Beauty treatments turn ugly

These days, artificial beauty is no longer a taboo subject like it used to be. More people are opening up to admitting that they have had regular insertions of botox and small modifications done to their appearance such as lip plumping and double eyelids. While it's nice to like seeking improvement, plastic surgery can become a dangerous addiction!

Here's an extreme case illustrated in an article that I came across yesterday. It is about a Korean singer who got addicted to plastic surgery and ended up ruining her face consequently. She indulged in regular professional aesthetic surgery services until “no surgeon would touch her anymore”. It wasn’t explained why in the article, but I would assume that the amount of foreign substances in her body from past surgeries had exceeded the safe limit. Undeterred, she proceeded to administer plastic surgery on herself by injecting her face with cooking oil and paraffin. Years later, she shocked the world when she appeared on TV, looking absolutely hideous, with her head having swelled 3 times the normal size and features distorted (pictures are in the article itself). She has since been undergoing surgery to reduce the swelling, thanks to sympathetic members of the public who donated money to fund her treatments. The physical damages of her reckless actions are set to stay, but she has now come to terms with her disfigurement and remains cheerful about it.

We can learn several lessons from this story, the most obvious one being not to administer DIY surgical procedures to your face (or any part of your body, really), especially one that involves self concoctions. Honestly, I find it unbelievable that people actually do such an incredibly dangerous thing. It’s pretty much common sense that you should not inject products whose safety and effects you are unsure of into your body. If it’s toxic and gets into your blood stream, it may even lead to premature death. There’s a reason why reputable plastic surgeons demand such high payment – they underwent expensive education in Aesthetic Surgery and learnt many things about plastic surgery that most of us have no idea about. If DIY surgical procedures are really effective, everyone would look like their ideal image and there would be no aesthetic clinics around. So please leave this to the professionals.

Excessive plastic surgery is bad for our physical well-being. Our bodies often reject foreign substances because they are incompatible or have unfavourable effects on us. In plastic surgery, foreign substances like silicon and chemicals are often used. If these foreign bodies are not rejected, they are still likely to burden our body systems and in more severe cases, alter our physical aspects and body compositions. If the surgeon advises you against plastic surgery, take his advice. Nobody would actually say no to money if they had the choice.

The Korean singer must have succumbed to desperate measures because she was dissatisfied with herself. Another important lesson from this story is to be content with what your parents gave you. There is a saying that goes, ‘There are no ugly women, only lazy ones’. Exercise regularly, eat right, practise good hygiene and adopt a strict regime in caring for your skin. With healthy, glowing skin and bright, alert eyes, you don’t need surgically enhanced features to turn heads. Besides, good make-up techniques are equally capable of achieving the enhancements that plastic surgery brings about!

The Body Shop: Retractable Blusher Brush

There’s a Chinese saying that goes ‘工欲善其事,必先利其器' (gong yu shan qi shi, bi xian li qi qi). It means if you want to do the job well, you need quality tools (equipment and methods). The same goes for make-up! Even with the best eye shadow, blush etc, you need to best tools to execute them for optimum effect!

Today, I was clearing out my old beauty products and tools (if you recall, I mentioned in a previous article (link) that these things can’t keep for too long for hygiene purposes) and I thought I should give a little spotlight to my trusty make-up brush which I’ve been using for about 3 years!

I am changing it now because the brush has become a little splayed recently. I feel rather sad because it was great when it lasted, and it was cheap! I'll probably get the same one if I can find it!

I used it as a face brush to apply my powder foundation. It produced a very natural effect. It is also very soft despite being synthetic (probably feels like fine animal hairs, but body shop doesn’t use animal products, so it’s all good), springy and never sheds.

I also like how portable and hygienic it is. It has its own retractable casing, so no worries about exposure to dust or water.

However, I would not recommend it for blushing, especially if you’re using pigmented blush. This brush has the tendency to streak, so if you’re using non-natural colours on your skin, the unevenness will show up. Also, the retracted mechanism has a tendency to get stuck, so you have to be gentle and patient when dealing with it!

Five Unfortunate Truths about Pores

Large pores are undesirable because they make your skin look coarse. What's even more undesirable about them is the fact that they are very difficult to shrink. Think about it this way. If you've over-stretched an elastic band, it is going to be very difficult, almost impossible, to make it revert to its normal shape and elasticity, right?

The best method to keep your pores small is to prevent them from enlarging. Here's a list of factors that contribute to enlarged pores. Prevent them from occurring and you'll enjoy fine skin even into middle-age.

Dehydrated skin
When skin lacks moisture, cells on the skin surface will start to shrink. Pores will appear enlarged and wrinkles will start appearing as a result of structural changes to the skin. It’s important to ensure that your skin is well-moisturized all the time.

Excessive dead skin cells
When new skin cells are generated, these are transported to the topmost surface of the skin. When these cells are old, they will settle above the surface area as dead cells. Failing to cleanse your skin properly daily will result in slower cell regeneration and detachment of dead skin cells. These dead cells could clog your pores and cause them to look enlarged. Make sure you cleanse your skin properly everyday, especially when you remove your make-up. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week, but not too often or you may wear out your skin.

Aging skin
As you get older, blood circulation slows down, and this applies to your skin as well. Your skin will gradually lose its elasticity and become less firm and taut, and that’s when your pores appear more obvious. Keep your body metabolism high by exercising regularly and having a healthy lifestyle to slow the ageing process.

Oily skin
When your skin secretes a lot of sebum, the access oil clogs up your pores, hence making them look larger. If you are prone to having oily skin, invest in some cleansers or remedies that help with oil control.

Applying pressure to skin
Applying pressure inappropriately to skin when going about your daily beauty treatments will cause pores to look enlarged. Usually, one may accidentally apply too much pressure when squeezing comedogenes using erred methods or rubbing the face too hard when applying creams. If skin cells are continuously damaged before they can be fully replenish, it will get increasingly difficult for cell renewal to take place and you’ll be stuck with rough skin for a long while!

Borghese Fango Active Mud for Face and Body

This mask works like a dream! I used it once for the very first time about 2 nights ago. I applied it to me whole face, left it on for about 20 minutes and rinsed it off with luke warm water. The effects were instantaneous. My skin felt smooth and I could no longer feel those pesky white heads that were previously on my T-zone. It is really effective in removing surface impurities and degreasing the skin!

A friend of mine recommends this for spot treatment. If you only have selected problem areas, your T-zone for example, just apply the mask to it instead of you entire face. Usually, if you’re using the mask for your entire face, you are recommended to use it about just once a week or so (otherwise, the harshness and cost of the product will be too much to bear). For spot treatment, you can use it more often, perhaps 3 or 4 times a week. It will help with oil control and set your problems right more efficiently.

Beauty effects aside, this product has a fragrant smell, which I find very soothing. It’s wonderful to lounge in my favourite arm chair, taking in the refreshing scent as I pamper my skin. It’s a real treat after a long day’s work! Some people may however, feel a tingly sensation when they use the mask, especially if they have sensitive skin, because the mask is really pretty strong. For these people, I’d advise you not to use the mask so frequently. Perhaps once a fortnight would suffice.

Biore Pore Perfect: Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

A friend of mine got these, but she didn’t find them effective, so she gave them to me to try out. I was supposed to leave it on my nose until it gets stiff and then remove it. The first day I tried it (left it on for 15 minutes), I was unimpressed by the results. I hardly saw any particles on it.
The next time I tried it again, I decided to leave it on a little longer (30 minutes) because I know some of these strips actually need more time than recommended to work. I peeled the strip off, and the results were completely different. I was satisfied to see so much gunk on it! This leads me to conclude that inappropriate usage i.e. leaving the strip on for too little time, affects its effectiveness.

The downside: the strip was stubbornly sticky (maybe because I left it on for so long) and when I tried to peel it off, I had to be very careful not to leave some of it behind or take some of my skin away with it. It was pretty painful to peel off.

This seems like a pretty effective product for cleansing comodegenes from your nose. If only better directions were given.