Friday, March 29, 2013

Age of Beauty: Elixir(s) of Youth [1]

As promised, skincare ingredients that have tested true to help with retaining your youth. In short, the most common in antiaging.


Mode of Action
AHAs help sun damaged skin by binding moisture and improving collagen production and smoothing skin texture. BHAs work well on oily, breakout prone skin and also helps reduce redness from rosacea. Both work via exfoliation of the skin, encouraging new skin growth.

Things to Note
Sensitivity to sunlight is increased, so usage of a broad spectrum sunscreen while under treatment is a must. Those with darker skins need to be more careful as darker skins tend to scar more easily, especially with glycolic acid. Mandelic acid and malic acid tend to be safer options.


Mode of Action
Derived from Vitamin A. Cell turnover rate increases, leading to brighter smoother skin. Cellular structure damage is repaired in the epidermal cells, as well as dermaal collagen and small blood vessels, resulting in tighter skin. Oil glands and appearance of pore size shrinks. Scars decrease.

Things to Note
Again, a good sunscreen is a must as skin tends to be more sun sensitive with usage of retinoids. Concentration needs to be high enough for retinoids to be effective, and air tight packaging is needed to prevent the products from becoming unstable in the presence of sunlight. Retinoids should be used with caution, especially in sensitive skins. Pregnant women ahould also try to avoid topical retinoids as it they have been shown to be harmful to the foetus.

Vitamin C & E

Mode of Action
Effective antioxidant, Vitamin C reduces damage by free radicals and boosts the effectiveness of sunscreen by helping us withstand and counteract the effects of sun exposure. It also increases collagen synthesis, which may help to diminish fine lines. It also helps with depigmentation at 5% or higher concentrations. Vitamin C boosts the effectiveness of Vitamin E, which is effective towards protecting our cell membranes. Vitamin E works to protect the cell and bodily structures considered to be 'oily'. It is effective both orally and topically. It is thought to help to protect agains age spots and scarring. Vitamin E also helps to retain skin moisture, by boosting the skin's natural moisture retaining mechanisms.

Things to Note
Look for reputable brands as Vitamin C in skincare tends to break down easily and become ineffective if not properly stabilized. Also, both Vitamins should be used with caution in sensitive skins.

Next up, in Age of Beauty: Elixir(s) of Youth [2]- the latest in anti aging, and why you should be using them. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Age of Beauty: From the Belle's Dressing Table

My apologies for the slow updates!

 Without further ado, the must have products right from the dressing table of the Belle.

Hada Labo Lifting & Firming Lotion

I have reviewed this lotion quite some time ago, and I am still loving it! After continued usage in conjunction with my regular skincare, the fine lines on my neck have diminished. Retinol in the lotion helps to exfoliate and reveal healthier, younger looking skin.

Chamomile + Green tea Toner

This toner tightens skin and prepares it to absorb skincare afterwards. Chamomile soothes itchy skin. Regular usage helps to reduce dark spots associated with aging. (View my previous post for how to make this simple DIY toner!)

All too often, women are on the lookout for the miracle cream in the bottle. For me, I prefer to keep things simple. Why? Not because I do not trust modern technology, but because of the simple fact that once you start using stronger products, it is hard to go back to simpler products. So start with something simple, then gradually adjust the intensity of your routine as your skin needs it, until your skin finds the lowest concentration possible that is needed to keep it in optimum condition.

Next up, ingredients to look out for when shopping for your next youth cocktail.

Come back soon!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Superiority Complex

Just something that happened during my holiday, which I thought that I would share.

We were taking the night rail back to Singapore, and my son was being a little noisy(which I do regret if he was being a little of a nuisance. But the passengers in the same cabin were mostly charmed by him. Mostly.)

 There was a caucasian lady occupying the bed near to us, and I assume, was irritated by the noise.  She pulled aside her curtains, and, not very politely, said : "Could you PLEASE try to get your son to sleep? I am trying to rest here."

My husband was a little upset that someone was speaking so harshly in reaction to our boy, (who was behaving,like, well, a five year old.) but replied, very politely : "Well, I'm not sure whether we could, but we will try." And thus ended the episode. Or so I thought.

The next day, when we got off upon reaching our destination, I heard the lady in question say : "Thank goodness the journey is over. These Singaporeans have no class at all. Stupid, and uncouth. They can't speak English, and can't even speak their mother tongue well.They use what they call Singlish, which is an insult to the language. Luckily we're not like that. "  She did not notice we were behind her.

Now, friends that know me will probably testify that I will have episodes when I am tired, and start speaking with an American accent. I was exhausted that day, and probably not in a good mood from lack of sleep. I said to my boy with perfect American accent, loudly enough for her to hear.  "Sweetpea, lets move faster. In case we offend someone who is of a different class from us." and then to hubby, "I'm hungry la. let's go for breakfast leh."  She stopped in her tracks to stare at me. We left.

Okay, that was a little childish, I admit. But I feel obliged to speak up when visitors to our fair country look upon us with disdain. Sigh. Our world has modernized, but, have we truly progressed beyond the notion of the White Man's Burden? The superiority complex? hmmm.....

Please don't get me wrong. I do have good friends who are also Caucasian, and they are lovely people. Instances like this are one off events. But still, they do not feel good.

Sorry for ranting. Next up, continuation of the anti-aging series!

 (Pardon me, I know the series on anti-aging is taking awhile!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back in Action Again!

I am back home, finally.

Updates will be up as soon as I get my much needed beauty sleep since I haven't slept much the last 24 hours.

Thank you for your patience, and I will see you soon!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Almost Back!

I will be back in two days or so, thank you so much  for your patience!

Meanwhile, please do keep the comments coming. If you have any requests for any topics that I have not covered before, please do let me know, and I will see what I can do.

Meanwhile, take care, and stay beautiful, everyone!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Age of Beauty: DIY:Home Made Youth

What better way to pamper yourself to beautiful, ageless skin than your very own homemade DIY Spa? Here, 2 recipes to pamper and revive your youth. Enjoy!

Anti-Aging Home Facial

1/2 cup unflavoured yoghurt
1/2 tablespoon oats (quaker oats will do)
1/2 tablespoon honey
Spritz of rosewater

Cleanse skin as usual.Mix yoghurt, oats, and honey. Spread on face and neck, leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse off, gently massaging with circular motions as you go. Spritz with rose water, tap face gently. Follow with usual skincare.

This recipe makes enough for  2-3 uses, so store it covered in the fridge for up to 5 days, and use on days when you need an extra pick me up.

*yoghurt cleanses skin deeply,balances PH levels,and retains moisture. The lactic acid in it helps clear dead skin that causes dullness and rough skin. Oats exfoliate gently, evening skin tone, and removes impurities. Also, it regulates sebum production. Honey clears and nourishes, and smoothes away fine lines gradually. Inflammation is reduced, skin is clarified and toned, and tissues regenerate faster. Rosewater diminishes fine lines,  broken capillaries and blemishes. Antioxidants in rosewater helps to preserve cell youth, brighten and firm skin, and increase skin moisture.

Green Tea and Chamomile Toner

Green tea Bag
Chamomile Tea Bag

Steep both teabags together in about 200-250 ML boiling water. Leave to cool, and remove teabags. Pour into a spritzer, and store in the fridge. Spritz on whenever needed. It can also be used as a body mist.

*This mixture helps to lighten and tone skin as well as reduce signs of aging.

Anti-aging on the cheap. Of course,  as with all skincare, consistency is key. Take heed, and stay young!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Break for Holiday

I will be going on a one week holiday in a couple of days. (Yay! School holidays so finally the family is able to go on a trip.)

Thee series on anti-aging will be continued when I am back.

Meanwhile, I will still try to post updates during my holidays, but they may not be regular, so please bear with me!

Thank you for your patience, and please do keep watching this space!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Age of Beauty:Hall of Virtues:Eat Up!

You know what's good for you! I will not give you a list of hard to find foods, or  expensive supplements that promise to make you 50 years younger. That's not my style,you know. Here, a list of readily available foods from your local supermarket, for you to eat yourself young.

1)Leafy vegetables-Mummy dearest was right (and so was Popeye). Spinach (Along with turnip greens,collard greens, and romaine lettuce) contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants prevent Age- related Macular Degeneration. And get this, Spinach contains plenty of folate, which helps to prevent heart disease. Of course, not forgetting the Vitamin C. So, you look younger with this power packed package. Now go eat your greens.

2)Berries-All sorts. They are rich in anti oxidants that fight aging--more than most other foods. As an added bonus, they also lower the risk of disease, and memory loss.

3)Salmon-Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, it not only fights heart disease, it also keeps your skin supple. The vitamin B12 in it is also fantastic for heart health.

4)Nuts-Filled with good proteins that replenish your collagen levels and heart friendly fats.Also magnesium, as well as vitamins B and E aid in the war against heart disease and cancer. Five small fistfuls a week help keep the dermatologist away!

5)Yellow and orange vegetables-Protects skin from sun damage, lowers cancer risk, fights colds and other infections. The potassium in them also keeps blood pressure down.

6)Yoghurt- Excellent source of B Vitamins, protein and calcium. And if probiotics are present, disease causing germs also exit. Need I say more?

7)Vitamins A,C, and E. Potent antioxidants that you should supplement your diet with, especially for the busy working parent who simply has no time to eat right. They fight free radicals and keep you looking and feeling good.

Just little tweaks to your diet could make a great difference in the way you look and feel. This list is by no means conclusive, but it contains foods readily available which you can pop into your cart at your next trip to the supermarket.

Eat up, and stay beautiful, ladies and gentlemen!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Age of Beauty: You Are What You Eat! (1)Hall of Evils

You are what you eat. It seems so simple, isn't it? But yet, it is so often neglected by us.

Presenting to you, the list of common evils that obstruct you from our path towards ageless skin.

a) It is probably no secret that sugary, processed foods can be detrimental to you waistline. But, when you tell a woman (especially during one of those mad cravings) that, she may just ignore you. But if you tell her that the sugar will cause her to have sagging skin before her time, she will probably stop in her tracks. Sugar causes glycation, the result of sugar breaking down and bonding with protein, and thereby reducing the elasticity of collagen in the skin.

b) Ever seen how fast alcohol evaporates? That is what it is doing to the moisture in your body. The body suffers, and it shows on the skin. This is, however, a tough one as some alcohol may actually be good for you. A simple rule of thumb would be to limit it to one drink a day for women and two a day for men. 

c) Simple carbohydrates=Sugar=glycation. Enough said. Reach for the wholemeal and unrefined grains instead. These complex carbohydrates do not turn to sugar immediately, and instead, stay around in the system longer to provide sustained energy.

d)Saturated fats cause inflammation which in turn, causes aging. (They're not very heart friendly either.) Processed meats are high in saturated fats and nitrates, another cause of inflammation. These include your hot dogs, bacon, ham, etc. (Sad face for me.I like all of them.)

e) Any deep fried in oil-- because they are likely to be laden with trans fat--both heart unfriendly and inflammatory.

The above list is not conclusive, of course. But they are the most common evils that we consume on a daily basis, and it will do us good to avoid them. Easier said than done, I know. But you know what's good for you, my lovely ladies and gentlemen.

Coming up next, foods that restore your youth and glow. Watch this space!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Be Right Back!

The Belle and her family are facing an onslaught of the flu virus, so please bear with me while we are recovering.

**My apologies, as the belle has to deal with a big and small baby, plus make plans for an upcoming overseas trip.

I will be back soon!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Age of Beauty:Coming right up!

In the upcoming series, I will be addressing a topic of concern for many women: anti- aging. (Sigh, I am getting older...)

I will touch on several different aspects of concern, which include DIY recipes right out of your kitchen. And of course, product reviews.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

Maya Angelou, The Butterfly's Daughter.

Came across this while reading on the bus the other day, and thought that I would share.

To all the ladies out there, have confidence in yourself. Because you too, will one day, emerge from your cocoon in your full glory. The struggles and tribulations you have gone through will have become a thing of the past. But yet, fear not, when external beauty fades. You can be beautiful inside out. And that, will never fade.


*I seem to be reading a lot lately, and hence, I am more disposed towards intellectual musings.. (Cue puking sound)

Yes, reviews are taking awhile because I need to make sure that I test the products I have procured  (purchased) properly first. Thank you for your patience.

Till then, please feel free to browse through my humble little abode and be entertained.

Watch this space!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Importance Of Beauty

"It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior."

-Anne Bronte, Agnes Grey

We may comprehend, but how many of us have the wisdom, and courage to stand up against societal convention, and put it into practice? Alas,we live in a world whereby good looks do indeed matter. We preen our exterior and our minds, as society deems fit. But only when we can see past exterior beauty and cultivate our hearts and minds, will we see beyond the want for beauty. We will then no longer need to  wish for beauty, because it will shine from within.

(Having said that, I am in no way saying I am perfect. I look forward to the day when I become enlightened. Now, If you would excuse me, I need to tend to my face.)