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Paperless Post Review

I have always believed that an invitation to an event sets the tone of the event, but, more often than not, printed invitations end up in the bin (at least I hope it's the recycling one) which translates to money down the drain for the person sending the invitations.

Fortunately, Paperless Post is a godsend! Not only is it a way of saving the environment one invitation at a time, but it is a great way to save money on your invitations and make you look tech-savvy in this technological age we're living, all at the same time!

So, the company reached out to me and offered to credit my account with coins to spend. I chose to use them on 'save the dates' for our wedding. Here's my review of the website and the whole designing and sending experience.

First things first, Paperless Post offers online designing of flyers, invitations and cards which can either be customised with your photos or chosen from the vast selection of designs they offer. From time to time, they partner with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co. The customising process is really easy to follow. Let me guide you through the 'save the dates' customisation that I chose ;)

Set up an account first so that you can purchase coins and save your designs as well as keep track of the invitations and cards you send out. To view all the available designs for Save the Dates, just hover over the 'Weddings' Tab, and select 'All' under 'Save the Dates'. I then chose the 'Queen Anne (Square)' designed by Rifle Paper Co. as it is the closest to what I had in mind.

I started entering the details of the event and designing the envelope and cards to match. Once satisfied, all there was to do was send the cards to recipients via email. To make sure that everything is perfect for your guests, you might want to send a preview to your own email address so you can view your invitations. Once sent, you can follow-up on who opened the invitation or not and track the event, and you can set up an address book with all your contacts ready for the next Paperless invitation!

The Save the Dates I chose came to just 7 coins per person! Coins can be purchased from the website to redeem towards personalising your cards, invitations and flyers being for professional use or individual use!!

I think Paperless Post is the way forward to sending your greetings, hassle free! Let me know if you try it, I know I enjoyed creating and sending mine!

An International Night of Culture Through Fashion - Gala Night at Palazzo Verdala

The charming, fairytale-like gardens of the Verdala Palace in Rabat were the idyllic backdrop for a midsummer's dream, An International Night of Culture Through Fashion organized by the Chamber of Fashion (Malta).

8 designers hailing from Malta, Italy, South Africa and Croatia, presented their fashion and jewellery collections throughout the night with models descending a majestic staircase and walking along a red-carpeted runway.

The night kicked off with Italian designer Giada Curti whom I had the pleasure to interview during Wednesday's Press Conference. Giada comes from a family of couturiers which started with bridal couture dresses and now also boasts haute couture collections, and more recently, prêt-a-couture which is a line of high-end dresses that are more wearable. Her Jackie collection opened the gala night with a collection of beautiful summer dresses and garments inspired by the 1970's fashion icon as she holidayed and cruised around the Mediterranean, more specifically, the island of Capri. The collection has a bright, summery colour palette and featured playful ruffles, colourful floral prints and flowy fabrics. This was, in fact, my favourite collection from the night. Brava Giada!

Next up was another Italian designer, Marina Corazzari who Giuseppe Racioppi from the Camera della Moda Italian affectionately referred to as 'la regina di gioielli' (the jewel queen) during the Press Conference, and now I could see why and I can't agree more! Big, opulent, original pieces adorned the models' necks and most of them got me thinking of the Byzantine, Greek and Roman empresses and their intricate gold and precious stones jewellery, all three of which are ancient Mediterranean civilizations - the sea the collection aims at representing. With all it's colours and tumultuous history, the Mediterranean Sea has many facets still waiting to be explored and seeing different fashion and jewellery designers being creative in their interpretations if it is always fascinating to see, especially for someone coming from an island located right in the middle of it!

4 colourful collections from South Africa followed - brightly colourful clothes paired with tribal-inspired jewellery reminiscent of the South African culture paraded down the runway in a perfectly executed choreography. The four designers, Sibu Misimang, Brenda Quin, Katherine Montague and Karla Morton were represented by Danny Moodliyar under the label ONE AFRICA. Each designer had to produce 6 garments, with a palpable South African feel, including subtle tributes to the late, former president of the country, Nelson Mandela such as the patterned prints which instantly reminded me of the colourful garments he used to wear. I really enjoyed the different elements in this show, so well done to all designers!

The penultimate show of the night came courtesy of our own James Dimech and his White Paper Stars collection. It is a collection of sustainable fashion made out of white papers which were folded into different origami shapes before being sewn onto dresses and headdresses. I really enjoyed this original presentation and so proud it came from a local designer.

The final show of the night was from Croatian designer Sladana Krstic and her collection of show-stopping dresses and head-dresses as part of her Farnese and Colours are Direct Emotions collections. This was another jaw-dropping show which I thoroughly enjoyed!

And now for what I wore. I got to wear a princess dress from Nilara's latest collection. I love the embellished top and big skirt. I'd say the colour is like a mauve with silver reflects, hence while I chose to pair it with silver accessories, black sandals and bag. 

Photo by Bernard Polidano

Caroline and myself, both wearing Nilara
Photo by Neil Psaila

Bloggers looking as glam as ever!
Photo by Mark Soler

I'd like to thank the Chamber of Fashion for inviting me to experience this night of grandeur as well as all the sponsors, without which such an event wouldn't have been possible - Malta Tourism Authority, AirMalta, Retail International Ltd., Marks & Spencer, The Palace Malta, Busy Bee Caterers, Stivala Group, Dean Gera Salons, Brittania Tours, Beauty Plus, SU29 Boutique Hotel, Porsche by Continental Cars, Hilton Hotel, Nexos & Co. Ltd., Tower Supermarket, Bernard Polidano Photography, Niumee, Digigraphics International, Camilleri Paris Mode, Mediterranean Ceramics, Myoka Spas, Alfsons Enterprises, All Clean Services, PressH Juices, Deco Manufacturing, Barba Italiana, Il-Malti Restaurant and Queens Laundry and Dry Cleaning.

Catwalk photography by Bernard Polidano

An International Night of Culture Through Fashion - Press Conference

Ahead of tomorrow's big night, An International Night of Culture Through Fashion, I had the pleasure to attend the press conference in relation to the event at The Palace Hotel in Sliema, one of a chain of hotels run by AX Group. 

An International Night of Culture Through Fashion has become a yearly appointment for us in the fashion industry, an event synonymous with the month of July and is organized by The Chamber of Fashion (Malta). The Chamber of Fashion is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting culture through fashion and support educational initiatives for students who will take up Textile and Fashion Design as a career.

This year, the event will take place within the beautiful gardens of Verdala Palace in Rabat, which is one of the residences of the President of Malta. Apart from showcasing different fashion and jewellery collections from different designers from different countries, the event will raise money for the Malta Community Chest Fund.

The designers are, Giada Curti and Marina Corazziari (Italy), James Dimech (Malta), Sibu Misimang, Brenda Quin, Katherine Montague and Karla Morton under the name of One Africa (South Africa) and Sladana Krystic (Croatia). They will each be exhibiting their collections during tomorrow's event, which I am really looking forward to!

Dr. Gavin Gulia from the Malta Tourism Authority highlighted that fashion tourism is a niche that is already being explored, even on a local basis, where you have people like for example bloggers, media and even regular tourists, flying into a country specifically to attend fashion events and the Chamber of Fashion, with their events, are starting to do just that. 

Interview with Giada Curti

I will be going into more detail about the collections in the post following the event but I got the chance to interview Ms Giada Curti about her prêt-a-couture collection entitled Jackie which will be showcased on the runway for the first time during tomorrow's event. 

Photo by Bernard Polidano

She started off by explaining to me that the prêt-a-couture concept for her has only started 2 years ago, which the designer has named Giada Curti Resort. Garment production for this line happens at her atelier in the province of Frosinone which lies between Rome and Naples and is distributed in over 170 countries.

The Jackie collection is her take on S/S19 and is inspired by the timeless elegance embodied by Jackie Kennedy. The collection was already presented during 'Sposa Italia' in April in Milan but was never modelled on a catwalk before, hence Malta will serve as the springboard for this collection to be launched on the catwalk. The collection, however, is not inspired from Jackie Kennedy the First Lady, but Jackie Kennedy who loved her summers in Italy and cruises in the Mediterranean, so we are expecting to see a lot of elegant, wearable, colourful looks that truly capture the essence of summer.

Photo by Bernard Polidano

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's event and can't wait to share all the happenings live from the show on my Instastories so be sure to follow me there.

This event could not have been possible without the help of Malta Tourism Authority, AirMalta, Retail International Ltd., Marks & Spencer, The Palace Malta, Busy Bee Caterers, Stivala Group, Dean Gera Salons, Brittania Tours, Beauty Plus, SU29 Boutique Hotel, Porsche by Continental Cars, Hilton Hotel, Nexos & Co. Ltd., Tower Supermarket, Bernard Polidano Photography, Niumee, Digigraphics International, Camilleri Paris Mode, Mediterranean Ceramics, Myoka Spas, Alfsons Enterprises, All Clean Services, PressH Juices, Deco Manufacturing, Barba Italiana, Il-Malti Restaurant and Queens Laundry and Dry Cleaning.

Battle of the Brands | Catrice Professional Make Up Techniques Face Palette vs Essence Strobing & Contouring Palette

I have a different kind of post today, one where I compare similar products from different makeup brands and I'm starting with two face contouring palettes from sister brands Essence and Catrice. I own another contouring palette from Pupa Milano which I love and still use on an almost daily basis but that is a pricier option so I wanted to compare these two palettes which come with a more affordable price tag. Want to know which one gets my vote? Read on to find out!


As soon as you look at both palettes, you can immediately notice that the Catrice one looks more expensive - it comes with its own sleeve and instructions at the back which also feature on the back of the palette itself. The palette is a glossy black in colour with the brand logo on the bottom left corner and a wavy lid. On opening, you get a mirror, 8 products and a mini brush which I'm going to be honest with you, I don't see how it fits the palette's purpose. Moreover, there is a protective piece of plastic with the respective product names on it. 6 of the products are powders while the other 2 are creams.

As for the Essence one, you also get a black palette but it has a window on the lid, no mirror and all 10 product pans can be seen from the outside. It also comes with instructions at the back. All ten products are creams. I think the Essence palette does look cheaper compared to the Catrice one, so, thus far, Catrice gets my vote.


The Professional Make-Up Techniques Face Palette from Catrice comes with contour powders, blushes, highlighters as well as a matt powder and a matte cream. Save for the Pearly Blush and Highlighters, all the rest of the products are matt finish. Pigmentation and staying power are not an issue with any of the products. My favourites are the Matt Bronzing, Matt Cream and Highlight Gold. This palette is intended more towards sculpting your face and creating a contoured look.

Catrice Professional Make Up Techniques palette swatches

The Strobing & Contouring Palette from Essence also has more matt shades apart from the white shade and the last two products from the first row. I like that this palette also features a yellow hued product which can be used as a corrector against dark circles. Pigmentation is a bit lacking with the lighter shades but the dark ones make up for them. Staying power is not an issue with any of the shades from this palette either though.

Essence Contouring & Strobing palette swatches

Ease of Use

I found both palettes pretty easy to use - the formulas are amazing and they hold up well. The only two products I had hiccups with were the blushes from the Catrice palette - they are very pigmented so do use a very very light hand with them. As for the pearly one, I think I'll stick to using it as an eyeshadow rather than as a blush because it is too shimmery a blush for my liking.


I think by now you're dying to know the price of these palettes so here goes. The Essence one retails for €6.99 while the Catrice one retails for €13.79.

The Verdict

Time for the truth! As much as I have enjoyed using both of these palettes, I have to choose the Catrice one over the Essence one for various reasons i) the packaging as it looks way classier and expensive than it actually is; ii) it comes with a variety of products in different finishes and also includes 2 blushes. The price for the Catrice one is almost double but I'd rather spend my money on it and know I have a variety of products and better formulas.

Have you tried any of these palettes? What would you like to see me compare next?

PR Samples

Branded Contact Lenses for Less from!

We all love a good deal, especially when it's something we use frequently, if not on a daily basis. I recently came across and when they reached out to me for a collaboration, I couldn't possibly refuse since they stock my favourite contact lenses - at a cheaper price!

About stock various branded contact lenses from reputable brands such as Alcon, Bausch & Lomb and Johnson's to name a few but they sell them at a cheaper price than when you buy them in store. The website is easy to navigate and there are both the usual retail price and the actual price you'll pay when shopping from them shown for every product. Postage costs €2.85 and delivery only takes a couple of days.

Alcon Dailies Total 1

The first type of lenses I am going to review are my absolute favourite - Dailies Total 1 by Alcon. I used to hate wearing lenses until I came across these. These are the best lenses I have ever used and they are hands down the most comfortable. So much so that I forget I am even wearing lenses! Dailies Total 1 feature a water gradient technology which is why they are so comfortable. They are breathable, hence ensuring your eyes get oxygen even while you're wearing lenses. In fact, they are suggested for people who work in dry air offices, live in a dry climate or have seasonal allergies such as hayfever.

Alcon Dailies Total 1 are available in packs of 30 and 90 contact lenses.

My eyes look whiter and brighter with Dailies Total 1 thanks to their water gradient technology

Freshlook One Day Coloured Lenses - Green

For the more adventurous types, there are the coloured lenses. sent me two different types in two different colours. First up, Freshlook in Green. Green is closest to my natural  eye colour, hazel, and consequently, these look really natural on me and most people can't tell I'm wearing coloured contacts if they don't look closely. As for comfort, with these I have no issue as such but they are not like Total 1. I can feel I am wearing contacts but they don't irritate my eyes so I would still recommend them. These are great to change up your look every day if you like with 4 different colours to choose from. One point to keep in mind, is that the colour effect is affected by your natural eye colour.

Available in packs of 10.

Air Optix Colours - Gray

Lastly, Air Optix Gray. I was a bit afraid these won't look good on me but, well, I think I was wrong. I really like the look of them on me - very different to what I am used to and you can definitely tell I am wearing coloured contacts. Air Optix employ a 3-in-1 Colour Technology which defines the eyes, transforms the eye colour and brightens and adds depth with 3 different colour rings. These feel a bit more comfortable than the Freshlook ones though, comparable to Dailies Total 1 I would say and I have to say I liked changing up my look. I would wear this colour again definitely!

Available in packs of 2.

Air Optix Colours Gray in natural light

Air Optix Colours Gray in flash - they almost look blue here!

See how dense the colour on the Air Optix lenses is compared to the Freshlook lenses

Contact lenses are a part of my daily life you could say and while the regular ones serve their purpose, it's fun to change up my look every once in a while and with cheaper prices from, it's even easier! If you want to get some for yourself, use code LARA for an additional 5% off your order! Thank me later ;)

PR Samples