Yumi Lashes Lash Enhancement – Review

I can actually hear your eyes rolling as you read the title of this blog post. Yes, I know – we’re all sick to death of beauty “fads” and treatments that promise miracles and don’t deliver. “Fat Freezing” and “Body Sculpting”, I’m looking at you. So, I think that you’re entitled to be skeptical about the Yumi Lashes treatment that is marketed as “a revolutionary method of creating volume or straightening lashes”, if the brand do say so themselves. I’ll even admit that I thought it was another beauty gimmick when I first heard about it. However, when my local salon Essential Beauty Skin & Laser in Bailieborough, County Cavan started offering the treatment, I knew there had to be some truth to the marketing spiel – the girls in the salon never offer a treatment that they don’t believe in.

 

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My cousin actually booked the treatment before I did and her results were amazing but she has naturally full, long lashes so I still didn’t know if it would work as well on my own. However, I decided to bite the bullet before I went on my holidays to Portugal a few weeks ago and I’m so glad that I did.

Firstly, I have to warn you that you absolutely MUST have a patch test before you have the Yumi treatment because the results would be far from pretty if you’re allergic to the tint or the glue. The treatment takes approximately 40 minutes, and it’s a lot more relaxing than I expected it to be. I have pretty sensitive eyes so I was bracing myself for a half an hour of torture but, I was in great hands with Ciara at Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

The Yumi treatment is basically as sophisticated “tint and perm” for eyelashes. The process begins with the application of relaxing eye masks to hydrate your under-eye area while a silicone mould is applied to your upper eyelid. The upper lashes are then lifted towards the silicone to curl them and serum is applied to set the curl. It’s not all as glamorous as it sounds because the curling solution smells disgusting but, that’s something that we can let slide. After the curl is set, the upper lashes are tinted. Then, the adhesive is removed you’re left with fabulous eyelashes. Removal is a bit uncomfortable and as with all eyelash tinting treatments; stings like bejaysus. It’s definitely tolerable though and I think that the photo below demonstrates that it’s worth a few seconds of discomfort for the results.

 

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For 24 hours after the treatment, you can’t allow your lashes to get wet and you have to make sure that you touch them as little as possible – which is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. As you can see, the difference is really impressive and two weeks later, I’m still getting compliments on my lashes. Yumi say that the results last 9 – 12 weeks (as long as the natural life cycle of your lashes) but the girls in Essential Beauty Skin and Laser said that for some people, the life cycle is 6 – 9 weeks.

The beauty industry is one that thrives on illusion and often we’re presented with nothing but photos of airbrushing, heavy make up and false lashes. Sometimes it’s refreshing to opt for a more natural look and that’s exactly what the Yumi treatment caters for. Here’s a picture of my natural eyelashes, after the treatment, without mascara:

 

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Of course, the effect of the Yumi treatment intensifies after the application of mascara. In my opinion, the results after a coat or two of mascara are gorgeous and actually look a lot better than a set of lash extensions. My favourite mascara to pair with the treatment is the Urban Decay “Troublemaker” mascara because it holds all day without budging, even when you’re melting in the heat in Portugal! I’ll drop a photo below to demonstrate how the treatment works with mascara, and I think you’ll be straight on the phone to book an appointment!

 

 

Overall, I would highly recommend the treatment and if you’re in the Cavan area, you should pop into the girls in Essential Skin and Laser because they’re absolute pros. I’ll keep you up to date on how long the treatment lasts for me but after two weeks, my lashes haven’t budged and I will definitely be booking in for another treatment before Christmas! 

Rouge x 

 

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The Bargain Beauty Bag – Back to College Edition

“You can never be overdressed or over educated” – Oscar Wilde.

It’s that time of year again… I’m so jealous of all my readers who are returning to college or starting out as “Freshers”. SO FECKIN’ JEALOUS. It feels as though I left college forty years ago (in reality, it was 2015) and I can safely say that I would return in a heartbeat. However, I really wish someone had taught me a little more about skincare and make up before I started out as a Fresher. I have the photographic evidence to prove that I was absolutely clueless.

Keeping that in mind, I decided to write a quick post to help you to assemble a college make up collection. Every single product in this post is going to cost less that €15 because let’s face it; you need to save every cent possible for shots and pizza.

 

Primer:

 

 

 

Catrice “Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer” – €4.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

I love this primer equally as much as my favourite high end one from theBalm. It’s an illuminating primer so if you have oily skin, it’s not what you’re looking for but if you love glowing skin, this is perfect. A little goes a long way and I usually apply it lightly to my entire face before applying foundation.

Flormar “Illuminating Primer” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

If you do have oily skin, this primer from Flormar is a great option. It’s also illuminating so it gives the skin a really fresh glow but, it has a slightly more “powdered” texture and this creates a matte effect when it’s applied directly to the skin. I would compare this one to Benefit’s “Porefessional” because it blurs the skin and really adds to the longevity of the other products that you use.

 

Foundation:

 

 

 

 

 

Flormar “CC Cream” – €11.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

During the day, I would recommend that you steer clear of full-coverage foundation. If you start using heavy duty make up when your skin is youthful, you’ll end up depending on it for the rest of your days. Irish girls tend to use foundation to mask their skin, rather than to simply even out their skin tone. Don’t fall into this trap – try using a light base throughout the day and if you need a little bit of extra coverage, invest in a good concealer.

This “CC Cream” from Flormar is a perfect lightweight base. There are a number of forumlas in the range that target different skin concerns and the shade adapts upon application to suit your skin tone. I’ve actually written a full post on this product which you can find here.

Catrice “All Matt Plus Shine Control Make Up” Foundation – €6.99 from Inish Pharmacy:

This is a heavy-duty foundation with lots of coverage. I wouldn’t use it during the day because it does feel a little heavier on the skin that my usual day time options. However, this foundation DOES NOT BUDGE. A light application wears for hours, without any shine so this is a great option for nights out. For just €6.99, you can dance the night away without worrying about your make up sliding off your face and hastily attempting to reapply it in the bathroom of a nightclub, while in a slightly intoxicated state.

 

Concealer:

 

 

 

 

Catrice “Camoflauge Cream 010” – €3.50 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

As you can probably tell at this stage, Catrice is one of my all time favourite budget beauty brands. They simply always seem to deliver on quality, at a ridiculously low price point. This “Camoflauge Cream” concealer is a great dupe for Benefit’s “Boi-ing” concealer. It covers blemishes without any effort and stays put, once you dust over the product lightly with some translucent powder. However, because this concealer is heavy enough to cover the most unsightly of blemishes, it’s not suitable for the under-eye area. It’s always a good idea to have two concealers in your make up kit; one for blemishes and redness and one for dark circles under the eyes.

Bourjois “Radiance Reveal Concealer” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

The “Radiance Reveal” concealer from Bourgois is a fabulous product for brightening the under eye area and concealing any trace of a sleepless night (or hangover). The formula is infused with hyaluronic acid which helps to plump skin and soften fine lines. To use this concealer simply apply it in an “upside-down triangle” and blend. It also works really well as a very soft highlighter if applied to the cheekbones and cupid’s bow.

 

Bronze and Contour:

 

 

Flormar “Bronzing Powder” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

This bronzer is absolutely beautiful. At only €9.95, it’s one of my favourite products in my make up kit and one that I reach for again and again, over more luxurious, high-end choices. Also, the bronzing powder is a huge product and will easily last you through your four years in college so it’s even better value that you would expect!

E.L.F Cosmetics “Baked Highlighter” – €7.25 from Cara Pharmacy:

Many of you will already know that E.L.F Cosmetics are relaunching in Ireland this month. I actually lived beside an E.L.F store while I lived in NYC, so I’m particular excited about this one. Now, if I’m being honest, I’ve found that the quality of the products from this brand vary from formula to formula but they do have some absolute gems. This highlighting powder is one of those gems. It’s a universally flattering shade and it’s surprisingly pigmented so a little goes a long way. This formula can be built up and used day or night.

 

Blush:

Sleek Blush Rose Gold Review

Sleek Blush in the Shade “Rose Gold” – €5.99 from Boots:

I feel like I never, ever shut up about this blusher from Sleek.  “Rose Gold” is a gorgeous peach pink colour with a sprinkle of highlight throughout the formula and it’s a great dupe for the Nars cult favourite “Orgasm”. In fact, I have both products in my make up collection and I always reach for the Sleek formula over the Nars one. A little goes a long way and this blusher blends beautifully, lasting for hours without needing to be topped up.

 

Eyeshadow:

 

L.O.V Cosmetics “Metal Cream Eyeshadow” – €8.99 from L.O.V Cosmetics:

Over the past few weeks, I have been familiarising myself with some of the L.O.V products and I have to say that I’m really impressed with their eye make up range. For years, I just didn’t get the cream eyeshadow trend. I found that the formulas didn’t hold well and creased after a few hours but this product is different. It’s far superior to other popular cream shadows, such as the one recently released by Inglot. The cream formula spreads easily across the eyelid in a thin layer and holds for the entire day. The shades also offer a subtle shimmer, which creates the illusion of bright eyes.

L.O.V Cosmetics “Magnetic Loose Eyeshadow” – €9.99 from L.O.V Cosmetics:

While the “Metal Cream Eyeshadow” is my favourite eyeshadow from the L.O.V range, that’s essentially just because I’m lazy and enjoy products that require minimal effort. The “Magnetic Loose Eyeshadow” is a product that I would avoid in the morning but one that I covet for evening wear. This loose pigment formula is nothing short of amazing. It can be used wet or dry to create an intensity level of your choice but personally, I love to use it wet to create a foiled look. I will actually write a full blog post on these babies, so stay tuned.

 

Lips:

Wet n Wild Lipstick Review

 

Wet n Wild “Megalast Lipstick” – €2.73 from Carthy.ie:

These lipsticks are a amazing and at this price, I recommend that you buy one in every colour. The formula is very similar to that of MAC’s matte lipsticks so they’re really long wearing but I do recommend wearing a lip balm underneath the product, to prevent your lips from becoming dry. All round, I love these lipsticks and during my college years, I never felt one iota of guilt for losing them on a night out – I can’t say the same for losing Chanel lippies that cost €30.

Rouge x

Lancome “Matte Lip Shaker” – Review

A few months ago, I started a new job and blogging was kind of placed on the “back burner”. As much as I adore testing new beauty products, I simply found that I didn’t have as much time to play around with new releases and I’m never going to publish half-assed reviews, just for the sake of it. As any Irish parent would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and the beauty market is saturated with new releases to tempt the bank balance. However, now that I’ve settled in to the job, I’m back with some new review posts – and this time you can be sure that I’m choosing the “créme de la créme” of products to write about because I won’t find any time to write about the mediocre ones.

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Today, I want to talk to you about a product that I have been testing for months – the Lancome “Matte Shaker” lip colours. At first, when I received these in the post, I was worried that the design might be a gimmick but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The packaging is sleek and quirky but more importantly, it’s handbag-proof. The lid of the “Matte Shaker” is sturdy and won’t open in your bag while you’re on the move. Anyone who has had the inside of their designer handbag smeared with bright lipstick will realise just how handy this is. The sponge applicator is difficult to get used to in the beginning and you will definitely need a mirror to apply this product but, the shape of the sponge eliminates the need to use a lip liner which is a pro that outweighs the con, in my opinion.

I’ve played around with all of the colours in this collection and there’s something to suit everyone. There are seven shades that range from peach to nude to bright orange. Although, I have to say that, for me, the reds steal the show. “Red-y In 5” is my favourite shade from the range and the one that I have chosen to use for imagery purposes in this post. It’s a beautiful, bold red that has gorgeous blue undertones. This type of red shade is perfect for pale complexions and the blue undertones help to create the illusion of whiter teeth.

 

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Now, let’s talk about the formula. What sets this matte lipstick apart in a market saturated with similar products? Well, I have to say that while there may be one hundred other matte lip products on the market at the moment, there are none quite like this one.

The formula is packed with pigment and although it’s build-able, it was designed to be applied as a super thin layer of colour. Any residue of the product seems to almost evaporate when it’s applied to the lips, so the formula wears like a second skin. The “Matte Lip Shakers” are exactly that – completely and totally matte so if you are looking for a moisturising lip product, this isn’t it. However, because the formula is so lightweight, it won’t drain any moisture from your lips and will leave them exactly as it found them.

I love the texture of this product and enjoy that it’s really comfortable to wear. Lots of matte lip products can feel heavy and balmy on the lips but you could forget that you were wearing any product at all, after applying the “Matte Shaker”.

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Taking all of the above into consideration, I have to say that I rate the “Matte Shaker” from Lancome as one of my favourite releases of 2017. I would even go as far as to say that it’s the most comfortable matte lipstick on the market at the moment, closely followed by TheBalm’s “Meet Matt(e) Hughes”.

Lancome “Matte Shakers” retail at €19.50 which is a pretty decent price point and they’re available from Lancome stockists nationwide. Have you tried the product? Or, do you already have favourite matte lipstick? Either way, we would love to hear about it so let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram under the corresponding post!

Rouge x

Spring into Summer – The Everyday Make-Up Look

After posting this picture on Instagram a few weeks ago, I received a record amount of requests for a full blog post on the make-up look. During the summer, I tend to wear less and less make up – there’s nothing worse than sitting in the office at work, while your make up slides off your face and into a pool on the keyboard. It seems that lots of you feel the same way, and are looking for more information on the products that I reach for when I’m attempting to create this look.

My make up in the above image is really subtle, to create a “barely there” look. The image hasn’t been filtered or edited in any way so it should work as a pretty accurate guide. Here are the products and application techniques that I used:

 

Base:

 

Alpha-H “Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+” (€32.95) – Available Here from Cloud10Beauty.com:

If you were watching my Insta-stories last week, you’ll know that I got sunburned at Body & Soul. It was cloudy all day, without any sign of sunshine and that goes to show that we REALLY should be wearing SPF every day. Usually, I’m really good at remembering to apply sunscreen and this product from Alpha-H is probably my favourite facial SPF. Every morning after cleansing, I apply a generous amount to my skin and allow it to sit for 5-10 mins before applying my make up. The formula is really lightweight and absorbs into the skin really quickly. I know that some people avoid using facial SPF products because they tend to leave a white residue on the skin, but this one definitely doesn’t – you won’t feel it on your face after about 10 mins. I think that this product would be suitable for all skin types.

Catrice “Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer” (€4.95) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

This primer is a cheap as chips and it’s one of the best on the market. You can apply it to your entire face with or without foundation to create a radiant glow or, you can apply the formula to the high points of your face (cheek bones, cupid bow etc) and use it as a highlighter. I usually use it all over my face before applying foundation and then set with a powder. “Prime and Fine” creates the illusion of a good night’s sleep and holds your make up in place for the entire day.

Diego Dalla Palma “BB Cream 5-in-1” (€28.50) – Available Here from Diego Dalla Palma:

Alright, so I know that lots of people have mixed feelings when it comes to BB cream and to be honest, I’m one of them. I love the idea of a lightweight formula that provides minimal coverage, while evening out your skin tone but often, I find that BB Creams wear off the skin very quickly leaving a patchy effect. However, this product from Diego Dalla Palma is gorgeous. The formula applies really well and although it won’t last for the entire day, it wears off evenly and subtly. If you want more coverage after a few hours, you can simply top up at lunch time. Unfortunately, there are only 3 shades in the range so if you’re super pale or really tanned, you’ll probably struggle to find a match. In this photo, I’m wearing shade “50 Natural Beige” and although it’s a bit dark for my skin, I think it brightens up my complexion and gives me a healthy glow.

 

Eyes:

 

Too Faced “Brow Quickie” Brow Gel (€20) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Keeping in mind that I have “HD Brows”, maintained by Olivia in Allure Salon in Drumcondra, I tend to use very little brow product during the day. This brow gel from Too Faced is so easy to use. You simply comb the product through your eyebrows and the formula tints them and adds fibres to thicken them out slightly. The gel holds your eyebrows in place throughout the day and at €20, it lasts for ages so it’s a bargain.

Buxom “Lash Mascara” (€20) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Buxom is a new brand to Debenhams and I have to say that so far, I LOVE all of the products that I’ve tried. This mascara is simply divine. It’s a dark shade of black, separates all of my lashes and adds lots of length. If you love mascaras that create plenty of volume, this one probably isn’t for you but if like me, you love a natural look, Buxom’s “Lash Mascara” is a must-have. The formula isn’t waterproof but it’s really long-wearing and doesn’t clump or smudge at all. The mascara applies really smoothly so if you want to apply a few extra coats for added drama, you can coat the lashes evenly.

 

Cheeks and Lips:

 

Sleek Make Up “Blush” (€6.49) – Available Here from Boots.ie:

I’m always raving about this blush in the shade “Rose Gold” from Sleek. It’s an excellent dupe for Nars’ cult favourite “Orgasm” and at €6.49, it’s a fraction of the price. This blusher is highly pigmented and long-wearing so a little goes a long way. You’ll literally have this product for years before you need to replace it. There’s also a fleck of gold through the formula so it doubles up as a highlighter. I can’t get over the quality of this blush, at such a low price point.

Buxom “Big And Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick” (€18) – Available Here from Debenhams:

I’m going to write a full review post on this product because a few lines really can’t do it justice. The “Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick” from Buxom has quickly become my favourite lipstick formula on the market. Yes, you read that right – my favourite. Anyone who reads Rouge Writing Hood regularly will probably have noticed that lipstick is my favourite kind of make up and this product is the best that I’ve tried. The shade that I’m wearing is “Rebel Rose” which is very like Tom Ford’s “India Rose”. The formula applies like a dream and just glides on to the lips. It’s really moisturising, even though it has a semi-matte finish and it’s basically all that any lipstick lover could ask for. If you could only treat yourself to one product from this post, I would tell you to choose this one!

 

And, there you have it – all of the products that I usually reach for to create a “barely there” make up look. I always set the products with a translucent powder and then I’m good to go.

What do you think? Do you prefer natural or dramatic make up looks? Let us know in the comment section or in the corresponding Instagram posts..

Rouge x

Urban Decay Dublin – My Top 5 Picks

If you’ve been following Rouge Writing Hood for any length of time, you will already know that Urban Decay is one of my all-time favourite make up brands. In fact, Urban Decay was actually the first high-end cosmetic brand that I made a purchase from – the original eye primer potion way back when I was 15. So, you can imagine my excitement when after all this time, Urban Decay decided to launch their first Irish “stand alone” store on Grafton Street, just minutes from where I work.

The new store opened on 22nd June 2017 and it’s everything that one would expect from Urban Decay. The design is edgy, fun and glamorous. And, most importantly, the store is home to ten make up stations and literally stocks every Urban Decay product on the market, as well as a few exclusives. It seems that lots of my followers are as excited about the opening as I am, with a few of you asking me to write a post about my favourite products from the brand. Now, this is one that I could talk about all day but to save us all a little time, I’ve narrowed it down to a “Top 5”.

 

Urban Decay “Vice Lipstick” (Shade – Naked):

Urban Decay Vice Naked Lipstick Review

I wrote a full length review on the “Vice” lipsticks back in 2016, and I still find myself reaching for the “Naked” shade on a daily basis. This shade is a handbag essential and I’ve actually repurchased it, which is majorly impressive because I NEVER use a lipstick in its entirety before moving on to another formula. “Naked” is a universally flattering shade, perfect for a natural look and the pigment isn’t too “nude” so it doesn’t make me look like the walking dead. The formula is also really moisturising so while the colour pay-off is excellent, it won’t dry out your lips.

 

Urban Decay “Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion”:

Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

Like I said, this product is the one that introduced me to the world of high-end make-up and it will always have a place in my heart. If you could only purchase one product in the new Urban Decay store, I would recommend picking this one. I’ve been using the formula since I was 15, and although I’ve strayed to try some other formulas, none have ever quite matched up – including the “Eden” and “Sin” versions from Urban Decay. The original formula applies smoothly and keeps eyeshadow in place, without creasing until you decide to take it off. Plus, a little goes a long way so at €21, this product is an absolute bargain.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Flushed” (Shade – Streak):

Urban Decay Naked Flushd Streak Review

“Naked Flushed” in the shade “Streak” is the perfect contour palette for pale girls. The shades are beautifully flattering on fair-toned skin and although the blush looks a bit bright and intimidating in the palette, a little pop of it adds instant life and radiance to the face. The powder is really finely milled so it blends very easily and this means that you won’t have any obvious “contour lines”. I would recommend investing in a fluffy, angled contour brush for precise application though. If you’re in a rush, you can swirl your blush through all three shades and just add it to your cheeks for a flush of colour.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Eyeshadow Palette”:

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review

I know that I’m stating the obvious here. The original “Naked” palette is a cult favourite and I’m sure that at this stage, every beauty fanatic on the planet owns one but I couldn’t do a “Top 5” without mentioning it. Again, this palette was one of my first make up purchases and I still love the shades and formula. The mattes, shimmers and sparkles work really well together and blend to perfection so if you haven’t tried this product yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Urban Decay “Optical Illusion Complexion Primer”:

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Review

This product is a new one to my collection. I actually only purchased it this week but I already know that I love it. Recently, I was finding it really difficult to make my make-up stay on my face for the entire day, while I was at work. I was finding that by the time I got home in the evening, my make up was patchy and my skin looked dehydrated. So, I popped into the store to see if they had a solution and the lovely Amy, a senior make-up artist, introduced me to this beauty. The primer is pore minimising and applies to the skin like silk. It has a slightly “balmy” texture but is absorbed quickly and helps to blur imperfections, so make-up applies more evenly. The primer creates a barrier between the skin and your foundation so the make-up won’t get absorbed throughout the day. So far, I can’t fault this product and it’s working brilliantly.

 

And there you have it, my “Top 5 Picks” from the new Urban Decay store on Grafton Street. I’ll list the opening hours for the store below and if you pop in, let us know what you think in the comment section or the corresponding Instagram posts.

 Opening Hours:
Sunday: 12 noon to 6pm
Monday: 10am to 7pm
Tuesday:10am to 7pm
Wednesday: 10am to 7pm
Thursday: 10am to 9pm
Friday: 10am to 8pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 7pm

 

Rouge x

Spring into Summer – At Home Pedicures

It’s officially sandal season! As I type this, Irish ladies are ditching their ankle boots and court shoes in favour of more breathable footwear options. We’ve had a spell of good weather lately and I think that we all have our fingers and toes crossed for the sunshine to stay awhile longer. With this in mind, I thought I would write a little post about keeping those toes in good condition, after hiding them in socks for the past few months.

As soon as the sun makes an appearance, salons everywhere are swarmed by those seeking last minute pedicure appointments. So, if your salon is fully booked or you just want to save yourself a small fortune, here’s my guide to a perfect “at home” pedicure.

 

Step 1: Remove Dead Skin.

 

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Bellamianta “Luxury Exfoliating Glove” (€9.95) – Available Here.

Rather than using a body scrub filled with micro-beads, I usually opt to exfoliate using some shower gel and this glove/mitt from Bellamianta. It’s a really gentle way to remove dead skin from the body and the feet and it’s brilliant for removing stubborn false tan streaks. The glove is also really cost effective. At only €10, you can treat it with care and you’ll have it for months!

 

Photo:Andrew Downes

Micro Pedi Nano (€29.95) – Available Here.

If your feet are particularly neglected, this is a great little gadget for removing dead skin. However, I would warn users to take it slowly when using the product – if you take off too much skin, your feet will be tender for days! When used gently, this electronic device removes all the rough skin to leave toes feeling silky soft. And, it’s small enough to pack into your hand luggage if you’re off on holidays.

 

Step 2: File.

 

Choose any nail file that you like and use it to shape your toenails. Always file in one direction to avoid damaging the nail.

 

Step 3: Paint.

 

 

Kiss “Diamond Hard Nail Strengthener” (€5.99) – Available Here.

I always apply a nail strengthener to my nails before polishing them, to keep them in good condition and to help avoid staining. This one from Kiss is great value and keeps nails from chipping or breaking.

CND “One Week Vinylux Polish” (€11.95) – Available Here.

This polish does exactly what it says on the packaging and if applied using the corresponding top coat, it won’t chip for at least 7 days. I have very weak nails and this is one of the very few polishes on the market that stays put on them for more than five minutes. There are cheaper options on the market but in my opinion, the “Vinylux” nail polish is worth an extra few euro – my favourite shade is “Cake Pop”.

Wet n Wild “1 Step Wonder Gel” (€2.99) – Available in Pharmacies Nationwide.

If the CND “Vinylux Polish” is out of your budget, then this option from Wet n Wild is almost as good. It doesn’t last an entire 7 days on my finger nails without chipping, but it lasts for ages on my toes. The polish is only €2.99 which is an absolute bargain and the shade range is great so next time you’re in Penneys or a pharmacy that stocks Wet N Wild, I suggest that you pick up a few!

 

Step 4: Moisturise and Apply Cuticle Oil

 

 

Ziaja “Foot Cream” (€3.99) – Available Here.
I haven’t written about the brand in ages but long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will know that I LOVE Ziaja body care products. Their body lotions and balms are so affordable and they achieve great results – as good as any luxury brand that I’ve tried. At only €3.99, their “Foot Cream” is one of my favourite products. I first tried this when I was away for the weekend in Warsaw (Ziaja is a Polish brand) and my feet were killing me after a weekend of stomping around nightclubs in high heels. The cream is instantly soothing and really helps to repair cracked, damaged skin. I now apply it every second night before I go to bed.

 

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CND “Solar Oil” (€4.95) – Available Here.

“Solar Oil” by CND is the only cuticle oil that I’ve tried and found effective. It’s formulated specifically to penetrate beneath shellac and gel polish so it really works to moisture the nails and keep them in healthy condition. The oil is filled with vitamin E which promotes nail growth and leaves nails stronger. This formula should be applied nightly before bed and a little goes a long way.

There you have it – fours steps to achieving silky soft feet from the comfort of your own home. If you can think of any products that you would recommend – let us know in the comment section..

Rouge x

 

 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Face Masks

Another week, another “Hit, Miss and Maybe” post. So far, we’ve had a look at micellar watercleansing lotions and wash and facial exfoliators. To date, the posts have been really successful and lots of you seem to enjoy reading about the products that I love and the ones that amount to a skincare disaster, in my opinion. Of course, you haven’t all been in agreement with my choices but that’s half the fun – I’m having a great time sifting through the comments and picking up some skincare tips along the way.

This week, we’re going to talk about face masks. A face mask isn’t really an essential step in one’s skincare routine but everyone deserves a little bit of luxury. I’m a big fan of these type of products and usually apply a face mask once a week or more often, if I’m going on a night out. Here are some of the products that I love and, of course, some of the ones that I hate..

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s “Masque Révélateur” (€24) – Available Here from PHYT’s Ireland:

 

PHYTs Masque Review

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that PHYT’s is one of my all-time favourite skincare brands. They produce organic, natural and cruelty-free products that contain active ingredients which means that although they’re gentle, the products REALLY work. This product is a radiance mask, which means that it’s designed to brighten dull, tired skin. And, I can confirm that the results are instantaneous.

If I have lots of time to get ready before I night out, I will apply this mask after cleansing my skin and allow it to work its magic for fifteen minutes while I curl my hair. The ingredients in the mask including camphor, mint and sunflower extract work together to soothe tired skin, smoothing the surface and brightening the area – this product is gentle enough that it can even be used underneath the eyes to diminish dark circles. I rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and a facecloth and my skin looks instantly plump and refreshed, as though I just had a good night’s sleep. After using this formula, foundation sits far better on my face and doesn’t cling to any dry skin. If you have an event coming up, I would 100% recommend taking an extra few minutes before applying make-up to use this product.

ESPA “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” (£31 – UK) – Available Here from ESPA:

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser

Alright, so technically this product is marketed as a cleanser but, it’s actually a multi-tasking formula. When it comes to removing make-up, I prefer to use the ESPA “Hydrating Milk Cleanser” which I wrote about here but I think that the “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” is the bees knees when used as a face mask. One of the main ingredients in this formula is actually bees wax so a little goes a long way. This mask is very luxurious and has a strong scent, reminiscent of a day spa. I tend to use this one before showering because it does contain some exfoliating beads and can be a little messy. To use this one, you simply massage it into the skin and allow it to work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing off. The brightening effects are instantaneous and because this formula also works as an exfoliator, skin feels super soft after use.

Image Skincare “Clear Cell Clarifying Masque” (€35) – Available in Salon Only:

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Image Skincare is a great brand for really strong and effective products, which is why they’re only available for purchase in salons where trained Image Skincare specialists can recommend specific products to suit your skin type and to help combat your individual skin concerns. This “Clear Cell Masque” is a brilliant option for anyone who suffers from problem skin. Now, 99% of the time, I have really clear skin but if I’m feeling under pressure and stressed, my skin tends to break out. On these occasions, I tend to apply this product to the specific problem areas and rinse off with cool water after about 15 mins. Because I don’t have oily skin, I don’t apply this product to my whole face but if you suffer from acne, I think this may be a great product for you. I find that the glycolic and salicylic acid in the formula really helps to draw impurities to the surface of he skin, while the green tea extracts in the product soothe sore, red skin.

Again though, Image products are professional products so I do recommend that you get the advice of your local Image specialist before purchasing this mask. For any Cavan girls, I recommend my local salon, Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

“Maybe” Products:

 

TonyMoly “I Am Real Aloe Mask Sheet” (€3):

 

TonyMoly Aloe Mask Sheet

I know that the world is going mad for these sheet masks at the minute and I can’t really argue with that €3 price tag but, I just wasn’t blown away by this product. I love sheet masks as much as the next person, but I have to question whether they’re really just a gimmick. This product is definitely soothing and cooling on the face but, I didn’t really see any noticeable results after use. My skin didn’t appear more plump or any healthier so this one only gets a “maybe” from me – it’s great for relaxation purposes but, don’t expect and drastic visual results. If you’re looking for a hydrating sheet mask, Image Skincare also have a gorgeous option that’s more expensive, but worth looking in to.

Dermalogica “Charcoal Rescue Masque” (€48):

Dermalogica Charcoal Face Masque

Alright, so last week I wrote about a Dermalogica cleanser that I love, so as you can imagine, I had high hopes for this product and at first, I loved it. The brand promise that this formula works to detoxify skin, eliminating impurities such as spots and blackheads. This is a claim that the product actually lives up to but after prolonged use over a few months, I found that this formula was a little drying on my skin and that’s why it’s on my “maybe” list. Plus, the charcoal makes it really, really messy. However, if you’ve got oily, acne-prone skin and enjoy a good exfoliating mask, this would probably suit your skin type.

“Miss” Products:

 

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks (€1.50):

 

 

All of the memories from your teenage years have just come flooding back to you, haven’t they? These face masks, a firm favourite at girly sleepovers in the 90s and 00s are available in pharmacies nationwide for the dirt cheap price of €1.50. But, there’s a reason that they cost less than a family sized bar of Galaxy chocolate. These products are fun to apply and often smell fab but the truth is that they just don’t do anything. In fact, my skin often felt greasy after using these products, which is never a good look. Honestly, I think that there’s a good reason that these masks only cost €1.50 and, you’d be better off buying that bar of chocolate if you want to treat yourself!

 

And there you have it, another selection of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products. If you have any opinions on the products listed or feel that you could add some different products into these categories, please do let us know in the comment section of this post or the corresponding Instagram picture..

Rouge x