Redken “High Rise Volume” Duo – Review

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with haircare. As a natural ginger, I’ve grown to love my hair colour and I’m very invested in keeping it bright and shiny. That means that I’m forever buying hair products and hoping to find a miracle.

As a Trainee, I’m usually working with a low budget so for years, I’ve avoided buying expensive shampoos and conditioners because I convinced myself that there was no difference, other than the branding. Then, Redken were generous enough to send me some of their products to try and I fell in love. For months now, I’ve been using the “High Rise Volume” shampoo and conditioner. I don’t believe that you can trial haircare in a few weeks so even though I received these products before Christmas, I held off on writing a post about them because I wanted to be sure that I thought they were worth the money.

The shampoo can be used daily but personally, I wash my hair every three days. While using this formula, I didn’t experience any build up in my scalp, which is a big problem that I’ve had while using other “volumising” products. I also like the fact that this formula does “sud up” well because it feels like you’re really cleaning your hair well when you use it.

I’ve been using the conditioner every time that I use the shampoo so I can only really review them as a pair. I use a generous amount of this product, after shampooing, and brush it through the hair with my Wetbrush. It seems to moisturise my hair really well, without making it greasy. Both the shampoo and conditioner contain a blend of filloxane and although I have no clue when it comes to the science of it all, Redken claim that this is what helps give the hair a lift. I have to say that in my opinion, it really works. After I started using these products, I noticed that there was no need to use volumising products or dry shampoo in my hair after washing it, to give it a boost.

As you can see, my hair is looking pretty healthy these days and I have to say that I’m delighted with that. I know that the Redken hair products don’t come cheap, but I think that I’ve really seen the difference. Although I got the Redken “High Rise Volume” duo as part of a press package, I repurchased them when they ran out after about four months.

To be honest, I can’t see myself going back to cheap shampoo and conditioner. I know that Redken is expensive but I got a solid four months out of each bottle (a little longer out of the conditioner) so I don’t think it’s one that will really break the bank. Plus, I think it’s worth the shine and the volume. Obviously in these photos, I’ve styled my hair with a curling tong but even when it’s straight, there’s plenty of volume around the roots. I have to say, I’m very impressed.

Obviously, given my budgeting issues, I looked high and low to find the cheapest stockist of Redken in Ireland and the best prices that I found were on beautyfeatures.ie – it’s not an affiliated link or sponsored, they just seem to offer really good deals and promotions.

So let me know what you think. Are you willing to spend some extra cash on haircare if it works better than cheaper alternatives?

Rouge x

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TheBalm “Even Steven” Foundation – Review

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard about this product already and you probably know that it’s one of my all time favourite foundations. I post pictures and videos wearing it quite often but some readers have asked for a full post, detailing why I love the “Even Steven” formula. And now that I’m back to blogging more regularly, I decided it’s the perfect time to share.

“Even Steven” is a whipped foundation formula from TheBalm and I have to admit, when it was first sent to me as a press sample, I had visions of my “Dream Matte Mousse” days.. Yes, like every other girl in Ireland in the 00s, I was caked in the stuff. So I’ll admit, I pushed this formula to the back of my make up drawers and forgot about it for awhile.

A few months later, I found myself battling with a house move which meant that all of my usual make up picks were packed into a box neatly, only to disappear into oblivion. So, I decided to try something new and dug a few formulas out of the press. “Even Steven” was the only one that I held on to after a few weeks of chopping and changing.

I’m not easily impressed by foundations – I like my base to be subtle with enough coverage to cover blemishes but not enough coverage to mask my face and hide my freckles. “Even Steven” has a mousse like texture and the coverage is very buildable. I find that a little goes a really long way and that the best way to apply it is with a flat-head foundation brush.

The shade range isn’t amazing but I find that the “Lighter than Light” shade is pale enough for my tan-less days. I’ve been wearing the “Light” shade over the past few weeks because my skin has darkened a tiny fraction with all the good weather we’ve been having and I’ve also been wearing some gradual tanning moisturiser most days.

Packaging wise, the tub does look small but when I say a small amount goes a long way, I really mean it! One issue I do have is the fact that you either have to scoop the foundation out or dab your brush into the pot. Obviously because I’m a lazy brat, I use the dip method and I’m pretty sure it’s not the most hygienic.

I’ve found that the foundation applies evenly, blends into the skin well and has a lovely finish. It’s not matte but it’s not dewy either. I use a little brightening primer underneath and it gives a gorgeous glow to the skin. The lasting power is fabulous. I was concerned that the formula would slide off my face during the heatwave but I’ve found that when it’s set with the Urban Decay “All Nighter” spray, it stays put for hours. I never worry about reapplying this product.

Here’s a classic before and after to give you an idea of how the foundation sits and the amount of coverage it gives. As you can see, it covered the blemishes on my face, without concealer, but didn’t conceal my freckles. I’m all into freckles these days thanks to Meghan Markle.

The “Even Steven” foundation by TheBalm is available from Debenhams and Cloud 10 Beauty and it retails at the €22.

So tell me what you think! Would you dare to wear a mousse textured foundation after all those years of “Dream Matte Mousse”?

Rouge x

Bellamianta “Liquid Gold” – Review

Before I launch into this review, I want to make something very clear. It’s perfectly OK to be pale. Lately, I’ve become painfully aware of marketing techniques adopted by the beauty industry whereby women are made to feel insecure simply to promote the purchase of products. Each person reading this review will have a different skin tone and that’s gorgeous, we don’t need to conform to an ideal of beauty portrayed by glossy magazines. I have a typical Irish complexion – pale skin and ginger hair and for YEARS, I hated it. I’ve scrolled through my phone on more than one occasion wishing I looked like Beyoncé.

When I speak about beauty products on my blog and Instagram, please remember that I’m in it for the fun of it. I LOVE getting dressed up and trying new beauty products but I also love walking into the office without a scrap of make up, with no worries that it will smudge mid-meeting. Sometimes I love being ghostly pale and sometimes, I drench myself in product to create the illusion of a golden glow. I’m happy both ways. And, I’m really happy with the product that I’m about to review – because it’s fun to bronze up before a big night out, not because it’s necessary for survival.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have two “go to” tanning brands and Bellamianta is one of them. I’ve always found the majority of their products easy to apply and somewhat easy to scrub off. “Liquid Gold” is no exception to the rule, and one of my favourite tanning products to date.

To prep for this tan, I scrub and moisturise daily for 3 days before application. This is an essential step because I have tried this formula without any prep and the finish wasn’t as nice – I felt it clung to patches of dry skin. I don’t apply any moisturiser on the day of application and I apply using the Bellamianta mitt because it’s the best one that I’ve found on the market.

“Liquid Gold” dries within 60 seconds so you do have to be quick when you’re working with it. I’m generous with the amount that I apply to the mitt and then work from the ankles up in circular motions to get an even finish. This formula has a golden guide colour so there’s less chance of “missing a bit” during application. I sleep in the formula and then rinse the next morning for a golden glow. One thing that I love about this tan is that it doesn’t feel sticky after application and it’s comfortable to sleep it. I didn’t find that a lot of product transferred to my sheets either – although I’ve been buying dark grey bed sheets lately to avoid tanning stains!

I took this quick snap of the tan en route to work the next morning and as you can see, it’s subtle enough. If I wasn’t ginger, you’d probably think I’d just spent some time outdoors during our Irish heatwave.

“Liquid Gold” wears really well and lasts about 3-4 days without fade before you need to start scrubbing it off. The tan is formulated to include some moisturising ingredients and it’s definitely not as drying as some other formulas that I’ve tried – so I’m not running around like a mad thing smothered in oil-free moisturiser every evening.

As someone with red hair, I do struggle to find a shade of false tan that actually suits me so I tend to go for formulas that are as natural looking as possible. I think this one matches that criteria. If you prefer a darker tan, I’d imagine that you can also layer up.

All in all, I’m really impressed by this Bellamianta product. It’s nice to apply, doesn’t smell at all and wears off quite well. I haven’t found any tan on the market that wears off perfectly but I just scrub it off and that solves any problems with a “snakeskin effect”. If you’re interested in trying this formula, it’s actually one of Bellamianta’s most affordable products and you can find it here, on their website.

Rouge x

Easy Paese – A Ten Minute Make Up Look.

A few weeks ago Paese, a Polish beauty brand which is relatively new to the Irish market, got in touch and asked if they could send me some samples to try. Obviously, I was delighted – I’ve had my eye on Paese for awhile but just never got around to picking some of the products up. However, I was a little apprehensive. The only other Polish make up brand that I’ve tried is Inglot and I’m afraid that I find a lot of their products to be a little too “heavy” on my skin. I prefer a “barely there” make up look to full glam.

So, when I received the products, I set about using them to create “natural” make up looks. So here’s a list of the products that I used to create a quick and simple, every day look with a bright lip – which has quickly become my favourite spring time make up look.

“Long Cover Fluid Foundation” (€20):

The “Long Cover Fluid” foundation from Paese is a full-coverage formula that doesn’t budge throughout the day. Usually, I stick with Tinted Moisturiser when I’m applying my make up in the morning but if I know I’m facing a particularly long day at work; I use this product because I know it won’t budge from my skin. The formula is creamy, easy to blend and most importantly, doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I recommend applying this one over your SPF and usual Primer (mine is the ELF “Hydrating Balm”) and setting with spray (my favourite is the Urban Decay “All Nighter”). As expected with full coverage foundation, this product does get a little shiny after about 6 hours of wear but that’s quickly remedied with some powder, which I always carry in my handbag anyway.

“Clair Brightening Concealer” (€12):

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I purchased a VERY expensive under eye concealer from NARS a few weeks ago and that I’ve never been as disappointed with a luxury make up product in all my days. This concealer from Paese has everything that I felt the NARS one lacked – it’s creamy and easy to blend and it doesn’t crease into any fine lines. I didn’t even realise I had “fine lines” until recently… I don’t have any real issues with dark circles so I can’t vouch for the coverage of the concealer but it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of “puffy” under eyes and that’s all I can ask for.

“Long Cover Powder” (€16):

Ok, so it takes awhile to get the hang of applying this powder. It’s loose and a little bit messy so I don’t think it’s one for the handbag but it sets make up like no powder I’ve ever used before. I use this powder to “bake” under eye concealer and then dust it lightly over my t-zone to eliminate shine. It works quickly and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin once it’s buffed into the foundation.

Paese “Silky Matt” Lipstick (€13):

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Lots of people avoid matte lipstick formulas because they can be very drying and harsh on the lips. However, I’ve found a few formulas that I absolutely love and I’ve added this “Silky Matt” lipstick from Paese to the list. It feels light on the lips, as if you aren’t even wearing lipstick. It isn’t tacky or drying and it definitely stays put after it’s been applied. I could apply this before breakfast and have no need to top it up until after lunch time. It doesn’t smudge either so I don’t have to worry about the bright colours transferring.

And there you have it – a ten minute make up look using products that are all bargain buys. I’m really impressed by the quality of these particular formulas and I won’t hesitate to pick up some more products from the Paese line in the future.

What do you think? Have you tried Paese? Let us know in the comment section.. If you haven’t, and you would like to take a look, you can find the complete range here.

Rouge x

Charlotte Tilbury’s “Pillow Talk” Lipstick – Review.

Do you remember when I started writing this blog and I was absolutely obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury? Probably not, but a few years ago when Tilbury first launched, I thought that the products were the only luxury beauty products worth buying. Of course, as I continued to blog, my horizons were broadened and to be honest, I couldn’t justify continuing to purchase €32 lipsticks when I already had a collection spanning over 100 shades.

However, I always make an exception for Valentine’s Day and I buy a new high-end lipstick every year for the occasion. This year, I returned to the Tilbury counter to make my selection but let’s face it, with all the hype surrounding Charlotte’s new “Pillow Talk” lipstick, I didn’t even bother swatching any other options.

 

 

The shade “Pillow Talk” started out as a beautiful pink/nude lip liner which was an immediate cult favourite when Charlotte Tilbury launched her make up collection. Of course, the liner was actually one of my first Tilbury purchases and, it remains an every day staple in my make up collection. So, when everyone started talking about the release of “Pillow Talk” in the “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula, it sky-rocketed to the top of my wish list.

The “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula is infused with a blend of oils so it isn’t drying on the lips. However, it’s not really completely matte either – the formula does have a slight sheen, as you will see in the pictures. The texture is perfectly silky and I think it’s a great matte option for older ladies.

 

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The “Pillow Talk” shade is absolutely beautiful. It’s a gorgeous nude with pink tones so it really flatters the Irish “Celtic” complexion which was really important for me because beige toned nude lipsticks tend to make me look like a walking corpse. The pink/nude shade isn’t ground breaking and I have a few similar ones in my collection but this particular one applies beautifully and it has good lasting power. It’s definitely a “your lips but better” kind of colour.

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The lipstick is pricey at €32 but I really would pick this one up again. It ticks all the boxes that a high-end matte lipstick formula should. It’s a beautiful universal shade, it has a silky and moisturising texture and it’s long lasting – perfect for gals who are always on the go. “Pillow Talk” has definitely become my every day, office wear lipstick and I’ve been getting lots of compliments on it.

 

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So, what do you think? Would you spend the moola? Let us know in the comment section.

Rouge x

 

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

TheBalm “Foiled Again” Eyeshadow Palette Review

It takes a lot to get me excited about new beauty releases these days. I work full-time and by the time I get home in the evening, after battling rush hour traffic in Dublin, I’m just too wrecked to start playing with make-up and testing new products. However all is not lost and every now and then, something comes along that makes me squeal with delight. The new “Foiled Again” palette from theBalm was one of those products.

 

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The “Foiled Again” palette is made up of twelve eyeshadows – four matte shades and eight foiled shades. The shadows can be used dry or dampened with some setting spray (I use the Urban Decay “All Nighter” formula) to create a more intense look. The formulas glide onto the skin effortlessly and the matte and shimmer shades blend together beautifully – which is surprisingly unusual.

 

 

Now, you’ll have to excuse my dodgy swatching skills but just look at those shades! My favourite thing about the “Foiled Again” palette is that it’s a universal product that will suit every skin tone and even though lots of people will question the inclusion of four matte shades, I think that they work really well to complete the palette. This palette would be perfect for both beginners and make up geeks so it’s a great one to purchase for Christmas.

 

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As you can probably guess from the picture above, the golds in this palette are my favourite but I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the fiery red shade, “Guilty” over the festive season. I recommend pairing the shimmery looks created using this palette with a bold feline flick – theBalm’s “Schwing” liner is actually the perfect product for creating this look?

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Debenhams on Henry Street and get swatching!!

Rouge x