Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

A Parking Stamp Inspired This Beauty Product – Deborah Tan

To date, some 30 million units of Cushions have been sold worldwide. Nope, it’s not your couch cushions we’re talking about here. It’s a cushion-type base makeup created by South Korea’s top beauty company Amorepacific, and it’s taking over the world by storm. Let Deborah Tan take you through this beauty phenomenon below.

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at PM 02.45.52

Who wants skin like a Korean celebrity????

The quest for a perfect complexion never stops. Actually, with this product by Amorepacific, maybe it will. The creation of the Cushion has heralded a new age for base makeup. For years, the scene was dominated by the liquid foundation and two-way cake. Then in came the BB cream and then the CC cream. While these base makeup products have evolved in terms of technology, ingredients and textures, many of them continued to fail when it came to addressing one pertinent beauty problem: How does one reapply her sunscreen on top of her impeccably applied base makeup?

You could pat on more BB cream but who would want a thick layer of makeup on her face at the end of the day? The Cushion solves this conundrum. With its watery texture and specially-designed puff, reapplication is easy and the result, always dewy and natural. The efficacy of the Cushion is evident in the global craze it has sparked off – more than 30 million units have been sold worldwide

Here’s an interesting tidbit about the Cushion: its technology was inspired by a parking stamp. Inspired by the crisp, even impression it makes on paper without the liquid running, the development team at Amorepacific created a special urethane foam that could hold the makeup in a liquid formula, without causing leaks and spills. Together with a three-layer puff, the team was able to create a product that allowed users to apply a combination of foundation, skincare and sunscreen without the creation of a thick, cakey layer on the face. Reapplication would deposit a fresh new layer of the product that is thin, natural and comfortable.

In Singapore, the brands under Amorepacific – namely Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Etude House and Innisfree – each have their own Cushion products. They are …

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion (3)1. Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, $74
Great for: Those who want anti-ageing skincare benefits in their Cushion. This contains SPF 50+/PA+++, and has an exclusive herbal hydrator made up of 5 traditional Korean herbs. Apricot kernel oil helps improve skin’s elasticity and increase the production of collagen.

Available at Sulwhasoo counters at TANGS Orchard and Takashimaya Department Store.

BB Cushion Original (1)
2. Laneige BB Cushion, $59 

Great for: Those who have concerns about uneven skin tone. A powerful 6-in-1 BB Cushion with a Melacrusher Technology to target pigmentation, this also contains Laneige’s famous active mineral water, made by aligning water particles of clean, natural water rich in mineral collected from Jeju Island. Clinical studies show that skin temperature drops by 4 degrees Celsius after using Laneige BB Cushion.

Available at all Laneige boutiques such as ION Orchard (#B3-66A) and JCube (#01-04).

innisfree Water Glow Cushion
3. Innisfree Water Glow Cushion, $34

Great for: Those who want a moisture- and antioxidant-boost in their makeup. The key active ingredient is a 100% freshly squeezed green tea essence that leaves the face more supple, radiant and healthy. The water glow complex coats skin with a veil of moisture for an instantly dewy complexion.

Available at Takashimaya S.C (#B2-34) and Plaza Singapura (#01-63/64).

4. Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion, $32

Great for: Those looking for a great cushion to use while on the go and when you’re travelling. This 6-in-1 that protects skin from the sun, controls sebum, moisturizes, whitens, gives coverage and cools the skin.

Available at all Etude House boutiques such as 313@Somerset (#B2-30), Plaza Singapura (#B1-26) and VivoCity (#01-K3). 

Are you a cushion-user? If so, tell us which cushion foundation do you use and why you like it!

This post was neither paid for nor advised by Amorepacific or any of the brands mentioned. All opinions are the author’s own. Please read our advertising policy here.



As a special treat to all Material World fans, these 4 Amorepacific brands are giving away 3 hampers containing 1 of each cushion foundation mentioned above! Each hamper contains a cushion foundation from Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Innisfree and Etude House.


Win a hamper containing cushion foundations from all 4 Amorepacific brands worth $199.

Win a hamper containing cushion foundations from all 4 Amorepacific brands worth $199.

To win this, follow the steps below:

1. Answer in the Comments section below: “What inspired Amorepacific’s development team to create the Cushion?”

2. Share this post with your friends on Facebook and tag “Material World”. Remember to set your post on Public so we can verify that you have done this step. Only fans of Material World’s Facebook Page can enter this contest, please Like our Page here.

3. Email your details (Name, Gender, IC No., Email) to us at by 8 August, 2014.

Note: Shades are given at random. No exchanges and no selection of shades will be allowed.

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 finds that she achieves the best result for foundation when she uses a sheet mask on her face for 5 minutes before putting on her makeup. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.


Beauty & Shopping, Health & Fitness

26 Things To Put On Your March Watchlist

The first quarter of 2014 is almost completed and what exciting things have you done or checked out? This list of 26 things should inspire you to get out and get exploring!

A is for AntiGravity Fitness

Anyone game to hang out?

Anyone game to hang out?

Challenge yourself to a whole new type of workout experience this March at Breathe Pilates! Introducing AntiGravity Fitness, a revolutionary form of exercise to help you build a stronger core, improve joint flexibility and cardiovascular stamina. Using a hammock, participants hang vertically inverted to help realign the spine. AntiGravity Fitness is available at Breathe Pilates’ East Coast studio, for more information, visit now!

B is for Bright Eyes

Wake up to brighter-looking eyes this March!

Wake up to brighter-looking eyes this March!

Show your eyes who’s the boss with Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Eye Illuminating Cream. With ingredients such as ume, molasses and centella asiatica, this eye cream promises to brighten the eye area and improve skin density in just 4 weeks.

Origins can be found at Isetan Scotts, Metro Paragon and Robinsons Orchard.  

C is for Clearly Corrective White

This masque is perfect for quenching thirsty skins too!

This masque is perfect for quenching thirsty skins too!

March is a BIG month for one of our all-time favourite brands, Kiehl’s! This month, fans of Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White can look forward to the return of the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution in a JUMBO size. Also, be prepared for FASTER results as the brand welcomes the arrival of Kiehl’s first-ever sheet mask, Clearly Corrective White Hydrating & Clarifying Treatment Masque. Each masque is the equivalent of 3 weeks’ use of the Dark Spot Solution and together, the duo can give you a significant boost in clarity and radiance in 3 weeks.

Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective White series is available at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide now!

D is for Denise

She doesn't just deliver punchy copy. Denise delivers a mean punch too!

She doesn’t just deliver punchy copy. Material World’s Denise (far right) delivers a mean punch too!

Material World’s Denise will be taking part in her first boxing competition at Executive Knockout, an event organised by Impakt Gym. Some of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards ONE(SINGAPORE), so if you want to show her your support and do your part for a good cause, get your tickets at this link today!

E is for Earth Hour
Saving the environment just got a whole lot sexier. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore just announced that the cast of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx – will be in Singapore on 29 March to commemorate Earth Hour. The stars would be helping turn off the lights across the Marina Bay area at precisely 8.30pm.

F is for Fossil

Don't you just love the super-cute icons on the watch face?

Don’t you just love the super-cute icons on the watch face?

Fossil celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and it has launched a series of limited edition watches to mark the occasion. We’re dying to get our hands on the Townsman Watch. Only 984 pieces are available worldwide, and it features vintage Fossil motifs – such as an old-school telephone and robot – as indexes. Definitely one for the collectors among you!

G is for Ghibli
Studio Ghibli, that is! This is the internationally acclaimed animation studio that brought you classics such as “My Friend Totoro”, “Grave of the Fireflies”, and “Spirited Away”. Sadly, founder and director Hayao Miyazaki has announced that the upcoming “The Wind Rises” would be his last film. In celebration of his illustrious career, Golden Village is holding a special screening of several of his most popular films. Click here for details.

H is for Hotel Clover The Arts
Awkward name aside, we have to applaud the people behind this new boutique hotel for being so supportive of the local art scene. Each and every one of its rooms has a mural designed by students from the various art and design schools, or an independent professional artist. Definitely Instagram-worthy!

Hotel Clover The Arts is located at 58 South Bridge Road. Tel: 6439 7089

I is for iTunes Gift Cards

A quickie gift idea many will appreciate.

A quickie gift idea many will appreciate.

Gifting is now made even easier! iTunes Gift Cards are now available in Singapore in denominations of $30, $50, $100 and $150. You can get them at selected resellers such as Challenger, Courts, istudio, epiCentre and InFinite.

J is for Jewellery

Who doesn't love a beautiful bling? Find yours now at TANGS Orchard, Level 1.

Who doesn’t love a beautiful bling? Find yours now at TANGS Orchard, Level 1.

Those with a weakness for pretty shiny things should definitely pop by multi-label concept boutique bycanary at TANGS Orchard, Level 1. Specially curated by former actress/style icon Lum May Yee, bycanary features a selection of exquisite jewellery and designer pieces discovered through her travels and friends. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a friend, or even for yourself, this is the place to go.

K is for Kimrobinson accessories
Apart from offering premium hairstyling services, Kimrobinson also carries their own line of designer hair accessories. This season’s collection draws its inspiration from the freedom, florals, and bright hues of Spring/Summer, so you can expect chiffon-floral headbands encrusted with Swarovski crystals, playful crepe de Chine scrunchies, and girly duppioni-silk-ribbon.

Kimrobinson accessories are available at #02-12, Ngee Ann City. 

L is for Ladies’ Watches
The world’s first Casio G-Factory ladies concept store has opened at 313@Somerset, housing the latest models from the Baby-G, Sheen and G-Shock collections. From now till March 31, 2014, you stand a chance to win a getaway for two to Bali with any purchase of a Baby-G or Sheen timepiece.

The Casio G-Factory ladies concept store is located at B1-19 313@Somerset.

M is for is Micellar Solution
A good makeup remover is perhaps the most important thing you’ll need in your skincare regime to ensure your skin stays clear, bright, and healthy. Micellar solution is the Next Big Thing in skincare; it basically acts as a “purifying magnet” to attract oil and impurities, removing them from the surface of your skin with just one swipe. Formulated for dry and sensitive skin, L’Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3-in-1 Purifying Micellar Solution can be used on your lips and eyes, and also doubles up as a toner and skin soothing lotion. When it comes to having clear, healthy skin, there’s no such thing as magic … but we think micellar solution comes pretty close!

L’Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3-in-1 Purifying Micellar Solution is available at Watsons, Guardian pharmacies, and Sa Sa.

N is for New Music
As music lovers, we are constantly looking to discover new artistes who cater to our preferred music genres. While Spotify still appears to be king in music streaming services, European-based Deezer is definitely one to watch. With unlimited access to over 30 million licensed tracks from artistes from all around the world, Deezer lets you discover new music, share your favourites with your friends, check out editorial recommendations, and more. The coolest part about Deezer is its Offline Mode feature, which allows you to listen to your pre-selected tracks offline – perfect for our oft-unreliable 3G network. Click here to start your Deezer experience.

O is for Optimal Efficacy Against Dark Spots

Radiance in a bottle!

Radiance in a bottle!

In order to escape this heatwave unscathed, we need to stay smart. Apart from ensuring you have adequate sun protection, you’ll also want to ensure any existing dark spots don’t get darker. Biotherm’s Liquid White Spot Focus Dark Spot Corrector is formulated with red algae extract and white lotus extract, and features a new anti-dark spots technology to fight both the signs and origins of hyper-pigmentation.

For a full listing of Biotherm stores, click here.

P is for Pasarbella & Friends Go To Town

Looking forward to lots of yummy food!

Looking forward to lots of yummy food!

As part of i Light 2014, Pasarbella will be setting up an outdoor market called “Pasarbella & Friends Go To Town”. Featuring traders and purveyors offering a smorgasbord of gastronomic treats, foodies will be in for a treat. This market is open from 7 – 30 March 2014 at Event Plaza @ Marina Bay Sands. Opening hours are 4.30pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri) and 10am – 10pm (Sat & Sun). Admission is free!

Q is for Quirky
Our favourite way of giving our look instant oomph is with a pair of statement sunnies. That’s why we can’t wait to get our hands on a pair of shades from the Craig & Karl and Le Specs collaboration. Aussie pop culture creatives Craig Redman and Karl Maier have had their work displayed at the Louvre, and have done work for the likes of LVMH, Nike and Apple. Now, they’ve put their unique, one-of-a-kind spin on this collection of sunnies and we’re in love.

The Craig & Karl X Le Specs collection is available at Playlab (TANGS Orchard), ASH and Define Happiness (69 Haji Lane).

R is for Ride in Singapore Cable Car
Singapore Cable Car turns 40 this year! Remember those good ol’ days where you and your family piled into a cable car to get into Sentosa? Now you can relive those memories with a Cable Car joyride! From 1 March to 4 May 2014, all DBS/POSB, NTUC cardholders, and SingTel customers get a special 40 percent “Thank You” discount. Click here for details.

S is for Smith Street Taps
Daniel Goh of The Good Beer Company, and Meng Chao of Brewer’s Craft, are well-known in the local craft beer industry. These two industry pioneers have banded together to bring you Smith Street Taps, which brings you a wide range of artisan draft beers. Located at Chinatown Complex (just a few stalls down from The Good Beer Company), you can look forward to an international selection of beers, from Norway to New Zealand. Hic!

Smith Street Taps is located at #02-62 Chinatown Complex

T is for Tea at Axis Bar and Lounge

Scrumptious eats at Axis Bar and Lounge

Scrumptious eats at Axis Bar and Lounge

This March, Mandarin Oriental Singapore caters to the health-conscious with its Wholesome Afternoon Tea, $42++ per guest, $80++ for two. The menu features healthier alternatives such as organic ingredients, whole grains and seeds, but that doesn’t mean blah-tasting food. You’ll still be treated to yummy treats like salmon & petit pois pie, carrot and pumpkin seed cake, and organic maple syrup and pecan tart.

Axis Bar and Lounge is located at Level 4 Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Tel: 6885 3500

U is for UV Rays
Lately, we’ve been getting more than our usual dosage of harmful UV rays thanks to this relentless heatwave! In addition to using sunscreen lately, try incorporating some whitening products into your regime to stave off dark spots. Za True White EX has a truly comprehensive regime, but if you buy just one product, make sure it’s the True White EX Essence Lotion. Doubling up as a toner and a moisturiser, we love its cooling texture, and how smooth and moisturised our faces felt applying it.

Za is available at Watsons and Guardian pharmacies.

V is for Hair Vinegar

Sells out the moment it reaches Singapore so you'd better grab a bottle asap!

Sells out the moment it reaches Singapore so you’d better grab a bottle asap!

Don’t let the word “vinegar” scare you off! Yves Rocher Rinsing Vinegar is based on a traditional botanical remedy that is used to enhance the shine of your hair. Used regularly, it also helps keep your hair radiant. Best of all, it has a delicious raspberry scent that leaves your hair smelling fresh. The store consistently sells out the Rinsing Vinegar so be sure to grab a bottle as soon as you can.

Yves Rocher is located at #02-16 Westgate.

W is for Wednesdays at Bochinche

Cheese and wine = best way to end a Wednesday!

Cheese and wine = best way to end a Wednesday!

Looking to jazz up your midweek with some great music, cheese and wine? Check out Bochinche’s Beat Packing District, which runs every Wednesday night from 7pm to 11pm. At $39, you get to enjoy a carafe of house wine (red/white) and the Argentinian restaurant’s signature Provoleta (melted cheese served with warm homemade bread). Plus, chill out to groovy live house music by DJ Anderpants, and enjoy 20% off the bar menu all night.

Bochinche is located at #02-01 22 Martin Road, Tel: 6235 4990

X is for An XXX Weekend
After undergoing an extensive renovation for nearly five months, Singapore’s first luxury boutique hotel The Scarlet is now open for business again. Swankier and bolder, the guestrooms and suites in particular now boast more personalised design concepts so you can be assured your stay will be nothing short of memorable.

The Scarlet is located at 33 Erskine Road, Tel: 6511 3333

Y is for YSL CC Cream

Can't wait to try this new CC cream by YSL.

Can’t wait to try this new CC cream by YSL.

The brand already has a legion of fans for its awesome Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, and now, it is set to corner the radiant-complexion market with the launch of its CC creams. Expanding on its Forever Light Creator range, YSL will be bringing in CC creams that claim to have skincare benefits on top of cosmetic ones. Most famously, these CC creams tap into the brand’s expertise in glycanbiology to smooth skin texture and lighten dark pigment spots.

YSL can be found at TANGS Orchard.

Z is for Zits

Cleansing is the most important step and here's one that'll help you keep the zits at bay.

Cleansing is the most important step and here’s one that’ll help you keep the zits at bay.

In hot and humid urban Singapore, it’s no wonder that many of us suffer from acne even as adults. Laneige Trouble Relief Line is a skincare line specially formulated for acne-prone skin. The star ingredient here is the Hinoki Cypress Polysaccharide extract to help reduce the growth of the bacteria responsible for causing acne. Our favourite product is the Cleansing Tissue. Use with a little water to create lather before using it on your skin. For an acne product, we loved how soft, clear, and moisturised it left our skin after use.

For a full listing of Laneige stores in Singapore, clink on this link.

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, 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, Skincare

Choosing The Right Moisturiser – Vanessa Tai

If applying sunscreen is the number one skincare rule of all time, moisturising regularly probably comes in a close second. The importance of keeping your skin hydrated has been covered extensively in magazine articles; even random ads on Facebook remind you to moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

Another cardinal skincare sin? Not removing makeup thoroughly before going to bed.

Another cardinal skincare sin? Not removing makeup thoroughly before going to bed.

But why exactly is it so important? Well, your skin produces natural oil – known as sebum – which coats the surface of your skin to protect against bacteria. When you wash your face, you are getting rid of dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria … but you are also washing off this natural layer of protection. This leaves you susceptible to the dehydrating effects of being in an air-conditioned environment all day, as well as unpredictable weather elements (haze, anyone?) Applying a layer of moisturiser after cleansing your face helps fill in the gaps in your skin’s defenses, keeping it healthy and protected against harsh external elements.

Now that we’ve established the importance of moisturising regularly, how do you decide which is the right moisturiser for you? Firstly, you need to establish your skin type. As a general rule of thumb, those with drier skin should opt for heavier, cream-based moisturisers while those with greasy skin should definitely steer clear of oil-based moisturisers. Secondly, take note of your environment – are you going to be mostly outdoors? Then you’ll want to avoid thick moisturisers that might trigger a breakout. If you’re going to be in an air-conditioned environment for a large part of the day, a richer lotion may be necessary to prevent your skin from drying out. Finally, you may want to look at the specific ingredients of the product before making your decision. Some moisturisers come with enhanced formulas to target specific skincare needs, helping you achieve the complexion you desire.

Here are three moisturisers for those with normal to dry skin, each with a unique formula to meet your exacting skincare needs. (To read a review on a skincare range for oilier skin combinations, click here.)

If you’re looking for something refreshing, try … 

Material world singapore-Neutrogena Hydro Boost Treatment Lotion Pre-Essence

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Treatment Lotion Pre-Essence, $25.90

Perfect for our hot and humid weather, you’ll feel instantly rejuvenated as you pat on this cooling liquid essence. It’s formulated with pure Hyaluronic Acid and Oliva HA 1000 complex to deliver a shot of instant hydration to your skin and revive parched skin cells.

If you’re looking for something lightweight, try … 

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator, $85

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator, $85

This heavenly-smelling mosturiser has a cream-like texture but it disappears effortlessly upon contact with your skin, and leaves zero greasy residue. Just one light layer left my skin feeling velvety soft for the entire workday.

If you’re looking for something to help with fine lines and wrinkles, try … 

Laneige Time Freeze Essence, $88

Laneige Time Freeze Essence, $88

According to Laneige, these are the top five factors of ageing commonly found in Asian women – loss of skin firmness, fine lines and wrinkles, skin dryness, rough skin texture and dull skin tone. This essence comes with a patented collagen regeneration formula and Peptide Water to help combat these five signs of ageing. After using this product for two weeks, my skin tone looked and felt noticeably plumper and more pert. However, I’ll probably need to use it for a longer period to see a reduction in the fine lines on my forehead.

The abovementioned products were 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. She is on an ambitious quest to achieve picture-perfect skin. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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

Mine certainly does!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Benefits of Optimal Mineral Water

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

My thoughts on the Water Bank series

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

Laneige Water Bank Essence

Laneige Water Bank Essence

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

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

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

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

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

Help Change The World

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

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

Material World worked with Laneige to review the Water Bank series to help raise awareness for the Waterful Sharing Campaign. All opinions are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and strongly believes that we can all do our part to make the world a better place … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.


WSC Water Sleeping Pack_EXWSC WSP Front

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

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

2. Share this review on Facebook with your friends. Remember to tag Material World’s Facebook on your post.

3. Remember to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, and email address.

Contest ends July 8, Monday, 2013.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion – Deborah Tan

I love it when I have a “problem” whenever I’m reviewing a beauty product. Many of my friends have asked if the products I’ve tried in the course of my career work for real. The answer is often a YES. The amount of money poured into R&D by these brands has to mean something, and with people increasingly turning to online media for product reviews, it’d be pretty embarrassing if a product doesn’t work as well as it should. Which is why I am of the belief that we can afford to tone down on the Photoshop a lil’ bit. People aren’t asking for perfect, airbrushed skin. People want to know how a product really work. And, isn’t it always better to manage your consumers’ expectations than sell them a dream they can hardly achieve?

Laneige-BB-Soothing-CompactI was given a Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion to try at a recent meeting with the Laneige team. Having seen the TV ads about the product, I was curious to see if it does give a dewy, moisturised look to the complexion. No thanks to the haze, I have a zit at the end of my right eyebrow. Although many people have commented that my skin looks good, up close, you can still see the marks of years spent as an acne-ridden teenager.

The Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion comes in a handy compact that shuts tightly. You do not have to worry about it popping open in your makeup pouch. The BB cream layer has an additional lid that snaps shut, ensuring spillages will not happen. The compact measures about 2.5 inches in diameter. The entire thing fits easily into a small clutch or your makeup pouch.

Most BB creams come in a tube or a pump bottle. Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion holds a sponge soaked in the product. Press the sponge slightly with the applicator and apply as you would with, say, a two-way cake. The texture is watery (containing a high level of mineral water) rather than creamy. Upon application, I was surprised at the sheer (but substantial) coverage this BB cream gave. The watery texture meant it felt cooling on the skin and was easy to blend. Apparently, this BB cream increases the moisture content of your skin by 30% and has been proven to cool your skin down by 3 degrees Celsius. It also has an SPF of 50+ PA+++.

I found the BB cream a breeze to apply. You don’t really have to worry about your face looking patchy because it practically melts into your skin. I do, as a precaution, still wear a layer of sunscreen before I put this BB cream on. Not that I don’t trust its ability to shield my skin from the sun’s UV rays but because I just don’t want to get too complacent about sun protection. If you desire more coverage, I strongly suggest you brush on a layer of two-way cake.

The photo below shows the Before and After shots of my skin up close. The After picture is me just wearing the BB Soothing Cushion. I did not put on any sunscreen before the BB cream nor did I apply any powder on top of it. And, as you can see, the zit is sufficiently concealed and my acne scars and pigment spots are less obvious.


These pictures have not been digitally altered in any way.

You can get a really good deal on the Snow BB Soothing Cushion at the Laneige roadshow happening at VivoCity today and tomorrow – Lili and I popped by last night. If you are interested in trying it out, I strongly recommend you go check it out. If not, you can always redeem a travel-size sample by showing the beauty advisors at Laneige this picture.

Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion was given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s own and this review was not paid for by Laneige. Please read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and dreams of driving all the way to Russia in a Land Rover … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Get Your K-Beauty Fix At VivoCity This Weekend!

Looking for something fun and exciting to do this weekend that doesn’t involve the outdoors (because who knows when the next haze or hailstorm hits!)? Head on down to the VivoCity atrium and get your beauty fix at the Laneige and Sulwhasoo roadshows!

At the Sulwhasoo roadshow, experience and learn more about the world’s first skincare with Thermal Protection Factor (TPF). Unlike SPF, which protects your skin from UV rays, TPF guards against heat. Why heat? Studies have shown it accelerates ageing, causing visible signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles and dehydrated skin. And, here’s the shocker: It takes just 15 minutes of being in the open for your skin temperature to rise from the normal 31°C to 41°C – 43°C!

Help is here in the form of Sulwhasoo Renodigm EX Dual Care Cream. Besides containing traditional herbal plants to shield your skin against heat, it also has SPF 30 PA++ to block out harmful UV rays. At the Sulwhasoo workshop, you can find out more about this anti-ageing day cream, as well as the different Sulwhasoo skincare products that make up the perfect skincare regime. Psst … one of the products is made with an entire ginseng!


After the talk, you get to create your very own ice cream at the one-hour hands-on ice cream workshop with the good people of Scoopy’s & Cream. Debs and I learned some really cool tricks, and we had such  an awesome time making apricot-flavoured ice cream (which was edible and, in fact, super yummy, thank you very much)!

Separating the egg yolk from the white is truly as difficult as people say!

Separating the egg yolk from the white is truly as difficult as people say!

No fancy ice cream machines were used to create this ice cream? The secret? Attend the workshop to find out!

No fancy ice cream machines were used to create this ice cream! The secret? Attend the workshop to find out!

Want to attend this workshop? There are still available slots tomorrow!
Date: June 30, 2013
Time: 11am-1pm OR 3pm-5pm
Fee*: (DBS Cardmembers) $80/person OR $120/2 people
(Non-DBS Cardmembers) $100/person
To register, call 6376 9122
*Redeemable against Sulwhasoo products

Flash this picture to any Sulwhasoo Beauty Advisor and claim a Sulwhasoo Renodigm EX Dual Care Cream sample! Promotion ends June 30, 2013, while stocks last.

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