April Reflections

Looking out and pondering
Looking out and pondering

Looking through the window I reflect on the happenings in 2016. The past four months have zoomed past like a flash. Everything seems to be on hyper drive mode this year.

It wasn’t easy keeping everything in balance. It had been a struggle to balance between mothering duties, household  and studying. There were  times that I had to toss a coin and leave it all up to faith on which path I had to follow- left or right.

Placing my trust in the LORD that he will give me the guidance that I needed was what I did when moments got too intense for me to handle.

There were many major life changing decisions which I had to make and plentiful considerations which came along with each decision made. Something had to change if our lives were to be better.

Making one  single change in my routine made a ripple effect and affected the routines of all in the household. The most difficult  decision that I made  so far was to pursue a full time course this year. This required major readjustment in both the kids and my schedule and everything had to fit in perfectly.

Stepping out my comfort zone wasn’t easy. I  procrastinated quite a bit on whether I would be making the changes now or on a later date. I deliberated deeply and prayed for a sign from GOD on what I should do.

I was initially hesitant about making the changes  I  did , however looking back it was certainly one of the right decisions which I made as things only got better after making that decision.

It means a lot to me to keep my balance in life and keep learning at the same time. I believe in constant upgrading and equipping myself with different skill sets which complement each other.  I subscribe to lifelong learning and pursing one’s passions while living it up in the best way possible.

It can be very dangerous to remain in complacency with how fast the world is revolving around us. Skills redundancy is a reality today with the ever increasing global competition. One needs to constantly upgrade to retain their competitive edge over others.  It is necessary for survival.

I feel that it is also important to set a good example by modelling to the kids the importance of education and that it is not something that one pursues during childhood.  Life long learning has lots of benefits and certainly has help shaped my way of thinking and perception of the world.

Things change, people change but the thirst for knowledge will always be there. There is a lot that I still do not know of and wish to acquire.  I am to be relevant and also be able to keep up with the changing trends. With the kids growing up and becoming young adults I seek more to be able to understand them and guide them effectively to become independent adults.

My focus now is more on acquiring skills to assist in their emotional and psychological development and giving them the tools that would support them throughout their lives.


How has 2016 been for you so far?





Makeup and Skincare


This year has been a intensive learning year for me in regards to makeup and skincare.  Since joining Mary Kay in April I have been taking more interested in my outward appearance.  Turing 37 I know that I’m no longer having the skin that I had when I was in my twenties.   It is time that I pay more attention to my personal grooming and I have been actively researching and testing out to find out which brands/ items are suitable for my skin.

I know that it is very important for a woman to take care of her appearance and to look presentable and good for her man. One has to look good to feel good.  There are lots of positive attributes to looking and feeling good.  I’m sure you agree with me on this point.

When I was in my twenties I didn’t really care about personal grooming. I never really had any issues with my skin and did not have the habit of daily maintenance. Fast forward today I know the importance of sun protection and keeping my skin in good condition. I have started cultivating good sun care habits in the kids too by ensuring that they cleanse their skin daily and apply sunblock before leaving the house.

I start out in April embracing Mary Kay and tried out their whole range of products from eye care to makeup. Through testing all the products I got to know the functions of the various products . They do have many different products which can help improve your skin quality. There are unique products like their lip spa kit and a there are products which have been ranked #1 in various beauty magazines in Asia.

However upon detailed research of the ingredients use in the items many products within Mary Kay are not paraben free.  It may not be an issue to some but for me personally if there is a cleaner alternative I don’t need to subject myself and my kids to potential toxicity which ill effect may surface in time to come. What FDA recommendation as safe levels are certainly questionable in my opinion. There are many grey areas regarding the issues of the use of certain chemicals within the composition of a makeup/skincare product which can be mind boggling at times.

The conclusion that I have come to after months of research is that only selective Mary Kay products are safe for use. The others are “use at your own discretion”.  My stance with my current Mary Kay clientele is to let them know what is the makeup of the products they are interested in and let them decide if they want to continue using/ purchasing the product. Getting sales or increasing my customer base is not an immediate priority of mine as being honest and truthful about the product.

Staying in ASIA we are often exposed to the harmful rays of the sun and it is important to use a good sunblock and constantly reapply it when we go out for long periods of time. The weather and climate that we live in also leaves our skin dehydrated. Many times we are unaware of the needs to hydrate our skin properly as we wrongly assume living in a high humidity climate we do not lack water in our skin.

I’m come to the conclusion that a Water based sunscreen would work best for me and the boys.  At the moment we are using Coola sunscreens that we purchased from iherb quite a while back. I’ll be testing out sunblock from Ininisfree once we have used up our existing stock as it is more affordable and sustainable in the long run for my pockets.

Frankly speaking I’ve been looking around for alternative products to Mary Kay which are “cleaner” and more pocket friendly in price. I’ve been looking at other American brands, Japanese and Korean cosmetics and skincare products.  The range that we have in the market nowadays is really overwhelming.

What I have realized is that not all products from a single range maybe suitable for use. I have to selectively choose the star products from each range which is suitable for my skin condition. As a result I have been testing  skin care products from Clarins, Laneige, Ininisfree, Shiseido , UV AQUA White, Sukin and Renew.  I ‘m also looking at makeup from BHCosmetics, ELF, Ininisfree, Lancome, Essence, Kate among others.   I guess it will take a few more months to conclude my testing and finalize what I want  to use in my daily personal grooming routine.




Mary Kay Cleansers and Masks

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Botanical Effects Cleanser F1


Water, Petrolatum, Glycerin, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, SilybumMarianum Fruit Extract, LinumUsitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, MomordicaGrosvenorii Fruit Extract, Betaine, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, PentaerythritylTetraisostearate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Ceteth-10, Sodium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Algin, Laureth-4, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, BHT

Botanical Effects Cleanser  F2


Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, CetearylEthylhexanoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, GlycerylIsostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-8, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Plumeria Alba Flower Extract, NymphaeaGigantea Flower Extract (Giant Water Lily), SilybumMarianum Fruit Extract, MomordicaGrosvenorii Fruit Extract, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Tocopherol, Butylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, PEG-4 Laurate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol,IodopropynylButylcarbamate, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin

Botanical Effects F2 Maskmary kay mask

Water, Kaolin, Isocetyl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Paraffin, Triethanolamine, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Powder, Bentonite, PrunusArmeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Cetyl Alcohol , RubusIdaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Wax, Propylene Glycol, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Plumeria Alba Flower Extract, NymphaeaGigantea Flower Extract, SilybumMarianum Fruit Extract, MomordicaGrosvenorii Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Titanium Dioxide


Botanical Effects F3 Mask


Water, Kaolin, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, KunzeaEricoides Leaf Extract, SilybumMarianum Fruit Extract, PsidiumGuajava Fruit Extract, MomordicaGrosvenorii Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Titanium Dioxide

My thoughts

I have been using the Botanical range products since I joined Mary Kay in May this year. However now that I know that this series too has parabens I will not continue it’s usage and look for alternatives instead.