Beauty & Shopping, Spa Treats

Found: A Beauty Sanctuary In The Heart Of Town – Vanessa Tai

Feeling super frazzled and need a place to decompress for a couple of hours? Renaza Wellness Lifestyle Lab, located at the swanky Palais Renaissance, offers a quiet respite where you can enjoy pampering beauty treatments in peace. Vanessa Tai tries out the Classic Manicure and Gua Sha Eye Treatment. 

renaza_palais renaissance

Renaza Wellness at Palais Renaissance

I’m not kidding when I say I was seriously stressed out when I recently visited Renaza. My mind was on overdrive thinking of all sorts of problems, and I was feeling jittery and on edge. However, after I was seated in one of the plush chairs and served a cup of warm longan tea, I could feel myself begin to relax. The difference in Renaza’s service quality was immediately apparent when my therapist — upon noticing I was feeling cold — offered me an extra towel to cover my shoulders. Also, when she passed me the selection of nail colours to choose from, I was impressed. Instead of stacks of nail colour samples piled into a box (as is the norm in other nail salons), the nail colours were neatly arranged on a huge laminated board so you can see the entire selection in one glance.

Decisions, decisions!

Decisions, decisions!

To perk my spirits up, I decided to go for a hot neon pink shade, but wanted to mix it up with another colour. The therapist suggested tempering it with a glittery silver hue and I agreed. Once we agreed on the colours, I leaned back on my seat and closed my eyes. I don’t know if it was the therapist’s skilful hands or the calm silence in the salon, but I fell into a deep sleep almost immediately. I reckon it was a combination of both!

Here’s a look at my nails before and after the treatment:





After my Classic Manicure, I was ushered into Renaza’s Medical Aesthetics Spa UK, which is located right next door. I’ll be honest – when I first heard that I would be undergoing a Gua Sha Eye Treatment, I was initially very apprehensive. If you’ve been for a Gua Sha massage or seen friends who’ve gone for one, you’ll understand my apprehension. Gua Sha makes use of a smooth-edged instrument to scrape at the skin, which often leaves the skin looking red and bruised post-treatment. Hence, I was worried about how the skin around my eyes would look like. However, the therapist assured me that the eye treatment at Renaza is a much gentler form of Gua Sha and also makes use of a special essential oil as a form of lubrication. Repechage Essential Oil is derived from seaweed and contains a blend of minerals and antioxidants to help detoxify and hydrate your skin.

As an interesting aside, “Gua Sha” refers to an ancient healing technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is often used to treat pain. That’s because in TCM tradition, pain is often associated with the stagnation of blood flow, so Gua Sha is used to break up stagnant blood flow and boost blood circulation in that particular area, thus relieving pain. At Renaza, this treatment is intended to help release any toxins from beneath your skin and stimulate blood circulation. Over repeated treatments, you can expect fine lines to be smoothed out, as well as a reduction in the appearance of dark circles, eye bags, and puffy eyes.

After my treatment, I was glad to see my worries were unfounded. Not only was there no redness, my eyes felt refreshed and appeared less tired. I left Renaza feeling rejuvenated and with a much lighter mind.

Birthday Deals For You!

As part of their 8th birthday celebration, Renaza will be rolling out a whole lot of great promotions over a period of two months. The Gua Sha Eye Massage will be going at $38 (U.P. $200) and the Classic Manicure at $18 (U.P. $27).

Other treatments such as the Customised Aesthetics Facial (U.P. $250) will be going at $38, while the Hair Wash & Blow (U.P. $23-$30) will be priced at just $8.

Other signature treatments include Renaza’s 8th anniversary promotions, from August – September 2014, are available at all outlets. (Click here for outlet locations.) For the full list of treatments, please refer to the image below.


Take A Selfie, Win Awesome Prizes!

Wanna win an entire beauty package from Renaza? Simply follow the steps indicated in the image below.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.23.10 pm

Renaza Wellness Lifestyle Lab worked with Material World for this post to review the Classic Manicure and Eye Gua Sha treatments. 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, Branded Content, Skincare

[Material World x Elizabeth Arden] Don’t Let Stress Kill Your Skin – Deborah Tan

Fact: stress can age your skin by up to 10 years. Deborah Tan tries a skincare range by Elizabeth Arden created to help prevent premature skin aging by addressing the damages caused by stress.

“Is it because you are afraid the plane would crash?” is the question I get asked the most whenever I tell people flying makes me “antsy”. No … I do not have a fear of flying. Rather, flying is not one of my favorite things to do. I love travelling, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the process of getting to the destination that stresses me out. How?

1. Flying could screw with your sleep cycle

You want to sleep but you are awake … you are awake but not really awake … AARGH!

Especially when you take a red-eye (overnight flights). Say your flight is at 12mn and you’re bound for Japan. You check in at the airport at 10pm, spend the next hour wandering about duty-free when you should really be in bed asleep, board the plane and suffer through all the shenanigans before you actually get to close your eyes. That’d be about, what, 2am? Then at 5.20am, everyone gets woken up again for landing. I NEED MORE SLEEP, DAMMIT!!

2. You get tortured by radiation and dehydration

Newsflash! Windows on planes do not block out UV rays. The dose of UV rays you’re exposed to is also stronger as you’re flying at a higher altitude. This is before you consider all the rays coming from the TV screens, and soon, from WiFi … The air is also drier so you are losing water at an alarming rate. Those paltry cups of water they hand out once every few hours are hardly enough to keep you hydrated! Bottomline: it’s hell for your cells!

3. Your body is immobilised

You need it move it, move it!!

There’s really only so much you can move once you are strapped into your Economy seat. There’s just no way of sitting and sleeping comfortably. Your body cries for room to stretch out and lie back. You arrive at your destination feeling worse for wear – blood circulation sluggish, muscles aching … it’s painful. HELP! I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS!!!!

And the one place where all these stress shows up? My skin. FACT: Stress can accelerate aging by up to 10 years. When you’re stressed your skin acts up by becoming rough, blotchy and dull. At a cellular level, stress depletes ceramides which help keep skin healthy and support the collagen matrix. Stress also damages telomeres (the caps at the end of chromosomes), which will eventually compromise our cells’ ability to replicate.

The Skincare Solution To Stress Aging

The review set for Elizabeth Arden’s new Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide range couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I took the Caplet Serum, $99, and Eye Gel, $69, with me on a recent trip that required me to take the red-eye. As we didn’t check into the hotel straight after arrival, by the time we actually had a chance to freshen up, my skin was in need of some serious TLC.

My skin - blotchy, dry and very pissed off that it had to fly overnight.

My skin – blotchy, dry and very pissed off that it had to fly overnight. Photo taken post-flight while wearing sunscreen. Photo has not been Photoshopped or digitally altered.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum After cleansing and a quick mud mask, I applied the Caplet Serum. Each pump dispenses a fresh burst of powerful ingredients, including Telosense a protein complex to help protect telomeres. The silky serum covered my skin like balm and I found I really liked its texture. A few hours of sleep, and I’m happy to report that my skin was back to its former glowing, calm glory.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Eye Gel Many anti-aging eye care products tend to be quite rich and so we usually reserve them for use at night. Instead, most women opt for eye creams with a brightening benefit and a light refreshing texture. This eye gel combines the best of both worlds – it’s anti-aging and it’s in a gel texture. It also contains a brightening complex, the antioxidant vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate and an algae extract to target puffiness.


Not exaggerating here but I really felt like Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan when she wakes up to find herself a vampire. My skin looked more rested and there was a definite glow to my complexion. I applied the serum and the eye gel religiously throughout my trip and when I got back, I couldn’t help but take a selfie on my way home from the airport. I love how much calmer and even my skin looks! So if your skin acts up every time you’re stressed, I strongly recommend you give the Flawless Future Powered by Ceramides range a shot.

Eyes and face are puffy from flying but skin is definitely a lot "sturdier" looking.

Eyes and face are puffy from flying but skin is definitely a lot “sturdier” looking. Photo taken while wearing eyeliner, eyebrow makeup and sunscreen. Photo has not been Photoshopped or digitally touched up.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramides is now selling at Elizabeth Arden counters islandwide. Elizabeth Arden worked with Material World to promote this new range of skincare products. All opinions are the author’s own. This post was not vetted by the brand. 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 secretly believes she has perfected the art of selfie-taking. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Getting Over My Beauty Bad Habits – Denise Li

To keep her skin under control in the warm European summer, Denise Li first needed to stop committing two beauty sins. 

Despite knowing better, I have several bad beauty habits including (but not limited to):

1. Picking at my nails (I’ve NEVER had a manicure in my life, for fear of judgement by manicurists)

2. Washing my face excessively (Definitely more than than the recommended twice a day)

3. Using the wrong moisturiser (More on this in a bit)

I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop peeling/biting my nails. It’s an anxiety thing, and I’ve never really yearned to have beautiful manicures, to be honest. I am, however, determined to do something about the other two, mainly because I’m not such a big fan of flaky skin and ageing before my time.

So for that, I’ll need to get over my two beauty hangups: (1) Post-workout greasy skin (the reason I wash excessively) and (2) To stop using mattifying moisturisers to deal with said greasy skin.

Recently, and much to my abject horror, I found out that my skin’s severely dehydrated. I was moaning about this to makeup artist Larry Yeo one day and he said, simply, “You don’t need to wash your face with facial wash after working out. Just splash it with water.”

Of course!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Since I arrived in Belgium, I’ve been following this piece of advice. I just splash my face with water after exercise, and I pat it dry with tissue. Though it felt a bit strange initially, I suffered none of the consequences I thought I would (mainly breakouts) if I didn’t wash. In fact, my skin feels a lot less tighter than before.

The second thing I’ve been doing recently is completely overhauling my moisturiser stash, tossing out all the too-light, mattifying moisturisers that aren’t doing enough to quench my thirsty skin. You see, people with oily AND dehydrated skin usually think they have to pick one of two battles to fight: Oiliness OR dehydration. Fact of the matter is, the two problems are closely related. Dehydrated skin overcompensates by producing even MORE oil. Over the years that I’ve been using mattifying moisturisers or drying products, I’ve just been exacerbating the problem.

The solution actually lies in using a SUPER hydrating moisturiser to rebalance skin’s moisture levels so it feels soothed and stops going crazy on the oil production.

For this, I’ve been using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer. Now, before I became the newly enlightened me, this would probably have been one moisturiser I wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole That’s because it has a rather thick, balm-like texture, and it is quite sticky at first application. The reason for its texture is because, on top of infusing skin with moisture, this product also seals it in.

Despite my initial reservations, I love the results: My skin looks soft, clear and plump every morning, despite the fact that the climate is super dry over here in Europe. Since I started using it, my breakouts have also been less frequent and severe … which I’m taking as proof that my skin’s moisture levels have balanced out. I’ve also been using it on other dry and flaky areas of my body, such as my knees and elbows, and I like that a little goes a long way.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

The other product from the same line I can’t live without is the Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment cos it leaves hands soft without that slimy, sticky feeling. I also found myself using this the other day while we were at the beach. I forgot to re-apply sunscreen (yes … apparently I’m better at dishing beauty advice than I am following it …) and my back got burnt. I immediately used the hand treatment on the burnt areas and what did you know? Some of the redness dissipated, and my skin didn’t peel and flake like it normally would. Pretty amazing stuff.

Even if you don’t have dehydrated skin like I do, the Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer if you are heading to places with a drier climate. I’m pretty curious to see how my skin will react if I use it in humid Singapore (I do sleep in air-conditioning though). More updates soon!

In the meantime, I’m curious to find out: Do you have any beauty bad habits? And are you trying to do anything about them?

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer is priced at $57. The Hand Treatment is priced at $40. For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden counters in Singapore, click here. Products were sent to Material World for a review. This post was not paid for or advised by Elizabeth Arden. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys training in MMA, and doing conditioning workouts. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets and Instagram @smackeral83.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

3 Secrets To Beautiful Eyes, 1 Place To Get Them – Deborah Tan

Are you obsessed about the way your brows and lashes look? If you’re anything like Deborah Tan, these 3 offerings from Browhaus may just be what you need.

Growing up, I was always told that my eyes were beautiful. Since crossing the 3-0 mark, I have noticed that my eyes are not as “young looking” as they used to be. I may be paranoid here but I’ve noticed that if I left the house without drawing my brows and lining my eyes, and I happened to have a picture taken, I would look damn tired in the photo.

It goes without saying that on any average day, the 2 makeup steps that I HAVE to do are: (1) draw my brows and (2) line my eyes. Even on days when I don’t feel like wearing sunscreen (yes, it happens to the best of us, okay?), I have to do my eyes.

What about mascara? Well, unfortunately, I do not have a relationship with mascaras. My lashes are stick-straight and are pretty resistant to curling. Wearing mascara is also uncomfortable since I tend to tear whenever I yawn. Waterproof mascaras stay on for nearly all day except they make my lashes look a bit stiff. Smudge-proof mascaras, however, are a no-go because they don’t stand a chance against my oily eyelids.

So, what does it mean to have eyes that don’t quite betray your real age? For me, besides being free of lines, eyebags and dark circles, lush eyebrows, luxuriant lashes and dark lash lines are also a must.

For the last 3, it seems Browhaus of the Spa Esprit Group may just be able to help …

Browhaus at One Raffles Place, #04-01

Browhaus at One Raffles Place, #04-01

Mission 1: Get eyebrows tweezed and shaped
If I don’t draw my eyebrows, I’ll look like I have none. No kidding! My eyebrows are a bit of a mess – thick and unruly at the inner half, sparse at the outer. I checked out Browhaus’ new joint at One Raffles Place. I tried the Thread+Tweeze treatment where, as its name already suggests, a combination of threading and tweezing is used to shape my brows. The session was over in less than 15 minutes and I was immensely glad to see that the therapist had given me a pair natural-looking brows that were neither too dark nor too arched.

Nice, neat, shapely brows ... even after 2 weeks!

Nice, neat, shapely brows … even after 2 weeks!

Verdict: It’s been two weeks since my Thread+Tweeze session and my eyebrows remain in good shape. Of course they still need to be drawn (if you want to put an end to that, you can try Browhaus’ Brow Resurrection treatment) but there is hardly any stray hair under or above the main body. The therapist had done a very thorough job and, honestly, I’m now tempted to “outsource” the work of maintaining my eyebrows to her.


Screen shot 2014-08-06 at PM 05.18.15

Mission 2: Plump up my lashes
Browhaus HD Mascara is part of Browhaus’ first-ever range of eye makeup and it promises to lengthen and hold the curl of your lashes for up to 24 hours. If you are looking for a mascara that will dramatically transform your eyes with some serious va-va-voom effects, this isn’t it. This mascara basically helps your lashes look more lush. The formula goes on smoothly (there is really no clumps!) and it really feels weightless.

No va-va-voom effect but I love that my lashes look soft and lush.

No va-va-voom effect but I love that my lashes look soft and lush.

Verdict: I like that this mascara is super-comfortable to wear. It is waterproof as well so no worries about walking in the drizzle. The brush effectively separates the lashes too so you don’t end up with spidery strands.



Mission 3: Darken the lash line
At $17.90, this liquid felt-tip eyeliner is definitely going to be my new go-to eyeliner. The Precision Eyeliner delivers intense, dark lines and, using it to create wing tips is such a breeze. The formula doesn’t crust up so you won’t get black flakes falling into your eyes in the middle of the day. I may be a bit biased now but this wins Best New-To-Market Liquid Eyeliner in my books.

Now all Browhaus needs is an eyebrow kit to complete the set!

Now all Browhaus needs is an eyebrow kit to complete the set!

Verdict: Previously, I could never use an eyeliner and mascara together (unless a professional makeup artist helps me out). The tip of this eyeliner finds its way in-between lashes so easily, lining your eyes after mascara is absolutely do-able. I prefer to line my eyes after mascara cos my eyeliner always comes off onto the lash curler’s rubber bit.

Browhaus’ newest branch is located One Raffles Place, #04-01. The Browhaus HD Mascara and Precision Eyeliner both retail at $17.90 at all Browhaus outlets. For a full listing, click here. This post is neither paid for nor advised by Browhaus. All opinions are the author’s own.

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 wants to know what it means to age gracefully and would like to invite you to take this survey here. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.



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.

Beauty & Shopping

8 Beauty Hacks For The Busy Woman – Matthew Fam

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

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

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

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

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

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




If you liked this post, you might also like:

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

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

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

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

26 Things To Put On Your August Watchlist

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

A is for Aliwal Arts Night Crawl


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

Aliwal Arts Night Crawl is on Friday, 15 August from 6pm till late at the Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street. For more information, please visit or

B is for Boots


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

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

C is for Catalunya

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

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

D is for DRx Medispa

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

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

E is for Easy Cooking


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

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

F is for Flaska 


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


Win a Flaska bottle by following these steps below:

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

G is for Gucci Premiere EDT


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

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

H is for Hearty Bites


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

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

I is for Iridescence


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

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

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


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

Available at Sakae Sushi outlets islandwide.

K is for Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator


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

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

L is for Literature

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

For more information, click here.

M is


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

N is for National Day Photo Contest

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

O is for Outback Steakhouse


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

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

P is for Puma Night Run

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

Q is for Quayside Isle 

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

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

R is for Robinsons Home Fair 


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

S is for Shopping For A Cause

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

T is for The Body Shop

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

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

U is for The Ultimate Belvedere Pool Party


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

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

V is for Veuve Clicquot

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

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

W is for Wine


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

Corney & Barrow wines are now available on

X is for Extra Savings


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

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

Y is for Youth Day


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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in cinemas August 7.

Z is for Zits 


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

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

Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Hair, Skincare, Spa Treats

[Material World x Renaza Wellness Lifestyle Lab] Chemical Peel For Dry Skin, Found – Tan Lili

Want to achieve smoother, younger-looking skin but aren’t a fan of chemical peels? A relatively new non-invasive exfoliating procedure known as Aqua Peel Facial might just be the ideal treatment for you. Read Tan Lili’s review to find out more.

In case you haven’t had enough of my whinging, allow me to yet again express my utter dismay at my drier-than-average skin. In my line of work, it’s pretty often that I get a chance to have my skin analysed. And each time, the skincare therapist would reaffirm my greatest beauty woe – that my skin is dehydrated.

My recent visit to Renaza’s Medical Aesthetics Spa at Palais Renaissance was no exception. Before deciding on the type of Customised Aesthetics Facial I’d be getting, the therapist gave my skin a thorough cleanse so she could get a better look at it and design a treatment for me.

“Hmmm … your skin is dry and it looks very dull.” Yep, she sure isn’t one to mince her words. “You shall try our new Aqua Peel Facial!”

My response was a rather violent upward jerk.

You see, I did a chemical peel before, and it took my skin one full week to stop shedding. But my patient therapist assured me the 90-minute Aqua Peel Facial is no chemical peel. In fact, it was probably created for apprehensive people with dry skin like me.

So, What Is The Aqua Peel Facial?

How my makeup-free skin looked the morning after.

How my makeup-free skin looked the morning after.

The Aqua Peel Facial is a relatively new non-invasive exfoliating procedure that works like a chemical peel, minus the discomfort as well as dry and flaky appearance after. My therapist likens it to an advanced diamond peel, which also employs microdermabrasion. But what makes this facial especially great for those with dehydrated skin is that it comes with the infusion of saline. The microdermabrasion step and infusion work hand in hand to safely and painlessly exfoliate the skin while hydrating it.

Somewhat appeased, I left my fragile skin to the hands of my therapist.

The microdermabrasion was, as promised, pain-free, and the saline infusion had a reinvigorating effect on my skin. The quick strokes of my therapist also worked to relax me further, making the procedure refreshingly comfortable – something you’d never experience with a chemical peel.

Next up is the extraction, followed by a soothing 20-minute mask. The Aqua Peel Facial includes a neck-and-shoulder massage as well.

After the facial, my skin looked a little raw (it’s a peel, after all) but otherwise noticeably brighter and more radiant. To my great relief, unlike my previous bad chemical-peel experience, my skin did not flake at all the next day. Consider me sold!

Great hair in less than an hour!

Great hair in less than an hour!

For An Amazing Head Massage

The Aqua Peel Facial wasn’t the only treat I received from Renaza that day. Before the facial, I had a Hair Wash & Blow at Renaza’s Telok Ayer Street outlet.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but the part I look forward to the most during a blowout session is the hair wash, and Renaza sure doesn’t disappoint. For a good 10 minutes, I was treated to quite possibly the best head massage I’ve ever experienced, thanks to my stylist’s skillful fingerwork.

Birthday Deals For You!

As part of their 8th birthday celebration, Renaza will be rolling out a whole lot of great promotions over a period of two months. The Customised Aesthetics Facial (U.P. $250) will be going at $38, while the Hair Wash & Blow (U.P. $23-$30) will be priced at just $8.

Other signature treatments include Gua Sha Eye Massage at $38 (U.P. $200), and Beautiful Lips Treatment + Anti-Aging Pearl at $88 (U.P. $158).

Renaza’s 8th anniversary promotions, from August – September 2014, are available at all outlets. (Click here for outlet locations.) For the full list of treatments, please refer to the image below.


Renaza Wellness Lifestyle Lab worked with Material World for this post to review the Aqua Peel Facial and Hair Wash & Blow treatments. All opinions are the author’s own and have not been vetted by the client. Read our advertising policy 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.

Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

A Parking Stamp Inspired This Beauty Product – Deborah Tan

To date, some 30 million units of Cushions have been sold worldwide. Nope, it’s not your couch cushions we’re talking about here. It’s a cushion-type base makeup created by South Korea’s top beauty company Amorepacific, and it’s taking over the world by storm. Let Deborah Tan take you through this beauty phenomenon below.

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at PM 02.45.52

Who wants skin like a Korean celebrity????

The quest for a perfect complexion never stops. Actually, with this product by Amorepacific, maybe it will. The creation of the Cushion has heralded a new age for base makeup. For years, the scene was dominated by the liquid foundation and two-way cake. Then in came the BB cream and then the CC cream. While these base makeup products have evolved in terms of technology, ingredients and textures, many of them continued to fail when it came to addressing one pertinent beauty problem: How does one reapply her sunscreen on top of her impeccably applied base makeup?

You could pat on more BB cream but who would want a thick layer of makeup on her face at the end of the day? The Cushion solves this conundrum. With its watery texture and specially-designed puff, reapplication is easy and the result, always dewy and natural. The efficacy of the Cushion is evident in the global craze it has sparked off – more than 30 million units have been sold worldwide

Here’s an interesting tidbit about the Cushion: its technology was inspired by a parking stamp. Inspired by the crisp, even impression it makes on paper without the liquid running, the development team at Amorepacific created a special urethane foam that could hold the makeup in a liquid formula, without causing leaks and spills. Together with a three-layer puff, the team was able to create a product that allowed users to apply a combination of foundation, skincare and sunscreen without the creation of a thick, cakey layer on the face. Reapplication would deposit a fresh new layer of the product that is thin, natural and comfortable.

In Singapore, the brands under Amorepacific – namely Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Etude House and Innisfree – each have their own Cushion products. They are …

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion (3)1. Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, $74
Great for: Those who want anti-ageing skincare benefits in their Cushion. This contains SPF 50+/PA+++, and has an exclusive herbal hydrator made up of 5 traditional Korean herbs. Apricot kernel oil helps improve skin’s elasticity and increase the production of collagen.

Available at Sulwhasoo counters at TANGS Orchard and Takashimaya Department Store.

BB Cushion Original (1)
2. Laneige BB Cushion, $59 

Great for: Those who have concerns about uneven skin tone. A powerful 6-in-1 BB Cushion with a Melacrusher Technology to target pigmentation, this also contains Laneige’s famous active mineral water, made by aligning water particles of clean, natural water rich in mineral collected from Jeju Island. Clinical studies show that skin temperature drops by 4 degrees Celsius after using Laneige BB Cushion.

Available at all Laneige boutiques such as ION Orchard (#B3-66A) and JCube (#01-04).

innisfree Water Glow Cushion
3. Innisfree Water Glow Cushion, $34

Great for: Those who want a moisture- and antioxidant-boost in their makeup. The key active ingredient is a 100% freshly squeezed green tea essence that leaves the face more supple, radiant and healthy. The water glow complex coats skin with a veil of moisture for an instantly dewy complexion.

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

4. Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion, $32

Great for: Those looking for a great cushion to use while on the go and when you’re travelling. This 6-in-1 that protects skin from the sun, controls sebum, moisturizes, whitens, gives coverage and cools the skin.

Available at all Etude House boutiques such as 313@Somerset (#B2-30), Plaza Singapura (#B1-26) and VivoCity (#01-K3). 

Are you a cushion-user? If so, tell us which cushion foundation do you use and why you like it!

This post was neither paid for nor advised by Amorepacific or any of the brands mentioned. All opinions are the author’s own. Please read our advertising policy here.



As a special treat to all Material World fans, these 4 Amorepacific brands are giving away 3 hampers containing 1 of each cushion foundation mentioned above! Each hamper contains a cushion foundation from Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Innisfree and Etude House.


Win a hamper containing cushion foundations from all 4 Amorepacific brands worth $199.

Win a hamper containing cushion foundations from all 4 Amorepacific brands worth $199.

To win this, follow the steps below:

1. Answer in the Comments section below: “What inspired Amorepacific’s development team to create the Cushion?”

2. Share this post with your friends on Facebook and tag “Material World”. Remember to set your post on Public so we can verify that you have done this step. Only fans of Material World’s Facebook Page can enter this contest, please Like our Page here.

3. Email your details (Name, Gender, IC No., Email) to us at by 8 August, 2014.

Note: Shades are given at random. No exchanges and no selection of shades will be allowed.

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 finds that she achieves the best result for foundation when she uses a sheet mask on her face for 5 minutes before putting on her makeup. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.


Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

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

Run to the counters to get your hands on these before they run out. By Denise Li

Laneige x pushBUTTON

Since its launch in 2003, Korean fashion label pushBUTTON has been featured in countless magazines and worn by celebs who love their signature quirky style. The packaging of the products in this collab looks like standard leopard print, but look closer and you’ll see images of dogs within the leopard’s spots. We also like that it wasn’t just the packaging that was given a makeover – there are new lippie shades to covet as well.

Laneige Serum Intense Lipstick in Plum, $34

Laneige Serum Intense Lipstick in Plum, $34

Laneige x pushBUTTON Eyeshadow, $40

Laneige x pushBUTTON Eyeshadow, $40

The Laneige x pushBUTTON collection will be available exclusively at Laneige counters and boutiques from August 7, 2014. 

RMK Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

We find these limited edition RMK Matte Shiny Eye Pencils to be super handy! The matte colours are great for creating a professional look for work. Just before heading out for after-work drinks, layer your eye shadow with the glitter powder pen applicator and you’re all set to party. Comes in six shades.

Matte Shiny Eye Pencil_04 Grayish Brown, $65_resized

RMK Matte Shiny Eye Pencil in 04 Grayish Brown, $65

These blushers are also both matte AND shiny. While we don’t recommend using the shiny bit of the compact on your cheeks (especially if you have oily skin), they are great as skin brighteners. Sweep it over your forehead and nose to give skin a soft glow.

RMK Matte Shiny Cheeks in 02 Bright Orange, $79 (Psst, if you have yellow under tones, this shade will immediately brighten up your skin tone)

RMK Matte Shiny Cheeks in 02 Bright Orange, $79 (Psst, if you have yellow under tones, this shade will immediately brighten up your skin)

The RMK Autumn/Winter 2014 collection will be available at RMK counters in August 2014. 

Lunasol Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

Inspired by the Baroque, the colours in this collection are extremely wearable. What we love is the Soft Contrasting Cheeks blusher, $58. It has a moist powder texture that melts onto skin when applied with the accompanying puff sponge, giving that “lit-from-within” glow.

Lunasol Soft Contrasting Cheeks, $58

Lunasol Soft Contrasting Cheeks, $58

The Lunasol Autumn/Winter 2014 collection will be available at Lunasol counters in August 2014.

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, Skincare

You Need To Check Out This New Shop On Club Street – Deborah Tan

Club Street has a new resident and it’s none other than uber-cool beauty brand Aesop. Deborah Tan gets to know this (relatively) new kid on the block.

Aesop Suntec City. See what I mean when I say it looks like a dark cavern?

Aesop Suntec City. See what I mean when I say it looks like a dark cavern?

For me, shopping for a beauty product at Aesop can – at times – feel a bit intimidating. Each store has been designed to have a unique look that, mostly, reminds one of a lovechild between an art museum and a very expensive house. Stepping into one, the individuality can either repel or attract you. Take the brand’s Suntec City store, for instance. The darkened interior might remind you of a cavern: do you venture inside or do you stay well away?

Enter a brand new store on Club Street.

Club Street is an area well-known for its bustling restaurants and pubs. The area, together with adjacent street, Ann Siang Hill, can get quite manic with merry-makers and its infamous lack of parking spaces. There is a quaintness that draws both hipsters and yuppies to it. How does Aesop fit into the neighborhood?

Unlike the cold, imposing majesty of the Suntec store, this new Club Street store is an oasis of peace and tranquility. It almost feels like, if I had one too many boozy cocktail at any of the bars along Club Street, I can pop inside, clear my head, and chill the f___ out.

But before you visit the shop (and I strongly recommend you do pay homage to this beauty retreat), here are 6 things you need to know about Aesop:

Welcome to the Club ... Street store!

Welcome to the Club … Street store!

1. You can find it at really accessible locations
Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 and entered Singapore in 2005 with two stores at Millenia Walk and Holland Village (the latter closed in 2010), which it opened with a distributor partner. To date, it has 4 signature stores – Ngee Ann City, Millenia Walk, Suntec City and Club Street – and 1 counter at TANGS Orchard.

2. Complement your Aesop regime with literature and red wine
While the brand is committed to using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy, it advocates the use of its formulations as part of a balanced life that includes, “a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature.” Consider us fans already.

The brown-glass bottles serve both an aesthetic as well as a functional purpose.

The brown-glass bottles serve both an aesthetic as well as a functional purpose.

3. Quotes on bottles and jars are chosen by founder Dennis Paphitis
Aesop’s signature brown-glass bottles are reminiscent of those found in 19th century pharmacies. The choice may seem like an aesthetic decision but, it’s actually functional – to protect the product inside from UV rays, keeping ingredients fresher for longer. The quotes that appear on all Aesop packaging, in-store, on brochures and marketing collaterals have been carefully chosen by founder Dennis Paphitis from his favorite philosophers and authors.

4. Comfort IS a priority
Club Street gets its name for its history as a center for Chinese clubs where wealthy businessmen would leisure. Designed by the brand’s in-house Architecture Department, the store at Club Street replicates this notion of the “domestic” in the space but do it with everyday and common materials like cement and rattan. The loose furniture and lounge elements not only enable the customer to feel comfortable but also hark back to the history of the street.

Can you spot the sink??

Can you spot the sink??

5. Sink Into The Experience
No two Aesop stores are alike but at the very heart of each is The Sink, where customers can experience the textures and scents of all its products comfortably and conveniently.

6. Just How Much Does Aesop Love Literature?
Enough to launch a website for it! Launched in May this year, The Fabulist is a person who invents or tells tales, much in keeping with the Greek fabulist who name its products bear. Each month, The Fabulist publishes five pieces, both fiction and non-fiction, by writers whose work it admires, as well as interviews and glimpses of private pleasures. The mainstay of each edition is a FABLE: a prickly parable, pseudoscience fairytale, or memoir of a formative moment. Check it out here.

One final glimpse at this beautiful store and it's on to check it out in person, ok?

One final glimpse at this beautiful store and it’s on to check it out in person, ok?

Aesop Club Street is located at 52 Club Street. Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 8pm. Closed on Sunday.

This post was neither paid for nor advised by Aesop. All opinions are the author’s own. Images courtesy of Aesop Singapore.

Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Lifestyle, Skincare

[Material World x Ioma] The Skin Analysis Test EVERY Woman Needs To Try – Denise Li

Recently, Denise Li did a skin analysis test that changed her life. Here’s why she recommends you do it too.

“I’m sorry to tell you this, DL,” Deborah interrupts herself mid-sentence as we were discussing work-related matters last week. “But I feel I have to tell you that your pores are getting bigger.”

I guess if there’s one thing you can never accuse the Material World team of, it’s mincing our words.

She was partially right: My pores ARE getting very visible. But it wasn’t the only skincare woe I had to worry about.

Lately it seems like my skin’s in revolt. Breakouts every month in addition to the shine and oil I have to battle on a daily basis. This is despite the fact that I’ve tried all sorts of products to keep sebum production under control, and been diligent about exfoliating and masking weekly.

As someone who gets to be legit obsessed about her skin condition – all in the name of work – I thought I was the best authority about what my skin needed.

Trying out the Ioma Sphere ... all smiles before the sobering news

Trying out the Ioma Sphere … all smiles before the sobering news

I Thought I Knew My Skin … I Was Dead Wrong

The Ioma Sphere

The Ioma Sphere

That was, at least, until I attended the Ioma media session last week. At the event, we were invited to do a skin analysis test via the Ioma Sphere. The Ioma Sphere is a high-tech device that helps takes five photographs of your skin to reveal imperfections invisible to the naked eye. At its heart is MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) technology – commonly used in planes and space probes – which are micro-sensors to help analyse the condition of your skin, down to its smallest details.

The Ioma Sphere provides details of 12 types of skin conditions: Hydration, desquamation (the level of dead skin cells present on your skin’s surface), fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, redness, UV damage, bacterial activity, clogged pores, bags and eyelids, dark circles, fine lines around your eyes.

Each of these conditions is measured on a scale of 1 – 15, with level 1 being the best, and the ideal condition you want your skin to be at.

What shocked me: With 15 being the Sahara Desert level of dryness (I’m exaggerating, but probably only slightly), I was at level 13. My skin was SEVERELY dehydrated and in dire need of intervention.

Suddenly, EVERYTHING makes sense. My dehydrated skin condition probably came about because I’ve been using one too many oil-control products. As a result, my skin overcompensates by producing even more oil … but because of its lack of water content, sebum dries and hardens, leading to clogged pores (also causing them to look even more enlarged and visible).

I also found out that bacterial levels on my skin were high (13 again) – which explains the monthly breakouts, and discovered that fine lines under my eyes (level 7) were something I needed to do something about, STAT.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though: Sagging, redness, UV damage were at level 1, so it was probably only my hydration levels and fine lines under eyes that I have to take care of, for now.

Lesson Learnt

Beauty advisers at counters usually advise you on products to buy based on your self-diagnosis, or what they observe, but often, what we know about our skin condition is guesstimation at best. Why leave things to chance when SCIENCE takes so much of the guesswork out?

This is why I recommend every woman to take the skincare analysis test using the Ioma Sphere. What you’ll find out may just surprise you.


You’re cordially invited to take the Ioma skin analysis test, as well as try the Ioma Cell Protector SPF50+ PA+++ suncreen for yourself. Enjoy canapes and mocktails with the Material World team this Friday evening at Isetan Scotts!

A little more about Ioma Cell Protector …


  • It offers the highest possible daily protection against UVA/UVB rays
  • It contains Desoxine, a powerful plant-based active ingredient that offers THREE skincare benefits: (1) Detoxifies skin by removing existing free radicals (2) Protects skin against further free radical damage (3) Strengthens skin by stimulating its natural antioxidative defences

Date: July 18, 2014, Friday

Time: 7 – 9pm

Venue: Ioma counter, Isetan Scotts

What you’ll enjoy: A $30 shopping voucher, a complimentary one-week Ioma Cell Protector SPF50+ PA+++ trial kit worth $13, exclusive discounts on Ioma products.

Admission is FREE.


See you at Isetan Scotts this Friday!

 *Thank you for your overwhelming interest in the Material World x Ioma event! We are fully subscribed for the event and are therefore unable to accommodate anymore RSVPs.