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November Collective Haul

I've been quite naughty this month and bought quite a lot of stuff, so let me start by showing you the clothing items I parted my cash with.
My father's cousin owns a little clothes shop at Xemxija and finally I had the chance to visit. I bought quite a lot of things actually and she gave me a discount (prices quoted are in full) and some free costume jewellery as well. Have a look at my purchases in the following pictures.
First up is this jacket, which costs €22. It is a very elegant piece and the colour is more green than in the pictures but for some reason my camera decided she favoured grey. I love the embellishment details on it and I think I will save this for my brother's graduation due in the beginning of December. Next is probably my favourite piece, this white dress with a black print that reminds me of those designs on Chinese ceramics from a long gone dynasty. It features and open back and fits me like a glove! I wore it to one of my best friends' lucky birthday bash and got a lot of compliments on it! It costs €21.


I have another two dresses to show you and these are more winter friendly. I love both of these for their simplicity because I can wear them in various ways. They cost €22 and €16 respectively.

The last items I got were this pair of shoes which I got for everyday and costs just €8 as well as this gold curb chain which I cannot get enough of and these two pearl bracelets, all which were given to me for free.
I have some purchases from the newly opened Mango shop in Paola but I will share those with you in December's haul post as I am saving the outfits for our village festa and my brother's graduation. I also scored two bargain finds from Debenhams from the sale bin. I don't usually shop at Debenhms because I think their clothes are aimed for a more mature audience but the last time I was there with my Mum and aunt, I managed to find this pair of jeans for €12.42 instead of €46 and this wristlet for €5.94 instead of €22.

Moving on to beauty purchases, I have some essentials up first, namely, Lycia facial wipes and Nivea Eye Make-up Remover. These cost €1.85 for each pack of wipes and €3.52 for the make up remover. I have also been to a warehouse sale in Attard and while I didn't find any clothing items that suit my taste or style, I found some beauty accessories at just €1 so I got two boxes of q-tips - very handy for make up removal and application and two packs of facial sponges which I use all the time to take off face masks. Total of purchase, just €4! Apart from these items, I bought a lot of cosmetics this month which you can check out in my makeup haul post here.

After seeing a lot of swatches of the new Mariah Carey for O.P.I. Holiday 2013 collection, I caved in and bought two polishes from the collection. I got the shades Wonderous Star and Ski Slope Sweetie. I paid €5.81 and €6.64 respectively and got them from a US Ebay seller. If anyone would like to see swatches are more photos of them, just let me know :)

I also bought this snow-flake effect polish from the flee market for just €2. I love the combination of glitter in this one and I will feature this polish in a Christmas themed manicure during the coming days. The last polish for this month is Zoya Payton from their holiday collection, Zenith. It is a beautiful cranberry shade with holographic glitter. I can't wait to wear this! It cost €12.52 from a US Ebay seller, including shipping.

Lastly, I gave in to try a Milani Baked Blush and bought my first from Ebay for €10.59. I got the shade 03 Berry Amore and I can say I love the colour but I am not a big fan of the packaging as it does feel a little flimsy. I will do a full review in due course so stay tuned for that too :)

That is all for November girls! Gotta save up for Christmas gifts!

Review | La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm

The weather conditions are ever changing during this time of year in Malta. It seems as if mother nature has switched to full on winter mode in a flash and that can have its toll on the more frequently exposed and sensitive areas of our body, namely our hands and face.
Luckily for us, La Roche-Posay have recently launched two new products to join their Cicaplast range which is all about isolating and repairing severely damaged parts of the skin. I have already reviewed Cicaplast Mains in this post here and today I will be sharing my thoughts on Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm, which as the name implies, is targeted for use on the lips and surrounding areas (mouth and nostrils).

We all know how sensitive lips can be to extreme weather changes as they are only covered by a very thin layer of skin and they do not have any sebaceous glands to keep them moisturised or melanin to protect them against sun exposure. Thereby, it is extremely important to keep our lips adequately protected and hydrated at all times.

Cicaplast Levres does that plus it soothes, protects and rebuilds the epidermis on chapped, cracked and irritated lips and surrounding areas. The product comes in a small carton box, typical of La Roche-Posay; white with the LRP logo and product information is printed in various languages on the box. The sample tube which I have holds 7.5mL of product and is made of a thick kind of plastic, again all white with the LRP logo printed on it.

The cap closes tightly over a slanted applicator tip (excellent for precise application) through which the product is squeezed out. The balm has a very thick consistency that melts smoothly to a protective, glossy film on the lips. It is clear and to me, it is very similar to petroleum jelly with regards texture.
Cicplast Levres is packed with beneficial ingredients targeted to care for the sensitive skin on the lips, amongst which are:
- 10% Shea Butter which provides fatty acids that are structurally close to the ones found naturally in our skin, hence it plays a key role in the product's hydrating and healing function. Moreover, it helps dry skin recover suppleness.

- 5% Panthenol which has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes synthesis of glycerol by keratinocytes (cells that produce keratin, a substance which helps skin regenerate and heal).
Furthermore, the balm is free from fragrance and parabens, therefore it is suitable for use on the most sensitive of skins and it can be used by children and adults alike.

Now for my personal experience while using this product. As you would expect, application is very easy thanks to the bevelled tip and you can actually control how much product comes out. You only need a little at a time as the balm spreads easily, hence the product will last you for a long time. The compact size makes it ideal to carry around when you're on the go and it will fit in the smallest of purses.
This product couldn't have arrived at a better time! The weather wrecked havoc with my lips even though I use a lip balm every single day all throughout; and to add insult to injury, I had a minor Herpes outbreak. Result? Even more severely dry lips thanks to the respective medicated treatment cream. Luckily I had Cicaplast Levres to my rescue and my lips felt better the moment I applied it and unlike other lip balms, it is absorbed into the skin to begin the repairing process but it takes time to be fully absorbed, say 2 - 3 hours. It took my lips 5 days to fully recover which is quite good if you ask me!

This product also makes for a very moisturising treat after exfoliating your lips and can also be worn under makeup for extra protection against drying formulas thanks to the beeswax component in the balm.
Cicaplast Levres is suitable for use by practically everyone, hence I would recommend this product to
even those with the most sensitive of skins. After trying it, I cannot help but wonder why it wasn't marketed before and how did I manage to go through all these winters without it?! Needless to say, I am very happy with this product and it has officially taken permanent residence in my cosmetics

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Levres is available from leading pharmacies across Malta & Gozo. For more information about their products and stockists, check out their Facebook page.

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Monthly Favourites | November

This month I have finally managed to re-organize my wardrobe to reflect the sudden change in seasons and while I was at it, I even re-organized my makeup stash and consequently, I have re-discovered some old favourites. Here's what I was constantly reaching for this past month! 
I can finally wear deep berry shades on my lips again and I have found a new combination of products which I thoroughly enjoyed wearing. Enter Liptini Lip Liqueur in Pink Lady and Marks and Spencer Limited Collection Lipgloss in Wine. They give me an intense berry lip that lasts for hours on end and doesn't dry out my lips.

I also enjoyed wearing Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in 020 Wood of Roses for a more subtle take on the berry lip as well as E.L.F. Studio Glossy Gloss in Berry Blush for that natural, subtle lip.
To sport dark lips, it is essential to have your smackers in tip top condition. I kept mine smooth all month long thanks to E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator and Cicaplast Levres from La Roche Posay which is a new discovery for me and I'm so glad I got to test out the product. You can read my full review here.
Also from La Roche Posay's Cicaplast range, is this barrier repairing hand cream that worked a treat for my hands especially while at work since I am constantly wearing gloves and rubbing my hands with alcohol. It is absorbed really quickly so I could go on with my work and it moisturises my skin thoroughly while repairing the more needy areas. Read the full review post here.
The Sleek Vintage Romance palette has been my go-to eyeshadow palette this month. All shadows are insanely pigmented and I am in love with their names and packaging. Watch out for the full review coming up soon!

My last favourite for this month is actually another new discovery, the E.L.F. Studio Small Tapered Brush. With its slant cut and tapered point, it is excellent for contouring and highlighting and the bristles are oh so soft! A steal at just £3.75 and I totally recommend you get it!

Which products did you favour most during November?

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #26

This month I have used up mostly skin care products so I am going to get those out of the way first, starting with St.Ives Apricot Scrub. Now this is supposed to be blemish fighting and at first I liked the results but after some time, the product didn't seem to agree with my skin anymore and started breaking me out so I was using it as a hand and body scrub instead and it doubles up nicely. Being thick, it does take time to rinse off and because of the large exfoliating granules, I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive skin types. Don't think I would repurchase this.
The next three products, are all products which I enjoyed using. The Lycia wipes are always backed up as they are my favourite makeup remover wipes and being they are a common appearance in this kind of posts, there is nothing new to say about them.
After lasting me for 5 months, I have used up the Lierac Tonique Éclat :( I really like this toner that leaves my skin feeling energised and looking radiant as well as remove extra traces of eye makeup without irritating my eyes. The €20 price tag is what's keeping me from buying it till now but I'm not sure I can resist any longer!
The sample size of the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is what impressed me the most in terms of skin care this month. It is a very light cream that doesn't feel abrasive at all and what you do is apply it to the face in circular motions like you would a scrub and leave it there for 10 minutes. It dries and turns to a face mask and on rinsing, all redness around spots I had at the time, was gone! I was positively impressed and this is another product from the Dermalogica range which I am very willing to buy the full size of.
More samples. This time I have two hair care products, namely, Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner. I have really enjoyed using both of these and I managed to get quite a number of uses out of them. They left my hair feeling soft and looking healthy and I really want to get the full sized versions! Can't wait till the whole Philip Kingsley range is available in Malta!

I have also used up another Impulse deodorant, this time in the Tease variation which is based on red fruits and woods. I find this is one of those perfect winter scents and like all other Impulse deodorants, it lasts all day.
Lastly, I have used up my Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Eyeshadow in Brulee. It has lasted me a long time and I like to use this shade as a brow highlight to lift up my brows and being a matte shade, it can also be sued for daytime. It is a perfect match with my skin tone and I have already bought a back-up for it from Ebay since we don't get Wet n Wild here in Malta.

Review | La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains Barrier Repairing Cream

Being a nail technician I am obsessed with having my nails...and hands in perfect condition. However, my full-time job requires me to wear latex gloves and wash my hands frequently with alcohol-based soap. While I understand this is all for my safety, my hands can get very dry and sometimes they even crack a little and we all know how painful that can be.

Consequently, I always carry La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand hand cream in my lab coat to apply each time I wash my hands. It does a brilliant job at keeping my hands from going dry but although it is rapidly absorbed, sometimes my hands still feel a little greasy. Luckily, the same brand has launched a new Barrier Repairing Cream to complete their Cicaplast range which cares for the well-being of our hands while we still can carry on with our work; enter LRP Cicaplast Mains (I will be reviewing the other product to joint the range, Cicaplast Levres in a separate post).
The reason our hands are quite fragile, apart from the harsh tasks and environmental factors they are constantly exposed to, is because the skin on them is so thin and has very few sebaceous glands (glands that secrete sebum to keep skin moisturized). Hence, the importance of applying a good hand cream to counteract unsightly cracked skin can never be over-stated enough - remember, your hands can belie your age!
Read on to see what I think about this product after testing it out for two weeks!

Starting with a look at the packaging, it is pretty much the standard packaging you would expect from LRP - all clean and white with their logo and product information printed on the packaging. The 50mL tube comes in a box along with an informative insert.

As for texture, the cream is quite thick but melts rapidly into the skin without leaving any greasy residues whatsoever so you can go on with whatever task you were ensuing - very practical for work! It feels very nice on the skin (almost like wearing a pair of velvet gloves!)
 and immediately soothes any irritation and redness. LRP claims that the cream resists 3 hand washing and up to 6 mechanical rubbings. In fact I don't feel the need to apply the cream after each time I wash my hands.

Cicaplast Mains contains shea butter, 4% Niacinamide and 30% Glycerin which contribute lipid replenishing, soothing and protective actions respectively to recover the skin's damaged barriers as quickly as possible, hence preventing the skin from turning more vulnerable to external aggressions. Moreover, it is free from any fragrances and parabens.
As I have already said, I have been using this cream daily for two weeks now and my hands have responded very well especially while at work. Consequently, Cicaplast Mains has replaced Lipikiar Xerand in my lab coat pocket and bag!
I would recommend this hand repair cream to everyone basically as it can also be used by children and I am really liking the way my hands are looking this winter!
La Roche Posay products are available from leading pharmacies nation wide and prices are very affordable too. For more information, check out the local Facebook page.

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NOTW | Floral Degrade'

Good afternoon lovelies :) Hope you're all having a fab Sunday funday :) Today I have a nail art tutorial for you! This one will look pretty on any nail length and of course you can adapt it with any colour combination you like. I have favoured acrylic paint for this tutorial because it is much easier to work with when you are doing intricate designs and all, plus it gives you plenty of time to create the design you want. Read on for the step-by-step guide to creating this ultra girly design!
1. Prep your nails with base coat and leave to dry. Apply a second coat for added protection if you are using a dark base polish.
2. Using a fan brush, dip half of it in an acrylic colour of your choice and the other half in the second colour. I have used an Italian pink shade and mixed some of it with white acrylic paint to obtain a lighter colour for a smooth transition. Using the fan brush to paint both colours on your nails will ensure a seamless application in one step. Repeat with a second coat when dry.
3. For the flowers, simply use black acrylic paint and a detailing brush and gently press the tip of the brush onto the nail to create flowers and different sized petals. Fill in any empty spaces with little dots. You can use a dotting tool for this step.
4. Add a centre to the flowers with a silver foil nail polish. I have used Orly Dazzle.
5. Paint the rest of the nails in a complimenting colour and leave to dry. Repeat with a second coat. I chose Essence Vampire's Love Trend Edition Nail Polish 03 True Love.
6. Seal everything with a glossy top coat. Don't forget to seal the edges for an even longer lasting manicure!

What do you think of this week's nail art? Upload pictures of your creations on my Facebook page if you try this nail art!

Products I Absolutely Love But Are Afraid Of Hitting Pan On

Good afternoon everyone :) Finally I have some free time on my hands and I will put it to good use...catch up with blog posts!
As you can tell by the title, this post will be all about products which I don't want to use up just because I like them so much! In fact, I tend to be very careful how much I use whenever I reach for these products! 
All the products I am going to show you are either limited editions, discontinued or very hard to find, and I also have products from brands which are not available in Malta or they are too expensive to buy.
Fitting the latter two categories are products I get from Meg's Makeup and I am going to start with those. I have mentioned this website in some of my previous posts and while I do not redeem points every month (I like to wait till I accumulate 250 points since you have to pay $15 for shipping), I really like the whole idea of it. By paying only for shipping, I usually receive 4 full-sized products from high-end brands which would add up to much more than just $15. Plus, I get to try different brands as well! The only downside is that sometimes, the packages take long to arrive but to make up for the last such occurrence, Meg sent me and others whose packages also took long to arrive, an additional 3 products in a separate package which was so lovely of her and a pleasant surprise for me!
Enough rambling and let's get going with the products! So first up, I have Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Kit. I have featured this palette countless times in my monthly favourites. Besides the packaging, the reason I love this kit so much is the matte bronzer. It is not too dark and not shimmery so it is perfect for day and night use for the most natural sun-kissed glow and it blends with my pale skin nicely. All three components have a silky texture and are easily blendable/buildable.
Also from Meg's Makeup, I have the RevitaLash Volumising Primer. I just can't get over how full my lashes look when I apply this before mascara! Being navy blue in colour also makes it excellent to use under a blue mascara to intensify the shade as well as being easier to cover up than a white primer.
Moving on, I have Liptini Lip Liquor in Pink Lady, which, come this time of year, is a staple product. I have a dupe for it in my collection but this one is more buildable and lasts longer plus it takes less time to dry...oh and I love the name!
Keeping with the lip products theme, I have this Maybelline WaterShine Lipstick in 02 Beige Glace. If you have been following me for a while you know that I had run out of this lipstick way back when it was called Cocoa Shake and I couldn't find a back up anywhere. After doing some research, I learnt that they changed the name and packaging so I started the search again, and I was lucky to find the last one available at my local supermarket! This was actually my first lipstick and I love how natural the colour looks!
Next up is this XXXL Shine Lipgloss by Essence in the shade 020 Wood Of Roses. I remember eyeing the product up during a bloggers' event and I got hold of it as soon as I could! It is a beautiful, shimmery plum shade that is pigmented enough to be worn alone or layered with lipstick. Sadly this has been discontinued so I am being really careful with it.
More from Essence. I have 4 limited edition products from this budget friendly brand and I am kind of gutted that they never thought of including any of them in their permanent line at least for now and as far as I know. The first three products belong to the Marble Mania Trend Edition and they are namely. the blush 01 Swirlpool and two eyeshadows 01 Seriously Mixed Up and 03 Swirl It Baby! All three have excellent pigmentation and staying power and I just love the look of them. The other product is from the more recent Guerilla Gardening  Trend Edition and it is the eyebrow mascara in the shade 01 Garden Girls. I like how this mascara makes my brows appear fuller instantly and being a tad lighter in colour, it doesn't look too harsh.
From Essence's sister brand Catrice, I have this Long Lasting Eye Liner Pen in the shade 070 Puddle Of Mudd. Sadly, this too is discontinued and I cannot see why. It lasts all day without budging and is probably the best brown eyeliner I have ever tried.

The last eye product I have is from Maybelline and it is this EyeStudio quad in 400 Olive Martini. This was actually a limited edition designed for some Fashion Week and it is quite hard to find. I managed to find a genuine, not overpriced, unopened one from a French Ebay seller last year and I covet the little palette to date! Two of the shades are quite unique and I have never seen anything like them before.
Moving on to the last category of products, nail polishes, I have yet another hard to find product from Maybelline. It is none other than Wet Shine Diamonds Into The Sunset. It is the most beautiful shimmery coral I have ever seen and it is my go-to summer shade. Pity I cannot find a back up for it.

Next are two polishes from Essence, both of which are totally cool for this time of year. I have Irreplaceable from their old line (which ironically has been discontinued in their new line) and True Love from the Vampire's Love Trend Edition. They are both shimmery shades and I always get a lot of compliments when I wear them.

The last product I want to talk about is my most expensive polish and it is from the O.P.I. Skyfall Collection in celebration of 50 years of James Bond. The shade is The Man With The Golden Gun and it is and 18K gold top coat. It adds a sophisticated edged to any manicure and it is one of my most treasured polishes.

So that's it for this post ladies! Am I the only one with this 'fear'? No? Let me know which products you are most afraid of running out of :) 

Makeup Haul | Essence, E.L.F. & Sleek

Good afternoon everyone :) Today I have a makeup haul for you guys featuring products from three budget friendly brands, Essence, E.L.F. and Sleek. I was waiting till I received the E.L.F. package to do this haul and since I got it over the weekend, I thought I'd share the haul today so maybe you find something you like or want to try out and beat the Monday blues, the online retail therapy way ;)
I am going to start with what is probably my favourite purchase from this haul, the Sleek Vintage Romance Collection! I was reading Nina's post and as soon as I saw the swatches, I knew I had to get this palette and blush to go with it! I know Sleek Makeup produce wonderful i-Divine palettes and I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed with this one. The packaged arrived a mere two days after I received the dispatch email and both products were in excellent condition. My only 'disappointment' is that I would have liked the palette to come in the same box as the blush not the usual packaging for the rest of the i-divine palettes.

I will review both products in a separate post but here is a rundown of what I think about the palette as I haven't used the blush yet. The palette costs €9.99 (very good value for money) and features 12 beautiful autumn appropriate shades. I have already used some of them and their staying power is amazing! They are all shimmery/glittery with the exception of Propose in Prague and I think this palette will make a very good gift for every occasion but especially now that party season will soon be upon us. The blush is also a good value for money find at €5.49 for 8g of product and I think it will suit all skin tones. It has a ton of shimmer in it so steer clear if you don't like shimmery blushes.


Next up is my E.L.F. 50% off haul package. I took the opportunity to try out some new products from E.L.F. while they were having a 50% off code running and I got the following items to try. This time, the order took well over a week to arrive and to be honest I was getting a little worried but now it's here and everything came in one whole piece :)

I have only used the Studio Small Tapered Brush (£3.75) and I can confirm it is excellent for contouring and highlighting! I'm so glad I finally got it!

The Glitter Primer (£2.50 full price) is good to have on hand come Christmas to avoid any glitter eyeshadow fallout. I will have to get back to you on its performance though because I haven't used it yet. Speaking of glitter, I also got two Glitter Mascaras in Silver and Gold (£2.50 each full price) to complement my party looks and I must admit I was drawn to buying these because of their unusual applicator, but more on that in a separate review.
As for the Studio Glossy Gloss (£3.38) and Mineral Eyeshadows (£3.00) I already have other variations of each and I expect them to be as good as them. The shades I got are Ballet Slippers for the gloss and Golden and Celebrity for eyeshadows.

Moving on, I have a some new products from Essence!!  I have finally had to chance to get to OVS at Pavi Shopping Complex in Qormi to see the new back-to-back stand that has been installed a few weeks ago. I was keeping my fingers crossed that the stand would be full and luckily, my prayers were answered!!!! There was Daniela from PharmaMT stocking up the stand! I was in makeup heaven and I couldn't contain my excitement! Check out Dyna's post over here to see what the new stand is all about!

Half of the stand is almost entirely dedicated to nail art and the newest products from the brand while the other half houses some more new products and the older products. Here is what I got (I still have to go some other time to get some more products though ;)

These are all the nail related stuff I got, namely:

Colour & Go 154 Pink & Proud - lilac/pink foil (€1.70)
Colour & Go 163 Hey, Nude! - different sized silver glitter in a sheer pink base. Dries to a textured finish, the brand markets as Sparkle Sand Effect (€1.70)
Nail Art Twins Reloaded Glitter Topper 01 Bella - a mix of holographic silver and purple glitter and navy blue square glitter in a clear base (€1.60)
Colour & Go 165 Here's My Number - different sized holographic silver glitter in a dark grey base (€1.70)
Colour & Go 102 Sparkling Water Lily - iridescent sheer white (€1.70)

Freestyle & Tip Painter 14 Glitter Crush - predominantly pink glitter mixed with multi-coloured glitter in a clear base (€1.60)
Freestyle & Tip Painter 13 Marry Berry - dark purple glitter with gold reflects in a dark purple base (€1.60)

Moving on, these are the products I am most excited about and the ones I wanted to try as soon as I learnt of their launch! First up are the Stay Matt Lip Creams and I got two out of the four available shades, namely 01 Velvet Rose and 02 Smooth Berry. The nude one was a little too dark for me while I already have a similar shade to the red from the Guerilla Gardening Trend Edition. I paid €2.10 for each of them.

I also bought two of the new Long Lasting Lipsticks and I have to say I am impressed with the pigmentation and the quality of the packaging over the other lipsticks they have in their permanent line. These cost €2.30 and I got shades 04 On The Catwalk! and 07 Natural Beauty.

To finish off, I got myself a backup of the 2-in-1 Profi File which costs €2 and I also paid a mere €1.40 for the Colour Arts Multitasker which is basically a silicon applicator for glitters and pigments.

I have also received the backup for Wet 'n' Wild Brulee last week and I figured I can feature it in this makeup haul post as well :) If I'm not mistaken, this cost me a little over €5.

That's it for this makeup haul ladies :) Any products you want swatches/reviews of?