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
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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:

Before

Before

After

After

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.

8th-Anni-PosterA1

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.

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

26 Things To Put On Your August Watchlist

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

A is for Aliwal Arts Night Crawl

A

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

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

B is for Boots

B

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

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

C is for Catalunya

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

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

D is for DRx Medispa

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

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

E is for Easy Cooking

E

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

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

F is for Flaska 

F

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

WE HAVE ONE FLASKA BOTTLE TO GIVE AWAY! 

Win a Flaska bottle by following these steps below:

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

G is for Gucci Premiere EDT

G

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

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

H is for Hearty Bites

H

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

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

I is for Iridescence

I

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

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

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

J

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

Available at Sakae Sushi outlets islandwide.

K is for Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator

K

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

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

L is for Literature

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

For more information, click here.

M is Missystella.com

M

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

N is for National Day Photo Contest

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

O is for Outback Steakhouse

O

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

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

P is for Puma Night Run

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

Q is for Quayside Isle 

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

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

R is for Robinsons Home Fair 

R

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

S is for Shopping For A Cause

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

T is for The Body Shop

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

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

U is for The Ultimate Belvedere Pool Party

U

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

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

V is for Veuve Clicquot

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

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

W is for Wine

W

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

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

X is for Extra Savings

X

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

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

Y is for Youth Day

Y

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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in cinemas August 7.

Z is for Zits 

Z

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

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

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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.

8th-Anni-PosterA1

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 herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Spa Treats

Need To Glow? Qi Mantra Miracle Facial Will Help You! – Deborah Tan

Putting your best face forward takes just 90 minutes. Deborah Tan susses out Qi Mantra’s latest facial treatment – Miracle Facial.

Get a massage done ... oh, and while you're at it, sign up for the Miracle Facial too!

Get a massage done … oh, and while you’re at it, sign up for the Miracle Facial too!

You would normally associate Qi Mantra with massages. I certainly did. So when I received an email introducing a facial treatment at one of my all-time favorite massage joints, I was curious how it would work. Named Miracle Facial, this 90-minute treatment incorporates the latest in light therapy with a product called Miracle Cell to give your skin immediate firming, retexturizing and brightening results.

Instead of using IPL – intense pulsed light – to awaken your skin cells, VPL – variable pulsed light – is used. A more superior technology than IPL, VPL works by delivering a super fast pulse of light energy into the skin, setting in motion a process known as photo rejuvenation. Photo rejuvenation stimulates collagen production, helping skin become smoother, firmer and finer.

The VPL treatment is accompanied by the application of Miracle Cell, a product containing soy phyto placenta extract, which is bio-similar to human placenta. This is great if you are curious about the whole “placenta craze” but feel icky about using placentas of humans or animals anywhere near your skin.

The facial begins with cleansing your skin of any makeup and surface impurities using SCO Purifying Cleanser. The therapist then goes on to exfoliate your face with SCO Refining Face Scrub. Once your skin is cleared on all pore-clogging grime and dead skin cells, the VPL treatment begins. Like all light therapy, a layer of cold gel is applied to the skin. For a greater peace of mind, I would have preferred it if my therapist had given me tinted eye shades to place over my eyes. When the light was applied close to the nose, the blinding bright flash was, honestly, a bit scary. Maybe this is something Qi Mantra can take note of.

Once the VPL is over, the Miracle Cell therapy follows. The ampoules are applied using an acupressure point massage on the face, a lifting mask is then put over the face. While waiting for these products to work their magic, the therapist will give you a shoulder and a scalp massage – and coming from Qi Mantra, you can be assured that that will be awesome.

This is not a facial where you lie back, relax and get pampered from head to toe. The Miracle Facial is a functional 90-minute treatment that works great for those who are looking to “reawaken” their tired-looking skin just before an important event like a date or a wedding cocktail. What I liked most about it is that it has no down-time and you don’t have to shy away from public because of any post-facial redness. I returned to the office immediately after my treatment and my business partners commented on how I looked more refreshed and well-rested.

For women who go to facials more as a quick-fix than a maintenance, Miracle Facial is money well spent because you get that gratification of seeing immediate results.

facial

Qi Mantra’s Miracle Facial is priced at $350 for 90 minutes. Find your nearest Qi Mantra outlet here.

Material World was invited to try Miracle Facial. All opinions are the author’s own. This review was neither paid for nor advised by Qi Mantra. Read our advertising policy here.

WIN 2 MIRACLE FACIALS WORTH $700!

The cosy interior of Qi Mantra Wheelock Place will immediately put you in the mood for some pampering!

The cosy interior of Qi Mantra Wheelock Place will immediately put you in the mood for some pampering!

We are giving 2 readers a chance to experience Qi Mantra’s Miracle Facial for free! To win, simply follow these steps:

1. ANSWER this question: “Where can you find a Qi Mantra in Singapore?” in the Comments section below.

2. SHARE this review on your Facebook and tag Material World’s Facebook Page in your post. Remember to set your post on Public so we may verify that you have completed this step.

3. EMAIL your details (name, email addresss, NRIC, gender) to general@materialworld.com.sg by 18 July 2014, Friday.

SCORE A DOUBLE CHANCE OF WINNING BY ANSWERING OUR BONUS QUESTION USING THE MATERIAL WORLD APP (Android users click here)! Enter “Qi Mantra” as the Contest Name and give us the answer to “What is Miracle Cell made from?”

 

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[Material World x Beauty Empire] The Most “Shiok” Facial and Body Treatments in Singapore – Deborah Tan

She didn’t think it was possible but Deborah Tan may have actually found a facial and an anti-cellulite treatment she actually wants do on a regular basis. Read about her recent trip to Beauty Empire at The Scarlet Hotel below. 

Beauty Empire is located at The Scarlet Hotel, just round the corner from Ann Siang Hill.

Beauty Empire is located at The Scarlet Hotel, just round the corner from Ann Siang Hill.

I’ve been struggling to find the right word to describe how I felt after my treatments at Beauty Empire. After a week of pondering, I have decided that no other word is more apt than “shiok“. It’s been a week since my visit to Beauty Empire and every cell in my body is calling out for a repeat visit!

It Sucks, Literally!
The highlight of my facial and body treatments is this machine – the SPM Vacu-Press created by German cosmeceutical company Weyergans – designed to stimulate your lymphatic circulation with a suction mechanism quite like a mini-vacuum cleaner; think cupping but the cup moves along your face and body.

The chief problem the SPM (suction pump massage) addresses is a sluggish lymph drainage. The logic behind it goes like this: (1) A sluggish lymph circulation means your body’s ability to eliminate toxins and wastes is compromised; (2) this could lead to fluid retention and the formation of cellulite; and (3) have a negative effect on your body in terms of weight-loss, energy and overall well-being.

By activating your lymph flow, the SPM does the following things:

A. Boosts the body’s ability to flush out waste matter. This will in turn encourage a healthy skin turnover and the absorption of special treatments.

B. Eliminate fat deposits by increasing cell metabolism and breaking down fat deposits.

C. Tighten up skin for a smoother, firmer appearance at the face, buttocks, thighs and breasts.

D. Strengthening the connective tissue, thickening the dermis layer, thereby improving the appearance of stretch marks too.

Images taken from the SPM Vacu-Press brochure given to Material World

How the SPM Vacu-Press works to fight cellulite. (Images taken from the SPM Vacu-Press brochure given to Material World)

The Process: Body 
The anti-cellulite treatment that uses the SPM Vacu-Press is known as DCT (Differentiated Cellulite Treatment).

To enhance the efficacy of the SPM, my therapist, Ann, also used a couple of other machines on me. These are optional treatments and you will be advised upon consultation if you need them or not. She warned me that some customers may find the SPM painful.

The SPM is done ALONG the areas where your lymph nodes are located. In areas where “blockages” exist, the massage may seem more painful. Given the severe water retention my legs tend to get, I yelped in pain and surprise when the SPM moved to massage my inner thighs. Ann was suitably amused and said, “Don’t scream so loud … you will frighten away my customers!”

After massaging one leg, Ann told me to sit up to see if I could spot the difference between my thighs. (For decency reasons, I’m not able to show you a picture of my inner thighs.) Although there was redness on the “treated” thigh, it also appeared slimmer, more defined and, when I poked it, firmer. The muscle tone of my “treated” leg definitely looked better as well. When I touched my thigh 10 minutes later, the area was still burning hot (apparently, it’s a sign that fat is being burned).

The Process: Face
The facial, known as High Care Facial, uses products also created by Weyergans.

I was initially worried about applying the SPM to my face. I had this mental image of me screaming bloody murder as the suction pump pulls mercilessly as my face. Thank god the cups used for the face area are much smaller. My post-treatment interview with Ann revealed that if a client with a skin problem – say, acne – comes to Beauty Empire, Ann would recommend she goes on the SPM first before embarking on a skin-clearing regime. “You need to clear your skin of free radicals and toxins first. When your skin is so highly sensitized, nothing is going to work! Weyergans believe you need to treat the skin from inside.”

We too have lymph nodes located near our faces. By moving the suction pumps along the lymph nodes, we are encouraging the flushing out of toxins and, at the same time, tightening and lifting our skin. Ann assured me that even though this is a detoxifying treatment, you will not get an acne breakout post-facial.

Weyergans – Who’s He?
The treatments I tried at Beauty Empire are the brainchild of Rudolph Weyergans – known as The Pope of Cellulite. It was he who first came up with the idea that cellulite is a local disturbance of lymphatic circulation. His idea of a Differentiated Cellulite Treatment (DCT) was patented in the 80s and his book on cellulite has been translated into more than 12 languages. Beauty Empire is the only place in Singapore to offer Weyergans’ Differentiated Cellulite Treatment. Ann herself travels throughout the region to train other therapists on how to use Weyergans’ products and machines.

Verdict:
Although I felt a little bit of pain when the SPM was applied to areas like my inner thighs and inner arms, I found the treatment, overall, bearable and, to a certain extent, relaxing. There was an immediate improvement to the firmness of my skin after one session and I felt an evident lightness in my legs – which tend to feel very heavy and lethargic at the end of each day. To see a significant reduction in cellulite, a course of treatments is recommended and Ann says you’ll have to be prepared to do the DCT at least twice weekly for the first three weeks. The next couple of days after my DCT, however, my thighs really were toned and they looked less “doughy” – especially at the knee area.

The treatments above are done by Beauty Empire located at The Scarlet Hotel 33 Erskine Road, #01-06/07. Tel: (65) 6536 6002. Beauty Empire worked with Material World to review its DCT (Differentiated Cellulite Treatment) and its facial treatment. All opinions are the author’s own and this post was not vetted by Beauty Empire in any way.

CONTEST!

ONE lucky Material World reader will win the chance to try the DCT and the High Care Facial at Beauty Empire. Together, these two treatments are worth MORE than $500!

To win this awesome treat, simply follow the instructions below:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Beauty Empire” as the Contest Name. Then key in the missing word to this statement: “Rudolph Weyergans is known as The Pope of ______.”

2. Like Material World on Facebook.

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

This contest ends Wednesday, 16 April 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.

 

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This Limited Edition Bodycare Range is Berry Nice – Denise Li

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blueberry Body Scrub-Gelee, $30.90

blueberry-scrub-gelee

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

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

Blueberry Body Lotion, $19.90

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

Sponge, $9.90

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Honeymania Range

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The Challenge I Did Not Want To Do – Deborah Tan

Founder Deborah Tan is usually game for most things but when she was given a foundation-free challenge to do, she was not the happiest person in the room. Here’s her account on how she survived it. 

1. Sunscreen 2. CC cream 3. Liquid foundation 4. Powder 5. Shading powder 6. Blusher

How much makeup do you put on your face every day just to look like you? For me, I don’t leave the house until I’ve got on all 6 layers! Just imagine the amount of time I spend in front of the mirror every day! Could I imagine going out without foundation? Hell, no.

So when a challenge to go foundation-free for 2 weeks was issued to us by the folks at Porcelain, The Face Spa (PFS), I became the unwilling volunteer.  No one else on the Material World team wears as much base makeup as I do so it wouldn’t be much of a “challenge” for them to go foundation-free. Needless to say, I took it on with the enthusiasm of a primary six kid going for his PSLE.

Confident that their facials will change complexions for the better, the people at PFS want their customers to ditch their foundations and concealers and BB creams, and use just sunscreen and prickly heat powder as their base makeup. ARE THEY CRAZY?!?!? Then my therapist told me that no one is allowed to wear foundation while they are working for PFS … yes … that was when I decided that they must all be mad.

In order to “prepare” me for the challenge, I had to go for a series of facials at PFS over a three-week period.

Having sworn off extractions – in fact, most facials – some 10 years ago, I have to admit that I went for my PSF facials with a fair bit of trepidation. I was really not looking forward to the angry red bumps and the raw-looking skin that I get whenever I went for a facial with extraction.

The extraction that came with my second facial – the Quintessential – took close to an hour to complete. I know there are women who get a kick out of having their pores squeezed and cleaned out but I am not one of them. I couldn’t be happier when the process was over.

The next few days after the facial were a torture. I endured the recovering scabs and had to hold myself back from slathering concealer all over my face whenever I went out. My skin needed time to recover from the facial but patience was not a virtue of mine. I really didn’t think I could survive on just sunscreen and powder …

Week 1, Day 2: Looking defeated

Looking tired and definitely missing my makeup ...

Looking tired and definitely missing my makeup …

Hello! Does anyone notice just how tired and “old” I look without the makeup? Vanessa tells me my skin actually looks fine. The redness has subsided and the scabs aren’t so obvious. But I can’t help but feel a bit “under made up”.

Week 1, Day 4: Trying to put on a brave face

Trying to put my brave face forward ...

Trying to put my brave face forward …

Taken just before our bootcamp. The redness is not crazy but it’s there on the cheeks and on the chin … if you look carefully.

Week 2, Day 1: Chinese New Year  

photo

Luckily … red was a good colour for Chinese New Year

I don’t know what on earth possessed me to make the Chinese New Year week part of the two-week challenge. No makeup, just sunscreen, blusher, eyebrow powder and eyeliner. I am beginning to miss how my liquid foundation controls the reddish undertone of my skin. My face flushes up waaaaay too easily!

Week 2, Day 4: Challenge coming to an end

ffphoto 4

Taken in bright daylight …

Taken just before I head out to Lili’s place for CNY karaoke. Despite the flushing, my skin does appear to be finer and “cleaner”.

Cons of going foundation-free
I’m not going to say I found the entire experience enjoyable. I found myself extremely conscious about my bare skin. Whenever I was driving, I would look at my reflection in the rearview mirror and groan at how “unrefined” my skin looked. Without foundation, I found that my makeup needed retouching more often too. My blush didn’t look as vibrant as it would had been with foundation. There were days when my boyfriend would asked, “What happened? Your skin looks blotchy.”

Pros of going foundation-free
The one thing I appreciated most about going foundation-free was how I didn’t have to spend so much time removing my makeup at the end of the day. I found I was able to stumble out of bed much later because I didn’t have to worry about setting aside time to do my makeup.

I guess the point of this entire exercise is to show that the facials by Porcelain, The Face Spa can help you get skin you won’t mind showing sans foundation. Admittedly, I did not suffer from any confidence crisis, but I still felt my makeup could look more “polished” if I had used a BB cream or a foundation as a base.

photo 5

How I look with foundation, CC cream and the works!

The facials by Porcelain, The Face Spa are thorough so if you are looking for something that clears your skin of oil clogs and blackheads, you won’t be disappointed by the detailed job the therapists do.

The two-week foundation-free challenge was suggested by Porcelain, The Face Spa, and the facials were given free-of-charge to Material World. This writer did not receive any monetary remuneration. The post was not vetted by the spa. You may read our advertising policy here.

[If you like this story, you’ll love …]

1. [Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] Freezing Time With Cryotherapy

2. [Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] How I Achieved Beautiful Skin

 

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[Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] Freezing Time With Cryotherapy – Vanessa Tai

Facial treatments these days are getting increasingly advanced and I, for one am thrilled. Anything to achieve that flawless, glowing complexion, right? Ever since my first experience at Porcelain, The Face Spa, I’ve been in awe of the efficacy of their treatments. So I was chuffed when they invited me back to try their latest treatment, the Cryotherapy Facial.

About Cryotherapy Facial

Originating from Korea, this 60-minute treatment has a two-pronged approach. First, a customised blend of serums will be applied onto your skin using 0.5mm micro-needles. If your eyebrows just arched at the word “needles”, don’t be alarmed! There’s zero pain involved; it just feels like gentle pricks against your skin. Plus, it uses a cooling technology so there’s no redness or risk of inflammation. The purpose of using micro-needles is to enhance absorption of the serum into your skin. Plus, the upward stamping motion helps with the lifting effect.

The second step of the treatment involves using a cryo probe to chill your skin to -10 degrees Celsius, which helps restore firmness to overall skin tone. The therapist would glide the probe over your face in gentle, circular motions, which aids in improving microcirculation.

Check out my Before and After pics below:

(Before)

Before

After

After

Pretty amazing huh? Being only 26 years old, you would think skin firming wouldn’t be a top concern. But I guess pictures really don’t lie. Apart from the picture that I took for this post, there have been several “candid shots” of me where my chin is – horrors of horrors – visibly sagging southwards. I’ve tried a couple of facial treatments in the past that promised to lift my skin, but none of them had as dramatic an effect as the Cryotherapy Facial.

After the treatment, my previously-tired skin also looked and felt rejuvenated, as if it’s been given a new lease of life. Just take a look at the condition of my skin before and after treatment.

Before (Tired, dull complexion)

Before (Tired, dull complexion)

After (Bright, refreshed complexion)

After (Bright, refreshed complexion)

There was absolutely no Photoshop or airbrushing involved in the images you see above – what you see is what you’ll get.

Customised Treatments at Porcelain, TheFace Spa

Flawless Pore+Spot Intensive Serum

Flawless Pore+Spot Intensive Serum

What I like about the treatments at Porcelain is how they take care to customise products and treatments to treat each individual. My skin is relatively unproblematic – it’s just a little on the dull side, with pigmentation spots – so the product used for my treatment was the Flawless Pore+Spot Serum. This highly concentrated serum comes with Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, and Sodium Hyaluronate to brighten skin and lighten dark spots.

For customers who have acne or sensitive skin, the Cryotherapy Facial may not be a recommended treatment as the stamping action of the micro-needles may trigger a reaction. Not to worry, Porcelain has a comprehensive suite of services that will suit any skin condition. The products and equipment you see at Porcelain have all been sourced from various countries by their founder Pauline. Come 2014, she will be bringing in even more products, and equipment, which means a greater level of customisation for you, the consumer.

Porcelain, The Face Spa is located at 15 Cantonment Road, Tel: 6227 9692.

Material World worked with Porcelain, The Face Spa to review its facial treatment. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.

WIN A CRYOTHERAPY FACIAL, WORTH $250!

material world_porcelain face spa 

We have three Cryotherapy Facial treatments, each worth $250, to be won! To enter your name for the draw, follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section, name two benefits of the Cryotherapy Facial.

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

3. Private message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with the term “Porcelain, The Face Spa – Cryotherapy Facial”. Include your name, gender, NRIC number, mailing address, and age.

This contest is open only to Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Wednesday, December 25 2013.

 

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The Beauty Junkie’s Christmas Wishlist – Deborah Tan

Call me a sucker for packaging but I really love it when brands make an effort to decorate their Christmas sets with delightful art. Looking into the shops and seeing all these colours and festive motifs really drives up the desire to blow some serious cash on shopping. Gift sets are also convenient options for those who are a bit clumsy with wrapping paper and ribbons (yep, that’s me you’re looking at). Having received loads of Christmas press releases over the last two months, I am going to do a Show & Tell here on the most attractive beauty gift sets to buy!

1. Kiehl’s

Kiehl's x Haze Every year, Kiehl’s would collaborate with a celebrated artist to design its holiday packaging and limited edition products. This year, the brand enlists the help of Eric Haze, whose works have been seen on the album covers of The Beastie Boys and L.L Cool J. The Kiehl’s X Haze designs can be seen on the Ultra Facial Cream and the Calendula Toner, and the gift boxes you can fill with other Kiehl’s products.

2. Biotherm

Screen shot 2013-11-29 at PM 09.55.02
Another collaboration with an artist. This time, Biotherm with Stockholm-based illustrator Kari Moden. Three of the brand’s best loved classics receive the festive holiday look along with pouches and gift boxes. Part of the proceeds from this limited edition collection will go towards Mission Blue to fund research on ocean acidification.

3. The Body Shop

The Gingerbread School HouseI cannot say enough how important it is to buy a present that also gives back to the community. The Body Shop makes it so simple to do something good while buying something beautiful. Part of the proceeds from the sale of its Christmas sets will go towards The Gingerbread School House Project. Personal favourite: The Ginger Sparkle range is so addictive.

4. Origins

origins
As its way of encouraging customers to recycle their gift boxes, Origins is making the extra effort this year to design packaging so pretty, you can transform them into cards or Christmas tree decorations. The Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Relief is an especially meaningful buy since Dr. Weil donates all his after-tax profits to integrative medicine research.

5. Bliss

bliss
Stocking stuffers are usually a bit meh. But with a little bit of shopping, you can find great small gifts that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Bliss has three of these that anyone would love to receive: Mistletoe Must-Haves, Winter Wonder-Hands, Merry Kiss-Mas, and each is under $20.

So there you have it – my Top 5 beautiful Christmas beauty gift sets that will surely bring a joy to the heart of whoever receives them. My friends, you know what you’ll be getting this Christmas!!! :))

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She is trying to convince her fiance to buy her this face-slimming gadget she saw at Sephora’s 5th anniversary party for Christmas. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

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[Material World x The Body Shop] The Flavours Of Christmas! – Deborah Tan

The festive season is always an exciting period for fans of The Body Shop. It’s when the brand reveals its holiday selection of body products bearing special-edition gourmand scents. This year, The Body Shop’s Christmas selection has 3 ranges – Cranberry Joy, Ginger Sparkle, and Vanilla Bliss – all aimed at evoking the heart-warming joy and sumptuous treats we have come to associate the holiday season with.

1. Cranberry
Used in recipes such as cranberry sauce to accompany roast turkey or as mincemeat for pies, the tart flavour of cranberry cuts through the richness of butter and gravy, so you can … eat some more! In Cranberry Joy, this mouth-watering fruity fragrance is an instant pick-me-up, best for when you are feeling all hung over from a night of partying.

My personal favourite: Cranberry Joy Body Polish

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Polish, $20.90

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Polish, $20.90

A scrub in the shower first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to get the blood circulation going. The crushed walnut shell provides the gentle exfoliation and massage action to slough away all surface dead skin cells. You’ll feel absolutely renewed after a minute or two of massaging this on your skin! The berry scent is uplifting and you’ll feel instantly happier – it’s like breakfast for your skin! You’ll be glowing with radiance after this!

2. Ginger
Nothing makes you feel toastier than a gingerbread and, the cheeriest way to eat it would be in the form of a gingerbread man! Ginger is also a traditional home remedy for colds and cramps, added to tea to relieve cold feet and hands. In Ginger Sparkle, The Body Shop has infused this spicy fragrance into its range of body products to add a zing into your bodycare regime. The scent is somewhat reminiscent of gingerbeer – warm, addictive, and definitely fun!

My personal favourite: Ginger Sparkle Body Butter

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, $32.90

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, $32.90

I’ve been suffering from the flu for a week now and I am so glad for the Ginger Sparkle Body Butter. The scent is so comforting – it seems to be the only thing I can actually smell. The body butter is made from Community Fair Trade cocoa butter. The gingerbread man on the lid of the tub is such a cheerful addition, it never fails to bring a smile to my face every time I look at it!

3. Vanilla
Although a common flavouring in cookies, cakes, and custards, vanilla is actually the second-most expensive spice after saffron. Its creamy floral bouquet imparts an indulgent flavour to desserts, making them a treat to the tastebuds. In body products, the vanilla scent has a relaxing and calming effect on the mind, great as a pre-bedtime treat.

My personal favourite: Vanilla Bliss Heart Soap and Hand Cream

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Cream and Heart Soap, $12.90 and $6.90 respectively

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Cream and Heart Soap, $12.90 and $6.90 respectively

I’ve always detested the harsh “chemical” smell of hand cleansers but this soap creates a creamy lather and leaves behind a delicate scent. Just the right size for hands too, this is a pretty soap to leave at the sink whenever you have guests over. If you are looking to give your hands more TLC, The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Cream is a great follow-up. It comes in a handy (pardon the pun) 30ml tube that would fit into your handbag.

Besides the body polish, body butter, heart soap and hand cream, each of The Body Shop holiday edition also comes with shower gel, shimmer lotion, lip balm, reed diffuser and home fragrance oil. Gift sets, attractively wrapped, are available too for your shopping convenience. See below for some ideas!

Remember, every gift set purchased from The Body Shop this festive season will help towards The Gingerbread School House project. To learn more about this project, click here.

The Body Shop Festive Body Butter Trio, $29.90

The Body Shop Festive Body Butter Trio, $29.90. For those who want ALL 3 holiday editions in one useful set!

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

The Body Shop GInger Sparkle Shower, Scrub And Moisture Collection, $39.90. Possibly the cutest thing you can get a friend for Christmas!

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Care Duo, $29.90. The easy-to-use pump bottles are a dream come true!

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Care Duo, $29.90. The easy-to-use pump bottles are a dream come true!


Purchase any of The Body Shop gift sets to contribute towards its Gingerbread School House Project. Check out The Body Shop’s website for a full listing of their stores in Singapore. 

This post is brought to you by The Body Shop. The Body Shop worked with Material World to introduce its 3 holiday editions – Cranberry Joy, Ginger Sparkle, and Vanilla Bliss. All opinions are the author’s own. This post was not vetted by The Body Shop.  Read our advertising policy here.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances, Skincare, Spa Treats

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Honeymania Range – Deborah Tan

Say the word “Honey” and I’m there like a teddy bear. Not because I’m a sucker for terms of affection but because I love this sweet gooey treat and especially crave it when I’m sick. I love mixing honey and ginger together as a drink, I love pouring honey over freshly baked scones, and I love it drizzled over fried foods too. Unlike sugar, which is just sweet, honey has … nuances of sweetness that give it personality.

When The Body Shop revealed that they would be launching a new range with Honey as its hero, I was like, “You guys gotta let me have it!” Thankfully, they did.

When the entire range arrived for me, I took them out of the bag and placed them on my table as a reminder to start using them ASAP. The scent was distracting and I was so afraid ants would start crawling onto my work desk because they really smell like the real thing!

The Honey used in The Body Shop Honeymania range is really as good as Mother Nature would give it:

1. It is hand-harvested from only the ripest honeycombs

2. This Community Fair Trade honey comes from the Sheka rainforest in Ethiopia and is protected by UNESCO. By supporting those involved in this trade, The Body Shop is helping to protect precious rainforest land from being taken away for economic purposes like farming

3. The bees are allowed to roam freely and hive wherever they want. Unlike bee farms, the community has learnt to work harmoniously with the bees using traditional methods to keep them calm, thus reducing the need for chemicals

Having sampled the goods for close to three weeks, here are my 3 favourites:

#3: Body Scrub, $30.90
BBB Honeymania Scrub Open HR_INHNYPS012
It’s creamy and, when you’re inside a hot, steamy shower, it’s seriously the most indulgent thing to use on your skin. I love that it’s thick and doesn’t foam up into a soapy confection. If you are unaccustomed to having your skin feeling soft and oiled up after a scrub, this may not be for you. But once you get used to how pampered your skin feels after using it, you may just never go back to soapy scrubs ever again.

#2: Eau de Toilette, $22.90
BBB Honeymania EDT HR_INHNYPS010
I really wanted to choose the shower gel but this EDT won out because it allows me to have this honey-licious scent about me hours after my bathtime! When I’m feeling particularly lethargic or moody, a quick sniff of my wrist and I’m back being sunny and happy again.

#1: Body Butter, $30.40
New BBB Honeymania Cream face on HR_INHNYPS021
As if The Body Shop could ever go wrong with its Body Butters! And in this instance, to be encased in creamy moisturiser scented with honey … aaaaahhhhh … it’s really every bodycare addict’s dream. I love how natural the body butter smells and how it sinks into the skin so easily. There is none of the sticky film you’d associate with a rich moisturiser. I’m so tempted to bring this along to my next massage appointment so that my therapist can use it on me. But … this brings me to my final point …

I would love for a honey-scented body oil to complete this regime!!! The Body Shop, if you’re listening to this … please consider this request of mine and launch a Honeymania body oil ASAP.

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

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and takes her honey by the tablespoon like cod liver oil when she’s too lazy to mix it into water. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WE ARE GIVING AWAY 3 SETS OF THE BODY SHOP HONEYMANIA RANGE TO YOU!

Honeymania Group shot HR_INHNYRS010Each set of Honeymania costs $104.50 and consists of the following products:

1. Lip Balm, $10.90
2. Eau de Toilette, $22.90
3. Bubble Bath Melt, $26.90
4. Shower Gel, $12.90
5. Body Butter, $30.90

To win, simply follow these steps:

1. In the Comments section below, tell us, “Why do you love honey?”

2. Then click on the Facebook button below to SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to tag “Material World” in your post and set it on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. Finally Private Message us your details (Name, Age, Gender, NRIC No, Mobile No. and Mailing Address) on our Facebook Page. Please state “The Body Shop Honeymania” in your message.

This contest ends Friday, 28 September 2013, and is open only to Material World’s Facebook followers so please Like our page here first. Good luck!

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