9 beauty tricks you need to know for 2017

PHOTO: The Straits Times

#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.

10 budget beauty hacks every Singapore woman must know

  • 1. Use your night moisturiser as a power-packed pre-cleanser: That pricey pot of fancy face cream you blew your bonus on is giving you pimples. What now? Don’t toss it out! If you suspect a cream is too rich for all-night use, slap it on before cleansing, let sit for five minutes, then take it all off. Beauty bonus: You’ll find that your warpaint slides off that much easier too, thanks to the extra lubrication.
  • 2. Lengthen the longevity of lip gloss: Press your gloss applicator into the centre of your pout, then slide it back and forth in one smooth pendulum-like movement. Wait a beat, then apply a second coat. Once you’re satisfied, blot softly with a sebum-absorbing sheet – the oils in glossy formulas are the main culprits of colour slippage. Voila, a Goldilocks-esque stain that hits the sweet spot between wet and matte, with the added benefit of being long-lasting to boot.
  • 3. Ice, ice baby: I swear by this incredibly cool if strange-sounding beauty hack: Simply ice in the morning. Hold a cold compress against your cheek for a minute or so, then pat dry. The plunge in temperature shrinks the skin’s blood vessels and takes care of puffiness, pores, ruddiness and such for instant Insta-ready skin.
  • 4. Ask for more seaweed with your hawker centre fish soup: Don’t forget to eat your sea veggies! This marine manna is so very good for you. The most direct beautifying benefits? Seaweed boasts a stress-alleviating stockpile of B-vitamins that bolster your body against fatigue by fortifying your adrenal glands – and this in turn will help to soothe stress-induced skin sallowness. Ask the canteen auntie for an extra spoonful in your fish soup the next time you’re lunching!
  • 5. A milky treat for a milky mien: My household’s magical ingredient? Milk of magnesia. While it’s meant to allay tummy aches, my little trick involves slapping it onto my skin to radically reduce the redness of rashes. How on earth does this embarrassingly simple solution work? As it turns out, the active ingredient in milk of magnesia (impress your chemist by saying magnesium hydroxide) is an excellent anti-inflammatory, making it great for balancing out blotchy skin. Simply dab onto affected areas, relax and kick off your kitten heels for a couple of minutes, then rinse off for smoother, softer skin.
  • 6. Try before you buy: The early bird catches the cream, so aim to arrive at the cosmetic aisles in the first hour of the store raising its shutters, when shoppers are sparse and you’re more likely to receive rapt attention from the counter crew. Beauty bonus: When foot traffic is light, the makeup consultant on standby will also be more likely to throw in a full face makeover, if that’s what you’re gunning for as well.
  • 7. Extend your extensions’ shelf life: "Eye" know how you like ‘em: The longer and thicker, the better. (Yes, we’re talking eyelash extensions here.) To make your falsies last longer, always peel away the gluey goop sticking to the spine after use. These clumps are a cesspool of bacteria build-up, and can weigh down upon and warp the natural curves of your eyelash band. To circumvent this sorry state of affairs, simply use a pair of tweezers to take off the glue, paying special attention to the inner and outer corners, where grime tends to gather. Bonus tip: Be extra careful during application by always keeping within the line of the spine – getting glue onto the hairs will mean the sticky kiss of death for that particular pair of falsies. Cheers to fluttering those falsies and faking your way to a fabulous time!
  • 8. Do this with your eyes wide open: If you’re particularly puffy from pulling too many all-nighters, try this neat little "eye-xercise" after applying your eye cream. Using clean fingers and starting from the inner corners, press gently for about five seconds. Inch outwards at five-second intervals: Five seconds of pressure close to the tear ducts; five seconds at the midway point directly below your pupils, and a final five seconds at the tapering end of your lash-line. This prodding of your pressure points prompts further fluid drainage, plus it'll feel pretty darn good after a long day of eyeballing your electronic devices.
  • 9. Nail whitening, anyone?: The trick to restoring your nails to their pristine pink state is the exact same as that for your pearly whites: Hydrogen peroxide by way of teeth whitening strips. Head to your nearest pharmacy and ask for off-the-counter hydrogen peroxide. (Scrutinise the label to make sure it doesn’t exceed the three percent concentration threshold; any greater and there’s no guarantee you wouldn’t well, get your fingers burnt.) In any case, mix one tablespoon of said three percent bleaching agent with about two tablespoons of baking soda. This creates a paste that you can plaster like polish over your nails. Wait a couple of minutes and wash off for perfectly pearly nails. Genius, yes? Told you I had "talon" for this sort of sorcery.
  • 10. Mix your very own lip balm: Here’s my super quick and super dirty recipe to transform any cream into a lip-loving lotion: Dump equal parts moisturiser and Vaseline jelly into a clean mixing bowl, give it a good stir, then stash the slurry into an airtight jar. Tadah! Your very own pucker-pampering treatment. Right, then. You know the drill: Spill the #deets if these tricks work for you, and do me a favour by sharing this story with your fellow beauty buddies. Cheers to a priceless complexion!

#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.

Visit Simply Her for more stories.