6 July 2015

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Winter Beauty Update

Winter face masks | All Dolled Up

Masks

My collection of face masks is getting a little out of control but I really do love them! My combination skin gets particularly dehydrated in winter, which can leave my face uncomfortably tight and even stinging in places from lack of water. The Clarins Hydra-Quench Cream Mask is packed with hyaluronic acid (obvs), and other happy skin ingredients like katafray bark and vitamin E that help to prevent moisture loss. Similarly, the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask uses nature’s most powerful moisturiser to draw water to the skin. Both work beautifully as overnight treatments too.

Winter skincare essentials | All Dolled Up

Skin

Serums and oils are a great way to combat winter’s usual suspects – dryness, dullness and inflammation. My favourite facial oils – Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil* and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – are wonderfully nourishing and leave my skin extremely soft and moisturised. I use them regularly in summer too and they’re great at helping to balance an oily t-zone. Juliette Armand Elements 05 Vitamins Complex Serum* is a good antioxidant to layer under your moisturiser as it helps to fight free radicals and keep your skin healthy under tough environmental conditions.

Jo Malone and Mio winter bath products | All Dolled Up

Bath

I can’t take baths in summer; I just get completely over-heated and find it very unpleasant and, well, all rather sweaty. As soon as the weather gets a little chillier though, I head for the tub with some of my favourite pamper products. Mio Liquid Yoga* is a longtime love of mine, not least of all because it has the most amazing scent. Essential oils of spearmint, cypress, lavender, mandarin and chamomile are blended with liquid Epsom salts and Arnica to be super soothing for mind and body. Jo Malone’s luxurious bath oils are also an absolute treat and English Pear and Freesia is particularly gorgeous. The star ingredients are combined with amber, patchouli and woods, and enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils to be wonderfully fragrant and nourishing.

Winter fragrance - Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani | All Dolled Up

Fragrance

I’m usually a fan of quite bright, fresh scents but in cooler weather I am drawn to something a bit richer and warmer. Tom Ford is the king of sexy fragrances and Violet Blonde is no exception. It’s extremely glamorous and filled with heady florals like Tuscan iris and Sambac jasmine, and an undertone of moody cedar, suede and musk. It’s the perfect sophisticated scent for a night out on the town. Giorgio Armani Si EDT* is a little lighter but still seductive and feminine. Pear, freesia and amber wood are the main components but it has a powdery edge that makes it perfect for winter.

Winter skincare - Clarins and The Body Shop | All Dolled Up

Extras

A little golden glow can make all the difference to sun-starved skin; brightening up the complexion, naturally contouring the face and just making you feel better on a gloomy day. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning delivers extremely natural, streak-free results in just a few hours, without the tell-tale fragrance. It’s easy to apply and can be built up over a few days without turning you into Donatella Versace. Another essential extra for healthy winter skin is a body exfoliator and The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub is a real goodie. A regular buffing over dry limbs will remove dead skin cells and prevent scaly skin, plus the smell reminds me of summer.

*PR sample

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2 July 2015

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Current Favourite Combinations

Whilst I am very happy with how all of my make-up items perform on their own, sometimes combining two (or even three) of them really amps up the effect and creates something you can’t get enough of. These are my current favourite combinations:

Face: Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in ‘Champagne’ + Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

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I can’t take credit for this one – I got the idea from Harriet from Harry Makes It Up. She used the Clarins Instant Light Boosting Complexion Base as a primer in her Flawless Skin Makeup Tutorial, and it made her skin look so luminous! I decided to adopt the same approach, and buffed some of my new favourite foundation, Bourjois Happy Light, on top. The result is stunning, even if I do say so myself: skin is left looking dewy, fresh and radiant, and the combination wears really well too, so you won’t be left with a patchy complexion half way through the day.

Cheeks: Stila Convertible Color in ‘Peony Pink’ + Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in ‘Lavish Mauve’

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My love from Stila Convertible Color has been well documented. The colour ‘Peony Pink’ is particularly flattering and creates the perfect subtle glow on the cheeks. The wear time is good (certainly better than other cream blushers that I’ve tried), but I have found that by setting it with a light dusting of the Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in ‘Lavish Mauve’, it lasts all day and retains the colour and glow.

Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in ‘Subculture’ + NYX Butter Gloss in ‘Tiramisu’

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I am not ashamed to say I would like bigger lips, but I am certainly not about to go to the extremes that the one whose name we do not mention went to. Enter, lip pencil! ‘Subculture’ is a muted nude-pink, and is perfect for subtly creating the impression of a fuller pout. I like to fill my lips in completely, and then trace along the outer edge of my lip line to ensure I have a solid block of colour all over. I then slick some ‘Tiramisu’ on top and I am left with a glossy, juicy pout that looks a little fuller than normal.

Brows: Stila Stay All Day Precision Glide Brow Pencil in ‘Medium Brown’ and Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil in ‘Hot Chocolate’

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When I use either of these pencils on their own, I’m a bit ‘meh’, but when I use them together: jackpot! The Soap & Glory pencil is cool-toned, while the Stila pencil is slightly warmer, and when combined they create a colour match that is spot on for my brows. Both pencils have a good consistency and last well throughout the day and leave the brows looking defined, yet natural.

You will see most of these combinations in an upcoming tutorial, so be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel to make sure you don’t miss it!

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30 June 2015

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Favourite Five: Conditioners for Very Dry Hair

Best Conditioners for Very Dry Hair | All Dolled Up

“Crispy” and “deep fried” are both words that I love when they are used to describe some of my favourite foods but unfortunately they apply all to often to the state of my hair. Although my roots are very oily, the lengths and ends can sometimes resemble straw, having been treated to years of abuse from chemicals, hot tools and styling products. You can avoid a lifetime of split ends with the right maintenance however, and this starts with a good conditioner. I leave mine in for about 10 minutes whenever I wash my hair (which is most days) so it has plenty of time to work its magic – these are my faves:

Pureology Hydrate Conditioner | All Dolled Up

Pureology Hydrate Conditioner

You’ll notice a trend towards rich but weightless conditioners in this post and that’s because my hair is fine and thin and doesn’t like to be weighed down. This minty-smelling wonder is especially good for colour-treated hair because the “AntiFadeComplex” protects and moisturises dyed strands. Pureology is also sulfate- and cruelty-free so you can feel extra angelic in the shower.

Terenzo Moisture Rush Conditioner | All Dolled Up

Terenzo Moisture Rush Conditioner

The new kid on the block is this wonderfully nourishing conditioner from award-winning local salon Terenzo, and part of their brand new range of home haircare. This conditioner rehydrates and strengthens dry hair with its vitamin-enriched formula and it leaves my hair super soft and shiny.

Moroccanoil Weightless Hydration Mask | All Dolled Up

Moroccanoil Weightless Hydration Mask

I’m a longtime fan of this super lightweight conditioning mask because it’s specially designed for fine hair like mine. It’s enriched with nourishing Argan oil which helps to improve hair’s texture, elasticity, shine and manageability. It has the added bonus of smelling utterly delicious.

Korres Almond and Linseed Nourishing Hair Mask | All Dolled Up

Korres Almond and Linseed Nourishing Hair Mask

Speaking of deliciously-scented things, this hair mask smells positively heavenly. Nut oils and shea butter help the hair retain moisture while increasing its resistance against breakage and split ends. The mask has been developed to also help control static and prevent frizzy hair. Korres is a wonderful natural Greek brand that is available at selected Edgars stores.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle | All Dolled Up

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

No one does maximum hydration for dry hair at the drugstore quite like Aussie. There are a few variations within the 3 Minute Miracle range too, like the Reconstructor Deep Conditioner, Frizz Remedy and this one for long hair. They all do a similar thing though and they really do it well – your hair is guaranteed to be tangle-free, mega moisturised and soft as silk after use. It’s a unique formula with Australian Balm Mint which smoothes rough cuticles and penetrates to reconstruct damaged hair inside and out.

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25 June 2015

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Instagram Rewind

We don’t always get the chance to put together an in-depth blog post on a particular product or experience, so our Instagram account is a great way to find out what we’ve been up to. Here are the highlights from the past few weeks:

All Dolled Up on Instagram

Skin saviours: My long-haul flight essentials comprise Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm for obvious reasons, and a combination of my favourite dehydration heroes. Hydraluron to avoid having my skin sucked dry by the recirculated air layered under a thick layer of Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask really does the trick! I also usually pack a mini rosewater facial spritz, some hand cream and a good cuticle oil. You can read more about my in-flight beauty routine here.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel | All Dolled Up

Testing, testing: This week I’m putting Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel polish system through its paces. The colour and top coat work together to create a supposedly chip-free two week manicure without the need for a base coat, UV/LED lamp or any special removal. It cures in natural daylight and comes off with regular nail polish remover – no soaking, wrapping, scraping or filing necessary. I highly doubt that it’ll last two weeks but if it lasts for even one I’ll be impressed. So far, I’m on day four and there’s only a little bit of tip wear – I’ll report back in full once I’ve tested it properly!

Revlon Skinlights | All Dolled Up

Shine on: My favourite liquid highlighter, Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights is currently on sale at Dischem for R55 (it’s usually around R190). I found this shade, which I’ve had my eye on for ages, in one of their little bargain bins and quickly snapped it up. It’s the peachier sister to the champagne-y Bare Light shade that I usually use and I think it’ll look particularly gorgeous on sun-kissed summer skin. Apparently this colour is being discontinued so you better hurry if you want to get your hands on it too.

Aromatherapy Associates South Africa

Scentsational: Camilla and I were treated to an incredible massage at the Heavenly Spa at the Westin Cape Town last week, and were overjoyed to see that they stock Aromatherapy Associates. This luxurious British brand is a regular feature with some of our favourite overseas bloggers, like Lisa Eldridge, Amelia Liana and Ruth Crilly. I’ve often stared longingly at the gift sets in SpaceNK so I’m thrilled to know I can now get my hands on the range in SA.

Beauty Fix Radiant Make Up Finish | All Dolled Up

Local loveliness: We love a good local brand so when the creators of BeautyFix got in touch about their new natural and toxin-free Radiant Make Up Finish spray, we were understandably excited. Made from rosewater, aloe vera and cucumber extracts, it’s suitable for all skin types and feels wonderfully soothing and refreshing, while giving your makeup a dewy glow. It even made its way into Camilla’s favourites last month.

Follow us on Instagram: @alldolledup_sa

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17 June 2015

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Asian Skincare Haul

Asian Skincare

If you follow us on Twitter and Instagram you will have seen a post a few weeks ago featuring my haul from Peach and Lily, an Asian beauty and skincare site. I have been interested in Korean skincare for a while (all thanks to this post from She’s In The Glow), but felt quite overwhelmed by the product selection and didn’t quite know where to start. Enter, Peach and Lily. I first learned about Peach and Lily through Into The Gloss when they did a feature on the founder, Alicia Yoon (who, bizarrely, did an MBA at Harvard with a high school friend of mine). She incorporated the company in 2012 and has spent the last three years curating a selection of Korean and Japanese skincare and beauty products that made me feel like a kid in a candy store. I spent about 3 hours on the site, browsing through everything, and ended up buying quite a few bits and pieces. My boyfriend travels to the States a lot, so he was able to bring these back for me – sadly they do not ship to South Africa at this time.

Cremorlab Essence Tonic

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What is an essence and why do you need one? Similar to a toner, this is to be used after cleansing to hydrate the skin and to promote a brighter, more translucent glow. This particular essence contains Cremorlab’s T.E.N. thermal water (their hero ingredient), which has a high mineral content and superbly hydrating properties. It contains no parabens, artificial colours or alcohol, so it leaves your skin looking and feeling radiant and rejuvenated. I have been using it twice a day and whilst I can’t say I’ve noticed a real change in my skin, it certainly feels fantastic and I enjoy the ritual of applying it.

Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel 

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This exfoliating mask contains fruit acids and botanical extracts to dissolve dead skin cells and dirt. I have sensitive skin so I am wary of exfoliating masks, but Mizon claims that this mask is extremely gentle, so I figured it was worth a shot. You apply a thin layer all over your face, and leave it there for 2-3 minutes. You then start gently massaging your face and you will notice clumps forming underneath your fingertips – this is supposed to be all the dead skin rolling off your face (great novelty aspect there). I do think that some of it is probably skin, but let’s be honest, the majority is just the product pilling up. Had I never tried the Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish, I might have been more enthusiastic about this – I think it’s fine, but nothing to write home about.

Caolion Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack

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This purifying mask contains oxygen and active charcoal that, together, froth up and work to cleanse pores of trapped dirt, blackheads, and whiteheads. It also exfoliates and hydrates to leave skin brighter, smoother and more moisturized. The name of this product sucked me in immediately – I could just imagine the bubbles lifting all the dirt out of my pores and fizzing my blackheads away.

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This is such a fun mask to use. You apply thin layer all over your face, and you will see that it turns into a thick foam almost immediately. You then massage the foam for a minute or two to really push it into your pores, and then you kick back for 15 minutes while it does its thing. You can hear and feel it fizzing on your face as the foam sinks into your skin – it is quite unlike anything I have ever used before and I am borderline obsessed with it. It doesn’t burn or tingle in the slightest, it feels more like a light tickle. Once the product has sunk in sufficiently, the residue dries on your face, and you then wash it off with warm water and a flannel.

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The results are impressive, I have to say. it definitely purifies the skin without stripping away any moisture, and it leaves the surface soft and smooth. Like the Mizon mask, this is definitely a novelty product for me, but unlike the Mizon mask, it is something that I rate and would repurchase.

Sheet Masks…And More Sheet Masks

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The beauty industry has been going completely nuts for sheet masks recently and I was more than happy to jump on the bandwagon. Sheet masks have been described as a ‘lazy girl’s facial’ because you’re supposed to get maximum results for minimum effort, and as much as I enjoy my skincare routine, sometimes it’s nice to relax and let a mask do the heavy lifting, so I decided to order a couple and experiment a bit. The bulk of the masks that I ordered were hydrating masks, but I also threw in a few novelty ones, like a snail moisture mask and a starfish mask.

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The masks are pre-soaked in product, so they feel nice and cooling (and obviously very wet) when you pop them on (note for summer: put them in the fridge first for an extra cooling boost). You then smoosh them around a bit until you find the right fit for your facial contours, and once it’s nicely settled, you can either a) relax or b) scare people (you will look like a straight-up serial killer). Once you’ve left them on for the allotted period of time, remove the mask and massage the remaining product into your skin (I like to wring out the mask and squeeze the excess out of the packet it came in so that I get every drop of goodness). Your skin will feel completely saturated and happy – you won’t need to apply anything else afterwards. I have really enjoyed the ones I have tried so far (the surprise favourite is actually the snail moisture mask – it had a lovely, brightening effect on me) and I am looking forward to testing the rest. If you want an in-depth review on the masks, let me know and I will gladly oblige.

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15 June 2015

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Bite Beauty Lip Lab

Bite Beauty Lip Lab | All Dolled Up

Photo by my lipstick-making accomplice, @MissEmmaJude

Hello lovelies! I’m happy to say that I’m back from the States (haul coming soon, I promise) and although I’m much poorer and am sporting an extra chin, I had an absolutely amazing time. One of the highlights was definitely a visit to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC where I got to create my very own lipstick!

Bite Beauty Lip Lab | All Dolled Up

Bite Beauty is an incredible natural lip care brand that produces all their products from food-grade ingredients, meaning they don’t contain any nasty chemicals and are literally good enough to eat. Their Lip Lab in SoHo is a fantastic little concept store where you can mix together your signature shade and walk away with your very own, custom lip colour… or in my case, TWO of them!

Bite Beauty Lip Lab | All Dolled Up

Here’s how it works:

First you have a consultation with the Lip Lab Artist about the shade you have in mind, and she mixes together a few options from the pigment pots in front of you. I requested a nutty, caramel nude (I was thinking something a bit darker than MAC Patisserie and without any shimmer) and a vibrant, blue-based pink. The artist working with me pretty much nailed it first time so we quickly moved on to selecting the finish (I went for sheer but you can also have matte, cream or pearlised) and the scent. Apart from picking the colour, this bit was the most fun! The selection included cherry, mint, vanilla, citrus, mango and violet so I chose mint for the nude and a blend of vanilla and violet for the bright shade.

Bite Beauty Lip Lab | All Dolled Up

Next up, the artist sets about blending your pigment and scent choices into your own personal tube of lipstick, which is poured into a mould and left to set on a refrigerated surface. Once it is ready, the bullet is unmoulded and slotted into Bite’s signature dark grey packaging, but not before you’ve also been allowed to choose the shape of the lid! After 20 minutes, the lipstick has “settled” and it’s ready to use.

Bite Beauty Lip Lab | All Dolled Up

I kept the pink shade on all day long with very little touching up and it wore beautifully. The formula is extremely comfortable and I’m just completely obsessed with the colour – it is EXACTLY what I had in mind! The blend of “lilac” and “quince” pigments is spot on and the semi-opaque coverage makes it easy to apply and super-wearable, plus I can build it up to be really punchy if I’m in the mood. My “nutmeg nude” is similarly versatile and goes with everything, making it my go-to everyday lip colour. I could not be more thrilled with my lipsticks or the experience in general – it was SUCH a treat for a beauty nerd like me!

My two custom lip shades from the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC

Here’s a great little video from Mixed Makeup to show you more:

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