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Summer Lovin' Tag

While I'm wrecking my brains as to what to pack for a weekend getaway in Gozo, here's a quick tag post that comes courtesy of Caroline from Diva Inside and Dorianne of Ask Dorianne :)

1. Summer lipstick you're loving
Technically, I have two and I love them both for the same reason...they are super pigmented and long lasting, just what every girl needs in this heat :) Their names? Max Factor Lipstick 655 Lilac Wine and Pupa Milano I'M Lipstick 206.
2. Summer nail polish you're loving
Hmm this is a tough one but Zoya Lara is my favourite for two reasons - #1, it bears the same name as me and #2, I love the bright pink colour that is perfect for summer!
3. Bikini you're loving this summer
I just can't get over my Yamamay bikini. I always buy one or two each year but this one that I bought two years ago remains my favourite. I like the pattern, the detailing and the fit of this bikini and it's my first one from Yamamay :)

4. Favourite summer Frappuccino from Starbucks
We don't have Starbucks in Malta and...I hate coffee or anything to do with it so I'm gonna have to skip this one.

5. Favourite fake tan
I don't use fake tan but I am really enjoying Lierac Paris Sunific Preparateur Tan Starter Serum. I have been applying this since June and I can definitely see a difference in how much longer my tan is lasting!
6. Favourite summer song
It has to be 'Changes' by Faul & Wad Ad - the beats make me think of beach parties and chill out days :)

7. Favourite summer accessory
This pair of Orsay earrings make the cut here - I love green for it is such a fresh colour and I have worn these multiple times already.
8. Favourite summer fragrance
I'm currently loving Love, Chloe. Such a fresh, girly scent :)
9. Summer book you're loving
Sadly, I don't have much time to read these days so I don't have any summer books :( 

10. What are you most excited to do this summer?
Definitely enjoy some quality time with my boyfriend and our families especially his cute nephews...all under the hot Maltese sun :)

I tag all of you to do this post! Looking forward to your summer favourites :)

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #33

As promised, here is the second post for today...the Exit Interview which I know a lot of you look forward to every month :)
This month I have used up some nail products, mainly two acetone-free nail polish removers which are a common appearance in these posts now and I have also used up one bottle of Orly Gel FX 3-in-1 Cleanser. The latter is simply the best nail prep and cleanser for gel manicures as it cleans the nail plate of oils, making the gel adhere better and it gives a nice shine after cleansing the top coat sticky layer. The Essence Gel Look Top Coat is another nail product I have used up this month. I won't be repurchasing this because it takes too long to dry and most of the time it bubbles up on drying.
Moving on to skin care empties, I have two Montagne Jeunesse masques, a Nivea Eye Makeup Remover (possibly the best one I have tried so far) and Michael Todd Cleanse and Tone Cleanser which is perfect for morning use as it cuts down the number of products I need to use on my skin especially if I'm in a hurry.

Lastly, here are a Paco Rabanne Black XS fragrance sample and Impulse Tease deodorant. I love both of these products and I repurchase the deodorant in different versions all the time. The perfume is one of my favourites and I like to use it for both day and night.


Monthly Favourites | July

Today I'm feeling rather productive so I will be posting two posts, the first one of which is actually the July Favourites. There is a good number of products and to avoid the post being too lengthy, I will get right into it.
I will start with hair products first. Summer can wreck havoc with your hair so it is important to take extra care of it. While I always apply a UV filter spray at the beach, I try to avoid heat styling tools as much as possible and consequently, these three products are my hair's best friends; John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-day straight helps keep fly-aways at bay and when I do heat-style my hair, it remains straight. Joico Restorative Styling Oil is the perfect leave-in treatment for hydrating my hair and keeping it smooth. Another product from Joico is the Power Whip mousse which has enough hold for my hair to keep a curl when I want to change up my style.

For makeup, I have been favouring mostly minimal looks with just a pop of colour on my eyes or lips. My favourite products have been the Catrice Prime and Fine Waterproof Translucent Mattifying Powder (which sadly has been discontinued), Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Breathless, Milani Baked Blush in 03 Berry Amore, Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer and lipstick in 655 Lilac Wine. I have also included two new products from Pupa Milano - the I'M Lipstick in 206 and a limited edition eyeliner from the Viva Carioca collection in the shade 003 Parrot Blue. All of these products have excellent pigmentation and staying power.

Long lasting makeup needs a good base to sit on and that can only come from a good skin care regime. My favourite products this month have been the Polaar Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Scrub, Ice Source Gel Moisturiser and Michael Todd Honey and Oat Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser. To top up benefits, I have also been loving the Lierac Mesolift Serum and Polaar Icy Magic Eye Roll-on.

Lastly, comes body care. The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub has been my go-to body scrub this month to keep my skin in tip top condition and my favourite fragrances have been Miss Dior and Neutro Roberts Extra Delicate Powder Fresh Deodorant.

July Collective Haul

July only means one thing...summer sales! Here's what I managed to get my hands on during sale season, both locally and online :)
Starting with skin care, I have placed an order on the Polaar website for the full size range of their Ice Pure Skin care after I have tried and tested it. I managed to get all products on sale for €70, shipping included and they even threw in a mini sample of the Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Micellar Water and a beach bag for free.
More online deals from River the brand has opened a shop in Malta but it's too much of a hassle to go to Sliema so I'd rather wait for my order to arrive by post ;p They had lots of good deals going on such as tops for just €6 like this cami and three-quarter length sleeve cowl neck top that I simply couldn't resist!
I also got the lilac-blue and yellow versions of crop tops that I already own. These too were on sale for €12 and €9 respectively.
The last thing I got from River Island is this black and white pencil skirt, which honestly I cannot wait to wear! It cost €37 as it wasn't on sale and I can't get over how versatile a piece it is!
The next bargain is from Debenhams and I only bought this yesterday. This pair of Julien MacDonald crop jeans was the last one on the rack and in my size! I only paid €17.40 for it instead of €58 and the fit is extraordinary!

My favourite item from this month's haul is this Zara skirt which was down to just €25.99. I secretly want cooler weather just for a day to be able to wear this :) 

From Dorothy Perkins I managed to get a couple of new collection items apart from sale ones. First up is this gorgeous floral print top that's perfect for cooler summer nights. It can be dressed up or down accordingly and it only cost €29. The relaxed joggers which cost €30 are a firm favourite with me just because they are so comfy and I love the print!

Also from Dorothy Perkins is this pair of lightweight denim shorts with cute braid detailing on the belt loops. This also cost €30 and is part of the new collection.

Just as I was leaving the store, Mum noticed this gorgeous dress in the sale section and seeing it was only €36 I couldn't leave it there. I usually steer clear of floor-length dresses because of my petite stature but this dress only needs a little hemming and it's all good. Having a lot of weddings next year, this will surely come in handy for a couple of them :)

The last purchase from the Dorothy Perkins sale was this pair of yellow sandals that was down to €24.50. The wedges and flats were Asos purchases that totalled to €60.55.

Lastly, I bought these two pairs of earrings from for just €13. They took a long time to get here but I am really pleased they are finally part of my collection. Hope I get to wear them soon!

That's it for this month's haul guys! What did you get in the sales? Any good bargains?

Review | Pupa Milano Viva Carioca Summer 2014 Collection Chubby Gloss 005 Shiny Papaya & Long Lasting Eyliner 003 Parrot Blue

This summer, Pupa Milano's makeup proposition is a very vivid, colourful and exotic collection of brightly pigmented products that take inspiration from the traditions and colours of Brazil; and more specifically, the inspiration behind this collection is Carmen Miranda, a 40's and 50's icon who has helped diffuse Brazilian music on an international scale. Brazil happens to be the host of the latest World Cup edition, making this collection a true summer hit. Consequently, the Viva Carioca Collection is every bit summery with colours ranging from blues to oranges and bright fuchsia to yellow and everything in between. 

image courtesy of Pupa Milano in Malta Facebook page
image courtesy of Pupa Style Blog

The collection consists of:
4 Vamp! Compact Duo Eyeshadows - contrasting shades with intense colour payoff (€12.95 each)
4 Long Lasting Eyeliner - the shades are coordinated with the Vamp! compacts for a stunning result (€9.95 each)
3 Chubby Gloss - three fantastic shades that make the lips appear fuller and with a glossy finish (€10.20 each)
2 Like A Doll Luminys Blush - for a perfect complexion (€14.40 each)
4 Lasting Colour Gel Duos - to finish off your look, paint your finger and toe nails in one of the stunning colour combinations, made to match the eyes! All sets carry a metallic shade and a glossy shade (€9.18 per set)

I was sent two products from the collection, namely Chubby Gloss 005 Shiny Papaya and Long Lasting Eyeliner 003 Parrot Blue. Since the ones I have are testers, they do not reflect the actual packaging of the products you will find on sale which bear the exact colour of the product.
I think that blue and orange go well together so I decided to try both products in the same look.

I will start by reviewing the Chubby Gloss. The shade I got is 005 Shiny Papaya and the name really fits this bright orange beauty. Orange lips are very on trend right now and once you find your perfect shade, it is easy to carry it off. This one is quite bold so it goes better with tanned skin and darker skin tones...

...or so I thought! I tried it on around the house to see if the colour suits me or not and I was delighted to see it does :) Usually I tend to go for muted oranges because of my pale skin but changing things up is nice sometimes! I loved it so much I wore it that same evening to a family bbq and I was very much impressed with its lasting power! I'd say it survived a good three or four hours of laughing, talking, eating and drinking and the glossiness still prevailed!

I am also really fond of the pigmentation and again, the glossiness which means I can skip lipgloss - in summer, less is more! It feels very moisturising on the lips and the glossy finish really makes lips look fuller. I like the concept of the chubby bullet which twists up from the bottom, the same way a lipstick would; it makes application easy and there's no need to sharpen it! A definite 10 on 10!
Next is the Long Lasting Eyeliner in the shade 003 Parrot Blue, again a very fitting name. It reminds me of Blue Macau feathers - so bright and vibrant! It comes with a pointy sponge applicator, which in my opinion is easier to manage than a brush applicator as I feel it gives more control and preciseness.

The eyeliner doesn't take long to dry and I think they should change the name to 'ever lasting' because once it's dry, it's dry! It won't smudge or budge or anything until you take it off with an appropriate make up remover.

Blue is one of my favourite colours to wear on the eyes (I'm even wearing Pupa Vamp! Mascara in 300 in the picture above) and it also a current trend for summer. Pigmentation is ace - with just one swipe, you have enough blue on your eyes for the ocean to envy you! Another 10 on 10 product from Pupa Milano!
The Viva Carioca Collection is currently on sale from authorised retailers. For more information, kindly check out Pupa Milano in Malta on Facebook or the Pupa Milano website.
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Review | Max Factor Excess Volume Extreme Impact Mascara

Mascara, to me is an everyday makeup staple and I rarely leave the house without it. Obviously, being a makeup addict, I have mascara for everyday use and others for more dramatic night looks. Max Factor's Excess Volume Mascara falls into the latter category and it has been my go-to evening mascara ever since I was introduced to it as part of a competition that Max Factor Malta was holding on their Facebook page.
The mascara is presented in a rather big 20ml double ended tube and it has a 'Extreme Volume' side and a 'Dark Lacquer' side. The wands are very different, with the volumizing one being very thick and made of rubber while the lacquer one is more meant to separate and darken the lashes, hence it is more of a traditional bristle wand.

Pigmentation is quite strong and with just one coat, the lashes already look darker and more volumized thanks to the specially designed wands. I like to apply two coats from the Extreme Volume side first to top lashes only, then follow with another two coats of the Dark Lacquer on the top lashes and a coat on the bottom lashes for a dramatic look as in the picture below:

I do recommend this mascara to anyone who's into dramatic lashes and doesn't mind splashing out a little - retail price is €15.90. I like the dual-ended concept and I would really love to see this mascara in a waterproof version.

For more information, kindly check out the Max Factor Malta Facebook page :)

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Review | Polaar Ice Pure & Ice Source Skin Care

What can kill summer heat and keep skin hydrated with a fresh feeling? Polaar Ice Pure and Ice Source Skin Care of course!
I was introduced to French skin care brand Polaar last month during a fun event at the brand's local representatives' (Ta' Xbiex Perfumery) premises. You can read all about what went down and made the event a unique one here.
Polaar is all about selecting the best natural ingredients from the Arctic and Antarctic flora to deliver the best possible skin care in an ethical manner. The principle is simple but in my opinion makes a lot of sense - the flora that lives in the harsh conditions of the north and south poles has adapted itself to survive such environments successfully, hence, they are very good candidates for the answer to beautifying skin care.
At the end of the event, all attendees were each given a very generous goodie bag that mostly contained products from the Ice Pure range, the latest line by Polaar, which was the main attraction on the evening. I couldn't resist keeping the products for when I finish my current skin care products and I used them straight away when I got home that day! I liked them so much that I decided to treat my skin to them on weekends to make them last while at the same time use up the other products so I can fully switch to Polaar - it's good to switch brands every once in a while as your skin tends to get used to certain products.
Today I will be reviewing the Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Micellar Water, Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Gentle Scrub and Ice Source Moisturising Gel. The other product shown in the picture is the Icy Magic eye roll-on which I will review in a separate post.
As you can tell, the packaging is very minimal and clean - truly reminiscent of the origin of the main ingredients of the products. To be honest, I like it when skin care products have minimal use of flashy colours and such as I think it conveys the image of a clean and as pure as possible product. In fact, all Polaar products are free from parabens, mineral oils and alcohol.
Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Micellar Water
The first product I will be reviewing is in actual fact the Micellar Water, one of three products comprising the Ice Pure range (there's also a scrub which I shall be reviewing next and a cleanser which I don't have). The products in the Ice Pure range are dubbed as pre-treatment skin care products designed to prepare the skin for application of further treatments.
I have a very generous 50ml sample format right now but the actual product comes in a 150ml format with a handy pump dispenser that you just put a cotton disc on and gently press downward to get the product out - very practical don't you think!
The product is basically a fresh, lightly scented micellar water that also incorporates a toner. It is designed to be used on the face, eyes and lips to remove makeup and excess sebum without drying out the skin. In fact, my skin doesn't feel taut after using this and it removes all traces of makeup effectively without unnecessary tugging at delicate areas such as the eyes. In the case of waterproof mascara, however, you will need to use a makeup remover to effectively take off any remaining product. It is recommended not to rinse the product off but instead, lightly dry your skin on a towel.
The active ingredient in the Ice Pure range is Arctic Cotton which makes the line especially suitable for the most sensitive of skins. It also nourishes the skin cells and provides adequate hydration. The Ice Pure Micellar Water also exhibits detoxifying and soothing properties on your skin.
For more information on the mode of action of micellar waters, click here.
Ice Pure Arctic Cotton Gentle Scrub
Next comes my favourite product! I love all sort of scrubs...face scrubs, body scrubs, hand scrubs...I feel much cleaner after I use one but on my face I have to limit myself to using a scrub just once a week to avoid over stimulation of sebum production. The good news for those with drier ski types is that this scrub is recommended for use twice weekly.
The Scrub has the same fresh scent as the Micellar Water and its texture is very fine indeed. Even the exfoliating particles are very fine to suit sensitive skins, which is ultimately the targeted skin type with this range. Again, Artic Cotton is the main active ingredient and it is very beneficial to soothe, hydrate and nourish the skin especially considering the fact that the scrub also has a mechanical peeling action. The peeling and polishing actions serve to remove dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, more even complexion.

In fact, I have noticed that my skin looks much better when I use this scrub rather then when I use my current one. It is softer and more luminous. In my opinion, if you try something out of this range, make it this scrub!
Ice Source Moisturising Gel
The last product for this post is the Ice Source Moisturising Gel. The Polaar Ice Source range is all about hydration and it is composed of a range of moisturisers to suit different needs. The active ingredient in this case is Encapsulated Glacier Water which is extracted from a natural, pollution-free environment to guarantee its purity. The Glacier Water is encapsulated in liposomes (tiny bubbles/vesicles made out of the same 'material' as a cell membrane) to optimise penetration into the skin for long-lasting hydration and to reinforce the skin's suppleness and softness.
The Ice Source Moisturising Gel is very lightly scented with a delicately light gel texture that makes this product the ideal moisturising agent for oily and combination skins. It also mattifies the skin while deeply hydrating it and can be used as a makeup base.
Again, my personal experience with this product has been a positive one as my skin remains shine free for a good number of hours and my makeup remains intact for a whole day.
I would recommend you trying out this brand, they have a full range of products for skin and body care as well as a sun care range and a whole range specifically tailored for men, the biggest I have ever seen to be honest. I have already treated my father to some skin care from them and even though he is not a fanatic, I can tell he loves the products for he is using them consistently!
For more information about Polaar products, kindly check out the Facebook page or the Polaar website.

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