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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#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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Getting Red-dy For The Party: A Guide On The Best Red Lipsticks Of All Time

Growing up, I’ve always seen my mom wear red lipstick. There’s never a moment where my mom ditched her tubes of Chanel and Cle de Peau. As a gloss girl throughout my childhood, I never bothered to wear lipstick until I went to NYC in the summer of 2011. In NYC, I was always distracted by the beauty aisle at Duane Reade, Space NK and Sephora. While I was hesitant to try any other shade outside of pink and nude, the biggest life-changing moment happened when I stumbled across a row of Lime Crime lipsticks at Space NK.

Say what you want about the most controversial indie beauty brand, but Lime Crime’s campy pinky purple tube contained the brightest neon red. Dubbed “Retrofuturist”, this blue-based red felt so right. The moment I swatched it on the back of my hand, my eyes immediately fell in love. As I tried it on at my sister’s studio apartment, I knew that red lipstick is destined to stay inside my makeup bag.

Now that I’m an avid lipstick collector, there is never a day when I am never without rouge (save for some gloss or lip balm). If this is your first time wearing red, don’t be shy.

Continue reading “Getting Red-dy For The Party: A Guide On The Best Red Lipsticks Of All Time”

Firming Up With Singapore’s Buzziest Budget-Friendly Skincare Brand

Skincare brands are my wallet’s kryptonite. No matter how much hype it’s got on Instagram or at the nearest Sephora, the beauty gods flip a coin. As someone who’s always open to trying out new skincare products every time a bottle runs out, no single product can make my sensitive oily skin happy.

In all honesty, I’ve had my fair share of trying out anything whether it’s a dermatologist-approved brand, an Instagram cult staple and/or something radically green. Like dating, you simply play around with whatever works for you. As for me, I found plenty of things that sparked joy until I realized that certain products just don’t work for me anymore whenever I get a breakout.

In this case, The Skin Firm, a newly launched local brand, approached me to try out their products. For someone who’s been living in Singapore for more than 20 years, I’ve never tried out local brands before. So, I’ve decided to give it a shot!

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#HERSSENTIALS: The Black and White Purse

Picasso painted the blues and Hefner loved his busty blondes. Like peanut butter and jelly, nothing can separate (or go between) black and white. As a hardcore bag collector, the one color scheme that can’t escape my mind is black and white.

Timelessly classic for generations, black and white has always given every outfit a bit of oomph since Ruth Handler dressed Barbie in her signature chevron strapless swimsuit in 1959. For myself, nothing beats a black and white handbag.

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#TURNUPTHEGLOW with St. Ives

You can always turn the lights down low, but can you make your skin turn up the glow?

As a skincare junkie, I’ve been stuck in a merry go round of trying out a bajillion different products. If I have to pick a category, I’ve been in a steady stream of non-committal relationships with sheet masks. Ditto with scrub as I tend to be hyper anal about deep cleansing effects with a single exfoliation. Upon unconsciously knowing my concerns, St. Ives slipped into my inbox offering me to #TURNUPTHEGLOW with three types of sheet masks and their signature apricot scrub.

As an offer I couldn’t refuse, why the heck not? The moment a box arrived, I couldn’t wait to open my new gift. Inside, it contained one apricot scrub and six sheet masks (i.e. two of each type). Even though the brand’s scrub is cult status, is it something that actually lives up to its expectations?

Before I can say anything, I’ve decided that it’s finally time that you guys get a glimpse of my Photoshop-free skin that’s filled with freckles, dark circles and acne scars! Brace yourselves, y’all!

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Break Up With Your Birkin, I’m Bored

No shade, Hermes. The Birkin bag needs to be put away inside the closet once and for all. Even though I wanted to wear one, I feel that it’s never felt right for me to wear it as I’m a little too young for the design. Also, Birkins are for aspiring Hilton-Kardashian acolytes who wish they can have the luxury to do sacrilegious things to the “Holy Grail” of handbags. Either they can go HAM by bedazzling it or worse, covering it with a heinous painting. I know it ain’t right to tell you to put your Birkin away, but it’s time to say, “thank you, next!”.

You could call me crazy, but the one long forgotten “It” bag you must rock this season is the Fendi Baguette. Compact, yet spacious, the Baguette’s rectangular silhouette made it a hit in 1997. Rather than having a plain surface, the Baguette came in every design imaginable: beaded, mirrored, fur trimmed, bedazzled, embroidered, etc.

Due to its party-friendly design, it’s got a long waiting list and a big celebrity clientele from Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton. However, the one thing that made Fendi’s Baguette the “It” bag of the ’90s and early ’00s was the fact that it appeared on Sex and the City.

Spotted in a giraffe print dress with Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals and a purple sequined Fendi Baguette, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) got lost on the way to go shoe shopping and asked a stranger for directions. However, her plans to get around NYC didn’t go as expected:

Also, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) wore a fake Baguette to shake hands with Hugh Hefner:

…and she fought with a Playboy Bunny over a FENDI BAG!

Even though I was too young to watch SATC at that time, I never forgot the fact that I saw my mom wear different iterations of the Baguette as she watched the show. Heck, she even tore out a Fendi ad featuring a model wearing a Baguette!

It’s now hanging on my wall!

Although my mom doesn’t wear her Baguettes anymore, she’s waited patiently for nearly 20 years for me to wear them again. Even long before the #BaguetteFriendsForever campaign was released this week, I’ve been sporting my mom’s vintage Baguette since last fall:

Now that it’s officially relaunched, I’m not here to tell you to get a Baguette because of a hashtagged post. Instead, I am here to tell you that Baguettes are worth a treasure to keep for a lifetime as its campy statement-making design will amplify any outfit no matter what the trend or aesthetic is at the moment. While another “It bag” has yet to be revived anytime soon, I am never breaking up with my Baguette even if I get bored.