Kiko Milano “Smart Fusion” Lipstick – Review

As widely publicised on my Instagram, I was on holidays in Italy a few weeks ago. And, we all known that one can’t go to Italy without an hour long trip to the closest Kiko shop. Because we don’t have Kiko stores in Ireland, I got a tad over excited and bought loads of products for myself and my bestie and I have to say, I felt like I was making money when I got to the checkout. Excellent value but one product in particular stood out, the “Smart Fusion” lipstick.

This lipstick retails at €3.99 and I bought the shade “406 Warm Rose”. Before I get to reviewing the formula, I want to address the packaging. Basically, I’m not a fan of the tube. The lid is not magnetic so I’ve found the lipstick opened inside my handbag on more than one occasion. If I paid more than €3.99 for the product, I’d be fuming. However, the formula and shade make up for it.

As you can see, the formula is nicely pigmented. It has a creamy texture and feels soft on the lips. The lipstick isn’t drying. In fact, I’d almost go as far as to say that it’s nourishing. It doesn’t bled outside my lip line, even when I apply it without liner. I’m delighted with it. I’m also loving the shade, which is a beautiful light rose color – it reminds me of spring.

The “Smart Fusion” lipstick is available in 36 shades online. What do you think? If you ask me, they’re a bargain!

Rouge x

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McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy – My Top 5 Picks

Word on the street is that Sam McCauley Chemists are rebranding to McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy. I feel a sense of loyalty to this particular group of pharmacies because as many of you already know, I’m from Cavan. Growing up, McCauley’s was the one stop shop for all my junior disco needs – they always had me covered when it came to beauty buys. Over the years, their selection of brands has only gotten more impressive and their discounts are always fantastic.

To celebrate their re-launch, McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy have given me a discount code to share with you all. The code LOVEMCCAULEY15 will get you 15% off everything on the website (with a few exceptions – T&Cs apply). The code is valid from 16th – 19th of May. It’s not an affiliated link/code, it’s just something that I wanted to share with you. I also thought it would be fun to share my top 5 buys – they’re all products that I have already and love and adore.

CeraVe “Moisturising Cream” – €14:

I have been using this body moisturiser for months now and I have to say that, in my opinion, it’s one of the best on the market. It was developed with dermatologists and contains hyaluronic acid so skin feels soothed and hydrated upon application. It’s also a non-greasy moisturiser so it doesn’t have a sticky, slimy residue. There’s nothing I hate more than body lotion that sits on the skin, rather than absorbing. Finally, this product is fragrance free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. If you’re going to buy one thing, this should be it.

Available here.

He-Shi “Express Liquid Tan” – €17.58:

I’m always pretty vocal about the fact that I’m not a big fan of false tan. I love a golden glow as much as the next person but I find it difficult to apply, messy and I hate the smell. However, I recently discovered this He-Shi formula and I’m sold. It applies smoothly to skin and doesn’t develop with random streaks. It does smell of tan but only while its developing – there’s no smell after it has been rinsed. Best of all, the tan fades evenly so I don’t look like a patchwork quilt a few days after application.

Available here. There’s actually 20% off HeShi at the moment.

BPerfect “Louise McDonnell Master Palette” – €30:

This is probably the best neutral palette that I own. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The “LMD Palette” contains 15 eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer. It’s the perfect all-rounder. The blush is a beautiful peach shade, the highlighter is golden and provides a gorgeous glow without any sign of heavy glitter and the bronzer is beautiful buildable product. The shadows have a divine buttery texture and apply and blend without any effort. The shades can be used to create both soft and dramatic looks so it’s a great option for travel – it’s my favourite “desk to dinner” product.

Available here.

Trilogy “Certified Organic Rosehip Oil” – €22.95:

My Mam bought this rosehip oil a few weeks ago and I quickly “borrowed” it from her. She hasn’t gotten it back yet. This oil is lightweight and non-greasy. It absorbs into my skin really quickly and gives my face an instant boost. I like to apply this oil before I go to sleep and when I wake up, my skin genuinely looks refreshed.

Available here.

YSL “Mon Paris” EDP – €84:

This beautiful perfume is exactly what I’m going to be purchasing from McCauley’s with the discount this weekend. Shane bought this for me at Christmas and my bottle is almost empty now. “Mon Paris” is a beautiful, feminine fragrance. It has notes of strawberry, raspberry, peony, bergamot and patchouli. The perfume will be a perfect summer scent. You need to try this one, next time you pass a YSL stand. Remember that McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy will be offering 15% off all fragrances this weekend – that’s a considerable discount.

Available here.

And there you have it, these are my top 5 picks. If you need an excuse to do some online shopping this weekend, you can say that I twisted your arm. And remember, if you use the code LOVEMCCAULEY15, you will get you 15% off your online order – again, in accordance with T&Cs.

Let me know if you do pick anything up, I would love the shopping inspiration.

Rouge x

Serenity Candles’ “Wax Melts” – Review.

My own Mother is probably going to read this blog post and laugh at me. This time last year, I detested the thoughts of cleaning. I avoided the activity at all costs because I knew that if I didn’t do it, Mam would – cleaning is one of her favourite hobbies. Fast forward a few months and now I’m spending my evenings dusting surfaces and hovering. You see, I moved into a new apartment with my other half and this place actually feels like home. No more room-renting in large houses with groups of strangers. I want our apartment to be clean and cosy at all times so that I can be proud when people pop over for a few hours. I know, I know – it does sound like I’m getting old.

Anyone who has followed Rouge Writing Hood for awhile will know that I’m obsessed primarily with skincare and make up but that I’m also really into fragrance. I often chat on Instagram Stories about my favourite perfumes and more recently, scented candles. I’ve spent a small fortune on candles over the past few months, trying to find a relatively affordable brand that’s really reliable for good quality products. After months of searching, I found my winner. If you haven’t already heard of the company, let me introduce you to Serenity Candles. Serenity is a home grown business, founded in 2017 by two lovely guys living in Northern Ireland. I’ve been following them on Instagram for a few months now and one of the things that I love most is their obvious passion for what they do. And, that passion is reflected in the quality of their beautiful products.

A few weeks ago, I placed my first order with Serenity and chose two scents; “Black Orchid” and “Pomegranate Noir”. These melts are inspired by two of my favourite perfumes and I expected them to smell similar – I had no idea that they would smell exactly the same. The wax melts were nothing short of divine.

For those of you who don’t know, a wax melt is a scented piece of wax, without a wick. They release intense fragrance when a piece is heated in a tea light candle or electric burner. The smell released is generally stronger than that of a scented candle and this is why I’ve recently become obsessed with them. I’ve tried a few different brands, including Yankee but nothing has matched the quality of the formula of Serenity.

First and foremost, the Serenity wax melts smell divine. In total, I’ve ordered four different scents for my home and my Mum has ordered six. My favourite is “Black Orchid” and her’s is “Lemongrass and Ginger” (she describes as a scent that you would find in a luxury spa). Secondly, the wax melts seem to retain their fragrance for longer than any other brands I’ve tried. I would get 3-4 evenings out of one cube of Serenity’s wax melts, whilst I would have to replace the Yankee offering every night or second night. That means I’m getting better value for money. Finally, these wax melts are easier to replace than others I’ve used. I just wait until the cube has melted, drop three small cotton pads into the liquid and wait for it to absorb. The Serenity wax melts don’t harden as quickly as other wax melts I’ve tried so any spills can be cleaned up without any hassle.

Obviously, wax melts aren’t the only products that Serenity sell on their website. For Mothers’ Day, I ordered two of their beautiful limited edition candles. A portion of the proceeds of these lovely candles was donated to breast cancer research charities, which made me admire the guys who set up the company even more.

Next on my wish list is some of their new bath bombs, which I will be purchasing as soon as I get paid. Again, it makes me feel old, but the beautifully fragranced products add to the cozy atmosphere in my apartment. I couldn’t be without them now

If you’re interested in the products, you can check them all out here. Let me know what you do think, if you have tried them or if you do make a purchase.

Rouge x

Wet n Wild “ Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” – Review.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of Wet n Wild. It’s been one of my favorite budget beauty brands since way back in the day when I started blogging. I’m obsessed with their blushers, highlighters and lipsticks and you’ll often hear me chatting on my Insta-stories about old favorites and new releases. However, I have to say that I’ve just never gotten along with their mascaras. I’ve tried a few and I’ve just never been wowed by them, particularly the “Max Volume” formula which got lots of praise from the blogging community but just wouldn’t stay on my lashes for more that 20 minutes, without transferring to my cheeks and transforming me into Alice Cooper. So, as you can imagine, I was apprehensive about their new launch; the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara”. But, apprehension never stops me from trying a new product out and in this instance, I have to say that the packaging had me really intrigued.

So, let’s talk about the packaging then. As you can probably tell from the product’s name; it has a teeny, skinny wand which means a few things: a) the formula applies easily to every single lash and b) it’s not messy to apply and you won’t have to worry about smudging your eyelid with a clumsy, big wand. However, it also means that you have to apply a few coats if you want both length and volume because the wand doesn’t dispense enough product in one swipe to create a major amount of volume.

The formula itself is a gorgeous shade of jet black and applies evenly without clumping. I’ve been wearing this mascara for weeks now and haven’t experience any flaking or clumping, even after approx 12 hours of wear. It just doesn’t budge. This is exactly what has me sold – the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” is a €5 Mascara that doesn’t slide down your face throughout the day. How could you go wrong?

There’s a little unedited (as always) snap to demonstrate what my lashes look like after application of the mascara. You’ve probably all seen my natural lashes a million times before on Instagram but for those of you who don’t know, they’re extremely fair but naturally long-ish. I think that this mascara really helps to create the illusion of extra length though. I also love how well it applies to my bottom lashes and makes them loom full, without smudging or transferring. I’ve been getting a surprising amount of compliments on my eye make up lately and I have to say, I think that this product from Wet n Wild is the one making the difference.

You can buy Wet n Wild products in pharmacies nationwide but upon a quick Google, I just realised that they’re also now stocked on Beauty Bay who have the mascara in stock.

So what do you think? Have you tried products from Wet n Wild before? If so, let us know your favorites – I’m always looking to add to my shopping list.

Rouge x

Easy Paese – A Ten Minute Make Up Look.

A few weeks ago Paese, a Polish beauty brand which is relatively new to the Irish market, got in touch and asked if they could send me some samples to try. Obviously, I was delighted – I’ve had my eye on Paese for awhile but just never got around to picking some of the products up. However, I was a little apprehensive. The only other Polish make up brand that I’ve tried is Inglot and I’m afraid that I find a lot of their products to be a little too “heavy” on my skin. I prefer a “barely there” make up look to full glam.

So, when I received the products, I set about using them to create “natural” make up looks. So here’s a list of the products that I used to create a quick and simple, every day look with a bright lip – which has quickly become my favourite spring time make up look.

“Long Cover Fluid Foundation” (€20):

The “Long Cover Fluid” foundation from Paese is a full-coverage formula that doesn’t budge throughout the day. Usually, I stick with Tinted Moisturiser when I’m applying my make up in the morning but if I know I’m facing a particularly long day at work; I use this product because I know it won’t budge from my skin. The formula is creamy, easy to blend and most importantly, doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I recommend applying this one over your SPF and usual Primer (mine is the ELF “Hydrating Balm”) and setting with spray (my favourite is the Urban Decay “All Nighter”). As expected with full coverage foundation, this product does get a little shiny after about 6 hours of wear but that’s quickly remedied with some powder, which I always carry in my handbag anyway.

“Clair Brightening Concealer” (€12):

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I purchased a VERY expensive under eye concealer from NARS a few weeks ago and that I’ve never been as disappointed with a luxury make up product in all my days. This concealer from Paese has everything that I felt the NARS one lacked – it’s creamy and easy to blend and it doesn’t crease into any fine lines. I didn’t even realise I had “fine lines” until recently… I don’t have any real issues with dark circles so I can’t vouch for the coverage of the concealer but it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of “puffy” under eyes and that’s all I can ask for.

“Long Cover Powder” (€16):

Ok, so it takes awhile to get the hang of applying this powder. It’s loose and a little bit messy so I don’t think it’s one for the handbag but it sets make up like no powder I’ve ever used before. I use this powder to “bake” under eye concealer and then dust it lightly over my t-zone to eliminate shine. It works quickly and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin once it’s buffed into the foundation.

Paese “Silky Matt” Lipstick (€13):

silky-matt-liquid-lipstick-paese (1)

Lots of people avoid matte lipstick formulas because they can be very drying and harsh on the lips. However, I’ve found a few formulas that I absolutely love and I’ve added this “Silky Matt” lipstick from Paese to the list. It feels light on the lips, as if you aren’t even wearing lipstick. It isn’t tacky or drying and it definitely stays put after it’s been applied. I could apply this before breakfast and have no need to top it up until after lunch time. It doesn’t smudge either so I don’t have to worry about the bright colours transferring.

And there you have it – a ten minute make up look using products that are all bargain buys. I’m really impressed by the quality of these particular formulas and I won’t hesitate to pick up some more products from the Paese line in the future.

What do you think? Have you tried Paese? Let us know in the comment section.. If you haven’t, and you would like to take a look, you can find the complete range here.

Rouge x

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

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:

Untitled-1

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