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The Exit Interview Series | Volume #31

Earlier this month, I had a look through the samples I have accumulated and started using some of them. Consequently, I will be sharing quite a few new discoveries in mini sample format :) I will start with skin care first.

The Montagne Jeunesse face mask is a common appearance so I will not spend a lot of time on it. This particular one is one of my favourites which I repurchase from time to time.
So, new products...I have recently been introduced to Planter's, an Italian natural cosmetics brand and I have used up the two Mattifying 24 Hours Moisturiser samples sent to me with their Natural & Young Repairing Cream. My skin didn't flare up when I used this moisturiser but I have to admit it does feel richer compared to the moisturiser I am used to so I would totally recommend this for the winter months. Even though it has a thick texture however, it is rapidly absorbed into the skin and leaves it feeling soft and supple all day. My skin kept looking matte throughout so that is definitely another plus!

Next is a Bottega Verde Apricot Scrub Mask. I only had enough to use this once but I can say I loved texture of the scrub and since it doubles up as a mask, it offers better value for money. My skin was left radiant and smooth after just one use and since it is mostly made up of organic ingredients, your skin will thank you for it. The only downside is that due to their organic nature, Bottega Verde products can come in quite expensive.
The last skin care product for this month is the Eubos Liquid Washing Emulsion which I use at work mostly. The size of the product makes it convenient to carry out and since my skin seems to tolerate it, I tend to take samples of it with me on weekend getaways and the likes rather than the bulkier Michael Todd cleansers.
Speaking of Michael Todd, I have tried a sample sized version of their Wild Rose Petal Creamy Body Wash which was thrown in with my last order. I loved the scent of it and it lathers up nicely I might add it to my next order actually.
I have also used up Essence Like A First Day In Spring small perfume. Back when I first bought this perfume, it used to give me bad hay fever attacks. I guess it was all down to weather changes because it didn't seem to do anymore when I gave it a second shot. It smells nice so I might buy it again.
Moving on to hair products, I have L'Oreal Elnett Satin hair spray which is now a common occurrence in these posts cos I go though them like crazy. Another L'Oreal product is this sample Elvive shampoo that claims to have keratin extracts to smooth down fly-aways. My hair felt and looked smooth after I washed it with this shampoo but a long term use would give better judgement.

Lastly, I have two nail products which I buy over and over again just because they do what they claim to. Orly Nailtrition is seriously the best nail hardener I have ever used and the nail polish remover has this handy pump dispenser which makes it very easy to use even for clean ups. 

April Collective Haul

Hi my name is Lara and I am a shopaholic...
I have been very naughty (read extremely naughty) this month to make up for last month's lack of shopping :P Hey who can blame me with all the fabulous new collections gracing shop displays and River Island emails finding their way to my inbox?!
Speaking of River Island, I have placed two rather large orders on their website this month, however they were all stuff I needed in my life (not making excuses here. Honestly, I'm not :P). So here's what the postman had to carry all the way to my house.
First up, my Dorothy Perkins synthetic leather jacket needed replacement after taking up residence in my wardrobe for 6 years or so and this time, I decided to invest in a real leather one which will hopefully last a lifetime. This River Island number made the cut and it cost €100. Some may say it is expensive but I think it's worth investing in a good quality leather jacket especially if you know you will wear it a lot...I know I do!
I scored a bargain with this tailored high wasted shorts as it was reduced down to €14 from €40. I have already worn it with the Orsay blouse further down and it is very comfortable and the material feels nice too. The jumpsuit is the same material as the shorts and I had been meaning to buy one for ages now but I feared it might make my hips look more obvious. I opted for black as a safe option and I'm pretty pleased with how it looks on. The jumpsuit retails for €55.


Next up is this uber cute embossed leather luggage which will come in very handy for the weekend getaways I have planned this summer. I wanted something small but not too small and this one is just the perfect size with more compartments on the inside. The cute flower design is an added bonus. It comes a little pricey at €87 but the cost per use will justify the price tag ;)
Summer isn't complete without a new bikini right? I saw this Pacha Ibiza for River Island number and instantly fell in love with it. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be this bright but in summer you can get away with pretty much anything. It cost €44 for both pieces. The sunglasses were an unexpected find and I was delighted that I found a pair that actually fits and doesn't make me look like a bug. It only cost €17 and the black tortoiseshell design on the handles gives it an interesting edge. The flowery orange wallet is actually a travel organizer which will come in handy to keep passports and transport tickets in one place when abroad. This was €20.
The highlight of both orders has to be this gorgeous pair of shoes which were technically meant for Easter but I slept in and so they have to wait for another occasion to shine. They were €65.

Moving on to more clothing purchases, Mango is another of my favourite stores and I have bought some nice pieces from their new collection. First up is this pair of tailored trousers which look really nice on. Their neutral colour goes with just about anything in my wardrobe and since its material is very light and cool, I can see myself wearing this even on summer nights. I paid €29.99 for them including the stylish textured leather belt.

Mango offer some stylish basic tops and cardigans and I couldn't resist not getting one of each of these pink and mink coloured soft sweaters. They have cute little buttons going down the back and they have a slightly oversize fit...right on trend! The Aztec embroidery top is one of the pieces I am looking forward to wear come summer. The colours in it make for a very versatile piece that can be paired in a lot of outfit combinations. All tops were €29.99 each. The feather print scarf is actually a Peacocks find and cost a mere €4!

The last piece from Mango is this navy blue jersey dress which is quite a smart number. It cost €49.99.
As I said for the River Island shoes, I didn't go out this Easter and so the €139 Mexx jacket which I bought for the day had to stay in my wardrobe. The colour is more bright in person than it is the photo and it is a hybrid between lemon yellow and lime green. I like how it looks with white and navy blue items as well as neutral pieces so expect to see outfit posts featuring it soon.
From Orsay, I found this cute lace blouse with silk collar and cuffs. I paired it with the River Island high waisted shorts and they looked really good together. Best part is it only cost €19.99! Also from Orsay are these cure earrings that only set me back €5.95. 

The last clothing purchases of the month come courtesy of Stradivarius. I bought this white skater skirt and baby blue oversize knit from their new collection and I wore them together to the Coccinelle Winning Keys event. The top was €27.95 and the skirt €19.95.

On to beauty purchases. I had to buy a backup of L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray and this cost the usual €7.90. I also bought some polishes off Ebay from O.P.I.'s Muppets Most Wanted Collection (€20.86 for all three) and Orly Nailtrition for €9.56.

I have also placed a small order on the E.L.F. website as they have restocked on the Studio Lip Exfoliator. I decided to get some more items and they have also included Royal Mineral Eyeshadow and Pink Kiss Super Glossy Lip Shine for free with my order. This is what I got:

2 Studio Lip Exfoliators
Studio Lip Lock Pencil
Studio Moisturising Lipstick in Rosy-Go-Round
Nail Polish in Champagne
Lastly, I have bought two pairs of prescription glasses from Zenni Optical after I had a change in prescription. I opted for a pair that is exactly the same as the one I had before but this time I got the red ones as well as a tortoiseshell cat-eye pair. I paid €45 for both of them, shipping included.

Review | Pupa Milano Navy Chic Collection Spring Limited Edition Lipstick 001 Chic Pink

Pupa Milano have done it again! By now, we are all accustomed to the lavish limited edition collections the company releases every season and this spring was no exception. Probably this is my favourite collection from the brand to date because it revolves around the timeless nautical theme which is my ultimate go-to look fashion-wise. In fact, the collection is aptly named Navy Chic.
I am especially fond of the twist on the theme where bright yellows give an upbeat vibe to the traditional electric blues and true reds we usually associate with nautical themes. The packaging is lush and sophisticated... after all the collection is dubbed as 'chic' and you can expect this from Pupa Milano which always go the extra mile to make the products look as good as they perform.

The collection consists of:

3 Vamp Compact Eyeshadow Palettes - €16.90 each
4 Matic Stylo Pens - €10.20 each
2 Vamp Professional Liners - €9.90 each
3 Miss Pupa Velvet Matt Lipstick - €12.45 each
2 Like a Doll Blush - €14.40 each
3 Lasting Colour Gel Polishes - €5.80 each
3 Lasting Colour Matt Polishes - €6.00 each
I was delighted to receive one of the three Miss Pupa Velvet Matt Lipsticks in the mail a few weeks ago. I got the shade 001 Chic Pink which is a bright coral based pink - perfect for summer against a warm tan.

The packaging of this lipstick is exquisite, a real gem to have in your collection in my opinion! Pigmentation is amazing and opaqueness is achieved in just one application. The lipstick is totally matt but it still feels velvety and wears comfortably without drying out the lips. I'd say it lasts for a good 5 hours before it starts to fade uniformly away.

Miss Pupa Velvet Matt Lipstick retails for €12.45 which is quite affordable for such a good looking and delivering product such as this.
Pupa Milano Navy Chic Collection is available at authorised stockists which you can enquire about on the Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page :) 

PR Sample

NOTW | Pastels and Gold

Good morning lovelies :) With Spring in full bloom, I have finally got the chance to wear pastel nail polish again. I went for some subtle sponging nail art on my ring fingers and I feel this manicure has a vintage feel to it. Read on to see how it easy it is to re-create!
1. Prep nails with a base coat and allow to dry.
2. Start painting your nails in the colour palette of your choice. I have used E.L.F. Lilac on my pinky and index, Essence Colour & Go 110 Modern Romance on my middle, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 300 White On on my ring fingers and China Glaze Midnight Kiss on my thumbs. Allow to dry completely and follow with a second coat.
3. Apply a little gold nail polish on a makeup sponge and gently dab it on the ring fingers. Repeat for as many times as you like to obtain the opacity you want. Repeat this step with the lilac and peach polishes in random places on the nail. The aim is to merge the colours together yet each of them would still be distinguished.
4. Once dry, apply a top coat to preserve your design.

P.S. I have submitted this manicure as part of a blog contest on the Julep website. Julep is a beauty company, well known for their nail polishes which I have heard a great deal of good things about. Too bad they don't deliver to Malta :( Anyway, if you are interested in checking out their selection, you can do so through this link here:

Event | Coccinelle Spring Summer 2014 Collection...Do You Have The Winning Key?

Yesterday afternoon saw me wondering in the handbag heaven that is the chic Coccinelle boutique in Sliema, hoping the little key that was included with my invite would open one of the three boxes and see me walking away with some new arm candy.
Did you have the winning key?
Sadly, none of us bloggers were lucky enough to win any bags but we did walk out the store with a lovely scarf the management gifted us :)

Anyhow, I still took my time to browse the fabulous Spring Summer 2014 collection the brand has to offer. I was instantly drawn to the royal blues, bright yellows and reds and I seriously wanted one of each item in the store!


The details on the bags are exquisite...tassels, cut-out designs, all drool-worthy basically! I also loved the wallets and the scarves and I think I will be going back soon to treat myself to a little something.

Review | Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof

Catrice Cosmetics have recently added three new products to the Prime and Fine range, one of which is this Mattifying Powder Waterproof, which I will review today.
Packaging is very sleek with the compact being black and transparent and it even includes a good-sized mirror - perfect for on the go touch-ups. The compact holds 9g of product.
The powder is translucent, hence it will adapt to every skin tone. Furthermore, the texture is very fine and will not look cakey. I have used this powder both on its own when my skin is behaving and also to set my foundation (currently, Catrice All Matt Plus). I find that it lasts for a good number of hours and my skin looks as if I have just applied makeup all day.
As for claims of the powder being waterproof, I can confirm that because the only way I could remove it at the end of the day was by using a waterproof makeup remove, otherwise, water just rolled off my face! Catrice have also included vitamins A and E to benefit the skin as well.
I definitely recommend getting this product especially for the summer months. Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof is available from authorised pharmacies across Malta & Gozo. You can check out a full list of stockists on their Facebook page.

PR Sample

Review | Planter's Natural & Young Aloe Vera Repairing Cream

When taken care of, the skin can belie our age. This holds especially true for the skin on our hands, hence the importance of adequate moisturizing can never be over emphasised.
Due to the nature of my work which requires handling of chemicals, wearing gloves for a long time and constant washing, my hands are very prone to getting dry and sometimes, there maybe signs of cracks and redness on my skin if I do not apply a hand cream each time I wash my hands. While I have a very good hand cream at work that suits my needs perfectly, I always appreciate a richer alternative which I can use at home.
Enter Planter's Natural & Young Aloe Vera Repairing Cream. For those who are new to Planter's, the Italian brand is specialised in the manufacture of a range of natural skin care products for the eco-conscious individual that seeks to take care of their skin the green way.
Planter's Natural & Young Aloe Vera Repairing Cream is an innovative cream that boasts a true concentration of Aloe Vera and active vegetable principles to moisturise repair and protect face, hands and body. The formula is free from parabens, silicone, PEG, alcohol, petrolatum, fragrance, lanolin and animal-derived raw materials. Other beneficial ingredients include karite butter, rice oil, linseed oil and sweet almond oil.
And how cute is the tin the cream comes in? I totally love the retro inspired design and there's a whole range of collectible designs! Each tin holds 75ml of product which is sure to last you a long time. The consistency can be deceiving because although it appears to be on the thick side, it is in fact quite light. The cream has a faint sweet vanilla scent.
Based on my personal experience, this cream provided my skin with immediate relief from the very first application. It is quickly absorbed in the skin and a little goes a long way and the light texture makes it suitable for use on the face and body as well. Personally, I prefer to use it on my hands where it protects them from dryness caused by sun, cold weather and constant use of latex gloves and harsh hand washes at work.
I definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants to take care of their skin in a natural way. Planter's Natural & Young Aloe Vera Repairing Cream can be found at authorised pharmacies and outlets across Malta and Gozo for the retail price of €6.50. For information about other Planter's products and stockists, check out the local Facebook page here.
PR Sample