Liv - March 2016

MARCH 2016

New fashion to put a spring in your step and fresh beauty tips to put your best face forward WHAT’S NOW!



MCI(P) 185/072014

NEWS | Editor’s Note


W e all had a blast on this month’s cover shoot – Danielle Warner in particular, who couldn’t stop twirling around on set in a pretty, full-skirted shirt dress while listening to Jennifer Lopez. (Well, who else would you play to unleash your inner diva?) She mentioned that the designs we’d styled her in had made her “feel something”. I think that type of empowerment comes with fashion that speaks to us – clothes that reflect our personality and, in turn, make our confidence soar. In that moment, while having fun and coming out of her shell in front of the camera, I saw a new side of Danielle; we reveal a bit more about the insurance mogul’s personal life, career and future aspirations in an exclusive interview on page 20. This issue, we’re also revealing the latest fashion and beauty trends and tools on our radar – frommules to cushion compacts – and we’ve homed in on Singapore-weather-friendly products for hair, makeup and styling (pages 28 and 38). Just like our cover star, perhaps you’ll find or learn something new to make you feel like twirling too! We’ve also been focusing on skin this month. A fresh, healthy complexion is a must for good makeup application; so if yours is in need of a boost, our team has reviewed new facials across the island to give you the scoop on what you can try (page 30).

Enjoy the read!

Susannah Jaffer LIV Editor Expat Living Publications

Psst! As of April, LIV will be coming to you in a fresh format. Keep an eye out for our new look.



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET

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

SMITA DESOUZA Executive Editor


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 SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES Contributors KELLY BILIMORIA



For all advertising and editorial enquiries, please contact DANIELLE ROSSETTI

Cover Photography by Michael Bernabe Danielle wears a floral shirtdress by Raoul, available at Robinsons, The Heeren, and Makeup and hair by Kelly Bilimoria, Face: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation and Concealer, NYX Contouring Stick and Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Fetching Eyes: Make Up For Ever Aqua Liquid Eyeliner in #6 (Navy Blue) with Too Faced Semi Sweet Palette using Nougat, Blueberry Swirl, Truffled & Butter Peacan. Dior Iconic Show Mascara Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl and MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy

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8 Beauty News 14 Fashion News 46 Social Events: Prepare to primp and prime with our selection of the hottest (and most wearable) new looks UPFRONT FASHION BEAUTY 28 Beauty Trends:

Snaps from around town

50 In the Next Issue

18 Closet Spy:

A sneak peek at Nejla Matam- Finn’s 9-5 routine and style

20 Cover Feature:

32 Salon Facials:

Up close and personal with insurance entrepreneur Danielle Warner

Skin in need of a spring clean? Time for some TLC

36 Tried & Tested:

40 Trend Report:

This month, the team test-drives a new 4-in-1 foundation.

The latest Singapore-friendly fashion trends on our radar



LIV LOVES Founded by Marco Campomaggi in 1990, leather bag label Campomaggi brings Italian artisal design to Singapore. Expertly crafted in Tuscany by hand – including all stitching, embellishments and fine details – the designs are fashioned in treated cowhide leather or fabric and natural colours, including cognac and dark brown, blue, black and military green. $890, available at Dreamweave Concepts, #01-34 Millenia Walk.



Summer Beauty Skip the hassle of applying s u n s c r e e n u n d e r y o u r foundation with the RMK UV Liquid Foundation with SPF 50++/PA+++ ($70). The broad- spectrum sunscreen shields your skin from the sun’s rays while a blend of moisturising ingredients keeps it hydrated. What’s more, its lasting film allows you to cool off in the pool or sea without worrying about it smudging or slipping. Beauty News

UPFRONT | Beauty News

Products, treatments and trends to try now


Smooth Operator Take a step towards more manageable hair with Moroccanoil Smoothing Shampoo ($46) and Conditioner ($49). Along with a signature blend of ingredients that include argan oil and argan butter, the products are infused with vital amino acids that condition hair from inside out. They work on all hair types including colour-treated locks to nourish them for smooth and silky results. The range also includes a Smoothing Lotion ($62) and a Smoothing Mask ($72). S

If you’re looking for natural skincareminus the nasties, look no further than Botani. Based on the principles of naturopathy and botanical skin science, the products are filledwith ingredients like squalene, acai berry, cranberry and blackberry seed oils, Australian bentonite clay, quandong, rosewater and chamomile. Our favourite is the Olive Skin Serum ($52). Rich in squalene (an organic compound akin to what your body naturally produces), it hydrates the skin instantly to plump lines, and brighten and tackle blemishes, and is gentle enough to be used by those with eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

SKIN SAVIOUR The Bliss Triple Oxygen Radiant Protection Energizing Serum is an antioxidant bomb in a bottle. Its exclusive complex of EUK-134, fluid 02 and soy protein converts free radicals (rogue atoms that accelerate ageing and cause dullness) into oxygen for a brighter, smoother complexion. It also contains Vitamin C and fruit extracts that help shield the skin from harmful toxins. A couple of pumps before your moisturiser in the morning and at night will do the needful.

BODY WORKS Pamper your skin with the new Daily Body Care collection from Victoria’s Secret. The Smoothing Scrub, Ultra Rich CreamWash, Hydrating Body Lotion andWeightless Body Oil ($35 each) are packed with nourishing, hydrating, anti- oxidant and rejuvenating ingredients to keep your skin soft and supple. Just what you need when you want to give your skin some TLC.


UPFRONT | Beauty News

TomFord Patent Finish Lip Color ($72) Packed into a nifty click pen that comes with a sponge-tip applicator, this formula combines the longevity of a stain with the shine of a gloss. It’s available in shades that range from cherry to deep berry, so you’d be hard-pressed to pick just one. LIP SERVICE

Hella Good There is no doubt that the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Collection is a sweet escape for fans of her makeup and music alike. The limited edition collection includes a browbox ($48), blush palette ($78), lipsticks ($33) and 24/7 Glide On lip pencils ($32) that come in shades that are simultaneously timeless and cool. With their versatile hues and gorgeous textures they’re sure to sell out fast. So, what you waiting for?

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo ($49) Natural active ingredients keep lips comfortable andmoisturised, while silk powder keeps it light making it easy to swipe on in one smooth stroke. All you need is one click to drench your lips in rich, creamy colour. With eight shades on offer ranging from subtle nudes to bright corals, there’s something for everyone.

Lunasol Double Coloring Lips ($49) This combines the rich pigmented colour of a liquid lipstick with the high shine of a gloss for luscious lips. Hyaluronic acid, shea butter, avocado and rosehip oils keep lips plump so there are no visible lines.

SECRETGARDEN Look out for Jo Malone’s limited edition collection The Herb Garden this month. The crisp notes of fragrant foliage will transport you to an English garden in the country. Think green notes of verdant geranium, peppery parsley, clover and vetiver, to name a few, rounded with floral and fruity scents like jasmine, lavender, carrot and strawberry. Pick one or two and layer them to create your own unique fragrance.


BEAUTY | Expert Advice

Summer-proof Our cover makeup artist KELLY BILIMORIA gives us the ultimate guide to staying fresh and dewy, instead of permanently sweaty, as the heat turns up. your Makeup


Meet your new BFF! Primer ensures your makeup stays in place no matter the weather. Use it all over your face to stop your foundation from slipping, on your eyelids to keep eyeshadow from creasing and on your lips to prevent your lipstick from smudging. You can even purchase a primer with colour-correcting, hydrating or mattifying benefits that will tackle the two concerns simultaneously. My favourites are the Make Up For Ever (MUFE) Step 1 Primer range, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly for eyes, the Too Faced Melted Lip collection and the NYX Lip Primer or the E.L.F. Lip Primer and Plumper.

Make sure your makeup isn’t affected by rain (which are inevitable in this perspiration climate) by investing in waterproof products – especially when it comes to mascaras and eyeliners. Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Flashes!, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencils and My Favourite MUFE Aqua Eye Liner are some that stay put in rain or shine. SUMMER PROOF = WATERPROOF


Depending on how your skin fares in the humidity, you may prefer a lighter foundation that offers coverage but doesn’t slide off. A few good options are the MAC Studio Face & Body, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Too Faced Born This Way Foundation or MUFE Face & Body.


Carry some of your products in your handbag so you can nix shine and and touch up on the go. I always have my MUFE HD finishing powder (my favourite!) and Gatsby blotting papers on hand. Just remember to always dab any sweat beads with tissue or blotting paper – wiping will take off your makeup.


BEAUTY | Promotion

Repair & Indulge Applying a good face mask is pampering and luxurious, and comes with plenty of benefits, so you should try to make it a weekly ritual. Invest in one for your individual skin concerns from Haute Swiss Cosmetics . by

Milky Cocoon by Calinesse, $65 Best for: Plumping and nourishing

Rich in active ingredients such as argon, sunflower, shea and carnauba and containing a fruity, floral cocktail of lavender, orange blossom, grapefruit and organic bitter orange essential oil, this mask bathes skin in moisture. Vegetable hyaluronic acid – similar to that already present in our bodies – brightens skin and fills in fine lines. Use once or twice a week as a mask for the best results, or leave it on overnight to wake up to a plumper, smoother complexion. Anti-Stress Skin Repair by Cholley, $172 Best for: Balancing and protecting Providing relief from redness and discomfort from too much sun exposure, this is definitely a handy mask to keep in your medicine cabinet or take with you on your summer or winter holidays. Used as a mask or protective day cream, it works to soothe and normalise stressed, damaged skin and replenish moisture in parched areas. Its soothing decongestant action also diminishes any redness caused by dilated capillaries, acne scars and rosacea, speeding up their healing process. What’s more, its antioxidant properties can help to prolong your suntan. It’s ideal to use after any physical, environmental or psychological stress, or any prolonged sun exposure. Clearing Mask by Cholley, $153 Best for: Brightening and illuminating This is a high performance mask to help lighten skin and make it more even toned. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a solution to lighten age spots, pigmentation and post-acne scarring. Advanced Swiss lipo-essential technology and coenzyme A gently peel away excess melanin to leave a brighter, clearer visage. Use once or twice a week for best results. Essential Mask by Karin Herzog, $75 Best for: A hit of hydration A beauty boost before a special evening event or a long-haul flight, this oxygenating mask leaves your skin feeling and looking hydrated, clean and energised, with visible effects in minutes. Formulated with two percent active oxygen combined with essential oils of citrus fruit, vitamin A and trace elements, it lifts and tones while reducing telltale signs of fatigue. Suitable for all skin types. Those with truly sensitive skin know how easily it can develop repeated inflammatory reactions – tightness, skin flushing and patches of redness being regular culprits. The Soothing Gentle Mask’s plant-extract formula (ginkgo biloba extract and orange blossom hydrolate) combines with other active ingredients to comfort even the most delicate of skin types. Upon application, this gel relieves, hydrates and decongests, bringing improved results over time. Visit Haute Swiss Cosmetics at So Spa at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa and Chillax Market at The Grandstand #03-07, or shop online at Horme Soft Soothing Gentle Mask by Hormeta, $81 Best for: Eliminating inflammation and irritation


UPFRONT | Spotlight

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 50/PA+++ ($54 for refill) Best for: Tired skin. Packed with ingredients that hydrate, energise, soothe redness and protect skin from external aggressors (we’re looking at you pollution and UV rays), this multi-tasking formula offers buildable coverage that promises to stay true to colour all day. BONUS: It comes in six shades that are also suitable for deeper skin tones and an addictive refreshing scent.

Lancome Blanc Expert Cushion Compact High Coverage SPF 50/ PA+++ ($55 for single refill) Best for: Those who prefer full coverage. The innovative cushion holds a more complex formula (think highly pigmented, high SPF and rich texture) while the hexagonal protection net dispenses the exact amount of product required to achive a flawless finish. Gently swipe on for sheer coverage or dab to build required coverage.

Biotherm Evermoist CC Cushion ($48) Best for: Dehydrated skin.

Effective and efficient, cushion compacts are a must-have. But which one’s for you? Read on to find out. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be familiar with the cushion compact. For the uninitiated, this Korean beauty export contains a cushion saturated in skin-perfecting BB- or CC-cream, and in some cases foundation, which is dispensed in controlled quantities when you dab your sponge applicator on it. This means no more sticky fingers, no spillage and super-easy touch-ups when you’re on-the-go. But with so many in the market, how do you pick the best one for you? We break it down. EXPRESS BEAUTY Yves Saint Laurent Le Cushion Encre de Peau ($88) Best for: All-day wear. Another one that comes in shades that suit most skin tones, this lightweight, almost watery foundation moisturises and cools the skin while a unique rolling gel system ensures full coverage. Additionally, the innovative formula adapts to all skin types to leave you with a lasting, luminous matte finish. Applying foundation has never looked so luxe!

This CC in a cushion comes with skin-perfecting and brightening ingredients as well as intensely hydrating Life Plankton cellular water that keeps your skin moisturised for up to four hours. The airy formula feels like you’re wearing nothing at all and sets to a natural finish for that beautiful post-workout glow. SPF23.

Laneige BB Cushion Anti- aging SPF50 PA+++ ($62) Best for: Skin with the first signs of ageing. The newest version of its best- selling BB Cushion features Dynamic Collagen that helps plump fine lines, blur blemishes and even out skin tone, while light-reflecting properties give skin a dewy glow. Thanks to Optimal Mineral Water, the formula hydrates and cools your skin on application making it ideal for this weather.

Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma

Brightening UV Cushion Foundation ($55 for refill) Best for: Dull skin. A potent mix of skincare ingredients target dark spots and pigmentation for a brighter, more even-toned complexion. Application is a breeze with plush nylon flocking that picks just the right amount of liquid and allows the formula to glide on smooth for a naturally radiant finish.


FashionNews What to covet, buy and wear this month

UPFRONT | Fashion News

is the new season collection from Stones That Rock, which stays true to its signature play on pearls and crystals, but in fresh designs and colour ways. The Windy 8 String Crystal Bracelet ($65) and the Ivana Navy Crystal Lariat ($75) are at the top of our bucket list and ideal for adding a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Shop by appointment at 19 Jalan Kilan Barat, #02-06 Acetech Centre, by calling 6274 8294. Top of Our Wishlist…

For Your Diary

Now into its 15th year, Boutiques Market is back on 11 and 12 of March at the F1 Pit Building, and this time round there will be more participants than ever (over 150 design-led businesses, if you’re counting!). New in town? This is always a huge shopping extravaganza and a convenient pit-stop for picking up quirky gifts or treats for your wardrobe, family and home. We highly recommend a visit (it’s stroller- and kid-friendly, too!) Cash, all major credit cards, NETS and cheque accepted.

If you’re a fan of delicate jewels with a kick of personality, you’ll love the designs from British jewellery brand Monica Vinader that can be DAINTY DELIGHTS

mixed, matched and stacked to your liking. For an elegant yet personalised necklace for someone special, why not check out the new Alphabet Diamond collection? You can even add on a pendant engraved with a message or meaningful quote. #B1-K7 ION Orchard


UPFRONT | Fashion News

Don’t Miss…

Editor’s Pick

Curating beautiful, ethnic jewellery inspired by Indian, Central and South Asian cultures, Kadambari’s upcoming event on 8 March features a talk with expert Sarah Corbett entitled “Jewels of the Sahara”, as well as an opportunity to shop new collections. All sales go to the Henna Cafe Marrakech, a charity in Morocco that offers education opportunities to locals to help them improve their skills and employment prospects. Free entry, 7 till 10pm at The Colonial at Scotts, 31A Scotts Road. Call 6733 3894 for ticket enquiries or visit facebook. com/kadambari.jewels to buy online.

Fresh on the racks at boutique Willow & Huxley – one of our favourite shopping haunts in Telok Ayer – is the new resort-wear collection by US label L*Space by Monica Wise, which offers chic swim, beach and maxi dresses. Our star buy is this floor-length black maxi – it’s the perfect day-to- night beach club attire ($270). 20 Amoy Street,

Did you know? The style-savvy team behind Willow & Huxley also offer personal styling sessions in store, sip’n’shop private shopping parties and will even help you curate your wardrobe at home. Follow them on instagram @willowandhuxley and at willowandhuxley for daily style inspiration.

New in at Haji Lane boutique AnCee Chantelle are glamorous jewellery ranges crafted with precious gemstones – the perfect accompaniment to the store’s stylish range of women’s clothing in natural, breathable materials. Hotfoot it down there though, as they’re limited edition! 47A Haji Lane, Treas re Trove

We do appreciate our local designers, and Singaporean label SabrinaGoh is no exception. Now located at the snazzy Capitol Piazza, the new concept store doesn’t just house the designer’s womenswear collection but also a roster of other up-and- coming fashion and lifestyle br ands. The s e i nc l ude modern New Zealand- based scent company Ashley & Co., stationery OUR NEW SHOPPING HAUNT

label The Paper Bunny, Karen Walker eyewear and Spatula & Whisk cookies infused with local flavours. #02-14 Capitol Piazza


FASHION | Spotlight

Make It Personal By Susannah Jaffer Standing out for its signature bespoke services, the team behind CW Jewels is on a mission to make jewellery personal. We found out more from founder CAROLINE WIHONO in the company’s light and airy new studio. Congratulations on your new space! Tell us more about the CW Jewels story. Thank you! The business has actually been running in our family for three generations. We’re now into our fourth and are excited to be a part of this incredibly exciting trade. We pride ourselves on being one of the first few boutique jewellery businesses in Singapore to really place a focus on bespoke customisation that has an end to end service – all of our manufacturing is handled in-house. We use only very experienced craftsmen to make our pieces, and only the top notch ones get to create the more challenging designs. It’s a bit like a jewellery SWAT team! Our aim is to create a one-of-a-kind piece for each person who comes to us – there are no templates here. We work closely with clients throughout the whole journey from start to finish, sketches and all. It’s very intimate, friendly and exciting. If you’re coming to create a piece in our studio, you’ll be taken through the different types of materials and stones that can be used. It’s like a treasure trove! Whether it’s a statement piece or an engagement ring, I love hearing people’s stories behind their designs – it’s one of my favourite parts of the job. What are the advantages of choosing a bespoke piece over buying something ready-made? We think of an item of jewellery as a piece of art to last you through generations. There are stories that live within us all, and jewellery is a tool that allows us to express ourselves. In Asia, I find that we tend to be less expressive people. My parents and grandparents used jewellery to share moments of their lives with us, and it’s something that has rubbed off on me too. Creating a bespoke piece also means you have full control over your design from start to finish, so you can fashion something completely to your own wish list of features. Each piece we create is like a fingerprint, imprinted with stories, from our first 3D sketches to the moulding, setting and final piece. Many people opt for an engraving too, with a personal message, words or initials.

Left: Irina Radulova, Creative & Marketing Conceptor Right: CarolineWihono, Founder & Creative Conceptor

Each piece we create is like a fingerprint, imprinted with stories.


We get to share connections with real people, and that is always memorable.

How do you work with clients through the jewellery customisation process? As our customer, you are the designer, and you’re involved every single step of the way. After initial discussions, we ask you to describe the final design so we can understand the look and feel that you’re after, whether it be a ring, necklace or earrings. We draw a professional sketch later on, which is then turned into a 3D design that will be signed off by you before we hand it over to our craftsmen. Once a final design has been decided on, how long does it take to receive the finished piece? We usually have at least several interactions with our clients (first, a personal meeting, and the rest can then be done by email if necessary). Once we’ve got the go-ahead on the final sketches, it usually takes at least two weeks for us to receive the final piece in our studio. Have you been involved in any particularly memorable bespoke projects? The most beautiful part about being a private jeweller is that our clients turn into friends. On many occasions, we’ve shared in people’s frustration with their wedding preparations, or learnt how they’re keeping an engagement proposal a surprise. There have been occasions where we’ve had to listen to doubts, too, if a couple is going through a trying time together. We’ve actually had several people come to us to make jewellery after overcoming trying personal times, with situations that have been very moving and have touched our hearts. We get to share connections with real people, and that is always memorable.

One Commonwealth, 1 Commonwealth Lane, #09-09 6650 9836, 9127 2984 |


UPFRONT | Closet Spy

We ask a LIV reader what makes her work wardrobe tick... Nejla Matam-Finn, Founder of The Fifth Collection,

Her daily routine…

For the couple of years while I was building and launching The Fifth Collection, every day was quite unpredictable, and I’ve had to deal with the inevitable (and sometimes incredible) curve balls of life as an entrepreneur. The only routine was late nights, sleep deprivation and coffee – lots of it! Now, after almost two years in operation, we’ve grown from a one-woman show to a team of eight outstanding people that feels like a family. I’m a night owl by nature, but with my daughter starting her new school this year, I’m up most days at 6am. My day starts on the balcony at twilight in my PJs with an espresso (all right, maybe two) while my husband and COO gets ready, and then we trade places. I have a systematic checklist in the morning – emails, social media, to-do list, calendar – so by the time I hit the shower, I have a pretty good idea of what else I want to get done that day. I’m ready in a flash as I rarely wear makeup during the week. Next, I drop our daughter off at school before heading to the office around 8am. A typical day will usually mean some combination of meetings with vendors, journalists, clients or team members on projects and reviewing new stock arrivals. That said, I try hard to carve out some time during each day to isolate myself from distractions under my gigantic headphones (I consider them the “do not disturb” signs of open workspaces!) so I can answer emails and work on our social and editorial strategy. We usually pack up around 7pm and drive home to spend some time with our daughter before she heads to bed, then have dinner before round three of the workday, which all happens on my iPad while watching the news or catching up on my favourite series. I check my to-do list for the day and read articles. My dream is to one day be able to manage the company from a phone or tablet.



Her dress code…

Despite my job, I’m not into brands. I’m more interested in quality than quantity, but also good craftsmanship. Ask anyone in my entourage and they will tell you that I refuse to buy from certain brands (who shall remain nameless!) because I simply cannot justify the price versus the quality of the item. The price-to-quality ratio is very important to me. The things I’ve invested in over the years and never regretted include: a black East West Chanel bag, an Evelyne bag in brown fromHermès, and my Goyard St Louis. When it comes to shoes, I like Repetto and Chanel flats, and for heels, pumps from Louboutin and Miu Miu. For dresses I keep going back to Tomas Maier. Most of my accessories such as belts, scarves and jewellery are vintage and not necessarily branded, but if I buy from a name, then I’ll pick Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent: they have bold, colourful pieces that make just enough of a statement without looking wild. Where she shops… I accessorise more in the evening, often with vintage pieces that I collect from my trips. Some are branded, some are more ethnic, but I always come back from my travels with at least one accessory. They are great conversation starters and make lovely souvenirs. I still wear jeans in the evening – sometimes a colourful pair – finished off with heels. I can’t really wear super-high ones, otherwise I look so tall no one wants to talk to me at events! My go-to pair is my nude Louboutins. I’ll also add either a nice leather jacket or an old school blazer with a twist. I’m currently eyeing a white Alexander McQueen blazer and a black Marni leather jacket from the site. I believe in building a wardrobe that fits you and your life. Even the name of my company speaks to the idea of transcending the four seasons of fashion to find your style. I keep a pretty lean wardrobe and I edit it constantly; if something doesn’t fit or doesn’t make me look good and feel good, then it’s out. As a consequence, I’m also a very picky buyer. My favourite colour is turquoise, so I’ll always have a little something in that colour on me. I stay away from green because it makes me look tired. When shopping, I always take my time and think about what will mix well with what I already have. Whenever I buy something on impulse, I end up regretting it! Her fashion sense… I love comfort. I think that a woman who is comfortable exudes greater confidence. I pick what fits me and grow my collection from there. And of course, I practise what I preach by upcycling, meaning I buy, sell and collect from our site! My uniform is jeans, jeans and more jeans, usually paired with T-shirts. My favourite ones are from American Vintage (JAC51) and Majestic Filatures, and linen ones from Zara. When I want to take my look up a notch, I’ll reach for a long, oversized shirt. I discovered a brand last time I was in Hong Kong called Pye, and I’m obsessed with its white Chinese collars. I rarely splurge on clothes, except for key pieces here and there, but I’m pretty full-on when it comes to accessories. A good bag and shoes can take your look to the next level in a heartbeat. My go-to is a Goyard St Louis bag – it’s spacious, sturdy and easy to clean, and you can make it your own with monograms. When it comes to evening, I think you can’t go wrong with an oversized clutch. Céline does a great version, which I use as an extra pouch in my day bag. For shoes, you will always see me in flats – I’m lucky to be tall so I don’t need the extra inches! Last but not least, I always carry a scarf. I own a fair share of Hermès. Living in Singapore means dealing with constant fluctuations of hot and cold, and a scarf is your saviour whatever the weather – they are such an undervalued wardrobe staple! Also, to make my look more formal, I usually have a jacket or an oversized sweater on hand in case of a last-minute meeting. Her wardrobe staples… Her personal style…




I love comfort. I think that a woman who is comfortable exudes greater confidence. I pick what fits me and grow my collection from there.

Vintage earrings

Christian Louboutin



UPFRONT | Cover Star

Heart Verne Maree visits the enigmatic entrepreneur at her family home in the Meyer Road area, determined to uncover the woman behind the business success story. with Danielle Warner to Heart

Styling and direction: Susannah Jaffer Makeup and hair: Kelly Bilimoria, Photography: Michael Bernabe

20 Danielle wears dress by Three of Something, available atWillow and Huxley, and Atelier Swarovski Moselle necklace, $4,500, and ring, $550

UPFRONT | Cover Star


UPFRONT | Cover Star

Danielle wears Blossom Midi Shirt Dress by Raoul, $585


UPFRONT | Cover Star

search reveals surprisingly little. Danielle Warner’s LinkedIn profile describes her as the “founder and CEO of Expat Insurance, an independent insurance brokerage operating in Singapore and Hong Kong”. But we knew this before; also that it’s “the only insurance intermediary especially for expats” and covers medical, travel, home, employee benefits programmes and business insurance. No personal details, though. Not a word about her family life, her likes and dislikes. And that’s extremely unusual for a businesswoman who has been an advertising partner with this magazine ever since she set up her flourishing business in 2009, seven years ago; especially one so bubbly, poised and attractive. When you say that insurance is “in your blood”, what do you mean? It’s all I’ve ever known. My mom, my aunts and my cousins were all in the business, and I started interning at AIG in New York from the age of 16; I’d fly home from university to do that. After graduating, I landed a marketing writer? I see you studied English Literature and CreativeWriting. No, never. But I loved to read – I still love to read, I just don’t get much of a chance anymore. I enjoy writing, too. In fact, I’m about to publish my first book – on insurance, of course! – and over the years I’ve contributed articles not only to Expat Living but also to The Straits Times , the Maple Leaf Times and the Singapore American Newsletter . A n internet job with them straightaway. Did you never want to be a

From the neat assemblies of toys, trikes and tiny shoes, I brilliantly conclude that you have children. What brought you to Singapore, and how did Danielle Bray become DanielleWarner? After six years with AIG in New York, I came to Singapore in 2006 with my then boyfriend, Simon Warner – he’s British, and works in the same industry – when he was transferred to Asia. We were married in 2011 and have two children, Henry (3) and Charlotte (19 months). Our first home was an old condo in Kim Yam Road near Robertson Quay: a great area, but Simon felt that the East Coast would be better for us as a family. So we moved into an old shophouse in Tembeling Road, until the termites drove us out about two and a half years ago and we found this one. It’s a good location with lots of parks, and Henry is at EtonHouse just across the road. There’s a great community of fulltime working mums like myself with helpers, who seem to have something planned for the kids every day. What motivated you to start Expat Insurance? I myself struggled to find insurance when I arrived, even though Simon and I were both in the business – so I had to wonder: what were other expats going through? Once I’d figured it all out, I started the business to answer that need. The corporate or employee benefits side of what I do was born out of a private client relationship. It all started in 2010, when a family client of mine almost forced me into it; and I’m glad he did, because it has really become my passion: tailor-making employee benefit programmes for multinational corporations. Mark had 300 employees all over the world, and he told me that the trick was to see his company as one big family. As it turned out, he was so right: I found that although the scale is far bigger, the principles are the same.

How would you describe the past seven years? Hard work! That just about sums it up: hard work every day. The business was my first child and I poured my heart and soul into it, as you do with your children. Fortunately, it’s work that I love, and I love the people I work with. Would you consider expanding further? Not by establishing offices throughout Asia – despite the standing joke in the office that we’re going for global domination! Though we support expatriates based all over the world, out teams in Singapore and Hong Kong manage it all; I don’t feel we have to be physically present everywhere. We sell the promise of protection and peace of mind, which requires a corruption-free environment. It’s a personal issue, too: I have a very young family and it’s important to be here for them. So, what’s your secret for successfully juggling career and family? Having a good team at home and a good team at the office means I never have to feel that my kids are not getting all the affection and attention they need and deserve. That’s what keeps me sane. Also, my retired mom regularly comes out from Pennsylvania to visit us for extended periods, usually for a total of around six months a year. This is such a wonderful luxury, and I know how lucky we are to have her here for us. What do you do in your spare time? I must admit that I struggle to switch off from the business side of things; it’s one of my personal weaknesses. If you asked my team, they’d say I work too hard! Mainly, I focus on spending quality time playing with my kids. We like to go swimming, to the zoo or to “Pirates”, which is our name for the


UPFRONT | Cover Star

Port of Lost Wonder on Sentosa; there’s a lovely little water park there. Finally, my one guilty pleasure is reading E xpat Living each month from cover to cover. I’ve been doing that for the past ten years. Tell us about your new book, Bulletproof – Building better employment benefits. It shares all my secrets about employee benefits and provides a blueprint for structuring a successful programme, so the book is aimed at HR leaders and other benefit decision-makers. I’ve been working on it on and off since April 2015, with the help of an editor in the US. What drives you? I’m driven by my passion for meeting new people, and for connecting things – people to products, people to people – and because insurance is in my blood. Ours is not a stale, boring desk job; we meet people from every country across the globe, and from all walks of life. Structuring protection for an MNC’s international staff that includes people digging for gold in Cameroon or Liberia can be an exciting puzzle – how do you keep people safe in such circumstances? – and my team and I have learnt more about oil and gas, shipping and other marine industries than we could ever have imagined possible. Speaking of my dynamic team, it numbers more than 30 members from 14 different nationalities, and we currently take care of more than 20,000 people all over the world! What would you say are your greatest strengths? Energy and enthusiasm. Being so connected to my purpose makes it easy to stay on the right path, to know what we should and should not be doing – when something is right, and when to say no. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt? That I can do just about anything I put my mind to. At the end of the day, when the time comes to disconnect

Thirdly, surround yourself with cool people. It can be very lonely on your own. What’s more, by developing relationships with like-minded partners that are based on trust and not necessarily fuelled by financial aims, you’ll be adding real value to what you can offer your clients. What are you looking forward to? The launch of my book on 10 March! After that milestone, I aim to rebalance my focus in 2016 to spend more time with my family. Having hired a GM and a marketing manager last year, we have in place a fantastic leadership team to help us continue to grow.

from work, I’m able to come home and play roaring dragons with my little one. It’s something I have to be able to do. Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? Start with a good idea – a purpose – and find your niche. Then, test the market to see whether people value your idea or service and will pay for it. Secondly, know and understand your client. People want a total solution, and they want to understand clearly what you’re offering in order to be able to make an informed choice.


UPFRONT | Cover Star

Being so connected to my purpose makes it easy to stay on the right path, to know what we should and should not be doing – when something is right, and when to say no.

25 and Sue Flair dress by Elohim by Sabrina Goh, $179.90 Danielle wears Nevola necklace by Atelier Swarovski, $1,550,

The New Mood

Makeup is very DIY this season. It’s about having fun with colours – or choosing to do nothing at all. Whichever look you opt for, the key is not to seem too made up. Real, undone and effortless is the kind of makeup you want to be wearing right now.

By Smita DeSouza

Picture: NARS Phillip Lim SS16 Retouched


BEAUTY | Trends


Not a fan of bright lips? Ease into the trend by dabbing on lipstick with your finger for a sheer stain.

PRO TIP: “Keep it current by adding an element of casualness. The key is to have the rest of your makeup pared-back and minimal so it isn’t competing with this jolt of colour,” says Louise Zizzo, MAC Senior Artist.


Dig out your favourite bold lipstick, because ’tis the season for the loud pout. From tomato reds to deep berries, in textures that vary from creamy to matte, it’s time to make a statement.



Burberry Makeup Lip Definer Oxblood No. 14, $37

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Bacca, $36

Tom Ford Lip Patent Finish Lip Color Orchid Fatale, $72

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour Quite The Standout, $39

Make Up Store Lipstick Burgundy, $32


Clumpy mascara? Resist the urge to comb it out. There’s nothing perfect about this lash look. In keeping with the season’s undone theme, lashes should have an edgy, lived-in feel. DRAMATIC LASHES


Make Up For Ever Lash Show C703 Classic, $32

PRO TIP: Using the tip of your mascara wand, swipe it back and forth like a windshield wiper to achieve this look.


If you need to add false eyelashes, opt for individual ones and place them at the centre rather than at the outer corners of the eye.

MAC Lashes 30, $24

Marc Jacobs Beauty Feather Noir Ultra- Skinny Lash, $38

Shu Uemura False Eyelashes Natural Volume 01, $41


BEAUTY | Trends


Trade your black and brown pencils and eye shadows for blue to add a fun kick of colour. Cover your entire lid or go with just a swipe – the important thing is to keep it undone, as if you didn’t spend too much time on it BLUE HUES

Try blue mascara for just a hint of colour.

PRO TIP: According to Louise, using pastels can get tricky. “It’s best to stick to medium to deep blues – like midnight or cobalt blue – that suit most skin tones.”

Diorshow Mono in 296 Show, $49

Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic I-22 Iridescent Electric Blue, $35

Sephora Colorful Eyeshadow Matte Blue Lagoon, $17

M.A.C Pro Chromographic Pencil Hi-def Cyan, $39


Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Fervent Blue, $36


With all the attention at your eyes, make sure your brows are groomed and combed out.


NYX Vivid Brights Liner Sapphire, $14

NARS Eye Paint Solomon Island $40

You can add a dab of gold on the “cupid’s bow” to accentuate your lips.

Burberry Beauty Eye Colour Cream Nude Gold, $50


PRO TIP: “If there’s a colour that looks good on all skin tones, it’s gold,” says Chew Toong Han, Dior Assistant Makeup Training Manager and Pro Team Makeup Artist – International.

Shu Uemura

NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color Pencil Angel, $34

Diorshow Mono in 006 Infinity, $49

Go for gold. Or silver. Summer’s maximalism dictates grown-up glamour that can easily be achieved with metallics. Perfect for those who are wary of glitter – and the fallout that ensues – a dab of these precious hues on the inner corners of the eyes or a slick on the eyelids can look sexy and sophisticated. HEAVY METALS #TRENDING:

Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow G White Gold, $25


BEAUTY | Trends




If you’re going to do nothing dramatic, make a huge effort with your skin. Conceal only what needs to be hidden – blemishes, redness, dark under-eyes. Perfect the canvas for the colour- saturated looks; or add a dab of highlighter here and a peach blush there and you might not need anything else.

Powder between the brow bones, just under the eye, the nostrils and the tip of the nose to control shine.


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation, $82

Shu Uemura Skin Perfector Oil, $98


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $97

Make sure your skin is first adequately hydrated and then suitably primed according to your skin type. This will ensure you don’t need too much product.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch, $59


“I created a very short parting that’s slightly off-centre, and twisted the hair back into a messy knot, pulling out strands here and there to add some charm and character to the overall look.”


Put down the hair spray; there’s an equal effortlessness in hair trends. Pulled into low, sleek ponytails or messy low buns, the styles are romantic, soft and look as if they’ve been styled-on-the-go.

Percy & Reed Instant Volumising Spray, $30

PRO TIP: “The very short parting adds a little bit of height in the back, which gives a softer silhouette,” says Guido Palau, Redken Global Creative Director.

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray, $32

Moroccanoil Treatment Light, $73



BEAUTY | Xxxxxx

We Tried It

More radiant, younger-looking skin on your wish list? Here are five facials that will help you relax and look and feel better. ( Pssst! There’s one for pregnant women too.)


BEAUTY | Salon Facials

Katie Roberts

What I tried: HydraFacial and Q-switch laser What I found:

Cost and duration: HydraFacial ($280) and Q-switch laser ($350), 60 minutes. Trial price: HydraFacial ($118) and Q-switch laser ($50). and prickly, but it’s all over in a matter of minutes. As Dr Ee explains what’s going on, his steady hand targets pigmentation patches that need a little extra attention. The best bit? The entire session was easily done in my lunch break, and there is absolutely no downtime.

Freckles, pigmentation, enlarged pores and fine lines are some of the common concerns that plague many of us when we hit 40. To remedy these concerns and to get the most out of my limited pamper time, I looked for a facial and laser treatment that would deliver two-fold benefits: relaxation and visible results. I booked an appointment at Clifford Aesthetics, Singapore’s first SkinCeuticals Clinical Spa, where all treatments are done using the brand’s products. A vortex effect is the genius behind the nifty handpiece used in the HydraFacial, which works in a five-step process: cleansing and exfoliation, gentle acid peel, painless extraction, anti-wrinkle eye treatment and hydration. Together with a comforting face-and-shoulder massage and a facemask, the whole thing took about 45 minutes. That’s step one. Step two is a 10-minute session with the soft-spoken Dr Ee and the Q-switch, which is a tri-beam laser that targets hyper-pigmentation, uneven complexion and open pores. Admittedly, the laser feels a little warm I opted for the cocoon mask treatment, which is good for when you want to de-stress and is suitable for all skin types. In addition to restoring radiance and vitality to tired skin, it also helps you relax – perfect for someone who, like me, is eight months pregnant! Steps include cleansing, exfoliating, a cream face mask and then the signature cocoon face mask, together with a massage for the face, neck, shoulders and head that relaxes the facial features and smooths the skin. The cocoon mask is self-heating and consists of a foam mask applied over an eye serum around the eyes, a base mask smoothed over the face, and a gauze that covers the face and eyes, leaving just your nostrils free. You feel truly cocooned, and as the mask warms up, it has a very soothing effect. The result was silky soft, radiant skin and a very relaxed pregnant lady! Le Petit Spa also offers a range of prenatal and postnatal treatments, from full body massages to facials and wraps. What I tried: Cocoon Facial Treatment by Maria Galland What I found: Katie Peace

Clifford Aesthetics #01-03/A Clifford Centre, 24 Raffles Place 6532 2400 |

Le Petit Spa #02-01/04 Tudor Court Shopping Gallery, 145 Tanglin Road 6733 7117 | Cost and duration: $128, 60 minutes.


BEAUTY | Salon Facials

Smita DeSouza

Travel, a change in weather and looming deadlines had left my skin stressed and confused making it dull, rough and bumpy. This combination of factors meant I needed a bespoke solution and the So Haute Facial sounded perfect. The ritual starts with an in-depth consultation where the therapist takes a thorough look at your skin to determine your main concerns and your skin type. My skin was slightly dehydrated and congested – nothing unusual for someone living in Singapore’s warm, humid climate. With this information, she proceeded to pick products from the 10 different Swiss skincare brands from Haute Swiss that the So Spa carries, and customise my facial. What followed was a cleanse and an exfoliation using a massage technique that removes dead skin but also helps strengthen collagen and lighten fine lines and wrinkles. Next, a combination of two masks – one for tired, stressed skin, and another to help clear breakouts – was applied on specific areas. I was left to relax while the masks hydrated and nourished, and tackled bacteria, respectively. I woke with skin that felt relaxed, soft and absolutely hydrated. A bonus is that the So Spa is tucked away on Sentosa, and is therefore one of the most relaxing places to get pampered. What I tried: The So Haute Package What I found:

Cost and duration: from $265, 90 minutes

So Spa, The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa 2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa 6708 8310 |

Verne Maree

It’s been ages since my last classical facial with extraction, and aesthetician Sandie can tell as she maps my face with SWUK’s multi-spectral skin analysis machine: it reveals masses of tiny blackheads infesting my nose pores, and whiteheads thriving in the rest of my T-zone. Using the LING New York skincare line, my therapist Coco does a thorough cleanse, administers a stimulating massage to face, neck and shoulders, then embarks on the signature triple peel – a glycolic acid peel, a papaya enzyme peel and a non-acidic rescue peel. Together with a steady stream of steam to open the pores, they remove the build-up of dead cells and soften the skin surface, perfectly preparing my grimy T-zone for extraction. I won’t say I slept through this slightly wincing experience, but it’s mercifully brief and definitely necessary. No half measures here either, as two masks follow: a herbal clay clarifying mask, plus a cool ginseng moisturising mask that’s applied with a polished jade roller to soothe the skin, increase blood circulation and minimise fine lines. For the 20 minutes it’s left to work its magic, I’m off to dreamland. Next day, no extraction marks, just a great glow. What I tried: LING Triple Peel Detox Facial What I found:

Cost and duration: $267.50, 90 minutes.

SWUK Aesthetics #02-25 Alexandra Central, 321 Alexandra Road 6250 1326 |


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