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Shopping Guide & Haul | Sicilia Outlet Village

Sicily is a popular shopping destination with us Maltese, most especially the Sicilia Outlet Village. A couple of weeks ago, we went with a couple of friends for a weekend in Sicily to shop around for furniture and of course, me and my friend were not going to let the opportunity to visit the Sicilia Outlet Village go amiss. Here I will be sharing my experience with you as well as some tips to consider if you plan on visiting and of course, a haul of what I bought!

Before you go

Sicilia Outlet Village? There's an app for that! Before you head to Sicilia Outlet Village, make sure to download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. The app has everything you need to make your visit a breeze - international size converter, currency converter, village map as well as an offers section among other features.


Plan on wearing a comfortable outfit - you'll want your hands free to be able to scour the sales so a cross-body bag or a backpack is your best bet. Moreover, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable shoes. You don't want to have to stop shopping because your feet are aching, do you?


Find out which shops you want to visit first so you can buy the things you want from them before spending all your allocated savings on other buys. The map will come in handy to see where our favourite brands are located.

Lastly, when do the sales happen? Although there are heavy discounts all year round, the best sales periods are in May and also in August and they last till the 15th of September. 

Opening hours are as follows:
Monday - Friday 10:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - 9:00pm

While you're there

So you've made it to the Outlet Village what's next? Shop around for the best deals on clothes. Shops usually have discounts from 30% up to 70% and most of them carry a section of heavily discounted goods too. We got the best deals at Calvin Klein, Furla, Polo Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors which was fantastic as they were the shops I really wanted to get something from in the first place. If you're keen on high end brands, Harmont & Blaine is worth checking out too.



There's the luxury area housing brands the likes of Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana to name a few. I couldn't take pictures of the shops here so I guess it's up to you to go and experience them :) The items on sale here cost less than what you would normally pay for but do stay realistic - a D&G dress will still cost upwards of €600 here so I just thought I'd give it a mention.

Besides clothing, there are household shops, beauty shops (including KIKO) as well as a Lindt Chocolate World which everyone knows is chocolate heaven. I highly recommend their ice creams too - almost any Lindt flavour is available and they don't disappoint!



It took us around 6 hours to go round the shops at Sicilia Outlet Village so do allocate time for it if you plan to visit especially if it's your first time. Parking doesn't like it's a problem as there are ample spaces all around. We found that the best times to visit are early in their opening hours but it could also be the fact that it was raining that kept people from visiting early.

If you need a break, there's a handful of delightful cafes and stops where you can rest your legs (and arms from shopping bags) and grab a bite to eat before getting back to your shopping :)

All in all, I think this is a wonderful experience for a shopping addict like me and of course I cannot conclude this post without showing you what I bought. I am only going to quote the prices I paid for the items as I don't have the tags showing the original prices any more.

The only buys that cost the same as online and the other stores around Italy are the KIKO products. Here I got some of their new masks from the Mask Parade collection which were on a 3+1 offer, a Magnetic Eyeshadow in the shade 02 Earth Challenge from the Fall 2.0 Collection and an Instant Colour Matte Liquid Lip Colour in the shade 09 Rosy Mauve. I also got a fluffy blending eye brush which is by far my favourite eye brush. They have revamped the look of their brushes and I must admit they look much more sophisticated. This particular brush was previously known as Eyes 200 and it now goes by as 56. I'm curious to see if it's as good as the old one as the new one seems to have less bristles. The KIKO purchase totalled €44.70.


As for clothing, I got this beautiful dress from Michael Kors (€129). I also scored this bright orange cardigan from Polo Ralph Lauren for €44.95. I also got two bags - the red one is from Coccinelle (€145.50) and the Julia bag from Furla (€159) which is Mario's birthday gift to me along with the cardigan :).



I highly recommend visiting this Outlet Village as  you really can get some good bargains even though most of the shops carry past collections. The helpful staff at all the outlets make for an even better experience and it is just a little shopping heaven!

It's a Luxury Kind Of Thing - My 28th Birthday Outfit

Part of my birthday celebrations was of course a special dinner with my better half at Il-Wejla by Taratun at Smart City. We had to postpone our dinner for a week later but I wanted to share with you what was still technically my birthday outfit.

Dress, Michael Kors | Shoes, Gianvito Rossi
Bag, Furla | Scarf, Burberry

These pictures were taken the day after though because I wanted the best possible light for this outfit. I went for a classic little black dress paired with some new items that I got and was gifted for the occasion and my Gianvito Rossi pumps.




Of course the star item in this outfit is the monogrammed Burberry scarf. It came in very handy once we were out of the restaurant into the rather chilly air. I love the dress too - the cut flatters my frame and figure and the lace detail at the back is just gorgeous! You all know I am obsessed my Gianvito Rossi's so it was not up for discussion which shoes I was going to wear and I completed the outfit with my boyfriend's gift - the Furla bag. I must admit I felt quite special in this outfit and I even wore my Rouge Louboutin lipstick and Loubilaque to complete the makeup look and add to luxury factor. Oh and for the record it did last all throughout the meal without the need for retouching!





Chin Up Mask & Pedicure at Roseberry

Everyone needs a little pampering every now and then so when me and my mum were invited to discover a new treatment mask and a pedicure at Roseberry in Valletta, we agreed to go.

We had the appointment fixed late in the afternoon which was perfect to unwind after a long day at Roseberry's Champagne Nail Bar while we got to experience a new cosmetic treatment - the Chin Up Mask. I looked up some information about Chin Up before we went in for the appointment and was a little sceptic that it gives instant results but nonetheless, I was still curious to see if it would work on us.

Chin Up masks available in 3 different pack sizes for home use + a professional sized pack

What is Chin Up?

Chin Up is marketed as the 30 minute non-surgical face lift and as the name implies, it claims to improve the appearance of double chin after just 30 minutes by lifting and firming the jawline for a more contoured look. It promises instant results, which addresses the end user's need for instant gratification from a product. Read on to learn more about our experience!

Following a through explanation of the treatment, Nataliya, started by measuring our jawline and chin. Mum's measurements were 17cm for the chin ight above the neck and 23cm for the jawline while mine were 16cm for the chin and 21cm for the jawline.


She then proceeded to apply the sheet mask just under the lips and all the way down along the chin. Subsequently she secured the mask with the Chin Up slimming band and we just had to wait 30 minutes to see the results. Redness and a little tingling may occur but luckily neither me nor my mum experienced it. I must admit I felt very strange with the band around my chin - it almost felt as if I had some kind of chin surgery and I had to wear the band to keep the dressing in place 😛


What helps Chin Up exert it's action in such a short time? Well, it boils down to a special combination of ingredients - 5 top cosmetic ingredients, 10 fruit extracts and Chin Up's own patented Skintronics Serum. Co-Enzyme Q10, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid have been praised for their skin restoring properties many times before and their benefits has been confirmed time and time again. On the other hand we have Skintronics Serum and Corum 9235 which work hand in hand to facilitate absorption of the treatment serum and promote chin fat loss.


While the mask was working it's magic, we were each treated to a pedicure by Brenda, a beauty therapist at Roseberry. It was a nice relaxing experience which included a much needed leg massage, foot filing and finished off with perfect nail polish application. I chose a gorgeous darkish coral colour from Orly while mum went for a classic red shade.



Results

Once the time was up, we took off the band and Nataliya measured us again - to find that my mum actually lost 1cm from each area (going down to 16cm and 22cm) and I lost 1cm from my chin (going down to 20cm). In my case, there was no difference in the size of my jaw line. All that was left to do was massage the remaining serum into the skin and we were good to go!




It is recommended to combine the Chin Up mask treatment with another express treatment as we did if you're doing it in a professional establishment; alternatively, if you are going to apply it yourself at home, you can either relax for 30 minutes or get on with your day!

So you see, sometimes, even if a treatment looks too good to be true, it can still work as promised! Are you tempted to try it yet?

Both the Chin Up Masks and Pedicures were offered to me and my mum by Paloma Cosmetics and Roseberry for free.
This did not affect my review of the treatments - all opinions are true and honest.

Event | Catrice Cosmetics Autumn / Winter 2017 New Products Launch

I never get tired of saying this and even more so, I never get tired of looking at it - The Grand Harbour is the best view we have all around the island so you can imagine my delight when I was invited for the launch of the fall collection from Catrice Cosmetics at the Panorama Lounge in Valletta overlooking the said Grand Harbour!




Catrice Cosmetics is a German makeup brand under the Cosnova portfolio and has been around since 2004. I have regarded the brand as a special one ever since it was launched locally by Pharma.MT for it was one of the first brands to work with us bloggers along with sister brand Essence.


Catrice is all about innovation and they produce over 1400 products which come in both classic and trendy colour variations. The brand is heavily inspired by catwalk and fashion trends and in fact, it has ongoing collaborations with German fashion houses Kaviar Gauche and Lala Berlin. So what will the brand bring our way in autumn 2017?

For starters, they are embracing the concept of individuality with the launch of their Art Couleurs Palette for eyeshadows which is supplied empty and you can fill it with up to 4 of your favourite Art Couleurs eyeshadow shades. The eyeshadows come in matt and shimmer finishes and bear the new, cleaner and more sophisticated looking logo. I think it's cool that the base is fully transparent and hollow for the eyeshadows to fit in and still show the shade name and number! Struggling to find the right shade of foundation? Catrice has now got you covered with the Prime and Fine Makeup Transformer Drops!





Other new products include the Liquid Metal Cream Eyeshadows and the Glam & Doll Waterproof False Lashes mascara to complement the already successful range of Glam & Doll Mascaras as well a the Ultimate Chrome palette which is just breathtaking!


As for lips, there are the new Lip Dressers and the Liquid Lip Powder which dry to a matte metallic finish as well some new shades for the exiting lip product ranges. For the face, it is all about a bright luminous complexion and colour correction. My favourites are the Re-Touch Concealers and the Professional Makeup Techniques Face Palette.



Ultimately, they have launched a new nail polish range, ICONails, comprising 36 colours and a gel top coat. I am currently wearing shade 10 Rosywood Hills which Stephanie from Lacquer Nail Bar in Naxxar applied on my nails during the event. The nail polish is supposed to last for 7 days without top coat which can be extended to 10 days with the ICONails Gel Top Coat. I'll put it to the test and share the results in a separate blog post :) For those favouring a matte look on their nails, there is the new Silk Matte Top Coat too. Oh and how gorgeous do the Brown Collection nail polishes look with those rose gold caps?!





Catrice is really breaking the rules with their innovative, quality products at a very affordable price range which are appealing to a lot of women of different ages don't you think?

I wanted to share the excitement with you guys and at the same thank you for your ongoing support so, to celebrate the launch of the Autumn collection, I will be giving away some newly launched products to one lucky reader! Head over to my Facbeook page to discover how you can be in the chance of winning this bundle!


Lastly, thank you Catrice and Pharma.MT for having me, I look forward to test run all these new products!

Discovering Estee Lauder Skin Care at Franks

Skin care is my favourite part of a beauty routine - having a nice, smooth canvas makes for easier makeup application and better results. I joined the Estee Lauder VIP Session held at Franks The Plaza on Friday the 29th of September to discover more about this luxury brand and what it has to offer.


The Estee Lauder brand saw it's inception in the year 1946 when Mrs. Lauder wanted something new to offer to women in terms of skin care back when only a couple of products were available on the market. The first shop was opened in Sachs, New York and Estee Lauder products were deemed expensive by customers, hence, to boost sales, 'samples' of the products were given out so that clients can try before they commit to buying the full sized product. As a matter of fact, the term 'sample' was coined by Estee Lauder. They even offered gifts with purchase to make the client feel more special.



Following a run-through of all the products offered by the brand, one could easily deduce that it is all about creating innovative formulas that deliver the promised results. Their skin care ranges target all skin concerns and most of the products are even multi-purpose. For example the cleansers have ingredients that pertain to both a conventional cleanser as well as a makeup remover. They come in different formulas to suit everyone's needs and of course, there is a complementing range of products for an all round caring experience.


Estee Lauder is mostly renowned for it's serums and it is in fact considered a serum brand. Their best seller has to be the Advanced Night Repair which can be used by anyone as it is considered as a preventive product. It acts onto the deeper layers of the skin and contains Hyaluronic Acid to plump the skin. Apart from the Advanced Night Repair, the Estee Lauder brand carries serums for other skin concerns such as dehydration, oily skin and pigmentation.



There are even the more luxurious brands for mature skin types, which promise to aid in restoring youthfulness to the skin thanks to a higher concentration of Hyaluronic Acid. 


I thoroughly enjoyed this session and look forward to attending more of them to discover more luxurious brands Franks has to offer. If you'd like to join, do follow the Frank's Facebook page to know when the next session will be held.