17 October 2014

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Summer’s Hottest Nail Polish Shade

Radiant Orchid

There is one colour that seems to be EVERYWHERE at the moment, and it is Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2014. Described as “a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple”, it looks particularly gorgeous on the nails, as I discovered last week when I painted mine with the Maybelline shade mentioned below. I’ve since spotted loads of other nail polishes in this vibrant, magenta shade so here are three easy-to-find options:

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer “So Chic Pink”*

Maybelline Color Show "So Chic Pink" - All Dolled Up Swatch by me.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy “Up the Ante”

Revlon Up the Ante

Swatch via Cosmetic Proof

Essie “Splash of Grenadine”

Essie Splash of Grenadine

Swatch via Demelza’s World

*PR sample

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16 October 2014

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The Preview: Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD ABSOLU

Elizabeth Arden 1

I recently attended the exclusive preview of the new Elizabeth Arden fragrance, UNTOLD ABSOLU, the latest addition to the UNTOLD family of fragrances. The event was glamorous and refined, and, I think, captured the essence of the fragrance perfectly. We were treated to a delicious 5 course meal inspired by the five different facets of the fragrance: glamorous, captivating, refined, mysterious and sensual.

The fragrance itself is rich and warm, and contains touches of Black Raspberry, Italian Bergamot, Red Plum and Ginger. It is billed as “a sensual expression of the original fragrance” and was inspired by the sensual, captivating side of the modern day, multi-faceted woman. I have not tried the original UNTOLD, so I can’t compare the two I’m afraid – but the consensus amongst those in attendance was that they preferred UNTOLD ABSOLU to the original UNTOLD.

Elizabeth Arden 3

Elizabeth Arden 2

I was lucky enough to attend the event with my lovely friend Tori from Kiss, Blush and Tell, and we spent the evening enjoying the delicious food and wine and catching up on all things beauty (every time I see that girl my wish-list gets longer and longer).

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Two weeks after the event, I received a specially engraved bottle of UNTOLD ABSOLU – such a special, thoughtful treat! I have really enjoyed using it, especially for evenings out – I’ve had nothing but compliments each time I’ve worn it!

Elizabeth Arden 6

Thank you to Elizabeth Arden for hosting such a beautiful event.

UNTOLD ABSOLU will be available at selected Elizabeth Arden counters in Edgars, Foschini, Truworths and Woolworths, from 20 October 2014 and retails for R920.00 for 100 ml, R720.00 for 50 ml and R520.00 for 30 ml.

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15 October 2014

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Competition Time with Turquoise Studio!

Palette 2

Turquoise Studio has recently celebrated its first birthday! Happy happy birthday to you, dear Turquoise Studio – without you, our lives would be Sigma-less and empty! To celebrate its first birthday, Turquoise Studio has kindly offered up a Sigma Smoke Screen palette to give away to one lucky All Dolled Up reader – just look at how beautiful it is:

Palette

Shades

 Ooh yes, that’ll do nicely, thank you very much! We can attest to the fact that Sigma eyeshadows are fantastic quality – we used the ‘Warm Neutrals’ palette in a tutorial earlier in the year and were both blown away by the quality. You can refresh your memories here, if you wish:

To enter the competition, all you have to do is:

1. Follow All Dolled Up and Turquoise Studio on Twitter; and

2. Tweet All Dolled Up and Turquoise Studio and tell us what your favourite shade in the Sigma Smoke Screen palette is.

Competition closes at midday on Wednesday 22nd October 2014. One entry per person, please.

Good luck!

All images via

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13 October 2014

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Almond Obsession

Sweet Almond Oil Beauty Products - All Dolled Up

I’ve recently discovered that I absolutely love the smell of sweet almond oil. It started when I picked up a tub of Almond Body Butter from The Body Shop winter sale a couple of months ago and it’s become a full-blown obsession. I find the warm, nutty fragrance has just enough sweetness to be feminine without being sickly, and is tempered by a vanilla-like creaminess.

Sweet almond oil is one of the most versatile, multipurpose skin care oils out there. It is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and is therefore extremely nourishing and revitalising, especially for dry skin. It absorbs quickly and soothes skin irritation while helping to maintain moisture levels. The omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin E and magnesium contained in sweet almond oil are also great for your hair.

Here are the favourite sweet almond products in my stash:

The Body Shop Almond Body Butter - All Dolled Up

The Body Shop Almond Body Butter

The Body Shop Body Butters really are the unsung heroes of my bodycare routine. I always have a tub or two hanging around and at the moment I alternate the Almond one with my Lipidol After Shower Oil. I think they are incredibly good value (especially if you score them in the sale for R55 like I did yesterday!) and come in a massive variety of scents, although Almond is my all-time favourite. It sinks in quickly but still leaves my skin feeling really supple and moisturised, even at the end of the day.

Korres Almond and Linseed Nourishing Hair Mask - All Dolled Up

Korres Almond and Linseed Nourishing Hair Mask

Camilla bought this when we were in Greece last year and mentioned it in her October 2013 favourites, so I had my eyes peeled for it when I went back in August. A tube soon made its way into my basket at Athens airport and I’ve used it about once a week since. It works very quickly (you only need to leave it on for 3-5 minutes), softening and nourishing the hair without weighing it down or leaving a residue. It contains almond and linseed extracts (obviously) along with shea butter which helps the hair retain moisture, while increasing its resistance against breakage and split ends.

The last time I visited the Korres counter at Edgars in Canal Walk they didn’t stock this product, which is a real shame because it’s one of my favourites in their range.

L'Oreal EverRiche Nourishing and Flowing Shampoo & Conditioner

L’Oréal EverRiche Nourishing and Flowing Shampoo & Conditioner

I have no idea whether this stuff contains sweet almond oil but it certainly smells like it does! These two variants from the brilliant EverRiche range (which, for some inexplicable reason, isn’t available in SA) inject extra moisture and softness into dry, fine hair, with zero sulphates or waxes. The shampoo lathers up amazingly well and the conditioner is really intensive, plus the scent hangs around all day which is just fine by me!

If you’re interested, you can buy this very affordable range from Feel Unique who offer free worldwide delivery on orders over £10.

Do you have any sweet almond products to recommend?

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10 October 2014

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Link Love #5

Here’s a round-up of my recent favourite beauty reads – I hope you enjoy!

Cindy Crawford Cover Story – Violet Grey

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford is my #1 favourite supermodel of all time, so when she speaks, I soak up every word – it’s like the gospel to me. What I found interesting in this article is that she mentions how her hair has aged – apparently no one warns you about the change in texture and how much more brittle it will become – yikes! Still, forewarned is forearmed and all that!

How To Bathe Like A (Detox) Princess – She’s in the Glow

Detox Princess

Next time you fancy a long soak in the tub, throw in some epsom salts (be very generous) and a scoop of coconut oil (to stop your skin from drying out) and relax for 45 minutes. You will emerge detoxified, calmer and maybe even a little bit skinnier (apparently). Might as well be a bulls-eye.

The Super Easy 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine (For Glowing Skin) – She’s in the Glow

Korean Skincare Routine

Let’s all agree that, by and large, Korean women have the most flawless skin – do they even have pores?! Doubts it. In this article Annie explains the 10-step skincare routine followed by most Korean women in an effort to help us mere mortals emulate their perfection.

Jen Atkin Does Paris Fashion Week – The Coveteur

Jen Atkin

Jen Atkin is the Kardashian’s go-to hairdresser – say what you will about them, but their hair always looks magnificent. This article gives you a sneak-peak into her life at Paris Fashion Week (if you don’t like the Kardashians, don’t click the link).

A First Look At Gucci Make-Up – The Beauty Look Book 

Gucci Make-Up

Gucci is a brand that is synonymous with extreme glamour, so when I heard they were releasing a make-up line, Gucci Beauty, my ears pricked up. The Beauty Look Book is my favourite site for high-quality swatches, so you can see exactly what all the products look like and get a feel for how they apply. So far, everything looks rich, pigmented, glossy and just plain g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s. Who knows if we’ll ever get it here, but in the meantime, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making a bee-line for a Gucci Beauty counter the next time I’m abroad.

Fake A Pro Blow-Out With A Curling Iron – The Beauty Department

Pro Blow Out

Can someone get Amal Alamuddin a hair endorsement please? If you haven’t yet appreciated Mrs. Clooney’s locks, please make your way here and prepare yourself for extreme envy. This tutorial from The Beauty Department is based on how she styled her hair during her wedding week. Imagine being that gorgeous and talented and getting to marry George Clooney. Amal, you are my life icon.

The Top Shelf: Liv Tyler – Into The Gloss

Liv Tyler

Because Liv Tyler is a goodess, end of story.

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8 October 2014

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The Brush Cleansing Dream Team

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You know you’re the world’s biggest beauty geek when a silicone brush-washing glove excites you. I’ve had my eye on the Sigma Spa Brush Cleasning Glove for a couple of months now, and finally decided to bite the bullet and treat myself (I also bought one for Jules for her birthday and she literally squealed when she opened it).

The glove has two sides: one for eye brushes and one for face brushes:

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Eyes

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Face

There are variety of textures and surfaces which perform various functions, ie wash, refine, rinse and shape. The glove itself is incredibly soft and much more flexible than I expected it to be – it’s actually very comfortable to wear. It comes with a flannel insert so your hands don’t come into contact with the silicone at all (it is removable so you can wash it as and when you need to). When it comes to brush cleansers, my heart belongs to the beautyblender solid brush cleanser, which I picked up during my trip to the States in April. This is hands down the best brush cleanser I have ever tried – it leaves your brushes looking like new and it leaves no residue as it rinses out super easily. I haven’t been able to track down the solid cleanser locally, but Rubybox stocks the blendercleanser liquid brush cleanser, which I can confirm is just as excellent.

Beautyblender

I splashed a bit of water on the glove, popped on the tiniest amount of the cleanser, and got to work with my eye brushes first. In the end I managed to clean about 10 eye brushes using only that one small dollop of cleanser – that’s kind of remarkable, don’t you think? Next I moved on to the face brushes, and I’ll admit, I had to work a bit harder to get them squeaky clean – I had to use a fair few squeezes of cleanser, but then it is always harder to shift foundations/concealers. For the first time in months, my foundation and concealer brushes are completely clean and free from those stubborn stains that I’d been unsuccessfully trying to remove – the OCD clean freak in me is thrilled.

As someone who washes her brushes on a weekly basis, this combination has been a game changer. It makes brush washing fun instead of it being a chore, and I am forever grateful to Sigma for creating this glove and saving my hands from the pruny hell that is bare-handed-brush-washing. This glove was totally worth it for me – it is expensive, yes (R 575) – but it will last me a lifetime and I will use it every week (cost per wash is practically less than zero when you do that kind of math). If you care about keeping your brushes in good condition (which I’m assuming you are, otherwise why are you here?) then this is definitely something to consider if you’ve got the cash lying around – you won’t regret it, I promise. As far as brush cleansers go, the beautyblender option is on the top end of the scale at R159.95 for 90ml, but again, you only need a small amount and it works exceptionally well.

The Sigma Spa Brush Cleansing Glove is available from Turquoise Studios.

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3 October 2014

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Jules’ September Favourites

September Favourites | All Dolled Up

I’ve got a bumper edition of favourites this month so let’s dive in. There is a mixture of products that I bought in London on my recent stopover there, and a few that are available here, so read on to get the lowdown:

S&G Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in “Nudist”

I raved at length about “Raplumzel” in our July Favourites video and have since moved on to quite a serious love affair with nudes. “Nudist” is a highly wearable, gorgeous caramel nude shade that is easy to apply without a mirror and is now a permanent inhabitant of my handbag. The finish is smooth and glossy but not sticky and it lasts for HOURS.

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation in Shade 52

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

I’ve had this foundation for a while but it was a little dark for me so it was gathering dust in my beauty stash. When I returned from a few weeks in Greece however, it was the perfect shade and I have literally worn it every day since. It differs from my beloved Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in that the consistency is a little thicker and the finish is a little more on the satin side (I’d say HMSF is a little more lightweight and dewy, and both are quite luminous). It’s a gorgeous foundation and at R190, you can’t really go wrong. I use shade #52 by the way, which is actually darker than the HMSF in #53 (my winter shade).

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Milani Baked Blush in “Luminoso”

A quick Google search will tell you that this blush has achieved cult status for its flattering shade, good staying power and budget price. Camilla searched high and low for this little beauty when she visited the States earlier this year as I was desperate to try it, and I’m glad to say that she returned triumphant. I was initially quite disappointed actually because the colour comes off extremely warm on my skin and is totally unwearable in winter (it basically looks orange on me when I’m pale). Luckily, now that I have more of a tan, I totally get the hype. It sets off a bronzed glow perfectly and has just the right amount of sheen to leave you looking healthy and sun-kissed. I think this is going to be a huge hit during the summer months.

Revlon Powder Blush in Bronzilla

Revlon Powder Blush in “Bronzilla”

Revlon recently repackaged their powder blush range, one of them being this fab little bronzer (formerly known as “Your Bronze”). I heard whispers of it being a dupe for Benefit Hoola so I snatched one up at Dischem and have not regretted it. I don’t actually own Hoola so I really can’t say whether it’s a dupe or not, but it’s certainly a great bronzer. The formula is smooth and easy to blend with just the right amount of pigment (satin finish, no shimmer/glitter), and the shade is quite warm-toned but very natural. The packaging is a little annoying – I would happily forgo the brush for a bigger pan – but that’s the only bad thing I can say about it.

Sephora Classic Multitasker Brush 45

Sephora Classic Mineral Powder Brush #45

I’m a bit of a foundation brush junkie. I’m utterly devoted to my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and Expert Face Brush, and my Sigma F80 Flat Topped Kabuki, but that doesn’t stop me trying new things. I spotted this in Sephora in Athens and although it said it was for mineral powder, it looked like it would happily do the job for liquid foundation too. Turns out, it’s called the “Classic Multitasker Brush” on the Sephora website so it can certainly be used for more than mineral powder. It does a lovely job of applying foundation and is a little smaller than my other brushes, which I quite like. The synthetic bristles are densely packed but not too tightly, and the domed top helps to effortlessly blend the product for a smooth and flawless finish. I’m a big fan!

Evo Mister Fantastic Texture Spray

Evo Mister Fantastic Texture Spray

I’ve been through a few salt/texture sprays over the past year, and my favourite has been the Kerastase Spray a Porter. It remains in the top spot but since it’s now run out, I’m trying to work my way through the others in my collection. I got this overseas about a year ago (although I’ve spotted it at Frank Fowden in the V&A Waterfront so it’s definitely available in SA) on the recommendation of Kate from Gh0stParties. She says; “I love that it doesn’t feel heavy or crispy in the hair and it’s almost invisible once applied. If you have fine or flat hair, I really recommend this.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Swatches: S&G Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist, Revlon Powder Blush in Bronzilla and Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Swatches L-R: S&G Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist, Revlon Powder Blush in Bronzilla and Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (natural light, no flash, no filter)

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1 October 2014

3 Comments

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid: The One

IMG_5511

If you’re anything like me, you chop and change between various fragrances, but none of them really hook you to the point that you don’t want to use anything else. For years and years I used Narciso Rodriguez ‘For Her’, and although I loved it, the real reason I stuck with it was because I hadn’t found anything else that grabbed my attention. I am a real sucker for Tom Ford fragrances – I own Black Orchid, Neroli Portifino and now, Velvet Orchid (all thanks to my globe-trotting boyfriend). Ladies, I’m delighted to tell you that Velvet Orchid is ‘The One’.

I read a review recently which said “if you hated the original Black Orchid then you’ll probably like this and if you liked Black Orchid then you’ll definitely like this” – I think that sums it up pretty well (although, who doesn’t like Black Orchid?!). I adore Black Orchid, but it is quite a heavy fragrance and it’s not something I could/would wear everyday – it’s more of a night out/wintery scent, which limits it a bit in my opinion. For example, I wouldn’t dream of reaching for it during the summer months – it’s just too rich. Velvet Orchid smells like a lighter, more feminine version of Black Orchid, making it pretty much perfect for year-round wear. I find it incredibly difficult to describe fragrances properly, as I don’t really understand the ‘notes’ – I just like what I like – so I’m going to try and articulate how it makes me feel when I wear it (which is the most important aspect of a fragrance, don’t you agree?). When I first smelled this, I was completely hypnotized by it. It starts off quite oriental, and you can definitely detect some Black Orchid in there, but then it develops into something a bit more warm and floral – softer than Black Orchid for sure. When I wear it, I feel sophisticated, glamorous (or as glamorous as you can feel in an office – amirite?) and polished. To me this is the epitome of a ‘Rich Girl’ fragrance…and you know me, I am all about looking and feeling like a ‘Rich Girl’.

The scent lasts all day, so I can still smell it on myself by the time I take my evening shower – by that time it’s muted down into a really subtle, gentle scent. You can definitely get away with one spritz of this per day – which, I think, totally justifies the price. If you already own Black Orchid and are trying to decide whether or not to buy Velvet Orchid, I would say that Velvet Orchid is distinct enough to justify its purchase (despite the bottles being identical, save for a purple tint).

Velvet Orchid is available from selected Edgars Red Square Stores (definitely at the V&A Waterfront, and I presume Sandton City). R1,575 for 100ml and R1,125 for 50ml.

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29 September 2014

5 Comments

Introducing Lipidol

Our love affair with beauty oils is no secret; we hardly shut up about favourites like The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Trilogy Rosehip Oil, Mama Mio O-Mega Body Oil, MoroccanOil and REN Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil. In short, they are the best ingredient/formulation for cleansing and nourishing your skin and hair and we can’t get enough. So we were delighted to receive an invitation to the recent launch of a brand new, affordable, oil-based skincare line that is going to rock your world. Introducing: Lipidol.

The range:

There are currently six products in the line:

Lipidol South Africa

From L-R: Cleansing Face Oil (125ml), Cleansing Body Oil (200ml), After Shower Oil (175ml), Sunscreen Oil (125ml), After Shave Oil (100ml) and Overnight Face Oil (50ml)

What you need to know:

  • The brand was created by the same clever people who make Bio-Oil
  • It’s a range of potent, oil-based, preventative skincare that is suitable for sensitive skin and non-acnegenic (i.e. don’t be scared of oils if you have oily, acne-prone skin. They will actually help to balance it out)
  • Oil helps the skin retain moisture; without it, we fight a losing battle against the elements and our own hot showers to constantly keep our skin moisturised
  • The two “wash off” products quickly and effectively remove dirt and make-up without stripping the skin’s natural lipid layer
  • The four “leave on” products contain active ingredients that help to supplement the skin’s natural oily layer and prevent moisture loss
  • The range is lightly fragranced with essential oils and coloured with food-grade plant extracts
  • Packaging is clean and minimal with product names that simply describe the use e.g. “After Shower Oil”
  • Every product in the range costs R79.95 (available at Clicks)

Lipidol South Africa | All Dolled Up

Product review:

We got to try two items from the range: Cleansing Body Oil* and After Shower Oil*. The former is formulated with a (very) light surfactant so that is lathers slightly on wet skin and rinses off easily without leaving any residue behind. It has a fresh lime scent and has a very cleverly-shaped lid that won’t slip through wet or oily fingers in the shower – I do love small details like that.

The After Shower Oil is the perfect follow-up product to the Cleansing Body Oil and leaves an almost-undetectable camomile fragrance on the skin. The genius of this oil is its texture; it’s light without being dry, and absorbs super quickly, so it’s perfect for busy people like you and me.

Next on my shopping list is definitely the Cleansing Face Oil (to see how it compares to TBS version) and the After Shave Oil for my man. Do you have your eye on anything in the range? What do you think of oil-based skincare?

P.S. If you want proof that oil is the best thing for keeping moisture in your skin, watch this quick video demonstration.

*PR sample

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