#NoFilterSkin Made Possible By GLOMAX Aesthetics


Hey everyone!

You know, every time I receive compliments on my skin from readers who have been following my lipstick reviews, I can’t help but feel a pang of guilt because in reality, my skin is nowhere near flawless. Beneath the layers of foundation and concealer you see on pictures is a face blemished with zits and scars of adolescence which I’m always too ashamed to reveal.

I used to enjoy enviable radiant skin until cystic acne starting emerging when I was 15, and my complexion went downhill from there. I didn’t know what triggered the acne but I knew, for one, that my body was going through a major metamorphosis. My face turned pimply and along the way I also gained a truckload of weight, making me the subject of taunts from school hooligans whom I stood up to.  My confidence level plunged to a new low although I never really showed it. I guess if not for my strong willpower I would have probably ended up depressed or suicidal.


Hey, look! It’s the stock image girl (source)

I had tried all possible ways (minus seeing the dermatologist, as being a secondary school student I had no money for that) to treat my face but not only did they not work, my skin became drier, thinner and more sensitive. I remember going to school once with a swollen and blistered face caused by my allergic reaction to Benzoyl Peroxide.

Although my skin now seems to have cleared up a little with occasional breakout here or there, the traumatising experiences I went through during my teens had certainly made me apprehensive about anything that has to come in contact with my face. That’s why, for the longest time, I refused to get a facial. I mean, really, who wouldn’t be? Just look at all the horrific post-facial experience shared by so many people online (a notable one here)! You not scared I scared leh!

So when boyfriend surprised me with a facial treat (my first ever) 2 years back, I berated him (poor guy). Still, not wanting to let his money go to waste, I obliged, kept my fingers crossed and went ahead with his plan. The experience, however, reaffirmed my stance of facials. It was mostly agonising (especially extraction, quite the norm actually) and the session left me with a cluster of aggravated red bumps on my face which took forever to subside. And to top it off, I had to endure the hard-sell for 15 minutes (could’ve been longer if I didn’t cut her off) thereafter! Argh.

Staying away from beauty parlours, I continued to do my own facial at home using conventional facial masks, and popped my own pimples in front of the mirror (yesssss, I know it’s a terrible habit). It didn’t improved my skin condition nor did it worsen it. But I had no complaints because I’ve kinda resigned to my fate of never getting back my clear skin. Then, one day, I received an invitation from GLOMAX Aesthetics to try out their facial treatment.

To go or not to go?

By then, my first awful facial experience had more or less become a distant memory. Nonetheless, part of me was still quite wary of what could possibly happen to my face after the session (with the aforementioned beauty blogger’s facial ordeal still etched in my mind). But with boyfriend’s encouragement, I eventually took up the offer, albeit with a lower expectation.

GLOMAX Aesthetics

GLOMAX Aesthetics

GLOMAX Aesthetics

GLOMAX Aesthetics

Although conveniently located next to Clarke Quay MRT station, GLOMAX Aesthetics isn’t accessible by everybody. I had to “make known” my presence using the intercom on the first level before taking the lift up. The parlour itself is nestled among many office-like rooms on the sixth level and it has a small interior with no more than 3 treatment rooms.

GLOMAX boasts a superlative collection of award-winning ultimate face and body treatments. Their treatments are specially crafted for instantaneous results and meticulously executed by a team of highly-trained beauty masters with over 8 years of experience in the beauty industry.

Analysing my skin

Analysing my skin

Upon entering, I was ushered to a table to fill out a health-screening questionnaire-cum-declaration form. My skin was then analysed by Evon (one of the beauticians there) and diagnosed as the typical acne-prone skin (as expected) – dry on the surface but oily underneath. For this reason, I was recommended the 60-minute Intensive Acne Medic Treatment (which bagged the Simply Her Best Anti Acne Facial Award 2014). Click here for a list of facial treatments offered by GLOMAX.

My face before the treatment. You can literally see the flakes around my nose.

My face before the treatment. You can literally see the flakes around my nose.

Treatment room (from the door)

Treatment room (from the door)

Treatment room (from the back)

Treatment room (from the back)

I took a couple of pictures throughout the facial treatment, mostly with my eyes covered (yes, I also couldn’t believe how skilled I was haha), so I shall let them do the talking.

Cleansing to remove any product you might have applied onto your face earlier

Cleansing to remove any product you might have applied onto your face earlier (I had put on moisturiser before I left home)

Sonic Cleansing to remove all the impurities and dirt off the skin surface

Sonic Cleansing to remove all the impurities and dirt off the skin surface

The amount of dirt on my face!

The amount of dirt on my face!

And here comes the most excruciating part of the facial treatment:

Manual extraction

Manual extraction to remove dead skin cells

Besides preventing me from witnessing the dreadful procedure, I believe the cotton square puffs were there to soak up my tears because my eyes were literally tearing from pain. I had always thought the purpose of extraction was to pop my visible pimples so I was a little baffled when that step took so darn long (when in actual fact, was less than 5 minutes la because the esthetician moved from one area to another very quickly)! I didn’t remember seeing a lot of pimples on the mirror before I left my house!


Even when I pop my zits on a regular basis! (bad habit, please don’t learn)

Although I could have alert my esthetician about my discomfort (and she would adjust her techniques to my level of comfort), I chose to endure the agony because I somehow knew it would be beneficial to my skin that way. I later found out that extraction helps to draw out all the accumulated dead skin cells in the pores! You can watch some examples here and here. It’s actually quite gratifying seeing those nasty stuff underneath your skin gets taken out. After this step, my skin felt a lot cleaner and “emptied”.

My face being cleaned with a wipe after extraction

My face being cleaned with a wipe after extraction

My face after extraction - red and blotchy as I had expected. But it wasn't as aggravated as I had imagined it to be.

My face after extraction – red and blotchy as I had expected. But it wasn’t as aggravated as I had imagined it to be.

Mild Antiseptic High Frequency for anti-bacterial and to heal the skin

Mild Antiseptic High Frequency for anti-bacterial and to heal the skin

BROW BONUS: My esthetician offered to shape and groom my brows!

BROW BONUS: My esthetician offered to shape and groom my brows! Totally didn’t expect that!

Had cold gel applied onto my face in preparation for the upcoming Acne IPL

Had cold gel applied onto my face in preparation for the upcoming Acne IPL

Acne IPL to rebalance the sebum level and clear up the skin

Acne IPL to rebalance the sebum level and clear up the skin

My eyes were shielded from the sudden beam of light with a goggle-like protective gear (pictured below). Every application would leave a warming sensation that went away within seconds. If I’m not mistaken, this also helps to remove some facial hair which could have trapped sebum, bacteria and dead cells in its follicle, thus causing a pimple to form.

After Acne IPL

After Acne IPL

The acne on the left side of my face seemed to have flattened

The acne on the left side of my face seemed to have flattened

A piece of facial gauze laid over my face. Guess what's next?

A piece of facial gauze laid over my face. Guess what’s next?

Acne Treatment Mask a.k.a charcoal mask!

Acne Treatment Mask a.k.a charcoal mask!

Acne Treatment Mask

The Acne Treatment Mask was so comforting on the skin because it was cold!

And then I was left to rest for the next couple of minutes! I unknowingly fell into a deep slumber after my esthetician left the room.

The session ended with moisturiser and sunblock application

The session ended with moisturiser and sunblock application

Face not as red and blotchy anymore, eh?

Face not as red and blotchy anymore, eh?

A few hours later, under natural lighting (still with my moisturiser and sunblock on). The redness and bumps have substantially subsided!

A few hours later, under natural lighting (still with my moisturiser and sunblock on). The redness and bumps have substantially subsided!

The aftermath

Probably due to my unhealthy diet (ate Samyang spicy Korean noodles that night oh goodness gracious me), pimples still formed from time to time but they were mostly small, pus-filled ones that healed speedily. My old zits had also disappeared and for the first time in years, my face was near-spotless (like 85% thereabout) during my menstrual cycle in August!

My face exactly one week later!

My no-makeup face exactly one week later! This, despite late nights everyday and an unhealthy diet haha

Side-by-side comparison

Side-by-side comparison. Very pleased!

And that’s abo- oh wait, there’s more!

GLOMAX Aesthetics has kindly extended an offer to my readers!

Quote “FIONA” when making appointment to enjoy a full 60-minute Intensive Acne Medic Facial for just $88 (UP S$150). SMS your preferred time slot to 

If you’re planning to treat yourself to a facial, I’d highly recommend GLOMAX Aesthetics because I really think the facial was effective (FYI, I’m not obliged to review on their service). Well, I believe my pictures speak for themselves, don’t you think? 🙂

With my esthetician. Thanks GLOMAX Aesthetics for having me!

With my esthetician. Thanks GLOMAX Aesthetics for having me!

Thanks for reading! ❤

GLOMAX Aesthetics – The Face Artistry

12 Eu Tong Sen St
#6-168 (beside Swissotel Merchant Court)
SOHO 2, The Central
Singapore 059819
Nearest MRT station: Clarke Quay (less than 5-minute walk)
Operating hours: Mon – Fri 10:00am – 8:00pm, Sat – Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm
Email: callglomax@gmail.com
Tel: +65 6225 5193
Website | Facebook | Instagram | #NoFilterSkin

My Skin Imperfections + How to Clear Pimples

Hello ladies (and maybe gentlemen as well)! Hope all of you had a splendid new year! I spent mine in Taiwan and I will definitely find time to blog about it soon!

Last week while looking into my mirror like how I’d usually do to prep myself for a night out, it occurred to me that my complexion wasn’t as bad as it looked 10 years ago when I had my first sudden outbreak of acne. I was kinda astonished because it was my time of the month and I expected more red bumps on my cheeks.

They say pictures are deceiving – that’s certainly true for me. I never had flawless skin since I was 15 when I started breaking out on my forehead, cheeks and jawline (strangely zits rarely formed on my nose). Prior to that, I had smooth and supple skin 😦 I was obviously not very proud of my complexion so I photoshopped my pictures ever since (which is a blessing in disguise because that was how I honed my photoshopping skills LOL) before publishing them online. My skin was at its worst during my secondary school days. My confidence plunged to the lowest level then and I totally avoided making eye contact during conversations as I didn’t want to see the other party scrutinising every detail on my face. Every pimple I popped, a few more would appear. I was so afraid to walk into pharmacies because I’d definitely get approached by salesgirls trying to promote me acne products. It was so depressing that I even broke down before my Mom once!

My acne-prone skin is definitely not hereditary though, for both my parents had perfect skin when they were young. My sister who is turning 20 this year, no matter how unhealthy her diet and lifestyle are, maintains a flawless complexion and has never had more than 3 zits on her face. Something must have gone wrong in my body system – I just can’t figure out what.

Nauseating pictures coming up. Swallow whatever’s in your mouth.. You’ve been warned.

Pimply me

Pimply me back in 2007 with Angel, who has passed away last August 😥

Pimply me 2

In 2007 again. SEE THAT BIG PIMPLE ON MY CHEEK?! homg.

Instead of berating my parents for giving me bad genes (lol), I tried all sorts of crazy pimple home remedies in hopes of clearing my skin before I entered Poly. I’ve tried applying toothpaste which stung my skin really bad, the juice of aloe vera, lemon (another bad choice) and cucumber. Sadly none of them worked at all so I turned to over-the-counter pimple treatments. The first I got was OXY pimple cream which gave me swollen face every time I used it.. because (I later realised) I’m allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide – the supposed chemical that kills pimple-causing bacteria. How unlucky can I get? Am I destined to have awful complexion? 😦 Then I got Avène, which improved my skin condition a little BUT somehow my face became oilier. Seriously?

I stopped using pimple cream entirely because it was taking a toll on my wallet (I was like 17 or younger. No money!). I tried drinking plenty of water but the zits left and returned with a vengeance what the hell. I almost gave up hope until one day somebody recommended me what seemed to be a dietary supplement. He was one of the buyers of Angel‘s puppies in 2007 and was taken aback by my terrible skin condition LOL. I was hesitant at first as it was pricey and the guy was also a part of the company which also makes him a promoter (something like MLM). But I gave it a shot still because desperate times call for desperate measures – my first Poly semester was commencing in a few weeks’ time! On top of that, he also allowed payment to be made later so I guess it ain’t that bad.

To my surprise, it kinda worked! I also lost some weight in the process – from 55kg to 48kg, my lightest on the scale. I still had some tiny zits here and there but I saw improvement in my skin generally. I stopped taking it after a few months because I was afraid that I’d be too dependent on it. Maybe due to this reason, my zits made a comeback. My face appeared mo-pengy (pot holes) side view because of the many tiny zits on my cheeks. Argh, so sickening!

Don’t bother asking the product name (nope, not Accutane) because it has been discontinued.

Then came my final year in Poly when I had to get an internship as required by the school. I managed to clinch a placement in a (now defunct and I’m so glad it did) fashion magazine as a design intern. F-A-S-H-I-O-N. It was like an Ugly Betty moment for me. How can a pimply-faced girl work for a fashion magazine? No way, I need to get rid of my zits. NEED.

It’s funny how easy an internship changed my lifestyle, probably because my grade was at stake. I associated appearance/image with confidence. With confidence, you’ll do well and if you perform well in your internship, you’ll get a good grade. I believe this applies to everything else you do. Oh and that was also when I started applying more make-up to boost my image hahahaha!

So yup as mentioned, I started leading a healthier lifestyle for the sake of looking good to feel good. Throughout my internship, I saw more radiance on my face with lesser zits – many times none – and my skin was also smoother which makes applying make-up so much easier! This was also achieved without the help of acne supplements and remedies.

For the benefit of those with troubled skin, this was how I cleared my pimples without spending a single cent:

  • Go to bed by 11.00 pm daily. This is a MUST.
    If you’re one who have got accustomed to sleeping past midnight, give yourself 30 minutes of buffer time to toss and turn in bed. You’ll get used to turning in early in no time!
  • Pin your fringe back (or wear a strong hair band) when sleeping
    Sometimes your fringe can aggravate your acne so it’s best to keep your hair off your face.
  • Change pillow sheets regularly (maybe once a week, or once every 2 days for the kiasus)
    Your acne-causing bacteria may be living in your pillow sheet since your face comes in close contact with it every night. It’s best to ensure you have a clean surface to rest your troubled skin on every night. When I travel, I bring a clean towel and I lay it on the hotel pillow before I sleep. 潔癖。
  • Don’t lie on your pillow/sleep without washing up first
    ..because by doing so, you’re transferring more bacteria to your sleeping area!
  • Drink lots of water (8 cups or 2 litres for me)
    This rule remains because water does help in ridding acne in a way.
  • If you need to pop a pimple, make sure you do it correctly
    Those who advised against popping pimples, seriously… You like seeing people with pus-filled spots, is it? -_- Anyway, I’ve been popping mine since I was 15 so I’m pretty skilled at it LOL. Make sure you wash your hands before doing so, and squeeze out the root of the pimple (hard yellow thingy followed by lotsa blood) or else it’s as good as not popping it at all. It will leave a scar of course but facial cream should be able to lighten it.
  • Exercise or jog regularly
    Yup, this definitely work for me! Your skin clears up and you lose weight. That’s killing two birds with one stone 🙂

1. Exercise helps by increasing blood circulation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the skin and other cells, and transporting toxins and cellular waste for removal from the body, and

2. Exercise helps alleviate stress.  Studies have shown that stress hormones can increase oil production in the sebaceous glands, which is bad news for those already prone to acne.

Extracted from naturalacnedefense.com

Unfortunately once internship ended, I reverted to my old lifestyle. However I didn’t break out that often because I’ve learned how to take care of and pamper my skin.

Some product recommendations with pictures taken from Google because I’m just too lazy to snap my own pictures. These are also what I’m currently using:

1. ORIGINS Spot Remover

Origins Spot Remover

Image from tattooedtealady.com // Retails at S$29 at local Origins counters.

The image above shows “Super Spot Remover” but what we have here (unless they’ve changed it) is just “Spot Remover”. Not very affordable since it comes in a very small bottle BUT it lasted me for about 6 months because all you need is a small amount each time. It dries up within minutes of application and it has this menthol feel which is great! Coz it means it’s doing something hahaha! It helped clear some of my small zits but generally not effective on my bigger/more unsightly ones. However it’s a highly-raved product! It’ll probably work well on others.

ORIGINS locations:
Isetan Scotts ▪ Metro Paragon ▪ Robinsons JEM ▪ Robinsons Orchard ▪ Robinsons Raffles City ▪ Robinsons The Centrepoint ▪ Tangs Vivocity

* * *

2. Mentholatum ACNES Medicated Skincare

I first got this in trial size as part of my WKWSCI welfare pack last year. I’m usually very lazy to get out of my comfort zone and use product samples but I’m so glad I wasn’t for this!

Acnes Sealing Jell

Image from justjaslin.com // Retails at about S$9 at Watsons if I remember correctly

Acnes Powder Lotion

Image from thesnowflowerrr.blogspot.com // Forgot how much it retails for in Watsons but it should be less than S$10.

I only use 2 out of 3 products from this series: powder lotion and sealing jell. The last one is actually the face wash which I never touched since I already using one I’m comfortable with. The sealing jell is damn tokong I tell you! IT REALLY WORKS WONDERS!! Zits seldom appear ever since I started using the gel (jell?). I also apply it directly onto my popped pimples and they reduce greatly in size by the next morning! I’m using the full-sized ones and they are easily my favourite acne products at the moment!

3. 3M Nexcare Skin Care Acne Patch

3M Nexcare Acne Patch

Image from vivawoman.net // Retails at about S$5 for a box of 18 and $9 for a box of 36 in Watsons

Before I discovered Acnes products, I had been using Nexcare acne patch to tame my huge pus-filled pimples. I have been using this for YEARS and I believe I have spent hundred of dollars on this already hahaha! Basically this product “acts like a sponge to absorb the oily secretion, fluid or pus” of the pimple and yes, it works exactly like that! NO GIMMICK! The patch turns white and gooey on the side where it faces your pimple after a few hours of sucking. If you’re looking to stop your pimple from oozing after removing the white pus, this is the ideal product since it’s breathable to improve healing, and it doesn’t come off very easily. It works best on popped pimples though but that doesn’t mean it won’t work on headless ones! You’ll probably need a lot more of these patches to subside that huge painful one.

Since it can be quite costly in the long run, I’d usually wait for the $9.90 packs (includes 2 boxes of 36) to be stocked up in Watsons/Guardians so that I can sweep the shelves LOL. That’d probably last me for about 3-4 months. Alternatively, if you’re always travelling, you can buy this at a cheaper rate (but different packaging) from the Watsons there.

4. My Beauty Diary Aloe Sheet Masks (我的美丽日记)

My Beauty Diary Aloe Masks

Image from bonboncosmetics.com // Retails at about S$15 in stores but you can get it S$3-4 cheaper online OR if you’re in Taiwan, you can buy one box for just S$9! One box contains 10 pieces.

I chose this because aloe vera is known for reducing acne and scarring. It does reduce my acne quite a bit but only when used about 4-5 times a week. I used to leave it on my face overnight but I kinda hated the wetness around my jaw and neck so I now take it off after 20 minutes or so. It leaves your face refreshed and rejuvenated like any other masks!

Psst.. I recently lugged home 9 boxes of this from Taiwan HAHAHA! #crazy

5. The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash

TBS Aloe Gentle Facial Wash

Image from thebodyshop.com.hk // Retails at about S$20-ish in local TBS stores.

Another aloe vera product! This is my current facial wash which I’ve been using for 3 years already. It doesn’t really contribute much to preventing acne but it’s kinda scentless and somehow light on your face? I don’t really like how some acne facial wash have this strong medicated smell and it feels so heavy on your face, if you get what I mean. Bleargh.

6. Clarisonic Mia Cleanser

Clarisonic Mia Cleanser

Image from miaclarisonic5.com // Retails at about S$168 in local Sephora stores

Last but not least, the very expensive cleanser from Sephora! This was a birthday gift from the boyfriend (I casually said that I wanted it and the silly boy took it to the counter) and I use it to cleanse my face after removing my make-up. Sometimes I feel that there’s still some underlying dirt/make-up in my pores even after cleaning my face with a wet towel or with wet wipes and this could potentially form pimples. After using Clarisonic, my face feels cleaner and “empty”! I usually use this before applying my Acnes lotion and gel.

That’s about it 😀

Some recent pictures of me with no make-up to erase those disgusting images of me from above in your mind before I end this post:

Me in 2012

Me in 2012

No make-up!

Me in Taiwan just a week ago 🙂

Until next time 🙂