Shimmery Make-up for Christmas

For a glitter affair like Christmas, you can't go wrong with shimmery makeup!

For a delicate fairy-like look, you will need shimmery eye shadow or a shimmer powder. You will also need shimmery lip gloss to go over your lipstick.

Choose a lipstick colour that flatters you, but avoid brilliant tones or very dark tones since the emphasis will be on the eyes. Go over your lips with lip gloss. If the gloss isn’t sufficiently shimmery to create noticeable sparkles, you can add a little silver shimmer powder to your lips.

For the eyes, it depends on how far you want to go. You can go for the outrageous look by covering your entire eyelid in metallic eyeshadow.

For lighter tones to match your pure white dress, you can use shimmery peach, lavender or lilac, but line your eye with a silver or white pencil.

Unleash your black mascara’s optimum powers :)

Stick on false eyelashes with crystals or glitter.

Lastly, use a powder brush to dust a little shimmery powder all over your face. If you’re wearing off-shoulders, get some shimmer on the shoulders too!

An important point to note. If you have wrinkles, avoid all out shimmer because it draws attention to fine lines and wrinkles.

Enjoy your party! Merry Christmas!

Reminders for Party Make-up

Choose one area to focus coloured make-up
Even if it’s Christmas, you shouldn't make yourself up like a Christmas tree by piling up as many types of make-up as you can on your face! Applying coloured make-up on every part of your face just makes one look crass. Basically, just choose one focal area from your eyes, cheeks and lips. For example, if you’re using heavy eye make up, use lighter tones on your cheeks and lips. Or use brighter and more obvious lip stick colours if you’re going with light eye makeup.

This is just wrong

Use concealer appropriately
Concealer is good for covering pimples, blackheads, dark spots, dark circles, amongst many small flaws. To prevent discrepancies in your skin colour, choose concealers with the same or similar tone to your foundation. If you’re trying to conceal a huge area, blend your concealer with your foundation so the patch doesn’t stand out.

Remove oil before touching up your makeup
Make-up isn’t meant to hide oil. Use oil absorbent sheets to siphon oil from your face. If you apply make-up directly over an oily face, your make-up will cake.

Don’t over-lighten your facial skin tone
The skin colour on your face and neck will differ, which will be simply awkward. Even if you cover your neck in make-up, the difference in skin tone with other parts will be obvious, unless you’re wearing clothes that don’t reveal an inch of skin. The contrast will really show up on photos, and looks even more obvious in a dimmed club. Instead of trying to brighten your skin tone, use richer colours for your eyes or lips to add radiance instead.

Christmas Gift Ideas!

Christmas is just round the corner! Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If you’ve run out of ideas for gifts, I suggest beauty products. They make great gifts because they are beautifully packaged and useful!

You may say ‘But I don’t know my friend’s skin type or preferences!’ Beauty products aren’t limited to creams that go on your skin. Here are my recommendations for products suitable for general use, beautifully packaged and well-liked by myself and many others.

Cle de Peau Extra Silky Lipstick
Every woman who has a make-up regime needs lipsticks. Cle de Peau Extra Silky Lipstick has bold and beautiful colours. The texture feels rich and creamy, and it actually stains the lips, so the colour doesn’t come off when you eat, drink or talk. The brand has quite a large range of colours. Choose one that your friend usually wears or if you’re feeling generous, choose a few and let her have fun experimenting!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
This will be useful for keeping eye shadow on for long hours at warm parties such that it doesn’t crease. This primer holds colour fairly well, so your friend will be able to pack on colour. It’s extremely handy for applying light tones that don’t show up well. Besides, the genie-shaped bottle is so cute and magical!

iseido The Makeup Powder Brush
This has to be the softest, most luxurious makeup brush out there! It distributes powder very beautifully so you get that soft airbrushed look with no cakiness!

Essie Protein Base Coat
If your friend loves doing manicures, this will be a useful present. It is easy to apply, and allows polish to be applied on smoothly. The glossy finish is beautiful and can even be used alone on bare nails in my opinion. Now that I’ve been using this regularly, my nails no longer experience discoloration and look healthier.

Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler

This sleek and portable tool makes eyelash curling as easy as ABC. The curly effect lasts all day long and looks natural. Some people have even said that it has the effect of making their mascara last when they apply it immediately after curling.

Methode Jeanne Piaubert for Men Daycare
The men should of course, not be forgotten. More men are getting increasingly concerned with self-grooming these days. While it’s probably unwise to get cosmetics for your male friend unless you’re aware that he does use them, you can get him facial products for general or multi-purpose use. MJP for Men is a good example of a multi-purpose facial product that cleanses, protects, soothes and moisturizes skin so that it looks cleaner and more youthful.

The products I recommend are not new, and I know some people like to make gifts out of the latest releases in the market or Christmas specials and packs. Personally, I wouldn't buy the latest products for others if I haven't tried it or few people have used it long enough to provide sufficient reviews. Also, Christmas packs are so overrated that it becomes a very common gift. Furthermore, your friend may not find everything in the pack suitable!

Interesting Facts Concerning Ageing

Did you know that the language you speak affects the age your face looks? Research indicates that Spanish women are prone to sagging chins because when they talk, their jaw movement is rapid. The way German women pronounce their words causes their foreheads to crinkle, so they are more prone to developing wrinkles on foreheads.

Did you realize that your skin always looks more tired and wrinkles look more pronounced at night as compared to day time? Skin is affected by gravitational pull. At night, skin tends to sag further, causing wrinkles to increase by approximately 10%!

Why does your husband/boyfriend/brother who is about your age look younger than you do? Men’s skin has 22% more collagen then women’s, and hence age slower. If both of you are 30 years old, and you don’t take good care of your skin, you may look older than him by as much as 7 years! Just try the following formula: 30 x (122/100) = 36.6

Plump faces sag more easily than thin ones when they reach middle age. On the other hand, thin people’s faces tend to become sunken in.

Whiten your skin with cotton pads in 4 easy steps!

That’s right! I’m referring to those humble squares of cotton that we use for make-up removal. With the right technique, you can turn these cotton pads into skin whitening tools!

This should be done after you've removed your make-up.

Step 1: Soak a thin, absorbent cotton pad in your toner. Use the thin ones as they are more absorbent. Do not use the reusable ones with paddings! Do not put in so much toner such that it becomes so mushy you can't even lift it up! It's such a waste of toner too! Just pour a small puddle of toner at the bottom of your container and spread your cotton pad over it and wait for it to soak it all up.

Step 2: When the cotton pad is thoroughly soaked, remove it, place it on your middle finger. Your index finger and ring finger should come together and close in on your middle finger so that you’re gripping the sides of the cotton pad that hang off from your middle finger. Gently rub the cotton pad over your face in circular motion, from inside to outside, until your skin absorbs the toner. This helps to smoothen cutin in your skin and accelerate cell renewal. After this rubbing procedure, remove the cotton pads, dab your fingers with toner and gently rub your face with your fingers.

Step 3: Soak a few pieces of cotton pads in your whitening lotion. Place them on your cheeks, forehead, chin and around your eyes for five to ten minutes. Your skin will absorb the nutrients from the whitening lotion.

Step 4: After removing the cotton pads, place both hands on your cheeks and press them down gently. This will create a warming effect that absorbs the lotion better and quicker. The moisturizing effect from the lotion becomes especially pronounced in dry weather.

Apply your favourite moisturizing cream as a nice finish-up. Pour a little moisturizing onto your palms, rub your palms together to induce heat, and rub the cream over your face. If you have any remainder, use it on your neck!

Common Make-up taboos to avoid

Apologies for the lack of updates! I've been really busy lately! Today, I managed to squeeze in some time during my lunch break to write a new article.

The holiday season's coming and in spite of the recession, there will still be parties and dinners to attend, especially corporate ones. That means out comes all your fabulous collections of beauty products and make-up kits! Make-up can make a world of difference to a person. We all know that make-up can make someone look extraordinarily beautiful. On the other hand, a botched make-up job can make someone look extraordinarily ugly too! Many people tend to go overboard with their make-up or get into all kinds of slip-ups when preparing for parties. Do steer clear of the following commonly-made mistakes so that you don’t ruin your party.

Foundation overdose
Foundation is meant to make skin look even. It should not be used as a concealer. If you’re using your foundation like a mask, chances are, most people are going to notice the oddness of your skin under bright light. Too much foundation will also cause your skin tone and texture of your face to look different from the rest of your body. Apply only one thin layer of foundation, and use concealer to cover up your blemishes and imperfections.

Mascara overdose
Long, black eyelashes will certainly make your eyes look more alert, but blatantly thick make-up makes you look vulgar. Long and well-defined lashes look more elegant than lashes caked in mascara. The same goes for artificial eyelashes. The dramatic ones with sequins, feathers and what-have-you are fine for parties, but avoid the ones with thick, black lashes. They don’t look natural, nor are they sufficiently glamorous for parties.

Using non-lasting lipstick
You’re likely to be doing lots of eating, drinking or talking, or all of the above. If your lipstick is not lasting, some of it could fade. Lips that are not evenly coloured look terrible! Get a lipstick that doesn’t fade for parties. Otherwise, remember to touch up your lips regularly.

Using non-lasting lip gloss
If you have dry lips, you wouldn’t want your lips to start looking crackly and ill-nourished in the middle of a conversation. Either use lasting lip gloss, or apply a fresh coat of lip gloss to your lips regularly.

Obvious lip outlines
Do use a lip liner with a similar shade of colour to your lipstick to outline your lips. Don’t think that you’re accentuating your lips by making the outline look obvious. It just makes you look like you’re trying too hard.

Product Review: Méthode Jeanne Piaubert CRYSTAL CLEAR Eye Make-up Remover

How was everyone's Halloween? I went for the Halloween special at the Singapore Night Safari with my buds. The atmosphere was great - dark and dramatically spooky. The 'creatures of the night' didn't scare me (though they probably were supposed to) but I found them pretty entertaining. The only downside was that because it was so dark inside, my smokey eyes, which I painstakingly practised creating for the past few days, didn't stand out all that well. I probably should have dusted on some glitter. Oh well.

Loads of festives are coming up! Year-end galas, dinners, christmas and new year! It's the time of the ear to pile on more eye make-up than usual. But don't forget that dramatic eye make-up with vivid colours are often more stubborn to remove as compared to regular eye make-up.

Thus I'm recommending Méthode Jeanne Piaubert CRYSTAL CLEAR, which is not only a very effective eye make-up remover, but also serves as nourishment for the eyes.

I've used it a few times to remove heavy make-up, including my glamorous smokey eyes on Halloween night (I'm still using my regular make-up remover for light make-up). The liner, shadow and even the mascara come out without much fuss. According to MJP's website, it actually coats the lashes to decongest the mascara. I guess that's why it's so easy to remove the mascara even without rubbing my lashes. With this product, I'm glad I won't be losing lashes for the wrong reasons!

The aftermath is refreshed, soothed and fully cleansed eyes.

This product may be too luxurious and extravagent for daily use, but it's a great respite if you've come home with tired eyes caked with dramatic make-up.

Look smokin' hot with smokey eyes

Halloween is just round the corner! Have you decided who or what you're going to dress up as for your parties? I've been too busy lately to plan for my halloween events, but I've tried perfecting the dramatic smokey eyes look because I think it's the most versatile make-up technique you can use to complement any halloween get-up, be it a vampire, a witch or even a pirate (think Jack Sparrow).

What you'll need:
- Black kohl eyeliner
- Angled brush
- Powdered eyeshadow. Colours like black and dark grey are most suitable for creating the smokey look. Use glittering ones for more glamour.

First of all, you will need to apply a good base. You can use a base specifically designed for eyes, or any regular concealer. Apply the base in a patting motion with your ring finger across the eyelid. Life up your eyelid gently so you can apply the base in the inside corners of the eyelid. You should also apply a little of the base underneath your eyelid for more comprehensive coverage.

Now you can start applying your kohl eyeliner. Make a lifting motion just under your eyebrow with one finger and smooth out your upper lid with another finger. Starting from the inside corner of one eye, draw a medium sized line along your lash line. Most people tend to go light on the eyeliner on regular days. If you're not sure what medium-sized equates to, just take it as being slightly thicker than the line you would normally draw. Repeat this for your other eye.

Place the finger of your non-drawing hand directly under your eye in the center position. Make a gentle pulling motion with that finger so that the inner rim or water line of your eye is revealed. Draw a line just along that lower lash line. Repeat this for the other eye.

Apply a little eye shadow with your angle brush just above the line that you drew on your upper eyelid. Do the same underneath your eyes, but you can be more generous with your eye shadow by brushing it down a little further.

Using your ring finger, smudge out the upper eyeliner, blending it all over your eyelid together with the eye shadow. If you're using shimmery eyeshadow, make sure the glitter is evenly blended all over the eyelid. Blend it in such a way that the area covered by the blend of eyeshadow and eyeliner gets increasingly larger as it approaches the outer corner of your eyelid, then brush it downwards. Blend the eyeliner and eyeshadow into something of horizontal crescent under your eyes. Brush the portion near the outer corner of your bottom eyelid upwards, so that your upper and lower eye make up connects and blends evenly.

For the finishing touch, dust a little translucent powder to set your fabulous eyes.

Product Review: Méthode Jeanne Piaubert DOUCEUR D'EAU Masque

I’ve been using the DOUCEUR D'EAU Masque from Methode Jeanne Piaubert for two weeks. I’m going through a busy week with several sleepless nights, so I used it twice a week. Usually, my skin looks drab and oily after several late nights, but this time round, my skin maintains its clear and fresh look. The masque has an intense purifying effect. It is also gentle on my skin. Unlike some in-depth cleansing masks that produce a slight prickly sensation, this one doesn’t at all. It feels soothing upon application.

I’ve been using it with the DOUCEUR D'EAU Gel, so its effect may have been better enhanced through a combination of both cleanser and mask of the same series than if it was used on its own. But I intend to use both for my beauty regime anyway!

Singaporeans who are interested in purchasing these products and others in the MJP line (which I’ll try to review really soon), you can get them from any local Beyond Beauty outlet.

To anonymous: With regards to the prices, I actually don't have them at hand as I'm using the samples. But I called and asked since im going to need to know when I buy it next time. It costs SGD 90. You can call any Beyond Beauty outlet for further clarification. Their contact info are listed on their website.

Fan Bingbing Recommends Natural Beauty Therapies

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing turns heads on the big screen and the red carpet with her black silky hair, snowy-white skin and large, expressive eyes. And she has never been in the tabloids for cosmetic procedures.

Now, anyone who understands beauty care knows that even the most expensive facial creams will be wasted on people with poor lifestyle habits, since the problems would return. With a typical hectic schedule of someone who works in showbiz, how does Fan maintain her good looks?

Barley for Skin Care

Fan revealed her interest in natural therapies and natural products for personal grooming. For healthy skin, she recommends barley, which she frequently consumes in the form of Barley water or Barley soup.

Milk Bath

Sometimes, the old methods are still the best. During the Tang Dynasty, concubine Yang Gui Fei, one of the four greatest beauties of ancient China, was famed for soaking in milk baths to nourish her skin. Apparently, it works for Fan too, who finds her skin especially smooth after a milk bath. She adds milk together with bath foam into her tub and retires inside for a relaxing respite.

Beer rinse for hair care

Despite what miracles hair salons insist their hair treatments can perform, those are still chemical methods which leave behind chemical particles in your hair. Fan uses the beer treatment at least once a week. The treatment is simple. Before shampooing hair, rinse hair in beer for ten minutes. Then, without rinsing out the beer, shampoo hair as per normal. After hair has absorbed nutrients of the beer, it will be exceptionally smooth and silky.

Minimize over-exposure to sunlight

Fan avoids standing in the open when the sun is scorching hot. But when her work forbids it, she applies sun block lotion in regular intervals. The SPF need not be too high, but it should be applied frequently while under the sun. She also drinks a lot of water.

Although Fan seems to place great emphasis on personal well-being, she actually doesn’t sleep the recommended eight hours of sleep required daily. She confesses that she sleeps three to four hours on average when she has filming projects, but she hasn’t had an issue with lack of sleep yet. In fact, she feels energetic when she works.

Oh well, late nighters are pretty inevitable for some careers, but there are some equally natural and effective beauty tips for late nighters that you can refer to here!

(Information from Fan Bingbing's interview in ELLEChina)

Product Review: Méthode Jeanne Piaubert DOUCEUR D'EAU Make-up Removal and Cleansing Gel

I started using my Méthode Jeanne Piaubert DOUCEUR D'EAU samples since their product launch last week.

DOUCEUR D'EAU Gel is nothing like other cleansers I've used. It's as hydrating as promised and a great respite for tired, dry skin. It feels refreshing to the skin, and it produces fine, rich foam upon application. If you've seen an old blog entry of mine about foam, you'll see how important this aspect is to your beauty regime.

This gel also functions as a make-up remover. If you've got your make-up on your face, the gel will remove your make-up while cleansing your face. What a real time-saver! Of course, don't forget to be thorough about it. You still need to use cotton swabs to remove residues from hard-to-reach places. Overall, it's reasonably effective. When I wipe my face with a cotton pad to remove residual foundation from my cheeks after using the gel, the cotton pad's virtually clean.

Having used this product for a week, my skin has become clearer and less clogged up. It also feels firmer. It's great to use in the morning because it freshens me up. I love the fact that it doesn't contain alcohol. It uses algae extract and gentle cleaning agent instead. It's not just great for sensitive skin but on all skin types in general!

I'll review the DOUCEUR D'EAU Masque soon!

Méthode Jeanne Piaubert product launch

I promised to blog about the Méthode Jeanne Piaubert product launch by Beyond Beauty.

The Fashion Bar is a great place at night, but even in the afternoon, the ambience was awesome. The bar was pretty crowded from the many media personnel and beauty enthusiasts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bar look so vibrant and populated in the afternoon! The products were paraded via a lingerie fashion show. Models clad in gorgeous lingerie carried the products in their hands and walked down the aisle between all the couches. Celebrity make-up artist Marjorie Teo was there to do the make-up for the models. She even did a live demonstration. This product launch is so different from others I've been to or read about. First impressions count, and I believe the partnership of Beyond Beauty and MJP is headed for greater things. Sadly, it didn't occur to me to bring my camera, and my hp's miserable 2 megapixels was too pathetic to do justice to the event, so I only took photos of the products on display but not the event. But I found a video of the fashion show on youtube. Check it out!

The Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Beauty and the principal of MJP spoke about the products, and the reporters asked some questions. I snagged a press kit. From what I gathered, MJP is distributing a generous list of products through Beyond Beauty, catering to a wide variety of uses. There are slimming products, facial washes, masks, moisturizing lotions, eye creams... here's the lot:

1. EXPRESSLIM is a series of slimming products that guarantee to reduce fats in problem areas like the waist and thighs in a mere 8 days

2. DOUCEUR D'EAU's fundamental face cleansing products consists of a gel, mask and brush, which hydrate skin while carrying out their purifying roles.

3. STIMULOVAL is a pre-skincare treatment product that is supposed to be really good for blood circulation on the face. No more red patches and puffy cheeks!

4. ISOWHITE series consists of a cleansing gel, day-care lotion, whitening intensive treatment, mask and concealer, which promise lighter and more radiant complexion.

5. GELÉE CRISTALLINE is an eye care product that improves the comfort and appearance of your eyes.

6. IRILYS series also specializes in eye care. Contour de l’œil is even geared specifically to contact lens wearers.

7. SKIN BREAKFAST pampers the skin with nutrients

8. COOL NIGHT helps us late nighters protect our skin from the merciless night!

9. MIXT’ACTION incorporates different complexes to solve the problems of combination skin. No more buying multiple products that specifically target different problems!

And there are several products for men too:

10. Masque dual pureté, a skin-purifying mask

11. DAYCARE, comprehensive time-saving all-in-one formula for all sorts of problems ranging from wrinkles to hair growth.

12. L’HYDRO-ACTIVE BIPHASE 24H helps to revitalise skin and serves as a good alternative to after-shave balm

13. Yeux specializes in eye care for men, and is also suitable for contact lens wearers.

And pictures! Nice packaging aye?

We’re spoilt for choice, aren’t we? The good news is, participants of the launch get a goody bag with samples of all these stuff, so expect me to do some detailed product reviews on MJP products in the near future! I don’t want to drown you with long product descriptions, so if you can’t wait to find out exactly what each product does, visit the MJP Official homepage.

If anyone else is interested in trying out MJP products, you can only get them from Beyond Beauty as it is the sole distributor of MJP products in Singapore. There are 8 local salons for both men and women and they are in Roxy Square, Park Mall, Pacific Plaza, Paragon and Raffles Place. Check out Beyond Beauty’s official website for their exact addresses.

Typically, like all other premium brands distributing in Singapore, MJP products are upmarket, but they have a relatively wide price range, depending on the product type. A DOUCEUR D'EAU gel costs $68, while a bottle of Expresslim costs $208.

Méthode Jeanne Piaubert products to be launched in Singapore

Méthode Jeanne Piaubert, a premium brand of French beauty products, will be distributed in Singapore! The products are being launched this coming Monday (6 Oct) and I’ve been invited to the press conference cum product launch held at Fashion Bar. I’m excited because I’ve heard good reviews about Méthode Jeanne Piaubert’s skin and bodycare products. According to Méthode Jeanne Piaubert’s website, there is a wide variety of products for different treatments. They even have products for men! More quality choices for us beauty addicts in Singapore now!

Beyond Beauty is the salon that owns the distributorship rights for this brand of products. This is another piece of good news because my mum and I always liked to visit this salon for their facials and massages. The salon has a relaxing ambience and skilful beauticians. The combination of quality products and good application techniques can never go wrong.

Personally, I’ve not used Méthode Jeanne Piaubert products before as they've never been distributed in Singapore, but a friend of mine who bought their DOUCEUR D’EAU facial wash products through an online spree and she raved about it for weeks. She said that while using it, her skin never felt healthier. I'm inclined to agree with her. She did have a more even complexion and a healthier glow ever since she used it. I hope I get some freebies at the launch, then I’ll be able to share my experience with all of you! Look forward to my post on Monday or Tuesday!

Product Review: LUSH Love Lettuce Mask

Description from website:

“Love Lettuce is a wonderful lavender scented, rich green exfoliating mask for normal to oily skins. We make it with an infusion of nutritious agar seaweed, balancing lavender oil and chlorophyll to control your skin's oil production and china clay to penetrate the skin and absorb the dirt you've picked up from the atmosphere. As you wash it off, the ground almonds and almond shells gently remove dead skin cells to give you a fresh-from-the-market-garden look (and scent). Apply to clean, damp skin avoiding the eye area; leave on for ten minutes then gently massage in with damp finger tips before rinsing off with warm water. At least four treatments per pot.”

Doesn’t this look like ice cream? My friend bought this back for me from Australia. It has to be stored in the refrigerator, and I love how nice and cold it feels on my skin. It’s great to use in the morning because it refreshes me and puts me in a pleasant mood to face my day ahead.

The mask absorbs oil and leaves my face nicely moisturized and evenly toned. It has exfoliating beads which helps to massage my face and relax it, but they are very coarse and big, so be gentle when applying and rinsing. My skin glows and feels soft like silk after treatment. The process is highly enjoyable because of the soothing scent that the mask exudes.

However, it only has a 3 week shelf life. This is a testament of its freshness, but this means you’ll have to use it up quickly to avoid wastage replenish it frequently. This can be pretty pricey to use on a regular basis.

Product Review: Creme De La Mer (Moisturizing Cream)

This is expensive, but boy, is it worth every penny! Of all the moisturizing creams I’ve used so far, this is the best of the lot.

It does everything a good moisturizing cream should – moisturize, soften lines and even out skin tone. It's very thick and rich, and feels smooth and refreshing to the touch. Upon application it is absorbed into the skin within a couple of minutes, so my face doesn't look or feel oily. After having used it daily for about three weeks, I find that tiny hints of imminent wrinkles at the corner of my eyes have faded! Hallelujah!

The bottle looks tremendously small, but I don’t actually use a lot of it each time. The cream is really thick, so I scoop up a small blot of it and spread it out with my fingers. In this way, I don’t waste the excess or end up with an oily face.

Product Review: Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion 2

I’ve been using this product as my toner recently. It has a really good cleansing effect and my skin feels very clean after using it. I can practically see dirt on the cotton swab that I used to apply toner on my face. It also has excellent oil control. Its pricing is reasonable too.

However, I know of some people who complained that the lotion is too harsh. They feel pain when they use it, and some end up with red skin and breakouts. Personally, my skin does get a little red, but otherwise, I feel no discomfort.

The key is to choose the correct one for your skin. If you study the makeup of the lotion, you will notice that it has high alcohol content. Alcohol deprives your skin of moisture and your skin may excrete oil to replace the moisture, giving rise to breakouts. In my opinion, Lotion 2 is not suitable for people with perfectly normal skin or dry skin. Lotion 1 is milder and would be more appropriate for most people.

Are whitening injections really spot on?

If you want translucently fair and radiant skin like many Taiwanese female celebrities, use whitening injections, says a beauty book penned by actress Barbie Hsu who’s famed for her fair skin.

Nice to know that whitening injections work for her and her colleagues, but before you rush out to get yourself a jab, bear in mind that whitening injections are no miracle workers, nor do they execute the same effectiveness on every user. The least you should do before committing yourself to whitening treatments is to know how it works.

Although whitening liquids generally look equally colourless, the compositions of their ingredients, or even the ingredients themselves, vary from brand to brand, clinic to clinic. The ingredients and the ratio of their compositions are really the key to determining the effectiveness of the injections, so it makes sense to know what whitening injections contain.

Whitening injection is simply a generic term because the prescription that each doctor gives to his clients varies accordingly to their needs and conditions. The basic ingredient of whitening injections is glutathione. Whitening injections commonly comprise of other ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B group, Tranexamic Acid, Vitamin E, Gingko extracts and a small amount of steroids.

Vitamin C promotes healthy skin. Vitamin B Group helps increase radiance of skin. Tranexamic Acid is used to inhibit the activity of Tyrosine enzyme, thus halting the production of melanin. Other ingredients supposedly facilitate oxidation resistance and improve the body’s immunity system. Upon injection into the vein, the whitening liquid enters the body through the blood stream and circulates the entire body. Ideally, it promotes oxidation resistance, whitening, anti-sensitivity, increased metabolism among many effects that will help generate new, healthy cells for skin.

Sounds attractive and factual, doesn’t it? But although whitening injections are widely known and offered by many aesthetic clinics, there is no scientific proof that they work, nor are there any medical standards that they have to abide by before use in some countries. There are speculated side effects, but not much documentation that we can refer to, so we can’t gauge its risk factor. Furthermore, the pricing varies sharply from clinic to clinic, country to country, further establishing that whitening treatments, like slimming treatments, do not go by any standard operations and may contain many risks and commercial implications.

If you really desire a whitening jab, consult friends who’ve had pleasant and effective experiences with the treatment and have them recommend a clinic. Above all, understand the prescription you are given and have the doctor explain the use of each component. Just because he’s a doctor doesn’t mean you should blindly hand your life over to him. It is also advisable that you consult a few different clinics about the prescription you are given before using it.

Soothing your itchy eyes

I received the following question from a reader:
"Do you have solutions for people who suffer from itchy eyes if they don't get enough sleep? Not only do I get puffy eyes but they itch."

An itching sensation certainly takes the sparkle out of your eyes. Itchy eyes look listless and squinty, so this is definitely a good question that needs a good solution.

The tea bag treatment is often one of the most recommended home remedies to treat eye-related problems such as puffiness and dark circles. They work on the basis of having a cooling effect on your eyes. In this case, they do mute mild itchiness by calming the itch.

For this treatment, you will need water, tea bags and a chair with a comfortable neck-rest. I recommend organic camomile tea bags. Organic products have little or no chemical additives, so they won't irritate your eyes. Camomile tea is known for its soothing effect, tastewise and smellwise. Boil water and pour it over two tea bags (to release the aroma and herbal extracts). Wait for the tea bags to cool. Sit down and tilt your head upwards and place the tea bags over your closed eyes for ten minutes. If the itch persists, repeat this with new tea bags over intervals of one hour until the itch disappears.

Alternatively, you can use a cool wet cloth or eye masks that are readily available at pharmacies, though I feel that cammomile tea bags produce a more soothing effect without agitating your skin with extreme coldness.

Itchy or dry eyes actually result from a variety of problems, lack of sleep being just one of them. Some people stay up really late at night and they don't suffer from itchy eyes, yet some get itchy eyes even if they turn in by midnight. The dryness and sensitivity of eyes also differs from person to person. As you didn't state what contributed to your lack of sleep, I can only give examples from a few scenarios. E.g. if you enjoy clubbing, cut down on the alcohol and avoid places with smokers. If you're staying up late to work on your computer, be sure to rest your eyes after every 30 mins and blink your eyes repeatedly until they feel wet and refreshed. You can do this in the day time too, when you're using the computer, or any time your eyes feel tired and dry. Regular eye drops help alleviate tiredness and dryness too. Drink plenty of water in the day to keep yourself moisturized.

However, if you are experiencing prolonged itchiness or intense itchiness and your eyes are bloodshot with pronounced puffiness, do consult your doctor!

Rice Facial Mask

This is a more intensified treatment than the rice water facial wash! The production process of the rice water is rather similar to that of the facial wash, except the amount of water used is less.

The ingredients are uncooked white rice and fresh water.

The steps are as follows:

1. Pour white rice into a container, followed by sufficient water to cover the rice.

2. Rinse rice briefly and pour away the water.

3. Pour in a little less water than the first round. Rinse and pour out the water for storage overnight. It should feel thicker than the rice water obtained from that used to make facial wash since less water was used. By morning, the water should be milky white and contain lots of sediments.

4. Separate out the sediments by pouring out the water (as much of it as possible) into another container. Do not dispose off either.

5. Before your bath, massage the rice sediments onto your face. 15 minutes later when the sediments has dried up, massage the rice water obtained from step 4 onto your face until all the rice water has been used up.

6. Allow the mask to dry naturally.

7. During your bath, wash the mask away with warm water.

8. Use cold water to rinse your face so that your pores will shrink.

Tip: You can make a rice bran paste mask (using the above steps with your rice bran). It’s more nutritious and you can just do it once a week.

Enhancement: When your rice mask dries, you can use your hands to gently rub away the sediments. It’s supposed to help your skin absorb some of the minerals from the sediments better when you are rubbing your face. However, if the mask is too dry, you can only remove it by warm water because aggressive rubbing is bad for your skin. You can also add flour to the sediments (before applying it to your skin) to increase its stickiness.

Rice Water Face Wash

Why does rice water have the ability to beautify skin? Well, it is due to the water-soluble vitamins and minerals left behind by rice in the water it is being soaked in. Vitamin B is especially abundant. Besides, because it is all natural, it is suitable for daily usage and sensitive skin.

Rice water has moistening and smoothening effects on skin. It will reap noticeable effects if you use wash your face twice daily, once in the day and once in the night. But you must use rice water that is created for skin, not just any old pot of water left behind from your dinner preparations!

Don’t worry, it’s still really easy to prepare. The ingredients are nothing fancy: uncooked white rice and fresh water.

The steps are as follows:

1. Pour white rice into a container, followed by sufficient water to cover the rice.

2. Rinse the rice and pour away the water. Then add water into the container, rinse the rice and pour out the water. This will be our key ingredient for the rice water facial wash.

3. Allow the rice water to soak overnight. By morning, the water should look milky white. Pour it into your wash basin.

4. Add in warm water about 1.5 times the amount of the rice water. Stir the mixture. Once it’s uniform (that shouldn’t take long), you can start using it!

Tip: You can store rice water in your refrigerator, but the maximum duration should not exceed 2 days. Otherwise, the rice water will undergo fermentation and you won’t be able to use it!

Enhancement: When washing your rice for the second round, you can use white wine instead of water. You will have extremely nutritious white wine rice water!

Remove make-up with baby oil

Just a quick heads up on an economical and effective way to remove make-up. Instead of using specialized make-up removal products, you can also use baby oil to remove make-up.

Dab some baby oil on your fingers, apply it to your face in circular motions.

It works on water-proof make-up too!

Salvage an over made-up face

Colours do liven up a dull face, but the inappropriate use of too much make-up makes you look as though you're trying too hard.

It’s not hard to get carried away with your make-up when you’re dolling yourself up for a glamorous night out. This seems especially the case with face blush. An overdose of face blush can make you look as though you've just got two pink patches rather than a pretty glow, as discussed my previous article.

If you’ve accidentally applied too much blush and have no time to re-do your face, here's what you can do to ease the colours. If you’ve applied too much powder blush, dab transparent loose powder over the powdered parts of your face. If you used liquid or cream blush, use a little water or cleansing milk to lighten the colours.

Perfect Rosy Cheeks

Rosy cheeks are the embodiment of good health. If you want your skin to look radiant, those lovely pink hues on your cheeks can’t be missing! If you don’t have naturally rosy cheeks, that’s when blush comes to the rescue!

Does applying powder blush make you look like you’ve got two unnaturally pink patches on your cheeks? Using powder blush does come with practice. If you’re not adept with your brush strokes or use too much blush, the result may be less than desirable.

If you’re having problems with powder blush, try switching to liquid or cream blush. They are easily mixed and blended with your skin color, giving a more natural look of subtle but healthy rosy tints. Complete the process by using a flat foundation brush to sweep away excess blush.

Covering up facial flaws

1. Even complexion
I received a beauty tip from a Taiwanese author for reducing uneven pigmentation. You can mix your liquid concealer together with milk (powdered milk without adding other substances) in the proportion of 1:3 and apply the mixture below the eyes and on the edges of the nose. The two substances are easy to mix and help to achieve a smooth texture for the skin. I’ve tried it, it works and the foundation doesn’t look cakey! The additional step may be troublesome, but beauty doesn’t come with laziness.

2. Using eye cream to conceal wrinkles
Eye cream has the function of moisturizing the skin around your eyes. Healthy, moisturized skin is able to effectively absorb your concealer, and also reduces the problem of eye bags arising from wrinkles. After your eye cream has been absorbed into your skin, apply concealer sparingly. Use your fingers to pat gently the areas covered in concealer. If your eye bags are your obvious, you can apply foundation in place of concealer.

3. Mixing shades to conceal dark pigmentation
By applying a mixture of violet, pink and pearl white eye shadow, the reflection of light will create an illusion, causing your eye shadow to look extraordinarily luminous. Do not use the small brushes that come with your eye shadow, but use a large and round-tipped brush instead. To make alterations without caking or spotting your make-up, gently brush away the offending areas. Applying yellow shades of eye shadow over yellow-tinted concealer yields a pretty good effect.

Follow the guidelines, not your heart

(Image from A Touch of Blusher)

If the talkative salesperson tries to give you advice about your new purchase or stuff a corporate brochure into your shopping bag, don't be too quick to brush him away or bin the brochure.

Following advancement in technology, compositions and application methods of cosmetic products have become increasingly complicated. Their methods of usage are constantly evolving. It is unwise to use a product based on habits and instincts without consulting the instructions booklet.

When shopping for cosmetics products, consult the retail assistant about the product you are purchasing. Read the instructions and product descriptions carefully. Do not misinterpret the product’s characteristics or method of usage.

The following are just a few examples of the consequences of ignorant product usage:

1. Products containing vitamin C should be used at night or in places that are not exposed to sunlight. With lowered light intensity, the products will perform reduction-oxidation reactions to achieve the required performance. If these products are used in the day, they will absorb light instead, causing age spots to become worst.

2. Many products function on different energy-liberation principles, rather than performing on immediate contact with skin. This is to help maintain the stability of the complexes during storage. Methods of energy liberation may take place in different ways, such as mixing two products together, or rubbing the product on your skin in a certain motion. If your method of application is incorrect, the product may not be working to its fullest potential, or may even be rendered completely useless.

3. There are many types of facial masks. Some have to be removed with water, some have to be wiped with tissue, others are not required to be removed. The general impression is that facial masks in clay or paste form are simply removed by washing off with water. However, some masks may be highly concentrated and require thorough cleansing. Otherwise, the face may become sensitive and red. On the other hand, some masks are mild enough to be used throughout an entire night of sleep.

Don't compromise your safety when there are accredited guidelines to follow!

Make your eye cream work by applying them correctly

Why do eye creams seem so useless? Not only are they not absorbed by the skin, they even coagulate into lipid granules!

If you’re a victim of ineffective eye creams, don’t be in a hurry to pile the blame on your products. Your method of application may be the root of your problems.

A recommended eye cream application method is the “point and press” method. First, scoop up or squeeze a blob of eye cream (usually, it should be approximately the size of a soybean) onto the tip of a ring finger. Dab off some of the eye cream onto the ring finger of your other hand such that you have an approximately equivalent amount of eye cream on both fingers.

Daub the problem region around each eye until your eye cream has been evenly distributed around your eyes. When you daub a spot, you’re pointing at a spot and pressing down gently on it, hence the name of the method. Continue daubing the same areas with greater frequency until all the eye cream has been absorbed. Remember to keep your actions gentle and your ring finger clean.

For a relaxing finale, rub both your palms together until they feel warm. Gently push your warm palms against your closed eyes and relax until you no longer feel the heat.

Beauty tips for late nighters

Since this is my first post, I shall blog about a problem that inflicts almost all Singaporeans (yes, the men and children too!) and basically any developed country in the world - late nights!

Most people make light of staying up late, thinking that whatever damages that are caused can be slept away by the next night. If only this were true! Staying up late inflicts long-lasting damage to your overall well-being, including your skin. What's more, burning the midnight oil has become routine for most people, myself included, so there's no 'replenishing of sleep' to speak of. The list of negative impacts accompanying late nights is endless, but I'm not here to condemn late nights, so on with the tips!

You are what you eat, so eating right for dinner or supper is pretty much self-explanatory. Late nighters should consume food that is rich in Vitamin C or collagen as these help to restore the elasticity and luminity of skin. Skin of animals, such as chicken, duck and pig, is rich in collagen. Most fruits are rich sources of Vitamin C. If you're not consuming enough veggies or fruits, you may want to consider taking Vitamin C pills (but all natural is still the best!). Eat less spicy food and go easy on the alcohol!

Keep your skin moisturised at all times! Leave your windows open at night (if you live on the higher floors, that is). Keep your room door open too. These will facilitate better ventilation, which is desirable for your skin as fresh air moisturizes the skin. You can also apply moisturizing cream to your skin. But do avoid drinking water at night as it is harmful to health (as to how so, that's another story!)

Don't wash your face too late at night. Between 10pm to 11pm, the skin undergoes self-maintainence. This period of time is ideal for face cleansing and the application of skin care products. Use warm water and facial soap, and don't forget the moisturizer!

Now, on to eye bags and dark circles, the bane of beautiful, expressive eyes! Avoid drinking thick tea, coffee and alcohol as they easily result in dark pigmentation on the skin and around your eyes. If the damage has been done, prepare a glass of salt solution, consisting of a pinch of salt and cold water. Dab the mixture against your skin where the dark pigmentation are, using cotton sticks or a cloth. Do this for between three to five minutes.

Remember, these tips only help you to lessen damage and maintain reasonably good skin if you have to frequently stay up late at night. Don't expect miracles if you're a party animal!

Responsible Skin Care

Results of skincare products and treatments are subjective and differ for individuals depending on skin type, age, allergies, environment and other physical elements. Before buying a product, always check whether it suits your skin type and condition. If you're in doubt, the retail assistant is there to help. Never jump on a product just because a reviewer says it's good. Us reviewers are regular people with our own share of skin problems.

For your reference, I'm Asian, in my mid-20s, have combination skin and experience mild breakouts when I'm stressed or use oily products. I do not have sensitive skin, nor am I prone to skin allergies.

For new DIY treatments and unfamiliar products, always perform a skin patch test before usage. Here's how to do a simple skin patch test:

Place a small amount of the product onto a band-aid and stick band-aid to your inner forearm which is one of the most sensitive areas prone to skin allergies.

Leave band-aid on for 24 hours and avoid getting it wet during this period.

After 24 hours, remove band-aid and check arm for reactions.

If you experience redness, itching or just about any form of discomfort on the area covered by band-aid, you may have an allergy to the product. Therefore, do not use it!

If there is no reaction, you may use the product.

Disclaimer: All products and DIY treatments that I have recommended have produced results for myself or people around me. However, I am unable to guarantee that they will produce similar results for everyone. I hereby disclaim all responsibility for dissatisfactory results and any problems resulting from using said products and treatments.

About the Author

Hi I'm Lydia, your friendly beauty blogger. I'm an image-conscious young Singaporean woman who strongly believes that projecting a good self image helps to improve your quality of life - when carried out through affordable means of course!

When I hit 20, mum scared me by telling me how people start aging rapidly in their 20s if they don't practise good beauty habits. Thus began my quest for quality beauty products and knowledge about beauty.

I devoured beauty magazines, consulted my fellow ladies and experimented with various beauty tips and products.

I like sharing my knowledge, so I decided to write a blog dedicated to beauty. I named it Face Good. No prizes for guessing where I got the inspiration from!

You will find useful and interesting news related to beauty, product reviews (never waste money on a useless product again!), DIY beauty treatments and more!