Friends, Relationships

7 Girlfriends That Every Woman Always Needs – Matthew Fam

A life without girlfriends would be a very dull, depressing one indeed. From a friend who gives you honest fashion advice, to one who lends you a shoulder to cry on, these are the 7 girlfriends that every woman always need.

1. The Fashion Consultant:
Forget hairstylists or personal shoppers. Having a fashionista girlfriend on your side can save you from a dreaded style mishap. And we’re not talking about friends who would blindly praise any frock your don. This friend will be direct and honest with her opinions. Like that time when you decided to trim your bangs by yourself in desperation:giphy

2. The Love Guru:
This girlfriend has sagely dating advice without even consulting love horoscopes. She also has a good hint of which guy is suitable for you based on your recent dating history that she has effectively memorised. When she tells you to avoid drunk texting a guy who- in her spot-on guy analysis- is just a player, do yourself a favor and listen. To. Her.

3. The Travel Buddy:
Planning a holiday can be a stressful event by itself, what with hotel bookings and the sorting of itineraries. Can you imagine adding travel buddies into the mix? What you need is a girlfriend that either has similar travel interests as you- be it in shopping or museum hunting- or is willing to compromise (of course, you should be willing to do so as well!).

ABD4F1B04FFC41848426C609E578170E4. The Comedy Queen:
When you’re having a bad day at work or in desperate need for some cheering up, pencil this girlfriend in for a lunch outing- pronto. She can turn a quiet coffee joint into a riot filled with your guffaws. Yes, when you’re in her company, passerbys may even whip you disapproving glances at your boisterous conversations. But let’s face it: you’re probably having too much fun to care!

5. The Saint:
Friendships are bound to come with their series of conflicts and disagreements. But what makes them stronger is the ability to get through them with forgiveness and understanding. Unfortunately, not all friends are willing to start on a clean slate- especially when a dire deed is committed (you dating her ex, perhaps!). So when you find a girlfriend that graciously forgives, you must never let her go.

6. The Comforter:
This girlfriend’s contact is ever ready to be tapped on Whatsapp in times when you feel like this:tumblr_inline_mlqadytMmi1qz4rgp

A typical conversation with her usually begins with a string of crying-face emojis, followed by a total word vomit of your troubles. While some friends would simply tune off, this girlfriend will take the time and effort to hear you out- even to the extent of comforting you and offering a meet up. She is an angel.

7. The Daredevil:
She lives life on the edge and is the one to force you to try things you never would on your own- say, reverse bungee or bikram yoga. Often times, you will silently curse to yourself for even entertaining her insane requests. However, what you fail to realise is how she’s helping you get out of your comfort zone. A keeper? Definitely.

 

What kind of girlfriend do you think a woman should have? 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.Are You Being Critical Or Are You Looking For Flaws? – Tan Lili

2. Am I A Horrible Friend Because Of This? – Matthew Fam

3. How To Hang Out In a Group That Doesn’t Speak Your Language – Denise Li

 

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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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Opinions, Self-Improvement

I’m Graduating. Now What? – Matthew Fam

Are you in your early twenties and still deciding what you do with your life? While staying focused on a single ambition early on can give you a headstart among corporate ranks, there’s nothing wrong taking your time to decide which career is right for you. By Matthew Fam.

There is a rumbling in the air: a brand new wave of people is surging forth into the workforce, like an impending tsunami. Alas, the first batch of post-80’s Millennials are done with university; Facebook feeds are being flooded with graduation gown selfies. And the top remark I hear from most of them?

“I don’t know what I want to do.”

Myself? I have a year till graduation, and- with my devotion of time to studies, copywriting, arts administration, and performing on stage for various young theatre groups- I have too many things to do!

Here’s where things get complicated. Friends advise that I should decide on a career path. My university lecturer tells me that I “need to focus”. When this happens, I’m thinking:
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Or:

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(Before triple somersaulting my way out of the NUS AS5 General Office.)

The fact is, graduates and students alike are facing the same pressure: pool your energy and resources into a set career path for maximum mileage. By principle, you would be able to devote your focus on work at hand, and rise up the ranks faster than someone else who takes her time to decide.

A one-track path to success

This early decision to decide on a set career path does reward people.

A fellow intern at a women’s magazine I used to work for- who has established her passion in journalism and the media industry early on- has landed a full-time stint at another publication since. Similarly, friends who have channelled their time into theatre have been awarded prestigious arts scholarships from government boards to study overseas.

At this point, I’m thinking, “Am I missing out on something??” Is it truly better to stick to a single path since it’s a more convenient route to success?

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to follow through with an early decision. But my contention here is that it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone else.

5869903627_e8acd44f69_zI am a closet wanderer!

Right now, I would classify myself a closet wanderer. And despite dabbling with various jobs over the past two years, I haven’t made up my mind on what I want to do.

For example, I’m not 100% certain if I will work in a women’s magazine in five years time because of 1) the rapidly changing nature of print publishing, and 2) the long-term prospects of being a male working up the ranks of said publication type in Singapore.

This uncertainty scares me. It almost feels as though I will never be able to live life to the fullest if I keep up with this indecision.

However, for those who wander- fret not. Heed these three pieces of advice, and you have a shot at being just as successful as those who make early decisions.

junglegymSometimes, wandering can boost your career. 

According to Sarah Robb O’Hagan, President of fitness chain Equinox, “Careers are more like jungle gyms than ladders- sometimes a sideways or backward step can propel you forward.” Likewise, don’t feel limited to stick to a specific career path. Your exploration could reward you with the numerous transferable skills picked up along the way.

Your journey is yours to make, and should not be influenced by another person’s definition of success.

Try being a freelancer first before deciding to go full-time.

Grounding yourself in a desk-bound job straight after graduation can be daunting- especially if you later find out that this isn’t a career you like.

Try freelancing. Take up an internship and (politely!) ask your supervisor if there are opportunities for you to contribute on a part-time basis. Don’t feel as though you need to dive head-first into the corporate jungle. Who knows? You might even enjoy the freedoms afforded by being a full-time freelancer!

Sharpen your skills.

Wandering can be seen to benefit you in more ways than you think. But how can you match up to other people who have been taught skills in their vocation-oriented university course? This is where self-teaching is crucial. You need to do your homework. Be proactive in eating, sleeping, and breathing the very industry you want to try out; talk to people who are already working in them.

That old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’? Your new mantra.

 

Sure, at some point, a focus on what you want to do would be beneficial (you can’t do 20 things at the same time!), but don’t succumb to the pressure of making that decision right now when you don’t feel ready.

 

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 like:

1. 20 Things You Will Learn In Your 20s – Deborah Tan

2. 7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

3. Myth: Job Hopping Is Career Suicide – Tan Lili

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Lifestyle, Opinions

These 9 Movies Have Cheated Your Feelings – Matthew Fam

You have been lied to- and romance movies are the biggest culprit. While these box office hits may leave you feeling fuzzy on the inside, expectations of how love and reality should pan out have been highly misconstrued by films we’ve come to know and adore.

giphy-11. Legally Blonde
Going out on a limb to impress a guy when he clearly isn’t into you should be criminal. Would you let this poor girl spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an overrated degree she’s not even interested in? Where is the justice??

 

giphy-72. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Right. So it’s probably not wise to leave your open diary lying around for potential dates to see. Moreover, letting guys fight for you (because editors and lawyers have nothing better to do than fight in public) merely objectifies you as a prize to be won. And you’re better than that, girl!

 

giphy-93. The Proposal
All this while, we’ve conveniently forgotten what a pain actual partner visa arrangements can be! If you’ve ever applied for a visa, you’d be amazed how all the paperwork gets magically shelved in favour of scenic Alaskan fishing and Ryan Reynold’s washboard abs.

 

giphy-5

4. 27 Dresses
Here’s when it gets mildly offensive. Guy points out the reason for wedding planner’s workaholism as a method to cope with loneliness. And girl actually buys it. Come on! Equating busy career women to grumpy, lonely spinsters is so 90’s.

 

giphy-105. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
The movie all magazine journalists wish their lives could be, but know won’t never happen. If writing a feature story entails you to go on that many dates and glamorous outings (were all these on her company’s dime?) sign us up right now.

Tricking a guy can compromise his trust big time- and that’s not something you’d want to risk.

 

giphy-26. No Strings Attached
She and him are just looking for some sugar… if you know what I mean. Transaction made. But what happens when they start falling for each other? While some relationships do blossom from friends with benefits to official steads, the movie drives an unrealistic expectation that we can eke out a romance out of any arrangement.

 

giphy-87. The Ugly Truth
Somehow, we make it our personal mission to wish that we have the goodness within us to miraculously transform a playboy into reformed lover. Wrong. Taming a hardcore d-bag, and turning him into a loyal life partner- while possible in exceptional cases- is a false impression that you’d much rather leave at the cinema.

 

8. Twilight
Where. Do. I. Even. Begin. I can’t decide if Bella is facing a genuine dilemma choosing between the boys, or is pretending to enjoy all the attention. Just as how you wouldn’t want a guy to string you on, doing so to somebody else- through 4 entire movies, no less- is just evil.

The only true lesson to learn from this film franchise? Good looks and zero talent can land you a starring role.

And sme...lly.

And sme…lly.

9. Warm Bodies
Love changes zombie into boy band member lookalike. Fine. But what I don’t get is: doesn’t she get a whiff of funk from this semi-decomposed guy?? What this movie fails to teach you is that bad body odour ought to be a total deal breaker. And that the female protagonist probably suffered from a blocked nose throughout the entire duration.

 

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 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] When You Don’t Have Time For Love – Tan Lili

3. [Love In Lines] Whatever You Have Learnt From Matchmakers Is Wrong – Deborah Tan

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Opinions, Self-Improvement

Am I A Horrible Friend Because Of This? – Matthew Fam

We don’t like to admit it, but many of us feel it. Jealousy towards our friends is something kept mum for fear of being seen as immature or irrational. But what happens when this begins to fester into bitterness that affects your friendship?

Can we have a frank, honest conversation here?

I confess: I have ever smiled and looked at a friend straight in the eye, while harbouring malicious thoughts. Now, before you decide to call me the worst, most insincere, most heartless friend ever, let’s all agree that jealousy is a totally natural emotion.

So, let’s call this friend Samantha, or ‘S’.

Ever since secondary school, I’ve always shared my desire to study and work overseas with S. Then, years later, when the opportunity to attain this dream finally came around (my entrance scores were good, my personal essay was smashing) I was held back by financial constraints- just as I was almost at the finish line. S, on the other hand, joyously texted how she got accepted into a prestigious university in Los Angeles, California.

This was when things started to get iffy.

At first, I was:

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But a part of me on the inside was feeling:

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Don’t get me wrong- I was still very happy for her. But there was a creeping tinge of bitterness that I couldn’t curb. And I remember how I felt so confused and guilty about it. When someone as close as a childhood friend gets the very thing that you so strongly desire, it does hurt.

When I thought I could get away suppressing my feelings and ignoring this incident, I was so wrong. A year later, I found out that S got an internship in the media industry during her summer vacation there (a way to vault you ahead of the competition in getting an entry-level job, and hence, an overseas work visa). Well, that didn’t help my feelings of jealousy to say the least. I started distancing myself from S, and it soured our friendship. In a weird, perverse way, it was as though she was stealing what was “rightfully mine” to claim.

In other words, I was becoming a jealous, bitter b____. It was a lose-lose situation!

Sure, things between the both of us now are much better after I decided to share my feelings; but some friendships don’t go down as well due to a lack of opening up and being honest with each other.

I think this boils down to not admitting such negativity because, 1) we’re always concerned about putting ourselves in the best light, and 2) we so tightly hold- no, claw– on to the expectation of needing to control our emotions. It can be embarrassing to admit jealousy, lest we get slapped on with labels of being irrational, immature or just downright cuckoo.

Honestly? I think it’s perfectly okay to feel this way. We should never be ashamed of our feelings. The question lies in what you do with them. Owning up that there’s an issue at hand is always the best way forward. And while you can’t stop your friend from achieving success in her life, here’s what you can do when faced with these negative thoughts:

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NOT a good idea.

Do not lash out on your friend.

Just because you’re feeling upset about her success, doesn’t mean that she did anything wrong! Acting out on your frustrations in the form of giving the cold shoulder or an icy response would not solve the root of the problem.

Be thankful for what you have.

Think of it this way: you may have something that your friend so strongly desires too. If we keep up the relentless search for things that we don’t have, will we find the time to pause and appreciate whatever little blessings are present in our lives?

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Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s.

It’s easy to feel the urge to peg yourself against the success of someone else- especially if she is your age. But remember that we are on different life journeys that are unique and incomparable. It’s like comparing apples with oranges!

Take this as an opportunity to focus on yourself.

It could be that your jealousy is stemming from certain insecurities you’re feeling! Try learning a new skill or pick up a hobby, like pilates. Being good at something gives your self-confidence a boost, and snips away any inadequacies you feel.

Talk it out.

When you talk through a complex situation, it allows you to organise your thoughts and get to the bottom of why such feelings are present in the first place. Talk to someone you trust. If she is willing to be a good listener, you’d get a good, cathartic release of this negativity.

 

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. I Miss How Facebook Used To Be! – Matthew Fam

2. Letting Go Of My Insecurities – Vanessa Tai

3. How To Comfort Someone – Tan Lili

 

 

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Branded Content, Health & Fitness

[Material World x Breathe Pilates] 30-Days Pilates Challenge – Matthew Fam

If a session of pilates leaves your legs wobbling by the end of its duration, try doing consecutive sessions in 30 days. Sounds crazy? Not quite. Breathe Pilates’ 30-Days Pilates Challenge is perfect for everyone of all fitness levels committed to a healthier lifestyle.

If there’s one workout you must get involved in, it’s this. Taking place in August 2014, the 30-Days Pilates Challenge provides first-timers an opportunity to commit to a fitness regime, while allowing seasoned practitioners to hone their practice. And we’ve got the lo-down on how manageable undertaking this challenge can be:

What’s so good about pilates?

It involves a contraption that skeptics may confuse for a medieval torture device. But you’d be surprised at the bevy of health benefits ranging from weight loss, increasing one’s muscle tone, to recovering from sports injuries! Its an all-in-one workout that’s part strengthening, part rehabilitating.

20130707_B6555175What kinds of exercises can I expect from the 30-Days Pilates Challenge?

There are three types of exercise you can expect to do during this challenge: reformer, tower, and mat exercises. And none of these involve impossible contortions, rest assured.

“Reformer and tower exercises make use of different parts of the reformer, a bed-like structure with a series of pulleys and springs. On the other hand, mat work involves the usage of simpler equipment such as therabands or free weights on mats to challenge the body,” shares Ru Shin, participant of last year’s 30-Days Pilates Challenge.

The focus of these sessions rotates throughout the week, so all your muscle groups get an equal chance at a workout. “We would be assigned different instructors during the challenge. They would alternate their focus between abdominal and spinal articulation, arms and legs, and cardiovascular activity.” Suffice to say, these 4 weeks will have fitness regimens specially tailor-planned for you.

Can I join the 30-Days Pilates Challenge if I have zero experience?

If being able to touch your toes feels like winning the Olympics gold for gymnastics, don’t give up your pilates-practicing ambitions just yet! This programme is suited for people of various fitness levels. “I was a total beginner!”, exclaimed Ru Shin of her experience.

Be it those recovering from an injury, disciplined gym users, or people whose idea of exercise is their daily walk to the refrigerator, this challenge is built for anyone along the fitness spectrum. “One of the great things about the challenge is that it suits nearly everyone- young (the youngest student was 14 years old and came with her dad!) and old.”

The small group setting ensures that trainers give you a more personalised coaching.

The small group setting ensures that trainers give you a more personalised coaching.

Will I be able to cope with the intensity of 30 days?

Relax. The trainers will not expect you to wrangle yourself into a pretzel. “The sessions increased in intensity as the weeks progressed, so by week 4, exercises were significantly more advanced than week 1,” says Ru Shin. Its gradual intensification means that you’ll be well accustomed to the basics before moving on to intermediate workouts.

At the same time, the challenge would not consist of superficial poses that one could easily replicate without the trainers. You will be breaking out a sweat. “After some of the sessions, my arms and legs were shaking like jelly. I even ached in places I never knew had muscles! It wasn’t smooth sailing. I had recently given birth at that time and wasn’t exercising regularly before starting the challenge. But after the first few days, I started to get the hang of it.”

Some participants of last year's 30-Days Pilates Challenge and their trainer.

Some participants of last year’s 30-Days Pilates Challenge and their trainer.

What’s different about this pilates challenge?

This is not the same as attending a pilates gym for 30 consecutive days. Its comfortable group setting allows you to ease into the rigour of workouts without feeling self-conscious. And you get individual attention from the trainers too, so you won’t be lost while awkwardly yanking random pulleys looking totally ridiculous.

“The group was just right- there were 5 of us- which enabled the trainer to pay attention to each student. The trainers were all very good. They demonstrated the exercises before letting us commence. Moreover, they would take the time to check that every student had proper postural alignment during the exercises!”

On top of that, Breathe Pilates’ emphasis on a holistic lifestyle transformation is underscored with an option for healthy cold-pressed juices you can enjoy after workout sessions.

How will I be able to commit to these 30 days in light of hectic work schedules?

Sure, it’s one thing to maintain discipline in a fitness regime, but how does that stand when busy work schedules get thrown into the mix? Here is Ru Shin’s tip: “I signed up for the challenge weeks in advance and was able to plan my schedule. I would start work earlier just to make sure I would be able to make it for the sessions on time. I also tried to push business trips just before or after the 30 days. I really wanted to do something about my fitness so I made it a priority to attend every single session. No excuses.”

Ru Shin and her daughter.

Ru Shin and her daughter.

What improvements can I expect after the 30-Days Pilates Challenge?

You don’t even need to wait 30 days for visible benefits from this challenge. “Even within the first week, I noticed improvements in my posture. As the weeks went by, I became stronger and more toned; my back was hurting less and I had higher energy levels throughout the day.  Most amazingly, a shoulder injury that I was nursing bothered me less. I was well on my way to recovery!”, says Ru Shin.

Yes. A fitter, healthier you is definitely within reach.

 

The 30-Day Pilates Programme lasts from 11 August to 5 September 2014, Mondays to Saturdays. Register now for an Early Bird Special of $650 (usual price $680)! Daily Juice option, $140, includes 3 bottles of 250ml cold-pressed juice provided for 30 days.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #02-05/06/07 Tides, 217 East Coast Road (10 participants). For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email info@breathepilates.com.sg, or visit www.breathepilates.com.sg.

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Entertainment, Lifestyle

7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

Millennials are not as bad as they’re made out to be. Seriously! Contributing writer Matthew Fam debunks the  7 negative traits commonly associated with this generation, and insists that this misunderstood bunch has much to be celebrated for.

#Justsaying, whenever I read articles of why Millennials are lazy, selfish, entitled, or [fill in negative trait], I’m like:
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But on the inside:
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There are major misconceptions out there about us, okay? And I think it’s easy for people to discount the capability, passion, drive and resilience that we have within us. It’s just expressed in different ways from generations past. Here are the 7 lies you’ll hear about Millennials:

1. We want to be mutli-hyphenated everything because we’re fickle.
We are the generation most prone to job hopping. Forbes listed that 91% of Millennials expect to stay within a job for less than three years, which translates to over 15 jobs in our entire career! Unfortunately, this gets misinterpreted as us being fickle for not being grounded in our ambitions. However, with a plethora of transferrable skills learnt, job hopping is hardly career suicide or disadvantageous, as this article will tell you.

2. We MUST have our sacrosanct weekends. (Don’t touch them!)
We’re said to demand work flexibility and leave at 6pm on the dot every day. In fact, the statistics from a study by Cisco backs this up: with 69% of Millennials believing that office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis, heaven forbid that you touch our weekends!

Sure, we value free time and a work-life balance. But we also know how to manage our expectations to find a compromise, and don’t shy from hard work- even if it means clocking in overtime. We make those hours at the office count and work. It. Out.

Why? Because we are…
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3. We expect to climb the corporate ladder at an abnormally fast pace.
Entry-level position today, CEO tomorrow. Truth be told, detractors tend to view us as entitled little brats.

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This suggests that we lack the patience to gain adequate experience in a job before being handed bigger responsibilities. Yes, sometimes our inflated ambition gets the better of us, but if there’s one thing this generation must be lauded for, it’s our undying idealism. We don’t settle for mediocrity.

4. We’re selfish because we take gap years and spend our first paychecks on holidays.
Q: When does taking gap years and travelling the world become a bad thing?
A: When delaying a salaried income and not providing for your family unfairly labels you as selfish.

YOLO (you only live once), people! Besides, often times, Millennials make use of their gap year to take up internships, part-time work, or volunteer for a cause. The extra income earned from these ventures go into our vacation funds. So we’re not leeching off from parents, mm-kay? #Independence

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Sorry, we do not all behave like Miley.

5. We’re reckless, and we pride bad behavior above anything else.
“Oh, that’s how the youngsters these days behave.” (While commenting on Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball music video.)

First of all, it’s funny how people make assumptions on our generation’s behaviour solely based on Miley’s bare bum. Secondly, NOBODY twerks in the streets for fun or enjoys public nudity! Miley Cyrus is not our spirit animal!

6. We speak in nothing but hashtags, emojis and tumblr gifs.
Okay, fine. So we can get a weeee bit overdramatic with the way we communicate. But seriously, just because we pepper our speech with these humorous titbits doesn’t mean we have forgotten how to speak eloquently! The English Language has not been butchered, RELAX. #Itiswhatisits #Sorrynotsorry

7. We are all experts in technology.
According to a study by PayScale and Millennial Branding, online marketing and social media are reportedly the most common job skills among Millennials. However, that doesn’t mean we’re complete whizzes with technology. It’s one thing to be able to update our Twitter accounts, or make credit card payments on ASOS. But no- if you expect us to programme a phone application from scratch, then this is what we have to say:

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What other misconceptions of Millennials do you know of? 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. He is also a proud Millennial! Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

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1. I Miss How Facebook Used To Be! – Matthew Fam

2. 4 Strategies To A More Decisive You – Deborah Tan

3. The 17 Emotional Stages You Go Through At Beerfest Asia – Tan Lili

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Beauty & Shopping, Food & Supplements, Hair, Health & Fitness, Skincare

The Multi-Functional Oil You Have To Try – Matthew Fam

We’ve all heard of oils that beautify your complexion and give you shiny locks of hair, but Matthew Fam has found one that you can actually eat for a nutrition boost while ticking all the beauty boxes for great skin and hair! Here’s why he’s going loco for the coco(nut oil).

o-BENEFITS-OF-COCONUT-OIL-facebookIt’s a nutrition must-have!

Uhm… Logically speaking, isn’t eating oil unhealthy? Well, not this one. Coconut oil is a rich source of saturated fat that aids in weight loss. What’s different is its chemical structure of medium-chain triglycerides that allows the body to digest it more rapidly, thus using up more energy.

In fact, 15 to 30 grams of such fat can increase 24-hour energy expenditure by 5% (that’s about an extra 120 calories burnt a day!) Its high lauric acid content also bolsters your immune system by fending off viruses such as the common flu, for instance.

You can cook it with rice, use it as dressing for salads, or just ingest it as it is. What I usually do is to add a tablespoon of the oil into my breakfast of soy milk, seeds and oats- and it totally ends up tasting like CHENDOL. Mind. Blown.

Plus, it’s easy to find a jar of this multi-functional oil from your local supermarket. You can even purchase a jar and have it home-delivered from health food websites like these.

2269941It gives you beautiful skin and hair!

Coconut oil works as a great moisturiser too. The luxuriously nourishing oil turns into a paste-like consistency below temperatures of 24 degrees celsius, so I leave a jar of it in the fridge. This way, it’s less messy for me to scoop the solidified, fluffy substance to spread on skin.

I have dry skin on my legs, so this beauty fix was perfect for an overnight moisturising treatment. The oil is absorbed well by skin, and you don’t have to worry about staining your bedsheets. I was surprised at how applying a dollop of coconut oil left a mild, fragrant scent that wasn’t overpowering at all. In addition, my legs definitely felt smoother the next morning!

If the thought of smearing food on your skin or scalp grosses you out, there are plenty of coconut oil-infused products out there for you to reap its benefits, without the potential ‘ick’ factor. Try Organix Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Shampoo. It’s non-SLS formula (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, a drying detergent ingredient in most shampoos) gives you shiny, silky strands.

cdentistryIt’s a major oral hygiene booster!

You’d be surprised to find out that the benefits of coconut oil even extend to oral health! The next time you get your hands on a jar of this miracle oil, try out oil swishing- an ancient Indian practice that dates back thousands of years.

What you need to do is gargle a table-spoonful of oil in your mouth, as you would with regular mouthwash, for 10 to 20 minutes. It is said to reduce bacteria and plague from your mouth, and gradually whiten teeth. When you expel the solution, the naturally transparent oil should now have a milky colour.

Sure, it shouldn’t replace regular brushing and flossing; but who doesn’t want a gorgeous smile, right?

With these all-encompassing benefits that ensure a healthier, more beautiful you, I am officially hooked on coconut oil!

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 article, you might also like:

1. The Fat Singaporeans Don’t Eat Enough Of – Deborah Tan

2. Top Weight-Loss & Nutrition Myths, Debunked – Tan Lili

3. [Material Moms] Why This Fruit Holds The Kiwi To A Mother’s Heart – Delphine Tan

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Love, Relationships

The 8 Escape Routes From A Bad Date – Matthew Fam

Bad dates can be an excruciating affair to endure, but some of us may feel bad for being straightforward with him over our lack of interest. Be it due to non-existent chemistry of having little in common, or him possessing a deal breaker trait (bad body odour anyone?), escape routes are sometimes the necessary evil to put a premature end to an otherwise terrible occasion. Save yourself the trouble with these 8 ways. 

Wishing someone's call would be the perfect excuse for you to leave?

Wishing someone’s call would be the perfect excuse for you to leave?

1. The Emergency Call
To nail this date-terminating smokescreen, have a trusted friend call you in the event of a meeting gone sour. When a date turns unbearable, discreetly send her a text to call you. Upon receiving the lifesaver call, pretend that an urgent matter has sprung up which requires your immediate attention (tip: saying ‘my [insert family member] just got admitted to a hospital’ is probably not the best excuse). The grand exit follows.

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2. The Friendzone
This is the dreaded phrase that all men loathe. To enforce its power, casually mention during your date how it’s great to be making new friends and networking- he should be getting the hint that you have no romantic intentions from this outing. Can’t take a hint? Then try being a little more forward by telling him that you’re not looking for love. Who knows? A romantically unmatched pair may make great platonic friends instead.


tumblr_mobrqm7gOX1s2wckio1_5003. Gross Him Out On Purpose

Not many people enjoy making themselves look bad in front of others, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It could be as simple as personifying the very trait that he doesn’t like in potential partners, for example, being high-maintenance (this is where you have to listen well during conversation). But take care not to overdo it- you want to put up subtle signs to ward him off, not make a fool of yourself.

 

tumblr_n57djaf1j31qbatypo3_5004. The Cramps Card
Sure, it’s no laughing matter to be having your monthly cramps, but when a disaster date looms, a little white lie couldn’t hurt right? It’s time to unleash that inner Secondary School Drama CCA diva and whip out those acting chops for this stunt to be pulled off successfully.

 

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You’ll have to do better than that to convince him.

5. Fake a Food Allergy
In this last-ditch effort to relieve yourself from date torture, you need to find anything you ate in your dish, whether its nuts or seafood, that could warrant a full-scale allergic reaction.

Allergies can activate as quickly as a few minutes after ingestion, so you don’t need to worry about timing your staged itch too soon. First, make a remark about having ingested some allergy-causing ingredients. Next, endure Mr. Boring for another 10 minutes before you start itching. A little acting would certainly go a long way (note: the trick lies in not over-exaggerating. It’s not the bubonic plague you’re feigning!)

6. Go Dutch 
For some reason, several men seem to think that paying for your date is an entitlement for him to expect a second one from you or a romantic advance (uhh… WRONG??). To prevent unwanted future disturbance, pay for your share of the meal to ensure that he can’t use this excuse against you.

And remember: repeated messages from him post-date on why you aren’t unto him counts as harassment. You have every right to inform him that his advances are not welcomed!

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7. Let Him Blabber
We all know that people love talking about themselves, right? So latch onto this perfect opportunity- let him drone on in the event you find yourself scrapping the bottom of the barrel for conversation topics (hmm, nice weather we’ve been having lately). A good starter is to ask him all about his job, and let the conversation go on idle auto-pilot. This way, you’d spare him the ego-crushing defeat of a deathly silence between you two.

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8. The Sleeping Beauty

You tell him that you’re dead tired from a strenuous day at work, when really, not even a double espresso could save you from this snoozefest of a date. Here’s where it gets tricky: if he’s a complete stalker and insists on seeing you again, avoid him altogether. Feeling shy? Being upfront via text in a non face-to-face meeting makes it less awkward to express your disinterest.

 

So, how do you get yourself out of a bad date? 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 enjoyed this post, you might like:

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2. 10 Must-Know Ways He’ll Never Be Boyfriend Material – Matthew Fam

3. [Love In Lines] When You Don’t Have Time For Love – Tan Lili

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