1st July 2020 by Anthia Chng 3 Min ReadStretch marks, cellulite and pigmentation are some of the concerns that come with giving birth. For many ladies, there’s often a pressure to look good during and after pregnancy. But let’s be real: those picture-perfect celeb mums you see on the Internet are often backed by a team of personal trainers and nutritionists who are helping them to maintain their image. Most of us don’t have that! Yearning to go back to your pre-pregnancy state right after giving birth is not only an unrealistic expectation, but also potentially detrimental to your mental health. Progress is a journey that takes time, and there are treatments out there that can help you through it, while giving you a confidence boost. Post-pregnancy aesthetic treatments#1 Stretch Marks TreatmentAfter pregnancy, elastin and collagen fibres that are stretched may not return to a pre-sprung state. The skin may become permanently loose and stretched at the abdomen, the breasts and any other areas where weight gain has taken place. While topical creams may help to reduce the appearance of post-pregnancy stretch marks, without treatment they are often visible. The customised stretch marks treatment at Amaris B Clinic uses a combination of skin dermabrasion with tightening, peeling and collagen-stimulating treatments. There’s no downtime needed, and you may need a series of five, 10 or 15 sessions for full results.#2 PICO Pigmentation LaserHormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. For this, try PICO Pigmentation Laser, an FDA-approved PICOCARE laser treatment that targets pigmentation concerns like dark spots, acne scars, freckles and melasma. PICOCARE uses the principle of Laser Induced Optical Breakdown (LIOB), where the laser energy penetrates deeper into the skin to treat targeted areas without damaging the skin surface.#3 Lymphatic drainageFor fluid retention or cellulite issues, try the non-invasive lymphatic drainage treatment. The comfortable and relaxing procedure involves suiting up in a patented bodysuit with 400 integrated pressure chambers, which stimulate areas on the body. It’s similar to how the Chinese cupping therapy works, and feels almost like a massage. High and low pressure are applied through the chambers, which also results in better blood circulation. This treatment may also help with other chronic issues over time, as it detoxifies the body, gets rid of toxins and improves overall health. Amaris B ClinicWhich aesthetic clinic to go?Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director at Amaris B Clinic, has over 20 years of clinical practice in medicine. Accredited by the Ministry of Health Singapore to perform liposuction, he is a VASER-certified physician and is also the appointed trainer for PICOCARE in Singapore. Recently, the clinic received recognition as the 2019 Body Sculpting Provider of the Year in Asia Pacific by Global Health and Travel, and the 2020 Best Weight Management award by Tatler Singapore. For more post-pregnancy aesthetic treatments, make an appointment at the clinic.For something a little stronger…#4 VASER LipoPregnancy often causes changes in the body. If you’re looking to target problem areas that are resistant to exercise or diet, VASER Lipo is a less-invasive form of liposuction you can consider. Like liposuction, it eliminates unwanted fat, but does so in a gentler manner. Sound energy is used to liquefy fat cells in targeted areas, leaving the surrounding cells unharmed. Fat cells that are destroyed during the procedure do not grow back, which means fat loss is permanent. However, you’ll need to follow up with a proper exercise regime and healthy eating plan to maintain the results. [embedded content]Written in collaboration with:Amaris B Clinic140 Arab St6536 4211 | amaris-b.comLiked this? Check out more stories on our beauty page!
22nd June 2020 by Anthia Chng 2 Min ReadA well-made suit can make you feel like a million bucks. And that’s exactly how you should feel on your wedding day, no less! Whether you’re shopping for your wedding suit or a bespoke suit for work, consider getting it made-to-measure so it fits you perfectly. My husband Benjamin Mah got his suit done at Edit Suits for our wedding earlier this year – read on for his review.Ben’s wedding suit reviewWorking in a tech-forward, creative environment has its perks, like never having to worry about dress codes. My weekday essentials consist almost exclusively of T-shirts and jeans – sometimes even shorts. No need for “Dress Down Friday” when there’s “Floral Friday” to dress for!Unsurprisingly, as my wedding day drew nearer, my lack of experience with formal attire meant I had no idea how to look the part. Save for one off-the-rack jacket, I had never owned a suit in my life, let alone a tailored one. Thankfully, my worst fashion nightmare never saw the light of day and I have Edit Suits to thank for that.My first appointment couldn’t have gone better. I was relieved to find the showroom cosy and unintimidating — important as a first-time customer. The mannequins that lined the showroom walls displayed suits for every occasion, demonstrating the versatility of Edit Suits’ designs.I was attended to by the store’s Senior Style Consultant, Syafiq, who patiently guided me through the fabric and customisation options on offer. With a whopping 3,000 fabrics to pick from, there’s something for everyone here, style and budget-wise. I eventually decided on a midnight blue and grey combination from Dormeuil’s Amadeus collection for my three-piece suit. This premium collection is known for its comfort and excellent drape, and I figured it would be a worthy investment for my first made-to-measure suit. The measurement process that followed was swift but detailed. I tend to require very specific instructions for this kind of thing, but Syafiq worked with quick precision and the experience wasn’t as awkward as I feared it might be. I was particularly impressed with Edit Suits’ digital approach to suit customisation. After picking my fabrics and buttons, an iPad was presented with all the available options for fit, collar, cuff and more. The user interface is clear and easy to navigate, with illustrations accompanying every option, so the entire process was a breeze.The online platform also ensured full transparency, with every measurement and detail of the order saved to my Edit Suits account. This is a convenient reference for dreaming up your next suit, and it streamlines the process if you use your most recent body measurements. My suit was completed in two weeks and all it took is a slight alteration for the perfect fit. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. Now that the wedding is over, it’ll soon be my turn to take the role of a groomsman for my friends, so I’m already planning my next visit to Edit Suits!Edit SuitsLevel 2, 35A Duxton Road3158 3926 | [email protected]/sg
23rd June 2020 by Anthia Chng 2 Min ReadHair loss in women and men isn’t a fun topic to deal with, but in some cases, products may help. For extreme hair loss, you might need a surgical procedure like a hair transplant. If you’re worried about going under the knife, consider Regenera Activa, a non-surgical hair loss treatment that takes only 45 minutes. We chat with Dr Tommy Ng from Trinity Medical to find out more.What is Regenera Activa?Regenera Activa is a treatment that targets hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) and hair thinning in both men and women. The non-surgical treatment uses the patient’s tissue, which contains stem cells that can help to activate the hair follicles around the affected areas. By stimulating a hair regenerative process, new hair can be produced. Who is a suitable candidate?Regenera Activa will greatly benefit both men and women who want to avoid undergoing a surgical procedure like hair transplant. This FDA-approved treatment is also low maintenance, requiring only one follow-up session per year to maintain your thicker lock of hair.What does the treatment involve?This three-step treatment takes only 45 minutes. It can be carried out comfortably in the clinic.The first step is to harvest the skin cells. Local anaesthesia is applied around the back of the scalp, making it a relatively comfortable procedure with minimal discomfort. You may feel a slight pinching sensation, but not a sharp pain. Your doctor will then take three small samples (2.5mm diameter per sample) of your scalp skin. The sampling procedure is completely painless.Step two is the processing of regenerative cells. The Regenera Activa system processes and extracts regenerative cells that contain high amount of bioactive growth factors. Lastly, these regenerative cells are injected into areas of the scalp that are suffering from hair loss. Is there downtime?Patients can resume normal daily activities after the treatment as there’s no downtime! However, it’s advisable to avoid saunas, swimming pools, excessive sun exposure to the scalp and strenuous physical activities for the next three days.How long will it take to see results?Studies show existing hair follicles begin to regenerate new hair four to six weeks after the treatment, reducing hair loss. Clinical studies have shown improvements in hair density, hair counts and scalp coverage in as early as one month, but patience is a virtue. Improvements in total hair thickness take time. Consider repeating the treatment after 15 to 18 months to maintain the results.Regenera Activa is priced at $3000 and is available at Trinity Medical Centre.Written in collaboration with:Dr Tommy Ng from Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade)87, Marine Parade Central, #01-5036344 0027 | sgtrinityaesthetics.com
11th June 2020 by Anthia Chng < 1 It must be time to upgrade your stay-at-home wardrobe. Do you have video calls for work and need to look cool and calm, or just want some stylish loungewear for the weekend? We know that old house dress is wearing thin! Here are some fashion brands in Singapore where you can shop online for the perfect piece – or two… Primrose shirt dress, $110, Shopping at Tiffany’s Cable two-way sweater in Winter Jade, $279, Tove & Libra Butterfly dress in Tropical Garden, $239, Capsule by Juliette Blouson shirt, $140, and drawstring pant, $130, Tove & Libra White solo top, $85, White Ginger Ingrid shirt dress in Forest Green, $169, Capsule by Juliette Jackson cropped pant, $79, Shopping at Tiffany’sTop TipOpt for weather-appropriate basics in solid colours and neutral tones. They’re easy to match and equally suitable for both home and office!DirectoryCapsule by JulietteLevel 2 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road | 8333 8705 | capsulebyjuliette.com Shopping at Tiffany’s#02-03 Tanglin Mall | 6468 6156 | shoppingattiffanys.com Tove & Libratoveandlibra.comWhite Ginger#03-04 Tanglin Mall | 6235 0322 | white-ginger.comThis article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!
After spending 18 years in the technology industry, New Zealand-born mother-of-two NMITA DOAK took a big career switch with the launch of her makeup brand in March. Since then, Amplio Beauty has been making waves for its range of cruelty-free and paraben-free makeup that’s suitable for sensitive skin. We chat with the affable founder and director to find out more about her gorgeous lineup of liquid lipsticks and eyeshadows.What’s the story behind Amplio Beauty?I was born in New Zealand of Indian heritage. Life has taken me to some of the most beautiful and interesting places across the world. Inspired by the colours of the Dubai desert (Sands of Dubai), the gems of India (Jewels of India), the freshness of New Zealand’s lakes and mountains (Natural New Zealand), the tropical beauty of Singapore (Tropical Singapore), and the successes of other female entrepreneurs, I decided to launch my own makeup line, Amplio Beauty. What better place to do this than Singapore! We chose the Latin word Amplio as it means to “improve”, “heighten”, “augment” and “enhance”; in other words, to amplify your natural beauty. As part of our first collection, we’ve launched an exclusive range of all-in-one palettes that contain eyeshadows, contours, highlighters, blushes or bronzers, as well as a selection of Lipstays (liquid lipsticks) and Lip Stylos (lip pencils). There’s everything you need to achieve the perfect look, wherever life may take you.Being a mum of two and having come from the technology industry, I know the challenges every woman has to face when balancing between life, work, kids and the home. At the same time, I want to feel beautiful every day, wherever I go. So why should there be a compromise? We should have it all. With my collection of grab-and-go makeup products, I want to enable women across the world to share my dream and to reach for their own.Tell us more about your experience in the tech industry.I’ve worked in IT for the last 18 years, mostly with IBM. It all started with IBM New Zealand where I was managing Public Sector Sales. That grew into an opportunity to manage the software group for Public Sector in Queensland and the Northern Territory when I relocated to Australia.I then switched to a consulting based role for financial services in Dubai. I developed a fascination for the oil and gas industry, so I did oil and gas sales for SAP Middle East. During my eight years in Dubai, I particularly enjoyed visits to Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE to meet customers in cement manufacturing and armoured car construction, as well as trips to Kuwait to discuss programmes for optimising oil-well drilling.In between all that, I had two children and had to learn to balance motherhood with my career. It was at that point, out of necessity, that I started thinking of coming up with a more time-effective routine in the morning, which incorporates longlasting, eco-friendly makeup that’s also suitable for my sensitive skin. That led to a four-year journey culminating in the launch of Amplio Beauty. No more cement plants, armoured car factories or oil drilling rigs!What were some challenges you had to overcome when creating the brand?It took me four long years to find an environmentally aware manufacturer that I was happy with – one that could consistently produce a product of the highest quality suitable for humid climates. The searching eventually took me to the USA. It’s not the cheapest place in the world to manufacture makeup, but it’s the most regulated, which ensures consistent, safe, high-quality and environmentally friendly products. Our next step is to open our own factory there.Having launched on 1 March here in Singapore, we quickly had to modify the brand strategy due to COVID-19. After hosting some makeup events earlier in the year, we had to pivot to virtual online makeup parties, masterclasses and live pop-ups. This was not in the launch plan but I actually think it has helped us to reach a wider audience more quickly. To date, we have delivered Amplio makeup to 19 countries across the globe and are working on plans for China and Japan.What are some bestsellers we should try?The success of the Discover and Indulge Experience kits have really surprised us. These customisable makeup kits include our brushes, palettes, Lipstays and Lip Stylos. The kits are hugely popular, not just amongst ladies who want to pamper themselves, but also with men who are looking for a meaningful gift for a special woman in their lives! The Amplio SetIn terms of palettes, the Tropical Singapore palette with the Dusty Rose Lipstay and Lip Stylo are the most popular, closely followed by the Natural New Zealand palette with the Rocket Red Lipstay and Lip Stylo. These are the perfect combinations for most skin types. All our palettes are magnetic, which makes them great for travelling so you can mix and match colours between them and only take what you need.What’s next for the brand?We are very excited at how our first collection has been received. In the future, we’d like to offer the option of purchasing refills. It’s a great way to reuse the packaging.We’re currently working on a bridal collection and we have some local collaborations in the wind for specialised ranges – very exciting! We also have some lip glosses coming up and are considering including foundations and concealers in our range in the near future.We first started with the Discover Experience and Indulge Experience kits but we’ve also successfully trialled a top-of-the-line Pamper Experience kit for professionals and makeup lovers. And, for women who are on the go, we’re about to launch an all-in-one makeup “chocolate box”, which fits in a handbag.Look out for these new offerings within the next few weeks. This is just the beginning!Shop the full range at ampliobeauty.com.This article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!
29th May 2020 by Anthia Chng 3 Min ReadWe all need a little breather every now and then. One of my favourite ways to unwind? Taking a moment to myself and breathing in an essential oil blend. Since Ancient Egyptian times, natural oils have been used for multiple purposes, including religious rites and medical solutions. Today, natural aromatherapy oils are popular for their mood-boosting and stress-relieving benefits. Here we explore six online stores where you can shop pure essential oils!OllieThis Singapore-based online store sources 100 percent pure, natural and sustainable essential oils directly from farmers and distillers around the world. For example, the lemongrass oil is from Kerala, India, the tea tree oil from Australia and the cinnamon oil from Sri Lanka. Other best-sellers include travel-friendly products like a mosquito repellent ($9), hand sanitiser spray ($7) and yoga mat sanitiser spray ($13.50), which is a fragrant blend of tea tree, lemongrass, sweet orange, lavender and peppermint oils. Shopping for a friend? Check out the wellness gift bundle ($49), a value-for-money set that includes a yoga mat sanitiser spray, hand sanitiser spray, Himalayan lavender oil and Australian tea tree oil.itsollie.comYoung LivingIf you’re into essential oils, chances are you’ve heard of this brand. Based in Lehi, Utah, Young Living is one of the leading essential oil brands on the market. Guided by their Seed to Seal quality commitment, the brand offers 100 percent pure and authentic essential oils, as well as oil-infused products produced with high standards. A popular item on the site is the lavender oil, which helps to promote calmness and soothes the skin. Fun fact: Young Living has three farms – in Utah, Idaho and France –that grow lavender for this purpose! You can also find it in many of Young Living proprietary essential oil blends, including Stress Away, Tranquil and Harmony. Love their homecare cleaning line, Thieves? You can also find the iconic scent of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus radiata in the form of an essential oil blend.youngliving.comFlowweThis online store by beauty salon Chez Moi De Beaute stocks a niche range of beauty and wellness brands from Japan, Germany and more. Apart from premium skincare brands like Phyris, you can also shop quality essential oils from UK brand Tisserand. These 100 percent pure essential oils are sourced from around the world and bottled at the brand’s fragrant laboratory in Sussex. Feeling sniffly and congested? Try the peppermint oil for a detoxifying boost. If you’re not sure which scent to pick, start with the Feel Good trio: rosemary, lemon and peppermint essential oils.flowwe.sgMmercie EncoreBorn and bred in Singapore, Mmercie Encore is a local brand that offers artisanal aromatherapy blends. Made with pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils sourced from around the globe, each bottle is prepared and packed in small batches at the studio. A must-try is Recovery Mode blend, a meditative blend of sandalwood and organic lavender – just what you need on days where you’re feeling low. Mix it with a carrier oil and massage into your temples, while you practise mindful breathing.mmerciencore.comHush CandleFor wallet-friendly soy candles made with pure essential oils, check out this boutique brand. Hand-poured using natural soy wax and infused with therapeutic-grade essential oils, the candles are great for gifting (or keeping). On the site you’ll also find a small selection of essential oil blends and roll-on options, in scents like Calming and Uplifting. Don’t leave without checking out the hand sanitiser, too! It’s mini-sized, and perfect for on-the-go.hushcandle.comLiked this? Check out more stories on our Wellness page! Healthy eating at home10 stress busters to help you relax
28th May 2020 by Expat Living 2 Min ReadDreaming about your next beach break or even just breaking out of the apartment? You might be wanting to give your old clothes a bit of a break too! If you want to know where to buy resort wear in Singapore that will make you look even more cool than you already are, take some notes and inspiration from our sunny fashion photoshoot at Rumours Beach Club, Sentosa. We’ve also added in some shoes, jewellery and accessories. Here’s hoping we’ll be able to get dressed up and hang out at the beach bar soon!Resort Wear Look 1 & 2As worn by Jess:Pondicherry top in botanical print, $149, Capsule by Juliette; Gihane shorts in off-white, $149, Capsule by Juliette; Agate string bracelet, $18, White Ginger; 2402 White mule espadrille, $99.90, SupergaBeaded hoop earrings, $59, Shopping at Tiffany’s; Marlin sunglasses in crystal, $140, Truth&AllAs worn by Ana:Erin dress, $115, White Ginger; Beige fringe beach bag, $49, White GingerRattan and ancient disc earrings, $59, Shopping at Tiffany’s2730 Fantasy white swimming espadrille, $119.90, SupergaResort Wear Look 3Lily dress, $89, Shopping at Tiffany’s; Necklace, White Ginger; You Riviera Premium sandals in sand grey, $90, Havaianas; Maradji Caesar hat in champagne, $84, Capsule by JuliettePearl with shell necklace and shell pendant necklace, $45 and $30, White GingerMulti stone bangle, $99, White GingerResort Wear Look 4Pearl with shell necklace and shell pendant necklace, $45 and $30, White GingerGull sunglasses in deep blue, $140, Truth&All; Caterina hoops aqua earrings, $49, Shopping at Tiffany’sAgate string bracelet, $18, White GingerResort Wear Look 5 & 6As worn by Jess:Royal blue New York jumpsuit and belt, $129As worn by Ana:Evita dress, $130, White Ginger; Freshwater pearl necklace (used as bracelet), $95, White GingerMarlin sunglasses in black wave, $140, Truth&AllDolphin sunglasses in Havana, $140 Truth&All; Tassel earring, $15, White GingerWhere to buy resort wear in SingaporeRumours Beach Club: 40 Siloso Beach Walk | 6970 0625 | rumours.com.sg Capsule by Juliette: Cluny Court Level 2, 501 Bukit Timah Road | 8112 5361 | ccbyjuliette.com Havaianas: #02-20 Bugis Junction 200 Victoria Street Shopping at Tiffany’s: #02-03 Tanglin Mall | 6468 6156 | shoppingattiffanys.com White Ginger: #03-04 Tanglin Mall | 6235 0322 | white-ginger.com Superga: superga.com.sg Styleography: instagram.com/styleography.sgTruth&All: truthandall.comCreative Direction & Words: Anthia ChngStyling: Vrinda L Seth, StyleographyPhotography: Charu Shah, StyleographyLocation: Rumours Beach ClubModels: Anastasija Mitnika-Gonta, Jessica ChoiThis article first appeared in the May 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!
18th May 2020 by Anthia Chng 4 Min ReadNatural makeup and skincare products that are backed by science and research? Yes, please! Homegrown beauty brand Rock & Herb set out to give us just that. We’re talking mineral-based, natural makeup (think liquid lipsticks!) and non-comedogenic moisturisers that don’t block the pores. We chat with the company’s scientific director, DR CHEW SU CHUEN, to find out more.How did the business start?Rock & Herb is headed by a team of scientists and doctors. We started with the desire to create premium skincare products backed by scientific research, using top-quality minerals and natural bioactives from across the globe. When sourcing for ingredients, we often discover interesting traditions and beauty regimes that are potentially effective, but they’re not backed by modern science.We believe that traditions can only progress when we bring modern science into the picture. We’ll identify minerals, bioactives or essences that are scientifically proven to be beneficial, then remove any unnecessary practices and dangerous impurities to create the final product. So, we’re a fusion of nature, science and tradition – and that’s what makes the brand special. How do you choose ingredients?We start by looking at different communities and their beauty regimes. Some communities are very distant from each other, yet they use the same ingredients for the same ailment. One example is the way that papaya and pineapple are used in Hawaii, South America and Southeast Asia; science has shown that these fruits contain enzymes that can help to condition the skin, and facilitate wound healing and scar-less repair. We therefore sourced for the purified bioactive in the ingredient, before processing it to increase the stability and safety of the enzymes for rejuvenation purposes in our Enzyme Rescue moisturiser.There are communities in closer proximity that use medicinal herbs specific to their agriculture to address common skin ailments like hyperpigmentation. For example, to reduce spots, arbutin is used in European communities, while Angelica dahurica extract is used in the Orient. Studies have shown that these two natural ingredients reduce excessive melanin production using different mechanisms, so we combine them to increase their overall effectiveness in our Brightening Angelica moisturiser.Can I use both products in my skincare regime?Yes! One way is to use Brightening Angelica in the day for glow and to prevent hyperpigmentation from the sun, then apply Enzyme Rescue at night for overall skin rejuvenation. Alternatively, you can use Enzyme Rescue for two weeks on blemishes and open breakouts, followed by Brightening Angelica for the next two weeks to fade spots and even out the skin. What were some difficulties you faced when creating the products?Sourcing and creating the right bottle or applicator for the product can take several months. We’ve faced delays many times, but we won’t compromise our quality or bring in something our consumers wouldn’t want. We still face this challenge and sadly some product launches are being kept on hold because of it!Are there any natural skincare products you can create at home?Honestly, I wouldn’t “wildcraft” facial skincare at home. The skin on the face is delicate and you will never get the same access to ingredients of the same quality and safety as compared to a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) lab.However, I do make a really good coffee body scrub because I generate too much coffee grounds back home! Also, I adore the smell of coffee and it feels so good as an exfoliator. The scrub contains caffeine, which enters your body via the tiny hair follicles on your skin to energise you.I think it would be superb if there was a coffee company that could provide exceptional coffee grounds and collaborate with Rock & Herb at a professional level, but you can also try making your own by mixing together fresh coffee grounds, cosmetic or food-grade oil, solid and liquid soaps, and water.What’s in the pipeline for the brand?We have beautiful new mineral liquid lipsticks coming up that I’m very excited about. They’re made from eco-friendly Japanese beeswax, chia seed oil and high-quality mica pigments. They seal water in your lips, and they don’t come off your glass when you drink liquids. You can use these and keep drinking to stay hydrated all the time! I also remember one person telling me that lip gloss was disgusting to kiss. So, we made sure these liquid lipsticks don’t transfer much and are comfortable for the other party.Rock & Herb’s products are specially formulated such that they won’t clog the pores. The Enzyme Rescue and Brightening Angelica moisturisers were also developed to avoid two agents known to be unsafe in pregnancy, retinol (Vitamin A) and hydroquinone.Shop the full range at rockandherb.com. Want more? See our Style & Beauty section!
Looking for safe and sustainable baby products that are also affordable? Whether you’re shopping for your newborn or want the perfect baby shower gift, you’ll find something from online store Raph&Remy’s beautiful range of baby clothes and newborn accessories.When TIFFANY OKUMU launched her baby essentials brand Raph&Remy, it was just three weeks before her second son was due. She even packed and delivered a customer’s order on the way to hospital, after her waters broke! That’s how passionate the Australian mum-of-two is about her business here in Singapore. We spoke to Tiffany for the inside scoop. Tiffany and her boysHow did you find yourself in Singapore?By chance, or maybe fate – probably more of the latter! In 2012, after spending two years in New York, I found myself at a bit of a crossroad, so I decided to visit my sister who was living in Singapore at the time. She and her husband always spoke so highly of it, so I had to find out more about this magical place that had stolen their hearts! I arrived and fell in love with Singapore, too. Fast forward eight years and this is very much home for us. We can’t see ourselves living anywhere else!It was also in Singapore where I met my soulmate – in my first year here. We married and have been fortunate enough to welcome two beautiful boys into this world – Raphael in 2017 and Remy in 2019. So our two sons and our family business Raph&Remy were all born here in Singapore!Why did you start Raph& Remy?After the birth of Raphael, I really struggled with the thought of returning to work and potentially missing out on all those magical moments with my child. So I decided I had to set up my own business – and from then on it was a case of “when”, not “if””. Tiffany and RaphaelI remember discussing a new idea with my husband at least three times a week for about three years straight, but we didn’t want to just start something for the sake of it. It had to be something I was super passionate about. I had my eureka moment just after we named Remy, in-utero, at three months pregnant.The journey to conceiving both of our boys wasn’t quick and easy. Remy happens to also be our rainbow baby, after losing our second pregnancy five months before his surprise conception. I therefore wanted everything to be perfect for our miracle child.One thing I always struggled with was finding affordable, high- quality and beautifully packaged baby products that are also safe, eco-friendly and built for comfort in our tropical climate. Something was always missing for me. I found it incredibly frustrating, and would constantly order items from overseas instead.So, I began designing products I’d love to be able to buy myself. I was focused on creating a few precious items for our special baby on the way. It was an incredibly inspiring and empowering time for us, designing and creating the essentials.Seeing our designs become a reality made me feel like I was floating for days. I became completely and positively obsessed with it all. When the first few samples arrived, I knew this was the beginning of something special that other mums-to-be would surely be interested in. With the backing of my husband, we decided to take a huge leap of faith and fully invest in the launch of Raph&Remy.From the beginning, we didn’t want to create just another company that sold products; we wanted to build a company with a soul. We wanted a brand, a business and a community that gave people a platform to connect and engage with each other, especially new parents who are about to embark on an exciting, daunting and life-changing journey.From the moment I became a mother, my purpose has been to love and protect my children with everything I have. And what I didn’t have and couldn’t find, I am now creating. I worked around the clock throughout my pregnancy, passionately creating every day. We launched the business three weeks before Remy was born. I even packed and delivered a customer’s order en route to the hospital, after my waters broke! This business really is my passion and it honestly doesn’t feel like work at all.What are your inspirations behind the designs?Before I create any product, I ask myself two questions. Do I believe this product is really necessary for babies and parents? How can I make the design as practical and chic as possible?I’m all about creating useful, high-quality and elegantly designed products that make parents’ lives easier, and offer the most comfort and joy to babies.What’s special about Raph&Remy’s products?Quality is a big focus; it ensures customer satisfaction and, most importantly, the baby’s comfort. Our collections include products, textiles and apparels designed with style and comfort in mind. We use bamboo, an all-natural material that’s kind to our body and the earth. An eco-friendly, sustainable and renewable resource, it’s three times softer and more absorbent than cotton.The fabric’s natural moisture-wicking abilities keep babies feeling fresh and odour-free, making it perfect for Singapore’s warm climate. Bamboo material has supreme breathability and is also temperature regulating, which means it keeps babies cooler in summer and warmer in winter, thus reducing the risk of overheating. Bamboo is also naturally UV-resistant and hypoallergenic, so it won’t cause allergic reactions.Raph&Remy’s products are OEKO-TEX certified, which means they’ve been tested to be free from over 100 chemicals that are known to be harmful to human health. This assurance is another point of difference for our brand. Baby teethersSecondly, many companies purchase wholesale goods from a factory and simply put their label on it. I created all our products from scratch, and oversee the entire manufacturing process to ensure quality is maintained. We only work with leading eco-friendly textile manufacturers in Asia. While this does cost us a little more, the end product is a result we’re truly proud of. I’ve spent months designing the products, and hours selecting colours, to get it just right. Even the gift packaging was painstakingly designed by me. We team our complimentary reusable gift bags with every purchase and our stylish gift box is an optional add-on.What’s the most popular product on your site?Our hooded baby towel and mitt set! It’s luxuriously soft and made from the finest quality organic bamboo. It’s three times more absorbent than even the finest organic cotton, and dries baby’s precious skin quickly while keeping them warm and incredibly comfortable. Featuring adorably fluffy ears atop its hood, it also comes with a matching, silky soft wash mitt to make bath-time a breeze. The set can be personalised through our online store for that extra special touch. It’s a beautiful gift for babies and kids up to three years old! Hooded baby towel and mittWhat’s next for the brand?I’ve been working on a new collection of day and night apparel for little ones aged zero to two, for about seven months now. These new products have been on my mind since the birth of Raphael in 2017. We’ve now got them just right and they’re currently in production. We couldn’t be more excited as we count down to launch them this month! Our customers have been asking for bigger sizing in our stylishly designed and signature silky-soft bamboo fabrics ever since we launched our apparel collection for newborns in December last year. I feel incredibly honoured and proud that parents and their babies are growing up with our brand and I can’t wait to make these must-haves available to them very soon – I know they’re going to fly!A Good CauseRaph&Remy will donate 20 percent of all sales from their eco-friendly, reusable premium tote bags to The Red Pencil (Singapore) Humanitarian Mission. The Singapore-based charity aims to bring the benefits of arts therapy (drawing, music, movement and dance) to children and low income families who have been through traumatic life circumstances such as life-threatening illness, violence and abuse.Discover the products at raphandremy.com, which offers worldwide shipping. You’ll also find the brand at Tanglin Mall, TANGS at Tang Plaza and Robinsons The Heeren.Liked this? Check out more stories on our Living in Singapore page! Pregnancy and exercisingBest stroller and car seat?
Running a fashion brand that’s ethical and eco-friendly isn’t always easy, but it’s not impossible, either. One brand that I’ve recently discovered is Truth&All, which specialises in lightweight, comfortable and sustainable sunglasses that are handmade in Greece. Founder GEMMA VINCENT tells us more about her business, and how she sticks to her mantra that fashion shouldn’t cost us the earth.How did you find yourself in Singapore?My husband and I basically subscribe to the power of yes. It’s how I’ve moved to London, around Australia (I grew up in Queensland), and now Singapore. When my husband got offered a regional role, we weighed up the pros and cons for our family of four, and the pros won, so here we are. And we love it! GEMMA VINCENTTell us the story behind Truth&All.Having left my physiotherapy job in Australia, there was no better time to explore another passion. After moving to Singapore, the over-consumption of plastic really struck a chord with my husband and me. We set out to create a conscious version of anything that was Instagrammable.We believe eyewear is the ultimate social statement, both in fashion and in life. It allows you to say that you can choose to be conscious in your purchases and still look great. That really is our mantra at Truth&All. There is only one “truth” – that we live unsustainably – and then there is what we can “all” do about it, as a collective.How are Truth&All’s sunglasses made?We explored a number of materials before choosing to go with bio-acetate. While planning, a quote stuck with us: “If your bathtub was overflowing, you wouldn’t immediately reach for a mop – you’d first turn off the tap.” That’s what we believed we needed to do with plastics. Recycling only gets us halfway there, and we needed to stop the flow instead. Bio-acetate is one way to turn off the tap.Our frames are sustainable in the materials used and in how they are made, and this is important to us. Sustainable products also have to be ethically made. So, each pair is handmade in Greece by a socially responsible, family-run company, which supports fair wages and ethical working conditions. The manufacturing process involves over 48 individual steps and 36 quality checkpoints, before they reach our customer.The frames are made with Italian bio-acetate; it’s a material made from renewable sources of cotton, wood and natural alternatives to plasticisers (like resins). The bio-acetate is 100 percent biodegradable (under compost conditions) and fully recyclable. Our lenses are UV400, offering 100 percent UVA and UVB protection with a scratch resistant coating.The result is an end product that doesn’t compromise on style or the environment. We paired our gorgeous handmade frames with recycled packaging – a recycled felt and leather case, recycled microfibre cloth and recycled box.Tell us the inspiration behind your designs.We didn’t want to produce designs that were “fast fashion” and fleeting in their appeal. We worked with designers to select four classic shapes that are timeless, that suit a variety of face shapes and sizes, and that are crazy comfortable. This way, we’re supporting the notion of buying less, choosing well and making each purchase last.What were some of the challenges you had to overcome as a socially conscious brand?Staying true to our sustainable mission hasn’t been easy. Internally, we’ve faced difficulties, from the materials and manufacturing processes, through to delivery efficiencies and sustainable solutions. Even the paper used for our delivery notes is recycled.Also, when you first launch a business, the brand value isn’t instantly there; it has to grow over time. Consumer education requires time. People have to recognise that they have a choice to look beyond plastics, because fashion shouldn’t cost us the earth.What’s in the works for the brand?We’re really excited about our first birthday coming up in June! While we don’t want to be producing new designs every season and promoting over-consumption, we are working on expanding the collection later this year.How to be sustainably stylishBite-sized tips from Gemma#1 Wear Truth&All sustainable sunglasses, of course!#2 Shop local, sustainable brands. From shoes to swimwear, to jewellery, there are some amazing Singapore-based brand owners who put a lot of effort into ensuring quality designs are being produced responsibly.#3 Reprogram ourselves around the cost of products. We need to relearn how much quality products that are responsibly made should cost.Shop the range of sustainable sunglasses at truthandall.comWant more? See our style & beauty section!