How time flies and it’s already halfway through 2012. Has this transformational year been special for you? For me, I embarked on some major life changes and felt a calling to attain a higher spiritual connection – which I am doing via my daily yoga sessions, meditation as well as an escape to a spiritual village in Bali.
Still on the transformational note, technology these days have enabled us to pretty much change anything we don’t like about ourselves physically, without going under the knife. We reveal all the various ways you can turn back time in our De-Ageing Special – showcasing over 20 treatments to make you brand new and erase years off your face and body! We also assign our very lucky writer, Kristen, to a head-to-toe makeover with top aesthetic doctor, Dr Elias Tam. Follow her transformation, starting from this issue and over the next four issues of ABG!
And, speaking of change, we have some very exciting announcements to make – ABG will be going quarterly from next year onwards and we are also bringing the experts closer to you with ABG Insights – a series of workshops organised by us.
Here’s to looking good inside and out! Enjoy the issue
If you have always desired to be Snow White (without the circus of dwarves), but do not want to put your skin through excessive peeling (Obagi) or lasers, a tomato (not an apple), may be your antidote. Crystal Tomato is a revolutionary health supplement made with specially-grown tomatoes that are naturally-rich in colourless caretenoids, making them one of nature’s most efficacious whitening ingredient.
The result of 10 years of research and development by laboratories in Israel (and we know how advanced in technology, Israelis are), these precious tomatoes contain a high concentration of colorless caretenoids – Phytoene and Phytofluence, which have been proven to benefit skin and improve its clarity. I won’t bore you with all the scientific data and charts. All you need to know is that these two will increase protection of DNA and skin cells against oxidative and UV damage when you have them in higher quantities in your skin…via the consumption of Crystal Tomato. This supplement also contains L-Cysteine, an amino acid which already exists naturally in you and this helps to maintain the structure of proteins in your body and promotes healthy skin by encouraging collagen formation.
What’s great about Crystal Tomato is that it not only has the ability to lighten dark skin and pigmentation, such as acne scars and age spots on your face, it also works to lighten marks on your body, including dark underarms! This supplement is safe and approved by HSA (Health Sciences Authority) Singapore. In fact, one of the scientists behind Crystal Tomato, is Dr Alain Khaiat, who is an advisor with HSA and president of Seers Consulting who provides consultancy services to several regulatory authorities and associations in the areas of Cosmetics R&D and Safety Evaluation.
Crystal Tomato is marketed and distributed by Gromark Consumers Enterprise. It retails for $169 for a box of 30 caplets at selected clinics. For a list of stockists, contact Gromark at 6253-4388 or email [email protected]
“Ageing is optional” – This is the tagline of newly-opened aesthetic clinic, DERMACARE™ Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, which prides itself on three values – safety, results and luxury.
Located on the fifth floor of ION Orchard, this urban retreat is perfectly catered for sophisticated clients who can be dropped off directly outside its entrance, allowing them immense convenience and privacy in accessing the clinic. Be pampered the moment you enter the clinic by their in-house concierge, where you will wait in the plush private lounge and be served refreshing beverages such as juices, organic teas, including Bird’s Nest! You will also be handed your personal iPad where you can browse the web or check out DERMACARE™’s very own app which showcases all their treatments and you can even watch videos of their procedures in this interactive app.
DERMACARE™ Aesthetic & Laser Clinic offers a comprehensive range of aesthetic, slimming and luxury facial treatments – from HydraFacials to Ultherapy, to cater to your every discerning need – marrying medical expertise with the highest standards of quality and unparalleled luxurious pampering.
Stepping into Fivelements, with its lush greenery and secluded location, has an immediate calming effect and I gulped down the fresh air with relish. Made up of only seven exclusive suites, this is just what city dwellers like me – who are sick of crowds, maddening traffic and endless skyscrapers, need. Here, you get the soothing sound of water from the Ayung river which surrounds the entire resort and monitor lizards for company. Even the rooms are designed to ensure that you leave all your modern living habits behind with no television and worktable for you to set up your laptop. But with a view of a beautiful waterfall in front of my room, who needs Facebook?
I was invited to partake in a water blessing ceremony by a Balinese priest to “cleanse my spirit” and prep myself for the array of treatments that have been customised for me based on a questionnaire sent before my arrival. First up, a Balinese Boreh which consists of a full body massage with virgin coconut oil followed by a cinnamon coffee scrub. This treatment is meant to relax and cleanse my body so that I am “pure” and ready for healing. I count myself to be a spa veteran but I was completely blown away by the skills of Ayu, my therapist. She turned me into putty with her strong yet soothing strokes and I had to fight to keep awake just so that I could experience the full massage!
Fivelements embraces holistic Balinese-inspired therapies administered by traditional healers using ancient wisdom passed down from their forefathers. I was booked for a muscle release massage with Pak Pangat, one of their resident healers, the next day. He managed to seek out knots hiding deep within my back and gave me a vigorous massage that made me feel like I had just done yoga. Besides these healers, guests can choose from an array of spiritual treatments that incorporate meditation, breathwork, aura protection, metaphysical healing, TCM and chakra balancing. Also in my healing programme, a Macha Tea and Clay Detox Cocoon, an anti-aging treatment to tone and detoxify as well as their signature Fivelements Super Food Facial which uses delicious homemade products such as Bali-grown neem, pineapple serum, aloe vera, spirulina and seaweed. These products looked and smelt heavenly and I was lulled into a state of oblivion by my therapist’s expert touch.
I am a foodie so even if my mind and spirit are appeased, I will turn into a monster if my tummy is not. Thankfully, that was not the case here with Fivelelement’s award-winning raw and organic restaurant. Here, they have turned food into art with tasty concoctions designed to nourish the body. Whether it is a healthful breakfast of Tofu Florentine, Super Food Smoothie made of organic cacao, maca, goji berries and bananas or scrumptious dinner of Live Lasagna encompassing layers of zucchini with almond cheese and fresh vegetables, every meal was a delight for all my senses.
It is the little touches that have wowed and created an indelible impression for me here – from starting each treatment with a floral foot-bath and reflexology, hot ginger tea with lime served post-treatment, energy balancing with my therapist before starting my massage, spirulina shot after my facial, cool cucumber water served at the restaurant and piped in spiritual music in my room, just to name a few. Fivelements is just what the doctor ordered and more, and I left the resort feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!
Room rates start from SGD 712++ (approximately USD 475++) per night while treatments cost from SGD 127++ (approximately USD 85++) for a 90-minute Balinese massage.
I’m at the age where I get excited by any product with the words anti-ageing or youth in it. Sad I know, but this is the fact of a woman’s life as she grapples with the ageing process. So naturally, I got my granny knickers in a twist when I received an invite from The Body Shop about the launch of their new product, Drops Of Youth – in the form of an oh-so-cute terrarium plant. On top of that, the event was held at the new The Marmalade Pantry at the Stables, which I’ve been wanting to check out.
It was a great event where we heard testimonials about the product which is made from plant stem cells harvested from criste-marine which grows on the rocky Brittany coast. Why this plant? It was selected as this succulent plant is able to thrive in the most dry and in-hospitable climate, sustaining itself by drawing nutrients from the air surrounding it. On our skin, this organic anti-ageing potion is said to enhance surface skin renewal to reveal smoother, fresher and healthier skin. It is to be used together with your serum, or added to your day and night moisturizer to give a surge of hydration and kick-start the cell repair process. Launched island-wide yesterday, Drops Of Youth is retailing for $58.90 for a 30ml bottle.
Verdict: The concentrate is lightweight and absorbs easily into my skin without any sticky residue. My face feels more supple and does seem more luminous. While I am not looking like an 18-year old adolescent yet, I did get mistaken for a 25-year old recently (I’m actually 35 years old!).
I’ll leave you with some pictures from the Drops Of Youth media launch:
Healthy yummy cuisine customized by The Body Shop
Green tea x chocolate dessert
What do you think of youth-enhancing concentrates? Do they work?
It’s a given that you will look pre-pubescent instantly when you go for a Brazilian wax. Talk about anti-ageing on speed!
And, there’s no better time than now to do so – Strip has partnered with PETA to offer their signature service at only $40 (U.P. $58) and donate a $1 for every wax done. I’ve always liked being bald down there as on top of looking like a 12-year-old schoolgirl, it just feels great to be smooth (just ask my hubby!). Strip is the de facto place I head to as apart from being anal about their hygiene, it is also “zip zip zip” fast, to coin a phrase from popular TV chef, Rachel Ray. Comparing their wax to food is quite apt here as the waxes offered are yummy strawberry and chocolate. In fact, they smell so good that you will wanna smear it all over your body.
So, go naked than wear fur this Christmas and do your bit to help the animals too! Promotion is applicable for first-timers only and valid till 31 Dec 2010.
Lately, I have become obsessed. Obsessed with living well, eating right and yoga. I live, breathe and eat yoga and you will find me every morning at the yoga studio holding a challenging pose.
Some people ask me if this mindset is a conflict of interest to my work which extols aesthetic procedures to the masses. I beg to differ. To me, they go hand-in-hand as doing aesthetic procedures is all part of looking after yourself – maintaining your looks as much as you can, and giving yourself a boost in areas that Mother Nature forgot or Father Time took away.
In this issue, we offer a more holistic approach to looking good with a special feature on spas as well as a blow-by-blow account of what happens at a detox resort – something I’d highly recommend everyone to do once in their lives. You emerge so much lighter, energetic and with a glow to boot!
You’d also not want to miss our Feel Good, Look Great section which showcases the latest technology that can hold the effects of gravity at bay! As if that is not enough, we reveal the treatments that beauty insiders use to keep themselves svelte and line-free – best of all, they are all within reach!
Also inside this issue:
Mane Event – Treatments for fuller, healthier locks
The Truth About Cosmetic Surgery Abroad – You’d want to read this before booking your appointment
Sexify Yourself – Bootylicious treatments to kick bedroom antics up a notch
Beauty Chat with Andrea De Cruz – Find out how this TV personality turned hair guru keeps herself looking great
Fillers For Asian Faces – How to correctly enhance your looks with fillers suitable for you
Look out for the magazine at the end of January 2012! In the meantime, ommmm….
Nothing ages a person more than a protruding belly. Need weight-loss help? This will make a big belly difference: Start your day with a high-protein breakfast (think eggs). This shifts your appetite into neutral, where it will idle happily till lunch. Add some fiber to the meal, such as whole-wheat toast, and you’ll curb afternoon cravings. Imagine getting halfway through a day of healthy weight loss without needing any willpower! That’s because having plenty of protein and fiber early keeps you fueled and full for hours.
Not an egg lover? Have oatmeal topped with walnuts or smear peanut butter on your whole-wheat toast. Ready to just grab the toast solo as you zoom out the door? Think again. You’ll be elbow-deep in the candy bowl before lunch.
Block Snack Attacks with Protein
If you don’t get a certain amount of protein each day, but especially in the morning, your appetite shifts into snack-attack mode. Not only do you overeat but you eat high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar snacks – the kinds of foods that go straight to your waistline and make your belly bigger.
Adults usually get plenty of protein, just not in the morning. About half get none because they skip breakfast entirely, which is another reason breakfast skippers tend to put on pounds. They haven’t eaten since the night before, so their bodies get panicky by mid-morning, wondering when/if the next meal is coming. The result? Their bodies start storing calories instead of burning them.
Successful weight loss, which includes not gaining back your hard-lost pounds, is about staying full, not going hungry. Hunger and cravings are your enemies. Feeling full and content are your allies. Morning protein and fiber? They’re your secret weapons.
In a bid to stave off aging, I have been turning my world upside down two to three times a week with inversion yoga. Yup, I am keeping wrinkles at bay by spending time on my head, forearms and hands!
Inverted poses, like the headstand, can refresh the glandular and circulatory systems, increase circulation and drainage of lymphatic fluid, and stimulate the nervous system. It also provides your face with an instant facelift! In fact, Hollywood bombshell, Eva Mendes admits that she lies upside down on a slant board for about 20 minutes before a photo shoot, or a hot date. She notes that the increased blood flow to her upper body and face brings on a vibrant, flushed-with-youth look.
Besides a radiant and glowing complexion, I also notice that my back feels really relaxed after each 90 minute session, probably because the upside down poses relieve the gravity pull on my spine, giving it a much needed rest.
Other reputed benefits of upside down yoga:
Reduce Gray Hair
Practicing headstands regularly has even been reported to convert gray hair back to its natural color. Although I can’t vouch for the validity of this particular claim, the transformation is supposedly due to the increase in blood supply and nutrients to hair follicles in the scalp.
Increase Sexual Energy
The bottom line is that a regular inversion practice can lead to better circulation to every part of your body, including the thyroid, pineal, and adrenals. This even goes for your sexual organs, which means better sexual health.
Delay Age-related Diseases
The stimulated circulation brings healthy, oxygenated blood flow to the brain, which increases mental alertness, helps to synchronize brain activity, and may help to prevent mental disorders and brain dysfunction.
Upside down yoga is not all about complicated Cirque Du Soleil-like poses. In fact, a simple Downward Dog position where your hips are higher than your head is an effective upside down pose! Who needs fancy creams and other costly beauty products that just add to your consumption? Stay young and youthful naturally.