Daily Vanity is the #1 beauty media in Singapore, and a fast-growing start-up. Winner of the Fastest Growing Online Beauty Magazine at the Global Brand Awards 2019 and Runner-up for Best Lifestyle/Leisure News Site at the The Drum Online Media Awards 2020, Daily Vanity has grown from strength to strength since its founding in 2012.
With more than half a million viewers per month, Daily Vanity is a reliable media resource for beauty novices and beauty enthusiasts alike. We have content for everyone regardless of age and spending preference.
We are trusted by our readers which leads to us gaining trust from various luxury skincare brands, dermatologist brands, mass brands, and small beauty business owners.
Our founding story
Oct: At a date at TWG, sharing tea (actual tea, not Gen-Z-speak for “drama”) and tete-a-tete, Keith asked Kristen what kind of website she would build, if she could.
Having been writing about beauty for years, Kristen had always felt that there was a lack in quality beauty content in Singapore – one with hyperlocal content (addressing Singapore’s climate, common skin types, range of skin tones) that Singaporeans could relate to.
She envisioned a beauty publication that offered trustworthy tips and genuine reviews; one that shared the latest beauty news that everyone, from beauty newbie to beauty junkie, and across all age ranges, would look forward to.
After sharing what her “dream publication” looked like, Keith said, “These all sound very feasible. What’s stopping you from doing it?”
Nov: Keith quickly got to work to make Kristen’s dream (publication) come true. One of the first things on the to-do list? Selecting a name for the publication. “Daily Vanity” was finally chosen and registered as a domain name.
If you’d like to know, other short-listed names included: Daily Beauty, Vanity Note, Vanity Pass, and Vanity Cult. Would you have preferred another name?
Dec: Keith and Kristen roped in Chris to be third founder of Daily Vanity. The job functions were very clearly defined right from the start, all based on each founder’s professional experiences and skillsets. Keith handled business and marketing, Kristen managed content, and Chris took care of tech. (The three founders are still heading these departments now.)
Very quickly, the trio laid out a business plan, designed the website, and brainstormed the content line-up.
Feb: The “dream” publication, dailyvanity.com (we later changed our url to dailyvanity.sg), was live, and put up articles every day.
Apr: Within less than two months, Daily Vanity’s social media had grown to more than 1,000 organically, which showed that our distinct and refreshing content resonated with beauty enthusiasts.
Keith and Kristen also held a reader-meet to pass beauty gifts to them and have a chat with each of them. More than 80 readers turned up.
Jun: Following some business enquiries, Daily Vanity was registered as a company to deliver campaigns for clients easily.
Dec: Within almost a year of establishment, Daily Vanity had worked on digital campaigns with brands like Benefit Cosmetics and Origins.
We had also been recognised as a trusted media, and were offered access to interviews with VIPs and celebrities including Annie Ford-Danielson (Chief Ambassador to Benefit Cosmetics and daughter of the brand’s founder), Xiao Kai (Taiwanese celebrity makeup artist and beauty guru), and Olivia Ong (Singaporean singer and actress).
Jul: Daily Vanity continued to see strong progress until a crisis tripped it in its track: one month after Keith and Kristen got married, Kristen was diagnosed with Stage 3.5 cancer and had to go through several rounds of intensive chemotherapy immediately.
Each treatment required her to be hospitalised for a week to receive chemotherapy 24/7. As the main writer for the publication at that time, this meant that it became challenging for content production to continue.
Keith decided to close down Daily Vanity but Kristen insisted that they could soldier on.
By roping in freelance writers and Kristen working tirelessly from the hospital bed, all while battling the side effects of chemotherapy and the possibility of death, Daily Vanity continued to run, business as usual.
Dec: Kristen completed all her treatments and was declared to be in full remission by her doctor.
Despite Kristen’s inability to work at full capacity in 2014, Daily Vanity continued to hit significant milestones, including:
- publishing two articles that went viral based on an interview with celebrity Fann Wong,
- broke the news about a scam that misused celebrity Chen Liping’s name (this story also went viral),
- and started Daily Vanity’s first Beauty Survey to understand our readers’ needs and habits.
Jan: Keith finally decided to quit his job to focus on Daily Vanity full time. He worked from his study and received no salary, with his attention put into turning Daily Vanity into a sustainable business.
Feb: Daily Vanity signed its first two clients: a premium beauty service provider and a high-end luxury retailer.
May: Following a good return-on-investment from the previous campaigns, both clients renewed their contract and continued to work with Daily Vanity.
In this month, we also achieved its first 1,000,000 page views since the start of the website.
Sep: Daily Vanity received its biggest contract to date with a luxury product brand.
Oct: Following a good return-on-investment from the previous campaign, the luxury product brand renewed its contract with Daily Vanity to run another campaign.
In this month, we also recruited our first employee, who worked alongside Keith in the home office.
Jan: With the growth that Daily Vanity experienced, we started sourcing for an office space to facilitate expansion and eventually moved into a 332-sqft office in City Hall.
Apr: Kristen was invited to be one of the judges at the Guardian Health & Beauty Award, an acknowledgement to Daily Vanity’s public status as a beauty expert.
Dec: We started creating video content to engage our readers further. Picks of the Month, a video series that featured new beauty products that caught our eyes, became a fan-favourite and continued to be so even today.
Jan: From just two full-timers in Jan 2016, the Daily Vanity team increased to a size of eight in less than 12 months.
Aug: We held our first live-streaming video on Facebook and were among the first local publications to do so. The event saw amazing engagement from our followers (1,400+ comments 5,500+ views).
The experience helped to team interact with followers and saw how passionate they were about beauty and the trust that they had in Daily Vanity.
This was also one of the significant points where we were absolutely sure that we had managed to reach out to the audience that we had set out to attract when we first started building our “dream” publication in 2012.
Dec: The year concluded with almost 6 million page views, more than twice the number in 2016.
Jan: The Daily Vanity team had expanded to 12 people. This, and the growing need to produce better quality video, meant that Daily Vanity needed a larger space to accommodate the growth.
We moved into a 3,000-sqft space in Henderson. This was more than nine times larger than our first (previous) office in City Hall.
Dec: A well-oiled machine that continued to break grounds, Daily Vanity was by now the #1 beauty media in Singapore (in terms of web traffic and engaged community) and was recognised as a go-to publication for all things beauty related.
Daily Vanity had also managed to attract reputable clients across different categories and was one of the top media that most – if not all – mass and luxury beauty and beauty-related brands consider to work with whenever they had a marketing campaign.
Jun: This was the fifth year Daily Vanity had run its annual beauty survey. With more insights included year on year, the survey was regarded by many media agencies and tertiary institutions as a strong source of credible information to understand the beauty landscape in Singapore.
The survey data was heavily used by top beauty brands for planning and tertiary students for academic research.
Sep: Kristen was invited by Channel 8 News for an interview about the beauty tech device trend in Singapore. The over-2-minute segment covered her take on the trend’s popularity, its efficacy, and what she foresaw was the future of beauty tech.
Channel 8 was the market leader for Chinese news and entertainment in Singapore.
Oct: Leading cosmetic trade magazine Cosmetic Design interviewed Kristen about the findings from the Daily Vanity Beauty Survey 2019 to share with their trade readers.
Dec: Kristen was invited by Channel NewsAsia to provide an expert commentary regarding Sasa’s exit from Singapore. This was a nod to Daily Vanity’s and Kristen’s reputation as an beauty industry expert.
Feb: Daily Vanity was named the Fastest Growing Online Beauty Magazine in Singapore at the Global Brands Magazine Awards 2019, awarded based scrutiny and objective study by an independent research agency.
The Drum was a global media platform with bases in Glasglow, London, New York, and Singapore, and was the biggest marketing website in Europe. Short-listed finalists at The Drum Online Media Awards 2020 across all categories included top-of-the-class publications like BBC, Al Jazeera, HuffPost UK, South China Morning Post, The Economist, Reuters, and Guardian.
If you love our story and what we do, and want to be a part of our next chapter, head over to our Careers page to see the roles we are looking to fill.
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