Combating Winter Weather – Lip Rescue Products

I absolutely hate the cold weather because let’s fact it – my skin is already in bits and it’s only the beginning of December! Every inch of me from my elbows to my cuticles is horrified by the sudden lack of moisture in the air. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to publish a “Winter Weather Rescue” series, focusing on some no frill products that actually work. However, this series has a twist – I can’t try every product on the market because, I don’t have that much skin. With that in mind, I will be asking my followers to make some recommendations too and basically, majority wins. I will be writing about the products that you love, the products that I love and the products that we both hate. Let the winter games begin!

First up, I want to talk about lip balms. If I could only wear one type of beauty product for the rest of my days, it would definitely be lipstick. A slick of lip colour is definitely the quickest fix for brightening your complexion and I have a collection that spans hundreds of different shades – yes, hundreds! So, when my lips are chapped, it tends to be an issue. Of course, I’ve search high and low for cures and after asking all of you to give me some recommendations, I’ve come up with the following list:

My Favourites:

 

Dr Paw Paw “Multipurpose Soothing Balm” (€7.95) – Available Here from Cloud10 Beauty:

Dr Paw Paw

I’m mad about this balm because it’s a multipurpose product and really can be used to solve a multitude of problems. It soothes and heals chapped lips but it also works as a hair conditioner, body moisturiser and works surprisingly well on sunburn. My only issue with this one is that it’s really difficult to squeeze out of the tube and that drives me bananas if I’m in a hurry but that’s something I can live with when the product genuinely works.

 

Kiehl’s “Mango Scented Lip Balm” (€11) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Kiehls Mango Lip Balm

When I first purchased this lip balm, it did cross my mind that I may have gone temporarily insane because I paid €11 for a 15ml tube but, I’ve since realised that you get what you pay for. I love the Mango scent so I tend to wear this one underneath matte lipsticks on an everyday basis to keep my lips healthy, rather than to repair already damaged lips.

 

Blistex “Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream” (€3.79) – Available Here from Boots:

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser.png

 

I’ve been using this lip balm since it was stored in my pencil case in Secondary School (not the same tube, obviously) so it has definitely stood the test of time. It’s not as glamorous as some of the other options in this post but it works every single time. I do dislike the fact that the formula applies in a white shade but the colour fades in seconds and you’re left with moisturised, soothed lips.

 

Follower Favourites:

 

La Roche Posay “Cicaplast” Balm (€6.50) – Available Here from Boots:

La_Roche_Posay_Cicaplast_Baume_B5_Lips_7_5ml_1393324995

When I asked for recommendations for lip balms on my Instastories, at least a dozen people mentioned this offering from La Roche Posay. One person who recommended it was Aisling Hickey of @ILoveBarrysTeaAndBrows whose make up tips I trust 100%. Of course, I also did a little background research on the internet and Google tells me that Aisling isn’t the only one raving about this balm. It’s designed to create a long-lasting barrier around your lips to prevent and repair extreme chapping. Supposedly, this one layers really well under lipstick and acts as a primer so I’m going to pick one up online, after I finish this post.

 

E.L.F. Cosmetics “Lip Scrub” (€6.45) – Available Here from Cara Pharmacy:

 

elf lip scrub review

 

Alright, I know that technically this one isn’t a lip balm but it’s still a rescue product. Lots of you were quick to point out that lip balms won’t be effective unless you exfoliate your lips every few days and the majority of those who were asked to recommend lip exfoliators, said that they loved this one from E.L.F. It may not be most fabulously presented product – I’m a bit concerned about the brown shade – but if it works, you couldn’t go wrong at that price point. Another one for my wish list.

 

Failed Rescue Missions:

 

Vaseline “Lip Therapy Original” (€2.69):

Vaseline Lip Therapy.png

 

I know that so many people are going to disagree with me on this one but I hate Vaseline. It’s pretty much just petroleum jelly in a cute tin and even though it feels as though it’s soothing my lips upon application, the effects are temporary and my lips always seemed to become more chapped than ever after this product fully absorbs.

 

EOS “Organic Sweet Mint Lip Balm” (€5.99):

EOS Lip Balm

As a general rule, I really try not to get sucked into purchasing products through celebrity advertising and promotion but years ago, when Nicole Scherzinger worked with EOS, I couldn’t resist. This product sounds great – it’s certified as organic with all natural ingredients but, I just didn’t find it to be effective at soothing and moisturising lips. The packaging is cute and I enjoyed the minty scent but I wouldn’t repurchase.

 

And there you have it – all the hit, miss and follower favourite products that made the list of lip balms. Now tell me, what do you think of this format? Do you enjoy some follower input? Let me know in the comment section!

Rouge x

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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

Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara” Review

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Yumi Lash Enhancement Treatment and I got lots of questions about what mascaras I recommend to pair with the treatment. Honestly, everyone has different preferences when it comes to mascara, but I thought now would be a good time to write a post about the product that I have been wearing every day for over six weeks – the new Urban Decay “Troublemaker Mascara”.

Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara Review

 

Lots of you have already tried Urban Decay’s cult favourite “Perversion Mascara”, which is actually the one that Kim Kardashian wore on her wedding day (yes, I do enjoy sharing that piece of trivia) and those of you who have tried it, will know that the formula is unlike anything else on the market. That includes the “Troublemaker Mascara”. The duo are completely different. “Perversion” is a blacker than black formula that gives the lashes a glossy effect while “Troublemaker” provides a matte finish and a more subtle shade of black.

The “Troublemaker Mascara” has become my new holy grail for lots of reasons. When I’m trying a new mascara, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does the formula add length and volume?
  2. Does the formula smudge?
  3. Does the formula last well without flaking or fading throughout the day/night?

Firstly, the “Troublemaker” formula adds lots of length and I would go as far as to say that it’s the best lengthening mascara that I’ve tried during my beauty blogging years. It doesn’t add as much volume to the lashes as the “Perversion” formula does but I’m not bothered by that because the end result is really long, defined lashes without a clump in sight.

“Troublemaker” is practically smudge-proof but it does take awhile to get used to the silicone wand. It’s perfectly designed to reach corner lashes but it does take a little practice to achieve perfection. My best advice here is to apply light layers and build the product up, particularly on the lower lashes. Give the formula a chance to dry before blinking (it’s fast drying so that’s not a huge task) and you’re good for the day. Once the mascara dries, it won’t run or smudge. Urban Decay are marketing the product as sex-proof – I’ll let you be your own judge of that one. This means that the product stays put all day but it’s not waterproof like “Perversion”, it’s water resistant.

My pet peeve in the beauty industry is mascaras that flake after a few hours of wear. In this day and age, I can’t understand how brands are still producing mascaras that run down your face during the day/night, leaving you looking like a panda. This is particularly frustrating if you’re in the office and don’t have a chance to check your reflection until 5.30pm, when you’re walking out the door. Basically, women need beauty products that they can rely on without having to top up or feeling the need to “fix their face” throughout the day. And, this is why I love “Troublemaker”. I’ve worn it every single day for weeks, in different weather conditions and it hasn’t let me down once. I’m not worried about walking into a meeting looking like Alice Cooper and this is really all that I need in a mascara. On another note, I have slept in my make up more than once in recent weeks (yes, I know it’s gross) and I’ve woken up with perfect eye make up on each occasion. And, I really do mean perfect – no smudging, no flaking.. However, my foundation and lipstick didn’t seem to get the memo.

Now, I think that’s enough blathering for one evening. Besides, we all know that the real truth likes in a classic “before and after” photo. Ask and you shall receive:

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There’s no filter on either photo and my lashes are natural in both but I would say that I have very fair eyelashes so that accounts for a lot of the difference in the two pictures. Obviously, the “Troublemaker Mascara” isn’t a miracle worker but it’s pretty damn close, as far as I’m concerned! And for those wondering – the false tan is Vita Liberata and although the shade is gorgeous, I don’t rate it as well as the BPerfect tan that I’ve been trialling lately – but that’s another day’s blog post.

All in all, I love the “Troublemaker” formula and I will be repurchasing it when mine runs out. The only minor issue that I do have is that it’s a bit difficult to remove – not as difficult as some of the impossible formulas I’ve tried (*cough Benefit’s “They’re Real” *cough) but it definitely does require some work. I’m currently using a Nivea eye make up remover to take the formula off and it works well but if you’re hoping to remove the mascara with regular cleansing cream, you’re out of luck. This is an issue with the majority of high-end mascaras though and if you’re looking for a formula that doesn’t budge, it’s just the flip-side that you have to deal with.

 

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If you’ve already tried the mascara for yourself, let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

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.

Matte_Shaker_189

 

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!

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