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

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TheBalm “Even Steven” Foundation – Review

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard about this product already and you probably know that it’s one of my all time favourite foundations. I post pictures and videos wearing it quite often but some readers have asked for a full post, detailing why I love the “Even Steven” formula. And now that I’m back to blogging more regularly, I decided it’s the perfect time to share.

“Even Steven” is a whipped foundation formula from TheBalm and I have to admit, when it was first sent to me as a press sample, I had visions of my “Dream Matte Mousse” days.. Yes, like every other girl in Ireland in the 00s, I was caked in the stuff. So I’ll admit, I pushed this formula to the back of my make up drawers and forgot about it for awhile.

A few months later, I found myself battling with a house move which meant that all of my usual make up picks were packed into a box neatly, only to disappear into oblivion. So, I decided to try something new and dug a few formulas out of the press. “Even Steven” was the only one that I held on to after a few weeks of chopping and changing.

I’m not easily impressed by foundations – I like my base to be subtle with enough coverage to cover blemishes but not enough coverage to mask my face and hide my freckles. “Even Steven” has a mousse like texture and the coverage is very buildable. I find that a little goes a really long way and that the best way to apply it is with a flat-head foundation brush.

The shade range isn’t amazing but I find that the “Lighter than Light” shade is pale enough for my tan-less days. I’ve been wearing the “Light” shade over the past few weeks because my skin has darkened a tiny fraction with all the good weather we’ve been having and I’ve also been wearing some gradual tanning moisturiser most days.

Packaging wise, the tub does look small but when I say a small amount goes a long way, I really mean it! One issue I do have is the fact that you either have to scoop the foundation out or dab your brush into the pot. Obviously because I’m a lazy brat, I use the dip method and I’m pretty sure it’s not the most hygienic.

I’ve found that the foundation applies evenly, blends into the skin well and has a lovely finish. It’s not matte but it’s not dewy either. I use a little brightening primer underneath and it gives a gorgeous glow to the skin. The lasting power is fabulous. I was concerned that the formula would slide off my face during the heatwave but I’ve found that when it’s set with the Urban Decay “All Nighter” spray, it stays put for hours. I never worry about reapplying this product.

Here’s a classic before and after to give you an idea of how the foundation sits and the amount of coverage it gives. As you can see, it covered the blemishes on my face, without concealer, but didn’t conceal my freckles. I’m all into freckles these days thanks to Meghan Markle.

The “Even Steven” foundation by TheBalm is available from Debenhams and Cloud 10 Beauty and it retails at the €22.

So tell me what you think! Would you dare to wear a mousse textured foundation after all those years of “Dream Matte Mousse”?

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

Easy Paese – A Ten Minute Make Up Look.

A few weeks ago Paese, a Polish beauty brand which is relatively new to the Irish market, got in touch and asked if they could send me some samples to try. Obviously, I was delighted – I’ve had my eye on Paese for awhile but just never got around to picking some of the products up. However, I was a little apprehensive. The only other Polish make up brand that I’ve tried is Inglot and I’m afraid that I find a lot of their products to be a little too “heavy” on my skin. I prefer a “barely there” make up look to full glam.

So, when I received the products, I set about using them to create “natural” make up looks. So here’s a list of the products that I used to create a quick and simple, every day look with a bright lip – which has quickly become my favourite spring time make up look.

“Long Cover Fluid Foundation” (€20):

The “Long Cover Fluid” foundation from Paese is a full-coverage formula that doesn’t budge throughout the day. Usually, I stick with Tinted Moisturiser when I’m applying my make up in the morning but if I know I’m facing a particularly long day at work; I use this product because I know it won’t budge from my skin. The formula is creamy, easy to blend and most importantly, doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I recommend applying this one over your SPF and usual Primer (mine is the ELF “Hydrating Balm”) and setting with spray (my favourite is the Urban Decay “All Nighter”). As expected with full coverage foundation, this product does get a little shiny after about 6 hours of wear but that’s quickly remedied with some powder, which I always carry in my handbag anyway.

“Clair Brightening Concealer” (€12):

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I purchased a VERY expensive under eye concealer from NARS a few weeks ago and that I’ve never been as disappointed with a luxury make up product in all my days. This concealer from Paese has everything that I felt the NARS one lacked – it’s creamy and easy to blend and it doesn’t crease into any fine lines. I didn’t even realise I had “fine lines” until recently… I don’t have any real issues with dark circles so I can’t vouch for the coverage of the concealer but it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of “puffy” under eyes and that’s all I can ask for.

“Long Cover Powder” (€16):

Ok, so it takes awhile to get the hang of applying this powder. It’s loose and a little bit messy so I don’t think it’s one for the handbag but it sets make up like no powder I’ve ever used before. I use this powder to “bake” under eye concealer and then dust it lightly over my t-zone to eliminate shine. It works quickly and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin once it’s buffed into the foundation.

Paese “Silky Matt” Lipstick (€13):

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Lots of people avoid matte lipstick formulas because they can be very drying and harsh on the lips. However, I’ve found a few formulas that I absolutely love and I’ve added this “Silky Matt” lipstick from Paese to the list. It feels light on the lips, as if you aren’t even wearing lipstick. It isn’t tacky or drying and it definitely stays put after it’s been applied. I could apply this before breakfast and have no need to top it up until after lunch time. It doesn’t smudge either so I don’t have to worry about the bright colours transferring.

And there you have it – a ten minute make up look using products that are all bargain buys. I’m really impressed by the quality of these particular formulas and I won’t hesitate to pick up some more products from the Paese line in the future.

What do you think? Have you tried Paese? Let us know in the comment section.. If you haven’t, and you would like to take a look, you can find the complete range here.

Rouge x

Urban Decay “Naked Petite Heat” – Review.

Naked Petite Heat Palette

 

I have a confession to make… Until last week, I was one of the few (if not the only) beauty bloggers in the Universe who don’t possess an Urban Decay “Naked Palette”. That’s right, I didn’t have a single one of the palettes in my collection – even though I kept meaning to pick one up. So, when the brand new “Naked Petite Heat” arrived through my letterbox, I was frickin’ delighted. Finally, I get to see what all the hype is about..

 

 

This little palette is a perfect “handbag size” so it really suits me at the moment – I’m commuting from Cavan to Dublin everyday so I tend to do my make up on the bus during the commute. The packaging is gorgeous, as per usual when it comes to Urban Decay but what I really enjoy is the fact that even though the palette is small, it contains a decent sized mirror.

Initially, I thought it was an all matte palette but there’s actually one lightly shimmered shade for highlighting, “Inhale”. The remainder of the shades are matte and can be worn alone or blended together. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of matte shades because they can be chalk-like in texture with lots of fall out. However, these shades are easy to apply and fall out hasn’t been an issue at all. I would caution that a little of the darker shades goes a long way – they’re very pigmented and buildable so start with a little formula and work from there.

 

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As you can see, all of the shades in this palette have quite strong orange undertones so if orange isn’t your colour, this palette won’t be for you. This was something I was quite conscious of because obviously, I have ginger hair and I was concerned about clashing. It wasn’t an issue once I applied the shadows though because the browns can be used to mute the orange tones a little bit. Also, the burnt orange shade “Wild Thing” really makes green eyes pop.

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Overall, this is a handy little palette for your handbag and the shades would likely suit every skin tone. I would really recommend it for anyone who isn’t a fan of big clunky eyeshadow palettes that aren’t really portable. Also, it’s a great little “starter palette” for teenagers who are just beginning to wear make up. Urban Decay was actually one of the first luxury beauty brands that I fell in love with so I really recommend it for the younger generation.

 

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The “Naked Petite Palette” will be launched in Debenhams and the Urban Decay Store on Grafton Street, Dublin in April. So, tell me – are you adding this one to your wish list? What do you think of the orange tones? Let us know in the comment section!

Rouge x

Mother’s Day 2018 – A Gift Guide

If you’re lucky enough to have a Mammy that’s half as fabulous as my own, I really hope you’ve got this one sussed already. Although, hope as I may, I know rightly that in the lead up to the 11th of March, you’ll all be frantically running around like headless chickens looking for a box of Milk Tray and a bouquet of Tesco’s finest flowers. So, since we’re all house-bound by Storm Emma for the next few days, I thought I would magic up a list (most of which can be bought online) to help prepare you for Mammy’s favourite day of the year so you don’t have to go home with your tail between your legs this year.

A Trip to the Morelands Grill:

 

 

Alright, so this one only applies to those of you who have the luxury of living within travelling distance of Dublin city but for anyone who does, a trip to the Morelands Grill is so worth the visit, especially for a special occasion like Mother’s Day. I actually celebrated my birthday in this restaurant in August and to date, it’s been one of the nicest meals that I’ve had throughout my six years in Dublin. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere in the restaurant is casual and homely so it’s a safe bet to impress Mammy. Plus, if you can’t make it for their Mother’s Day Lunch Menu, the Morelands have lots of other menu options, including a “Gin and Jazz Brunch” on Saturdays. For some more info, you can visit their website here.

Replica “Beach Walk”:

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This perfume by Maison Margiela smells like summer in a glass bottle and it’s absolutely gorgeous. As with all perfumes, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but if your Mum loves warm, fresh fragrances that aren’t strong or over-powering, I think she’ll love this one. With notes of lemon and pink pepper, “Beach Walk” smells like the Atlantic Ocean, rather than a tropical beach resort so it’s definitely not sickly sweet. Instead, it smells like ocean spray and the wild coast. It’s top of my own wish list for summertime beauty buys and it can be purchased here, from Brown Thomas.

Sass & Boho “Incense – Citrus Intense”:

Sass and Boho Citrus Intense

If you’ve been watching my Insta-stories lately, you will already know how OBSESSED I am with this candle from Sass & Boho. It retails at £29 which is far cheaper than the expensive Jo Malone candles that Sass & Boho have actually surpassed in terms of quality and burn time. This particular candle that I love is double-wicked so it burns evenly, regardless of how long you light it for and the scent is heavenly. Anyone who knows me personally will already be aware that I’m obsessed with everything “lemon-y”. I love the taste and the smell of lemons but unlike some of the other citrus candles I’ve purchased, this one from Sass & Boho offers a soft, luxurious citrus scent, rather than one reminiscent of bathroom cleaning products. The wax is infused with citrus oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cedarwood so it offers a beautiful, rich and relaxing fragrance. I really can’t recommend this one enough and it’s available here.

Lauryn Rose “Gold Bar Necklace”:

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I think that a necklace from the Geometric Collection by Lauryn Rose is the ideal gift for any lady in your life. Recently, I had three of these necklaces engraved with mine and my closest friends’ nicknames as my “adult” version of friendship necklaces and I think that both girls loved the sentiment. Why not pick one up for your Mum as a Mother’s Day Gift? Or better yet, if you know any new Mums – wouldn’t it be gorgeous to get their first baby’s name engraved as a keepsake for their first Mother’s Day? The “Gold Bar Necklace” is my pick of the Geometric Collection and you can have a look at it here.

Clarins “Youthfully Radiant” Skincare Gift Set:

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Find me an Irish Mammy who doesn’t love Clarins, and I’ll tell her that she simply hasn’t tried the right products yet. I actually used to view the brand as one that catered exclusively to the Mammy/Granny target market until I tried a few products and realised that I was missing out on some absolute gems. The Clarins “Double Serum” is now my favourite facial oil/serum of them all. This stuff is what skincare miracles are made of and one of the very few products in my skincare collection that offers immediate, visible results. Clarins “Beauty Flash Balm” is another effective product that never lets me down so I reckon it’s worth buying the set which is better value and is also currently discounted online from Debenhams.

TheBalm “Nude ‘Tude”:

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If your Mum loves make up and would get a giggle out of theBalm’s cheeky packaging, then this palette is a fool proof purchase. The shades are pigmented and silky smooth so they’re easy to blend. They’re also universally flattering colours that can be used to create both soft and extra-glam looks. Again, this product is currently discounted here from Debenhams.

Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” Lipstick:

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There are very few ladies out there who don’t appreciate the power of a good lipstick. I recently published a full review of Charlotte Tilbury’s “Pillow Talk” lipstick which you can find here but it’s safe to say that this is a fool-proof purchase because the shade is universally flattering and fabulous. It’s available to purchase online here.

 

And there you have it, my complete Mother’s Day gift guide. Now, do share and tell us what you’ll be buying Mammy in the comment section.

Rouge x

Charlotte Tilbury’s “Pillow Talk” Lipstick – Review.

Do you remember when I started writing this blog and I was absolutely obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury? Probably not, but a few years ago when Tilbury first launched, I thought that the products were the only luxury beauty products worth buying. Of course, as I continued to blog, my horizons were broadened and to be honest, I couldn’t justify continuing to purchase €32 lipsticks when I already had a collection spanning over 100 shades.

However, I always make an exception for Valentine’s Day and I buy a new high-end lipstick every year for the occasion. This year, I returned to the Tilbury counter to make my selection but let’s face it, with all the hype surrounding Charlotte’s new “Pillow Talk” lipstick, I didn’t even bother swatching any other options.

 

 

The shade “Pillow Talk” started out as a beautiful pink/nude lip liner which was an immediate cult favourite when Charlotte Tilbury launched her make up collection. Of course, the liner was actually one of my first Tilbury purchases and, it remains an every day staple in my make up collection. So, when everyone started talking about the release of “Pillow Talk” in the “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula, it sky-rocketed to the top of my wish list.

The “Matte Revolution” lipstick formula is infused with a blend of oils so it isn’t drying on the lips. However, it’s not really completely matte either – the formula does have a slight sheen, as you will see in the pictures. The texture is perfectly silky and I think it’s a great matte option for older ladies.

 

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The “Pillow Talk” shade is absolutely beautiful. It’s a gorgeous nude with pink tones so it really flatters the Irish “Celtic” complexion which was really important for me because beige toned nude lipsticks tend to make me look like a walking corpse. The pink/nude shade isn’t ground breaking and I have a few similar ones in my collection but this particular one applies beautifully and it has good lasting power. It’s definitely a “your lips but better” kind of colour.

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The lipstick is pricey at €32 but I really would pick this one up again. It ticks all the boxes that a high-end matte lipstick formula should. It’s a beautiful universal shade, it has a silky and moisturising texture and it’s long lasting – perfect for gals who are always on the go. “Pillow Talk” has definitely become my every day, office wear lipstick and I’ve been getting lots of compliments on it.

 

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

Rouge x