4 Steps to a Flawless Face with Laura Mercier

Nobody was born flawless. Part of beauty, to me, is embracing your flaws.

But on the days we really need to look our best (for some people, that’s everyday) we can still strive to attain that enviable near-perfection look, with Laura Mercier’s signature 4 Steps to a Flawless Face!

When fashion and beauty insiders are asked to name one of the most talented makeup artists today, without hesitation it’s Laura Mercier. A world-renowned painter-turned-makeup artist, Laura is known for her trademark ‘Flawless Face’ and her makeup line that enables you to achieve your full beauty potential.

From concealers that go virtually undetected to foundations that resemble second skin to glosses that leave your lips with a just-bitten glow, Laura’s cult favorite collection has an uncanny way of becoming so intrinsic to your daily beauty routine, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Laura Mercier’s 4 steps to a Flawless Face are, Step 1: Prime The Skin. Step 2: Apply Foundation. Step 3: Apply Concealers. Step 4: Set With Powder.

Armed with my Laura Mercier make up & brushes, I’d like to share with you girls how I turned my ordinary, uneven complexion into one that has a seemingly flawless finish that looks surprisingly natural!

Here’s me, barefaced. Loud and proud! To be real honest, I actually don’t mind showing people my naked face from time to time, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to look my best the rest of the time.

Let’s start!

To start off we have Step 1: Prime The Skin with Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer, which minimizes the look of imperfections, and enhances my make up wear throughout the day. I opted for the one with a radiance formula because I like having that extra touch of healthy glow. An overly powdered or matte face is unrealistic and can look as if you’ve piled a lot of make up on, so adding some a soft glow will keep it looking healthy, instead of pasty.

To better demonstrate the full potential of Laura Mercier’s products, I asked my soul sister & make up artist friend, Marie Soh to doll me up! Isn’t she gorgeous? These steps are actually very easy to achieve on your own, but I decided to ask for her help so that it would be easier to see the steps in pictures – I don’t have to fuss about posing or snapping the pics!

Next, is Step 2: Apply Foundation.

Once upon a time, I had a stigma against foundation, thinking all foundations looked too artificial. But of course, that’s not true, as I have found out. It’s all about finding the right product that’s suitable for you, and using the proper application technique.

Seen here is Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 20), which is a hydrating formula with buildable coverage that successfully evened out my skin tone and glided on my face effortlessly. It feels like second skin thanks to its moisturizing properties. Always blend in towards your hairline and down towards your neck so it doesn’t look like you have a face mask on!

There’s something immensely satisfying about Step 3: Apply Concealers, making those dark eye circles fade away and skillfully hiding those pesky blemishes. We tested out Laura Mercier’s new release, High Coverage Concealer, and it truly lived up to its name! My panda eyes were now almost non-existent!


We also used Secret Camouflage to eliminate my reddish pimple marks, which worked like magic!

I always make it a point to conceal around my lips, too, because natural darkening occurs and I find brightening up the area helps “lift” my smile!

Did you know that you’re not supposed to use the same concealer for under eyes and the rest of your face (other dark areas – usually around the mouth – and concealing reddish blemishes)?

For the under eye, you will need a more emollient formula like High Coverage Concealer or Secret Concealer to reduce the appearance of fine lines and brighten the area whereas Secret Camouflage is only meant for the face. The highly pigmented concealer and dry texture requires very little product to achieve a natural coverage that does not cake. Creamy concealers will not be ideal for inflamed, red areas.

On top of that, the undertones for concealers should vary according to the areas of your face to balance the color properly. This explains why Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage comes with two-toned pan. It allows you to custom-blend the color and tone according to your discoloration, blemishes and redness.

For an extra boost to my tired eyes, Secret Brightening Powder was gently dabbed on to set the concealer under my eyes, making me look livelier instantly! You can also use this on areas to be lightened and brightened but never to set on the entire face.

The last step, Step 4: Set With Powder, is one not to be overlooked.

Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder is extremely light-weight, translucent and an essential step to prolonging your make up wear. This is really important for us ladies in Singapore, where the humidity is soaking wet every single day and it feels like our entire face might melt off in the afternoon.

Unlike usual practices to set makeup with brushes, Laura believes using a Velour Puff to press the translucent loose setting powder into the skin will “marry” the powder with skin to most effectively set and prevent foundation from “sliding”. To do this, saturate the Velour Puff with the powder and gently press the puff in a rolling motion to work the powder into your skin.

It also helps to:
1. Prevent your T-Zone from appearing oily halfway through the day
2. Reduce the smudging of your make up
3. Keep hour make up looking fresh until night time
4. Reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pore size and other imperfections

The different types of powders Laura Mercier carries include:

1. Translucent Pressed Setting Powder: Translucent Loose Setting Powder pressed into a portable compact for convenient touch ups and travel
2. Invisible Loose Setting Powder: Talc-free, zero color pigments, so it disappears upon application for an immaculate finish
3. Invisible Pressed Setting Powder: Similar to Translucent Pressed Setting Powder, pressed into a portable compact for convenient touch ups and travel
4. Mineral Finishing Powder: Ideal for setting mineral formulas and liquid foundation,
5. Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder: Eliminate shine and control oil, with a mint green tint to correct redness. This is also ideal for touch-ups throughout the day!

With such an extensive range to choose from, you’re probably wondering.. which one is perfect for you?!

Loose powder is suitable for oily skin, as it contains oil absorbing ingredients that can offset stubborn shine. It is more finely milled than pressed powder, and offers a barely-there look. However, as loose powder containers are bulkier than pressed powders, it is often used at home instead of being carried around as it can get quite messy.

With pressed powders, it is slightly easier to control the amount of product you apply as it is mess-free and compacted, perfect for touch ups on the go. Due to the stronger pigments you would want to be a lot more careful and light handed with pressed powders.

If you have oily skin that tends to mess up your make up as the day goes on, you’ll fall in love with Laura Mercier’s Secret Finish product. It’s a make up artist favorite which comes in two forms:
1. Original - for normal to dry skin – provides a dewy finish or if the makeup looks too matte, it can help to make it look more natural and 2. Mattifying - for oily skin – controls oil and helps makeup looks fresh. Suitable for touch-ups, no need for powder touch-ups. 


Squeeze a pea-sized amount of the product on your fingers, lightly rub with both hands and pat on areas around the face that requires touch-ups.

Andddddddd, voila. I’ve completed Laura Mercier’s 4 Steps, and I look so much more ready to take on the world than just before!

No more patchy skin tones or listless looking eyes. You wouldn’t have guessed I was actually sleep deprived. This is without any other make up on, except those stated above. If you like to keep the look minimalist, you can stop here and go about your daily activities feeling confident and fresh-faced. But since we’ve gotten ourselves this far… why not just go all the way? You’ve already created the perfect canvas for the rest of your make up!!

Fill the brows, tightline those lids, add a pop of lip color and the last touch – romantic lashes, and we’re all done!!! What do you think of the look?

It is different from my everyday look, but I love the flawless finish, it’s as if I’m glowing. It’s very put-together, yet light enough for everyday wear. In fact, I wore this make up all through the night, till about 10pm, and it did not budge at all, proving to be extremely long-wearing and suitable for ladies who want to look fresh from morning till evening.

Head down to any Laura Mercier counters (Robinsons Orchard, Takashimaya and TANGS Orchard) to find out how the award winning Loose Setting Powder can set your makeup flawlessly, and receive a 5 day trial size Flawless Face sample after a short consultation when you mention “Shiberty”!
Also, stand a chance to win a gorgeous Laura Mercier Hamper worth up to $400 when you share your consultation experience on Laura Mercier’s Facebook page.

Laura Mercier is available at Robinsons Orchard, Takashimaya, TANGS Orchard and all Sephora stores.

T&C apply: Redemption starts from today to 15 Jul (Tue), one per customer. Limited to first 50 customers per counter and is not valid at any Sephora stores. Facebook contest closes on 15 Jul (Tue). Applicable for Singapore addresses only.

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Thank you Laura Mercier for giving women everywhere the right tools and tricks we need to achieve a Flawless Face, and for letting me meet your national make up artist Alexandre Cianco at the Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Event! He managed to convincingly demonstrate the effectiveness of the newly launched High Coverage Concealer on my angry looking TCM cupping marks, which everyone present that day was impressed by.  
Other thanks:

Big thanks to my wonderful friend & make up artist, Marie Soh of mariesoh.com, for doing a fabulous job with this look! 
If you noticed the pictures in this post are more professional looking than usual, your sharp eyes have discovered the talents of Samuel Ng of Pixioo Photography - thank you for the great shots, even though your forte is in prewedding & actual day shoots!

Till my next post: stay beautiful, girls!
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Pork Belly Kimchi Stew

You know what I love eating on a cold, miserable rainy day kinda evening?

Kimchi stew. It makes any rainy day instantly okay. But of course, if it’s cold and miserable outside, you won’t want to leave your comfortable, dry house. …So, I didn’t. I stayed home and made my own kimchi soup / stew instead and boyyyy, was it good! Too good not to share. First off – I am not very knowledgeable about Korean food, so this may not taste like the best kinda authentic stuff, but it’s damn well good enough for me, and I reckon I have pretty high (or snobbish, depends how you look at it) standards for food so I urge you to give this a go.

My favorite Korean foods are the BBQ meats, seafood pancake, and of course.. kimchi stews! Unfortunately, kimchi stews are quite pricey if you order it in a restaurant, and I never understood why. Soups must be one of the easiest and cheapest foods to cook at home. I love making soup. I love it even better when it’s hot and spicy kimchi stew! There’s something about kimchi that’s very appetizing. It’s crunchy, chewy, spicy, sour, and almost a little sweet… literally a burst of flavor in your mouth.

I felt compelled to share this recipe, because literally anyone can make it. I always hesitate to post recipes that are too complicated. For this pork belly kimchi stew, even a hopeless cook in the kitchen could throw these ingredients together in a pot, then magic happens!

Ingredients (4 serves):

  • 500g kimchi, with juice
  • 300g sliced tofu, firm or soft to your preference
  • 200g golden mushroms / your favorite asian mushrooms
  • 300g thinly sliced pork belly / you can replace this with, or add on beef slices or chicken meat
  • half a medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tom yam stock cube
  • 1 chicken stock cube 
  • 1 liter of water
  • a splash of sesame oil, black pepper & spring onions for garnishing
  • steamed rice or instant noodles to your preference

Directions: 

  1. Bring a medium pot filled with 1 liter of water to a boil, then pour in the kimchi, onions, tom yam and chicken stock cubes while stirring, then let the soup simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Taste test your soup at this point. If desired, water can be added to dilute the taste, or the soup base can be left to boil for a further few minutes to intensify the flavors. Kimchi stew is known for its very strong flavors.
  3. Once satisfied with the soup base, add into the pot your mushrooms, tofu and meat, cooking on medium to high heat for another 3-5 minutes, or until meat is properly done.
  4. If eating with noodles, I recommend turning OFF the heat, then adding your instant noodles to the pot, as it will cook very quickly and will continue to cook through as you are serving & eating it. Soggy noodles are awful, so be very careful with not overcooking them.
  5. Serve your kimchi stew very hot in a stone or thick bowl if you have one, and don’t forget to add your garnishing on the top! 

It’s such a simple recipe, but it’s the classic and fuss-free ones like this that I find myself going back to time after time. When you cook often enough, it’s not about what’s the best meal you can whip up for your taste buds…. it’s more like, “what delicious thing can I create with leftover ingredients in the fridge”, or “what if I only have 30 mins to prep and cook?!”  

I do like eating my kimchi stew with al dente instant noodles instead of rice, however, it’s important to note that if you’re having it with rice, you would want the soup to be thicker and more heavy on the flavors than if you were to be eating it with noodles. I used golden / enoki mushrooms, but really you can also add in shiitake mushrooms, shimeiji mushrooms and it’ll be absolutely wonderful. I just used whatever I had on hand that day, and that’s my style of cooking. If I had more meats, I would’ve also thrown in some chicken sausages and other random ingredients in there too.. have you heard of a Korean army stew before? ;) I like that concept of “anything goes”.. into this pot of soup. If you like it more spicy, throw in some cut chilli, and if you like it really sour like my boyfriend does, I recommend you adding vinegar for that extra acidic kick. I followed the recipe I’ve given above without adding anything extra, and I loved it the way it is. You can really decide to include, or omit any ingredients to your own liking for soups like these, because they’re so easy to handle and adjust!

There you have it: your own soul warming pot of kimchi stew!

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P.S – It’s come to my attention that some people have been re-posting or re-distributing my recipes online without my permission. This is quite dismaying to learn of. I only post original recipes from trial and error ways in my own kitchen, and I work hard to bring you guys interesting content for your enjoyment. So I hope you’ll have enough respect, or morals, to include a link back to this blog / post or insert due credit when sharing my stuff online. Thank you!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Blackmores Go Green

When I think of trusted vitamins & supplements to enhance your overall health and well-being, Blackmores comes to mind. My mum has been encouraging me to take their supplements since I was a kid! She still regularly does.

“For over 80 years, Blackmores has combined scientific evidence with traditional knowledge to offer people a more natural approach to health. As a company and as individuals, we strive to make a difference in everything from the products and services we offer to our commitment to environmental sustainability. Blackmores is not just a leading healthcare brand. We are a company that cares for the environment and the community. Therefore, in everything we do, we seek ways to respect nature, minimize our footprints & to give back to the community.”

You can make your pledge every day to increase your chances of winning and you can make a few pledges at any 1 time. Watch how Singapore city skyline turns cleaner with every pledge made!

I’ve made my pledge already, so don’t hesitate to do the same on your Facebook now.

Most people don’t like to think about environmental problems, but it’s an issue that we should all think very long & hard about, at least from time to time. As responsible citizens of Mother Earth, we should play a role in ensuring a brighter future for the very planet we live on. This planet has been our home for as long as we’ve lived, and will house our children, our children’s children and many more generations to come… Or at least, that’s what we think. Honestly, with how the world has been going about its relentless polluting ways in recent years, everyone should be worried about our Earth’s future. Are there still going to be nice beaches for your grand kids to visit in the future? Or would every beach in the world eventually turn out to be a pathetic wasteland filled with washed up trash?

There’s so much pollution and waste being contributed every single second of the day. So many habitats of animals being destroyed, deep sea trawling, species of flora and fauna going extinct, the sea getting more polluted by the second, our air getting thicker, darker and more filled with unhealthy pollutants. It’s an unfortunately depressing list that keeps going on.

You, or I, alone, cannot change the world.  But YOU can certainly change the way you live your life with minimal effort, and if only everyone made a small little step towards trying to conserve the Earth everyday, what a grand difference it would make after some time! It’s optimistic, yes, but what is life without a little hope? We can’t all just turn a blind eye towards this situation and pretend it’s not happening, can we?

How do you start on your Go Green journey?

Blackmores Singapore is making it easy and rewarding to do just that.

Head on over to their Facebook page to choose a simple green pledge, and stand to win your share of $1,500 cash + $3,000 worth of Blackmores products.  When they achieve 5,000 pledges, they will unlock Eco treats! Blackmores New Eco Krill Vanilla 1000mg will go on 50% off for a week (UP $62). They won’t stop there though – at 10,000 pledges, they will conduct an eco-initiative by planting more trees for a greener Singapore! More than just a healthcare brand, Blackmores strives to care for the environment and the community.

Blackmores Singapore is now also providing exclusive Go-Green Packs, available at Watsons, Guardian and Unity. Each Go Green pack is at an exclusive promotion of 70% OFF second item. Plus, it comes with a $5 gift voucher and a Blackmores recycle bag which you can use for grocery shopping in order to reduce wastage of many plastic bags. Going green can be as simple as Plastic has become the world’s most common material since the beginning of the 20th century. Dozens of millions of tonnes of plastic debris end up floating in world oceans.

Selected Go Green Packs, Glucosamine 1500, Buffered C, Evening Primrose Oil and Omega Daily are available at Watsons, Guardian and Unity.

An eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive, or difficult. In fact, you can often save money while conserving resources, too. Here are my own personal 10 Go Green tips you could adopt in your everyday life that will end up making a big difference in sustaining our Earth:

1) Using reusable containers, such as food storage and water bottles. Why buy a bottle of water every time when you can simply pack one from home? It’s cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly. 

2) Water is the most important resource in the world, yet its importance is commonly overlooked. People like us, who live in first world countries, take clean water for granted, because it’s cheap here. There are hundreds of thousands of human beings in this world that do not even have access to clean drinking water. I never understood people who leave the tap running while they brush their teeth, or girls who take excessively long showers. It’s completely unnecessary.

3) Support companies that make the effort to do green businesses. Products that are derived from fair-trade, or sustainable methods. Blackmores operates on sustainable fishing methods. Read more about it here

4) Avoid wasting food. Whenever I cook, I would turn leftover roast chicken meat into chicken sandwiches the next day, and using the bones to make soup, etc. Especially when I prepare meat, I make sure none of it goes to waste, I always remind myself that an animal had to give its life for my enjoyment of the meal.

5) Turn off your computer and lights when you’re not using them. I used to leave my computer on for days, weeks, even months at a time because I always couldn’t be bothered to turn it off. Now I make sure I turn it off every time it’s not in use. And remember to turn off your lights when you’re not in the room!

6) Recycle! If you have to buy a plastic bottle outside, at least drop it into the nearest recycling bin you see. I reckon the world should have a recycling bin as commonly as we find trash bins around. 

7) Donate your old or unused clothes instead of throwing them away. I do half yearly massive clean ups of my closet and cosmetic drawers, giving things I don’t need or use to friends and the Salvation Army.

8) Use cloth towels instead of paper napkins. Running a small cake business actually produces an alarming amount of waste. Instead of using paper towels, we make the effort to wash cloth towels instead, and re-use our “waste” in any thinkable methods.. Turning cake crumbs into cake pops or trifles, re-using my baking paper for more than one bake, etc. 

9) Buy re-chargeable batteries – I do this for almost all of my gadgets. It’s convenient, and will save you money in the long-run, too! 

10) Unsubscribe to snail mail newsletters. Don’t you hate opening up your letterbox every week and finding more trash and junk mail you don’t want bother reading? Me too. You can opt to NOT receive these newsletters, which produces an alarming amount of wasted paper every day!!! Choose the e-mailing option instead.
“Going green doesn’t start with doing green acts — it starts with a shift in consciousness. This shift allows you to recognize that with every choice you make, you are voting either for or against the kind of world you wish to see.

When you assume this as a way of being, your choices become easier. Using a reusable water bottle, recycling and making conscious daily consumer choices are just a few…”

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess
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