Saturday, January 25, 2014

Counting Down To CNY: Your 7-Day Calendar Towards Fabulousness

[As published on HERE]
It’s only one week to Chinese New Year, have you done all your preparations? We’ve got some tips on how to get through the festive season looking like a million dollars! Read on to find out.

Days left: 7
Start an intensive night-time beauty routine
Now is the best time to get the groundwork done. Put your stash of sheet masks to good use – each night after cleansing, apply one and leave on for 20 minutes. Brands like Etude House, My Beauty Diary, Sexy Look and Naruko are budget-friendly options that hydrate your skin without weighing it down with that gross, sticky, slimy feeling. Follow with your usual moisturiser. Bonus: save the essence at the bottom of the sachet for your hands and legs!
Beauty tip: Every three days, exfoliate skin gently and deep-cleanse with a clay mask before applying the sheet mask. This removes excess gunk and product buildup so your skin glows.
(Clockwise from top left): Tony Moly Latte Art Milk Cacao Pore Pack (RM69.90), Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (RM105), The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask (RM69)

Days left: 6
Make time for simple exercise 30 minutes a day.
Keep your figure trim and toned throughout the festive season. This is a habit that can be extended way beyond Chinese New Year, so if you’re gonna start exercising, why not start now? We highly recommend Blogilates and XHIT Daily, where you’ll find a motherload of exercises that match your ability and stamina. Even if you’re a beginner, don’t worry. You can start with simple stretching exercises or weights (to tone those arms!).
You can also check out Blogilates’ founder, Cassey Ho’s blog for more tips on how to train mean and eat clean without bulking up.

Days left: 5
Do a trial run of your CNY hair and makeup.
This is especially important if the first day of CNY is huge affair with lots of visitors and photo-taking required all day long. The classic look is practically fail-proof; black eyeliner with lashings of mascara (waterproof, of course) and shimmery gold eyeshadow to accentuate your eyes, plus bright-hued lips of red, pink or orange.
gold eye shadow
If you’re going for a more Korean-inspired look instead, remember to define your eyebrows well and blend away any harsh edges with brow powder.

Days left: 4
Moisturise your skin from head to toe every evening.
Nothing is more unflattering than dry, flaky bits on your arms and (especially) legs, so make it a point to moisturise your skin after showering each evening. If you’re feeling a bit lazy (like me) and don’t fancy greasy moisturisers (like me), try this godsend: Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser (RM16.88). It’s applied after cleansing with soap or shower gel, and then rinsed off.
What you get after that is soft, velvety skin without the goop, though the somewhat slippery feeling does take a little getting used to when you rinse off.

Days left: 3
Going back home? Pack only what you REALLY need.
If you’re making the commute back to your hometown, here’s a tip for a smoother journey: pack less clothes. Studies have shown that we only wear 20% of the clothes we pack for over 80% of the trip. Limit yourself to one pair flats and heels each, and bring along separates that can be mixed and matched for different looks. That way, you won’t need to lug a full suitcase back home, which leaves you with more room for yummy food and snacks from home on the way back post-CNY. Which reminds us…

Days left: 2
Fight the temptation to scoff down CNY goodies.
CNY 2013 calorie count guide
As delicious as they look, Chinese New Year snacks and cookies are a deadly killer. That juicy piece of bak kwa (pork jerky) you’re eyeing? Well, you and I know that one slice is never enough. And then after that come the evil pineapple tarts and melt-in-your-mouth Nestum cookies. Before you know it, it’s 500 empty calories (or more) down the drain. 500 calories = one meal. You do the math. To put things into perspective, here’s a helpful infographic by health aficionado Linora Low:

Days left: 1
Moderation is the key to a perfect CNY figure
Reunion dinner is a perfectly legitimate reason to eat, drink and be merry, but a word of caution: eating too much will result in a bloated tummy the next day – not good (especially if you’re planning to wear a body-hugging cheongsam)! Here’s how to enjoy the night without regretting it the next day:
  • Don’t start dinner on an empty stomach. Snack on a piece of fruit to keep the hunger pangs away while waiting for everyone to arrive.
  • Drink soup first. Fluids full you up considerably, so you’re less likely to gorge on those tempting deep-fried prawns slathered with butter sauce.
  • Pace yourself. Sample a little of everything without heaping your plate full. For instance, take one slice of roast duck instead of three, and if you can, skip carb-laden dishes like rice or noodles.


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