Food News, Gyms & Trainers, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Wellbeing, Workouts

Material World’s Sunday Sizzle: The Third Edition

A great workout, healthy juices, and a delicious brunch … all the ingredients you need for a fabulous Sunday. Find out more about what went down at Material World’s latest Sunday Sizzle event.

Over here at the Material World HQ, we’re all pretty big on fitness and living healthily. When you eat right and move frequently, you have more energy to do the things that matter. In a bid to encourage holistic living, we’ve organised a series of fitness and healthy eating events we call Sunday Sizzle. The event held on June 8, was our third installation.

First up on the agenda was an invigorating willPower & Grace workout held at Momentum Lab. This hour-long barefoot workout combines the disciplines of dance, yoga and more to create an energetic routine that aids in functional movements and strengthens the core. During the class, participants’ awareness were continually brought to their feet and how their feet moved in tandem with their whole body. After all, the feet form the base of all bodily movement – a strong base will lead to improved overall strength, flexibility and agility of the body. Trainer Shira kept everyone’s spirits up with her energy and occasional quips.

The super spacious Momentum Lab can comfortably accommodate about 17 people.

The super spacious Momentum Lab can comfortably accommodate about 17 people.

Within half an hour, it was clear that everyone was working up quite a sweat, but we really have to give it to our participants for putting in 100% effort. We’re proud to say that no one gave up! “I could really feel my core muscles working hard,” said Xiuyun, 26, executive. “Plus, the workout is a great way to kickstart a lazy morning.”

Everyone was immediately rewarded for their hard work in the form of organic, cold-pressed Beauty Cleanse juices! From tasty veggie-based juices, to satisfying nut milks, and refreshing watermelon-mint-coconut juices (a hot favourite!), it was the perfect way to rehydrate after an invigorating workout. “I love the interesting juice combinations,” said Chalene 29, executive. “They are a tasty way to get essential vitamins and nutrients too.”

What better way to rehydrate than with a refreshing cold-pressed juice from Beauty Cleanse?

What better way to rehydrate than with a refreshing cold-pressed juice from Beauty Cleanse?

The Sweet & Chic salad at The Lawn

The Sweet & Chic salad at The Lawn

With everyone in high spirits and quickly making new friends, it was time to adjourn for brunch at The Lawn at Biopolis. What awaited the participants: Wonderfully fresh, generously-portioned salads topped with a selection of grilled meat or seafood. The spacious, serene surrounds of Biopolis in a quiet Sunday morning proved to be the perfect backdrop for brunch. Although some participants had mentioned to us that they were not usually fans of salads, we were glad to see everyone tucking in heartily and enjoying their brunch.

Everyone also got to take home a goodie bag, which included a Triple Dry Anti-Perspirant Roll-On – which you’re supposed to use at night to help regulate excessive sweat production – and a sample of Collection Cosmetics’ Bright & Glow BB Cream (that promises to give you a healthy, radiant complexion). Talk about the icing on a cake!


Triple Dry and Collection Cosmetics

The goodie bag, courtesy of Triple Dry/Collection Cosmetics!

If you didn’t manage to sign up for yesterday’s Sunday Sizzle, not to worry. We’ve got a few more events planned for this year, so watch this space for more details!

We would like to thank our partners for making this event possible:

Momentum Lab
354 Alexandra Road, #01-15 Alexis
Tel: 6339 2210

Beauty Cleanse

The Lawn
31 Biopolis Way, #01-07 Nanos
Tel: 6478 9739

Triple Dry (available exclusively at Guardian) and Collection Cosmetics (available at selected Watsons stores and BHG [Bugis and Clementi])

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

The 9 Secrets of Hollywood Diets Uncovered – Matthew Fam

Hollywood celebrities often tout novel dieting techniques for a fabulous bod – be it fasting or the exclusion of certain food groups. So what ARE the star-approved diets out there, and what are the health precautions you should be aware of when undertaking your quest for body beautiful? The 9 health facts of Hollywood diets, here.

Gwyneth's boldly chic outfit at the L.A. red carpet premiere of Iron Man 3.

Gwyneth’s gams are the REAL showstopper at the L.A. red carpet premiere of Iron Man 3!

1. The 5:2 Diet
Can’t stand the thought of dieting 24/7, but want slender stems like Gwyneth Paltrow? Behold the 5: 2 diet. The part-time regime works as such: you eat whatever you want during a 5-day period, then stick to a 500-calorie intake for each of the remaining two days.

The celebrity-backed fad (Gwenyth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez among its devotees) keeps weight down while boasting long term benefits of preventing Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.

2. Why should I fast?
The answer lies in IGF-1 (no, it’s not a strand of avian flu). Insulin Growth Factor-1 is a hormone that boosts the reproduction of cells. As we age, the production of this stimulant wanes, so less new cells in our body are made and the older, wearied ones work harder.

What fasting does is to kickstart the sensitivity of IGF-1, keeping cells youthful and pretty while fending off age-related diseases. Sweet.

3. So how much IS 500 calories?

Brace yourselves: a single portion of hawker centre-bought char kway teow alone is 742 calories. So imagine having less than that for an entire day! Your 500-calorie fast can either be broken up into bite-sized meals, or consumed in a single feeding at the start of the day. However, in order to reap maximum benefits of fasting, the latter option is advised. (Fat-burning perks of fasting reportedly commence only after 18 hours into a fast.)

"Give me my lemon cleanse or I ain't performing for no Super Bowl," we imagine  Beyoncé would say.

“Give me my lemon cleanse or I ain’t performing for no Super Bowl,” we imagine
Beyoncé would say.

4. The Lemon Water Diet
Think solid food diets are for scaredy cats? Beyoncé attests her regular bouts of lemon water cleanses to being absolutely bootylicious.

These intense lemon cleanses- each lasting for up to one week- reportedly wipe the health slate clean by allowing your body to completely remove any toxins within your system. Majority of your mass lost will be water weight, but it leaves your complexion surprisingly clearer. Fans of the lemon cleanse- now put your hands up!

5. The ‘No Dairy’ Diet
Get this: the ability to digest lactose past the age of three is actually considered a genetic mutation! (60% of adults cannot digest this naturally-occuring sugar found in cow’s milk.) Not only that, excess diary in your diet reportedly causes higher frequencies of adult acne. Cue screams of horror.

PS, Megan Fox says she doesn’t do dairy. Period.

6. So what alternatives are there to cow’s milk?
Soy, almond, and rice milk are par for the course, but keep an eye out out for carrageenan. According to this article, several of your USDA-approved organic foods contain- and don’t freak out- these cancer-causing nasties. So when in doubt, always check the ingredients list!

Uma Thurman's a total softie for desserts!

Uma Thurman’s a total softie for desserts!

7. The Ice Cream Diet
Uma Thurman once claimed she ate nothing but desserts and ice cream in order to slim down for her role in Kill Bill. Sounds crazy? The diet works on the basis that consuming less calories than what you need would result in weight loss. So technically, you can lose weight by eating small portions of Ben & Jerry’s throughout the day.

However, what this fad fails to alarm is the poor nutrition afforded by desserts alone. Good for a quick weight loss, maybe. But not for a long term healthy lifestyle.

Kim swears by Atkins to maintain her killer curves.

Kim swears by Atkins to maintain her killer curves.

8. The Atkins Diet
With a slimmed midsection, Kim Kardashian keeps her hourglass-figure in check with this famous diet. The grand old dame of weight loss techniques was popularised by a research paper titled “Weight Reduction” by Dr. Atkins himself in 1972. Essentially, all you need to know is that “carbs are the enemy” (Yes, Rihanna totally said this before!)

The Paleolithic (‘Paleo’) diet follows the same carb-banishing route: meals are characteristically free from any type of carbohydrate, focusing instead on intakes of protein, fruits and vegetables.

9. Protein Overkill
Now before you bite into that steamed chicken breast, STOP RIGHT THERE. Studies by Dr Valter Longo, Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Southern California support the no-protein camp. According to him, high protein consumption is as bad for your body as smoking!


The allure of Hollywood fad diets are undeniable. However, we can’t simply assume that they work just because a celebrity who endorses it looks fab on the red carpet. What we may not realise is how these calorie-crunchers were probably supplemented with a rigorous fitness regime in the first place.

Moreover, as with any diet, consistency is key. Sure, some of these diets can promise a reduction in dress size or a slimmer physique; but these may also come with a series of health setbacks. So shake off those rose-tinted lenses the next time you go gaga over a celebrity weight loss fad.


What other Hollywood diets do YOU know of? Share with us in the comments section below!

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


If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 6 Ways To Lose Weight Without Stepping Into A Gym – Matthew Fam

2. Top Weight-Loss & Nutrition Myths, Debunked – Tan Lili

3. The Yummiest Salad Place In Town! – Denise Li

Body News, Health & Fitness

Let’s Talk About Your Bowel Movement – Tan Lili

Find out some of the less-known constipation cures that really work to stimulate bowel movements. Oh, and did you know there is a direct link between pooping and orgasm?

Because sharing is caring, here’s a very disturbing piece of news I chanced upon this morning: Taking a huge dump can give you an orgasm.

cure constipation

Yeah, no shit. At least one doctor has confirmed this phenomenon; Dr Anish Sheth, a gastroenterologist from Princeton University, USA, and co-author of What’s Your Poo Telling You?, says taking a particularly huge crap can stimulate the vagus nerve, which can lead to powerful, earth-shattering orgasms. There’s even a name for pooping-induced orgasm: poo-phoria.

“The distension of the rectum that comes with the passing of a large mass of stool causes the vagus nerve to fire,” says Dr Sheth. “The net effect of this is a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn decreases blood flow to the brain. When mild, the light-headedness can lead to a sense of sublime relation – the high.”

While you are still digesting this very bizarre medical discovery, you may as well tend to more pressing matters: constipation. According to a recent study, 25.1 percent of Singaporeans have experienced instances of chronic constipation, and it was especially prevalent among women aged 20 to 29. Plus, among those who constantly felt bloated, 60 percent of them suffered from constipation. So, yeah, some relief would do our country a whole lot of good.

In case you’re not sure if you are constipated, a rule of thumb is that any frequency between three times a day and three times a week is normal. Less than three times a week? Well, consider these less-known constipation cures to stimulate your bowel movement.

Nibble on dried fruit

Eat a serving of dried fruit – dried prunes, dried apricots, raisins – with warm water. Dried fruit contains soluble fibre, which helps soften stools when digested with fluids.

Buy some yoghurt

Italian researchers found that probiotics promote digestive health and relieve constipation. Even better when you add fibre-rich fruit like prunes.

Stock up on the P’s

Pineapples, pears, peaches, prunes and papaya – these types of fruit are said to be natural laxatives, facilitating stool movements through the intestines.

Try juice cleansing

It is all the rage these days. Even Denise went on one recently – and she’s now a fan of it! She tried Beauty Cleanse’s 3-day Skinny Genes programme, which worked really well to ease her bowel movements. Read more about her experience, here.

Avoid calcium and iron

According to a spokesperson for the American Gastroenterological Association in the US, certain components like calcium and iron can harden stools. If they are part of your prescription, you might want to consider getting a stool softener from your doctor.

Don’t be a couch potato

Inactivity is one of the causes of constipation, so get moving! Aerobic exercise, in particular, helps stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, which eases bowel movements. But always wait for at least an hour after a meal before exercising – allow the food to properly digest first.

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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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your February Watchlist

Spring is officially upon us and besides the Lunar New Year, the month of February also brings us Valentine’s Day! For those of you who love beauty, this is the month to start shopping!

A is for Aesop
Tea Tree Leaf facial Exfoliant 30g BWIf you love scrubs, then you’ll have to check out Aesop’s new Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant. This blend of ground botanicals lets you control the exfoliating strength—you can mix your desired amount into your favourite cleanser or mask! If you desire a stronger scrub, simply add up to half a teaspoon of it to your cleanser. Contains aloe vera, tea tree leaf and walnut shell.

Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant, $51, is available at its store at Suntec City and its counter at TANGS Orchard.

B is for Beauty Cleanse

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 01.39.48With a system clogged up by all that CNY pigging out, it’s no wonder your skin is in a terrible state! Worry not! Get onto this 3-day juice cleanse programme ASAP. Using organic fruit and vegetables (each bottle has 1kg!), the service includes delivery and a support system to help you ride out of these 3 days with as little trouble as possible. For more information, visit Beauty Cleanse’s website now! 

C is for Collection Cosmetics

vt-collectionWe’ve always loved the bright and zany colours from UK brand, Collection Cosmetics, and their Spring collection promises to be brighter and zanier than ever. For this look, we blended teal with lime green eyeliner, which made Vanessa’s eyes look brighter and more alive. As for her lips, we layered a few generous swipes of Colour Pro Lip Lacquer on top of the Deluxe Lipstick, for a pert and juicy pout. (L-R) French Kiss Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil, Rebel Colour Pro Lip Lacquer, Speakeasy Deluxe Lipstick, Peacock Feather Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil.

Collection Cosmetics is available at selected Watsons stores, and BHG. 

D is for Derma Center

material world_derma center
Derma Center is your one-stop boutique to get professional advice and personalised diagnosis for your skin and hair. Bringing together three brands — Vichy, La Roche-Posay and SkinCeuticals — this boutique is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. One thing we’re absolutely looking forward to? For the first time ever, SkinCeuticals medi-spa facials will be available in the SkinCeuticals spa cabin within the boutique!

Derma Center is located at Westgate #02-33

E is for Elizabeth Arden

velpicstitch20140128_110507The brand is best known for using cutting-edge technology in its skincare lines, but going by this road-test, we can vouch for the fact that it creates pretty damn good base makeup too. The foundation Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 13 is lightweight in texture and blends easily into skin, yet it is also effective in neutralising redness, as well as blurring imperfections. The bronzer Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder gives features a more 3D effect, while adding a healthy, sun-kissed glow. (L-R) Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 15 (in Beige 13), Beautiful Color Gloss Stick in Sunrise 03, Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter (in First Mate 01), and Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder (in Warm Glow 01).

For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden stores, visit its website

F is for The Face Shop

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.38.24Skin feeling sore and inflamed from stress? The Face Shop’s new natural skincare line Calming Seed may just be what you need. Free of synthetic preservative, fragrance, artificial coloring, ethanol, and animal-sourced ingredients, the products contain Tamanu Seed extracts—used by Polynesian women to treat their skin troubles. 100% of the testing panel reported calmer, cooler skin after 2 weeks. We love the soft, light, creamy texture of the Skin-Resting Cream, $55.90.

The Calming Seed range is available at all The Face Shop stores islandwide.

G is for Giorgio Armani Makeup

material world_giorgio armani makeupLove your makeup light, subtle and feminine? Check out Giorgio Armani’s Spring Makeup collection. Inspired by the understated glamour of 1930’s Hollywood, this collection features plenty of pearly Nude shades and subtle shimmers. One key product to look out for is the limited edition Belladonna Highlighting Palette. It features a soft gel-to-powder, which helps brighten your complexion for a lively radiance.

Giorgio Armani Makeup is available from mid-February at DFS Scottswalk. 

H is for Hair Chalk

vt-the body shopThese limited edition hair chalks from The Body Shop are perfect if you’re still deciding whether or not to get your hair coloured, or if you just wanna try a new look for a party. Plus, it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is gather a section of your hair, place the colour pad on top (with your thumb underneath), then glide down to the tip. Available in two lively shades – Falling for Blue and Tickle Me Pink.

Available from 10 February at all The Body Shop stores. 

I is for Instagram beauty inspiration

Here are some Instagram accounts to follow if you want to be inspired to try new beauty looks every day. We love @jinsoonchoi (for manicures), @bleachlondon (for hair colour), and @michellefawn (YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan’s Instagram account).

J is for Dr Jart+

material world_dr jartIf you work in an air-conditioned environment, you’ll want a jar of Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Multi Balm on your desk permanently. This multi-purpose balm contains ceramides (the molecules that prevent moisture from evaporating from your skin), which means no more dry, scaly skin from being in an air-conditioned office all day. Unlike other cream-based moisturising lotions, this balm doesn’t leave your hands with greasy residue — in fact, the texture is more like candle wax. It also has a soothing bergamot scent that helps calm frazzled nerves during the workday.

Dr Jart+ is now available at selected Guardian and SaSa outlets.

K is for Kiehl’s
Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.49.04
Fans of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial range of skincare will be pleased to know that the brand is launching a new cream that’ll address skin dryness. Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration keeps skin moisturised for up to 24 hours with Enriched Hyaluronic Acid. A more detailed review of this super-hydrating cream will be posted up on Material World soon. But, if you can’t wait, hop down to your nearest Kiehl’s store to a 7-day sample.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration is available at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide.

L is for Laneige
No. 2 Shiny Gold

No. 2 Shiny Gold

The Spring eyeshadow palettes of Laneige come with high-pigmented shades that promise high-color realization. With 7 palettes to choose from, you can create a natural day-look or glamorous smoky-eye look. Personal favourite of the team? No. 2 Shiny Gold. Each palette retails for $40.

Laneige boutiques can be found at ION Orchard, JCube and Plaza Singapura.

M is for Maybelline Color Tattoo

Don’t you hate it when your eye makeup smudges or cakey after a day of being out and about? Being a busy go-getter, the last thing you need is to spend time cleaning off and re-applying your makeup. Maybeline Color Tattoo is an intense cream-gel that adheres to your eyelid easily, and clings on all day. No fading, no smudging, no caking. What’s more, this versatile product can be used as base makeup for your eyes, an eyeshadow, or even an eyeliner (you just need a fine-tipped brush).

Maybelline Color Tattoo is available at Watsons.

N is for Nars

Nars new

Bright, shimmery colours make up the colour palette for Nars’ Spring 2014 makeup collection. The Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, made up of gold lamé and iridescent smoky orchid, is a must-have in your makeup pouch. The gold shadow leaves a slight shimmer on your lids, making you look bright and perky during the day. After work, simply blend in the purple shadow from the outer corners of the lids, then dab the gold shadow on the inner corners for a sexy evening look. The Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss gives your lips a juicy pout, thanks to its high-shine formula that’s infused with nourishing ingredients. Apart from the ones featured in the photo above, Nars’ Spring 2014 collection also comprises pencil liners in vibrant shades like metallic aquamarine, and a lip pencil in striking mandarin red. (L-R) Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss.

Nars is available at TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Orchard. 

O is for Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Cream

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 12.31.44Gravity can be such a party-pooper sometimes. If you think your face is starting to sag then this cream by Origins may be just the thing to give your jowls a lift! Promising to give your face the enviable the “V-shape”, the cream also claims to make your chin look slimmer and sharper. Well, there’s only one way to find out …

Origins can be found at Robinsons Orchard and TANGS Vivocity.

P is for Porcelain, The Face Spa

Material World_Soothe Mist Toner
If you’re a regular reader of Material World, you’ll know that we are fans of the facial treatments at Porcelain, The Face Spa. Apart from facials, this homegrown brand also carries their own line of skincare products. Porcelain Soothe, Mist Toner is a hydrating product that can be used after cleansing your face or even as a midday perk-me-up. With ingredients like Witch Hazel extracts, and vitamins C and E, this toner is robust enough to take on free radicals caused by environmental damage, but is still gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.

Soothe, Mist Toner is available at Porcelain, The Face Spa

Q is for …


R is for RMK

velpicstitch20140129_115847This season, dramatic eyes make way for healthy, radiant skin and bold lips. RMK’s S/S 2014 collection is centred around fun, flirty pink, which is best epitomised by its W Crayon & Gloss Lips. On its own, the lip crayon has gives a matte finish with impressive staying power. Top it off with the semi-transparent gloss for a glossy finish – a great way to quickly change up the look to look more glamorous for evening events. RMK Kaleidoscope Nuance Color contains six different hues and six different textured powders to help contour and sculpt your featured, while giving it an unmistakable glow. (Clockwise from left) Kaleidoscopic Eyes 01, Kaleidoscope Nuance Color 01, W Crayon & Gloss Lips 02

RMK can be found at Isetan Scotts Level 1, Isetan Serangoon Central and Takashimaya D.S.

S is for Shiseido 

shiseido newLove the summertime glow but don’t wish to get a tan? With Shiseido’s Spring 2014 makeup collection, you’ll be able to find just the products to create that sun-kissed look. Apply the shimmery soft beige cream around the eyes, then blend in the yellow cream. For lips, dab on the lip gloss in pale lavender for a hint of colour. (L-R) Lacquer Gloss Lacque Brilliance in VI708, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in BE217, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in YE216. 

Shiseido can be located at TANGS, Robinsons and Takashimaya.

T for Too Faced

toofaced-mascaraThis mascara by Too Faced has made some rather bold claims – the most obvious being its name, Better Than Sex. And, based on the consumer study results, there was a 1,944-percent increase in lash volume, with 100 percent of the participants reporting dramatic volume and longer lashes. Lili, who claims to be “lash-deprived” was more than excited to try out this mascara. The first thing you’ll notice is its hourglass-shaped brush. Shaped after the silhouette of a woman, the brush was designed to separate, coat and curl each lash. This mascara has also got a long-wearing, smudge-proof formula with Acia Senegal tree extract to nourish the lashes. Application was a breeze; one single coat was enough to plump up and lengthen her sparse lashes. “While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s better than sex, it is one of the better mascaras I’ve tried,” says Lili.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is available at Sephora outlets islandwide. 

U is for uemulo munenoli for shu uemura

uemulo for shu uemura new uniformStarting this month, shu uemura’s Beauty Stylists will sport a chic new look courtesy of Tokyo fashion label uemulo munenoli. You may wonder, “But it’s just a uniform. Why put in so much attention?” But according to the brand, its late founder Mr Shu Uemura once said that beauty stylists are like actors performing on the stage, except in this case they are delivering “artful performance centering on makeup and skincare.”

Check out this new uniform at all shu uemura counters islandwide.

V is for Vera Wang Princess Pink

Dressed in hot pink glitter, this limited edition Vera Wang fragrance is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! The scent is a heady mix of pink grapefruit, dewberry and raspberry sorbet, marshmallow fluff and sandalwood—just what we would expect of a budding new romance!

Vera Wang Pink Princess EDT is available exclusively at SaSa stores islandwide.

W is for … Water Transfer Nail Decals

material world_gummi nails
Always loved those cute and delicate nail art but find it too expensive to get a manicurist to paint it on for you? Well, now you can easily do it at home with Water Transfer Nail Decals from Gummi Nails. Available in assorted designs, these nail decals are super easy to apply. Check out the tutorial here.

X is for …


Y is for Yves Rocher
Not only is it Yves Rocher’s best-selling range, every product you buy from the Elixir 7.9 line will help plant a tree in the world. The brand hopes to plant 50 million trees by 2015 so every bit of help you can give this initiative will benefit our planet tremendously. Made from 7 active botanical ingredients, the Elixir 7.9 serum promises to intensify the rejuvenating effects of your current anti-ageing skincare. Read our review of the serum and the eye roll-on here.

Yves Rocher is located at Westgate #02-16.

Z is for Za 

velpicstitch20140127_153348Never again will you have to make the tough decision between lipstick and gloss with Za Rich-Glam Liquid Rouge. This lip product promises to give the rich, pigmented look of a lipstick and the high-shine finish of a gloss. What we like about this is its applicator — it dispenses just the right amount of colour, and is spoon-shaped to fit the curve of your lips for fuss-free application. The shade shown here is RS481.

Za is available at all Watsons stores.

There you go! You can’t call yourself a beauty junkie until you go through everything on this list! Yes, yes, we know there are 24 instead of 26. Pictures of the looks on Denise, Vanessa and Lili were taken with the Sony QX100.

Food & Supplements, Health & Fitness

Should You Go On a Juice Cleanse? – Denise Li

As a firm believer that there is no shortcut to becoming and staying healthy, I was naturally quite wary about doing a juice cleanse. That was, until I gained a far better understanding about what it is all about. The first thing you have to know that it’s NOT a fad diet – what it does is help you push the reset button on bad eating habits. A 3-day juice cleanse does help you lose weight quickly as it helps get rid of the toxins and waste in your body. But importantly, at the end of the Cleanse, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for your body, and be more motivated to treat it right, such as by putting more thought into what you eat. This is, ultimately, what holds the key to your health!

I spoke to Ng Boon Choon, co-founder of Beauty Clease to answer some of the more pressing questions you might have about a juice cleanse.

Beauty Cleanse (lifestyle)

Why should we Cleanse?

We are exposed to toxicity everywhere today; in the air we breathe and the food we eat. As a result, our bodies absorb environmental pollutants and harmful toxins, and are stored in places such as the colon, blood stream, lymph nodes, livers and kidneys. As the toxins accumulate over time, our bodies will find it hard to absorb nutrients and effectively get rid of waste. Our Cleanse essentially regenerates the body through the nutrients provided by our organic juices. A Cleanse helps gives the body a “break” from doing the hard work of digestion, while eliminating the toxins that have been accumulated over time,

What benefits can you experience after the Cleanse?

Higher energy levels, improved alertness, improved eating & dietary habits, rebalanced pH levels (that can strengthen the immune system), cleansing at a cellular level, and a reduction in the amount of  harmful toxins in the body. You can also look forward to some weight loss, a radiant glowing complexion, slimmer waistline and reduction in stubborn fat.

What is the rationale behind some of the juices created for the 3-day Skinny Genes Cleanse?

Most of our juices have a  vegetable base though we do add fruit with low GI (glycemix index) in some of them in order to keep sugar levels as low as possible. Vegetables can supply the body with a lot of energy and a high amount of chlorophyll, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and enzymes.

The common wisdom is that it’s important to have a lot of fibre in our diet. However, the juices don’t contain any fibre. What are the reasons for this?

The whole purpose of doing a Cleanse is to let your digestive system rest so the energy can be channelled into healing and repairing your cells. As our juices do not contain any fibre, the nutrients can be absorbed into our bloodstream quickly and more readily, without having to use up any of its precious energy to break down indigestible fibre. While it is important to have a lot of fibre in our daily diet, fibre is not recommended during a Cleanse as it will further cause strain on your digestive system. At Beauty Cleanse, we adhere to The Gerson Therapy: a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through organic raw juices, treating the causes of most degenerative diseases: toxicity and nutritional deficiency.

The juices are “cold-pressed”. What does “cold-pressed” mean, and how is this method of extraction better than regular juicing?

“Cold-pressed” refers to the method of extracting juice through the tremendous pressure exerted by a hydraulic press using approximately two tons (equivalent to 4000 pounds) of hydraulic pressure. This allows us to produce consistently delicious, high-quality juices. The Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer – which we use – is also the best juicer in the world to provide oxidation-free juices, while preserving maximum amount of vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes and other vital nutrients in the juices. Regular juicing uses a centrifugal juicer that involves a rapidly spinning strainer or blade. As a result, heat and static electricity are produced. This draws in a large amount of air, compromising and destroying the nutrients as the juices are oxidised. Because the cold-presseing method does not generate frictional heat, it ensures that vital nutrients, minerals and enzymes are preserved

Who are the people you would recommend to go on a juice cleanse?

A juice cleanse is perfect for any active adult over the age of 18 who looking to kick-start a healthy regime, detoxify your body, and who is after increased energy levels. A Juice Cleanse is also recommended for those who feel that they have overindulged after a holiday, a festive season, nights out partying or just transiting into a new stage of life.

There is the 3-day Skinny Genes plan and a 5-day Beauty Boost plan. What are the main differences? How would someone know which plan she should go on?

Our 3-day Skinny Genes Cleanse is perfect for the first timer. You will receive the full benefits of a complete detox and extra energy. Apart from shedding a few pounds from your 3-day cleanse, the main benefits are resetting your eating habits, improving digestion, increase immunity, leaving you radiant, healthy and glowing. You will start to crave healthier clean meals after the Juice Cleanse and that is why a 3-Day Cleanse is a fantastic way to kickstart a new and improved diet and healthy lifestyle. Our 5-day Juice Cleanse is a deeper dive into pure liquid nourishment, enhancing the natural detoxification process by allowing your body to undergo a deeper cellular cleanse and repair. This Cleanse plan is ideal for those who want to optimise the benefits of the plan. It is specially designed for those who want to maximize their weight loss results, and are serious about making the ultimate change to their body by breaking unhealthy food habits, and achieving a healthy glow.

If you are a first timer doing a cleanse, it is recommended to start with a 3-day first. However, if you enjoy a challenge and would like to see improved results, a 5-day cleanse would be most suitable.

How many times a year should someone go on a Cleanse?

The frequency of your cleanse depends entirely on how you feel and what your body requires. Some do it some 2-4 times a year, while some do it once a month. We do recommend doing a full cleanse (3 or 5 day cleanse) once every 2-3 months to renew and restore our cells, tissues, digestive system and organs for improved immunity. But if you’re paying the right amount of attention to your body, it should tell you when it’s ripe for another Cleanse.

Post-Chinese New Year is the perfect time to push the reset button on your health. To find out more about Beauty Cleanse, visit its website.

This post is in no way paid for or advised by Beauty Cleanse. You may read our advertising policy here. 

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

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[Material World x Beauty Cleanse] A Review of the 3-Day Skinny Genes Juice Cleanse – Denise Li

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I find it difficult to eat healthily on a regular basis. On days which see me going for back-to-back meetings and events, I’m inclined to grab a curry puff or croissant so I can eat on the go. Not logging my five servings of fruit and vegetables a day – guilty. So it’s really no surprise that I suffer from flagging levels of energy although I sleep for eight hours straight most nights (a perk of having a flexible schedule!).

When Deborah told me about Beauty Cleanse’s 3-day Skinny Genes juice cleanse, I immediately signed up for it, although it was with some healthy skepticism that I approached it as I thought that the liver and kidney were supposed to do the job of getting rid of toxins from the body without the need for external aid. Still, I couldn’t ignore the signs that it was time to hit the “reset” button on my health, because in addition to lowered levels of energy, I was suffering from a severe bout of constipation.

1375095_527646653984226_369692834_nLast Friday, the good people at Beauty Cleanse dropped off 18 bottles of cold-pressed organic juice at my doorstep for my three-day cleanse, along with supplements such as acai berry, a green superfood powder, spirulina, milk thistle capsules (for liver support), and something called Colosan powder (more on that in a bit). I was to drink 6 bottles each day.

I’ll tell you one thing: cleansing is NOT easy, and it does take a certain amount of mental preparation and willpower to get through it. With your morning juice, you’re supposed to stir in a tablespoon of Colosan powder. It’s made from a compound of magnesium and oxygen, and which helps with bowel movement by oxidising toxins and fecal matter. It’s also supposed to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. In short, it makes you go to the toilet. Very frequently. Fortunately, it doesn’t cause excruciating stomachaches (in my experience, anyhow), although you will probably want to clear your schedule for the rest of the day to stay home and be within a short distance of a toilet. You’re then to drink the rest of the juices every two to three hours.

Day 1

I found it very difficult to get through the day. The juices tasted good, but it was one of the most trying physical challenges I had undertaken this year, second only to the half-marathon I did about three weeks ago. I was tired, experienced a slight headache for most of the day, and it felt like my brain was in a fog. But I was told by the people at Beauty Cleanse that these were normal symptoms of detoxification. At boxing training that afternoon, I felt sluggish and unfocused. Plus, because I didn’t want to bail out of meeting the rest of the Material Girls for the anniversary celebration of a bar that night, I went anyway. Bad decision as I was MISERABLE being around copious amounts of food and free-flowing alcohol that I couldn’t have. I went to bed grumpy that night.

Day 2

I woke up with an intense urge to chew something. I was craving hot food. It was also Sunday, which means there’s plenty of feasting to be done in the Lee household. But as I didn’t want to be tempted, I locked myself in my room for most of the day, emerging only to grab another bottle of juice. During the Cleanse, you’re allowed to “cheat” a little, but only with a list of “pre-approved” items such as cucumber, avocado or a homemade low-sodium vegetable broth, so I had a little cucumber. I didn’t feel quite as lethargic as the first day – definitely an improvement. I did take a long nap in the afternoon, and when I woke up, I felt more energised and focused than I had in a long time and, as a result, did a very productive three hours of work. Yes, I CAN GET THROUGH THIS.

Day 3


Last day of the Cleanse!

I still couldn’t stand to be around food because I was thisclose to just grabbing it off someone and stuffing my face. But I told myself that if I could push myself to keep running at the 17km-mark of the half-marathon, I can resist the urge to eat something for just one more day. My energy levels were pretty good, and I no longer experienced headaches. When I finished my last bottle of juice, I literally patted myself on the back. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

By the end of the Cleanse, I had lost 2.5 kilos (mostly water and waste). My tummy area definitely looked less bloated – I could almost see my abs again. During the Cleanse, I kept fantasising about the foods I’d stuff my face with when it was all over (pizza and bak chor mee), but the day after the cleanse, I actually found myself craving healthy stuff like fruit and veggies. To break my three-day food fast, I cooked myself scrambled eggs for breakfast and had a persimmon. The food actually felt “heavy” in my tummy, so I knew I had to ease myself back into eating solids again. The advice given is that you’re to stick to raw foods (yes, sashimi is recommended), so I had a sashimi rice bowl (without the rice) for lunch, and a salad for dinner.

Yes, you’ll reap the physical benefits of a cleanse, but I think what’s more important is the mental reboot that a Cleanse affords you. It’s been two days since the end of my Cleanse, and I’ve found myself listening a lot more to my body and actually planning my meals better as I didn’t want to undo what good the Cleanse had done me. I’ve been eating a lot more fruit and veggies, and my energy levels have been consistently good.

I think it’s important to approach a Cleanse with the right attitude. Don’t see it as a quick weight loss fix (because you’ll put the weight back on quickly if you revert to unhealthy eating habits). Rather, see it as a way to kick off a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

Another thing I liked about Beauty Cleanse was the fact that the team behind it is very supportive. You’ll receive daily email updates about how to stave off the negative symptoms of a detox, as well as a daily phone call where they’ll enquire about how your Cleanse is going. The support definitely helped me through it all.

Would I do it again? Yes, I’ll probably consider doing it every six months or so, or whenever I feel myself falling off the healthy bandwagon!

Find out more about Beauty Cleanse by visiting its website.

This post is brought to you by Beauty Cleanse. Beauty Cleanse worked with Material World on this post for a review of its Skinny Genes Juice Cleanse. All opinions are the author’s own.

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