Liv - February 2016



Bling and shiny things to covet – for all budgets ALL THAT GLITTERS

All eyes on actress Kristina Pakhomova RISING UP-UP-UP!

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NEWS | Editor’s Note


I didn’t always want to be a writer. Back in my teens, I was actually hell-bent on becoming a marine biologist – a fun fact that makes my family chuckle, as even up to this day I’ve never had a diving lesson. Thankfully, as I became a bit more clued up on my strengths and weaknesses, I chanced upon the journalistic path by contributing to newspapers and magazines throughout university, and haven’t looked back since. And as I sit here signing off our 16th issue (hurrah!) I’m reminded that – as with any aspiration worth pursuing – it’s taken a lot of hard graft to get here. Throw into the mix embarking on an expat adventure and having to adjust to a brand new way of living (something many will relate to!), it’s been a challenging couple of years, but they’ve also been rewarding and enriching. There’s something to be said for following your dreams, and if you’re a stubborn creative type, you tend not to want to settle for anything less than your true passion. That’s definitely the vibe you get from actress Kristina Pakhomova. Though the acting industry can be cut-throat, she has remained determined and driven, and last year even wrote, performed and directed her first one-woman show, Dark Room , an intimate, witty and emotional insight into the highs and lows of an expat wife’s journey. Read more about it in her cover interview on page 18. For this month’s shoot, our fashion team had fun with gorgeous gowns by Asian labels. A personal favourite, Zenchi, a Malaysian designer who has been working in Singapore for the past five years, actually made one of the dresses for our February shoot right in front of us in his studio. Witnessing his skill with tailoring and his passion for his craft was a humbling, warming experience for us all. There’s plenty more of interest in this month’s issue of LIV. In case you haven’t been that successful with sticking to your fitness resolutions in January, we’ve sussed out the most innovative slimming treatments to try now (page 28), some gorgeous lingerie (page 38) and a jewellery shopping showcase (page 40). What are you waiting for?

Happy reading!

Susannah Jaffer LIV Editor Expat Living Publications



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET

Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR LIV Editor SUSANNAH JAFFER Beauty & Wellness Editor



SMITA DESOUZA Executive Editor


Bling and shiny things to covet – for all budgets ALL THAT GLITTERS

Client Services & Production LEANDA RATHMELL | LIANA TALIB NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | BEATRICE NG | JEANNE WONG Circulation & Subscriptions ANNA TSERLINGAS Regional Sales & Marketing KATIE PEACE Partnerships & Events NATALIE WHITTELL Contributors KELLY BILIMORIA

All eyes on actress Kristina Pakhomova RISING UP-UP-UP!




For all advertising and editorial enquiries, please contact DANIELLE ROSSETTI

Cover Photography by Michael Bernabe Makeup and hair by Kelly Bilimoria,

Scan the QR code or visit

Kristina wears dress by Zenchi,, pearl necklace by Stones That Rock, (worn as a bracelet), leather and silk chain bracelets by Zenchi, cocktail ring, earring and ear cuff by Trish Van N Jewellery,





8 Beauty News 16 Fashion News 46 Social Events:

28 Svelte Agenda:

Presenting the most innovative slimming treatments for a more slender physique

Snaps from around town

48 In the Next Issue

18 Cover Feature:

Up-and-coming actress Kristina Pakhomova tells her story

33 Tried & Tested:

This month, we try out spray tanning and a Brazilian wax – ouch!

38 Luxe Lingerie:

Sexy smalls for a more confident you

35 Acupuncture:

40 Haute Jewellery:

What it’s all about, and why you should try it now

Cocktail jewels to diamond delights



LIV LOVES When we spied Chanel’s new bold and bright limited-edition Première Rock Pop timepieces, it was love at first sight. With colours inspired by summer and pop art and a unique wrap chain bracelet, this number will add a chic statement to any ensemble. Our recommendation? Pair with a luxe tee and boyfriend jeans, and let the watch do the talking. $6,500


Picture: Chanel,

Beauty News

UPFRONT | Beauty News

Products, treatments and trends to try now

Inspired by the traditional Japanese ritual of soaking in mineral-rich thermal spring water, Onsen Japonica products harness the hydrating benefits of thermal and medicinal waters. Along with pure certified onsen water (sourced from the only spring approved for this purpose by the Japanese government), locally sourced and handpicked rice lees and sacran (which holds six times more moisture than hyaluronic acid) promise to deeply hydrate and brighten skin for a younger and more radiant complexion. The water-based formulas are lightweight and ideal for Singapore’s climate. We specially like the cleanser that brightens skin in just one use. Hydrating Skincare

Aimed at simplifying and streamlining your beauty routine, the Allies of Skin 1A All Day Mask is your short cut to beautiful skin. Use this supercharged multi- tasker in place of moisturiser to promote optimal levels of collagen and elastin, increase moisture retention and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Free from silicones, parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petrochemicals and other nasties, its potent blend of 11 antioxidants and 12 soothing healers make it gentle enough Friends with Benefits

Join the Club

Still haven’t found your signature scent? It’s easy with Club Code Deco . Each month, members receive three Code Deco creations that are a mix of scents both familiar and challenging. They’ll take you on an olfactory journey that encourages you to relook at fragrances you may have liked – or disliked – in the past, opening you to a broader range of scents. To make things interesting, each month your perfume box will also come with a little surprise – an exotic essential oil or a yet-to-be-released Code Deco creation – that will further your olfactory journey. $45 a month. Sign up at

to be used under the eyes, too. Great for travelling and when you’re on the go. $99.

First Defence

Fact: Pollution is the second-worst skin aggressor after the sun. Our skin is affected by emissions from vehicles, cigarette smoke and even air-conditioners that can make it over-sensitive and accelerate the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. City girls can now breathe easy as Kiehl’s launches its Cilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque ($49). It’s packed with orange extract, a powerful antioxidant bioflavonoid that strengthens the skin barrier and fights free radical damage while you sleep. Additionally, cilantro seed and vitamin E oils strengthen and nourish skin. Use it up to three times a week and wake up to healthy, glowing skin.


UPFRONT | Beauty News

Small Wonder

Hydrate and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, combat signs of ageing and fight damage from free radicals with Astalift’s Jelly Aquarysta ($148). Powered by miniscule (six times smaller than your regular molecule) human-type nano-acyl ceramide, powerful anti-oxidants nano-Lycopene and nano- Astaxanthin (which is 1,000 times more potent than CoQ10 enzyme) the watery, gel-like product penetrates the epidermis to keep it moisturised and protected against external aggressors. Here’s to radiant, supple skin!

RepairWorks This just in: You can now get your hands on Kevin Murphy hair care products right here on our sunny island. This month, the Aussie hair care brand launches a Repair.Me range that promises to strengthen and moisturise dry, chemically damaged and colour-treated locks. For stronger, healthier hair, start with the Repair- Me.Wash to gently remove impurities while smoothing it with proteins from bamboo and amino acids from silk. Follow with the Repair-Me.Rinse that conditions with shea butter and aloe vera extracts, keeping hair soft, shiny and manageable. Finish with the Re.Store conditioning treatment containing naturally derived proteins from green peas and shea butter extracts to moisturise, improve elasticity and de-frizz. $40 each.

Line Up

Achieving the perfectly winged line has never been easier than with Kate Digital Memory Liner ($20.50). With a brush that’s been designed to make application a breeze for experts and newbies alike, it helps create graphic lines that resist fading and smudging but are easily removed with warm water. Complete your look with Kate Virtual Long Lash ($25.50) mascara; it grabs all lashes – long or short – and coats them with a combination of straight and curled fibres that lengthen, thicken and keep lashes curled for pretty peepers all day long. Its long-lasting, sweat-, water- and sebum- resistant formula is also easily removed with warm water.

If you aren’t already obsessed with your brows, you should be. Not only can they change the way you look (fuller brows can make you look younger, for example), they’re having a global beauty moment. To keep yours in their best shape, try the L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit ($21.20) and the Brow Artist Chisel Straight ($19.90). For fuller, thicker brows in a minute, first fluff brow hair with the Chisel Straight combing brush and then fill them in with the felt tip. If you prefer something more natural, opt for the Genius Kit that allows you create the perfect base with its pigmented wax while you build colour with the shaded powder. Arch Angles


UPFRONT | Beauty News

Zac Posen is launching his debut makeup collection and it’s everything you would expect it to be: feminine, sexy, mysterious. Expect bold lip colours like red and orange, an alluring purple eye-shadow palette, a powder blush duo as well as mascaras, eyeliners and brushes packaged in the designer’s glamorous signature style. If you’re a fan of Posen, here’s your chance to get your hands on more of his creations. Available 25 February at Ngee Ann City, and 27 February at 313 Somerset and Tangs at Tangs Plaza. Look out for Zac Posen for MAC Cosmetics

Anti-ageing Miracle Retinol is well known for helping to reverse the signs of ageing by promoting skin-cell turnover and collagen production. Unfortunately, its side- effects include redness and peeling. Now, for the first time, Dermalogica has introduced an Overnight Retinol Repair product that comes with a buffer cream that contains eight percent aloe vera and allows you to control the concentration of retinol. Enjoy the benefits of 0.5 percent retinol, peptides, stabilised vitamin C and copper without any side effects when

you mix it with the buffer cream. Start with one part Overnight Retinol Repair mixed with three parts buffer cream and gradually reverse the ratio for smoother, younger- looking skin. $190 for both.

Destress your Treat your hair to a bespoke pampering treatment with the new and improved Kérastase Fusio-Dose . Now more potent and personalised, the in-salon treatment comes with a new mixology bar perfect for blending its four concentrated care formulas and five potent active ingredients. Depending on your primary and secondary hair concerns – for example, thinning hair that is also a bit frizzy – a concentrate and a booster are mixed for the ideal 6ml dose for your hair. With up to 20 customisable combinations, it takes tailor-made treatments to a whole new level. $72 onwards. tresses

NewYear, New Skin This new year, give your skin the gift of health, vitality and radiance with the first-ever SK-II Facial Treatment Essence New Phoenix Limited Edition ($259 for 230ml). In honour of Chinese New Year, the bottle features the design of a phoenix in the ancient art form of jianzhi , or paper-cutting. Together these symbolise celebration, good fortune, hope, female empowerment, elegance and rebirth. Formulated with 90 percent Pitera, which contains vitamins, minerals, organic and amino acids and other nutrients, this essence promises to tackle uneven skin tone, spots, dull skin and wrinkles for brighter, more radiant skin.


UPFRONT | Promotion




Fancy a relaxing treat this Valentine’s? Consider this indulgent couples’ pampering package at the award- winning So SPA at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa . If you’re looking for a nearby spot for a relaxing getaway, we have a real treat for you this month. Set in Sentosa’s lush greenery, the picturesque So SPA – Sofitel’s latest luxe pampering destination – feels like a world away from city life. On your to- do list here? Simply relax, kick back and let skilled therapists rejuvenate both body and mind with the latest in spa treatments and French cosmetology. And we’ll let you in on a little secret: this month, in collaboration with luxury skincare boutique Haute Swiss Cosmetics, the spa is offering the exclusive So Haute in Love package in the spirit of all things romantic. Ensconced in a secluded couples’ suite, while your partner is treated to a 60-minute massage, you’ll be receiving a heavenly facial treatment using Cholley products – one of the most famous names in Swiss skincare – and then you’ll be left together to enjoy a private bathing experience. What’s more, you’ll be given a Cholley product to take home with you. And it’s not over yet. Book in for the 13th or 14th of February, and you can indulge in a special Valentine’s Day menu for two. Wander over to the Garden Restaurant for the healthy three-course meal, which includes delicacies such as rose cold- smoked salmon roulade with crab salad and avruga caviar, and Australian beef tenderloin. All that’s left to do is to raise a toast to your private escape, before returning to the daily grind refreshed and ready to take on the world – until your next appointment, of course! The So Haute in Love package costs $600++ for two. Reserve your retreat now by calling 6708 8358. So SPA at Sofitel Singapore Resort & Spa, 30 Allanbrooke Road, 099983.



It’s a Date! Our cover makeup artist KELLY BILIMORIA lets us in on the secrets to the perfect look for your date night. It might surprise you to know that men and women have very different opinions on what looks great when it comes to makeup. While many men prefer barely there, almost natural-looking makeup, women often want to look drop-dead gorgeous – possibly including the use of false eyelashes, contouring and the works. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here are my top tips for satisfying both you and your man.

CREATE A GLOW Achieve skin that looks soft and luminous by applying a liquid highlighter under your


foundation. This will allow just enough s h imme r t o show through for a natural glow. Try Tarte Maracuja Blush & Glow Brightening Lumi n i ze r and Che ek T i n t i n Candlelight.

HOLD THE HAIRSPRAY! You want your hair to be soft and touchable. Style it in a loose bun or soft waves that your man can run his

fingers through. Skip the hairspray and use a finishing cream to smooth strands and add shine. Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease S e c r e t We a p o n F i n i s h i ng Cr ème, Living Proof ’s Styling Spray or Ouidad’s Wave Create Spray.

KEEP LIPS KISSABLE Ditch the intimidating bold lipstick and aim for soft, natural-looking lips. The key is to pick one no more than two shades darker than your natural lip colour, in a pink or berry hue. Try Nudestix Dual Pencil in Flesh or Nude, Nudestix Lip and Cheek in Sin or Love, or Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in 14.

DEEPEN YOUR BLUSH If it’s date night, opt for a shade deeper than your everyday hue. MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Dollymix or Melba will do the trick.

COLOUR IN THE LINES Keep your peepers pretty by using a concealer to cover any dark circles or discolouration. I like the Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Concealer, which hides all imperfections and brightens the eyes. When lining your eyes, stay away from black kohl or liner that could accentuate dark circles and tiredness. Instead, opt for subtle colours like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liquid Eyeliner in #3 Emerald Green, #6 Navy Blue or #7 Deep Purple.

Image courtesy MAC x Digital FashionWeek 2015


IN A NEW LIGHT By Smita DeSouza

We ask MAC Senior Artist Beno Lim about the newly re-launched Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula SPF 30/PA+++ Foundation. Tell us, why is the Lightful C range one of your favourites? I am obsessed with beautiful, glowing skin – which is also the trend now – and these are my go-to products to achieve this glow and to calm the skin. I use them on myself, on my customers and on the celebrities and models I work with. The range is suitable for all skin types, delivering brilliant, clear and radiant skin. We hear MAC has now launched a new and improved Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula SPF 30/PA+++ Foundation Compact. How is it different from its predecessor? Everyone loves a flawlessly even skin-tone, and this new formulation delivers the latest in brightening technology to achieve exactly that. It also contains an impressive Marine-Bright Formula that features three potent seaweed extracts rich in amino acids, vitamin C and a higher SPF for added protection.

Why is this foundation so beneficial in Singapore’s sunny climate?

Its high-powered ingredients actively nourish, hydrate and revitalise skin while blocking free radicals and protecting it from discolouration and environmental aggressors like the sun. This is the perfect foundation for our sunny and humid climate. Your tips for using this product? First prep the skin with Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion by pouring it onto a cotton pad and smoothing it all over the face. Then apply Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Essence and Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Moisture Cream. Instead of using a sponge to apply foundation, I like to use the 190 Foundation Brush to evenly distribute and blend the foundation into all areas of the face. This gives you the right amount of coverage without your foundation looking cakey.

The MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula SPF 30/PA+++ Foundation ($67) launches with nine shades on 18 February.


UPFRONT | Beauty Diary

Hot to Trot Whether in preparation for a night out on the town or a romantic night in with your other half (Valentine’s Day is right around the corner), our dream pampering routine goes something like this...

1. A relaxing soak or a hot, steamy shower. A LUSH Lover Lamp bath bomb energises with Brazilian orange oil and fair trade vanilla, while fair trade organic cocoa butter hydrates. No time to soak? Give your skin the royal treatment with the LUSH Prince Charming Shower Cream . Soothing marshmallow root and an infusion of fair trade vanilla pod offset zesty fresh pomegranate juice and grapefruit oil for a truly uplifting experience.

2. The perfect pre-makeup routine includes a massive dose of moisture. Try an SK-II Facial Treatment Mask to quickly plump and brighten your skin for knockout radiance.

3. Get lips in kissable condition with the Bliss Fabulips Treatment Kit . Slather on the Softening Lip Balm, followed by the Sugar Lip Scrub to remove any dead skin. Finally, plump lips with the Instant Lip Plumper.

4. Create an alluring aura by layering a favourite fragrance over scented body lotion. The Ralph Lauren Romance Valentine’s Day Set includes a Body Lotion and EDP for sweet-smelling, soft, touchable skin. 5. Complete makeup with the perfect shade of lipstick picked from the Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour collection. They go on matte but keep lips moisturised with mango butter and jojoba oil. Best of all, they last through the night.


UPFRONT | Style Hunter

Style Hunter (International Edition) LIV heads to the streets to find out what you’re wearing! Pencil skirts aren’t only for the office, as Dutch style star Nikkie Plessen proves in this fun ensemble. Pairing a figure-hugging leather number with a T-shirt and adding a tote bag and court heels creates a sophisticated yet sexy look – one that can transition from day to night faster than you can say Singapore Sling.


Python skirt, Topshop, $96.90

T-shirt, Mango, $39

Bag, Michael Kors, $395

Tube skirt, Zara, $59.90

Heels, Charles & Keith, $56.90

Denim skirt, Massimo Dutti, $95


FashionNews What to covet, buy and wear this month

UPFRONT | Fashion News

New Neutrals

Organised in Style

COS is continually serving up well-priced wardrobe classics, and its latest collection features a neutral colour palette punctuated with silver accents together with a full denim capsule collection. Bookmark this bandeau dress and nude wrap skirt for your next shopping trip (if you beat us to it, that is!) #03-23, ION Orchard Swarvoski’s sparkling Slake bracelet encrusted with crystals and larger round stones will add a dash of pizazz to any outfit. What’s more, it’s now available in different colours – our favourite is this aqua-green number. $150 each, available at Swarovski stores island-wide. EDITOR’S PICK

Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s gift for someone special? The Le Pliage Saint Valentin is an exclusive design by Longchamp in pretty petal pink, complete with romantic phrases in English and French. Je l’adore! $200. Special Edition Reliable source of chic, Instagram-worthy stationery, Kikki K’s new Resfeber collection is bound to impress. Inspired by #wanderlust and crafted in durable navy leather, it includes travel pouches, notebooks, pens and luggage tags for your next adventure. We love the nautical details and charming creative illustrations too! #B2-53 ION Orchard.


UPFRONT | Fashion News

Something To Treasure Known for its attention to detail, embroidery and beautiful fabrics, British label Needle & Thread has now launched its first bridal collection, available on Net- Featuring tulle and embroidered separates for the contemporar y bride, the designs are a price-savvy, modern a l t e r n a t i v e t o t r a d i t i o n a l bridal wear. Prices from $275.

Cute kids’ clothes alert! Made especially for little girls aged three to eight, local label In Good Company’s Mini Me Collection is perfect for young fashionistas – fun, playful and bold. Choose from draped tops with back details inspired by butterflies, or cute-as-a-button bloomers, shorts with 3D patch pocket details and comfortable joggers. Shop online at ingoodcompany. asia or visit #B1-06 ION Orchard. Start Them Young

Iconic Gathering The Ralph Lauren Icons Collection gathers the best of the brand together in one special, season-less curation of clothing and accessories. Choose from tailored jackets for the office, leather bags for toting around your everyday essentials, and travel garments in luxe fabrics like cashmere. Available at Ralph Lauren Marina Bay Sands, #B1-72.


UPFRONT | Cover Star

One Watch to

KRISTINA PAKHOMOVA. Remember the name. Charming, ambitious and full of unwavering energy and passion, the up-and-coming actress is undeniably one to watch. We caught up with the busy performer after the success of her first self-directed one-woman show, Dark Room , a black comedy that gives an intimate insight into the life of an expat wife in Singapore.

Styling and direction: Susannah Jaffer Makeup and hair: Kelly Bilimoria, Photography: Michael Bernabe Location: with thanks to LASALLE College of the Arts


UPFRONT | Cover Star

Kristina wears aysmmetrical cocktail dress by Zenchi, $790, pearl necklace by Stones That Rock (worn as a bracelet) and Carlotta yellow gold ear cuffs by TrishVan N, $139


UPFRONT | Cover Star

W hat made you decide to continue your studies at LASALLE College of the Arts? I’d wanted to be an actress since I was five years old. My mother is an actress too, you see, so I guess she inspired my career choice. I grew up in the theatre among actors and directors, set designers, music, costumes and lights, and I started performing at the age of 12. On stage it felt like I was the most important person in the world. Everybody was looking at me, and listening to what I was saying. I could communicate my feelings, tell stories and be transported into another reality – to me, that feeling is priceless. So, after high school, there was no question what I’d do next. After I graduated, I got into the Far East Academy of Art in Russia in the city of Vladivostok, 700km from my hometown of Khaborovsk. I was 16, and so happy and excited to finally be doing what I loved. After my second year of university, my parents returned from a trip to Singapore and, out of nowhere, my dad asked if I’d be interested in studying abroad. He’d heard about LASALLE while he was over here and suggested it to me. At first, I was confused – why would I leave my comfortable life and a promising future here in Vladivostok for Asia? At the time, I couldn’t speak English well and didn’t know anyone – it sounded insane.

In the end, I think, curiosity won, so I moved over here by myself when I was 18, and haven’t regretted my choice since. How has your experience of Singapore’s acting and theatre scene been so far? It’s very vibrant and dynamic, and although it’s very contemporary, it hasn’t lost its traditional Asian flavour – that’s what makes it unique. I’ve watched and learnt about many Asian forms of drama, including traditional Chinese opera, Japanese Noh theatre, Indian Kathakali, Balinese theatre and many others that I’d probably never have been able to experience in Russia. The theatre scene here is very happening. There are new shows and performances every month – art exhibitions, fringe and film festivals, festivals for writers and young talent, you name it. I’m addicted to theatre so much that I have to stop myself from spending too much money on Sistic! I also love seeing how the younger generation is becoming increasingly involved in the creative art scene. Working as a professional full- time actress can be challenging, though, and it has its advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, the industry is very small – but you can make that work in your favour. It’s easier to network and look for new connections and collaborations, and with hard work and the right amount of self-marketing you can bring your name forward much faster. I’ve also found that I don’t need an agent to represent me here, unlike in other countries – and that saves money.

That sounds ideal, right? It may sound pretty perfect, but being a Russian actress here has its downside. Even after six years of studying and working in Singapore, it’s hard for me to find a place in the Asian market. At first, it was fun to play small parts on television, like a Chinese man’s ang moh (Western) wife in a Channel 8 television drama, or the (very stereotypical) Russian spy, or other short roles in films, commercials and print ads. For obvious reasons, priority is given to actors who look Asian or pan-Asian, but I’m not a quitter and I like to challenge myself. I’ve also been lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me, which is important in times of self-doubt. I crave for much more though, as I know I have a lot more to offer than just a pretty face. I want to act out stories and play characters that resonate with me. Theatre drives my ambitions. That’s why I decided to write my one-woman show, Dark Room , which I performed in November last year. We were big fans of your performance. What inspired you? I’d just come back from the Spoleto Ar ts Festival in Italy, held in collaboration with the not-for-profit cultural centre La MaMa Umbria International. I felt so inspired by the people I’d met and the workshops I’d attended that coming back to Singapore to “the phone that never rings” was frustrating. I was in search of something or somebody to inspire my next project.


Kristina wears draped one-shoulder peplum dress by Zenchi, POA, necklace by Stones That Rock (worn as a bracelet) and Cloche silver and 18-carat gold-plated freshwater pearl bangle by TrishVan N, $310


I knew that I wanted the show to be about a woman, her personal journey of self-discovery. I wanted to talk about freedom, independence, identity, choice and family.

Kristina wears blue one-shoulder gown by Ashley Isham, POA and heels by Formentini, available at gnossem. com and Elise necklace in silver with white rhodium and black zirconia baguettes,TrishVan N, $205

UPFRONT | Cover Star

That’s when I called a dear friend I’d worked with before, Kamil Haque. He’s an acting coach and the founder of Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity. I told him how I felt: angry, hopeless and irritated. After 15 minutes of my venting, he came out with it and asked, “Kristina, why don’t you just create, write and produce your own work?” But all I’d been doing my whole life was acting. I’ve never written a script before and I had no idea where to start. Kamil advised me to think about things I was interested in and cared about, then just pick up a pen and write what came to mind. Good or bad, who cared? That’s how I started writing my “morning pages” – writing what comes to your mind as soon as you wake up, non-stop for five minutes. At first, it sounded like nonsense, random thoughts and chunks of text. Later on though, when I took some time to read them through, I found some cool ideas to develop that turned out to be inspiration for Dark Room . Kamil helped me throughout the process, offering me guidance in developing the script and the use of his studio to rehearse and perform in. What was it like to write your own script? The whole process was very personal for me. I jotted down my dreams and fears, funny childhood stories and family. It was shaping up into an interesting story, but I realised that it was becoming too autobiographical. I didn’t want the show to be about me. So, just six weeks before the opening, I destroyed most of the script and started all over again. I knew that I wanted the show to be about a woman, her personal journey of self-discovery. I wanted

to talk about freedom, independence, identity, choice and family. I didn’t want it to be too dark, but more of a dark comedy. So, step by step, my fictional character Diana Halkina was born – an expat wife who followed her husband to Asia in hope of a better life. As an expat, did you draw parallels between yourself and the main character Diana? Although I’m married, I haven’t been a stereotypical expat wife. I came to Singapore by myself to pursue my studies, and have always been independent. I’ve also never had to uproot my life and career for someone else, as I met my husband-to-be here. So, to say I share Diana’s story would be inaccurate; but like her I’ve experienced moments of betrayal, loneliness and depression, so I can definitely relate. Wh i l e wr i t i ng t he s c r i p t , I interviewed many expat wives and read blogs and articles; I watched TED talks and travelled for research. I came across many expat women who were unhappy with their situations, and I almost felt a responsibility to tell their story to help raise awareness and change misperceptions. Many think that the wives of men who are posted abroad live luxurious, carefree lives. Of course, that’s often far from the truth. Though I’d performed in a one- woman show before, it was directed by someone else and I was only partly involved in the writing process. This time, everything had to come fromme, and yes, the additional responsibilities were intimidating. Did the idea of acting alone intimidate you?

I sent my script to my most trusted friends for their feedback. After mastering the text and making myself familiar with the character, I started thinking about set design and my actions and movements. I filmed the rehearsals, played them back and fixed things I didn’t like. I also invited people to watch my rehearsals and give me advice. In general, I really like partnership and chemistry on stage and feed off that energy. So yes, in certain respects it was hard to be alone on stage, but it also was a great challenge: I had to keep the audience engaged with just me, myself and I on stage, and with no music, sophisticated lighting or set design. I wanted to keep things simple and intimate, and to invite the audience into Diana’s life so they’d feel a part of it. The show doesn’t end conclusively; rather, it’s there to provoke you, to motivate you and to make you think – I hope I’ve achieved that. To date, what’s been the most challenging part of your journey? Not giving up. I can’t tell you how many actors and actresses I know have given up on their careers. Of course, I don’t judge them – it’s hard to be a full-time actor anywhere in the world. There can be money issues, constant rejections, competitiveness, insecurity and much more. You need iron nerves and crazy passion. My secret is that I just don’t see myself doing anything else in life other than this. That’s largely what keeps me on track. Being on stage and the adrenaline rush it brings is worth all the tears and rejections. For 2016, I hope to be bring back Dark Room again, and to showcase it to a much larger audience.


UPFRONT | Cover Star

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Made to measure

Whether you’re looking to beat unsightly bulges, tackle cellulite or erase stretch marks, these innovative treatments will get you the results.


BEAUTY | Slimming Treatments

Slim down , SHAPE UP!

Get your best body with these innovative treatments.

If you’ve been exercising and eating right, but still can’t seem to shed stubborn fat from your waist, thighs or back, it may be time to bring in the big guns. From freezing-cold suction cups to fat-busting ultrasound waves and skin-tightening LED lights, here’s our round-up of innovative treatments that are as effective as they are effortless.

CoolSculpting: Freeze your fat away

A popular alternative to liposuction, this non-invasive procedure reduces the fat layer in a particular area by as much as 40 percent. It can now be used to define the contours of the jaw, too, thanks to the Cool Mini applicator available at Dr Yvonne Goh’s clinic. All you’ll feel during this painless treatment is a cold sensation for the first few minutes; CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis, a controlled cooling method that permanently kills off unwanted fat cells. Using the Cool Mini applicator, it’s possible to freeze and eliminate the fat that gives you the appearance of having a double chin. After the hour-long session, your body will continue to break down crystallised fat cells, which are then eliminated naturally. After treatment, temporary side effects can include redness, minor bruising, tingling or numbness in the treated area, but you will be able to get on with your day as usual. You will start to see results in as little as three weeks, but the most noticeable changes manifest after two months as your body continues to flush out dead fat cells. Those with defined muscles will notice even more definition once the fat covering them has been eliminated. To ensure optimal results, it’s best to stick with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Available at Dr Yvonne Goh Aesthetics, #09-05 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard. Call 6462 2559 for an appointment.

Liposonix: Lose those last few inches

A revolutionary treatment that could see you drop as much as a dress size in just one session, Liposonix uses high-intensity, focused ultrasound to non-invasively get rid of stubborn fat around your waistline (abdomen and love handles) without surgery. The Liposonix system is described as highly versatile, allowing control over precisely how and where energy is delivered for a truly customised treatment in a single session. The painless procedure promises to destroy targeted subcutaneous fat and deliver uniform, predictable results after a single hour-long treatment. Results are typically seen in eight to 12 weeks – the time needed for the body to naturally process the treated fat. Liposonix is not liposuction or surgery and nor is it a replacement for a healthy lifestyle and exercise. But it is a quick, easy way to help you tackle that last inch and achieve your personal best shape.

Available at Dr Valentin Low Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, #08-03 Paragon Medical Suites, 290 Orchard Road. Call 6720 3323 for an appointment.


BEAUTY | Slimming Treatments

Thermage Tummy Tightening and Body Shaping: Get back the body you used to have Best for those who have lost a lot of weight, recently had a baby or are simply looking for a tighter, firmer tummy, this non-invasive procedure promises to help retain existing collagen and also promote the production of new collagen over time. The result? Less sagging, a younger looking skin and a flattening and softening of any stretch marks you may have. Apart from tummies, it can also help tighten, firm and shape your thighs and buttocks. You could even schedule it during your lunch hour, as the procedure requires no downtime and you can go straight back to your normal routines afterwards. Generally, you can expect to see some change immediately and will notice an improvement in the skin for up to six months after the treatment as the body continues to produce new collagen. Results can last up to two years depending on the condition of your skin and other factors associated with the process of ageing.

Available at The Aesthetics Centre #03-15 Great World City. Call 6820 3308 for an appointment.

The Cutis Treatment to Transformation Program: The complete package

Created with an emphasis on providing you with extensive information during your journey to a better body, this would be ideal for anyone who likes to be kept fully involved in the process and informed about their treatment every step of the way. The Treatment to Transformation (TtT) program is a customised plan with a holistic approach to transforming the body by focusing on common problem areas such as the abdomen, thighs and arms, and also on armpits and double chins. Its multi-pronged, well-rounded approach to slimming includes: the original CoolSculpting non- surgical fat-freezing procedure; TriLipo triple-action fat reduction; Tanita body diagnostics; and nutrition consultation. High-tech body diagnosis gives you valuable insights about your total body fat, the amount of fat that surrounds your internal organs, your muscle and bone mass and your current metabolic age (you may be surprised!). CoolSculpting effectively removes stubborn fat and sculpts the body with safe fat-freezing technology. Meanwhile, TriLipo treatment delivers collagen- building and skin-tightening benefits. Finally, nutrition consultations help you prolong the benefits with the right eating plan. Available at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, #08-07 Pacific Plaza Scotts Medical Center, 9 Scotts Road. Call 6801 4000 for an appointment.


BEAUTY | Slimming Treatments

TruSculpt: For spot reduction

This US FDA-approved treatment uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to deliver heat to the subcutaneous layer to destroy fat cells. Each application lasts for an average of four minutes, heating tissue to an approximate depth of half a centimetre to one centimetre below the surface of the skin; then the applicator is moved to the adjacent area to begin the next series of pulses. The energy from the RF destroys fat cells in the targeted area, after which the immune system eliminates cell debris in its usual way. As the cells are naturally eliminated from the body over the next six to eight weeks, you will see a reduction in fat bulges and smoother skin in place of cellulite. The unique design of the hand- piece allows it to achieve and transmit temperatures higher than 45 degrees comfortably and safely to different areas of the body. Temperatures are appropriately calibrated to each patient, and if you find the heat intolerable at any time during the treatment, the temperature will immediately be adjusted once again. Safe for all skin types, each TruSculpt session typically lasts less than an hour and doesn’t require any special preparation or recovery time. Most people require two to four treatments over four to eight weeks. Pain relievers are not usually necessary, but if you’re sensitive to heat your doctor may prescribe a mild painkiller. Any redness, tenderness or sweating in and around the treated area should disappear within a few hours. Available at GloAesthetics, #09-30 Novena Medical Centre, 10 Sinaran Drive. Call 6397 7012 for an appointment. Also available at The Lifestyle Clinic, #16-03 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard. Call 6733 0788 for an appointment.


BEAUTY | Slimming Treatments

Technispa by Guinot: For busting cellulite

3MAX CoolShaping: For maximum benefits In order to tone and sculpt the body, this advanced slimming solution integrates cryolipolysis, Ultra Cavitation, ultrasound and radiofrequency in one treatment. Using four different hand-pieces, it works to reduce fat and cellulite, tighten skin and promote lymphatic drainage. It’s even possible to use two hand- pieces at once to simultaneously treat separate body parts. For example, the CryoSculptor could be reshaping and contouring your abdomen at the same time as the S-Polar applicator is being used to smoothen and tighten your thighs. The CryoSculptor combines the use of cryolipolysis to kill fat cells and LED light to tighten skin in the targeted area. At the same time, the S-Polar hand-piece combines the use of radiofrequency and red LED light to stimulate blood circulation, enhance lymphatic drainage and tighten skin. Depending on the extent of your concerns and the treatment required, each session can last for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Here’s a system that promises to minimise the appearance of cellulite, slim down your legs and give you smoother skin. It uses a combination of massage, lymphatic drainage, ionisation and stimulation to mobilise underlying tissues and muscles to dissolve fat, break down cellulite and drain toxins. Try the Firming-Slimming Treatment that uses the triple-action slimming technology of the Technispa machine. Here, the muscles receive a workout through stimulation and massage after firming active ingredients are infused deep into the skin through the process of ionisation. The result? Firmer, toned and smoother skin. The Double Slimming Treatment, on the other hand, uses a different massage head to contour the figure and minimise the appearance of cellulite. This variation of the Technispa technology doubles the manipulation of the skin for double the effect. Active ingredients promote the release of stored fat, while the stimulation burns up released fat deposits, drains toxins and increases blood circulation. Skin manipulation is used to physically break down the cellulite and stored fat. But if you’re after slim, toned, smooth legs, you should opt for the Soothing Leg Treatment; it increases blood circulation, oxygenates tissues and decongests them by promoting water drainage. Menthol and camphor are also infused with a galvanic current to instantly increase blood circulation and relieve any feeling of heaviness in the legs.

Available at Sylvia’s Secrets @ #01-02C Horsecity, 100 Turf Club Road. Call 6465 5338 for an appointment.

Available at Le Petit Spa, #02-01/04 Tudor Court Shopping Gallery, 131 Tanglin Road. Call 6733 7117 for an appointment.


UPFRONT | Spotlight

The Easy Way to Fab Legs Could you be just a massage or two away from a shapelier pair of pins? I f you’re looking to achieve slim, toned legs and a cellulite-free bottom before your next beach vacation, the CACI Electro Cellulite Massager (ECM) may just be the answer.

It delivers a relaxing treatment that combines the benefits of deep tissue massage with the effectiveness of micro-currents that break down fat and encourage lymphatic drainage. Quick, easy and painless, it promises smoother skin and a visibly perkier bottom. How it works The unique design of the Electro Cellulite Massager makes it easy to pivot to individual body contours to reach specific problem-areas. As the legs and buttocks are gently massaged during the course of a 30- or 60-minute session, a micro-current is delivered through 24 rollers that work to knead tight muscles and soothe aching ones. The massage and micro-currents work together to help reduce water retention, stimulate circulation, encourage lymphatic drainage and eliminate toxins. As a result you will find an improvement in the appearance of cellulite and your legs and buttocks will look firmed and more toned. You may feel the occasional electrical prick, but most clients describe this as a gentle and relaxing treatment that relieves tiredness in their muscles and rejuvenates the skin on their thighs and buttocks. And there’s more; the ECM can also be used to relieve painful stress nodules in the neck, shoulders and back, to help lift sagging buttocks, and to tackle stubborn cellulite around the stomach. Who it’s for Used as a corrective body treatment or a soothing electro-massage, this treatment is suitable for men and women of all ages. You may well see improvements after your very first session, but for best results they recommend a course of 10 to 15 sessions, twice or three times a week, followed by a monthly maintenance treatment.

Available at SWUK Aesthetics, #02-25, Alexandra Central, 321 Alexandra Road. Call 6250 1326 for an appointment.


BEAUTY | Tried and Tested

HOLIDAY PREP H aving to sit indoors in front of a screen most of the time means my complexion has become sadly washed out for lack of sunlight. Matters aren’t helped by Facebook’s new Memories function, which has a habit of recalling pictures of me three years ago sunning it up with a killer tan in Thailand. So, with an anniversary holiday trip booked and a few new bikinis to step out in (any excuse to treat yourself, right?), I knew I needed a little help in the beauty department – there’s only so much that bronzer can do, after all. That’s when I remembered my makeup artist’s clever advice: a spray tan can make you look slimmer, healthier and even more toned.

Now, I’m no stranger to tan in a bottle when it comes to the kind you can buy at the drugstore and apply in the privacy of your own bathroom; however, my nerves were more than slightly wracked at the thought of standing practically naked in a salon in front of a complete stranger. But one more glance at my Krabi holiday album gave me all the conviction I needed to pick up the phone and book my appointment at the Pink Parlour branch at the recently redeveloped Capitol Piazza. (In case you haven’t been there yet, it’s that historic white building with beautiful architecture at 11 Stamford Road, just across from Raffles City shopping centre.) Arriving at the shiny new outlet, I was struck by the luxurious and cheery hot-pink décor. The friendly staff welcomed me and we got chatting about my holiday plans. That’s when I was asked, “If you’re going to be spending time in swimwear, why don’t you have a Brazilian wax before your tanning treatment?” I’d always been a strictly no-fuss shaving type of gal, and the thought of someone poking around down there made standing half-naked in a tanning booth sound like a walk in the park. As I already had both feet in the door, though, I could hardly say no – plus I’d heard it was one of their signature specialities. Before I knew it I was whisked away to their cosy, private treatment area.

In a bid to spruce herself up for a romantic anniversary trip, SUSANNAH JAFFER books herself in for a beauty overhaul

at Pink Parlour in Capitol Piazza.


BEAUTY | Tried and Tested

GETTING SUN-KISSED Your checklist for a happy spray tan experience. Make sure to thoroughly exfoliate your entire body the night before . Sloughing off dead skin cells in the shower 24 hours before your spray tan will help achieve the best and longest-lasting result. Don’t wear any moisturiser or makeup to your appointment. Otherwise, wash it off when you get there. Anything that acts as a barrier on the surface of the skin may prevent the tan from setting properly. There will be a range of colours to choose from. Ask to see a shade chart if you’re unsure, but your representative will be the expert on what tone will complement your skin best. Decide what you want to wear in the booth. Some people prefer to avoid tan lines, others wear a bikini. If you opt for the latter, make sure it’s a black one. Wear loose, dark clothing to go home in. Leave the pencil skirts and skinny jeans at home. Although you should be dry to the touch before you leave the salon, it’s safest to avoid light colours and choose something slouchy to prevent any colour rubbing off onto it Wait for eight hours if possible before taking a shower , or for four at the very least, and avoid anything that will make you sweat. A Brazilian wax at Pink Parlour costs $58, while a full body spray tan will cost from $50 to $60 depending on the time is takes to set. Visit the Capitol Piazza branch at #B2-21 or call 6100 8266 to book your appointment.

THE BRAZILIAN 101 What you need to know before your session. Don’t shave for at least five days before your appointment. The wax needs something to hold onto, after all. I’m told the ideal hair length is around half a centimetre or a little longer. Take a quick shower when you arrive. You’ll want to make sure you’re as fresh as possible for the appointment (it’s a basic courtesy too, of course!). Most salons, like Pink Parlour’s, will have showers available. If they don’t, and you’re not coming straight from home, pop some antibacterial or feminine wipes in your handbag. Yes, you’re totally exposed. But it’s not as bad as you think. Be comforted by the fact that your waxer is going to have seen all types of vaginas and butt cracks – you’re not the first and won’t be the last. The butt part hurts the least. There’s no gentler way of saying this: but the fundamental difference between a Brazilian and a bikini wax is getting your butt waxed too. Thankfully, there are far fewer nerve endings down there, so you actually feel very little. The rest hurts considerably more. I won’t sugar-coat it – but the pain only lasts a second and then quickly subsides. Grin and bear it, and just think about the convenience of not having to shave for three weeks. It is, well, awkward. You’re half naked on a chair, legs akimbo with someone’s face close to your private parts. But remember that this is her profession, and just relax. Have a chat and a giggle about it. It only lasts 15 to 20 minutes at most!


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