Saturday 30 March 2013

march favourites

Another monthly favourites post... it's quite disconcerting how quickly the days seem to pass by. I'm not looking forward to April in the slightest, exam season is looming and I need to start preparing. If I stop posting on here for a while, call the lifeguard (preferably a pretty one please), I'm more than likely to have drowned in a sea of mind maps.
Pro editing skillz right there. (Yeah, skills with a z. I'm down with the kids.)
After never using or even owning a powder highlighter before, I was dubious about how well MUA's budget one would work. But there was no need to worry, the MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter and I got on just fine with it delivering a lovely glow to my cheekbones. For a full review click here.

Unfortunately, this next product isn't available to buy - it's Company's Liquid & Pencil Eyeliner that came exclusively as a magazine freebie with Company magazine about a year ago and I've only just got round to trying it now.
The product is dual-ended and I'll be honest, the pencil half is awful. It's not pigmented, creamy or even black, it's more of a charcoal grey hence the reason why I haven't swatched it. But the liquid end is not to be sniffed at, in fact I think it may actually be the best liquid eyeliner I've ever tried. The swatch above was with one swipe and it took a good deal of scrubbing with soap and water to remove it, the same is true when applied on the eyelid as it just does. not. budge. The only downside is that the applicator is slightly too thick, but that problem is easily solved by applying the liner with a separate brush - I use the Sigma E10. I don't want to ever run out of this, it's amazing.

I've rediscovered an old favourite with the Skin79 Super+ BB Cream, I used this tiny tube religiously throughout the whole of last September then for some reason cast it to one side. There's only a tiny bit left in this sample size tube and I need to get round to ordering the full size soon as I think it'll be perfect if when summer arrives.

In a vain attempt to do some kind of snazzy eye makeup look - black mascara and too much eyeliner, that's me - I've started adding (I refuse to say a "pop of colour") a colourful eyeliner or eyeshadow to my lower lash line. My eyeliner of choice for this is the No7 Metallic Eyes Pencil in Purple which although it is purple, is a muted version of the colour so I don't feel too far out of my comfort zone. The blue shimmer isn't as prominent as it appears in the swatch either.
I feel that it's also worth mentioning that No7 have changed the formula of quite a few of their products since I bought this, so I cannot vouch for the formula or colour being the exact same.

I've just got back from doing that radio show which I mentioned it my last post - luckily I didn't make any major mistakes and I don't think it went too badly!

What are your favourites for this month?

Thursday 28 March 2013

confessions of a beauty blogger tag

I like doing tag posts, however I'm awful at remembering to actually do them myself. But as I do love answering them, here's my input to the Confessions of a Beauty Blogger Tag!
 (A very edited version of one of the photos from my review of the Covergirl LashBlast 24hr mascara)

1. How many hours a week do you spend writing/editing posts?
In total, including taking the photos and editing them I'd say about six hours if I'm publishing three posts a week. I enjoy every minute of it though!

2. Are you a spender or a saver?
Spender spender spender. My brain works in strange ways when shopping whether it be online or in stores, although I am reluctant to splurge on an expensive dress or high-end makeup, I'm completely fine with buying lots of drugstore makeup that adds up to twice the total of buying one expensive thing. I'm trying to change that as I want to downsize my makeup collection, and I'd rather have a few amazing quality high-end products than every. single. item that MUA and Barry M sell.

3. When is it easiest for you to blog?
I take photos at the weekend, and write up posts whenever inspiration strikes me (normally in the shower) and when I've got some free time. About half of my posts are constructed at one o'clock in the morning when my mind is fuelled purely by caffeine, needless to say there has to be a lot of amends to the post the following day; my spelling is atrocious when I'm tired.

4. What's your worst makeup/hair habit?
Off the top of my head, the worst one I can think of is that I use regular cleanser to remove eye makeup. Yes, it stings like hell but I'm just too lazy to reach over and grab my eye makeup remover. I abuse my hair too, I blow-dry and straighten it every two days.

6. What's your one quote that you wish the world could live by?
I have countless quotes that I love but three of my favourites are:
"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - Roald Dahl quote.

7. How long do you spend getting ready every day?
If I'm off to school, it takes me about 35 minutes to go from getting out of bed to out the door, including showering, breakfast, makeup, hair etc. When I'm going for lunch with friends I take longer getting ready, about an hour and a half, and when I'm not going out I won't wear any makeup or bother doing my hair.

8. What's your favourite video on YouTube?
One video? Argh I can't do that! This makes me laugh, this makes me cry, and I don't know what this does but it's amazing.

9. Who is the blogger that you read that deserves more subscribers than they have?
Everyone in my Lovely Blogs series really - that's why I started it!

10. What's the one thing that you're most excited about in the up and coming year?
About a month ago I did a week of work experience at a local radio station, and they invited me to volunteer there and present a show for an hour each week. I start this Saturday and I'm so excited for it!

11. What's your most awkward blogging moment?
I can't say I've experienced anything awkward in the blogging world so far, perhaps replying to an email from a company that hasn't sent me a very professional email? I honestly don't know what to put for this question!

12.  How long does it take to prep a post?
If I'm reviewing something, it'll take at least a few days for me to judge it properly and with skincare at least two weeks. Posts involving multiple lip swatches can take ages to, as I need to take photos of each lip product on my lips on a different day, to avoid any staining from the previous swatch changing the true colour. And as I only can take photos in good lighting on weekends, it may take a week or two to get all the swatches together.

13. Are you wearing jeans, pants, pyjamas or a skirt right now?
Well, seeing as it's just past ten o'clock in the evening right now, I have no shame in saying that I'm in my pyjamas, curled up in a blanket with some hot chocolate. Bliss.

14. What are you most proud of in your life right now?
I think it may actually be this blog! I'm so proud of how it's grown - it's almost a year old (look out for a small giveaway) and it's led me to discover the blogging community, which is so so lovely.

Also, you may have noticed the little Easter egg in the top right corner, it's for an Easter egg hunt competition in collaboration with Park Resorts - if you want to learn more click here.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

notd | pink chevron

I've been keeping painting my nails to a minimum for the past few months as they were in such bad condition and I was having to nurse them back to health with OPI Nail Envy, however I do miss wearing nail polish (hmm, what's that? yes, beauty addict right here. the one frantically waving her manicured hands in the air like her life depended on it, yup that's me.) and eventually, after having a stare-down contest with those little bottles of varnish and losing, I admitted defeat. Woah that was over-dramatic.

 My nails were initially going to be sporting Nails Inc Elizabeth Street on it's own, but after using it and realising that it was just another typical nude nail polish that would only be opaque with a gazillion layers, I settled for doing some kind of nail art with Nails Inc Piccadilly Circus. It turned out somewhere between a half-moon manicure, really thick french tips and some sort of chevron thing. Whatever it is, the use of the darker colour allowed me to only paint three coats of Elizabeth Street even though it's still slightly streaky - drying time isn't good either and as you can see from the photos, my bedsheets made their mark. Piccadilly Circus on the other hand was great, it was opaque in two thin coats and is a gorgeous dark raspberry colour.
I'm having bad luck with nude nail polishes, they're all way too sheer (Essie I'm looking at you) and I completely don't understand why nail polish manufacturers still make them as I can't see the appeal?!

Despite Elizabeth Street being a disappointment, I think that it's safe to say that Nails Inc are my favourite nail polish brand - what's yours?

Saturday 23 March 2013

my most reached for beauty products

Two things before we start:
This post was actually meant to go up yesterday, but somehow a flurry of ridiculously out of season snow descended and gave where I live a power cut - I don't know how a little bit of snow can cause that but at least I've got my precious, precious electricity and internet back now.
And I've finally stuck my face on this 'ere blog, I'm not that good at taking selfies and I might change my mind and remove it but do bear with me! (I just spent three minutes trying to finding out if it's "bear" or "bare" with me. Apparently "bare with me" is an invitation to get naked. Please don't get naked.)

These are the makeup items that aren't (well, very rarely at least) featured in favourites posts, nor have earned the status of "holy grail" but regardless, they are my go-to products that if I'm in a hurry are I'll automatically reach for. And I think that entitles them to a post of their own.
e.l.f Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in St. Lucia - I haven't swatched blush part of this duo as it barely shows up on my skin and I don't use it, but the bronzer half is amazing. Granted, I'm no bronzer expert but having seen swatches this does seem to be more pigmented than the iconic Nars Laguna. I'm not too fond of my wide jaw, so contouring is a godsend and this bronzer coupled with my Sigma F40 does the job perfectly.

theBalm FratBoy Blush - Very seldom do I switch up my blush. I've never felt the need to expand my blush collection because I never go for a strong cheek look, and the option of having over twenty shades to choose from would be lost on me. This blush is the perfect colour for brightening up my complexion whilst still looking somewhat natural and despite using it for over six months I haven't even made a dent in it yet!

Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer in 03 Sand - Let's first appreciate the fact that even though my skin is paler than pale, I don't use the lightest shade available which in itself is a astonishing. There is no way that this concealer is the best out there, but out of my collection it's the only one that provides moderate coverage and works well both on undereye circles and on blemishes, as well as concealing redness pretty well. The fact that it's liquid means that it's difficult for it to get cakey and is easier to apply and blend out than a a cream concealer.
I also did an in-depth review comparing this to the MAC Mineralize Concealer, which you can read here.
Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Quad in Neutral Khakis - I don't wear eyeshadow every day, but when I do this quad is my first port of call. It's got all the shades I need for everyday - most importantly a matte dark brown (I hate shimmery colours in the crease) and I've used this so much that the hinge holding the lid on has broken. The pigmentation isn't the best, but it works for me as I hardly ever go for a dramatic eye look.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk - This works just as well as Urban Decay's Primer Potion at preventing eyeshadows creasing, and it has the added benefit of offering a white base that intensifies the colours of any eyeshadows applied on top. It also works great as an inner corner and brow bone highlight.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero - Black eyeliner is an essential for me, and I wear it almost every day - I know that this particular eyeliner is extremely popular but I don't think that it's that special, I'm just waiting till I've finished it until I buy something different. Yes, it's creamy and stays put for most of the day, but I think that there's a better one out there. I have high hopes that the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Black, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Black and the NYX Slide-On Pencil in Jet Black's offerings will be better.

Which beauty products do you use most often?

Wednesday 20 March 2013

lovely blogs #5

I'm finding that the #bbloggers chat on twitter is amazing for discovering new blogs, in this past month I have to have found at least ten more blogs to follow which I wouldn't have known about otherwise. Here's a few of my favourites, both old and new.
What first caught my eye about Isa's blog is the stunning outfit photos - just look at this. Her posts are entertaining and overall it makes for a lovely relaxing read. One to be enjoyed with a cup of tea (or whichever hot beverage tickles your pickle).
I've no idea why I haven't followed Lauren's blog sooner, it's just a great all-rounder with a mix of beauty and lifestyle posts and her reviews are very useful as they are so detailed and thorough. Each NOTD post (especially the glittery ones - like this one and this one) she does makes me run out and go buy the nail polish she's featured - not sure if that's a good thing or not though!
Katie's blog is a recent discovery and as well as her blog layout being beautifully simple and chic, it's full of informative reviews and high quality photos. Her recent post on the Collection Cream Puff Lip Cream in Fairycake has inspired me to dig my one out and start using it again!
*Images are not my own. Images belong to the bloggers that are linked.

Sunday 17 March 2013

ebay purchases #6

Ooh it's been a while since my last post in this series! I've not been buying as much (pah, what a lie) and haven't had that many eBay finds to share with you. If you haven't read my other eBay purchases posts, here's links to #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5.
A few people have actually blogged about Saffron nail polishes before, and I recall a mention of the glitters being pretty decent. Now I don't usually go for dirt cheap nail polish, it more often than not is horrendous quality and smells something wicked but nevertheless, I bought the shade Gold (08) and I discovered that what I initially thought was only half true. There is definitely a lot of acetone in there as it stinks but the polish itself is not bad (the swatch shown above is two generous coats) and you can never have too many glitters, right?
You can find it here.

It's a key keyring! With added clock. I love practical trinkets, and somehow I've managed to misplace all my keyrings and my set of keys looks so bare without one! I hope that the clock is sturdy enough to survive being thrown around in my handbag though.
The listing is here, along with a ton of other options such as a saxophone or teapot keyring if they take your fancy.
Every time I wear a plain blazer I can't help but think that it needs a bit of jazzing up especially around the lapel/collar region, step in my very first brooch. Admittedly the multicoloured hearts are a bit tacky and look like they would belong in a Barbie magazine as a free gift rather than beside a winged skull, but a quick snip with a pair of pliers quickly dealt with that problem.
The one downside is that the hole the brooch creates is on the large side, as the needle itself is quite broad so to be on the safe side I don't think I'll be accessorising any of my investment pieces with this any time soon!
You can take a gander at the listing here.
I'm always drawn to eye-catching jewellery, mainly because jewellery is the one area where I can branch out and wear "statement" items without feeling at all self-concious. This ear piece is no different, I had to have it as soon as I laid my eyes on it and it's price tag - a measly £1 for something that would easily be over a fiver in Topshop. Surprisingly, it isn't uncomfortable at all as it wraps around the ear with part of the coil resting on the top of the ear; it also attaches like a normal earring except for the different backing.
It's on eBay here, available in bronze, silver, antique silver and gold - I think the one I own is the bronze one, but don't quote me on that.

I think that eBay has become one of my main methods of procrastination (that and the rest of the internet) - I need to be studying for exams, but no, I'm sitting with my laptop looking at eBay listings. Are you as addicted as I am?

Friday 15 March 2013

red nose day

If you're in the UK, it's almost impossible not to know that today is Red Nose Day and to get myself in the spirit, red lips, nails and of course a red nose were in order!
By the time I realised that I wanted to paint my nails red, it was 11 o'clock on Thursday night and I didn't have time to  paint numerous coats of polish and wait for them to dry so I don't end up with marks from my bedsheets. So I settled for this easy option - basically it's red french manicure tips outlined with black. They didn't turn out quite as neat as I would like, but hey-ho I was tired and at least they dried quickly!
 And of course the red lips. I filled in my lips using an MUA lip liner in Brooding Plum, and as it wasn't quite as dark as I would like I dabbed a tiny bit of a Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Dragon's Blood on top. This was my first time using the MUA lip liner and I'm more than impressed - it's very pigmented and creamy, the quality is much better than the £1 price tag would lead you to believe.

Comic Relief starts at 7pm GMT (in half an hour!) today on BBC 1, will you be watching?

Thursday 14 March 2013

don't panic.

So it seems that everyone and their cat have been worried about the changes that Google are making, and although there has been no confirmation that Google Friends Connect will be disappearing along with Google Reader, it is a possibility. Google are also getting rid of a few other services, here's a link to their post about it.
Getting rid of Google Reader must be some kind of attempt on Google's part to get us to convert to Google+ but I don't see that happening any time soon for me at least, and luckily there are other options.
I've noticed my amount of bloglovin' followers has almost doubled today (that must be all you savvy people in the loop) and bloglovin' does seem to be the easiest platform to switch over to, you can click here to import all the blogs you read, and here's a handy-dandy guide on how to do just that.
follow clouds and cuticle oil on bloglovin
If you aren't too keen on bloglovin', here are other backup ways to follow this blog in case GFC dies on us. Just click on the logos and you'll be taken to my page.

Again, there is no confirmation that GFC will be going, but it's always best to be prepared, right?
*Image is not my own. Image source here.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

mua undress your skin highlighter

I've never owned a powder highlighter before, mainly as there are very few less expensive alternatives to the likes of MAC's Mineralize Skin Finish out there and I'm not willing to fork out £20+ for a product I may not even like. However, my skin has been looking rather dull and in dire need of a little pick-me-up, so when I heard of MUA's newest release I hot-tailed it down to my nearest Superdrug and snatched the last one off the shelf. 
Starting off with the packaging, personally I do prefer MUA's old black design but honestly so long as it's not flimsy I'm not fussed - after all I did only pay £3 for it! The gorgeous embossed design is not to be sniffed at either, and to my eye is a copy reminiscent of MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinishes.
MUA describe the highlighter as a "lightweight powder that transforms your complexion with luminescent shimmer" and although I wouldn't say that it "transformed my complexion" it certainly brought a healthy glow to my face when applied to the cheekbones. If I'm wearing a matte foundation I'll go for a more full-on approach, and I'll apply some of the highlighter to my cupid's bow and bridge of my nose.
 The colour itself is a mix between a champagne shade and an oyster pink, which may not suit warmer skin tones very well. When applied to the face the product is very sheer but can be built up, and the powder is finely milled so it blends nicely.

Overall I highly recommend this if you're looking for an inexpensive highlighter, but I'd like to see MUA come out with a golden-peach shade highlighter to cater to warmer toned skin.
The MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter is available from the MUA website (currently on offer for £2) or from Superdrug for £3.

Sunday 10 March 2013

notd | get carried away

To completely contradict my last nail related post I thought I'd paint my nails black and glittery. You may have noticed the lack of NOTDs on here over the past month or so, which is due to me wanting to give my nails a break and a good dose of OPI Nail Envy to stop them doing the whole peeling and snapping act they've been putting up lately.
The gorgeous glitter polish featured, China Glaze Get Carried Away from the recent Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away collection, comes courtesy of Katie from our makeup swap (who's parcel from me still hasn't showed up, I'm sending out a replacement next week and I'd just like to thank her for being so patient and understanding whilst I rip my hair out in frustration over Royal Mail) and is such a pretty combination of red, silver and black large hexagonal glitter, tiny silver glitter and black bar glitter.
I used two coats on my ring finger, and as I didn't want it to be too full-on I just dabbed some of the glitter polish on the tips of my other fingernails which ended up resembling something french manicure-esque. For the black base I used two coats of Orly's Black Out and my top coat of choice was the NYC "In A New York Colour Minute" Quick Dry nail polish in Grand Central Station as it gives an extra glossy finish.

Friday 8 March 2013

free blog button swap!

You may have noticed a new addition to my sidebar, I've finally made a blog button and I'd like to start putting it to use. I don't think my blog is at the stage yet where I can start charging for advertising, but I'd love to do a (free) blog button swap - if you're wondering how to make one Zoe's post is really easy to follow.
I'd like to have no more than 10 buttons at a time and it will be on a first come, first serve basis. If you're interested please email me at and we'll sort everything out!

clouds and cuticle oil

a list of wishes

...A wishlist. Because I want so many things but need none of them and really can't justify any purchases at the moment, so if I had an endless flow of cash this is what I would buy without hesitation.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
1. I went to see Wicked in London's West End recently (ohmygod it was the best thing in the world), and now that it's become my new favourite musical I want everything to do with the whole parallel Oz world that focuses on the "villain", if you've got no idea what I'm talking about you can read the plot here. Although the storyline of the film this palette is inspired by is not the same, it's still based in the land of Oz which is close enough, right?
Urban Decay have done an amazing job with the packaging, and as beautiful as the Theodora palette is I have to say that I see myself reaching for the colours in the Glinda palette more often.

2. Yes, I want a cake stand. But imagine how adorable all my nail polishes would look on it, or any makeup items for that matter. The one I've pictured is here, but I also like the look of this, this and this.

3. Another Urban Decay palette, the Naked Basics. I've resisted buying both the original Naked palette and the Naked 2 since eyeshadow has always been an optional extra in my makeup routine, but matte eyeshadows are my favourite kind and will definitely get a lot of use.

4. I first mentioned these in this post and I honestly think that they're the most beautiful pair of boots I've ever set my eyes on - even better than the ones in this haul if that's possible. They're on sale too, and I just picked up last month's Elle magazine which came with a £20 Kurt Geiger gift card (which frustratingly doesn't work on sale items, but it means I could get a freebie as well, worth £20). I think that I've just talked myself into buying these.

5. Yet another palette, this one from Nars called The Happening and I'm sure you've heard of it as it's sold out almost everywhere hence why I haven't linked it. Having never owned anything from Nars, this looks like a great way to ease myself into the brand with the palette containing both the Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer as well as four eyeshadows - perfect for travelling!

6. Real Techniques brushes. What makes them even more tempting is that I stumbled upon an American website,, that has the brushes for much cheaper due to prices being lower in the States although i doubt postage will be the cheapest. Pictured is the Core Collection (only £12!), Stippling Brush, Expert Face Brush and Blush Brush but I've also got my eyes set on the Deluxe Crease Brush that annoyingly is only available in the Starter Set.

7. I still haven't caved and bought any of the Apocalips yet, although the shade Stellar has been staring me in the face every time I walk past the Rimmel stand in Superdrug. I know I'll eventually buy a few one, I just hope that I don't got crazy and convince myself that I need every single colour.

Have you been eyeing up something out of your price range lately?

Wednesday 6 March 2013

uk magazine freebies - march 2013

March seems to be a good month for freebies with no less than four magazine offering up free gifts. It was so difficult for me to resist picking up more than one, but I've still got one or two magazine from a few months ago that I haven't read yet!
Cosmopolitan (£3.60) has three different free gifts to choose from, all from the Elemis Freshskin range. I chose the Loving Lips Quenching Lip Balm - which is actually 10ml and full-sized - and the other options are a 25ml Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser or a 25ml Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser, together all three are worth £28. There's also a sniff of Daisy and Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs inside.

There is a choice of four Percy & Reed hair products with Glamour magazine (£2), the products are a 100ml Finishing Polish, 100ml Really Rather Radiant Colour & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner or 30ml Volumising Oil which together are worth £41.

 Another blogger mentioned that Good Housekeeping (£3.90) has a 50ml Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (RRP £10) but I haven't seen it in stores myself - however it's well worth a look, I have the very same hand cream and it's lovely!

Marie Claire (£3.80) is offering another 50ml hand cream, this one is by Neal's Yard and is the Bee Lovely Hand Cream which retails for £10.