Kiko Milano “Smart Fusion” Lipstick – Review

As widely publicised on my Instagram, I was on holidays in Italy a few weeks ago. And, we all known that one can’t go to Italy without an hour long trip to the closest Kiko shop. Because we don’t have Kiko stores in Ireland, I got a tad over excited and bought loads of products for myself and my bestie and I have to say, I felt like I was making money when I got to the checkout. Excellent value but one product in particular stood out, the “Smart Fusion” lipstick.

This lipstick retails at €3.99 and I bought the shade “406 Warm Rose”. Before I get to reviewing the formula, I want to address the packaging. Basically, I’m not a fan of the tube. The lid is not magnetic so I’ve found the lipstick opened inside my handbag on more than one occasion. If I paid more than €3.99 for the product, I’d be fuming. However, the formula and shade make up for it.

As you can see, the formula is nicely pigmented. It has a creamy texture and feels soft on the lips. The lipstick isn’t drying. In fact, I’d almost go as far as to say that it’s nourishing. It doesn’t bled outside my lip line, even when I apply it without liner. I’m delighted with it. I’m also loving the shade, which is a beautiful light rose color – it reminds me of spring.

The “Smart Fusion” lipstick is available in 36 shades online. What do you think? If you ask me, they’re a bargain!

Rouge x

McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy – My Top 5 Picks

Word on the street is that Sam McCauley Chemists are rebranding to McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy. I feel a sense of loyalty to this particular group of pharmacies because as many of you already know, I’m from Cavan. Growing up, McCauley’s was the one stop shop for all my junior disco needs – they always had me covered when it came to beauty buys. Over the years, their selection of brands has only gotten more impressive and their discounts are always fantastic.

To celebrate their re-launch, McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy have given me a discount code to share with you all. The code LOVEMCCAULEY15 will get you 15% off everything on the website (with a few exceptions – T&Cs apply). The code is valid from 16th – 19th of May. It’s not an affiliated link/code, it’s just something that I wanted to share with you. I also thought it would be fun to share my top 5 buys – they’re all products that I have already and love and adore.

CeraVe “Moisturising Cream” – €14:

I have been using this body moisturiser for months now and I have to say that, in my opinion, it’s one of the best on the market. It was developed with dermatologists and contains hyaluronic acid so skin feels soothed and hydrated upon application. It’s also a non-greasy moisturiser so it doesn’t have a sticky, slimy residue. There’s nothing I hate more than body lotion that sits on the skin, rather than absorbing. Finally, this product is fragrance free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. If you’re going to buy one thing, this should be it.

Available here.

He-Shi “Express Liquid Tan” – €17.58:

I’m always pretty vocal about the fact that I’m not a big fan of false tan. I love a golden glow as much as the next person but I find it difficult to apply, messy and I hate the smell. However, I recently discovered this He-Shi formula and I’m sold. It applies smoothly to skin and doesn’t develop with random streaks. It does smell of tan but only while its developing – there’s no smell after it has been rinsed. Best of all, the tan fades evenly so I don’t look like a patchwork quilt a few days after application.

Available here. There’s actually 20% off HeShi at the moment.

BPerfect “Louise McDonnell Master Palette” – €30:

This is probably the best neutral palette that I own. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The “LMD Palette” contains 15 eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer. It’s the perfect all-rounder. The blush is a beautiful peach shade, the highlighter is golden and provides a gorgeous glow without any sign of heavy glitter and the bronzer is beautiful buildable product. The shadows have a divine buttery texture and apply and blend without any effort. The shades can be used to create both soft and dramatic looks so it’s a great option for travel – it’s my favourite “desk to dinner” product.

Available here.

Trilogy “Certified Organic Rosehip Oil” – €22.95:

My Mam bought this rosehip oil a few weeks ago and I quickly “borrowed” it from her. She hasn’t gotten it back yet. This oil is lightweight and non-greasy. It absorbs into my skin really quickly and gives my face an instant boost. I like to apply this oil before I go to sleep and when I wake up, my skin genuinely looks refreshed.

Available here.

YSL “Mon Paris” EDP – €84:

This beautiful perfume is exactly what I’m going to be purchasing from McCauley’s with the discount this weekend. Shane bought this for me at Christmas and my bottle is almost empty now. “Mon Paris” is a beautiful, feminine fragrance. It has notes of strawberry, raspberry, peony, bergamot and patchouli. The perfume will be a perfect summer scent. You need to try this one, next time you pass a YSL stand. Remember that McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy will be offering 15% off all fragrances this weekend – that’s a considerable discount.

Available here.

And there you have it, these are my top 5 picks. If you need an excuse to do some online shopping this weekend, you can say that I twisted your arm. And remember, if you use the code LOVEMCCAULEY15, you will get you 15% off your online order – again, in accordance with T&Cs.

Let me know if you do pick anything up, I would love the shopping inspiration.

Rouge x

“To Me, From Me” – A Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

On what feels like the 74th day of January, I’ve decided that it’s time for a little “Treat Yo Self” style post. If you’re anything like me, you spent all of your hard earned cash on others over the Christmas season and now it’s time to give back – to ourselves. Every January for as long as I have been working, I’ve put aside approximately €50 of my wages to purchase a Valentine’s Day treat for myself. I love me, who do you love? This year, I’ve decided to post the list of gifts that I’ve narrowed it down to; in the hope that it will inspire you all to treat yourself to a little something. Go on, you deserve it.

Clarins “Joli Rouge Velvet” (742V) – €24 from Debenhams:

It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s inspired gift guide without a red lipstick, now would it? This offering from Clarins is one of my all time favourites and I’ve had the shade in my handbag for over a year now. The formula has a matte finish but genuinely feels lightweight on the lips. It’s not drying but it has an intense pigment with real lasting power. Every time I wear this, I get lots of compliments so I definitely recommend purchasing if red shades with blue undertones are your cup of tea.

Sass & Boho “No F**ks Given” Candle – £20 from Sass & Boho:

This candle from Sass & Boho is top of my personal wishlist so I think I’ll definitely be ordering one of these as soon as my wages come through. I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago and I’ve become obsessed with home fragrance, even more than before. Sass & Boho are one of my favourite candle brands because their products are fantastic quality – they burn evenly, for approximately 50 hours and don’t lose their fragrance like lots of cheaper options on the market. They’re also an Irish company so if you treat yourself to one of their products, you’ll be supporting one of our own businesses. I haven’t tried the “No F**ks Given” scent yet but I love the sound of a masculine scent that is spicy with floral undertones. Plus, the packaging is so cool that I’ll reuse it as a make up brush holder. Practically making money.

Stila “Lingerie Soufflé Skin Perfecting Primer” – €32.95 from Cloud 10 Beauty:

I know nothing about this primer from Stila. It’s brand new to the market and boy, do I want to add it to my collection. I’m generally a fan of the Stila brand so when I saw the packaging, which is so beautiful, and heard that it’s a lightweight formula comprised of natural botanicals and over 70% water; I was drawn in. I’m hoping it will have a plumping and hydrating effect on the skin but will keep you updated after I get my hands on it.

IT Cosmetics “Confidence in a Cream” – £38 from Cult Beauty:

Some of you will already know that I’m fairly obsessed with IT Cosmetics’ “CC Cream”. Well, when I purchased it a few months ago, the sales assistant on the counter gave me a few decent sized samples of “Confidence in a Cream”. It’s safe to say that I fell in love and I’m dying to purchase the moisturiser once my January spending ban is behind me. The formula includes hyaluronic acid and collagen to help plump the skin and hydrate it. I definitely noticed an improvement when I was using the samples so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a full size jar.

Lauryn Rose “Geometric Gold Disc Necklace” – €39 from Lauryn Rose:

If you were following the blog around Christmas time, you will know that I’m a huge fan of Lauryn Rose. They’re an online Irish jewellery store, selling beautiful, dainty pieces. I’m particularly fond of their “Geometric Collection” which they engraved for free with every order. I’ve ordered this particular necklace for myself, engraved with the number “23” (my lucky number). I also think it would be beautiful engraved with an initial of your choosing.

And there you have it, the extent of my February shopping list. If you know of anything that you think I should add, please let me know – I obviously intend to be broke in March too!

Rouge x

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

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