Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Getting Over My Beauty Bad Habits – Denise Li

To keep her skin under control in the warm European summer, Denise Li first needed to stop committing two beauty sins. 

Despite knowing better, I have several bad beauty habits including (but not limited to):

1. Picking at my nails (I’ve NEVER had a manicure in my life, for fear of judgement by manicurists)

2. Washing my face excessively (Definitely more than than the recommended twice a day)

3. Using the wrong moisturiser (More on this in a bit)

I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop peeling/biting my nails. It’s an anxiety thing, and I’ve never really yearned to have beautiful manicures, to be honest. I am, however, determined to do something about the other two, mainly because I’m not such a big fan of flaky skin and ageing before my time.

So for that, I’ll need to get over my two beauty hangups: (1) Post-workout greasy skin (the reason I wash excessively) and (2) To stop using mattifying moisturisers to deal with said greasy skin.

Recently, and much to my abject horror, I found out that my skin’s severely dehydrated. I was moaning about this to makeup artist Larry Yeo one day and he said, simply, “You don’t need to wash your face with facial wash after working out. Just splash it with water.”

Of course!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Since I arrived in Belgium, I’ve been following this piece of advice. I just splash my face with water after exercise, and I pat it dry with tissue. Though it felt a bit strange initially, I suffered none of the consequences I thought I would (mainly breakouts) if I didn’t wash. In fact, my skin feels a lot less tighter than before.

The second thing I’ve been doing recently is completely overhauling my moisturiser stash, tossing out all the too-light, mattifying moisturisers that aren’t doing enough to quench my thirsty skin. You see, people with oily AND dehydrated skin usually think they have to pick one of two battles to fight: Oiliness OR dehydration. Fact of the matter is, the two problems are closely related. Dehydrated skin overcompensates by producing even MORE oil. Over the years that I’ve been using mattifying moisturisers or drying products, I’ve just been exacerbating the problem.

The solution actually lies in using a SUPER hydrating moisturiser to rebalance skin’s moisture levels so it feels soothed and stops going crazy on the oil production.

For this, I’ve been using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer. Now, before I became the newly enlightened me, this would probably have been one moisturiser I wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole That’s because it has a rather thick, balm-like texture, and it is quite sticky at first application. The reason for its texture is because, on top of infusing skin with moisture, this product also seals it in.

Despite my initial reservations, I love the results: My skin looks soft, clear and plump every morning, despite the fact that the climate is super dry over here in Europe. Since I started using it, my breakouts have also been less frequent and severe … which I’m taking as proof that my skin’s moisture levels have balanced out. I’ve also been using it on other dry and flaky areas of my body, such as my knees and elbows, and I like that a little goes a long way.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

The other product from the same line I can’t live without is the Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment cos it leaves hands soft without that slimy, sticky feeling. I also found myself using this the other day while we were at the beach. I forgot to re-apply sunscreen (yes … apparently I’m better at dishing beauty advice than I am following it …) and my back got burnt. I immediately used the hand treatment on the burnt areas and what did you know? Some of the redness dissipated, and my skin didn’t peel and flake like it normally would. Pretty amazing stuff.

Even if you don’t have dehydrated skin like I do, the Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer if you are heading to places with a drier climate. I’m pretty curious to see how my skin will react if I use it in humid Singapore (I do sleep in air-conditioning though). More updates soon!

In the meantime, I’m curious to find out: Do you have any beauty bad habits? And are you trying to do anything about them?

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer is priced at $57. The Hand Treatment is priced at $40. For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden counters in Singapore, click here. Products were sent to Material World for a review. This post was not paid for or advised by Elizabeth Arden. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys training in MMA, and doing conditioning workouts. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets and Instagram @smackeral83.

Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Skincare

[Material World x Elizabeth Arden] Ready For Take-Off – Denise Li

My travel essentials!

My travel essentials!

While I love exploring the world, I can’t say I love flying all that much. Other than the fact that it’s practically impossible to find a comfortable position to sleep in for those long haul flights, looking like death post-flight seems par for the course. Some celebs favour using a mask during the flight to help their skin look plump and well-rested even when they get off the plane. But I’m assuming that one of the perks of flying first-class or on a private jet is that you won’t be subject to strange looks from fellow passengers. A mere mortal like myself would be way too self-conscious to follow suit!

When Joey from Elizabeth Arden found out that I was going to be flying to Europe just before Christmas (Hello from Bruges, Belgium!), she sent me three products from the Eight Hour range – including The Original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment, and Lip Protectant Stick SPF15 for use on flight.

The Original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, $40

The Original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, $40

You probably know by now that the The Original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant is somewhat of an iconic product. Created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden herself, the combination of skin-soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E made it an instant hit as it was a cream that had multiple uses – you can use it on chapped lips, rough knees and elbows, and much more.

Now, I had tried this iconic product a few years ago when I got it as a sample at a counter, and I found it to be a little rich for Singapore’s weather as it felt sticky when you applied it. But when I used it on the 12-hour flight from Bangkok to Brussels, I understood why it’s so well-loved by women living in cooler climes. It really does guard well against dehydration – I used it on my face and neck and it helped seal in moisture and only needed reapplication a couple of times during the flight. My skin felt soothed, with none of the tightness and itchiness that I usually experience during long flights.

I’ve also been using it here in Belgium and I have to say, if you’re heading anywhere cold this winter, this is simply a must-have. As it has been super windy here, my face feels “whipped” after a couple of hours of walking around outside, so I’ve been careful to use this before and after coming home to soothe it and calm it down. It feels absolutely lovely rubbing it on after you’ve warmed a little bit of it between your hands and, to give my skin extra TLC, I use it over my regular moisturiser to seal in its goodness.

There are tons of other uses for the original Eight Hour Cream so you can keep using it long after your winter holiday is over. Here are some useful tips from Elizabeth Arden Global Makeup Artist Rebecca Restrepo:

1. Apply these on your feet before wearing a pair of socks. Wake up to softer, smoother soles!

2. Give your skin that dewy effect by dabbing lightly along cheekbones.

3. Revive hair that’s been damaged due to over-styling or chemical treatments by applying a little to the ends.

4. You can also use this to create a soft, sheer effect for your eye makeup. Simply pat a small amount onto the centre of your eyelid after applying eyeshadow.

I also like the Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment. It is less sticky than the original Eight Hour Cream and is quickly absorbed into the skin. I’ve been using this in Singapore and it’s not heavy as some hand creams can be. The Lip Protectant Stick is great if you are on the lookout for a non-sticky lip product. Even during the best of times, my lips are flaky and peel easily but I haven’t had that problem since I started using this. Because it glides on like a second skin, it can be used under lipstick without affecting the finish of your lippie.

For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden counters in Singapore, visit

Material World worked with Elizabeth Arden to review products from its Eight Hour Cream line. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.

Win a Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Limited Edition Iconic Collection hamper!

We have ONE Eight Hour Cream hamper, worth $64, to be won! The hamper contains The Original 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant in a jar, and Lip Protectant Stick.


1. In the Comments section, list two uses of The Original 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant.

2. Then Share this post with your friends on Facebook. Remember to tag “MaterialWorldSG” and “Elizabeth Arden” in your post. Set your post on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

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This contest is open only to Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Wednesday, December 31, 2013.