Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Malls & Boutiques, Singapore Fashion

5 Multi-Label Boutiques To Look Out For – Tan Lili

Up your fashion ante at these multi-label stores – they have brought in a whole lot of international and local labels whose designs range from sophisticated and elegant to quirky and outright zany!

Many of us non-fashiony people may not have heard of three-quarters of the scores of labels – emerging, renowned or cult – stocked at multi-label boutiques, but they have certainly got the style-conscious salivating over them. Here, a look at five relatively new entries in the label-crazed market.

The Label Monster,

label monster

From left: MSGM, Hisui, Frame

The newly launched homegrown fashion online store prides itself on stocking hard-to-find international labels, as well as championing emerging designers and innovative streetwear brands. Some of the labels include denim brands BLK DNM and Frame Denim; Silent by Damir Doma from France; MSGM from Italy; and Hisui by Hiroko Ito from Japan, which is available exclusively at The Label Monster.

Kapok at NDC

Local brand Stolen, famous for their signature backless outfits

Local brand Stolen, famous for their signature backless outfits

This multi-label lifestyle store from Hong Kong, renowned for discovering emerging designers, features a well-curated mix of international and local brands. There are already a handful of Singaporean labels here, such as womenswear brand Stolen and social enterprise Saught. Kapok also stocks brands from international labels like Mimo from Denmark, Seventy Eight Percent from Hong Kong, and Sandqvist from France. Kapok at NDC is located at National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road.

The Assembly

Photo taken from The Assembly Facebook page

Photo taken from The Assembly Facebook page

Opened in late-May, this charming multi-label lifestyle store and café looks like the playground for the dapper, (dare I say it) hipster men of Singapore, what with brands like Benjamin Barker, Rooney Chinos, Aark and Bellroy. Apart from the small selection of apparel for the ladies, its industrial-chic décor (think polished concrete floors, brick walls, spotlights and vintage frames) makes The Assembly a must-visit! The Assembly is located at #01-21 The Cathay.

Apres Five,

Photo taken from Apres Five Facebook page

Photo taken from Apres Five Facebook page

This local online boutique is founded by two friends – one is the owner of luxury multi-label wedding atelier The Prelude Bridal; the other, the founder of organic and eco-friendly baby clothing brand Be Green Bebe. Apres Five features a selection of emerging and renowned international brands, including James Jeans, Sachin + Babi, Graham & Spencer, and Addison. Most recently, they announced that their showroom will be receiving Fall/Winter 2014 pieces from James Jeans (we hear a maternity style will be one of their highlights) and Sachin + Babin in the next couple of weeks, so keep a lookout for them! Apres Five’s showroom is located at #03-01, 8 Mohamed Sultan Road.


Photo taken from Superspace Facebook page

Photo taken from Superspace Facebook page

The cult appeal is strong with this one. From outrageous prints to minimalist designs, Superspace stocks a massive list of cult labels from around the world, making it undoubtedly THE place to spot some of Singapore’s top trendsetters. It’s no surprise, considering who the founders are – Revasseur designer Gilda Su, Evenodd designer Samuel Wong, as well as Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim of The Butter Factory (Ritz also owns Ritz Salon, which was formerly located at Pacific Plaza and now shares the space with Superspace). Some of the other brands you can expect are Mash-Up, Ling Wu, Daniel Palillo, Heidi Lee and Patricia Field. Superspace is located at #02-18 Orchard Gateway.

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.

Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Drinks & Parties, Food News, Lifestyle, Makeup, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your September Watchlist

From Mid-Autumn Festival and free champagne to plenty of new skincare products, looks like September is going to be one exciting month!

A is for All-Day Sun Protection


When you live in sunny Singapore, good sun protection is an absolute must-have. Daylong is a range of sun protection products from Switzerland, with a formulation that’s gentle enough for children (Cate Blanchett uses them on her kids!) yet offers you all-round protection from both UV rays and infrared radiation. We like its lightweight, non-greasy formula and how it doesn’t leave any whitish residue upon application. We also appreciate how it’s formulated without additional preservatives or perfumes, and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for all skin types.

Daylong is available in selected pharmacies from mid-September 2014.

B is for Beauty Cleanse’s Candyfloss Nutmylk series


If you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal replacement, you can’t go wrong with these nutmilks from Beauty Cleanse. It comes in a package of six bottles in the following flavours: Original, matcha (green tea), cocoa, coffee (decaf), black sesame and “marshmallow” (thought it tastes like marshmallow, it’s actually an ingenious blend of fruit and veggies!). All ingredients used are organic, plant-based, vegan, and raw. Dairy-free, they are great for those who are lactose-intolerant.

A package of six bottles is priced at $95. To order, visit

C is for Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquers


The best thing about these is that they are formulated without the toxic chemicals commonly associated with nail lacquers. Available in 12 shades from neutrals, to brights and darker shades. Each nail lacquer retails for $13 each.

For a full listing of Crabtree & Evelyn stores in Singapore, click here.

D is for Skin Destiny 

SK-II’s Skin Destiny Study is definitely giving a lot of us hope. This landmark study discovered an intrinsic link between long-term usage of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and skin quality. It was found that users who started on the Essence in their 20s enjoyed better skin in their 30s and 40s. Long-term users also displayed no increase in major visible aging signs after age 50. At $99 for a 75ml bottle, we say this is as good a beauty investment as money can buy.

SK-II counters can be found at major department stores such as TANGS.

E is for Ecommerce 

With a whole slew of ecommerce sites launching these days, the days of running errands could well and truly be over. Serial entrepreneur Chris Chong has recently launched not one, but TWO ecommerce sites! The first is an online grocery service for those who want their meats, seafoods and fresh produce delivered right to their doorsteps. The second is, set up to help customers find and book photographers. What’s next? Personal chefs? Oh … that’s been done already.

F is for Free Champagne!


You are going to love HI-SO Ladies Night at Sofitel So Singapore! Ladies will be treated to a free first glass of Ruinart Champagne between 6pm and 9pm, after which, each glass of Champagne will be at $10 nett. So for a bubbly good time with your girlfriends, swing by one of Singapore’s most beautiful hotels every Wednesday.

G is for Gourmet Escape

Fancy a trip to Western Australia where you get to enjoy the finest dining and wine experiences? Well, you can! From 12 September to 11 October, guests who dine on specially-created Western Australian dishes from either Bedrock Bar & Grill or The Pelican will stand a chance to win a trip to Perth to experience the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. This 3-day event is a foodie’s dream come true with tastings and demonstrations of some of the region’s freshest produce and fine wines.

For reservations at Bedrock Bar & Grill, call 6238 0054; for reservations at The Pelican, call 6438 0400.  

H is for Hada Labo Lotion


According to findings by Hada Labo, just 3 out of 10 women in Singapore use lotions as part of their skincare regime. This compared to 10 out of 10 women in Japan. The secret to dewy, fresh skin could lie in your next bottle of Hada Labo Lotion. Featuring a new generation of 4 Interlocked Hyaluronic Acids, the new lotion promises to keep your skin supercharged with hydration, even in the hard-to-reach bottom skin layer.

Hada Labo is available at Watsons islandwide. 

I is for Ioma Cell Protector SPF 50+ PA+++


Not only does this sunscreen provide the highest possible protection against UVA and UVB rays, it’s also formulated with the active ingredient Desoxine. Desoxine is a powerful antioxidative shield and offers three benefits: (1) Detoxifies by eliminating free radicals (2) Stimulates skin’s natural antioxidant defences, and (3) Protects cells from free radical damage. Retails for $85.

Ioma counters are located at Robinsons Orchard and Isetan Scotts.

J is for Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner


These two Js will be starring opposite Marion Cotillard in The Immigrant, a story set in NYC in 1921. Joaquin plays Bruno, a pimp who thrusts Marion’s character Ewa into a world of prostitution, while Jeremy plays Orlando, a stage magician and Bruno’s cousin, who becomes Ewa’s only hope of a better future. Directed by yet another J (James Gray), this period drama is definitely one to watch – it’s received several accolades at international film festivals, including Best Actress at the International Cinephile Society Awards.

The Immigrant opens Sep 14 in cinemas islandwide.

K is for Kérastase


If you’ve been struggling with brittle or falling strands, what you probably need is proper scalp care. At Kérastase, they believe that strong and healthy hair always starts at the scalp. This is why the brand-new Kérastase Densifique range comes fortified with a combination of B Vitamins to regulate the production of sebum on the scalp and give it the nourishment it needs for healthy, beautiful hair.

The Kérastase Densifique range is available at all Kérastase consultant salons. Call 6738 3113 for salon listings.

L is for Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream


Laneige’s adds two more products to its Time Freeze anti-ageing line: Time Freeze Intensive Cream, and Eye Serum. The line works on the principle of restoring skin’s weakened collagen structure; its Dynamic Collagen_EX technology breaks down and “upcycles” old collagen into young and healthy collagen. The line’s other active ingredient, hyaluronic acid, helps improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream and Eye Cream retail for $95 and $69 respectively. For a full store listing, click here.

M is for Mooncakes

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Enter any shopping mall in the month of September, and you’re bound to see bright lights and plenty of vendors selling a wide variety of mooncakes at the atrium. Here are some of our choice picks this Mid-Autumn Festival:

Peony Jade

Each year, Peony Jade never fails to impress us with their spectacular mooncake offerings. We love how they always manage to come up with new and exciting flavours such as the Honey Williams pears with organic apricot and raspberries as well as Valrhona chocolate with bananas, salted caramel and walnuts.


Bakerzin has rolled out three new snow skin mooncake collections – Bliss, Joy and Lush – to add to their existing range. The Bliss and Lush collections consist of slightly more unique flavours and fillings and contain alcohol (flavours include Frangelico Hazelnut Truffle Snow Skin, Whisky Truffle SNow Skin, Lychee Snow Skin and Yuzu Snow Skin), while Joy is made up of classic fillings (they include Pandan Lotus Snow Skin and Purple Sweet Potato). Founder Lili is not usually a fan of snow skin mooncakes, but she vouches for the tastiness of these new ones from Bakerzin! From $52 for box of 8, available at all Bakerzin outlets and participating booths until Sep 8.

Goodwood Park Hotel

There’s no doubt that Goodwood Park Hotel is the first hotel to come to mind when you mention the word “durian”. This year, they will be bringing back the Premium Durian Snowskin Combo, which consists of four mooncakes filled with the fresh pulp of four types of durians. There will be some new flavours inspired by tropical fruits as well – Calamansi, Kumquat and Sour Plum Snowskin Mooncakes. From $28 for 2 pieces, available at Goodwood Park Hotel Deli until Sep 8.

Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore

You can count on the acclaimed Cantonese restaurant for some of the most decadent mooncakes available, such as the all-new Chocolate Royal Liqueur Truffle, the popular Pure ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Durian Indulgence, as well as baked traditional mooncakes like Reduced Sugar White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts. From $68 for 4 mooncakes, available at Yan Ting restaurant at level 1U, The St. Regis Singapore, until Sep 8.

N is for Night Owls Feasting


We are always looking for interesting places to check out for supper. Well, this month, why not check out Fish & Co.’s Supper Catch menu at Changi Airport Terminal 2? This menu is available between 11pm and 3am and features popular items like Seafood Platter for Two and Fish & Chips!

The Supper Catch menu is available at Fish & Co. at Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure Hall, #036-058.

O is for Organic Shampoo


If you’re starting to notice that your hair’s thinning, the first thing you should look into is changing your shampoo. Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner – which were developed by Canadian physician Dr Robert Jones – are free from synthetic, chemical and petroleum-derived ingredients – all of which are believed to play a part in hair loss. We liked how the shampoo cleansed well without over-drying the scalp, and it was also able to deal effectively with the problem of an itchy, sensitive scalp.

Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner retail for $26.80 each (or $50 for a set) and are available here

P is for Personalised Monopoly


Revive Board Games Sundays with the latest from Monopoly! Called My Monopoly, the classic property trading game now comes with a customisable board, where you can personalise the tiles, game tokens, Chance Cards and Community Chest Cards via the My Monopoly app.

My Monopoly retails at $46.90 at all Toys “R” Us and major department stores.

Q is for Qatar Airways

Been itching to travel to far-flung destinations? This might be the chance to feed your wanderlust. Qatar Airways is having an exclusive promotion to Europe and America, with special rates from just $890! The promotion ends 2359hrs on Sep 12 (travel validity period: Aug 18 – Mar 21, 2015). Bookings can be made online, here.

R is for Rays


In case you missed it, a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays – including the majestic manta rays – are now at risk of extinction. To raise awareness on marine life and conservation, RWS has dedicated the month of September to highlight manta rays in their S.E.A. Aquarium’s SEAA Wonders series. Some activities include sharing sessions with underwater photography experts and conservationists, diving with manta rays, and witnessing the feeding of manta rays.

For the month of September, you can purchase 2 adult one-day admission passed to S.E.A. Aquarium at a discounted price of $50. For more information, click here. To make reservations, click here or call 6577 8899.

S is for Shima


Even though renowned Teppanyaki restaurant Shima recently reopened sporting a brand new look after a month-long renovation, the restaurant still retains the one-inch thick cast-iron griddles that have been in use since 34 years ago, when Shima was established – a launch that revolutionised Japanese dining in Singapore as it marks the first-ever fine-dining Teppanyaki restaurant. According to Executive Chef Michael Koh, their well-seasoned griddles not only enhance the flavours of the food but also allow for even cooking. Besides Teppanyaki, Shima also serves up sushi, sashimi, Shabu Shabu as well as Yakiniku.

Shima is located at Level 1, Goodwood Park Hotel. For reservations, call 6734 6281.

T is for Tsubaki Hair Oil

TSUBAKI - Hair Oil

Been searching for the ultimate hair oil that works to moisturise and smoothen your hair, without costing you a bomb? Look no further. Tsubaki Hair Oil is formulated with a high concentration of camellia oil, which is extracted by pressing carefully curated camellia seeds in Nagasaki, Japan. Camellia oil is highly lauded for its nourishing benefits – it prevents cuticle damage to smoothen hair strands, protects hair from UV rays, and penetrates hair quickly to add a healthy shine without leaving behind any grease.

Tsubaki Hair Oil retails for $26.90 from Sep 11, available exclusively at Watsons.

U is for Uniqlo: Now available online!

Uniqlo stores are pretty ubiquitous these days with 18 stores in Singapore alone. But just in case you’ve given up brick-and-mortar shopping altogether, you’ll be happy to know that you can now shop for your Uniqlo essentials online (desktop and mobile). To celebrate the launch of its e-commerce platform, the store will be offering exclusive online promotions for the first 11 days of September; keep a lookout for special offers on 11 different items daily.

For more information, log onto

V is for Value-For-Money Set Meals

V - Baby Pork Back Ribs

If you work somewhere in Orchard Road, you gotta make a beeline for this brand new restaurant, SET. As the name suggests, they only serve set lunches and set dinners here. The five-course set lunch is priced at $28.80++ and the six-course set dinner, $38.80++, which is incredibly good value considering the type of dishes you’ll get. For appetisers, you’ll get inventive twists on classics such as the Mushroom Soup with Peanut Butter. It sounds weird, but the peanut butter actually lends a chunkier, more layered texture to the soup. For mains, we liked the Baby Pork Back Ribs, where the meat is painstakingly steamed then boiled with star anise and cinnamon before being roasted and slathered with Chinese BBQ sauce. For desserts, we were impressed by the Pistachio Panna Cotta, which was smooth, light and silky, almost like a tofu milk pudding.

SET is located at #02-01 Pomo, Tel: 6337 7644

W is for What A Feast!

The annual Epicurean Market at Marina Bay Sands is back! From 12 to 14 September, eat your way through award-winning nosh from celebrity chef restaurants, participate in masterclasses and bring home gourmet wines and produce from the Fresh Food Market. Epicurean Market will be held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2, Hall D & E. For more information, click here.

X is for X-cite Your Senses

Don’t you love how art is getting more and more interactive, and not just people passively looking at a piece of artwork anymore? Sensorium 360°: Contemporary Art and the Sensed World is an interactive exhibition of contemporary art that explores all aspects of the human senses. The Singapore Art Museum has put together a series of workshops — from tea-tasting to perfume-making and even to learning Braille — all to give us a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

For more details, visit the Singapore Art Museum website here.

Y is for Triangles Of Youth 


There are 2 triangles of youth around each eye – the upper triangle and the lower triangle. The former refers to immediate area next to the outer corner and is where crow’s feet and droopy eyelids form. The latter is the area under your eye and is where eye bags and dark eye circles become more obvious with age. To address these problems, Clarins has launched a complete solution for your eye area to help it regain its youthful and firm appearance. Clinical evaluation shows that Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Cream can help reduce dark circles and eye bags by 7% and 13% respectively.

Visit Clarins counters at TANGS, Robinsons or Metro Paragon to find out more about this new eye cream!  

Z is for Zen’Ga


If you’re looking to take your Pilates practice to the next level, check out Breathe Pilates’ newest class, Zen’Ga. This is a new form of Pilates that combines the the latest discoveries in fascia fitness techniques with Yoga flow movements. Fascia is the term used to describe the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Regular practice of Zen’Ga is said to help improve overall strength and flexibility, and giving you smoother, more fluid movement in your day-to-day life.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #13-02 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central. For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email, or visit

Beauty & Shopping, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare, Spa Treats

The Beauty Stop You Need To Make At Orchard Gateway – Vanessa Tai

You’ve read our rave reviews of Porcelain, The Face Spa’s signature facial treatments. Now you can enjoy even more luxurious treatments and bespoke products at their brand new outlet at Orchard Gateway. By Vanessa Tai

Fresh new look!

Fresh new look!

Porcelain, The Face Spa is perhaps best known for their foundation-free philosophy. If you’re a regular patron (or regular reader of Material World!), you’ll probably know their facial treatments are usually extraction-based, to unclog and clean out pores. Founder Pauline Ng’s mother, affectionately known as Aunty Jenny, is a bit of a celebrity among Porcelain’s clients as she’s well-skilled in thorough and pain-free extractions.

With the Orchard Gateway outlet, however, Porcelain is expanding its services beyond traditional facial treatments. This outlet will feature solely equipment-based facial treatments.

Treatments That Actually Work

A peek at the interiors of Porcelain Aesthetics

A peek at the interiors of Porcelain Aesthetics

This new outlet will feature 9 facial treatments but the one that will probably get most people excited is the Proionic Facial, which is available exclusively at Porcelain Aesthetics. Here’s the science-y bit: The treatment starts with a double cleanse before the therapist applies the INDIBA® Capacitive Electrode across your face to help promote lymphatic drainage. This is then followed by applying the INDIBA® Resistive Electrode to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin, and fibroblast (also known as the “mother cell” of collagen and elastin) underneath your skin. What’s unique about this machine is how it makes use of a patented 448kHz long wave radio frequency to help stimulate the movement of ions through your cell membranes and restore your skin’s natural ion balance.

Simply put, your skin will look instantly rejuvenated post-treatment. Over a few sessions, you can expect visible anti-ageing effects such as a reduction of fine lines and pigmentation spots, and a re-contouring of your jawline.

Other treatments to look forward to include the Cryotherapy Facial and OxyRevive Treatment. The latter can be likened to an almost literal “breath of fresh air”. It is an award-winning oxygen facial that treats your skin to a gentle yet intensive aqua exfoliation followed by an infusion of custom-blended tonics using Hyperbaric Oxygen.

Customised Products 

Try before buy

Try before buy!

Speaking of custom-blended products, what sets Porcelain’s skincare products apart from others available in the market is how founder Pauline works with reputable suppliers from countries like USA, Japan, and Taiwan to create Porcelain’s own proprietary skincare line. To date, there are 18 products specially formulated for the skin issues faced by women living in a warm Asian climate like Singapore.

At the Orchard Gateway outlet, you’ll get to test out these products for yourself! The outlet features a fully-stocked product testing bar where therapists will be on-hand to assist in product demonstrations and giving you an opportunity to try the different skincare products.

Porcelain Aesthetics located at 277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway #03-13. Please call 6227 9692 to make an appointment.

We have four tubes of Porcelain Flawless Skin Perfecting Moisturizer SPF 20 (worth $165 each) to give away!

Flawless Moisturizer

To win, simply follow the instructions below:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Porcelain” as the Contest Name. Then key in the answer to this question: “What is the name of the treatment exclusive to Porcelain Aesthetics?”

2. Like Material World on Facebook.

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

This contest ends Monday, 1 September 2014, and is only open to followers of Material World. Only entries submitted via the Material World app will be accepted. Please read our terms and conditions here.

Porcelain, The Face Spa worked with Material World for this post to review its new Orchard Gateway outlet. All opinions are the author’s own and have not been vetted by the client. Read our advertising policy here.
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
Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Malls & Boutiques

NewsFASH: What You’ll Be Wearing this Fall – Denise Li

This list is making us want to hit the shops, STAT. By Denise Li

Do Fall collections bring to mind long sleeves, drab colours, and cuts that are just waaaay too warm for Singapore weather? We’re pleased to inform you that it doesn’t have to be so. H&M’s collection runs the gamut: From fun, feminine maxi dresses, to menswear-inspired pieces, and even … a fire-engine red PVC trousers (if that’s your thing). If you like asymmetrical hemlines and unusual silhouettes, you can’t go wrong at Whole9Yards. Don’t want to add to your bulging closet? Update your look with a few statement accessories or shoes from On Pedder. Just because summer’s come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t continue having fun with fashion!

Shift dress, H&M

Shift dress, H&M

The humble shift dress is elevated by some sparkle.

Top, H&M

Top, H&M

With sheer pieces like these, layering doesn’t have to be a warm and uncomfortable affair.

Jumpsuit, H&M

Jumpsuit, H&M

Just in time for the Singapore Grand Prix, perhaps? Pair with fun heels for a playful touch.

Dresses, Whole9Yards

Dresses, Whole9Yards

Safe enough for work, yet the unusual draping and hemlines will make you stand out from the crowd. Whole9Yards is at #01-05 Wisma Atria, #02-06 Orchard Gateway, and Level 3 Robinsons Orchard.

Bag, Coach

Bag, Coach

We don’t know about you, but we think the bucket bag should be one of your “must-have” bags. Slouchy and roomy, it’s perfect for the weekend. For a full listing of Coach outlets in Singapore, click here.

Clutch, REDValentino Disney

Clutch, REDValentino Disney

A snatch-proof clutch: Such a simple, yet ingenious idea. For a full listing of REDValentino outlets, click here.

Heels, Charlotte Olympia (available at On Pedder)

Heels, Charlotte Olympia (available at On Pedder)

Only Charlotte Olympia will think of adding embellised sky-high heels to the humble boat shoe … and somehow make it look amazing. On Pedder is at #02-12P/Q Takashimaya S.C.

Clutch, LINGWU

Clutch, LINGWU

Satchel, LINGWU

Satchel, LINGWU

If there was ever a local talent worthy of our support, it has to be bag designer Lingwu. We’re in love with her luxurious, one-of-a-kind pieces. Her Fall/Winter 2014 collection will be available from September 2014 at Isetan Scotts, TANGS Orchard, and Front Row.

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 training in MMA, and doing conditioning workouts. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets and Instagram @smackeral83.

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



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 


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: .

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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 


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


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


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


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 


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 


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.

Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Malls & Boutiques

NewsFASH: Pieces That Will Help You Stand Out – Denise Li

Because looking like one of the crowd is just … boring.

Have you heard of the term “normcore”? A hipster backlash, it’s a fashion “trend” where you dress to blend in (think: white t-shirts, blue jeans, no visible labels), rather than to stand out.

Personally, I’m not a fan. I think fashion is supposed to be fun – to help you express your personality on the outside, to help you create your own “branding”. To think that some usually fashionable people wear clothes to look as ordinary and unimpressive as possible just to make a statement … fashion really is crazy I guess.

Thank goodness normcore has remained somewhat of a micro-trend. If you intend on trawling the stores in the next couple of months or so, you’ll find plenty of cool statement-making pieces to love. Here are our top five picks.



iRoo is one of those stores that continually surprise its customers; one month, you’ll find flirty feminine pieces, the next, you’ll see punk chic pieces like these worthy of Blondie herself.

For a full listing of iRoo stores, click on this link.

Kate Moss x Topshop

1st Campaign Shot (2)


Playsuit, $169

Playsuit, $169

Fringe leather jacket, $439

Fringe leather jacket, $439

As if Kate Moss anything would look boring! This collaboration was anything but subtle – think tassels, leather, lots of fringe, and tons of embellishment. It’s a pretty comprehensive collection that’ll take you from afternoon brunch to late-night parties.

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

Funky Sunglasses

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana



The best and easiest way to add pizzazz to your look!

Dolce & Gabbana and Prada sunglasses are available at the respective brand boutiques.

Melissa’s designer collections


Melissa Black Tie + Karl Lagerfeld

Let’s face it: When Melissa shoes was introduced to the market, its fate could have easily gone the way of Crocs. Not only has Melissa managed to maintain their popularity, the brand has grown from strength to strength. It has collaborated with a number of designers and sees no sign of stopping, if it’s FW 2014 collection is anything to go by. Melissa once again collaborates with The Kaiser and Jason Wu, but also adds Gareth Pugh and Campana Brothers to its esteemed list of collaborators.

The Melissa FW 2014 collection is available from July 2014. The new MDreams Boutique, which stocks Melissa shoes, will also open in July 2014 at #01-11/12 One Raffles Place.

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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NewsFASH: 5 Essential Accessories for the Practical Girl – Denise Li

The capricious weather calls for accessories that will help you survive the heat, humidity, and occasional shower while still retaining a sense of style, says Denise Li.

1. To fight frizz, you need … a hat

So you won’t need to constantly battle flyaway strands.

Club Monaco

Club Monaco

Hunting cap, from the Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange collection (available exclusively at Suntec City and 313@somerset)

Hunting cap, from the Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange collection (available exclusively at Suntec City and 313@somerset)

2. To keep feet dry, you need … pair of wellies

It really puzzles us that in Singapore where it rains quite often (though not of late!), there aren’t more people investing a quality pair of wellington boots.

Hunter (available at

Hunter (available at

3. Shield eyes with … a good pair of sunnies (of course!)


Max Mara (available at all leading optical stores)

The one seem here is from the Max Mara capsule collection, and it features a super luxe detail of backstitched leather.

Gucci (available at all leading optical stores)

Gucci (available at all leading optical stores)

Oversized sunnies are great for ANY face shape and they’re always on-trend.

4. Give your look a polished finish with … a day-to-night necklace

I recently met up with Bell Ng, one of the designers behind homegrown jewellery label B.elaborate. I fell in love with her statement necklaces, which are made using a mix of materials such as fabric and metal. Though I don’t wear many accessories myself, I found myself buying one of her necklaces and I love just how versatile it is – it lends an LBD instant oomph, as well as dresses up a plain denim dress (my “run-around” outfit of choice). I also like that it’s so lightweight – I barely feel like I’m wearing it at all.

B.elaborate (available at

B.elaborate (available at

Me wearing one of B.elaborate's pieces :)

Me wearing one of B.elaborate’s pieces

5. For days when you’re zipping around to meetings … invest in a pair of boat shoes

No longer just reserved for milling around on deck, boat shoes are great because they are non-slip, not to mention that they pair very well with a pair of slim-cut jeans. This pair, from Timberland, will add a a cheery pop of colour to your outfit.

From Timberland


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, Malls & Boutiques

NewsFASH: 5 Stores You Need To Hit Up For Your Weekend Essentials – Denise Li

We’re so excited cos a slew of Spring/Summer 2014 press releases just hit our inbox! Here are our choicest picks for the weekend (or, if you’re lucky enough, a non-corporate work environment).



Uniqlo is one of those rare brands that married quality, great design, and affordability, and we maintain that you can dress yourself appropriately for practically any occasion – work, play, and everything in between – using its pieces. Though it’s a mass market brand, what sets it apart from the rest is its attention to detail – regardless of your body shape or type, we guarantee that you’ll find the perfect pair among its many different cuts. Its S/S 2014 collection has a focus on lighter, more comfortable fabrics, which is showcased through nine design projects.

For a full listing of Uniqlo stores in Singapore, visit its website.


AD - Model 3

If you’re a die-hard dress girl (like all of us here at Material World), then Taiwanese label iRoo is one to check out. It always carries a well-edited selection of dresses, and its latest collection is inspired by one of everyone’s favourite colours, blue. Simply pair with your a pair of sandals or heels – whatever the occasion calls for – and you’re good to go. Because, seriously, a fashion crisis is the last thing you need on a weekend.

For a full listing of iRoo stores, visit its website.

Melissa at MDreams Boutique

Jason Wu for Melissa

The Melissa brand has come a long way. In the past few years, the Brazilian shoe brand has collaborated with designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood to create special capsule collections. Jason Wu is the latest in its line of collaborators, and he he brought his brand of easy-breezy elegance to the Melissa + Jason Wu collection. Our favourite is Melissa Jean + Jason Wu III (second from left). Besides pastel pink, it also comes in metallic silver, gold, bright blue, and red.

The Melissa + Jason Wu collection retails from $130 – $175, and is available at MDreams Boutique, #B2-03 Wheelock Place.

Chocoolate x Baby Milo at i.t


You might argue that we’re a little too old to wear clothes with such cutesy designs, to which I would say, “Why so serious?” And while many brands are riding on the horse emblem (pun fully intended) in its Spring collections, we like that it has been rather subtly and tastefully incorporated in this collab. Our pick is the letterman jacket – just what you need to keep you toasty in a freezing cinema or shopping mall.

i.t is at #03-15 Wisma Atria, and #02-11 Bugis Junction. 

Sinequanone at Robinsons


French fashion label Sinequanone is now available in Singapore, exclusively at Robinsons Orchard. So far, we’re loving its super wearable designs – all feminine, floaty dresses in prints we love, and edgy, structured, yet easy-to-match separates. We’ve got our eye on that 60s-inspired polka dot number – cute, and in a ultra-flattering cut. What’s not to love?

Sinequanone is available exclusively at Robinsons (Orchard and Raffles City). 

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, Malls & Boutiques

The New and Improved Liang Court – Denise Li

For the longest time, Liang Court has been flying under the radar. It was a place to go to if you wanted to visit Books Kinokuniya without the hassle of venturing into Orchard Road, if you had a yen for authentic Japanese cuisine, or wanted to spend an evening singing your heart out at Party World KTV. For me, it is a mall I visit on a semi-regular basis as I get my hair cut by Edward Chong of Evolve Salon. Admittedly, it wasn’t a place I would stay and linger at, unless I was meeting my friends for some tasty ramen at Marutama.

Recently, it’s expanded its offerings to include 12 new brands. The food court has been replaced by Uniqlo, But not to worry if you’re looking for cheap and yummy eats in the area, because Fun Toast has opened an outlet just outside of the Japanese casualwear store. Besides delicious homemade kaya butter soft buns, it also offers more substantial meals such as soya sauce chicken, chicken curry, and much more.

Chicken curry at Fun Toast

Chicken curry at Fun Toast

Eye Studio Tokyo, which specialises in lash extensions

Eye Studio Tokyo, which specialises in lash extensions

Another noteworthy store that has opened is Eye Studio Tokyo, which specialises in eyelash extensions. The look of your new lashes are fully customisable; that means you can choose how much curl and volume you want, depending on how natural or dramatic you want the look to be. The extensions are semi-permanent.

If you’ve always liked the super edgy look of Japanese hairstyles, you might also be keen to check out new salon Naoki Yoshihara by Ash, a brand that has over a hundred outlets in Japan.

Always on the lookout for beauty products that are better for your health and skin? Then head straight to Shea. This body, skin and hair care retailer has sourced for its products from brands around the world. Products sourced are suitable for vegetarians and use only pure essential oils. I’ve been using its goat’s milk soap from Aussie brand Specialy Soap Shoppe, and I love how it doesn’t strip skin of moisture despite lathering very well. Recently, I made the switch from shower gel to bar soap to cut down on the amount of plastic packaging I consume … I foresee that I’ll be making more trips back to Shea to stock up on its huge range of lovely soaps.



No visit to Liang Court is complete without a visit to one of its numerous Japanese restaurants. Tonkotsu Kazan is one of its latest offerings. Originating from Osaka, Japan, it specialises in ramen served in a “volcanic” fashion – the broth is poured into a piping hot hot stone bowl and then covered with a red funnel so you see steam “erupting” from it. Not exactly sure how this helps with enhancing its flavour but it was a tasty bowl of ramen, regardless, with the noodles nicely cooked to al dente.

Image courtesy of Tonkotsu Kazan's Facebook page

Image courtesy of Tonkotsu Kazan’s Facebook page

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 can spend hours at Liang Court’s Meidi-Ya supermarket. 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:


“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 (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, Malls & Boutiques

A New Way To Shop At Jem – Vanessa Tai

As someone who lives in the west, I’ve had to put up with east-siders going on and on about how they live in the “better side” of Singapore. However, I must admit that even as a West-sider, I hardly venture beyond the Holland and Bukit Timah area. Which was why I was completely taken aback by how much Jurong East has transformed in the last couple of years.

I was recently invited to try out JemX Rewards, a new app-based loyalty program by the shopping mall Jem. When I emerged from Jurong East MRT, I looked around in mild confusion. “Is this really Jurong East?” I thought. Instead of the flat grasslands of yore, I was surrounded by tall, shiny buildings. When I stepped into Jem, my eyes widened at the sight of high-street fashion brands H&M and Uniqlo … something I didn’t expect to see in a heartland mall. It was definitely a “Wow” moment for me.

The Jem app itself is also pretty amazing; it really adds value to the entire shopping experience. One of the features that impressed me was the Car Locator function, which helps you remember where you parked your car and even guides you step-by-step from wherever you are to where you car is! You can also use the Navigation function to figure out how to get from one store to another – which is very helpful, considering there are over 200 stores in the mall!

I know of many people who would find this function very useful!

I know of many people who would find this function very useful!

Nifty navigation features aside, JemX Rewards is a points-based system that allow you to earn rewards on the go. After registering and activating your JemX Rewards account (you’ll need to produce a minimum spend of $20 beforehand), you can start earning points immediately! How does it work?

When making payment, just type in your transaction details into the app and get it verified by the cashier who will then pass you a QR code to scan with your phone. Once the transaction is completed, you’ll automatically earn points. Every $1 spent is 1 Jem Point. Upon accumulating enough points, you can exchange it for e- or paper vouchers that you can spend on that day itself, or on your next visit.

An easy overview of your points earned.

An easy overview of your points earned.

For a step-by-step guide on how to use JemX Rewards, check out this video.

I think what’s great about having an app-based loyalty program is how convenient it is – your points, vouchers and even updates on the latest promotions are all centralised in your smartphone. My mum is big on loyalty programs, so she has plenty of cards from all the various malls and boutiques. Very often, when making payment, she’ll have to sift through all her cards and ask the cashier, “What colour is the card?” Methinks having an app like this would make things so much easier for everyone involved!

The Jem app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play. 

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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Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Lifestyle, Malls & Boutiques

“Play” With Polar Bears At Marina Square – Tan Lili

Do you remember this video by National Geographic Channel that went viral two years ago?

Created by digital creative agency Appshaker, the setup was a marketing tool to promote National Geographic Channel in Hungary, using a cutting-edge technology known as augmented reality (AR). Unlike virtual reality, which is a simulation of reality, AR provides a digitally enhanced reality in real time so you can instantaneously interact with what you see at the AR environment.

Now, you can experience first-hand the phenomenon that captured thousands of shoppers in Hungary two years ago, right here in Singapore. Partnering with Marina Square Shopping Mall as part of Winter Wonderland – Singapore’s largest AR environment built in a shopping mall – Appshaker has recently created a 3D AR experience called Arctic Home, in which you’ll find yourself standing on an iceberg as polar bears move around you. The AR is projected onto a large screen right in front of the “iceberg”, so you can snap some photos or video-record your experience petting the polar bears.

Marina Square AR Winter Wonderland Polar Bears

But while it’s all fun and entertaining, the reality is, the population of polar bears in the Arctic is in decline due to climate change. Marina Square and Appshaker will be supporting the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) with a $5,000 donation to assist in their efforts to protect those furry giants.

Marina Square AR Winter Wonderland - 10m Christmas Tree with AR Santa and sleigh!

Arctic Home is just one of the many AR experiences happening at the atrium of Marina Square. Before you step into Winter Wonderland, be sure to download the free Marina Square AR Christmas app (available for download on iOS 6.1 and above, and Android 4.2 phones and tablets). There are markers installed at designated locations within Winter Wonderland, so all you have to do is fire up the app, follow some easy instructions, and have fun interacting with the special 3D festive characters!

At the Toy House, for instance, you’ll find an AR Snowman dancing on the platform; you can even tap and drag AR penguins down the slide outside the Toy House! Meanwhile, at the Christmas Tree, you’ll be able to see an AR Santa on his sleigh circling the tree from the top before landing at the base and hopping out of the sleigh for your photo-taking opportunity. Psst … if you upload your snapshots on Instagram with the tag @marinasquaresg and hashtag #MarinaSquareChristmas, you stand to win a Samsung Galaxy S4 and dining vouchers. Details, right here.

Apart from Winter Wonderland, you can also use the app throughout the mall’s Christmas print advertisements and festive cards.

Winter Wonderland takes place at the atrium of Marina Square, from November 22 to December 25, 2013. Arctic Home is available from November 22 to December 15, from 12noon to 9pm.

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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