Tsuya New Skincare From Shu Uemura


This month of August has been very busy for me, busier than last year and certainly warmer than I remember now that I am in Singapore officially five years! Between work, a new regime of no fried food, TRX circuit training exercise, very little alcohol AND this new range of skincare from Shu Uemura called TSUYA Skin Youthful Radiance Generator, my skin is looking good. Before I get into the Tsuya review, I want to add that when you put the effort forward with diet, skincare and exercise combined, the results speak for themselves.

When I started the Tsuya skincare challenge I was very impressed with the idea of a serum that promised glow [Plus I love a good serum]. When I apply a little base whether it is foundation or even concealer, Tsuya glides on smoothly and absorbs into the skin fast without much of an oily layer, love that! At night, I have also been putting it on to let it sink into my skin and do its magic.

Some of the benefits of Tsuya include a more supple and glowy skin which are exactly the comments I have been receiving from various peers and friends. WO-HOO! ** What else did I do different? Sleep at least six hours every night. Drink fluids and include 12oz of green tea at least once a day. Less alcohol especially carbonated and cocktail drinks, doing wine very moderately, one serving a week. Sweating it out 3x a week. Taking my usual vitamins and fish oil 1000mg daily. Eating things like steamed fish, seaweed, fresh foods. No soda, sugary drinks, fizzy anything and if I treat myself to a coffee I add agave nectar, a low glycemic natural sweetener.

Before I turn this into a bore, I want my readers to know that as much as I love a proper skincare regime, how your face reacts to a good product like Tsuya is just as much as the food we put in our mouth, habits and general well-being. Give yourself a little love and you’ll see the BIG payoff.

What Is a Bridal Makeup Trial?


This post is all about the bridal makeup trial. Lately there has been an influx of emails and questions regarding this topic and I feel I should address it. A makeup trial is simply a test run of what your dream makeup is for your wedding day. In this instance, the makeup artist and client meet in person to do a run through, go over skincare (in my opinion paramount to beautiful skin on your wedding day), test foundations (I work with mainly with MUFE HD foundation, Illamasqua Skinbase or Face Atelier), AND go over any skin problems/ sensitivities.

Also, think of your makeup trial like a bridal beauty plan, where the chosen makeup artist and the bride work together to get the most radiant and best looking skin for your wedding day. In most cases, if it isn’t already in place, I will make skincare product recommendations and suggestions to all my future brides, send brides reminders weeks in advance for things like facials, eyebrow threading, hair cuts, manicures and conditioning treatments. During a makeup trial potential bridal clients get a feel for the makeup artist’s bridal-style philosophy, her personality and whether this suits or not. After the bridal portfolio, a first impression is just as important.

I should clarify this, a makeup trial is not a makeup lesson or an opportunity to score a free makeup look for the evening. During the trial, we will swatch foundation, try eyeshadow colors, blusher but this does not mean you are going home all dolled up. It is advisable to take pictures during your trial to get an idea of what your makeup might look like! Your makeup artist’s main task is to make you look your best in front of the lenses of the photographer/ videographer AND a variety of lights – natural indoors/ outdoors, day/ night. This may be a very natural subtle look or a bit more dramatic, all depends on the personal style of the bride. I hope this clarifies some questions and offers a bit more insight on what the makeup trial mystery is all about.

Photo credit Wikimedia.com.

Le Petronille Skincare Challenge


Weeks 5/6 of my Petronille Skincare Challenge –  I realize I am a little behind on the updates, it’s been very hectic around this neck of the woods between vacation time with the family, seeing friends AND networking time has ran out fast.  Week 5 I spent it in Miami, FL with a little humid air and normal heat conditions for this time of the year.  With less than 50% humidity and winds, I don’t sweat as much and the Petronille day cream worked perfectly under my concealer and sometimes dash of foundation. There were days were I went almost makeup free and with similar results, there was not a sight of oily t-zone (hurray).  At night time I still managed to put some of the nightcream with the elixir and experienced some dryness (even though I doubled up on the amount I was using).  I think this is quite normal for me as I tend to dry up when in a/c rooms such as the one in our apartment in FL.

Week 6 was spent in an old familiar place for me, New York city.  The climate in New York was unseasonably cool and definitely very mild which seemed to agree with my skin.  New York is a walking city and I dove right into the routine of subways, taxis, crowded restaurants and shopping centers. While in New York I didn’t spend a ton of time outside and my skin held up well both daytime and nighttime, there was no need for ac and both the creams and elixirs did their magic.  I met up with friends and everyone had nothing but compliments particularly on my skin (double hurray!).  Petronille agreed with me in all fronts and I highly recommend it! Thank you Luxola for introducing me to this fabulous brand.

Le Pétronille Skincare Challenge


Week Four of my Petronille Challenge – A mix of dry summer, winds and late spring are in full bloom here in the San Francisco Bay Area and my skin is feeling the change. Since a week ago, I am using DOUBLE the amount of the day and night creams with the elixirs to help. Last week I had to pack on some makeup for a family event and the daycream worked very well under my foundation and did not cake up at all. One thing about my skin type, I am not prone to sensitivity unless in extreme sweat outdoors or humidity in which case I break out, itch and oil up as most people do in Singapore. The upside of this dry weather is less blemishes, in fact ZERO and being able to use more skincare to nourish my skin and makeup staying on longer under my Petronille products.
PS. Next week, I am in Miami Florida, where I will be re-visiting some old patterns of humidity, we shall see what happens then.

Le Pétronille Skincare Challenge


Week Three of my Petronille Challenge – This week is a new setting! On Monday, I travelled to San Francisco, California (USA) and the weather conditions are much different than Singapore, it is dry heat this time of the year, think Mediterranean-like temperatures. After a gruelling seventeen hour flight, I’ve been catching up on my time zone (16hrs total to be exact), sleep and keeping hydrated as much as possible. Combination skin like mine loves dry weather, I get less oily in the daytime but definitely more dry especially at night. The first two days were rough, as I was super tired and this showed in my eye area.

At any rate, I’ve been applying more of the day and night cream to compensate with the dry air, protect skin against the sun and to continue to nourish my skin while I adjust. The Elixir Anti-Age serum works exceptionally well in the daytime too!

Progress Report Petronille

Week Two of my Petronille Challenge – Loving the night cream with Elixir Antioxydant for overnight repair, skin wakes up moist, this is something new for me. In the daytime I am using small amounts of the pink bottle cream in my forehead as I am prone to dryness here and on the cheeks but have to apply sparingly to avoid getting too oily (we live in a super humid country and the last few weeks have been scorching!).

My skin tends to be combination/oily in the T-zone, but prone to dryness, irritation and the monthly female breakout, so far there haven’t been any reactions at all, in fact very little if any breakouts. **I also had a glycolic peel which cleared my skin – a miracle! The writing is on the wall, using good products and getting some form of facial helps.

Le Pétronille Skincare Challenge


I’ve started trying a new range of skincare developed and manufactured in Singapore by Pétronille Houdart. Luxola Singapore the online beauty purveyor of fabulous brands and amazing cosmetics will be carrying Pétronille Cosmetics and I couldn’t be more thrilled! My approach to beauty is consistent, I tend to stick to staples (night cream, serum and an SPF brightening moisturizer) and am always willing to try new things and share new finds. People often compliment my skin, of course it is major flattering to hear that though I must tell you, I take care of it religiously since years ago and especially since I became a mother.

Last week, I began using the day and night creams topped up with an anti-aging elixir and a brightening booster (also known as whitening). So far, so good. My skin absorbs the night time cream particularly well! I have combination skin, this is a challenge when I sleep, even without the air conditioning my skin dries up in some areas even in the humid weather conditions of Singapore. The Pétronille Regenerative night cream has worked beautifully, I wake up hydrated which is fantastic. I am still testing out the daytime cream, more on this later.

[As part of my trial I received all the Pétronille skincare products for free and will be discussing them every week on my Twitter feed and on Instagram at norahlovesmakeup]

Follow-Up On BB Creams


A few months ago, I blogged about the rise of the BB cream in other parts of the world like Europe and USA. Balm Blemish or BB creams are an Asian trend with many brands available at most cosmetic and pharmacy counters. This little wonder offers an all-in-one service (primer, SPF, cover, anti-aging). To me, it is like a tinted moisturizer although consistency, coverage and colours vary drastically from all the brands. My take on it is to try for yourself if you feel this might be for you. Of the brands I’ve tried/ tested, Illamasqua Skin Base offer a great range of shades and is great as foundation without the need to pile on more makeup/ powder. And Garnier BB roll on cream works beautifully for me, in fact I use it as my undereyes cream with concealer. **Note, I paid for my own Illamasqua and Garnier products.

Brands offering their own take of the BB cream include Clinique, Smashbox, Boscia, Erborian, Illamasqua Skin Base, Bobbi Brown BB and MAC Prep and Prime BB Beauty Balm.