Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” – Agatha Christie.

 

 

With Mothers’ Day just around the corner, I hope you’ve been saving your pennies! For most of us, our Mums are the only people in our lives that we can depend on, no matter what. But often, we take their help and guidance for granted. So, show Mum a little appreciation on March 26th, whether you cook dinner for her or buy her a gorgeous gift. For those of us who appreciate the materialistic element of giving; here’s a little list of ideas.

 

 

Acorelle “Lotus Dream” Eau De ParfumAvailable Here:

 

V Claire Acorelle Perfume

“Acorelle” is a fragrance brand that originates in France and sells 100% natural and certified organic fragrances. Now, I would be the first to admit that I have no intention of giving up my Tom Ford “Black Orchid” scent but, when it was brought to my attention just how many chemical nasties are in the formula of some of my beloved high-end perfumes, it made me think twice about wearing them on a daily basis. “Lotus Dream” is a really fresh, relaxing fragrance that has now become my daytime “go-to” perfume and, I think it’s one that Mums will love. The perfume has notes of lavender, cumin and litsea which create a calming scent which is reminiscent of an Atlantic Ocean breeze.

Sharleen Collins Make Up Academy “Personal Make Up Lesson” – Information Here:

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This is what my own Mum will be receiving for Mothers’ Day. For €100, you can book your Mum in for a personal make up lesson in the newly launched Sharleen Collins Make Up Academy. The website describes the lesson as the following: “This is a one on one lesson with an artist where you bring your own make up bag and brushes.  Make Up Lesson is done in stages depending on your ability with step by step demonstration.  You will work with your own make up artist to create your desired look using your make up with recommended products. A face chart with the product recommendations will be filled out for you and to take away on the day“.

My Mum will love this gift because she has so much make up, and not a clue how to use the majority of it. Plus, I really like the fact that you bring your own make up to the Academy, so you won’t have to purchase many new products to work with.

The Westin “Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea” – Information Here:

Westin Afternoon Tea

Image via Pinterest

 

I’m a self-confessed afternoon tea addict. It’s one of the nicest ways imaginable to pass a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and I guarantee that your Mum will love it! I’ve tried almost every luxury hotel in Dublin and to date, the nicest tea that I have found has been at the Westin. The “Most Peculiar” afternoon tea is a feast of different flavours and rather than being served with the traditional tea/coffee, it’s served with a gorgeous “Victorian Mojito”, made with Hendrick’s gin. However, if your Mum would prefer the more traditional version of afternoon tea, the Westin have that on offer too – and you can add a glass of champagne for an extra treat.

 

 

An Image Skincare Facial – Information Here:

 

Image Skincare

After a consultation with Jennifer Rock (aka the Skin Nerd), I have become a big fan of Image Skincare and LOVE their “Prevention+” range. A facial is always a good idea and giving your Mum a voucher for one is a great way to pamper her for Mothers’ Day. If you’re one of Rouge Writing Hood’s Cavan based followers, I recommend checking out a new salon in Bailieborough, Essential Beauty Skin and Laser. This gorgeous new salon are offering Image facials at an introductory price of just €60 for the month of March and that’s an absolute bargain when compared to the usual price of €80-€90 in Dublin based salons.

Yves Saint Laurent “Tint-In-Balm” Lipstick – Available Here:

YSL Tint-In-Balm

Take my word for it, this is the perfect lipstick for Mums who are always on the go. It’s subtle but pigmented and most importantly, it’s so comfortable to wear. Shade “No1 Dream Me Nude” is a gorgeous, universal shade that should suit all skin types. The “Tint-In-Balm” is a mango scented must have and after only a few days of use, it has become my “go to” lipstick for daytime wear. I will be keeping the matte lippies for nightwear from now on.

Clarins “Face Contouring Palette and Brush” – Available Here:

Clarins Sculpting Palette

I’m including this particular product because a few weeks ago, when I was kindly gifted this gorgeous palette, my own Mammy was very quick to lay claim to it. It’s still in my own make up drawer but I doubt it will stay there for too much longer. The shades in this palette are quite neutral and are suitable for those who don’t want an obvious “contour” look. The brush that is included with this palette is the perfect sized for traveling and it’s also really functional and allows the user to apply the powders with ease. I will have a full review of this contour palette up ASAP, but for now, I can assure you that it’s worth every cent of the €45 price point.

Bellamianta “Luxury Scented Candle” – Available Here:

Bellamianta Candle

If you’re working with a low budget but still want to spoil your Mum, this candle from Bellamianta is a great option. The scent of essential oils and bergamot create a really relaxing atmosphere, that will allow your Mum to chill out and undertake some at home pampering. Pair this with a great book and it’s absolute bliss..

Rouge x

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My Top “January Sales” Picks

Christmas is over and the festive season is firmly behind us. But, fear not – returning to work means a brand new paycheck which also means hitting the January sales. You only regret the things that you don’t buy but I’ve complied a little list of my favourite bargains to give you a little inspiration.

 

 

 

LanaiBlo Professional Hairdryer – Available Here:

 

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After reading The Beautiful Truth’s “Luxury Christmas Gift Guide” and watching her Snapchats, I found myself lusting after this LanaiBlo styling tool. Santa heard my plea and dropped one of these babies down the chimney and, I have to say, it’s definitely worth the money. The 2400 watt LanaiBlo is the brainchild of Irish entrepreneur Katie-Jane Goldin and it drys hair at a much faster rate than my previous hairdryer. It now takes me about 10 – 15 minutes to dry my hair which is pretty long, falling far below my shoulders. This hairdryer also uses ionic technology to provide an anti-static result. I rolled my eyes at that too but it actually does work! I’m finding less and less of a need for my GHDs.

The LanaiBlo is currently reduced from €99.99 to €89.99.

AYU “Chloe Brush Set” – Available Here:

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Again, this pick is one that I already have. I ADORE my “Chloe Brush Set” from AYU and used it almost every day over the festive season. It contains pretty much every brush you’ll need for a full face of make up, although I would recommend purchasing a stippling foundation brush too for fast application. I love the royal purple and gold colours in this set and because the brushes are made from synthetic fibres, they won’t absorb and waste product.

The AYU “Chloe Brush Set” is currently reduced from €60 to €45.

ESPA “The Replenishing Collection” – Available Here:

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This gift set from ESPA is on my January wishlist because it contains all of my favourite skincare goodies from the brand in one box. ESPA is a gorgeous spa brand, available online and in luxury Irish resorts like Castlemartyr and Powerscourt. I absolutely adore their “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” which is in this set along with their “Hydrating Floral Spafresh” toner, “24 hr Replenishing Moisturiser” and “Overnight Hydration Therapy” which I have reviewed in full here. I’m actually running low on my ESPA products at the moment, so a sale is the perfect excuse to stock up. I would recommend these products for all skin types but, I think that dry and dehydrated “winter skin” would really appreciate the TLC that ESPA provides.

The ESPA “Replenishing Collection” is currently reduced from £60 to £42 and, ESPA are also offering a free full-sized cleanser to those who spend over £60 online.

Mugler “Angel Muse” Gift Set – Available Here:

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As some of you will already know, I included Mugler’s “Angel” in my “Christmas 2016 – Fragrances for Her” post. Now, Debenhams are offering 25% off this gorgeous “Angel Muse” set which includes a 50ml refillable eau de parfum and a complimentary 5ml miniature for your handbag. “Angel Muse” is a slightly sweeter fragrance than “Angel” and is lovely and fresh for everyday wear.

The “Angel Muse” gift set is currently reduced from €89 to €66.75 at Debenhams.

Benefit “Blushin’ Babe” Gift Set – Available Here:

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Arnotts are offering a massive 33% off this gorgeous gift set from Benefit making it cheaper than one full-sized blusher from the brand. Benefit blushers are arguably the best on the market, loved by make up addicts worldwide. And, if you purchase this gift set, I highly doubt you’ll find any need to purchase another blush product for years. With five well-sized options to choose from, you’ll have the perfect shade for every occasion. And, Benefit have also included a mini “They’re Real” mascara and liner and a “Watts Up” highlighter.

Benefit’s “Blushin’ Babe” is currently reduced from €43 to €28.81 at Arnotts.

Juvi “Egadi Round Pendant” – Available Here:

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I am OBSESSED with Irish designers Julie and Vincent Tynan’s creations. You can read my piece on their new “Initials Collection” here. This gorgeous pendant is available at a discounted price with a number of gemstone options. Labradorite is one of my favourite gemstones so I think that the option pictured is gorgeous, but it’s worth checking out the Juvi website for the other options including ruby and rose quartz.

The “Egadi Round Pendant” is currently reduced from €95 to €66.50.


Help Meaghers Pharmacy #WRAP4HOMELESS this Christmas – Top 5 Picks for Him

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A few weeks ago, Meaghers Pharmacy launched their #Wrap4Homeless campaign in association with the Peter McVerry trust and the response from Irish consumers has been amazing. For every two gifts that you pay to have wrapped by Meaghers Pharmacy, they will donate the proceeds to the Peter McVerry Trust and provide one person with a bed for the night. And, the last time that I spoke to Oonagh, the CEO of Meaghers, they had raised over €13,000 – what an amazing achievement!

But, the campaign isn’t over yet. A few weeks ago, I provided you with a “Top 5” gift guide post for the ladies in your life which you can read here. The response from readers was great, with many of you sending me pictures of your purchases on Snapchat (@Rougewriting) and Instagram (@RougeWritingHood) and, lots of you asked me to write a similar post about presents for men. So, I roped my brother into helping out on this one, and together we have constructed a list of our “Top 5” gifts for men from Meaghers Pharmacy.

Hugo Boss “Boss” – Available Here.

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Clarins “Men Hydrating Essentials” – Available Here.

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Ted Baker “Ted’s Essentials” – Available Here.

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Disney “Grumpy Shower Duo” – Available Here.

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Clarins “Men Super Moisturise Gel” – Available Here.

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So there’s a little gift inspiration for you. And, you can do you good deed of the week by choosing to support Meaghers’ #Wrap4Homeless campaign while shopping.

If you do choose to donate, I would love to hear about it so why not let me know over on Twitter (@rougewriting) or tag me in photos of your gift/orders over on Instagram (@rougewritinghood).

Rouge x

Christmas 2016 – Fragrances for Her

“Perfume is the key to our memories.” – Kate Lord Brown.

 

 

 

Fragrances for Her:

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Giorgio Armani “Sí” – Available Here from Debenhams.

 

Armani’s “Sí” is a gorgeous full-bodied, yet feminine scent. The perfume has warm, musky undertones with notes of neroli, jasmine and Sicilian bergamot. I think that this option is a pretty versatile one as it can be worn during the day or night. It’s quite a rich scent so it’s probably not for those who love an extremely sweet perfume, but it’s definitely a great option for those who prefer an intense, long-lasting fragrance.

 

 

 

 

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Mugler “Angel” – Available Here from Debenhams.

 

This perfume has been a “cult favourite” of women worldwide for as long as I can remember but, until recently I had never tried it. And, I have to say, I was missing out. This is a lovely, fresh scent for daytime wear. With notes of honey, chocolate and red berries; this is one of the sweeter smelling options on the list. So, while I prefer a sultry, seductive fragrance for nights out, I love wearing this one during the day at work because it’s nice and subtle. I’ve been getting lots of compliments on this scent. It’s also worth noting that this fragrance is refillable, so it works out as the “good value for money” option too.

 

 

 

 

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Replica “Beach Walk” – Available Here from Brown Thomas.

 

Want. Need. Must have! This fragrance from Replica is on my own personal Christmas wish list. So, I hope Santa is reading. I absolutely adore salty, ocean inspired scents and when I sampled this fragrance a few weeks ago, I fell head over heels in love. This is a really fresh, crisp scent that is filled with notes of pink pepper, lemon, bergamot and ylang ylang. I think that this one would be the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys the outdoors or a natural, calming scent.

 

 

 

 

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Moschino “Fresh Couture” – Available Here from Debenhams.

 

Any of my Snapchat followers will know that I love this fragrance so much, I’ve almost used up my entire 100ml bottle in 3 months. You can read my full review here.

 

 

 

 

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Tom Ford “Velvet Orchid” – Available Here from Brown Thomas.

 

If I could only use one fragrance for the rest of my life, I would choose this one. I absolutely adore it. Now, be warned, it is a very strong scent so this isn’t an option for those who like subtle, soft perfume. However, it is slightly less spicy than the original “Black Orchid” scent so, I would suggest this one for anyone who loves that fragrance. With cool citrus tones and a seductive sandalwood base, “Velvet Orchid” is an instantly recognisable perfume that will quickly become a woman’s signature scent.

 

 

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Viktor & Rolf “Flowerbomb” – Available Here from Debenhams.

 

After reading this post, you’ll probably realise that I prefer strong scents with notes of sandalwood and leather. However, that isn’t to everyone’s taste. If the lady in your life prefers a warm, floral fragrance; then “Flowerbomb” is the one for her. This perfume is very floral, with notes of orchid and jasmine. So, it’s safe to assume that anyone who loves to fill their home with fresh flowers or enjoys gardening, will adore this fragrance.

 

 

So, there you have it. Lots of different fragrance options for the ladies in your life. Whether, she loves sweet, sultry or floral scents – this list has got you covered. However, if you’ve got a fragrance that you think I should have included, please mention it in the comment section – all suggestions welcome.

Rouge x

 

P.S if you want to take a look at some of my other gift guides for Christmas 2016, I will leave a list of links below:

PHYT’s Skincare – Gift Ideas, For Her

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If you’re struggling to decide what to purchase for the ladies in your life this Christmas, skincare gift sets are usually a safe bet. Well, unless you choose the wrong products, of course. Women of all ages like to take care of their skin but what you probably didn’t know is that many of the formulas that are on the market at the moment contain lots of chemical “nasties” that are actually bad for the skin if used for a prolonged period of time.

I have pretty clear skin – due to a combination of good genes (thanks, Mum) and the use of good quality skincare products. The “no make up selfie” above will demonstrate the current condition of my skin, without layers of foundation and concealer. So, followers of Rouge Writing Hood often ask me about skincare and the products that I use on a daily basis. And, I can honestly say that no matter how many times I take it upon myself to test new products from different brands, I always seem to return to the French brand, PHYT’s.

PHYT’s are an organic skincare brand, available online or from a number of stockists throughout the country. They’re a salon brand who never fail to deliver on their promises. Plus, their formulas are organic and gentle, so they’re suitable for all skin types. Keeping this in mind, I’ve complied a list of Christmas gift sets that are available for purchase this year. And, the great news is that the brand are currently offering a 20% discount on ALL of their gift sets if you shop online here.

PHYT’S NOURISHING CLEANSING SET:

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This set contains three essential products for everyday use. We’ve got “Lait Nettoyant Cleanser”, “Hydrole Orange Toner” and the “Lip Balm Comfort”. Suitable for all skin types and the cleanser is very gentle so I think it would be great for sensitive skin. This would be a particularly good gift for young girls who are just starting to wear make up and learning to take care of their skin.

EAU MICELLAIRE & CONTACT+ GOMMAGE:

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This gift set would make a great pressie for any gals who are a little lazy when it comes to removing their make up. Especially those who like to party all night long because the “Eau Micellaire” is a great formula for removing make up quickly, before you roll into bed. After a night out, I always use my “Gommage Contact +” to gently remove dead skin cells, before applying a face mask to revitalise tired, dull skin. This gift set is currently reduced from €60 to €48 so it’s a really affordable option.

LAIT HYDRO & CREME AQUA HYDRATANTE

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If I had to choose two skincare products to bring to a desert island, the “Lait Hydro” and “Creme Aqua Hydratante” would be an easy choice. These products aren’t for oily skin but they work wonderfully on dehydrated, dry and normal skin types. That means that they’re perfect for winter. This set would be a wonderful gift for Mums, who are always in search of a good moisturiser.

GEL NETTOYANT & LIP BALM COMFORT

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Bath sets are really popular Christmas gifts but, many of them are heavily perfumed and often, this means that the formulas are drying on skin. Not ideal – especially during the winter months. However, this set from PHYT’s is (like all of their products) made entirely from natural ingredients. The body cleansing “Gel Nettoyant” is soothing on skin and will help keep it moisturised and healthy throughout the winter months. And, no woman can ever have enough lip balms.. At €27 (reduced from €34), this set is no more expensive than those found in pharmacies nationwide, and I assure you that the formulas are above and beyond the quality of the “cult-favourite” drugstore options.

LAIT CORPS FLEURIE & GALET EXFOLIANT

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This is another body skincare set. Young girls with a passion for false tanning will find the “Galet Exfoliant” really useful for removing the “snake-skin” look. This mint scented soap is great for removing dead skin cells and exfoliating skin. And, the “Lait Corps Fleurie” is a gorgeous body lotion that is naturally scented with flower and plant extract. Mums, grandmothers, sisters and aunties would also love this set, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing your girlfriend/wife a bar of soap for Christmas – even if it is as pretty as this one!

And that’s it folks. PHYT’s are an organic, natural brand that I am really passionate about, so if you purchase any of their products, I would love to hear your thoughts on them. Just drop me a line on Twitter (@rougewriting) or Instagram (@rougewritinghood).

You can purchase any of the above sets in stockists nationwide or here at the PHYT’s Ireland website.

Rouge x

Cocoa Brown “Golden Goddess Oil” – Review.

A goddess is somebody who shines both inside and out.

Anyone who follows me on InstagramTwitter or Snapchat (username “rougewriting”) will know that Marissa Carter is a huge idol of mine. I couldn’t be more impressed by the woman’s work ethic, creative mind and successful use of digital marketing – Marissa is the definition of a “girl boss”.

Therefore, when Joyce Bonelli (MUA to the Kardashians) announced that she is a fan of Cocoa Brown, I wasn’t one bit surprised. However, I was intrigued when I heard that Joyce’s favourite product was not the cult favourite “1 Hour Tan”, but rather a new release – Cocoa Brown’s “Golden Goddess Oil”. So, off I popped to my local pharmacy to purchase the new formula.

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I don’t even know where to begin praising this product. In my eyes, it really is liquid gold! “Golden Goddess Oil” is a dry shimmering body oil which promises to add a luminous sheen to skin. This formula is a multitasking one so you can:

  1. Apply as a highlighter over cheekbones, collarbone etc.
  2. Apply over false tan for a shimmering effect.
  3. Apply without false tan to brighten and illuminate skin.

In an effort to transform myself into Beyoncé; I have been applying this one directly to my legs for nights, out using a tanning mitt. However, my favourite way to use the product is as a highlighter on my cheekbones. If it’s good enough for Khloe Kardashian, it’s good enough for me!

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The formula is made easy to apply by the pump applicator which gives the user really good control over how much product they use – leading to less waste. My main tip would be to shake the formula really well before use, because the glitter and oil tend to separate in the bottle. I use “Golden Goddess Oil” as a highlighter by applying it across cheekbones in an upwards motion, using my “Real Techniques” make up sponge. I find that using a sponge, rather than a make up brush gives a more intense, pigmented effect. I also apply a little across the brow bone. Check out the results:

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It’s safe to say that I would bathe in this product if I could. Marissa, you have out-done yourself! I can’t wait to take my “Golden Goddess Oil” on holidays with me the end of April – the bottle is within the 100ml travel restriction so it’s perfect for holiday season!

Cocoa Brown “Golden Goddess Oil” retails at €11.99. I picked mine up here at carapharacy.com and it is available in pharmacies nationwide, Primark/Penneys and at Cloud10Beauty.com. What do you think? Have you tried this product or others like it? Let us know in the comments section.

Rouge x

 

theBalm “Batter Up” Eyeshadow Sticks.

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

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

  

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

  

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

  

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

Rouge X