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Restoring ‘yin’ energy may be the key to bringing balance to your stressed-out skin

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Photo: Showbit.com

Balance. That just-right point where things are on an even keel, there’s equilibrium, and all things are equal. It’s a delicate, precarious spot that could easily tip over into too little or too much. It’s a state of existence that everyone is striving to reach. Every day.

You see it in the niggling feeling that we’re not quite functioning at our best. You see it in the surge of clean-eating diets and wellness retreats, fad workouts, tailored lifestyle programmes and alternative  treatments, all designed to help us achieve harmony in body and mind – the cure-all for the long work hours, utter exhaustion and dwindling me time we experience.

In the beauty industry too, the spotlight is shifting. The very latest skincare launches are less about troubleshooting superficial problems like wrinkles and spots, and more about helping skin flourish and function well from the inside. And more and more products are geared towards fostering skin health.

For many cosmetics brands, this represents a significant change in their approach to countering the signs of ageing, and their goal of giving you beautiful skin. But for Korean label Sulwhasoo, whose brand identity has always been built on the Asian concepts of balance and harmony between mind and body, it’s par for the course – and has been for 20 years.

What Is Balanced Skin?

According to Sulwhasoo researchers, balanced skin preserves its natural, stable internal environment so that it can be at its best in performing functions such as retaining moisture, renewal, and repair.

When skin is not properly protected from internal stressors brought about by a poor diet, and lack of exercise and rest, and external stressors like pollution and UV rays, it falls out of balance.

Although the skin is a smart organ that can recover from these setbacks, it loses its ability to restore its balance if it is under constant stress. When that happens, you’ll notice dryness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and a loss of firmness. Restoring Balance and Harmony This belief that balanced skin equals beautiful skin is best exemplified in Sulwhasoo’s signature skincare product – the First Care Activating Serum EX, a pre-serum based on traditional Korean herbal medicine.

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Sulwhasoo celebrates the 20th anniversary of its First Care Activating Serum EX with this limited-edition jumbo-sized bottle. The 120ml bottle, double the usual size, costs $195.

“The underlying message of Sulwhasoo’s First Care Activating Serum EX is that just as a balanced mind, attitude and sense of self add more substance to our lives, balance in the skin – which is easily shattered due to external influences – brings a healthy, radiant look,” says Joohyun Chun, team leader of Sulwhasoo’s marketing communications team.

 

ALSO READ: Tackle oily, dull and congested skin with these powerful ‘pore-ducts’

 

Used as the first step after cleansing, the balancing serum is said to restore skin balance, getting normal functions like retaining moisture and skin renewal working smoothly. It does this through the use of selected medicinal herbs that reportedly replenish the “yin” energy in skin. “Yin deficiency [is a concept] in traditional Asian medicine. It causes a worsening dryness of the skin,” says Sowoong Choi, Sulwhasoo’s senior researcher. “Once the skin’s ability to replenish moisture is damaged, problems like premature ageing set in.” That’s because moisture is not only crucial for firmness and resilience, it also maintains the skin structure and is a barrier against external stressors.

Aside from bringing balance to your skin, this is a highly sensorial product which has the subtle, pleasant scent of ginseng to help soothe the senses and quiet the mind as you massage the lightweight serum over your face.

 

“Having harmony and balance between mind and body means getting in touch with the inner self, which is just as important as taking care of one’s appearance.” – Joohyun Chun, team leader of Sulwhasoo’s marketing communications team

 

For a Hydrating Boost

Sulwhasoo is also commemorating the 20th anniversary of its First Care Activating Serum EX with the launch of its First Care Activating Mask.

“We recommend using this sheet mask if you notice skin dryness and loss of radiance, and need instant improvement,” says Sowoong. “The serum is a bestseller, but we know that some customers want a higher concentration and faster efficacy. This mask was designed to answer that need.”

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Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask, $72 for a box of five sheets.

As with the serum, the mask’s central ingredient is the Jaum Balancing Complex – a herbal blend of peony, Solomon’s seal, lotus, rehmannia and white lily. Each was chosen from 3,000 medicinal herbs: peony and Solomon’s seal balance yin energy and soothe; lotus and rehmannia moisturise and boost circulation; and white lily calms and nourishes.

“The mask’s immediate visible effect is that it enhances radiance. Unlike a hydrating mask, it doesn’t just give a temporary sense of moisture. This delivers pure lustre and smoother, healthier-looking skin,” says Joohyun.

 

ALSO READ: Our resident skin doctor has all the solutions to your pore-related woes

 

4 ways to use the First Care Activating Serum EX

Jamie Yoon, global makeup artist for Sulwhasoo, shares tips on how to make the most of the product.

1. To Soothe Your Senses

Rub your hands together to warm the serum, then take in the scent when you lift your palms to your face – it’s designed to give you a sense of comfort and calm.

2. To Boost Blood Circulation

Work in a light acupoint massage when applying the serum by pressing lightly on your temples, the corners of your mouth and the sides of your nose.

3. To Tackle Very Dry Skin

Mix the serum with a few drops of Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil to further nourish and moisturise the skin.

4. To Hide the Signs of Dry Skin

If you have dry patches on your face, mix the serum with the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion foundation when applying makeup. Dispense one pump of the serum onto the back of your hand and use the cushion puff to soak it up before picking up foundation with it.

 

This story was published in the June 2017 issue of Her World magazine.

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VIDEO: #Beautyboss Jessica Gomes’ 9-step makeup routine for a party look

Content producer: Hayden Ng. Video editor: Kow Wesley Thaddeus

Looking at Jessica Gomes’ swimsuit photos during her modelling days, you’ll notice how the sexy Australian model radiates a supermodel-level kind of confidence. Which is why you’ll never have guessed that Jessica was in fact a shy child.

Growing up, Jessica professed to be a quiet kid, partly because of her Eurasian roots. Born to a Chinese mother and Portuguese father, Jessica grew up in Perth which was rather “uncomplicated and quite isolated.” When she turned 13, her mum sent her to a local modelling school which helped to ‘open up’ her personality.

“Modelling helped me to come out of my shell because I used to be very shy at school,” Jessica tells us. “It also helped me to better socialise with the other kids.”

 

Today, Jessica is considered as one of the sexiest women alive, a title that places her in the public’s eyes constantly. She’s been voted as one of the “World’s Most Desirable Women” according to men’s website AskMen, as well as Maxim magazine’s Top 25 Hottest Females of 2012. Besides that, Jessica has also graced multiple swimsuit editions of US sports magazine Sports Illustrated.

Other than being a sex symbol, Jessica has fronted numerous covers of international fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Elle. At the same time, she’s also appeared in many ad campaigns, including a Cass Beer advertisement co-starring Korean actor Lee Min Ho in 2009.  

Stellar modelling career aside, Jessica tells us that her childhood dream was to become an actress. Which was why she studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting when she moved to New York City in 2005.

 

A post shared by J E S S I C A G O M E S (@iamjessicagomes) on

 

To date, she’s had her own reality TV show titled My Name Is Jessica Gomes, as well as a role in the 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction movie. She also has two major big-screen breaks in the pipeline this year. The first being Once Upon A Time In Venice starring Bruce Willis as well as Bastards which stars Owen Wilson and Ed Helms.

This year also marks the launch of her own beauty brand Equal Beauty which is in collaboration with Singapore company Novena Global Healthcare. After devoting three years to researching for her products, Jessica’s beauty brand now offers five skincare products. The unisex range is free of parabens, alcohol and fragrances, and it includes a facial mist, serum, cleansing pads, facial and eye masks.

“When I started my own brand Equal Beauty, I wanted to create something that’s easy to use for everybody,” says Jessica. “And because there’s a lot of overly complicated beauty products in the market, I want my products to be as simple as possible so that my users can understand them easily. My products are essentially the must-haves that you’ll need for clean and hydrated skin.”

 

A post shared by J E S S I C A G O M E S (@iamjessicagomes) on

 

We got up close and personal with Jessica when she was here in Singapore to promote her beauty line. We also grabbed the chance to find out her tips on looking fabulous and what she thinks is the sexiest thing about her beau slash actor Xavier Samuel.

Also, don’t miss out on our exclusive video above, where Jessica shows us how she does her dramatic eye makeup.

You have really good skin, obviously! Have you ever been bothered by any major skin concerns?

Jessica: As I enter my early 30s, I realise that I need to start taking care of my skin. I’ve learned that hydration and protection are very important for the skin.

What’s your best beauty advice?

Jessica: Always keep your skin clean and remember to take off your makeup at the end of every night.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for beauty?

Jessica: It’s probably bleaching my eyebrows blonde for a photoshoot. It was very weird to see myself with no eyebrows at all and the makeup artist had to draw a thinner set on me afterwards.

What other things do you do to look great?

Jessica: I love to get facials once a week when I can. I’m in love with lymphatic drainage treatments and massages because they help with better blood circulation which in turn leaves my skin glowy. If you’re in Sydney, my favourite place to go to is Fumi Yamamoto who’s famous for her Zen facials. Her massage techniques always leave my face feeling sculpted so I’ll make sure that I visit her before a photoshoot in Australia.

Besides that, I also like to use a moisturising spray on my face daily. I’ll always carry a rose water mist or my own Equal Beauty Super Mist in my bag when I’m travelling. It’s like a beauty ritual that I love to do.

You’ve been named as one of the world’s most desirable women. In your opinion, what’s the most attractive thing about a woman?

Jessica: It’s when she’s confident within herself, has certainty and shines bright from within. She's someone who really knows who she is.

What are the qualities of a good boss?

Jessica: You’ll have to be very passionate about what you’re doing. Having a sense of certainty is also very important because your colleagues can feel it and eventually become motivated to work better with you. I’ve had people who want to join me in my journey because they saw my passion and they were influenced by it.

What are your tips for maintaining a good and healthy relationship?

Jessica: Communication is very important and you have to support each other in whatever adventure he or she embarks. You’ll also want the humour to last too so always try to keep things light and funny.

Does your boyfriend Xavier use your products?

Jessica: He loves my beauty products! Since he’s an actor, he uses them after long hours on sets. I realise that more men are becoming increasingly aware of their looks and I think that’s great. I think guys don’t really like scented products which is why I've developed my beauty range to be free of fragrances.

What do you find most sexy about Xavier?

Jessica: He’s very talented and that’s the most attractive thing about him. He’s also a very kind and family-oriented person, which I like!

What’s the most romantic thing he’s done for you?

Jessica: He flew in from Los Angeles and surprised me when I was doing a photoshoot in Australia. He’s also created a playlist of songs that we’ve always listened to. The top track is Oasis’ Wonderwall which we listened to a lot when we first started dating. 

Amanda’s Da Bomb: Hollywood’s sweetheart lets us in on her sexy makeup prep before a big night out

Content producer: Hayden Ng. Videographer: Kow Wesley Thaddeus

What’s better than a #TGIF? Well, how about a Friday night out with Hollywood beauty Amanda Seyfried? Last week, we were out and about celebrating the official opening of luxury beauty brand Clé de Peau Beauté’s first global flagship boutique of its kind at Mandarin Gallery.

But in beauty-land Singapore, it’s not really a party unless you get to rub shoulders with famous faces. Speaking of famous faces, we spotted several local celebrities including Jeanette Aw, Sheila Sim and Denise Keller at the opening party.

The star of the night — besides the gorgeous new store, of course — was the face of Clé de Peau Beauté, Amanda, who’s here in Singapore for the very first time.  

Clé de Peau Beauté’s first free-standing boutique of its kind at #01-09 Mandarin Gallery. Photo: Clé de Peau Beauté Singapore

Amanda is known for many things. She’s a Hollywood star who began her career as a model when she was just 11 years old. She has acted in numerous films including Mean Girls, Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables and serial drama Twin Peaks.  

Off-screen, Amanda assumes the role of a loving wife and new mum, and is often photographed with her hubby Thomas Sadoski during her public appearances. The duo dated for six months prior to their engagement, and they wedded in March this year before welcoming their first-born, a girl, one week later.

With her deep set eyes and translucent skin, Amanda stands out as one of the most recognisable film stars of today. Which is why it’s no surprise that she has been named oft times in People magazine’s annual Most Beautiful lists in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Around this period, Amanda’s reputation as an arresting beauty might have caught the attention of Clé de Peau Beauté which named her its ambassador in 2010.

Since then, she’s appeared in major campaigns across skincare and makeup for the cult Japanese cosmetics brand.

Amanda’s first visit to Singapore, as documented on her Instagram account, includes getting her favourite Starbucks iced latte as well as a trip to monkey hotspot Lower Peirce Reservoir to have a look at the free-roaming creatures.

 

In a place I love with the man I love drinking the thing I love #Singapore

A post shared by Amanda Seyfried (@mingey) on

When the Her World team met up with Amanda at her suite in the Fullerton Bay Hotel, she was prepping for a Clé de Peau Beauté gala dinner at the National Gallery Singapore to celebrate the flagship store opening.

“Red lips!” she told us, when we asked her for her makeup secret whenever she has a big event to attend, such as tonight’s opening gala. “It’s my favourite thing to do.”

Photo: Clé de Peau Beauté Singapore

Indeed, the 31-year-old star looked both confident and sexy in her choice of a burgundy shade for her lip colour. But with such a bold lippy, we wanted to know how she’d do the rest of her makeup. What about her eyeshadow? Equally loud?

“A little bit of eyeliner, mascara and eyebrow colour and I make sure I don’t overdo them,” she said, about her eyes.

As for the days when she decides to make her eye makeup stand out, she prefers to keep her lips nude. “I’ll just use a little bit of balm, apply some blusher and I’m good to go,” she reveals.

And the rest of her face? Will it be a softer palette to balance it out? And what about her eyes? Well, you’ll have to watch our exclusive behind-the-scenes video above now for her complete makeup 101, big night out, Amanda-style.

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Best Foot Forward: Here's how to make your feet look good

Spring clean

It's important to get rid of all the dead skin that has built up over time, especially around the heel and on the soles of the feet. Although it's better to take regular care of feet throughout the year to prevent dead skin accumulating, there are still ways of sloughing off calluses.

The traditional method is a pumice stone, used on damp feet, but roller-style exfoliators and electric foot files are also now available. Exfoliating socks, straight from Japan, soften skin using an intensive peeling treatment that makes dead skin flake off feet.

Image: 123rf

Related: Short shorts! Felicia Chin, Carrie Wong and more show us how to keep cool in Singapore’s heat

Anyone with a preference for natural methods can try exfoliants based on sea salt or grape seeds.

And if all else fails, why not go see a professional? Chiropodists and podiatrists can treat corns, calluses, ingrown or split toenails, verrucas and athletes' foot while giving feet a good going-over.

Related: Sole relief: Let your feet breathe in these spiffy slippers and sandals

The finishing touch

Toenails should be kept short. As well as looking nicer, short nails are also better for your feet. Toenails should be cut with nail scissors or clippers, although clippers are perhaps more suitable for toenails, which are thicker than fingernails. Aim to cut nails square and not too short to help prevent ingrown toenails and infections. Toenails should be cut every two to three weeks.

Once nails are prepped, a coat of polish adds a final touch to neat feet. While a French manicure is a timeless option, summer is also a great time to experiment with color. This season, there are plenty of options to choose from, as pastels and vivid shades are everywhere, including orange, electric blue, fuchsia, purple, turquoise, yellow, green and pink.

Related: 11 chic-but-comfy heeled wedges that will elevate your weekend style...literally9 best nail spas in Singapore​

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