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

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

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

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!

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“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

TheBalm “Highlite and Con Tour” Palette – Review

Over the years, I have mastered almost every make up technique introduced by the beauty industry but contouring is one that always seems to slip through my fingers. I struggle to find the correct shades to match my pale skin tone and more often than not, the process becomes a time-consuming disaster. But, not anymore. Recently, I got my hands on theBalm’s “Highlite ‘N’ Con Tour” palette and now, the whole contouring process is a breeze.

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This gorgeous new palette contains two shimmer highlighters, two matte highlighters, three matte bronzers and a gorgeous blush. The “Highlite ‘N’ Con Tour” palette also comes with a really handy “how to” guide that actually comes in surprisingly useful and seems applicable to all face shapes.

A few of my followers have voiced their concerns that the bronze shades in this palette look rather dark but, I’ve tried each of them and they blend beautifully into the skin without any major effort. A little does go a long way with both the blush and the bronzers but, if they suit my ghostly skin tone, I doubt any other pale ladies will have a problem with them.

The highlighters in this palette are beautiful and again, blend really well. I love the addition of the matte highlighters because it means I can highlight my forehead, without looking like I’ve got some serious shine. To use the shimmer highlighters before a night out; I spray my brush with a little setting spray and then apply the product for a more intense effect.

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The picture above (with no filter) demonstrates how the “Highlite and Con Tour” palette can be used to create some facial definition that looks natural, rather than over done. The powder formulas give a far more natural effect than cream contouring products and I found them much easier to use. This palette definitely has my full approval!

TheBalm’s “Highlite and Con Tour” palette retails at €36 in stockists nationwide. What do you think? Are you dying to try it, or do you already have a “go-to” contour kit? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x

 

 

My Top 5 NYX Picks.

 

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NYX are an affordable, professional make up brand who for many years, have remained illusive in Ireland. However, as most of you will already know, Arnotts recently launched the most impressive NYX counter that the country has ever seen and its online counterpart. Hurray, beauty nerds will no longer be starved of the gorgeous products that were once in short supply in pharmacies nationwide. We officially have access to almost every NYX product which has been released in the USA. And to celebrate, I’ve complied a list of my top five products from the brand. You need these in your life!

NYX Butter Gloss (€7):

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Easily the nicest lip gloss that I have ever used. NYX’s “Butter Gloss” feels like satin on the lips. It isn’t gloopy or sticky and while the product is sheer, the colour pay-off is really impressive. My favourite shade is “Creme Brulee” which coincidentally, smells like dessert. DELISH!

This product is available here.

NYX High Definition Finishing Powder (€11.25):

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This powder is very similar to Make Up Forever’s “HD Powder” at a fraction of the price. I’ve converted lots of my friends and family from their more expensive finishing powders and now, we all use this NYX offering. I use the “Translucent” version of the powder so I can’t tell you much about the “Banana” or “Mint Green” shades, but I can say that the texture is silky and very easy to blend.

This product is available here.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray (€10): 

nyx-matte-finish-setting-spray-review

So I’ve heard a lot of bloggers say that this setting spray is an excellent dupe for Urban Decay’s “All Nighter Setting Spray” and, while I can’t agree that it is as good as the UD offering, it comes pretty damn close. It is also half the price. This product is really effective for creating the illusion of shine-free skin.

Available here.

NYX HD Concealer Wand (€7.75): 

nyx-hd-concealer-review

This concealer was the very first product that I ever bought from the NYX collection and it’s still definitely one of my favourites. I use the shade “Porcelain” as an under-eye concealer and for contouring. It’s easy to apply, simple to blend and doesn’t crease, even after hours of wear. An absolute bargain.

This product is available here.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (€7.75):

nyx-soft-matte-lip-cream-review

If you find matte liquid lipsticks to be very drying on your lips, then I suggest giving this product a go. It gives a matte effect but retains a creamy, movable consistency. My favourite shade is “San Juan” which is a bright coral colour but they have 25 other shades to choose from on the Arnotts website so I suggest going over to take a look.

Available here.

For more information on the NYX range and a look at all of the products (there are LOTS of them), you can take a look at the Arnotts website here.

Let me know what your favourite product is in the comments section or, over on Instagram!