theBalm “Batter Up” Eyeshadow Sticks.

Regular readers of this blog will know that recently, I have become obsessed with theBalm. The brand are quirky, cruelty-free and boy, do they know how to create high quality formulas! If you haven’t already, you need to check out my review of their holy grail lip product “Meet Matt(e) Hughes”.

Now, that’s the self-promotion out of the way so, let’s chat about their newest release “Batter Up” eyeshadow sticks. As you may have noticed, I’m not a big fan of cream eyeshadow formulas in general. I find them sticky, difficult to spread and impossible to blend. Therefore, I didn’t know what to expect when theBalm kindly sent me samples of their new formula.

  

As per usual, theBalm have amazed me and I’m an official convert to this particular cream formula. The eyeshadow sticks, which come in a range of 8 new shades, are to die for! The consistency of the formula is creamy and non-sticky, which makes it easy to blend. Also, I know that creasing is a huge problem associated with cream eyeshadows so I’m delighted to report that I’ve worn the “Batter Up” formula for 10 hours, without any creasing at all – but note that I always wear an eye primer.

  

The shades have a really strong pigment so you can apply them directly from the stick to your skin for an intense colour. Or, for a more subtle finish, you can apply with a brush. Personally, I prefer applying the formula directly from the stick and blending it with my fingers. You can also apply the formula on top of your regular powder shadows before a night out for some extra oomph.

  

“Batter Up” eyeshadow sticks are available here from Cloud10Beauty.com and are priced at €18.50 each. What do you think? Would you be willing to convert from your powder palettes?

Rouge X 

 

Advertisements

Catch 22, Dublin – A Foodie Review.

It is notoriously difficult to find great quality food, at affordable prices around the Grafton Street area. This is mainly because the well known shopping district has developed into a tourist trap, littered with chain restaurants and fast food joints. However, I am delighted to announce that I recently stumbled across a diamond in the rough. Let me introduce Catch 22.

Catch 22 is located opposite Kehoe’s on South Anne Street and they pride themselves on their simple, yet delicious seafood menu. The décor which consists of tiled flooring and bleached timber panel walls screams ‘sailor’ and, I am delighted to report that there’s nothing pretentious about the atmosphere of the restaurant.  Alas, a word of warning: this place is tiny and they operate on a “first come, first served” basis so you can only reserve tables for parties of 5+. But, if you are lucky enough to snatch up a table on arrival – you are in for the most delightful treat.

I have been to Catch 22 on two occasions now and I’m happy to report that they have my full seal of approval. On my first visit to the restaurant, I ordered a portion of calamari with hand-cut chips. More often than not, Irish eateries get it wrong when it comes to squid – we’ve all had the over-cooked, rubbery type. However, the deep-friend calamari in Catch 22 was soft and succulent, and I have to admit, surprisingly fresh. The calamari was served with chilli mayo which was tangy, rather than spicy – delicious.

  

The menu at Catch 22 provides for the addition of two specials, sourced and cooked fresh everyday. So, on my second visit to the restaurant I opted for one of these specials; prawns tossed in Marie Rose sauce, layered over home-made brown bread. The prawns themselves were moist and bursting with flavour and freshness. I expect that they were sourced directly from Dublin bay – no phoney frozen fish here! The sauce was simple, yet tasty and complimented the fresh seafood perfectly. And as an added extra, the hand-cut chips were cooked to perfection – fluffy on the inside with perfectly crispy skin.

  

And there you have it – unpretentious, wholesome comfort food at surprisingly affordable prices! 
What do you think? Worth a visit? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge X 

 

Stocking Fillers – Under €30 (For Her).

So, the last minute Christmas panic is officially upon us as shoppers scramble to purchase some affordable gifts to “bulk up” seemingly inadequate presents. With that in mind, here’s a list 0f “stocking filler” type gifts, which are sure to bring a smile to any girl’s face. At this point, I recommend thanking baby Jesus for “next day delivery”.

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Set (€18.74 – 25% off at time of publishing on Cloud10Beauty.com):

 

Nip and Fab Dragon Blood

 

Nip & Fab are a fabulous and affordable skincare brand, adored by celebrities including Kylie Jenner. The “Dragon Blood” range is a favourite of Kylie’s so, if the lady in your life understands the worldwide “Kardashian Kraze”, she will know all about the plumping and hydrating effects associated with these products. At the moment, Cloud10Beauty.com are offering 25% off all Christmas gift sets, so this set which is actually worth €28 can be your’s for €18.74 – BARGAIN!

You can purchase here at Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

Flormar Eyeshadow Colour Palette 07 Nude Dudes (€9.99):

Flormar Nude Dudes

Anyone who reads this blog will know all about my obsession with Flormar products. An excellent quality eyeshadow palette for less than a tenner? This one speaks for itself.

Available here from SimplyFoxy.com.

 

Light Grey “Hold Me” Cliptop Purse (€25):

 

River Island Hold Me Clutch

This cute little clutch from River Island is both stylish and practical, with a nice little “hold me” reminder for those girls who are notorious for forgetting/losing their handbags during nights out.

Available here from RiverIsland.com.

 

Falke “Bijou Tights” (€24):

 

Falke Tights

 

There’s a special place in hell for cheap hosiery so why not treat your favourite lady to a pair of these high-quality tights from Falke? I was introduced to the brand earlier this year, and quickly fell in love. The “Bijou Tights” boast a sexy, yet sophisticated lace pattern which is sure to transform any boring outfit.

Available here from BrownThomas.com.

 

Crabtree & Evelyn Noel Large Poured Candle (€20 – 50% off at time of publishing on Cloud10Beauty.com):

 

Crabtree and Evelyn Candle

 

Very few women fail to appreciate the delight of a richly fragranced candle. This beautiful option from Crabtree and Evelyn has a seasonal scent and is presented in a traditional Christmas-themed box.

Available here at Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

Flawless Cosmetic Brush Bag Set (€25):

 

Flawless

 

I recently discovered this make-up brush set and fell in love. For only €25, you receive 6 really good quality brushes. Excellent value when you consider that most high-end brushes cost at least €30 EACH! This would make a great starter or travel-kit for newbie make-up fanatics.

Available here at SimplyFoxy.com.

 

theBalm “In The Balm Of Your Hand” Gift Set (€29.63 – 25% off at time of publishing on Cloud10Beauty.com):

 

The Balm In The Balm Of Your Hand

 

theBalm are quickly becoming one of my favourite make-up brands. How could anyone resist this packaging? This handy palette contains: eyeshadows, lip and cheek creams, blushes, bronzer, highlighter – everything a girl could wish for. An especially great gift for anyone who suffers from “wanderlust” and is always on-the-go.

Available here from Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

Sleek “i-Lust Palette” (€9.99):

 

Sleek Ilust

 

Another option for under €10. This Sleek eyeshadow palette features four silky shimmer powders and two rich cream formulas. The shades are flattering on all skin-tones, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong colours.

Available here from Boots.ie.

 

CND Aurora Collection (€11.50 Each + Weekly Top Coat €11.50):

 

CND

 

CND nail polish boasts a fabulous formula which lasts (chip-free) for 7 days, when applied in conjunction with their “top coat” formula. A few of these little bottles would make lovely stocking fillers. My personal favourite shade is “Glacial Mist”, an ice-blue which provides a nice contrast to the plum and berry shades usually associated with the festive season.

 

Available here from DolledUp.ie.

 

And that’s a wrap on the Christmas posts, folks. Let me know what you’ve thought of the series in the comments section. Have you purchased any of the suggestions?

 

Christmas Gifts for Her – The Save Edition.

If the “Splurge Edition” of my “Christmas Gift Guides, for Her” was a little beyond your budget, don’t panic – I have come up with a little guide, filled with goodies which are available for under €100.

Kevin Murphy – “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” Gift Set (€50):

 

Kevin Murphy Kiss Kiss

 

If anyone is looking to buy me a Christmas gift, this is the one to choose. Kevin Murphy haircare is loved by celebrities worldwide, and I am just dying to try it out. This starter kit is the perfect treat for a loved one with luscious locks.  This set includes:

1 x Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash 250 ml.

1 x Kevin Murphy Plumping Rinse 250 ml.

1 x Kevin Murphy Limited Edition Plumping Lipgloss.

Available here from Shampoo.ie.

 

This Works – “I Have a Dream” Gift Set (€96):

 

This Works

 

If you have a loved one who has been particularly stressed out recently, this gift set will allow them to rest and relax in peace. This Works’ “Deep Sleep” remedies are designed to promote a blissful night’s sleep, using natural ingredients and essential oils. It may be a little on the pricey side at €96, but certainly worth it – especially for worn out Mums.

Available here at Thisworks.com.

 

Urban Decay – Gwen Stefani Palette (€46).

 

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani

 

Does this one even need an explanation? There is not a woman on this planet who would not love this eyeshadow palette. The collaboration between Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani is quirky, fun and surprisingly wearable – I have been using every single shade in my own palette. However, I would describe this palette as quite neutral, so if your lady of choice prefers a pop of colour, check out the Urban Decay “Vice 4” palette.

The Gwen Stefani Palette is available here from Debenhams.ie.

 

Blank Canvas – 5 Piece Travel Brush Set (€49.95).

 

Blank Canvas Travel Set

 

A girl can never have too many make-up brushes and this set is perfect for ladies who are always on the run. 5 essential brushes, stored in a handbag-friendly faux leather case – what more could we ask for? This would be a particularly great gift for festival goers and workaholics.

Available here from Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

REN – Beauty Booster Kit (€35.96).

 

Ren Skincare

 

The contents of this REN gift set are actually work over €60, so it is a pretty great bargain. Suitable for all skin types, the three products included promise to renew and revive tired skin. This one will come in particularly handy when the festive hangovers begin to kick in.

Available here from Cloud10beauty.com.

 

B by Ted Baker – Rose Print Kimono (€59.00).

 

B by Ted Baker

 

Lingerie by Ted Baker is luxury at its’ finest. I love the rich rose print and purple trim of this piece – wow!

Available here from Debenhams.ie.

 

Chupi – Say My Name Gold Initial Necklace (€79).

 

Chupi

 

I kept the best until last. This personalised necklace from Chupi is what dreams are made of. These necklaces are bespoke and can be altered to suit the individual for which they are being purchased. Personally, I would choose my initial to be paired with a red gemstone – my lucky colour.

Available here at Chupi.ie.

 

So, what do you think of these picks? And, if you had a limit of €100, what would you ask for as a gift? Let me know in the comments!

Rouge x

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.

Freddo

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