Author Archives: mariethequeen

How to Lose Weight from Chubby Cheeks

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This is the bane of my existence – my chipmunk cheeks. Although I heard many people tell me that it’s good to have chubby cheeks so I look younger, my chipmunk cheeks make me look and feel plumper.

I really wish that time can backtrack to last year when I lost some weight and my cheeks looked smaller. Now that married life agrees with me, the weight is starting to creep back. Oh well, I can’t complain about being happy so I decided to find some ways to resolve my body issues.

Thought I will share these facial exercises which I read from this page. It is kinda duh to say losing weight will help to lose the weight from the cheeks as well. So, I was really happy to see facial exercises I can do to help with the chipmunk cheeks.

1. Chew gum 

“Not only can chewing gum calm your nerves and freshen your breath, but it can also help you lose weight from your cheeks. The repetitive chewing motion will help strengthen your jaw. The best part is, you won’t even feel like you’re doing an exercise. You can set a goal of chewing gum for just a few minutes after every meal.”

Verdict from Marie: In Singapore, we can’t exactly get gum (go Wiki it, we’re famous for our gum ban. Plus I am not a fan of gum so no go for me.)

2. Do the “X-O” exercise

“Profoundly pronounce “X-O” at least fifteen times. Take a break and repeat the exercise three times. This is an easy maneuver that will help you move your jaw in two different ways, which will strengthen your jaw and burn fat from your cheeks. You can do this exercise any time — even when you’re at your desk at work.”

Verdict from Marie: I tried doing it and boy did my cheeks ache from the X-O exercise. I will try to do it regularly and see the effects of this X-O exercise over time.

3. Do the jaw opener.

“Open your mouth round and wide and hold this pose for a few seconds. Then, relax your jaw and repeat this motion nine more times, for a series of ten repetitions. You can repeat this move three times a day. If you do too many of these exercises at once, your jaw may get sore.”

Verdict: I felt my jaw ache almost immediately after doing this so it’s a no go for me if I do this and end up having to Botox my jaw!

4Do the cheek lift

“Lift up your cheeks toward your eyes as high as you can. Use the corners of your mouth to help lift your cheeks. You should feel like you’re trying to form a strained, awkward smile. You can even shut your eyes tightly to help lift your cheeks.”

Verdict from Marie: This was my favourite exercise to do as I felt it was easy to do and kinda fun! I strongly recommend doing this in the comfort of your room where no one looks at you in a funny way.

5 Make “fish lips.

“Draw in your cheeks until you’re making fish lips by puckering out your top and bottom lip. Hold this position as you try to smile. Hold the smile for ten seconds and repeat the position for ten counts.”

Verdict from Marie: I felt that this felt very similar to the next exercise, Make Puffy Cheeks so I decided to alternate between this and MPC for variety. It’s a fish and a puffer fish, fish and a puffer fish for me. Again, do watch out for a sniggering husband at the corner when doing these exercises.

6. Make Puffy Cheeks

“Close your mouth and fill your cheeks and mouth with air. Then, move the air from one cheek to the other as slowly as you can. Move the air from one cheek to the other at least ten times, and take the time to fill your cheeks with air again if necessary. Repeat this exercise three times daily.”

 

Make Puffy Cheeks with Pursed Lips from http://www.wikihow.com/Lose-Weight-from-Your-Cheeks

7. Smile

” Smiling also exercises your facial muscles and will make you lose those chubby cheeks. You can just smile on your own, holding each smile for ten seconds and repeating this action ten times, or you can make a goal of smiling more in your daily life. Not only will this make you lose weight from your cheeks, but it can help you feel more positive throughout the day.”

Verdict from Marie: I thought it was my extensive smiling that gave me chipmunk cheeks. Strange…

8. Massage your cheeks after exercising

“After completing a series of facial exercises, gently rub your fingers over your cheeks and jaw in a circular motion. This will help relieve tension and soreness after exercising.”

Verdict from Marie: I think that rubbing fingers over cheeks and jaws in an indiscriminate way might end up tugging your skin so what I think might be a better idea is to do a lymphatic drainage massage that my facial therapist does. This should aid with easing water retention as well as massaging the aching facial muscles.

Hope this post can help like-minded people achieve a slim face or at least get to know how to go about doing it. 

[Review] Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Collection

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My love affair with Kiehl’s started in 2011, when I first bought the famed Kiehl’s lip balm for my chapped lips. I never looked back from then. It was undoubtedly the best lip balm I ever used. I had a tendency to have dry lips because of my eczema and I had some really nasty experiences with drug-store lip balms previously. I had allergic reactions that made my lips swell like an unattractive Angelina Jolie. These mysterious swellings made me really wary of lip balms. Kiehl’s was the only one which moisturised my lips, in summer and winter, with no swelling.

From then, I started experimenting with other products like the Midnight Recovery Serum and Ultra Facial Cream for night moisturizing as I sleep. I loved the Midnight Recovery Serum for its lovely lavender scent and its easy to apply texture. Although it is expensive (SGD$90), it lasted me for more than 1 year.

Recently, when I decided to do a skincare overhaul, I was contemplating brands like Laniege, Clinque and Biotherm. Then, I decided to walk into Kiehl’s and came out $200 poorer.

This is my loot.

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Now you probably understand why I was $200 poorer, but let’s go into the products proper.

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My daily skincare regime depends on these babies. I have combination skin but I was concerned about sleeping in a airconditioned room and having my skin shrivel like a prune. Also, I had clogged pores which made the oil-free property very much a necessity. The salesgirl mentioned that the cleaning property of the cleanser was so good it can leave the skin feeling a little rubbery. I like the rubbery feel as it feels really clean. Plus, the skin is restored very easily when the other products are applied. The moisturizer is a dream come true. I can feel the moisture going into my skin immediately and its light texture makes it suitable for day and night application. Of course, I discovered the sun screen and never went back to other brands. It definitely complements my skin care regime.

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Both of these are samples which I had grown to use regularly and like quite a bit. The skin brightening exfoliator is used alternating with the cleanser and I like how the beads in the exfoliator are quite fine so I don’t feel that it’s tearing my skin. The Dark Spot Solution is perfect to combat possible age-related problems like dark spots. My sample is almost 1/2 gone after 2 months of use and I think I will go and get the actual bottle.

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My Midnight Recovery Concentrate and a new product, Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate. The eye cream is recommended by the sales girl, when I commented I had a problem with fine lines and puffy eyes. There was another cream which she recommended for fine lines and dark circles (enhanced with Vit C) but I decided my puffy eyes are a bigger problem that the dark circles.

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These were the samples Kiehl’s gave and they are certainly generous. They even provided me with some for men since my hubby was with me. For a man who loves fashion, my husband certainly don’t give two hoots about his skin. I am still in the midst of convincing him to use the products.

Two months after regular use, I feel that my skin tone is more uniform and my skin feels less dry. Although my pores are still clogged (I am so overdue for my facials), I am grateful that I found a brand of products that genuinely make a difference to my skin.

[LOTD] Channeling My Inner Duchess

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It’s strange how one’s sense of aesthetics change as we grow older. I used to love the funky high street styles for its bold choices of prints, colours and the general sense of adventure. Maybe it had to do with my dancing days in university. In the recent years, one of my current style icons is none other than the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton. The 20 year old me might have been surprised.

Her sartorial choices are always sensible, flattering and never matronly. She won’t be winning any awards for the most creative dress sense but definitely reigns high in the fashion charts worldwide.

Taken from US Weekly – Copy Kate Middleton’s Style for Less http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/news/copy-kate-middletons-style-for-less-2012274

Here’s my take on Duchess fashion, of course for less.

 

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Floral sleeved shift dress – H&M

Suede wedges – Timberland

White leather clutch – Coach Japan

Of course, what I needed to finish the look is the signature to-die-for curls. 😦

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Making up my lack of royalty and bouncy curls with the colour of royalty and a mega-watt smile

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A closer look at my outfit’s details. I love the watercolour-esque prints of this dress and it’s oh-so-comfy. Not to mention, it’s a dream for a laundry nut – machine wash and no ironing needed! This is one of my favourite work dresses too.

Hope you like this outfit as much as I do. I look forward to do more LOTD inspired by the Duchess again.

My Wedding Memories

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This is (as usual) a really backdated post, so please bear with my reminiscence.

I got married 6 months ago and it was indeed one of the most beautiful and sweetest memories I had so far in my life.

When I started planning my wedding, like all web-savvy brides, I prowled through the web for inspiration to make my wedding as beautiful as it could be. Pininterest,  Instagram, Taobao and other bloggers.

To be the perfect wedding, I realised it must look really lovely in pictures so I racked my brains how to make it look pretty and not cause me a hole in the pocket. I am grateful I have a sensible husband who canned many of my ideas as his practicality rationalised my whimsical wants.

So, I compromised and now looking back, I am glad I compromised. My wedding was not Pininterest perfect, but it was perfect to me as all who loved me were there and the pictures turned out great even when I did not spend as much as what some other brides would have.

Sharing some of my favourite memories from my big day last year.

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My gown was a bustier with a sweetheart neck-line, accessorized with diamantes, a silhouette toga as well as the monstrously fluffy train. I wanted a gown that was as couture as possible and I couldn’t have asked for a prettier gown. It might not suit everyone but I was happy with how I looked.

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It was like the dramas which I watched, but it was real. Watching your husband beam as he walked into the room to pick you up, the moment is indeed priceless.

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The classic bride in the car moment.

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The first few moments of us in our room were spent eating glutinous rice balls in a sweet soup (signifying a blessed and happy union) and him taking out the pins from my hair. Only the husband is allowed to do so, one of the many Chinese rituals which I learnt along the way.

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The people who kept us sane – the bridal party of my bridesmaids and his groomsmen. Without them, we could not have gone through everything smoothly and happily.

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My traditional Kwa, the classic wedding gown of a Cantonese bride. Many prefer wearing the cheongsam for its classic silhouette and how it can be designed to show off the bride’s figure but I wanted to wear the Cantonese wedding kwa as a nod to my heritage. Plus, I learnt to appreciate how ornate the embroidery and opulent the dress can look.

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Our shoes when we were kneeling down for the tea ceremony. His were Dior Homme and mine were from Elisa Lutz. This shot is such an interesting way to look at our wedding ceremony 🙂

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This series of pictures is as Pininterest as it gets. We took a slight detour off to Singapore Botanical Gardens to take some pictures and of course, it was the perfect opportunity for me to wear another gown. This gown was rented from another vendor, Bridal Closet, apart from my original gowns. I love how the purple and bronze iridescent looked so flowy in the daylight and how my bridesmaids’ dresses look absolutely classic and timeless. These pictures always bring a smile to my face.

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Some shots of the decor from the banquet at night. One of the frills I fought for was the candy buffet bar by JOandJARS. I had such a lovely time working with Petrina and she shared my aesthetic eyes to conjure my green and purple Garden theme using gem biscuits, lace cones and the prettiest flowers combination. It went so well with the apple theme that we picked for the ballroom decor. Not the typical colour scheme you expect from a banquet dinner but both of us really liked how it looked.

I would let the pictures do the talking 🙂

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I did not put up many photos of guests as I wasn’t sure if my guests would take kindly to their photos being posted on this blog. Nonetheless, I think my fellow contributors would not mind having their photos featured as part of this wedding post.

I will end this post with my favourite picture of the night – it is a really goofy and unglamorous picture of us.

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A little story behind this picture – my husband was opening up the bottle of champagne and the cork hit the ceiling. Loe and behold, it ended in my father-in-law’s champagne glass. That probably explain why our expression is so classic. But this is really us, we are goofy and not the most polished of all couples. This way, we are perfect for each other.

[LOTD] Neon Lights | Monochromatic City

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A quick post while I am actually having a staycation treat for my husband.

We went out for some yummy fancy Chinese food for his birthday dinner and I took the chance to do some dressing up.

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Monochromatic graphic print dress, Bysi

Neon green pumps (which looks fluorescent yellow in the pictures, gosh), Zalora

White bag, Fendi (previously featured)

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I love how the print is so funky on its own that the simplicity of the cut stands out. The dress itself speaks volume so I didn’t accessorize much, just a simple silver necklace.

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I swear it’s supposed to be neon green but it turns out looking totally different. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to have a chance to wear these funky shoes with the perfect dress. I bought this pair of shoes last year at a steal ($20) on a shopping portal which I have since boycotted. These shoes are so adorable and quite comfortable. I hope the beauty of the shoes would take the attention off my non-pedicured nails (oops)

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Overall, I love how my outfit blended. It was not your typical date kinda outfit but I think it was both fashion forward and appropriate at the same time.

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On an irrelevant side note, this is a sneak peek at what I bought for my husband (at least one of the items). I adore (pun fully intended) this Agnes b bracelet on my husband. It gives his outfit this unexpected pop and an added dimension to his metrosexual dressing. Now that I look at this picture, it actually looks like it came out of a comic strip!

Will be featuring my staycation in the next post on the Staycation diaries. Took lots of pictures to showcase this really awesome hotel! 🙂

[LOTD] Summertime Livin’

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It’s been horribly hot lately in Singapore and it has been a pain trying to dress up. All I want to do is either hide indoors or wear flipflops and a tank top-shorts combo.

Turns out, the hot summer weather can be a great inspiration to dress up and here’s my summertime lovin’ get up.

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Cobalt blue low-back maxi dress, some tiny store in Tampines ($12!)

Neverfull tote bag, Louis Vuitton Paris

Jelly flats, Zaxy

Floral scarf, H&M

I love how casual yet feminine I looked. I had so much fun twirling around and taking photos in this outfit. It was comfortable and made me feel really attractive.

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My favourite hair-do now is to simply clip my hair into a pretty ponytail with this absolutely gorgeous clip I got from Far East Plaza. You can’t really see the diamantes on it but it really sparkles when you see it. It goes with virtually every outfit and I find myself using this almost daily, especially when I go to work.

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My trusty Zaxy jelly flats served me well. I apologise for it looking rather gruffy.

Final word, I love how I felt sexy and beautiful even when I wasn’t baring a lot of skin. Modesty need not be sacrificed in face of fashion and I truly believe in that.
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[LOTD] Denim X Denim Part 2

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It has been a long-standing dream to do a denim on denim outfit. It’s incredibly hard to pull off denim apparels in one outfit as it can be a massive overkill.

I decided that in my denim on denim outfit, it needs to fuse different types of denim for the look to work. It feels like what I could possibly wear to college, if I am a college kid now. Of course, that’s a huge if.

Denim over-sized shirt – G Star Raw

Destressed denim with bling embelishments – Platinum Mall, Bangkok

Rubber flats – Zaxy

Grey backpack – Porter (which I borrowed from my hubby)

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The bag itself is a statement piece. In fact, this is my husband’s Pièce de résistance (most outstanding, notable, or defining of the collection, Wikipedia). This is from the Porter Duke collection and it was so coveted it flew off the shelves almost immediately being stocked here in Singapore.

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It was incredibly comfortable and I had so much fun with this outfit even though it was a huge challenge for me.

And, my favourite part of this photoshoot was our impromptu friendship photo-series.

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This series is a reminder how Sweetpots is really more than just a beauty/fashion/lifestyle blog. It is how we celebrate our friendships by indulging in what we love best with the people we adore.