Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eyebrow and Eyelash Tinting

I don't like wearing a lot of make-up. Unless of course it's a special occasion or a night out, which gives me a reason to be "made up".

My every day make-up regime is basically brushing a couple of strokes of mascara on my eyelashes and applying natural colour lipgloss.

Like I've mentioned in a previous post, the one thing that I would struggle to live without, is mascara.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul. And without mascara, I'm sad to say, that my "window's" look rather dull and I tend to look pale ;-0. I find that my eyes get lost in the scenery of my face. I think you will all agree that nearly invisible eyelashes can sometimes make a woman look a bit sick. And even the best-shaped eyebrows may not set off the eyes if the hair is fine, sparse or pale.

At the same time I don't always want to/and I don't always wear mascara, especially when I'm working out, diving or swimming.

Besides using waterproof mascara, which I hate; I was reminded again of a popular procedure known as tinting. I actually had this done once or twice before, many years ago. When a friend mentioned that she has it done in Jakarta I decided to try it again.

Brow and lash tinting may be your solution. Just like having your hair colored, tinting changes the colour, adds the illusion of thickness and dimension.

Before tinting

After tinting

The procedure took approx. 15 min and the results were visible. I am glad I had it done. I remember it being more noticeable when I had it done previously, though. I might ask them to use a darker colour or perhaps leave it on for a few minutes longer next time.

NOTE: Keep in mind tweezing or waxing should be done after a tint. This maximizes the amount of brow hair available for shaping.

Where to go:

Nikki's Salon on Kemang Raya No. 47A.
Tel: (021)-7192917

Price: Rp.100,00 for eyebrow and Rp.120,000 eyelashes.

Tip: Ask them about the price when you make your appointment.

I didn't enquire about the price and I was surprised when they charged me Rp.220,000 for a
procedure that only took 15min. I find it pricey considering that my hair colour incl. cut and blow dry (approx. 2 and a half hours) would probably cost Rp.350,000-Rp.400,000. Also, considering that most 1 hour treatments e. g. cream baths, pedi's and mani's don't cost nearly as much.



I have been dealing with and have been blogging about my eternal struggle with my "problem skin", and the search for products that will give me that soft flawless skin that I dream about.

I know it probably sounds a lot worse than it is. My skin is not that bad and the "problem skin" that I am referring to is more a "breakout problem" and not a real "acne problem".

As mentioned in previous posts I have managed to control my break-outs with Pro-Active as well as two of my latest product finds: Seba Med and Sariayu, which I will blog about in the posts to follow.

My biggest problem is my uneven skin tone due to blemishes/marks from acne scaring. I have been using Este Lauder Advance night repair and as per the post on it, it definitely has improved my skins over all appearance over the past couple of months.

Or so I thought. Just when thought my skin is actually starting to look better I started noticing more marks on my face. It started with a brown mark on my nose when we returned form our holiday in December. And though I always where sunscreen, I still got "some colour" and I thought it must just be from the sun.

I hoped that it will lighten and it did, a bit.

We returned from a trip this week and I was concerned about the very noticeable dark marks that have appeared on my upper cheekbone areas.

I was beginning to wonder "perhaps the breakouts and the sun are not the only contributing factors"...

It almost looks as if, I've been in the sun with my sunglasses and have tanned circles around my eyes. But, this is not the case.

I now have light patches all over my cheeks and the area around my chin.

Being over 30, a couple of people told me that I should get used to it "it comes with age". And though age probably does contribute to your skins appearance I have reason to believe that there is more to it and I sure do not want to GET USE TO IT. I want to GET RID OF IT!!

I have heard of woman that have had problems with pigmentation marks, caused by the sun damage as well as pigmentation problems during pregnancy.

After research, it appears that this type of pigmentation is called Melasma/Hyperpigmentation, also referred to as the "pregnancy mask". A big culprit is of course the sun, but it can also be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, as well as contraceptives.

I realised that, I started noticing the pigmentation problem after I went back on the pill in November. Though I haven't consulted with a dermatologist yet, I have come to the conclusion that it has to be due to hormonal changes.

So what can I do about it?

I came up with the following:

Consult a dermatologist about changing to a different contraceptive with less estrogen or possibly going off the pill if that doesn't help.

Though I always wear sunscreen I should:

  • Increase my SPF factor to 30 or 50

  • Use zinc oxide based sunscreens with at least 10% of zinc Oxide.

  • Don't leave the house without sunscreen.

  • Where a hat/cap when outdoors.

  • Not be fooled by the the sun's harming rays, whether direct or reflecting. I need to protect my skin from the sun even when I'm in the shade or when it's a cloudy day.

Whitening products
Look for a product with the following ingredients:

  • Hydroquinone

  • Salicylic acid ingredients

Note: Don't expect it to change over night. Improvements in the skin tone and overall appearance is not noticeable immediately, however products should lighten the pigmentation marks over time.

Consult a dermatologists about available treatments like IPL (Intense Pulse Light).

Click here to read more on Melasma/Hypergigmentation.

I hope to write a blog entry and post a photo in the near future, on how I have managed to reduce my Melasma.

Please comment on the post if you have any advise or tips for me or other ladies with the same problem?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Este Lauder Advance Night Repair

As I've said before, I dream about soft, flawless skin and I have tried so many products...always looking for that one product that's going to give it to me.

One such product that has been around for many years is the Advance Night Repair formula by Este Lauder. And though this product is probably not going to get rid of my breakouts (that I'm still struggling with), I figured it's definitely worth a try.

If I could improve the overall appearance of my skin, the breakouts wouldn't look half as bad as it does on uneven, blotchy skin, right? Well, that's my theory anyway...

I bought a bottle of this so called miracle serum about 3 months ago. It was a little (ok, a lot) more expensive than what I usually spend on skin products but I figured being over 30 it is time I start investing in the good stuff.

I paid $90 for a 50ml of Este Lauder Advance Night Repair, that has lasted me just over 3 months. I have been using 3 drops as recommended at night and in the morning and in combination with a good cleansing routine, wearing sunblock daily and regular facials I am hopeful that I will one day have that soft, flawless skin that I've been dreaming of.

Though my skin is still along way from being flawless, I have to say this stuff works: My skin tone is more even and the pigmentation marks I had on my upper lip has definitely lightened and so has some of the other marks on my skin. I have also noticed that my skin looks more hydrated and it does appear smoother.

Though I still have enough serum for probably another week or so I have already stocked up on this product, that I have sworn never to go without.

I saved quite a bit when I bought 2x 75ml bottles (a promotional pack) at the airport in Abu Dhabi for $160, which I'm sure you'll still be able to find at most airport duty free stores. In my opinion it is money well spent. TRY IT!

About Este Lauder, Advance Night Repair:

Based on solid, scientific findings and 24 years of proven success, this is the one formula your skin shouldn't live without. It helps visibly repair the appearance of past damage and protect your skin's future.

It heightens your skin's natural repair response critical for its well being. Soothes daily irritation and builds a rich reserve of anti oxidants and lipids to help replenish skin's natural protectants.

It protects the future by neutralizing up to 90% of environmentally generated free radicals before they can cause your skin to look prematurely aged.

Because it is this environmental damage not time that can cause 80% of the visible signs of aging. It delivers high levels of long proven hyaluronic acid, nature's moisture magnet. Locks in moisture to create the ideal environment for healthy skin.

Think of it as your insurance for younger, healthier looking skin, today and tomorrow.

Biodroga facial - a mi Casa on Jl. Benda, Jakarta

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Entra a mi Casa (now, a mi Casa) is my favourite place to go to for pedicures and a manicures in Jakarta.

a mi Casa
Jl. Benda Raya no. 17,
Kemang, Jakarta Seletan
Phone: +62 21 7806 222

Now it is also my favourite place for facials.

As per previous posts about facials, I am always after a salon that uses good international skin care products as well as facial equipment. Oh, and don't forget the massage part ;-)

I am very happy to write about my fantastic experience at a mi Casa salon & spa and I highly recommend trying them for your next facial.

The Spa has private therapy rooms where you can really relax and unwind while the therapist works her magic.

The Balinese style spa has a terrific atmosphere with Balinese music playing and true sense of serenity. You change into a batik sarong and have your feet washed before you lie down for the most heavenly facial, including a 15min massage and later a hand and foot massage while you relax with the mask on your face.

Or is the real magic really the products they use?

They have a choice of 3 products, French, German or a local product. I opted for the German product called Biodroga.

I am not usually keen on whitening products but the therapist (Ibu Sumi) recommended I try the Biodroga Whitening facial at Rp. 300,000. This would apparently help with the breakouts and to lighten the dark spots/acne scaring on my face (Yes, I pick).

She suggested I go for a facial every two weeks if I want to really notice a difference in my skins appearance.

So after my second facial today, I can report that I do think my skin looks smoother, especially on my cheeks where I've been struggling with breakouts. And the couple of dark marks I had are definitely lighter than 2 weeks ago.

I look forward to my next facial, in 2 weeks and really hope that the Therapist is right and that I will soon have that soft, flawless skin that I've been dreaming of.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Martha Tilaar Spa

I've been for a couple of facials over the past 9 months in Jakarta and a lot of the salons use natural products from Bali or their own products made from nuts, honey, cucumber etc.

As I've mentioned before, I personally prefer a facial that uses a good skin care range and that uses facial equipment such as a steamer, high frequency machines etc.

I went for a facial at Martha Tilaar on Thursday. This salon was recommend by a friend and I was happy to hear that they use Biokos products.

Martha Tilaar Salon & Day Spa

Jl. Prapanca Raya Blok P III No 3,
Jakarta Selatan

Phone : +62 21 739 3519

The therapist analyzes your skin and recommends a facial that best suit your skin type. I had the Aromatic Acnomore facial including a mask. I paid approx. ($30) Rp.305,000 for the facial (Rp.195,000) plus an additional (Rp.110,000) for the mask that is optional.

Though I personally don't mind this, the facial was a rather "clinical" which included extractions. I know that a lot of people do not enjoy extractions and prefer a more relaxing facials with dimmed lights instead of the very bright fluorescent light shining in your eyes.

Just mention to your therapist that you would prefer not to have extractions done

I particularly enjoyed the facial massage including head and shoulders which felt like it was a little longer than the usual 10 min. The only thing that I thought was missing though, was the hand massage...

You can't always get it all though... ;-) I guess the quality of any spa treatment will almost always differ between therapists. Ultimately it depends on how experienced the therapist is.

It was over all a really good facial and I enjoyed the experience and I would recommend the Martha Tilaar salon for your next facial.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

ENTRA a MI CASA Hair and Beauty

As per my previous posts about waxing, I've been going for waxes at the Waxing Studio on Ampera Raya that is really cheap and though "it does the job" I've realised that it is of course true that you get what you pay for.

I found that the hair grew back very quickly and I decided to continue my search for the perfect wax in Jakarta.

I called around, trying to find a salon that uses proper wax, rather than sugar wax.
The only wax that I know from back home is depilève and the thing about depilève is that the pre and post lotions used, apparently prevent ingrowns and are meant to slow down hair growth and leave the skin soft and smooth. It appears that most of the salons around Kemang use Sugar wax, but I found one that to my surprised use depilève.
Jl. Benda Raya no. 17,
Kemang, Jakarta Seletan
Phone: +62 21 7806 222.
I paid approx. ($22) Rp.220,000 for a full leg and full bikini wax. Ask for Cindy, she is really very good.
I am not a scientist though and whether or not depilève products are actually better than sugar wax or if it just has to do with the way it is waxed....I don't know.

All I know is that my last two waxes, especially the bikini area has been a lot less painful and I definitely have less ingrowns and it seems that the hair takes longer to grow back than before.
I have since then been back twice for a wax and I've also been for a pedicure and manicure which I can highly recommend.
I paid approx ($14) Rp.140,000 for a french pedi and mani.
I have referred quite a few of my friends to them and they are all very happy with the treatments they've received and they've all said that they will definitely go back there.

Proactive Solution - "It really does work"!

I was complaining about my breakouts, to a friend of mine here in Jakarta. Though I've tried a lot of different products and yes, some of the products mentioned on this blog did help but it really never made a huge visible difference in my skins appearance.

My friend told me that she used to have the same problem and that she would recommend I try Proactive Solution. She had some of her cleanser, toner and the mask left over, which she stopped using when her skin completely cleared up.

After 2 weeks I could see a difference. Though I had some dryness around my jaw line and neck I decided to keep trying it... I arranged with her to let her sister buy me the system, which she brought over in November.

I have seen this product advertised in magazines and I remember it being sold by Verimark back home, but like a lot of the infomercial type products, I just really didn't think it would work.
Well, I was wrong....

I have now been using Proactive Solution for about 3 months now and I am happy to report that after trying many different skin care products as you would have seen on this blog, I finally found a system that actually work. The celebrities endorsements by Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Serina Williams to name a few are really not just Proactive's way of marketing their product. This product really does work!

I can't say that my skin is completely clear, yet. I unfortunately still have the occasional breakouts, which I believe is hormonal, but over all my skins appearance is a lot better and I will continue to use this product.

This product is not too expensive and definitely worth a try!