The Good And Bad To-Do List For You Skin

tumblr_mvx0isLEyM1rjat2yo1_1280-768x512Skincare is an important part of taking care of our body, the way we eat healthy foods, drink water and exercise. If you think back to your teenage days you might recall going through the stage of having acne. If your skin has quite a lot of blemishes, wearing makeup can slow down the process of improvement. It’s okay to wear it from time to time, but it’s good to have days where you allow your skin to breathe. Good skincare can make you feel more confident and embrace your natural beauty.

My number one tip is to emphasise how important sunscreen is, and the need to wear it everyday. After having a skin consultation today, I realised my skin is more on the oily side, which is helpful in knowing what products and what to do to help minimise acne. Makeup may be able to cover blemishes, but your skin will always be a part of you, especially when it’s the biggest organ of the human body! The environment, lifestyle, habits and food can affect our skin health.

Good to-do list for your skin

Wearing Sunscreen everyday. If there’s one item of skincare aside from cleansing and moisturising that is necessary, it is wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine.

Drink enough water. Drinking enough water affects our body and mind. It hydrates our body and our skin will thank us for it. Drinking enough water also gets rid of the toxins inside the body.

Get your beauty sleep. We need a good amount of sleep per night, as the skin needs to repair. That’s why they call it beauty sleep, because it allows our skin to keep healthy rather than become dry and dull.

Using products that are effective for your skin type. There are ingredients in products that can be more effective than others, as well as products that are suited to certain skin types. In the past, I used a cleanser that over-dried my skin and caused redness. If you have sensitive skin, use a gentle cleanser.

Minimising long sun exposure. UV rays can cause wrinkling and sun damage. It’s important to get a certain amount of sun everyday, but try not to stay under the sun for long periods of time.

Wash your pillow case regularly. The pillowcase can collect dead skin cells, bacteria and oil. Make sure to wash it once a week or every fortnight to avoid your skin collecting the germs.

Eat a healthy and clean diet. Making sure you eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables such as Tomatoes, is beneficial for the skin. It makes sense that the healthy food you eat, will reflect on your skin.

Cleanse and moisturise. One of the most basic steps in a good skincare routine is to cleanse and moisturise the skin every day and night. Our skin can pick up dirt, dust and smoke in our everyday surroundings, which is why cleansing is so important. Moisturising keeps the skin hydrated, especially during winter when the air is dryer.

Bad to-do list for your skin

Long-term stress. When we feel stressed we frown more, which can cause stress lines. Long-term stress can also cause the skin to break out as stress increases the amount of hormones, which can cause the skin to become oilier.

Smoking and drinking alcohol. Everything in moderation, but if one smokes or drinks too much, it can have a bad effect on the skin. Alcohol can dehydrate your skin, which make it more prone to wrinkles and dryness. Smoking increases the likelihood of getting some skin cancers and leaves your skin sallow.

Over washing the face and hot water. Hot water can dehydrate the skin and cause it to have a dry texture, and over washing can cause it to be stripped away from its natural oils. Use a luke warm temperature that’s gentle for your face.

Touching your skin. It’s best to resist popping pimples because they can spread bacteria and can sometimes encourage the acne to worsen. Sometimes, when we feel irritation it’s best not to pick at the skin, as it can cause inflammation.

Talking on the phone. Our phone has bacteria and grime on it, as we tend to use our fingers to touch it constantly. When using the phone against your face, it can encourage bacteria and acne to grow.

Going to bed without removing your makeup. If you wear foundation and eye makeup, it can leave dirt and oils on your pillowcase. It’s also bad for your skin because the makeup will cause clogged pores.

Eating too many sweet foods, fast food and dairy. If you’re a sweet tooth like me, this is a tricky one, as sugar can affect the skins collagen and elasticity. Collagen affects how resistant the skin is to wrinkling.

Photography by Alexey Merkushov for Bohemian Diesel

A Smile Is The Magic And Light Inside Of You

0bb12f0308caf9ef46c203ad3de8b74b.jpgThe most beautiful thing in a person is their wonderful smile. When someone laughs, their eyes light up in the way the sun rises so naturally or the raw laughter of a baby. I was reading a post here on the facts about smiling. It’s absolutely true that we feel better when we truly smile and smiling is a universal sign of happiness. When you smile there is a feeling of warmth, like a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, sitting beside the fire reading a good book. A smile tells us that there is so much to be grateful for.

Imagine the little golden sparks setting off in pitch blackness, growing slowly into a firework until you can’t help but burst out laughing. A smile feels as if you’re embracing an old friend you haven’t seen for years and years. It makes you forget all of your worries, and focus on being in the present. It reminds us to enjoy the little things in life, and live in the moment. Remember that feeling of happiness, as a young child, when Christmas comes around? You almost don’t want to go to sleep, and when you do, you wake up early in the morning excited for the day.

When I worked at my first job, there was a person that I noticed didn’t smile very often. However, when he did there was something about the face becoming relaxed, taking away all the tension. There’s something beautiful about seeing the wrinkles around someone’s eyes and mouth, and that shine in the eyes. It’s that feeling of sitting at the airport arrivals and seeing the smiles that light up when families and friends see their loved ones. A smile is special in the way it strokes upwards reflecting our happy thoughts. A smile is the way a painting can create so many feelings inside of us.

Photo of the Beautiful Eva Green & Louis Garrel in The Dreamers 

New Zealand Cruelty Free Beauty Brands

60cc6f698efa317df7fbcdb98d5b8316.jpgNew Zealand has many amazing cruelty free, vegan and organic skincare brands. For the sake of this article, I will focus on cruelty free brands (although many of these are vegan and organic too). When I was living in Australia, there was also an awareness of ethical brands and the ability to choose cruelty free and eco-friendly options.

There are many beauty and skin care products that promote ethical production. As we have increasingly more access to information online, there is more awareness about the brands we use. I’ve listed below just some of the cruelty free brands. However, if you have any that you know, please feel free to comment them down below!

Makeup Apotheka |Belle & Sage | Karen Murrell | Living Nature | World Organics

Haircare Belle & Sage | Earthwise | Ecostore | Essano  | Evolu | Lust | SavarThe Herb Farm

Skincare  Antipodes | Apheleia | ApicareApotheka | BeautousBelle & Sage |BestowBlue Earth | Bon Bon Vegan | Do No Harm | Ecostore | Essano | Ethique | Evolu | Geo Skincare Goodness | La’bonicLinden LeavesLiving Nature | Moana | Nellie Tier |OasisOlive |Only Good Orania | OxygenPlantae Sansceuticals | Skinfood |Snowberry | Stella For Cruelty FreeSurmanti | Tailor  | Tonic RoomTrilogy |Tribeca|  The Herb Farm | The Cruelty Free Shop | World Organics | You Are Loved

Washing Earthwise | Ecostore

Photography by Elias and Theresa Carlson

Taiwanese Beauty And Fashion Youtubers

15390784_1379251005432540_3797534437254400477_n.jpgFor those who are curious or would like to discover some Taiwanese beauty and fashion youtubers, I’ve researched and compiled a list of several bloggers from Taiwan. Many of them share their views on beauty and skincare products, review the latest products, give snippets of their daily lives, shoot fashion look books, travel videos, styling, hair tutorials, advice videos and try on hauls.

newapplearial My favourite recent video from Arial is the 范冰冰 makeup look here. She is one of the only Taiwanese beauty youtubers that I watch regularly, as I find her relatable and appreciate her natural and minimal makeup looks.  F | I | B

Dolly 守屋幸慈 Dolly is one of the first Taiwanese bloggers I discovered, when I was searching for a wavy hair tutorial here. As well as her makeup and hair tutorials, she is also a talented artist. F | I | B

Its Jcnana Joanna’s channel has makeup tutorials, haul videos and travel vlog videos. She is based in Toronto. Watch her 20問答 video here to get to know more about her!  F | I | B

朱綺綺 朱綺綺 is a model, actress and beauty youtuber. Her channel features makeup tutorials, monthly favourites, hair styling, vlog, skincare and fashion videos. F | I | B

Hello Catie Catie posts product reviews, monthly favourites, hauls, makeup tutorials and shares her views and opinions on the featured productsF || B

Mii 黃小米 Mii is a fashion blogger who shares her videos on fashion, beauty, look books, skincare and travel. F | I | B

Astor 街頭時尚 Astor is a freelance model and beauty youtuber. She shares videos on products, makeup tutorials and beauty looks. F | I | B

Selina Beauty  Selina posts first impressions, makeup reviews, vlogs, everyday makeup and monthly favourites videos. | I

EVALIN Eva posts monthly favourites, vlogs, fashion lookbooks, essentials, travelling and skincare videos. F | I | B

GINA HELLO! Gina loves Cats, Fashion, Beauty and Travel. She makes fashion and beauty related videos with product reviews, try on hauls and makeup tutorials. F| I | B

I’m Charlie 查理 shares beauty reviews, tutorials, advice, vlogs and sit down chat videos. F | I | B

夢露 MONROE 夢露 posts makeup tutorials, skincare routine, vlogs, hauls, fashion try on videos and monthly favourites videos. I love her minimalist fashion styleF | I | B

TheKellyYang Kelly posts a range of videos from travel vlogs, monthly favourites, makeup tutorials, fashion outfits and try on hauls. F | I | B

I AM SINSIN 陳欣欣 is the Brand Director of LOVEBABYTWINS here. She posts fashion and beauty related videos, from look books, outfit of the day, styling and vlogs. F | I | B 

If you have a favourite Taiwanese youtuber not listed here, feel free to comment them below :)

Image via 陳佩佩Arial Chen

Beautiful Things Don’t Ask For Attention

artThe most beautiful things in life can’t be seen. It reminds me of an interview I watched, where they spoke to several elderly people, and asked what were some of the happiest memories in their life. No one would say money, appearances, status or materials. It’s always the relationships they had with people. The happiness that is a life time and can only be felt in your heart. That’s the kind of happiness that is long lasting. A lot of beauty is what is left for the imagination. It doesn’t reveal itself, but it unfolds over time the way each chapter of a book does. Sometimes, it doesn’t realise that it’s beautiful, like the way a tree flows in the wind, the roaming green and mountainous hills or the way a bird flies across the blue skies.

Last night, I was watching a film and at one point the words beautiful things don’t ask for attention was said, and it stayed in my mind. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. -Thich Nhat Hanh. Sometimes it’s the things that are just there. It makes me think back to living in the country side, with the flowers in springtime and the lambs running around. The odd butterfly stopping by and the way the dew looks during wintertime, when the sun rises and it shines against the spider webs. Those are special moments that you capture inside your mind. They’re the gift of nature. Then the kind of beautiful is the one from our heart and the things God gave us.

I still remember a person who had these bright green hazel eyes and dark brown hair. The fact that she wasn’t aware of her natural beauty, was what made her more beautiful. She didn’t try to look beautiful. She was just being herself. Beauty isn’t something that says “Look at me, I’m here”. It’s something that speaks for itself. The way a smile that lights up the eyes or the fresh air in the early morning. When I was younger, I would go to the bakery with my father, and I’d often pick a ginger bread man. From that memory, every time I eat a ginger bread man, I get a feeling of warmth. I believe it’s often those small moments that sound unimportant that are the most significant.

One of my favourite times is the time when the sun is about to set. The light just seeps through the window and reflects all the dancing leaves as shadows against the walls. There’s this golden light that is just one of the simple things during the day that always makes me feel peaceful. It makes me pause for a moment to soak it in. As much as it can be lovely to share a moment to ones friends, there are moments where you want to capture it in your mind without having to share it on social media. When I hear or see the words “You look good without makeup”, there’s something about it that doesn’t sound right. When I think of the most beautiful part of people, it’s often something in their character and appearances that sets them apart.

It’s the way someone is cheeky, passionate, funny or the way they might naturally talk. The way someone laughs and their eyes sparkle or how they are an understanding and caring person. If it’s a physical aspect, it’s usually the colour of someones eyes, the way their hair sits, the way they hold themselves and their mannerisms. Perhaps the makeup may emphasise their natural beauty, but it’s not long lasting. At the end of the day it’s taken off. We’re all born into the world as a bare being and beautifully so.  The world we live in is so vastly different to the last generation. Nearly everything is documented by millions of people around the world.

Beauty cannot be defined. It’s within those moments that teach us to be patient, and just enjoy the moment. It’s the good parts of ourselves that shine through. There are many people in the world who help others, but we may never know it. They don’t feel the need to tell others. They do it out of their heart. Before I left Sydney, there was a little ginger cat who was homeless. He looked so hungry, I wish I could of taken him home. A lady came over and asked me if it was mine, and then she told me that she was feeding him everyday. It was that simple action, that made me feel she had a good heart for the well being of the cat.

Art by Monica Barengo

The Most Beautiful Things In Life Can’t Be Seen

tumblr_oi38ymKEwM1rvgw6io2_1280.jpgThe best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller. A beautiful reminder that reminds us to place more value on how we can become a better person through our mind and heart. Everything that is important to us in our lives are never materials or appearances. They tend to be our loved ones, the world we live in and the relationships and memories we have in our lives. “I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. 

“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” ― Audrey Hepburn. Women in the media are constantly seen only by their physicality. They’re judged by their appearances which can cause many people to put more self worth in the way they look. Women should be seen through their wisdom, intelligence, abilities and strength. A women is more than a pretty face. There is no amount of makeup or amount of clothes that can hide an ugly heart.

I have to express that, because it seems strange to me when people are more often celebrated for their body and appearances than what is inside. I read an article titled The Beauty In Real Sex Appeal, which unfolds the quote in more detail: “Audrey Hepburn. The woman of her time. She was the face of classiness in Hollywood during the Sixties but she did not succumb to allowing herself to be viewed as a mere sex-object. Rather she was esteemed as a legend in the realm of wholesome beauty and class…What does this mean? She is so eloquently saying that just by being created a woman that she is sexy.”

This explains how much our society needs to really grasp the message of true beauty. In the article, Leonhardt also writes: “Audrey Hepburn celebrated her womanliness, her sex appeal, not in some minuscule attempt by unveiling the mystery of who she is in the bedroom to the entire world but instead by showing her grace, class and wholesome beauty through the way she conducted herself. She showed the extraordinaire of her body through ordinary things like simply standing in the rain. That inner confidence of beauty is real sex appeal.” Social Media is now a common example of millions of people who receive attention for showing their body and face.

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” ― Audrey Hepburn. You can tell a lot about someones heart, from what they say to other people. This is extremely true, as this often shows our true nature. You can also tell a lot from how someone treats other people. A person that only speaks about other people by gossiping, is likely to be untrustworthy and focused on others lives. A person that doesn’t go into others business, but speaks words of kindness and truth, reflects a lot about themselves.

When we look with the heart, we remember what is important in life. “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. It’s those moments we laugh that give us the greatest joy in life. It’s the feeling of helping others and bringing a smile to their face. The most simple things like being surrounded by nature, can give us the feeling of great peace and appreciation. Think of the feeling when you wake up to look at a sunrise, listen to a song that moves you or that feeling of embracing someone you haven’t seen in a long time. That kind of beauty touches our heart.

Audrey Hepburn photographed by Sam Shaw in Paris,1957

Thoughts On Beauty Ideals In East Asia

allure.jpgThere tends to be a certain definition of beauty in the media, even though Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On one hand, I do believe this to be ultimately true, and on the other I feel many people want to attain the beauty ideals they are presented with. These beauty standards are commonly seen in areas such as Japan, China, Taiwan & Korea. As a child, one of the first times I realised being tanned was considered unattractive by some Asians, was when my Sister and I traveled back to Taiwan one year. Two elderly ladies said very loudly as they stared at us  “They are so black!” Baring in mind, we were tanned from the country side sun, and grew up living on a farm. From that moment, I realised that it is very prevalent in East Asia that having white skin is very often seen as beautiful.

I watched an interesting video on How Attractive Is Tanning: Asia vs West, which you can watch here. I do know that generally in Australia and America, most Asians that have been brought up in a Western country aren’t too concerned with getting slightly tanned or maintaining light skin. However, in Asia most people want to maintain lighter skin. Although, this may not apply for everyone. I know for myself that I prefer to not get any tanner, and therefore I use more Asian products (eg. face masks, moisturisers) and always put on sunscreen throughout the day. There are also many Asians during the Summertime who will use umbrellas (even myself when it gets very hot), as the sun can be very harsh.

It’s not surprising in Asia to see many beauty products that have the word whitening or brightening on them. Just as I’ve seen many products in Australia for tanning or makeup products that help achieve a sun kissed look. From the magazine covers above, it instantly shows the value that Asian culture tends to place on having more porcelain like skin. It goes a long way back in history, in terms of why Asians prefer white skin over darker tones. The whitening products can be seen in many advertisements. Many famous models in Asia, have a very distinct look. For example Fei Fei Sun has beautiful monolids, which are often seen as an ‘exotic’ look in the Western fashion world. Yet in Asia most people prefer to have double eyelids. That’s why it is common to see products such as double eyelid tapes.

It is considered beautiful to have an oval face shape, or an upside down egg as I like to call it. The lower part of your face has a more defined chin and has a v-line shape. A good example is Fan Bing Bing’s face shape (which you can see in the 3rd photo from the left). Most Asians commonly have a more flatter face and a more rounder nose. For many who may have plastic surgery, most are usually looking to make their nose more defined, straight and not too wide. If you grew up in a Western country, you may or may not have been called skinny, and told that it’s because you’re an Asian. Not all Asians have a petite figure, but we are genetically smaller in stature and being slender and thin is commonly seen as the beauty ideal in Asia.

In countries such as South Korea, the emphasis to have a ‘beautiful face’ is very apparent. Some parents gift their children plastic surgery as a graduation gift. Many jobs that they apply must be attached with a photo. The way you look is equally competitive with the work experience and education you have. The beauty ideal in Asia is often a cute or very feminine women with soft features. The definition of fat in Asia is vastly different to that in Western countries. Most families are very open in telling you straight away if they feel you have gotten fatter, or if you have gotten skinnier, in which they will often say “Eat more!” In this example, you may be at a perfectly healthy weight, but may have put on more weight since you last saw your family.

I find the topic on having larger eyes and brighter skin ties in with the films and animations we watch. Many of the Studio Ghibli or Anime characters tend to have big eyes and more lighter skin. I do think that sun care is important. By exposing oneself to the sun for long periods for tanning, will age the skin much faster. Getting Vitamin D is important, but long term exposure in the sun is not healthy for the skin. On the other hand, it’s not good to completely avoid the sun. Whether you have big or small eyes shouldn’t dictate your beauty, nor should the shade of your skin or the figure of your body. Wearing false lashes, circle lenses and double eye lids tape, baring your natural face or wearing minimal makeup is sort of like choosing what kind of clothes we want to wear. They are all part of our physical identity of how we want to present ourselves.

image: After School NanaAllure Magazine June Issue ’14