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Review | Avon Mega Effects Mascara Blackest Black

Mascara is an indispensable makeup item and everyone should have at least two different formulations in their cosmetics bag. Sometimes, just a stroke of mascara makes you look wide awake and I for one, like to try out different formulations.

Avon have recently come out with a new mascara, aptly called, Mega Effects which comes in the most gadgety packaging ever, which ultimately is what lured me into buying this mascara. Here are my thoughts on it.

So, like I have just said, Mega Effects comes in a gadgety yet compact plastic packaging. You pull the pink cap off to reveal the actual applicator which you have to pull out of the black base and you will meet the innovative and extraordinary spoolie with a moving, ergonomic handle. It can be tricky to adapt your hands to the handle at first, especially if you have large hands but I promise, the results are well worth!

I find it is easier for me to move the handle to a 90 degree position and have the mascara applied right from the very base of the lashes to really make them pop. This mascara lives up to its name as you will get big, separated and well defined lashes right from the very first application and results last until you take the mascara off. I find that the mascara doesn't clump on me and I am really fond of the fanned out effect on my lashes.
Although it is not a waterproof formula, I always remove mascara with a waterproof eye makeup remover to ensure I take off all traces and my lashes are well cared for. I haven't experienced any irritations whatsoever when using this mascara and I will repurchase once I run out.
So if you're after a mascara that will actually make your lashes stand out (or you simply love unusual packaging), Avon Mega Effects is a good one to start with!
Have you tried Avon Mega Effects yet?

Review | Pupa Milano 10th Anniversary New Chic Forever Lipstick 78 Dark Red

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a Pupa Milano 10th Anniversary New Chic Forever Lipstick in a competition they had running on Facebook.

I collected the lipstick from the outlet of my choice and I have used it four or five times already so I am now able to give you a full review on it.

The New Chic Forever Lipstick was released to commemorate this best selling lipstick from the Italian makeup brand, a 'title' the lipstick has been holding for 10 years already! To celebrate such an achievement, Pupa Milano have created 10 limited edition shades ranging from soft pinks to darker reds.

The lipstick is presented in an reflective red box and the packaging is similar to their New Chic and New Chic Matt lipsticks with the exception that the outer case is red instead of silver. The packaging reflects Pupa Milano's attention to detail that makes their products so covetable and makes them look much more expensive than they actually are. Here I also have to say that I love the unique bullet shape that makes application of a red lipstick so easy and fool-proof.

It may be a little tricky to open the lipstick at first, but all you have to do is gently slide the silver part down and it all the usual stuff from there. You also get a small mirror on the inside of the red case, which reminds me of those lipstick holders we used to carry in our bags way back when :)

Since this was a competition prize, I didn't get to choose the shade but I am very pleased with the one I got, namely no.78 Dark Red. I love a good red lipstick and from Pupa I don't expect anything less and I wasn't disappointed.

The lipstick has a richly pigmented, creamy texture that glides smoothly and effortlessly on the lips for the ultimate red lip. I always recommend using a lip liner prior to applying a red lipstick though to prevent it from bleeding and fading. On my lips it lasts for an average of 2 - 3 hours which I think is good and it fades away evenly. My lips feel smooth and moisturized while wearing this lipstick so it doubles up as a nice, moisturizing treat as well!

Unfortunately, the New Chic Forever Lipsticks are not for sale locally (otherwise, I would have had to get the same shade for my Mum and a couple more to add to my collection - they would look so pretty on any makeup table!), but thanks to Pupa Milano in Malta I can still enjoy this beauty :)

Competition Prize

Review | Pupa Princess Limited Edition Collection by Pupa Milano

Last week some of us bloggers were invited to a little do by Pupa Milano in Malta (read all about it here) and we were given the chance to try out their latest Christmas collections and gift propositions. Today I will share my opinions about the products I got to try from the Pupa Milano Pupa Princess Limited Edition Collection.

The collection revolves around a romantic and dreamy princess mood and consequently, it features products in pinky nude and minty pastel hues and sparkly finishes to contribute a sense of something special, especially for this festive time of year.

images courtesy of Pupa Style, Pupa Milano Blog

The collection consists of:
~ Pupa Princess Pupart Eyeshadow Palette (€19.50) featuring 8 eyeshadows with finishes varying from iridescent, satin and matt as well a black cream eyeliner. Also comes with a dual ended applicator and a nice sized mirror.
~ Pupa Princess Diamond Eyeliner (€10.90) available in two ultra glittery variations, 001 Shiny Mauve and 002 Diamond Green.
~ Pupa Princess Mascara Vamp! (€13.95) their best selling mascara in a totally new and glamorous shade 700 Rouge Noir.
~ Pupa Princess Vamp! Cream Eyeshadow (€9.75) features an unprecedented easy-to-apply formula that blends pearls and pigments for a long-lasting flawless look without creasing. Available in two shades, 001 Shiny Mauve & 002 Shiny Green.
~ Pupa Princess Shiny Lip Fluid (€11.25) combines the properties of a lipstick and lipgloss for an ultra shiny look to the lips. Available in four variations, 001 Nude, 002 Nude Rose, 003 Nude Brown, 004 Nude Pink.
~ Pupa Princess Loose Shimmer Powder (€15.60) offers a blend of exclusive ultra-luminous pearls in an ultra fine velvety powder that enhances skin with a unique jewel-like dazzling look. With moisturizing Orchid Extract for ultimate comfort. Available in 001 Princess Pink.
~ Pupa Princess Fluffy Velvet Nail Art Kit (€13.50) a very convenient nail art kit for a special 3D textured finish on your nails. Available in 001 Princess Pink.
~ Pupa Princess Lasting Color Glossy Nail Polish (€5.60) four new shades to complete the princess look including a paillettes top coat to render your nails a precious jewels look.

I got four pieces of the collection to try out and I was very impressed with each and every piece. Read on to find out my thoughts about them :)

I will start with the product I have used most, the Shiny Lip Color 001 Nude. I have really enjoyed wearing this lip colour because it feels so soft and hydrating on the lips and the reflective gold packaging gives it a feeling of a special treat. I like the window on the front as you can easily see the colour and the doe foot applicator makes for a perfect application of the product. The formula is very innovative as it combines the intensity of a lipstick and the shine of a lipgloss to give the lips a high gloss lacquer finish, even with this nude shade. It complements my skin tone perfectly and I have worn it both alone and combined with lipstick. I'd say that on me, this product lasts for 2 - 3 hours but my lips still feel moisturised even after it wears off. I would describe the shade as a pale toffee crème colour without any shimmer.

Next is the Diamond Eyeliner. I have shade 001 Shiny Mauve. The glitter-packed gel formula is similar to last year's Diamond Eyeliners and I am always genuinely impressed with the glitter payoff from these eyeliners. Used alone or over eyeshadow, a sparkly result is guaranteed every time! The fine-tipped brush applicator is very easy to get around and it produces a fine line of glitter effortlessly.

I have used the glitter eyeliner (and Shiny Lip Fluid) in the look below and the eyeliner lasted the whole night. I recommend using a waterproof eye makeup remover for complete removal.

Lastly, here are the nail products. I have one of the Lasting Color Nail Polishes in the shade 634 Princess Mauve as well as the Fluffy Velvet Nail Art Kit. Both nail polishes are exceptionally good and last for an average of 6 days. The packaging is the same for both as they both belong to the same collection. Like all other Pupa nail polishes, they both have a glossy finish and the formula is a dream to work with. I would describe Princess Mauve as a nice berry-toned mauve, and I dare to say it is the perfect colour to wear this season - after all, Pantone have just declared Radiant Orchid as the IT colour for 2014! The swatches below are both one coat, without topcoat.

The Fluffy Velvet Kit is composed of a fluffy powder and a coordinated polish (both, a bright Barbie pink hue), a brush and a little plastic tray. It is very easy to apply and compared to other velvet nail kits I tried, the fluffy powder is significantly softer and finer. The result is a very unique piece of textured art at your fingertips that you can easily do at home! Here is a little pictorial to guide you :)

So, that's it from my part with regards the Pupa Princess Limited Edition Collection. I have really enjoyed this collection and I recommend you head to your nearest Pupa Milano stockist and have a look at it yourself before it sells out! For more information, like the Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page.
PR Samples

Review | Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance Collection

Good morning lovelies, I hope the week is treating you well so far :) Today I have an exciting review where I shine the spotlight on Sleek's Vintage Romance Collection, namely the i-Divine palette which bears the same name as the collection and the blush in Antique.

I was sold to get both products after seeing swatches on Nina's blog and I'm really glad I did! I have been using the palette ever since I got it and earlier this month, I had the opportunity to try out the blush and I haven't gone back to any other blush since!
I will start my review with a few words about the Sleek customer service. This was my first time purchasing from the Sleek website and I have to admit that it will not be my last. Apart from the quality of the products, my order only took 3 days to be processed, dispatched and delivered on my doorstep. Way to go Sleek!
Back to the original subject of the post, the Vintage Romance Collection. It consists of the afore mentioned pieces, both of which have a romantic aura with their deep and intense shades.

Starting with packaging, those who are familiar with Sleek MakeUP know that the brand always packs it sleek (no pun intended) black palettes in a carton box with powdered eyeshadow motifs or the likes. I have to say that for the sake of the two items belonging to the same collection, I would have liked it better if the palette's outer box was the same as the one for the blush, which is the design for the Vintage Romance collection. The black casing feels very sturdy and closes tightly. Both the palette and blush come with a good sized mirror and the eyeshadow palette also comes with a dual ended sponge applicator.

Let's have a thorough look at the i-Divine palette first. As I said earlier, the palette is called Vintage Romance and features 12 beautiful shades, all of which are named after the various stages of a relationship and connected to a beautiful city. I like it when companies actually take time to name the shades in a palette because it is much easier to refer to them in tutorials and such. All eyeshadows are mineral based.

Pigmentation wise, all shades give a very good colour payoff, albeit some shades are less pigmented than others. None of the shades are chalky or excessively powdery but always take precautions in case of fallouts. I recommend using a primer to ensure your makeup doesn't fade away. Here are swatches and descriptions of all the shades:

Pretty in Paris ~ softly pigmented metallic silver that is ideal for use as a highlight shade

Meet in Madrid ~ another softly pigmented metallic shade, this time a light gold hue; again, perfect for highlighting

A Vow in Venice ~ nicely pigmented cranberry shade with a slight metallic finish.

Marry in Monte Carlo ~ an even deeper metallic cranberry shade with purple undertones

Court in Cannes ~ very pigmented metallic bronze

Lust in LA ~ another metallic bronze that is quite similar to Court in Cannes but has mossy green undertones

Honeymoon in Hollywood ~ yet another berry shade, this time with a satin finish and silver glitter that doesn't translate that well on the eyes

Bliss in Barcelona ~ dark metallic purple with a blue sheen

Romance in Rome ~ dark navy shade with blue shimmer

Propose in Prague ~ the only matte shade in the palette that I would say is a deep berry brown hue that will complement all skin tones and is perfect for blending

Forever in Florence ~ a deep blackcurrant shade with silver glitter that can be easily brushed away

Love in London ~ a nice black with silver glitter

Next, is the Blush in Antique. When I got this, I was a little scared to actually try this because it turned out to be much darker than I expected. However, if you use a light hand with it, this blush turns out to be a beautiful shade that gives the cheeks that warm, winter glow, even the palest of skin tones a.k.a. me!

The blush is a deep berry brown shade with old rose undertones and a ton of silver shimmer in the pan which isn't really that visible on the skin. If you hate shimmery blushes, you can easily brush the shimmer away. It is insanely pigmented so always make sure to use a light hand and tap off the excess before applying.

This blush has fast become my go-to shade for this time of year but because of the shimmer, I tend to reserve it for night time use.

I suggest you get this collection and it even makes a beautiful, value for money gift! You can purchase both items from the Sleek website. The palette retails at €9.99 for 12 eyeshadows of 1.1g each and the blush retails at €5.49 for 8g of product.

Review | Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub

In my most recent empties post, I have included the St.Ives Apricot Scrub which I liked at first but after a few months of use, it was breaking me out. Obviously, I stopped using it and switched to Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub to match my cleansers.

A good facial scrub is a must for me to keep my skin looking healthy and radiant and what's better than an organic based scrub? Here are my thoughts on Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub.
Packaging is typical of Michael Todd - lilac tube which has the company logo and product name on the front; product description, directions and ingredients on the back. Worth mentioning is the way the people at Michael Todd pack their orders and their timely delivery, both of which I am always positively impressed with.
The scrub is charcoal(!) grey in colour and instead of the usual 'rough' exfoliating component, you get softer jojoba wax beads. Both the jojoba wax and activated charcoal, effectively remove dead skin, toxin and impurities to reveal healthier looking skin. Since the beads are not that harsh, you are not left with micro-lacerations, hence, this scrub is suitable for the most sensitive of skins as well as acne-prone skin types. Activated Charcoal has been proven to be a very beneficial ingredient products targeted to combat acne as it penetrates deeply into the pores and draws out impurities and toxins. The scrub has a faint smell of charcoal but on the website it says that they have improved the scent.
To use this scrub, simply squeeze out an adequate amount onto fingertips and apply in circular motion on freshly cleansed skin. After rinsing it thoroughly, you can proceed with toner, serum, moisturiser as you normally would.
I like to use this scrub twice a week and usually I use this while I shower and leave it on for a few minutes to allow the ingredients some extra time to work.
I have been using this scrub for 2 months now and I have never had any breakouts due to it or any episodes of irritation or allergies. My skin feels smoother and looks much more radiant immediately after I rinse it off.
As a concluding remark, I would recommend this scrub to those with sensitive and acne-prone skin mostly but since this scrub is targeted for use by any skin type, I think it work well for anyone. Besides, your skin will thank you for using something that is 70% organic, gluten free and certified vegan.
Michael Todd Jojoba Facial Scrub retails for $18.50 for 100mL (excluding shipping) and is available from the Michael Todd website.

Event | Pupa Milano Christmas Collection & Novelties Preview

Last Wednesday was a very busy day as it saw me getting ready for my brother's graduation and an all-girly evening along with fellow bloggers and Stephanie from Medimports for the Pupa Princess collection and Pupa Christmas novelties preview at Sensations Wine Bar Birkirkara.
{image courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page}
Stephanie briefed us with a little information about the Pupa Milano brand and then we moved to Makeup Wonderland and were allowed to try out the products ourselves and even take some of them home to try.
For those who are new to Pupa Milano, the brand was founded some 40 years ago in the Italian Fashion Capital, Milan. Their first foray in the world of makeup were the innovative palettes and beauty coffrets which are still synonymous with the Pupa brand to date. The palettes make beautiful gifts and some people are known to collect them. Let's face it, they do make a beautiful collection!
Pupa has now evolved to a high quality makeup brand and they have extended their expertise to produce a full range of makeup accessible for every woman thanks to their affordable price tag. The pretty packaging of the palettes has not been compromised and is still reflected in every product they produce with an exquisite attention to detail that makes Pupa Milano products something to covet.

Pupa Milano are always in the lead when it comes to trends and they translate current fashion trends into makeup effortlessly and beautifully. They produce four collections a year, all of which evolve around a particular 'mood' as well as an average of 15 new products per year. Unlike the majority of brands, Pupa Milano make good use of limited edition collections where they introduce new products and if they are popular, they introduce them in their permanent collection.
The 'mood' for Pupa Princess Christmas 2013 Collection
{image courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page}
The brand divides its products in three ranges, all colour coded accordingly. Red stands for Passion, Black stands for Fashion and Pink stands for the Body Care range.
Let's have a look at Pupa Milano's propositions for this festive season! First up is the Pupa Princess Limited Edition Collection which is this year's Christmas collection. It revolves around a princess theme, as the name implies and the dominant colours are soft hues of nudes, pinks, mauves and mint. Some sparkle couldn't go amiss in a festive collection thus for glitter divas, Pupa Milano have included two Diamond Eyeliners, a shimmering loose powder and a Jewels Top Coat to complement the nail lacquer colours in the collection. They have also included a Fluffy Nail Art Kit in a beautiful shade of pink which complements all skin tones. Following the success of the Vamp! mascara, they have even created a Rouge Noir shade which I cannot wait to get my hands on! Full the full range of products and colours in the collection, check out their website here.
The Pupa Princess Collection in a beautiful presentation box
What I got to try from the Pupa Princess Collection
L to R: Lasting Color 634 Nude Rose | Diamond Eyeliner 001 Diamond Mauve
Fluffy Velvet Nail Art Kit 001 Fluffy Pink | Shiny Lip Fluid 001 Princess Nude
To continue with the glitter theme, Pupa Milano have introduced Party Queen to their Nail Art Mania range which features maxi glitter paillettes and a complementing Lasting Color Nail Polish in 6 beautiful tonalities. Each kit also comes with a brush to remove the excess paillettes and a plastic tray to collect the excess glitters in so as not to waste them. Here are three of the shades as modelled by Stephanie herself. Check out swatches of the full range here on their website.

Index: 006 Multicolor Party | Middle: 004 Fuchsia Party | Ring Finger: 001 Gold Party
On the pinky, Stephanie is wearing the Jewels Top Coat
from the Party Princess collection layered over her nail polish
Lastly, here are this year's Pupa Dolls which come in three different sizes to suit every budget. Nonetheless, any size would make a great gift and look good on any makeup lover's dressing table. The largest ones also feature an embossed front with actual fabric!

There are also the Pink 50's gift sets which smell absolutely amazing! Think Vanilla Milkshake, Marshmallow, Lollipop and Cotton Candy yummy scents!
To top it off, they come in the cutest gift boxes reminiscent of products you expect to find on a 1950's dressing table :) The other kits are the Have A Nice Tea Scented Water Kits, available in Blue Tea and Fruity Tea. 

Pupa Dolls, Pink 50's Gift Sets and Have A Nice Tea Kits
Above: Large & small Pupa Dolls
Below: Pink 50's Gift Sets
{both images courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page}

I cannot wait to try out the products I got and review them for you guys and I also have some new exciting products which I am only able to show you next year ;) Thank you Pupa Milano in Malta for such a fun evening!
For more information about Pupa Milano products and stockists, like their Facebook page here.
On a side note, if you haven't already, you should head down to Sensations Wine Bar for very good platters and drinks at even better prices!