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.




If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 7 Ways To Rock Pantone’s Colour Of The Year- Matthew Fam

2. How To Get Date-Ready In Under 5 Minutes – Vanessa Tai

3. Lust-Worthy Limited-Edition Makeup You Need This Season – Denise Li

Beauty & Shopping, Hair, Makeup, Singapore Fashion

7 Ways To Rock Pantone’s Colour Of The Year- Matthew Fam

Guilty of revisiting the same old cycle of clothes and makeup to work? Enter Pantone for a major intervention. Its 2014 colour of the year, Radiant Orchid- a mixture of fuschia, purple and pink undertones- will add a flash of drama to your ailing ensemble. Here is your fashion and beauty remedy with the 7 ways to rock this delicious hue. 

1. Hair: A Radiant Head of Orchid
Oh, do you not already know of the trend that takes tresses from Plain Jane to candy-coloured gorgeousness? Now try it with Radiant Orchid. Should you decide to colour your hair in this lush shade, your strands first need to undergo multiple rounds of bleaching. These sessions are spread out with several weeks in between them, before the final coating of fuschia-infused dye can be applied onto your hair. Tip: To prevent this stark hue from losing its saturation quickly, avoid rinsing hair with hot water and minimise direct Sun exposure.

We love Kelly's orchid hued tresses!

We love Kelly’s pale orchid tresses!

2. Hair: Subtle Yet Sexy
Alternatively, if a full head of orchid sounds daunting, try a lighter, more elegant hue like Kelly Osbourne’s, or go for an ombre effect.

Hair chalks are a great option too if you require a temporary sampling of how this shade would suit your skin tone. Just press a one-inch thick swatch of hair against the chalk pigment and drag downwards. It’s perfect for a fresh, new look over the weekend! Plus, it’s washable so you can conquer this Pantone pick without committing to it for months on end.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

3. Nails: Graphics Galore
So you’re convinced that anything remotely purple on your body makes you look like Barney the Dinosaur. To overcome your purple phobia, begin by incorporating small splashes of this cheery hue on your nails instead.

Bored of plain coats? Play with various shades of orchid, ranging from pale lilac to a deeper violet. Segment these colours into graphic blocks for nail art that take your digits to legit fashion frontrunner. The trick in painting clean-edged sections of colour is to use sticky tape as a stencil. If you’re up for a quicker fix, opt for patterned nail stickers.

4. Lips
Move over, reds and pinks! The orchid lip is an unexpected twist to your standard fare pouts. Part flirty, part edgy, Radiant Orchid warms up sallow complexions for a healthy glow. As a rule of thumb, lighter skin tones suit warmer undertones of purple, and darker skin tones with cooler ones. For a strong, saturated lip, first ensure that your pretty puckers are moisturised. Then, dab on a thin layer of concealer- this primes your lip so the colour stands out more. Dab on your first layer of colour before gliding lipstick over once more.

Orchid overdose.

Orchid overdose much.

5. Statement Piece
Having bold hues in an outfit is always a highly contentious issue. Too little of an addition, and you’re not taking enough fashion risks. Go overboard orchid-on-orchid, and you’ll end up looking like an air stewardess.

When putting together an ensemble, stick to one focal point of the outfit that immediately draws your eyes. This could be anything from a dress to a statement necklace. Also, try dabbling with various shades of orchid within an outfit. But remember to limit yourself to three tints- you don’t want to be mistaken for a circus tent.

6. Spectacles
With us having one of the highest rates of Myopia in the world, chances are you’d be wearing prescription glasses. Don’t count this humble accessory out: a shot of orchid in your spectacle frames can enliven a drab, all-black outfit. It’s a dream for practical, simple dressers!

Retro-themed frames, in particular, are all the rage. Their thicker frames allow for more dramatic displays of colour. And if you don’t use prescription glasses, avoid ruling yourself out of this fashion clique. Simply use zero-degree lenses and you’ll be one of the gang.

You can never go wrong with suede.

You can never go wrong with suede.

7. Heel
Find your wardrobe in multiple shades of black, black, and black? Break free from the humdrum of monochromatism with a sliver of orchid in the form of a well-timed heel.

Experiment with different shoe materials too: suede lends an air of sophistication, while glossy-finished leather screams siren. Contrast a subtle, greyscale outfit with a dramatic heel to achieve superstar shoe status.

So, how do YOU incorporate Radiant Orchid in your look and wardrobe? Tell us!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and freelancer. He writes, performs for the stage, and teaches drama at secondary schools. Matthew enjoys museum visits, origami, and is passionate about Singaporean Theatre.


If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. Beauty Review: Striplac Starter Kit – Deborah Tan

2. Eye Colours For Every Day – Vanessa Tai

3. NewsFASH: 5 Essential Accessories for the Practical Girl – Denise Li

Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests, Makeup

[Material World x Maybelline] The Lip Polish Shade That’s Like My First Kiss – Deborah Tan

Maybelline’s makeup has always been well regarded for its colour, value-for-money and on-trend sensibilities. And, you can see all these in its newest range of liquid lipsticks – Lip Polish by Color Sensational. This 3-in-1 liquid lipstick promises the intensity of a lipstick, shine of a gloss, and comfort of a balm in one easy to use product. The premium concept of a liquid lipstick is now made accessible in this single sleek tube – Maybelline Lip Polish is the first liquid lipstick of its price category. At just $19.90, you can take your pick from 10 fashionable shades.

10 lip smacking shades!

10 lip smacking shades!

Well, with 10 shades to choose from, the team at Material World was hard-pressed to pick out our personal favourites. So we decided to do a kiss-and-tell (literally!). To talk about Maybelline Lip Polish in a creative way, each of us picked a shade that best represented the story of our first kiss! Ready to find out more?

(From Left to Right) Glam 2, Glam 5, Pop 6, Glam 1

(From Left to Right) Glam 2, Glam 5, Pop 6, Glam 1

Denise’s first kiss was like Glam 2
Youthful, unexpected and statement-making

denise“Honestly, I must have been about five when I had my first kiss. Believe it or not, I was a really girly girl who loved frilly dresses, mary-jane shoes, and I was obsessed with the colour pink – in a shade quite close to that of the Maybelline Lip Polish I’m wearing, actually! Anyway, it was after our annual kindergarten concert when one of my boy classmates ran up to me and unexpectedly planted one big smackeroo on my lips. I was appalled and all I remembered was how wet and disgusting it was, and wondering why grown-ups seemed to like kissing so much. Ah, youth …”

Lili’s first kiss was like Glam 5
Natural, a welcomed surprise and somewhat romantic

lili“When Debs mentioned how Glam 5 would suit my skin tone really well, I was skeptical. The mix of violet and pink is a shade I never thought I’d wear. But I tried it and, she was right. The element of welcomed surprise matches with what my first kiss was like. I expected something wet and sloppy (like all romance novels) but it was pretty chaste (though still awkward!). I don’t remember much about how it happened except that it was after a group outing with classmates, and he had politely asked if he could kiss me. I also think we avoided one another for a couple of days after so we could figure out if we should ‘go steady’ – we didn’t.”

Deborah’s first kiss was like Pop 6
Passionate, dramatic and potentially scandalous! 

debs“My first kiss was quite ‘scandalous’. I was quite the party-animal back in my uni days and my hostel mates and I would head out to party nightly from Wednesday to Saturday (I know, how I managed to graduate is still a myth to me). So one night, at the now defunct Madam Wong, a guy came up and started dancing with me. After like 30 minutes of flirting, he asked if he could kiss me. Being quite drunk and not wanting to make such a big fuss about my ‘first kiss’, I pretended I was cool with it. He started kissing me quite furiously there and then, and I was like, ‘Oh god. This is so wrong.’ Finally, one of my friends decided to pull me away and told him we had to go. Walking down the road to catch a cab, he came running after us, gave me a red rose and asked for my number! I was so overwhelmed by his ‘passion’, I gave him a fake number cos I didn’t think I would be able to go out with him after I’ve sobered up.”

Vanessa’s first kiss was like Glam 1
Subtle, shy and a promise of better things to come

vantai“The shade I have chosen is a subtle, almost nude shade, with a light hint of colour – which is pretty much like my first kiss (no! We did not get naked!). We were at the bus stop, chatting about inconsequential things. Both of us were pretty nervous because we kinda knew what was going to happen when his bus arrived. There was a buzz of anticipation but we pretended to be calm. When his ride finally came, he hastily kissed me on my lips and scurried up the bus, avoiding all eye contact! Not quite the stuff of epic romances. Thankfully, things have radically improved since this first kiss.”

With the exception of Denise, who used a pink lip pencil to fill in her lips before applying the product, all of us wore the liquid lipsticks as they were. The colours are intense, we found the texture light and non-sticky. The leaf-shape applicator also makes it easy to do a quick application – great for covert touch-ups!

If you are looking to play with different lip colours this festive season, Maybelline Lip Polish will give you the variety and intensity. It wears comfortably on the lips and has moisturising ingredients to keep them from peeling or chapping. At $19.90, this is a really fun product to experiment with. Don’t just get one Lip Polish, get a second one in a shade that you least expect to wear and see what it does to your look!

Pictures of Denise, Lili, Deborah and Vanessa have not been Photoshopped or airbrushed in any way. Maybelline Lip Polish by Color Sensational is available at Watsons, Guardian, SaSa and selected department stores and supermarkets. Maybelline worked with Material World on this sponsored post to highlight the launch of this product. All comments and opinions are the team’s own and were not vetted by the brand. 


Screen shot 2013-12-11 at AM 05.04.22

We have 10 Maybelline makeup hampers, each worth $50, to be won! To enter your name for the draw, follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section, tell us the story of your First Kiss.

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

3. Private message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with the term “Maybelline Lip Polish”. Include your name, gender, NRIC number, mailing address, and age.

This contest is open only to Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Wednesday, December 18 2013.

Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Be A Pop Diva – Vanessa Tai

Lately, I’ve had a beauty awakening of sorts. While I’ve always been interested in makeup and skincare, I never bothered experimenting much (save for a short-lived Harajuku Girl phase in my late teens). I’ve never really deviated from a certain look until recently when Collection Cosmetics invited me to attend an exclusive makeup workshop. While there, I learned how to mix and match various colours to create different looks. No more same ol’ looks for me!

Hotlights Lipgloss (available in six shades), $15.90 each

Hotlights Lipgloss (available in six shades), $15.90 each

Collection Cosmetics is one of the bestselling makeup brands in the UK, and it has recently launched in Singapore. During the workshop, I was blown away by the wide range of colours and products. What I liked about the products was how user-friendly they were – for example, the Hotlights Lipgloss came fitted with a built-in light and mirror so you can touch up your lips even when you’re out clubbing! Ingenious, right?

Another product that wowed me was the Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner, which came in assorted bright hues. Think of a gel-liner with tiny glitter particles embedded within to create eyes that dazzle (quite literally).

Glam Crystals Gel Liner (available in 11 shades), $16.90 each

Glam Crystals Gel Liner (available in 11 shades), $16.90 each

Collection Cosmetics Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo, $16.90

Collection Cosmetics Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo, $16.90

During the workshop, we learned how to create a Pop Diva look. There are three key elements of the look – heavy eye makeup, bold lips and candy-pink cheeks. To start, I prepped my skin with Cover & Go Foundation and Concealer Duo. This is another ingenious product – it’s a foundation that comes with a concealer in a matching shade, so you don’t have to hunt around for a separate concealer.

For my eyes, I decided to go all out with a graphic eyeliner which is currently very on-trend. Here’s how I created it – first, I drew a thick block with the Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner Black then used a Q-tip lightly doused with eye makeup remover to erase away parts of the block. That created the thin, zigzag line that I desired. I also added a zing of colour by lining my lower lash line with Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner and blending Bedazzled eyeshadows on my eyelids.

Bedazzled Eye Palette, $19.90

Bedazzled Eye Palette, $19.90

Blushalicious, $13.90

Blushalicious, $13.90

For my cheeks, I swept on Blushalicious on the apples of my cheeks and Way To Glow bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks to create a more contoured face shape. Finally, I stained my lips with a couple of different lip colours together to create a hot pink pout.

Check out my completed look below!

material world_pop diva

Channelling my inner Pop Diva!

By the way, there is currently a contest to vote for the participant with the best Pop Diva look. Please click “Like” here to show your support!

Collection Cosmetics is available at Watson’s at Ngee Ann City.

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 Bold Matte – Deborah Tan

Maybelline Bold Matte lipstick

Maybelline Bold Matte lipstick, $17.90

I received a bunch of Maybelline’s new Bold Matte lipsticks last week in a press kit. Being a big fan of matte lipsticks, I really wanted to give them a try.

The matte lipsticks I’ve previously used have presented these two problems:

1. They were heavy on the lips – felt pretty much like I was wearing war-paint at times

2. They were drying – after a day’s wear, the skin on my lips would peel away in pieces

Instead of drying powders to give the matte effect, Maybelline Bold Matte uses mattifying milk. The lipstick also contains honey nectar to give hydration. After reading the press release, the first thought, admittedly, that came into my mind was that the colour really wouldn’t be as saturated as the conventional matte lippies.

Being a fan of bright reds, I naturally leaned towards the Mat5 Bold Red for this review.

Now, it would be silly to expect your matte lipstick to look professionally applied without these following tools:

1. A lip pencil

2. A lip brush

You will need to prime your lips first as well – lightly brush away the flakes on your lips and apply a thin layer of lipbalm while you do the rest of your makeup first.

Once you’re ready to do your lips, blot away the lipbalm. Too much oil on the surface of your lips will affect the finish and the lasting power of your lipstick. Then, fill your entire lips with a lip pencil. Personally, I like to use a lip pencil that bears a similar shade to the lipstick. You may also use a lip pencil in a shade closer to the colour of your own lips.

The function of a lip pencil is to provide a base for the lipstick to sit on. Don’t just line the boundary of your lips, fill them in completely! And … don’t try to use the lip pencil to alter the shape of your lips. Work with what you have.

Check out my bold red lips!

Check out my bold red lips!

Now, you’re ready to apply your lipstick.

Maybelline Bold Matte was a breeze to put on. What I like about the lipstick:

1. It doesn’t have a strong paint smell that most high-pigment lipsticks have

2. It glides on easily and deposits the colour evenly

After about four hours of wear, my lips remained perfectly coloured. I didn’t even feel like I was wearing a lipstick. The best part of it all was that the colour did not stain my lips and went away easily with a normal oil cleanser. No flaking of the lips, no stains and, the colour remained strong and saturated for as long as your first fried chicken or first slice of pizza.

You’ll need a touch up after an oily meal but I would highly recommend anyone wearing ANY kind of lipstick to check on their makeup after such a meal anyway.

The Bold Matte press kit was sent to Material World for review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hopes to meet Steven Tyler in person one day.