Bellamianta “Crystal Clear Rapid Self Tanning Clear Mousse” – Review.

Time for a little bit of full disclosure. Before you read this blog post, please note that I am absolutely atrocious at applying false tan. The majority of the time, I just give it a miss and embrace the pale and, that’s ok too. I really wish that people wouldn’t feel insecure about their natural skin tone. However, it’s alright to want to mix it up every now and again and in this miserable winter weather, a little sun kissed glow can help to brighten a dull day.

Like I said, I’m really not talented when it comes to applying tan but recently, Bellamianta sent me a press package and promised me that their new formula was a game changer. And, in many ways, they were right.

 

 

First off, you prepare your skin for this formula as you would for any other tan. That means lots of body scrub and moisturiser for approx four days before application. If you don’t prep your skin properly, the tan won’t apply properly and really, whose fault is that?

So I scrubbed and moisturised for about a week before a big night out and, on the Thursday evening, decided to marinate. This Bellamianta formula is “crystal” clear so there’s no guide colour. Happy enough to take the risk, I applied a plentiful amount to my body using the Bellamianta tanning mitt. The product is soft and luxurious to apply. It spreads quickly and evenly and unfortunately, that’s how I lost the run of myself and after six minutes and two Beyoncé songs, I realised that I’d applied one third of the bottle to my body!

I didn’t panic though, there was no guide colour after all so I was sure I’d applied the product perfectly. Again, full disclosure – I’d had a few wines at the time. Of course, I took some ridiculous notion that I needn’t apply the formula to my face because I could just “match it up” with a foundation in the morning. Here’s a word of warning – ALWAYS apply the formula to your face because your foundation doesn’t want to work that hard. Anyway, off to sleep I went, perfectly content and delighted with my new found tanning ability.

I woke up the next morning and my limbs were a gorgeous olive shade. To my delight, the tan hadn’t transferred on to my crisp white sheets and that’s the main selling point of this formula. It really doesn’t transfer on to clothing or your bed sheets and for that reason, I would definitely repurchase.

Of course, I was instantly in awe of the gorgeous bronzed shade of my skin and went to admire myself in the mirror and that’s where a little bit of disaster struck – I really should have applied the formula to my face. Of course, that was my own fault and it isn’t a mistake I’ll make again.

Even after a shower, the tan was much darker than my natural skin tone and it took a make up artist’s collection to “match” me up so my gorgeous pal Aisling Hickey sorted me out with a make over. For reference, here’s a photo of my regular foundation shade vs the shade I wore to match the Bellamianta formula.

 

 

The neck/face conundrum wasn’t the only application issue I faced as I accidentally tanned the palms of my hands and clearly, that’s where the majority of the one third of the bottle went because nothing would remove it – not even my usual lemon juice trick.

However, application glitches aside, I absolutely loved the formula. It blended into the skin easily, dried quickly and gave an even colour pay off. The tan really is a gorgeous olive tone. My favourite thing about the formula is that it doesn’t transfer on to the bed sheets – even when you apply far too much! I’ve since re-applied the tan and recommend, as Bellamianta do, that you use the formula sparingly – especially around the hands, feet, knees and elbows.

 

All in all, this is definitely one of the better false tan formulas that I’ve tried and by gifting it to me, Bellamianta have taught me a few very valuable lessons:

1) Always apply your chosen tanning product to your face as well as your neck.

2) Don’t tan the palm of your hands.

3) It’s probably not a good idea to wine and tan!

I will be using this one again and again until I have to purchase another bottle and that really does say a lot –  rarely use the same tanning formula more than three times. It may be of interest to lots of you that the tan wore off evenly, with the help of body scrub and moisturiser.

The Bellamianta “Crystal Clear” formula is available in pharmacies nationwide and online from Cloud10 Beauty. Have you tried it yet? Are you as excited as I am about a formula that doesn’t transfer on to your sheets? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

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Black Friday – My Top 5 Picks

As some of you will already know, I’ve been sharing Black Friday discount codes over on my Instagram all week. In fact, at this stage, it’s probably a bit of a discount code overload. It’s all well and good having a big list of discounts, but stock levels are likely to plummet as quickly as your bank balance so it’s important to have a list of items that you want to pick up, while they’re on offer. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my own list. I’ve limited myself to five purchases (it was very difficult to narrow it down) and my wishlist reads a little something like this:

POCO by Pippa “The Off Duty” (Reduced from €90 to €70):

 

POCO by Pippa

 

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair of POCO by Pippa jeans for months now and Black Friday is the perfect opportunity. Pippa has just announced that there will be €20 off selected styles from 12pm tonight. I’ll be picking up a pair of the Off Duty style and they’re available here.

 

Instyler “Cerasilk Styling Iron” (Reduced from €119.99 to €89.99):

 

Instyler Cerasilk

 

I actually broke my GHD styler a few weeks ago and rather than purchasing another one, I’ve decided to buy an Instyler “Cerasilk” instead. Instyler are an Irish brand and their heated hair tools are designed to straighten and curl hair so this tool is multi-purpose. The “Cerasilk” is designed to keep hair as healthy as possible, by limiting any heat damage caused by the product. I’m delighted about this because I’m trying to keep my hair and need to avoid adding to my split ends! The “Cerasilk” is available here with a 25% discount.

 

“Sculpted by Aimee Connolly” Palette (Reduced from €24.95 to €19.95):

 

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly

 

Aimee Connolly is one of my favourite Irish Make Up Artists. You need only watch Pippa O’Connor’s Snapchats for a few days to get a sneak peak of her in action and the results are always flawless. This leads me to believe that Aimee’s first product release, the “Sculpted” palette is a must have and therefore, I must have it. I struggle with contour more than any other make up technique so I’m looking forward to giving this a whirl. I think that this would be a great Christmas pressie for ladies of all ages. Cloud10 Beauty are offering 20% off the palette using the code BLACK20.

 

Blank Canvas “6 Piece Travel Set” (Reduced from €40 to €26):

Blank Canvas

 

For the past few years, I’ve used Black Friday as an excuse to stockpile make up brushes but this year, I’m going to be sensible and take it easy on my bank balance. With that said, I’m starting a new job in a few weeks so I think that a new set of travel brushes can be considered an essential purchase. Blank Canvas never let me down when it comes to the quality of their brushes so I will be picking up one of these travel sets for my handbag and two F20 brushes because they’re my absolute favourite brushes for creating the perfect base. Blank Canvas are offering a huge 35% off from 7pm this evening and this set is available from their website here.

 

Clarins “Eau Ressourcante” Gift Set (Reduced from €42 to €35.70):

Clarins Gift Set.png

 

Clarins have some AMAZING Christmas offerings this year and as always, their gift sets are great value. I’ve been meaning to purchase the “Eau Ressourcante” fragrance for some time now, after spritzing it at the Clarins’ counter in my local Debenhams a few months ago. The scent is marketed as a calming, soothing fragrance and contains notes of Basil, Iris and Cedarwood. It’s a gorgeous, earthy fragrance that reminds me of a day at the spa. Basically, when you buy this gift set at the reduced price (15% off), you’re getting the full sized body cream and a travel size body scrub for free. You can pick up this bargain here, from Debenhams.

 

That’s it – the height of my Black Friday spending. I’m going to do my best to stick with this list but I will let you know if I make any impulse purchases over the course of the day via Instagram Stories (UN: Rougewritinghood).

In the meantime, tell us what’s on your wishlist in the comment section!

Rouge x

Yumi Lashes Lash Enhancement – Review

I can actually hear your eyes rolling as you read the title of this blog post. Yes, I know – we’re all sick to death of beauty “fads” and treatments that promise miracles and don’t deliver. “Fat Freezing” and “Body Sculpting”, I’m looking at you. So, I think that you’re entitled to be skeptical about the Yumi Lashes treatment that is marketed as “a revolutionary method of creating volume or straightening lashes”, if the brand do say so themselves. I’ll even admit that I thought it was another beauty gimmick when I first heard about it. However, when my local salon Essential Beauty Skin & Laser in Bailieborough, County Cavan started offering the treatment, I knew there had to be some truth to the marketing spiel – the girls in the salon never offer a treatment that they don’t believe in.

 

yumibranding2_med_hr

 

My cousin actually booked the treatment before I did and her results were amazing but she has naturally full, long lashes so I still didn’t know if it would work as well on my own. However, I decided to bite the bullet before I went on my holidays to Portugal a few weeks ago and I’m so glad that I did.

Firstly, I have to warn you that you absolutely MUST have a patch test before you have the Yumi treatment because the results would be far from pretty if you’re allergic to the tint or the glue. The treatment takes approximately 40 minutes, and it’s a lot more relaxing than I expected it to be. I have pretty sensitive eyes so I was bracing myself for a half an hour of torture but, I was in great hands with Ciara at Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

The Yumi treatment is basically as sophisticated “tint and perm” for eyelashes. The process begins with the application of relaxing eye masks to hydrate your under-eye area while a silicone mould is applied to your upper eyelid. The upper lashes are then lifted towards the silicone to curl them and serum is applied to set the curl. It’s not all as glamorous as it sounds because the curling solution smells disgusting but, that’s something that we can let slide. After the curl is set, the upper lashes are tinted. Then, the adhesive is removed you’re left with fabulous eyelashes. Removal is a bit uncomfortable and as with all eyelash tinting treatments; stings like bejaysus. It’s definitely tolerable though and I think that the photo below demonstrates that it’s worth a few seconds of discomfort for the results.

 

img_9794

 

For 24 hours after the treatment, you can’t allow your lashes to get wet and you have to make sure that you touch them as little as possible – which is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. As you can see, the difference is really impressive and two weeks later, I’m still getting compliments on my lashes. Yumi say that the results last 9 – 12 weeks (as long as the natural life cycle of your lashes) but the girls in Essential Beauty Skin and Laser said that for some people, the life cycle is 6 – 9 weeks.

The beauty industry is one that thrives on illusion and often we’re presented with nothing but photos of airbrushing, heavy make up and false lashes. Sometimes it’s refreshing to opt for a more natural look and that’s exactly what the Yumi treatment caters for. Here’s a picture of my natural eyelashes, after the treatment, without mascara:

 

img_9812

 

 

Of course, the effect of the Yumi treatment intensifies after the application of mascara. In my opinion, the results after a coat or two of mascara are gorgeous and actually look a lot better than a set of lash extensions. My favourite mascara to pair with the treatment is the Urban Decay “Troublemaker” mascara because it holds all day without budging, even when you’re melting in the heat in Portugal! I’ll drop a photo below to demonstrate how the treatment works with mascara, and I think you’ll be straight on the phone to book an appointment!

 

 

Overall, I would highly recommend the treatment and if you’re in the Cavan area, you should pop into the girls in Essential Skin and Laser because they’re absolute pros. I’ll keep you up to date on how long the treatment lasts for me but after two weeks, my lashes haven’t budged and I will definitely be booking in for another treatment before Christmas! 

Rouge x 

 

Urban Decay Dublin – My Top 5 Picks

If you’ve been following Rouge Writing Hood for any length of time, you will already know that Urban Decay is one of my all-time favourite make up brands. In fact, Urban Decay was actually the first high-end cosmetic brand that I made a purchase from – the original eye primer potion way back when I was 15. So, you can imagine my excitement when after all this time, Urban Decay decided to launch their first Irish “stand alone” store on Grafton Street, just minutes from where I work.

The new store opened on 22nd June 2017 and it’s everything that one would expect from Urban Decay. The design is edgy, fun and glamorous. And, most importantly, the store is home to ten make up stations and literally stocks every Urban Decay product on the market, as well as a few exclusives. It seems that lots of my followers are as excited about the opening as I am, with a few of you asking me to write a post about my favourite products from the brand. Now, this is one that I could talk about all day but to save us all a little time, I’ve narrowed it down to a “Top 5”.

 

Urban Decay “Vice Lipstick” (Shade – Naked):

Urban Decay Vice Naked Lipstick Review

I wrote a full length review on the “Vice” lipsticks back in 2016, and I still find myself reaching for the “Naked” shade on a daily basis. This shade is a handbag essential and I’ve actually repurchased it, which is majorly impressive because I NEVER use a lipstick in its entirety before moving on to another formula. “Naked” is a universally flattering shade, perfect for a natural look and the pigment isn’t too “nude” so it doesn’t make me look like the walking dead. The formula is also really moisturising so while the colour pay-off is excellent, it won’t dry out your lips.

 

Urban Decay “Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion”:

Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

Like I said, this product is the one that introduced me to the world of high-end make-up and it will always have a place in my heart. If you could only purchase one product in the new Urban Decay store, I would recommend picking this one. I’ve been using the formula since I was 15, and although I’ve strayed to try some other formulas, none have ever quite matched up – including the “Eden” and “Sin” versions from Urban Decay. The original formula applies smoothly and keeps eyeshadow in place, without creasing until you decide to take it off. Plus, a little goes a long way so at €21, this product is an absolute bargain.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Flushed” (Shade – Streak):

Urban Decay Naked Flushd Streak Review

“Naked Flushed” in the shade “Streak” is the perfect contour palette for pale girls. The shades are beautifully flattering on fair-toned skin and although the blush looks a bit bright and intimidating in the palette, a little pop of it adds instant life and radiance to the face. The powder is really finely milled so it blends very easily and this means that you won’t have any obvious “contour lines”. I would recommend investing in a fluffy, angled contour brush for precise application though. If you’re in a rush, you can swirl your blush through all three shades and just add it to your cheeks for a flush of colour.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Eyeshadow Palette”:

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review

I know that I’m stating the obvious here. The original “Naked” palette is a cult favourite and I’m sure that at this stage, every beauty fanatic on the planet owns one but I couldn’t do a “Top 5” without mentioning it. Again, this palette was one of my first make up purchases and I still love the shades and formula. The mattes, shimmers and sparkles work really well together and blend to perfection so if you haven’t tried this product yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Urban Decay “Optical Illusion Complexion Primer”:

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Review

This product is a new one to my collection. I actually only purchased it this week but I already know that I love it. Recently, I was finding it really difficult to make my make-up stay on my face for the entire day, while I was at work. I was finding that by the time I got home in the evening, my make up was patchy and my skin looked dehydrated. So, I popped into the store to see if they had a solution and the lovely Amy, a senior make-up artist, introduced me to this beauty. The primer is pore minimising and applies to the skin like silk. It has a slightly “balmy” texture but is absorbed quickly and helps to blur imperfections, so make-up applies more evenly. The primer creates a barrier between the skin and your foundation so the make-up won’t get absorbed throughout the day. So far, I can’t fault this product and it’s working brilliantly.

 

And there you have it, my “Top 5 Picks” from the new Urban Decay store on Grafton Street. I’ll list the opening hours for the store below and if you pop in, let us know what you think in the comment section or the corresponding Instagram posts.

 Opening Hours:
Sunday: 12 noon to 6pm
Monday: 10am to 7pm
Tuesday:10am to 7pm
Wednesday: 10am to 7pm
Thursday: 10am to 9pm
Friday: 10am to 8pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 7pm

 

Rouge x

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Facial Exfoliators

“Glowing skin is always in”.

Alright, so the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series has officially become a thing. After last week’s post about cleansing lotions and the post before that about micellar water, I’ve decided to walk you all through my entire skin routine, detailing the products that I’ve tried and either loved or hated. We’ll make our way through every step of a good skincare routine, and if that’s a success, we’ll talk about the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products in the make-up world.

This week – I’m going to write an account of the facial exfoliating products that I have tried lately and let you know which ones that I would repurchase (because that’s the real test – money doesn’t grow on trees) and which ones I’ve thrown in the trash. Remember, we want to create a really balanced series of posts here so if you agree or disagree with my choices, let us know in the comment section of this post or, on the corresponding Instagram post (UN: Rougewritinghood).

“Hit” Products:

 

Dermalogica “Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator”  (€46.80) – Available Here from Millies.ie:

 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product is a “cult-favourite” skincare formula, and one of Dermalogica’s best sellers. It’s pretty pricey at €46 (which is a discounted price from Millie’s at the time of publishing this post) but, because it’s a powder formula and you only need a tiny bit for every use, the product lasts for AGES. I’d easily get 6-9 months out of one container, with twice weekly use. It should also be noted that because the “Daily Microfoliant” is a powder, it’s completely travel friendly.

To use this product, take about half a teaspoon of the formula and add it to soaking wet hands to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face, massage it in gently for about a minute and rinse. If you’re in a hurry, the exfoliator can also be added to your cleanser. Now, I wouldn’t use “Daily Microfoliant” every day, as recommended, because I don’t think skin needs to be exfoliated any more than twice weekly. However, the results from this product are instantaneous. Skin looks brighter and more radiant after just one use and, I find that my face feels spotlessly clean and fresh after rinsing. The scrub is very gentle and although Dermalogica recommend it for all skin types – I think it works especially well on dry/normal skin. I would probably go for a chemical exfoliation, rather than a scrub if I had very oily skin.

Vichy “Idéalia Night Peeling” (€30) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Vichy Idealia Night Peeling

I know that lots of you steer clear of exfoliating scrubs because you think that often, they’re so abrasive that they do more damage than good. And, even though I love a good scrub, I can see where you’re coming from. If you have very sensitive or oily skin, I recommend choosing a peeling product, over a scrub. “Idéalia Peeling” from Vichy is a foolproof, overnight exfoliating peel.

This formula is used by applying the product to a cotton pad and swiping it across your face, before applying your usual night cream. The ingredients, including glycolic acid activate as you sleep to peel and exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and unblocking pores. This is a really gentle peel so you won’t see immediate results but after a few nights, you will notice that your skin feels less bumpy and looks more radiant. I love this exfoliator as a “quick fix” product and it’s become part of my night time skin routine. At €30, it’s pretty pricey but if you have the cash to spend and you have sensitive skin, you won’t regret the purchase.

Ren “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” (€38) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Ren Flash Rinse Facial

If you suffer from really dull skin, this exfoliating scrub is one that you will love. It’s one of the best brightening products that I’ve ever tried and while the results aren’t permanent or long-lasting, they are instantaneous and my skin looks instantly refreshed every time that I use this scrub. Often, if I’m preparing for a night out, I will use this product before applying moisturiser to my face. I then allow my moisturiser 10-15 mins to soak into my skin before applying make up. This creates a much smoother base for my foundation, which means it sits better and lasts longer. You can read my full review of the REN “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” here.

Clarins “Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads” (€32) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream Review

This exfoliating cream was one of the first Clarins products that I ever used, way back when I was in secondary school. The fact that I’m still reaching for it, tells me that it’s a pretty good formula. This creamy exfoliator is really gentle on dry and sensitive skin and for that reason, I use it if my skin is feeling dehydrated or sore. The microbeads in this formula are very gentle and they don’t feel abrasive on the skin. If you’re looking for something gentle and nourishing to remove dry patches on your face, then this product is a great bet. I would recommend using it once or twice a week for best results.

“Maybe” Products:

 

Bioré “Blemish Clearing Scrub” (€6.99):

Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub Review

This scrub is in my “maybe” category because although it didn’t work for my skin type, I have friends who swear by it. Now, most of you will already know that I don’t have very oily skin, nor do I really suffer many breakouts and for this reason, the Bioré scrub just doesn’t do anything for my skin. My skin didn’t feel any worse for using the product but because it’s a scrub that is designed to help combat oiliness and acne, I think it would be better suited to someone with really problematic skin. While I was in college, lots of my friends used this product and loved it – they’re a pretty tough audience when it comes to beauty and skincare products so I’m willing to take their word for it. This formula also has a gorgeous mint scent so, it’s a nice product to use first thing in the morning, before you start your day. The “Blemish Clearing Scrub” isn’t something that I would repurchase but, I think it would be a viable option for those who have acne prone skin.

“Miss” Products:

 

Lush “Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser” (£7.25 – UK Price):

Lush Dark Angels Review

There are lots of things that I like about Lush. Their products are handmade, cruelty free and for the most part, they’re pretty effective. Lush face masks remind me of all the “girls’ night” sleepovers of my teenage years, when four of us with completely different skin types used the same pot of face mask – just because.

Unfortunately though, I have to say that I hate this product. I’m not sure why I purchased it because I’m not a big fan of charcoal scrubs in general but, this one is probably the worst of a bad bunch. First of all, it’s SO messy. If you use this product, you should do so before hopping into the shower or your entire bathroom will get covered in grey gloop and the facecloth that you use to rinse the scrub off your skin will never be white again. More importantly, even though this scrub contains ingredients like avocado oil and rosewood oil to soften and moisturise the skin, I found it to be really abrasive and very drying. My skin didn’t feel spotless after use (patches of the grey charcoal formula clung to my face) and I actually found that prolonged use of the product led to breakouts and sensitivity. Overall, I wouldn’t repurchase this product.

 

Clean and Clear “Blackhead Clearing Scrub” (€5.29):

 

Clean And Clean Scrub Review

This scrub from Clean and Clear isn’t the worst product that I’ve ever used. It does provide a pretty decent exfoliation and it didn’t cause my skin to breakout. However, it doesn’t live up to its “blackhead clearing” (after a single use) claim – at all. After over two weeks of use, I can’t say that this scrub reduced the visibility of the little impurities around my nose, which is why I purchased it in the first place. The formula is also filled with blue microbeads which, unlike the microbeads in the Clarins scrub, were really messy and difficult to rinse from the skin. My skin also felt a little tight and stripped of oil after use but it’s nothing that a bit of moisturiser didn’t sort out. The Clean and Clear formula isn’t dreadful but because it doesn’t live up to the promises made by the brand, it feels like a bit of a gimmick to me – I consider this one a waste of hard-earned money.

Nip and Fab “Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads” (€17.99):

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Review

These cleansing pads from Nip and Fab, which are supposedly adored by Kylie Jenner, are advertised as a means of chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid. The brand claim that these cleansing pads work to clear impurities, below the surface of the skin and by doing so, make the skin brighter and more radiant. Unfortunately, I found them to be ineffective.

Now, I know that your skin takes a little while to get used to the addition of glycolic acid into your cleansing routine but, I found that I couldn’t use these cleansing pads for any longer than three weeks. The didn’t brighten my skin but they did cause it to become sensitive, sore and created visible redness around the nose area. At €18, they’re a little more expensive than the other products in the “miss” category and to be honest, I would recommend saving this money and putting it towards a more expensive and effective product that works for your skin.

Simple “Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash” (€5.29):

Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash

I’m not really sure why Simple decided to market this formula as a a facial exfoliator because, in my opinion, it’s not exfoliating at all. I don’t feel that the formula really gives a deep clean and, because it’s neither a scrub nor a chemical exfoliator, it’s sort of stuck in face wash limbo. I doubt that this product would help to alleviate breakouts and because it left my skin feeling a bit dry and lackluster, I wouldn’t recommend it for dry/normal skin types either. Again, it’s not the worst product that I’ve ever tried but it still ended up in the bin before I’d used even half of the tube.

And there you have it – all of the facial exfoliators that I have tried in the past few months. While writing this post, it became apparent to me that you seem to get what you pay for when it comes to this type of product, with luxury products performing far better than the budget alternatives. Do you think this is true?

If you have tried any products that you think should be added to any of the three “Hit, Miss and Maybe” categories, leave us a comment on this post or over on Instagram. And, if you disagree with any of my choices – be sure to let us know!

Rouge x

 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Cleansing Lotion and Wash

When I wrote the first post in my new “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series, I didn’t really know how it would be received by my followers. Lots of us have completely different skin types and complexions and so, lots of us have differing opinions on certain brands and cosmetics. However, it seems that the majority of my followers really liked the post and enjoyed the opportunity to interact on social media, telling us all about your favourite products and the ones that you think are utter crap! And, I really enjoyed reading the comments and taking on board some new recommendations.

So, I think that we’ll make the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” posts into a regular feature on Rouge Writing Hood. We’ll start with skincare products, taking you through an entire skincare regime before moving on to make up. My opinions may be controversial but sure, it’s all in the name of “authenticity”.

This week, let’s talk about cleansing lotion and wash. Cleanser is probably the most important step in a skincare regime. If you’re not taking your make up off properly at night, then you’re wasting your money on fancy moisturisers, face masks and foundations. So, find a cleanser that’s right for your own skin type, removes every trace of make up and is gentle on your skin – set the bar high and if you have to spend an extra few euro to get great results, I recommend doing so.

 

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s Lait Nettoyant (€25) – Available Here:

 

Phyts Cleanser Review

PHYT’s are one of my favourite skincare brands. The brand are organic, cruelty-free and their products contain active ingredients for actual results. This cleanser is one that I use on a daily basis, after I’ve taken the bulk of my make up off using a micellar water or my “Cleanse Off Mitt”. “Lait Nettoyant” is a really creamy cleansing lotion that is perfect for dry skin. I apply it directly to my face, massage in upward, circular motions and rinse off with a warm facecloth. This formula leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but I would stress that I feel it needs to be rinsed off properly (I never remove it with dry cotton wool) or you will feel a little residue of the lotion on your face. This product is perfect for dry/dehydrated skin but, if you have oily skin, I would recommend steering clear of creamy cleansers and opting for a cleansing milk instead.

ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” (£24) – Available Here:

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

This cleansing milk from ESPA is another one of my long-time skincare favourites. I first discovered the ESPA brand years ago when my Mum purchased this cleanser from the spa at Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow. We both fell in love with the product and have since repurchased it, on numerous occasions. The ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” is a really gentle cleanser that I would say is best suited to combination skin. It removes all traces of make up and excess oil but doesn’t leave the face feeling tight or dehydrated. I find this cleanser to be very soothing on the skin and it helps to alleviate redness, which ESPA put down to the inclusion of marshmallow extract and chamomile in the ingredients. I usually double cleanse with this product, which means that I apply it to my face twice, to ensure all make up is removed. Again, this is a cleanser that needs to be rinsed using warm water.

Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” (€35) – Available Here:

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

This new release from Kiehls is the only cleansing oil in my skincare collection. Even though I have dehydrated skin, I don’t usually opt for an oil based cleanser but because I adore the Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Oil”, I thought I’d give this product a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. Ingredients in this formula include: squalane, a planted-derived lipid with a natural affinity for skin; evening primrose oil, which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids; and lavender essential oil. This means that the product nourishes the skin, while removing any stubborn make up. And yes, it removes even the most stubborn of make up! This is the only cleanser on my list that I can use to remove my eye make up. Usually, I use a separate eye make up remover but, the cleansing oil eliminates the need to do so. Goodbye, panda-eyes.

“Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” exudes a gorgeous lavender scent so it’s a perfect addition to anyone’s night time skincare routine. To use this product, you apply three pumps to your face, massage in for about 30 secs and then emulsify the oil using warm water. Massage for a further 30 secs and rinse off with water. When I use this product, I don’t feel the need to double cleanse so even though it’s pricey at €35, it lasts twice as long as the other products mentioned. However, because it’s an oil formula, it is a little messier than my other “hit” options so I tend to use it at night time, rather than first thing in the morning.

Vichy “Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 Step Cleanser” (€15) – Available Here:

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This cleanser is the cheapest in my “hit” section (currently on offer from Meaghers Pharmacy for €11.21) but the quality of the formula is great. Now, I don’t believe that the product is a “one step” skin routine but it’s a damn good cleanser. I usually use this product if my skin is feeling a little oily because it leaves my face feeling spotless, without making skin feel sore or sensitive. For that reason, I think this is a great option for oily and sensitive skin types. The gel texture of this cleanser is gorgeous. It’s a water-based product so it feels smooth and lightweight on the skin and I also find it very cooling so it’s a good option for the summer. The cleanser is soap-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free so again, it’s a great option for sensitive skin. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara very well but, that’s what they invented eye make up remover for. Over all, this product is a winner and I would definitely repurchase.

“Maybe” Products:

So here’s the thing – I don’t believe in “maybe” products when it comes to cleanser. I either like a product, or I don’t – there’s no sitting on the fence allowed in this category of skincare. I honestly believe that cleansing is the most important step in any beauty routine so this week, we don’t have any “maybe” products.

“Miss” Products:

 

Simple “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” (€5.49):

Simple Cleanser Review

Alright, so I know that this pick will be controversial because LOTS of beauty fanatics rave about this cleanser but, I just don’t get it – at all. Why on earth would you use this product on your face? It is horrific. First of all, it’s impossible to squeeze a decent amount of product out of the container without maximum effort. Secondly, the texture of the product is thick and slimy and errghhhh. And finally, it doesn’t seem to remove your make up unless you apply three or four coats of it, rinsing each time. It’s one of the few cleansers that I’ve ever used that has caused me to breakout and it makes me pores appear enlarged. So, even though I know that every teenager in Ireland tries this product at some stage, if you’re still using it, I would urge you to try something new – there are so many better options out there. Simple’s “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” may be extremely cheap at €5.49 but, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for it again.

Soap and Glory “Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk” (€9.99): 

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean

Soap and Glory are my guilty pleasure brand. We’ve been told time and time again that heavily scented products aren’t really good for our skin and yet, I could bathe in the Soap and Glory body butters and I love their shower gels. So, I was kind of expecting to love this cleanser when I purchased it a few years ago. And, at first, I did. I loved the scent and the creamy texture but, at the end of a three week trial, this product irritated my skin and left my face feeling sore and sensitive. The formula smells fruity and divine but because it’s so heavily perfumed, I feel that it strips the skin of all moisture. I also don’t think that that the cleansing milk actually removes make up all that well. It’s not as ineffective as the Simple option but, it fails to remove any eye make up and actual stings and irritates eyes in the process. Lots of people love this cleanser and maybe if you have oily skin, it would be a good option but it’s just not for me – I won’t be repurchasing.

The Body Shop “Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser” (€9.50):

Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser Review

Let me begin here by saying that this cleanser from the Body Shop is marketed as a formula specifically for acne prone skin. I have to say that this isn’t my skin type so there’s a fair chance that I didn’t like this product, simply because it doesn’t suit my own skin. However, I did trial it during exam season, when my skin was stressed and experiencing a few breakouts and I just didn’t like it. Yes, I love the scent of the tea tree ingredients and the foaming cleanser does have a cooling effect on skin but, for me, it wasn’t very effective for clearing skin and I’m really conscious of the fact that this formula contains lots of chemicals in the form of sulfates and emulsifiers. The product does remove make up really well but my skin felt very dry after use – it should be noted that I would never recommend using a foaming wash on dry skin because it will worsen the problem. Overall, the product just doesn’t live up to its claims (in my opinion) and it’s been banished to my “emergency” skincare drawer, never to see the light of day again.

And there you have it, a new list of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products.. Feel free to agree or disagree with my picks in the comment section or over on the corresponding Instagram post – I’d love to hear what you think! 

Rouge x 

Éminence “Bright Skin Starter Set” – Review

If you have been following Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you will know that over the past few weeks, I have been studying for exams. This, of course, means that I’ve barely slept in a month and after I finished my final exam last week, I looked exactly how that sounds – terrible!

Post-exam I took a trip to Amsterdam which I knew would involve lots of photographs. So my goal was to repair my dull, tired and dehydrated skin as quickly as possible. Otherwise, my make up wouldn’t have settled on my face properly and those photos that my friends snapped would have induced frantic clicking of the “remove tag” option on Facebook. So, I dug out my travel-friendly “Bright Skin Starter Set” by Éminence, packed it in my hand luggage and prayed for a miracle.

Eminence Bright SKin Starter Set

The kit includes everything that your skin would require on a weekend away: a decent sized cleanser, moisturiser (with SPF 30), a booster-serum and a brightening skin masque. Now, the set is marketed as a “month’s supply” of the products but if I’m honest, I don’t think you would get quite that long out of the products other than the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. If you cleanse and moisturise twice daily, you won’t get any more out of the cleanser and moisturiser than a 2-3 week supply. So, if you’re looking for a long-term supply of product, this kit isn’t for you. However, if you’re jetting off on holidays or simply want to trial the Éminence products without committing to the full price, this kit is perfection.

While talking about these products, I have to mention that Éminence is an “organic brand” which means that their products contain a minimum of 70% and up to 95% organic ingredients. The don’t use “filler” ingredients such as parabens, which are often found in cheaper skincare formulas and all of their products are cruelty free – I know that this is important to lots of Rouge Writing Hood’s followers. It’s also important to note that Éminence are a spa brand and I recommend that before purchasing their products, you visit a stockist and have your products prescribed by a professional skin therapist. I got my products from Anne McDevitt Beauty  in Dublin.

So let’s talk about the products in this specific kit. Generally, I don’t suffer from breakouts or acne so I would classify my skin as clear. However, when I’m studying or stressed, my skin rebels – it breaks out and becomes blotchy, dehydrated and dull. I used these products on occasion before my holidays and knew that they’d combat these issues. The cleanser and moisturiser in the kit feel lovely on the skin. I’ve been double cleansing with the cleansing cream which leaves the skin spotless but doesn’t strip it of moisture. And, the moisturiser isn’t too heavy or sticky and boasts a high SPF30 so that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

However, the standout products in this kit are definitely the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. I would repurchase the full-sized version of these babies in a heart beat. The “Licorice Root Booster Serum” is a skin brightening serum that feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly. It’s filled with ingredients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and licorice root extract that rejuvenate dull, tired skin. This is one of the few serums that I would feel comfortable using in the morning, without feel like there’s an oil-slick on my face.

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The “Bright Skin Masque” was my favourite product in the starter kit. I used it every morning on my weekend away, to combat the appearance of my hangover which was written all over my skin. To use this product, you add a few drops of water to a pea sized amount of the formula and massage it evenly on to your face. Then, you wait for the product to dry (15 mins) and rinse off with warm water. This product is absolute bliss and a little goes a long way so I definitely think the full-size product would be worth the €58 price tag. I wouldn’t necessary recommend using this product daily, as I did on my holidays (I was having a skin emergency) but I would use it once a week. After application, I notice reduced redness, puffiness and my complexion appears calmer and brighter.

Over all, I loved these products and I will be looking further into the Éminence brand. I will be repurchasing the masque and serum (as soon as payday rolls by) but once again, because the Éminence products are quite pricey, I recommend booking in for a skin consultation at Anne McDevitt Beauty before you commit to purchasing the full-sized products. However, if you can’t make it to Dublin, the salon sell a number of “starter kits” online and you can check them out by clicking here.

Have you tried products from the brand before? Let me know what you’ve loved in the comment section as I’m looking to expand my collection!

Rouge x