Character & Soul, Self-Improvement

This Article Will Change The Way You Look At Yourself – Deborah Tan

Because we are certain everyone has an inspiring story waiting to be discovered, the team at Material World decides today to share their individual UNTOLD story.

In the last 3 weeks, Material World highlighted 3 women who shared their UNTOLD stories. Today, the team would like to share our UNTOLD stories to demonstrate that no story is too insignificant and no lesson too small to inspire. If you feel inspired to share your UNTOLD story after this, email it to us at . We look forward to reading your story too!

Denise Li
The first impression Denise gives people is that of a tough lady who can punch the living daylights out of both men and women. Truth is, martial arts was a relatively recent discovery for her. Below, she talks about how it changed her life … for the better.

Denise (in blue) at her first boxing match.

Denise (in blue) at her first boxing match.

“A few years ago, I found myself drinking quite a bit on a regular basis, and I knew, deep down, that the drinking was a coping mechanism for the constant worrier in me. When I drank, I felt lighter, happier, and freer. In short, I drank to escape from my problems.

One hungover Saturday morning as I struggled to recover from a raging hangover, I realized that I was sick of relying on alcohol as a crutch. I decided that I needed to channel all that nervous energy into a healthier habit. Two days later, I found myself signing up with a muay thai gym, and I never looked back.

Now, five years on, martial arts is at the core of my existence. From muay thai, I moved onto boxing, and recently started MMA. Martial arts has taught me discipline, perseverance and, most importantly, the importance of keeping calm under pressure. I have a much better handle on stress and anxiety, and though I still enjoy the odd tipple every now and then, I no longer feel the need to binge-drink. Now, whenever I’m angry or stressed, I head to the gym. There’s nothing a gruelling workout can’t fix!”


Lili Tan
The statuesque Lili has a figure that many envy but did you know that in her teenage years, she was often mocked by classmates for being overweight. Today, she is a regular at run events and she actually loves running. Read on to find out what she has to say.

Lili (second from left) beams with pride after the Sundown Marathon.

Lili (second from left) beams with pride after the Sundown Marathon.

“Back in secondary school, I was bullied for being overweight. I remember dreading the TAF (Trim & Fit) Club sessions – us overweight kids stood at the back of our respective classes during assembly once a week so we could adjourn to the exercise venue while the rest of our classmates continued to read “silently”. Every time we broke away from our classes, a gulf of shame and hurt would wash over me, no thanks to insensitive schoolmates who would openly mock us. My self-esteem was at its lowest.

Right after graduation, I figured tertiary life was the perfect chance for me to start anew. Over years of hard work and determination, I managed to shed the excess kilos. It wasn’t a massive transformation but it was enough to shock old friends that I bumped into on the streets.

Even though I have come to accept that teenagers are just prone to silly, insensitive acts, those jibes and insults stuck with me – and I guess this is why they say revenge is sweet: it always feels SO GOOD seeing ex-schoolmates stumped and speechless when they see how I look today. But, the strength you gain from a horrible experience is infinitely sweeter.”


Vanessa Tai
Nothing cheers Vanessa up like a good session of karaoke! The girl belts out both Cantonese and English songs with gusto. But she wasn’t always so confident with the microphone. She tells us her story.

Vanessa is no longer afraid to show off her vocal prowess!

Vanessa is no longer afraid to show off her vocal prowess!

“Most of my friends know I absolutely love singing but not many people know that I used to be extremely self-conscious about my singing voice. That’s because of an insensitive teacher in primary school who told me that I was tone deaf. Since then, I avoided singing in public as much as possible, feeling mortified whenever I hear my singing voice.

While I toyed with the idea of taking vocal lessons, I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to be embarrassed. Finally, fed up with my endless whinging, my mum signed me up for vocal lessons. The first semester was particular trying; it was hard to ignore the shame I was made to feel about my singing as a kid. However, under the patient and encouraging tutelage of my then-vocal coach, my confidence grew.

It’s now been two years since I first enrolled and I’ve recently graduated. While I’m no Adele, I’m definitely way more confident about singing in public now. What I’ve learned from this experience is that people (even people we respect or trust) are going to throw hurtful remarks at us all the time. The difference is whether we choose to wallow in it or find some way to triumph over it.”


Deborah Tan
As the former editor of two magazines, one would think Deborah was an ace in English back in school. The truth, however, cannot be further away … 

Deborah (far right) on her last day with her team from Cosmopolitan.

Deborah (far right) on her last day with her team from Cosmopolitan.

“When I was in school, my teachers never made me forget that my English was appalling. It was true. Grammar was a challenge and no one thought I’d be capable of passing English. Although I had – by some stroke of luck – scored an A1 at the O Levels (my teachers ‘projected’ that the best I could do was a C5), I had a C6 for General Paper at the A Levels. In the first week of my freshman year at university, I had to sit for an English proficiency test to prove that I could actually speak and write in English.

It seems ironic that I had been able to carve a great career for myself in publishing and am now making a living out of writing.

When people say you need a natural flair in languages to be good at them, they are wrong. You can train and teach yourself to be good at English – in fact, be good at ANYTHING. All you need is an insane amount of willpower and focus. One of my techniques is: when I read a book and I stumble upon an interesting grammar ‘law’, I would make a mental note and look for other instances where it is used in the same way. Then, I would try to incorporate it into my writing the next time and keep using it until I’m familiar with the way it works.

What this has taught me about Life is that if you allow someone to define you, you’ll always be limited by them. I don’t let anyone tell me who I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do. I call the shots.”

Watch all 3 episodes of “Her UNTOLD Story” here and find out how you can win a $400 Elizabeth Arden hamper by sharing your very own UNTOLD story.  



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 believes every one can create a more awesome life for themselves. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.


Branded Content, Character & Soul, Self-Improvement

From 6-Figure Debt To 5-Figure Salary – Denise Li

She was a well-known beauty queen before becoming a thriving businesswoman, but Genecia Luo, founder of Queenz*8 Business Group did not achieve success overnight. From having to keep her family financially afloat during her teen years, to overcoming crippling debt just 4 years ago, she’s faced more than her fair share of obstacles. She tells Denise Li how she overcame them.

Material World and Elizabeth Arden Present Genecia Luo’s UNTOLD Story


What was Life like when you were 14? If you were to say, “Spending a lot of time in school and doing CCAs, and attending tuition”, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Certainly luckier than Genecia Luo who not just had to put herself through school, but also financially support her family from the age of 15.

Today, she is a successful businesswoman with a group of companies under her belt, but the road to success was a bumpy one, culminating in a six-figure debt just four years ago. How did she find it in herself, not just to get out of a sticky situation, but also to do so well for herself? We speak to her to find out more.

Genecia helping out at Berkat Children's Home

Genecia helping out at Berkat Children’s Home

What, to you, is the best part about being an entrepreneur?

“To me, entrepreneurship is about having the courage to live a life that a lot people cannot find it in themselves to. Entrepreneurship is about continually facing your fears. While fear can be paralysing, it can also be immensely motivating. It’s how you deal with fear that determines how successful you’ll become. I think it’s important to acknowledge the fear; that’s when you’ll know what are the steps you need to take to accomplish your goals.”

How would you describe your management style? 

“I believe in continually encouraging and empowering my staff, and instilling the importance of discipline where work ethics are concerned. At the same time, I allow them the time and space to grow as people. Every one wants to be successful in what they do, but I think everyone could do with a healthy reality check every now and then. I want my staff members to know that failures are part and parcel of building their careers. I often remind them that they shouldn’t be crippled by failure. Instead, they should have an empowered mindset that will guide them to take action and deal with obstacles as they come.”

Genecia believes deeply in giving back to society.

Genecia believes deeply in giving back to society.

Any advice for women who are thinking of becoming their own boss? 

“Striking out on your own is always scary, and we always imagine the worst possible scenarios. In reality, these situations rarely come to pass. I want women to know that they shouldn’t be crippled by their perceived limitations. Instead, they should channel that worry into something more positive by envisioning success. Don’t dwell, because the longer you dwell, the harder it’ll be for you to take action. Get educated, make mistakes, learn, repeat. You don’t want to be that person who regrets not doing enough for herself when you get older.”

Watch: Episode 1 of “Her UNTOLD Story” with Lena Sim, founder and CEO of Ministry of Food.

Watch: Episode 2 of “Her UNTOLD Story” with Yvonne Chee, youngest Singaporean to complete 7 Marathons on 7 Continents.

Tell us your very own UNTOLD story and you might just win an Elizabeth Arden hamper worth more than $400.

elizabeth arden prize

Tell us your very own personal story of overcoming the obstacles Life placed in your way. The best story not only gets to be featured on Material World, it will also win an Elizabeth Arden product hamper! Each hamper contains a UNTOLD Eau Légère 100ml (worth $117), Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick #Red Door Red (worth $34), and a Prevage® AM Regimen Starter Kit (worth $248).

For details on how you can win one, remember to watch the entire video.

Score an exclusive sample of UNTOLD Eau Légère! Simply be among the first 150 readers to visit Elizabeth Arden counter at Robinsons Raffles City from NOW and quote “Material World” to earn your sample fragrance vial.

This is the third of 3 videos Material World has produced in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden worked with Material World to produce a series of videos featuring Singaporean women, each with their own inspiring tale to share. The women featured are not spokespeople of Elizabeth Arden and they were not remunerated for their participation in this project.

Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances

Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère – Vanessa Tai

You’ve seen the videos of the two Singaporean women and their inspiring life stories. Now, discover Vanessa Tai’s experience with the UNTOLD Eau Légère fragrance.

The first thing that struck me when I first laid eyes on the UNTOLD Eau Légère fragrance was how the shape of the bottle resembles that of a woman striking a sexy pose. Check out the picture below to see what I mean.

mw_elizabeth arden

See? It’s as if one shoulder is being pushed forward alluringly, like how a model would on a catwalk.

Aesthetics aside though, what was my first impression of the fragrance? As someone whose fragrance choices tend to be pretty safe and predictable — I usually favour clean, fuss-free scents — I was initially not used to its deep muskiness. However, as the day wore on and the scent sank into my skin, I started to get used to and even enjoy the headiness of the UNTOLD Eau Légère. It’s a decidedly womanly fragrance, with sensuous notes of Amber, Patchouli Heart, and Egyptian Jasmine.

I’m not sure if I was imagining it, but each time I spritzed on the fragrance on subsequent days, I did feel a small but significant boost of confidence. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t just my imagination. According to an article published in Psychology Today, scents can have a positive effect on one’s mood and self-confidence. The article goes on to say that a smell has no personal significance until we connect it to something that has meaning. With that first encounter, we begin forming nerve connections that link this particular smell with emotions. This is because our capacities for both smell and emotion are located in the same network of brain structures. Interesting huh?

With the UNTOLD Eau Légère, I felt almost as if I was shedding my identity as “Vanessa the girl” and stepping into a newfound identity as “Vanessa the woman”. Maybe that’s why the fragrance was such a hit with men!

Wait, what?


UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

So I recently went out with this guy and just before our date, I spritzed on a good amount of the UNTOLD Eau Légère. I wasn’t sure if he would be able to smell it in the crowded bar that we were in, so at an appropriate interval in our conversation, I put my wrist up to his nose and asked him what he thought. He looked impressed, “It’s good. Very good!” I guess he must have meant it, because the date extended from “just drinks” to a long night of playing pool and enjoying live music … and a second date soon after.

Of course, I’m not saying that the UNTOLD Eau Légère is a magic concoction that will reel in members of the opposite sex. But the sensuality and sophistication of the fragrance played a big part in boosting my confidence levels. I’m sure you know that when you feel more confident, you start to talk and act the part too – you stand up taller and you speak with more assuredness. It certainly worked for me!

Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml, is available at authorised Elizabeth Arden counters islandwide. Elizabeth Arden UNTOLD Eau Légère was given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are author’s own. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Elizabeth Arden.

Score an exclusive sample of UNTOLD Eau Légère! Simply be among the first 150 readers to visit Elizabeth Arden counter at Robinsons Raffles City from NOW and quote “Material World” to earn your sample fragrance vial.

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 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

Branded Content, Character & Soul, Self-Improvement

She Is The Youngest Singaporean To … – Deborah Tan

Last year, Yvonne Chee became the youngest Singaporean to complete 7 marathons on 7 continents – all this while juggling an overseas job posting! At Material World’s video shoot for Elizabeth Arden’s new UNTOLD Eau Legere fragrance, Deborah Tan interviews Yvonne over Skype to find out more about her story.

Material World and Elizabeth Arden Present Yvonne Chee’s UNTOLD Story


First, forgive us if this video with Yvonne comes across as “DIY”. The segments featuring her talking were shot by her husband. Material World interviewed Yvonne over Skype to get her Untold story because it was simply too inspiring to miss!

When it comes to running, we either love it or hate it. Yvonne took her love for running to the extreme by making it her goal to run a marathon on every continent on this planet. So what drove her to do something, many of us consider “madness”? We get the low-down:

Yvonne2You are the youngest Singaporean to achieve this feat. Were there any other Singaporeans who have done it before?

“Prior to my completing this goal, two other Singaporeans have done so – Dr William Tan in 2007 and Ms Gloria Lau in 2012.”

Was this just only about running?

“No. While the goal was to run a marathon on every continent, I dedicated this project to a charity as well, helping to raise funds and awareness through my efforts. I wanted to raise funds for the Tsao Foundation because I wanted to honor the memory of my late grandmother who took care of me while I was growing up. In Singapore, we tend to forget about the elderly but they too have contributed to the society in their time and we need to remember that.”

Yvonne3Tell us more about your grandmother.

“My grandmother passed away in 1997 – a week before my GCE A-level exams. I was so devastated and cried endlessly for days. It seemed as if I would be a total wreck going into my exams but I knew she wouldn’t want me to wallow in sadness and so, I decided to focus on doing well so she would be proud of me.”

How did you manage to juggle a full-time job and training for your marathons?
“Training for my marathons and raising funds and awareness for the Tsao Foundation meant a serious loss of social life. I slept only 5 hours every day. My husband’s main complaint was that I wasn’t getting enough sleep and that my early hours meant I ‘made too much noise’! Some see it as a sacrifice but I derived a great sense of joy and satisfaction working towards my goal and giving back to society.”

Watch: Episode 1 of “Her UNTOLD Story” with Lena Sim, founder and CEO of Ministry of Food.

Tell us your very own UNTOLD story and you might just win an Elizabeth Arden hamper worth more than $400.

elizabeth arden prize

Tell us your very own personal story of overcoming the obstacles Life placed in your way. The best story not only gets to be featured on Material World, it will also win an Elizabeth Arden product hamper! Each hamper contains a UNTOLD Eau Légère 100ml (worth $117), Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick #Red Door Red (worth $34), and a Prevage® AM Regimen Starter Kit (worth $248).

For details on how you can win one, remember to watch the entire video.

Score an exclusive sample of UNTOLD Eau Légère! Simply be among the first 150 readers to visit Elizabeth Arden counter at Robinsons Raffles City from NOW and quote “Material World” to earn your sample fragrance vial.

This is the second of 3 videos Material World has produced in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden worked with Material World to produce a series of videos featuring Singaporean women, each with their own inspiring tale to share. The women featured are not spokespeople of Elizabeth Arden and they were not remunerated for their participation in this project.

Beauty & Shopping, Lifestyle

26 Things To Put On Your June Watchlist

Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already?! Yeah, neither can we. Thankfully, there are so many things to eat, try, and buy this month! 

A is for A Sale Like No Other

great singapore sale

This year’s Great Singapore Sale is unlike any we’ve ever had, simply because of the “giving back” factor. From 30 May to 27 July 2014, Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) will be giving away $500 to one lucky shopper every day in the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion. There will be 59 winners in total, one for each day of GSS. But that’s not all – for every eligible entry received for the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion, SRA will donate $1 to Community Chest, up to a maximum of $10,000. Go on, now you can shop to your heart’s content!

B is for Blades Of The Gods

Fans of Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club will be stoked to know that he has collaborated with Balinese master blacksmiths to create Blades of the Gods – a collection of kitchen knives and steak knives. These knives are made in Germany while preserving a 1100-year-old Balinese tradition of knife-making. You can buy them at Tippling Club or online at .

C is for Celeb Endorsement

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at PM 02.58.13

Since he took part in Manhunt 2011, Shane Pow’s career has grown from strength to strength, with regular appearances on Channel 8 drama serials. Not only has he secured a meaty role in a new film, he’s now also the face of Lab Series Skincare For Men. Up close, Shane’s complexion is flawless — smooth, poreless, as well as wrinkle- and spot-free — definitely a face that should be fronting an internationally renowned skincare brand!

D is for Dior Addict Eau de Toilette


Dior’s Perfume Creator François Demachy has imagined a new Dior Addict Eau de Toilette with an instant, multi-faceted attraction. Sicilian Mandarin blends with Jasmine Sambuc and Tunisian Neroli against a base note of evocative, woody Essence of Sandalwood and Vanilla. Resolutely feminine, it is a composition that dares to take on an unexpected woody charm thanks to notes of Sandalwood Essence. Available at all Dior counters.

E is for Elizabeth Arden


3 women. 3 Untold stories. Together with Elizabeth Arden, Material World will be sharing videos featuring 3 inspiring women, each with an Untold story behind their successes. Starting 2 June, a new video will be uploaded every Monday. We are also looking for the 4th Untold story. Share with us your personal story of success and survival and you may just win an awesome hamper worth $400!

F is for Father’s Day

June 15 is Father’s Day! Have you figured out where to take Pop yet? If not, fret not. Here are a few suggestions. For dads who are known to be a “man’s man”, take him to Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental where he can enjoy hearty dishes such as Murray Bridge Lamb and Iberico Pork Chop alongside beer and cigars (for reservations, call 6885 3500 or email If your dad prefers a more casual vibe, he’ll enjoy Spuds & Aprons, a casual dining eatery located atop Mount Faber. There, he can indulge in comfort food such as fries served with hot gravy and six different cheeses, as well as local favourites like Laksa and Curry Chicken. Does he prefer traditional Chinese cuisine? Restaurant Home has rolled out two special Father’s Day set menus — Gratitude Set Menu and Dedication Set Menu — which feature a wild freshwater fish called the Empurau fish (also known as “Wang Bu Liao”). This prized fish can fetch up to $1,600/kg (no kidding) but for this special occasion, it will be priced at a more affordable rate. (Check out the menu here; for reservations, call 6465 1698 or email

G is for Goodwood Park Hotel’s Durian Fiesta

Durian lovers, rejoice! Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual Durian Fiesta is back! From now until July 13, satisfy your craving for the “king of fruits” with limited-edition Mao Shan Wang durian products, including the giant profiterole “Mao Shan” Power Puff ($17.80 per piece); and “Mao Shan Wang” Ice Cream ($21.80 per 16oz tub). At the Coffee Lounge, you can also look forward to the new Durian Sampler Platter ($10.80, available only as a top-up), which consists of four items: Durian Gula Melaka roll, Mini Durian Donut, Durian Trifle and Durian Mousse Cake. For enquiries and reservations, call Goodwood Park Hotel’s Coffee Lounge at 6730 1746.

H is for Homeware

Swedish stationery brand kikki.K has a homeware collection now! This season, Svenka Hem combines sophisticated white with wooden features and stylish gold accents for a range of homewares that looks so good on any dining table. Available in-store at ION Orchard and online at .

I is for International Beers


Beerfest Asia is back! This wildly popular event brings together over 400 types of beer from all over the world for a 4-day weekend of revelry and hiccupin’ good times. Apart from just guzzling down as many beers as you can though (as we will), you can also check out the live music performances, comedy club, and other beverage tasting workshops that will be ongoing throughout the festival.

Beerfest Asia 2014 is on from 12 to 15 June. Get your tickets here.  

J is for Jermyn Street

Jermyn St logo FA-06 A new upscale barbershop will be opening at Amoy Street on June 13. Inspired by the rich grooming heritage of Jermyn Street in London, this 1,800-square-feet barbershop offers a hot towel straight razor shave, haircut, shampoo, manicure, pedicure, eyebrow grooming, waxing and more. Find out more at .

K is for Kickass Female DJs

Saturday nights at Catalunya Bar just got even more sizzling. Featuring not one, but two formidable female DJs. DJ Reiki has performed alongside international DJs Aphrodite, Mickey Finn, and Utah Jazz, as well as her own bi-monthly mixshow residency on Lush 99.5 FM. DJ Casie has been spinning in bars and clubs across Asia and North America, and was last seen at the SkyBar at KU DÉ TA.

Catalunya is located at The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Tel: 6534 0886

L is for Leggings


… workout leggings that is. US high-performance sports brand Under Armour has just opened its first store in Singapore, at Orchard Gateway. What you can look forward to: well-fitting, high-tech workout gear that will help athletes stay comfortable in their quest to become faster, fitter and stronger.

Under Armour is at B1-05 Orchard Gateway.

M is for Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N

Love the intensity of liquid eyeliner but can’t control it as well as a pencil? Well, in Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N you’ll get the best of both worlds. Its improved formula and texture promise to give you a smooth intense line that is resistant to water, tears and sebum, and can last up to 13 hours.

Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N is available at all Shiseido counters islandwide.

N is for Nails


For once, it wasn’t about neon pops of colour or dark gothic shades – pastel and nude colours got their turn in the spotlight on F/W 2014 runways. More’s the better, because they’re so much more office friendly. If you’re thinking of adding pastels to your nail colour collection, check out Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails. It’s the one polish that smells good, as it’s been perfumed with the brand’s original scent, Majoromantica. Best part? Each bottle goes for just $7.10 each.

Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails will be available June 26, 2014, exclusively at Watsons.

O is for Old-School Arcade Games


Relive your childhood days of playing classic games like Pac Man, Namco Arcade, Sonic the Hedgehog, and King of Fighters using console-style analog controls with the new Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery. This sleek iPhone game controller also comes with an integrated 1500 mAh battery to increase the available power capacity of your iPhone 5, iPhone 5S or iPod Touch (5th generation). $129.90, available at authorised resellers. Visit for more information.

P is for Pebble

Attention all gadget lovers! Access your favourite apps like Whatsapp and Twitter through Pebble, a smartwatch that connects your smartphone via Bluetooth. Besides receiving notifications, Pebble also allows you to track your workout sessions with Runkeeper, remotely control your music, and more.

Pebble, $249, comes in five colours — Jet Black, Cherry Red, Arctic White, Orange, and Grey — and is available at EpiCentre, Harvey Norman, NuBox, Singtel, as well as selected Challenger, EpiLife, Courts, and Digital Style stores.

Q is for Quayside Tea


Yes, we know it’s hot all year round in Singapore but it seems to get exceptionally hot in June! Quench your thirst with the bright and refreshing Belvedere Lemon Tea, available in 8 different summer cocktails across 8 cocktail bars. We have our eye our Quayside Tea, available at Boomarang, which is an inventive concoction of fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, a dash of egg white, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and of course Belvedere Lemon Tea. Yum!

Belvedere Lemon Tea cocktails are available from now till 31 August 2014. Boomarang is located at 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside; and 52 Circular Road.

R is for runWESTIN

The next time you plan a staycation, why not pencil in a good workout as well?  The Westin Singapore has recently launched its runWESTIN programme, with veteran runner Eddie Chang as the hotel’s first-ever runWESTIN concierge. Apart from taking you and other hotel guests on a 5-km scenic run around the Marina Bay area, he will also be onhand to provide expert training and race advice.

S is for Summer Beauty Offerings


Make a date to go shopping at Sephora on 12 June! Why? Cos that’s when a jaw-dropping load of new stuff arrives at the multi-brand beauty store. From Pureheal’s Volcanic Pore Line (a 4-step pore care regime that’ll keep that unsightly shine at bay) to new makeup from Urban Decay, beauty junkies are sure to get their fill of fabulous new products on this day.

Find your nearest Sephora store here

T is for TANGS Beauty Playground

tangs beauty play ground

Beauty junkies, get ready for the biggest and most extravagant beauty event of the GSS season (and possibly the whole year)! For 3 days only, you’ll get access to yet-to-be-launched beauty items and exclusive discounts on all your favourite products. So much to see, try, and buy so be sure to make your way to TANGS this weekend!

TANGS Beauty Playground will be held from 6 to 8 June 2014.

U is for Ugly Cake Shop


Fancy some lip-smackingly good desserts while contributing to a good cause? Introducing Ugly Cake Shop, a local social enterprise that’s recently launched its online store ( Selling a wide selection of whole cakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes, brownies, and other baked goods that are handmade using only quality ingredients and without any artificial flavour, colour, and fondant, Ugly Cake Shop pledges 20 percent of its profits to the nutritional fund of Shalom School in the capital of Dili, Timor-Leste. This fund goes towards the meals of undernourished children and youth in Timor-Leste. For more information and to check out the selection of delectable baked goods, visit or send an email to Ugly Cake Shop partner/baker Lisa Tan at

V is for Vivacious, Confident Women

In conjunction with its 30th anniversary in Singapore, Cetaphil recently launched its first-ever Skin Confidence Report. We were heartened to discover that confidence among women in Singapore is actually pretty high! For example, 69 percent of Singaporean women believe they are beautiful and a whopping 86 percent believe that others perceive them as confident. Let’s keep this verve up, ladies!

W is for World Cup Madness

Why throw your money away when you can watch World Cup matches for free? Organised by the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre and Foodpanda, catch at least 50 of the 64 matches (including the opening match on June 13 and the grand finales on July 14) on the big screen at Hong Lim Park. Exclusively for this month-long event, a few of Foodpanda’s partnered restaurants will be extending the food delivery operating hours beyond 12am for those of you having the midnight munchies. For more information, visit

X is for Xtraordinary Feats

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at PM 02.44.39

Back for a second time due to popular demand, Le Noir is a theatrical production like no other, combining the death-defying acrobatic feats with beautiful music and rib-tickling comedic routines. Get your tickets here.

Y is for Yummy Steaks

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at PM 02.49.57

There are steaks, and then there are steaks at CUT by Wolfgang Puck. This celebrity chef restaurant has recently launched a new lineup of steaks created from Hokkaido Snow Beef, which is an exceptionally rare and premium wagyu beef farmed at a private reserve in Hokkaido, Japan. This beef gets its name because of its delicate meat texture and marbling so fine and intricate that it resembles snowflakes.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck is located at 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Tel: 6688 8517

Z is for Zesty Body Treats 


The Body Shop has done it again with delicious body treats! Launching mid-June, The Body Shop Body Sorbets will bring new meaning to body moisturisers. The texture resembles that of icing sugar and it delivers a cooling dose of hydration that we all crave during the sweltering summer days. In four fruity flavours, you can store these in your refrigerator for a more refreshing treat.

The Body Shop Body Sorbets will be available at The Body Shop stores islandwide on June 16.


Branded Content, Character & Soul, Entrepreneurship, Self-Improvement

The Story of This Restaurant Owner Will Surprise You – Vanessa Tai

Lena Sim, founder and CEO of Ministry of Food, has a story that is worthy of any bestselling novel. At Material World’s video shoot for Elizabeth Arden’s new UNTOLD Eau Legere fragrance, Vanessa Tai sat down with Lena to find out more about her fascinating journey.

Material World and Elizabeth Arden Presents Lena Sim’s UNTOLD Story


Perhaps one of the last things you’d associate with a restauranteur is a childhood marked by poverty and hunger. Abandoned by her parents as a baby, Lena and her grandmother were left to fend for themselves. Lena and her grandmother were sometimes too poor to buy food that they were forced to rummage through rubbish bins for leftovers.

Behind the scenes of the Elizabeth Arden Untold Legere shoot.

Behind the scenes of the Elizabeth Arden Untold Legere shoot.

After graduating from university, she had a high-paying job in the finance industry but she still felt something was missing. She quit her job to travel for a bit, and found herself in Taiwan where she first tried a delicious green tea dessert from an old Japanese dessert chain. From there, she travelled to Japan to convince the founders of the dessert chain to expand to Singapore. After a lot of time and effort, her tenacity once again paid off and Ministry of Food was born.

Today, there are over 50 restaurants in Singapore under the Ministry of Food brand, and plans are in the pipeline to expand the brand across the region. Of course, the entrepreneurial path is never always a smooth one. Lena shares with us what keeps her going.

Tell us about the challenges you face and how you overcome them.

“Each day is a challenge; there will always be problems to solve and fires to fight. Entrepreneurship is all about facing failure, crying, and then standing up again. I believe the moment you stop running is the moment your business will flop. You just have to persevere and never say die. Every business is like a marathon – you need a lot of patience, discipline, and perseverance.”

How do you cope with the pressure?

“When you are doing something you love, you will naturally have the energy to press on. When I first made the career switch into F&B, my peers used to think I was making a big mistake and would laugh at me. However, these same people who chose to follow their ‘brains’ are now unhappy and stressed out in their jobs, with some of them even facing very real possibilities of retrenchment. This is why I firmly believe in following your heart. I’m full of energy each day, and I rarely feel tired when I’m at work.”

Do you ever find time to unwind?

“I hardly unwind because I enjoy myself so much at work that I don’t find a need to unwind. However, I’ve recently discovered it’s actually very therapeutic to go grocery shopping!”

Myself, Lena, and the videography team!

Myself, Lena, and the videography team!


Tell us your very own UNTOLD story and you might just win an Elizabeth Arden hamper worth more than $400.

elizabeth arden prize

Tell us your very own personal story of overcoming the obstacles Life placed in your way. The best story not only gets to be featured on Material World, it will also win an Elizabeth Arden product hamper! Each hamper contains a UNTOLD Eau Légère 100ml (worth $117), Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick #Red Door Red (worth $34), and a Prevage® AM Regimen Starter Kit (worth $248).

For details on how you can win one, remember to watch the entire video.

Score an exclusive sample of UNTOLD Eau Légère! Simply be among the first 150 readers to visit Elizabeth Arden counter at Robinsons Raffles City from NOW and quote “Material World” to earn your sample fragrance vial.

This is the first of 3 videos Material World has produced in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden worked with Material World to produce a series of videos featuring Singaporean women, each with their own inspiring tale to share. The women featured are not spokespeople of Elizabeth Arden and they were not remunerated for their participation in this project.

Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Skincare

[Material World x Elizabeth Arden] Farewell, Freckles! – Vanessa Tai

Living in sunny Singapore brings with it a host of sun-related damage, such as pigmentation spots and skin discolouration. Wanting to take her sun protection regime up a notch, Vanessa tried out Elizabeth Arden’s new Visible Whitening range. Here’s her review.  

While many people have complimented me on my freckles (and I, too, secretly like them), I am concerned about these tiny brown spots becoming darker and more pronounced. Or worse, merging to form larger “continents”. Freckles are formed when UV rays from the sun hit your skin, causing the outermost layer of your skin (the epidermis) to thicken. This in turn causes melanocytes – also known as the pigment-producing cells in your skin – to produce even more melanin, which darkens existing freckles.  

Despite knowing all this, I must confess, I’m not the most hardworking when it comes to my sun protection regime. I dutifully apply sunscreen every morning, but I rarely touch up during the day, and I only use brightening masks once a month. However, this recent heat wave has got me worrying about the appearance of new dark spots. I decided simply applying sunscreen alone won’t cut it; I needed to step up my game.

Enter Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Whitening Intense Brightening Biocellulose Mask and Visible Whitening Anti-Melanin Spot Corrector.

The mask is densely packed with ingredients such as Vitamin B3 to even out skin tone and Licorice extracts to prevent the formation of dark spots, but it’s not drenched to the point where it drips with product when you open it. I’ve always preferred bio-cellulose masks because they adhere to your skin so much better. This ultra-fine mesh textile fits onto my facial contours like a second skin. In fact, I could be lying on my belly reading and it wouldn’t even move an inch, let alone slide off!

See how well it adheres to my skin!

See how well it adheres to my skin!

As for the Anti-Melanin Spot Corrector, it’s a lightweight gel-like product that’s formulated with intensive skin brighteners such as Vitamin C derivatives and an exfoliating agent. This reduces the appearance of existing melanin spots on your skin’s outer most layers, and stems the production of new melanin.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Anti-Melanin Spot Corrector, $110

Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Anti-Melanin Spot Corrector, $110

I used the mask every other day for a week, and applied the spot corrector on my freckles every morning after applying a liberal amount of sunscreen. See the results below:


Yes, I know you can still see my freckles, but the spots are definitely visibly lighter. My skin also appears fairer and more radiant. Another thing I really liked about the mask is how it has a hydrating effect on top of its brightening properties. My skin felt softer, smoother and “cooler” after each application, and the after-glow effect spilled over to the next day as well.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Intense Brightening Biocellulose Mask, $90

Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Intense Brightening Biocellulose Mask, $90

While freckles may be a hereditary trait and are mostly harmless, that doesn’t mean you can’t control them from spreading. I’m very pleased that just one week of being a little more hardworking beauty-wise has reaped such visible results. I’m definitely not going to slack off my skincare regime anymore!

Elizabeth Arden worked with Material World for this post to promote the launch of its new Visible Whitening Intense Brightening Biocellulose Mask and Visible Whitening Anti-Melanin Spot Corrector. 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, Infographics, Skincare

[Press Trip] The Eye Serum That Corrects Severe Signs of Aging – Deborah Tan

Your eyes can betray your real age in that they can make you appear older than you really are. Elizabeth Arden launches the Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Eye Repair Serum this month to help address severe signs of aging on the eye area such as crow’s feet and deep wrinkles. Here’s what we have to say about it.

What is the first thing you look at when you’re checking out your reflection to see if you have “aged”? Chances are, it’s your eyes. According to a Wakefield Research for Elizabeth Arden, 40% of women said they’d notice signs of aging around their eyes more than on their necks, hands, or around the mouth.

In September last year, Elizabeth Arden invited Material World to Phuket, Thailand, for the launch of an eye serum that can help correct and reverse severe signs of skin aging, especially the look of deep lines and crepiness in just one use. [Based on a US home consumer test on 104 women aged 25-65 and a US clinical test on 16 women after 15 minutes]

The choice of Phuket may seem rather odd until we realise that exposure to smoke, pollution and other irritants can accelerate skin aging twice as fast. Environmental threats in a highly urbanised city produce free radicals that can cause chronic inflammation at skin’s cellular level, leading to a breakdown of collagen and elastin. Being bona fide city dwellers, we also subject our eyes to the physical stresses of staring into the computer screen for long hours, sitting inside a dry, air-conditioned office, and having to apply makeup before heading out to “face the world”. So a chance to kick back and relax at The Vijitt Resort would certainly do our skin and health a world of good. But, before we tell you about this awesome eye serum, check out our infographic below on WHY your eyes look older than they should be:


So, your eyes are suffering from the “after-effects” of the reasons listed in the infographic? Then Elizabeth Arden has something for you. Launched this month, Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum combines the brand’s exclusive Idebenone technology with a blend of AFC (if you really want to know, that stands for ‘n-acetyl-s-farnsylcystein’) and Thiotaine.

Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum by Elizabeth Arden

Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum by Elizabeth Arden

Together, all three help neutralise 95% of environmental free radicals and minimise the visible effects of cellular inflammation, the primary cause of signs of aging.

The texture is feather-light and is absorbed quickly by the skin. If you find the skin around your eyes drier than usual, you can even follow this serum with an eye cream. To be honest, I don’t have any deep wrinkles and lines that need correcting but when I used the serum on my eyes for a month in December last year, at an eye concealer launch of another brand, the makeup artist commented how my eyes have “no dark circles”.

It was quite “good for the ego” to hear that because editors are known to have pretty tired eyes, no thanks to amount of time spent reading and staring at the computer. One editor even jokingly asked aloud, “Does this mean you haven’t been working very hard???”

I also found that applied just before going to bed helped with the puffiness I tend to get the next morning. Overall, after a month’s use, I found that my eyes looked less tired and the eye area, brighter.

Would I recommend it? At $215 for 15ml, I’d say go for it if you have tried many products and found them ineffective against your lines. Or, if you have a big event coming up-like a wedding-and would like to brighten and tighten your eye area, then this could be the intensive eyecare product for you. After all, most brides don’t get enough rest and they certainly don’t want to be walking down the aisle with a thick layer of concealer under the eyes.

This article is not paid for or advised by Elizabeth Arden. Material World was invited to the press trip for the launch of the product and was given a sample to review. You may read our advertising policy here.

[If you like this story, you’ll love]

1. Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser

2. [Material World x Elizabeth Arden] Ready For Take-Off

3. Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum

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, Fragrances

Can Celebrities Still Sell Beauty? – Deborah Tan

Mary Beth Mazzota from Elizabeth Arden

Mary Beth Mazzota from Elizabeth Arden

Besides earning a living from making TV series, movies, albums and reality shows, celebrities make their money from endorsements. From Jennifer Lopez telling you that you are worth it in an ad about L’Oreal hair products to James Franco selling you the idea that your boyfriend should wear the same Gucci fragrance he’s wearing, celebrities lure us in with their good looks and fabulous sense of style.

Nowhere is the link between star power and beauty more apparent than in a celebrity perfume. Two weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to interview Mary Beth Mazzotta, Vice President, Regional Marketing Southern Hemisphere, of Elizabeth Arden. When it comes to marketing celebrity fragrances, Mary Beth is the person to speak to. Besides Elizabeth Arden’s skincare, colour and fragrances, she also takes care of the brand’s portfolio of celebrity, designer and lifestyle fragrances such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

In this interview, we (MW) talks to Mary Beth (MB) about the magic behind celebrity perfumes and, if they really work.

MW: What is the marketing rationale behind celebrity fragrances?

MB: Celebrity fragrances are really hot! In the US, UK and Australian markets, the celebrity market is huge. Fans of a certain star really buy into the idea that they are owning a piece of their favourite singer or actress by buying a bottle of perfume fronted by them. Globally, the statistics show that celebrity fragrances sell. Besides just being a face that so many adore, celebs have a wide reach and this is marketing gold for any beauty company. Taylor Swift has some 37 MILLION fans on Twitter alone! When she had her concerts in the US and Australia, Elizabeth Arden sponsored it. And this gave her fans a chance to associate their favourite celeb with this perfume she’s fronting.

Will Taylor Swift's fans rush to buy her perfumes?

Will Taylor Swift’s fans rush to buy her perfumes?

justinbiebergirlfriendMW: What makes marketing a celebrity fragrance so interesting?

MB: First, you’ll never see the celebrity promote their perfume. You’ll never see Justin Bieber tweet, “Come buy my fragrance!” The challenge lies in how to use the celebrity’s clout on social media and keep the conversation going among their fans about this perfume that bears their name. When we launched Girlfriend, a Justin Bieber fragrance for women, it is a complement to his song “Boyfriend”. A fan can listen to Justin Bieber singing this song and think about wearing the perfume, which is the fan’s way of buying into a fantasy, a dream.

MW: How involved are the celebrities in the creation of their perfumes?

Mariah explains to Ellen DeGeneres how she worked with perfumers to capture the marshmallow at a campfire element in her first fragrance M by Mariah Carey

Mariah explains to Ellen DeGeneres how she worked with perfumers to capture the marshmallow at a campfire element in her first fragrance M by Mariah Carey

MB: Very! Before we work on the juice, we usually send the celebrity a fragrance brief, asking them questions about what they like, what their favourite memories are, etc. In the case of Mariah Carey, her fragrance brief mentioned how one of her favourite memories involved campfires, s’mores, going to fairs to eat cotton candy. We’ll then send them some test samples and work from there. After the juice is done, we will then work on the design of the packaging. Often, this step takes many rounds and we find ourselves constantly heading back to the drawing board to get it right.

MW: Which celebrity would you love to work with for his or her fragrance?

MB: George Clooney. Can you imagine interviewing him for his favourite foods, asking him to test the scents on your wrists … [laughs]

So what would George Clooney's perfume smell like?

So what would George Clooney’s perfume smell like?

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

[If you like this story, you’ll love]
1. [Material World X Elizabeth Arden] Makes Perfect Scent

2. Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser

3. [Scent Your Love] Elizabeth Arden Untold EDP



Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Skincare

Beauty Review: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser – Deborah Tan

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser

When it comes to anti-aging, Idebenone (pronounced eye-deb-eh-known) is the one ingredient that is widely recognised as one of, if not, the most powerful. Developed initially for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, the anti-oxidant is now used commercially in Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage range. The new Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser offers Prevage users with a cleanser to complete their skincare regime, and is also a great introduction to Prevage for new users.

Three-Dimensional Cleansing System
The Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser is a multi-action moisture-rich cleanser that effectively removes impurities, makeup, and surface pollution without stripping it of hydration. It does this with three distinct cleansing methods:

1. Surfactant System: a mild foaming wash that cleanses dirt and impurities from the skin’s surface

2. Mechanical & Enzymatic Exfoliation: a combination of active enzyme and bamboo beads sloughs away dead skin cells while promoting cell renewal for smoother skin

3. Deep Cleansing System: a mushroom extract and a hexapeptide complex detox cells and support skin’s natural exfoliation, leaving it more receptive to further treatments

The cleanser also contains glycerin and shea butter to ensure that it keeps your skin moisturised.

The Test
Sebum activity in skin typically decreases with age. This means, the older you get, the dryer your skin becomes. Sounds like a wonderful arrangement? No. Most of us start experiencing DEHYDRATED skin in our 20s. The air-conditioned environment of our offices does our skin no favours. It dries up the surface and causes our sebaceous glands to go into overdrive to produce sebum to keep our skin moisturised. This often results in an oily complexion on the surface but highly erratic, unhealthy skin that is thirsty for hydration beneath.

Cleansing with a harsh scrub isn’t the solution. You want a cleanser that leaves your skin moist and “wet” enough to absorb the treatments that come after because dry skin will repel the products and keep the active ingredients from going deeper.

So we cut an apple into 2 halves. The half on the left, we applied a scrub. The one of the right, we applied Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser. You can see from the picture how juicy each half of the apple is.


Left: with a normal scrub; Right: with Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser

We left both cleansers on their respective halves for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes

After 10 minutes

Then finally, we wiped away both the cleansers. Although you can see that the half with Prevage continued reacting with the air around it, it remained moist and juicy – in other words, ALIVE. Whereas the other half was clearly dried out by the scrub. You can see how dry its core looks in the picture below.

Left half is dry and robbed of hydration. Right half remains moist.

Left half is dry and robbed of hydration. You can see how waxy the area around the core has become. Right half remains moist.

Close up of the dried core

Close up of the dried core

My Verdict
I like how gentle the cleanser is on my skin despite its granular texture. After a month of using it, I have noticed how much brighter and more even my complexion has become. In fact, some days, I find I don’t even have to wear a foundation or a BB cream when I head out. Just last Friday, Denise remarked how great my skin looked and when I told her I had had no makeup on, she was pretty blown away.

As its name suggests, this cleanser is a “Treatment Boosting Cleanser”. Using it on its own will only minimally improve the appearance of your wrinkles. For visible improvements to your lines, you will need to complete your Idebenone regime with products such as the Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum and Prevage Anti-Aging Moisture Cream.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser is now available at all Elizabeth Arden counters islandwide. It retails for $69 for a 125ml tube. This cleanser was given to Material World for review purposes and all opinions are the author’s own. Material World was invited to a press trip with Elizabeth Arden for the launch of this product. 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, and Suits. She hates it when people guess her age right. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

We have 3 cleansers up for grabs!


To win, simply follow these steps:

1. In the Comments section below, name the 2 products in the Elizabeth Arden Prevage range you most want for yourself. [Hint: You can find out more about the range here.]

2. Then click on the Facebook button below to SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to tagMaterialWorldSG” and “ElizabethArdenSingapore” 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 “Prevage Cleanser” in your message.

This contest ends Friday, 8 November 2013, and is open only to Material World’s Facebook followers so please Like our page here first. Good luck!

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! 

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at AM 10.11.00

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.