Material Moms, Small Purchase

[Material Moms] Can This Relieve My Baby’s Dry Skin? – Selena Quah

Babies are so delicate, it’s no surprise mothers are particular about what goes onto their skin. Material Mom Selena Quah reviews Innisfree Pure Green Baby Line on her newest bundle of joy, her verdict, below.

I had noticed that my third baby had skin that was particularly dry and scaly. Even the pediatrician commented on her exceptionally dry skin and recommended we apply more moisturizer on her. So when Material World asked if I would like to give Innifree Pure Green Baby Line a shot, I agreed and was curious to see if its products would work on my baby.

Before: My baby's skin was dry and flaky.

Before: My baby’s skin was dry and flaky.

Its Claims
The Pure Green Baby line is aimed at addressing the growing need among parents for safe products for their children. Innisfree’s Pure Green Baby Line is formulated with organic Jeju Green Tea that has been proven to be mild and suitable even for infants. It is an ingredient that is featured in all seven of their Pure Green Baby products.

I tried the Pure Green Baby Mom’s Touch Milk Oil, Pure Green Baby Lotion, and Pure Green Baby Cream. All three moisturizing products are fall under Innisfree’s 9- or 10-Free System, which means that they are free of 1,4-doixane, animal ingredients, mineral oil, colorants, parabens, artificial fragrance, formaldehyde, benzophenone, acrylamide and silicon (with silicon being the difference between 9 and 10).

However, being an obsessive label reader, I noticed that the ingredient list contains many other synthetic substances. So it’s good to check the label first if you are particular about the ingredients used in your baby’s products. It may be touted as being a ‘safe product’ but it is not 100% natural nor completely free of synthetic substances, so if you are looking for a completely natural product, this may not be it.

Thumbs up from the baby!

Thumbs up from the baby!

Effectiveness
Of the three, my favorite product is the Pure Green Baby Mom’s Touch Milk Oil. It is recommended for use in a massage after the baby’s bath, and indeed it is perfect for that purpose. With my two older children I had tried baby oils, which I found were too oily and messy, and moisturizers, which were often too thick to be used for a massage. This is appropriately named Milk Oil because the solution is white and creamy, yet thin enough to easily be spread all over baby’s skin just like a massage oil. It is quickly absorbed by the baby’s skin and I love that it does not leave an oily feel on my hands after application. As I generally do not like baby products that have strong fragrances, I appreciate that the Milk Oil has just a mild, fresh, almost floral scent that you only catch a whiff of.

The Pure Green Baby Mom’s Touch Milk Oil has now become a part of my baby’s bath time routine, and I wish this product had been available years ago so I could have used it with my older kids when they were babies.

The Milk Oil helped moisturize her skin overall, but her legs were still scaly and needed more attention. I used the Pure Green Baby Lotion and Cream on baby’s legs to compare their effectiveness over time. Like an experiment, I put the Baby Lotion only on her right leg, and Baby Cream only on her left. I found that both worked equally well to hydrate the dry scaly skin on her legs. Only after a couple of weeks of application she now has beautifully smooth skin to show off when wearing her onesies.

Smooth, well-hydrated legs she can finally show off!

Smooth, well-hydrated legs she can finally show off!

Although the Baby Cream is supposed to be more intense and for use as deep hydration, I found the difference between the Lotion and the Cream to be minimal. Choosing which to use depends on the texture you prefer. Both the Baby Lotion and Baby Cream are much thicker in texture compared to the Milk Oil, and I find they leave a filmy layer on my hands after application. Between them, the Cream is slightly thicker than the Lotion.

Probably because our climate is humid, and as I do not switch on the air-conditioning at home, I felt that while the Baby Cream and Baby Lotion both effectively addressed the problem of baby’s dry skin, they would not be the moisturizers I would use on daily basis as they feel too rich for the baby’s skin. It would work well for spot treatment on problem dry areas, but probably not as a regular whole-body application.

Using the Pure Green Baby Mom’s Touch Milk Oil on a daily basis should be sufficient to keep your baby’s skin nicely hydrated. However, if there are some particularly dry patches, targeting the area with Pure Green Baby Lotion or Baby Cream would help to effectively moisturize your baby’s delicate skin.

And the perk of all this is that you get to moisturize your hands with each application too. Happy mummy, happy baby!

Innisfree is available at Takashimaya S.C (#B2-34) and Plaza Singapura (#01-63/64).

The 3 moisturizers I reviewed for this story.

The 3 moisturizers I reviewed for this story.

Innisfree Pure Green Baby line was given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s own. This post is neither paid for nor advised by the brand. Please read our advertising policy here.

Selena Quah with Asher Selena Quah enjoys the little things in life and hopes her children will pick up this trait from her too. She thinks kids are an excellent excuse to indulge in things she likes such as strolling through parks, doing art and craft, and baking. A dancer from young, she hopes to get back to it when the kids are older, though for now she’ll have to make do with dancing around the house while her boys wonder why Mummy is mad. You can find Selena’s blog Unlikely Lady of Leisure here. 

 

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Beauty & Shopping

8 Beauty Hacks For The Busy Woman – Matthew Fam

A beauty S.O.S can strike at any moment, but rushing down to department stores to replenish your makeup stock may not be an option for a busy woman! These 8 tips can save you valuable time so you can look your best while staying at the top of your game.

1. Revive dried mascara.
The recommended shelf life of mascaras are pitched at just three months(!), but constantly heading down to department stores to replace old tubes can be such a chore! Here’s what you can do when your old mascaras have gone clumpy and dry: Place closed tube in mug of hot water and leave for one minute. The heat melts the mascara fluid to its original consistency.

broken_powder_grande2. Fix broken cake powders.
Be it blushes or foundations, breaking cake powders can be a real drag- especially if they’ve been newly bought. Want to avoid the mess of a cracked cake? Try fixing the broken blocks by grinding them into fine powder. Then, spray some rubbing alcohol on crushed mixture. Fuse it into a moist (not wet) paste and let it dry.

3. Prolong the life of your favourite nail polish.
Owning a large range of nail polishes has its drawbacks. For one, it may take months before you re-use the same bottle! By then, air exposure would cause the varnish to become thick and clumpy. This creates an uneven coating dotted with tiny air bubbles (read: BAD nail jobs). Instead of tossing these bottles that have hardly been used, try using nail polish thinners. Add a few drops into your old polish to restore its original viscosity.

4. Clean makeup brushes in double time.
Product residue on your brushes serve as a host for bacteria to grow, so it’s important that you clean them regularly. Need an easy, quick way to do this? Skip detergent- washing brushes with them will dry up their delicate bristles. Use baby wipes or wet towelettes instead. It cleans and moisturises brush fibres at the same time. Simply brush against the towelette and leave to dry.

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

5. Lengthen staying power of perfumes.
Some scents fade halfway through the day, but lugging around a fragrance bottle in your bag is a real hassle! Lengthen your scent’s staying power with petroleum jelly. Apply a thin swatch of the product on pulse points such as your wrists or small sections of your neck. Then, spray fragrance over as usual. The jelly’s oil traps the scent and stays on skin for longer.

6. Salvage your broken lippie.
You don’t have to junk your tube of lippie if it breaks. Store the broken tube of pigment in a small, air-tight jar. It’s best to use a lip brush to apply from this container. Not only do you save money, you get more precision when you apply it this way. Perfectly coloured puckers FTW!

7. Pump up your foundation’s hydration power.
Longing for that gorgeous glow? Mix one-part face moisturiser, and one-part liquid foundation in an empty pump bottle. The result? A home-made tinted moisturiser that creates an extra dewy complexion. Apparently, Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist uses this trick for the pop star’s signature fresh face look.

Keep calm and look (a teeny bit) like Cara Delevingne.

Keep calm and look (a teeny bit) like Cara Delevingne.

8. Tame unruly brows.
For brows that refuse to stay in place- fear no more. You don’t have to make a last minute trip to the department store to get a brow gel. Simply use a tiny dollop of petroleum jelly to slick your brows in place. Now you’ll be able to have Cara Delevingne brows all ready!

So, what other beauty hacks do you rely on? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

 

 

 

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 7 Ways To Rock Pantone’s Colour Of The Year- Matthew Fam

2. How To Get Date-Ready In Under 5 Minutes – Vanessa Tai

3. Lust-Worthy Limited-Edition Makeup You Need This Season – Denise Li

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Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Drinks & Parties, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Singapore Fashion, Skincare, Spa Treats

26 Things To Put On Your August Watchlist

From a snazzy poolside party to the much-anticipated movie about four reptilian brothers, there are plenty of reasons to say, “Hello, August!”

A is for Aliwal Arts Night Crawl

A

Who says Singapore doesn’t have culture? You just need to know where to look. Aliwal Arts Night Crawl is an annual showcase of various arts groups in Singapore, from literature to music and dance. With performances and activities at over 20 outfits in and around Kampong Glam, you can while the entire evening around this historic neighbourhood.

Aliwal Arts Night Crawl is on Friday, 15 August from 6pm till late at the Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street. For more information, please visit http://www.aliwalartscentre.sg or http://www.facebook.com/aliwalartscentre.

B is for Boots

B

Dr. Martens fans can now start converting your own kids, nieces and nephews, to the brand’s famed footwear, the boot. These tiny reproductions are suited for 3 age groups: babies, toddlers and juniors, and come with features like a side zip to help parents get them on and off little feet quickly and easily. Prices start at $79 for Auburn Lace Booties (it’s seriously cute!).

Available at Dr. Martens at #03-05 Orchard Central and #02-17A Wheelock Place.

C is for Catalunya

As part of Catalunya Singapore’s second anniversary celebration, they will be rolling out an exclusive five-dish menu on August 8, prepared by executive chef Alain Devahive. After the dinner, guests are welcome to join the inaugural Catalunya Late Nights launch party for free, as well as take home some special goodies specially prepared by the team.

Catalunya Singapore is located at The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay. For enquiries, call 6534 0188. To make reservations, call 6534 0886

D is for DRx Medispa

“If you have an oily, sensitive scalp like I do, just shampooing regularly will not cut it! Oily patches on the scalp, if left untreated, will lead to thinning hair in the long run. That was what I (most terrifyingly) found out recently when I made an appointment at DRx Medispa, before undergoing the DRx Purifying Treatment. This deep cleansing treatment will help exfoliate and loosen build-up on the surface of your scalp, draw impurities to the surface, and control excessive secretion. If you suffer from flaking or itching, this treatment can also alleviate those issues. Post-treatment, my scalp felt more soothed, and some of the angry redness (indicating sensitivity) had disappeared. Monthly visits are recommended for maintenance – that just might be something I’ll find myself investing in!” – Denise Li

The DRx Purifying Treatment is priced at $188. DRx Medispa is located at 302 Orchard Road, #14-02/#16-02 Tong Building. Tel: 6223 1555

E is for Easy Cooking

E

Domestic goddesses, you might want to find something to hang on to. WMF has rolled out Perfect Pro, a new range of Red Dot Award-winning pressure cookers that claim to shorten cooking time by to up 70% and save up to 50% of energy. The highlight of the WMF Perfect Pro is its central operating element – an All-In-One twist knob on the lid of the handle. It controls functions like closing and opening of the lid, as well as the cooking level and pressure settings. To find out more about the new range, click here.

WMF Perfect Plus Pressure Cookers, from $429, are available in 4.5L, 6.5L, and 8.5L, at major home appliance stores. They are also available in Junior Sets and Senior Sets (each comes with a pressure cooker and a pressure pan).

F is for Flaska 

F

For those of you who complain constantly that water tastes “weird” and that’s why you need to drink bottled water, there is now a more environmentally-friendly way to pander to your tastebuds. Slovenia-made Flaska is a glass bottle containing a vibrational programme to restructure water molecule so it resembles fresh, spring water. The creator Flaska found that watering his strawberries with structured water resulted in firmer fruit and larger yield. Our taste-test reveals that water does taste a lot “better” after being kept in a Flaska bottle. But don’t take our word for it, get your own Flaska at locations like Eat Organic (619H Bukit Timah Road) and Sky Pilates (541 Orchard Road). More info about Flaska can also be found here.

WE HAVE ONE FLASKA BOTTLE TO GIVE AWAY! 

Win a Flaska bottle by following these steps below:

1. Answer this question in Comment section below: “Where is Flaska made?”
2. Share this post on Facebook and tag “Material World”. Make sure your post is set on Public so we can verify that you have completed this step.
3. Email us your details (Name, IC No, Gender, Email Address) by 8 August, 2014.

G is for Gucci Premiere EDT

G

Gucci’s captivating woody scent gets a makeover! The EDT is a lighter, more sparkling incarnation of the original Premiere, thanks to orange blossom and citrus oils. At its heart is freesia, jasmine and Bulgarian rose, before it settles into its musky, androgynous base of leather and patchouli.

Gucci Premiere EDT is available at BHG (Bugis and Tampinies), Takashimaya, Robinsons and Isetan.

H is for Hearty Bites

H

Seasons Bistro is somewhat of a hidden gem that somewhat easy to overlook, given that it’s located slightly off the main Orchard Road strip at TripleOne Somerset. The food, however, is pretty damn good. Though the menu looks confusing at first glance – a mix of modern European and Southern American – it kind of makes sense when you take into account the fact that Seasons – like the name suggests – makes the effort to use seasonal ingredients. What we enjoyed: The Seared Albacore Tuna ($26) which comes with Asian pear, avocado, jicama, watermelon with chipotle mojo and salsa verde. A great option for those into clean eating, we love how fresh and perfectly cooked the tuna was. Another noteworthy mention is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($22) that’s accompanied by succotash, deviled ranch dressing and homemade catsup. The catsup had a hint of mango that cut through the oiliness of the fried chicken. If you’re dining with a big group of finicky friends, Seasons Bistro is a great option for its variety and reasonable prices.

Seasons Bistro is at #01-11/12 TripleOne Somerset. Tel: 6836 5841

I is for Iridescence

I

Let’s face it; as ubiquitous as they are, Ray-Bans are still the epitome of cool. And now the iconic Wayfarers just reached a whole new level of cool with its Summer 2014 edition, Iridescence. The lenses are made with silica micro-crystals before being coated with highly-refractive metal oxides, which means it creates a “liquid” finish that constantly changes colours depending on the power and angle of the light. That means you could be sporting many different looks throughout the day! Cool huh?

Ray-Ban Summer Edition is available for $350 at Capitol Optical and Ai Eye Fashion.

J is for Japanese Meets Peranakan, Korean, French, Chinese …

J

Sakae Sushi has revamped its menu to include some really interesting new flavours, inspired by cuisines from around the world. If you’re a fan of Peranakan cuisine, check out the Japanese restaurant’s new Otah creations, such as Long Bean Otah (mackerel otah wrapped in long green beans and fried in a light tempura batter) and Otah Bibinba (yup, it’s a three-way fusion dish featuring otah strips, shredded omelette, shitake mushroom and rice). Apart from the new fusion creations, Sakae Sushi has also expanded its offerings for popular items like the Aburi (torch-seared sushi) and Yakimono (char-grilled skewers).

Available at Sakae Sushi outlets islandwide.

K is for Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator

K

As men have more sweat glands than women, they are more likely to be victims of shine and oil. The Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator range promises to eradicate this problem for good. How? For one, the Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer contains Aerogel, the lightest solid material on Earth, which is also used in space exploration. This vaporises sweat droplets, as well as absorbs an amazing four times its own weight in oil!

The Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator range will be available at Kiehl’s outlets from August 2014.

L is for Literature

Bookworms, this one’s for you. Instead of your usual book club where everybody discusses the same book, Scribbled encourages each participant to bring a book to this literary meetup. The only criterion? Your book has to have scribbles in it – be it doodles, underlines, or notations in the margins. During the meetup, you get to share your thoughts about the book with the other participants while they pen down their own thoughts. At the end of the meet, everyone gets a chance to look through all the books and notebooks, and even bring a pair home!

For more information, click here.

M is Missystella.com

M

Get your online shopping fix at Missystella.com, a local online apparel store that rolls out new collections every Wednesday. They stock a wide selection of clothing items, from casual playsuits to sophisticated workwear. But what caught our eye are their funky necklaces – the adorable chain necklace (above) is only $19! Psst … if you are a POSB/DBS debit or credit cardmember, you get to enjoy 10% discount off your total bill from now until 30 September.

N is for National Day Photo Contest

Take a photo and win $500 CASH? Yes! Express your love for Singapore this National Day and stand to win an exciting $500 cash prize and $200 worth of Charly T’s dining vouchers! To participate, simply post a photo of your heartfelt wishes for Singapore on Charly T’s Facebook page. The photo with the most votes will win $500 cash! $100 Charly T’s dining vouchers will also be given to the two photos with the most creative messages.

O is for Outback Steakhouse

O

The American chain has opened its second outlet at Orchard Gateway. But although it prides itself on being a “steakhouse”, we found the New York Strip ($36.90) a little overcooked, and you could hardly taste its seasoning. The Baby Back Ribs ($19.90 for half; $32.90 for full) fared a lot better – it was juicy, meaty and well-marinated. The Carrot Cake ($9.90) was also a surprise; moist and chockfull of ingredients that gave it an amazing texture. You should definitely save space for this.

Outback Steakhouse is at #04-01 Orchard Gateway. Tel: 6702 6842

P is for Puma Night Run

Here’s yet another exciting run to add to your race calendar! The inaugural Puma Night Run, slated to take place in November, will be the very first night race organised in Sentosa. The 10k route will take you to idyllic spots around the island. Definitely not one not to be missed. Limited to the first 3000 runners, registration opens August 1, 2014 at go.puma.com/nightrunsg. Registration closes September 14, 2014.

Q is for Quayside Isle 

We may not be able to afford a property at Sentosa Cove but we certainly can treat ourselves to a little pampering along the waterfront every now and then. Spa- and massage-fans need to check out new reflexology centre The Good Sole at Quayside Isle. A younger, fresher, more modern take on the traditional foot reflexology centres, The Good Sole incorporates aromatherapy and oils with tried-and-tested massage techniques to help ease tension and restore balance. The prices are super reasonable too: $60 for a 60-min foot reflexology session.

Located at #01-19 Quayside Isla Sentosa Cove. Call 6268 4842.

R is for Robinsons Home Fair 

R

If you’re looking to give your home a mini facelift, pay a visit to Robinsons Home Fair, a one-stop shopping destination for all things to do with the home and kitchen. Expect to find exclusive brands such as C.A.M from Australia and Wald from Italy at Robinsons Orchard. From now till 24 August 2012, shoppers can also enjoy 50% off selected items while Robinsons OCBC Visa cardholders get an additional 20% off on top of discounts offered.

S is for Shopping For A Cause

From 1 August to 30 September 2014, every purchase you make with your MasterCard at any Club 21 boutique, organic food and health store SuperNature, and Culina Gourmet Boutique will go toward a worthwhile cause. With every purchase, MasterCard will donate US$10 to the companies’ community partners, Beautiful People and Nanyang Polytechnic. Beautiful People is a volunteer work programme that targets teenaged girls-at-risk. The funds for NYP will be channelled to helping underprivileged students in the school’s Hospitality program.

T is for The Body Shop

Better known as the “Queen of Oils”, the super hydrating properties of Wild Argan Oil is sure to make you feel like a queen. In line with The Body Shop’s ethos of using mainly Community Fair Trade ingredients, the oil used in this new range of products is sourced from Morocco, where the Berber women handpick and hand-crack the best nuts to obtain the richest oil. Bring on the royal treatment, we say!

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Bath & Bodycare range is available in The Body Shop stores islandwide.

U is for The Ultimate Belvedere Pool Party

U

Party-goers, get ready for yet another splashing good time at the Belvedere Music Lounge, which is back for the second year running. Besides bespoke Belvedere Vodka cocktails, you can also expect great music from DJs, including DJ AgentSmith who will be specially flown in to Singapore for this poolside party.

The Belvedere Music Lounge will be held at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove on August 23. Table packages are available via bml@bacchanalia.asia or 6509 1453. Single tickets can be purchased at www.urbanjourney.com or via the TopTime application (available on iOS and Android). A Single Ticket costs $30 ($50 at the door) inclusive of event entry, one complimentary Belvedere Cocktail, and pool access.

V is for Veuve Clicquot

Racking your brains for a gift idea? Veuve Clicquot has launched a special edition mailbox, in line with brand founder Madame Clicquot’s tradition of penning long letters. This classic curb-side letter box is built to perfectly house a 75cl bottle, making it an ideal housewarming present.

Clicquot Mailbox is available for $84.50 at Cold Storage outlets islandwide.

W is for Wine

W

Fancy sipping on wine that (may or may not) be a favourite of the British royal family? Corney & Barrow is a 230-year-old independent wine merchant from the UK, and they hold the Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. They carry over 70 wines from top tipple regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Italy.

Corney & Barrow wines are now available on www.wine-family.com

X is for Extra Savings

X

Skincare and beauty wellness centre Renaza is celebrating their eighth anniversary this month, and they are giving you a really special treat! In the months of August and September, you get to enjoy Renaza’s treatments at crazy-good discounts. For example, their Hair Wash & Blow (U.P. $23-$30) will be going for just $8, and the Customised Aesthetics Facial (U.P. $250) at $38.

To read our review of Renaza’s Customised Aesthetics Facial, and to find out more about their 8th anniversary promotions, click here.

Y is for Youth Day

Y

Who says we have to be below 21 to celebrate International Youth Day? This August 12, relive the days of yesteryear with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Directed by Michael Bay Jonathan Liebesman, the movie introduces the band of four reptilian brothers and follows their journey to Ninja-hood. Expect plenty of high-flying action, mega explosions, a Shredder-Splinter battle and, of course, Megan Fox.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in cinemas August 7.

Z is for Zits 

Z

All new fighters in our eternal war against zits are always welcomed with open arms. Introducing Dermalogica’s Clear Start – a new product system that targets mild to moderate acne in teens and young adults. Utilizing known acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, the range also contains soothing botanicals such as tea tree, lavender and cucumber to calm and heal skin. The colorful packaging certainly makes these products a joy to use. Prices start at $34 for a toner.

Available at all AsterSpring Centres and selected Dermalogical authorized skin treatment centres.

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Opinions, Self-Improvement

I’m Graduating. Now What? – Matthew Fam

Are you in your early twenties and still deciding what you do with your life? While staying focused on a single ambition early on can give you a headstart among corporate ranks, there’s nothing wrong taking your time to decide which career is right for you. By Matthew Fam.

There is a rumbling in the air: a brand new wave of people is surging forth into the workforce, like an impending tsunami. Alas, the first batch of post-80’s Millennials are done with university; Facebook feeds are being flooded with graduation gown selfies. And the top remark I hear from most of them?

“I don’t know what I want to do.”

Myself? I have a year till graduation, and- with my devotion of time to studies, copywriting, arts administration, and performing on stage for various young theatre groups- I have too many things to do!

Here’s where things get complicated. Friends advise that I should decide on a career path. My university lecturer tells me that I “need to focus”. When this happens, I’m thinking:
tumblr_inline_n0aq63ItPm1syfsbn

Or:

tumblr_m1j2g4W5Mq1qzi80do1_500

(Before triple somersaulting my way out of the NUS AS5 General Office.)

The fact is, graduates and students alike are facing the same pressure: pool your energy and resources into a set career path for maximum mileage. By principle, you would be able to devote your focus on work at hand, and rise up the ranks faster than someone else who takes her time to decide.

A one-track path to success

This early decision to decide on a set career path does reward people.

A fellow intern at a women’s magazine I used to work for- who has established her passion in journalism and the media industry early on- has landed a full-time stint at another publication since. Similarly, friends who have channelled their time into theatre have been awarded prestigious arts scholarships from government boards to study overseas.

At this point, I’m thinking, “Am I missing out on something??” Is it truly better to stick to a single path since it’s a more convenient route to success?

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to follow through with an early decision. But my contention here is that it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone else.

5869903627_e8acd44f69_zI am a closet wanderer!

Right now, I would classify myself a closet wanderer. And despite dabbling with various jobs over the past two years, I haven’t made up my mind on what I want to do.

For example, I’m not 100% certain if I will work in a women’s magazine in five years time because of 1) the rapidly changing nature of print publishing, and 2) the long-term prospects of being a male working up the ranks of said publication type in Singapore.

This uncertainty scares me. It almost feels as though I will never be able to live life to the fullest if I keep up with this indecision.

However, for those who wander- fret not. Heed these three pieces of advice, and you have a shot at being just as successful as those who make early decisions.

junglegymSometimes, wandering can boost your career. 

According to Sarah Robb O’Hagan, President of fitness chain Equinox, “Careers are more like jungle gyms than ladders- sometimes a sideways or backward step can propel you forward.” Likewise, don’t feel limited to stick to a specific career path. Your exploration could reward you with the numerous transferable skills picked up along the way.

Your journey is yours to make, and should not be influenced by another person’s definition of success.

Try being a freelancer first before deciding to go full-time.

Grounding yourself in a desk-bound job straight after graduation can be daunting- especially if you later find out that this isn’t a career you like.

Try freelancing. Take up an internship and (politely!) ask your supervisor if there are opportunities for you to contribute on a part-time basis. Don’t feel as though you need to dive head-first into the corporate jungle. Who knows? You might even enjoy the freedoms afforded by being a full-time freelancer!

Sharpen your skills.

Wandering can be seen to benefit you in more ways than you think. But how can you match up to other people who have been taught skills in their vocation-oriented university course? This is where self-teaching is crucial. You need to do your homework. Be proactive in eating, sleeping, and breathing the very industry you want to try out; talk to people who are already working in them.

That old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’? Your new mantra.

 

Sure, at some point, a focus on what you want to do would be beneficial (you can’t do 20 things at the same time!), but don’t succumb to the pressure of making that decision right now when you don’t feel ready.

 

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this post, you might like:

1. 20 Things You Will Learn In Your 20s – Deborah Tan

2. 7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

3. Myth: Job Hopping Is Career Suicide – Tan Lili

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Lifestyle, Opinions

These 9 Movies Have Cheated Your Feelings – Matthew Fam

You have been lied to- and romance movies are the biggest culprit. While these box office hits may leave you feeling fuzzy on the inside, expectations of how love and reality should pan out have been highly misconstrued by films we’ve come to know and adore.

giphy-11. Legally Blonde
Going out on a limb to impress a guy when he clearly isn’t into you should be criminal. Would you let this poor girl spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an overrated degree she’s not even interested in? Where is the justice??

 

giphy-72. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Right. So it’s probably not wise to leave your open diary lying around for potential dates to see. Moreover, letting guys fight for you (because editors and lawyers have nothing better to do than fight in public) merely objectifies you as a prize to be won. And you’re better than that, girl!

 

giphy-93. The Proposal
All this while, we’ve conveniently forgotten what a pain actual partner visa arrangements can be! If you’ve ever applied for a visa, you’d be amazed how all the paperwork gets magically shelved in favour of scenic Alaskan fishing and Ryan Reynold’s washboard abs.

 

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4. 27 Dresses
Here’s when it gets mildly offensive. Guy points out the reason for wedding planner’s workaholism as a method to cope with loneliness. And girl actually buys it. Come on! Equating busy career women to grumpy, lonely spinsters is so 90’s.

 

giphy-105. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
The movie all magazine journalists wish their lives could be, but know won’t never happen. If writing a feature story entails you to go on that many dates and glamorous outings (were all these on her company’s dime?) sign us up right now.

Tricking a guy can compromise his trust big time- and that’s not something you’d want to risk.

 

giphy-26. No Strings Attached
She and him are just looking for some sugar… if you know what I mean. Transaction made. But what happens when they start falling for each other? While some relationships do blossom from friends with benefits to official steads, the movie drives an unrealistic expectation that we can eke out a romance out of any arrangement.

 

giphy-87. The Ugly Truth
Somehow, we make it our personal mission to wish that we have the goodness within us to miraculously transform a playboy into reformed lover. Wrong. Taming a hardcore d-bag, and turning him into a loyal life partner- while possible in exceptional cases- is a false impression that you’d much rather leave at the cinema.

 

8. Twilight
Where. Do. I. Even. Begin. I can’t decide if Bella is facing a genuine dilemma choosing between the boys, or is pretending to enjoy all the attention. Just as how you wouldn’t want a guy to string you on, doing so to somebody else- through 4 entire movies, no less- is just evil.

The only true lesson to learn from this film franchise? Good looks and zero talent can land you a starring role.

And sme...lly.

And sme…lly.

9. Warm Bodies
Love changes zombie into boy band member lookalike. Fine. But what I don’t get is: doesn’t she get a whiff of funk from this semi-decomposed guy?? What this movie fails to teach you is that bad body odour ought to be a total deal breaker. And that the female protagonist probably suffered from a blocked nose throughout the entire duration.

 

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] When You Don’t Have Time For Love – Tan Lili

3. [Love In Lines] Whatever You Have Learnt From Matchmakers Is Wrong – Deborah Tan

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Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material World x Triple Dry] Motherhood: It’s A Sweaty Business! – Deborah Giam

Sweating is not a bad thing – when you’re exercising, that is. But when you’re shuttling between household, parenting and work tasks every day, you’d want it to stay as sweat-free as possible. Would using an antiperspirant solve the problem? Deborah Giam puts Triple Dry to the test.

When you’re a mother, there are always a million and one things – kids, parents, partner, boss, an almost-empty fridge – that require your attention. Forget about the moments that you have to yourself; those are often spent trying to pre-empt the next situation – birthdays to plan, presentation to finish, or online grocery shopping to be done. This is why time-starved mums are always on the lookout for products that not only work but also work well.

One thing that’s harder to find: an effective antiperspirant. I’ve tried several different ones before but none of them truly works to keep me sweat-free. When I was asked to review Triple Dry, an antiperspirant that provides 72 hours of protection against heavy perspiration and odour, I was admittedly sceptical at first. Did they work? Well, let’s have a closer look.

From left: Triple Dry Fresh Anti-Perspirant Spray, $17.90, and Triple Dry Roll-On, $15.90

From left: Triple Dry Fresh Anti-Perspirant Spray, $17.90, and Triple Dry Roll-On, $15.90

The idea behind this antiperspirant is that you apply it at night for three nights, and then only need to use it about three times a week after. I was given the Anti-Perspirant Roll-On and Fresh Anti-Perspirant Spray to try for two weeks. For the former, it’s great that it is unscented (I like my perfume to smell the way it does, thank you very much), and even though the texture feels a bit paste-like, it has a quick drying formula so I didn’t have to spend too much time waiting for the product to dry off.

Personally, I’m not a fan of antiperspirant sprays – no thanks to my terrible coordination, I always fear I’m going to blind myself one day when using a spray. Having said that, the Fresh Anti-Perspirant Spray is more convenient because the formula seems to dry much faster than that of a roll-on. Because I prefer non-scented antiperspirants, I thought the scent of this was a tad overpowering, but thankfully it faded away within half an hour.

It wasn’t until about Day Four that I started to notice a difference. I’m definitely sweating a lot less and, the best thing is, those embarrassing sweat marks around my pits are significantly reduced. So, while Triple Dry won’t keep you bone-dry, it does the trick of reducing your perspiration enough that you won’t be bothered by it. I’d imagine this would be a great product to use before a trip so you wouldn’t need to worry about having to reapply antiperspirant every day – you’d have better things to worry about during a holiday, especially with the kids in tow.

Triple Dry Fresh Anti-Perspirant Spray ($17.90) and Roll-On ($15.90) are available exclusively at Guardian pharmacies. Material World worked with Triple Dry for a review of its products. All opinions are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.

We’re giving away 5 Triple Dry sets worth $33.80 each!

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Each set consists of one Unfragranced Spray and one Roll-On. To win a set for yourself, simply follow these steps:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Triple Dry” as the Contest Name. Then key in your answer to this question: “How many hours of protection does Triple Dry provide?”

2. Like Material World on Facebook.

3. Click on the Facebook Share button below and share this post with your friends. Tag “Material World” on your post and remember to set it on Public.

This contest ends Wednesday, 30 July 2014, and is only open to followers of Material World. Only entries submitted via the Material World app will be accepted. Please read our terms and conditions here.

material-mum-deborah-giamAbout the author: Deborah Giam is a full-time digital native, having worked and played in the online world for most of her life. Her second job is mother to a precocious four-year-old who loves dinosaurs, airplanes and Hello Kitty. Forget designer labels she’s happiest in an old-school world shooting with film, traveling the world and exploring new places. See more of her travels and photographs at www.livinglavidaholga.wordpress.com.

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Opinions, Self-Improvement

Am I A Horrible Friend Because Of This? – Matthew Fam

We don’t like to admit it, but many of us feel it. Jealousy towards our friends is something kept mum for fear of being seen as immature or irrational. But what happens when this begins to fester into bitterness that affects your friendship?

Can we have a frank, honest conversation here?

I confess: I have ever smiled and looked at a friend straight in the eye, while harbouring malicious thoughts. Now, before you decide to call me the worst, most insincere, most heartless friend ever, let’s all agree that jealousy is a totally natural emotion.

So, let’s call this friend Samantha, or ‘S’.

Ever since secondary school, I’ve always shared my desire to study and work overseas with S. Then, years later, when the opportunity to attain this dream finally came around (my entrance scores were good, my personal essay was smashing) I was held back by financial constraints- just as I was almost at the finish line. S, on the other hand, joyously texted how she got accepted into a prestigious university in Los Angeles, California.

This was when things started to get iffy.

At first, I was:

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But a part of me on the inside was feeling:

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Don’t get me wrong- I was still very happy for her. But there was a creeping tinge of bitterness that I couldn’t curb. And I remember how I felt so confused and guilty about it. When someone as close as a childhood friend gets the very thing that you so strongly desire, it does hurt.

When I thought I could get away suppressing my feelings and ignoring this incident, I was so wrong. A year later, I found out that S got an internship in the media industry during her summer vacation there (a way to vault you ahead of the competition in getting an entry-level job, and hence, an overseas work visa). Well, that didn’t help my feelings of jealousy to say the least. I started distancing myself from S, and it soured our friendship. In a weird, perverse way, it was as though she was stealing what was “rightfully mine” to claim.

In other words, I was becoming a jealous, bitter b____. It was a lose-lose situation!

Sure, things between the both of us now are much better after I decided to share my feelings; but some friendships don’t go down as well due to a lack of opening up and being honest with each other.

I think this boils down to not admitting such negativity because, 1) we’re always concerned about putting ourselves in the best light, and 2) we so tightly hold- no, claw– on to the expectation of needing to control our emotions. It can be embarrassing to admit jealousy, lest we get slapped on with labels of being irrational, immature or just downright cuckoo.

Honestly? I think it’s perfectly okay to feel this way. We should never be ashamed of our feelings. The question lies in what you do with them. Owning up that there’s an issue at hand is always the best way forward. And while you can’t stop your friend from achieving success in her life, here’s what you can do when faced with these negative thoughts:

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NOT a good idea.

Do not lash out on your friend.

Just because you’re feeling upset about her success, doesn’t mean that she did anything wrong! Acting out on your frustrations in the form of giving the cold shoulder or an icy response would not solve the root of the problem.

Be thankful for what you have.

Think of it this way: you may have something that your friend so strongly desires too. If we keep up the relentless search for things that we don’t have, will we find the time to pause and appreciate whatever little blessings are present in our lives?

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Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s.

It’s easy to feel the urge to peg yourself against the success of someone else- especially if she is your age. But remember that we are on different life journeys that are unique and incomparable. It’s like comparing apples with oranges!

Take this as an opportunity to focus on yourself.

It could be that your jealousy is stemming from certain insecurities you’re feeling! Try learning a new skill or pick up a hobby, like pilates. Being good at something gives your self-confidence a boost, and snips away any inadequacies you feel.

Talk it out.

When you talk through a complex situation, it allows you to organise your thoughts and get to the bottom of why such feelings are present in the first place. Talk to someone you trust. If she is willing to be a good listener, you’d get a good, cathartic release of this negativity.

 

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. I Miss How Facebook Used To Be! – Matthew Fam

2. Letting Go Of My Insecurities – Vanessa Tai

3. How To Comfort Someone – Tan Lili

 

 

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Branded Content, Health & Fitness

[Material World x Breathe Pilates] 30-Days Pilates Challenge – Matthew Fam

If a session of pilates leaves your legs wobbling by the end of its duration, try doing consecutive sessions in 30 days. Sounds crazy? Not quite. Breathe Pilates’ 30-Days Pilates Challenge is perfect for everyone of all fitness levels committed to a healthier lifestyle.

If there’s one workout you must get involved in, it’s this. Taking place in August 2014, the 30-Days Pilates Challenge provides first-timers an opportunity to commit to a fitness regime, while allowing seasoned practitioners to hone their practice. And we’ve got the lo-down on how manageable undertaking this challenge can be:

What’s so good about pilates?

It involves a contraption that skeptics may confuse for a medieval torture device. But you’d be surprised at the bevy of health benefits ranging from weight loss, increasing one’s muscle tone, to recovering from sports injuries! Its an all-in-one workout that’s part strengthening, part rehabilitating.

20130707_B6555175What kinds of exercises can I expect from the 30-Days Pilates Challenge?

There are three types of exercise you can expect to do during this challenge: reformer, tower, and mat exercises. And none of these involve impossible contortions, rest assured.

“Reformer and tower exercises make use of different parts of the reformer, a bed-like structure with a series of pulleys and springs. On the other hand, mat work involves the usage of simpler equipment such as therabands or free weights on mats to challenge the body,” shares Ru Shin, participant of last year’s 30-Days Pilates Challenge.

The focus of these sessions rotates throughout the week, so all your muscle groups get an equal chance at a workout. “We would be assigned different instructors during the challenge. They would alternate their focus between abdominal and spinal articulation, arms and legs, and cardiovascular activity.” Suffice to say, these 4 weeks will have fitness regimens specially tailor-planned for you.

Can I join the 30-Days Pilates Challenge if I have zero experience?

If being able to touch your toes feels like winning the Olympics gold for gymnastics, don’t give up your pilates-practicing ambitions just yet! This programme is suited for people of various fitness levels. “I was a total beginner!”, exclaimed Ru Shin of her experience.

Be it those recovering from an injury, disciplined gym users, or people whose idea of exercise is their daily walk to the refrigerator, this challenge is built for anyone along the fitness spectrum. “One of the great things about the challenge is that it suits nearly everyone- young (the youngest student was 14 years old and came with her dad!) and old.”

The small group setting ensures that trainers give you a more personalised coaching.

The small group setting ensures that trainers give you a more personalised coaching.

Will I be able to cope with the intensity of 30 days?

Relax. The trainers will not expect you to wrangle yourself into a pretzel. “The sessions increased in intensity as the weeks progressed, so by week 4, exercises were significantly more advanced than week 1,” says Ru Shin. Its gradual intensification means that you’ll be well accustomed to the basics before moving on to intermediate workouts.

At the same time, the challenge would not consist of superficial poses that one could easily replicate without the trainers. You will be breaking out a sweat. “After some of the sessions, my arms and legs were shaking like jelly. I even ached in places I never knew had muscles! It wasn’t smooth sailing. I had recently given birth at that time and wasn’t exercising regularly before starting the challenge. But after the first few days, I started to get the hang of it.”

Some participants of last year's 30-Days Pilates Challenge and their trainer.

Some participants of last year’s 30-Days Pilates Challenge and their trainer.

What’s different about this pilates challenge?

This is not the same as attending a pilates gym for 30 consecutive days. Its comfortable group setting allows you to ease into the rigour of workouts without feeling self-conscious. And you get individual attention from the trainers too, so you won’t be lost while awkwardly yanking random pulleys looking totally ridiculous.

“The group was just right- there were 5 of us- which enabled the trainer to pay attention to each student. The trainers were all very good. They demonstrated the exercises before letting us commence. Moreover, they would take the time to check that every student had proper postural alignment during the exercises!”

On top of that, Breathe Pilates’ emphasis on a holistic lifestyle transformation is underscored with an option for healthy cold-pressed juices you can enjoy after workout sessions.

How will I be able to commit to these 30 days in light of hectic work schedules?

Sure, it’s one thing to maintain discipline in a fitness regime, but how does that stand when busy work schedules get thrown into the mix? Here is Ru Shin’s tip: “I signed up for the challenge weeks in advance and was able to plan my schedule. I would start work earlier just to make sure I would be able to make it for the sessions on time. I also tried to push business trips just before or after the 30 days. I really wanted to do something about my fitness so I made it a priority to attend every single session. No excuses.”

Ru Shin and her daughter.

Ru Shin and her daughter.

What improvements can I expect after the 30-Days Pilates Challenge?

You don’t even need to wait 30 days for visible benefits from this challenge. “Even within the first week, I noticed improvements in my posture. As the weeks went by, I became stronger and more toned; my back was hurting less and I had higher energy levels throughout the day.  Most amazingly, a shoulder injury that I was nursing bothered me less. I was well on my way to recovery!”, says Ru Shin.

Yes. A fitter, healthier you is definitely within reach.

 

The 30-Day Pilates Programme lasts from 11 August to 5 September 2014, Mondays to Saturdays. Register now for an Early Bird Special of $650 (usual price $680)! Daily Juice option, $140, includes 3 bottles of 250ml cold-pressed juice provided for 30 days.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #02-05/06/07 Tides, 217 East Coast Road (10 participants). For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email info@breathepilates.com.sg, or visit www.breathepilates.com.sg.

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Entertainment, Lifestyle

7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

Millennials are not as bad as they’re made out to be. Seriously! Contributing writer Matthew Fam debunks the  7 negative traits commonly associated with this generation, and insists that this misunderstood bunch has much to be celebrated for.

#Justsaying, whenever I read articles of why Millennials are lazy, selfish, entitled, or [fill in negative trait], I’m like:
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But on the inside:
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There are major misconceptions out there about us, okay? And I think it’s easy for people to discount the capability, passion, drive and resilience that we have within us. It’s just expressed in different ways from generations past. Here are the 7 lies you’ll hear about Millennials:

1. We want to be mutli-hyphenated everything because we’re fickle.
We are the generation most prone to job hopping. Forbes listed that 91% of Millennials expect to stay within a job for less than three years, which translates to over 15 jobs in our entire career! Unfortunately, this gets misinterpreted as us being fickle for not being grounded in our ambitions. However, with a plethora of transferrable skills learnt, job hopping is hardly career suicide or disadvantageous, as this article will tell you.

2. We MUST have our sacrosanct weekends. (Don’t touch them!)
We’re said to demand work flexibility and leave at 6pm on the dot every day. In fact, the statistics from a study by Cisco backs this up: with 69% of Millennials believing that office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis, heaven forbid that you touch our weekends!

Sure, we value free time and a work-life balance. But we also know how to manage our expectations to find a compromise, and don’t shy from hard work- even if it means clocking in overtime. We make those hours at the office count and work. It. Out.

Why? Because we are…
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3. We expect to climb the corporate ladder at an abnormally fast pace.
Entry-level position today, CEO tomorrow. Truth be told, detractors tend to view us as entitled little brats.

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This suggests that we lack the patience to gain adequate experience in a job before being handed bigger responsibilities. Yes, sometimes our inflated ambition gets the better of us, but if there’s one thing this generation must be lauded for, it’s our undying idealism. We don’t settle for mediocrity.

4. We’re selfish because we take gap years and spend our first paychecks on holidays.
Q: When does taking gap years and travelling the world become a bad thing?
A: When delaying a salaried income and not providing for your family unfairly labels you as selfish.

YOLO (you only live once), people! Besides, often times, Millennials make use of their gap year to take up internships, part-time work, or volunteer for a cause. The extra income earned from these ventures go into our vacation funds. So we’re not leeching off from parents, mm-kay? #Independence

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Sorry, we do not all behave like Miley.

5. We’re reckless, and we pride bad behavior above anything else.
“Oh, that’s how the youngsters these days behave.” (While commenting on Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball music video.)

First of all, it’s funny how people make assumptions on our generation’s behaviour solely based on Miley’s bare bum. Secondly, NOBODY twerks in the streets for fun or enjoys public nudity! Miley Cyrus is not our spirit animal!

6. We speak in nothing but hashtags, emojis and tumblr gifs.
Okay, fine. So we can get a weeee bit overdramatic with the way we communicate. But seriously, just because we pepper our speech with these humorous titbits doesn’t mean we have forgotten how to speak eloquently! The English Language has not been butchered, RELAX. #Itiswhatisits #Sorrynotsorry

7. We are all experts in technology.
According to a study by PayScale and Millennial Branding, online marketing and social media are reportedly the most common job skills among Millennials. However, that doesn’t mean we’re complete whizzes with technology. It’s one thing to be able to update our Twitter accounts, or make credit card payments on ASOS. But no- if you expect us to programme a phone application from scratch, then this is what we have to say:

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What other misconceptions of Millennials do you know of? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. He is also a proud Millennial! Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. I Miss How Facebook Used To Be! – Matthew Fam

2. 4 Strategies To A More Decisive You – Deborah Tan

3. The 17 Emotional Stages You Go Through At Beerfest Asia – Tan Lili

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Arts & Events, Child's Play, Lifestyle, Material Moms

[Material Moms] The Sound of Music: A Review – Beverly Burgess

You watched the movie as a child. Now, why not experience the magic live with your child? By Beverly Burgess

Material Mom Beverly with her husband Chris

Material Mom Beverly with her husband Chris

“The hills are aliiiiiiiiiiivvvve with the sound of muuuuusic”

And with that refrain, you know you’re in for a wonderful musical treat. The Sound of Music has hit Singapore from now until 10 August 2014. This musical extravanganza features impressive sets (that are changed at ashtonishing speed) and a breathtaking cast of singers.

If you’re familiar with the movie, you’ll be delighted with, and probably sing along to, all the familiar hit songs. The singing is crystal clear – from the nun mother with the most incredible full soprano, to the star Maria’s diaphonous vocals, to the youngest child Gretal’s angelic lilt.

The audience there were young and old, with young toddlers that bounced in their seats and sang along (they must have have watched the movie with their parents before!), to seniors that were there on a date. I spied a few mummy-and-child dates there too, since the movie makes a great “mummy and me” activity to do together.

The energy of the cast is palpable, and you’ll be impressed with the beautiful sets. This is not a performance where you see the cast engage in drawn out character or plot development. Rather, it is a feel-good performance focusing squarely on the songs, and the casts’ amazing voices. It’s a hit with the young, and the young at heart.

The Sound of Music runs from now till August 10, 2014. Tickets are available from $65 at Sistic

BevChrisCloseupAbout the author: Having blogged for the past two decades spanning life in Australia, China and Singapore, Beverly Burgess entered an alternate universe at warp speed when she went from career-driven shopaholic and social butterfly … to juggling being a wife and a mother of two kids. All within three years. The career is now replaced with the privilege of being a full-time mum, but the urge to shop and socialize still remains (albeit with two obliging children in tow). And, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She blogs at Beverly’s Adventures.

 

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Opinions, Self-Improvement

I Miss How Facebook Used To Be! – Matthew Fam

Contributing writer Matthew Fam misses how Facebook used to be so vocal and uninhibited in its plethora of opinions. With heightened policing of our online profiles, this lack of spontaneity is killing the very purpose of social media. Bring spontaneity back, he says.

How many times have you typed a social media update, before hitting that backspace button upon consideration?

When we first started using Facebook, there was probably this much restraint in what we posted.

When we first started using Facebook, there was probably this much restraint in what we posted.

Back in my junior college days when Facebook first came out, the social media platform ran rife with angst-ridden posts and existential haikus. For crying out loud, my break-up woes were practically chronicled in cheesy song links and passive aggressive one-liners (all deleted now, thank you very much). With all that ‘poking’, owning of friends as ‘Human Pets’ and random gifting of flower pots, Facebook was THE vista of spontaneity.

These days? Not looking so great. With our professional lives thrown in the mix, we’re increasingly caught up with presenting a pristine, manicured image of ourselves online. We post knowing that we’re being watched by people we don’t know. We especially avoid speaking up in anger or derision of issues.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-31587-1380211235-39 2And it’s no surprise why: with cases in Singapore like Amy Cheong and Anton Casey, whose personal opinions have ended up in dismissals, it’s easy to understand why one would rather be safe and practice self-restraint. Sometimes when I post my views on social media, I find myself crafting my words extra carefully so it doesn’t ruffle feathers or get misconstrued by prospective employers. Where did this urge to be so restrained come from? Am I turning into a secret prude??

People often confuse speaking one’s mind with being frivolous or overly-confrontational, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t see why expressing anger- within reason- is a negative thing. I’m not saying that you have free reign to cross out-of-bound markers and rally hate. But I think we lose a sense of spontaneity when we choose to silence even the slightest contention we wish to share on social media.

Instead of letting your social media profile become a passive storage of shared links and photos, here are 3 reasons why you could use a little more spontaneity expressing views online:

This is what happens when you bottle up your emotions.

This is what happens when you bottle up your emotions.

1. It’s a good pressure release
Intermittent releases of anger act as a pressure relief valve that prevent the bottling up of frustration. These mini-releases can come in the form of a single post, for instance, voicing out why you disagree with the banning of library books. Keeping a tight lid on your thoughts may build up to an irrational outburst further down the road (think capital letters and exclamation marks) and that wouldn’t look good on your part. Moreover, while you are in a calmer state of mind, it’s easier to manage your emotions and make the pitch.

2.  It trains you to better articulate your thoughts
Enacting on spontaneity to voice opinions trains you to think through situations more carefully. It makes you more discerning of which battles are worth picking, and how you can best present your case. At the same time, you are made to be considerate towards other followers of your social media. It’s a great exercise in practicing inter-personal relations! These spoken ideas also help facilitate dialogue among various parties who may or may not agree with you. And through this exchange, we can share among us a broader world view (one point for humanity!).

3. You come across as confident, responsible and assured
One of the main reasons why people practice restraint on Facebook is because they don’t want to compromise their professional prospects. For instance, we keep our pages drunk-photo free so employers don’t get the wrong impression of our work ethic. But why not see it this way: by speaking your mind in a rational manner- even if it means expressing unpopular sentiment- you create a positive impression of being decisive and assured of your stand. This way, people who view your posts can count you as someone whose confidence in personal opinion can be translated to spearheading projects in the workplace.

Spontaneity in social media should be used as leverage for other people to get to know you as a person. I mean, isn’t that why Facebook was created in this first place? If you have something to say, think it through before posting. But say it- because self-restraint is so overrated.

 

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and is thoroughly embarrassed by his teenage Facebook posts. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this article, you might also like:

1. So, Did You Sign The Petition To Get Stomp Shut Down? – Deborah Tan

2. [Love In Lines] Do You Give Good Text? – Vanessa Tai

3. Letting Go Of My Insecurities – Vanessa Tai

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Beauty & Shopping, Food & Supplements, Hair, Health & Fitness, Skincare

The Multi-Functional Oil You Have To Try – Matthew Fam

We’ve all heard of oils that beautify your complexion and give you shiny locks of hair, but Matthew Fam has found one that you can actually eat for a nutrition boost while ticking all the beauty boxes for great skin and hair! Here’s why he’s going loco for the coco(nut oil).

o-BENEFITS-OF-COCONUT-OIL-facebookIt’s a nutrition must-have!

Uhm… Logically speaking, isn’t eating oil unhealthy? Well, not this one. Coconut oil is a rich source of saturated fat that aids in weight loss. What’s different is its chemical structure of medium-chain triglycerides that allows the body to digest it more rapidly, thus using up more energy.

In fact, 15 to 30 grams of such fat can increase 24-hour energy expenditure by 5% (that’s about an extra 120 calories burnt a day!) Its high lauric acid content also bolsters your immune system by fending off viruses such as the common flu, for instance.

You can cook it with rice, use it as dressing for salads, or just ingest it as it is. What I usually do is to add a tablespoon of the oil into my breakfast of soy milk, seeds and oats- and it totally ends up tasting like CHENDOL. Mind. Blown.

Plus, it’s easy to find a jar of this multi-functional oil from your local supermarket. You can even purchase a jar and have it home-delivered from health food websites like these.

2269941It gives you beautiful skin and hair!

Coconut oil works as a great moisturiser too. The luxuriously nourishing oil turns into a paste-like consistency below temperatures of 24 degrees celsius, so I leave a jar of it in the fridge. This way, it’s less messy for me to scoop the solidified, fluffy substance to spread on skin.

I have dry skin on my legs, so this beauty fix was perfect for an overnight moisturising treatment. The oil is absorbed well by skin, and you don’t have to worry about staining your bedsheets. I was surprised at how applying a dollop of coconut oil left a mild, fragrant scent that wasn’t overpowering at all. In addition, my legs definitely felt smoother the next morning!

If the thought of smearing food on your skin or scalp grosses you out, there are plenty of coconut oil-infused products out there for you to reap its benefits, without the potential ‘ick’ factor. Try Organix Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Shampoo. It’s non-SLS formula (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, a drying detergent ingredient in most shampoos) gives you shiny, silky strands.

cdentistryIt’s a major oral hygiene booster!

You’d be surprised to find out that the benefits of coconut oil even extend to oral health! The next time you get your hands on a jar of this miracle oil, try out oil swishing- an ancient Indian practice that dates back thousands of years.

What you need to do is gargle a table-spoonful of oil in your mouth, as you would with regular mouthwash, for 10 to 20 minutes. It is said to reduce bacteria and plague from your mouth, and gradually whiten teeth. When you expel the solution, the naturally transparent oil should now have a milky colour.

Sure, it shouldn’t replace regular brushing and flossing; but who doesn’t want a gorgeous smile, right?

With these all-encompassing benefits that ensure a healthier, more beautiful you, I am officially hooked on coconut oil!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

 

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