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10 (Other) Beauty Uses of Micellar Water

LIKE the rest of the beauty world, I am obsessed with micellar water.

I was a bit late to the game and only started using them last year – but better late than never, I say! The French-export makeup cleansing removers are now one of my all-time favorite beauty products and I believe a must-have for every woman. And because I’ve been so obsessed with them, I’ve actually found other ways to use them as well:

micellar water uses

1. On-the-go hand wash. No time to wash your hands after testing products at the makeup counter? Or need to wash your hands before eating? Thanks to it’s no-rinse formula, micellar water would be perfect! I mean, it is a cleaner for your face… so why not for your hands too? Squirt a drop into your hands and rub.

2. Clean your makeup brushes. You know how they say to clean your makeup brushes by adding some baby shampoo in water? Well, why not use micellar water? Also great for on-the-spot brush cleaning: Drop some micellar water in a paper towel and swirl your makeup brush on top of it to get rid of the product.

3. Use to remove perfume. Tried out a perfume at the counter that turned nasty? Put some miceallar water on a cotton pad or tissue and rub it off! (Definitely not one of these perfumes, right?) Also useful if you applied a little too much perfume – simply remove some of it. (I’m assuming it can remove other stenches, too.)

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“So, What Hairstyle Suits Me Best?”

IF there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this beauty game, it’s that hair makes a huge difference. A new haircut can really transform your look, and after many years of disastrous haircuts (trust me, I’ve tried everything), I finally realized how to find a haircut and style that suits you, your lifestyle and personality.

What hairstyle suits me best?

Photo: Sophie Tajan

Here are my tips on how to find the best hairstyle that suits you:

Your Face Shape

It really all boils down to your face shape. Once you have figured out what your face shape is, it is so much easier to find out what cuts and styles can flatter, making your search much less traumatic. Check out How to find out your face shape, and then come back and continue reading.

What suits your face shape

Once you’ve found your face shape, here are some guidelines for hairstyles:

Round face: Long, layered straight to slightly wavy hair looks stunning on you. Side swept and long bangs will also suit you well. Avoid styles that will bring more width to your face, such as blunt bangs, bobs and big curls (cut at a short length). They might make your face look rounder. The trick here is to elongate.

Long face: The key here is to widen your face, so focus on getting volume at the side (near your cheeks). (Check out How to: Get More Hair Volume for help.) Hairstyles such as bobs, wavy and curly hair will add width to your face; and short to shoulder length cuts look great on you too. Bangs work very well on long faces, especially blunt and side bangs. Avoid styles that “lengthen” the face, such as straight, long cuts, and avoid too long hair length, which can drag your face down (again, stick to short styles, shoulder-length, or length not past your chest).

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How to… Fix Over-plucked Eyebrows

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Whether it’s over-plucking our own brows, or something doing the dirty work for us; over-plucked, thin, sparse eyebrows are not a good look.

I got my eyebrows tweezed for the first time at a professional place when I was 14. I can’t remember why I did – I have naturally quite thick brows – but I walked into the first beautitian I could find at a popular mall and simply said, “Tame these monsters!”

Big mistake.

The lady gave me the thinnest brows with the highest arch… just awful. And because I was young and didn’t know much about beauty, I kept that thin-eyebrow look for way too long. Needless to say, when I wanted my old brows back it was pretty hard (they went back to normal eventually, thankfully!) and today I am really careful about keeping it’s original thickness now – in fact, I do it myself now, I trust no one else. Here are my tips on how to fix over-plucked eyebrows:

Try hair growth formulas. I’ve tried RapidBrow to my brows with great success and would totally recommend buying at least 3 tubes and finishing them (1 tube a month). Also, those popular eyelash growth serums such as RevitaLash and Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Serum should technically work as well.

Hands off. Don’t touch your eyebrows for at least 4 months. Resist the urge! I would say a full 6 months, but 4 months is the minimum. If it’s really getting unsightly, just tweeze those absolute necessary ones that are completely out of your whole eyebrow area (for example, the stray ones that are near your eyes, or the ones in between your two brows, etc). I also read this tip from Allure editor Linda Wells: Dip a Q-tip in some Rogaine (or any hair loss formula) and rub it on any bald spots you might have. But be EXTREMELY careful to not let it touch anywhere near your eyes.

Makeup tricks. In the mean time, fill in empty spots and mistakes with a brow pencil or powder. Or, if some parts are starting to look insane try using a clear eyebrow gel to keep them looking neat.

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#BeautyTip: Sand As Exfoliator

While you’re having the last days of frolicking on the beach with what’s left of summer, remember to give your feet (and skin) a treat.

sand as skin exfoliator beauty tip

Photo: Unknown

That’s right, I’m talking about sand: Sand is a great exfoliator for your skin.

What I like to do, while having “long walks on the beach”, is that I’ll dip my feet in the ocean first to make it wet. Then, as I walk on the sand, the sand sticks to the water on my feet, and, as I walk, it slowly exfoliates any dead skin cells (especially useful for high heel wearers). For the rest of your skin, sitting at the edge of the ocean and rubbing damp sand on your arms, legs and belly will naturally exfoliate as well. (Be gentle though, some sand can be very harsh for your skin.) Rub it in small circular motions and do not put so much pressure.

You can then do this beauty trick in the evening and I can guarantee your feet will feel brand new – such a cheap alternative to those expensive foot scrubs!

highlight strobing makeup

Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage

So, it seems no one wants to Kontour Like A Kardashian anymore.

Enter “storbing”, the “new contouring”, or as some call it, the anti-contouring.

Strobing is the hot new trend going around all summer, and it basically means ignoring contouring, and instead focusing on highlighting. Which… is what French girls have been doing all this time! Violette, French makeup artist told Vogue last year, French girls “never contour”. And that to get the look of French girl makeup, one of the rules is to bring light (not shadow) to the face.

“For French women,” Violette explains, “contouring is very scary, because it changes the sculpture of the face. It’s much more about adding highlights.

Yeah, sounds exactly like strobing. (Even though strobing is just another trendy word for highlighting, which is nothing new.) That being said – it is gorgeous, and one of the things that’s a must-do when you want to look extra glowy and pretty.

To do strobing, it just basically means doing what I talked about here, minus the deep colors of bronzer and instead go for something much lighter to brighten the face, like neutrals, peaches and corals. Gigi Hadid showcases it perfectly above.

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Top 10: The Best Summer Perfumes

One of my favorite things ever is summer, and I know I’m not the only one – tons of things are inspired by the summer season and their activities, and one of my favorites are the perfumes. They capture the fun, sun and all the adventures that usually happen in summer.

summer perfumes

Photo: Unknown

Whether you’re looking for natural perfume, high end, indie, or department store – I have all sorts of summer perfumes recommendations:

1. Bond no 9 Coney Island. If you know me long enough, you’ll know that Coney Island is one of my “dream” destinations. So of course, when I discovered some time ago that one of my favorite perfume brands, Bond No. 9 had a fragrance called Coney Island, I quickly had to sample it. And oh my, did they capture all my thoughts of Coney Island. This is an aquatic, margarita-like, fun, watery scent. You can get it on Amazon.

2. Bobbi Brown Beach. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown created this perfume to mimick Coppertone sunscreen, which reminded her of her childhood spent at the beach. One of the most popular “beachy” scents, it is so lovely and so is the bottle. A must-try. Available on Sephora, Amazon.com and Nordstrom.

3. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. No summer fragrance list is complete without Bronze Goddess, one of the most popular and loved summer fragrances in the world. A limited edition every summer season, Bronze Goddess is a must-have for French supermodel Candace Jablonski, and the whole beauty blogosphere. Available on Amazon.

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It’s here, my annual cruelty-free beauty brands list! I’ve been doing this for many years, especially on my previous blog, and this is the updated list for 2015.

Unfortunately, a few big brands were no longer on the list, such as Bath & Body Works, Stila Cosmetics and Catrice; but there were many new brands like Marc Jacobs Beauty, Le Labo, MAGICSTRIPES, Kat Von D Beauty, REN and Elizabeth & James (perfumes). Yay!

More good news: China no longer requires animal testing for “ordinary cosmetics, including makeup, skin, hair, nail and fragrances.” So if a brand opts to sell in China, if it was after June 2014 (when they announced this), then your favorite brand could still very well be cruelty-free.
cruelty-free-beauty brands-2015

Please spread the word!

Some quick notes, since I always get questions:

  • I got my info from PETA’s cruelty-free beauty database for consumers.
  • I only chose brands that were more “visible” and easily available all over the world, obviously there are hundreds more cruelty-free beauty brands than just this. Go to the link above to find more.
  • A few of the brands listed I have also personally contacted as well, and I added a few to the list too, but haven’t heard back from a lot of them, so will continue to update on my blog on this topic.

Getting the Green Light

Green is in, folks!

At the Versace Haute Couture shows in Paris last weekend, model Kendall Jenner sported stunning gold-green eyes, smudged with some black eyeliner in the outer corners for a cool, lived in feel. And since then, the beauty world has been buzzing… because this is a look that can suit just about anyone. (I used to do this in high school actually, before I switched to blues and greys. Maybe it’s time to try it out again?)

Kendall Jenner green eyeshadow

Photo: MTV

To get the look, try MAC Eyeshadow in Sumptuous Olive, if not any olive green eyeshadow should do the trick. Then apply some black eyeshadow to the outer top and bottom lash lines (I like Urban Decay eyeliners), and smudge with a Q-tip. Then apply copious amounts of mascara.

Whether it’s summer or winter for you this month, this time of the year is when skin can get very dehydrated, dry and flaky.

If you’re ever in that situation, what you can do is add a drop or two of coconut oil to your regular moisturizer. Coconut oil is one of my favorites (if you remember Coconut Oil Beauty Tips), and just a few drops of it will gives that extra boost of moisturize. (Also great to add into leave-in hair conditioner, body lotion… wherever you feel needs an “extra” dose of moisture.)

It’s also a quick fix if you’re traveling and you notice your skin reacting, definitely beats having to buy a whole new moisturizer just for your stay.

The French Pharmacy

French pharmacy beauty products

Greetings from Paris! After seeing countless articles on French pharmacy products, I can finally add my own thoughts. While I use a few of these “cult” products thanks to online shops, there’s nothing like seeing the real thing.

Pharmacies and drugstores have always been a refuge of mine. I remember the first time feeling really homesick: I was a teenager, walking around in Milan close to tears when I popped into a small, tucked-away drugstore, and somehow felt better. Something about it felt so cozy, so normal, like something I’d be doing back home on a night like that.

French pharmacy beauty products

And I gotta say, that even in a “normal” place like the drugstore, the French Pharmacy still has that effortless chic stamp all over it. The simplest of products look so glamorous – you’re really getting some luxury at great prices. I’ll write more about it soon, but for now, some observations:

  • The brands we know and love such as Bioderma, Vichy and La Roche-Posay seem to be the main (and most popular) brands, and each brand have probably close to 10 times more products that we see in Singapore. For example, some of these brands – which I had always thought were skincare lines – had makeup lines.
  • Bioderma seems to be the “it” brand, they always seemed to be the focus point of every drugstore I went into… which was good for me because I am really growing to love the brand and their products are slowly taking over my bathroom! I bought tons of stuff on this trip as well and can’t wait to share.
  • Nuxe and Caudalie seems to be the brand that were promoted the most; anytime I would ask for help, I was always pointed to them. (My thought is that we have these brands in Singapore, so I tried unknown French brands instead, which were fantastic. More on that later.)
  • Other brands that were new to me and looked interesting were Ducray, Embroylisse (that we talked about before) Uriage and Roger + Gallet, which looked like the French version of Crabtree & Evelyn.