TheBalm “Foiled Again” Eyeshadow Palette Review

It takes a lot to get me excited about new beauty releases these days. I work full-time and by the time I get home in the evening, after battling rush hour traffic in Dublin, I’m just too wrecked to start playing with make-up and testing new products. However all is not lost and every now and then, something comes along that makes me squeal with delight. The new “Foiled Again” palette from theBalm was one of those products.

 

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The “Foiled Again” palette is made up of twelve eyeshadows – four matte shades and eight foiled shades. The shadows can be used dry or dampened with some setting spray (I use the Urban Decay “All Nighter” formula) to create a more intense look. The formulas glide onto the skin effortlessly and the matte and shimmer shades blend together beautifully – which is surprisingly unusual.

 

 

Now, you’ll have to excuse my dodgy swatching skills but just look at those shades! My favourite thing about the “Foiled Again” palette is that it’s a universal product that will suit every skin tone and even though lots of people will question the inclusion of four matte shades, I think that they work really well to complete the palette. This palette would be perfect for both beginners and make up geeks so it’s a great one to purchase for Christmas.

 

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As you can probably guess from the picture above, the golds in this palette are my favourite but I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the fiery red shade, “Guilty” over the festive season. I recommend pairing the shimmery looks created using this palette with a bold feline flick – theBalm’s “Schwing” liner is actually the perfect product for creating this look?

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Debenhams on Henry Street and get swatching!!

Rouge x

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Yumi Lashes Lash Enhancement – Review

I can actually hear your eyes rolling as you read the title of this blog post. Yes, I know – we’re all sick to death of beauty “fads” and treatments that promise miracles and don’t deliver. “Fat Freezing” and “Body Sculpting”, I’m looking at you. So, I think that you’re entitled to be skeptical about the Yumi Lashes treatment that is marketed as “a revolutionary method of creating volume or straightening lashes”, if the brand do say so themselves. I’ll even admit that I thought it was another beauty gimmick when I first heard about it. However, when my local salon Essential Beauty Skin & Laser in Bailieborough, County Cavan started offering the treatment, I knew there had to be some truth to the marketing spiel – the girls in the salon never offer a treatment that they don’t believe in.

 

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My cousin actually booked the treatment before I did and her results were amazing but she has naturally full, long lashes so I still didn’t know if it would work as well on my own. However, I decided to bite the bullet before I went on my holidays to Portugal a few weeks ago and I’m so glad that I did.

Firstly, I have to warn you that you absolutely MUST have a patch test before you have the Yumi treatment because the results would be far from pretty if you’re allergic to the tint or the glue. The treatment takes approximately 40 minutes, and it’s a lot more relaxing than I expected it to be. I have pretty sensitive eyes so I was bracing myself for a half an hour of torture but, I was in great hands with Ciara at Essential Beauty Skin and Laser.

The Yumi treatment is basically as sophisticated “tint and perm” for eyelashes. The process begins with the application of relaxing eye masks to hydrate your under-eye area while a silicone mould is applied to your upper eyelid. The upper lashes are then lifted towards the silicone to curl them and serum is applied to set the curl. It’s not all as glamorous as it sounds because the curling solution smells disgusting but, that’s something that we can let slide. After the curl is set, the upper lashes are tinted. Then, the adhesive is removed you’re left with fabulous eyelashes. Removal is a bit uncomfortable and as with all eyelash tinting treatments; stings like bejaysus. It’s definitely tolerable though and I think that the photo below demonstrates that it’s worth a few seconds of discomfort for the results.

 

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For 24 hours after the treatment, you can’t allow your lashes to get wet and you have to make sure that you touch them as little as possible – which is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. As you can see, the difference is really impressive and two weeks later, I’m still getting compliments on my lashes. Yumi say that the results last 9 – 12 weeks (as long as the natural life cycle of your lashes) but the girls in Essential Beauty Skin and Laser said that for some people, the life cycle is 6 – 9 weeks.

The beauty industry is one that thrives on illusion and often we’re presented with nothing but photos of airbrushing, heavy make up and false lashes. Sometimes it’s refreshing to opt for a more natural look and that’s exactly what the Yumi treatment caters for. Here’s a picture of my natural eyelashes, after the treatment, without mascara:

 

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Of course, the effect of the Yumi treatment intensifies after the application of mascara. In my opinion, the results after a coat or two of mascara are gorgeous and actually look a lot better than a set of lash extensions. My favourite mascara to pair with the treatment is the Urban Decay “Troublemaker” mascara because it holds all day without budging, even when you’re melting in the heat in Portugal! I’ll drop a photo below to demonstrate how the treatment works with mascara, and I think you’ll be straight on the phone to book an appointment!

 

 

Overall, I would highly recommend the treatment and if you’re in the Cavan area, you should pop into the girls in Essential Skin and Laser because they’re absolute pros. I’ll keep you up to date on how long the treatment lasts for me but after two weeks, my lashes haven’t budged and I will definitely be booking in for another treatment before Christmas! 

Rouge x 

 

Lancome “Matte Lip Shaker” – Review

A few months ago, I started a new job and blogging was kind of placed on the “back burner”. As much as I adore testing new beauty products, I simply found that I didn’t have as much time to play around with new releases and I’m never going to publish half-assed reviews, just for the sake of it. As any Irish parent would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and the beauty market is saturated with new releases to tempt the bank balance. However, now that I’ve settled in to the job, I’m back with some new review posts – and this time you can be sure that I’m choosing the “créme de la créme” of products to write about because I won’t find any time to write about the mediocre ones.

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Today, I want to talk to you about a product that I have been testing for months – the Lancome “Matte Shaker” lip colours. At first, when I received these in the post, I was worried that the design might be a gimmick but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The packaging is sleek and quirky but more importantly, it’s handbag-proof. The lid of the “Matte Shaker” is sturdy and won’t open in your bag while you’re on the move. Anyone who has had the inside of their designer handbag smeared with bright lipstick will realise just how handy this is. The sponge applicator is difficult to get used to in the beginning and you will definitely need a mirror to apply this product but, the shape of the sponge eliminates the need to use a lip liner which is a pro that outweighs the con, in my opinion.

I’ve played around with all of the colours in this collection and there’s something to suit everyone. There are seven shades that range from peach to nude to bright orange. Although, I have to say that, for me, the reds steal the show. “Red-y In 5” is my favourite shade from the range and the one that I have chosen to use for imagery purposes in this post. It’s a beautiful, bold red that has gorgeous blue undertones. This type of red shade is perfect for pale complexions and the blue undertones help to create the illusion of whiter teeth.

 

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Now, let’s talk about the formula. What sets this matte lipstick apart in a market saturated with similar products? Well, I have to say that while there may be one hundred other matte lip products on the market at the moment, there are none quite like this one.

The formula is packed with pigment and although it’s build-able, it was designed to be applied as a super thin layer of colour. Any residue of the product seems to almost evaporate when it’s applied to the lips, so the formula wears like a second skin. The “Matte Lip Shakers” are exactly that – completely and totally matte so if you are looking for a moisturising lip product, this isn’t it. However, because the formula is so lightweight, it won’t drain any moisture from your lips and will leave them exactly as it found them.

I love the texture of this product and enjoy that it’s really comfortable to wear. Lots of matte lip products can feel heavy and balmy on the lips but you could forget that you were wearing any product at all, after applying the “Matte Shaker”.

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Taking all of the above into consideration, I have to say that I rate the “Matte Shaker” from Lancome as one of my favourite releases of 2017. I would even go as far as to say that it’s the most comfortable matte lipstick on the market at the moment, closely followed by TheBalm’s “Meet Matt(e) Hughes”.

Lancome “Matte Shakers” retail at €19.50 which is a pretty decent price point and they’re available from Lancome stockists nationwide. Have you tried the product? Or, do you already have favourite matte lipstick? Either way, we would love to hear about it so let us know in the comment section or over on Instagram under the corresponding post!

Rouge x

Spring into Summer – At Home Pedicures

It’s officially sandal season! As I type this, Irish ladies are ditching their ankle boots and court shoes in favour of more breathable footwear options. We’ve had a spell of good weather lately and I think that we all have our fingers and toes crossed for the sunshine to stay awhile longer. With this in mind, I thought I would write a little post about keeping those toes in good condition, after hiding them in socks for the past few months.

As soon as the sun makes an appearance, salons everywhere are swarmed by those seeking last minute pedicure appointments. So, if your salon is fully booked or you just want to save yourself a small fortune, here’s my guide to a perfect “at home” pedicure.

 

Step 1: Remove Dead Skin.

 

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Bellamianta “Luxury Exfoliating Glove” (€9.95) – Available Here.

Rather than using a body scrub filled with micro-beads, I usually opt to exfoliate using some shower gel and this glove/mitt from Bellamianta. It’s a really gentle way to remove dead skin from the body and the feet and it’s brilliant for removing stubborn false tan streaks. The glove is also really cost effective. At only €10, you can treat it with care and you’ll have it for months!

 

Photo:Andrew Downes

Micro Pedi Nano (€29.95) – Available Here.

If your feet are particularly neglected, this is a great little gadget for removing dead skin. However, I would warn users to take it slowly when using the product – if you take off too much skin, your feet will be tender for days! When used gently, this electronic device removes all the rough skin to leave toes feeling silky soft. And, it’s small enough to pack into your hand luggage if you’re off on holidays.

 

Step 2: File.

 

Choose any nail file that you like and use it to shape your toenails. Always file in one direction to avoid damaging the nail.

 

Step 3: Paint.

 

 

Kiss “Diamond Hard Nail Strengthener” (€5.99) – Available Here.

I always apply a nail strengthener to my nails before polishing them, to keep them in good condition and to help avoid staining. This one from Kiss is great value and keeps nails from chipping or breaking.

CND “One Week Vinylux Polish” (€11.95) – Available Here.

This polish does exactly what it says on the packaging and if applied using the corresponding top coat, it won’t chip for at least 7 days. I have very weak nails and this is one of the very few polishes on the market that stays put on them for more than five minutes. There are cheaper options on the market but in my opinion, the “Vinylux” nail polish is worth an extra few euro – my favourite shade is “Cake Pop”.

Wet n Wild “1 Step Wonder Gel” (€2.99) – Available in Pharmacies Nationwide.

If the CND “Vinylux Polish” is out of your budget, then this option from Wet n Wild is almost as good. It doesn’t last an entire 7 days on my finger nails without chipping, but it lasts for ages on my toes. The polish is only €2.99 which is an absolute bargain and the shade range is great so next time you’re in Penneys or a pharmacy that stocks Wet N Wild, I suggest that you pick up a few!

 

Step 4: Moisturise and Apply Cuticle Oil

 

 

Ziaja “Foot Cream” (€3.99) – Available Here.
I haven’t written about the brand in ages but long time followers of Rouge Writing Hood will know that I LOVE Ziaja body care products. Their body lotions and balms are so affordable and they achieve great results – as good as any luxury brand that I’ve tried. At only €3.99, their “Foot Cream” is one of my favourite products. I first tried this when I was away for the weekend in Warsaw (Ziaja is a Polish brand) and my feet were killing me after a weekend of stomping around nightclubs in high heels. The cream is instantly soothing and really helps to repair cracked, damaged skin. I now apply it every second night before I go to bed.

 

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CND “Solar Oil” (€4.95) – Available Here.

“Solar Oil” by CND is the only cuticle oil that I’ve tried and found effective. It’s formulated specifically to penetrate beneath shellac and gel polish so it really works to moisture the nails and keep them in healthy condition. The oil is filled with vitamin E which promotes nail growth and leaves nails stronger. This formula should be applied nightly before bed and a little goes a long way.

There you have it – fours steps to achieving silky soft feet from the comfort of your own home. If you can think of any products that you would recommend – let us know in the comment section..

Rouge x

 

 

Camile Thai – Brunch Review

Last weekend, myself and two of my besties were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Camile Thai’s new brunch menu, at their first “sit-in” restaurant in Phibsborough, Dublin. Those of you who are familiar with the Camile brand will know that they are famed for their Thai takeaway restaurant chain, so I was a little surprised when I heard that they were launching a brunch menu and I have to say that I really questioned what on earth “brunch with a Thai twist” would consist of.

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It turns out that “brunch with a Thai twist” is delicious and it’s EXACTLY what one needs to recover after a night out on the town. The brunch menu at Camile offers a wide range of options from classic breakfast dishes like “Eggs Benedict” to more substantial dishes like their “Katsu Chicken Fillets”.  The restaurant doesn’t offer a large selection of brunch cocktails yet but, the girls and I started our afternoon with a “Kir Camile” which is a lovely fruity combination of Prosecco and Creme de Cassis. It should be noted that they serve a really good quality glass of Prosecco that’s fairly light but has gorgeous almond, pear and apple flavours – for me, this is really important because I’m so sick of the “muck” that’s often served at some of the “bottomless brunches” that have become a fad in recent times.

 

 

Moving on to the food. First up, let’s talk about the “Eggs Benedict”. My friend had this dish, so I’m giving you the low-down from her point of view. This is probably the best time to mention that the three of us could be classified as “food snobs”. We have all worked in the hospitality/food industry, so our standards are pretty high. A brunch menu is not complete without the addition of an “Eggs Benedict” dish and Camile’s version consists of two poached eggs, rashers and chilli hollandaise sauce – all served on a toasted muffin. The presentation of this dish was brilliant and as you can see from the photo, it looked really appetising. There’s nothing particularly Thai about “Eggs Benedict” but, my friend really enjoyed the kick that the chilli hollandaise sauce gave to the dish. It’s a small but effective twist that transformed a dish that can be quite bland, to a flavoursome option – if you’re popping in for a quick breakfast, this is a great choice.

Next up, we have my dish of choice, the “Katsu Chicken Fillets”. This is the PERFECT option for anyone who is feeling hungover and needs a spicy pick-me-up. The crisp chicken fillets were accompanied by green curry sauce and fried potatoes that were seasoned with garlic, chilli and salt. This dish is ultimately a high-end version of the “spice bag” which just happens to be my takeaway of choice if I’ve had a few too many cocktails the night before. The chicken was cooked to perfection – the coating was perfectly crisp but the meat itself was juicy and full of flavour. The potatoes were the kind of “roasties” that melt in your mouth – they were fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I detest under-cooked or soggy fried potatoes but these were some of the best that I’ve tasted and the seasoning was great too – spicy but not too salty. The only minor issue that I have was that I would have liked more green curry sauce to be served with the dish but this is just a small hiccup and is easily resolved by simply asking for more sauce.

 

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The final dish that we sampled was the “Salmon Fish Cake Slider” which was served with a toasted muffin, roccola, siracha mayonnaise and fried potatoes. Now, I’m not a big fan of salmon but the lady who ordered it is. She described it as zesty with a kick of spice and loved the siracha mayo which added flavour to the fish. Again, the spiced fried potatoes were great. I have to admit that this dish looks divine!

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Calories don’t count on Sunday so all three of us opted to try the “Warm Death By Chocolate” dessert. I’m a “dessert person” and would usually choose sweet over savoury but I’m afraid that for me, this dessert fell a little short of the mark. It was light and tasty but it wasn’t exactly “death by chocolate” which, in my opinion, translates to calorific and smothered with rich chocolate sauce and/or caramel. Again, the presentation was great and this might be a good option for those who don’t enjoy heavy desserts but I would like to see a more luscious dessert option on the menu. The dessert didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the brunch experience, it’s just a little constructive criticism for the restaurant.

We had a brilliant afternoon at Camile – it was a fabulous place to recover after a night out/ The decor is really nice and relaxed, the staff were absolutely lovely and the customer service was flawless. Again, having worked in hospitality, we see this as something that either makes or breaks a restaurant. All three of us have agreed that we will definitely return at some stage – maybe next time we’ll opt for an evening meal with some of that delicious Prosecco.

Thai Brunch at Camile, Phibsborough is available every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm and all the dishes are priced between €5.95 and €13.95 – it’s well worth a trip!

Rouge x

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Micellar Water

As most of you will already know, there’s lots of controversy surrounding Irish beauty blogs this week. Many people are asking why bloggers, like myself, write more positive reviews than negative. Are we terrified to annoy PR companies, fearing that we’ll never receive press samples from them again? Are we being paid to pretend to like a product thus writing inauthentic, inaccurate reviews?

Honestly, maybe some of the community are taking advantage of their audience for monetary gain but most of us are not. I blog because I’m obsessed with make up but I don’t believe that it’s the be all and end all. I don’t need to wear it on a daily basis because I am confident about my own appearance. I enjoy cooing over new lipstick formulas and shades, but I work five days a week and I can afford to purchase a new release, should my heart desire it. So, the answer is no – I’m not afraid of annoying PR companies or brands. I’ve received many a press sample that has never made its way to my blog or social media feeds because it didn’t suit my complexion/skin type or simply because the formula was crap.

Keeping all of this in mind, I’m taking some constructive criticism on board and a leaf out of the book of my favourite, truth-telling blogger, Sinead Kavanagh. This post is the first in a series of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” product reviews, focusing on specific types of product. Some of these products are excellent, some are mediocre and some weren’t even worth mentioning – until now.

Let’s start with micellar water, a cleansing agent that should be in every gal’s skincare kit. While I don’t think these non-rinse formulas are suitable for a full cleanse, they’re super handy for removing the bulk of your make up before you cleanse with a lotion or wash. They’re also great for cleaning up application errors. However, of course, some of the formulas are much better than others. So, let’s have it!

“Hit” Products:

ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (£24) – Available Here:

 

Espa Micellar Cleanser Review

At £24, this micellar water is, by far, the most expensive option on the list but, it’s also the best. The formula is filled with hyaluronic acid, rose water and witch hazel which work together to leave skin feeling plump and hydrated. Micellar waters are often very drying on the skin but that’s not the case with this offering from ESPA and that’s what makes it the stand out product in this post. I use this formula most mornings by soaking a cotton pad and sweeping it along my face to remove impurities and any traces of yesterday’s eyeliner. It soothes tired skin and doesn’t leave the skin too dry for the immediate application of make-up.

Bioderma’s “Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution” (€11.50) – Available Here:

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At over half the price of the ESPA offering, this Bioderma micellar water is almost as good. This formula, which is one of the most popular skincare products on the French market, is designed specifically for sensitive skin so it won’t leave your skin feeling irritated or dehydrated. I think that this micellar water is the most effective product in this post, for the removal of heavy or stubborn make up. It removes eyeliner with a single swipe and, therefore, eliminates the need to purchase a separate eye make up remover. Again, highlighting its value for money. I’ve repurchased this micellar water four times – other products at the same price point just don’t compair!

“Maybe” Product:

Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water (€5.35) – Available Here:

 

 

Garnier Micellar Water

I know that lots of people rate the Garnier “Micellar Cleansing Water” as a “holy grail” product in their make up kit but, for me, it’s just OK. At just over €5, it’s really cheap and I can’t argue that it doesn’t remove make up really quickly. However, I found it a little drying – nothing that a little moisturiser couldn’t sort out but, I wasn’t wowed.

Now, it should be noted that I used the entire bottle of this micellar water when I purchased it, every last drop but I didn’t rush out to buy it again. However, I do tend to purchase the mini version of the product if I’m going on holidays as Boots in Dublin airport always have it in stock. Like the Bioderma formula, this micellar water is great for removing eyeliner and mascara. So, keeping all of this in mind – I’d buy it if I was on a strict budget, to use as an eye make up remover or, if I was travelling because it’s inexpensive enough to leave behind when you’re abroad without feeling any guilt.

“Miss Products”:

Super Facialist by Una Brennan “Probiotic Micellar Cleansing Water” (£6.99 – Purchased from Boots, UK):

 

Una Brennan Superfacialist Probiotic Micellar Water

This product is easily the worst micellar water that I have EVER used. The idea of a “probiotic” cleanser is lovely in theory but that just didn’t translate into reality. This product fails to remove anything more than a trace of foundation, never mind stubborn eye make up. This formula claims to sooth skin, with cucumber extract listed as a main ingredient, but I found that it irritated my skin (which is not particularly sensitive) and left it stingy and dehydrated. The micellar water also has a very soapy feel, which is very unusual for non-rinse products. A complete, without hesitation, thumbs-down from me.

Botanics “All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution” (€6.49):

Botanics All Bright Micellar Water Review Blog

I had really high hopes for this product, because I actually like a lot of the products in the Botanics range from Boots. However, this formula was a little disappointing. The “3 in 1” formula promises to remove make up, unclog pores and remove impurities and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t live up to these claims. The formula removes a decent amount of make up but isn’t half as effective as the Bioderma, ESPA or Garnier products. This micellar cleanser also attempts to provide the user with a gentle chemical exfoliation but honestly, I found this ineffective and my skin was left feeling tight and dehydrated after use. However, this product might be perfect for those with very oily skin – so that’s something to keep in mind.

And there you have it, my “hit, miss and maybe” micellar water recommendations. I have to stress though, that what works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else. So, if you have any differing opinions on any of the products listed, we would love to hear them (just use the comment section) or, if you have more recommendations to add to the list – let us know!!

Rouge x

Yves Saint Laurent “Volupté Tint-In-Balm” – Review

YSL Tint In Balm

When I published my Mothers’ Day Gift Guide a few weeks ago, lots of you asked for more information on the YSL “Tint-In-Balm” that I included in the post. It seems that the cold weather has left us with chapped lips and no desire to cover them with a matte lipstick, regardless of how “on trend” they are at the minute. YSL have acknowledged that it’s time for something new – women need a lip colour that they can apply without running to a mirror and a formula that is comfortable to wear and moisturises the lips, keeping them healthy. And, although I was seriously skeptical about a balm formula that promised to pack a serious punch of pigment, I have to admit that I was wrong. YSL’s “Tint-In-Balm” is amazing and has quickly become my favourite beauty release of 2017, so far.

 

 

VOLUPTE TINT-IN-BALM N°1 DREAM ME NUDE

After attending the launch of the “Tint-In-Balm” lip colours, I received a press sample in the shade “N° 1 Dream Me Nude” (pictured above). This is one of 12 new shades and it’s a gorgeous “pinky” nude colour. I’m pretty confident when I say that “Dream Me Nude” is a universal shade and would suit all complexions.

We can’t talk about these balms without talking about YSL’s gorgeous packaging. The packaging of the “Tint-In-Balm” is perfection. Every time that I take this one out of my handbag, ladies nearby swoon. So, if you’re a fan of fancy lipsticks, then your collection isn’t complete without this beauty. The tube is also very durable, so you won’t have any issue with the lid falling off, causing the formula to get mushed around your handbag – as is often the case with cheaper, budget-friendly lipsticks.

The formula of “Tint-In-Balm” is moisturising and smooth. I wouldn’t describe the finish that it gives as “glossy”, because it’s not sticky in the least, but the balm does give the lips a healthy sheen. The pigment in these balms is buildable and can be used to create a strong colour after a few swipes – especially with the berry and red shades in the collection. I’m also a huge fan of the shade “N° 8 Catch Me Orange”, pictured below.

 

The thing that I love most about the “Tint-In-Balm” product is that its application is effortless. I can apply this lip colour without a lip liner or a mirror and don’t have to worry about whether my lips look uneven or question whether I have lipstick on my teeth.

All in all, the YSL “Tint-In-Balm” receives an “A” grade from me. I think that this product is fantastic for women who want their make up to be both pretty and comfortable. And from now on, I will be reserving the matte lipsticks for evening and weekend wear.

 

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The “Tint-In-Balm” range is available exclusively from Brown Thomas and retails at a rather expensive €33. However, because this formula is unique and really impressive, I think that the high-end price can be justified. I’m planning to purchase the “Catch Me Orange” shade as soon as my next pay day rolls by.

What do you think? Could you justify the price? Or, do you know about a similar product that retails for less? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x