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Dining at Armani Nobu Milano

Those who know me well know that I am not much a foodie in the sense that food is not usually the highlight of my day or a night out. However, when me and my better half plan on going out to eat, we always make sure to eat at some of the best places, and our weekend getaway in Milan was not to be an exception. I was more than excited to source out three of Milan's best eateries (one for each night we were staying there) for the perfect culinary experience.

In fact, while planning our trip, my boyfriend quickly pointed out that it's not everyday that I get too excited about food but I guess I did a good job with all three places we ate at. The place I was excited most about is without a doubt Armani Nobu Milano. Asian cuisine is easily a favourite with us so this experience was definitely a must.

We saved it for our last night which was a Sunday night. The restaurant is very easy to get to as from where we were staying (Best Western Hotel Mozart in Piazza Gerusalemme), we just had to cross the road to reach underground line 5 (lilac) from Gerusalemme station, make an interchange to the yellow line 3 from Zara station and stop at Montenapoleone station. The restaurant is located literally around the corner from the station within the Emporio Armani Store, overlooking the sophisticated neighbourhood of Via Pisoni 1.

We took a risk and went there without making a reservation and I have to admit that we were extremely lucky for them to have a place for us at the sushi bar upstairs. The moral of the story is to pre-book your table if you plan to dine here.

The receptionist greeted us upon our arrival and arranged for us to have a place at the sushi bar. The restaurant is tastefully decorated in warm hues of brown, orange and beige which provides a the feel of a Japanese house with a touch of Armani sophistication. The sleek, minimal design is one of the things which won me over as soon as I came across the restaurant website while carrying out my research and I have to admit, it didn't let me down. The dim lighting provides a very intimate atmosphere even if you're a big group. As soon as we made our way upstairs, the sushi bar chefs greeted us in Japanese and the maître d'hôtel invited us to our bar stools.

We were spoilt for choice with all the Asian food available on the menu. We ordered some water which was served in an Armani branded bottle while we settled on our first choice - my boyfriend had New Style Tuna (top) while I opted for a delicious Avocado Tartare (bottom). The tuna tasted very much like a tuna carpaccio but with a vinegary sort of taste. On the other hand, the avocado tartare was a fusion of fresh and spicy.

Next we settled for the Sushi Selection (left) which consisted of a delectable mix of nigiri, maki and salmon roe (caviar) prepared with the freshest of ingredients right in front of our eyes in the live-cooking sushi bar. Here I would like to point out the impeccable way each dish is presented. Following this we went for more salmon sushi rolls (right).

Lastly, dessert. Even though it may sound exaggerated, (I really am not) - this has got to be the best tasting dessert I have ever had! I opted for a Japanese Bento Box which comes with a deliciously soft-on-the-outside-gooey-on-the-inside chocolate fondant, accompanied by a serving of the freshest green tea ice-cream and some forest fruits served in an actual Japanese bento box (or lunch box for us Westerners). The explosion of flavours was out of this world and the hot and cold temperatures are strangely very complementing! A decadent and delicious combination I cannot recommend enough! On the other hand, my boyfriend opted for a ginger pannacotta topped with coffee ice-cream and sesame seeds which was equally delicious...and coming from a non-coffee lover that says a lot!

Of course, this is a fine-dining restaurant so the experience comes with a price tag to match. Having said that, all prices are available on the online menu and we knew what were going for. I highly recommend visiting Armani Nobu if you happen to be in Milan for it offers an unparallelled dining experience as soon as you put your first step through the door.

Check out what I wore for this special night out in this post.

The Best Of Me With CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics | Medik8 Beta Facial

My skin was in desperate need for a facial so I opted to treat my skin to a Medik8 facial at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics last Friday.

I met Jessica, the beautician which was to take care of my skin for the next 45 minutes and after asking me about any skin concerns I might have, I was invited to the couch so she can begin my treatment. I was provided with two plush towels to cover myself with and Medik8 poreCleanse Gel™ was first applied to my skin so that my skin could subsequently be thoroughly analyzed. The poreCleanse Gel cleanses the skin while providing anti-ageing benefits, with both AHA and BHA acids. It contains L-Mandelic Acid, which has been shown to offer similar exfoliation properties to glycolic acid, but without the same level of stinging. In fact, my skin proved quite tolerant to this cleanser as I didn't experience any burning sensations. Furthermore, the cleanser prepares the skin for subsequent product through deeply cleaning the pores.

The CHIC facial treatment room

Following this, JessicaMedik8 Beta Facial. Here is the description of the chosen facial from the CHIC website:
recommended the

Recommended for oily, congested and acneic skin types

Intensive anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment utilizing the benefits of the earth’s natural purifying and healing matter – Kaolin and Bentonite as well as a fine ground natural bamboo scrub. This treatment is designed to normalize oil production, alleviate inflammation and reduce irritation whilst improving the skins hydration, texture and tone.

Next, the Medik8 Bamboo Micro Polish face scrub was applied to reveal a brighter complexion, followed by a toner to prepare the skin for blackhead extraction. I was relieved that the procedure was not painful bar from the areas near to my nose. I also had a few whiteheads which were carefully and painlessly removed by a very fine needle.

Subsequently, it was time for the Medik8 clayMask™ to be applied to my now squeaky clean face. The Medik8 clayMask™ is rich in natural clays to draw out impurities and to absorb excess oil, and help prevent pore clogging. It is also enriched with Allantoin and Vitamin E which are known to aid in soothing the skin. The mask was left on my face for a few minutes and when the time was up, the mask was removed with lukewarm water and a pleasant facial and shoulder massage ensued. Lastly, the Medik8 Hydr8 Post-Treatment™ was applied to finish off my facial experience.

One thing which CHIC do differently is that the beautician even asks to take care of your eyebrows and upper lip if need be. I skipped both treatments as I had already had my brows thread and I treat my upper lip with laser hair removal (also at CHIC).

Medik8 products used for the various facials offered at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics

Before I left the premises, I was given a few product samples to try out as well so I shall be sure to let you know how that goes. 

I waited for a few days to publish this review just to see how my skin would react to the treatment and the products used. Well, I was happy to say this was another positive experience at CHIC as I didn't have any reactions and my skin looks really glowing. Also, I had a minor breakout which seems to be in check now and the redness around the pimples has subsided.

Apart from the Medik8 Beta Facial, CHIC offers various other Medik8 facials tailored to address different skin types and concerns. Also, with every treatment booked at CHIC, you always get 1 hour free parking at the airport car park. 

Do pay CHIC a visit and experience yourself a pampering and caring facial to reveal your best skin yet!

All opinions and experiences are my own and are in no way influenced by CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics. 

Unboxing Gianvito Rossi Plexi Pumps

A few days ago I posted a teaser picture of the Gianvito Rossi shoe box which had just landed on my doorstep. The contents? Well, I can finally say I am the proud owner of a pair of Gianvito Rossi Plexi Pumps!

It is my first pair of designer shoes and it took me quite some time to decide which pair would initate my collection and after seeing the Gianvito Rossi plexi pumps on a YouTube video, I immediately fell in love with them and began saving up.

In the meantime, I kept looking up reviews to make sure I was going for a good pair that would last me for a good number of years. Well I was pleased to know that many YouTubers claim that the shoes are very comfortable and the plastic doesn't cut into the skin. This was going to be the birthday and Christmas gift from me to me. To cut a long story short, after failing to buy the shoes in both Munich and Milan, as my size wasn't in stock, I resorted to buying the shoes online from the Gianvito Rossi website and after just two days, the shoes were on my doorstep!

The box they come in has luxury written all over it with an embossed stripe texture and the Gianvito Rossi brand logo stamped on the lid and the sides. The shoes come with a 'thank you' note and the order invoice (in separate envelopes) and a little card with care instructions. They also come with a dust bag and a little bag with two heel tabs.

I already wore the shoes and I can confirm they are very comfortable and they are a very classy alternative to the classic black pump. I chose the black suede variety for I think they are timeless and I already own a pair of patent black heels.

The shoes don't come cheap at €590 (+ €15 shipping fees) but well I guess it was a well deserved present to treat myself to :) I have a ton of outfits planned around these beauties so I guess the cost per wear will be justified soon enough :)

Black Velvet vs Black Suede

As promised in my Milan Outfit Diaries, I still had to show you what I wore for dinner at Armani/Nobu in Milan. The restaurant was very dimly lit so I couldn't take any pictures of my outfit there. 

I had a photoshoot last Thursday and one of the outfits I chose to wear, was of course this black velvet and mesh dress from River Island which I paired with my new Gianvito Rossi plexi pumps (originally I wore another pair of shoes but I really wanted to debut the Gianvito Rossi's so here they are). I also wore this new clutch bag which I got from & Other Stories in Munich for a touch of colour.

Dress, River Island | Shoes, Gianvito Rossi | Clutch, & Other Stories
Earrings, Sif Jakobs at 202 Jewellery
on my lips, MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Sweet Thing (limited edition Kabuki Magic collection)

Photos by Charlene Sammut

New Launches at M.A.C. | New Retro Matte colours, Shadescents & New Collaborations

Last Wednesday afternoon I got the chance to sample the new collections and launches at M.A.C. thus of course, a blog post ensues! I got to discover the all new launches with Maia, my makeup artist for the day.

In all, I have five new collections to talk about so without further ado, let's get right into them. I'm going to start with the three collaborations first.

M.A.C. has collaborated with three makeup maestros to create collections which reflect their own signature style. Apart from the makeup artists' names, the products in each collection, all feature the full name expansion of M.A.C. - Makeup Art Cosmetics which is what M.A.C. is all about after all; art in makeup!

Diane Kendal -  this collection is all about contouring and highlighting with a touch of rich colours. The collection features two Quiktrik Sticks, 1 Conceal & Correct palette, 1 Casual Colour Lip & Cheek palette and 1 Cream Shadow palette, plus 4 Kajal Crayons in rich jewel tones and a detailing brush.

M.A.C. x Diane Kendal collection + Kajal Crayons Swatches
James Kaliardos - this collection focuses on a more natural look and features 2 Full Face Kits (similar to the ones in the Ellie Goulding Collection), 1 Haute & Naughty Mascara, a Jumbo Penultimate Eyeliner, 2 Eye Brow mechanical pencils, 2 Tricolour Lipglasses, 2 Lip Pencils, a face brush and an eye brush, 2 Into The Well eyeshadows and 2 Pressed Pigments together with 4 lipsticks and Small Cluster Lashes.

M.A.C. x James Kaliardos Collection + Full Face Kit (Moons of Saturn) swatches

Kabuki Magic - the last one of the collaborations is probably the one that stands out the most, the Kabuki Magic collection which features 4 Retro Matte Lip Colours, eyelashes, a Powder Blush Duo, 2 Crystal Glaze Glosses, 4 Paints, a nude eyeshadow palette and a Dazzleshadow palette. The collection also comprises two eye brushes.

M.A.C. x Kabuki Magic Collection + Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolours swatches

Next are the Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolours - 15 new colours with a brand new, easier to work with formulation. I'm happy to say that the new Retro Mattes feature more wearable tones than the previous collection and the formula on these new ones is way better in terms of application and longevity. These will stay in the permanent collection.

Lastly, we have the highly anticipated Shadescents - 6 new perfumes which correspond to six of the most popular lipstick shades from M.A.C. In fact, the lipsticks in question have all been given a revamp for them to match the perfume. The available shades are Crème d'Nude, Velvet Teddy, Candy YumYum, Lady Danger, My Heroine and Ruby Woo. The perfumes will also remain part of the permanent collection.

Finally, I had the chance to try out some of the items from all collections and I let Maia work her magic...

Some of the products used to create my look at M.A.C.

Of course, I didn't leave empty handed and purchased the Kabuki Magic Retro Matte Lip Colour in Sweet Thing and the James Kaliardos Into The Well Eyeshadow in Midnight Tryst. I was also kindly given a Retro Matte Lip Colour in the shade Cafe' Au Chic which I am really excited to wear.

Head down to M.A.C. at Debenhams The Point or the M.A.C. store in Tower Road Sliema during February and discover all the new collections yourselves!

Review | Eau Thermale Avène YsthèAL Anti-wrinkle emulsion

Now that I am past the age of 25, part of my skin care routine is dedicated to anti-aging and the use of anti-wrinkle products before they start appearing. One such product that is helping my skin maintain its youthfulness, is YsthèAL from Eau Thermale Avène.

The Eau Thermale Avène brand is not new on this blog so by now you should all be familiar with the all white boxes with touches of orange, and in this case, rose gold. The emulsion is then presented in a clean, white, double layered bottle with a pump dispenser and a clear cap that you just pull off. To dispense the product, you have to first turn the dispenser to the right which makes sense as all Eau Thermale Avène products are packaged in sterile containers. When not in use, you can always turn it back to the left and replace the cap to avoid contamination.

The formula itself is a light, orange coloured emulsion which is rapidly absorbed into the skin. The product is intended for use on clean skin at night, thus a rapidly absorbed formula is most definitely a plus, especially when I am too tired to keep massaging a product for so long for it to be completely absorbed. Moreover, the formula is free from perfume and parabens as the brand is specifically committed towards caring for sensitive skin.

Though I have been using YsthèAL for a couple of months now, bear in mid that my skin still hasn't shown any real signs of wrinkles yet (thank God) so I cannot really say if the product has totally worked or not in that regard. One thing is for sure though, I haven't had a single breakout or skin flare up all the while I've been using this product.

I think this is a good product if you're still starting out with anti-aging skin care as you are not only thinking long term in preserving your skin, but you are also keeping your skin's sensitivity in check. 

Eau Thermale Avène YsthèAL and the rest of the products in the range are available from authorised pharmacies. Follow the Eau Thermale Avène Facebook page to keep updated.

PR Sample

Milan Outfit Diaries

One of the things I always freak out about when travelling is which clothing items I am going to pack with me, and most of the time, the choice revolves around any new items I have acquired in the days leading up to the trip. Yes, you guessed it; more often than not, I end up buying new clothes just to take with me here or there and of course, Milan was no exception.

Being a fashion capital, I really didn't want to get it wrong and we all know how stylish northern Italians tend to be. I this post, I am going to share with you three outfits I wore during the day. One special dress is missing from this post but I will show you the outfit in better detail in an upcoming post.

Outfit #1 - Of Ruffles & Western Details

For our first day I opted for a comfy ensemble as we had to catch a flight of course. I took this River Island coat with me which proved to be a life saver against the cold temperatures and since it keeps me so warm, I could get away with something light underneath. Of course I had to wear my new Italian leather Zara Chelsea boots to lend an otherwise girly outfit an androgynous edge. The western buckle belt further gives the outfit an edge as does the demi-tucked shirt. To top it off, I chose wear a cloche hat and this tassel detail cross-body bag. Pictures were captured at Parco Sempione.

Printed Ruffle Blouse, H&M | Coated denims, Promod
Coat, River Island | Real leather chelsea boots, Zara
Western buckle belt and tassel flip-over cross-body bag, both River Island
Felt cloche hat, H&M

Outfit #2 - A Colourful Melange

Me and my boyfriend both enjoy going to museums and sightseeing and whenever we are abroad, we try to take in as much as possible from the place we're visiting. In fact, we dedicated our second day entirely to sightseeing and some shopping of course. I wanted something colourful and vibrant for a day in the city and have to say I am really pleased with how this outfit turned out. I think the scarf really brought it all together. The heeled boots are one of the comfiest pairs I own so I had no issues after a full day of walking around the city. My favourite pieces from the outfit are without a doubt the colourful scarf which I bought in Munich last month and the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid bag which my boyfriend gifted me for Christmas. Pictures taken at Colonne di San Lorenzo and Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II.

Down feather jacket and emerald green roll neck sweater, both Zara
Denims, Charles & Ron | Boots, Nine West
Scarf and gloves, both H&M | Felt cross-body bag, Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid
Necklace, Fossil at Sunlab

Outfit #3 - Modern Day 90's

We spent the first half of our last day in the picturesque city of Como where the temperatures were a little colder than in Milan so layering was of course a must. I opted for the same Charles & Ron denims and Zara real leather boots from the days before just because they are so comfortable and I took the opportunity to wear this new merino mix top (also bought in Munich last month) and my new River Island bomber jacket. I also had the same coat from day 1 but I took it off just to 'show-off' the beautiful embroidery on the jacket. I finally found a bomber jacket that I like and with the choker and dark red lips, I felt I was reviving my 90's self. Pictures were taken at Como.

Bomber jacket and choker, both River Island
Merino wool mix cable knit sweater, H&M (L.O.G.G.) | Denims, Charles & Ron
Chelsea boots, Zara | Earrings, I AM
Glasses, Dolce & Gabbana at Optika

The rest of our last day was spent in Milan, where we attended the Manolo Blahník exhibition, visited the Duomo and dined at Nobu in the evening. I will show you what I wore to Nobu in another post and I was also requested to write about my dining experience there so I'll be sure to write about that too :)

Which was your favourite outfit? Should I do travel outfit diaries more often or do you prefer a separate post for each outfit? Leave your comments below :)