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Monthly Favourites | September

My my time is flying by! Here are my September favourites ladies.
Starting with make up, I have been wearing these two lip glosses almost everyday this month. Both are neutral shades with shimmer and they are perfect for both day and night wear. They last really good and I find them both to be very moisturising. I like to wear Catrice Colour Show 080 Nude-Tritious first and layer some Essence XXXL Shine 08 Glamour To Go in the middle to give the illusion of fuller lips.

This month, I have been delving into the world of filling brows to make them look fuller more often and I found myself reaching mostly for Essence Eyebrow Designer 04 Blonde and Essence Guerilla Gardening Trend Edition Eyebrow Mascara 01 Garden Girls. They are exactly the same shade of light 'ashy' brown and I discovered I much prefer to use eyebrow products that are slightly lighter than the actual colour of my brows. Thumbs up for both products for performance and ease of use, I just hope Essence introduce the mascara as part of their permanent line.
Catrice Glamour Doll Mascara is once again my favourite because I really like the way it separates my lashes, giving me a voluminous look that seems as though I am wearing lashes. The last eye product I have been favouring this month, is the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. An ever popular cult favourite, I like to use this product as a base for my eyeshadows to make the colours pop and it never disappoints!
The Ultimate Contour Palette from Napoleon Perdis is one of my all time favourite products for various reasons, the main ones being, the packaging, the texture of all three products and the matte bronzer that is not too dark for my skin tone. Need I say more?
I have a new favourite skin care product as well and it is none other than Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub. I will be reviewing this in full so all I am going to say for now is that I love how this feels on my skin and they way my skin looks after using it.
The hair brush is my favourite hair gadget this month. It was part of the goodie bag from the Dean Gera Hair Care opening earlier this month and I always favour wide bristled brushes for when I need to brush my hair while wet. This one also comes with a nifty small mirror at the back that you can take out to use while on the go.
Foundation sponges or rather Beauty Blenders and their dupes have been all over the blogsphere as of late and a few months back I bought two dupes off Ebay at a fraction of the price and I never went back to applying foundation with a brush ever since. I love how the foundation looks whena pplied with a wet sponge because it gives you the right amount of coverage without looking cakey.
Last but not least, the Aztec nails were a favourite with me and people who complimented me on them. They are really easy to re-create (check out the tutorial here) and the neon studs give the manicure a fashion forward feel.

NOTW | Aztec and Neon

This week I finally had the chance to try on some Aztec inspired nails and I wanted to use the neon stud rhinestones I recently got from Born Pretty Store as well so I incorporated both in this fun manicure. Read on for the tutorial and more pictures :)
1. Prep nails with a base coat and follow with two coats of a neutral polish. Used here is Essence Soul Sista Trend Edition Nail Polish 04 Totally Retro Nude. Allow to dry completely.
2. For the black stripes and Aztec patterns, I used black acrylic paint diluted with water to enable me to draw the intricate lines flawlessly. I used a size 0 Kolinsky brush as I find they give better results than synthetic hair brushes.
For the ring fingers, start by drawing two thin lines in a 'v' shape and then proceed to draw the Aztec stair-like design in small lines first and subsequently fill in. It helps to draw another 'v' shape a little further up to serve as an outline. Finish by painting a small triangle at the very tip as shown in the pictures and add neon rhinestones at the base of the nail.
3. For the middle fingers, you can use striping tape for more defined lines, otherwise you can just use a black nail polish straight from the brush and create a thick vertical stripe right up the middle of the nail. I used Essie Licorice for this step.
4. While the black polish is still wet, adhere square and round rhinestones to your liking and leave to dry.
5. Seal all the nails with top coat and you're done!


The Exit Interview Series | Volume #24

Quite a lot of empties this month starting with Michael Todd Cleanse & Tone and Charcoal Detox cleansers. I am really pleased with these cleansers and I have already bought a backup for both of them way before I ran out because I really like the way my skin looks and feels now that I have been using these cleansers. I used the Cleanse & Tone in the morning and the Charcoal Detox in the evening for a more through clean.
Another two skin care products are the Dermalogica Ultracalming Relief Masque and the Montagne Jeunesse Very Berry face masque. This is not the first appearance for MJ products on this blog and I have used this particular masque many time before and I am always pleased with the results. On the other hand, the Dermalogica masque was a new product for me and I have to say I was quite impressed with it even though I was only able to use it once because it was a sample size. I like how light it feels on the skin and it starts working immediately and calms redness on my skin in an instant. Very tempted to buy the full sized product in fact!
This month I had the opportunity to try a few new products thanks to Dean Gera Hair Care and Make Up Store. I have finished two of the samples that they gave us at the opening event of the hair salon and while I can confirm I was in for a treat with the hair mask, I cannot say the same for the face mask. The True Keratin Super Sleek+ Post-Treatment Masque left my hair oh so soft, smooth, frizz-free and perfectly straight while smelling really good. On the other hand, the Anti-Blemish mask did a very good job at leaving my skin soft but it did sting a little while I was wearing it. The worst part is that it left my skin red and blotchy. Moreover, I mixed the contents of one sachet with water as directed and ended up wasting half of it because it jellified and I couldn't reapply. Definitely won't be buying.
Next is the another product from the Home Spa by Make Up Store range. This time it is the Salt Polish Ginger of which I only had one sachet (also given to me for free at the Dean Gera Hair Care opening event earlier this month). I have to say I was in for a treat with this product both from its exfoliating action as well as the essential oil scent. My only concern is that the price is a bit expensive so I might only consider buying the product as a treat.

The next product is a work-essential for me. These are the Floralys (a LIDL brand) Chamomile Wet Toilet Wipes and I always make sure to keep a pack of these in my locker to use during that time of month to feel refreshed and clean. The light chamomile scent leaves me feeling fresh all day long and I have never experienced any irritation whatsoever. You definitely get good value for money out of these wipes as they come in packs of 2, each containing 70 wipes and they only cost €1.59. You have to use three at one go though but they still last a long time and to retain freshness, they are also supplied with a plastic box. The last thing I have to say about them is that they are flushable so you don't have to worry about disposing of them!

This month has also seen me use up the Wjcon Biphasic Makeup Remover which is by far my favourite makeup remover as it really takes no effort to remove all my makeup, even waterproof mascara without tugging at my skin. It doesn't leave an oily residue on the skin and has never irritated my sensitive skin. Will definitely repurchase. I have also used up this sample sized Kids Shampoo from Mixed Chicks. This was good for 8 washes and I loved how soft my hair felt after using it. Not sure I would cave into buying it though.
Another bathroom-related product is this mini Hair and Body Gel that I got from the hotel we stayed at in Paris. I always carry a few of these sample sized shower gels from wherever I am staying as I find they are really handy to carry to weekend getaways and the likes. I have used up one of them during my weekend in Gozo and although I don't know the manufacturing company, I thought it was worth a mention just because it smells so good and lathers up well...something I look for in a shower gel. I never used it on my hair though because I like to use a shampoo and conditioner tailored especially for my hair type.

Next up is Pupa Milano Intensive Anti-Cellulite Scrub. I like the smell of this and the granules are just the right degree of abrasive. It takes some time to wash off but does a good job at exfoliating my skin. I don't think I would repurchase this though as I feel it does nothing to combat cellulite on its own (I was actually given this for free with the Pupa Milano Anti-Cellulite Treatment Cream).

I have also used up this deodorant which Mum picked at random. I happened to like the scent which lasts all day. If I come across it again, I think I would repurchase just because it smells so good.

I have two make-up empties this month. The first one is the E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeliner Black which has totally dried out and fell out of the container. I did get a lot of use out of it though but I prefer gel eyeliners to be in glass containers as that way they don't dry out. I won't be repurchasing this.

Last but not least, I have Maybelline Experteyes Kohl Pencil. This has been in my stash for ages and I have finally used it up. I preferred using it during the day with more toned-down looks mostly because it is not that pigmented and it doesn't last long. No re-purchase here.

Nail Polish Collection | BYS, Eugene Perma, Florelle, Pronails

We are nearing the end of my nail polish collection and today I have another mix of brands, of which BYS and Florelle can be bought from various drugstores while Pronails is only found on sale from authorised outlets and nail technicians. On the other hand, the Eugene Perma ones were free gifts from my hair dresser for a promotion they had running when a client had their hair coloured (Eugene Perma is actually a salon exclusive hair brand). Here goes:

33 - mocha crème 
142 - sheer magenta
268 - periwinkle crème
145 - sheer pearl grey with silver shimmer
267 - camel crème

Sheer Nude Pink
Italian Pink crème
Deep burgundy crème
Bright coral crème

N1 Aqua Pool - sheer pearlescent blue-green duochrome
N37 Passion Pink - sheer pearlescent pink-lilac duochrome
N83 Ultra Violet - neon purple (matte)
N137 Pink On The Brink - pink and holographic round glitter in a transparent pink jelly

67 - pearlescent pink-peach duochrome
 51 - sheer silver grey with silver glitter
87 - red crème (matte)
70 - pearlescent orange-green duochrome

OOTD | Crops and Stripes

Autumn has slowly started manifesting itself on our tiny island and it has given me a good excuse to wear my River Island striped crop top for the first time. I was really looking forward to wearing this top before I even received it and I have so many outfits planned around it for the coming season. Last Sunday, me and Johan got to watch 2 Guns at the cinema (which by the way is a really good movie if you love action flicks) and since the weather is slowly getting on the cool side in the evening, I thought of wearing this crop top. Here are the pictures and list of products used to create my makeup look.

Striped crop top, River Island | Red jeans, Peacocks
Red kitten heels, New Look | Envelope clutch bag, New Look
Pearl stud earrings, H&M | Viventy and Spinning Rings, 202 Jewellery

Catrice Ultimate Moisture Fresh Skin Makeup 010 Light Beige
Essence Stay Natural Concealer 01 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Mineral Booster Sheer
E.L.F. Studio Warm Bronzer

E.L.F. Eyelid Primer Sheer
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Breathless
Cover Girl Eye Enhancer Double Espresso
Wet 'n' Wild Coloricon Single Eyeshadow Brulee
E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeliner Black
Catrice Long Lasting Eyeliner Pen Stay On 080 Puddle Of Mudd
Pupa Milano Multiplay Eye Pencil 09
Catrice Glamour Doll Mascara
Catrice Mini Max Mascara
Essence Eyebrow Designer 04 Blonde
Essence Guerilla Gardening Trend Edition Eyebrow Mascara 01 Garden Girls

Catrice Colour Show Lipgloss 080 Nude-Tritious
Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss 08 Glamour To Go

Top Ten Lipsticks for Autumn 2013

Hello dolls :) Unfortunately summer is has come to an end but here in Malta, autumn is still not in full swing yet. Having said that, I look forward to wearing all the new clothes I bought for the coming season as well as wearing my favourite lipstick shades, namely berry hues and rich reds.
Today I will be sharing with you my favourite lipsticks to wear during this time of year and I have included both drugstore and high end picks with shades ranging from neutral tones to deeper tones. Here they are in no particular order:
E.L.F. Mineral Lipstick Rosy Tan ~ a my-lips-but-better shade with warm undertones.
M.A.C. Lustre Lipstick Naked Paris ~ nude shimmery brown
Essence Lipstick 12 Sparkling Miracle - purple with golden shimmer
E.L.F. Mineral Lipstick Rich Raspberry - toned down raspberry pink with reddish undertones
Essence Home Sweet Home Trend Edition Longlasting Lipstick 02 Berry Me Home - true raspberry
Max Factor Lipstick 710 Midnight Plum - plum purple with subtle shimmer
Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick 030 Ginger and Fred - mulberry with golden shimmer
Make Up Store Sparkling Lipstick Black Currant - plum purple with multi-coloured shimmer
Chanel Rouge Coco 16 Taffetas Rose - deep rose pink with violet undertones

E.L.F. Studio Matte Lip Color Rich Red - true red with a matte finish

So those are my picks for the season. If I had to pick just one favourite shade out of the above ten, it would hands down be Make Up Store Black Currant. I just love the multi-coloured shimmers and how the shade contrasts with my skin tone. I have got this lipstick only recently but I can see myself wearing it a lot already. Other favourites would be Chanel Taffetas Rose and Essence Sparkling Miracle.

Do you prefer rich lipstick shades to the more sheer formulas? Which is your favourite fall lipstick?  

Review | Make Up Store Home Spa Salt Polish Ginger

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of Dean Gera Hair Care salon in collaboration with Make Up Store. Just before we left, we were each presented with a goodie bag filled with hair care product samples as well as some Make Up Store products including a sachet of Home Spa Salt Polish Ginger. 
I took the product with me on a weekend break in Gozo since it was all about relaxation, I figured I could find some time to have a bath and unwind.
The Home Spa range by Make Up Store is a specifically designed range of products to help you distress and relax in the comfort of your own bathroom. The range consists of facial masks, body polishes, candles as well as lotions and massage oils to name a few, all in different fragrances to suit all preferences. All products in the range are luxuriously packaged to offer the ultimate spa experience.
The Salt Polish Ginger is no exception. The product is supplied as 4 x 20mL sachets in a simple yet elegant box (in our goodie bag we only had one 20mL sachet) and each sachet is good for one use. The actual Salt Polish is a rather fine, white powder mixture with a few large brown granules. Make Up Store describe this concoction as a unique combination of essential oils and extra fine sea salt enriched with emollient from corn sucrose.
You can definitely smell the essential oils in there and although it come off as overpowering, the scent is very reminiscent of what you would smell upon entering a professional spa setting. Ginger can also be detected and I was really pleased to find this product in my goodie bag because ginger is well know for its circulation boosting properties and it is also very effective to ease stiff joints.
It is recommended to blend the Salt Polish with warm water to activate the essential oil components but first I gently worked the polish on my dry skin and then I immersed myself in a warm bath. The room was soon filled with a pleasant aroma and my skin felt as smooth as ever.
The only concern I have with this product is the price for I think that €21.99 for just 4 x 20mL sachets that are meant to be used once or twice a week is a little expensive. However, I would recommend the product for a treat!
The Home Spa by Make Up Store range can be bought from the Make Up Store shop on level -2 at The Point Shopping Mall in Sliema.

PR Sample

Review | BK Nail Lacquer Thinner

Show off hands please! How many of us have gloopy nail polishes in our collection? And how many of us are guilty of trying to restore them by adding polish remover, only to discover they still go bad after a few days? Yeah, thought so!
Today I am excited to share with you this BK Nail Lacquer Thinner from Born Pretty Store. I was really eager to receive this product but for some reason the order took quite long to arrive and when I emailed BPS customer service, they told me the order was probably lost and they sent me a replacement order straight away which arrived within two weeks.
The BK Nail Lacquer Thinner comes in a white plastic bottle with a pointy cap that you twist the upper part of to dispense the product through a thin nozzle. While I like concept of the packaging to avoid spilling and wasting the thinner, I have to point out that I would have preferred if the lid didn't come off as I think that this is the reason some of the product has spilt during transit.

As you would expect, the thinner has a very powerful smell that lingers on for a while and I highly recommend working in a well ventilated area whilst using it. I have used the thinner to restore some of my nail polish which have turned gloopy, including two crackle polishes. All I needed were just a few drops of thinner, shake the bottle to mix with the polish and the polish was good as new in no time! I tried applying the polishes afterward and they applied like a dream. As for the crackle polishes, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they still dried to a crackle finish.

I have also found another use for this clean nail polish bottle necks! Check out all the details and tutorial here.

Needless to say, I definitely recommend this product! Like I said the only use I had is with it spilling during transit but I will re-purchase for sure!

BK Nail Lacquer Thinner can be bought from Born Pretty Store for $6.88 for 70mL of product.