ELF Cosmetics’ “Prep and Hydrate Balm” – Review.

Alright, so a few of you have been asking me why I’m not publishing blog posts as often as I used to. I’m actually a little surprised that anyone noticed but the truth is that I’ve simply started a new job that demands my full attention and to be honest, the blogging community has become a little bit saturated with “samsie” beauty posts. We all get the same press drops and an awful lot of the time, it seems like we’re all writing the same or similar type of content.

That said, every so often, a product that I cannot stop raving about comes along and I just have to take a few hours to write about it. Yes, that means that I’ve found a new “Holy Grail” – so let’s talk about ELF’s “Prep and Hydrate Balm”. Sweet baby Jesus, this primer knocks all of the other primers that I’ve tried out of the park.

Basically, it’s a travel-friendly balm formula that you pop all over your cleansed face and blend with your fingertips before applying foundation. The balm is infused with Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Aloe so it’s instantly cooling on the skin. I think this one is perfect for dry, sensitive skin that’s irritated by the cold weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

So, why does this primer stand out from the others? Well, this is the first formula that keeps my foundation in place ALL day. I usually apply my make up at 6am and don’t take it off until about 9pm so as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of foundation generally wears off throughout the day or gets absorbed into my skin (gross). Not any more – the balm creates a real barrier between my skin and my foundation (Armani Luminous Silk) and now when I wash my face in the evening, I see much more product on the washcloth. The balm also creates an even base for the application of your foundation and works well to conceal dry skin.

The photo above was taken after approximately 5-6 hours of wear – no filter necessary. The lazy girl inside me is delighted that I no longer have to cart about a make up bag to top up my foundation when I decide to go to the pub after work.

The formula isn’t greasy to the touch but I do imagine it works better for dehydrated / normal skin than it does for oily skin but at less than €15, I’d recommend everyone to give it a go.

ELF Cosmetics products are available in pharmacies nationwide and in Penneys.

Now tell me, what affordable products do you deem deserving of “Holy Grail” status? Let us know in the comment section.

Rouge x

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Armani “Lip Magnet” – Review

If you’ve watched my Instastories lately, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Armani beauty products. They’re one of my favourite make up brands, simply because their products are fuss-free and easy to use. With this in mind, when I’m buying new products, the Armani counter is usually my first stop and a few weeks ago, I went on a little bit of a shopping spree. I picked up some of my usual favourites, including the Armani “Luminous Silk Foundation” which I reviewed here but I also picked up a newbie.

 

Armani Lip Magnet No 508.jpg

 

Let me introduce you to the newest member of my lipstick family; Armani’s “Lip Magnet” in the Shade “No. 508”. Now, I fell in lust with the “Lip Magnet” formula last winter, when the first batch of shades were released and wore “No.602”, a stunning deep plum shade, religiously over the Christmas season. So, when the sales assistant at the Armani counter in Brown Thomas informed me that Armani released new shades of the “Lip Magnet” formula for Christmas 2017, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. However, I didn’t expect anything nearly as gorgeous as the shade “No.508” – I think I’ve finally found my “perfect” nude shade.

The “Lip Magnet” is a really high-end, matte lipstick. It glides onto the lips and if you apply a very thin layer, it feels weightless on the lips. I know that some people are concerned about wearing matte make up products during the cold weather months but they’re ideal for nights out and you’ll see plenty of those over the festive season. The “Lip Magnet” stays put ALL night, not just for a few hours and it’s neither drying nor moisturising. It does fade but it doesn’t crack or bleed like lots of other matte formulas and for this reason, I’m content to pay the hefty price of €33.

Did I mention that the “No.508” shade is perfection? As a pale skinned ghost girl, I really struggle to find nude lipstick shades that don’t create the illusion that I’m a cast member of The Walking Dead. For that reason, I steer clear of light nudes and opt for rose shades instead. However, this shade is a beautiful light pink shade that’s actually pretty close (but nicer) to my natural lip shade.

 

To summarise, the “Lip Magnet” is my new go-to party lipstick and even though I am a fan of the classic Christmas reds, I think I’ll be opting to wear “No.508” at every opportunity over the next few weeks! If you’re at an Armani counter over the next few weeks, have a swatch and you won’t regret it!

 

What do you think of the shade? And, have you tried the “Lip Magnet” formula before? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

Yumi Lashes Lash Enhancement – Review

I can actually hear your eyes rolling as you read the title of this blog post. Yes, I know – we’re all sick to death of beauty “fads” and treatments that promise miracles and don’t deliver. “Fat Freezing” and “Body Sculpting”, I’m looking at you. So, I think that you’re entitled to be skeptical about the Yumi Lashes treatment that is marketed as “a revolutionary method of creating volume or straightening lashes”, if the brand do say so themselves. I’ll even admit that I thought it was another beauty gimmick when I first heard about it. However, when my local salon Essential Beauty Skin & Laser in Bailieborough, County Cavan started offering the treatment, I knew there had to be some truth to the marketing spiel – the girls in the salon never offer a treatment that they don’t believe in.

 

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My cousin actually booked the treatment before I did and her results were amazing but she has naturally full, long lashes so I still didn’t know if it would work as well on my own. However, I decided to bite the bullet before I went on my holidays to Portugal a few weeks ago and I’m so glad that I did.

Firstly, I have to warn you that you absolutely MUST have a patch test before you have the Yumi treatment because the results would be far from pretty if you’re allergic to the tint or the glue. The treatment takes approximately 40 minutes, and it’s a lot more relaxing than I expected it to be. I have pretty sensitive eyes so I was bracing myself for a half an hour of torture but, I was in great hands with Ciara at Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

The Yumi treatment is basically as sophisticated “tint and perm” for eyelashes. The process begins with the application of relaxing eye masks to hydrate your under-eye area while a silicone mould is applied to your upper eyelid. The upper lashes are then lifted towards the silicone to curl them and serum is applied to set the curl. It’s not all as glamorous as it sounds because the curling solution smells disgusting but, that’s something that we can let slide. After the curl is set, the upper lashes are tinted. Then, the adhesive is removed you’re left with fabulous eyelashes. Removal is a bit uncomfortable and as with all eyelash tinting treatments; stings like bejaysus. It’s definitely tolerable though and I think that the photo below demonstrates that it’s worth a few seconds of discomfort for the results.

 

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For 24 hours after the treatment, you can’t allow your lashes to get wet and you have to make sure that you touch them as little as possible – which is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. As you can see, the difference is really impressive and two weeks later, I’m still getting compliments on my lashes. Yumi say that the results last 9 – 12 weeks (as long as the natural life cycle of your lashes) but the girls in Essential Beauty Skin and Laser said that for some people, the life cycle is 6 – 9 weeks.

The beauty industry is one that thrives on illusion and often we’re presented with nothing but photos of airbrushing, heavy make up and false lashes. Sometimes it’s refreshing to opt for a more natural look and that’s exactly what the Yumi treatment caters for. Here’s a picture of my natural eyelashes, after the treatment, without mascara:

 

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Of course, the effect of the Yumi treatment intensifies after the application of mascara. In my opinion, the results after a coat or two of mascara are gorgeous and actually look a lot better than a set of lash extensions. My favourite mascara to pair with the treatment is the Urban Decay “Troublemaker” mascara because it holds all day without budging, even when you’re melting in the heat in Portugal! I’ll drop a photo below to demonstrate how the treatment works with mascara, and I think you’ll be straight on the phone to book an appointment!

 

 

Overall, I would highly recommend the treatment and if you’re in the Cavan area, you should pop into the girls in Essential Skin and Laser because they’re absolute pros. I’ll keep you up to date on how long the treatment lasts for me but after two weeks, my lashes haven’t budged and I will definitely be booking in for another treatment before Christmas! 

Rouge x 

 

Urban Decay Dublin – My Top 5 Picks

If you’ve been following Rouge Writing Hood for any length of time, you will already know that Urban Decay is one of my all-time favourite make up brands. In fact, Urban Decay was actually the first high-end cosmetic brand that I made a purchase from – the original eye primer potion way back when I was 15. So, you can imagine my excitement when after all this time, Urban Decay decided to launch their first Irish “stand alone” store on Grafton Street, just minutes from where I work.

The new store opened on 22nd June 2017 and it’s everything that one would expect from Urban Decay. The design is edgy, fun and glamorous. And, most importantly, the store is home to ten make up stations and literally stocks every Urban Decay product on the market, as well as a few exclusives. It seems that lots of my followers are as excited about the opening as I am, with a few of you asking me to write a post about my favourite products from the brand. Now, this is one that I could talk about all day but to save us all a little time, I’ve narrowed it down to a “Top 5”.

 

Urban Decay “Vice Lipstick” (Shade – Naked):

Urban Decay Vice Naked Lipstick Review

I wrote a full length review on the “Vice” lipsticks back in 2016, and I still find myself reaching for the “Naked” shade on a daily basis. This shade is a handbag essential and I’ve actually repurchased it, which is majorly impressive because I NEVER use a lipstick in its entirety before moving on to another formula. “Naked” is a universally flattering shade, perfect for a natural look and the pigment isn’t too “nude” so it doesn’t make me look like the walking dead. The formula is also really moisturising so while the colour pay-off is excellent, it won’t dry out your lips.

 

Urban Decay “Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion”:

Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

Like I said, this product is the one that introduced me to the world of high-end make-up and it will always have a place in my heart. If you could only purchase one product in the new Urban Decay store, I would recommend picking this one. I’ve been using the formula since I was 15, and although I’ve strayed to try some other formulas, none have ever quite matched up – including the “Eden” and “Sin” versions from Urban Decay. The original formula applies smoothly and keeps eyeshadow in place, without creasing until you decide to take it off. Plus, a little goes a long way so at €21, this product is an absolute bargain.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Flushed” (Shade – Streak):

Urban Decay Naked Flushd Streak Review

“Naked Flushed” in the shade “Streak” is the perfect contour palette for pale girls. The shades are beautifully flattering on fair-toned skin and although the blush looks a bit bright and intimidating in the palette, a little pop of it adds instant life and radiance to the face. The powder is really finely milled so it blends very easily and this means that you won’t have any obvious “contour lines”. I would recommend investing in a fluffy, angled contour brush for precise application though. If you’re in a rush, you can swirl your blush through all three shades and just add it to your cheeks for a flush of colour.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Eyeshadow Palette”:

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review

I know that I’m stating the obvious here. The original “Naked” palette is a cult favourite and I’m sure that at this stage, every beauty fanatic on the planet owns one but I couldn’t do a “Top 5” without mentioning it. Again, this palette was one of my first make up purchases and I still love the shades and formula. The mattes, shimmers and sparkles work really well together and blend to perfection so if you haven’t tried this product yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Urban Decay “Optical Illusion Complexion Primer”:

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Review

This product is a new one to my collection. I actually only purchased it this week but I already know that I love it. Recently, I was finding it really difficult to make my make-up stay on my face for the entire day, while I was at work. I was finding that by the time I got home in the evening, my make up was patchy and my skin looked dehydrated. So, I popped into the store to see if they had a solution and the lovely Amy, a senior make-up artist, introduced me to this beauty. The primer is pore minimising and applies to the skin like silk. It has a slightly “balmy” texture but is absorbed quickly and helps to blur imperfections, so make-up applies more evenly. The primer creates a barrier between the skin and your foundation so the make-up won’t get absorbed throughout the day. So far, I can’t fault this product and it’s working brilliantly.

 

And there you have it, my “Top 5 Picks” from the new Urban Decay store on Grafton Street. I’ll list the opening hours for the store below and if you pop in, let us know what you think in the comment section or the corresponding Instagram posts.

 Opening Hours:
Sunday: 12 noon to 6pm
Monday: 10am to 7pm
Tuesday:10am to 7pm
Wednesday: 10am to 7pm
Thursday: 10am to 9pm
Friday: 10am to 8pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 7pm

 

Rouge x

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Face Masks

Another week, another “Hit, Miss and Maybe” post. So far, we’ve had a look at micellar watercleansing lotions and wash and facial exfoliators. To date, the posts have been really successful and lots of you seem to enjoy reading about the products that I love and the ones that amount to a skincare disaster, in my opinion. Of course, you haven’t all been in agreement with my choices but that’s half the fun – I’m having a great time sifting through the comments and picking up some skincare tips along the way.

This week, we’re going to talk about face masks. A face mask isn’t really an essential step in one’s skincare routine but everyone deserves a little bit of luxury. I’m a big fan of these type of products and usually apply a face mask once a week or more often, if I’m going on a night out. Here are some of the products that I love and, of course, some of the ones that I hate..

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s “Masque Révélateur” (€24) – Available Here from PHYT’s Ireland:

 

PHYTs Masque Review

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that PHYT’s is one of my all-time favourite skincare brands. They produce organic, natural and cruelty-free products that contain active ingredients which means that although they’re gentle, the products REALLY work. This product is a radiance mask, which means that it’s designed to brighten dull, tired skin. And, I can confirm that the results are instantaneous.

If I have lots of time to get ready before I night out, I will apply this mask after cleansing my skin and allow it to work its magic for fifteen minutes while I curl my hair. The ingredients in the mask including camphor, mint and sunflower extract work together to soothe tired skin, smoothing the surface and brightening the area – this product is gentle enough that it can even be used underneath the eyes to diminish dark circles. I rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and a facecloth and my skin looks instantly plump and refreshed, as though I just had a good night’s sleep. After using this formula, foundation sits far better on my face and doesn’t cling to any dry skin. If you have an event coming up, I would 100% recommend taking an extra few minutes before applying make-up to use this product.

ESPA “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” (£31 – UK) – Available Here from ESPA:

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser

Alright, so technically this product is marketed as a cleanser but, it’s actually a multi-tasking formula. When it comes to removing make-up, I prefer to use the ESPA “Hydrating Milk Cleanser” which I wrote about here but I think that the “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” is the bees knees when used as a face mask. One of the main ingredients in this formula is actually bees wax so a little goes a long way. This mask is very luxurious and has a strong scent, reminiscent of a day spa. I tend to use this one before showering because it does contain some exfoliating beads and can be a little messy. To use this one, you simply massage it into the skin and allow it to work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing off. The brightening effects are instantaneous and because this formula also works as an exfoliator, skin feels super soft after use.

Image Skincare “Clear Cell Clarifying Masque” (€35) – Available in Salon Only:

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Image Skincare is a great brand for really strong and effective products, which is why they’re only available for purchase in salons where trained Image Skincare specialists can recommend specific products to suit your skin type and to help combat your individual skin concerns. This “Clear Cell Masque” is a brilliant option for anyone who suffers from problem skin. Now, 99% of the time, I have really clear skin but if I’m feeling under pressure and stressed, my skin tends to break out. On these occasions, I tend to apply this product to the specific problem areas and rinse off with cool water after about 15 mins. Because I don’t have oily skin, I don’t apply this product to my whole face but if you suffer from acne, I think this may be a great product for you. I find that the glycolic and salicylic acid in the formula really helps to draw impurities to the surface of he skin, while the green tea extracts in the product soothe sore, red skin.

Again though, Image products are professional products so I do recommend that you get the advice of your local Image specialist before purchasing this mask. For any Cavan girls, I recommend my local salon, Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

“Maybe” Products:

 

TonyMoly “I Am Real Aloe Mask Sheet” (€3):

 

TonyMoly Aloe Mask Sheet

I know that the world is going mad for these sheet masks at the minute and I can’t really argue with that €3 price tag but, I just wasn’t blown away by this product. I love sheet masks as much as the next person, but I have to question whether they’re really just a gimmick. This product is definitely soothing and cooling on the face but, I didn’t really see any noticeable results after use. My skin didn’t appear more plump or any healthier so this one only gets a “maybe” from me – it’s great for relaxation purposes but, don’t expect and drastic visual results. If you’re looking for a hydrating sheet mask, Image Skincare also have a gorgeous option that’s more expensive, but worth looking in to.

Dermalogica “Charcoal Rescue Masque” (€48):

Dermalogica Charcoal Face Masque

Alright, so last week I wrote about a Dermalogica cleanser that I love, so as you can imagine, I had high hopes for this product and at first, I loved it. The brand promise that this formula works to detoxify skin, eliminating impurities such as spots and blackheads. This is a claim that the product actually lives up to but after prolonged use over a few months, I found that this formula was a little drying on my skin and that’s why it’s on my “maybe” list. Plus, the charcoal makes it really, really messy. However, if you’ve got oily, acne-prone skin and enjoy a good exfoliating mask, this would probably suit your skin type.

“Miss” Products:

 

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks (€1.50):

 

 

All of the memories from your teenage years have just come flooding back to you, haven’t they? These face masks, a firm favourite at girly sleepovers in the 90s and 00s are available in pharmacies nationwide for the dirt cheap price of €1.50. But, there’s a reason that they cost less than a family sized bar of Galaxy chocolate. These products are fun to apply and often smell fab but the truth is that they just don’t do anything. In fact, my skin often felt greasy after using these products, which is never a good look. Honestly, I think that there’s a good reason that these masks only cost €1.50 and, you’d be better off buying that bar of chocolate if you want to treat yourself!

 

And there you have it, another selection of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products. If you have any opinions on the products listed or feel that you could add some different products into these categories, please do let us know in the comment section of this post or the corresponding Instagram picture..

Rouge x

Camile Thai – Brunch Review

Last weekend, myself and two of my besties were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Camile Thai’s new brunch menu, at their first “sit-in” restaurant in Phibsborough, Dublin. Those of you who are familiar with the Camile brand will know that they are famed for their Thai takeaway restaurant chain, so I was a little surprised when I heard that they were launching a brunch menu and I have to say that I really questioned what on earth “brunch with a Thai twist” would consist of.

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It turns out that “brunch with a Thai twist” is delicious and it’s EXACTLY what one needs to recover after a night out on the town. The brunch menu at Camile offers a wide range of options from classic breakfast dishes like “Eggs Benedict” to more substantial dishes like their “Katsu Chicken Fillets”.  The restaurant doesn’t offer a large selection of brunch cocktails yet but, the girls and I started our afternoon with a “Kir Camile” which is a lovely fruity combination of Prosecco and Creme de Cassis. It should be noted that they serve a really good quality glass of Prosecco that’s fairly light but has gorgeous almond, pear and apple flavours – for me, this is really important because I’m so sick of the “muck” that’s often served at some of the “bottomless brunches” that have become a fad in recent times.

 

 

Moving on to the food. First up, let’s talk about the “Eggs Benedict”. My friend had this dish, so I’m giving you the low-down from her point of view. This is probably the best time to mention that the three of us could be classified as “food snobs”. We have all worked in the hospitality/food industry, so our standards are pretty high. A brunch menu is not complete without the addition of an “Eggs Benedict” dish and Camile’s version consists of two poached eggs, rashers and chilli hollandaise sauce – all served on a toasted muffin. The presentation of this dish was brilliant and as you can see from the photo, it looked really appetising. There’s nothing particularly Thai about “Eggs Benedict” but, my friend really enjoyed the kick that the chilli hollandaise sauce gave to the dish. It’s a small but effective twist that transformed a dish that can be quite bland, to a flavoursome option – if you’re popping in for a quick breakfast, this is a great choice.

Next up, we have my dish of choice, the “Katsu Chicken Fillets”. This is the PERFECT option for anyone who is feeling hungover and needs a spicy pick-me-up. The crisp chicken fillets were accompanied by green curry sauce and fried potatoes that were seasoned with garlic, chilli and salt. This dish is ultimately a high-end version of the “spice bag” which just happens to be my takeaway of choice if I’ve had a few too many cocktails the night before. The chicken was cooked to perfection – the coating was perfectly crisp but the meat itself was juicy and full of flavour. The potatoes were the kind of “roasties” that melt in your mouth – they were fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I detest under-cooked or soggy fried potatoes but these were some of the best that I’ve tasted and the seasoning was great too – spicy but not too salty. The only minor issue that I have was that I would have liked more green curry sauce to be served with the dish but this is just a small hiccup and is easily resolved by simply asking for more sauce.

 

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The final dish that we sampled was the “Salmon Fish Cake Slider” which was served with a toasted muffin, roccola, siracha mayonnaise and fried potatoes. Now, I’m not a big fan of salmon but the lady who ordered it is. She described it as zesty with a kick of spice and loved the siracha mayo which added flavour to the fish. Again, the spiced fried potatoes were great. I have to admit that this dish looks divine!

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Calories don’t count on Sunday so all three of us opted to try the “Warm Death By Chocolate” dessert. I’m a “dessert person” and would usually choose sweet over savoury but I’m afraid that for me, this dessert fell a little short of the mark. It was light and tasty but it wasn’t exactly “death by chocolate” which, in my opinion, translates to calorific and smothered with rich chocolate sauce and/or caramel. Again, the presentation was great and this might be a good option for those who don’t enjoy heavy desserts but I would like to see a more luscious dessert option on the menu. The dessert didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the brunch experience, it’s just a little constructive criticism for the restaurant.

We had a brilliant afternoon at Camile – it was a fabulous place to recover after a night out/ The decor is really nice and relaxed, the staff were absolutely lovely and the customer service was flawless. Again, having worked in hospitality, we see this as something that either makes or breaks a restaurant. All three of us have agreed that we will definitely return at some stage – maybe next time we’ll opt for an evening meal with some of that delicious Prosecco.

Thai Brunch at Camile, Phibsborough is available every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm and all the dishes are priced between €5.95 and €13.95 – it’s well worth a trip!

Rouge x

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