Mother’s Day 2018 – A Gift Guide

If you’re lucky enough to have a Mammy that’s half as fabulous as my own, I really hope you’ve got this one sussed already. Although, hope as I may, I know rightly that in the lead up to the 11th of March, you’ll all be frantically running around like headless chickens looking for a box of Milk Tray and a bouquet of Tesco’s finest flowers. So, since we’re all house-bound by Storm Emma for the next few days, I thought I would magic up a list (most of which can be bought online) to help prepare you for Mammy’s favourite day of the year so you don’t have to go home with your tail between your legs this year.

A Trip to the Morelands Grill:



Alright, so this one only applies to those of you who have the luxury of living within travelling distance of Dublin city but for anyone who does, a trip to the Morelands Grill is so worth the visit, especially for a special occasion like Mother’s Day. I actually celebrated my birthday in this restaurant in August and to date, it’s been one of the nicest meals that I’ve had throughout my six years in Dublin. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere in the restaurant is casual and homely so it’s a safe bet to impress Mammy. Plus, if you can’t make it for their Mother’s Day Lunch Menu, the Morelands have lots of other menu options, including a “Gin and Jazz Brunch” on Saturdays. For some more info, you can visit their website here.

Replica “Beach Walk”:


This perfume by Maison Margiela smells like summer in a glass bottle and it’s absolutely gorgeous. As with all perfumes, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but if your Mum loves warm, fresh fragrances that aren’t strong or over-powering, I think she’ll love this one. With notes of lemon and pink pepper, “Beach Walk” smells like the Atlantic Ocean, rather than a tropical beach resort so it’s definitely not sickly sweet. Instead, it smells like ocean spray and the wild coast. It’s top of my own wish list for summertime beauty buys and it can be purchased here, from Brown Thomas.

Sass & Boho “Incense – Citrus Intense”:

Sass and Boho Citrus Intense

If you’ve been watching my Insta-stories lately, you will already know how OBSESSED I am with this candle from Sass & Boho. It retails at £29 which is far cheaper than the expensive Jo Malone candles that Sass & Boho have actually surpassed in terms of quality and burn time. This particular candle that I love is double-wicked so it burns evenly, regardless of how long you light it for and the scent is heavenly. Anyone who knows me personally will already be aware that I’m obsessed with everything “lemon-y”. I love the taste and the smell of lemons but unlike some of the other citrus candles I’ve purchased, this one from Sass & Boho offers a soft, luxurious citrus scent, rather than one reminiscent of bathroom cleaning products. The wax is infused with citrus oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cedarwood so it offers a beautiful, rich and relaxing fragrance. I really can’t recommend this one enough and it’s available here.

Lauryn Rose “Gold Bar Necklace”:


I think that a necklace from the Geometric Collection by Lauryn Rose is the ideal gift for any lady in your life. Recently, I had three of these necklaces engraved with mine and my closest friends’ nicknames as my “adult” version of friendship necklaces and I think that both girls loved the sentiment. Why not pick one up for your Mum as a Mother’s Day Gift? Or better yet, if you know any new Mums – wouldn’t it be gorgeous to get their first baby’s name engraved as a keepsake for their first Mother’s Day? The “Gold Bar Necklace” is my pick of the Geometric Collection and you can have a look at it here.

Clarins “Youthfully Radiant” Skincare Gift Set:


Find me an Irish Mammy who doesn’t love Clarins, and I’ll tell her that she simply hasn’t tried the right products yet. I actually used to view the brand as one that catered exclusively to the Mammy/Granny target market until I tried a few products and realised that I was missing out on some absolute gems. The Clarins “Double Serum” is now my favourite facial oil/serum of them all. This stuff is what skincare miracles are made of and one of the very few products in my skincare collection that offers immediate, visible results. Clarins “Beauty Flash Balm” is another effective product that never lets me down so I reckon it’s worth buying the set which is better value and is also currently discounted online from Debenhams.

TheBalm “Nude ‘Tude”:


If your Mum loves make up and would get a giggle out of theBalm’s cheeky packaging, then this palette is a fool proof purchase. The shades are pigmented and silky smooth so they’re easy to blend. They’re also universally flattering colours that can be used to create both soft and extra-glam looks. Again, this product is currently discounted here from Debenhams.

Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” Lipstick:


There are very few ladies out there who don’t appreciate the power of a good lipstick. I recently published a full review of Charlotte Tilbury’s “Pillow Talk” lipstick which you can find here but it’s safe to say that this is a fool-proof purchase because the shade is universally flattering and fabulous. It’s available to purchase online here.


And there you have it, my complete Mother’s Day gift guide. Now, do share and tell us what you’ll be buying Mammy in the comment section.

Rouge x


Charlotte Tilbury’s “Pillow Talk” Lipstick – Review.

Do you remember when I started writing this blog and I was absolutely obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury? Probably not, but a few years ago when Tilbury first launched, I thought that the products were the only luxury beauty products worth buying. Of course, as I continued to blog, my horizons were broadened and to be honest, I couldn’t justify continuing to purchase €32 lipsticks when I already had a collection spanning over 100 shades.

However, I always make an exception for Valentine’s Day and I buy a new high-end lipstick every year for the occasion. This year, I returned to the Tilbury counter to make my selection but let’s face it, with all the hype surrounding Charlotte’s new “Pillow Talk” lipstick, I didn’t even bother swatching any other options.



The shade “Pillow Talk” started out as a beautiful pink/nude lip liner which was an immediate cult favourite when Charlotte Tilbury launched her make up collection. Of course, the liner was actually one of my first Tilbury purchases and, it remains an every day staple in my make up collection. So, when everyone started talking about the release of “Pillow Talk” in the “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula, it sky-rocketed to the top of my wish list.

The “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula is infused with a blend of oils so it isn’t drying on the lips. However, it’s not really completely matte either – the formula does have a slight sheen, as you will see in the pictures. The texture is perfectly silky and I think it’s a great matte option for older ladies.




The “Pillow Talk” shade is absolutely beautiful. It’s a gorgeous nude with pink tones so it really flatters the Irish “Celtic” complexion which was really important for me because beige toned nude lipsticks tend to make me look like a walking corpse. The pink/nude shade isn’t ground breaking and I have a few similar ones in my collection but this particular one applies beautifully and it has good lasting power. It’s definitely a “your lips but better” kind of colour.



The lipstick is pricey at €32 but I really would pick this one up again. It ticks all the boxes that a high-end matte lipstick formula should. It’s a beautiful universal shade, it has a silky and moisturising texture and it’s long lasting – perfect for gals who are always on the go. “Pillow Talk” has definitely become my every day, office wear lipstick and I’ve been getting lots of compliments on it.




So, what do you think? Would you spend the moola? Let us know in the comment section.

Rouge x


Bellamianta “Crystal Clear Rapid Self Tanning Clear Mousse” – Review.

Time for a little bit of full disclosure. Before you read this blog post, please note that I am absolutely atrocious at applying false tan. The majority of the time, I just give it a miss and embrace the pale and, that’s ok too. I really wish that people wouldn’t feel insecure about their natural skin tone. However, it’s alright to want to mix it up every now and again and in this miserable winter weather, a little sun kissed glow can help to brighten a dull day.

Like I said, I’m really not talented when it comes to applying tan but recently, Bellamianta sent me a press package and promised me that their new formula was a game changer. And, in many ways, they were right.



First off, you prepare your skin for this formula as you would for any other tan. That means lots of body scrub and moisturiser for approx four days before application. If you don’t prep your skin properly, the tan won’t apply properly and really, whose fault is that?

So I scrubbed and moisturised for about a week before a big night out and, on the Thursday evening, decided to marinate. This Bellamianta formula is “crystal” clear so there’s no guide colour. Happy enough to take the risk, I applied a plentiful amount to my body using the Bellamianta tanning mitt. The product is soft and luxurious to apply. It spreads quickly and evenly and unfortunately, that’s how I lost the run of myself and after six minutes and two Beyoncé songs, I realised that I’d applied one third of the bottle to my body!

I didn’t panic though, there was no guide colour after all so I was sure I’d applied the product perfectly. Again, full disclosure – I’d had a few wines at the time. Of course, I took some ridiculous notion that I needn’t apply the formula to my face because I could just “match it up” with a foundation in the morning. Here’s a word of warning – ALWAYS apply the formula to your face because your foundation doesn’t want to work that hard. Anyway, off to sleep I went, perfectly content and delighted with my new found tanning ability.

I woke up the next morning and my limbs were a gorgeous olive shade. To my delight, the tan hadn’t transferred on to my crisp white sheets and that’s the main selling point of this formula. It really doesn’t transfer on to clothing or your bed sheets and for that reason, I would definitely repurchase.

Of course, I was instantly in awe of the gorgeous bronzed shade of my skin and went to admire myself in the mirror and that’s where a little bit of disaster struck – I really should have applied the formula to my face. Of course, that was my own fault and it isn’t a mistake I’ll make again.

Even after a shower, the tan was much darker than my natural skin tone and it took a make up artist’s collection to “match” me up so my gorgeous pal Aisling Hickey sorted me out with a make over. For reference, here’s a photo of my regular foundation shade vs the shade I wore to match the Bellamianta formula.



The neck/face conundrum wasn’t the only application issue I faced as I accidentally tanned the palms of my hands and clearly, that’s where the majority of the one third of the bottle went because nothing would remove it – not even my usual lemon juice trick.

However, application glitches aside, I absolutely loved the formula. It blended into the skin easily, dried quickly and gave an even colour pay off. The tan really is a gorgeous olive tone. My favourite thing about the formula is that it doesn’t transfer on to the bed sheets – even when you apply far too much! I’ve since re-applied the tan and recommend, as Bellamianta do, that you use the formula sparingly – especially around the hands, feet, knees and elbows.


All in all, this is definitely one of the better false tan formulas that I’ve tried and by gifting it to me, Bellamianta have taught me a few very valuable lessons:

1) Always apply your chosen tanning product to your face as well as your neck.

2) Don’t tan the palm of your hands.

3) It’s probably not a good idea to wine and tan!

I will be using this one again and again until I have to purchase another bottle and that really does say a lot –  rarely use the same tanning formula more than three times. It may be of interest to lots of you that the tan wore off evenly, with the help of body scrub and moisturiser.

The Bellamianta “Crystal Clear” formula is available in pharmacies nationwide and online from Cloud10 Beauty. Have you tried it yet? Are you as excited as I am about a formula that doesn’t transfer on to your sheets? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x


ELF Cosmetics’ “Prep and Hydrate Balm” – Review.

Alright, so a few of you have been asking me why I’m not publishing blog posts as often as I used to. I’m actually a little surprised that anyone noticed but the truth is that I’ve simply started a new job that demands my full attention and to be honest, the blogging community has become a little bit saturated with “samsie” beauty posts. We all get the same press drops and an awful lot of the time, it seems like we’re all writing the same or similar type of content.

That said, every so often, a product that I cannot stop raving about comes along and I just have to take a few hours to write about it. Yes, that means that I’ve found a new “Holy Grail” – so let’s talk about ELF’s “Prep and Hydrate Balm”. Sweet baby Jesus, this primer knocks all of the other primers that I’ve tried out of the park.

Basically, it’s a travel-friendly balm formula that you pop all over your cleansed face and blend with your fingertips before applying foundation. The balm is infused with Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Aloe so it’s instantly cooling on the skin. I think this one is perfect for dry, sensitive skin that’s irritated by the cold weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

So, why does this primer stand out from the others? Well, this is the first formula that keeps my foundation in place ALL day. I usually apply my make up at 6am and don’t take it off until about 9pm so as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of foundation generally wears off throughout the day or gets absorbed into my skin (gross). Not any more – the balm creates a real barrier between my skin and my foundation (Armani Luminous Silk) and now when I wash my face in the evening, I see much more product on the washcloth. The balm also creates an even base for the application of your foundation and works well to conceal dry skin.

The photo above was taken after approximately 5-6 hours of wear – no filter necessary. The lazy girl inside me is delighted that I no longer have to cart about a make up bag to top up my foundation when I decide to go to the pub after work.

The formula isn’t greasy to the touch but I do imagine it works better for dehydrated / normal skin than it does for oily skin but at less than €15, I’d recommend everyone to give it a go.

ELF Cosmetics products are available in pharmacies nationwide and in Penneys.

Now tell me, what affordable products do you deem deserving of “Holy Grail” status? Let us know in the comment section.

Rouge x


Combating Winter Weather – Lip Rescue Products

I absolutely hate the cold weather because let’s fact it – my skin is already in bits and it’s only the beginning of December! Every inch of me from my elbows to my cuticles is horrified by the sudden lack of moisture in the air. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to publish a “Winter Weather Rescue” series, focusing on some no frill products that actually work. However, this series has a twist – I can’t try every product on the market because, I don’t have that much skin. With that in mind, I will be asking my followers to make some recommendations too and basically, majority wins. I will be writing about the products that you love, the products that I love and the products that we both hate. Let the winter games begin!

First up, I want to talk about lip balms. If I could only wear one type of beauty product for the rest of my days, it would definitely be lipstick. A slick of lip colour is definitely the quickest fix for brightening your complexion and I have a collection that spans hundreds of different shades – yes, hundreds! So, when my lips are chapped, it tends to be an issue. Of course, I’ve search high and low for cures and after asking all of you to give me some recommendations, I’ve come up with the following list:

My Favourites:


Dr Paw Paw “Multipurpose Soothing Balm” (€7.95) – Available Here from Cloud10 Beauty:

Dr Paw Paw

I’m mad about this balm because it’s a multipurpose product and really can be used to solve a multitude of problems. It soothes and heals chapped lips but it also works as a hair conditioner, body moisturiser and works surprisingly well on sunburn. My only issue with this one is that it’s really difficult to squeeze out of the tube and that drives me bananas if I’m in a hurry but that’s something I can live with when the product genuinely works.


Kiehl’s “Mango Scented Lip Balm” (€11) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Kiehls Mango Lip Balm

When I first purchased this lip balm, it did cross my mind that I may have gone temporarily insane because I paid €11 for a 15ml tube but, I’ve since realised that you get what you pay for. I love the Mango scent so I tend to wear this one underneath matte lipsticks on an everyday basis to keep my lips healthy, rather than to repair already damaged lips.


Blistex “Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream” (€3.79) – Available Here from Boots:

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser.png


I’ve been using this lip balm since it was stored in my pencil case in Secondary School (not the same tube, obviously) so it has definitely stood the test of time. It’s not as glamorous as some of the other options in this post but it works every single time. I do dislike the fact that the formula applies in a white shade but the colour fades in seconds and you’re left with moisturised, soothed lips.


Follower Favourites:


La Roche Posay “Cicaplast” Balm (€6.50) – Available Here from Boots:


When I asked for recommendations for lip balms on my Instastories, at least a dozen people mentioned this offering from La Roche Posay. One person who recommended it was Aisling Hickey of @ILoveBarrysTeaAndBrows whose make up tips I trust 100%. Of course, I also did a little background research on the internet and Google tells me that Aisling isn’t the only one raving about this balm. It’s designed to create a long-lasting barrier around your lips to prevent and repair extreme chapping. Supposedly, this one layers really well under lipstick and acts as a primer so I’m going to pick one up online, after I finish this post.


E.L.F. Cosmetics “Lip Scrub” (€6.45) – Available Here from Cara Pharmacy:


elf lip scrub review


Alright, I know that technically this one isn’t a lip balm but it’s still a rescue product. Lots of you were quick to point out that lip balms won’t be effective unless you exfoliate your lips every few days and the majority of those who were asked to recommend lip exfoliators, said that they loved this one from E.L.F. It may not be most fabulously presented product – I’m a bit concerned about the brown shade – but if it works, you couldn’t go wrong at that price point. Another one for my wish list.


Failed Rescue Missions:


Vaseline “Lip Therapy Original” (€2.69):

Vaseline Lip Therapy.png


I know that so many people are going to disagree with me on this one but I hate Vaseline. It’s pretty much just petroleum jelly in a cute tin and even though it feels as though it’s soothing my lips upon application, the effects are temporary and my lips always seemed to become more chapped than ever after this product fully absorbs.


EOS “Organic Sweet Mint Lip Balm” (€5.99):

EOS Lip Balm

As a general rule, I really try not to get sucked into purchasing products through celebrity advertising and promotion but years ago, when Nicole Scherzinger worked with EOS, I couldn’t resist. This product sounds great – it’s certified as organic with all natural ingredients but, I just didn’t find it to be effective at soothing and moisturising lips. The packaging is cute and I enjoyed the minty scent but I wouldn’t repurchase.


And there you have it – all the hit, miss and follower favourite products that made the list of lip balms. Now tell me, what do you think of this format? Do you enjoy some follower input? Let me know in the comment section!

Rouge x


Armani “Lip Magnet” – Review

If you’ve watched my Instastories lately, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Armani beauty products. They’re one of my favourite make up brands, simply because their products are fuss-free and easy to use. With this in mind, when I’m buying new products, the Armani counter is usually my first stop and a few weeks ago, I went on a little bit of a shopping spree. I picked up some of my usual favourites, including the Armani “Luminous Silk Foundation” which I reviewed here but I also picked up a newbie.


Armani Lip Magnet No 508.jpg


Let me introduce you to the newest member of my lipstick family; Armani’s “Lip Magnet” in the Shade “No. 508”. Now, I fell in lust with the “Lip Magnet” formula last winter, when the first batch of shades were released and wore “No.602”, a stunning deep plum shade, religiously over the Christmas season. So, when the sales assistant at the Armani counter in Brown Thomas informed me that Armani released new shades of the “Lip Magnet” formula for Christmas 2017, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. However, I didn’t expect anything nearly as gorgeous as the shade “No.508” – I think I’ve finally found my “perfect” nude shade.

The “Lip Magnet” is a really high-end, matte lipstick. It glides onto the lips and if you apply a very thin layer, it feels weightless on the lips. I know that some people are concerned about wearing matte make up products during the cold weather months but they’re ideal for nights out and you’ll see plenty of those over the festive season. The “Lip Magnet” stays put ALL night, not just for a few hours and it’s neither drying nor moisturising. It does fade but it doesn’t crack or bleed like lots of other matte formulas and for this reason, I’m content to pay the hefty price of €33.

Did I mention that the “No.508” shade is perfection? As a pale skinned ghost girl, I really struggle to find nude lipstick shades that don’t create the illusion that I’m a cast member of The Walking Dead. For that reason, I steer clear of light nudes and opt for rose shades instead. However, this shade is a beautiful light pink shade that’s actually pretty close (but nicer) to my natural lip shade.


To summarise, the “Lip Magnet” is my new go-to party lipstick and even though I am a fan of the classic Christmas reds, I think I’ll be opting to wear “No.508” at every opportunity over the next few weeks! If you’re at an Armani counter over the next few weeks, have a swatch and you won’t regret it!


What do you think of the shade? And, have you tried the “Lip Magnet” formula before? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x


Black Friday – My Top 5 Picks

As some of you will already know, I’ve been sharing Black Friday discount codes over on my Instagram all week. In fact, at this stage, it’s probably a bit of a discount code overload. It’s all well and good having a big list of discounts, but stock levels are likely to plummet as quickly as your bank balance so it’s important to have a list of items that you want to pick up, while they’re on offer. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my own list. I’ve limited myself to five purchases (it was very difficult to narrow it down) and my wishlist reads a little something like this:

POCO by Pippa “The Off Duty” (Reduced from €90 to €70):


POCO by Pippa


I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair of POCO by Pippa jeans for months now and Black Friday is the perfect opportunity. Pippa has just announced that there will be €20 off selected styles from 12pm tonight. I’ll be picking up a pair of the Off Duty style and they’re available here.


Instyler “Cerasilk Styling Iron” (Reduced from €119.99 to €89.99):


Instyler Cerasilk


I actually broke my GHD styler a few weeks ago and rather than purchasing another one, I’ve decided to buy an Instyler “Cerasilk” instead. Instyler are an Irish brand and their heated hair tools are designed to straighten and curl hair so this tool is multi-purpose. The “Cerasilk” is designed to keep hair as healthy as possible, by limiting any heat damage caused by the product. I’m delighted about this because I’m trying to keep my hair and need to avoid adding to my split ends! The “Cerasilk” is available here with a 25% discount.


“Sculpted by Aimee Connolly” Palette (Reduced from €24.95 to €19.95):


Sculpted by Aimee Connolly


Aimee Connolly is one of my favourite Irish Make Up Artists. You need only watch Pippa O’Connor’s Snapchats for a few days to get a sneak peak of her in action and the results are always flawless. This leads me to believe that Aimee’s first product release, the “Sculpted” palette is a must have and therefore, I must have it. I struggle with contour more than any other make up technique so I’m looking forward to giving this a whirl. I think that this would be a great Christmas pressie for ladies of all ages. Cloud10 Beauty are offering 20% off the palette using the code BLACK20.


Blank Canvas “6 Piece Travel Set” (Reduced from €40 to €26):

Blank Canvas


For the past few years, I’ve used Black Friday as an excuse to stockpile make up brushes but this year, I’m going to be sensible and take it easy on my bank balance. With that said, I’m starting a new job in a few weeks so I think that a new set of travel brushes can be considered an essential purchase. Blank Canvas never let me down when it comes to the quality of their brushes so I will be picking up one of these travel sets for my handbag and two F20 brushes because they’re my absolute favourite brushes for creating the perfect base. Blank Canvas are offering a huge 35% off from 7pm this evening and this set is available from their website here.


Clarins “Eau Ressourcante” Gift Set (Reduced from €42 to €35.70):

Clarins Gift Set.png


Clarins have some AMAZING Christmas offerings this year and as always, their gift sets are great value. I’ve been meaning to purchase the “Eau Ressourcante” fragrance for some time now, after spritzing it at the Clarins’ counter in my local Debenhams a few months ago. The scent is marketed as a calming, soothing fragrance and contains notes of Basil, Iris and Cedarwood. It’s a gorgeous, earthy fragrance that reminds me of a day at the spa. Basically, when you buy this gift set at the reduced price (15% off), you’re getting the full sized body cream and a travel size body scrub for free. You can pick up this bargain here, from Debenhams.


That’s it – the height of my Black Friday spending. I’m going to do my best to stick with this list but I will let you know if I make any impulse purchases over the course of the day via Instagram Stories (UN: Rougewritinghood).

In the meantime, tell us what’s on your wishlist in the comment section!

Rouge x