Christmas Gifts For Her – The Splurge Edition.

Are you one of those men who has trouble differentiating Primark from Prada? Well, if you’re a hopeless boyfriend when it comes to expensive gift giving, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of perfect presents that will easily earn you a year’s worth of brownie points:

Charlotte Tilbury – Miss Kensington Look (€250). 

Charlotte Tilbury Miss Kensington


Inspired by the haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties, this gift set is comprised of the coveted limited edition products from Charlotte Tilbury’s “Norma Parkinson” collection. This is a luxury offering and is available here from Brown Thomas. It will make any girl squeal with delight – well worth every penny!

Carvela – Black “Sammy” Over-The-Knee Boots (€240).

Carvela Over The Knee Boots

Over-the-knee boots are hugely popular at the moment and this pair from Carvela are fabulous. If the lady in your life dreams of ransacking Kendall Jenner’s wardrobe, then these are a sure bet. Available here from Debenhams.

Tessa Metcalfe – Rings on Rings / Emerald & Peridot (£220).

London Rocks

This beautiful piece of jewellery is handmade by London designer, Tessa Metcalfe. I came across Tessa’s work a few years ago and have been dying to purchase a piece ever since. Bank balance willing, I will soon be adding this beauty to my collection. Set into this ring are a Columbian emerald and a pretty pale green peridot – well worth every penny! Available here from London Rocks.

Armani Prive – “Cuir Noir” (€215).

Armani Prive

This one is a dark, provocative perfume with leather accents. Although it is a very strong scent, I think it makes the perfect “night-time” fragrance. Available here from Brown Thomas.

Jo Malone London – Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne (€105).

Jo Malone

This fragrance is much lighter than the Armani Prive blend. The “Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne” stole my heart in seconds. Upon application, I was transported to a windswept haven – I could almost taste the bitter sea water. I am sick to death of “tropical” beach scents and this perfume offers a beautiful alternative. I love the notes of sage which add a delicate woody fragrance. It’s a soothing scent, reminiscent of rugged cliffs. This cologne has become my signature scent – you can read my full review here. The perfume is available here from Brown Thomas.

Wolford – Cara Swarovski Crystal Tights (€139).

Wolford Tights

These tights will make any woman feel like Beyonce – enough said. Available here from Brown Thomas.

Kate Spade New York – Cedar Street Maise Bag (€335).

Kate Spade Handbag

Dear Santa… This beauty is available here from Brown Thomas.

That’s all for now folks. What do you think of my picks? And, more importantly – what would you choose if money was no object?

Sit tight for a more bargain friendly gift guide.

Rouge x




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

Dealz Winter Wonderland.

Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to preview the Dealz Christmas collection. Now I know what you’re all thinking – Christmas in October, really? However, as the saying goes; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Now, I didn’t know much about Dealz before I attended the event other than the fact that everything costs €1.49 and that my mother absolutely loves the store. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to discover an array of bargain buys – sure, I could fill a basket for under €20. What’s not to like? Whether you’re looking for decorations or stocking fillers, check out these Christmas steals!

Christmas Gift Bags

Every single Christmas Eve, I find myself running around the house in a panic, searching for gift bags. Usually, after all the shops have shut. Dealz have some really cute options such as the duo pictured above. Two gift bags for €1.49? Sure, that’s practically making money.

Christmas Red Wine Glass

If you have lots of visitors in your home over the Christmas season, your dishwasher will be in over-drive. Dealz have lots of home-ware options so why not stock up on some extras? These festive wine glasses are my personal favourite. Red is my self-declared power colour so I think I will be using them all year around.

Christmas Sack

If you have children in your home, you need to run to your nearest Dealz store and purchase as many of these sacks as you possibly can. My inner child is squealing with delight at the notion of personalised sacks, straight from Santa’s workshop.

Dealz Candle

Festive candles are a must in my household, and my mother’s scent of choice has always been cinnamon. Now, usually we purchase a few luxury candles, ranging in price from €15 to €40 but after smelling the candles which were burning in the Dealz Christmas showroom, I will be saving my money for other treats instead. Available in a few different scents, these candles are really fragrant and long-lasting – SOLD!

Jewellery Gift Box

If you’re on a bit of a tight budget for Christmas, a great option is to purchase some affordable accessories in high street stores, remove them from their plastic packaging, and deposit them into swish jewellery boxes. Nobody need ever know that their gorgeous necklace came from the sale section in Penneys. This two pack of jewellery boxes is available in stores nationwide for €1.49.

Frozen Santa Stationary

The reality is that Christmas is all about the kids and at the moment, almost every child in Ireland seems to be obsessed with Frozen. I know a particular baby brother who would be delighted with this Frozen stationary set for writing his letter to Santa.

Frozen Anna and Elsa

Alright, I know I said “kids” but you’re never too old for Disney, right? Could I please have these baubles for my Christmas tree?

Minion Cracker

I thought that these individually packaged Christmas crackers would make fabulous stocking fillers.

Peppa Pig Advent

And, it isn’t Christmas without an advent calender. I have very fond childhood memories of scoffing all 24 chocolates in one go, only to mourn the loss for the remaining 23 days so maybe it is wise to purchase a few back-ups for any greedy chocolate monsters.


And, if that wasn’t enough chocolate for you, Dealz have a huge range of Christmas sweet sets. Smarties, Freddos, Malteasers – calories don’t count at Christmas!

Everything pictured in this post goes on sale in Dealz in November for €1.49. Will you be stocking up on any of the goodies?

Rouge x

Inglot’s AMC Eyebrow Gel – Review.

Don’t worry about me, worry about your eyebrows.

After posting a few too many selfies onto my Instagram account, I have been getting lots of questions about which products I use to shape my eyebrows. Eyebrow sculpting is a precarious art – if you do it properly, your face will appear more defined but if you use too much product you look RIDICULOUS. Yes, if you are smearing powder, gel, wax and liner all over your brow area, you probably do look ridiculous. Less is more in this instance.

As many of you already know, I am very pale with a definite ginger gene. So, it took me a long time to discover products which matched my hair and skin tone – there is nothing attractive about red hair paired with black eyebrows.

Inglot Brow Gel
However, a few months ago, my fabulous friend gifted me Inglot’s “AMC Eyebrow Gel” and I haven’t looked back since. With a range of 12 shades, Inglot have gone out of their way to accommodate those who like to match their hair colour with their eyebrows. There is one for everyone.

To use this gel, grab a small angled brush and dip it lightly into the product. Then, use the formula to sculpt the natural shape of your eyebrows. I always start from the arch and draw out towards the ears, then use the excess product on the brush by blending it in to the rest of the brow. This formula is waterproof so it is long lasting, and won’t budge from your face throughout the day.



 The above picture shows before (right eyebrow) and after (left eyebrow). It does take a few practice runs to perfect the technique and if you are unsure of your shade, I recommend visiting your local Inglot counter for a consultation with one of their well-trained staff.

Inglot’s “AMC Eyebrow Gel” is €16 and available here. Check it out and let me know what you think.


What products do you use to shape your eyebrows? Are you a fan of powder, gel or wax consistency?

Let me know – I love to hear your recommendations.

Rouge x

Daily Make-Up Look on a Budget (The College Edition). 

Quite a few of those who regularly read this blog are students and as you all know, college is a very expensive luxury. So, when I write about “high-end” products, I know that many of you are scoffing at the notion of spending €50 on foundation or €30 on a new lipstick.

Surely there must be a more affordable option? Well, today I have raided my make-up collection to put together an everyday look, using only “drugstore” products.

If you are not using a primer underneath your make-up, you need to invest in one. It will keep your foundation in place for considerably longer meaning that you won’t be practically barefaced come that 3pm lecture. I love this “Illuminating Primer” from Flormar which is available here for just €9.95. It’s really hydrating and should sooth skin which is sensitive to winter weather.

After applying primer, I always use a little liquid highlighter to brighten my complexion. I’m really enjoying this Botanic’s “Radiance Balm” which is available here for just €3.99. Apply lightly under foundation for a soft glow.

When it comes to choosing affordable products, I find it particularly difficult to fall in love with foundations. I am a Charlotte Tilbury fanatic but if I was on a strict budget, I would pick up this “Flawless Cream Foundation” from MeMeMe. It provides lovely, even coverage and is available in pharmacies nationwide for €15.99.

I rarely use bronzer when creating daytime looks because I’m so pale, and because I enjoy the extra few minutes in bed. Therefore, I really need a good blush to give my face some colour. I really like this Sleek blusher in the shade “Rose Gold” because it has a strong pigment which will last all day. It is also a great dupe for the Nars cult favourite “Orgasm” and is available at Cloud10 Beauty for just €5.99.

A good mascara is a must in my beauty book but, it is incredibly difficult to find a high quality formula at an affordable price. I really like Flormar’s “Spider Lash” which does exactly what it says on the packaging by giving an elongated effect, reminiscent of spider legs. Slightly gross imagery but really good results. Available here for just €4.95, this mascara is almost as good as my trusty Lancome “Grandiose” and that is a pretty big claim!

When creating a daytime look, my final step is always a pop of subtle lipstick. Go for something neutral like this Wet n Wild formula in “Bare it All” so you don’t look “over done”. At €2.99 this lipstick is a bargain so you can pick up as many as you like without feeling an iota of  guilt. Wet n Wild is available in pharmacies nationwide and in Dunnes Stores.

The final look you ask?

A “barely there” look which gives the illusion of flawless skin. And all for the grand total of €43.86 – that’s a heck of a lot of products for under €50. Student make-up bag? Sorted..

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

“Back to College” – Daily Skincare Routine with ESPA.

College life can really take a huge toll on our skin. Greasy food, lack of sleep and lots of alcohol consumption can leave skin tired, dehydrated and prone to break-outs. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a good skincare routine.

I first discovered ESPA products at Castlemartyr Resort in County Cork, when my Mum went on holidays and brought back the gorgeous ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. So, when ESPA kindly offered to send me some sample sized goodies to try out, I jumped at the chance. I have been using said products religiously for approximately 3-4 weeks and can honestly say, that ESPA will be my ‘go-to’ skincare brand in the future – I am in love!


So let’s talk about the skincare routine. First up, remove your make-up using the ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. This product is very mild and soothing so, perfect for irritated skin. Before, introducing this cleanser to my routine, I was sampling quite a lot of products and my skin did not appreciate playing ‘guinea pig’ – it was sore, blotchy and prone to blemishes. This formula is filled with wholesome ingredients like sweet almond and soya bean oils so it will nourish dehydrated and damaged skin. Yes, I’m looking at you with the glass of wine in your hand!


Next up, add a little ‘Hydrating Floral Spafresh’ toner to some cotton wool and wipe face in a circular motion. This will remove the last bit of debris from skin and strip away any excess oil. It is also soothing on skin and is filled with rose extract. If you are on a very tight student budget, I think you could skip this step but if you want to pamper your skin, I would definitely include it.


One or twice a week, after cleansing and toning, I have been using ESPA’s ‘Optimal Skin ProSerum’. This is to be used at night when your skin is feeling especially worse for wear. It is enriched with omega and vitamins to rejuvenate skin, giving it a healthy glow. And, even more importantly, it promises to protect against early ageing. Trust me, you want to enjoy your time spent in college without having the wrinkles to show for it. Just note, that the facial oil can feel a little ‘slimy’, so I wouldn’t attempt to apply it underneath make-up.


Moisturising is a key element of any skincare regime and ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser’ is a ‘holy grail’ product. It is filled with delicious ingredients such as frankincense and vitamins to help stimulate cell renewal. You only need to apply a ‘pea sized’ amount of this product to your skin, so I’d imagine that the full-sized version would last throughout your entire college year.


Finally, I complete my skincare routine by applying a tiny amount of ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser’ to the top of my cheek bone, just below the immediate eye area. The eye area is very sensitive because your skin tissue is much thinner, compared to the rest of your face. Therefore, regular moisturisers are too heavy to be used and a specific eye cream is essential to banish bags and dark circles. This is particularly handy during exam season when ‘all-nighters’ are the norm!

All in all, I think I have found my favourite skincare brand. Since undertaking this routine, I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin – it appears more firm and blotchy areas have been banished. ESPA isn’t cheap but then again, I have yet to find skincare products which are really luxurious yet available at a low price tag. I would recommend this routine for anyone with normal or dry, damaged and dehydrated skin. I will be posting a routine for oily skin in the next few days so stay tuned.

ESPA products are available online here, in Harvey Nichols or in selected spa resorts such as Castlemartyr Resort or Powerscourt Hotel.

Let me know what you think if you try the products.

Rouge x