26 August 2015

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How to Cover Dark Under-Eye Circles

How to cover dark under eye circles

This post is inspired by an email we received from a reader who wanted some advice about the best way to cover her dark under-eye area. It’s something that we cover briefly in most of our video tutorials but perhaps it begs a more detailed explanation – it is an art, after all! And as much as beauty and skincare brands would love you to believe it, there is no one miracle product that will do the trick. Instead, I rely on a combination of three makeup items to banish my bags – here’s how it works:

Benefit Erase Paste | All Dolled Up

Step 1: Corrector

The first and perhaps most critical thing that you will need is a good corrector, which usually takes the form of a high coverage, peach/pink toned cream. The logic is that these colours are the opposite of blue/purple on the colour wheel, so by applying them under your eyes, you counteract the darkness and even out the skin tone. The reason it is important is that concealer applied directly to dark shadows generally looks ashy, but concealer applied to “corrected” skin brightens everything up instead.

HOW TO USE IT
Apply a thin layer only where you skin looks dark e.g. very inner corner and/or outer corner of the under eye area, don’t just slap it all over your face. You can go pretty wild in the next step but corrector requires much more specific placement. Corrector is usually quite pigmented so a little should go a long way, plus it’s much more likely to crease if you apply too much.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS
Bobbi Brown Corrector (go to a counter and get colour-matched) – R285 for 1.4g
Benefit Erase Paste (available in selected Edgars/Red Square stores) – R325 for 4.4g
MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette (four concealers and two corrector shades) – R450 for 6 x 1g

I know these prices probably seem expensive for a small pot but trust me, it will last you AGES! Also, notice how much better value for money the Benefit Erase Paste is in comparison to the Bobbi Brown corrector…

Under eye concealers | All Dolled Up

Step 2: Concealer

I usually let my corrector set a little while I fill in my eyebrows or something; this isn’t totally necessary but it just means there’s less chance of moving it around when I come to apply my concealer over the top. This step serves to brighten the area and conceal any remaining darkness, and there are two options: You can use a regular concealer or a highlighting one, depending on your preference. As the name would suggest, highlighting concealers contain light-reflecting particles that help to illuminate the skin (this is what I use). Regular concealers are usually a bit heavier in consistency and contain more pigment, so are better if you feel you need some serious coverage. Your under-eye concealer should be 1-2 shades lighter than you skin tone, either way.

HOW TO USE IT
My preferred method is to roughly tap or brush on a highlighting concealer, going under my eyes, along my cheekbones and down either side of my nose (stick to just underneath your eyes if you’re using a regular concealer). I then either blend this in lightly with my fingers or using a dampened beauty sponge, like the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. You can also use a brush (the Sigma P84 is good) but I find this can disturb the base and corrector underneath.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS
“Regular” concealer:
Clarins Instant Concealer – R310 for 15ml
L.A. Girl HD Pro Conceal – R30 for 8g
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer – R120 for 10ml
“Highlighting” concealer:
Clinique Airbrush Concealer – R230 for 4.6g
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter – R270 for 3.6ml
The Body Shop Lightening Touch – R130 for 3ml

Setting powders | All Dolled Up

Step 3: Powder

Ideally you want to then set the area with a translucent or yellow-toned (brightening) powder. This not only helps to set the concealer, making it last longer, but it also helps to avoid creasing. The best ones are finely milled with little to no pigment and will also absorb oil throughout the day, further improving the wear time of your makeup. I usually recommend a pressed powder but you could use a loose powder too – just be careful not to overdo it.

HOW TO USE IT
Dust the powder very lightly over the concealer with a small/medium-sized brush – not those huge fluffy things we normally think of when putting powder on your face. A more compact brush (my favourite is the Real Techniques Setting Brush, but I’d also recommend the Sigma F55, MAC 138 and Zoeva Luxe Highlight brushes) allows precision placement of the powder so you only set and mattify the areas that need it. Powdering over your whole face can make your complexion look flat and lifeless; I personally stick to everywhere I put concealer plus a little in the middle of my nose, forehead and chin.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS
MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Setting Powder – R330 for 6.3g
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder – R465 for 11g
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Transparent) – R93 for 14g

The causes of dark under-eye circles are numerous and well documented (lack of sleep, genetics, age, hyperpigmentation, allergies, etc.) and makeup isn’t going to solve any of those problems; it just covers it up. It’s best to consult with a specialist or aesthetician (e.g. Skin Renewal) if you really want to tackle the root of the issue.

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20 August 2015

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WIN with Kardashian Beauty Hair

Kardashian Hair Beauty South Africa | All Dolled Up

Say what you like about the Kardashians, but those girls have got it going on when it comes to their hair. Whether you’re a fan of Kim’s sleek locks, Kourtney’s voluminous curls or Khloe’s tumbling waves, you can’t deny that their ‘do is always flawless.

Kardashian Hair Beauty South Africa | All Dolled Up

The sisters’ haircare range, Kardashian Beauty Hair, is about to launch in South Africa on Glamit.co.za, and to celebrate we will be giving away some of the best-selling products, worth just under R1700! The luxurious range of products and tools is infused with Black Seed Oil which helps to revitalise hair for soft, supple, shiny results:
 
Kardashian Beauty Hair Black Seed Dry Oil

Black Seed Dry Oil (R450)

A nutrient rich treatment and styling aid that rejuvenates and nourishes hair so it appears strong, thick, smooth and gloriously shiny. This ultra-light formula is easily absorbed, instantly nourishing and smooth’s hair leaving no residue behind.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kardashian Beauty Hair Take 2 Dry Shampoo

Take 2 Dry Shampoo (R395)

Revives limp, lifeless hair by instantly absorbing excess oil and impurities that weigh hair down. This fast drying waterless spray, formulated with rejuvenating Black Seed Oil, extends the life of your style by refreshing the roots and providing a pure foundation for layered styling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kardashian Beauty Hair Take 2 Dry Shampoo

Take 2 Dry Conditioner (R395)

A lightweight conditioning spray that revives dull or dry hair by enhancing shine and moisture in between styles. This moisturizing formula contains small conditioning molecules that instantly hydrate hair, leaving it incredibly soft and smooth. Nourishing Black Seed Oil provides added radiance for the ultimate glamorous finish.
 
 
 
 
 
Kardashian Beauty Hair Pure Glitz Hair Spray

Pure Glitz Hair Spray (R450)

Provides intense texture, volume and hold to any hair type in need of a hint of glam. Infused with Black Seed Oil and shine enhancing sparkles, this fast drying volumising hair spray creates thicker, fuller styles for the ultimate glamorous finish.
 
 
 
 
 

HOW TO ENTER

Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be added to the draw. To qualify, you need to follow us on Twitter and for an extra entry, you need to tweet about the competition, saying: “I want to WIN with @alldolledup_sa & Kardashian Hair Beauty #KardashiansSA #GlamItSA.” All this is handled through the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway rules:

  • Open to residents of South Africa only and entrants must be over 18 years of age (or have a parent/guardian’s consent before entering)
  • The competition will be open for entry on Thursday 20 August 2015 and will close at midnight on Friday 28 August 2015 and no entries will be accepted after this date.
  • The winner will be selected at random and notified via Twitter on/before Monday 31 August 2015
  • If the first drawn winner does not claim the prize within 14 days, another winner will be drawn
  • The winner will receive the aforementioned products, to be shipped anywhere within South Africa
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19 August 2015

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Review: MAC Warm Neutrals Eye Shadow Palette

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If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen that I decided to treat myself to the MAC Warm Neutral Eye Shadow Palette a few weeks ago. This was not a spur of the moment decision, oh no, I had been wistfully staring at it for over a year before I took the plunge. The palette contains 15 warm toned (as the name would suggest) eye shadows, four of which are permanent and four of which are repromoted. There are three matte shades and twelve glitter/shimmer shades, all of which attracted me like a little magpie!

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18 August 2015

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New at the Drugstore (August 2015)

What's new at the drugstore | All Dolled Up

I went to Clicks yesterday and it didn’t end well for my wallet… Here’s the new stuff I found:

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

We were thrilled to see this stuff on Luzanne’s Instagram feed as it’s known for being an amazing budget dupe for Bioderma, the beauty world’s favourite micellar water. There are two variants: one for sensitive skin and one for combo-oily skin. I bought both (obvs) and rushed home immediately to take off my makeup, using one on each side of my face. I can’t really tell any difference between them to be honest but they certainly to the job for which they were intended without stinging my eyes or drying out my skin. Lovely stuff.

Garnier South Africa Micellar Cleansing Water | All Dolled Up

Let’s talk value: At Clicks, Bioderma Sensibio H2O is R197 for 250ml (79c per ml) and the Avène Micellar Lotion is R199 for 200ml (99c per ml). Each of the Garnier micellar cleansers is R79.95 for a massive 400ml bottle (2c per ml). That’s ridiculously good value for a product that does the exact same thing as it’s more expensive counterparts.

L'Oréal Infallible Foundation and Primer | All Dolled Up

L’Oréal Infallible Pro Matte 24HR Foundation & Mattifying Base

This is a seriously exciting new addition to the local drugstore because my favourite beauty bloggers and YouTubers have been singing its praises for months. As a girl with a really oily T-zone, mattifying base products are a dream come true so I’m insanely excited to try this combo. The primer is a clear silicone-y gel that reminds me of the Smashbox Photo Finish primer, and feels equally smoothing and lightweight when swatched. I chose the foundation shade “22 Radiant Beige” so hopefully that’s the right match for my face right now (I did the jawbone test but you can never be 100% sure in that appalling shop lighting). I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl tomorrow but it’s meant to be lightweight and long-wearing, with medium coverage and a demi-matte finish. Sounds right up my street!

Price: R190 each

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | All Dolled Up

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

I definitely didn’t need a new mascara (I bought three different tubes in total plus I have about five at home – it’s a sickness) but I absolutely had to try this one after seeing Fleur review it recently on her blog with some amazing before and after photos. Controversially, I prefer rubber/silicone mascara wands (most people seem to prefer “natural” bristles) so it’s already got that going for it, plus it promises a “full fan effect” which sounds like something my lashes would enjoy. I’m hoping it’s nice and black, provides good volume with a bit of length and doesn’t have too much of a wet formula. I’ve read a few reviews that say it can be clumpy so let’s see… I’ll report back.

UPDATE: It’s amazing!

Price: R145

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14 August 2015

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NEW: Estée Lauder New Dimension Range

Estée Lauder New Dimension

41-year-old mega-babe Eva Mendes is the face of the product range

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of being bombarded with anti-ageing messages by the media. The vast majority of beauty brands seem to think the best way to market products to women is to imply that a) they aren’t good enough as they are and b) their self esteem and well being will be improved through the magical time-reversal properties of their lotions and potions. In other words, you will be loved if you look younger so you simply HAVE to use this cream!

Estée Lauder New Dimension

I could write an entire post on how this attitude makes me feel but I’ll leave that for another time. The point of my ramble is that Estée Lauder (who have also previously used a version of this marketing strategy themselves) have woken up to the idea that this isn’t the best way to get women to feel good about themselves, and flipped it on its head. Instead of asking women how their skin looks, they’re asking customers how the product makes them feel.

Estée Lauder New Dimension

The product range that is blazing the trail for this new wave of positive sentiment is called New Dimension, and *shock horror* it isn’t designed to make your wrinkles disappear. Instead, the range promises to “define facial contours” and “improve both visible structure and volume” to help give skin the density and definition that is characteristic of youthful skin. The best part? The phrase “anti-angeing” phrase wasn’t mentioned ONCE at the launch.

Estée Lauder New Dimension

The Shape + Fill Expert Serum works on the skin’s appearance to improve dimension, density and definition. It achieves this through a blend of ingredients that promote skin plumping (e.g. Hyaluronic Acid), firming (e.g. pro-collagen complex) and elasticity (e.g. proteins and lipids). Estée Lauder claim that you’ll see both immediate and long-term results as the products works on the various layers of the skin.

The matching eye treatment, New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape, targets and helps give a tighter feel to key facial contours. Over time, it should help to firm, tone and give a more sculpted, lifted look around eyes, and in the short term it acts like a mini facelift.

Estée Lauder New Dimension

We haven’t yet had a chance to put this product to the test properly but we’ll be sure to report back once we have. The range will launch in SA next month so keep your eyes peeled if this sounds like it’s up your street!

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12 August 2015

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Dischem, Clicks and Foschini Haul

I had been itching to do a “drugstore” haul for the longest time, so when payday rolled around I decided to head to Canal Walk (all the best shops are there, even though getting there after work can be painful) and I even managed to convince my trusty sidekick Jules to accompany me. Here’s a quick whistle-stop tour of what I got (including a mini-review of the products I have already tried).

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Avène Rich Compensating Cream. I had been researching new day cream options and decided on this one from Avène as it fitted the “hydrating and mild” bill! I have loved every single thing I have ever tried from Avène and this is no different: it feels wonderful on the skin and keeps my face moisturized all day. Retails from Clicks for R329.95

Sorbet Hydrating Face Mask. I used this last week and it was ok. It provided adequate hydration, but it was nowhere near as good as the Asian sheet masks I have been using recently. Retails from Clicks for R30.35.

Sorbet Smoothing Under Eye Mask. Retails from Clicks for R31.95

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NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base. I am nearing the end of my much loved and very excellent Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer and I wanted to try a drugstore (read: cheaper) option, so I decided to give this a go. So far, so good – it does a good job of keeping the shadows in place but it doesn’t amplify the pigment as much its Smashbox counterpart does. Retails from Clicks for R109.95.

Maybelline The Colossal Go Extreme Volum Mascara (what a mouthful). I picked this up because the brush looked nice and big and I anticipated that it would leave me with massively volumised lashes. Sadly this was not the case – the brush doesn’t deposit nearly enough product, so instead of mega-lashes, I was left with decidedly ‘meh’-lashes…such a disappointment. If it’s volume you’re after, I would skip this and buy Big Eyes instead. Retails for from Clicks R134.95

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Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Liner. I already had the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in my hand when the sales lady suggested that I try this Rimmel offering instead, and I am so glad I did. The formulation is excellent: it’s creamy and pigmented which makes it great to work with – achieving smooth, sleek lines is quick and easy. As it’s waterproof, it’s incredibly long lasting (you will need an oil to remove it) and it wears really well on the waterline. Comes with a great little brush too. Retails from Foschini for R110.00.

Maybelline Volume Express Big Eyes Mascara. Brilliant mascara – I reviewed this in my July Favourites post. Retails from Dischem for R125.00.

Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara. Jules has been raving about this for months – you can read about it in her July Favourites post here. I think this product is brilliant – it really does bulk up fine brows and leaves them looking nice and full. If I had a proper set of brows I wouldn’t use anything but this. Sadly that isn’t the case so I still have to pencil in the tails of my brows, but I like using this in the front portions where I have some hair. Retails from Dischem for R44.95.

Eyelure Brow Control and Shape Gel. New favourite alert! I must admit, the main reason for picking this up was because it didn’t come in a clear tube (the MAC Brow Set looks revolting after a couple of days because all your brow product ends up making the gel look brown and manky). This formulation has more of an oilier texture (it feels nourishing, which I like), yet it still does a brilliant job of keeping the hairs in place (and without any crisp/crunch). Retails from Dischem for R95.00.

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NYX Lip Butter Gloss in ‘Tiramisu’. I am almost finished the tube I bought a few months ago, and I just adore this stuff. I would say it’s my most used lip item of 2015 so far. Retails from Clicks for R124.95

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Balm in ‘Drive Me Nude. In the bullet the colour looked similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick in ‘Heaping Hazelnut’, however, once I applied it, the colour was far more pink than nude on me (check out the swatches over on Beauty Editor). The formula is impressive and certainly lives up to it’s ‘Lasting Finish’ name – it leaves a very definite stain that stays put all day (and even survives food and drink)! Retails from Dischem for R92.95.

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Barbara Hofmann Round Eyelash Brush. I have been looking for a decent spoolie for ages (there are only so many you can, um, appropriate from MAC before you start to look dodgy) and when I stumbled upon this one in Dischem I snapped it up immediately. It is brilliant for both brows and lashes and it has become a firm staple in my make-up routine. Retails from Dischem for R74.95.

Real Techniques Setting Brush. Just stocking up because this brush rules. Retails from Foschini for R99.00

Have you picked up any must-haves from Clicks/Dischem/Foschini lately? Let me know!

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7 August 2015

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Backstage at MBFWCT 2015

MAC Cosmetics South Africa | All Dolled Up

Last Thursday marked the kick-off of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town for SS16 and we were lucky enough to be invited backstage to watch Michelle and her team work on all the models. I was expecting a chaotic scene, full of maniacal MUAs and harassed hair stylists, but what unfolded in the hair and makeup tent was something much more calm and organised.

MAC Cosmetics South Africa | All Dolled Up

The lovely Michelle-Lee Collins (L), Senior Artist at MAC

They were preparing for Stefania Morland when we arrived; a gorgeous island-inspired look. Skin was being prepped with Strobe Cream and Mineralized Moisture Foundation so it looked really dewy, while Pearl Cream Color Base and a slick of Crystal Glaze Gloss was used on the high points of the face for an additional highlight. Plenty of Give Me Sun bronzer was used to create a “Mediterranean sun-kissed glow”, and also blended across the eyelids.

MAC Cosmetics South Africa | All Dolled Up

The Crystal Glaze Gloss was used again on the middle of the lid, while Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara (a favourite of ours, especially for the lower lashline) was worked into the base of the lashes only for subtle definition. Brows were very textured and natural-looking, brushed up to show the hairs and set with a clear gel. Go Guava from the Spring 2015 Lip & Cheek Palette was buffed onto the cheeks and patted into the lips for a subtle flush of healthy colour. The look was finished with a few freckles drawn on over the nose and cheeks as the ultimate “beach babe” accessory.

Stefania Morland MBFWCT 2015 | All Dolled Up

Stefania Morland, MBFWCT 2015

After we had soaked up the vibe backstage, we headed to the main tent to catch Marianne Fassler and Stefania Morland in action. Both shows were a riot of colour and texture and such fun to watch. Anyone else feeling REALLY ready for spring?!

MAC Cosmetics South Africa | All Dolled Up

Special thanks to MAC for having us.

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5 August 2015

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July Favourites: Camilla

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Marvala Nail Shield

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A few months ago my nails were looking seriously worse for wear and I thought to myself “I know, I’ll try Gelish for a little while and see if it helps”…in the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: big mistake, huge! Not only did Gelish not help, but it actually made my nails worse (not throwing shade at Gelish here, by the way, I think it’s bloody brilliant and I loved having glossy, chip-free nails for 2 months – if my nails were stronger I would absolutely have kept getting Gelish manicures). When my manicurist scraped the last trace of it from my nails, I was horrified; my nails were paper-soft, peeling and sore. Drastic action was required and I promptly marched myself to Clicks and bought the Marvala Nail Shield, a two-phase strengthening kit aimed at reinforcing weakened nails. The formula of Nail Shield has been developed to give nails resistance, protecting them from daily tasks and other damaging elements, with the idea being that the nails can then correctly regenerate and strengthen itself as their growth is protected from breaking, flaking and impacts.

The first phase contains fibers to create protective matrix over the nail to reinforce it. The second phase is smoothing top coat which is similar to a ridge-filler I suppose – it evens out the surface of the nail so that you can apply polish on top without it looking bumpy. I have been applying a light pink polish over the top for the past 2 months (OPI ‘Privacy Please’ is my current favourite) and I think it looks great. I have seen a remarkable improvement in the strength of my nails – they no longer bend on contact which is nice, and they aren’t sore anymore. There is still some peeling, but nowhere near as bad as when the Gelish first came off (or even prior to the Gelish, come to think of it). My nails are still a work in progress, but Nail Shield definitely helped speed along the recovery process.

Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser

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I was initially put off by the name of this, because to me, milk cleansers are wishy-washy and don’t really do much for my skin. However, this offering from Avène is far more of a cream cleanser than a milk cleanser – the consistency is rich and comforting, and it’s packed full of Vitamin E so it’s incredibly moisturising. It is gentle yet effective – I use it as my second cleanse in the evenings and it zaps any trace of makeup that my first cleanse may have missed, and it’s definitely the best part of my morning skincare routine because it just feels so good (and has the signature Avène scent which I love). This is going to be a Holy Grail product for me, I can just feel it.Will there ever be an Avène product that I don’t adore? Doubts it.

SOiL Kenyan Shea Butter*

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I have been l.o.v.i.n.g. SOiL products this month – the Uplifting Coconut Bath Oil has become a regular fixture in my bath time routine, and I use the Rose Geranium and Grapefruit essential oils in my humidifier every single day (I have also been inspired by Tori and Talya and will be making my own candles using SOiL essential oils, but more on that at a later stage). Forgive the hippie moment, but I feel so happy when I use this brand because a) it’s local and b) it’s certified organic so I know it’s free of nasties. The founders of the brand actually farm, process and market the products themselves, so they are incredibly hands-on and are able to properly monitor the process from start to finish to ensure that every product is of the highest quality.

This shea butter has been a total skin saviour for me this winter – not only is it incredibly moisturising (obviously) but it’s completely pure, no colour, no scent, nothing. I have been slathering it on 3 nights a week, usually after a nice hot bath (I know hot baths dry out the skin but I am unrepentant because winter). I like to apply it as soon as I get out of the bath, while the bathroom is still filled with steam – I gently pat myself dry, then warm the oil up between my palms, and massage it in from top to toe. Given how greasy you will look/feel afterwards, I wouldn’t recommend using this in the mornings – save it for the evenings when you can lounge around and soak up all the glorious oil without worrying about how the hell you’re going to get your jeans on. In the morning you will be baby soft, I promise.

Healing Earth Stillness Bath Salts*

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Another local hero, this time from Healing Earth, a holistic beauty and wellness brand. I love a good bath (if you hadn’t already noticed), and I am always on the lookout to try new products to take my soak to the next level. These bath salts contain pure sea salt crystals blended with 100% pure essential oils, and there are four options to choose from: Rhythm (nourishing), Joy (energising), Forest (relaxing) and Stillness (sleep enhancing) – I chose Stillness, which smells like actual heaven. I ran a bath last week and put in half a box of epsom salts (standard – I don’t bath without them anymore) and small handful of these. The whole bathroom was instantly filled with the aroma of lavender, and when I sunk into the warm water I felt instantly relaxed. I did sleep well afterwards, but then I always sleep well after a bath so I can’t say that it helped on that front. A lovely bath time treat nonetheless.

Maybelline Volume Express Big Eyes Mascara

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This clever mascara contains two wands: a thicker wand for the top lashes, and a skinny little wand for the bottom lashes! It’s amazing what a difference it makes having the bottom lash wand – it really grips the lashes and distributes the product evenly without getting mascara smudges all over the place. As much as a love big, fat mascara brushes, they can be impractical for lower lashes as they can sometimes be a bit too cumbersome to do a proper job. This little wand leaves the bottom lashes looking incredibly natural, but still defined, which may sound kind of obvious, but when I think back to the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (RIP), I remembered that it did have a tendency to make the bottom lashes look a little spidery, particularly when it was new and hadn’t had a chance to dry out a little.  The top lash wand of this mascara is fantastic too – it really builds up volume without clumping, and it wears well too. A gold star to Maybelline for this stroke of genius!

*PR Sample

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3 August 2015

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July Favourites: Jules

July Favourites 2015 | All Dolled Up

Revlon Powder Blush in “Naughty Nude”

I’m fairly addicted to blush so when I saw this one being mentioned a few times on YouTube, it was inevitable that it would find its way into my makeup collection. The shade is a light rosy brown with a subtle golden sheen, so it’s the ideal nude blush and perfect for winter because it’s not too bright. The formula isn’t the best; it’s a little bit chalky and the shimmer tends to emphasize skin texture, but I love the colour so much that I can work with these shortcomings. I think it would be especially pretty on pale skin or even as a highlight on darker skin tones. You can see swatches here.

Topshop Kohl in Sable | All Dolled Up

Topshop Kohl Pencil in “Sable”

Can you tell we’re both huge fans of the Topshop beauty range? I think it has featured in every favourites post and tutorial for the past few months. If you’re looking for a dark brown eyeliner that’s creamy and smooth, highly pigmented and really long lasting, then this one is for you. The colour is intense and chocolatey, it’s easy to blend and sets to a budge-proof finish. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a brown eyeliner and I had forgotten how much more subtle it can look compared to black, especially during the day. It’s obviously quite versatile but I tend to use it with a bit of MAC Groundwork washed over my lids and plenty of mascara for an easy everyday look.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream | All Dolled Up

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

If you watched my recent USA Beauty Haul, you will have spotted this moisturiser that I picked up in Sephora. It’s proven to be an unexpected gem that I’ve used every day since I got back, and have been really impressed by how well it has suited by combo-oily-dehydrated skin. “One size fits all” products like this are invariably too heavy and too greasy for me, but Ultra Repair Cream sinks in beautifully with no residue, leaves skin smooth and hydrated, and also soothes the inflammation on the lower half of my face. Moisturisers that are both hydrating and nourishing without being too rich are a very rare find and I’m officially obsessed. I still think I’ll use Neutrogena Hydro Boost in the summer but this is my new winter favourite for sure. You can buy First Aid Beauty on Feel Unique for delivery to SA.

Favourite brow products | All Dolled Up

Eylure Brow Pencil and Essence Make Me Brow

I had the recent misfortune of running out of my favourite eyebrow pencil; the Soap & Glory one I use every single day and absolutely love. Unfortunately you can’t get it in SA and I didn’t have a backup so I had to look for an alternative (the MUFE Aqua Brow is great but a bit labour intensive for every day) so I thought I’d try one of the new Eylure products that I saw in Dischem. I knew from the first time I used this pencil that it was a hit – the formula is quite hard and strikes the perfect balance between dry and waxy which makes it long lasting and very natural-looking. It also comes with a handy spoolie on the opposite end of the pencil for grooming the brows and brushing away any excess.

The Essence brow gel I’ve been pairing with it is a MUCH cheaper dupe of Benefit’s Gimme Brow and does pretty much the exact same thing. It’s also tinted (comes in two colours; one for blondes, one for brunettes) and also contains tiny fibres that help to build volume and fill gaps in sparse brows. The main difference is that Gimme Brow costs R295 and the Essence one is R45! I actually prefer the Essence brow gel as the brush is slightly different and deposits less product onto the brows, which I prefer as my brow hairs are super fine and thin and can easily get overloaded.

Slim Sonic Toothbrush | All Dolled Up

Slim Sonic Travel Toothbrush

One of my greatest frustrations with travelling is not being able to take my electric toothbrush with me and anyone who uses one will know that a regular one just doesn’t cut it. We were sent this cute, battery-powered version a while ago and I ended up taking it with me to New York in May, which pleased me no end considering the cover was decorated with NYC landmarks! I know it seems like a bit of a random thing to rave about, but I loved it; it’s super convenient and the sonic vibrations move at 22 000 times per minute, leaving you teeth feeling super clean. It has come in really handy over the past few months (we go away for weekends a LOT during winter) and I haven’t even had to change the battery yet. There are loads of different colours and patterns to choose from, it’s small and easy to store, and comes with an extra brush head for added convenience. It’s both stylish and practical, which makes it my new favourite travel essential – check out slimsonic.co.za for more.

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