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.




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.



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.




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

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.




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.




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:





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 



Dermalogica “Daily Defence” Range – Review.


It seems like over the past few weeks, everyone in Ireland has been fleeing the country in search of some sunshine. And, while I’m really delighted about the fact that autumnal colours and pumpkin spice lattes have made a comeback, I’m craving some warm weather myself. I’m not ready for winter, just yet.

Keeping that in mind, and responding to a few dozen requests for SPF recommendations, I thought that I would share my hero sunscreen products with you all. Now, as you probably already know, I spent my summer in NYC where the sheer humidity meant that I needed a lightweight SPF to protect me from the harmful rays, whilst also remaining non-sticky throughout the day. Luckily, Dermalogica had me sorted with two products: their “Solar Defence Booster SPF50” for my face and “Protection 50 Sport SPF50” for body.

Solar Defence Booster SPF50:

Dermalogica Solar Defence Booster Review.png

Okay, the first thing that I want to say here is that facial SPF is not just for the summer months. UVA and UVB are harmful to skin all year round and your skin is particularly sensitive to them if you’re using skincare products that include “Vitamin C” amongst their ingredients. However, I do understand that most SPF products are sticky on the face and don’t sit well below make up. Luckily for us, Dermalogica’s “Solar Defence Booster” is unlike other facial SPF formulas (that I have tried) and can be mixed with your regular moisturiser to create an even base for your foundation.

The product may seem a little on the expensive side, but you only need to add two or three drops from your 50ml bottle into your moisturiser on a daily basis so it should last you ages. Obviously, if you’re swimming, you will need to reapply to ensure maximum protection from the sun. I love this formula. It’s non-greasy, suitable for sensitive skin and most importantly, it works! Even on super pale, ginger girls.

“Protection 50 Sport SPF50”:


This is a gorgeous, light SPF that can be used on both face and body (this could save you a few euro if you don’t want to buy two separate products). I brought three types of body sunscreen to NYC and this was, by far, my favourite. It was the only formula of the three that absorbed into the skin within ten minutes and didn’t leave me feeling sticky throughout the day. This one is ideal for visits to the beach because it won’t leave you feeling as though you’re a walking magnet for sand so you won’t end up taking most of the beach home with you!

Again, this product needs to be reapplied after swimming but I can definitely vouch for it’s effectiveness because one day I forgot to apply it to my upper back. The rest of my body remained burn-free but, the unprotected areas are still sporting an unsightly “farmers’ tan”. I looked like a walking advertisement for Red Lobster. Ooops!

If you want more information on the “Daylight Defence” range from Dermalogica, you can visit their website here. Their products are available in salons nationwide.

Now, I’m off to Croatia in a few weeks and praying that we will see a little sunshine while we’re over there so these products will definitely be stashed into my suitcase. I anyone has been to Dubrovnik and has any tips on what to do while we’re there, please let me know in the comment section.

Rouge x


The Irish Girl Boss Series – AYU Make Up’s Suzanne O’Neill.

A “girl boss” is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. – Sophie Amoroso.


Growing up the the late 90s / early 00s; we were content to paint our faces with slightly orange tinged foundation, a slick of cerise pink lipstick and a dusting of powder blue eyeshadow. Our application tool of choice? Why, our fingers of course. Professional make up brushes were far too expensive for any teenager’s liking. If only someone had noticed the gap in the market sooner, I would have been saved a series of mortifying pictures uploaded to a marginally more mortifying “BEBO” page.


AYU Make Brushes


Let me introduce you to Irish entrepreneur, Suzanne O’Neill. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years, she knows all there is to know about make up and application tools. During her time spent as a make up artist, she noticed that a large number of her clients were reluctant to invest in essential tools for their make up kits because high quality brands always seemed to attach an equally high price tag. So, in true “girl boss” fashion, Suzanne spotted a gap in the cosmetic market and pounced on it.


suzanne o'neill ayu

Photo credit: RSVP Magazine.

Together with her sister, Suzanne has developed “AYU Make Up”. AYU is an Irish owned company, based in Ireland and they strive to provide professional quality make up brushes at an affordable price point. And yes, I mean REALLY affordable. The brushes are sold individually or as sets so, they’re perfect for treating yourself or somebody else.

AYU have been really successful to date, so I recently approached Suzanne to ask if she would share some of her tricks of the trade with aspiring entrepreneurs and my fellow make up addicts. I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing this interview with you.

1. How did you get your idea or concept for AYU?
I had been teaching “Beauty and Make Up” for years and always found the quality of brush sets that students were given was very poor. They also didn’t have the money to buy the big name brands so I wanted to create something that was excellent quality but affordable for them.

2. What does your typical day look like?
My days are quite erratic. I start each day by bringing the kids to crèche and then sending off all the previous day’s orders. Once this is done, if I am in the office I will answer emails, check in with all of our social media platforms, plan our marketing for the following days and do any admin. After this is done, I tend to go into creative mode which is my favourite thing to do – it’s when I plan and research all the new lines and brushes that we bring out. We have a whole new line and two new sets due out over the next 8 weeks so this has been keeping me very busy. I am also working on a spray cleaner and a few top secrets bits too. Not everything I work on will reach our customers but the process in creating what does is great!

3. Has everyone around you always been supportive of your business aspirations?
Yes. I have always been very entrepreneurial and have had two other successful businesses before this. I am very lucky to have a really brilliant support network. When I told my husband I was going to stop teaching to look after AYU full time, he was 100% behind me.

4. Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?
Yes. We are living in an age where successful women are all around us. I love to see what others are doing and sometimes when things are crazy and you feel smothered by it all it’s comforting to chat to these women and see that we all feel the same at times and that’s OK. It helps you to refocus and keep going. I think Sara Blakely who created Spanx is brilliant and love her story. Closer to home Marissa Carter is a big inspiration of mine. She is so successful and yet always willing to help others out which is such a lovely trait.

5. How would you describe your personal style?
Classic. I am not one to follows trends. I wear what I feel comfortable in and what suits me. Sometimes I think I’m a bit boring but if I have ever tried to wear something that is not me I just feel uncomfortable and awkward until I get back into my normal clothes!

6. Who is your style/beauty hero?
Olivia Palermo all the way. I love her style and she is always so naturally made up which I just love.

7. What item do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A pair of stilettos. I find that when I have something big on and am a bit nervous, once I put my heels on I immediately feel more confident.

8. Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular regime?
I am very low maintenance. I use micellar water to clean my face at night and have a night cream and eye cream that I use religiously. I wear the 3D Skintech SPF 30 on my face every day. I would exfoliate 2-3 times a week and use a mask once a week. Other than that I get microdermabrasion done every 3-4 weeks. If a routine has too many steps I know I won’t do it. It needs to be quick and effective for me!

9. At this very moment, what’s in your handbag?
I have my wallet, a pair of the kids socks (not sure why they are there), 6 lipsticks (all pinks), 3 pens and some toffees (I have a seriously addiction to them that I am trying to kick!!).

10. With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase AYU?
Our brand is focused on the everyday woman. We want women to enjoy the process of putting on their make up and not be intimidated by it, which I think can be the case for a lot of women out there. They get confused by all the different names etc. Our packaging is simple with clear wording and instructions. We also have a tips and tricks page on our website and a training videos page so women can revert back here for helpful bits of info. We want to communicate with our customers and help them where possible and I think that is what sets us apart – how accessible we are.

11. Any tips for aspiring business women?
If you have an idea that you think is worth pursuing and you have a genuine love for it, then go for it. You need to love what you do because working for yourself requires long hours and very little return in the beginning but it is all worth it when you are getting up each day to do something that you love and have created yourself. The good days always outweigh the bad. Also not to take things personally if someone doesn’t like your product – everyone has their own opinions and as long as you believe in what you are doing and can stand behind it, that is all that matters.


AYU Gold Brush Set

More information and the option to shop for AYU products can be found by clicking here for the AYU website. I’ve heard it through the grapevine that we can expect new collections to be released very soon.

Now, tell me. What do you think of the first post in our “Irish Girl Boss Series” and, who would you like to hear from next?

Rouge x


Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”.

“I catch feelings for like an hour, and then go back to thinking about more important things; like my eyebrows”.

Eyebrows are a tricky business. Use too little product, and they look sparse and uneven. Use too much product, and they look drawn on and unnatural. Ugh, does anyone really have time for these shenanigans?
Luckily, I’m here to solve all your brow problems. Let me introduce Billion Dollar Brows “Universal Brow Pencil”. This product is what dreams are made of!
As a ginja ninja, the main issue that I have with finding effective eyebrow products is shade matching. However, Billion Dollar Brows promise that this one product, “The Universal Brow Pencil” matches all hair shades and skin tones and do you know what? It really does! We’ve tried this pencil with blondes, brunettes and red heads and by some mystery make up magic, it seems to suit us all!
billion dollar brows
The pencil is ridiculously easy to use, so much so that even my Mammy, who is a brow-phobe, loves it. To apply, start light. The more product that you apply, the darker the effect. Follow the shape of your natural brow and fill in accordingly. The next step is the most important. You MUST brush the product through using the spoolie attached to the pencil. Otherwise, you will look like an extra from Geordie Shore.  Afterwards, I like to coat with a clear brow gel. And tah-dah, you have flawless brows.
I’ve been using this pencil non-stop for approximately 3 months, and I’m only half-way through the product. So, it’s definitely value for money. In fact, I can’t recommend this product enough. You can find it, along with the rest of Billion Dollar Brows’ products here at
So, what do you think? Have you tried this brand before? Or, do you already have a favourite brow product? Let us know in the comments.
Rouge x

Ziaja – “Goat’s Milk” Hair Care Range.

“Red hair, Sir, in my opinion, is dangerous” – P.G Wodehose.


Anyone who knows me personally, will also know that my hair is my favourite asset. I would choose my red gruaige over a bikini body any day. Which is just as well, considering that I haven’t darkened the door of a gym in approximately 3 years!

Although it seems that spring has finally sprung, many of you are still suffering from winter hair. Winter can be really harsh on hair due to constant changes in temperature which leaves it brittle and frizzy – an absolute nightmare! As a result, I’ve been getting loads of questions about my hair routine and the remedies that I recommend for stressed, dried out hair.

If you follow me on Snapchat (username: rougewriting), you will already know that I am a huge fan of Ziaja, an affordable Polish brand. So, when I heard that they were releasing a “Goat’s Milk” range for stressed out hair, I knew that I would fall deeply, madly in love. As a country girl, I already believe in the beauty benefits of goats’ milk, so I was really intrigued to see how it could be used to strengthen and revive hair. Subsequently, the Ziaja “Goat’s Milk” conditioner and hair mask have become staples in my hair care routine.




Ziaja “Goat’s Milk Strengthening Hair Conditioner” (€2.99/200ml):

Firstly, check out that price point! €2.99? Say, what? That’s cheaper than most supermarket brand conditioners. This conditioner is gorgeous. And, don’t worry – it smells nothing like goats’ milk. The formula is enriched with keratin, a really important ingredient for improving the elasticity of hair. This means that after a few uses, you should notice that your hair has become less brittle and more flexible. I found that the conditioner had almost instantaneous effects, hydrating my hair and improving shine.

I’ve been using this conditioner for over two months now, and I won’t be turning back. I use a small amount (€2 coin sized) and massage it through the length of my hair after every wash. I then leave it to settle for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. I tend to avoid applying conditioner to the roots of my hair unless my scalp is feeling particularly sensitive or dehydrated.

Ziaja “Goat’s Milk Strengthening Hair Mask” (€3.99/200ml):

Again, at €3.99, this product is a steal. The mask is a rescue remedy for heat damaged hair because it’s seriously hydrating. A little goes a long way, and you only really need to use this once every week or fortnight to see results. I find that it leaves my hair softer, and less prone to outbreaks of frizz. Plus, the vitamins in the goats’ milk formula add shine and vitality to hair.

All Ziaja products are available here. Overall, I can’t get enough of this range. I’m looking forward to trying the “Goat’s Milk Body Lotion” which was a winner at the 2006 Image Beauty Awards. Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments. And, if you recommend any other products from Ziaja, I would love to hear from you!

Rouge x