Sep 22, 2015

How To : Healthy Glowing Skin All Year Round

One of the key indicators for healthy skin is glowing radiant skin. In most parts of the world, the fall  and winter months are quickly approaching and that means that it is going to get cold. Putting our love for these two seasons aside, let's admit that they are notorious for leaving the skin dry and dull as the temperature dips for the worst.

So I know what you're thinking: how nice would it be to have radiant glowing skin despite the harsh autumn and winter months!

I'm here to tell all you ladies out there that it can be done!

Here are three ways you can achieve that summer glow all year round:

1. Glowing Skin Comes From Within

I'm a big believer that healthy skin starts with a good skincare routine. Whether you have been blessed with great skin or not-so-great skin, nurturing it with great love and care really does make a big impact to your outward appearance. Your skincare routine should target your skin's needs while still be simple enough to execute on the busy days.

I've been aware that products that promises 'radiance' and 'glow' are getting immensely popular these days. The high-end market is getting saturated with such products. Dior's Dream Skin and Estee Lauder's Nutritious Radiant Vitality Range have shared immense success in this region. Yet many are unaware that they often overcharge for something you could buy for much less.

So I have had the pleasure of reading the mechanisms behind some Clé de Peau products that promises to do just that. You will find out that the radiant skin is actually really simple to achieve.

Here's how those products work:

1. They have chemical exfoliants to smoothen your skin to even skin's texture
Basically, one of the key measures to the level of radiance and glow of your skin is the ability to reflect off light. When the texture of your skin is more even and smooth, your skin would be able to reflect off even more light, giving the appearance of radiant glowing skin!

Here's an analogy: visualise the surface of an apple versus an orange

To achieve the same result for less: incorporate chemical exfoliants like AHAs to your daily skincare routine.

What is AHAs?

2. They lighten your skin slightly

It's not rare to find a tad of whitening agents like niacinamide in these products. Having the skin a shade lighter does give the effect of a brighter looking skin.

To achieve the same result for less:
a simple homemade yogurt mask is incredibly easy and effective due to the natural bleaching agent. Simply mix it with a little oatmeal and apply to face for 15 mins.

The full recipe and benefits of the DIY mask can be found here.

3. It contains vitamin C

This is no surprise to those who have read my previous posts on the simple humble vitamin C. It is such a game changer to the level of glow in your skin and it is no wonder that such products are full of it!

Sadly, stable vitamin C products are generally more pricey but still something definitely worth considering because of 5 benefits we have discussed previously.

2. Let's Talk Make-up



This is my favourite look of all time. It's just a neutral look with a wash of highlight and bronzer through the cheekbones and the lids accompanied with a nude lip.

Simple yet incredibly flattering. 

My current favourite products to achieve such a look includes: 
MAC Mineralise Skinfinish - Soft & Gentle

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel - Bronzing base

Sleek Contour Kit - Light

Revlon Matte Balm - 205 Elusive
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate - 32

3. Good health for good skin!

Your skin can be a reflection of the state of your health. You know how your skin just looks blotchy and dull when you're ill and in need of sleep? Yeah, exactly that.

I believe these three components to be important in sustaining good health.

1. Exercise 

Beyond keeping in shape, incorporating some level of exercise in your schedule is great to release happy endorphins, maintain the physical state of your heart and keeps conditions like cardiovascular diseases at bay!

I do try to hit the gym at least twice a week and clock a few miles on the treadmill as much as I can. I also play tennis regularly which helps a lot. I do personally feel the difference when I am physically active and when I'm not. Do give it a go and tell me what you think! 

2. Sleep

I have to be honest, this is an area I struggle with the most and I'm sure most of you can relate to this as well. When work piles up and deadlines draw near, having enough shut eye may seem to much of a luxury to afford. Yet the fact remains that we need at least 6-8 hours of rest each night. 
It's a lot to ask for, trust me I know. Regardless, let us strive for it in the name of memory consolidation, mental health and for keeping certain diseases at bay!

3. DietI really believe that a well-nourished diet shows through. When we're talking about glowing skin, two things comes to mind - vitamins and minerals! I love food rich in vitamin A, C and E for regulating cell turnover rate as well as it's antioxidant properties. They include the everyday tomatoes and carrots to the more exotic grapefruits and papayas!

More recently, I have been in love with omega-3 fatty acids. They are crucial in maintaining the cell membrane in your cells, sustaining cardiovascular health and they are a well known anti-inflammatory agent! This could tone down any angry outbreaks and slow down the process of aging which has been argued to be associated to inflammation. According to a 2005 study from the Journal of Lipid Research, studies suggests that they could potentially block out UV-induced enzymes that could break down collagen increasing the rate of the aging process we all fear and dread. 

The possibilities are endless with the omega-3 fatty acids and I love it!

Incorporating it into our diet may be a tad problematic because having a salmon steak for dinner every other day is just not practical for the most of us, which is why I like superfoods like chia seeds as a simple yet effective way of incorporating it into my daily diet. 

It does not have to be boring either! Those residing in the US are in luck with sites like ALOHA to help  incorporate quality superfoods into your diet - fuss-free while still maintaining full-on flavour. I particularly like this recipe from ALOHA, where they incorporated the humble chia seeds and chocolate protein powder into a pudding.

Oh yes you heard me right.

Yummy and delicious but not so sinful chocolate pudding. 

This is especially great for ladies like me who just dislike the taste and texture of protein shakes. It is undeniably great to have for those physically active to aid the repair of those sore muscles after a good workout. 

Here's the recipe: 

5 Ingredient Chocolate Protein TEE-A (Chia) Pudding

This is a treat that you really can not feel guilty about. Omega-3s, protein, vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, and no refined sugar! I enjoy cooking with ALOHA Tea because it functions just like water and adds a delicious taste, without any added calories, sugar, or unnatural ingredients. Enjoy as a healthy breakfast or a satisfying dessert!


1/4 cup raw chia seeds

1 cup ALOHA Beauty Tea

1 serving ALOHA Chocolate Protein

1 packet ALOHA Daily Good Chocolate

3 tablespoons ALOHA Coconut

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Strawberry for garnish, if desired


Brew one bag of ALOHA Beauty Tea in 1 1/4 cup of water for ten to 15 minutes. Remove the bag and pour one cup of brewed tea into a small bowl or large glass. Add the chia seed and let them soak for an hour.

Add the ALOHA Chocolate ProteinALOHA Daily Good ChocolateALOHA Coconut, and the cinnamon and vanilla if desired. Combine lightly. Blend the mixture in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency. The chia takes a little while to breakdown evenly—I blended mine for about three minutes, stopping to mix it up with a spoon.

Spoon into a small dish, glass, or bowl. Top with a strawberry if you are feeling fancy.

Now this is just one of of the many recipes that they have, do check the rest of them out because they are all so creative while still maintaining a standard of health that we should all strive to have .
So one may not necessarily need to have the ALOHA food item to complete the recipe which is great. Should you wish to hop on the superfood ride, just know that there are sites like these available to help you gather all these superfoods from one place. Where majority of such food items are quality, fuss-free and best of all sin-free!

They need to have start international shipping soon because it is such an asset to have!

So I really do hope with these tips, you can now better achieve that healthy glow even as the colder months approaches. Do share with me what are your favourite ways to do so in the comment box down below, and of course share this post with those who could use the extra boost too.

Cheers to getting our glow on!


Jul 22, 2015

How to Choose a Vitamin C Product

The ingredients list hardly ever list it as just 'vitamin C '. It is usually hidden through the use of the scientific name of the vitamin C derivative. This post will show you exactly how to spot vitamin C in any product and thereafter, choose the best vitamin C product for your skin!

What to avoid: 

Ascorbic acid (aka L-ascorbic acid)

 Ascorbic acid is by the far the most unstable form of vitamin C available. Yet this is also often the ingredient I find in, specifically, the 'vitamin C' labelled products.  We already know products specifically marketed as a 'vitamin C product' are generally pricier than the average lot. Having this particular form of the vitamin in your product is definitely not what you want to be wasting your money on.

Here is why:

Being unstable in nature, it could potentially get oxidised before it can be absorbed by your skin. This would then deny your skin the great skin benefits discussed last week in: 5 Reasons You Want to Have Vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine. Thereby defeating the purpose of buying the product altogether.

Here is the list of products (or sadly, the entire range) I've found with ascorbic acid:

  • La-Roche Posay Redermic C range
  • The Body Shop Vitamin C range
  • Philosophy Turbo Booster C powder
  • Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum

What to look out for: 

Vitamin E
Before we hop on to the stable forms of Vitamin C, all should know that the better types of Vitamin C products contains vitamin E. Why? Some studies have found that the combination of Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to increase the potential of Vitamin C by four times!

TIP: Look for key terms like 'tocopherol' or anything similar

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
MAP or alternately, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is one of the most stable and preferred Vitamin C derivative. It is easily absorbed into the skin and has a hydrating effect as an added bonus.

Such products includes:
  • Philosophy Microdelivery in-home Vitamin C Peptide Peel ( MAP)
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster
    ( Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate + Sodium Hyaluronate)**
  • Murad Advanced Active Repair Serum
    Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate + Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate+Ascorbic Acid + Glycolic Acid + Sodium Hyaluronate)**
  • Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimising Skin Finisher (MAP + Hyaluronic acid)**
  • bareMinerals bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
      (MAP + Vitamin E + Sodium hyaluronate)**

Alternatively, other useful Vitamin C derivatives are: 

  1. Ascorbyl Palmitate or Tetraisopalmitate
  2. Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate
  3. Ascorbyl Glucoside
  4. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
TIP: Just look for key terms like 'Ascorbyl' or 'Ascorbate'.

Such products includes:

  • Innisfree Eco Science White C Pore Double Serum
    (Ascorbyl Glucoside)
  • Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28
    (Ascorbyl Glucoside + Salicylic acid + Zinc PCA)***
  • Garnier Light Complete Multi Action Whitening Cream with Express White Complex SPF 20 PA +++ (Ascorbyl Glucoside + Salicylic acid)
  • Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus (Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate)
  • Philosophy Eye Hope (Ascorbyl Glucoside + Vitamin E + Sodium Hyaluronate)**
  • Dior Capture Totale One Essential Skin Boosting Super serum
     (Ascorbyl Glucoside 
    + Vitamin E + Salicylic acid + Lactic acid)*
  • Estee Lauder Nutritious Rosy Prism Radiant Essence
    etrahexyldecyl Ascorbate)
  • Estee Lauder Resilience lift firming/sculpting face & neck creme SPF 15
    ( Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphates + Hyaluronic acid + Caffiene)
  • Estee Lauder Perfectionist  [CP + R] Wrinkle Lifting/ Firming Serum
    (Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphates + Hyaluronic acid)
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum
    (Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphates)
  • Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator (Ascorbyl Glucoside)
  *: To read more on Lactic Acid click: Clear Skin & Anti-aging : AHAs
 **: To read more on Hyaluronic Acid click: Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid
***: To read more on Salicylic Acid click: Clear Skin: Exfoliation is Key ( Salicylic Acid)

Caution with Ascorbyl Palmitate or Tetraisopalmitate: 

Study indicated that during the day where UV exposure is prominent, the palmitate component actually does more harm than good! It actually became toxic to the cells in your skin! Thus intensifying skin damage and possibly promoting cancer.

You'd be surprised to find the number of products actually containing this ingredient. Even more frightening is how this ingredient is in a multitude of every-day products like your moisturisers and BB creams etc.

Verdict: Use products containing palmitates at night or none at all. 

Additionally, always read the ingredients list.

Some of these includes:

  • Garnier Light Instant Fairness BB Moisturiser
    ( Ascorbyl Palmitate)
  • Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-wrinkle Defence Serum
    Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate + vitamin E)
  • Philosophy Take Shelter UVA/UVB SPF 30 PA+++ sunscreen
    (Ascorbic acid + Ascorbyl Palmitate)
  • Philosophy Full of Promise Restoring Eye Duo
    ( Ascorbyl Glucoside + Vitamin E + Caffiene + Ascorbyl Palmitate + Ascorbic Acid)
  • Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++
    Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate + Ascorbyl Palmitate)
  • Shiseido White Lucent All Day Brightener Broad SpectrumSPF 20
    Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate + 
     2-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid + Sodium Hyaluronate)
  • La Praire Celluar Swiss Ice Crystal Cream
    (Ascorbyl Palmitate + Ascorbic Acid + Sodium Hyaluronate)
    I've come to realise that the bigger brands are typically more generous when it comes to adding stable vitamin C into their products. A special mention to Estee Lauder for consistently pushing out a variety of products loaded with stable and safe vitamin C too.

    That being said, it is now obvious that the price points of these vitamin C products may not be the most affordable of the lot. This is one aspect where drugstore brands needs to really up their game. I think that stable vitamin C products should be affordable for all to use.


    When it comes to vitamin C products, the general rule of thumb is: the more stable the better.

    Best of luck ladies!

    Till then,


    May 7, 2015

    5 Reasons to Add Vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine

    We all know we need some good ol' vitamin C in our diet, with a cuppa OJ on some days and supplements on the other. The question is, do we really need it in our skincare routine?

    Of course, there is no vitamin product can ever replace that of a good healthy diet, rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins. Yet, let us not forget applying it directly to your skin too, because even despite a rich diet, there is still insufficient vitamin C delivered to the skin.

    (to read in-depth about the dermatology click here and here)

    1. Stimulates Collagen

    As we age, the collagen in our skin starts to break down forming the folds and lines we all dread- wrinkles.  There is no total prevention against it. However, that doesn't mean that we can't delay the process.

    Increasing collagen production in our skin means that we can minimise the total impact of the ageing process. This is a great for people of all ages, even for ladies in their early 20's!

    You know what they say, prevention is better than cure.

    2. Anti-oxidant 

    Vitamin C is a widely known anti-oxidant. It can protect your skin (and health) from environmental damage, namely the harmful free radicals

    What many do not know is that this property also helps to further reduce the harmful effects of UV rays . It is thus recommended for use with sunscreens to optimise UV protection further.

    So essentially, sunscreens with vitamin C can better protect your skin!

    If you've read my thoughts on Philosophy's Take Shelter sunscreen here, I mentioned my surprise that there was vitamin C in a common sunscreen product. Well, now we know why.

    3.  Radiant Healthy Skin

    Radiant skin is all the trend nowadays, with most, if not all, of the high-end brands launching new products to deliver just that. One of the more popular range I've noticed is the Estee Lauder Nutritious Vitality/Rosy Prism range.

    Regardless of the brand or the product, most items that promises radiance and glow contains some sort of vitamin C. 
    Although they usually do not label it as 'Vitamin C' in the ingredients list. Rather, the scientific name of the compound like 'Ascorbyl Glucoside' ! 

    Not that I was crazy enough to check the ingredients list of THAT many products, of course. 

    4. Lightens Dark Spots 

    Similar to point 3, vitamin C is also commonly found in whitening/ dark-spot correcting products because of its ability to fight hyperpigmentation 

    5. Promotes Healing & Repair

    This is one that is often disregarded in the beauty industry. Simply because it does not offer much visible change. 

    We can't tell if it truly works, they said.

    Well, this is one of those things that needs a little faith. It is indeed proven scientifically and it will ensure the maintenance of healthy skin, inside and out. This is especially crucial during the spring and summer months when the skin's exposure to UV radiation increases, and your skin needs to boost to repair possible UV and DNA damage.

    Furthermore, it is known to be anti-inflammatory. So fret no longer should any angry breakouts appear, apply some vitamin C and say goodbye to the swelling skin.


    Most of the ladies are constantly on the hunt to find an all-in-one product. Find no more, for your answer lies in the simple, humble vitamin C. It is after all, anti-aging, protects your skin from environmental damage, brightens dull complexion, treats dark spots and aids in the healing and repair of your skin.

    If that's not enough still, the list has yet to be exhausted. There is still more we've yet to discover on the effects of vitamin C on our skin!

    Before you go around buying any vitamin C product you see down the aisles, not all are effective. I will talk about which type of vitamin derivative to look out for and which type is most susceptible to break down in my next post.

    Stay tuned!


    Apr 21, 2015

    Estee Lauder 50% Sale - Bobbi Brown & M.A.C Haul!

    Every year in Singapore, the Estee Lauder group hosts a private sale where most of the items go at least 50% off. I was one of the lucky few who managed to get a ticket from a friend who works at M.A.C. If you were not aware, Estee Lauder companies includes many of the brands we've come to know and love.

    Here is a partial list of the companies under them:
    • M.A.C
    • Bobbi Brown
    • Clinique
    • Origins
    • DKNY
    • Tommy Hilfiger 
    • Michael Kors
    • Ermenegildo Zegna
    • Tom Ford Beauty 
    • La Mer
    • Smashbox
    • Jo Malone
    To see the full list of companies under the Estee Lauder group, you can check out their website here.

    Not every brand mentioned in the list participated in the sale though. The brands who participated were namely M.A.C, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Origins, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and of course, Estee Lauder. 

    It's not all as glamorous as it sounds too. This was one of the most competitive sales that I have ever been to. Never mind that the full range of products were not available, the bestsellers, should they even participate in the sale, were gone in the first fifteen minutes into the sale. 

    It was that competitive. 

    On to the actual haul, here are the items I managed to get:

    Shade: 3 pan palette, eyeshadow in no. 10 Mahogany and no. 4 Taupe (from left to right)

    Bobbi Brown Eyeshadows

    Sale price:  SGD 12 = USD 8.90 
    Retail price (Singapore stores vs Sephora in the U.S.): SGD 37  = USD 24.00 (according to U.S Sephora)

    Despite the picture above, Taupe is a warm chocolate brown shade with some orange undertones that is a lovely shade to sweep all over the lid. On the other hand, Mahogany is a really great brow colour for those with really dark hair. A cool brown shade with grey undertones is what every lady needs for a perfect sculpted brow. 

    Bobbi Brown 3 Pan Palette

    Sale price: SGD 5 = USD 3.70
    Retail price: SGD 30 = USD 10

    I think that this was the best buy out of all the items that day. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this palette is? It's simple yet classy at the same time. 

    I had a little shock when I found out the actual retail price of the palette though. If I knew it was 30 dollars I probably would have bought more.
    Shade: no. 3 Natural

    Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15
    Sale Price : SGD 33 = USD 24.40
    Retail Price: SGD 75 = USD 48

    This was probably an impulsive buy on my part, seeing that I already own a handful of foundations. Plus, it was a real gamble since I have never heard nor tried Bobbi Brown foundations. Needless to say, I was on the hunt for a good oil-control foundation that was both light and breathable. My all-time favourite foundation: Revlon Colorstay Foundation proved to be a little too high maintenance.

    Shade : Light

    M.A.C Blot Powder

    Sale price: SGD 22 = USD 16.30
    Retail Price: SGD 32 = USD 26.00

    Funny to say, this was the only item on my to-buy list when I went for the sale. I grew tired of my Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. I  also needed something stronger to tame my overly-active oil glands on my skin. Apparently, this powder was the most highly recommended oil-control powder on Makeupvalley and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to test it out myself. 

    On a side note, this powder broke on the 4th day I had it. Who would have thought that dropping it on a carpeted surface would have done the deal? It has since been mended with rubbing alcohol but be warned - extremely fragile.

    All in all, the Estee Lauder sale proved to be really worthwhile. I think that despite walking away with more items than planned, it was still a good buy overall. It was a pity that that I didn't walk away with any skincare items this time round though. I was eyeing on the Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion for a quite awhile now, but it were all snatched before I could even step into the counter. 

    I do hope you enjoyed reading this post! I do know that I haven't been posting regularly and that was because I was busy working. Not to worry, posts would become more regular now. Feel free to comment below on what posts you'd like to read and don't forget to give a like on Bloglovin or share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

    Till then,

    Mar 9, 2015

    Beginner's Guide to Korean Skincare : Top 3 Brands to Try

    Korean skincare and make-up have been really popular recently. It's not hard to see why- Koreans have beautiful skin. I do know a handful of Korean ladies, and each of them seem to have this smooth porcelain complexion with hardly any imperfections or pore in sight. They are definitely doing something right in their skincare routine, and I know I definitely want in on their secret.

    For the past two months I have had the opportunity to work in a cosmetic duty-free shop at the airport, which had both the common high-end brands we all know and love, but also a wide variety of Korean brands. So I was able to learn some of the well loved Korean products and I'm here to share with you some of them.

    1. Leaders Insolution and Mediheal sheet masks

    These two sister brands makes the best sheet masks out there. Don't underestimate these humble sheet masks, but these masks packs a serious punch. The sheets are drenched in its solution, which means you don't get a run for your money like some other masks out there. More importantly, they are so effective in what they do. It really feels as if my skin transforms each time I put it on. The most obvious results comes from the whitening masks. I got a little shock when I washed off the remains of my mask to see my skin get a shade lighter instantly. (You don't have to wash your face after, it's just that I personally prefer it) Even though they have a wide variety of masks to cater to different skin concerns, each masks provides intense hydration too. My skin feels plump and supple every single time. I'm in love. 

    Those found in the duty-free shops typically comes in a pack of ten, and sells from a range of SGD  $23.00 to SGD 48.10.

    Alternatively, some of the masks are sold individually at selected Watsons and Guardian from a range of SGD $3.10 to SGD $ 3.50. The drawback is that they are extremely hard to find and they only carry a limited range.

    What to look out for: 


    1. Mediheal N.M.F Aquaring Ampuole Masks

    2. Leaders Insolution Aquaringer Mask

    Leaders Insolution Hydrogel Eye Therapy Patch(Coincidentally also mentioned by Zoella in her Feb favourites)

    Beware, the products specified above flies off the shelf everyday even though it is regularly restocked.

    2. Laneige

    Laneige is slowly getting more international recognition in recent years with the release of it's Laneige BB cushion. With a few special mentions in Michelle Phan's and Lisa Eldrige's video as well as participating in subscription boxes like Ipsy in the US and Bellabox in Singapore.

    More recently, they're skincare line have proved to be a big hit in the Asian market. Sleeping Packs are such a big thing right now, and their Water Sleeping Pack_EX is currently leading the charts.

    What is a Sleeping Pack though?

    It's basically a cream/gel mask, jam packed with hydration and benefits that is applied before sleep and washed off only in the morning. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and is even said to contain essential oils to relax the mind for a good nights rest.

    What to look out for:

    1. Water Sleeping Pack_EX

    2. Water Bank Water Essence_EX & Water Bank Gel Cream_EX

    2. Moisture Foam Cleanser

    3. Innisfree

    Innisfree too, is slowly becoming more internationally recognised with it's best selling Jeju volcanic pore clay mask. It's Jeju volcanic pore cleansing foam is also my current favourite cleanser. I have written reviews on the clay mask and cleanser that you can check out.

    People generally like this brand because it is so affordable and different from most brands out there. Using ingredients unique to Asia, they have crafted a wide variety of skincare lines to suit different skin types and concerns. It is also a brand that heavily promotes itself as being natural and eco-friendly.

    What to look out for other than the ones already mentioned:


    1. The Green Tea Seed Serum

    2. Green Tea Pure Sleeping Pack

    3. Green Tea Seed Cream

    Of course, there are a multitudes of Korean brands out there, and I have barely scratched the surface of them. Yet, I really believe that these three brands are a good introduction to the world of Korean beauty, for now at least. Do tell me what you think of them if you have tried some of these already!

    Don't forget to share this on Google+, Facebook and Twitter should you found this helpful and of course, give a 'Like' on Bloglovin.

    Till then,

    Jan 26, 2015

    The One Thing to Consider Before Using a Make-Up Sponge

    Make up sponges have grown vastly popular in the past few years. Ever since the advent of the Beauty Blender, the market have since been flooded with a variety of sponges. From the high-end, we have companies like Dior and Shu Umera boasting the latest high-tech sponges that probably costs way more than what a sponge should ever cost. Whereas on the other spectrum we have knock-offs that only sells for a couple of dollars on eBay.

    They are popular for good reasons. The first and most important reason: it leaves your foundation looking airbrushed and seamless. No more nasty cakey make-up!

    That being said, I must admit that  have never jumped on board with the whole Make-Up Sponge hype. 

    Shocking, I know. 

    Let me explain why:

    Despite it's easy application and flawless finish it leaves on your skin, I greatly question the hygiene level of constantly having a damp make-up sponge. No, this isn't about foundation residue left on your sponge, this is about bacteria and mould!

    Sponges, unlike the old-school brushes, simply takes too long to dry. The emphasis here is no longer the method of cleaning, but the method of drying. Why? It's simple. The longer the sponge stays damp, the greater the chances of it attracting bacteria and mould!

    Some ladies I know aren't too bothered with that fact because they are assured of its cleanliness as long as it is physically clean of foundation residues and what not. As with anything in life:

    Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.

    Here's some proof:

    "The warm, damp and porous nature of kitchen sponges make them an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. In these conditions one bacterium can multiply to more than four million in just eight hours.
    This can make them up to 200 times more infested than a lavatory. A study by the University of Arizona found that most sponges in kitchens hold large numbers of bacteria including E.coli and salmonella." - source

    Granted, we're not talking about kitchen sponges here. Though the idea is the same - make-up sponges can be indeed warm, damp and they are in fact porous. Yes, even with the best cleaning solutions or microwaving it.

    Additionally, the egg-shaped or spherical nature of the sponge further aggravates the drying time. Especially in the core of the sponge. So while it may be dry to touch, the centre of the sponge may still be damp enough to harbour unwanted bacteria.

    Not convinced?

    Ever found some black specks on your make-up sponge? Those are mould! It happened to me on the second day that I've bought one. Despite how new it was, I couldn't bear the thought of having mould come in contact with my skin. With great reluctance, I threw it out and never looked backed since.

    Take heart, not all is lost!

    There is one way where you can have the similar flawless finish of a make-up sponge all whilst maintaining tip-top hygiene standards for your face.

    It's none other than: Disposable Wedge sponges

    I'm not talking about any disposable make-up sponges, but the ones that look like a wedge. Sure, for those who have had the Beauty Blender and fallen in love with the soft bouncy texture of the sponge, this is hardly a close substitute. I'm just going to say it: It's not the most fancy nor is it the most appealing sponge you have ever seen. What it is though, the closest hygienic substitute there is to date.

    There is a method I use to mimic the bouncing action of the Beauty Blender too.

    How I do it:

    1. Taking the two ends of the dampened wedge, pinch it together until you get an almost spherical shape on the other end

    2. Just like a normal make up sponge, bounce the sponge on a up and down motion until your foundation is blended seamlessly

    3. Dispose used sponge after

    That's as simple as it gets! I get a 12-piece pack for SGD $2 at Daiso, but I found a 100 piece pack on eBay for USD 6.99 with free shipping here. Though once again, I stress that this is by no means a good substitute for the good ol' Beauty Blender. Rather, the closest alternative that is clean and hygienic.

     I understand that this post is not for everyone, nor will the majority agree with this post. If you've been using a make-up sponge for a long duration now, and have not broken out then then you probably have a great immunity against such things. (Lucky)  I'm just not one of the people whose skin can tolerate such things.

    Despite it all, I hope you'd tell me your experiences with make-up sponges and if you've had experienced something similiar. Don't forget to share it on Google+, Twitter and Facebook if you've found this useful!

    P.S I have been unable to reply to your comments directly, but I still do reply to all comments. Do check back from time to time to see them, or click 'Notify Me' on the comment box below.

    Have a great day ahead!


    Jan 7, 2015

    The One Skincare Item Every Woman Needs - Apple Cider Vinegar

    There are some revolutionary skincare items that will be shared with my children and grandchildren. This is one of them. Along with my favourite mask recipe that you can find here.

    Apple Cider Vinegar has been a crucial step to my skin routine for the past 4 years. It was a major game changer when I was still struggling with my acne. It also dramatically changed the way my skin looked and felt.

    It helps to reduce and treat breakouts, has anti-bacterial properties, has a naturally occurring Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) to help to naturally exfoliate the skin which hence give it some anti-aging property. Need I say more? The truth is, I can't live without this. Trust me, I've tried.

    What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

    No, it's not those clear vinegar you find in your kitchen cabinet. Apple Cider Vinegar is a light brown liquid which might or might not have brown sedimentation at the bottom. To cut the long story short, it's fermented crushed apple juice, where the sugars in the apples are converted to alcohol which is then allowed to oxidise to acid. It contains acetic acid and some malic acid, lactic acid and citric acid.

    How It Works

    Antibacterial properties

    The acetic acid component in Apple Cider Vinegar have proved to be anti-bacterial. This is great for those who are prone to breakouts as many cases of acne can be attributed to P. acnes bacteria. I talked about how P.acnes bacteria causes acne in my post Clear Skin: The Cause of Breakouts.



    Apple Cider Vinegar contains naturally derived Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA) mainly in the form of malic acid which is a chemical exfoliant. It gently slough away dead skin cells on the skin's surface while stimulating cell turnover. The AHA component have been proven to be effective in treating acne, which is what I attribute my success with Apple Cider Vinegar to.

    You can read more about AHA in my post Clear Skin and Anti-ageing: AHA.


    pH balance: 

    Some sources have noted that Apple Cider Vinegar have the ability to restore the skin's natural pH at 4.5-5.5. They mentioned that our skin may become more alkaline with the regular use of facial cleansers, which may make it more susceptible to acne breakouts.

    Another concern that I did not talk about in my posts on Salicylic acid and AHA products is the pH level. The concern is that the products might not be acidic enough for it to genuinely be effective. This has never been a major concern of mine because of my regular use of my Apple Cider Vinegar toner underneath those products.


    Like apple juice, Apple Cider Vinegar likely contains some pectin. Studies have found it to promote the growth of epidermal skin cells and hence fight skin ageing. I read about it here


    According to various sources, Apple Cider Vinegar also contains some vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E along with other thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene and lycopene.
    This information have not been proven to a great extent. Like many claims on the internet, I would take it with a pinch of salt. 


    Said to be high in potassium whilst containing other minerals like sodium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Again, there has been little proof.

    Which brand of Apple Cider Vinegar?

    My all time favourite is the one by BRAGG. It's raw, unfiltered, organic and certified non-GMO ( Genetically Modified Organism). According to them, the unfiltered vinegar contains the apple peel which is rich in antioxidants. Since it's raw, it is unpasteurised which helps to retain the apple enzymes.

    Don't be deceived by the cloudy dirty-looking 'gunk' at the bottom of the bottle too! Those strands are enzyme protein molecules, which are highly regarded for health and nutritional benefits.

    How I use it: 

    Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

    What you'll need:

    1. Air-tight glass jar

    2. Unfiltered and raw Apple Cider Vinegar (not the clear ones)

    3. Cooled green tea/ distilled water


    In a air-tight glass jar, mix one teaspoon/tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to 3 teaspoon/tablespoon of room temperature green tea or distilled water.

    This is the starting concentration I would recommend to any who are just starting on Apple Cider Vinegar. Chill toner in the refrigerator to minimise any irritation and for a greater pore minimising effect when applied to the skin. The maximum concentration I have tried and will recommend is 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar : 2 tablespoon green tea /distilled water.

    Tone using a cotton pad after cleansing, preferably at night. It does smell a bit, hence I wouldn't recommend using it in the day. If the smell gets too much, dilute mixture further.

    Note: Using green tea may be great for its anti-oxidising effects, but do note that the 'shelf-life' of your toner will dramatically shorten due to the natural oxidation process that green tea undergoes. I opt for distilled water on lazy days.

    Side effects: 

    Like any AHA, there may be some minor side effects like stinging or burning that may be felt. Dilute it further if any minor irritations occur. Do not use it on broken skin or it will sting!


    Of course, there are still insufficient studies conducted on many of these claims. Like everything else, just because it have not been proven does not make it less true nor more false. I can only share with you my experiences because it helped my skin so much, it'd be a great pity not to.

    It's also important to note that like any other product on the market, results varies from person to person. My success may not necessarily translate to yours. A general thumb rule I carry is: you know your skin better than any one else. So if any irritation gets too much, remove and rinse with water.

    Do remember to share this post on Google+, Facebook and Twitter if you've found this useful!

    Till then,