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.

MY FOURTEEN STEPS TO NATURAL

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.

EYES

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)

LIPS

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