This past year has been rather tough on all of us – while things seem to be moving towards a sense of normalcy, it hasn’t been easy. Especially during the pandemic, many of us lost something, be it a job, a relationship, or a loved one, and naturally, we are feeling a little lost as well.
By Michelle Tan
Lockdowns mean spending longer hours sharing personal spaces, as our bubbles grow smaller and our lives become melded into one. Now, more than ever, it’s okay to admit that we are not okay. Mental health is something that is becoming increasingly important. It’s alright to speak up and say, “I need a break” or “I need help” from the thoughts that flood our mind, or from the feelings that fill our heart to the point where it feels like it will explode any second.
This month, LOOQAL is focusing on mental health, to help break the stigma that surrounds this topic. If you’re struggling, know that every little step counts as a win, no matter how small it is.
Celebrities, whose lives seem perfect, also feel this way – after all, we’re only human. In April 2020, Selena Gomez shared that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. ““I think that there is a lot of shame and guilt in it and then there’s also this pressure of, you know, want- ing to feel like you’re a part of the crowd if you do this and do that. When I had more information, it actually helped me, and I didn’t scare me once I knew it. When I finally said what I was going to say, I wanted to know everything about it and it took the fear away,” she said.
Seeking treatment or help should be normalized, and so does speaking up for yourself. As a public figure, Bella Hadid was always expected to be present. Speaking to Vogue recently, she revealed, “Partying is not my thing, but I felt enormous pressure to project that image because I assumed that’s all people wanted from me. Now I don’t want to live in that box. I definitely feel like I’m allowed to speak.”
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, who decided to withdraw from the French Open, opened up about her mental health: “In any other line of work, you would be forgiven for taking a per- sonal day here and there, so long as it’s not habitual. You wouldn’t have to divulge your most personal symptoms to your employer; there would likely be HR measures protecting at least some level of privacy. I feel uncomfortable being the spokesperson or face of athlete mental health as it’s still so new to me and I don’t have all the answers. I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s OK not to be OK, and it’s OK to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”
Speaking from personal experience, makeup artist Vivien Loh (@vvnloll) shares with us her self-love journey, and 3 makeup LOOQs she created to canonise her affirmations for mental health.
How do you get yourself into a good headspace?
Knowing my purpose and living for it. What keeps me motivated, whether it’s for my 9-to-5 job or to grow my social media platforms, is knowing that all my effort and enthusiasm will eventually lead to peace of mind for my parents and small miracles for animals in need.
What are some things that you find joy doing?
When I was younger, I used to crave excitement and in- credible things, but as I move closer to my 30’s, I’m start- ing to find joy in simply existing — letting sun into my room, walking my dogs, clean sheets, waking up to coffee and living with my soulmate.
Something important you learned in your journey of self-love:
I think the media often portrays “self-love” as doing relaxing things alone. While that works to some extent, I think leaning on someone who loves me has helped me learn to love myself, especially after the many traumatic lemons that life threw at me in my mid 20’s. I experienced my worst despair, loss and betrayal. I had to rely on my boyfriend to take care of me and my mind while I was not able to do so myself. I used to be ashamed of relying on someone else but I later realised that that’s what makes us human. We are social beings and we survive by being there for each other.
Tips for young people who are struggling mentally, espe- cially during the pandemic:
Reach out for help and confide in someone whom you know brings out the best in you — whether it’s a good therapist, a support group, a friend, a family member or a soul- mate. Adopt a pet too, if that’s an idea you’ve been con- templating for awhile now! The feeling of existing and caring for another being or saving a life can do so much for our souls.
Be kind to your skin.
Recreate Vivien’s looks with these clean, safe-for-your-skin, mood-lifting makeup products.
LOOQ 1 : Blue
“I deserve to dwell and immerse myself in little moments of peace.”
100% PURE Luminous Primer
You won’t find any pore-clogging silicone
in this primer. Made with anti-aging reservatrol, nourishing vitmain E and intensely hydrating aloe, it diffuses and illuminates for flawless makeup all day.
LIHT ORGANICS Liquid Foundation
LOOQ 2 : Blush
“I am allowed to recognise, then process shame and vulnerability.”
100% PURE 87 Fruit Pigmented Gemmed Luminizer Pink Gold Taffeta
Add a touch of sunkissed radiance to your skin with this rosy highlighter, naturally-pigmented using fruits! It also contains anti-aging rosehip oil and skin-softening plant butters for a silky-smooth texture.
LIHT ORGANICS Moisture Burst Lip Glaze
Gone are the days of sensitive, chapped lips – made with 90% organic ingredients, you’ll find yourself reaching for this lip glaze over your lip balm! It’s free of harmful syn- thetic chemicals and heavy metals too.
LOOQ 3 : Pearls
“I acknowledge that to live is to feel different things, even
the not-so-great ones.”
Makeup that loves your skin as much as you do! Cover dark circles, heal blemishes and nourish all day with this dewy- finish concealer, which is rich in vitamins, plant oils and plant butters.
Rosy, taupe and beige shades, pigmented from antioxi- dant- rich fruits, veggies and tea, not synthetic dyes. This palette contains 3 eyeshadows, a blush and a highlighter.
Editor: This month we are excited to officially kick off LOOQAL’s programme of featuring multi-hyphenate women as our models! Holding true to our vision of nurturing a society that is empowered, confident, conscious and empathetic, we pay tribute to these women who choose to empower themselves and positively impact their circles of influence.
Vivien (@vvnloll) is makeup artist by profession.
They lend their innate sense of style and joie de vivre to our fashion stories here and also in Bright, bold and beautiful>.
If you have 1 hour...
- Set a timer for one hour.
- Switch off your phone or set it to “silent” mode.
- Put on your favourite music – the type that makes you feel good or calm.
- Indulge in a short routine that you enjoy, like applying a face mask or doodling in your notebook.
- Let the music carry you and if you fall asleep, let it be.
- Try not to play with your phone or check so- cial media during this time.
If you have 1 day…
- Begin the day with by making and eating your breakfast of choice. Take your own sweet time and don’t rush through the motions.
- After breakfast, write down what you want to achieve today on a piece of paper.
- Do some exercise (try some yoga, go to the park, take your dog out for a walk). Move according to your own limits and don’t push yourself too hard.
- Order a nice meal/treat for yourself – something you’ve always wanted to try but never got around to doing so. You deserve it, so feed yourself well.
- Catch up with a friend. Speak to someone dear to your heart.
- Try a new makeup look – take time through the process and be creative!
- Don’t feel guilty about today!
- Before going to bed, write down three things you are grateful for today.