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Ever since the Circuit Breaker was implemented and extended, the beauty industry in Singapore has changed rapidly. Salons have crossed services off their menu, leaving hair stylists with minimum work. Makeup artists have had to find other ways to tide themselves over this period, while spas and beauty stores have shut their doors temporarily.

To find out how people in the beauty sector have been impacted by the pandemic, we recently caught up with four individuals from the industry. Here’s how they have been coping thus far.

1. Junz Loke, Hair Stylist at Evolve Salon


When the Circuit Breaker was announced

“I expected the announcement of the Circuit Breaker measures on 3 April, but I didn’t expect the extension. I was like ‘What?! What should I do for another month?’ I immediately informed my clients and asked those who needed a haircut to come down ASAP. My co-workers did the same thing.

During the first week of the Circuit Breaker, I felt uninspired and thought about what I should do next. I missed communicating with my clients and interacting with new people. My male clients reached out to me, wanting to know how they could fix their hair. Some of them shaved their own hair. Surprisingly, they did a pretty good job that could last for another two to three weeks.”

What I’ve been up to


“I have been learning film and video editing for about a year now. During this period, I did a digital motion collage featuring my friend Layla Ong, an international model. We discussed the concept through WhatsApp. I really enjoyed working on this and I’m picking up some 3D animation skills too.

To unwind, I spend the night reading books with a lighted candle in the room. For now, I’m focusing on trying things I haven’t done before — things that make me feel great.”

The future of the beauty industry

“I’m not too worried about basic hair services as it’s part of an essential line. I am, however, worried about hairstyling. In 20 years, everything can be done digitally, like hair, makeup, and clothes. I’m looking forward to seeing that future if I can live long enough (laughs).”

2. Christian Maranion, Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

Beauty Industry Circuit Breaker Christian Maranion

When the Circuit Breaker was announced

“My job flow slowed down drastically in March, so it felt like I was cooped up at home even before the Circuit Breaker was announced. Slowly but surely, my clients called, texted, or emailed to postpone or cancel their appointments. A few bridal clients of mine called to check up on me and make sure that I was safe and in good health.

I think it’s great that we have digital platforms to bring us all together, though it might not capture the “full experience” of meeting someone in real life. This period has also brought more people together and ignited friendships.

My mum suggested I moved back for the Circuit Breaker period. I think having the company of my family, the interaction, and bonding has definitely contributed to mental wellness, as it’s important to keep positive and healthy.

Being self-employed, the unpredictability of my income became quite a concern, especially when it means tiding over the next few months. Right now, I’m depending on my savings and the relief schemes that I am eligible for.”

What I’ve been up to

“I have started exploring more spiritual self-care while looking into some homeopathic therapy and treatments. It’s something I’ve always had an interest in, and now I can finally do it.

I also decided to bring my skincare routine back to basics by slowly introducing a new product each time. I’m doing this to figure out what triggers my acne-prone skin. I’m taking this time to let myself rest, rejuvenate, and recharge.

I go for a morning jog — sometimes a 3km run or 6km power walk. Morning cardio is essential as it dictates how I feel for the rest of the day. Seeing a bit of nature and running has helped to kick that feeling of restlessness I have when I’m cooped up for too long.

In between, I’m catching up on Netflix, gaming, or reading. In the evening, I do a Zoom workout with my pro wrestling group, which usually tires and knocks me out for a good night’s sleep.”

The future of the beauty industry

“It would take some time to build up the pace again, but I feel quite optimistic about the beauty industry. Sure, we are headed into the digital world, but for now, there’s still a market for hands-on skills and face-to-face human interaction.

As long as print and digital magazines are still running, people are still attending special occasions, and couples are still getting married, there should be a need for our services.”

3. Candy Tiong, Lash/Brow Artist, Makeup Artist, and Hairstylist at A2i Makeup


When the Circuit Breaker was announced

“We carried out the last brow and lash appointments on 6 April. Many clients were rushing to have their services done before the Circuit Breaker.

The extension on 21 April was quite impactful and it took a toll on us. It is stressful not being able to carry out business for another month. The financial pressure was doubled as our income was reduced to zero, adding up losses from expenditures such as rental and employees’ salaries.

Besides contacting clients to cancel or reschedule appointments, our main priority was to communicate with our team. We wanted to understand their current well-being and if they required any financial assistance to tide through this period.

I definitely miss spending time at work with my team as we often spend time together. I also miss catching up with our dear clients and friends. I’ve been receiving messages from my clients since, asking whether my team and I are coping well during this period. It also took me by surprise when one of my clients sent a food parcel to my home with a sweet handwritten card attached to it.”

What I’ve been up to

“Initially, it was difficult to focus on work-related matters because my kids were constantly seeking attention. After a while, they were able to understand. I explained why I needed a few work hours to accomplish my task so that I could spend more time with them.

Currently, I’m undergoing a virtual training programme on Korea’s latest semi-permanent makeup techniques, trends, and products. We are also preparing to launch a new line of semi-permanent makeup products. On top of that, I’ve been working with a professional course trainer to upgrade our current course syllabus.

Being able to sleep for eight hours every day is a bonus — it’s probably the first time in a long while. Rest rejuvenates the body and mind, so I can wake up with a clearer head and stronger body. I have also been doing slightly more intense workouts like Tabata. It feels good to get the adrenaline rush, and of course, stay in shape.”

The future of the beauty industry

“The economic downturn will greatly lower the demand for most trades. The beauty industry could be one of the sectors that’s likely to be most affected.

Having a positive state of mind is very important. Instead of worrying about the negative impact of this pandemic, I try to focus on preparing myself for the future. I connect myself to people with positive vibes and invest in self-improvement, holistic living, and above all, family bonding.”

4. Tuhfah Bahirah, Senior Therapist at Porcelain

Beauty Industry Circuit Breaker Tuhfah Porcelain

When the Circuit Breaker was announced

“I was worried at the start, but Porcelain has handled the entire procedure well. When the extension was announced on 21 April, I was confident that everything will be okay.

We had to block off all slots for therapists while the Customer Success team handled the cancellation of appointments. My Malaysian colleagues were definitely worried that they wouldn’t be able to go back home to their families during this period. I miss my colleagues and interacting with customers while I perform treatments on them.”

What I’ve been up to

“I am undergoing internal and external training with Porcelain. I have been spending more time in the kitchen too, picking up new recipes to try.

To pamper myself, I take a warm shower, use my favourite body scrub from The Body Shop, and apply lotion on after. I get into comfortable PJs and indulge in my skincare products. While I paint my nails and watch shows on Netflix, I will put on Porcelain’s Hydrocare Bio Cellulose Mask. I also love lighting up aromatherapy candles to create a calm and relaxing ambience.

I’m grateful for having a roof over my head and still being safe at home. I am also thankful for the easy access to food and drinks with delivery services so I don’t stay hungry in between training programmes.”

The future of the beauty industry

“I believe the habits and trends of the beauty industry will change slightly after this pandemic. However, I don’t think there will be a lower demand for beauty services as there is still a need for human touch when it comes to facial treatments.”

In case you haven’t heard, Porcelain has launched Skin Discovery Enhanced, a thorough three-step assessment, lasting no more than 30 minutes, to understand what your skin needs addressed.

This assessment will allow you to gain better understanding of skin concerns including moisture and sebum levels, acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, just to name a few.