Tag Archives: tips

How To Travel Light When You Are A Cosmetics-Obsessed Hoarder

June 10, 2015

First of all… why are we still having to play this game of squeezing our liquids in tiny bottles and jamming them in litter sized ziplock bags?

Come on. Why did this ever have to be a thing? And even after this recent bust on the TSA, why should we continue to carry on with this farce?!

Anyway, before getting too worked up about this, let’s just try to look at the positive side of things.

I think there is one upshot to this restriction on the way that we travel. It forces us to travel light.

Before leaving for a 2-week trip to Japan, I made a conscious decision to bring only what I could carry on the plane with me.

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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?


7 Things To Know About SPF (Hint: A Higher Number Isn’t Always Better)

May 8, 2013

When I say that the sun is our frenemy, I’m kind of joking. But kind of not.

The sun is a life-giver! Without the sun, life on this planet wouldn’t even be possible. On an everyday basis, the sun can brighten our day and provide warmth. But, at the same time, the sun is also sneaking in a lot of long-term damage to our skin.

Our skincare routine should always include some kind of sun protection.

Most people are happy to just slather on some kind of product containing the highest number of SPF that they can find, without a clue as to what that number means.

So, today I’m going to quickly break down the important things you need to know about SPF in sunscreens.

And why a higher number isn’t always necessarily better…


  • 1) SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This was a number introduced in 1962 to measure a sunscreen’s effect against UVB rays, the type of UV ray chiefly responsible for sun burn and skin cancer.
  • 2) The SPF number stands for how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned. The idea is, if you tend to burn under the sun within 10 minutes of exposure, using an SPF 10 product will multiply the time you can stay out in the sun by 10 without getting burned (in this case, 100 minutes).
  • 3) SPF number indicates protection only against UVB rays. It’s important to look for a “broad-spectrum” label which will protect against both UVB rays and UVA rays, the other type of UV ray that can penetrate deeper into the skin and cause long-term photo damage.
  • 4) Increasing the SPF number does not exponentially increase your level of protection. For example, an SPF of 15 absorbs 93.3 percent of UVB rays, but an SPF of 30 absorbs 96.7 percent. Even though the SPF number has doubled, the UVB absorption rate has increased by only 3.4 percent.
  • 5) Suncreen’s effectiveness decreases when exposed to water or sweat. Even if it is waterproof. All types of sunscreen break down over time, especially after exposure to water. So re-apply every 2 hours to keep your skin safe.
  • 6) No matter how high the SPF, sunscreen can protect only the skin it covers. Your whole body is vulnerable to skin cancer, not just the areas that burn easily or wrinkle faster. Areas that tend to be overlooked are the lips, the backs of your hands and ears, and the tops of your feet.
  • 7) After applying sunscreen, wait 15 to 30 minutes before stepping out into the sun. This gives chemical sunscreens enough time to be fully absorbed into the skin.

Other important things to remember:

To have well-rounded coverage, SPF protection should be combined with protective clothing and sun avoidance during the hottest and brightest parts of the day, usually between 10 am and 4 pm, when UVB rays are strongest.

SPF strength is less important than frequent application!!

And finally, you should be protecting your skin from the sun on a daily basis, no matter what the season! You do know that, right??

I know that summer is the season when people love to get their tan on. And for those people, I’m going to leave you with a very powerful image of what the sun can do to your skin over time.

Maybe you’ve already seen this? But if not, this is a photo from a New England Journal of Medicine study, about a 69-year-old man who drove a truck for 28 years, and was exposed to the sun only on the left side of his face.

Sun Damage

Eep! The sun really is our frenemy.