Change of Style – where do you start?

If you asked me what change creates the biggest difference in your appearance, I’d say it’s your hairstyle.

Why hair?
Your face is the focal point of communication, so you should do whatever necessary to draw positive attention to it. Isn’t it true that the most obvious change others notice in us is our hairstyle? Let your hairstyle be one that speaks for you.

Why change?
Change moves us out of a rut. Change is required to adapt to new environment, expectations or whatever situations that trigger it. The right changes can bring about positive outcomes, such as giving us more confidence and improving our image.

Be warned however that some of us take it positively but others might not, depending on the risks involved. And I’m sure that many of us agree that changing a hairstyle is high-risk! However, if necessary, it must be made.

What do you mean by a hairstyle change?

A hairstyle change is a change in your existing way of styling of your hair.  This can be achieved by a new cut, a perm, or just a different way of styling, or having a new colour or colour style.

How often should a change be made?
As often as necessary. That depends on one’s work, position, lifestyle, individual style preferences, fashion consciousness and time and monetary resources. The same factors apply to the style you choose as well.

Photo credit: jkmodel from

If you’re thinking of making a change, ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I need a change? Why?
2. To what extent am I willing to change?
3. Is the change for long term or is it just something strikes my fancy right now?
4. How serious am I in maintaining my new style? – consider the cost, time and effort involved in maintaining certain hairstyles. Talk to someone familiar with such things.
5. Do I know a hairstylist whom I can trust? If not, do my friends know anyone like that? Search actively for someone you feel comfortable with.

“I’ve done the assessment, and I’m not  game enough for a drastic change. What should I do?”
Get a new hair colour. Get highlights done too! That’s relatively low-risk and if done well, the results are extremely flattering. Good colour is done in the salon – I’d advise you to treat yourself to a good salon colour and see what it can do for you.

Changing your hairstyle makes a lot of difference to your appearance even though it isn’t the only component in individual style.

What homework can I do to prep myself for the change?
Go visit some of these sites:

Have fun!


Good websites to check out!

I read various websites and blog frequently for reviews and research.  After being inspired by two of them, I decided to link you to 2 of them so that you can learn from them too!

For Men:

Kino Wear – Fashion Simplified

This is a blog by 2 MALE Image Consultants.  Image is for men as much as it is for women!

For Women:

Viva Woman – Natural beauty inside out

Read the site for lots of reviews and information on fashion, beauty and skincare products.

From Viva Woman, I found this wonderful article “How to Turn 12 Garments into 80 Outfits”.  Check it out!

Thanks to these writers who are so generous with their knowledge!

Cleansing – Don’t skip this step!

This is the second of a series of recommended skincare routines for individuals.  They apply to both men and women because we all get the same assault from the sun and the environment.  For you men out there, read on to learn a little more about your skin, and you’ll find that looking after your skin isn’t a lot of trouble at all.

As a makeup user, I have to testify that the cleansing step is THE MOST important thing to do.  Without proper cleansing, your skin can’t possibly absorb the ‘benefits’ of the products you put on your face. 

A good cleansing routine removes the makeup, sunblock and dirt on your face.  

‘But I don’t use any makeup,’ you say.

Well, think about this: dirt, pollutants and all types of things you don’t see stay on your skin whether you like it or not. The sebum (‘oils’) secreted by your skin and/or the products you use on your skin help these particles to stick. Even the skincare products that you apply should always be properly cleansed away each day anyway.

Step 1 –  I use a creamy (more emollient) cleanser or a cleansing oil to first remove my makeup and then followed by a mildly foaming cleanser   (eg. Clinique’s Liquid Soap / Neutrogena’s Liquid Cleanser).

Cleansing Oil for makeup removal

Step 2 – After removing makeup, use a mildly foaming cleanser.

Mildly foaming cleanser

This routine, called double cleansing, helps to thoroughly remove any surface dirt accumulated on the skin.  And it’s done at the END of the day.

How much should I pay for my cleansers?

Cleansers aren’t meant to be expensive. And they don’t need to have lots of special hyped-up ingredients since you’re flushing them down the drain anyway. And no, your cleanser doesn’t need to match your entire line of skincare products from a particular brand.

One thing to note: cleansers shouldn’t leave your skin feeling tight. If your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing, your cleanser is too harsh for you.

If you have dry to very dry skin:  AVOID  foaming cleansers altogether. USE milky cleansers instead.

Morning:  Creamy cleanser (for dry to very dry skin) or Mildly foaming cleanser (for normal – oily skin)

Night: Double-cleansing = creamy / oil + foaming

Pictures are for illustration purposes only.


A Basic Skin Care Routine

As a beauty therapist, caring for my skin is something I MUST do.  The difference between being an ordinary skincare user and a person more educated on the ins and outs of skincare is knowledge, a few skills, and more knowledge.

Knowledge liberates me.

The more I learnt about skin care, the freer I became.  Not to buy what I ‘like’, but to be freed to buy what I (not what the counter girl says) need.  I’m also freed from the need to spend money on products that I don’t need; and learn to make more economical purchases.  (However, I have at many times of ‘weakness’ bought products I liked, not those I needed!  But aren’t we all guilty of that? 🙂

For those of you who are still learning this, the main skin care routine (for both men & women) consists of the following:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Exfoliant
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunblock

You need more or fewer products depending on your skin type, the concerns you have and to some extent your gender.

I’ll cover more on skincare for men and women in the future posts soon.

I like this picture for a skincare advert.  Spot anything?


The ‘Body’ Issue

An blog article I read a couple of days ago resonated with me and I thought I’d share it here.

Many women have issues with their bodies.    And much as we’re told to let poor self-image go, we’re constantly inundated with pictures of society-accepted proportions for women.  Since large numbers of women dress for men, comments made by men are positively powerful or devastating.

Women – we need to appreciate ourselves, embrace our ‘un-standard’ features and proportions graciously and look for ways to feel better about ourselves.

Men – make positive comments about women and keep negative comments to yourselves.  If you could only ‘see’ the impact your critical words make about a woman’s body, you’d likely not say it.

Here’s the link to the article I mentioned: “The Body Issue”

The Body Issue

And another one on Gok Wan, a Brit-born Chinese Style Guru,  “From Geek Boy to Chic Boy”

Happy reading!


True Colours

You take a double-take as you walk past a store. Something calls your name. “Ahhhh….” You see a shirt in the style & design you’ve been looking for! You check it out.

‘Style’ – Check.

‘Cutting’ – Check.

‘Size’ – Double Check (Perfect!)

But wait a minute…. ‘Colour’ – eerrrr……

5 colours. Well, it’s 4 TOO many colours to choose from.

You like them all. You look in the mirror, holding up one colour after another….. doing some sort of comparison; but they all look good.

Your brain begins to do its work….. “This blue and pink are hard to match. I don’t own many such items because of that. This red is SO nice but it’s a bit bright…not sure if I can take it. The purple is good too….”
Oh, your brain hurts because it hates making such decisions. You settle for black. A safe colour, you say, and it’s slimming too!

You walk out of the store with another black item to add to half of your wardrobe in the same colour – just to be safe. But somewhere in the back of your mind, fleeting between conscious- and unconsciousness, you wonder how long it’ll be before you can break out of the colour rut.

  • Do you want to be confident in your colour choice? Not just stay ‘safe’?
  • Do you know that there is a way for you to determine what your BEST colours are?
  • Are you ready to learn and discover other colours that can look fabulous on you?

If you want to feel confident the next time you choose colour for clothes, come and talk with me. After I have analysed your unique colouring, you will get a Personalised Colour Swatch containing 45 of your best colours in various shades in a convenient palm-sized pack. Take it with you when you shop for clothes, accessories, glasses frames, and even your home deco! You just need to compare the colour of an item with a similar colour in your swatch to see if it flatters you or not! Simple!

Today might well be the day you begin to make wiser colour selections and save money, time and stress whenever you shop for clothes.


Image Essentials for Men #4 – The Guy, The Gentlemanly Behaviour and The Girl Part 2

This post is a continuation of the previous one on The Guy, The Gentlemanly Behaviour and The Girl.

Let’s take a look at some common courtesies that are great but need to be delivered with care.

  • Opening the door – opening the door to a restaurant or an entrance is considered good manners.  But it’s not necessary to get out of the car and hop to the passenger side to open the door for a female friend you’re picking up.   (In fact, while we’re on the subject of opening doors, it’s only good manners to hold a door slightly longer for the person entering it behind you.  And if a kind stranger is holding the door for you, please say thank-you and hold it open for yourself and whoever comes after you.  Don’t expect him to keep the door open for you and your clan!  It’s rude! )
  • Pulling out a chair to seat a female friend –  If the occasion calls for it, do it.  Usually such occasions are formal dinners where you’re expected to bring a guest.  In this case, she’s your ‘date’ for a purpose.  Then you do that out of courtesy and display of good etiquette.  It’s strange doing it for a regular female friend.    However, in some casual situations, you may find that you need to locate enough seats for you and your companions, female or male.  By making the effort to get enough seats for everyone there just shows that you’re considerate and well-mannered.  You’ll score extra extra brownie-points with the girls too!  So, yeah, do that!
  • Ordering food for your friend without asking her first – this is a great gesture when you’re dating a girl or showing a keen interest in her.  It shows that you’ve taken note of her likes and dislikes and you’re letting her know that you care.  However, if you have no romantic interest, avoid doing that.  You might be misleading her.
  • Paying for the meal – The general rule is this:  if you’re the one inviting, then you pay.  However, bear in mind that some women have a tendency to think that the guys are the ones that should pay, so be prepared.

Girls + Guys:  I personally feel that it’s important to let the man be the one who pays FIRST, but the woman should offer to pay her share after.

Guys: When a girl offers to pay her share, it’s ok to accept it but you might want to round the figure down.  Splitting the tab to the exact dollar and cents is rather petty and un-gentlemanly in this regard.

So, what does paying for the meal say about gentlemanly behaviour?  It’s ok to do that, but do make sure that it does not mislead her into thinking that you’re paying for her (particularly if you do so very often) because you have a romantic interest in her.

So where do we draw the line?


It’s worthwhile knowing that women are attracted to men who give them security in various ways.  And showing ‘gentlemanly’ behaviour often has that effect.   So, before you set out showing more than you should, think about what your behaviour means in the local context.  Will your female friend misinterpret your actions?  Are you leading her on?

What is gentlemanly behaviour that doesn’t give the girl the wrong message then?

  • Being polite and showing good manners to everybody, not singling anyone out.
  • Showing interest in everyday things, and avoiding issues on personal relationships and problems
  • Being helpful but not necessary to go the extra mile
  • Keeping clear boundaries physically and emotionally

The most gentlemanly behaviour is…..constantly assessing what your behaviour means in the context of your friendship or relationship; and presenting nothing more than the most considerate side of yourself in any given situation.