5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Beauty-Obsessed Friends

There are only a few weeks left until Christmas, which means it’s time to start thinking about presents! But what do you buy for your most savvy and stylish friends?

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing something small and special, or pulling out all the stops – we’ve got something for all friends and all budgets.

 

For The Skincare Guru

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Image Source: Sephora

Skincare routines don’t always have to be lengthy and complicated. The Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream can be used for everything – from being used as a makeup primer or an eye cream, to treating dry skin and soothing razor burns. It’s also made from 100% natural ingredients and cruelty free.

 

For The Social Butterfly

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Image Source: Aesop

For the friend whose calendar is always packed with parties, dinners and more, treat them to Aesop’s Tacit Eau de Parfum. With notes of lemon and yuzu balanced with earthy undertones, this is a delightfully subtle scent that serves as a perfect contrast to whatever crazy antics the night may hold.

 

For The Makeup Maven

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Image Source: Sephora

Anyone who knows anything about makeup has witnessed the impact and huge popularity of Fenty Beauty’s debut. So, any makeup bag would be incomplete without at least one product from the collection – we’d recommend Rihanna’s stunning Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette.

 

For The Jet Setter

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Image Source: Amazon

It’s a well-known fact that the atmosphere inside air cabins seriously dehydrates your skin – Tony Moly’s sheet masks nourish your skin and provide a barrier against the dry air. They’re easy to pack, and with 11 varieties to choose from, these are a must-have in everyone’s carry-on.

 

For The ‘Becky With the Good Hair’

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Image Source: Shoppr.my

Your friend will never have a bad hair day again, thanks to Ouai’s Morning After Kit. With Rose Hair & Body Oil, Dry Shampoo Foam, and a Finishing Crème, this simple three-step routine will revitalise your tresses – so they can keep partying all through the holiday season.

5 Ways To Have Better Sleep

Sleep is definitely one of life’s priceless luxuries when you’re an adult. While a good sleep is what everyone needs, it’s definitely not something that’s easy to achieve. This is sometimes due to work, stress or even…Netflix. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night and getting very poor quality sleep, we may have some remedies that could assist you in getting a good night’s sleep.

To avoid sleep deprivation and getting adequate rest, try these:

THIS WORKS (Sleep Plus + Pillow Spray)
This spray just does it for me, especially when I need to relax because it really does put me in a deep sleep.

All you need to do is just shake the bottle and then spray it on your pillow. What you realise is that your pillow linen releases a gentle lavender and chamomile scent which is calming. For some people, this works so well that it puts some to sleep right away. If not, it definitely helps to relax and calm you down. This is definitely one of the best forms of aromatherapies.

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This Works (Sleep Plus + Pillow Spray) bottle is priced at RM158 which is pretty steep but you could also check out This Works (Deep Sleep Pillow Spray) which is priced at RM99. Product is available at Sephora.

P/S: This could also be a really good present for a friend!


Easy Stretches Before Sleep
Not talking about vigorous stretches but low-impact, gentle stretching in the evening can help with better sleep. Think of it as doing yoga while wearing your pjs. A friend shared the idea with me and i thought it would be good to give it a try. So, I have found five different form of stretches  and few more which I’ve picked up from yoga classes. Results? A quick 20-30 minutes stretches every evening has made me feel more relaxed and ready to dive into bed.

open-lizardImage: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

 

Non-Caffeinated Tea
Enjoy a relaxing moment on the sofa in the evening with a cup of tea (if you like tea). If you’ve had a long stressful day, coming home and just enjoying a cup of tea is pretty relaxing itself. Every now and then, I enjoy a good cup of caffeinated free tea in the evening while reading a book in bed. Here are few suggestions which you can check out in your local stores:

  • OSK Japanese Green Tea
  • YOGI TEAS – Bedtime Tea (available at BMS Organics)
  • Twinings – Camomile, Honey & Vanilla, Lemon & Ginger, Pure Camomile, Pure Peppermint
  • T2 – Lemongrass and Ginger Teabag (outlet in Publika)

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My personal favourites are Twinings’ Lemon & Ginger, Pure Peppermint and OSK Japanese Green Tea which I love the taste of the tea, plus the prices are pretty reasonable.

Tip: If you’re having Twinings’ Lemon & Ginger, add honey in to it. It taste so soothing and great!


Silk Bedding
A friend recently shared this with me as she said purchasing silk bedding was the best decision ever! Sleeping on the silk bedding is beneficial for you and for your health.
Such as it is good for allergies sufferers (as silk is naturally hypoallergenic), it keeps you cool as it helps to turn down the heat and keeps you hydrated.

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It does sound like a luxury but there are some brands which are pretty affordable (keep a look out in department stores like Aeon and Parkson) with mark down prices. If you are lucky you could buy it for RM100++ or less. You can explore brands like Akemi or Jean Pierre. Once you get the sheets, you may not want to get out of your bed. Ever.


Essential Oil Diffuser
Aromatherapy is one of the best forms of therapy. It brings out a soothing and relaxing bit to your life. It helps eliminate stress and calms you. One to two hours before your bed time, make your room conditions cool, dark (warm lights) and quiet. Next, switch on your diffuser and relax away on your bed.

Our editor’s favourite essential oil diffuser is Young Living Essential Oils. She had mentioned that she finds it very hard to fall asleep and she started using Lavender essential oil on the diffuser and she found herself in a deep sleep!

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Although Young Living Essential Oils is on a steeper price, you may also explore Muji’s Aroma Diffuser which is priced at RM229 – RM349. Or if you have an oil burner, you may want to try Aesop’s Anouk Oil Burner Blend essential oil which diffuses floral and citrus smell priced around RM130.

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9 Signs Of A True Friend

Image: Bustle/HBO

Rod Stewart once sang, “Keep smiling, keep shining. Knowing you can always count on me for sure. That’s what friends are for.” That song remains as one of many anthems about friendship. As we all know, friendships, more often than not, are very special and they’re a bond that remains through time because friends are everything.

Unless they’re fake friends, which I’m sure we’ve all had a fair share of but as you grow older, and hopefully wiser, you’ll come to recognise who your real friends are. My friends are special to me as these group of wonderful people are the my chosen family. So, what makes a good friend and how do you know if you have real, true friends?

  1. They don’t keep track of favours. Anything they’ve done for you is out of their own goodwill and not for you to owe them.
  2. Real friends will make you feel good about yourself and remind you the good things that you may not see or believe.
  3. He/she is not an enabler and will tell you when what you’re doing is wrong. No matter how harsh they may sound.
  4. A good friend is always present. They’ll put their phone down and really listen when they’re with you and will always pay attention to your needs.
  5. They are there for you at your lowest and have never given up on you, even if you’ve given up on yourself
  6. They accept you for who you are instead of criticizing you for your shortcomings.
  7. A true friend will love you unconditionally, and they’ll show this through their actions.
  8. They respect you and vice versa.
  9. They’re trustworthy and you can trust them with anything without worry.

A Beginner’s Guide To Podcast

Here’s the thing, I was never really into podcasts till beginning of this year. I’m a full-time mother who’s constantly on the go and I just want to keep myself up to date on many things! I still like to feel relevant. I can tune into radio stations but I hate long commercials.

Anyway, it was just a thought combined with an influence from a friend who shared a few recommendations with me. I started listening to Serial (season 1) and I was hooked! From time to time, I’ll just explore and listen to many others to narrow down what I find interesting. It’s very similar to what music genre you like, you need to explore to figure out what you prefer best because not all podcasts are the same.

Now, if you’re thinking about it and have no clue where to start, let’s begin by opening up your Podcast app (the other perfect one would be Overcast app for iPhones; Android users may try Podcast Addict). Follow by typing in the names which I’ll be suggesting below into the search bar.

Here’s a line-up for you to kickstart your podcast journey!

  1. Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
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    You may or may not be familiar with this name. Sophia Amoruso founded Nasty Gal (a women’s fashion retailer) and Netflix did a series based on #Girlboss, which is Sophia’s best-selling memoir of her life. In Girlboss radio, Sophia interviews women bosses who’ve made success, asking them about their past, how their businesses started and how it’s grown in their career life. Very inspirational!
  2. Strong Opinions Loosely Held 
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    This audio podcast is by Refinery29 and is hosted by Elisa Kreisinger. The podcast discusses on today’s modern culture, feminism, talking to other women in the show to broaden perspective and sharing strong opinions. The first episode she kicked off with the Kardashians was very entertaining, insightful and well-spoken!
  3. FAT MASCARA
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    For all the beauty lovers, this is definitely a must for us! This audio podcast is hosted by two well-known editors – Jessica Matlin (TeenVogue) & Jennifer Goldstein (Marie Claire). From famous influencers to your favourite makeup artist experts, they interview and receive advice from well-known figures, discuss whats in rend and share beauty tips. Absolutely fun and just love it!
  4. My Dad Wrote A Porno
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    This is one of the best podcasts out there. If you need some humour in your life, this is definitely a must listen to. This is hosted by Jamie Morton together with two other friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. Jamie Morton reads out new chapters of erotic fiction novels “Belinda  Blinked” which was written by his father. They talk about the moments of the chapter and also have invited celebrities to talk about it, like Elijah Wood, Michael Sheen and Daisy Ridley.
  5. Anna Faris is Unqualified
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    Hosted and created by comedian actress Anna Faris where she was inspired to create the podcast after listening to Serial! Her podcast is pretty easy to listen to. She does interviews with celebrities and personal phone calls to listeners, chatting to them about relationships and dating. If you’ve been a fan of Anna Faris, give this a go!

Favourite Sunscreens

We’re going to talk about one of the most important skincare products – SUNCREEN! We know some of you guys love this andthere are some who just hate it. Like Hollywood’s beauty icon Jennifer Aniston’s said in a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar :

“I hate it. I’ve been experimenting with ones that don’t make you look like you have Kabuki makeup on or like a corpse. I understand we’re saving our skin, but they gotta figure that stuff out. Who wants to be in the sun and not look cute?”


Jen is right! We definitely do not want to look like we have Kabuki makeup on or like a corpse! We know that purchasing sunscreen (the good ones that suits your skin) are expensive and you really have to find the right one for your skin.

Whether or not your foundation or BB cream has SPF, we believe it is better not to skip the sunscreen step. We have compiled some sunscreens which will blend well with makeup just for you to check it out and get yourself a consultation or test it out at their stores or counters!

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KIEHL’S – Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++
This sunblock is one of the best selling product in Kiehl’s! With its oil-free lotion texture, you can still wear makeup on top of it. It gives a matte finish and it feels refreshing on skin.

Kiehl’s – Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++, RM155, available at Kiehl’s outlets.

 

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CLINIQUE – Even Better City Block Anti-Pollution SPF40/PA+++
The product’s name sounds pretty intense but it does one heck of a job especially if you’re living in a sunny, humid country like Malaysia! It works well as a base, no clogging of pores, non-sticky and it applies easily all over the face. This sunscreen works perfectly for all skin types.

CLINIQUE – Even Better City Block Anti-Pollution SPF40/PA+++, RM160, available at Clinique outlets or counters.

 

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SUPERGOOP! – Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 with Cellular Response Technology
Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop wanted to create a sunscreen that’s non sticky, tacky or smells messy, one that you’ll want to wear every single day! It does its job keeping the skin from wrinkles, blemishes caused by UV rays. It’s water resistant and oil-free, which is also perfect to bring along with you on your beach vacations. Also, it has a very nice citrusy smell.

SUPERGOOP! – Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 with Cellular Response Technology, RM143 (7.5fl oz), available at Sephora.

 

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Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream N Broad Spectrum SPF 38
If you have an oily T-zone, combination skin or prefer semi matte finish – this may be the sunscreen for you. Many of Shiseido’s customers stick around for the brand’s sunscreen. Their sunscreen products blends well with moisturisers. It’s also non-greasy, smooth and easy to apply.

Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream N Broad Spectrum SPF 38, RM218, available at Lazada / Shiseido counters.

 

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DERMALOGICA – super sensitive shield spf30
This heavenly sunscreen delivers UV protection without unwanted oiliness or chalkiness. Easy on skin, reduces inflammation, irritation, redness and sensitivity. This is definitely ideal for our girlfriends with sensitive skin. The downside is that the bottle is only 50ml with a very steep price.

DERMALOGICA – super sensitive shield spf30, RM284, available at Dermalogica outlets.

 

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LANIEGE – Marshmallow Sun Cushion SPF50+ PA+++
This unique packaging is different from all the other sunscreens. Just like Laniege’s famous BB Cushion, they recently released Sun Cushion which contains Japanese apricot extract and skin soothing powder to protect the skin. It is convenient to carry around wherever you go. One thing you should know is that this product has a newly formulated Water ScreenTM technology that maintains the moisture balanced on the skin.

LANIEGE – Marshmallow Sun Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ (10g), RM110, available in Laniege outlets/stores.

 

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GLOSSIER – Invisible Shield Sunscreen SPF35
If you still haven’t heard about the Glossier hype, you’re missing out! Glossier is the beauty brand that’s about to take over the world, slowly! This divine sunscreen formula absorbs faster than your best serum. It’s called Invisible Shield sunscreen because it is invisible on all skin types and tones! Our editor from Buffer Daily swears by this sunscreen (read here for the review). This product is not available in Malaysia yet unless you have awesome family/friends living in the U.S who could ship it over to to try, it will be great!

GLOSSIER – Invisible Shield Sunscreen SPF35 (30ml), $34, available in Glossier website.

 

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LAURA MERCIER – Flawless Skin Daily Face Shield SPF40 UVB/UVA
If you have combination, dry or sensitive/acne-prone skin, this may be the suitable sunscreen for you! Non sticky, runny liquid, lightweight, tinted and overall it gives the skin feeling silky smooth. You would not feel like you have an extra layer on your skin. It’s also great if you want to apply make up over it.

LAURA MERCIER – Flawless Skin Daily Face Shield SPF40 UVB/UVA (30ml), RM232, available on Lazada or Laura Mercier outlets.

 

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CLARINS – UV Plus Anti-Pollution, UV Plus SPF50
Its formula is rich in plant extracts that gives a clear and light cream which is pretty suitable for all skin types. This sunscreen also helps to prevent your skin from ageing, which will make your skin look and feel younger, fresh and radiant. The light cream also spreads on your face easily, as well as drying up quickly.

CLARINS – UV Plus Anti-Pollution, UV Plus SPF50 Blue (30ml), RM185, available in Clarins outlets.

 

Your skin absorbs everything it touches, it’s important to be super choosy about your sunscreen! Let’s fight anti-aging, fine lines, wrinkles, all at once! If you have any great sunscreen suggestions, please feel free to share it with us too!

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Love: 10 Simple Ways To Love Yourself Better

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Image: theodysseyonline.com

Growing up has taught me a lot of valuable lessons, and the one I feel is most significant would be the importance of self-love. I had a pretty awesome childhood and did all the many things that most kids would but my parents never taught me the true value of self-love, which is fine because I got to learn about it throughout my 20s. But it would have been great to know that loving yourself doesn’t come as easy as loving someone else, or loving the idea of someone else loving you.

Now in my early 30s, after many ups and more downs than I would have prefered, I’m proud to say that besides my own daughter, there’s no one else I love more than my own self. It took a lot of practice and patience, but once you get to a place where you love yourself unconditionally, nothing or no one can stop you. Here are some simple ways to apply some self-love to your life:

  1. Friend cleansing – Nothing worse for your soul than to be surrounded by toxic people. Pay close attention to how certain people treat you and the contribution they bring.
  2. Remind yourself of all the things you love about yourself – It’s extremely easy to look in the mirror and pick out all the things you dislike but it’s also important to be kind. Face your weaknesses and flaws because it can really help the self-healing process. Repeating affirmations can also help!
  3. Let go – No matter who you are, we have all done things we wish we didn’t or done things we’ve come to regret in life, but forgiving yourself for all those things can help you move forward. If there’s someone or something in your past that really hurt you, it’s important to understand why and then only you’re able to forgive.
  4. Be happy with where you are – We all have dreams and sometimes, we’re not exactly where we thought we’d be in life, but that’s okay! Get rid of that negative filter and live in the moment. Be appreciative of how far you’ve come compared to the past few years.
  5. Form good relationships – You should surround yourself with people that see who you aspire to be. Not everyone may share the same goal or point of view as you, but it’s important to find the right people that understand you.
  6. Spend some time alone – You don’t always have to be out on Friday nights. It’s okay to say no to social calls and just stay home. After an exhausting work week, some down time is exactly what you may need.
  7. Exercise – Not to lose weight but to be healthy in general. It’s good for you physically, mentally and emotionally.
  8. Spend time with the people you love – Make an effort to see family and friends instead of just liking their photos on social media.
  9. Treat yourself – You’re a grown adult that works hard to stay ahead in life so, from time to time, treat yourself. Get that new bag you’ve been thinking about or a plane ticket to somewhere you can relax and unwind.
  10. Do favours – Help someone, do something good without expecting something else in return.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

IN MY BAG – Jo’s Favourite Drugstore Products

Whenever time allows for it, I like to roam the aisles in drug stores and without fail, I’ll always walk out with at least one item! I know, I am terrible! But unfortunately it’s my thing! I’m currently obsessed with travel-sized items because I love trying out new things and I don’t really want to waste the products, in case I don’t quite fancy them. But let me share with you the drugstore products that are in my bag at the moment:

MAYBELLINE – Volum’ Express Hypercurl Mascara
Maybelline is well-known for their reasonably priced mascaras that give lashes the volume it needs. My current favourite is their waterproof Hypercurl Mascara. Thanks to its formula, the mascara helps lengthen my short lashes while making it appear curly and full of volume.

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BOURJOIS – Little Round Pot Blushes 41 Healthy Mix
I have been carrying this little blusher with me for a while now. I love how it’s so compact and light, therefore taking very little space in my handbag. This blusher allows for me to touch up while I’m on the go, and gives me a naturally blushed look because it’s not that heavily pigmented. Plus this Little Round Pot comes with a teeny-tiny mirror.

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VASELINE – Intensive care (deep restore) Lotion
Personally a big fan of most Vaseline products and yes it is a must that I carry the travel-sized lotion with me wherever I go. My wrinkly hands gets really dry at times (especially if I’m in air-conditioned rooms) and this little bottle of lotion gives my hand the rescue it needs. The formula is also non-greasy, which is a major plus.

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SIMPLE – Kind to Skin Cleaning Facial Wipes
I cannot even begin to describe how important it is for these wipes to be in my bag. My love affair with this particular wipes started when I was 17, and I’m still using it to this day. It’s kind to the skin, and has helped in several occasions. Perfect tool to have if you’re travelling or having a sleepover and find yourself without a cleanser.

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Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer
This illuminating wand concealer is so lightweight! It has a soft bristle brush at the end and all I need to do is twist the other end; little bit of the concealer will appear on the brush and just conceal the problematic areas. It is quick and easy with zero mess at all. Coverage is great and perfect to have in the bag for reapplication.

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**All products can be purchased in Watsons and Guardian. Except for Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer can be purchased on Lazada.**