Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Hair, Makeup

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

So your crush suddenly hits you up for dinner and drinks tonight, or your boyfriend finally gets time off work and asks to meet. Vanessa Tai picks out four products that will get you from office-blah to date-hot, stat. 

Call me dramatic, but sometimes it feels like the universe is doing everything it can to get in the way of you hightailing it out of the office to meet your date. Your boss hands you a project with an urgent deadline at 5pm, the printer goes wonky just as you’re printing out slides for tomorrow’s client meeting, you’re trying to finish up an important proposal but can’t seem to concentrate, and so on. Add that to the stress of wanting to look your best before your date and you have a recipe for a potential meltdown. I get it, I’ve been there!

Don’t worry, with these easy tips, you can look (and smell) as fresh as you would if you had spent hours prepping at home. Here’s how:

Skin:

After an entire day of being in an air-conditioned environment, your skin may appear dry or dehydrated. Plus, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol later in the evening, it could cause your complexion to appear dull. Revive tired skin with The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. It contains over two million Aqua Spheres, as well as wheatgerm oil, shea butter, and soya oil to deliver a burst of hydration to your skin. With your skin looking so dewy fresh, you can even skip applying foundation.

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, $32.90

Make Up Store LED Lipgloss in Sparkle, $35

Make Up Store LED Lipgloss in Sparkle, $35

Makeup:

Here are some easy makeup tricks to look perked up, instantly. If your eyes are looking a little bloodshot or tired, use a flesh-toned eye pencil to line the inner rims of your eyes. It will offset the redness and make your eyes appear brighter. Another way to brighten up your features in a flash would be to add a swipe of lipstick. While you probably can’t go wrong with a bold red lippie, I think there’s something surprisingly alluring about a hot pink lipstick. It’s not as muted as a nude lip and not as in-your-face sexy as a red one. Right now, I’m crushing on Make Up Store’s LED Lip Gloss in Sparkle. I love the glittery, jewel-like effect and the LED light is particularly helpful for touching up in darker rooms (say, a club bathroom).

Such a pretty  shade, yes?

Such a pretty shade, yes?

Hair:

So your hair is looking a little lank after a day of being hard at work. Bring your tresses back to life with Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum. This is an in-scalp essence that literally crackles and pops when you spray it onto your hair. Don’t worry though; it’s just the sparkling bubbles working its way into your scalp. Just a couple of spritzes should leave your hair looking and feeling softer and more luxuriant. Plus, the soothing scent of Camellia Oil and Camellia Flower Extract will calm any jittery pre-date nerves.

Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum, $18.90

Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum, $18.90

Fragrance:

Now, I know fragrances are a very personal choice and you should wear whatever makes you feel the most confident. However, I’m not sure if you read my recent review of Elizabeth Arden’s UNTOLD Eau Légère but there was something about the warm muskiness of the fragrance that was a real confidence booster … and it was a hit with my date too! Anyway, here’s a tip on how to wear your scent strategically – since you’re probably going to be holding hands that night, mist your fragrance on your palms so that your touch will release small amounts of scent throughout the night.

UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

There you have it – my secrets to looking fab in under 5 minutes! Share with me your own pre-date beauty secrets in the Comments section below.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Accessories, Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Entertainment, Food News, Fragrances, Hair, International Fashion, Lifestyle, Makeup, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your July Watchlist

Are you ready to embrace the second-half of 2014? We’re still recovering from the whirlwind that was the first-half of the year, to be honest. But with so many cool places to see, products to try and activities to check out in July, we’re all set to enter yet another whirlwind of new experiences!

A is for Anti-Ageing

A

 

Youthful skin isn’t just wrinkle-free; it’s also free from pigmentation, and glowing with youth and radiance. A two-step, in-home peel, the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel aims to rejuvenate skin by resurfacing and replenishing skin with peptides and vitamin C for smoother and more radiant skin. Best of all, results are evident after just one use, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes!

Philosophy is at B2-03 Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City; and #01-16 Bugis Junction.

B is for Becasse 

Becasse has launched its first full format dining concept at Dempsey Hill and it promises to spoil you silly with a wide menu consisting of French- and European-inspired dishes, a seafood bar and fresh hand-made pastries made on-site daily. Fans of brunch will love the Croque Madame with a truffle baked egg and the fluffy but oh-so-sinful sticky date pancakes.

Becasse is located at Blk 10 Dempsey Hill #01-21. Tel: 6479 8119.

C is for Cats of the World Photo Exhibition

One of the entries from Japan!

One of the entries from Japan!

Love cats? Then this annual exhibition is one you can’t miss! In its eighth season this year, the non-profit Cats of the World Photo Exhibition features photos of adorable furballs, taken by aspiring and professional photographers around the world. This year, look out for one-off cat-inspired creations by artists such as David Chan, Ginette Chittick, Wyn-Lyn Tan and Puffingmuffin; each artwork will be sold for $100 to raise funds for Cat Welfare Society. Of course, you can also look forward to the exhibition’s feline-themed flea market. From postcards and notebooks to accessories and even toys for cats, the Saturday Purrzaar Market has been a crowd favourite since it was launched in 2011.

Cats of the World Photo Exhibition will take place from July 2-28 at The Arts House. The Saturday Purrzaar Market, also held at The Arts House, will take place on July 5, 12 and 19, from 11am to 6pm.

D is for District 10 Brunch 

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Mothers looking for a place where the kids can play while they tuck into their scrambled eggs can check out District 10 at The Star Vista. On Sundays, the restaurant installs a full-size bouncy castle to keep the kids occupied while their parents grab a bite. If you like food with a local twist, the pandan pancakes with gula melaka syrup will hit all the right spot.

District 10 is located at The Star Vista, #01-42/K3 (next to the taxi stand). Tel: 6694 2884. Email: thestarvista@district10.com.sg .

E is for Exciting Fashion News

material world_zalora material girl

We may call ourselves the Material Girls, but we all know who the original Material Girl is. Apart from being the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna also dabbles in fashion. She and daughter Lola have a popular fashion label, Material Girl, which was previously only available in department stores in the US, Australia, and Canada. But not anymore! You can now get your hands on the label’s trendy peplum tops, printed pencil skirts, bodycon dresses, and more on Zalora! The Spring collection is now available for purchase at http://www.zalora.sg/material-girl/

F is for Football Fever

So not everyone’s inclined to sit down to spend 90 minutes watching The Beautiful Game, especially when it’s screening at unearthly hours, but we’re pretty sure that practically everyone will fall in love with the Breadzil 2014 collection that Breadtalk has released to celebrate The World Cup. Our favourite? The Dillopillo, a spicy sambal chicken bun inspired by the armadillo mascot. It looks cute, and tastes even better.

For a full listing of Breadtalk stores, visit this link.

G is for Great Skin

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If hot and humid weather is causing your zits to come out and party, now may be the time to switch to a BB cream that not only provides coverage but also controls shine and fights blemishes. Powered by Community Fair Trade tea tree from Kenya, The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream blends seamlessly into the skin to give you a great-looking complexion. At just $29.90 per tube, it’s a summer beauty must-have!

Available at all The Body Shop islandwide from 7 July 2014.

H is for Healthy Tresses

HWe’ve all resorted to trimming our own tresses at home to get rid of split ends, but now there’s an easier way to repair damaged hair. Enter the L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Emergency Care Split End Sealer. Powered by active ingredient LAK1000, it promises to penetrate deep into the hair to reinforce damaged hair structure and strengthen hair fibre. Up to 6,500 strands of hair will be repaired with just one use!

Available at Watsons and Guardian pharmacies. 

I is for Instant Laksa

There’s something strangely comforting about a bowl of instant noodles, especially after a long day of work or after a night of partying. Now, MAGGI ups the ante with MAGGI SENSES Laksa, with a special wet paste made with fresh galangal, spicy red chilli, and ginger. Combined with MAGGI’s signature springy noodles, this is a slurp-worthy bowl of deliciousness.

MAGGI® SENSES™ Laksa is available at $7.95 for a pack of 4x141g at all leading super/hypermarkets and convenience stores.

J is for Jermyn Street

J

The trend of high-end grooming stores for men seems to be taking off in Singapore and more’s the better, we say! Jermyn Street is the new kid on the block. The decor is inspired by the 1930s style, and it offers a comprehensive suite of services including a luxury hotel towel straight razor shave, haircuts, shampoos, manicures and pedicures, eyebrow grooming and much more. Something to treat your man to on his birthday, we think.

Jermyn Street is located at 108 Amoy Street. For more information, visit www.jermynstreet.com.sg.

K is for Kiehl’s 

One of our all-time favourite beauty brands is celebrating its 10th year in Singapore! Kiehl’s turns 10 this July and to mark this momentous event, it is sending out Ultra Generous Trucks across 21 destinations across the island to hand out samples and treats! So keep a lookout for these trucks – there is a selfie contest too! Details in the latest issue of Kiehl’s Times at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide.

L is for Laneige

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After 20 years of research (you know they mean business when they spent two decades researching on moisture), Laneige has introduced the new and improved Water Bank range, which claims to deliver eight times more moisture into the skin. Through their research, they found that Asian skin is more susceptible to moisture loss. To tackle this problem, the reformulated Water Bank range features the exclusive Moisturizing Biogene Technology and Hydro Ion Mineral Water to restore the Asian skin’s natural ability to generate and retain moisture – even under dry conditions. The Water Bank range consists of Water Bank Essence_EX ($60), Water Bank Eye Gel ($49), Water Bank Gel Cream_EX ($52), Water Bank Moisture Cream_EX ($52), and Water Bank Double Gel Soothing Mask (5 sheets, $34).

The Water Bank range is available at all Laneige boutiques and counters islandwide.

M is for Melissa

M

Brazilian shoe brand Melissa collaborates with some of the biggest names in fashion – Karl Lagerfeld, Jason Wu, Gareth Pugh, and J Maskrey – to roll out even more fantastic pieces for its Fall/Winter 2014 collections. These pieces will be available from July 2014 at the new MDreams Boutique at One Raffles Place, as well as its existing store at Wheelock Place.

MDreams is at #01-11/12 1 Raffles Place, and B2-03 Wheelock Place.

N is for “No” to Shark Fin

Kudos to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) Cargo for saying “No” to shark’s fin! Starting last month, MBS is no longer serving shark’s fin in restaurants it owns and operates, as well as in MICE events at Sands Expo and Convention Centre; from August 1, SIA Cargo will no longer carry shark’s fin on its cargo flights. The two bigwigs are the latest to join the growing list of companies that have pledged to protect the environment and play a part in shark conservation.

O is for Oleosome Technology

A sunscreen is a sunscreen is a sunscreen, right? Not so, with Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50. This sunscreen is made with the new Oleosome Technology, which is a type of technique that slowly releases sunscreen directly to your skin surface over time. This increases the UV protection minus any additional chemicals or emulsifiers. Even better, this formulation comes with botanical extracts like Licorice, Orange Peel, and Ylang Ylang to soothe and nourish your skin.

Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 is available for $75 at all AsterSpring Centres and selected Dermalogica-authorised skin treatment centres.

P is for Pretty Homeware Collection

P

Racking your brain for a housewarming gift for a vintage-lovin’ friend? Cath Kidston’s High Summer collection has her name on it! Featuring a botanical theme inspired by the ’50s, the Painterly Rose baking collection includes baking ware and accessories such as a ceramic cake stand, rolling pin and adjustable apron.

Cath Kidston’s High Summer collection is available at Cath Kidston outlets islandwide.

Q is for Qi Mantra

If you’re after flawless, radiant skin for that special occasion, be sure to book yourself in for the Miracle Facial, $350, at Qi Mantra. It’s a 90-minute non-invasive treatment that marries advanced VPL (Variable Pulse Light) and revolutionary stem cell technology to stimulate collagen production and significantly improve signs of ageing. Best of all, there’s no downtime!

For a full listing of Qi Mantra outlets, click on this link.

R is for Ramen 

R

Sake + Ramen = one deliciously addictive bowl of noodles! The sake broth at Shin-Sapporo Ramen takes a minimum of 8 hours to produce and you can taste the potent flavor of the sake with every bite. The noodles are made fresh daily in the shop and the pork broth is painstakingly prepared by boiling the bones over high heat for 15 hours. For a taste of this awesome ramen, make your way to Shin-Sapporo Ramen at Orchard Gateway today.

Shin-Sapporo Ramen is located at B2-04A/05. Tel: 6702 4906.

S is for Summer Beauty

S

Founder Lili sporting Priscilla lip gloss

Founder Lili sporting Priscilla Lip Gloss in Shocking Pink.

Synonymous with poolside and beach parties, summer is all about having a splashing good time and sexy, bold appearances. Complete the sun-kissed look with Nars Summer 2014 collection, whose palette is a striking mix of pop and sultry the collection. We love Priscilla Lip Gloss in Shocking Pink ($37) – it is eye-catching and amazingly wearable! Other makeup products from the collection include Tropical Princess Duo Eyeshadow in Neon Lemon Lime and Icy Lavender ($50); Lost Coast Duo Eyeshadow in Golden Pewter and Lilac Snow ($50); Malacca Single Eyeshadow in Iridescent Peacock ($38); and Hot Sand Illuminator in Peach Champagne ($45).

Nars Summer 2014 collection is available at Nars counters islandwide.

T is for Tempting Cocktails

At a recent media tasting at Ding Dong, we were blown away by the lethally delicious cocktails. One of our favourites was The Golden Mile, which is a blend of Thai herb-infused Ketel One vodka, blue ginger gomme, and citrus. The best way we can describe is like a refreshing alcoholic beverage with nuances of Tom Yam. Sounds strange but it’s surprisingly delectable. Another drink we enjoyed was the Fujiyama, which is made with Yoghurt sake, elderflower liqueur, fresh strawberries, and yuzu liqueur. Because of the sweet flavours, this is a deceptively easy drink to down. It’s only when the buzz hits you that you realise how potent the drink really is.

Ding Dong is located at 23 Ann Siang Road, Tel: 6557 0189

U is for Ujong

U

The chef who brought you Wok & Barrel is back with even more tantalising treats at the newly-opened Ujong. Chef Shen has a knack for putting a gourmet spin on humble local dishes and elevating them to something amazing. And now you can enjoy her signature dishes such as Claypot Rice with Five Spice Pork, Har Zi Meen, and Hae Bee Hiam Mentaiko Capellini with a side of Col di Salici Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. This is a zesty, dry Prosecco sparkling wine with fruity notes that pairs beautifully with the rich flavours of Chef Shen’s dishes.

Ujong is located at #01-10, 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Tel: 6635 6502

V is for Von Trapp

V

The delightful Von Trapp family comes to town! The Sound of Music, arguably the world’s most iconic musical, comes to the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands this July, all the way from London’s West End. Based on the original 1959 Broadway production, this is one show everyone in the whole family will enjoy! Get your tickets here.

W is for Whiff of Fabric Fragrance

Downy’s latest range of fabric softeners features an innovative technology known as the Scent Switcher Technology – and, yes, it apparently does what its name implies. The new Downy Parfum Collection is formulated with two types of Downy’s signature perfume microcapsules, which will be deposited onto the clothes during washing. Through the rubbing, moving and wearing of the fabric, the Scent Switcher Technology is activated, during which the two microcapsules are released at varying amounts. We can’t be sure exactly how and whether that works, but it sure sounds interesting!

Downy Parfum Collection, from $6, is available at all leading supermarkets.

X is for X-cellent Deals

If you have a Mastercard debit/credit card, now’s the time to put it to work. Why? Cos it’s partnered with Borderfree to give you free shipping for orders above USD100 at nine US online merchants. The merchants are: Aeropostale, Adriana Goldschmied, Bloomingdale’s, Eileem Fisher, Elie Tahari, Jos A. Bank, Lands’ End, Lane Bryant and MotoSport. Simply key in the code MCSHOP when paying with your Mastercard card. Promotion is on from now till July 14, 2014.

Y is for The Fountain of Youth 

Y

Looking perfect at every age is now almost possible with Shiseido’s new Vital-Perfection skincare series! Combining whitening and anti-aging benefits, this skincare line brings you impossibly bright and firm skin with the revolutionary ingredient VP8. This ingredient shuts off the creation of aged proteins, which are the root cause of wrinkles, sagging, dullness and yellowish skin. Results can be seen in as little as 1 week.

Shiseido Vital-Perfection skincare series is now available at Shiseido counters islandwide.

Z is for Zero Percent Worries On Spots 

Z

SK-II’s new Whitening Spots Care series claims to give you 0% worries when it comes pigmentation and skin damage. For a targeted solution, the Ultimate Spots Corrector boasts a dual approach, breaking the vicious cycle of spot formation and helping repair existing skin damage to prevent new ones.

SK-II is available at department stores islandwide.

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances

Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère – Vanessa Tai

You’ve seen the videos of the two Singaporean women and their inspiring life stories. Now, discover Vanessa Tai’s experience with the UNTOLD Eau Légère fragrance.

The first thing that struck me when I first laid eyes on the UNTOLD Eau Légère fragrance was how the shape of the bottle resembles that of a woman striking a sexy pose. Check out the picture below to see what I mean.

mw_elizabeth arden

See? It’s as if one shoulder is being pushed forward alluringly, like how a model would on a catwalk.

Aesthetics aside though, what was my first impression of the fragrance? As someone whose fragrance choices tend to be pretty safe and predictable — I usually favour clean, fuss-free scents — I was initially not used to its deep muskiness. However, as the day wore on and the scent sank into my skin, I started to get used to and even enjoy the headiness of the UNTOLD Eau Légère. It’s a decidedly womanly fragrance, with sensuous notes of Amber, Patchouli Heart, and Egyptian Jasmine.

I’m not sure if I was imagining it, but each time I spritzed on the fragrance on subsequent days, I did feel a small but significant boost of confidence. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t just my imagination. According to an article published in Psychology Today, scents can have a positive effect on one’s mood and self-confidence. The article goes on to say that a smell has no personal significance until we connect it to something that has meaning. With that first encounter, we begin forming nerve connections that link this particular smell with emotions. This is because our capacities for both smell and emotion are located in the same network of brain structures. Interesting huh?

With the UNTOLD Eau Légère, I felt almost as if I was shedding my identity as “Vanessa the girl” and stepping into a newfound identity as “Vanessa the woman”. Maybe that’s why the fragrance was such a hit with men!

Wait, what?

UntoldEauLegere_100ml_bottle

UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

So I recently went out with this guy and just before our date, I spritzed on a good amount of the UNTOLD Eau Légère. I wasn’t sure if he would be able to smell it in the crowded bar that we were in, so at an appropriate interval in our conversation, I put my wrist up to his nose and asked him what he thought. He looked impressed, “It’s good. Very good!” I guess he must have meant it, because the date extended from “just drinks” to a long night of playing pool and enjoying live music … and a second date soon after.

Of course, I’m not saying that the UNTOLD Eau Légère is a magic concoction that will reel in members of the opposite sex. But the sensuality and sophistication of the fragrance played a big part in boosting my confidence levels. I’m sure you know that when you feel more confident, you start to talk and act the part too – you stand up taller and you speak with more assuredness. It certainly worked for me!

Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml, is available at authorised Elizabeth Arden counters islandwide. Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère was given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are author’s own. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Elizabeth Arden.

Score an exclusive sample of UNTOLD Eau Légère! Simply be among the first 150 readers to visit Elizabeth Arden counter at Robinsons Raffles City from NOW and quote “Material World” to earn your sample fragrance vial.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare

3 Days Of Beauty Fun! – Vanessa Tai

Our favourite retailer TANGS is throwing a massive 3-day beauty extravaganza and everybody is invited! Vanessa Tai has the scoop on all the best deals. 

What are you doing this weekend? Well, whatever your plans are, CANCEL THEM! From 6 to 8 June, there’s no better place for a beauty junkie to be than at TANGS. All your favourite beauty brands are pulling all stops to ensure you’ll have an unforgettable time of primping, prepping, and getting pampered. Here’s what to expect:

Yet-to-be-launched Products

PedroLorenáo-Ambient-300

M·A·C x Pedro Lourenço

Buy before everyone else! These products aren’t officially launched yet, but you can be among the first to bring them home. We have our eye on the Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil and Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner! Another pre-launch that has us excited is the collaboration between M·A·C and Brazilian fashion designer Pedro Lourenço, with their lust-worthy collection of nudes and reds.

Massive Savings 

Micro Essence & ANR 2

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Set

When I say massive, I’m talking about “OMG I NEED TO SNAP THIS UP NOW!” massive. Just check this out – Shiseido Revital Vital-Perfection Science Cream AAA Set is yours for $300 (save $131), Lancôme Genefique and Visionnaire Serum Set is yours for $238 (save $114), Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Set is yours for $330 (save $90).

Gifts Galore

9-piece set_1

Clé De Peau Beauté 9-pc gift set

No, I’m not just talking about a free makeup pouch or tote bag with each purchase. I’m talking about receiving a 9-pc gift set (worth $180) when you spend a minimum of $550 at Clé De Peau Beauté. I’m talking about receiving a 6-pc Hydrating Gift Set (worth $200) with every $250 purchase at Guerlain. I’m talking about receiving a full-sized cK Eternity Aqua Fragrance 100ml (worth $137) when you make a minimum purchase of $180 at cK Fragrances. Yes, that’s the kind of mind-boggling giveaways I’m talking about!

Party with Barbarella

barbarella

Everybody’s favourite SPG will be roaming TANGS Beauty at the Orchard store on 7 June (Saturday) at 3pm, so don’t miss out! Trust us, she’s as funny in person as she is on The Noose. Several other brands will also be holding complimentary skin consultations and makeup demonstrations so there’ll be much to do and try!

For detailed listings on what to try and buy, click here.

See you there!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

 

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Skincare, Spa Treats

This Limited Edition Bodycare Range is Berry Nice – Denise Li

Denise tends to stay away from anything berry scented because she thinks they smell artificial. So which beauty brand swayed her to falling in love with its Blueberry range?

What are some of your favourite scents? For stuff I’m going to be using on my skin, I tend to gravitate towards citrus-y scents such as lemon and yuzu for their energising properties.

I do, however, tend to stay away from anything berry-scented. Since I was a kid, I found the sickly-sweet scent of berry-flavoured anything (other than the real thing or in its jam form) rather nauseating, whether in toothpastes or sweets. I learnt quickly to associate berry-flavoured things with being artificial.

So when I was given The Body Shop’s special edition Blueberry range to try, I didn’t think that I was going to take to it. I love blueberries, and I load up on them whenever I feel that my health needs a much-needed boost. After all, just a handful of them is supposed to help you meet your daily fibre requirement. They’re also full of antioxidants, and help reduce cancer risk and heart disease in women.

Okay, it’s not like I believe I can reap the health benefits of blueberries from slathering products made from them on my body. But The Body Shop’s Blueberry range does contain Blueberry Seed Oil – this ingredient is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to provide long-lasting moisture and nourishment for your skin.

Anyway, after having tried the whole range, I’m happy to report that the scent of the product – because, let’s be honest, we’re swayed by how our products smell before anything else! – is quite close to the real thing. Not artificial at all, nor too sweet. Here are three of my favourite products from the range.

Blueberry Body Scrub-Gelee, $30.90

blueberry-scrub-gelee

Out of all the products in the range, I thought this one smelled most like the fruit. When you open the tub, you’ll first notice its viscous texture.

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Ta-dah! Looks exactly like blueberry jam doesn’t it? The granules look quite sparse and dispersed though, so I wondered how it well it would perform its task of exfoliation. After using it, my body felt soft and smooth to the touch, and didn’t leave my skin overly dry like some harsher, denser scrubs do. As its so gentle on the skin, I’m very tempted to use this more than the requisite once a week.

Blueberry Body Lotion, $19.90

blueberry-body-lotionWhile I appreciate The Body Shop’s Body Butters when I am in a drier climate, I still gravitate towards lotions in Singapore’s weather because they are more lightweight. When I use this after bathing with the Shower Gel, $19.90, I find that the uplifting scent actually lasts for hours on my skin.

Sponge, $9.90

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I’m going to stock up on this while they’re still available. Why? Because I want to slip them into birthday packages for friends. I mean, it will put a smile on the face of even among the grumpiest of them all.

Besides the three products I’ve highlighted here, The Body Shop Blueberry range also includes a Lip Butter, $10.90, Body Butter, $30.90, and Shower Gel, $12.90.

For a full listing of The Body Shop Stores in Singapore, click on this link

The Body Shop Blueberry range is now available at all The Body Shop stores islandwide. This range was given to Material World for review purposes, all opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

[If You Like This, Be Sure to Check Out]

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Honeymania Range

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your February Watchlist

Spring is officially upon us and besides the Lunar New Year, the month of February also brings us Valentine’s Day! For those of you who love beauty, this is the month to start shopping!

A is for Aesop
Tea Tree Leaf facial Exfoliant 30g BWIf you love scrubs, then you’ll have to check out Aesop’s new Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant. This blend of ground botanicals lets you control the exfoliating strength—you can mix your desired amount into your favourite cleanser or mask! If you desire a stronger scrub, simply add up to half a teaspoon of it to your cleanser. Contains aloe vera, tea tree leaf and walnut shell.

Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant, $51, is available at its store at Suntec City and its counter at TANGS Orchard.

B is for Beauty Cleanse

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 01.39.48With a system clogged up by all that CNY pigging out, it’s no wonder your skin is in a terrible state! Worry not! Get onto this 3-day juice cleanse programme ASAP. Using organic fruit and vegetables (each bottle has 1kg!), the service includes delivery and a support system to help you ride out of these 3 days with as little trouble as possible. For more information, visit Beauty Cleanse’s website now! 

C is for Collection Cosmetics

vt-collectionWe’ve always loved the bright and zany colours from UK brand, Collection Cosmetics, and their Spring collection promises to be brighter and zanier than ever. For this look, we blended teal with lime green eyeliner, which made Vanessa’s eyes look brighter and more alive. As for her lips, we layered a few generous swipes of Colour Pro Lip Lacquer on top of the Deluxe Lipstick, for a pert and juicy pout. (L-R) French Kiss Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil, Rebel Colour Pro Lip Lacquer, Speakeasy Deluxe Lipstick, Peacock Feather Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil.

Collection Cosmetics is available at selected Watsons stores, and BHG. 

D is for Derma Center

material world_derma center
Derma Center is your one-stop boutique to get professional advice and personalised diagnosis for your skin and hair. Bringing together three brands — Vichy, La Roche-Posay and SkinCeuticals — this boutique is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. One thing we’re absolutely looking forward to? For the first time ever, SkinCeuticals medi-spa facials will be available in the SkinCeuticals spa cabin within the boutique!

Derma Center is located at Westgate #02-33

E is for Elizabeth Arden

velpicstitch20140128_110507The brand is best known for using cutting-edge technology in its skincare lines, but going by this road-test, we can vouch for the fact that it creates pretty damn good base makeup too. The foundation Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 13 is lightweight in texture and blends easily into skin, yet it is also effective in neutralising redness, as well as blurring imperfections. The bronzer Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder gives features a more 3D effect, while adding a healthy, sun-kissed glow. (L-R) Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 15 (in Beige 13), Beautiful Color Gloss Stick in Sunrise 03, Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter (in First Mate 01), and Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder (in Warm Glow 01).

For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden stores, visit its website

F is for The Face Shop

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.38.24Skin feeling sore and inflamed from stress? The Face Shop’s new natural skincare line Calming Seed may just be what you need. Free of synthetic preservative, fragrance, artificial coloring, ethanol, and animal-sourced ingredients, the products contain Tamanu Seed extracts—used by Polynesian women to treat their skin troubles. 100% of the testing panel reported calmer, cooler skin after 2 weeks. We love the soft, light, creamy texture of the Skin-Resting Cream, $55.90.

The Calming Seed range is available at all The Face Shop stores islandwide.

G is for Giorgio Armani Makeup

material world_giorgio armani makeupLove your makeup light, subtle and feminine? Check out Giorgio Armani’s Spring Makeup collection. Inspired by the understated glamour of 1930’s Hollywood, this collection features plenty of pearly Nude shades and subtle shimmers. One key product to look out for is the limited edition Belladonna Highlighting Palette. It features a soft gel-to-powder, which helps brighten your complexion for a lively radiance.

Giorgio Armani Makeup is available from mid-February at DFS Scottswalk. 

H is for Hair Chalk

vt-the body shopThese limited edition hair chalks from The Body Shop are perfect if you’re still deciding whether or not to get your hair coloured, or if you just wanna try a new look for a party. Plus, it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is gather a section of your hair, place the colour pad on top (with your thumb underneath), then glide down to the tip. Available in two lively shades – Falling for Blue and Tickle Me Pink.

Available from 10 February at all The Body Shop stores. 

I is for Instagram beauty inspiration

Here are some Instagram accounts to follow if you want to be inspired to try new beauty looks every day. We love @jinsoonchoi (for manicures), @bleachlondon (for hair colour), and @michellefawn (YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan’s Instagram account).

J is for Dr Jart+

material world_dr jartIf you work in an air-conditioned environment, you’ll want a jar of Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Multi Balm on your desk permanently. This multi-purpose balm contains ceramides (the molecules that prevent moisture from evaporating from your skin), which means no more dry, scaly skin from being in an air-conditioned office all day. Unlike other cream-based moisturising lotions, this balm doesn’t leave your hands with greasy residue — in fact, the texture is more like candle wax. It also has a soothing bergamot scent that helps calm frazzled nerves during the workday.

Dr Jart+ is now available at selected Guardian and SaSa outlets.

K is for Kiehl’s
Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.49.04
Fans of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial range of skincare will be pleased to know that the brand is launching a new cream that’ll address skin dryness. Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration keeps skin moisturised for up to 24 hours with Enriched Hyaluronic Acid. A more detailed review of this super-hydrating cream will be posted up on Material World soon. But, if you can’t wait, hop down to your nearest Kiehl’s store to a 7-day sample.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration is available at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide.

L is for Laneige
No. 2 Shiny Gold

No. 2 Shiny Gold

The Spring eyeshadow palettes of Laneige come with high-pigmented shades that promise high-color realization. With 7 palettes to choose from, you can create a natural day-look or glamorous smoky-eye look. Personal favourite of the team? No. 2 Shiny Gold. Each palette retails for $40.

Laneige boutiques can be found at ION Orchard, JCube and Plaza Singapura.

M is for Maybelline Color Tattoo
vt-maybelline

Don’t you hate it when your eye makeup smudges or cakey after a day of being out and about? Being a busy go-getter, the last thing you need is to spend time cleaning off and re-applying your makeup. Maybeline Color Tattoo is an intense cream-gel that adheres to your eyelid easily, and clings on all day. No fading, no smudging, no caking. What’s more, this versatile product can be used as base makeup for your eyes, an eyeshadow, or even an eyeliner (you just need a fine-tipped brush).

Maybelline Color Tattoo is available at Watsons.

N is for Nars

Nars new

Bright, shimmery colours make up the colour palette for Nars’ Spring 2014 makeup collection. The Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, made up of gold lamé and iridescent smoky orchid, is a must-have in your makeup pouch. The gold shadow leaves a slight shimmer on your lids, making you look bright and perky during the day. After work, simply blend in the purple shadow from the outer corners of the lids, then dab the gold shadow on the inner corners for a sexy evening look. The Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss gives your lips a juicy pout, thanks to its high-shine formula that’s infused with nourishing ingredients. Apart from the ones featured in the photo above, Nars’ Spring 2014 collection also comprises pencil liners in vibrant shades like metallic aquamarine, and a lip pencil in striking mandarin red. (L-R) Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss.

Nars is available at TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Orchard. 

O is for Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Cream

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 12.31.44Gravity can be such a party-pooper sometimes. If you think your face is starting to sag then this cream by Origins may be just the thing to give your jowls a lift! Promising to give your face the enviable the “V-shape”, the cream also claims to make your chin look slimmer and sharper. Well, there’s only one way to find out …

Origins can be found at Robinsons Orchard and TANGS Vivocity.

P is for Porcelain, The Face Spa

Material World_Soothe Mist Toner
If you’re a regular reader of Material World, you’ll know that we are fans of the facial treatments at Porcelain, The Face Spa. Apart from facials, this homegrown brand also carries their own line of skincare products. Porcelain Soothe, Mist Toner is a hydrating product that can be used after cleansing your face or even as a midday perk-me-up. With ingredients like Witch Hazel extracts, and vitamins C and E, this toner is robust enough to take on free radicals caused by environmental damage, but is still gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.

Soothe, Mist Toner is available at Porcelain, The Face Spa

Q is for …

Q

R is for RMK

velpicstitch20140129_115847This season, dramatic eyes make way for healthy, radiant skin and bold lips. RMK’s S/S 2014 collection is centred around fun, flirty pink, which is best epitomised by its W Crayon & Gloss Lips. On its own, the lip crayon has gives a matte finish with impressive staying power. Top it off with the semi-transparent gloss for a glossy finish – a great way to quickly change up the look to look more glamorous for evening events. RMK Kaleidoscope Nuance Color contains six different hues and six different textured powders to help contour and sculpt your featured, while giving it an unmistakable glow. (Clockwise from left) Kaleidoscopic Eyes 01, Kaleidoscope Nuance Color 01, W Crayon & Gloss Lips 02

RMK can be found at Isetan Scotts Level 1, Isetan Serangoon Central and Takashimaya D.S.

S is for Shiseido 

shiseido newLove the summertime glow but don’t wish to get a tan? With Shiseido’s Spring 2014 makeup collection, you’ll be able to find just the products to create that sun-kissed look. Apply the shimmery soft beige cream around the eyes, then blend in the yellow cream. For lips, dab on the lip gloss in pale lavender for a hint of colour. (L-R) Lacquer Gloss Lacque Brilliance in VI708, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in BE217, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in YE216. 

Shiseido can be located at TANGS, Robinsons and Takashimaya.

T for Too Faced

toofaced-mascaraThis mascara by Too Faced has made some rather bold claims – the most obvious being its name, Better Than Sex. And, based on the consumer study results, there was a 1,944-percent increase in lash volume, with 100 percent of the participants reporting dramatic volume and longer lashes. Lili, who claims to be “lash-deprived” was more than excited to try out this mascara. The first thing you’ll notice is its hourglass-shaped brush. Shaped after the silhouette of a woman, the brush was designed to separate, coat and curl each lash. This mascara has also got a long-wearing, smudge-proof formula with Acia Senegal tree extract to nourish the lashes. Application was a breeze; one single coat was enough to plump up and lengthen her sparse lashes. “While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s better than sex, it is one of the better mascaras I’ve tried,” says Lili.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is available at Sephora outlets islandwide. 

U is for uemulo munenoli for shu uemura

uemulo for shu uemura new uniformStarting this month, shu uemura’s Beauty Stylists will sport a chic new look courtesy of Tokyo fashion label uemulo munenoli. You may wonder, “But it’s just a uniform. Why put in so much attention?” But according to the brand, its late founder Mr Shu Uemura once said that beauty stylists are like actors performing on the stage, except in this case they are delivering “artful performance centering on makeup and skincare.”

Check out this new uniform at all shu uemura counters islandwide.

V is for Vera Wang Princess Pink

verawangprincesspink
Dressed in hot pink glitter, this limited edition Vera Wang fragrance is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! The scent is a heady mix of pink grapefruit, dewberry and raspberry sorbet, marshmallow fluff and sandalwood—just what we would expect of a budding new romance!

Vera Wang Pink Princess EDT is available exclusively at SaSa stores islandwide.

W is for … Water Transfer Nail Decals

material world_gummi nails
Always loved those cute and delicate nail art but find it too expensive to get a manicurist to paint it on for you? Well, now you can easily do it at home with Water Transfer Nail Decals from Gummi Nails. Available in assorted designs, these nail decals are super easy to apply. Check out the tutorial here.

X is for …

X

Y is for Yves Rocher
elixir79
Not only is it Yves Rocher’s best-selling range, every product you buy from the Elixir 7.9 line will help plant a tree in the world. The brand hopes to plant 50 million trees by 2015 so every bit of help you can give this initiative will benefit our planet tremendously. Made from 7 active botanical ingredients, the Elixir 7.9 serum promises to intensify the rejuvenating effects of your current anti-ageing skincare. Read our review of the serum and the eye roll-on here.

Yves Rocher is located at Westgate #02-16.

Z is for Za 

velpicstitch20140127_153348Never again will you have to make the tough decision between lipstick and gloss with Za Rich-Glam Liquid Rouge. This lip product promises to give the rich, pigmented look of a lipstick and the high-shine finish of a gloss. What we like about this is its applicator — it dispenses just the right amount of colour, and is spoon-shaped to fit the curve of your lips for fuss-free application. The shade shown here is RS481.

Za is available at all Watsons stores.

There you go! You can’t call yourself a beauty junkie until you go through everything on this list! Yes, yes, we know there are 24 instead of 26. Pictures of the looks on Denise, Vanessa and Lili were taken with the Sony QX100.

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Accessories, Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Gadgets & Toys, Lifestyle

The Foolproof Men’s Gifting Guide – Denise Li

Every festive season, I find myself leaving shopping for the men in my life till the very last minute … and most of the time, I find myself grabbing socks, a polo tee, or a bottle of something alcoholic in a fit of desperation. They’re useful things … just not particularly … exciting.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with this perennial problem, so I present to you, this nifty gift guide for the men in your life.

Casio G-Shock 

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400, $499

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400, $499

Probably made with someone like Bear Grylls in mind, this is the first G-Shock watch constructed with triple sensors that measure compass bearing, temperature, altitude, and atmospheric pressure, which means it can help the user navigate harsh terrains and predict sudden changes in weather. In addition to that, it’s water-, dust-, rust-, and mud-resistant. Great for the guy who’s training to climb Mt Everest, runs ultra-marathons or loves water sports.

For a full listing of where to buy Casio G-Shock, click on this link

Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn West Indian Lime gift set, $45

Crabtree & Evelyn West Indian Lime gift set, $45

It’s always a bit of a gamble buying a scent for a guy (or, anyone, really), but it’s hard to go wrong with a fresh, citrus scent like Crabtree & Evelyn’s West Indian Lime. This scent contains a hair and body wash, shaving cream, after shave balm, and cologne. Get this for the guy friend who’s always jetting off on business trips.

For a full listing of Crabtree & Evelyn stores in Singapore, click on this link

Fossil

Fossil watch, $209

Fossil watch, $209

Black leather strap watches are always a safe choice, especially for corporate-tyes, but the cute detail on the dial of this Fossil watch makes all the difference. Get it for the guy who wants to showcase a bit of his fun personality under his stuffy business suits.

For a full listing of Fossil stores in Singapore, click on this link.

Cote&Ciel

Cote&Ciel California Isar Rucksack, from $349

Cote&Ciel California Isar Rucksack, from $349

The seriously cool Parisian cult brand is finally available on our shores, and we’re loving their collection of stylish, yet hardy and thoughtfully constructed bags. This collection of bags is made with a super thin, lightweight and water-resistant material that moulds to the carrier’s laptop, along with other materials made with function in mind. Now your pal doesn’t have to look unwieldy carrying a truckload of things. Get this for the guy who’s never seen without his Macbook Pro.

The Cote&Ciel pop-up store is located at Level 2 Wheelock Place, outside Cumulus and Nimbus.

Nike

Nike DRI-fit Touch Tailwind

Nike DRI-fit Touch Tailwind, $65

So you’ve listened to your guy friend go on forever about wanting to get into shape but not following through on his intentions? Perhaps he’ll be more inclined to put his New Year’s resolution into action if you get him this top. It’s super soft, lightweight, and it wicks moisture away from his body during his runs to the surface of the garment for quick evaporation. It also has reflective elements to keep him visible and safe during his late night runs.

The Nike DRI-fit Touch Tailwind is available at all Nikes stores islandwide.

Sebastian Professional

Sebastian Matte Putty, $52.80

Sebastian Matte Putty, $52.80

Tell your bro that they 1990s called, and they want their slick, gelled-back hair look back. Sebastian Professional Matte Putty will give him the hold he’s after with a more natural-looking finish. And while it might seem a little pricey for a hair styling product, it is one where a little goes a long way.

Professional salon brands such as Sebastian and Nioxin are now available at www.zalora.sg

Code Deco

Code Deco B Minor, $150

Code Deco B Minor, $150

Code Deco is the brainchild of Singapore-based perfumer Gauri Garodia, and I highly recommend her line of intriguing scents if you’re on the lookout for something out of the ordinary. B Minor is distinctively masculine, with notes of dry gin, cadamom, and vetiver. Most male scents have a predictable one-note musky dry-down, but this one has a more woody, earthy finish that’s perfect for the sophisticated gent in your life.

Code Deco is available at Tangs Orchard, Nana & Bird, and Konzepp.

New Balance

New Balance MRH996, $169

New Balance MRH996, $169

We could talk about the wonderful cushioning, the luxurious materials it’s made with … but honestly, the cool vintage feel of these sneaks speaks for itself. I personally love the green one! An essential for your hipster guy friend.

MRH996 is available at all New Balance stores. 

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. She’s quite tempted to get that G-shock for herself. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

Gifting Tips From Celebs – Tan Lili

The clock is ticking, the malls are getting impossibly packed, your shopping list is nowhere near half-done, and you still have no flippin’ idea what to buy for your boyfriend’s aunt’s 18-year-old daughter. Don’t press the panic button just yet; TV personality Linda Black, actress Shine Koh, and Fly Entertainment artiste Oon Shu An share some gifting tips to help you power through the next two weeks of manic Christmas shopping.

Linda Black, TV personality:

Linda Black

“I’m more of a planner, and gift giving can be of particular anxiety for me. I usually start planning early and I try to take great joy in it. Depending on the friend and the kind of year we’ve had, I may go for something humorous or witty. Books make for great presents! Most of the time, I’ll get an array of gifts than kind of symbolise what this person means to me and how he/she makes me feel. I’m sentimental that way. But if I have to buy something for someone I barely know, I usually opt for alcohol or chocolates.

I think cards add a lovely touch when they are handwritten – even better if they are handmade! At the end of the day, gift giving should be fun, light, and always heartfelt. I never ever give a gift and expect one back. Just having friends over to have wine and share some laughs are the best gifts for someone like me who prefers to live in the moment.”

Shine Koh, actress:

unnamed

“For good friends of mine, I buy presents based on what I know of their individual taste. If she’s into beauty, for example, I’ll probably get her one of the latest makeup sets. I always make it a point to personally wrap the gift and hand-make a card for those near and dear to me – handwritten messages beat a Facebook or Whatsapp message anytime! What if I don’t really know the gift recipient? Well, I’ll stick to something safe, like a mug!”

Oon Shu An, Fly Entertainment artiste:

“I’m rather attentive; I buy presents for my friends based on observations I’ve made about them over time. But sometimes, I’ll just ask them point-blank what they want! For friends I know well, I also tend to add a smaller novelty gift that reminds me of them. But whether the recipient is a close friend or someone I barely know, I like to get them a gift that gives back, such as the gift sets from The Body Shop. This way, you’re truly sharing the spirit of the festive season!

Photo from Fly Entertainment

Photo from Fly Entertainment

The Body Shop GInger Sparkle Shower, Scrub And Moisture Collection, $39.90

The Body Shop GInger Sparkle Shower, Scrub And Moisture Collection, $39.90

White Musk Classic Shower, Soften and Spritz Set, $36.90

White Musk Classic Shower, Soften and Spritz Set, $36.90

“Another fun idea would be to make presents from scratch, personalising each and every one – only if time permits, of course. For instance, if you’re into baking, you could create cake pops, cookies, cupcakes … I’m getting excited just thinking about the possibilities!”

Inspired by what Shu An shared about gifts that give back to the community? For every gift set purchased at The Body Shop, you’re helping towards The Gingerbread School House project. To find out more about the project, click here.

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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2. Cheat Sheet For The Budget-Conscious
3. The Stories Behind Your Favourite The Body Shop Christmas Products
4. Perfect Your Party Look 

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Skincare

The Body Shop Gift Sets: The Material World Curation – Denise Li

I’m pretty sure you’ll agree when with me I say that there’s something about The Body Shop’s products that evoke a sense of joy; not just in the giver or receiver of these wonderful gift sets, but also the developing communities around the world who benefit by providing The Body Shop with the ingredients needed to produce these products.

It’s no secret that the girls at Material World are also big fans of the brand. But we know that it can be overwhelming deciding what to buy cos there are just so many sets and products to choose from. Here, we help you narrow it down with 8 choices.

Oh, and we’ll be at The Body Shop’s roadshow at JEM this coming Friday, December 6, from 11.30am – 2.30pm, and 5.30pm – 8pm to join in the festivities and help sell the products you see here. Remember, with every set you’ll buy, you’ll be contributing to The Gingerbread School House project, which aims to build five new schools in developing communities.

If you happen to be at Jurong East during that time, we hope you’ll drop by, say Hi, and pick up some pressies for your loved ones at the same time. See you there!

Deborah’s picks

1. Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Moisture Collection, $39.90
I love the warming scent of ginger. Ginger is also one of my favourite flavours for desserts! This entire set comes in a cute gingerbread man tin, so just looking at it makes me feel super cheerful already!

Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection, $39.90

Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection, $39.90

2. Honeymania Shower, Scrub & Soften Collection, $39.90
If cranberry, vanilla, and ginger still don’t do it for you, then opt for the super luxurious, ultra pampering Honeymania range. Made with honey harvested in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner, the Honeymania body butter is bound to make you feel as delicious as a honeycomb dessert!

Honeymania Shower, Scrub and Soften Collection, $39.90

Honeymania Shower, Scrub and Soften Collection, $39.90

Vanessa’s picks

1. Cranberry Joy Mini Manicure Set, $14.90
“With all the parties you have to attend during the festive season, you may not have time to make a trip to your manicurist. But with this mini nail file and hand cream, you can ensure your hands and nails stay beautifully moisturised. Plus, who can resist the delicious cranberry scent?”

Cranberry Joy Mini Manicure Set, $14.90

Cranberry Joy Mini Manicure Set, $14.90

2. Slanted Kabuki Brush, $32.90
“This is a versatile tool that can be used to dust blush or bronzer n your cheeks, or glitter powder on your body. And there’s something about its cute, chubby shape that really appeals to me too.”

Slanted Kabuki Brush, $32.90

Slanted Kabuki Brush, $32.90

Lili’s picks:

1. White Musk Classic Shower, Soften & Spritz Set, $36.90
“Did you know White Musk is the first-ever synthetic musk created to replace real musk, which is extracted from the civet deer using cruel methods? Feminine, sensual and timeless, White Musk is the first fragrance I bought and, to this day, still remains one of my favourites.”

White Musk Classic Shower, Soften and Spritz Set, $36.90

White Musk Classic Shower, Soften and Spritz Set, $36.90

2. Born Lippy Fruit Lip Balms, $36.90
“You can always count on Born Lippy Lip Balms to give your lips a juicy pout. The fruit-flavoured balms also add a bit of colour to your lips, as well as provide moisturising and conditioning benefits. Shaped like a lollipop, this set makes for one lip-lickingly good Christmas gift!”

Born Lippy Fruity Lip Balms, $36.90

Born Lippy Fruity Lip Balms, $36.90

Denise’s picks

1. Shea Scrub & Soften Gift Set, $36.90
“As someone who showers three to four times a day due to an active lifestyle, my skin is frequently parched. That’s why I need a super moisturising product like The Body Shop Shea Body Butter to keep it skin from feeling dry and itchy. This product contains three Community Fair Trade ingredients: cocoa butter from Ghana, babassu oil from Brazil, and beeswax from Zambia.”

Shea Scrub and Soften Gift Set, $19.90

Shea Scrub and Soften Gift Set, $36.90

2. Festive Pendant Diffuser, $12.90
“As a scent junkie, I like it when the environment around me smells good too. This is a nifty little thing that you can  hang on your door knob or Christmas tree. Simply put a few drops of your favourite The Body Shop Fragrance Oil and let the scent diffuse. This year, I’m going to use it with the Vanilla Bliss Home Fragrance Oil.”

Festive Pendant Diffuser ($12.90)

Festive Pendant Diffuser, $12.90

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances

Can Celebrities Still Sell Beauty? – Deborah Tan

Mary Beth Mazzota from Elizabeth Arden

Mary Beth Mazzota from Elizabeth Arden

Besides earning a living from making TV series, movies, albums and reality shows, celebrities make their money from endorsements. From Jennifer Lopez telling you that you are worth it in an ad about L’Oreal hair products to James Franco selling you the idea that your boyfriend should wear the same Gucci fragrance he’s wearing, celebrities lure us in with their good looks and fabulous sense of style.

Nowhere is the link between star power and beauty more apparent than in a celebrity perfume. Two weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to interview Mary Beth Mazzotta, Vice President, Regional Marketing Southern Hemisphere, of Elizabeth Arden. When it comes to marketing celebrity fragrances, Mary Beth is the person to speak to. Besides Elizabeth Arden’s skincare, colour and fragrances, she also takes care of the brand’s portfolio of celebrity, designer and lifestyle fragrances such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

In this interview, we (MW) talks to Mary Beth (MB) about the magic behind celebrity perfumes and, if they really work.

MW: What is the marketing rationale behind celebrity fragrances?

MB: Celebrity fragrances are really hot! In the US, UK and Australian markets, the celebrity market is huge. Fans of a certain star really buy into the idea that they are owning a piece of their favourite singer or actress by buying a bottle of perfume fronted by them. Globally, the statistics show that celebrity fragrances sell. Besides just being a face that so many adore, celebs have a wide reach and this is marketing gold for any beauty company. Taylor Swift has some 37 MILLION fans on Twitter alone! When she had her concerts in the US and Australia, Elizabeth Arden sponsored it. And this gave her fans a chance to associate their favourite celeb with this perfume she’s fronting.

Will Taylor Swift's fans rush to buy her perfumes?

Will Taylor Swift’s fans rush to buy her perfumes?

justinbiebergirlfriendMW: What makes marketing a celebrity fragrance so interesting?

MB: First, you’ll never see the celebrity promote their perfume. You’ll never see Justin Bieber tweet, “Come buy my fragrance!” The challenge lies in how to use the celebrity’s clout on social media and keep the conversation going among their fans about this perfume that bears their name. When we launched Girlfriend, a Justin Bieber fragrance for women, it is a complement to his song “Boyfriend”. A fan can listen to Justin Bieber singing this song and think about wearing the perfume, which is the fan’s way of buying into a fantasy, a dream.

MW: How involved are the celebrities in the creation of their perfumes?

Mariah explains to Ellen DeGeneres how she worked with perfumers to capture the marshmallow at a campfire element in her first fragrance M by Mariah Carey

Mariah explains to Ellen DeGeneres how she worked with perfumers to capture the marshmallow at a campfire element in her first fragrance M by Mariah Carey

MB: Very! Before we work on the juice, we usually send the celebrity a fragrance brief, asking them questions about what they like, what their favourite memories are, etc. In the case of Mariah Carey, her fragrance brief mentioned how one of her favourite memories involved campfires, s’mores, going to fairs to eat cotton candy. We’ll then send them some test samples and work from there. After the juice is done, we will then work on the design of the packaging. Often, this step takes many rounds and we find ourselves constantly heading back to the drawing board to get it right.

MW: Which celebrity would you love to work with for his or her fragrance?

MB: George Clooney. Can you imagine interviewing him for his favourite foods, asking him to test the scents on your wrists … [laughs]

So what would George Clooney's perfume smell like?

So what would George Clooney’s perfume smell like?

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. Her favourite notes in a perfume includes bergamot, mint, rose and leather. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances

[Scent Your Love] Shiseido Zen Sun

Christmas is next month and over at Material World, we are all about making your life easier. This month, we are giving 12 lucky readers a chance to please their closest and dearest. We have up for grabs 12 bottles of the most sensational fragrances. If you win it, you can give a friend this fabulous gift as a Christmas present!

A fragrance makes for a great gift because of the intimacy it invokes – everybody has their personal favourites when it comes to scents. What better way to show your BFF how well you know her by selecting a fragrance that best represents her personality and preferences?

Today’s giveaway is Shiseido Zen Sun EDT, a fresh floral scent for the free-spirited woman.

zensun

Notes of Shiseido Zen sun
Top Notes:
 Bergamot, grapefruit, mango, peach blackcurrant, citron, lemon
Middle Notes: Blue rose, gardenia, cherry blossom, lotus, lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Amber, raspberry, sandalwood

Our take on Shiseido Zen Sun

1. It’s a surprisingly fresh take on the original Zen, which is a lot heavier and creamier.
2. It is rather complex for a fresh scent. Sniff your wrist every half an hour to uncover new notes!
3. Uplifting and cheery, one spritz of this is enough to lift heavy spiritz.
4. The bottle’s rather sharp, masculine lines offer a nice contrast to this feminine scent.

Most suited for:
The girl who loves backpacking around the world. This perfume will make the perfect companion for her on all her travels to exotic locations.

 So win this bottle of Shiseido Zen Sun for your friend!

To Enter:

1. LIKE all Posts about this “Scent Your Love” contest on our Facebook Page between 1 November and 1 December 2013.

2. Complete the Sweepstake Form below by clicking the banner. Invite your friends. If they join up as followers of our Facebook Page, you get EXTRA 5 CHANCES!

ScentYourLovebanner

This contest is open until December 1, 2013. You can take part as many times as you like. Winners will be picked after we achieve 8,000 Likes on our Facebook Page. Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page are eligible to win.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances

[Scent Your Love] The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose

Christmas is next month and over at Material World, we are all about making your life easier. This month, we are giving 12 lucky readers a chance to please their closest and dearest. We have up for grabs 12 bottles of the most sensational fragrances. If you win it, you can give a friend this fabulous gift as a Christmas present!

A fragrance makes for a great gift because of the intimacy it invokes – everybody has their personal favourites when it comes to scents. What better way to show your BFF how well you know her by selecting a fragrance that best represents her personality and preferences?

Today’s giveaway is The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose EDT, a sensual floriental fragrance that’s perfect for evenings.

WMSR 30ml EDT $28.90

Notes of The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose:
Top Notes:
 Bergamot, pink pepper, blackcurrant
Middle Notes: Tobacco flower, smoky rose, orange flower
Base Notes: Musks, immortelle flower, olibanum

Our take on The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose:
1. The scent devilishly seductive without being overpowering, making it ideal for romantic date nights.
2. It has an amazing longevity – just a couple spritzes and it will last you through the night.
3. Its sexy allure lies in its floral-musky heart of tobacco flower, orange flower and smoky rose.
4. At only 30ml, you can easily stash it in your bag on workdays and spritz it on before your after-work activities.

Most suited for:
The girl who loves animals. White Musk, launched in 1981, was one of the first man-made, cruelty-free musk fragrances created to replace real musk, which is extracted from civet deer using cruel and painful methods.

 So win this bottle of The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose for your friend!

To Enter:

1. LIKE all Posts about this “Scent Your Love” contest on our Facebook Page between 1 November and 1 December 2013.

2. Complete the Sweepstake Form below by clicking the banner. Invite your friends. If they join up as followers of our Facebook Page, you get EXTRA 5 CHANCES!

ScentYourLovebanner

This contest is open until December 1, 2013. You can take part as many times as you like. Winners will be picked after we achieve 8,000 Likes on our Facebook Page. Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page are eligible to win.

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