Spring into Summer – At Home Pedicures

It’s officially sandal season! As I type this, Irish ladies are ditching their ankle boots and court shoes in favour of more breathable footwear options. We’ve had a spell of good weather lately and I think that we all have our fingers and toes crossed for the sunshine to stay awhile longer. With this in mind, I thought I would write a little post about keeping those toes in good condition, after hiding them in socks for the past few months.

As soon as the sun makes an appearance, salons everywhere are swarmed by those seeking last minute pedicure appointments. So, if your salon is fully booked or you just want to save yourself a small fortune, here’s my guide to a perfect “at home” pedicure.

 

Step 1: Remove Dead Skin.

 

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Bellamianta “Luxury Exfoliating Glove” (€9.95) – Available Here.

Rather than using a body scrub filled with micro-beads, I usually opt to exfoliate using some shower gel and this glove/mitt from Bellamianta. It’s a really gentle way to remove dead skin from the body and the feet and it’s brilliant for removing stubborn false tan streaks. The glove is also really cost effective. At only €10, you can treat it with care and you’ll have it for months!

 

Photo:Andrew Downes

Micro Pedi Nano (€29.95) – Available Here.

If your feet are particularly neglected, this is a great little gadget for removing dead skin. However, I would warn users to take it slowly when using the product – if you take off too much skin, your feet will be tender for days! When used gently, this electronic device removes all the rough skin to leave toes feeling silky soft. And, it’s small enough to pack into your hand luggage if you’re off on holidays.

 

Step 2: File.

 

Choose any nail file that you like and use it to shape your toenails. Always file in one direction to avoid damaging the nail.

 

Step 3: Paint.

 

 

Kiss “Diamond Hard Nail Strengthener” (€5.99) – Available Here.

I always apply a nail strengthener to my nails before polishing them, to keep them in good condition and to help avoid staining. This one from Kiss is great value and keeps nails from chipping or breaking.

CND “One Week Vinylux Polish” (€11.95) – Available Here.

This polish does exactly what it says on the packaging and if applied using the corresponding top coat, it won’t chip for at least 7 days. I have very weak nails and this is one of the very few polishes on the market that stays put on them for more than five minutes. There are cheaper options on the market but in my opinion, the “Vinylux” nail polish is worth an extra few euro – my favourite shade is “Cake Pop”.

Wet n Wild “1 Step Wonder Gel” (€2.99) – Available in Pharmacies Nationwide.

If the CND “Vinylux Polish” is out of your budget, then this option from Wet n Wild is almost as good. It doesn’t last an entire 7 days on my finger nails without chipping, but it lasts for ages on my toes. The polish is only €2.99 which is an absolute bargain and the shade range is great so next time you’re in Penneys or a pharmacy that stocks Wet N Wild, I suggest that you pick up a few!

 

Step 4: Moisturise and Apply Cuticle Oil

 

 

Ziaja “Foot Cream” (€3.99) – Available Here.
I haven’t written about the brand in ages but long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will know that I LOVE Ziaja body care products. Their body lotions and balms are so affordable and they achieve great results – as good as any luxury brand that I’ve tried. At only €3.99, their “Foot Cream” is one of my favourite products. I first tried this when I was away for the weekend in Warsaw (Ziaja is a Polish brand) and my feet were killing me after a weekend of stomping around nightclubs in high heels. The cream is instantly soothing and really helps to repair cracked, damaged skin. I now apply it every second night before I go to bed.

 

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CND “Solar Oil” (€4.95) – Available Here.

“Solar Oil” by CND is the only cuticle oil that I’ve tried and found effective. It’s formulated specifically to penetrate beneath shellac and gel polish so it really works to moisture the nails and keep them in healthy condition. The oil is filled with vitamin E which promotes nail growth and leaves nails stronger. This formula should be applied nightly before bed and a little goes a long way.

There you have it – fours steps to achieving silky soft feet from the comfort of your own home. If you can think of any products that you would recommend – let us know in the comment section..

Rouge x

 

 

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The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Facial Exfoliators

“Glowing skin is always in”.

Alright, so the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series has officially become a thing. After last week’s post about cleansing lotions and the post before that about micellar water, I’ve decided to walk you all through my entire skin routine, detailing the products that I’ve tried and either loved or hated. We’ll make our way through every step of a good skincare routine, and if that’s a success, we’ll talk about the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products in the make-up world.

This week – I’m going to write an account of the facial exfoliating products that I have tried lately and let you know which ones that I would repurchase (because that’s the real test – money doesn’t grow on trees) and which ones I’ve thrown in the trash. Remember, we want to create a really balanced series of posts here so if you agree or disagree with my choices, let us know in the comment section of this post or, on the corresponding Instagram post (UN: Rougewritinghood).

“Hit” Products:

 

Dermalogica “Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator”  (€46.80) – Available Here from Millies.ie:

 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product is a “cult-favourite” skincare formula, and one of Dermalogica’s best sellers. It’s pretty pricey at €46 (which is a discounted price from Millie’s at the time of publishing this post) but, because it’s a powder formula and you only need a tiny bit for every use, the product lasts for AGES. I’d easily get 6-9 months out of one container, with twice weekly use. It should also be noted that because the “Daily Microfoliant” is a powder, it’s completely travel friendly.

To use this product, take about half a teaspoon of the formula and add it to soaking wet hands to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face, massage it in gently for about a minute and rinse. If you’re in a hurry, the exfoliator can also be added to your cleanser. Now, I wouldn’t use “Daily Microfoliant” every day, as recommended, because I don’t think skin needs to be exfoliated any more than twice weekly. However, the results from this product are instantaneous. Skin looks brighter and more radiant after just one use and, I find that my face feels spotlessly clean and fresh after rinsing. The scrub is very gentle and although Dermalogica recommend it for all skin types – I think it works especially well on dry/normal skin. I would probably go for a chemical exfoliation, rather than a scrub if I had very oily skin.

Vichy “Idéalia Night Peeling” (€30) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Vichy Idealia Night Peeling

I know that lots of you steer clear of exfoliating scrubs because you think that often, they’re so abrasive that they do more damage than good. And, even though I love a good scrub, I can see where you’re coming from. If you have very sensitive or oily skin, I recommend choosing a peeling product, over a scrub. “Idéalia Peeling” from Vichy is a foolproof, overnight exfoliating peel.

This formula is used by applying the product to a cotton pad and swiping it across your face, before applying your usual night cream. The ingredients, including glycolic acid activate as you sleep to peel and exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and unblocking pores. This is a really gentle peel so you won’t see immediate results but after a few nights, you will notice that your skin feels less bumpy and looks more radiant. I love this exfoliator as a “quick fix” product and it’s become part of my night time skin routine. At €30, it’s pretty pricey but if you have the cash to spend and you have sensitive skin, you won’t regret the purchase.

Ren “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” (€38) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Ren Flash Rinse Facial

If you suffer from really dull skin, this exfoliating scrub is one that you will love. It’s one of the best brightening products that I’ve ever tried and while the results aren’t permanent or long-lasting, they are instantaneous and my skin looks instantly refreshed every time that I use this scrub. Often, if I’m preparing for a night out, I will use this product before applying moisturiser to my face. I then allow my moisturiser 10-15 mins to soak into my skin before applying make up. This creates a much smoother base for my foundation, which means it sits better and lasts longer. You can read my full review of the REN “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” here.

Clarins “Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads” (€32) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream Review

This exfoliating cream was one of the first Clarins products that I ever used, way back when I was in secondary school. The fact that I’m still reaching for it, tells me that it’s a pretty good formula. This creamy exfoliator is really gentle on dry and sensitive skin and for that reason, I use it if my skin is feeling dehydrated or sore. The microbeads in this formula are very gentle and they don’t feel abrasive on the skin. If you’re looking for something gentle and nourishing to remove dry patches on your face, then this product is a great bet. I would recommend using it once or twice a week for best results.

“Maybe” Products:

 

Bioré “Blemish Clearing Scrub” (€6.99):

Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub Review

This scrub is in my “maybe” category because although it didn’t work for my skin type, I have friends who swear by it. Now, most of you will already know that I don’t have very oily skin, nor do I really suffer many breakouts and for this reason, the Bioré scrub just doesn’t do anything for my skin. My skin didn’t feel any worse for using the product but because it’s a scrub that is designed to help combat oiliness and acne, I think it would be better suited to someone with really problematic skin. While I was in college, lots of my friends used this product and loved it – they’re a pretty tough audience when it comes to beauty and skincare products so I’m willing to take their word for it. This formula also has a gorgeous mint scent so, it’s a nice product to use first thing in the morning, before you start your day. The “Blemish Clearing Scrub” isn’t something that I would repurchase but, I think it would be a viable option for those who have acne prone skin.

“Miss” Products:

 

Lush “Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser” (£7.25 – UK Price):

Lush Dark Angels Review

There are lots of things that I like about Lush. Their products are handmade, cruelty free and for the most part, they’re pretty effective. Lush face masks remind me of all the “girls’ night” sleepovers of my teenage years, when four of us with completely different skin types used the same pot of face mask – just because.

Unfortunately though, I have to say that I hate this product. I’m not sure why I purchased it because I’m not a big fan of charcoal scrubs in general but, this one is probably the worst of a bad bunch. First of all, it’s SO messy. If you use this product, you should do so before hopping into the shower or your entire bathroom will get covered in grey gloop and the facecloth that you use to rinse the scrub off your skin will never be white again. More importantly, even though this scrub contains ingredients like avocado oil and rosewood oil to soften and moisturise the skin, I found it to be really abrasive and very drying. My skin didn’t feel spotless after use (patches of the grey charcoal formula clung to my face) and I actually found that prolonged use of the product led to breakouts and sensitivity. Overall, I wouldn’t repurchase this product.

 

Clean and Clear “Blackhead Clearing Scrub” (€5.29):

 

Clean And Clean Scrub Review

This scrub from Clean and Clear isn’t the worst product that I’ve ever used. It does provide a pretty decent exfoliation and it didn’t cause my skin to breakout. However, it doesn’t live up to its “blackhead clearing” (after a single use) claim – at all. After over two weeks of use, I can’t say that this scrub reduced the visibility of the little impurities around my nose, which is why I purchased it in the first place. The formula is also filled with blue microbeads which, unlike the microbeads in the Clarins scrub, were really messy and difficult to rinse from the skin. My skin also felt a little tight and stripped of oil after use but it’s nothing that a bit of moisturiser didn’t sort out. The Clean and Clear formula isn’t dreadful but because it doesn’t live up to the promises made by the brand, it feels like a bit of a gimmick to me – I consider this one a waste of hard-earned money.

Nip and Fab “Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads” (€17.99):

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Review

These cleansing pads from Nip and Fab, which are supposedly adored by Kylie Jenner, are advertised as a means of chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid. The brand claim that these cleansing pads work to clear impurities, below the surface of the skin and by doing so, make the skin brighter and more radiant. Unfortunately, I found them to be ineffective.

Now, I know that your skin takes a little while to get used to the addition of glycolic acid into your cleansing routine but, I found that I couldn’t use these cleansing pads for any longer than three weeks. The didn’t brighten my skin but they did cause it to become sensitive, sore and created visible redness around the nose area. At €18, they’re a little more expensive than the other products in the “miss” category and to be honest, I would recommend saving this money and putting it towards a more expensive and effective product that works for your skin.

Simple “Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash” (€5.29):

Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash

I’m not really sure why Simple decided to market this formula as a a facial exfoliator because, in my opinion, it’s not exfoliating at all. I don’t feel that the formula really gives a deep clean and, because it’s neither a scrub nor a chemical exfoliator, it’s sort of stuck in face wash limbo. I doubt that this product would help to alleviate breakouts and because it left my skin feeling a bit dry and lackluster, I wouldn’t recommend it for dry/normal skin types either. Again, it’s not the worst product that I’ve ever tried but it still ended up in the bin before I’d used even half of the tube.

And there you have it – all of the facial exfoliators that I have tried in the past few months. While writing this post, it became apparent to me that you seem to get what you pay for when it comes to this type of product, with luxury products performing far better than the budget alternatives. Do you think this is true?

If you have tried any products that you think should be added to any of the three “Hit, Miss and Maybe” categories, leave us a comment on this post or over on Instagram. And, if you disagree with any of my choices – be sure to let us know!

Rouge x

 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Cleansing Lotion and Wash

When I wrote the first post in my new “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series, I didn’t really know how it would be received by my followers. Lots of us have completely different skin types and complexions and so, lots of us have differing opinions on certain brands and cosmetics. However, it seems that the majority of my followers really liked the post and enjoyed the opportunity to interact on social media, telling us all about your favourite products and the ones that you think are utter crap! And, I really enjoyed reading the comments and taking on board some new recommendations.

So, I think that we’ll make the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” posts into a regular feature on Rouge Writing Hood. We’ll start with skincare products, taking you through an entire skincare regime before moving on to make up. My opinions may be controversial but sure, it’s all in the name of “authenticity”.

This week, let’s talk about cleansing lotion and wash. Cleanser is probably the most important step in a skincare regime. If you’re not taking your make up off properly at night, then you’re wasting your money on fancy moisturisers, face masks and foundations. So, find a cleanser that’s right for your own skin type, removes every trace of make up and is gentle on your skin – set the bar high and if you have to spend an extra few euro to get great results, I recommend doing so.

 

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s Lait Nettoyant (€25) – Available Here:

 

Phyts Cleanser Review

PHYT’s are one of my favourite skincare brands. The brand are organic, cruelty-free and their products contain active ingredients for actual results. This cleanser is one that I use on a daily basis, after I’ve taken the bulk of my make up off using a micellar water or my “Cleanse Off Mitt”. “Lait Nettoyant” is a really creamy cleansing lotion that is perfect for dry skin. I apply it directly to my face, massage in upward, circular motions and rinse off with a warm facecloth. This formula leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but I would stress that I feel it needs to be rinsed off properly (I never remove it with dry cotton wool) or you will feel a little residue of the lotion on your face. This product is perfect for dry/dehydrated skin but, if you have oily skin, I would recommend steering clear of creamy cleansers and opting for a cleansing milk instead.

ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” (£24) – Available Here:

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

This cleansing milk from ESPA is another one of my long-time skincare favourites. I first discovered the ESPA brand years ago when my Mum purchased this cleanser from the spa at Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow. We both fell in love with the product and have since repurchased it, on numerous occasions. The ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” is a really gentle cleanser that I would say is best suited to combination skin. It removes all traces of make up and excess oil but doesn’t leave the face feeling tight or dehydrated. I find this cleanser to be very soothing on the skin and it helps to alleviate redness, which ESPA put down to the inclusion of marshmallow extract and chamomile in the ingredients. I usually double cleanse with this product, which means that I apply it to my face twice, to ensure all make up is removed. Again, this is a cleanser that needs to be rinsed using warm water.

Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” (€35) – Available Here:

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

This new release from Kiehls is the only cleansing oil in my skincare collection. Even though I have dehydrated skin, I don’t usually opt for an oil based cleanser but because I adore the Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Oil”, I thought I’d give this product a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. Ingredients in this formula include: squalane, a planted-derived lipid with a natural affinity for skin; evening primrose oil, which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids; and lavender essential oil. This means that the product nourishes the skin, while removing any stubborn make up. And yes, it removes even the most stubborn of make up! This is the only cleanser on my list that I can use to remove my eye make up. Usually, I use a separate eye make up remover but, the cleansing oil eliminates the need to do so. Goodbye, panda-eyes.

“Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” exudes a gorgeous lavender scent so it’s a perfect addition to anyone’s night time skincare routine. To use this product, you apply three pumps to your face, massage in for about 30 secs and then emulsify the oil using warm water. Massage for a further 30 secs and rinse off with water. When I use this product, I don’t feel the need to double cleanse so even though it’s pricey at €35, it lasts twice as long as the other products mentioned. However, because it’s an oil formula, it is a little messier than my other “hit” options so I tend to use it at night time, rather than first thing in the morning.

Vichy “Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 Step Cleanser” (€15) – Available Here:

vichy_purete_thermale_3_in_1_one_step_cleanser_200ml_1

This cleanser is the cheapest in my “hit” section (currently on offer from Meaghers Pharmacy for €11.21) but the quality of the formula is great. Now, I don’t believe that the product is a “one step” skin routine but it’s a damn good cleanser. I usually use this product if my skin is feeling a little oily because it leaves my face feeling spotless, without making skin feel sore or sensitive. For that reason, I think this is a great option for oily and sensitive skin types. The gel texture of this cleanser is gorgeous. It’s a water-based product so it feels smooth and lightweight on the skin and I also find it very cooling so it’s a good option for the summer. The cleanser is soap-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free so again, it’s a great option for sensitive skin. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara very well but, that’s what they invented eye make up remover for. Over all, this product is a winner and I would definitely repurchase.

“Maybe” Products:

So here’s the thing – I don’t believe in “maybe” products when it comes to cleanser. I either like a product, or I don’t – there’s no sitting on the fence allowed in this category of skincare. I honestly believe that cleansing is the most important step in any beauty routine so this week, we don’t have any “maybe” products.

“Miss” Products:

 

Simple “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” (€5.49):

Simple Cleanser Review

Alright, so I know that this pick will be controversial because LOTS of beauty fanatics rave about this cleanser but, I just don’t get it – at all. Why on earth would you use this product on your face? It is horrific. First of all, it’s impossible to squeeze a decent amount of product out of the container without maximum effort. Secondly, the texture of the product is thick and slimy and errghhhh. And finally, it doesn’t seem to remove your make up unless you apply three or four coats of it, rinsing each time. It’s one of the few cleansers that I’ve ever used that has caused me to breakout and it makes me pores appear enlarged. So, even though I know that every teenager in Ireland tries this product at some stage, if you’re still using it, I would urge you to try something new – there are so many better options out there. Simple’s “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” may be extremely cheap at €5.49 but, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for it again.

Soap and Glory “Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk” (€9.99): 

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean

Soap and Glory are my guilty pleasure brand. We’ve been told time and time again that heavily scented products aren’t really good for our skin and yet, I could bathe in the Soap and Glory body butters and I love their shower gels. So, I was kind of expecting to love this cleanser when I purchased it a few years ago. And, at first, I did. I loved the scent and the creamy texture but, at the end of a three week trial, this product irritated my skin and left my face feeling sore and sensitive. The formula smells fruity and divine but because it’s so heavily perfumed, I feel that it strips the skin of all moisture. I also don’t think that that the cleansing milk actually removes make up all that well. It’s not as ineffective as the Simple option but, it fails to remove any eye make up and actual stings and irritates eyes in the process. Lots of people love this cleanser and maybe if you have oily skin, it would be a good option but it’s just not for me – I won’t be repurchasing.

The Body Shop “Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser” (€9.50):

Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser Review

Let me begin here by saying that this cleanser from the Body Shop is marketed as a formula specifically for acne prone skin. I have to say that this isn’t my skin type so there’s a fair chance that I didn’t like this product, simply because it doesn’t suit my own skin. However, I did trial it during exam season, when my skin was stressed and experiencing a few breakouts and I just didn’t like it. Yes, I love the scent of the tea tree ingredients and the foaming cleanser does have a cooling effect on skin but, for me, it wasn’t very effective for clearing skin and I’m really conscious of the fact that this formula contains lots of chemicals in the form of sulfates and emulsifiers. The product does remove make up really well but my skin felt very dry after use – it should be noted that I would never recommend using a foaming wash on dry skin because it will worsen the problem. Overall, the product just doesn’t live up to its claims (in my opinion) and it’s been banished to my “emergency” skincare drawer, never to see the light of day again.

And there you have it, a new list of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products.. Feel free to agree or disagree with my picks in the comment section or over on the corresponding Instagram post – I’d love to hear what you think! 

Rouge x 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Micellar Water

As most of you will already know, there’s lots of controversy surrounding Irish beauty blogs this week. Many people are asking why bloggers, like myself, write more positive reviews than negative. Are we terrified to annoy PR companies, fearing that we’ll never receive press samples from them again? Are we being paid to pretend to like a product thus writing inauthentic, inaccurate reviews?

Honestly, maybe some of the community are taking advantage of their audience for monetary gain but most of us are not. I blog because I’m obsessed with make up but I don’t believe that it’s the be all and end all. I don’t need to wear it on a daily basis because I am confident about my own appearance. I enjoy cooing over new lipstick formulas and shades, but I work five days a week and I can afford to purchase a new release, should my heart desire it. So, the answer is no – I’m not afraid of annoying PR companies or brands. I’ve received many a press sample that has never made its way to my blog or social media feeds because it didn’t suit my complexion/skin type or simply because the formula was crap.

Keeping all of this in mind, I’m taking some constructive criticism on board and a leaf out of the book of my favourite, truth-telling blogger, Sinead Kavanagh. This post is the first in a series of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” product reviews, focusing on specific types of product. Some of these products are excellent, some are mediocre and some weren’t even worth mentioning – until now.

Let’s start with micellar water, a cleansing agent that should be in every gal’s skincare kit. While I don’t think these non-rinse formulas are suitable for a full cleanse, they’re super handy for removing the bulk of your make up before you cleanse with a lotion or wash. They’re also great for cleaning up application errors. However, of course, some of the formulas are much better than others. So, let’s have it!

“Hit” Products:

ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (£24) – Available Here:

 

Espa Micellar Cleanser Review

At £24, this micellar water is, by far, the most expensive option on the list but, it’s also the best. The formula is filled with hyaluronic acid, rose water and witch hazel which work together to leave skin feeling plump and hydrated. Micellar waters are often very drying on the skin but that’s not the case with this offering from ESPA and that’s what makes it the stand out product in this post. I use this formula most mornings by soaking a cotton pad and sweeping it along my face to remove impurities and any traces of yesterday’s eyeliner. It soothes tired skin and doesn’t leave the skin too dry for the immediate application of make-up.

Bioderma’s “Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution” (€11.50) – Available Here:

Bioderma Micellar Water Review.png

At over half the price of the ESPA offering, this Bioderma micellar water is almost as good. This formula, which is one of the most popular skincare products on the French market, is designed specifically for sensitive skin so it won’t leave your skin feeling irritated or dehydrated. I think that this micellar water is the most effective product in this post, for the removal of heavy or stubborn make up. It removes eyeliner with a single swipe and, therefore, eliminates the need to purchase a separate eye make up remover. Again, highlighting its value for money. I’ve repurchased this micellar water four times – other products at the same price point just don’t compair!

“Maybe” Product:

Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water (€5.35) – Available Here:

 

 

Garnier Micellar Water

I know that lots of people rate the Garnier “Micellar Cleansing Water” as a “holy grail” product in their make up kit but, for me, it’s just OK. At just over €5, it’s really cheap and I can’t argue that it doesn’t remove make up really quickly. However, I found it a little drying – nothing that a little moisturiser couldn’t sort out but, I wasn’t wowed.

Now, it should be noted that I used the entire bottle of this micellar water when I purchased it, every last drop but I didn’t rush out to buy it again. However, I do tend to purchase the mini version of the product if I’m going on holidays as Boots in Dublin airport always have it in stock. Like the Bioderma formula, this micellar water is great for removing eyeliner and mascara. So, keeping all of this in mind – I’d buy it if I was on a strict budget, to use as an eye make up remover or, if I was travelling because it’s inexpensive enough to leave behind when you’re abroad without feeling any guilt.

“Miss Products”:

Super Facialist by Una Brennan “Probiotic Micellar Cleansing Water” (£6.99 – Purchased from Boots, UK):

 

Una Brennan Superfacialist Probiotic Micellar Water

This product is easily the worst micellar water that I have EVER used. The idea of a “probiotic” cleanser is lovely in theory but that just didn’t translate into reality. This product fails to remove anything more than a trace of foundation, never mind stubborn eye make up. This formula claims to sooth skin, with cucumber extract listed as a main ingredient, but I found that it irritated my skin (which is not particularly sensitive) and left it stingy and dehydrated. The micellar water also has a very soapy feel, which is very unusual for non-rinse products. A complete, without hesitation, thumbs-down from me.

Botanics “All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution” (€6.49):

Botanics All Bright Micellar Water Review Blog

I had really high hopes for this product, because I actually like a lot of the products in the Botanics range from Boots. However, this formula was a little disappointing. The “3 in 1” formula promises to remove make up, unclog pores and remove impurities and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t live up to these claims. The formula removes a decent amount of make up but isn’t half as effective as the Bioderma, ESPA or Garnier products. This micellar cleanser also attempts to provide the user with a gentle chemical exfoliation but honestly, I found this ineffective and my skin was left feeling tight and dehydrated after use. However, this product might be perfect for those with very oily skin – so that’s something to keep in mind.

And there you have it, my “hit, miss and maybe” micellar water recommendations. I have to stress though, that what works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else. So, if you have any differing opinions on any of the products listed, we would love to hear them (just use the comment section) or, if you have more recommendations to add to the list – let us know!!

Rouge x

Éminence “Bright Skin Starter Set” – Review

If you have been following Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you will know that over the past few weeks, I have been studying for exams. This, of course, means that I’ve barely slept in a month and after I finished my final exam last week, I looked exactly how that sounds – terrible!

Post-exam I took a trip to Amsterdam which I knew would involve lots of photographs. So my goal was to repair my dull, tired and dehydrated skin as quickly as possible. Otherwise, my make up wouldn’t have settled on my face properly and those photos that my friends snapped would have induced frantic clicking of the “remove tag” option on Facebook. So, I dug out my travel-friendly “Bright Skin Starter Set” by Éminence, packed it in my hand luggage and prayed for a miracle.

Eminence Bright SKin Starter Set

The kit includes everything that your skin would require on a weekend away: a decent sized cleanser, moisturiser (with SPF 30), a booster-serum and a brightening skin masque. Now, the set is marketed as a “month’s supply” of the products but if I’m honest, I don’t think you would get quite that long out of the products other than the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. If you cleanse and moisturise twice daily, you won’t get any more out of the cleanser and moisturiser than a 2-3 week supply. So, if you’re looking for a long-term supply of product, this kit isn’t for you. However, if you’re jetting off on holidays or simply want to trial the Éminence products without committing to the full price, this kit is perfection.

While talking about these products, I have to mention that Éminence is an “organic brand” which means that their products contain a minimum of 70% and up to 95% organic ingredients. The don’t use “filler” ingredients such as parabens, which are often found in cheaper skincare formulas and all of their products are cruelty free – I know that this is important to lots of Rouge Writing Hood’s followers. It’s also important to note that Éminence are a spa brand and I recommend that before purchasing their products, you visit a stockist and have your products prescribed by a professional skin therapist. I got my products from Anne McDevitt Beauty  in Dublin.

So let’s talk about the products in this specific kit. Generally, I don’t suffer from breakouts or acne so I would classify my skin as clear. However, when I’m studying or stressed, my skin rebels – it breaks out and becomes blotchy, dehydrated and dull. I used these products on occasion before my holidays and knew that they’d combat these issues. The cleanser and moisturiser in the kit feel lovely on the skin. I’ve been double cleansing with the cleansing cream which leaves the skin spotless but doesn’t strip it of moisture. And, the moisturiser isn’t too heavy or sticky and boasts a high SPF30 so that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

However, the standout products in this kit are definitely the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. I would repurchase the full-sized version of these babies in a heart beat. The “Licorice Root Booster Serum” is a skin brightening serum that feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly. It’s filled with ingredients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and licorice root extract that rejuvenate dull, tired skin. This is one of the few serums that I would feel comfortable using in the morning, without feel like there’s an oil-slick on my face.

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The “Bright Skin Masque” was my favourite product in the starter kit. I used it every morning on my weekend away, to combat the appearance of my hangover which was written all over my skin. To use this product, you add a few drops of water to a pea sized amount of the formula and massage it evenly on to your face. Then, you wait for the product to dry (15 mins) and rinse off with warm water. This product is absolute bliss and a little goes a long way so I definitely think the full-size product would be worth the €58 price tag. I wouldn’t necessary recommend using this product daily, as I did on my holidays (I was having a skin emergency) but I would use it once a week. After application, I notice reduced redness, puffiness and my complexion appears calmer and brighter.

Over all, I loved these products and I will be looking further into the Éminence brand. I will be repurchasing the masque and serum (as soon as payday rolls by) but once again, because the Éminence products are quite pricey, I recommend booking in for a skin consultation at Anne McDevitt Beauty before you commit to purchasing the full-sized products. However, if you can’t make it to Dublin, the salon sell a number of “starter kits” online and you can check them out by clicking here.

Have you tried products from the brand before? Let me know what you’ve loved in the comment section as I’m looking to expand my collection!

Rouge x

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

Dermalogica “Daily Defence” Range – Review.

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It seems like over the past few weeks, everyone in Ireland has been fleeing the country in search of some sunshine. And, while I’m really delighted about the fact that autumnal colours and pumpkin spice lattes have made a comeback, I’m craving some warm weather myself. I’m not ready for winter, just yet.

Keeping that in mind, and responding to a few dozen requests for SPF recommendations, I thought that I would share my hero sunscreen products with you all. Now, as you probably already know, I spent my summer in NYC where the sheer humidity meant that I needed a lightweight SPF to protect me from the harmful rays, whilst also remaining non-sticky throughout the day. Luckily, Dermalogica had me sorted with two products: their “Solar Defence Booster SPF50” for my face and “Protection 50 Sport SPF50” for body.

Solar Defence Booster SPF50:

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Okay, the first thing that I want to say here is that facial SPF is not just for the summer months. UVA and UVB are harmful to skin all year round and your skin is particularly sensitive to them if you’re using skincare products that include “Vitamin C” amongst their ingredients. However, I do understand that most SPF products are sticky on the face and don’t sit well below make up. Luckily for us, Dermalogica’s “Solar Defence Booster” is unlike other facial SPF formulas (that I have tried) and can be mixed with your regular moisturiser to create an even base for your foundation.

The product may seem a little on the expensive side, but you only need to add two or three drops from your 50ml bottle into your moisturiser on a daily basis so it should last you ages. Obviously, if you’re swimming, you will need to reapply to ensure maximum protection from the sun. I love this formula. It’s non-greasy, suitable for sensitive skin and most importantly, it works! Even on super pale, ginger girls.

“Protection 50 Sport SPF50”:

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This is a gorgeous, light SPF that can be used on both face and body (this could save you a few euro if you don’t want to buy two separate products). I brought three types of body sunscreen to NYC and this was, by far, my favourite. It was the only formula of the three that absorbed into the skin within ten minutes and didn’t leave me feeling sticky throughout the day. This one is ideal for visits to the beach because it won’t leave you feeling as though you’re a walking magnet for sand so you won’t end up taking most of the beach home with you!

Again, this product needs to be reapplied after swimming but I can definitely vouch for it’s effectiveness because one day I forgot to apply it to my upper back. The rest of my body remained burn-free but, the unprotected areas are still sporting an unsightly “farmers’ tan”. I looked like a walking advertisement for Red Lobster. Ooops!

If you want more information on the “Daylight Defence” range from Dermalogica, you can visit their website here. Their products are available in salons nationwide.

Now, I’m off to Croatia in a few weeks and praying that we will see a little sunshine while we’re over there so these products will definitely be stashed into my suitcase. I anyone has been to Dubrovnik and has any tips on what to do while we’re there, please let me know in the comment section.

Rouge x