Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Infographics, Skincare

[Infographic] Wanna Look Like Helen Mirren When You Are 50? – Deborah Tan

When people talk about aging gracefully, what exactly do they mean? Is it about leading a healthy, independent life? Is it about looking good for your age? Material World polled 138 women to find out what their attitudes towards aging are like. Together with Clarins, we present the infographic below.

A month ago, we asked women aged 30 – 45 to answer a survey on Aging Gracefully. What we didn’t reveal in this survey was that this project was a collaboration between Clarins and Material World. In this survey, we asked respondents questions like, “Age is just a number – agree or disagree?” (most of them agreed), “Would you get Botox to preserve your youthful looks?” (most said no), and “Have you ever lied about your age?” (a majority said no). Attitudes towards aging are generally healthy amongst our respondents.

We also asked: Who is your role model when it comes to aging gracefully? An overwhelming majority selected Helen Mirren. Many of our respondents recognized that when it comes to aging, staying healthy and independent is extremely important. They also reject the idea of surgically preserving their looks opting instead for the non-invasive solution of using skincare.

ClarinsFinalReview of Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Cream

Photos taken in daylight and have not be touched up or digitally altered.

Photos taken in daylight and have not be touched up or digitally altered.

I tried this eye cream for a month. Initially, I had my doubts whether its efficacy would show up on me. This is not a “humble-brag” but I really don’t have any crow’s feet, eye bags or dark circles on my eye area. So when the ladies from Clarins asked if the eye cream was working on me, I told them I couldn’t really see any difference. But for the sake of “research”, I persevered and continued to use it. The Before pictures were taken slightly more than a month ago, while the After, this morning. While I’m unable to tell you how effective this cream will be on crow’s feet, I can see that it has lifted the skin at my upper eyelids – my double-eyelid lines are much more obvious.

Texture-wise, the cream is not heavy and is absorbed very quickly by the skin.

I would say, if you are looking for an eye cream to address concerns such as crow’s feet, eye bags, saggy eyelids and dark circles, give Extra-Firming Eye Cream a try. To claim a sample, you can click here.


Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Cream is now retailing at all Clarins counters islandwide. Material World worked with Clarins to create the infographic. This post, however, was neither paid for nor advised by Clarins. The product was given to Material World to review, 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 counts herself very lucky that she’s never had many problems with her eye area and that she is genetically blessed to not have to suffer from dark eye circles. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Food & Supplements, Health & Fitness, Infographics

[Infographic] Understanding Health Supplement Taking Habits in Singapore – Deborah Tan

A month ago, Material World – with the support of Centrum – invited readers and their friends to participate in a survey about health-supplement consumption. Deborah Tan translates the responses in this inforgraphic below.

The reasons for taking a health supplement are many. Mainly, people take them for overall health benefits and to fill in the nutritional gaps in their diets. However, what we need to realize is that taking a vitamin pill does not immunize you against chronic diseases or, for that matter, cure any. Many of us make the mistake of believing that just because we are taking a health supplement, we can continue to indulge in unhealthy lifestyle habits such as binge drinking, not exercising enough, and consuming junk food. A health supplement is not a Free Pass. If you are looking to age well, to keep your health in tip top condition, then you need to make sure you …

1. Eat your daily required servings of fruit and vegetables
2. Exercise every day. Stay active!
3. Get adequate sleep
4. Learn to manage your stress levels
5. Quit smoking

Health supplements should play a complementary rather main role in your diet. Also, different groups of people require different types of vitamins and minerals. For instance, if you are a man, you don’t need as much iron as women, who menstruate monthly. If you are a woman of child-bearing age or are expecting, your doctor may recommend pre-natal vitamins with extra folic acid and vitamin A. For those who are over the age of 60, look for multivitamins that don’t contain iron but has more of the vitamin B12. Remember always to talk to your doctor about the health supplements you should be taking and, do your research. With this, enjoy the infographic below:

Based on 100 volunteer respondents.

Based on 100 volunteer respondents.

This infographic and its accompanying survey were done together with Centrum. Respondents were not told of Centrum’s involvement when asked to complete the survey. 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, and Suits. She sometimes wishes for a pill that contains caffeine. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Character & Soul, Infographics, Self-Improvement

[Infographic] 10 Ways To Be F**king Awesome – Tan Lili

Appalled by Dove’s latest survey results, founder Lili reckons it’s high time we do something about our alarmingly low level of self-esteem.

“Okay, tell me honestly,” Debs started, “Do you think you are beautiful?”

Without missing a beat, Vanessa and I replied, “No.”

That was two days ago when Debs was working on her infographic based on Dove’s survey results. Even though we’d both said no, we were shocked to find out 98 percent of Singaporean women feel the same about themselves.

I would like to believe in my own ideals that beauty goes beyond physical attractiveness, and that when we feel beautiful, we will be. It’s easier said than done, no doubt. I’ve been grappling with self-esteem issues ever since I had my growth spurt at 13 but, even though some problems seem harder to chase away, I’m glad to report that I’ve gotten past most of my body hang-ups. My trick? Don’t focus on the bad; strive to be a stronger version of yourself instead.

To me, beauty – aka being f**king awesome – is all of these 10 things combined. It’s a constant work in progress, but one that will help you grow your confidence along the way.


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

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Body News, Health & Fitness, Infographics

[Infographic] Overcome Your Body Confidence Crisis, Please! – Deborah Tan

Beauty brand Dove revealed that only 2 percent of Singaporean women feel they are “beautiful”. Deborah Tan talks about this confidence crisis facing women and how to overcome it.

The Beauty debate is a whirlpool many woman writers try their best to avoid. It’s definitely easy to go all the way and proclaim that women should love themselves, and the way they look, wholeheartedly and unconditionally. But, is it really this straightforward?

As a former beauty writer and a magazine editor, I have found myself struggling to talk about beauty because there is no clear-cut line distinguishing what is right and what is wrong.

Yes, I agree we should not air-brush every image inside a magazine to death. Yes, I think the use of models and celebrities in advertising is manipulative. No, I don’t think using beauty products and wearing makeup makes me a traitor to the body-love movement. No, I think it’s perfectly okay to want to use skincare to get good skin, to want to exercise to have a great body, and to blow my hair cos I love it big and bouncy.

The point I’ve always tried to make is, beauty is something we should enjoy, and we need to take a chill-pill when it comes to the way we look. Most importantly, I think we should NEVER let ANYONE tell us if we should be fat/thin/pale/tanned/Asian/Pan-Asian/whatever. A long time ago, I wrote a commentary about an article applauding a magazine for using a plump celebrity on its cover. I felt uncomfortable because the original writer was – in a way – promoting another body stereotype. She failed to see that her stance on what magazines should put on their covers was also encouraging an “ideal” look.

Most people think there are only two sides to the body-love debate: if you reject what is natural, you are subscribing to evil. But there are so many facets to this topic! Just because you don’t want to be fat, it doesn’t immediately mean you want to be stick-thin. Just because you want to do something about your cellulite, it doesn’t automatically make you a member of the Loathe My Body Club.

Our relationship with our face and body is a complicated one. Each of us have days when we feel awesome, days when we feel “blob-by”, days when we feel we can get away with not exercising, days when we feel we can’t. Most of us have hang-ups about our appearances, the key is: do you pinch the dimply skin on your thigh, tell yourself you may go to the gym later, and get on with life? Or, do you decide because of your cellulite, you should imprison yourself at home?

Watch the Dove: Patches video here!

Watch the Dove: Patches video here!

The statistics of a Dove survey – as you’ll see in the infographic below – is shocking. Only 2% of women in Singapore feel they are “beautiful”. Is it because we think “beautiful” is a word that should only be used to describe Hollywood celebrities? A superlative word reserved only for women with, what we perceived are, breath-taking appearances.

How can we all start to feel more beautiful? As Dove’s latest body-love video “Patches” shows, it is – first and foremost – a state of mind. Do we choose to embrace what we have been given, make them work for us OR, are we going to let ourselves be held down by our so-called inadequacies?

I would like to recommend 5 ways we can all start to overcome our personal crisis in body-confidence:

1. Exercise
It floods your body with feel-good hormones so that when you look at your pictures, you are less critical of your “flaws”. As you become healthier, stronger and fitter, you will also see your body in a whole new way – suddenly, your “thunder thighs” that can run a marathon are weapons, not flaws.

2. Stop buying into cheesy “fitspo” talk
I don’t think they are inspiring at all. In fact, I feel “fitspo” talk is a form of guilt-tripping. Not every woman needs to lose 5kg. Not everyone feels good pushing themselves hard. Just like how we refuse to let anyone tell us how we should look, we have to put our foot down and stop letting people tell us how much we should sweat, what we should eat …

3. Pull out of the Body-Hate Club now!
Stop contributing to the Body-Hate conversation! Recently, I was trying on a dress at Zara and a group of ladies walked into the fitting area to try on clothes. One person lamented about her belly, another followed with comments about her own thighs, a third chimed in and started on her skin … it was just one massive body self-pity club!

4. There is no magic number
Your chest doesn’t have to measure 36 inches, your waist doesn’t have to be 24 inches, and your weight doesn’t have to be 45kg. And it’s perfectly OKAY to not fit into a Size 8 dress.

5. Believe in the good
I don’t get why we are so eager to believe in the bad things people say about us but choose to ignore the good things others tell us. It’s like we have this pathological desire to want to hear that we are fat, we are overweight and we are ugly. I think we need to start ignoring the negative and ENJOY it when people say, “You don’t need to lose weight”, “You look great”, “I don’t see anything wrong with your nose”.

REMEMBER: If you don’t start seeing the Beauty in yourself, it will be challenging for others to see it in you.

Enjoy our infographic here:

Statistics provided by Dove. Copyright of Material World LLP.

Statistics provided by Dove. Copyright of Material World LLP.

Let’s make a commitment to our bodies right here, right now! In the Comments section below, complete this sentence: “I will stop worrying about the way my _______ looks.” I look forward to reading your answers. 🙂


Infographic produced by Material World using figures provided by Dove’s PR agency Ate Integrated Communications. This post is in neither paid for nor advised by Dove or Ate. 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, and Suits. She says, “I will stop worrying about the way my jawline looks.” Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Beauty & Shopping, Infographics, Skincare

[Press Trip] The Eye Serum That Corrects Severe Signs of Aging – Deborah Tan

Your eyes can betray your real age in that they can make you appear older than you really are. Elizabeth Arden launches the Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Eye Repair Serum this month to help address severe signs of aging on the eye area such as crow’s feet and deep wrinkles. Here’s what we have to say about it.

What is the first thing you look at when you’re checking out your reflection to see if you have “aged”? Chances are, it’s your eyes. According to a Wakefield Research for Elizabeth Arden, 40% of women said they’d notice signs of aging around their eyes more than on their necks, hands, or around the mouth.

In September last year, Elizabeth Arden invited Material World to Phuket, Thailand, for the launch of an eye serum that can help correct and reverse severe signs of skin aging, especially the look of deep lines and crepiness in just one use. [Based on a US home consumer test on 104 women aged 25-65 and a US clinical test on 16 women after 15 minutes]

The choice of Phuket may seem rather odd until we realise that exposure to smoke, pollution and other irritants can accelerate skin aging twice as fast. Environmental threats in a highly urbanised city produce free radicals that can cause chronic inflammation at skin’s cellular level, leading to a breakdown of collagen and elastin. Being bona fide city dwellers, we also subject our eyes to the physical stresses of staring into the computer screen for long hours, sitting inside a dry, air-conditioned office, and having to apply makeup before heading out to “face the world”. So a chance to kick back and relax at The Vijitt Resort would certainly do our skin and health a world of good. But, before we tell you about this awesome eye serum, check out our infographic below on WHY your eyes look older than they should be:


So, your eyes are suffering from the “after-effects” of the reasons listed in the infographic? Then Elizabeth Arden has something for you. Launched this month, Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum combines the brand’s exclusive Idebenone technology with a blend of AFC (if you really want to know, that stands for ‘n-acetyl-s-farnsylcystein’) and Thiotaine.

Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum by Elizabeth Arden

Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum by Elizabeth Arden

Together, all three help neutralise 95% of environmental free radicals and minimise the visible effects of cellular inflammation, the primary cause of signs of aging.

The texture is feather-light and is absorbed quickly by the skin. If you find the skin around your eyes drier than usual, you can even follow this serum with an eye cream. To be honest, I don’t have any deep wrinkles and lines that need correcting but when I used the serum on my eyes for a month in December last year, at an eye concealer launch of another brand, the makeup artist commented how my eyes have “no dark circles”.

It was quite “good for the ego” to hear that because editors are known to have pretty tired eyes, no thanks to amount of time spent reading and staring at the computer. One editor even jokingly asked aloud, “Does this mean you haven’t been working very hard???”

I also found that applied just before going to bed helped with the puffiness I tend to get the next morning. Overall, after a month’s use, I found that my eyes looked less tired and the eye area, brighter.

Would I recommend it? At $215 for 15ml, I’d say go for it if you have tried many products and found them ineffective against your lines. Or, if you have a big event coming up-like a wedding-and would like to brighten and tighten your eye area, then this could be the intensive eyecare product for you. After all, most brides don’t get enough rest and they certainly don’t want to be walking down the aisle with a thick layer of concealer under the eyes.

This article is not paid for or advised by Elizabeth Arden. Material World was invited to the press trip for the launch of the product and was given a sample to review. You may read our advertising policy here.

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Career, Entrepreneurship, Infographics, Self-Improvement, Skills & Workshops

[Infographic] Your Facebook Luck According To Your Star Sign – Deborah Tan

With 3.22 million people in Singapore using Facebook as their main social networking platform, it’s no surprise marketers and brand managers here continue to count on it as their primary social marketing tool. Do you manage your company’s or business’ Facebook Page? Is growing your Facebook fan numbers something you think about non-stop every day? Well, take a break and – just for the fun of it – check out our infographic below. According to your horoscope’s luck for 2014, here’s how – we think – you should be using Facebook this year to push your products and services. Enjoy!

Created by Deborah Tan/Material World

Created by Deborah Tan/Material World

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 on Facebook like … 18 hours a day! Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

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Infographics, Opinions, Vanessa Tai

5 Social Media Resolutions For 2014 – Vanessa Tai

Social media usage in Singapore is intense. Just take a look at the infographic below:


So, even as we make resolutions to lose weight, spend more time with our family, quit that gross habit … we should also consider making some changes to our online life. Because most of us are plugged in almost around-the-clock, it’s worthwhile examining how we can be better participants on social media. Here are some suggestions (please feel free to add your own in the Comments section below):

1. Be vigilant about your privacy settings

Yes, it can be tricky keeping on top of your many social media accounts. However, as we post more and more content online, it’s important that we regularly check our privacy settings. Not being on the ball with your privacy settings could lead to relatively innocuous situations like everyone on your Facebook knowing you have a penchant for listening to ’90s boyband hits on Spotify, to full-blown social media disasters (as exemplified by PR executive Justine Sacco). Which brings me to my next point …

2. Be more positive

While we may be tempted to fire off a string of passive-aggressive tweets about our co-workers, or rant on Facebook about the driver who cut our lane this morning, we should think about who’s going to see our posts. Everyone has their own battles to fight, and the world is angsty enough as it is. Do we really want to clog other people’s news feeds with our #firstworldproblems?

material world_social media

3. Be less hung up about numbers

Speaking of #firstworldproblems, is it really worth getting anxious over why that totally adorable picture of your pet/baby/boyfriend on Instagram isn’t getting as many Likes as it should? I know I’m not alone when it comes to incessantly refreshing my feed to see if anyone has Liked my post yet. If you do this too, please stop. One Like does not a validation make.

4. Be less of an armchair activist

Just as people Liking our posts does not equate with us being Ms. Popular, Liking a Facebook page for a social cause does not equate with social change. If we truly feel strongly about a cause, we should get off our computer chair and onto the ground to see how we can help. [Relevant: How you can keep the spirit of giving alive]

5. Be mindful that you’re talking to people, not robots

In an era where online debates are de rigueur, always remember that the person you’re arguing with is also a human being. Just like in real life, we should always aim to fight clean – that means no name-calling or personal attacks of any kind. And as much as possible, let’s avoid getting drawn into arguments with: (in this order) Internet trolls, people who are needlessly rude, and people who refuse to see another side of the argument.

What other social media resolutions should we adhere to? Tell me in the Comments section below!

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

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Entertainment, Infographics, Lifestyle

Who Are You In The Hunger Games Universe? – Deborah Tan

“What?!? You??? An INTROVERT?” is the common response I get whenever I reveal my Myers-Briggs type. According to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), I’m an INTJ. INTJ means Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judgment. It’s not that unbelievable, trust me. Although I may seem extremely comfortable in social situations, it does take me a long time warm up to people. And, if I spot a few close friends at a party, chances are I usually just stick to them rather than go up and introduce myself to new people.


The Sorting Hat of Real Life. Only you have to answer some questions yourself.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is designed to measure how people perceive the world and make decisions. The MBTI is often used in team building, career counselling, leadership training, and even marriage counselling. I was first given the MBTI to take when I was in JC and my teachers realised I needed to see a counsellor to help me deal with peer-related issues with my classmates. When I got my result, even I was pretty surprised that I had a tendency toward Introversion than Extroversion. But anyway … enough about me.

To find out what your Myers-Briggs type is, there are several free tests you can take. But to get an accurate reading, experts do advise most people go to a qualified practitioner to get it done. Still, an approximation can be obtained at sites like this one or this one. The MBTI would reveal where your personality falls within these 4 dichotomies:

I – Introversion vs E – Extroversion
N – INtution vs S – Sensing
T – Thinking vs F – Feeling
J – Judgement vs P – Perception

Altogether there are 16 possible results.

The Material World founders are extremely entertained by the MBTI. Mostly because we have discovered that we are all Introverts, in varying degrees. Denise is an INFP, Lili is an ISFP, and Vanessa is an ISFJ. The MBTI isn’t a new thing but recently, a lot of people have been creating memes using characters in popular young adult fiction series, for example, Harry Potter. Since The Hunger Games is the rage this weekend with the release of Catching Fire, we at Material World decided to waste no time and have created one based on Suzanne Collins’ phenomenal trilogy of a strong-willed heroine named Katniss Everdeen. So who are you in the universe of The Hunger Games? Read below to find out:

[Warning: Spoilers ahead]

Copyright of Material World

Copyright of Material World

Explaining our MBTI chart for The Hunger Games universe:

The Champion – ENFP
A possible ENFP, Johanna is vivacious, enthusiastic, and not afraid to speak up. She is easily frustrated and disappointed when things don’t go her way. She is clearly someone who champions causes rather than individuals, and when the cause is actually the individual Katniss Everdeen, she steps up and does her job.

The Counselor – INFJ
As a likely INFJ, Rue is intensely interested in the well-being of others, specifically Katniss’. Although she is guarded at first after forming an alliance with Katniss, she gradually opens up to the older girl and establishes a close relationship with her. Her creative solution to using mockingjays to communicate with Katniss is another sign of her INFJ-ness.

The Healer – INFP
Loyal to people, INFPs are dominated by intense feelings and deeply held ethics. Mags’ willingness to sacrifice herself so Finnick, Katniss and Peeta have a chance at escaping the poison fog makes her a likely INFP. INFPs typically withhold judgement, preferring to keep their options open.

The Teacher – ENFJ 
Charming, considerate, ENFJs are responsive towards the needs of others. Cinna – Katniss’ stylist – is possibly an ENFJ because he is drawn to symbolic actions (cue the bridal-gown stunt) and spontaneity. ENFJs, it should be noted, do not take action unless they have thought through the logic and details.

The Composer – ISFP
ISFPs are easy-going, peaceful people who prefer to “live and let live”. Strange to use Seneca Crane (gamemaker in the first movie)? Actually, no. Seneca’s seeming willingness to let Katniss and Peeta manipulate the outcome of the Games is a sign of his highly developed sense of empathy and his being conscious of what would appeal to the audience and keep them hooked to the games.

The Crafter – ISTP 
ISTPs are naturally quiet people although they are often capable of making humorously insightful observations Peeta is likely an ISTP because he is highly adaptable and open to new information and approaches. ISTPs are often a source of frustration to their friends as they often act without regards for their own safety.

The Performer – ESFP
Focused on completing a task with maximum fun and minimum discord, ESFPs are also keen observers of the human behavior (remember Finnick’s preference for secrets over money?). ESFPs dislike structure and routine, and are “fun” to be around, desiring to “go with the flow”.

The Promoter – ESTP
ESPTs are able to improvise to bring about desired results. Ceasar Flickerman is a clear ESTP for the Capitol values his ability to bring out the best in the Tributes during his talkshow. Adept at influencing people, dramatic and debonair, their goal in life is to sell themselves and their ideas to others.

The Inspector – ISTJ
Typically reserved and serious individuals, ISTJs are extremely dependable. They are capable of shutting out distractions in order to take a logical, practical approach to their endeavors. Gale is likely an ISTJ as he will later show his single-minded determination to bring the Capitol down, to the extent of sacrificing his relationship with Katniss.

The Protector – ISFJ
ISFJs are most concerned with taking care of people by keeping them safe and secure. Although they are compassionate people, their reluctance to open up to strangers can lead others to see them as standoffish (yep, Katniss is definitely an ISFJ in this respect). ISFJs are serious people with strong work ethics and are not inclined to self-indulgence.

The Provider – ESFJ
ESFJs project warmth through their genuine interest in the wellbeing of others. They are serious about their responsibilities and are generally proficient at detailed tasks, that make life easier for others. Generous and kind, ESFJs are sensitive to the physical needs of others by offering pratical care. As you’ll see, Primrose grows up to become a capable doctor, helping with the medical needs of the District 13 rebels.

The Supervisor – ESTJ
Effie – the escort of District 12’s Tributes – shines as an ESTJ. As outgoing people, ESTJs do not hesitate to communicate their opinions and expectations to others (note her constant need to dole out instructions to Katniss and Peeta). ESTJs dedicate themselves to maintaining institutions behind a smooth-running society.

The Architect – INTP
Preferring to work alone, INTPs have little regard for titles and are impatient with bureaucracy and hierarchy. Often perceived as aloof, and even rebellious, INTPs also come across as oblivious. They can be charming because they have a quick wit and a way with words (Haymitch sells the idea of having two winners to Seneca, after all).

The Fieldmarshal – ENTJ
ENTJs either possess the charm of a world leader or the insensitivity of a cult leader, and no one fits this bill better than President Snow. ENTJs can overwhelm others with the desire to order the world according to their vision and as a result, they are often seen as controlling, arrogant, and aloof.

The Inventor – ENTP
Quick to see the complex relationships between people, things, and ideas, ENTPs possess an intelligence that is highly prized. Plutarch Heavensbee – the Gamemaker of the Quarter Quell – shows he is a typical ENTP with his amazing ability to size up situations in the arena. With his innovative solutions to difficult problems, it’s no wonder he manages to fool even President Snow.

The Mastermind – INTJ
Always prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, INTJs have a low tolerance for emotionalism. Although they like to assume leadership, INTJs do not readily accept authority based on tradition, rank or title. A typical INTJ, Alma Coin, leader of the District 13 rebels, shows how determined she is to execute her vision in the third book – going to the extent of slaughtering the innocent to make President Snow look bad.

Do you agree with our analysis? If not, tell us who should be what, explaining why as well.

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!

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. The sullen INTJ in her believes she is in a relationship with an ESTJ who cannot stop talking! Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Career, Character & Soul, Entrepreneurship, Infographics, Self-Improvement

[Infographics] Happiness In Entrepreneurship – Deborah Tan

The traditional standard for measuring success is often using money and the accumulation of luxury goods. What many people are doing are SEEING SUCCESS. But the material trappings of success and wealth may not actually reflect the true happiness one feels about his or her job. As an entrepreneur, I’m definitely earning way less than I used to. However, the past six months have seen me using my time to help a friend’s social enterprise deliver food to youths at risk, train for a half-marathon, learning to bake, and still earn money doing what I love most. It has been a challenge not being able to buy shoes and dresses whenever I walk past Zara but at the same time, life is more fulfilling. As the year draws to a close, I hope you will think about embarking on the entrepreneurial journey! If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own business or, just simply, breaking free from the corporate world, I strongly encourage you to follow your dreams! I hope this infographic will spur you on to taking that first step.

And being Happier definitely leads to a Richer life!

And being Happier definitely leads to a Richer life!

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. The Material World team is running their first half-marathon together this Sunday, so please wish them luck! Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Branded Content, Infographics

[Infographic] Stress & Women In Singapore – Deborah Tan

More than a month ago, we invited the readers of Material World to take a survey on stress. Through this survey, we had hoped to get an idea how stress affects women aged 25 to 34 physically and emotionally. Here’s what we have learnt:

1. An overwhelming 75% of respondents say they are more stressed NOW than they were 2 years ago

2. Slightly over 70% of respondents say although they feel stress on a daily basis, it is still at a manageable level

3. The effects of stress are most likely seen in weight gain (25%) and exhaustion (33%)

4. 72% of respondents say they deal with stress by going out for a good meal. About half say they deal with stress by going for a work out.

Beauty brand Shiseido has recently found out that stress has a negative impact on our skin because when subjected to stress, our skin cells lose hydration and become irregular in shape. This causes gaps to form between our skin cells, making it easier for pollution, bacteria and irritants to invade our skin.

Together with Shiseido, Material World produced this infographic to highlight how stress is affecting women in Singapore. Respondents did not know this survey was carried out in conjunction with Shiseido and were not offered any form of remuneration for their time. Although they were asked if they would like to try a skincare sample, they were not told which brand this sample would be from.

We hope you’ll enjoy this infographic as much as we did producing it.

Happy Monday and don’t let stress get you down!

Brought to you by Shiseido Ibuki

Brought to you by Shiseido Ibuki

The survey “Stress and Women in Singapore” and the infographic were done with the support of Shiseido to help raise awareness for their new skincare range Ibuki. All opinions expressed by the survey’s respondents are INDEPENDENT of Shiseido and were not vetted by the client. All product information offered are for the purposes of education and awareness.

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. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

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Body News, Health & Fitness, Infographics, Wellbeing

“Stop Being Such A Miserable Git!” – Deborah Tan

In my boyfriend's eyes, I'm THIS in the morning

In my boyfriend’s eyes, I’m THIS in the morning

“Stop being so miserable!”

My boyfriend has this annoying habit of saying this to me every morning. If you are NOT a morning-person, you will totally understand why it is so, so challenging trying to get up and get going in the AM.

My routine is something like this: I wake up, I crawl out of bed, use the toilet, crawl to my work table, turn on the computer, and work. I try not to talk, drink, eat or smile until 12 noon.

This anti-social behaviour in the morning is a source of amusement to the boyfriend who calls me a whole host of names like “Miserable Git”, “Miserable Guts”, “Tim Curry” (see pic on right), whatever. If attempts at wisecracks and lame jokes do not get me smiling (he has a 100% failure rate so far), he would proceed to irritate me, doing things like trying to hug me (if he’s sweaty from a run), or nagging me about some random unwashed cup in the sink.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not like my pathetic behaviour at all. In fact, I do want to wake up feeling like sunshine, radiating more joy and happiness than Smurfette on LSD. I just can’t. Why?

Reason No. 1: I don’t sleep well
For two days now, I have been falling asleep at 4am. When I do sleep, it is mostly a dreamless one. I wake up feeling (and looking) like something the dog dragged in. Stress has a huge role to play in this inability to sleep. The busier I get, the less I’m able to sleep. The less I’m able to sleep, the more miserable I am in the morning.

Reason No. 2: I’m severely dehydrated
Water makes up a majority of our blood. When we are dehydrated, blood thickens, forcing the heart to pump harder, resulting in fatigue. Fluids are also needed to carry energy-boosting nutrients to the brain and other organs in the body. This is where I will admit that I take horrible care of myself. When I work, I don’t eat, I don’t drink. Then at night, I drink a glass before bed, and have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the loo. If I don’t drink water, I wake up the next morning feeling sluggish and lethargic. Don’t ask me why I do this to myself.

Reason No. 3: My body is protesting
As if it isn’t bad enough that I don’t eat regularly, I don’t eat well. The mental and physical stress I put myself through should mean I need to eat even more healthily. Despite this abysmal attitude towards food, I continue to train for my half-marathon, continue to push myself to meet my deadlines, continue to be everything to everyone. Is it any wonder then that my joints are always hurting, that my muscles are always stiff and sore?

I’m sick of feeling less than 100% in the morning. So I’m hereby declaring my resolve to become healthier and happier. For starters, these are what I’ll aim to do every day from now on:

1. Drink a huge glass of water the moment I wake up
2. Pop my fish oil and Vitamin E & B supplements before going to bed
3. Sleep promptly at 11pm every night (no excuses!)
4. Get a handle on my stress levels. PRONTO

This infographic (taken from provides a really great insight into how stress at work can badly affect a person’s health in so many ways. But ladies, you know what I really want? I want to know how you are affected by stress. So if you are game enough, please click here to take a survey. The results will be presented in an infographic in early-November. I want to find out how you deal with stress, what stresses you out the most, and WHO stresses you out the most. Meanwhile, enjoy this one:

Taken from

Taken from

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 has recently taken up baking to help her cope with her stress. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Body News, Food & Supplements, Health & Fitness, Infographics

[Infographic] Does Eating Late At Night Make You Fat? – Vanessa Tai

Whenever I’m up late at night, I never fail to feel peckish. Whether I’m working on an article, reading or just mindlessly surfing YouTube, I’ll start to crave for chocolates, instant noodles or chips (not necessarily in that order.) I often end up giving in to my cravings before crawling into bed feeling guilty. Why the guilt? Well, as I was growing up, people used to tell me that eating after a certain time at night will make me fat. They could never agree if this “time” was 6pm or 9pm or something in between, but one thing they all agreed on … eating late at night makes you put on weight.

Of course, we now have research that disprove this myth. After reviewing the results of various studies on the correlation between night-time eating and weight gain, the British Medical Journal concluded there is no link between the two. What actually causes weight gain is the amount of food you eat, not when you eat it.

Here’s an easier way to look at it: Say your body needs 1,500 calories to maintain a healthy body weight and you ate only 1,000 calories by the time it got to 9pm. In reality, you could probably eat another 500 calories but the problem is, the longer you wait till you actually eat, the hungrier you get. And you know what happens when you’re hungry – the chances of overeating and making unhealthy food decisions increases. This is why you’re encouraged to have small meals throughout the day instead of waiting till you get to a certain mealtime.

But what about those among us who don’t count our calories obsessively? Or what if we already had a healthy dinner at a reasonable hour but we’re still feeling somewhat hungry? Before you reach for that packet of chips, ask yourself if what you’re feeling is thirst or hunger. Very often, we mistake dehydration for hunger. Try sipping a glass of water first before assessing if you still need to eat. Also, choose your snack wisely – it may be easy to tear open a packet of chips or dial for fast food, but such food are calorie-laden and may also interrupt your sleep patterns.

If you absolutely feel like you need to eat something, check out this handy infographic on which late-night snacks are acceptable, and which are simply a no-go.

material world singapore-food-infographic copy

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. She is on a mission to lose 10 kilograms (she says this every year.) Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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