Category Archives: Beauty Myths Series

Korean actresses all have such great skin!

The Truth about Collagen Beauty Products

There is this thing about collagen beauty products. They are everywhere, in every form available, such as oral supplements, face masks and creams. But do they really work? I’d hate to break your beauty bubble but most of them are just a farce. Let’s begin with the three layers of our skin.


The skin’s three layers.


The top most layer is the epidermis, followed by the dermis and finally the hypodermis. For collagen products to work, the collagen has to penetrate the epidermis to reach the dermis, where the skin’s natural collagen can be found. Now let’s take a look at collagen:


Collagen. A not-so-attractive depiction but rather simple to understand.


You may think of collagen as something like a DNA molecule but with an additional strand wound up in between the other two. So essentially, it’s three individual strands of proteins twirling around one another. In truth, the normal size of collagen is too large for it to enter the epidermis, so most of it actually just remains on the skin’s surface. Scientifically speaking, for a compound to pass through the surface of the skin, it’s molecular weight has got to be less than 500Da; a collagen monomer weighs at least 100kDa – more than twice that number. Any beneficial effect you observe from using topical collagen products, such as the diminishing of wrinkles and plumper skin, is due only to a placebo effect, or the elastin that’s also present in the product. If you find that your skin is more moisturised, it’s because collagen itself (and not your skin) is able to hold moisture well. This layer of collagen, which stays on the surface of your skin, gets washed away easily when you cleanse.


Where oral collagen supplements are concerned, we have to remind ourselves that our body contains this really powerful digestive organ that is the stomach. Again in actuality, our body digests any collagen that we consume, regardless of whether it is nano-sized or not, and so at the end of the day, none of that goes to our dermis to give us that youthful appearance we expect. (To take this further, I wonder if there exists currently the possibility of cage molecules protecting these collagen molecules as they travel down the digestive system all through till they reach the end of the cycle where they get deposited in the skin through the hypodermis. Perhaps this requires some Nobel recognition!)


So what can we do about it? Well, we can’t stop companies from selling their “collagen products.” However, we can stop buying them, for one. Switch to products and foods that contain a high amount of amino acids. This is because amino acids are naturally transformed in our body into proteins, which in turn are transformed again into collagen! Take multi-vitamin supplements and maintain a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients. You are indeed what you eat, so take responsibility for that. Some good sources of amino acids are meat, eggs, soy, potatoes (my favourite) and dairy products.


To round up, it’s imperative to always keep in mind that ageing cannot be prevented, so lighten up and age with grace. It’s always better to focus on health than on never growing old. If you’ll like to find out my top beauty picks for skincare, click here.


Don’t fret it,



Image credits: Porcelain Face Spa and Sciblogs


Beauty Myths Series: SPF on Lips is a Must

With the increased awareness of the damages that excess exposure to the sun can cause, many people hold the misconception that we need to slather SPF all over us whenever we leave the shelter of our homes. Our lips, however, don’t necessarily need a layer of SPF all the time.


Lips can look natural the way they are – or with some lipstick on.


Now when I say that our lips don’t need SPF, I mean SPF, which, has a slightly different meaning from being blocked from the sun. To make things clearer, if you’re indoors, you don’t need SPF. But say you do want to head outside for a breather or a walk in the park, an alternative is to use a highly pigmented lipstick without SPF. The particles of your lip product will act as physical shields to protect your lips from the sun, and you don’t need re-applying just like how you would with an actual SPF-inclusive product.


The reason some lip products have SPF is because they don’t completely prevent the sun’s rays from reaching your lips. Such products are lip balms, whether tinted or not; sheer lip stains and lip gloss. When a highly pigmented lipstick also contains SPF, chances are, you’re being taken in by a marketing gimmick and aren’t actually getting any more sun protection than if the product does not contain SPF.


To test whether your lipstick is opaque enough, find a transparent sheet of plastic and smear some product on it. Then place it under sunlight and look out for a dark shadow. If you see one where the lipstick is applied, then you know your lips will be out of harm’s way.





The LBD with some glitter on it via Lovely Miss Mary.




Image credits: Vivid Magazine and Celebsvenue

Looking like a burnt fruit.

Beauty Myths Series: “I Look Good with a Tan.”


Hide the bad tan with bangles and hope nobody sees.


Some people do, some people don’t. Now the issue with tanning is that it borderlines on the topic of racism. Dwell too much into it, and people get the wrong idea. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a tan – I used to tan quite a lot in the past too, and even visited the tanning salon, ignoring my poor mother’s pleas to not to. But honestly, some people look better tanned while some just really should stick to their normal skin colour.


Being tanned definitely has its plus side. It gives the impression that you’re healthy, sporty, energetic and outgoing. It tells others that you’re game for anything fun and that automatically makes you a fun person others would like to be around. You look slimmer and more toned than you are and any skin discolouration or blemishes are camouflaged by the tan. In this manner, having a bit of the sun-kissed glow is good.


Sadly though, there are some of us out there who make the mistakes of over-tanning and getting an uneven tan. It’s not normal mindfolk like us that commit this sin. Celebrities have done it. Heck, even Valentino himself has done it. Someone really should give them a good wake up shake instead of egging them on – or worse, following in their footsteps – about this. Looking orange has never been a trend and it probably never will.


Looking like a burnt fruit.


Everyone could do with a tan, that’s true. But when you look fried, you no longer look good no matter how hot you think others see you. In years to come, your skin starts sagging as the damage gets irreversible with too much sun exposure. Sure, you are tanned. But you have a very old-looking tan. Those who skip the sun and hop to the salon instead might want to consider the clothes  they wear, especially since fake tan products have the tendency to run. It can be embarrassing when you hug someone close to take a photo and find bronze or orange streaks on their clothes when you lift off. That’s when you “look good” but wonder why nobody wants to get close to you.


If you really do want to look good with a tan, do keep in mind that a deeper tan does not mean a better impression. There has got to be a limit and it differs from person to person. For example, it’s only natural that a Latino is tanner than everybody else. Some people also look better fair. One such female friend of mine (she’s naturally fair) even confessed that she felt she looked dirty with a tan. And, as quoted from Hollywood princess Anne Hathaway on her fake tan experience: “When it came off, because I’m so pale underneath, I looked like a giraffe with leprosy. And I smelled like nachos and maple syrup the whole time. It was not a good idea.” Quite a stark contrast to the girls who love the darker tone but to each his own, I say. The bottom line is this: If you’ve got the hoochie mama look going with that tan, you’re doing it wrong, babe.





Makeup brushes via {link url=""}TheCutestJailbird{/link}.




Image credits: Posh24

Megan Fox: A classic example of how people succeed with plastic surgery.

Beauty Myths Series: Life Will be Better after Plastic Surgery


Is plastic surgery the solution to all problems?


Plastic surgery is getting increasingly common in our world today. Be it in the west or in the east, women and men alike are getting their faces (and other body parts) done. Many of us believe that plastic surgery is the answer to a better life but is it really true?


A quick check showed that in America, more than half the population approved of such procedures and that the top two most common plastic surgery procedures in 2010 were breast augmentation and liposuction ( In 2009, South Korea became the country with the highest percentage of its population going for plastic surgery in the world ( In the west, bigger is better. Boobs, butt, cheeks and now, even lips. In the east, it’s a little more varied with bigger eyes, sharper noses and smaller lips being seen as ideal.


Reasons for going under the knife are different for everyone who does it but it seems to be more or less the same – to look better, which could inevitably lead to better and more opportunities in life with regards to career. It’s known that better-looking people generally earn a higher salary and get more perks on the job. Employers are also more inclined to hire them as opposed to those who look average or below average. Models, actors, singers, newscasters more often than not look good on camera (and off too, I’d say). In some career lines, looking good is a prerequisite. In general there is definitely money to be earned where looks are concerned.


Megan Fox: A classic example of how people succeed with plastic surgery.


For many people in the media industry, plastic surgery makes one’s life better. Just look at Megan Fox, for example. She would never have landed the lead female role in Transformers and turned out this popular if not for her new looks (let’s just ignore the part where she insulted Michael Bay here). Those who are anti-plastic surgery are all for what they call natural beauty and see no reason to focus on one’s looks when looks are just temporary (and they therefore advocate an emphasis on character instead). However, these people are forgetting that life in itself is also temporary! What problem is there in looking better, reaping benefits from it and making use of those benefits to make smart and profitable investments down the road in the later years? In this sense, there is no point in going for plastic surgery when you’re 55, really, and it would be much better to do it when you’re decades younger. Furthermore, if two people have equally good characters but one of them looks better with surgery, what difference does it make to us, the outsiders?


Yes, it’s not necessary for people who do not think the way they look affects their lives in any way. But there are people who need it. Some examples are victims of acid splash, burn victims or even people born with facial deformities like cleft lips or a really distorted bone structure. How is it more acceptable that such people can undergo plastic surgery to look better while normal-looking people cannot? With better looks, even if they may be fake, confidence levels increase. And obviously people are drawn to confident people. Networking becomes easier (because admit it, not everyone’s an innate extrovert) and who knows, you might get the next business collaboration based on a good first impression.


However, and this is a big however, there are some people who overdo it. They’ve done almost everything under the sun to themselves. You name it, they’ve done it. Liposuction, botox, fillers (lip and face), forehead implants, cheek implants, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty… etc. Some go to the extent of not looking like themselves anymore and some even look hideous after all that money spent. I mean, hello, does anyone think that Jocelyn Wildenstein looks remotely approachable? I think not. And what’s with the current trend of duck lips?


The most beautiful lips in the world. Not.


From pretty to retarded-looking.


If you look like the above with those sausage lips and actually think it makes you look better than you did before, you have got to be kidding me. It isn’t even the slightest bit attractive. The same goes for those who’ve got an au naturel face and surgically enhanced boobs on which champagne glasses can stand on. There must be some form of body dysmorphic disorder somewhere in that brain, which places you among the anorexics, and it’s very much wiser to check in with the psychologist than plastic surgeon. No, life will definitely not be better if you turn from normal to ridiculous. Sure, you’d be getting some attention but it would be for all the wrong reasons, which aren’t the ones that led you to undergo such procedures in the beginning. OK, and seriously, surgeons who allow their patients to leave their operating wards looking like that have got to be committing a crime! Also, instead of being known as the witty girl who’s got charm, you’ll just be known as the girl who can smash watermelons and bricks with her JJ breasts. Kind of like a circus act and there’s nothing elegant nor glamourous about it.


Addiction’s another issue where plastic surgery is concerned. Perhaps this one arises from the dysmorphic conditioned mentioned above but it could also just be someone always getting bored of his/her looks and has way too much money. In some cases, families suffer because every single cent is spent on changing the way one person looks. Priorities are no longer the same. Instead of saving up for a child’s education or medical insurance, or even to pay off debts, money is being pumped endlessly and uncontrollably into the surgeons’ pockets. This is worse than being addicted to gambling because these surgeons, being doctors who should care about their patients, are accepting that money! Some addicts even borrow money to go for surgery, which is completely uncalled for. It’s also very unfair to their loved ones who have to live with this problem and not be able to do anything about it.


There have also been cases of people not being able to accept their new looks and are unable to make the connection between what they see in the mirror and what they’ve known all their lives prior to that. They don’t feel like themselves anymore and may even feel alienated from their own persona. This could lead to a bout of depression, which isn’t anything to be happy about.


Finally, I’d like to address the people who go for plastic surgery to make someone else fall in love with them. You know what, guys? This doesn’t work. Get over it. Wildenstein didn’t get her husband back (though it’s not hard to see why) and neither will you. Changing your looks is not going to make someone love you more, or even worse, leave their partner for you. If they did, you are one unlucky, delusional person. When things don’t go the way you expect them to, you’ll spend your life wondering why and not being able to accept it. It might even make you depressed and lead you on a round-about series of more surgeries to “improve your looks,” which could lead to an addiction and all the problems associated with it.


So, does plastic surgery really improve lives? It all boils down to the reasons and the extent to which it’s done. It’s not something to be taken lightly because plastic surgery does change lives, whether positively or negatively. Let’s put it this way: If you could choose to buy a car or to get your face done, which would you choose?





Pretty tea cups and saucers via {link url=""}Shoppe Girls{/link}.





Image credits: CNN, Wwouu, King of People, Nerdnirvana & Anthillz

A little bird told me, "Makeup kills your skin."

Beauty Myths Series: Is Makeup Bad for Your Skin?


A little bird told me, "Makeup kills your skin."


Welcome to the new series on Laced Ivory Beauty Blog, the Beauty Myths Series. In these entries, I’ll be talking about beauty myths and whether they are true. The first topic to start the ball rolling will be whether makeup is bad for your skin.


I’ve got many girl friends. Some use makeup, some don’t. For the latter group, some of them believe that makeup actually makes one’s skin worse. Now, I can’t say they’re completely wrong because these are the girls who’ve got great skin! Then again, there are girls who use makeup and also have perfect complexions. So does makeup really wreck havoc?


Honestly, no, I don’t think that makeup is all Mojo Jojo. When you say bad, it can mean a whole lot of stuff. Some terms that hold a notion of negativity include “acnegenic,” “allergenic” and “clogs pores.” While it’s true that makeup can speed up skin ageing, it is also true that there are makeup products out there that contain skincare ingredients like serums that help to protect and heal the skin while concealing blemishes. It’s more of whether you know how to pick the right products for your skin type than the products themselves that matter. For example, if you have oily skin and you use a liquid foundation, you’re definitely going to break out from the build up of sebum and dirt collected in your pores, and this is especially true if it happens to be summer.


Another cause for the belief that makeup damages the skin is that many people do not cleanse properly at the end of the day, before hitting the sack. For example, if you’re not the kind who uses makeup but one day decided to try it and then found out that you started having pimples after that, you’d blame the makeup. However, supposing that the makeup you tried on was of good quality, then you should suspect not having washed all of it off before bedtime. Where makeup application is involved, cleansing is equally, if not more, important. Because our skin repairs itself while we sleep at night, you’d want to make sure that nothing from the day stays hidden in the pores and starts inviting your pillow germs to party. If pimples start popping out immediately after you apply the makeup, then it’s highly likely that the product is the culprit (Is it expired? Are you allergic to any of the ingredients?). In that case, I’d never touch it again. If pimples start coming out only days after, then you can be sure that you aren’t vigorous enough in removal.


Most of you might have heard of Bae Dal-mi, the Korean girl who did not remove her makeup for 2 years straight. Dermatologists then revealed that her skin had aged twice as much as her and this is speaking volumes, especially since she was only 20 years old. Whether makeup ages one’s complexion is subjective and depends on many factors, such as the type of makeup used, how often it is applied, whether other skincare products are used alongside the cosmetics and how makeup is applied. It’s always better not to apply makeup directly onto the skin. Because we use so many different kinds of makeup, our skin can get stressed from trying to adapt to these frequent changes. Add in an occasion when we try out a new product that isn’t suited for our skin, then all hell will break loose. I highly recommend at least having a layer of serum and/or moisturiser before foundation to act as a protective shield.


One other reason makeup can cause ageing is the technique used in piling the stuff onto your face. I’ve seen videos of makeup artists at work on models (for runway shows and photo shoots) and was surprised at how much force they exerted on the poor girls’ skin! Dabbing and blending concealor looked like a furious attempt at detonating bombs. Eyeshadows were rubbed on mercilessly onto lids, already creased and wrinkled from past rough handling. If we treat our skin better and refrain from using harsh strokes and pressures when applying our makeup, it’ll go a long way in maintaining its youthfulness.


So does makeup really damage our skin? I’d say it’s a whole lot more than that.





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Image credits: Punk-Makeup