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Review | Onsen Purifying Facial Peel

While shopping at Westfield Shepherd's Bush during my last visit to London, I was introduced to the skin care brand Onsen. I had never heard of the brand before but the beauty blogger in me was intrigued by the prospect of a new brand and curious to find out more, I let Danielle, the brand representative, show me some of their products.

While she applied a little of the Purifying Facial Peel on the back of my hand, she began explaining that Onsen means hot spring in Japanese, the healing properties of which are well known all around the world. However, the miracle cures of the onsen have been discovered during the 10th century by Japanese women to keep their skin looking healthy and youthful.

After a while, Danielle asked me to rub the peel and I was in awe at the little bits of dead skin that formed and she explained that the peel works by drawing out impurities and dead skin cells from the pores, hence the little bits.

I am a little apprehensive of harsh peels because 1, my skin is super sensitive and 2, with the sun that we get here in Malta, it is not ideal to impose such treatments on the skin then expose it to UV radiation. However, I was pleased to learn that Onsen Purifying Facial Peel is a very gentle type of peeling treatment and due to the nature of its ingredients, it is also suitable for sensitive skin.

Let's have a look at the product packaging first and then I shall relay my experience after using this product for a month.

Onsen Purifying Facial Peel comes in a metallic blue box which contains the pump dispenser bottle that holds ml of product. To open, you have to twist the silver cap part and the pump is exposed. I like this sort of packaging as it is very practical in terms of travelling as the product will not spill.

The product per se is a clear gel-like fluid that turns watery upon massaging it into the skin - the secret is the which I witnessed right before my eyes as Danielle applied a little of the powder on the back of my hand and asked me to massage it and see what happens!

Application of the product is very straight forward - apply a thin layer onto cleansed, dry skin, leave to act for 20 - 30 seconds and gently massage in circular motions to help the skin get rid of cellular debris. Repeat once or twice weekly.

I used the product religiously for this whole month (starting that same day I got it in our hotel room!) and I really like the results - my skin looked smoother, brighter and more refined from week to week. The only issue I had, which was expected is that I got a few spots after the first couple of uses as the skin takes the opportunity to get rid of all the dirt once it gets a chance (unluckily for us, the opportunity comes in the form of pimples); but other than that, I only have words of praise for the product and so does the boyfriend ;)

The downside to this product is the price - £99.99 which is plain expensive and in no way I am justifying it. On the day that I got it, they were selling the products for £59.99 which is still expensive for a product which I didn't know what to expect from but I got it just so I can try it. Then again, we spend a lot of money on useless stuff so might as well invest in our skin. The plus side is that you only need a small amount (I use two pumps to cover my whole face) so it will last you for a good amount of time.

Bottom line, if you are a skin care fanatic, this is a very good product to try out and I look forward to my weekly treatment with it.

Review | Born Pretty Store Gel Nail Polish (new line)

Born Pretty Store have once again introduced a new line of gel nail polishes and they have kindly sent me one of them to review.

The new gel polishes come in a square shaped bottle with a black cap and a completely opaque, white bottom part. The only downside to this packaging is that you don't know what colour the polish is and how much is left in the bottle.

I used the silver one in this fish scale nail art and I must say it was very easy to use. All you need is to apply it and cure under UV light for two minutes and seal with a top coat. It lasted me for five days and it came off easily after soaking my nails in acetone polish remover. This particular shade dries matte but you can always add a glossy top coat to add shine to it. To create the fish scales, I used vinyls from Born Pretty Store.

These gel polishes come in a large colour variety and they retail at $3.95 for 10ml of product and you can claim 10% off your purchase when quoting the code EBABK31 at checkout.

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Monthly Favourites | January

Ok so I know we're in the middle of February but I still want to share with you my favourite products from last month as there are quite a few new products that I want to share with you all. Starting off with the KIKO Lip Scrub which so far has bee the best one I have ever used. It is gentle enough to be used everyday and keeps lips feeling soft and supple. I prefer to use it before going to bed followed by some lip balm to wake up with plumper lips.

Next, I have the Onsen Purifying Facial Peel which I have been using religiously on a weekly basis ever since I got it. I shall go into more detail in a review I have planned for this weekend but I all have for this product as words of praise as it really does deliver great results and even better looking skin.

On to makeup, I only have two products for this month, the first of which is the Make Up Store Smoothing Primer Powder which is god-send for days when I'm in a hurry and just need a thin veil of something for my skin to look good to go. It's got a very fine texture and can be used as a primer or worn alone. I sometimes also use it as a setting powder and for baking and it also works well in that regard.

Lastly is my MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Oh Lady! I have worn this a couple of times and I always got good compliments on the colour. I have to say that this passes the eat & drink test, the kiss test and the time test! It is really that long lasting and I admit, it is a bit of a pain to remove completely.

Do you have any favourite products you would like to share? Write them in the comments!

Review | Milani Rose Powder Blush 03 Warm Petals

Hello everyone :) Today I wanted to share with you a recent favourite blush of mine, the Milani Rose Powder Blush in 03 Warm Petals.
I wanted a bronze toned blush that is still more subtle than a bronzer and this seemed like it ticks all the boxes. The embossed rose pattern and my previous experience with using Milani blushes always being positive, fuelled my decision to get this blush.

Although the outer packaging does look a bit cheap, I think we all agree that the embossed rose design makes this blush and all others in the same collection look really pretty - in fact, Milani claims that their Rose Powder Blushes are the most instagrammed blushes to date!
The shade 03 Warm Petals is a medium bronze hue with subtle golden shimmer throughout, making the blush suitable for both day and night use. I like to pair my blush colour to my lipstick colour most of the times and this goes really well with warm nude shades and instantly warms up my otherwise pale complexion. When it comes to staying power, this blush is one of the best I have as it lasts well throughout the day without the need for touch ups.

I got mine from Beauty Crowd for €10.30 for 17g of product which I think is a fair price. I really do hope that the rose pattern lasts for a long time though because it is so pretty to look at :)

My experience on Elle TV

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to a very good friend of mine, I was invited to take part in a local television programme, Elle TV on Net Television. The programme focuses on fashion and beauty and each week a theme is chosen and tackled in the programme - for this week it was the white tie dress code.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to be part of this whole experience and on the day, I made my way to the studios, wearing my brand new Charles & Ron denims for my first time on TV! Upon arriving at the studios, I was greeted by Amy, had my makeup applied by Rebecca Mallia, the resident makeup artist on the show using Artdeco products and I finally got to meet and chat with the presenter, Dr. Thea Saliba.

After relaxing for a bit in the studio changing room, the cameras rolled on for my interview. I didn't feel very nervous at the time and I think it was a very pleasant experience overall. I got to witness the stages of production of the programme and today I got to see the final product - the programme being aired!

It feels even more weird seeing yourself on TV but it's an experience I will remember for the rest of my life and I feel so proud of my little blog for this achievement! Here are some snaps of my outfit and makeup for the show:

Blouse, Atmosphere at Primark | Jeans, Marilyn by Charles & Ron | Shoes, Bata
Necklace, Peacocks | Stainless steel & pearl bracelet, Morellato at Sunlab
Stainless steel bangle, Calvin Klein | Ring, Viventy at 202 Jewellery
Double stud pearl & pave' stones earrings, Sif Jakobs at 202 Jewellery

Here is the link to the full program and some behind the scenes snapshots ;)

studio shots courtesy of Elle TV and Impel Communications

Review | Born Pretty Store Transparent Stamper

Finally, all stamping nail art problems have been answered!! If you are familiar with stamping, you would know that one of the biggest issues with this nail art technique is the difficulty of knowing where you are placing an image on your nails, because it is kind of hard to see when using a fully opaque stamper.

Thankfully, Born Pretty Store have a new stamper in stock that actually looks like a magnifying glass and has a transparent squishy stamping head and you can even see through the hole on the opposite side. This makes it easier to know which part of an image you're picking up especially when it comes to the larger ones and also, you can see where you are actually placing the design on the nails.

All it took for the stamper to work was just a quick roll on a lint remover to prime it, take the usual steps for stamping, roll the stamper onto the image, et voila! the image is clearly picked up, ready to be stamped on your nails! This makes it perfect for placement and landscape manicures as well as a multitude of other nail art creations. The plate I have used for this nail art is also from Born Pretty Store and it is the BPL-007 plate. I'm not a big fan of the scraper that comes with this stamper though and I prefer using the transparent credit-card like one.

If you're a fan of stamping, I highly suggest you get this one even if you're a beginner. The price is $2.99 and you get 10% off your order with my code EBABK31 at checkout.

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Event | Introducing Teoxane Cosmeceuticals

Last week, I had the pleasure to attend an introductory presentation about award winning anti-aging skin care brand Teoxane Cosmeceuticals. I knew the brand would spark my interest as skin care backed by actual scientific research is right up my alley, and I wasn't disappointed!

Upon arriving, we were greeted by Claire and Dorianne as well as sushi rolls and a glass of Prosecco in the company's cozy offices where our hosts delivered a very detailed and inforamtive presentation about the brand Teoxane and their concept of anti-aging skin care.

If like me, you are new to Teoxane, here is a brief word of introduction. Teoxane Cosmeceuticals is a Swiss brand and was founded by Mrs. Valerie Taupin thirteen years ago. The key ingredient in their products is Resilient Hyaluronic Acid (RHA) which can be dubbed as a better form of Hyaluronic Acid, a natural component of our skin that helps us retain moisture levels. This patented RHA concept contributes towards a superior anti-ageing skin care program. Basically everything revolves around RHA and the principle that hydrations is better than moisturization.

It's always nice to get to know new skin care brands and now I look forward to trying out and reviewing the products that were given to us following the presentation. Keep your eyes peeled for the reviews for you will be amazed with the quality and prices (hint: they are not as expensive as you might think!).

Images from Teoxane website

January Collective Beauty Haul

I have been very good at sticking to my clothes buying ban this month but not so much when it comes to makeup - I did buy a few new things to add to my collection, because you know, I don't have this and I don't have that in my overflowing makeup drawers.

I placed an order on the KIKO website as they were on sale and you know how it goes, I 'needed' a few things. I got a CC Blur Skin Trainer for which I have high expectations, a lip scrub which I have heard very good things about, a Mixing Solution, Nail Lacquer Thinner, two eyeshadow sticks and some eyebrow products which I totally love and shall review shortly.

During an event hosted by the Make Up Store, I picked up a Smoothing Primer Powder and a Lip Pencil in Burlesque and they were kind enough to give me the Grass Microshadow as a gift. I have only tried the powder and all I have for it are words of praise!

Lastly, I went to MAC to pick up some things from their current collections and I walked out with Oh Lady! Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick, a Foiled Eyeshadow from the Faerie Whispers Collection in Fly By Twilight and a mini Fix+.

So that's it for this post, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe got inspired to get some of the things yourselves :) Watch out for some exciting posts and news next ;)

OOTD | Cocktail Hour

What better way to celebrate a birthday than a Sunday afternoon sipping cocktails with the celebrated and their friends? That is exactly how me and the Mister spent our Sunday afternoon and I really enjoyed taking my time to do my makeup and pick an outfit for the occasion.

I wanted to wear something chic and comfy as the weather is still on the cooler side at the moment so I opted for my favourite denims of the moment and a new shirt I got from London last month. Add to them my favourite black heels and silver jewellery, a timeless black blazer and I was good to go.

As for makeup I wanted to test drive the new MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in the shade Oh Lady! and boy did it pass the test! (more on that in a dedicated review post though). Here are a couple of pictures the Mister patiently took of me before the sun went down :)

Blazer, Mango | Denim jeans, Charles & Ron | Shirt, H&M | Shoes, Nine West
Necklace, Peacocks | Ring, Spinning Jewellery at 202 Jewellery
Earrings, Sif Jakobs Jewellery at 202 Jewellery