Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A young woman, stands with an air of carefree confidence that is most noticeable in her serene almond brown eyes outlined with a dash of kohl. Soft porcelain smooth face with rounded cheek bones, proportionally slim nose, high trimmed brows, soft pouty pink lips, and rounded chin. Wondrous sparkles gaze out in playful curiousity as she smiles. A description of perfection.

That I am not.

Sadly, I haven't been blessed with the most beautiful skin. I probably had the usual soft baby skin upon birth but that was marred by Empress Dowager (aka mom) when I hit puberty and started sprouting pimples. Armed with the prick or what i'd like to call the squeezer and a box of tissue, she'd pin me down and squeeze with all her might as if seeking revenge. Because of such torture, I was scarred. Literally. My face was filled with angry red scars and sometimes with dried up blood. Empress Dowager's rationale was to "clear away the bad blood" but unknown to her, she's actually breaking my vulnerable capillaries. Porcelain complexion has never been in my dictionary. Instead, large pores, clogged pores, oily skin, acne were always words i associate with. Because of this, I grew up pretty much a low self esteemed girl deep down. On the outside, i appear strong and bubbly, but all these were just a coverup. Once someone attacks my soft spot and passes snide comments, I'll wither. This went on for years and when i started working, i tried to salvage the situation by visiting the doctor for medication which caused immense peeling. Later, as the bank account got a little fatter, I tried facial, only to wail when the lady did the extractions. That, too, failed. No product and no amount of facial helped. Later, when the Empress started working at a famed skin clinic @ Toa Payoh, I visited the dr only to be put off by his aloof attitude. During all these, I was in the midst of a relationship with my then bf, now husband. I felt tremendously inferior because all his friends' gfs were slim, fair and had gorgeous skin. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Many a times i was scutinized and criticised by some of his mean friends who did so thinking it was great fun to see a girl pissed or cry. Once i recalled, at a food centre by Bugis, "A" kept tormenting as he prattled on. My patience was tested by 'A' so badly, i slammed the table in public and walked off. Since then, they were careful with their words.

This insatiable hankering for perfect skin went on. I've never been so challenged as I embarked on this arduous teenage journey. Physical beauty is a basic criteria for being successful in many industries that creates escapist and idealistic versions of the world. Given the immense pressure this consumerist world, obsessed with beauty and youth, exerts on us today, I can't help but feel stifled. Covering up with heaps of foundation and concealers made things worse. It aggravated the blocked pores and perpetuated a vicious cycle. I was at my wits end. Thankfully, the hubs (back then bf) was wise enough to see beyond outer beauty. Afterall, beauty is only skin deep. That's the consolation i put forth to myself. The hormones carried on bitching as I aged. The oil glands did not stop oozing out those disgusting yet you-go-to-have-them oil. Then, i discovered THE PLACE which kept my misery at bay -- NIKS MAPLE CLINIC (for the record i have no affiliation with them)
I'm also pretty much like all consumers, constantly trying to determine which combination of products works best for my skin, given the generous amount of options out there in the market and thankfully, the products suit me. Be warned however that the queue can be horrendous.

When I preggers with BB K, my skin was at it's best! Pimples seem to be kept at bay and best bit was that my skin wasn't oily! One of the perks of being pregnant! Now that lil bunnikins is 16+mths old, my hormones are in a mess once again and the oil simply oozes out profusely! Anywayz, instead of lamenting, I try to do more. In my quest for the perfect skin, I've recently tried out a new facial series by Rachel K, former Singapore beauty queen. 

Below is my typical facial regime:

Step 1: Milk Cleanser from NIK's to get rid of my makeup followed by Citrus Cleanser from NIK's to give it a good clean; Lastly an AHA exfoliator which i don't find quite effective coz it doesn't produce those little beads which will give my face a good scrub.

Step 1: Dr Brandt's Toner -- looking fwd to finishing the bottle coz i don't quite see the advantage of using it; CURE exfoliator which is used only once/ twice a wk; Habo Labo's Moisturiser (this is something I swear by when my skin was utterly dehydrated during pregnancy and lastly, Aroma Gel from NIK's to keep the pimples at bay

Step 3: My latest Rachel K collection. Vitamin Booster, Day cream and Night cream. Nice smell and doesn't irritate my skin so i suppose it's still good? Love love love the mask! it's gel like and has 30g of essence in it! put it on, leave it for about 10mins or even wear it to bed, it's absolutely fine!!! no rinse involved! Perfect for a lazy and busy mother like me.

Step 4: for the eyes: La Mer's must-have eye cream which i use sparingly only at night coz it's tremendously expensive for one small little bottle!!!!; For day it's the roller from Garnier. Quite useless for a woman of my age if you ask me; Of late, I'm trying Faceshop's Snake Venom (or at least that's what the sales person said it was)'s said to boost collagen and fill up the wrinkles! So far my skin is taking well to it and hmm maybe it's my imaginable but i feel the lines on my neck are plumped up!

It's really a lot of work being a woman. And like they say, the world doesn't have ugly women, just lazy women. Unfortunately, these days with a change of role, I've evolve to become the latter. However, I'm constantly reminding myself to upkeep and up the glamometer so that the hubs will feel refreshed everyday (or at least once a wk!). It's really important for us women to still upkeep ourselves. Although it's a sad fact that marketing and society hoodwinks us into thinking there is nothing else more important that all the glamour and hoopla, you can't secretly agree that it makes us feel good if people around us appreciate the pretense. More importantly, that's one way to spice the marriage up and prevent the hub from straying! So i'd better start being more hardworking in this department!

What's your facial regime and products that you swear by? Do share! 

Lastly, I leave you with some skin care tips from