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First Impressions | Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

Hello everyone 😊 By now, all beauty aficionados know about Urban Decay's latest release, The Naked Heat palette. It goes without saying that the moment I laid my eyes on the promo images for this palette, I knew I had to have it! It took me quite a while to get my hands on it as it was released in Europe in July and of course, having to buy it online, I have had to wait for another 14 days for the palette to finally be delivered. But, let me tell you, it was well worth the wait! I also managed to get my hands on the Vice lipsticks that were released with the palette but there will be more on them in a separate post.

Just when I thought there was no possibility of another Naked palette to be released, Urban Decay managed to come up with this fiery version boasting 12 newly released shades of amber-hued neutrals just in time for summer. With a colour spectrum ranging from warm browns to burnt oranges, this warm-toned palette looks flattering on any skin tone. Without further ado, let's get to the fun part - pictures and swatches!

As far as packaging goes, I think this palette is decidedly the best looking - the outer packaging resembles a match box complete with a drawer containing the palette and 12 matches illustrated on the inside of the box, the next more burnt than the one before it to depict the shades going from lightest to darkest. The palette, on the other hand, boasts a rather colourful appearance with an orange case and an ombre metallic lid which gives the Naked logo a sort of 3D look.

The inside is pretty standard with of course the 12 eyeshadow pans and the shade names underneath, a large mirror and a dual ended brush. I always like the brushes that come with UD palettes as they are very good quality and this brush was no exception either. Actually, it reminds me of the one that comes with the Naked Smoky except the fluffier end is shorter on this one.

Now let's have a look at the shades. The shades are organized from lightest to darkest and I was actually surprised to see so many matte shades in an Urban Decay palette - 7 out of 12 to be exact while the remaining 5 are mostly shimmery.

Ounce (ivory shimmer)
Chaser (light nude matte)
Sauced (soft terra-cotta matte)
Low Blow (brown matte)

Lumbre (copper shimmer w/gold pearl shift)
He Devil (burnt red matte)
Dirty Talk (metallic burnt red)
Scorched (metallic deep red w/gold micro-shimmer)

Cayenne (deep terra-cotta matte)
En Fuego (burgundy matte)
Ashes (deep reddish-brown matte)
Ember (deep metallic copper-burgundy)

Of course pigmentation is always exceptional with UD and the formula is buttery soft. Intensity can always be built up to your heart's content and there is no limit to the looks you can create with this palette. The only shades which are a little lacking in pigmentation are Ounce and Chaser but other than them, the rest are insane!

The stand out shades for me are Ember, En Fuego, Scorched and Lumbre. The shimmery shades have a nice sort of duo-chromatic shift which I look forward to use in makeup looks I am planning to share on the blog soon :)

The palette is on sale from Feelunique and Urban Decay websites for €47.40.

3INA The Bestsellers

Ever since 3INA opened their doors in Malta, the brand has fast become a firm favourite with women of all ages. Like every other makeup brand, there are products that are favoured over others by customers, so this time round, 3INA are promoting their best selling products of the moment as a collection aptly entitled, The Bestsellers.

The 'collection' has a vast number of products from across all 3INA product ranges. To me, a best-selling product must have excellent staying power and pigmentation, a good formula to work with and value for money. Read on to see if the products I have from The Bestsellers collection fulfil these criteria. I have The Longwear Lipstick 500 (€7.95), The Highlighter 201 (€10.95) and The Cream Eyeshadow 313 (€8.95).

All of these products are right up my alley in terms of colour and I am already familiar with the formulation of the lipstick and the cream eyeshadow as I already own a couple of other shades of each. Nevertheless, I am still excited to try these shades out. 3INA always come up with different propositions for makeup looks with every collection they come out with and this was no exception. Moreover, they came up with different combinations of best-sellers to create various looks! I opted for a halo effect eyeshadow look and red lips - a look that's perfect for summer nights out.

Back to the products I was sent, my favourite product out of them, is The Cream Eyeshadow. The colour is a sort of bronzy-gold and the mousse like texture makes for easy application and buildable colour intensity. I like that no primer is needed with this eyeshadow and that once it dries, it just doesn't budge or crease.

Next up is the lipstick. Red is one of my favourite lipstick shades - it is a classic shade that is always in fashion and has a somewhat classy aura; in fact, I am a firm believer in the mantra that red lipstick gives you a confidence boost. One word of warning though, be sure to scrub your lips before applying this lipstick as it can go on a little patchy. I wore this lipstick to a birthday party I was invited to and it stayed on all night amid all the drinking, eating and conversing. It definitely gets the thumbs up from me.

The Highlighter is a new product for me from 3INA. I expected the texture to be similar to that of the blushers but it's not. I found this to be less powdery and more creamy and overall it is a joy to work it. It can be built up or toned down depending on the look you're going for. Again, truly a must-have product!

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Oily Skin Be Gone! | La Roche Posay Effaclar Micellar Water Ultra & Effaclar MAT Sebo-Controlling Moisturiser

We all know what a nightmare oily skin can be in summer, at least people with such a skin type can definitely relate. No matter how frequently you wash and moisturize your face, somehow you end up with shiny skin - and not in a good way. Over the years, I have mastered taking care of my sensitive/oily skin and today I am here to share with you a couple of products that help my skin be the best it can be.

La Roche Posay's Effaclar range is probably the very first skin care range every teenager with oily skin has used. This comes as no surprise when Effaclar products are the number 1 skin care products for oily, acne-prone skins in 8 major European countries. For instance, I have been using Effaclar products for as long as I can remember, together with other LRP products.

One product that I keep going to from the range, is Effaclar MAT Sebo-Controlling Moisturiser. Being a beauty blogger, I get sent different products to try so I tend to switch up my skin care products from time to time, however, Effaclar MAT is the moisturiser I always tend to gravitate towards every so often, more specifically during summer. I find the light texture to be just what my skin needs to feel hydrated all day long without having my face turning into an oil rig the second I step outside in the heat. In fact, I like to use this moisturiser as a makeup base too instead of the usual primer and it works really well! Apart from being anti-shine, Effaclar MAT has a sebo-regulating action and helps diminish pore size. Luckily, enlarged pores is not a concern of mine but excess sebum production is and I find that Effaclar MAT is really effective at keeping it at bay!

Using harsh cleansers that strip skin dry can have a reverse effect on oily skin - to compensate for the 'moisture' loss, your skin will produce even more oil to maintain adequate levels that it is used to. The solution? I found that for me, the best way to have clean skin without stripping it of moisture is to use a foaming cleanser only when I need to and use micellar water instead on all other days.

La Roche Posay has some great micellar waters including a micellar water gel that is perfect for sensitive skin. At the moment I am loving the Effaclar Micellar Water Ultra which also doubles up as a makeup remover. I just soak a cotton disk with the micellar water, wipe my skin with it and it's clean in no time! My skin doesn't feel taut after using La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra but it sure does look and feel clean!

La Roche Posay products are found in all pharmacies across Malta and Gozo. You might also want to try Effaclar Sebo-Controlling Mask to further help you keep oily skin at bay.

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SKYBEACH - The Perfect Party Venue!

Living in Malta and having your birthday in summer, definitely has its perks! Last Sunday was my boyfriend's birthday, and to celebrate, he wanted to spend the day relaxing in style by a pool. Of course, SKYBEACH at Intercontinental was the obvious choice. It's the hip new place to be during the summer to chillax in style with idyllic surroundings and stunning views all around!

I had been meaning to go ever since I was invited to the opening party, which sadly I had to decline because of work commitments so this was indeed, the perfect occasion to visit. Luckily, one of my better half's friends got us on the guest list and we just had to make our way to Intercontinental Hotel in St. Julian's. 

Situated on the hotel's 19th floor atop the luxurious Highline Suites, SKYBEACH is home to Malta's most tranquil infinity pool which provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the busy St. Julian's district. 

All nine of us arrived there at around 1 pm and were greeted with a welcome drink before our hostess showed us to our gazebo and three lounge chairs. Towels were also provided. The gazebo was quite inviting with plush cushions signed with the Events By Martin logo - a household name when it comes to exclusive event organization and everything is in white - I say it's just perfect! In fact, EMB organize EBM Sundays at SkyBeach and on the day, DJ Bene Marshall was playing the hottest summer tunes all day long.

Swimsuit, Women'Secret | Sunglasses, Accessorize

We didn't really make much use of the gazebo and sun beds as the day was quite hot and we preferred having frequent dips in the pool instead but they are nice to have for when you want to relax or just nibble on some of the tasty food offerings - my favourite was the salmon tartare.

We had a full day of laughs, good food and drinks and just good company in general with very pleasant surroundings. It turned out to be the perfect birthday for my man!

Flormar Tropical Splash Limited Edition Collection

Summer is all about bright colours and Flormar is definitely on the right track with the brand's summer collection proposition for 2017 - Tropical Splash.

The collection boasts a vast array of products: 4 nail enamels, 6 lipsticks and 6 matching lip glosses, 8 eyeshadows, a mascara, 2 highlighters, 4 bronzers, 2 perfumes and 4 body mists - that's a mouthful isn't it?!

With all the bright colours available in this collection and the super stunning packaging, I was already taking note of which products to get from this collection when, much to my delight, I arrived home after a long day at work to a lovely surprise - I was sent some products from this collection to try out. I took them with me to a weekend getaway in Gozo to try them out and haven't let go of them since!

The packaging has summer written all over it with the ombre boxes reminding me of the perfect summer landscape - clear skies, cool blue waters and warm golden sands! The same ombre effect is translated onto some of the products too such as the lipsticks, whereas other products such as the mascara and bronzer have a monochromatic packaging.

Tropical Sun Bronzing Powder BR01 Maldives | Dramatic Volume Mascara Black
Tropical Lipstick 04 Orange Sunrise | Summer Metallics Eyeshadow 07 Emerald

Of course the product that caught my eyes first was the lipstick. I was sent the shade 04 Orange Sunrise which is an orange-based red. I have to admit that I am not particularly drawn to such shades because I am quite pale, however, I was surprised at how much this shade suited me! I like the buttery-soft formula on this lipstick, not to mention the awesome pigmentation and a smell that reminds me of watermelons - it can't get more summery than that!. I put this lipstick to the test for dinner and I am happy to say that it lasted all throughout. Naturally, it did fade away a little but for a regular lipstick that doesn't have a matte finish, I honestly didn't expect it to last that long!

As much as I prefer to wear bright colours on my lips, I just had to somehow incorporate this gorgeous emerald shade for a dinner date with my better half as it happened to match the dress I was going to wear. I used the eyeshadow to line my bottom lashes for a hint of colour though I wouldn't rule out the possibility to wear it as a full colour on my lids. Pigmentation is ok - not too strong but just enough for the colour to show up nicely. Green is one of my favourite colours and I think it complements my eye colour; even my boyfriend commented on how good it looked on so that's a big plus ;)

Next, I have one of the best mascaras I have ever owned. I have a couple more Flormar mascaras which I find to be of very good quality and they really give my lashes a nice, fanned out look but this Dramatic Volume Mascara outdid them all hands down! The wow factor lacking in the packaging is made up for with the exceptional performance of this mascara - it has the perfect brush to achieve a full fanned-out look which gives the illusion of wearing false lashes. It has a nice, deep black colour which coats the lashes in an even, non-clumpy manner. The only 'issue' I have with this mascara is that I would have liked it better to be waterproof since we are talking about a summer makeup collection but other than that, this gets a 10/10 from me.

Lastly, I have the ubiquitous product in every summer collection - bronzer. Compact bronzers are my favourite as you can build up the colour to your preferred intensity. I am really enjoying this one at the moment as it has a matte sort of finish that makes the product very versatile - you can use it for contouring, instead of a blush, or even to give you an overall tanned appearance. The compact even comes with a mirror inside and the bronze packaging had me in awe as soon as I took it out of the box, this is most definitely a go-to product! Moreover, the colour, BR01 Maldives is the perfect match for my light complexion.

Overall, I think you got the gist that I really like this collection, so thank you Flormar for sending these products over! Flormar has stores in Paola and St. Julian's which are worth checking out for some fabulous products at very affordable prices!

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