Poet John Keats might have compared beauty to “a joy forever” but what’s really beautiful about the pursuit of beauty is that rules are always meant to be broken. You see, it is this quest for “loveliness increases” that women revel in. We can argue until the cows come home about what qualifies as “a thing of beauty” and still derive no solution or satisfaction. For the sake of global peace, we have come to accept beauty is diversity.
Perhaps at the heart of it all, we want to be able to love ourselves for who we are – urgh, another zit – resolutely stand up for our choices, and bravely call out others who try to bully us into the pigeon-hole. As if we don’t have enough challenges with the world still trying to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
We in Singapore are luckier than our sisters in other parts of the world. Here we can (occasionally) whine about masking up and social distancing. But mostly, we are grateful to still be able to indulge; as many women can attest to, retail therapy is excellent for keeping the spirits up.
So excuse us, while we pop in at Raffles City Singapore, to pick up new makeup from Dior Beauty and diamond jewellery from Diamanti Per Tutti.
Looking impeccable all day requires conscientious effort – something women the world over have perfected into a craft
In doing so, we have come to appreciate that beauty has many faces, and that beauty can evolve through time. Beauty has gone beyond skin-deep: when you feel good, you look good. And embodying independence, resilience and confidence – values women everywhere want – is Natalie Portman.
One of the world’s most admired leading ladies, she practically grew up in the public eye, after catapulting to stardom at the age of 13 in the action thriller Leon: The Professional. Portman isn’t just an impressive actress – with awards for Jackie, Black Swan and Closer to show – she also has a psychology degree and written two papers that published in scientific journals. Did we mention, too, that she has two kids and a long to-do list that includes school runs, cooking, playdates, bedtime stories and laundry?
In an industry as fickle as showbusiness, however, Portman’s secret to staying beautiful is – and here’s the best bit – consistency. Juggling filming and family means it’s even more important to take care of herself, and “find a beauty routine that is true to who you are”. Hence her collaboration with Dior Beauty, which began in 2010 with Miss Dior Cherie perfume. As she’s revealed: “I’ve been working with Dior for so long and they have been so incredibly supportive of me and my career.”
This powerful partnership has extended to Dior Forever, its campaign in which Portman mesmerises. Masterminded by fashion photography duo Inez and Vinoodh, it is a reminder to women the world over to embrace their own beauty: “Put women into the spotlight, where they belong. Forever.”
Famed for the iconic long-wearing foundation that protects against daily stressors such as UV exposure and blue light, the range now includes Dior Forever Skin Veil SPF20, a primer that promises to enhance the benefits of the foundation with 24 hours of wear and hydration and SPF20 protection. There’s also Dior Forever Cushion Powder, infused with more than 25% of water for an even and lightweight finish. Rounding up this trio is Dior Forever Perfect Fix Setting Spray, to perfectly set makeup for even longer.
You know what they say about diamonds being a girl’s best friend? It’s true!
Its name may be Italian – Diamanti Per Tutti translates into “diamonds for everybody” – but this jewellery label hails from Belgium’s Antwerp, known for centuries as the world’s diamond capital.
Diamanti Per Tutti creates for women who want to express their style and confidence jewellery that is both fashionable and accessible. Pieces are made with 925 sterling silver, gilded with 18ct pink or yellow gold vermeil or white rhodium, and handset with real and ethically sourced natural diamonds and gemstones.
And how better to appeal to women than by collaborating with ladies admired for their taste and beauty? Diamanti Per Tutti’s new Unity collection was a partnership with Sarah Zhuang, the Hong Kong-based second-gen jeweller. Zhuang, whose eponymous label is sought after by many women for her contemporary designs, describes jewellery as a form self-expression.
And the stories and experiences she seeks to share are reflected aptly in the Unity range. Using and combining different shapes like circles, triangles and squares to produce quirky rings, earrings, bangles and pendants that can be worn solo or together, Unity is a celebration of harmony and authenticity.
The female form is also a central theme in Magritte x Diamanti Per Tutti. This collection takes inspiration from Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte, whose works often featured women – in addition to his favoured motifs such as bowler hats, green apples and superfluous clouds – as social commentary.
A pair of earrings here show the eyes and mouth, both of which plays up the notion of female power and sensuality. Rounding up the line-up – these fantastical images were lensed by Belgian photographer Athos Burez – are delicate charms, signature necklaces, a signet ring as well as cuff links.
Meanwhile, Singaporean-born Nicole Ong lets us in on her favourite comfort food recipes and how cooking allows her to bond with her tribe here.
This article is the third of a 12-part series on style, art and culture, published in collaboration with Raffles City.
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