Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men

As the fairer sex can surely attest to, learning the in’s and out’s of skincare routines to ensure you put your best face forward can be a daunting to say the least. But gentlemen, let the steep learning curve through you off, because neglecting your dermis can cause severe problems. To avoid any unwanted conditions, here are five simple skincare tips to incorporate into your daily schedule.

gafencu grooming Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men fresh faced

Keep the body and facial routine separate
Although a steaming hot shower can be therapeutic after a long day, there are two common mistakes that occur during this relaxing period of your self-care regimen that you should avoid. Firstly, don’t wash your face with hot water. Secondly, make sure you use soaps that are specifically made for facial use, rather than bodywash. In both instances, these culprits lead to dry skin and skin surface damage due to the skin on the face being more sensitive than the body.

Solution: A more appropriate and gentle treatment is to use gentle face cleansers and rinse with lukewarm water. 

gafencu grooming Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men face wash

Exfoliate twice a week
Although daily face washing is non-negotiable for a properly kept mug, it isn’t enough to settle for just that. Although cleansing helps the skin look healthier, a lack of exfoliation leads to a build-up of dead skin cells and can result in dry, patchy skin and clogged pores.

Solution: Using an exfoliating face scrub gentle washes off dead skin cells and triggers the skin’s natural renewal process — revealing younger looking skin.

gafencu grooming Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men routine

Treat acne
Although you should never pop a pimple, that doesn’t mean to default to no treatment at all. Especially for men who have more androgen (a hormone that creates sebum, which gives the skin its unpleasantly greasy texture), male pores tend to clog easily, causing acne. Leaving them untreated without any remedial solution can leave behind marks and in some cases, permanent acne scars. 

Solution: Products with retinol, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide help heal the skin, strip down dead skin cells and fight bacteria — providing better maintenance and prevention for acne-prone skin.

gafencu grooming Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men treatment

Moisturise after every wash
Although men’s skin is thicker and more resilient to ageing than women’s, simply washing-and-drying is not going to cut. If a truly fresh faced dermis is what you aim for, moisturising is the key. Face wash typically contain ingredients that can strip away the skin’s natural oils, so without moisturisers, the skin will appear dry, while also becoming more sensitive to flaking and, according to Baylor College of Medicine, extremely dry skin can develop into more serious skin conditions like inflammation and eczema.

Solution: Apply a generous layer of moisturiser and massage it into the skin. There are various types of products to choose from which benefit different skin type but commonly soothing gels with aloe vera accommodate sensitive skin, while oil-based cream nourishes dry skin and water-based moisturisers combat oily skin.

gafencu grooming Five skincare tips to avoid acne and dry skin for men sunscreen

Apply sunscreen daily
It’s a common misconception that sunscreen is reserved only on the days you spend out on the beach or at sea, but that is not the case as the majority of dermatologists will suggest. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the UV rays from the sun can damage the skin’s pigment cells and increase the growth of free radicals. This  contributes to the risk of developing skin cancer and speeding up premature ageing. 

Solution: Apply an even layer of sunscreen of at least a level of SPF 30 (after a moisturiser) to block harmful UV rays from sinking into the skin. There are also a variety of moisturisers with SPF included available on the market for a two-in-one effect.

Making the cut: Top barbershops for a classic wet shave

The rise in popularity of modern barbershops with traditional wet shaves reflects the fact that the city’s well-groomed men recognize the importance of a sheer cut and straight-razor-shaved hair. Unlike hair salons, barbers equipped with shears, clippers and a straight razor blade, are specialists in what men desire and will provide an experience like no other. These are the city’s top places for men to get a gentleman’s cut and a traditional wet shave. 

Making the cut Top barbershops for a classic wet shave gafencu magazine men's grooming

For a classic British experience

Fox and the Barber is a classic tiled barber shop with 1940s-inspired lighting that provides an experience that truly delivers a traditional gentleman’s grooming experience. Their 75-minute wet cut and finish includes a beard trim capped with a classic straight razor blade. To really experience a classic gentleman’s shave, the 45-minute Acqua di Parma club shave provides the premium experience of a steamed towel shave prepared with the luxury Italian product, Acqua Di Parma, a rich layer of shaving cream and beard balm  for an ultra smooth shave.

Price: HK$950-$1700

Location: Central

Contact: +852 2405 6880

Making the cut Top barbershops for a classic wet shave gafencu magazine men's grooming the mandarin barber
Image from The Mandarin Barber

For a Classic Mandarin experience

Nestled on the second floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, the 1930’s-inspired The Mandarin Barber provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of a gentleman’s club. It provides a VIP room for the comfort and privacy of a premium shave and trim, and the option to unwind with its restorative grooming treatments that includes lifestyle massages, waxing treatments and facials for men. 

Price: HK$1750 up

Location: Central

Contact: +852 2825 4088

Making the cut Top barbershops for a classic wet shave gafencu magazine men's grooming herr at attire house
Image from HERR at Attire House

For a full range grooming service

HERR is an elegant grooming space housed discretely within the luxury tailoring shop, Attire House. Aiming to “create an environment that is a true escape from the city”, guests are encouraged to detach, relax, and put their trust on the careful executions of the parlour’s skilled staff. The luxury barber shop’s services include bespoke gentleman’s cut for both men and their sons, and a traditional wet shave paired with top-notch styling products, lathers and facial massage. 

Price:  HK$1000

Location: Central

Contact: +852 26199007 

Making the cut Top barbershops for a classic wet shave gafencu magazine men's grooming oi kwan barber
Image from Oi Kwan Barber

For  a Classic Canton experience

Serving Hong Kong’s eastern district since 1962, Wan Chai- based canton barber shop, Oi Kwan Barbers, has stood against the test of time, evolving with numerous changes that the neighbourhood had gone through as it remains relevant to modern men. Still armed with traditional Canton barber techniques, each haircut is finished with hair wash, deep cleaning treatment, hot towel and a quick massage. Its signature grooming package provides a unique experience that offers a wide selection of premium shaving products and a comprehensive personalized haircare consultation.

Price: HK$2388

Location: Wan Chai

Contact: +852 2303-1733

Making the cut Top barbershops for a classic wet shave gafencu magazine men's grooming selvedge barber
Image from Selvedge Barbers

For a Modern experience

Modern street fashion calls for statement looks that fashion stylishly bold and dramatic looks. A vibe that influences the Central-set, Selvedge Barbers, a hair salon that specializes in the trendiest and most contemporary hairstyles for men. Its latest look-book features intelligent layering techniques that are meant to be styled into more than just one look, offering customers a personalised signature cut that reflects their day-to-day mood and style preference. Include a traditional hot towel shave for a whole-rounded experience.

Price: HK$750 Up

Location: Central

Contact: +852 2577 3080

10 skincare ingredients that are damaging to the skin

Do you know that our skin can absorb up to 60 percent of the ingredients in skincare products which can later come in contact with our bloodstream? 

It can be a bit scary to imagine that many cosmetic products are comprised of different chemicals that have the potential of causing more harm than good. Though the minute amounts of chemicals used to produce skincare products are legal and safe. they can still cause some visible side effects, especially to those with sensitive skin.

Here are some of the most common ingredients in skincare products which are best to avoid:

10 skincare ingredients that are damaging to the skin deodorant anti-pesperant

1. Aluminum

A toxic metal compound found to affect adversely estrogen in a woman’s body and which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. There may be more than 25 types of aluminum present in cosmetic products.

Aluminum is commonly found in body deodorants.

10 skincare ingredients that are damaging to the skin facial cleanser

2. Parabens

Two common anti-bacterial preservatives used in many skincare products. There have been recent findings of Parabens in breast tumours.

3. Formaldehyde

Similar to Parabens, Formaldehyde is an ingredient used as a preservative in cosmetic products. It is a colourless gas that is typically added with water to make formalin which has been found to cause irritation to the skin.

Parabens and Formaldehyde are commonly found in shampoos, lotions, and facial cleansers.

10 skincare ingredients that are damaing your skin gafencu magazine cream

4. Sodium lauryl suphate (SLS)

An ingredient used as an emulsifier to thicken cosmetic products. It creates a texture that is easy to apply and rinse off the skin. However, because this chemical is a harsh detergent, it is also known to cause redness, irritation, and dry skin. This chemical can result in skin issues such as dermatitis and dandruff, especially to those with sensitive skin.

SLS is commonly found in shaving cream, makeup remover, and bathing products

5. Triclosan

Similar to SLS, this ingredient is a harsh anti-bacterial agent that also acts as a cosmetic product preservative. It has been found to cause several allergies and is suspected to be linked with hormone disruption in the body. 

Triclosan is commonly found in deodorant, hand soap, and shower gel.

10 skincare ingredients that are damaing your skin gafencu magazine lipstick


6. Petrolatum

This mineral oil type is usually found in lip balms and moisturizers and it provides temporary relief to dry sky though it doesn’t really contain any moisturizing properties. Instead, it acts as a barrier to retain moisture but blocks the pores from absorbing moisture from other applications, thus preventing the skin from breathing and causing it to dry.

Petrolatum is commonly found in lip products, moisturizers, and sunscreen.

7. Coal tar

Unfortunately for women who love to play with lipsticks, this ingredient is likely found in most tinted lip products. Typically, the more vibrant the product, the more likely it is to contain this ingredient as it is used as a base to brighten the colours of cosmetics products. This ingredient can cause irritation resulting in acne and allergic breakouts. 

Coal tar is commonly found in lipsticks, hair dyes, and lotions.

10 skincare ingredients that are damaing your skin gafencu magazine moisurizer

8. Hydroquinone

This ingredient acts as a skin-lightening agent to bleach skin. It helps with hyperpigmentation, such as acne scars, age spots, and freckles by reducing melanin — the cells that produce skin colour. However, over time, overuse of this harsh bleaching agent can cause skin damage that can result in blemishes and premature aging.

Hydroquinone is commonly found in skin lighteners, facial moisturizers, and cleansers.

9. Synthetic Fragrances

Not limited to perfumes, synthetic fragrances can be found in any product with a pleasant scent to it. Typically, these scents are artificial and chemical-based. Natural scents with essential oils are better alternatives to avoid the side effects of synthetic fragrances which have been found to be correlated with respiratory issues and allergic skin reactions.

Synthetic fragrances are commonly found in facial products, makeup, sunscreen, and bathing products.

10 skincare ingredients that are damaing your skin gafencu magazine lotion cream


10. Alcohol

Alcohol has been known to cause the skin to dry and flake. Although its use brings positive effects, prolonged use can damage the surface of the skin to dry and flake, disrupting the skin’s renewal cycle.

Alcohol is commonly found in toners, aftershave, and lotions. 
10 skincare ingredients that are damaing your skin gafencu magazine natural organic products


Because skincare is an essential routine for keeping up a youthful and healthy look, it can be difficult to avoid all harmful ingredients in beauty products. However, organic and natural alternatives help minimize the use of chemicals in daily life. 

Here are a few natural skincare options to use for an alternative routine:

Mineral-based formulas that include vital nutrients

100% plant-based and result-oriented formulas made for Asian climate

Rare SkinFuel
Nutrient-rich ingredients with formulas to promote active ingredients

Bathe to Basics
Premium, handmade and organic formulas that consist of natural or plant-based extracts.

Tips to choose a plastic surgeon in Hong Kong

Cosmetic surgery, like any major procedure, carries potential risks and complications. For a patient to make sure they are in good hands, finding a doctor with the right qualifications, expertise and experience is essential. Here are key points to consider when searching for a plastic surgeon:


Aside from checking a doctor’s professional certifications, a patient should bear in mind that all specialists need to be registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong which can be checked here.


Cosmetic surgeries can range from breast implants and nose reshaping to so-called non-invasive treatments, such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, and laser treatments.

According to Dr. Daniel Lee, a certified plastic surgeon and member of the Hong Kong Society of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons, not all doctors can perform cosmetic surgeries although doctors need not specialize in plastic surgery to perform non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal filler injections, and laser treatments. These procedures can be performed by certain certified general physicians and dermatologists.


Seek out people who have done cosmetic procedures themselves and ask for their experience and recommendations. Alternatively, general physicians can also provide a list of practicing surgeons in the area.


A good doctor is one who will put patients’ mind at ease before, during and after the medical procedure. The most ideal situation is for the doctor and patient to discuss clearly the objectives and reasons for the cosmetic surgery and assess the way the doctor offers compassion and clear information that will manage patients’ expectations, pre-surgery and aftercare process.

Tips to pick a plastic surgeon in Hong Kong gafencu (5) cosmetic aesthetic procedure feature


Asking relevant questions can give the patient a good idea about the doctor’s experience and track record in a particular procedure such as:

  • What type of operation does the doctor specialises in?
  • How many times has the doctor performed the specific procedure?​
  • How many years has the doctor been operating?

Access to hospital facilities

Like any surgical operation, cosmetic surgery carries its own risks and complications. Even a simple procedure like Botox injections, especially near the nose, can cause blockages in blood vessels. In the extreme case that something goes wrong, the patient would certainly want a doctor who has access hospital facilities where you can be treated.



Find a qualified plastic surgeon in Hong Kong

Find useful information on cosmetic procedures

Pamper yourself with these at-home nail and massage services

You can certainly pamper yourself with a most soothing and relaxing massage and even get your nails done without leaving the comfort of your home. Why step out when you can now get these services – right at your doorstep? Although nail salons and massage parlours have re-opened for business, you need not step out of your home for a much-deserved day of self-care. Some companies have started bringing spa and other beauty services right to your front door. 

Here are some at-home nail and massage services that are available for house-calls across the city. 


Pamper yourself with these at-home nail and massage services gafencu magazine


MoMa, an abbreviation of Mobile Massage, puts their clients’ comfort first. Offering house calls to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon districts, so you won’t have to leave the comfort of your home, staying relaxed before your session until the end. Their signature massage is an integration of different modalities and techniques to help alleviate tiredness, reduce muscle pain, joint stiffness and alleviate migraine. 

Price Rate: HK $750 – $1100 
Contact Details: (852) 6535-0570

Pamper yourself with these at-home nail and massage services gafencu magazine rainbow nails

Rainbow Nails: 

For groups of three and more, host a pamper party at home with your girlfriends with Rainbow Nails services. From the basic mani-pedi to intricate designs on 3D nails, and even a nice massage to put you at ease. Their decade-long service as certified O.P.I nail technicians, they also have nail care and treatment courses available. 

Price Rate: HK $1,600 Up
Contact Details: (852) 3796 6268

Pamper yourself with these at-home nail and massage services gafencu magazine Home thai massage and spa
Image from Home Thai Massage and Spa

Home Thai Massage & Spa

Receiving favourable reviews on various online platforms, this Central and Wan Chai-based massage parlour provides house call services to your home and hotel within Central and Wan Chai districts. You can treat yourself and your significant other to a stress-free session right in the comfort of your own home. Although specializing in Thai massage, you can also choose from a range of other services, such as the waves massage that uses traditional Hawaiian and Thai techniques or the calming dream massage. 

Price Range: HK $1300 – $2800
Contact Details: (852) 2529 8894


Aesop ventures into tooth territory with first-ever toothpaste

Aesop, an Australian skincare brand, has taken a bold approach to combat a personal problem many people never discuss in public – tooth decay.

Standing out from the generic toothpaste crowd, Aesop’s first-ever toothpaste is a unique blend of distinct flavour and various essential oils, including anise, spearmint and clove.

It contains a mild abrasive to thoroughly cleanse teeth and contains ingredients that are scientifically proven to decrease the chance of users getting tooth decay and plaque build-up.

The formulation is fluoride-free, which prevents yellow teeth and functions as an effective cleanser for teeth and gums.

The toothpaste is also ideal for people used to harsh brushing as it contains sea buckthorn, an effective ingredient used to soothe gum aggravation.

Other active ingredients include cardamom and wasabia japonica, which help to maintain oral hygiene.

Like all other toothpastes, it is recommended to use Aesop’s toothpaste twice daily.

Herr and Mighty: Watch our interview with Central’s newest barbershop owner

South Korean barbershop Herr opened its first foreign branch recently in the heart of Central, on the 29th floor of Attire House.

Herr was founded by Sangyoon Lee in Seoul in 2013 to encourage men to look their best, while feeling comfortable enough to build a rapport with their barber, who in turn shares knowledge on haircare and grooming.

Herr offers an intimate experience, with only two barber seats and with its view out of the wraparound window on the 29th floor, guests escape the hustle ‘n’ bustle below.

Herr is a barbershop aimed at the discerning, modern Hong Kong gentleman, which is evident by some of its collaborations in the past — Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tods, Club Monaco, Patek Philippe and Four Seasons Hotel.

Due to its partnership with Attire House, visitors to Herr can also peruse ready-to-wear clothing, bespoke tailoring or enjoy a drink in the roof-top bar.

We met with Lee to find out what Herr offers and why he chose Hong Kong, and we watched a shaving demonstration.

Herr barbershop

29th Floor

8 Wyndham Street

Asia Pacific Centre



Six of the best new beauty buys for 2017

The beauty world will be welcoming some long-awaited new additions in 2017, with several tip-top products arriving on the market. From creams to lipsticks and exfoliators to liners, we round up the best of the bunch.

Dermanlogica Daily Superfoliant

Dermanlogica Daily Superfoliant

Perfect for city-dwellers, the latest offering from Californian-based beauty brand Dermanlogica promises pollutant-free, dewy skin. The main ingredients are white charcoal, designed to remove deep toxins, plus red algae and tara fruit, which prevent the skin from absorbing impurities. The result is smooth, soft and refined skin that glows.

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer

This easy to apply, creamy concealer ensures a blemish-free and even skin-tone, thanks to its non-crease, oil-less formula. Minimising imperfections (including fine lines and wrinkles), the smoothing peptides offer long-lasting coverage without feeling heavy or cloying. The range is available in 16 different shades.

Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip

Benefit They're Real Double The Lip

A spin-off from the brand’s cult-worthy They’re Real mascaras and liners, Benefit’s latest must-have is a gorgeous range of lip shades designed to colour and plump. Coming in a range of pout-worthy hues, the niftiest addition is the built-in liner which comes in a different shade than the lipstick. The result is expertly lined and coloured lips.

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Moisturizing and Embellishing Foam Mask

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Mosturizing and Embellishing Foam Mask

Givenchy’s beauty team constantly delivers outstanding products and their latest foam mask is no exception. Incredibly soothing, the gently scented mask is designed to restore, renew, moisturise and brighten. After applying, leave on the skin for 10 minutes before washing off to reveal a glowing, rejuvenated visage.

Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream

Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream for Face & Neck

Designed especially for dull, finely-lined skin that has lost its elasticity, this luxurious cream is for use on both the face and the neck. Using specially selected ingredients – including goji fruit extract, peptides and black tea – the complexion immediately feels firmer and tightened.

Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette

Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette

A sleek well-thought out palette, this Tom Ford kit is the perfect carry-round for a girl about town. With two blusher and highlighter options plus four eye shadows – two in matte and two in shimmer – the set is ideal for mixing and matching to create the perfect look. Available in two options, warm or soft, its gorgeous presentation (in a faux gold clasp box) also makes this an ideal gift idea.

Text: Siobhan Brewood-Wyatt

A fine kitchen remains the heart of any home

Modern. Spacious. Expensive. Those would seem to be the three essential words used to brief any designer of truly contemporary kitchens. As one of the most important spaces in any house, though, this is one room where function really ought to surpass form. The living heart of any home, the kitchen needs to cater to the creation of gourmet standard cuisine when guests need to be impressed, while also being a relaxed enough space for informal family eating when casual is the watchword of the day.

From quaint Spanish villas to rambling ranches to hideaways in South American rainforests, the quirky to the seamlessly modern – the kitchens showcased all bring something different to the table. As with the fine fare they will ultimately be called upon to deliver, it’s all a matter of taste.

Home on the Range
The most expansive dwelling on show this month – with the cost of its kitchen accordingly high – comes courtesy of this highly salubrious dwelling nestled in California’s Napa Valley. Such is the extent of the actual premises and its surrounding land that it is technically deemed a ranch. Originally built in the 1920s, it is now valued at tens of millions of US dollars. Given that it comprises of 12 bedrooms – five with en-suite bathrooms – a wine cellar, a swimming pool and sauna, a kitchen with a wood-fired oven, a six-car garage and accompanying stables, the price tag is hardly a surprise. The kitchen itself is a grandiose affair, complete with open-plan, stylish stone flooring and luxurious seating. This is a truly joyous space, ideal for family time or for serious, high volume food preparation whenever that may be required.

Height of Success
Majoring on altitude with attitude, this picturesque snow retreat combines the ultra-modern with some very fine homely touches. Set in Colorado’s McLain Flats, one of the world’s foremost skiing destinations, this stylish residence was designed by Steve Whipple, co-founder of the award-wining Whipple & Brewster architectural partnership. Explaining his vision for the site, Whipple says: “I wanted to create the true Colorado experience. I saw it as a home fit for a sophisticated family, one that valued the seclusion of such a rural setting, but one that also valued the convenience of being only minutes from the bustle of downtown.”

The kitchen itself is a seamless mix of marbled benchtops, woodgrain cabinets and ultra-modern aluminum-finish appliances, with a cosy sandstone tiled floor completing the look. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Aspen ski slopes, it is unlikely any chef ever had a better view.

Copywrighted Photo from Alan's Studio on Main

Ibicenco Fantastico
For those seeking a truly rustic retreat, this charming Spanish kitchen is pretty much ideal. Entirely in keeping with the ensemble feel of this delightfully Moroccan-style dwelling, set in the very heart of Ibiza, the centre point of its kitchen space features three interlocking crescent moons, fetchingly framed against a blue night-sky background. At first glance, this conceit appears to be a gold-tiled pyramid set above the workspace, while it is actually a well-concealed ventilation duct. Other features of this sumptuous space include a lattice door frame with a blue and white mosaic emblem and a large, gold-hued metal and glass lamp suspended above a simply fashioned wooden kitchen table and matching chairs.

Upper Phillimore Gardens
For something truly regal – and with a price tag to match – there are few better options than Upper Phillimore Gardens, which occupies a prime location in one of London’s most desirable residential areas. Valued at $128 million ($HK994.1 million), this 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom mini-mansion comes with a stylish gold and marble interior throughout. Its impressive list of additional features includes an underground swimming pool, a sauna, a gym, a roof terrace and even a panic room – a boon for any suddenly hard-up owner who finds himself worrying about just how to pay the mortgage.

Thankfully, the kitchen in this rather splendid residence is far from being a disappointment. Doubling up as a breakfast room, it is a comparatively informal setting, complete with generous south-facing windows that perfectly draw in the natural light of early morning. At present, it is home to Olena Pinchuk, daughter of an ex-president of Ukraine and a friend of Elton John.

French Flair
For those seeking a kitchen space that incorporates a number of quirkier elements, any home masterminded by Xavier Fraud, the French architect and designer, might be worth a look. Set in Brittany, in northern France, the kitchen space of this particular residence effortlessly blends motifs from several architectural schools. Art deco stools – complete with flowing metal pipe formations and candy-coloured upholstery – starkly contrast with the austere industrial-era dining table and chairs. A more playful feel is bestowed by a large wall-mounted pop-art relief and a pair of sculpted wooden Contiki masks. While clearly not to everyone’s taste, somehow these disparate components create a whole that is uniquely apt.

Ample Proportions
La Maison des Deux Fleurs estate, set along the picturesque shoreline of Lake Michigan, is pretty much the embodiment of the classic contemporary look. This ambitious residence is the brainchild of Allen Musikantow, a Chicago-based real estate magnate. In partnership with Richard Bos, a renowned local architect, he oversaw the home’s construction – from concept to completion – in less than two years. Boasting ample room throughout, its state-of the-art kitchen is no exception. It features all the expected utilities, a large pantry and direct access to the adjoining dining and music rooms. One notably homely touch in the kitchen is its inglenook – a combined chimney corner and fireplace, which helps to keep the kitchen all toasty when the wind blows in from the Great Lakes.

Tropical Musings
Set amid the lush splendour of the Osa Peninsula on the Costa Rican coast, this mansion is just perfect for languid balmy evenings and days of relaxed reflection. Robles Arquitectos, the celebrated Central American architect firm, conceived the home as the last word in ecologically-responsible design. The designers were intent on making intelligent use of the available space while capitalising on the area’s ample mix of rain and sunshine, thus ensuring that the home is self-sufficient in terms of both its energy and water needs. Its generously proportioned kitchen, meanwhile, complete with counter serving, a dining table and lounge chairs, flows seamlessly into the entertainment area. It’s just about the perfect setting for a seafood supper, gently fanned by a light breeze through the extensive balcony window.

Winter is here: Skincare products for women and men


The cold, dry months are a real nightmare after Christmas. Winter is here and with it comes cracked and dry skin. And unfortunately it is not just winter that wreaks havoc on your skin — late nights, jet lag, smoking and pollution are just a number of things that can also affect your skin.

Luckily, Clarins, Dior, Selvedge and a few others are here to save the day with their skincare products.


Dior Prestige La Creme Texture Riche is as fancy as the name suggests. The rich texture comes from its 100 percent natural ingredients of mango butter, waxes and oils. Its ultra-rich balm texture instantly blends into the skin. An active anti-freeze ingredient has been infused into the formula to protect cells from the cold.

Clarins Boosters Groupshot

Clarins has reportedly spent 10 years researching how to help your skin fight the excesses of daily life. The result: three super-concentrated formulas for women to use daily, weekly or monthly.

Booster Energy has a ginseng extract to tone and re-energise your face and make you look as radiant as possible. Booster Repair is enriched with mimosa tenuiflora, a Mayan medicinal plant. This face booster helps to reduce discomfort, improve skin strength and minimise redness. The final member of the skincare trio, Booster Detox, comes with a green coffee extract to boost dull complexions and detoxify the skin.


La Prairie, the world renowned luxurious Swiss skincare expert, has the Platinum Collection, which, as the brand claims, is their best collection yet.

Cellular Cream Platinum helps to recharge your skin, increasing its absorption of nourishing ingredients. Climate-activated hydration releases moisture and the cream preserves skin texture and tone.

Serum Platinum Rare serum helps to maintain the skin’s balance by restoring moisture. A skin-brightening complex and potent antioxidants make the skin firmer, brighter and rejuvenated.

Jurlique New Year Collection

Jurlique is celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year with its Iconic Rose Collection. Featuring Rosewater Balancing Mist and Rose Hand Cream, the gift set is only available for a limited time. The scented facial mist is infused with rose extracts to leave your skin refreshed, hydrated and renewed. The hand cream also features rose extracts.


And for the men, Selvedge Grooming Italy has a couple of products to help different skin types.  Cleanse and Shave is a 2-in-1 antioxidant face wash and shaving cream. It comes with the masculine scent of bamboo extract, barbary fig extract, bisabolol and a number of others.

Sticking with the 2-in-1 approach, Hydrate & Protect is a lightweight moisturiser and aftershave. The gel restores essential nutrients and locks in moisture, while also minimising irritation and redness caused by shaving.