Image Slider

New Uriage AGE Protect Anti-Ageing Skin Care

Let me start this post off with an apology to you, my readers for I haven't had the time to properly sit down and write a blog post or two in the longest time. Not because I was running out of ideas, because there is a whole backlog of products I want to share with you here, but because life got in the way. I have currently gone back to wedding planning and it is almost time to start looking for furniture for our home too so my plate is quite full at the moment, not to mention my full-time job. But anyway, rant over, I am back today with a fantastic anti-ageing skincare range from Uriage.


If you know me, you know how much I love skin care and even though I have my absolute favourite products that I wouldn't trade for anything else, I still enjoy going to product launches and see what innovations different brands come up with to address all the concerns.

The latest event I got to attend was the launch of a new anti-ageing skincare range from Uriage and in a teaser picture on Facebook and Instagram stories, I asked you what you think is an added environmental factor that is contributing to premature skin ageing. No one seemed to know the answer even though it is all around us and more common than we think. The answer? Blue light!

Yes, the light that emanates from smartphones, computers, tablets, etc is making us age faster! Who would have thought that?! Well, luckily, French skincare brand Uriage took to launching a whole new outlook on anti-ageing skincare with their comprehensive range AGE Protect. It's pretty clear that the products in this range aim at protecting our skin against daily exposomes (environmental factors/exposures we are subjected to, that can be linked to an individual's health status, including the skin's ageing process). More specifically, and this is what makes Uriage AGE Protect range unique in the realm of anti-ageing skincare, these products have a Blue Light Barrier. This patented technology is the first of its kind and as the name implies, it is targeted against the effects of blue light on our skin.


Of course, the basis of the products is Uriage thermal water which by now, I think everyone and their mother knows about its benefits in skin care products. The other active ingredients in the AGE Protect range are retinol, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, dragon's blood, vitamin C, vitamin E and of course the patented Blue Light Barrier (BLB). Thus the formula has both protective and corrective ingredients.


The BLB creates an exposome shield, thus creating a healthy environment. The shield is further enhanced by Filmexel which produces a second-skin effect to prevent adhesion of pollutants to the skin. As for retinol and hyaluronic acid, we all know that these two ingredients combat pigmentation, wrinkles and promote healthy-looking skin respectively. The AGE Protect range is very comprehensive and comprises 3 products for daily use (Multi-Action Cream, Multi-Action Cream with SPF 30, Multi-Action Fluid) 2 targeted products (Multi-Action Eye Contour, Multi-Action Intensive Serum) and 2 night products (Multi-Action Detox Night Cream, Multi-Action Peeling Night Cream). They are tailored for all ages and can also be used by men. However, they are not advised for pregnant women since they contain retinol.


I look forward to trying out the products that were kindly gifted to us, especially the eye contour cream and I'd be happy to share my thoughts on them in due time. Thank you once again to Uriage for having me :)



Catrice Cosmetics Autumn/Winter 2018 Update

It's time for Catrice cosmetics to roll out their new products for autumn and winter and while I couldn't make it to the event organised here in Malta, the brand manager still sent over some products from the launch for me to try, so here's a huge thank you! This post is an overview of the new products from Catrice that you will be able to find on stands soon.

picture from Catrice Cosmetics website

This year, Catrice is focusing on a glowy, dewy look with holographic and glitter effects - from your face to your nails and the brand is again at the forefront of translating the current fashion and social media trends into beauty products - INSTAready style, sweat-proof products, you name it!

Glow Dewy Glitter - Effect²

Metallic, holographic, glitter... Catrice brings all these finishes to a higher level this season with the star of the show being the The Glitterizer Mix n' Match Eyeshadow Palette* which features 4 glittery eyeshadows, two holographic top coats and two black bases for different, layered looks. Also for the eyes, there are two new colours of the Liquid Metal Longlasting Cream Eyeshadow.


Next we have the Glowdoscope Highlighter Palette* with 5 cream to powder highlighters in a range of colours and the Arctic Glow Highlighting Powder* which offers the look of iridescent crystals with soft white and violet pigments.

For lips, the lip glow family will see a new member added - the Charming Fairy Lip Glow* which has a pretty holographic lilac colour that turns to a unique pink shade according to your lips' pH.


The last products in the glitter arsenal are the #peeloff glam Easy To Remove Effect Nail Polish*. I got two shades from the 4 available and I am curious to see how they meet all the claims. If they are rally easy to peel off, these nail polishes would be God-send in avoiding removal of stubborn glitter polish!

INSTA Ready

For a perfect look wherever, whenever, Catrice have devised a few products in their latest update. I have the Prime and Fine Poreless Blur Primer* and I am looking forward to give the #INSTA To Go Blur Stick a go as well. There's also The Blazing Bronze Collection Eyeshadow Palette and the Lash Couture #INSTAVOLUME lashes.


Other products include the Brow Comb Designer Pro for precise, realistic brows and the Light Illusion Loose Powder for a matte complexion.

ATHBEAUTY - XXX PROVEN

If you had to ask users what is they look for in makeup products, they would probably mention long-lasting as one of their answers. Catrice have introduced 5 products that are made to stay on for a long period of time. The range includes 5 Eyeshadow Stix*, Eye Foundation Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer, and the Brow Colorist Semi-Permanent Brow Mascara* which is one of the products I look forward to trying out soon. The Blush Box* is another product I look forward to testing out for they are marketed as being sweat and waterproof. I am particularly liking the motivational slogans embossed on them too!


Lastly, to seal the deal, there's the Prime and Fine Multi-Talent Fixing Spray which can be used both as a primer and as a fixer to set makeup and refresh the skin throughout the day.

StoryTelling

Finally, for the core collection, we have some new products that are the perfect compliment to help us achieve that Instagram look. Serum primers are currently all the rage and Catrice have a new Light Correcting Serum Primer shade which can be mixed with foundation or used alone as a highlight.

Conditioned lips make for a perfectly polished look and for that, there's the Dewy-ful Lips Conditioning Lip Butter available in 4 shades.

Moreover, the ICONails Gel Lacquer repertoire has expanded with 7 new shades too.


Limited Editions - Blurred Lines & BAM Brow

The two limited edition collections tied with this season also have the Instabeauty trend at their core - the Blurred Lines limited edition is all about smooth, skin; in other words, the blur effect and has products designed to deliver the best possible results for flawless-looking skin. I have the Blurred Lines primer* and I'm curious to see how it matches the new Prime and Fine Poreless Blur Primer* from the core collection.


The other limited edition, BAM Brow, the name implies, is all about the brows. It focuses on strong brow looks, just like the current trends dictate! I cannot wait to see how the Brow Boost Serum performs and if it lives up to my expectations.

All these new products will be availabe on stands in the coming weeks so watch out for them ;)

Items marked with * were sent to me as part of the PR package.

Battling Eczema the Natural Way with Eczema Honey Co.

Today's review post will take a bit of a personal turn - let me start by taking you back almost 29 years ago. When I was still a baby, I had really sensitive skin and my parents had to limit themselves with what to wash me, my clothes and they even had to make sure that anything would come in contact my skin was hypoallergenic and as my mum says, it was quite a challenge. 

I even used to get nappy rash and no matter how many nappy brands they tried, the same thing would happen all over again. To top it off, I started suffering from bouts of eczema which would come and go especially during the summer months and with the change of seasons, on different parts of my body - neck, inner elbows and legs. As I progressed to my teenage years, my skin became oilier and the affected areas were limited to just my legs, where my skin is drier.


I switch to an oil-based shower gel during summer to prevent eczema from raising its head but sometimes, my skin flares up just the same. Can you imagine not being able to wear shorts or skirts in a very hot Maltese summer out of shame at how my legs look? They would look really ugly - itchy, flaky, red and I would even get blotchy areas from the constant itching. I used to apply medicated topical creams to the affected areas but they would only work temporarily.

At the end of last month, I was introduced to the Eczema Honey Co., an American company which manufactures an anti-eczema cream from honey and all natural, organic ingredients. I was keen to finally come across a natural product to use on my skin when it isn't on its best behaviour so I accepted to review their products.


They sent me a jar of their original formula of the Eczema Honey and they also sent me the nut free version. The founders themselves are eczema sufferers and they have set up the Eczema Honey Co. to share this little miracle-in-a-jar the world over to relieve the symptoms of eczema. They clearly state that the cream is not meant to cure eczema and they still recommend visiting a doctor to properly diagnose the condition but claim their cream works wonders at reducing flare-ups.

I've put them to the test to see if they would make a difference to my skin and also to see if I noticed anything different between the formulas. The jars contain 120ml (4oz.) of product and they come nicely packaged over yellow crinkled paper and they currently retail for $29.95 per jar (you can get 15% off if you opt for a monthly or bi-monthly subscription too and you can get a discount with my code further down too!). 

I tried the original formula first which has organic pure honey, organic beeswax, organic almond oil, organic sunflower oil and pure spring water as it's ingredients. We have all heard of the ingredients and their benefits when incorporated in a skin care regimen so you know you are getting something good. Moreover, honey has antiseptic properties which provide the ideal barrier against bacteria, the oils act as emollients and help restructure the skin's damaged lipid barrier while the beeswax is there to provide moisture. The spring water on the other hand also provides hydration as well as protection to sensitive skin.


The nut-free version consists of the same ingredients but has grapeseed oil instead of almond oil. It still has the same function and in fact, I didn't perceive any difference in texture or performance between the two formulas. Both formulas are gluten-free to avoid further itching.


I apply the cream on the affected areas twice daily and with eczema, it only took a couple of days for the itching and redness to subside as I caught it right at the beginning. The creams can also be used to heal psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), sunburn, shave burn, rash, acne, boils, inflamed, dry or itchy skin as well as a makeup remover and lip balm.

I have used it as a lip balm, on mosquito bites to relieve the itch, keratosis pilaris and a couple of pimples. The cream has proved to be an effective remedy for each of them by decreasing the effects of dry skin over time. I didn't like using it as a makeup remover though as I found my skin needed a more thorough cleansing, not just the double cleansing which I usually do. Having said that, it is worth mentioning that it didn't burn my eyes because it is all natural. I did like using it as a 20-minute facial mask though. All you need to do is apply a thicker layer and then wipe off with a towel.

Since it is made out of natural ingredients, it is advised to store the jars in a refrigerator or freezer once opened. This will not only ensure your product lasts long, but it will also make for a refreshing, ice-cold treat your skin will thank you for ;)


Should you wish to buy Eczema Honey Co. products, I thought you might want to know that the company offers a 100% refund guarantee. Oh and there's one more thing! If you use the code larahoney at checkout, you get a $2 off every jar too!

Check out Eczema Honey Co. on their website as well as Facebook and Instagram to learn more about this natural miracle worker! If only you were around 29 years ago! Thank you Eczema Honey Co., from one very satisfied customer!

PR Samples. Since the products are shipped from the US, you might incur a minimal duty charge on delivery to Malta.

Review | La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Anti-Aging Serum & Hyaluronic Acid Cream

It's no secret that La Roche Posay is my favourite skincare brand for a number of reasons - widely available, affordable prices and products that actually work for my skin type!

I have been sharing some snaps on Instagram and Facebook of two new products from La Roche Posay, belonging to the latest range, Hyalu B5, which addresses anti-ageing for sensitive skin. The products are a Hyaluronic Acid Cream and serum, with the serum being already available locally while the cream will be launched at a later date this year.


The Hyalu B5 range features two key ingredients, essential in anti-ageing care - Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 which aim at re-plumping the skin, whilst keeping it super hydrated. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is already present in our skin and it has a high affinity for water, thus, using products which contain HA, increases water levels in our skin, making it look plumper and ensuring adequate hydration levels.

HA levels in our skin deplete over time and by the age of 50, it is estimated that we would have lost 50% of the skin's original HA levels. This decrease in HA leads to impairment of the skin's self-repairing mechanisms, of which HA is at the very core.

In fact, the LRP Hyalu B5 range is indicated for correction of wrinkles, loss of volume and elasticity, tired and dull skin as well as post-procedure recovery, even on sensitive skin. It is known that sensitive skin types age faster and take longer to recover due to micro-inflammatory stress within the skin that breaks down the collagen fibres and HA.

The formulas contain two different molecules of HA, one lighter than the other - High Molecular Weight HA and Low Molecular Weight HA. The High Molecular Weight HA is responsible for forming an invisible moisture barrier at the skin's surface, which holds water and consequently fills in fine lines and wrinkles. On the other hand, the Low Molecular Weight HA is able to seep deeper into the top skin layers to stimulate and re-activate the skin's repair mechanisms for a plumper look. These two different HA molecules work in synergy with the Vitamin B5 to replenish the skin's moisture barrier.

Hyalu B5 Anti-Wrinkle Care Hyaluronic Acid Cream - Price TBA

First up, Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Cream which is meant to be used as a moisturiser. The cream is available in a 40ml format which is more than enough because you need a minute amount and you can also take it abroad with you.



It has a light consistency with a rapidly-absorbing formula which doesn't feel heavy. In fact, I use it morning and night after cleansing my skin and never had issues with my makeup not lasting during the day or my skin feeling tacky at any time. 

Hyalu B5 Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Serum - €34.20

Now, my favourite out of the two! I love serums so I was delighted to try this one out. It has a gel-like consistency and you can either use it with the pipette or without. I personally prefer the pipette as it is more hygienic and easier to control the amount of product that you use. The jar contains 30ml of product, so again, it will last you for a long time.



The verdict

And now for the final verdict - do these products pass the test? Yes, they do! The very fine lines around my eyes have diminished in the last couple of months that I have introduced these two products in my skin care routine. Also, both formulas are nice to work with, hence they both get my seal of approval!

La Roche Posay products can be purchased from all pharmacies.

PR Samples

Festival Vibes with Rimmel London Ink Me Collection

Let me start this post by a rather in your face statement - I don't like tattoos! I appreciate them and the art involved on other people but I don't want them anywhere on my body. Having said that, I do like the gold temporary ones that seem to recur year after year especially during summer parties and music festivals so I was delighted when I received a teaser from Rimmel London's Ink Me collection in the mail a couple of months ago. I know, it took me ages to post this review and I do apologise for that; but in my defence, it was still early for summer parties and festivals so these had to wait a bit before I got to use them. Moreover, I haven't been to any summer parties this year so I had to postpone using the products again :(


Anyhow, I finally got round to using them and I can finally share my thoughts with you :) First up, a word about the collection - it consists of transfer tattoos, ink stamps and eye/body liners, meant to give an edge to your makeup.



I got the temporary tattoos and two ink stamps - one in the shape of a star, the other in the shape of a heart. The star stamp was the first one I used during a photoshoot as it tied in exactly with the look I was going for. I was impressed with how well the ink stayed on and the application is straight-forward. Just stamp the design wherever you want! Both designs stamp well and the shapes do not bleed either. To remove, just shower or use a makeup remover - simple!


Photo by Go Raw Photography


I finally got round to apply one of the temporary tattoos down my back for a night out. Transferring the tattoo was again pretty easy as all the directions are printed on the packaging and on me, the temporary tattoo lasted for 5 days before gradually starting to fade away.



I think the Rimmel Ink Me collection is a great alternative to 'inking' yourself without the need for needles and commitment! What about you? Are you a fan temporary or permanent tattoos in general?

PR Samples

Replenish lost salts and minerals with Erba Vita MgKC

Whether we like it or not, sweating is an essential function for our bodies to cool down in the heat - be it while exercising or just because temperatures reach soaring heights. Through sweat, we do not only lose water but also salts and minerals which are essential for our bodies to function properly. To counteract this, we are advised to drink at least 2 litres of water every day, but this only replenishes water levels in our bodies. To replenish salts and minerals, we need a little extra help, and this is where Erba Vita MgKC comes in.


Each box of Erba Vita MgKC comes with 20 sachets of powder containing magnesium, potassium and vitamin C that you dissolve in water and drink in order to replenish your body's mineral and hydration levels. MgKC also contains extracts of acerola which is rich in vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. It is also known that athletes use acerola to improve endurance. Baobab extracts further enhance the MgKC formula with their excellent levels of potassium and re-mineralizing properties. Moreover, Baobab has been identified by the World Health Organization as an optimum natural re-hydrator: in fact, when comparing the effects of intaking a solution containing Baobab to a standard saline solution, usually used for re-hydrating children affected by diarrhoea, the benefits registered were significant.


To get maximum benefits out of the product, it is advised to have 1 to 2 sachets per day, leaving at least 4 hours in between and preferably consume them between meals. If you suffer from high blood pressure though, it is advised to only consume 1 sachet a day because of the potassium content, but always consult your doctor or pharmacist. MgKC tastes of citrus which I like and they are great for travelling because of their size too! What makes MgKC better than other mineral-replenishing products? Well, it's sugar-free and has stevia instead (making the product suitable for diabetics) and real orange juice.


Staying hydrated has never been easier! Get yours from pharmacies and all Good Earth shops!

PR Sample

Rani Zakhem Couture Show at Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture 2018

July was a magical month for me – I got to visit my favourite city for the third time for something I never thought would happen in a million years, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week!


It all started with an invitation from a production house that is in charge of organizing some of the shows during this highly anticipated week. I admit I was a bit sceptical of the invitation primarily because I never imagined I would attend fashion week in Paris, let alone be invited to one of the shows! Also, I’m ashamed to admit I had never heard of the designer but that’s nothing Google can’t fix.

And that is precisely what I did – I looked up the production house and the designer in question, Rani Zakhem and once I saw everything was legit, I let myself breathe again, jumped up and down with joy for a couple of minutes, called my fiancé to share the amazing news and booked our flights and accommodation with a big smile that I couldn’t wipe off my face. Finally, all that was left to do was fly to Paris of course, and patiently wait for days to roll by for the 5th of July!

Here’s a bit of background information I found online about Rani Zakhem. Hailing from Lebanon, Rani Zakhem is one of the country’s top couture designers and after seeing his work up close, I would even dare say he is on par with compatriots Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab, two of my favourites. 

His timeless creations have earned him a reputable presence across the Middle East, all the way to Hollywood. Born in Lebanon and raised in Kenya, Rani Zakhem has pursued a career in design from a very young age. He first obtained a degree in architecture in Lebanon and then moved on to graduate in fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design in New York. Today, the Rani Zakhem brand has three main lines - ready-to-wear, couture and bridal.

With that in mind and having had a look at some of his past works, including his first debut in Paris during the SS18 Haute Couture week, I knew I was in for a spectacular show of the finest in haute couture. I wasn’t let down just one bit – to be invited to experience Paris Haute Couture Week is a dream come true and it most certainly did feel like a dream. A dream with beautiful beaded gowns and exceptional tailoring being paraded in the most beautiful of settings - Pavillon Cambon. The collection is a vibrant tribute to the combating woman, the ‘Glamazonian’ who is fatally seductive when like a warrior goddess she puts on her crystal armour.



Rani Zakhem redesigns the camouflage motif used in battle in different grounds and transforms it into new opulent, embroidered, crystalline tonalities of emerald green, gold, black, red and silver as can be seen on sheath dresses, jacket cuffs and pencil skirts, along with other military insignias such as the glittering gold chevrons. Another dominant colour in this collection is white, which although considered fragile, Rani Zakhem re-invents it as luminous, bold, a symbol of renewal and resilience. Through this collection, Rani Zakhem also wants to convey a poetry of an imaginary jungle depicting a delicate guardian of a paradise that she will not let falter. Heavy embroidery on skirts shows images of flora and fauna blending in a palette of sky blue, pale pink, gold and copper, brought beautifully together by flights of black birds here and there. Dragonflies flutter over pastel hues of aquatic vegetation on another exquisite ball gown, as well as a bright, colourful sheath dress in tulle cascades from orange to pink – a reminder of poisonous flowers of the jungle or panoply of native warriors.











This collection includes subtle references from Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan and Azzedine Ala a, between a Saharienne detail, a draped moulage or simply the powerful minimalism of a white dress, all expertly given Rani Zakhem’s personal interpretation!




Hair was either slicked back or braided in a horseshoe shape at the nape of the neck – away from the face, ready for battle, while makeup was fairly dramatic on the eyes, much like war paint, complemented with bare lips and matte skin.

By the end of the show, I was speechless. It is a truly marvellous collection. A true celebration of the glamorous warrior in women, all set in the equally glamourous Pavillon Cambon Capucines right in the heart of Paris! Thank you Mephistopheles Productions for inviting me and again, bravo Rani Zakhem!



Production: Vigari, Mazzini Eventi
Consulting & casting: Paola Rebeiz
Music: Sebastien Perrin
Photos: Imax Tree
Hair: Sebastien Bascle
Makeup: L’Oreal, La Roche Posay
PR: Mephistopheles Productions