Beauty & Shopping, Lifestyle

26 Things To Put On Your June Watchlist

Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already?! Yeah, neither can we. Thankfully, there are so many things to eat, try, and buy this month! 

A is for A Sale Like No Other

great singapore sale

This year’s Great Singapore Sale is unlike any we’ve ever had, simply because of the “giving back” factor. From 30 May to 27 July 2014, Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) will be giving away $500 to one lucky shopper every day in the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion. There will be 59 winners in total, one for each day of GSS. But that’s not all – for every eligible entry received for the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion, SRA will donate $1 to Community Chest, up to a maximum of $10,000. Go on, now you can shop to your heart’s content!

B is for Blades Of The Gods

Fans of Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club will be stoked to know that he has collaborated with Balinese master blacksmiths to create Blades of the Gods – a collection of kitchen knives and steak knives. These knives are made in Germany while preserving a 1100-year-old Balinese tradition of knife-making. You can buy them at Tippling Club or online at .

C is for Celeb Endorsement

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Since he took part in Manhunt 2011, Shane Pow’s career has grown from strength to strength, with regular appearances on Channel 8 drama serials. Not only has he secured a meaty role in a new film, he’s now also the face of Lab Series Skincare For Men. Up close, Shane’s complexion is flawless — smooth, poreless, as well as wrinkle- and spot-free — definitely a face that should be fronting an internationally renowned skincare brand!

D is for Dior Addict Eau de Toilette


Dior’s Perfume Creator François Demachy has imagined a new Dior Addict Eau de Toilette with an instant, multi-faceted attraction. Sicilian Mandarin blends with Jasmine Sambuc and Tunisian Neroli against a base note of evocative, woody Essence of Sandalwood and Vanilla. Resolutely feminine, it is a composition that dares to take on an unexpected woody charm thanks to notes of Sandalwood Essence. Available at all Dior counters.

E is for Elizabeth Arden


3 women. 3 Untold stories. Together with Elizabeth Arden, Material World will be sharing videos featuring 3 inspiring women, each with an Untold story behind their successes. Starting 2 June, a new video will be uploaded every Monday. We are also looking for the 4th Untold story. Share with us your personal story of success and survival and you may just win an awesome hamper worth $400!

F is for Father’s Day

June 15 is Father’s Day! Have you figured out where to take Pop yet? If not, fret not. Here are a few suggestions. For dads who are known to be a “man’s man”, take him to Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental where he can enjoy hearty dishes such as Murray Bridge Lamb and Iberico Pork Chop alongside beer and cigars (for reservations, call 6885 3500 or email If your dad prefers a more casual vibe, he’ll enjoy Spuds & Aprons, a casual dining eatery located atop Mount Faber. There, he can indulge in comfort food such as fries served with hot gravy and six different cheeses, as well as local favourites like Laksa and Curry Chicken. Does he prefer traditional Chinese cuisine? Restaurant Home has rolled out two special Father’s Day set menus — Gratitude Set Menu and Dedication Set Menu — which feature a wild freshwater fish called the Empurau fish (also known as “Wang Bu Liao”). This prized fish can fetch up to $1,600/kg (no kidding) but for this special occasion, it will be priced at a more affordable rate. (Check out the menu here; for reservations, call 6465 1698 or email

G is for Goodwood Park Hotel’s Durian Fiesta

Durian lovers, rejoice! Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual Durian Fiesta is back! From now until July 13, satisfy your craving for the “king of fruits” with limited-edition Mao Shan Wang durian products, including the giant profiterole “Mao Shan” Power Puff ($17.80 per piece); and “Mao Shan Wang” Ice Cream ($21.80 per 16oz tub). At the Coffee Lounge, you can also look forward to the new Durian Sampler Platter ($10.80, available only as a top-up), which consists of four items: Durian Gula Melaka roll, Mini Durian Donut, Durian Trifle and Durian Mousse Cake. For enquiries and reservations, call Goodwood Park Hotel’s Coffee Lounge at 6730 1746.

H is for Homeware

Swedish stationery brand kikki.K has a homeware collection now! This season, Svenka Hem combines sophisticated white with wooden features and stylish gold accents for a range of homewares that looks so good on any dining table. Available in-store at ION Orchard and online at .

I is for International Beers


Beerfest Asia is back! This wildly popular event brings together over 400 types of beer from all over the world for a 4-day weekend of revelry and hiccupin’ good times. Apart from just guzzling down as many beers as you can though (as we will), you can also check out the live music performances, comedy club, and other beverage tasting workshops that will be ongoing throughout the festival.

Beerfest Asia 2014 is on from 12 to 15 June. Get your tickets here.  

J is for Jermyn Street

Jermyn St logo FA-06 A new upscale barbershop will be opening at Amoy Street on June 13. Inspired by the rich grooming heritage of Jermyn Street in London, this 1,800-square-feet barbershop offers a hot towel straight razor shave, haircut, shampoo, manicure, pedicure, eyebrow grooming, waxing and more. Find out more at .

K is for Kickass Female DJs

Saturday nights at Catalunya Bar just got even more sizzling. Featuring not one, but two formidable female DJs. DJ Reiki has performed alongside international DJs Aphrodite, Mickey Finn, and Utah Jazz, as well as her own bi-monthly mixshow residency on Lush 99.5 FM. DJ Casie has been spinning in bars and clubs across Asia and North America, and was last seen at the SkyBar at KU DÉ TA.

Catalunya is located at The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Tel: 6534 0886

L is for Leggings


… workout leggings that is. US high-performance sports brand Under Armour has just opened its first store in Singapore, at Orchard Gateway. What you can look forward to: well-fitting, high-tech workout gear that will help athletes stay comfortable in their quest to become faster, fitter and stronger.

Under Armour is at B1-05 Orchard Gateway.

M is for Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N

Love the intensity of liquid eyeliner but can’t control it as well as a pencil? Well, in Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N you’ll get the best of both worlds. Its improved formula and texture promise to give you a smooth intense line that is resistant to water, tears and sebum, and can last up to 13 hours.

Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N is available at all Shiseido counters islandwide.

N is for Nails


For once, it wasn’t about neon pops of colour or dark gothic shades – pastel and nude colours got their turn in the spotlight on F/W 2014 runways. More’s the better, because they’re so much more office friendly. If you’re thinking of adding pastels to your nail colour collection, check out Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails. It’s the one polish that smells good, as it’s been perfumed with the brand’s original scent, Majoromantica. Best part? Each bottle goes for just $7.10 each.

Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails will be available June 26, 2014, exclusively at Watsons.

O is for Old-School Arcade Games


Relive your childhood days of playing classic games like Pac Man, Namco Arcade, Sonic the Hedgehog, and King of Fighters using console-style analog controls with the new Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery. This sleek iPhone game controller also comes with an integrated 1500 mAh battery to increase the available power capacity of your iPhone 5, iPhone 5S or iPod Touch (5th generation). $129.90, available at authorised resellers. Visit for more information.

P is for Pebble

Attention all gadget lovers! Access your favourite apps like Whatsapp and Twitter through Pebble, a smartwatch that connects your smartphone via Bluetooth. Besides receiving notifications, Pebble also allows you to track your workout sessions with Runkeeper, remotely control your music, and more.

Pebble, $249, comes in five colours — Jet Black, Cherry Red, Arctic White, Orange, and Grey — and is available at EpiCentre, Harvey Norman, NuBox, Singtel, as well as selected Challenger, EpiLife, Courts, and Digital Style stores.

Q is for Quayside Tea


Yes, we know it’s hot all year round in Singapore but it seems to get exceptionally hot in June! Quench your thirst with the bright and refreshing Belvedere Lemon Tea, available in 8 different summer cocktails across 8 cocktail bars. We have our eye our Quayside Tea, available at Boomarang, which is an inventive concoction of fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, a dash of egg white, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and of course Belvedere Lemon Tea. Yum!

Belvedere Lemon Tea cocktails are available from now till 31 August 2014. Boomarang is located at 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside; and 52 Circular Road.

R is for runWESTIN

The next time you plan a staycation, why not pencil in a good workout as well?  The Westin Singapore has recently launched its runWESTIN programme, with veteran runner Eddie Chang as the hotel’s first-ever runWESTIN concierge. Apart from taking you and other hotel guests on a 5-km scenic run around the Marina Bay area, he will also be onhand to provide expert training and race advice.

S is for Summer Beauty Offerings


Make a date to go shopping at Sephora on 12 June! Why? Cos that’s when a jaw-dropping load of new stuff arrives at the multi-brand beauty store. From Pureheal’s Volcanic Pore Line (a 4-step pore care regime that’ll keep that unsightly shine at bay) to new makeup from Urban Decay, beauty junkies are sure to get their fill of fabulous new products on this day.

Find your nearest Sephora store here

T is for TANGS Beauty Playground

tangs beauty play ground

Beauty junkies, get ready for the biggest and most extravagant beauty event of the GSS season (and possibly the whole year)! For 3 days only, you’ll get access to yet-to-be-launched beauty items and exclusive discounts on all your favourite products. So much to see, try, and buy so be sure to make your way to TANGS this weekend!

TANGS Beauty Playground will be held from 6 to 8 June 2014.

U is for Ugly Cake Shop


Fancy some lip-smackingly good desserts while contributing to a good cause? Introducing Ugly Cake Shop, a local social enterprise that’s recently launched its online store ( Selling a wide selection of whole cakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes, brownies, and other baked goods that are handmade using only quality ingredients and without any artificial flavour, colour, and fondant, Ugly Cake Shop pledges 20 percent of its profits to the nutritional fund of Shalom School in the capital of Dili, Timor-Leste. This fund goes towards the meals of undernourished children and youth in Timor-Leste. For more information and to check out the selection of delectable baked goods, visit or send an email to Ugly Cake Shop partner/baker Lisa Tan at

V is for Vivacious, Confident Women

In conjunction with its 30th anniversary in Singapore, Cetaphil recently launched its first-ever Skin Confidence Report. We were heartened to discover that confidence among women in Singapore is actually pretty high! For example, 69 percent of Singaporean women believe they are beautiful and a whopping 86 percent believe that others perceive them as confident. Let’s keep this verve up, ladies!

W is for World Cup Madness

Why throw your money away when you can watch World Cup matches for free? Organised by the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre and Foodpanda, catch at least 50 of the 64 matches (including the opening match on June 13 and the grand finales on July 14) on the big screen at Hong Lim Park. Exclusively for this month-long event, a few of Foodpanda’s partnered restaurants will be extending the food delivery operating hours beyond 12am for those of you having the midnight munchies. For more information, visit

X is for Xtraordinary Feats

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Back for a second time due to popular demand, Le Noir is a theatrical production like no other, combining the death-defying acrobatic feats with beautiful music and rib-tickling comedic routines. Get your tickets here.

Y is for Yummy Steaks

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There are steaks, and then there are steaks at CUT by Wolfgang Puck. This celebrity chef restaurant has recently launched a new lineup of steaks created from Hokkaido Snow Beef, which is an exceptionally rare and premium wagyu beef farmed at a private reserve in Hokkaido, Japan. This beef gets its name because of its delicate meat texture and marbling so fine and intricate that it resembles snowflakes.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck is located at 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Tel: 6688 8517

Z is for Zesty Body Treats 


The Body Shop has done it again with delicious body treats! Launching mid-June, The Body Shop Body Sorbets will bring new meaning to body moisturisers. The texture resembles that of icing sugar and it delivers a cooling dose of hydration that we all crave during the sweltering summer days. In four fruity flavours, you can store these in your refrigerator for a more refreshing treat.

The Body Shop Body Sorbets will be available at The Body Shop stores islandwide on June 16.


Career, Self-Improvement

How To Run A Successful Online Business – Vanessa Tai

material world singapore-entrepreneurshipHave you ever entertained thoughts of being an entrepreneur? Perhaps you are slouched in your office cubicle, or glancing around the tired faces around you on public transport and thinking, “Surely, I should be doing something that makes me excited to get up every morning.” Or perhaps you have a groundbreaking business idea but aren’t quite sure how to get it off the ground. If you daydream of being your own boss, you aren’t alone. In 2012, 56,778 new business start-ups were set up in Singapore!

And why not? Singapore has a great environment for start-ups to thrive in. There are a slew of public and private funding to choose from, plus government entities like EnterpriseOne that support young start-ups. The time is especially ripe for online businesses – according to research by Paypal, the size of the Singapore online shopping market reached S$1.1 billion in 2010 and is forecasted to hit S$4.4 billion in 2015.

material world singapore-harley finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer at Shopify

Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer at e-commerce platform Shopify was recently in Singapore and we sat him down to get his advice for up-and-coming online entrepreneurs. Trained in both law and business, Finkelstein started his own business at the age of 17. Apart from his role at Shopify, he also serves as a mentor and advisor to a number of entrepreneurial organisations and incubators.

What are some common misconceptions of e-commerce?

Newbies tend to have this perception that setting up an online store is difficult and expensive. But as an online retailer, there’s actually so much you can do that doesn’t even have to cost you. For example, if you have an online store selling hats, you could always start a blog or Twitter account that gives people interesting hat-related information … or send samples of your hats to key online influencers, who can help you generate buzz. Or if you feel the look and feel of your e-store isn’t working, you can change the layout in a matter of minutes. Technology has made everything much clearer and easier.

What are your tips for e-commerce retailers to keep their marketing ideas fresh? 

In business, creativity and versatility is important. Just throw some spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. At Shopify, we have “Hack Days” once every three months where people from different departments get together to work on new experiments. One of these experiments was Popify, an idea that Brennan Loh (Head of Business Development) and I came up with. Basically, we set up a pop-up store for several Shopify stores that only had an online presence. It was really amazing to see how well it worked for these retailers. There was this store that sold hammocks – their customers loved being able to try out the hammocks at a brick-and-mortar store, then going online to buy it (that way, they don’t have to lug a heavy hammock all the way home.)

If I’m looking to set up an online store, why should I do it on Shopify? 

Because it’s so easy, anybody can do it! Plus, you’ll get a tremendous amount of support not just from the Shopify team, but from other Shopify merchants. Our Shopify blog is the second-most popular e-commerce blog in the world, and we also have something called the E-Commerce University, where we dish out tips on everything from marketing to design and even delivery. Shopify merchants are also very active on the forums, sharing their experiences and other business best practices with newbies. In fact, some of them have even taken these interactions offline. Some of the e-retailers in New York, San Francisco and Israel have organised gatherings to swap stories and ideas.

Finally, what’s your best advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?

Be tenacious and persistent. You may not succeed on your first try but you should work on building a culture of experimentation. Just put something out there and get feedback. Don’t give up.

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, Singapore Fashion

To Market, To Market! – Vanessa Tai

Let’s face it, sometimes the retail offerings at malls can get a little boring and while online shopping is great, there’s the whole waiting around for your package to contend with. Which is why I love a good flea market – you get to discover lesser-known brands and more often than not, it’s way more affordable than regular shops. Every Little Thing – which focuses on apparel and accessories – is an offshoot of Public Garden, a flea market operator that specialises in local indie labels.

This weekend, ELT will be held at City Square Mall and will be featuring over 50 booths of local fashion retailers. Here are some vendors we can’t wait to check out:

material-world-singapore-every little thing-cloudberry circus

Cloudberry Circus

Are you a loud and proud shoe addict? Then you’ll love the cheerful colours and bright patterns of Cloudberry Circus’ footwear.



Priding themselves on only stocking one piece per design, this unisex vintage label will be launching a range of vintage Hawaiian shirts at this weekend’s flea.

Loot Boutique

Loot Boutique

This local accessories maker has amassed quite a following with her whimsical designs that feature clouds, odd-sized flowers and even pink zebras!

Ozzy & Lulu

Ozzy & Lulu

Why splurge on brand-name stationery when you can get lovingly handmade paper goods and stationery from Ozzy & Lulu?

You Klub Kid

You Klub Kid

Vintage continue to live on through the elegant designs of You Klub Kid. This flea sees the stallholders bringing in a collection of gorgeous ’70s inspired dresses.

Every Little Thing will be held on 13 and 14 July, from 1pm to 7pm at City Square Mall Fountain Square, Basement 1. For more information, click 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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Opinions, Vanessa Tai

The Customer Isn’t Always Right – Vanessa Tai

Recently, there has been a debate going on in the UK over an incident that took place in British supermarket, Sainsbury. A checkout assistant caused a stir when she refused to serve a customer because said customer was busy chatting on her mobile phone. According to newspaper reports, the customer Jo Clarke was furious at being given a “lecture on checkout etiquette,” and has said she’ll be taking her business to a competitor supermarket nearby. This is despite Sainsbury issuing her with a formal apology as well as shopping vouchers as compensation for her grief.

top1However, it’s heartening to note most people have defended the checkout assistant, saying it’s rude to be engaged in a conversation when somebody is trying to offer you a service. Even UK’s deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg has voiced up to say he’s on the side of the checkout assistant. He was quoted as saying, “If the customer was not responding, then the check-out woman couldn’t do her job and she’s perfectly entitled to ask ‘Well, do you want it or not?'”

Sadly, shoddy treatment of service staff is not a country-exclusive thing. Rude and unreasonable customers are everywhere; I’m sure you’ve encountered a fair few in Singapore. I get that everybody leads super busy lives and our minds are often preoccupied, which is why we sometimes forget to say “Thank you,” or even acknowledge the service staff’s presence. I know I’m occasionally guilty of that too. But being busy or preoccupied is not an excuse for a lack of basic courtesy. In our digital age of smartphones and tablets, it’s even more important to remind ourselves we’re interacting with another human being, not a robot.

I spoke to some members of the service industry on their thoughts of the Singaporean consumer, and here’s what they had to say:

When I smile and say ‘Hi’, it’ll be nice to receive some sort of acknowledgement in return. Please don’t just brush by me as if I don’t exist.” – E. Toh, retail assistant 

Sometimes, when I wish passengers with a chirpy ‘Good morning!’, all I get is a stony glare and a reply like, ‘Straits Times.’ or ‘What’s so good about the morning?’ Of course, it’s a bit unnerving to receive such rude replies, but I always put on a smile on my face and try not to let it affect me. I draw inspiration from Bill Gates who once said, ‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.'” – E. Liu, flight attendant 

There was this customer who insisted on making a lot of changes to the dishes he ordered. We usually try to accomodate customers’ requests but because it was a busy night, I politely told him we weren’t able to make the changes. He flew into a rage, and right before he stormed off, he shouted, ‘Do you know who I am?’ Thankfully, most of my customers are not so nightmarish … but I must say, they do have quite a preoccupation with their digital devices!” – H.L, part-time waitress 

This weekend, whether you’re dining out or hitting the shops, please remember to look up from your phone and acknowledge the staff member serving you!

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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