Christmas Gifts for Her – The Save Edition.

If the “Splurge Edition” of my “Christmas Gift Guides, for Her” was a little beyond your budget, don’t panic – I have come up with a little guide, filled with goodies which are available for under €100.

Kevin Murphy – “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” Gift Set (€50):

 

Kevin Murphy Kiss Kiss

 

If anyone is looking to buy me a Christmas gift, this is the one to choose. Kevin Murphy haircare is loved by celebrities worldwide, and I am just dying to try it out. This starter kit is the perfect treat for a loved one with luscious locks.  This set includes:

1 x Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash 250 ml.

1 x Kevin Murphy Plumping Rinse 250 ml.

1 x Kevin Murphy Limited Edition Plumping Lipgloss.

Available here from Shampoo.ie.

 

This Works – “I Have a Dream” Gift Set (€96):

 

This Works

 

If you have a loved one who has been particularly stressed out recently, this gift set will allow them to rest and relax in peace. This Works’ “Deep Sleep” remedies are designed to promote a blissful night’s sleep, using natural ingredients and essential oils. It may be a little on the pricey side at €96, but certainly worth it – especially for worn out Mums.

Available here at Thisworks.com.

 

Urban Decay – Gwen Stefani Palette (€46).

 

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani

 

Does this one even need an explanation? There is not a woman on this planet who would not love this eyeshadow palette. The collaboration between Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani is quirky, fun and surprisingly wearable – I have been using every single shade in my own palette. However, I would describe this palette as quite neutral, so if your lady of choice prefers a pop of colour, check out the Urban Decay “Vice 4” palette.

The Gwen Stefani Palette is available here from Debenhams.ie.

 

Blank Canvas – 5 Piece Travel Brush Set (€49.95).

 

Blank Canvas Travel Set

 

A girl can never have too many make-up brushes and this set is perfect for ladies who are always on the run. 5 essential brushes, stored in a handbag-friendly faux leather case – what more could we ask for? This would be a particularly great gift for festival goers and workaholics.

Available here from Cloud10Beauty.com.

 

REN – Beauty Booster Kit (€35.96).

 

Ren Skincare

 

The contents of this REN gift set are actually work over €60, so it is a pretty great bargain. Suitable for all skin types, the three products included promise to renew and revive tired skin. This one will come in particularly handy when the festive hangovers begin to kick in.

Available here from Cloud10beauty.com.

 

B by Ted Baker – Rose Print Kimono (€59.00).

 

B by Ted Baker

 

Lingerie by Ted Baker is luxury at its’ finest. I love the rich rose print and purple trim of this piece – wow!

Available here from Debenhams.ie.

 

Chupi – Say My Name Gold Initial Necklace (€79).

 

Chupi

 

I kept the best until last. This personalised necklace from Chupi is what dreams are made of. These necklaces are bespoke and can be altered to suit the individual for which they are being purchased. Personally, I would choose my initial to be paired with a red gemstone – my lucky colour.

Available here at Chupi.ie.

 

So, what do you think of these picks? And, if you had a limit of €100, what would you ask for as a gift? Let me know in the comments!

Rouge x

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Dealz Winter Wonderland.

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

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

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

Christmas Gift Bags

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

Christmas Red Wine Glass

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

Christmas Sack

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

Dealz Candle

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

Jewellery Gift Box

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

Frozen Santa Stationary

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

Frozen Anna and Elsa

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

Minion Cracker

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

Peppa Pig Advent

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

Freddo

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

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

Rouge x

Inglot’s AMC Eyebrow Gel – Review.

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

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

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

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

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

  

 

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

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

  

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

Let me know – I love to hear your recommendations.

Rouge x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final look you ask?

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

Rouge x

My Fall Favourites.

I was very kindly nominated by Sarah Jane of Siren and Soul to complete a list of questions about my fall favourites. I love these ‘ask and tag’ type posts because they give me a real opportunity to interact with other bloggers and our followers. Here goes:

Favourite Halloween Costume?

It took me awhile to hunt down this photograph. I once dressed up as Katy Perry and actually won €100 in my local nightclub. Granted, I probably spent that purchasing the sweets to super-glue on to the dress.

  

Favourite Candle?

I am obsessed with Yankee candles. They’re the only scented candles that produce a scent that lingers for a considerable amount of time. My favourite scents at the moment are from the ‘Out of Africa’ range – I’m loving ‘Serengeti Sunset’ in particular. It is a citrus and floral scent, perfect for Autumn.

  

Favourite Fall Movie?

I will admit that I am definitely not a film fanatic. But, ‘Dirty Dancing’ – always!

  

Favourite Lip Colour?

How can I pick just one? At the moment, I am loving Wet n Wild’s ‘Bare it All’. It retails at €1.99 and I find myself reaching for it more often than any of my high-end lipsticks.

  

Favourite Fall TV Show?

I love a good TV series so please leave any suggestions below. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is my favourite and ‘Gossip Girl’ will always have a place in my heart – mainly because Chuck Bass stole my entire heart!

  

Favourite Drink?

Is it too early for mulled wine? Never too early..

  

Favourite Thanksgiving Food?

There’s no Thanksgiving in Ireland but I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallow crust. Now I’m starving!

  

Favourite Blush?

The weather is getting chilly so the majority of us will be seeing a natural pinch in our cheeks pretty soon. For that reason, I will probably be sticking to cream formula blush – perhaps MeMeMe’s ‘Boho Balm’. You can find my full review here – this one is a handbag essential.
IMG_3542

Favourite Clothing Item?

I am MADLY in love with these boots from River Island. They’re €85 and worth every single cent. You can read more about them and view all my footwear picks for AW15 here.

  

Who I Tag? 

To continue the ‘Fall Favourites’ challenge – I want to nominate a few of my favourite bloggers. Check them out:

  1. The Pharmers Journal.
  2. Cool Rhubarb.
  3. The Fashionista Observer.
  4. Pure Irish Sugar.
  5. Shawna Beauty.

Ziaja ‘Cocoa Butter’ Range – My Winter Skincare Saviour.

Your skin is so soft, newborn babies are envious.

October is finally here! Welcome back to the pumpkin spice lattes, toffee apples, gorgeous autumnal colours and  of course flaky, weather-sensitive skin. During the summer, when the central heating systems are turned off, we don’t really need a heavy moisturiser and I love to use something nice and light like Cocoa Brown’s ‘Chocolate Whip’. However, now that Mr.Frost has returned, I need something a little more rich to keep my skin in tip-top condition. Let me introduce you to Ziaja’s ‘Cocoa Butter’ range.

First up, I was sent this beautiful ‘Ziaja Cocoa Body Butter’ (RRP €7.99). Filled with vitamin E, cocoa butter and omega 6 & 3, this formula is designed to give you satin smooth skin. It smells gorgeous – reminiscent of chocolate, so best to avoid if you’re on a diet. What I like best about this product is that it absorbs really quickly. I hate sticky moisturisers but this one soaks into skin almost immediately – perfect if you’re in a hurry. I have almost finished the container and will definitely be repurchasing!

I will admit that even though I’m a skincare addict, I never really believed in the benefits of hand cream until just a few weeks ago. Like I said, I cannot stand the sticky texture of moisturisers and I find that hand cream is often the worst culprit – nobody wants to be walking around with greasy palms! However, because I’m studying at the moment and handwriting essay after essay, I recently noticed that the skin around my fingers has become irritated and dry. So off I went in search of this ‘Ziaja Cocoa Butter Hand Cream’ (€2.99) only to discover that I have been missing out for years! After just three days of use, the dry patches on my hands have cleared up completely (results photographed below). Again, the formula is extremely fast absorbing (less than 60 seconds) and the scent is delicious. Ziaja promise that this product will also help strengthen nails over time, which I’m really looking forward to. At that price point, who could resist?

Ziaja products can be purchased online here. I’m very impressed by the quality of their products, for such affordable prices. Have you read my review of their ‘Natural Olive’ shampoo and conditioner?

Let me know if you have tried any of their products – I would love some recommendations.

Rouge x

“Back to College” – Daily Skincare Routine with ESPA.

College life can really take a huge toll on our skin. Greasy food, lack of sleep and lots of alcohol consumption can leave skin tired, dehydrated and prone to break-outs. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a good skincare routine.

I first discovered ESPA products at Castlemartyr Resort in County Cork, when my Mum went on holidays and brought back the gorgeous ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. So, when ESPA kindly offered to send me some sample sized goodies to try out, I jumped at the chance. I have been using said products religiously for approximately 3-4 weeks and can honestly say, that ESPA will be my ‘go-to’ skincare brand in the future – I am in love!

  

So let’s talk about the skincare routine. First up, remove your make-up using the ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. This product is very mild and soothing so, perfect for irritated skin. Before, introducing this cleanser to my routine, I was sampling quite a lot of products and my skin did not appreciate playing ‘guinea pig’ – it was sore, blotchy and prone to blemishes. This formula is filled with wholesome ingredients like sweet almond and soya bean oils so it will nourish dehydrated and damaged skin. Yes, I’m looking at you with the glass of wine in your hand!

  

Next up, add a little ‘Hydrating Floral Spafresh’ toner to some cotton wool and wipe face in a circular motion. This will remove the last bit of debris from skin and strip away any excess oil. It is also soothing on skin and is filled with rose extract. If you are on a very tight student budget, I think you could skip this step but if you want to pamper your skin, I would definitely include it.

  

One or twice a week, after cleansing and toning, I have been using ESPA’s ‘Optimal Skin ProSerum’. This is to be used at night when your skin is feeling especially worse for wear. It is enriched with omega and vitamins to rejuvenate skin, giving it a healthy glow. And, even more importantly, it promises to protect against early ageing. Trust me, you want to enjoy your time spent in college without having the wrinkles to show for it. Just note, that the facial oil can feel a little ‘slimy’, so I wouldn’t attempt to apply it underneath make-up.

  

Moisturising is a key element of any skincare regime and ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser’ is a ‘holy grail’ product. It is filled with delicious ingredients such as frankincense and vitamins to help stimulate cell renewal. You only need to apply a ‘pea sized’ amount of this product to your skin, so I’d imagine that the full-sized version would last throughout your entire college year.

  

Finally, I complete my skincare routine by applying a tiny amount of ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser’ to the top of my cheek bone, just below the immediate eye area. The eye area is very sensitive because your skin tissue is much thinner, compared to the rest of your face. Therefore, regular moisturisers are too heavy to be used and a specific eye cream is essential to banish bags and dark circles. This is particularly handy during exam season when ‘all-nighters’ are the norm!

All in all, I think I have found my favourite skincare brand. Since undertaking this routine, I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin – it appears more firm and blotchy areas have been banished. ESPA isn’t cheap but then again, I have yet to find skincare products which are really luxurious yet available at a low price tag. I would recommend this routine for anyone with normal or dry, damaged and dehydrated skin. I will be posting a routine for oily skin in the next few days so stay tuned.

ESPA products are available online here, in Harvey Nichols or in selected spa resorts such as Castlemartyr Resort or Powerscourt Hotel.

Let me know what you think if you try the products.

Rouge x