Contests

Tutorial: How To Create A Christmas Photo Greeting!

A lot of you are probably going, “Damn. This new Material World contest is so hard!”

Well, it’s not. Here is a simple tutorial we have put together to help you create a Christmas photo greeting using your smartphone. [Note: The apps here are available on iOS. But we’re sure you can find the same, if not similar, ones for Android]

Step 1: Download the app Overgram

Overgram is an app that lets you add text and artwork on top of the photos you take with your iPhone.

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Step 2: Gather 3, or more, of your friends and pose for a picture

While the theme may be Christmas, it’s up to you if you want to take your picture in a festive setting. For us, we will that with words, ANY picture can become a Christmas greeting card.

Step 3: Edit your photo – if you like – using your phone’s Photos app

We like to crop our pictures into a square so that it’s easy to use it later on Instagram. If your photo is one that’s difficult to crop into a square, try this app call Squareready. With the white space above and/or below the photo, you can even add text on it so it can look like a Polaroid.

Editing a photo on Squareready

Editing a photo on Squareready

Step 4: Now, launch Overgram

Choose the photo you want to add a caption to and simply let your sense of humour and creativity take over. The app is extremely instinctive to use so we’re sure you’ll catch on in an instant.

Adding text using Overgram

Adding text using Overgram

Step 5: Save the photo you wish to submit for Material World’s Christmas contest.

To submit your photo via your phone, simply click on this link now. If you wish to submit your photo using your computer, email yourself the photo and then save it somewhere, say your Desktop, and upload it in jpeg, png or gif format.

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See! It’s that easy to submit an awesome picture for this contest! What are you waiting for? Join in the fun now! Who knows? You might just find yourself the lucky winner of 12 BOTTLES OF FRAGRANCES to use as Christmas gifts!

Good luck!

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Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page qualify. Click here to Like us on Facebook and take part in this contest now!

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Contests, Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks – Denise Li

Confession: Until our recent tasting at Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, I’d only ever tried its XXL Crispy Chicken. It always seemed like the most convenient option if you wanted to snack on the go. But I also loved that it was consistently good, with its delicious bread-crumbed outer layer and juicy chicken morsels.

XXLCrispyChicken_2

XXL Crispy Chicken

We were invited to its outlet at Harbourfront Centre just last week for its 10th anniversary celebration, and given the chance not just to revisit old favourites like the XXL Cripsy chicken, Crispy Floss Egg Crepe and Handmade Oyster Mee Sua, but also try the newest addition the the menu, Crispy Salt Pepper Mushroom, and improved Sweet Plum Potato Fries.

I found myself really enjoying the Sweet Plum Potato fries ($2.80); the batter was prepared to prefection – with just the right amount coated over the sweet potato and deep-fried to perfection. The crunch it provided juxtaposed nicely with the soft and chewy sweet potato, while the dusting of sweet plum gave it an added sweet/salty flavour profile. I imagine that it would pair excellently with the lychee beer that the Taiwanese are so famous for.

Sweet Plum Potato Fries

Sweet Plum Potato Fries

I wasn’t quite so bowled over with the Crispy Salt Pepper Mushroom ($3.20), however. I thought the mushroom was sliced too thinly so all you tasted was batter. I also preferred the sour cream and wasabi flavours as those flavours provided more kick to the dish.

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Crispy Salt Pepper Mushroom

Nonetheless, perennial favourites like the Crispy Floss Egg Crepe ($3.50) didn’t disappoint. The chewy texture, coupled with the sweetness of the floss is simply addictive.

Crispy Floss Egg Crepe

Crispy Floss Egg Crepe

Shihlin isn’t just celebrating its 10th anniversary with new product launches. They are also releasing a series of 10 collectible cards from now till December 31, 2013, and you can get your hands on one simply by spending at least $5 at any Shihlin outlet. The customer who collects all the 10 different cards will win a grand prize of $10,000 cash.

Win Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks sets, worth $28.50 per set!

Anyway, if it’s been awhile since you visited a Shihlin outlet, we’re giving you the chance to savour your favourite Taiwanese street food! 5 lucky readers will stand the chance to win a set of Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks – great for sharing with family and friends! Each set contains the following:

1 x Crispy Salt Pepper Mushroom
1 x Sweet Plum Potato Fries
1 x XXL Crispy Chicken
1 x Handmade Oyster Mee Sua
1 x Seafood Tempura
1 x Crispy Floss Egg Crepe
1 x Limited Edition Pencil Umbrella

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

1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “Which anniversary is Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks celebrating this year?”

2. Share this post on Facebook with your friends, and tag THREE friends you would invite to enjoy Shihlin’s snacks with. 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 “Shihlin” in your message.

Contest ends Thursday November 14, 2013.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. Food Review: Hairy Crabs At Peony Jade
2. Food Review: Pidgin Kitchen and Bar
3. Food Reiview: Woo Ricebox

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances

[Scent Your Love] DKNY Be Delicious Skin EDT

Christmas is next month and over at Material World, we are all about making your life easier. This month, we are giving 12 lucky readers a chance to please their closest and dearest. We have up for grabs 12 bottles of the most sensational fragrances. If you win it, you can give a friend this fabulous gift as a Christmas present!

A perfume makes a fabulous gift as it is extremely personal, and it shows that you have taken your friend’s personality as well as her preferences into consideration when you selected the scent for her.

DKNY Be Delicious Skin

DKNY Be Delicious Skin EDT

Up for grabs today is a bottle of Be Delicious Skin from DKNY! It’s a all-over spray that doesn’t just keep you smelling great, but also has skin-loving ingredients to help nourish and soothe dry skin.

Notes of Be Delicious Skin:
Top notes: Grapefruit, cucumber, magnolia
Middle notes: Lily of the valley, rose, tuberose, violet, green apple
Base notes: Amber, sandalwood, woody notes

Our take on Be Delicious Skin:
1. It is delectably fruity without being too sweet
2. Sprays a fine mist to cover a large surface area of skin
3. Very fresh and light – great for wearing in the daytime
4. Leaves skin feeling soft to the touch without stickiness
5. Great in providing a burst of post-shower freshness after a gruelling workout at the gym

Most suited for:
Your gym bunny friend. She showers up to three times a day because of her active lifestyle, and needs something to keep her skin from drying out.

So win this bottle of DKNY Be Delicious Skin EDT for your friend! 

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at AM 10.11.00

Details:
1. LIKE all Posts about this “Scent Your Love” contest on our Facebook Page between 1 November and 1 December 2013.

2. SHARE these posts with your friends on Facebook. Tag Material World’s Facebook Page and make sure these are on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. PM your details (Name, NRIC, Gender, Email Address) to us with “Scent Your Love: DKNY” in the message.

4. Invite and encourage your friends to follow Material World on Facebook. Once we achieve 8,000 Likes, we will pick the 12 winners of this contest. Help us achieve this by 1 December, 2013 so we can give your friend the prize by Christmas!

This contest is open until 1 December 2013. You can take part as many times as you like. Winners will be picked after we achieve 8,000 Likes on our Facebook Page. Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page are eligible to win.

scentsomelove

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances

[Scent Your Love] Elizabeth Arden Untold EDP

Christmas is next month and over at Material World, we are all about making your life easier. This month, we are giving 12 lucky readers a chance to please their closest and dearest. We have up for grabs 12 bottles of the most sensational fragrances. If you win it, you can give a friend this fabulous gift as a Christmas present!

There is no better way to make an impression and score some brownie points by giving someone you care about a bottle of divine, heavenly perfume that invokes memories of the good times you both have spent together.

Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau De Parfum

Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau De Parfum

Kicking off our contest is a bottle of Untold Eau De Parfum from Elizabeth Arden!

Notes of Untold:
Top notes: Pink pepper, bergamot, pear and blackcurrant bud
Middle notes: Gardenia, Egyptian jasmine, patchouli heart and sandalwood
Base notes: Amber and musk

Our take on Untold:
1. It isn’t overwhelmingly floral
2. Definitely not a girly-girl scent
3. Wears well in our warm weather
4. Remains fresh-smelling even after five hours
5. A great scent to wear to the office and even for a romantic night out. Most guys will appreciate how subtle and how powdery-fresh Untold actually mellows down to.

Most suited for:
The girlfriend who wants to be taken more seriously at work. She is career-minded and has told you she has her eye on that juicy promotion next year.

So win this bottle of Untold EDP for your friend! 

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Details:
1. LIKE all Posts about this “Scent Your Love” contest on our Facebook Page between 1 November and 1 December 2013.

2. SHARE these posts with your friends on Facebook. Tag Material World’s Facebook Page and make sure these are on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. PM your details (Name, NRIC, Gender, Email Address) to us with “Scent Your Love: Elizabeth Arden” in the message.

4. Invite and encourage your friends to follow Material World on Facebook. Once we achieve 8,000 Likes , we will pick the 12 winners of this contest. Help us achieve this by 1 December, 2013 so we can give your friend the prize by Christmas!

This contest is open until 1 December 2013. You can take part as many times as you like. Winners will be picked after we achieve 8,000 Likes on our Facebook Page. Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page are eligible to win.

scentsomelove

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Fragrances, Skincare, Spa Treats

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Honeymania Range – Deborah Tan

Say the word “Honey” and I’m there like a teddy bear. Not because I’m a sucker for terms of affection but because I love this sweet gooey treat and especially crave it when I’m sick. I love mixing honey and ginger together as a drink, I love pouring honey over freshly baked scones, and I love it drizzled over fried foods too. Unlike sugar, which is just sweet, honey has … nuances of sweetness that give it personality.

When The Body Shop revealed that they would be launching a new range with Honey as its hero, I was like, “You guys gotta let me have it!” Thankfully, they did.

When the entire range arrived for me, I took them out of the bag and placed them on my table as a reminder to start using them ASAP. The scent was distracting and I was so afraid ants would start crawling onto my work desk because they really smell like the real thing!

The Honey used in The Body Shop Honeymania range is really as good as Mother Nature would give it:

1. It is hand-harvested from only the ripest honeycombs

2. This Community Fair Trade honey comes from the Sheka rainforest in Ethiopia and is protected by UNESCO. By supporting those involved in this trade, The Body Shop is helping to protect precious rainforest land from being taken away for economic purposes like farming

3. The bees are allowed to roam freely and hive wherever they want. Unlike bee farms, the community has learnt to work harmoniously with the bees using traditional methods to keep them calm, thus reducing the need for chemicals

Having sampled the goods for close to three weeks, here are my 3 favourites:

#3: Body Scrub, $30.90
BBB Honeymania Scrub Open HR_INHNYPS012
It’s creamy and, when you’re inside a hot, steamy shower, it’s seriously the most indulgent thing to use on your skin. I love that it’s thick and doesn’t foam up into a soapy confection. If you are unaccustomed to having your skin feeling soft and oiled up after a scrub, this may not be for you. But once you get used to how pampered your skin feels after using it, you may just never go back to soapy scrubs ever again.

#2: Eau de Toilette, $22.90
BBB Honeymania EDT HR_INHNYPS010
I really wanted to choose the shower gel but this EDT won out because it allows me to have this honey-licious scent about me hours after my bathtime! When I’m feeling particularly lethargic or moody, a quick sniff of my wrist and I’m back being sunny and happy again.

#1: Body Butter, $30.40
New BBB Honeymania Cream face on HR_INHNYPS021
As if The Body Shop could ever go wrong with its Body Butters! And in this instance, to be encased in creamy moisturiser scented with honey … aaaaahhhhh … it’s really every bodycare addict’s dream. I love how natural the body butter smells and how it sinks into the skin so easily. There is none of the sticky film you’d associate with a rich moisturiser. I’m so tempted to bring this along to my next massage appointment so that my therapist can use it on me. But … this brings me to my final point …

I would love for a honey-scented body oil to complete this regime!!! The Body Shop, if you’re listening to this … please consider this request of mine and launch a Honeymania body oil ASAP.

The Body Shop Honeymania range is now available at all The Body Shop stores islandwide. This range was given to Material World for review purposes, all opinions are the author’s own.

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 takes her honey by the tablespoon like cod liver oil when she’s too lazy to mix it into water. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WE ARE GIVING AWAY 3 SETS OF THE BODY SHOP HONEYMANIA RANGE TO YOU!

Honeymania Group shot HR_INHNYRS010Each set of Honeymania costs $104.50 and consists of the following products:

1. Lip Balm, $10.90
2. Eau de Toilette, $22.90
3. Bubble Bath Melt, $26.90
4. Shower Gel, $12.90
5. Body Butter, $30.90

To win, simply follow these steps:

1. In the Comments section below, tell us, “Why do you love honey?”

2. Then click on the Facebook button below to SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to tag “Material World” in your post and set it on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. Finally Private Message us your details (Name, Age, Gender, NRIC No, Mobile No. and Mailing Address) on our Facebook Page. Please state “The Body Shop Honeymania” in your message.

This contest ends Friday, 28 September 2013, and is open only to Material World’s Facebook followers so please Like our page here first. Good luck!

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Contests

Flash Giveaway For Material World Readers!

Stuck at home this weekend? Or, you’re sitting somewhere waiting for your friends who are – again – running late? Well, here’s something to keep you occupied! Since we receive more beauty products than we four can actually use, we thought, “Hey, why not share the love with our loyal readers – you?” Today, we are giving away 2 jars of Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masques ($45 each) designed by actress Michelle Chong (pink) and DJs Jean Danker and Mike Kasem (blue). These limited edition designs are available at all Kiehl’s stores this July and 100% of the proceeds will go towards The Autism Association (Singapore). There are 3 designs in total (George Young designed the third one) so be sure to hop down to Kiehl’s to complete your collection and do your bit for charity!

To join this weekend’s giveaway, simply follow the steps below:

1. Find the Giveaway Tab on our Facebook Page. It looks something like the picture below. You need to be logged in.

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2. As this is a giveaway for the Material World family, you need to Like our Facebook Page first. But … this only gives you THREE chances. To gain 10 additional chances, CLICK this link to learn how to tweet about this giveaway.

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3. You can win a further 10 chances by following founder Deborah’s Twitter account too! Simply click “Follow @DebTanTweets” and tell us your Twitter handle.

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4. Be sure to Private Message us on Facebook your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, email address. State “Kiehl’s Rare Earth Masques Contest” in your message please.

This contest ends 14 July 2013, Sunday, 11.59pm, exactly. Hurry!

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Branded Content, Contests

[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 Laneige] Does Your Skin Need A Drink? – Deborah Tan

Mine certainly does!

Many people in Singapore suffer from excessively oily skins. The heat, the sun, the dust, and most recently the haze, all lead to many of us sporting an unattractive glaze over our faces. For women, our makeup tends to melt into a muddy sludge by lunchtime. For men, they often have to tackle skin roughness along with oiliness. This tropical heat is indeed our complexion’s worst enemy.

Instinctively, many of us reach out for purifying, anti-shine, oil-absorbing skincare. But it could be that we are heading in the wrong direction.

My first encounter with the idea of using hydration to combat excess shine happened about five years ago. Then I was suffering from insanely oily skin and acne. I was experimenting with all sorts of anti-shine products in the bid to keep the oil under control. That event changed everything I thought I knew about skincare.

What do we usually do when our skin gets too shiny? We either blot it or we wash it. Apparently, that only serves to aggravate the problem. Think of our skin as an “ecosystem”. As with any living environment, balance is key. When the surrounding gets too cold, your body actually revs up its internal temperature in an effort to keep you warm. Similarly, if your skin gets too dry, your sebaceous glands (they produce sebum) go into overdrive producing oil to keep your skin from drying out. Why?

Dry skin is more easily damaged than moisturized skin. It is also more prone to infection and inflammation.

It’s this same reason why dry, scaly feet are more prone to fungi infection. Our skin has a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that possesses a “barrier” function, keeping out bacteria and other harmful stuff like dust and pollutants. So, when it gets too dry, it produces OIL to keep the surface of the skin moisturized. There’s just one teeny problem: acne-causing bacteria feeds on sebum. Sebum is therefore a double-edged sword – it moisturizes but
it also nourishes bacteria. For those suffering from acne, excess sebum can be a nightmare.

If you want your skin to produce less oil, the key does not lie in oil-absorbing products. The secret is actually hydration.

Laneige Water Bank series of products featuring packaging designed by Lotta Nieminen

Laneige Water Bank series of products featuring packaging designed by Lotta Nieminen

Out of the many hydration skincare out in the market, one of the most highly lauded brands is Laneige. The brand has a 19-year history of researching moisture balance inside a skin cell. This year, it has created the Optimal Mineral Water and put it into its Water Bank series.

5 Benefits of Optimal Mineral Water

1. Protects skin against dehydration
2. Detoxifies skin
3. Soothes stressed and tired skin
4. Enhances skin’s ability to repair itself
5. Maintains moisture balance inside skin for up to 24 hours

My thoughts on the Water Bank series

My high-stressed lifestyle is catching up on me. Along with the fact that I’m almost in my mid-30s, my complexion is severely dehydrated and tends to get very oily. I tried the Water Bank Essence ($48), the Water Bank Gel Cream ($52), and the Water Sleeping Pack EX ($45) for two weeks.

Laneige Water Bank Essence

Laneige Water Bank Essence

The Essence has a light, gel-like texture, and is absorbed easily into the skin. You can massage it in but what I like to do is spread it thinly on just cleansed skin and give it 30 seconds to be completely absorbed. The Gel Cream is the next step. If your skin is dry to normal, you might like the Water Bank Cream (also $52) better. Again, the moisturizer sinks into the skin. I like how soft my skin actually feels after.

The cap of the Water Bank Gel Cream and Water Bank Cream

The cap of the Water Bank Gel Cream and Water Bank Cream

At night, after the Gel Cream, you can layer the Water Sleeping Mask EX over it. This step deeply hydrates your skin while you’re sleeping and enhances its ability to repair itself. If you are iffy about going to bed with a layer of product over your face, you can sit around, watch some TV and, after about 30 minutes or so, the product should have sunk in, leaving just a barely discernible sheen over your face.

When the haze hit Singapore, I was reviewing these products. I’m glad to report that I did not suffer from any irritation or breakouts. Just before a six-hour flight recently, I applied a thin layer of the Sleeping Mask on my skin before leaving for the airport. Usually, my skin would be flaky and oily upon arrival. This time around, I managed to look quite fresh-faced for once.

Help Change The World

Starting from July 5 2013, you can buy products from the Water Bank series sporting a limited edition packaging designed by Finnish artist Lotta Nieminen. Proceeds from this collaboration will go towards the UNICEF WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project, which aims to provide fresh, clean water to poor, underprivileged communities in Asia by building proper water pump facilities.

The limited edition Water Bank series will be available from July 5, 2013, at all Laneige counters and boutiques.

Material World worked with Laneige to review the Water Bank series to help raise awareness for the Waterful Sharing Campaign. All opinions 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 strongly believes that we can all do our part to make the world a better place … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WE HAVE A TOTAL OF 5 LANEIGE WATER SLEEPING PACK EX TO GIVE AWAY!

WSC Water Sleeping Pack_EXWSC WSP Front

These will feature the limited edition packaging designed by Lotta Nieminen.

To win one, simply follow the steps below:
1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “List 3 benefits of the Optimal Mineral Water.”

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 8, Monday, 2013.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup

[Contest] Win This Lancome Hypnose Show By Alber Elbaz Set!

So on Saturday the Material World team was invited to the launch of Lancome Hypnose Show by Alber Elbaz. The backstage was a hive of activity with nine renowned makeup artists creating looks centered around the limited edition mascaras and eye makeup by the Israeli fashion designer for Lanvin. Watch the video here:

Here are two of our favourite looks:

Dollei Seah with her model. Her look – she said – was inspired by the cute-beyond-words packaging of the mascaras. She hand-painted on the face tattoos one by one.

dollei

Grego with his model. He was inspired by superheroes because (in his words) he said, “Beauty can save the world!” We are loving the badges he used as hair accessories!

grego

Today, we have a special treat just for Material World readers!

We have – up for grabs – the following:

lancome

1. A super-special and rare Lancome Hypnose Show by Alber Elbaz pop-up book worth $200

2. Three mascaras sporting the limited edition packaging – Hypnose Waterproof, Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof, and Hypnose Star Waterproof. These mascaras contain a darker pigment than the usual Hypnose range so you’ll get darker, more glamorous eyelashes!

 

To win, follow these steps:

1. Answer this question: Who is the man in glasses at the end of the video? in the Comment section below.

2. Then click on the link: http://is.gd/5i7V8Z and follow the instructions given on the contest tab. 

2. Unlock 10 extra chances by tweeting about this giveaway! Learn how you can complete the “Tweet About This Giveaway” here.
Make sure your Twitter account isn’t set on Private. We need to be able to see that you have tweeted about this giveaway in order to give you the 10 extra chances.

3. Don’t forget to Private Message us your details – name, age, NRIC, gender and email address.

This contest ends this Friday, 21 June 2013.

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Accessories, Beauty & Shopping, Contests, General, International Fashion

Sign Me Up For A Pair Of Rockstar! – Deborah Tan

Perfect with a black dress! - Dannii Minogue for Holster

Perfect with a black dress! – Dannii Minogue for Holster

Over the years, I’ve become inseparable with my four-inch heels. But since starting this business, I’ve been working from home and, needless to say, my wardrobe has become a lot more casual. Instead of heading into the office every time there is a meeting to attend, I am usually headed for the homes of one of Material World’s founders. To wear four-inch heels to a house-meeting would be impractical and ridiculously unsuitable.

I find ballet flats uncomfortable because my feet have very high arches. I am simply not a sneakers-girl like Denise and, God forbid I’ll ever walk around town in a pair of trainers! And if flip flops are too casual, what then can I wear instead of heels? I recently found a happy solution – Holster. Made with a pioneering PVC that does not make your feet sweat, these sandals are anti-microbial and vegetarian/vegan-friendly.

This summer, Holster has a fantastic collaboration with Dannii Minogue – a big fan of these sandals. Featuring gold studs on a black jelly base, the “Dannii Minogue for Holster” sandals also come in 9 other colour variations, with some featuring studs, some, with jewels. As you can see from the campaign visual here, the black sandals do complement black dresses really well! I’m already visualising myself walking around town wearing my usual LBDs and with these black beauties on my feet …

The “Dannii Minogue for Holster” collection is available at Not Too Big at Forum The Shopping Mall, Level 2.

Win a pair of Dannii Minogue for Holster here!

Win a pair of Dannii Minogue for Holster here!

Not Too Big has a pair of “Dannii Minogue for Holster” sandals to give away to readers of Material World. To win it, simply follow the steps below: 

1. Answer this question: “Name ONE of the features of the PVC used to make Holster sandals.” Leave your answer in the Comment section below this post.

2. Click on this link: http://bit.ly/12HM25h and follow the instructions. (Pssst … you can unlock more chances to win here!)

3. Private Message your details (Name, Age, Gender, Email Address, Mailing Address, NRIC) to Material World’s Facebook Page.

Only followers of Material World on Facebook qualify for this giveaway. Contest ends this Friday, 14 June 2013.

All opinions are the author’s own, Holster and Not Too Big did not pay for this post. Please 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 she should consider Vibrams as her running footwear now. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

[If you like this, you’ll also love]
1. Win Tickets To The World War Z 3D Premiere

2. [Material World X Holster] Life’s A Beach In Terengganu

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup

Beauty Review: Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow Palette 2013 – Deborah Tan

Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow Palette 2013

Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow Palette 2013

Eyeshadow palettes are tricky – especially for Asian eyes. Often, the finished result look as if we are wearing only one colour. It is only when you close your eyes that people can see the second, often darker, colour. I used to go crazy over that: “Why bother, right?” But if I tried to make each colour show up on my eyelids, it’d be too much makeup!

The point of wearing eye colour is to – hopefully – bring out the shape of your eyes. The brow bone, I feel, is the area that most needs to be brought out because the Asian eye contours aren’t as defined as the Caucasian.

This week, Material World was sent an Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow Palette 2013 in 02. The palette contains 6 shades – 5 powder-based and 1 gloss-based. Personally, I steer clear of gloss-based anything because of my hair’s tendency to get plastered to them. So for this review, I used …

No. 3 for my brow bone

No. 2 for the lid area over the socket

No. 4 for the upper lash line, blending it into No. 2 for a smoky effect

I used the eyeshadows on my Left eye (the right side of the picture) so you can see the difference between the made-up eye and the eye that’s makeup-free.

This is the result:

Pardon the pimple on my forehead!

Pardon the pimple on my forehead!

Verdict:
Great for girls who prefer a subtle wash of colour over their eyes. This said, you will still need to prep the eye area with a base – be it a liquid foundation or an eye makeup primer. I find that eyeshadows tend to adhere better to the eyelids when you apply them straight after the liquid foundation or BB cream or primer, so don’t layer the eye area with a loose powder after you put on your liquid base. The slight shimmer of the eyeshadows makes them perfect as evening makeup colours too.

The Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow Palette 2013 in No. 2 was sent to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s own. You may read our advertising policy here.

We have 3 sets of Anna Sui Limited Eye Shadow 2013 in 02 and Anna Sui Limited Lip Gloss in 02 to give away!

3 sets of these to win!

3 sets of these to win! Click to find out more.

To win a set, simply follow these steps:

1. Click on this link: http://bit.ly/12Lvtp6

2. Answer this question: “Where can you find an Anna Sui counter in Singapore?” in the Comments section below this article.

3. Share this article with your friends on Facebook and tag “Material World” in your post.

4. Finally, PM us your Name, NRIC, Email Address, Age and Gender.

The more involved you are in this contest, the higher your chance of winning!

Closing date: 9 June, 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 thinks “less is always more” when it comes to eyeshadows. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Skincare

Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum – Deborah Tan

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide CapsulesLast week, Joey – the PR and Marketing Manager of Elizabeth Arden – invited me to Capella at Sentosa for a treat. And it turned to be an extremely enjoyable 90 minutes for me.

You see, Elizabeth Arden is launching 2 limited edition sizes of its very popular Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum. Currently, these capsules are sold in jars of 60. The limited edition sizes will feature a 30-capsule jar and a jumbo 90-capsule jar. The former is targeted at those who have always been tempted to try this acclaimed skincare product but worry if 60 capsules (which retails for $139) were too much. The latter is limited only to Red Door Club members.

I’ve never been much of a oil-serum fan. My 90-minute treat turned out to be a facial using these Ceramide capsules. When the therapist started massaging the serum onto my face, I got a bit worried. I had a couple more events to attend after the session and I wondered if I would be walking around town with super oily skin.

The skilful massage techniques used by the therapist soon sent me to sleep. When I woke up 15 minutes later, I couldn’t resist touching my face – I really wanted to see how oily or sticky it felt. The serum was nowhere to be found – it was absorbed completely without a trace.

Later in the afternoon, Denise mentioned how my skin looked super smooth and radiant. I mentioned to her about the Ceramide capsules treatment earlier and even she was amazed!

Anyway, I have given more Ceramide Capsules to try, and this is my review:

Research
Before trying the Ceramide capsules, I did a research on what ceramides can actually do for the skin. The top layer of your skin (which is the biggest organ of the human body) is the epidermis. The top layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum – thin but functions as the main barrier of the skin, and keeps chemicals from being absorbed by the skin into the body.

The stratum corneum contains three types of lipids – ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. There are 9 different types of ceramides, conveniently named Ceramide 1, Ceramide 2 … Ceramide 9.

All three lipids have to be maintained at certain ratios for skin to have a healthy barrier function. Scientists have found that sufferers of eczema have significantly fewer ceramides in their stratum corneum. Psoriasis sufferers, however, have the same number of ceramides as non-sufferers BUT they have less of Ceramide 1, 3, 4, and a sub-set of 5 and 6. With age, our ceramide levels also fall – which explains why skin gets drier, takes longer to heal, and isn’t as radiantly healthy as when we were young.

Ease Of Use
First, never dip your dripping wet fingers into your jar of Ceramide Capsules. The capsule shell is made of a vegetal ingredient that will slowly disintegrate when in contact with water. Pick one out, twist the top and push your nail into the neck to break the capsule. Then pour the content out into your palm.

As with most skincare products, you should apply it only after you’ve warmed it slightly by rubbing your palms together. Then spread the serum evenly over your cheeks, forehead, chin, and neck. Avoid the eye area. After that, slowly massage the serum into your skin until it mostly absorbed.

Conclusion
The serum gets absorbed by the skin really easily. There is no after-shine, no excess oiliness to be seen. In fact, after it sinks in, you’ll need to follow up with a moisturiser.

I was sunburnt on the neck area after an afternoon of go-karting on Saturday (I had forgotten to apply sunblock there). After two days of using this serum on my neck, the burn has subsided and I am not seeing any sign of peeling.

Obviously, it’s too early for me to report any results regarding improvements to lines and skin texture.

But if you’ve been worried whether a serum such as the Ceramide Capsules would cause your skin to become oily, I’d recommend you start by using it every other day, and at night only. That way, as your skin gets blown dry by the air-conditioner, the serum can protect it from becoming too dried out. Then after a week or two, use the capsules every day.

Personally, I like how smooth my skin feels whenever I touch my face and this is definitely something my oft-neglected neck needs.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (60 capsules) retails at $139 at all Elizabeth Arden counters. The limited edition 90-capsule ($165) and 30-capsule ($70) sizes retails exclusively at the Elizabeth Arden counter at Takashimaya in May. You’ll need to be a Red Door Club member to purchase the 90-capsule size.

Please check with your favourite Elizabeth Arden counters in Metro, OG and Robinsons when these limited sizes will be available at these counters.

The Ceramide Capsules were given to Material World for review purpose. All opinions are the author’s own. 

eacontest

Win A 30-Capsule Limited Edition Jar! Click on this picture now!

Material World has 3 jars of 30-capsule Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum to give away! To enter your name for the draw, simply follow the steps below:

1. Click on this link: http://bit.ly/12HK4BS

2. Answer the question to gain 1 chance.

3. Like Material World’s Facebook Page to gain 3 chances.

4. Then share this article and tag Material World on your Facebook Post to gain 5 chances.

5. Finally, remember to PM Material World your details: Name, Email Address, NRIC, and Age. Please state that you are entering the Elizabeth Arden Contest.

This contest ends 3 June, 2013, 11am.

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 hopes she’ll look 25 when she turns 45. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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