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:

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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 

Juvi Designs – The New “Coral Collection”

Any long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will already know that I’m a big fan of Irish jewellery designers, Vincent Tynan and Julie Danz, who are the creative masterminds behind Juvi Designs. A few months ago, I wrote a post detailing their “Initials Collection” and it got lots of lovely feedback, with lots of you buying the fabulous designs for loved ones during the Christmas season. With this in mind, I thought that you would all be interested in hearing about Juvi’s brand new launch – their SS17 “Coral Collection”.

Vincent and Julie draw inspiration for their designs from different parts of the the world to which they have traveled and the “Coral Collection” is inspired by the Philippine Islands. The inspiration is reflected in the beautiful gemstones that represent the country’s turquoise seas and stunning sunsets – there are stones to suit everyone in this collection from moonstone to ruby. The “Coral Collection” is also the first collection from Juvi that is available in rose gold, a trend that I know lots of you are excited about.

So, enough of my chatter – let’s see the pictures!! The entire collection can be found here, but for the moment, here are a few of my favourite picks:

 

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This collection speaks for itself – and after popping in to Arnotts to have a sneaky browse, I can confirm that the jewellery is just as gorgeous in person as it is in the pictures. The Juvi team have wowed me again!

The prices of the pieces in the collection start at just €55 and are available from Juvi stockists nationwide including Arnotts, House of Fraser, Weirs, the Kilkenny Shop, Avoca and online from the Juvi website.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram!

Rouge x

Éminence “Bright Skin Starter Set” – Review

If you have been following Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you will know that over the past few weeks, I have been studying for exams. This, of course, means that I’ve barely slept in a month and after I finished my final exam last week, I looked exactly how that sounds – terrible!

Post-exam I took a trip to Amsterdam which I knew would involve lots of photographs. So my goal was to repair my dull, tired and dehydrated skin as quickly as possible. Otherwise, my make up wouldn’t have settled on my face properly and those photos that my friends snapped would have induced frantic clicking of the “remove tag” option on Facebook. So, I dug out my travel-friendly “Bright Skin Starter Set” by Éminence, packed it in my hand luggage and prayed for a miracle.

Eminence Bright SKin Starter Set

The kit includes everything that your skin would require on a weekend away: a decent sized cleanser, moisturiser (with SPF 30), a booster-serum and a brightening skin masque. Now, the set is marketed as a “month’s supply” of the products but if I’m honest, I don’t think you would get quite that long out of the products other than the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. If you cleanse and moisturise twice daily, you won’t get any more out of the cleanser and moisturiser than a 2-3 week supply. So, if you’re looking for a long-term supply of product, this kit isn’t for you. However, if you’re jetting off on holidays or simply want to trial the Éminence products without committing to the full price, this kit is perfection.

While talking about these products, I have to mention that Éminence is an “organic brand” which means that their products contain a minimum of 70% and up to 95% organic ingredients. The don’t use “filler” ingredients such as parabens, which are often found in cheaper skincare formulas and all of their products are cruelty free – I know that this is important to lots of Rouge Writing Hood’s followers. It’s also important to note that Éminence are a spa brand and I recommend that before purchasing their products, you visit a stockist and have your products prescribed by a professional skin therapist. I got my products from Anne McDevitt Beauty  in Dublin.

So let’s talk about the products in this specific kit. Generally, I don’t suffer from breakouts or acne so I would classify my skin as clear. However, when I’m studying or stressed, my skin rebels – it breaks out and becomes blotchy, dehydrated and dull. I used these products on occasion before my holidays and knew that they’d combat these issues. The cleanser and moisturiser in the kit feel lovely on the skin. I’ve been double cleansing with the cleansing cream which leaves the skin spotless but doesn’t strip it of moisture. And, the moisturiser isn’t too heavy or sticky and boasts a high SPF30 so that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

However, the standout products in this kit are definitely the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. I would repurchase the full-sized version of these babies in a heart beat. The “Licorice Root Booster Serum” is a skin brightening serum that feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly. It’s filled with ingredients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and licorice root extract that rejuvenate dull, tired skin. This is one of the few serums that I would feel comfortable using in the morning, without feel like there’s an oil-slick on my face.

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The “Bright Skin Masque” was my favourite product in the starter kit. I used it every morning on my weekend away, to combat the appearance of my hangover which was written all over my skin. To use this product, you add a few drops of water to a pea sized amount of the formula and massage it evenly on to your face. Then, you wait for the product to dry (15 mins) and rinse off with warm water. This product is absolute bliss and a little goes a long way so I definitely think the full-size product would be worth the €58 price tag. I wouldn’t necessary recommend using this product daily, as I did on my holidays (I was having a skin emergency) but I would use it once a week. After application, I notice reduced redness, puffiness and my complexion appears calmer and brighter.

Over all, I loved these products and I will be looking further into the Éminence brand. I will be repurchasing the masque and serum (as soon as payday rolls by) but once again, because the Éminence products are quite pricey, I recommend booking in for a skin consultation at Anne McDevitt Beauty before you commit to purchasing the full-sized products. However, if you can’t make it to Dublin, the salon sell a number of “starter kits” online and you can check them out by clicking here.

Have you tried products from the brand before? Let me know what you’ve loved in the comment section as I’m looking to expand my collection!

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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap Up For Winter With Regatta

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Ok, so I’m laughing at myself for writing this post. I can’t believe that I have gotten so old that I am suddenly taking Mum’s age old advice and investing in a “good, warm, water-proof winter jacket”. It would appear that she has been right all along.. Although, this probably comes as no surprise to all of the Mammies out there who are reading this post.

I walk to work every morning and yikes, it has gotten cold. A new “outdoorsy” jacket was an essential. So, after some research, I got myself a Regatta jacket and I was surprised to find that although the jacket is indeed weather-proof, it’s also pretty stylish – in my opinion, anyway. Obviously, one jacket has lead to a new found fascination with outdoor clothing and now, I have the whole family stocked up on fleeces and water-proof jackets. Yes, we are as cool as we sound. However, I thought you might be interested in purchasing some items for yourself so, I’ve complied a little list for you.

For Her:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Him:

The links I have added in to this piece will take you to the UK website for Regatta. Now, while the product range is excellent, postage is a little steep at £8.50 (international). The good news is that Regatta is stocked in lots of stores throughout Ireland such as Fifty Three Degrees North, in the Regatta store at The Square in Tallaght and other sports stores nationwide. You can also order online from Littlewoods.

So what do you think, are you going to invest in a winter coat that your Mammy would be proud of? Drop us a line in the comment section and let us know which is your favourite.

Rouge x

Too Faced “Melted Matte” Lipstick – Review.

“Sweetie, if you’re going to be two faced; at least make one of them pretty.” – Marilyn Monroe.

So by now, most of you will already know that I’m the Queen of matte liquid lipsticks. The love affair began when I was introduced to theBalm’s “Meet Matte Hughes” collection which you can read about here. But, although I adore that collection, the shade range is quite limited so I was bound to look elsewhere for more options. As always, Too Faced recognised my problem and presented me with a solution. Meet their “Melted Matte” liquid lipsticks.

 

 

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Love at first sight does exist, and I’m here to prove it. These babies come in 16 different shades so there’s definitely at least one to suit everyone. And, eeeek, aren’t they gorgeous? Too Faced always hit the nail on the head when it comes to packaging and these liquid lipsticks are no exception to the rule. The products are a good size so pretty decent value for money at €23 and the doe-foot applicator eliminates the need for lip liner.

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I’ve been using the shade “Cool Girl” which is advertised as a “true nude” colour. Now, I’m not going to lie, I was terrified of the brown tones in this shade when I first tried it on but now, I’m embracing the 90s vibe. The shade would probably be categorised as a “true nude” for darker skin tones, but on my ghostly pale self, I would categorise it as a soft brown. My friends really like this one and, I received lots of compliments when I posted a picture on Instagram so, I’m definitely a convert to the shade.

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Now, I hear you all sitting asking your screens if the formula is drying on the lips. Winter is fast approaching and our lips will be chapped enough without bearing the burden of matte lipstick. Well, the formula isn’t ultra moisturising but I would say that it’s probably the least drying matte formula that I’ve tried to date. The product is infused with non-sting lip plumping agents so, even if your lips are chapped underneath; it works to plump them up, making them appear healthier. There’s also avocado oil and Vitamin E in the formula to help rejuvenate lips while you wear it.

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Overall, I love this lipstick and, I hope to add many more to my collection. Wear-time extends to practically the entire day, with occasional top-ups after eating. Next on my wishlist is the shade “Queen B”.

Too Faced’s “Melted Matte” lipsticks are available here, from Debenhams. Why not check out the link and let us know what your favourite shade is in the comment section?

Rouge x

Juvi Designs – The “Initials” Collection.

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.” – Mae West.

 

After interviewing the lovely Julie Danz, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series” (view interview here), it’s safe to assume that I have become even more obsessed with Juvi Designs than I was before. If I had to choose one thing that I love most about the brand, it would be the fact that every piece is created with love and sentiment. Both Julie and Vincent really put their heart and soul into their creative brand. So, when I heard a few weeks ago that the dynamic duo were releasing a new collection, named the “Initials” collection, I sort of already knew that I would love it before I even got a glimpse of the pieces. I just didn’t realise how much I would love it – eeeek!

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If Sex and the City had aired in 2016, Ms Bradshaw would be sporting one of these beautiful necklaces instead of her famous “Carrie” chain. They’re so much more delicate and pretty than the initialled designs that we became sick of seeing in the late 90s. The chain and charms that make up these beautiful necklaces are sold separately, so they can be customised to create a unique piece. The picture above displays my initial and birthstone and as you can see, can be purchased in either sterling silver or gold vermeil. This would be a beautiful gift for ladies of all ages.  And, you’ll be surprised to hear that prices start at only €25.

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No Juvi collection would be complete without the addition of some bright and beautiful rings. Just look at those gorgeous gems! Pictured above are the new stacking rings which are the perfect compliment to the pretty initial necklaces. Available in both sterling silver and gold vermeil, with an array of gemstones to choose from; these rings can be worn alone or stacked.

Personally, I would stack these rings using the different birthstones which represent members of my family tree. This would be a lovely gift for mums or, the rings could be used as a grown up version of “friendship” rings (as could the necklaces). And finally, I think it would be a really cute idea to use these rings as gifts for your bridesmaids, choosing the gemstone associated with the month of your wedding. The possibilities are endless.

For more information on the collection, and a look at the different shades of gemstones, you can pop over to the Juvi Designs website. In the meantime, I will be adding these beauties to my Christmas wishlist – yes, I said the “C word” again!!

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Rouge x