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

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IsaDora “Cover Up” Foundation – Review

I try to steer clear of full-coverage foundations, unless I’m getting ready for a big night out. More often than not, such products create a “mask effect” on the skin and although I know that lots of girls with problem skin rely on full-coverage foundations for a confidence boost, heavy products often irritate acne and wearing these products tends to worsen the problem in the long term.

So, when the IsaDora “Cover Up” foundation landed on my desk at work, I was pretty sure that it would be relegated to my “night time” make up collection. This formula is marketed as both a foundation and concealer and if I’m honest, that put me right off. So much so, that it actually stopped me even trying the foundation for a few weeks – I put it into my make up drawer and totally forgot about it. And, what an eejit I was!

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This foundation is a surprisingly creamy formula that wears like a second skin. Yes, the formula is definitely full coverage but, it doesn’t feel like it. After application, I just forget that I’m wearing it at all.

We can’t talk about this product without talking about the packaging. Say goodbye to clunky, heavy glass bottles and hello to this gorgeous, sleek and lightweight tube packaging. The black tube is “squeezy” which means that you won’t have any waste and therefore, get more bang for your buck. And, it’s really handbag friendly so this is definitely one that you can carry around with you when you’re on the go.

My Snapchat (UN: rougewriting) followers will already know that this foundation is very long-lasting. Before application, I always use a moisturising, illuminating primer and then buff the product on to the skin using my F20 Blank Canvas foundation brush. I’ve found that this is the best application method if you want your skin to look natural but if you want heavy coverage, I would recommend applying the product using a beauty blender. I wore this product to work for five days last week and on each day, the foundation lasted from 7am until bedtime, with just a little visible wear around the nose area. That’s great going! I also found that I didn’t need to top the formula up with powder throughout the day but I don’t have particularly oily skin so this isn’t unusual for me.

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The foundation is pictured above, directly after application. As you can see, my exhausted and dehydrated skin (I had just sat an exam that morning) has been blurred and concealed by the “Cover Up” foundation. I would say that I did need some extra under eye concealer along with the foundation to cover up my dark circles, so if you suffer with a dark under eye area, I don’t think this foundation will magically mask that for you. Pictured below, is the foundation after approx 5 – 6 hours wear at an event, in bright lighting. As you can see, the product wears very well and my blusher and highlighting powders clung to the formula, ensuring their longevity too.

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All in all, this foundation is getting a 5-star rating from me. I’ve been wearing it on a frequent basis and it hasn’t caused any blocked pores or skin problems. So, I think that “Cover Up” is a great option for anyone who has confidence issues when it comes to their skin. I would recommend that anyone with problem skin trade in their heavy duty MAC foundation for this IsaDora formula ASAP. And, if you need anymore persuading, just think of your pocket. This product retails around the €20 so it’s considerably cheaper than high end alternatives and although I won’t be giving up my beloved Armani “Luminous Silk”, I will be wearing this one just as often.

IsaDora is available in pharmacies nationwide.

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

Gifts for Her – The Splurge Edition

“She ain’t got time for lovin’, Louis Vuitton her husband..” – The Weeknd.

 

Alright, so it’s fairly safe to assume that this gift guide may only be of interest to those who have recently won the lotto and are hoping to buy the ladies in their life a gorgeous Christmas gift with the proceeds. However, there’s no harm in writing a little “lust list”. We’ve all got to dream, after all.

 

 

alexander-mcqueen-tote

Alexander Mc Queen “Padlock Tote” – Available Here.

 

 

 

valentino-boots

Valentino “Rockstud 100 Ankle Boots” – Available Here.

 

 

 

gold-chupi-ring

Chupi “Dew Drop in the Wild” – Available Here.

 

 

cartier-watch

Cartier “Hypnose” Watch – Available Here.

 

 

 

charlotte-tilbury-gift-set

Charlotte Tilbury – “The Golden Goddess Look In a Box” – Available Here.

 

 

I want it all!! For more affordable gift guides, you can check out the main blog and, stay tuned for more..

 

Rouge x

Wrap Up For Winter With Regatta

winter-snow-quote

Ok, so I’m laughing at myself for writing this post. I can’t believe that I have gotten so old that I am suddenly taking Mum’s age old advice and investing in a “good, warm, water-proof winter jacket”. It would appear that she has been right all along.. Although, this probably comes as no surprise to all of the Mammies out there who are reading this post.

I walk to work every morning and yikes, it has gotten cold. A new “outdoorsy” jacket was an essential. So, after some research, I got myself a Regatta jacket and I was surprised to find that although the jacket is indeed weather-proof, it’s also pretty stylish – in my opinion, anyway. Obviously, one jacket has lead to a new found fascination with outdoor clothing and now, I have the whole family stocked up on fleeces and water-proof jackets. Yes, we are as cool as we sound. However, I thought you might be interested in purchasing some items for yourself so, I’ve complied a little list for you.

For Her:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Him:

The links I have added in to this piece will take you to the UK website for Regatta. Now, while the product range is excellent, postage is a little steep at £8.50 (international). The good news is that Regatta is stocked in lots of stores throughout Ireland such as Fifty Three Degrees North, in the Regatta store at The Square in Tallaght and other sports stores nationwide. You can also order online from Littlewoods.

So what do you think, are you going to invest in a winter coat that your Mammy would be proud of? Drop us a line in the comment section and let us know which is your favourite.

Rouge x

Juvi Designs – The “Initials” Collection.

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.” – Mae West.

 

After interviewing the lovely Julie Danz, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series” (view interview here), it’s safe to assume that I have become even more obsessed with Juvi Designs than I was before. If I had to choose one thing that I love most about the brand, it would be the fact that every piece is created with love and sentiment. Both Julie and Vincent really put their heart and soul into their creative brand. So, when I heard a few weeks ago that the dynamic duo were releasing a new collection, named the “Initials” collection, I sort of already knew that I would love it before I even got a glimpse of the pieces. I just didn’t realise how much I would love it – eeeek!

juvi-initials-necklace

If Sex and the City had aired in 2016, Ms Bradshaw would be sporting one of these beautiful necklaces instead of her famous “Carrie” chain. They’re so much more delicate and pretty than the initialled designs that we became sick of seeing in the late 90s. The chain and charms that make up these beautiful necklaces are sold separately, so they can be customised to create a unique piece. The picture above displays my initial and birthstone and as you can see, can be purchased in either sterling silver or gold vermeil. This would be a beautiful gift for ladies of all ages.  And, you’ll be surprised to hear that prices start at only €25.

juvi-stacking-rings

No Juvi collection would be complete without the addition of some bright and beautiful rings. Just look at those gorgeous gems! Pictured above are the new stacking rings which are the perfect compliment to the pretty initial necklaces. Available in both sterling silver and gold vermeil, with an array of gemstones to choose from; these rings can be worn alone or stacked.

Personally, I would stack these rings using the different birthstones which represent members of my family tree. This would be a lovely gift for mums or, the rings could be used as a grown up version of “friendship” rings (as could the necklaces). And finally, I think it would be a really cute idea to use these rings as gifts for your bridesmaids, choosing the gemstone associated with the month of your wedding. The possibilities are endless.

For more information on the collection, and a look at the different shades of gemstones, you can pop over to the Juvi Designs website. In the meantime, I will be adding these beauties to my Christmas wishlist – yes, I said the “C word” again!!

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – My Shining Armour’s Nicki Hoyne.

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” – Michael Kors.

 

To date, I have been amazed by the positive feedback received in response to my “Irish Girl Boss Series”. This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the fabulous, quirky and hilarious girl boss, Nicki Hoyne. Nicki is the absolute epitome of a girl boss, having worked relentlessly to launch her very successful brand, My Shining Armour. My Shining Armour is an online haven filled with gorgeous accessories, built on Nicki’s ethos to be her own hero. “All the women, who independent” will really enjoy this interview – even Queen Bey would bow down!

 

my-shining-armour-nicki-hoyne

1) What inspired you to create My Shining Armour?

My Shining Armour niggled at the back of my mind for a long time. I have always been massively into accessories. My friends will tell you I give the best presents. I am a big online shopper and as technology and the internet advanced, I saw online stores open and I thought to myself; I can do that and I can do it even better. Online is an even playing field. With a good site you can easily compete with the large multinationals and with social media being free and making it so easy to promote businesses, I knew I was onto something.

When I look back now, I see how it all fell into place and that every experience I had (both good and bad) led me to this point. It’s true what they say, if you lived your life backwards it would all make perfect sense. I am really passionate about brands and doing good, honest business. I am fortunate to have worked with brands like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Nintendo, Balenciaga and Chloé so I have learnt how big brands conduct themselves and why they are so successful. Aliza Licht said it best; “I came to the point where the job I wanted didn’t exist so I had to create it for myself”.

 

 

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“Disco Ball Tumbler” – Available Here.

2) Often, it’s our flaws, blunders and setbacks that actually allow us to advance in life by altering our perspective. Throughout your career, what do you think was the most important mistake that you have learned from?

I firmly believe that you learn more from a bad experience than a good one. Every negative experience I have had in my career has been a lesson that I am grateful to have learned. Although it is extremely difficult at the time, these experiences made me a better person, business-person and now, boss. I always tell myself that setbacks and challenges are building my experience so in years to come when the stakes are even higher, I know exactly how to handle them correctly. Setbacks will always happen, what’s important is how you deal with them!

3) What does your typical day look like?

Every day is different. I am in Dublin usually once a week for a jam-packed day of meetings which is always fun. When I’m in the office, I will walk to work and Snapchat – I’m always full of beans in the morning. I like to get in before the team, have my coffee and get my head straight for the day. I am a big list person so I’ll run through my “urgent” and “important” tasks and try plot out my day. I do all of the social media imagery in real time. I’ll plan to post what’s new, back in stock or just something that the mood of the day calls for. I’ll shoot flat lays, reply to social media comments and questions, answer emails, order stock, update the website and anything else that comes at me. If new stock arrives we’ll drop everything and fawn over it. On busy days, I will help pack orders for an hour or so. I love imagining the person on the other end opening their package. The day flies so I usually eat lunch at my desk and try to get out of the office when the girls are leaving at 5.30pm. Then, I’ll go for a run or do a fitness class. My family live close by, we eat out a lot or I try to drop by conveniently at dinner-time! I get home at 8pm or 9pm and chill out for an hour browsing online or reading before bed.

 

 

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“Pouch / Make Up Bag” – Available Here

 

 

4) Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

I love reading stories of other women in business. My favourite books so far are Tamara Mellon’s “In Her Shoes”, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, Sophia Amoruso’s “#Girlboss” and I am dying for Marissa Carter’s book to come out. I love the Image Networking Breakfasts. I always leave with a bounce in my step and lots of ideas. I also love my Acorns gang they are so supportive and uplifting. It is an awesome government funded program for women in business in rural Ireland. We are each other’s biggest fans and supporters. I don’t think I would be where I am today without their encouragement and support.

 

5) The thing that I love most about My Shining Armour is the voice of the brand. In my opinion, it’s not just about glamorous accessories; it’s also about reflecting the state of mind of women who believe that fashion and confidence go hand in hand. Do you have any items in your wardrobe that give you an instant boost of confidence?

We all have those pieces that make us feel good and put a pep in our step. I have a pair of gold sequined ballet pumps I got in a Zara sale about 5 years ago. I wear them all the time especially when the day needs a little sparkle. I can be going to work, running to the supermarket or out for weekend brunch. They just make me feel like me!

 

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“Alphabet Spotty Mug – Available Here.

 

 

6) How would you describe your personal style?

Comfortable, classic and cool with a pop of colour, print or sparkle. I love statement accessories whether jewellery, bags, shoes or sunglasses. I always keep my clothing pretty simple and love to find unique one off pieces to make my outfit pop. I have the most beautiful ring from the Souk in Marrakesh, crazy Indian earrings from Portobello Market in London and I love a discreet designer bag to add a bit of luxury. I don’t feel me if there’s not a pop. That’s just who I am!

 

7) Who is your style/beauty hero?

Olivia Palermo all the way. She is flawless! She gets it right every, single time. The girl has serious accessories game and I love how she takes risks and has fun with fashion. That’s the secret to having great style, do you and make a look your own. No one can have the exact same accessories as you. You will always look like you put lots of thought and prep in when you really put on a piece of jewellery, shoes, grabbed a bag and ran out the door.

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“Strawberry Computer Mouse” – Available Here

 

 

8) Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular make up routine?

I’m not a big make up person. I like to look like myself and as if I’m not wearing much make up. Saying that I use quite a few products, everything but foundation. I am big into skincare. I think that if you look after your skin, you will always look good. I love fresh dewy looking skin and have yet to find a foundation that I like so I just don’t wear it. I used to work for Elizabeth Arden so I’ve learnt about a few insider cult products. I use everything from serums to eye cream and masks. My must have products are Elizabeth Arden’s “Visible Different Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser”, Elizabeth Arden’s “Prevage Serum” and I do a weekly deep cleansing clay mask called Freeman’s “Avocado and Oatmeal Mask” that I get in US drugstores when I visit. I never sleep in my make up and drink lots of water.

 

 

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“Ber Earrings” – Available Here.

9) If you had to choose three favourite pieces from the My Shining Armour website right now, what would you choose?

The “Gisele Ring”, “The Bombay Duck Spotty Initial Mugs” and the “Ban.Do Lady Of Leisure Agenda”.

gisele-ring

Gisele Ring – Available Here

10) What are your top entrepreneurship tips?

1. Always strive to be better. Good and great are not enough for me I want to be excellent.
2. Write it down and make it happen. Set goals and work towards them. There is nothing better than ticking things off the list.
3. Care. About your employees, your business, your customers and yourself.

For more information and a look at the extensive, beautiful range of goodies available; check out My Shining Armour online.

And, if you enjoyed this piece you can check out my interviews with Custom Vintage Dublin’s Ali DelaneySculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan BoyleAYU Make Up’s Suzie O’Neill and Juvi Designs’ Julie Danz.

Rouge x