“If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything” – A List of My Favourite Bloggers.

The title of this post says it all. I know that a lot of you are just fed up when it comes to the “influencer” scene. In many ways, so am I! Even though I’m fortunate enough to receive some press samples, I’m still a consumer, like everyone else. I’ve fallen for the bullshit communicated through photoshopped pictures on more than one occasion and I’ve purchased more crap contour kits that I wish to admit. So at this point, if I’m following a blogger or social media personality, it’s because they stand for quality and honesty in the industry.

I asked a few weeks ago (via Instagram Poll) if my readers would be interested in a list of bloggers who I find to be completely frank, honest and trustworthy in their reviews and the response was very positive. I’m delighted to hear that people still enjoy reading blog posts, on the condition that they’re reading real opinions. So, here’s a list of my absolute favourites:

The Beautiful Truth

I have been following Sinead since way back in the day, before I ever decided to write my own blog. In fact, the Beautiful Truth was my inspiration when I started Rouge Writing Hood. Sinead is a teacher, a Mammy, a blogger and following the launch of Alainn, a businesswoman. I can’t even imagine being this busy.

What I love about Sinead is that she never automatically buys into the “hype” of big product launches. She takes her time to try products and doesn’t give full reviews after two or three uses. I also love that The Beautiful Truth references lots of products that Sinead didn’t enjoy – her posts are always balanced and very opinionated. I trust The Beautiful Truth website and it’s one of the first sites I click on when I’m researching my product wish list. Sinead has inspired me to make some gorgeous purchases over the years – including some great budget buys from brands such as Wet n Wild.

You can find The Beautiful Truth here.

Louise O’Connell

Louise is one of the nicest, most supportive ladies that I have met through the blogging community. If you’ve watched her Instagram stories, I bet you can’t help but love her. She’s a likeable lady who always gives her honest opinion on beauty products, regardless of whether she’s been sent them as part of a press package.

Of course Louise knows all there is to know about beauty but I actually enjoy her fashion posts most of all. She’s not posting photoshopped pictures that make me feel like I need to run on a treadmill for a few hours. Instead, I think that Louise is a perfect example of a healthy woman who has curves just like I do, and isn’t trying to hide that. Nor should she! My Mum calls me with daily updates on Louise’s stories and we both think that it’s lovely to see a relatable, gorgeous woman dressing so stylishly on a budget that’s actually accessible to working women.

I highly recommend that you take a look at Louise’s Instagram feed and her website which you can find here.

The Pharmers Journal

If you aren’t following Edel, not only are you missing out on some brilliant beauty knowledge, you’re also missing out on the cutest baby of all time – her daughter, Pearl. I love that as a busy Mum and working Pharmacist, Edel still finds time to make recommendations and tells us whether she would bother repurchasing a product after use, which is the real test.

I also have great faith in the recommendations of a Pharmacist because, let’s face it, she definitely knows more about the science behind the beauty industry than I could ever hope to.

You can find The Pharmers Journal here and I recommend following Edel on Instagram too because that’s where she runs through her “empty products” which is my favourite kind of beauty chat.

Beautynook

I’m actually relatively new to following Gemma of Beautynook, after a referral by The Beautiful Truth. However, I already know that this lady doesn’t entertain bullshit. She says it as it is, always giving her honest opinion and that’s a quality that I love in a blogger.

Gemma’s YouTube tutorials are informative and really easy to follow. I’m always intrigued to find out what her monthly favourites are and find myself referring back to her videos when I’m trying to decide whether or not I “need” certain beauty products.

You can find Beautynook here.

Lipstick and Leopard Print

I just love Joanne. Her passion for make up and skincare is unwavering and this is something that inspires me, even when I’m not feeling the “blogging scene”. Occasionally, I like to take a break from blogging and from make up because often, I find myself scrolling through Instagram comparing myself to supermodels and feeling down about it. However, Joanne’s posts always pull my interest back into focus. I love that she loves make up because it’s a bit of fun, rather than a necessity. She’s not afraid to be bold and play with colour.

Joanne is also really down to earth and definitely wouldn’t try to sell you on an expensive product that she didn’t believe in. She’s often recommending budget beauty and I’ll go out and buy it because I know that she’s a trustworthy source. We also share a huge love of Clarins so I think her judgement is pretty spot on.

You can find Lipstick and Leopard Print here.

Adorn.ie

Anita is another lady on this list who works a full time job and still manages to find the time to write blog posts on a regular basis.

Like the rest of the ladies on this list, Anita doesn’t rely on blogging as her main source of income and that’s obvious because she never pushes products. Her reviews are informative and she always gives a balanced, honest opinion as to whether certain beauty products have worked for her, or not.

Anita is also an expert in all things nail related so I like to keep an eye on her blog posts for new nail polish shades and trends. You can find Adorn.ie here.

Ms Juicyy

Alright, so I’m aware that all of the bloggers who I’ve listed up to this point have been Irish. So obviously, the products that they review are always accessible online or in Irish shops and pharmacies. Jas, who runs Ms Juicyy, is resident in Las Vegas and gives me serious Stateside envy.

I love following Jas on Instagram because she keeps me up to date on new releases in the States, which will usually trickle into the Irish market at a later date. That gives me plenty of time to start saving my pennies for my next purchase.

Jas always seems to say it as it is. If she loves something, you’ll find her talking about it on lots of occasions – not just using it a few times and moving on to the next thing. She’s also down to earth and tells her followers when she doesn’t think a product is up to scratch or worth the price. As far as I’m aware, Jas doesn’t run a blog site separate from her Instagram, so it’s worth checking her out there.

And there you have it, a complete list of the people I’m paying closest attention to on Instagram and other social media platforms. I think that every lady listed in this posts stands for honesty and that’s something I appreciate in the world of social media, where there really is a huge amount of pressure to conform to the idea of “perfect” that is portrayed by large marketing campaigns that use airbrushing and photoshopping to appeal to consumers.

Now tell me, who do you love to follow?

Rouge x

Advice for my 18 Year Old ‘Fresher’ Self and Friends.

Having completed four years in third level education, I suddenly feel old and wise. I will of course be posting a series of articles relating to college style, make-up and skincare. But, first here’s a little advice that my friends and I could have done with back in the day:

1) Leave the school squabbles in the playground. Forgive, forget and if some *bish* stole your boyfriend during your ‘junior disco’ era, send her a thank you note and move on.

Forgive and forget

2) Your family are the best friends that you could ask for. They always have your back, even when you’re in the wrong! So, ring your grandmother every now and then – she probably misses you! 

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3) When it comes to confidence – fake it until you make it! Stand up for what you believe in. Nobody respects a doormat.

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4) Learn to do your make-up properly, but don’t wear it everyday. Irish girls have a tendency to cake their faces in foundation, but trust me, it isn’t attractive. Your skin needs to breath. I will be posting a few simple make-up looks over the next few days so stay tuned.

Too much make up

5) Good skincare is essential. If you don’t want a face that resembles a pizza, invest wisely in some good quality cleanser, toner, moisturiser and SPF. Sleep is also essential for maintaining healthy skin – so don’t feel too guilty about missing that 9am lecture! 

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6) Speaking of pizza, eat as much as you like while your metabolism is still working. Mine has long since abandoned me and my only regret is not eating takeaway more often. P.s. it might be a good idea to start some kind of gym routine.

pizza

7) GO OUT! At some stage, you will have to work mid-week so Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights are best spent in a dive of a nightclub sipping shots of tequila with your buds. Also, dance like nobody is watching -literally. Here’s to the nights you won’t remember with the friends that you’ll never forget.

Nights Out

8) Figure out sooner rather than later that lots of water and a multi-vitamin before sleep is the key to easing that hangover. If you forget or pass out, a bacon sandwich the next morning is far more effective than painkillers.

Beyonce

9) Go to the odd lecture. However, if an adventure pops up as an alternative, remember that most lecturers post their notes online.

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10) Abercrombie tracksuits are not the height of style – try to save them for exam study sessions when everyone else looks equally sloppy. Don’t dress to fit it, wear what suits you. 

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11) Friends will leave, even best friends. Don’t invest too much energy in any one person. If they want to make time for you, they will. 

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12) Your friends are usually right – you won’t change the “bad guy/girl”, but you’ll have fun trying. 

Taylor Swift

13) The new friends that you make in college, will provide the best memories that you take with you when you leave. You will even look back fondly on the nights that you stayed up together until 3am cramming for exams. 

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14) Travel, travel, travel. If you can, find a job in a hotel which is part of an international chain. Said job will be hell on earth, but the discount will be worth every second. 

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15) If you’re going to participate in the J1 programme (which you definitely should), do so SINGLE and carefree. Don’t spend one single second missing home, you’ll be there for long enough. 

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16) You are responsible for your own happiness so claim it, work it and own it! 

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Let me know if you have any advice to add in the comments!

Rouge x