Kiko Milano “Smart Fusion” Lipstick – Review

As widely publicised on my Instagram, I was on holidays in Italy a few weeks ago. And, we all known that one can’t go to Italy without an hour long trip to the closest Kiko shop. Because we don’t have Kiko stores in Ireland, I got a tad over excited and bought loads of products for myself and my bestie and I have to say, I felt like I was making money when I got to the checkout. Excellent value but one product in particular stood out, the “Smart Fusion” lipstick.

This lipstick retails at €3.99 and I bought the shade “406 Warm Rose”. Before I get to reviewing the formula, I want to address the packaging. Basically, I’m not a fan of the tube. The lid is not magnetic so I’ve found the lipstick opened inside my handbag on more than one occasion. If I paid more than €3.99 for the product, I’d be fuming. However, the formula and shade make up for it.

As you can see, the formula is nicely pigmented. It has a creamy texture and feels soft on the lips. The lipstick isn’t drying. In fact, I’d almost go as far as to say that it’s nourishing. It doesn’t bled outside my lip line, even when I apply it without liner. I’m delighted with it. I’m also loving the shade, which is a beautiful light rose color – it reminds me of spring.

The “Smart Fusion” lipstick is available in 36 shades online. What do you think? If you ask me, they’re a bargain!

Rouge x

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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

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

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

Wet n Wild “ Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” – Review.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of Wet n Wild. It’s been one of my favorite budget beauty brands since way back in the day when I started blogging. I’m obsessed with their blushers, highlighters and lipsticks and you’ll often hear me chatting on my Insta-stories about old favorites and new releases. However, I have to say that I’ve just never gotten along with their mascaras. I’ve tried a few and I’ve just never been wowed by them, particularly the “Max Volume” formula which got lots of praise from the blogging community but just wouldn’t stay on my lashes for more that 20 minutes, without transferring to my cheeks and transforming me into Alice Cooper. So, as you can imagine, I was apprehensive about their new launch; the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara”. But, apprehension never stops me from trying a new product out and in this instance, I have to say that the packaging had me really intrigued.

So, let’s talk about the packaging then. As you can probably tell from the product’s name; it has a teeny, skinny wand which means a few things: a) the formula applies easily to every single lash and b) it’s not messy to apply and you won’t have to worry about smudging your eyelid with a clumsy, big wand. However, it also means that you have to apply a few coats if you want both length and volume because the wand doesn’t dispense enough product in one swipe to create a major amount of volume.

The formula itself is a gorgeous shade of jet black and applies evenly without clumping. I’ve been wearing this mascara for weeks now and haven’t experience any flaking or clumping, even after approx 12 hours of wear. It just doesn’t budge. This is exactly what has me sold – the “Mega Slim Skinny Mascara” is a €5 Mascara that doesn’t slide down your face throughout the day. How could you go wrong?

There’s a little unedited (as always) snap to demonstrate what my lashes look like after application of the mascara. You’ve probably all seen my natural lashes a million times before on Instagram but for those of you who don’t know, they’re extremely fair but naturally long-ish. I think that this mascara really helps to create the illusion of extra length though. I also love how well it applies to my bottom lashes and makes them loom full, without smudging or transferring. I’ve been getting a surprising amount of compliments on my eye make up lately and I have to say, I think that this product from Wet n Wild is the one making the difference.

You can buy Wet n Wild products in pharmacies nationwide but upon a quick Google, I just realised that they’re also now stocked on Beauty Bay who have the mascara in stock.

So what do you think? Have you tried products from Wet n Wild before? If so, let us know your favorites – I’m always looking to add to my shopping list.

Rouge x

BPerfect “Stacey Marie Carnival Palette” – Review.

Alright, so I know that you’ve all heard about this palette before. You’ve probably read 1,000 reviews at this stage. The “Carnival Palette”collaboration by Stacey Marie MUA and BPerfect has been nothing short of a worldwide hit. And, isn’t she a beauty?

It took me awhile to write this review because to be honest, I was afraid of half the shades in the palette. I’m comfortable with bronze, brown and gold shades so they were easy for me but I’m definitely new to bright blues and purples. Lots of the shadows were way out of my comfort zone but I love bright eyeshadow and for that reason, I was determined to use all of the shades in the palette. As you can see, there are 24 eyeshadows and 2 highlighters in this palette, so it took awhile to get through them all. However, I rose to the challenge and I’ve used every single shade in this palette because I wanted this review to be as complete as possible.

First things first, let’s talk about the eyeshadows. As the above swatches demonstrate, the pigments in these shadows are insane. There are 17 matte shadows and 7 shimmer options in the “Carnival Palette” and each of them is as beautiful as the next. Both the matte and shimmer shades feel almost buttery to the touch and you can tell instantly that they’re good quality. Usually, in every palette, there are a few “filler shades” that seem to be included simply to fill up some space. I didn’t find this to be an issue with this palette. It seems that a lot of thought went into shade selection and Stacey Marie stayed true to her love of bright, vibrant colors. I immediately noticed that there is no “mandatory black shade” in this palette and I have to say, this brought me an unexpected surge of joy. I’ve never used an entire pan of black eyeshadow in my life so I’m glad BPerfect didn’t sacrifice any of the gorgeous shades, just for the sake of including a black shadow.

Both the matte and shimmer shades in the “Carnival Palette” are relatively easy to work with. As with any bright eyeshadows, they take a bit of work to blend out but they definitely don’t lose their pigment when they’re blended together. There’s no fear of them fusing together into a weird grey shade, which is something I have experienced with a lot of colorful eyeshadow palettes from budget brands. I do find that the glitter shades are a bit more difficult to blend together than the mattes but that’s to be expected from any eyeshadow palette. All you need is a big fluffy blending brush and the problem is sorted.

The blue tones in the palette are my absolute favourite and I’ve spent ages trying to master the use of blue eyeshadow since I got my hands on it. As you can see in the above photos, it’s really easy to create a wearable look when you blend the shade “Recharge” with the neutral shades such as “Basic” and “Naked”. Once the shadows are applied, they don’t budge at all. I always apply eyeshadow over my reliable Urban Decay “Primer Potion” and using this method means that I haven’t experienced any fall out from the shadows whilst wearing them. There is always a little bit of clean up after application but honestly, I think that’s because I’m messy when it comes to applying eyeshadow anyway. I keep cotton buds and eye make up remover on hand to do a swift clean up every time I apply eye make up (mostly because I’m a bit dodgy when it comes to the auld liquid eyeliner).

As well as the blue shades, you can see that I also really enjoy playing with the purples in the “Carnival Palette”. “Chant”, “Wasted” and “Liquor” are all beautiful shades of purple that can be used to create a subtle or vibrant look, depending on your preference. And, I think that this palette really does come down to colour preference. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of pink or orange shadows but for me, the beauty of the blues, greens, purples and neutrals far outweighed the issue that I’d probably only use the pinks and orange colours once or twice. It’s as simple as this – if you’re into bright eyeshadow looks, you’ll love this palette.

The final thing to consider in this palette is the two highlighters that are included: “Saint” and “Sinner”. Similarly to the eyeshadows, they have a lovely buttery consistency and they’re easy to work with. “Sinner” is a beautiful golden shade that would work really well with tanned skin but obviously, I’m as pale as anyone could imagine so it’s not great on my complexion. I’ve been using it as an eyeshadow instead and it works great so I’m not disappointed by its inclusion in the palette. “Saint” works a lot better with my skin tone and of the two, this is the one I reach for to highlight my cheekbones and Cupid’s bow. It’s a lovely highlighter and I reach for it time and time again but I have to say, I don’t love it quite as much as the highlighter in BPerfect’s “LMD Palette” which is my absolute holy grail.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this palette. I’ve tried a few brightly coloured eyeshadow palettes in my time but the “Carnival” one is the only one I can say I’ve fallen head over heels in love with. I’ve added it to my main make up kit now and it’s whipped out every time someone mentions a night out. I think it’s well worth the €45 price tag, especially if you think you’ll get use out of all of the colours. You don’t have anything like this in your make up drawer so it definitely couldn’t be considered a waste of your hard earned cash.

The palette is available online and in pharmacies nationwide. What go you think? Are you considering a purchase? Or, if you’ve already purchased it, are you loving the “Carnival Palette” as much as me? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x