Beauty & Shopping, Skincare, Spa Treats

The Beauty Junkie’s Christmas Wishlist – Deborah Tan

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

1. Kiehl’s

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

2. Biotherm

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

3. The Body Shop

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

4. Origins

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

5. Bliss

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

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

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

Arts & Events, Lifestyle

10 Minutes With … Eng Tay – Vanessa Tai

Ever looked at an art piece and went, “Huh?”

I know I have. When I visited the Pompidou Centre (the National Modern Art Museum) in Paris, my face was perpetually scrunched up in confusion.

While I appreciate there are many genres of art, I still feel most comfortable with art pieces I can relate to and understand. Which is why I felt particularly drawn to the works of New York-based artist, Eng Tay. His works centre around the theme of family, and is likely to invoke a sense of nostalgia in the viewer.

"An Idle Moment" - A snapshot of a playful moment between parent and child

“An Idle Moment” – A snapshot of a playful moment between parent and child

We caught up with the reticent artist during his recent trip down to Singapore.

ENGTAYHaving grown up in Kedah, Malaysia, how do you think your childhood has influenced your work?
I grew up in a very small kampung, where the lifestyle was very carefree and laidback. Because I enjoy exploring family relationships through my artwork, I think the simplicity of village life definitely shines through in a lot of my pieces.

A lot of your work is also influenced by your frequent travels abroad …
Yes. Whenever I travel, I love to pop by the local market because to me, that’s where you get to see a microcosm of the place you’re visiting. I get so much inspiration just watching the locals go about their day.

Of all the places you’ve visited, which has the deepest impact on you?
I really love Africa for her vast open spaces. I visited Makgadikgadi Pan, which used to be Lake Makgadikgadi, a body of water that covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago. Camping there under a blanket of stars was certainly an unforgettable experience for me.

"Tiny Dancer" - According to Tay, there's nothing more joyful than watching a child play with his parent

“Tiny Dancer” – A bronze sculpture by Eng Tay

What were some memorable responses to your art pieces?
I’ve had customers from 30 years ago finding me through the Internet, and contacting me to tell me they still have the art piece they bought all those years ago. That was certainly heartening!

Lastly, do you believe art should be easily accessible by all?
Of course! Everybody can enjoy art; it’s not just for a select group of people. I believe my art is very relatable because it doesn’t require much explanation. Hopefully, when people view my art, they will feel a sense of peace and serenity.

Eng Tay’s solo exhibition, “Idle Moments”, is showcased at 7Adam Gallery Restaurant from now till 23 July. 7Adam Gallery Restaurant is located at 7 Adam Park, Tel: 6463 0777. 


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

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