Monday 30 July 2012

july favourites

And it's the end of July, oh how time flies. This past month has mainly been spent indoors, staring out at the rain and for the most part I haven't felt the need to wear any makeup. Still, there are a few things that have crept up on my oh-this-product-is-actually-quite-good radar (yes, that's the official title).
Euracin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm - This is a little sample size I found lurking at the bottom of my sample box (where all those 1ml perfume vials and sachets of orange foundation you get in magazines reside) and although it's meant for really dry skin, I'm using this as an intensive lip balm. It's on par with Carmex, except I'd say this option is more cost effective as you get a lot more for your money.

E.L.F Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder - The bronzer in this is great, it's well pigmented and not orange. I don't like the blush though, it fails to show up on my skin. The bronzer has been compared to NARS Laguna, so it's worth checking out seeing a it's under a fiver!

Revlon Colourstay Eyeshadow Quad in Neutral Khakis 03 - This is a great quad for everyday as all the colours I need are in one place, and they're fairly pigmented too.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero - This is a pretty famous product, but the only reason I have it is that it came with an eyeshadow palette. I found it lying at the bottom of my stash of eyeliners and decided to put it to good use.
I quite like the look of it smudged across my top and lower lash line, and at the end of the day I'm not left with massive black marks under my eyes either.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Glow - I took this on holiday with me and it just give a natural flush to the cheeks, and it doesn't cling to any dry patches either.

Song-wise I've been loving artists Arctic Monkeys (I squealed when I saw them performing at the Olympics Opening Ceremony), Jamie T, The Kooks, The Fratellis and the song Sail by Awolnation.

The Olympics Opening Ceremony has to be a favourite, I thought it was brilliant. Did you watch it?

Saturday 28 July 2012

book review - the maze runner trilogy

After reading The Hunger Games, I realised that I was really into reading dystopian fiction and did a lot of research into other similar books (which resulted in a very long list of books to buy).
I've just finished reading the last book in the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner, so since the story is still fresh in my mind I thought there would be no better time to do a review than now!
At the very start of the first book, we meet the main protagonist, Thomas. He wakes up in a black box without any memory of his past or what's going on, which as the reader is great as you learn what's happening with him, instead of having to figure it out on your own.
The box is actually an elevator, and when it reaches the top he finds himself in a place called the Glade, which has everything from a farm to a graveyard, and the Glade is home to about 50 other boys about Thomas's age there, also with no memories. The Glade is surrounded by huge walls and four entrances to a gigantic Maze, which the boys send Runners (the fastest, strongest boys) into to try and find a way out.
Every night, the entrances to the Maze close, and the boys are shut into the Glade to protect them from the monsters that appear in the Maze at night, called Grievers. Also, the Maze walls move every night so the Runners need to map out the layout every single day.

I won't spoil any of the plot of the second and third books, but The Scorch Trials basically continues from where the first one left off, and the boys learn more about why they were there and are given a new task to face. All I will say about the last book, The Death Cure is that I read it in two days.

 Although this is classed as a young adult book it really isn't dumbed down at all, and the author's writing style along with the plot that makes you curious to see what's going to happen next, and if you're looking for something that won't seem rubbish compared to the Hunger Games, you won't be disappointed.

Here's a link to the first book on Amazon - 50p plus delivery
And a link for a set of the first and second book - £2.47 plus delivery (books are so cheap!)

According to Wikipedia a prequel to the series called the Kill Order will be out next month, I think I'm going to have to preorder it!

Thursday 26 July 2012


I did a lot of it that day.

On a completely random note, I got Twitter and Pinterest! If you're interested in following me on either of them, my Twitter is @_cuticleoilblog and my Pinterest is cuticleoilblog. Yes I keep my usernames the same otherwise I'll just forget them all because my memory is nonexistent, oh and leave your Twitter and Pinterest thingy-ma-jiggles in the comments so we can connect and stuff :)

Wednesday 25 July 2012

notd | bunny rabbit

As much as I would like to, I can't claim that I came up with the idea for this design and I have to give credit to this post by SOS Inquiries, although they said they got the idea from a girl called Macbarbie07 on YouTube.
First I applied two coats of a light pink colour (I used OPI's Steady As She Rose), then once it was completely dry I used a white nail art striper to create the outline of the bunny.
After that, I filled it in with white nail polish, added two dots for eyes with a black nail art striper and a bigger dot for the nose using the same light pink colour I used at the start.
I only did the design on one nail but if you have the patience go ahead and paint bunnies on every single one of your digits.
I found that OPI's Steady As She Rose could have done with three coats on some nails as with two it still looked a tad streaky, but if you apply the coats a bit thicker and leave more drying time inbetween this won't be a problem.
L-R Collection 2000 2in1 Base Coat and Ridge Filler, OPI Steady As She Rose, Amuse Fave Nail Art Color White, OPI Alpine Snow, Amuse Fave Nail Art Color Black, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

Monday 23 July 2012

uk magazine freebies - july 2012

I know this post is a little overdue, but hopefully it won't be too late to pick up any of this month's magazines if you spot a certain freebie you've taken a fancy to! 
I've been on a bit of a skincare kick recently, so when I saw that Red has a REN skincare set attached to it that includes their Hand and Body Cream (15ml), Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream (15ml) and the Radiant Eye Gel (3ml), collectively worth £16. Bit of a bargain, considering Red magazine costs £3.90! I'm really looking forward to trying the eye gel, but so far I haven't found any Red magazines at all, they seem to have sold out.
Harper's Bazaar is offering a Neom Organics Hand Cream, there's a choice of Complete Bliss (Moroccan blush rose) or Inspiration (violet, chamomile and cedar wood). The magazine retails for £4.20, and the hand cream has 50ml.
I won't be picking this up as I have acquired a plethora (ooh, I like that word) of hand creams and need to use them all up!
I had to resist picking up Cosmopolitan as it's free gift is a choice of three Missguided nail polishes, Misstify (pink) Missmatch (orange) or Misslead (yellow). The magazine costs £3.50.

Marie Claire (£3.70) drew me in with it's choice of three Avon mascaras, pick from Super Curlacious mascara, Super Shock Max mascara or Super Extend Extreme mascara. So basically it's a choice of a curling, volumising or lengthening mascara., and I went for volumising.
Glamour has a choice of four Balance Me miniatures, I seem to have collected a fair few Balance Me products and have never paid for one, the brand is very good at distributing itself among beauty boxes and magazines.
The freebie I really want is the Wonder Eye Cream (7ml), but I couldn't spot any with the particular one attached, the other options are a 50ml Pure Skin Face Wash, Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve or a 20ml Balancing Face Moisturiser, pretty snazzy for only two quid!

My last freebie I have to share is the 75ml St. Tropez Body Moisturiser that comes with Elle (£3.90). There are two shades, Light/Medium or Medium/Dark. I think this is a fantastic free gift, however I'm not that fussed about tanning as it's just too messy for me for a result that lasts a week at most.
Are you temped by any of this month's offerings?

Saturday 21 July 2012

kiko blooming eyeshadow palette in sweet pastels - review

I've heard quite a lot about Kiko being an affordable makeup brand, but as it's not readily available in the UK (I think there's one shop somewhere in London) when I got the chance to go to a Kiko store I may have bought a few more things than I "needed"....oops!
First up on the reviewing bench is an pastel eyeshadow palette, admittedly I have been looking for one of these for a while and since I think it was 50% off, it would have been positively rude to say no (at least that's what I tell myself).
Oh packaging, how I adore you. Seriously, who ever heard of a makeup brand that has drugstore prices put their products in little pouches? Ok, it's unnecessary and it will probably end up in the bin, but the feeling of luxury it gives is what matters, right?
Aside from the pouch, the box and the palette are gorgeous too, the palette looks like someone's spilled watercolour paint everywhere! The palette is also quite sturdy and thick, it'll definitely survive a bump or two.
The pigmentation is impressive, and far less chalky than I was anticipating. Swatched, the pink and purple look more similar than they do in the pan but on the eye the difference is noticeable.
The purple and pink shades are both matte, are lighter than they appear in the pan and out of all the colours are the most pastel-y (is that a word?).
The black has some silver shimmer in it and is more of a charcoal than a true black. It doesn't show up that well on the eye and to be honest I wish a light shimmery white was in it's place as this is easily my least favourite shade of the group.
Both the blue and green are more vibrant than the other colours and have a satiny texture. The blue has the best colour payoff.
I haven't tried wearing the eyeshadows without a primer, in my eyeshadow look below I used both the Urban Decay Primer Potion and the NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk, to give my eyelid a white base to make the colours appear more vivid. After about 5 hours wear there was minimal creasing so I can imagine it could hold up a full day with ease. The mascara I'm wearing is two coats of 17's Falsifeye, I have NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Yogurt on my waterline and my brows are filled in with A La Carte's Brow Ink in Taupe.
Pink in inner corner and inner third of eyelid, purple all over lid, blue in crease, black in outer v, green on lower lash line. Also very out of focus, sorry!
Pigmentation 6/10
Overall 8/10 (mainly because the colours are so pretty!)

Buy: Kiko Blooming Eyeshadow Palette in Sweet Pastels 01, Currently on sale for 60% off from £12.90 to £4.90

Thursday 19 July 2012

she said beauty box - july

Not much of an intro for this one, so let's get to it and here's what I got in this month's She Said Beauty box!
The box is presented the same way as ever, with it's duck-egg colour and straw inside. There were seven items this month, which at first glance I felt rather spoilt by the company, however a few of the samples are so tiny that I'm not sure they count as "luxury".
Miners Cosmetics Love Phat Liner - I've tried a few Miners Cosmetics products in the past (review of one here), and generally have been impressed with them so it was a nice surprise to see something from them in this box.
I received the colour Bandit which is a black, and has really good pigmentation. It's described as a "chubby eye pencil" and looks great to use for a smokey eye.
This is full size and retails for £3.99.

LaylaD Honey Moisturiser - As the name would suggest, it's made with pure organic honey as well as coconut oil, and it certainly smells like honey which I am a big fan of, however this cream seems a bit too thick for my oily skin. I'll try it out as a night cream and if my skin isn't a fan, I'll use it as a hand cream so it won't go to waste.
The full size is £12.99 for 50ml, and as this pot holds 15ml, this sample is worth approx. £3.90.

Murad Time Release Blemish Cleanser - I'm a teenager. This is anti-ageing. That annoys me. I shall look past that, because it's also targeted for blemishes so I will get some use out of the thing. I've not got much else to say about the thing, I'll use it when I run out of my current cleanser (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish) and I'll update you if any miracles happen.
This full sized, and retails for £5.50
Stylefile S-file - Don't like this. It's the type of nail file that I hate, the really scratchy one that feels almost as bad as nails on a chalkboard, I've used it once and the curve is too large to do anything. So, yeah, if I ever do a blog sale this'll be in it.
This is full-sized and costs £4.49.

Freeze 24/7 Ice Crystals Anti-Aging Prep & Polish - Another anti-ageing product grrr. I'm not actually sure what this is meant to do, I think it's a cleanser. The sachet is too small to give any opinions on the product, and it's been banished to my sachet samples box (that box is overflowing).
The full size is £35 for 70g, and my sample contains 1.2g, making it worth 60p.

Eden Natural Nail Polish Remover - I like this idea, I really do. Nail polish remover in a beauty box that's natural, a lot of people would be interested in trying it out and maybe buying the full size. But why, oh why did they give us such a small sample? Seriously, that won't take off one hand of polish, one finger if it's glitter!
It doesn't have how big it is written on the bottle but it looks as big as a 1ml perfume sample, so I'm judging it like that.
The full size is £12 for 50ml, and if this is 1ml it's worth 24p.

Debenhams Beauty Club Reward Card - I really don't see the point in giving these out in this box. Either I already have one because it makes sense if I spend a lot in Debenhams to get one, or I never go to Debenhams so it's pointless having it.
I'm the latter, so I don't really have a use for this. Saying that, this was the bonus product so it's more of a little extra than an actual sample so I can't blame She Said Beauty too much.
Worth £0.

Overall, this box was pretty hit-and-miss for me. I'm excited to use the Murad cleanser, the Miner's Cosmetics eye pencil and the LaylaD Honey Moisturiser which will be good if my skin can take it, but the rest of the box was just meh. The total worth of the box came to approx. £19, which isn't too bad considering it cost £12 inc. postage!

Here's the link if you want to subscribe to She Said Beauty.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

notd | papaya punch

First off, apologies for the rather slapdash application, this was the nail polish I took on holiday and I ended up painting my nails at the beach - completely normal, right? (I know, I've really got to stop talking about my holiday).
China Glaze Papaya Punch was part of the Island Escape collection, but it's still available and I've included a link to the eBay search where you'll find the cheapest prices here.
I didn't bring a top coat with me so to even out the colour I had to apply a third coat, but with a top coat two would suffice.
I'm not sure if it was because this polish is quite old or because it was being warmed up by the sun, but the formula was a tad gloopy. 
Papaya Punch is a completely different kind of orange from others I own, it's a tangerine colour that's not quite neon, but it's certainly more in that area than it is peach, it goes really well with a tan but started chipping after two days - but that's without a top coat.

I'm thinking of starting book reviews on here. What do you think, should I do them or should I stick to writing about makeup and nails?

Sunday 15 July 2012


On my way to Portugal (I know, I really should stop talking about my holiday. This is the last post. Pinkie promise.) I stopped of in London for a few days, and I went a little snap-happy and inbetween all the blurry shots I managed to get a few half-way decent photos, which I thought I'd share with you!
The next photos were taken in Kew Gardens -
At first glance I thought this was a statue of Scooby Doo, but it turned to be a griffin. Needless to say I was disappointed.
I also went to Regent's Park, where apparently I went every day as a baby. Ahh, nostalgia. The next photos were taken there.
I couldn't miss out going on the London Eye, and I went when it was just getting dark and all the lights were being switched on. The view was just so stunning.
Last of all, I went and did some general sight-seeing. Below are some pictures of Buckingham Palace (top left), Westminster Abbey (bottom right), Downing Street (bottom left, a random red phone box and Piccadilly Circus (top right).
I didn't want to share 40-odd large photos as I think the post would get a bit tiring and long and I quite like the look of the collages, do you like them? I used a program called Picasa to make them, if anyone's interested.

Friday 13 July 2012

holiday haul

I'm back with a haul! I went to stay in a town called Porto in Portugal, and there were so many good shops that I couldn't resist buying a few things. If you ever find yourself in Porto, the best shopping street I found is called Rua de Santa Catarina. Be warned, this is a long post.
First stop was C&A, and I found this mint green sweatshirt for €12, it's really cosy and great for summer evenings.
Then in a shop called Inside I found a tshirt with a newspaper article design on it, which was too cute to pass up, and a red racer-back vest, I think together they cost around €9.
Another sweatshirt, this time from Lefties with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on it and it was on sale for €6! Sweatshirts come in so handy during Scottish summers as it very rarely gets warm enough to wear just a tshirt. 
My favourite shop that I found has to be Bershka, (check out the website, I love almost all the clothes on there!) and I bought a gorgeous white tee that looks sort of nautical with it's navy stripes and little strip of lace. It was a bit pricey at €13. 
Also from Bershka, I had to get this tshirt when I saw it, it's plain white but at the side it fades into blue and has fringe hanging from the side, I have some studded skinny jeans that would look amazing paired with this. Again, this was rather expensive, it was €16. 
Again from Bershka, my next item of clothing isn't actually clothing, it's a scarf, but I think it's my favourite thing that I bought. When you hold it out you can see that it's an American flag but draped around your neck it's much more subtle and not so in-your-face. The stripes are bright pink instead of red, and are slightly faded. This is quite a statement piece and I'll wear this with a plain white tee and skinny jeans. It was €13.
Speaking of plain white tees, I don't actually have one so I went to a shop called New Yorker (again, check out the website, it's awesome) and picked this one up for €5. 
I went to two clothes shops when I was in London, the first one was H&M because I saw they had a sale on and generally their sales tend to be pretty good. This tshirt was a fiver on sale, and it's plain black apart from the bottom, which is white. It's like colour blocking but monochrome!

Last shop was Forever 21, which is an American shop that has started opening up branches in the UK. I know one is opening up in Buchanan Street in Glasgow next year, but the one I went to is just opposite Bond Street station in London. At first I expected the shop to be rather like Primark, cheap with clothes lying on the floor but if you kept searching you'd find a few gems inside. However, it wasn't like that at all, everything was tidy, the mannequins displayed the clothes beautifully (and had bright pink hair!) and the prices are more like New Look than Primark, apart from the jeans which were super cheap at around about a tenner. Most of the clothes in there I wanted, and it was an all round great shop. 
Anyway, off my little rave and onto the clothes!
A sale was going on and I found a white shirt for £5.99, they only had it in a large but I think the looseness and bagginess works in my favour.
To go with the shirt, I bought a brown waist belt, also in the sale for £2.99. It looks kinda confusing but I think it's just meant to be wrapped around twice, the only thing is that I'm not sure if the thick bit is meant to go on the front or at the back, maybe someone could enlighten me on that?
As I said, the jeans are cheap as chips, the ones I bought are dark wash skinnies with bright yellow/orange threading and were £8.75. 
Top Row: Cream Waterproof Eyeliner in Dark Purple 04, Nail Polishes in 394 (khaki) and 396 (duochrome greeny gold)
Middle Row: Skin Evolution Concealer in 01, Glamorous Eye Pencil in 415 (silver), Lipstick in 26 (coral)
Bottom Row: Blooming Eyeshadow Palette in Sweet Pastels 01
On the makeup side of things, I found a Kiko store and proceeded to spend about an hour and a half deciding what I wanted, there were some things on sale which I immediately took advantage of, but in the end I had to narrow it down and my total came to around €25. Oh, and doesn't the packaging look so similar to MAC?
I had a No7 £5 off voucher lying around (oh how I love those vouchers) and I picked up a blush in Candy Pink. Most of my blushes are in really natural colours, so I thought I'd branch out a bit more and try this, especially since it was only £4.50 with the voucher!
At the end of my holiday I decided to make the most of duty free and bought a MAC Cremesheen Glass from the Heavely Creature collection, it's in the shade Galaxy Rose and since it was VAT free it was £3 less than it normally is, making it £14. 

My jewellery shopping started in duty free at the airport (oops!) but my flight was delayed by an hour so there was nothing else to do except browse the various shops - excuses eh!
Dorothy Perkins had a sale on and I managed to pick up a ring with a heart-shaped peace sign on it and a silver delicate necklace. They were £2 each, but since duty free has no VAT together they were only £3.33.
Something I also got on sale was this awesome multicoloured skull necklace for around €2.50, which I found in this massive shopping mall that had half price designer clothes, but I stopped myself from buying anything since I already had bought too much! 
In a euro store I spotted these treble clef earrings, I was looking for something like these on eBay, and the cheapest on there is around £2-£3 so it was a great deal to get them for only €1!

Forever 21 has some amazing jewellery, but it was quite pricey - most of the things were around £10, but I got this set of bracelets that are oh so sparkly and pretty for £6.50.

I've included links to all the shops where I bought everything, hope they're of use to some of you!