updated 16 May 2012, 17:45
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Looking good naturally
by Hedy Khoo

Madam Ivy Ong, 37, stay-at-home mum (Top image)

EVERY morning she puts on her make-up, does her hair and dresses up.

There is nothing out of the ordinary about this daily routine, common for any working woman. Except that Madam Ivy Ong, 37, has no office to go to.

Her day ahead will be spent at home doing housework, minding her two daughters, aged two and five, and cooking them lunch and dinner.

"No crummy T-shirts, shorts or houseclothes for me," declared this yummy mummy.

"I make sure I put on at least mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss even when I am home. I take pains to dress up and look good for myself."

With her slender figure and girlish looks, it is no wonder that few people believe she is a mother of two. They often mistake her to be in her mid-20s.

Madam Ong, who goes clubbing occasionally with her friends, said she sometimes gets chatted up by men in their 20s who ask for her number. They think she is in their age group.

"It's flattering, but quite funny to see their reaction when I tell them I am married with two daughters. They usually look really shocked," she said, chuckling.


While Madam Ong readily admits to being vain - she had make-up on even in the labour ward - she draws the line at cosmetic surgery.

"I think it is unnatural to look 25 if you are 50. I believe in ageing gracefully," she said.

For her skincare regimen, Madam Ong said she uses just a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. And she does not believe in age-defying beauty products.

"I don't know if they really work. Or maybe I am in denial. I am not at the point yet where I think I need them!" she quipped.

But she has splurged close to $6,000 on intense pulsed light treatments to lighten the pigmentation and freckles on her face.

What she does take pains to upkeep, though, is her figure.

The 1.64m-tall woman who weighs 52kg recounted how she battled the bulge two years ago.

"I ballooned up to 71kg after the birth of my younger daughter in 2008. My tummy remained huge.

"It got annoying when people kept asking when I was due and strangers on public transport offered me their seats thinking I was pregnant."

It took her six months to regain her figure. Doing housework and looking after her kids helped.

Madam Ong also changed her eating habits.

She said: "Breakfast and lunch are the biggest meals for me. I don't eat carbohydrates for dinner and definitely no snacking or eating after 6pm."

Mrs Margaret Lui, 58, florist and her daughter Dr Lui Jeen Nee, 37, dentist

NEW patients who need to have their teeth extracted are often unnerved when they first meet Dr Lui Jeen Nee.

After all she looks like an inexperienced 20-something.

But Dr Lui, 37, already has 14 years of dentistry experience under her belt. She's also an endodontist, specialising in root canal treatments.

Dr Lui recalled: "At the start of my career, I had to put in extra effort to win the trust of my patients who thought I was too young. I had to reassure them that I am capable.

"But with age, I have grown more confident and I feel it is an advantage to look youthful."

Standing at 1.59m and weighing just 42kg, Dr Lui said having a petite frame lends to her youthful appearance.

She credits her youthful looks to her mother.

Mrs Margaret Lui, 58, who runs her own florist's shop, said her customers often guess that she is in her 40s.

Said MrsLui, smiling: "I laugh and tell themI will buy them coffee."

She has two other daughters aged 25and 30.

To keep fit, she jogs for an hour three times a week.

Both mother and daughter avoid aerated drinks. Instead, they drink plenty of water.

Their only indulgence is two cups of coffee a day.

They also avoid snacking and eat three regular meals daily.

Breakfast for Dr Lui is two slices of bread with jam and a cup of coffee.

For lunch, she usually eats yong tau foo or a bowl of fish soup.

Dinner is typically steamed fish with vegetables and rice.


For skincare, both mother and daughter use only moisturisers and eye creams.

Said Dr Lui:"When I meet up with my former schoolmates from junior college, they say I look the same as I did whenI was in school. I find that quite flattering."

But time does catch up,and MrsLui revealed that she was unprepared for menopause, when it came at 53.

Said MrsLui: "I had to accept that it was part of the ageing process and a natural part of life."

She added that among her friends, those who are good-looking are the ones who find it harder to accept having wrinkles and sagging skin.

"They go for liposuction to look slim and have flatter tummies. I'm also not happy with my weight, but I'd rather lose weight the natural way."

Madam Fauziah Tjik Kassim, 49, assistant manager

SHE doesn't use moisturiser or sunblock, and doesn't go for facials. But people who have met this 49-year-old mother of four often mistake her to be in her late 30s.

Madam Fauziah Tjik Kassim is an assistant manager at a furnishing store.

When she went out with her elder daughter aged 32 - the other is 30 - "her friends thought I was her sister and told her I was prettier than she was".

Madam Fauziah said, with a chortle: "Luckily, my daughter took it well and instead of feeling offended, she told me she feels proud (of me)." She also has two sons aged 32 and 16.

Her secret

What is the secret to her youthful looks?

"I like to laugh and I believe that keeps me young. It's not that I don't have problems. I just tell myself that no matter how serious they are, I must find a solution," she said.

As for skincare, it is simple - Madam Fauziah slaps on just a cleanser. She eschews heavy make-up, opting only for eyeliner, lipstick and baby powder on her face when she goes to work.

She also does not take any beauty or health supplements.

Her main aim now? To drop from 60kg to 56kg.

"I haven't thrown away my old clothes. I am still hoping I can fit into them some day," she said, before breaking into another peal of laughter.

Older, wiser & still fabulous

THEY are over 60, but for these three Hollywood actresses, that doesn't mean not being sexy any more.

Jane Fonda, 72, Susan Sarandon, 64, and Sigourney Weaver, 61, look fabulous in V Magazine's upcoming "Who Cares About Age" issue, reported the Daily Mail.

Fonda claimed being older has made her a much happier and more relaxed person.

"There's fabulous things about being older. The older people get, the less scared they are. All the studies show you're not as anxious," she said.

"People tend to have less hostility, they have less negative emotions. They tend to see things from both sides. Very few things stress me out."

Sarandon agreed, saying: "I wouldn't want to be 20 now. I know so much more, and I'm much more comfortable in my skin, saggy as it is."


Sarandon also said that life is too short to be constantly worrying about looks.

She said: "When I hear young girls complaining about superficial things...

"You're at the peak of your physical beauty right now!

"Just enjoy it and stop worrying about your thighs being too big.

"If you're upset with how you look at 25, life's going to be tough."


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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