Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector – Denise Li


Denise Li didn’t believe that there was anything she could do about her enlarged pores until she came across THIS product. 

Before using Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, I hardly ever used makeup bases. Brands will tell you that a base will help even out your complexion or help make your foundation last longer, but I never liked the idea of so many layers of makeup on my face.

Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, however, is more than just a makeup base. It also doubles up as a skincare product that’s supposed to transform the look of pores and improve skin’s texture over time. You can use it as the final step in your skincare regime, or under makeup.

First Impressions

The product glides on like dream when you apply it. No surprises there as a sneak peek at the ingredient list confirmed what I’d thought – it contains silicones. That’s why it goes on so smoothly! However, I did find it a lot more lightweight compared to similar products by other brands. When it’s applied, my skin had that soft focus effect, and pores looked immediately less obvious, without that waxy finish.

Before: No makeup After using Micro-Blur Skin Perfector: Redness and enlarged pores look a lot less obvious

Before: No makeup
After using Micro-Blur Skin Perfector: Redness and enlarged pores look a lot less obvious

Lipo Hydroxy Acid (LHA) and lentil extract are also supposed to help refine skin texture, diminish lines, and reduce the appearance of pores over time.

I liked this product’s finish and texture when it was used on its own, but will it stand up to the foundation test? Some makeup bases with silicones will make you look “painted” when you apply foundation – kind of like you’re wearing a mask.

Dream Team

I used Micro-Blur Skin Perfector with Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 50/PA+++, and I’m loving the very natural finish I get with using these two products together. In fact, I’d highly recommend using these two products if you’re going after that “nude” makeup look.

Using Micro-Blur Skin Perfector and Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

Using Micro-Blur Skin Perfector and Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream. Gives skin a natural glow! (None of the pictures in this post have been digitally retouched in any way)

What I also like about this BB cream, in addition to its natural finish, is the fact that it is hydrating and has an impressive SPF. In fact, I have started skipping using sunscreen because of the awesome protection it offers.

Another great thing about using these two products together – that I haven’t experienced with other base makeup products – is the fact that even after long hours of wear, my skin does not look shiny, and the colour stays true all day. Oh, and the BB cream is fragrance-, paraben- and mineral oil-free, and both these Kiehl’s products are non-comedogenic. My only complaint is that the Micro-Blur Skin Perfector should come in a larger size; at the rate I’m using it, it’ll be gone in just over a month!



This post is in no way paid for or advised by Kiehl’s. The writer was given the Micro-Blur Skin Perfector and Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB cream for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector will be available at Kiehl’s outlets from May 2014. For a full listing of Kiehl’s stores, click on this link

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, Hair, Makeup, Singapore Fashion

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

Guilty of revisiting the same old cycle of clothes and makeup to work? Enter Pantone for a major intervention. Its 2014 colour of the year, Radiant Orchid- a mixture of fuschia, purple and pink undertones- will add a flash of drama to your ailing ensemble. Here is your fashion and beauty remedy with the 7 ways to rock this delicious hue. 

1. Hair: A Radiant Head of Orchid
Oh, do you not already know of the trend that takes tresses from Plain Jane to candy-coloured gorgeousness? Now try it with Radiant Orchid. Should you decide to colour your hair in this lush shade, your strands first need to undergo multiple rounds of bleaching. These sessions are spread out with several weeks in between them, before the final coating of fuschia-infused dye can be applied onto your hair. Tip: To prevent this stark hue from losing its saturation quickly, avoid rinsing hair with hot water and minimise direct Sun exposure.

We love Kelly's orchid hued tresses!

We love Kelly’s pale orchid tresses!

2. Hair: Subtle Yet Sexy
Alternatively, if a full head of orchid sounds daunting, try a lighter, more elegant hue like Kelly Osbourne’s, or go for an ombre effect.

Hair chalks are a great option too if you require a temporary sampling of how this shade would suit your skin tone. Just press a one-inch thick swatch of hair against the chalk pigment and drag downwards. It’s perfect for a fresh, new look over the weekend! Plus, it’s washable so you can conquer this Pantone pick without committing to it for months on end.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

3. Nails: Graphics Galore
So you’re convinced that anything remotely purple on your body makes you look like Barney the Dinosaur. To overcome your purple phobia, begin by incorporating small splashes of this cheery hue on your nails instead.

Bored of plain coats? Play with various shades of orchid, ranging from pale lilac to a deeper violet. Segment these colours into graphic blocks for nail art that take your digits to legit fashion frontrunner. The trick in painting clean-edged sections of colour is to use sticky tape as a stencil. If you’re up for a quicker fix, opt for patterned nail stickers.

4. Lips
Move over, reds and pinks! The orchid lip is an unexpected twist to your standard fare pouts. Part flirty, part edgy, Radiant Orchid warms up sallow complexions for a healthy glow. As a rule of thumb, lighter skin tones suit warmer undertones of purple, and darker skin tones with cooler ones. For a strong, saturated lip, first ensure that your pretty puckers are moisturised. Then, dab on a thin layer of concealer- this primes your lip so the colour stands out more. Dab on your first layer of colour before gliding lipstick over once more.

Orchid overdose.

Orchid overdose much.

5. Statement Piece
Having bold hues in an outfit is always a highly contentious issue. Too little of an addition, and you’re not taking enough fashion risks. Go overboard orchid-on-orchid, and you’ll end up looking like an air stewardess.

When putting together an ensemble, stick to one focal point of the outfit that immediately draws your eyes. This could be anything from a dress to a statement necklace. Also, try dabbling with various shades of orchid within an outfit. But remember to limit yourself to three tints- you don’t want to be mistaken for a circus tent.

6. Spectacles
With us having one of the highest rates of Myopia in the world, chances are you’d be wearing prescription glasses. Don’t count this humble accessory out: a shot of orchid in your spectacle frames can enliven a drab, all-black outfit. It’s a dream for practical, simple dressers!

Retro-themed frames, in particular, are all the rage. Their thicker frames allow for more dramatic displays of colour. And if you don’t use prescription glasses, avoid ruling yourself out of this fashion clique. Simply use zero-degree lenses and you’ll be one of the gang.

You can never go wrong with suede.

You can never go wrong with suede.

7. Heel
Find your wardrobe in multiple shades of black, black, and black? Break free from the humdrum of monochromatism with a sliver of orchid in the form of a well-timed heel.

Experiment with different shoe materials too: suede lends an air of sophistication, while glossy-finished leather screams siren. Contrast a subtle, greyscale outfit with a dramatic heel to achieve superstar shoe status.

So, how do YOU incorporate Radiant Orchid in your look and wardrobe? Tell us!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and freelancer. He writes, performs for the stage, and teaches drama at secondary schools. Matthew enjoys museum visits, origami, and is passionate about Singaporean Theatre.


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1. Beauty Review: Striplac Starter Kit – Deborah Tan

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB & UV Compact – Tan Lili

Sulwhasoo has recently introduced two new makeup products to its Snowise Whitening line – Snowise Whitening Essence BB and Snowise Whitening UV Compact. Lili puts the products to the test.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never wanted to have skin as white as snow. My ideal complexion is something like Jessica Alba’s – smooth and clear with a healthy-looking sun-kissed glow. But of course, reality is often bitter; my skin is dehydrated and has strong yellow undertones, which makes it look dull and rather sun-dried.

When I received the new Sulwhasoo Whitening makeup products, I figured I ought to give them a shot despite their whitening claims because, hey, better fair than dull, right?

Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB (30ml, $74)

Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB (30ml, $74)

Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB (30ml, $74)

This serum-based BB cream provides sheer coverage and leaves the skin looking radiant, thanks to its light-reflecting powder. Apart from its colour-correcting properties, the Snowise Whitening Essence BB also has skin-loving benefits. Featuring the Tri-White Complex, which shares 46 percent of Sulwhasoo’s star product Snowise EX Whitening Serum, the BB cream is said to block UV rays and infra-red rays; prevent pigmentation and glycation; as well as reduce skin dullness. It’s available in two shades: No. 1 (bright) and No. 2 (natural).

My Review

Most BB creams I’ve tried often leave my face looking three shades lighter than my neck – yes, even those that come in different shades. The Snowise Whitening Essence BB in No. 2, however, blends well with my skin tone and gives my complexion a natural-looking finish. It also effectively minimises the appearance of my pores, which makes me very, very happy.

Before (left) and after applying the Snowise Whitening Essence BB.

Before (left) and after applying the Snowise Whitening Essence BB.

I wish it had a better hydrating effect, though. Its serum-based texture is quite easily absorbed by the skin, but on dry skins like mine, it takes slightly longer. If you have combination or oily skin and are after a matte finish, this is definitely for you.

Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening UV Compact (9g, $74)

Sulwhasoo Snowise UV Compact (9g, $74)

Sulwhasoo Snowise UV Compact (9g, $74)

This compact powder contains White Balance Powder, a formula that helps retain moisture on the surface of the skin while keeping your sebum production in check. It’s also got other ingredients to brighten the skin tone as well as minimise the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Coupled with its high SPF sun protection (SPF 50+/PA+++), the Snowise Whitening UV Compact is recommended for women who are always on the go or enjoy being outdoors.

My Review

Because the powder comprises 40-percent finer and clearer particles, it doesn’t cake up on my dry skin – a big plus point for me! I also like that it provides very sheer coverage. The powder is barely visible when you first apply it on your skin, yet it instantly brightens your complexion and minimises the appearance of pores.

I applied the Snowise Whitening UV Compact after the Essence BB. Yay to brightened - not fair - complexion!

I applied the Snowise Whitening UV Compact after the Essence BB. Yay to brightened – not fairer – complexion!

This post is in no way paid for or advised by Sulwhasoo. The writer was given the Snowise Whitening Essence BB and Snowise Whitening UV Compact for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB and Snowise Whitening UV Compact are available at TANGS Orchard & VivoCity, Takashimaya Departmental Store, and Robinsons Orchard. 

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 (now, 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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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF15 – Denise Li

With Singapore’s insanely hot and humid weather, you need a lightweight foundation like Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF15 in your stash.

If eye makeup and lip colours are like holiday flings, base makeup is like the lover you just keep on coming back to.

Once you have found the right foundation for you, you’re likely to stick with it for a long time, simply because there are so many factors that go into determining if it’s the perfect one for you. Some of the things you need to think about: how much coverage do you need? Is the texture suitable for the climate you’re living in? What kind of finish are you after? Is it non-comedogenic?

Before: Bare-faced and in need of a pick-me-up!

Before: Bare-faced and in need of a pick-me-up!

For me, a good foundation has to have the following properties:

1. Provide light to medium coverage: My skin is – on the whole – not too bad, though there is some redness of my cheeks and forehead. It has to provide enough coverage to cover enlarged pores and blackheads too.

2. If it’s a liquid foundation, it has to be lightweight enough to allow skin to breathe. With heavier foundations, I’ve found that they cause my sebaceous glands to go into overdrive, causing skin to look shiny and the foundation to look patchy after awhile.

3. Give a natural or dewy finish. The matte look makes me look like I’m wearing a mask.

The folks at Elizabeth Arden passed me the new Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF15 to try. Did it live up to expectations?

First Impressions

It is very lightweight, so applying it was a breeze, even when I used my fingers. It blended well, and it felt just like a second skin. The enlarged pores of my cheeks also look less obvious, and the redness on my cheeks were diminished. Because of its wonderful texture, you can actually “build” coverage by applying more of it on problem areas. My skin positively glowed!

After: With just Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude SPF15 applied. Skin glows and is more evenly toned.

After: With just Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude SPF15 applied. Skin glows and is more evenly toned.

Not just a makeup product, this foundation also has skin-loving properties: Soy Lipid Technology promises to reduce the appearance of pores by 20% over four weeks, and it has a whole host of ingredients to ensure skin stays hydrated for 24 hours.

After Six Hours

What makes this foundation really stand out is the fact that even after long hours of wear, it looks freshly applied. My skin did not look shiny – a problem I had with many foundations and BB creams I’ve used in the past. Pretty amazing considering the insane weather we’ve had recently, so I guess this foundation does live up to its claim of keeping skin well-hydrated. Because when skin is moisturised, it keeps your sebaceous glands from going into overdrive, causing your complexion to look shiny.

Perhaps the only thing I wish Flawless Finish had was a higher SPF rating. But I guess that’s the trade-off for that natural, “second-skin” finish. Base makeup with higher SPF values tend to make you look ashy or unnaturally “white”, especially when flash photography is used (due to the light-reflecting zinc oxide and titanium oxide in these cosmetics). As I’m a little obsessed with using SPF daily (as you should be, as well) and tend to be feel more protected using products with high SPF. I think I’ll continue using my usual SPF 50 BB cream for day, and reserve the Flawless Finish for night use.

The Flawless Finish Nude Makeup SPF15 – which comes in eight shades suitable for Asian skin – isn’t the only product you should be checking out the next time you find yourself at an Elizabeth Arden counter. I’m also loving the products in their Beautiful Color range. Here’s what I used in the finished look below:


After: Full makeup with some of the colours from the Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color range. This picture was not in any way retouched.

Beautiful Color Eye Shadow in Shimmering Emerald

Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara (this gave amazing volume to my sparse lashes)

Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipsticks in Neo-Classic Coral (check out that vibrant colour!)


If you spend long hours in the office and minimum time outdoors during the day, and don’t really have problem skin, the Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Nude Makeup SPF 15 is for you. Should you require a little more coverage, not to worry, as the range also includes a concealer, the Flawless Finish Correcting and Highlighting Perfector. This masks imperfections such as dark circles and shadows, fine lines, blemishes and redness, as well as highlights the contours of the face.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude SPF15, $70

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude SPF15, $70

The Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish range is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters. Elizabeth Arden makeup was sent to Material World for a review and was returned after the trial. This review was not paid for by Elizabeth Arden, and all opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

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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[Material World x Collection Cosmetics] How To Contour Like a Pro

Beauty Review: Striplac Starter Kit

Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Makeup

[Material World x Collection Cosmetics] How To Contour Like a Pro – Denise Li

With the right products, tools and a little know-how, contouring is actually a lot less complicated than it sounds.

I love makeup. There, I said it. I may not be your typical girly-girl, and I don’t feel the need to wear it every day, but I do love that a perk of my job is getting to try out some of the newest products that hit the market every month.

Lately, I’ve found myself stepping out of my makeup comfort zone. I used to only use foundation, blusher, and liquid eyeliner, but I’ve been experimenting with stronger looks. I’ve swapped my trusty liquid eyeliner for a pencil to create a subtle smoky eye, have started lining my lower lashline, and take every opportunity I can to wear bright lips.

But since I started wearing makeup at 18, there’s one territory I haven’t dared venture into: Contouring. Until recently, I wouldn’t touch bronzer with a ten-foot pole, simply because the margin for error is just too large. I didn’t know how or where to start applying it, and had resigned myself to the fact that contouring was something only professional makeup artists would be able to achieve.

So when the invite to Collection Cosmetics’ session on contouring came along, I jumped at the opportunity to attend, as I was curious to see if it really was possible for an amateur like myself would be able to recreate the look at home.

Makeup artists Fynn and Rei from The Make Up Room were on hand to demonstrate some contouring tips and tricks on a volunteer. Let me be the first to say it: It seemed like a really complicated process. Here, the steps:

1. Use Collection Primed and Ready Primer to mattify skin.

2. Using a brush, apply Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream. Rather than spreading it all over your face, you should only use it on your T-zone and the area under your eyes till where your cheekbones begin. This will help conceal dullness and make skin glow.

Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream, $16.90

Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream, $16.90

3. Blur out imperfections with Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer using a small flat brush, concentrating on areas like the sides of your nose and around your lips to neutralise redness and discolouration. You can also use it to further brighten up the under-eye area.

Lasting Perfection Concealer, $14.90

Lasting Perfection Concealer, $14.90

4. To make your cheekbones stand out, go for a foundation two shades darker than your skin tone (I used shade 6 of Collection’s Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo). Brush it downwards from the side of your face close to the hollows of your cheeks, as well as along the jawline; this will shape your face to make it look slimmer. When applying it on your jawline, be sure to blend it downwards towards your neck so the colour contrast doesn’t look so stark.

Collection Cover & Go Foundation & Concealer Duo, $16.90

Collection Cover & Go Foundation & Concealer Duo, $16.90

5. Dust on a compact powder such as Collection Bright & Glow Brightening Compact Foundation on your T-zone to soak up excess sebum if you have oily skin.

Collection Bright  Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, $18.90

Collection Bright Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, $18.90

6. As an optional step, you can lightly brush some bronzer at the hollows of your cheeks for even more definition.

Gulp. That’s a lot of steps … was I going to be able to recreate this look for myself? Rei helped me along by recreating the look on the right side of my face, and I attempted to do it myself on the left.

Whaddaya know? It was actually less daunting than I thought it would be. I think the results of my efforts came pretty close to Rei’s! Sure, it did take quite a bit of time, though I think I’ll be able to halve the amount of time needed to do it with a little practice. You’ll also need a basic brush set at the ready because it’s just not possible to contour with your fingers. The effort, however, was worth it as I felt it gave my features a more 3D effect.

Before: no base makeup

Before: no base makeup

After: The magic of contouring - my face looks so much sharper!

After: The magic of contouring. My face looks so much sharper, and check out that glow! (We adjusted the white balance, but otherwise, this picture was not in any way retouched)

I like the fact that contouring had everything to do with knowing where on your face to apply the respective products, rather than piling on many base layers.

As it is pretty time-consuming, I’ll realistically only do it at home if I have a little bit of time to play with. But the one product I see myself using on a daily basis is the Bright & Glow Brightening BB cream. It made my skin look radiant, yet had a natural finish for that “no makeup” look. And, because it has hydrating properties (thanks to vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate) I’d feel confident to pass on the moisturiser on days that I’m in a rush to get to work.

Be Among the First to Preview Makeup from Collection Cosmetics!

Still feeling less than confident about your contouring abilities? Then you need to head down to BHG Clementi this Saturday, March 29, as makeup artist Marie Soh will be on hand to do contouring demos, consultations and mini-makeovers. You’ll also be among the first in Singapore to try out the products featured in this post for yourself. Pencil in the following details now!

Date: March 29, Saturday
Time: 3 – 5pm
Venue: Level 3, BHG Clementi

The products showcased in this post are available from April 3, 2014 at selected Watsons stores, BHG (Bugis and Clementi) and the Collection pop-up store at level 2 Cineleisure. Limited stocks are available for sale at the BHG (Clementi) preview. 

Win a Collection Cosmetics hamper!

collection twin_b_v2_resized

5 lucky Material World readers will each win a Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream and Bright & Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, worth $35.80! To enter the draw, simply follow these steps:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Collection” as the Contest Name. Then key in your answer to this question: “Name two ingredients in Collection’s Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream.”

2. Like Material World and Collection Cosmetics 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 Tuesday, 1 April 2014, and is only open to followers of Material World and Collection Cosmetics Singapore. Only entries submitted via the Material World app will be accepted. Please read our terms and conditions here.

Material World worked with Collection Cosmetics to bring you these contouring tips. All opinions are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Striplac Starter Kit – Deborah Tan

Deborah Tan loves her pedicures but has always steered clear of manicures. Her reason? They just don’t last on someone who types away furiously on a keyboard 8 hours a day. So, what’s her verdict on Striplac, the world’s first UV peel-off nail polish?

My friends always ask me why I don’t get manicures. Although I splurge out on the occasional pedicure, paying someone to do my fingernails isn’t something I’d do. Why? Well, manicures – at least the conventional ones – simply don’t last on me. More often than not, they chip within the first hour of me leaving the salon. If typing away on the keyboard doesn’t chip them, handling kettlebells and sandbells at bootcamp will.

Some have asked me to try Gelish but I honestly find the thought of having to return to the salon a few weeks later to remove it too bothersome.

So when the press release for Striplac found its way into my mailbox, my curiosity was piqued. A Gelish-like manicure that you can do yourself at home. What’s more? You can peel it off without using any solvent or acetone. How’s that for convenient!

At $219, the Striplac Starter Kit is a bit pricey. So I wanted to know if it is really a worthwhile beauty investment. The wonderful folks at Touch Communications PR arranged for a tester to be sent to me so I could put it to the test.


The Striplac Starter Kit contains an LED device, a bottle of twin coat, a bottle of nail colour, a jar of cleansing pads, a multi-function nail file and a cuticle pusher. The steps, illustrated on the box, provide clear instructions on how to go about doing your nails.

Paint, cure, paint, cure.

Paint, cure, paint, cure.

Step 1: Apply a layer of the twin coat

Step 2: Cure it in the LED device for 60 seconds

Step 3: Apple a layer of the nail colour

Step 4: Cure it in the LED device for 60 seconds

If you apply another coat of nail colour, cure it in the LED device for another 60 seconds. Basically, every layer of colour you paint on, you need to cure it in the LED device for 60 seconds.

Step 5: Apply a layer of the twin coat as the top coat

Step 6: Cure it in the LED device for 60 seconds one last time

The twin coat and the nail colour went on smoothly. I liked that – unlike conventional nail varnishes – they neither bubbled nor streaked. After “curing” my nails, I remained hesitant about touching them. I really wondered how curing the twin coat and the nail colour was going to “dry” them. In the name of research, I touched my nails.

What happened next disappointed me. The entire coat was still soft! My finger left an obvious fingerprint on top. The whole thing was sticky and tacky. When I ran my hand against my dress, my nails got coated in a layer of flint. It was a disaster! While the colour didn’t chip, my nails had become like “Blu Tac”! I went to the toilet to try to wash the flint and gunk off and what happened? When I dried my hands on the paper towels, pieces of towel got stuck again to my nails! WHAT WAS HAPPENING?

Resigned to the fate that I was never going to find a way to give myself beautiful nails, I went back to typing, opening canned drinks … treating my hands roughly and badly like I would usually. By the time I went to bed, I had forgotten about this disaster of an experiment and told myself I would peel those darn varnish off the next day.

Nails have not been air-brushed or Photoshopped.

Nails have not been air-brushed or Photoshopped.

The Striplac Fairy, however, visited me in the night. The next day, I woke up and … my nails were perfect (as perfect as home manicures can be). The gunk was gone … and, most amazingly, the fingerprints had VANISHED. The surface of my nails had smoothened themselves out over the course of the night. I can’t explain what happened except that they were no longer sticky, no longer tacky and glossy as Gelish nails.

I’m not bluffing. It’s been 3 days and my nails have not chipped despite me having directed a photoshoot, done my laundry, cooked dinner, and ate with my hands! They are still beautiful, perfect and chip-free!

How much does a manicure usually cost? $40? If you purchased this Striplac Starter Kit, you “make back” the price in about 6 uses. Each nail job takes less than 10 minutes to do and lasts you about 10 days. It makes perfect sense to invest in one of these if you are a regular manicure-goer. Though I had to return the tester set, I am pretty sure I’d be buying one for myself as a birthday present. It would come in handy for the wedding too.

Striplac Starter Kit gets my two thumbs up.

Striplac Starter Kit is now retailing at Sephora stores islandwide. The starter kit was loaned to Material World for review purpose and returned after the trial. This review was neither paid for nor advised by Striplac or Sephora. All opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

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. She has promised herself she’ll try Striplac on her toenails if the LED device can fit her foot in. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion – Vanessa Tai

Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo is perhaps best known for their expertise in herbal skincare, so how does their makeup products stack up?

When it comes to base makeup, I’ve always been more of a BB cream kind of girl. I’m not used to the viscous texture of some liquid foundations, and please don’t even get me started on powders (Hint: my blending technique could use with a lot of improvement). I was thus pleasantly surprised to discover that the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion was so similar to one of my all-time favourite BB creams – Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion. Like the Laneige product, this Sulwhasoo foundation comes with a soft spongey cushion – just press gently into the applicator, and the foundation seeps out easily into the cushion.

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion

The claim: 

The hallmark of Sulwhasoo makeup products is the “water colour method”, where colours and pigments are diffused in water, instead of oil. This ensures the emulsion smoothes over your skin evenly, without any patchiness. In addition, the cushion is made using Film Polymer Technology, which adheres more easily to your skin compared to ordinary polymer. This prevents the product from becoming powdery or cracked upon application. In fact, based on an independent trial, the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion maintained colour tenacity for over 12 hours.

My thoughts:

To illustrate the efficacy of this product, allow me to share with you this short anecdote. Recently, I had on a single application of the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, which I applied in the morning. I didn’t even touch up my makeup at all the entire day. That evening, when I got to boot camp, Deborah did a double take when she saw me.

“Do you have foundation on?”

“Yeah, I’m trying on the new Sulwhasoo foundation.”

Her eyes widened, “Your skin looks damn good! I mean it, it looks like satin!”

Yep, that’s a true story. In fact, Deborah wasn’t the only one who complimented me on my complexion during my two weeks of reviewing the foundation. Several of my friends also commented on the radiance of my complexion, and one friend even said, “Your skin looks like babies’ skin!”

What I like best about the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion is how it blends beautifully into my skin, and smoothes over my uneven skin tone. It brightened up my complexion, and made makeup application much easier. One point to note though, the coverage is not very high. If you’re looking for a foundation that also helps conceal your blemishes, this probably won’t cut it. But if you’re looking for a lightweight everyday foundation that brightens your complexion, I’ll definitely recommend this.

This post is in no way paid for or advised by Sulwhasoo. The writer was given a set of the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion comes in four shades, and is available (from 7 February 2014 onwards) for $74 at TANGS Orchard & VivoCity, Takashimaya Departmental Store, and Robinsons Orchard. 

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, 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

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 …


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

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 …


Y is for Yves Rocher
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.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Eye Colours For Every Day – Vanessa Tai

When it comes to eyeliners, I usually stick to the fail-safe shades of black or brown. I’m sure you can identify. Mornings are usually a mad rush to get out of the house; we don’t have time to play around with various eye colours. Or so I thought. When Maybelline sent us their latest range of eye colours – Color Show Crayon Khol – the bright hues were too tempting not to try out. So, I decided to do a little experiment to see how I could fit these colours into my everyday life.

The colours that I used.

The colours that I used.

Day 1: Rushing out stories in the office


Electric Blue Eyeliner

Pardon my messy hair. As you can tell, grooming takes a backseat during deadline week. However, I loved how the electric blue shade added a zing to my eyes, and made me look much more awake and vibrant.

Day 2: Photo Shoot at Tiffany & Co.

Soft blue

Soft Blue Eyeliner

On this day, we were involved in a photo shoot at Tiffany & Co. Since one of the Maybelline shades was similar to Tiffany’s classic robin egg blue, I decided to try it on. There’s something about this particular shade of blue that gives off that sweet, romantic appeal. Great colour for first dates, methinks!

Day 3: Taking a walk on the wild side


Orange Eyeliner 

When I first saw the bright orange eyeliner, I thought to myself, “There’s no way I can pull off this hue!” But on this day, I was wearing my favourite dress with the scary jaguar print, and I thought, “Why not try a bolder shade today?” The trick to wearing bold eye colours is to make sure the rest of your makeup is quite simple and pared-down.

Day 4: Casual Fridays


White Eyeliner

For this final look, I decided to experiment by blending a bit of green eyeshadow with the white shade. White eyeliner is great for lining your inner eye corner or inner water line to make your eyes appear brighter and slightly more elongated.

See, it isn’t that difficult to introduce colours into your daily beauty regime! I hope this post has inspired you to step out of your beauty comfort zone.

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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[Material World X Maybelline] Your Lucky Color For The Year Of The Horse – Deborah Tan

It’s always fun to read what the year ahead has in store for you. With Lunar New Year in less than a month’s time, everyone is keen to know how their zodiac sign will fare. Together with Maybelline – who launched Color Show, a new series of makeup centered on on-trend, eye-catching colours – we have done up an infographic telling you how you’ll do in the Year of the Horse and what your lucky nail lacquer is. Enjoy!

[Update: If you need to find out what your zodiac sign is, click here.]

Maybelline Color Show infographic

Click on the infographic for a closer look!

Maybelline Color Show is available at Watsons islandwide. Maybelline worked with Material World for this post to promote the launch of its new Color Show line of nail lacquers and eyeliners.



We’ve got 10 Maybelline Color Show hampers worth $50 each up for grabs! To win, simply follow the steps below:

1. In the Comments section below, tell us, “My favourite Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer shade is …”

2. Share this post with your friends on Facebook. Tag “MaterialWorldSG” and “MaybellineSG” in your post. Remember to keep this post on Public so we can verify that this step has been done.

3. Email your details to us at . Include your name, NRIC, gender, email address, and mailing address. Closing date for this contest is 10 January 2014, Friday.

This contest is open to all followers of Material World’s Facebook Page. Please Like our page on Facebook here.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

How To Create A Wearable Two-Tone Lip Makeup – Deborah Tan

Christmas is the perfect time to try out the makeup trends you’ve been itching to experiment with. For weeks now, I’ve been spotting these two-tone lips on the Internet everywhere. Further research revealed that it’s a makeup trend that’s part of the whole Korean Ulzzang movement where devotees aim to create a natural, child-like look with their dressing, makeup and hairstyles.

Obviously, “child-like” is not a Deborah-thing. But the lips look like a challenge to create and I am, admittedly, getting a bit bored of my bright red matte lips ala dominatrix-look. So with too many lipsticks and too much time on my hands, I have decided to try these two-tone lips!


Tools from shu uemura

Tools from shu uemura

1. A powder puff with a variety of slopes and angles – I used shu uemura lighbulb sponge

2. A lip brush

1. A liquid foundation and a concealer – I used Lancome Teint Visionnaire because I love how you can mix the liquid foundation with its accompanying concealer to create a very workable texture.

2. A two-way cake

Layer 1

Layer 1

3. Maybelline Nude by Color Sensational in Sugared Almond (Layer 1)

Layer 2

Layer 2

4. Maybelline Bold Matte by Color Sensational in Cheeky Coral (Layer 2)

Layer 3

Layer 3

5. Maybelline Lip Polish by Color Sensational in Glam 2 (Layer 3)

(Photos have not been retouched and are taken using my iPhone 4s)

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1: Moisturise your lips using a water serum rich in hyaluronic acid. Then mix a liquid foundation with a little concealer and gently dab the mixture over your lips.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2: Using a lip-brush, apply the first layer of colour. I used Maybelline Nude by Color Sensational in Sweet Almond here.


Step 3

Step 3: Set this layer by dabbing on powder from a two-way cake using a puff (I’m using Shu Uemura Lightbulb puff in the photo).

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4: Decide how “deep in” you want the second tone to be. Using a lipstick and a lipbrush, mark out the area. This also gives the final layer something to “cling” onto. I used Maybelline Bold Matte by Color Sensational in Cheeky Coral here.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5: The gloss layer goes on onto the darker area. I used Maybelline Lip Polish by Color Sensational in Glam 2 here.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6: To really achieve that ombre effect, use a lip pencil in a shade close to the lighter outer area and blend the line separating the darker and lighter areas.

It’s amazingly easy to do and I was done in less than 10 minutes. OK. I’m not really the expert at selfies here so you’ll have to bear with my badly-taken pictures below. I find that keeping the rest of my makeup sheer and natural makes it easier to step outside of the house during the day.

Finished look with a close-up of my lips!

Finished look with a close-up of my lips!

Of course, feel free to experiment with different colour combinations! I am most tempted to try deep purple with bright red the next time I’m headed out for an evening event or a party!

What other makeup trends are you curious about and want to try this season? Drop us a note and we’ll try out best to figure out a super easy way to achieve it.

Merry Christmas and have fun with your makeup!

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. She believes makeup should not take you more than an hour to do. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

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Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Makeup

[Material World x Maybelline] The Lip Polish Shade That’s Like My First Kiss – Deborah Tan

Maybelline’s makeup has always been well regarded for its colour, value-for-money and on-trend sensibilities. And, you can see all these in its newest range of liquid lipsticks – Lip Polish by Color Sensational. This 3-in-1 liquid lipstick promises the intensity of a lipstick, shine of a gloss, and comfort of a balm in one easy to use product. The premium concept of a liquid lipstick is now made accessible in this single sleek tube – Maybelline Lip Polish is the first liquid lipstick of its price category. At just $19.90, you can take your pick from 10 fashionable shades.

10 lip smacking shades!

10 lip smacking shades!

Well, with 10 shades to choose from, the team at Material World was hard-pressed to pick out our personal favourites. So we decided to do a kiss-and-tell (literally!). To talk about Maybelline Lip Polish in a creative way, each of us picked a shade that best represented the story of our first kiss! Ready to find out more?

(From Left to Right) Glam 2, Glam 5, Pop 6, Glam 1

(From Left to Right) Glam 2, Glam 5, Pop 6, Glam 1

Denise’s first kiss was like Glam 2
Youthful, unexpected and statement-making

denise“Honestly, I must have been about five when I had my first kiss. Believe it or not, I was a really girly girl who loved frilly dresses, mary-jane shoes, and I was obsessed with the colour pink – in a shade quite close to that of the Maybelline Lip Polish I’m wearing, actually! Anyway, it was after our annual kindergarten concert when one of my boy classmates ran up to me and unexpectedly planted one big smackeroo on my lips. I was appalled and all I remembered was how wet and disgusting it was, and wondering why grown-ups seemed to like kissing so much. Ah, youth …”

Lili’s first kiss was like Glam 5
Natural, a welcomed surprise and somewhat romantic

lili“When Debs mentioned how Glam 5 would suit my skin tone really well, I was skeptical. The mix of violet and pink is a shade I never thought I’d wear. But I tried it and, she was right. The element of welcomed surprise matches with what my first kiss was like. I expected something wet and sloppy (like all romance novels) but it was pretty chaste (though still awkward!). I don’t remember much about how it happened except that it was after a group outing with classmates, and he had politely asked if he could kiss me. I also think we avoided one another for a couple of days after so we could figure out if we should ‘go steady’ – we didn’t.”

Deborah’s first kiss was like Pop 6
Passionate, dramatic and potentially scandalous! 

debs“My first kiss was quite ‘scandalous’. I was quite the party-animal back in my uni days and my hostel mates and I would head out to party nightly from Wednesday to Saturday (I know, how I managed to graduate is still a myth to me). So one night, at the now defunct Madam Wong, a guy came up and started dancing with me. After like 30 minutes of flirting, he asked if he could kiss me. Being quite drunk and not wanting to make such a big fuss about my ‘first kiss’, I pretended I was cool with it. He started kissing me quite furiously there and then, and I was like, ‘Oh god. This is so wrong.’ Finally, one of my friends decided to pull me away and told him we had to go. Walking down the road to catch a cab, he came running after us, gave me a red rose and asked for my number! I was so overwhelmed by his ‘passion’, I gave him a fake number cos I didn’t think I would be able to go out with him after I’ve sobered up.”

Vanessa’s first kiss was like Glam 1
Subtle, shy and a promise of better things to come

vantai“The shade I have chosen is a subtle, almost nude shade, with a light hint of colour – which is pretty much like my first kiss (no! We did not get naked!). We were at the bus stop, chatting about inconsequential things. Both of us were pretty nervous because we kinda knew what was going to happen when his bus arrived. There was a buzz of anticipation but we pretended to be calm. When his ride finally came, he hastily kissed me on my lips and scurried up the bus, avoiding all eye contact! Not quite the stuff of epic romances. Thankfully, things have radically improved since this first kiss.”

With the exception of Denise, who used a pink lip pencil to fill in her lips before applying the product, all of us wore the liquid lipsticks as they were. The colours are intense, we found the texture light and non-sticky. The leaf-shape applicator also makes it easy to do a quick application – great for covert touch-ups!

If you are looking to play with different lip colours this festive season, Maybelline Lip Polish will give you the variety and intensity. It wears comfortably on the lips and has moisturising ingredients to keep them from peeling or chapping. At $19.90, this is a really fun product to experiment with. Don’t just get one Lip Polish, get a second one in a shade that you least expect to wear and see what it does to your look!

Pictures of Denise, Lili, Deborah and Vanessa have not been Photoshopped or airbrushed in any way. Maybelline Lip Polish by Color Sensational is available at Watsons, Guardian, SaSa and selected department stores and supermarkets. Maybelline worked with Material World on this sponsored post to highlight the launch of this product. All comments and opinions are the team’s own and were not vetted by the brand. 


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We have 10 Maybelline makeup hampers, each worth $50, to be won! To enter your name for the draw, follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section, tell us the story of your First Kiss.

2. Then Share this post with your friends on Facebook. Remember to tag “MaterialWorldSG” and “MaybellineSG” in your post. Set your post on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. Private message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with the term “Maybelline Lip Polish”. Include your name, gender, NRIC number, mailing address, and age.

This contest is open only to Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Wednesday, December 18 2013.