My new Crown Brush staple. 

You can never have enough brushes. Make up brushes, hair brushes, I collect them all.

Luckily for me, at So Coco Rouge, we stock my favourite brush range Crown and have recently introduced two of my absolute favourites to our collection!

Silicone Liner and Domed Dual Fibre. 

I already have more than enough angled liner brushes and I’m up to my eyes in dual fibres, but these two are just too good not to live in my growing collection!


Love a flicked liner but HATE the way product clogs up the bristles? Then you will love the Silicone liner. Product quickly and easily wipes away, whilst the brush tip keeps its shape and precise fine edge. I always find my bristles splay and loose their definition within weeks of use, but you’ll never have this issue with this little beauty. 

Then there’s the dual fibre… Foundation- check. Powder- check. Blusher, contour, highlight- check, check, check.


Apart from eyes and lips I can pretty much do my whole face with a dual fibre, but the shape of this one just makes it even easier. You can get right under your eyes, sculpt round cheekbones and delicately highlight any area. Love love love. 

So much so, I have 3. One to use, one in cleaning and one drying. You know, just in case I don’t have one ready instantly!


You can purchase all Crown brushes by visiting their website or if you are luckily enough to live in Liverpool, by popping into the So Coco Rouge salon in the city centre. 

You won’t regret it! 

Instyler Tulip

Pretty much two years to the day I left, I found myself back down in London within the fabulous studios of shopping channel QVC

I always feel an odd sense of nostalgia visiting aspects of my life or career I thought I had left behind, and almost a vibe of déjà vu. 

Anyway, the brand that’s led me to return to the big smoke is Instyler, and their cult product, the Tulip.  


Instyler have created a range of products designed especially with the consumer in mind, however they work just as well in the salon or photo shoot environment. 

The Tulip is an auto-curler which quickly and easily creates a range of curls and waves within a matter of seconds. From beachy waves, loose curls, vintage waves, big bouncy curls or even defined, sculpted ones, Tulip can create it all!


The beauty of Tulip? You simply insert your hair, press a button, wait for 3 consecutive beeps and voila! 

With 3 heat settings, 3 time options and even 3 directions to choose from, Tulip can be used on all hair types, textures and most lengths. 


Now, the direction button might not seem such a big deal at first- but for me, this is the greatest tool. When creating beachy, soft waves you want to change the direction of the curl with each section. Trickier to do than you’d imagine! When I curl my own hair, I can master one direction whilst massively struggle with the other, leaving sections of my hair looking a tad lacklustre to say the least.

With Tulip, you simply select ‘Alternate’ directions, and leave it to do the hard work for you! This also takes the concentration out of hair styling- it can be tricky to remember which way you should be going next! 

If you like to style your hair into a vintage wave, you want all your curls to be uniform and following the same direction- again Tulip makes this easy peesy! Simply select the correct heat and time setting for your a medium curl for your hair type and let Tulip work it’s magic! 

Scared about burns or even tangling? No need. Tulip comes complete with Anti-Tangle technology and a handy Petal guide, to ensure you select the correct amount of hair to insert into the barrel.

Said barrel is contained with the Tulip unit, meaning you have no risk of burning your skin, ear or scalp. I’m pretty sure we’ve all burnt our fingers or forehead at one time when using traditional heated barrels haven’t we?!

So what’s not to love?! Salon worthy hair in the comfort of your own home even sounds good to me!

You can catch me talking all things Tulip on QVC on 30th May 2016. There’s a pretty  TSV special offer you just won’t want to miss too!

To be or WED 2B?

WED2B. If your getting hitched you’ve probably notice this brand popping up all over your Facebook and Instagram feeds for the past few months. 

Chloe Lloyd for WED2B


Branded as a discount wedding store, with prices around the £500 mark, their advertising (featuring the amazing Chloe Lloyd, who I was lucky enough to work with on many occasions in her early days!) screams anything but budget. In fact, everything about their branded seems more luxurious than their price tag.
So what’s the lowdown? I popped by one sunny Monday lunchtime expecting a bargain basement of musty, damaged sample dresses, discarded due to their dated styles or unflattering fabrics.

Well, how wrong was I.

On arrival I was greeted by a wonderfully friendly team, who instantly made me feel differently. They asked all about my big day before insisting I took my time looking at dresses and selecting 5-6 dresses I liked in my current size. As it was a quiet day there was no maximum number of dresses I could try, but it’s recommended to pick no more than this on your first visit to the changing room!

WED2B Wedding Dresses

Dresses were available from a size 6-30, which I personally believe is their biggest selling point. Either sqeezing into tiny dresses or feeling swamped by one too big never feels glamourous and makes choosing THE dress even harder than it needs to be. 

After selecting my 5 dresses I was guided into a large dressing room with 8 cubicles. Now, I’ve always dreaded being in a room with 7 other girls trying on their dream dresses, but honestly it I didn’t even notice another person in the room. Everyone was so friendly and in their own ‘zone’, rather than nosing round judging one another. 

Yes, I know, but I couldn’t resist!

I chose dresses I was sure I’d like. Vintage-esqe, detailed and pretty full on. Yet nothing floated by boat. Sure they were nice, and for the price they certainly felt as well made as some of the more expensive dresses I’ve tried, but they just didn’t wow me.

Until the lovely assistant brought through two dresses I would never, ever of selected. And to my horror, I liked them. Mum liked them, and we felt like our eyes had been opened up to other possibilities. They still aren’t the ‘one’ but priced at £399 and £499, fitting me perfectly and ready to take home that day, you really can’t complain. 

With a great selection of veils, head pieces and accessories too, you really could create your whole look easily under a grand.

So my opinion has changed greatly. WED2B is certainly not a bargain basement option, but one to try, consider and enjoy. 

Eye opening to say the least. 

WED2B stores are now nationwide. I visited the Liverpool Store, located within the Port of Liverpool building in the city centre. 

Skin care dispair 

I’m sure some of you will know the feeling. That feeling when your current moisturiser runs dry and you actually can’t see any difference from what it was like previously. 
Do you believe the hype and repeat purchase to try again? Or jump ship and invest in a new regime? 


Either option can end in pricey mistakes, and those kind of mistakes just aren’t open to discussion right now. Saving for a wedding really doesn’t leave much wiggle from for expensive purchases, as I’m sure many of you understand!Anyway, back to the breif- finding a skin care regime for my late twenties, combination complexion which tends to enjoy a regular break out and is currently unveiling my first few wrinkles. 

I’ve tried a few famed brands. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced and Clinque Youth Surge (now that one was a BIG mistake…) but I’m still to find the ‘one’.

With a wedding looming and the big 3-0 drawing near every day, it’s time to take action, but which brand to choose?!

I’d love to hear which skin care brands you like to use! 

Wedding dress distress 

VenuebookedWeight loss goalhit. Dress huntstarted the moment the ring landed on my finger!

But now it’s time for actual real life dress hunting. Not Pinterest searching, not pouring over wedding magazines, actual dress shopping.


Yet how do we know how to prepare for such an occasion? We may dream of trying on these dream princess dresses, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

This week I visited a number of well known dress boutiques, all of which offered a different experience. Apart from slipping into a few numbers at a wedding show earlier in the year, this was my first real life ‘say yes to the dress’ scenario. 

Having no idea what to take or how to prepare, I took a punt that nude Spanx and a strapless bra where probably a given. NB: if you wish to try backless dresses, Spanx somewhat ruin the illusion. Think Jones opposed to Bardot. 

With my monsterous size 8 feet, I gathered shoes might also come in handy. That was until I was handed a pair of Primark ballet pumps in one boutique- a four grand dress (yes I know, £4,000, I coughed too) and Primark shoes don’t exactly seem to be perfect partners. But I’m glad I dragged my sparkly heels along, as sqeezing my tootsies into a size 5 pair of stilettos would of resembled an ugly sister stealing Cinderellas glass slipper. Not such a princess moment.

Anyway, back to the shopping! The first assistant encouraged me to try a number of styles, shades and length of dresses to establish my style. Having presumed I knew EXACTLY the type of dress I wanted to wear, I was of course suprised to find this possibly wasn’t the best style to enhance my shape, but gratful to discover this earlier rather than later. 

However, trying all these dresses can soon become exhausting. In fact, in one boutique I actually asked the assistant to stop bringing dresses through-we were onto around 15 frocks at this point and none of them really hit the spot. I found you can quite easily get overwhelmed by all the Ivory beauty in one small room! Plus it’s even harder when you are informed you’ll be removed from the premises if you dare to take a picture. 


But then in another, I was in and out within a half hour. Beautiful dresses, super stylish location and a hard to find designer- but just not the ones to float my boat. Typical when I’d waited a good few months to blag an a coveted appointment.

Yet the final shop brought something different. A smaller store, a very friendly and down to earth team, and an array of beautiful dresses. 

And possibly the one.

Most certainly the one I did not want to take off. The one to make me feel like a bride and the one to bring tears to my mums eyes (yeah ok, and mine too)

So will I say Yes to the Dress??

Watch this space. 

No7 Beautifully Defined Contour Kit

Contouring has been the biggest trend of 2014, 2015 and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in 2016. Especially now another ‘drugstore’ brand has entered the contour kit arena.

This month, No7 has launched their Beautifully Defined Contour Kit, priced at a bargain £12.50. 

 

No7 Contour Kit

  

No7 Contour Kit

 Featuring a matte contour shade and an ever-so slightly shimmered highlight shade, these powders feel finely milled and blend well. Packaged in a similar way to all No7 compacts, the Contour Kit includes a mirror and is the perfect size for a handbag favourite.

 

No7 Contour Kit Swatches

 
Now, No7 recommend using their own angled Contour brushes, but perosnally I prefer using a domed shaped brush for contour and a fluffy number for highlighting. Therefore I selected my Illamasqua and Crown favourites, which worked a treat.

 

Illamasqua and Crown Brush

 
Applied over my favourite Make-up Forever Ultra HD foundation, I buffed my contour shade into hollow of cheekbones, temples, under jaw and sides of nose.

 

contouring cheekbone

 
The key to contouring is BLEND BLEND BLEND! We don’t want to see stripes rememeber! Contouring should appear like a natural shadow NOT a badly applied brown make-up!

Once I’m happy with my blended contour, its time toi highlight! Tops of cheekbones, down the nose, cupids bow, tear duct and brow bone are all my highlighting habits. Just enough to brighten a dull complexion, without looking OTT. Because this highligher is on the sublte scale, it’s great for oilier complexions like mine. Shimmery shades on a shiny t-zone is never a good look!

  

finished look

 I’m really happy with the finished look- but you definitelty need to be soft handed. These powders are really pigmented, which is a great feature, but can lead to an instagram worthy look.

 

Which contour kits do you rate?

 

Lumee Vs Glamcor. Who lights up your life?

Lighting, it’s the new buzz word around the selfie lovers. It used to be all about filters, airbrushing and clever editing, and now our attentions have all turned to what beautifying  moves our bulbs have on offer.

And it’s not just in the world of make up, no, even your average Jo cares about what lighting she’s shot in.

 

Glamcor Classic light

 
Within the salon world and homes of Beaty bloggers you can often spy ring lights, soft boxes and the famed Glamcor Classic Light– the latter which we even have set up at The Rouge School.

 

Cool Glamcor Lighting

 
My thoughts? I’m still on the fence. The cool light with 4 intensity settings is great for showcasing detail, but for me, it also takes a lot of ‘life‘ from your complexion. Perhaps that’s because I’m super pale and don’t really rock much blusher- but in this light I need a definite boosting life, in the form of a well loved bronzer. Glamcor might be the bloggers fave, but it’s got a long way before its one of mine.

  
So what about the new selfie light craze-The Lumee phone case ? Well, I own one, which is a shocking enough statement to start with. Anything the Kardashians boast about using usually is the last thing to make it through my Amazon checkout. But a new phone and an offhand comment about my love of ‘granny cases’ (granny chic in my book!) lead me to give this gimmick a go.

 

warmer Lumee lighting

 
So far? So good! It’s easy to use and offers a warmer light than our Glamcor friend. I’m not 100% sure I can see much difference when using the light up case but it certainly draws in the crowds! 

Have you tried a Lumee case? What do you think?!