25 July 2014

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Product Empties #2: Skincare

Product empties no 2 - Skincare | All Dolled Up

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel

This is my second bottle and I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying a third – love this stuff! It smells absolutely delicious and is creamy and nourishing without being too thick. It lathers up like a dream and leaves behind a subtle scent that lingers briefly on the skin. I pair it with The Breakfast Scrub on days when I need to exfoliate my legs and arms, leaving me with smooth, sweet-smelling limbs. Both are usually available from rubybox but they seem to be out of stock at the moment.

Price: R190 (500ml)

Product empties: Bioderma Sensibio H2O and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cleanser

I think I said in our last empties video that every “products I’ve used up” post will always include a bottle of Bioderma, and here it is! Do I need to explain? Takes off make-up. Gentle. Effective. Effortless. Great value. If you don’t use this then I’m not sure if we can still be friends.

Price: R180 (250ml)

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

There are a few tried and true cult products in the beauty world that have achieved platinum status (think Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, Kiehl’s Creme de Corps and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer) and this is one of them. I use this most evenings underneath my moisturiser, pressing two to three drops into my fingertips and over my whole face. The texture is that of a light liquid gel and it dries down quickly without feeling tacky or greasy. It’s the kind of all-rounder serum that is instantly hydrating and also helps to brighten and clarify the complexion over time. My skin is generally good so I don’t have any miraculous tales to tell you but I wholeheartedly believe in the ingredients (hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and purifying cell renewal boosters) and the product’s impressive heritage. It’s the kind of thing I know will benefit me in the long run, but doesn’t necessarily make a huge difference to my skin day to day. Definite repurchase… At some point. From Duty Free. When I’m feeling flush.

Price: R675 (30ml)

Product empties: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

I picked this up at the same time as my first bottle of Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and have been using it for the second evening cleanse. It has the texture of coconut oil at room temperature i.e. a solid that melts into a light oil in the warmth of your hands. There is nothing wrong with this product other than the fact that it’s competing with my beloved Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – and that’s like comparing a family sedan with a vintage roadster. They both get you from A to B but the roadster is a lot more fun! It’s perfectly good at breaking down make-up and daily grime from the face, it emulsifies easily (I wipe away the residue with a warm, soft cloth) and is nice and affordable. So if you’re a Practical Pam then this is the cleansing balm for you; if you need a bit of citrus-scented luxury in your life, then it’s time to get on the Emma Hardie train.

Price: R140 (90ml)

Product empties: Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum*

This is a tough one. Serums in general are really hard to review because they mostly offer long-term benefits rather than instant ones, and since my skin is generally in good condition, I find it very difficult to tell whether a serum is working or not. This is Clinique’s new and much-hyped do-it-all wonder product – it’s supposed to magically target your problem areas, providing custom repair where your skin needs it most. The science is difficult to believe but with a brand like Clinique, I feel comfortable trusting that it works like they say it does. I certainly enjoyed using it, but one of the biggest problems is that I seem to have whizzed through the bottle in no time at all. I managed to finish it up in a matter of weeks and the bottle is the same size as the ANR (although it’s a pump dispenser so I’m sure there’s lots of product left inside that I can’t get out). Considering this, and the fact that so far it’s an unproven product, I’ll be sticking to my ANR for now.

Price: R700 (30ml)

*PR sample

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22 July 2014

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Overnight Hydration Heroes

Hydration Heros

I was lucky enough to spend three days in the Karoo last week and, although it is the most beautiful, peaceful place in the world, it is also incredibly dry. By the time I got home on Sunday night, I felt as though every drop of moisture had been zapped from my body, so I went into damage control mode and whipped out every hydrating product in my arsenal. Here’s what I did to restore the balance:

Face

Jules and I recently received a few GLAMGLOW face masks from the lovely people at Metropolitan Cosmetics. Being a dry skinned gal, my eye was automatically drawn to the THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment. It looks, smells and feels like melted caramel – utterly delicious! I applied a thin layer all over and left it to sink in for a couple of hours. It does leave a residue on the skin (but it’s not nearly as sticky/tacky as the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask), so before bed I lightly blotted my face with a tissue and then drifted off to sleep. By the time the morning came my skin was looking plump and moisturised, with no dehydration lines in sight. This really is a miracle worker!

Lips

It should come as no surprise that my go-to product for saving dry, chapped lips is none other than my beloved Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm. Lashings and lashings of Rêve de Miel. Job done.

Hands

My Mom, my biggest beauty resource, told me about this one. She bought the Vitamin E Sink in Moisture Mask from the Body Shop a while ago and, although she didn’t like using it on her face (too harsh, she said – which is bizarre because she can basically use battery acid on her face), she found that it did an excellent job on her décolletage and hands. I like to apply a thin layer on the tops of my hands and into all the little nooks and crannies that tend to look a little snakeskin-esque, leave it to sink in for 10 minutes, and then just rub what’s left all over my hands like I would a regular hand cream. This little gem totally brought my hands back from the brink…thanks Mom!

Hair

Coconut oil. The end.

Body

I usually slather myself with my home-made body lotion concoction (containing, amongst other things, E45 Cream, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Body Lotion, REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil, Happy Event Antenatal Massage Lotion, and Skin & Bones Luxurious Moisturiser), but a cheaper alternative would be the much-loved Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Moisture (the smell alone…heaven). My trick is to apply it on damp, not dry, skin – I pat myself dry whilst still in the shower (so all the warm, moist air is still cocooning me from the cold) and then smother myself in lotion. I find this method works better than applying lotion to dry skin because this way, the lotion locks in all the moisture still lingering on the skin. Try it – you’ll see.

So there you have it…my tricks for getting dry, parched hair and skin back to normal. I hope you found it helpful!

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16 July 2014

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Quick Reviews #5

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Max Factor Masterpiece Max High Volume & Definition Mascara

I’ve always liked Max Factor mascaras – I used them for years when I was living in London and I always seem to go back to them. I picked this up the other day because I fancied trying something new and haven’t been able to put it down since. The pigment is jet black and the formulation is rich and glossy. It separates the lashes and adds both volume and length without any clumping and, although it applies quite wet, it dries quickly and doesn’t flake or smudge…might as well be a bullseye.

REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

This 3-in-1 offering from REN’s Rosa Centifolia range (which I love) is billed as a make-up remover, cleanser and toner, all in one beautiful bottle of goodness. I find it to be incredibly effective for removing make-up – it literally zaps every last scrap of foundation/blush/concealer and leaves your face feeling clean, but without that dry/tight feeling. I always follow up with a second cleanse in the evening because I wear sunscreen every day, but for the mornings, I think this is perfect all on its own. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it stings my eyes, so I still use Bioderma to remove my eye makeup. You can’t win ‘em all…

No. 7 Brilliantly Bare Beauty Enhancer

I mentioned this in our most recent UK beauty haul video (what do you mean you haven’t watched it? Go watch it!) and at the time I couldn’t for the life of me remember why I bought it. Anyway, I’ve had a bit of time to play around with it and I have to say, I really like it. It blurs your skin a bit, and makes everything look a bit softer, if that makes sense. It minimizes the appearance of pores and leaves the skin looking incredibly silky and touchable. It’s very lightweight and melts into the skin almost immediately so you can’t feel it on your skin, which I love. I can’t say for sure whether it acts as a primer or not – I can’t notice any discernible difference in the longevity of my foundation when I wear it, but what I do notice is that everything certainly looks a whole lot better!

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11 July 2014

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Three Nifty Hair Tricks

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I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that I am pretty rubbish with my hair – I have followed the same tried and tested routine for the past 15 years, and it’s very rare for me to stray. However, in the spirit of trying new things, I have discovered three little hair tricks that I have really been enjoying lately, and I wanted to share them with you.

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9 July 2014

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What to Buy at The Body Shop Winter Sale

The Best of The Body Shop Winter Sale

I feel like The Body Shop is on fire at the moment, with some seriously good new products being added to their line-up over the past six months or so. I usually stock up on my favourites during their massive bi-annual sale and since the winter promotion has just started, I thought I would share with you which items will be flirting with my shopping basket:

The Best of The Body Shop Winter Sale

Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Probably my current favourite product from The Body Shop (check out my review here), this gentle make-up remover will make your first cleanse quick and easy, leaving skin feeling clean, refreshed and clear of impurities. It’s less than half the price of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil (and that’s before it goes on sale!) and does the same job with less fuss. Lifetime VIP status.

Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz

I spotted this in Caroline Hirons’ recent Budget Skincare video and loved the idea of spraying my face with something that smells of oranges. This handbag-size bottle of citrus spray instantly refreshes the skin and enhances radiance, offering immediate hydration and reviving the appearance of dull-looking skin.

Hemp Hand Protector

This best-selling hand cream cracked the nod in my Winter Beauty Update because it is natural, affordable and effective. Made with hemp seed oil that has an unusually high concentration of essential fatty acids to help repair the skin’s moisture barrier, it leaves your hands smooth and supple.

Colour Crush Shine Lipsticks

These are a new release from The Body Shop and have been getting rave reviews online for the wearable shade range and comfortable, balmy texture. There are 10 pinks, reds and browns/neutrals to choose from, offering sheer to medium coverage on the lips and a smooth, juicy finish. I’m busy putting 14 Magenta de Rouge and 15 Fuchsia Flirt through their paces (thanks Tori!) and I can tell you that they are gorgeous!

The Best of The Body Shop Winter Sale

Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil

I’m loving the sound of this nighttime moisture booster which has a light, easily-absorbed texture and nourishes and recharges your skin while you sleep. Read what Caroline Hirons and Essie Button have to say about it.

Tea Tree Oil

I’ve sung the praises of tea tree oil before and have become something of an obsessive user of the stuff, spraying it on anything that will sit still. The Body Shop’s version is a 15% blend – not 100% pure tea tree – but this makes it suitable as a spot treatment (you have to dilute the essential oil for this purpose) and will help to clear breakouts in a matter of days.

Body Sorbets

The winter sale is the perfect time to stock up on these brand new body moisturisers so that you have plenty of them come summer time. Available in four scents (Mango, Moringa, Satsuma and Strawberry), they are designed to be lightweight and fast-absorbing, leaving soft, smooth skin behind with no residue. You can even pop them in the fridge for an extra burst of coolness on hot, sticky days – I can’t wait to use them in summer!

The Best of The Body Shop Winter Sale

Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub (Limited Edition)

The blogosphere went wild for this range when it launched a couple of months ago, and for good reason: it basically looks, feels and smells like raspberry jam. I’m not usually a fan of fruity scents but I would make an exception for this stuff because it’s just so delicious. The scrub contains sugar and raspberry seeds that help to gently slough away dead skin, although it’s definitely not the most exfoliating scrub they make. You can also get your fix from the matching Body Butter too.

Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

This is the perfect matte bronzer for lighter skintones. It comes in three shades (all quite pale) and can be used to add a subtle, natural glow to the face or carve out cheekbones and contour the face for more definition. The powder is semi-sheer which makes application completely foolproof and perfect for beginners.

Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

As you know by now, I love a good face mask and The Body Shop makes some of the first ones I ever tried. This is one of my favourites as it’s perfect for combination/oily skin due to the deep-cleaning power of clay and mattifying properties of mineral-rich seaweed. It gently clarifies and rebalances, while negatively charged ions act like magnets to draw out dirt and impurities from the pores. The Warming Mineral Mask is also fab, with ginger, cinnamon oil and kaolin clay to deep cleanse all skin types.

The last, slightly random, thing I always pick up at the sale is their bath lily. They are the best – they don’t fall apart easily, are firm and scrubby, and produce plenty of lather. It took we a while to figure out that not all bath lilies are created equal, and these are the best of the bunch.

The winter sale (up to 50% off) runs from 4 July – 10 August 2014.

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7 July 2014

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Favourite Five: Purple Eye Make Up

Purple eye make up in winter is one of my favourite things – it suits the mood of the season perfectly, and looks pretty great on everyone. I can understand why people shy away from it though – no one wants to look like they’ve gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson – but if applied correctly, it can look absolutely stunning. Here are my top five favourite purples…

MAC Eyeshadow in Sketch

Sketch

I just adore this deep, plummy purple. I like to apply Antiqued (see below) all over the lid, and then apply Sketch through my socket and along my lower lashline. I then take a little bit of black liner (I am currently loving the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black) along the top lashline to break the colour up a bit, as solid purple can be a little overwhelming. These colours work really well together to create a smokey, wintery effect. Love.

MAC Eyeshadow in Antiqued

Antiqued

This is more of a russet colour than purple, strictly speaking, but it’s so beautiful that I couldn’t leave it out. The colour in the pan looks quite strong and red, but when you apply it, it creates a lovely rusty, gold colour, as you will see from the swatches below.

MAC Eye Kohl in Bordeauxline

Bordeauxline

This is not a product that I would have naturally gravitated towards, but when I saw it on my beautiful friend Rosie, I knew I had to have it. This liner is gorgeous worn on its own for more of simple look, or you can pair it with other shadows for more of a ramped-up look. For evenings out I will apply this all along my top and bottom lash lines and then apply a little bit of black lined on the outer corner of my eye just to add a little bit of definition – it works like a dream. I particularly love it on the bottom lashline as it really brings out the blue in my eyes.

L’Oreal Mega Volume Miss Manga Mascara

Miss Manga

Jules mentioned this in her May Favourites, and with good reason! I had seen it in store but never for a moment thought to buy it because (a) this isn’t the 80’s and (b) I am not Melanie Griffith. However I have to eat my words because this mascara is RAD and I have been using it almost every single day since I bought it. Although it looks rather bright on the brush (and in the swatches below), it actually goes on quite dark, and you only really see the purple when the light catches your lashes. It’s wonderful quality too – so smudging, flaking of clumping. A big thumbs up from All Dolled Up.

Sigma Eyeshadow in Russet from the ‘Warm Neutrals Palette’

Sigma

Jules and I both created looks using this palette, so you can see me use ‘Russet’ in action here. I like to wash a little of this over my lid for a more casual daytime look, or really pack it on and load on the black liner for an evening look. I find that this colour really compliments my colouring and people always comment on how blue my eyes look when I wear it.

Swatches - Light

Sunlight swatches from left to right: Sketch, Antiqued, Russet, Bordeauxline, Miss Manga

Swatches - Shade

Shade swatches from left to right: Sketch, Antiqued, Russet, Bordeauxline, Miss Manga

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30 June 2014

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Review: Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup

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When I first read about the new Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup (‘BB’) I was pretty excited: a hybrid foundation combining great coverage and a dewy/glowy finish…that’s basically the Holy Grail as far as I am concerned. I anticipated the  BB to have the same coverage and longevity of Double Wear Light (‘DWL’), with the glowy finish of, say, the Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme.

Nope.

Although it undoubtedly has more luminosity than DWL, it is by no means gives the skin a glow. Well, certainly not mine anyway (but I should caveat this by saying that my skin is incredibly dry – like, parched to the extreme). As far as coverage is concerned, I would say the BB offers light to medium coverage, and it certainly is buildable, but I don’t find it to be as good as DWL. By way of an example, DWL covers old blemish scars without the need for a concealer – sadly not so with the BB. Additionally, I find that if I do need to conceal on top of DWL, the concealer clings to the foundation all day long, with no need for touch-ups. Again, this is not the case with the BB – I noticed that the concealer started to shift and dissipate after 2-3 hours and I then needed to constantly re-apply my concealer throughout the day. However, with that being said, the BB isn’t a foundation, it’s a BB cream (obviously), so I think my expectations about the level of coverage were a little unrealistic.

As far as application of the BB is concerned, I found that a dampened Beauty Blender worked best – fingers and brushes just didn’t give me an even enough finish.  As with DWL, the BB is not very fluid and it sets quickly, so you have to work fast. The moisture in the Beauty Blender definitely helped to initially add a bit of a glow to the BB, but it evaporated quite quickly.

Before I bought the BB, I was using DWL on my chin area to conceal spots, and then one of my other foundations on the rest of my face to  create more a dewy finish (like the L’Oreal True Match Lumi, Bourjois CC Cream or Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation). It is very rare for me to use DWL all over my face at the moment because my skin seems to be drier than it was last winter, and I end up with a very flat complexion. I was hoping that the BB would solve this problem and that I would be able to use one foundation on my entire face, but unfortunately, no.

I think perhaps the BB is better suited for months where my skin is a bit more hydrated, so I will shelve it until then and revisit it when the time is right. Stay tuned…

Available in store or online here. Retails for R450 online, but I definitely paid R415 in store for mine. Very strange.

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27 June 2014

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Review: L’Oréal Elvive Fibrology Range

I first heard about this innovative haircare range from British Beauty Blogger back in January (follow her if you want to know about new beauty launches first!) and was immediately enthralled. It promises to thicken fine hair with each use, penetrating into the fibre and increasing the diameter of each strand (read about the science behind it here) – might as well be a bullseye, amiright? All the buzz was very positive so I was extremely excited to give it a go, especially as it was being sold at such an affordable price point.

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Review

As soon as it was available in South Africa, I rushed to buy the 250ml shampoo (R49), 400ml conditioner (R70) and 30ml double serum (R75). I wash my hair every day (don’t get me started) so I knew I wouldn’t have to wait too long to see the “cumulative effect” as it is promised you’ll see results after five washes.

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Review

You know how Blake Lively (their spokesmodel) gets such gorgeous, thick hair? EXTENSIONS.

In short: it didn’t work. Not in the way I had hoped for anyway. I have very fine, thin hair so I should be the perfect candidate for this kind of product but my hair wasn’t noticeably thicker after a month of continuous daily use. It certainly didn’t feel any thicker than it would have if I had used my usual styling products, and these offer a quicker (if temporary) solution to lacklustre locks when I need it.

To summarise: Does it clean my hair and make it soft and bouncy? Yes. Did it rock my world? No. Would I repurchase it? No.

P.S. Leigh is a big fan of Nioxin Diaboost Thickening Xtrafusion Treatment but at R695 for a 100ml bottle, I think I’ll be sticking to my texturising sprays.

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