Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

MW Top 5 List: Skincare Products You’ve Probably Not Bought Yet

You’ve probably heard about them, read about them … and wondered if you should buy them. Well, as September makes its exit, we know the wet, cold and humid weather of the monsoon months would soon be upon us. Time to add a little more help to your skincare regime! We’re sure you don’t want to greet 2015 looking less than fabulous.

This month, we introduced you the game-changing prowess of Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher, explained the efficacy of Hada Labo Lotion‘s 4 interlocking hyaluronic acid, and demonstrated the anti-ageing effects Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream. Besides these, the Material World team have also tried some incredible beauty products that we simply have to share with you. So, if you’re still in two minds whether to snap up a particular skincare product, the 5 below certainly have our stamps of approval.


Skincare Products You’ve Probably Not Bought Yet 

#5 Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion SPF 20 PA+++
Coming in at No. 5, we have the heavenly scented Fresh Black Tea moisturizer-sunscreen. The packaging scores points by surprising us with a little twist, literally! Twist its cap and the dispenser pump rises from the center. Clean, no-mess, so fun to use.

WE LOVE: The comforting cream disappears into nothing on your skin, great for those who think sunscreens make their skins even oilier! Combination of black tea ferment, lychee seed extract and blackberry leaf extract provides an anti-ageing boost by sweeping away free radicals and improving skin elasticity.


#4 Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence [Light] 
A 6-in-1 skin lotion, this watery product promises to be a multi-functioning skin elixir for those with oily and combination complexions. This essence contains 94 percent fermented soybean extract obtained through 300 days of natural fermentation in a volcanic claypot atop Mount Halla in Jeju Island.

WE LOVE: That it’s free of parabens, animal ingredients, minerals, colorants and artificial fragrance. The essence feels incredibly refreshing on the skin. What blew us away was the video the brand shared at its launch. To show how it strengthens the barrier function, the researchers soaked an eye yolk in the essence for 24 hours. After a day, they picked up the egg yolk and dropped it onto a plate. The yolk did not break up, proving this essence is indeed capable of strengthening your skin.


#3 Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate 
As explained before, hydration is extremely important when it comes to maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin. This potent hydrating serum from Kiehl’s penetrates 10 layers of skin and awakens channels of moisture transportation that have grown weak due to age. Using a combination of plant-based glycerin and shiso leaf extract, this serum anchors water in skin to turn dry, papery-thin, ageing skin into youthful, plump skin again!

WE LOVE: That it gets absorbed by the skin so easily. Founder Debs, who is obsessed with keeping that youthful bounce in her skin, can testify to the effectiveness of this serum. Her testimonial can even be found in the September issue of Kiehl’s Times!


#2 Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate 
There’s been a lot of talk about strengthening the skin from within as a way of truly protecting it from the ravages of Time. This September, Shiseido launches a concentrate that enhances skin’s inherent defences against stress and environmental pollution. The concentrate gives skin’s immunity a boost by activating the Langerhans cells, which may have been compromised by age and stress. Backed by some 20 years’ of research, this ground-breaking product also boosts the efficacy of your other skincare products.

WE LOVE: That it made our skins softer and smoother to the touch within just one day of use. And, unlike most anti-ageing products that focus on erasing wrinkles or improving lift, Ultimune talks about strong skin being good skin. This is definitely a refreshing way to look at preserving your beauty through the years.


#1 Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum In Oil 
Ringing in at No. 1 is Biotherm’s newest Blue Therapy Serum In Oil. A micro-algae oil rich in omega-3 fatty acid is fused with a serum for a non-greasy, non-sticky anti-ageing night treatment. The Blue Therapy range is most definitely one of the brand’s more successful lines and the night serum is truly an innovative product for those who have come to believe in the efficacy of Blue Therapy.

WE LOVE: How easily absorbed this serum in oil is. It’s not even a “if you sleep in air-conditioned room” product. This serum in oil works beautifully in air-conditioned and non air-conditioned rooms. It gets first on our list this month because one night was all it took to see a significant improvement in the texture and glow of our skins. Bumps on foreheads disappeared after just one night. Definitely a gem to have if you feel your skin is in need of a good dose of ultra pampering.


Have you tried any of these products? If so, what are your thoughts about them? Share them with us in the Comments section below – we would most definitely love to hear from you, fellow beauty junkies! 


Material World was given the aforementioned products to review. All opinions are our own. These reviews were not advised nor paid for by any of the brands above.

Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your February Watchlist

Spring is officially upon us and besides the Lunar New Year, the month of February also brings us Valentine’s Day! For those of you who love beauty, this is the month to start shopping!

A is for Aesop
Tea Tree Leaf facial Exfoliant 30g BWIf you love scrubs, then you’ll have to check out Aesop’s new Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant. This blend of ground botanicals lets you control the exfoliating strength—you can mix your desired amount into your favourite cleanser or mask! If you desire a stronger scrub, simply add up to half a teaspoon of it to your cleanser. Contains aloe vera, tea tree leaf and walnut shell.

Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant, $51, is available at its store at Suntec City and its counter at TANGS Orchard.

B is for Beauty Cleanse

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 01.39.48With a system clogged up by all that CNY pigging out, it’s no wonder your skin is in a terrible state! Worry not! Get onto this 3-day juice cleanse programme ASAP. Using organic fruit and vegetables (each bottle has 1kg!), the service includes delivery and a support system to help you ride out of these 3 days with as little trouble as possible. For more information, visit Beauty Cleanse’s website now! 

C is for Collection Cosmetics

vt-collectionWe’ve always loved the bright and zany colours from UK brand, Collection Cosmetics, and their Spring collection promises to be brighter and zanier than ever. For this look, we blended teal with lime green eyeliner, which made Vanessa’s eyes look brighter and more alive. As for her lips, we layered a few generous swipes of Colour Pro Lip Lacquer on top of the Deluxe Lipstick, for a pert and juicy pout. (L-R) French Kiss Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil, Rebel Colour Pro Lip Lacquer, Speakeasy Deluxe Lipstick, Peacock Feather Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil.

Collection Cosmetics is available at selected Watsons stores, and BHG. 

D is for Derma Center

material world_derma center
Derma Center is your one-stop boutique to get professional advice and personalised diagnosis for your skin and hair. Bringing together three brands — Vichy, La Roche-Posay and SkinCeuticals — this boutique is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. One thing we’re absolutely looking forward to? For the first time ever, SkinCeuticals medi-spa facials will be available in the SkinCeuticals spa cabin within the boutique!

Derma Center is located at Westgate #02-33

E is for Elizabeth Arden

velpicstitch20140128_110507The brand is best known for using cutting-edge technology in its skincare lines, but going by this road-test, we can vouch for the fact that it creates pretty damn good base makeup too. The foundation Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 13 is lightweight in texture and blends easily into skin, yet it is also effective in neutralising redness, as well as blurring imperfections. The bronzer Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder gives features a more 3D effect, while adding a healthy, sun-kissed glow. (L-R) Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup SPF 15 (in Beige 13), Beautiful Color Gloss Stick in Sunrise 03, Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter (in First Mate 01), and Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder (in Warm Glow 01).

For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden stores, visit its website

F is for The Face Shop

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.38.24Skin feeling sore and inflamed from stress? The Face Shop’s new natural skincare line Calming Seed may just be what you need. Free of synthetic preservative, fragrance, artificial coloring, ethanol, and animal-sourced ingredients, the products contain Tamanu Seed extracts—used by Polynesian women to treat their skin troubles. 100% of the testing panel reported calmer, cooler skin after 2 weeks. We love the soft, light, creamy texture of the Skin-Resting Cream, $55.90.

The Calming Seed range is available at all The Face Shop stores islandwide.

G is for Giorgio Armani Makeup

material world_giorgio armani makeupLove your makeup light, subtle and feminine? Check out Giorgio Armani’s Spring Makeup collection. Inspired by the understated glamour of 1930’s Hollywood, this collection features plenty of pearly Nude shades and subtle shimmers. One key product to look out for is the limited edition Belladonna Highlighting Palette. It features a soft gel-to-powder, which helps brighten your complexion for a lively radiance.

Giorgio Armani Makeup is available from mid-February at DFS Scottswalk. 

H is for Hair Chalk

vt-the body shopThese limited edition hair chalks from The Body Shop are perfect if you’re still deciding whether or not to get your hair coloured, or if you just wanna try a new look for a party. Plus, it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is gather a section of your hair, place the colour pad on top (with your thumb underneath), then glide down to the tip. Available in two lively shades – Falling for Blue and Tickle Me Pink.

Available from 10 February at all The Body Shop stores. 

I is for Instagram beauty inspiration

Here are some Instagram accounts to follow if you want to be inspired to try new beauty looks every day. We love @jinsoonchoi (for manicures), @bleachlondon (for hair colour), and @michellefawn (YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan’s Instagram account).

J is for Dr Jart+

material world_dr jartIf you work in an air-conditioned environment, you’ll want a jar of Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Multi Balm on your desk permanently. This multi-purpose balm contains ceramides (the molecules that prevent moisture from evaporating from your skin), which means no more dry, scaly skin from being in an air-conditioned office all day. Unlike other cream-based moisturising lotions, this balm doesn’t leave your hands with greasy residue — in fact, the texture is more like candle wax. It also has a soothing bergamot scent that helps calm frazzled nerves during the workday.

Dr Jart+ is now available at selected Guardian and SaSa outlets.

K is for Kiehl’s
Screen shot 2014-01-30 at AM 11.49.04
Fans of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial range of skincare will be pleased to know that the brand is launching a new cream that’ll address skin dryness. Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration keeps skin moisturised for up to 24 hours with Enriched Hyaluronic Acid. A more detailed review of this super-hydrating cream will be posted up on Material World soon. But, if you can’t wait, hop down to your nearest Kiehl’s store to a 7-day sample.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration is available at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide.

L is for Laneige
No. 2 Shiny Gold

No. 2 Shiny Gold

The Spring eyeshadow palettes of Laneige come with high-pigmented shades that promise high-color realization. With 7 palettes to choose from, you can create a natural day-look or glamorous smoky-eye look. Personal favourite of the team? No. 2 Shiny Gold. Each palette retails for $40.

Laneige boutiques can be found at ION Orchard, JCube and Plaza Singapura.

M is for Maybelline Color Tattoo

Don’t you hate it when your eye makeup smudges or cakey after a day of being out and about? Being a busy go-getter, the last thing you need is to spend time cleaning off and re-applying your makeup. Maybeline Color Tattoo is an intense cream-gel that adheres to your eyelid easily, and clings on all day. No fading, no smudging, no caking. What’s more, this versatile product can be used as base makeup for your eyes, an eyeshadow, or even an eyeliner (you just need a fine-tipped brush).

Maybelline Color Tattoo is available at Watsons.

N is for Nars

Nars new

Bright, shimmery colours make up the colour palette for Nars’ Spring 2014 makeup collection. The Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, made up of gold lamé and iridescent smoky orchid, is a must-have in your makeup pouch. The gold shadow leaves a slight shimmer on your lids, making you look bright and perky during the day. After work, simply blend in the purple shadow from the outer corners of the lids, then dab the gold shadow on the inner corners for a sexy evening look. The Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss gives your lips a juicy pout, thanks to its high-shine formula that’s infused with nourishing ingredients. Apart from the ones featured in the photo above, Nars’ Spring 2014 collection also comprises pencil liners in vibrant shades like metallic aquamarine, and a lip pencil in striking mandarin red. (L-R) Kauai Duo Eye Shadow, Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss.

Nars is available at TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Orchard. 

O is for Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Cream

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at PM 12.31.44Gravity can be such a party-pooper sometimes. If you think your face is starting to sag then this cream by Origins may be just the thing to give your jowls a lift! Promising to give your face the enviable the “V-shape”, the cream also claims to make your chin look slimmer and sharper. Well, there’s only one way to find out …

Origins can be found at Robinsons Orchard and TANGS Vivocity.

P is for Porcelain, The Face Spa

Material World_Soothe Mist Toner
If you’re a regular reader of Material World, you’ll know that we are fans of the facial treatments at Porcelain, The Face Spa. Apart from facials, this homegrown brand also carries their own line of skincare products. Porcelain Soothe, Mist Toner is a hydrating product that can be used after cleansing your face or even as a midday perk-me-up. With ingredients like Witch Hazel extracts, and vitamins C and E, this toner is robust enough to take on free radicals caused by environmental damage, but is still gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.

Soothe, Mist Toner is available at Porcelain, The Face Spa

Q is for …


R is for RMK

velpicstitch20140129_115847This season, dramatic eyes make way for healthy, radiant skin and bold lips. RMK’s S/S 2014 collection is centred around fun, flirty pink, which is best epitomised by its W Crayon & Gloss Lips. On its own, the lip crayon has gives a matte finish with impressive staying power. Top it off with the semi-transparent gloss for a glossy finish – a great way to quickly change up the look to look more glamorous for evening events. RMK Kaleidoscope Nuance Color contains six different hues and six different textured powders to help contour and sculpt your featured, while giving it an unmistakable glow. (Clockwise from left) Kaleidoscopic Eyes 01, Kaleidoscope Nuance Color 01, W Crayon & Gloss Lips 02

RMK can be found at Isetan Scotts Level 1, Isetan Serangoon Central and Takashimaya D.S.

S is for Shiseido 

shiseido newLove the summertime glow but don’t wish to get a tan? With Shiseido’s Spring 2014 makeup collection, you’ll be able to find just the products to create that sun-kissed look. Apply the shimmery soft beige cream around the eyes, then blend in the yellow cream. For lips, dab on the lip gloss in pale lavender for a hint of colour. (L-R) Lacquer Gloss Lacque Brilliance in VI708, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in BE217, Shimmering Cream Eye Color Ombre Creme Satinee in YE216. 

Shiseido can be located at TANGS, Robinsons and Takashimaya.

T for Too Faced

toofaced-mascaraThis mascara by Too Faced has made some rather bold claims – the most obvious being its name, Better Than Sex. And, based on the consumer study results, there was a 1,944-percent increase in lash volume, with 100 percent of the participants reporting dramatic volume and longer lashes. Lili, who claims to be “lash-deprived” was more than excited to try out this mascara. The first thing you’ll notice is its hourglass-shaped brush. Shaped after the silhouette of a woman, the brush was designed to separate, coat and curl each lash. This mascara has also got a long-wearing, smudge-proof formula with Acia Senegal tree extract to nourish the lashes. Application was a breeze; one single coat was enough to plump up and lengthen her sparse lashes. “While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s better than sex, it is one of the better mascaras I’ve tried,” says Lili.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is available at Sephora outlets islandwide. 

U is for uemulo munenoli for shu uemura

uemulo for shu uemura new uniformStarting this month, shu uemura’s Beauty Stylists will sport a chic new look courtesy of Tokyo fashion label uemulo munenoli. You may wonder, “But it’s just a uniform. Why put in so much attention?” But according to the brand, its late founder Mr Shu Uemura once said that beauty stylists are like actors performing on the stage, except in this case they are delivering “artful performance centering on makeup and skincare.”

Check out this new uniform at all shu uemura counters islandwide.

V is for Vera Wang Princess Pink

Dressed in hot pink glitter, this limited edition Vera Wang fragrance is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! The scent is a heady mix of pink grapefruit, dewberry and raspberry sorbet, marshmallow fluff and sandalwood—just what we would expect of a budding new romance!

Vera Wang Pink Princess EDT is available exclusively at SaSa stores islandwide.

W is for … Water Transfer Nail Decals

material world_gummi nails
Always loved those cute and delicate nail art but find it too expensive to get a manicurist to paint it on for you? Well, now you can easily do it at home with Water Transfer Nail Decals from Gummi Nails. Available in assorted designs, these nail decals are super easy to apply. Check out the tutorial here.

X is for …


Y is for Yves Rocher
Not only is it Yves Rocher’s best-selling range, every product you buy from the Elixir 7.9 line will help plant a tree in the world. The brand hopes to plant 50 million trees by 2015 so every bit of help you can give this initiative will benefit our planet tremendously. Made from 7 active botanical ingredients, the Elixir 7.9 serum promises to intensify the rejuvenating effects of your current anti-ageing skincare. Read our review of the serum and the eye roll-on here.

Yves Rocher is located at Westgate #02-16.

Z is for Za 

velpicstitch20140127_153348Never again will you have to make the tough decision between lipstick and gloss with Za Rich-Glam Liquid Rouge. This lip product promises to give the rich, pigmented look of a lipstick and the high-shine finish of a gloss. What we like about this is its applicator — it dispenses just the right amount of colour, and is spoon-shaped to fit the curve of your lips for fuss-free application. The shade shown here is RS481.

Za is available at all Watsons stores.

There you go! You can’t call yourself a beauty junkie until you go through everything on this list! Yes, yes, we know there are 24 instead of 26. Pictures of the looks on Denise, Vanessa and Lili were taken with the Sony QX100.

Branded Content, Infographics

[Infographic] Stress & Women In Singapore – Deborah Tan

More than a month ago, we invited the readers of Material World to take a survey on stress. Through this survey, we had hoped to get an idea how stress affects women aged 25 to 34 physically and emotionally. Here’s what we have learnt:

1. An overwhelming 75% of respondents say they are more stressed NOW than they were 2 years ago

2. Slightly over 70% of respondents say although they feel stress on a daily basis, it is still at a manageable level

3. The effects of stress are most likely seen in weight gain (25%) and exhaustion (33%)

4. 72% of respondents say they deal with stress by going out for a good meal. About half say they deal with stress by going for a work out.

Beauty brand Shiseido has recently found out that stress has a negative impact on our skin because when subjected to stress, our skin cells lose hydration and become irregular in shape. This causes gaps to form between our skin cells, making it easier for pollution, bacteria and irritants to invade our skin.

Together with Shiseido, Material World produced this infographic to highlight how stress is affecting women in Singapore. Respondents did not know this survey was carried out in conjunction with Shiseido and were not offered any form of remuneration for their time. Although they were asked if they would like to try a skincare sample, they were not told which brand this sample would be from.

We hope you’ll enjoy this infographic as much as we did producing it.

Happy Monday and don’t let stress get you down!

Brought to you by Shiseido Ibuki

Brought to you by Shiseido Ibuki

The survey “Stress and Women in Singapore” and the infographic were done with the support of Shiseido to help raise awareness for their new skincare range Ibuki. All opinions expressed by the survey’s respondents are INDEPENDENT of Shiseido and were not vetted by the client. All product information offered are for the purposes of education and awareness.

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. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

[If you like this story, you’ll love]

1. [Infographic] The Great Eye Experiment Results

2. Beauty Review: Shiseido Ibuki

3. The Best Way To Beat Stress

4. Gain Strength From Stress

Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: Shiseido Ibuki – Deborah Tan

Take it from me: adult acne is a bitch.

There’s just something about it that makes it so difficult to deal with. Is it really hormonal? Well, not when you are already 28! Is it really due to diet? Or, is it because some of us just attract bacteria more than other women? I was hit pretty hard with adult acne in my 20s.

Some of the frustrations I had dealing with adult acne included:

1. Every cleanser is either too harsh or is simply too irritating for the skin. There was always a layer of “something” on your skin that you want to clean off but just can’t!

2. Skincare products can’t penetrate the “thick, scabby” layer of zits to work their magic. No matter what you apply, nothing works because nothing gets in.

3. You’re either shining with too much oil or you’re flaking from powerful zit treatments or anti-shine skincare products.

That was when I learnt that healthy skin isn’t just oil-free skin. Healthy skin is a result of a number of factors coming together: diet, lifestyle, effective stress management, and most of all, hydration inside and out.

And this is why Shiseido’ new skincare range Ibuki will help address the problems women in their 20s – 30s have when it comes to achieving a perfect complexion.

Girls, meet Shiseido's new skincare range, Ibuki

Girls, meet Shiseido’s new skincare range, Ibuki

The Logic:
Shiseido has discovered that skin cells contract under stress, which negatively impacts its metabolism and turnover rate. This is when you get excess cells hardening on the surface of your skin and start noticing that your products aren’t working for you any longer. It’s not that your skin has developed a “resistance” towards your products, it’s because it is now covered in a hardened layer that is preventing products from getting absorbed.

The Science:
With the Ibuki skincare range, Shiseido introduces the Shape Memorizing Cell Technology. It basically “remembers” the shape of your skin cell in its healthiest state and as and when your skin cell shrinks due to stress or external aggressors, it keeps it plump with moisture so your skin remains healthy and resilient.

The Result: 
I have been trying Ibuki for close to a month now and I have found that my complexion stays fresher for longer. Driving around town all day for meetings and events leaves me with precious little time, and privacy, for touch-ups. I’ll take anything that keeps my “face” on for as long as possible!

Gentle Cleanser
I particularly like the foam produced by the Gentle Cleanser. Thick and pillowy-soft, it massages your skin as if you are using a creamy puff. The plumping effect can be immediately felt after cleansing. Whereas most cleansers do their jobs of washing the dirt and grime away, this one has a “thirst-quenching” feel, which comforts the skin. It also has a relaxing scent – great for when the only thing you want is to relax after being stuck in a jam on the way home.

Perfect pick-me-up while on the go

Perfect pick-me-up while on the go – Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream

Refining Moisturizer
The lotion-moisturiser is a bit too thin for my liking. I guess I’m finally getting older cos I’m appreciating creams more than lotions and gels these days. Nonetheless, it gets absorbed quickly and – this is what I like best about it – it works perfectly fine as a pre-makeup base. It leaves the skin soft and fresh and, helps my foundation blend into my skin more easily. This is very useful because these days, I find I have less than 15 minutes to put on my makeup.

Eye Correcting Cream 
The small tube is great for carrying around with you when you’re out and about. By mid-day, my eyes always feel like they’ve been punched and my eyeliner is smudged and murky-looking. What I like to do is to pop into the Ladies’, clean up my eyes and give them a gentle massage with this cream. A quick relining of the eyes and I’m good to go to my next appointment again!

From oily skin to dry skin to tired skin … there is a whole host of skincare problems out there to fix. But none of these can be dealt with effectively if you don’t restore resilience to your skin’s inner structure. So give Ibuki a try for a month or two and then see if your usual skincare products start to work for you again.

The Shiseido Ibuki range was given to Material World for review. All opinions are the author’s own. 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 loves a moisturiser with a dreamily soft texture. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Makeup

6 Ways To Be In An Even Better Mood – Deborah Tan

If there was one product that seems to be able to stand the test of time and changing economic environments, it would be the … LIPSTICK. Amazingly, it is the one thing women buy more of when times are bad. Journalists and social scientists have come to term this phenomenon as the Lipstick Effect – as their salaries go down, the propensity for a person to invest in goods related to his/her appearance goes up.

You can read about the Lipstick Effect all over the Internet. What we would like to focus on here are the new lippies that are coming up in the market this Fall. We are going to focus on 3 brands today, 2 shades each, and how they can make your mood even better.

If you are needing a pick-me-up …

Red Hot Raspberry

Red Hot Raspberry

Mention 100% cruelty-free, 100% vegetarian makeup and one might just go, “Pfft … does it even have any colour?” Ladies, be amazed by this wonderful range of lipsticks from The Body Shop. A Colour Crush Lipstick is made from the finest quality crushed pigments (no beetles!) and contains community fair trade marula oil to moisturise your lips. The colour return is PHWOAR! Don’t take my word for it … see the evidence below:

Looking bright and chirpy in hot pink!

Looking bright and chirpy in hot pink!

If you want to be feel like a million bucks …

Screen shot 2013-08-14 at PM 03.44.01

Enraptured Red

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Enraptured Red will give your look the sexy oomph! Be it a glamorous cocktail or a girls’ night out, this chilli-red lipstick has just found its place into my personal collection of red lippies. The zing you feel in your mood is INSTANTANEOUS!

If you want to feel like a lady … 

Perfect Rouge in Titian RS306

Perfect Rouge in Titian RS306

You won’t ever go wrong with Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge in Titian (RS306). I’m always iffy about lipsticks from (1) Asian brands and (2) are almost nude in colour. Reason being, past experiences have always shown these lippies to be way too sheer. I’m the sort who wants to see the colour on the stick appear 100% SATURATED on my lips. This nude-rose shade doesn’t disappoint and it did not make my lips look too “nude” either. The plus point: I have cracked, lined lips … and this is one of the rare lippies I’ve tried to give my lips a smooth appearance (see below). Super win! 

Smooth, line-free lips

Smooth, line-free lips

If you want to be subtly sexy … 

Lacquer Rouge in Caramel RD215

Lacquer Rouge in Caramel RD215

The second Fall offering from Shiseido is its Lacquer Rouge – a liquid lipstick you apply with an applicator. The shade here is a caramel and again, it shows up on the lips looking like … yes, you’ve got it … CARAMEL. It doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on the lips and I like how it looks almost like a natural lip colour with just a tinge of delicious brown. Makes me almost wanna lick my lips when I checked myself out in the mirror. I hope the boyfriend feels the same effect.

If you want to take a break from the limelight … 

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres in 102

YSL Rebel Nudes Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres in 102

Nothing wrong with that. Every lady needs her quiet-time! So what do you wear? A lippie that gives your lips just a tinge of healthy colour like YSL Rebel Nudes Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres in 102. A coral-nude colour that’s not too “over”, this liquid lip-colour feels good on the lips (it’s got a mild cooling sensation) and again, doesn’t feel like you are wearing a layer of super-glue over them.

First time trying coral ... not bad!

First time trying coral … not bad!

If you want to feel sunny and happy …

YSL Rebel Nude Rouge Pur Couture Vernie A Levres in 110

YSL Rebel Nude Rouge Pur Couture Vernie A Levres in 110

Then you will adore this easy-to-wear shade from the same YSL range in 110. A strawberry-cream colour that wears well on Asian skin tones, it looks particularly good in natural light. The YSL applicator is also shaped like a sweetheart so it really lets you apply this lippie without the fear of it going over the lips. I love the scent too!

So there you have it, six lippies that will put you in an instant good mood or, an even better mood. Who needs expensive holidays when you can cheer yourself up by adding some beautiful colour to your lips? I swear by red lipsticks whenever I feel a bit “dowdy” or “off.

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 Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Now … I have FOUR The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipsticks to give away. To win ALL FOUR LIPSTICKS FOR YOURSELF, follow the instructions below:

(From L to R): Raspberry In Love, Damsel In Distress, Blushing Pink, Passionate Pink

(From L to R): Raspberry In Love, Damsel In Distress, Blushing Pink, Passionate Pink

1. Complete this sentence in the Comments section below – “I wear lipstick to feel _________.”

2. Then Share this story with your Friends on Facebook. Tag “Material World” on your post. You need to make sure it’s on Public setting so we can verify that you have completed this step.

3. Then PM us your details (name, age, occupation, email address) and state “Colour Crush” in your message.

You need to be a member of Material World’s Facebook Page to enter this contest. Closing date is Friday, 16 August 2013.

The lipsticks featured in this story were given to Material World for review. All opinions are the author’s own. Please read our advertising policy. The Body Shop lipsticks for the contest are from Material World’s press samples.

[If you love this story, you’ll like]

1. Beauty Review: Maybelline Bold Matte

2. The 5 Things You Need For Beautiful Eyes

3. [Infographic] Lipstick Shades: Decoded

Branded Content, Contests, Lifestyle, Vacations & Staycations

[Material World x Shiseido] A Very Brief Respite – Vanessa Tai

During the weekend of the recent Malaysian elections, I was in KL for a media visit to the newly opened The Majestic Hotel (5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tel: (603) 2785 8000)

This iconic landmark harks back to the almost-forgotten era of colonial Malaysia. Built in the 1930s, the hotel retains its old-world charm but has been given a contemporary update by talented Malaysian architect Zaidan Tahir. We arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon, and were immediately whisked away for a hotel tour followed by a business dinner in the evening.

The gorgeous hotel lobby

The sumptuously decorated hotel lobby

The suite I stayed in was large – there were two rooms and two television sets – and was located in the hotel wing that included round-the-clock butler service.While it was thrilling to experience butler service (check out the picture below!), I only had Sunday morning to explore the city so I knew I couldn’t hole myself up in the hotel for too long. I decided to check out Bangsar, a chic suburb about a 15-minute drive away.

My butler gamely striking a pose as he serves breakfast

My butler gamely striking a pose as he serves breakfast

Getting ready to head out!

Getting ready to head out!

The weather in KL was as scorching as the weather in Singapore. As I stepped outside the hotel, I was confronted with a wall of searing heat and dust. That got me worried. I was recovering from a case of chemical burns from using an over-the-counter pimple cream and the last thing I wanted was for them to get worse. I hoped the Shiseido sunscreen I’m wearing would do its job protecting my fragile skin. My companions were amused at my vigilance – I obediently reapplied my sunblock every 2 – 3 hours – but admitted that the sunscreen blended flawlessly and did not leave behind a whitish mask.

Touching up sunscreen while on the go

Re-applying sunscreen while on the go

Bangsar is home to many upmarket eateries, shops, and even a shopping mall that houses familiar favourites like Zara and Ted Baker. The rows of short, squat buildings and trendy cafes reminded me of Holland Village, my stomping ground in Singapore. While I didn’t have time for retail therapy, I managed to indulge in some sinfully delicious French baked goods at the five-month-old French boulangerie called Yeast (12 Jalan Telawi 6, Bangsar Baru 59100, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Tel: (603) 2282 7112). About 80 percent of the stuff they use is imported from France, from the ovens right down to the flour. And yes, they make their own yeast, hence the name. I had the tuna and Dijon mustard quiche, which was buttery and oozing with flavour.

Delicious to the last bite!

Delicious to the last bite!

After my meal at Yeast, I had rush back to the hotel to refresh myself and pack my luggage before leaving for the airport. As the train chugged its way out of the city toward the airport, I couldn’t help but feel wistful that I didn’t have more time to explore the rest of the Malaysian capital. From whatever little I managed to check out, Kuala Lumpur has really transformed drastically since my last visit 10 years ago. According to Christophe, the owner of Yeast, Bangsar is just one of many up-and-coming suburbs in the city and the posh nosh scene in KL looks set to revolutionise within the next few years. Well, when it does, I’ll definitely be back to check it out!

My thoughts on Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA++++

$59, available at Shiseido counters islandwide

$59, available at Shiseido counters islandwide

“A bad episode with an anti-acne treatment recently left a burn mark on my face, so I was extra vigilant about shielding my skin from the sun. The last thing I wanted was for dark patches to form! Before this trip, the Material World girls met up with Iris and Cassandra from Shiseido and were introduced to the brand’s latest range of sunscreens. These sunscreens target the microscopic gaps in your skin, ensuring lotion is spread evenly across the tiny ridges and furrows, leaving no room for UV rays to penetrate through.

What I personally love about this sunscreen is its watery texture, and how you can apply it without a mirror – it blends into your skin that easily! Unlike the thicker, gloopier consistency of cream-based sunscreens, I didn’t need to check a mirror to make sure I had applied mine evenly. I can just apply it on the go. Another advantage of its lightweight texture is how it doubles up as a makeup base. Because it smoothens out the surface of your skin, my BB cream went on much more evenly after.

The sunscreen not only protected my skin from the sun, it also acted as a guard against the dust. When I returned to the hotel after lunch in Bangsar, I was shocked to see how grimy the water looked after I washed my face. I cringed at the thought of all that dust sitting on my face so good thing the sunscreen acted as a barrier of sorts. At a meeting yesterday, my Material World partners even commented how much fairer my skin now looks. Score!”

Apart from the Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+PA++++, Shiseido Suncare also comes in three other variants.

Click here to read our reviews of these Shiseido sunscreens, and find out how you can score a 3-day sample.

This article is brought to you by Shiseido. All opinions expressed are the author’s own and were not vetted by the brand’s owner.


Material World has 1 of each variant to give away! Here’s how to enter your name for this draw:

1. Share this post with your Facebook friends by clicking the Facebook button at the bottom of this post.

2. Tag Material World’s Facebook Page.

3. Then Private Message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with your details (Name, Age, NRIC No, Occupation, Email Address). Remember to state clearly that you’re entering the Shiseido contest.

Only followers of Material World is eligible for this contest, please Like our Facebook Page here. Failure to follow all 3 steps above will result in disqualification. Winners will have to be prepared to collect the sunscreens in person at a time and place stated by Material World. We will not be sending the prizes to you by mail or by courier, please take note.

Contest ends May 28, 2013.

You can also score yourself a 3-day sample! Click here to find out how to claim it.

Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

MW Reviews … Shiseido Sunscreens – Deborah Tan

perfectuvprotectorWhile Vanessa got to test her Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA++++ in KL, the rest of us reviewed the other 3 variants of Shiseido’s latest range of sunscreens back home.

Besides the Perfect UV Protector, the other three sunscreens are:

1. Shiseido Multi-Defense UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++, $59

2. Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protector Extra Mild SPF 30 PA+++, $62

3. Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Plus SPF 50 UVA, $65

When it comes to sun protection, Shiseido is the go-to brand as it was the first to establish a UVA rating system of PA (Protection Grade of UVA). For this range of sunscreens, a proprietary technology has been introduced to address the concerns women have about their usual sunscreens and to better protect the skin.

The OptiVeil-UV Technology recognises TWO problems women tend to raise with their sunscreens:
1. The higher its resistance to water and sweat, the more difficult it is to remove it while cleansing
2. The higher its UVA and UVB protection, the thicker its texture and the more uncomfortable it feels on skin

With this technology, sunscreen particles have a special coating that isn’t just water- and sweat-resistant but gentle enough to react to a water-based cleanser so they can be easily removed from the skin. These sunscreen particles are also able to deposit themselves into the ridges of skin’s surface so you get protection without the need to slather on a thick layer.

But, enough of the jargon. Here’s what the Material World founders have to say about the sunscreens:

Multidefense50debsDeborah tried Shiseido Multi-Defense UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++
First impressions: The watery texture of the sunscreen left me extremely skeptical about its protection ability. But I do love that it “disappeared” into the skin without a single trace. Except for the subtle glitter of light reflecting powders (this sunscreen also has a skin brightening benefit), I could hardly tell I’ve got sunscreen on.

How it compares to my current sunscreen: To be honest, if I tested it on my face, I wouldn’t be able to see a significant improvement simply because I already wear a sunscreen daily. So, I tested in on my RIGHT arm. Since I drive, my right arm is way darker than my left. After a week of using Multi-Defense UV Protector, my right arm is now almost the same shade as my left.

Last words: I’ve also found the skin on my right arm looking a lot “glowier” than the left these days. It’s almost as if the skin on the right arm is healthier, more hydrated than the left. If you’re still wondering whether or not to start using a sunscreen, my advice is a firm yes.

urban30mildGreenTAG 2Denise tried Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protector Extra Mild SPF 30 PA+++
First impressions:
This sunscreen is a bit creamier than I usually like. Unlike Debs, I totally love watery textures. With this sunscreen, I had to wait a bit longer before I can apply my makeup. I adore the fact that it is free of chemical sunscreen agents, alcohol, fragrances and parabens. It’s great for those with sensitive skin and for kids.

How it compares with my current sunscreen: I’m already a user a of the Perfect UV Protector (the one Vanessa reviewed). I like the Perfect UV Protector for its watery texture and it works well as a makeup base. Still, for those who have dehydrated, sensitive skin that acts up in air-conditioned environments, the Urban Environment UV Protector Extra Mild will prove to be a comfortable sunscreen for you.

Last words: With all the talk about how we should really be using physical sunscreens rather than chemical ones, this is a product you’ll want to try. It is lighter than most physical sunscreens and a lot easier to remove.

Urban50creamLiliLili tried Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Plus SPF 50 UVA
First impressions:
This sunscreen feels great on my dry skin. Despite its slightly-thicker texture, it is easy to blend and does not leave behind any white marks on the face. Even without makeup, my skin sports a healthy, moisturised glow.

How it compares with my current sunscreen: The sunscreen I was using didn’t feel as luxurious or nourishing on my skin. The Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Plus also helped my makeup stay on longer compared to my current sunscreen.

Last words: If you’re conscious about the “shine” this cream sunscreen gives, then use a big brush and lightly dust a thin layer of two-way foundation over your skin. This will help to tone down the sheen without hiding the radiance.

The sunscreens were given to Material World for review purposes. All opinions are the author’s and the reviewers’ own.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and is obsessed with the tan on her right arm. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Score a 3-day sample when you flash this article on your phone at the following Shiseido counters:
1. Takashimaya, Tel: 6735 1039
2. Isetan Scotts, Tel: 6735 0679
3. Metro Paragon, Tel: 6734 2052 
4. Tangs Orchard, Tel: 6733 2589 
5. Robinsons Raffles City, Tel: 6339 4408 
Limited to the first 100 visitors, 1 redemption per person per counter. While stocks last.