ESPA “Overnight Hydration Therapy” Face Mask.

“Motivate. Hydrate. Feel great”.

The one question that readers of Rouge Writing Hood ask me time and time again, via Snapchat (username: rougewriting), is how I keep my skin in good shape. The fact is that I’m genetically blessed with both an extreme lack of co-ordination and relatively clear skin. However, it isn’t naturally flawless. An insufficient amount of sleep and an overly sufficient amount of cocktails can leave my skin dull, irritated and hideously dehydrated. The solution to this self-inflicted problem? Why, “Mask Monday”, of course. Every single Monday, I take 15 minutes out to double cleanse, tone, exfoliate and apply a radiance boosting face mask.

If you’re a regular reader of Rouge Writing Hood, you will already know that my “quick fix” skin solution for dull skin is REN’s “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” (review here). However, if I have a little more time on my hands, I always reach for ESPA’s “Overnight Hydration Therapy” mask; for a more enduring remedy.



ESPA Overnight Hydration Mask

ESPA’s “Overnight Hydration Therapy” is a nourishing treatment mask for dehydrated skin. For those of you who plan to go a little mad on the partying front over the June “Bank Holiday Weekend” in Ireland, I would recommend adding this to your virtual shopping cart ASAP. It’s a saviour for hungover skin, especially when you need your make up to sit evenly on your face the next day. Flaky face – be gone!

The formula is marketed as an overnight treatment, but when I’m short on time, I’ve found that it does offer significant results in 15-20 mins. Basically, the mask is filled with natural, miracle inducing ingredients such as: seaweed extract, vitamin C, natural sugar complex and hyaluronic acid. And, these ingredients combined, allow your skin to restore and replenish itself at a faster rate than it would if it were left to its’ own devices.

To use the mask effectively, ESPA recommend that you massage the “Overnight Hydration Therapy” onto a clean face and neck until the formula turns white. Then, allow five minutes for the formula to sink into your skin before retiring to bed. Finally, rinse off any residue in the morning. Easy peasy, right?

I adore the fact that this product is filled with encapsulated lavender that activates when your head hits the pillow, encouraging a better night’s sleep. However, I do find the formula a little messy – I recommend wearing a shower cap to bed to save yourself waking up for work with hair that’s plastered in white gunk. Overall, that’s a very small price to pay for radiant, replenished skin.

“Overnight Hydration Therapy” would also be a great option for travellers who often find themselves on long-haul flights. I think I will be packing this one for my next trip to New York.

You can purchase ESPA’s “Overnight Hydration Therapy” mask here on their website. I think the product is very reasonably priced, considering that an average facial costs €60+. This formula is practically a facial in a jar!

What do you think? Would you consider purchasing? Or, do you have another cure for dehydrated skin that you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – AYU Make Up’s Suzanne O’Neill.

A “girl boss” is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. – Sophie Amoroso.


Growing up the the late 90s / early 00s; we were content to paint our faces with slightly orange tinged foundation, a slick of cerise pink lipstick and a dusting of powder blue eyeshadow. Our application tool of choice? Why, our fingers of course. Professional make up brushes were far too expensive for any teenager’s liking. If only someone had noticed the gap in the market sooner, I would have been saved a series of mortifying pictures uploaded to a marginally more mortifying “BEBO” page.


AYU Make Brushes


Let me introduce you to Irish entrepreneur, Suzanne O’Neill. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years, she knows all there is to know about make up and application tools. During her time spent as a make up artist, she noticed that a large number of her clients were reluctant to invest in essential tools for their make up kits because high quality brands always seemed to attach an equally high price tag. So, in true “girl boss” fashion, Suzanne spotted a gap in the cosmetic market and pounced on it.


suzanne o'neill ayu

Photo credit: RSVP Magazine.

Together with her sister, Suzanne has developed “AYU Make Up”. AYU is an Irish owned company, based in Ireland and they strive to provide professional quality make up brushes at an affordable price point. And yes, I mean REALLY affordable. The brushes are sold individually or as sets so, they’re perfect for treating yourself or somebody else.

AYU have been really successful to date, so I recently approached Suzanne to ask if she would share some of her tricks of the trade with aspiring entrepreneurs and my fellow make up addicts. I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing this interview with you.

1. How did you get your idea or concept for AYU?
I had been teaching “Beauty and Make Up” for years and always found the quality of brush sets that students were given was very poor. They also didn’t have the money to buy the big name brands so I wanted to create something that was excellent quality but affordable for them.

2. What does your typical day look like?
My days are quite erratic. I start each day by bringing the kids to crèche and then sending off all the previous day’s orders. Once this is done, if I am in the office I will answer emails, check in with all of our social media platforms, plan our marketing for the following days and do any admin. After this is done, I tend to go into creative mode which is my favourite thing to do – it’s when I plan and research all the new lines and brushes that we bring out. We have a whole new line and two new sets due out over the next 8 weeks so this has been keeping me very busy. I am also working on a spray cleaner and a few top secrets bits too. Not everything I work on will reach our customers but the process in creating what does is great!

3. Has everyone around you always been supportive of your business aspirations?
Yes. I have always been very entrepreneurial and have had two other successful businesses before this. I am very lucky to have a really brilliant support network. When I told my husband I was going to stop teaching to look after AYU full time, he was 100% behind me.

4. Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?
Yes. We are living in an age where successful women are all around us. I love to see what others are doing and sometimes when things are crazy and you feel smothered by it all it’s comforting to chat to these women and see that we all feel the same at times and that’s OK. It helps you to refocus and keep going. I think Sara Blakely who created Spanx is brilliant and love her story. Closer to home Marissa Carter is a big inspiration of mine. She is so successful and yet always willing to help others out which is such a lovely trait.

5. How would you describe your personal style?
Classic. I am not one to follows trends. I wear what I feel comfortable in and what suits me. Sometimes I think I’m a bit boring but if I have ever tried to wear something that is not me I just feel uncomfortable and awkward until I get back into my normal clothes!

6. Who is your style/beauty hero?
Olivia Palermo all the way. I love her style and she is always so naturally made up which I just love.

7. What item do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A pair of stilettos. I find that when I have something big on and am a bit nervous, once I put my heels on I immediately feel more confident.

8. Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular regime?
I am very low maintenance. I use micellar water to clean my face at night and have a night cream and eye cream that I use religiously. I wear the 3D Skintech SPF 30 on my face every day. I would exfoliate 2-3 times a week and use a mask once a week. Other than that I get microdermabrasion done every 3-4 weeks. If a routine has too many steps I know I won’t do it. It needs to be quick and effective for me!

9. At this very moment, what’s in your handbag?
I have my wallet, a pair of the kids socks (not sure why they are there), 6 lipsticks (all pinks), 3 pens and some toffees (I have a seriously addiction to them that I am trying to kick!!).

10. With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase AYU?
Our brand is focused on the everyday woman. We want women to enjoy the process of putting on their make up and not be intimidated by it, which I think can be the case for a lot of women out there. They get confused by all the different names etc. Our packaging is simple with clear wording and instructions. We also have a tips and tricks page on our website and a training videos page so women can revert back here for helpful bits of info. We want to communicate with our customers and help them where possible and I think that is what sets us apart – how accessible we are.

11. Any tips for aspiring business women?
If you have an idea that you think is worth pursuing and you have a genuine love for it, then go for it. You need to love what you do because working for yourself requires long hours and very little return in the beginning but it is all worth it when you are getting up each day to do something that you love and have created yourself. The good days always outweigh the bad. Also not to take things personally if someone doesn’t like your product – everyone has their own opinions and as long as you believe in what you are doing and can stand behind it, that is all that matters.


AYU Gold Brush Set

More information and the option to shop for AYU products can be found by clicking here for the AYU website. I’ve heard it through the grapevine that we can expect new collections to be released very soon.

Now, tell me. What do you think of the first post in our “Irish Girl Boss Series” and, who would you like to hear from next?

Rouge x

Couleur Caramel – Natural Cosmetics.

To me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. – Ellen Degeneres.


When I was younger, I was taught that the most effective way to gain respect is to “practice what you preach”. If you believe in something, you should stand by your opinions and demonstrate your dedication to the cause. It’s as simple as that.

Recently, I’ve found myself gravitating towards quite heavy, concealing make-up. We live in a society that is filled with the pressure to live up to the standards which have been set by airbrushed pictures of beautiful women. We all get caught up in the fantasy of “flawlessness”. But, honestly it’s just a false reality. No amount of contour is going to transform me into a Kardashian and, it’s time I remembered that I’m OK with that.

Couleur Caramel is a French cosmetic brand who have dedicated all of their time and resources to developing natural, eco-friendly formulas made from organic ingredients. The brand are also really committed to promoting animal rights so their products are 100% cruelty free. Couleur Caramel focus on highlighting women’s best features, rather than masking their insecurities and this is an ethos which really appeals to me. Of course, I want to look pretty but I also want to look like me.

Recently, I took a trip to the V Claire Beauty Centre for a Couleur Caramel make-up demonstration. The fabulous Dearbhla talked me through the extensive product range and showed me how to apply each formula. I was blown away. The make up was the most lightweight that I have ever worn and it genuinely looked flawless. Suddenly, it became really clear why celebrities such as Eva Longoria are huge fans of this brand.

The products that Dearbhla used on my skin are as follows:

  • White make up base to prep (moisturise and prime) – illuminates complexion and holds longevity of make up (cornflower water, sweet almond, field horsetail, sesame oil, Shea butter) €26.
  • Green concealer n°16 to counteract redness – (sweet almond, carnauba wax, Shea butter, baobab oil) €14.
  • Compact Foundation n°12 – all over face and eyes to perfect complexion (carnauba wax, sweet almond, Shea butter, olive extract) €33.
  • Compact Powder n°02 – set and matify. Great coverage (grapeseed, sunflower, soya oil, apricot powder) €21
  • Compact Powder n°03 – slightly darker than n°02 and used to contour €21.
  • Blusher n°51 Peach – to warm the cheeks and compliment colouring (grapeseed, sunflower, soya oil, apricot powder) €23.
  • Eyebrow Pencil n°121 – to shape and pronounce brow (pencil one end, comb opposite end) (beeswax, Shea butter) €15.
  • Eyeshadow n°011 Rosy Beige – base colour €13.
  • Eyeshadow n°079 Matt Brown – contour eye –brow bone €13.
  • Eyeshadow n°099 Coppered Nugget – centre of the eyelid to add metallic effect €13.
  • Liquid Eyeliner n°07 Black – to thicken the lash line and define (aloe vera juice, rose water) €18.
  • Mascara n°23 Brown – lengthening and widens eye (cera alba, acacia gum, carnauba, Candelilla) €20.
  • Lip Liner n°19 Rosewood – to perfect lip line and add colour (beeswax, Shea butter) €12.
  • Lipstick n°261 Gourmand Pink – for a pop of colour! (olive oil, jojoba, castor, apricot oil, apricot wax, Shea butter, rooibos) €17

For those of you who don’t believe that natural make up can be as effective and high quality as non-organic products, take a look at the pictures in this post. None of them have been altered or filtered. Like I said, I ain’t no Kardashian.

All of the products listed can be purchased at If you can only afford to choose a few, my favourites were the “Compact Foundation”, the “Blusher No51 Peach” and the extremely long-lasting “Liquid Eyeliner” – they’re all worth their weight in gold!

What do you think? Would you convert to all natural make up formulas, or are you dedicated to certain products/brands already? Let me know in the comments.

Rouge x

Jo Malone “The Rare Teas Collection”.

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water”.

Anyone who is a regular reader of Rouge Writing Hood will already know that I am a long-time fan of Jo Malone. In my opinion, the scents that are crafted and perfected by the brand ooze elegance, class and sophistication. My signature scent for over a year now has been the “Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne” which you can read about here.


When I was invited to the Brown Thomas launch of Jo Malone’s new “Rare Teas Collection”, I was excited to say the least. Us Irish are notorious for our love of Lyon’s and Barry’s tea so I was looking forward to expanding my horizons and curious to discover how rare teas from around the world could be infused to create beautiful fragrances.


The event, which was held at the stunning Merrion Hotel, was everything I expected and more. We were introduced to some delicious exotic teas, and informed of how each of these teas were hand-picked, prepared, infused and eventually, refined into fragrances. The new collection, crafted from teas grown in China, Japan and the Himalayas, consists of 6 new colognes which we were introduced to us individually.


jo malone rare tea collection



Silver Needle Tea: “Silver Needle Tea” is the softest, most delicate fragrance in the new collection. I feel that this one would be ideal for anyone who likes a light, fresh scent – perfect for the summer months. “Silver Needle Tea” cologne is crafted from a Chinese bud which, for decades, was reserved for the imperial family. The scent is warmed by opulent rose and musk notes. I would classify this as a reviving daytime scent.
Darjeeling Tea: Already a fan of the darjeeling Tea bud, I had high expectations for this cologne. The fragrance is created using buds which are found in the Himalayas, growing among mountain mists. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? This one has a gorgeous, floral base which exudes charm. The tea infusion is cooled with notes of freesia and apricot. The result is a gorgeous feminine fragrance with a tangy, citrus twist.
Jade Leaf Tea: “Jade Leaf Tea” is quite a herbaceous scent with a slightly salty texture. “Jade Leaf Tea” is crafted using Japanese sencha teas which have a very distinct green colour and flavour. Anyone who enjoys an earthy fragrance will be immediately drawn to this one.
Oolong Tea:“Oolong Tea” is crafted from a hand-picked bud, dried on bamboo and heated to add woody notes to the fragrance. This scent is slightly more intense than the previous three, as the collection moves towards more luscious, seductive scents. I really enjoyed the notes of bitter cocoa leaf and tobacco leaf in this scent.
Midnight Black Tea: “Midnight Black Tea” is my firm favourite of the new collection. This scent is crafted from puerh tea buds which originate from China’s Yunnan province. “Midnight Black Tea” is utterly sensual and seductive. The fragrance has very rich, smoky notes of vanilla and guaiac wood. This one is irresistible to my notes and, I think that it could be worn by both men and women. It is simply delicious.
Golden Needle Tea: “Golden Needle Tea” is the most intense fragrance from the “Rare Teas Collection”. This one is a gorgeous, rather masculine scent. I adore a strong, sensual scent so this one is a close favourite, after “Midnight Black Tea”. “Golden Needle Tea” is filled with notes of sandalwood and leather. It’s dark, mysterious and absolutely divine.


Jo Malone Rare Tea Collection New


The Jo Malone “Rare Teas Collection” will be available exclusively at Brown Thomas. For more information, you can visit the Jo Malone website.

Now tell me, which fragrance would you choose from the collection?

Rouge x



Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”.

“I catch feelings for like an hour, and then go back to thinking about more important things; like my eyebrows”.

Eyebrows are a tricky business. Use too little product, and they look sparse and uneven. Use too much product, and they look drawn on and unnatural. Ugh, does anyone really have time for these shenanigans?
Luckily, I’m here to solve all your brow problems. Let me introduce Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”. This product is what dreams are made of!
As a ginja ninja, the main issue that I have with finding effective eyebrow products is shade matching. However, Billion Dollar Brows promise that this one product, “The Universal Brow Pencil” matches all hair shades and skin tones and do you know what? It really does! We’ve tried this pencil with blondes, brunettes and red heads and by some mystery make up magic, it seems to suit us all!
billion dollar brows
The pencil is ridiculously easy to use, so much so that even my Mammy, who is a brow-phobe, loves it. To apply, start light. The more product that you apply, the darker the effect. Follow the shape of your natural brow and fill in accordingly. The next step is the most important. You MUST brush the product through using the spoolie attached to the pencil. Otherwise, you will look like an extra from Geordie Shore.  Afterwards, I like to coat with a clear brow gel. And tah-dah, you have flawless brows.
I’ve been using this pencil non-stop for approximately 3 months, and I’m only half-way through the product. So, it’s definitely value for money. In fact, I can’t recommend this product enough. You can find it, along with the rest of Billion Dollar Brows’ products here at
So, what do you think? Have you tried this brand before? Or, do you already have a favourite brow product? Let us know in the comments.
Rouge x

WIN -Viviscal “Gorgeous Growth” Haircare Range.

To celebrate the launch of Viviscal’s new “Topicals” range, we have a gorgeous goody bag to give to one lucky winner.

To win the new Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Range, Hair Book and Cosmetic Bag:

  1. Simply watch the quick video here by clicking here and answer this question:
    Name 2 Viviscal Celebrity fans?
  2. Just comment your answer on the allocated post on my Instagram with the hash tag #Viviscalinsideout and tag two friends.


Viviscal Win