Are Korean Beauty Products Good?

November 27, 2015

are korean beauty products goodConfession: I’ve been blogging for almost a decade and I only just recently tried a Korean beauty product. Can you believe it? I kinda got “scolded” by a friend in the beauty biz about it recently, and it made me think why, in all my years of blogging, I never really delved into ‘Asian beauty’. (Except very hyped up Japanese makeup products in Singapore – Fuberwig mascara, anyone?)

I suppose that, when I started blogging back in 2006/2007, the beauty industry in Singapore was not as large as it is today. What was popular and easily available here were the top US and UK brands, so my makeup choices were quite limited to Maybelline, Sephora, Bourjois, MAC, and Lancome (when I dared to splurge).

Fast forward to now, and the business of beauty in Singapore – and the Asian markets – are booming like crazy and gaining international recognition, it’s so hard to ignore. And best of all, it’s so easily available, especially in Singapore. (I went to a department store recently that sold purely Korean brands!) And so, finally, I tried my first Korean beauty products: a BB cream, a blackhead remover, an eyeliner.

… And oh, my goodness, are Korean beauty products worth all. the. hype.

This isn’t a post about reviews about specific Korean brands or products, though (that will come later), but I want to ask you: What do you think about Korean beauty products, and the Korean Beauty boom? Are Korean Beauty products good to you? Do you find them better than their Western counterparts? I’d love to hear your thoughts – and your recommendations on your favorite Korean beauty products!

How to: Reduce Large Pores

November 22, 2015

As promised, here are 2 ways to greatly minimize the appearance and reduce large pores on your face. One is somewhat “permanent”, and the other is probably the only makeup trick known to cover them.

Firstly, think of your pores as “V” shaped; with the widest part being the visible surface of your pores. And so, the only way to truly minimize pores is to “scrap down” this “V” shape, so the pore will become a smaller v, making it appear smaller.

And how do you do that? Exfoliation!

Case in point: I have a friend in her mid 40s who is a skincare freak. If you look at her skin, it looks as smooth as a baby’s bottom – I have to squint to try to find some pores on her face! She told me that she’s spent the last 20 years working on her skin with dermatologists, which have included daily usage of retinol and regular chemical exfoliation and peels. And so, after so many years of intense exfoliation, she has “new” skin, so to speak. (And it wasn’t cheap!)

However, I feel that’s a little extreme. I don’t believe you need to go through all that treatment just to achieve the appearance of smaller pores, because there’s a makeup trick that’s so much faster, easier, and cheaper!

continue reading

Let it Snow, Let it Reindeer

November 18, 2015

lush dusting powdersThe Holiday collections of the beauty world have arrived in full force, are you ready?

First up from LUSH Singapore: First Snow and Fairy Dust dusting powders – fine scented powders that are made to keep areas smooth and dry, as well as adding a little shimmer to your body.

Dusting powders are pretty ‘old school’ in beauty – I’m willing to bet some of you don’t know what they are, but I’m also willing to bet your grandmother does! Dusting powders like these ones by Lush are used to soak up moisture and keeps your skin fresh and dry.

There are more dusting powders available at Lush, but these two – First Snow and Fairy Dust – are specially for Christmas, and what a treat they are! My favorite has to be Fairy Dust, which gives a slight shimmer to the skin, but really, what I’m obsessed about is that scent: if you want to smell like a sparkly, sweet cherry licorice, then this powder is as magical as it sounds. Sprinkle some onto your body before getting dressed for your Christmas parties this year, and your skin will stay fresh, dry and smelling sweet throughout a night of feasting, dancing, and celebrating.

lush santa lip scrubIf dusting powders are not your thing, then there is something else that caught my eye at the party: Santa’s Lip Scrub. I’ve been using it the past week and the little tub is incredible: it smells like Cherry Coke, keeps your lips flake free, and leaves them moisturized. And it even tastes great. (Yeah, it smelt so good, I actually tasted it. And apparently, the little heart shaped flakes are edible!)

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or someone else, Lush has some cute little quirky beauty treats that I’m sure everyone will love.

Available at all LUSH stores nationwide. 

Skin Myth: Can Pores Open and Close?

November 12, 2015

When I first started a skin care routine back as a teenager (just before starting this blog, actually), I kept hearing that after cleansing, I should finish by splashing very cold water on my face, to “close” the pores after.

And while I definitely believed it for some time, (and I know many still do, as I still read and hear about this skincare “tip”), this is such a big skin myth – probably one of the biggest myths. This skin myth of pores actually having the ability to “close” is used to sell hundreds of products, so I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news: pores cannot open and close.

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, M.D from Society Hill Dermatology explains:

Pores are pretty stationary. There’s no magical process or product that will cause your pores to “open” and allow impurities to rise to the skin’s surface. By the same token, splashing cold water on your face – or doing anything else for that matter – won’t cause the gates to slam shut on your pores.

What you’re doing when you steam your face is causing the blood vessels to dilate and the skin to swell slightly. Similarly, astringents and toners slightly irritate the walls of the pores and make them swell, causing the pores to look smaller. But they haven’t actually changed in size. Even in the best-case scenario, their diminished appearance won’t last for more than 24 hours.

That being said, there are about only two ways to minimize pores that I know of, (one permanently and one for the appearance of them), so stay tuned – I’ll be writing a full post on all my pore minimizing tips next week. Subscribe to free e-mail updates so you don’t miss out on that post!

Either way – I guess we’ve officially debunked this skin myth! Any thoughts?

Back to the Beginning

November 11, 2015

I’m so excited to say I’m officially back to (!!)

As many of you may know, I have been blogging for a long time. But you might not know that it’s actually been since 2006, and Blog for Beauty was actually my original beauty blog name. This was the one I chose one evening in my childhood bedroom back in 2006, as a young teen, and is true to how and why I started blogging in the first place. It was really tricky getting back this domain after almost a decade, I thank God I managed to!

Recently I also set up a reader survey and the response is way more than I expected, so I’m so thankful many of you are still around. I’ll let the reader survey run a little while longer and let you know the feedback I received.

In the meantime: What have you been up to? What makeup and beauty brands are you loving recently? I’ll answer mine in the comments, but in the meantime: thank you so much for sticking around, especially through all the annoying name changes! (Everything has been deleted and is re-directed here now.)

P.S. Please excuse the state of the site now, I’m still sorting everything out and getting a new design in. (Unfortunately quite a lot of posts got lost, and all my – hundreds!! – of photos couldn’t be automatically moved over so I’m adding them manually!)

Bye Bye, Under-Eye Concerns!

October 27, 2015

guardian eye masksMore cute animal beauty products!

Guardian has released a set of under-eye masks made specially for the every under-eye concern: puffy eyes, dark eye circles and generally fatigued and tired eyes.

I’ve been trying the Guardian eye masks the past few weeks, and the whole act of actually applying an under eye mask has really surprised me.

I’m usually really lazy when it comes to skincare: I always cleanse and moisturize and exfoliate somewhat regularly, but as far as sunscreen, masks, eye cream or other speciality products… it’s a once in a while occurrence. So buying full-sized products of such things are just too wasteful for me. Luckily, these under-eye masks are for a one-time use, which to me is already a huge plus point: it’s great for on the go, a quick fix before an event or traveling. And don’t let the cutesy packaging throw you off, they do pack quite the punch. continue reading

The Cat’s Meow

October 24, 2015

miu miu perfumeI’m writing this review with buyer’s regret (the opposite kind, if there is one).

You see, the first Miu Miu perfume, out now, was so hyped up, so much so that I actually contemplated “blind-buying” it at a Milan airport recently, although in the end I didn’t.

I so wish I did, because fast forward a week or so later, and I was at Sephora, and saw that unique bottle staring at me from across the room. I made a beeline for it, and… a standing ovation to Miu Miu please!

All I can really say is that while it’s touted as a fresh, green, floral fragrance (and I suppose it is, with its notes of Lily of Valley, Rose, and the mysterious “green notes”), I can honestly say it’s a slightly more grown up, modern version of Britney Spears’ Curious. And I instantly fell in love because Curious was such a game-changer in the perfume industry – whether anyone wants to admit it or not – and a best-seller in its own right. (And one of my favorite fragrances of all time, as embarrassing as that is.) continue reading

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick

October 16, 2015

Lancome lipsticks will always have a place in my heart – it was the first lipstick I wore from a luxury brand when I was a young teen, and boy did I cherish that thing and feel so “grown up” wearing it.

lancome-l'absolu-rouge-lipstick-184-le-vermillonIt seems now, almost a decade later, I have yet another Lancome lipstick to cherish: L’Absolu Rouge in Le Vermillin, no. 184.

I’ve been looking for that perfect red lipstick for what seems like years, and I can honestly say I’ve finally found it. That shade… it’s indescribable, but I’ll try: While the hue is fairly bright red, it has slight undertones of orange and pinky-coral, so it doesn’t scream “look at me!!”. It’s bold, yes, but the red is very unstated sexy… it’s quietly confident, and doesn’t feel the need to boast. The inspiration behind it is the legend in India, where this particular hue was used to “hypnotise and captivate”, to which I say – nailed it!

Lancome’s L’Absolu Rouge Definition lipsticks claim to have a 6 hour staying power, but I think it’s actually a little more. It lasts me a good 8 hours before it fades slightly, and can last through eating/drinking without reapplying (I never reapply my makeup – nor do I want to – so this is a huge plus point). Another thing that sealed the deal for me is that the lipstick finishes like a lip stain, so it dosen’t have that obvious “lipstick” look and feel to it.

If red is not your thing, check out the other shades in the range, namely 388 Le Magenta; a bold, hot pink which I also adore, and 291 Le Pourpre, an absolutely sexy deep, wine hue.

Available at all Lancome counters or online at Sephora, Nordstrom or Macys.

It’s Here… Makeup For Beginners eGuide!

September 29, 2015

Hey everyone – I wanted to introduce my very first e-book (and the reason for my absence): Makeup For Beginners!

I’ve had this book in me for many years, and it all started with a series I did on the blog back in… 2008 (which some of you may remember). Now I’ve turned it into a proper “makeup for beginners guide”, adding WAY more content, tips, product recommendations and extra little guides for tricky makeup application, as well as a huge chapter where I answer all your frequently asked makeup questions.

If you’re a makeup beginner, you probably know how hard it is – there are hundreds of products, information, trends, “techniques”, colors… it’s so overwhelming! I’ve created this guide to keep it super simple, quick and easy, especially since it’s in a digital format – so you’ll get it instantly!

Click to find out more information + buy the book, where you’ll get an instant download.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me. Thank you for your support – I’ve been a bit all over the place recently but now that this e-book is done (it was my biggest goal for this year!), I will be back again.

Lancome Blanc Expert Cushion Compact

August 24, 2015

Lancome Cushion Compact FoundationMy first introduction to Lancome’s new cushion compact foundation was while I was in the Eurostar leaving Paris (sob) earlier this summer. I was reading French Vogue and eating breakfast, and the ad for this foundation made me stop mid-chew, because it was a cushion compact foundation.

Cushion compacts are very popular now if you’re in tune with Asian beauty trends (or should I say Korean beauty trends), and I believe this may be the first Western brand to come out with one.

Either way, Lancome is starting this trend in Western makeup with a bang! Lancome makes some of the best foundations in my opinion, and this new offering, named Lancome Blanc Expert Cushion Compact Foundation, is no different. I’ve been trying it out on myself, and also actually used it on a bride over the weekend. She wanted something very light, natural and flawless, and this was perfect.

continue reading