Looking Good: 5 beauty staples you need

While I am always drawn to reading beauty routine interviews, I am always left with the feeling that I will never be able to achieve such level of discipline. Let alone meet the budget one must have to do it. 

Not only must you be disciplined enough to make time in your agenda to book all those beauty appointments - facial, lasers, mani-pedi, waxing/IPL, haircuts and the list goes on and on and on - but even if you manage to be oh-so-disciplined, you need time and, yes, the budget to do so. 

Oh, the time and money spent just to look groomed and presentable. Of course, one should not feel that they have to do all of it. We are not celebrities with a glam squad and limitless budget in tow. Still, I am sure I am not the only one feeling hopeless in front of my beauty agenda.  

After dealing with a crazy schedule of work, kid, home, and school obligations (which I keep to the barest minimum), I simply can’t stretch myself enough to then think about my beauty routine.  Having said that, I am really good at reading beauty products review and discussing new launches or discovery with my friends as well as the team. If you're in our offices, you will often hear us talking about our last finds and how they are often not budget friendly. It is during one of those conversation that I shared some of my favourite products that I use at home that help me look the part while still managing my ever ending to do list.  

FACIAL IN A JAR

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There was a time when I used to have a facial on a monthly basis. These days, however, not only do I not have the time, I have yet to find the right place to do so.

What I love the most about going for facials is the end - when I come out with a squeaky clean skin minus the redness from extractions. Some people like to do it at home but I'm always warning everyone to not do that. Extraction has to be done by a professional as there is the right way and of course the wrong way of doing it. As tempting as it can be, not doing it the right way will leave you with redness, sometimes scars. So how does one get the same effect if you don’t head out for a facial? My answer the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque. I have mentioned it a few times in the Looking Good section of page five. The Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque has been a staple in my bathroom since I discovered it 2001. So, yes, it’s been with me for 16 years now. 

What I love about it: It is that it's a mud masque that is easy to spread on - thanks to its slightly oily texture. It also dries fast (10-15 minutes tops) and it rinses well leaving you with a smoother skin and almost no blackheads, just as if you left your beauty therapist. I have a combination skin so I use it twice a week on my t-zone and once in a while on my entire face. Please note that this masque can dry your skin a bit, mostly due to the clay. It does not irritate your skin, though. So that's good. My other half often steals some from me thinking I won’t notice.

For dryer skin, I will recommend just applying on your t-zone. 

The Plus: You can take care of your T-zone while having coffee in the morning before rinsing in the shower, in my case I clear my emails while my daughter LOL at me. When a blemish shows up, I apply a bit on it to dry the culprit as soon as possible. The jar which is 142g will last you a good year. 

While it is not one of the cheaper mud masque out there I still feel it’s one of the best for SGD47. 

You can now cross out the facial spa appointment from your agenda. 

RADIANCE IN A JAR

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We all have mornings when we feel that our coffee won’t help us much and that everyone is going to see it because, well, it’s all over our complexion. On those mornings, I use the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. It claims to help you look healthier, radiant and brighter while helping with fine lines and congestion. In my case, I just feel that the 10 minutes of this mask and my skin gets the boost it so desperately needed.

I usually avoid any chemical exfoliation as I am always afraid of dramatic results, but after reading so much about it and getting a sample, which I first tested before applying on my face (please always patch test before trying a new product on), the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask found its space in my bathroom shelves. I usually do this mask in the morning right after I wash my face. I hop in the shower and then 10 minutes later I rinse. As for how often I use it... Frankly, it’s when my skin screams for it. 

What I love about it: It takes only 10 minutes and yes it will tingle and burn a bit hence please patch test before trying it. The packaging is great as it keeps your mask from drying and being in a pump form means that it keeps the product germ-free.  Last, but not least, the price. It’s probably among the cheapest in its category. 

The plus: You can apply this mask just before heading out at night as it only takes 10 minutes and no redness. 

A FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP IN A JAR

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Story of my life: Everyday I promise myself that I will head to bead early and that I will switch off my dear gadgets at least 2 hours before heading to bed. Well, guess what? It almost never works. I always end up in bed way too late because I'm still working and I find myself in the zone (also known as "everyone is asleep and I can finally get things done").

Needless to say, this impacts my skin moreover when it's 3 am and I need to wake up in 4 hours. This is when I splash on Laneige Water Sleeping Mask on before heading to bed. The next morning, my skin feels as if I've gotten my 10 hours of sleep. 

What I love about it: it’s super easy to apply, thanks to its gel texture. It also makes it very easy to give yourself a face massage because of it, and it does not stain your sheets because who likes to sleep on a towel? I know I don’t.

When it comes to the price, I find it pretty reasonable knowing that you won’t be using this product everyday but only as needed. The only thing is that you need to remember to put it on when you know you will have a short night or that you had one to many last drinks that evening. 

VACATION KIT ON YOUR BATHROOM SHELVES

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I simply can’t remember the last time I was on a vacation and I can tell you so does my skin. When I am on vacation, I notice that my olive-toned skin clears up just like that. Yes, more sleep, less rushed and more time for myself.

To get the same effect while not going anywhere, I highly recommend Clinique Fresh Pressed Regime. This is a new addition to my beauty routine and I only tried it by purchasing the 7 day kit. Let's just say that I will be doing this every month and half or so.

As you know vitamin C is great for your skin, it helps to even out your skin tone as well as brighten it. The Clinique Fresh Pressed regime comes in a set of two product one that is a powder cleanser in small sachets and the other one is a vitamin C booster serum. You need to first clean your face with the powder, let it rest for a minute, rinse and then add the Vitamin C booster to your usual moisturiser. While I did that for 7 day straight, I could see my skin getting clearer. As much as I know that Vitamin C is good for your skin, I don’t use much of it because of the Singapore sun. I do use SPF daily but I rarely re-apply during the day, hence, I know that Vitamin C mix with sun can leave some damages on your skin. So, this routine is better kept for the rainy season or winter at least for me. 

What I love about it: The smart packaging that makes it super easy to know exactly the right amount you should be using, a full sachet to cleanse your skin and few 2/3 drops of the Vitamin C booster in your moisturiser. Vitamin C is a very fragile ingredient so knowing that while I am using all it’s active ingredient are really there is a plus. 

The plus: Feeling that you are doing something right for yourself once in a while, feels like a little splurge, like having your favourite breakfast every day of the week while taking your time enjoying it. 

Clinique Fresh Pressed 7- Day System with Pure Vitamin C SGD39

SUNKISSED BY NIGHT

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This one is not a product for everyone. In my case, I have an olive-toned skin, which means that I need some kind of sun to have a nice colour. Otherwise, I look grey.

Knowing that sun exposure is not so good for you, I am left with the daily foundation option which personally I don’t enjoy. I keep foundation for some nights out or when I have a very bad breakouts and even in this case I am really good at just forgetting the foundation. So frankly, I am left with ether sun exposure or self-tan.

Seeing so many disastrous story about self tanning I always stayed away from it till I heard about the James Read Overnight Tan. This self tanner needs to be applied at night, don’t worry, it won’t stain your sheets (I know, because mine are white). I love that it’s super easy to apply thanks to it’s gel texture and the smell is not overpowering like alot of other self tanner in the market. You let it work all night and the next morning you are left with a sun kissed skin but not an orange one. Having said that I will recommend you test it before a weekend you know you are not going to see anyone. 

What I love about it: Super easy to use you don’t need to spend hours on youtube to figure out the best way of applying it, the no lingering smell of self tanner the fact no ones knows that I had been self tanning. The packaging is super practical no risk of applying to much or to little product thanks it’s pump. 

James Read Overnight Tan available at Net-a-porter 27 USD. 


So here you have it, 5 products that won’t fail when you need them the most. 

How about you? Do you have a product you swear by? A beauty product that has saved you time and money and never failed you?

Leave me a comment. I am always happy to discover new ones.