Dec 10, 2014


Was so much fun doing this cover shoot with super cute radio DJ Rozz.
Here's a sneak peek into our photo shoot.
Make Up By Venetia Stravens using Laura Mercier
Hair By Calvin Gan


Make Up By: Venetia Stravens
Using Colours from NARS, Chanel, Dior, Shiseido, Urban Decay, Laura Mericer,
Make Up Forever


Thank you Sassy Mama for the interview!And especially Carolyn from Melia Photography for capturing those special pictures and making me feel super at ease (yes I am afraid of the camera!)

This week we’re chatting with That Mama Venetia Stravens – a mama to two (3-year-old Maija and 6-year-old Kian), award winning make-up artist and popular beauty blogger. We talk to Venetia about continuing a career after babies, the top 3 beauty essentials every mama should have stashed in her bag, and why a holiday without kids is good for the soul!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career?I’m a Eurasian Singaporean married to a Swede! I adore nature and dream of one day living away from all the hustle and bustle in some remote forest (not jungle!). I also have 20 years experience working in fashion, TV, and print advertising as a make-up artist. I’ve worked with brands like Dior, Anna Sui, Helena Rubinsten, Lancome, and Chanel, have created spreads for major women’s magazines, and led make-up teams for Mercedes-Benz Singapore Fashion Week and other fashion shows for top international brands.
Can you talk us through your career pre and post babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?Life before kids was one big party — there were always events to attend. It was the typical 20-something year old lifestyle. I worked and played hard. My career was the priority then and there were some really great opportunities out there. Singapore was booming at the time and European models started flocking over for work when word got out that we created fantastic fashion spreads. Some lucky ones would go back to Europe with their tear sheets and score big campaigns, and some walked the runway to stardom. At the time there was commercial and advertising work around every corner, and with only a handful of us around the pickings were fantastic.
Things started to change when I came back to work after having my first child. All of a sudden there were too many new artists in the market and because of that, photographers, make-up artists, hair and fashion stylists had to slash their rates. The market became too saturated. Photographers went digital and there were all sorts of people claiming they were photographers (with the help of Photoshop of course!).
Work started to differ for me from there and I gravitated more towards beauty make-up. It was then that ELLE Singapore awarded me a ‘Make-Up Artist of the Year’ award and I started to do more training work for beauty companies. I really enjoyed it. It felt like I was ‘growing up’ with my job. There has definitely been a shift in my career. I used to work 20-hour days before babies but being a mum now, I have to prioritise.
After my first child was born, it wasn’t too difficult to get back into the swing of things — and work got pretty busy pretty fast. I only took jobs that wouldn’t take up more than a whole day and tried to work 4 days a week. After my second child was born everything had to change. I had to sacrifice work a lot and soon started to lose contacts in my industry. People I worked with either left or found other people to work with.
Now that my second born is 3 years old, I’m slowly picking up the pieces from where I left off. While work is quiet for me at the moment, I am blogging a bit more and taking up art lessons and pilates.
What inspired you to start a beauty blog?I was home a lot with my first-born. I desperately needed to reconnect with the outside world in a quiet way and not lose touch with the beauty industry. Hence my blog, Powderfuu Stories was born.
What are three items that every mama should have in her make up bag?1. Benefit’s Benetint is fabulous. It’s a cheek and lip stain that all mamas should have – it’s also blotch proof and sweat proof! Adding a bit of colour takes the drag out of mama-dom!
2. Laneige BB Cushion is another must have. It’s got SPF and leaves skin dewy and glowing. A bit of loose powder on the top does the (stay put) trick.
3. Johnson & Johnson Clean & Clear does a good blotter and is perfect for getting rid of shiny skin. 
Please tell us, whats the best way to hide those dark undereye circles that so many sleep deprived mamas have?Eye bags are a sign that your body is not circulating properly. Drinking warm fluids actually help mamas with bags. Caffeine free teas, lemon with water, and anything without sugar are great. Drinking a nice hot cup of tea before bedtime improves the body’s circulation while you sleep, which can also help with bags. Concealers only do a small part. Too much of it will make the eye area look grey and even more obvious as the day unfolds. Some blush on the apples of your cheeks can camouflage the tiredness. Go for pinks and peaches.
Which of the latest beauty trends should we be trying this summer?A nice, bright lipstick on a bare face — well as bare as you can go face.
How do you balance work and motherhood?I prioritise kids. But I am lucky to have my mum help when work calls. It’s healthy to get away from the children you created once in a while!
How do you save time? What are your organisational tips and tricks?I call it “The art of multi-tasking” — a timetable helps too. I get “Mummy-brain” syndrome – a lot.
Favourite activity with your kids in Singapore?We enjoy taking the dog to Tanjong Beach on Sentosa for a swim on Sundays.
Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Singapore?1. Marché at Orchard – the children’s playground lets us eat in peace!
2. Food for Thought at Singapore Botanic Gardens (you must try the Sugee cake!)
3. Din Tai Fung – the Xiao Long Bao is always a hit.
4. 4Fingers – for soy marinated chicken wings and fries.
Favourite family-friendly holiday spot in Asia?We recently went to Lombok and stayed at the Novotel. It was a great place for a family, with en-suite rooms, delicious Indonesian cuisine and it was affordably priced too. Our other favourite is The Surin, Phuket (formerly the Chedi).
Activity that I do not love to do but do it anyway because my kids love itSwimming. I hate chlorine!
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?Take a vacation without the kids once in a while – it really helps!
Favourite date-night restaurants?
I love Morton’s – the ambience, awesome dirty martinis, oysters and blue cheese iceberg lettuce salad are so mmmmm. I also love &SONS at China Square – the service and quality of food are fantastic (and they don’t rip you off!).
Whats the best piece of advice youve received as a parent?We’re living in a first-world country, so your kids won’t starve. If they don’t want to eat that’s ok. They’ll eat when they’re hungry…. so I always have food around, just in case.
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.Don’t buy too much stuff. They outgrow it so fast! Craigslist is a good place to hunt for second hand stuff and to sell your stuff too.
As a mama I wish I were better atCraft. Some mamas are so good at entertaining their children with craftwork, like building cardboard houses, doing origami, or baking. Actually there’s a lot of patience involved too… so… perhaps more patience?
My most humbling mama moment was
Oh my… there are so many. Too many to share! Next.
One thing I wont sacrifice as a mama isVanity. Inside and out. I don’t want to be a frumpy mum.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about.How it’s still dark outside, which means I can sleep some more – yippee!
Even when my child has a family of his/her own, Ill stillLook at them and wonder how they grew so fast.
My favourite moment of the day isBetween 1 and 3pm. Those precious 2 hours where I can reply to emails, text messages, phone calls, and anything else that I can do in peace.
I always feel saner afterPutting the kids to sleep!
I wish I had more time forReading and painting.
Bedtime is always smoother whenYou suffer a full-blown day with the kids screaming, running around, fighting, and playing (with no nap time!) so when they hit the pillow, it’s instant.
Thanks Venetia! And a huge thank you also goes to the wonderful Carolyn from Melia Photography for taking these amazing photos of Venetia and her children!
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Make Up By Venetia Stravens Using NARS
Hair By Marc Teng

May 27, 2014


DIOR Fall 2014 is out. Already! 
This season, DIOR has repackaged their Iconic 5 Shadow Palette. 
Its Sleeker and shows the colour palette on the underside, great for us make-up artists. 
Now we don't have to open every single palette to find a colour. 

The other excitement is the DIOR Addict line that used to only consist of lip glosses. This is now expanded to mascara and eyeliner. 
The electric blue mascara and hot pink eyeliner shown in pic is a seasonal shade but the standard black and brown will be permanently for sale.

Out of 13 colour palettes, DIOR has picked 5 for this Fall and my favourite is 876 Trafalgar. 
This is also their Autumn look for 2014 so its not a permanent palette.
Retails for $102.00
Available August 1st 2014


I really like Laura Mericer and I understand how she has a cult following all around the world. Laura Mercier's packaging is simple, nothing too fancy but silently attractive and kinda serious.

Women who wear Laura Mercier know make-up and are definite about the things they want. Young women who start with Laura Mericer have an idea to the definite things that they want.

Her colours are always wearable. Eyeshadows are never too glittery or crazy drama, instead more earthy and matte. And some with a hint of shine. Lipstick shades are deep, even intense or subtly nude and sheer. 
This season's lipstick- Temptation is super sexy and Lip Glaze- Garnet is the best shade to wear daily. I wore it on the beach with some sunscreen and loved it!
The Body Bronzing Powder stays on skin and not on clothes but I really have yet to try it out in our humid, mucky weather.

Her new High Coverage Concealer for Under eye takes a speck to do its job. It'll even cover a tattoo.

May 12, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's another easy recipe that the family will love.

I am a snacker and especially at night time when the kids are asleep, which of course is not good for the bum bum and other bits...
But I can't be an angel all the time!
These cookies are slightly tweaked from Half Baked Harvest
Very nice website with yummy recipes, I've been following them on Pinterest.

Try them out. Less sugar, healthier and leaner on the bum bum and other bits.

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees c

2 1/2 cups Old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Wholemeal flour
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
1 cup Fine, soft Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup melted coconut oil (use a little more if dough seems dry)
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet or unsweetened dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks


 Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large, mixing bowl add the dry ingredients first; Oatmeal, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt. Mix with a spatula.
In another bowl, mix coconut oil, eggs and vanilla.
 Combine all the ingredients. 
The dough should be crumbly. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Using hands, clump together a tablespoon of dough. Slightly damp hands help 'un-stick' the batter that could get stuck on your hands. Form balls of dough.
  Place on prepared baking sheet. If your balls are a little crumbly do not worry, they will come together while baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until set and golden. 

May 8, 2014


Chanel does perfectly well without Peter Philips. 
This summer's shades are sexy, easy to use and best of all, suit all skin tones.

Nail polishes are always fun and the one that struck me most was 'Eastern Light'. 
White nails. 
Kinda reminds me of school days when we were bored and painted our nails with liquid paper haha.

Lippy shades L'amoureuse and La Malicieuse are soooo nice.
Every woman must have a Chanel lipstick. It's such luxury in a stick and I do love the click to pop up stick.
Matte and bright. On a beautiful bare face. On the beach. Hawt!

The cream eyeshadow is beautiful too. 'Mirage'
A bronze that will make you look super for a night out.

And the 'Cheeky' cream blush, which u can double up and use for contouring.
I got tingles down my spine mmmm.

Get ready to blow your budget this sumner!

Oh ya and not forgetting,
Chanel has a new liquid foundation, Perfection Lumiere Velvet. It is truly perfection. 
Especially for our tropical climate. 
It leaves skin matte but gives a nice sheer glow. 
Phwoar! Very very nice I tell you.

May 3, 2014

ESSENTIAL PEOPLE- The Aromatheraphy Healer

This is my first blog entry on Essential people.

Helen Tee. Founder of Theraputics Aroma 
#03-01 Forum The Shopping Mall

 If you're in need of a damn good facial, some body treatments ie. massages, a body polish, even an holistic internal stomach massage (Chi Nei Tsang- that come sprinkled with lots of TLC, Helen is the one you've been dreaming of. 

We go back a long way. I've known Helen for 20 odd years or since I was a teenager! We worked in the same building (remember The Promenade?). 
Then, she already had magic in her hands. A special kind of touch. The Midas touch.
I imagine one can only be born with.

I earned a pittance of a salary and could hardly afford to go to Helen for treat(ment) but I always admired her touch and warm, friendly, inviting personality. 
Helen then worked for a beauty company but it didn't take long for her to come out on her own. That's when Theraputics Aroma was born. 

Today, Helen is my Essential Person. I Need her. She is my good addiction. 
I want to age gracefully and hopefully avoid any form of plastic surgery if possible for as long as possible. I have dreams and aspirations of ageing gracefully! 
I do a regular fruit acid peel facial (every 10 days). My skin glows with health when I see Helen. Its like my skin is rejoicing : ).
And I must add, Helen gives the best darn facial massages that no one can beat! I tell you, it's the Midas touch.

Theraputics Aroma only uses natural, plant based products. No chemicals and other such nonsense. Also, with Helen's background as an aromatherapist, one always zens out to her special heavenly scented blends that she massages into your skin slowly and lovingly. Ahhh... I get tingles just thinking of it!

 I have recommended Helen to quite a few ladies (and some men) over the years. They still go to her and regularly too. Today, I am unselfishly sharing a best kept secret.
Helen is a fine, rare gem. 

Book your appointment way in advance! 

Apr 9, 2014

The Importance of NARS. Summer 2014

How cool can you get? Seriously. NARS is definitely creating a cult following. The generosity it has shown is unbelievable too. NARS is shining and I think a lot of thanks goes to Shiseido. The brand was already hawt originally and since being bought by powerful, Shiseido, it is exploding like a champagne supernova.
Shading and blush sticks are an artist's dream. Texture is creamy and easy to blend. 
Gipsy lippy is my new fave everyday shade. 
Brushes are updated and make so much sense when using.
I just can't say anymore. NARS, you have outdone yourself once again and I have a major crush.


This summer DIOR is sexy hawt exciting. 
From a bright range of nail colours to perk you right up to the comfortable glossy fluid lippy sticks. (I kept it on for half a day and it felt so light and un-sticky). 
Bright pinks and oranges, wear them with a bare face for a current look or with a fully made up face for a night out, stunning!
Another stunner is the cobalt blue Manucure Transat that comes with stickers to add. That is so ultimately cruise. I have yet to give it a try on how easy it is to use. 
And the star of the season? The 5 colour eyeshadow palette is to die for! 3 shades of Blues to smoke up your eyes, accompanied with a brown to bring them out and a silver to highlight. Everything a girl on the prowl needs!

Mar 24, 2014

Yummy Vegan Banana Cake

I've been testing out a few unconventional sweet treats from a book I recently purchased called Super Healthy Snacks and Treats to the absolute delight of my tummy and have to share Jenna Zoe's vegan banana cake recipe with you.

To be honest, I'm a wannabe Martha Stewart. I wanna be one of those baking goddesses but alas! 
I have little confidence when it comes to baking. I am a great cook but baking, no. 
I have baked some real funny stuff through the years. I've watched my husband force down salty muffins and say they were delicious. I've attempted cookies that just melted and came out looking like pancakes to the confusion of my kids. I've made stone cakes that could break teeth.
I'm like comedy when it comes to baking.

So, I promise you this one's soooooo easy and fool proof.

I was kinda hesitant initially...bake a cake with no eggs?! Really? But being the fourth time I've baked it, this cake is an easy, necessary staple in the refrigerator. 
Kids & hubs love it, dog loves it, it's the best way to use up those dying bananas and I don't turn into a joke.

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • 3 teaspoons ground chia seeds (grind whole seeds in a coffee grinder)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 very ripe large bananas mashed gently with a fork
  • 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour of choice
  • 3.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar of choice (I used raw brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the grinded chia seeds in a small bowl with the water and whisk. The mixture will start to feel like the consistency of a beaten egg. Place in fridge.

Add the vanilla extract, chia mixture & coconut oil and mix.
Gently fold in the bananas
Spoon the mixture into a bake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 55 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes.