“Le Drunch” at the Marker Hotel – Review.

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I’m the Queen of brunch. Almost every Sunday, I will drag myself from my cosy nest of blankets and pillows and traipse across town in search of a yummy “Eggs Benedict” or my all-time favourite “Coco Pops French Toast”. The only issue I have with this is that, the odd time, I’m feeling a little fragile after a night of partying and getting up at 10 am for brunch becomes a little less appealing. However, the Marker Hotel know what’s up, and they’ve come up with a solution to my little problem. Let me present “Le Drunch”.

“Le Drunch” is a combination of dinner and brunch and it is served from 2pm on Sundays, out in the very picturesque setting of Grand Canal Square. A fortnight ago, I ventured out to sample some of the dishes, with the help of my lovely Mum, in celebration of completing my final exams. My mouth is currently watering just thinking about it…

We kicked the celebrations off with a thirst-quenching cocktail. In the Marker, they present you with the option to “build your own” Mojito. So divine… This one was my choice and was infused with strawberries. Mum had the cocktail pictured on the right. This one is the “Marker Dream” and was infused with Beefeater Gin, Chambord, elderflower, grapes and lime juice. She loved it, and may have had another one over the course of the meal but ssshhh..

In order to make complete pigs of ourselves, we decided to order three courses during “Le Drunch” and pictured above were our “Start Plates”. I had the “Chipotle Spiced Chicken Wings” while Mum tried the “Tiger Prawns”. Now, of course I sampled both.

The chicken wings were the most unusual that I’ve ever tasted. Whilst I am very dedicated to my generic “hot sauce” style wings, the Marker’s wings were a refreshing change from the ordinary. These wings were glazed to perfection and tasted spicy, while retaining some sweetness with the sprinkle a pomegranate.

Of course, Mum the star dish. Her prawns were the highlight of the entire meal. The prawns were served with garlic, shallots, chilli & French baguette. And, oh my goodness, they were amazing. The meat was tender, succulent and cooked to perfection. I would return to “Le Drunch” at the Marker, even if this dish was the only one on the menu.

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Next up was the main course. When we entered the Marker Hotel, we decided to leave the diet at the door so, we ordered from the “Comfort” section of the menu. There’s also a “Equilibrium” section that offers healthy alternatives and would be a great option for any one who considers themselves to be “fit fam” material. This time, I ordered the “John Stone’s Butcher’s Secret” dish while Mum had “The Marker Charolais Irish Beef Burger”.

The “John Stone’s Butcher’s Secret” was essentially a really tender cut of meat, served with champ, roast shallots, mushrooms and peppercorn sauce. The meat could be described as “melt in your mouth”. I’m starving just thinking about it! Also, I’m a stickler when it comes to any kind of mashed potato and in this instance, the champ was completely “lump-free” and creamy. I cleared my plate..

Mum said that her burger was really well cooked and juicy. She enjoyed the Parmesan truffle fries and, the homemade tomato relish was gorgeous. However, if we had to pick a winner in the main course department; my choice comes out on top.

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I can barely breath thinking of it, but there was no way we could have left without sampling the dessert on the “Le Drunch Menu”. If the truth was told, I would have to admit that I would have gladly eaten every dish on the menu.. Yes, I do have a sugar addiction. So, to finish, Mum had the “Baked Alaska” (pictured above) and all I can say is; why on earth isn’t this dish served everywhere? It was essentially a plate of fluffy, meringue and ice-cream goodness. I was raging that I didn’t order this dessert myself!

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I decided to try the “Banoffee” which is my absolute favourite dessert. Now, don’t get me wrong; it was absolutely delicious but, I was so full that I only managed a few bites before admitting defeat. Banoffee pie is always a very heavy dessert so, I would only recommend ordering this one if you haven’t just eaten your weight beforehand. Still worth it though!

Overall, “Le Drunch” at the Marker Hotel was one of my favourite dining experiences in Dublin, to date. The staff were lovely, the setting was stunning and the food – well, the pictures speak for themselves.

If you want to take a look at the food menu you can do so here. You can also take a sneak peak at the cocktails/drinks menu here. It is a little on the pricey side but as they say, “treat yo self” – it’s definitely worth it!

If you have anymore dining recommendations in Dublin, I would love to hear them. You can let me know here (in the comment section) or over on Instagram (username: rougewritinghood).

Rouge x

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Joico “Colour Infuse” Shampoo and Conditioner – Review.

“My real hair colour is kind of a dark blonde. Now I just have mood hair.” – Julia Roberts.

 

As a beauty blogger, I tend to receive a lot of products in the post and often, I find that they don’t suit my skin tone or colouring. However, I’ve never been one to waste a gorgeous product and this is where friends and family become extremely helpful. I’ve pretty much accumulated my own beauty product review panel.

 

 

Joico Colour Infuse

A few months ago, I received a sample of Joico’s “Colour Infuse” shampoo and conditioner in the shade suitable for brunettes and, while it obviously wasn’t a match for my “ginja ninja” hair, I knew the perfect person to test it for us. I handed the Joico duo over to one of my most trusted family members, a very busy Mum of four who also happens to be brutally honest. And here’s what she had to say:

 

 

Joico Colour Infuse Brown

The thing about women is that we’re always busy. Whether you’re a career-driven “girl boss” or a stay at home “super Mum”, you will often find yourself questioning where the time disappears to, while you juggle sixteen tasks at once. So, where on earth do you find a spare few hours every six weeks to get your hair coloured? The answer for most of you is that you don’t! The majority of my time is spent running around after four boys. My weekends are filled with homework, football games, taekwondo lessons and rugby training. Go to the hairdresser every six weeks, you say? Hah! I would be lucky to see mine every three months.

For this reason, I was really intrigued by Joico’s “Colour Infuse” shampoo and conditioner. The brand promise that these products will not only help maintain your professionally applied hair colour but are also infused with “anionic dye technology” to intensify fading colour. But, do the products actually work?

Well, the best way that I can think to describe the results provided by these products are that they work as a “false tan, for hair”. After just one use, you will notice a visible difference in the intensity of your hair colour, as though it has been given a burst of life. After use, hair appears more shiny, radiant and as though you’ve got freshly coloured hair. That said, the results aren’t permanent, so I would suggest using these products regularly to maintain the effect.

All in all, I think that this shampoo and conditioner duo is worth every cent of the €16.99 price-tag (per bottle) and I will definitely be repurchasing. I use the products by massaging them into my hair and leaving both the shampoo and conditioner in my hair for approx 3-5 mins each before rinsing. If you have dry hair, I recommend leaving the conditioner in for 5 mins before rinsing. Your hair will definitely feel more sleek and smooth after use. One thing I would recommend is that you only use this formula every second or third wash, to avoid any build up – especially if you have a sensitive scalp. You can use a gentle cleansing shampoo and conditioner between uses.

You can clearly see the results that I experienced in the picture below which illustrates my hair before and after just one use:

They’re available in three different shades and, I have to say that I think these products are a winner! What do you think? For more information you can visit joico.com and, all Joico products are available for purchase in hair salons nationwide.

Rouge x

Boohoo.com – My AW15 Wishlist.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to Boohoo’s AW15 preview. The evening, hosted at Soder + Ko, Dublin’s newest ‘hot-spot’ was fabulous. The room was sprinkled with fashion, food and cocktails – the perfect recipe for any great event.

Unfortunately, I now have a wishlist which has reduced my bank account to tears. Yes, Boohoo.com is a really affordable source of style, but not when you want to purchase everything you see – argh!! Here’s my top picks for the season:

Black Shirt Dress

First up, I have fallen for this chic shirt dress. It is simple, yet sophisticated and could be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Personally, I would pair this with some luxurious patterned tights, black stilettos and major sparkle for a night out. The dress includes a belt which may be tied to give the illusion of a clinched waist. Costing just €34.00, this piece is available here in a multitude of colours.

Black Sudette Jacket

I just couldn’t resist this ‘Suedette Biker Jacket’ and so, purchased it last night. This design offers a nice alternative from the ever-popular black leather jacket. I think that this one will be really cool with edgy dresses or skinny jeans and tees. It retails at €47.00 and is available to purchase here.

Navy and Pink Day Dress

My next pick is this cute skater dress. I adore the pretty pink and navy pattern and think this one would be perfect for casual wear. I would pair it with some over-the-knee boots, or grey/navy tights for the perfect A/W look. This dress is a bargain at €24 and you can find it here – I might just have to add this one to my own wardrobe.

Black Turtle Neck

Turtle neck tops seem to be really on trend this season. They’re on sale in every high street store, but Boohoo are pricing their’s at just €14 so stock up while you can. These tops can be paired with virtually anything and this one is available in seven colours here.

Kim Kardashian Style Coat

I am CRAZY about this coat! Reminiscent of Kim Kardashian’s style but for only €41 – where could you go wrong? This one is belted and looks really cosy for wrapping up during the cold weather. You can find it here.

Tulle Skirt

If you’re looking to swap your skinnies for a skirt, look no further. I love this tulle midi skirt with metallic detailing. It will really stand out from the crowd so if you’re looking to dress up, this one is perfect. You could pair it with a crop top as seen in the picture, or invest in a black bardot top or bodysuit if you want to avoid revealing your midriff. This piece has an elasticated waist, so it should hide a multitude of sins. It is €34 and available here.

Ok folks, that’s a wrap on my favourite pieces from Boohoo.com for AW15. Let me know if you love them, or even hate them – I always like to hear your opinions.

Rouge x

Seasonal Skin Saviours.

As soon as the central heating is turned on, my skin falls to bits. Literally, falls – from my face because its so dry! Is that really necessary? And you thought that only snakes shed their entire skin!

Over the past few weeks I have devised a fool-proof formula to maintaining healthy skin which mainly entails slathering the following products on my face, on repeat.

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Soothing Emollient Care (€9.00):

  

This stuff is absolutely amazing. Designed for very dry, atopic skin, this moisturiser soothes dry skin immediately upon application. It actually feels like a facial in a tube. I have been using this cream for approximately two weeks now and as the weather gets colder, I am applying it daily. I find that it is particularly good when applied underneath make-up along with a primer, giving a flawless finish. This cream is suitable for all ages and so affordable, you won’t even mind sharing it with family members. You can purchase here at Cloud 10 beauty.

Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil (€28.00):

  

This one is designed to boast radiance while preventing premature ageing. Loss of radiance in the complexion is a huge issue throughout autumn and winter so I have been using three drops of this formula before applying moisturiser every second night. I don’t think daily use is necessary because like all facial oils, this formula is quite rich. Skin feels soft and refreshed in the morning after application. Again, I found this product online at Cloud 10 beauty.

Holos Good Night Rich Night Cream (€16.60):

  

Did you know that your skin repairs itself while you sleep? That’s why a good night cream is essential. Currently, I am really enjoying this offering from Irish brand, Holos. This night cream is a favourite of Marissa Carter’s and at €16.60, it is an example of quality skincare at a steal. The formula is filled with essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and rose so is therefore naturally, strongly scented. I’m not a huge fan of the lavender scent but it really helps promote deep sleep and soothes irritated skin. Again, I have been using this every three nights, rather than nightly because my skin is sensitive to rich products.

What do you think? Do you suffer from sensitive, dry skin during the winter months? I would love to hear your tips – especially any cost effective remedies!

Rouge x

What do you think

My Fall Favourites.

I was very kindly nominated by Sarah Jane of Siren and Soul to complete a list of questions about my fall favourites. I love these ‘ask and tag’ type posts because they give me a real opportunity to interact with other bloggers and our followers. Here goes:

Favourite Halloween Costume?

It took me awhile to hunt down this photograph. I once dressed up as Katy Perry and actually won €100 in my local nightclub. Granted, I probably spent that purchasing the sweets to super-glue on to the dress.

  

Favourite Candle?

I am obsessed with Yankee candles. They’re the only scented candles that produce a scent that lingers for a considerable amount of time. My favourite scents at the moment are from the ‘Out of Africa’ range – I’m loving ‘Serengeti Sunset’ in particular. It is a citrus and floral scent, perfect for Autumn.

  

Favourite Fall Movie?

I will admit that I am definitely not a film fanatic. But, ‘Dirty Dancing’ – always!

  

Favourite Lip Colour?

How can I pick just one? At the moment, I am loving Wet n Wild’s ‘Bare it All’. It retails at €1.99 and I find myself reaching for it more often than any of my high-end lipsticks.

  

Favourite Fall TV Show?

I love a good TV series so please leave any suggestions below. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is my favourite and ‘Gossip Girl’ will always have a place in my heart – mainly because Chuck Bass stole my entire heart!

  

Favourite Drink?

Is it too early for mulled wine? Never too early..

  

Favourite Thanksgiving Food?

There’s no Thanksgiving in Ireland but I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallow crust. Now I’m starving!

  

Favourite Blush?

The weather is getting chilly so the majority of us will be seeing a natural pinch in our cheeks pretty soon. For that reason, I will probably be sticking to cream formula blush – perhaps MeMeMe’s ‘Boho Balm’. You can find my full review here – this one is a handbag essential.
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Favourite Clothing Item?

I am MADLY in love with these boots from River Island. They’re €85 and worth every single cent. You can read more about them and view all my footwear picks for AW15 here.

  

Who I Tag? 

To continue the ‘Fall Favourites’ challenge – I want to nominate a few of my favourite bloggers. Check them out:

  1. The Pharmers Journal.
  2. Cool Rhubarb.
  3. The Fashionista Observer.
  4. Pure Irish Sugar.
  5. Shawna Beauty.

Competition Time – ‘Miss You Already’ Swag Bag Up For Grabs.

Win an exclusive Miss You Already poster signed by Toni Collette along with some fabulous cosmetics from Wet n Wild!

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To celebrate the release of Miss You Already in cinemas on September 25th, we are giving you the chance to win an exclusive Miss You Already poster signed by Toni Collette!

From director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), starring Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels, The Wedding Singer) and Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, About A Boy) comes an honest and powerful story following two best friends through the highs and lows of life.

A powerful story for every modern woman, Miss You Already charts the obstacles life throws in our path and celebrates the force of true friendship that cannot be broken, even in life’s toughest moments. 

You can find the movie trailer here.

Wet n Wild

And if that wasn’t enough, Wet n Wild have given us a fabulous swag bag to add to the prize.

For over 30 years Wet n Wild have kept its promise to be the trusted beauty destination for all women, giving them the confidence and freedom to express themselves. Wet n Wild is available in pharmacies nationwide, selected Penneys and Dunnes Stores. To find your nearest stand visit their website here.

Miss You Already Movie

To Enter The Competition: 

Follow @rougewriting on Twitter and RT the competition post.

OR.

Follow @rougewritinghood on Instagram and REGRAM the competition post. Remember to tag #Rougewritinghood and #MissYouAlready.

Winner to be announced Thurs 08 October. Good Luck!

Rouge x

“Back to College” – Daily Skincare Routine with ESPA.

College life can really take a huge toll on our skin. Greasy food, lack of sleep and lots of alcohol consumption can leave skin tired, dehydrated and prone to break-outs. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a good skincare routine.

I first discovered ESPA products at Castlemartyr Resort in County Cork, when my Mum went on holidays and brought back the gorgeous ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. So, when ESPA kindly offered to send me some sample sized goodies to try out, I jumped at the chance. I have been using said products religiously for approximately 3-4 weeks and can honestly say, that ESPA will be my ‘go-to’ skincare brand in the future – I am in love!

  

So let’s talk about the skincare routine. First up, remove your make-up using the ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. This product is very mild and soothing so, perfect for irritated skin. Before, introducing this cleanser to my routine, I was sampling quite a lot of products and my skin did not appreciate playing ‘guinea pig’ – it was sore, blotchy and prone to blemishes. This formula is filled with wholesome ingredients like sweet almond and soya bean oils so it will nourish dehydrated and damaged skin. Yes, I’m looking at you with the glass of wine in your hand!

  

Next up, add a little ‘Hydrating Floral Spafresh’ toner to some cotton wool and wipe face in a circular motion. This will remove the last bit of debris from skin and strip away any excess oil. It is also soothing on skin and is filled with rose extract. If you are on a very tight student budget, I think you could skip this step but if you want to pamper your skin, I would definitely include it.

  

One or twice a week, after cleansing and toning, I have been using ESPA’s ‘Optimal Skin ProSerum’. This is to be used at night when your skin is feeling especially worse for wear. It is enriched with omega and vitamins to rejuvenate skin, giving it a healthy glow. And, even more importantly, it promises to protect against early ageing. Trust me, you want to enjoy your time spent in college without having the wrinkles to show for it. Just note, that the facial oil can feel a little ‘slimy’, so I wouldn’t attempt to apply it underneath make-up.

  

Moisturising is a key element of any skincare regime and ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser’ is a ‘holy grail’ product. It is filled with delicious ingredients such as frankincense and vitamins to help stimulate cell renewal. You only need to apply a ‘pea sized’ amount of this product to your skin, so I’d imagine that the full-sized version would last throughout your entire college year.

  

Finally, I complete my skincare routine by applying a tiny amount of ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser’ to the top of my cheek bone, just below the immediate eye area. The eye area is very sensitive because your skin tissue is much thinner, compared to the rest of your face. Therefore, regular moisturisers are too heavy to be used and a specific eye cream is essential to banish bags and dark circles. This is particularly handy during exam season when ‘all-nighters’ are the norm!

All in all, I think I have found my favourite skincare brand. Since undertaking this routine, I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin – it appears more firm and blotchy areas have been banished. ESPA isn’t cheap but then again, I have yet to find skincare products which are really luxurious yet available at a low price tag. I would recommend this routine for anyone with normal or dry, damaged and dehydrated skin. I will be posting a routine for oily skin in the next few days so stay tuned.

ESPA products are available online here, in Harvey Nichols or in selected spa resorts such as Castlemartyr Resort or Powerscourt Hotel.

Let me know what you think if you try the products.

Rouge x