Lancome “Matte Lip Shaker” – Review

A few months ago, I started a new job and blogging was kind of placed on the “back burner”. As much as I adore testing new beauty products, I simply found that I didn’t have as much time to play around with new releases and I’m never going to publish half-assed reviews, just for the sake of it. As any Irish parent would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and the beauty market is saturated with new releases to tempt the bank balance. However, now that I’ve settled in to the job, I’m back with some new review posts – and this time you can be sure that I’m choosing the “créme de la créme” of products to write about because I won’t find any time to write about the mediocre ones.

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Today, I want to talk to you about a product that I have been testing for months – the Lancome “Matte Shaker” lip colours. At first, when I received these in the post, I was worried that the design might be a gimmick but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The packaging is sleek and quirky but more importantly, it’s handbag-proof. The lid of the “Matte Shaker” is sturdy and won’t open in your bag while you’re on the move. Anyone who has had the inside of their designer handbag smeared with bright lipstick will realise just how handy this is. The sponge applicator is difficult to get used to in the beginning and you will definitely need a mirror to apply this product but, the shape of the sponge eliminates the need to use a lip liner which is a pro that outweighs the con, in my opinion.

I’ve played around with all of the colours in this collection and there’s something to suit everyone. There are seven shades that range from peach to nude to bright orange. Although, I have to say that, for me, the reds steal the show. “Red-y In 5” is my favourite shade from the range and the one that I have chosen to use for imagery purposes in this post. It’s a beautiful, bold red that has gorgeous blue undertones. This type of red shade is perfect for pale complexions and the blue undertones help to create the illusion of whiter teeth.

 

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Now, let’s talk about the formula. What sets this matte lipstick apart in a market saturated with similar products? Well, I have to say that while there may be one hundred other matte lip products on the market at the moment, there are none quite like this one.

The formula is packed with pigment and although it’s build-able, it was designed to be applied as a super thin layer of colour. Any residue of the product seems to almost evaporate when it’s applied to the lips, so the formula wears like a second skin. The “Matte Lip Shakers” are exactly that – completely and totally matte so if you are looking for a moisturising lip product, this isn’t it. However, because the formula is so lightweight, it won’t drain any moisture from your lips and will leave them exactly as it found them.

I love the texture of this product and enjoy that it’s really comfortable to wear. Lots of matte lip products can feel heavy and balmy on the lips but you could forget that you were wearing any product at all, after applying the “Matte Shaker”.

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Taking all of the above into consideration, I have to say that I rate the “Matte Shaker” from Lancome as one of my favourite releases of 2017. I would even go as far as to say that it’s the most comfortable matte lipstick on the market at the moment, closely followed by TheBalm’s “Meet Matt(e) Hughes”.

Lancome “Matte Shakers” retail at €19.50 which is a pretty decent price point and they’re available from Lancome stockists nationwide. Have you tried the product? Or, do you already have favourite matte lipstick? Either way, we would love to hear about it so let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram under the corresponding post!

Rouge x

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Juvi Designs – The New “Coral Collection”

Any long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will already know that I’m a big fan of Irish jewellery designers, Vincent Tynan and Julie Danz, who are the creative masterminds behind Juvi Designs. A few months ago, I wrote a post detailing their “Initials Collection” and it got lots of lovely feedback, with lots of you buying the fabulous designs for loved ones during the Christmas season. With this in mind, I thought that you would all be interested in hearing about Juvi’s brand new launch – their SS17 “Coral Collection”.

Vincent and Julie draw inspiration for their designs from different parts of the the world to which they have traveled and the “Coral Collection” is inspired by the Philippine Islands. The inspiration is reflected in the beautiful gemstones that represent the country’s turquoise seas and stunning sunsets – there are stones to suit everyone in this collection from moonstone to ruby. The “Coral Collection” is also the first collection from Juvi that is available in rose gold, a trend that I know lots of you are excited about.

So, enough of my chatter – let’s see the pictures!! The entire collection can be found here, but for the moment, here are a few of my favourite picks:

 

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This collection speaks for itself – and after popping in to Arnotts to have a sneaky browse, I can confirm that the jewellery is just as gorgeous in person as it is in the pictures. The Juvi team have wowed me again!

The prices of the pieces in the collection start at just €55 and are available from Juvi stockists nationwide including Arnotts, House of Fraser, Weirs, the Kilkenny Shop, Avoca and online from the Juvi website.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram!

Rouge x

Valentines Day Gifts – For Her

 
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Just when you thought the gift buying was over after Christmas, Valentines Day rears its ugly head. Back to the diet of baked beans and “cuppa soup” for another month then… Here’s a little gift inspiration for those who are struggling for some fresh ideas. There are winning presents to suit every budget!

 

 

 

Too Faced “Sweet Peach” Eye Shadow Palette – Available Here

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I dare you to find a girl on the planet who is not currently lusting after this gorgeous palette from Too Faced. The last time it was released, it was a worldwide sell out and we have been waiting MONTHS for a restock. Of course, it’s going to sell out at the speed of light so I recommend whipping your credit card out and purchasing it online from Debenhams before it’s gone.

Juvi “Shooting Star” Necklace – Available Here:

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This dainty necklace from Juvi Designs is stunning. My combination of choice would be the green onyx gemstone set in gold vermeil. The design is timeless and so elegant. This is a gift that a girl could happily hold on to forever. And, I saved the best part for last – the necklace is a bargain at €59, even though it looks far more expensive than that!

Mugler “Angel Muse” – Available Here:

 

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I was gifted this perfume shortly before Christmas and it is gorgeous. It’s definitely a sensual perfume but it also contains some sweet notes of cocoa and hazelnut so I think that it would appeal to a variety of women, dependent on their personal taste. If the lady in your life loves a perfume that lasts all day, this one is a great option.

TheBalm “Highlite N Con Tour” – Available Here:

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This fabulous face palette is a brand new release from theBalm which means that you can almost be guaranteed that the lady in your life doesn’t have it yet. It will suit all skin tones, so there’s no need to worry about shade matching. I absolutely adore this product and will be releasing a full review soon. And, if you’re looking for a bargain, you should check out my post on theBalm’s Christmas Collection because those gorgeous goodies are on sale now!

Yves Saint Laurent “Couture Palette Collection” – Available Here:

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This newly released palette from YSL is just gorgeous. The shades provide a little pop of colour, so this one would be best suited to those who are adventurous with their make up. I think the peachy/pink shades are fabulous for spring and, because the palette is specifically designed to create a contoured eye,  this is the only palette the lady in your life will need. Now, I said need – not want! This product is compact and perfect for those who love to travel.

Juvi “Initials” Collection- Available Here:

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Yes, I think that we can officially establish that I am obsessed with Juvi. I love the brand, their ethos and the very reasonable price point of their designs. Their new “Initials” collection includes a number of pieces that would make perfect Valentine’s gifts. You can read all about the collection in a previous blog post which you can find here.

Carvela “Alice Ombré Courts” – Available Here:

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Want. Need. Must have. These Louboutin-esque shoes from Carvela are DIVINE. They’re also a fraction of the price of the famous “red sole” version. That’s really all that needs to be said.

Rouge x

Christmas Gifts For Her – The Splurge Edition.

Are you one of those men who has trouble differentiating Primark from Prada? Well, if you’re a hopeless boyfriend when it comes to expensive gift giving, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of perfect presents that will easily earn you a year’s worth of brownie points:

Charlotte Tilbury – Miss Kensington Look (€250). 

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Inspired by the haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties, this gift set is comprised of the coveted limited edition products from Charlotte Tilbury’s “Norma Parkinson” collection. This is a luxury offering and is available here from Brown Thomas. It will make any girl squeal with delight – well worth every penny!

Carvela – Black “Sammy” Over-The-Knee Boots (€240).

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Over-the-knee boots are hugely popular at the moment and this pair from Carvela are fabulous. If the lady in your life dreams of ransacking Kendall Jenner’s wardrobe, then these are a sure bet. Available here from Debenhams.

Tessa Metcalfe – Rings on Rings / Emerald & Peridot (£220).

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This beautiful piece of jewellery is handmade by London designer, Tessa Metcalfe. I came across Tessa’s work a few years ago and have been dying to purchase a piece ever since. Bank balance willing, I will soon be adding this beauty to my collection. Set into this ring are a Columbian emerald and a pretty pale green peridot – well worth every penny! Available here from London Rocks.

Armani Prive – “Cuir Noir” (€215).

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This one is a dark, provocative perfume with leather accents. Although it is a very strong scent, I think it makes the perfect “night-time” fragrance. Available here from Brown Thomas.

Jo Malone London – Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne (€105).

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This fragrance is much lighter than the Armani Prive blend. The “Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne” stole my heart in seconds. Upon application, I was transported to a windswept haven – I could almost taste the bitter sea water. I am sick to death of “tropical” beach scents and this perfume offers a beautiful alternative. I love the notes of sage which add a delicate woody fragrance. It’s a soothing scent, reminiscent of rugged cliffs. This cologne has become my signature scent – you can read my full review here. The perfume is available here from Brown Thomas.

Wolford – Cara Swarovski Crystal Tights (€139).

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These tights will make any woman feel like Beyonce – enough said. Available here from Brown Thomas.

Kate Spade New York – Cedar Street Maise Bag (€335).

Kate Spade Handbag

Dear Santa… This beauty is available here from Brown Thomas.

That’s all for now folks. What do you think of my picks? And, more importantly – what would you choose if money was no object?

Sit tight for a more bargain friendly gift guide.

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

Graduation Day – What I Wore.

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. – JK Rowling.

Friday 11th of September 2015 marked the end of the ‘University’ era of my life – graduation day at NUI Maynooth. The entire day was one dedicated to reminiscing on the past four years. There were ups and there were downs, but what I will remember above all else is the life-long friends who took the journey with me.

I was determined to look my best on the day because knowing my Mam, the photographs will take permanent residence on the walls of our house. Many of you have asked me to share the details of my outfit so here goes:

My dress was ‘Self Portrait’ and I purchased it in BT2. This brand has caught the interest of well known personalities ranging from Pippa O’Connor to Jenna Dewan-Tatum and now, I know why. The design is quirky and fun but the quality of this dress is AMAZING! It’s a statement piece so although expensive, I imagine that it will last a lifetime! You can check out ‘Self Portrait’s’ AW15 range at BT2 here.

 

Check out these gorgeous babies! My shoes were by ‘Lipsy’, purchased from Debenhams AW15 collection. I’ve been looking for some sassy, yet sophisticated black heels for ages and I think these are perfect. Some of you will already know that ‘Kurt Geiger’ produce ‘Lipsy’ footwear which means that they’re great quality at a fraction of the price of the ‘Kurt Geiger London’ range. You can find these ones here.

And finally, let’s talk about accessories. Because the dress had a lot of pattern and detail, I kept it simple and chic. This beautiful ring was sent to me by ‘Lucky Eyes London’ and is available for purchase here. It is advertised as ‘stackable’ but I love wearing it alone for a dainty, girly effect. If you would like to view the products before purchase, pieces from ‘Lucky Eyes London’ are now available at House of Fraser – I’m obsessed with their ‘Evil Eye’ bracelets too.

So, what do you think of the final look? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear your style advice!

Rouge x

Lancome Grandiose Mascara.

As a beauty blogger, it’s not often that I come across a ‘Holy Grail’ product. For weeks now, I’ve been avoiding the allure of high-end mascara in the hope of finding a trustworthy ‘bargain buy’, but I’m sorry – I just can’t locate one. As a redhead, I have naturally invisible lashes so I need something show-stopping. I need volume, curl and length – is that too much to ask?


Apparently Lancome doesn’t think so. Meet my new best friend, ‘Grandiose’ mascara. This baby is just beautiful! With it’s “swan neck” wand it grabs lashes from the root, fanning them out, whilst creating divine volume. It is also pretty moisturising which is great if your lashes are in bad condition.

My pet peeve regarding mascara is that I seem to have an inability to coat my lower lashes without creating smudge similar to that made famous by Marilyn Manson. However, the ‘Grandiose’ wand simplifies the process (although it does take a little practice).

I have simply been wriggling the wand from root to tip (two coats) to create the illusion of full and even lashes. Be careful though, if you don’t ‘wriggle’, you will end up with clumpy lashes!

You’d like to see the proof for yourself you say? Well here you go:

Pretty impressive, huh? I know I won’t be letting this beauty escape from my make-up bag!

‘Grandiose’ retails at €30 which is very expensive but every now and then, you’re entitled to “treat yo self” – yes, I went there! I picked mine up in Arnotts, if you want to pop over to their website for more details.

What do you think? Would you be willing to spend €30 of your hard-earned cash on a ‘Holy Grail’ product?

Rouge x