Achieve the Au Naturel look!

We all wish we have perfect, flawless skin (I know I do!) and while achieving it is a slow work in progress (taking in mind your diet and skincare habits), you can attain it instantly – thanks to the magic of makeup!
Here are five easy steps to having the skin of your dreams:
Inner glow
The best way to begin is with a well-cleansed face that is prepped with a thin layer of moisturiser (try Covermark Day Nourish Fixer SPF 20 PA+, US$42). Tackle any dullness on your skin with an illuminator (try Dior Backstage Makeup Radiance Booster Pen, US$38).
Flawless skin
Try using a primer before foundation (try our favourite Laura Mercier Basic Makeup Trial Pack US$18. It contains a Foundation Primer and Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20), which will minimise unevenness in skin texture such as large pores and scars.
To attain the most natural effect, avoid matte foundations and liquid foundations because they tend to look too heavy and cakey. Apply foundation under natural light and only where needed. Be sure to blend thoroughly up till your hairline and jawline.
Next, dab little dots of concealer (try Kokuryudo Point Magic Pro Eye Concealer, US$12) under your eyes to hide those dark rings deftly with your fingertips. Be certain to dab gently and not drag your skin, as the area is extremely delicate and more prone to lines and wrinkles.
Set the foundation with a light dusting of loose powder using a powder brush. Your powder of choice should be translucent, not bronze-toned nor shimmery (try Benefit One Hot Minute, US$37).

Beautiful eyes
Keep your brows soft by using eyebrow powder (try Bare Escentuals Essential Brow Kit, US$35) instead of penciling and rim eyes with dark brown eyeliner (try Missha The Style Fit-in Eye Gel Eyeliner, US$15). Keep to gel and pencil texture as they set a more natural and softer tone, compared to liquid eyeliners.
Sweep a soft pink shadow (try Nars Cream Eyeshadow in Cosmic Girl 2810, US$24) across your lids and in the socket creases and smudge for a diffused effect. Finish with a coat of lengthening mascara (try our bestseller Imju Dejavu Fiberwig Paint-On False Lashes Extra Long Mascara, US$16) to open your eyes.

Blushing beauty
The most natural blusher (try Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush, US$38) is one that is a couple of tones darker than your natural skin tone but rosy blush also gives an equally flattering flushed look.
Apply the blush to your cheekbones (smile to locate the apples of your cheeks) using light sweeps and blend well.
Sheer lips
Prettify your pout with a peach-toned lip colour. However, apply nude lip gloss directly to your lips can give it a fake, muddy look. The fix: prep your lips with a thin layer of foundation to neutralise the pink tones in your lips before apply a shiny nude gloss for a luscious finish. (Try Nars Lip Gloss, US$26 – they have a long list of various nude shades!)


Save your lips this season!

Do you get plagued by dryness on your lips constantly like I do? All my friends know that I reach for my little jar of Kiehl’s Lip Balm (US$12) every two hours but in this current dry winter climate, I’m reapplying every 30 minutes. Anything longer and I can start peeling dry skin off my lips and bleeding is not an uncommon sight! 

Our lips may cover a very small area on our body but it’s definitely one of the most essential organs – we speak, eat and smile with them. Take good care of your lips and they’ll go a long way! Here are some tips on having beautiful lips, even in winter:

1. Gently exfoliate your lips daily with a light toothbrush and lip cream. This helps to remove fine cracks on your lips.

2. Mash a quarter of a ripe papaya into a paste then lie down on a towel behind your face and apply a generous amount of papaya paste to your lips and the skin around them. Leave the paste on for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse it off and apply lip balm. Papaya contains exfoliating enzymes and helps to soften and refine lip lines.

3. If your lips are prone to dryness and cracking like mine, check out daily maintenance creams with skin-exfoliating AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), moisturisers, vitamin A and E and an SPF 15, which have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the lips in a month.

Our lips are one of the most exposed areas on our skin but yet they have an extremely thin outer layer and few sebaceous glands. Centrally heated offices and the harsh winter winds can take a toll on your lips. Here are some products we highly recommend:

1. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (US$6) – This bestseller from this great brand contains the healing benefits of beeswax and allow your lips to feel the instant gratification from the hydrating and soothing effects of beeswax.

2. Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Treatment (US$10) – This is great for everyday use, especially for outdoor enthusiasts who love snowboarding and skiing! This therapeutic balm is formulated with exclusive Anti-Ozonate Complex to help heal acutely damaged lips suffering from extreme weather conditions – perfect for the current winter!

3. Decleor Aromessence Lip Balm (US$23) – Its ingredients of essential oils, lemon, vanilla and tonka bean intensively nourish and soften the lips and overnight, my lips are supple and shiny again. However, I don’t recommend it for day use as it could be a little too oily for some people. It’s perfect for night use though!

4. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 (US$12) – My all-time favourite! It’s great to use in the day because it contains SPF 15 and if you’re not used to grimy fingertips after dipping into the jar, use the remnants of the lip balm on your cuticles – guarantee you smooth cuticles within a week!

5. Benefit Benetint Lip Balm SPF 15 (US$34) – My favourite Benetint now comes in solid form with a SPF 15 protection! The packaging is cute and it has a blend of vitamin E in light rose fragrance – what’s there not to like?


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you! May you be pretty and happy every day!

The 1st day of my year 2011 is to attend a wedding banquet of a long time friend, and as usual, I asked my make-up artist friend to do the make-up and hair for me. I especially requested a French Roll hairstyle this time as I always find it very elegant. And here is how it looks:

Personally, I really like it. It's neat and tight and elegant. If you'd like to know how to make it, give me a shout in the comment and I will make a tutorial of it. :)

For shampoo and conditioner, my new favourites are:

It gives you soft and shiny hair.

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