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Beauty

When we think about skincare products, many of the highly recommended serums come with a hefty price tag. We know we are paying for the branding and supposedly long extensive research done behind each product, but is it really worth the price?

Image Credit : Hypebae

I have been using The Ordinary products that offer specific ingredients for anti-aging for a couple of years now. Previously, I have tried across different brands ranging from luxury skincare brands to drugstore brands alike. They each offer similar results, and I started questioning the dollar value after a while. I was very happy to chance upon The Ordinary products that comes with a super reasonable price tag!

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It all begins with Self-Love. Be it beauty, health or fitness. You need to love yourself enough to work on looking more beautiful, being healthier and getting fitter.

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Korea brand - Mizon, makes good quality skincare products. Interesting packaging, and my skin seems to like their products.

Korea brand – Mizon, makes good quality skincare products. Interesting packaging, and my skin seems to like their products.

Many of my male friends have always been squeamish about the idea of putting snail byproduct on their skin. Snail cream is essentially made up of snails’ slime, or mucus (eek! I know) However, beauty always come with a price to pay, and in this instance, putting yucky stuff on your face isn’t all that disgusting as you may think. First launched by Korean brand Missha, the snail cream is touted to soothe, regenerate and heal skin.  This magic wonder snail secretion, as it may sound, is said to reduce wrinkles, soothe acne prone skin, as well as heal scars and burns.

Using snails as a skin treatment is actually nothing new. It was dated back to the Ancient Greeks where it was reported that people crushed snails and used them to treat inflamed skin. Now, already into its third or fourth year since the initial launch of the first snail cream product, this is actually no longer a happening beauty fad.

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liushishi


Having troubled skin and think that achieving good skin is impossible? Well, I believe with the advancement of modern skincare technology, improving your skin is definitely not impossible! However, before you splurge on that extravagantly priced ‘magic’ skincare product that claims to reverse your skin’s condition, check out and practice these habits first. You may not think they make a difference, but these are what people with good skin swear by.

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Super-FoodsIn our pursuit to looking beautiful, many women succumb to splendid outfits and lavish accessories to look our best. However, it becomes pointless if you do not take care of your health and general well-being. By eating badly, you are depriving yourself to be at your most beautiful and gorgeous.

I can never stress enough on the importance of eating right and well. It not only brings you good health, it also gives you a healthy natural radiance and abundance of energy for your daily activities. Eating right also reduces the effects of premature ageing.


Here I share my ‘all-time’ grocery shopping list. It may seem to be boring to eat the same few types of food all the time. Yet, how can we get enough of these ‘super foods‘ that supposedly brings you endless health benefits?

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exercising in makeupLook, we know every woman like to look and most importantly, feel pretty. But, we too, know that wearing makeup while exercising just isn’t quite recommended. The chances of bumping into someone we know at the gym, and not wanting them to see a sweaty and unglamorous-looking face, is the risk most women would not want to take.

For me, I look (feel) ugly every time I hit the gym. And because I exercise vigorously and hard, I perspire tons! (I know some girls who don’t want to even get to that awful smelly state in the gym.)  I will only have sunscreen on, filled brows (because they are only half the size of a full brow!), and a tint of blush to make me not look too pale and faint.

We know exercising with a full faced makeup isn’t good for you. But, we may not have time to wash our face in between work and gym, and we think just once in a while is quite forgivable.

Yet, I was wrong.

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Are you in a customer service job? Or doing sales? Or having to meet and engage with people all the time? Here’s another benefit of your job that you may not already have known!

smiling cabin crew

I was in the customer service line years before. I could possibly attribute that to my younger age then, however, I feel I looked better and my facial muscles appeared toner as compared to now, where I just face my laptop and type all day long. Probably it is time to return to the customer service line to save my sagging face!

This seem like a pretty daring assumption for me to comment that being in the customer service frontline keeps you looking young, but if you look at the science and factual counts behind it, I guess it makes a valid standpoint. Imagine an office girl’s job : One who works behind the desk the whole time, and within cubicles given to each employee for privacy, the human to human interaction is highly minimal. One will at most be smiling not more than 30 times a day? If that is already an optimistic figure. Comparing to that of people holding customer service jobs, they probably clock up to 100, 200 smiles a day. (okay, that is provided you smile when fronting customers)

So what happens when you smile?

Out of the 53 muscles of facial expressions, smiling works 12 muscles on your face. They are, for interest sake, Zygomaticus major and minor (4), Orbicularis oculi (2), Levator labii superioris (2), Levator anguli oris (2) and Risorius (2). These smile muscles are the muscles around the mouth and cheeks that cause the lower portion of the face to turn upwards to form a ‘U’ profile when smiling. The same muscles work to draw into a tight lipped expression as well. These help to build up your cheek muscles for smiling and chewing. Tone the muscles on your cheeks and you will have an overall firmer and more toned looking face.

Supplementary exercises to do behind closed doors

Besides smiling as often and as wide (be genuine too!) as you can, here are some other exercises you can do to supplement regular smiling. Work those adjacent muscles to the key ones and keep it a habit to spend some time doing it as and when you can remember. Immediate results may not be prominent, but its the knowing you are doing something to retard the facial aging process that is worth the effort.

  • Alternate Cheek Puff – Inhale a big breath and blow out, holding breath in your mouth like a blown-up puffer fish. Push the breath to the left, then to the right, and back to the left again. Repeat this move until you run out of breath. Slowly blow out through your lips.

facial exercise 1

  • Laugh Line Eraser – Smile as wide without showing your teeth. Press your middle fingers on your laugh lines, using the length of your finger to cover the entire fold, keeping the smile. Gently raise fingers upwards, keeping the smile. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times. Now, repeat the same movement, except this time smiling to show your teeth.

photo 1

  • Face Lifter – Put both hands on the sides of the face. Hold it slightly upwards. Be careful not to tug too hard on your face. Smile wide with your lips pursed, and release. Repeat the same for 10 times. Feel the tightening of your cheeks when you smile.

facial exercise 3

  • The Kisser – Smile widely showing your teeth, and immediately go into pointy (fish) lips like that of a kissing action. Stretch your lips as far forward as you can as you do this. Alternately every 1 second. Do 10 times.

facial exercise 4

Here is a link to a video by HowdiniGuru that shows you more Facial Yoga exercises you might find useful. I try to do them as and when I am aware of it.

Extra Tips :

Use lotion or a moisturizer before and after the exercise to re-moisturize the area. Our faces tend to be drier than we think they are most of the time. As some of the repetitive exercises might give rise to folds, replenishing its moisture will quieter the effects. I personally recommend a facial mask sheet and give it an gentle massage all over.

We may not know how effective such exercises are, for we all age differently from one another. A realistic goal could just be to achieve somewhat not looking like our age. Keep it simple, and keep looking beautiful!

photo 2 Thanks for reading.

With Love.

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Want good skin? Well, my secret is to constantly ‘nourish’ it. I like to ‘feed’ my skin just like how I give food to myself. I believe HAPPY skin means GOOD skin.

Honey

What are some of the benefits of using Honey on our skin?

  • Antibacterial – Honey has antibacterial properties and helps to fight pimples and mild acne, especially that caused by hormonal changes. It also reduces infection and inflammation.
  • Antiseptic – When honey is diluted with water, it produces hydrogen peroxide. This is an antimicrobial agent (fights against microbes, a micro-organism), helps to relieve abrasion and over-exfoliated skin.
  • Good cleanser – Honey is able to soak up the impurities from within your pores and give your skin a good and nice clean feel.
  • Effective Moisturizer – Honey forms a barrier on the skin to help retain skin’s natural moisture and keeping it radiant, supple and moist, preventing drying.
  • Protect Against Harmful Sun Rays – Honey’s natural antioxidant properties help protect the skin from the damage of sun’s rays, supports the skin’s ability to rejuvenate and refresh depleted skin.
  • Prevents wrinkles – Honey is considered a natural ‘preservative’ and it is said to prevent wrinkles, and slows down the aging process.

Natural Honey Green Tea Facial Mask

Here, I used Green Tea powder mixed with honey to achieve a simple yet effective facial mask. Add half a teaspoon of green tea powder into one full teaspoon of honey.

photo 1

green tea honey mask

The green tea powder granules act as a peeling scrub for the face. Apply and leave on for 20 mins on clean face, and gently scrub in circular motions.

thebarebeauty green tea honey maskWash off with lukewarm water after. Make sure you give your face a clean wash to avoid finding ants being attracted to your face.

Green Tea Benefits 

  • Contains antioxidants which are effective against free radicals. Free radicals are formed when skin is exposed to harmful sun rays, that leads to premature aging.
  • Helps safeguard skin against sun damage.
  • Aids in cell renewal process of our skin. Aged cells are energized by the polyphenol compounds in green tea, synthesizes the DNA and prevents premature aging.
  • Soothes irritated and inflamed skin.
  • Helps in acne and pimply skin, as green tea has antibacterial content.

DIY masks are inexpensive yet effective. Though it has not been proven scientifically that applying food topically on your face does anything for your skin, the results I get makes me believe that they do indeed work. I DIY my facial masks once every 2 days, and my skin is kept looking fresh and energized. On days when I religiously do it everyday, I see even better results. Give it a try, but if you have sensitive skin or wants to be sure if your skin reacts adversely to any ingredient, please always start with a patch test on the chin area a day before. This will ensure you do not get any undesired reactions from your DIY facials.

Give it a try today! And let me know your results!

 

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being happyAre you comfortable in your own skin, by just being yourself? Do you need a lot of makeup before you step out in public? Do you need to put on your best outfit to feel empowered? Do you need lots of material stuff to make up for your feelings of personal inadequacy?

I was, before. Or probably worse. I could not feel comfortable with who I really was. Even with the newest outfit that I thought would make me look fabulous, didn’t give me that confidence. I was in the habit of constant denial and always worrying about how I think people would judge me.

If any of these sound like you, it’s time to relook into your life and make a total adjustment. Feelings of insufficiency will only give rise to growing materialistic craves, to make up for our ‘skin’ which we are not totally at ease with. I found my purpose, and I have reversed most of what had mattered to me before.

Read on, and follow these first few steps you need to start making that BIG transformation.

  • Have a vision of who and what you want to achieve. Do you want to break your bad eating habits? Or perhaps you want to look lean and strong. It could be as simple as wanting to look and feel younger. Set a target, and work towards it. Write it down somewhere where you can remind yourself everyday.
  • Identify your true character/personality. This is almost like creating an look for yourself. Are you sporty? Young and funky? Sophisticated and classy? Relaxed yet chic? Whichever it is, identify your true self. Know which look makes you feel the most comfortable in. Identify it and stick with that ‘theme’.
  • Make a list. In fact make two lists. One of your bad habits, and one of planned good habits you want to keep to. Brainstorm as many points as you can, and start by keeping off the bad, and keeping to two or three of the good a day. Slowly build up upon it. Try to focus on the positive!
  • Stop buying too many clothes. If you are a spendthrift, quit the habit of randomly buying fancy clothes. The true fact is when you are not feeling your best, nothing you wear will actually make you much (MUCH) better. Even if it does, the feeling is pretty short-lived. You will start to pinpoint your own flaws again. You get better value out of buying something that can inspire you to change for now.
  • Find a buddy. Or identify a goal. Look out for someone who can help to motivate you. Your best friend, your sister, or try some of the online fitness personalities. They look good, radiate goodness. This is what you need. You need a source of positive influence.
  • Identify your best asset. It could be your eyes, your arms, legs…Play it up. If it involves sifting through your wardrobe, pick only the best out of what’s available. Leave the rest out. You don’t want anything on you to deter your confidence and pull down your faith. You want to feel good today, and better tomorrow.
  • Book in for a good haircut. A fine haircut frames your face, and enhances your features. Get a cut that can be easily maintained, yet make you look a million bucks at any time of the day, without the fuss!
  • Invest in a pair of good kicks. A good pair of shoes give you the right support for a proper posture. A good posture is key to suggesting your level of confidence. Would you want to slouch if you can look hundred times better by standing tall and straight? Find shoes that can bring you walking around the globe yet not compromising on style and highly versatile to match any outfit that will bring out your true character.
  • Invest in one health product. Making transformational change is not easy if your health is working against you. Make an investment. Having spent money will create a sort of awareness for you. Trust me on this, buy a all-rounded nutrition powder, or herbal concentrates or cod-liver oil etc. Make it a habit to start on this product faithfully. It serves as a constant ‘reminder’ that you are on your way to rebuilding yourself. When you achieve discipline with one, you know you can start on others.
  • Eat healthy. Feeling good is tied largely to our diet. A well-balanced diet can actually alleviate our mood swings. A well nourished body reduces cravings, and cravings are not happy thoughts. You need to be well aware of what you put into your body and how they actually make you feel. If junk food makes you feel guilty after eating it, then it really isn’t worth it at all.
  • Get physically active. If you dislike exercising, you really should be starting it now. If you hate running, you really ought to be trying now. When I hate increasing the intensity on my treadmill or elliptical machine, all the more I go fiercer.  Exercising helps release endorphins which not only help with moods of depression, it actually makes you feel happy and accomplished. The fact that you are putting in effort to work a change in your life is enough to make you feel fulfilled. You may be whining and screaming in pain and agony at the start but its worthwhile.
  • Adjust your mindset. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability. Believe in your faith. Your brain tells your body what to expect so long you can get the message across to your brain. Nothing is unachievable if you are committed to make the change. Believe you can and you are halfway there.

Real transformation happens when we have emotional and mental shifts in ourselves and these shifts change us physically from the inside out.

Many of us live our lives day in and out doing what’s best for others. Whatever age you are at now, it is never too late to make a change. You only live a day in everyday of your life ONCE. Why not give it the best it deserves? Nothing is easy, but….. (read on)

changing you

Good luck lovely ladies! 🙂

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We all know exercising does wonders for our body. Supposing exercise should also benefit our body’s largest organ – our skin. Is it really the case? Or does it make you more prone to acne?

acne after sweating

I started actively exercising about 4 months ago. I was working up serious sweats once every two days, or if not, daily.  I was so intrigued initially by the glow my skin gets from the workouts, happily driving myself to work insanely harder and harder, thinking that the sweating means purging out toxins and I’ll be looking all radiant and smoothed-skin.

However, I was disappointed. It was not the case. After each session, I would find a small pustule (whitehead) growing. Every single time. Having clear skin all my life did not help my franticness to find a cause and work a solution to keep those zits away.

Sweat is made up of mostly water, with small amounts of urea, ammonia, salt and sugar. When you sweat, these impurities are flushed out from your skin. Exercising increases the blood flow to your skin, and sweating helps to unclog your pores. If this is so, what could be causing the outbreaks?

What are the possible causes of acne post workouts?

  • Clogged pores filled with sebum and makeup (especially if your makeup is not ‘non-comedogenic’)
  • Dead skin cells slough off and are trapped in your pores. And because your skin cant breathe, it could result in acne.
  • Hair that sweeps across your face carries oil and dirt, which again explains why a clean face is important
  • Bacteria is everywhere and with shared exercise equipments in common gyms it is likely they are the breeding ground for germs and bacteria. These could get onto your hands when you touch the same machines.
  • Unclean towels is an obvious cause and we do not want to be wiping our faces with them.
  • Stress, though not exactly related to your exercise routine, can cause acne outbreaks. Supposing you have a hard workout session and subconsciously, it stresses your body to push yourself harder.
  • Over-washing of your face before and post working out might cause irritation and drying out of your skin which in turn could lead to the formation of acne.

To determine an exact cause to post exercising acne is challenging. Be sure to check that you are encouraging hygiene as much as possible to eradicate the problem.

Check that you are :

  • Blot face with oil blotters to remove excess oil before working out. If washing with a facial cleanser is too dry, just add a splash of water and pat dry.
  • Skip makeup before exercising will save you one time of washing the face.
  • Remove makeup if you must have them applied before your workout session. Avoid applying any skincare products before working out. These may clog up your pores if not absorbed into the skin.
  • Cleansing gently. Rubbing or tugging on your skin may cause excessive abrasion and irritation, thus increasing the chance of acne.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after exercising, before touching your face. Bacteria is all over  your hands from contact with the exercise machines.
  • Avoid touching your face during exercise. If do, please ensure it is with a clean towel. Avoid randomly throwing your towel over machine handles or on the floor. Remember, germs are everywhere!
  • Use a mild cleanser. Choose one that is mild so it wouldn’t strip off your skin’s natural moisture.
  • Antibacterial formula face washes ensure your skin is thoroughly clean and free from bacteria. Tea tree oil and Neem oil formulas are good antibacterial choices.
  • Don’t wait too long after your workout to give your face a clean wash. The longer your wait, the longer the sweat and oils have to form blockages on your skin.
  • Hydrate your skin well after washing. Cleansers tend to strip of the skin’s natural moisture and oil that serve to moisturize the skin. Remember to use a good hydrator after wash.
  • Cover equipments at the gym as they are filled with sweat, germs, bacteria and grime!

I didn’t know what attributed to my outbreak the initial 3 months of me back to being physically active. I did everything I have listed above, I couldn’t pinpoint it to any one cause. I’m just thankful I hardly get any pimples nowadays. It is important to practice hygiene especially getting rough-and-rugged outdoors, afterall, don’t we all want to look good?

Do you share a similar experience?  Share with us by leaving a comment below!

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