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cleo singapore
21 January 2008 @ 11:44 am
If you haven't been checking out the askCLEO website, or been to the CLEO Facebook group... just where have you been? There's lots you've been missing out on!

Remember that little thing we have called the CLEO's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors? (oh, of course you do!) Well we've found ourselves in a bit of a situation. We can't decide which guy should become Bachelor number 50! So we need your help in choosing our final bachelor. Just head over to the Bachelor microsite and vote for your favourite now! We'll even give you a sneak peek at some of the rest of the guys we've picked this year...

Once you've finished ogling, be inspired by the CLEO Young Achiever Award finalists for Singapore. Find out who they are, what makes them tick and you can even read their clog entries to get an insight into their lives. You stand to win some prizes when you vote for the winning Young Achiever! Just check out the February issue for more details.

Don't forget to read what we're all thinking about at the CLOG over at askCLEO.com. You know we love hearing from you!
cleo singapore
12 October 2007 @ 04:29 pm
You girls might have heard by now - CLEO has gone online! We're really proud to bring you www.askCLEO.com which will be the one-stop place for you to ask all the burning questions you have on your mind.

Oh, and before I forget myself and keep going on, I'm Deborah Giam (not to be confused with CLEO Editor Deborah Tan), the askCLEO Web Editor.

Now that we've got a webspace for all our CLEO matters, we'll be moving our CLOG over there instead (click here to have a look at it). Come and have a look at our new site, there's even space for you to start your own CLEO Diaries and share what's on your mind! You'll need to sign up to be a member first though, and that also lets you leave your own tips and comments for fellow askCLEO members and entitles you to enter competitions and grab some freebies!

And don't forget to check out the November issue of CLEO with our three gorgeous key-caps, Alicia, Korca and Chi, out now on the newsstands!

cleo singapore
01 October 2007 @ 05:16 pm
When I was a kid, I came across an article in Reader's Digest about the differences between men and women. I don't remember much of it but one point continues to remain in my mind.

The point starts off by illustrating an example of a couple at a beach resort. They arrive at the resort's private beach to find all the deck-chairs occupied. Despite requests for the staff to bring out more deck-chairs, they find the staff generally unhelpful. How would each solve the problem? Well, according to the article, the man would fume, rant and probably lodge a complaint to the management about the shabby treatment. The woman, however, would go get them both some beach towels and a beach umbrella, and put the episode behind her so that she can enjoy the rest of her holiday.  

Apparently, men's vocal approach to problems also explains why they tend to go into politics - it's the one sure way to get themselves heard. But as we all know these days, being a political leader is also pretty much about getting things done. Maybe that's why more and more women are joining politics and why a fair number of people are actually hoping Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential elections next year.

I think there is credibility in the argument that when we women put our minds to something, we get it done by hook or by crook. You only have to look at us when we fall for a pair of stilettos we spot on the feet of some random woman in Ngee Ann City to understand how single-minded we can be.

Which is why I've posed this question on Yahoo! Singapore Answers - Do you believe women can contribute significantly towards saving Planet Earth?

As part of the CLEO Says No To Global Warming campaign, I would like you, our readers, to share with the online community why you believe we women play such a crucial role in the green movement. Whether it's because our children, boys and girls, will grow up to adopt our green habits, or it's because we have a stronger take-charge mentality of the two sexes, I hope to hear your point of view. Click here to answer my question.

And if you would like to share specifically how you are playing your part to save the planet, do it in your answers too.  

Of course, don't forget to send me an email (dtan@acpmagazines.com.sg) to tell me more about your pro-green lifestyle! You might get a chance to score a spot in the CLEO/Garnier 2008 calendar where you can help us spread the message of how we can help take care of this ailing planet. 

We may be just women but my team is convinced that we can make a difference. Will you join us? 
cleo singapore
The past week has been a mad, manic rush. All coz we're hard at work getting next month's issue ready for you! :) Lucky for me, the girls are a supportive bunch. Working long hours while chomping down instant noodles has never been more enjoyable.

I spoke to my girlfriends the other day and they were lamenting about the long hours we're all putting in. Could we be heading towards a workaholic, money-driven society?? *bawls*

Over here in the CLEO office, we believe in releasing all our inner work angst once we close the magazine. So it's not unusual to hear many discussions about where we should go shopping after work and what we should do this weekend. Some of the promising ideas include, hitting the shops in town for some late-night shopping, catching up on the latest movies (the last show I caught was Hairspray!!), and parrrr-taaaay after! This weekend sounds exciting already! Nothing like a good boogie to lift the spirits.

If you're feeling the work angst building up, come join us next Thursday for a pre-weekend party at our Fashion Awards held at The Cannery!

Alright, time to get out of the office... or so I hope!
cleo singapore
24 September 2007 @ 11:08 pm
I’m a fan of the drama series House. Last week, Dr House was convinced that he could cure a man who was in a vegetative state because of brain cancer. Like just about every episode, everyone was of the opinion that he was doing it for kicks. As it turned out, House’s diagnosis was right and the treatment he recommended worked – only no one told him because someone else gave the treatment.

That particular episode further convinced me that sometimes, in life, one should just follow his instinct and adopt what he believes is the best solution.

When I make a decision (be it in a professional or personal setting), I make it based on how the present situation is like, what are the potential consequences, and what my instinct tells me. I won’t say I’ve always been right. But I’m infrequently wrong. This probably explains why in the most confounding situations, I go with the decision that feels most right to me at the moment. Life holds within it a million possibilities and what this means is that there’s space for a bad decision to turn out right.

More important than believing in myself, I’ve learnt also to believe in others. In the course of my life, I’ve met my fair share of critics. While they may frustrate me in the beginning, they’ve also taught me something invaluable – believing in others is a skill that’s really difficult to master. It’s so easy putting people down that we all do it without thinking how it might affect the ones on the receiving end of our criticisms.

Personally, I’ve seen a big difference in a person’s performance when you place an implicit trust in his abilities and when you cast doubt in every step he takes. It’s like how a student just keeps doing better and better because his teacher believes in him! Like how an artist is able to keep creating masterpieces because his patrons believe he has the touch.

You CLEO readers have an awesome sense of self-belief. So I’m going to ask you to do something different this week – place trust in someone else and believe that person will not let you down. Believe me (no pun intended!), it is a liberating experience and you’ll see a newfound bounce in your walk because the weight on your shoulders will be gone.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
cleo singapore
18 September 2007 @ 06:09 pm
I'm so excited that our cover girl this month, America Ferrera, won an Emmy for her role as Betty Suarez at the Emmy Awards yesterday! I thought she looked absolutely gorgeous in her cobalt blue dress - now where can i find me one of those in time for the CLEO Fashion Awards Party coming up in about 2 weeks? 

I think the great part about the success America is enjoying is that she's not afraid to embrace her femininity and her curves. I mean, imagine what it must be like to be slightly bigger - and i'm not talking HUGE here, AF is not stick-thin but neither is she obese - in Hollywood. Your skinny-as-a-twig comrades who don't seem to have that much talent - think Paris, Nicole, et al - are getting all the attention while you're relegated to a measly one-liner mention for the day you're seen actually eating like a normal person *gasp shock horror* But the whole "the media is to blame for pressuring us to be skinny" issue is getting tired - yes, we know that the media perpetuates eating disorders among impressionable young girls by constantly exalting skinny celebs for their awesome figures and their trendy clothes that in turn can only look good on skinny twigs. 

But what about how they condemn those who are slightly bigger in size and blast them if they reveal slightly too much, and then turn around and lambast the skinny ones for being TOO skinny? yes, it's a very complex world we live in. One minute Britney is getting slammed for showing her paunch to the world at the VMAs, the next minute, Keira Knightley is accused by the tabloids of being anorexic and all skin and bones. Not that I'm condoning Britney's behaviour, of course - the girl is seriously disturbed and needs psychological help ASAP - but the thing is, Britney is all of a size 10, but yet she is getting blasted by everyone for being too fat. This might sound completely naive, but why can't everyone just accept that we all come in different shapes and sizes and that's just fine? We should all learn from Queen Latifah's character in Hairspray, who sang of being "Big, Blonde and Beautiful" - "Who wants a twig, when you can have the whole tree" indeed!
cleo singapore
13 September 2007 @ 05:23 pm
Besides just receiving bottles, jars, pots and tubes of lotions, creams, powders and lipsticks that seem to arrive at my desk day after day, I do receive lots of interesting "knick knacks" and "gifts" that come by way as an invitation to attend a press launch as as part of a press kit. The cynics would consider these gifts "bribes". I prefer to think of them as creative ideas to make a product launch much more interesting and alive - especially when we are receiving invitations and press kits every 5 minutes (that makes me feel so important)! The challenge here however, is for them (PRs and brand people) to be as creative as possible to get our attention in the midst of a gazillion invites, letters, press kits, etc. 

While some do it the traditional way; that is, through FOOD (I'm sure you know how the CLEO girls love to eat by now), others do it via a fruit basket (you guessed right - probably has an ingredient with the fruit in it), a desert plant (rare one), jewellery (for its colour/design inspiration), Zen garden (to help destress us along with that jar of cream), even fishes (can't really remember why other than its aquatic association perhaps).

One of the most memorable events yet was the recent invitation to watch Gwen Stefani live in concert and above all, I had a VIP seat! 
All thanks to Luxasia - Singapore's largest distributor for most of the fragrances out there in the market - who'll soon be launching Lamb by Gwen's first fragrance. Only sad thing is that we didn’t get to meet her despite a request put through for her to pop into the VIP lounge to say “hello” to the media. However, her manager said that Gwen would not be doing any publicity stuff when she’s on tour. Nonetheless, I was happy to boogie in my 2.5” heels for 90 minutes.

Another interesting press kit I got was this DIY musical box featuring a miniature Keira Knightley and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle fragrance bottle swirling and dancing around magically whenever you open the box – it was magical. I have to admit, the press pack was really charming – says a lot about the classiness of the scent and the brand.

The other day, a few of us received this huge cake box – inside was a nice big hat. It was an invitation to a L’Oreal event which had something to do with UV protection. You get the idea… however, how many of us would dare go out dressed the way we usually do wearing a big pretty hat like that? I tried it on for size in the office - definitely a snapshot moment. Novel idea nonetheless. 

BTW, I will probably be needing those sunnies even more now. I had a great fall this morning in the MRT and wham-bam I was flat on the floor and my face hit the metal pole... but NOBODY came forward to help me up - not even the guy who was right behind me! Everyone was just rooted to their seats. I was disgusted by the people around me and too traumatised and hurt to feel embarrassment. I just can't believe how "heartless" some Singaporeans are. I'm sure there are many more of such incidents where nobody came forward to help. Seriously, how hard is it to show care and concern for others? Have we forgotten what it is to be a courteous and caring citizen?  
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Sean Kingston's Beautiful Girls
cleo singapore
06 September 2007 @ 09:08 pm
Annabelle and I went to the toilet together today and the strangest thing happened. As we were washing our hands, this woman in her fifties, lugging two huge bags asked us if we were staff at Holiday Inn Atrium. We told her we weren't. And then she started telling us about how this guy at some gaming convention had been extrememly rude to her and how upset she was, then she started talking about how he thought that he could bully her cos he saw that she was an old woman. From there, she launched into this half-hour monologue about the most random things such as how she loves durian mooncakes and how the best ones come from Goodwood Park, how there are gangsters at the community centre near her house, how the auntie at her HDB flat sells kueh, how the satay she had today was HORRIBLE ( as she screamed several times), how sharkfin soup should not be watery, how she fears getting diabetes and more significantly, she continuously emphasised that she was single and she didn't have a shoulder to cry on unlike all her other friends. 

Annabelle and I were more amused than anything cos you have to admit this is pretty random. And for some reason whenever Annabelle and I are together, weird things like this happen. Like there was once, we had this taxi uncle who was ranting about how "or" means yam and "han zi" means sweet potato and then he demanded to know whether we like "or" or "han zi". But anyway, back to the auntie. We know she was sweet and she meant no harm, but for her to spill her guts like she did to us, she must have been really lonely. Which is kinda saddening. And horrible as it sounds, scary as well. Cos for a moment, i had a flash of what it might be like if I was unmarried at her age. Would it really be so bad not to have someone's shoulder to cry on? I've never really thought of marriage. And in fact, to a certain extent, the idea has never really appealed to me. I'm just at a stage of my life when it doesn't seem important. I've got way more things i want to do with my life right now. But fast forward thiry years from now, would i be accosting strangers in public toilets just so that I can get some form of attention? The thought was scary. I asked Annabelle whether she would be willing to listen to me talk about snow-skin mooncakes from Marriot and being fat if I had no husband who was obliged to listen to me. To that she replied, "Of course I would, but I also hope that you will be able to come up slightly more interesting topics." 

The truth is, being single rocks. You're free to do as you wish, you plan your time around yourself and best of all you're accountable to yourself. But being single in a couples' world, whether you like it or not, bites from time to time. When you go out with your friends and when you all are trying to make your way through a club, and the boyfriends naturally lead their girlfriends through the crowds and you're left to fend for yourself. Or when its the festive season, and couples dance closer to each other as it gets later into the night. Every single girl definitely goes through those "I WANT TO CUDDLE DAMNIT!" feelings, but it's a bit like a bad hair day. On any other day, you are totally in love with your spunky Posh Spice haircut, but it's just that one day where it refuses to behave and no matter what you do, it's like the cosmic forces are working to ruin it. The key to keeping sane and not doing a Britney "let's shave my hair off" equivalent to your single life (as in, a) lunge into any relationship in hopes that being in a shitty one is better than not being in one entirely or b) let those random lonely moments eat into you until you become slightly socially inept in general) is to realise that being in a relationship or not has its pros and cons. So while single 50-year old me will have to call Annabelle and traumatise her with the most painfully mundane aspects of my life, married 50-year old me will have to nag my husband cos he has left his socks on the floor again. 

I'm not too sure which one is worse but then again i don't know if you can even say that one's worse than the other, but in the meantime, I'm happy with the way things are. I'm just more concerned about what random experience Annabelle and I are going to have when we share a cab together home later. 
cleo singapore
04 September 2007 @ 09:41 pm
I'm not really sure what is it about musicals that gets us all hooked -- is it the cinematic experience we get from the very colourful and flamboyant costumes, the catchy tunes or is it the droolworthy leads? 

I just caught Hairspray for the second time and i must say it is really good! I'm addicted to the songs and i just find myself humming along to "The New Girl in Town" and all the other songs in the OST. But i must say Annabelle has got a even more serious case of the "Hairsprays", cos she even bobs along to it when the song is playing in her head. Every single one of us has got a fave in the film, Bernice can't stop gushing about Mr Cyclops aka James Marsden, Wai Sum simply digs the way Seaweed aka Elijah Kelly grooves, Annabelle counts John Travolta as her best friend and Debs and I have our hearts on Mr High School Musical aka Zac Efron! 

But i guess musical-movies have an added edge when compared to just movies, cos they tell the story through music. I can never forget my fave of all time, Grease, where we were introduced to the vocal prowess of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. I know every song in La Bamba with Lou Diamond Phillips. I thoroughly enjoyed Chicago and of course, who can forget how Moulin Rouge made us see Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in a whole new light. Don't even get me started on Disney movies!

Then, there's the other camp of movie-goers who absolutely hate musicals or "singing-movies" as they'd call it. They feel that dialogues should be spoken not sang. Purists, bah. I don't know about you, but isn't our whole life a musical? Wouldn't it be so much more fun if everything in our lives could be sung about? Imagine singing about your love, life, friends and career to a tune? Somehow everything seems so much more better.

What about you? What do you think? Are musical movies a thing of the past or are you just like us, bobbing to the tunes?
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Hairspray OST
cleo singapore
29 August 2007 @ 10:00 pm
I've been holding off joining Facebook for the longest time. Pam tried to tell me how interesting it was, "You can join my I love Milo group!", another girl friend said, rather perversely, "Join Facebook! You can throw sheep at other people, you can poke them and you can punch them!", and then another friend declared, "Facebook is better than Friendster. You can play Scrabble with your friends."

And so, on one bored Sunday afternoon, I finally caved in. You know what they said about being in Rome.

I tell you, Facebook is evil. It is set to take over the world, I swear. Ever since I joined, I've made it a point to check in, like er, every five minutes. Sometimes, I click on my browser's "Refresh" button every 10 seconds because I can't believe nothing has happened within that period of time!

Just the other day, I logged in to find a friend's status read, "XXX is trying to log off Facebook before she gets fired". I think that applies to me as well. *makes mental note to look behind my shoulder when I'm in the office*

TIME recently ran an article titled, "Why Facebook is the Future" (yes, we magazine people read magazines too). The article writes how Yahoo! offered a billion dollars (US$, mind you!) for Facebook last year and was rejected. It also mentions that people aged 35 and above are the fastest growing group on Facebook. But you know what's amazing about this figure? Despite the fact that there are so many "adults" on Facebook, this networking website remains extremely popular with the younger set. I put this down to the fact that each Facebook member can customise his or her own Profile page. You add only the Applications you want to use. A case in point - I've been asked, bitten actually, by many of my friends to add the "Vampires" application. But I've turned down all invitations because I just don't see the point of going around plunging my e-fangs into other people's jugulars.

But I'm loving the Graffiti, Scrabulous and Superlatives apps (I don't know why most of my friends have nominated me for Most Likely to be a Drama Queen. I think I'm more suited for Most Likely to Take Over the World or Most Likely to be Mrs Ami James).

Anyway, in closing, Facebook is a hoot to use and a great way to keep in touch with your friends. It's also slowly proving to be a fantastic way to located long-lost college mates and secondary school friends.

Maybe CLEO should set up a group in Facebook ... I wonder if the girls will protest if I call the group "CLEO should be retitled DEBS" ...

I'm just kidding, Boss!
Current Mood: giddygiddy