April 2011 archive
The Best RM30 I Have Spent On So Far In 2011: EH! Magazine’s Beauty Workshop.
Last Saturday Huffy and I attended EH! Magazine’s Make Me Gorgeous Workshop held at Paradox Bistro in Bandar Utama which was also sponsored by Victoria Jackson Makeup, Sally Hansen and Peek-A-Boo hair salon. There was also a brief introductory speech by Datin Ira from Positive Image Resources discussing what is the definition of beauty for the modern woman.
The very polished Datin Ira and Huffy. Sorry about the bad exposure. I'm still figuring out my new camera.
Although Huffy and I consider ourselves “beauty pros” but this workshop shows that you there is always something new to learn in the fast-changing world of beauty.
Me gawking at how flawless Victoria Jackson Makeup's foundation looked.
There were 4 sessions – the beauty talk from Datin Eda, a glamorous but down-to-earth image consultant who reminded us that beauty is not just about hair,makeup and clothes but also inner beauty. She spoke about her days as a tomboy growing up in a Felda estate and how she ended up to become… Datin Eda. I found her refreshing and funny, and the speech was a great way to warm up the attendees.
Next, we have the Victoria Jackson makeup artists who introduced us to Victoria Jackson’s makeup (which will be launching in major department stores soon) and the Victoria Jackson’s version of the natural makeup look. I loved the foundation and under-eye concealer they gave us as it looked and felt really natural when applied. Looking at each other after our foundation application, we all suddenly looked like we had flawless skin..lol. Can’t wait to get my hands on the products when they finally launch in KL.
The gorgeous makeup products from Victoria Jackson Makeup that we got to play with.
The second session was from Peek-A-Boo hair salon, who taught us how to properly blow dry, curl and flat-iron our hair ( the 3 basic hairstyling skills all beauty junkies should learn). The hairstylists also taught Huffy a fabulous trick- how to use a flat-iron to CURL hair! You read that right – we got to learn how to use a flat-iron to curl our hair…and it was easier than using a curling iron. The salon also brought along a plethora of Kerastase products for us to try out and use.
The third and session was by the Sally Hansen people who taught us how to do a manicure at home – filing our nail into an oval, square or squoval shape, applying polish and how to choose various products for common nail problems like yellow nails, brittle nails or nails that just won’t grow We also got to learn how to apply nail polish on our own nails. I’m sad to report that this is the only part of the workshop where Huffy and I failed miserably. We picked gorgeous colors ( Huffy picked a brilliant aquamarine while I picked a vampy dark red shade) but somehow both of us managed to smudge the polish on all ALL our nails. Sigh.
Anyway, the 8-hour long workshop also came with free lunch, snacks and a Sally Hansen goody bag for all participants. And the price for all this? RM30 per person – I think the value of what was given was 10 times that. So thank you EH! Magazine for a lovely Saturday well spent. If only all workshops were this fun.
Who Really Owns SkinWhitening.org?
I know I’ve been posting a bit too much about skin whitening lately. Trust me, I’m not obsessed about skin whitening (anymore) as I’ve pretty much resolved my skin issues a few years back but I came across this particular website thanks to a reader who asked me about the product recommendations on said site.
So I went to the site and it looked legit enough on the surface. However, I have a few issues with the site that I hope someone from the site would care to comment on.
Issue 1: Their Free “Skin Lightening Report” is badly written and inaccurate.
This ebook was obviously ghostwritten by someone who does not speak English as a primary tongue and was poorly researched/edited. Clumsy sentence constructions abound and inaccurate/unsupported facts can be found liberally in this ebook. There are too many to list but one particular claim really got to me:
…anal bleaching is opted by many women to de-pigment the darken [sic] area around the anus, due to careless hygiene of women.
Really? Are you saying that the large majority of women who are plagued with pigmentation in the area surrounding their private areas are just dirty? Please. This poorly written book undermines the legitimacy of Skincare.org and the product reviews and recommendations that they give.
Issue 2: No Background Information on Site Owners.
Clumsy sentences and inaccurate facts aside, I also find it really weird I can find no background information or short biographical information on “Melanie” and “Kelly” , the two cosmetic scientists who are the supposed owners of the site. Not even their last names are listed here. Which is really strange don’t you think?
Issue 3: Unsubstantiated Media Claims.
Furthermore, the site claims to have been featured on Esquire, USA Today, Yahoo! and InformationWeek etc, but I can find no such media clippings on the site or on the web to back up the claims. Don’t you think it’s weird for a website to claim to have been in the media yet deciding to omit posting said media clippings on its website?
Anyway, I have written to Skincare.org asking them about the issues above. If they do respond, I’ll be sure to update this post – but until then, it’s still caveat emptor for you guys who are going to trust Skincare.org product reviews/recommendations since I can’t really verify the history or background of the owners.
Reader Question: What Are Effective Ways To Whiten Skin Using Methods Other Than Injections?
About a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a reader asking me how to whiten her Fitzpatrick IV skin to Fitzpatrick II. To know more about the Fitzpatrick scale please click here.
I’m actually working on an ebook right now about skin lightening and hyperpigmentation, and I hope to get that out ASAP but until then here’s a brief guideline on how to lighten your skin safely and effectively:
Step 1: Always Wear Sunscreen
The No.1 cause of skin darkening is UV rays. So the FIRST thing you have got to do is invest in at least an SPF30 sunscreen. I use Neutrogena’s sunscreen in SPF30 on my body and SPF50 on my face everyday. Do not skip sunblock ever. You need to stop melanin production in your skin to start lightening. Furthermore, if you lighten your skin using products and you don’t wear sunscreen, you are going to negate the effectiveness of your skin lightening cream. You must use sunscreen/sunblock that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Step 2: Exfoliate Your Skin
Stopping melanin production is one thing, but now you have to reverse the darkening that has happened so you need to exfoliate your skin. Skin darkening will happen to anyone who is a Fitzpatrick II onwards who have spent time in the sun without sunscreen (which is everyone who grew up where the sun shines) Here’s a big tip on how to exfoliate – stop using skin scrubs or that loofah. Manual exfoliation doesn’t really do anything other than scrub the top most layer of skin – and frankly it can be abrasive. Invest in chemical based exfoliators – i.e those that contain AHAs or BHAs. I’m a big fan of chemical exfoliators because they not only exfoliate to the deeper levels of the epidermis (where melanin is produced) effectively yet gently, but they also rebuild the collagen bundles in your skin resulting in firmer skin. My favourite all over body exfoliator is a product called Carotein Cream. This is by far, is the most effective (and affordable) exfoliating cream in the market. And it works. I have really dark South Indian friends who managed to lighten 4 shades using this cream alone. Another method of exfoliation is using chemical peels. You can actually peel your skin at home using at-home peels. My favorite at home peel is a Lactic Acid peel which comes in concentrations of 30% to 80%.
Step 3: Suppressing melanin production
If you have been dilligently following Steps 1 & 2, chances are after about 6 weeks, you should notice a lightening of your skin of up to two shades lighter. It won’t happen over night because your skin takes about 4-6 weeks to completely renew itself. However, if you really want to amp it up you can try skin lightening creams such as those that contain hydroquinone (no more than 4%) , kojic acid or arbutin. And some of you might ask- isn’t HQ dangerous? the short answer is No. HQ is dangerous in high concentrations. I don’t recommend anyone to use it at concentrations higher than 4% HQ. If you have started with Step 1 and Step 2, 4% HQ is more than sufficient for skin lightening.
Note: Skin lightening is actually a very lengthy and complicated topic and I’m sorry that my time management skills are so horrible right now I can’t finish the ebook on time. FYI, I was a Fitzpatrick IV and now I’m a Fitzpatrick II. To get effective (and affordable products for skin lightening is possible but you really need to do your research. After about a decade of trial and error, I’ve managed to find great products (which I will discuss in the ebook).
Hope this helps : )
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