Estee Lauder: Moisture ‘magnet’ for your skin

THIS is arguably the grand dame of skincare made by the grand dame of beauty. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex is 26 years old, old enough to be repackaged and reformulated in this fast-moving beauty world, but the brown glass bottle remains one of the label's best-loved item.’

“It’s insurance for your skin,” said Estee Lauder public relations manager. I didn’t take her word for it, but since my skin has been dry of late and scarred by pimples, I thought the Advanced Night Repair, or ANR, would have a perfect canvas to work on.

It’s simple to use: just squirt it on your palm and massage it into your skin after your toner. It takes a while for the serum to be absorbed, after which you apply your moisturiser. Now, what I don’t like is the smell. It smells of something bitter, like medicine, so every time I put it on, I try not to inhale the scent.

What I do like is that it immediately hydrates my skin. My face stops feeling coarse, and when I smile I don’t see those tiny lines on my cheeks. Its ability to rehydrate skin is largely due to sodium hyaluronate, which acts as a “magnet” to attract moisture and lock it in. There was even a test that I was taught.

Massage ANR on one hand and then spray water on both hands. Water drips from the hand without ANR, while water becomes tiny droplets that sticks to the hand with ANR rubbed into it. A week after using it, I went for my regular facial and my therapist commented on how much more supple my skin had become.This alone was enough to tell me that this serum works.


Musk have

THE Middle East is the inspiration for a new perfume from Annick Goutal called Musc Nomade, created by Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen.

Enchanted by the sophistication of musk devotees and the Qatar princesses who bathed in a blend of musk powder and rose essence, Annick Goutal wanted to capture the aphrodisiac effect – without using animal products – said to captivate men and stir their senses.

Tonka beans, nuances of almond and labdanum and Bombay wood are also present in this alluring scent.

Musc Nomade retails at RM599 for a 100ml EDP and can be found at Annick Goutal counters and Ken's Apothecary.

Also Middle Eastern inspired, jewellery house Boucheron recently came out with a new collection, Sheherazade, named after the Persian Queen and storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights.

The collection, composed of rings, pendant, earrings and necklace, is of multiple hinged links in white or pink gold adorned with a mix of multicoloured stones.

These gorgeous pieces are not for the faint-hearted though, prices start at RM150,000. Fit for a queen, indeed!


Old on to long hair

IT’S a question that crops up more and more as you approach your 40s – how old is too old to hang on to long hair?

While some see no reason not to stick with a longer style and dye away the grey, others believe there is a definite time for the final chop.

Here, celebrity hairdresser RICHARD WARD gives his guide to the long and the short of it.


Disguising age is all about creating softness and flattering tones.

As ageing skin naturally lightens warmer tones may suit more than youthful cooler shades, so go for soft colours.

Who gets it right? Judi Dench – fabulous platinum highlights add texture to a great choppy cut.

Who gets it wrong? Nancy Dell’Olio – unflattering raven black is too dark on older women. Ditch the ageing goth look, Nancy.

Shorter style

If you decide to go for the chop don’t rush into it.

Sometimes what you think makes you look younger can end up ageing you.

Avoid the trap of the �boring, functional short cut� and ensure you develop a signature style of your own.

Go for a flattering compromise – a mid-length cut can look glamorous as well as youthful and vibrant.

Avoid severe cuts such as Pobs and bobs – the key is softening your look so it flatters your face and isn’t harsh.

Who gets it right? Twiggy, Lulu, Felicity Kendal and Joanna Lumley look absolutely fabulous with their soft, mid-length locks and subtle caramel blonde tones.

Who gets it wrong? Esther Rantzen – she has fine hair that would look better a little longer to give some bulk and volume. It’s too �old lady� looking.

The long issue

In my opinion some women hang on to their long hair for far too many years.

But that’s not to say I always condone the old adage of lopping it off once you hit 40.

There is a right and a wrong way to wear long hair. Skin tone, skin texture and hair texture and colour naturally change with age so you need to tweak your style to cater for these changes.

The best way to keep long hair is to take it a little shorter, giving an illusion of length but softening hard edges.
Who gets it right? Liz Hurley – shoulder length, subtle side fringe and soft layers all make her look totally in keeping with her age.

Madonna – an example of a woman whose chameleon hair is her trade-mark and who never gets it wrong style-wise. (Shame she doesn’t pay as much attention to her roots.)

Who gets it wrong? Jerry Hall – her high forehead means a fringe would be more flattering.

Her hair isn’t in good enough nick to wear long – the straggly look doesn’t work on over30s.

The golden rules

Texture and movement are key – soft choppy layers and cuts with movement and volume work best.

Frame your face with finely placed meshes of lighter colours to complement your skin tone. Avoid going darker as skin tone lightens with age.

Avoid harsh cuts – no Pobs or straight lines. Keep it soft and fluid.

Celebrity Hairdresser


A fresh look at whitening - chanel

THERE is something about this Asian-specific, immensely popular whitening trend that makes me uneasy.

Maybe it’s the far-fetched promise of having flawless, porcelain-like skin (something I attribute mostly to genetics and to some extent, the combination of skincare, exercise, diet, stress control and general outlook of life).

Maybe it’s the fact that last year about this time, I tried a range and after three weeks, I found myself hypersensitive to the sun. My skin turned red and warm. I had to change my astringent toner to an alcohol-free one to soothe my face.

Maybe, as someone proud of her individuality, I don’t want to conform to the popular belief attached that being pretty means being fair. That notion of beauty is about as deep as a puddle.
I’d like to keep my skin healthy, happy, calm, well-hydrated and stress-free, thank you very much.

That is not to say that whitening skincare fails to deliver. Far from it. Just a few days back I squirted the last of my Estee Lauder Cyber White sunblock which I used until the end of its days because even with SPF50++, the texture remains light on my skin.

And yet I couldn’t see myself chucking my trusted bottles and replacing them with a whitening solution. My trusted skincare has served me well. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

But the barrage of whitening products that are launching this and next month tempt me to give whitening skincare another chance. So for three weeks, I used some of the newly released whitening products.

They are Chanel Precision White Essentiel lightening cleansing foam and ultimate whitening essence, Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 whitening beauty lotion, high potency whitening spot eraser, whitening hydrating emulsion, radiance reviving petal, whitening night essence and anti-dark circles eye treatment.

And like a scientist armed with lab essentials, I began my experiment to see if these products could lighten my sun spots, (self-inflicted) pimple scars and the general condition of my skin.

The Chanel Precision White Essentiel cleansing foam was more milky than foamy, something which I'm thankful for because that means my skin will not suffer that tightness often associated with foaming cleansers. This one is gentle and effective.

Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 whitening beauty lotion moist (read: toner) is kind on the skin with no tingling sensation. There is also a very moist option for those with dry skin.

Both the Chanel Precision White Essentiel ultimate whitening essence and Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 high potency whitening spot eraser somehow tingled on my face. They did not make my skin itchy but I did feel a momentary sensation, which, thankfully, stopped after numerous applications.

I loved the sweet and calming scent of the Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 range, which made skincare a pleasure instead of a routine. All the products absorbed easily into the skin. No grease, no oiliness. Just moisturised, bouncy skin.

The hydrating emulsion even locks in moisture to help the spot eraser work better. And the radiance reviving petal is like a gentle scrub to slough away dead skin cells.

The Chanel Precision White Essentiel products are great, too. The whitening essence has a gel-like texture that melts on the skin, and the foam cleansed my face just right.

On the third day, I noticed that the spots hadn’t lightened. But I wasn’t expecting miracles because of my own folly in squeezing the pimples. My whitening regiment continued. I was determined to see if they worked.

By the end of the third week, I understood why this segment has such a huge following in this region. My self-inflicted pimple scars look like they are fading off my face. The results are not immediate. You are not going to wake up one morning and suddenly have great-looking skin, but yes, I did notice a difference.

This time around, my face didn’t get sensitive under the sun. None of the products dried my skin, which was a real bonus because whitening products, due to their brightening agent, may sap the skin off its moisture.

There were no breakouts, no unpleasant reaction. Perhaps I may have rejected this trend a little too soon. My only complaint is that the range is too extensive. The Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3, for instance, has 10 products from cleanser to masque. That means forking out a lot of money.

The sales people will tell you a range gives optimum results when used in totality. Sure, because the ingredients will work synergistically. But if you can afford only one product, try the whitening essence or spot eraser. Maybe you can build your whitening skincare from there.

As for me, my scars have faded so that I hardly need to use any concealer when I put on my makeup. One thinly-layered pressed powder brushed onto the face is all I need to have my skin looking flawless.

That's the best thing of all because if there is one cardinal rule in make-up it is this: Only well-moisturised skin will yield fantastic looking make-up.

My final validation (not that I needed any, but compliments are always nice, yes?) came from a close guy friend, who, on normal days, would never notice my makeup or even care to ask if I’m wearing any.

One day, when we met up for lunch, he told me that I looked, “more beautiful than usual”. And yet all I had on my face was powder, mascara and clear gloss, all of which took less than three minutes to apply.

And that, to me, is precious.


SilkyGirl Matte all-day - Living spaces

OILY skin is the bane of most females when they hit puberty and a gush of sebum is triggered by hormonal changes.

SilkyGirl answers the prayer for mattelooking skin, all day long, with its new Pure Fresh Oil-Control Pressed Powder.

Selective Sebum Powder in its formulation claims to banish the unsightly shine and minimise the appearance of large pores.

Apple extract is also said to maintain the skin’s moisture level.

The non-comedogenic powder is also said to lighten lighten skin tone.

Matte, smooth and youthful skin – it can be a reality!

In 01Fair, 02 Natural and 03 Rose Beige.

Lancome Global juice - living spaces

THE gourmand bug is really biting the beauty industry, as Lancome works up an appetite for make-up that’s good enough to eat.

English designer Christopher Kane, whose colourful ready-towear is creating a buzz in fashion, has created eight new ultra-shiny, goodenough-to-eat fashion shades for its cult lipgloss, Juicy Tubes.

The limited editions are hailed as a must-have for all Juicy Tubes fans. They are a homage to four hip cities: New York, Tokyo, Paris and Rio.

Each city has inspired two delicious flavours in glamorous shades, from Apple Shibuya to Banana Ipanema, Cinnamon Soho to Moulin Rose. Available at all Lancome counters.

Prada Infusion scent - living spaces

PRADA’S latest perfume – Infusion d’Iris – is inspired by the spirit of yin and yang: a balance of harmony in a distracted world.

The equation is as elusive as the key ingredient – a light, feminine infusion-like dose of the Florentine iris, one of the most expensive items in the art of perfumery today.

Designer Miuccia Prada ignored traditional barriers of age and sexual attitude in creating the scent together with perfumer Daniela Andrier.

For the perfume “like a dream” – inspired by the six-month infusion process to draw the notes from the iris root – the team also added incense, vetiver, orange blossom and mandarin, among others.

The scent, in a vintage-style bottle, is an eau de parfum in spray and splash versions.

Dunhill Gentleman’s rose - Living Spaces

THE metrosexual man is yesterday’s news, nudged out by the modern gentleman, claims dunhill.

It pays homage to this new species with a scent that blends the qualities and essence of the man and his city.

The fragrance, dunhill London, takes off with the crisp succulence of an apple top note, leading to a rose flourish in the heart. The rose is hailed as an iconic symbol of Englishness which, though often associated with feminity, is rooted in the traditions of male perfumery.

Geranium and cardamom flirt with patchouli and vanilla in the base for a classic, masculine accord. Available as EDT, after-shave, bath care and deodorant.

SPRING 2008 Birthday colours - Living Spaces

SPRING 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Yves Saint Laurent’s make-up line, which adapted the bold elegant colours of his clothes to his make-up universe.

The hues are inspired by one of the famous love greeting cards – the 1992 edition – sketched by the designer and sent to his friends.

Palette Pop interprets the romantic mood with its tender, delicate shades in a collector’s edition powder that invites love at first sight.

Other limited editions in the New Spring Look range are the Pop Stick Blush to give cheeks a spring-time radiance and sculpt the face, and the Eye Colour Touch, a water-resistant shadow.

The total look: avant-garde romanticism true to the spirit of “a face for the woman I dress,’” as Saint Laurent wanted.


Clarin's Hydrating lipsticks - Living spaces

LIPS are often regarded as the most sensual part of the body. What better way to highlight them than dousing them in red? Clarins Innovation Rouge Appeal offers a revolutionary ultralight gel texture with vibrant, lasting colour.

The hydrating lipstick contains coconut oil, vitamins C and E along with the subtle hint of caramel flavour. It comes in eight different shades.

If you're looking for a quick fix and volumised lashes, Clarins' Wonder Length Mascara might just do the trick. Said to be a technological advancement that guarantees a lash lengthening effect and intense colour, it also protects and hydrates the lashes from root to tip.

It offers a fine cylindrical brush and is designed to ensure ultra-precise application and a high definition of lashes without running or flaking.

Anna Sui Carnival of colours - Living spaces

THIS spring, Anna Sui promises sugar and spice, and everything nice. To mark its 10th anniversary this year, there's a carnival of colours to look forward in the collection.

The Glitter Eye Color Stick provides lame in a translucent base that colours eyes subtly. It comes in a powdery texture and spreads smoothly in five colour palettes of silver lame, sour blue, spicy purple, sweet pink and gold.

The range also includes a new aqueous based eyeliner in seven colours, a luminous liquid eye-liner in three shades, limited edition Candy coloured Lip Gloss in sparkling candied colours and matching Candied Pop nail colours. For eye accents, check out the Anna Sui Eye Color Accent J in three rainbow variants.

Noblesse All in one - Living Spaces

EVERY woman longs for an all-in-one cream to reduce the number of steps required when putting on make-up. Thanks to the new Noblesse Oblige Blemish Balm Cream range, women just may get an extra half an hour of sleep.

Speedy make-up, protection and superior skin nourishment is what you get in a tube of Noblesse Oblige cream. It contains various vitamin complexes and herbal extracts with antioxidant properties that help improve the skin. In addition to its function to moisturise, correct skin tone, nourish and conceal skin blemishes, the cream also contains UV shield that blocks harmful UV rays and protect the skin.

The new Sun B.B Cream (SPF 15) is a multi-functional cream that functions as a moisturiser, make-up base, foundation and sun block. It is said to have rejuvenating properties that revitalise the skin leaving it more and more radiant looking, while effectively concealing skin’s blemishes.

Other products from the B.B Cream series include White B.B Cream, Night B.B Cream, B.B Concealer and B.B Pact. Available at Ianti – House of Korean Skin Care and Cosmetics

For radiant skin

THANKS to the power of plants that can help counteract discolouration, Origins Light Years Ahead can help you get back that missing spark of radiance from your face. The formula claims to effectively counteract skin stressors and prevent accumulation of melanosomes, which can lead to the formation of dark spots.

Together with its composition of unique ingredients such as gentian, rice and yeast extracts, the collection offers brightening benefits touted to give clear, translucent skin. The latest addition, the Stress-easing Whitening Serum, is said to help deactivate stress on the skin and diminish the appearance of dark spots by dispersing melanin clusters.


Revlon’s Lips renewed - Living Spaces

Revlon’s Renewist Lipcolor range has a claim to fame: the first and only lipstick with patent-pending ProCollagen Moisture Core to keep lips moisturised, and looking smooth and full.

The Core claims to moisturise and smoothen lips instantly, even as it reduces fine lines and enhance lip fullness.

Moisture levels are said to be given a boost up to 80%. For extra protection, the range includes SPF15 coverage.

Chocolate Satisfaction, Berry Fulfilling, Lush peony and Perfect Pastel are among the 12 alluring shades.

Sentimental reasons

The heart has its own reasons, who knows why?

But if you wish to find out, Escada offers two possibilities, with its new Sentiment, for women and men.

The two scents are based on a single emotion, and created to express the deepest feelings of love.

The woman’s version is fruity-floral, with notes such as green mandarin, may rose and rosewood.

Sentiment Pour Homme features orris and rosa tuberosa, with amber as a declaration of love.

Available this month, in leading department stores.

Dior's Fabled Scent - Living Spaces

Cinderella’s myth has fascinated followers of fairytales, through the ages. The earliest version of the rags-to-riches story is believed to have come from 9th-century China.

Dior has now created a scent for a modern Cinderella: instead of a fairy godmother or pumpkin, she uses Midnight Poison to capture her prince.

Like a fragrant symphony, the scent features soft accords (bergamot and mandarin orange) followed by floral note (rose absolute), with patchouli and amber in the rubdown.

Bathed in blue light, Midnight Poison’s bottle embodies the mystery of an extraordinary night. Dior’s modern-day Cinderella is portrayed by Bond girl, Eva Green, in the commercial lensed by Wong Kar-wai.


Vichy Beyond hydration - Living Spaces

MOISTURISERS are so yesterday, according to Vichy. Its new Aqualia Thermal does more than hydrate, we are told.

It claims to fortify skin and reduce its sensitivity, helping to increase resistance to harsh climate changes.

Aqualia is described as a “health-promoting’’ skin care product to improve skin quality and heighten its well- being on a daily basis.

The hydrating formula has been created in two serum textures, in response to different skin needs: one rich, and one light.

Vichy’s famous spa water, rich in minerals, is also encapsulated in Aqualia.

The effect of its 24-hour hydration is velvety-smooth skin that also feels more resilient and supple.

Shu uemura's Endless shine - Living Spaces

THERE’S no excuse not to shine this season, especially with the introduction of shu uemura’s gloss unlimited.

The lip gloss fuses ultra-radiant shine with an extensive colour range. The idea behind the super-glossy look is dual shimmer – achieved with one lustrous base, and a triple pearl combination, each with individual light-reflective effects.

Gloss unlimited features 15 moisturising shades, in a choice of shiny or natural. Together with the product, shu uemura has developed its “feather touch’’ application, a technology that allows a precise application of gloss, for sleek, defined lips and an ultra-smooth glide.

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