Saturday, 29 March 2014

Real Techniques E-Bay Brush Set Dupes [First Impressions | Review]

Dear readers,

Online shopping is my weakness.

Shopping on e-bay is a whole other level. I'm addicted.

I really but really need to stop with the ebay browsing....

... but sometimes the browsing turns into something fruitful.

Take these Real Technique Brush Set Dupes that I found  on a browsing spree last month.

They are super super super cheap [cost a fraction of the price of the original] and you can get yours from where I got mine by following this link HERE.

They come in a choice of 3 different colours [light blue, gold and pink].

You can buy them in singles or as a set as I did.

All the brushes are super soft and super thick/dense - I was amazed the first time I unwrapped these.

There's no shedding at all [I was scared of washing these because of this - but obviously first thing I did was to wash them before using them].

They pick up makeup wonderfully and are amazing for blending. 

As you can see, you get a flat, tapered, stippling, angled and round brush in the set. 

I especially lovveeeee the angled brush [just perfect for bronzer!] and the tapered brush.

What a must buy!! Really really recommend!



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Essence Soft Touch Mousse Make Up Foundation [Review]

Dear readers,

This Soft Touch Mousse Make Up by Essence Cosmetics is one of the latest to join my foundation army. 

If I'm not mistaken this cost me around €5.

The shade that I got is #1 matte sand and I think that it comes in 4 or 5 different shades [or something along those lines anyway] which is not the largest variety available.

I got this after reading a couple of reviews on it - and all of them sang its praises. I also wanted to test out another mousse foundation since I have been loving the one by Rimmel [check out my review here]

It comes in a smallish glass jar with a screw on lid.

This foundation is very light and gives a smooth, matte finish - especially if you buff it in with a stippling brush.

 Although it is matte, I do find that I need to set this with powder because it does fade off rather quickly if not set.

And it does turn my skin oily even though I set it with powder [I'd say about 3/4 hours max after I've applied it and then I need to blot my nose to remove excess oil]

But I do have to say that this foundation is so, so soft - softer than the Rimmel one.

It has medium [to light] coverage and beware when trying to build this up because it can end up looking rather cake-y. 

And preferably apply some moisturiser before using this too because it does not settle well on dry patches.

Having said all that, at the moment I am alternating between this one and the Rimmel one, and both are to my liking.

I would re-purchase this.




Thursday, 13 March 2014

Catrice Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder for Darker Skin [First Impression | Review]

Dear readers,

About 2 weeks ago I decided that I wanted a new bronzer...

....and I got the Catrice Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder for Darker Skin [even though a couple of days later I was invited to a PR event by the same brand and I could have waited until then to check out the latest product launches....

.... but oh well, I'm a rebel like that ^^

I hadn't seen this bronzer on the Catrice stand before - and the fact that it is matt is what led me to get it.

I don't really like shimmery makeup [and by that I mean shimmery blushers, shimmery powders, shimmery bronzers etc.] so this being matte is a bonus.

I'm not sure how much this cost but I think it was about €5/6 or thereabouts. 

It comes in 2 shades: lighter bronze and this one in deep bronze.

Even though it is meant for darker skin, I don't really think that this is that dark of a bronzer [check out swatches below]

It is very silky and finely milled, but it is not the most pigmented bronzer that I have, i.e you do have to dip your brush in quite hard, or, you really do need to build up the colour, especially if you like a strong contour.

As I have said though, I do love how this is totally matte and is therefore suitable for both mornings and nights. It also gives a really natural finish [and it is not orange-y at all].

This has ok staying power - about 4-5 hours max so you do need to re-apply if you're spending the day out.

There's also the shimmery version of this bronzer which I will [try] to talk about in a much later post.

Until then!



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Viridian Ultimate Beauty Organic Nail and Cuticle Oil [Review]

Dear readers,

As a fully qualified nail technician, I know how important it is to not just use hand creams but also cuticle oils in order to have beautiful [and strong] nails.

I've been using this Viridian Ultimate Beauty Organic Nail and Cuticle Oil for about 2 months now.

It costs £12.95 and you can get yours from the Viridian Nutrition website here.

This cuticle oil comes in a standard glass bottle with a rubber /glass pipette. 

The ingredients of this nail & cuticle oil are;

Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)Organic Horsetail Extract (Equisetum Arvense)Organic Marigold Extract (Calendula OfficinalisFlower)Organic Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil(Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Oil)Essential Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia Oil)Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)Helianthus annuus hybrid oil (high-oleic sunflower oil).

Apart from strengthening your nails, this oil also has anti-fungal properties. It can also be used on both finger and toe nails.

Even though I have nail extension on for most of the time, I believe that it is important to use products like this one in order to help keep your nails healthy even when they're 'covered' in acrylic or gels [the oil seeps in through to the nail bed]. 

At first I was afraid that this oil will cause my acrylic nail extensions to lift, but they were ok.

I have tried my fair share of cuticle oils, and this one ticks all the right boxes. First of all, since this has a pipette and not a brush it is far more hygienic [especially if you use these on clients and not just for personal use]. 

It is organic [need I say more?]

It has a light herby/floral scent [without being to overpowering].

Even though this is an oil, it is not sticky and is immediately absorbed.

Hope you found this review helpful and that you'll start using cuticle oils in the future!



***Disclaimer: This product was given to me by Viridian Nutrition for review purposes. I was not paid to do this review. What I wrote in the review is my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Homemade 'Baci' Chocolates [Recipe]

Dear readers,

Happy Sunday!

It's been a while since I last shared a recipe with you [and I've been quite the baker lately], so I though of sharing with you this easy and quick recipe for 'Baci' chocolates.

For those of you who don't know, Baci chocolates are made in Italy and are a favourite in Malta [along with several other Italian chocolates].

p.s. 'baci' mean kisses

You will need:

1 jar of Nutella
around 450 grams of roasted hazlenuts
some extra hazlenuts
dark chocolate [or milk if you prefer]

First off you have to bash the hazlenuts until they're quite small - but take care not to turn them into dust. Omit a couple of hazlenuts (I dare say around 30 should be more than enough) for decoration.

Pop the lid off the jar of Nutella and place it in the micro for about 50 seconds, or until it's smooth and a bit runny [it will make mixing it easier]. 

Place it in a bowl [sorry for the pink hue but I used a pink plastic bowl]

Add the crushed hazlenuts and mix well with a wooden spoon. Now I should have added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mixture to make it less runny, but I forgot to buy some [but they did turn out ok in the end]

Pop the mixture in the fridge or freezer until it firms up but is still manageable. 

Roll the mixture into balls [yes it's messy but you get to lick your hands after you're done] and place on a non stick baking sheet. Put some hazlenuts on each ball.

It is important to pop these in the freezer for about 20 mins to set.

In the meantime melt some chocolate in a double boiler or microwave [depending on the instructions].

Pop each chocolate ball in the melted chocolate using a fork, then once covered tap the fork on the side of the bowl so as to remove excess chocolate.

Place on the greaseproof paper, pop in the fridge and leave to set.

...and hey presto! yummy 'baci' chocolates!



Saturday, 8 March 2014

Etude House Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam [Review]

Dear readers,

One of my latest Korean 'beauty' item is this Etude House Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam.
I got this after I tested out samples first - and I loved them so much that I decided that I needed it in my life.

Like the vast majority of Korean beauty products, this does not break the bank and works wonders - you can gets yours from where I bought mine by clicking **here**

You get 170ml - it is larger than I had imagined it to be.

It is 100% natural.

Like the name implies - this cleanser has baking powder properties which serve to thoroughly cleanse your pores [and face].

It also has tiny granules [but I don't think that it qualifies as a scrub] which kind of melt when you use it so they're not abrasive at all.

Something else which I love - this has the sweetest citrus/lemon scent ever! It smells of freshly picked lemons [without being too overpowering] [plus it brightens up your skin]

To use, simply dampen your face, apply only a small amount and massage it over your entire face.

This does seem to 'foam' or lather once you start massaging it in.

Although you must be careful not to get this in your eyes, I do use it as a makeup remover. It does work really well, but if you use stubborn waterproof makeup you do need to lather twice.

This did not cause any breakouts and it is not drying at all, even though it gives you that squeaky clean feel.

I definitely recommend this and will re-purchase it for sure.



Friday, 7 March 2014

Kiko Make Up Milano Cosmic Light Eyeshadow Palette in #02 Utopian Wine [Review]

Dear readers,

My brother's mum in law gave me this Kiko Cosmic Light Palette in shade 02 Utopian Wine as a Christmas present - how very thoughtful of her - especially since I love makeup and Kiko is not available in Malta [although I do believe that they have introduced international shipping now].

I believe that this eyeshadow palette was 1 of 3 and it was a Christmas limited edition palette.

The packaging is white, and slightly holographic - which actually prepares you for what is inside the palette....

....this is because all 3 eyeshadows are baked and wonderfully shimmery.

You also get a double ended sponge applicator and a huge mirror inside.

You get a gold, rosy/peachy, and plumish trio of eyeshadows. All three can be used both wet and dry - obviously you get stronger colour payoff when used wet.

All 3 have good pigmentation, and swatch and apply beautifully.

As I said, all 3 are shimmery, but the golden one is a lot more powdery than the rest - it seems to have a sort of grittier consistency - which is mainly due to the large shimmery bits it has. You do have to be extra careful when applying this since it does leave fall-outs. Having said that, this colour is the one I use the most, especially on the inner eye corners.

They have good staying power but I do actually prefer to use some eyeshadow base with them, especially since they're shimmery.

The eyeshadows are swatched dry;

Have you ever anything from Kiko?



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Benefit Cosmetics Primping With The Stars Kit [Review]

Dear readers,

I've wanted to try out a couple of Benefit products - and so when I saw this Primping With The Stars kit back in the UK I thought I'd get this before committing to buy the standard sizes. 

Unfortunately in Malta we do not get Benefit [and websites like Feel Unique do stock them but cannot ship them to this country - booooo]

It retails for £26.50 from the Benefit Cosmetics website.

Benefit advertise this by saying how this is 'the all-time greatest fake-its' kit. Admittedly, this kit does have some of Benefit's best-seller items in it, some of which I'm obsessed with, other not so much.

The kit comes in a cute hardbound 'book' shape.

You also get 2 make-up  tricks cards showing you how to use the items.

You get 6 mini sized Benefit favourites;

Some Kind A Gorgeous 
Girl Meets Pearl 
The Porefessional
Stay Don't Stray
They're Real!

Some Kind A Gorgeous is a cream foundation which comes in this quirky 50s vibe packaging. The one in the kit is in shade medium which is quite a spot on match for my olive toned skin [but won't be suitable for the fair ladies]

It is really smooth and dries to a matte, powdery finish. It does feel a bit oily after some time so it's best if you set it with some powder.

It has light coverage but suitable to minimise / conceal redness.

Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow / concealer primer : comes with a doe foot applicator and looks like concealer but in fact it's a primer. 

This does the job awfully well - eyeshadows look vibrant and stay on for ages takes to this baby.

I use this every other weekend and it's one of my all time faves.

The Porefessional undoubtedly is one of Benefit's most well known product and I love love love this! I don't know what I'd do without it and I'll re-purchase this asap.

It is a silicone based primer and looks nude, but dries clear-ish. You only need the tiniest amount to cover problem areas [such as my nose, forehead and cheeks]. 

Doesn't really conceal open pores [although it does slightly minimise them] all that well but this stops my make-up from sliding off my face plus it also stops my face from turning into an oil rig.

Benetint is also one of my all time faves and this I use on a daily basis. 

It gives me a really healthy flush plus it stays on for ages [since it stains like mad].

You do have to be quick when applying / blending this out or you'll end up with patchy, red cheeks.

Girl Meets Pearl is a light highlighter which I've not used all that much - in fact this sits in the packaging to this day. 

I'm not really a fan of highlighters and I've got others which I'm using up at the moment.

They're Real! mascara is the biggest let-down ever! I've read and heard so many raves about this product but it does nothing for my lashes. 

It does lengthen them a bit but nothing that a £3 mascara wouldn't do. 

I know that others love it[cue in Davi from Lady with no name blog] but it is a huge meh for me.

Hope this helps!



Sunday, 2 March 2014

Avon Color Trend Lip Stix in 'Coral You Later' [Review]

Dear readers,

It had been ages since I placed an order with Avon Cosmetics, but lately a client of mine told me that she started representing the brand and brought over a brochure. 

One of the things I got was this Color Trend Lip Stix in 'Coral You Later'. Being from the Color Trend line this was fairly cheap - I believe around €5.

There are 5 shades total but I stuck with this coral one.

The shade is a gorgeous coral-y colour which I know will work perfect during Summer [even though I am also wearing this right now]

It is quite pigmented and all the photos of swatches down here are all one swipe. 

This does not have very good lasting power - I'd say less than a normal lipstick which is quite strange being that this is a matte lipstick [around 2-3 hours I believe].

Even though it is matte, it is not really drying but you do need to prep your lips with lipbalm if you suffer from dry, chapped lips.

The packaging is the same colour as the shade which is a nice touch.

I'm not a huge fan of the packaging though - it is really flimsy and rickety and feels like it's going to break in half when I'm using it.

It is also non retractable [to save on the packaging expenses I guess] so you can't really tell how much product you have left.

Have you ever tried Avon products? If yes, anything you recommend I should get?

Virtual hugs,


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Catrice Cosmetics PR Event [Malta]

Dear readers,

If you follow my facebook page [and if you don't then you really should do so by clicking *here* - I will be posting an international giveaway once I reach 600+ likes] you would know that last Thursday I was invited to a Catrice Cosmetics PR Event at Level 22 in Portomoso/Hilton in Malta.

For those of you who don't know, Catrice Cosmetics is the sister brand of the much loved Essence Cosmetics. You can check out their facebook pages by clicking *here* and *here*.

Now I do have to admit that this was one of the finest bloggers/pr events that I have ever attended. The venue was lovely, we were offered champagne and delicious canapes while having a good natter and chatter with other local bloggers. 

There were samples all over the place [on tables, shelves ... and even in the restrooms!] plus a huge Catrice stand which was stocked up with their latest products.

We were introduced to their latest limited edition lines: Celtica and Eve in Bloom, plus new items which I believe will  form part of their extended line. 

I've got my eyes on two of the newest products: the Made To Stay Smoothing Lip Polish and the Crushed Crystals nail polish lines [hopefully I will post a review soon - I am especially loving the Made to Stay lip polish - amazinggggggg longevity]

I'll leave you to some photos of the event and gorgeous Catrice products, which clearly speak for themselves;

one of the products I'm really excited about!

Photo Credit: Catrice Malta
Photo Credit: Martina from
We also got a generous goody bag - can't wait to test them out