The Perfect Personalised Present by Lauryn Rose

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting a few questions about Christmas gift ideas. I know that I usually post gift guides early on in the month of December but this year, I noticed that my Instagram feed was filled with similar guides and to be honest, I just felt that there was no real need to publish yet another one. With that said, I’m the type of girl who gets really excited about buying gifts for friends and family. My favourite type of presents to both give and receive are those with attached sentiment. So, I just had to write a post on this little gem of an idea by Lauryn Rose.

Lauryn Rose are an Irish company that sell dainty pieces of gorgeous jewellery through their online store. I’ve actually got a few pieces in my personal jewellery collection, including their “Think of Me” charm bracelet which I wear all the time. So, when it comes to buying gifts, I know where to look first. The online store offer lots of styles to choose from but for me, the most beautiful pieces are found within their “Geometric Collection”. The “Geometric Collection” is made up of dainty little necklaces which Lauryn Rose will engrave for free, with purchase. Prices start at €39 and every purchase is beautifully wrapped and packaged in a box filled with dried rose petals.

This year, as all of my best friends were turning 25 and I wanted to buy them something special to mark the occasion, I purchased us a “Gold Bar Necklace” each and had our nicknames engraved on them. I am obsessed with personalised presents but I was delighted to see how much the girls loved them too, the proof is in the fact that I see them wearing them all the time.

The picture above is of my own necklace, engraved with my nickname, “Cole”. I think that you’ll agree with me when I say it’s really pretty – I love simple, dainty jewellery. I was so impressed by the quality of these necklaces given that they are so affordable. I’ve had mine for ages now and although it’s gold plated, it hasn’t tarnished. There is also a 9ct gold option available, for those who are interested.

And there you have it, the engraved necklace is one of my favourite gift ideas of 2018. I just think it’s a lovely sentimental gift that would suit ladies of all ages. For more info, you can check out Lauryn Rose’s website here.

Now, let us know what you think in the comment section on Instagram. Are any of these pieces being added to your Christmas list?

Rouge x

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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

Clarins “Double Serum” Review.

At this stage, you all know that I’m obsessed with skincare. I’m one of those weirdos who thoroughly enjoys a double cleanse, followed by three of four different kinds of lotions and potions that promise to target specific skin concerns. However, I’m also a Trainee who always seems to be on a very tight budget which makes it difficult to justify purchasing said lotions and potions.

When I received a sample of the Clarins “Double Serum”, I though whoa – I’ll never be able to repurchase this if I fall in love with it and really want to add it to my (already lengthy) skin care regime. A 50ml bottle retails at the grand total of €90. Yikes! However, in the name of research, I set about using the product anyway and I won’t lie, I was sort of hoping that I would hate it.

I should have known better – Clarins never let me down. And now, if I could only ever buy one skincare product for the rest of my entire life, it would be “Double Serum”. That’s a statement that I really don’t make lightly. I held off on reviewing this one for a really long time – I’ve used a 50ml press sample and purchased a 30ml bottle with my own, hard-earned cash. I never, ever promote products that I wouldn’t buy myself but given that this one is more expensive than my usual picks, I used it for at least six months before writing this post.

The serum is lightweight and sinks into the skin quite quickly – I’d say that it absorbs into my skin within 15 mins. There is a measured pump on the packaging which means that you don’t waste any product when you’re applying it. I use two of the “large” pumps every evening on my face, neck and chest area. I don’t apply moisturiser over the serum but you can, if you like. I don’t apply this product in the morning as I feel that it needs a few minutes to absorb and I’m just too lazy to get out of bed any earlier. I’m a five minute make up / no make up at all girl in the morning so I usually slap everything on and run out the door.

Clarins have adopted lots of jargon to explain the science side of things and I won’t pretend to understand it. All I know is that I was promised smoother, plumper skin as well as a more radiant complexion and this product delivered. After application, my skin feels hydrated instantaneously. I also notice that when I apply the product before going to bed, it brightens my skin in a matter of hours. I’m really happy with the results and think that “Double Serum” is a mini facial in a bottle.

So, is it worth the price tag? In my opinion, it definitely is. I’ve recommended this product to both my Mum and my Granny and both of them have added it to their own skincare routines so I’m inclined to say that it probably suits all ages and skin types. In order to cover the cost, I’ve ditched my “targeted” skin care products for the most part.

The above picture should give you an idea of the condition of my skin, without make up (I am wearing mascara and lipgloss). Of course, I’m the first to say that I do have quite naturally good skin – thanks to my Mam – but, I definitely think that “Double Serum” is to thank for keeping my skin bright and radiant.

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

Rouge x

Bellamianta “Liquid Gold” – Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rouge x