REVIEW | Pupa Milano Contouring and Strobing Palette

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I have always found Pupa Milano to be one of those brands which not only has high quality products but also a brand whose packaging is simply stunning and gorgeous to have and show off in your makeup collection.

The Pupa Milano Contouring and Strobing Palette is one such product. Gorgeous to look at but more importantly the powders themselves are amazing quality; buttery, easy to blend and with great pigmentation and tone.

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The Pupa Milano #Ready4Selfie Contouring and Strobing Palette consists of four shades which come in a reflective compact with a good-sized mirror, perfect for traveling. The shades are labelled; Highlighter, Light Contour, Medium Contour and Dark Contour.

The Highlighting shade in this palette is simply breath-taking, so sparkly and glowy, and definitely an in-your-face highlight. For me this is a shade I get out on special occasions to highlight my cheeks and any other area of my face I want to stand out and glow. It has little shimmering particles like tiny diamonds.

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The other three shades, on the other hand, I have been using on a regular basis ever since I got my hands on this palette. The Light Contour works great as an under-eye setting powder. It has no shimmer at all and the powder is so finely milled that it does not settle in the creases.

The last two shades I like to use in conjunction. The Dark Contour as per its name I like to use as a contour, since it has a greyish undertone which works great to define shadows on your face. The Medium Contour is more warm and works great to bronze up my face without making it look muddy or orange.

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The Pupa Milano Contouring and Strobing #Ready4Selfie Powder Palette retails for €19.90.

Check out my other reviews of Pupa Milano products on A Cosmetic Affair.

*Products mentioned are PR samples. This does not in any way affect my review. All opinions are my own.

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My Top 4 Products to soothe dry lips

Carmex Blistex lip balm serum Dr Organic rose otto raspberrry lime relief

As the weather progressively continues to get colder (and windier), my skin, including my lips progressively get drier, more chapped, and require constant care and attention.

I have tried and tested numerous products in my search for the best lip balms / treatments / serums that will help me moisturise, protect and care for my dry lips. The following four items are the best products I have found that care for my lips and improve their texture whilst being soothing and sensitive.

The first one is a long-time favourite of mine and it’s by the brand Carmex. Although you might know the brand for it’s cherry-flavoured tube lip balm, they have also came out with a variety of different flavours in the twist-up version. My current favourite is the Carmex lip balm in the Twisted Lime flavour. It’s tangy on the lips, creates a barrier over your lips and gives you a slight tingle for the first few minutes after you apply it.

Carmex Blistex lip balm serum Dr Organic rose otto raspberrry lime relief

Another favourite of mine is from the brand Dr. Organic and it has a completely different texture to any of the other lip balms I’ll be mentioning, because it is a lip serum. The Dr. Organic Rose Otto Lip Balm Serum comes in a little tube and has a very slippery consistency on the lips. It sinks into the lips quite quickly because it is quite thin but leaves behind soft, plump lips that are hydrated. Although this brand comes out with a variety of ranges featuring different active ingredients, the Rose Otto one is my favourite in terms of scent, flavour and efficiency at soothing my lips when they are their worst.

Carmex Blistex lip balm serum Dr Organic rose otto raspberrry lime relief

The last two products I will mention as one, because they are both from the same brand and because they work best when used in conjunction. They are the Blistex lip balm in the flavour Raspberry Lemonade Blast and the Blistex Relief Cream. If you suffer from cold sores, these are the two you should definitely have at all times. The former is a standard lip balm but with all the hydrating and protecting properties of the Relief Cream. The latter has a whitish hue and I find is best applied during the night, ensuring a night-long layer on your lips whilst giving hydration and as the name implies, relief to sore lips.

What are your favourite lip balms / treatments? Have you tried any of the ones I’ve mentioned?

MAC Malta | Liptensity Collection and store walk-around

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant

A couple weeks ago I was invited to the MAC Malta store in Sliema to get a preview of some of the latest releases from MAC, namely the Liptensity and the Bangin Brilliant collections. While the Liptensity collection is made up of only lip shades, the Bangin Brilliant has a selection of bright and fun lip shades as well as eye-shadows, a few of which will be included in the permanent MAC makeup line.

The wonderful MAC makeup artist Karen was the one who introduced me to the two collections in the store. She was also kind enough to show me around the store, introducing me to all MAC products and swatching lipsticks and eye-shadows along the way. Thanks Karen for a truly wonderful, makeup filled time!

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant Eros Dionysus

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have by now seen the amazing colour selection of the Liptensity lipsticks in some video on YouTube. Their formulation is unlike any lip product I’ve tried before. They are a bit thick on the lips but not at all uncomfortable. The colour pay-off is stunning and they last on the lips through food and drink. The packaging is gorgeous, with each shade having the corresponding lip bullet colour. The colour selection ranges from dark vampy shades to nude pinky ones, so you will be sure to find the shade that fits your style.

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant Eros Dionysus

L to R: Eros & Dionysus

My favourite way to apply them is to go over the outline of my lips with a lip-liner and then fill in directly from the bullet. For longevity purposes and since the shades are so intense, I like to blot my lips after the first application and then reapply a second layer. The two shades I have are Eros and Dionysus, the former was given to me as a PR sample while the latter I got for myself.

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant

The next collection was the Bangin Brilliant one, which features some ‘crazy’ colours by my books. My style of course being the neutral, some slight sparkly shadow on the eye-lids and red being the most daring colour on the lips. And by ‘crazy’ I mean blues, lilac, greys and greenish tones. However, Karen also pointed out that some of them would work great as toppers to other, more wearable shades, which would give them an iridescent tone.

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant

The eye-shadows in this collection are a bit more compromising than the lip products, and although there are some blues and reds there, I feel they are more easy to incorporate in a subtle way into your usual makeup look. As I’ve mentioned earlier some of the shades from this collection will be included in the permanent line while others will be available for a limited time only.

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick Bangin Brilliant

After Karen swatched lip colours and eye-shadows all along her arms with me snapping away with my camera, we continued to various other products around the store, some of which I was familiar with, whilst others although I might have heard of, had never tried out for myself. Below is a collection of shots of other MAC products at the Sliema store.

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick concealer

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick skincare

MAC Malta Liptensity store Sliema swatches lipstick

MAC Malta Sliema store liptensisty bangin brilliant lipstick

I must admit that I was mostly attracted to the Liptensity collection since I am a lipstick junkie and I was immediately attracted to the bright and vampy shades in the collection.

For more MAC products and chit chat about their store in Sliema, a couple months back I also got my makeup done by a MAC senior artist.

What’s your favourite shade from the Liptensity collection?

The best snail gel | Dr Organic Snail Gel Review

dr organic, snail gel, malta, organic skincare best snail gel

If you’re anything like me you love finding that underrated product that even though it’s not shouted about all over YouTube and the beauty community, you know it to be better than those hyped-up products everyone else mentions.

For any beauty / skincare lover, finding that diamond in the rough product is the highlight of your year, and you find yourself trying to tell as many people as possible about ‘your’ discovery and how it has changed your life. For this reason I wanted to start sharing with you some of my beauty discoveries that I think should be getting a little more love and try and understand why there are not more people talking about these products.

dr organic, snail gel, malta, organic skincare best snail gel

I have recently purchased my fourth tub of the Dr Organic Snail Gel, in preparation for when I finish my current one, which I’ve been rationing and scraping the bottom of for the past couple of weeks. This is one of those products for which I always wonder why people are not talking more about it, especially since I find it to be the best snail gel treatment product I have ever tried. I have literally never heard anyone saying they use or that they even know about this product, while I find that this is one I swear by and always end up going back to.

Why are people not talking about this product?

Although I’m sure many people are put off by the fact that this is in fact a ‘snail’ gel, I assure you that it is not slimy or disgusting in any way. The product itself smells slightly lemony and it is a very light gel that is easily absorbed into the skin. The Dr Organic Snail Gel is moisturising, anti-aging and helps against scars. It is a gel texture that is easily absorbed into the skin and works great under makeup or as your night treatment / moisturiser.

dr organic, snail gel, malta, organic skincare best snail gel

The Dr Organic Snail Gel contains the Helix Aspera Muller which is the unique ingredient that the snail uses to quickly regenerate its own shell and skin when damaged. So you can imagine how the properties of this ingredient work great on maintaining gorgeous and healthy skin, as well as helping against acne scars and aging skin!

dr organic, snail gel, malta, organic skincare best snail gel

Why you should try the Dr Organic Snail Gel?

This product works great whatever skin type you have. Whether it is dry, oily or combination, the Dr Organic Snail Gel doesn’t dry out your skin or make it feel greasy. It is a thin layer that is powerful in what it does. It keeps your skin hydrated and protected without clogging up your pores.

If you would like to learn more about the Dr Organic brand, I have done a Dr Organic Brand Introduction post, which you can check out.

What do you think about the Dr Organic Snail Gel?

Greasy Hair No More | VO5 Dry Shampoo Review

VO5, dry shampoo, greasy hair, volume, hair, review

If there is one thing I truly hate is having greasy hair! Unfortunately for me I have oily roots that tend to get greasy really quickly. Even though I know that you’re not supposed to wash your hair too often, I usually wash mine either every other day or if the weather is as hot and humid as it has been lately, every day.

One product that has been a game changer in helping me deal with greasiness is dry shampoo! I cannot shout enough phrases for dry shampoo. I use it every day. I have a stash of them just to ensure I never run out and I feel it’s the perfect product that gives you a bit of volume and generally makes your hair look better, even when you’re having a bad hair day.

My ultimate favourite dry shampoo range is the from VO5. The brand has dry shampoo in two formulas; one being for fine, flat or oily hair called Plump it Up, and one that is for normal to oily hair called Refresh Me Quick. I love both for different reasons and will use both on different days or occasionally combined. The dry shampoo comes in a bright pink aerosol can, which distributes a fine, even mist to your hair.

VO5, dry shampoo, greasy hair, volume, hair, review

The reason I love the VO5 Dry Shampoo so much is that it leaves no white residue in my hair. As dark haired ladies know, dry shampoo can be a pain in the *** if you have dark hair, making you look as you have been showering under talc powder all day. Then you end up having to really work the product in your roots and sometimes even use a hair dryer to completely dissolve the white dust. Quite a lot of effort for something which is supposed to cut down the time you take to do your hair in the morning. I find that this happens to me with one of the most popular brands that everyone is always raving about and for some time that was the only brand that was available to me.

But then I discovered the VO5 Dry Shampoo and it changed everything for me. I love using the Refresh Me Quick, the first day of washing my hair. It is lighter on the hair and doesn’t leave much of a residue behind. This works great on fairly clean hair that doesn’t have much grease. The Plump It Up is better to boost the volume of the hair. This dry shampoo works great on greasy, second-day or older hair.

VO5, dry shampoo, greasy hair, volume, hair, review

If I am in-between washes, I like to apply dry shampoo before I go to sleep, work it in but do not brush it. This helps get rid of some of the excess oils while I sleep, giving the dry shampoo more time to absorb the oils.

The thing to keep in mind with dry shampoo is to shake the product really well before spraying into the hair and that less is more. Start of with a couple sprays where your hair tends to get most greasy and work it into the roots. I also like to leave it to soak for a couple minutes and then comb my hair through to make sure that there are no white bits or tangles. It is also important to keep in mind that using dry shampoo will leave residue on your roots, therefore it is vital for your hair that you use a deep cleansing shampoo every so often to make sure that you are removing any excess from your scalp.

I have gone through more than 10 cans of the VO5 dry shampoo and although they have no fancy scents, it is the dry shampoo I always have a backup of!

What is your favourite dry shampoo? What are your top tips for greasy hair?