Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Not All Men Are Jerks – Vanessa Tai

When a relationships sours or if you’ve been betrayed by someone you love, it’s easy to write off the entire opposite sex as callous jerks. But that’s just a one-way street to Bitter Town. Vanessa Tai suggests another way of viewing the situation.

As much as I love my friends, sometimes I hesitate to tell them about the problems I’m facing with whichever guy I’m dating. Why? Because of the inevitable judgment that will follow.

“He’s such a douchebag.”

“You’re better off without a jerk like him!”

And so on.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why they would say such things. They’re my good friends so they’ll naturally get affronted on my behalf when they feel I’ve been wronged by some guy. I, too, do the same when my girlfriends confide in me about their relationship problems. However, lately I’ve been wondering if this is really the best way to deal with relationship woes. Sure, if you’re all out to have a no-holds-barred sobfest with your best friends, it may help to have them rally around you and have a common “enemy” to hate on.

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But what happens when you’re alone in your bedroom late at night and mulling over the failed relationship? Will you also continue to stew in rage and resentment? Sadly, many people tend to fixate on these feelings of being wronged and this seeps into the way they interact with others. I’m sure you know of people who’ve been hurt badly in relationships and became cold, standoffish, or overly cynical as a result. In fact, I used to be one such person.

However, I’ve recently come to see the flaws in this line of thinking. When a relationship fails, it fails for a myriad of reasons and yes, it could even be because the person you were dating was careless with your feelings. Does that make him a bad person? Not really. If that were the case, aren’t we all guilty of being “bad” at one point or another? The thing is, I sincerely believe nobody (save for the truly callous or sociopathic) sets out to deliberately hurt another person. I believe most of us embark on a romantic relationship with the best of intentions. Nobody wakes up thinking, “Okay, I think I’m gonna hurt so-and-so today.”

It’s just that along the course of a relationship, Life gets in the way. It could be unresolved emotional baggage from the past, or it could be an unexpected situation that throws everything out of loop. The thing is, people are unpredictable, especially when it comes to love. Most people are just bumbling along, trying to figure things out as they go along, winging it and trying to make it all work out. So when they screw up and end up hurting you, it’s most likely unintentional. Nobody is perfect. We, too, have been guilty of hurting the people we love, despite our best intentions.

That said, people are responsible for their actions and should still be held accountable for whatever they choose to do (or not do) in a relationship. I’m definitely not advocating that we condone bad behaviour. However, there’s a difference between holding someone responsible for their actions and blaming someone. For the former, you’re simply recognising this is who they are and how they’re choosing to behave. If you don’t like it, the choice is yours to cut them out of your life.

When you blame someone for their bad behaviour, however, you’re dodging any responsibility of your own. When you blame someone, you’re essentially saying that just because you didn’t like how someone acted, you’re entitled to attack them however you please. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how destructive this line of thinking is. Instead of finding ways of improving the situation or even seeking out a way you can learn or grow from it, blaming the other person simply creates a breeding ground for resentment and bitterness.

I reckon a healthier way of dealing with feelings of betrayal (or abandonment, or any other horrible feelings that emerge from a breakup) is to carve out alone time to figure out what you learned from the whole experience. It’s important to figure out why things didn’t work in the past so you can make things work better in the present and future. It won’t be easy, for sure. There’ll be days where all you want to do is scream and cry or burn all his things. Yes, you can allow yourself a period of time to do that if it offers you some form of catharsis. But there comes a day where you have to pick yourself up from the floor and just let go of those feelings of hatred and animosity. Take it from me, there’s really no point holding on to those bitter feelings of being wronged. It will only serve to poison your future relationships and become a vicious self-fulfilling cycle.

Every relationship we embark on is different and deserves to be treated with equal fervour and guileless enthusiasm. Well, that’s what I choose to believe anyway!

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!

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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Career, Self-Improvement

3 Interview Mistakes You May Not Know You’re Making – Vanessa Tai

Whether you’re seeking your first job or are planning a mid-career switch, it’s always helpful to have a few interview tricks up your sleeve. Vanessa Tai speaks to two recruitment experts on some less known interview no-no’s. 

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1. Before the interview: Asking about salary, overtime, and work culture 

Before you join a company, it’s only natural that you’ll want to know about its culture as well as the job perks you may receive. After all, a solid organisation is one that is provides a transparent hiring process and will have programmes set in place for up-skilling and flexible work options.

However, according to James Tan, a consultant with the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) and a member of the SHRI HR Advisory and Consultancy Panel, “Employers are not obliged to answer such questions through phone calls or emails. Asking such questions before an interview may put the interviewer off, and the jobseeker is likely not be shortlisted for interviews.”

Michael Smith, country director at recruitment agency Randstad Singapore, recommends the following instead, “The company’s website is an important first step when researching a potential new employer. It can provide you with information about the company, the management, company stability, workplace culture, and what to expect as an employee when working there. Also, more companies are using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to engage with current and prospective employees, clients and customers. Reading blogs and comments, reaching out to current and past employees are all great ways to find out more details about the company environment and potentially the job scope.”

2. During the interview: Telling a potential employer, “I’m here to learn.”

It’s an employee’s market at the moment. A competitive salary and good benefits package are no longer the only factors that jobseekers today are looking for in a new employer. According to the 2013/2014 Randstad World of Work Report, 56 percent of employees are looking for leadership development and 43 percent are looking for career growth and training opportunities.

However, as much as the desire to learn is a good thing, is it really a trait that employers are looking for? After all, wouldn’t it make more sense for employers to hire someone who can hit the ground running?

Smith says, “A willingness to learn is an attractive trait. However, apart from demonstrating that you have an aptitude for learning quickly, you can also back this up by demonstrating other transferable skills such as team work, computer skills, communication and leadership. These are all highly valued by employers.”

To demonstrate that you’re in for the long haul, you could tell your potential employer something along the lines of, “I am eager to contribute to and grow with your company.” This shows you’re loyal and tenacious, instead of giving off the impression that you’re just here to pick up some necessary skills before jettisoning off.

3. After the interview: Being over-persistent

The days right after a job interview can be a nerve-wracking, nail-biting affair. As much as you want to know the company’s answer right away, refrain from following up too often lest you come across as a nuisance. If you’ve already sent a thank-you note right after your interview (which you absolutely should have!), the next best thing you can do is to create a “follow-up schedule”. Draw up a plan on how often you will follow up with the interviewer, but only allow yourself a set number of attempts over a limited frame of time. If you get your feedback within this time frame, great. If not, just move on. As frustrating as it can be, always remember to maintain a level of graciousness and professionalism when communicating with your potential employers.  Remember, just because this door doesn’t open this time round does not mean it will not in future.

Good luck!

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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Lifestyle, Vacations & Staycations

8 Awesome Airbnb Stays You May Not Know About – Deborah Tan

When traveling, we all want to fly cheap and stay at affordable, fabulous places with oodles of personality and character. These places, listed on Airbnb, are what you’ll want to check out for that getaway coming right up after this F1 weekend.

Magical places don’t have to be located in Europe or Africa. Asia is home to lots of interesting apartments, villas and houses too. With over 40,000 visitors set to descend upon Singapore for the F1, perhaps you can consider a short getaway during or after the F1 season? Below, 8 awesome listings on Airbnb you cannot miss.

Penang
75 minutes by plane

1.The Shophouse studio in George Town
penang01Housed in a 100+ year townhouse, this ground floor suite is newly renovated and comes with ensuite bathroom, kitchen and dining area. You get a queen-sized  bed and a convertible sofa so this studio can comfortably house 3 people. A stone’s throw away from delicious Penang hawker food, the owner will provide a food map for your eating convenience too!

2. Heritage Zone Chinese Shop House
penang02Beautifully renovated Chinese shophouse, the ground floor is a designer jewellery shop currently used by the owner’s friend. Plenty of restaurants and bars around the area, the property is just round the corner from famed cafe China House The listing states that the room comes with a bathroom with rain shower, 600 DVDs, cookbooks for those who want to try their hands at whipping up a meal, books, board games and a Mac.

Kuala Lumpur
55 minutes by plane

1. Luxe 1 Bedroom Next To Twin Towers at KLCC
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This stylish apartment is situated right next to the Petronas Twin Towers as well as the 50-acre KLCC Park. It’s a spacious 1-bedroom at 60sq ft and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and separate living area. Staying at this apartment also gives you access to the gym, tennis court, BBQ pit, sauna, etc.

Bangkok
135 minutes by plane

1. Room Near MRT Pharam 9+Wifi Pocket
bangkok01Although the listing says “room”, you actually get the entire apartment to yourself. It’s a 1-bedroom with a queen-sized bed and 1 sofa bed. The apartment is tastefully decorated! The Phra Ram 9 station is just 8 minutes’ walk away and the apartment building has  a convenience store that opens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bali
150 minutes by plane

1. Villa Zaina 3-bedroom Seminyak-Bali
bali01
Located a minute’s walk from Legian, this villa has 3 bedrooms and houses up to 6 people (although you have to pay an extra $42/night after the 4th guest). It has its own private pool. All bedrooms come with their own ensuite bathrooms and queen-sized beds. The villa has its own kitchen with a gas cook top and has a dining area with an extendable table.

2. Private 2-bedroom villa in Sanur
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Accommodates up to 4 guests with no extra charges for extra guest, Villa Sapa is located in Sanur, known for its sandy white beaches and for being a quiet, relaxed village. Each bathroom has an outdoor shower. The villa also has an outdoor shower where you can wash the sand away before entering the property. Guests are given a mobile phone so they can easily contact the manager to arrange for stuff like taxis and tours.

Jakarta
95 minutes by plane

1. The Bonty – Your Home in Jakarta
jakarta01Located within walking distance of Kemang (a trendy part of Jakarta), this listing is a room in a house for rent. The room has a king-sized bed and has its own bathroom. The house is part of a walled residential complex of about 20 houses and has a garden, pool, security and service. Dog-lovers will love this listing since the owner has 2 dogs – a golden retriever (loves!) and a Beagle mix.

Hong Kong
3 hours 42 minutes by plane

1. Tong Lau Tree House Old Hong Kong
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A property located in a Chinese tenement buidling in Kowloon, this apartment presents a photo opportunity everywhere you turn. Comes with a queen-sized bed, the listing states that it is possible to house up to 6 people (extra charges for any guests after the first 2). The apartment also has a 1.4m 4-legged bathtub along with a whole range of organic bath products.

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 can’t wait to go to Bali again! Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Child's Play, Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] What Is Your LEGO Parenting Style? – Cherie Tseng

Everyone’s favourite childhood toy can actually reveal a lot about your personality, says Material Mom Cherie Tseng. Read more about it and find out the interesting link between how you treat LEGO and your parenting style.

For our anniversary this year, my husband bought me a VW camper van.

Well, not the real thing (I wish!), but the LEGO version of one of my favourite vehicles. That sort of opened the floodgates to my resurgent love (read: mild obsession) of my favourite childhood toy. A single piece of LEGO could be part of my pretend pasta dish, a clutch for my Barbie dolls, a collar tag for my pound puppy, or the flag to my Castle Grayskull. Oh, the versatility!

So, since our anniversary, we have expanded our LEGO stash to some 500%. My two-and-a-half year-old son no longer attempts to eat or stuff small bits up his nose so I had no qualms indulging in my pent-up LEGO cravings at home. Of course, some of that has spilled over to my work since, well, we preach work-life balance. We expanded our LEGO-based training games at my training consultancy, and now I get to actually justify some of my LEGO buying as “work”.

Part of our stable of offerings is profiling programs. Besides the usual ones, we have some less serious but still very illuminating profiling experiences, like our art-jamming based one. More recently, I’ve begun using LEGO as a tool in my pre-hiring process. After all, LEGO, in all its versatility, can reveal more than you think – including your parenting style.

The “read the LEGO instruction book prior to embarking and following steps 1-2-3!” Parent

LEGO style: This is the person who thrives on method and protocol; when she gets a new LEGO set, she has to at least skim through the instruction book, sort out the pieces by colour, type and size, and find a designated space within which to work.

Parenting style: I call this the Disciplined Parent. My homeschooling friend S, an uber mum of four kids, is a classic example. Sure, she has her slack days and it’s not like she is a stickler in the mud, but she is the queen of order and is generally always on top of things. She is the parent who would do research on whatever she needs to know to death and, while kids can sometimes throw her a curve ball, she never stops figuring out new ways to become a better mum. She believes that parenting is a journey and that there has to a system to the inevitable madness, even if she has to invent a new way of doing things by simply learning more and becoming better equipped.

Happy family playing with blocksThe “must sort out all the pieces right from the start … deep breath … let’s start!” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person whose first act after opening a LEGO set – whether it’s a themed set or a creative one – is to separate the pieces at least by colour. Sometimes she would find herself surrounded my many trays to better contain the varied pieces, and she often needs a prescribed (read: kid-free) zone to work through her LEGO because heaven forbid if she loses a piece. She is usually only concerned with the journey and less so with the finished product, often happy to dismantle and store away even a complex build.

Parenting style: This parent has a strong sense of occasion, believing that everything has its place and time. I am fairly familiar with this parent type since, well, my husband is a prime example. He adores our kids and holds them to a fairly high standard. He expects kids to sit still at dinners, stay quiet on flights, and take adult care of the things they own. Clearly, he faces a lot of, ahem, frustration but he is constant in his own behaviour, steady in his interactions with his kids and is often a steadying force for his kids. And more often than not, because he treats his kids with a lot of respect, preferring, for example, talking to rather than talking at; his kids are better for it.

The “let’s free play with the LEGO creative builder box” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person who loves making things up as she goes. Even if she starts on a LEGO set, her building process is probably marred with many starts and stops and zero planning. And if there is a missing piece? She’d just make it up as she goes along.

Parenting style: Society probably calls this the hipster parent, and my friend A is a classic example. She has some, but not many, parenting rules. She is adventurous with the kids and often does things that are not the norm, like taking her kids lindy hopping, visiting weird places, or eating at off-the-beaten-path places. She may often seem out-of-sync with modern parenting – from maybe being an anti-vaxxer to letting her kids wear androgynous clothes. She is always fun, quirky, and takes life and parenting as it comes.

legoThe “I hate LEGO” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person who simply doesn’t quite get the hoopla about LEGO and would often rather buy less fiddly toys for her kids and herself. Minimal assembly required, thanks.

Parenting style: I call this the Get to the Chase Parent. My friend H is just like that and while she had a great time at the recent LEGO exhibition, The Art of the Brick, she treated it more like a visit to a museum. You could say there is a slight inclination to some measure of Tiger Mummying with this type. Her kids would boast a pretty tight schedule and everything in their lives gleams and sheens and are often the object of some mummy envy. Birthday parties might boast a pretty fancy cake with just the right decorations, at just the right location with always-glamorous people.

The “I am not really much of a LEGO fan but I think LEGO is an awesome educational toy” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person is kind of impassive about LEGO. She finds LEGO a nice-to-have kind of toy and is most glad to buy LEGO sets for others and her own kids since she is mainly sold on the educational value of the toy.

Parenting style: My friend S is one such parent. She has a great sense of responsibility to her kids and has a tendency to always find the best array of programs for them. Her kids attend an array of classes and workshops not because she is a traditional tiger mum but simply because it’s a learning tool that would enrich her kids’ lives. New pedagogies, new water filter, new school, new holiday program, new health thing … she would have her hands in that pie – often at the expense of her own schedule.

The “whatever you make should at least make some sense” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person who is happy to free play when the occasion arises, even if she likes following LEGO instruction books better. She has a healthy mix of creative sets and instructional sets, and will usually have many how-to LEGO books to better use her free play LEGO pieces.

Parenting style: I like to call this parent the progressive parent. My BFF and fellow Material Mom Joan is a classic example. She tends to have fewer rules than the norm and is fairly liberal and open in her parenting methods. Having said that, she is a real stickler for the few rules she has and can get disproportionately upset when those rules are flouted. She treats her kids like her friends and sometimes forgets that her child needs top-down parenting but is quick to catch herself and rectify when that happens.

lego 3The “must buy all the LEGO sets in a series type but have starting and finishing issues” Parent

LEGO style: This is a person who loves collecting all the LEGO sets in a given series and might spend copious amounts of time trawling the net searching for hard-to-find sets. She is highly excited to buy or receive a LEGO gift but might find it hard to start a LEGO project or even finish one. Sometimes, when in the mood, she finds herself in a blitz LEGO-making mood. But that burns out after a while.

Parenting style: This is classically me and, as I write this, I have three hard-sourced Harry Potter LEGO sets sitting in the corner waiting for me to find time to get to them. Parents like me find themselves constantly pulled in a million and one directions at any given time and it shows in how they raise their kids. There is a schedule but it’s always fluid. There is a plan but it might and usually change. They are most definitely parents who do not have a carved-in-stone bedtime or a real parenting plan, preferring to learn and adapt as they go. After all, change is the only constant. Right?

Cherie Tseng is mum to two little boys: Quentin, four, and Evan, two. They love superheroes, pizza and going on pretend adventures with mummy and daddy to save the world. She runs a regional training consultancy, co-owns a Singapore-Myanmar business brokerage outfit and is an essential oil enthusiast. In her spare time, she crafts, makes diaper cakes and practices aerial circus arts. Cherie occasionally blogs at The Growing Tree Project

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Body News, Health & Fitness, Wellbeing

How To Nurture A Positive Body Image

Avoiding negative thoughts about the way you look may not always be easy, but learning to love yourself—inside and out—is a beautiful thing. This article by Canyon Ranch will help you take that all-important first step.

beautiful

Cultivating a positive body image can be challenging. We are often our own worst critics. When you look in the mirror, you may zero in on one area of your body that you wish was smaller, smoother or just plain different. But chances are you’re the only one being so hard on yourself. The people who love you aren’t looking at your thighs or your crow’s feet—they only see the person who always makes them laugh, the one who cooks magnificent meals and lights up the room with a smile.

Recognizing and celebrating the inner beauty that others see shining through rather than focusing on “fixing” your perceived flaws is an important step toward cultivating a positive body image. Removing the phrase, If only I looked like… from your vocabulary is another. “We all spend huge amounts of time comparing ourselves to others,” says Ann Pardo, M.A., L.P.C., B.C.C., director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. But in the end, these comparisons often do little more than lead us further down a path of negative thinking, of striving for some unachievable body ideal. So, the next time you notice yourself engaging in self-criticism, consider using these suggestions to shift gears and change course.

1. Focus on You
With the daily barrage of “perfect” bodies we see in magazines and on television, comparisons are all but inevitable. But research shows doing just that can lead to a negative body image. Whenever you catch yourself playing the comparison game, consciously decide to stop. Let your logical brain take over: Remember that no one is perfect—the images you see in magazines have likely been airbrushed and retouched. And don’t forget that everyone is unique; try not to use others as a reference point for who you should or can be.

Try this: Stay away from the mirror if you're not feeling so good about yourself today.

Try this: Stay away from the mirror if you’re not feeling so good about yourself today.

2. Step Away from the Mirror
Constantly checking (and obsessing about) your appearance and perceived physical flaws also reinforces a negative body image. If you find yourself often sneaking a peek at your reflection, consider setting limits. Allow yourself to look in the mirror as you get ready to go out, but only once or twice. If you give yourself fewer opportunities to critique your appearance, you may find that you think less about your looks and spend more time thinking about other things.

3. Look at the Positive!
Self-esteem improves when you begin looking at yourself as the sum of all your parts, not just your looks. This “whole person” approach means not focusing on what you lack, but on everything you have to offer and that you do right. Every few days, jot down a different set of five positive attributes: personal strengths, abilities, achievements, things you admire about yourself and like about your looks, things you did or do well, and so on.

4. Exercise, Eat Well and Pursue Your Passions
Taking care of your health and allowing opportunities for personal fulfillment sends the message—both to others and to yourself—that you are worthy and valued, which helps increase self-esteem. Be sure, however, to think of workouts and your diet as a way to stay healthy, not a means to the perfect body. “Our culture is extremely misinformed about weight and body image,” Pardo says. “Very few people understand that mental and physical fitness are what really matter.”

5. Tweak Your Self-Talk
Listen carefully to what you tell yourself. My skin is horrible. I am uglyHow did I get so fat? Some people are so used to putting themselves down they don’t even realize they do it. But it’s never too late to change the dialogue. Try this: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a close friend. Also remember that feelings aren’t facts; just because you may feel unattractive one day doesn’t mean you are. This isn’t easy, especially if you’ve been engaging in negative behaviors for years, but once you learn to recognize the negative self-talk, the next step is to alter it. Make an effort to put a positive spin on whatever you otherwise would have criticized.

6. Dwell on Solutions, not Slip-ups
Focusing too much on mistakes can deal your self-esteem a major blow, Pardo says. If you fall off the diet wagon, for example, don’t label yourself a failure and give up. Instead, consider that the diet you chose may not have been right for you. Explore what went wrong, but in the context of how you can change or do better next time. A mistake or failure is an isolated incident, not indicative of who you are.

Bottom line: “Living in joy and contentment is a much better goal than correctly following some diet based on vanity rather than on self-improvement for the greater good,” Pardo says. Be kind to yourself, and set your sights on happiness, not perfection.

Make Happiness your goal today!

Make Happiness your goal today!

This article was contributed by Canyon Ranch. Canyon Ranch is a pioneer in the field of health and wellness will be bringing its integrative and customized wellness programmes to Treasure Bay Bintan, a resort destination on Bintan island.

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

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3. Your Life’s Biggest Enemy

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Pro Makeup Tips For Asian Eyes – Vanessa Tai

Single eyelids? Sleepy eyes? Not sure how to pull off the smokey eye look? Akinobu Nishimura, RMK’s international makeup artist, was recently in Singapore and Vanessa Tai sat him down for a 101 on makeup techniques for Asian eyes. 

Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face, so it’s only natural that you’ll spend more time and effort prettifying your peepers. But with so many different products and techniques out there, it can be hard to cut through the clutter. To make things simple, here are easy makeup techniques for the most commonly-used eye makeup.

Akinobu

Akinobu Nishimura, international makeup artist with RMK

Eyeshadow

1. As our eyelids are naturally oily, it’s recommended to prep your eyelids with an eyeshadow base or some powder before applying eyeshadow. This helps your eye makeup to adhere better to your skin.

2. Use eyeshadow in one colour, but in a gradation of shades. Start by applying the darkest shade on the bottom of your eyelid and slowly work your way up the eye socket to the lightest shade. This helps create a more 3D appearance.

3. When applying the next shade, don’t start at the line where the previous colour ends. Rather, the colours should be blended so that it looks more natural. Using a brush can help you create a more natural look, without any hard lines.

Mascara

1. Before applying your mascara, it’s important to curl your eyelashes properly so that it curls upwards and creates the appearance of wider-looking eyes. For the doe-eye look, you can also curl your lower lashes.

2. When applying mascara, avoid layering on too many coats as it’ll end up clumping and weigh your lashes down, which may make your eyes appear smaller.

3. Wondering if you should get falsies? It’s always better to work with what you have, but if your natural lashes are sparse to begin with, you can consider getting natural-looking eyelash extensions. Anything too thick or dramatic may also make your eyes appear smaller.

Eyeliner 

1. To create the perfect wing tip, start by drawing an outline according to the shape of your eyes. (For a clearer idea, refer to the sketch below.) From there, you can fill in the gaps, depending on how dramatic an effect you’re trying to create. Think of the wingtip as an extension of your lower lash line. If the tip is too high or long, simply use a cotton bud to adjust until you achieve your desired effect. Over time, you’ll discover the perfect angle and length for your eye shape.

To create the perfect wing tip, start by drawing your desired shape.

Akinobu-san demonstrates how to draw an outline according to your eye shape.

2. Some people believe lining your lower lash line can make your eyes appear smaller. However, it really depends on your eye shape. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you. If you want to continue lining your lower lash line, one way is to simply line it halfway (from the wing tip to the middle of your lower lash line) and use a lighter shade to fill in the other half.

3. If you’re bored with your usual black or brown eyeliner, some great options for everyday wear include shades such as navy blue or grey.

This collection from RMK is a symbol of the dual aspects of a woman's personality when it comes to love - she's equal parts strong and vulnerable.

This collection from RMK is a symbol of the dual aspects of a woman’s personality when it comes to love – she’s equal parts strong and vulnerable.

RMK 2014 Autumn/Winter Collection is available from August 2014 at all RMK counters (Isetan Scotts Level 1 Tel: 6887 5308; Isetan Serangoon Central Tel: 6634 481; Takashimaya Department Store Tel 6238 8043). 

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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Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] The One Thing Your Relationship Needs RIGHT NOW (and Every Day) – Denise Li

When we say that we are spending time with our partner, are we giving them the full and undivided attention they deserve? Denise Li says being mindful is more important than ever. 

Being mindful doesn't look like this, by the way

Being mindful doesn’t look like this, by the way

We live in a world full of distractions. Blame it on the usual suspects: Smartphones, social media, urban living, and being part of a society that values productivity and where being busy all the time is regarded as a virtue. To be regarded as successful, we need high-flying careers, a wealth of material possessions, fit bodies, and to be able to maintain a sprawling social network.

To have all of these, and to keep making sure that we have all of these, it’s necessary to make decisions based on our perception of future gains. We work hard to hopefully score that promotion by the next financial year, we save up for some big purchase we can make in the future, we exercise hard in the hopes of becoming a thinner, more attractive version of ourselves in a few months.

Doing all of these takes up much of our time and our energy in day-to-day living. We hear people tell us that it’s good to slow down and smell the proverbial roses, but really, who has time to do that when there are still 89 emails to reply, client meetings to set up, social engagements to attend?

Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad to have goals. Of course it’s never a bad idea to know what you want to achieve in life and going all out to get it. But right now, I would like you to pause and ask yourself this: Who am I neglecting right this moment in pursuit of my future goals?

Bruges, Alain's hometown

Bruges, Alain’s hometown

You see, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this in the past six weeks. I spent the last six weeks in Europe with my fiance Alain. Most of that time was spent in his hometown of Bruges, a town in the Flemish region of Belgium. For the first few weeks I was there, I could not shake off the feelings of guilt I had about being away from work. My life as I knew it was “disrupted”; while I still wrote the odd article or two every week, I didn’t have to wake up at 7.30am to go to the office, go for client meetings or attend events. I still worked out, but it wasn’t according to the same routine as I knew it.

We spent a lot of time at home preparing leisurely meals and watching movies together. We took long walks his beautiful, historical town. We went for MMA training together. It sounds great, doesn’t it? Yet, at least in the beginning, I could not shake off the feelings of restlessness. I felt bad for sleeping in, wracked with guilt when I saw that my business partners were drowning in work, I got grumpy because it felt like I was “doing nothing” …

But … I wasn’t doing nothing. I was spending time with the love of my life who I hardly see because we live in different timezones. And instead of being present and appreciative of that fact, I was somehow letting the fact that I wasn’t doing anything “productive” colour my mood. And in doing so, I was not according Alain the respect, love and care that he so rightly deserves.

I was “there” but not really there. And so, even though it wasn’t easy, I know I had to change my perception of the situation.

I started to put my Singapore-related worries in a mental box. I allocated a specific amount of time every day while I was there to answer emails and write my articles. And while it was tough initially, I purposefully shifted my mental focus and emotional energy of the rest of my day to Alain. I reminded myself that for the past few months, I had worked hard for THIS MOMENT. I had squirrelled away money to spend a prolonged period of time in Europe with my partner I see every half a year … why the hell shouldn’t I enjoy what I have NOW? Why should I let my worries about the future distract me from his cuddles, his silliness, and from appreciating his efforts about what he was doing for me while I was there?

I didn’t realise how much I was caught up in the nitty-gritty of day-to-day living, of living for the future, that it had completely affected my ability to appreciate what I DO have at the present moment.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is guilty of not being mindful. There are many meanings and interpretations of what being mindful is, but this site has the one that makes the most sense to me: “It is about being maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”

Being mindful has been proven to have a whole host of benefits, including fostering compassion, and helping people become better parents. But I am acutely aware of the fact that it is impossible to be mindful all the time; it would take an incredible amount of self-awareness and practice to get there. I know that when I go back to work tomorrow, I will once again be caught up in the stresses of day to day living, and I would find it immensely challenging to be “present in the moment” 100% of the time.

But my advice is this, regardless of whether you’re in a long distance relationship: Start by being present – physically, emotionally and mentally – around the ones you love (romantic partner or otherwise). They provide a very tangible focal point for which to practise mindfulness. Put your phones, gadgets and work aside for a couple of hours a day to really appreciate the time you have with your loved ones, and stop taking them for granted. Listen and give them your full and undivided attention for at least a couple of hours a day.

It is the very least and yet the best thing you could do for the relationships you care most about.

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Denise Li talks about the trials and tribulations of being in a long-distance relationship. 

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

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Skincare

[Infographic] What’s Your Mia 2 Color?

One of the most coveted facial cleansers, Clarisonic Mia 2 is now available in three vibrant colours for a limited time only. Want to win one for yourself? Read on.

Out of a plethora of beauty gadgets in the market, there are few that stand out from the crowd.

And then there’s Clarisonic.

The pioneer of professional-calibre sonic cleansing, Clarisonic was originally designed for skincare professionals before it very quickly took the beauty industry by storm. The brand has since rolled out many variations of the cleansing device, including one of their bestsellers, Mia 2. Equipped with a travel case, Mia 2 is lightweight and compact, making for an ideal cleanser on the go. It is powered by the Clarisonic Sonic Method, a patented technology clinically proven to cleanse the skin six times better than when you use your hands, working with the skin’s natural elasticity to gently yet thoroughly remove all traces of impurities from the pores.

The waterproof Mia 2 also comes two different speeds, a unique charger that magnetically attaches itself to the handle (each charge allows for 24 minutes of use), as well as a patented feature known as the T-Timer (which lets you know when it’s time to move the device to another part of your face).

For a limited time only, Clarisonic Mia 2 is available in three vibrant colours – hot pink (Joy), blue (Life), and lime green (Energy) – as part of the Festival of Colors collection. Wondering which colour suits you best? Check out our infographic to get your answer, and find out how to win it for yourself, below!

ClarisonicInfo

Each Clarisonic Mia 2 kit, $220, consists of Clarisonic Mia 2, Universal Voltage Charger, Sensitive Brush Head, 1 oz. trial size cleanser, and a protective travel case. It is available at all local Sephora outlets, TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Raffles City. All opinions are the author’s own. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Clarisonic.

3 Clarisonic Mia 2 kits (worth $220 each) are up for grabs!

Mia 2 Festival of Colors

Material World has 3 Clarisonic Mia 2 kits for our readers. To win one for yourself, simply follow the steps below:

  1. LIKE Material World’s Facebook Page.
  2. ANSWER this question in the Comments section below: “What is your Clarisonic Mia 2 colour, based on the infographic above?”
  3. SHARE this post with your friends on Facebook and TAG “Material World” and “Clarisonic Singapore”. Remember to set your post on Public so we can verify that this step has been completed.

Once you’ve done all 3 steps, drop us an email with your details (Name, Age, NRIC No/Passport No, Email Add) to general@materialworld.com.sg. Closing date: 12 September 2014, Friday.

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Home & Design, Lifestyle, Self-Improvement

6 Floral Arrangement Hacks For Newbies – Vanessa Tai

Floral arrangement is no longer an old-fashioned pastime for housewives or “aunties”. According to Jaclyn Lim, founder & florist of Bloomroom.sg, more young and house-proud Singaporeans are buying flowers to display in their homes. Intrigued? Consider this your cheat sheet. By Vanessa Tai

In the past, Singaporeans will only think of buying flowers on special occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries or Valentine’s Day. “However,” says Jaclyn, “lifestyle habits have since evolved and now young professionals (mostly women) are buying flowers to spruce up their home or simply to banish Monday blues.”

Contrary to popular belief, floral arrangement is not that expensive a hobby. Jaclyn explains, “Flowers are not exactly cheap in Singapore as most varieties are imported. But it is possible to mix expensive flowers like hydrangeas with more affordable blooms like baby’s breath or sweet william to achieve your desired effect.”

Oh, and if you think floral arrangement sounds like too much of a hassle, just give it a try and you may find yourself reaping its therapeutic benefits! Jaclyn says, “I think anyone can do flowers, even if they don’t feel particularly creative. For example, I noticed students who were easily stressed out started by holding on to flowers tightly, which created tightly bunched arrangements. However, over time, they loosened up and let go of their grip. The floral arrangements started to look more natural and were in fact, very lovely. So, any personality type can work with flowers … in fact, working with flowers may actually shape your personality!”

bloomroom1

Getting Started

You can pick-up floral arranging tips from your regular florist, YouTube videos, and floral arrangement books. Then, start by buying fresh flowers to experiment with at home. For flowers such as lilies, roses, gerberas, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers, you can find them at your wet markets or supermarkets. To get more premium blooms such as dahlias, peonies, ranunculuses, and alstroemerias, you’ll need to visit an established florist.

Choosing Your Flowers

For a complete floral arrangement, you’ll need the following:

  1. Focal flowers: These are largest blooms in your arrangement and are often the centre of attraction. Examples include roses, gerberas, sunflowers, and tulips.
  2. Filler flowers: Typically, these are smaller than the focal flowers and are usually in clusters. Examples include sweet william, baby’s breath, and wildflowers.
  3. Textural flowers: For variations in height, directions or textures, you can add these to your arrangement. Examples include hypericum berries, billy buttons, matthiolas, and lotus pods.
  4. Foliage: The greens to provide support for your flowers, for example, eucalyptus leaves or ruscus leaves.

Prepping Your Flowers

  1. Remove flowers from packaging/cellophane wrapping.
  2. Clean your lower stems of thorns and leaves that fall below the water line. Submerged leaves will rot and cause bacteria to form. However, if you keep the water in the vase clear, your flowers will last longer.
  3. Cut stems at a sharp angle to create more surface areas on the stem. This increases water absorption, and again keep flowers fresh longer.

Floral Arrangement: Decoded

  1. Have an idea of what you are planning to create. For example, have a shape of the intended arrangement in mind, know what vase you’re planning to use, and the flowers that complement it.
  2. Work with only one type of flower at a time. Start with the biggest (more dominant) flowers because they can help to create the basic shape of the arrangement/bouquet, before going on to the filler flowers (smaller clusters of flowers) to fill up the arrangement. From there, you can continue filling up the “holes” in the arrangement with some greens.
  3. Try not to use even number of flowers (2, 4, 6) because the bouquet/arrangement can end up overly traditional/symmetrical. 3 or 5 are great to work with for a livelier bouquet.
  4. Always take a step back. When you’re busy adding flowers, you may be obsessed with the task at hand and forget about looking at the arrangement as a whole. You need take a step back, breathe, and judge the composition.
  5. Know when to stop. Sometimes, it can be tempting to keep adding flowers. One way to know when to stop is when there are no more obvious holes exposing the floral foam in the arrangement. Remember, it doesn’t have to be PERFECT. As long as you like it and it makes you happy, that’s enough.
  6. Go with the flow. By experimenting with different styles, you’ll get to learn how different flowers work within an arrangement. From there, you’ll also develop your own style.

bloomroom3

Tools: 

  1. Sharp florist shears (MOST IMPORTANT): A sharp edge is desirable, not only because it is easier to cut the materials, but a sharp, even cut will allow water to enter the flower stems. A ragged, crushed cut edge may inhibit water and food absorption, causing your flowers to fade faster.
  2. Pruners: These are useful to cut woodier branches, like large eucalyptus leaves or wax flowers.
  3. Floral foam (optional): If you’re planning to create an actual flower arrangement in a wide-mouthed container, like a colander, you need to cut the floral foam to size, lay it in the container and use sticky tape to hold it in place. Available at florists.
  4. Floral tape (optional): This is great for making a tape grid to keep flowers in place.
  5. Plant Food (optional)

How to keep fresh blooms longer: 

  1. Change water every other day to ensure the flowers get fresh water that is devoid of any bacteria growth. Be sure to re-cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to ensure maximum absorption of water.
  2. ​Place the flowers in the coolest corner of the room, out of direct sunlight. They will last longer.
  3. Dissolve a pack of commercial flower food in the water to help cut flowers last longer. Chrysal packs are readily available in Singapore.

Get fresh flowers delivered right to your doorstep!

 

There’s something immediately calming and charming about having fresh blooms in the house. If you’ll like to have fresh flowers delivered to your home each week, register your interest here!

Current delivery areas:

  • Monday evenings: Tampines/Pasir Ris/Simei
  • Tuesday evenings: Serangoon/Braddell/Toa Payoh
  • Wednesday evenings: Hougang
  • Thursday evenings:  Sengkang/Punggol/Yio Chu Kang
  • Saturday afternoons: Joo Chiat/Marine Parade/Siglap/Telok Kurau

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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Lifestyle, Vacations & Staycations

8 Secrets Taipei Is Hiding From You – Deborah Tan

Chances are, you’ve been to Taipei and have your own list of favorite haunts to hit up for food and shopping. But the city is still worth discovering. Deborah Tan, a seven-time visitor, recently visited the city (again) and found some new surprises.

I love Taipei. I love the night markets because of the insane amount AND VARIETY of street food available. I love how the people there are always so friendly and, most importantly, I love how everyone makes such an effort in preserving the city’s heritage and keeping it clean and green.

Did you know that when it comes to recycling efforts in the world Taiwan tops the list?

Admittedly, I am not the most adventurous of travelers. Whenever I find myself back in a familiar city, I would stick to what I know and make very little effort to explore beyond my favorite haunts … that is unless someone else drags me around. So for my visit this time around, I’m glad I was placed in the good hands of EVA Air, Taiwan Visitors Association (TVA) and friendly fellow writers.

Here are some spots I strongly recommend you check out the next time you’re in the city … don’t say never share!

1. Check Inn
Super chic, uber cool boutique hostel

CHECKINN-118Inspired by the boutique hotels and loft apartments of New York, the owners of Check Inn wanted to create an affordable, yet stylish, stay for travelers who want to stay somewhere between an upmarket hotel and a back-to-basics backpackers hostel. Check Inn’s rooms, currently, are all twin-beds only. You’ll be impressed by the attention to detail despite the minimalist interior – the hostel uses its own Ecocert scent for its toiletries.

Check Inn is located at 253 Songjiang Road. www.checkinn.com.tw

2. Mandarin Oriental Taipei
If Paradise had a holiday address in Taiwan

MOTPE City Suite Bedroom 都會套房臥室If you’re looking to splash out, then be sure you book yourself a stay at Mandarin Oriental Taipei. Get ready to be blown away by grandeur and luxury the moment you step into the lobby. The hotel knows how to make an impression. Guests are greeted by a 1,400kg chandelier made from 50,000 pieces of crystal beads and crystal drops. The hotel is a veritable art museum as well, featuring some 1,700 pieces of art, antiques and sculptures by award-winning artists. Even the most basic suite is huge, complete with a walk-in closet and bathtub. Even if you can’t afford to stay here, be sure to at least have lunch, tea or dinner at one of Mandarin Oriental Taipei’s awesome restaurants and cake shop.

Mandarin Oriental Taipei is located at 158 Dunhua Road. www.mandarinoriental.com/taipei

3. Good Cho
Yummy bagels and awesome rusk ice cream

Good Cho Taipei Good Cho Taipei BagelsA lifestyle store cum cafe, Good Cho may seem like any upmarket hipster establishment. But hunting it down proved to be a lot of fun. Located on the former site of a military family village, Good Cho reputedly sells the best bagels in town. And it’s true. On our visit there, we tried a black pepper and cheese bagel and a brown sugar with sweet potato bagel – both had just the right amount of bite and flavor. Good Cho can also be found at Maji Square (see below) but this one located at Songqin Street is a much better hangout.

Good Cho is located at 54 Songqin Street.

4. Maji Square
Like Pasarbella … only bigger and with more food

majisquare (2)Nestled in the Taipei Expo Park’s Yuanshan Park Area, Maji Square is a project by well-known Taiwanese artiste Harlem Yu and designer Eugene Yeh. A lifestyle market featuring a street food fair, a creative bazaar, specialty shops and a performance space, the area is a hive of activity for both locals and tourists alike. I chanced upon a store selling beauty products made with organic ginger from Taichong and found myself falling in love with the scents and textures so much, I walked out with 3 hand creams.

Maji Square is located at 1 Yumen Street. www.facebook.com/majisquare

5. Fujin Street
Charming street filled with charming shops

fujintreecafe (2)A neighborhood reminiscent of New York’s Soho district, this 800m long street is home to numerous cafes, designer studios and home decor shops. The most popular cafe on this street has got to be Fujin Tree 353 Cafe. Known for its brown sugar latte, the cafe also features an in-store florist that, according to the staff, gets crazy-busy during special occasions like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

6. Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Every heritage project’s wet dream

huashan1914 (2)A former sake distillery, the area is now a heritage project that attracts art and literary giants to it. It aims to be a place where art and creativity can organically grow. Many of the activities and workshops hosted at Huashan 1914 are free to attend because the organization hopes to create a windowless classroom. At Huashan 1914, you can find cafes, restaurants, bars and shops by Taipei’s creative set.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park is located at 1 Bade Road. www.huashan1914.com

7. Taipei Fish Market
Seafood lovers, you’re in for a treat!

Taipei Fish MarketThere are many ways you can tuck into the fresh seafood here: at a restaurant, at the outdoor area or buy an attractively priced bento or sashimi set from the food market and dig in at any of the standing tables. Go hungry and be prepared for a crowd, though. No one can resist the lure of fresh, attractively priced gourmet-standard seafood.

Taipei Fish Market is located at 18 Minzu East Road.

8. Songshan Cultural Park
A fun place to explore whether you’re into art, food or shopping

Songshan Cultural ParkSimilar to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, the Songshan Cultural Park occupies the site of a former tobacco factory. The sprawling grounds include a Baroque Garden, an exhibition hall, and a shopping mall anchored by Taiwanese bookstore giant Eslite called Eslite Spectrum. On the weekend we were there, food trucks could be found on the grounds selling light bites and coffee. The area is also set to welcome the opening of a boutique hotel by Eslite at the end of 2014.

Songshan Cultural Park is located at 133 Guangfu South Road. www.songshanculturalpark.org

So if you want to take a break from checking out the night markets and Wufenpu (clothes wholesale market), these 8 recommendations are definitely worth your time and camera’s disk space!

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 really likes smelly toufu. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] All It Takes Is One Mistake … – Joan Leong

Some lessons are learned the hard, painful way. And sometimes, one misstep could alter your life forever. Joan Leong explains, in this week’s Material Moms. 

one mistake

I recently found myself in a secret service-like operation that involved ex-FBI and special ops personnel, to locate and bring to safety a friend who was caught up in substance and physical abuse, whilst they were on holiday.

Donna (name changed to protect privacy) was having an affair with a much younger married man. They abused drugs and he abused her for putting up pictures of them on Facebook – they were supposed to be there for “work”, was their excuse. Her situation came to light after she continued posting pictures of her bashed up face on Facebook, all part of the drug-induced haze. This caused a worldwide frenzy amongst relatives, friends and colleagues.

The extraction was successful; we separated the pair and got her out on the next flight. When we received her at the airport, we were speechless at the condition she was in, even though we were very well aware of what had happened. Looking at her being pushed out in a wheelchair, swollen face, eyes circled by very angry and dark purple bruises, defensive bruises on her forearms, cuts on her knees that can only be caused by being dragged on broken glass on the floor… we were hit (excuse the pun) with the cold realisation that had we not done what we did, she would have died. Possibly from abuse, overdose, dehydration or even being mugged and left in a ditch for dead.

Did I also mention that Donna is in her forties and has two teenaged daughters?

And here’s the kicker: When she was about to be discharged from the hospital, she tried to put the bill on our company account despite us already fronting the cost of the extraction.

Fact or fiction? You decide for yourself. The point of the above account is a very important message that all parents should instill in their child while young.

Disciplining your child may not be fun, but it is so, so necessary.

Disciplining your child may not be fun, but it is so, so necessary.

When I was growing up, my father disciplined me with an iron fist. He told me that my main goal in life was to get a good education. He did not encourage play; watching television was a treat I savoured for an hour over the weekend.

“All it takes is one mistake to ruin your life forever”, he often said.

That being said, I was never one who was particularly fond of authority and rules I did not understand. Ironically, it was a trait I inherited from him too.

During my dad’s younger days, he decided when he wanted to go to school and when he did not want to anymore. He made up his own rules in life, and decided on the various levels of punishment towards the people whom he deemed miscreants (which included setting fire to the front of someone’s house once). Underneath all that, though, was a softie who often brought home strays, much to his mum’s chagrin – especially when she discovered a snake hanging off the windows.

It is with that same blend of personality traits that my dad ruled the family. He was tough as nails on discipline and education. He cultivated my type A personality (although I am nowhere near as perfect as him). He had (and still has) a way of doing things that he feels is the right way and we should just follow suit, so that we save time on trying to figure it out. We even had a dress code.

But he also loved us fiercely. Everything he did, was to make sure that we were comfortably provided for. Despite his crazy youth, he became a successful businessman. He never indulged us with luxury goods, but anything I wanted or needed in life that he felt would be a useful tool in our pursuit for education and self-fulfilment, he provided. He still does, even to this day.

Most importantly, he brought us up with an in-built ethic and moral code. We were not angels; we definitely toed the line and pushed boundaries. But ultimately, we also knew where our limits were. My sisters and I just knew when enough was enough, when taking one step further would make a mistake big enough that would change our lives forever.

I have made various mistakes in life, big or small, and I am lucky that I have been able to recover from them. He taught me to believe that I am the master of my own fate – I am never a victim of circumstance and whatever path I take in life, is my choice. Therefore getting out of trouble was also my own choice.

For that, I am eternally grateful because his discipline, however much I hated it while growing up, has kept me safe thus far.

And it is with this discipline (with some adjustments) that I will bring my daughter up to keep her safe while she trundles through the various adventures along the way.

material-mum-joan-leongJoan Leong is a mummy, reality television producer and photographer. She watches an insane amount of dramas and comedies in her spare time. Her idea of taking a break is undisturbed time in the plane where there is no network access. She gets very excited over handbags as well as the next big gadget. Her life and photographs can be found on www.valska.com.

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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.

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