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

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Beauty & Shopping, Hair, Makeup

10 X-Men Inspired Beauty Looks For Non-Mutants – Matthew Fam

Are superhuman abilities out of reach for us non-mutants? Not a chance! The ladies of X-Men may have fire-wielding and shapeshifting tricks aplenty, but you can have super beauty with these 10 X-Men inspired beauty looks.

Relax- it's not her blue body paint we're talking about.

Relax- it’s not her blue body paint we’re talking about.

1. Mystique
This shapeshifting babe has got the smoking beauty trend you HAVE to follow (hint: it’s not her blue skin). Slicked back hair is neat and amazingly chic, especially when contrasted with a bold lip.

Hold the style in place using hair mousse. For bobbed hair lengths, dispense mousse the size of a lemon; for long hair, a baseball-sized mound would suffice. Apply on damp hair that is 60% dry, then style behind ears and blowdry.

movies-ellen-page-xmen-last-stand-still
2. Kitty Pryde
You may not phase through walls, but Kitty’s ‘no-makeup’ makeup can take you from work to weekend brunch without a beauty hitch.

Instead of creating an artificial mask of foundation, use a stippling brush (it distributes product evenly without streaks) to apply makeup only on problem areas. Dab on lip and cheek stain for a subtle pinch of colour. Now, with a face that pretty, you’ll be able to snag your very own Iceman.

Short crops = world domination.

Short crops = world domination.

 

3. Storm
Storm may have the power to manipulate the weather, but you can heat things up too- with a sexy short crop, that is! Having shorter crops doesn’t mean that you can’t look feminine. A smooth, pixie cut a la Anne Hathaway can be demure-looking as well.

When creating texture, the key is to use hair wax sparingly. Rub a ten-cent coin sized dollop between palms and rake fingers through hair. Add extra for a windswept ‘do. But remember not to go overboard- the weight of excess product will flatten your mane.

x3-callisto_480x270

Bold brows FTW! (Not quite sure about face tats, though…)

4. Callisto
Joining forces with Magneto’s brotherhood of mutants in X-Men: The Last Stand, Callisto expresses her superhuman strength through her bold brows and face tats. Okay, so face tattoos aren’t exactly office friendly, but these strong-woman brows are a must!

Using a brow pencil, swipe upwards in diagonal, feather-like strokes. It’s all about looking fierce and fabulous, daaahling.

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5. Emma Frost
She may have diamond-tough skin but Emma’s look is hardcore beauty. A pale colour palette is essential for achieving this pristine, icy look. Keep eyeshadows simple, and stick to neutral lip shades.

For fairer complexions, opt for pink-based nudes; darker complexions should try caramel tones instead. Blend highlighter along the top of cheekbones and dot the inside corner of eyes.

tumblr_mcz8m37J9b1r8g7kno1_500 26.Lady Deathstrike
Do adamantium claws and leather cat suits a femme fatale make? Not on our watch. Deathstrike’s sensous eye and a dark lip gives her an edge above the rest. To channel this foxy fighter, a luscious coating of mascara is what you need. Coat the tips of your lashes with brown mascara to create the illusion of larger eyes.

Mocha magic.

Mocha magic.

7. Angel Salvadore
Want Angel’s mocha-toned skin, but afraid of the skin-damaging effects of the Sun? A cream self tanner can solve your problems. For an even wash of bronze, exfoliate and moisturise skin before application- dry patches of skin grab onto too much colour and create a blotchy tan. (Watch out for knees and elbows!)

 

rogue_hulk8. Rogue
She has the power to absorb memories and you don’t. But what you can steal is everyone’s attention with your sexy, silky tresses. *Cue shampoo-commercial dramatic hair flip*

Rogue’s silky standards are no superhuman feat: the trick lies in misting hair with a heat-activated straightening spray so hair is frizz-free. Follow this with the use of a hair iron. Then slick a pump of hair oil from mid-shaft to tips for glossy, lustrous strands.

xmen-days-of-future-past-blink-cristaux
9. Blink
A recent addition to the X-Men film franchise, Blink gives us major punk with her stark orchid highlights, and crazy plum pout. For a temporary streak of colour, use hair chalks.

Thinking of upping the ante? Try a graphic, bold eye like Blink’s.

It's not just the wind machine that's making her look so fabulous.

It’s not just the wind machine that’s making her look so fabulous.

 

 

10. Phoenix (Jean Grey)
When she’s not going batsh*t crazy annihilating everything in her path, Phoenix rocks those auburn tresses even without a wind machine.

If you’re thinking of penciling in a salon dye job, avoid conditioning hair before your visit. Red dye pigments have a large molecule size. This means that any prior conditioning would seal the cuticle and block pigment from penetrating the hair shaft, producing a less-saturated colour.

A botched dye job is a huge no-no. After all, who else is going to save the world if you don’t look fabulous??

 

So, which of these X-Men inspired beauty looks is your favourite? 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.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1.[Material World x Maybelline] The #OOTD Challenge – Denise Li

2. 7 Ways To Rock Pantone’s Colour Of The Year- Matthew Fam

3. Maybelline BB Wonder Smooth Compact Cream: The 6-Hour Test – Denise Li

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel – Vanessa Tai

Recently, there was a cut on my left eyelid, which was probably due to me scratching myself in my sleep (hey, it happens!) Anyway, the cut hurt, and soon became scabby. It made applying eye makeup difficult – my eyeshadow would appear uneven and flaky, and when I applied my eyeliner, I had to “dodge” the spot where the cut was.

Probably tired of my endless griping about how this cut was taking forever to heal, Deborah (who sits opposite me in our office) passed me a tube of The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel. “Here, use this,” she said, “It will help.”

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel

While I’ve used aloe vera gel to soothe sunburns previously, I never thought to use it on cuts before. This new product from The Body Shop is made from 100% organic aloe vera, so what we’re getting is a pure, concentrated formula. I applied a bead-sized amount of gel on my cut, and the cooling sensation instantly eased the stinging sensation I’ve been enduring for days. Even better, after the gel had dried, I could apply my eye makeup with ease!

Because it’s created with no added fragrance, parabens or colourants, the Aloe Soothing Gel was gentle enough to apply around my eyes, where the skin is more delicate. It’s also suitable if you have sensitive skin. Whether you use it for cuts, skin irritations or sunburns, the cooling sensation and healing properties of aloe vera is sure to help.

Apart from its efficacy, I’ve always liked The Body Shop products because of the good they’re doing for communities around the world. For example, this gel is made with Community Fair Trade 100% organic aloe vera from Guatemala. By trading with the Guastoya farmers in the El Progreso region of Guatemala, The Body Shop helps generate a vital and regular income for the farmers. Some of the funds are also channelled to helping the rest of the community. The community fund has paid for the installation of a water pump to irrigate the farmland of 25 local families, as well as supplied educational materials to over 100 schools in the region.

material world_guatemala

The Body Shop touches the lives of communities all around the world.

[Relevant: The Stories Behind Your Favourite The Body Shop Christmas Products]

Back to the cut above my eye. It’s been three days since I started using the product, and I’m happy to report it’s no longer stinging or flaking. In fact, it’s almost completely healed. Now, to find a way to stop scratching my eyes at night …

This post is in no way paid for or advised by The Body Shop. The writer was given a tube for review purposes. You may read our advertising policy here. The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel is available at $24.90 at all The Body Shop outlets.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Eye Colours For Every Day – Vanessa Tai

When it comes to eyeliners, I usually stick to the fail-safe shades of black or brown. I’m sure you can identify. Mornings are usually a mad rush to get out of the house; we don’t have time to play around with various eye colours. Or so I thought. When Maybelline sent us their latest range of eye colours – Color Show Crayon Khol – the bright hues were too tempting not to try out. So, I decided to do a little experiment to see how I could fit these colours into my everyday life.

The colours that I used.

The colours that I used.

Day 1: Rushing out stories in the office

DSC04334

Electric Blue Eyeliner

Pardon my messy hair. As you can tell, grooming takes a backseat during deadline week. However, I loved how the electric blue shade added a zing to my eyes, and made me look much more awake and vibrant.

Day 2: Photo Shoot at Tiffany & Co.

Soft blue

Soft Blue Eyeliner

On this day, we were involved in a photo shoot at Tiffany & Co. Since one of the Maybelline shades was similar to Tiffany’s classic robin egg blue, I decided to try it on. There’s something about this particular shade of blue that gives off that sweet, romantic appeal. Great colour for first dates, methinks!

Day 3: Taking a walk on the wild side

DSC04343

Orange Eyeliner 

When I first saw the bright orange eyeliner, I thought to myself, “There’s no way I can pull off this hue!” But on this day, I was wearing my favourite dress with the scary jaguar print, and I thought, “Why not try a bolder shade today?” The trick to wearing bold eye colours is to make sure the rest of your makeup is quite simple and pared-down.

Day 4: Casual Fridays

White

White Eyeliner

For this final look, I decided to experiment by blending a bit of green eyeshadow with the white shade. White eyeliner is great for lining your inner eye corner or inner water line to make your eyes appear brighter and slightly more elongated.

See, it isn’t that difficult to introduce colours into your daily beauty regime! I hope this post has inspired you to step out of your beauty comfort zone.

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.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. [Material World X Maybelline] Your Lucky Color For The Year Of The Horse
2. [Material World X Maybelline] The Lip Polish Shade That’s Like My First Kiss
3. Beauty Review: Maybelline Lash Factory

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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!

Verdict:
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. 

WIN A MAYBELLINE MAKEUP HAMPER WORTH $50!

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.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup

Lancome Answers Your 5 Most Pressing Questions About Makeup – Deborah Tan

Lancome National Makeup Artist Lina Tok

Lancome National Makeup Artist Lina Tok

It’s the party season and people are always asking, “What kind of makeup should I wear?” You know what? Your worries are not unfounded. Many of us (including myself) often wonder how to create a party makeup look that is different from what we would usually do on a daily basis. And, as most of us have come to realize, we usually just end up with too much blusher, too much shimmer, too much eyeliner, and look too much of a mess.

Lancome’s National Makeup Artist Lina Tok has decided to help us all out a bit here. Below, she answers 5 questions many of us have about achieving the right look for the parties coming our way:

CC cream vs Liquid Foundation: How do I decide which base to go with for the party look I’m going to create?
Contrary to popular belief, CC creams, BB creams, and liquid foundations don’t have to be exclusive of each other. Depending on the amount of coverage you need, how long you’ll be wearing your makeup for, you can use a mixture of two types of base makeup to give you your desired results.

If you need a lot of coverage while still looking natural, use a CC cream as a makeup base and a liquid foundation on areas you want to cover up. A CC cream helps correct color tone and has the effect of brightening the skin. It also helps your makeup to last longer. A liquid foundation helps to provide coverage, while smoothening skin’s texture to give a flawless finish. We would recommend the Mat Miracle 24H Liquid, which is a long-wear foundation that gives skin a luminous finish, which controlling sebum and shine. This would be great for customers who don’t want to worry about touch-ups during the evening.

Lancome Highlighter Rose Etincelle illuminates your face and collarbones with a joyful glow.

Lancome Highlighter Rose Etincelle illuminates your face and collarbones with a joyful glow.

Even though it’s the party season, I’m really conscious about applying glittery or shimmery makeup. How can I apply them so I look glamorous, not OTT?
Glittery and shimmery makeup are very trendy this season. However, I would suggest not to overdo it; use it subtly – less is more. For face highlighters, use them sparingly on the cheekbones, instead of all over the face. You can also apply them on the collarbones. As for eyeshadows with a shimmery finish, use just one shade (the rest can be of a matte or creamy finish) and apply to the brow bone or at the outer corner of your eyes as an accent. If your skin tends to shine after a few hours, perhaps consider using shimmery lip colours so you don’t end up “shining” too much.

Are there any rules regarding applying bright colours on eyes and lips? Which eyeshadows in Lancome complement which lipstick shades?
For the festive season, I would recommend all customers to be daring and more adventurous in their makeup routine. Bold lips are a must-have this season; we recommend sticking to basic colors for the eyes – such as taupe or brown. Allow one feature to be the key focus – either the eyes or lips.

Lancome L'Absolu Rouge comes with a limited edition case encrusted with Swarovski Elements crystals. Available in two shades.

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge comes with a limited edition case encrusted with Swarovski Elements crystals. Available in two shades.

I would recommend using L’absolu Rouge 193 for red, bold lips. For a cuter alternative, you can try L’absolue Rouge 363 for a dash of pop pink colour. To complement the lips, I would recommend eyeshadows from the Christmas limited edition collection – Ombres Hypnose Dazzling in DO11 (silver) with ST211 (taupe). It gives a very sophisticated and shimmery finish.

What’s the fastest way to prep the skin before putting on makeup?
Tired, dehydrated skins are not the easiest to work with when it comes to applying makeup. When this happens, a quick DIY facial at home is a must! After a hydrating mask, I would recommend using the Genifique Youth Activator to prep your skin before makeup to give instant radiance to the skin. You can also mix it with liquid foundations for a sheerer, more glowy finish, as well as to make the texture smoother.

Tell us more about Lancome’s eyeliner patch? How should we put it on?
The Hypnose Eyeliner Patch is great if you want to add a dramatic touch to your makeup for those year-end parties! Apply closely on the eyeline, as an extension of your eyeliner. It helps extend the eyeline shape and create a more dramatic and fun effect. Treat it as eyeliner art! But as it is a sticker, the whole process is made effortless! For dramatic looks, you can wear it on both the outer areas of upper and lower eyelids.

Lancome Hypnose Velours is a set of 3 pairs of eyeliner patches, each can be reused for up to 3 times.

Lancome Hypnose Velours is a set of 3 pairs of eyeliner patches, each can be reused for up to 3 times.

We’ve Got 3 Sets Of Lancome Makeup To Be Won!

Each set of Lancome makeup includes a lipstick, an eyeshadow palette and a mascara. To win a set, simply follow the instructions below:

1. In the Comments section below, share with us your thoughts on your favorite Lancome skincare product.

2. Click on this link to answer a simple question and enter your details.

3. Click on the Facebook Share button below and share this post with your friends! Remember to tag “Material World” and “Lancome Singapore” in your post. Set your post to Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

ALL 3 STEPS HAVE TO BE COMPLETED AND FOLLOWED.

Only Material World’s Facebook followers qualify for this contest so please Like our Facebook Page first before proceeding. Contest ends Saturday, 14 December 2013. Good luck!

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Simple And Effective Makeup Tips – Vanessa Tai

When Denise was experimenting with the Nars Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection, I was bowled over by the bold colours and textures available. So when we got invited to a Nars makeover session with international makeup artist Julio Sandino, I was stoked. Sandino has worked on countless high-profile runway shows, and his trademark style has earned him clients like Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria and Tilda Swinton. Naturally, I was honoured to have him do my makeup.

Since Christmas was coming up, I asked him for something easy that I can re-create for upcoming parties. Here are three makeup tips I picked up during the makeover:

1. The importance of a highlighter 

After applying your foundation, apply highlighter on your temples, cheekbones and around your eyes to create that luminous afterglow. Be sure the colour of your highlighter matches your base makeup – you want to look contoured, not shiny. Another spot to dab on some highlighter would be above your Cupid’s Bow (the double curve of your upper lip), and just underneath your lower lip. It will help your lip colour stand out and look multi-dimensional. Try the Nars Illuminator or the Nars Highlighting Blush.

Celebrity makeup artist Julio Sandino applying my eyeshadow.

Celebrity makeup artist Julio Sandino applying my eyeshadow.

2. Apply your eyeshadow in a circular motion

As someone who usually applies her eyeshadow in a haphazard fashion, I was pleasantly surprised to notice how Sandino used languid circular motions to apply the eyeshadow on my eyelids. Instead of looking patchy – the way it does whenever I apply my own eye makeup – the colours blended beautifully in a uniform gradient.

3. Blend your lip products 

One of the easiest ways to create an inventive new look would be to blend various lipsticks and lip glosses together. Because each of us have different lip and skin colours, it’s worthwhile experimenting with different permutations to see which blend best brings out the look you’re trying to create.

I really like the creamy, matte textures of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils.

I really like the creamy, matte textures of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils.

Here’s my completed look!

Ready to party!

Ready to party!

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

[If you like this story, you might also like]

1. [Material World x The Body Shop] Perfect Your Party Look
2. Insider Tips From Celebrity Makeup Artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis
3. Be A Pop Diva

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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

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, Contests, Makeup, Skincare

Beauty Review: Lancome Teint Visionnaire – Deborah Tan

When Yanny of Lancome emailed me about a new foundation the brand was launching, the title of the email went something like, “The new vision of Skin Perfection”. And as I read the content in detail, she wrote how this new foundation is capable of improving skin texture and evenness with consistent usage. This new foundation is Lancome Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo SPF 20 and my curiosity was truly piqued.

It comes in one handy package where the concealer is … umm … concealed (haha! Sorry, couldn’t help it) in the cap of the bottle. The foundation contains the same ingredient as the Visionnaire serum, LR2412, while the concealer has Vitamin CG and light fillers to correct spots and dark circles.

At $70 a pop, it is a pretty price to pay for a foundation-and-concealer so I really wanted to be sure that it delivers what it says it will in the press release. Teint Visionnaire promises results on 2 fronts – Immediate and After 4 & 8 Weeks. Here are the Before & After pictures:

Immediate:

lancomeimmediate

Pictures were not digitally touched up in any way

Before: Skin is blotchy with some signs of ruddiness around the cheeks and there is a zit on my chin.

After: Skin tone is very much evened out and the zit is concealed quite effectively. I also like that the mattifying effect of the foundation gives a natural-looking complexion rather than one that looks like a mask.

Although it is recommended that you use the concealer as a Step One, what I did was use it as a Step Two after the foundation. After sunscreen, I apply the foundation. Then I dab on the concealer on my problem spots. I find that if you apply concealer BEFORE your foundation, you end up just blending the coverage away. I personally find that I get a better coverage and a more natural finish when I use the concealer ON TOP of the foundation layer.

After 4 Weeks
(Skin shots taken without makeup. I put a blob of foundation on the skin as a point of reference):

skincloseup

Pictures were not digitally retouched in any way

Before: Without makeup, you can see my skin was rough with obvious pores and little red, pimply spots.

After: Although you can still see some whiteheads peeping out from my jawline and the area near by nose is still a bit bumpy, my skin’s texture has definitely improved, skin tone is also brighter and fairer. Pores are smaller and shine and redness are almost things of the past. This was without makeup. Even I was pretty blown away by the improvements on my skin.

If seeing IS believing, this foundation truly lives up to its claims of being a complexion-perfector. I look forward to seeing what my skin will be like in another 4 weeks. In fact, now I’m going to open up my Visionnaire serum and give it a proper go.

Only one word describes my verdict for Lancome Teint Visionnaire:

WOW.

Lancome Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo SPF 20 is available at all Lancome counters and is priced at $70. This foundation was given to Material World for review purposes and all opinions are the author’s own. 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 is in real dire need of a facial – it’s been about a year since she’s had one done. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WIN ONE OF 3 LANCOME TEINT VISIONNAIRE SKIN PERFECTING MAKEUP DUO SPF 20!

So you’ll be able to experience the skin-perfecting benefits of this foundation-concealer duo, we are giving away a full-sized bottle of Lancome Teint Visionnaire to 3 lucky readers! The shades are BO-1, BO-2 and PO-3. To enter your name for the draw, follow the steps below:

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at PM 09.51.59

1. In the Comments section, tell us why you want to win a bottle of Lancome Teint Visionnaire.

2. Then click the Facebook button below and share this story with your friends. Tag “Material World” on your post and make sure it’s set on Public so we can see you have done this step.

3. Finally, PM us your personal details (name, age, gender, NRIC no, email address) and state “Teint Visionnaire” in your message.

Closing date for this contest is this Friday, 20 September 2013. This is only open to members of Material World’s Facebook Page please make sure you Like the page first.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup, Skincare

Beauty Review: Origins Smarty Plants CC SPF 20 PA++ – Deborah Tan

This month, Origins launches its first CC cream. Now, you may have gone, “Another one?” but, given that there are so many skin concerns/types/tones/problems, it is always good to have more options. A while ago, BB creams were the talk of town (and in fact, they still are). Then the emergence of CC creams gave rise to a very key discussion in beauty: What are the differences between the two?

For one, BB creams tend to have a heavier texture and coverage compared to CC creams. The names are self-explanatory that way. BB means blemish balm, CC says colour correct. So if your complexion is marred by very obvious zits and scars, perhaps BB creams are more suited for you. If your complexion tends to be sallow, uneven, blotchy, a CC cream should suffice.

Both BB creams and CC creams of today come oozing with skincare benefits and are available in a number of great textures, so I wouldn’t go as far to say that CC creams are better than their predecessors. Because of the options available to us, I strongly recommend you try as many as your budget and time allow to find the perfect one for you.

For me, I hated the “greyish undertone” the older BB creams tend to have so I always, always check for colour first. For Denise, she was told by a makeup artist that it is very difficult to find base makeup that suited her skin tone so she tends to be skeptical about the “one shade suits all” concept. For Lili, she has super-dry skin so texture and hydrating benefits are top on her list.

The folks at Origins are very confident of their CC creams and insisted that it will please the three of us. Before we show you the results, a picture to explain why this CC cream is so “powerful”:

How smart is Origins' new CC cream?

How smart is Origins’ new CC cream?

More than just a colour product, this CC cream is supposedly “smart”. The magic starts when you apply the CC cream. Depending on how much pressure you apply – an intuitive act since we tend to focus more on problematic areas – the cream releases just the right amount of pigments to correct your skin tone. Then, as you go about your daily business, it releases vitamins and antioxidants every time your skin gets exposed to harmful stuff like UV rays and pollutions. Finally, instead of just dumping a whole load of ingredients at once onto your skin, it contains time-released capsules containing salicylic acid (great for those with oily, acne-prone skin) and chestnut extract to refine your complexion.

Our reviews:

Left: Denise; right: Lili

Left: Denise; right: Lili

“Blended perfectly with my skin tone!” Denise Li
I’ve never been sold to the idea of BB or CC creams because I could never find one that matches my skin tone. I found myself pleasantly surprised at Origins’ CC cream. It blended perfectly into my skin, gave me a dewy finish, and has pretty good coverage despite its lightweight texture! You can even see that it’s evened out the ruddy patches of my skin and covered my acne scars. The only thing I didn’t like was that my skin did not stay matte for long. I would avoid using this on my oily T-zone in future.

“A dream to apply” Tan Lili
Because of my dry skin, I usually have to spend a while prepping my skin till it’s “foundation-ready”. Often, I just skip makeup altogether because it takes too much time! I found this CC cream a dream to apply – it was very easy to blend. The slight hydrating benefits also meant that my skin didn’t “crack” or flake. However, I would love for it to be more moisturising so I can finally achieve dewy-looking skin.

Deborah

Deborah

“Just nice for a day of light makeup” Deborah Tan
The picture you see here is me wearing only Origins CC cream and eyebrow makeup. No blusher, no highlighter. I love that it tames down my natural flush without completely hiding it so I look as if I still have blusher on. This CC cream keeps my skin soft and hydrated throughout the day and, being prone to acne and excess shine, I like the idea of salicylic acid being released gradually into my skin.

 

Origins products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum paraffin, and animal ingredients (except cruelty-free honey and beeswax). The CC creams were given to Material World for review purposes in conjunction with its launch this month. You may read our advertising policy here.

 

DP13_43_Smarty Plants_Asia LRTRY IT!
We have 3 full-sized Origins Smarty Plants CC up for grabs! Simply follow the instructions below to enter your name for the draw:

1. In the Comments section, complete this sentence: “I wish my complexion was more … “.

2. Then click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this post with your friends. Tag Material World’s FB page in your post. Remember to keep your post’s setting on Public so we can see you have fulfilled this step.

3. Private message us your details (Name, Age, NRIC no, Email address) with “Origins Smarty Plants” in your message.

This contest is only open to members of Material World’s Facebook Page. Please Like us here before you enter the draw. Contest ends Monday, 16 September 2013.

 

 

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 is contemplating whether or not to tattoo her eyebrows so she can skip drawing her brows every day. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Beauty Review: Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid – Vanessa Tai

During my time working in women’s lifestyle magazines, I’ve probably tried more than 50 BB creams … but strangely, Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid is the first liquid-to-powder formulation I’ve tried. What surprised me most was its lightweight, non-sticky texture. When you first squeeze out the product, it looks thick and viscous, so I assumed its texture would be almost like poster paint. However, it melted easily into soft powder when applied onto my face.

Here’s an example of how it looks like in its liquid form:

material world singapore-ettusais bb mineral liquid-squeezed out

So what’s great about a liquid-to-powder formula? Well, as a general rule of thumb, women who want more coverage tend to opt for liquid foundations while those who want that bright, matte finish will go for powder foundations. The liquid-to-powder formula of Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid combines smooth liquid oil for easy application with smooth matte powder for a radiant finish.

Here are some Before/After images for comparison.

Before: Skin looks rather dull and lacklustre

Before: Skin looks rather dull and lacklustre

After: Skin looks cleaner and more luminous

After: Skin looks cleaner and more luminous

BB Mineral Liquid_post

Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid

Verdict: Although the Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid comes with Double Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin to hydrate skin, it’s still recommended to prep your skin with some moisturiser beforehand. I tried applying the product sans moisturiser, and it didn’t glide on as easily as when I had applied a layer of lotion on my face. That aside, this worked well as a makeup base as it brightened my complexion considerably, and helped my makeup appear fresher for longer. This is probably due to its Shine-Free Powder, which helps absorb sebum and prevent makeup from fading due to shine.

Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid, $38, will be available at all Ettusais counters from October 2013. 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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