My Bullshit Beauty Secrets

There are two things wrong with this post.  

First I am no Angelina Jolie, so i really have no business telling you my "beauty" secrets
and second, since I am telling you in a blog- it is not really a secret innit?

But, that out of the way, I am inspired by other beauty bloggers out there who share the products that make them pretty.  So, bear with me as I prattle on with mine.  This is going to be one egoistic post.

Maybe, some of you will relate but -
There are days when I wake up, look in the mirror and say- 
"Damn I look good!  I think i will spend all day outdoors as bare as Gawd created me so I can inspire mankind with my beauty."
And during those days- I have no secret worth sharing.  I just woke up that way, can't help it, sorry.

But then,  in my fort"aherm"cough cough  years of experience, I believe that only happened twice.  
First time is the day my braces were taken off and second is the time i met the lurv of my life long long time ago.  Stupid guy still don't have an idea we had a relationship in my head.  But i digress...

Most days, I wake up and say- gawd I look like shit.  

It is for those days that this post is about.


Ok, some background.  I have a sister.  She is the pretty one.  

Together, we are like Kylie and Dani Minogue if Kylie were a bit uglier (just a bit)  and Dani is damn cocky.  So really, I have no problem being the intelligent one- it was a given.
By request of my sister, I publish here the proof.
me in yellow, sister in blue.
Then in uni, my friendgirl had a crush on one of the varsity football players who trained in the same field as the women's varsity team.  So we both tried out for varsity football team and got accepted (i specialize in hurting the other team's star player).  Which gave way to bodybuilding, sprinting, basketball- as all varsity players tend to play together a whole lot of sports.  

In short, i got really fit.  Fit enough to enter the bodybuilding contest (but didn't- i backed out, i was then bikini shy).

And really- if your face is so-so- with a fit body- it compensates for a lot.
So i suppose, first secret is-
1. have enough vanity/reason to overcome laziness to exercise
Also as I am not the pretty one- i don't fuck around so much with my hair (just shampoo and occasionally some conditioner) naturally dried, not much combing, no perming or those fancy treatments- and whoah! my hair got to be really beautiful - so beautiful that it became a stuff of legends and that now,  i am looking for a manager for my hair.  I swear- here is proof.

Yup, that's my hair- hamming it up for the camera.

So, second secret is-

2. Don't fuck so much with the hair.

With both body and hair working for me,  I think i have the illusion of being pretty.  I find that hard to believe- and i think somehow, incredulity is also attractive.
Who amongst you can relate- you meet a handsome guy who is sooo aware that he is handsome and somehow it is a turn-off.  
Or take Kiera Knightley (a pet peeve of mine), doing her "Look at how ethereally beautiful I am" pose at the red carpet.  As in c'mon!
There would be times though when i start to believe that I am truly pretty.  Whenever that happens- a truly attractive girl strides by- to shatter this belief.  

Which leads me to the conclusion.  Beauty is relative to company.  

If I hang out with non-supermodels, then I can be freaking Ms Universe.  So, my gameplan was- avoid being seen with super models.

But as luck would have it, my greatest friends have always been beautiful women.  
Because- women who make an effort to be pretty are hell better company than women who keep convincing themselves that there is heroism in being ugly.  

So i would rather be with good company and have my beauty ego in check rather than with self sacrificing heroic fuglies and be Ms Galaxy.

So, my fumbling conclusion leads to the 3rd beauty secret-

3. Beauty is nice but not when you have to rub it in.  So, don't take it too seriously.

Ok, so enough with these useless secrets.  
Alas I am not born pretty and I need help.

The next step is to acknowledge the problem and that you want to do something about it.

So here are my problems- (sorry to bore you- but this will explain why i use what i use and that they might be something not for you).
  1.  I only have half an eyebrow each side.  
  2.  My nose hair is longer than my eyelashes.  Not that I have long nose hair but I have practically non-existent lashes.
  3. My eyes are blah.  
  4.  My lower and upper  teeth are edge to edge. (Normal people will have their upper set of teeth slightly protruding than the lower).
  5.  I have chin like "Guy Smiley" of Sesame Street
  6.  My skin tends to discolor with exposure to dirt, sunlight or to whatever freaking thing there is outside my bedroom.  And in a bad way- that it looks like eczema. 
But, it is important as well to see what can offset the downside.  These are mine-
1.  I have a good nose.  Thanks to my great, great grandfather who decided to  breed across continents.
2.  My lips aren't bad either.  If Jolie's lips were ruler of an intergalactic spaceship, my lips will be one of her commanding officers.  (Note to self, work on my humility).
And so, here are my beauty secrets that I spend money on.

For the facial skin- i do not use soap or moisturizer.  Really.

What I use is an oil based makeup remover/cleanser.

I lather it then wash it off.

Sometimes, when i need, I use scrub (a cheap generic version of the buf puf) but only occasionally.  I don't do facials.  But if my skin seems blah, i treat myself to hammam.

Result is- face clean of even the more resistant make up and soft.

Voila- one product.
Does it work? Well- In the industry, we have a super-advanced skin meter that can tell your skin age.  My skin age is 20 years younger than my biological age, so go figure.  But of course it helps i do not seek out the searing sun on purpose, i do not smoke or do drugs, don't drink hard liquor (just fermented alcohol-wine, champagne or the belgian beer-Kriek) and i sleep a lot.

When I say in the "About Page" that I need 14 products to look natural- that is so freaking true.

But I will have to disappoint some of you that I will not name brands- my focus will be on the texture and application as in really- these are beyond brands.  

Also, those of you who are experts may have to skip this - I am sure you will know better.  
It is only a matter of curiosity perhaps which BS i do and do not buy into.


FACE (My face zero)
1.  Non pigmented make up base (Sometimes a primer, sometimes a tinted moisturizer).
2.  Concealer under eyes and where needed.   (liquid works best) the trick is in the blending.  I do not rub, i tap lightly.
3.  Liquid blush- on cheeks, nose bridge, forehead.  Also tapped, not rubbed.
For these first three steps, the secret is in the blending.
4. A powder base to set make up.   
The secret is in the control of amount applied.  Loose powder and pressed powder are trickier to control.  I find that easiest are those which are baked.  But if you are an expert in application, any powder, whether loose, pressed, extruded or baked should do.  Also, the bigger the brush applicator, the more even the result. 
5. Powder Blush (optional)
EYEBROWS (My specialty)
6. Eyebrow wax (sometimes in pencil format, searching as well for moustache wax which should function just as well and should be cheaper- any recommendation from fellow bloggers welcome).  They tame the existing brows in place.
7.  A hard taupe fine tipped eyebrow pencil.  To individually and lightly line additional brow strands.  There are micro tipped ones out there- i prefer those for finer point.
8. A taupe eyeshadow used to fill in gaps.  Applied lightly with chiseled brush.
9. A light beige eyeshadow applied at the browbone to create illusion of lift.
10.  A neutral light brown base over lid
11. A powdery black eye pencil OR
for more drama- a liquid eyeliner, applied ala Callas.
12. (Curlash, of course) One coat mascara ( False eyelashes for extra POW when needed)
13. Invest in a really good lip balm (not those waxy Body Shop ones)
14. Lipliner applied throughout lips (these create an even naturally tinted look).  Shade is nearest natural lip color if only a tint darker.
Well I have addressed most of my flaws except for my Guy Smiley chin.  But I have learned to embrace it.  By now, I even convinced myself it is attractive.

But then if after all these, I still look crap...

Then I resort to the ultimate answer,

the one big beauty secret that we have in the industry...




This photo is nicked from 9gag


  1. This post is an experiment to sharing more personal experiences of mine. Not sure how it will go down and your comments are welcome.

  2. haha hilarious. I have hope yet, I am 20 and have not yet had a single "damn I look good" day. I figure I can maybe manage 2 in the next 20 year.


  3. I get the occasional 'dam I look..... like I wont scare children and small animals today' days, but mostly its a 'DAMWHATTHEHECKOMGWHATISTHAT' day. God bless the x number of steps routine to a natural look.

  4. Rowena, this is totally offtopic, but I think your blog should be made into a movie! You know, like The Devil Wears Prada, and your character would be a mix of Miranda Priestly and Andrea! I'd go see it and buy the DVD! =D

  5. Awesome post! :D Love the end of it, hah! I'll be searching for few products you mentioned. I just hope I find good ones. :)

  6. Guy Smiley is an awesome dude, and having any feature of his would be an honor.
    Except those googly eyes.

  7. I love this post. Thanks for sharing a little more of you. I love the dish you spill on the beauty industry, and also love that you opened yourself up more in this post. Thank you so much for that.

  8. Big thumbs up from me. I think by the time you're 30, you get the face you deserve, and people who are nice and funny seem more attractive.

    Totally agree on the hair - the best hair is when you work with what you have rather than trying to fight nature and flat-iron the heck out of it.

  9. AWESOME post. You do have kickass hair for the record.


  10. still beautiful, ikaw pa rin nag-iisang reyna ng ME dept. :-)

  11. @ jbrobeck - Thank you for the encouragement! Phew!

  12. Hi Georgia!
    If you will put on braces, you might be able to guarantee yourself one- heehee! Here is to those naturally beautiful days to come! Please make sure to announce it here when it happens me like to know:-)

  13. Hi Sultry Red! Haha- i have a lot of those days too!
    Fortunately, my overconfidence forms a beauty shield and saves me everytime! You develop the beauty shield by repeating in front of the mirror- Damn, it's a sin to look this good!

  14. Hi Elisa Mala!
    Haha- don't get me started! I already have a choice of who to play me!

  15. Hi Ulmiel!
    Of all the products I have mentioned, it is the cleansing oil that i only found in one particular brand as I do not think that European brands believe so much in oil.
    So, try to look at Japanese brands to start with. And please share here if you find cheaper alternatives:-) I am sure normal oil is ok but alas, I am also prone to buy into the BS!:-)

  16. Haha Erika- That is also what I tell myself. If anything, I have to work on my overconfidence. :-)

  17. Hi Applepark-
    Oh thank you!!!!!
    I will try to be more open but in moderation (only to the point of interesting). The only thing i tend to share in the past is my ovulation cycle which is Eeeeew! haha!

  18. Hi Grace London!

    First of all, i lurv your blog. And damn right, there is something about funny people- a quality that is so f*ckable!
    Yeah- those flat iron things, i don't get it. But you know what- all my life I have wanted an afro. (I have 3 afro wigs, still have to find the ultimate afro).

  19. Hi Yvonne-
    Thank you!
    Oh dear, your comment is not helping me in my quest for humility- heehee.

  20. Hey Joey!!!!
    I am glad you read my post and you commented in behalf of male-dom. Yes, I am the one and only queen- in my head. haha!

  21. Hi Rowena,

    I like this post! Your posts are always enjoyable to read. But really, u don't use soap or moisturizer ? What's the reason behind? Is this another topic you are going to share with us?

  22. Hi Rowena,
    Just read this post..had a bloody busy week at work.
    Loved all you said!!
    I do have the occasional day when I say..I fucking look a million dollars but I don't say it out loud as it sounds as if I reckon myself of something. I guess it also has to do with my "female" cycle because there are also days that no matter how much make-up I put on or what I wear..that I feel crap and very unattractive.
    Luckily there are more fuck I look good moments that the fuck I look sh**! :-)
    Keep the posts coming....

  23. Hi cathy Lee!
    Thank you! I did enjoy writing it.
    It is true, i do not use them. But it took me some time and experimenting to find the regimen that works for me.
    Now that you have mentioned it, I think will write something on this.

  24. Hi Mercedes!
    Thank you for the kudos.
    But fuck, you DO look good and i say you should say it loud.
    Modesty is not a virtue in my book.:-)
    And btw- I lurv your blog!

  25. Loved it - hilarious as usual! PS in a bottle!

  26. Hahah, loved this post! So honest and as a fellow Asian I have to agree on pretty much everything you said. I rarely use any beauty products. And I love the days where I wake up and go 'shit I look goooooooooood' although it's rarely happening.

  27. Some of us have no choice but to mess with the hair. Some of us were born with kinky, fine, awful hair that breaks the second it sees heat. Or human touch.

  28. Oooh, please do write about your non-use of cleansers or moisturizers! I want to know what makeup remover you use...

  29. You crack me up woman. As far as those fugly days, I don't think anyone is ever as hard on us as we are on ourselves.Ditto on the no soap thing. Not in my entire life. These days, I either use unscented baby wipes or jojoba oil to get my make up off and a vitamin E oil as a moisturizer. It seems to be working. Although I'm dieing to know what your skin machine would say about the age of my skin, few people guess my correct age because at 54, I am only now starting to get some fine lines around my eyes. My eyes are definitely my best feature so I work them, lol. Even at my age I go nowhere without at least a dusting of powder and full eye make up. It may be natural (not often, lol) but it's there.

    And your Mom is beautiful.

  30. Thanks K! PS works everytime!

  31. Hi Mai- Yes, asian has its advantages- we look 22 forever, until- BAM! We are 50 and we look 50! A few more years I have!

  32. Hi Redshoes-
    Oh i feel your pain but you will not believe this- i have always dreamed of having really kinky hair! But I am such a coward i have not dared to perm mine. Instead I own afro wigs, I have 3- the Diana, the Roberta and Foxy. I still am in search of the ultimate afro- the one that cannot pass through an ordinary door.

  33. Hey Arianne-
    I suppose I could, but heck if i do that, i would like that company to pay me with lots of samples and footrubs for the promotion!
    I do not have the discipline of some of the bloggers that I admire out there who can wax poetry on a product out of love. Which is why I avoid it altogether. Let me see how i can get out of the moral dilemma of this one and then i'll just pop it on you. Deal:-)

  34. Hi Sandi-
    Oh my mum will glow with all the compliments I am sure! She could use a little cheering up.:-)
    It took me sometime to find this routine (yes, i had to go through learning by experience even if i know the BS by theory:-( and what can I say?
    Simplicity is the answer. Glad to have you back- I missed you!

  35. Rowena,

    I stumbled across your site when my friend Mariella posted about it on her blog (MusingOnBeauty). You and I share a somewhat similar background (I worked in beauty- though on the retail mgmt side- for years and now freelance, mainly in advertising). I'm loving how you're sharing a point of view that many are too intimidated to talk about.

    I completely understand why you don't list brand names (brand name doesn't matter- that's just the point, right?) and even why you're loathe to suggest certain ingredients (marketing can always be skewed) but I have to say I think some specifics recommendations could help support and clarify your message.

    I've seen you emphasize texture and usage more than ingredients and brands, which is great, but at the same time, it can be subjective; what you may consider waxy, greasy, hard, etc...another person may not; it's all relative. I'd love to see a little clarification (ie. "look for a product like , or "look for a product with at the top of the ingredient list").

    Having said that, I totally respect your point of view and desire not to appear a shill. I look forward to reading more on Beauty and the Bullshit (great name, BTW!)and you'll definitely be seeing more comments from me in the future! :)

  36. Oh I would love it if you did Rowena. Even more. ;)

  37. Hi Jessica!
    Thank you for the thoughtful comment!
    As the blog born out of boredom really (and some negative emotion as spite perhaps) is getting more popular, i am getting these wonderful suggestions on improvement which means i have to really take this blogging seriously or just fuck it altogether.
    I still come from the blogging old school where I think blogs should be liberal (and with a topic like mine- hell it should). Best solution to explaining textures from experience is to photograph them. And as I have been trained in cosmetics, i am quite a bitch on photography. And so, finding solutions, please bear with me in the process.
    Though i call bullshit when i see it- i leave it to the reader to decide for herself. So yey to your strong querying mind!

  38. Hi Arrianne-
    Hmm... I think I might have found a way where I can name names and still live with myself.
    Hang in there gurlfriend!

  39. I tried out your idea of lip balm, then lipliner applied for a natural tint-amazing.
    Why chuck money for my Dior Serum de Rouge when the same effect is easier to recreate, and without the dreaded sinking-into-dry-lines effect?

    1. Glad you tried it! I am thinking of doing video blogs to be able to demonstrate this better. Building up the courage. Cheers!

  40. Hi Rowena! I just found out about your blog last night and it was just phenomenal! Just would like to check with you how you maintain good skin? like you have a skincare routine you may want to share with us?

    And lastly, do you buy this hype for BB Creams? THanks so much!

    1. Hi Bluerose!
      Glad to have a new reader, welcome and hope you stick around. I do not post often but when i do, i try not to waste your time or mine- heehee!
      Oki, how do i maintain good skin? Aside from the "secrets" i just said, i would say responsible sunning and lots of sleep.
      Hmm.. BB creams.. let me do a post on that. Stay tuned!

  41. Oh my god, this is so cool, I looooove your blog

    1. Oh thank you Jamilya! I hope you stick around and sorry for answering just now.

  42. Hey, great blog, but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me please?

    1. Hi Marie Taylor!
      Big butt secrets, what a cool niche idea. I am forever trying to transfer my blog to wordpress, and will perhaps iron out this problem altogether. Thank you for the word of appreciation.


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