Skincare and hydration has always been a thing in my family. If I think back on my childhood, I can just picture my grandma and her old school Oil of Olay moisturiser. Even in her sixties and seventies, she would always be sure to moisturise her face then after solat Zuhur, she’d put on some bedak sejuk. Her makeup remover was cold cream. Skincare products back then were different, it was more about natural stuff like bedak sejuk. Anyway, it obviously worked for grandma since, in her eighties, people would always mistake her for being in her sixties.
My parents started putting moisturiser on me when I was about three. That was more about battling the cold weather in the UK, where we lived. The one we used was The Body Shop Carrot Moisture Cream (discontinued). We all used it, even my sister who was a year old. For me it was a bit of a necessity because I have eczema and asthma and so my parents always made sure to slap on the Carrot Cream before heading me off to school. This practice actually helped my current belief when it comes to skincare which is that hydration fixes everything. Acne, aging, whatever… the root of the problem always turns out to be a lack of moisture so if you just moisturise well then everything should fix itself.
But my mom is the most influential in my life when it comes to beauty… She was actually the one who convinced me to start wearing makeup. I didn’t want to at first, because I thought it wasn’t necessary. I believed that well if you’re pretty then you’re going to look pretty no matter what, there’s no need for makeup. But my mom was this huge beauty junkie and a total product hoarder. So I started uni without wearing any makeup at all, then one day she suddenly confronted me and was like “you’re not just going to go out looking like that?”. She convinced me to at least start wearing lip balm, then she’d take me out to go beauty shopping with her and she’d recommend things like “oh that palette would look good on you” and bought my first foundation for me. We still have our beauty shopping excursions to this day— like we’d go into a Watsons or something, and I’d buy something for her and she’d buy something for me.
But the first makeup item I ever bought on my own— without mom’s help— was this Maybelline Watershine lipstick. It was all the rage back then because it was like the first lipstick which actually looks like a lipgloss when you put it on. This was way back then, when lipgloss was popular. I recall the face at the time was Josie Maran, and I was like “oh my god, I love her!” So I just had to have it. Then only after that did we have Siti Nurhaliza and all that.
The makeup looks that I like to do really depends on my mood and the effect I’m looking for on a certain day. Like if I’m looking to kick it up, give my eye a bit of a twinkle— then I’ll put some shimmer on my eyes, usually with the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of shimmer in the day time. I don’t really stick with any single palette, I grab a colour from a bunch of different palettes and mix it up. Like, I really love Revlon eyeshadows. Rimmel has some pretty colours but they are so powdery and don’t stick well enough. Maybelline shadows are also okay but their eyeshadows are so haphazard and random sometimes! The colours in one palette can be like langit dan bumi, they don’t harmonise. Oh, NYX is also really good! I have this huge kit— the NYX 35 Colors Makeup Kit Palette— which I love. It’s actually a makeup artist’s kit, and it comes with all the blushes and bronzers and even its own lip palette. But they do have a lot of shimmers which I’ve mentioned before I’m not a big fan of.
The one makeup item which I do not compromise ever is eyeliner. I started off with pencil eyeliner, just like everyone else but then one day in uni I saw this movie— I cannot remember what movie it was— where there were these girls getting ready for a slumber party and I recall one of the girls just pulling her eyelid taut and zapping liquid liner on like zap! So I bought one for myself and copied what she did, and I became known as the best liquid eyeliner applier in my class. It was my trademark, basically! One time I tried going out with just mascara and everyone asked me “what’s wrong with your eyes? Are you sick?” and when I told them I was just wearing mascara they were like “oh no no no”. I still get it today. If you’re the type who wears eyeliner all the time, whenever you go without everyone is going to ask if you’re sick. So the greatest liquid eyeliner ever— for me— is the Maybelline Hypersharp Liquid Liner. It is the best EVER. The top of the tops. Nothing can beat it, not even markers.
For foundations… I hate foundations! I use the Bio Essence Aqua BB Cream, which you can wear with any makeup and it will look flawless even if you sweat. Actually it looks better if you sweat, like you get this glow that seriously makes you look so flawless. I don’t know if they still have it or if it’s been discontinued but.. if you find it, buy it. For powders I use Pixy. I can only use Pixy! I can’t ever find a colour which really, really suits me. Like what is this obsession people have with looking putih and pink toned foundations? Come on, we are sawo matang okay! We have langsat coloured skin! So until brands fix that, it’s going to have to be Pixy… but even that is starting to get a bit cakey on me.
Now that I’m working on TV I basically live my life in makeup. It’s really helped me to differentiate between stage makeup and makeup that’s supposed to be worn outside. Actually this is something I’ve known for a while since I started dancing. For performance makeup, you need to exaggerate but for makeup that’s meant to be worn in real life you’re just supposed to enhance— not create. That’s what I don’t understand with people nowadays, all the excessive contouring and makeup that looks like you’re on the way to a photoshoot! I have to wear makeup everyday and when I see someone looking so dolled up to go to class I just feel… why do you need to do all that? Maybe having to wear makeup all the time makes you lose the mood for it. Getting your makeup done professionally everyday sounds like a dream but the truth is when someone else is doing your makeup you’re just sitting there, staring at the clock.
The worst part is trying to get it all off. I used to use Ponds Cold Cream to take off my makeup— that’s all I used in my early days with Awani. But after a while there was product buildup and I started getting breakouts. So then I tried out Maybelline Makeup Remover, which I still think is brilliant. It was my holy grail for a while but then once again— product buildup. But I can’t deny that it is the best makeup remover ever. I still stick to that for removing eye makeup but for the rest of my face I made the switch to Simple Makeup Wipes. It’s good, but it can only do so much plus wipes don’t last long. I actually cut them up so that they’ll last longer.
But now I think I’ve really found my makeup remover holy grail— Biore! I first discovered the Biore Cleansing Oil, then I found the Wipes and then there was no turning back. It just takes everything off with no effort and doesn’t harm your face. I have one in my bag no matter where I go so that after work I can immediately remove all makeup— like, I’m just driving and removing makeup at the same time. I just want to be completely clean by the time I get home, so that I don’t have to spend so much time in front of the mirror and can immediately start kissing my kid! Some of my friends just use baby wipes for removing makeup and I think… No. Baby wipes are for babies!
Other than that I wash my face with St Ives Apricot Scrub, unless I’m using Simple products. My moisturiser is Simple, too— the Simple Moisturising Lotion. I never use toner, because it’s too harsh and like I said I have eczema so I’ve got sensitive skin. Also, I use this Wild Ferns Bee Venom Serum for treating my face. I don’t use it everyday, just maybe two or three times a week ‘cause I sayang and I’m not sure when I can get a new one. So I only use it during emergencies, like those days when you feel your face is looking droopy. Especially when you’re old like me. People are always like “oh you’re not old yet!” but no. It starts from now, so I do all I can to treat and prevent. This serum isn’t even that expensive— if you’re used to drugstore prices then yeah it can seem expensive but come on… it’s an investment!
But my main skincare philosophy is to never follow other people, and only to stick with what suits you. So it doesn’t matter if other skincare products have like gold extract or whatever, I know what works best for my face. I think I’ve done a good job so far, anyway, because my doctor says that it’s amazing that I have eczema all over my body but not my face. So yeah, I feel really blessed.
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