A Girl’s Guide To Self-Tanning: How to Fake That Glow Like A Pro

Growing up in Asia, the idea of tanned skin is not widely appreciated nor desired. Instead, lily white complexions are always in vogue. Wherever I visit beauty counters, there are so many shades of beige, but rarely do I ever see moisturizers, body lotions and/or face masks that target tanning.

Even though I was born a lighter shade of beige, I was perpetually tanned throughout my childhood due to countless swimming lessons. It wasn’t until I had to study for college that I became slightly fairer and looked pastier than a bottle of Elmer’s Glue. In need to fake that tanned complexion, what else can I turn to than a bottle of self tanner?

Before I go any further, I’ve had a long history with self tanners since high school. When I was in 9th grade, I used to ask my sister (who studied in the States) to get me a bottle of Sevin Nyne at her local Sephora. Upon my first try with Sevin Nyne, each spritz was able to evenly cover my skin without any issues. (Who knew that Lindsay Lohan was able to develop SUCH an amazing self tanner?!) Flash forward to 2012, I snagged a bottle of St. Tropez’s self tanning mousse for my body and cream for my face. Compared to Sevin Nyne, it honestly didn’t give me much of the much desired golden tan I craved for and it also made my face erupt with pimples like pepperoni on top of pizza. After years of swearing off self tanners, I guess that it was time to go back to sunless tanning as I realized that not all areas of my body are evenly tan! (Hence why my face tends to be paler than my arms due to sunscreen and abs are whiter than my back due to my preference for low back one pieces – eew!)

In need of a touch up, MineTan sent me their trusty Nano Mist , which comes with a rosewater spritz to help my newfound fake tan last. Since this is the first time I’m trying out a spray tan after five years, can Nano Mist really live up to its hype for a bronzed glow?

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Rippling the Roots with Ripple Root’s Estella Ng and Liquan Liew

Growing up in Singapore, I’ve always walked past by museums, shopping malls and local landmarks of statues that highlight the history of the country. Frankly, I didn’t really think that the +65 would have anything to offer apart from touristy souvenirs and postcard-friendly landscapes until I stumbled upon large colorful murals at Keong Saik Road two summers ago during a photoshoot with Audrey Kwok.

Filled with every shade of the rainbow, these murals lit a spark inside my body. While I was trying to search for the artist’s name, “RIPPLE ROOT” was written in big, yet thin bold capital letters. From there, it woke up a newfound hobby to find local artists around the island.

Flash forward to August 8th, 2019, I finally met the team behind Ripple Root – Estella Ng and Liquan Liew – at the opening of their new exhibit “Raffles, Pineapples and the Swamp” at Hilton Hotel’s Yang Gallery. In collaboration with Club 21, Liew and Ng displayed their artwork alongside designer togs to paint a visual story of the evolution of Singapore from a Third World kampong to a First World nation.

We catch up over e-mail to talk about what motivates them to make these iconic murals, the concept behind their newest exhibit, being inspired by Singapore’s history and having creative freedom in the +65.

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#HERSSENTIALS: Statement Eyewear You Can’t Live Without

Growing up, I always loved collecting sunglasses. As a firm believer in eyewear, I never forgot seeing images of Paris Hilton in her oversized Dior Glossies, Nicole Richie in her round Eley Kishimotos and last but not least, Mary-Kate Olsen’s half lensed Chanel frames. Since then, I’ve collected everything from vintage ’70s butterfly peach Linda Farrow sunglasses, rimless Gucci shield wraparound frames and my Takesh Eyewear heart shaped Lolita-inspired frames. Truth be told, a pair of sunglasses are like a disguise: you can either hide your Friday night hangover, wear a dark pair to avoid running into an ex or use a pair of statement frames to make heads turn.

If you never found a pair of signature shades to try out, here are some pairs that you should try out:

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No Scrubs: The Guide To Using Natural Exfoliants

Polluting the ocean isn’t the key to sexier, smoother skin. As public enemy #1, micro beads feel harsh and based on my experience, it hasn’t done anything to improve my skin texture. Rather than relying on plastic beads to clean my skin, I’ve realized that the best exfoliants come from the kitchen!

As a sustainable alternative, food-based scrubs exfoliate, improve my skin texture and make my cheeks glow. However, some ingredients are either a hit or miss. For instance, take Kylie Skin’s Walnut Face Scrub. Packed in an IG-friendly millenial pink tube, it’s a chicer alternative to St. Ives’ Apricot Face Scrub; however, its choice of using walnut powder has been dragged to filth due to the sharp edges of crushed walnuts. Since walnut powder has been linked to micro tears and abrasions on the skin’s surface, I wouldn’t want to use that too frequently on my face. (But, it works better on the body as it’s more aggressive!)

Since I’m on the hunt for the perfect natural exfoliant, what are some greener exfoliants that actually work on the skin?

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Creative Direction 101: How To Be Your Own Creative Director

Being a creative director is the dream job of the 21st century. As the closest thing to a CEO, a creative director has a lot on her plate. For the past one and a half years since I launched Soeng Signature, I never thought that I’ll be writing this guide and be a creative director of my own brand.

With Instagram as a virtual moodboard, it feels so easy to sit there and copy whatever’s available because sadly, that is how the fashion industry operates. Even though it’s totally OK to be inspired by what you see, what exactly is the point of being a creative director if you really can’t create at all?!

If you are a young creative director and you’re trying to navigate the waters of this role, I got you covered. 😉

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Are Superfoods The Superheros For Our Skin?

Eight years ago, I was an omnivore that enjoyed eating sushi, steaks, pizza and satay. I was also eating all sorts of yummy, but healthy snacks that somehow toed on the line of unhealthy. Even though I was on the way to start my senior year of high school, my skin was going through some puberty and stress-induced changes of spots, blackheads and oiliness. My mom sent me to see celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer.

During my appointment, Dr. Lancer dropped the bomb that I was treating my skin horribly with meat, raw fish and pizza. Rather than eating all the no-no foods, he advised me to eat more greens. From there, I started to think twice about what I ate.

Flash forward to 2019, I love a cup of coffee with almond milk and two tablespoons of Moon Juice’s Beauty Shroom, count on gluten-free meals, subsist on acai bowls and avoid anything with dairy to keep my skin crystal clear. (However, I can’t keep myself away from deep fried food!) While eating the right food can obviously do wonders for my skin, the same kinda goes for the right skincare.

Enter Rooki Beauty. As a newly founded local skincare brand, they’ve been successfully launching themselves as a rising force with a superfood-based face cleanser, moisturizer and mask. They slid into my DMs, asked me if they can send some items for review and as a skincare/wellness junkie, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Before I continue to my review, can superfoods be applied topically to save your skin?

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Real Girls Talk: A Girl’s Guide To KonMari’ing Your Toxic Friends

Sparking joy sounds like the biggest cliché you heard in 2019, but it has a ring of truth in it. No matter how sad or happy you feel, nothing makes your heart warm up more than a friend who is there for you at your best and worst moments. When time reveals that the friend you counted on is like a low quality Zara dress, is it time to toss the friendship in the donations box?

As someone who’s struggled with friendships all my life, it hurts to think about the new friend whose behavior often makes me question the friendship. Although I mainly like to blog about fashion, beauty, travel and get real with your Man Crush Mondays, I’ve been beginning to realize that as much as you look up to me as your resident kween, I am just a girl who deals with everyday struggles like you.

Given that I never had an easy time making friends at school, I always felt that having to keep around friends was a personal challenge for me as I had to break up with some whose actions broke my heart.

Even though we have times when we almost contemplate about ending a friendship, the simple principle on who to keep in your life goes on like this:

Despite this fuss-free KonMari method, there’s no “perfect” friend as we often make mistakes and fix them in a friendship. If you feel that you are having a hard time deciding on keeping a friendship or unable to define the types of red flags your friend’s been sending, here’s a lil’ guide on the types of behaviors you need to steer clear of:

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