Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Makeup

[Material World x Collection Cosmetics] How To Contour Like a Pro – Denise Li

With the right products, tools and a little know-how, contouring is actually a lot less complicated than it sounds.

I love makeup. There, I said it. I may not be your typical girly-girl, and I don’t feel the need to wear it every day, but I do love that a perk of my job is getting to try out some of the newest products that hit the market every month.

Lately, I’ve found myself stepping out of my makeup comfort zone. I used to only use foundation, blusher, and liquid eyeliner, but I’ve been experimenting with stronger looks. I’ve swapped my trusty liquid eyeliner for a pencil to create a subtle smoky eye, have started lining my lower lashline, and take every opportunity I can to wear bright lips.

But since I started wearing makeup at 18, there’s one territory I haven’t dared venture into: Contouring. Until recently, I wouldn’t touch bronzer with a ten-foot pole, simply because the margin for error is just too large. I didn’t know how or where to start applying it, and had resigned myself to the fact that contouring was something only professional makeup artists would be able to achieve.

So when the invite to Collection Cosmetics’ session on contouring came along, I jumped at the opportunity to attend, as I was curious to see if it really was possible for an amateur like myself would be able to recreate the look at home.

Makeup artists Fynn and Rei from The Make Up Room were on hand to demonstrate some contouring tips and tricks on a volunteer. Let me be the first to say it: It seemed like a really complicated process. Here, the steps:

1. Use Collection Primed and Ready Primer to mattify skin.

2. Using a brush, apply Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream. Rather than spreading it all over your face, you should only use it on your T-zone and the area under your eyes till where your cheekbones begin. This will help conceal dullness and make skin glow.

Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream, $16.90

Collection Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream, $16.90

3. Blur out imperfections with Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer using a small flat brush, concentrating on areas like the sides of your nose and around your lips to neutralise redness and discolouration. You can also use it to further brighten up the under-eye area.

Lasting Perfection Concealer, $14.90

Lasting Perfection Concealer, $14.90

4. To make your cheekbones stand out, go for a foundation two shades darker than your skin tone (I used shade 6 of Collection’s Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo). Brush it downwards from the side of your face close to the hollows of your cheeks, as well as along the jawline; this will shape your face to make it look slimmer. When applying it on your jawline, be sure to blend it downwards towards your neck so the colour contrast doesn’t look so stark.

Collection Cover & Go Foundation & Concealer Duo, $16.90

Collection Cover & Go Foundation & Concealer Duo, $16.90

5. Dust on a compact powder such as Collection Bright & Glow Brightening Compact Foundation on your T-zone to soak up excess sebum if you have oily skin.

Collection Bright  Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, $18.90

Collection Bright Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, $18.90

6. As an optional step, you can lightly brush some bronzer at the hollows of your cheeks for even more definition.

Gulp. That’s a lot of steps … was I going to be able to recreate this look for myself? Rei helped me along by recreating the look on the right side of my face, and I attempted to do it myself on the left.

Whaddaya know? It was actually less daunting than I thought it would be. I think the results of my efforts came pretty close to Rei’s! Sure, it did take quite a bit of time, though I think I’ll be able to halve the amount of time needed to do it with a little practice. You’ll also need a basic brush set at the ready because it’s just not possible to contour with your fingers. The effort, however, was worth it as I felt it gave my features a more 3D effect.

Before: no base makeup

Before: no base makeup

After: The magic of contouring - my face looks so much sharper!

After: The magic of contouring. My face looks so much sharper, and check out that glow! (We adjusted the white balance, but otherwise, this picture was not in any way retouched)

I like the fact that contouring had everything to do with knowing where on your face to apply the respective products, rather than piling on many base layers.

As it is pretty time-consuming, I’ll realistically only do it at home if I have a little bit of time to play with. But the one product I see myself using on a daily basis is the Bright & Glow Brightening BB cream. It made my skin look radiant, yet had a natural finish for that “no makeup” look. And, because it has hydrating properties (thanks to vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate) I’d feel confident to pass on the moisturiser on days that I’m in a rush to get to work.

Be Among the First to Preview Makeup from Collection Cosmetics!

Still feeling less than confident about your contouring abilities? Then you need to head down to BHG Clementi this Saturday, March 29, as makeup artist Marie Soh will be on hand to do contouring demos, consultations and mini-makeovers. You’ll also be among the first in Singapore to try out the products featured in this post for yourself. Pencil in the following details now!

Date: March 29, Saturday
Time: 3 – 5pm
Venue: Level 3, BHG Clementi

The products showcased in this post are available from April 3, 2014 at selected Watsons stores, BHG (Bugis and Clementi) and the Collection pop-up store at level 2 Cineleisure. Limited stocks are available for sale at the BHG (Clementi) preview. 

Win a Collection Cosmetics hamper!

collection twin_b_v2_resized

5 lucky Material World readers will each win a Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream and Bright & Glow Brightening Compact Foundation, worth $35.80! To enter the draw, simply follow these steps:

1. Download the Material World app on iTunes or Google Play. On the Contest tab, enter “Collection” as the Contest Name. Then key in your answer to this question: “Name two ingredients in Collection’s Bright & Glow Brightening BB Cream.”

2. Like Material World and Collection Cosmetics 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 Tuesday, 1 April 2014, and is only open to followers of Material World and Collection Cosmetics Singapore. Only entries submitted via the Material World app will be accepted. Please read our terms and conditions here.

Material World worked with Collection Cosmetics to bring you these contouring tips. All opinions are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here

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.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Be A Pop Diva – Vanessa Tai

Lately, I’ve had a beauty awakening of sorts. While I’ve always been interested in makeup and skincare, I never bothered experimenting much (save for a short-lived Harajuku Girl phase in my late teens). I’ve never really deviated from a certain look until recently when Collection Cosmetics invited me to attend an exclusive makeup workshop. While there, I learned how to mix and match various colours to create different looks. No more same ol’ looks for me!

Hotlights Lipgloss (available in six shades), $15.90 each

Hotlights Lipgloss (available in six shades), $15.90 each

Collection Cosmetics is one of the bestselling makeup brands in the UK, and it has recently launched in Singapore. During the workshop, I was blown away by the wide range of colours and products. What I liked about the products was how user-friendly they were – for example, the Hotlights Lipgloss came fitted with a built-in light and mirror so you can touch up your lips even when you’re out clubbing! Ingenious, right?

Another product that wowed me was the Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner, which came in assorted bright hues. Think of a gel-liner with tiny glitter particles embedded within to create eyes that dazzle (quite literally).

Glam Crystals Gel Liner (available in 11 shades), $16.90 each

Glam Crystals Gel Liner (available in 11 shades), $16.90 each

Collection Cosmetics Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo, $16.90

Collection Cosmetics Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo, $16.90

During the workshop, we learned how to create a Pop Diva look. There are three key elements of the look – heavy eye makeup, bold lips and candy-pink cheeks. To start, I prepped my skin with Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo. This is another ingenious product – it’s a foundation that comes with a concealer in a matching shade, so you don’t have to hunt around for a separate concealer.

For my eyes, I decided to go all out with a graphic eyeliner which is currently very on-trend. Here’s how I created it – first, I drew a thick block with the Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner Black then used a Q-tip lightly doused with eye makeup remover to erase away parts of the block. That created the thin, zigzag line that I desired. I also added a zing of colour by lining my lower lash line with Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner and blending Bedazzled eyeshadows on my eyelids.

Bedazzled Eye Palette, $19.90

Bedazzled Eye Palette, $19.90

Blushalicious, $13.90

Blushalicious, $13.90

For my cheeks, I swept on Blushalicious on the apples of my cheeks and Way To Glow bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks to create a more contoured face shape. Finally, I stained my lips with a couple of different lip colours together to create a hot pink pout.

Check out my completed look below!

material world_pop diva

Channelling my inner Pop Diva!

By the way, there is currently a contest to vote for the participant with the best Pop Diva look. Please click “Like” here to show your support!

Collection Cosmetics is available at Watson’s at Ngee Ann City.

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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