A Maybelline Event

Ask and you shall receive. The universe must have been listening. On Pinterest, Maybelline 24HR Cream Shadow is on my wish list. Imagine the excitement when I received an invite to a blogger event on Sat Feb 25th at the lovely Covelli Italian Bistro at Orchard 313.

The event was a nice lunch and the unveiling of new products for the Asian market. The new goodies launched were Volum’ Express Magnum Ultra Comb mascara (WOW, love this super slick comb, it pretty separates the lashes much like a real comb, thickens them with no mess AND is waterproof), BB cream SPF 50 (music to my ears, excellent for under eyes and eye area – I don’t use BB all over since it tends to be overload for my skin), Maybelline Masterlight White pencil (for brightening eyes), and Maybelline Jelly Blushers in #02 and #04 colors (cream blush with soft texture and not greasy at all). See the cool gifts on my goodie bag?

This event had a fashion show, a presentation by a makeup artist and lastly a chance to learn more about these new products. As a makeup artist from a non-Asian background in skincare, it is fantastic to learn trends and product preferences here in Asia (BB cream and lashes/ mascara rank high on the list in my opinion). I had a lovely time observing, learning and listening.

Thank you Maybelline SG! I am loving my new goodies, the mascara is a MUST HAVE.

Life On Set

Just spent my first week working with a corporate client on a print campaign which will be featured internally and also on a giant billboard in Toa Payoh area in Singapore. This job was a referral from Audrey and Mok, a husband and wife photographer team and thanks to them, here I am. It was during the new year that negotations started, can’t beging to express how amazing it feels to kick off 2012 on such a high note.

One of the beauties of this job aside from the team, is the opportunity to work with all types of faces, skin tones, age groups. There is a combination of male and female who come every morning and afternoon to get either made up or touched up lightly to go in front of the camera for a series of shots. Some of them were not fussed at all while others were beyond excited and very chatty. On set, I made good use of a lot of skincare largely from Avene Anti Redness, MAC Fix +, Illamasqua Satin Primer and Eucerin Dermopurifyer Hydrating care.

The common denominator all across the board was dry and blemished skin so a lot of skincare was mandatory in order for the talents to look good in front of the camera, before makeup was applied. Some had very good skin and skincare habits and needed very little. Again, this was a huge experience for me, handling a large group who all had to look their best in their uniforms.

As for the makeup, the look is minimal, what I’d call barely there makeup, bright skin and blushed cheeks for the ladies and matte skin tone for the gentlemen. Some of the products I used the most were Illamasqua Hollow, MAC blushers, Illamasqua face powder and Skin Base foundation and lots of concealer from Dermablend and Yaby. Last but not least, there was a lot of eyebrow trimming done, tweezing and using scissors as well as lip balm on demand.

Image via Tumblr

Bridal Inspiration

When I saw the wedding photos of my dear friend Vaughan and his wife Angela, I gasped for air. I loved the vintage feel. Often times people ask me for advice on wedding details, so here is one I’d like to showcase because knowing them makes it all that much more special and they worked on every aspect to make it stand out.

With their blessing here is a little info on the nuptials; Angela made her bouquets from old brooches she found in shops, online, and in Goodwill. One of the cute details of the bride’s bouquet were drapped buttons that were from her great – great grandmother’s dress. The bride’s Alfred Angelo dress was off the rack, hair was swept sideways in an updo and makeup was by MAC. Vaughan’s suit was super stylish and different (I expected nothing less). The couple lives in South Florida so a 3-piece suit was not the obvious choice, the groom chose a vested grey ensemble, blue shirt, fedora and the men in the bridal party including the groom wore Chuck Taylor’s!

The couple did all the signs, flower arrangements, and I imagine thought of the mini Patron bottles given to the guests. The ceremony was held at an old school square in Delray Beach. A New Orleans style jazz band marched all the guests to the reception which was held at a restaurant called DaDa dating to 1924. The party revellers continued the celebration at Delux in Delray Beach were a band entertained everyone. Last but not least, the images were captured by Steve Lawson – he did an amazing job. Congratulations once again!!!

Photo credits for the images goes to Steve Lawson for Michelle Lawson Photography

How To Make Your Makeup Last !!!

Ever wonder how performers and celebrities who go on red carpets beat the sweat, oil and strong camera lights? They all use a magic thing called makeup setting spray! Think of hairspray for the face, an agent that prolongs the finished product. What I usually do is once I am done with foundation, powder and eyeshadow is to spray it at least a couple of times. If you have a special occasion like a wedding, ball, a night out in town with some dancing, makeup setting spray will act as a barrier against oil and sweat. If you feel like using glitter over your eyes, makeup setting spray also works wonderfully! Another step I add is using a q-tip/ cotton bud, I’ll spray once and gently dab it along the eyeliner line under the eyes/ eyelid, this will keep it nice. **Make sure you wash your face with a good cleanser or makeup remover wipes.

A few of my favorites are Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray, Makeup Forever Mist and Fix and Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.

All About Laser Facials Part I

As part of a monthly series, I’ve entered in the foray of laser facials using my own skin as the guinea pig to let you know how it works, results, everything. The good people of PPP a medical laser clinic in Singapore contacted me about getting a treatment to learn more and show my readers what it can do for your skin. Also there will be a free treatment giveaway involved, so stay tuned, comment, like/ dislike, ask. I had lots of questions before I went in to get this done and here is my story:

Being in the makeup industry and over 35 I was a good candidate for trying this out. I showed up to the appointment at Liang Court and was promptly taken inside to get started after a thorough question/ answer period. The Dermatologist explained what it’d feel like, a light tingling sensation, and how the facial benefits everyone if you do it regularly (once a month at least, I was told). After my face was cleaned up, a thick layer of gel was applied all over, I was given a pair of goggles to protect my eyes. As the Dr went over my facial, he noted some dullness, a few blackheads and said to me that although I had great texture, it could improve massively by working from beneath the surface of the skin layer. This procedure works from inside out, tightening, deep cleansing and working on moderate scarring, hyperpigmentation, pimples, etc.

After about 5 minutes, I was done. The fastest facial ever. One of the virtues of this procedure is that unlike extraction non-medical facials which sometimes can be long and painful, the laser is least invasive, it feels like a very light tingle. The Dr walks you through the surface of your face, pointing out the areas that may need a bit more intensity. There was one area around my mouth which had quite a bit of blackheads (I hadn’t had a facial in about a month and a half). After we were finished, the gel was removed/ cleaned and moisturizer with sunblock was applied to my face. FYI -protecting your skin is still required and not to be forgotten no matter what.

How does it feel the next day? My face feels smooth, the texture is nicer, much more rosy than I expected. But don’t think this is a one-time overnight success, in a few months I will continue with this journey and do some photo evidence for you readers. AND, don’t forget what we see in photos today is the poor man’s plastic surgery, the magic of makeup, skincare AND Photoshop skills 🙂

*photo courtesy of Pinterest Faux Perfection, using this image because as you can see Penelope Cruz looks fab for her age even without the retouching.

MUA Immaculate Palette

If you are in the market for a fabulous (and good value for money) eyeshadow palette, I highly suggest ordering the MUA Immaculate Palette, it is £8 (About $15 USD)!!! I got wind of this gem back in November, thanks to Twitter and following British makeup artist Karla Powell and the MUA team. Lucky for me, the husband travels to London often and is the guy who will go into Superdrug, get on the phone to Singapore and ask me what I need, nice guy right? For those who don’t know, Superdrug is a super-cool shop in Britain where you get cosmetic brands like MUA, Barry M, GOSH, etc, for like £1 or £2 for shadows or lipsticks. They do lots of deals, you can test products at some of their shops, you get my drift. When I was living in Upminster, Essex I’d go into Superdrug at least three times a week as it was just across the road from our flat. They stock all kinds of beauty goods.

The MUA Immaculate colour range is pretty lovely, browns, purples, pink, some shimmers not highly pigmented but GREAT layered with a strong base of colour (a cream shadow for example or using an eye primer should work out just fine). My prom and bridal party clients love this palette!!! BTW, MUA ships internationally and their fantastic product range is available for order here.

Recommended Reading: The Cosmetics Cop

Sunday afternoon shopping at Amazon brought me to a very cool spot on the web via the recommended for you button.  This site is run by a lady named Paula Begoun.  She calls herself the cosmetics cop and she is a fountain of info on the subject at large, you can find her on Youtube as well. There is also a couple of books penned by Ms Begoun, her Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, 8th Ed seems to be quite popular, if you like product reviews this is definitely a good source.

There is a comprehensive list of  facts, research, skin conditions and ingredients discussed on Beautypedia (cool name!).  I love a good skin care tip like no-one’s business.  As a makeup artist learning new things everyday, this subject is very much in synch with what I do.  A well looked after face needs little touching up, concealing and covering up regardless of age.

One of the bits that I liked from all the reading I did was …

Skin needs a balanced mixture of powerful ingredients to improve the appearance of wrinkles. Think about it this way: if you only consumed one food or one vitamin you would soon be unhealthy and malnourished. The same goes for skin! It’s the body’s largest organ and requires a complex range of ingredients to look beautiful and ward off telltale signs of aging.

Another favourite was the brand reviews section, there is a lot of info and if you are ever curious on a particular product, it is worth having a look.  Go Paula! I like your site and the service it provides.

And Speaking of Hair …

There has been lots written recently on the use of salt-free and sulfate-free shampoo.  If you know my story, I do color, straightening (Brazilian Keratin), and live in a super humid country called Singapore.  Needless to say, lots of frizz going around and blow outs don’t last very long around these shores, it is the pits.  In order to keep a healthy routine, I’ve been washing my hair less, using more dry shampoo/ baking soda in between and switched over to a color-friendly sulfate-free shampoo by L’Oreal Ever Pure Moisture Shampoo For Color Treated Hair.  (There was a fabulous Watsons SG offer on L’Oreal products so I stocked up).  In April while in London town, I had this fabulous Brazilian hairstylist take care of my waves, at the time she also suggested to get a salt-free shampoo to prolong my Brazilian Keratin treatment.  She was right.

The results in switching shampoos have been good so far.  Did you know that common sulfates found in shampoos that include sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate cause more frizz and will further damage chemically treated hair?  I didn’t.  Using cold water to rinse, silicone-free conditioner and air drying as much as possible are all tips to ensure healthy tresses year-round.   I found a great website for a list of silicone-free shampoos and conditioners.  **Please note: this is geared for people with wavy/ curly hair, if your hair is fine, straight or of a different texture, ask a professional if silicone-free is ok for you.  I am just giving this as a reference and based on the results I’ve had so far.

Discovering My Monthly Bella Box

Back in October over breakfast and monthly minutes, I was introduced to Bella Box at the Athena networking event at the Axis Lounge. Immediately I was enticed by the idea of trying new beauty products in the form of samples AND for a reasonable monthly cost. If you like the items in your box, Bella Box offers you an opportunity to buy through their website.  There is such a vast array of new brands popular in Asia, I thought why not?  Being familiar with Carmine and Glossybox in the UK, I was instantly drawn to the concept.

On my first box, I got to try mythical brand OCC lip tar, known for its highly pigmented and strong last colours, it is paraben free and 100% vegan. What’s not to love? Although the shade I received is not something I’d wear for myself, I will definitely use it on my clients, it is such a good product.

My biggest surprise however, was the Skin Factory Eye Cream Honey Patch, a favourite so far. It is a patch that combined with some excellent formulation will help reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles (tip, try cooling in the fridge overnight). Morning puffiness most definitely was given a good kick to the curb once I had it on for about 20 min. The area under my eyes felt hydrated and smooth afterwards, excellent sample Bella Box!

Other products in my box were the Korres Guava Body Butter, being a fan of Korres myself I am very happy to report this cream is super lush and fantastic as well as the Duchess Marden Damascena Anti Wrinkle Serum, a sure favourite. The Marden serum cleans the pores, reduces rosacea and the appearance of broken capillaries. The other samples were Davines Melu Mellow Anti-Breakage shampoo and conditioner.

The verdict? If you are a beauty fan, you should give it a try! Not only is Bella Box a neat concept run by lovely people but it is bringing it all to your doorstep.  Every month, your box will offer new products to sample.  And did I mention the lovely packaging with a note telling you about the contents?