I'm glad, of course. The print version of Fabulous Magazine is available for download here (you'll have to flip to page 42 in the online version), but the article has also been republished online, also under the same title, Globe Trotting Glamour. So do take a look at it if you can! (I've uploaded a pdf version of the entire article here.)
Now, while I'm always happy for any press coverage (even when sometimes they steal your photos and don't bother to credit you correctly), the thing about doing such pieces is that you never know how the final article will turn out. Of course, this is to be expected, since every publication has its own editorial and advertising requirements. While I enjoyed reading the final article that went to print, I thought it would be a good idea to include the original list of questions that were emailed to me, as well as my answers, because I think it might be pretty interesting for some readers who want to get a glimpse of the editing process, or who just want to see the original transcript. I've left out the "What is your name/How old are you/What is your job"-type questions since if you're a regular reader/follower I imagine you'd know, so I've taken the liberty of jumping straight into the meat of the interview - the beauty-related stuff! (Also, I'm not a senior government officer, although I am a government officer...there was slight mixup between my job title and description. Oops!)
So here we go, no further ado:
Why did you decide to write and create your beauty blog?
My blog, Of Faces and Fingers, was started in 2009, when I was in University. It seemed like the perfect amalgamation of my interests in writing, photography, and, of course, beauty products. Most of my real-life friends aren’t as crazy over beauty products as I am, and were tired of me boring them to death with details of my favourite lipstick or the eyeshadow I just bought, so I took it online! Fortunately there was an online community of like-minded beauty fanatics, so I felt at home there. On my blog, I chronicle my experiences with beauty products – what worked for me, and what just didn’t. I make it a point to be honest, even if it’s a less-than-favourable review.
What is your skin type?
Sensitive, oily and acne-prone – the worst kind! It makes me very picky about skincare and some types of makeup, especially foundations and blushes.
What is your make-up style? Please give an overview
I’m up for trying any style once! But on a day-to-day basis, my look has to be office-appropriate. I usually go for neutral eyes with a pop of colour on the lips and cheeks – it’s a very fresh-faced look that’s universally flattering on everyone.
What is your skin-care routine? Do you do anything or use anything in particular?
Since I have sensitive skin, I’m choosy about skincare products. I love Cetaphil cleanser, as well as The Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Day Cream. I also like Biotherm’s Aquasource Moisturizer for Oily Skin. Another one of my staples is also the Vitamin C Retinol Antioxidant Moisturizer I get online from Natural Skin Shop.
Do you find women of your country of origin do anything/use anything in particular to keep their skin looking tip top?
In Singapore (as in Asia) there is a lot of focus on having glowy, young-looking skin. So skincare, especially brightening or whitening serums, is very popular. Sunscreen is also a product that does well in this market – here, manufacturers race to have the product that can claim the highest SPF value! I’ve seen sunscreens with SPF values of 130+, as consumers tend to think that higher SPF equals more protection. I actually wrote a blog post on sunscreens and how SPF value can be misleading as a measure of protection for uninformed consumers.
What the one beauty trend that Asian women really buy into?
Blemish Balms, or BB creams – it’s a huge fad here that has slowly been making its way over to the West, although I’m not totally convinced about the skincare benefits of BB creams. Most of them are formulated with lots of silicones, which may not be so good for skin that has silicone sensitivity. A couple of them even have ingredients lists that read more like a typical foundation than a skin-healthy product.
What is the one concern that Asian women have when it comes to their skin and make-up needs?
In Asia, girls want to be as fair as possible – the whiter the better! Over here we have lots of whitening creams, lotions, dark spot correctors, and even pills you can ingest that claim to make your skin whiter. This is in contrast to the tanning salons and self-tanners that I see lining drugstore aisles in the West – you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single tanning salon here (if you do find one, it probably caters to expatriates and foreigners).
Do you find beauty brands (which ones?) recognized the need for asian shades and tones when it comes to make-up?
Asian skintones can be tricky to match foundation to, because Asian undertones aren’t really the same as Caucasian undertones, and a lot of brands don’t always successfully reproduce Asian shades. Due to this, Asian girls find it hard to discern their skin undertone and hard to find foundation matches. I actually have a blog post on undertones for Asian skin, showing how to differentiate between cooler-toned Asian skin and warmer-toned Asian skin, and it has remained one of the most popular blogposts although it was written 2 years ago.
That said, generally, brands which have a wider range of shades in their foundation range tend to have better matches. Chances are, if a brand has just 3 or 5 shades of foundations, it’s not going to cater for some types of skintones. MUFE in particular has a very large shade range that would be able to suit most skin shades and undertones. In Asia, Lancome also has Asian-specific skin shades in their foundation range, so although the colour range is slightly smaller, it’s a well-edited mix of colours.
What are your top three make-up products and why?
1. I always like a good concealer that doesn’t break me out – most concealers tend to irritate my skin. I personally like Prescriptives concealers, especially their Anywear Makeup Stick and their Flawless Skin Total Protection Concealer. Sadly, the entire Prescriptives line has been discontinued, so I’m using my backups carefully. For girls with less sensitive skin, I recommend Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer, as well as Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage.
2. I also love my lip products! Lipsticks and lipglosses make up the bulk of my collection – I keep them in shoeboxes because they won’t fit on a countertop. But I digress. I personally like Revlon’s Super Lustrous lip gloss YSL Gloss Pur, as well as Chanel Glossimers. I also love NYC lipsticks – they’re cheap and have a nice texture.
3. Lastly, but certainly not least, I’m going to clue you in to my ultimate makeup secret: silica powder spheres! I love generic silica powder spheres, as these are great for oil control, and give a nice matte-but-natural finish. The best thing about this is that it’s cheap and easily available – I get mine from a wholesaler, and a bag costs me a few dollars and lasts me for years. I’m still on my first bag after 3+ years – I’ll let you know when I run out! There are various ways to use silica powder, but I like mixing in mine with my loose face powder for easier application.
What are your top three skincare products and why?
1. Sunscreen is important – it’s the skincare that’s probably more effective than any lotion, potion or jar! It’s much cheaper, and proven to actually work to prevent signs of aging caused by sun damage. I have to admit, I don’t understand girls who spend large sums of money on anti-aging creams, but don’t use sunscreen – it’s like they have it backwards. I like Avene’s Very High Protection Spray with SPF 50+ as it doesn’t aggravate my sensitive skin, but any kind suitable for face use will do.
2. A good moisturizer is essential. Different types work for different skins, but I personally like and use The Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Day Cream and Biotherm’s Aquasource Moisturizer for Oily Skin as good basics. For more power-packed moisturizers, I like Natural Skin Shop’s Vitamin C Retinol Antioxidant Moisturizer, as well as their Vitamin C HA Peptide Serum.
3. Lastly, you need a good makeup remover. I can’t stress this enough! My skin is a little sensitive towards mineral oil, so my personal favourites are the cleansing oils from DHC and Fancl, as they don’t contain mineral oil, and emulsify and wash off easily without leaving much oily residue on your face.
What are your top three hair care products and why?
I’m not particularly fussy over haircare – I just buy whatever is on sale in the drugstore and use that! Fortunately I don’t have major hair/scalp issues, and I don’t treat my hair and I don’t style it (believe it or not, I’m a hair virgin – no dying, colouring, straightening, or perming ever), so my hair fortunately is very low maintenance. I just wake up in the morning, run a comb through it, and that’s it!
And that's it really! Here's a screenshot of the page I'm featured on, in case anyone wants to take a look! You can see some difference between the original email questions and the final print version, but I'm not gonna complain, since it's tough work cramming all those questions into a tiny column. And of course, doing this was a little bit of fun for me! It's definitely cool seeing stuff you typed end up in print.