Beauty & Shopping

8 Beauty Hacks For The Busy Woman – Matthew Fam

A beauty S.O.S can strike at any moment, but rushing down to department stores to replenish your makeup stock may not be an option for a busy woman! These 8 tips can save you valuable time so you can look your best while staying at the top of your game.

1. Revive dried mascara.
The recommended shelf life of mascaras are pitched at just three months(!), but constantly heading down to department stores to replace old tubes can be such a chore! Here’s what you can do when your old mascaras have gone clumpy and dry: Place closed tube in mug of hot water and leave for one minute. The heat melts the mascara fluid to its original consistency.

broken_powder_grande2. Fix broken cake powders.
Be it blushes or foundations, breaking cake powders can be a real drag- especially if they’ve been newly bought. Want to avoid the mess of a cracked cake? Try fixing the broken blocks by grinding them into fine powder. Then, spray some rubbing alcohol on crushed mixture. Fuse it into a moist (not wet) paste and let it dry.

3. Prolong the life of your favourite nail polish.
Owning a large range of nail polishes has its drawbacks. For one, it may take months before you re-use the same bottle! By then, air exposure would cause the varnish to become thick and clumpy. This creates an uneven coating dotted with tiny air bubbles (read: BAD nail jobs). Instead of tossing these bottles that have hardly been used, try using nail polish thinners. Add a few drops into your old polish to restore its original viscosity.

4. Clean makeup brushes in double time.
Product residue on your brushes serve as a host for bacteria to grow, so it’s important that you clean them regularly. Need an easy, quick way to do this? Skip detergent- washing brushes with them will dry up their delicate bristles. Use baby wipes or wet towelettes instead. It cleans and moisturises brush fibres at the same time. Simply brush against the towelette and leave to dry.

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

The multi-functional usage of petroleum jelly.

5. Lengthen staying power of perfumes.
Some scents fade halfway through the day, but lugging around a fragrance bottle in your bag is a real hassle! Lengthen your scent’s staying power with petroleum jelly. Apply a thin swatch of the product on pulse points such as your wrists or small sections of your neck. Then, spray fragrance over as usual. The jelly’s oil traps the scent and stays on skin for longer.

6. Salvage your broken lippie.
You don’t have to junk your tube of lippie if it breaks. Store the broken tube of pigment in a small, air-tight jar. It’s best to use a lip brush to apply from this container. Not only do you save money, you get more precision when you apply it this way. Perfectly coloured puckers FTW!

7. Pump up your foundation’s hydration power.
Longing for that gorgeous glow? Mix one-part face moisturiser, and one-part liquid foundation in an empty pump bottle. The result? A home-made tinted moisturiser that creates an extra dewy complexion. Apparently, Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist uses this trick for the pop star’s signature fresh face look.

Keep calm and look (a teeny bit) like Cara Delevingne.

Keep calm and look (a teeny bit) like Cara Delevingne.

8. Tame unruly brows.
For brows that refuse to stay in place- fear no more. You don’t have to make a last minute trip to the department store to get a brow gel. Simply use a tiny dollop of petroleum jelly to slick your brows in place. Now you’ll be able to have Cara Delevingne brows all ready!

So, what other beauty hacks do you rely on? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

 

 

 

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion – Vanessa Tai

Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo is perhaps best known for their expertise in herbal skincare, so how does their makeup products stack up?

When it comes to base makeup, I’ve always been more of a BB cream kind of girl. I’m not used to the viscous texture of some liquid foundations, and please don’t even get me started on powders (Hint: my blending technique could use with a lot of improvement). I was thus pleasantly surprised to discover that the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion was so similar to one of my all-time favourite BB creams – Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion. Like the Laneige product, this Sulwhasoo foundation comes with a soft spongey cushion – just press gently into the applicator, and the foundation seeps out easily into the cushion.

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion

The claim: 

The hallmark of Sulwhasoo makeup products is the “water colour method”, where colours and pigments are diffused in water, instead of oil. This ensures the emulsion smoothes over your skin evenly, without any patchiness. In addition, the cushion is made using Film Polymer Technology, which adheres more easily to your skin compared to ordinary polymer. This prevents the product from becoming powdery or cracked upon application. In fact, based on an independent trial, the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion maintained colour tenacity for over 12 hours.

My thoughts:

To illustrate the efficacy of this product, allow me to share with you this short anecdote. Recently, I had on a single application of the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, which I applied in the morning. I didn’t even touch up my makeup at all the entire day. That evening, when I got to boot camp, Deborah did a double take when she saw me.

“Do you have foundation on?”

“Yeah, I’m trying on the new Sulwhasoo foundation.”

Her eyes widened, “Your skin looks damn good! I mean it, it looks like satin!”

Yep, that’s a true story. In fact, Deborah wasn’t the only one who complimented me on my complexion during my two weeks of reviewing the foundation. Several of my friends also commented on the radiance of my complexion, and one friend even said, “Your skin looks like babies’ skin!”

What I like best about the Evenfair Perfecting Cushion is how it blends beautifully into my skin, and smoothes over my uneven skin tone. It brightened up my complexion, and made makeup application much easier. One point to note though, the coverage is not very high. If you’re looking for a foundation that also helps conceal your blemishes, this probably won’t cut it. But if you’re looking for a lightweight everyday foundation that brightens your complexion, I’ll definitely recommend this.

This post is in no way paid for or advised by Sulwhasoo. The writer was given a set of the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion comes in four shades, and is available (from 7 February 2014 onwards) for $74 at TANGS Orchard & VivoCity, Takashimaya Departmental Store, and Robinsons Orchard. 

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, Makeup

Insider Tips From Celebrity Makeup Artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis – Vanessa Tai

material-world-lan-nguyen-grealis

Lan Nguyen-Grealis

If you said Lan Nguyen-Grealis fell into the makeup industry by accident, you wouldn’t be wrong. True story: 12 years ago, she was working part-time as a receptionist at a London photography studio that also provided makeover services. One particularly hectic day, her shorthanded employers asked her to help with the makeovers. From there, Lan discovered she had a natural flair for makeup, and she started helping out with makeovers on a regular basis. One thing led to another and she soon found herself designing key looks for the various fashion shows across Europe and doing the make up for celebrities like American actresses Jena Malone, Michelle Williams and Kimberly Wyatt. Apart from being a highly sought-after makeup artist, Lan is also a published author who’s working on a new book slated for publication in 2014.

Lan was also the Head Makeup Artist for The Body Shop at London Fashion Scout, an international showcase of up-and-coming designers. She has also helped create many makeup tutorials on The Body Shop’s Youtube page. Lan was recently in Singapore to helm a team of makeup artists for The Body Shop at Digital Fashion Week 2013. With The Body Shop being the official makeup sponsor, Lan created the makeup looks for each of the 11 shows, demonstrated live makeup tutorials and did the makeovers for celebrity models such as Jessica Amornkuldilok from Asia’s Next Top Model and Devyn Abdullah from The Face. In between her whirlwind trip to Singapore, we managed to sit her down for a quick chat on all things beauty.

Tell us a bit more about the looks you created for DFW 2013’s runway shows.
Before creating a makeup look, I would speak with the designer and look through their collections to find out the type of woman they’ll like to portray. A running theme for this year’s shows seemed be natural, beautiful skin with just a tinge of colours – pinks, oranges and pastels.

The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Smoky Brown

The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Smoky Brown

You’ve won so many awards during your career. Which one are you most proud of?
Definitely the “Golden Mask Award” for Makeup Art, which I won earlier this year. This award is usually given to lifetime achievers so to be given to someone my age was a real encouragement boost. What makes me even prouder is how critics in film, fashion and theatre from all over the world choose the winner. Knowing that so many people appreciate my work makes me feel I’m doing meaningful work.

Where do you usually go to get inspiration for your work?
I enjoy visiting museums like the Tate Modern or National Portrait Gallery to get inspiration on lighting, colours and concepts. A lot of my inspiration also comes from theatre, fantasy films and old films.

What are some of the upcoming makeup trends for winter?
This season, it’s going to be all about the eyes. Think smoky, grungy, bold and metallic eye shadows and eyeliners that are either lightly smudged or strong graphic eyeliners. For the skin, you’ll want to have it lightly flushed with a matte finish. For your lips, berry and plum colours are right on-trend. You can easily create this look with The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream for that flawless complexion; and The Body Shop Winter Trend Special Edition Makeup Collection. The collection comes with a 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Brown or Plum, and Colour Crush Lipsticks in berry pink and plum colours.

(From left) The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream, $32.90; The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Icy Plum, $39.90 and The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstic, $22.90

(From left) The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream, $32.90; The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Icy Plum, $39.90 and The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick, $22.90

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, $22.90

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, $22.90

Any makeup tips for women living in tropical Singapore?
Don’t be afraid of colours – you can never go wrong with bold eye and lip colours. If you’re worried your blusher may melt off by mid-day, start with a cream blusher (Lan recommends The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Stain) then set it with a powder blush. For a brighter complexion, go ahead and mix foundations to get the right shade for your skin tone.


What is one makeup item every woman should own?

Definitely a highlighter, like The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter. Even when you’re tired or your complexion looks dull, it’ll brighten you up immediately.

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter, $26.90

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter, $26.90

Finally, can you share with us one little-known professional makeup trick?
Before you apply your foundation, be sure to use a mattifying primer. It acts as a barrier between the makeup and your skin, locks in moisture in your skin and helps makeup last much longer too. Try The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Pore Minimiser. It’s made with organic tea tree oil to help smooth, prime and mattify your skin.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, $32.90

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, $32.90

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, Makeup

Beauty Review: Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation – Vanessa Tai

You probably know the basics of how to choose a good foundation – it should help your makeup application be smooth and effortless, and the colour of your foundation should blend seamlessly with the skin around your neck. But here is a less-known tidbit on foundation that you may not know: when testing a new foundation, you should test it on three spots: underneath your eyes, around your nose and at your jawline. The perfect shade should blend uniformly into the skin around these three areas.

material world singapore-nars radiant cream foundation

Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

That’s what I learned recently when trying out new foundation shades at the launch of the Nars Fall 2013 collection. You can watch the video of me trying out a new shade here. Because my skin tone is light with slightly yellow undertones, I was recommended to use the Gobi shade.

I’m not usually a fan of foundation because the ones I’ve tried tend to be either 1) too thick and gloopy or 2) too light and powdery, making me look like some sort of a geisha. This one from Nars has a smooth, creamy texture that glided easily onto my face. Think of this foundation as a three-in-one combination of a liquid foundation, a powder foundation and a tinted moisturiser.

While I liked the lightweight texture of this foundation, it didn’t quite provide me with as much coverage as I would have liked. For those who prefer heavier coverage, you’ll probably have to apply several layers of this medium-coverage foundation. I applied two thin layers across my face, which was sufficient to even out skin redness and minor blemishes, but my freckles and darker pigmentation marks were still visible. Check out the images below to see what I mean.

Before: Skin tone is uneven and freckles are apparent

Before: Skin tone is uneven and freckles are apparent

After: Skin tone is evened out and skin looks more radiant

After: Skin tone is evened out and skin looks more radiant

Verdict: This cream-based foundation is great for those with dry skin; it provides a moisturising effect without making you feel like your pores are clogged with product. The coverage it offers is good enough to correct slightly uneven skin tones, as well as smooth over small blemishes or very fine lines. However, it’s probably not suited for those looking for much heavier coverage.

The product was given to Material World for review; 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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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser & Dream Matte Mousse – Deborah Tan

I’ve always wanted to see the effects of skincare and makeup WITHOUT Photoshop. But obviously my previous job required every single image to be picture-perfect. Not that it’s bad but I am of the belief that with all that money poured into R&D, surely the beauty industry has to be confident that their products WORK, right?

Anyway, I was super curious about a couple of Maybelline‘s new stuff so I went and terrorise Lili into trying them out for me. And, although she allowed me to take her pictures (Before & After), what she didn’t know was that I was going to blow her pores up close for the whole world to see! Sorry Lili … haha!

Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser, $19.90, at Watsons, Guardian and selected stores.

Well, let’s start with the Baby Skin Pore Eraser.

What it does: As the name suggests, this gel claims to erase pores, imperfections, lines and creases.
Key ingredients: Cherry extracts (antioxidant properties; so it’s good for acne-prone skin)
How it feels/smells/looks: Colourless gel that is slightly thick because of the silicon elastomer and silica formula. Nonetheless, it’s got emollients as well so the skin will feel hydrated and look soft and moisturised.
Lili says …
The first thing that struck me was how it glided onto my skin and left a smooth, velvety finish. And, while it obviously can’t magically erase pores, it worked to minimise the appearance of mine. It works great as a makeup base or on it own if you want to achieve a fresh-face no-makeup look.”

Before Baby Skin:

beforebabyface

Visible pores around the nose area

After Baby Skin:

Pores visibly concealed after Baby Skin was applied

Pores visibly concealed after Baby Skin was applied

 

Then I got Lili to try the Dream Matte Mousse foundation. The girl’s never used a mousse foundation before so I was interested to know if she found it easy to use.

Dream matte mousse

What it is: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Nude Light 4
What it does: A lightweight mousse foundation that provides a natural-looking coverage and a matte finish while leaving skin hydrated.
Key ingredients: Amino-acid treated pigments to provide superior blending ability.
How it feels/smells/looks: Feels exactly like mousse – soft, light and airy.
Lili says …
“It’s incredibly easy to blend! I didn’t use a sponge; I applied the foundation using just my fingertips. However, because it dries very quickly to a matte finish, and is oil-free, I wouldn’t recommend this for those with super-dry skin. The Dream Matte range, however, has a liquid foundation, so that might be better for those looking for a more watery option.”

Before Dream Matte Mousse: 

Before the foundation

Before the foundation

After Dream Matte Mousse:

Foundation blends perfectly into the skin, leaving behind no discernible trace

Foundation blends perfectly into the skin, leaving behind no discernible trace

Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser retails at $19.90 at Watsons, Guardian and selected stores.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse retails at $24.90 at selected Watsons stores.

The Maybelline products were passed to Material World for review. All opinions are the author’s and tester’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 hopes to meet Steven Tyler in person one day. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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