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

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Urban Decay “Vice” Lipstick Collection.

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

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

 

 

urban-decay-vice-lipsticks

 

 

“Naked”:

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

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

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“Ex-Girlfriend”:

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

urban-decay-lipstick-ex-girlfriend

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

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

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

Rouge x

Flutter with Fuschia – Mink Lashes Collection.

Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got, and 50% what people think you’ve got. – Sophia Loren.

Fuschia Lashes

I have always been cautious of spending anywhere between €60-€100 on mink lash extensions. What if they’re uncomfortable and I want to remove them after 24 hours? Are they really worth the investment? After all, I could buy an awful lot of lipsticks with that kind of cash. Well, recently I’ve realised that while life is short, my eyelashes don’t have to be. Let me introduce Fuschia’s “Mink Lashes Collection”.

The new collection includes 8 different styles of faux mink strip lashes priced at only €15 each. Each set of lashes are inspired by and named after an iconic woman in history such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Jones, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. I was lucky enough to be gifted two sets of the lashes: “The Ava” and “The Sophia”.

“The Ava”:

These beauties reflect vintage elegance so, you won’t look like you’re capable of sweeping the floor with your eyelashes while wearing them. They provide lift and lengthening, so they’re perfect for daytime and evening wear. These lashes felt really lightweight and not at all uncomfortable. Plus, they had excellent staying power – remaining securely in place for over 12 hours.

  

“The Sophia”:

“The Sophia” lashes are definitely a “Hollywood Bombshell” option. They’re dramatic, voluminous and fabulous. I will be sporting these on nights out for months to come. Unlike “The Ava” option, these lashes are a little heavy and take some getting used to but after about 20 minutes, I almost forgot that I was wearing them. I really liked the shape of the band, which didn’t need to be cut to size and fitted perfectly along my own lash line. Embarrassingly and as pointed out by my Mum, while I wore these lashes I couldn’t resist taking a peek in the mirror every few minutes to admire them. I think that that makes them a definite winner in the beauty stakes.

  

On another note, I applied both sets of lashes using a tweezers and “Duo” glue, which is my favourite eyelash adhesive. Both pairs have endured their wear well and I expect to get approximately 5 wears per set – that’s only €3 per wear!

Fuschia mink lashes are now available in selected stores and pharmacies nationwide as well as here at Fuschia.ie.

13 Valentine Gifts Under €30, For Her.

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

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick (€19):

Urban Decay Lipstick

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

 

Miniature Macaroon Necklace (€9.97):

Blair Waldorf

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

 

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

The Balm

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

 

Urban Decay Total Perversion Duo (€28):

Urban Decay Total Perversion

 

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

 

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

Phyts

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

 

Initial Necklace (€24.63):

Initial Necklace

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

 

Bando Getaway Passport Holder (€29.50):

Passport Holder

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

 

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

Fuschia Eye Make Up.jpg

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

 

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

Prosecco

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

 

Parks London Champagne Scented Aromatherapy Candle (£9.99):

Parks Champagne Candle

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

 

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

Blank Canvas

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

 

Ziaja Cocoa Butter Gift Set (€9.99):

Ziaja

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

 

Compass Bracelet (€12.29):

Compass Brac

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

Couleur Caramel Natural Make Up -Review.

I think we can all agree that Irish women have a tendency to “over-do” it when it comes to make-up application. We are guilty of piling on product, in an attempt to hide imperfections; rather than using it to enhance and highlight our natural beauty. This is a fact that has irked me for years. Why do we feel the need to hide behind masks of foundation, concealer and contour?

I have always admired the manner in which Parisian women ooze self-confidence and sophistication. And, the majority do so without plastering their faces with make-up. So, when the lovely ladies at V Claire Beauty Centre contacted me about the launch of the all-natural French cosmetic brand, Couleur Caramel, I was very intrigued.

Favoured by celebrities including Eva Longoria, Couleur Caramel produce make-up products which are free from parabens, artificial dyes and fragrances. Often, conventional make-up products are filled with oils and chemicals which cause skin to become dry and irritated. However, because Couleur Caramel use only organic, plant-based ingredients; their formulas treat problem skin rather than simply masking it. So, let’s take a look at some of my favourite products from the range.

Couleur Caramel BB Cream (€30).

Couleur Caramel BB Cream

 

Now, if you cannot part with your full-coverage foundation, this BB cream probably won’t be your cup of tea. However, if you love a “barely there” make-up look, then you will fall in love with this formula. Filled with hyaluronic acid, this product regenerates tired looking skin, leaving a flawless and illuminated finish. I really like the BB cream because rather than masking my pale complexion, it simply brightens it with a healthy glow. The product spreads and blends easily to allow for quick application and a little goes a long way so the tube should last ages. This one has become my “go to” product, particularly for daytime and work wear.

Couleur Caramel Silk Powder (€26).

Couleur Caramel Silk Powder

 

Regardless of skin type, this finishing powder is perfect for everyone. It is so difficult to find a powder which reduces shine without appearing patchy and caked, but this product achieves the impossible. The formula is extremely light-weight on skin, but also provides instant mattifying effect which lasts for hours. My only issue is that the packaging is not quite secure enough, allowing for minor handbag spillages. However, this can be overlooked given that the packaging of Couleur Caramel products is eco-friendly and bio-degradable.

Couleur Caramel Pearly Lipstick (€17).

Couleur Caramel Lipstick

 

I have been wearing this lipstick in the shade “No. 261 Gourmand Pink” non-stop for the past two weeks. The formula provides a lovely, natural pink sheen which gives lips a healthy, moisturised appearance. Highly pigmented, the colour holds for hours without damaging the lips. So, if you suffer with dry lips during the winter, give this lipstick a try – you won’t be disappointed.

  

All in all, I love the products that I have sampled from this range. Each of them strive to achieve a natural, healthy look. And, I can vouch for the benefits – my skin definitely appears more healthy after using the products for just two weeks. Who could argue with excellent quality, achieved naturally and in an environmentally friendly manner, without any animal testing?

For more details you can visit the Couleur Caramel website or call into the V Claire Beauty Centre for a quick swatch and sample.

Let me know what you think in the comments – have you ever considered using eco-friendly products?

Rouge x

Dealz Winter Wonderland.

Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to preview the Dealz Christmas collection. Now I know what you’re all thinking – Christmas in October, really? However, as the saying goes; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Now, I didn’t know much about Dealz before I attended the event other than the fact that everything costs €1.49 and that my mother absolutely loves the store. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to discover an array of bargain buys – sure, I could fill a basket for under €20. What’s not to like? Whether you’re looking for decorations or stocking fillers, check out these Christmas steals!

Christmas Gift Bags

Every single Christmas Eve, I find myself running around the house in a panic, searching for gift bags. Usually, after all the shops have shut. Dealz have some really cute options such as the duo pictured above. Two gift bags for €1.49? Sure, that’s practically making money.

Christmas Red Wine Glass

If you have lots of visitors in your home over the Christmas season, your dishwasher will be in over-drive. Dealz have lots of home-ware options so why not stock up on some extras? These festive wine glasses are my personal favourite. Red is my self-declared power colour so I think I will be using them all year around.

Christmas Sack

If you have children in your home, you need to run to your nearest Dealz store and purchase as many of these sacks as you possibly can. My inner child is squealing with delight at the notion of personalised sacks, straight from Santa’s workshop.

Dealz Candle

Festive candles are a must in my household, and my mother’s scent of choice has always been cinnamon. Now, usually we purchase a few luxury candles, ranging in price from €15 to €40 but after smelling the candles which were burning in the Dealz Christmas showroom, I will be saving my money for other treats instead. Available in a few different scents, these candles are really fragrant and long-lasting – SOLD!

Jewellery Gift Box

If you’re on a bit of a tight budget for Christmas, a great option is to purchase some affordable accessories in high street stores, remove them from their plastic packaging, and deposit them into swish jewellery boxes. Nobody need ever know that their gorgeous necklace came from the sale section in Penneys. This two pack of jewellery boxes is available in stores nationwide for €1.49.

Frozen Santa Stationary

The reality is that Christmas is all about the kids and at the moment, almost every child in Ireland seems to be obsessed with Frozen. I know a particular baby brother who would be delighted with this Frozen stationary set for writing his letter to Santa.

Frozen Anna and Elsa

Alright, I know I said “kids” but you’re never too old for Disney, right? Could I please have these baubles for my Christmas tree?

Minion Cracker

I thought that these individually packaged Christmas crackers would make fabulous stocking fillers.

Peppa Pig Advent

And, it isn’t Christmas without an advent calender. I have very fond childhood memories of scoffing all 24 chocolates in one go, only to mourn the loss for the remaining 23 days so maybe it is wise to purchase a few back-ups for any greedy chocolate monsters.

Freddo

And, if that wasn’t enough chocolate for you, Dealz have a huge range of Christmas sweet sets. Smarties, Freddos, Malteasers – calories don’t count at Christmas!

Everything pictured in this post goes on sale in Dealz in November for €1.49. Will you be stocking up on any of the goodies?

Rouge x

Inglot’s AMC Eyebrow Gel – Review.

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

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

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

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

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

  

 

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

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

  

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

Let me know – I love to hear your recommendations.

Rouge x