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

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

IsaDora “Cover Up” Foundation – Review

I try to steer clear of full-coverage foundations, unless I’m getting ready for a big night out. More often than not, such products create a “mask effect” on the skin and although I know that lots of girls with problem skin rely on full-coverage foundations for a confidence boost, heavy products often irritate acne and wearing these products tends to worsen the problem in the long term.

So, when the IsaDora “Cover Up” foundation landed on my desk at work, I was pretty sure that it would be relegated to my “night time” make up collection. This formula is marketed as both a foundation and concealer and if I’m honest, that put me right off. So much so, that it actually stopped me even trying the foundation for a few weeks – I put it into my make up drawer and totally forgot about it. And, what an eejit I was!

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This foundation is a surprisingly creamy formula that wears like a second skin. Yes, the formula is definitely full coverage but, it doesn’t feel like it. After application, I just forget that I’m wearing it at all.

We can’t talk about this product without talking about the packaging. Say goodbye to clunky, heavy glass bottles and hello to this gorgeous, sleek and lightweight tube packaging. The black tube is “squeezy” which means that you won’t have any waste and therefore, get more bang for your buck. And, it’s really handbag friendly so this is definitely one that you can carry around with you when you’re on the go.

My Snapchat (UN: rougewriting) followers will already know that this foundation is very long-lasting. Before application, I always use a moisturising, illuminating primer and then buff the product on to the skin using my F20 Blank Canvas foundation brush. I’ve found that this is the best application method if you want your skin to look natural but if you want heavy coverage, I would recommend applying the product using a beauty blender. I wore this product to work for five days last week and on each day, the foundation lasted from 7am until bedtime, with just a little visible wear around the nose area. That’s great going! I also found that I didn’t need to top the formula up with powder throughout the day but I don’t have particularly oily skin so this isn’t unusual for me.

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The foundation is pictured above, directly after application. As you can see, my exhausted and dehydrated skin (I had just sat an exam that morning) has been blurred and concealed by the “Cover Up” foundation. I would say that I did need some extra under eye concealer along with the foundation to cover up my dark circles, so if you suffer with a dark under eye area, I don’t think this foundation will magically mask that for you. Pictured below, is the foundation after approx 5 – 6 hours wear at an event, in bright lighting. As you can see, the product wears very well and my blusher and highlighting powders clung to the formula, ensuring their longevity too.

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All in all, this foundation is getting a 5-star rating from me. I’ve been wearing it on a frequent basis and it hasn’t caused any blocked pores or skin problems. So, I think that “Cover Up” is a great option for anyone who has confidence issues when it comes to their skin. I would recommend that anyone with problem skin trade in their heavy duty MAC foundation for this IsaDora formula ASAP. And, if you need anymore persuading, just think of your pocket. This product retails around the €20 so it’s considerably cheaper than high end alternatives and although I won’t be giving up my beloved Armani “Luminous Silk”, I will be wearing this one just as often.

IsaDora is available in pharmacies nationwide.

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Sculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan Boyle.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. – Coco Chanel.

Chanel, Nars, Clarins and Benefit – these are just a few of the international cosmetic brands that every Irish woman stockpiles into her beauty bag. Last week, I interviewed Suzie O’Neill, creator of AYU Make Up who illustrated to us that home grown, Irish beauty tools could be manufactured to equally as high a standard as their foreign counterparts so, what about make up itself?

 

Sculpt Cosmetics

Let me introduce Siobhan Boyle, the “girl boss” behind Sculpt Cosmetics. Sculpt is a diverse brand who offer everything from in salon services at the “Sculpt Studio” in Co. Donegal to professional training courses at the “Sculpt Academy” to the sale of a diverse range of products online and in store, including their own brand formulas. Sounds like an awful lot of work for one woman, doesn’t it? Well, this week, I caught up with Siobhan to find out how she manages to juggle it all – with a 7 month old baby to boot!

Siobhan Boyle Sculpt Cosmetics

  • What inspired you to create and develop Sculpt Cosmetics?

As a make up artist of 12 years, I felt that there was not a mid-range brand that focused on giving women what they needed. Most brands tell us what we want, they don’t actually help us figure out what suits us. It grew from there! I opened up a make up studio and began offering training courses, finding that the demand was huge! I started my first training course and I knew it would work. I had a really extensive training, make up and professional background in this industry – I am a qualified trainer and assessor. Then, I started with a cosmetics range. That took me a year to perfect. Now almost 4 years later, I have a training school offering professionally accredited (by VTCT) courses, full services and a full make up retail store. It really has been an amazing journey but we’re not finished yet. We are currently looking for the right premises to offer a stand alone retail store focusing on make up and beauty products – an Irish Sephora!

  • What does your typical day look like?

I will be honest, my life is crazy at the minute! I just married my husband, Barry, and we have a gorgeous baby, Gia, who is just 7 months old. We just moved into our new home and I am working full time! So I really don’t have typical day. I get up early with my baby girl Gia, the three of us have breakfast and then I start getting ready for work and getting Gia ready to go to her babysitter. Then, if I am not teaching my make up courses; I am in the studio and usually have clients for the majority of the day for make up, tanning, brows etc. I also do a lot of bridal make up and this is a much earlier start of about 6am and I always go to the brides venue to make it easier for her! Weddings are amazing to see from my side as an artist so I really enjoy those. Most weekdays, I teach night classes so I don’t get home until 10pm or after.
Sculpt is currently being transformed into a full-blown make up haven with my main focus set on turning our store into the ultimate make up boutique. I hope to make us the main shopping destination for make up junkies both online and offline, so I am am always researching the best stock for us and restocking. There is a lot of boring admin squeezed in everywhere too – not all make up is super glam! My job and lifestyle is tiring. So many people tell me I am crazy working how I do, but I love my work and the mixture of work I do – teaching, clients, retail and brides!

  • Sculpt provide numerous “Personal Make Up Courses” for women who wish to improve their make up techniques. Can you tell us what make up technique you have found the most difficult to master?

When I started out in make up 12 years ago, I really struggled with not perfecting things and gave myself a very hard time. However, I learned that with practise and great patience, you can become better. My first proper job was in TV. I worked for TG4 as a trainee artist and I struggled with my timing as we were always under time constraints on set. It was the best training I ever had – directors do not wait for trainee artists, so I had to get better and I did.

  • Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

Oh, there are so many ladies that I admire. I am a huge Beyoncé fan. I am in awe of her rise to the very top of the world, from performing in local talent competitions. I also admire how private she is. In terms of the beauty industry, I have always loved Bobbi Brown. She started off her line of make up with just a few lipsticks and built an international brand based on enticing women to appreciate their own natural beauty! That is pretty amazing in my eyes. Marissa Carter is a huge Irish inspiration – she took the beauty and tanning industry on and rose to the top through hard work, knowledge and persistence!
In terms of bloggers, I absolutely respect the success of Suzanne Jackson (So Sue Me) and Joanne Larby (The Make Up Fairy) for showing that with self-belief, hard work and talent -anything is possible!

  • Who is your style/beauty hero?

I adore Victoria Beckham’s fashion. It is sleek, sophisticated and practical (at times). I like clean lines, block colours, black, whites and neutrals for work so I envy her wardrobe in a big way. There are so many talented make up artists out there, I love Paula Callan’s make up artistry style – she loves to see skin look like skin. Skin looking stunning is my make up philosophy, so her work is a huge inspiration for me. I believe if you can build a look based on flawless skin, then everything that follows is bonus. I can’t but mention Pat Mc Grath here as her MAC campaigns from the noughties are what inspired me to get into make up in the beginning! That whole “MAC mania” era from 2001 – 2004 was like an addiction for me. I would go to Dublin a few times a year and pick up the art work that accompanied their ad campaigns to try and recreate them! Those were the days of internet dial up in my house so I couldn’t access things as quickly as I can now! I remember my first few MAC eye shadows were bright and fabulous – “Electrical Eel”, a bright blue and “Chrome Yellow”!

  • At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

I have recently switched handbags to a bigger one to carry more bits – my other one was breaking! I have a large Longchamp tote so I can fit my laptop into it. Other than that; it holds my purse, keys, my notebook, pens, my make up bag and 7 lipstick & glosses (these are all nudes or pinks in a mixture of cream and matteformulas). I go through lip colour phases and I am in a nude phase now. Having my baby girl Gia means that I also have 2 dummies, a few bibs and a set of plastic rattle keys – all pink of course. My phone is usually in my hand so it never makes it into the bag!

  • If you could only take three of your own brand’s products to a desert island, which three products would you choose?

Oh god, just three?? I’d definitely have Sculpt’s “Great Lengths Mascara” – essential to open up your eyes. The “6 Well Powder Palette” which has contour, blush and highlighter in it – that on his a bit of a cheat! And, the final item would be the Sculpt “Oil-Free Foundation” to keep the shine at bay and give me gorgeous coverage. That question was the most difficult to answer!!

sculpt cosmetics foundation

  • If you could give your 16 year old self some beauty advice, what would you say?

Be more confident in yourself and your look, individuality is beautiful! I would of liked to have given myself more confidence in general and allowed myself to believe in my own creativity. I found school very focused on the straight route to college and career. I would have preferred exploring what I wanted to do or was good at doing!

  • With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase Sculpt Cosmetics?

The beauty of my brand is that I truly won’t sell you anything you won’t use. I encourage clients to purchase what they actually need and what suits them, rather than what they think they need. This way, I build a relationship with my customers and people come back to me. I also built the brand based on what was missing from the Irish market. In Sculpt, we stock other brands as well as our own range. This allows you to browse various brands, should our own range not suit your needs. That is what really sets us apart from other beauty brands. We have various brands like Paese, Amazing Cosmetics, Flormar, Morphe, Dermalogica, Sleek, NYX, Sculpt, SOSU, Bellamianta Tan, theBalm and Lilly Lashes to name a few so if one thing doesn’t suit you then we can find something that will! We are constantly adding more and more brands so you have more choice.

  • Any tips for aspiring business women?

GO FOR IT! Look to others for support and guidance – you cannot do everything yourself and must take help and guidance in areas that you struggle in.

 

For more information on Sculpt Cosmetics, you can visit their website or Facebook.

Now, tell me. What do you think of the second post in our “Irish Girl Boss Series” and, who would you like to hear from next?

Rouge x

Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”.

“I catch feelings for like an hour, and then go back to thinking about more important things; like my eyebrows”.

Eyebrows are a tricky business. Use too little product, and they look sparse and uneven. Use too much product, and they look drawn on and unnatural. Ugh, does anyone really have time for these shenanigans?
Luckily, I’m here to solve all your brow problems. Let me introduce Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”. This product is what dreams are made of!
Billion_Dollar_Brows_Universal_Brow_Pencil
As a ginja ninja, the main issue that I have with finding effective eyebrow products is shade matching. However, Billion Dollar Brows promise that this one product, “The Universal Brow Pencil” matches all hair shades and skin tones and do you know what? It really does! We’ve tried this pencil with blondes, brunettes and red heads and by some mystery make up magic, it seems to suit us all!
billion dollar brows
The pencil is ridiculously easy to use, so much so that even my Mammy, who is a brow-phobe, loves it. To apply, start light. The more product that you apply, the darker the effect. Follow the shape of your natural brow and fill in accordingly. The next step is the most important. You MUST brush the product through using the spoolie attached to the pencil. Otherwise, you will look like an extra from Geordie Shore.  Afterwards, I like to coat with a clear brow gel. And tah-dah, you have flawless brows.
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I’ve been using this pencil non-stop for approximately 3 months, and I’m only half-way through the product. So, it’s definitely value for money. In fact, I can’t recommend this product enough. You can find it, along with the rest of Billion Dollar Brows’ products here at feelunique..com.
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So, what do you think? Have you tried this brand before? Or, do you already have a favourite brow product? Let us know in the comments.
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.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

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

Vichy “Dermablend” Corrective Foundation – Review

“The best thing is to look natural but, it takes make up to look natural” – Calvin Klein.

 

Recently, I have had so many readers requesting my recommendations for full-coverage foundation. Problem skin is a nightmare and while mine is usually clear, I find any breakouts really difficult to conceal because often heavy foundation creates a caked, mask effect.

 

 

Vichy Dermablend

 

Thankfully, Vichy have recognised my issues and formulated their “Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation”. This product is a camouflage foundation which provides flawless coverage but feels light and fresh on the skin. Vichy’s promises that the “Dermablend” formula wears for up to 16 hours comfortably. But, does it live up to expectations?

Well, I have been sampling this foundation for over two weeks now and I have to say that I am hugely impressed. I spend an awful amount of time trying to conceal redness and uneven skin tone but this foundation just eliminates the need for huge amounts of concealer. Anything that saves me 10 minutes preparation time in the morning, is an immediate must-have in my make up bag! Here’s a picture of the formula after approx 8 hours of wear, in natural sunlight (no filter, of course):

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The “Dermablend” foundation doesn’t feel heavy on my skin and because it is a water based formula, like most of Vichy’s offerings, it doesn’t clog pores. Generally, heavy foundations cover breakouts but have a high oil content which means that they really just contribute to more skin problems in the long term.

The only issue I have with this product is that the shade range is pretty sparse. To date, Vichy have only released 5 different shades of this formula. Luckily, “15 Opal” is a good match with my skin but it has a very strong yellow base, so those who tend to have a strong pink pigment in their skin may struggle to find a match. Hopefully Vichy realise the demand for expansion and introduce more shades over time.

Next on my agenda is sampling the concealer from the “Dermablend” range and having heard so many good reviews already, I have high hopes for it! Have you tried this range yet? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x