updated 16 May 2012, 17:43
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Tue, Nov 23, 2010
The New Paper
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Back to basics
by Dolores Tay

FOR more than a week now, I've been sleeping with socks in my hair.

It all started when I scoured the Internet for do-it-yourself (DIY) videos on how to use hair curlers and came across dozens of videos on how to curl your hair with socks.

Curious, I tried it out with the hubby's collection - my ankle socks are not long enough.

And what do you know? My hair turned out perfectly curled and big, just the way I like it.

While it's not exactly a beauty secret, I'll bet my socks that not many of you know about this DIY beauty trick. The moral of the story? Don't diss homemade beauty remedies.

Indeed, beauty secrets of women throughout the ages have become staple treatments at modern spas, and for some, homemade concoctions have mushroomed into global multi-billion empires.

It has been said that Cleopatra, the legendary Queen of Egypt, bathed in milk and honey to get the exquisite complexion she was famous for. The rich lactic acid exfoliates and rejuvenates while the honey cleanses and moisturises.

In the east, Empress Dowager Wu Zetian applied pearl powder and flower distillate nightly as her beauty regime.

Today, honey, milk, pearl powder and flower extracts are commonly found in beauty products.

And one woman's attempt at creating a body cream in her kitchen back in 1976 resulted in the Body Shop. The late Dame Anita Roddick sold the company to L'Oreal in 2006 for a whopping US$1.2 billion (S$1.5 billion).

Stories like this are what makes one rush out to get that DIY apothecary set, dreaming of being the next Anita Roddick.

But before you start chopping up plants, mixing powder and slathering dubious creams on yourself, here are some tried-and-tested beauty secrets, tips and tricks by women in the public eye, women who are in the business of looking good.

ANITA KAPOOR (39, television travel host, radio presenter, writer)

"Tip No. 1: Instead of matte powder eye shadows, I always use metallic cremes on a base of foundation on my lids. It's a simple trick that lends a fresh, modern dewy accent to the face and it catches the light just where you need it.

"Perfect for work-to-party looks, crazy schedules and quick changes.

It goes with glossy or matte lips, or even just a smear of lip balm. "Tip No. 2: Mascara is a godsend for a quick fix root touch up when your colourist is out of town. It has saved me on many shoots!

"And the wand is perfect for tidying up baby hairs at the hairline - just clean away the mascara first!"

DJ CHERYL MILES (35, 91.3FM - The Wrong Way Home with Daniel Ong & Cheryl Miles, weekdays 4pm to 7pm)

"Sometimes I forget to apply lip balm and working in air-con can dry out my lips. If your lips get scaly with dried skin, here's what you do. Put some Vaseline on your lips, then rub a toothbrush over it to scrub off the dead skin.

"Finally, wipe your lips clean with tissue paper. I guarantee that your lips will be smooth! Vaseline is also great as an eye makeup remover."

KAREN NG (38, power stylist and personal shopper)

"This is for girls who love super high heels. Apply Vaseline petroleum jelly on feet generously before putting on your shoes. This helps to soften and moisturise the skin, and is really good at preventing friction and blisters."

VIVIEN ONG (18, Winner of The New Paper New Face 2010)

"If you are caught in an impromptu photo shoot and you have no makeup on, here's how you can create instant flushed cheeks: just bend forward and try to touch your head to your knee, count to five and there you go - natural blush!"

PATRICIA MOK (38, television actress)

"If I have a special programme or show coming up, or if I'm filming a travelogue, I will use my paper face mask without fail every day! My favourite brand is Soigne International - you can get it from Face Bistro in Holland Village."

DR GEORGIA LEE (41, director of TLC Lifestyle Practice)

"I use scrub on my body once a week and a cleanser twice a week to to lighten any pigmentation and prevent new ones. It keeps me fair.

"I do not eat any carrots as I don't like the yellowish tinge it gives my skin. I take Vitamin A supplements.

"After makeup, I sometimes take a very hot shower as the steam helps to set my makeup and makes the makeup look dewy."

BEATRICE CHIA-RICHMOND (36, theatre director)

"Never, never, ever sleep with your makeup on."

DJ MADDY (37, 91.3FM - Non-Stop Hit Music with Maddy, weekdays 10am to 1pm)

"I read on a forum somewhere that the best and cheapest way to wash out those oily, filthy pores on the face is to soak your whole face in a basin of very warm water for at least 60 seconds twice a day after cleaning off the makeup.

"I tried it and it's absolutely the most refreshing thing you can do for your skin, and it helps the acne too!"


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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