Secrets Revealed: Fair, Translucent Skin

It’s midsummer now and the sun is strong. Apart from putting on sunscreen when you go out – to prevent the formation of dark spots, don’t forget that skin whitening care is equally important. Fair, translucent skin often gives people a young and pretty impression, while a freckled and dull face can make you look a lot older than you actually are.

To target dark pigments effectively, we must first understand their causes. UV light is the number one factor for color pigments. After being exposed to the sun, the level of Tyrosine will increase in our skin, which turns into melanin after oxidation. Hormone imbalance is another reason for dark spots to form among women. During pregnancy, the level of Estrogen is exceptionally high in a mother’s body, which will induce the production of melanin. Unstable moods can also trigger the formation of dark spots. Moreover, stress and sleep deprivation slow down the skin’s metabolism and result in accumulation of melanin.

In another words, reducing Tyrosine and dissolving existing melanin are ways to prevent and eliminate dark spots. Hydroquinone and Arbutin are two major ingredients often found in whitening products to reduce Tyrosine, while Ferulic Acid and Kojic Acid suppress its activity level. Vitamin C, a.k.a. L-Ascorbic Acid, is commonly used for breaking down melanin. Also, AHA accelerates the renewal of stratum corneum, thus helping to lighten pigments.

Here’re our picks for some highly effective skin whitening products:

La Roche Posay Sensi White [+] Essence Essence (Upgraded Version) (For Sensitive Asian Skin), 30ml
Features an upgraded formula for more effective and longer lasting whitening results. All-new ingredient Phenylethyl Resorcinol brightens skin from the source. Ferulic Acid and Ginkgo Biloba Extract even out and smooth skin tone while LHA gently removes dead skin for a brightened complexion. Nicotinamide is effective in preventing skin dullness.

SkinCeuticals Serum 20 AOX, 1oz / 30ml
Formulated at the precise concentration proven to deliver maximum amounts of Vitamin C to the skin, Serum 20 is formulated with AOX+ advanced antioxidant technology, combining Ferulic Acid with 20% L-Ascorbic Acid to enhance skin whitening antioxidant performance. This lightweight and fast-absorbing serum neutralizes free radicals, defends against environmental damage, and helps prevent premature signs of aging.

Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%, 1oz / 30ml
Contains 20% highly concentrated pure Vitamin C, which targets stubborn dark spots and acne marks, and prevents the formation of melanin. It helps promote skin cell renewal, rebuilds collagen, brightens skin, firms and smoothes wrinkles, and replenishes moisture to the skin.

Apart from whitening products, foods that are rich in Vitamin C and E, such as fruits and nuts, boost great skin-whitening benefits. Include these foods in your diet, get plenty of sleep and always apply sunscreen, then you are on your way to having bright, clear and translucent skin.= )


Highly Recommended! Giovanni Shampoo & Conditioner

Have you ever encountered the following experience? After using a shampoo or conditioner that claims to make your hair silky smooth, your strands do feel luscious at the beginning, but then after a period of time, they start to become frizzy, feel weighed down and even resulted in hair loss? I experienced losing nearly a hundred hairs every day after shampooing awhile ago, this really freaked me out as I thought something was wrong with my body, but then (luckily) later I found out that it was caused by my shampoo which contains Dimethicone. 

Dimethicone is a synthetic oil-based material, which boosts moisturizing and hydrating properties. Upon contact with the hair, it will fill up gaps between the hair cuticles, thus giving a shiny appearance and smooth touch to your hair. However, Dimethicone also has its downsides. Since it is water insoluble in nature, it cannot be removed thoroughly after hair wash. On the contrary, it forms a coat on your hair and with repeated washes, the coating gets so thick that it makes the hair loses elasticity, feels weighed down, clogs follicles, irritates the scalp and in more serious cases, leading to hair loss. 

So, it is my shampoo which contains Dimethicone that causes my hair loss! As soon as I stop using it, the situation improves a lot. After I dropped that evil shampoo like a hot potato (yes, you should too!), I was on the lookout for a Dimethicone-free shampoo, and finally I have found an amazing hair care brand from the US – Giovanni.

Being an organic brand, Giovanni’s products do not contain Dimethicone, Parabens, SLS, chemicals and they are pH balanced with biodegradable formulas. Their shampoos deeply cleanse hair and clarify scalp, while leaving no traces of harmful chemicals, providing gentle care for your tresses.

Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo (For Damaged Hair) 8.5oz / 250ml
Features a pearlized formula that transforms hair into a silky palette. The luxurious lather soothes dry, chemically processed hair and cleanses gently for manageable smoothness. I like its subtle fruity fragrance from Apple and Aloe Vera Essences, which provide antioxidant protection and act as enhanced moisturizers for even silkier hair. 100% vegetarian ingredients, USDA Certified Organic.


Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner (For Damaged Hair) 8.5oz / 250ml
Features a silkening formula with Vegetable Protein to renew hair. It infuses deep moisture for manageable smoothness and protects against split ends. I also like its fruity smell just like the shampoo. It instantly brings a smooth sensation to my hair which might feel dry after using organic shampoo. Hair also feels lightweight afterwards. 100% vegetarian ingredients, USDA Certified Organic. 


After using the above two products for two weeks, my hair loss improves dramatically. It’s been 3 months since I started using them, now only a few hairs fall out occasionally after I wash my hair. My scalp feels more cleaned and clarified, and itchy feeling greatly reduces. For those who want to have healthy mane, Giovanni’s shampoo and conditioner ar e must-try items!


Are you ready for summer? Don’t forget to use the right sunscreens

Summer is an exciting season of the year because it’s all about colorful outfits, bright nails, and of course, lots of outdoor activities. While it’s fun to enjoy the sunshine, I’m sure that many of you, like me, are concerned about the damages UV rays cause on our skin. So, today I’m going to give you some information on UV rays and tips for choosing the right sunscreens. Let’s get summer-ready!

Types of UV Rays

You may have already heard about UVA and UVB, but do you know UVA can be further divided into UVA-1 and UVA-2? And what are the actual damages of UV rays on our skin? Here’s an overview.

UVA-1: long UV rays (340–400 nm); reach the dermis, causing dark pigments, skin ageing and wrinkles

UVA-2: shorter UVA rays (320–340 nm); reach the epidermis, causing skin reddening, sunburn and is the main cause of skin cancer

UVB: medium-wave UV rays (280–320 nm); reach the epidermis, causing skin reddening, sunburn and is the main cause of skin cancer

Broad Spectrum Protection is the Key

As you can see above, UVA-1 penetrates deep into our dermis and causes dark pigments which can result in unsightly freckles, but its prevalence is often ignored. How to choose an appropriate sunscreen? The number one tip is to pick a broad spectrum protection sunscreen, one that defenses our skin against both UVA and UVB, including UVA-1. There are two types of sunscreens: mineral-based and chemical. Below is a comparison of each type and some common ingredients you may like to take note of.

1. Mineral-based sunscreens: 

How it works:
contain physical blockers that form a film on the face to deflect UV rays
Pros: mild on the skin, does not cause skin allergy easily
leaves a white cast and feels greasy on skin
Common ingredients:
Zinc Oxide (blocks UVA-1, UVA-2 & UVB), Titanium Dioxide (blocks UVB & UVA-2)

2. Chemical sunscreens:

How it works: 
contain chemical absorbers that are first absorbed by the skin, then interact with UV rays chemically, converting them into non-harmful substances for skin
Pros: feels light and non-greasy on the skin
may cause skin allergy easily
Common ingredients:
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (blocks UVB), Avobenzone (blocks UVA-1 & UVA-2), Mexoryl SX, XL (covers UVA-1, UVA-2 & partial UVB), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (a.k.a. Uvinul® A Plus; covers all UVA rays), Tinosorb M & Tinosorb S (blocks UVA-1, UVA-2 & UVB) 

Here’re Our Picks:
Since mineral-based and chemical sunscreens each have their own disadvantages, most sunscreens on the market are a mixture of both – getting the best of both worlds. Here are my recommendations for some of the best and most effective sunscreens.

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45 / PA++++ (All Skin Types)
A pure mineral-based sunscreen formulated with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide to protect against UVA-1, UVA-2 and UVB. Featuring patented Invisible Screen™ technology that leaves no white traces on your face. The texture? Melts instantly in your skin, giving you an even and radiant complexion.

La Roche Posay Uvidea XL Melt-In Cream SPF50 / PA++++ 
This spring water-infused mixed sunscreen combines L'Oréal’s patented anti-UVA Mexoryl XL with mineral Titanium Dioxide to block UVAs at all wavelength ranges. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate prevents sunburn. Leaves a hydrating and smooth touch on your skin. Excellent makeup base.

Kanebo ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel 4-Piece Set 

Includes three bottles of ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel (Mineral Moist) N SPF50+ / PA++++ (two 90g and one 25g) and a bottle of ALLIE EX UV Protector (Whitening) N SPF50+ / PA++++ (25ml).
ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel (Mineral Moist) N SPF50+ / PA++++ is a mixed mineral and chemical sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, photostable Uvinul® A Plus and Octocrylene, effectively blocking all UVAs and UVB. The watery texture glides on your skin smoothly. Contains Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen and Royal Jelly.

ALLIE EX UV Protector (Whitening) N SPF50+ / PA++++ is also a mixed sunscreen with mineral Zinc Oxide and chemical Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, protecting skin from all UVAs and UVB. The oil-controlling complex gives a non-sticky feeling. Vitamins C and E are added for skin-whitening effect.

Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen A+N SPF50+ / PA++++
A beloved sunscreen worldwide, this powerful sunscreen contains mineral Zinc Oxide and chemicals Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Tinosorb S. Blocks UVA at all ranges and UVB. You’ll love its lotion-like texture that feels lightweight and absorbs quickly into your skin.

One last note, always remember to apply sunscreen every day because UV rays exist all year round, even in winter and cloudy days. Try out the products above and fully protect your skin from harmful UV light J


It's New Year! Get NEW!

I have a habit of getting rid of old cosmetics every year end. So it's the time of the year and I have to do some housekeeping and get some new replacements! Exciting! So I will need to get some new make-up products. Let's shop together now! See what I have chosen:

Get on trend, get CC cream. I like its non-sticky texture.

Chanel CC Cream (Complete Correction) SPF 30 PA+++ contains active ingredients of natural origin and suitable for sensitive skin. It brings you complete correction and long-wear makeup with a lightweight, non-oily texture.

Don't forget to cover up. Well, no matter how good your skin is, there's always one or two or several annoying spots that you need to hide. And this is the magic wand you want to have!
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage completely camouflages dark circles, minor imperfections, and discoloration. Secret Camouflage contains a unique two-shade system, one to match the skin's depth of color and one to match the skin's undertone, making it possible for every woman to custom-blend her own perfect shade. 

I am usually not a big hello kitty fan, but this is just too cute to miss! And it has nice colour shades which is quite a all-in-one eye shadow palette.

Waterproof is very important when it comes to mascara, it can make sure you won't have black tears when you laugh too hard or are too sad.

A luxurious mascara to help maximize length & volume of your lashes. Its generous formula enriched with ULTRA-BLACK pigments combined with an exclusive brush featuring anti-clogging brittles precisely tames lashes for an intense volume without clumping.

Of course face make-up is very important, but nails are not to be forgotten, a set of nicely done nails can tell a lot about the woman, her elegance, her sophistication...

OPI Disney Couture de Minnie Runway Minnies Collection creates in honor of Disney's beloved character, the Couture de Minnie line explores the fashion-forward side of Minnie Mouse, mixing pink, fuschia and red shades with textural elements.
  • A Definite Moust-Have 0.125oz / 3.75ml
  • Magazine Cover Mouse 0.125oz / 3.75ml
  • Chic From Ears to Tail 0.125oz / 3.75ml
  • Innie Minnie Mightie Bow 0.125oz / 3.75ml
 Oh wow! I just can't wait to try them all out for my new year's parties!


Great skin essential tricks for the holiday makeup

Are you ready for the Christmas and new year parties and celebrations coming very soon? I mean are your skin ready for the makeup? No matter how good your makeup techniques are, the basic is to have good skin condition for the look to shine, here are some basics to get your skin ready! You still have a week!

Moisturize your skin from inside out:
Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful antioxidants to help moisturize the skin and protect it from the damage of UV. Where can you get them from: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and olives (Or salmon is great source for it too!). Why not have an almond afternoon snack to boost your omega 3s?

Water water water! 
You've probably heard this so many times, but water is one of the most important nutrient for your body. Other than oxygen, your body needs water to survive. Nearly 70% of our body is water, so it's not just women who's made of water, but men also. You need to intake enough water per day, the suggested is 8 glasses a day (about 1.9 liters), although it varies per person, it's easy to remember. To get a more personalize amount needed, try this online water calculator: http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm.


Be a sleeping beauty:
Get 8 hours of sleep a day. Sleep is a time for the body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. The body cells produce more protein while sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells which allow them to repair damages. Other than that, adequate sleep is also good for your general health, like keeping your heart healthy, reducing stress and inflammation, bolster your memory...etc. So do make sure you have enough sleep every night!

If you can do the above 3 items continuously, I am sure your skin will become radiant and healthy!

Now your skin is ready for a nice makeup:

LANCOME La Maison Lancome Make-up Palette (left)
A simple palette containing all the makeup essentials:
  • Powder Blush 10g
  • Powder Eye Shadow F20 0.7g
  • Powder Eye Shadow A10 0.7g
  • Powder Eye Shadow A60 0.7g
NYX Haute Jersey Leopard Couture
Stylish, sassy, and tan! The Haute Jersey Leopard Couture screams beautiful, fun, and sizzle! The palette offers four bronzers to provide a tanned glow through the seasons, duo gloss for a va-va-voom kisser, 24 shadows for those ""come hither"" eyes, and blush to make the boys think they're in the game!This is your best weapon to hit the beach and parties.

Shiseido MAQuillAGE Essence Glamorous Rouge is a liquid rouge that retains the color, shine and shape of your lips.

Benefit Pocket Pal (benetint + gloss)
New portable version of benetint (0.11oz / 3.2ml) paired with a super shine clear gloss (0.10oz / 2.8g)! It's a rosy glow on the go... for the most kissable lips in town. Carry it in the handy pocket protector and you'll have gorgeous color and shine wherever you go.

Focus on moisturizing from the inside out! Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. These powerful antioxidants help moisturize the skin and protect it from UV damage. Great sources of omega 3 in your diet include walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and olives. Go for whole plant powered foods. For example, having an afternoon snack of almonds is a perfect way to add in a boost of your omega 3s. - See more at: http://www.plantpoweredliving.com/blogs/wellness/2012/07/10/4-natural-ways-to-moisturize-skin#sthash.KZzFh1UA.dpuf
Focus on moisturizing from the inside out! Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. These powerful antioxidants help moisturize the skin and protect it from UV damage. Great sources of omega 3 in your diet include walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and olives. Go for whole plant powered foods. For example, having an afternoon snack of almonds is a perfect way to add in a boost of your omega 3s. - See more at: http://www.plantpoweredliving.com/blogs/wellness/2012/07/10/4-natural-ways-to-moisturize-skin#sthash.KZzFh1UA.dpuf


Christmas Gifts to Give! Get GOLD!

I love the cold weather now, it feels nostalgic and romantic. December is always a "Love in the air" month for me, don't ask me why, it just is. And in order to share the love, the best way is to get gifts to delight your friends and family, give them out at Christmas and share the joy together.

How about some gold colour this year?

1. DKNY Golden Delicious Golden Night Out Gift Set

DKNY Golden Delicious Golden Night Out Gift Set includes:

Golden Delicious Eau de Parfum Spray 1.7oz / 50ml
DKNY Golden Delicious Eau de Parfum celebrates luxury and splendor with its rich and accentuated aromas of juicy golden apple, accompanied by orange blossom and Mirabelle plum.

DKNY Golden Delicious Eau de Parfum offers captivating aromas of orange floral water, mirabelle, golden delicious apple, white rose, casablanca lily, vanilla orchid, muguet, musk, sandalwood and teakwood.

Golden Delicious Eau de Parfum 0.24oz / 7ml

Golden Delicious Shimmering Body Lotion 3.4oz / 100ml
This glamorous shimmering body lotion has a sensual base of musk, sandalwood and teakwood, then topped with the flirty aroma of Golden Delicious apple. The tantalizing body lotion leaves your skin soft, supple and shimmering like a goddess.

DKNY Logo Keychain x 1pc

2. Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Absolue Eau de Parfum

Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Absolue Eau de Parfum reveals a top note of brilliant purity, a luminous accord. The Night-Blooming-Jasmine illuminates the heart of the fragrance and progressively frees its intense and radiant trail. Jasmine's fascinating intensity melts into base notes of enveloping vanilla and elegant precious wood.

Cloaked in light during the day, the Night-Blooming-Jasmine opens and shines only once the sun has set, leaving in its trail the scent of its secret.

3. Caroline Herrera CH Eau de Parfum Sublime

Carolina Herrera Eau de Parfum Sublime is designed to accentuate femininity with facets of sensuality and charming elegance. It is referred to as joyful and charming, charismatic and slightly mysterious, making it even more unique and fascinating.

The opening hides Carolina Herrera's little secret, fresh and exotic notes of bergamot and passionflower richly steeped in a love dance of elegant roses and mysterious orchids in the heart that are woven into a sensual dry down of patchouli, moss, leather and amber.

4. Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum Gift Set

Christian Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum Gift Set includes:

J'adore Eau De Parfum 1.7oz / 50ml
The absolute Femininity. An eternal Emotion. A fragrance legend both magnificent and mysterious. An opulent fruity floral bouquet.

Top notes: Magnolia, Mandarin Orange, Ivy
Middle notes: Rose, Violet, Orchid
Base notes: Damascena Rose, Wood, Blackberry

J'adore Beautifying Body Milk 1.7oz / 50ml
Gentle and refreshing, with a subtle, fragrant caress that envelops the skin, J'adore Beautifying Body Milk beautifies it with Jasmine essence and makes it glow with pearlescent shine. The ultra-sensorial delight gives you a moment of pure pleasure.

Black Cosmetic Pouch 23cm x 14.5cm x 9cm 


The best moisturizers - Paper masks

I just came back from US and I discovered something quite interesting there.

Since I forgot to bring my paper masks so I thought "it's ok, I will get some there in the supermarkets or beauty stores." To my surprise, I could only find one brand and it doesn't look like it's good quality. So I didn't buy it at the end, I just used my cream moisturising mask, which wasn't bad, but I think it's always good to use paper mask like twice a week to really replenish the skin. And I have been using it every day since I came back a week ago to give back the moisture needed for the month in the US! :P But still I really don't understand why there aren't many paper masks in US?!

Here are some good paper masks I used and recommend (I suggest getting at least 3 pieces of a brand to really see the result):

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Mask Sheet contains essence formulated mask sheetsupplies rich collagen and moisture to facial complexion. Contains active ingredients: Baobab Tree extract and Collagen.

b.liv Utmost Moisture Immerse Me covers your skin with a generous boost of hydration! Immerse me acts like a balm for parched and dry complexion as it gets absorbed in a blink of an eye and makes sure your skin's longing hydration will never turn tail.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask boosts radiance and moisture levels and can be used by all skin types throughout the year. The mask literally drenches your skin in SK-II Pitera, resulting in a fresher and more hydrated complexion.

Innovative ion-inducing bio-cellulose masks contain multiple moisturizing ingredients that provide outstanding moisturizing effects and restore the youth of skin. For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Bio-Cellulose Mask is well-known for its pioneering invention of bio-cellulose as the facial mask sheet.

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