Tag Archives: classic beauty tips

Progress On My New Year’s Beauty Resolutions + Tips For Improving Posture

June 3, 2013

At the beginning of this year, I picked out 3 New Year’s Resolutions to focus on.

Now that we’ve reached the mid-point of the year (gosh, how time flies!)… I thought it would be appropriate to come back to this subject and report on the progress I’ve made with each of them.

1) Reduce Sugar Intake

As far as reducing sugar intake goes, I’ve been really good about indulging in sweet treats only on rare occasions. Even then, I don’t tend to overindulge.

If you want to understand how sugar negatively impacts your skin, read my post on How Sugar & Inflammation Can Be A Recipe For Bad Skin.

When it comes to sugar, I do have one weak spot… I can’t NOT eat bread and croissant for breakfast!

Croissant For Breakfast

Yes, bread counts as sugar. But in my mind, I’ve excused this habit of eating high-carb french breakfasts only because I’m not going to be living in France forever.

And I know that when I leave, I will always sigh and think back about those flaky, buttery croissants with wistful longing…

2) Take Better Care Of My Hair

Haircare has actually been my strongest point.

My hair is longer, softer and shinier now than it was at the beginning of this year.

Better hair 2013

And this has been made possible because I follow my own 5 Basic Hair Care Tips and use the help of some incredible haircare products. Like this one and these three.

3) Improve My Posture

I’m so glad I chose only 3 New Year’s Resolutions! I knew that they were going to take a lot of time and focused dedication.

This has been especially the case with my resolution to improve my posture.

Although there’s a wealth of skincare and haircare information out there, when it comes to posture, I feel like I’ve pretty much been left on my own to figure things out.

While it’s good to encourage others to improve their posture, I think people should do it constructively.

I had this grandma from the Philippines who would visit us and freak out about how awful my posture was. It just always made me feel terrible about myself. To the point that I now secretly suspect I have some form of scoliosis.

I say if you’re going to make people feel terrible about their posture, at least dish out some real advice on what people can do to begin improving their posture!

Improving Posture

Here’s what I’ve worked out (so far)…

How To Improve Your Posture

– This is just a hunch, but I think the shape of your feet has a lot to do with the way that you stand. For example, if your feet have a good arch, it is easier to distribute your weight evenly and stay balanced. But if you’re flat footed like me, you have to work a little harder to balance your weight evenly across your heels and the balls of your feet.

– Don’t lock your knees. They should stay soft and slightly bent.

– There are six points to be mindful of along the length of your body, and they should be in line with each other. 

This picture shows five of them. 

Good posture points

– I say there are six points because you should also think about the point on the crown of your head.

– As my dance teacher once put it: imagine a string going through the length of your spine and out through the center of the crown of your head. Then imagine that this string is being pulled gently up.

– This means that you’re not tilting your chin up or forward. You are simply lengthening your spine through that imaginary string being pulled up along your spine and through the center of your crown.

Your spine has natural curves built in. Having curves in your spine does not mean you have scoliosis! Don’t try to iron your spine flat.

– It’s very important to wear shoes that support good posture. High heels are not posture-friendly.

– We sit a lot and stare down at our computers. So take lots of breaks to stand up and stretch.

– Someday very soon, I am going to build myself an ergonomic workspace. This means, my computer screen will be at eye level, my keyboard will be at elbow level, and I’ll be standing instead of sitting!

Aaah! I can’t wait!

What about you, how is the progress of your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?

Simply Myself

7 Tips For Timeless Beauty And Elegance

May 17, 2013

There are some things in life that never get old.

These are seven beauty tips that I’ve encountered time and time again. They’re classic. And when practiced, they can only lend more beauty and add depth to our lives.

Here they are, in my own words. And in no particular order of importance.

1. Be In Love

With life! With what you do. The moment. Your breath. The sun. And all the free and simple pleasures of life. This kind of love is infectious and when you exude with this kind of love, you become a radiant and irresistible source of energy for others.

2. Be Genuine 

Only say or do things if you really mean it. Smile from the heart. Ask questions if you are sincerely interested in finding out the answers. Act in a way that comes naturally to you. And be open about your vulnerabilities.

3. Above All, Kindness.

It doesn’t have to be as cheesy as it sounds. Sometimes, a small act of kindness can mean so much to others. Even just the simple act of listening shows that you care. Be kind to others. And above all, be kind to yourself.

4. Cultivate Good Health 

Beauty comes from energy and vitality. Nourish your body with fresh, clean and simple foods. Keep your bones and muscles strong by constantly moving and enjoying the outdoors. Sleep well to feel rested and rejuvenated when greeting a new day.

5. Laugh. A Lot.

In the grand scheme of the universe, nothing is all that serious. Don’t be afraid to get silly! They say people who laugh the most laugh the last. There is a real connection between laughter and longevity.

6. Cherish the Imperfect

A crooked smile. Freckles. A scar that tells a story. Imperfect things make life more interesting.

7. Simplicity 

Simplicity is the foundation of elegance. It is the understated. The harmonious. It can apply to the way we dress, what we eat, our everyday activities and what we choose to dedicate our thoughts and energy to. Simplicity is beautiful because it allows us to focus on what truly matters.

Have a happy weekend, my loves!

Normally, I would hide photos like this from the world… (it looks like the sun is bursting out of my nose! haha) 

Simply Myself

“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Marie Claire

Surprisingly Relevant Tips from a 73 Year Old Beauty Magazine

July 13, 2012

Le Marché Aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is a large sprawling treasure trove of antiques which I visit from time to time. Most of the shops are filled with gold-framed rococo furniture, blocks of hollowed-out medium format cameras, helmets that date back to the colonial period, musty furs, toy car collections, buttons and every other type of treasure that an antiques lover would salivate over. As for me, I just like walking around and flipping through old books or running my fingertips along pretty but overpriced baubles.

There is one antiques shop that is just dedicated to French women’s magazines. I’m not an avid reader of magazines such as Vogue, Votre Beauté, Elle and Marie Claire. But when you visit this shop and look at the years when they were printed, you realize some of these magazines have been around since the turn of the 20th century. Your own great grandmother could have been reading one of these magazines! I was curious to see just how different these magazines were back then from today’s glossy ad-filled versions.

So I brought home a March 1939 edition of Marie Claire to share with my readers today!

Marie Claire

Marie Claire 1939 Front Cover


This 73 year old magazine is still in great shape. The paper has a brownish tinge and feels crisp and waxy between my fingers. The pages feature black and white photos of classically round faces, crowned with finger-wave ‘dos. Some of the photos were hand-colored to add a touch of modernity, or at least what would have been considered very modern in those days. What really caught my attention, however, is the amount of text and reading content which fills almost entire pages. I must say, this amount of reading wouldn’t be as palatable in today’s bite-sized twitter text culture.

Here is a peek into beauty pop culture from the late 1930s :

Film Reviews. How To Apply Mousse. Horoscopes. What Your Name Signifies.

8 Out of 10 Women Are Beautiful Without Knowing It. An ad for Pond’s Cold Cream.

Simone 1939 Beauty Contest. Vote For Your Favorite Beauty.

The Table of Content included the following sections : 

  • Famille Et Art De Vivre – Family and the Art of Living
  • Le Courrier De «Marie-Claire» – Letters to Marie Claire
  • Beaute Et Hygiene – I guess Beauty and Hygiene were subjects that went hand in hand
  • Lecture – The Main Reading Contents
  • Mode – Fashion
  • La Maison – House Keeping

Since this is a blog on Beauty, I immediately flipped over to the Beauty section. And that’s where I found this gem of an article on classic ways to get “That Special Glow.”

A woman walks by… she’s neither very beautiful, nor very young, nor is she even very elegant. However, every man admires her and every woman envies her. Her secret? The glow on her face that leaves behind a lasting and unforgettable impression. Simply because she follows these practical rules of beauty….

That is how the article began. Now I will translate and summarize for you the best of these “practical rules of beauty.” Let’s see if they still apply today!

1) A perfect and thorough cleansing of the skin in the evening before going to bed.

Basically, no matter what beauty techniques you apply during the day, they amount to nothing if you go to bed without first having carefully cleansed your face of dirt and impurities.

My thoughts: Okay. Check! I do that. We should all do that.

2) Just the right amount of powder

The women who have that enviable glow know that a lot of powder over a thin layer of cream is the secret for that glowing skin tone. In order to make the cream and the powder form a base that will last all day, use the help of a special brush in order to eliminate surplus powder and leave only what’s necessary in order to have that “pearly, transparent, matted look.”

My thoughts: There is such a thing as too much powder. Although this probably worked well for those black and white photos.

3) Red on the Lips That Doesn’t Smudge

When applying lipstick, don’t scrunch up your lips but open them and apply lipstick to the corners.

My thoughts: Um. Okay, I get that.

4) A clean face, without the unnecessary fuzz

Bleach the fuzz found above your lips and above the ears, while applying oxygenated water with a few drops of ammonia (huh, what?). Leave this solution in contact for a few minutes and then rinse with clear water.

Carefully pluck and shape the eyebrows without overdoing it.

It is also completely normal to remove with electricity the numerous spots and blemishes on the face (I have no idea what this “remove with electricity” means but it sounds dangerous).

After applying makeup, brush the eyebrows and eyelash with cotton that’s been dipped in eau de cologne.

Brushing your hair at least 100 times in the evening is absolutely essential to the beauty of the hair and the face. This provides a perfect circulation of the blood.

My thoughts: These tips made me laugh quite a bit. Fuzz over the ears…

5) Organize your beauty products

That way they don’t spill and clutter into the shaving and bathroom space of the “Monsieur.”  Group all your products in a box so it’s easy for you to put it on a little table in front of a well lit window and therefore, provide an easy access whenever you need it.

In addition to the necessary products, you should have cotton balls, tweezers, a powder brush, and a black head remover.

Keep the following very clean and organized : combs and brushes which have been washed with ammonia water (again, the ammonia water) and wiped each time before using. Wash your powder puffs with soap and water.

My thoughts: I think it’s become the other way around. Now guys are the ones who have to make space for all our girlie beauty products. Also, cleaning your brushes and combs with ammonia? I think people today just buy new ones. 

6) A strict but satisfying diet

Most of your meats should be grilled, very little bread, don’t drink much while eating, touch pastries on the rare occasions. On the other hand, you should eat plenty of salads and fruits. The slow drinking of a large glass of water in the morning and before going to bed should be done almost like a religion. Before going to bed, eat an apple which of all the fruits is far better for your complexion, thanks to its properties which eliminate acidity and toxins.

My thoughts: Atkins diet, anyone?

7) A good mood!

Physical beauty isn’t essential. It is not the absence of physical imperfections but rather the presence of certain qualities that create true charm. Among these qualities are : a smiling, friendly, vivacious expression, which is the most precious of all attributes. It is better to be “charming and ugly” than “cold and beautiful!”

Don’t believe that you’re ever too old to do physical exercises. Whatever your age, stay flirtatious with your husband and remain stylish so that your children will be happy to be around you.

Don’t refuse going out with your husband to the cinemas on the pretext that you’re too tired.

When the children feel like dancing, be the first to roll out the rug in the corner and consider it good fortune that the kids are having fun.

Don’t ever say in a reproachful tone “Back in my day…”

A bad mood is the worst of venoms for health and beauty and achieving that glowing complexion.

My thoughts: With the exception of not refusing your husband’s desire to go to the cinemas, these tips are classic! We need more of this kind of attitude in beauty magazines today. 

Marie Claire 1939 Back Cover.

My conclusion? Any beauty magazine from any era can contain a mix of relevant as well as absurd beauty advice. It’s important to sift through all the information and find those little nuggets of age-old wisdom but dismiss the ones that should obviously be regarded as nothing more than old-fashioned gobbledy goop.

My favorite from all of this, of course, is the idea that beauty is not limited to the physical way that you look. Much of beauty is also about making the most of your best attributes and applying the qualities of charm in your life.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!