Flashback Friday: Small Boobs Unite! (And Find the Right Bra for You)

I think when I say that I have problems finding a good fitting bra since I am so petite, some of you would probably nod in agreement because you feel the same way. Yes, I have a small bust and I was ashamed of it. Going to bra shops and trying on the smallest size they carry, usually a 32A, and realizing I can’t even fill those up only added to my insecurity. Ladies, if you experienced the same situation, please know that we all come in different shapes in sizes. You are beautiful no matter what size you wear and I am excited to tell you that you no longer have to worry about being “too small” because there are shops that carry petite lingerie so you’ll finally be able to wear a bra that’s the right size for you.

First of all, it’s important to find out exactly what size you wear. Lingerie companies tend to use different calculations to arrive at your bra size, but they always take the same measurements: the under-bust area and the fullest part of your bust. If you personally visit a lingerie shop, ask them to measure you, or for those who are shy, tell them your two measurements and they should be able to tell you your size. If you buy bras online, be sure to check their fitting section since they tend to vary.

When fitting, you should be fastening your bra at the outermost hook because the band tends to stretch overtime and you can move in a hook when this happens and still fit the bra fine. After you put it on, pull the back of the band outwards and it should only stretch out 2 inches. Go up or down a band size depending on how much it stretches out. Do take into account that cup size changes with band size: when going up a band size, go down a cup size (e.g. the cups of 30B and 32A should be the same).

Lula Lu Petites

From left: Wireless Push-up Bra ($36.00); Azaria Bralette & Azaria Thong ($48.00/$30.00); Isabella Demi Cup Bra ($54.00). All from Lula Lu Petites.

Lula Lu Petites Lingerie

Some of you may be comfortable and proud of your petite breasts. You may not want to pretend to have more than what you own with major push-up bras but can’t seem to find small bras that fit you without thick padding. Ellen Shing’s lingerie collection, Lula Lu Petites, feature bras that are unpadded to lightly-lined. Sizes range from 32AAA-36AAA, 32AA-38AA and 32A-36A.

The Little Bra Company

From left: Lucia ($56.00); Sascha ($60.00); Angela ($52.00). All from The Little Bra Company.

The Little Bra Company (TLBC)

For those of you like me who don’t have a whole lot in the chest area but would still love some cleavage, Emily Lau from TLBC has the solution. Their bras do not contain a whole lot of padding but the size and fit are able to miraculously give you enough push for a desired shape. They carry bras that range from 28A-36B in either smooth or lace cups.

Itty Bitty Bra

From left: Signature Bra ($50.00); Bralette ($42.00); Removable Pad Bra ($60.00). All from Itty Bitty Bra.

Itty Bitty Bra

Jane Alden Hodgdon understands that grown small-busted women do not want to be searching the teenage section for a fitting bra. Women like us need a bra that not only provides support, but is also stylish and comfortable. They carry bras in sizes 32AA-36B.

Figleaves

From left: Embrace Lace Petite Push-up Bra by Wacoal ($69.00); Bahia Demi Cup Underwire Bra by Aubade ($82.00); Just Peachy Lace Padded Balconette Bra by Figleaves ($22.53).

Figleaves

Figleaves does not specialize in petite lingerie, but they do carry small sizes, such as band size 28 and 30. They bring together bras from many different companies so there are plenty of options.

Two other stores that you might want to check out are LoveStruck Lingerie and Eve’s Apples.

 

Asian Woman Turns To Photoshop To Change Appearance

Yesterday, we pointed out that the pressure to be thin is only one of the many issues that Asian women face. The need to be beautiful seems to increase daily and Asian women are taking extreme measures to get there.

One such measure is surgery. Last month, the public couldn’t stop talking about television personality Julie Chen and her decision to go under the knife to progress her career. Of course, this is nothing compared to the startling amount of surgeries happening in Asia.

Korean photographer Ji Yeo claims, “Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women on their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the idea woman. As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character.”

In fact, a Korean woman recently went through a number of surgical procedures to look like Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr. Of course, all this comes with a price. Aside from the rather large sum of money women are coughing up to be more beautiful, surgery runs the risk of long-term complications. Take Xiao Lian for example. The already pretty woman decided to get surgery on her face and is now struggling with the deterioration of her face years later.

So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t want the risks of surgery, but can’t deal with the overwhelming pressure to be beautiful? Apparently, some Asian women are turning to photoshop.

The rise of social media and online dating has its share of ups and downs. A notable downside to online dating is the misleading profile pictures. Who hasn’t heard of proper “myspace angles” when taking pictures or the infamous guy who posts up a pictures of himself ten years younger. Social media users have all been warned time and time again– what you see is not necessarily what you get.

A Chinese news and gossip site recently posted up pictures of a woman before and after photoshop. The images quickly went viral and left many Chinese readers in disbelief. World News Views reports, “Reactions ranged from impressed to shocked to downright disturbed that such a ‘plain’ person could become a radiant beauty when equipped with the right tools. Some people needed to be convinced that it was even the same girl.”

To many of us, the altering of pictures is nothing new. In fact, this has become so common that there are even mobile apps which “beautify” pictures as well. For example, the app Beauty Plus smoothens pores, slims down your face, and brightens your eyes with just one tap.

The pressure to be beautiful will surely increase with the rise in photoshop and beauty apps. So tell us what you think– Is it too much? Did this girl even need photoshop to begin with?

shop 1 shop 2 shop 3


shop 4 shop 5

 

 

Michelle Phan’s Quick Secret to Painless Eyebrow Plucking

If you’ve spent years plucking your eyebrows, then you probably remember the very first time that those tweezers hit your brows. You distinctly remember the excitement quickly turning into horror after realizing that eyebrow plucking can be a painful ordeal.

Some of you are the lucky ones. You tolerate pain well and you’ve grown accustomed to your skin being pulled at. This thing has become a breeze after years of practice. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone.

Some girls experience blood every time they pluck. Others have skin so sensitive that the whole process brings tears to their eyes everytime. Even more peculiar, some have complained of the odd need to sneeze whenever they do their eyebrows.

The point is, plucking eyebrows is not always the most enjoyable of activities and Michelle Phan is here to help. The makeup guru has a quick and simple secret to pain-free eyebrow plucking:

1.) Soak a washcloth in hot water and wring dry

2.) Fold the washcloth in half and lay it over your eyebrows for 1-2 minutes

3.) Remove and pluck away!

 

Because heat and moisture are the main components in painless plucking, you can also benefit from plucking your brows after a shower or dipping the tweezers in warm water.

Be sure to check out Michelle Phan’s basic eyebrow tutorial and share some of your brow plucking secrets below:

 

 

Beauty Marketers Know When You Feel The Ugliest, Sell You Make Up In Return

A new study by marketing planning agency PHD has identified the prime times during the week when beauty marketers should sell products to women.  Surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly), they say that beauty ads are the most effective when women feel the least secure about their looks.  Wait, ads that feed on personal insecurities?  You don’t say!

The findings of the “study,” created from survey results, basically show the schedule of women’s attitudes towards their appearance, documenting when women feel the best (Friday nights) and the worst (Monday mornings).  Take a peek at this infographic from Adweek if you want to see more of what they found.

Taking an exploitative approach, PHD recommends that advertisers peddle their products during the start of the week.  As described by Bustle.com, it’s an “Encourage/Empower” approach — encourage the use of that new lipstick, praise them when they buy it.  As explicitly stated in the press release,

Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.

Audrey ad rinko

Though the study isn’t exactly ground-breaking (because, let’s be honest, who feels good on Monday mornings?), the simple fact that marketers are being encouraged to use this information to effectively prey on a woman’s negative self-attitude is alarming and problematic, especially in a society where a hyperrealistic standard of beauty has become the ideal.

Because beyond just selling a lipstick or concealer, what beauty marketers are attempting to sell is a supposed means to gain a larger sense of self-worth.  And that, in and of itself, is not empowering in the least bit.

 

Get a K-pop Complexion: Audrey’s Guide to BB Cream

When Audrey first wrote about BB creams in 2008, it was the latest thing in Korea. The oddly named “blemish balm” originated in Germany as a post-treatment cream for laser surgery patients and was later co-opted by Korean women to create the ssaeng-uhl (bare-faced look) coveted by the nation’s most beautiful actresses. (Even Korean men have taken to wearing BB cream.) Considered a staple in every Korean woman’s beauty regimen, BB cream is now sweeping the U.S., but thankfully for us, the newest iterations have a greater range of shades, coverage and textures.

When Harvard Business School grad Grace Choi first tried BB cream, she liked the finish but had trouble finding a formula that matched her skin tone, especially for different seasons. “I’m more yellow during the winter and more olive/brown during the summer,” says the 29-year-old Korean American. “Asian BB brands offer a very limited number of shades which do not suit the vast majority of diverse American women,” she adds. But she also found that many BB creams currently in the U.S. market didn’t give the same coverage and finish that the Asian BB creams were famous for. So Choi put her medical science background to use and formulated her own brand of BB cream. With 10 different shades, seven work for Asian skin: the Yellow line finishes more golden, while the Olive line has a more brown/tan undertone.

LuckyStrike_AudreyBanners_0713_720x90

BB CREAM TIPS:

* Apply like you would a sunscreen. Put a dime size dollop on your fingers and spread evenly on face. The cream will sink in and adjust to your skintone.

* Apply with fingers, says Choi. “It’s much easier to control and spread than with a brush or sponge.”

* The right shade is important with BB cream. Use one that’s too light and it can look masky. Can’t find the exact shade or right texture in a BB cream? Because BB creams provide buildable coverage, you can mix and match for the perfect formulation. I like mixing a lighter textured cream in a more golden shade with a thicker one in a paler shade, like Estée Lauder with 3Lab, before blending on my face.

Here, we review the best BB creams out there (even one for men!).

Sheer Coverage

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening BB Base

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector (great for young skin, BB novices)

DermaE Evenly Radiant BB Creme

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Lewinn by Kinerase Instant Perfecting BB Cream

Vichy ProEven Mineral BB Cream

Estée Lauder Day Wear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

 

Sheer to Medium Coverage

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit

Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream (an editor favorite!)

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (another editor favorite)

Cailyn Precious Blend BB Cream (broad range of 6 shades)

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector 

Christina Choi Cosmetics BB Cream (great shades for medium Asian to dark skin tones)

DHC BB Cream Foundation

Comodynes Urban Cosmetics BB Color (darker shades available)

 

Medium to Full Coverage

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream (the widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin, in either matte or dewy formulations)

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm 

Dr. Jart+ Renewalist BB Beauty Balm

3Lab Perfect BB Cream (super anti-aging skincare ingredients)

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream (tons of shades available)

Too Faced Air-Buffed BB Creme (an editor favorite!)

 

FOR MEN! (Yes, we haven’t forgotten you!)

Miracle Skin Transformer MEN SPF20

Tried any of the BB creams on this list? Tell us what you think!

Want us to test a BB cream for you? Let us know!

Get a K-pop Complexion: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Coverage: Sheer to Medium

Shades: 2 (Light/Medium and Medium/Deep)

Price: $12.99

Benefits: SPF 15; antioxidant vitamin C; hyaluronic acid, lipidure microspheres and glycerin for 24-hour moisturization; mineral pigments.

Review: Testing the Light/Medium shade, we found that the cream felt lighter than other BB creams. It goes on smoothly and easily, blending in fairly well and sinking in fast. The color seemed to adjust to our light-medium Asian skin tone. When applied, it looks dewy, a little shiny. This has buildable coverage, so if it looks too sheer, apply more for more coverage. We like this for BB cream/foundation novices and those who don’t need much coverage.

For the Medium/Deep shade, we found the texture to be thick and creamy with a lot of coverage. Some thought it blended into skin nicely; others thought it took a while to sink in, but had better results after using it with a primer. The finish is glowy, but not oily, and lasted all day.

For more BB cream reviews, click here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB

Overview: A great BB cream for teens or makeup novices.

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 5 (from Light to Deep)

Price: approx. $7.50

Benefits: SPF 30, oil-free, a 70% gel-water formula with “no heavy ingredients.”

Review: This has a very light texture, it goes on smoothly and it melts in super fast. The finish is very sheer and, surprisingly, the Light shade is not too pink. Make sure to pick the right shade, though, or else it won’t blend into skin well and will look like it’s just sitting on top of your skin. This is definitely good for BB cream novices, teens or 20-somethings, or those with naturally good skin.

Read more reviews on practically every BB cream on the market here.

Asians in Fashion | Model Amber Chia Stays Glam with Asian Grandmothers in Esquire Malaysia

Every once in a while, I appreciate the quirky fashion editorials from the magazine world. This recent editorial featuring Amber Chia and three lovely older ladies brought out a chuckle in me because it brought a whole new meaning to the term – Girls’ Night Out. Snacking on some late night munchies? Mahjong? Amber Chia being the designated driver for the entire night? My kind of fun.

Check out the rest of the editorial below!

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 2

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 3

Get a K-pop Complexion: Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Overview: The widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin tones. Get it while you can!

Coverage: Medium to Full

Shades: 10 different shades (3 with yellow undertones, 4 in olive undertones), all in either a dewy or a matte formulation

Benefits: SPF 30 broad spectrum, adenosine for anti-aging, arbutin for dark spot repair, Korean pearl extract, oil control, hypoallergenic, oil-free, paraben-free

Price: $34

Review: Creamy texture that goes on well, sinks in smoothly. The perfect amount of coverage for Asian hyperpigmentation, but still sheerer than a foundation. The finish is a little shiny, so you’ll need to blot or powder the T-zone. You can’t beat the range of colors — find the right shade and it seemingly melts into your skin. The best part is you can order a deluxe sample set to try out all the shades, and the price of the sample set is deducted from your full-size order.

Want more BB cream reviews? Click here!

Cosmetic Surgery & Asian Career Women

It’s no question that in today’s society there is a constant desire for women to look beautiful, and Asian countries are definitely not immune to these pressures for perpetual good looks.  Media images perpetuate and affirm a certain, supposed “standard” of acceptable and desired beauty — light skin, straight hair, large eyes, small face, and tall.  To achieve this ideal, many Asian women resort to means like skin lightening creams in the Philippines, double-eyelid tape in South Korea, and of course, cosmetic surgery, the beauty industry in Asia is serious business.

But, what if these procedures and beauty products had a purpose beyond just vanity?  Would you do it?  In countries like China and South Korea, it seems that more and more women are going under the knife for more than just their looks.

According to Joanna Chiu for The Daily Beast, in China, the potentially dangerous procedures are seen as investments that are seen as a way for women to gain an upper hand in the job market.  Wen Hua, author of Buying Beauty: Cosmetic Surgery in China tells the Daily Beast that “the idea that beauty is capital “epitomizes the idea that good looks are the key to increased opportunities for social and career success.”  And this isn’t just hearsay.  As seen in the piece, 10 years ago, 90% of job ads targeted towards women were exclusively for under-30s.  For many government jobs, women must meet a certain height requirement.

The article later describes the story of Liu, a woman pleased with her cosmetic surgery, but also discussing her procedures as a necessary investment in her future, saying she got her job partly due to the fact that she was beautiful.

In South Korea, where cosmetic surgery rates are already well-known to be the highest per capita, things are quite similar. As Sharon Heijin Lee says in an article for CNN,

In Korea, for a woman to be capable, it’s not enough just to have a certain skill set ” she said. “You have to be beautiful as well. After the Korean economic crisis in 1997, competition for jobs led to the surgery boom; people trying to get a leg up in the job market any way they can.

Of course, this is definitely not to say that this is a phenomenon is one that is exclusive to Asia, but such quotes and statistics are reflective of the problematic and global pervasiveness of beauty being seen as just as important factor in the job hunt as someone’s abilities and qualifications.  It places an unnecessary importance on physical attractiveness where it shouldn’t be.  Women are put on a high pedestal, left with the difficult pressure to be seemingly flawless, by virtually any means possible.

Though we’re all about feeling confident and proud of yourself, feeling beautiful is something that you should define, on your own means and on your own terms, not dictated by those around you.

Photo courtesy of Google/Getty Images