The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Facial Exfoliators

“Glowing skin is always in”.

Alright, so the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series has officially become a thing. After last week’s post about cleansing lotions and the post before that about micellar water, I’ve decided to walk you all through my entire skin routine, detailing the products that I’ve tried and either loved or hated. We’ll make our way through every step of a good skincare routine, and if that’s a success, we’ll talk about the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products in the make-up world.

This week – I’m going to write an account of the facial exfoliating products that I have tried lately and let you know which ones that I would repurchase (because that’s the real test – money doesn’t grow on trees) and which ones I’ve thrown in the trash. Remember, we want to create a really balanced series of posts here so if you agree or disagree with my choices, let us know in the comment section of this post or, on the corresponding Instagram post (UN: Rougewritinghood).

“Hit” Products:

 

Dermalogica “Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator”  (€46.80) – Available Here from Millies.ie:

 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product is a “cult-favourite” skincare formula, and one of Dermalogica’s best sellers. It’s pretty pricey at €46 (which is a discounted price from Millie’s at the time of publishing this post) but, because it’s a powder formula and you only need a tiny bit for every use, the product lasts for AGES. I’d easily get 6-9 months out of one container, with twice weekly use. It should also be noted that because the “Daily Microfoliant” is a powder, it’s completely travel friendly.

To use this product, take about half a teaspoon of the formula and add it to soaking wet hands to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face, massage it in gently for about a minute and rinse. If you’re in a hurry, the exfoliator can also be added to your cleanser. Now, I wouldn’t use “Daily Microfoliant” every day, as recommended, because I don’t think skin needs to be exfoliated any more than twice weekly. However, the results from this product are instantaneous. Skin looks brighter and more radiant after just one use and, I find that my face feels spotlessly clean and fresh after rinsing. The scrub is very gentle and although Dermalogica recommend it for all skin types – I think it works especially well on dry/normal skin. I would probably go for a chemical exfoliation, rather than a scrub if I had very oily skin.

Vichy “Idéalia Night Peeling” (€30) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Vichy Idealia Night Peeling

I know that lots of you steer clear of exfoliating scrubs because you think that often, they’re so abrasive that they do more damage than good. And, even though I love a good scrub, I can see where you’re coming from. If you have very sensitive or oily skin, I recommend choosing a peeling product, over a scrub. “Idéalia Peeling” from Vichy is a foolproof, overnight exfoliating peel.

This formula is used by applying the product to a cotton pad and swiping it across your face, before applying your usual night cream. The ingredients, including glycolic acid activate as you sleep to peel and exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and unblocking pores. This is a really gentle peel so you won’t see immediate results but after a few nights, you will notice that your skin feels less bumpy and looks more radiant. I love this exfoliator as a “quick fix” product and it’s become part of my night time skin routine. At €30, it’s pretty pricey but if you have the cash to spend and you have sensitive skin, you won’t regret the purchase.

Ren “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” (€38) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Ren Flash Rinse Facial

If you suffer from really dull skin, this exfoliating scrub is one that you will love. It’s one of the best brightening products that I’ve ever tried and while the results aren’t permanent or long-lasting, they are instantaneous and my skin looks instantly refreshed every time that I use this scrub. Often, if I’m preparing for a night out, I will use this product before applying moisturiser to my face. I then allow my moisturiser 10-15 mins to soak into my skin before applying make up. This creates a much smoother base for my foundation, which means it sits better and lasts longer. You can read my full review of the REN “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” here.

Clarins “Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads” (€32) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream Review

This exfoliating cream was one of the first Clarins products that I ever used, way back when I was in secondary school. The fact that I’m still reaching for it, tells me that it’s a pretty good formula. This creamy exfoliator is really gentle on dry and sensitive skin and for that reason, I use it if my skin is feeling dehydrated or sore. The microbeads in this formula are very gentle and they don’t feel abrasive on the skin. If you’re looking for something gentle and nourishing to remove dry patches on your face, then this product is a great bet. I would recommend using it once or twice a week for best results.

“Maybe” Products:

 

Bioré “Blemish Clearing Scrub” (€6.99):

Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub Review

This scrub is in my “maybe” category because although it didn’t work for my skin type, I have friends who swear by it. Now, most of you will already know that I don’t have very oily skin, nor do I really suffer many breakouts and for this reason, the Bioré scrub just doesn’t do anything for my skin. My skin didn’t feel any worse for using the product but because it’s a scrub that is designed to help combat oiliness and acne, I think it would be better suited to someone with really problematic skin. While I was in college, lots of my friends used this product and loved it – they’re a pretty tough audience when it comes to beauty and skincare products so I’m willing to take their word for it. This formula also has a gorgeous mint scent so, it’s a nice product to use first thing in the morning, before you start your day. The “Blemish Clearing Scrub” isn’t something that I would repurchase but, I think it would be a viable option for those who have acne prone skin.

“Miss” Products:

 

Lush “Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser” (£7.25 – UK Price):

Lush Dark Angels Review

There are lots of things that I like about Lush. Their products are handmade, cruelty free and for the most part, they’re pretty effective. Lush face masks remind me of all the “girls’ night” sleepovers of my teenage years, when four of us with completely different skin types used the same pot of face mask – just because.

Unfortunately though, I have to say that I hate this product. I’m not sure why I purchased it because I’m not a big fan of charcoal scrubs in general but, this one is probably the worst of a bad bunch. First of all, it’s SO messy. If you use this product, you should do so before hopping into the shower or your entire bathroom will get covered in grey gloop and the facecloth that you use to rinse the scrub off your skin will never be white again. More importantly, even though this scrub contains ingredients like avocado oil and rosewood oil to soften and moisturise the skin, I found it to be really abrasive and very drying. My skin didn’t feel spotless after use (patches of the grey charcoal formula clung to my face) and I actually found that prolonged use of the product led to breakouts and sensitivity. Overall, I wouldn’t repurchase this product.

 

Clean and Clear “Blackhead Clearing Scrub” (€5.29):

 

Clean And Clean Scrub Review

This scrub from Clean and Clear isn’t the worst product that I’ve ever used. It does provide a pretty decent exfoliation and it didn’t cause my skin to breakout. However, it doesn’t live up to its “blackhead clearing” (after a single use) claim – at all. After over two weeks of use, I can’t say that this scrub reduced the visibility of the little impurities around my nose, which is why I purchased it in the first place. The formula is also filled with blue microbeads which, unlike the microbeads in the Clarins scrub, were really messy and difficult to rinse from the skin. My skin also felt a little tight and stripped of oil after use but it’s nothing that a bit of moisturiser didn’t sort out. The Clean and Clear formula isn’t dreadful but because it doesn’t live up to the promises made by the brand, it feels like a bit of a gimmick to me – I consider this one a waste of hard-earned money.

Nip and Fab “Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads” (€17.99):

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Review

These cleansing pads from Nip and Fab, which are supposedly adored by Kylie Jenner, are advertised as a means of chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid. The brand claim that these cleansing pads work to clear impurities, below the surface of the skin and by doing so, make the skin brighter and more radiant. Unfortunately, I found them to be ineffective.

Now, I know that your skin takes a little while to get used to the addition of glycolic acid into your cleansing routine but, I found that I couldn’t use these cleansing pads for any longer than three weeks. The didn’t brighten my skin but they did cause it to become sensitive, sore and created visible redness around the nose area. At €18, they’re a little more expensive than the other products in the “miss” category and to be honest, I would recommend saving this money and putting it towards a more expensive and effective product that works for your skin.

Simple “Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash” (€5.29):

Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash

I’m not really sure why Simple decided to market this formula as a a facial exfoliator because, in my opinion, it’s not exfoliating at all. I don’t feel that the formula really gives a deep clean and, because it’s neither a scrub nor a chemical exfoliator, it’s sort of stuck in face wash limbo. I doubt that this product would help to alleviate breakouts and because it left my skin feeling a bit dry and lackluster, I wouldn’t recommend it for dry/normal skin types either. Again, it’s not the worst product that I’ve ever tried but it still ended up in the bin before I’d used even half of the tube.

And there you have it – all of the facial exfoliators that I have tried in the past few months. While writing this post, it became apparent to me that you seem to get what you pay for when it comes to this type of product, with luxury products performing far better than the budget alternatives. Do you think this is true?

If you have tried any products that you think should be added to any of the three “Hit, Miss and Maybe” categories, leave us a comment on this post or over on Instagram. And, if you disagree with any of my choices – be sure to let us know!

Rouge x

 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Cleansing Lotion and Wash

When I wrote the first post in my new “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series, I didn’t really know how it would be received by my followers. Lots of us have completely different skin types and complexions and so, lots of us have differing opinions on certain brands and cosmetics. However, it seems that the majority of my followers really liked the post and enjoyed the opportunity to interact on social media, telling us all about your favourite products and the ones that you think are utter crap! And, I really enjoyed reading the comments and taking on board some new recommendations.

So, I think that we’ll make the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” posts into a regular feature on Rouge Writing Hood. We’ll start with skincare products, taking you through an entire skincare regime before moving on to make up. My opinions may be controversial but sure, it’s all in the name of “authenticity”.

This week, let’s talk about cleansing lotion and wash. Cleanser is probably the most important step in a skincare regime. If you’re not taking your make up off properly at night, then you’re wasting your money on fancy moisturisers, face masks and foundations. So, find a cleanser that’s right for your own skin type, removes every trace of make up and is gentle on your skin – set the bar high and if you have to spend an extra few euro to get great results, I recommend doing so.

 

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s Lait Nettoyant (€25) – Available Here:

 

Phyts Cleanser Review

PHYT’s are one of my favourite skincare brands. The brand are organic, cruelty-free and their products contain active ingredients for actual results. This cleanser is one that I use on a daily basis, after I’ve taken the bulk of my make up off using a micellar water or my “Cleanse Off Mitt”. “Lait Nettoyant” is a really creamy cleansing lotion that is perfect for dry skin. I apply it directly to my face, massage in upward, circular motions and rinse off with a warm facecloth. This formula leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but I would stress that I feel it needs to be rinsed off properly (I never remove it with dry cotton wool) or you will feel a little residue of the lotion on your face. This product is perfect for dry/dehydrated skin but, if you have oily skin, I would recommend steering clear of creamy cleansers and opting for a cleansing milk instead.

ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” (£24) – Available Here:

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

This cleansing milk from ESPA is another one of my long-time skincare favourites. I first discovered the ESPA brand years ago when my Mum purchased this cleanser from the spa at Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow. We both fell in love with the product and have since repurchased it, on numerous occasions. The ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” is a really gentle cleanser that I would say is best suited to combination skin. It removes all traces of make up and excess oil but doesn’t leave the face feeling tight or dehydrated. I find this cleanser to be very soothing on the skin and it helps to alleviate redness, which ESPA put down to the inclusion of marshmallow extract and chamomile in the ingredients. I usually double cleanse with this product, which means that I apply it to my face twice, to ensure all make up is removed. Again, this is a cleanser that needs to be rinsed using warm water.

Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” (€35) – Available Here:

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

This new release from Kiehls is the only cleansing oil in my skincare collection. Even though I have dehydrated skin, I don’t usually opt for an oil based cleanser but because I adore the Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Oil”, I thought I’d give this product a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. Ingredients in this formula include: squalane, a planted-derived lipid with a natural affinity for skin; evening primrose oil, which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids; and lavender essential oil. This means that the product nourishes the skin, while removing any stubborn make up. And yes, it removes even the most stubborn of make up! This is the only cleanser on my list that I can use to remove my eye make up. Usually, I use a separate eye make up remover but, the cleansing oil eliminates the need to do so. Goodbye, panda-eyes.

“Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” exudes a gorgeous lavender scent so it’s a perfect addition to anyone’s night time skincare routine. To use this product, you apply three pumps to your face, massage in for about 30 secs and then emulsify the oil using warm water. Massage for a further 30 secs and rinse off with water. When I use this product, I don’t feel the need to double cleanse so even though it’s pricey at €35, it lasts twice as long as the other products mentioned. However, because it’s an oil formula, it is a little messier than my other “hit” options so I tend to use it at night time, rather than first thing in the morning.

Vichy “Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 Step Cleanser” (€15) – Available Here:

vichy_purete_thermale_3_in_1_one_step_cleanser_200ml_1

This cleanser is the cheapest in my “hit” section (currently on offer from Meaghers Pharmacy for €11.21) but the quality of the formula is great. Now, I don’t believe that the product is a “one step” skin routine but it’s a damn good cleanser. I usually use this product if my skin is feeling a little oily because it leaves my face feeling spotless, without making skin feel sore or sensitive. For that reason, I think this is a great option for oily and sensitive skin types. The gel texture of this cleanser is gorgeous. It’s a water-based product so it feels smooth and lightweight on the skin and I also find it very cooling so it’s a good option for the summer. The cleanser is soap-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free so again, it’s a great option for sensitive skin. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara very well but, that’s what they invented eye make up remover for. Over all, this product is a winner and I would definitely repurchase.

“Maybe” Products:

So here’s the thing – I don’t believe in “maybe” products when it comes to cleanser. I either like a product, or I don’t – there’s no sitting on the fence allowed in this category of skincare. I honestly believe that cleansing is the most important step in any beauty routine so this week, we don’t have any “maybe” products.

“Miss” Products:

 

Simple “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” (€5.49):

Simple Cleanser Review

Alright, so I know that this pick will be controversial because LOTS of beauty fanatics rave about this cleanser but, I just don’t get it – at all. Why on earth would you use this product on your face? It is horrific. First of all, it’s impossible to squeeze a decent amount of product out of the container without maximum effort. Secondly, the texture of the product is thick and slimy and errghhhh. And finally, it doesn’t seem to remove your make up unless you apply three or four coats of it, rinsing each time. It’s one of the few cleansers that I’ve ever used that has caused me to breakout and it makes me pores appear enlarged. So, even though I know that every teenager in Ireland tries this product at some stage, if you’re still using it, I would urge you to try something new – there are so many better options out there. Simple’s “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” may be extremely cheap at €5.49 but, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for it again.

Soap and Glory “Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk” (€9.99): 

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean

Soap and Glory are my guilty pleasure brand. We’ve been told time and time again that heavily scented products aren’t really good for our skin and yet, I could bathe in the Soap and Glory body butters and I love their shower gels. So, I was kind of expecting to love this cleanser when I purchased it a few years ago. And, at first, I did. I loved the scent and the creamy texture but, at the end of a three week trial, this product irritated my skin and left my face feeling sore and sensitive. The formula smells fruity and divine but because it’s so heavily perfumed, I feel that it strips the skin of all moisture. I also don’t think that that the cleansing milk actually removes make up all that well. It’s not as ineffective as the Simple option but, it fails to remove any eye make up and actual stings and irritates eyes in the process. Lots of people love this cleanser and maybe if you have oily skin, it would be a good option but it’s just not for me – I won’t be repurchasing.

The Body Shop “Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser” (€9.50):

Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser Review

Let me begin here by saying that this cleanser from the Body Shop is marketed as a formula specifically for acne prone skin. I have to say that this isn’t my skin type so there’s a fair chance that I didn’t like this product, simply because it doesn’t suit my own skin. However, I did trial it during exam season, when my skin was stressed and experiencing a few breakouts and I just didn’t like it. Yes, I love the scent of the tea tree ingredients and the foaming cleanser does have a cooling effect on skin but, for me, it wasn’t very effective for clearing skin and I’m really conscious of the fact that this formula contains lots of chemicals in the form of sulfates and emulsifiers. The product does remove make up really well but my skin felt very dry after use – it should be noted that I would never recommend using a foaming wash on dry skin because it will worsen the problem. Overall, the product just doesn’t live up to its claims (in my opinion) and it’s been banished to my “emergency” skincare drawer, never to see the light of day again.

And there you have it, a new list of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products.. Feel free to agree or disagree with my picks in the comment section or over on the corresponding Instagram post – I’d love to hear what you think! 

Rouge x 

theBalm – Christmas Collection 2016

“Dear Santa, I can explain….” – Anonymous.

 

theBalm are one of my favourite make up brands EVER. I love the quirky packaging but more importantly, I love the products. At a reasonable price-point, the brand never seem to fail when it comes to delivering on quality and that is really the important thing for every beauty addict. Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to help you out a little when it comes to constructing your Christmas wish list. Apologies in advance, because I know you will want it all.

 

 

the-balm-meet-matte-hughes-mini

Meet Matt(e) Hughes Mini Collection

 

Anyone who follows me on social media already knows that I am OBSESSED with these liquid lipsticks. I think they beat the cult favourite “Kylie Jenner Lip Kits” hands down. I’ve written a full review here. My favourite shade is “Loyal” which is a divine red – perfect for Christmas. However, if I was purchasing a gift for a friend, I would definitely pick up this multi-pack. Six shades for just €29.

 

 

thebalm-balm-appetit

TheBalm Appetit Eyeshadow Palette

 

This one is a gorgeous eyeshadow palette that can be used to create neutral or fun, colourful looks.The packaging is quirky and cute with some tongue-in-cheek slogans and shade names. I love the inclusion of shimmer shades – we all need a little sparkle in our lives over the festive season. My favourite shade is “Chris. P Bacon” which is a gorgeous burnt orange colour with lots of shimmer – perfect for use as a “pop” shade on the centre of the eyelid. This palette retails at €39.95 which may seem a little steep but the shadows themselves are  a large size and should last a lifetime. It’s going to be a sell-out so my advice is to pick one up while stocks last.

 

 

the-balm-manizer-sisters

Meet the Manizer Sisters

 

Every beauty nerd has heard about theBalm’s cult favourite “Mary-Lou Manizer”. It’s arguably the best powder highlighter on the market so, if you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for? Or better still, pick up this limited edition palette and try Mary Lou’s sister products too. I adore the “Cindy Lou” shade as a blusher – it’s my everyday go-to product. And, “Betty Lou” would be a great product for anyone who likes a bronzer that has a little flicker of shimmer throughout the formula. The “Meet the Manizer Sisters” palette would be perfect for gals on the go who don’t want to carry around really bulky, heavy make-up kits in their handbags. It retails at €28 which is very reasonable considering the individual products cost €21.50 each.

 

So what do you think of the products? I bet that you want them all! theBalm’s Christmas products are available from retailers nationwide including Debenhams, Meaghers Pharmacy and Make Up Forever (Clarendon Street, Dublin 2). Don’t forget to drop us a line in the comment section and let us know which gifts are on your Christmas wish list.

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:

 

 

Joico Colour Infuse Brown

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

Make Up Forever “Pro Sculpting Lip” – Review.

“If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.” – Coco Chanel.

 

Make Up Forever Pro Sculpting Lip

Here’s the thing – I’m not a fan of the “trout pout”. As much as I want to look like J.Lo, lip fillers are not on my wishlist because lets face it, they rarely look natural. Keeping this in mind, I have looked high and low for lip products that deliver on their promise to provide the illusion of a plump pout. And, it’s safe to say that I’ve finally found the “holy grail”.

Make Up Forever’s “Pro Sculpting Lip” 2 in 1 lip sculpting pen is designed to sculpt and contour lips in two simple steps. One side of the pen contains a semi-matte lip colour and the other contains an iridescent powder-to-cream highlighter. The lip duos come in four different shades and I’m praying that MUFE release more colour options in the next few months.

To apply the lip product:

  1. I use the lip colour all over my lips for a full-cover, semi-matte finish.
  2. Then, I use the sponge applicator to apply the highlighter to the centre of my lips.
  3. Finally, I blend the formulas together in circular motion to create a more natural look. If I’m going on a night out, I add extra highlighter for more impact.

 

img_6504

The pictures don’t do this one justice, the plumping effect is unreal! I’m wearing the shade “50 – Purple” in these photos and I love the purple/brown tone it provides. This one is lovely for daytime or nightwear.

img_6511

This product is available here on the Make Up Forever website. What do you think of the shade? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

theBalm “Balm Voyage” Palette – My Travel Essential.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page.” – St. Augustine.

If you’ve been following me on social media, you will already know that I spent the past few weeks in New York City. Countless selfies later, many of you have been asking me to post about my make up travel essentials. I will put a full post together over the coming weeks but first, I wanted to tell you all about the “Balm Voyage” travel palette from theBalm. This is the only make up palette that I brought on my trip and I used it every single day.

TheBalm Balm Voyage

 

This gorgeous palette includes nine eyeshadows, two blushers, a bronzer, a highlighter and two cream lip and cheek tints – everything you need for travelling. Aside from some brushes, foundation, setting spray, translucent powder and a few extra lipsticks, this palette is all that I packed in my cosmetics bag for my trip to NYC.

The eyeshadows are super pigmented, with a velvet-like consistency. The shadows can be used wet or dry which is really handy because the “Fáilte” shadow can be dampened and used as an eyeliner. I ended up using these shadows daily, not only on my own eyes but also on my friends’ – she loved this palette too!

The bronzer in the palette has a matte finish so it can be paired with the highlighter for some simple contouring. Ordinarily, I prefer to use liquid products for contouring but, I found that these powder formulas worked much better in the NYC humidity. The highlighter is particularly gorgeous. In fact, I’ve almost hit the pan of that one – it may be time to purchase a full sized version. I just used a simple sculpting brush to apply, which I accidentally left in NY, along with the rest of my brushes, goddamn it!

The powder blushers are as pigmented as the eyeshadows and a little goes a long way. I particularly love the “Huan Ying” shade which is a lovely peach colour – perfect for Irish complexions.

The cheek and lip tints were soft and although pigmented, were very easy to blend. Again, a little goes a long way so be careful with these ones. Two tiny dots on the cheekbones can be blended to create a dewy, natural look. I fell head over heels in love with the “Vitajte” shade which I used as a lip colour almost every single day. This is the shade that I’m wearing (a very light layer) in the picture below:

In the picture above, I’m wearing nothing but my regular foundation and theBalm’s “Balm Voyage”. This is a day-time look but  it was very easy to create night-time looks with the palette too.

I got my “Balm Voyage” palette from Debenhams and it is available here or in stockists nationwide. It’s actually an absolute bargain at €40 – remember, this is the only palette that you’ll need in your collection, even if you’re lusting after every palette on the market.

What do you think? Do you have a specific make up palette that you take on holidays with you? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

Skincare Travel Essentials for Summer ’16.

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

 

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

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

 

ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (available here):

 

 

ESPA Micellar Cleanser

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

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

Moogoo Oatmeal Cleansing Soap

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

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

PHYTs Moisturiser

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

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

Dermalogica SPF

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

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

Dermalogica Sun Protection

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

ESPA “Nourishing Lip Treatment” (available here):

ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment

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

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

Rouge x