Quirky beauty trends: Follow or not?

1. Multi-Masking

What: The name of this trend sums it up: multi-task with different masks at the same time to save time. Since the various parts of your face have different needs, why use just one mask at a time? To do it, map your face into zones.

The eyes: Use a hydrating and anti-ageing eye mask to treat dark circles, puffiness and fine lines on the delicate skin in that area.

T-zone and the chin: If you have oily skin, these areas are usually oilier than the rest of your face and are plagued with clogged pores. So use a clarifying clay mask on these spots.

Cheeks, neck and decolletage: The cheeks are usually dry and need plumping up; while the neck and decolletage are often neglected. So use a moisturising and anti-ageing mask on these areas.

Follow or unfollow?

Follow, with caution.

Dr Stephanie Ho, a consultant at the National Skin Centre, says multi-masking is "generally safe".

But as with any beauty product, there is always some risk of irritation when using masks, especially for those with intolerant skin, she adds. She suggests that one try the different masks one at a time first to make sure they are suitable for the skin, before using them in combination. This is so that if irritation or allergies occur, it would be easier to pinpoint which mask caused the problem.

Another rule of thumb: Do not leave masks on for longer than instructed. We think this might be an issue if the masks you use are to be left on for different periods; it could be difficult to keep track of which one you need to remove first.

2. Eyebrow Extensions

What: Hair-like fibres are attached to the brows with glue to make them fuller - similar to how eyelash extensions are done.

Such beauty treatments, which are popular in the United States, are usually offered in conjunction with regular shaping, tweezing and brow dyeing to ensure that brows look polished and defined.

Follow or unfollow?

Follow, if this service is offered in Singapore. It is most probably not at the moment.

It sounds like a safer bet than semi-permanent brow embroidery, which entails lightly scratching the surface of the skin with a blade and adding pigments onto the skin with fine hair-like strokes. You are pretty much stuck if the therapist makes a mistake or gives you a brow shape you do not like.

With eyebrow extensions, you can remove the brows if you do not like what you see.

However, extensions may be more pricey. According to online reviews on Allure.com and Refinery29.com, brow extensions last around two to three weeks and cost from US$50 (S$70) for both brows. Just like lash extensions, you are supposed to let the natural hair follicles rest for a couple of weeks before returning to the salon for another round of extensions.

The average price for a good quality, three- to four-session embroidery treatment costs from around $1,000. The coloured brows will last up to two years.

3. Strobing

What: Often described as a make-up technique that gives one a lit-from-within ethereal glow. Strobing is pretty much the same thing as highlighting. The main difference is that you probably have to put on twice as much highlighter as you usually would.

The areas to focus on are where a "strobe" of light would hit your face: the cheek bones, bridge of the nose, just below the arch of the brows and on the cupid's bow.

This trend is not particularly new, although it has been getting plenty of attention on social media lately. Celebrities big into strobing include the queen of contouring Kim Kardashian, as well as her younger sister and model of the moment Kendall Jenner.

Follow or unfollow?

Follow only if you know how to do it right. Strobe incorrectly, and you can make your face look wider. Always make sure you balance the highlighting with proper contouring near the hairline, under the cheekbones and jawline. Put on too much highlighter and on the wrong spots - such as the T-zone - and you can end up looking greasy.

This trend also works best on those with clear skin as shimmer in the highlighter will make bumpy skin more obvious. Too much highlighter may look fine in pictures, especially with photo filters. But in real-life, you could end up standing out for all the wrong reasons.

Life recommends the iconic M.A.C Strobe Cream and Yves Saint Laurent Beaute's Touche Eclat.

4. Hair Tapestry

What: Sections of hair are interlaced with colourful threads to create the effect of a woven carpet.

First spotted on music festival partygoers, this trend is a step up from regular rastafarian colourful braids. From afar, hair tapestry looks like a statement barette.

Follow or unfollow?

Follow, if you are looking for an alternative to plastic flower hair garlands and straw hats.

It seems easy enough; all you need is a handful of cross-stitch thread and a friend with nimble fingers to help you get the job done.

The only drawback is that if the knots are tied too tightly, removing the threads could be a nightmare. An even easier option would be to clip on hairpieces that are already woven with colourful threads.

5. Kylie Jenner's Lips

What: The reality star's pillowy pout is big news. There is even a hashtag #kyliejennerlipchallenge with more than 54,000 posts, dedicated to - or making fun of - her oversized pout.

The 18-year-old, who will soon be launching her own lipstick range, has admitted that her full and sexy pout is the result of fillers. She has also shared that she uses lip liner to "over-line" her lips, drawing above her natural lip line.

Netizens have resorted to various methods to re-create her pout, one of which entails placing an object with a small opening - like a bottle or cup - over the mouth to create a suction that will cause the lips to swell temporarily.

Follow or unfollow?

Follow only if you can exercise restraint.

Over-lining lips a little is okay, especially when you want to make a statement with a bold lip colour. But overdo it and and your lips could look too big for your face. Beautiful make-up is all about proportion.

As for sucking the air out of a bottle or cup placed over your lips - that just sounds painful. Plus, you might have to deal with a red ring around your lips for hours.

6. Aquarium Nails

What: Clear acrylic nail extensions that resemble snow globes, filled with water and bubbles, as well as floating confetti. So when you move your fingers, the sparkly bits and bubbles make the nail art come "alive". These often come decorated with pearls, crystals and patterns to complete the aquatic fish-tank look.

Follow or unfollow?

Unfollow, unless your job allows for such creativity. Imagine conducting a meeting in a corporate environment with acrylic extensions filled with floating glitter.

As far as we know, no nail salon in Singapore is offering such extensions yet. But you can always ask for a simpler - and in our opinion, more attractive and classy version - which involves just clear nails decorated on the edges to resemble a watery paradise.

7. Sunburn Art

What: Also called tan tattoos, this trend involves placing a cutout pattern (say, a cluster of heart shapes or an outline of Mona Lisa) made of paper or plastic onto bare skin, then staying out in the sun for hours before you remove the cut-out to reveal a patterned patch of untanned skin.

Follow or unfollow?


Sun damage on the skin can lead to a whole host of problems, including wrinkles, sagging, enlarged pores and, in extreme cases, skin cancer. So always wear adequate sunscreen on every part of the skin that is exposed to the sun.

Want a temporary tattoo? There are plenty of stick-on and spray-on alternatives. Popular gold stick-on tattoos are a much more fashionable option. There are plenty of choices at Flashtat.com, Etsy.com, Asos.com and Shopbop.com.

This article was first published on August 27, 2015.
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