#BEAUTYTIP: A Quick Fix for Seasonal Skin

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.

Sunscreen Myths & Facts

Myth #1: Dark skin doesn’t burn, so we don’t need sunscreen.
Unfortunately, all complexions can burn.

Myth #2: The higher the SPF, the better the sunscreen.
Wrong again. I see a lot of “SPF 100+” and SPF “120” products now which is just ridiculous –  you cannot have 100% protection from the sun while you’re outside. Most experts still recommend SPF 15 or 30 daily:

  • SPF 2: 50% of rays defected
  • SPF 15: 93% of rays are defected
  • SPF 30: 97% of the rays are defected

Myth #3: A thin layer of sunscreen is all I need.
Most people only apply about 20% of sunscreen they really need. The recommended amount for the average body is the amount of one shot glass.

Myth #4: If I apply tons of sunscreen first thing in the morning, it’ll protect my skin all day long.
Sorry, you might still end up with a sunburn. Sunscreen wears off and should be re-applied every 2-3 hours, and even more frequently when you’re out in the sun sweating or swimming.

Myth #5: It’s a cloudy day; and when there’s no sun, there’s no need for sunscreen.
A very large chunk of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds, and then get reflected off surfaces and onto our skin. For example, UV rays can reflect off buildings, cars, windows, you name it – so always wear sunscreen.

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You Glow Girl: First Look @ GlamGlow

Last week I found myself surrounded by cakes in a cute little confections store for an intimate event thrown by GLAMGLOW, a skincare line from Hollywood which boasts a fanbase of Natalie Portman, Miley Cyrus and Usher.

I was there to check out their new cleanser, THIRSTYCLEANSE Daily Hydrating Cleanser, which just launched in Singapore, but while there I also tried their masks, which is what the brand was famous for before branching out into cleansers.

While testing out the whole range, my first immediate favorites were the new Thirsty Cleanse and the POWERMUD Dualcleanse Treatment. And after testing the products out more in depth at home, my first impressions were correct – they are still my favorites. The cleanser I was pretty much sold on because of the coconut scent – I’m a huge beach bum and it smells just like the beach. It’s a nice mud-to-foam cleanser for those with dry skin, which is perfect for me because my skin gets dry since my cleanser is so “harsh”, so I’ve been using it at night, and my skin loves it. Also, other reviews are showing that it’s also great for blemishes which is always a plus. The green mask smells of soft pear and is a mud-to-oil formula, which cleanses deep into the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and smooth.

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Ready to Get Naked (Again)?

HUGE beauty news – Urban Decay is releasing a new palette to their famous “NAKED” line. And you know what? While I thought the previous palettes were pretty, they weren’t for me. But I’m so excited for this one! You can check out xsparkage for the swatches; and it looks like I’m getting my first NAKED palette. I love every single color.


Beauty Tips for Long Haul Flights

It’s June! Summer vacation here we come! I’ve been taking long haul trips to Europe in the summer since I was a child (I have family there), and still do sometimes, so I’ve gathered some beauty tips over the years, whether it’s what I do or what I notice a lot of women doing!

On Board

  • While on the plane, try a facial moisturizer sprays to freshen up your face mid-air (by the way, you should be wearing zero makeup) as the cabin air can dry it out. A favorite is Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray.
  • Hands get insanely dry and so do your legs, so load up on moisturizer every once in awhile. You should also totally do this soft feet trick. A great hand cream is Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.
  •  The same goes for your lips. The skin on our lips is very thin and delicate, and is one of the fastest to dry up and can get very, very dry and cracked in the cabin air. It’s best to skip the lipgloss and lipsticks and instead go for an intense moisturizing lip balm. My favorite is Fresh Advance Treatment Lips, which doesn’t need constant re-applying since it’s so thick and hydrating.
  • Another thing you might want to try are sheet facial masks. I’ve seen a lot of women do this recently. When the lights go off, I’d be walking to the bathroom and see a pool of women before me with their masks on. It looks incredibly relaxing – like a mini spa experience in the air.

After The Flight

  • As you are landing, I’d recommend using a couple of facial wipes to clean your skin from all that “recycled air”. My favorite makeup wipes are these ones. It’s best not to pile on makeup before leaving your flight because it hasn’t been washed in a while, and it will only cause clogged pores and breakouts.
  • After you do get to have a shower and wash your face, reload on the moisturizer (face, hands and body) as you’ll feel the dry-effects from the plane for at least a day. Give your hair a good conditioning treatment if your hair tends to feel the effects from the flight, too.
  • As far as makeup after your flight, try to avoid any powder based makeup products (powder foundation, powder blush, etc), as powder will dry out your face more and even emphasize the momentary dryness in your skin. Stick to tinted moisturizers, cream blush and cream eyeshadows until your skin ‘recovers’ from the long-haul flight.

Today in Ridiculous Mascara Ads

If there’s one thing to know about beauty in advertising, it’s that mascara ads are the most ridiculous. So much so, that there’s now a law in the States that they have to put disclaimers in them; finally admitting what we’ve known all along – the models are wearing false eyelashes to “enhance” the look of the mascara.

So when I saw this little ad for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara (I think it’s new?), I just had to snap a photo. I’ll ignore the cheesy name, because the thing that really stuck out to me was the the “1,944% more volume” claim.

I mean… 1,944%?!

And then last month, at makeup school, while on lunch break with the others, the topic (obviously) turned to makeup, and I told them about this ridiculous new mascara I saw a few weeks back. And that’s when one of the girls got really excited and said how it’s her favorite and was wearing it; which shut me up ’cause I had just complimented her lashes that morning. They were seriously stunning – the perfect balance between naturally lush lashes and falsies; very long, nicely defined with volume that was there, but not so much that it clumped and looked super fake.

In other words: There might be some truth in that crazy ad! Stay tuned.