The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Facial Exfoliators

“Glowing skin is always in”.

Alright, so the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series has officially become a thing. After last week’s post about cleansing lotions and the post before that about micellar water, I’ve decided to walk you all through my entire skin routine, detailing the products that I’ve tried and either loved or hated. We’ll make our way through every step of a good skincare routine, and if that’s a success, we’ll talk about the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products in the make-up world.

This week – I’m going to write an account of the facial exfoliating products that I have tried lately and let you know which ones that I would repurchase (because that’s the real test – money doesn’t grow on trees) and which ones I’ve thrown in the trash. Remember, we want to create a really balanced series of posts here so if you agree or disagree with my choices, let us know in the comment section of this post or, on the corresponding Instagram post (UN: Rougewritinghood).

“Hit” Products:

 

Dermalogica “Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator”  (€46.80) – Available Here from Millies.ie:

 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product is a “cult-favourite” skincare formula, and one of Dermalogica’s best sellers. It’s pretty pricey at €46 (which is a discounted price from Millie’s at the time of publishing this post) but, because it’s a powder formula and you only need a tiny bit for every use, the product lasts for AGES. I’d easily get 6-9 months out of one container, with twice weekly use. It should also be noted that because the “Daily Microfoliant” is a powder, it’s completely travel friendly.

To use this product, take about half a teaspoon of the formula and add it to soaking wet hands to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face, massage it in gently for about a minute and rinse. If you’re in a hurry, the exfoliator can also be added to your cleanser. Now, I wouldn’t use “Daily Microfoliant” every day, as recommended, because I don’t think skin needs to be exfoliated any more than twice weekly. However, the results from this product are instantaneous. Skin looks brighter and more radiant after just one use and, I find that my face feels spotlessly clean and fresh after rinsing. The scrub is very gentle and although Dermalogica recommend it for all skin types – I think it works especially well on dry/normal skin. I would probably go for a chemical exfoliation, rather than a scrub if I had very oily skin.

Vichy “Idéalia Night Peeling” (€30) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Vichy Idealia Night Peeling

I know that lots of you steer clear of exfoliating scrubs because you think that often, they’re so abrasive that they do more damage than good. And, even though I love a good scrub, I can see where you’re coming from. If you have very sensitive or oily skin, I recommend choosing a peeling product, over a scrub. “Idéalia Peeling” from Vichy is a foolproof, overnight exfoliating peel.

This formula is used by applying the product to a cotton pad and swiping it across your face, before applying your usual night cream. The ingredients, including glycolic acid activate as you sleep to peel and exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and unblocking pores. This is a really gentle peel so you won’t see immediate results but after a few nights, you will notice that your skin feels less bumpy and looks more radiant. I love this exfoliator as a “quick fix” product and it’s become part of my night time skin routine. At €30, it’s pretty pricey but if you have the cash to spend and you have sensitive skin, you won’t regret the purchase.

Ren “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” (€38) – Available Here from Meaghers Pharmacy:

Ren Flash Rinse Facial

If you suffer from really dull skin, this exfoliating scrub is one that you will love. It’s one of the best brightening products that I’ve ever tried and while the results aren’t permanent or long-lasting, they are instantaneous and my skin looks instantly refreshed every time that I use this scrub. Often, if I’m preparing for a night out, I will use this product before applying moisturiser to my face. I then allow my moisturiser 10-15 mins to soak into my skin before applying make up. This creates a much smoother base for my foundation, which means it sits better and lasts longer. You can read my full review of the REN “Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial” here.

Clarins “Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads” (€32) – Available Here from Debenhams:

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream Review

This exfoliating cream was one of the first Clarins products that I ever used, way back when I was in secondary school. The fact that I’m still reaching for it, tells me that it’s a pretty good formula. This creamy exfoliator is really gentle on dry and sensitive skin and for that reason, I use it if my skin is feeling dehydrated or sore. The microbeads in this formula are very gentle and they don’t feel abrasive on the skin. If you’re looking for something gentle and nourishing to remove dry patches on your face, then this product is a great bet. I would recommend using it once or twice a week for best results.

“Maybe” Products:

 

Bioré “Blemish Clearing Scrub” (€6.99):

Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub Review

This scrub is in my “maybe” category because although it didn’t work for my skin type, I have friends who swear by it. Now, most of you will already know that I don’t have very oily skin, nor do I really suffer many breakouts and for this reason, the Bioré scrub just doesn’t do anything for my skin. My skin didn’t feel any worse for using the product but because it’s a scrub that is designed to help combat oiliness and acne, I think it would be better suited to someone with really problematic skin. While I was in college, lots of my friends used this product and loved it – they’re a pretty tough audience when it comes to beauty and skincare products so I’m willing to take their word for it. This formula also has a gorgeous mint scent so, it’s a nice product to use first thing in the morning, before you start your day. The “Blemish Clearing Scrub” isn’t something that I would repurchase but, I think it would be a viable option for those who have acne prone skin.

“Miss” Products:

 

Lush “Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser” (£7.25 – UK Price):

Lush Dark Angels Review

There are lots of things that I like about Lush. Their products are handmade, cruelty free and for the most part, they’re pretty effective. Lush face masks remind me of all the “girls’ night” sleepovers of my teenage years, when four of us with completely different skin types used the same pot of face mask – just because.

Unfortunately though, I have to say that I hate this product. I’m not sure why I purchased it because I’m not a big fan of charcoal scrubs in general but, this one is probably the worst of a bad bunch. First of all, it’s SO messy. If you use this product, you should do so before hopping into the shower or your entire bathroom will get covered in grey gloop and the facecloth that you use to rinse the scrub off your skin will never be white again. More importantly, even though this scrub contains ingredients like avocado oil and rosewood oil to soften and moisturise the skin, I found it to be really abrasive and very drying. My skin didn’t feel spotless after use (patches of the grey charcoal formula clung to my face) and I actually found that prolonged use of the product led to breakouts and sensitivity. Overall, I wouldn’t repurchase this product.

 

Clean and Clear “Blackhead Clearing Scrub” (€5.29):

 

Clean And Clean Scrub Review

This scrub from Clean and Clear isn’t the worst product that I’ve ever used. It does provide a pretty decent exfoliation and it didn’t cause my skin to breakout. However, it doesn’t live up to its “blackhead clearing” (after a single use) claim – at all. After over two weeks of use, I can’t say that this scrub reduced the visibility of the little impurities around my nose, which is why I purchased it in the first place. The formula is also filled with blue microbeads which, unlike the microbeads in the Clarins scrub, were really messy and difficult to rinse from the skin. My skin also felt a little tight and stripped of oil after use but it’s nothing that a bit of moisturiser didn’t sort out. The Clean and Clear formula isn’t dreadful but because it doesn’t live up to the promises made by the brand, it feels like a bit of a gimmick to me – I consider this one a waste of hard-earned money.

Nip and Fab “Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads” (€17.99):

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Review

These cleansing pads from Nip and Fab, which are supposedly adored by Kylie Jenner, are advertised as a means of chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid. The brand claim that these cleansing pads work to clear impurities, below the surface of the skin and by doing so, make the skin brighter and more radiant. Unfortunately, I found them to be ineffective.

Now, I know that your skin takes a little while to get used to the addition of glycolic acid into your cleansing routine but, I found that I couldn’t use these cleansing pads for any longer than three weeks. The didn’t brighten my skin but they did cause it to become sensitive, sore and created visible redness around the nose area. At €18, they’re a little more expensive than the other products in the “miss” category and to be honest, I would recommend saving this money and putting it towards a more expensive and effective product that works for your skin.

Simple “Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash” (€5.29):

Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash

I’m not really sure why Simple decided to market this formula as a a facial exfoliator because, in my opinion, it’s not exfoliating at all. I don’t feel that the formula really gives a deep clean and, because it’s neither a scrub nor a chemical exfoliator, it’s sort of stuck in face wash limbo. I doubt that this product would help to alleviate breakouts and because it left my skin feeling a bit dry and lackluster, I wouldn’t recommend it for dry/normal skin types either. Again, it’s not the worst product that I’ve ever tried but it still ended up in the bin before I’d used even half of the tube.

And there you have it – all of the facial exfoliators that I have tried in the past few months. While writing this post, it became apparent to me that you seem to get what you pay for when it comes to this type of product, with luxury products performing far better than the budget alternatives. Do you think this is true?

If you have tried any products that you think should be added to any of the three “Hit, Miss and Maybe” categories, leave us a comment on this post or over on Instagram. And, if you disagree with any of my choices – be sure to let us know!

Rouge x

 

The “Hit, Miss and Maybe” Series – Cleansing Lotion and Wash

When I wrote the first post in my new “Hit, Miss and Maybe” series, I didn’t really know how it would be received by my followers. Lots of us have completely different skin types and complexions and so, lots of us have differing opinions on certain brands and cosmetics. However, it seems that the majority of my followers really liked the post and enjoyed the opportunity to interact on social media, telling us all about your favourite products and the ones that you think are utter crap! And, I really enjoyed reading the comments and taking on board some new recommendations.

So, I think that we’ll make the “Hit, Miss and Maybe” posts into a regular feature on Rouge Writing Hood. We’ll start with skincare products, taking you through an entire skincare regime before moving on to make up. My opinions may be controversial but sure, it’s all in the name of “authenticity”.

This week, let’s talk about cleansing lotion and wash. Cleanser is probably the most important step in a skincare regime. If you’re not taking your make up off properly at night, then you’re wasting your money on fancy moisturisers, face masks and foundations. So, find a cleanser that’s right for your own skin type, removes every trace of make up and is gentle on your skin – set the bar high and if you have to spend an extra few euro to get great results, I recommend doing so.

 

“Hit” Products:

PHYT’s Lait Nettoyant (€25) – Available Here:

 

Phyts Cleanser Review

PHYT’s are one of my favourite skincare brands. The brand are organic, cruelty-free and their products contain active ingredients for actual results. This cleanser is one that I use on a daily basis, after I’ve taken the bulk of my make up off using a micellar water or my “Cleanse Off Mitt”. “Lait Nettoyant” is a really creamy cleansing lotion that is perfect for dry skin. I apply it directly to my face, massage in upward, circular motions and rinse off with a warm facecloth. This formula leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but I would stress that I feel it needs to be rinsed off properly (I never remove it with dry cotton wool) or you will feel a little residue of the lotion on your face. This product is perfect for dry/dehydrated skin but, if you have oily skin, I would recommend steering clear of creamy cleansers and opting for a cleansing milk instead.

ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” (£24) – Available Here:

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

This cleansing milk from ESPA is another one of my long-time skincare favourites. I first discovered the ESPA brand years ago when my Mum purchased this cleanser from the spa at Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow. We both fell in love with the product and have since repurchased it, on numerous occasions. The ESPA “Hydrating Cleansing Milk” is a really gentle cleanser that I would say is best suited to combination skin. It removes all traces of make up and excess oil but doesn’t leave the face feeling tight or dehydrated. I find this cleanser to be very soothing on the skin and it helps to alleviate redness, which ESPA put down to the inclusion of marshmallow extract and chamomile in the ingredients. I usually double cleanse with this product, which means that I apply it to my face twice, to ensure all make up is removed. Again, this is a cleanser that needs to be rinsed using warm water.

Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” (€35) – Available Here:

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

This new release from Kiehls is the only cleansing oil in my skincare collection. Even though I have dehydrated skin, I don’t usually opt for an oil based cleanser but because I adore the Kiehls “Midnight Recovery Oil”, I thought I’d give this product a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. Ingredients in this formula include: squalane, a planted-derived lipid with a natural affinity for skin; evening primrose oil, which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids; and lavender essential oil. This means that the product nourishes the skin, while removing any stubborn make up. And yes, it removes even the most stubborn of make up! This is the only cleanser on my list that I can use to remove my eye make up. Usually, I use a separate eye make up remover but, the cleansing oil eliminates the need to do so. Goodbye, panda-eyes.

“Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil” exudes a gorgeous lavender scent so it’s a perfect addition to anyone’s night time skincare routine. To use this product, you apply three pumps to your face, massage in for about 30 secs and then emulsify the oil using warm water. Massage for a further 30 secs and rinse off with water. When I use this product, I don’t feel the need to double cleanse so even though it’s pricey at €35, it lasts twice as long as the other products mentioned. However, because it’s an oil formula, it is a little messier than my other “hit” options so I tend to use it at night time, rather than first thing in the morning.

Vichy “Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 Step Cleanser” (€15) – Available Here:

vichy_purete_thermale_3_in_1_one_step_cleanser_200ml_1

This cleanser is the cheapest in my “hit” section (currently on offer from Meaghers Pharmacy for €11.21) but the quality of the formula is great. Now, I don’t believe that the product is a “one step” skin routine but it’s a damn good cleanser. I usually use this product if my skin is feeling a little oily because it leaves my face feeling spotless, without making skin feel sore or sensitive. For that reason, I think this is a great option for oily and sensitive skin types. The gel texture of this cleanser is gorgeous. It’s a water-based product so it feels smooth and lightweight on the skin and I also find it very cooling so it’s a good option for the summer. The cleanser is soap-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free so again, it’s a great option for sensitive skin. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara very well but, that’s what they invented eye make up remover for. Over all, this product is a winner and I would definitely repurchase.

“Maybe” Products:

So here’s the thing – I don’t believe in “maybe” products when it comes to cleanser. I either like a product, or I don’t – there’s no sitting on the fence allowed in this category of skincare. I honestly believe that cleansing is the most important step in any beauty routine so this week, we don’t have any “maybe” products.

“Miss” Products:

 

Simple “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” (€5.49):

Simple Cleanser Review

Alright, so I know that this pick will be controversial because LOTS of beauty fanatics rave about this cleanser but, I just don’t get it – at all. Why on earth would you use this product on your face? It is horrific. First of all, it’s impossible to squeeze a decent amount of product out of the container without maximum effort. Secondly, the texture of the product is thick and slimy and errghhhh. And finally, it doesn’t seem to remove your make up unless you apply three or four coats of it, rinsing each time. It’s one of the few cleansers that I’ve ever used that has caused me to breakout and it makes me pores appear enlarged. So, even though I know that every teenager in Ireland tries this product at some stage, if you’re still using it, I would urge you to try something new – there are so many better options out there. Simple’s “Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion” may be extremely cheap at €5.49 but, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for it again.

Soap and Glory “Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk” (€9.99): 

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean

Soap and Glory are my guilty pleasure brand. We’ve been told time and time again that heavily scented products aren’t really good for our skin and yet, I could bathe in the Soap and Glory body butters and I love their shower gels. So, I was kind of expecting to love this cleanser when I purchased it a few years ago. And, at first, I did. I loved the scent and the creamy texture but, at the end of a three week trial, this product irritated my skin and left my face feeling sore and sensitive. The formula smells fruity and divine but because it’s so heavily perfumed, I feel that it strips the skin of all moisture. I also don’t think that that the cleansing milk actually removes make up all that well. It’s not as ineffective as the Simple option but, it fails to remove any eye make up and actual stings and irritates eyes in the process. Lots of people love this cleanser and maybe if you have oily skin, it would be a good option but it’s just not for me – I won’t be repurchasing.

The Body Shop “Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser” (€9.50):

Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser Review

Let me begin here by saying that this cleanser from the Body Shop is marketed as a formula specifically for acne prone skin. I have to say that this isn’t my skin type so there’s a fair chance that I didn’t like this product, simply because it doesn’t suit my own skin. However, I did trial it during exam season, when my skin was stressed and experiencing a few breakouts and I just didn’t like it. Yes, I love the scent of the tea tree ingredients and the foaming cleanser does have a cooling effect on skin but, for me, it wasn’t very effective for clearing skin and I’m really conscious of the fact that this formula contains lots of chemicals in the form of sulfates and emulsifiers. The product does remove make up really well but my skin felt very dry after use – it should be noted that I would never recommend using a foaming wash on dry skin because it will worsen the problem. Overall, the product just doesn’t live up to its claims (in my opinion) and it’s been banished to my “emergency” skincare drawer, never to see the light of day again.

And there you have it, a new list of “Hit, Miss and Maybe” products.. Feel free to agree or disagree with my picks in the comment section or over on the corresponding Instagram post – I’d love to hear what you think! 

Rouge x 

Éminence “Bright Skin Starter Set” – Review

If you have been following Rouge Writing Hood for awhile, you will know that over the past few weeks, I have been studying for exams. This, of course, means that I’ve barely slept in a month and after I finished my final exam last week, I looked exactly how that sounds – terrible!

Post-exam I took a trip to Amsterdam which I knew would involve lots of photographs. So my goal was to repair my dull, tired and dehydrated skin as quickly as possible. Otherwise, my make up wouldn’t have settled on my face properly and those photos that my friends snapped would have induced frantic clicking of the “remove tag” option on Facebook. So, I dug out my travel-friendly “Bright Skin Starter Set” by Éminence, packed it in my hand luggage and prayed for a miracle.

Eminence Bright SKin Starter Set

The kit includes everything that your skin would require on a weekend away: a decent sized cleanser, moisturiser (with SPF 30), a booster-serum and a brightening skin masque. Now, the set is marketed as a “month’s supply” of the products but if I’m honest, I don’t think you would get quite that long out of the products other than the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. If you cleanse and moisturise twice daily, you won’t get any more out of the cleanser and moisturiser than a 2-3 week supply. So, if you’re looking for a long-term supply of product, this kit isn’t for you. However, if you’re jetting off on holidays or simply want to trial the Éminence products without committing to the full price, this kit is perfection.

While talking about these products, I have to mention that Éminence is an “organic brand” which means that their products contain a minimum of 70% and up to 95% organic ingredients. The don’t use “filler” ingredients such as parabens, which are often found in cheaper skincare formulas and all of their products are cruelty free – I know that this is important to lots of Rouge Writing Hood’s followers. It’s also important to note that Éminence are a spa brand and I recommend that before purchasing their products, you visit a stockist and have your products prescribed by a professional skin therapist. I got my products from Anne McDevitt Beauty  in Dublin.

So let’s talk about the products in this specific kit. Generally, I don’t suffer from breakouts or acne so I would classify my skin as clear. However, when I’m studying or stressed, my skin rebels – it breaks out and becomes blotchy, dehydrated and dull. I used these products on occasion before my holidays and knew that they’d combat these issues. The cleanser and moisturiser in the kit feel lovely on the skin. I’ve been double cleansing with the cleansing cream which leaves the skin spotless but doesn’t strip it of moisture. And, the moisturiser isn’t too heavy or sticky and boasts a high SPF30 so that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

However, the standout products in this kit are definitely the “Licorice Root Booster Serum” and the “Bright Skin Masque”. I would repurchase the full-sized version of these babies in a heart beat. The “Licorice Root Booster Serum” is a skin brightening serum that feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly. It’s filled with ingredients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and licorice root extract that rejuvenate dull, tired skin. This is one of the few serums that I would feel comfortable using in the morning, without feel like there’s an oil-slick on my face.

img_8675

The “Bright Skin Masque” was my favourite product in the starter kit. I used it every morning on my weekend away, to combat the appearance of my hangover which was written all over my skin. To use this product, you add a few drops of water to a pea sized amount of the formula and massage it evenly on to your face. Then, you wait for the product to dry (15 mins) and rinse off with warm water. This product is absolute bliss and a little goes a long way so I definitely think the full-size product would be worth the €58 price tag. I wouldn’t necessary recommend using this product daily, as I did on my holidays (I was having a skin emergency) but I would use it once a week. After application, I notice reduced redness, puffiness and my complexion appears calmer and brighter.

Over all, I loved these products and I will be looking further into the Éminence brand. I will be repurchasing the masque and serum (as soon as payday rolls by) but once again, because the Éminence products are quite pricey, I recommend booking in for a skin consultation at Anne McDevitt Beauty before you commit to purchasing the full-sized products. However, if you can’t make it to Dublin, the salon sell a number of “starter kits” online and you can check them out by clicking here.

Have you tried products from the brand before? Let me know what you’ve loved in the comment section as I’m looking to expand my collection!

Rouge x

Seasonal Skin Saviours.

As soon as the central heating is turned on, my skin falls to bits. Literally, falls – from my face because its so dry! Is that really necessary? And you thought that only snakes shed their entire skin!

Over the past few weeks I have devised a fool-proof formula to maintaining healthy skin which mainly entails slathering the following products on my face, on repeat.

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Soothing Emollient Care (€9.00):

  

This stuff is absolutely amazing. Designed for very dry, atopic skin, this moisturiser soothes dry skin immediately upon application. It actually feels like a facial in a tube. I have been using this cream for approximately two weeks now and as the weather gets colder, I am applying it daily. I find that it is particularly good when applied underneath make-up along with a primer, giving a flawless finish. This cream is suitable for all ages and so affordable, you won’t even mind sharing it with family members. You can purchase here at Cloud 10 beauty.

Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil (€28.00):

  

This one is designed to boast radiance while preventing premature ageing. Loss of radiance in the complexion is a huge issue throughout autumn and winter so I have been using three drops of this formula before applying moisturiser every second night. I don’t think daily use is necessary because like all facial oils, this formula is quite rich. Skin feels soft and refreshed in the morning after application. Again, I found this product online at Cloud 10 beauty.

Holos Good Night Rich Night Cream (€16.60):

  

Did you know that your skin repairs itself while you sleep? That’s why a good night cream is essential. Currently, I am really enjoying this offering from Irish brand, Holos. This night cream is a favourite of Marissa Carter’s and at €16.60, it is an example of quality skincare at a steal. The formula is filled with essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and rose so is therefore naturally, strongly scented. I’m not a huge fan of the lavender scent but it really helps promote deep sleep and soothes irritated skin. Again, I have been using this every three nights, rather than nightly because my skin is sensitive to rich products.

What do you think? Do you suffer from sensitive, dry skin during the winter months? I would love to hear your tips – especially any cost effective remedies!

Rouge x

What do you think

Ziaja ‘Cocoa Butter’ Range – My Winter Skincare Saviour.

Your skin is so soft, newborn babies are envious.

October is finally here! Welcome back to the pumpkin spice lattes, toffee apples, gorgeous autumnal colours and  of course flaky, weather-sensitive skin. During the summer, when the central heating systems are turned off, we don’t really need a heavy moisturiser and I love to use something nice and light like Cocoa Brown’s ‘Chocolate Whip’. However, now that Mr.Frost has returned, I need something a little more rich to keep my skin in tip-top condition. Let me introduce you to Ziaja’s ‘Cocoa Butter’ range.

First up, I was sent this beautiful ‘Ziaja Cocoa Body Butter’ (RRP €7.99). Filled with vitamin E, cocoa butter and omega 6 & 3, this formula is designed to give you satin smooth skin. It smells gorgeous – reminiscent of chocolate, so best to avoid if you’re on a diet. What I like best about this product is that it absorbs really quickly. I hate sticky moisturisers but this one soaks into skin almost immediately – perfect if you’re in a hurry. I have almost finished the container and will definitely be repurchasing!

I will admit that even though I’m a skincare addict, I never really believed in the benefits of hand cream until just a few weeks ago. Like I said, I cannot stand the sticky texture of moisturisers and I find that hand cream is often the worst culprit – nobody wants to be walking around with greasy palms! However, because I’m studying at the moment and handwriting essay after essay, I recently noticed that the skin around my fingers has become irritated and dry. So off I went in search of this ‘Ziaja Cocoa Butter Hand Cream’ (€2.99) only to discover that I have been missing out for years! After just three days of use, the dry patches on my hands have cleared up completely (results photographed below). Again, the formula is extremely fast absorbing (less than 60 seconds) and the scent is delicious. Ziaja promise that this product will also help strengthen nails over time, which I’m really looking forward to. At that price point, who could resist?

Ziaja products can be purchased online here. I’m very impressed by the quality of their products, for such affordable prices. Have you read my review of their ‘Natural Olive’ shampoo and conditioner?

Let me know if you have tried any of their products – I would love some recommendations.

Rouge x

“Back to College” – Daily Skincare Routine with ESPA.

College life can really take a huge toll on our skin. Greasy food, lack of sleep and lots of alcohol consumption can leave skin tired, dehydrated and prone to break-outs. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a good skincare routine.

I first discovered ESPA products at Castlemartyr Resort in County Cork, when my Mum went on holidays and brought back the gorgeous ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. So, when ESPA kindly offered to send me some sample sized goodies to try out, I jumped at the chance. I have been using said products religiously for approximately 3-4 weeks and can honestly say, that ESPA will be my ‘go-to’ skincare brand in the future – I am in love!

  

So let’s talk about the skincare routine. First up, remove your make-up using the ‘Hydrating Cleansing Milk’. This product is very mild and soothing so, perfect for irritated skin. Before, introducing this cleanser to my routine, I was sampling quite a lot of products and my skin did not appreciate playing ‘guinea pig’ – it was sore, blotchy and prone to blemishes. This formula is filled with wholesome ingredients like sweet almond and soya bean oils so it will nourish dehydrated and damaged skin. Yes, I’m looking at you with the glass of wine in your hand!

  

Next up, add a little ‘Hydrating Floral Spafresh’ toner to some cotton wool and wipe face in a circular motion. This will remove the last bit of debris from skin and strip away any excess oil. It is also soothing on skin and is filled with rose extract. If you are on a very tight student budget, I think you could skip this step but if you want to pamper your skin, I would definitely include it.

  

One or twice a week, after cleansing and toning, I have been using ESPA’s ‘Optimal Skin ProSerum’. This is to be used at night when your skin is feeling especially worse for wear. It is enriched with omega and vitamins to rejuvenate skin, giving it a healthy glow. And, even more importantly, it promises to protect against early ageing. Trust me, you want to enjoy your time spent in college without having the wrinkles to show for it. Just note, that the facial oil can feel a little ‘slimy’, so I wouldn’t attempt to apply it underneath make-up.

  

Moisturising is a key element of any skincare regime and ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser’ is a ‘holy grail’ product. It is filled with delicious ingredients such as frankincense and vitamins to help stimulate cell renewal. You only need to apply a ‘pea sized’ amount of this product to your skin, so I’d imagine that the full-sized version would last throughout your entire college year.

  

Finally, I complete my skincare routine by applying a tiny amount of ESPA’s ’24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser’ to the top of my cheek bone, just below the immediate eye area. The eye area is very sensitive because your skin tissue is much thinner, compared to the rest of your face. Therefore, regular moisturisers are too heavy to be used and a specific eye cream is essential to banish bags and dark circles. This is particularly handy during exam season when ‘all-nighters’ are the norm!

All in all, I think I have found my favourite skincare brand. Since undertaking this routine, I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin – it appears more firm and blotchy areas have been banished. ESPA isn’t cheap but then again, I have yet to find skincare products which are really luxurious yet available at a low price tag. I would recommend this routine for anyone with normal or dry, damaged and dehydrated skin. I will be posting a routine for oily skin in the next few days so stay tuned.

ESPA products are available online here, in Harvey Nichols or in selected spa resorts such as Castlemartyr Resort or Powerscourt Hotel.

Let me know what you think if you try the products.

Rouge x