December 22, 2010

Cruelty Free Products

It seems to be a great deal to an increasing number of consumers whether a brand manufactures beauty without cruelty.

This is absolutely GREAT NEWS!
Sephora products are not tested on animals (since 1989!) although this fact is not 'broadcasted' on packaging like the others.

Also check this out!
We just received official word from our sister Sephora offices in France that Sephora products are cruelty-free. Yipee! According to the statement, animal testing has been banned in the European Union since 2004, which is where Sephora products are formulated, but Sephora has been maintaining this practice since 1989. As an animal-lover and proud dog owner myself I thought this was great news to hear and just had to share! - Joannie McIntyre

at Sephora, we carry over 100 brands and here's the list of brands that are cruelty-free too!

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

Ginger Tea Detox

On a cold, wintry day there is nothing like a steaming, aroma-filled cup of ginger tea to warm you up and awaken your senses. Prized for its healing properties and for adding flavor to dishes, this ordinary looking brown spice has been used since ages in eastern cultures. If you should sink your teeth into a fresh piece of ginger root, you will feel the sun’s fire coursing through you, as some anonymous person so eloquently said.

It’s this very fiery characteristic of the ginger root that gives it much of its medicinal properties, both in its dried as well as raw form. The dried ginger root is a thermogenic, expectorant, laxative, appetizer, stimulant, as well as an effective cure for stomach disorders. Hence, the dried ginger root is ground and used to cure a whole range of ailments like coughs, colds, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammations of the joints, flatulence, motion sickness, colic, cholera, asthma, headaches, and even anorexia. Raw ginger is also a thermogenic, and is also an anti-flatulent, digestive, appetizer, and a laxative. 

Ginger is also used extensively in aromatherapy. An essential oil is extracted from steam distilling the unpeeled, dried and ground ginger root. Ginger oil is used by combining it with the oils of cedar wood, sandalwood, and patchouli, which renders a spicy and woody scent to the mix.

The active ingredients in ginger oil are oleoresin and terpenes, which are responsible for its lymph cleansing, antiseptic, mild constipation relief, and circulation-stimulating qualities. According to research, it has been shown that ginger reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and blood, thereby lowering blood cholesterol. It has also been found that ginger blocks the effects of prostaglandin, which is a substance that is responsible for the inflammation of the blood vessels inside the brain, which is what causes migraine.

Ginger’s property of being a digestive aid is largely due to the shogoals and gingerols that it contains. These help to neutralize the acids in the stomach, stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, and tone the digestive tract’s muscles.

Ginger tea has been used as a remedy against flu and colds for centuries, both in India and China, as well as other countries in the east. According to Chinese culture, its powerful yang energy is what warms the lungs and stomach. Ginger tea has been used in China for 2,500 years to treat sore throat, nasal congestion, and sinus pain.

Here are a few refreshing ginger tea recipes that you can brew and sip to enjoy the unique flavor and aroma of this wonderful herb:

Plain Ginger Tea

This has an invigorating, spicy taste, and is used as a home remedy against cold, sore throat, flu, nausea and indigestion.

4 cups of water
2-inch fresh ginger piece
lemon slice and honey (optional)

First, peel and slice the ginger root. Put the water in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Add the slices of ginger into the boiling water. Reduce the heat, cover the saucepan, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the liquid out, and add lemon and honey to taste.

Crushed Ice Ginger Tea

This makes a lovely refreshing tea, ideal for after a sweaty workout or on a hot summer day.

41/2 cups of water
A fresh piece of ginger, thinly sliced
Sugar syrup
Slices of lemon
Some crushed ice

Put the water in a saucepan, and bring it to boil. Add the sliced ginger and turn off the heat, and let the ginger tea steep for about 15 minutes. Strain out the ginger and refrigerate the decoction until it is cold. Remove and sweeten with sugar syrup, then pour it into tall glasses which have crushed ice in them, and garnish with lemon slices.

Lemongrass Flavored Ginger Tea

This feels wonderful if you drink it hot when you feel the flu or a cold coming on. It can be served either hot or chilled. It is especially comforting when traveling by car, boat, or airplane, since it alleviates feelings of nausea.

4 cups of water
¼ cup grated fresh ginger root
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced lengthwise
2 teaspoons of herbal tea
1 lemon

Bring the water to boil then reduce the heat and add the grated ginger and lemongrass. Let it simmer for ten minutes or so. Turning off the heat add two teaspoons of herbal tea (any of your favorite). Strain the tea and add honey to sweeten and lemon for extra flavor.

Spicy Ginger Tea

If you are bored with the same old cappuccino or cafe au lait, try this. Not only is it a yummy alternative, but is lower in calories and fat too.

4 cups of water
4-5 slices of fresh ginger
A few strips of orange peel
4 pods of cardamom
4 cloves
2 cups of milk, low-fat
4 teaspoons of tea leaves (Assam)
Brown sugar (according to taste)

Put the water, cardamom, ginger slices, orange peel, and cloves in a saucepan, bring to boil, then cover and simmer for about ten minutes. Add the tea leaves and milk, and simmer for another two minutes. Turning off the heat, allow it to steep for about 4-5 minutes, or according to how strong you want it. Strain the tea, and add sugar according to taste. Serve hot.

  • You can also make ginger tea by adding a drop of ginger essential oil to one cup of hot water.
  • It is not advisable to take aspirin within two hours of drinking ginger tea since both are blood thinners.
  • The consumption of too much ginger tea may cause heartburn.

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

Glam Rock Look!

Adam Lambert's bringing glam rock back—heavy eyeliner and all. Take your makeup inspiration from brazen glam rockers (also known as “glitter rockers”) of the past by wearing glitter—a light dusting on your lids of cheekbones makes this 80s stage look more wearable in real life.  For a more extreme look, dust it onto your lids, lashline and cheekbones. You can use scotch tape to remove excess flecks that fall down under your eyes or onto your chest. Try on glam rock makeup in our virtual makeover studio or create the look with a little lipstick, powder and paint with these tips.
Glossy eyelids are totally glam rock. To get the look, apply clear gloss or lip balm over your favorite eye shadow to really give the color a slick kick. For an edgy effect that’s not too hardened, try red liquid liner applied from inner to outer corners of the eye in a thick, winged line. Bronze or gold liner is a softer alternative to black and gives a cool, shiny penny effect (try gold on your lips as well).
If you’re feeling daring, rock two-toned lips with red on the top and hot pink on the bottom. You can subdue the look by applying a shimmery gold eye or silver shadow to the center of the top and bottom lips for a glossy effect without the stickiness. This trick echoes the two-toned trend without overpowering your face and appears to plump your lips.

Dark glitter polish puts the finishing touch on your funky-glam rock look. Wear it with an armful of cuffs or a couple of chunky rings. --Stephanie Simons

Read more:
~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

December 21, 2010

Glam Rock

Need help showing up "glam rock" at a party or dance a kpop number? Take cues from the Stylist! You need black leather pants, ripped or satin leggings, sequin/embellished tops. Complete with layers of accessories from leather, chains, studs, skulls, tattoos, lace, feathery, fur or anything androgynous!
As for MAKEUP, glitters go! Add black or deep violet glitter to the corners of ur eyes to accentuate smoky-hotness!

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

December 20, 2010

Dreams come true

Go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others think it is. -Linda Mastandrea

xoxo, gk

December 18, 2010

The shoes I designed for my good friend, @tinkerser

Theme: Candyfloss Pink Dotted in Leopard skin & ice skulls

Shoe Designer & artist: gelainza @vanillaskulla

And what is gelainza's shoes without her signature dolls?? Doll is wearing a breezy white chiffon dress & camel brown belt, accessorized with a chunky necklace & bracelet...she's out for a indie rock concert tonight!!! ^_~

La chic!!!
Makeup by gelainza: plush faux lashes & eyeshadow in lush dust underneath pale skin.

xoxo, gk

December 15, 2010

Oxygenate your pores!


It's Xmas! & happiest time of the year for the PUB (power utilities board) becos literally the whole wide world is lighted up to the max plus extended longer opening hours so their bonus are the fattest?? Not fair. Bleh!
I really want to be fair!

The whole world becomes more crowded everywhere u go, be it office hours or after 10, it seems the city really doesn't sleep!
90% of the time u are walking from point to point, u are gasping for more air! Stop banging ur shopping bags into my calves! Arrrghhh!
Don't yawn.

So why do we yawn when we are racking our brains out, when we are thirsty, when we really need to focus???

Why is it that every morning we wake up to a face lifeless & dull staring back to us in the mirror as we brush the plaque from our teeth? How come the foundation just won't blend on and cover all ur imperfections? Why is it that everyday u find urself piling on more & more foundation to even skin tone but it just doesn't work anymore?

It's time for a wakeup splash/ call!

Simple. Becos we lack oxygen.
We yawn becos our brain needs oxygen.
We dab more foundation on becos we wanted to achieve an even canvas but the wrong solution.

We need oxygen!

Do you know?
In Japan, lunchhours are spent soaked in oxygen bars where you pay a fee to step into a capsule and be treated to oxygen dose. The bars akin to a vending machine so convenient and efficient!

The afterglow effect:
1) You walk out totally refreshed!
2) Mind is cleared like u had a good 2week holiday or 8hrs sleep!
3) You think better and can work more hours! Teehee
4) You feel calmer, balanced and happier. Oxygen encourages endorphins release.

Our cells need oxygen to function healthily and aid metabolism to purge out toxins in the skin. When the skin is overloaded with too much makeup everyday with poor cleansing, this stress takes its toll on the face by dulling its shine & tone. It's like rebelling against u, want u to treat it not continue abuse it.

Benefits of that Oxygen dose:
• instantly brightens skin = fairer!
• activates cell metabolism
• balances skin & enhance its healthy glow

Perhaps it's the only cure for us urbanistas who live in the City & still care to detox & look gorgeously glowing with health!

Perhaps really the No.1 workaholic country, Japan to invent the oxygen burst!

If u don't have oxygen capsules in ur country, ur best bet would be ur portable, travel friendly oxygen skincare!
Bliss Triple Oxygen range ~ 5mins mask, eye mask, vit C moisturiser cream
O2 D-biotic range ~ cleanser& toner, moisturizer, eye cream
Peter Thomas Roth ~ oxygenating mask

Happy shopping @Sephora!

vanilla skulla

December 12, 2010

Shea Butter

Western countries are just beginning to recognize the considerable health and beauty benefits of shea butter, something Africans have known for thousands of years.

 Shea butter is a cream-colored fatty substance made from the nuts of karite nut trees (also called Mangifolia trees) that grow in the savannah regions of West and Central Africa. 
Karite trees, or shea trees, are not cultivated. They grow only in the wild, and can take up to 50 years to mature (they live up to 300 years!). In most parts of West Africa, destruction of the shea tree is prohibited because this little nut provides a valuable source of food, medicine, and income for the population. In fact, shea butter is sometimes referred to as “women’s gold” in Africa, because so many women are employed in the production of shea butter.

Shea butter has been used to help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, and stretch marks. It may also help diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation. Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. 

Shea butter is a particularly effective moisturizer because it contains so many fatty acids, which are needed to retain skin moisture and elasticity. The high fatty acid content of shea butter also makes it an excellent additive to soap, shampoos, anti-aging creams, cosmetics, lotions, and massage oils—its soft, butter-like texture melts readily into the skin. 

Shea butter protects the skin from both environmental and free-radical damage. It contains vitamins A and E, and has demonstrated both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Unrefined shea butter is superior in that it retains all its natural vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin E. However, the natural smell of shea can be a bit off-putting (stinky), though the aroma does disappear after it has been applied to your skin within minutes.
Shea butter is not recommended for people with nut or latex allergies. 


Unrefined Shea Butter is a great emollient and easily penetrates the skin to moisturize.  Virgin Shea Butter has a high amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, as well as phytosterols, triterpenes, fatty esters and phenolic acids. Vitamins A and E are important in helping to repair skin damage; phytosterols, and triterpenes aid in skin allergies; phenolic acids are good for cellular protection. Virgin Shea Butter is widely used to protect skin from the sun’s UV rays, as well as soften and heal cracked and aged skin.

Some of the possible benefits of unrefined shea butter include:
  • Evens skin tone
  • Absorbs quickly without leaving greasy residue like mineral oil based products
  • Penetrates deep into the epidermal layer of your skin to help restore elasticity to maturing skin and prevent the cellular breakdown that leads to dry, cracking skin, and stretch marks
  • Stimulates cellular activity, fights the effects of aging and repairs rough, damaged skin
  • Returns natural luster to skin and hair
  • Does not clog pores
  • Revitalizes, softens and maintains skin moisture
  • Aids in the healing of wounds and may improve scars due to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Used to heal eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, and to lessen the irritation of psoriasis
  • Moisturizes after shaving to prevent irritation
  • Has natural sun blocking powers and may protect skin from sun damage and environmental elements
  • Nourishes the hair shaft
  • Moisturizes dry, dull over-processed and heat-treated hair resulting in improved brilliance and manageability
  • Helps prevent weak hair from breaking, fading, or thinning out and may promote hair growth

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is present in every tissue of the body and performs many important functions including fight free, radicals, tissue repair & cell renewal. It locks moisture in extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the fluid-filled space between cells, keeping collagen and elastin moist and promoting a youthful supple appearance. Skin appears smoother and more radiant. HA is able to hold up to 1000times its weight, but gets degraded (sunburn & aging >35yrs old) and stops producing as much ha.
Injectible hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, are being to lessen the appearance of lines, sagging and depressions in the skin caused by acne scars or injury.

Injectible hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, are being to lessen the appearance of lines, sagging and depressions in the skin caused by acne scars or injury. HA eventually breaks down and is absorbed in the body hence effects only last 4-6months.

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba (Simmodsia chinensis [Latin]) is a perennial woody shrub grown primarily in the desert regions of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Native Americans have long used jojoba oil to help heal sores and wounds. Today, jojoba oil is still most commonly used for cosmetic purposes, particularly for the maintenance of healthy skin. 

Jojoba oil is composed of liquid wax esters rather than oil. The body’s natural sebum also contains wax esters, which act as a sort of natural moisturizer and environmental barrier for the skin. However, wax ester production steadily decreases with age, causing the skin to appear dull and emphasizing wrinkles; a reduced ester content in the skin can also lead to the development of conditions such as psoriasis, dandruff, and rosacea. 

The chemical composition of jojoba closely resembles that of the skin’s natural sebum, so it is easily absorbed and trick the skin into producing less natural sebum which may clog pores. It rarely causes allergic reactions, even in the most sensitive individuals, hence can prevent the skin from becoming too oily. Jojoba oil may help treat acne, both by reducing sebum production and by protecting the skin from harmful bacteria, being healing & anti-microbial (discourages the growth of some bacterial and fungal microbes that attack the skin) 

Jojoba oil contains many important nutrients, such as vitamin E, B complex vitamins, and the minerals silicon, chromium, copper, and zinc. It also contains a lot of iodine, which may be where jojoba gets its ability to fight against bacterial and fungal infection. In addition to acne, jojoba has traditionally been used to treat canker sores, cold sores, athlete’s foot, and warts. 

 ~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a creamy white substance secreted from the salivary glands of worker bees to feed young bee larvae. The larvae that will eventually develop into queen bees continue to receive this nectar until they reach maturation. It has been theorized that it is this diet of royal jelly that allows the queen bee to grow bigger and live longer than the other bees, and for this reason some believe that royal jelly can have life-extending effects for humans as well.

Claims that this substance increases energy and vitality. Royal jelly is also thought to have antioxidant effects that slow signs of aging and reduce symptoms of many age-related disorders, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, baldness, decreased libido, menopause, osteoporosis, heart disease, high cholesterol, and decreased muscle and skin tone. 

Royal jelly has also been recommended for treatment of asthma, depressed immune system, insomnia, fatigue, ulcers, and a host of digestive and skin disorders.
In addition, some doctors warn that royal jelly could cause potentially dangerous or even fatal allergic reactions. It is interesting to note that royal jelly is actually sometimes recommended for treatment of allergies, the theory being that, like allergy shots, royal jelly delivers small amounts of pollen that over time increase tolerance to certain plants. However, there have been reports of people developing hives, asthma, and even going into anaphylactic shock after ingesting royal jelly.


~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream

December 11, 2010

Interview of Razortv

~ xoxo, Beauty Editor Live Your Dream