Beauty in the Murder

No murder is beautiful, yet Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) has depicted brutal beauty in his paintings. Caravaggio himself was incorrigible criminal who had been imprisoned many times. His short tempered character got him into even a murder.

Despite troubles, imprisonment, escape to Sicily; Caravaggio never lost enthusiasm to paint. He has produced remarkable paintings with an obsession to depict decapitation. More importantly, Caravaggio did not care about ideal beauty, while his Renaissance counterparts represented beauty in its ideal form as flawless and perfect. Rather than copying of the classics, Caravaggio revealed cruelty in beauty. He transformed beauty in a way that nothing even a murder can overshadow its impact. Isn’t it actual beauty that standstills in spite of tyranny, homicide and poverty? Let’s take a look at how Caravaggio represented beauty in his significant pieces:

Madonna dei Pellegrini o di Loreto
Madonna di Loreto
  • Madonna di Loreto: Virgin Mary welcomes two poor pilgrims with naked Jesus in her arms. The point is, the feet of pilgrim are also bare suggesting their equality with the Virgin. First thing one might be dazzled would be two opposite forms of the beauty:One is young Mary who has blushed cheekbones, a gentle neck and nicely positioned of feet. However, on the other side, woman pilgrim looks quite old, poor and filthy. Nevertheless, prominent facial features and long eyelashes on the pilgrim suggest that she is beautiful, although she is wretched.
  • The Beheading of the St John the BaptistThis painting is widely accepted as masterpiece of Caravaggio. The bloody scene does not prevent us to notice beauty of the woman on the left holding a golden bowl that the head will be placed in. In contrast with the old woman who is about to cry out, the young one looks indifferent, strong and honorable. This opposition reveals that beauty does not mean only celestial features attributed to human, but also strength and cruelty.

    The Beheading of the St John the Baptist
  • Young Sick Bacchus: It is almost impossible to feel that Bacchus is sick in this piece. His green flesh, grey lips, and dark under-eyes are unable to conceal the youth and elegance of Bacchus, as mouth watering grapes that he holds still look bright despite a few crumpled dark grapes.

    Young Sick Bacchus
  • Judith Beheading Holofernes: According to description from The book of Judith, Judith has seduced Holofernes for the sake of her people. However, beuaty is not hidden in the seduction and pleasure. Caravaggio thought that beauty that deserved to paint was decapitation of Holofernes. It is difficult to resist power and elegance of Judith. She is beautifully dressed, although this is a death scene. Her distance to the victim and nervous lips suggest that she does what she has to do, not what she wants, as if she is ready to forgive him if she hesitates one second.

    Judith Beheading Holofernes

Well, but what does Caravaggio tell us? Caravaggio has shown us that killing someone is a repulsive act, even to a murderer, but real beauty does not lose its form in any case such as poverty, sickness or homicide. And he leaves a question mark there, maybe these are the times when beauty and elegance are revealed?


Mediterranean Face Mask

Hi to everyone!

It is a new week with new plans. I hope you enjoy your flawless skin. Nope?

Do you need to meet 3 clients in a day and need to do layers and layers of makeup to look good? Or you're on a holiday in a beautiful island where everyone looks like roasted chickens but you do as if you've bitten by misquotes all over the face?

Figure 1

I will give you recipe of a mask that has very crucial ingredients you need to for a healthy skin. I name it Mediterranean Mask, since the herbs and food I use are naturally found in Mediterranean region. If you cannot get them fresh, you can easily find them in herb stores.

The mask has 4 ingredients: Rosemary, dry nettle leave, clove and yogurt.


  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinali): Rosemary is a nice smelling, refreshing herb that is commonly used for flavoring foods. Rosemary is rich in flavonoids and tannins which protect skin from damage caused by free radicals and UV lights respectively. Also, another ingredient, triterpenes provide elasticity and firmness to skin. Besides, rosemary is a good antiseptic used in other areas of medicine.
  • Nettle (Urtica Dioica): Nettle, in other words stinging nettle is an precious plant to treat several skin infections and inflammations. Nettle leaves are rich in vitamin A,C,D and K; as well as B. Nettle leaves  alleviates appearance of acne thanks to quercetin.
  • Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): Clove has countless benefits for skin, stomach problems and brain health. It is a good antiseptic. Eugenol  and tannins found in clove prevent infections and acne resulted from infection.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is considered as a super food, it seem not to have any harm for anything at all. Zinc, a mineral highly found in yogurt, also, mitigates acne irritation, while B vitamins promote cell growth and skin regeneration. Lactic acid tighten pores and decreases the appearance of wrinkles.

How to prepare Mediterranean Mask?

  • Mix the herbs (1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp dry nettle leaves, 4-5 cloves) and add approximately 20ml of water. Boil it for 4-5 minutes and let it cool at the fridge (Cooling it down in the fridge is important. If it is too hot, yogurt may curdle. Technically also you denature proteins found in yogurt.)
  • Add cold solution to the yogurt and stir it. Please do not add too much water before boiling if you want mask to stay on your face but drop down.
  • You can use leaves to do peeling movements on your face. After 30 minutes rinse the mask off and feel the baby face smoothness and softness. 🙂



Pop-Art and Kiehl’s Pharmacy

Andy Warhol is considered as the most iconic person in modern art, mainly due to his  impressive contributions to a new-borning art, that is what we call today “pop-art“. He was a big fan of Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion that has been launched in late 1960s by Kiehl’s. That time, Kiehl’s was a unassuming pharmacy at the intersection of Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street, that had been founded by John Kiehl.lris3n-lris2fpicture11

Rumour has it, Andy Warhol used to pop in the pharmacy to buy Herbal Lotion. I may not be as idiosyncratic as Andy Warhol; when I was passing by a Kiehl’s store last weekend, I thought I should have a look as a scientist and art-lover.


Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Being tested other solutions to cure my persistent dark spots on my upper lip area, I can say that Kiehl’s Clearly Corrector Dark Spot Solution is the best until I find anything better! You can see difference within a week! I am not kidding or promoting this product, just give it a try! I am too happy to see they disappeared finally. 😀





Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo
Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo
Other product I bought is Amino Acid Shampoo which I was given a tester long before. Unlike other paraben-free and silicon-free shampoos, this one bubbles enough to feel like a real shampoo. Also, strangely, I don’t feel I need any conditioner after rinsing. My hair became more controllable and less frizzy.

They gave me a 65ml Grapefruit hand and body lotion which I loved the scent of.

Collectively, Kiehl’s products do justice to their pharmacological history, because they work, seriously! ❤️😍


In-flight Skin Care Tips

Figure-1: Relax Kit provided by Turkish Airlines
I am on way to Singapore which takes 12 hours from Turkey. Since this is a long flight, watching movies becomes boring after a while. More importantly, in-flight ventilation system dries skin, for sure. Therefore, I spend almost 1-2 hours to hydrate and protect my skin while flying.
It is always a pleasure to fly with Turkish Airlines, though it is a bit expensive. Cabin crew provides relax kits from Chopard which contain eye-shade, non-skid rubber sole tube socks, earplugs, dental kit and lip balm (Figure-1). This kit is more than enough if you are going to have a door to door flight.
Nevertheless, most of the time I meet friends or go out for a coffee right away, so I carry some skin care and makeup products on board (Figure-2).

Figure-2: Skin care and makeup products on board
  • First things first. A cleanser always is a day saver if you want to energize your skin. I use Cetaphil cleanser which removes surface oil, makeup and dirt with gentle foaming.
  • To hydrate my skin, I prefer something preferably not cosmetic. Bepanthen Plus Cream offers an intense protection and hydration on board. Alternatively, if you like to keep hydrated and protect your skin against aging, you can try Prevage from Elizabeth Arden. This moisturizer is an anti-aging overnight cream with Idebenone technology. Idebenone restores skin damages caused due to photo-irradiation (Figure-3).
  • For eye area, Burt’s Bees eye cream with royal jelly softens skin around eyes and prevent puffiness.
  • Besides facial skin, it is important to keep your brows, eyelashes and lips hydrated. My lip balm is from Avon, which I have bought just a few days ago and completely satisfied with its smell and texture. I routinely use Lipocils eyelash gel (from Talika) to moisturize my eyelashes and brows.
    Figure-3: Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging overnight cream.
  • No matter what I do, my under eye looks dark due to anaemia. I keep a highlighter, this time Loreal True Match concealer, in my handbag.
  • To have a natural but defined look, I fill my eyebrows with Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil.
  • Blush is indispensable for me. I think everyone agrees that Nudestix tones are undeniably natural. This pencil can be applied to both lips and cheeks. Code color is “Belle” which leaves very natural blush on your skin. Also I have Chanel cream blush-79 cheeky, just in case I attend a party right after flight.
  • #longhairdontcare 😊. I don’t need to introduce how awesome Tangle Teezer is. Its gentle with your hair and easy to carry.
  • I used to be fond of window seats. After developing an in-flight skin care routine, I realized that corridor seats are better to enjoy my personal spa in lavatory whenever I want. Don’t forget your boarding pass in the lavatory, have a good journey. 👋😊Figure-4.jpg

Hydrate your skin with Ceramide-3

Hi everyone,

As a Caucasian living in Asia (Singapore), I was terrified initially how obsessive people here are to get a whiter skin. Naturally, this obsession is reflected to the Asian cosmetics market that has dominated by whitening products. Whitening products use generally exfoliating principle to get rid of your dead skin cells which results in blemishes and darker skin texture. However, this method brings some concerns. To much exfoliating may lead to aging faster than normal, since we know that cell metabolism and proliferation is reduced at high cell passages that is considered as in vitro model of aging. Rather than exposing your skin to harsh treatments, I will recommend you a game changer product which not only evens out the skin tone but also keeps your skin hydrated.

It is Dr. Jart Ceramidin set. You may wonder who Dr. Jart is. Right question would be What is Dr. Jart? Dr. Jart is a company based in US, but ventured by two close friends, a Korean dermatologist Dr. SungJae Jung and an entrepreneur Chin Took Lee.

Dr. Jart Ceramidin cream and serum first captured my attention with minimalist and simplistic design reminding me old creams that my grandmother used to put on. Their active chemical is ceramide-3. Ceramide-3 has many benefits for the skin ranging from hydration to skin protection. It has been shown that, ceramide-3 attenuates transepidermal water loss (TEWL), erythema and cell cycling due to exposure to exposure to detergents [1]. Also, it protects skin from sodium lauryl sulfate-mediated irritation which is very common due to its vast use in cosmetics [2]. Another ingredient I am caught was Licorice Root Extract. This miraculous plant acts as anti-inflammatory and neutralizer for skin tone. I guess this one adds a rosemary-like scent to these products which I like very much.

I started using these two products about a month ago and results are really promising. Within a week, I could see that my blemishes are reduced and skin became brighter. At the very first use, I thought liquid serum makes it greasy, but liquid evaporates quickly which leaves a refreshing scent on your face.

Ceramidin series are definitely worth to try!

You can visit an exclusive beauty store this weekend and kindly ask for a tester. Next week, probably you will leave the store with an empty wallet and these creams that deserve every penny you have given.

  1. Kucharekova, M., et al., Effect of a lipid-rich emollient containing ceramide 3 in experimentally induced skin barrier dysfunction. Contact Dermatitis, 2002. 46(6): p. 331-8.
  2. Huang, H.C. and T.M. Chang, Ceramide 1 and ceramide 3 act synergistically on skin hydration and the transepidermal water loss of sodium lauryl sulfate-irritated skin. Int J Dermatol, 2008. 47(8): p. 812-9.

Scientific Beauty

Leo Tolstoy says: “It is not beauty that endears, it is love that makes us see beauty” in War and Peace, 1869. You don’t need to write such a thick book to confirm this if you think that your girlfriend is the most beautiful creature in the world. Or you think your mom looks extremely charming in her black dress, but then why do we agree most of the time on if someone is good looking or not? Why do Miss World winners look undeniable beautiful for everyone?

You have extremely symmetrical face babe!

Although we can’t define beauty in numbers, there are some qualifications that we have evolved to perceive as attractive. Human body has pretty much symmetrical appearance which otherwise would seem unpleasant or annoying from outside. Face is no exception for this. Therefore, symmetry of the face is very important factor. It has been shown that people tend to prefer their mates having a symmetrical facial morphology.

I adore your averageness…

Second hallmark of beauty is averageness which refers to how alike does an individual look to people in the community. This means the more you look like your ethnic group, the more you are beautiful. Scientists revealed many possible evolutionary reasons behind this preference. For example, one theory suggests that people looking like each other have more diverse genetic background. Therefore, once they mate, their genetic pool will be richer which is advantageous for immune system and adaptation to environment [1].


Another characteristic is secondary sexual features in face which is directly associated with hormones. If you think no matter how skinny you’re, you always have a puffy face, then this could be resulted from your oestrogen levels. Strikingly, both Caucasians and Japanese people have been shown to tend to select feminine looking males in Caucasians and Japanese. Although feminine facial structure is considered as preferable for both sides, ideal male figure does not seem to be regulated directly by hormones.

Healthy Skin 
If I would say a healthy-looking skin is crucial beholder, you wouldn’t be surprised, I guess. A healthy-looking appearance, even skin colour without blemishes and good quality of skin texture are the factors contributing a healthy-looking face. It has been studied extensively that, not only humans but also other primates like to choose healthy looking mates which is again a trait developed to have better genetic pool for future generations. In a study, scientists found that a red-looking face is more attractive which can be explained by blood carrying more oxygen thereby a healthier individual [2].

Annoying beautiful paintings
On the other hand, to understand how we perceive the beauty, it is necessary to tease out what the ugliness is. What makes us think that someone or something is ugly or bad looking? What are the critical factors that drive us to avoid someone when those elements are deformed? It is hard to find a common ‘bad’ or shockingly ugly for everyone. Well, indeed Francis Bacon was in the search of terribly shocking figures. Two scientists from University College London, revealed why we feel disturbed when we see his paintings. They monitored brain activities of people who are shown Bacon’s most annoying pieces. Strangely, the area illuminated was far from being the area allocated for facial perception in the brain, which means Bacon somehow modified them so much so that they don’t seem like a human face anymore, although they have components that a human face requires.
Overall, beauty seem to have some constitutive components, yet it is challenging to base it on only scientific reasons, because humans are not perfect, so are their faces. As Francis Bacon said, “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in proportion”. I feel what beauty is will remain as a mystery for very long time, or perhaps the secret is hided somewhere in Bacon’s paintings.



  1. Honekopp, J., T. Bartholome, and G. Jansen, Facial attractiveness, symmetry, and physical fitness in young women. Hum Nat, 2004. 15(2): p. 147-67.
  2. Zeki, S. and T. Ishizu, The “Visual Shock” of Francis Bacon: an essay in neuroesthetics. Front Hum Neurosci, 2013. 7: p. 850.

Glamorous Sunday!

Hi! 🙂

It has been while from last post. I hope everything is alright there! You girls promised yourself not to (over) shop but couldn’t resist new clothes, new mascara just came in Sephora or tempting scent coming from the shelf of Chloé. I know it is sunday and I know it is the only day you browse stores and new products. But isn’t it very common nowadays that you like, no almost fall in love with a product that you tested in the store but  it disappointed you later. I don’t know why it is like that. Perhaps new beauty products are designed to seduce you on the spot with very strong odour, loud colours and packaging. Who doesn’t want to try a blue face mask, right?

But, today I will show you three products that never disappoint you, but also, wait a second, who said they are not appealing?

Why I like these ones is because they are all very effective. I have one mask from GlamGlow, one essence and emulsion from Elizabeth Arden today.

First product is from GlamGlow as I said. It is a dark coloured mud. What I like with this  mask is it is harsh, because it needs to clean. I prefer my acne and cleaning treatments to be a bit strong to see the improvement asap. I like to feel that refreshing kinda menthol feeling on my face. That is what exactly this mud has. Main ingredient is acnecidic-6 which is a patented chemical by the brand. It basically clears your pores. This chemical provides nutritions for your skin regeneration as well. From the beginning it has cool and refreshing smell. It almost cold burns your face. But once you wash it off, it fades away slowly. It doesn’t harden your face but brightens. That is definitely my fav mud ever! I would recommend to use this if you want to go makeup-free on weekends. This mud gives you enough courage to show how beautiful you’re without makeup.

Second product is a serum from Elizabeth Arden. It is from the same series of my third product which is an emulsion. Series is called as’Visible Whitening’ . These two sisters have small shiny particles in it. Once you apply these on your face, you will visibly see little sparkling things on your face like your highlighter. The days I use these creams, I don’t even feel necessity to use highlighter or even foundation. You may say ‘Oh no it doesn’t have any SPF!’ Sorry but it has melanin. Their working principle is same, protecting your skin from UV lights. UV is very strong mutagen leading to death of your skin cells, simply aging. Melanin is the natural pigment found on human skin to protect us from UV lights. So it is very safe to use it under strong sunlight. Also if you use it daily, it will prevent unwanted blemishes on your face.

Eventually there is no reason not to have a glamorous sunday and skin with this products. I wish you a happy and melanin-ous weekend! 🙂

IMG_20161106_203417 copy.jpg


20160221_081225_-795523851I think today is a good day to start writing my stories here. Please don’t think that this is going to be a monologue. I hope you find a bit of yourself, your life and thoughts while you’re reading. I can’t pledge a fantastic blog here, yet life is far from being perfect (isn’t it!).

Why is this a beauty-science-human affairs blog? They don’t sound relevant at all! That is exactly what I want to do! As being a scientist or beauty-obsessed scientist, I like to share things seem irrelevant but getting somehow connected. All products we are using are tested in laboratories. Scientists design them to solve some particular skin problems (sometimes to make you look pretty :)). Therefore it is very very important to understand the ingredients of a product. It helps you to chose the best product for your skin. On the other hand, It is hard to explain everything with a scientific logic (at least now). I always believe that beauty comes from confident. This is why it is crucial to mold a character/style in order to get a better you. Whatever you do, whoever you are, you will be happy with your style. Please help me with your feedbacks and comments to improve this blog.