Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

This Skincare Product From Shiseido Is Iffy – Deborah Tan

Great research and powerful ingredients in the new Shiseido Vital-Perfection range can’t seem to change Deborah Tan’s mind about this particular skincare product. What gives?

Shiseido Vital Perfection range

Shiseido Vital Perfection range

Shiseido’s latest skincare range Vital-Perfection addresses two concerns every woman has about “growing older” – lines, sagging skin, dullness, and a “yellowing” complexion. The range contains a revolutionary ingredient complex called VP8 to shut off the pathways leading to the root cause of multiple aging and discoloration.

The range aims to
1. Lift the skin
2. Smooth out wrinkles
3. Keep fine lines from forming
4. Erase age spots
5. Fight dullness
6. Improve softness of skin
7. Improve the texture of skin
8. Keep skin well hydrated

The regime is fairly easy to follow – it consists of a cleansing foam, a softener and an emulsion. Those who desire a richer texture can opt to use to the enriched version of the softener and emulsion. Results can be seen in just one week.

I tested the range and discovered that, while I like the cleansing foam and the emulsion, the one product I had to stop using after a day was the softener.

What happened?
This could be a matter of personal preference. Although the function of a softener is to help prep your skin to absorb your serum, essence and moisturizer better, I have always found that it impedes the absorption rather than improve it. Whenever I try out a Shiseido skincare range, I find I have a much better experience, and result, when I exclude the softener.

For Vital-Perfection, I tried to, once again, follow the regime as instructed. The cleanser was excellent – a soft cushiony lather forms easily and cleanses the skin thoroughly without over-drying it. The emulsion has a watery texture and quenched my tired and dehydrated skin adequately.

When I did include the softener, I found, to my dismay, that it formed a wet, impenetrable layer on my skin. Add the emulsion on top of this layer and I ended up with a product-slick on my face that took too long to be absorbed. Even after I pat the excess off with a piece of a tissue, I found my skin looked shiny and felt sticky.

After a day of “sticky” skin, I decided that, once again, a Shiseido softener was not for me. I proceeded with my review with only the cleanser and emulsion.

The result
Most skincare products require anytime between 28 days and 2 months for results to be evident. After my week with Vital-Perfection (six days without the softener), I am happy to note that …

1. My skin is smoother – especially at the forehead
2. Less “yellow”
3. Skin texture on the cheeks is more refined
4. More lifted and firmer around the jaw area

Before (left) and After (right). Photos have not been digitally touched up or Photoshopped in anyway. Pictures are also taken without makeup.

Before (left) and After (right). Photos have not been digitally touched up or Photoshopped in anyway. Pictures were also taken without makeup.

Verdict
I would recommend Vital-Perfection for women who are beginning to worry about becoming “yellow-face housewives” (huang lian po). Vital-Perfection addresses the 3 root causes that lead to aging signs on the face:

1. Carbonylation – main cause of dermal proteins yellowing
2. Glycation – main cause behind the breakdown of collage
3. Oxidation – main cause of skin damage and inflammation

It provides an all-rounded, comprehensive approach to keeping your complexion and skin youthful-looking.

To see if the softener does indeed work for you, I recommend you go to a Shiseido counter and try the emulsion with and without the softener to see which option makes you more comfortable.

Shiseido Vital-Perfection is retailing at all Shiseido counters islandwide. The Vital-Perfection range was given to Material World at the press event. This review was neither paid for nor advised by Shiseido. You may read our advertising policy here.

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 is currently on the hunt for a good non-sticky neck cream that she can use during the day. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

3 Products That Will Help You Beat Face Puffiness – Deborah Tan

A puffy face makes us look tired and grumpy – not exactly a good look to sport in the morning. Deborah Tan puts 3 Clarins products – which claim to make your face look sharper and more defined – to the test.

There are a number of ways that can help prevent a puffy, heavy looking face; you keep yourself well hydrated to relieve bloating, avoid eating too much salty food since salt retains water, and don’t drink too much water before going to bed. The main reason why faces become puffy is a sluggish circulation, which causes excess fluids and toxins to get trapped around the face – an area that houses several lymph nodes.

Recently, I was sent three products that claim to relieve face puffiness and help return definition to your facial contours. In fact, the serum of the range also goes by “Total V Contouring Serum” because its ultimate goal is to help create a sharper looking face – more like a V, and less like a U.

I reviewed the entire range for 2 weeks, trying its cream mask four times (twice each week) and its serum and eye serum every day. Here is the result:

Before (left) and After (right). Pictures are not digitally altered or touched up in any way.

Before (left) and After (right). Pictures are not digitally altered or touched up in any way.

What is this range? It’s Clarins Shaping Facial Lift.

Of the 3 products, my favorite is definitely the serum. I had my reservations whether it would work, especially since my face is naturally big and heavy-set. The serum comes with an instruction sheet that illustrates how you should apply it. Start at your forehead by placing the weight of your head in your palms. Hold for 10 seconds. Then, move them down to your eyes and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for your cheeks, ears, and both sides of your jaw, holding each spot for 10 seconds.

It sounds like a lot of work to do for applying serum but trust me, by the third or fourth time, you’d be moving your hands like a seasoned facialist. I found doing the massage after cleansing my face extremely therapeutic.

The mask – which I used twice a week – has a mousse-like texture that doesn’t actually dry up on your face. You apply a thick layer onto freshly cleansed skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. The mask doesn’t exactly lift. Rather, it depuffs a post-sleep face so you won’t look so “swollen” in the morning. To save time, I applied it only to my cheek and jaw area, and then use a deep-cleansing mask on my T-zone.

The eye serum – my second favorite – breaks up into a watery texture on application, making it very easy for the skin to absorb. I found it hydrating enough although you can follow up with an eye cream if you wish.

clarins

The Magic
Now, the magic behind the wonderful range are a number of botanicals that help promote fluid drainage, “release” excess fat and firm up the skin. The serum contains extracts of guarana, zerumbet ginger and kaki, while the mask has Chinese barley and ginkgo biloba to “release” puffiness caused by heat, stress and sleep. The eye serum has maritime pine to improve circulation.

Clarins is a brand that prefers to use plant-based extracts over synthetic ones. Its products are extremely pleasurable to use. Every time I use a Clarins product, I imagine I’m in the spa because the scents are so luxurious and relaxing.

Verdict
I started on this range after a hectic month of travelling. As you can see from the Before (Left) picture, the flying and the drastic change in climate had left my face looking very puffy and my eyes, hooded. You will start to see improvements to your facial contours in about 3 days – it is not a fast, immediate miracle cure. Be sure to accompany your use of this regime with other things like drinking lots of water to keep your circulation going at a healthy rate.

Clarins Shaping Facial Lift products are now available at all Clarins counters such as TANGS Orchard, and at Clarins Skin Spa at Wheelock Place.

The Clarins Shaping Facial Lift products were given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s own. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Clarins. 

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 knows she should sleep on her back but always wakes up with lines on the right side of her face. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

 

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective White Hydrating & Clarifying Masque – Deborah Tan

Sheet mask addict Deborah Tan puts the latest Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Hydrating & Clarifying Masque to the test. And she’s happy to report that it works beautifully. Read her review below.

I’m sure many of you love the cooling, hydrating feel of a sheet mask. I’m no exception. In fact, I’ve come to expect every brightening skincare line to feature a sheet mask. When Kiehl’s launched its Clearly Corrective White series a couple of years ago, I asked the visiting expert during an interview if they would consider launching a sheet mask soon. And what do you know? This year, my beauty wish got granted! When Sze Ying from Kiehl’s passed me the masks to try, I was over the moon!

The Clearly Corrective White line features 3 key ingredients – Activated C, Peony Extract and White Birch – to help skin achieve radiance and an even skin-tone. The Dark Spot Solution is so popular, the brand brings in a JUMBO size for a limited period of time to satisfy those who can’t get enough of its pigment spot erasing powers.

Here’s what you need to know: A SINGLE application of this sheet mask is the EQUIVALENT of 3 WEEKS’ use of the Dark Spot Solution.

Every box contains 6 sheets of masks.

Every box contains 6 sheets of masks.

So how does this sheet mask measure up? I shall let the pictures below do the talking.

First Impressions:
When I extracted the sheet mask from its foil packaging, I found the entire piece drenched with concentrate. It made opening up the piece slightly difficult but it’s nothing a little patience cannot manage. Also, I think many people would appreciate that the mask is packed with the skincare goodness of Clearly Corrective White. You are definitely getting your money’s worth in a single piece of mask.

Pardon the one moment of unglam-ness!

Pardon this one moment of unglam-ness!

Finally, the mask was on! The mask has two eye-flaps. You can use them to cover your eye area completely or fold them over the undereye area for a more intense “soak”. Scent-wise, there is an unmistakable lavender scent, which has a rather soothing, relaxing effect.

Results:
I noticed a marked improvement in smoothness and softness but it was only after I compared the Before and After pictures did I see that that mask also gave immediate results in clarity.

Verdict:

From the front:

Before (left) and After (right). Pictures have not been touched up or digitally altered in any way.

Before (left) and After (right). Pictures have not been touched up or digitally altered in any way.

From the side:

Before (left) and After (right). The marks on my cheek are clearly less faint after the mask. Again, images have not been touched up in any way.

Before (left) and After (right). The marks on my cheek are clearly less faint after the mask. Again, images have not been touched up in any way.

I really like this sheet mask from Kiehl’s. It’s intensely hydrating (great for the scorching weather these days), it’s immediately radiance-boosting, and it’s got a scent that I absolutely love. I’m positive that this is a beauty buy you won’t regret.

The Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective White Hydrating & Clarifying Treatment Masque is now available at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide. The mask was given to Material World for review purposes. The review was neither paid for nor advised by Kiehl’s. All opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

For similar stories, check out …

1. Beauty Review: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration

2. Whitening Versus Brightening: Same or Different?

3. Beauty Review: FANCL 5-Step Mutenka Anti-Aging Solution

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

The Face-Shaping Product That Really Surprised Me – Deborah Tan

If the hashtag “#fatface” pops into your mind every time you see a picture of yourself, perhaps it’s time to give this mask a try. Founder Deborah did and hasn’t looked back.

If you think you’ve got “fat face”, you haven’t seen mine. My face is so big, that on a trip to Seoul once, the uncles and aunties at Dongdaemun asked if I would consider going for plastic surgery. I also remember a particularly humiliating incident where some girl (who was flirting with a date) loudly commented that my face is “like a ball”.

So the moment I starting drawing a “sizable” salary, I decided to get Botox injections to slim down my jawline. These injections are by no means cheap (they go up to $1,000 each time) but the results are visible and they last for about six months each time. Obviously, the size of my face is down to bone structure more than anything else. To achieve permanent “face shrinkage” would demand a more invasive method … like shaving the jawbone.

For someone who has resorted to pretty “drastic” measures to have a slimmer-looking face, you will understand why I’m skeptical towards creams and masks that claim to give you a “V-shape face”.

A recent visit to Yves Rocher at Westgate introduced me to the Ovale Lifting Supra Lift Mask. I was told that the brand not only patented the active ingredient, it also patented the delivery method. It seemed promising and I decided to give it a go.

To use the product, you first twist the brush-head to “On”. Squeeze a dollop of the cream-mask out and apply it upwards starting from the base of your jaw to your cheekbones. Visualize yourself painting on a sort of a “hammock” for your face.

The instructions say that you need to put on quite a thick layer so don’t scrimp on that. Once you have “painted” on the mask, click the brush-head to “Off” and use the brush to massage your face in an upward manner for a minute or so. Leave on for 5 minutes before wiping off the excess. There is no need to rinse the mask off.

You are supposed to use this twice a week – which was what I did. I used it on Day 1 and then once more on Day 4. The result, below:

face3

Photos have not been digitally altered or Photoshopped in any way. Difference in skin-tone is due to lighting.

I am astounded by the result! The mask had a clear “anti-slackening” effect on my face. If you look at the right side of each photo (that would be the actual Left of each face), you’ll see that the cheek is lifted and looks firmer. The “droopy” flesh along the jawline has also “tightened” up. My jaw is square so clearly that is something the mask cannot correct. Overall, I’m really pleased to see that the mask made my face looked less puffy, more lifted, and the skin, tighter and less saggy.

I also applied the mask onto my neck and as you can see, on the photo on the right, the lines have also become much fainter.

Verdict: This mask is definitely a cheaper, less invasive method to achieving a slimmer-looking face. This is great for days when you are suffering from water-retention, or feel that your skin is in need of a lift. Got a wedding dinner or a class reunion round the corner? Then this mask will shave a year or two off your face. For me, I just like that I can save on those Botox injections … until I absolutely need them.

Ovale Lifting Supra Lift Mask

Ovale Lifting Supra Lift Mask

The best thing about an Yves Rocher product is that it is 100% plant-based and you can trace its ingredients back to their source. The brand prides itself on growing and harvesting the ingredients it uses, and this commitment to accountability also extends to its manufacturing and research arms. Yves Rocher believes that a brand that respects Nature and the environment is a brand that respects your beauty. The list below explains, in a nutshell, why Yves Rocher is the brand for those who desire products that respects the planet.

yrsummary

The Ovale Lifting Supra Lift Mask was given to Material World for review purposes. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Yves Rocher. You may read our advertising policy here.

Yves Rocher is located at #02-16 Westgate.

WIN A SHOPPING SPREE AT YVES ROCHER NOW!

yrgroupshot

3 lucky Material World readers will each win a $50 voucher from Yves Rocher! With that, you can use this voucher to buy your favourite Yves Rocher products from its store at Westgate. To enter this draw, simply follow these steps:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Yves Rocher” as the Contest Name. Then key in your answer to this question: “How many trees does Yves Rocher hope to plant by 2015?”

2. Like Material World and Yves Rocher on Facebook.

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

This contest ends Monday, 17 February 2014, and is only open to followers of Material World and Yves Rocher Singapore. Only entries submitted via the Material World app will be accepted. Please read our terms and conditions here.

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Ettusais Puru Puru Serum – Tan Lili

For someone whose work involves trying out beauty products, I’m one of the laziest people when it comes to skincare. I use a mask once every few months, and – I can already hear my beauty-editor pal screaming at me for saying this – I always forget to apply a night moisturiser. Also, if I’m not going to be socialising or meeting clients, I’d be more than happy to leave my house bare-faced. In the event that I have to put on my face, that means applying under-eye concealer and some eyeliner – no foundation, no lip gloss or lipstick, no blusher, and no mascara.

Oh, I’m definitely not one of those blessed au naturel beauties; I’m just … lazy.

It’s no surprise, then, that my skincare regime barely meets the minimum requirements. Those extra products meant to enhance the effectiveness of your other skincare products? Sure, I’d use them for a week or so, then dump them into the Lazy Pile Of Extra Skincare Steps I’ve accumulated over the years.

But it seems that one product has managed to escape that pile since I started using it a few weeks ago: Ettusais Puru Puru Serum. And while it makes good on its claims to moisturise the skin, the main reason why I’ve been faithfully using this on top of my other skincare products is a less beneficial one. Allow me to explain.

After I first twisted the cap open, I thought, “Surely this can’t be a serum … it’s a scrub!”

Serum, or scrub?

Serum, or scrub?

Curious, I dabbed some on my hand. Well, as it turned out, I was wrong. Rather than scrubbing the skin, those granules almost immediately melt into the skin after gently rubbing the serum in a circular motion. How intriguing! And, the jelly-like texture of the serum feels super nourishing – especially on dry, dehydrated skin – yet it’s easily absorbed by the skin, giving it a velvety-matte finish.

Answer: Looks like a scrub, feels like jelly, melts like butter, but is a serum!

Answer: Looks like a scrub, feels like jelly, melts like butter, but is a serum!

Based on those fast-melting granules alone, I was sold (trust me, application is fun!). As I later read the press release, I found out that those granules are actually Moisture Capsules, which are made up of skin-lovin’ ingredients like hyaluronic acid, fermented royal jelly and water-soluble collagen. The capsules penetrate the skin to plump it up from within as well as improve the appearance of pores.

The Puru Puru Serum also contains Moisture Shield, which helps seal in the moisture for a long-lasting hydrating effect.

I admit I don’t use this every night (it’s recommended for use in the morning and at night as the last skincare step) but, considering I have dry skin, I must say this serum works well to leave my skin feeling well-moisturised throughout the day. Now this is one additional skincare step worth taking for the lazy girl!

Ettusais Puru Puru Serum, $29, is available at all Ettusais counters. The serum is given to Material World for review purposes; all opinions are the author’s own.

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

[If you liked this story, you’ll enjoy]
1. Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid
2. Ettusais Foamy Rich Mousse

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Beauty & Shopping, Hair

Beauty Review: Timotei Shine Recharge Shampoo and Conditioner – Tan Lili

If you are born in the ’80s and have an amazing memory, you’d probably remember this TV commercial:

Gotta love that random guy on a horse.

I definitely remember the brand name and the bottle packaging – when I was little, my sisters often raved about Timotei because of its lovely floral scent. But, like that random horse-guy, this hair care brand disappeared as unexpectedly as it galloped into the beauty scene.

Turns out, Timotei hasn’t left at all; it’s always been around, only at smaller supermarkets and department stores like Mustafa Centre (though there’s nothing small about this mall). But now, after nearly two decades, Timotei is making a mainstream revival with its new range of shampoos and conditioners, the Jericho Rose range.

Jericho rose is renowned for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, as well as provide hydration and anti-ageing benefits. Used as an active ingredient in Timotei’s range of shampoos and conditioners, Jericho rose is said to leave your hair soft and manageable.

Timotei’s full range of hair care products includes Shine Recharge (shampoo and conditioner), Intense Repair (shampoo and conditioner), 2-In-1 Delicate Shampoo, and 2-In-1 Intense Shampoo. I got to try Shine Recharge, which is formulated with natural sesame seed oil extracts.

shinerecharge

First, the shampoo lathers extremely well, and even seems to detangle my hair during the shampooing. The conditioner works to soften hair, but doesn’t leave it feeling as nourished as I’d hoped. But then again, my dry hair probably requires the richer Intense Repair, instead of Shine Recharge. The floral scent is a winner, though – it stays on for hours on end, even after a day out in the sweltering heat!

Paraben-free and mild enough for everyday use, Timotei prides itself on using 100-percent natural extracts and 100-percent PET recyclable packaging that is made from 25-percent recycled material.

Each bottle from the range costs $6.90. Timotei is available exclusively at selected Guardian stores: Ion Orchard, Paragon, Plaza Singapura, 313@Somerset, Tanglin Mall, Suntec City, VIvoCity, Serangoon NEX, and Jurong Point.

Timotei Shine Recharge Shampoo and Conditioner were given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s own.

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

[If you liked this story, you’ll like]
1. Beauty Review: Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair
2. Before You Buy That Hair Product, Read This

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup, Skincare

Beauty Review: Lancome Teint Visionnaire – Deborah Tan

When Yanny of Lancome emailed me about a new foundation the brand was launching, the title of the email went something like, “The new vision of Skin Perfection”. And as I read the content in detail, she wrote how this new foundation is capable of improving skin texture and evenness with consistent usage. This new foundation is Lancome Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo SPF 20 and my curiosity was truly piqued.

It comes in one handy package where the concealer is … umm … concealed (haha! Sorry, couldn’t help it) in the cap of the bottle. The foundation contains the same ingredient as the Visionnaire serum, LR2412, while the concealer has Vitamin CG and light fillers to correct spots and dark circles.

At $70 a pop, it is a pretty price to pay for a foundation-and-concealer so I really wanted to be sure that it delivers what it says it will in the press release. Teint Visionnaire promises results on 2 fronts – Immediate and After 4 & 8 Weeks. Here are the Before & After pictures:

Immediate:

lancomeimmediate

Pictures were not digitally touched up in any way

Before: Skin is blotchy with some signs of ruddiness around the cheeks and there is a zit on my chin.

After: Skin tone is very much evened out and the zit is concealed quite effectively. I also like that the mattifying effect of the foundation gives a natural-looking complexion rather than one that looks like a mask.

Although it is recommended that you use the concealer as a Step One, what I did was use it as a Step Two after the foundation. After sunscreen, I apply the foundation. Then I dab on the concealer on my problem spots. I find that if you apply concealer BEFORE your foundation, you end up just blending the coverage away. I personally find that I get a better coverage and a more natural finish when I use the concealer ON TOP of the foundation layer.

After 4 Weeks
(Skin shots taken without makeup. I put a blob of foundation on the skin as a point of reference):

skincloseup

Pictures were not digitally retouched in any way

Before: Without makeup, you can see my skin was rough with obvious pores and little red, pimply spots.

After: Although you can still see some whiteheads peeping out from my jawline and the area near by nose is still a bit bumpy, my skin’s texture has definitely improved, skin tone is also brighter and fairer. Pores are smaller and shine and redness are almost things of the past. This was without makeup. Even I was pretty blown away by the improvements on my skin.

If seeing IS believing, this foundation truly lives up to its claims of being a complexion-perfector. I look forward to seeing what my skin will be like in another 4 weeks. In fact, now I’m going to open up my Visionnaire serum and give it a proper go.

Only one word describes my verdict for Lancome Teint Visionnaire:

WOW.

Lancome Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo SPF 20 is available at all Lancome counters and is priced at $70. This foundation was given to Material World for review purposes and all opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and is in real dire need of a facial – it’s been about a year since she’s had one done. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WIN ONE OF 3 LANCOME TEINT VISIONNAIRE SKIN PERFECTING MAKEUP DUO SPF 20!

So you’ll be able to experience the skin-perfecting benefits of this foundation-concealer duo, we are giving away a full-sized bottle of Lancome Teint Visionnaire to 3 lucky readers! The shades are BO-1, BO-2 and PO-3. To enter your name for the draw, follow the steps below:

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at PM 09.51.59

1. In the Comments section, tell us why you want to win a bottle of Lancome Teint Visionnaire.

2. Then click the Facebook button below and share this story with your friends. Tag “Material World” on your post and make sure it’s set on Public so we can see you have done this step.

3. Finally, PM us your personal details (name, age, gender, NRIC no, email address) and state “Teint Visionnaire” in your message.

Closing date for this contest is this Friday, 20 September 2013. This is only open to members of Material World’s Facebook Page please make sure you Like the page first.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup, Skincare

Beauty Review: Origins Smarty Plants CC SPF 20 PA++ – Deborah Tan

This month, Origins launches its first CC cream. Now, you may have gone, “Another one?” but, given that there are so many skin concerns/types/tones/problems, it is always good to have more options. A while ago, BB creams were the talk of town (and in fact, they still are). Then the emergence of CC creams gave rise to a very key discussion in beauty: What are the differences between the two?

For one, BB creams tend to have a heavier texture and coverage compared to CC creams. The names are self-explanatory that way. BB means blemish balm, CC says colour correct. So if your complexion is marred by very obvious zits and scars, perhaps BB creams are more suited for you. If your complexion tends to be sallow, uneven, blotchy, a CC cream should suffice.

Both BB creams and CC creams of today come oozing with skincare benefits and are available in a number of great textures, so I wouldn’t go as far to say that CC creams are better than their predecessors. Because of the options available to us, I strongly recommend you try as many as your budget and time allow to find the perfect one for you.

For me, I hated the “greyish undertone” the older BB creams tend to have so I always, always check for colour first. For Denise, she was told by a makeup artist that it is very difficult to find base makeup that suited her skin tone so she tends to be skeptical about the “one shade suits all” concept. For Lili, she has super-dry skin so texture and hydrating benefits are top on her list.

The folks at Origins are very confident of their CC creams and insisted that it will please the three of us. Before we show you the results, a picture to explain why this CC cream is so “powerful”:

How smart is Origins' new CC cream?

How smart is Origins’ new CC cream?

More than just a colour product, this CC cream is supposedly “smart”. The magic starts when you apply the CC cream. Depending on how much pressure you apply – an intuitive act since we tend to focus more on problematic areas – the cream releases just the right amount of pigments to correct your skin tone. Then, as you go about your daily business, it releases vitamins and antioxidants every time your skin gets exposed to harmful stuff like UV rays and pollutions. Finally, instead of just dumping a whole load of ingredients at once onto your skin, it contains time-released capsules containing salicylic acid (great for those with oily, acne-prone skin) and chestnut extract to refine your complexion.

Our reviews:

Left: Denise; right: Lili

Left: Denise; right: Lili

“Blended perfectly with my skin tone!” Denise Li
I’ve never been sold to the idea of BB or CC creams because I could never find one that matches my skin tone. I found myself pleasantly surprised at Origins’ CC cream. It blended perfectly into my skin, gave me a dewy finish, and has pretty good coverage despite its lightweight texture! You can even see that it’s evened out the ruddy patches of my skin and covered my acne scars. The only thing I didn’t like was that my skin did not stay matte for long. I would avoid using this on my oily T-zone in future.

“A dream to apply” Tan Lili
Because of my dry skin, I usually have to spend a while prepping my skin till it’s “foundation-ready”. Often, I just skip makeup altogether because it takes too much time! I found this CC cream a dream to apply – it was very easy to blend. The slight hydrating benefits also meant that my skin didn’t “crack” or flake. However, I would love for it to be more moisturising so I can finally achieve dewy-looking skin.

Deborah

Deborah

“Just nice for a day of light makeup” Deborah Tan
The picture you see here is me wearing only Origins CC cream and eyebrow makeup. No blusher, no highlighter. I love that it tames down my natural flush without completely hiding it so I look as if I still have blusher on. This CC cream keeps my skin soft and hydrated throughout the day and, being prone to acne and excess shine, I like the idea of salicylic acid being released gradually into my skin.

 

Origins products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum paraffin, and animal ingredients (except cruelty-free honey and beeswax). The CC creams were given to Material World for review purposes in conjunction with its launch this month. You may read our advertising policy here.

 

DP13_43_Smarty Plants_Asia LRTRY IT!
We have 3 full-sized Origins Smarty Plants CC up for grabs! Simply follow the instructions below to enter your name for the draw:

1. In the Comments section, complete this sentence: “I wish my complexion was more … “.

2. Then click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this post with your friends. Tag Material World’s FB page in your post. Remember to keep your post’s setting on Public so we can see you have fulfilled this step.

3. Private message us your details (Name, Age, NRIC no, Email address) with “Origins Smarty Plants” in your message.

This contest is only open to members of Material World’s Facebook Page. Please Like us here before you enter the draw. Contest ends Monday, 16 September 2013.

 

 

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and is contemplating whether or not to tattoo her eyebrows so she can skip drawing her brows every day. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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1. Beauty Review: Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer

2. [Material World x Origins] A World Away From Home

3. Beauty Review: Biotherm White D-Tox CC Glow

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Beauty & Shopping, Hair

Beauty Review: Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair – Deborah Tan

One of the things I hate doing the most is washing my hair. No one believes me when I tell them this. All they see is someone with freshly blown tresses day in day out. But you know what? Getting my hair to look the way it does is a chore. The shampooing and the blow-drying take forever to complete (in all, I spend 45 minutes!), and let’s not even talk about the number of precious strands I lose every day.

It’s not that I don’t know why.

1. My hair takes forever to get washed because …

… it is tangled. It may look like it is keeping its shape and bounces really well but what I’ve got is a head of hair that tangles mid-length, no thanks to heat damage. If you run your fingers through my hair, you’ll see it gets “trapped” halfway down. Every shampoo session is tedious because it is close to impossible getting the strands to separate.

2. Blow-drying is a necessary evil

Don’t blow-dry my hair? Well, then be prepared for a long, arduous wait. Without blow-drying, my hair takes close to two hours to dry. I’m not exaggerating. And after it dries, it’s even frizzier than if I had put it through the hair-dryer. It takes 15 – 25 minutes to blow-dry my hair because damaged hair holds on to water. Healthy hair is hydrophobic (waterproof) and therefore takes less time to dry. Damaged hair not only stays wet for longer, it breaks more easily because the hair shaft swells a lot more when it comes into contact with water.

So when I was introduced to Dove Hair Therapy’s new Intense Repair range of hair products, I was more than ready to give them a try.

Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair range

Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair range

The Science:
Briefly put, this entire range repairs your hair on the cellular level. This is because hair suffers not just physical damage but also internal damage. The former is caused by things like exposure to heat and physical stress like combing, the latter is caused by things like lipid loss and fluctuating pH levels. Intense Repair has a patented Keratin Repair Actives to replenish the lost lipids and stabilise the protein structure to prevent further damage.

There are a total of 6 products in the Intense Repair range. My favourites are:

#3: Intense Repair Treatment Mask, $10.90

Dove-Intense-Repair-Treatment-Mask

I know it’s awkward standing inside the shower while waiting the five minutes for a hair mask to work its magic. But if you have the habit of blow-drying your hair or colouring your hair, a hair mask is habit you need to get started on asap. Used once a week, a mask provides your hair with a more intense bout of benefits and hydration your conditioner cannot. Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair Treatment Mask left my hair a lot softer and smoother, without being too greasy or heavy. It rinses off extremely well and quickly – a bonus for impatient people like me.

#2: Intense Repair Conditioner, $7.70 for 350ml 

Dove-Intense-Repair-Conditioner

In the conditioners of this new range is a new technology called Microsheets. Conditioning ingredients are deposited along the hair shaft in “sheet-like” shapes rather than circular particles. This ensures a more even coating of the conditioner and makes rinsing less abrasive. I’ve tried this for two weeks now and I can tell you the amount of hair on my bathroom drain trap has more than halved. I’m losing less hair during my daily wash. Pretty amazing when you can see that a hair monster is no longer growing on your drain trap.

#1: Intense Repair All Day Repair Cream, $7.05  

Dove-Intense-Repair-All-Day-Cream

My absolute favourite! After my first time trying this, I was irrevocably hooked! After towelling my hair, I would squeeze a 20-cent dollop of this cream, flipped my head towards the ground so my hair tumbles down in front of my face, and gently spread this cream on every strand. Applying the cream like this prevents you from putting it on your scalp. Unlike most creams/serums I’ve tried, this one significantly reduces the amount of time I spend blow-drying my hair. TRUE STORY. It takes me less time to blow-dry my hair and it keeps its shape and bounce throughout the day without tangling up. It also contains a UV blocker – great for those who’s out and about in the sun.

Overall, I’m in love with this range of hair products – great scent, great texture, and most importantly, great results. I actually don’t dread washing my hair so much these days. If you don’t want to splurge on an entire range at once, I recommend you try the conditioner first.

This new range from Dove Hair Therapy is available at all leading supermarkets and pharmacies.

The Dove Hair Therapy Intense Repair range was given to Material World at the media launch. All opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hates it when people try to pluck out her grey hair. You’ve been warned. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Philosophy Total Matteness Range – Denise Li

Combination skin is such a drag to care for, isn’t it? Use products too moisturising and you might end up clogging your pores. On the other hand, if you use mattifying products, you run the risk of your skin overcompensating and producing even more sebum as a result. Still, I find myself leaning towards the latter because starting off with a matte base means I have a far easier time applying makeup right after my skincare.

The problem with a lot of the mattifying skincare products I’ve tried in the past is that their effects never seem to last for long, and I usually have to pull out my blotters by lunch time. Will the Philosophy Total Matteness range prove to the gamechanger? I was curious to find out, so I solely used its range of three products day and night for 10 days straight.

The range consists of three products, Pore-Minimizing & Mattifying Cleanser + Mask, Oil-free Mattifying Pore Refiner (a lotion), and Oil-free Mattifying Pore Eraser. Let’s go through the range by each skincare step.

Step 1: Cleansing with Pore-Minimizing Cleanser + Mask, $45

philosophy cleanser

Despite my semi-oily skin, I usually stay away from cleansers FOR oily skin as I find these extremely drying. Every time I use one of those, I feel like I’ve just scrubbed my face with floor cleaner or some equally harsh detergent, so it was with caution that I approached this cleanser/mask. The texture and consistency is similar to that of a typical clay mask – no surprises there as its main ingredient is glacial clay. So I was surprised when I saw it foam – just a little to help you easily spread it across your face. I was VERY surprised at how my face felt after I’d washed it off, as there was no tightness or dryness at all despite it cleansing very well. Many cleansers claim to leave your complexion looking brighter post-cleanse, but this is one of the few that actually delivers on that promise. I also used it as a mask once a week and it worked just as you would expect a clay mask to. It dries quickly with a “skin tightening” sensation and washes off quickly and easily.

Step 2: Toning with Oil-free, Mattifying Pore Refiner, $45

philosophy pore refiner

This has lentil seed extract, which is supposed to strengthen the walls of your pores to keep them clear and minimise their appearance. But what I like about this is that it leaves my skin feeling soothed and hydrated, prepping it for the next step, which is …

Step 3: Applying the Oil-free, Mattifying Pore Eraser, $65

philosophy pore eraser

Just like the Pore Refiner, this has lentil seed extract. But it also has bamboo extract to absorb excess oil, as well as salicylic acid to remove the buildup of dead skin cells around the pore wall to brighten its darkened appearance. I was quite stunned when the first time I used this … probably because I was more used to more hydrating anti-ageing and whitening serums. This product, on the other hand, disappears into your skin the moment it touches it. Skin was indeed left super matte, to the point that the drier areas of my face – my cheeks – felt uncomfortably tight. I initially used this twice a day for 10 days but switched to applying it only on my T-zone during the day, and a more hydrating night routine. My skin needs the moisture as I sleep in an air-conditioned environment. Still, despite how it felt on my skin, I couldn’t deny the results. After 10 days, the blackheads on my nose seemed to have decreased in number, and the pores, less visible.

Before using the Philosophy Total Mattness range: How much oil my skin the blotter has absorbed by 5pm.

Before using the Philosophy Total Mattness range: How much oil my skin the blotter has absorbed by 5pm.

After using Philosophy Total Matteness for 10 days. A significant reduction in oil.

After using Philosophy Total Matteness for 10 days. A significant reduction in oil.

Verdict: My favourite product in the range has to be the cleanser/mask because it’s such an effective multi-tasker. The Pore Eraser is great but at $65, it might be a better for those with oily – rather than combination – skin, as those with combination skin might just end up using on half their face.

Philosophy products can be found at the Philosophy store at #01-16 Bugis Junction, Level 1 Tangs Orchard, and all Sephora outlets.

Philosophy sent the Total Matteness Range to Material World for review. Material World was not paid for this review. Click on this link to find out more about Material World’s advertising policy.

WIN the Philosophy Total Matteness range!

We have two sets of the Philosophy Total Matteness Range (consisting of Oil-Free Mattifying Pore Eraser, Pore-Minimizing & Mattifying Cleanser + Mask, and Oil-Free Mattifying Pore Refiner) up for grabs!

To win a set, simply follow ALL the steps below:

1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “Name the main ingredient in Philosophy Total Matteness Pore-Minimizing & Mattifying Cleanser + Mask.”

2. Share this review on Facebook with your friends. Remember to tag Material World’s Facebook on your post.

3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, and email address. State “Philosophy” in your message.

Contest ends August 30, Friday, 2013.

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation – Vanessa Tai

You probably know the basics of how to choose a good foundation – it should help your makeup application be smooth and effortless, and the colour of your foundation should blend seamlessly with the skin around your neck. But here is a less-known tidbit on foundation that you may not know: when testing a new foundation, you should test it on three spots: underneath your eyes, around your nose and at your jawline. The perfect shade should blend uniformly into the skin around these three areas.

material world singapore-nars radiant cream foundation

Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

That’s what I learned recently when trying out new foundation shades at the launch of the Nars Fall 2013 collection. You can watch the video of me trying out a new shade here. Because my skin tone is light with slightly yellow undertones, I was recommended to use the Gobi shade.

I’m not usually a fan of foundation because the ones I’ve tried tend to be either 1) too thick and gloopy or 2) too light and powdery, making me look like some sort of a geisha. This one from Nars has a smooth, creamy texture that glided easily onto my face. Think of this foundation as a three-in-one combination of a liquid foundation, a powder foundation and a tinted moisturiser.

While I liked the lightweight texture of this foundation, it didn’t quite provide me with as much coverage as I would have liked. For those who prefer heavier coverage, you’ll probably have to apply several layers of this medium-coverage foundation. I applied two thin layers across my face, which was sufficient to even out skin redness and minor blemishes, but my freckles and darker pigmentation marks were still visible. Check out the images below to see what I mean.

Before: Skin tone is uneven and freckles are apparent

Before: Skin tone is uneven and freckles are apparent

After: Skin tone is evened out and skin looks more radiant

After: Skin tone is evened out and skin looks more radiant

Verdict: This cream-based foundation is great for those with dry skin; it provides a moisturising effect without making you feel like your pores are clogged with product. The coverage it offers is good enough to correct slightly uneven skin tones, as well as smooth over small blemishes or very fine lines. However, it’s probably not suited for those looking for much heavier coverage.

The product was given to Material World for review; all opinions are the author’s own. Please read our advertising policy here.

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

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Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Skincare

[Material World x Biotherm] Who Wants Younger Eyes? – Deborah Tan

I’ve always been complacent about my eyes. I have perfect eyesight and, no matter how hard I work, I don’t ever get dark circles. Eyebags? What are they?

When I started lining my eyes regularly, people everywhere complimented me on how much nicer my eyes looked. I thought it would stay that way forever. Obviously, I was being too optimistic. After several years of getting my liquid eyeliner to flick up effortlessly, I started one morning having one of the biggest shocks of my life.

My eyeliner got caught in a sagging right eyelid. It was a sobering moment. My eyes, the crowning glory of my face, were beginning to age.

And so began the daily habit of pulling my right eyelid taut every time I line it. For more than three years now, I have been doing this and have come to accept that my eyes are just on a natural downward spiral. I am growing old, better just accept it.

When Biotherm gave me a “sample” of their new eye cream to try, my first thought was, “Yeah … ok. Maybe it would brighten the area and make my eyes feel less puffy but, let’s not get our hopes first.”

One week later, this was what I saw:

(Left: BEFORE Blue Therapy Eye. Right: AFTER Blue Therapy Eye) Pictures have not been digitally altered.

(Left: BEFORE Blue Therapy Eye. Right: AFTER Blue Therapy Eye) Pictures have not been digitally altered.

1. In the Before picture (left), you can see that my eyelid was sagging down a little. In the After picture (right), the eyelid was “lifted” up and it “lifted” so well, my double eyelid is now more evident. I no longer have to pull my eyelid taut to draw my eyes.

2. The deep crow’s feet at the corner of my right eye has almost disappeared.

[The difference in skin tone is due to changing daylight. Unfortunately, I was unable to replicate the exact lighting when I took the second shot. I used Mother Nature’s light, not a photographer’s]

This eye cream also contains an ingredient that would break up the blood pigment residues responsible for dark eye circles. I do not have obvious dark shadows around my eyes so I cannot say for certain if this cream would help improve that. However, with the awesome results I have seen in the lifting and wrinkle-reducing departments, I am positive this cream will deliver on that too.

What is this eye cream, you ask?

Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye, out today at all Biotherm counters.

Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye, out today at all Biotherm counters.

It’s Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye.

And it hits their counters TODAY.

Like the Blue Therapy Serum, this eye cream contains the three power ingredients that will help restructure and strengthen the skin. In addition to these ingredients, it contains a blend of flavanoid, amino acid and two peptides to help reduce dark circles. Texture-wise, this eye cream is light and is easily absorbed by the skin. It is fragrance-free too, which is important since it will be going near your eyes – you don’t want any irritation.

But like I always say, you’ve got to try it for yourself. Hop down to any Biotherm counter from today to ask for a sample. I promise you won’t regret it.

Biotherm worked with Material World for this post to promote the launch of its new eye cream Blue Therapy Eye. All opinions are the author’s own and have not been vetted by the client. Read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

CONTEST!

We have THREE Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye to give away to you. To enter the draw,
simply follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section, complete this sentence: “I hope Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye will be able to _______.”

2. Then click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this review with your friends on Facebook. Tag “Material World” and make sure your post is on Public setting so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. PM us your details (name, age, email, and occupation). State “Blue Therapy Eye” in your message.

Contest ends Friday, 23 August 2013 and is open to all Material World Facebook fans.

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1. [Infographic] Get To Know Biotherm’s New Power Serum

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