6 March 2015

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February Favourites: Camilla

This is going to be a very MAC-heavy favourites post, so apologies in advance for the lack of diversity! Jules and I attended the MAC Trends Presentation earlier this month and after seeing the glowing, dewy skin that Michelle-Lee Collins, their senior artist, created, I knew my life wouldn’t be complete until I could create that kind of skin for myself. So I went back to MAC the very next day and Gareth (V&A Waterfront branch) gave me the most magnificent, subtle make-over I’ve ever had, and I ended up buying almost all of the products he used on me (Gareth, you are the master *bows down*).

MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF15 Foundation

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This is a very liquid, very luminous foundation – if you’re looking for that ‘lit from within’ glow, look no further. It is very moisturising, and the first time I used it I copied Michelle’s technique of prepping the skin with a mixture of moisturiser and the Prep + Prime Essential Oils before applying the foundation. I won’t go into too much detail but lets just say I was an oil slick (and for someone with dry skin, that takes some doing) – I actually had to powder my entire face! I have since tweaked the application method and I am honestly thrilled with the results – this foundation provides just the right amount of coverage together with just the right amount of luminosity. It’s not the most long-lasting for formulations (very moisturising, very liquid foundations never are) so if you want a bit more staying power, I can highly recommend mixing in a bit of Estee Lauder Double Wear Light – it adds a little bit of oomph and helps everything stay put without taking away any of the glow. If you want to ramp up the dewiness, Shahnaz from Shahnaz Loves Beauty, recommends mixing the foundation with a little bit of the Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator – apparently the effect is stunning. I only managed to track down a bottle of this stuff last night (elusive), so will keep you posted on the results!

MAC Prep+ Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 in ‘Refined Golden’

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This is not a product I would ever have gravitated towards because, as a BB cream, it’s far too dark for me. However, Gareth used it as a cream bronzer and, well…wow! The colour is just right for me and it imparts a warm, healthy glow that makes me look tanned but not overly bronzed. The texture is creamy and incredibly easy to work with – so if you do overdo it, you can blend it out in a jiffy. You could use it as a contour or as an all-over bronzer – it works fantastically for both.

Swatches here.

MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush

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I have had this brush for forever and a day and have never used it. Not once. Mainly because I just never knew how and  managed to get along just fine with all my other brushes. That all changed when Gareth used it to apply the foundation, the beauty balm and the blush – all of which blended together seamlessly on my face. I have been using it non-stop since that day and I can’t even imagine life without it now (dramatic? Me?!). It is made from goat hairs and synthetic fibres, so works best with cream/liquid formulations. It picks up just the right amount of product and buffs it into the skin, creating a flawless, evenly blended finish. There is also a smaller version (188  Small Duo Fibre Face Brush) which is a little bit cheaper and is much-loved by Harry Makes it Up and Lily Pebbles.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in ‘Soft & Gentle’*

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I have been wanting this product for the longest time but for some arbitrary reason I never got around to buying it. Luckily for me, we were all given one at the MAC Trends Presentation and I have used it almost every single day since. This highlighting powder imparts such a lovely glow to the skin and it can be used either dry or wet. Both Michelle and Gareth recommended spritzing the skin with Fix+ before applying it to get a really beautiful sheen on the cheekbones (it really works). I have also been using it on the inner corners of my eyes, under my brows, on my cupid’s bow…you name it! Love this product.

Swatches here.

MAC Cremeblend Blush in ‘Ladyblush’

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Funnily enough, this blush has been on my list since I saw it in this Tanya Burr tutorial (it looks like a cream equivalent to my beloved Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in ‘Exposed’), so when Gareth used it on me I took it as a sign that it had to be mine (logical). I absolutely adore this, it’s the perfect muted pink blush for everyday use – nothing wild or fancy, just a natural, pretty colour, Being a cream formulation, the longevity isn’t great, but if I am dead-set on wanting it to last all day, I’ll just dust a bit of the Tarte blush on top to set it.

Swatches here.

Eucerin Aquaphor

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Hey, a product that isn’t by MAC (a round of applause for Eucerin, everybody)! I won’t go into details but this month I started sleeping with a bite plate to stop me from grinding my teeth, and I had an allergic reaction to the resin they used to make it. I have never had such swollen, red, sore lips in my life, and Aquaphor was the only product (besides the antihistamines)  that could soothe them (everything else, even Bactroban, stung like hell). I always have a tube of this with me, but new and interesting lip balms come along and the staple product often gets forgotten about – you know what it’s like. This product saved my lips and gently nursed them back to health, and I promise to never again forsake it in favour of another fancy lipbalm. You and me forever, Aquaphor.

*PR Sample

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4 March 2015

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February Favourites: Jules

February Favourites 2015 | All Dolled Up

Essence Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil | All Dolled Up

Essence Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil

One of my makeup missions is to find a black eyeliner in pencil form that I can use for tightlining but that doesn’t transfer to the lower waterline. Potted gel liners applied with a brush work well but I find this a bit fiddly for day-to-day so I crave the convenience of a pencil alternative. I spotted this in the Allure Best of Beauty 2014 and finally tracked one down at my local Clicks. It’s not 100% budge-proof in the waterline but it’s a lot better than anything else I’ve tried and is super creamy so it glides on really smoothly, making it ideal for a smoky eye too. Did I mention that it’s R45?!
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit | All Dolled Up

Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Pale Yellow

I’ve seen a few beauty bloggers use this to set under-eye concealer as the shade helps to brighten the area as well as set the makeup and prevent creasing. I was going to go and buy some when I realised that I had a teeny little pan of it in my long-forgotten Creamy Concealer Kit. So I’ve been applying it over corrector (Benefit Erase Paste) and highlighting concealer (Clinique Airbush) with my Real Techniques Setting Brush and find that it’s very light and non-cakey. The brightening effect is really subtle so I’m not sure I’d necessarily spend the money on a full sized version, but the powder is excellent and comes in loads of other shades so it would make a good all-over setting option too.
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara | All Dolled Up

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara

Re-discovering an old favourite is always fun, especially when it’s a little drugstore gem. I’ve always loved Max Factor mascaras but I got distracted by sparkly newness like Lancôme Grandiôse mascara (which is fabulous). False Lash Effect is described as giving “full lashes with a natural look” which is spot on – you get lots of volume and definition so it looks like you’re wearing a gorgeous pair of fluttery falsies. No flaking, smudging or eye irritation – just perfect lashes. Incidentally, I also recently went through a tube of Max Factor Clump Defy (identical to Covergirl Clump Crusher, it’s just branded differently here and in the UK) but I thought it was a little TOO natural-looking for me.
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer | All Dolled Up

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer

This will be familiar to you in you watched my recent haul video; it’s the hydrating version of Smashbox’s best-selling foundation primer. The oil-free formula feels like a gel-cream (not silicone-y) and does a great job of helping my skin retain water all day so it doesn’t drink up my foundation instead. I use this all over my face (on top of serum and moisturiser) with a more pore-filling primer layered over it on my T-zone e.g. Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. Smashbox’s primers are the best of the best and they come in a variety of formulations for every skin type and concern. I also really like the Blemish Control one which contains 2% salicylic acid to help manage breakouts.

Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil | All Dolled Up

Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil*

I have always wanted to try the legendary Clarins face treatment oils so I was thrilled when one arrived in the post a few months ago. I’ve used it nearly every night since (often layered under The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask) and my skin is positively glowing! It is made of 100% pure plant extracts and acts as a natural astringent for oily or combination skin. Yummy-smelling rosewood, geranium and lotus purify, tighten pores and refine the skin texture, while hazelnut oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines. There are also two other variants – Santal for dry skin and Blue Orchid for dehydrated ski, which is next on my hit list!

*PR sample

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25 February 2015

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The Goodie Bag You Don’t Want To Miss

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Being a beauty blog, fashion doesn’t get much of a look-in over here at All Dolled Up. However, we were recently invited to the Nicci Boutiques Winter 2015 Launch and when we saw what was on offer in terms of the goodie bag, we knew we had to tell you all about it! On the 3rd of March 2015, the Hyde Park Corner (Johannesburg) store will be launching their 2015 Winter Collection, and if you spend over R950.00, you will receive the most fantastic goodie bag – seriously, it’s incredible. We were kindly sent the goodie bag ahead of time so that we could play around with some of the products and provide you with a quick review of some of them. So without any further ado, let’s get cracking!

Full size Morrocanoil Heat Styling Protection (valued at R320.00). We are huge fans of the Morroccanoil haircare range, as you are no doubt aware by now! This product combines heat protection and styling in one: it creates a thermal protective veil that lets hair withstand extreme heat, and provides soft hold and a glossy finish to extend the life of every style. The formula is infused with vitamins which nourish the hair shaft, and contains an innovative heat-protecting agent which prevents breakage and split ends.

Full size SalonCare Enzyme Exfoliant (valued at R105.00). This skin polisher contains pineapple and papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate the skin. It has a cream-gel texture (no horrible scrubby particles – wonderful) and can be massaged into the face for 1-2 minutes, or it can be left on for up to 15 minutes for a more intensive treatment.

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dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 (10ml). This emollient daily moisturizer contains a broad spectrum SPF50, as well as Antioxidant White Tea which helps to neutralize free radicals, and a unique polypeptide to encourage the production of collagen. It is formulated without artificial fragrances, colours or parabens.

dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (13g sample). Jules is a massive fan of this exfoliating powder, and you can read her reviews here and here. The unique rice-based powder formula activates upon contact with water, releasing papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter. It is suitable for all skin types.

dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist (10ml). Our darling friend Tori from Kiss, Blush & Tell raved about this product earlier this year (you can read her review here). This refreshing peptide toner creates a hydrating, antioxidant shield over skin to help reduce fine dryness lines and prevent the signs of aging. It can be used at any and every stage of your skincare and/or make-up routine and can also be used throughout the day as a refreshing spritz.

dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser (30ml). This product is aimed at those with oilier skins – the deep-cleansing clay formula purifies the skin, removes excess oils and refines the skin’s texture.

dermalogica microZone voucher for the dermalogica V&A Waterfront, dermalogica on Wembley and the dermalogica Rosebank stores. For those not familiar with microZone, they are cost-effective, 20-minute treatments (as opposed to the full 60 minute treatments) which are ideal for targeting pressing skin issues such as breakouts, dull skin and tired eyes. This is a great option is you are pressed for time, or if you are a newcomer to Dermalogica.

Full size Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in ‘Tease’. This glossy, vibrant coral lip balm is an absolute must-have. Jules’ did a video review last year when they were released:

Full size Stila Lip Glaze in ‘Orchard’ (valued at R225.00). A cult classic! This soft, copper-shimmer gloss will leave your lips looking peachy, and it has good staying power too.

Selection of Elizabeth Arden makeup from their 2014 Summer Escape collection, including the Beautiful Color Define and Highlight Eyeliner Duo in ‘Midnight Sail’ (a dual-ended navy blue/champagne shimmer eyeliner), the Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara in ‘Ocean Blue’, and the Pure Finish Cream Eye Shadows in ‘Sand Dollar’ (a soft, peachy shimmer)  and ‘Overboard’ (a powdery, baby blue). Also included is a mini Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant – the perfect handbag size. The Summer Escape products are valued at over R1,000.00 and are exclusive to this goodie bag, so you won’t be able to find them at the Elizabeth Arden counters.

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There are also a selection of perfume samples from Jimmy Choo and Elizabeth Arden (‘Untold Absolu’ being one of them), a full size Tropitone Aftersun Cooling Gel, a Dessata Professional Detangling Brush, as well as a few other haircare and skincare samples.

The event will be taking place between 9am and 6pm on Tuesday 3 March 2015 at Hyde Park Corner. There will be make-overs courtesy of Elizabeth Arden, mini-manicures courtesy of Sorbet, and hand massages courtesy of Mangwanani Spa. Cape Town ladies, never fear, you are not being left out! The Cape Town event is being held on Wednesday 1 April 2015 at the V&A Waterfront and I will update this post with details closer to the time.

Happy shopping, ladies!

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23 February 2015

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Best in Beauty: Oscars 2015

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been excited to wake up the morning after the Oscars to see how beautiful all the actresses looked and drool over the dresses. I find the makeup and hair at the year’s biggest awards show to be equally fascinating – sometimes it’s really glamorous and over the top, and other times (like this year) it is much more elegant and subtle. To my great delight there were lots of natural features on display too – no Kim K contouring and Instagram brows here! Without further ado, here are my top ten picks of the beauty at the 87th Academy Awards:

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Jennifer Hudson

This colour palette is just perfection: perfectly blended golden tones on the eye and a soft coral lip paired with a buttercup yellow dress and major emerald earrings. Swoon!

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Jennifer Lopez

I would never think to pair a very warm orange eye with a 1960s pink lip but OBVIOUSLY J.LO pulls it off, and with a chic ponytail to boot!

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Jessica Chastain

The stunning redhead pairs statement eyeliner (in a very unusual shade) with subtle, neutral lips and very little else. The sleek hair is also a huge hit with me and the perfect foil to the heavily embellished neckline on her dress.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Anna Kendrick

Loving the velvet skin on AK and the matchy-matchy lipstick and blush. The overall look is very soft and ethereal but pairing it with the smoky liner makes it sexy rather than girly.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Chloe Grace Moretz

Similar eye look to J.LO here with blown-out rusty orange eyeshadow, full, textured brows and a worn-in lip stain. The bedazzled ear cuff and relaxed blonde hair take it to the next level without being too dressy.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Reese Witherspoon

How gorgeous?! I love how delicate this look is but it still manages to accentuate Reese’s best feature – her bright blue eyes. The blush and lipstick are super subtle and there are those beautiful natural brows again!

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Margot Robbie

In a departure from the very natural makeup shown elsewhere in this list, Margot’s look is much more sculptural. The slightly bushy brows save the look from becoming too perfect and balance out the strong tomato-red lipstick.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Rita Ora

Loving this more glamorous look too, which pairs a super nude satin lip with classic black winged liner. The balance between the eyes and the face is perfect and the immaculate hairstyle beautifully compliments the neat makeup.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Scarlett Johansson

There is a lot going on between the dress and the jewellery so the makeup here is suitably simple and sophisticated. It has been applied with a very light hand and blended out so as to be almost imperceptible – you can barely even tell if she’s wearing mascara! Love the restrained, modern hairstyle too.

Oscars Beauty | All Dolled Up

Sienna Miller

Sienna is sporting the signature Charlotte Tilbury feline smoky eye here which looks very pretty but not overdone on her incredible bone structure. If you’re interested to know which products she used, check out this Instagram – it includes the Sophisticate Eyeshadow Palette, Lip Cheat pencil in Pillow Talk and K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in Bitch Perfect.

What were your favourite beauty looks from the Oscars this year?

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20 February 2015

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Nip + Fab: Hits + Misses

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NIP + FAB is a skincare and bodycare range created by Maria Hatzistefanis, the founder of Rodial. NIP + FAB is designed to be a bit more budget friendly than Rodial, but the brand does not compromise on the quality of the ingredients. Their product names (Viper Venom, Dragons Blood, Bee Sting) and sleek packaging always caught my eye, so I when a few of their products arrived on my desk I couldn’t wait to start testing them. I also popped into Clicks and picked up their Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads (one of their best-sellers) as it had been on my ‘must try’ list for a while.

Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads

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Each disk is soaked in a mixture of 2.8% glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, witch hazel and blue daisy. The exfoliating glycolic acid helps to resurface the skin and refine it’s texture and the witch hazel helps to tone. Hyaluronic acid ensures that the skin stays moisturised, whilst the blue daisy soothes and smooths the skin. I was a bit nervous to try these, as historically, exfoliating toners and I have not gotten along (Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and Alpha-H Liquid Gold are both far too strong for me), but I had high hopes that this would be The One. Sadly, it was not meant to be: after maybe four/five uses (not consecutively – I was using the pads every third night), my skin flared up – the forehead, cheeks and nose were particularly aggravated, and it took about three days for the redness to subside entirely. However, if your skin can tolerate acid exfoliators, then I believe you could see great results with these –  my skin is just too sensitive and I should have known better (as my grandmother always used to say: as jy dom is, moet jy sukkel). I have read nothing but rave reviews online, so I am sure it’s a fantastic product, but it’s just not for me. I have passed my tub onto my friend Jes, who has far hardier skin than I, and I will do a follow-up post with her feedback in a couple of weeks.

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Viper Venom Wrinkle Fix Skin Refining Serum

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This skin refining serum contains a cocktail of ingredients which promise to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as soften the appearance of imperfections. The ‘Viper Venom’ name comes from one of the ingredients, Syn®-ake, a topical anti-aging treatment which is marketed as an alternative to Botox and other types of synthetic treatments that are formulated to combat signs of aging. Syn®-ake is a synthetic form of the venom found in the Temple Viper, a poisonous snake native to southeast Asia (*shudders*), and is designed to work in the same way as Botox, namely by reducing muscular contractions in the face and reducing cell movement.

The serum itself is thick and almost tacky – it is not a very pleasant product to work with. Perhaps if your skin is oilier and has a bit more natural slip, it would be easier to apply, but my dry skin did not enjoy the application process. For this reason alone, I wouldn’t use it – it may sound fickle but skincare is an indulgence for me, I enjoy taking the time to treat my skin and spoil it with good quality products, I’m not going to waste time on products that don’t feel special or comforting. Coupled with that, I’m of the view that “drug store” topical treatments can’t offer a legitimate long-term solution to fine lines and wrinkles as they’re simply not potent enough.

Viper Venom Eye Fix

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Another offering from the Viper Venom range, this time designed to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. Unlike the Viper Venom Wrinkle Fix, I really do like the Eye Fix – it has a cooling roller-ball which dispenses a light, cold gel all around the eye, which is so refreshing. It also contains red algae extract to reduce the appearance of dark circles – I don’t suffer from dark circles so I can’t say whether or not it delivers on that claim, but it certainly does wake-up the under-eye area. I use it in the mornings to get rid of that last bit of sleepiness after the shower and it works a treat. It absorbs into the skin almost immediately, and make-up sits well on top of it too.

Bee Sting Fix Lifting Mask

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The Bee Sting range incorporates bee venom to help plump the skin by tricking it into thinking it has been lightly ‘stung’, meaning fine lines and wrinkles will look reduced. This mask contains (lifted from the Nip + Fab website):

Bee Venom: controls the facial muscles, increases blood circulation, gently plumping out and firming the skin. Also fills and smooths fine lines and wrinkles.
Propolis Extract: this is a resinous substance harvested by bees on flower buds and it is a great skin healer, anti-oxidant and antiseptic.
Gransil: spheres scatter incoming rays of light and diminish the reflected light, resulting in a matte look.
AC Moisture Plex: helps skin retain moisture and improves moisture balance in the skin.
Instensyl: immediate 3D lifting and the skin’s surface will be immediately smoother. Clinical test showed lifting and smoothing effect within 30 minutes.

I’m sad to say that this mask did nothing. At all. Now, I know I don’t exactly have a droopy face/jowls, but I expected some kind of tightening, brightening effect, given the bold claims made. Sadly it was bland and unexciting – there was no tingling, no tightening, nothing. Sorry, NIP + FAB, but this was the most disappointing of the lot.

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18 February 2015

2 Comments

Quick Reviews #10

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream*

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The Clarins Daily Energizer range is aimed at younger skin types and is designed to eliminate imperfections and promote healthy looking skin. There are two different moisturisers within the range: the Cream, for normal to dry skin and the Gel-Cream, for combination skins. Both of these moisturisers contain an innovative cocktail of four natural ingredients. The first is an energy boosting shot of Vitamin C that stimulates the skin’s natural defences and keep it looking fresh all day. The second is Turmeric or Indian saffron, a powerful antioxidant. The third ingredient is purifying Alchemilla, an astringent plant extract that regulates sebum production to keep pores and the complexion clear. And finally, radiance-boosting Ginkgo Biloba, used to boost circulation and to improve the skin’s uptake of oxygen so it looks brighter and healthier.

Even though I’m slightly out of the 20’s age bracket, this moisturiser is still a pleasure to use and I am really enjoying it. Retails for R255.00 and is available in store or online.

Clarins Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm*

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This is the latest addition to the Daily Energizer range and aims to provide instant and long-lasting comfort to dry lips. It’s enriched with cocoa butter and shea oil to nourish the lips and encourage repair of the lip surface, and  is formulated to react with the pH of your lips to boost their natural colour. Clarins claims that this balm will provide up to 8 hours of moisturisation, which might be a tad ambitious –  I would say I get 2-3 hours of comfortable wear from one application (which I think it still quite impressive).

The texture is lovely and creamy and melts into the lips beautifully. I also really like the colour of my lips when I’m wearing this – nice and rosy. Retails for R165.00. Available from 9 March 2015.

theBalm Frat Boy Blush and theBalm Mary Lou Manizer

When Jules and I saw that theBalm was available on Retailbox, we squealed long squeals of immense joy. I immediately placed an order for the two products I’d been hunkering after for forever: Frat Boy Blush and Mary Lou Manizer. Behold:

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The blush is outstanding, truly. The colour is a coral pink with subtle gold micro-shimmer (see swatches below). It has a pearly sheen finish and gives a nice flushed look to the cheeks with one swipe – however it is pigmented so you can definitely build it up if you want something a bit punchier. The texture is incredible – soft, silky and smooth – and it has good staying power too (approximately 8 hours without fading). I am very impressed!

The highlighter…I’m still trying to get to grips with this. It is major. It’s a shimmering champagne  colour with subtle gold tones (thankfully no glitter), and it has a nice, glowy sheen to it. It’s very pigmented, so you have to use an incredibly light hand when you apply it – don’t do what I did the first time I used it or you will run the risk of looking like an extra in Studio 54. This product also requires blending – if you just tap it on it will look way too obvious. You need to softly buff the edges if you want to look like a glowing goddess (who doesn’t). I think I will be saving this for evenings out/special occasions only – it’s definitely not a product I would wear every day.

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If you’re looking for a subtle highlighter and I’ve now put you off Mary Lou Manizer, I can highly recommend the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in ‘Soft & Gentle’. I find it to be a far more user-friendly highlighter – the effects are subtle but beautiful, and there’s no danger of ever looking too shimmery.

*PR Sample

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16 February 2015

3 Comments

Small Things That Make a Big Difference

Small Things That Make a Big Difference | All Dolled Up

The subject of beauty can be a daunting topic for many – what makeup to wear, how to apply it, which skincare to use and how to style your hair. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t know where to start, here are a few quick tips that will get you going in the right direction. They are simple to do, requiring little to no skill, and don’t take a lot of time. They also happen to make a big difference so you get plenty of bang for your buck:

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Lotion and The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil | All Dolled Up

Cleaning your face properly

The very least you can do for your skin is to clean it properly, morning and evening. This doesn’t have to be a complex or costly exercise; all you need is a good cleanser, a make-up remover and a flannel. My favourite suits-all (or at least most) budget products are Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Lotion, The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and the microfibre face cloths from Pick ‘n Pay. The Smitten is also a fantastic budget tool as it doesn’t require any cleanser at all – read Camilla’s review here. Also read Caroline Hirons’ cleansing cheat sheet.

My favourite eyebrow pencils | All Dolled Up

Filling in your eyebrows

Eyebrows, in my opinion (especially because I haven’t got any), are the most important feature on the face. Learning how to shape and fill them in correctly will completely change your makeup routine and give you an instant facelift – let Lisa Eldridge show you how. I have mine tinted and shaped at Dani Beauty every three weeks and in between I use the Soap & Glory Archery pencil to keep them defined. Good, locally available alternatives to this include Smashbox Brow Tech To Go and the MAC retractable pencils.

Tightlining tools | All Dolled Up

Tightlining your upper lid

This is a subtle but effective trick for making your lashes look much thicker and it only takes about 10 seconds. All you need is a good waterproof eyeliner – black is best but any dark colour will do. My current favourite is the Essence Gel Pencil in Black Blaze or for more longevity you can try a gel liner (Bobbi Brown is the best) with a small brush. Simply work the eyeliner into the rim of your upper lid, between the base of your lashes and your eyeball. Just be warned: it’s not very comfortable but if you struggle, look away from the pencil or brush as you move it along your lashline and you won’t flinch as much. The Beauty Department has a good tutorial if you want to see the technique in action.

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler | All Dolled Up

Curling your eyelashes

There is nothing like curling your lashes to open up tired eyes, even if you don’t follow up with mascara. It makes you look more awake, it gives your lashes more oomph and enhances any eye look. The best ones I’ve tried are by Kevyn Aucoin and Shu Uemura, but MAC also makes a great pair that is available locally. Watch this quick video tutorial from Makeup Geek for the full how-to.

Favourite lip balms | All Dolled Up

Looking after your lips

Chapped lips are not only annoying and uncomfortable but they can also be painful and unsightly. In my experience, prevention is better than cure so to avoid developing dry lips I use a heavy-duty lip balm every night before I go to sleep. Nuxe Rêve de Miel is the gold standard in lip balms but there are plenty of alternatives on the market that also work well, like Aquaphor, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and Blistex DCT. Flaking skin can also be buffed away with a good lip scrub like LUSH Mint Julips which has the added bonus of smelling like mint-chip ice cream.

Do you have any quick and easy beauty tips that make a big difference?

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13 February 2015

5 Comments

New Makeup Storage

My Makeup Storage | All Dolled Up

If you’re an avid follower of YouTube beauty gurus like I am, then you’ve no doubt seen a few “make-up collection and storage” videos in your time. I’ve always been particularly green-eyed at the acrylic storage from Muji that features in many of them and even though I visit the UK regularly, it’s a bit too bulky to lug home in my suitcase.

My Makeup Storage | All Dolled Up

So the other day I popped into Pax3D in Green Point to see what they have and came home with this beauty: the nine drawer cosmetic organiser! Look, it ain’t cheap (R1250) but neither is the stuff from Muji and I personally think it’s worth the money considering how practical it is. You can fit loads of makeup (or whatever) in the drawers so it reduces clutter in my bedroom and makes finding everything I need in the morning a lot easier, saving me time and aggravation.

My Makeup Storage | All Dolled Up

I’ve divided each drawer up into different categories for ease of use e.g. bronzers & highlighters, eyeshadows & palettes, primers, blushers, powders and lipsticks. The drawers are nowhere near full so there’s plenty of extra space for new products (*evil laugh*) and the clear acrylic material makes it really easy to see what’s in each drawer.

My Makeup Storage | All Dolled Up

The remainder of my makeup collection is kept in a mixture of older Pax3D items (lipstick trays and acrylic organiser) and glass containers on top of my dressing table. This means that my makeup brushes, foundations, favourite lip products, eyeliners and brow pencils are within easy reach. Packing everything into this storage system also allowed me to do a good clear-out of bits and pieces that needed to be thrown or given away so that my collection is now condensed into all of my most loved and used items.

My Makeup Storage | All Dolled Up

So, how do you store your beauty goodies? Anyone have any other tips for where to find acrylic storage?

Pax3D
16 Hudson Street
Green Point
Cape Town
Shop online: www.pax3d.com

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11 February 2015

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MAC Trends Presentation Autumn/Winter 2015

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On Monday night Jules and I attended an exclusive preview by MAC of the upcoming make-up trends for autumn/winter. The four looks presented to us by Senior Artist, Michelle-Lee Collins, were ‘Off Colour’, ‘Streamlined’, ‘On Reflection’ and ‘Unprocessed’. The focus of all four looks was to light the skin and and magnify the features – my kind of makeup!

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To create the perfect base for foundation, Michelle advised us to mix together Lightful Softening Lotion, some Mineralize Charged Water Face and Body Lotion and a few drops of the Prep + Prime Essential Oils (she calls it her ‘magic cream’) and to massage it into the skin – it will provide an instantaneous boost of moisture to ensure that your skin looks luminous and plump. Follow this up with a little bit of Cream Colour Base in ‘Shell’ on the high points of the face (darker skin tones should use the shade ‘Bronze’ instead), and then apply some Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation. Michelle recommended really pressing and polishing the foundation into the skin to ensure a radiant, glowing complexion. I haven’t had a chance to make Michelle’s magic cream yet (I need to still buy the Softening Lotion and the Charged Water), but I mixed some of the Prep + Prime Essential Oils into my moisturiser this morning and the effect was pretty fantastic.

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My favourite look of the four was ‘Streamlined’, which was all about linear, bold liner and natural, texturised brows. Michelle used the Fluidline Eye-Liner in Waveline (a beautiful, cobalt blue) to line the eye and she also created a fierce batwing shape at the outer corner. She then followed up with a bit of the Superslick Liquid Eyeliner to give the liner a glossier finish.

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Michelle advised to keep the eyes open as you line them, as it helps you to ensure that both eyes end up looking the same and that the flicks match (crucial – nothing worse than wonky liner). She also explained that the shape of the liner has to be tailored to suit each eye shape – there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to this liner trend. I, for example, can’t wear any kind of winged/flicked liner as my eyes are hooded, so I would skip the flick and just apply a simple slick of liner. The colour isn’t one I would normally have gravitated towards, but now that I’ve tried it, I am sold! It’s so much more flattering and interesting than your usual black and brown liners.

Michelle created quite thick, chunky lashes for this look – when the liner is so bold, you need the lashes to stand out too! After she’d applied the mascara, Michelle dotted on a little of the Studio Eye Gloss in ‘Lightly Tauped’, a very sticky/tacky formulation which creates, as the name suggests, a high-gloss finish on the lid. This is not a product for us mere mortals – I think it is best reserved for editorial and runway looks.

On the cheeks, she sprayed the face with a little Fix+, and then gently buffed in some of the Mineralize Skin Finish in ‘Soft & Gentle’, which honestly created the most exquisite finish on the skin. The effect is a gentle, subtle, glowing highlight – simply perfect.

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On the lips, Michelle applied a clear, high-shine gloss, which completed the look perfectly. I followed most of her recommendations this morning when I was doing my makeup and I think it turned out beautifully: a thin layer of liner, lots of lashes and a generous application of ‘Soft & Gentle’. Lovely!

Thank you to MAC and Michelle for hosting us, and more importantly, for inspiring us. We look forward to the next one!

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