28 February 2014

The Olive Branch review

Hey all,

I heard that using olive oil based products was a great way to help ease the pain that comes with having a sensitive scalp. When I came across Lush's The Olive Branch Shower gel I saw that you could use it in your hair and I thought I'd give it a go and see how it would fair out.


The smell is grand. It's not amazing but it's not overpowering and it doesn't stay in my hair so I'm not bothered by it. It has an ok lather but my hair feels perfectly clean after. The little bottle lasted a good while and it didn't irritate my scalp at all which was great. It's one of the few hair products I would buy in the biggest bottle I could find.


As a shower gel it's not all that much cop though. I don't see any reason to buy this one specifically. It doesn't lather well enough so I end up using far more than I would compared to a normal shower gel. It's also extremely watery so it's very hard to use it in the shower without spilling half of it.

Overall I love this as a hair product as it didn't cause any flair ups but it's a no-go when it comes to using it as a shower gel. Another thing, LUSH currently have only the one shop in Dublin so it's not readily available if you aren't based in or around the Dublin City. You can order online but shipping costs are way over the top. I added one face mask to my cart and I was charged 8 pounds for shipping alone! After converting that to euros I quickly cancelled that order. It works out fairly dear to get even one or two products that way so wouldn't recommend it. It's a nice hair product if you suffer from sensitive scalp but I suppose I'll have to go after something else until LUSH open up more stores in Ireland.

Cuti-CLUE-les

26 February 2014

Professor Layton nail art

Hey all,


I just finished the final Professor Layton game in the series and I am gutted that it has come to an end. Professor Layton, which is a puzzle based game, was released on the Nintendo Ds in 2007/2008 and there are 6 games in the series.It is by far one of the best games I have ever played and the series as a whole was mind blowing. I know they have a collaboration coming soon with Phoenix Wright attorney but honestly I don't think it will be as good as Professor Layon on it's own.  To mark the end I thought I would finally do a Layton themed manicure.


 The base on each nail is 2 coats of Illamasqua monogamous. The rest of the colours are acrylic paints and the black is from Barry m. I had to freehand all of it so the lines aren't the best but I gave it a go! Hopefully the more I practice them the better they will turn out in the future. If you haven't played any of the Professor Layton games I urge you to pick up the first one, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, asap. The story is lovely and the puzzles can be frustratingly difficult but so very enjoyable.

Cuti-CLUE-les

25 February 2014

Twinsie Tuesday- Favourite Brand

Hey all,

I've gone back and forth over this post for the last few weeks. It's awful difficult to pick a favourite brand. My choice varies from week to week based but at this very moment in time I'd have to go for Essence. It was one of the first brands I started really getting in to and they have brought out a few of my all time favourite or most worn polishes.


I haven't been able to get to a stand in quite some time but they have brought out a heap of new polishes in the last year or so. Even though Essence are getting more expensive they are still a great affordable brand with great quality polishes.


Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra

Cuti-CLUE-les

24 February 2014

Sexy and I know it

Hey all,


An oldie for today's post. This is Catrice Rusty but Sexy. This is from the older Catrice line with the thin brushes. The formula is quite thin and watery so application isn't amazing but it's not god awful either. I have on 2 coats and it looks grand. I did just cut all of my nails really short though so I don't have any white tips on my nails. I'm sure it would have needed an extra coat if they were a bit longer.


This is a lovely rusty/burnt orange shimmer. I loved this when I first got it, then I fell out of love with it and now I'm liking it again. It's definitely not one of my all time favourite's and the formula annoys the life out of me but it's a nice looking polish. I don't have a topcoat on and you can see it has a fair bit of shine itself. I'm thinking this would be better suited to Summer wear so the shimmer really shines through like it does in the pictures. All in all though I like the way it looks on my nails.I haven't gotten a new Catrice polish in ages so I have no idea what the formula is like now. I haven't been wowed by their colour selection in quite a while although I am looking up swatches for their textured polishes at the moment. Hopefully they'll churn out some good'uns soon.

Cuti-CLUE-les

20 February 2014

Best Of Beauty "Make-up must haves"

Hey all,

For the months of February and March I will be taking part in a "Best of" series organised by Samantha from All the Buzz. There will only be 4 of these posts each month but they are a bit different than what I would normally do so I thought I would give it a go!


One of my must-haves is obviously going to be a good topcoat. So far I have tried a fair few but they all had major flaws I couldn't really get over. One of the best ones I have come across so far would have to be the Sally Hansen Insta-dri anti0chip topcoat. I love how quick it sets, it leaves a gorgeous glossy shine, it's fairly affordable and it's easy to get a hold of. The only downside is you have to leave your nail art to dry full before using this or it will drag. Not a huge deal but still it's something to note if you are on the hunt for a new topcoat.

Cuti-CLUE-les

17 February 2014

Just Beat it!

Hey all,


Starting the week off with a new polish from a new to me brand. This is Colors by Llarowe Beat it (after the Michael Jackson song), a grey holographic.  I won this alongside a few other polishes in Gosia at Life in Color's reader survey/ giveaway. I love holographic polishes but I don't own a whole lot of them. I keep telling myself to get more of the Color Club ones but I never get around to it.


The formula on Beat it was a tiny bit thick and the brush is not amazing but it's opaque in 2 coats so it's not all bad. This is a linear holographic (my favourite kind) and it's fairly strong, especially in direct sunlight.  The grey is tiny bit darker than it shows in in the above pictures,  the one below is more accurate.


I've had this on as a pedicure for the last 3 weeks and it still has not chipped and that's without a topcoat and basecoat. It's pretty hardy! It would look even better in the summer when the holo shows up most of the time. At the moment the weather is fairly gloomy so it's not as special looking. I was lucky enough to catch a bit of sun when I was taking pictures for the post so ye get to see Beat it at its best. I am not a Micheal Jackson fan in any way shape or form but I really like this polish!

Cuti-CLUE-les

15 February 2014

The Book Look- Triptych by Karin Slaughter

Hey all,


Following the discovery of a woman's badly beaten body outside of her apartment the hunt is on to find the killer before he strikes again. Detective Michael Ormewood is on the case and is soon joined by Special Agent Will Trent from the Special criminal apprehension team, much to the disgust of Ormewood. As more evidence is uncovered and more bodies show up, they need to find out who the killer is and fast. Drugs, vice and an ex-con newly released from prison play a role in the murders but you soon realise what you think is happening and what is actually going on are two different things.


Triptych got me from the very first page and it did not let go until I reached the end. All of the characters have their own problems. Slowly as the novel progresses we learn more and more about them. It's not a story full of unicorns, princes and princesses. This is a tough, hard hitting story and it is told in a style that is harsh and gritty.  Swearing, violence, rape, torture, kidnapping,mutilation and much more feature heavily in this story. There are some pretty heavy scenes in this which can be fairly unsettling.

Slaughter is an excellent writer. She writes in a way that leads you to think you have the whole thing sorted out and you feel like a genius. When you reach that point she throws in a curve-ball and you are completely thrown off track again.  It's a great read, very easy to follow and you will be on the edge of your seat the whole time. You feel every single emotion known to man going through the story. As first you are rooting for one side and then as the story goes on you completely switch over. Looking back I couldn't believe how easy it was to fall for it!

One part that I thought was such a great addition (very unique too) was the inclusion of a newspaper cutting at the beginning of some of the chapters. Starting with Ormewood, you then see the story through the eyes of Will Trent and ex-con Johnathon Shelley. You pick up certain bits of information in each encounter that will help to further unravel the mysteries surrounding the murders. There are twists and turns riddled throughout and although some are expected (from information gleaned from the other characters) others will knock you for six. A few times I caught myself covering my mouth in shock (and then cursing myself for being such an eejit)

Overall this is a wonderful start to the Will Trent Series by Slaughter. I unknowingly read the 5th or 6th book in this series (that's how I came across Slaughter in the first place) and I can honestly say they keep getting better as the series goes on. It can be quite harsh at times but the story is so well written and put together, you'll be left in suspense until the very end.

I got my version of Triptych from The Book Depository HERE




For the nail art I just went with the same colour scheme that features on the book. I believe this is the US version of Triptych. I preferred this cover over the one we have in shops here. The base is Sally Hansen Complete Salon manicure in Right Said Fred. I have on 2 coats. The yellow is NYC Lexington yellow. For the fingerprints I used Essence Black is back and a dotting tool. Very straightforward!


It's such a bright design even with the black dots. It ended up dragging a tiny bit when I added on a topcoat but that's because I was rushing and didn't have time to let it fully dry before finishing it off.

Have any of ye read any of Karin Slaughter's work before? There is another series called The Grant county series. I think I might start on that after finishing the Will Trent series. She is becoming one of my favourite authors for sure.

Cuti-CLUE-les

14 February 2014

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs lotion and spray comparison and review

Hey all,


One of the most talked about tanning products has to be the Sally Hansen Airbrush legs. I'm not really a self-tanner but even I know which ones are duds and which are must haves. This has been in the beauty world for a fair while now but I had yet to try it until I was sent out a sample there last week. I was sent the original spray formula and the new Sally Hansen Air brush legs lotion. I have both in the shade medium but they are available in light, medium, tan and deep.



First off I applied a layer of the lotion to my left leg. Seeing as this is leg makeup and not a full on tan you don't have to worry about getting the special mitts to ensure your tan applies evenly. Just rub it in with your hands and you are good to go. This comes off easily with soap and water. As ye can see it does give you a nice even tanned look. I think medium is perfect for me. It's not too light and it's not too dark. It looks like a natural tan. 


For my right leg I shook the can before spraying it into my hand and applying. Some people spray it straight on but I followed the instructions seeing as it's my first go at using it. I loved the way this turned out. In the pictures you  can barely tell that I used two different products but in person the right leg looks better, like it had a bit of a glow to it. I left both legs to dry for about a minute and I didn't have any of it transfer onto my clothes which was a relief (although if ye do get fake tan on your clothes the pink Vanish spray is amazing and it will get the stain out)


Lastly with flash. You can almost see the difference. Again it's really not all that much so if you prefer using a lotion as opposed to the spray, you're not losing out.  You can use these allover and they wash off in a few seconds using soap and water. It's streak free and it is user-friendly so regardless of how inexperienced you are, you will get this spot on every time.

Now to the not-so great points. Application was spot on perfect until I got down to my ankles and feet. Neither product really went on all that smoothly and I would definitely recommend exfoliating those areas before applying Airbrush legs if you have dry skin. Also the little red bumps that I have from shaving were still visible. This is going to happen with fake tan anyway but seeing as this is leg makeup I thought it would be different.Finally I have a few big pure white scars on my knees and they cannot be covered by the lotion or the spray version which is a shame. The red bump issue can be resolved though so it's not a huge deal. In fairness the fact that it didn't cover my scars doesn't bother me, it's just worth a mention.

The Sally Hansen Airbrush legs spray costs €13.95 for 75ml and the lotion costs €16.95 for 118ml. You can find them in most grocery stores and selected pharmacies nationwide.

Cuti-CLUE-les
**Products were provided for review**

13 February 2014

Best of beauty "Hair Heroes"

Hey all,

For the months of February and March I will be taking part in a "Best of" series organised by Samantha from All the Buzz. There will only be 4 of these posts each month but they are a bit different than what I would normally do so I thought I would give it a go!


One of the best haircare lines I have ever tried would be the Mane 'n Tail line. I have tried pretty much all of them but my favourite would be the Daily Control Anti-Dandruff Shampo and conditioner. I think they have this in a 2-1 format too which would probably suit me more just because it's more convenient. This works so well at cleaning my hair as well as keeping my scalp in check. They cost around €15 depending on where you buy them.


I absolutely love hair oils and my all time favourite would be the Hask Macadamia oil revitalizing shine hair treatment. One hell of a name for such a tiny bottle but it is amazing. It smells unbelievably good, it leaves my hair so soft and it helps speed up the time it takes to dry. You only need a small amount so this little bottle lasts me at least a year. I think they cost around €2.00, maybe €2.50 in Pennys.


A new oil I've been using on and off for the last while is the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary oil for all hair types. They is another version of this for coloured hair but it has alcohol in it which dries out your hair so I'd avoid it like the plague. Again you only need the smallest amount of oil, it has a floral scent to it but that goes once you put it on your hair. It does pretty much the same as the Hask one. My hair is so soft after using it and the bottle is huge so I won't have to buy hair oil for a while.  The only downside is the brand is not cruelty free unlike Mane 'n Tail and Hask who are cruelty free. A 100ml bottle costs around the €10.50 mark.

Cuti-CLUE-les

12 February 2014

Finding Nemo, Dory and Squishy

Hey all,


This was a request from Nikki's Nail Files. I haven't actually tried Finding Nemo nail art before so I was delighted to have something new to try. This was fecking hard! In the end I included Nemo, Dory, and Squishy. The base is Barry M Blueberry ice cream and the coral on the pinky finger is a mix of Barry M Retro purple and Catrice Lucky in Lilac. The rest is done using acrylic paint.


I think it turned out alright in the end! Who knew fish would be the hardest fecking things to do? Out of them all I think Squishy is my favourite ;)

 Cuti-CLUE-les


11 February 2014

Twinsie Tuesday- Valentine’s Day Inspired Manicure

Hey all,


I'm not one for all the pink, love heart, OTT Valentine manicures. I think the majority of them are way too much (verging on to tacky) and I just don't get it. I tried to make this manicure a bit more appealing without going too far. I started off with 3 coats of Barry M Dragon Fruit. Do ye remember how much I loved this polish? Well that's changed! It is now a complete pain in the arse to apply and I don't like th way it looks on me anymore. What a bummer.


For the gradient I went for a mix of Barry M Retro purple and retro pink. It took a few goes but it worked out pretty well in the end. I'm glad Valentine's is only one day :P I'm out of my depth completely.


Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra

Cuti-CLUE-les

10 February 2014

GOSH Silver

Hey all,


I found this a good while back in a sale basket. It only cost €1 and I really like silver nail polish, especially for nail art. This is a lovely light silver, opaque in 2 coats. Gosh normally cost around €8 a bottle which is fairly expensive. Opi cost the same amount (depending on where you get them) and I think they are far better quality.


The brush is fairly thin but it doesn't affect the application too much. Lasting time is pretty decent . I get a couple of days out of this without any chips but I use a topcoat with it just to be on the safe side.

I am tempted to get the new OPI Push and Shove polish but I've seen so many conflicting reviews on it that I'm not too sure it's worth bothering with yet. I do like silver polish though so I may end up getting it.

Cuti-CLUE-les

06 February 2014

Best of beauty "Skin care saviors"

Hey all,

For the months of February and March I will be taking part in a "Best of" series organised by Samantha from All the Buzz. There will only be 4 of these posts each month but they are a bit different than what I would normally do so I thought I would give it a go!


I don't tend to stick to certain skincare products unless I can really see a difference when I use them, for the last while I have been using the Body Shop Camomille sumptuous cleansing butter everynight before I go to bed. I use it the odd time in the morning if I feel like it needs a bit of help (or I haven't used it the night before) This is a lovely product. It smells nce, you don't use all that much so the tin lasts ages and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean. A 76g tin costs around €14.95.


Probably one of my all-time favourite skincare products is the Pixy Rose cleansing mud. The smell isn't the greatest but it does wonders for softening my skin. I leave it on for as long as I can and then wash it off in the shower. It's a shame this was discontinued. I still haven't come across a good mud mask to replace it.

Both of these companies are cruelty-free.

Cuti-CLUE-les

Getting stoned

Hey all,


Okay so here is the last of the Born Pretty Store items that I have for review for January. This is the oval stone in #1. I have to say straight off that this is far too big for my nails. I tried to do it 3 different ways but putting it on my thumb was the only successful attempt. I'm not really keen on them to be honest, they don't suit my nail shape and I think that are way to big and thick to be in any way practical.


The stone studs cost $2.91 for 5 and there are other shapes and colours available to choose from.


I have on 2 coats of A-England Tristam. Then I added on the polka dots using my dotting tool and Gosh Holographic (the original) I didn't add on a topcoat in case it would affect the overall look. It wasn't really necessary any as Tristam is a super smooth polish.


Cuti-CLUE-les

**Some products in this post were prodvided for review**

05 February 2014

Giddy up

Hey all,


This is the last of the stamping plates that I recieved from Born Pretty Store. This is from the QA19 plate  which is a Christmas/ Santa themed plate. I didn't want to do another festive manicure so I when for a nude base with an accent nail with the reindeer walking across my nails.


The base is Illamasqua Monogamous. This needed 3 coats which is a bit of a pain but it's a nice polish. The accent nail is 2 coats of Wet n Wild wild shine in Carribean Frost. I added o some polka dots using Monogamous. For the stamp I used NOPI Khloe had a little lam-lam which is a great polish for stamping.

This plate costs $2.99 on the Born Pretty Store site. The coupon code for 15% is valid until February 5th, just type in BPS2014 at the checkout.


Cuti-CLUE-les

**Product was provided for review**

04 February 2014

Twinsie Tuesday- Red Panda nails

Hey all,


Todays theme is Red nails for American Heart month but to be honest, I wasn't really feeling it. I'm not American (obviously :P ) so I went for red nails with a bit of a twist. I love animals and although they can be fecking hard to paint onto my nails I thought I'd give Red Panda nail art a go.


This was a nightmare! It took me so damn long to get this done that I thought I would have to abandon the idea altogether. I was frustrated to say the least. The Panda is done entirely out of acrylic paint. The rest of my nails are 2 coats of Catrice Sold out forever (the newer one, not the cult favourite) I'm glad I finished it to be fair, sometimes you really have to push yourself to get things done.


Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra

Cuti-CLUE-les

03 February 2014

Rise and Shine

Hey all,


Today I have a quick swatch of Sinful Colors Rise and shine. This is actually a matte polish (which is odd given the name) but I wanted to wear this for a few days so I added on a topcoat. This looks way darker at night. During the day when it's fairly bright/ Sunny it looks nice and bright like the pictures above.


I have on 2 coats of Rise and shine. The shimmer in this looks so pretty when you add on a topcoat. I wore this for 3 days without any chips. I wore a basecoat with this, I'm fairly sure it would stain like there's no tomorrow. The shimmer isn't all that apparent in person but it's still a nice addition.

Cuti-CLUE-les

01 February 2014

The Book Look- The lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Hey all,


The Lost Symbol marks the return of Harvard Symbologist Professor Robert Langdon. A last minute request from good friend Peter Solomon brings Langdon to Washington DC to give a lecture in the  Capitol Building. However not all is as it seems and Langdon, upon arrival at the National Sanctuary Hall, discovers an empty room showing no signs of the supposed lecture that he was due to give. From then on the pace of the novel picks up and Langdon is launched head first into a struggle to find what he believes does not physically exist for a madman who has kidnapped his mentor and threatens to end his life. The discovery of a severed hand, marked with 5 symbols, captures Langdon and forces him to uncover the mysteries that lay ahead in order to save more than one life that night. He is not alone in his plight as Katherine Solomon, Peter's sister, and the CIA have their own interests in this case and will stop at nothing to reach their own goal.

This was a surprise favourite of mine. I am a huge fan of Dan Brown having already read his previous novels when they first came out. I adore art (as you can probably tell from my nail art obsession :P ) and although I wouldn't know a lot on the topic of Symbology it really interests. Brown has a way of weaving the history of the buildings and certain artistic pieces or statues into the story without making it seem like a Travel guide. It's interesting and it has a role to play in the telling of the story. The story is fast paced, helped by the very short chapters (often only 1-3 pages in length) It sifts back and forth between Langdon, Katherine and Mal'akh, Peters captor. You get a brief idea of the characters at the beginning and they are constantly revealing parts of their history and their own traits as certain circumstances come up. They are well developed, to the point where you can almost see them in your head as you are reading along.  The book deals with the Freemasons and mentions other so-called Secret Society's but don't let that put you off. It's done in a way that it is concise and always relates back to the story at hand. I enjoyed learning about the symbols and their meanings and how they are written in to history without anyone really noticing it. The building descriptions are beautifully done. It really is an informative read. As a crime/ mystery book it is really very good. I was gripped from the start and it had plenty of twists and turns right up until the end.

 One thing that bugged me was the fact that certain parts were overly explained for example when the ring was found on the hand it was clear who it belonged to from the previous chapters but Brown still writes it down as if it was a big reveal and you are going to fall off your seat in shock. That's probably just me being pedantic now but it bugged me for a fair few chapters after that. Another aspect of the book that Ib thought was a bit out of place was how easily led Katherine seemed to be. For a highly educated lady she was awful thick at times, trusting a man she had just met, allowing him into her workplace despite the fact it contained work so important that they refused to keep a backup elsewhere for fear the information it contained would be leaked prematurely.  For me that was a fairly big flaw in her character. Something that struck me as odd was the lack of emotion shown for the other lesser characters, particularly towards the end of the story. They weren't really addressed beyond a certain point in the book. While their purpose in moving the story along was achieved I feel like it ended abruptly and there could have been a minor mention of them at the end just to tie up a few tiny (almost minuscule) loose ends.
I had an inkling about the big reveal at the end concerning a certain character (I won't ruin it for ye) but it was so well done that my knowing what it was didn't take away from it . I loved the fact that Brown had different characters unearthing the truth at different times instead of one big reveal for everyone. The end of the book was fitting. It didn't drag on and it was the  best way to end the story.

Overall I would thoroughly recommend this book. I enjoyed every bit of it and I have learned so much about Washington just from the snippet's of information Brown included about it's buildings and their history. The story itself was captivating. I enjoyed the Characters and they each held their own. It's a lengthy book but it is necessary. There was no point where I was there thinking "For feck sake would you just get on with it". I enjoyed the ending and I felt almost sad that it was over because I connected with the characters and their interactions with each other made for great reading. You know when you reach that point that you have a good book on your hands (and that you're a bit of a nerd)



For my nails I decided to focus on the main points of the cover. Using grey acrylic paint over a white base I have the top of the Capitol Building on my middle finger with the key running through it onto the rest of my nails. The key was an absolute nightmare and had me driven demented for hours but I really wanted to get it done for this manicure. I love the picture of the Capitol Building on the cover but I could only do the top on my nubbins.  I'm pretty pleased with the overall look, it was so hard to get the little details on with the brush I had. I have to get some of those wafer thin brushes for future manicures.


Let me know below if ye have read The Lost Symbol and what ye thought of it? I cannot wait to read Inferno (Dan Brown's latest release) It's another thick book too so it'll be a good long read.

Cuti-CLUE-les

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