All posts filed under: beauty

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Scentsuality & A Link-Up

It’s less about the scent, And more about the real story behind it.   As with any good read, it’s the journey, and not the destination, which makes us turn the pages, one by one by one, to the very end.  So too in the instance of fragrances, I feel.  In the grand scale of things, it isn’t so much the mastery in creating a harmonious accord that which intrigues me, as it is discovering (and walking down) the path leading to its inception.   Of course, at its heart, the simplest answer to why I love perfumes is that perfume, like most beautiful things, make me happy.  The more convoluted response, however, is such a complex topic that some have gone on to establish reputations and careers based on the seemingly basic subject of scents.  Yes, perfume is a labyrinthine subject, one requiring years of study. It isn’t just about the commercial beauty of a product or the innovative design of its host decanter.  There’s that all potent intermingling of chemistry with fashion, and …

Clarins On The Lips | Sheela Writes

Lipstick Love

I love lipsticks. But that’s no secret, right?   Last I counted, I’m the proud owner of approximately 317 lipsticks.  Yes, I heard your gasp, and it’s perfectly understandable.  That’s quite the exaggerated quantity for someone in possession of a mere single pair of lips, I know (and in my defense, there are others who have much much more).  But this is how it looks from where I’m standing.  Lipsticks are one of the most affordable accessories available, easily perceived as the finishing touch to an outfit. AND A WOMAN NEEDS HER OPTIONS. Brown Sugar by Avon.  Despite images currently shown on the web, I remember it as being a striking geisha red.  Rich and creamy with a satin finish.  And I also vividly recall that no matter how tired she was or simply dressed, my mother would never ever be seen in public without lipstick and that lipstick was a look-at-me-I’m-fabulous red.  That was such a beautiful childhood memory, don’t you think? When it comes to lipsticks, although my preference tends to slant towards …

Walking The Sensory Tightrope | Sheela Writes

Walking The Sensory Tightrope

Fragrance can be a heady force It evokes memories, triggers longings Conveys who you are   Why the reference to acrobatic manoeuvres, you ask? Think of it this way.  Finding a fragrance which speaks most accurately of your personality is, well, akin to walking a tightrope.  It requires perfect balance.  A slight misstep and it’s literally downhill from there.  Spray too little and you’re nothing more than a barely-there wallflower of a scent, nondescript, forgettable, easily missed. Spray too much and you’ll give everyone within a 10 feet radius (1) a migraine; (2) nausea; and/or (3) a reason to strike you off their Christmas list, permanently. No, I’m no expert in the language of scent literacy.  Quite the contrary.  You see, when I became pregnant in 1999, I developed the most violent aversion and reaction to all forms of smells ranging from perfumes to candles, potpourris to essential oils, and everything in between, including laundry detergents and creams.  A mere whiff and I would gag.  Turn green. And, inevitably, vomit. You can, therefore, imagine my …

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Vanity Trumps Sanity

The pursuit of beauty has been known to go where no man has gone before.  Easily crossing thresholds of rational thought and logic.  Sometimes, these journeys have met with great measures of success, and at other times, with immense bewilderment and jaws agape.  Certainly, though, all have captivated and held our attention. Here, I highlight those which, to me, represent the epitome of cray cray. (1) The hairy armpit. Why, oh why.  I first saw a woman with thick bushes there in 2008, back in my hometown of Kuching.  She was from China, Beijing to be precise, and after striking up a conversation with her, I discovered that the province from whence she hailed, found the notion of underarm hair, incredibly sexy.  Fast forward to 2014, to the hairy armpit selfie movement growing ever stronger in the mainland.  Where women post pictures of their fuzzy (often dyed) underarms across social media platforms to support their rights  to shave (or not), propagating the concept that women need not be hairless to feel confident and beautiful. I …

The Mineral Difference | Sheela Writes

The Mineral Difference

When it comes to mineral make-up, I am about as clueless as can be.   Let’s go back 20 years ago when I bought my very first compact, the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation which was, in essence, a 2-way cake.  Having never used make-up prior to that, I bought every sales pitch coming out of Ginger’s mouth (my MAC salesperson) and went home with a bag of stuff.  Like a mountain of stuff which I ended up not using because (a) I’m lazy; (b) I had no idea which was for what; and (c) I forgot I even had them. Anyway, the point here is that I used my MAC compact religiously for so many years, through different skin tones (cringe), and I have to say, I really hated it. It was gunky and yucky.  It looked fake and dated.  I looked fake and dated. It was only when I moved to the States in 2010 did I pluck up the courage to ask the MAC sales people (not Ginger, this time it …

Kiss From The Rose | Sheela Writes

Kiss From A Rose

The words “cleansing” and “oil” coming together in a single sentence used to be foreign to me, and, I’m certain, for many others unaccustomed to the concept of slathering a gunky, greasy commodity in the name of detoxification, regeneration and, on a whole, keeping those signs of age at bay. I kid you not. Let’s get into the nitty gritty for a bit. Why oil, you ask?   01 Oils can be used day or night. 02 The right face oil can benefit any skin type, yes, even acne-prone. 03 Face oils help the skin retain moisture and stay hydrated all day long. 04 Oils deliver moisture and radiance without residue. 05 Oils reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by virtue of anti-oxidants and other powerful anti-aging ingredients. 06 Many face oils have aromatherapy benefits and they can lift or calm your mood, depending on the scent. These formulas – perfect for a wide variety of skin types – use gentle, oil-based formulas to remove dirt, surface oil, seriously-stay-put makeup and pollution while …

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Get Your Sheet On

Who hasn’t heard of Korean sheet masks? Or their more sophisticated hydro gel cousins? Or their eco-friendly-chic cotton clan?   Everyone in the know, knows that these creepy yet wildly effective thingamabobs do all sorts of awesome for your skin. I first wrote about how sheet masks are taking over the world several months ago, and then again when I shared how they helped in the healing of my complexion post Angioedema. Since then, I’ve continued to use up to three masks each day.  One in the morning, one at night with the occasional third being a spot specific piece such as for the eyes or the lips. Sometimes a fourth too.  Just because I felt like it. Life’s too short to obsess over drippy sheet masks. And that’s why when Charlotte jumpstarted the #soko7daychallenge on Instagram, I was, quite honestly, over the moon. To me, placing a sheet (be it Cotton or Fabric, whole or in part) has become an integral part of my skincare regimen. I don’t even think of it as a …

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Rainforest Magic

Have you ever heard me describe something as being magical?  Miraculous, even? I don’t think so and I honestly didn’t think I ever would until I met Rahua. See those bottles up there?  They’ve changed my life, profoundly and incredibly, for the better.  Prior to meeting Rahua, my tresses have flirted with brands the likes of Wen and Nioxin and Jason Thick To Thin.  I had such high hopes for each relationship but inevitably, it would end because of irreconcilable differences.  Meaning, I was in search of something which would plump up my hair, give it some bounce even as it strengthened and stopped the shedding.  Because of all the medications and steroids I’d been taking these days, my hair is less mane and more mousey. On a sidenote, there is truth in calling it one’s crowning glory.  When mine was lush and in abundance, I felt like Wonder Woman. That sensation of being powerful and in charge has not happened, in a very long time.  Until a week ago. Here’s how my hair looked …

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I Love My Eyes, I Really Do

I worry about my eyes. All the time.   For several reasons. One, the steroids I take on a daily basis to keep my skin disorders at bay only serve to exacerbate my chronic dry eye syndrome (oh the joys of being a woman in the state of menopause). In addition, being on Plaquenil for SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) increases my risk for ocular toxicity namely retinopathy, making me even more paranoid conscientious when it comes to the health and well-being of my eyes. As you can imagine, the green element plays a vital role in determining the types of eye products I invest in, particularly when it comes to cleansing. In the past, I was oblivious to how many products contained harmful ingredients and couldn’t fathom, for instance, why my eyes were red, burning even after being cleansed with a leading luxury (but non organic) brand product. I simply chalked it down to having let slip some of the lotion/cleanser/liquid into my eyes, causing the stinging, and made mental notes to be extra diligent …

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Baby’s Got Blue Eyes

Once upon a time, there lived a girl by the name of Sheela who rather enjoyed going to school for several reasons. One, she genuinely adored English and History and Art, and, being the granddaughter of the school’s recently retired principal, she was treated (oh let’s just say) with extra special care. She was even made a school prefect which brings us to the crux of this story. In the school where she was from, every year, the group of school prefects would put together a performance for teachers and other members of academia. That year, 1985, the last year of elementary school, there was a trainee teacher on board. Enthused and young and not yet jaded, said trainee decided that the perfects would, gasp, do a cheerleader-esquire Pom Pom Dance for Teacher’s Day. Oy. I kid you not. So, we practiced and rehearsed and trained our butts off. The big day arrived and we were beyond thrilled when Miss Trainee said she’d also be doing our hair and make-up. That is until we realised …