Black Friday – My Top 5 Picks

As some of you will already know, I’ve been sharing Black Friday discount codes over on my Instagram all week. In fact, at this stage, it’s probably a bit of a discount code overload. It’s all well and good having a big list of discounts, but stock levels are likely to plummet as quickly as your bank balance so it’s important to have a list of items that you want to pick up, while they’re on offer. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my own list. I’ve limited myself to five purchases (it was very difficult to narrow it down) and my wishlist reads a little something like this:

POCO by Pippa “The Off Duty” (Reduced from €90 to €70):

 

POCO by Pippa

 

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair of POCO by Pippa jeans for months now and Black Friday is the perfect opportunity. Pippa has just announced that there will be €20 off selected styles from 12pm tonight. I’ll be picking up a pair of the Off Duty style and they’re available here.

 

Instyler “Cerasilk Styling Iron” (Reduced from €119.99 to €89.99):

 

Instyler Cerasilk

 

I actually broke my GHD styler a few weeks ago and rather than purchasing another one, I’ve decided to buy an Instyler “Cerasilk” instead. Instyler are an Irish brand and their heated hair tools are designed to straighten and curl hair so this tool is multi-purpose. The “Cerasilk” is designed to keep hair as healthy as possible, by limiting any heat damage caused by the product. I’m delighted about this because I’m trying to keep my hair and need to avoid adding to my split ends! The “Cerasilk” is available here with a 25% discount.

 

“Sculpted by Aimee Connolly” Palette (Reduced from €24.95 to €19.95):

 

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly

 

Aimee Connolly is one of my favourite Irish Make Up Artists. You need only watch Pippa O’Connor’s Snapchats for a few days to get a sneak peak of her in action and the results are always flawless. This leads me to believe that Aimee’s first product release, the “Sculpted” palette is a must have and therefore, I must have it. I struggle with contour more than any other make up technique so I’m looking forward to giving this a whirl. I think that this would be a great Christmas pressie for ladies of all ages. Cloud10 Beauty are offering 20% off the palette using the code BLACK20.

 

Blank Canvas “6 Piece Travel Set” (Reduced from €40 to €26):

Blank Canvas

 

For the past few years, I’ve used Black Friday as an excuse to stockpile make up brushes but this year, I’m going to be sensible and take it easy on my bank balance. With that said, I’m starting a new job in a few weeks so I think that a new set of travel brushes can be considered an essential purchase. Blank Canvas never let me down when it comes to the quality of their brushes so I will be picking up one of these travel sets for my handbag and two F20 brushes because they’re my absolute favourite brushes for creating the perfect base. Blank Canvas are offering a huge 35% off from 7pm this evening and this set is available from their website here.

 

Clarins “Eau Ressourcante” Gift Set (Reduced from €42 to €35.70):

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Clarins have some AMAZING Christmas offerings this year and as always, their gift sets are great value. I’ve been meaning to purchase the “Eau Ressourcante” fragrance for some time now, after spritzing it at the Clarins’ counter in my local Debenhams a few months ago. The scent is marketed as a calming, soothing fragrance and contains notes of Basil, Iris and Cedarwood. It’s a gorgeous, earthy fragrance that reminds me of a day at the spa. Basically, when you buy this gift set at the reduced price (15% off), you’re getting the full sized body cream and a travel size body scrub for free. You can pick up this bargain here, from Debenhams.

 

That’s it – the height of my Black Friday spending. I’m going to do my best to stick with this list but I will let you know if I make any impulse purchases over the course of the day via Instagram Stories (UN: Rougewritinghood).

In the meantime, tell us what’s on your wishlist in the comment section!

Rouge x

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Urban Decay Dublin – My Top 5 Picks

If you’ve been following Rouge Writing Hood for any length of time, you will already know that Urban Decay is one of my all-time favourite make up brands. In fact, Urban Decay was actually the first high-end cosmetic brand that I made a purchase from – the original eye primer potion way back when I was 15. So, you can imagine my excitement when after all this time, Urban Decay decided to launch their first Irish “stand alone” store on Grafton Street, just minutes from where I work.

The new store opened on 22nd June 2017 and it’s everything that one would expect from Urban Decay. The design is edgy, fun and glamorous. And, most importantly, the store is home to ten make up stations and literally stocks every Urban Decay product on the market, as well as a few exclusives. It seems that lots of my followers are as excited about the opening as I am, with a few of you asking me to write a post about my favourite products from the brand. Now, this is one that I could talk about all day but to save us all a little time, I’ve narrowed it down to a “Top 5”.

 

Urban Decay “Vice Lipstick” (Shade – Naked):

Urban Decay Vice Naked Lipstick Review

I wrote a full length review on the “Vice” lipsticks back in 2016, and I still find myself reaching for the “Naked” shade on a daily basis. This shade is a handbag essential and I’ve actually repurchased it, which is majorly impressive because I NEVER use a lipstick in its entirety before moving on to another formula. “Naked” is a universally flattering shade, perfect for a natural look and the pigment isn’t too “nude” so it doesn’t make me look like the walking dead. The formula is also really moisturising so while the colour pay-off is excellent, it won’t dry out your lips.

 

Urban Decay “Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion”:

Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

Like I said, this product is the one that introduced me to the world of high-end make-up and it will always have a place in my heart. If you could only purchase one product in the new Urban Decay store, I would recommend picking this one. I’ve been using the formula since I was 15, and although I’ve strayed to try some other formulas, none have ever quite matched up – including the “Eden” and “Sin” versions from Urban Decay. The original formula applies smoothly and keeps eyeshadow in place, without creasing until you decide to take it off. Plus, a little goes a long way so at €21, this product is an absolute bargain.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Flushed” (Shade – Streak):

Urban Decay Naked Flushd Streak Review

“Naked Flushed” in the shade “Streak” is the perfect contour palette for pale girls. The shades are beautifully flattering on fair-toned skin and although the blush looks a bit bright and intimidating in the palette, a little pop of it adds instant life and radiance to the face. The powder is really finely milled so it blends very easily and this means that you won’t have any obvious “contour lines”. I would recommend investing in a fluffy, angled contour brush for precise application though. If you’re in a rush, you can swirl your blush through all three shades and just add it to your cheeks for a flush of colour.

 

Urban Decay “Naked Eyeshadow Palette”:

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review

I know that I’m stating the obvious here. The original “Naked” palette is a cult favourite and I’m sure that at this stage, every beauty fanatic on the planet owns one but I couldn’t do a “Top 5” without mentioning it. Again, this palette was one of my first make up purchases and I still love the shades and formula. The mattes, shimmers and sparkles work really well together and blend to perfection so if you haven’t tried this product yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Urban Decay “Optical Illusion Complexion Primer”:

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Review

This product is a new one to my collection. I actually only purchased it this week but I already know that I love it. Recently, I was finding it really difficult to make my make-up stay on my face for the entire day, while I was at work. I was finding that by the time I got home in the evening, my make up was patchy and my skin looked dehydrated. So, I popped into the store to see if they had a solution and the lovely Amy, a senior make-up artist, introduced me to this beauty. The primer is pore minimising and applies to the skin like silk. It has a slightly “balmy” texture but is absorbed quickly and helps to blur imperfections, so make-up applies more evenly. The primer creates a barrier between the skin and your foundation so the make-up won’t get absorbed throughout the day. So far, I can’t fault this product and it’s working brilliantly.

 

And there you have it, my “Top 5 Picks” from the new Urban Decay store on Grafton Street. I’ll list the opening hours for the store below and if you pop in, let us know what you think in the comment section or the corresponding Instagram posts.

 Opening Hours:
Sunday: 12 noon to 6pm
Monday: 10am to 7pm
Tuesday:10am to 7pm
Wednesday: 10am to 7pm
Thursday: 10am to 9pm
Friday: 10am to 8pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 7pm

 

Rouge x

Juvi Designs – The New “Coral Collection”

Any long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will already know that I’m a big fan of Irish jewellery designers, Vincent Tynan and Julie Danz, who are the creative masterminds behind Juvi Designs. A few months ago, I wrote a post detailing their “Initials Collection” and it got lots of lovely feedback, with lots of you buying the fabulous designs for loved ones during the Christmas season. With this in mind, I thought that you would all be interested in hearing about Juvi’s brand new launch – their SS17 “Coral Collection”.

Vincent and Julie draw inspiration for their designs from different parts of the the world to which they have traveled and the “Coral Collection” is inspired by the Philippine Islands. The inspiration is reflected in the beautiful gemstones that represent the country’s turquoise seas and stunning sunsets – there are stones to suit everyone in this collection from moonstone to ruby. The “Coral Collection” is also the first collection from Juvi that is available in rose gold, a trend that I know lots of you are excited about.

So, enough of my chatter – let’s see the pictures!! The entire collection can be found here, but for the moment, here are a few of my favourite picks:

 

web_res_gold_vermeil_coral_necklace_with_ruby_gemtsone_105_2

web_res_seadrop_hook_earrings_in_gold_and_moonstone_1web_res_seadrop_hook_earrings_in_gold_and_ruby_1

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web_res_seadrop_pendant_in_gold_vermeil_and_labradorite_1

 

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This collection speaks for itself – and after popping in to Arnotts to have a sneaky browse, I can confirm that the jewellery is just as gorgeous in person as it is in the pictures. The Juvi team have wowed me again!

The prices of the pieces in the collection start at just €55 and are available from Juvi stockists nationwide including Arnotts, House of Fraser, Weirs, the Kilkenny Shop, Avoca and online from the Juvi website.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram!

Rouge x

IsaDora “Cover Up” Foundation – Review

I try to steer clear of full-coverage foundations, unless I’m getting ready for a big night out. More often than not, such products create a “mask effect” on the skin and although I know that lots of girls with problem skin rely on full-coverage foundations for a confidence boost, heavy products often irritate acne and wearing these products tends to worsen the problem in the long term.

So, when the IsaDora “Cover Up” foundation landed on my desk at work, I was pretty sure that it would be relegated to my “night time” make up collection. This formula is marketed as both a foundation and concealer and if I’m honest, that put me right off. So much so, that it actually stopped me even trying the foundation for a few weeks – I put it into my make up drawer and totally forgot about it. And, what an eejit I was!

isadora-cover-up-foundation-review

This foundation is a surprisingly creamy formula that wears like a second skin. Yes, the formula is definitely full coverage but, it doesn’t feel like it. After application, I just forget that I’m wearing it at all.

We can’t talk about this product without talking about the packaging. Say goodbye to clunky, heavy glass bottles and hello to this gorgeous, sleek and lightweight tube packaging. The black tube is “squeezy” which means that you won’t have any waste and therefore, get more bang for your buck. And, it’s really handbag friendly so this is definitely one that you can carry around with you when you’re on the go.

My Snapchat (UN: rougewriting) followers will already know that this foundation is very long-lasting. Before application, I always use a moisturising, illuminating primer and then buff the product on to the skin using my F20 Blank Canvas foundation brush. I’ve found that this is the best application method if you want your skin to look natural but if you want heavy coverage, I would recommend applying the product using a beauty blender. I wore this product to work for five days last week and on each day, the foundation lasted from 7am until bedtime, with just a little visible wear around the nose area. That’s great going! I also found that I didn’t need to top the formula up with powder throughout the day but I don’t have particularly oily skin so this isn’t unusual for me.

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The foundation is pictured above, directly after application. As you can see, my exhausted and dehydrated skin (I had just sat an exam that morning) has been blurred and concealed by the “Cover Up” foundation. I would say that I did need some extra under eye concealer along with the foundation to cover up my dark circles, so if you suffer with a dark under eye area, I don’t think this foundation will magically mask that for you. Pictured below, is the foundation after approx 5 – 6 hours wear at an event, in bright lighting. As you can see, the product wears very well and my blusher and highlighting powders clung to the formula, ensuring their longevity too.

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All in all, this foundation is getting a 5-star rating from me. I’ve been wearing it on a frequent basis and it hasn’t caused any blocked pores or skin problems. So, I think that “Cover Up” is a great option for anyone who has confidence issues when it comes to their skin. I would recommend that anyone with problem skin trade in their heavy duty MAC foundation for this IsaDora formula ASAP. And, if you need anymore persuading, just think of your pocket. This product retails around the €20 so it’s considerably cheaper than high end alternatives and although I won’t be giving up my beloved Armani “Luminous Silk”, I will be wearing this one just as often.

IsaDora is available in pharmacies nationwide.

Rouge x

Armani “Luminous Silk Foundation” – Review

Foundation is something that I get asked about on a daily basis – whether a follower of Rouge Writing Hood contacts me on Snapchat (UN: Rougewriting) or a friend asks me to recommend a formula to suit their skin type. Everyone is after the secret to flawless looking skin and often, it seems like this particular secret is the best kept one in the make up industry. I think we can all agree that the “barely there”, natural look is the most difficult make up look to achieve.

99% of the time, when someone asks me to recommend a foundation, the first one that springs to mind is my all-time favourite, Armani’s “Luminous Silk Foundation”. I wear this foundation every single day (shade no. 2), whether I’m going to work or I’m dressing up for a night out. However, it dawned on me today that I have never written a review post on the product and I think that it certainly deserves the attention!

armani-luminous-silk-foundation

“Luminous Silk” is an oil-free, very lightweight foundation that offers buildable coverage. It probably won’t be an option for those who like a very full-coverage look, but if it’s a natural look that you’re after – you won’t need any other foundation in your make up kit.The texture of this foundation is very smooth, so you won’t feel it on your skin after application and it’s very easy to blend. In my experience, the best tool for application is a flat-head buffing brush.

The formula is oil-free but is is still really hydrating, so your skin will look radiant throughout the day. I like my foundation to appear quite dewy, so I rarely feel the need to apply powder but if you prefer a matte finish, you’d need some finishing powder or blotting paper in your handbag. It’s also worth noting that there’s no SPF in this foundation so it’s perfect for photographs – although you’ll want to layer an SPF underneath for everyday use.

The sturdy glass bottle has a pump applicator, so very little product goes to waste. Although, I would say that I seem to go through this foundation quite quickly. I usually buy a new bottle every 10-12 weeks but, as I said, I use it daily. This is one that you could easily throw into your handbag without worrying about spillages. The sleek design also looks fabulous on the dressing table.

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The above (filter-less) picture shows the foundation, freshly-applied and without concealer. So, as you can see, the coverage is pretty good. “Luminous Silk” lasts really well after application, especially if you layer it over a good primer. I never feel the need to top up throughout the day/night.

Armani “Luminous Silk” is available here from Brown Thomas but I would recommend popping in store, if possible, to get shade matched by the professionals. The price point is a little bit of a sting at €46.50 but, you certainly get what you pay for.

What do you think? Have you tried this product before? And, if not, would you be willing to shell out €46 of your hard-earned cash? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

Valentines Day Gifts – For Her

 
sheldon-meme

 

 

Just when you thought the gift buying was over after Christmas, Valentines Day rears its ugly head. Back to the diet of baked beans and “cuppa soup” for another month then… Here’s a little gift inspiration for those who are struggling for some fresh ideas. There are winning presents to suit every budget!

 

 

 

Too Faced “Sweet Peach” Eye Shadow Palette – Available Here

too-faced-sweet-peach-palette

I dare you to find a girl on the planet who is not currently lusting after this gorgeous palette from Too Faced. The last time it was released, it was a worldwide sell out and we have been waiting MONTHS for a restock. Of course, it’s going to sell out at the speed of light so I recommend whipping your credit card out and purchasing it online from Debenhams before it’s gone.

Juvi “Shooting Star” Necklace – Available Here:

juvi-necklace

This dainty necklace from Juvi Designs is stunning. My combination of choice would be the green onyx gemstone set in gold vermeil. The design is timeless and so elegant. This is a gift that a girl could happily hold on to forever. And, I saved the best part for last – the necklace is a bargain at €59, even though it looks far more expensive than that!

Mugler “Angel Muse” – Available Here:

 

angel-muse-mugler

I was gifted this perfume shortly before Christmas and it is gorgeous. It’s definitely a sensual perfume but it also contains some sweet notes of cocoa and hazelnut so I think that it would appeal to a variety of women, dependent on their personal taste. If the lady in your life loves a perfume that lasts all day, this one is a great option.

TheBalm “Highlite N Con Tour” – Available Here:

highlite-n-con-tour-thebalm-review

This fabulous face palette is a brand new release from theBalm which means that you can almost be guaranteed that the lady in your life doesn’t have it yet. It will suit all skin tones, so there’s no need to worry about shade matching. I absolutely adore this product and will be releasing a full review soon. And, if you’re looking for a bargain, you should check out my post on theBalm’s Christmas Collection because those gorgeous goodies are on sale now!

Yves Saint Laurent “Couture Palette Collection” – Available Here:

ysl-spring-2017-eyeshadow

This newly released palette from YSL is just gorgeous. The shades provide a little pop of colour, so this one would be best suited to those who are adventurous with their make up. I think the peachy/pink shades are fabulous for spring and, because the palette is specifically designed to create a contoured eye,  this is the only palette the lady in your life will need. Now, I said need – not want! This product is compact and perfect for those who love to travel.

Juvi “Initials” Collection- Available Here:

juvi-initials-necklace

Yes, I think that we can officially establish that I am obsessed with Juvi. I love the brand, their ethos and the very reasonable price point of their designs. Their new “Initials” collection includes a number of pieces that would make perfect Valentine’s gifts. You can read all about the collection in a previous blog post which you can find here.

Carvela “Alice Ombré Courts” – Available Here:

carvela-alice-courts

Want. Need. Must have. These Louboutin-esque shoes from Carvela are DIVINE. They’re also a fraction of the price of the famous “red sole” version. That’s really all that needs to be said.

Rouge x

My Top “January Sales” Picks

Christmas is over and the festive season is firmly behind us. But, fear not – returning to work means a brand new paycheck which also means hitting the January sales. You only regret the things that you don’t buy but I’ve complied a little list of my favourite bargains to give you a little inspiration.

 

 

 

LanaiBlo Professional Hairdryer – Available Here:

 

lanaiblo-hairdryer

After reading The Beautiful Truth’s “Luxury Christmas Gift Guide” and watching her Snapchats, I found myself lusting after this LanaiBlo styling tool. Santa heard my plea and dropped one of these babies down the chimney and, I have to say, it’s definitely worth the money. The 2400 watt LanaiBlo is the brainchild of Irish entrepreneur Katie-Jane Goldin and it drys hair at a much faster rate than my previous hairdryer. It now takes me about 10 – 15 minutes to dry my hair which is pretty long, falling far below my shoulders. This hairdryer also uses ionic technology to provide an anti-static result. I rolled my eyes at that too but it actually does work! I’m finding less and less of a need for my GHDs.

The LanaiBlo is currently reduced from €99.99 to €89.99.

AYU “Chloe Brush Set” – Available Here:

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Again, this pick is one that I already have. I ADORE my “Chloe Brush Set” from AYU and used it almost every day over the festive season. It contains pretty much every brush you’ll need for a full face of make up, although I would recommend purchasing a stippling foundation brush too for fast application. I love the royal purple and gold colours in this set and because the brushes are made from synthetic fibres, they won’t absorb and waste product.

The AYU “Chloe Brush Set” is currently reduced from €60 to €45.

ESPA “The Replenishing Collection” – Available Here:

replenishing-collection

 

This gift set from ESPA is on my January wishlist because it contains all of my favourite skincare goodies from the brand in one box. ESPA is a gorgeous spa brand, available online and in luxury Irish resorts like Castlemartyr and Powerscourt. I absolutely adore their “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” which is in this set along with their “Hydrating Floral Spafresh” toner, “24 hr Replenishing Moisturiser” and “Overnight Hydration Therapy” which I have reviewed in full here. I’m actually running low on my ESPA products at the moment, so a sale is the perfect excuse to stock up. I would recommend these products for all skin types but, I think that dry and dehydrated “winter skin” would really appreciate the TLC that ESPA provides.

The ESPA “Replenishing Collection” is currently reduced from £60 to £42 and, ESPA are also offering a free full-sized cleanser to those who spend over £60 online.

Mugler “Angel Muse” Gift Set – Available Here:

mugler-angel-set

As some of you will already know, I included Mugler’s “Angel” in my “Christmas 2016 – Fragrances for Her” post. Now, Debenhams are offering 25% off this gorgeous “Angel Muse” set which includes a 50ml refillable eau de parfum and a complimentary 5ml miniature for your handbag. “Angel Muse” is a slightly sweeter fragrance than “Angel” and is lovely and fresh for everyday wear.

The “Angel Muse” gift set is currently reduced from €89 to €66.75 at Debenhams.

Benefit “Blushin’ Babe” Gift Set – Available Here:

Benefit Blushin Babe Set.jpg

Arnotts are offering a massive 33% off this gorgeous gift set from Benefit making it cheaper than one full-sized blusher from the brand. Benefit blushers are arguably the best on the market, loved by make up addicts worldwide. And, if you purchase this gift set, I highly doubt you’ll find any need to purchase another blush product for years. With five well-sized options to choose from, you’ll have the perfect shade for every occasion. And, Benefit have also included a mini “They’re Real” mascara and liner and a “Watts Up” highlighter.

Benefit’s “Blushin’ Babe” is currently reduced from €43 to €28.81 at Arnotts.

Juvi “Egadi Round Pendant” – Available Here:

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I am OBSESSED with Irish designers Julie and Vincent Tynan’s creations. You can read my piece on their new “Initials Collection” here. This gorgeous pendant is available at a discounted price with a number of gemstone options. Labradorite is one of my favourite gemstones so I think that the option pictured is gorgeous, but it’s worth checking out the Juvi website for the other options including ruby and rose quartz.

The “Egadi Round Pendant” is currently reduced from €95 to €66.50.