McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy – My Top 5 Picks

Word on the street is that Sam McCauley Chemists are rebranding to McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy. I feel a sense of loyalty to this particular group of pharmacies because as many of you already know, I’m from Cavan. Growing up, McCauley’s was the one stop shop for all my junior disco needs – they always had me covered when it came to beauty buys. Over the years, their selection of brands has only gotten more impressive and their discounts are always fantastic.

To celebrate their re-launch, McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy have given me a discount code to share with you all. The code LOVEMCCAULEY15 will get you 15% off everything on the website (with a few exceptions – T&Cs apply). The code is valid from 16th – 19th of May. It’s not an affiliated link/code, it’s just something that I wanted to share with you. I also thought it would be fun to share my top 5 buys – they’re all products that I have already and love and adore.

CeraVe “Moisturising Cream” – €14:

I have been using this body moisturiser for months now and I have to say that, in my opinion, it’s one of the best on the market. It was developed with dermatologists and contains hyaluronic acid so skin feels soothed and hydrated upon application. It’s also a non-greasy moisturiser so it doesn’t have a sticky, slimy residue. There’s nothing I hate more than body lotion that sits on the skin, rather than absorbing. Finally, this product is fragrance free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. If you’re going to buy one thing, this should be it.

Available here.

He-Shi “Express Liquid Tan” – €17.58:

I’m always pretty vocal about the fact that I’m not a big fan of false tan. I love a golden glow as much as the next person but I find it difficult to apply, messy and I hate the smell. However, I recently discovered this He-Shi formula and I’m sold. It applies smoothly to skin and doesn’t develop with random streaks. It does smell of tan but only while its developing – there’s no smell after it has been rinsed. Best of all, the tan fades evenly so I don’t look like a patchwork quilt a few days after application.

Available here. There’s actually 20% off HeShi at the moment.

BPerfect “Louise McDonnell Master Palette” – €30:

This is probably the best neutral palette that I own. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The “LMD Palette” contains 15 eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer. It’s the perfect all-rounder. The blush is a beautiful peach shade, the highlighter is golden and provides a gorgeous glow without any sign of heavy glitter and the bronzer is beautiful buildable product. The shadows have a divine buttery texture and apply and blend without any effort. The shades can be used to create both soft and dramatic looks so it’s a great option for travel – it’s my favourite “desk to dinner” product.

Available here.

Trilogy “Certified Organic Rosehip Oil” – €22.95:

My Mam bought this rosehip oil a few weeks ago and I quickly “borrowed” it from her. She hasn’t gotten it back yet. This oil is lightweight and non-greasy. It absorbs into my skin really quickly and gives my face an instant boost. I like to apply this oil before I go to sleep and when I wake up, my skin genuinely looks refreshed.

Available here.

YSL “Mon Paris” EDP – €84:

This beautiful perfume is exactly what I’m going to be purchasing from McCauley’s with the discount this weekend. Shane bought this for me at Christmas and my bottle is almost empty now. “Mon Paris” is a beautiful, feminine fragrance. It has notes of strawberry, raspberry, peony, bergamot and patchouli. The perfume will be a perfect summer scent. You need to try this one, next time you pass a YSL stand. Remember that McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy will be offering 15% off all fragrances this weekend – that’s a considerable discount.

Available here.

And there you have it, these are my top 5 picks. If you need an excuse to do some online shopping this weekend, you can say that I twisted your arm. And remember, if you use the code LOVEMCCAULEY15, you will get you 15% off your online order – again, in accordance with T&Cs.

Let me know if you do pick anything up, I would love the shopping inspiration.

Rouge x

Clarins “Skin Illusion” Foundation – Review.

After a few days of sunshine, I’m 100% ready for the summer. This means that I’ve whipped out the false tan and now I’m a few shades darker than ghostly. I don’t wear tan very often so up until now, I haven’t really needed a darker foundation to match. So a few weeks ago, I hunted through my make up drawers and found my Clarins “Skin Illusion” foundation in the shade “107 Beige”. I was very kindly gifted this foundation a few months ago but the shade was too dark for my natural skin tone. I’m absolutely delighted that I’ve found a use for it, because the formula is divine.

This foundation is available in 22 shades which seems to be a pretty extensive range. Clarins advise that the formula is infused with “red jania extract and Light Optimising Complex” which helps to great a radiant glow on the skin. In this case, “a radiant glow” doesn’t mean a greasy look; it’s a very natural radiant effect. There are oils in the formula but they’re hydrating and don’t sit heavily on the skin. A little goes a long way and I find that the dropper allows me to control the exact amount that I apply so very little product is wasted.

As you can see above, the foundation looks very natural. It’s buildable coverage wise but I would say better if you apply a light to medium layer. In my experience, the formula stays put all day without the need for touch ups. I do layer some translucent powder over the foundation on application to keep it in place. I’m really impressed by “Skin Illusion” and will definitely be buying it in a lighter shade to match my natural skin tone. I think this will be my summer foundation this year.

Let me know what you think. Do you wear a darker foundation to match your false tan?

Nicole x

Alex Steinherr x Primark “Pollution Solution Dual Textured Pads” – Review.

If you’ve followed Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of luxury skincare products. I believe that taking good care of your skin is worth the investment and often, the price of a product reflects the quality. It’s seldom that I find a budget skincare product that blows my mind. Alex Steinherr and Primark managed to blow my mind.

The “Pollution Solution” range within the “Alex Steinherr x Primark” collection targets skin issues arising from living in a busy, congested city. You may not know this but pollution tends to make skin dry and dull – something I’ve noticed over the past few months as I commute into the city centre for work everyday. I was hoping that the “Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads” would help to brighten up my complexion.

The pads are soaked with a formula containing gentle acids (such as lactic acid) which chemically exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells. I use them by rubbing one pad across my face after cleansing at night or I simply use one first thing in the morning. Unlike other chemical exfoliators I’ve tried, this one doesn’t sting or feel harsh on the skin. However, it’s EXTREMELY important to wear an SPF everyday if you’re using a skincare product that contains acids. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing more damage than good.

The pads cost €6 and there’s 60 in each tube. I’ve been using mine for just over a month now and I can genuinely say I’ve noticed a huge difference. As you can see from the “no make up” picture above, my skin is looking pretty bright at the moment. This photo was taken first thing in the morning, in natural light. I’m beyond delighted with this product.

I will definitely be repurchasing these exfoliating pads. I can’t believe how well they work, at such a low price point. I’m beyond impressed and I can’t want to try more products from the Alex Steinherr x Primark collection.

So, let me know if you can recommend any others. The “Sleep Spa Mask” is next on my “to trial” list.

Rouge x

PHYT’S “Panacée” Moisturiser – Review.

Anyone who has been following me for the past few months will know that I’ve been studying for my “Professional Exams” for what feels like an entire lifetime. I may have been studying for over 6 years at this stage, but the stress monster reappears every single time an exam paper looms on the horizon. I’ve never gotten used to it. When I’m studying; I tend to neglect my usual routine, drink buckets of coffee and forget to consume anything that resembles a vegetable. As you can imagine, my skin suffers dreadfully – I’m talking breakouts, dry patches and everything in between.

My exams took place a few weeks ago and ever since, I’ve been trying to revive my skin to its former glory. I’ve reverted to my regular routine, with a little adjustment. One major change has been that I’ve switched up my facial moisturiser. I was gifted the beautiful “Panacée” moisturiser from PHYT’s by V Claire Salon and I’ve been using it religiously (morning and night) for about a month now.

I know that lots of people roll their eyes and stop paying attention when a blogger says that a product was “gifted” but, I have a long standing relationship with V Claire Salon and we share a similar ethos when it comes to cosmetics. I would never speak highly of a product that I don’t love, and Virginie (founder of V Claire Salon), would lose all faith in me if I did. Trust me when I say that I’ve put this moisturiser through its paces – the goal was to transform my skin from dehydrated, dull and broken-out to bright and healthy looking. I really didn’t want to have to go back to work (after study leave) feeling that wearing make up wasn’t optional because my skin was in bad condition.

The “Panacée” moisturiser is an anti-aging product that’s primarily aimed at more mature skin. However, I’m a big believer in the old “prevention is better than the cure” ideology so I’m happy to use any anti-aging products that suit my skin. The ingredients in this formula include edelweiss & rosemary, acmella, rye, brown seaweed and punarnava. This list may not mean much to those of us who don’t have expertise in the science behind skincare but these ingredients combine to nourish skin and help it to retain a youthful elasticity. One of the things that I love most about the PHYT’s range is that it’s natural and organic. There are no chemical nasties in the “Panacée” moisturiser and it works just as well (if not better than) as any expensive, chemical filled moisturiser that I’ve tried.

My personal experience with this moisturiser is that it’s helped to regenerate my stressed, tired skin. A little goes a long way and one of the things that I love most about this product is that it absorbs into the skin almost instantly and sits well under make up. There’s nothing worse than a facial moisturiser that sits on the face, feeling greasy. Since I started using the moisturiser morning and night, after cleansing; my skin cleared up and feels rehydrated. I’ve been getting lots of compliments from complete strangers and asked how I keep my skin bright and clear.

A month ago, my goal was to get my skin back into good condition to the point that I didn’t feel I “had to” wear foundation to look presentable. Let’s be clear, I wear make up because I enjoy the process – not because I feel it’s an everyday essential. The picture above was taken last weekend. It was taken in natural light and the only make up that I was wearing at the time was mascara, some cream blush and a balm on my lips. Not a smidgen of foundation in sight. Honestly, I think my skin looks great now and although I do have good skin genes (thanks Mam), the reality is that the older that I get; the more my skin seems to need a regular, effective routine to keep it in good shape.

I believe 100% that the “Panacée” moisturiser is helping to keep my skin nourished and radiant. The product retails at €115 and is available here. I know that’s expensive but in my opinion, good skincare is an investment. This is especially true in the case of organic, natural skincare because you can be sure that you’re not doing any harm to your face/body by using such products. However, if possible, I do recommend popping into V Claire Salon or any PHYT’s stockist nationwide to have a chat with the specialists about your skin concerns and skin type, before parting with your hard earned cash.

What do you think? Have you been tempted to try some organic, natural beauty products? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

“To Me, From Me” – A Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

On what feels like the 74th day of January, I’ve decided that it’s time for a little “Treat Yo Self” style post. If you’re anything like me, you spent all of your hard earned cash on others over the Christmas season and now it’s time to give back – to ourselves. Every January for as long as I have been working, I’ve put aside approximately €50 of my wages to purchase a Valentine’s Day treat for myself. I love me, who do you love? This year, I’ve decided to post the list of gifts that I’ve narrowed it down to; in the hope that it will inspire you all to treat yourself to a little something. Go on, you deserve it.

Clarins “Joli Rouge Velvet” (742V) – €24 from Debenhams:

It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s inspired gift guide without a red lipstick, now would it? This offering from Clarins is one of my all time favourites and I’ve had the shade in my handbag for over a year now. The formula has a matte finish but genuinely feels lightweight on the lips. It’s not drying but it has an intense pigment with real lasting power. Every time I wear this, I get lots of compliments so I definitely recommend purchasing if red shades with blue undertones are your cup of tea.

Sass & Boho “No F**ks Given” Candle – £20 from Sass & Boho:

This candle from Sass & Boho is top of my personal wishlist so I think I’ll definitely be ordering one of these as soon as my wages come through. I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago and I’ve become obsessed with home fragrance, even more than before. Sass & Boho are one of my favourite candle brands because their products are fantastic quality – they burn evenly, for approximately 50 hours and don’t lose their fragrance like lots of cheaper options on the market. They’re also an Irish company so if you treat yourself to one of their products, you’ll be supporting one of our own businesses. I haven’t tried the “No F**ks Given” scent yet but I love the sound of a masculine scent that is spicy with floral undertones. Plus, the packaging is so cool that I’ll reuse it as a make up brush holder. Practically making money.

Stila “Lingerie Soufflé Skin Perfecting Primer” – €32.95 from Cloud 10 Beauty:

I know nothing about this primer from Stila. It’s brand new to the market and boy, do I want to add it to my collection. I’m generally a fan of the Stila brand so when I saw the packaging, which is so beautiful, and heard that it’s a lightweight formula comprised of natural botanicals and over 70% water; I was drawn in. I’m hoping it will have a plumping and hydrating effect on the skin but will keep you updated after I get my hands on it.

IT Cosmetics “Confidence in a Cream” – £38 from Cult Beauty:

Some of you will already know that I’m fairly obsessed with IT Cosmetics’ “CC Cream”. Well, when I purchased it a few months ago, the sales assistant on the counter gave me a few decent sized samples of “Confidence in a Cream”. It’s safe to say that I fell in love and I’m dying to purchase the moisturiser once my January spending ban is behind me. The formula includes hyaluronic acid and collagen to help plump the skin and hydrate it. I definitely noticed an improvement when I was using the samples so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a full size jar.

Lauryn Rose “Geometric Gold Disc Necklace” – €39 from Lauryn Rose:

If you were following the blog around Christmas time, you will know that I’m a huge fan of Lauryn Rose. They’re an online Irish jewellery store, selling beautiful, dainty pieces. I’m particularly fond of their “Geometric Collection” which they engraved for free with every order. I’ve ordered this particular necklace for myself, engraved with the number “23” (my lucky number). I also think it would be beautiful engraved with an initial of your choosing.

And there you have it, the extent of my February shopping list. If you know of anything that you think I should add, please let me know – I obviously intend to be broke in March too!

Rouge x

Brace Yourself, Dry Hands are Coming – My Top 3 Hand Creams.

It’s frickin’ BALTIC outside all of a sudden and the central heating is on full blast. This paired with my new fascination with cleaning (thanks to Mrs. Hinch) means that my hands are in bits. I know that lots of you are probably suffering with the same issue at the moment so I thought I’d share a post on my favorite hand creams.

CeraVe “Reparative Hand Cream”:

I was only recently introduced to the CeraVe brand and I have to say, I’m very impressed with the products that I’ve tried. Their “Reparative Hand Cream” does exactly what it says in the packaging. It absorbs into the skin really quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy residue, which is exactly what I look for in a hand cream. This formula includes hyaluronic acid so it works to repair cracked and dry skin, as well as instantly soothing it. The product is also fragrance free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. This is the cream that I reach for after I’ve cleaned the house with detergents that make my hands sting. I’ve got really sensitive skin so I’m currently on the look out for some more natural cleaning products. CeraVe’s “Reparative Hand Cream” is available in pharmacies nationwide and costs just €5 – an absolute bargain.

The Body Shop “Shea Hand Cream”:

This hand cream from The Body Shop is absolutely divine. It has an almost gel like texture so again, this one absorbs really quickly. The shea scented version smells luxurious but it’s not over powering. The formula soothes skin and I feel instant relief when I use it. The Body Shop’s Hand cream is my handbag staple and at €6.50 it’s another affordable option. The packaging is also fabulous so it would be a lovely stocking filler / kris kindle present – sorry for mentioning Christmas so soon.

Crabtree & Evelyn “Verbena & Lavender De Provence Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy:

This hand cream from Crabtree and Evelyn is absolute heaven. It’s rich and luxurious, without being greasy. I adore the scent which is lavender with a hint of lemon and it lingers on the skin for hours. The ingredients include shea butter, macadamia nut and vitamins so it’s a really nourishing formula that genuinely improves the condition of my skin. The Crabtree and Evelyn Hand cream is more expensive than the others on the list at €24 but it’s double the size of the CeraVe option and over triple the size of The Body Shop hand cream – it’s a 100ml tube. This hand cream is one of my all time favourites and it’s another one that’s a gorgeous gift option.

And there you have it; three quick solutions to rescue tired, dry hands. Let me know if you have any other favourites to add to the list. And, definitely let me know if you have any advice on natural/organic cleaning products.

Rouge x

YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation” – Review.

As the weather gets colder, I know that lots of you will be making changes to your make up routine. Like me, some of you will be adding lots of glitter and berry lipsticks to your make up bags for the party season that’s about to begin. But, what about foundation? Have you considered swapping your current formula for one that’s more appropriate for cold weather conditions?

I’m a big fan of tinted moisturiser and CC creams but during the winter months, I like to wear something that’s a bit more full coverage and lasts longer on the skin. Recently, I’ve been trying out the YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation”. I attended a masterclass given by Fred Letailleur, European Make Up Artist, where I was shade matched and very kindly gifted the foundation in the shade “B10”. As per usual, this was the lightest shade in the range and it’s a lovely match for my ghostly pale skin.

Initially, I wasn’t mad keen on the idea of a stick foundation. I’m beyond the fear of “pan stick” that I developed in my teenage years because I have tried some lovely high-end stick foundations but, in my experience, they just don’t last as long as their liquid counterparts. However, Fred demonstrated an application method whereby you apply the formula directly to your foundation brush, rather than your face, which means you only use the amount of product that you need. This method of application also leaves you with the option to create a very light base, which is what I prefer to do for daytime wear.

The formula itself is creamy and easy to blend. I always use a brightening primer, before applying foundation and when this product is applied over such a primer, it creates an absolutely gorgeous glow – I’m definitely sold. I blend the product with my Blank Canvas F20 brush and it creates a nice, medium coverage base. It’s heavier coverage that I like to wear during the summer months but the “All Hours” formula feels light on my skin and it lasts so much longer than the vast majority of foundations that I own.

When I really need my make up to last, I spend a little bit longer than usual building the products up. However, this stick foundation lasts extremely well without any effort. I’ve gotten 16 hours out of it without any notable wear, just a little around the nose but that definitely isn’t unusual for me. On two occasions when I’ve known I needed my make up to last from day to night, I applied this foundation over a primer and used both cream and powder blush, highlighter and bronzer and I have to say, my make up was still perfect when I was going to bed. I don’t need to top the “All Hours” foundation up throughout the day but I don’t have oily skin so I didn’t expect to. If you do have oily skin and find that you need to re-apply your foundation through the day, this stick formula would be a really handy one to just throw in your handbag. I also don’t need to dust it with setting powder after the product has set, unless I’m stuck to the dance floor when I’m out.

Overall, I’m so impressed. This foundation applies and blends like the dream. I can’t be sure that it wouldn’t cling to dry patches of skin but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a very creamy products that’s easy to blend so I wouldn’t expect it to. Anyone with oily skin would need a bit of setting powder throughout the day, but no more so than if they were wearing any other foundation.

The YSL “All Hours Stick Foundation” retails at €39.50 and it’s available from all Irish stockists including Debenhams, Brown Thomas and Arnotts.

So what do you think? Are you going to swap your foundation for something a little more full-coverage over the winter months? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x