better price, a percentage off total purchase or free shipping through these beauty retailers more often than at the brand’s website. These sites also often offer gifts with purchase as well. Unless you are shopping for one specific brand, these sites are an excellent place to compare products across multiple brands at once.

3) Reviews are your best friend
. If you’re looking for a new cosmetic and you’ve never tried it before, but want to buy it online, read its reviews! Beauty retailers often allow their customers to review the product. There are entire websites and forums dedicated to the review of cosmetics and other beauty products. Beauty bloggers are often excellent sources of information about the latest and newest products as well. Read reviews from several different sources before deciding to make the purchase as these experiences can serve as your “testers.”

4) Be careful of purchasing untested or unreviewed retailers or individuals. Quality control is a problem when buying from an unknown entity—you don’t know how old the product is, if there’s a guarantee backing up the product, or whether or not the item is the genuine article. Unless the retailer has solid reviews (and not just a handful of anonymous comments) and a generous return policy, you should avoid buying cosmetics from them.

5) Steer clear of opened cosmetics
. Sites like eBay list a plethora of mixed cosmetic items, some used and some unopened. Many cosmetics have short shelf lives, made shorter once opened, therefore, there’s no way of knowing how long that item has been opened. Additionally, it’s not hygienic to share certain beauty products. Once the packaging is opened, the product can be adulterated. For example, you may think you’re getting 100-percent tea tree oil, but you’re really getting 10-percent tea tree oil and 90-percent mineral oil; however, there is exception to this: reputable makeup swap sites. On these sites, the members are often familiar with each other and vetted for membership, so it is slightly safer on these websites, you should still exercise caution and common sense when considering used beauty products.

For the busy woman, online shopping is a boon. Replacing that foundation or lipstick is easier than ever—with a few clicks of a mouse and a credit card in hand, you have the makeup, skincare line, cleanser or any other cosmetic tools you need shipped to your doorstep. Keep in mind these tips while you’re shopping online to help save you money and optimize your overall experience.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area who writes on everything from health and beauty, to travel and dining, to gaming and technology. While working with Miami spa, Bellezza Spa she learned that the key to purchasing great beauty products online is to purchase from reputable sites.. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

NOTD: Ombre, Dots & Flowers

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday! The weather is glorious over here...typically what we are used to in Malta! Here is the manicure wore this week:
I fancied going for a summer combination of colours and flowers are always my favourite nail art motif. Here's how to achieve the look:
1. As always, prep the nails with a base coat to protect the natural nails.
2. Apply two coats of am orange nail polish on all the nails. I used Essence Cute As Hell Trend Edition Nail Polish 02 Bad Girl.
3. When dry, sponge a taupe nail polish over the tips of each nail. E.L.F. Smoky Brown will do just fine. When satisfied with the intensity of the taupe polish, apply a coat of clear polish to blend the colours together.
4. By means of a medium sized dotting tool, place mint dots in a polka dot pattern on one side of each nail as shown in the pictures.
5. To finish off, apply Viva La Nails flower stickers over each nail and seal with a clear top coat.


OOTD | Monochrome and a Pop of Red

Hey all so today is my boyfriend's birthday and we kicked off the celebrations yesterday with dinner at this little restaurant in Marsascala. It is quite a chic place so obviously I dressed up for the occasion. I have had this dress for a while and I only wore it once to the Wjcon bloggers' night. I love the monochrome pattern and my favourite way to add a pop of colour to such a combination is by wearing some red accessories. Here are the pictures:

Dress, New Look | Cardigan, Peacocks | Patent envelope clutch bag, McBailey
Patent red sling-backs, Gauda of Paola | Geometric earrings, New Look
Tresor Paris bracelet and Spinning Rings, 202 Jewellery
Watch, DKNY | Black Akoya Pearl double string bracelet, Tesor Jewellery
For those interested, here is a list of products I used to create this makeup look: 
Inglot Under The Makeup Base
NYX HD Foundation HDF02 Soft Beige
Essence Stay Natural Concealer 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Mineral Booster Sheer
Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Kit
E.L.F. Studio Warm Bronzer
E.L.F. Studio Makeup Mist & Set
E.L.F. Eyelid Primer Sheer
Essence Eyeshadow 03 Starlight
Catrice Intensif'eye Wet & Dry Shadow 010 Black or White Swan?!
E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeliner Black
Essence Multi Action Mascara Waterproof
Pupa Multiplay Eye Pencil 09
Essence Eyebrow Designer 04 Blonde
Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara
NYX Long Lip Pencil CLPL20 Plush Red
Givenchy Rouge Interdit 20 Illicit Raspberry

Review | Wjcon Primer Corrective Anti-Redness

Today I will be reviewing another product I bought from Wjcon recently and as you can tell by the title of this post, the spotlight will be on their green Anti-Redness Corrective Primer.

First off, the primer is supplied in a black carton box that bears the ingredients and a swatch of the primer colour. The product information is printed on the back of the actual tube which is the same colour as the actual primer. The tube holds 30ml and it is very conveniently sized for travel. However, to see how much product is left, you have to put the tube against the light as it is opaque.

Here's a word about primers and their use in makeup... A primer is applied before foundation and after moisturizer to help create an even base and help your makeup last longer.  This one in particular also has a mattifying effect, counteracts wrinkles and being green, it contrasts any redness. I am still too young to have wrinkles so I cannot really comment on that but I can definitely give my two cents on this primer's other properties!

To begin with, I bought specifically the green corrective primer because I really liked the effect when Maria did my makeup at the Wjcon Bloggers' Night. I do get a little redness on my cheeks and from pimples so I thought this would be a great complement to my NYX Concealer In A Jar CJ12 Green.

What impresses me the most with this primer is that although it is green in colour, it goes onto the skin very sheer and it blends well effortlessly so that if you don't feel like applying foundation, you can skip it altogether and still look very natural.
The texture is creamy but a little on the watery side, hence very easy to blend into the skin. I use this primer when I am doing full face makeup mostly, because it helps keep the makeup on longer and my skin is kept oil free. The primer has no scent whatsoever and is rapidly absorbed into the skin. I haven't had any issues with breaking out while using the product.
To sum up, I would really recommend this primer to anyone whose skin tends to get red and acne prone people. It is available in another three varieties to suit everyone's individual needs; white to illuminate the face, purple to freshen up dull complexions, skin coloured to counteract pigmentation, dark spots and dark under eye circles.
Available from Wjcon in Naxxar Road, Birkirkara for €9.90 for 30ml. *Throughout the month of June, Wjcon are giving you a free nail polish with a purchase of €35 or more worth of products*.

Follow Wjcon Malta on Facebook for updates and special offers.

How To Clean the Beauty Blender dupes

Hello everyone :) I just washed my makeup brushes and tools and seeing the comments I got about the Beauty Blender dupes featured in the May haul post, I figured I should review the sponges but before that, I want to show you how I thoroughly clean them to get them looking like new again.
I am aware that there is a solid shampoo for cleaning the actual Beauty Blender but you really don't have to spend that much money to clean these makeup sponges, a regular bar of soap will do!
To start with, wet the soap and the sponge with clear water. Subsequently, rub the sponge over the soap and lather up.
Rinse away excess soap under clear water, squeezing the sponge as you go. When no soapy suds remain in the sponge, wring out excess water and leave the sponge to dry thoroughly on a flat surface for a couple of days. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the sponge otherwise, bacteria may multiply in the sponge and cause you to breakout.
There you go! Let me know what you think about this method of cleaning the sponges!

Review | Sally Hansen No More Breaks Natural Nail Strengthener

How is everyone doing so far? Upon request I will review the Sally Hansen No More Breaks Natural Nail Strengthener which I bought with the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. Seeing how good the latter product is, I really had high hopes for this one and after thoroughly testing it out, here are my thoughts on it. I will start with some background information about my nails first. 
So, my nails are quite strong in themselves but come summer, they need a little help not to break as they tend to grow much faster because of increased sun (hence Vitamin D) exposure. Therefore, I decided to get this product with that in mind.
Like all Sally Hansen nail treatments, the strengthener comes in a carton box on which are printed the ingredients and directions for use amongst other information.  The actual polish on the other hand has a light green tinge but results transparent on application. It comes in a transparent bottle, making it easier to determine how much product is left. The brush is a good size to apply the product in just two strokes.
Application instructions suggest that you apply the product on clean, dry, bare nails so I went ahead and removed excess cuticle and dehydrated the nails and applied one coat of No More Breaks, allowing a couple of minutes drying time before I applied another one.

To my surprise, the polish just peeled off my nail the minute it dried so I cleaned my nails yet again and this time, I applied two subsequent coats but to no avail...the polish just peeled off! I thought of using it over a good base coat to make it stay in place but then again, what's the use of a nail strengthener if it cannot adhere to the nail plate?

I'd say stay away from this product and spend the same amount of money on another polish or the Instant Cuticle Remover instead. Speaking of price, I think it is still good value for money as it retails for €7.40 for 13.3mL (although it is much cheaper in the US).
Did you ever try this? Am I the only one it didn't work for? 

Initial Impressions | Essence Show Your Feet High Heel Mania Trend Edition

Hello beauties! I'm so excited to be sharing this post with you today! So last Thursday I was able to get my hands on one of the latest Trend Editions from Essence, Show Your Feet High Heel Mania! As soon as I saw this on their website, I was really hoping we get it quick here in Malta and luckily my prayers have been answered!
Here are the pictures and initial impressions about the products that makeup this limited edition collection!
Show Your Feet Toe Nail Polish
While I don't get what makes a finger and toe nail polish different, I really liked the bright shades in this collection but since I have similar colours to them, I skipped the nail polishes but one, namely 02 The Pump. It is a beautiful baby pink crème that is opaque in just one coat! I really liked the fact that they named the polishes after different shoes :) The formula is nice and dries fairly quickly so thumbs up! €2.40 for 8ml, available in a total of 5 shades
Show Your Feet Gel Comfort Pads
In my opinion, these are must haves for when you're wearing high heels. The cushions provide a non-slip grip and prevent burning and blisters on the balls of the feet! What's more? They're heart shaped thus suitable for flip flops; and if they lose stickiness, just rinse them with clear water and they're as good as new! €3.60 for 1 pair
Show Your Feet High Heel Protectors
Another innovative product! I'm really in need of these to help prevent ruining my high heels. Basically, these are gel cushions for your heels which just wrap around your heel. Again, if they lose stickiness, you just have to rinse them with clear water! €3.60 for 2 pairs
Show Your Feet Designer Sole Sticker
This is a fun and innovative product which I knew I would definitely get both varieties of. I'm curious as so see how long these will last and how they will look! €3.60 for 1 pair, available in 01 Into The Wild and 02 Pink Is Beautiful
Show Your Feet Nail Stickers
I loved these so much I got 3 sheets! You get an array of different coloured shoes, stars and hearts, perfect for chic and quick nail art! €2.20 per sheet of 35 stickers

Show Your Feet Body Tattoos
These body tattoos have been designed for use around the ankles but I will be using them for decorative purposes instead. €2.40 per sheet, available in 2 variations
So, high heel maniacs, Essence got you covered! Will you be getting anything from this collection? In Malta, the High Mania Trend Edition is available at Rotunda Pharmacy, Mosta | Beautika, Siggiewi | Health Plus on Campus.