Too Faced “Melted Matte” Lipstick – Review.

“Sweetie, if you’re going to be two faced; at least make one of them pretty.” – Marilyn Monroe.

So by now, most of you will already know that I’m the Queen of matte liquid lipsticks. The love affair began when I was introduced to theBalm’s “Meet Matte Hughes” collection which you can read about here. But, although I adore that collection, the shade range is quite limited so I was bound to look elsewhere for more options. As always, Too Faced recognised my problem and presented me with a solution. Meet their “Melted Matte” liquid lipsticks.

 

 

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Love at first sight does exist, and I’m here to prove it. These babies come in 16 different shades so there’s definitely at least one to suit everyone. And, eeeek, aren’t they gorgeous? Too Faced always hit the nail on the head when it comes to packaging and these liquid lipsticks are no exception to the rule. The products are a good size so pretty decent value for money at €23 and the doe-foot applicator eliminates the need for lip liner.

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I’ve been using the shade “Cool Girl” which is advertised as a “true nude” colour. Now, I’m not going to lie, I was terrified of the brown tones in this shade when I first tried it on but now, I’m embracing the 90s vibe. The shade would probably be categorised as a “true nude” for darker skin tones, but on my ghostly pale self, I would categorise it as a soft brown. My friends really like this one and, I received lots of compliments when I posted a picture on Instagram so, I’m definitely a convert to the shade.

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Now, I hear you all sitting asking your screens if the formula is drying on the lips. Winter is fast approaching and our lips will be chapped enough without bearing the burden of matte lipstick. Well, the formula isn’t ultra moisturising but I would say that it’s probably the least drying matte formula that I’ve tried to date. The product is infused with non-sting lip plumping agents so, even if your lips are chapped underneath; it works to plump them up, making them appear healthier. There’s also avocado oil and Vitamin E in the formula to help rejuvenate lips while you wear it.

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Overall, I love this lipstick and, I hope to add many more to my collection. Wear-time extends to practically the entire day, with occasional top-ups after eating. Next on my wishlist is the shade “Queen B”.

Too Faced’s “Melted Matte” lipsticks are available here, from Debenhams. Why not check out the link and let us know what your favourite shade is in the comment section?

Rouge x

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Juvi Designs – The “Initials” Collection.

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.” – Mae West.

 

After interviewing the lovely Julie Danz, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series” (view interview here), it’s safe to assume that I have become even more obsessed with Juvi Designs than I was before. If I had to choose one thing that I love most about the brand, it would be the fact that every piece is created with love and sentiment. Both Julie and Vincent really put their heart and soul into their creative brand. So, when I heard a few weeks ago that the dynamic duo were releasing a new collection, named the “Initials” collection, I sort of already knew that I would love it before I even got a glimpse of the pieces. I just didn’t realise how much I would love it – eeeek!

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If Sex and the City had aired in 2016, Ms Bradshaw would be sporting one of these beautiful necklaces instead of her famous “Carrie” chain. They’re so much more delicate and pretty than the initialled designs that we became sick of seeing in the late 90s. The chain and charms that make up these beautiful necklaces are sold separately, so they can be customised to create a unique piece. The picture above displays my initial and birthstone and as you can see, can be purchased in either sterling silver or gold vermeil. This would be a beautiful gift for ladies of all ages.  And, you’ll be surprised to hear that prices start at only €25.

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No Juvi collection would be complete without the addition of some bright and beautiful rings. Just look at those gorgeous gems! Pictured above are the new stacking rings which are the perfect compliment to the pretty initial necklaces. Available in both sterling silver and gold vermeil, with an array of gemstones to choose from; these rings can be worn alone or stacked.

Personally, I would stack these rings using the different birthstones which represent members of my family tree. This would be a lovely gift for mums or, the rings could be used as a grown up version of “friendship” rings (as could the necklaces). And finally, I think it would be a really cute idea to use these rings as gifts for your bridesmaids, choosing the gemstone associated with the month of your wedding. The possibilities are endless.

For more information on the collection, and a look at the different shades of gemstones, you can pop over to the Juvi Designs website. In the meantime, I will be adding these beauties to my Christmas wishlist – yes, I said the “C word” again!!

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Rouge x

Dermalogica “Daily Defence” Range – Review.

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It seems like over the past few weeks, everyone in Ireland has been fleeing the country in search of some sunshine. And, while I’m really delighted about the fact that autumnal colours and pumpkin spice lattes have made a comeback, I’m craving some warm weather myself. I’m not ready for winter, just yet.

Keeping that in mind, and responding to a few dozen requests for SPF recommendations, I thought that I would share my hero sunscreen products with you all. Now, as you probably already know, I spent my summer in NYC where the sheer humidity meant that I needed a lightweight SPF to protect me from the harmful rays, whilst also remaining non-sticky throughout the day. Luckily, Dermalogica had me sorted with two products: their “Solar Defence Booster SPF50” for my face and “Protection 50 Sport SPF50” for body.

Solar Defence Booster SPF50:

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Okay, the first thing that I want to say here is that facial SPF is not just for the summer months. UVA and UVB are harmful to skin all year round and your skin is particularly sensitive to them if you’re using skincare products that include “Vitamin C” amongst their ingredients. However, I do understand that most SPF products are sticky on the face and don’t sit well below make up. Luckily for us, Dermalogica’s “Solar Defence Booster” is unlike other facial SPF formulas (that I have tried) and can be mixed with your regular moisturiser to create an even base for your foundation.

The product may seem a little on the expensive side, but you only need to add two or three drops from your 50ml bottle into your moisturiser on a daily basis so it should last you ages. Obviously, if you’re swimming, you will need to reapply to ensure maximum protection from the sun. I love this formula. It’s non-greasy, suitable for sensitive skin and most importantly, it works! Even on super pale, ginger girls.

“Protection 50 Sport SPF50”:

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This is a gorgeous, light SPF that can be used on both face and body (this could save you a few euro if you don’t want to buy two separate products). I brought three types of body sunscreen to NYC and this was, by far, my favourite. It was the only formula of the three that absorbed into the skin within ten minutes and didn’t leave me feeling sticky throughout the day. This one is ideal for visits to the beach because it won’t leave you feeling as though you’re a walking magnet for sand so you won’t end up taking most of the beach home with you!

Again, this product needs to be reapplied after swimming but I can definitely vouch for it’s effectiveness because one day I forgot to apply it to my upper back. The rest of my body remained burn-free but, the unprotected areas are still sporting an unsightly “farmers’ tan”. I looked like a walking advertisement for Red Lobster. Ooops!

If you want more information on the “Daylight Defence” range from Dermalogica, you can visit their website here. Their products are available in salons nationwide.

Now, I’m off to Croatia in a few weeks and praying that we will see a little sunshine while we’re over there so these products will definitely be stashed into my suitcase. I anyone has been to Dubrovnik and has any tips on what to do while we’re there, please let me know in the comment section.

Rouge x

Urban Decay “Vice” Lipstick Collection.

I have been Urban Decay’s biggest fan since the early 00s. From their “Lip Junk” to their “Sparkling Lickable Body Powder”, I had every Urban Decay product on the market by the time I reached the age of 18. The brand helped spur my transformation from gawky, awkward teenager to slightly less awkward, make up obsessed 20-something who collects lipsticks like they’re Pokemon – “gotta catch em all”..

Now, can you imagine my excitement when UD announced the launch of their new “Vice” lipstick range? The new range boasts 100 lipsticks, in different finishes including matte, shimmer, metallic and cream. Eeeeeeeeek… Obviously, I traipsed off to my local Debenhams for a 40 minute swatch session and narrowed it down to two, neutral favourites for my everyday collection: “Naked” and “Ex-Girlfriend”.

 

 

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“Naked”:

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Ok, so if you’ve been following me for awhile, you will know that my favourite lipstick of all time is Tom Ford’s “Lips and Boys” in the shade “Addison” (review here). However, you may also know that said lipstick comes with a C-R-A-Z-Y price tag. And so, here’s your solution! Urban Decay’s “Naked” lipstick, is an almost perfect dupe and for only €18.

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In its own right, the lipstick is absolutely gorgeous. It has a fabulous, moisturising cream finish and lasts for hours without fade. If you’re a fan of the Kardashians, this is definitely a “Kylie Jenner” nude shade and I LOVE it! Definitely my favourite of the collection.

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“Ex-Girlfriend”:

Now, this offering is a gorgeous sheer lipstick with a slight flicker of shimmer. Perfect for a natural lip look. Originally part of the UD x Gwen Stefani collection, it looks like this shade has been made permanent and I am delighted. As with all of the “Vice” lipsticks, it is infused with aloe vera, jojoba and avocado to soften and nourish lips while you wear it.

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You will see from the imagine below that this shade could be worn with or without any other make up to add a little life to your complexion. It’s definitely a keeper!

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Now, I have also tried the matte formulas in this range, as has my Urban Decay obsessed cousin who has also given them the thumbs up. So much so, that I took her to Debenhams to choose a few more. So, stay tuned for a review and some Instagram pictures!

If you want to try these lipsticks for yourself, or check out the other 98 shades in the range, you can pop over to the Debenhams website. Let us know what your favourite is in the comment section!

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – My Shining Armour’s Nicki Hoyne.

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” – Michael Kors.

 

To date, I have been amazed by the positive feedback received in response to my “Irish Girl Boss Series”. This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the fabulous, quirky and hilarious girl boss, Nicki Hoyne. Nicki is the absolute epitome of a girl boss, having worked relentlessly to launch her very successful brand, My Shining Armour. My Shining Armour is an online haven filled with gorgeous accessories, built on Nicki’s ethos to be her own hero. “All the women, who independent” will really enjoy this interview – even Queen Bey would bow down!

 

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1) What inspired you to create My Shining Armour?

My Shining Armour niggled at the back of my mind for a long time. I have always been massively into accessories. My friends will tell you I give the best presents. I am a big online shopper and as technology and the internet advanced, I saw online stores open and I thought to myself; I can do that and I can do it even better. Online is an even playing field. With a good site you can easily compete with the large multinationals and with social media being free and making it so easy to promote businesses, I knew I was onto something.

When I look back now, I see how it all fell into place and that every experience I had (both good and bad) led me to this point. It’s true what they say, if you lived your life backwards it would all make perfect sense. I am really passionate about brands and doing good, honest business. I am fortunate to have worked with brands like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Nintendo, Balenciaga and Chloé so I have learnt how big brands conduct themselves and why they are so successful. Aliza Licht said it best; “I came to the point where the job I wanted didn’t exist so I had to create it for myself”.

 

 

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“Disco Ball Tumbler” – Available Here.

2) Often, it’s our flaws, blunders and setbacks that actually allow us to advance in life by altering our perspective. Throughout your career, what do you think was the most important mistake that you have learned from?

I firmly believe that you learn more from a bad experience than a good one. Every negative experience I have had in my career has been a lesson that I am grateful to have learned. Although it is extremely difficult at the time, these experiences made me a better person, business-person and now, boss. I always tell myself that setbacks and challenges are building my experience so in years to come when the stakes are even higher, I know exactly how to handle them correctly. Setbacks will always happen, what’s important is how you deal with them!

3) What does your typical day look like?

Every day is different. I am in Dublin usually once a week for a jam-packed day of meetings which is always fun. When I’m in the office, I will walk to work and Snapchat – I’m always full of beans in the morning. I like to get in before the team, have my coffee and get my head straight for the day. I am a big list person so I’ll run through my “urgent” and “important” tasks and try plot out my day. I do all of the social media imagery in real time. I’ll plan to post what’s new, back in stock or just something that the mood of the day calls for. I’ll shoot flat lays, reply to social media comments and questions, answer emails, order stock, update the website and anything else that comes at me. If new stock arrives we’ll drop everything and fawn over it. On busy days, I will help pack orders for an hour or so. I love imagining the person on the other end opening their package. The day flies so I usually eat lunch at my desk and try to get out of the office when the girls are leaving at 5.30pm. Then, I’ll go for a run or do a fitness class. My family live close by, we eat out a lot or I try to drop by conveniently at dinner-time! I get home at 8pm or 9pm and chill out for an hour browsing online or reading before bed.

 

 

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“Pouch / Make Up Bag” – Available Here

 

 

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

I love reading stories of other women in business. My favourite books so far are Tamara Mellon’s “In Her Shoes”, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, Sophia Amoruso’s “#Girlboss” and I am dying for Marissa Carter’s book to come out. I love the Image Networking Breakfasts. I always leave with a bounce in my step and lots of ideas. I also love my Acorns gang they are so supportive and uplifting. It is an awesome government funded program for women in business in rural Ireland. We are each other’s biggest fans and supporters. I don’t think I would be where I am today without their encouragement and support.

 

5) The thing that I love most about My Shining Armour is the voice of the brand. In my opinion, it’s not just about glamorous accessories; it’s also about reflecting the state of mind of women who believe that fashion and confidence go hand in hand. Do you have any items in your wardrobe that give you an instant boost of confidence?

We all have those pieces that make us feel good and put a pep in our step. I have a pair of gold sequined ballet pumps I got in a Zara sale about 5 years ago. I wear them all the time especially when the day needs a little sparkle. I can be going to work, running to the supermarket or out for weekend brunch. They just make me feel like me!

 

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“Alphabet Spotty Mug – Available Here.

 

 

6) How would you describe your personal style?

Comfortable, classic and cool with a pop of colour, print or sparkle. I love statement accessories whether jewellery, bags, shoes or sunglasses. I always keep my clothing pretty simple and love to find unique one off pieces to make my outfit pop. I have the most beautiful ring from the Souk in Marrakesh, crazy Indian earrings from Portobello Market in London and I love a discreet designer bag to add a bit of luxury. I don’t feel me if there’s not a pop. That’s just who I am!

 

7) Who is your style/beauty hero?

Olivia Palermo all the way. She is flawless! She gets it right every, single time. The girl has serious accessories game and I love how she takes risks and has fun with fashion. That’s the secret to having great style, do you and make a look your own. No one can have the exact same accessories as you. You will always look like you put lots of thought and prep in when you really put on a piece of jewellery, shoes, grabbed a bag and ran out the door.

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“Strawberry Computer Mouse” – Available Here

 

 

8) Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular make up routine?

I’m not a big make up person. I like to look like myself and as if I’m not wearing much make up. Saying that I use quite a few products, everything but foundation. I am big into skincare. I think that if you look after your skin, you will always look good. I love fresh dewy looking skin and have yet to find a foundation that I like so I just don’t wear it. I used to work for Elizabeth Arden so I’ve learnt about a few insider cult products. I use everything from serums to eye cream and masks. My must have products are Elizabeth Arden’s “Visible Different Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser”, Elizabeth Arden’s “Prevage Serum” and I do a weekly deep cleansing clay mask called Freeman’s “Avocado and Oatmeal Mask” that I get in US drugstores when I visit. I never sleep in my make up and drink lots of water.

 

 

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“Ber Earrings” – Available Here.

9) If you had to choose three favourite pieces from the My Shining Armour website right now, what would you choose?

The “Gisele Ring”, “The Bombay Duck Spotty Initial Mugs” and the “Ban.Do Lady Of Leisure Agenda”.

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Gisele Ring – Available Here

10) What are your top entrepreneurship tips?

1. Always strive to be better. Good and great are not enough for me I want to be excellent.
2. Write it down and make it happen. Set goals and work towards them. There is nothing better than ticking things off the list.
3. Care. About your employees, your business, your customers and yourself.

For more information and a look at the extensive, beautiful range of goodies available; check out My Shining Armour online.

And, if you enjoyed this piece you can check out my interviews with Custom Vintage Dublin’s Ali DelaneySculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan BoyleAYU Make Up’s Suzie O’Neill and Juvi Designs’ Julie Danz.

Rouge x

Joico “Colour Infuse” Shampoo and Conditioner – Review.

“My real hair colour is kind of a dark blonde. Now I just have mood hair.” – Julia Roberts.

 

As a beauty blogger, I tend to receive a lot of products in the post and often, I find that they don’t suit my skin tone or colouring. However, I’ve never been one to waste a gorgeous product and this is where friends and family become extremely helpful. I’ve pretty much accumulated my own beauty product review panel.

 

 

Joico Colour Infuse

A few months ago, I received a sample of Joico’s “Colour Infuse” shampoo and conditioner in the shade suitable for brunettes and, while it obviously wasn’t a match for my “ginja ninja” hair, I knew the perfect person to test it for us. I handed the Joico duo over to one of my most trusted family members, a very busy Mum of four who also happens to be brutally honest. And here’s what she had to say:

 

 

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The thing about women is that we’re always busy. Whether you’re a career-driven “girl boss” or a stay at home “super Mum”, you will often find yourself questioning where the time disappears to, while you juggle sixteen tasks at once. So, where on earth do you find a spare few hours every six weeks to get your hair coloured? The answer for most of you is that you don’t! The majority of my time is spent running around after four boys. My weekends are filled with homework, football games, taekwondo lessons and rugby training. Go to the hairdresser every six weeks, you say? Hah! I would be lucky to see mine every three months.

For this reason, I was really intrigued by Joico’s “Colour Infuse” shampoo and conditioner. The brand promise that these products will not only help maintain your professionally applied hair colour but are also infused with “anionic dye technology” to intensify fading colour. But, do the products actually work?

Well, the best way that I can think to describe the results provided by these products are that they work as a “false tan, for hair”. After just one use, you will notice a visible difference in the intensity of your hair colour, as though it has been given a burst of life. After use, hair appears more shiny, radiant and as though you’ve got freshly coloured hair. That said, the results aren’t permanent, so I would suggest using these products regularly to maintain the effect.

All in all, I think that this shampoo and conditioner duo is worth every cent of the €16.99 price-tag (per bottle) and I will definitely be repurchasing. I use the products by massaging them into my hair and leaving both the shampoo and conditioner in my hair for approx 3-5 mins each before rinsing. If you have dry hair, I recommend leaving the conditioner in for 5 mins before rinsing. Your hair will definitely feel more sleek and smooth after use. One thing I would recommend is that you only use this formula every second or third wash, to avoid any build up – especially if you have a sensitive scalp. You can use a gentle cleansing shampoo and conditioner between uses.

You can clearly see the results that I experienced in the picture below which illustrates my hair before and after just one use:

They’re available in three different shades and, I have to say that I think these products are a winner! What do you think? For more information you can visit joico.com and, all Joico products are available for purchase in hair salons nationwide.

Rouge x