6 former beauty editors share their best beauty tips and picks


SINGAPORE — These individuals get access to the latest beauty launches, cosmetic science breakthroughs and top beauty experts. New beauty products dropped on their laps—every day, and they could, very well, go through a couple years without shopping for beauty stuff. I’m talking about my fellow ex-beauty editors from the magazine publishing industry.

For all the wonderful stuff we’ve tried and loved, there are an equal number of weird, useless stuff that had irritated our skin. However, when we come across something that truly works for our skin, body or hair, we stick to it. We would even pay for it at full price – that’s huge, coming from people who are used to getting free stuff and discounts.

So, aside from being expert consumers who have tried almost every new beauty product, what makes our product recommendations worth your consideration? Well, mainly because these recommendations are not tied to any obligation to advertisers because we don’t work for any media companies anymore.

In this two-part feature, 13 former beauty editors from Singapore will share one beauty tip that they follow religiously. They will also recommend the beauty products—other than sunscreens (because that’s a given)—that they still use and buy until this day.

Ahead is the first feature of this two-part special, featuring the first six former beauty editors.

Alli was the fashion stylist and later, senior beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore from 2006 to 2011. She is also a certified aromatherapist.

Do as she does. “A director of a global beauty brand once revealed to me that in Asia, young women tend to buy anti-ageing products earlier than their Western counterparts – in some part due to the prestige factor in how luxe associated with the anti-ageing category. This is something I could be accused of in the past as well – buying an anti-ageing serum because I was genuinely seduced by the ingredients, brand story, or how opulent the packaging was.”

“It’s tempting to want to splash out on expensive creams and lavish treatments, but I learned the hard way that some anti-ageing creams may be too rich or stimulating on the skin, thus causing breakouts or inflammation that takes a longer time to heal and rebalance than if you had just stuck to a simpler routine of gentle cleansing and hydration. In short, if you have sensitive or problematic skin, buy for the complexion you have, and stick to basic care before adding all the bells and whistles.”

Beauty picks she still uses.

1. Cle de Peau Beaute Cream Blush, S$65.

“I’ve been using several shades in this range for over three years and I love how it imparts a gorgeous flush of buildable colour. I apply it with my fingertips and gently work it into the skin for a really natural, sophisticated pop of colour. I generally love cheek tints over powders, and still think Cle de Peau Beaute’s formulation is unrivalled.”

DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips

2. DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips, US$9.50 (S$13).

“I discovered this for the eyes in Tokyo about 10 years ago and have been obsessed ever since. I pop my eye masks in the fridge and they’re so soothing especially after long-haul flights or sleepless nights. I’m never without them when I travel.”

Portrait of Cynthia Chew. (PHOTO: Cynthia Chew)

Cynthia Chew, marketing communications AVP at IDS

Cynthia was the beauty editor for Female Singapore from 1999 to 2002, and the senior beauty editor for Cleo Singapore from 2002 to 2017.

Do as she does. “As I get older, I prefer my red lips to appear less defined. I would apply my lipstick at the centre of the lips, and purse them to spread out the colour. Then, I would fill the rest of the lips, and to finish, I would soften the edges by blending out with my pinky finger.”

Three mesmerising eyeliner pencil. (PHOTO: Three)

Beauty picks she still uses.

1. Three Mesmerizing Performance Eyeliner Pencil, S$45.

“As my eyes tend to water a lot—especially in the morning, getting an eyeliner to stay put can be a real challenge. Of all the eyeliners I’ve tried, this surprisingly doesn’t smudge! I also like that it comes with a brush on the other end of the pencil, which allows for smudging to create a soft smoky eye effect.”

YSL Beauté Le Teint Encre De Peau Foundation

2. YSL Beauté Le Teint Encre De Peau Foundation, S$98.

“My skin has changed from combination to slightly dry over the years but somehow the foundation continued to work for me. It has the smoothest and finest texture, and I love that it goes on like velvety-silk on my skin. It conceals uneven skin tones as well as leaves a natural-looking, soft-matte finish.”

Portrait of Diana Ong. (PHOTO: Diana Ong)

Diana Ong, director and founder of lifestyle and beauty PR agency, The PR People

Diana was the assistant beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore from 2007 to 2008, and beauty editor of Female Singapore from 2008 to 2009.

Do as she does. “If you don’t want to have to choose between your face and your body at 40, hydrate like a pro, starting from your cleanser—choose a hydrating cleanser or makeup remover. If your moisturiser is too heavy, use a mist over your face before application so that it spreads smoothly. I also use a Refa facial roller to massage skin before applying hydrating skincare to improve blood circulation and help the skin absorb the hydration better.”

Senka All Clear Sheet

Beauty picks she still uses.

1. Senka All Clear Sheet, S$13.90.

“I just discovered this makeup-cleansing wipe, which is perfect for travelling and doesn’t strip your skin of essential moisture while removing long-wear makeup.”

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

2. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, S$78.

I have read so many great reviews and have used this since it launched in Singapore about a year ago. Used together with Good Genes, this retinol product almost immediately improved the appearance and texture of my skin. I could see it the morning after – pores were more refined, skin looked brighter. It’s now a daily staple.”

Portrait of Eugene Quek. (PHOTO: Eugene Quek)

Eugene Quek, communications specialist at a media company

Eugene was the beauty editor for Elle Singapore from 2017 to 2018, and the associate editor for Herworld.com, heading the beauty department, from 2013 to 2017.

Do as he does. “Amplify your anti-ageing ampoules by applying them together with a featherweight facial oil. The potency of functional fat-soluble actives like vitamins A and E is jacked up in the presence of a “carrier” oil, plus the extra helping of hydration won’t hurt, either.”

Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-up Stick

Beauty picks he still uses.

1. Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-up Stick, S$45.

“This black bauble—bonus points for pretty packaging—has usurped my erstwhile ultimate concealer of choice from a prestige J-beauty brand (guess who, don’t sue). I’ve been testing it out for about a week and by golly, it’s one of a precious few products which live up to their claims of being both long-wearing and full-coverage. The swipe-and-go stick formulation is fabulously flattering, with a demi-matte finish that’s just dewy enough to read as “real” skin, even up close and personal. #HG-worthy portable perfection, if you ask me.”

Shiseido Future Solution LX Superior Radiance Serum

2. Shiseido Future Solution LX Superior Radiance Serum, S$365.

“I’ve been slathering on this splurge-worthy salve—AM and PM, all day, err-day—for more than half a decade now. Pearlescent particle imbues skin with instant incandescence, while a battalion of brightening antioxidants like Japanese Uji green tea extract sop up sun-induced damage for a visibly brighter and firmer visage. I adore its cashmere-like consistency, which glides on like a dream under creams.”

Portrait of Goh Yee Huay.

Goh Yee Huay, freelance writer/editor

Between 2008 and 2011, Yee Huay was the associate beauty editor for Her World Singapore, and then beauty editor for Female Singapore.

Do as she does. “Facial oils really are the bomb. Find a good one and your skincare is all set. It can be used as a treatment product like serum or mask, it moisturises, it helps with repair. It can be applied on cuticles, or hair ends if necessary. You can even mix a drop or two with liquid foundation for a more glowy look and smoother application – this works especially well in cold climates. Go for one that has lightweight texture, a non-greasy feel, antioxidants and reparative or regenerative benefits.”

Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer SPF 25

Beauty picks she still uses.

1. Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer SPF 25, S$105.

“This has been my go-to concealer for every problem for over a decade. I use it for dark circles, freckles, dark marks – whatever is the crisis of the day. It’s a perfect mix of creaminess, spreadability and coverage – neither too thin and fluid to be effective, nor heavy and cakey. I’ve been told it can even be used to hide fine lines and pores. The latest version comes with SPF 25 so you get some sun protection against dark spots while covering them up.”

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydrating Mask

2. Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydrating Mask, S$69.

“I’ve been using this for about a year now and it’s a real SOS product for when your skin is irritated, inflamed or breaking out. The jelly-like texture is an instant soother, even more so if you chill it in the fridge beforehand. It calms red, blotchy-looking skin and it’s a fast worker too – just five minutes or so gets the job done. It won’t get rid of acne or redness completely, but your skin will look less angry. Calendula is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, which helps when tackling zits.”

Portrait of Jaclyn Guna

Jaclyn Guna, assistant content manager at beauty retail company

Jaclyn was the associate beauty editor of Her World Singapore from 2015 to 2016.

Do as she does. “I apply all my moisturisers (body and face) on damp skin. When skin is damp, it’s able to absorb and lock in moisture much more effectively than on dry skin. I have naturally dry skin on my body, so I always moisturise fresh out of the shower. It definitely makes my skin feel more supple and smooth and it works wonders on the face too! If you’re applying your moisturisers on completely dry skin, you aren’t getting the best out of your products.”

Beauty picks she still uses.

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain

1. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, S$19.

“Hands down, my favourite matte lipstick formula. It’s long-lasting, non-drying and highly pigmented with a velvety finish. Two of my favourite shades are #24 Burnt Sienna, a gorgeous brown-mauve, and #01 Always Red, a classic cool-toned red that makes my teeth look brighter. I’ve been re-purchasing these for at least four years now.”

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

2. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, US$9.70 (S$13)

“I’ve been using this water-free vitamin C cream for close to 2 years now. On its own, it has a slightly gritty texture which doesn’t sit well under makeup, so I mix it with a hyaluronic acid serum before applying it in the morning. Texture aside, this formulation is hard to beat for its price. I use it on both my face and body (on scars & darker areas like knees/elbows) and it helps to even out my skin tone while improving skin’s texture.”



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