A Girl’s Guide To Singapore’s Hidden Gems

Forget about seeing the Merlion statue or an obligatory photo of the Marina Bay Sands. If you think that Singapore is what you see in Crazy Rich Asians, believe me, the one you see on screen is just another Hollywood fantasy.

Deep inside the Lion City’s dense concrete jungle, there’s a buzzing energy that sweeps beyond the MRT. Inside the packed streets, there’s always a new café or art gallery popping around the block or a mere tap away thanks to Instagram. Given that it’s so easy to walk past anywhere in the +65, the best experiences are always from the hidden hotspots. 

Must you go to any coffee shop (not the Amsterdam kinds, mind you!), bar, restaurant or club, sometimes, a little post on the ‘gram is all it takes to immortalize the experience and tell all your friends about it.

Since Singapore’s been through 1,001 face lifts every year, here are some hidden gems that you need to add on your bookmark ASAP:  

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Lacoste Is Ready To Slay The Streets With Its Customizable Unisexy Sneaker

Cotton polo tees, alligator logos and perfume ads that bear bold capitalized letters are all it takes to recognize a Lacoste from a mile away. Known for its preppy meets sporty aesthetic, the French brand does the unthinkable: launch a sneaker.

Dubbed the “WildCard”, Lacoste’s fresh new kicks offer a street-friendly version of the old school tennis sneaker. Made with leather and mesh, the WildCard sneakers have a low platform that makes it easily wearable to walk whether you’re at the tennis court or the sidewalks at Orchard. Although it’s marketed towards men, it can be worn by us, too. Compared to its past sneaker designs, Lacoste gives us the option to customize it however we want!

In honor of its drop, Lacoste has thrown a party last Friday at Orchard Central. Featuring local acts such as Tabitha Nauser, a Singapore-based singer, and Dharni, a Poland-based beatboxer, this party was a night that I could never forget.

Catch a glimpse of the launch party here:

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Is This Influencer-Loved Activewear Set Worth The IG Hype?

Activewear brands come and go just like how we often tend to clear out our closets whenever we’re bored. Even as under the radar companies are constantly challenged to break the market, what’s more important is how they aim to boot up the game. Rather than me reviewing a new brand, it’s time for me to rekindle with a familiar face I reviewed a year and a quarter ago.

Rather than going by Touché LA, it’s rebranded itself LA Collective, an activewear umbrella that represents 3 brands: TLA by Morgan Stewart, Ren Active (whom they collaborated with model Alexis Ren) and Vita LA. Launched last year, Vita LA’s brought out an array of fun prints (e.g. tie dye), unconventional details (e.g. aged denim) and a range of colors that make you think of sorbets at the ice cream shop. Backed by 37K Instagram followers and a handful of sold out listings, it’s no wonder that this under the radar cult activewear brand is already on its way to knock the big dogs down.

Jaynee got in touch with me again to send me a new pastel rose denim-inspired set that consisted of leggings, tank top and sports bra. The moment I woke up, I was more than excited to review it! While it’s easy for me to be let down by the amount of hype than quality in today’s activewear, is this new set from VITA LA worth the Instagram hype?

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A Letter To Karl Lagerfeld

Dear Karl,

It’s been three days since you passed away and honestly, I am so speechless. Although I have never met you in person, I felt that you were meant to be in my life since I was a child.

Growing up, I saw my mother wear Chanel since I was a baby. Before my mother purchased the tweed two pieces, she started small with a gold charm bracelets and leather trimmed chain belts that bore the brand’s logo. Then, she slowly added more belts to her collection by stocking up on a rhinestone belt alongside a wide logo gold chain belt. Apart from belts, she started collecting bags of every color, texture and size. Whether it’s a matte lilac Classic, chocolate brown croc mini tote or a basic black velvet clutch with a tassel, each bag always added a touch of luxurious elegance to an outfit. After the bags and jewelry, my mom started collecting a smorgasbord of jackets, t-shirts, skirts and tops to the point where I couldn’t reach the back of her closet. Looking back at my mom, I realized that you transformed her from a meek housewife to a confident fashion queen.

Although I yearned to wear her Chanel collection, I was too young to wear it as my mom didn’t want teenage me to grow up too fast. In fact, she’d rather have me wear her unbranded hand me downs or my grandma’s homemade clothes than to touch her precious Chanel collection.

Finally, I got my chance to wear Chanel when my father bought me a quilted faux pearl strapped handbag and long pearl and resin necklace for my 20th birthday. For my 20-year-old self, I felt that I didn’t deserve to wear them. Without much understanding about the value of a Chanel accessory, I randomly looked up the infamous ankle bag on The Real Real four years ago. Then, I Googled the patent leather vanity bag. Much to my surprise, I was shocked to learn that these archive pieces ran up to a four figured price tag. I learned that regardless of design or year, every Chanel piece is a heirloom connected to a storied house with a history of making women feel confident, classy and fabulous.

Now that I’m building my design career with baby steps, it’s so hard for me to picture a world without you. (Side note: I’m crying as I type this!) While we know that no human is perfect, I am so thankful that you want to step things up by including sustainability in fashion. As someone who wants to reduce environmental waste in an era of fast fashion, you have inspired me to make fashion fun while being ethically mindful of how we make and consume things.

Last but not least, the world has lost an angel, but heaven’s gained a virtuoso.

Sincerely,

M

Feature image courtesy of Instagram @chanelofficial

@virgomood is the muse that every designer, fashion girl and stylist is secretly obsessed with

Two years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram on a cold NYC evening while taking a break from typing up an article. Constantly on a search for new inspiration, I stalked my friend’s account and stumbled upon a feed filled with photos of models strutting down a runway. As I clicked on each photo, my eyes couldn’t stay away from the caption. Rather than the familiar faces that I know of, I was shocked to learn that these stunning women were not named Naomi, Christy, Cindy, Kate or Linda. Not to forget, the designers (e.g. Todd Oldham) seemed relatively obscure to an outsider. From there, I realized that the entire feed expressed the inner emotions of a 22-year-old dental student who goes by @virgomood.

Based in Chicago, the fashionista has 324,000+ followers (myself included) who keep up with her eclectically curated photos of runway moments, red carpet arrivals, lingerie editorials and the occasional interior design shots. Thanks to its edgy, feminine and sensual feed, Virgo Mood attracts legions of followers from stylists (Mimi Cuttrell; Dani Michelle),designers (Area; Susan Alexandra), musicians (Sky Ferreira) and retailers (IRVRSBL).

We chat about the inspiration behind that iconic handle, her fascination with vintage lingerie, how Naomi Campbell sparked her obsession with all things vintage, the hardest about curating a feed and the model she’d love to style.

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The Top 10 Iconic Graphic Tees That Defined Celebrity Fashion

Slogans and logos are worth a thousand words in one shirt. As a closet essential, a graphic tee is a treasured heirloom that can’t be thrown away. Regardless of color, brand and silhouette, every girl HAS to have a graphic tee.

As a t-shirt collector, I’m a sucker for GOOD t-shirts – especially, graphic tees. Although I love plain fitted white or black tee, the one thing that I have a steady collection of is graphic shirts. Inside my collection it kinda goes like this: fitted or oversized; long or short; faded or factory fresh. Since I love being able to own a handful of graphic tees, I just can’t live without them. However, the type of graphic tees that I wish I can own are worn by celebrities.

Being a pop culture geek myself, graphic tees have always made a splash on some of the most famous photographs in the world. Given that most celebrities from the ’80s to early ’00s didn’t hire a stylist to dress them up on off-duty, I always felt that a graphic tee was the most F you way to express yourself without opening a single word from your mouth.

Here are my most favorite iconic graphic tees that I wish I owned:

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Be Bad and Bougee with Winky Lux: Is the App’s Favorite Cult Brand Worth The Hype?

What looks hot on IG may not always live up to the hype IRL, but if there’s one beauty brand who is truly killing it, it’s Winky Lux.

Based in NYC, Winky Lux made a claim to fame with its insatiable matcha balms, which are stored inside a pill capsule-like casing. Not to forget, its colorful graphics and kitschy cute aesthetic is also its claim to collecting more than 200,000+ followers on IG.

Although I can’t get my hands on it at a local beauty store anywhere in Southeast Asia, thankfully, Winky Lux’s PR team sent me an array of products to pamper myself. (Never have I ever felt *this* excited to add ’em into my fall beauty haul!)

Underneath all the cute packaging and presentable products, is the hype surrounding everyone’s favorite cult brand worth it?

  1. Winky Lux Kitten Eyeshadow Palette

Ooh la la…Where can I begin? Blessed with nine shades of matte, holographic and shimmer finishes, I am over the moon with its diversity. Intended to create a sexy, smoky eye, this is no typical gray-based palette. Instead, you’ll get a nude-base mauve pink (Breading), dusty rose (Penelope), holographic pinkish white (Holographic Biscuits), frosty silver-based pale purple (Meow Down), purple-gray taupe (Caturday), camel brown (Grumpy), gilded dark brown (Frisky) and copper (Instafamous) eyeshadows. While it looked intimidating to begin with, each shade is easy to blend as it delivers opacity on each layer. Not to forget, each color blends beautifully with or without the aid of a brush. Much to my surprise, it stayed on really long (with minimal creasing from my oily eyelids)!

I used Breading as a base and did an ombré effect with the rest of the colors on top of it. Holographic Biscuits looks beautiful as a stunning inner corner highlighter. Just do a gradiated ombré with the last 3 brown shades of the palette!

Anywhere than that, the pigment powder tends to get everywhere if you use a brush. Priced at $25 USD, you’ll get a bang for your buck with all nine shades, baby! (*Dr. Evil laugh*)

See how much I used up? You know it’s THIS good when you see some dents inside the palette.

2. Winky Lux So Extra Mascara

Like any other mascara, it’s rich in pigment. However, this mascara neither clumps easily nor does it feel sticky. Instead, the formula feels airy as a mousse. If you are expecting mega volume, it actually gives subtle volume with each coat. But anywhere than that, it doesn’t run down to your lashes and lower lids at the end of the day due to its beeswax and olive oil-based formula. Trust me, THIS is the best under $30 USD mascara that you must splurge on!

3. Winky Lux Mini Lipstick Kit Set of 5

Honey, I shrank the lipstick! Built to be the half the size of your pinky, you have the freedom to switch between two shades of nubile nudes (Pippy; Meow), a ravishing red (Poppy), plus two shades of punchy purples (Royal; City).

Top: City; Middle: Pippy and Meow; Bottom: Poppy and Royal

Delivering a lotta color in one go, each shade is very durable as it can last at least four hours without the need to reapply. But if I have to pick the best 3, Pippy, Meow and Poppy perform the best as they are easiest to apply. On the other hand, City was the toughest to apply as the color was uneven during application.

In terms of the design, the pill case doesn’t look practical (apart from the aesthetic), but much to my amusement, it’s really easy to hold it. Plus, it wins a lotta points in the practicality department as you can sneak ’em inside your clutch!

If you don’t know what to give to your friend for Xmas, this is the best stocking stuffer.

4. Winky Lux Glimmer pH Balm in Rosé

Like the matcha lip balm, this one comes with a whole lotta shimmer in one tube with subtle microfine rose gold glitter. Despite not being able to see the glitter, the pigmented (slightly shiny) neon pink finish from the balm gives the appearance of instant vitality as the formula adjusts to the pH of your lips. (Y’all can’t unsee my pic below, FYI!) Since I used to own a tube of Dior’s Lip Glow, Winky Lux’s balm gives the EXACT same color, moisture and sheen. If you can’t be bothered to spend more than $20 USD, you should go for this fantastic dupe.

P.S. This is also a GREAT base to customize your ideal MLBB shade, too!