The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Face Masks

Another week, another “Hit, Miss and Maybe” post. So far, we’ve had a look at micellar watercleansing lotions and wash and facial exfoliators. To date, the posts have been really successful and lots of you seem to enjoy reading about the products that I love and the ones that amount to a skincare disaster, in my opinion. Of course, you haven’t all been in agreement with my choices but that’s half the fun – I’m having a great time sifting through the comments and picking up some skincare tips along the way.

This week, we’re going to talk about face masks. A face mask isn’t really an essential step in one’s skincare routine but everyone deserves a little bit of luxury. I’m a big fan of these type of products and usually apply a face mask once a week or more often, if I’m going on a night out. Here are some of the products that I love and, of course, some of the ones that I hate..

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s “Masque Révélateur” (€24) – Available Here from PHYT’s Ireland:

 

PHYTs Masque Review

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that PHYT’s is one of my all-time favourite skincare brands. They produce organic, natural and cruelty-free products that contain active ingredients which means that although they’re gentle, the products REALLY work. This product is a radiance mask, which means that it’s designed to brighten dull, tired skin. And, I can confirm that the results are instantaneous.

If I have lots of time to get ready before I night out, I will apply this mask after cleansing my skin and allow it to work its magic for fifteen minutes while I curl my hair. The ingredients in the mask including camphor, mint and sunflower extract work together to soothe tired skin, smoothing the surface and brightening the area – this product is gentle enough that it can even be used underneath the eyes to diminish dark circles. I rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and a facecloth and my skin looks instantly plump and refreshed, as though I just had a good night’s sleep. After using this formula, foundation sits far better on my face and doesn’t cling to any dry skin. If you have an event coming up, I would 100% recommend taking an extra few minutes before applying make-up to use this product.

ESPA “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” (£31 – UK) – Available Here from ESPA:

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser

Alright, so technically this product is marketed as a cleanser but, it’s actually a multi-tasking formula. When it comes to removing make-up, I prefer to use the ESPA “Hydrating Milk Cleanser” which I wrote about here but I think that the “Optimal Skin ProCleanser” is the bees knees when used as a face mask. One of the main ingredients in this formula is actually bees wax so a little goes a long way. This mask is very luxurious and has a strong scent, reminiscent of a day spa. I tend to use this one before showering because it does contain some exfoliating beads and can be a little messy. To use this one, you simply massage it into the skin and allow it to work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing off. The brightening effects are instantaneous and because this formula also works as an exfoliator, skin feels super soft after use.

Image Skincare “Clear Cell Clarifying Masque” (€35) – Available in Salon Only:

Untitled-1

Image Skincare is a great brand for really strong and effective products, which is why they’re only available for purchase in salons where trained Image Skincare specialists can recommend specific products to suit your skin type and to help combat your individual skin concerns. This “Clear Cell Masque” is a brilliant option for anyone who suffers from problem skin. Now, 99% of the time, I have really clear skin but if I’m feeling under pressure and stressed, my skin tends to break out. On these occasions, I tend to apply this product to the specific problem areas and rinse off with cool water after about 15 mins. Because I don’t have oily skin, I don’t apply this product to my whole face but if you suffer from acne, I think this may be a great product for you. I find that the glycolic and salicylic acid in the formula really helps to draw impurities to the surface of he skin, while the green tea extracts in the product soothe sore, red skin.

Again though, Image products are professional products so I do recommend that you get the advice of your local Image specialist before purchasing this mask. For any Cavan girls, I recommend my local salon, Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

“Maybe” Products:

 

TonyMoly “I Am Real Aloe Mask Sheet” (€3):

 

TonyMoly Aloe Mask Sheet

I know that the world is going mad for these sheet masks at the minute and I can’t really argue with that €3 price tag but, I just wasn’t blown away by this product. I love sheet masks as much as the next person, but I have to question whether they’re really just a gimmick. This product is definitely soothing and cooling on the face but, I didn’t really see any noticeable results after use. My skin didn’t appear more plump or any healthier so this one only gets a “maybe” from me – it’s great for relaxation purposes but, don’t expect and drastic visual results. If you’re looking for a hydrating sheet mask, Image Skincare also have a gorgeous option that’s more expensive, but worth looking in to.

Dermalogica “Charcoal Rescue Masque” (€48):

Dermalogica Charcoal Face Masque

Alright, so last week I wrote about a Dermalogica cleanser that I love, so as you can imagine, I had high hopes for this product and at first, I loved it. The brand promise that this formula works to detoxify skin, eliminating impurities such as spots and blackheads. This is a claim that the product actually lives up to but after prolonged use over a few months, I found that this formula was a little drying on my skin and that’s why it’s on my “maybe” list. Plus, the charcoal makes it really, really messy. However, if you’ve got oily, acne-prone skin and enjoy a good exfoliating mask, this would probably suit your skin type.

“Miss” Products:

 

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks (€1.50):

 

 

All of the memories from your teenage years have just come flooding back to you, haven’t they? These face masks, a firm favourite at girly sleepovers in the 90s and 00s are available in pharmacies nationwide for the dirt cheap price of €1.50. But, there’s a reason that they cost less than a family sized bar of Galaxy chocolate. These products are fun to apply and often smell fab but the truth is that they just don’t do anything. In fact, my skin often felt greasy after using these products, which is never a good look. Honestly, I think that there’s a good reason that these masks only cost €1.50 and, you’d be better off buying that bar of chocolate if you want to treat yourself!

 

And there you have it, another selection of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products. If you have any opinions on the products listed or feel that you could add some different products into these categories, please do let us know in the comment section of this post or the corresponding Instagram picture..

Rouge x

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

“Glowing skin is always in”.

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

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

“Hit” Products:

 

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

 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

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

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

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

Vichy Idealia Night Peeling

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

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

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

Ren Flash Rinse Facial

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

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

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream Review

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

“Maybe” Products:

 

Bioré “Blemish Clearing Scrub” (€6.99):

Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub Review

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

“Miss” Products:

 

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

Lush Dark Angels Review

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

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

 

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

 

Clean And Clean Scrub Review

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

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

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Review

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

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

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

Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash

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

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

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

Rouge x

 

Dermalogica “Daily Defence” Range – Review.

sunshine-quote

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”:

demalogica-sport-50-spf-50

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

Skincare Travel Essentials for Summer ’16.

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list”. – Susan Sontag.

 

So, anyone who follows Rouge Writing Hood on social media will already know that I’m currently in New York on an extended holiday. I’m here for a month so I’m sure you can imagine that my suitcase for flying out literally weighed more than I do – which seemed like a fabulous idea until I had to haul it from JFK to Grand Central Station.

Given that I carried so many outfits, shoes and handbags over with me; I really had to cut down on my skincare and make up collection. So, I thought I’d show you how to do the same. These are my skincare essentials for long haul trips:

 

ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (available here):

 

 

ESPA Micellar Cleanser

Now, I’ve tried every micellar water under the sun and this one is by far my favourite. Unlike other formulas that I’ve tried, it isn’t drying or harsh on skin. Instead, the ingredients such as organic rosewater, chamomile and witch hazel sooth skin whilst removing make up quickly. This formula eliminates the need for eye make up remover as it removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara.

Moogoo “Ground Oatmeal Cleansing Bar” (available here):

Moogoo Oatmeal Cleansing Soap

In an effort to avoid carrying too many liquid products, I always bring this solid cleanser from MooGoo on holidays with me. The formula is an all-natural one and is nice and gentle on skin. This is a great multi-tasking product because it can be used to wash your face, body, make up brushes and tanning gloves. If you don’t have one of these cleansing bars, you definitely need one!

PHYT’s “Crème Hydra Riche” (available here):

PHYTs Moisturiser

I’m a huge fan of PHYT’s skincare and this formula is my must-have moisturiser. This formula is quite rich but it absorbs quickly. I have normal/dehydrated skin so I use this one morning and night. The great thing about this moisturiser is that, because it’s made from all-natural and organic ingredients, it can also be used as eye cream. That’s one product less for your suitcase.

Dermalogica “Solar Defense Booster SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica SPF

Of course, I landed in NYC in the middle of a heatwave and being a ginja ninja, I definitely need all of the SPF that I can get. The problem with SPF is that often, it can be oily and sticky – yuck! But, not this one. Dermalogica have formulated the perfect facial SPF and it may be pricey, but it’s worth every single cent. This formula absorbs really quickly and make up sits perfectly over it.

Dermalogica “Protection 50 Sport SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica Sun Protection

Since I loved the facial SPF from Dermalogica, I had high hopes for the full body version. And, it didn’t disappoint. Again this formula is non-greasy and fast absorbing. I haven’t gotten even a patch of sunburn yet (which is remarkable for a redhead) so I’m pretty sure that the formula is really effective.

ESPA “Nourishing Lip Treatment” (available here):

ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment

Extremely warm weather combined with air conditioning always leads to really chapped lips. It’s really difficult to actually find a lip product that works but this one from ESPA is great. The formula has an oil-like texture which is light and can act as a primer for matte lip products. A tiny bit goes a long way so the product is great value for money and should last for ages.

And that’s it folks. Every skincare product that I brought to NYC with me. What do you think? Have you tried any of these products? Or, do you have your own travel favourites? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

Don’t Let Anyone With Bad Eyebrows Give You Life Advice – Touch and Glow Beauty Clinic.

Beauty experts worldwide have come to agree on the fact that brows are the frame to the face. And, you wouldn’t put a pretty picture in an ugly frame, now would you? Yesterday, I instagrammed a photo after getting my brows shaped and received quite a few queries regarding my chosen salon. So, here are the details.

touch and glow

My salon of choice is ‘Touch and Glow Beauty Clinic’ in Carrickmacross, Co.Monaghan. Founded by the lovely Charlene McMahon, ‘Touch and Glow’ is heaven for beauty lovers. They offer the most advanced treatments in the market ranging from the application of mink lashes to specialised skin treatments at surprisingly affordable prices. The ambience is sophisticated and relaxed, complemented by the scent of lemongrass floating throughout the salon.

This weekend, I visited ‘Touch and Glow’ for a treatment known as a ‘Brow Trio’. This involves the shaping and tinting of the brows along with the tinting of the eyelashes. My therapist, Patrice, took great care in listening to my requests and talked me through the process – the chit-chat provided a great distraction from the waxing element of the treatment. Delighted with the shape and colour of my brows, and no longer needing to layer mascara onto my lashes by the bucket load, I am one really happy customer. In this case, the proof is in the pudding/picture:

‘Touch and Glow’ also stock some fabulous beauty ranges from Dermalogica to Jane Iredale. So of course, I didn’t leave empty handed – reviews will follow as soon as I’ve had a chance to try the newbies in my collection.

For now, why not take a look at ‘Touch and Glow Beauty Clinic’s’ website and price list? You can find it here (there’s also a handy beauty tips section) :

http://touchandglowbeauty.com/

Let me know if you decide to visit!

Rouge x