For: Staying sane
Surviveasia is one clever idea. Targeted specifically to those living in humid countries (ie us!), this website stocks niche products that makes coping with our climate easier. From skincare that won’t slide off your body, to cosmetics with sticking power, to hair products that fight frizz and flop, this aims to save your appearance, stop itchy mosquito bites and reduce tropical weather-induced breakdowns. Stocked brands are organic and all are tried and tested by the local team. They also sell a stellar range of organic baby products, and have a fab online chat service so you can instantly start a conversation to get what you need. Delivery costs $10 across Singapore and is free if your order exceeds $40.
For snazzy, one-off accessories
If you like to complete an outfit with a stand-out piece, this site is just right. These eclectic and chic collections, compromising necklaces, rings and earrings, are designed by 28-year old Elaine Tan who developed a love for jewellery after stumbling upon a bead shop in Chinatown when she was young. Her pieces are crafted from unusual, eco friendly non-precious materials, and will guarantee 'Ooooh, where did you get that?' kind of comments when wearing them. Goods are shipped through Singpost and take 2-3 days. They can also be gift wrapped and delivered overseas.
For: Gifts with difference
The online site for the Design Museum Shop at the Red Dot Design Museum has a huge collection of design objects and gifts that are found nowhere else in Singapore – think art, tech, accessories, home and décor, apparel by the likes of Status Anxiety and Happy Socks and local heritage goods like quirky postcards, sketchbooks and Senz umbrellas. Stock is regularly updated and delivery by SingPost Registered Mail takes 3-5 working days.
For: Printed pages, fun and education
Libraries may be a dying concept in the real world, but in cyber space they're on the up. Catering for children to teens, and sectioned into categories for early readers to young adult literature, closetfulofbooks is an online library that also includes a section, We are Singapore, by local authors. The site was founded in 2013 by Denise Tan and Kelvin Ng, who read every single publication to ensure the best reads possible. The print-loving pair also conduct workshops with illustrators and authors at the National Library Building for parents and teachers, and set up pop-up book shops in school canteens. Shipping is free in Singapore for orders above $35.
For: Pet care
First came the cute pet shop in Toa Payoh, opened in 2006 by husband and wife team Chua and Agnes. Now their website is held in just as high regard as their physical store. Here, you can buy your pet online – from guinea pigs to rabbits to reptiles – and everything to go with it. There are over 80 pet grooming brands, food, carriers and accessories, and it’s free delivery island wide for purchases of $70 and above. Under that they deliver for S$10-20 depending on your area.
For hubs and his wardrobe
If your man is awful at shopping then this site might save your relationship. First, he fills out the online questionnaire about his height, weight, style needs, preferences and budget (from $20). Next, a stylist handpicks clothes, shoes and accessories from their extensive brands including Levi’s and Superga, and along with a product list and stylist tips, your partner gets his delivery for free. All he has to do is play dress-up and and pay for what he wants to keep. Returned items are collected from you. So say bye-bye to six hour Saturday afternoon sessions on Orchard Road with hubs when he needs to buy JUST. ONE. SHIRT!
For: Clothing, lifestyle, health and quirkiness
Welcome to the equivalent of an online mall, showcasing a mash-up of items with an Asian twist. Specifically hosting the new and unusual, megafash.com focuses on regional brands, clothing and accessories, stuff for your house and stationary. You’ll find nostalgic homeware from Singapore to handcrafted wooden watches from Indonesia (for example, art prints start at $4, T-shirts at $25). Items here are unusual, so this is a great portal for eclectic pieces. Free registered delivery for orders above $30.
For a clean and green experience
After something of a hiatus, soap is sexy again. Singaporean Jeannie Chew launched Soaplah after suffering skin problems. The savvy 31-year old developed her own handmade line of soaps (like Honey Frangipani, $12.90, and Peppermint Green Tea, $9.90), using only natural ingredients and essential oils, to protect skin from harsh chemicals. Specifically targeting dryness, oiliness, sensitivity and ageing, there's also a wonderful range of clay scrubs and masks. Free delivery for orders over $40.
For fancy fragrances
This is a site founded by local olfactory-lover Gauri Garodia, and it’s filled with artisanal scents created directly for you. On this elegantly designed platform you choose your scent by opting for the mood that most appeals to you - 'sparkling, beach, relaxed' or ' dark, regal, vintage' for example. Based on your choice, you click through to your personal perfume, which means you get a signature scent that’s uniquely yours. Priced around $200, they're not cheap, but that's what you get for exclusivity, and shipping through Singpost balances out the cost. FYI, there's also an online scent-club, where for $45 a month members receive three 'mystery' perfumes delivered to their homes.