Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cool Sites:

Have been watching some sites which I thought I'll share on my blog. is an online "flash sales" retailer which holds private limited-period sale events where top brands are sold off at discounts of 50-75 percent.

Initially I was really skeptical about it but I signed up after hearing there was a Urban Decay sale. True enough, there was one. The Urban Decay Primer Potion was sold at around USD$8 and eye pigments going for USD$3.50. It did seem like a great sale although everything was sold out real quickly.

I just checked and there was a Stila Cosmetics Sale ending soon and Stila's Cheek Color Pan was going for as low as USD$7, Lipglazes at USD$9, Smudge Pots at USD$8.

The site offers designer brand items at sale prices too but I probably wouldn't recommend splurging so much on a new site you haven't tried before.

I do think the site is legit for cosmetics items since a number of beauty gurus bought Rock & Republic blushes from the site. So do check out the site if you haven't.
only ships within US and Canada.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Urban Decay - The Black Palette (Limited Edition - A Sephora Exclusive)

All Photos Provided by Urban Decay.
Urban Decay - The Black Palette (Limited Edition - A Sephora Exclusive)

What it does:
This glittery black compact with mirror features a daring palette of five black-based, glimmering, jewel-toned eyeshadows, and Urban Decay's darkest matte black eyeshadow, Black Dog, for adding dimension like never before. The set comes complete with a travel-size 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero and a mini genie bottle of Eyeshadow Primer Potion, so your color stays deep, dark and alluring all day and night.

This set contains:- 6 x 0.04 oz Eyeshadows in
Black Dog (richest matte black),
Barracuda (black with silver sparkly shift),
Jet (black with purple sparkly shift),
Sabbath (black with blue sparkly shift),
Cobra (black with golden sparkly shift),
Libertine (black with emerald sparkly shift)
- 0.03 oz Travel-size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black)
- Mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden (matte nude)

From left: Jet, Barracuda





Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Article: High Doses of Antioxidant Supplements Induce Stem Cell Genetic Abnormalities

ScienceDaily (May 4, 2010) — High doses of antioxidant nutritional supplements, such as vitamins C and E, can increase genetic abnormalities in cells, which may predispose supplement-takers to developing cancer, according to a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

The study, led by Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, was published online in the medical journal Stem Cells. The study also will appear in the journal's July printed edition.

Marbán and his team accidentally discovered the danger of excessive antioxidant doses while seeking a way to reduce the genetic abnormalities that occurred naturally when the scientists sought to multiply human cardiac stem cells.

Marbán stressed that the study's finding applies only to excessive nutritional supplements and not to foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as milk, oranges, blueberries and peanuts. In recent years, multiple studies have touted the benefits of foods rich in antioxidants.

"Taking one multivitamin daily is fine, but a lot of people take way too much because they think if a little is good, a lot must be better," said Marbán, who is also the Mark Siegel Family Professor at Cedars-Sinai. "That is just not the case. If you are taking 10 or 100 times the amount in a daily multivitamin, you may be predisposing your cells to developing cancer, therefore doing yourself more harm than good."

In laboratories, stem cells are often grown in a Petri dish culture than is composed of 20 percent oxygen, whereas cells growing inside human tissue are exposed to just 3 to 5 percent oxygen. But Marbán's team of researchers became frustrated because the higher concentration of oxygen in lab-grown stem cells resulted in 9 percent of the cells being rejected because of genetic abnormalities.

"We sought to counter that oxidation problem by adding high doses of antioxidants directly to the cells," Marbán said. "That's when we made the serendipitous discovery that there is a danger zone for the cells exposed to antioxidants to develop genetic abnormalities that predispose to cancer."

Marbán is leading an ongoing, groundbreaking clinical trial in which heart attack patients undergo two minimally-invasive procedures in an effort to repair and re-grow healthy muscle in a heart injured by a heart attack. First, a biopsy of each patient's own heart tissue is used to grow specialized heart stem cells. About a month later, the multiplied stem cells are then injected back into the patient's heart via a coronary artery.

The two-step procedure was completed on the first patient in June 2009. The results of the trial are expected in early 2011.

Recently, Marbán received a $5.5 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to continue developing cardiac stem cell therapies.

Source: link

Most Commonly Known Antioxidants
Vitamin A and Carotenoids
- Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots (bright-colored fruits and vegetables!)

Vitamin C
- Citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes

Vitamin E
- Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil

- Fish & shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic

Other Common Antioxidants
Some common phytochemicals
Flavonoids / polyphenols
soy, red wine, purple grapes or Concord grapes, pomegranate, cranberries, tea

- Tomato and tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon, Lutein, dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprout and spinach

- flax seed, oatmeal, barley, rye,

Vitamin-like Antioxidants:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Antioxidant enzymes made by the body:
Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Glutathione peroxidase

Source: link

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Article: What Your Pimples Tell You

I've been getting blackheads on the same spot for a long time. I even got a pimple in my ear, which is like the weirdest location to have one. Caught a Chinese health-related show and it was talking about reading your face to know your health status so if you notice new age spots, pimples, change in colour at that part of the face, something is wrong with the organs related to that area.

Apparently, I'm having some problems with my digestive system, that's why I'm been breaking out in my ear and right cheek. Decided to look it up and here's an article I found.

Image mapping for the left and right cheek is wrong. Just refer to the text to avoid confusion.

Acne is a problem that seems to come with the arrival of summer. In summer, many people find red pimples popping up on their face. TCM recommends adjusting imbalanced energy inside instead of squeezing. The pimples, sometimes, may suggest organ problems that need treatment.

Though acne is called 青春痘 (teenage spots) in Chinese, it can also affect older people. Acne pimples are caused by an excess of oil rising through pores to the skin's surface, especially in the T-zone - the forehead, nose and chin.

Increasing levels of androgen, the male sex hormone, cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum (fat, keratin and cellular material).If the excess sebum can't be excreted through the pores, it blocks them together with dead skin cells and results in acne pimples.

Long-term psychological stress causes endocrine disorder and increases androgen levels, thus leading to excess sebum. Sunshine, hot and wet weather will also make the sebaceous glands produce more sebum.

"Skin conditions are not as superficial as they may seem. All are caused by toxins and imbalanced energy inside your body," says Dr Li Bin, chief physician of the Dermatology Department of the Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.

"Take acne for example. When imbalanced energies can't pass through the body freely as they used to, they collect and become toxins inside, resulting in acne on the face," Dr Li adds.

TCM usually attributes acne to pathogenic heat gathered inside. There are two kinds of pathogenic heat in the body according to TCM - excess heat and a deficiency of heat.

Both are caused by imbalanced yin and yang energy inside. Excess heat is caused by excessive yang energy while deficiency heat is caused by deficient yin energy.

Hormonal changes in teenagers can be a trigger for increasing yang energy while fatigue and psychological stress usually result in deficient yin energy. Most teenage sufferers are bothered with excess heat syndrome while grown-up patients usually have deficiency heat problems.

Therefore, apart from eating foods that help dispelling pathogenic heat such as mung beans and chrysanthemum, having enough sleep and keeping a good mood are also important for adults with acne problems. Regular bowel movements can also help relieve the acne problem by dispelling the toxins, according to Dr Li.

As for the external treatment, Dr Li suggests that washing the face gently twice or three times a day with warm water is enough. Washing too frequently, especially scrubbing, will aggravate the problem, and squeezing pimples could worsen the inflammation and infection, resulting in scars and enlarged pores.

Generally, Dr Li recommends "cold" and "cool" foods such as cucumber and mung beans to help dispel the pathogenic heat inside; fried, fatty, spicy foods and "hot" foods should be eliminated from the diet.

Sometimes the location of acne suggests imbalanced energy in certain organs. Adjusting the condition of the organs by shifting to a healthy lifestyle and certain treatment can also help relieve facial pimples.

Acne location and related possible problems

Location: Forehead
Possible problem: Heart and small intestine
Suggestion: Eat heat-dispelling foods such as lotus seeds soup to get rid of heat in the heart; have enough sleep, control your temper and maintain a good mood.

Location: Between the eyebrows
Possible problem: Heart
Suggestion: Avoid intense physical exercise and over-fatigue; maintain a good mood.

Location: Tail of brows
Possible problem: Gallbladder
Suggestion: Eat less greasy foods and have more heat-dispelling foods such as bitter cucumber.

Location: Nose
Possible problem: Stomach and digestive system
Suggestion: Eat less "hot" foods and more plain foods that can help dispel pathogenic heat such as green beans.

Location: Bridge of nose
Possible problem: Spinal column
Suggestion: Don't sit for too long; stretch your body often.

Location: Side of the nose wings and between the nose and mouth
Possible problem: Reproductive system
Suggestion: Check and treat the problem such as regulating menstrual period.

Location: Right cheek
Possible problem: Lungs and large intestine
Suggestion: Eat more foods that help nourish the lungs such as pear and white fungus; eat less seafood, tropical fruits and drink less alcohol.

Location: Left cheek
Possible problem: Liver and gallbladder
Suggestion: Eat less greasy foods and have more vegetables and fruit and have enough sleep.

Location: Corner of mouth
Possible problem: Intestines
Suggestion: Eat less "hot" foods and move bowels regularly.

Location: Chin
Possible problem: Kidney and internal secretion
Suggestion: Eat more plain foods than stimulating foods like spicy, fried or greasy ones. Take enough rest.

(Shanghai Daily August 4, 2009)

Source: Not linking it because it's a China site and I don't know if it's 'safe'.

For in depth TCM discussion on face charts: link