I've had two surgeries - one on January 13 and one just a week ago; thus the very few blog posts to 2014 too.
And needless to say, I haven't been working. In fact I am officially not taking clients (sorry) or able to do hair and makeup on set for another 3+ weeks, so when Luxola asked if I could particpate as a beauty expert on their Google Hangout, where I didn't have to leave my house and could sit the whole time, I was all like "YES PLEASE!!"
I was very excited to be participating in Luxola's first ever Google Hangout and turns out, Rachel K's first hangout, as well as mine - we are were all just a bunch of virgins.
I've tried to join a few hangouts in the past with TV host Angelique Teo; I failed that join; and I also tried to join with Zurina Bryant and Angela Jacobson (Oz Supernanny), failed to join that one too. I didn't think I was a tech spaz... or am I?
Behold! The fruits of our (Luxola) labour! [there's video below, if you don't see it please refresh the title]
Expect to arrive with an empty belly and leave after your four hour journey on a sugar-high tasting cakes built several metres high, moving cakes, edible walls and luxury edible pieces. Known for landscape cakes that feature places like Madrid and New York I can't wait to see what's in store for Singapore!
From nature to luxury to play, this will be an edible extravaganza not to miss!
"Together with the passport, shaped just like a credit card is a map of Fantasìa. Presentation of your Fantasìa Passport at the different stations within Fantasìa will reward you with the opportunity to sample a wide array of sweet and savory signature Escribà foods, confections as well as beverages throughout different points within Fantasìa." FantasiaEscriba.com
Fantasia by Escribà
27 to 29 June 2014
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
Believing that the pastry world is a big family globally, Chef Christian is here now to promote the event, but to also publicly invite some Singapore chefs to participate! And! Some lucky young and talented Singaporean pastry chefs will be hand selected to attend a 6 week course in Barcelona!
I have actually visited Escribà in Barcelona years ago. YUMMY!
Tagged with: escriba, patricia schmidt, chef christian escriba, yoursingapore, stb, singapore tourism board, fantasia by escriba, fulford pr
Being told to sit on the couch and relax for 2-3 weeks is like torture for me. I've started this little post-surgical vay-cay by cleansing my condo; ridding it of trash and demons. Long overdue.
Caught up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
I have no desire to look like the notorious cat lady, nor do I care to own Nicole Kidman's forehead; plus there are many stereo typical ladies who lunch here in Singapore who aren't capable of revealing their emotions with simple facial expressions. But, after many conversations with clients who have revealed that yes, in fact they have had Botox or fillers done - well, I was a bit surprised at my own naïveté leading me to believe that Botox = crazy face.
Don't get things done for others. Get tweaks and enhancements done because YOU want them.
Starting with Thermage
Thermage treatments are all about energy – focusing radiofrequency energy to kick start the body’s own natural renewal process. Like most smart technologies, the process is relatively simple – it’s a combination of heat energy to treat deep tissue, and cooling effects, to protect the skin surface and deliver better patient comfort. And our latest evolution of Thermage includes patented Comfort Pulse Technology – gentle vibrations and interspersed cooling that make your Thermage treatment even more comfortable. Even so, it’s important to remember every patient’s circumstances are different, so for specifics, it’s best to consult your Thermage physician. Thermage.com
My face is cleansed and prepped to begin the Thermage.
Seeing one side done, you immediately see the difference. I have gotten RF facials regularly at Qi Mantra where the results are less dramatic but you can see them. The difference is Thermage results will last 2 years vs an RF facial where results last 2 months at best.
Granted the before (left) is slightly different lighting-wise but... Behold! Youth restored!
The marionette lines are diminished immediately and apparently Thermage continues to accumulate results 2-3 months post-treatment. Things are definitely looking up.
Yes. I succumbed to Botox. And Thermage. I think I can deal.
Tagged with: dr komathy rajaratnam, brooklyn nine-nine, lifestyle clinic singapore, dr komathy, lifestyle clinic camden, andrea claire, dermalogica
This was written today:
After suffering from a mosquito illness in Singapore 2008 I've been on a decline with my health and joints. Now suffering from an autoimmune condition I've decided to take the bull by the horn! I went from enjoying walking, bike riding, boxing, light hiking and excursions to the zoo with my family to being limited on physical activity. Knowing that this is not what I wanted for the rest of my life and from sharing my medical drama with Toronto-based Pilates/Yoga instructor Joyce Fredericks when we were on set in Bangkok, she told me about the reformer. I live in Singapore and chanced upon Vicki Berman at Como Shambhala. A godsend. Pilates is for everyone!
This was written post-surgery last week with some added updates today:
[refresh the post title if you don't see a video above here]
If you are following my medical drama on Instagram then you know that I am currently recovering from surgery, so this Pilates video is not exactly current. I'm on Pilates hiatus.
But what a good time to share my experiences with Pilates as well as a little bit about the surgery I had.
image source of Maria Kang
I am sure that there were many out there, like me, who suffer from one kind of one ailment or another that had to remind themselves not take offense to the 'what's your excuse' craziness. I don't know the whole story because I do not care to jump onto the whole trolling bandwagon but I know that when that image popped up with skinny mini and her cut body and three bambinos at her feet with the headline what's your excuse I immediately felt defensive and starting to list my excuses.
I had to stop myself because, clearly I am not her target market. I really feel that her what's your excuse is targeting the people who really have the ability and the choices but just choose to be happy in their skin; which is not wrong if you're happy.
Her target is not somebody with an autoimmune disease; her target is the healthy but who are just not that into being fully cut like a human Barbie doll.. Of course maybe she should have consulted a PR department as starting off with what's your excuse is really just putting the people on defensive. Duh.
And you know, it seems like it's her J.O.B. She is in the world fitness world of looking good so she better be a walking billboard, perhaps just with a better tag-line.
It's all about choices for example my choice as I'm writing this with no one to help me make food since I just had the surgery, is to order McDonald's cause yes in Singapore, they deliver.
My Pilates instructor Vicki and my husband are probably both cringing is they are reading this.
[funny story, as my McD's arrived I paid and actually tossed it in the garbage - cringe released]
I've happily been on an upswing since discovering Pilates. Thanks Joyce & Vicki!
This is my glamorous hip during surgery. Oddly pretty.
My hip labral tear was fixed by Dr Leslie Leong. These are two of the three keyholes. I have to change the bandage now so figured I'd gross you out. (current photo taken January 26, 2014)
You bet once the stitches come out I'll be healing the scars with my Bio-Oil!
AND... since discovering last May that I've also been saddled with a hernia! Yay me! My GP has said that the Pilates has actually helped pull it together a little but not enough so I will be getting that surgery done too. The ugly side of motherhood.
It's the Year of no Horsing around.
Taking that horse by the reigns.
Get Fit. Be healthy.
*NOTE that I'm still in recovery mode and on painkillers, so don't judge my grammar.
Tagged with: dr leslie leong, vicki berman, joyce fredericks, COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, pilates, yoga
I made time to visit The Killing Fields this time.
A killing tree to beat children to their death. I can't even...
Victims' sculls sorted by ages and gender on display as a tribute and reminder to the many lives lost.
I watched The Killing Fields just prior to my third trip too. I am doing my best to educate myself on the history and current tone for the families in which i am trying to help.
I've been trying to reach out to others who are doing the same be it individuals or organizations. It's not as easy a task as I thought.
I shared our conversation with my husband who poked a very big hole in this man's theory: most of the clients are women and what I have set out to teach these Get Ready Girls doesn't include services for men.
All I can say is being with these girls for a few days showing them an alternative career, having their families support their education, not financially but not selling them either - I see joy on their faces.
The girls rock at braiding so I was showing them various other updos, hot pin curl sets and cold sets.
I truly love these girls. A few of them had returned from my previous workshops as they do want to proceed with a hairstyling / makeup artist career.
If you are eager to help or have some input please don't hesitate to message me privately or in the comments below.
A pile of thank you letters from the girls along with hugs and tears.I'm not done. My goal to have a beauty school is still very much alive.
Read about my previous trips here.
Riverkids also teaches sewing. Read more here.
Tagged with: patrick melville salon, blue lime hotel, the killing fields, Get Ready Girls, phnom penh, cambodia, MAC Cosmetics
This weekend we had a little vaca getaway at Mayang Sari, the rustic cottages nestled in the grounds of Nirwana Gardens. Their down to earth, friendly staff and comfortable rooms without being swish is what will have me returning time and again. We stayed in Stingray 1 & 2 after a complimentary upgrade from the Nirwana Beach Cabanas. The cabanas were a few minutes walk away from the beach, not actually on the beach; our friends were staying in the cabanas and were completely happy there. Tucked back about halfway between Mayang Sari and the main Nirwana resort.
Zoie was thrilled with herself that she could unlock the door. At 5 years old, that's quite a feat.
However, Baan Aarya, the Thai restaurant located at the Indra Maya pool villas is amazing.
The Kelong Seafood restaurant was not on my list to go to. I don't eat seafood but I was one out of the ten of us so I was a little outnumbered and frankly - the word seafood is misleading as there are many other dishes to choose from. We ordered about ten+ dishes and shared them. Those who ate seafood raved about it and the food I ate was extremely good! Bonus: the restaurant is built on stilts so you are eating above the sea too.
RIN, Japanese is another fare that I can't say is on my list of favourite foods to eat but again, I am outnumbered. The food was good. I would have been happy to visit the Thai again.
The spa huts where I had my Royal Javanese lulur and hair ratus were set back off the main spa are heaven. If you are staying here a spa visit is a definite must-do.
I returned with Zoie for a mommy and me spa treat within the main spa and at times I was distracted out of my ohm state because people were conversing loudly outside the room - but then again I would pull myself out of my ohm state to take these totally adorable/creating a monster photos.
The beach we pretty much had to ourselves.
View from the Spice Restaurant.
I've stayed at the Banyan Tree, Angsana, Bintan Lagoon Resort and Mayang Sari. My first choice with family is still the Mayang Sari and if my husband ever wishes to take me to the Banyan Tree again I won't say no.
This is another one of my accidental photography pieces. Using a macro lens I zoomed in on a jellyfish. Beautiful colours, right? Nature is amazing!
Why this video (refresh if you don't see it) on my computer shows as high quality but gets pixelated when I load it to youtube I'll never know. It's one of life's mysteries.
*restaurant images are taken from the Nirwana Gardens website.
Tagged with: Mayang Sari, nirwana gardens, Bintan, Travel
Staying st Mayang Sari within the Nirwana Gardens resort compound brings back many memories. Zoie was about 2+ months old at the time when we stayed here.
Zoie is a little bigger now.
The rustic cottages, sandy beaches, friendly staff, restaurants a-plenty and a spa.
Perfect for this Princess.
i love the spas in Asia. Every treatment starts with a variation of a floral foot bath.
The Anindya Spa has gone under some renovations since I was here last; still with the various traditional services but now the building has been upgraded.
I started with my favourite treatment EVER - the lulur. A Javanese royal body treatment that consists of a massage, scrub, masque and finishes with an herbal bath. Curcuma / turmeric is the main spice used and is known for its many healing powers such as being a natural anti-inflammatory as well as it treats skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It is also an anti-oxidant.
**if you don't see the video here please refresh the post title.
Next up: Hair Ratus (see the Instavideo) is a vapour treatment to enhance the beauty and strength in your hair. Herbs are placed into a burner and the vapour smoke works it's magic winding around hair strands as the spa technician gently lifts your hair, section by section. I'm trying to decide if my hair smells of herbs or chicory bbq ribs. There's no wrong answer here.
When I was googling the Ratus treatment it was hard to find a lot of information about it. What I did find were a few pieces on the vagina Ratus; a pre-wedding treatment to beautify and disguise odours.
There is also a kids spa treatment for a lovely mommy and me time.
Yes we did.
[Do check back as I will be reviewing the rest of our stay here.]
Tagged with: hair Ratus, Bintan resort ferry, Mayang Sari, Bintan, andrea claire, Indonesia
Eye brightener vs concealer causes confusion in many.
Here's the thing:
* If you look a wee bit tired, not full of dark circles, then an eye brightener may be all you need.
* If you have dark circles, sunken eye sockets, scars, acne etc... then you may need concealer or possibly both
Conceal first then foundation? Only if you're doing makeup in the 80s or going on stage.
Generally when you conceal first you are putting on too much makeup. Foundation formulas are so good now with many having a blurring effect to soften fine lines and cover imperfections, so the modern approach to concealer is to apply after your foundation, but only if you need it. Some chose concealer for touch-ups leaving the skin free of foundation. That's fine too.
Speaking of 80s; sculpting and highlighting a la the Kardashians is not a new technique. It's what us makeup artists learn - of course it's done well on them, but they aren't doing it themselves, and this flawless sculpted look is super high maintenance makeup. Sure, you can learn to DIY but bear in mind, it translates better on film than in real life so if you are starring on a (sur)reality show being followed around with LED lights and wind machines, then why not; sculpt and highlight away.
Of course a less cake-face way of doing it that beautifully translates to reality is to use a bronzer, blush and highlighter which is subtle but with enough shaping for selfies and buying groceries.
Concealers. Every company makes one and with my career spanning 23 years and still counting, I finally find a concealer that I like love.
This hydrating crease-control concealer with Vitamin E and apple seed extract-hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look. Yes, yes and YES! I love the coverage. It lasts as long as I need it too. You can reapply in the day without it creasing or caking. The downfall, it's available in only three shades which aren't fully universal.
An instant under-eye brightening boost. One of the most sensitive areas to stress: your eyes. Relief is in sight with Ooh La Lift-a formula of lightening botanicals and reflecting pigments that de-puff and firm the eye area. The great news is that it can be worn throughout the day and over makeup.
So, yea, what they said. I also like it around the laugh-line area to brighten and diffuse the deepening signs of aging. Laugh-line and funny bones; not so humourous.
Light, luminosity, radiance. The award winning, must-have, take anywhere instant highlighter that banishes shadows, erases signs of fatigue and leaves your skin looking radiant. Touche Eclat is ideal at any time of the day over bare skin, under or over foundation, creme or powder. Suitable for all skin types.
See! Not once did they use the word concealer in their description. This not a concealer wand is handy though. Everything it is you can pretty much get the same with the aforementioned - so just pick one. I have both but then again - it's my j-o-b.
Corrective concealer in four color-balancing shades designed to target specific complexion concerns. Exclusive micro-fil technology allows for targeted correction, visibly concealing imperfections while light-reflecting pearls impart a halo of light imparting a seamless, flawless facial canvas. Corrective concealer shades include:
- 1. pink: counteracts sallow, dull skin and effectively corrects yellow and olive pigmentation.
- 2. orange: targets olive or darker skin tones to conceal under-eye circles, freckles, dark spots and hyper-pigmentation.
Here's the thing with the Master Corrector - if you have dark panda eyes - get this. Apply it under your foundation. Mircle in a tube. Don't thank me, just send flowers.
Secret Camouflage contains a unique two-shade system, one to match the skin's depth of color and one to match the skin's undertone, making it possible for every woman to custom-blend her own perfect shade. The high level of pigment requires very little product to achieve perfect coverage.
- After applying foundation, pick up the product with the Secret Camouflage Brush by dragging across both pans, saturating both sides of the brush.
- Using the back of your hand as a palette, use the brush to warm and mix the two colors until you find the shade that matches your skin tone. Secret Camouflage is a true makeup artist's formula, so the more you work with the product the more easily you will be able to achieve perfect results.
- Using feather-light strokes, apply Secret Camouflage to the darkened areas of the face: blemishes, shadows, scars, capillaries, the area around the nose, shadows under the bottom lip, and any imperfections that the foundation does not cover.
*Notice that final sentence: "any imperfections that the foundation does not cover" What I said above. Now, LM does mention using this under the eyes. I personally find this product way too drying and anyone that applies it I can see the creasing. In my opinion, it's better used for covering acne scars and mountainous oily zits because of it's dry texture.
$24.00 by Laura Mercier USD at SpaceNK
I have never been a powder fan. OK, maybe when I was in high school; but this 80s New Waver used so much CoverGirl compact powder that my face cracked and bled one night. True story. Horrified with what powder did to my skin, I've stopped using it and highly encourage others to take a pass as well.
Dark shadows are a thing of the past when you use this weightless powder. The micronized pigments brightens and doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores. Do NOT apply it all over your face but I do like it on the highlight points as well. They say that it's formulated for all skin types but it will lighten on darker skin a little too much so be careful. Also - skin types doesn't say skin tone to me. Type would be oily, dry, sensitive. Tone is the darkness/lightness and cool/warm. Watch for your product's beauty wording so you don't get suckered in.
A lightweight finishing powder for setting makeup and controlling shine. Alison Raffaele Transparent Finish Powder - Clear
See that word 'Clear' ? Yes. It is. Faz and I prove it here on xovain It's finishing which means the final step before you move on to colour. However, if you use a cream blush I would apply that under your foundation or just before your setting powder. I'll get to that and more in the next beauty roundup.
Tagged with: benefit ooh la lift, benefit fake up, armani master corrector, Alison Raffaele, laura mercier secret camouflage, andrea claire, YSL Touche Eclat
hair & makeup by me for Bazaar (Singapore), styling Alli Sim
photographer Jingna Zhang
Many artists become known for various traits of their expertise and one that I commonly hear back about myself is my detailed attention to skin and my ability to create a flawless finish. A flawless finish isn't only in the hand of the artist but also the products used. Skincare plays a huge part of course, but the next few steps are crucial too.
I'm sure by now many of you know that if you want your makeup to last, you need to use primer; Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30 $48.00 USD at Ulta. Skin Perfect Primer is one of my faves because the active ingredients are pharmacy grade which means the actives are more powerful providing added skin treatments versus a simple cosmetic primer.
Velvety silicones create an instantly smooth surface. Peptides and Age Smart actives help firm and shield against MMP and free radical damage, as sunscreens shield against sun damage. Wear alone over your moisturizer for visible smoothness and luminosity, or after moisturizer application and before foundation to help fill fine lines for a lasting makeup finish. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.
Nars Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 $34.00 at Barneys New York
This NARS primer I've used many times as well. It's radiance under makeup is beautiful without looking shiny. There's a difference between radiant skin and shiny skin. This is a great primer to use when you're looking tired and puffy - either after a night of indulgence or hard work keeping you up to the wee hours.
Primed. Revived. Radiant. NARS Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 dramatically extends and transforms the appearance and vibrancy of makeup. Weightless and oil-free, it minimizes signs of fatigue to leave the skin luminous and revived. Get primed for a vibrant complexion.
Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease or flake, and lasts all day long. Hydrating yet oil-free, it obscures tiny lines and pores to ensure a smooth finish. No primer needed! It's built into Ultra Foundation, thanks to the super sophisticated, silicone-based formula. Another bonus - it sets without powder, preserving the youthful, dewy finish.
The silicone molecule is bigger than the human pore, allowing Ultra Foundation to form a lightweight, breathable second skin that is both moisture and oil resistant. It is truly non-comedogenic and is ideal for troubled or mature skin. Ultra Foundation's top-secret formulation creates an optical blurring effect that diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and gives the illusion of a smoother, more uniform and naturally dewy finish. No wonder it's the foundation of choice for stars like Fergie and Lady Gaga! FACEatelier.com [and I confirm every word. Nothing but LOVE for FA]
MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation $36.00 USD at Sephora
This liquid is shine controlling, oil-free and water-resistant. Formulated to hide imperfections, even out skintone, and mattify with a non-oily, perfectly powdered finish. The result is flawless and lasts for hours. I've started using this recently and although it has a complete coverage it doesn't feel heavy on my skin.
TIP! In the digital world where everyone seems to have become paparazzi, you need to be flawless for those surprise tagged photos that you wake up too. Balance your foundation's finished look by using MAT Velvet in the T-Zone and your other fave foundation everywhere else.
Youth Liberator Serum Foundation offers medium-to-full coverage and skin-firming benefits which now at the young age of 42 I need to reap. With its 24-hour hydration and SPF 20 coverage you can look dewy and flawless as the fine lines start to dig deeper. I bought this recently at Changi airport enroute to Cambodia. Flying out? Check your airport's Duty Free shops. Many beauty counters offer travel-only deals that are worth perusing.
This anti-aging foundation is infused with our award winning serum, Forever Youth Liberator Serum. Youth Liberator Serum Foundation combines 24 hours of nonstop hydrating properties to smooth and nourish the skin with our patented Color Tune-Up Complex to correct dullness giving you a newer, brighter complexion. From fair to dark complexions, Youth Liberator Serum Foundation corrects, unifies and evens all skin tones, giving the skin an instantly younger appearance.
Available in 10 universal shades. SPF 20 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
It's no secret that I'm not a pusher of powder. The dangers of powder on the skin can leave your looking chalky and full of lines. True story: us makeup artists, when on a job where we need to age someone by a few years we simply add powder. So with that being said, I also need to be up on various products that suits everyone's needs. The only powder that I've stumbled upon so far that I love - this Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation, a silky, lightweight powder that conceals imperfections and illuminates the skin.
Tip: Just like liquid foundation, you shouldn't be reaching for your powder foundation for touch-ups throughout the day. Instead, touch-ups should be with a blot film ( to control oiliness) or a skin brightener (revive tired skin). Foundation should only be reapplied if you have the flu and just snotted off your foundation or post make-out session.
What's your go-to primer or foundation?
Review my complete Beauty Lust Haves 2013 roundup here.
Tagged with: make up for ever mat velvet, FACE atelier Ultra Foundation, andrea claire, MUFE, dermalogica, nars
*If you don't see a video above here, please refresh the post title
Our final photoshop-free #azMondayMakeover of the year! Yes, it's Tuesday in Asia but we are sliding in under the North American timezone somewhere that keeps us in the Monday realm.
Weling is our youngest yet at 19, and how fitting for the end of 2013 as she wraps up her gap year to enter a law program in 2014!
Good luck Weiling and thank you for joining Zurina and I for our makeover series!
Weiling's makeup breakdown
When you have the youthful glow like Weiling a heavy coverage of foundation is unnecessary. The modern BB creams like MAC's Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 is perfect. $30.00 USD at M·A·C. Creamy emollients and optical pearl pigments blend with powerful SPF protection. Natural, semi translucent shades in a compact.
Perfect for tropical weather and oily-prone lids this crease-proof & budge-proof cream shadow is a must! Benefit has 10 incredibly wearable shades (including my fave Birthday Suit) and they glide on easily, lasting all day long. Fresh & fabulous colours for all!
Yaby Dramatic Neutral palette using a mix of black and navy as well as Bobbi Brown's Midnight (metallic)
Star Lash Tokyo Lash 008, a doll-like yet natural looking lash
Star Lash Brow pencils have a great angled tip for a seamless application, even if you are brow-application challenged. Blend with a soft toothbrush.
Hair & makeup:
*check back for updates. I have some notes to add y'all.
Happy New Year!!!
Tagged with: monday makeover, azmondaymakeover, zurina bryant, andrea claire