Skincare Travel Essentials for Summer ’16.

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list”. – Susan Sontag.


So, anyone who follows Rouge Writing Hood on social media will already know that I’m currently in New York on an extended holiday. I’m here for a month so I’m sure you can imagine that my suitcase for flying out literally weighed more than I do – which seemed like a fabulous idea until I had to haul it from JFK to Grand Central Station.

Given that I carried so many outfits, shoes and handbags over with me; I really had to cut down on my skincare and make up collection. So, I thought I’d show you how to do the same. These are my skincare essentials for long haul trips:


ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (available here):



ESPA Micellar Cleanser

Now, I’ve tried every micellar water under the sun and this one is by far my favourite. Unlike other formulas that I’ve tried, it isn’t drying or harsh on skin. Instead, the ingredients such as organic rosewater, chamomile and witch hazel sooth skin whilst removing make up quickly. This formula eliminates the need for eye make up remover as it removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara.

Moogoo “Ground Oatmeal Cleansing Bar” (available here):

Moogoo Oatmeal Cleansing Soap

In an effort to avoid carrying too many liquid products, I always bring this solid cleanser from MooGoo on holidays with me. The formula is an all-natural one and is nice and gentle on skin. This is a great multi-tasking product because it can be used to wash your face, body, make up brushes and tanning gloves. If you don’t have one of these cleansing bars, you definitely need one!

PHYT’s “Crème Hydra Riche” (available here):

PHYTs Moisturiser

I’m a huge fan of PHYT’s skincare and this formula is my must-have moisturiser. This formula is quite rich but it absorbs quickly. I have normal/dehydrated skin so I use this one morning and night. The great thing about this moisturiser is that, because it’s made from all-natural and organic ingredients, it can also be used as eye cream. That’s one product less for your suitcase.

Dermalogica “Solar Defense Booster SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica SPF

Of course, I landed in NYC in the middle of a heatwave and being a ginja ninja, I definitely need all of the SPF that I can get. The problem with SPF is that often, it can be oily and sticky – yuck! But, not this one. Dermalogica have formulated the perfect facial SPF and it may be pricey, but it’s worth every single cent. This formula absorbs really quickly and make up sits perfectly over it.

Dermalogica “Protection 50 Sport SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica Sun Protection

Since I loved the facial SPF from Dermalogica, I had high hopes for the full body version. And, it didn’t disappoint. Again this formula is non-greasy and fast absorbing. I haven’t gotten even a patch of sunburn yet (which is remarkable for a redhead) so I’m pretty sure that the formula is really effective.

ESPA “Nourishing Lip Treatment” (available here):

ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment

Extremely warm weather combined with air conditioning always leads to really chapped lips. It’s really difficult to actually find a lip product that works but this one from ESPA is great. The formula has an oil-like texture which is light and can act as a primer for matte lip products. A tiny bit goes a long way so the product is great value for money and should last for ages.

And that’s it folks. Every skincare product that I brought to NYC with me. What do you think? Have you tried any of these products? Or, do you have your own travel favourites? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

Code Beautiful – Is It Time To Forget Fake Eyelashes?

“I’m killing you with them legs. Better yet, them thighs. Matter of fact it’s my smile, or maybe my eyes?” – Beyoncé.

I don’t know about you but I really struggle with false eyelashes. They’re messy and difficult to place correctly. Not to mention the fact that they often make a break for it during a dance off in a nightclub and end up stuck somewhere along your cheekbones – lovely.

So, for many years now, I have been searching for a mascara that gives a genuine false lash effect. And, I have found many, many great formulas but, definitely none as impressive as Code Beautiful’s “Forget False Lashes” and “VLM Mascara” combo.

Code Beautiful “Forget False Lashes” (Available Here):


Code Forget False Lashes

Code Beautiful’s “Forget False Lashes” is an eyelash primer which is designed to plump up sparse and short hair. The formula is a beige/grey colour but becomes invisible upon applying a top coat of black mascara. “Forget False Lashes” is used to coat the eyelashes from root to tip by wriggling the wand back and fourth during application. I always pay particular attention to tips of my lashes in order to achieve the illusion of long lashes.

I was amazed by the results provided by this formula. The micro-fibres in the product cling to lashes, genuinely giving instant volume. Now, this step does add a minute or two to my make up routine in the morning because I like coat my lashes precisely and evenly, to avoid clumping but, it’s definitely not as time consuming as applying eyelash glue!

Code Beautiful “VLM Mascara” (Available Here):

Code VLM Review

I am in LOVE with this formula! It’s blacker than black, glossy and adds serious volume. “VLM Mascara” is created using wax and vitamins, so the product promises to be kind to eyelashes and promote growth. The mascara is also paraben free.

I use this product by adapting Code Beautiful’s “Roots, Wriggle and Roll” technique and again, concentrate on the tips of the lashes to add extra length. I’m really impressed by the anti-clumping, waterproof formula which actually lasts all day, unlike some high-end mascaras that advertise “12 hour wear”.

Together, the combination of “Forget False Lashes” and “VLM Mascara” is every beauty addicts’ dream! See the results below:

On another note, I’m off to NYC tomorrow morning and Code Beautiful actually sell a mini version of their “VLM Mascara” for holidaymakers. You can find it here from Meaghers Pharmacy for only €15. It might be a great excuse to try the product before you buy the full size!

Now tell me, have you tried these formulas or do you already have a favourite mascara to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

Cocoa Brown “Kind Shampoo and Conditioner” – Review.

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge”. – Ivanka Trump.


Anyone who reads Rouge Writing Hood on a regular basis will already know that I’m a huge advocate for Irish women in business. And, I’m not the only one. Lately, it seems like every single woman on our little island has been swept up in the whirlwind that is Marissa Carter mania. Marissa is the entrepreneur behind Cocoa Brown, a self-tanning brand that is taking over the world. She is the ultimate “girl boss” and is constantly on the lookout for the next hot product to take the beauty industry by storm. And, yes – she’s gone and done it again. However, this time, some of you may be surprised to hear that Marissa changed the game by stepping outside the self-tanning zone and jumping head first into hair care. Let me introduce you to Cocoa Brown’s “Kind Shampoo and Conditioner”.


Cocoa Brown Travel Pack Review


A couple of weeks ago, the gorgeous ladies at Cocoa Brown heard that I was making a little trip to New York City and very kindly sent me this super cute travel set which is filled with Marissa’s latest creations: “Kind Shampoo”, “Kind Conditioner”, “Kind Shower Gel” and “Face & Body Self Tanning Wipes”. Now, I did my best to save the products until I head off on a jet plane but, then I read Kate Kelly’s review of the shampoo and conditioner (check it out here) and my willpower faltered. So, I sneaked the hair care combo out of the very handy travel pack and stalked off, prepared to be transformed into the ginger version of Blake Lively.


Cocoa Brown Travel Set Available Here At

Cocoa Brown “Kind Shampoo”:

Cocoa Brown Kind Shampoo Review



So, this baby is marketed as “volumising shampoo that’s kind to hair, scalp, colour and extensions”. Now, I know many of you are wondering what makes this formula more “kind” than other hair care products on the market and the answer is that it’s simply a paraben-free, alcohol-free and formaldehyde-free product. Hair care without the nasties, if you like.

And, I love it. I can definitely say that after only five washes, my hair feels thicker and more healthy. If you’re like me and you really enjoy a squeaky clean finish, then this formula is perfect for you. It gives a really nice lather without leaving dry, flaky scalp in its wake. The primary cleansing agents in the formula are coconut oil and fruit sugars so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty moisturising.



Cocoa Brown “Kind Conditioner”:


Cocoa Brown Kind Conditioner Review

Again, this gorgeous formula is free from chemical nasties and ideal for sensitive scalps. Both the shampoo and conditioner from the Cocoa Brown “Kind” range have a soft peach and Tahitian gardenia scent but, this fragrance is so subtle that under Irish consumer law, it didn’t have to be listed as an ingredient on the packaging. So, it’s safe to assume that those who live in fear of strongly scented products need not worry about this formula.

For best results, I recommend leaving the “Kind Conditioner” in your hair for 3-5 mins before rinsing. This allows it to work its magic and moisturise the hair enough to create a noticeable shine.




So, what do you think? Both of these products are available in 200ml containers (for pre-order) on at only €3.50 each – an absolute bargain. They will also be available for purchase in Cocoa Brown stockists nationwide on July 8th 2016. Will you be rushing out to purchase them? Let me know in the comments section.




Rouge x