Beauty & Style

How to pick the best foundation for your skin type


Tips to help you pick the best foundation for dry-combination skin

How to choose foundations if you have oily skin

How to pick the best foundations to help dry skin




Marvellous Matte

What’s not to like about a matte look, which gives skin a touchable yet refined and flawless finish?

Get matte perfection with these:

Givenchy Eclat Matissime Fluid Foundation Airy-light Mat Radiance SPF 20/PA++, $86
Sephora 10hr Wear Perfection Foundation, $29
Lancome Blanc Miracle Bright-light Creator SPF50+/PA++, $72
Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation Ultimate Lasting Perfection SPF 20/PA++, $77
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, $73 Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel Super-charged Foundation, $70

{TIP} Begin with Good Skincare: To get a flawless matte look, exfoliate regularly to get rid of rough patches, and keep skin well moisturised so that foundation can glide on smoothly, and not look uneven.


A Touch Of Radiance

Even if your skin is less than glowing, you can still fake radiance with a foundation.

Bring out your natural glow with these:

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence with BB SPF50/PA+++, $19.90
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Bright Transformer SPF35/PA+++, $19.90
Biotherm White D-tox CC Smoothing Base SPF 50+/PA++, $62 Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Foundation SPF15, $56
YSL Beauty Youth Liberator Serum Foundation, $89


{TIP} Get More Radiance: If your radiance foundation doesn’t give you enough of a healthy glow, dab on a blue or lilac makeup base under the eyes and above the cheekbones, before concealer and foundation, to boost the glow, says makeup artist Larry Yeo.


Go Dewy

Recreate the dewy complexions of Korean starlets by applying a brightening makeup primer before foundation, and dabbing a highlighter on top of your cheekbones and over your brow bone.

Light up your complexion with these:

Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer, $65
Cle de Peau Beaute Brightening Enhancer Base, $105
RMK Glow Stick, $33
Shiseido UV Protective Liquid Foundation SPF43/PA+++, price unavailable
Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Fluid Foundation, $75


{TIP} Maximise It: Bring out your dewy cheeks by dabbing a mattifying powder over your nose bridge, under your eyes, and above and below your lips.


Photography Veronica Tay 
Art Direction Chelza Pok 
Hair Alvin Foh/Urbanhair Ginrich at Seviin (6737-7813), using Goldwell 
Makeup Larry Yeo, using Cosme Decorte 
Model Wang Bei/Mannequin Studio

7 amazing hair makeovers of everyday women


Heng Win Dee, 34, business development representative

Win Dee had very thick, naturally wavy long hair that she’d rebonded previously.  

Jimmy Yap, artistic manager of Kenaris Salon, gave her a bob that’s stylish yet long enough for the mother of two to tie up whenever she needs to. He also coloured her hair with a dark brown base and a violet-red underneath. “A vibrant shade under the brown makes her classic hairstyle look more modern and also gives her more options for styling her hair when she’s 
not at work,” explains Jimmy.




Annie Loh, 27, stay-at-home mum

Annie’s hair was rebonded and bleached, and was extremely dry and damaged. She’d also coloured it an orangey-gold shade that made her tanned complexion look sallow.  

To enhance her features and bring out her cheekbones, Chai Yew Yee, hairstylist from Urbanhair By Ginrich, cut Annie’s hair and gave her a full fringe. “A full fringe helps to weigh down her natural waves and keeps the fringe in place,” explains Yew Yee. The ash-brown colour also brightens her skin tone.




Yasmin Said Chan, 26, business development representative

She had long, straight hair, which Yasmin describes as “common and unfashionable”.

Celia Tham, owner and hairstylist of Bloc+, gave Yasmin an asymmetrical mid-length bob with a fringe longer than the rest of her hair. The wash-and-go style frames her face and gives her a sharper jawline. Light brown highlights on the fringe add texture to her hair and brighten her complexion too.




Cheryl Tan, 31, business owner

Cheryl’s slightly wavy hair had grown into a shapeless bob, and the mother of two had to blow it straight every day to create some semblance of shape.  

To freshen her look, Vanessa Choo, hairstylist from Next Hair Salon, gave Cheryl an angled bob – one with a long, angled fringe that makes her face appear sharper, paired with a higher, graduated cut at the nape to accentuate the neck. The short length makes it easier for Cheryl to style it – she doesn’t even have to blow-dry, but only needs to apply wax and let it air-dry for a tousled look.




Rena Tay, 36, business admin executive 

Rena’s fine hair was dry and frizzy. Her perm, which had grown out, had left her with wavy ends. She had also coloured her hair some time ago, and it was now dull and faded.

Barry Lim, director of Chez Vous Salon, gave Rena a cold perm to make her hair look fuller. He coloured it an ash-brown and gave her highlights for more texture and volume. “Rena can use a volumising root spray on towel-dried hair to create volume,” says Barry. For more definition on her curls, she can use a curling lotion but should avoid heavily textured styling products that weigh down her tresses and make them look flat. 


Ann Neo, 35, senior designer

Her rebonded hair was naturally wavy and slightly frizzy, and she’d kept it very long for 10 years. “It was easy to manage but looked boring,” says Ann.

Edward Chong, owner and salon director of Evolve Salon, wanted a fresher, less heavy and more chic look for Ann. So he chopped off her locks to shoulder length, layered them and coloured them a dark brown, giving her a softer look overall. He also gave her a full fringe to frame her face – a trick that makes you look more youthful.




Joanne Soon, 40, business development executive

Joanne’s hair was dry and the colour was patchy. Her natural hair texture was a mix of straight and wavy strands that looked frizzy.

To give Joanne’s hair more texture, Serene Tan, associate director of Chez Vous Salon, layered and coloured it in varying shades of ash-brown. “Her previous hair colour had a yellowish base that made her skin look sallow. I gave her a colour service called the Ikebana Series, which gives you a gradual ombre effect,” explains Serene.


Photography Wong Wei Liang 
Art Direction Chelza Pok 
Makeup Larry Yeo & Gwen Tan, using Shu Uemura


67 essential beauty products and treatments that industry pros swear by

9 best beauty tips for 2017


#1 Mind the nape
When you are applying skincare products to your face and neck, remember to spread the serums and moisturisers to the back of your neck. This way, the skin at the nape will not look rough, dull and patchy. 


#2 Never leave home without sunscreen
If you are serious about taking care of your skin, use sunscreen. This is worth repeating as I still come across women who do not want to use sunscreen for lazy various reasons.

(Nagging alert) You apply your expensive skincare serums and these serums cannot perform at their best because the skin is under attack by the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

In other words, these luxe serums go to waste when you don’t protect your skin with sunscreens. Not using a sunscreen also contributes to your skin becoming more sensitised.

Case in point: I know a 70-year-old woman who has better skin (because she follows a strict skincare regime, and applies sunscreen on her face when she is at home) than a 60-year-old woman who has never invested time in a moisturiser.

One more thing: Don't forget to apply sunscreen on your neck, nape and ears as well. Use a lightweight sunscreen so your skin wouldn't feel sticky and overloaded with products. 


#3 Always be patient
Getting great skin calls for diligence – even the most potent products need time to show results. Consistency is key too. For example, products that promise to remedy pigmentation generally require at least three to six weeks to work.


#4 Go gentle please
Rubbing and tugging can stretch your skin and lead to sagging. Help preserve suppleness by patting on skincare and makeup instead.


#5 Cut sugar 
“Eat a meal but taste dessert. Sugar has no benefit, and is the major cause of inflammation in the body and glycation (the breaking down of collagen) in our skin,” says celebrity dermatologist, author and medical director of ZO Skin Health, Dr Zein Obagi.


#6 Choose concealer colours wisely
Use peach-toned concealers to neutralise dark circles that appear bluish-greenish-grey, and yellow, beige-toned ones to neutralise any skin redness. 

If you're going cross-eyed figuring out which concealer is right for your skin tone, hit the beauty counters and have professional makeup artists help figure that out for you. 


#7 Say no to rubber 
Don’t use rubber bands to tie your hair as they pull at your hair and scalp, weakening the strands and causing breakage. Use a fabric-covered elastic band instead, to reduce friction between your hair and the elastic band.


#8 Wash your hair twice a day
Don’t take hair care advice from overseas magazines (where they experience the four seasons) that tell you not to wash your hair regularly. We live in a humid climate – they don’t! 

In the night, impurities like dead cells and sebum accumulate at the scalp when we sleep, congesting the hair follicles if they are not washed off. 

In the day, your scalp is exposed to dirt, sweat, bacteria and humidity, and if you use hair styling products, it is important to wash them out to avoid product accumulation at the hair follicles, which leads to hair loss.


#9 Have more sex
(My favourite tip. HAHA) Here’s the science: According to consultant neuro psychologist Dr David Weeks, in a 10-year study of over 3,000 people, sexually active couples in long-term relationships can look between four and seven years younger. 

9 best face masks of 2016

1. Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask, $60

This creamy jelly textured, leave-on overnight mask leaves your skin radiant, smooth and firm the morning after. It has ingredients that work to strengthen the skin, maintain optimum moisture levels and brighten your complexion. We liked that it doesn't leave the skin greasy or sticky, too!

2. Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, $49
In 10 minutes, the mask flushes out impurities and neutralises free radicals with turmeric extract, while polishing skin with cranberry seeds. Free of dead skin cells, my skin looked more lustrous. The skincare I used after that penetrated better and my makeup stayed put longer.

3. Biotherm Life Plankton Mask, $72

This seriously boosts moisture levels in your skin, soothe skin irritation and redness quickly to leave your skin significantly more supple and smoother!

4. Cle de Peau Beaute Intensive Brightening Mask, $165 for six pieces
This comes in two sheets, with the top half steeped in a sebum-balancing serum-like salve and the bottom drenched in a creamier emulsion to nourish and lift sagging skin along the jawline. It’s so rich that you can skip your moisturiser after!

5. For Beloved One Melasleep Brightening Lumi’s Key Bio-cellulose Mask, $63 (three pieces) 
The organic bio-cellulose mask hugs face contours without slipping, and I found the sheet mask to be the perfect thickness. It nourished and cooled my fatigued skin, and revitalised skin texture after I left it on for 20 minutes. Powerful brightening ingredients combat melanin production to leave skin looking brighter and clearer. Even my dark under-eye circles were visibly brightened.

6. Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution, $9 (one piece) 
The perfect fix for parched skin, this ultra-fine sheet mask cocoons the face and soaks skin in moisturising ingredients. Leave it on for 20 minutes. Skin is softer and suppler. The antioxidant glutathione evened out skin tone, and niacinamide – a form of vitamin B3 – gave my skin a soft radiance. 

7. Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Intensive Hydrating Essence Mask, $154 (six pieces) 
Enriched with powerful spot-correcting and anti-inflammatory active ingredients, this mask evens out skin tone and lightens pigmentation. Leave it on for 10 minutes. My skin was plumped up and had a visible glow. I didn’t need to use as much foundation as usual and I still managed to achieve a beautiful soft, matte finish.

8. Bobbi Brown Radiance Boost Mask, $64 (75ml) 
The fast worker illuminates skin in just two minutes. It exfoliates with walnut grain beads, detoxifies with kaolin clay, and energises with orange oil. We loved how clean, smooth and matte my skin looked – it’s the perfect radiance booster for the time-strapped.

9. Kose Sekkisei Herbal Gel, $56

This multi-purpose mask (also a moisturiser and makeup base) cools and comforts the skinwith calming coix seed and other herbal hydrating ingredients.


12 shimmer eye makeup for a quick party look

#1: 3CE Glam Cream Shadow in Babydoll, $38, from Sephora

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#2: 3CE One Colour Shadow in Venus, Sparkling, Valenti and Gold Luster, $15 each, from Sephora

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#3: Bobbi Brown Sequin Eye Shadow in Silver Heather, $53

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#4: Chanel Architectonic eyeshadow palette, $102

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#5: Cle de Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer in #16, $160

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#6: Etude House My Little Nut Fantastic Color Eyes in Lucky Red, $25.90

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#7: Laneige Milkyway Fantasy Two Tone Shadow Bar in Milkyway Burgundy, $38

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#8: M.A.C Nutcracker Sweet Magic Dust Eye Shadow in Dance Flowers Dance, $45

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#9: Make Up Store Eyedust in Desert, $35, from Sephora

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#10: Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow, $39, from Sephora

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#11: Shu Uemura Blossom-Nova Eye Trio in Cosmicool, $55

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#12: Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette in Icy Cool, $250