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 

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Couleur Caramel Natural Make Up -Review.

I think we can all agree that Irish women have a tendency to “over-do” it when it comes to make-up application. We are guilty of piling on product, in an attempt to hide imperfections; rather than using it to enhance and highlight our natural beauty. This is a fact that has irked me for years. Why do we feel the need to hide behind masks of foundation, concealer and contour?

I have always admired the manner in which Parisian women ooze self-confidence and sophistication. And, the majority do so without plastering their faces with make-up. So, when the lovely ladies at V Claire Beauty Centre contacted me about the launch of the all-natural French cosmetic brand, Couleur Caramel, I was very intrigued.

Favoured by celebrities including Eva Longoria, Couleur Caramel produce make-up products which are free from parabens, artificial dyes and fragrances. Often, conventional make-up products are filled with oils and chemicals which cause skin to become dry and irritated. However, because Couleur Caramel use only organic, plant-based ingredients; their formulas treat problem skin rather than simply masking it. So, let’s take a look at some of my favourite products from the range.

Couleur Caramel BB Cream (€30).

Couleur Caramel BB Cream

 

Now, if you cannot part with your full-coverage foundation, this BB cream probably won’t be your cup of tea. However, if you love a “barely there” make-up look, then you will fall in love with this formula. Filled with hyaluronic acid, this product regenerates tired looking skin, leaving a flawless and illuminated finish. I really like the BB cream because rather than masking my pale complexion, it simply brightens it with a healthy glow. The product spreads and blends easily to allow for quick application and a little goes a long way so the tube should last ages. This one has become my “go to” product, particularly for daytime and work wear.

Couleur Caramel Silk Powder (€26).

Couleur Caramel Silk Powder

 

Regardless of skin type, this finishing powder is perfect for everyone. It is so difficult to find a powder which reduces shine without appearing patchy and caked, but this product achieves the impossible. The formula is extremely light-weight on skin, but also provides instant mattifying effect which lasts for hours. My only issue is that the packaging is not quite secure enough, allowing for minor handbag spillages. However, this can be overlooked given that the packaging of Couleur Caramel products is eco-friendly and bio-degradable.

Couleur Caramel Pearly Lipstick (€17).

Couleur Caramel Lipstick

 

I have been wearing this lipstick in the shade “No. 261 Gourmand Pink” non-stop for the past two weeks. The formula provides a lovely, natural pink sheen which gives lips a healthy, moisturised appearance. Highly pigmented, the colour holds for hours without damaging the lips. So, if you suffer with dry lips during the winter, give this lipstick a try – you won’t be disappointed.

  

All in all, I love the products that I have sampled from this range. Each of them strive to achieve a natural, healthy look. And, I can vouch for the benefits – my skin definitely appears more healthy after using the products for just two weeks. Who could argue with excellent quality, achieved naturally and in an environmentally friendly manner, without any animal testing?

For more details you can visit the Couleur Caramel website or call into the V Claire Beauty Centre for a quick swatch and sample.

Let me know what you think in the comments – have you ever considered using eco-friendly products?

Rouge x

The Clarisonic Smart Profile – Review. 

€249 for a skincare device? Yes, I initially thought it was ridiculous too. However, when you’re pulling all nighters for exams and your skin rebels with the force of Solange Knowles in an elevator, you would try ANYTHING!

The “Smart Profile” is a sonic cleansing skincare device from Clarisonic which automatically adjusts timing and power to suit different face and body parts. For example, the timing customisation means that more delicate areas of the face such as the cheeks, receive a lighter cleanse than the forehead or nose. This is great news for anyone with sensitive skin.

I have been using the Clarisonic for approximately 5 weeks and, I’m afraid that traditional cleansing has been ruined for me for life. How the heck did I ever survive without this perfect device?

Dr. Robb Alridge, co-founder of Clarisonic states that the “Smart Profile” device cleanses skin 11 times better than using hands alone and while I can’t vouch for this particular equation – I can say that my skin feels much softer, fresher and definitely cleaner after using the Clarisonic.

To use the Clarisonic “Smart Profile”, I apply my regular cream cleanser (any cleanser can be used with the device), soak the brush head in warm water and massage face as directed. The timing customisation is made obvious by user alerts, ensuring the process is uncomplicated. I really appreciate the fact that the device has a ‘turbo’ function which allows the user to increase power at any time.

iPhone creators could also learn a thing or two from Clarisonic, with the battery of the “Smart Profile” lasting weeks at a time before the need to recharge is indictated.

All in all, I won’t be returning to traditional methods of cleansing. My exam-stress related breakouts have finally subsided and my skin is looking brighter and healthier than ever. Is the device worth €249? Well, obviously if you don’t have the money – it’s not a priority but if you are having skin problems or just want to treat yourself, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one of these babies.

Let me know if you do!

Rouge x

Seasonal Skin Saviours.

As soon as the central heating is turned on, my skin falls to bits. Literally, falls – from my face because its so dry! Is that really necessary? And you thought that only snakes shed their entire skin!

Over the past few weeks I have devised a fool-proof formula to maintaining healthy skin which mainly entails slathering the following products on my face, on repeat.

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Soothing Emollient Care (€9.00):

  

This stuff is absolutely amazing. Designed for very dry, atopic skin, this moisturiser soothes dry skin immediately upon application. It actually feels like a facial in a tube. I have been using this cream for approximately two weeks now and as the weather gets colder, I am applying it daily. I find that it is particularly good when applied underneath make-up along with a primer, giving a flawless finish. This cream is suitable for all ages and so affordable, you won’t even mind sharing it with family members. You can purchase here at Cloud 10 beauty.

Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil (€28.00):

  

This one is designed to boast radiance while preventing premature ageing. Loss of radiance in the complexion is a huge issue throughout autumn and winter so I have been using three drops of this formula before applying moisturiser every second night. I don’t think daily use is necessary because like all facial oils, this formula is quite rich. Skin feels soft and refreshed in the morning after application. Again, I found this product online at Cloud 10 beauty.

Holos Good Night Rich Night Cream (€16.60):

  

Did you know that your skin repairs itself while you sleep? That’s why a good night cream is essential. Currently, I am really enjoying this offering from Irish brand, Holos. This night cream is a favourite of Marissa Carter’s and at €16.60, it is an example of quality skincare at a steal. The formula is filled with essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and rose so is therefore naturally, strongly scented. I’m not a huge fan of the lavender scent but it really helps promote deep sleep and soothes irritated skin. Again, I have been using this every three nights, rather than nightly because my skin is sensitive to rich products.

What do you think? Do you suffer from sensitive, dry skin during the winter months? I would love to hear your tips – especially any cost effective remedies!

Rouge x

What do you think