Bellamianta “Crystal Clear Rapid Self Tanning Clear Mousse” – Review.

Time for a little bit of full disclosure. Before you read this blog post, please note that I am absolutely atrocious at applying false tan. The majority of the time, I just give it a miss and embrace the pale and, that’s ok too. I really wish that people wouldn’t feel insecure about their natural skin tone. However, it’s alright to want to mix it up every now and again and in this miserable winter weather, a little sun kissed glow can help to brighten a dull day.

Like I said, I’m really not talented when it comes to applying tan but recently, Bellamianta sent me a press package and promised me that their new formula was a game changer. And, in many ways, they were right.

 

 

First off, you prepare your skin for this formula as you would for any other tan. That means lots of body scrub and moisturiser for approx four days before application. If you don’t prep your skin properly, the tan won’t apply properly and really, whose fault is that?

So I scrubbed and moisturised for about a week before a big night out and, on the Thursday evening, decided to marinate. This Bellamianta formula is “crystal” clear so there’s no guide colour. Happy enough to take the risk, I applied a plentiful amount to my body using the Bellamianta tanning mitt. The product is soft and luxurious to apply. It spreads quickly and evenly and unfortunately, that’s how I lost the run of myself and after six minutes and two Beyoncé songs, I realised that I’d applied one third of the bottle to my body!

I didn’t panic though, there was no guide colour after all so I was sure I’d applied the product perfectly. Again, full disclosure – I’d had a few wines at the time. Of course, I took some ridiculous notion that I needn’t apply the formula to my face because I could just “match it up” with a foundation in the morning. Here’s a word of warning – ALWAYS apply the formula to your face because your foundation doesn’t want to work that hard. Anyway, off to sleep I went, perfectly content and delighted with my new found tanning ability.

I woke up the next morning and my limbs were a gorgeous olive shade. To my delight, the tan hadn’t transferred on to my crisp white sheets and that’s the main selling point of this formula. It really doesn’t transfer on to clothing or your bed sheets and for that reason, I would definitely repurchase.

Of course, I was instantly in awe of the gorgeous bronzed shade of my skin and went to admire myself in the mirror and that’s where a little bit of disaster struck – I really should have applied the formula to my face. Of course, that was my own fault and it isn’t a mistake I’ll make again.

Even after a shower, the tan was much darker than my natural skin tone and it took a make up artist’s collection to “match” me up so my gorgeous pal Aisling Hickey sorted me out with a make over. For reference, here’s a photo of my regular foundation shade vs the shade I wore to match the Bellamianta formula.

 

 

The neck/face conundrum wasn’t the only application issue I faced as I accidentally tanned the palms of my hands and clearly, that’s where the majority of the one third of the bottle went because nothing would remove it – not even my usual lemon juice trick.

However, application glitches aside, I absolutely loved the formula. It blended into the skin easily, dried quickly and gave an even colour pay off. The tan really is a gorgeous olive tone. My favourite thing about the formula is that it doesn’t transfer on to the bed sheets – even when you apply far too much! I’ve since re-applied the tan and recommend, as Bellamianta do, that you use the formula sparingly – especially around the hands, feet, knees and elbows.

 

All in all, this is definitely one of the better false tan formulas that I’ve tried and by gifting it to me, Bellamianta have taught me a few very valuable lessons:

1) Always apply your chosen tanning product to your face as well as your neck.

2) Don’t tan the palm of your hands.

3) It’s probably not a good idea to wine and tan!

I will be using this one again and again until I have to purchase another bottle and that really does say a lot –  rarely use the same tanning formula more than three times. It may be of interest to lots of you that the tan wore off evenly, with the help of body scrub and moisturiser.

The Bellamianta “Crystal Clear” formula is available in pharmacies nationwide and online from Cloud10 Beauty. Have you tried it yet? Are you as excited as I am about a formula that doesn’t transfer on to your sheets? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

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ELF Cosmetics’ “Prep and Hydrate Balm” – Review.

Alright, so a few of you have been asking me why I’m not publishing blog posts as often as I used to. I’m actually a little surprised that anyone noticed but the truth is that I’ve simply started a new job that demands my full attention and to be honest, the blogging community has become a little bit saturated with “samsie” beauty posts. We all get the same press drops and an awful lot of the time, it seems like we’re all writing the same or similar type of content.

That said, every so often, a product that I cannot stop raving about comes along and I just have to take a few hours to write about it. Yes, that means that I’ve found a new “Holy Grail” – so let’s talk about ELF’s “Prep and Hydrate Balm”. Sweet baby Jesus, this primer knocks all of the other primers that I’ve tried out of the park.

Basically, it’s a travel-friendly balm formula that you pop all over your cleansed face and blend with your fingertips before applying foundation. The balm is infused with Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Aloe so it’s instantly cooling on the skin. I think this one is perfect for dry, sensitive skin that’s irritated by the cold weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

So, why does this primer stand out from the others? Well, this is the first formula that keeps my foundation in place ALL day. I usually apply my make up at 6am and don’t take it off until about 9pm so as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of foundation generally wears off throughout the day or gets absorbed into my skin (gross). Not any more – the balm creates a real barrier between my skin and my foundation (Armani Luminous Silk) and now when I wash my face in the evening, I see much more product on the washcloth. The balm also creates an even base for the application of your foundation and works well to conceal dry skin.

The photo above was taken after approximately 5-6 hours of wear – no filter necessary. The lazy girl inside me is delighted that I no longer have to cart about a make up bag to top up my foundation when I decide to go to the pub after work.

The formula isn’t greasy to the touch but I do imagine it works better for dehydrated / normal skin than it does for oily skin but at less than €15, I’d recommend everyone to give it a go.

ELF Cosmetics products are available in pharmacies nationwide and in Penneys.

Now tell me, what affordable products do you deem deserving of “Holy Grail” status? Let us know in the comment section.

Rouge x

Combating Winter Weather – Lip Rescue Products

I absolutely hate the cold weather because let’s fact it – my skin is already in bits and it’s only the beginning of December! Every inch of me from my elbows to my cuticles is horrified by the sudden lack of moisture in the air. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to publish a “Winter Weather Rescue” series, focusing on some no frill products that actually work. However, this series has a twist – I can’t try every product on the market because, I don’t have that much skin. With that in mind, I will be asking my followers to make some recommendations too and basically, majority wins. I will be writing about the products that you love, the products that I love and the products that we both hate. Let the winter games begin!

First up, I want to talk about lip balms. If I could only wear one type of beauty product for the rest of my days, it would definitely be lipstick. A slick of lip colour is definitely the quickest fix for brightening your complexion and I have a collection that spans hundreds of different shades – yes, hundreds! So, when my lips are chapped, it tends to be an issue. Of course, I’ve search high and low for cures and after asking all of you to give me some recommendations, I’ve come up with the following list:

My Favourites:

 

Dr Paw Paw “Multipurpose Soothing Balm” (€7.95) – Available Here from Cloud10 Beauty:

Dr Paw Paw

I’m mad about this balm because it’s a multipurpose product and really can be used to solve a multitude of problems. It soothes and heals chapped lips but it also works as a hair conditioner, body moisturiser and works surprisingly well on sunburn. My only issue with this one is that it’s really difficult to squeeze out of the tube and that drives me bananas if I’m in a hurry but that’s something I can live with when the product genuinely works.

 

Kiehl’s “Mango Scented Lip Balm” (€11) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Kiehls Mango Lip Balm

When I first purchased this lip balm, it did cross my mind that I may have gone temporarily insane because I paid €11 for a 15ml tube but, I’ve since realised that you get what you pay for. I love the Mango scent so I tend to wear this one underneath matte lipsticks on an everyday basis to keep my lips healthy, rather than to repair already damaged lips.

 

Blistex “Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream” (€3.79) – Available Here from Boots:

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser.png

 

I’ve been using this lip balm since it was stored in my pencil case in Secondary School (not the same tube, obviously) so it has definitely stood the test of time. It’s not as glamorous as some of the other options in this post but it works every single time. I do dislike the fact that the formula applies in a white shade but the colour fades in seconds and you’re left with moisturised, soothed lips.

 

Follower Favourites:

 

La Roche Posay “Cicaplast” Balm (€6.50) – Available Here from Boots:

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When I asked for recommendations for lip balms on my Instastories, at least a dozen people mentioned this offering from La Roche Posay. One person who recommended it was Aisling Hickey of @ILoveBarrysTeaAndBrows whose make up tips I trust 100%. Of course, I also did a little background research on the internet and Google tells me that Aisling isn’t the only one raving about this balm. It’s designed to create a long-lasting barrier around your lips to prevent and repair extreme chapping. Supposedly, this one layers really well under lipstick and acts as a primer so I’m going to pick one up online, after I finish this post.

 

E.L.F. Cosmetics “Lip Scrub” (€6.45) – Available Here from Cara Pharmacy:

 

elf lip scrub review

 

Alright, I know that technically this one isn’t a lip balm but it’s still a rescue product. Lots of you were quick to point out that lip balms won’t be effective unless you exfoliate your lips every few days and the majority of those who were asked to recommend lip exfoliators, said that they loved this one from E.L.F. It may not be most fabulously presented product – I’m a bit concerned about the brown shade – but if it works, you couldn’t go wrong at that price point. Another one for my wish list.

 

Failed Rescue Missions:

 

Vaseline “Lip Therapy Original” (€2.69):

Vaseline Lip Therapy.png

 

I know that so many people are going to disagree with me on this one but I hate Vaseline. It’s pretty much just petroleum jelly in a cute tin and even though it feels as though it’s soothing my lips upon application, the effects are temporary and my lips always seemed to become more chapped than ever after this product fully absorbs.

 

EOS “Organic Sweet Mint Lip Balm” (€5.99):

EOS Lip Balm

As a general rule, I really try not to get sucked into purchasing products through celebrity advertising and promotion but years ago, when Nicole Scherzinger worked with EOS, I couldn’t resist. This product sounds great – it’s certified as organic with all natural ingredients but, I just didn’t find it to be effective at soothing and moisturising lips. The packaging is cute and I enjoyed the minty scent but I wouldn’t repurchase.

 

And there you have it – all the hit, miss and follower favourite products that made the list of lip balms. Now tell me, what do you think of this format? Do you enjoy some follower input? Let me know in the comment section!

Rouge x

Armani “Lip Magnet” – Review

If you’ve watched my Instastories lately, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Armani beauty products. They’re one of my favourite make up brands, simply because their products are fuss-free and easy to use. With this in mind, when I’m buying new products, the Armani counter is usually my first stop and a few weeks ago, I went on a little bit of a shopping spree. I picked up some of my usual favourites, including the Armani “Luminous Silk Foundation” which I reviewed here but I also picked up a newbie.

 

Armani Lip Magnet No 508.jpg

 

Let me introduce you to the newest member of my lipstick family; Armani’s “Lip Magnet” in the Shade “No. 508”. Now, I fell in lust with the “Lip Magnet” formula last winter, when the first batch of shades were released and wore “No.602”, a stunning deep plum shade, religiously over the Christmas season. So, when the sales assistant at the Armani counter in Brown Thomas informed me that Armani released new shades of the “Lip Magnet” formula for Christmas 2017, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. However, I didn’t expect anything nearly as gorgeous as the shade “No.508” – I think I’ve finally found my “perfect” nude shade.

The “Lip Magnet” is a really high-end, matte lipstick. It glides onto the lips and if you apply a very thin layer, it feels weightless on the lips. I know that some people are concerned about wearing matte make up products during the cold weather months but they’re ideal for nights out and you’ll see plenty of those over the festive season. The “Lip Magnet” stays put ALL night, not just for a few hours and it’s neither drying nor moisturising. It does fade but it doesn’t crack or bleed like lots of other matte formulas and for this reason, I’m content to pay the hefty price of €33.

Did I mention that the “No.508” shade is perfection? As a pale skinned ghost girl, I really struggle to find nude lipstick shades that don’t create the illusion that I’m a cast member of The Walking Dead. For that reason, I steer clear of light nudes and opt for rose shades instead. However, this shade is a beautiful light pink shade that’s actually pretty close (but nicer) to my natural lip shade.

 

To summarise, the “Lip Magnet” is my new go-to party lipstick and even though I am a fan of the classic Christmas reds, I think I’ll be opting to wear “No.508” at every opportunity over the next few weeks! If you’re at an Armani counter over the next few weeks, have a swatch and you won’t regret it!

 

What do you think of the shade? And, have you tried the “Lip Magnet” formula before? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

Black Friday – My Top 5 Picks

As some of you will already know, I’ve been sharing Black Friday discount codes over on my Instagram all week. In fact, at this stage, it’s probably a bit of a discount code overload. It’s all well and good having a big list of discounts, but stock levels are likely to plummet as quickly as your bank balance so it’s important to have a list of items that you want to pick up, while they’re on offer. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my own list. I’ve limited myself to five purchases (it was very difficult to narrow it down) and my wishlist reads a little something like this:

POCO by Pippa “The Off Duty” (Reduced from €90 to €70):

 

POCO by Pippa

 

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair of POCO by Pippa jeans for months now and Black Friday is the perfect opportunity. Pippa has just announced that there will be €20 off selected styles from 12pm tonight. I’ll be picking up a pair of the Off Duty style and they’re available here.

 

Instyler “Cerasilk Styling Iron” (Reduced from €119.99 to €89.99):

 

Instyler Cerasilk

 

I actually broke my GHD styler a few weeks ago and rather than purchasing another one, I’ve decided to buy an Instyler “Cerasilk” instead. Instyler are an Irish brand and their heated hair tools are designed to straighten and curl hair so this tool is multi-purpose. The “Cerasilk” is designed to keep hair as healthy as possible, by limiting any heat damage caused by the product. I’m delighted about this because I’m trying to keep my hair and need to avoid adding to my split ends! The “Cerasilk” is available here with a 25% discount.

 

“Sculpted by Aimee Connolly” Palette (Reduced from €24.95 to €19.95):

 

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly

 

Aimee Connolly is one of my favourite Irish Make Up Artists. You need only watch Pippa O’Connor’s Snapchats for a few days to get a sneak peak of her in action and the results are always flawless. This leads me to believe that Aimee’s first product release, the “Sculpted” palette is a must have and therefore, I must have it. I struggle with contour more than any other make up technique so I’m looking forward to giving this a whirl. I think that this would be a great Christmas pressie for ladies of all ages. Cloud10 Beauty are offering 20% off the palette using the code BLACK20.

 

Blank Canvas “6 Piece Travel Set” (Reduced from €40 to €26):

Blank Canvas

 

For the past few years, I’ve used Black Friday as an excuse to stockpile make up brushes but this year, I’m going to be sensible and take it easy on my bank balance. With that said, I’m starting a new job in a few weeks so I think that a new set of travel brushes can be considered an essential purchase. Blank Canvas never let me down when it comes to the quality of their brushes so I will be picking up one of these travel sets for my handbag and two F20 brushes because they’re my absolute favourite brushes for creating the perfect base. Blank Canvas are offering a huge 35% off from 7pm this evening and this set is available from their website here.

 

Clarins “Eau Ressourcante” Gift Set (Reduced from €42 to €35.70):

Clarins Gift Set.png

 

Clarins have some AMAZING Christmas offerings this year and as always, their gift sets are great value. I’ve been meaning to purchase the “Eau Ressourcante” fragrance for some time now, after spritzing it at the Clarins’ counter in my local Debenhams a few months ago. The scent is marketed as a calming, soothing fragrance and contains notes of Basil, Iris and Cedarwood. It’s a gorgeous, earthy fragrance that reminds me of a day at the spa. Basically, when you buy this gift set at the reduced price (15% off), you’re getting the full sized body cream and a travel size body scrub for free. You can pick up this bargain here, from Debenhams.

 

That’s it – the height of my Black Friday spending. I’m going to do my best to stick with this list but I will let you know if I make any impulse purchases over the course of the day via Instagram Stories (UN: Rougewritinghood).

In the meantime, tell us what’s on your wishlist in the comment section!

Rouge x

TheBalm “Foiled Again” Eyeshadow Palette Review

It takes a lot to get me excited about new beauty releases these days. I work full-time and by the time I get home in the evening, after battling rush hour traffic in Dublin, I’m just too wrecked to start playing with make-up and testing new products. However all is not lost and every now and then, something comes along that makes me squeal with delight. The new “Foiled Again” palette from theBalm was one of those products.

 

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The “Foiled Again” palette is made up of twelve eyeshadows – four matte shades and eight foiled shades. The shadows can be used dry or dampened with some setting spray (I use the Urban Decay “All Nighter” formula) to create a more intense look. The formulas glide onto the skin effortlessly and the matte and shimmer shades blend together beautifully – which is surprisingly unusual.

 

 

Now, you’ll have to excuse my dodgy swatching skills but just look at those shades! My favourite thing about the “Foiled Again” palette is that it’s a universal product that will suit every skin tone and even though lots of people will question the inclusion of four matte shades, I think that they work really well to complete the palette. This palette would be perfect for both beginners and make up geeks so it’s a great one to purchase for Christmas.

 

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As you can probably guess from the picture above, the golds in this palette are my favourite but I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the fiery red shade, “Guilty” over the festive season. I recommend pairing the shimmery looks created using this palette with a bold feline flick – theBalm’s “Schwing” liner is actually the perfect product for creating this look?

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Debenhams on Henry Street and get swatching!!

Rouge x

Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara” Review

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Yumi Lash Enhancement Treatment and I got lots of questions about what mascaras I recommend to pair with the treatment. Honestly, everyone has different preferences when it comes to mascara, but I thought now would be a good time to write a post about the product that I have been wearing every day for over six weeks – the new Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara”.

Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara Review

 

Lots of you have already tried Urban Decay’s cult favourite “Perversion Mascara”, which is actually the one that Kim Kardashian wore on her wedding day (yes, I do enjoy sharing that piece of trivia) and those of you who have tried it, will know that the formula is unlike anything else on the market. That includes the “Troublemaker Mascara”. The duo are completely different. “Perversion” is a blacker than black formula that gives the lashes a glossy effect while “Troublemaker” provides a matte finish and a more subtle shade of black.

The “Troublemaker Mascara” has become my new holy grail for lots of reasons. When I’m trying a new mascara, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does the formula add length and volume?
  2. Does the formula smudge?
  3. Does the formula last well without flaking or fading throughout the day/night?

Firstly, the “Troublemaker” formula adds lots of length and I would go as far as to say that it’s the best lengthening mascara that I’ve tried during my beauty blogging years. It doesn’t add as much volume to the lashes as the “Perversion” formula does but I’m not bothered by that because the end result is really long, defined lashes without a clump in sight.

“Troublemaker” is practically smudge-proof but it does take awhile to get used to the silicone wand. It’s perfectly designed to reach corner lashes but it does take a little practice to achieve perfection. My best advice here is to apply light layers and build the product up, particularly on the lower lashes. Give the formula a chance to dry before blinking (it’s fast drying so that’s not a huge task) and you’re good for the day. Once the mascara dries, it won’t run or smudge. Urban Decay are marketing the product as sex-proof – I’ll let you be your own judge of that one. This means that the product stays put all day but it’s not waterproof like “Perversion”, it’s water resistant.

My pet peeve in the beauty industry is mascaras that flake after a few hours of wear. In this day and age, I can’t understand how brands are still producing mascaras that run down your face during the day/night, leaving you looking like a panda. This is particularly frustrating if you’re in the office and don’t have a chance to check your reflection until 5.30pm, when you’re walking out the door. Basically, women need beauty products that they can rely on without having to top up or feeling the need to “fix their face” throughout the day. And, this is why I love “Troublemaker”. I’ve worn it every single day for weeks, in different weather conditions and it hasn’t let me down once. I’m not worried about walking into a meeting looking like Alice Cooper and this is really all that I need in a mascara. On another note, I have slept in my make up more than once in recent weeks (yes, I know it’s gross) and I’ve woken up with perfect eye make up on each occasion. And, I really do mean perfect – no smudging, no flaking.. However, my foundation and lipstick didn’t seem to get the memo.

Now, I think that’s enough blathering for one evening. Besides, we all know that the real truth likes in a classic “before and after” photo. Ask and you shall receive:

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There’s no filter on either photo and my lashes are natural in both but I would say that I have very fair eyelashes so that accounts for a lot of the difference in the two pictures. Obviously, the “Troublemaker Mascara” isn’t a miracle worker but it’s pretty damn close, as far as I’m concerned! And for those wondering – the false tan is Vita Liberata and although the shade is gorgeous, I don’t rate it as well as the BPerfect tan that I’ve been trialling lately – but that’s another day’s blog post.

All in all, I love the “Troublemaker” formula and I will be repurchasing it when mine runs out. The only minor issue that I do have is that it’s a bit difficult to remove – not as difficult as some of the impossible formulas I’ve tried (*cough Benefit’s “They’re Real” *cough) but it definitely does require some work. I’m currently using a Nivea eye make up remover to take the formula off and it works well but if you’re hoping to remove the mascara with regular cleansing cream, you’re out of luck. This is an issue with the majority of high-end mascaras though and if you’re looking for a formula that doesn’t budge, it’s just the flip-side that you have to deal with.

 

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If you’ve already tried the mascara for yourself, let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

Rouge x