Kosé Singapore recently invited 牛尔老师 (Robin Niu Er) to Singapore for two beauty tête-à-têtes with Singaporean fans. Held at Sheraton Towers, the enjoyable ‘talkshow’ was comfortably casual and often-times humorous.
Yet another maestro from that popular Taiwanese beauty program, Queen/女人我最大 (Nǚ Rén Wǒ Zuì Dà), Niu Er is a well-known beauty expert in Taiwan and much of Asia. Having met Kevin老师 earlier in June, I was curious about what Niu Er would be like.
Like Kevin, he is warm and affable: The first thing he did was greet the members of the audience one by one, moving down the rows and shaking hands with every seated person!
Highly unusual behaviour for a celebrity but the sincere gesture was much appreciated by the audience. :)
I cannot believe he is 43 years old this year. According to him, his skin was in a very bad condition twenty years ago. It is his skincare regiment that took two hours in the morning (!) and one hour at night, together with a breakfast of nourishing soup comprising hashima (雪蛤), white fungus (白木耳) and goji berries/wolf berries (枸杞), that has given him the fair, smooth and youthful complexion he now possesses. As a result of his age, he has a jokingly self-effacing way of referring to himself as ‘老牛’ (old cow) which I found endearing.
One of the highlights of the event was a little discussion with beauty bloggers. Kosé had called to ask me to participate but I told them I’d be happier being a part of the audience, thanks to my mediocre Mandarin. :P In the end, they chose Clara and Chantana, who conversed pretty well with the beauty guru… and much better than I would have!~ :)
Niu Er Lao Shi strongly believes in antioxidants and recommends that we eat different berries such as blueberries, cranberries and the aforementioned wolf berries because of their ability to fight free radicals. What’s more, they help improve eye sight, whiten the skin and strengthen the gall bladder. According to him, dried berries are better than fresh because of their concentrated nature (fresh ones contain more water).
In addition, he mentioned enemas, which he says are good for detoxing. I had to use one once post-partum and I must admit it felt very good and relaxing (TMI here, I know but I thought I’d dispel the myth that they’re painful and scary).
He also says he drinks ginseng water for good blood circulation but only takes Japanese ginseng (he cautions against American and Korean ginseng because they are too ‘heaty’), up to a maximum of 3 slices a day. In fact, he carries around a ‘beauty elixir’ made from goji berries and ginseng!
- Pour some Seikisho Clear Lotion onto a cotton pad.
- Pat it on the face (and neck, if so desired) 50 times quickly but gently, then wipe (拍再擦). Like many Japanese skincare brands, such a lotion softens the skin to facilitate the penetration of other skincare products.
- Gently but firmly, wipe the skin with the other side of the cotton pad to remove the dead skin cells using the following directions: down -> up, in ->out (下往上，内往外). The firm wiping can slim the face as it works the facial lymphatic system.
- Apply Seikisho Perfect Cleansing Oil onto the face with your fingers. According to Niu Er, this product will combine with the sebum, making the ‘heads easier to remove.
- To help coax the blackheads and whiteheads into coming out, put a piece cling wrap over the nose and wait ten minutes. The heat will soften and draw them out more easily. For maximum results, he recommends leaving it on overnight.
- Use water to dissolve the oil.
- Apply the Clear Lotion again, to clear the remnants of the oil.
- You might see stubborn blackheads but they’d likely be protruding. Instead of squeezing them out, use tweezers to gently remove them. This way, the skin surrounding the blackheads isn’t disturbed, plus inflammation is kept at bay.
- Apply Sekkisei Lotion on a cotton pad.
- Swipe it onto the skin before patting it in 200 times (!).
According to Nir Er, applying moisturiser on a cotton pad is tailor-made hydration – it imparts moisture where needed, unlike our fingers which spread it on, even on areas where we don’t need (too much of) it. For people leery of the seeming wastage, he reminded us that the remaining moisturiser on the pad can be used on other parts of the body such as the hands (I’m thinking elbows and knee caps!).
Niu Er actually prefers exfoliating like this to using a facial scrub.
Niu Er then taught the audience the various acupressure points to press in order to reduce water retention and revitalise the skin. The first was the spot just above the collarbone.
Next was the inside of the underarm. The host of the event, 93.3 radio deejay Chua Wei Ping, was his ‘chosen prey’. :P Check out her grimace of pain! :D
He showed us another pressure point – the groin area – before showing us the last one, the tummy. Here, he told us to press our stomachs in a clockwise direction. He also said that each exercise can be done seven times, three to five times a day.
He then proceeded to massage his volunteer’s leg, remarking that such an exercise is good for us because we tend to walk and stand a lot.
After that, he had a new volunteer on whom he demonstrated an anti-aging facial massage which comprised of firm upward movements from the temples/undereye area and sides of the nose/outer lips/chin to the outer part of the face.
To banish dark circles, he applied a big dollop of Kosé Inifinity Eye Cream (worth more than S$300, he said!) to the entire eye area (upper and lower) of yet another volunteer and recommends:
1. The Piano Hand (钢琴手) – Using the ring finger to pat the upper and lower area of the eye with light movements similar to playing the piano. 200 times. :P
2. The Scissors Hand (剪刀手) – Spreading the fore finger and the middle finger with the side of the eye in the centre, gently but firmly massage outwards.
3. The Pressure Hand (指压手) – Gently pressing:
a. the inner eye area
b. the lower eye area
c. the lower socket area
d. the outer eye area
e. the inner brow area
f. the middle brow area
g. the outer brow area
h. the outer side of the nose
4. The Blanket Hand (棉毯手) – Rubbing the hands together to generate heat and then cupping each eye socket with each hand.
Where whitening/lightening blemishes is concerned, he recommends saturating cotton pads in whitening lotion and then placing them all over the face, to improve the product’s efficacy.
As he waited for volunteer’s face to absorb the whitening product, he showed us an energising massage to perk up our skin up. He looks almost as if he is filming a CF, in the photo above!
Besides skincare tips, he also divulged a makeup tip worth ¥200,000 (the amount he paid for a Japanese beauty course!):
For an even coating of blush, pick up a generous amount with a blush brush and dust the excess on a sheet of tissue. This ensures that each bristle has a uniform amount of the product. He called this a foolproof method (‘笨蛋刷法’, haha!) and said that thanks to this method, it doesn’t matter how you apply the blush.
Another makeup tip that he taught us was the name card mascara trick – using a name card to curl the lashes, as well as prevent smudges during application. Verlyn had her lovely lashes lengthened even more with the new Esprique Precious mascara!
In the end, the two-hour session stretched into one that was almost three hours long, thanks to Niu Er’s earnestness and sincere desire to impart his knowledge. Like Kevin, he is clearly passionate about his work and isn’t leery of meeting his fans and spending quality time with them. This dedication to their craft truly makes me marvel at and admire these talented beauty masters.
To celebrate this event, there is a BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) promotion on Kosé Seikisho Mask White (usually S$35 for one 75 ml tube) at all local Kosé counters from 20 to 22 August 2010 (that’s today!).
Here I am with Verlyn, Iris and Chantana. They all looked very pretty yesterday. :)
Special thanks to Debbie for the media invite!