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[Material World x Origins] A World Away From Home – Denise Li

I had been to the St Regis Singapore only a couple times prior to this staycation. The first was for the event, and the other, when I was invited to a tasting at its Italian restaurant La Brezza. But the impression the hotel left on me was that it was one of the few luxury hotels here that was classy but not stuffy, elegant but not excessively opulent. Step into the light-filled lobby and you’ll know exactly what I mean – it has a very clean aesthetic that is at once modern, chic and welcoming.

The lobby

The lobby

Absolutely Fascinating

Being a trivia geek, I was also fascinated by all the little nuggets of info I learnt when I was there. For instance, did you know that the Bloody Mary was supposedly invented by a bartender at the St Regis New York? Back in the day, it was known by its more elegant moniker, Red Snapper. Every St Regis hotel and resort in the world now has its own special version of the Bloody Mary. In Singapore, it’s no surprise that our concoction is made with chilli padi!

My favourite art piece at the St Regis Singapore. What do you think it means?

My favourite art piece at the St Regis Singapore. What do you think it means?

Take the elevator and you might notice that there’s a red stool placed in it. That’s because when the St Regis New York opened in the early 20th century, it was 12 storeys high and was then the tallest building in New York. And because the elevators of days of yore moved up very slowly, a chair was provided in each one to ensure the comfort of the guest as he makes his way up.

Another thing I loved about the St Regis Singapore is the plethora of art pieces you’ll find around the hotel. The one that particularly fascinated me was of this sculpture of a Singapore flag done up to look like an old-school sweet. Lili, my staycation companion, and Vanessa (who just couldn’t resist the chance to hang out at this gorgeous hotel) and I had lots of fun ruminating on what it could mean.

It was time to make our way to the room, and the first sight we were greeted with was of the panoramic view of Orchard Road. It was absolutely mesmerising. Our butler Melissa then came in to tell us about the room, including important information about how to control the light switches, TV, and to tell us more about their butler services. The butlers at St Regis have all undergone rigorous training to ensure the utmost comfort of all their guests. They are even able to pack and unpack your bags for you, if need be!

A Spot of Pampering

Lili used Drink Up Overnight Intensive once for 10 minutes before we went out, and again just before she slept that night.

Lili used Drink Up Intensive Overnight, $59, once for 10 minutes before we went out, and again just before she slept that night.

I used a combination of Clear Improvement and Drink Up.

I used a combination of Clear Improvement, $50, and Drink Up, $45.

Vanessa used Clear Improvement ...

Vanessa used Clear Improvement,$50.

Once we had played around with the light switches, oohed-and-aahed over the huge bathroom (which came with its own standalone bathtub!), we  settled down somewhat and admired the gorgeous view of Orchard Road from our window, it was time for a serious spot of pampering – pampering our faces, that is. It would be just what we need to prep for spending the rest of the evening exploring this gorgeous hotel.

Just before this staycation, the good people at Origins had passed us some three masks to try: Clear Improvement, Drink Up (a 10-minute mask) and Drink Up Intensive Overnight.

These variants were perfect for the three of us, all of whom have different skin conditions. Vanessa, for instance, is dealing with a mild breakout so Clear Improvement, a charcoal mask, would be just the thing to help her skin draw out its impurities as well as environmental toxins. Lili has dry skin so she would try the Drink Up Intensive Overnight for a much-needed boost of hydration. As I have that dreaded hard-to-care-for combination skin, I decided to try two masks at once – Clear Improvement for my T-zone and Drink Up for the dry patches on my cheeks.

(Note: Lili used her mask twice, once to get an instant glow before we headed out for the night, and then again at night to see its effects the next morning.)

 

 

A Little While Later …

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Vanessa says: “I had to squeeze a large glob of the Clear Improvement onto my fingertips in order to spread a thick, even layer across my face. The consistency of the mask is thick and stiff – almost like poster paint – and it adhered well to my facial contours. Within 5 minutes of applying the mask, I could feel my skin tightening. The feeling is similar to the time when I used to put egg whites on my face as a type of DIY facial but, of course, using this mask is far more pleasant! After 10 minutes, I washed off the mask (it took a good 30 seconds of splashing to get every trace of the mask removed) and was pleased to see a clean, fresh-faced and brighter-looking complexion. It looked like I’d been for a professional facial!”

Check out that post-mask glow!

Check out that post-mask glow!

 Denise says: “As someone who has tried her fair share of beauty products in her life, it would take a very impressive product for me to rave about it. I’m happy to report that both the masks I tried worked miracles for my skin. I used Clear Improvement on my T-zone and within a couple of minutes, like Vanessa, I could feel my skin tightening up – surely a sign that it’s working its magic. It has white china clay to absorb environmental toxins, as well as lechitin and yellow sweet clover to dissolve impurities and decongest pores respectively. I spread Drink Up on my cheeks, the areas of my skin prone to dryness, and was surprised at how lightweight the mask was. It had a consistency that was just slightly thicker than that of a rich moisturiser. I also loved its deliciously tangy smell. The results 10 minutes later were pretty astounding. The pores on my T-zone looked smaller in appearance and my overall complexion had an unmistakable glow. Skin also felt softer and much smoother. I’d definitely recommend these masks if your skin is in need of a quick brightening fix!”

My skin's so radiant, I'm confident enough to step out barefaced.

My skin’s so radiant, I feel confident  to step out barefaced.

Lili says: “No thanks to my super-dry skin, I tend to look tired all the time. I’m always on the lookout for a rich overnight moisturiser to quench my parched skin so I’d wake up with an unmistakable glow. With Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, I wasn’t disappointed. It contains avocado and apricot kernel oil, which work in synergy to deeply hydrate your skin, while Japanese seaweed helps prevent future dehydration and delay signs of premature ageing. Just before bedtime, apply it over your face and neck, and leave it on overnight. I noticed a visible difference the next morning – my skin was glowing, and it looked more supple and youthful!”

This is Lili in the morning after she'd used Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight. Skin no longer feels tight and dry!

This is Lili in the morning after she’d used Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight. Skin no longer feels tight and dry!

All three of our complexions looked so good post-mask that we all felt confident enough to head downstairs sans makeup for a pre-dinner tipple at Astor Bar. So, what did we think about the rest of what the St Regis Singapore has to offer? Stay tuned for a review of its restaurants and in-house spa, Remede Spa!

For a listing of Origins stores in Singapore, click on this link

Material World worked with Origins to review its products. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. 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. She loves any product that smells of a citrus fruit. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

We’re giving away 6 Origins masks (3 Drink Up Intensive Overnight and 3 Clear Improvement)!

Drink Up Overnight Mask

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask 100ml

To win a set, simply follow the steps below:

1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “List two key ingredients in Origins Clear Improvement.”

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

3. Remember 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.

Contest ends July 15, Monday, 2013.

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Branded Content, Contests

[Material World X For Beloved One] A Garden State – Deborah Tan

gardenI’m known for being a stress-ball – no thanks to my over-achieving personality, I guess. One of my least favourite questions in the world is, “When was the last time you took a holiday?” If you read my post last night, you’d gather that, often, it’s not because I hate going away. Rather, I’d only want to go on a vacation if I am assured I’d be “pampered”. No roughing it out for me!

Most of my days are spent “roughing it out” already. I start work at the crack of dawn and often don’t stop until 11 at night. I am – quite literally – addicted to work. If my mind isn’t on work, I feel “lost”. To get me to “relax” would take a lot … a lot. So when Shangri-La emailed us and offered Material World a staycation, Vanessa immediately asked me along.

At first I thought, “It’s ONE night. Surely all the packing I need to do for this one night is going to take more effort than it’s worth?” But a voice told me, “Look, just go. Oh, and while you’re at it, go take care of your skin, it’s beginning to look as tired as you are.” Oh, thaaanks

paradisefound

I love the seemingly “messy”, “unplanned” look of the garden

A Paradise, Found
Just one step into Shangri-La’s newly revamped Garden Wing transports you into a world away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road, located below the hotel. The first thing that struck me was the seemingly “un-landscaped” look of the lush garden right in the centre of the wing. Huge leaves, colourful flowers, and boulders have been laid out to give the impression of a verdant, undiscovered paradise. The effect was immediately soothing to the mind. I was ready for my staycation.

Our room overlooked the swimming pool. With the ample sunlight, fresh air, and sounds of nature surrounding us, it was easy to forget that we were only in a hotel room in Singapore. Shangri-La has lots to offer for the restless. Its gym (HUGE) is opened 24 hours a day. I walked past it at 10pm at night and spotted a couple of hunks working out in there! The hotel has enough F&B choices for the fussiest of palates. The best time to get a good workout at the pool, as we discovered, is in the morning is between 9.30am and 10.30am, before the crowd sets in. If you are looking to work up a sweat, Shangri-La has tennis courts as well.

Of course, do not go for a staycation at Shangri-La without booking yourself a spa treatment at CHI, The Spa. The Singapore Wave treatment features a combination of firm kneads and long, soothing strokes to relax your tense muscles and re-energise your body. Not bad … I could seriously get used to this …

roomIn The Mood For A Facial
So what do people do at a staycation? I found myself asking this question a couple of weeks before we checked in. Obviously, we weren’t going to “explore” Orchard Road like the tourists. So after the eating and the lounging, what else do people do? Surely time spent lazing about in the room can be put to better use.

For Beloved One provided me with a set of products to try for this staycation. Even before we approached For Beloved One to work with, Vanessa has been going on and on about the brand’s popular bio-cellulose mask. “If you stacked up the number of masks For Beloved One has sold, you get a pile of masks as high as Taipei 101!” a fact she likes to remind us.

cleansingThe Skin Needs A Staycation Too
All facials – whether at a salon or DIY – should begin with proper cleansing. Remove all makeup and give your skin a good scrub to slough away all dead skin cells. Exfoliation is necessary to help your skin absorb all these products better.

MandelicAcid

For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum

After I’m done with cleansing, I applied a thin layer of For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and is derived from an extract of bitter almonds. Touted as a gentle chemical peel treatment you can do at home, this serum apparently penetrates the skin to clear acne and brighten the skin tone.

I’m usually a bit sensitive to products containing AHA but this serum did not give my skin any redness and I could not detect any stinging or discomfort.

toner

For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Toner

You then follow the serum with For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Toner, which contains a host of anti-ageing ingredients to help restore firmness and radiance to the skin. With that, it’s time for another serum – the Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturising Serum.

hyaluronic

For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturising Serum

Watery in texture, it spreads easily on the skin. You can gently pat your skin as you apply this serum to improve the absorption and give your face a massage for blood circulation. My skin felt plumper after this step already.

A pearl-size dollop of the Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Milk Lotion wraps up the basic regime. The Extreme Hydration series is created to boost the skin’s metabolism, thus enhancing its ability to repair damages that may lead to premature ageing. For ladies in a rush, you’ll be glad to learn that you can also mix the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum into either the toner or the lotion to save yourself a step. This series also contains Pepha-tight – a film that forms on the stratum corneum to create a “lifting effect” on the skin. Containing a whole host of amino acids, vitamins and anti-oxidants, Pepha-tight has been shown to reveal immediate firming effect that remains visible even after two weeks.

lotion

For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Milk Lotion

Finally, as a final treat for my skin, I had to use the mask that Vanessa is a fan of. For Beloved One Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-Cellulose Mask is a game-changer when it comes to sheet mask. More than 5 millions pieces of it have been sold since its inception eight years ago. The unique texture of the bio-cellulose fibre material gives a mask that is almost “jelly-like”. The mask adheres to the face tightly, ensuring that every pore on your skin is in contact with all that anti-ageing potion on it. I took a nice 15-minute nap on my plush hotel bed, enjoying the cool serenity, trying to keep my mind off work for a while.

mask

Trying on the For Beloved One Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-Cellulose Mask

Refreshed And Relaxed!
When I removed the mask, I loved how bright and well-rested my skin looked. There was a youthful plumpness to the skin – like every cell was flushed with moisture. I even allowed Vanessa to take my “After” photo without any makeup. The most noticeable improvement could be seen around the eyes – more lifted, brighter-looking, less tired.

This staycation – though just one night – did indeed do me a world of good. My mind, body and skin were refreshed and rejuvenated, and after a fabulous brunch at Waterfall Cafe, I was ready to face another week of work.

I continued using the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum even after this staycation. Just last week, when I met Denise for lunch after her 3-week hiatus in Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang, she commented how my skin looked “poreless”. That was when I revealed that I’ve been trying the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum for a week and a half. Needless to say, she too was suitably impressed.

debsafter

Radiant and makeup-free!

Thanks to Shangri-La for the staycation. To book yourself a staycation, you may visit its website here.

For Beloved One’s products can be found at all Sephora outlets. For more information, check out its Facebook Page here.

Material World worked with For Beloved One to review its products. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. 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 wonders if people mean it when they say she doesn’t look her age … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WIN A FOR BELOVED ONE SKINCARE SET!

FBOSetWe have FIVE sets of skincare goodies from For Beloved One up for grabs! Each set contains:
1. A full-sized 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum
2. 1 pieces of Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-cellulose Mask
3. A 30-ml Extreme Hydration Treatment Toner
4. A 15-ml Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Lotion
5. A 3-ml Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturizing Serum
(This ENTIRE set is worth $144.40! )

To win one, simply follow the steps below:
1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “For Beloved One was created in which country?”

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.

Contest ends June 28, Friday, 2013.

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