Sunday, July 28, 2013

Depression:Pills of Happiness

Sorry for the delayed post! This will be the last post in the series.

The Belle understands that to those who are suffering from depression, being happy may be the most difficult thing to do. But we all have a choice. To quote Hamlet , "To be, or not to be, that is the question".Ask yourself, would you rather spend your time dwelling over past issues or be happy, hopeful and look into the bright future ahead? The answer is pretty clear, isn't it?

The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like: Meaning, if you think happy thoughts, positive thought and things will be attracted-and vice versa. (Yes, I am a believer of The Secret) So, think of happiness as coming from an infinite source that, is within you, and belongs to you-now,release it, and let it wash over you, over every fibre of your being.

My Pills of Happiness! I  take them by the handful!

Instead of taking actual medicine, try this exercise: Get some of your favourite food. (The Belle is partial to chocolate). With every bite and swallow, visualize the food as a pill for your ailment, seeping into your body, and 'curing' the unhappiness. There. Feeling better already?

Let go of your troubles, my dear friends. Happiness is not far, I promise!

Take care, my beauties. The Belle will see you soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Depression: A Cry for Help (2)

When things prove too much for you to handle, it can be useful to have someone to talk to. Here are a list of numbers to call, should you need a listening ear. Here goes!

In Singapore:


this PDF file offers a comprehensive list of helplines to cater to different groups in Singapore who may be in need of help.


In the US

Please, wherever you are, help is just a phone call away.

*Please, feel free to add on in the comments section should you have any useful contacts which you think should be included here.

Apologies for the very hurried post. The Belle will be back soon!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Depression: A Cry for Help (1)

There has always been a social stigma towards getting professional help for depression. When it comes to mental illnesses, society tends to be less forgiving. Let's look at it this way: We do not shun people who need to seek treatment for flu and fever, so why should depression be any different? Have we not progressed enough to open our hearts to those who sincerely need our help, but yet are afraid to do so because of being looked at differently? It is our ignorance and selfishness that is preventing us from reaching out.

Support and understanding is key. Many people delay seeking professional help with depression, either because they are ashamed, or feel that it is something normal that they can overcome themselves. Talk to the person, and encourage him/her to seek help. Explain that it is a medical condition, and nothing to be ashamed of. Express your willingness to help, and be there for them every step of the way.

Create a low stress environment for the person, taking care to remove any sources that may trigger unhappiness. Help create a regular routine so that he/she can feel more in control. Religion may also help to give the person the support and refuge he/she needs. Encourage the person to carry out activities he/she enjoys. Discreetly, find the root of the person's depression-this will go a long way towards aiding in recovery.

 Also remember to take care of yourself-physically as well as emotionally. Taking care of a chronically depressed person can be very draining. Stay positive, and exercise patience. You need time off too!

 Stay tuned for the next installment, coming soon!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Depression: Recognize the Signs

Firstly, why is The Belle blogging on depression?This is a beauty/skincare blog, right? 
Well, The Belle believes beauty comes from inside out. No amount of skincare or makeup will make you look pretty, especially to yourself, if your mind thinks otherwise.
I am not going to pretend that I am an expert and start to give advice. What I have here is what I have gleaned from my research.  The list is not exhaustive. But I do hope that what I write here can help someone who needs that little push, to encourage sufferers to seek treatment.

But Belle, there are different types of depression! Why are you not listing them out?
As I said earlier, and I repeat, I am no expert, nor do I pretend to be. This is meant as an elementary diagnosis so that sufferers reading this can seek professional help if need be.

Here Goes...

1)Outlook on life becomes hopeless and a general feeling of helplessness, of things spiraling out of control. Sufferers may begin to hate themselves, feel unreasonable guilt and worthlessness

2)Losing interest in things that he/she previously enjoyed. Some may suffer a decreased sex drive, or in severe case, impotence.

3)Inexplicable sadness, bouts of crying,anger all sometimes with no apparent reason.

4)Fatigue and disrupted sleep cycles. Some sufferers go through alternate periods of extreme lethargy and excessive bouts of high energy.

5)Inexplicable anxiety and irritability

6)Excessive fluctuation of weight and appetite.

7)Suicidal thoughts

8)Inability to make decisions-even minor ones.

*Any experts, feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Comments welcome!

If you or anyone you know and care about is suffering, please do not let them suffer in silence. Depression is nothing shameful. (For those who look negatively at, or worse still, look down on people with depression, shame on you.) There is a reason it is called 'clinical depression'. Just like you would go to a ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist for the related ailments, why would you avoid seeing a doctor when you need help as such? Think about it...
Next up,  I will talk about how to self help, as well as help someone suffering from depression. See you back soon, my pretties!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Special Series Preview: Depression

Ever feel like your life is spiraling out of control? Or, do you feel like crying very often, for no apparent reason? Maybe, dear reader, you might be suffering from depression.

I was inspired to research and write about this topic since it is one that people generally avoid. I hope that after this series that I am writing, there will be fewer people suffering in silence. Depression is a medical condition, and nothing to be ashamed of. (Treatment=Happier+ more healthy person=Looking more beautiful!)

I will touch on several areas including diagnosis, and possible treatment.

The Belle will be back soon. Thank you for your patience. Till then, take care, my beauties!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: My Beauty Diary Puffiness Intensive Eye Care Mask

I think that my dear readers would notice that I do complain a little (Okay, a lot!) about my panda eyes. I was delighted to spot this mask sitting on the shelves of my nearby Watson's. Needless to say, I took the plunge. Having (almost) all the problems the different variants of the eye masks were prescribed for, I picked one at random, and this is what I got:

My Beauty Diary Puffiness Intensive Eye Care Mask
Without further ado, the review!

-Mask stays put, unlike other eye masks I've tried, which tend to slip. Now I know it's not me!
-Gorgeous design, shaped like a masquerade mask. My peepers feel happier and prettier!
-Does what it says; reduces puffiness. Dry lines are also slightly reduced.

-Price can be a little steep, especially if you use it often. ( I forgot, was it Sgd11.50 or Sgd9.50)
-Maybe I am a little fussy, but I do notice that the mask doesn't exactly 'cover' where my eyebags are.
-Other than reducing puffiness, seems to have little or no impact on my other concerns--dark eye rings and deeper lines. But it's a good excuse to try the other variants! Haha..kidding...

Repurchase is a maybe. While I do like the effect it has on my eyebags, I find that the effect only lasts till midday the next day. Perhaps due more to my terrible sleeping habits than the mask.  (I am guilty of mistreating my eyes, I do admit.) Having said that I am still tempted to try out the other variants. I probably will, in due course.

Sayonara for now, my eyeslids are drooping. The Belle is off to dreamland. See you again soon, dear beauties!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Recipe: Gingko Barley Dessert

I was enjoying a bowl of this dessert (cooked by mother dearest, not me.) and thought it would be good to share it since it has so many benefits. Here goes!

1 packet of prepared, vacuum packed gingko nuts
1/2 cup pearl barley, washed
1 large sheet of dried beancurd skin (be careful to choose the type meant for dessert, there are 2 types!)
Rock sugar to taste
2 litres water

-Put barley, and water in a large pot, bring to boil
-Add gingko nuts and sugar to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
-Rinse dried beancurd skin, breaking to smaller pieces. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the beancurd skin's consistency is to your liking.
-Serve hot or cold as preferred. Enjoy!

You can also stir in some a lightly beaten egg white if you like. Red dates can also be added, but do remember to adjust the rock sugar to taste. The Belle, however, prefers a more 'basic' taste without other add ons.

Gingko nuts in chinese medicine, help to fight the signs of aging, both inside and out. Barley, also known as Job's Tears, fight water retention (Attested to by The Belle), and dried beancurd skin, also known as Yuba, is made from the dried skin that forms on heated soy milk. And we all know soy is good for you, so enough said.

Now go prepare tonight's dessert. Go on.

Stay beautiful, my pretties. See you back soon!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review:Little Twin Stars X Sophie Monk Body Lotion (Whitening)

My recent holiday in Sunny Malaysia left my skin ravaged by the merciless sun. This, of course led to a frenzied trip to the pharmacy in search of remedies.

I spotted this adorable tube (together with the Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil, which I will review later), and, tossed it, albeit unceremoniously, into my shopping basket at the pharmacy.
Little Twin Stars X Sophie Monk Body Lotion (Whitening)
 Needless to say, I was attracted to the packaging, but more importantly, printed on the tube, loosely translated from Chinese, was  "diamond brightening whitening body lotion".  The ingredient list also stated goodies like sodium hyaluronate, diamond extract, and tourmaline extract as the first 3 ingredients. The lotion claims to 'nourish, hydrate, soften, refine, smooth, and prevent dryness' Just what my poor skin was in dire need of.

But did it deliver? Let's see!

-Left skin smooth, well hydrated and protected, even throughout the next day. My dry, cracked feet, interestingly, showed no signs of dryness even after a day of walking in slippers.
-Skin feels visibly softer. Again, attested to by my horribly neglected feet. Soles were visibly softer, and dry skin on the foot came off easily with scrubbing. Cuticles look less ravaged.
- Patchiness on toes and elbow areas from sun exposure are also almost gone with about a week's worth of daily use.
-Non irritating (for my finicky skin, at least)

-Can take awhile to absorb. But no biggie if you apply less and add more only where needed. Once absorbed, skin does not feel oily any more.
-Whitening effect not pronounced. I did see fading of the patchiness due to sun exposure, but the less 'damaged' areas didn't seem to fade as fast. Maybe it needs a little more time to work. Ok, I am being impatient, it's only a week...
-Lacks SPF

I am in two minds about repurchasing this. Definitely, pocket friendly- I found this retailing at around SGD5 when it was on discount. It works well enough that I would want to keep it in my arsenal of body lotions. My   only real gripe would be that it lacks SPF--which means that I have to layer on another SPF product if I were to use it during the day. The hot, humid tropical weather in Singapore does not bode well for layering of products. Perhaps I will reserve this product for night time use, and use my faithful Nivea for daytime.

*Yes, I do know this is not a new product, but I thought I would review it since I didn't find many reviews for this little gem.

More coming up soon. Till then, take care, my beauties!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Intensive Whitening Mask

I was on the lookout for skincare to give my dull, sleep deprived skin a boost, and my eyes fell on the gorgeous baby pink and white colours of the Garnier Sakura White range.

I was initially tempted to get the whole range, but remembering the bottles of my beloved Hada Labo (Yes, I still love you), and in the interest of my wallet, I stopped myself and had to be content with purchasing just the mask instead. (I will come back for you later! Haha...)

This skincare range claims, after use, in 4 weeks:
Rosy Radiance
Luminous Fairness
Even Skin Tone
Satin Softness
Dewy Clear Skin

Did it deliver? Let's see!
Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Intensive Whitening Mask (Pardon the reflection on the mask packaging!)

-Gorgeous baby pink mask! Got to love that.
-Fits very well-the best of the sheet masks I have tried over the years (and that's a lot of them)-thanks to the second skin technology.
-Left skin visibly smooth, radiant, and glowy after use
-Non irritating, skin was well hydrated and plump following usage
-Effects lasted well through the next couple of days

-None! I am in love...

A definite repurchase! The mask contains sakura extract (and hence the namesake) which helps soothe and recover skin from damage. Vitamins CG and B3 protect and shield skin from pollution. Perfect for recovering from the recent haze. Its going at the discounted  price of $17.50 instead of the usual price of $21.90, so now would be a good time to give it a try!(and no I do not work for them, nor am I sponsored or advertising for them. I am just excited because I really like this product.)

Its time for the Belle to retire for the night now. Come back soon for more reviews coming up next! Good night, my beauties! (Or good morning? Never mind. Bedtime it is!)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Preview:Reviews Coming Up

Hello my beauties, how has everyone been?

The June school holidays have been a hectic time for me, and my apologies for not updating regularly in the past month or so. But The Belle is back now!

Anyway, here's a peek at the reviews that I have coming up next, so remember to come back to read them!

coming up soon!
I thank everyone for their patience. See you back here soon!