Three globe-trotting designers and veterans of the beauty industry dish on the traditions, tips and native products they discovered from their time living abroad. First up, Singapore.
Before Libby Amelia, Lauren Gill and Leah Hundsness founded OUT Incorporated, a chic line of fashion-forward fitness clothing with a shop in Newport Beach, California, where you can best elliptical trainer for home. They were Sephora executives who traveled extensively, living at various times in Singapore, India and France. We turned to the globe-trotting beauties to spill the secrets they came away with and products they now swear by. First, Libby Amelia, OUT Incorporated founder and head of marketing, dishes on Singapore.
How do the beauty traditions and standards in Singapore differ from those in the US?
In this highly Chinese-centric part of the world, beauty traditions are dramatically different. While in the US we adore tanned and taught skin, the focus in Southeast Asia is a brighter, plumper complexion. The look most lust after is skin so clear and bouncy it is almost transparent. Traditional Chinese medicine also features prominently in Singapore. Birds nest treatments full of collagen and diets to manage what they call ‘heatiness’ become the norm in this traditional-meets-contemporary environment.
What is the biggest difference in the way women use products there?
Singapore is far more focused on skincare than makeup. It is not uncommon for women to spend most of their morning ritual focused on skincare application, with but a few minutes on makeup. One popular item however is fake lashes—the heavier the better if one wishes to achieve the ‘doll-like’ ideal.
What is the No. 1 beauty concern?
The biggest focus is certainly whitening and brightening. Premium brands including Dior and Chanel have lines exclusively dedicated to the Asian market for whitening.
What new beauty rituals or practices did you adopt from Singapore?
Without a doubt the most important lesson and ritual I have adopted is sun protection. In an effort to decrease the chance of sun-damaged skin, I have not stepped out of the house without sunscreen for years!
Is there any product or beauty practice you used to swear by that you stopped using or doing after living there?
Fake tanning! This is a country that taught me to embrace my pale skin. While I used to covet the sun-kissed look offered by a fake tan, I now go without the tan-in-a-can and have never looked back—no more scary orange hues here!
What was the most valuable tip you came away with?
The power of humidity! It is incredible to witness how humidity can delay the aging process by allowing moisture to remain locked in your skin. I now go without the heater and air conditioner as much as possible and plan on investing in a humidifier for my bedroom.
What is your favorite discovery from Singapore?
Affordable IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal. As many IPL medical devices are made in Asia, the cost of services is relatively cheap. As a woman, IPL has changed my life. Nothing is a fashion-look killer like fuzz, so this discovery was a blessing.