Ezann Lee: Happiness Is Simply Being Myself

Welcome to #DearPauline, a new beauty column on WoW, where we aim to have honest conversations about beauty in a way that could change the way beauty is being talked and thought about.

Forget anything you’ve seen in magazines and social media that still portrays and “sells” unattainable and unrealistic ideals of beauty — that makes you feel bad instead of positive. Beauty, circa 2018, cannot and should not be defined by anyone else but you.

We also want this to be a space and community where you guys are welcome to ask anything about beauty and skincare that concerns you. Are you prone to PMS breakouts? Is your skin feeling stressed and looking dull? Can’t find the right moisturiser for your combination skin? Battling winter rash? Or do you have a zit-uation that needs to be taken care, pronto? Fire away. Leave us a comment below, talk to us via Instagram, or email us*. We’d love to hear from you because we want to see more action and less lip service. And 

because we really want you to know that you’re not alone.

But, who’s Pauline, you ask? Glad you did. Pauline is our resident beauty guru du jour.

Over the next few months, she will be answering all your questions and handing out beauty tips and tricks. She is an ardent believer that when you feel beautiful on the inside, you will look beautiful on the outside. Make-up is optional. Actually, in her case, inessential. Her personal belief is so strong that it has inspired a no-make-up culture at her company, Porcelain. Imagine that. You can talk about changing the conversation on beauty and self-empowerment, or you can do something about it. Pauline did. And she has made it her mission and business to help other women rethink what it truly means to feel and be beautiful inside and out.

To start the ball rolling, we invited a few WoW Women to join in the conversation, share their thoughts on the topic, and ask Pauline some of their own skincare questions. We are pretty confident that they, too, will have

a goody bag of tried-and-tested beauty tricks we could all dip into. A vivacious and naturally beautiful MTV VJ Hanli Hoefer kicked off the series in February.

This month, we have Ezann Lee of Be With Me fame. The petite actress arrived at our studio on the day of our shoot casually togged in an oversized Givenchy T-shirt and jeans. Ordinarily, we would be quite excited about the comely baby-blue Hermès Lindy that came with her, but we were, instead, busy being distracted and covetous of a more luminous accessory on her — her porcelain complexion. No make-up, all glow and perfection. Golly, this is one woman whose skincare tips we WILL kill to know. Good thing she was ours for the next three hours.

Flawless skin aside, there’s something else about Ezann — a quiet confidence and an unapologetic sense of self, as well as an aura of serenity and positivity — that is her beauty. Maybe that’s it: When your spirit glows, in your skin it shows. 

💆🏻
IN COLLABORATION WITH PORCELAIN.

Ezann’s Morning Beauty Routine

1. Cleanse my face. 
2. Apply serum3. Apply aloe vera gel. 
4. Finish with a tinted moisturiser with SPF.

 

Her Night-time Routine

1. Remove make-up, if any.
2. Cleanse.
3. Apply toner with cotton pad.
4. Apply serum.
5. Apply aloe recovery gel.

 

What Are Your Top 3 Skin Concerns?

1. Sudden acne breakouts
2. Acne scars
3. Dry skin

MOISTURISE, AND REMEMBER TO APPLY SUNSCREEN.

How do you keep your skin healthy when:
a. You work late/long hours?
Ezann: 
I make sure I remove my make-up and wash my face thoroughly before I go to bed no matter how tired I am.

b. You are travelling?
Ezann: 
I use a richer moisturiser and I bring with me some hydrating masks. And drink more water.

c. You are really busy?
Ezann: 
Moisturise, and remember to apply sunscreen.

What beauty items are essential to you?
Ezann:
Lip balm/gloss, mascara and blusher.

What makes you feel beautiful these days?
Ezann: 
Just being myself!

What qualities do you think make a woman beautiful? Who, in your eyes, is a beautiful woman?
Ezann:
My mum. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I guess there’s no definition.

When you look in the mirror in the morning, as you are, no make-up, what do you see?
Ezann: 
Contentment! 😁

What does it mean for you to be unapologetically you?
Ezann: 
When I choose not to answer this question.

Ultimately, we think that beauty is a state of mind. Do you think you have learned to love and embrace yourself for everything you are ?
Ezann: I think at this point, 
I wouldn’t ask for

I believe there are many layers of happiness. To me, it is really simple — happiness is just simply being myself.”

more. I’m happy now.

What’s your advice for women on finding their beauty, their sense of self and confidence from within?
Ezann: 
I guess you’ve got to start from self love. Gradually, and naturally, things will fall into place.

Self-care is such an important word and concept these days. What is your idea of self care? Why is it important?
Ezann: 
Self care is about maintaining/restoring your inner peace. Through that, you can build a strong framework as an individual to live freely, and not be a social pleaser.

What are your self-caring activities?
Ezann:
Do the things I love — like reading a good book, doing yoga, travelling, spending time with myself and people I love, and learning new things. 

When was the last time your LOL-ed?
Ezann: 
I can’t remember! I have lost count! 我的笑点很低! (I am easily amused.)

When was the last time you cried?
Ezann: Last year, when my grandma passed on.

What is your version of happiness?
Ezann: 
Well, I believe there are many layers of happiness. To me, it is really simple — happiness is just simply being myself.

What mantra do you live by?
Ezann: 
YOLO!

What are you reading now?
Ezann: 
The Daily Stoic.

DEAR PAULINE…

THE GURU WILL TAKE QUESTIONS NOW

Ezann: How can I fix sudden acne breakouts?
Pauline: The No 1 rule is not to squeeze it yourself. It causes broken skin, which increases the risk of bacterial infection and scarring. 

First, you need to understand how acne is formed. It is typically caused by infection of the p.acnes bacteria which thrives under conditions such as warmth, especially when there are sebum and dead skin cells accumulated. Our skin is also more prone to infection and inflammation when its resilience is low. This could be triggered by hygiene, pollution, stress, hormonal changes, humidity, dehydration, medication or lack of sleep. There are other reasons for acne breakouts which you can definitely preventWhen you understand what causes acne, you'll be able to treat it with effective solutions. 

Avoid over-cleansing (when your skin feels squeaky clean, it is over cleansed).

Home Care & Product Tips:
  1. Use a mild cleanser with salicylic acid or with ingredients such as tea tree oil, which helps to reduce inflammation and soften congestion.
  2. Avoid over-cleansing (when your skin feels squeaky clean, it is over cleansed), and avoid hot showers that may aggravate the condition.
  3. Apply a spot treatment to help with overnight healing. But I wouldn't advise over-using popular spot treatment such as Benzoyl Peroxide because they cause dryness and may cause dark acne scars.
  4. Moisturise the skin sufficiently to allow your skin to repair itself.
  5. Exfoliate regularly to prevent acne scars and recurrence of breakouts. The Balance — Hydraclear Gel, for example, has been formulated to target four key causes of acne — reduces bacteria by up to 90%, exfoliates surface layers of the skin, moisturises the skin, and reduces inflammation.
In-Salon Treatments

Routine deep cleansing and professional treatments are crucial to maintaining optimal skin health. If your acne infection has been persisting, it will continue to spread unless professionally treated. I believe in a combination of technologies that includes IPL and LED, which when used together with a highly intensive extractions treatment, can remove impurities accumulated from deeper layers of the skin to achieve a longer-term effect in preventing acne breakouts. 

VERIFY IF YOUR SKIN IS DRY OR DEHYDRATED. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. DRY SKIN IS A SKIN TYPE… DEHYDRATED SKIN IS A SKIN CONDITION. 

Ezann: What can I do about existing acne scars?
Pauline: Acne scars happen when there is trauma to the skin, caused either by a severe case of inflammation or broken skin. There are different kinds of acne scars — post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (darkened marks), persistent depressed scars of varying degrees, and hypertrophic/keloid scars. 

I believe that prevention is better than cure, so when your acne is healing, the most important thing to remember is not to pick at it with your hands. Also, resist the temptation to peel the scabs off — they are there to protect the skin while it heals.

For post inflammatory pigmentation scars, regular exfoliation, especially immediately after the mark surfaces can help lighten its appearance. I'd recommend enzyme scrubs or gentle peels over granular scrubs because acne-prone skin tends to be more sensitive. Use products that contain mild levels of acids such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid. These will help to speed up your skin renewal process since oily skin types tend to accumulate dead skin faster than normal skin. You must remember to apply sunscreen while you include these acids in your skincare to prevent pigmentation from forming. 

You may also want to consider going for treatments like an oxygen treatment combined with microdermabrasion, Cryotherapy or an IPL treatment. 

For other scars such as Icepick Scars and Atrophic scars that are depressed, you are very likely prone to these if you experience consistent acne (deep painful ones) that appears on the same spot for a long period of time. When these scars are formed, home care can rarely do the trick, unfortunately.

Consider chemical peels, laser or radio frequency skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion, micro-needling, Cryotherapy and repair treatments

Ezann: what about black and white heads on the nose? How do I get rid of them?
Pauline: Products with mild AHA and BHA content can promote desquamation (shedding of skin). These can help to soften stubborn clogs within the pores. You can also go for a cleanser that contains coconut extracts to cleanse and purify congested skin without drying it out,
.
and AHA and BHA to prevent accumulation of dead skin and oil within. Soy extracts keep the skin soft, too. Hydrating your skin regularly can prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming. Because our T-Zone is prone to oiliness, don't aggravate it by blotting too often or applying rich oil-based make-up/foundation. Regular extractions and deep cleansing can help, but the right products are necessary to prevent recurrence. Ezann: What's the remedy for dehydrated skin? Pauline: First, get a diagnosis to verify if your skin is dry or dehydrated. There is a difference. Dry skin is a skin type that doesn’t produce much oil (or sebum). Dehydrated skin is a skin skin condition where your skin lacks water. The latter is a condition that is often triggered by external factors. It may be due to climate change or from using the wrong type of skincare products. Fret not. Dehydration can be fixed. In mild cases, a gentle exfoliation followed by a moisture-packed face mask and moisturiser might be all you need. Note: These products should strictly be for hydrating rather than as multitaskers that also offer whitening/lightening or even stimulating anti-aging properties. For extremely dehydrated skin do not exfoliate your skin no matter how
gentle your product promises to be.  If your skin turns flaky or starts to itch, visit a skincare professional. A 30-minute LED treatment can help soothe your skin, with a follow-up Sun Rescue treatment to re-hydrate and most importantly, help your skin repair and recover from the damage caused by dehydration. Ezann: Lastly, what can I do to prevent enlarged pores? Pauline: Enlarged pores/open pores can be caused by over-active oil glands and / or aging. In the case of an oily-skin condition, it is important to de-congest with a good skincare regime or timely maintenance skincare treatments. This is how you can prevent dirt from  accumulating within the pore, thus reducing the chances of your pores overstretching (enlarging).  For aging skin, the appearance of open pores can be a result of collagen loss. Without a firm collagen base, the skin on the surface tends to look “sunken in”, thus resulting in a “depressed” pore appearance. It helps to go for facials that repair and stimulate collagen synthesis — they should help to improve or delay the appearance of open pores. Ezann: Thanks, Pauline!

*DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR PAULINE? 

Send it to us via the form below by May 11, 2018, 2359hrs.
We know it’s not always easy to ask for help. So, we are going to give one of you
a 60-minute OxyRevive facial treatment at Porcelain (worth S$212.93) + our absolute favourite
Soothe — Deep Hydrating Lotion (120ml, worth S$69) as a little motivation.
The winner will be announced on May 14, 2018.
See details and terms and conditions here.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
.

The giveaway has now ended.

PHOTOGRAPHY & ART DIRECTION  //  KARMAN TSE
HAIR & FACE  //  VERA LIM
ASSISTANCE  //  EVA RISHON HO
OUTFITS  //  ESSE (ORGANIC COTTON T-SHIRT) & THE MISSING PIECE (DRESSES)
JEWELLERY  //  CHOCOLATE GEMS
LOCATION  //  LE SALON BY LING

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