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Monthly Favourites | December

This month I only have a few makeup products to list as favourites, particularly eye makeup and lip products.

I will start with lip products first because two of them are new to my collection. First off, is this gorgeous shade from The Body Shop's Colour Crush range and it shade number 335 which I would describe as a rich mauve. It has a creme finish and awesome pigmentation with good staying power. Perfect for a pop of colour for daytime. 

The next lipstick is from Inglot and it is the shade 184 which is this shimmery purple that is featured in their current 'Iconic' look. Again, this too has brilliant pigmentation and staying power and I have been favouring it a lot for going out.

The last lip product to make the cut for this month' favourites is Max Factor Lipfinity in the shade 370 Always Extravagant which is a nice warm fuchsia red. This lasts for hours on end and I'm really looking forward to buy more shades from the range.

Next up, eye products. Inglot's 'Iconic' makeup look has been a real favourite with me during this whole month, so much so that I dare call it my go-to look during the festive season. The closest products in my collection with which I could recreate it have been Ultra Glow Professional Pro Eye Shimmer in Icicle and E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow in Golden. Both of these products are in pigment form and are very easy to use and blend and with a primer underneath they will last for hours. 

What time of year is more appropriate for glitter? Holiday season of course! I have really enjoyed playing up my eye looks with these Diamond Eyeliners from two past limited editions from Pupa Milano. They add a subtle hint of glitter which complements the festive cheer going on during these days and they also add a little fun factor :)

The last product I want to talk about is the Respectissime Mascara from La Roche Posay. Currently I'm in the process of going through all the mascaras I have open and I have decided to start with this one. It is one of my favourites because I really like the brush and the fanned out effect on my lashes so I will definitely repurchase once I finish it.

Which products are your end-of-year favourites ladies?

The Exit Interview Series | Volume #38

Twelve months on, I am pleased to say that I have kept up with my resolution to use up as many products as I can as the year rolls by for the simple reason that I was accumulating way too many products for such a small person :) Here go this month's empties!

Starting with body care, I have finally used up three full sized body lotions of which I only had a little left in each container and I also used up a sample of The Body Shop Mango Sorbet body souffle. The texture of the latter is really intriguing as is the scent and I will consider buying it once I go through the other lotions that remain in my stash. The Spiced Vanilla flavour was actually a Christmas Limited Edition so it is no longer available while the other two were part of gift sets.

Next I have two foot products - Scholl Cracked Heel Repair Cream which works wonders for keeping feet baby soft and this Exfoliating Foot Scrub which works a treat for keeping dry, rough skin at bay. I will bot be repurchasing any of them for the moment as again I have other similar products to go through.

Moving on, I have finally used up this Angel Water Element Nourishing Cream which is essentially a hair mask that aims at restoring moisture in your hair. It took me a long time to go through this because I didn't use it as frequently as I thought I would and having oily hair, it meant that I had to wash my hair the after every time I used it cos it just weighed it down. The other item in the picture is the last sachet of collagen eye patches I had bought from Ebay a while back. These work instantly, but again no use repurchasing a product that took me a lot of time to go through simply cos I forgot about it.

Next, I have an assortment of top and base coats which I won't be repurchasing cos all of them chip like crazy, with the exception of the Essence nail hardener which actually works great but once you reach half the bottle, it just thickens to a point where it's very difficult to use.

Lastly, I have this coconut perfume from The Body Shop which I have already purchased a backup for because I seriously love this stuff! There is also a sample of Pupa Milano's Vamp! Mascara in Black which is one of my favourite mascaras ever.

Living Room Fashion

Blogging for over four years can have its toll on new posts, inspiration and content, hence whenever I am presented with a new idea that could easily fit with the subjects I normally write about, I jump at the chance! 

So here I am, styling a living room - just like I would style an outfit! I saw this post as an other way of looking at beauty and fashion.

I chose some pieces from the incredibly vast range of modern and contemporary furniture Modani have to offer and I feel this combination really reflects my personal style. I tend to be a little conservative in my sartorial choices often sticking to just two or mostly three colours in my outfit but I do like to give my outfits an edge sometimes by say wearing a striking colour or sticking to just one statement piece.

Here I chose different hues of grey and added a burst of lime with the pillows to give the room a vibrancy factor and warmth. The patterns on the pillows add more interest to the overall aspect of the room and they immediately draw your eyes to the main piece i.e. the modern sofa. To contrast the iciness of the sofa's colour, candles of different heights can be placed in a nice tray in the compartment on the chaise lounge part.

I chose the rug to add some texture just like a fur cape would lend a plain dress more interest and the silver vase further contributes to making the room come to life. The lamp and the coffee table add a complementing touch to the room and bring everything together with minimal effort! I personally like the idea of stacking two or three books on a coffee table - it's as if you're stacking bracelets on your arms so I would definitely include those if this had to be my living room.

I hope you enjoyed this kind of post especially seeing it's a little different to what I usually write about. Check out Modani's website for the full range of modern interiors they offer, and why not?...some inspiration for your own homes!

Event | F&F Official Opening

Last week marked the official opening of F&F's first ever store in Malta, precisely on Level 2 at Daniel's Shopping Complex in Hamrun. The store has technically been open for like two weeks prior to the event but last week, it was all about it being open officially.

The event consisted of a brief fashion show for which models portrayed looks from F&F's Winter 2014/2015 Collection and the stars of the show have definitely been the super adorable kids with their 'feeling cool' walks and winning smiles - not to mention the very stylish clothes they were wearing!

models' photos by Kurt Paris

photo by Kira Drury
After the fashion show, us guests made our way to the store where we were offered a 20% discount on our purchases for the night. F&F has a selection of essentials such as pyjamas, underwear, and those bits and bobs you simply must have in your wardrobe as well as a nice selection of garments, shoes and bags for men, women and children alike - all at a very affordable price tag and decent quality.

I got myself a khaki coloured parka with fleece lining and I'm sure it will be indispensable when I visit London next March. The price? It was marked at €60 which in my opinion is still a good price and with the discount, it came down to €48! The Mr. also bought a jacket for himself which came down to just €32 from €40.

Head down to F&F for some quality fashion pieces that won't break the bank! Check out their Facebook page for opening hours during this time of year and special offers!

Event | Nilara Christmas Reception

Last Monday evening, I had the pleasure to attend a Christmas reception at Nilara in Paola, house of locally designed evening and occasion dresses.

photo courtesy of Nilara Facebook page

For those new to the shop, it has only opened its doors 8 months ago in April and despite it being so young, the brand has already accomplished a good number of milestones with the pinnacle of them all being sponsoring the latest edition of the Mercedes-Benz Malta Fashion and Week and Awards last May where Nilara showcased some of their designs during the Awards night and they even had their own VIP area.

The owner and designer, Nilay introduced me to her brand and brand manager Donna Borg Leyland (Miss Malta 2013), has guided me through some of the dresses while we waited for other guests to arrive. Nilay explained how she designs the dresses herself and has them sewn at their atelier in Turkey and one thing I really liked is that the designs are quite exclusive and there are only two or three sizes available for each garment.

The shop decor really struck me in a good way - it feels as if you have just entered a princess' dressing quarters with evening and cocktail gowns for all tastes lining the walls of the shop and girly decorative ornaments adorning the shelves. Nilara also offer a selection of shoes and bags as well as jewellery to match your dress.

The event was quite an intimate one where I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people from the fashion industry who are very passionate about what they do. All of them have worked with Nilara but the one collaboration that struck me the most is the project run by Ekaterina Camilleri, Queen of The Planet. This is essentially a contest, which aims at bridging a friendship with Russia and Malta through a beauty pageant. Ekaterina also led the publication of a calendar which was shot at various palaces one finds in Malta, featuring twelve Russian women who are married to Maltese husbands and their kids. The aim of this calendar is to help girls at a Russian oprhanage and the Creche of the Ursuline Sisters here in Malta with the funds collected between the participants. Nilara's contribution to this project is the donation of a dress that was showcased at Fashion Week for auction and all proceeds will go towards the Ursuline Sisters.

I really enjoyed my time at the event and time passed really quickly over the Proseccos and delicious food we were served. I would like to thank all the staff at Nilara for the invitation and hospitality and with a family wedding coming up next year, I know where I will be getting my dress from!

Nilara is situated at Mater Boni Consilii Street in Paola and they offer dresses for special occasions at affordable prices. For more information kindly check out their page on Facebook.

Review | Born Pretty Store 4pcs Flower Handled Nail Art Brush Set

Nail artists know that you can never have enough nail art brushes and with this excuse that's so true, I chose this set of beautiful nail art brushes from Born Pretty Store.

The flower handles look really nice and they stand out against my other plain brushes. The set is comprised of two striping brushes in different sizes (medium and long), detailing brush and a flat square tipped brush.  The latter has a silver ferrule while the other three brushes have a gold one.

The brushes come in a plastic sleeve pocket and each of them has its own protective plastic cap which I think is nice as I like to put the caps back on my brushes after I use and clean them. The bottom part of the liner brushes can be used to create big dots too if you so desire.

All four brushes are very easy to work with. Just a small tip before using them for the first time though, dip the brushes in water and wipe them on a tissue paper to get that stickiness out of the bristles and make sure all the hairs stick together for an optimal result.

The long and medium striping brushes are best for drawing straight lines; just dip them in acrylic paint or nail polish and stripe away!

The detailing brush is best used for intricate nail art work such as arabesque motifs like the nail art I did here. You can also use it to fill in colour in your nail art.

The square tipped brush is your best bet for cuticle clean up or even for small one stroke designs. You can alternatively use it to fill in bigger areas on your nails with polish. 

The only downside I found with these brushes is that the bristles, being white, tend to retain some colour after cleaning. Nonetheless, this is still a nice set of brushes to have in your collection and it is currently on sale for $3.44 instead of $4.92 on Grab an extra 10% off your order with the code EBABK31!

PR Sample

Review | Dr. Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask

Today I have the last product from the Dr.Organic event to review and this is probably my favourite out of the bunch! 

I have always been a fan of products with extracts from the Dead Sea and that is exactly what made me choose this mask as a product to take home and try. Read on to find out what I think about Dr. Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask!

Dr. Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask comes packaged in a nice carton box that actually fits the tube - it is not like those products where you get a big outer box and the teeniest of containers with even less product. The tube itself then holds 100ml of mud-grey goodness.

Dead Sea minerals and salts are well known for their skin purifying properties and they have long been implemented in cosmetic products. This is exactly what this mask does - it purifies the skin through its detoxifying action for a rejuvenated complexion with added anti-aging and oil regulating benefits. Thus this mask is particularly suitable for people with sensitive and oily skin types.

Dr.Organic claim that this mask is a pore-cleansing face mask on the surface and a bioactive, deeply replenishing face lift on the deeper skin layers. I cannot vouch for these claims but I could definitely see brighter skin right after the very first use!

Apart from the Dead Sea Minerals, this mask is rich in natural and organic ingredients such as Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Kaolin and Vitamin C, all of which are known to exert beneficial effects on our skin for a more youthful glow.
The dense mask has a mud-like consistency with a minty sort of smell that is rather faint. It is recommended to apply a thin layer of product over the face, omitting the eyes and lips and leaving it on for 10 minutes twice weekly for optimal results.

I have been using this mask as directed for a month now and I am really loving the results on my skin - it looks brighter and less oilier for longer. The best thing about this mask though? It retails for only €10.04 for 100ml of product!

Dr.Organic products can be found at authorized pharmacies across Malta & Gozo. For more information, have a look at their website and Facebook page.

PR Sample

Product Spotlight | Pupa Milano I'M Lipsticks

The latest product to hit the Pupa Milano displays is the I'M Lipstick with 30 exquisite shades ready to give your lips lasting colour. The shades available locally are 100 to 109, 200 to 209 and 300 to 309.

I have already introduced you to the I'M Lipsticks concept a few months back with this post where I featured shade 206 Coral Dream and I was delighted to see that three new shades were included in the brand's Paris Experience Limited Edition Collection - so much so that I went ahead and bought one of them.

Why do I like these lipsticks so much? Simple! Apart from the elegant packaging, they feature exquisite pigmentation and a glossy finish and the colour lasts for a long time! 

I'M Lipsticks are whole new concept not just on a makeup level, but also technologically! The lipstick range has a whole section dedicated to it on the Pupa website where you can explore the various shades that would suit you most according to skin tone, hair colour and lip shape! Discover more by clicking here.

That's not all! Up till the 20th of December, with every I'M Lipstick purchased (retail price €12.45), Pupa Milano will give you a Lasting Colour nail polish to match! You can also opt to choose another colour if you don't want to match your nails to your lipstick. Participating outlets are:

Valletta: Lysette Zachary Street

Sliema: Drug Store Pharmacy (Sliema Ferries)

Qormi: Evans Pharmacy

Zebbug: Hal-Mula Pharmacy

Fgura: Chain The Perfumery Section

Marsaxlokk: Epoca Beauty Salon

Zejtun: Health Junction

Which is your favourite I'M Lipstick?

Event | The Body Shop Christmas Limited Editions Launch

Picture this...sweet smells, a wide array of bath and body products, sweet treats and a group of beauty bloggers...sounds like a mini piece of heaven and well, it definitely was for us bloggers in attendance for The Body Shop's event last Friday!

I was really excited as I made my way to the brand's outlet at The Plaza Shopping Complex in Sliema together with Marija from Pocalocca and upon arrival, we were greeted with a choice of cranberry and green apple juice and a selection of very tasty sweet treats - all in line with the three limited edition fragrances proposed for this holiday season by The Body Shop.

We were of course introduced to these three lines - Glazed Green Apple, Vanilla Brulee and  Frosted Cranberry and the vast choice of gifts that can be bought from each range as well as some new makeup products and the Christmas limited edition, and their latest fragrance, Red Musk which is suitable for both males and females alike.

The Body Shop is well known for its contribution to charitable organisations and while on an international scale, it donates 10p from every gift bought during this time of year to 'Warchild', which helps fund education for children in war zones, locally, the company donates €1 from the sales of a selection of gifts to 'L-Istrina' which is a well established cause that helps others in need.

There were some offers going on during the event, for example, there was a promotion on makeup where upon the purchase of three products, you get one of them for 50% off. Shoppers were also offered a 20% discount on gift sets and Love Your Body members were still entitled to a 10% discount with the loyalty card and that is what I took advantage of! I felt like being in a supermarket, only the ambiance was more like my beloved perfumery section! I picked up a few things that I needed and some treats too! I also bought an Activist perfume for my man and a Shea hand cream for my Mum (both products not shown). Us bloggers were also given a cute Olive Shower gel and bath lily gift set and a Dewberry Body Lotion.

Thank you so much to The Body Shop for having us over to spread the Christmas cheer! Stay tuned for reviews on the new products that I laid my hands on!

The Body Shop have five outlets in total over here - 4 in Malta (Sliema, Paola, Valletta, Bugibba) and 1 in Gozo. For more information, please check out the Facebook page right here!