Archive for the ‘How-to’ Category

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Spring’s Beauty

February 26, 2008

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Credit: style.com 

 

This picture from Burberry Prorsum sums up THIS season’s beauty model. It’s extremely rare that the faces of models this season is left almost unscathed by bronzer, isn’t it? Don’t you remember a couple of years ago when self-tanner and a deep bronze tan reigned supreme? I think it was featured so strongly in Versace and other major labels.

 

I think this look  in the picture is super easy to achieve. Super smooth and flawless skin is obviously the main focus, so EXFOLIATE AND MOISTURIZE! I like Dermalogica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant. Moisturizer is vital. Try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer (comes with SPF15, if you like). This leaves your skin surface moisturized and well primed. To give an extra radiance boost to your skin, don’t hesitate to use a primer. Try Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer SPF20. It leaves the skin with a great glow and just enough radiance to seem like you’re glowing from within. 

 

 

Now that you’ve gotten the base right, lightly highlight your face with the very fabulous and my number 1 must-have product YSL Touche Eclat in Number 2 Ivory. Apply it to the planes of the face – your cheekbones, down the nose, the inside of your eye and the brow bone. Now, what you’ve got to do is to contour your cheekbones very lightly – none of that whole harsh lines thing going on. Lightly brush a little of bronzer – I love M.A.C’s Bronzing Powder in Bronze – under your cheekbones to give it a little of definition. Don’t go overboard. Very-much-less is more.

 

 

As you can tell, the eyes were kept very natural – I reckon a touch of the YSL Touche Eclat can counter any darkness caused by late nights. As for the lips, a light pink gloss was used – those Stila lip glosses are superb at giving that shine!Tune in for more of my little tricks and tips! 

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Summer Bronze!

June 4, 2007

I know so many of my friends who are obsessed with the thought of being bronze. With summer well on its way, the bronze movement has never been stronger. For so many reasons, tanned skin is a must-have. To be honest, I find self-tanning a little too time-consuming and a little too troublesome…

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May I introduce M.A.C’s bronzing powder in Bronze? This is so natural, anyone and everyone will believe that you actually got a tan. Ok, a lot of people get the application wrong, and a lot of times, it looks quite funny. Note: strategic application slims the face too! The trick to looking bronze is applying sparingly, and cleverly choosing the right bronzer. A little shimmer in the bronzer will perk skin up and prevent the extremely matte face. Only someone who has a very symmetrical and tiny face can pull the matte face off. Dip a brush into the powder, and then jerk the brush to remove excess. Then, sweep it across the cheekbones, brow, and nose – basically anywhere the sun would hit. (I’ve got a trick for this. Stand directly under a round light, and look at the shadows/light).

To slim the face down, this requires practice and you don’t want to look like a euro-trash Italian over-tanned creature. Again, stand directly under a round light and look at the shadows. With a VERY LIGHT hand, brush the bronzer on the shadows and remember to keep it LIGHT! To get razor sharp cheekbones, suck in your cheeks and apply bronzer in the sucked-in-areas. Then, to finish the look, you can apply YSL Touche Eclat on your cheekbones to your temples to highlight your face.

A tip for selecting bronzers: flat, terra-cotta hues makes skin muddy, and a bronzer with too much shimmer makes your skin look like a disco ball. Remember that you shouldn’t scrimp when it comes to bronzer as the cheap bronzers have got shimmer particles that are far too large and visible. I recommend MAC’s bronzers and NARS’ Laguna Bronzer.

P.S Feel free to leave comments! =)

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Beautifying yourself in public

May 15, 2007

What and what not to do in public? Yes or no to powder your nose?

I’m sure many have seen others beautifying themselves in public, but should it be so? I remember reading an article about French women, and what they leangths they would go to to prevent anyone from finding out what they do to look fabulous. For example, some French women will NEVER tell anyone which salon they went to to get their highlights, or what kind of moisturizer they use. I think one have to draw the line on what one can and cannot do in public.

Today, while in the bus that I jumped on to get to college, there was this middle-aged, plump and somewhat dowdy looking lady sitting diagonally from me. She started digging through her Hello Kitty bag (mind you, she’s 30+. Well, that’s what she looks like anyway..), and she whipped out this Boots No7 Nail polish bottle. It looked orangey red – not a pretty shade at all. I thought she had just bought it and wanted to look at the colour, but she started peeling off the plastic covering and I started to get suspicious. Was this woman going to paint her nails in public? Surely not! I mean, that’s just so uncouth! Anyway, back to this. She started by painting her left thumb nail, and then shut the bottle. Admiring her painted thumb nail, she then opened up the bottle to paint some the rest of her nails! Not only was the bus filled with that icky nail polish smell, this woman had no shame! I kind of laughed out loud when this guy his her arm by accident, thus causing her to paint some of the awful polish on the chair.

So, I think there should be several rules and guidelines to apply to beautifying oneself in public. What’s acceptable, and what isn’t? This is solely my opinion, and I’m just suggesting.

Acceptable:
Powdering your nose or just whipping out the compact to check your face – as long as you’re not reapplying your foundation. I’ve seen this being done in the tube before, so don’t laugh!
Slick of lip gloss/balm is ok – but do this tastefully and please apply it WITHIN your lips. Once, I’ve seen this teenager apply fire engine RED lipstick, and smudged it on one side. Yes, she looked like the joker.
Blotting with a tissue – just make sure that no tissue pieces get stuck on your face.
Hand/cuticle cream.

What’s NOT acceptable…EVER!!!
Painting your nails.
Clipping/filing your nails. – This is just disgusting.
Reapplying your make-up – This includes eyeshadow, mascara, the works. I’ve seen this woman actually apply her make up in the tube. Laughable, really.
Blotting you face with face blotters. – Who the hell wants to see your oil? Bleh!

Tell me below on what you think is acceptable and unacceptable!

P.S Feel free to leave comments! =)

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Get that look – Carolyn Murphy

May 12, 2007

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It’s the skin we all want. It’s the kind of skin we all try to obtain, but is it possible? Of course it is. Here are some secrets on how to get plumped, healthy, lovely skin. Sure, it might seem to take a lot, but it’s definitely worth it when you look into the mirror when you’re 50 and don’t see your face melting.

I’ve talked a lot about skin care before, and you know my stand on skin care.

To get Carolyn Murphy’s look, it is essential to have clean, and fresh skin.

1. Exfoliate using either a chemical or physical scrub. This removes dead skin cells that may cause your skin to look dull. I recommend Laura Mercier Face Polish.

2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Obviously, use something that’s suitable to your skin type. For normal to oily skins, I strongly recommend SK-II Facial Treatment Solution or Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion. For normal to dry skins, use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer to hydrate the skin. Remember to wait for the moisturizer to sink in before proceeding.

3. Primer is essential. What primer is is that it smooths out the skin, fills in pores, lines and provides a smooth and fresh canvas for what’s going on top of it. Nars Primer is fantastic. So is Laura Mercier’s.

4. Foundation or tinted moisturizer – your pick. Depending on how much coverage you need, choose your pick. A tip to get your base super real and natural, blend it in using your fingers AND in swirling motions, also, blend it out and down. Apply concealer where needed. And use YSL Touche Eclat for under the eyes.

5. Illuminators and radiance enhancers. Too many people use a too-white illuminator, and it looks bloody fake. That shouldn’t be the way. You’re supposed to look like you’re lit up from within. YSL complexion enhancer gives you a natural glow. Simply pat in and then use a sponge to blend it in. Apply it on your brow bone, cheekbones and your cupid’s bow.

6. Bronzer to sculpt. Suck your cheeks in to look like a skeleton, and then lightly brush bronzer towards your temples. Apply a little to the forehead, nose and chin. Don’t forget your decolletage! MAC and Nars do fantastic ones.

7. If you look carefully at Carolyn’s eyes, it’s natural, but yet still very glamourous. The brows are to be neat and the lashes are long and mascara-ed. My dear friend MissT swears by Lancome‘s mascara, and Diorshow Mascara. (Tip: My friend uses Shu Uemura‘s mascara base underneath.)

8. The eye make-up here looks natural and very glowy. All you should use is just liner, and 2 colours. Line both top and bottom of your eyes, and make sure there are NO smudges at all. Use a gold eyeshadow and apply it all over the lid, including near the tear duct – near the nose bridge. Then, use a light brown shadow and apply to the inside crease.

9. Lip colour, as seen above, should be natural, and glamourous. Use a natural coloured liner and fill the entire lip, and gloss the entire lip area.

Hold your head high, and look glamourous!

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How to dress for your body shape, Part 1 – Curves

May 1, 2007

I know of loads of ladies who simply don’t dress according to their body shapes. I’m not an expert in this, but I do know about body shapes. There are a truckload of ladies who have got a curvy shape (UK size 14 onwards). How do you go from casual to chic? The most important things is about embracing your shape and stop hiding those curves. Fitted tops and wide legged trousers are very useful to emphasise the great curves and create that lusted-for hourglass look.

An example of an outfit one can try for the day around town is a chic smock top which hem hits just below the waist. Pair this with a pair of slightly boot legged jeans, heels and a nice bag, and it spells chic!

The thing about boot legged jeans on curvier women is that it should skim that thigh, and then go all the way down to the floor. Note that a too-tight pair of jeans will create a muffin top and is unsightly. The worst colour for curvy ladies is white and powder blue. The too-light wash of the jeans cause the illusion of a wide bottom, and that is something that no one would want to aim for, right? Skinny jeans are fine, BUT the jeans have to be of a dark wash AND the hem of the jeans should NOT be strangling the ankle.

Another wonderful outfit that DM actually picked out and wore was: a blue, slightly bubble smock top with puffy sleeves, a large black leather belt just below the bust, and black skinny jeans with heels and her YSL Muse. It was gorgeous, and showed that one can take a trend and make it work with one’s body shape.

Leggings are alomst a no-go for obvious reasons.

I know that the whole thick belt trend came in more than a year ago, and loads of curvy women wanted to work the trend. A word of caution. A thick wide belt placed at the hip will ACCENTUATE the hip area and make it wider than it should be. This accessory should be placed right under the bust to cinch in the waist. If, and only if, one wants to wear the belt near the hip, have one side of the belt sit higher than the other – this diagonally “cuts” the body, and makes the body look slimmer.

Trousers are wonderful at making one look slimmer and taller. Pin striped are undoubtedly the best. Always buy trousers that are 100% or have a silk/wool blend. Never buy trousers that have materials that are too clingy. If you iron your trousers, iron it in such a way that there is a line going down the entire leg. This gives the shape and illusion of a longer leg and instantly makes one taller. Again, never buy a pair that is too small or too big. Tailors are there for a reason.

I do know of some curvy women who absolutely LOVE to wear skirts. Tulle skirts are fabulous! Remember the 1940s prom dresses? The one with the super sweet top half and the full tulle skirt? Those work so well with curves and they create this chic look! Just don’t pair them with trainers like how potty-mouthed Lily Allen does. Vintage stores have loads of this, so do look out for it. A pencil skirt is insanely sexy as well. Just remember to allow the hem to hit right at the knee, and if you’ve got great calves, show them off and make them look tauter with 4 inch heels.

P.S Feel free to leave comments! =)

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Style Don’ts

April 19, 2007

I was walking to college the other day, and spotted soooo many awful stuff that people were wearing. It struck me that they actually think they look good in those outfits.

1. Leggings under denim mini is fine if you’re super skinny.
One of the awful girls in college, who’s like super huge, wore this one day to college. I swear that I wanted to dig my eyes out. It was hideous!

2. Cover up, please.
Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw from SATC, or VB circa 2005 World Cup season, or Lindsay Lohan, why the hell ARE YOU EXPOSING YOUR BRA? A very curvy Latvian girl in college wore a too-low top that exposed her ugly black bra. Yes, it did get a lot of stares, but of the wrong kind. At least wear pretty underwear!

3. Belly exposed? That’s so 1990s.
Bleh, especially if one has not only a muffin top but a cake top.

4. Hair should always be made-to-measure to fit your face shape.
I can’t emphasize how important it is to have hair that fits your face shape. The awful too-curvy girl in college straightened her hair, and now, it looks like she’s a china doll with lard pumped forcefully in.

5. For goodness sake, you’re not a hooker.
I know of this other girl who wears her 5″ patent red pumps to college. 5″ heels TO COLLEGE. My impression was “omg, SLUT”

P.S Feel free to leave comments!

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How to have shiny hair.

April 14, 2007

I had lunch with a good friend the other day, and I was asked “How can we get shiny hair?”. I assure you that there was a tinge of desperation in her voice. So I decided to just write a little something to help those who have always wanted shiny hair.

1. Blow dry with a better brush
Mason Pearson boar-bristle brushes are the best. Ask any top hair stylist, and I can almost guarantee that this boar-bristle brush is in his/her styling kit. It grips the hair properly but does not pull on the hair. It also helps redistribute the natural oils in the hair evenly all over your hair shaft and makes it look really glossy.

2. Hair masques are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Kerastase’s nutritive range of hair masques are fantastic. They come in formulations for thick and fine hair. This deeply hydrates the hair so replenish the lost moisture and helps restore the bounciness and the glossy finish of the hair. For those who have coloured hair, I recommend using the Kerastase Mirror range that imparts this salon-glossy finish to the hair. I use it even though my hair’s black now.

3. Hair serums should be glossy, not oily.
Bumble and Bumble’s Gloss does just that. My mum used this on her clearly parched ends (she colours every 6 weeks) and was so impressed by how her hair looked – healthy and glossy. Make sure you don’t apply it on the roots as it’ll just gunk up your roots- not a good look.

4. Shampoo, shampoo, condition.
The first shampoo is to remove dirt, grime and excess oils, and the second shampoo is for the shampoo to do what it’s supposed to do. If you’re using a hydrating shampoo the second time round, allow it to sit in the hair for a little longer so that it can hydrate the hair and do what it’s supposed to do. Conditioner shouldn’t be applied to the roots as it’ll clog up the scalp and may cause breakouts.

5. Cold rinses do work.
Remember that old tip? Yes, cold rinses do work. When you’re done with your shower, turn the hot water down to zero and stay in the cold water for about 30seconds. The cold water seals the cuticles and makes it look glossy. Also, as an added bonus, it tightens your skin and makes it really toned too.

6. Heard of hair foundations?
I spray on Bumble and Bumble Tonic Spray after I’m done to hydrate my hair. It’s got tea tree oils in it and vitamins. On dressed down days, I just use this spray and use it as a styling option as well as it does have the slightest hold in it – very very light. With the tea tree oils, it makes your scalp tingle too!

Let me know what other tips you have too!

P.S Feel free to leave comments!