Brace Yourself, Dry Hands are Coming – My Top 3 Hand Creams.

It’s frickin’ BALTIC outside all of a sudden and the central heating is on full blast. This paired with my new fascination with cleaning (thanks to Mrs. Hinch) means that my hands are in bits. I know that lots of you are probably suffering with the same issue at the moment so I thought I’d share a post on my favorite hand creams.

CeraVe “Reparative Hand Cream”:

I was only recently introduced to the CeraVe brand and I have to say, I’m very impressed with the products that I’ve tried. Their “Reparative Hand Cream” does exactly what it says in the packaging. It absorbs into the skin really quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy residue, which is exactly what I look for in a hand cream. This formula includes hyaluronic acid so it works to repair cracked and dry skin, as well as instantly soothing it. The product is also fragrance free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. This is the cream that I reach for after I’ve cleaned the house with detergents that make my hands sting. I’ve got really sensitive skin so I’m currently on the look out for some more natural cleaning products. CeraVe’s “Reparative Hand Cream” is available in pharmacies nationwide and costs just €5 – an absolute bargain.

The Body Shop “Shea Hand Cream”:

This hand cream from The Body Shop is absolutely divine. It has an almost gel like texture so again, this one absorbs really quickly. The shea scented version smells luxurious but it’s not over powering. The formula soothes skin and I feel instant relief when I use it. The Body Shop’s Hand cream is my handbag staple and at €6.50 it’s another affordable option. The packaging is also fabulous so it would be a lovely stocking filler / kris kindle present – sorry for mentioning Christmas so soon.

Crabtree & Evelyn “Verbena & Lavender De Provence Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy:

This hand cream from Crabtree and Evelyn is absolute heaven. It’s rich and luxurious, without being greasy. I adore the scent which is lavender with a hint of lemon and it lingers on the skin for hours. The ingredients include shea butter, macadamia nut and vitamins so it’s a really nourishing formula that genuinely improves the condition of my skin. The Crabtree and Evelyn Hand cream is more expensive than the others on the list at €24 but it’s double the size of the CeraVe option and over triple the size of The Body Shop hand cream – it’s a 100ml tube. This hand cream is one of my all time favourites and it’s another one that’s a gorgeous gift option.

And there you have it; three quick solutions to rescue tired, dry hands. Let me know if you have any other favourites to add to the list. And, definitely let me know if you have any advice on natural/organic cleaning products.

Rouge x

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YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation” – Review.

As the weather gets colder, I know that lots of you will be making changes to your make up routine. Like me, some of you will be adding lots of glitter and berry lipsticks to your make up bags for the party season that’s about to begin. But, what about foundation? Have you considered swapping your current formula for one that’s more appropriate for cold weather conditions?

I’m a big fan of tinted moisturiser and CC creams but during the winter months, I like to wear something that’s a bit more full coverage and lasts longer on the skin. Recently, I’ve been trying out the YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation”. I attended a masterclass given by Fred Letailleur, European Make Up Artist, where I was shade matched and very kindly gifted the foundation in the shade “B10”. As per usual, this was the lightest shade in the range and it’s a lovely match for my ghostly pale skin.

Initially, I wasn’t mad keen on the idea of a stick foundation. I’m beyond the fear of “pan stick” that I developed in my teenage years because I have tried some lovely high-end stick foundations but, in my experience, they just don’t last as long as their liquid counterparts. However, Fred demonstrated an application method whereby you apply the formula directly to your foundation brush, rather than your face, which means you only use the amount of product that you need. This method of application also leaves you with the option to create a very light base, which is what I prefer to do for daytime wear.

The formula itself is creamy and easy to blend. I always use a brightening primer, before applying foundation and when this product is applied over such a primer, it creates an absolutely gorgeous glow – I’m definitely sold. I blend the product with my Blank Canvas F20 brush and it creates a nice, medium coverage base. It’s heavier coverage that I like to wear during the summer months but the “All Hours” formula feels light on my skin and it lasts so much longer than the vast majority of foundations that I own.

When I really need my make up to last, I spend a little bit longer than usual building the products up. However, this stick foundation lasts extremely well without any effort. I’ve gotten 16 hours out of it without any notable wear, just a little around the nose but that definitely isn’t unusual for me. On two occasions when I’ve known I needed my make up to last from day to night, I applied this foundation over a primer and used both cream and powder blush, highlighter and bronzer and I have to say, my make up was still perfect when I was going to bed. I don’t need to top the “All Hours” foundation up throughout the day but I don’t have oily skin so I didn’t expect to. If you do have oily skin and find that you need to re-apply your foundation through the day, this stick formula would be a really handy one to just throw in your handbag. I also don’t need to dust it with setting powder after the product has set, unless I’m stuck to the dance floor when I’m out.

Overall, I’m so impressed. This foundation applies and blends like the dream. I can’t be sure that it wouldn’t cling to dry patches of skin but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a very creamy products that’s easy to blend so I wouldn’t expect it to. Anyone with oily skin would need a bit of setting powder throughout the day, but no more so than if they were wearing any other foundation.

The YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation” retails at €39.50 and it’s available from all Irish stockists including Debenhams, Brown Thomas and Arnotts.

So what do you think? Are you going to swap your foundation for something a little more full-coverage over the winter months? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

TheBalm “BalmJour” – Review.

Have you switched your central heating back on yet? Yeah, me too. Which, as I’m sure you already know, means dry skin and chapped lips. Fantastic. As the winter months hit, the majority of us will need to start switching up our make up and skincare routines and one of the first things to be put back into my make up drawer is matte lipstick. I adore my matte lippies and I’ll still be wearing them on nights out but for every day wear, my lips can’t hack them during the winter. I’m not a huge fan of lipgloss either – I cannot be dealing with a mouth full of hair every time I step into a gust of wind. Talk about first world problems!

TheBalm have recognised our need for a hybrid product and “BalmJour” is exactly that; it’s a lovely combination of lip stain and a non-sticky gloss. The product comes in 8 different shades and I was lucky enough to get my hands on all of them, thanks to the lovely press team at TheBalm.

As you can see from the above swatches, the “BalmJour” product is really pigmented. The formula glides onto the lips and sits comfortably. They’re not heavy duty lip stains so once the gloss wears off, you won’t have a really strong color but it will definitely be visible, particularly if you’re wearing the shades “Ciao” or “Ni Hao”. “Ni Hao” is probably my favorite shade because it’s a beautiful deep red, perfect for autumn and winter. For something a little more subtle, I’m a big fan of “Aloha”.

All in all, I’m very impressed by this product. The shades are beautiful and the formula is easy to wear. The “BalmJour” lip products also affordable at €14. They would make a perfect treat to console yourself about having to switch the heating back on.

TheBalm is available at TheBalm.com, from Debenhams and from Cloud 10 Beauty.

So what do you think? Are you going to switch things up this year or are you planning to stick with your matte liquid lipsticks?

Rouge x

Wet n Wild “ Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” – Review.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of Wet n Wild. It’s been one of my favorite budget beauty brands since way back in the day when I started blogging. I’m obsessed with their blushers, highlighters and lipsticks and you’ll often hear me chatting on my Insta-stories about old favorites and new releases. However, I have to say that I’ve just never gotten along with their mascaras. I’ve tried a few and I’ve just never been wowed by them, particularly the “Max Volume” formula which got lots of praise from the blogging community but just wouldn’t stay on my lashes for more that 20 minutes, without transferring to my cheeks and transforming me into Alice Cooper. So, as you can imagine, I was apprehensive about their new launch; the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara”. But, apprehension never stops me from trying a new product out and in this instance, I have to say that the packaging had me really intrigued.

So, let’s talk about the packaging then. As you can probably tell from the product’s name; it has a teeny, skinny wand which means a few things: a) the formula applies easily to every single lash and b) it’s not messy to apply and you won’t have to worry about smudging your eyelid with a clumsy, big wand. However, it also means that you have to apply a few coats if you want both length and volume because the wand doesn’t dispense enough product in one swipe to create a major amount of volume.

The formula itself is a gorgeous shade of jet black and applies evenly without clumping. I’ve been wearing this mascara for weeks now and haven’t experience any flaking or clumping, even after approx 12 hours of wear. It just doesn’t budge. This is exactly what has me sold – the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” is a €5 Mascara that doesn’t slide down your face throughout the day. How could you go wrong?

There’s a little unedited (as always) snap to demonstrate what my lashes look like after application of the mascara. You’ve probably all seen my natural lashes a million times before on Instagram but for those of you who don’t know, they’re extremely fair but naturally long-ish. I think that this mascara really helps to create the illusion of extra length though. I also love how well it applies to my bottom lashes and makes them loom full, without smudging or transferring. I’ve been getting a surprising amount of compliments on my eye make up lately and I have to say, I think that this product from Wet n Wild is the one making the difference.

You can buy Wet n Wild products in pharmacies nationwide but upon a quick Google, I just realised that they’re also now stocked on Beauty Bay who have the mascara in stock.

So what do you think? Have you tried products from Wet n Wild before? If so, let us know your favorites – I’m always looking to add to my shopping list.

Rouge x

My Birthday Beauty Wish List.

I cannot believe that it’s August 2018 already. It feels like it was five minutes ago that I was celebrating my 21st birthday and now I’m hurtling towards 30.. THIRTY! Jesus, the thought is giving me anxiety. If you had asked me four years ago where I would be right now, I reckon my delusional younger self would have been a bit too optimistic.

So without further ado, I’m going to focus on something a bit less frightening. Every year, I spend the month of August treating myself – I’m a big believer in the “Birthday Month”. I obviously spend weeks compiling a wish list and studying online reviews before I decided what to spend my (very) limited hard earned cash on. I asked if Rouge Writing Hood’s readers would be interested in reading a post about what I’ve classed as my “must haves” this year and 92% said that they would be. Majority rules so here we go..

Huda Beauty’s “Desert Dusk Palette” – €65:

 

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I had every intention of leaving this palette on the shop shelves forever. No way was I spending €65 of my moola on an eyeshadow palette – not a hope! And then, Sinead from The Beautiful Truth posted about it here and I knew I had to have it. So the “Desert Dusk” palette is at the top of my wish list now. The shade selection is right up my alley so I’m absolutely dying to try the formulas.

“Desert Dusk” is available here, from Arnotts.

 

Replica “By the Fireplace” – €105:

 

Replica’s “By the Fireplace” is my signature scent. I absolutely adore it and obviously, this one will be a re-purchase. I got a bottle of this last Christmas and I still have about 3/4 left so while it’s pricey, a little goes a long way and the bottle lasts ages. The fragrance is very much a cosy winter scent with seductive woody notes.

“By the Fireplace” is available here, from Brown Thomas.

Hourglass “Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick” – €50:

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

 

Hourglass launched in Arnotts last week so I popped into the store for a nose and I have to say, I sort of regret doing so because now I want EVERYTHING. First and foremost, I need to get my hands on this stick foundation because I tried it on and it’s nothing short of divine. I was matched with the shade “Porcelain” and it blended in with my natural skin colour perfectly. Even though it’s a stick formula (which you would expect to feel heavy), it feels soft and lightweight on the skin.

The Hourglass “Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick” is available here, from Arnotts.

 

Hourglass “Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow” – €30:

scattered_light_glitter_eyeshadow-review.jpg

 

I suppose that when you consider the fact that this single eyeshadow costs €30, the Huda palette doesn’t seem like bad value. Normally, I would say that this is CRAZY money for a single eyeshadow – especially because I always reach for palettes over my single shades but, I swatched this in store when I was trying the stick foundation and I fell in love. This is definitely the most “buttery” pigment I’ve ever come across in a glitter eyeshadow the gold shade was really vibrant. I can’t wait to add this to my collection.

You can find the “Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow” here, from Arnotts.

 

Charlotte Tilbury “Rock n Kohl: Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil” – €25:

 

Rock_n_Kohl_Iconic_Liquid_Eye_Pencil Eye Cheat

 

 

Alright, so I know I’m late to this party but I never use nude eyeliner to brighten up my eyes. My Mum recently purchased this Charlotte Tilbury one, in the shade “Eye Cheat” and definitely influenced me. It doesn’t seem to budge at all throughout the day and the nude shade is very pigmented so it’s easy to apply.

The “Eye Cheat” liner is available here, from Arnotts.

 

Tom Ford “Lip Colour” – €48:

 

Tom Ford Near Dark Lipstick

 

 

This is starting to feel like it’s going to be a very spend-y month altogether but I mean, have you seen this shade? It’s called “After Dark” and I think it will be so perfect for autumn and winter. I love deep red shades but I have nothing like this. I also love Tom Ford lipsticks. They’re mad expensive but they really are superior quality. The pigments tend to be very strong and I’ve been impressed with the lasting power of any shade that I’ve tried to date.

You can find “After Dark” here, from Brown Thomas.

 

And there you have it, a list of all the beauty bits that I am determined to treat myself to this month. Let me know if you have any more suggestions, as I’m always open to a few add-ons.

Rouge x

“If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything” – A List of My Favourite Bloggers.

The title of this post says it all. I know that a lot of you are just fed up when it comes to the “influencer” scene. In many ways, so am I! Even though I’m fortunate enough to receive some press samples, I’m still a consumer, like everyone else. I’ve fallen for the bullshit communicated through photoshopped pictures on more than one occasion and I’ve purchased more crap contour kits that I wish to admit. So at this point, if I’m following a blogger or social media personality, it’s because they stand for quality and honesty in the industry.

I asked a few weeks ago (via Instagram Poll) if my readers would be interested in a list of bloggers who I find to be completely frank, honest and trustworthy in their reviews and the response was very positive. I’m delighted to hear that people still enjoy reading blog posts, on the condition that they’re reading real opinions. So, here’s a list of my absolute favourites:

The Beautiful Truth

I have been following Sinead since way back in the day, before I ever decided to write my own blog. In fact, the Beautiful Truth was my inspiration when I started Rouge Writing Hood. Sinead is a teacher, a Mammy, a blogger and following the launch of Alainn, a businesswoman. I can’t even imagine being this busy.

What I love about Sinead is that she never automatically buys into the “hype” of big product launches. She takes her time to try products and doesn’t give full reviews after two or three uses. I also love that The Beautiful Truth references lots of products that Sinead didn’t enjoy – her posts are always balanced and very opinionated. I trust The Beautiful Truth website and it’s one of the first sites I click on when I’m researching my product wish list. Sinead has inspired me to make some gorgeous purchases over the years – including some great budget buys from brands such as Wet n Wild.

You can find The Beautiful Truth here.

Louise O’Connell

Louise is one of the nicest, most supportive ladies that I have met through the blogging community. If you’ve watched her Instagram stories, I bet you can’t help but love her. She’s a likeable lady who always gives her honest opinion on beauty products, regardless of whether she’s been sent them as part of a press package.

Of course Louise knows all there is to know about beauty but I actually enjoy her fashion posts most of all. She’s not posting photoshopped pictures that make me feel like I need to run on a treadmill for a few hours. Instead, I think that Louise is a perfect example of a healthy woman who has curves just like I do, and isn’t trying to hide that. Nor should she! My Mum calls me with daily updates on Louise’s stories and we both think that it’s lovely to see a relatable, gorgeous woman dressing so stylishly on a budget that’s actually accessible to working women.

I highly recommend that you take a look at Louise’s Instagram feed and her website which you can find here.

The Pharmers Journal

If you aren’t following Edel, not only are you missing out on some brilliant beauty knowledge, you’re also missing out on the cutest baby of all time – her daughter, Pearl. I love that as a busy Mum and working Pharmacist, Edel still finds time to make recommendations and tells us whether she would bother repurchasing a product after use, which is the real test.

I also have great faith in the recommendations of a Pharmacist because, let’s face it, she definitely knows more about the science behind the beauty industry than I could ever hope to.

You can find The Pharmers Journal here and I recommend following Edel on Instagram too because that’s where she runs through her “empty products” which is my favourite kind of beauty chat.

Beautynook

I’m actually relatively new to following Gemma of Beautynook, after a referral by The Beautiful Truth. However, I already know that this lady doesn’t entertain bullshit. She says it as it is, always giving her honest opinion and that’s a quality that I love in a blogger.

Gemma’s YouTube tutorials are informative and really easy to follow. I’m always intrigued to find out what her monthly favourites are and find myself referring back to her videos when I’m trying to decide whether or not I “need” certain beauty products.

You can find Beautynook here.

Lipstick and Leopard Print

I just love Joanne. Her passion for make up and skincare is unwavering and this is something that inspires me, even when I’m not feeling the “blogging scene”. Occasionally, I like to take a break from blogging and from make up because often, I find myself scrolling through Instagram comparing myself to supermodels and feeling down about it. However, Joanne’s posts always pull my interest back into focus. I love that she loves make up because it’s a bit of fun, rather than a necessity. She’s not afraid to be bold and play with colour.

Joanne is also really down to earth and definitely wouldn’t try to sell you on an expensive product that she didn’t believe in. She’s often recommending budget beauty and I’ll go out and buy it because I know that she’s a trustworthy source. We also share a huge love of Clarins so I think her judgement is pretty spot on.

You can find Lipstick and Leopard Print here.

Adorn.ie

Anita is another lady on this list who works a full time job and still manages to find the time to write blog posts on a regular basis.

Like the rest of the ladies on this list, Anita doesn’t rely on blogging as her main source of income and that’s obvious because she never pushes products. Her reviews are informative and she always gives a balanced, honest opinion as to whether certain beauty products have worked for her, or not.

Anita is also an expert in all things nail related so I like to keep an eye on her blog posts for new nail polish shades and trends. You can find Adorn.ie here.

Ms Juicyy

Alright, so I’m aware that all of the bloggers who I’ve listed up to this point have been Irish. So obviously, the products that they review are always accessible online or in Irish shops and pharmacies. Jas, who runs Ms Juicyy, is resident in Las Vegas and gives me serious Stateside envy.

I love following Jas on Instagram because she keeps me up to date on new releases in the States, which will usually trickle into the Irish market at a later date. That gives me plenty of time to start saving my pennies for my next purchase.

Jas always seems to say it as it is. If she loves something, you’ll find her talking about it on lots of occasions – not just using it a few times and moving on to the next thing. She’s also down to earth and tells her followers when she doesn’t think a product is up to scratch or worth the price. As far as I’m aware, Jas doesn’t run a blog site separate from her Instagram, so it’s worth checking her out there.

And there you have it, a complete list of the people I’m paying closest attention to on Instagram and other social media platforms. I think that every lady listed in this posts stands for honesty and that’s something I appreciate in the world of social media, where there really is a huge amount of pressure to conform to the idea of “perfect” that is portrayed by large marketing campaigns that use airbrushing and photoshopping to appeal to consumers.

Now tell me, who do you love to follow?

Rouge x

Redken “High Rise Volume” Duo – Review

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with haircare. As a natural ginger, I’ve grown to love my hair colour and I’m very invested in keeping it bright and shiny. That means that I’m forever buying hair products and hoping to find a miracle.

As a Trainee, I’m usually working with a low budget so for years, I’ve avoided buying expensive shampoos and conditioners because I convinced myself that there was no difference, other than the branding. Then, Redken were generous enough to send me some of their products to try and I fell in love. For months now, I’ve been using the “High Rise Volume” shampoo and conditioner. I don’t believe that you can trial haircare in a few weeks so even though I received these products before Christmas, I held off on writing a post about them because I wanted to be sure that I thought they were worth the money.

The shampoo can be used daily but personally, I wash my hair every three days. While using this formula, I didn’t experience any build up in my scalp, which is a big problem that I’ve had while using other “volumising” products. I also like the fact that this formula does “sud up” well because it feels like you’re really cleaning your hair well when you use it.

I’ve been using the conditioner every time that I use the shampoo so I can only really review them as a pair. I use a generous amount of this product, after shampooing, and brush it through the hair with my Wetbrush. It seems to moisturise my hair really well, without making it greasy. Both the shampoo and conditioner contain a blend of filloxane and although I have no clue when it comes to the science of it all, Redken claim that this is what helps give the hair a lift. I have to say that in my opinion, it really works. After I started using these products, I noticed that there was no need to use volumising products or dry shampoo in my hair after washing it, to give it a boost.

As you can see, my hair is looking pretty healthy these days and I have to say that I’m delighted with that. I know that the Redken hair products don’t come cheap, but I think that I’ve really seen the difference. Although I got the Redken “High Rise Volume” duo as part of a press package, I repurchased them when they ran out after about four months.

To be honest, I can’t see myself going back to cheap shampoo and conditioner. I know that Redken is expensive but I got a solid four months out of each bottle (a little longer out of the conditioner) so I don’t think it’s one that will really break the bank. Plus, I think it’s worth the shine and the volume. Obviously in these photos, I’ve styled my hair with a curling tong but even when it’s straight, there’s plenty of volume around the roots. I have to say, I’m very impressed.

Obviously, given my budgeting issues, I looked high and low to find the cheapest stockist of Redken in Ireland and the best prices that I found were on beautyfeatures.ie – it’s not an affiliated link or sponsored, they just seem to offer really good deals and promotions.

So let me know what you think. Are you willing to spend some extra cash on haircare if it works better than cheaper alternatives?

Rouge x