Lancome “Matte Lip Shaker” – Review

A few months ago, I started a new job and blogging was kind of placed on the “back burner”. As much as I adore testing new beauty products, I simply found that I didn’t have as much time to play around with new releases and I’m never going to publish half-assed reviews, just for the sake of it. As any Irish parent would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and the beauty market is saturated with new releases to tempt the bank balance. However, now that I’ve settled in to the job, I’m back with some new review posts – and this time you can be sure that I’m choosing the “créme de la créme” of products to write about because I won’t find any time to write about the mediocre ones.

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Today, I want to talk to you about a product that I have been testing for months – the Lancome “Matte Shaker” lip colours. At first, when I received these in the post, I was worried that the design might be a gimmick but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The packaging is sleek and quirky but more importantly, it’s handbag-proof. The lid of the “Matte Shaker” is sturdy and won’t open in your bag while you’re on the move. Anyone who has had the inside of their designer handbag smeared with bright lipstick will realise just how handy this is. The sponge applicator is difficult to get used to in the beginning and you will definitely need a mirror to apply this product but, the shape of the sponge eliminates the need to use a lip liner which is a pro that outweighs the con, in my opinion.

I’ve played around with all of the colours in this collection and there’s something to suit everyone. There are seven shades that range from peach to nude to bright orange. Although, I have to say that, for me, the reds steal the show. “Red-y In 5” is my favourite shade from the range and the one that I have chosen to use for imagery purposes in this post. It’s a beautiful, bold red that has gorgeous blue undertones. This type of red shade is perfect for pale complexions and the blue undertones help to create the illusion of whiter teeth.

 

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Now, let’s talk about the formula. What sets this matte lipstick apart in a market saturated with similar products? Well, I have to say that while there may be one hundred other matte lip products on the market at the moment, there are none quite like this one.

The formula is packed with pigment and although it’s build-able, it was designed to be applied as a super thin layer of colour. Any residue of the product seems to almost evaporate when it’s applied to the lips, so the formula wears like a second skin. The “Matte Lip Shakers” are exactly that – completely and totally matte so if you are looking for a moisturising lip product, this isn’t it. However, because the formula is so lightweight, it won’t drain any moisture from your lips and will leave them exactly as it found them.

I love the texture of this product and enjoy that it’s really comfortable to wear. Lots of matte lip products can feel heavy and balmy on the lips but you could forget that you were wearing any product at all, after applying the “Matte Shaker”.

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Taking all of the above into consideration, I have to say that I rate the “Matte Shaker” from Lancome as one of my favourite releases of 2017. I would even go as far as to say that it’s the most comfortable matte lipstick on the market at the moment, closely followed by TheBalm’s “Meet Matt(e) Hughes”.

Lancome “Matte Shakers” retail at €19.50 which is a pretty decent price point and they’re available from Lancome stockists nationwide. Have you tried the product? Or, do you already have favourite matte lipstick? Either way, we would love to hear about it so let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram under the corresponding post!

Rouge x

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Urban Decay “Vice” Lipstick Collection.

I have been Urban Decay’s biggest fan since the early 00s. From their “Lip Junk” to their “Sparkling Lickable Body Powder”, I had every Urban Decay product on the market by the time I reached the age of 18. The brand helped spur my transformation from gawky, awkward teenager to slightly less awkward, make up obsessed 20-something who collects lipsticks like they’re Pokemon – “gotta catch em all”..

Now, can you imagine my excitement when UD announced the launch of their new “Vice” lipstick range? The new range boasts 100 lipsticks, in different finishes including matte, shimmer, metallic and cream. Eeeeeeeeek… Obviously, I traipsed off to my local Debenhams for a 40 minute swatch session and narrowed it down to two, neutral favourites for my everyday collection: “Naked” and “Ex-Girlfriend”.

 

 

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“Naked”:

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Ok, so if you’ve been following me for awhile, you will know that my favourite lipstick of all time is Tom Ford’s “Lips and Boys” in the shade “Addison” (review here). However, you may also know that said lipstick comes with a C-R-A-Z-Y price tag. And so, here’s your solution! Urban Decay’s “Naked” lipstick, is an almost perfect dupe and for only €18.

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In its own right, the lipstick is absolutely gorgeous. It has a fabulous, moisturising cream finish and lasts for hours without fade. If you’re a fan of the Kardashians, this is definitely a “Kylie Jenner” nude shade and I LOVE it! Definitely my favourite of the collection.

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“Ex-Girlfriend”:

Now, this offering is a gorgeous sheer lipstick with a slight flicker of shimmer. Perfect for a natural lip look. Originally part of the UD x Gwen Stefani collection, it looks like this shade has been made permanent and I am delighted. As with all of the “Vice” lipsticks, it is infused with aloe vera, jojoba and avocado to soften and nourish lips while you wear it.

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You will see from the imagine below that this shade could be worn with or without any other make up to add a little life to your complexion. It’s definitely a keeper!

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Now, I have also tried the matte formulas in this range, as has my Urban Decay obsessed cousin who has also given them the thumbs up. So much so, that I took her to Debenhams to choose a few more. So, stay tuned for a review and some Instagram pictures!

If you want to try these lipsticks for yourself, or check out the other 98 shades in the range, you can pop over to the Debenhams website. Let us know what your favourite is in the comment section!

Rouge x

Tom Ford “Lips and Boys” – Review.

“I don’t pop Molly, I rock Tom Ford” – JayZ.

Tom Ford is the love of my life. End of conversation. I would live happily ever after in a mirage of “Velvet Orchid” scented happiness, should fate let me have my way. However, for now it seems I have to settle for the odd, very expensive treat. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce “Lips and Boys”.

 

Tom Ford Lips and Boys Rouge Writing Hood

 

During my FE1 exams, I experienced a particularly bad day. I sat a diabolical exam, probably failed it miserably and knew I had to return for more torture treatment the next day. Irritated and aggravated, I set out for Brown Thomas to make myself feel better. Upon entering the department store, I made a beeline for the Tom Ford beauty counter where ultimately, I met the man of my dreams. Or at least, the lipstick of my dreams named after a presumably very handsome fella!

The lovely sales assistant, Zara, introduced me to Tom Ford’s “Lips and Boys” collection. Said collection consists of 50 gorgeous shades named after 50 dreamy guys, each showcased in sleek luxurious packaging. These lipsticks are a smaller version of Mr. Ford’s original offerings, designed specifically for clutch handbags. I love this idea – mainly because I never actually finish a lipstick and the idea of using an entire tube, opens up the possibility of justifying the purchase of more.

I purchased the shade “Addison”, a beautiful “your lips but better” type neutral with a dusty pink undertone. I wanted something that I could wear every day, even to work. The formula of this lipstick is created using soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil which means that it’s really hydrating.

 

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Like all Tom Ford lipsticks, the “Lips and Boys” offerings are shaped specifically for easy and flawless application. This means that there’s no need to use lip liner, saving us a few minutes in the morning. The finish isn’t quite as long-lasting as you may expect because the formula is very moisturising, but I’m getting about 3 hours wear before I feel the need to reapply.

 

So, is it worth the price? Definitely! All in all, this is currently my favourite lipstick of a very extensive collection (34 to be precise). I just think that they hydrating formula is worth the investment and the shade “Addison” is universally flattering.

You can shop the “Lips and Boys” collection here from Brown Thomas. Would you justify the price-point of these mini lipsticks? And if you could choose any, what shade would you pick? Next on my wishlist is the shade “Henry”, a gorgeous 90s style bronze neutral.

Rouge x

13 Valentine Gifts Under €30, For Her.

So pay day has arrived and “Dry January” has come to a close – thank God! You’re finally free to spend all your hard earned cash on nights out and Nike. Well that was what you thought, until you realised that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. But, we’ve done a little research on your behalf. Behold 13 Valentine’s Day gifts for less €30:

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick (€19):

Urban Decay Lipstick

There isn’t a make up junkie on the planet who fails to appreciate Urban Decay cosmetics. If picking a shade proves problematic opt for something neutral like “Native” or”Naked”. The Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks are available here at Debenhams.ie.

 

Miniature Macaroon Necklace (€9.97):

Blair Waldorf

If you have been forced to sit through endless episodes of “Gossip Girl” and subjected to more than a dozen Chuck Bass quotes, then this gift will put you in the good books for life. Be sure to include the words “I was in Paris, only to get your favourite macaroons from Pierre Hermé” in your card. It will either work wonders, or make you look like a complete creep. This necklace is available here from Etsy.

 

theBalm The Manizer Sisters (€28 / Currently €23.52 from Cloud10Beauty).

The Balm

This one is a “Holy Grail” among make up lovers so you can’t really go wrong. Available here (currently on sale) from Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

Urban Decay Total Perversion Duo (€28):

Urban Decay Total Perversion

 

While the name is a little sketchy, the sentiment is clear. This mascara has caused obsession worldwide – even Kim Kardashian is a fan. Available here from Debenhams.ie.

 

PHYT’s Lait Hydro-Nettoyant Cleanser (€22):

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PHYT’s are possibly the best skincare brand on the market at the moment, and one of my absolute favourites. I adore this cleanser so any secret admirers, feel free to hand it over to the Postman. Available here.

 

Initial Necklace (€24.63):

Initial Necklace

These dainty necklaces look far more expensive than they are at €25. Absolute bargain. And, if you’re feeling completely cheesy, you can get your own initial added to the piece. Available here from Etsy.

 

Bando Getaway Passport Holder (€29.50):

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Pair this with some plane tickets and you’re on to an absolute winner. Available here from Hippenings.

 

Fuschia The Eye Collection – Galaxy (Was €65 – now €25):

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Well known Irish brand Fuschia always deliver on quality. And, at this price tag – who could resist? Available here.

 

Mionetto DOC Treviso MO Prosecco (€21.95) – OVER 18s.

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If she’s a champagne and chocolates type of girl, this prosecco is a great option. Available for store pick-up from O’Briens Wine.

 

Parks London Champagne Scented Aromatherapy Candle (£9.99):

Parks Champagne Candle

Usually these candles cost upwards of €30 but they are currently available on the TK Maxx website for £9.99 (UK sterling). Snatch one up quickly because the supply is limited.

 

Blank Canvas Master Series Palette One (€34.95/ Currently €29.36 from Cloud10Beauty):

Blank Canvas

Barely making it in under the €30 mark, this gorgeous palette was a huge sell-out at Christmas and is currently on sale here at Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

Ziaja Cocoa Butter Gift Set (€9.99):

Ziaja

Ziaja is a completely underrated brand and their cocoa butter range is simply divine. Effective products that smell like chocolate – sold! Available here at Originalbeauty.ie.

 

Compass Bracelet (€12.29):

Compass Brac

For anyone who suffers from “wanderlust” available here from Etsy.

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

The Balm – Meet Matt(e) Hughes – Review.

Oh my god, this one has been sent from lipstick heaven. My only question is, why does anyone wear anything else? The Balm is an entirely new brand to my make-up bag. I mean, I’ve heard of it, with many bloggers raving about the cult favourite “Mary Lou Manizer”, but I had never tried any of the products until last week. Now, there’s no turning back.

“Meet Matte Hughes” is a liquid lipstick which creates a gorgeous matte finish and while it dries on your lips, it doesn’t dry out your lips. This means no fading and more importantly, no lip prints. We can finally eat and drink without fearing lipstick smear!

I was lucky enough to be sent the shade “Committed”, which is a fabulous nude/pink colour:

  

This product is really easy to apply using the “doe-foot” applicator which means that I haven’t been using lip liner. Look how huge my lips are! That one is all thanks to the mint extract in the formula, which acts as a natural lip-plumping agent. Kylie Jenner, you won’t be needing those fillers any longer.

Obviously, when you fall in love with a lipstick formula, you need to purchase it in many shades. Well, perhaps only if you have a shopping addiction. But, for once, I was delighted that I do. You probably all know that I favour a classic red lip above all other make-up looks so check this out:

This shade is “Loyalty” and holy smokes, is it fabulous! Again, with the lip plumping and eeeeek that colour – the perfect red!

“Meet Matte(e) Hughes” liquid lipstick is available in 8 different shades – all of which are on my wishlist. You can purchase here at Cloud 10 Beauty for only €15.50, which really is a bargain for such a high-quality product.

What is your favourite shade? Help me choose my next one!

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