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February Collective Haul

Hey all :) I'm so excited for this month's haul even though there's little stuff compared to past hauls. I have a good reason as to why I didn't shop much this month and that is none other than my brand new car!! Yepp, I finally bought a car of my own! :D 
Anyway, let me show you the clothes and beauty products that magically found their way in my possession during February, starting with a few The Body Shop purchases. So I went into their Sliema outlet to stock up on a body scrub and I bought the Coconut Body Scrub for €12.50 and I also bought the Rainforest Balance Shampoo & Conditioner for €6.50 each to start benefiting from the Love Your Body Loyalty Card which the sales girl introduced me to minutes before.
Next are four tops from Stradivarius. The store is definitely one of my favourites and whenever I go there, I always end up buying something and since they has their sale still going on, I managed to get the black and white tops for €9.99 each. The pink and mint tops were not on sale but I still think they were reasonably priced at €24.65 and €26.55 (with a 5% discount card I have).

More sale bargains, this time from Promod. First up is this maroon embossed clutch bag for which I paid €20.00. It is very roomy and the material is of exceptional quality. The black leather look trousers were also on sale for €15.00 and they fit amazingly well. It's not usual for me to find good fitting jeans at Promod but when I do, it more than one pair :P I ended up getting the grey ones from their new collection for €39.95 and I love the teal and pink stitching on the pockets, I think it makes an interesting detail.

The last purchase for February are these new babies from Marks & Spencer for which I paid €61.75 thanks to Mum's discount card. They were still being taken out of the box and they were putting prices on them but I fell in love with them at first sight mainly due to their exquisite detailing and transparent heel. Can't wait till I take them out for a ride! 

That's it from my part ladies! What did you treat yourself to this month?

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #29

Good morning ladies, today I have an empties post for you featuring a mix of perfumes, skin and body and hair care, makeup products and a nail polish.
So let's start with makeup first. I have two mascaras from sister brands Essence and Catrice. My favourite out of these two has been the Catrice Glamour Doll which gives my lashes a nice fanned out effect while adding volume. The Multi Action False Lashes Mascara by Essence is a cheaper alternative to the Glamour Doll one but I find it gives less volume. Nonetheless it is still a good mascara that I would recommend. The only reason why I am not repurchasing is that I at the moment I have loads of mascaras to go through.
Next up is skin care. I have used up this sample size La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel cleanser which was about to expire. I had used the full versions of this product in the past and I liked it however, after some time, my skin sort of became immune to it and I stopped using it but I rediscovered how much I liked this product when it worked for me so I maybe switching back to it in the near future.
Montagne Jeunesse masks are a very common appearance in this kind of posts and with good reason! I have yet to find a company that has such a wide range of face masks at an affordable price and that actually work. This month I finished the Iced Crystal mask which is always a welcome treat to exfoliate and freshen up my skin.
February also saw me use up this P.S. I Love You perfume from Bath & Body Works which my aunt got me from the States as well as a sample of Valentina by Valentino and Paco Rabanne BlackXS L'Exces which is one of the perfumes I am obsessed with the moment.
Next I have a bottle of Essie Vanity Fairest which I really like to use on its own or as a base for French manicures. I have already bought a back up for this polish as it is one of my go-to shades whenever I'm lacking inspiration or when I just want a neutral manicure.
I have also used up this Easy Body Scrub by Guinot. This was given to me in a goodie bag at an event and I have really enjoyed using it. It is less abrasive than other scrubs I have used but it is still very effective and I would recommend it to people with more sensitive skins.

Lastly, I have John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straightening Potion. This has lasted me a very long time and I always experienced positive results with it. It even has thermo-protectant to help protect hair against damage from heat styling. Sadly though, I think it has been discontinued as I haven't seen in on the shelves for a long time but there is a new product from the same line instead.

Review | The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo & Conditioner for Oily Hair

Last week I popped into The Body Shop outlet at Sliema while shopping because I needed to buy a body scrub and while I was deciding which one to get, the sales girl came up to me and introduced me to their Love Your Body Club, in other words, The Body Shop's loyalty reward program.
I was only €6 short of collecting my first stamp on the card so I had a browse round the shop and decided to give the Rainforest Balance Shampoo and Conditioner a go. The packaging played a part on my decision too because it saved me from packing the bulky bottles I have at home in last weekend's getaway luggage.
The bottles are very sleek with tight closing caps and each holds 250ml of product. The shampoo comes in the dark green transparent bottle while the opaque light green one is for the conditioner. I would prefer if the conditioner bottle was also transparent because it would be easier to see how much product is left.
A little goes a long way with these two especially the shampoo which lathers up nicely and they both carry the same refreshing scent which translates nicely to your hair. I liked how my hair felt and looked so fresh and clean right after the first wash and if I want to, I can skip washing it for two days which is a first with my very oily hair.
My hair feels remarkably soft and looks clean all day each time I use this combination of shampoo and conditioner thanks to the combination of ingredients such as pracaxi oil, white nettle, seaweed and aloe vera (of community trade origins). Both products are free from parabens, silicones and colourants.
I would definitely recommend these shampoo and conditioner for people with an oily hair type and now that I have tried them, I cannot see myself without them!
Rainforest Balance Shampoo & Conditioner for Oily Hair retail for €6.50 each and are available at the various The Body Shop outlets across Malta & Gozo.

Review | Pupa Milano Eyeshadow Vamp!

Hello ladies! I'm so excited to be sharing two new products for 2014 from Pupa Milano! Remember the hugely popular Vamp! mascara? Due to its well-deserved success, Pupa Milano are coming out with more eye products dubbed Vamp! and such products are aimed to be of exceptional quality (like all other Pupa Milano products) and feature a long-lasting hold.
The latest additions to the Pupa Vamp! family are the Wet & Dry Eyeshadow Vamp! and the Compact Eyeshadow Vamp! which I will be reviewing for you today.
The packaging is the same for both variations with the only difference being the way the product is presented... the Compact version has the Vamp! logo embossed in the actual eyeshadow while the Wet & Dry ones assume a domed shape. I like that they have an clear window on the front for easier colour identification and they both come with a small sponge applicator.

Us bloggers were introduced to these new products during an event last December and we were each given a shade of our choice from each type of eyeshadow. I chose shade 100 Whipped Cream from the Compact range and 200 True Gold from the Wet & Dry range.
The Vamp! Wet & Dry comes in 24 exquisite shades and two finishes, namely satin and pearly while the Vamp! Compact comes in three different finishes, matt, metallic and satin and also features 24 beautiful hues.

Pupa Vamp! Compact Eyeshadow colour range

Pupa Vamp! Wet & Dry Eyeshadow colour range
The main difference between these two formulations is that the baked one can be used both wet and dry while the compact ones are used as a normal eyeshadow. Both products feature a silky smooth and super easy to blend formula with amazing pigmentation and staying power. I was very satisfied with the performance of both of these eyeshadows even when I tested them without a primer.

Pupa Vamp! Wet & Dry (left) swatched dry on far left and wet on the right
Pupa Vamp! Compact swatched dry on the right
Pupa Vamp! eyeshadows are available for sale from authorised pharmacies, perfumeries and beauty salons for €11.70 each. For more information about stockists and Pupa Milano products, check out their Facebook page.

PR Samples

My Laser Hair Removal Experience at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics

Today's post is a little different from what you're used to on this blog as I will be relaying my own personal experience with Laser Hair Removal (LHR).
I'm sure you have all heard about this revolutionary hair removal method to get rid of unwanted body hair. LHR has been in practice for some years now and I have been intrigued by it from the very beginning. Those who know me really well know how much I hate excess body hair and I am on the verge of obsession to always make sure there is no hair where there is not supposed to be any!  
After doing my homework and looking up information about LHR and clinics that offer this service locally, I have finally decided to go for it and get rid of the hair on my back. I am very self conscious of it even though the hairs are really fine and as much as I love summer, I dreaded the thought of baring all in a bathing suit.
At this point, you might be asking 'couldn't you have waxed it?' Well yes and no. I did have my back waxed a couple of times when I was going to wear open back or strapless dresses to special occasions but waxing can actually make the hairs harsher so I tried to avoid such sartorial picks in the first place.

The main reason why I kept holding back from having LHR was for fear of getting burnt or developing an allergic reaction as I had heard of similar experiences before. However, through reading articles and actually asking people who had it done already about their experiences, I finally took the plunge to try it myself. 2014 is proving to be a year of many changes for me in general so why not include LHR in the mix? I settled to have it done professionally at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics at Skyparks Business Centre, near our international airport.

First Appointment ~ The Consultation

I booked a consultation and patch test to start with and when the day came, I have to admit I had mixed feelings about it all. However, upon reaching the clinic, the modern, opulent, clean and chic (no pun intended) ambiance really made me feel at ease. The super friendly receptionist made things even better and after she inputted my details in their computer database, I waited for my turn comfortably on a lush leather sofa in front of a flat-screen TV and I also had access to free Wi-Fi.

CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinic Reception Area
Subsequently I was called into the treatment room (well on time) to meet my doctor and start the consultation. The doctor was very nice and welcoming and the treatment room décor complements the rest of the clinic which is all very professional, cosy and private. All this definitely helped me formulate an excellent first impression.
The treatment room
During the consultation, Dr. Casingena Garcia took her time to explain in detail what the procedure entails, possible side effects and what was expected of me prior to and after treatment. She also explained how LHR works and why I would need multiple treatments to ultimately get rid of all the hair. She also noted my personal details as well as relevant medical history and I was asked to sign a Treatment Consent Form. Again, I have to point out that all was carried out professionally. 
Hair growth phases - image sourced on the internet
Next came the patch test. I was asked to lay on my side and wear the protective glasses. Eventually, the doctor shaved a small area on my lower back and treated it with the laser machine. I felt no pain and I didn't develop any reaction or redness whatsoever. My skin felt really smooth afterwards. I decided to let two days pass before I book the actual treatment to make sure my skin didn't develop any reaction. Luckily all went well and I phoned to book an appointment for the week after.

The Actual Treatment

On the morning of the treatment, I asked mum to shave my back as was asked of me, then subsequently I headed out to the clinic. The treatment was held in the same room where I had my consultation and it lasted for 15 minutes. Overall, it was virtually pain free though I could feel a little stinging which only lasted a few seconds in certain areas. However, the redness subsided quickly and the application of Aloe Vera gel helped soothe it immediately. You can tell the treatment worked because of the smell of burnt hair...or rather the hair follicle. 
How LHR works - image sourced on the internet
I decided to opt for the Silver Laser Card instead of paying for treatment each time as it offers better value for money. Also to note is that the consultation fee is refunded on booking your first service at the clinic and you also qualify for 1 hour free parking.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the service I was given and I will keep you posted with how things progress after my next appointment which is due in April. I also highly recommend CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics for the professional services and cutting-edge technology. 

For more information about the services offered by the clinic, please check out their website and Facebook page

Images courtesy of CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics Facebook page unless otherwise stated

Review | E.L.F. Studio Tapered Brush

A few months ago I placed an order on the E.L.F. cosmetics website...something I didn't do in ages but they had some new stuff I wanted to try out, amongst which is this new addition to their Studio line brushes, the Small Tapered Brush.

Packaging is the same as for all the other Studio line brushes...a plastic sleeve with a card including product information and a plastic brush guard is also included. The brush itself is all black and I think it looks much more expensive than the €4.51 I paid for it.

The bristles are made out of Taklon which E.L.F. claim to be antibacterial and they feel really soft against the skin. Their tapered shape and overall size of the brush make it ideal for contouring and I'm glad I finally found a brush that fits the hollows of my cheeks perfectly.
I also like to use this brush to set under-eye concealer with translucent powder. Due to it being so small, I wouldn't recommend using this brush to apply liquid foundation and I personally prefer to keep it for use with powder products but mostly for contouring. 

I have washed this brush multiple times and till now it has not shed a hair and the ferrule feels quite sturdy so all in all I think this is a very good addition to any brush collection.

You can get the E.L.F. Studio Small Tapered Brush from the E.L.F. Cosmetics website and right now they have a 50% off and Free Shipping promotion going on if you feel like treating yourself!

NOTW | English Roses

With Valentine's Day coming up next week, I thought of sharing my first proposition for nail art ideas. I had this English Rose foil in my stash that I never used and thought it would be an original kind of nail art for Valentine's Day instead of the usual heart designs. Read on to learn how to apply nail foils and create an effortless and elegant masterpiece at your fingertips!
1. Prep nails with a base coat and follow with two coats of an opaque white nail polish. I have used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 300 White On and allowed approximately 5 minutes drying time between coats.
2. Leave the last coat to dry completely for at least 15 minutes, then working one nail at a time, apply a thin coat of foil adhesive and allow it to go tacky. This will take around 5 minutes per nail.
3. Cut a piece of foil a little larger than your nail and making sure it is the correct side down, apply it with gentle pressure on the nail. You may choose to use a q-tip for this step to ensure the design is transferred in whole.
4. Repeat for the rest of the nails and secure with a top coat.

Review | Pupa Milano Made To Last Eyes Long Lasting Automatic Eye Pencil Waterproof #100 Black

I'm back with a Pupa Milano review and please allow me to warn you it is going to be a rave review! So last December, I attended a bloggers' event where after oohing and ahhing over all the pretty makeup, we were presented with a goodie bag and among the products was a generous tester version of the Made To Last Eyes Long Lasting Automatic Eye Pencil Waterproof in the shade 100 Black.
I had already tried Pupa Milano's Multiplay Eye Pencil in the past and it is still one of my most reached for eye pencils. However, I was still very intrigued to try the Made To Last one just to see if it really lives up to its name. Well, I wasn't disappointed the least bit! Here are my thoughts on the performance of the product.

Starting with packaging, you know you're in for a nice little treat with Pupa Milano's attention to detail where they have cleverly incorporated a small sharpener and a smudger at one end of the pencil. I like that the product twists all the way down as it annoys me when you get these kind of products and the very tip sort of 'over-spills' and you get to chip it with the cap. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Pupa Milano Made To Last Eyes.
Another point to note on the packaging, are the caps. First of all they close tightly and I like that especially if you carry the eye pencil in your bag, the caps will not get all over the place and secondly, I like how they made them different with the one on the smudger end being transparent. I get annoyed with double sided eyeliners that have identical caps and I always open the wrong side so kudos to Pupa Milano for sparing me of unnecessary annoyance!
Now a word about the actual product. First of all, it is very creamy and glides easily even on the waterline which is where I use it most and the pigmentation is awesome! The small tip makes for precise application and definition.
As for longevity, on me, it lasts for a good number of hours and most of the time, I don't even have to re-touch it. As I said earlier, I like to use it on the waterline mostly and seeing how long it holds, I can confirm it is waterproof. The picture below was taken after wearing the product for 5 hours and it still looks intact!

I highly recommend this eyeliner and with 12 intense shades to choose from, you're sure to find one that complements your eyes best!  
Pupa Milano Made To Last Eyes is available for sale from authorised stockists across Malta & Gozo. For more information, please check out the Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page.
PR Sample


Monthly Favourites | January

Despite the cold weather, January has turned out to be a very good month. So much so that I hope the rest of the year turns out to be this great! I got my driving licence in the beginning of the month and that is definitely a favourite! Now I can't wait to own my first car! :D
However, this being a beauty blog, you, my readers are obviously more looking forward to the beauty products I have been enjoying this month. So here goes!
My absolute favourite product this month has been The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream in the Shade 01. Mum & Dad got me it for Christmas and I have been using it ever since! It adapts perfectly to my skin tone, doesn't feel greasy and lasts all day what's not to love?!

For lips I was quite inclined to neutrals last month and I was using more lipgloss than lipstick. My favourites have been Pupa Milano Shiny Lip Fluid 001 Princess Nude, E.L.F. Glossy Glosses Ballet Slippers and Berry Blush and finally Essence Stay Matt Lip Cream 01 Velvet Rose. I love how these colours complement my skin tone without washing me out and they are great for both day and night use.

For eyes, I just can't get enough of the Sleek Vintage Romance Palette and the gold shades Meet in Madrid, Court in Cannes and Lust in LA are my absolute favourites and the ones I use most. To add some drama, I have been really liking MAC Fluidline Gel Liner in Blacktrack which is my favourite black gel eyeliner! Whereas to complete the look, I have been reaching for Pupa Milano Vamp! Mascara in 100, Pupa Milano Made To Last Automatic Eyeliner and Essence Multi Action Waterproof mascara for rainy days.

What were your January favourites?

January Collective Haul

I'm a little late on the January Collective Haul and Favourites posts but I rarely had time for blogging these last few days and I was waiting for a few online orders too. Sales month has been good to me but not so much to my bank account! Here is what I bought during the first month of the year (which on a side note, I think has gone by in a flash)!
I will start with clothes first and show you what I got from Mango's 50% off sale. I love Mango for their style diversity and excellent quality materials. First off I bought this lace and leather panel dress which was down to €39.99. It fits like a glove and is definitely one of my favourite numbers.

Next up, I also bought this oversized jumper which amazingly enough fits really well without looking too baggy. I like how you can dress it up or down and it only cost €24.99. The bargain buy from Mango has been this pair of super skinny jeans which only cost €14.99.  I have worn them multiple times already and again, you can dress them up or down effortlessly.

Another sale I was happy to check out was the River Island sale, again at 50% off. I bought the sexiest of heels for just €42 and strangely enough they are really comfortable. I paired them with the leather dress above and a coat for a night out and I didn't even complain once that my heels hurt!

I also bought this cute lace top prom dress and embossed crop top which I cannot wait to wear. The dress cost €35 and the top €12. The dress also came with this beautiful statement necklace.

The last online sale I checked out was the sale and I bought another pair of shoes :P, this daisy print crop top and this open back nautical peplum top. The tops were part of the new collection but they had a 15% off promotion for all the new stock. I paid €49 for the whole order and I got free shipping as well.

From New Look I only got this black bodice which is ace to wear with tight skirts and trousers just because it stays in place. It cost €11.99.
Also from New Look, I bought two Montagne Jeunesse Strawberry Souffle masks for €1.25 each.

The last sartorial purchases this month were this pair of Nine West patent black heels for which I paid a bargain €38 instead of €95. Then from Accessorize I bought this cute set of daisy hair grips for €3.25.

Lastly, these are my beauty purchases. I bought a Clarisonic dupe from Ebay for just €18 and I have been using this everyday before I go to sleep and my skin has already been looking and feeling smoother and healthier.
I needed a few more nail art brushes so I ordered a set through Ebay and I believe I didn't pay more than €2 for all six of them. I also bought a back-up of Essie Vanity Fairest which is by far my favourite base for a French manicure.


Lastly, I bought this John Frieda 3 Day Straight spray as a back up for Frizz Ease which has apparently been discontinued. It is a bit pricey at €12 for 100mL but the results are well worth it!