Posted in My Stuff

10 Make-up Essentials for your 30s

After many years of misusing cosmetics and abusing my purse strings, I’ve come to refine my make-up routine and accepted the school of less is more. I used to experiment with colours and do lots of crazy things with wild eyeshadows and super bright (read green) eyeliner even to work. Eventually, my office look became a pared down 5-minute morning thing because you know… It’s the morning! I’d keep extra make-up in my drawers at work for occasions that required more of me.

I don’t think that expensive make-up is necessarily better all the time and I don’t think it’s important to load your face with too much junk. Let it breathe!!! It’ll thank you! Also, I don’t like clutter, so having 10 types of concealers, 15 tubes of mascara, 20 lipsticks etc just seems kinda excessive to me.


As I approach my 40s, I accept that my eyelids are a bit droopier, my double chins are never going away and I’ll never have baby smooth skin again. While I am not against cosmetic surgery, I feel like it’s not necessary just yet.

So what then?

Here is my list of 10 essential items to improve on the canvas nature has provided:

1. CC cream or BB cream with SPF
In lieu of foundation which I think is unnecessary for most people on most days, I think a CC (complexion corrector) or BB (blemish balm) cream will do just to even out skintone. Your own skin will still shine through and it’ll look more natural. It won’t cover all your flaws but you don’t want to cover everything, including the “good parts” of your skin.

2. Concealer
What the CC or BB cream didn’t cover, this will. This goes over and not under. Use sparingly. Mostly under eyes and parts where you have blemishes – like last week’s zit scars. Beware of being over zealous with the application as it will show up fine lines through caking!

3. Loose powder or light compact powder
Not a 2-way cake, please! Those are way to cakey and belong in the 80s! Just something light and sheer to help set your make-up after you’ve put it on and also for touch-ups when there’s shine. I prefer a compact powder because of the convenience even though other people think loose powder with a big brush gives a more natural finish.

4. A natural blusher
Depending on your skin colour and undertones, don’t pick something too bright or bronzy. While the contouring thing is popular now, unless you want to spend time blending different shades, stick with the colour closest to when your cheeks are flushed – not how you think you want your cheeks to look when they are flushed or how a colour looks on another person’s cheeks.

5. Neutral coloured eyeshadow
Again this depends on your natural skin colour and can range from ivory to peach to browns. It should be a few shades lighter than the skin on the rest of your face and when dusted over your eyelids, will help your eyeliner stay and your eyes look more alert!

6 & 7. Eyeliner and Mascara
I think that with age, our eyes tend not to be as perky and bright as before. While not absolute, the eyeliner and mascara combo when sparingly used, enhances the peepers by defining them. Also when eyeliner is not used in conjunction with a mascara, I see gaps at the lash line and it irritates me. I like it seamless and I always go with black for both!

8. Eyebrow pencil, shadow or gel
Choose a shade slightly lighter than your hair colour. Defined brows pull together a look but watch those arches! Don’t go too thin or too extreme! I prefer a pencil because of better control though a gel is supposed to be more natural.

9. Highlighter
Instead of some crazy 10-brush, 3 tone shading and contouring kit, I use a very simple technique – just sparkly white eyeshadow applied with my pinky finger in 3 areas. I dab and blend (with a clean finger) in the inner corners of my eyelids, the bridge of my nose and a small triangle between the outer corner of my cheekbones and under my eyes.

10. Tinted lip balm
I don’t wear lipstick everyday. When I do, I lean towards a bright orangey red and richly pigmented pinks. On regular days though, I want a hint of colour so that I don’t look sickly. Pick a colour that is similar to when your lips burn from eating spicy food. Trust me, it works! A lip balm is great even for humid climates because with age, the fine lines on your lips start getting deeper so this is the best time to get into the habit of gently exfoliating and nourishing it to keep them puckers supple!

What do you normally use in your everyday make-up routine? What gives your face that glow without looking too made-up?

Posted in My Stuff

My Stuff: Statement Necklaces

There was a period of time when I would be very cautious about buying necklaces because I have a very stubby and chunky neck. Many necklaces would look like they’d be lost under my double chins or I’d not even be able to clasp it around my neck (chain extenders are awesome). These days, I wear crazy statement necklaces that look like bibs or have large pendants just to even it out. I think a simple accessory like a necklace or bangle really changes the look of an outfit. It makes it look like you didn’t just throw on an outfit but instead made the effort to pull together a look when really, it’s just one more thing you put on.

So anyway, I think I found a way to get around my own issues with necklaces and I’m glad I don’t have to shy away from them anymore. It’s just like how if you have cankles or chunky legs, you shouldn’t wear kitten heels – firstly, the tiny stem wouldn’t support my weight, secondly, it’ll make my calves look even chunkier!

In this post, I just wanted to share some of the pieces I currently own…

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When I lived in Singapore, my favourite place to buy accessories and frivolous trinkets was Far East Plaza (it still is). Since I’ve moved to the US, I rely more on eBay because I hardly go out. I guess Forever21 would be a close 2nd!

What are some of your favourite accessories and where do you get them from? Please share some tips!

Posted in My Stuff

Throwback Thursday #10

IMG_9953My sisters and I took swimming lessons for a long time. Other than for survival and fun, like many Singaporean kids, we had to take tests to earn certificates. I probably have about 10 different ones. I didn’t like swimming because I’d rather be home watching cartoons on a Sunday morning. #tbt