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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Monday, March 16, 2015

How To: Achieve Soft, Smooth Skin (With Alternatives For Busy Bees And Penny Pinchers!)

Hello hello...

Among all my beauty fails in the past, one of them was to neglect scrubbing and moisturizing my body. I avoided using lotion because in the olden days they're pretty greasy. Then there is that icky, slippery feel on my hands whenever I need to wash them. As for body scrubs I was just too plain lazy to use them.

Last year however I decided to give the body scrubs and Body Butters from The Body Shop a try and I became hooked! Not only do they smell great, they did not irritate my skin either. That really motivated me to scrub-a-dub and moisturize about 3 times a week.

About a month after practicing this, I was scratching my shoulder and I was startled that my skin was so smooth. Really! I had never had such smooth and soft skin in my life! Terkejut sendiri ni.

Unfortunately, I ran out of 2 tubs of body scrub and Body Butter each within 6 months. I don't really go to the city that often so I had to find other alternatives. I think I have found a pretty affective routine which cuts cost and time in the shower too.

So the first part of this post is going to be a regular scrub and lotion routine and the 2nd part will be the low cost and quick alternative routine. Okay? So let's get into it.

Part 1
What you need:
1. Shower gel
2. Body scrub
3. Body Butter/cream/lotion

My current shower gel and body cream.

Start off with showering using the shower gel. Try to avoid using bar soaps that you can get at the supermarkets because it tends to dry the skin. Use a moisturizing shower gel if you can. Dove and Johnson & Johnson are pretty good options. I personally use The Body Shop shower gel because it smells good but doesn't irritate my skin.

After rinsing off the shower gel, take a palm full of body scrub and gently work it all over your body. Remember, be gentle. You are not scrubbing scum off the floor, just dead skin off your body. After you're done scrubbing, rinse it off.

The scrub I'm currently using.

By the way, there are 2 main types of scrubs; cream and gel. The former tends to be more moisturizing so use that if you have dry skin type.

Lightly towel dry (leave your skin moist) and apply half a palm of body cream all over your body. This helps to lock in the moisture of the cream onto your skin. Wait for about 3-5 minutes before dressing. *Is anyone laughing at the thought of lounging around naked for 5 minutes? Haha..*

Try to scrub once in every 2-3 days and moisturize everyday. If you make a practice of doing this, I guarantee that your skin will be silky smooth within the 1st month. Kena rajin la. Jangan mo berangan dapat kulit halus tapi duduk2 tiup2 kuku jak. Kan?

Now, we move on to the quick and convenient method for the Busy Bees and the Penny Pinchers.

Part 2
What you need:
1. Shower gel
2. Bath lily/ loofah
3. Nivea In-shower Skin Conditioner

For this method, soak the bath lily with water then drizzle a little bit of shower gel on it. Lather it up and briskly work it over your body (making sure your skin is wet before hand of course) in circular motions. The netted texture of the bath lily acts as the 'scrub'. Rubbing the skin in circular motions also helps to get the circulation going and will give it a healthy glow. When you're done, rinse all the lather off.

Next, apply Nivea in-shower Skin Conditioner all over your body then rinse. Yes peeps, you do not need to wait for it to 'sink in' for 5 minutes before rinsing. It's apply and rinse. Lastly, dry yourself thoroughly with a towel and you are ready to get dressed.

How easy and quick is that was? You of course, can use body cream/lotion after bathing in Part 2 to give maximum moisture to your skin but if you are really pressed for time, you can skip that step entirely.

What are your favorite bath products? So share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Phy Says: Of Lipsticks and Faux Pearl Bracelets - A Lesson In Letting Go

Hello dearies...

My sister once told me a story about a little girl who has a lot of toys and knick knacks that she loves. Among all her possessions, there is one that she prized above the rest; a pearl bracelet. Granted it was made of faux pearls but it didn't matter to her. It was precious all the same.

One day her father said to her,"I have something for you my dear. It's very special. But in order for me to give it to you, you will have to give me your pearl bracelet in exchange". The girl was initially excited about the gift until she knew that she would have part with her pearl bracelet in order to get it. Oh, how she longed for the gift from her father! But how on earth could she part with her precious bracelet?

She tried negotiating with her father. She would give him her best teddy bear in exchange. Her father smiled but declined gently. The next day she came up with another offer. She would give up her best doll in exchange for the gift. Again, her father declined gently. And so it went on for a week with her offering her father numerous other things in exchange. Each time, her father smiles, declines her offer and insists that it has to be her pearl bracelet. ''I promise that the gift will be worth giving it up for", he said.

By the end of the week the little girl had run out of other things to offer. So with a very heavy heart, she went up to her father and dejectedly handed her most loved possession to him. Her father thanked her and retrieved a box from his pocket. Turns out he had been keeping her gift in his pocket all the while, just waiting for her to surrender her bracelet at any time.

He opened the box and lo and behold, nestled in it's soft satin lining lay the most beautiful pearl bracelet she had ever seen. "The reason why I wanted you to give me your bracelet first is because I want you to have a better bracelet, made with real pearls which you deserve" he said. The little girl exclaimed over the gift and hugged her father while squealing in delight, her faux bracelet which she had been so reluctant to let go, forgotten.

There is a lesson to be learnt here but wait for it... Here is another story which happened to me:

MAC Cosmetics has a program called Back To MAC. It is basically a recycling program where you can claim 1 free lipstick (in Malaysia we can only claim lipsticks but I understand that in the US you can pick between a lipstick, lip gloss or an eye shadow) for every 6 items you've used up and returned to MAC. After a year I had finally scrapped enough empties to claim my free lipstick. I was planning on getting Quietone which I love so much and incidentally, was my first ever MAC lipstick. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.

After trying a few, I was considering the possibility of getting Lustering when I saw my sister trying Peach Blossom on herself. It was the perfect My Lips But Better (MLBB) color for her. I told her that she should get it but she declined. After inspecting Lustering on my lips further in the mirror, I can't help but feel that although I like it, I don't really love it. There is also the fact that I already have a lot of lipsticks anyways, most of which I am not actively using. I considered taking Peach Blossom for my sister but pushed the notion aside. She doesn't wear lipsticks after all.

However, once the thought had come to mind I couldn't seem to shake it off. It was like my gut feeling was telling me to get Peach Blossom for my sister and it was getting insistent with each passing second. A short while later, I decided to follow my instincts. My sister was very happy and posted about it on Facebook. My aunt who is very generous saw my sister's post and decided that I should have a lipstick of my own. I was to pick one from any brand I liked. I ended up choosing Chanel's Rouge Allure Gloss in 16 Extase which I am sooo happy to get. Much happier that how I would have felt getting Lustering for myself.

Okay, so why on earth am I telling you these stories? Well basically what I am trying to say is that sometimes we spend too much time and effort clutching and holding on (with a death grip) to things that we think we need when in actual fact we don't.

It is not limited to physical things either. Sometimes we hold on to memories, anger and hurt that does nothing for us. It's hard to let go of things, emotions and principles that no longer work for us but I personally have experienced proof that when we do sincerely let go of the unnecessary, we will have more space to receive better things, emotions and state of mind. I plan to let go more in future in shaa Allah and I hope that these stories have inspired you to do the same.

Have you ever had to let go of something you thought you never could and discovered that you were better off without it? Do share your experience in the comments section below.