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Check out what’s new in stores this month.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


There are many reasons why your skin may be feeling dry. Whether your skin is naturally dry or not, it can become dry, or drier with hormonal changes, allergic reactions, or when you sleep late or use wrong skincare. To give your skin a moisture boost, apply Rooki’s Circadian Fixer Hydro Drops, over it after cleansing. Quick-absorbing and light as water, you can also add a few drops of this serum to your other skincare products. This helps to further soothe and hydrate skin to leave it supple and radiant. At $68, from
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The eyes are often the biggest giveaway to fatigue. Made with a botanical complex, L’Occitane’s Immortelle Reset Eye Serum helps to reduce the look of puffiness and under-eye dark circles. It also plumps up fine lines and wrinkles to give you a well-rested appearance. With active ingredients encapsulated in bubbles, each pump is almost like opening a new bottle, as an oil-in-serum texture oozes out and melts into the skin quickly. At $89, at L’Occitane outlets and 
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Get ahead on scalp health with the right hair care like South Korea’s brand, Ryo. Backed with 47 years of research, its Beautiful Aging Care range works to treat hair and colour loss, as well as add volume and bounce. The nourishing and strengthening hair care formula is made with Asian herbs like Korean ginseng, Lingzhi mushroom and wilfordii root. At $39 for Hair Loss Care Shampoo, $33 for Hair Loss Care Scalp & Hair Pack, $33 for Fermented Hair Oil, at selected Guardian outlets and
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Ombre colours have been irresistible on the hair and lips. On the cheeks, a gradient blusher can create a natural-looking flush. One such product is the Cute Press Ombre Blush. This holds three different smooth and blendable shades that blends seamlessly into each other to create looks that sharpen, warm and even illuminate your features. In two shades: Fresh Pink and Peach Passion. At $17.90, from Watsons stores and
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Raph and Remy offers affordable baby products that are not only suitable for use in Singapore’s tropical climate but also made with high-quality bamboo clothing that is kind to baby’s skin and the earth. Found by Tiffany Okumu, a mother of two, the label carries a Premium Bamboo Knotted Gown that offers both sleep and all-day wear for your newborn. Silky soft, stretchy, breathable and convenient, this will make changing nappies a breeze while keeping your baby’s skin comfortable and scratchfree. At $39.90 from Robinsons, Tanglin Mall, Tangs at Tang Plaza and
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Sun exposure manifests on the skin as dryness, wrinkles and dark spots. Arm your skin with an inside-out solution like the Lloyds Medical Sun Protection Trio Bundle for Healthy Skin and Body. This comes with: the UV Defence SPF 60 protects against harmful rays, Heliocare Oral Ultra counters free radicals, and delays premature skin ageing and hyperpigmentation, and Heliocare Purewhite Radiance Max 240 offers skin an added radiant boost. Available at Lloyds Medical Group,

"I owe the bank $15,000, and my husband doesn’t know"

How much money do you owe the banks now?” asked my husband, and I replied, “Around $5,300.” He went on to ask me why I owe so much money. I explained that it was due to two years of freelancing and old bills. I quickly added that I now have a full-time job, so he doesn’t have to worry, as I can easily clear the bill.

Little did he know that I am in a lot of debt. In fact, I owe credit card bills by around $15,000 on two cards. On one card, I am making monthly payments of around $580 to clear a quick-cash plan, and another has snowballed to $10,000. I don’t have a solid plan to clear these bills except to make monthly payments of around $2,000.

Every time my husband asks me about my finances, I would say that I’m doing OK. I’m not sure if he knows that I’m lying and closes one eye. Previously, around six years ago, my husband caught me lying and demanded to listen in when I called the bank to check on my credit card balances. After that, I managed to clear that bill and was debt-free for a while. He had continued to listen in on my bank card calls for a few more years, and has since stopped after I kept a clean record consistently. I can’t imagine him listening in now – it might just ruin our marriage.

I continue to spend money as usual, buying daily supplies and indulging my husband and kid with small snacks like crackers and chocolate. I honestly don’t know how exactly I ended up in debt. My insurance plans come up to about $4,500 a year. I only own two designer bags. My mobile phone is 3 years old. I don’t have a car (my husband does) and I book a Grab wherever I go (I have been trying to take more buses now). And we are even renting out an apartment. We also have a domestic helper who’s helping out my elderly parents. I may have overspent on baby stuff when my kid was small but I have always shared those expenses with my husband. Perhaps I didn’t pay them off on time. I honestly can’t remember.

Recently, we (mainly, him) made a bad investment and lost all our savings (around $70,000). Thankfully, we still have our apartment churning out rental income, and I still have a job that pays around $5,000. My husband’s job is commission-based and his income is not fixed. Sometimes, he brings home $3,000, and other times, $8,000. But, of late, with the Covid-19 circuit breaker situation, the nature of his job doesn’t allow him to work, so we’re down to one salary. The only good thing to come out of this Covid-19 outbreak for me is I don’t go out, so I spend less and I drastically cut down on my commuting expenses. (When we go out for essentials, my husband would drive.)

I also can’t cut off big expenses like having a helper as that would make life more troublesome for my parents, and most importantly, it would also bring attention to where we allocate the new shared savings.

So every now and then, when my husband says things like, “Thank goodness, one of us has a full-time job,” I would feel extremely guilty. I would then do my best to put on a brave face so that he wouldn’t suspect a thing. I really want this debt nightmare to quickly end before I get discovered. That is my greatest fear now.

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