I’ve recently discovered the world of online shopping and I can tell you that it’s the Best. Thing. Ever. I vividly remember receiving my first ever parcel from the post and I literally jumped for joy as I hugged the items tightly in my arms. It was something I anticipated for a while now and it was awesome to finally have it within my grasps.
It’s these little moments of joy interspersed between our daily routine that makes shopping for items online a wholesome experience. I can’t help but ponder though that the fairer sex has more options when browsing the World Wide Web to shop for beauty and hygiene products, clothing, or more.
The selection may be wide for men as well, but perhaps not as wide or detailed as their fairer counterpart. As such, shopping for niche quirky goods as a man can be a tougher ordeal. Sure, there are the generic unisex brands and even men-centric ones which could offer beauty, fashion and grooming items on their site but it would not be too far-fetched to say that they are few and far in between, especially on our local shores.
Quirky And Made For Men
That’s how Bro & Joe, a local site which offers specially curated products for men came along to fill the gap within the market for such a platform. A quick browse through the website and one would be spoiled for choice on what they could add to cart. In fact, even as a woman, I’d like to “add to cart” everything on site. Rest assured men will love it just as much, if not more.
From quirky items such as an eucalyptus mist scented candle and a manatea tea infuser, to a retro coffee grinder and beard oil, the options are endless. In fact, founder of Bro & Joe, Jack Chan shared with Vulcan Post, “We’re like the FHM that’s locally bred. Bringing not only gift ideas and goodies to men, but also the latest info and news that’s least expected. All in all, a combo of an e-commerce store and an e-magazine.”[caption id="attachment_561371" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
Besides the items on the site which also ships internationally, Bro & Joe also has an e-magazine which consists of content which runs along the entertainment theme. As for the price points of the item, when comparing one item to another, it is significantly cheaper. For instance, the Cards Of Humanity game set which retails for RM189 on another online site is sold for an original price of RM110 on Bro & Joe. Best part is, now that it’s on sale, it is ONLY RM56![caption id="attachment_561381" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
Other items are also sold at a reasonable price considering how niche they are. A camera motif mini pillow for RM57 and a wooden iPhone stand for RM36 is after all a good price for photographers and Apple users.
By 2 Men, For Men[caption id="attachment_561401" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
The idea for Bro & Joe materialised as an online store in September 2015, when Jack and fellow co-founder Aryton Soliano pondered a thought aloud. “Where do men get cool stuff” ran through their minds. Jack relayed, “Of course, there are deal sites and marketplaces that sell stuff like this too but more often than not, the quality is questionable or the merchants themselves are a little dodgy. It’s either that or resort to branded items from high-end retailers. So that’s when we knew we could do something about it. With the introduction of an e-commerce store that offer gifts and goods for men.”[caption id="attachment_561411" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
Jack is currently working with Astro Go Shop as a digital marketing specialist whilst Aryton is working with a media agency as a social media community manager, whilst also fronting a band called No Tyra. Clearly, the lads have their hands full, but as with all things, they found the time to work on what they call their “passion project”.
Jack said, “We’re really small and quite literally a startup since this isn’t our main gig. We’re fully self-funded and a two-man band. I’m serious. Everything you see on the store and magazine, that’s all just 2 guys. From the inventory, purchasing, delivery, packaging right down to the follow ups, social media and content. Just 2 guys.”
Homegrown And Still Growing[caption id="attachment_561421" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
The way Bro & Joe makes themselves relatable to the Malaysian culture is with a name that is both quirky and fun. “We enjoy the play of words and we like it local. Having said that, we wanted a name that rings true to our ultimate goal of building a tight-knit community of men that like what we like. Giving them guides and gift ideas to ultimately make all “bros” more than just average “joes”. At the same time, what do Malaysian men call their friends or newly found acquaintances? Without a doubt, you’ll hear them calling each other “bro” or “joe” right?” Jack said.
On top of their memorable moniker, their items also live up to the standard by being carefully curated by the pair. Their first objective when looking for brands to add is that they must be indie. Yes, the lads consider themselves as borderline hipster and hence, they like to keep their brands independent, meaning none of their products are made by big-time brands.[caption id="attachment_561422" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Bro & Joe[/caption]
“We try our best to look for local brands that can work with us. Of course, there are still international brands that work with us. Trying our best to source locally because after all, we want to support the local industry. Any brand that’s truly unique and have a vision that’s aligned with ours, those are the kind of people we work with,” Jack shared.
They are confident with what they are putting out there to the world, and have sold more than 300 items so far, with most of the customers being repeat buyers. Jack said, “We feel like we’re moving in the right direction and getting items that can excite our customers is our ultimate goal. Imagine a site that can give you an endless amount of gift ideas you won’t even think about? Or stuff you’ve seen around the internet that you can’t get in retail stores locally? That’s what excites us.”
(Feature image by Sylvia G/Peter Sudarso)
The greatest concerns of the team behind Singapore’s first men-targeted sun protection campaign is the bo-chap attitude men have towards sun protection. To men, being tanned looks good and a couple of spots don’t matter. Well, that is as long as their partner doesn’t mind.
Ironically, skin cancer may just be the most overlooked disease despite our rising temperatures; the sun never gives a chance for us to forget how our skin prickles under its rays.
Partnering up with the big gun, Singapore Cancer Society and dermatological skincare brand La Roche-Posay, the Cover a Brother ‘EXPOSED!’ campaign was launched by final-year NTU students from Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information to highlight the negligence Singaporean men have towards sun protection.
With skin cancer being the 6th most common cancer among Singaporean men, Cover a Brother gave out free sunscreen and held a lucky draw to encourage men to slap on some sunscreen before heading out.
Cover a Brother Art Director Crystal Toh, 21, told Vulcanpost, “We felt that men are left out because most of the sunscreen products out there are targeted towards women, and their vanity. This campaign is angled towards men to educate them on the healthy aspect of sunscreen.”
“But the challenge is when you are speaking to people from 18 to 25 they are usually not interested in health,” Crystal said.[caption id="attachment_538091" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Courtesy of Cover a Brother[/caption]
Although they were well-equipped with an Ultra Violet Skin Imaging System (UVSIS) set up from IDS Clinic, as well as a SkinCeuticals SkinScope LED machine from L’Oreal, it was indeed difficult to persuade the men to come forward to put their skin under the test. Most of them were reluctant or were dragged over by the girlfriend. The Cover a Brother team wishes that male participants can see the importance of sun protection and be more enthusiastic about learning about their skin condition.
The SkinCeuticals SkinScope LED machine is capable of highlighting damage beneath your skin’s surface by detecting the skin’s fluorescence. You might realise skin damages that you can’t yet notice with your naked eyes. This is how UV rays see you; different colour spots on your face will indicate dryness, clogged pores, freckles etc. Cleverly using a GoPro camera, a snapshot of the UV scan can be printed out for your keepsake.
National Servicemen Marcus Chia, 21, who sports tanned skin, admits that he takes the effort to spray on cologne has never thought of using sunscreen daily because he thinks it’s troublesome.[caption id="attachment_538042" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Nur Irfan Syafiq, and Maisyarah with their printed UV scans. | PHOTO CREDIT: Anselm Soh[/caption]
However, it is the older men who seemed more willing to care for their skin; how it looks and what goes on underneath.
Mr Wang Ah Sye, who is 75 years old this year learned about the Cover a Brother event after reading the coverage on local Chinese newspapers. He shared his worries in Mandarin, “I often sleep on the balcony with the sun shining on me. I am afraid that I might get skin cancer so I have come to learn more about it.”
The jovial Mr Wang cracked up and joked that he might die in 4 months time if he doesn’t find out more about skin cancer. He has since gone to as many cancer-related events as there are in Singapore to find out about prevention.[caption id="attachment_537441" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Mr Wang Ah Sye receiving his free sunscreen lotion from Publicity Manager, Dionne. | PHOTO CREDIT: Anselm Soh[/caption]
The Singapore National Cancer Centre statistics reveals that there are 1,719 cases of skin cancer in Singaporean men, and 1,381 in women. The Chinese are more susceptible to skin cancer, it being the 6th most common cancer in this race. However, races with naturally darker skin are not immune to skin cancer.
Dr SK Tan, 69, the founder of IDS Clinic has been in the aesthetics arena for close to 30 years and he discourages the idea of obtaining Vitamin D through sun exposure, as there is no way to safely receive UV exposure from the sun while allowing maximal vitamin D synthesis without increasing skin cancer risk.
Dr Tan added, “Instead of exposing oneself to UV to promote Vitamin D synthesis, many authorities advocate the intake of oral Vitamin D supplements to counter any potential Vitamin D deficient.”[caption id="attachment_538061" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Courtesy of Cover a Brother[/caption]
Mr Andy See is 44 years old and he only started to take better care of his skin after realising the emergence of freckles and other sun damages on his face. He said, “Nowadays I try to avoid the sun; staying out of the sun by swimming at night and staying in the shade when I can.”
He also mentioned that after checking out the booth at *SCAPE, he will encourage his son and daughter to apply on sunscreen as they grow older.[caption id="attachment_538071" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A participant and the Ultra Violet Skin Imaging System (UVSIS) | Courtesy of Cover a Brother[/caption]
Find out more about sun protection and cancer prevention at Cover a Brother ‘EXPOSED!’:
1) February 27, 2016 (Saturday)
Venue: Sentosa, 9am – 5pm
Held in partnership with Waikiki 2016, SMU’s annual beach games event (Cover a Brother x SMU Waikiki 2016). Do check out the event to receive a free La Roche-Posay sunscreen and stand a chance to win a grand prize!
2) March 1, 2016 (Tuesday)
Venue: National University of Singapore, 4th Storey Block ADM, AS6 Walkway
10.30am – 4pm
Looking at the lighter side of things, our weekly comics post is here to entertain you. Published every Thursday when things at work become a little too much to handle, all we want is to entertain you and nothing below should be taken too seriously. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something you want us to write about, or if you just want to show your appreciation!
In spite of what they say, being a man is a hard job.
And on top of that, we also need to attract a mate of the opposite gender at some point of life — or die alone eating Doritos while watching ‘Game of Thrones’. What makes it so hard is that most of the time, we have no clue what this other gender, a.k.a. females, want or like.
What Do Women Want ? Ummm, We Don’t Know Either…
We try our best to impress them with outrageous antics, hoping we stand out from the rest of the men so that we have a decent shot. If not for women, we would never have bothered to climb Mount Everest, invent the aeroplane or the computer, or come up with Penicillin. I, for one, am sure that Christopher Columbus went on his quest around the world to find the sea route to India, only to impress some girl from Spain who had run off with a Flamenco guitarist.
As a 30-year-old man, I still have no idea what women are looking for, and have been more and more efficiently repelling women for the last two decades. Finally, with a few good years left in me, I decided to go on a quest to find out what makes a normal man attractive to women. (When I say normal, I mean men who do not own a Ferrari, do not look like Greek Gods, and are basically not Christian Grey from ‘50 Shades of Grey’.)
But We Need To Find Out!
Yet even in these desperate times, I couldn’t help being lazy and turned to the easiest source of knowledge — the Interweb — and to annoying the few female friends I have for help, till they admitted they had no clue either. After a hectic 6 months of investigation, though, I seem to have come up with four factors that will help you not repel women.
4 Steps To Be ‘Irresistible’ To Womankind
#1: Confidence — Not Arrogance — Is Apparently Very Sexy
Confidence is a tricky thing. And it is hard to be confident when you do not have much going for you in life. But in front of your potential mate, always maintain a level of confidence and belief in yourself. If you want to have a nervous breakdown and whine about how there is nothing else to live for, do that with your male friends at a pub at 2 o’clock on a Friday night.
The hardest part is maintaining your confidence level within a narrow band of comfort for your female companion. Any excess confidence will be misconstrued as arrogance, and anything less will be considered self-loathing, both of which are not attractive.
#2: Why Did Luke Skywalker Not Cross The Street? Use Humor
Apparently, women are suckers for a guy with a sense of humor. After all, life is bleak, and we keep going forward, fuelled only by irrational hope, religion, alcohol, or doughnuts. And if you can be this bright spark of mirth in the darkness of life, it is certainly an amazingly attractive quality.
Now, you have to be careful with your sense of humor, as I have found out from real life experiences. Self-deprecating humor is fine, but only up to the point where someone actually starts agreeing with it. There is a fine line between a guy with a good sense of humor and a jester, and you must be careful not to cross that.
#3: Be Hyde, Not Fez. Never Be Needy
Especially in our first few relationships, we might have made the mistake of thinking our entire lives should revolve around our particular female companion. However, this is a massive mistake and the most unattractive thing to do.
What is attractive for a man is to have his own life, aims and aspirations, but with an additional seat to take the woman for the ride if she would like to. On the other hand, if you do give up everything and spend the whole day trying to contact her, she will get rid of you soon.
#4: Apparently, Just Having A Job Is Not Enough; You Need To Have Edgy Hobbies
Apparently, a guy who just goes to work, comes back home and leads his life is as attractive as plain yogurt — good for you, but no one wants to buy it. So not only does a guy need to be ambitious and make money, he also needs to have interesting past-times like playing the bass guitar on weekends, saving baby seals in Antarctica, or wrestling Great White Sharks. No wonder my Facebook feed is full of guys travelling all over the world to impress females, while I am sitting here writing infantile and inappropriate articles.
So Is This All Worth It?
As I had pointed out earlier, if you want to die alone covered in Dorito dust, go ahead and be yourself. You might meet someone who will like you for who you are, but I think you have a better chance of winning the lottery 3 times over, get hit by lightning at least 10 times, and meet an alien from several light years away — before you find her.
Tinder robot reveals men are not as terrible as you might think
My girlfriends and I have a private Facebook group where we exchange Tinder horror stories. And we’re not the only ones.
Women from all over the Internet submit to ByeFelipe, an Instagram account with over 300,000 followers that calls out guys who turn hostile when they get rejected or ignored.[caption id="attachment_171571" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @ByeFelipe Instagram Page[/caption]
We hear these horror stories all the time. How common is this kind of behavior? We decided to find out.
So we built a Tinder robot using pictures from our friend Lisa Winning (CEO of HeTexted).
The robot right-swiped on 1,000 profiles of men in San Francisco and another 1,000 in New York City.
Over a thousand men messaged Lisa. Since this was a robot and not actually her, none of the guys received any responses. We were afraid they’d become hostile after being ignored, like we’d seen on ByeFelipe so many times before.
Out of 1,007 men who messaged Lisa, how many would you guess turned hostile?
Over a thousand men messaged her and were ignored. And not a single one turned hostile.
That’s pretty impressive.
Just about everyone who messaged her was friendly and respectful. Sure, there was teasing, guys who were straightforward about their intention to hook up, and plenty of bad pickup lines. But no one became hostile or resorted to name-calling.
After scrolling through all these messages, we started to feel bad about the experiment. Here these guys were putting genuine effort into getting to know her, but she was just a robot. They took the time to ask her meaningful questions. Many of them even Googled her company (which was listed in her profile) in an effort to make conversation.
So if these Tinder horror stories are so common, how come we didn’t find a single one among over a thousand messages?
It’s like shark attacks. We hear about them in the news every summer, but only 5 people a year die of shark attacks.
It’s the negative stories that get all the attention. Stories about men being decent and polite just aren’t as interesting as the stories of men being jerks. But here it is. Evidence that the vast majority of guys are actually pretty decent.
For every asshole, there are a thousand invisible gentlemen.
Note: The original purpose of the experiment was entirely different. A friend mentioned she got fewer matches when she mentioned she’s a CEO. Presumably, because men are intimidated or turned off by strong women. After right-swiping on 1,000 profiles with her CEO job title and 1,000 profiles without, we found: it makes no difference at all.
Online shopping site , the pop-up store was opened this past 16th of October. Vulcan Post was invited to check out the store – all 4000 sq.ft of it – and boy, were we in for a pleasant experience. True to its promise, Zalora has gone past the whole pop-up fad, where online shopping sites are translated into brick and mortar: they’ve gone for a more click and mortar approach.
We’d already noticed the store in the works previously, and got a chance to see it for ourselves. On level B2 of ION Orchard (next to Zara, how coincidental!) sits Southeast Asia’s first digital interactive pop-up store. Intent on taking the online and moving it offline, Zalora provides a fresh new platform for consumers with a digital in-store experience.
At its core, Zalora @ ION works the way you would expect any retail fashion store to work: go in, try on clothes, like them, buy them. But this is Zalora. Come on. Instead of any old clothes hanging on racks, Zalora gives consumers row after row of specially curated products to try on in-store. Personally, I was glad to see lots of pieces by UK-based line River Island since I heard the label was fast disappearing in Singapore.
To boost customer experience, the store is equipped with Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha 4G+ and Galaxy Tab 10.5″, handily available next to clothing racks so that customers can browse lookbooks, view products worn by Zalora models, and make use of the Zalora mobile app. No longer will you have to wonder how to mix and match pieces without looking like a hot mess.
Once customers find an item they fancy, they will not be leaving Zalora @ ION with any cumbersome bags of merchandise, no siree Bob. Instead, just bring your clothes over to one of the self-checkout counters, scan the item, and make payment. The item will then be delivered to your doorstep. What.
Gone are the days of only being able to shop till you were literally weighed down with huge bags of merchandise. No longer will boyfriends and husbands be saddled with the burden of uncountable numbers of shopping bags. What a time to be alive! Zalora brings the click and mortar concept to a whole new level. Not only can you try your items before you buy them (no more buying too-large and wasting $40 on something you can’t wear!), you can also have them delivered. Like a celebrity.
The 4,000-sq.ft retail space is home to four main themes – Summer, Work, Party, and Street. There is also a dedicated Men’s section, albeit one with an oddly large number of winter-esque clothing for Singapore.
Expect top-notch exclusive collections every week, and exciting fringe activities every fortnight. With Christmas on the way, who’s to say Zalora won’t be spreading some of that jolly Christmas magic around? Do hop along and check out the Zalora @ ION store while it’s still there!
The ZALORA Shop @ ION Orchard is located at #B2-04/05 and operates from 10 am to 10 pm daily till the end of January 2015. All images courtesy of Zalora Singapore.
According to report released on the 25th of September, there is a Image Credit: mothership.sg[/caption]
According to report released on the 25th of September, there is a Image Credit: mothership.sg[/caption]
Maybe you’re not just into ‘casual dating’. Maybe you believe in soulmates. Maybe you want your match to be The Ultimate Keeper. Well then, OKCupid is for you. You simply sign up, pick a photo from your phone, and fill in an extensive questionnaire to get started.
How extensive, you ask? 1000-question extensive, we say. Name. Ethnicity. Shoe size. How you like your social plans. If you’ve ever thrown an object in anger during an argument. Good gravy, stop with the questions already! The app then uses your answers to give you a percentage of how well you match up with other users, along with suggesting some users whom you might be interested in. How helpful!
Websites[caption id="attachment_40711" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Image Credit: thebestsingapore.com[/caption]
The most important question. (Image Credit: itsjustlunchsingapore.com)[/caption]
Following the trend of beauty box subscriptions such as Bellabox and Vanity Trove, men will now be able to sign up for their own ‘grooming box’, thanks to the Sultans of Shave Club.[caption id="attachment_15486" align="alignnone" width="650"] Image credit: Sultans of Shave Club Facebook Page[/caption]
The local luxury barbershop, opened by partners Lewis Lim, Tan Ting Xi, and Derrick Tan, is looking beyond its business of lush shaves and great men’s hairdressing to offer members a monthly ‘package’. For $199, this will contain their Sultan’s Experience (worth $120), Sultan’s Shave (worth $60) and a full size product from one of their in-house brands, along with styling tips and exclusive invites to quarterly master classes held by the Sultans of Shave themselves.
Also Read: Image Credit: Sultans of Shave Facebook Page[/caption]
From the price alone, it is clear to see that this subscription is for men who take their shaves seriously. Most men definitely won’t pay someone else to do something they can accomplish at home with an electric razor, let alone sign up for a subscription for it, and while the contents are pretty worthwhile, it might not swim well with the masses. But who needs to target the masses when exclusivity contributes to part of its charm? To the well-groomed men in Singapore, however, this new service will bring something entirely new to an age-old tradition. We might even see more well groomed men around our neighbourhood, and personally, I’m not complaining.
From the price alone, it is clear to see that this subscription is for men who take their shaves seriously. Most men definitely won’t pay someone else to do something they can accomplish at home with an electric razor, let alone sign up for a subscription for it, and while the contents are pretty worthwhile, it might not swim well with the masses.
But who needs to target the masses when exclusivity contributes to part of its charm? To the well-groomed men in Singapore, however, this new service will bring something entirely new to an age-old tradition. We might even see more well groomed men around our neighbourhood, and personally, I’m not complaining.
This festive season retailers saw an influx of eager shoppers ready to do their Christmas shopping. For some, well, not too eager.
Miserable Men is an Instagram account created to showcase bored and tired out men while waiting for their loved ones finish shopping.
Is shopping really that bad, or in this case, miserable?
Below are a few of my favourite snapshots :
Image Credit: Miserable Men
Meanwhile, Merry Christmas guys! At least those miserable times at the mall were worth it when you see smiles on those who received gifts.
Or is shopping really such a pain?