Kicking off the first month of the new year, here is an A – Z list of awesome stuff we would like to bring your attention to.
Absinthe – great food, great ambiance, good-looking chef!
A is for Absinthe
French food in a beautiful shophouse by the river … the perfect setting for a romantic date. By award-winning (and the very good-looking) chef Francois Mermilliod, this restaurant isn’t one of your uppity, too-chic-for-anyone types. The convivial ambiance coupled with friendly, knowledgeable staff makes Absinthe a great place for dates, gatherings and business dos. My favourite is the Foie Gras Terrine served with fresh, warm, pillowy brioche.
Absinthe is located at 71 Boat Quay. Tel: 6222 9068. You can also make your reservations online at http://www.absinthe.sg .
B is for Bliss That’s Incredi-‘Peel’!
Like they say, “New year, new skin!” What better stuff to use to achieve that than with these “spa-strength glycolic resurfacing pads”. Claiming to give you an “overnight facial”, these pads don’t just contain exfoliating glycolic acid, they also have soothing witch hazel, licorice extract and glycerin to keep your skin from looking angry.
Bliss is available at Sephora stores islandwide.
C is for Chanel Spring/Summer 2014 bags
The sight of a Chanel bag is enough to cause shortness of breath in any woman. And when we spotted one in two of our favourite colours, we really thought we’d died and gone to Handbag Heaven! This plexiglass clutch in pink and orange will be inhabiting our dreams this season. Would you give up ice cream and candy to own this? I know I would.
What technicolor dreams are made of …
D is for Din Tai Fung
Hot on the heels of Christmas and New Year is the Lunar New Year! The feasting continues at Din Tai Fung where fans of “tang yuan” (glutinous rice balls) can enjoy a bowl of six tang yuans stuffed with peanuts. Spend a minimum of $90 and you receive a complimentary bowl of these warm, sweet and comforting dessert. OCBC members need only spend $80.
Din Tai Fung is now open at Bedok Mall.
E is for Eyeliner (sleek, dramatic and intense!)
Touted as Shu Uemura’s blackest, most intense and glossiest liquid eyeliner, the Calligraph:ink Liquid Eye Liner is inspired by the Japanese calligraphy pen. With firm bristles, it promises to deliver black, liquid lines with an artistic flourish. If you – like me – love your eyes finished with a wing tip, this eyeliner is a dream to work with.
Shu Uemura can be found at TANGS, Robinsons and ION Orchard.
Kickstart your 2014 by reading this inspiring book!
F is for Fit To Win
Want to do something about the excess pounds after the festive season? Sign up for Fit To Win where participants each put $20 into a pot and try to lose at least 5% of their starting weight. You’ll also be treated to 8 weeks of a variety of fitness classes to help you get moving. The biggest “loser” stands to win about $3,000 in prizes too. For more details or to register, click here now.
G is for Malcolm Gladwell
When I first began reading Gladwell’s books, my first thought was, “Wow. This guy really makes these boring stats and facts so easy to understand.” My fondness for Gladwell’s work is also the same thing that has seen critics dissing his books as “over-simplified” and “simple minded”. Well, you can’t win them all. For fans of Gladwell, you don’t want to miss his latest book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants”. Employing the same method of illustrating academic findings with engaging narratives of real people, Gladwell’s book explains how – if we play our cards right – our “weaknesses” can become our strengths and help us overcome the odds to win the proverbial “Goliaths” in our lives and careers.
H is for Hand Cream
From the brand that brings you some of the best hand creams comes a new collection using honey and peach blossom. Crabtree & Evelyn’s new English Honey & Peach Blossom range of lip, bath and body products uses an extract of wild flower honey to hydrate and soothe extremely dry and parched skin. My favourite size is the handy (pun intended) 25g tube – perfect for carrying around in a bag and best for leaving around inside the car.
Crabtree & Evelyn can be found at Vivocity, Takashimaya, Paragon, Centrepoint and Raffles City.
Hands up if you love the scent of honey!
I is for IKEA
Limited edition homeware at IKEA? Yep! And the first of its kind, Trendig, is now available here! Sporting design aesthetics inspired by the Chinese culture, the pieces in this series have a cool Oriental chic about them that makes them such irresistible additions to the home this Lunar New Year.
New furniture, anyone?
Check them out at IKEA Alexandra or IKEA Tampines today!
J is for St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
You cannot call yourself a music lover if you have not gotten your tickets to St Jerome’s Laneway Festival on 25 January at The Meadows at Gardens By The Bay. Okay … fine … we’ll take back what we said about you not being a music-lover if you go to Sistic to get your tickets now. For details on the line-up, click here.
K is for Keep A Child Alive
This January, Kiehl’s Singapore will donate $5 to AfA (Action For AIDS) when you purchase a bottle of its award-winning Midnight Recovery Concentrate with a limited edition key charm! This is in support of Alicia Key’s “Keep A Child Alive” initiative where funds will go towards advocacy and in helping children living with HIV and AIDS seek treatment asap. Plus, upload a photo of your smiling child onto Instagram and tag #smileKiehlsSG so Kiehl’s will donate $0.50 to Afa.
Visit http://www.kiehlstimes.com for more information. The Limited Edition Midnight Recovery Concentrate is available at Kiehl’s stores islandwide.
Help children affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Every bottle purchased gives $5 to AfA (Action For AIDS).
L is for Longchamp
Uber-cool style icon Alexa Chung is the face of Longchamp’s Spring 2014 campaign! That’s reason enough for us all to grab ourselves a Longchamp bag! But if you need another reason, the Le Pliage Cuir in brilliant orange, lemon, vermillion and platinum is a must-get. An iconic tote in on-trend colours? Who could say No?
Longchamp boutiques can be found at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Ion Orchard and Paragon.
Make my VDay present a Le Pliage Cuir in Lemon!
M is for Maybelline Color Show
Nail lacquers and eyeliners in eye-catching shades at pocket-friendly prices? Yep! The good folks at Maybelline will be launching Color Show this January and those who love to experiment with crazy colours will love that they can do just that without upsetting their wallets. These nail lacquers are formaldehyde, toulene, and DBP free too. Awesome!
Maybelline Color Show is available at Watsons.
We are sensing vibrant colours are going to be hot?
N is for Nail Trends
Still on the topic of nails, this season, we are loving the whole embellished white nails trend. In particular, the nails Deborah Lippmann created for Kate Spade’s Spring show. Other ways to decorate your white nails? Polka dots (for a hipster look), crystals (for something more glamorous), and with a metallic strip across (for an edgy, statement making effect).
O is for Orbis Cleansing Liquid
For those who want a fresher alternative to cleansing oil, try Orbis Cleansing Liquid – a water-based makeup remover that contains three types of amino acids and hyaluronic acid. It removes foundation, lipstick, waterproof mascara without stressing the skin, and washes easily upon contact with water. This January, Orbis Cleansing Liquid will bear a limited edition design featuring Moomin, a creation of Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Janssen.
Orbis can be found at Robinsons Orchard.
P is for Pore-care
It’s NOT possible to get rid of the pores of your skin but you can definitely try to improve their appearance by putting in some effort when it comes to cleaning off your makeup. Dirt and grime trapped inside your pores can lead to the formation of blackheads, making them look even more obvious. Laneige’s brand new Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil claims it can remove toxins deep within pores, with ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile to “shrink” and purify pores.
Laneige can be found in Sephora and at TANGS Vivocity, Isetan, Suntec and Plaza Singapura.
Q is for Quizboard
A game available for both iOs and Android phone. The aim is to finish the board with a higher score than your opponent. The game finishes when someone reaches the Star. You have to answer questions from across a variety of categories. Be warned: it is pretty darn addictive. Download it here.
Shiseido’s award-winning serum has a new formulation!
R is for Red Bull Flying Bach
A mind-blowing performance where the music of Bach meets breakdance. With sold-out performances in Europe, Australia and Japan, Red Bull Flying Bach will appeal to both traditionalists and young hip hop fans. Tickets are available at Sistic.
Red Bull Flying Bach is on at the Esplanade Theatre from January 16 to 18, 2014.
S is for Shiseido Total Whitening Serum
The star of Shiseido’s whitening skincare line has a new formula! Hoping to help your skin achieve 5 kinds of fairness, Shiseido Total Whitening Serum contains the exclusive new ProBright 4MR and Resveratrol. So what are the five kinds of fairness? Peal White for luminosity, Silk White for smoothness, Crystal White for translucency, Snow White for radiance, and Cherry Blossom White for a healthy pink flush.
Shiseido can be located at TANGS, Robinsons and Takashimaya.
Another do-good beauty product from The Body Shop.
T is for The Body Shop
Get your hands on The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel come 6 January! Not only is aloe vera gel great for treating skin irritations and soothing sunburns, The Body Shop gets its organic aloe vera from a collective of farmers in Guatemala. Through this Fair Trade arrangement, money is invested to build a water pump for the community and supply educational materials in over 100 schools in the region.
The Aloe Soothing Gel is available at all The Body Shop stores from 6 January 2014.
U is for UFC Fight Night Singapore
The first-ever UFC event in Southeast Asia will be happening 4 January, Saturday. For a date night with a difference, grab your tickets for this fight between Belgium’s Saffiedine and South Korea Lim Hyun-Gyu at Sistic today.
UFC Fight Night Singapore will be held at Marina Bay Sands.
V is for Valentine’s Day Retreat
Escape to the nearby Banyan Tree Bintan for Valentine’s Day! Book your two-night getaway now and enjoy a 120-minute couple spa session and a romantic private dinner by the beach. Relax in your own villa with the lush forest as a backdrop and the ocean as your view. Don’t delay further. Visit banyantree.com to make your reservations now.
W is for The Wolf Of Wall Street
I never got the “Leonardo is so cute” thing but ever since his turn as slave owner Calvin Candy in Django, I’ve decided that I rather like him in depraved, evil roles. The Wolf Of Wall Street has him as yet another rotten apple and even though I’ve not caught it yet, I think this Scorsese-DiCaprio partnership won’t disappoint.
The Wolf Of Wall Street is now showing in cinemas islandwide.
X is for recycled Xmas Cards
Click here to see how you can put your now-old Christmas cards to good use.
Y is for Yu Sheng
The best thing about Chinese New Year is that the eating goes on for 15 days. For a super-meaningful lo-hei lunch with your clients, make your bookings at Peony Jade. Its yu sheng is especially breath-taking with the shredded veggies and fish slices arranged into a horse figurine. With an auspicious name like “Instant Enormous Windfall, Good Health and Longevity” Horse-Shaped Yu Sheng, your clients will be beaming from ear to ear. The food is, by far, one of the most delicious of Chinese New Year offerings we’ve tasted so you won’t go wrong.
Peony Jade is located at Keppel Club, Bukit Chermin Road. Tel: 62769138 or 62768327
Z is for zzzzz
Make it your resolution this year to get better quality sleep! Research has shown that your brain cleanses itself of toxins when you sleep. These toxins are the same biomarkers for brain damage. Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So, aim to get at least 7 hours a night. And no, making up for it over the weekends doesn’t count.
Phew! What a list! We hope this list will keep you busy for January. We’ll be back in February to give you the next 26 stuff to go ga-ga over. Meanwhile, onward to a fabulous 2014!
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, and Suits. She is craving for yu sheng very, very badly. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.