Éminence “Bright Skin Starter Set” – Review

If you have been following Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you will know that over the past few weeks, I have been studying for exams. This, of course, means that I’ve barely slept in a month and after I finished my final exam last week, I looked exactly how that sounds – terrible!

Post-exam I took a trip to Amsterdam which I knew would involve lots of photographs. So my goal was to repair my dull, tired and dehydrated skin as quickly as possible. Otherwise, my make up wouldn’t have settled on my face properly and those photos that my friends snapped would have induced frantic clicking of the “remove tag” option on Facebook. So, I dug out my travel-friendly “Bright Skin Starter Set” by Éminence, packed it in my hand luggage and prayed for a miracle.

Eminence Bright SKin Starter Set

The kit includes everything that your skin would require on a weekend away: a decent sized cleanser, moisturiser (with SPF 30), a booster-serum and a brightening skin masque. Now, the set is marketed as a “month’s supply” of the products but if I’m honest, I don’t think you would get quite that long out of the products other than the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. If you cleanse and moisturise twice daily, you won’t get any more out of the cleanser and moisturiser than a 2-3 week supply. So, if you’re looking for a long-term supply of product, this kit isn’t for you. However, if you’re jetting off on holidays or simply want to trial the Éminence products without committing to the full price, this kit is perfection.

While talking about these products, I have to mention that Éminence is an “organic brand” which means that their products contain a minimum of 70% and up to 95% organic ingredients. The don’t use “filler” ingredients such as parabens, which are often found in cheaper skincare formulas and all of their products are cruelty free – I know that this is important to lots of Rouge Writing Hood’s followers. It’s also important to note that Éminence are a spa brand and I recommend that before purchasing their products, you visit a stockist and have your products prescribed by a professional skin therapist. I got my products from Anne McDevitt Beauty  in Dublin.

So let’s talk about the products in this specific kit. Generally, I don’t suffer from breakouts or acne so I would classify my skin as clear. However, when I’m studying or stressed, my skin rebels – it breaks out and becomes blotchy, dehydrated and dull. I used these products on occasion before my holidays and knew that they’d combat these issues. The cleanser and moisturiser in the kit feel lovely on the skin. I’ve been double cleansing with the cleansing cream which leaves the skin spotless but doesn’t strip it of moisture. And, the moisturiser isn’t too heavy or sticky and boasts a high SPF30 so that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

However, the standout products in this kit are definitely the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. I would repurchase the full-sized version of these babies in a heart beat. The “Licorice Root Booster Serum” is a skin brightening serum that feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly. It’s filled with ingredients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and licorice root extract that rejuvenate dull, tired skin. This is one of the few serums that I would feel comfortable using in the morning, without feel like there’s an oil-slick on my face.

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The “Bright Skin Masque” was my favourite product in the starter kit. I used it every morning on my weekend away, to combat the appearance of my hangover which was written all over my skin. To use this product, you add a few drops of water to a pea sized amount of the formula and massage it evenly on to your face. Then, you wait for the product to dry (15 mins) and rinse off with warm water. This product is absolute bliss and a little goes a long way so I definitely think the full-size product would be worth the €58 price tag. I wouldn’t necessary recommend using this product daily, as I did on my holidays (I was having a skin emergency) but I would use it once a week. After application, I notice reduced redness, puffiness and my complexion appears calmer and brighter.

Over all, I loved these products and I will be looking further into the Éminence brand. I will be repurchasing the masque and serum (as soon as payday rolls by) but once again, because the Éminence products are quite pricey, I recommend booking in for a skin consultation at Anne McDevitt Beauty before you commit to purchasing the full-sized products. However, if you can’t make it to Dublin, the salon sell a number of “starter kits” online and you can check them out by clicking here.

Have you tried products from the brand before? Let me know what you’ve loved in the comment section as I’m looking to expand my collection!

Rouge x

Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” – Agatha Christie.

 

 

With Mothers’ Day just around the corner, I hope you’ve been saving your pennies! For most of us, our Mums are the only people in our lives that we can depend on, no matter what. But often, we take their help and guidance for granted. So, show Mum a little appreciation on March 26th, whether you cook dinner for her or buy her a gorgeous gift. For those of us who appreciate the materialistic element of giving; here’s a little list of ideas.

 

 

Acorelle “Lotus Dream” Eau De ParfumAvailable Here:

 

V Claire Acorelle Perfume

“Acorelle” is a fragrance brand that originates in France and sells 100% natural and certified organic fragrances. Now, I would be the first to admit that I have no intention of giving up my Tom Ford “Black Orchid” scent but, when it was brought to my attention just how many chemical nasties are in the formula of some of my beloved high-end perfumes, it made me think twice about wearing them on a daily basis. “Lotus Dream” is a really fresh, relaxing fragrance that has now become my daytime “go-to” perfume and, I think it’s one that Mums will love. The perfume has notes of lavender, cumin and litsea which create a calming scent which is reminiscent of an Atlantic Ocean breeze.

Sharleen Collins Make Up Academy “Personal Make Up Lesson” – Information Here:

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This is what my own Mum will be receiving for Mothers’ Day. For €100, you can book your Mum in for a personal make up lesson in the newly launched Sharleen Collins Make Up Academy. The website describes the lesson as the following: “This is a one on one lesson with an artist where you bring your own make up bag and brushes.  Make Up Lesson is done in stages depending on your ability with step by step demonstration.  You will work with your own make up artist to create your desired look using your make up with recommended products. A face chart with the product recommendations will be filled out for you and to take away on the day“.

My Mum will love this gift because she has so much make up, and not a clue how to use the majority of it. Plus, I really like the fact that you bring your own make up to the Academy, so you won’t have to purchase many new products to work with.

The Westin “Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea” – Information Here:

Westin Afternoon Tea

Image via Pinterest

 

I’m a self-confessed afternoon tea addict. It’s one of the nicest ways imaginable to pass a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and I guarantee that your Mum will love it! I’ve tried almost every luxury hotel in Dublin and to date, the nicest tea that I have found has been at the Westin. The “Most Peculiar” afternoon tea is a feast of different flavours and rather than being served with the traditional tea/coffee, it’s served with a gorgeous “Victorian Mojito”, made with Hendrick’s gin. However, if your Mum would prefer the more traditional version of afternoon tea, the Westin have that on offer too – and you can add a glass of champagne for an extra treat.

 

 

An Image Skincare Facial – Information Here:

 

Image Skincare

After a consultation with Jennifer Rock (aka the Skin Nerd), I have become a big fan of Image Skincare and LOVE their “Prevention+” range. A facial is always a good idea and giving your Mum a voucher for one is a great way to pamper her for Mothers’ Day. If you’re one of Rouge Writing Hood’s Cavan based followers, I recommend checking out a new salon in Bailieborough, Essential Beauty Skin and Laser. This gorgeous new salon are offering Image facials at an introductory price of just €60 for the month of March and that’s an absolute bargain when compared to the usual price of €80-€90 in Dublin based salons.

Yves Saint Laurent “Tint-In-Balm” Lipstick – Available Here:

YSL Tint-In-Balm

Take my word for it, this is the perfect lipstick for Mums who are always on the go. It’s subtle but pigmented and most importantly, it’s so comfortable to wear. Shade “No1 Dream Me Nude” is a gorgeous, universal shade that should suit all skin types. The “Tint-In-Balm” is a mango scented must have and after only a few days of use, it has become my “go to” lipstick for daytime wear. I will be keeping the matte lippies for nightwear from now on.

Clarins “Face Contouring Palette and Brush” – Available Here:

Clarins Sculpting Palette

I’m including this particular product because a few weeks ago, when I was kindly gifted this gorgeous palette, my own Mammy was very quick to lay claim to it. It’s still in my own make up drawer but I doubt it will stay there for too much longer. The shades in this palette are quite neutral and are suitable for those who don’t want an obvious “contour” look. The brush that is included with this palette is the perfect sized for traveling and it’s also really functional and allows the user to apply the powders with ease. I will have a full review of this contour palette up ASAP, but for now, I can assure you that it’s worth every cent of the €45 price point.

Bellamianta “Luxury Scented Candle” – Available Here:

Bellamianta Candle

If you’re working with a low budget but still want to spoil your Mum, this candle from Bellamianta is a great option. The scent of essential oils and bergamot create a really relaxing atmosphere, that will allow your Mum to chill out and undertake some at home pampering. Pair this with a great book and it’s absolute bliss..

Rouge x

IsaDora “Cover Up” Foundation – Review

I try to steer clear of full-coverage foundations, unless I’m getting ready for a big night out. More often than not, such products create a “mask effect” on the skin and although I know that lots of girls with problem skin rely on full-coverage foundations for a confidence boost, heavy products often irritate acne and wearing these products tends to worsen the problem in the long term.

So, when the IsaDora “Cover Up” foundation landed on my desk at work, I was pretty sure that it would be relegated to my “night time” make up collection. This formula is marketed as both a foundation and concealer and if I’m honest, that put me right off. So much so, that it actually stopped me even trying the foundation for a few weeks – I put it into my make up drawer and totally forgot about it. And, what an eejit I was!

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This foundation is a surprisingly creamy formula that wears like a second skin. Yes, the formula is definitely full coverage but, it doesn’t feel like it. After application, I just forget that I’m wearing it at all.

We can’t talk about this product without talking about the packaging. Say goodbye to clunky, heavy glass bottles and hello to this gorgeous, sleek and lightweight tube packaging. The black tube is “squeezy” which means that you won’t have any waste and therefore, get more bang for your buck. And, it’s really handbag friendly so this is definitely one that you can carry around with you when you’re on the go.

My Snapchat (UN: rougewriting) followers will already know that this foundation is very long-lasting. Before application, I always use a moisturising, illuminating primer and then buff the product on to the skin using my F20 Blank Canvas foundation brush. I’ve found that this is the best application method if you want your skin to look natural but if you want heavy coverage, I would recommend applying the product using a beauty blender. I wore this product to work for five days last week and on each day, the foundation lasted from 7am until bedtime, with just a little visible wear around the nose area. That’s great going! I also found that I didn’t need to top the formula up with powder throughout the day but I don’t have particularly oily skin so this isn’t unusual for me.

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The foundation is pictured above, directly after application. As you can see, my exhausted and dehydrated skin (I had just sat an exam that morning) has been blurred and concealed by the “Cover Up” foundation. I would say that I did need some extra under eye concealer along with the foundation to cover up my dark circles, so if you suffer with a dark under eye area, I don’t think this foundation will magically mask that for you. Pictured below, is the foundation after approx 5 – 6 hours wear at an event, in bright lighting. As you can see, the product wears very well and my blusher and highlighting powders clung to the formula, ensuring their longevity too.

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All in all, this foundation is getting a 5-star rating from me. I’ve been wearing it on a frequent basis and it hasn’t caused any blocked pores or skin problems. So, I think that “Cover Up” is a great option for anyone who has confidence issues when it comes to their skin. I would recommend that anyone with problem skin trade in their heavy duty MAC foundation for this IsaDora formula ASAP. And, if you need anymore persuading, just think of your pocket. This product retails around the €20 so it’s considerably cheaper than high end alternatives and although I won’t be giving up my beloved Armani “Luminous Silk”, I will be wearing this one just as often.

IsaDora is available in pharmacies nationwide.

Rouge x

Valentine’s Day Fragrances, for Her

“All you need is love but, a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a little post detailing my top picks for Valentine’s Day gifts, for her. The post was really well received and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a lot of lucky ladies delighted with their Too Faced “Sweet Peach Palette” tomorrow morning but, I’ve had lots of last minute requests for another post – one based on perfume and how to choose the perfect scent. So, I’ve had a look through my own collection and studied some new releases and now, I’ve come up with a list of fragrances that would make great gifts. We’re going to divide these perfumes into categories of: sweet, seductive and floral scents. So, there’s something to suit everyone here.

Sweet Fragrances:

Viktor & Rolf “Bonbon” : €66 – €125 (Available Here).

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“Bonbon” is a sweeter, more fruity version of Viktor & Rolf’s cult favourite “Flowerbomb”. This fragrance has obvious notes of caramel which make it softer than its sibling scent and perhaps a better option for those who prefer light perfumes, rather than strong scents.

Marc Jacobs “Daisy Kiss” : €69 (Available Here).

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“Daisy Kiss” is a new release from Marc Jacobs, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The original “Daisy” fragrance was actually my first high-end perfume purchase so this collection will always have a special place in my heart. “Daisy Kiss” is one of three scents in the new collection and this one is definitely the sweetest scent. It has some very fruity top notes of Valentine pomelo and apricot nectar with some soft, musky base notes and a hint of cedarwood. “Daisy Kiss” a really fresh fragrance and would be perfect for everyday wear.

Mugler “Angel Muse”: €54 – €76.80 (Available Here).

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I was gifted this perfume shortly before Christmas and it is gorgeous. It’s definitely a perfume for chocolate lovers as it contains some sweet notes of cocoa and hazelnut. If the lady in your life loves a sweet perfume that lasts all day, this one is a great option.

Floral Fragrances:

 

 

Viktor & Rolf “Flowerbomb Extreme”: €103 (Available Here).

viktor-and-rolf-flowerbomb-extreme

This fragrance from Viktor & Rolf is a really strong floral option for those who love a bold scent that lasts all day. Also, the packaging is gorgeous and will be a welcome addition to any lady’s dressing table. “Extreme Flowerbomb” has notes of Arabian jasmine and vanilla which make it a strong, floral and intoxicating fragrance.

Jo Malone “Red Roses Cologne”: €54 (Available Here).

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The “Red Roses Cologne” from Jo Malone is probably the ultimate Valentine’s Day fragrance. It literally smells like a bouquet of freshly cut roses with notes of lemon for a citrus finish.

Seductive Fragrances:

 

 

Hugo Boss “The Scent For Her”: €59 – €115 (Available Here).

hugo-boss 

Now, this is a fragrance that I don’t have in my own personal collection but when the lovely Fiona from Perfumenotes.ie recommended “The Scent For Her” to me, I made it my business to pop into my local Debenhams for a sniff. And, it’s GORGEOUS! This scent is powerful, yet very feminine with top notes of honeyed peach, freesia and base notes of cocoa. This is a seductive, heady fragrance that I think would be gorgeous for night time. Want. Need. Must have. I cannot wait for pay day!

Tom Ford “Velvet Orchid”: €68 – €133 (Available Here).

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“Velvet Orchid” is my favourite fragrance of all time. I have repurchased this one at least three times and I still LOVE it! It’s definitely a really strong fragrance, and lingers on the skin all day so this isn’t a pick for those who prefer light, fresh perfumes. However, the notes of citrus, honey and rum in this fragrance make it a really luxurious and seductive scent.

Armani “Si Intense”: €95 – €125 (Available Here).

armani-si-intense

Armani “Si” is a well known cult favourite perfume, worldwide. It’s loved by ladies of all ages. “Si Intense” is a sibling scent of the original and with notes of Sicilian bergamot, mandarin oil and blackcurrant liqueur; it’s more intense, sultry scent. I’ve had this one in my collection for years and I’ve never tired of it. Its a gorgeous, softly seductive perfume.

And there you have it – a complete guide to Valentine’s Day fragrances. Now all you have to do is decide which category the lady in your life falls in to!

Rouge x

Armani “Luminous Silk Foundation” – Review

Foundation is something that I get asked about on a daily basis – whether a follower of Rouge Writing Hood contacts me on Snapchat (UN: Rougewriting) or a friend asks me to recommend a formula to suit their skin type. Everyone is after the secret to flawless looking skin and often, it seems like this particular secret is the best kept one in the make up industry. I think we can all agree that the “barely there”, natural look is the most difficult make up look to achieve.

99% of the time, when someone asks me to recommend a foundation, the first one that springs to mind is my all-time favourite, Armani’s “Luminous Silk Foundation”. I wear this foundation every single day (shade no. 2), whether I’m going to work or I’m dressing up for a night out. However, it dawned on me today that I have never written a review post on the product and I think that it certainly deserves the attention!

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“Luminous Silk” is an oil-free, very lightweight foundation that offers buildable coverage. It probably won’t be an option for those who like a very full-coverage look, but if it’s a natural look that you’re after – you won’t need any other foundation in your make up kit.The texture of this foundation is very smooth, so you won’t feel it on your skin after application and it’s very easy to blend. In my experience, the best tool for application is a flat-head buffing brush.

The formula is oil-free but is is still really hydrating, so your skin will look radiant throughout the day. I like my foundation to appear quite dewy, so I rarely feel the need to apply powder but if you prefer a matte finish, you’d need some finishing powder or blotting paper in your handbag. It’s also worth noting that there’s no SPF in this foundation so it’s perfect for photographs – although you’ll want to layer an SPF underneath for everyday use.

The sturdy glass bottle has a pump applicator, so very little product goes to waste. Although, I would say that I seem to go through this foundation quite quickly. I usually buy a new bottle every 10-12 weeks but, as I said, I use it daily. This is one that you could easily throw into your handbag without worrying about spillages. The sleek design also looks fabulous on the dressing table.

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The above (filter-less) picture shows the foundation, freshly-applied and without concealer. So, as you can see, the coverage is pretty good. “Luminous Silk” lasts really well after application, especially if you layer it over a good primer. I never feel the need to top up throughout the day/night.

Armani “Luminous Silk” is available here from Brown Thomas but I would recommend popping in store, if possible, to get shade matched by the professionals. The price point is a little bit of a sting at €46.50 but, you certainly get what you pay for.

What do you think? Have you tried this product before? And, if not, would you be willing to shell out €46 of your hard-earned cash? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

TheBalm “Highlite and Con Tour” Palette – Review

Over the years, I have mastered almost every make up technique introduced by the beauty industry but contouring is one that always seems to slip through my fingers. I struggle to find the correct shades to match my pale skin tone and more often than not, the process becomes a time-consuming disaster. But, not anymore. Recently, I got my hands on theBalm’s “Highlite ‘N’ Con Tour” palette and now, the whole contouring process is a breeze.

highlite-n-con-tour-thebalm-review

This gorgeous new palette contains two shimmer highlighters, two matte highlighters, three matte bronzers and a gorgeous blush. The “Highlite ‘N’ Con Tour” palette also comes with a really handy “how to” guide that actually comes in surprisingly useful and seems applicable to all face shapes.

A few of my followers have voiced their concerns that the bronze shades in this palette look rather dark but, I’ve tried each of them and they blend beautifully into the skin without any major effort. A little does go a long way with both the blush and the bronzers but, if they suit my ghostly skin tone, I doubt any other pale ladies will have a problem with them.

The highlighters in this palette are beautiful and again, blend really well. I love the addition of the matte highlighters because it means I can highlight my forehead, without looking like I’ve got some serious shine. To use the shimmer highlighters before a night out; I spray my brush with a little setting spray and then apply the product for a more intense effect.

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The picture above (with no filter) demonstrates how the “Highlite and Con Tour” palette can be used to create some facial definition that looks natural, rather than over done. The powder formulas give a far more natural effect than cream contouring products and I found them much easier to use. This palette definitely has my full approval!

TheBalm’s “Highlite and Con Tour” palette retails at €36 in stockists nationwide. What do you think? Are you dying to try it, or do you already have a “go-to” contour kit? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

 

 

Valentines Day Gifts – For Her

 
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Just when you thought the gift buying was over after Christmas, Valentines Day rears its ugly head. Back to the diet of baked beans and “cuppa soup” for another month then… Here’s a little gift inspiration for those who are struggling for some fresh ideas. There are winning presents to suit every budget!

 

 

 

Too Faced “Sweet Peach” Eye Shadow Palette – Available Here

too-faced-sweet-peach-palette

I dare you to find a girl on the planet who is not currently lusting after this gorgeous palette from Too Faced. The last time it was released, it was a worldwide sell out and we have been waiting MONTHS for a restock. Of course, it’s going to sell out at the speed of light so I recommend whipping your credit card out and purchasing it online from Debenhams before it’s gone.

Juvi “Shooting Star” Necklace – Available Here:

juvi-necklace

This dainty necklace from Juvi Designs is stunning. My combination of choice would be the green onyx gemstone set in gold vermeil. The design is timeless and so elegant. This is a gift that a girl could happily hold on to forever. And, I saved the best part for last – the necklace is a bargain at €59, even though it looks far more expensive than that!

Mugler “Angel Muse” – Available Here:

 

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I was gifted this perfume shortly before Christmas and it is gorgeous. It’s definitely a sensual perfume but it also contains some sweet notes of cocoa and hazelnut so I think that it would appeal to a variety of women, dependent on their personal taste. If the lady in your life loves a perfume that lasts all day, this one is a great option.

TheBalm “Highlite N Con Tour” – Available Here:

highlite-n-con-tour-thebalm-review

This fabulous face palette is a brand new release from theBalm which means that you can almost be guaranteed that the lady in your life doesn’t have it yet. It will suit all skin tones, so there’s no need to worry about shade matching. I absolutely adore this product and will be releasing a full review soon. And, if you’re looking for a bargain, you should check out my post on theBalm’s Christmas Collection because those gorgeous goodies are on sale now!

Yves Saint Laurent “Couture Palette Collection” – Available Here:

ysl-spring-2017-eyeshadow

This newly released palette from YSL is just gorgeous. The shades provide a little pop of colour, so this one would be best suited to those who are adventurous with their make up. I think the peachy/pink shades are fabulous for spring and, because the palette is specifically designed to create a contoured eye,  this is the only palette the lady in your life will need. Now, I said need – not want! This product is compact and perfect for those who love to travel.

Juvi “Initials” Collection- Available Here:

juvi-initials-necklace

Yes, I think that we can officially establish that I am obsessed with Juvi. I love the brand, their ethos and the very reasonable price point of their designs. Their new “Initials” collection includes a number of pieces that would make perfect Valentine’s gifts. You can read all about the collection in a previous blog post which you can find here.

Carvela “Alice Ombré Courts” – Available Here:

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Want. Need. Must have. These Louboutin-esque shoes from Carvela are DIVINE. They’re also a fraction of the price of the famous “red sole” version. That’s really all that needs to be said.

Rouge x