Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Yves Rocher White Botanical – Vanessa Tai

Looking to brighten a dull complexion? It may be more effective to use a complete beauty routine than just one dedicated product. 

If you’re a regular follower of Material World’s beauty columns, you’ll know that my main skincare concerns are a dull, uneven complexion and pigmentation spots. However, my modus operandi has always been to try random products – a brightening mask today, a dark-spot corrector tomorrow – instead of an entire beauty regime. However, after trying out the Yves Rocher White Botanical range for about a month, I’ve since learned the folly of my ways.

material world_yves rocher exceptional youth emulsion

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Emulsion SPF30 PA+++, $55

The entire Yves Rocher White Botanical range comes with seven skincare products, but for this review, I tried the following: Exceptional Youth Emulsion SPF30 PA+++, Exceptional Youth Essence, Exceptional Youth Cream – Night, and Exceptional Youth Dark Spot Corrector.

For someone who has a super basic skincare regime to begin with (I usually just slap on moisturiser after washing my face), it was initially a bit confusing deciding which product to apply first.

After consulting with resident beauty guru Deborah, I learned that the way to “layer” your skincare products is to start with the one with the most lightweight texture. This is to maximise the penetration of the products into your skin. (Think about it: if you start with a rich and creamy moisturiser, your serums or essences won’t be able to penetrate the skin underneath it.) If both products have a similar consistency, take a look at the ingredient list. The one with a higher concentration of active ingredients should go on first.

The two main ingredients in the White Botanical range come from plant extracts – White Licorice powder and White Lupin extract. Licorice has always been known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s also effective for brightening skin and reducing the appearance of dark spots. White Lupin is reputed to have anti-ageing properties as it helps boost the production of collagen in your skin.

Here’s how I applied the products:

material world_yves rocher

My thoughts:


Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Essence, $60

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Essence, $60

The textures of both the Youth Emulsion and the Youth Essence are not exceptionally thick; in fact, both products were absorbed easily into my skin. However, the results on my complexion was immediately apparent. My skin looked fresher and brighter, and had a dewy afterglow. In fact, in the month that I was trying out these products, I hardly applied any foundation because my skin looked bright and clear on its own!

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Dark Spot Corrector, $37

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Dark Spot Corrector, $37

For the Dark Spot Corrector, the results took a little longer to be seen, which is understandable. I religiously applied the gel-like product on my freckles day and night, especially when we were in relentlessly sunny Penang. After about three weeks, I noticed that some of the smaller spots have faded and on the whole, my freckles don’t appear as stark as before. For the night cream, I applied a generous amount on my face, neck, and décolletage each evening. In the mornings, my skin would appear fresh and radiant, instead of tired or sallow.

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Cream - Night, $60

Yves Rocher White Botanical Exceptional Youth Cream – Night, $60

Need pictorial evidence?

Here are pictures of my skin taken before I tried the White Botanical range, and one month after using the products:

Images have not been Photoshopped or digitally altered in any way.

Images have not been Photoshopped or digitally altered in any way.

I apologise that we weren’t able to re-create the exact same lighting conditions for the Before and After shots but trust me when I said I had zero foundation on in the second image. The only products on my face were the ones I stated in the “Day” column above. Amazing, right?

Having seen the efficacy of a dedicated beauty regime, I’m now sold. A multiple-step skincare routine may take a bit more effort, but the results more than make up for it.

Yves Rocher is located at Westgate #02-16, Takashimaya #B2-03, and BHG Bugis Level 1 Cosmetic Floor.

Yves Rocher worked with Material World for this post to review its White Botanical range. All opinions are the author’s own and have not been vetted by the client. 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. 


Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Etude House Every Month Cleansing Foam – Vanessa Tai

Korean skincare giant Etude House has outdone themselves once again, with the recent launch of 12 different facial cleansers, each to target a specific skin concern. 

You might be thinking, “Why on earth does one skincare brand need to create so many different cleansers?” Well, Etude House has identified 12 main skin concerns – from acne to loss of elasticity – and developed 12 different facial cleansers to target these problems.

I guess that makes sense, given how each of us have our own unique skin concerns. Even among the four of us at Material World, each of us have very different skin needs as well. For this review, each of us picked a cleanser that best matched our skin types, and tried it out for two weeks.

Deborah – Soothing Relief (Aloe Vera)

Every Month Cleansing Foam #7 ALOE VERA (1)

Skin Type: Sensitive, acne-prone

Review: “The mild fruity scent is pleasant and the gel-like texture of the cleanser emulates that of aloe vera gel. Although the cleanser foams up easily, the lather is soft like a powder puff and doesn’t leave my skin feeling too tight or dry.”

Denise – Purifying (Lemon & Garlic)

Every Month Cleansing Foam #4 LEMON & GARLIC (1)

Skin Type: Clogged, and often exposed to UV rays

Review: “When this cleanser first landed on my desk, I was intrigued as it had ‘lemon and garlic’ written on it. Sounds like something you rub on fish as a marinade if you ask me! Thankfully, it smelled more like lemon than garlic. The fresh citrus-y scent made this pleasant to use, but honestly, I was a tad disappointed at its supposed “purifying” properties. After using it for over two weeks, I didn’t really notice a reduction in blackheads and my skin remains as oily as ever. As an everyday cleanser, it does a decent job of removing debris and grime, but I’d advise you to temper your expectations where its skincare properties are concerned.”

Lili – Deep Moisturising (Avocado & Butter)

Every Month Cleansing Foam #1_AVOCADO & BUTTER (1)

Skin Type: Dry, dehydrated

Review: “This cleanser is thicker than my usual facial cleansers, and I was impressed by its smooth, creamy texture. Just a tiny amount was needed for a good lather. For a cleanser this affordable, it does a decent job in cleansing my skin, especially any stubborn traces of makeup. Perhaps it’s too soon to tell, but I’ve yet to notice a visible difference in terms of my skin’s hydration levels.”

Vanessa – Combination (Apple & Tomato)

Every Month Cleansing Foam #3 APPLE & TOMATO (1)

Skin Type: Dull, discoloured

Review: “As my skin tends to be on the dry side, I appreciated how the moist pearl cream texture of the cleanser didn’t leave my skin with any tightness, unlike other cleansers I’ve tried. It also had a subtle scent of apples, which I liked. If you’re looking for a deep cleanser or one that is brimming with brightening ingredients, this probably won’t be your first choice. However, I’ll recommend stashing this in your gym bag for a quick and refreshing post-workout cleanse.”

This post is in no way paid for or advised by Etude House. The writers were given the Etude House Every Month Cleansing Foam cleansers for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. Etude House Every Month Cleansing Foam is available for $6 at the following Etude House outlets.

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, Spa Treats

[Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] Freezing Time With Cryotherapy – Vanessa Tai

Facial treatments these days are getting increasingly advanced and I, for one am thrilled. Anything to achieve that flawless, glowing complexion, right? Ever since my first experience at Porcelain, The Face Spa, I’ve been in awe of the efficacy of their treatments. So I was chuffed when they invited me back to try their latest treatment, the Cryotherapy Facial.

About Cryotherapy Facial

Originating from Korea, this 60-minute treatment has a two-pronged approach. First, a customised blend of serums will be applied onto your skin using 0.5mm micro-needles. If your eyebrows just arched at the word “needles”, don’t be alarmed! There’s zero pain involved; it just feels like gentle pricks against your skin. Plus, it uses a cooling technology so there’s no redness or risk of inflammation. The purpose of using micro-needles is to enhance absorption of the serum into your skin. Plus, the upward stamping motion helps with the lifting effect.

The second step of the treatment involves using a cryo probe to chill your skin to -10 degrees Celsius, which helps restore firmness to overall skin tone. The therapist would glide the probe over your face in gentle, circular motions, which aids in improving microcirculation.

Check out my Before and After pics below:





Pretty amazing huh? Being only 26 years old, you would think skin firming wouldn’t be a top concern. But I guess pictures really don’t lie. Apart from the picture that I took for this post, there have been several “candid shots” of me where my chin is – horrors of horrors – visibly sagging southwards. I’ve tried a couple of facial treatments in the past that promised to lift my skin, but none of them had as dramatic an effect as the Cryotherapy Facial.

After the treatment, my previously-tired skin also looked and felt rejuvenated, as if it’s been given a new lease of life. Just take a look at the condition of my skin before and after treatment.

Before (Tired, dull complexion)

Before (Tired, dull complexion)

After (Bright, refreshed complexion)

After (Bright, refreshed complexion)

There was absolutely no Photoshop or airbrushing involved in the images you see above – what you see is what you’ll get.

Customised Treatments at Porcelain, TheFace Spa

Flawless Pore+Spot Intensive Serum

Flawless Pore+Spot Intensive Serum

What I like about the treatments at Porcelain is how they take care to customise products and treatments to treat each individual. My skin is relatively unproblematic – it’s just a little on the dull side, with pigmentation spots – so the product used for my treatment was the Flawless Pore+Spot Serum. This highly concentrated serum comes with Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, and Sodium Hyaluronate to brighten skin and lighten dark spots.

For customers who have acne or sensitive skin, the Cryotherapy Facial may not be a recommended treatment as the stamping action of the micro-needles may trigger a reaction. Not to worry, Porcelain has a comprehensive suite of services that will suit any skin condition. The products and equipment you see at Porcelain have all been sourced from various countries by their founder Pauline. Come 2014, she will be bringing in even more products, and equipment, which means a greater level of customisation for you, the consumer.

Porcelain, The Face Spa is located at 15 Cantonment Road, Tel: 6227 9692.

Material World worked with Porcelain, The Face Spa to review its facial treatment. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.


material world_porcelain face spa 

We have three Cryotherapy Facial treatments, each worth $250, to be won! To enter your name for the draw, follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section, name two benefits of the Cryotherapy Facial.

2. Then Share this post with your friends on Facebook. Remember to tag “MaterialWorldSG” and “Porcelain Face Spa” in your post. Set your post on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

3. Private message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with the term “Porcelain, The Face Spa – Cryotherapy Facial”. Include your name, gender, NRIC number, mailing address, and age.

This contest is open only to Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Wednesday, December 25 2013.


Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Goodbye, Tired Skin – Vanessa Tai

“You look so tired.”

This is a comment I’ve been receiving recently, even if it’s the first time I’m meeting the person. I suppose it’s true – my eyes do look tired and my complexion isn’t as radiant as I would like it to be. It’s probably because I tend to have a very packed schedule during the week. On weekdays, I wake up early to run, then I’m either writing throughout the day or having back-to-back meetings and events. When I get home, I’ll be either reading or watching online videos until I pass out, exhausted on my bed. Because of that, my daily skincare regime has fallen woefully by the wayside. I used to spend at least 15 minutes prepping my skin with all kinds of luxurious creams and serums, but now my skin is lucky if I devote even three minutes to it each night.

However, with this recent spate of disheartening comments, I decided some corrective work was in order. After all, as the famous saying goes, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones”. To amp up my skincare routine, I tried a couple of new products that specifically target signs of fatigue.

Dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum, $98

Dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum, $98

As you know, the skin around your eyes are extra delicate and susceptible to the signs of ageing. This is why it’s recommended you start proper eye care from as young as 24 or 25. While I’m lucky that I don’t have dark eye circles, my eyes tend to get puffy whenever I don’t get enough sleep. This serum uses extracts from plants like the Harpoon Weed, Norwegian Kelp and Golden Chamomile to tackle eye puffiness.

Just a dew drop-size of the serum was more than enough to blend across my entire eye area. It sank easily into my skin, but left it feeling a tad sticky. However, the stickiness isn’t too annoying and wears off after about 10 minutes.

Available at all AsterSpring Origin of Beauty Centres and Dermalogica-authorised skin treatment centres. 

Sothys Energizing Day Cream, $249

Sothys Energizing Day Cream, $249

The key ingredient in this new skincare line is Siberian Ginseng. Touted as “the root of youth”, Siberian ginseng is also known as an “adaptogen”. This refers to substances that can supposedly strengthen your body and increase your resistance against daily stresses.

This cream is quite unlike any other cream I’ve tried before. Its exquisitely feathery smooth texture glided effortlessly over my skin and was absorbed instantly. My tired skin looked instantly refreshed, and makeup application was a breeze.

Available at Sothys-authorised dealers. For complete store listings, call 6737 0101 or click here.

This blog post was not paid for by any of the above brands; 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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