Category Archives: Beauty

Review: Astute Clinic

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Hello everyone!

As promised, I said I would be back with another skincare post this week and here we are! :D

Alot of you have probably noticed me mentioning this clinic’s name a number of times on our instagram stories already, and some have asked me to detail more about it so this is it! I love coming here and this is why!

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1) Astute is an Aesthetic Clinic:

The number one reason, is that this place is first and foremost an aesthetic clinic. Why this is so important to me, is because I am actually being looked after by a professional skin doctor!

I know there are A LOT of beauty clinics out there. Beauticians. and so on. And this post, is not here to put them down in anyway. They have their own services and things that are good about them, but for myself personally, I feel very very assured that my face and my skin is being looked at by a doctor who is an expert in the area , who has spent years and years studying the field, working in the industry and spent countless numbers of hours looking at skin conditions and faces of all walks of life, age, race and color.

This means, when I am going in, asking for advice, I am getting information directly from a doctor, who tailors the products/skincare, and treatments to my exact skin condition. I have used A LOT of skincare and gone to a lot of places over the years and I can safely say, my skin has been in its best shape as a result of this personalized treatment. I can’t recommend you all enough to see a professional who knows the medical and science behind skin and its various conditions enough, because only then will you be getting the treatment your exact skin type and issues deserves.

Then, you combine that with this clinic’s primary and main aim on improving your skin condition/health, and how you look through mostly non-invasive techniques, cutting edge technology, and a focus on anti-ageing and rejuvenation, and you have one place that a lady like myself (who is also a mom well in her 30s, and tired from work, looking after an active child, and a job that involves long hours/late nights/ alot of sun exposure/dry air) can feel quite safe and taken care of.

2) The Doctor himself:

On that note, the doctor here, Dr Jason Yip, is very friendly, professional and takes the time to really listen and then suggest the best course of action to get your face looking amazing. I loved the fact that he didn’t rush me into a million and one products, or medication to start with, and made sure my skin sat well with the initial starting skin care set to start with before suggesting anything else. In a world where we are oversold SO many products and services, I find that authenticity like this is very treasured.

Secondly, while speaking to the doctor, observing the way he works, and also how he runs the clinic, I noticed that Dr Yip also takes the time to invest in continual learning of his field. I know this may sound strange to all of you, but I find that any professional who despite their years of experience, who continues to seek ways to keep up with the latest technology, trends, and skills, is an asset as it means you’re being serviced by someone who is passionate, and strives to be the best in their industry.

3) Medical grade quality skincare:

Now onto the actual clinic’s products and services itself!

I have to first mention that my face was an absolute mess after a series of travels and work (think, hardly any sleep, having to wear makeup every day, braving cold and dry winds and air constantly, and eating unhealthy food for an extended period of time), and it stopped responding to previous products I was using. It was terribly congested, inflamed, and just horrible looking. It was then that I decided it was time to make a drastic change. Overhaul my entire skincare regime. Because, I mean, if something isn’t working, you don’t keep doing it or using it right? So it was then that I was put on a routine with the 4 bottles you see below from Astute:

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Here is what my face looked like after just a month on their skincare, and their facial (note, I have done zero editing, and I am wearing absolutely no makeup to make sure you can see the skin in its true form):

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(click photo above to enlarge and see the skin up close if you like!)

I can actually walk out these days not wearing any foundation and powder now, and just minimal makeup.

I will detail the skincare products I used in the next post as I know a lot of you have asked about my day and night time skin care routine, but for now, just know that using products from this aesthetic clinic has been doing wonders for my face as the ingredients inside are effective and of high grade quality. Even my once a month flare ups due to that time of the month, has much more controlled.

4) Their Facials:

Ok, I have to say, I love medical facials!! I know that sounds rather clinical, but I promise you its not. For any of you who have done a facial, its much the same… BUT, the thing with medical facials at aesthetic clinics, is that they use medical grade products, and top of the line equipment.

One Friday afternoon, I took some time to do Astute Clinic’s Premier facial which includes:

1) Double Cleansing

Your face first undergoes two rounds of cleansing to make sure your skin is a canvas that is as clean as possible before any products or processes are applied. The Japanese are famous for their love for double cleansing (and just look at the condition of the womens’ faces there) and I have loved following this at home as it means the pores are extensively washed, and the crevices in your face are as free from dirt, dust and grime as possible.

2) Hydrodermabrasion

This step is basically exfoliating your face. Using a solution that cleanses and brightens your face, while ridding the skin of dead skin cells, impurities and anything else that ends up clogging and dirtying those darn pores. I loved the machine used (so gentle!!) as it felt like everything was being sucked out from my face haha!

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 3) Ultrasonic scrub 

Okay, this scrub, I have to admit was totally new to me. It FEELS like a little razor going over your face… BUT, it is completely pain free. I stress that, because I don’t know about you, but I am a total chicken when it comes to pain. I have ZERO pain tolerance (come on, I am the woman who requested for an epidural at the initial stage of labour pains because I just couldn’t handle it haha). And it was very gentle. This step helps to dislodge and loosen any stubborn blackheads and pimples before the extraction process starts (the extraction process by the way, was so gentle and thorough that I actually fell asleep at this point).

4) Iontophoretic delivery of Anti-oxidant serum

This step basically applies a serum to the skin to continue fighting impurities and toxins so that it looks bright, healthy, and free from things that can make it dull and unhealthy.

5) LED Therapy

It is at this point where a mask (that looks like a storm trooper – although I didn’t know it until I got shown photos of what I looked like under it haha) is placed on your face which emits LED lights. There will be a red light and blue light, and it alternates back and forth for varying periods to calm redness, rejuvenate the skin, and works to reduce wrinkles/fine lines. I have seen a lot of celebrities using these masks lately and have been told it also helps in calming down sun damage too (yay for me, since I’m a photographer who works outdoors a lot!). Again, there is zero pain, and you will feel absolutely nothing when its on your face.

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6) Deep Hydrating Mask

Then to finish, your face gets one beautiful cold mask to fully hydrate and plump the skin, and lock in all that moisture and goodness that your face has enjoyed. I always love hydrating masks. I find that the one thing that makes skin look really old is dryness. External dryness, and internal dehydration. So when the skin has tonnes of moisture (Im not just talking oil here. Im talking water hydration too) pumped back in, you REALLY do look much more awake, younger, and healthy.

So how does it compare to other facials I’ve done? Well, apart from the 1.5-2 hours of complete pampering and relaxation right there, as mentioned before after one round of this treatment, my congestion rapidly cleared up (and made way for the products to continue working even better than before), and I loved knowing I was enjoying some of the best ingredients and equipment available today. The facial is perfect for dull, dry, mature, photo-aged skin with fine lines and wrinkles. Suitable for most skin types. But the doctor will look at your face beforehand before recommending which facial to go for including those of you who are pregnant or expecting.

For those that asked over our instagram, the facial costs RM488 which I know is more than the average price of facials in general, but for ALL the very good reasons I stated above. I have been to alot of places over the last 10 years since working as a photographer, and think very carefully where I would hand over my money (especially at this price point, I get even more careful) on a regular basis to take care of my face (as I also have sensitive combination skin that is more susceptible to poor quality products and procedures), and I think this is one of the first places I have felt comfortable enough to do this because of the quality, the service, and the level of professionalism you are being given.

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And lastly, to end, for those wondering what the clinic itself looks like, here are some photos. The palette is neutral but warm, chic, and you really feel like you’re walking into a modern state of the art place to take care of your skin needs. How pretty is this place?? :D

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More information on this clinic at: http://www.astuteclinic.com

Alright, til the next post everyone! :D

Jenny Signoff

Why I Believe in Skincare Over Makeup

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If any of you have been watching and reading my squares on Two Threaded Poppies Instagram account, you will have noticed the large number of posts I’ve shared about skincare and the stuff I like to use to take care of my face.

Now looking at the title of this blog post, you may misunderstand me and think I don’t care about makeup. That’s not true :) Just take one glance at my vanity table at home (much to my husband’s dismay haha), and you will also know I love my makeup products. But as a woman who works under the sun constantly, sweats as a result of photographing for hours, does long late nights of editing marathons, travels on airplanes which we all know circulates the driest air around, drinks way too much coffee, and doesn’t sleep very much (or very well) as I’m also a mother to an under 2 year old, I have come to realize that a huge part of looking your best is to look after your skin for the following reasons:

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  • Good skin, in turn makes putting on makeup MUCH easier and as a result, you use less makeup (saving you money, yay!).
  • It saves you a lot of time getting ready in the mornings, or whenever you need to go out as you are spending a lot less time covering up, and only enhancing. I no longer have the luxury of taking my time to get out of the house since becoming a mother as there is now a little human being demanding a large part of my time and attention – and limbs!! Mothers, you will understand the struggle of trying to put on makeup and drying your hair while your child is hanging off your leg or crying and tugging at your clothes because your attention is not on them :P
  • Putting on more make up, actually makes your skin even worse than it was before. I remember the time, I bought a product (we won’t mention any names here), that claimed to magically make my pores vanish and hence give my face a seemingly flawless finish. And at first it did. Then after using the product day in day out (even with thorough washing and cleansing), over time my skin got bumpy, inflamed, clogged and extremely unhealthy. I eventually needed to visit a dermatologist (ie. Skin dr, people) to correct my face, and it was there that I learned that the product (and a lot of makeup actually) was clogging my pores, causing dirt and oil to be trapped in my pores, and as a result became a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

It took me 6 months, of wearing no makeup, constant facials to decongest my face, and also lots of learning from the professionals on how to look after my face so that I wouldn’t rely so much on makeup to look flawless, and they all said it starts with looking after the skin itself. And their biggest tip to me was:

  • invest more in quality skincare (and less in makeup) that fits within your budget and lifestyle,
  • and work on practicing a dedicated skin care routine every single day as a priority so that by the time you hit your 30s and 40s, people will be complimenting you on how great your skin looks, rather than how fabulous your makeup looks.

As mentioned in our post before this one, June is our dedicated skincare month, meaning I will be releasing a bunch of posts related to this part of our bodies. And just so you get a peek into what is coming, the posts will include:

  • my skincare routine
  • my top 2 places to look after my face
  • the facials I do and other things I do to maintain my skin
  • the products I love using and why
  • what I do health wise to also help my body take care of the skin from inside out (don’t worry ladies, this isn’t elaborate, as I am a time poor person myself, and promises to be as realistic as possible, because lets be honest here – none of us have as much time as we’d like, we are often too tired to exercise every day, and we are never going to be holistically healthy and doing things like cutting out coffee from our day haha)

So I’m super excited to be sharing these things with you! Hopefully you find the posts informative and helpful, and as always, comments/emails/messages are always welcome so don’t feel shy to drop us a hello! :)

Jenny Signoff

The Two Threaded Poppies Promise

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I am finally getting time to write this little blog post about the Two Threaded Poppies philosophy and belief behind sponsorships, collaborations, and product shoutouts/reviews that we put out there.

We know the Internet is a very loud and noisy crazy place these days. I (jenny), myself have days where I am not sure who to trust anymore when I see the endless amounts of influencer product placements, reviews, and other things. Jillian and I don’t like to treat our readers as stupid or naïve. I’ll say it here quite clearly, that we know a lot of influencers get paid for reviews or gifted certain products/services in exchange for media shoutouts.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this (I understand that everyone has bills to pay, and that it is not possible to make ends meet without the paid sponsorships), I just wanted to take some time out today to let all our readers here know that we here at Two Threaded Poppies have always maintained the belief that whatever we are putting out to all of you and recommending you, they are products or services we 100% believe in ourselves and will backup with money from our own pocket.

That is, most of the even if the product is sponsored, we take the time to curate brands and products that fit in line with the Two Threaded Poppies vision, and also provide the quality we know you all deserve! And on top of this, it means we will only share with you brands, products, services and things that we would actually pay with our own money even if these brands did not sponsor us.

Your trust in us matters so much, so thank you for sticking with us everyone, and we hope that  this helps to put your hearts at ease, and we hope this continues to foster trust between us and yourselves. We’re committed to continue bringing content out to you all that engages, inspires, and adds value to all of your lives in ways that are hopefully wholesome, beautiful and healthy :)

Til next post! I’m writing a series of blogs about skincare this month so look out for it! Considering I’m now well in my 30s and a mother, working and working under the sun on top of it, I hope you find the next few posts insightful and helpful! :D

Jenny Signoff

BEAUTY REVIEW: La Roche-Posay

1When you’ve picked up your dad’s unfortunate ‘bad skin’ gene, oily skin, clogged pores and acne become inevitable. That is exactly what happened to me as I entered my glorious teenage years. Although, out of all my siblings and I, I was fortunate enough to have the ‘best’ skin, it still wasn’t the greatest…

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I had an extremely oily T-zone (my forehead and nose were the most shiny) and suffered most of my pimples and acne on my forehead and chin. I had many little bumps – clogged pores – on my forehead which, whatever I tried, I COULD NOT get rid of. It was also pretty unflattering. During my final two years of high school, I was stressed out to the max and studying as much for my end of year exams – which meant eating lots of junk food and staying up late. Things that were not good for my skin. Between all of that, I tried so many different skin care products that just didn’t do the right job!

It wasn’t until Jenny introduced me to this French brand, La Roche-PosayEffaclar Duo. I think at this point, I was open to try anything to improve my skin condition. And over time I really started to see results. I’ve been using La Roche-Posay daily for the past few months now and I don’t think I can ever go back. After a couple weeks, my skin looked much healthier, it started clearing up, my T-zone reduced in shine and I was getting less pimples the more I used it. Now, I haven’t had a pimple since I started using it! Even some of my friends have commented on how clear my skin has been, as of late.

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First I apply the Effaclar foaming gel, which is the main face wash and after apply the Effaclar Duo (smaller tube) which really targets the imperfections and clogged pores (this is what makes my skin smoother and less bumpy). I usually do this routine in the shower as the steam from the water really opens up those pores and allows for the skin to absorb the face wash more easily and more efficiently.

3 4 Go grab your Effaclar’s here! I highly recommend it :)

Illustration by Jillian Sun

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BEAUTY REVIEW: Tatcha

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I’ve been wanting to write this review for the LONGEST time. How I found Tatcha was a complete random act of internet serendipity. You see, I had been given a packet of Japanese oil blotting papers from a friend, and I wanted to google the brand (which I couldn’t as I couldn’t read Japanese, nor could I type japanese or copy and paste anything), so I ended up typing in ‘japanese oil blotting papers, geisha’ (as the brand I was originally looking for had a geisha face on its packet). Low and behold, in my search results was this name that kept popping up – Tatcha. Continue reading

Apparently their oil blotting papers are THE BOMB (and yes, since then I ordered some, and tried them, and they are even better than the brand that my friend gifted me! One sheet keeps me oil free for most of the day, and my oil glands stay well behaved. They don’t scream at me and try to re-hydrate my skin with extra excess oil to compensate).

Anyhow, while I LOVE their oil blotting papers, I really want to take time in this review to chat about their skin care range. Being 32 (It’s scary saying just how old I am here :P ), and a photographer that travels constantly, it means I am under the sun alot, and exposing my skin to the horrors of airplane air-conditioning, which we all know sucks the living daylights out of our skin’s water reserves. I’m also time zone jumping alot, and working long hours so I am often very sleep deprived. All these issues combined meant that by 31, I was suffering from uneven skin tone, tonnes of acne, fine lines, looking overall haggard, and so my skin was screaming in desperation to be saved. To top that off, my skin is sensitive, meaning I break out often to products that are either too rich, too complex, or just plain no-good. So whenever I use products, I have to make sure they don’t break me out, and also work in the areas that they claim to work. I had been using Shiseido products for a bit, but I wanted a simpler beauty regime as I am SO time poor due to my chaotic and busy work schedule. Something that would only take me about 5-10 mins in the morning.

So, I took the plunge and eventually bought the starter kit from Tatcha :) I loved it so much, I eventually went back to order full sized items of their stuff. Here is what I absolutely ADORE from their range:

1) Their enzyme powders (its their gentle exfoliant):

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Their exfoliators are in powder form. All you need to do is add a bit of water and gentle massage this around your face (avoiding the eye area of course) – its so gentle, the first time I used it, I couldn’t feel it ‘exfoliating’ my face so I was a bit disappointed…. until I rinsed it off. My face was baby butt smooth. No kidding. I use this about twice a week to get rid of dead skin :)

2) Their moisturizer (the Moisure Rich Silk Cream) and their Deep Brightening Serum:

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Because my skin is sensitive, yet dehydrated on the underside and oily on the top, I needed a cream that was hydrating, but not heavy. It had to moisturise without making me greasy. I love this cream from Tatcha because it does exactly that. You pair this with their Deep Brightening Serum and your skin will LOVE YOU. This serum of theirs, is wonderful in giving your skin a glow, and balancing uneven skin tone. These two products are a dynamic duo. I think after 1-2 weeks of using these two products together, I could immediately start to see that my skin was looking healthier and more radiant.

And while I don’t really use Tatcha’s Camellia cleansing oil (as I don’t often wear makeup), this oil is extremely effective in removing make up, and unlodging dirt, pollutants, and other particles from your pores before you use your regular cleanser (yes, I double cleanse whenever I wear makeup as I have really large pores).

3) Their face mask (the Deep Hydration Lifting Mask), and their eye mask (the Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask):

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Ok, so I will admit, their masks are not cheap. But boy, do they work. You ideally want a mask that brightens (ie. gives you a glow), hydrates (so your skin is plump and radiant, and makes it look smooth and supple), and does not leave a sticky residue. I use Tatcha’s face mask about once a month (or before a big event like a wedding or special date with my husband), and the eye mask if I know I haven’t had enough sleep the night before. I swear, my skin looked so good the next day….it leaves your face looking radiant and smooth, and your eyes will love you for the lack of puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. I can understand why they sell out so fast.

4) Their hand cream (the Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream):

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I work with my hands alot in my job. And it has the unfortunate characteristic of being unable to hold in moisture for long when I put creams. So when I found that this cream not only hydrates, but it allows your skin to retain the moisture you add in when you apply this cream, even after washing, I was really surprised! For any ladies out there who do alot of washing, or cleaning, or working with your hands, I highly recommend this for giving your hands a little extra love :)

While this brand is one of the newer kids on the block in the beauty world, Tatcha has already made big strides, and has become the raves of some very well knowns in the industry! Receving rave reviews from Jennifer Lopez, W, Vogue, Refinery 29, Megan Markle, Karlie Kloss and many more. You can google it if you don’t believe me! :)

Now, for some exciting news!! Tatcha and I are combining to giveaway a set of all these products (numbered 1-4 above) I just mentioned in oh-so-adorable (AND convenient!) travel sized packaging so you can take Tatcha with you wherever you go, wherever you sleep over, and never have to miss out on their skin care regime! Have a look at what you can be in the running for below:

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To win, its SUPER easy…. Just follow the below steps to be in running:

  1. On Instagram, follow @tatcha (link here) and @jennysun (link here)
  2. Like THIS PHOTO
  3. And comment on the photo by tagging ONE friend in your comment!

It’s THAT easy. No reposting or anything of the sort needed :) You must do ALL three steps to qualify for an entry. Competition closes on 27th September 2014. Winner will be notified on the 29th September! Get entering!

Jenny Signoff