An Apple a Day

Christmas has just come and gone! I hope everyone had a good Christmas! 2010 is just round the corner now! Time for New Year resolutions! I’ve already made a list of them, many of which are only for my eyes. Teehee. But some regular entries on my list include good health and better beauty regime, which I believe should be on everyone elses’ too! Only if we are in optimum health and feel good about ourselves can we set out to fulfill all our other resolutions. Don’t you agree?



One of my greatest New Year resolutions with respect to beauty and health is to consume at least one apple every day, because apples have many health and beauty benefits as listed below:

1. Prevents Weight Gain
Compared to other fruits, fat level from apples is virtually negligible. Apples don’t contain protein. Every 100g of apple contains only about 60 calories. Apples are also rich in malate, which stimulates the dispersal of fats in the body, thus preventing weight gain.

2. Whitens Teeth
Apples are rich in cellulose, among which some have the ability of cleansing grime on and between your teeth. Smile as much as you like after enjoying an apple!

3. Detoxifies Intestines
Apples are rich in pectin, which promotes bowel movement. Its rich source of dietary fibre helps to expel toxins from your body, consequently improving your skin’s appearance.

4. Skin whitening
Apples contain plenty of Vitamin C, which helps to lighten freckles, age spots and keeps your skin rosy and supple.

Since apples are great for skin, why not use them on your face too! Here’s a simple recipe for an apple mask that you can do once or twice a week!

Skin an apple and mash it up into pulp. If you have dry skin, add milk or vegetable oil to the apple pulp. The amount you add depends on how watery you’d like your mask. Preferably it should of course not be too watery that it runs down your face. Personally I find a quarter of a glass to be pretty good. If you have oily skin, add egg white from an egg to the apple pulp. Stir until the mixture is even and apply all over your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse off with clean water. This mask helps to lighten acne scarring, freckles and brown spots. You’ll feel that your skin becomes smoother, softer and whiter.

Do you also know that apples can help to reduce eye circles? Simply place a thin slice of apple under each eye. It works like cucumbers!

Always remember the old adage, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!” Skin doctors and dentists included too!

Pomelos for Christmas


 
Christmas is just 2 weeks away! Have you started drawing up your shopping lists for Christmas dinner? This year, I’m going to include pomelos on my dinner table. Yes, you read right. All my guests will be getting a slice from the huge fragrant fruit usually eaten during Autumn Moon Festival.

Then again, who says pomelos should only be eaten during a particular season? Pomelos are a native fruit to South East asia and they can be found in Singapore even during this period. They may be more rare in supermarkets and markets, but you can try wholesale vegetable markets or even across the causeway!

According to those who practice Chinese Traditional Medicine, pomelos have the ability to reduce phlegm, soothe lungs, detoxify the intestines, contribute to the production of red blood cells, and strengthens the spleen, amongst many other medical advantages. It’s a great rehabilitation food to have after a cold, or simply to counteract the many sinful foods you’ve eaten at the Christmas dinner table! In fact, it’s a healthy fruit to eat on a regular basis.

But it is very important to bear in mind that pomelos cannot be consumed with certain types of medication, especially prescribed medication for people suffering from Hyperlipemia. Consuming medication with inappropriate food products can result in intoxication and consequently muscle aches and kidney problems. Do consult your doctor if you have medical problems!

On the plus side, it reduces sugar and cholesterol levels and when consumed in the long run, promotes healing in patients suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening arteries etc. It also stimulates weight loss in obese people. Even for healthy people with no medical problems, pomelos promote healthy and beautiful skin!

There are some simple tricks to ensure that you select a pomelo that is guaranteed to be sweet! First of all, ripe pomelos are very fragrant, so choose one that your nose likes! Next, gently knock and press against the peel with your finger joint. If the peel dents easily, ditch it. The key word is ‘gently’. Using strength is just going to dent anything, no matter how top-grade the pomelo is. Besides, you wouldn’t want to get yelled at by the seller, would you? An ideal pomelo has the standard shape of a broad, round base that extends to a narrow tip, skin that’s not dull and is pale green or yellow. (If it is an intense shade of green, it is not ripe!) When you’ve purchased your pomelo, it is not quite ready for eating just yet! Pomelos keep for a long time, so keep it aside in a cool place for about 2 weeks. By then, it would have ripened further and lost extraneous water content and it would taste sweeter.

So don’t wait until Eve of Christmas to buy your pomelo. Time to go pomelo hunting now!

Why you should let your body rest at night

Altering your biological clock radically can result in potential illnesses in the long run. In this aspect, many people are guilty of sleeping late and disrupting some of the body's most essential processes, which only take place at night. Here’s another outline of the workings of your body, this time, focusing on its nightly detoxifying actions.

1. 9pm – 11 pm. Lymphatic system detoxifies.

2. 11 pm – 1 pm. Liver detoxifies.

3. 1 am – 3 am. Bile ducts detoxify.

4. 3 am – 5am. Lungs detoxify. When you’re suffering from a cough, your cough is most vigorous at this point of time. Don’t try to stifle or stop your cough as you’ll be interfering with the lung’s detoxification process. Head out of the room instead if you don’t wish to disturb your room mate.

5. 5am – 7 am. Large intestine detoxifies. This is the time when you’d normally go to the toilet to defecate.

Our body’s detoxification system works best when the rest of our body is in resting mode. Hence, it’s best to be asleep during the entire detoxification process. But few people have the luxury to sleep by 9 and would prefer to spend the time before midnight on leisure activities. Nevertheless, from 9pm to 11pm, you can still optimize rest time by doing relaxing activities like listening to music and reading and avoiding high-energy activities such as eating (yes, eating burdens your digestive system) and adrenaline-pumping computer games.

The Healthy Life

Humans are highly adaptable, but going against the workings of our biological clock is never good for you in the long run. When your health is poor, there is no beauty to speak of. So let's take a look at what the ideal healthy lifestyle should be like to stay healthy and beautiful!

7:30: Time to wake up! Researchers from Westminster college have discovered that those who wake up between 5:22 to 7:21 are more susceptible to heart problems. It’s best to wake up a little after 7:21.Turn on the room lights once you’re up. This helps your body to register that it is daylight and snap out of rest mode. Next, drink a glass of water to make up for the lack of water in the night.

7:30 – 8:00: Before breakfast, brush your teeth. Fluoride from the toothpaste creates a protective layer over your teeth.

8:00 – 8:30: Breakfast time! Breakfast is mandatory and the most important meal of the day. It helps to stabilize your sugar levels. Cereals especially make good breakfasts as they are healthy and quick to prepare.

8:30 – 9:00: Avoid vigorous exercise as your bodily system is overall weakest at this point of time and rather than improving your fitness and immune system, you may end up being more prone to injuring yourself. Walking is all right and recommended though.

9:30: Begin with the most challenging task of the day. According to New York Sleep Centre researchers, we are often most alert in the first 2 hours that we’re awake.

10:30: If you’ve been working on the computer, look away and rest your eyes for 3 minutes. Keep doing this every hour if you have to use the computer for long hours.

11:00: Have some fruits. Consuming fruits before lunch makes you fuller so that you will eat less for lunch.

13: 00: Lunch hour! Be sure to have a delicious and nutritious lunch in order to have the energy and vigour to continue work for the day. Consume more vegetables and bean products and less meat. Rice can be supplemented with bread too if you’re packing your own lunch and find it a hassle to prepare rice.

14:30 – 15:30: Have a half hour nap (subject to boss’s approval, but it has been scientifically proven that employees who take afternoon breaks are more productive). According to a university research team in Athens, napping for half an hour for at least 3 afternoons per week reduces death from heart problems by 37%.

16:00: Have a yogurt drink. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and is good for the heart.

17:00 – 19:00: This is the best time to exercise. Most working people are probably still in the office though. But you can try doing some office workouts.

19:30: Have a light dinner. Eating too much for dinner causes sugar levels to go up and also affects sleep because your digestive system has to work into the night. Avoid high-calorie and protein foods. Eat more vegetables instead, and take your time to chew your food so that it is more easily digested.

21:45: Having cleared up after dinner, you can watch a little tv for relaxation, but don’t watch tv on your bed. It affects your quality of sleep because your body then gets attuned to the idea of bed being a place for watching tv instead of rest.

23:00: If you have problems falling asleep, take a warm shower to relax your muscles.

23:30: You should be asleep by this time! If you wake up at 7:30 the following day, you will enjoy 8 hours of sleep.

Few people I know are actually able to follow this schedule exactly due to our committments. Adhere to it as much as you can, but don't panic if you can't! You can always substitute what you can't do with something just as good. For example, if you have to get up before 7:30, make it a point to go to bed even earlier. If you can only spare time to exercise in the morning, do it anyway! Exercising at a less productive time is better than no exercise at all!

Keeping Humidity Levels friendly for your skin

It seems that many people are traveling abroad this year for a white Christmas since the economy picked up! Since I'm receiving more emails asking me about skin care tips for winter, I’ll try my best to comply!

Environmental conditions affect our wellbeing in many ways. Since your lodging is the place where you spend the night recuperating, it's important to know how you can make it a conducive place to rest and relax.

In countries experiencing winter, hotels and rooms have heaters or even fireplaces to keep you warm. While these are necessities, the heat causes moisture in the room to evaporate. When humidity levels are too low, one may experience itchiness and dryness in the nose and throat, headache and bleeding from the capillaries. When I was visiting a country experiencing winter a couple of years ago and didn’t know better about protecting my skin from the harsh winter climate, the skin around my nails bled, and I had a friend who suffered from nosebleeds every morning. Random bleeding is alarming and even leaves stains on your clothes if not taken care of in time. Furthermore, dryness causes skin itch, peeling and roughens the texture of your skin.


Here are some tips to prevent humidity levels from dipping too low. If there’s a fireplace in the room, place a kettle filled with water over the fireplace, leaving the cap off. This keeps the water boiling and the steam issuing from it will increase humidity levels in the room. If your lodging has a heater installed, stand a basin of water on top of the heater. You can also hang your wet towels and clothes around your bedroom. They will contribute water to your surroundings and consequently dry quickly!

If you can spare the time, take a hot water bath before going to bed, or before going out in the morning. In winter, your metabolism decreases and blood flow is slower than per normal, hence the paler outlook. A hot water bath will stimulate blood circulation and give your skin a healthier glow!

Keeping your skin supple in winter land

The rainy season has come again in Singapore and this also means decreasing temperatures and winter in other countries! Some of you must have already begun preparations for going abroad during the year-end holiday! If you’re going to a country with winter, don’t forget that you will need to protect your skin against the harsh dryness of the weather. Keeping your skin fresh and smooth isn’t all about piling moisturizers on your skin.

1. Drink lots of water
Overseas, we don’t get the comfort of drinking as much water we want, whenever we like, especially if you’re in the middle of trekking up a mountain or exploring some slums, but do make the effort to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. A sudden decrease in water consumption is often detrimental for health, what more when you’re in a new climate. Drinking water keeps you healthy too so you can enjoy your trip without falling sick! So you don’t have to go out of the way to ensure you get your eight glasses of water, try to get at least 2 glasses of healthy beverages during your main meals. Soup contributes to water consumption too. You wouldn’t say no to a steaming bowl of hot soup, would you?

2. Easily-forgotten parts
Middle of eyebrows, behind ears, nose, edge of eyes, neck and joints on elbow and knee. Many people tend to neglect these areas, so if you don’t moisturize them, you’ll feel the drying effect will be even more severe in winter.

3. Morning is the best time for skincare
Our body has a biological clock such that there are different times when different parts of the body work best. Our skin actually absorbs moisture and nutrients best in the morning at around 8am. Therefore, make it a point to apply your moisturizing cream and do your moisturizing facials and what not in the morning before you go for breakfast. This applies even if you’re traveling to a vastly different time zone because our body adapts to our environment. Once you’re no longer jetlagged, your body has adjusted to your environment.

4. Moisturizing Sprays are useless on oily skin
Oil and water do not go together. The oil obstructs water from being absorbed your skin. If you have oily skin, you do not need a moisturizing spray, even if it’s touted as a handy must-have winter item. Rely on water and moisturizing cream instead.

5. When too much is simply too much
Just because the weather is drier than usual doesn’t mean you slather on more moisturizing cream than usual. Continue to use the moisturizing cream as per instructed. Applying more than the recommended amount restricts your pores from being able to open completely and breathe properly at night. When skin can’t breathe properly, it can’t regenerate new cells and perform its usual repair process, which results in dry skin instead!

Maybelline: Creamy Gel Eyeliner



Recently, I picked up a new eyeliner from Maybelline. I was attracted to the sticker on it’s packaging which screamed “No. 1 eyeliner in Japan!” Yes I get taken in easily by catchy taglines, especially anything to do with Japan’s famed beauty industry. Well, I don’t know how true the statement is, but this gel eyeliner is good enough to want to make me buy it again!

Application is really easy. A brush is provided with the eyeliner, so all you have to do is use it to apply the gel. It’s not called a ‘creamy’ gel for nothing. Because of this creaminess, it is very smooth to apply on. No furious repeated brushing across your poor lids. Blending is a cinch, so if you accidentally draw a little out of line, you can fix it easily.

It is very lasting. I didn’t have to touch up after 8 hours outside, this despite my having oily eyelids . It comes off easily with the right make-up remover, but won’t budge if you try other means to get it off. That’s why it’s important that you blend it quickly because it also dries and rather quickly upon application.

The colours are limited. I’ve only seen a black and brown one in the local stores. I bought the brown one. It’s a very pretty colour and even has a little shimmer.

The bottle is typically tiny, like most brands of gel eyeliner. But it should last long enough if you aren’t doing a goth make-up everyday. Priced at 19.90 SGD, I personally find it a very worthy purchase!

How do liver spots (freckles) come about II?

As promised in the previous post, I'll look at the causes of liver spots and how to prevent them! Apart from the sun, here are the other culprits!

Heavy make-up
Make-up contains metallic elements, with absorption of light being one of their chemical properties. Scented cosmetic products especially, contain large amounts of metals like lead, which can cause black pigmentation on skin. Furthermore, when make-up is not thoroughly removed, colour pigments in the make-up will enter the skin, resulting in the formation of coloured pigments.

Only use heavy make-up when you absolutely have to, such as special occasions. Stick to light, natural make-up on regular days!

Too much whitening
Whitening techniques such as chemical peeling and chemical scrubs, when done too frequently, can cause skin to become sensitive to light and dry. A little sunlight can cause red spots and coloured pigmentation. Unless you intend to stay indoors all day, don’t be too caught up with chemical whitening methods!

Computer degeneration

These days, most of us have to use the computer for at least a few hours a day. However, rays emitted from computers are harmful to our skin and causes a variety of skin problems, including dark eye circles, pimples, dryness and spots. Since it’s hardly impossible to keep away from our gadgets, the next best thing to do is to increase our skin’s defences as much as possible.

Before applying make-up, apply a make-up base with UV ray blocking function, such as Laneige’s skin veil base. If you work in the office and have to be in front of your computer the whole time, remember to reapply sunblock every couple of hours!

Lack of Exercise
Exercise helps to dispel toxics through our skin through perspiration. Otherwise, these toxics remain in our bodies and skin and can give way to dark pigmentation. No matter how busy you are, sat aside some time for a little work out every day! Some perspiration is better than none at all!

How do liver spots (freckles) come about?


Isn’t it annoying to invest so much time and fortune dousing your skin in skincare products, only to have those annoying brown little blemishes disfiguring your skin in the later part of your life? The problem with freckles is that they usually only emerge years after the damage is done, and there is nothing you can do by then. It is always important to be mindful of your beauty habits so you don’t end up doing something that’s a cause for regret.

November has been cool and most people only take out their umbrellas when it rains. Now, even if the sun doesn’t show it’s face, UV rays are ever present, any time, any where, even in your house where it enters through the windows. And UV rays are one of the main causes of liver spots.

Don’t let your guard down even on a rainy day. Taiwanese show host Barbie Hsu, famed for her beautiful complexion, goes out and about in sunglasses, hats and even a veil over the face such that she has been teased for resembling a grass cutter! But you know, you can never be too cautious when it comes to beauty! Anyway, just an umbrella or a hat when you’re outdoors would suffice. Of course, don’t forget the sunblock!

However, the sun isn’t the only culprit for those liver spots. Tune in next week for more information about liver spots and how to prevent them! In the mean time, keep those brollies in your bags!

Concealing body art


Did you have a spooky weekend? I must say that Halloween in Singapore is pretty happening this year! Lots of clubs had great offers if you entered in costume and many attractions were made over and implemented special events just for Halloween. Over the weekend, I saw many creative costumes complete with heavy make-up, face and body paints. Halloween is honestly a great time to let down your hair, have fun and be out of character and become something else for a change. But what happens if you can’t revert in time for work and school on Monday?

A colleague of mine who loves going sleeveless came to work today all wrapped up in a woolly shawl. Apparently, she wasn’t trying to dress up as a sheep but was trying to cover up the remnants of her huge airbrush tattoo that she got for her dragon lady Halloween costume.

Body painting usually draw negative attention at the work place, and are definitely banned from school. Most good quality airbrush tattoos, however, require time and effort for complete removal, and then there is of course, the issue of permanent tattoos, which can only be removed through painful lasering.

But body art lovers need not despair. With some make-up tricks, concealing the marks of rebellion is simple and quick!

You will need
1. A set of heavy-duty, heavy-pigmented concealers meant for covering up scars and tattoos, of varying shades near your skin tone.

2. Finishing powder for setting make-up

Step 1: Choose a concealer of a slightly darker shade than your own skin tone. Massage a generous amount of it over the part of your skin that you wish to conceal. At this stage, you don’t have to try to completely conceal the tattoo.

Step 2: Choose a concealer of a slightly darker shade than your own skin tone. Apply it over the first layer of concealer, blending while massaging to achieve a natural-looking shade.

Step 3: Gradually add on more layers of concealer and blend it using massaging movements until the tattoo is completely hidden.

Step 4: Apply finishing powder over it. You should bring loose powder out with you so that you can touch up whenever there’s a need to.

Revlon: Fantasy Length False Lashes 99501 Defining


Last Saturday, I finally got a chance to try out my new Revlon False Lashes when I met up with an old friend for an entire day of shopping and dinner. This is actually my first time reviewing false eyelashes. I hardly ever wear them because I always had issues with the ones I've tried on, so I always stick to mascara. But too much mascara on a regular basis is bad for eyelashes so it's good to be able to switch to false lashes every so often, and I'm really glad that these new lashes from Revlon have given me one more viable option for make-up.


While the Revlon 99501 Defining Lashes aren’t dramatic in the ‘hey-look-at-me-I’m-wearing-falsies’ way, they are perfect for people with short, sparse lashes (like myself) who don’t want to draw the wrong sort of attention to oneself. ‘Beautiful lashes!’ is after all, different from ‘hey you’re wearing fake lashes!’. They do define your eyes without making you look overly made up, which means you can actually use them on a daily basis and for work.

The lashes have just the right amount of curvature. I didn’t even have to press them with a curler to make them curl upwards. And they don’t cast an annoying curtain over my eyes like some of my other fake lashes would.

The lashes are self-adhesive, which means no need to deal with sticky glue that goes all over the wrong places. They last really long too; I used them for 8 hours and they’re still in perfect condition. Although you can’t reuse the adhesive strip, you can reuse the eyelashes for a few more times by using the good ol’ eyelash glue if you have been careful with handling them.

While the lashes look very natural because they are so fine, they are also rather fragile. The first time I tried to put one of them on, I accidentally folded some of the lashes with my clumsy fingers and failed to get them back into shape. So do be careful when putting them on. Use tweezers if possible, and avoid holding the adhesive with your fingers. It really sticks.

No complaints other than that. I’m in love with these lashes. They’re easy to stick on, and just the right length for me. I didn’t even have to cut them. I’ll be trying the Intensifying one for Halloween, so I’ll be back with more reviews!

Cheap luxury skin care products? Do they exist?





For people who love luxury skin care products, this website The Skinny will interest you. It’s a Skin Care Sample Sale website which promises to sell luxury skin care products and spa services at huge discounts.

If you’ve read Confessions of a Shopaholic or live in New York, the concept of sample sales should be familiar to you. Sample sales are usually invitation-only sales events organized by designer fashion companies or distributors. Quantities of sale items are limited, but you can get designer fashions at bargain prices - up to 70% or more off retail. Sample sales have gone online, and while they are not uncommon, The Skinny seems to be the first online sample sales platform dedicated to skin care products.

The reason that spawned the creation of this website, quoted from the press release I was sent by the website's staff, is something that I fully empathize with, “You can take one look at a CHANEL© bag and know that it's perfect for you. You can't glance at a bottle of moisturizer and know if it's right for your skin.”

That’s why I rarely buy designer beauty products unless I’ve had good experiences with it. Just like non-designer beauty products, designer ones, too, produce varying effects on different users. Sadly, few designer beauty brands see the need to put out free samples since they are already well-established in the beauty industry. But if I could get Lancome, for example, at half its price, I would certainly try it to see if it's worth the original hefty costs.

If online shopping isn't your cup of tea, you might still want to stay for the original videos that The Skinny will be producing to evaluate beauty products. The website seems to be under preparation, but you can register for a free membership or at least add it to your bookmarks. Personally, I’m quite excited about it and I hope they get some stuff up for the public soon!

Make your large pores vanish temporarily!

Your hot date is sitting right across you, staring deep into your… enlarged pores?

Don’t let worries over bad skin spoil your romantic moments. While permanent reduction of pore size doesn’t occur within a short period of time, you can temporarily reduce pore sizes very quickly!

It is important to note that deliberately piling layers of foundation over your face is simply going to make you look like you’re trying to hide something. The trick is to apply a reasonable amount of coverage that actually covers while still looking natural.

1. Spray some spring mist all over your face. After a few seconds, gently dab (not wipe) your face with a clean tissue paper.

2. Dab on some liquid foundation with the tips of your fingers. Tap the foundation over portions with large pores.

3. Use a powder puff to apply powder foundation to the rest of your face, ensuring that both the liquid foundation and powder foundation blends.

4. Spray on some spring mist again, then place a clean tissue paper flat over your face to absorb the extra moisture so that the make-up looks more natural and stays on longer. You should notice that your pores have vanished for the time being.

If your pores are really huge and still visible after doing the above, it’s time to bring out the ice. After washing your face, dip a clean face towel into a basin of ice water, rinse and dab one part of your face with it. Keep repeating with different parts of your face. This not only reduces the size of your pores, but also aids with blood circulation, giving your face a natural blush. When you’ve covered your entire face, apply make-up as above.

During your date, order an iced beverage. Wrap your fingers around the bottom of your cup to make them cold and touch your face (the parts with the huge pores) occasionally to stimulate blood circulation as well as keep your pores contracted!

Spruce up your hair in an emergency!




Few people are blessed with glamorous-looking silky hair with the right amount of curls and springiness. Us Asians especially typically have straight, fine hair that looks very average. But when we’re trying to impress someone, looking average is simply not enough. Furthermore,most of us have too little time in the morning to style our hair before going to work.Now imagine you’re having a hectic day at the office and your unstyled hair is as listless as your tired self. Suddenly, a client demands a meeting with you and you only have a few minutes to make yourself look presentable.

First, head to the ladies with a comb, hair ties (or rubber bands) and 2 fat highlighters (bring several if you only have thin ones). Wet a comb and comb it through your hair. This will smoothen out all your tangles and frizzes, making your hair easier to manage.

Pull all your hair from the back and place in front of your shoulders. Part them properly so that there’s a similar amount on each side.

If you have curly hair, apply some styling cream for curly hair to the end portions of hair on both sides. As a matter of fact, it’s good to keep some hair styling cream at your desk as there are no alternatives for it. Take hold of all the hair on one side and curl it around a fat highlighter (or bunch of pens). Use a hair tie (or rubber band, but mind you, it'll hurt your hair when you remove it) to secure the highlighter so that it doesn’t drop when you release it. Do the same for the other side. This is resourceful utilization of items at hand. If you have proper curlers, please use those by all means.

Wait for whatever duration that the instructions on your styling cream advise you to. Typically it’s no longer than 5 minutes, during which you might want to hide in the toilet cubicle in case someone walks in on your strange ritual.

When the 5 minutes are up, lower your head under the hand dryer to blow dry your hair into shape. This shouldn’t take long since your hair shouldn’t be very wet in the first place. Gently dislodge the highlighter from your hair as your hair dries. And there you are, livelier hair to see you through your emergency meeting!

If you have dull and listless straight hair, apply styling cream on your hair and braid it. Leave your hair in the braid for up to half an hour. If you haven’t got that amount of time, keep applying pressure on it so that it gets into shape quickly. You can do this while taking public transport too! Release the braid for temporary waves that add a little life to your hair!

Common Misconcepts about acne

Acne is stubborn and a real headache for all sufferers. What’s more, there is no one guaranteed method that works on everyone and sometimes, they just keep coming back after disappearing for a couple of days. But don’t despair just yet. On the battle ground, one wrong move can cause you to lose a winning battle. You may have simply made one mistake that keeps the little buggers hanging around. Hopefully through this article, you’ll learn what you did wrong and correct it!

Mistake 1: Acne and pimples are different

Acne and pimples are the same. Or rather, pimples come from acne. Past research has proven that acne and pimples arise from the same source. Even if you have just a couple of pimples, that’s a mild acne problem that can escalate if nothing’s done about it. If you’re simply trying to get rid of those couple of pimples, they will come back again. Pimple cream is insufficient to make them go away. You need to have a healthy lifestyle by drinking more water, eating more vegetables, having sufficient sleep and exercise to curb your acne problem to prevent the pimples from coming back.

Mistake 2: Acne is common and nothing to worry about

Yes, lots of people have acne at some point of their lives, but that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to worry about. This is simply because more people are leading unhealthy lifestyles and neglecting hygiene practices. If you’re spotting pimples, stop and reflect on what unhealthy lifestyle or eating habits you may have picked up to aggravate your pimples, and curb them.

Mistake 3: Acne results from not washing face properly. Blackheads are proof of this.

There are many reasons for acne formation and poor hygiene is definitely one of them, but the most common reason is a an unhealthy physique – a result of eating oily foods, not exercising or drinking enough water to purge toxins, and sleeping late. That’s why it’s so important to change your lifestyle if you want to curb your acne problem.

On a side note, blackheads are not dirt. They are simply the result of your comedogenes being oxidized by air.

Mistake 4: Acne is a result of oil. Simply stop using oily products and I’ll be fine.

Acne is formed from oil and cutin, so simply switching out your rich moisturizers isn’t going to curb the acne completely, though it would help to some extent.

Mistake 5: Frequent masks and cutin removal facials will solve my acne problem

Our skin naturally has oil and cutin, so even if remove them on the surface, your skin will produce them and they will combine and form acne again. Ridding acne isn’t as simplistic as this. It requires an overhaul in your lifestyle.

Mistake 6: I can get rid of acne by squeezing them out

Some people believe that by having a beautician extract them professionally or doing it yourself with a pimple stick, the problem is solved. Truth is, while it does make you look clear for a few days and helps you salvage a date threatened by a nasty pimple, you will soon find pimples growing over the same spot again. Notice how ‘pimple removal stick’ is not called ‘acne removal stick’? The worst is, if pimple extraction is not done carefully, you may end up with facial scares.

Mistake 7: I give up! Nothing I do will make acne go away

If your acne is serious and improving your lifestyle doesn’t help much, consult a doctor qualified in dealing with dermatological problems. Some general practitioners have diplomas in dermatology and will be able to help with minor acne problems, or refer you to a dermatologist if it’s serious. In the worst case, pay a visit to the National Skin Care Centre.

However, bear in mind that doctors are not miracle makers. Again, not all medicines work on everyone, and most medication take at least a couple of months to create visible improvement. The important thing is to lead a healthy lifestyle, practise good hygiene habits, including not picking your face, and have a positive mindset!

Shu Uemura: White gel eyeliner


If you had a late night, Shu Uemura's White Gel eyeliner may just be the thing to spruce up your dull eyes.

I just received it in my mail last week and I couldn't wait to try it out. The packaging is so unique, simplistic yet classy. How many eyeliners come in a stick instead of a slick paint pot like this?

It's best feature is of course, how it makes your eye make-up look fresh and bright. You don't often get this 'hey bright eyes!' effect with non-shimmery eye liners. This eyeliner however, is matte and would be suitable if you're in need of a more subtle eyeliner.

It is also holds out well. It lasted all throughout work. Just needed a little touch up before hitting the pubs with my girlfriends, and it's still perfectly intact when I got home. It's supposed to be waterproof and while I haven't gone swimming in it, I've tried applying it at home and splashing water and on my face and it doesn't come off.

My only grouse would be its price. For a small and shallow little pot, it is rather pricey (24USD on Shu Uemura's website). But you probably won't be using it on a daily basis. Besides, just a little of that white gel works well as a highlighter that accentuates your eyes. I would recommend it to anyone who wants eye makeup that stays on and gives them a fresh look.

On the subject of eye make-up, I've received samples of false eyelashes from Revlon. I'll be trying them out for a party in a couple of weeks, so if you have any specific questions about any of the 3 products in this series, feel free to email them to me!

Cosmetic surgery goes beyond skin deep

To most people, cosmetic surgery is all about improving your looks, but to a rare few, the procedure is done for more meaningful (note: crazier) reasons.




Professional impersonator Mikki Jaya, a mother of 3, spend 8000 pounds on cosmetic surgery on her nose, jaw and cheek bones to make herself look like her idol Michael Jackson. That sure is a huge amount of money, but looking at her earnings – a grand annual income of 120,000 pounds, a very good investment indeed. Following the death of the King of Pop, this amount is likely to escalate.



Cindy Jackson, famous for being the in Guinness World Record for having the most amount of cosmetic surgery done in the world, had been a huge fan of Barbie dolls since she was a little girl. After her father passed away, she spent years and her large amount of inheritance to fulfil her dream – undergoing cosmetic surgery to transform herself into a living Barbie doll. As she made waves in the media, her obsession met the approval of English man Tim Whitfield-Lynn, who underwent plastic surgery to look like Ken doll, Barbie’s boyfriend.



Wealthy socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein decided to undergo cosmetic surgery for her billionaire husband Alec Wildenstein so he would be faithful to her. Knowing that her husband loved cats, she spent 2 million pounds to make her features cat-like. Needless to say, her husband divorced her after witnessing the horrifying results of the surgery.



She’s 69 years old and he’s 37 years old. Their age gap of 32 years would not deter them from being in love with each other, but the wife Ma Yu Qin has always wanted to look younger to match the appearance of her younger husband so she did a wrinkle-removal procedure in a cosmetic surgery hospital in Shenyang.



Sandra Boyes and Steven Patrick look like a pair of twin sisters, but they are in fact a mother and son (yes, that’s a man) pair with an age gap of 29 years! Steven Patrick always liked dolling himself up as a blonde vamp since he was 17. When his mother got tired of her brunette hair and wanted a make-over, the filial son sponsored a cosmetic cum cloning surgical procedure costing 11,000 pounds to make her over to look like him. The pair has always had a close-knit relationship resembling that of a mother-daughter’s relationship and no doubt being able to look like twins is something that appeals to them.

Maybelline: Superstay Concealer



Since I’ve been writing articles about concealing flaws, I figured it’s a good time to recommend a cheap and good concealer that I’ve been using. Maybelline is a pretty economical brand of make-up and its effects are definitely worth its price. It covers my dark circles completely, doesn’t crease and true to its name ‘Superstay’, it stays on for long hours without my having to touch up.

Application is very smooth. The wand applicator is easy to handle and the formula is thick and creamy, yet it dries quickly and smoothens out evenly. You do have to blend it very quickly, however, as it dries a tad too quickly. People with more complicated skin problems like flaky skin and acne where blending is tricky will have to take note of this.

While it stays on very well and for a long period of time, it is also rather difficult to remove. With my usual make-up remover, I had to wipe my face with several squares of cotton before the last square was stark white. Still, I’d rather spend more time removing my make-up then touching up my make-up!

Concealing your flaws at different ages III

For the 40's and above

More mature skin tend to have problems such as uneven skin pigmentation and wrinkles. All these flaws can be concealed with appropriate concealers. Skin also tends to be dryer, so liquid foundations and moisturizing foundations should be used to make skin look more moisturized and less wrinkly. And yes, indeed the same type of make-up can be used for even older women in their 50s and 60s, if you have been taking good care of your skin. Always remember to start caring for your skin as soon as possible, don’t wait until the flaws start showing.

Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

Steps

1. Apply skin tone correcting foundation on your entire face
2. Apply undereye concealer to conceal eyebags and wrinkles

3. Apply a concealer with a pearly shade over your undereye (makes your eyes look brighter and more refreshed)
4. Cover your facial flaws with concealer of similar shad to your skin tone
5. Use a concealer stick with max concealing properties to apply concealer over your cheeks.

 
 Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

6. Use a powder puff to blend the concealer
7. Apply concealer to your forehead with a concealer stick and blend with powder puff.
8. Remember to use a small brush to reach areas unreachable by powder puff.
9. Apply a little loose powder over your under eyes.

10. Use a make-up brush and gently swipe loose powder over your whole face.

Tips

Before applying undereye concealer, apply a deeply moisturizing primer around your eyes to keep your eyes well moisturized and prevent caking.

If you skin is dry, use a large make-up brush to swipe on loose powder. The effect is much more natural looking than using a powder puff.

Don’t forget to apply sunblock and moisturizing cream before applying make-up. It helps to protect your skin and makes make-up application easier.

Use a small make-up brush to apply concealer over fine wrinkles instead of running your pigment stick over it. This prevents caking.

Use mineral foundation with light-reflective minerals. It makes your skin more smooth-looking.

And this concludes the end of this series. 

Face Good Gets a Facelift!

Today's a very special day - Face Good's 100th post (The newly added About and Responsibility page do not count as posts)! *curtseys*

When I started blogging, I didn't think I'd get far owing to my busy schedule and the myriad of beauty blogs already on the web. Would this end up as a personal diary that nobody would read? I wondered.

But as the months went by, I started getting feedback and requests for advice through emails, sometimes even invitations to beauty-events and product review requests! Wow! People read my blog, and they like it! Thank you very much!

To celebrate this happy occasion, I changed the template! It looks much more vibrant and livelier now, doesn't it? A great improvement if I must say so myself!

I hope everyone will continue to enjoy my articles in the future. Your comments and emails are always welcome!

DuWop Twilight Lip Venom

I promised a review on DuWop's Twilight Lip Venom, so here it is!

The pros and cons can be summarized in one sentence: Difficult to apply for newbies, but very pretty indeed!

If you're a new user of DuWop's lip products, chances are, you're probably going to experience some difficulties getting it on your lips properly. Initially, I found it very difficult to spread evenly on my lips, with the result being a very patchy red. But practice makes perfect, and after a few tries and steadier hands (you need to keep brushing it on and blending simulteneously until you get evenly spread out.

The colour is a rich, deep red (think fresh blood and vampirish lips, so the product is pretty successful in mimicking this vampirish effect) and has a glossy effect. After a short while, however, the gloss wears off, but the colour stays. You can add clear gloss over your lips. The effect is very nice and makes your lips look wet and succulent.

Like all DuWop lip venom products, it stings your lips upon application so that's nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, the lip plumping effect, if any, is subtle. A recommended product if you want some sexy lips but not so if you're really looking into the lip plumping effect.

Concealing your flaws at different ages II

Make-up for the 30s

Careers usually constitute a huge commitment in the life of a career woman in her 30s. Late nights and work stress inevitably cause insufficient sleep and hence eye bags and dark circles. Make-up should be focused on covering these flaws to give your skin more radiance.




Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

1. Evenly apply a make-up base all over your face.

2. Apply liquid foundation on your cheeks using a horizontal outer sweeping motion.

3. Spread foundation on your forehead in a horizontal movement, pulling it downward to cover the area beside the eyes.

4. Apply foundation on your chin in a downward motion, spreading it horizontally to cover the base of your chin.

5. On the edges of your nose bridge, apply concealer of similar tone to your skin colour.



Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

6. Dab a little concealer on the edges of your lips to conceal sneaky little cracks of wrinkles.

7. Apply concealer over eyebag and dark circles.

8. On area surrounding eyebag, apply concealer that’s of a slightly lighter tone than your skin colour or with a yellowish tint. This helps to increase the radiance around your eyes.

9. Apply loose powdered foundation over eyebags.

10. Dab loose powder all over your face. And that’s done!

Additional tips

If the skin around your eyes are dry, apply primer specifically meant for the undereye area before applying concealer.

When applying concealer over eyebags, gently rub it in in one direction from inside (near nose bridge) to outside (near temple). Do not apply too much concealer or it will look unnatural.

Excess make-up does not go well with dry skin, so always remove excess loose powder by dabbing your pouffe against the back of your hand before dabbing it to your face.

If you’re always in an air-conditioned place, use a make-up base with moisturizing purposes. It helps your make-up to stay on longer.

A hectic life makes your skin tired and dull. Use radiance foundation to make your skin look healthier.

Always bring your loose powder with you to do regular touch ups.

DuWop Twilight Venom (Lip Venom)

I promised to write that post about nude make-up for women in their 30s, but I came across this product and I couldn’t resist blogging about it, so that post will have to wait till next week.



First of all, you may be wondering what a lip venom is. Well it’s actually something that you apply on your lips to get a temporary fuller effect, like a lip plumping procedure without the surgery. It usually produces a tingly effect upon application. Something to do with improving blood circulation so that your lips look healthier and fuller.

So there we have, another instance of companies cashing in on the Twilight fandom. Here's what it says on the description: "Twilight Venom should be shaken before use to represent the blending of the human and vampire worlds (I refuse to comment) and can be applied repeatedly until desired intensity of color has been reached and lips are plumped and revitalized. Its containing formula contains argan, avocado, and olive oils as well as vitamin E.".

Although I’m not a fan of Twilight and frankly quite sick of all the hype about it, I thought the colour was lovely.
So I bought it. For my niece who’s a great Twilight fan. I’ll let you gals know if it’s any good.

Concealing your flaws at different ages

Appearances always make the first impression, regardless of your circumstances! You want to look fresh, radiant and healthy at all times, especially when you’re working and meeting new people! But in this polluted city with hot humid weather and stifling haze, having naturally flawless skin is something that many can only dream about. But don’t let that get you down! With a little aptly applied natural make-up, you can still make your skin look presentable! That’s better than nothing eh? And it’s not just the young and nubile who get it! Regardless of whether you’re 20, 30 or 40, make-up still goes a long way!

Make-up for 20s

Flaws on youthful skin are not rather manageable. Hence loose powdered foundation is suitable. Preferably get one that has oil control properties and is able to conceal enlarged pores, pimples and acne scarring.


Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

1. Apply oil-control skin care product on your T-zone.

2. Apply light foundation all over your face.

3. Apply concealer with pore concealing properties over your T-zone and nose tip.

4. Dot some yellow-toned concealer over your pimples and pimple scars.

5. Apply concealer over your eyebags.


Photo courtesy of: 醫美人

6. Gently pull back skin at the edge of your eyes with your index finger. Especially useful if you just woke up and your eyes are still half-closed from sleepiness.

7. Spray a little moisture to your foundation pouffe.

8. Dab on some loose powder, and spread it on your nose in a downward movement.

9. Spread foundation over your cheeks and chin in horizontal movements.

10. Finally, bring up your pouffe to your forehead and spread the foundation in a horizontal movement, pulling it downward to cover the area beside the eyes.

Add some lipstick, blush and eyeliner and you’re good to go!

Tips:

Always wait for at least one minute in between putting different make-up on the same part of your face. You need to allow time for the make-up to settle down and dry.

When using concealer, do not apply it directly from the tip to your face but apply it to the back of your hand first. This is more hygienic, and prevents you from overestimating and applying too much.

If your face is dry or too oily, your foundation may have difficulty staying on. You can spray a little water over your face and use a tissue to dab gently. Do not swipe or dab too hard or your make-up will come off!

To conceal pimples, first, apply a little skin-colour pimple cream (Bodyshop has some, or try Oxy if you haven’t got dry skin) and wait a few minutes for the cream to be absorbed. After that, gently dab some loose powder over the pimple. Since pimples are raised, piling on loads of concealer will not make it look flat. Furthermore, lack of oxygen will stifle the pimple and cause it to worsen. On the other hand, scars can be covered using a mixture of concealer and foundation.

Don’t forget to bring your loose powder with you to do touch ups!

Not all concealers are suitable for any part of your face. Usually, concealers for eyebags and concealers for facial blemishes are different. If you don’t want to own many concealers, look for a multipurpose one that is used for eyebags and facial blemishes.

The next post will be about make-up for ladies in their 30s!

The Body Shop: Seaweed mattifying moisture lotion SPF 15

I love multi-purpose products because they save me time, space and money! Recently I bought this moisturizer since I was out of both sun block and my day moisturizer!

However, I’m not very disappointed in it. I didn’t experience any ‘mattifying’ effect. I still have to do touch ups to my shiny face for the usual number of times I usually do. I also suspected that it may be a little too moisturizing – my friend who has oily skin complained that it made her skin look oilier and even gave her more blackheads and pimples! However, for me, I work under airconditioning for long hours and this moisturizer feels like a breath of fresh air on my skin. Pity it doesn't seem to last very long.

If you have combination skin like me, it’s decent enough as a sunblock and moisturizer. I suppose whether it's worth a 2nd purchase depends on your opinion on its pricing. A 50ml tube costs $29.90, not exactly cheap or worth it in my opinion as I've seen cheaper moisturizers with higher spf.

It smells really lovely and refreshing though.

Fruit Masks II

And I’m back with more cheap and quick fruit DIY masks for healthy skin!

Orange Mask

Effects: Removes layer of dead cells on skin and stimulates cell growth. Has great anti-oxidant effects, especially great for people who face the computer all day long.

What you need: Yogurt (100mg), honey (100mg), freshly squeezed orange juice (100mg)

How to make it: Stir everything together until it becomes an even mixture.

Apply mask to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Grape mask

Effects: The skin and seeds of grapes have antioxidant effects and can help to slow down skin damage and ageing.

What you need: 10 fresh grapes

How to make it: Mash the grapes, including the seeds.

Apply the mask to your skin, gently pressing your face with your finger tips to stimulate absorption. Rinse off with warm water after 20 minutes.

Watermelon Moisturizing Mask

Effects: Replenishes moisture in both dry skin and oily skin and calms sensitive skin.

What you need: A quarter of a watermelon, mask sheet

How to make it: Remove the watermelon skin and seeds. Place the flesh into a bowl and use a spoon to flatten it into pulp.

Apply mask evenly to face and cover with a mask sheet. Rinse off with cold water after 10 to 15 minutes. This mask is so gentle it can be used everyday.

Fruit Masks

The weather’s been horribly hot and humid recently! A cold glass of fruit juice or a crunchy fruit straight from the fridge brings great relief! How about giving your face a treat too?

Mixed Fruit Mask

Effects: Moisturizing, Whitening, Anti-inflammation

What you need: Egg white from 2 eggs, skinned/peeled fruits cucumber (yes, cucumber is a fruit), lemon, banana and lychee

How to make it: Add all the skinned/peeled fruits into the juicer and juice them. Add egg white and stir until the mixture becomes evenly pulpy.

Apply the mask evenly on face and wash off with warm water after 15 minutes. This mask can be used once a week.

This is a very natural and economical method to nourish your skin as fruits have moisturizing properties and are rich in a variety of vitamins. Egg white helps to tighten pores.

Apple Mask

Effects: Cleansing, Moisturizing, Whitening, Anti-Oxidizing

What you need: An apple, a plain mask sheet. People with sensitive and dry skin can include some fresh milk or olive oil, while people with oily skin can include egg white.

How to make it: Peel the apple and mash it up into pulp. If you have the above-mentioned skin condition, add the extra ingredients into the apple pulp and stir until even.

Apply mask to your face and cover with a mask sheet. Rinse off with clean water after 15 to 20 minutes. This mask can be used every alternate days. After 20 days, you should see some results.

Apples are great nourishment for all skin types. It has skin smoothening, moisturizing and whitening properties, and is known to reduce the appearance of dark pigmentation, freckles and acne scarring.

I will share more fruit masks with you in my next post, so stay tuned!

BeneFit: Bad Gal Lash Mascara

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! I didn’t go to the parade because I didn’t manage to get tickets, but it was nice having a patriotic excuse to lounge in front of the tv and watch the parade. I spent the rest of the evening being a couch potato :D a luxury I've yet to enjoy in a long while.

For today’s post, I present my new acquisition from Sephora at ION. That place is seriously draining my wallet.


This mascara gives a pretty natural look, in other words, not dramatically longer and bolder lashes I was expecting because of its name and that gigantic wand. Sometimes, Benefit just gives the weirdest and most misleading names.

I still like it because it has a pretty good curling effect. It volumizes reasonably well too, and stays on for many hours.

However, it is wet and thick upon application and if you don’t handle the applicator properly or you sneeze right after applying your mascara (yes isn’t it annoying when that happens?), you could end up with some really serious smudging around your eyes. I’ve tried applying additional layers to my outer tips of my lashes see if it makes any difference to the length, and was disappointed to see that they simply looked clumpy.

I compared my experiences with other reviews on the web and realized that many people have different experiences. Some thought it gave them length but no volume, and vice versa. Some felt it was smooth to apply, while others thought it was the most inconvenient mascara to use. Some claim that it clumped the lashes, while some say that it gave them very immaculately coated separate lashes, akin to wearing perfect false lashes.

Although the effects produced by mascara differ based on the length and volume of your own lashes and the shape of your eyes, these discrepancies are just too huge. So I guess it’s a hit and miss, buy at your own risk? Besides, the effects are not quite worthy of its high price.

Bare Escentuals: Faux Tan all-over face color Bronzer

Bare Escentuals, number one selling foundation in America, used to be rather elusive in Singapore. Now fans of Bare Escentuals will be able to purchase quite a wide variety of products from this cosmetics line at the new Sephora at ION, which is even bigger than the branch at Ngee Ann City!

It’s summer now but I haven’t been going out much because of H1N1 and the haze, so I decided to try out their Faux Tan All-Over Face powder foundation bronzer on my pale skin to look at least a bit tanner and healthier.

It gives my skin a natural glow and doesn’t look too orangey unlike other bronzers I’ve used. The quantity is quite generous so it should last quite a long while, definitely worth the price! However, it has to be applied with a very light hand or you’ll look like you got a very poor artificial tanning job. All the more better anyway since it means you won’t have to keep spending money to repurchase.

Reviewers for American stores and cosmetic websites claim that this product gives their skin a matte finish, but I suppose this could only be applicable for their weather conditions. In tropical, humid Singapore, our skin gets oily after awhile and together with the light shimmer that the product itself already has, it’s truly not a pleasant sight. I’ve had to keep it around me whenever I use it to do touch-ups but that’s not a big deal since you’d always have to carry your foundation around to do touch ups anyway.

This is one of the best bronzers I’ve used and I’m likely to repurchase it again. Then again, it’s a decision that I’m unlikely to have to make any time soon since it will take quite awhile before I finish it!

Preventing wrinkles… with food

Eat Right!

Apart from ridding poor lifestyle habits like sleeping late and smoking, maintaining happy or calm emotions and selecting suitable beauty products, food also goes a long way in combating wrinkles!

Foods rich in collagen or nucleic acid help to maintain elasticity and radiance in your skin. Chicken skin (boiled, not fried), fish, caviar, oyster, animal livers, mushrooms, black and white fungus, and pollen are examples of such food that you should frequently include in your diet.

Prepare it right!

Food preparation methods affect nutritional content in your diet and ultimately, your skin too! Oily, fried food especially, contributes to facial wrinkles. Here are some tips on how you can still enjoy that oily meal once in a while without jeopardizing your skin.
When preparing fried food, you can coat it in a layer prepared by mixing flour, egg, sesame and coriander fillings.

When preparing fried meat, stir-fry it together with onions, coriander and garlic. When stir-frying fish or any kind of meat, you can wrap it in green vegetables to fry. You should also eat fried food with minced raddish or garlic as garnish.

The trick is to consume as little oil as possible and ensuring that you still eat your vegetables without turning your meal into a salad (not a bad thing for people who don’t mind their veggies, but for those who do mind, this will be useful).

For the most part, choose steaming over frying and avoid deep-fried, stir-fried and grilled/barbequed food. Try to consume fresh vegetables half-raw instead of fully-cooked, as fully-cooked vegetables usually have the least nutritional level. Vegetables should just be boiled to get rid of the germs. When eating grilled fish, have it with minced raddish. When eating grilled meat, have it with fresh, raw vegetables.

Foods that cause wrinkles

Canned beef, canned fish, typical mayonnaise / tartar sauce salad dressing (ah who says all salads are healthy?), food that has been frozen for too long, dried scallop, dried shrimps, chocolate, cake, instant noodles and fried food are examples of food that speeds up the wrinkling process.

Frying and freezing food are popular food preservation methods, but do not keep them past their expiry date as expired food can change for the worst and affect your skin in a big way.

Consuming a lot of salt also results in wrinkle formation.

You can also make masks out of certain types of food and fruits to reduce wrinkle formation! I’ll blog about it in my next post. Stay tuned!

Sephora: Lip Attitude Chic - 07 Sensual Rose

Sensual Rose doesn’t quite strike me as being rose-coloured as it has slight purplish undertones in them. Nevertheless, it is a very nice lipstick. It's texture is moist and creamy and easy to apply evenly to my lips. Under air-conditioning, my lips feel less dry. This moisturizing effect makes your skin look healthily glossy but at the same time, it doesn’t make your lips look shiny, so it is great for nude or light make-up.

It is also fairly long lasting and needs very little touch up apart from after meals. On fair skin, it actually looks flattering, unlike other lipsticks with violet or purple undertones that make fair-skinned users look ghostly. I’d certainly use this again!

There's a huge, sparkling new Sephore outlet at the ION so you can check out this lipstick in different shades there!

Don’t turn skin care products into skin hazards!

Even premium facial products can turn harmful or lose effect when misused, so always use them with care!

Spot diminishers
Upon turning 30, freckles tend to appear rapidly. Fortunately, there are spots diminishing products that will help to reduce the appearance of these pests. However, it is inadvisable to use such products for prolonged periods of time. These products are specifically targeted at diminishing spots, so their effects are usually visible after a short while, but your skin may become over-dependent on it and lose its natural ability to repair dead or damaged skin cells, which are responsible for dark pigmentation. You should cease usage after about 3 months (typically the time needed to finish up a bottle).

Make-up Remover Oil
Make-up remover oils are generally touted to be more effective than water-based make-up removers, especially when it comes to removing thick eye make-up. However, in sunny Singapore, many of us are subjected to combination and oily skin, and our skin also tends to be more vulnerable to break-outs. If you’re not applying heavy make-up, refrain from using make-up remover oils and use cleansing milk instead. It is usually gentler than make-up remover oils.

Eye moisturizers
Most people tend to just massage their eye moisturizers around their entire eye in any random motion. You’d just be wasting your eye moisturizer or worst, making your defects looks worst by rubbing them the wrong way (no pun intended!).

For different problems, you have to deal with them in different ways. For example, if you’re targeting the wrinkles at the corner of your eyes, use two fingers on one hand to straighten out the creases (one finger above the creases, one finger below and gently pull vertically in opposite directions). Hold on in this position and using a finger on the other hand, dab on the moisturizer. Then massage with your index finger in one direction from the corner of your eye to your temples.

If you’re targeting dark eye circles, concentrate on massaging the moisturizer over the dark patch below your eyes.

Cold Masks
Cold masks are great for tightening pores and improving skin texture, but the coldness of a mask that has just been removed from the refrigerator is very harsh on the skin. There’s another more economical and kinder method to tighten your pores involving cotton pads and toner. I’ve described the method in this previous post.

Time interval between product application
In our mad rush to work or school in the morning, we often contract our beauty regime into a casual routine under 10 minutes, going immediately from one cream to another and then jumping straight into make-up.

However, skin requires time to absorb nutrients, hence there should be at least a 10-minute interval between applying your last facial cream and putting on make-up. Otherwise, you’ll also find that your foundation cakes because there’s already cream on your face which has yet to be fully absorbed. Of course, this also means that your skin care regime isn’t thorough since your skin isn’t absorbing all the nutrients.

The time interval between each application of a different product should be at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. This sounds time wasting, but while waiting, you can massage the product into your face gently with your fingers. Not only does this speed up the process, it also facilitates blood circulation!

Pop your pimples without leaving scars

I previously promised an article about the correct method of popping pimples but I must have forgotten about it lol. Sorry about that. Well here we go!

Even pimples in the appropriate stage for manual removal (when it has a little yellow ball of pus at the top) can get inflamed if you don’t remove them hygienically!

1. Make your pimples come out more easily!

Firstly, you have to open your pores so that comodogenes come out easily without you having to squeeze them really hard and damage your skin in the process.

You can do this by giving your face a home steam. Prepare a basin of boiling water. Then lower your head over the water, keeping your face at a safe distance such that your skin doesn’t get scalded by the steam. You should feel comfortably warm, but not so hot that its causing you pain. Then drape a towel over your head and basin to contain the steam. Steam your face for about 10 minutes and you’re good to go! However, do not perform this operation too often. Personally, I do it at most once a week, as over-steaming your face can cause dehydration of your skin.

Alternatively, if you’ve already done a home steam recently and shouldn’t be doing another one so soon, or if you haven’t the time for it, you can arrange to have your little pimple removal operation right after a hot bath or shower. The steam from your bath would have a similar, though weaker effect as that of a home steam.

If you’re trying to squeeze your pimples after washing your face, don’t apply your toner before doing so because your pores will shrink and that will make the pimple removal process more difficult.

2. Keep your hands clean!

Always sanitize your hands before squeezing your pimples! Even if you’re going to use a pimple and blackhead removal stick, you may accidentally touch your face in the process, or contaminate the stick.

3. Avoid direct contact with pimples

Get a pimple and blackhead removal stick instead of using your hands. Your nearest pharmacy or beauty counter should sell these. They’re cheap and easy to use, and are less likely to cause damage to your skin in comparison to squeezing. Before using them, don’t forget to sanitize them as well!

However, if you find those difficult to use, you can still use your hands, but wrap your fingers in clean tissue. Also, do not attempt to force out the pimple if it refuses to budge.

4. Post removal treatment

No matter how gentle or careful you are, there are bound to be open wounds where your pimples are popped, so you should disinfect to reduce any possibility of inflammation. Apply some disinfectant specific to the face over the wounds. Alternatively, you can dab a little salt water (with sanitized hands! And make sure you were hygienic when preparing the salt water) over the popped pimples. This will also help to reduce swelling and redness.

Product Review: Legere Water Drop Shiny Pearl BB Cream


This brand of BB cream seems to be the hottest now, given its publicity on popular Taiwanese beauty show Nu Ren Wo Zui Da. I couldn't contain my curiosity, so I got one to try.

Like other BBCreams, this one promises a whole range of skin protection abilities. It serves as a sunblock, protection and healing for sensitive skin especially those plagued by acne, oil control and make-up base.

On first contact with the cream, I can understand why this product is so highly acclaimed. It feels very cooling, soothing and light. It's visible, but not felt, unlike some oil-based creams and foundations, which could stifle your skin. Being more watery than other make-up bases I've used, it needs to be blended quickly or you'll see swirly lines on your face when it dries.

Fortunately, it dries quickly, because no matter how nice it feels, it's concealing effect is not exemplary, so I always have to apply powder over it. It does cover up faint scars and blemishes, but not the more obvious ones. It also doesn't cover eyebags. What I always do is put some concealer over the blemishes and the eyebags, apply the BB Cream and then pad on a layer of loose powder.

It's also not called Shiny Pearl for nothing. It makes your face shiny. Well, my skin is the combination type, and I've always tried my best not to let it get shiny and oily-looking. However, applying loose powder helps to eliminate the shine factor. The colour of the cream is also surprisingly dark. It's brown, the darkest I've seen of all foundations and bb creams for Asians (Chinese) so far. Upon application, it seems to blend with the colour of the fairest skin, but after it dries, I realized it turns a queer orangey brown. It's as though I went to get my face tanned. This is certainly not good, but once again, it can also be remedied by applying loose powder of your own skin tone all over your face.

I really love this cream because it provides very natural coverage. Well maybe semi-coverage seems like a more appropriate word, but I love how it makes my skin look smooth and flawless without looking like I dipped my face in skin-coloured flour.

I have doubts about its supppsed sun protection feature. There's no SPF value written on it. So I'd advise users not to put too much faith in it and apply your sunblock as usual instead. I don't think much of its oil control properties either. As the day goes on, my face starts getting shiny again. It could be because the loose powder flakes off, revealing the shine from the BB cream. I have to apply loose powder regularly throughout the day, but we usually do have to fix our makeup from time to time anyway.

I can't review it's healing effects because I do not have acne-plagued skin. However, one of my friends who does said her doctor recommended this cream for her because it doesn't clog up pores and will not irritate skin. She's been using it and it hasn't made her skin worst or caused additional breakouts.

However, all in all, it's certainly a make-up base that I would recommend.

DIY Masks for Acne Scars II

More DIY masks to reduce acne scarring!

Red wine with Honey

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey into a small glass of red wine. Stir until the mixture is even and apply on your face. When about 80% of it has dried up, wash away with warm water.

You use this mask every alternate day.

Citric acid stimulates cell renewal, thus causing dark pigmentation to lighten and makes skin smooth and whiter. Honey has moisturizing and nurturing purposes. However, people who do not react well to alcohol (such as getting red patches on skin upon consumption) should not try this method.

Green bean and Bai Zhi mask

Mix 3 teaspoons of powdered green bean with 2 teaspoons of powdered Bai Zhi. Stir some honey into the mixture. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with clean water.

You can use this mask 2 to 3 times a week.

This mask has detoxification and cleansing properties and will be especially suitable for people with oily faces.


Bai Zhi is a Chinese herb that you can get from a Chinese medicinal hall or the supermarket.

Pearl Powder and Yoghurt Cream

Mix about a teaspoon of yoghurt (natural yoghurt, not flavoured ones!) with a pinch of pearl powder and apply the cream to your acne scars before you go to bed. You don’t have to wash it off.

This can be done once every day.

Do refrain from adding too much pearl powder even if it’s famous for beautifying properties. Too much of it can clog your pores. Just a pinch will do, and it should be fully absorbed into the yoghurt.

Choose skimmed or low fat yoghurt to avoid the formation of oil bumps.

DIY Masks for Acne Scars

Acne scars are more bothersome than pimples! At least the most humongous pimples go away after a couple of days if you leave them alone, but acne scars can stay up to several months! Acne scars can be concealed, but if not done well, especially when they’re dark and require lots of coverage, your multiple layers of make-up could draw more attention to your blemished visage.

Here are some tried and tested home remedies by myself and my friends which have lightening effects or help to speed up the process of skin cell renewal so that your scars take a shorter time than usual to fade out! Do be reminded that the results for home remedies vary for everyone! Some remedies don’t work for me while others work particularly well. You can try a few to see which works for you, but don’t use more than recommended. Also, don’t try to use several different types simultaneously on a regular basis. You wouldn’t be able to monitor its effectiveness, and more importantly, it may be too much for your skin to bear.


Pearl Powder and Egg White

Pearl Powder and Egg White soothe irritated skin and have lightening purposes. Mix egg white from an egg and a pinch of pearl powder so that the mixture becomes a gooey mask that you can apply on your face. It helps to smoothen skin and lighten scars.

Use this up to twice a week.

Seaweed Mask

Stir 20g of seaweed (dried ones from the supermarket, not seaweed snacks!) into clean water (boiled and cooled till mildly warm). Wait for the seaweed to expand so that the little flakes are stirred evenly with the water. Then take up the wet seaweed and cover your clean face with it. Do this when you’re lying down because you’re obviously going to have issues doing it standing up. After 10 minutes, wash off the seaweed with clean water and apply your regular moisturizer and creams that you use after the toner.

Use this twice a day.

Aspirin mask

This is actually quite a popular home remedy. Some people swear by it while some claim it doesn’t work. Again, this is rather subjective and dependent on many factors such as your skin type.

Pound 5 – 6 aspirin tablets into powder. Add a ladle of clean water and stir to mix.

For first time users who wish to test for sensitivity, apply a little of the mixture on the back of your ear.

Apply the mixture evenly on your face. Wash off after 25 minutes. As aspirin mask is quite drying, do put in more effort in keeping your skin well-moisturized at all times.

You can use this mask once or twice per week.

I have a few more remedies to recommend in my next update. Look forward to them!

To squeeze or not to squeeze?

Isn't it absolutely annoying that every time you have that important appointment to go to, those nasty red bumps make their flamboyant entrance? As the weather becomes swelteringly hot, our oil glands become more active and the zits come out to play. Most of us are tempted to pop them, but logic prohibits it as squeezing pimples inappropriately will leave scars. However, this does not apply to all pimples. Some pimples can be squeezed and gotten rid of. It all depends on where they are and their stage of formation.

Danger triangle of the face

In this context, the ‘danger triangle’ refers to the point from the top of your nose (forehead where your nose bridge reaches) to the 2 corners of your mouth. Improper squeezing of pimples causes infection, and germs from infections in this area may pass into your skull. For more details pertaining to this, you may read up on it on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danger_triangle_of_the_face).

Furthermore, infection of pimples tends to be more serious in this zone. Notice how when you squeeze that zit on your nose, it becomes even redder and more obvious and redder than ever? The pimple may even develop into a cyst, which is really the last thing you’d want because cysts are more persistent and horrible-looking than pimples. If you absolutely must get that pimple out that very day, seek professional help from a dermatologist or skin doctor.

Stage of formation

You should only remove pimples that are ‘ripe’. Ripe pimples are pimples with that whitish/yellowish little ball of pus on its tip. Once you get the pus out, the pimple will eventually deflate and go away.

Newly formed, red pimples should be left well alone.

You can also get rid of the pimple if it is in its initial stage in the form of a black or white head.
Of course, simply knowing when pimples can be squeezed is not enough. You still need to squeeze it using appropriate techniques and hygienic methods, or you will still end up with an infection and even more pimples consequently.

I’ll discuss the correct method of squeezing pimples in my next post!

Recommended products with sun protection

Estee Lauder Daywear Plus Lotion

This is a multi-purpose beauty cream that has moisturizing purposes, a decent SPF of 30 and though not explicitly mentioned in the product description, has mild concealing purposes too. Its creamy base allows it to make shallow blemishes less conspicuous. It does not as refreshing on the skin as its fresh mint green appearance implies, but it doesn’t feel oily either. Its oil controlling properties makes it ideal for office ladies who face the computer all day long.





Guerlain Perfect White C Protective Brightening Fluid SPF 40 PA+++

I adore this product! It feels refreshing to the touch and is easily absorbed by the skin. Apart from being a sunscreen with a relatively high SPF, it is also a whitening product and make-up base. I’ve used this like a foundation for light make up. It covers up faint scars effectively and makes my face look brighter.




Clinique : Derma White Super City Block SPF 40

It feels a bit too oily and creamy for my liking, but some Taiwanese celebrities claim that they swear by it in their beauty guides. Apparently, its sunscreen feature is pretty good. My friend uses it whenever she goes to the beach and she’s never gotten sunburnt (of course, self-control and time management are also very important aspects at sunburn prevention).





Lancome UV Expert Protective Make-Up Base Anti-Redness SPF 20

The SPF is rather low for this, so it would be preferable to use this indoors. However, I like its corrective feature; it does conceal redness well and serves as a make-up base. However, I find it insufficiently moisturizing, so it’s best applied over a layer of moisturizer.

Watch out for the sun! III

Has the sun already left its brown footprints on your visage? Don't give in to gloom yet. There are solutions

I use sunscreen and whitening products religiously. Why are my dark spots increasing instead of decreasing?
UV rays are still able to get into your eyes, causing damage to the cells in your eyes. The brain reacts by instructing the creation of more dark pigmentation. Hence, your skin still gets dark spots even if you took great pains to protect it. Your eyes need to be protected from UV rays too. Choose spectacles or contact lenses with UV ray protection.

Apart from using sunscreens and whitening products, can I improve my skin through my diet?
Fruits are rich in vitamins and helps the skin to get rid of toxics. Kiwi fruits are rich in vitamin C. It helps to suppress the formation of dark pigmentation and reduces dullness in skin. Soyabean milk has good whitening properties. According to a research done in Japan, drinking soya bean milk daily contributes to smooth skin and helps reduce scarring.

After a day at the beach, I carry out an intensive whitening regime after my skin no longer hurts from the sun. But even though I’m using products with quick whitening effect, why does my skin still end up tanned?
When skin is exposed to UV rays, it starts turning red after 4 to 5 hours. After about 24 hours, the intensity of the redness reaches its peak. After 3 to 4 days, black pigmentation is produced and skin gradually turns brown. It is therefore best to carry out your intense whitening programme within 3 days (72 days) before the skin turns dark. It seems that quite a fair number of people only start their intense whitening treatments when their skin is no longer peeling, or when they notice their skins have become darker, but it would be too late by then. Dark spots and freckles are stubborn, so it’s best to start your whitening treatments before dark pigmentation is released. Sunburnt skin shouldn't hurt much after 1 or 2 days, but go easy on the products and use products that are mild on the skin if you have sensitive skin.

Isn’t melanin (dark pigmentation) supposed to protect our skin? By reducing dark pigmentation with whitening products, are we harming our skin instead?
Dark pigmentation is produced to absorb the cancerous UV rays, hence protecting our skin from harm. Whitening products suppress the activity of melanin enzymes, but will not destroy the cells that create melanin. Upon UV ray exposure, melanin enzymes will still be activated and send the relevant signals that results in the creation of dark pigmentation. Hence, sunscreen and whitening products should both be used in your daily skincare regime.

Watch out for the sun! II

This is a continuation from the last post about sun protection! The focus of this round's questions are on sunscreen application.

If I apply sunscreen alone without make-up, must I still remove it with make-up remover?
The compositions of sunscreen are rather similar to that of make-up bases, and they can only be thoroughly removed with a make-up remover. A water-based eye-remover is more appropriate for removing sunscreens.

If my make-up has SPF properties, do I still need to apply sunscreen?
Indeed, plenty of make-up bases have relatively high SPF properties, but make-up wears off throughout the day and if you don’t touch up sufficiently, you’re exposing your bare skin to UV rays at various times of the day. For more wholesome protection, apply sunscreen, followed by make-up at least ten minutes later.

My face always looks oily and shiny after I apply sunscreen. What can I do to prevent this?
Substances in sunscreen create a protective layer over your skin against UV rays, but this layer leaves a white cast. When sunlight falls on it, light reflects into the eyes, making your face look shiny. To avoid this, instead of rubbing the sunblock over your cheeks in circular motions, gently pat it in an upward movement, towards your ear and away from your nose, such that substances contributing to the white cast do not remain dead centre on your cheeks but are positioned at angles instead, thus reflecting the light away from your cheeks. If you aren’t going to the beach or won’t be outdoors for long, you can choose a lighter, less oily sunscreen with lower SPF.

Watch out for the sun!

Summer’s here with the hot sun in tow! The heat on my skin’s a constant painful reminder of the atrocities of UV rays. I’m sure most of you must be feeling the same way!

There are all sorts of sunscreens out in the market, but sun protection is a complicated subject matter, given the number of queries and misconceptions users have about it. I’ll address the common ones as best as I can!

First off, let's begin with the basics!

Does using a sunblock with SPF30 prolong amount of time taken for UV rays to affect skin by 30 times?
Answer: SPF, or Sun Protection factor, has no direct relation to time. The theory of SPF products delaying UV rays from penetrating skin is very misleading as it implies that SPF products act as an absolute shield between your skin and the UV rays for a certain period of time, which isn’t true. It is quite impossible to reduce the effect that the UV rays have on your skin to 0. A more accurate interpretation would be applying products with SPF30 reduces the energy from the UV rays that comes into contact with your skin to 1/30 in comparison to not applying any at all.

If I avoid exposure to the sun as much as I can, can I still get sufficient vitamin D?
We now have a wide variety of food products and supplements, so many people tend to assume that it’s possible to obtain vitamin D through dietary means. However, exposure to sunlight is a more efficient means of getting Vitamin D as the body produces it when sunlight enters through our skin. But there’s no need to sunbathe on purpose, especially since UV rays are harmful. Instead, you can just sunbathe your hands daily (stick them out of your window!) for 5 to 10 minutes. The cuticle layer on our palms is thicker than that on other parts of the body, so our palms are less likely to develop brown spots.

I have inborn freckles. Will UV ray exposure cause them to darken?
Yes they will. Inborn freckles are a little different from freckles that develop later on in your life. As you grow up, the freckles get darker, but when you’ve hit 20, the freckles tend to start fading. UV rays are capable of aggravating the darkening process, and causing faded freckles to come back again. It’s best to start using sunscreen as early in your life.

What quick solutions are there for sunburnt skin?
This is a regrettably common question. The best solution is of course to prevent yourself from staying out in the sun too much, but when you're in a holiday mood, you tend to forget all these precautions.

Since your skin has absorbed a large amount of energy from UV rays, the best solution is to bring down the temperature. Not only does bringing down the temperature rid your skin of discomfort, it will also prevent the production of pigmentation. There are many reasons for the formation of pigmentation and dark spots. One reason is the release of histamine from the skin due to exposure to UV rays. Histamine activates the production of melamine, causing more dark spots to occur. Reducing the skin’s temperature helps to prevent the release of histamine. However, do not touch your skin with the cooling material directly as it will be painful. You can wrap a wet towel over some ice cubes and place it gently over your face.

In my next post, I will venture into queries pertaining to the application of sunscreen. As always, feel free to send me your questions!