IT Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better CC Cream” – Review.

When it comes to product launches, I’m usually really good at avoiding buying into the hype. It’s a lesson I’ve learned over the years, after splashing my hard earned cash on one too many celebrity endorsed beauty products that turned out to be of mediocre quality. So, when IT Cosmetics launched in Arnotts, I was iffy. However, I had simply heard too much about the cult favourite “CC Cream” to resist popping in store for a look. Sinead from The Beautiful Truth and Celine from Honestly Celine both recommend the formula just days before it launched, and I trust these ladies when it comes to all things beauty related.

I visited Arnotts on the day of the launch, with the intention of simply getting shade matched and adding the “CC Cream” to my ever growing wish list. That notion was thrown out the window because as soon as the product was applied to my skin during the shade match, I knew I was going to purchase it. The “CC Cream” felt weightless on my skin but seemed to provide a great level of coverage, so I was almost immediately won over.

The “CC Cream” was developed with plastic surgeons, according to the IT Cosmetics’ website and seems to be marketed as a sort of make up / skincare hybrid. The ingredients list include lots of skin nourishing additions including hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamins so the aim is to take care of your skin, while creating the illusion of an even complexion. The formula also contains SPF 50, which is what really sold me. It’s much easier for me to use a foundation product with a high SPF than having to remember to use a separate SPF product in the morning. Yes, I am absolutely useless in the mornings.

I apply the “CC Cream” using the IT Cosmetics foundation brush which I received as a gift with purchase. It’s a gorgeous, soft and fluffy brush but I think that any fluffy foundation brush or a beauty blender would work perfectly for an even application. I use a pea sized amount of product and spread it over my face, focusing on areas of redness. The formula is easy to blend and applies with minimal effort but one tip I would give is not to use a mattifying primer before application because it doesn’t seem to work well with the consistency. I use the lightest shade, “Fair” and I think it’s perfect for my skin tone.

And there you have the results. I think that the product gives the skin a lovely glow and plenty of coverage, without looking heavy or caked. I’ve replaced my daily foundation with this product and I have to say, I think my natural skin is looking all the better for it. It certainly feels more moisturised than usual. However, I will be sticking with my usual night time foundations when I’m headed “out out” because the SPF in this product does cause a little “flash back” in photos.

Overall, I’m really impressed and will definitely be repurchasing. I think these photos speak for themselves – no filter, as always. The IT Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better CC Cream” is available here, from Arnotts and retails at €39.

So what do you think? Are you tempted to swap your regular foundation for one with added skincare benefits? Let us know over on the Instagram post..

Rouge x

Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara” Review

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Yumi Lash Enhancement Treatment and I got lots of questions about what mascaras I recommend to pair with the treatment. Honestly, everyone has different preferences when it comes to mascara, but I thought now would be a good time to write a post about the product that I have been wearing every day for over six weeks – the new Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara”.

Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara Review


Lots of you have already tried Urban Decay’s cult favourite “Perversion Mascara”, which is actually the one that Kim Kardashian wore on her wedding day (yes, I do enjoy sharing that piece of trivia) and those of you who have tried it, will know that the formula is unlike anything else on the market. That includes the “Troublemaker Mascara”. The duo are completely different. “Perversion” is a blacker than black formula that gives the lashes a glossy effect while “Troublemaker” provides a matte finish and a more subtle shade of black.

The “Troublemaker Mascara” has become my new holy grail for lots of reasons. When I’m trying a new mascara, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does the formula add length and volume?
  2. Does the formula smudge?
  3. Does the formula last well without flaking or fading throughout the day/night?

Firstly, the “Troublemaker” formula adds lots of length and I would go as far as to say that it’s the best lengthening mascara that I’ve tried during my beauty blogging years. It doesn’t add as much volume to the lashes as the “Perversion” formula does but I’m not bothered by that because the end result is really long, defined lashes without a clump in sight.

“Troublemaker” is practically smudge-proof but it does take awhile to get used to the silicone wand. It’s perfectly designed to reach corner lashes but it does take a little practice to achieve perfection. My best advice here is to apply light layers and build the product up, particularly on the lower lashes. Give the formula a chance to dry before blinking (it’s fast drying so that’s not a huge task) and you’re good for the day. Once the mascara dries, it won’t run or smudge. Urban Decay are marketing the product as sex-proof – I’ll let you be your own judge of that one. This means that the product stays put all day but it’s not waterproof like “Perversion”, it’s water resistant.

My pet peeve in the beauty industry is mascaras that flake after a few hours of wear. In this day and age, I can’t understand how brands are still producing mascaras that run down your face during the day/night, leaving you looking like a panda. This is particularly frustrating if you’re in the office and don’t have a chance to check your reflection until 5.30pm, when you’re walking out the door. Basically, women need beauty products that they can rely on without having to top up or feeling the need to “fix their face” throughout the day. And, this is why I love “Troublemaker”. I’ve worn it every single day for weeks, in different weather conditions and it hasn’t let me down once. I’m not worried about walking into a meeting looking like Alice Cooper and this is really all that I need in a mascara. On another note, I have slept in my make up more than once in recent weeks (yes, I know it’s gross) and I’ve woken up with perfect eye make up on each occasion. And, I really do mean perfect – no smudging, no flaking.. However, my foundation and lipstick didn’t seem to get the memo.

Now, I think that’s enough blathering for one evening. Besides, we all know that the real truth likes in a classic “before and after” photo. Ask and you shall receive:



There’s no filter on either photo and my lashes are natural in both but I would say that I have very fair eyelashes so that accounts for a lot of the difference in the two pictures. Obviously, the “Troublemaker Mascara” isn’t a miracle worker but it’s pretty damn close, as far as I’m concerned! And for those wondering – the false tan is Vita Liberata and although the shade is gorgeous, I don’t rate it as well as the BPerfect tan that I’ve been trialling lately – but that’s another day’s blog post.

All in all, I love the “Troublemaker” formula and I will be repurchasing it when mine runs out. The only minor issue that I do have is that it’s a bit difficult to remove – not as difficult as some of the impossible formulas I’ve tried (*cough Benefit’s “They’re Real” *cough) but it definitely does require some work. I’m currently using a Nivea eye make up remover to take the formula off and it works well but if you’re hoping to remove the mascara with regular cleansing cream, you’re out of luck. This is an issue with the majority of high-end mascaras though and if you’re looking for a formula that doesn’t budge, it’s just the flip-side that you have to deal with.




If you’ve already tried the mascara for yourself, let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

Rouge x

The Bargain Beauty Bag – Back to College Edition

“You can never be overdressed or over educated” – Oscar Wilde.

It’s that time of year again… I’m so jealous of all my readers who are returning to college or starting out as “Freshers”. SO FECKIN’ JEALOUS. It feels as though I left college forty years ago (in reality, it was 2015) and I can safely say that I would return in a heartbeat. However, I really wish someone had taught me a little more about skincare and make up before I started out as a Fresher. I have the photographic evidence to prove that I was absolutely clueless.

Keeping that in mind, I decided to write a quick post to help you to assemble a college make up collection. Every single product in this post is going to cost less that €15 because let’s face it; you need to save every cent possible for shots and pizza.






Catrice “Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer” – €4.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

I love this primer equally as much as my favourite high end one from theBalm. It’s an illuminating primer so if you have oily skin, it’s not what you’re looking for but if you love glowing skin, this is perfect. A little goes a long way and I usually apply it lightly to my entire face before applying foundation.

Flormar “Illuminating Primer” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

If you do have oily skin, this primer from Flormar is a great option. It’s also illuminating so it gives the skin a really fresh glow but, it has a slightly more “powdered” texture and this creates a matte effect when it’s applied directly to the skin. I would compare this one to Benefit’s “Porefessional” because it blurs the skin and really adds to the longevity of the other products that you use.








Flormar “CC Cream” – €11.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

During the day, I would recommend that you steer clear of full-coverage foundation. If you start using heavy duty make up when your skin is youthful, you’ll end up depending on it for the rest of your days. Irish girls tend to use foundation to mask their skin, rather than to simply even out their skin tone. Don’t fall into this trap – try using a light base throughout the day and if you need a little bit of extra coverage, invest in a good concealer.

This “CC Cream” from Flormar is a perfect lightweight base. There are a number of forumlas in the range that target different skin concerns and the shade adapts upon application to suit your skin tone. I’ve actually written a full post on this product which you can find here.

Catrice “All Matt Plus Shine Control Make Up” Foundation – €6.99 from Inish Pharmacy:

This is a heavy-duty foundation with lots of coverage. I wouldn’t use it during the day because it does feel a little heavier on the skin that my usual day time options. However, this foundation DOES NOT BUDGE. A light application wears for hours, without any shine so this is a great option for nights out. For just €6.99, you can dance the night away without worrying about your make up sliding off your face and hastily attempting to reapply it in the bathroom of a nightclub, while in a slightly intoxicated state.







Catrice “Camoflauge Cream 010” – €3.50 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

As you can probably tell at this stage, Catrice is one of my all time favourite budget beauty brands. They simply always seem to deliver on quality, at a ridiculously low price point. This “Camoflauge Cream” concealer is a great dupe for Benefit’s “Boi-ing” concealer. It covers blemishes without any effort and stays put, once you dust over the product lightly with some translucent powder. However, because this concealer is heavy enough to cover the most unsightly of blemishes, it’s not suitable for the under-eye area. It’s always a good idea to have two concealers in your make up kit; one for blemishes and redness and one for dark circles under the eyes.

Bourjois “Radiance Reveal Concealer” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

The “Radiance Reveal” concealer from Bourgois is a fabulous product for brightening the under eye area and concealing any trace of a sleepless night (or hangover). The formula is infused with hyaluronic acid which helps to plump skin and soften fine lines. To use this concealer simply apply it in an “upside-down triangle” and blend. It also works really well as a very soft highlighter if applied to the cheekbones and cupid’s bow.


Bronze and Contour:



Flormar “Bronzing Powder” – €9.95 from Meaghers Pharmacy:

This bronzer is absolutely beautiful. At only €9.95, it’s one of my favourite products in my make up kit and one that I reach for again and again, over more luxurious, high-end choices. Also, the bronzing powder is a huge product and will easily last you through your four years in college so it’s even better value that you would expect!

E.L.F Cosmetics “Baked Highlighter” – €7.25 from Cara Pharmacy:

Many of you will already know that E.L.F Cosmetics are relaunching in Ireland this month. I actually lived beside an E.L.F store while I lived in NYC, so I’m particular excited about this one. Now, if I’m being honest, I’ve found that the quality of the products from this brand vary from formula to formula but they do have some absolute gems. This highlighting powder is one of those gems. It’s a universally flattering shade and it’s surprisingly pigmented so a little goes a long way. This formula can be built up and used day or night.



Sleek Blush Rose Gold Review

Sleek Blush in the Shade “Rose Gold” – €5.99 from Boots:

I feel like I never, ever shut up about this blusher from Sleek.  “Rose Gold” is a gorgeous peach pink colour with a sprinkle of highlight throughout the formula and it’s a great dupe for the Nars cult favourite “Orgasm”. In fact, I have both products in my make up collection and I always reach for the Sleek formula over the Nars one. A little goes a long way and this blusher blends beautifully, lasting for hours without needing to be topped up.




L.O.V Cosmetics “Metal Cream Eyeshadow” – €8.99 from L.O.V Cosmetics:

Over the past few weeks, I have been familiarising myself with some of the L.O.V products and I have to say that I’m really impressed with their eye make up range. For years, I just didn’t get the cream eyeshadow trend. I found that the formulas didn’t hold well and creased after a few hours but this product is different. It’s far superior to other popular cream shadows, such as the one recently released by Inglot. The cream formula spreads easily across the eyelid in a thin layer and holds for the entire day. The shades also offer a subtle shimmer, which creates the illusion of bright eyes.

L.O.V Cosmetics “Magnetic Loose Eyeshadow” – €9.99 from L.O.V Cosmetics:

While the “Metal Cream Eyeshadow” is my favourite eyeshadow from the L.O.V range, that’s essentially just because I’m lazy and enjoy products that require minimal effort. The “Magnetic Loose Eyeshadow” is a product that I would avoid in the morning but one that I covet for evening wear. This loose pigment formula is nothing short of amazing. It can be used wet or dry to create an intensity level of your choice but personally, I love to use it wet to create a foiled look. I will actually write a full blog post on these babies, so stay tuned.



Wet n Wild Lipstick Review


Wet n Wild “Megalast Lipstick” – €2.73 from

These lipsticks are a amazing and at this price, I recommend that you buy one in every colour. The formula is very similar to that of MAC’s matte lipsticks so they’re really long wearing but I do recommend wearing a lip balm underneath the product, to prevent your lips from becoming dry. All round, I love these lipsticks and during my college years, I never felt one iota of guilt for losing them on a night out – I can’t say the same for losing Chanel lippies that cost €30.

Rouge x

Spring into Summer – The Everyday Make-Up Look

After posting this picture on Instagram a few weeks ago, I received a record amount of requests for a full blog post on the make-up look. During the summer, I tend to wear less and less make up – there’s nothing worse than sitting in the office at work, while your make up slides off your face and into a pool on the keyboard. It seems that lots of you feel the same way, and are looking for more information on the products that I reach for when I’m attempting to create this look.

My make up in the above image is really subtle, to create a “barely there” look. The image hasn’t been filtered or edited in any way so it should work as a pretty accurate guide. Here are the products and application techniques that I used:




Alpha-H “Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+” (€32.95) – Available Here from

If you were watching my Insta-stories last week, you’ll know that I got sunburned at Body & Soul. It was cloudy all day, without any sign of sunshine and that goes to show that we REALLY should be wearing SPF every day. Usually, I’m really good at remembering to apply sunscreen and this product from Alpha-H is probably my favourite facial SPF. Every morning after cleansing, I apply a generous amount to my skin and allow it to sit for 5-10 mins before applying my make up. The formula is really lightweight and absorbs into the skin really quickly. I know that some people avoid using facial SPF products because they tend to leave a white residue on the skin, but this one definitely doesn’t – you won’t feel it on your face after about 10 mins. I think that this product would be suitable for all skin types.

Catrice “Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer” (€4.95) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

This primer is a cheap as chips and it’s one of the best on the market. You can apply it to your entire face with or without foundation to create a radiant glow or, you can apply the formula to the high points of your face (cheek bones, cupid bow etc) and use it as a highlighter. I usually use it all over my face before applying foundation and then set with a powder. “Prime and Fine” creates the illusion of a good night’s sleep and holds your make up in place for the entire day.

Diego Dalla Palma “BB Cream 5-in-1” (€28.50) – Available Here from Diego Dalla Palma:

Alright, so I know that lots of people have mixed feelings when it comes to BB cream and to be honest, I’m one of them. I love the idea of a lightweight formula that provides minimal coverage, while evening out your skin tone but often, I find that BB Creams wear off the skin very quickly leaving a patchy effect. However, this product from Diego Dalla Palma is gorgeous. The formula applies really well and although it won’t last for the entire day, it wears off evenly and subtly. If you want more coverage after a few hours, you can simply top up at lunch time. Unfortunately, there are only 3 shades in the range so if you’re super pale or really tanned, you’ll probably struggle to find a match. In this photo, I’m wearing shade “50 Natural Beige” and although it’s a bit dark for my skin, I think it brightens up my complexion and gives me a healthy glow.




Too Faced “Brow Quickie” Brow Gel (€20) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Keeping in mind that I have “HD Brows”, maintained by Olivia in Allure Salon in Drumcondra, I tend to use very little brow product during the day. This brow gel from Too Faced is so easy to use. You simply comb the product through your eyebrows and the formula tints them and adds fibres to thicken them out slightly. The gel holds your eyebrows in place throughout the day and at €20, it lasts for ages so it’s a bargain.

Buxom “Lash Mascara” (€20) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Buxom is a new brand to Debenhams and I have to say that so far, I LOVE all of the products that I’ve tried. This mascara is simply divine. It’s a dark shade of black, separates all of my lashes and adds lots of length. If you love mascaras that create plenty of volume, this one probably isn’t for you but if like me, you love a natural look, Buxom’s “Lash Mascara” is a must-have. The formula isn’t waterproof but it’s really long-wearing and doesn’t clump or smudge at all. The mascara applies really smoothly so if you want to apply a few extra coats for added drama, you can coat the lashes evenly.


Cheeks and Lips:


Sleek Make Up “Blush” (€6.49) – Available Here from

I’m always raving about this blush in the shade “Rose Gold” from Sleek. It’s an excellent dupe for Nars’ cult favourite “Orgasm” and at €6.49, it’s a fraction of the price. This blusher is highly pigmented and long-wearing so a little goes a long way. You’ll literally have this product for years before you need to replace it. There’s also a fleck of gold through the formula so it doubles up as a highlighter. I can’t get over the quality of this blush, at such a low price point.

Buxom “Big And Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick” (€18) – Available Here from Debenhams:

I’m going to write a full review post on this product because a few lines really can’t do it justice. The “Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick” from Buxom has quickly become my favourite lipstick formula on the market. Yes, you read that right – my favourite. Anyone who reads Rouge Writing Hood regularly will probably have noticed that lipstick is my favourite kind of make up and this product is the best that I’ve tried. The shade that I’m wearing is “Rebel Rose” which is very like Tom Ford’s “India Rose”. The formula applies like a dream and just glides on to the lips. It’s really moisturising, even though it has a semi-matte finish and it’s basically all that any lipstick lover could ask for. If you could only treat yourself to one product from this post, I would tell you to choose this one!


And, there you have it – all of the products that I usually reach for to create a “barely there” make up look. I always set the products with a translucent powder and then I’m good to go.

What do you think? Do you prefer natural or dramatic make up looks? Let us know in the comment section or in the corresponding Instagram posts..

Rouge x

Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Cancer is something that touches everyone’s lives” – Ellen Pompeo.


When it comes to cancer, everyone has a story. Unfortunately, the disease is one that touches everyone’s lives. 1 in 10 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And, sadly, every year around 2,900 cases are diagnosed and 660 women die from the disease in Ireland. But, it isn’t really about the statistics. It’s about your mother, your granny, your sisters and your daughters. For me, it’s about my fabulous aunt and godmother, Geraldine, who passed away after a long battle with cancer the year before last. She’s the reason that I’ve become a supporter of the cause.

So after a prolonged break from blogging, I thought I’d start back at Rouge Writing Hood with a really positive post. As most of you will already know, October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and, I thought I would share a little info on how you can donate to the really worthwhile cause whilst stocking up on your beauty buys.


Make Up Forever: 

Make Up Forever Ireland.jpg

For the month of October, Make Up Forever will be donating 10% of the price of any lip products purchased to Breast Cancer Ireland. They have simultaneously launched a new collection of lipsticks, their “Artist Rouge Collection”. Said collection consists of 48 new shades – 33 cream formulas and 15 matte. You couldn’t find a better excuse to treat yourself! You can check out their selection on the MUFE website.

Make Up Forever are also encouraging the general public to pop into the store at 38 Clarendon Street, Dublin during the month of October to choose a lipstick shade and place their kiss mark on the ribbon shaped wall with a suggested donation of €2. If you do so, please tag me in your selfie with the hashtag #anotherkissonthewall – I would love to see them!

Cloud 10 Beauty:


For the third year running, Cloud 10 Beauty have partnered up with the Irish Cancer Society to donate €1 from every order placed on their website to breast cancer research. So what are you waiting for, get over to their website right now! If you would like me to write another post on my recommendations for purchase, just let me know in the comment section.

Again, if you purchase anything from Cloud 10 Beauty, why not tag me in a picture and let me know what you got using the hashtag #cloud10paintitpink – I would love to see your beauty hauls!

For more details on how you can help, or to donate directly to the Irish Cancer Society; you can visit their website here.

Rouge x


Juvi Designs – The “Initials” Collection.

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.” – Mae West.


After interviewing the lovely Julie Danz, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series” (view interview here), it’s safe to assume that I have become even more obsessed with Juvi Designs than I was before. If I had to choose one thing that I love most about the brand, it would be the fact that every piece is created with love and sentiment. Both Julie and Vincent really put their heart and soul into their creative brand. So, when I heard a few weeks ago that the dynamic duo were releasing a new collection, named the “Initials” collection, I sort of already knew that I would love it before I even got a glimpse of the pieces. I just didn’t realise how much I would love it – eeeek!


If Sex and the City had aired in 2016, Ms Bradshaw would be sporting one of these beautiful necklaces instead of her famous “Carrie” chain. They’re so much more delicate and pretty than the initialled designs that we became sick of seeing in the late 90s. The chain and charms that make up these beautiful necklaces are sold separately, so they can be customised to create a unique piece. The picture above displays my initial and birthstone and as you can see, can be purchased in either sterling silver or gold vermeil. This would be a beautiful gift for ladies of all ages.  And, you’ll be surprised to hear that prices start at only €25.


No Juvi collection would be complete without the addition of some bright and beautiful rings. Just look at those gorgeous gems! Pictured above are the new stacking rings which are the perfect compliment to the pretty initial necklaces. Available in both sterling silver and gold vermeil, with an array of gemstones to choose from; these rings can be worn alone or stacked.

Personally, I would stack these rings using the different birthstones which represent members of my family tree. This would be a lovely gift for mums or, the rings could be used as a grown up version of “friendship” rings (as could the necklaces). And finally, I think it would be a really cute idea to use these rings as gifts for your bridesmaids, choosing the gemstone associated with the month of your wedding. The possibilities are endless.

For more information on the collection, and a look at the different shades of gemstones, you can pop over to the Juvi Designs website. In the meantime, I will be adding these beauties to my Christmas wishlist – yes, I said the “C word” again!!

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Rouge x

Too Faced “Born This Way” Foundation.

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” – Sophia Loren.


The “natural” look never goes out of fashion but very often, creating this look becomes quite time consuming. It’s difficult for even the most talented of make up artists to make a full-coverage foundation appear as though it’s “barely there”, while also concealing any blemishes and imperfections. Too Faced have recognised this problem and presented us with a solution; an “undetectable” medium to full coverage foundation called “Born This Way”. But, does this formula live up to the brand’s promises?





Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

“Born This Way” is an oil-free foundation which is infused with coconut water. The coconut water, together with hyaluronic acid, hydrates the skin which helps to maintain a healthy, youthful appearance throughout the day. I definitely think that this formula helps to maintain the illusion of radiant skin, even when I am depending on buckets full of coffee to help me through the week.

As I said, the formula is oil-free so I think that this foundation would be a great choice for those with acne-prone skin. Also, the coverage is great for concealing imperfections – even acne scars.

To apply this foundation; I like to dispense the formula directly on to a flat-head brush before applying it to my face in circular motions. This helps to create a flawless, even finish. I’ve found that the formula lasts really well throughout the day, lasting up to eight hours without any noticeable fade.

Too Faced “Born This Way” foundation is available here from Debenhams in 12 different shades. The shade that I’m wearing in the picture above is “Porcelain”.

So, what do you think? Have you tried this formula? Or, do you already swear by a different medium-full coverage foundation? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

Code Beautiful – Is It Time To Forget Fake Eyelashes?

“I’m killing you with them legs. Better yet, them thighs. Matter of fact it’s my smile, or maybe my eyes?” – Beyoncé.

I don’t know about you but I really struggle with false eyelashes. They’re messy and difficult to place correctly. Not to mention the fact that they often make a break for it during a dance off in a nightclub and end up stuck somewhere along your cheekbones – lovely.

So, for many years now, I have been searching for a mascara that gives a genuine false lash effect. And, I have found many, many great formulas but, definitely none as impressive as Code Beautiful’s “Forget False Lashes” and “VLM Mascara” combo.

Code Beautiful “Forget False Lashes” (Available Here):


Code Forget False Lashes

Code Beautiful’s “Forget False Lashes” is an eyelash primer which is designed to plump up sparse and short hair. The formula is a beige/grey colour but becomes invisible upon applying a top coat of black mascara. “Forget False Lashes” is used to coat the eyelashes from root to tip by wriggling the wand back and fourth during application. I always pay particular attention to tips of my lashes in order to achieve the illusion of long lashes.

I was amazed by the results provided by this formula. The micro-fibres in the product cling to lashes, genuinely giving instant volume. Now, this step does add a minute or two to my make up routine in the morning because I like coat my lashes precisely and evenly, to avoid clumping but, it’s definitely not as time consuming as applying eyelash glue!

Code Beautiful “VLM Mascara” (Available Here):

Code VLM Review

I am in LOVE with this formula! It’s blacker than black, glossy and adds serious volume. “VLM Mascara” is created using wax and vitamins, so the product promises to be kind to eyelashes and promote growth. The mascara is also paraben free.

I use this product by adapting Code Beautiful’s “Roots, Wriggle and Roll” technique and again, concentrate on the tips of the lashes to add extra length. I’m really impressed by the anti-clumping, waterproof formula which actually lasts all day, unlike some high-end mascaras that advertise “12 hour wear”.

Together, the combination of “Forget False Lashes” and “VLM Mascara” is every beauty addicts’ dream! See the results below:

On another note, I’m off to NYC tomorrow morning and Code Beautiful actually sell a mini version of their “VLM Mascara” for holidaymakers. You can find it here from Meaghers Pharmacy for only €15. It might be a great excuse to try the product before you buy the full size!

Now tell me, have you tried these formulas or do you already have a favourite mascara to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Rouge x

Moschino “Fresh Couture” Fragrance.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. – Jimmy Johnson.

As any regular reader of Rouge Writing Hood will already know, I am a self-confessed fragrance fanatic. In my opinion, the beauty of scent is found in its ability to resurrect memories. For me, choosing a new perfume is a very intimate process.

Keeping that in mind, let me introduce you to Moschino’s “Fresh Couture” – the fragrance that I will forever associate with summer ’16. It is simply divine!


First of all – check out that packaging. Moschino have stated that “the concept of this fragrance was to juxtapose the most mundane and commonplace of all products, the household cleaner, with something so precious – the juice of a luxury brand’s fragrance”. And, by doing so they have elevated a seemingly ordinary item, moulding it into something extraordinary. I adore the quirky, contemporary interpretation.

I’m a huge fan of strong, masculine scents so I was rather sceptical of the electric blue liquid wrapped up in this fun bottle. For some reason, I assumed it would be a very sweet, sugary fragrance. But, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. This is a gorgeous woody fragrance, with scattered floral notes. Base notes of white patchouli and ambrox give a sensual undertone to the scent while top notes of mandarin, bergamot and ylang yalng bring soft, femininity to the party.




“Fresh Couture” is a gorgeous, fresh fragrance. This one will be perfect for anyone who adores dark, sensual fragrances during the winter but wants to shake things up for summer. It should also be noted that the scent has impressive lasting power – I don’t feel in necessary to carry this one around in my handbag with me.

Moschino “Fresh Couture” is available in pharmacies nationwide and here at Debenhams. At the time of publishing, Debenhams are offering a “Try it First” sample with every online order, giving you a chance to test the fragrance before you decide to fall in love with it like I did.

What do you think? Do you usually change your scent for summer? Let us know in the comments section.

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – AYU Make Up’s Suzanne O’Neill.

A “girl boss” is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. – Sophie Amoroso.


Growing up the the late 90s / early 00s; we were content to paint our faces with slightly orange tinged foundation, a slick of cerise pink lipstick and a dusting of powder blue eyeshadow. Our application tool of choice? Why, our fingers of course. Professional make up brushes were far too expensive for any teenager’s liking. If only someone had noticed the gap in the market sooner, I would have been saved a series of mortifying pictures uploaded to a marginally more mortifying “BEBO” page.


AYU Make Brushes


Let me introduce you to Irish entrepreneur, Suzanne O’Neill. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years, she knows all there is to know about make up and application tools. During her time spent as a make up artist, she noticed that a large number of her clients were reluctant to invest in essential tools for their make up kits because high quality brands always seemed to attach an equally high price tag. So, in true “girl boss” fashion, Suzanne spotted a gap in the cosmetic market and pounced on it.


suzanne o'neill ayu

Photo credit: RSVP Magazine.

Together with her sister, Suzanne has developed “AYU Make Up”. AYU is an Irish owned company, based in Ireland and they strive to provide professional quality make up brushes at an affordable price point. And yes, I mean REALLY affordable. The brushes are sold individually or as sets so, they’re perfect for treating yourself or somebody else.

AYU have been really successful to date, so I recently approached Suzanne to ask if she would share some of her tricks of the trade with aspiring entrepreneurs and my fellow make up addicts. I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing this interview with you.

1. How did you get your idea or concept for AYU?
I had been teaching “Beauty and Make Up” for years and always found the quality of brush sets that students were given was very poor. They also didn’t have the money to buy the big name brands so I wanted to create something that was excellent quality but affordable for them.

2. What does your typical day look like?
My days are quite erratic. I start each day by bringing the kids to crèche and then sending off all the previous day’s orders. Once this is done, if I am in the office I will answer emails, check in with all of our social media platforms, plan our marketing for the following days and do any admin. After this is done, I tend to go into creative mode which is my favourite thing to do – it’s when I plan and research all the new lines and brushes that we bring out. We have a whole new line and two new sets due out over the next 8 weeks so this has been keeping me very busy. I am also working on a spray cleaner and a few top secrets bits too. Not everything I work on will reach our customers but the process in creating what does is great!

3. Has everyone around you always been supportive of your business aspirations?
Yes. I have always been very entrepreneurial and have had two other successful businesses before this. I am very lucky to have a really brilliant support network. When I told my husband I was going to stop teaching to look after AYU full time, he was 100% behind me.

4. Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?
Yes. We are living in an age where successful women are all around us. I love to see what others are doing and sometimes when things are crazy and you feel smothered by it all it’s comforting to chat to these women and see that we all feel the same at times and that’s OK. It helps you to refocus and keep going. I think Sara Blakely who created Spanx is brilliant and love her story. Closer to home Marissa Carter is a big inspiration of mine. She is so successful and yet always willing to help others out which is such a lovely trait.

5. How would you describe your personal style?
Classic. I am not one to follows trends. I wear what I feel comfortable in and what suits me. Sometimes I think I’m a bit boring but if I have ever tried to wear something that is not me I just feel uncomfortable and awkward until I get back into my normal clothes!

6. Who is your style/beauty hero?
Olivia Palermo all the way. I love her style and she is always so naturally made up which I just love.

7. What item do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A pair of stilettos. I find that when I have something big on and am a bit nervous, once I put my heels on I immediately feel more confident.

8. Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular regime?
I am very low maintenance. I use micellar water to clean my face at night and have a night cream and eye cream that I use religiously. I wear the 3D Skintech SPF 30 on my face every day. I would exfoliate 2-3 times a week and use a mask once a week. Other than that I get microdermabrasion done every 3-4 weeks. If a routine has too many steps I know I won’t do it. It needs to be quick and effective for me!

9. At this very moment, what’s in your handbag?
I have my wallet, a pair of the kids socks (not sure why they are there), 6 lipsticks (all pinks), 3 pens and some toffees (I have a seriously addiction to them that I am trying to kick!!).

10. With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase AYU?
Our brand is focused on the everyday woman. We want women to enjoy the process of putting on their make up and not be intimidated by it, which I think can be the case for a lot of women out there. They get confused by all the different names etc. Our packaging is simple with clear wording and instructions. We also have a tips and tricks page on our website and a training videos page so women can revert back here for helpful bits of info. We want to communicate with our customers and help them where possible and I think that is what sets us apart – how accessible we are.

11. Any tips for aspiring business women?
If you have an idea that you think is worth pursuing and you have a genuine love for it, then go for it. You need to love what you do because working for yourself requires long hours and very little return in the beginning but it is all worth it when you are getting up each day to do something that you love and have created yourself. The good days always outweigh the bad. Also not to take things personally if someone doesn’t like your product – everyone has their own opinions and as long as you believe in what you are doing and can stand behind it, that is all that matters.


AYU Gold Brush Set

More information and the option to shop for AYU products can be found by clicking here for the AYU website. I’ve heard it through the grapevine that we can expect new collections to be released very soon.

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

Rouge x