Benefit “Ka-Brow” – Review.

“There are two ways to look younger: arch your eyebrows and find older friends”. – Benefit.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that recently; Benefit released a huge collection of new eyebrow products. Now, anyone who knows me personally will already know that I’m a really big believer in the power of good brows. And, one of my favourite products has always been Benefit’s “Gimme Brow” so as you can imagine, I was majorly excited to find out what the new collection has to offer.

 

Ka Brow Benefit

 

For me, the stand out product of the new collection (which is very impressive in its entirety) is “Ka-Brow”. “Ka-Brow” is a gorgeous, creamy gel product that can be layered to provide anything from soft and natural looking eyebrows, to bold and dramatic arches. I have fallen in love.

 

benefit ka brow

 

Firstly, let’s talk about the gorgeous packaging. The silver and pink tones are sleek and sophisticated while also appearing totally fun and feminine. The product detaches into three parts to reveal a very nifty little brush that can be flipped upside down and slotted into position to become a full sized brow brush – magic!

The formula itself comes in six different shades. I’m currently using shade “3” which is perfect for auburn tones. “Ka-Brow” is completely waterproof and sweat resistant which will come in really handy when I travel to New York in early July. I have to say, I’m definitely not looking forward to the humidity – I’m too ginger for that!

I apply the formula by applying tiny amounts of the product to the brush provided and stroking lightly, following the natural shape of my eyebrows. I tend to avoid the “over done” look so as far as I’m concerned, less is more. To finish the look off, I sweep through with a spoolie or a clear eyebrow gel and ta-dah, eyebrow perfection.

 

 


 

Benefit’s “Ka-Brow” retails at €26 and you can purchase it online from Debenhams, at the Benefit Boutique on St William Street, Dublin or in selected retailers nationwide.

What do you think of the finished look? Have you tried any of the new eyebrow products from Benefit? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

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My Swimwear Picks For Summer ’16.

As anyone who follows me on Snapchat (UN: rougewriting) will already know, a few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the Debenhams “Summer 2016 Party”. What you probably don’t know is that, for years, Debenhams have been my one-stop shop for everything lingerie and swimwear related. I love the fact that they cater for all shapes and sizes and in their expert hands, busty ladies need not worry about squeezing themselves into titchy string bikini tops. The reality is that I already knew that I would love the “Summer 2016” collection, before I even arrived in Debenhams’ gorgeous personal shopping suite.

Here are a few of my favourites from this season’s collection:

 

Swimwear Debenhams 1

High-waisted bikini bottoms are my holiday essential so, with a trip to NYC coming up in the next few weeks; this dainty daisy patterned combo was my personal choice. I can’t wait to get to the beach now!

Shop: Bottoms / Top.

J by Jasper Conran Swimsuit

How cute is this chic “J by Jasper Conran” swimsuit? This piece is designed specifically with “tummy control” in mind so it would be particularly gorgeous on anyone who feels slightly body conscious in swimwear.

Shop (20% off): Swimsuit.

Floral Bikini

This gorgeous floral bikini from “Reger by Janet Reger” is divine! The ruched detailing and padded cups in the bikini top make it perfect for girls who want to create the illusion of a bigger bust.

Shop (50% off): Top / Bottoms.

French Frost Swimsuit

This stunning swimsuit from “Floozie by Frost French” is what my holiday dreams are made of. I’ve had my eye on this one for months now so I might have to add it to my virtual shopping basket ASAP. I love the vibrant pattern, the plunging neckline and the cute “skirt” detail which would hide any excessive holiday feasting.

Shop (30% off): Swimsuit.

Gorgeous DD+ Swimwear

Busty ladies often find it difficult to find stylish swimwear so Debenhams have developed a glamorous, yet practical lingerie/swimwear line called “Gorgeous DD+” to cater for our needs. This fabulous bikini is underwired for support and comes with detachable straps. Say goodbye to tan lines!

Shop: Top / Bottoms.

Kylie Jenner Style Bikini

This two piece has serious Kylie Jenner vibes. I love the mesh detailing which adds a little edge to the look.

Shop: Top / Bottoms.

Flozie Bikini

Another one from “Floozie by Frost French”. Clearly I’m a big fan of this brand. I love the feminine, youthful design of this bikini. It’s fun and playful – perfect for the beach!

Shop: Top / Bottoms.

So, what do you think of my picks? Do you have a “go to” swimwear style? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

*Please note that the documented discounts were applicable on the date of publishing 27/06/2016.*

Joico “Co + Wash Moisture” – Review.

“If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hair style”. – Hilary Clinton.

At least three mornings per week, I find that the snooze button seems like a far more appealing option than washing my hair. Shampooing, conditioning and adding serum at 6 am sounds like an awful lot of effort to me – ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, it’s safe to assume that I was more than a little excited when Joico sent me a bottle of their “Co + Wash Moisture”, a one-stop product that promises to merge your hair care routine into a single step.  “Co + Wash Moisture” is a cleansing conditioner that is infused with nourishing ingredients like Jojoba oil and Shea butter. It promises to regenerate damaged, brittle hair – but does it live up to the hype?

 


I’ve been using Joico’s “Co + Wash Moisture” for over a month now and I have to say, I have fallen head over heels in love. I’ve even ditched the dry shampoo, apart from the occasional hair emergency. I use this formula by massaging it into my hair from root to tip and allowing it to settle for two minutes, before rinsing. It is super easy to dispense through the hair because the formula has a “whipped” texture – reminiscent of mousse.

Post washing, my hair feels silky soft and less dehydrated. This one would be a great option for summer because it’s nice and light. It’s also kind to sensitive scalps. The only minor issue that I would mention is that the formula doesn’t leave a “squeaky clean” finish – although hair definitely does feel refreshed. This generally isn’t an issue for anyone with really dry hair but I like to add a “pre-shampoo” step into every second wash to avoid any build up of residue.

 

Overall, this product gets a huge thumbs up from me – it’s every busy girl’s dream come true. Joico’s “Co + Wash” range also includes formulas which have been created specifically for curly and coloured hair and if you want details on those formulas; you can find them here. Joico is available in salons nationwide.

So, what do you think? Would you give this one-step formula a go or are you still having nightmares about those hideous Herbal Essences two-in-one shampoos of days gone by? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Sculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan Boyle.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. – Coco Chanel.

Chanel, Nars, Clarins and Benefit – these are just a few of the international cosmetic brands that every Irish woman stockpiles into her beauty bag. Last week, I interviewed Suzie O’Neill, creator of AYU Make Up who illustrated to us that home grown, Irish beauty tools could be manufactured to equally as high a standard as their foreign counterparts so, what about make up itself?

 

Sculpt Cosmetics

Let me introduce Siobhan Boyle, the “girl boss” behind Sculpt Cosmetics. Sculpt is a diverse brand who offer everything from in salon services at the “Sculpt Studio” in Co. Donegal to professional training courses at the “Sculpt Academy” to the sale of a diverse range of products online and in store, including their own brand formulas. Sounds like an awful lot of work for one woman, doesn’t it? Well, this week, I caught up with Siobhan to find out how she manages to juggle it all – with a 7 month old baby to boot!

Siobhan Boyle Sculpt Cosmetics

  • What inspired you to create and develop Sculpt Cosmetics?

As a make up artist of 12 years, I felt that there was not a mid-range brand that focused on giving women what they needed. Most brands tell us what we want, they don’t actually help us figure out what suits us. It grew from there! I opened up a make up studio and began offering training courses, finding that the demand was huge! I started my first training course and I knew it would work. I had a really extensive training, make up and professional background in this industry – I am a qualified trainer and assessor. Then, I started with a cosmetics range. That took me a year to perfect. Now almost 4 years later, I have a training school offering professionally accredited (by VTCT) courses, full services and a full make up retail store. It really has been an amazing journey but we’re not finished yet. We are currently looking for the right premises to offer a stand alone retail store focusing on make up and beauty products – an Irish Sephora!

  • What does your typical day look like?

I will be honest, my life is crazy at the minute! I just married my husband, Barry, and we have a gorgeous baby, Gia, who is just 7 months old. We just moved into our new home and I am working full time! So I really don’t have typical day. I get up early with my baby girl Gia, the three of us have breakfast and then I start getting ready for work and getting Gia ready to go to her babysitter. Then, if I am not teaching my make up courses; I am in the studio and usually have clients for the majority of the day for make up, tanning, brows etc. I also do a lot of bridal make up and this is a much earlier start of about 6am and I always go to the brides venue to make it easier for her! Weddings are amazing to see from my side as an artist so I really enjoy those. Most weekdays, I teach night classes so I don’t get home until 10pm or after.
Sculpt is currently being transformed into a full-blown make up haven with my main focus set on turning our store into the ultimate make up boutique. I hope to make us the main shopping destination for make up junkies both online and offline, so I am am always researching the best stock for us and restocking. There is a lot of boring admin squeezed in everywhere too – not all make up is super glam! My job and lifestyle is tiring. So many people tell me I am crazy working how I do, but I love my work and the mixture of work I do – teaching, clients, retail and brides!

  • Sculpt provide numerous “Personal Make Up Courses” for women who wish to improve their make up techniques. Can you tell us what make up technique you have found the most difficult to master?

When I started out in make up 12 years ago, I really struggled with not perfecting things and gave myself a very hard time. However, I learned that with practise and great patience, you can become better. My first proper job was in TV. I worked for TG4 as a trainee artist and I struggled with my timing as we were always under time constraints on set. It was the best training I ever had – directors do not wait for trainee artists, so I had to get better and I did.

  • Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

Oh, there are so many ladies that I admire. I am a huge Beyoncé fan. I am in awe of her rise to the very top of the world, from performing in local talent competitions. I also admire how private she is. In terms of the beauty industry, I have always loved Bobbi Brown. She started off her line of make up with just a few lipsticks and built an international brand based on enticing women to appreciate their own natural beauty! That is pretty amazing in my eyes. Marissa Carter is a huge Irish inspiration – she took the beauty and tanning industry on and rose to the top through hard work, knowledge and persistence!
In terms of bloggers, I absolutely respect the success of Suzanne Jackson (So Sue Me) and Joanne Larby (The Make Up Fairy) for showing that with self-belief, hard work and talent -anything is possible!

  • Who is your style/beauty hero?

I adore Victoria Beckham’s fashion. It is sleek, sophisticated and practical (at times). I like clean lines, block colours, black, whites and neutrals for work so I envy her wardrobe in a big way. There are so many talented make up artists out there, I love Paula Callan’s make up artistry style – she loves to see skin look like skin. Skin looking stunning is my make up philosophy, so her work is a huge inspiration for me. I believe if you can build a look based on flawless skin, then everything that follows is bonus. I can’t but mention Pat Mc Grath here as her MAC campaigns from the noughties are what inspired me to get into make up in the beginning! That whole “MAC mania” era from 2001 – 2004 was like an addiction for me. I would go to Dublin a few times a year and pick up the art work that accompanied their ad campaigns to try and recreate them! Those were the days of internet dial up in my house so I couldn’t access things as quickly as I can now! I remember my first few MAC eye shadows were bright and fabulous – “Electrical Eel”, a bright blue and “Chrome Yellow”!

  • At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

I have recently switched handbags to a bigger one to carry more bits – my other one was breaking! I have a large Longchamp tote so I can fit my laptop into it. Other than that; it holds my purse, keys, my notebook, pens, my make up bag and 7 lipstick & glosses (these are all nudes or pinks in a mixture of cream and matteformulas). I go through lip colour phases and I am in a nude phase now. Having my baby girl Gia means that I also have 2 dummies, a few bibs and a set of plastic rattle keys – all pink of course. My phone is usually in my hand so it never makes it into the bag!

  • If you could only take three of your own brand’s products to a desert island, which three products would you choose?

Oh god, just three?? I’d definitely have Sculpt’s “Great Lengths Mascara” – essential to open up your eyes. The “6 Well Powder Palette” which has contour, blush and highlighter in it – that on his a bit of a cheat! And, the final item would be the Sculpt “Oil-Free Foundation” to keep the shine at bay and give me gorgeous coverage. That question was the most difficult to answer!!

sculpt cosmetics foundation

  • If you could give your 16 year old self some beauty advice, what would you say?

Be more confident in yourself and your look, individuality is beautiful! I would of liked to have given myself more confidence in general and allowed myself to believe in my own creativity. I found school very focused on the straight route to college and career. I would have preferred exploring what I wanted to do or was good at doing!

  • With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase Sculpt Cosmetics?

The beauty of my brand is that I truly won’t sell you anything you won’t use. I encourage clients to purchase what they actually need and what suits them, rather than what they think they need. This way, I build a relationship with my customers and people come back to me. I also built the brand based on what was missing from the Irish market. In Sculpt, we stock other brands as well as our own range. This allows you to browse various brands, should our own range not suit your needs. That is what really sets us apart from other beauty brands. We have various brands like Paese, Amazing Cosmetics, Flormar, Morphe, Dermalogica, Sleek, NYX, Sculpt, SOSU, Bellamianta Tan, theBalm and Lilly Lashes to name a few so if one thing doesn’t suit you then we can find something that will! We are constantly adding more and more brands so you have more choice.

  • Any tips for aspiring business women?

GO FOR IT! Look to others for support and guidance – you cannot do everything yourself and must take help and guidance in areas that you struggle in.

 

For more information on Sculpt Cosmetics, you can visit their website or Facebook.

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

Rouge x

Moschino “Fresh Couture” Fragrance.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. – Jimmy Johnson.

As any regular reader of Rouge Writing Hood will already know, I am a self-confessed fragrance fanatic. In my opinion, the beauty of scent is found in its ability to resurrect memories. For me, choosing a new perfume is a very intimate process.

Keeping that in mind, let me introduce you to Moschino’s “Fresh Couture” – the fragrance that I will forever associate with summer ’16. It is simply divine!

 


First of all – check out that packaging. Moschino have stated that “the concept of this fragrance was to juxtapose the most mundane and commonplace of all products, the household cleaner, with something so precious – the juice of a luxury brand’s fragrance”. And, by doing so they have elevated a seemingly ordinary item, moulding it into something extraordinary. I adore the quirky, contemporary interpretation.

I’m a huge fan of strong, masculine scents so I was rather sceptical of the electric blue liquid wrapped up in this fun bottle. For some reason, I assumed it would be a very sweet, sugary fragrance. But, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. This is a gorgeous woody fragrance, with scattered floral notes. Base notes of white patchouli and ambrox give a sensual undertone to the scent while top notes of mandarin, bergamot and ylang yalng bring soft, femininity to the party.

 

img_6680

 

“Fresh Couture” is a gorgeous, fresh fragrance. This one will be perfect for anyone who adores dark, sensual fragrances during the winter but wants to shake things up for summer. It should also be noted that the scent has impressive lasting power – I don’t feel in necessary to carry this one around in my handbag with me.

Moschino “Fresh Couture” is available in pharmacies nationwide and here at Debenhams. At the time of publishing, Debenhams are offering a “Try it First” sample with every online order, giving you a chance to test the fragrance before you decide to fall in love with it like I did.

What do you think? Do you usually change your scent for summer? Let us know in the comments section.

Rouge x