Lipstick toppers to give you that signature lip colour, plus tips from Song Hye Kyo


Not too long ago, you had to be an It girl – think: Sofia Coppola, Kim Kardashian West, Emily Ratajkowski – to get your own lipstick shade. Not anymore. Today, anyone can create a personalised lip colour (or more personalised fashion items here) by layering two different hues from the reformulated Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick collection.

Claire Jin, senior vice-president at Laneige, explains that after 20 years of heritage, the brand is getting a fresh injection of youth and positioning itself as an iconic brand for millennials. This wide range of colours – 35 in total – allows Gen-Yers to express themselves more fully and, as Claire says, “show off their unique styles” (here are some Seoul Fashion week street-style looks to wear).


ALSO READ: 5 beauty looks millennials can wear to work based on your personality


You Get Great Colour Payoff and Maximum Comfort

The revamp sees the colour pigments downsized and packed tightly together for a brighter and stronger colour payoff.

One layer gives you vibrant colour with a clear, slightly translucent and almost dewy finish, thanks to its high moisture content. Multiple layers of the same colour will achieve a bolder and more opaque finish. The lippie comes in five colour families, namely the reds, purples, pinks, beiges and corals, and is formulated to adhere well to lips and provide maximum comfort (8 more comfy matte lipsticks here).

“We’ve been searching for the smoothest and most comfortable way to cover lips, and found the answer in silk,” shares Jeongmin Cho, brand manager at Laneige South Korea. “When analysed under a microscope, we found that the surface of fabrics such as silk is made up of superfine fibres that feel soft and adhere well. Inspired by the inner structure of luxurious fabrics, we created a smooth and long-lasting lipstick by mixing in silk-like polymers and fibres.”

Laneige Silk Intense Lipsticks in Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy, $36 each. 

Customise Me Pretty

Customisation has been the name of the game for a while now; everyone wants their own beauty concoction, from bespoke skincare serums to personalised perfumes. Laneige has extended this trend to lip makeup with its revamped Silk Intense Lipstick in 35 new luscious shades, including two – Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy (grey) – meant to be used as topcoats over the other hues.

“There is a strong desire for personal style today,” says Jeongmin. “While fashion trends (trends from more than 200 fashion brands here) may lean towards certain colours, they may not be suitable for you. With that in mind, we have created two mixing colours that can be worn on their own, or used to tone up (Exotic Yellow) or tone down (Forest Fantasy) your lipstick hue. With them, you can fine-tune any colour to suit your skin tone and personality.”


ALSO READ: Too busy to moisturise? You can no longer make that your excuse with these 5 multi-tasking moisturisers


How to Maximise Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy

When you layer the two mixing hues over the other 33 individually, you get 99 shades in total, not including ombre-lip permutations. Fair warning: while you can wear the grey and yellow hues on their own, you may want to hold back on that as the former makes your lips look ashen and the latter has a jaundice-like effect.



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Singapore is the only country in the world to carry all 35 colours! Even Laneige’s home country, South Korea, only offers 33 shades.


When worn over reds, pinks and purples, both Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy deliver on their promise, with the former making colours brighter and more vivid, and the latter making them look cooler and more subdued.

Besides expanding your current lipstick wardrobe, the two mixing hues can enhance existing lipsticks that don’t suit you or you no longer fancy. For instance, if you just came back from a beach holiday (click here on the beauty must-haves to pack) and want to brighten up the lipstick colours you already have to complement your new tan, Exotic Yellow will do the trick.

These new lipsticks can be layered on so well because of a new ultramicronised pigment technology. “Pigments are minimised until they’re micro-sized, and are perfectly aligned to achieve vivid colour with one touch,” explains Jeongmin. This means that when colours are layered, they won’t lose their rich and vivid hues.


Lip Tips from Song Hye Kyo

laneige_silk_intense_lipstick Song Hye Kyo
Laneige ambassador, Song Hye Kyo

Launched in 2012, the Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick shot to fame when South Korean actress and Laneige ambassador Song Hye Kyo wore it in her hit series That Winter, The Wind Blows. To keep her lips plump and pretty in real life, she uses Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($27). She says: “When my lips get dry and flaky, this helps exfoliate and moisturise them effectively.”


One Lipstick, Three Ways

South Korean celebrity makeup artist Ryu Hyun Jung shares three application tips.

1. For a Natural-looking Blushing Effect:

Skip the lip liner and tap the lipstick on, starting from the inner part of the lips and working your way out. Your lip colour should be bolder on the inner part of the lips, lighter as it moves towards the lip line, and smudged near it. This effect works well with pink shades such as Love Me New Me.



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Here's what to expect with these lipstick toppers.


2. For Bold Lips:

For more precision and perfection, apply the lipstick with a lip brush and work inwards from the lip line. Apply two or three layers for bolder colour (try these 10 new shades from Nars). This effect works best with statement colours or red ones such as Get The Red.

3. For Ombre Lips:

After applying a layer of lipstick, use either Exotic Yellow or Forest Fantasy on the outer part of the lips to create two-tone gradation.


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

141989 4 Beauty

If your makeup doesn't smell right (literally), it's probably fake – here's 5 ways to tell

Photo: Pinterest

Counterfeit makeup products are so common these days that some YouTubers have even made videos to compare the fake goods from the real deal. But here’s the thing about those fake makeup – you can’t be sure if they’re safe to use. Here are some things you can look out for to avoid being scammed, or worse, put your skin at risk of irritation and infection.


Know your sources

Photo: Pinterest

Online shopping has made life more convenient – you can be having lunch one minute, pop onto Sephora’s web store, buy a lipstick and continue with lunch. Always be discerning with where you purchase products and only buy from credible sources like Sephora or authorised boutiques and departmental stores.


If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

Photo: Pinterest

Most makeup brands have controlled pricing, so it’s unlikely for you to score new Chanel lipsticks at $10 (and even if so, wouldn’t you be wary of putting them on your lips?). If it’s any indication, Sephora usually holds a 20 per cent discount at maximum.

For better deals, warehouse sales for brands under the L’Oreal, Shiseido, Luxasia and Estee Lauder group are held on occasion so you should keep your eyes peeled for those. Any other warehouse sale that lumps different brands that are not under the same cosmetics company are most likely illegal and have obtained their goods from unauthorised sources.

Always do your research. If a warehouse sale has M.A.C (from the Estee Lauder group), NARS (from the Shiseido group), MAKE UP FOR EVER (from L Beauty) and LANEIGE (from Amore Pacific), then something really fishy is going on.


READ MORE: From lingerie to lenses, never buy these items online and The best beauty product steals you can only find online.


Compare the packaging

Photo: Pinterest

Counterfeit makeup products often skimp on packaging and this can span across the boxes they come in and the actual product itself. Telltale signs would be spelling mistakes, low quality printing, inaccurate shade names or difference in sizes.

If it’s a repurchase of something you already have, it’s a good idea to make a comparison between the packaging, and look out for differences in weight, packaging quality, logos, and colour of the product. To be really sure, swatch the products and note the texture.


Know what you’re buying

Photo: Pinterest

Some of us can get really carried away, especially when we’re shopping overseas. But if you come across some cheap makeup at a night market, be sure to sound your internal alarm bells first. Eye shadow palettes, especially from coveted brands, are really tempting, but before you purchase what you think is the new Naked palette, do a quick search on your phone. We’re pretty sure that there isn’t a dedicated Naked brush set from Urban Decay.


Smell it

Photo: Pinterest

If you have the opportunity to swatch or test the products, give it a whiff or two. Fake products usually smell bad, or have a different scent from the authentic ones. Counterfeit products usually don’t replicate the formulas of the authentic products, and this includes the scent – explaining why some of them smell like chemicals.

This story was originally published on The Singapore's Women Weekly, March 1, 2017.

READ MORE: How to tell if a designer bag is fake in 6 easy steps and How to tell if a luxe watch online is fake​.

Beauty secrets from Margaret Wu, the founder of For Beloved One

For Beloved one Founder Margaret Wu

Margaret Wu is the founder of For Beloved One, a skincare brand that shot to fame with its first-of-its-kind bio-cellulose mask. I sat down with her to learn more about her approach to skincare when she was in town recently for the launch of For Beloved Girl, a line of masks specially catered for younger skin, now available in Singapore: exclusively at Sephora.


1. How different is your skincare regimen in your 20s, 30s and 40s?

I was still learning about skincare when I was in my twenties. I tried out a lot of different products. In my 30s, I became more experienced and selective about what I was using. So I would go for higher-end products that had very rich formulas. Retaining my youth was a big concern; I felt like my skin wasn’t as supple compared to when I was younger and I wanted to get back that bounce in my skin.

Now, my views have stabilised – I’m no longer stuck in that race to turn back the clock. I’ve accepted that ageing is part and parcel of life. My skin elasticity is not going to be as awesome as when I was in my 20s and my skin is going to sag eventually.



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2. What is your beauty routine like?

My beauty routine now is very simple; after cleansing, I use an essence or serum, then follow it up with lotion during summer months and cream during winter. Any allergies that my skin develops can usually be traced back easily – be it a late night or a change in my diet. I also put a mask on once or twice a week.


READ ALSO: Surprisingly easy things all women with great skin do every day


3. Which is your favourite mask in the For Beloved Girl series?

My skin is dry, so I like the For Beloved Girl Extreme Moisture Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask. But on days where I have a full day of interviews and events to attend, for example, I will use the For Beloved Girl Oil Control Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask to help prevent my makeup from melting by midday. It’s especially suitable for Singapore’s humid weather.



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4. What beauty advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be too greedy when it comes to skincare. Youth is wealth, so choose a simple skincare that is suitable for you. Don’t go for anything too oily or rich because your skin’s recovery rate is very high.


5. What is the Taiwanese women’s beauty secret?

We love the hot springs. It helps boost blood circulation and the water contains trace minerals that are beneficial to your skin.


6. What is your beauty secret?

Simplicity. I stick to a simple beauty regimen, and I exercise three times a week. Exercising is important to both your mood and body. – I go for slow jogs or long walks along the lake near where I live. Two to three times a week, I also do sit-ups. I love doing sit-ups. I can do 250 a day!



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10 unexpected lipstick hacks, including the latest layering tip to expand your lipstick wardrobe

From BB cushions to ombre lips, Korea has been churning out beauty trends faster than you can click ‘Buy’. The latest trend from Asia’s beauty capital: a lipstick-layering hack that can expand your beauty wardrobe exponentially. 

Whatever your favourite lip colour, Laneige will stretch it further with two mixing shades, Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy that were launched as part of the newly reformulated Silk Intense Lipstick, $36. All you have to do is layer it over your original lipstick to transform it to a different colour. 

In other words, you can now personalise any lipstick from your statement reds, to your favourite pink staples, and even odd shades that you regret buying or no longer complement your skin tone. 

“There is a stronger desire for personal colour today. Fashion trends may say certain colours are best, but these may not be the best colours for you. These mixing colours allow you to fine-tune any lip colour to optimise your personal style,” says Jeongmin Cho, brand manager at Laneige South Korea.


READ MORE: How to wear less makeup and still look amazing and Our top makeup picks for keeping oily skin looking fabulous all day (and night)


Before you start layering your other lipsticks, bear in mind that not all lipsticks can be used as a topcoat. If your lipstick is too matte and opaque, it will obscure the colour of the underlying lipstick and make layering pointless. 

Silk Intense Lipstick works well as a layering lipstick because one layer of the formula delivers a translucent and satin-like finish. A new ultra-micronized pigment technology also makes pigments infinitely smaller for vivid, high-definition colour when worn as a topcoat, base coat, or on its own. 

This exciting launch features 35 new shades, including the two mixing colours. And the good news is: Singapore is the only country to offer all 35 shades. (That’s right, even Laneige’s home country, South Korea, only carries 33 shades!) That gives us 101 permutations. So why not indulge your inner beauty chameleon and stretch your lip wardrobe?


#1 Tone Up Your Lipstick 

Exotic Yellow is arguably your best summer investment. When layered over lipstick, it brightens and warms up any lipstick colour, and can transform cool rose into flamingo pink, and classic red into sunny coral. If you’re rocking a new tan (preferably from a bronzer, and not from baking in the sun), it can also make your lipstick pop and accentuate your golden glow.

#2 Tone Down Your Lipstick

If you want to tone your bright lippies down a notch, simply layer on Forest Fantasy. This grey mixing colour gives your lipstick a cooler and more understated finish. When paired with red, it can also achieve the ‘dry rose’ lip colour that is so popular with Korean celebrities at photo shoots, says South Korean celebrity makeup artist Ryu Hyun Jung.  

#3 Get A Translucent Glow

Thanks to its translucent, buildable formula, this same Silk Intense Lipstick can vary in intensity. In other words, even when wearing bold colours such as Bloody Burgundy or Clean Effect (red), you can achieve a clear, understated and wearable finish by simply applying one layer. 

#4 Create Bold Statement Lips

To turn heads, pick statement colours such as Get The Red (Song Hye Kyo’s favourite shade from the range). For more precision and definition, Hyun Jung recommends using a lip brush and working from the outer lips towards the inner lips. Layer on two to three layers for maximum impact. Another bonus tip from the makeup artist: use a cool-toned BB cushion to make cool reds appear more vivid.

#5 Achieve Feminine Pink Pout

If you’re going for a natural blushing effect, Hyun Jung recommends a softer approach. Tap a pink shade like Love Me New Me to the centre of lips and work your way outwards so that there is stronger colour at the centre and less colour at the outer edges. “Skip the lip liner and smudge your lip line,” she says. 

#6 Ace The Ombre Effect

The two mixing colours Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy can be used to achieve ombre lips with any lipstick. Simply apply your favourite lip colour, and then apply one of the mixing colour to the outer edges of your lips. 

#7 Make It Last Through Lunch

Silk Intense Lipstick was inspired by luxurious fabrics, and features silk-like polymers and fibres for comfort and long-wear. However, if you want it to last through lunch and bubble tea, Tina Oh, training manager of Laneige Singapore recommends a five-step hack. “Apply a thin layer of lipstick, blot it off lightly with tissue, apply another thin layer of lipstick, dust lips with a little loose powder, and finish off with your final layer of lipstick,” she shares.

#8 Wear Lipstick On Your Cheeks

The coral and pink lipsticks within the range can double up as blusher. Simply dot the lipstick on the apple of your cheeks and blend with your fingers. “Never apply cheek colour below the nose level, or too close to your nose though, as this will make your face appear larger and saggy,” Tina explains. 

#9 Using Lipstick As Eye Makeup

When it comes to using Silk Intense Lipstick on your eyes, you can afford to be more creative and use any colour from the range. “Just remember to dust a little loose powder on the eyelids after using this lipstick as an eyeshadow. Otherwise, the creamy texture may create a crease or smudge in our humid weather,” shares Tina.

#10 Soften And Rehydrate Puckers

As you know, parched lips won’t hold colour well. Tina recommends exfoliating dead cells and softening lips by brushing lips with soft-bristle toothbrush. Or, simply use Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $27. “When my lips get dry and flaky, I apply this Lip Sleeping Mask to exfoliate and moisturise my lips,” shares K-drama queen Song Hye Kyo.


READ MORE: We’ve figured out the secret to Son Ye Jin’s ageless complexion and Our best beauty hack for exfoliating your lips on the go (minus messy lip scrubs!)

Expert tips and tools to get that perfect Asian brow


#1 Golden Rules
Eyebrows give your face definition, frame your features and can pull your look together – or apart.

However, they are not one-shape-fits-all. Most brow shapes generally work with an oval face, while arched brows can make a round face appear more oval, and flat, straight brows with a low arch can help balance out a long face, says Apple Loo, senior trainer at Browhaus.

“Your-brow-to-eye distance is very important. If the arch is too high, you may look perpetually astounded. If it’s too close to the eyelid, you’ll look chronically exhausted, especially if you have single eyelids. The ideal distance between your brow and upper eyelid should be about the width of your middle finger.”

#2 Size Matters
Your brows should complement your face, not overwhelm it. Strong Cara-Delevingne-esque brows are too overpowering for those with small faces – thick brows make the face appear smaller, explains Bernice Wong, co-founder of DaintyBeaute – or eyes, so opt for something thinner and more refined. Note, though, that over-plucking your brows can damage hair follicles over time – they may never grow back to their previous lushness. If in doubt, get them trimmed by a professional. Try threading at Browhaus, whereby a thin thread is rolled over unwanted hair to remove follicles, or waxing at Benefit Brow Bar, where a soft wax is applied to remove stray strands and dead skin cells.


READ MORE: 10 best makeup looks for Asian faces and You need to stop drawing your eyebrows like the Koreans (and do THIS instead).

#3 A Balancing Act
The inner corners, arches and tips of your brows should be well balanced to create a sense of harmony, says Cecilia Chng, founder of Cecilia Chng Beauty.

“Like the body, most people tend to use one side of the face more, so facial muscles and expressions are more pronounced on that side. This asymmetry becomes more obvious as we get older,” she says. “A good brow expert can correct this imbalance by shaping your brows accordingly and restoring harmony to your face.”

#4 Groom Or Doom
Cecilia recommends getting your brows professionally shaped every few months and taming strays at home.

Use a nude pencil to trace the outline of your brows, then pluck away strays outside it, says makeup artist Larry Yeo.

But mistake brow length for volume, and you’ll inevitably over-pluck. To avoid that, “comb your brows downwards and trim excess hair before plucking away unwanted strands,” advises Bernice.

#5 Let’s Get Shady
Your brow colour should not differ too much from that of your hair. “Pick a brow gel one or two shades lighter than your hair colour to soften the look,” says Larry. “If you tend to press harder when using a brow pencil, opt for one two or three shades lighter for a more natural-looking result.”

Stick to shades of brown and dark blonde. Grey is only useful for feathering – the use of small, “hairlike” strokes to fill in brows, creating a 3-D effect – or for those with tan skin and pitch-black hair, he explains.

So easy to use, nothing beats classic pencils and crayons when it comes to filling in over-trimmed brows, correcting sparse spots and fine-tuning your brow shape.

Product photos: Vee Chin

1. Estee Lauder The Brow Multi-tasker (in four shades), $46. 2. Make Up For Ever Brow Pencil Precision Brow Sculptor (in five shades), $30. 3. Urban Decay Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush (in four shades), $33. 4. Heavy Rotation Fiber Double-ended Eyebrow (in two shades), $19.90. 5. Shiseido Eyebrow Styling Duo (in four shades), $50. 6. Etude House Drawing Eye Brow Duo (in five shades), $13.90. 7. Maybelline Fashion Brow Ultra Fluffy (in four shades), $13.90. 8. Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil (in six shades), $42. 9. Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil (in six shades), $42. 10. Maybelline Fashion Brow Pomade Crayon (in four shades), $16.90.


Tame the fluff
Brow mascaras can help tidy up unruly brows, conceal grey hair, and soften your look with lighter brown tints or give your face more definition with darker brown tints.

Product photos: Vee Chin

1. Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer (in two shades), $17.90. 2. Estee Lauder Brow Now Volumizing Brow Tint (in four shades), $40. 3. Elizabeth Arden Statement Brow Brow Gel (in four shades), $36. 4. Make Up For Ever Brow Gel (in five shades), $32. 5. Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel (in four shades), $12.90. 6. Tom Ford Beauty Fiber Brow Gel (in four shades), $65. 7. Etude House Color My Brows (in five shades), $12.90. 8. Benefit Gimme Brow Brow-volumizing Fiber Gel (in three shades), $42.



This story was originally published in the May 2017 issue of Her World.

READ MORE: The most flattering makeup looks for Asian eyes, as seen on your favourite celebs​ and Here’s how to keep your eyebrows on point.

Jot this down, please: These are the editor-approved beauty secrets all Singaporean women must know

Here’s the deal. When it comes to beauty tips and tricks, who better to go to than the people who have tried it all, right?

As part of our (very cool) tie-up for Guardian’s Health & Beauty Awards 2017, we got seven beauty editors and writers from our sister mags to divulge the industry insider secrets that will help you to  achieve the incandescent Instagram-ready complexion plus the shampoo ad-worthy hair you’ve always wanted.

Read on to quell your curiosity, and be sure to suss out the many heroine products they’ve tapped as their personal favourites, all of which should stand you in good stead for the year ahead – think everything from  basic facial cleansers to the most potent anti-ageing eye creams. Have fun adding items into your virtual grocery cart, and #HappyShopping.


“Skin heals best when it is at rest, so step up your routine with a cream specifically formulated for overnight use.”
Penelope Chan, executive editor, Her World


“A mouthwash can keep your gums and teeth healthy, making it complementary to brushing your teeth twice daily. Choose one without alcohol – it’s gentler on your gums and teeth but still effective.”
Zarelda Goh, editor, Shape


“When cleansing, press and pat – don’t go at your face like an aggressive maniac! Excessive tugging can damage sensitive skin.”
Eugene Quek, associate editor, herworldPLUS


“Use a moisturiser immediately after showering to get the best benefits. Where possible, limit your showers to just 10 minutes as the hot water quickly starts drying out skin.”
Dawn Chen, writer, Shape


“Move your hands in circular motions when you apply moisturiser. This boosts product penetration and microcirculation in the skin.”
Simone Wu, senior beauty editor, Her World


“When applying foundation, start at the centre of your face where coverage is needed most, then carefully spread the product outwards.”
Cynthia Chew, senior beauty editor, Cleo


“Mousse still does the trick when it’s applied to dry hair, as long as you give it an extra blast with the hairdryer (heat is key).”
Claire Starkey, editor-in-chief, Cleo


Want glowing skin? Start incorporating these plant-based oil into your beauty regime


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Carrot oil for sun-kissed skin
A true skin ally, carrot can be applied in the form of an oil, obtained by macerating the vegetable in an organic oil (usually sunflower oil). Rich in provitamin A, carrot oil is often recommended prior to sun exposure to prepare skin and promote tanning. However, it also helps heal and repair when used as an after-sun. Other handy post-vacation properties include restorative and nourishing qualities and a tan-enhancing glow.

READ MORE: The vaginal facial: All you need to know about the latest fad in town and Warning: You're ruining your skincare if you're storing it like this 


Jojoba to regulate and hydrate
Jojoba oil is a great all-rounder thanks to properties that suit all skin types. With a composition close to that of human sebum, jojoba oil can help regulate the body's natural production of the substance. That's a real plus for oily skin types, especially after a summer in the sun. Jojoba oil also has hydrating qualities and is perfectly suited to dry skin. Jojoba oil can be used regulate or hydrate oily or dry hair too. So versatile, you may want to add a few drops to prep your skin for makeup (like how we taught you to do so here).



Argan to repair and restore
Argan oil is a great post-vacay partner that's been used for centuries thanks to its many virtues. It's mainly used to restore dry skin or skin that has suffered some kind of damage, such as burns or stretch marks. It can also deep-nourish skin after time on the beach or prolonged sun exposure, boosting radiance and elasticity. Argan oil has the same benefits for nails and hair too. Double up that hair protection from the sun while you're at it, we say.



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Castor oil to fight hair loss
After seeing strong growth in summer, hair can lose tone and shine when fall comes around. Fall is also the time of year when hair loss is greatest. Castor oil, made from castor beans, is an ideal remedy for trying to fight the phenomenon. Castor oil strengthens hair, brings shine and favors growth. It also deep nourishes nails and hair. Plus, you can lengthen your eyelash (and we've previously taught you how to), so why not?



Apricot kernel oil for glowing skin
Used in many day creams, apricot helps give skin a brightening boost and combats dull complexions when fall comes around. Apricot kernel oil is rich in vitamins A and E, and has hydrating, nourishing and anti-aging properties. It's ideal for dull and tired-looking skin.

Not just for beauty's sake, essential oils may be the key to losing weight (we previously tipped you about it) and these oils are pretty purse-friendly. There's no harm in trying them out. 


This story first appeared on AFP Relax News 4th September, 2016.