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):

Phyts

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):

Passport Holder

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):

Fuschia Eye Make Up.jpg

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.

Prosecco

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.

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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

Inglot’s AMC Eyebrow Gel – Review.

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

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

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

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

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

  

 

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

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

  

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

Let me know – I love to hear your recommendations.

Rouge x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final look you ask?

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

Rouge x

The Clarisonic Smart Profile – Review. 

€249 for a skincare device? Yes, I initially thought it was ridiculous too. However, when you’re pulling all nighters for exams and your skin rebels with the force of Solange Knowles in an elevator, you would try ANYTHING!

The “Smart Profile” is a sonic cleansing skincare device from Clarisonic which automatically adjusts timing and power to suit different face and body parts. For example, the timing customisation means that more delicate areas of the face such as the cheeks, receive a lighter cleanse than the forehead or nose. This is great news for anyone with sensitive skin.

I have been using the Clarisonic for approximately 5 weeks and, I’m afraid that traditional cleansing has been ruined for me for life. How the heck did I ever survive without this perfect device?

Dr. Robb Alridge, co-founder of Clarisonic states that the “Smart Profile” device cleanses skin 11 times better than using hands alone and while I can’t vouch for this particular equation – I can say that my skin feels much softer, fresher and definitely cleaner after using the Clarisonic.

To use the Clarisonic “Smart Profile”, I apply my regular cream cleanser (any cleanser can be used with the device), soak the brush head in warm water and massage face as directed. The timing customisation is made obvious by user alerts, ensuring the process is uncomplicated. I really appreciate the fact that the device has a ‘turbo’ function which allows the user to increase power at any time.

iPhone creators could also learn a thing or two from Clarisonic, with the battery of the “Smart Profile” lasting weeks at a time before the need to recharge is indictated.

All in all, I won’t be returning to traditional methods of cleansing. My exam-stress related breakouts have finally subsided and my skin is looking brighter and healthier than ever. Is the device worth €249? Well, obviously if you don’t have the money – it’s not a priority but if you are having skin problems or just want to treat yourself, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one of these babies.

Let me know if you do!

Rouge x

Graduation Day – What I Wore.

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. – JK Rowling.

Friday 11th of September 2015 marked the end of the ‘University’ era of my life – graduation day at NUI Maynooth. The entire day was one dedicated to reminiscing on the past four years. There were ups and there were downs, but what I will remember above all else is the life-long friends who took the journey with me.

I was determined to look my best on the day because knowing my Mam, the photographs will take permanent residence on the walls of our house. Many of you have asked me to share the details of my outfit so here goes:

My dress was ‘Self Portrait’ and I purchased it in BT2. This brand has caught the interest of well known personalities ranging from Pippa O’Connor to Jenna Dewan-Tatum and now, I know why. The design is quirky and fun but the quality of this dress is AMAZING! It’s a statement piece so although expensive, I imagine that it will last a lifetime! You can check out ‘Self Portrait’s’ AW15 range at BT2 here.

 

Check out these gorgeous babies! My shoes were by ‘Lipsy’, purchased from Debenhams AW15 collection. I’ve been looking for some sassy, yet sophisticated black heels for ages and I think these are perfect. Some of you will already know that ‘Kurt Geiger’ produce ‘Lipsy’ footwear which means that they’re great quality at a fraction of the price of the ‘Kurt Geiger London’ range. You can find these ones here.

And finally, let’s talk about accessories. Because the dress had a lot of pattern and detail, I kept it simple and chic. This beautiful ring was sent to me by ‘Lucky Eyes London’ and is available for purchase here. It is advertised as ‘stackable’ but I love wearing it alone for a dainty, girly effect. If you would like to view the products before purchase, pieces from ‘Lucky Eyes London’ are now available at House of Fraser – I’m obsessed with their ‘Evil Eye’ bracelets too.

So, what do you think of the final look? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear your style advice!

Rouge x

Lancome Grandiose Mascara.

As a beauty blogger, it’s not often that I come across a ‘Holy Grail’ product. For weeks now, I’ve been avoiding the allure of high-end mascara in the hope of finding a trustworthy ‘bargain buy’, but I’m sorry – I just can’t locate one. As a redhead, I have naturally invisible lashes so I need something show-stopping. I need volume, curl and length – is that too much to ask?


Apparently Lancome doesn’t think so. Meet my new best friend, ‘Grandiose’ mascara. This baby is just beautiful! With it’s “swan neck” wand it grabs lashes from the root, fanning them out, whilst creating divine volume. It is also pretty moisturising which is great if your lashes are in bad condition.

My pet peeve regarding mascara is that I seem to have an inability to coat my lower lashes without creating smudge similar to that made famous by Marilyn Manson. However, the ‘Grandiose’ wand simplifies the process (although it does take a little practice).

I have simply been wriggling the wand from root to tip (two coats) to create the illusion of full and even lashes. Be careful though, if you don’t ‘wriggle’, you will end up with clumpy lashes!

You’d like to see the proof for yourself you say? Well here you go:

Pretty impressive, huh? I know I won’t be letting this beauty escape from my make-up bag!

‘Grandiose’ retails at €30 which is very expensive but every now and then, you’re entitled to “treat yo self” – yes, I went there! I picked mine up in Arnotts, if you want to pop over to their website for more details.

What do you think? Would you be willing to spend €30 of your hard-earned cash on a ‘Holy Grail’ product?

Rouge x