Singapore might be known for a lot of things: the best airport, incredible food, a clean city… But guess what, we are also hometown of some of the most wonderful beauty brands. As we celebrate the nation’s 50th birthday, let’s also celebrate some of them:
1. Jean Yip Group
Founded in 1982 by Jean Yip as a hairdressing salon at Katong Plaza, Jean Yip is now a one-stop destination for hairdressing, beauty and slimming needs, with 60 outlets all over Singapore. Besides catering to the beauty needs of their customers, Jean Yip Group also further contribute to the beauty landscape in Singapore when it set up the Jean Yip Academy, a hair and beauty school that offers its own courses in 2000.
Try: R6 Customised Face Treatment (SGD366, but SGD5 for first-timers’ trial). This is Jean Yip’s most popular face treatment, which uses the Transdermal Administrative System (TAS), an advanced skincare technology, to fight against skin damages. You can expect to step out of the facial treatment cabin with skin that appears smoother, brighter, and firmer.
We can’t possibly miss Singapore’s first dedicated waxing salon, STRIP, when we talk about our favourite local beauty brands. Launched in 2002, STRIP has expanded from the little island of Singapore to 42 stores in nine cities worldwide, including Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, New York, and London. STRIP’s founder, Cynthia Chua, has even been awarded Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year by the Singapore Tourism Board in 2012, as a recognition to her contribution to the business scene in Singapore.
STRIP takes pride in ensuring the highest standards for hygiene and safety, and is the first hair removal brand in Singapore that brings attention to hygienic waxing practices by launching a “No Double Dipping” campaign. It also makes sure that new disposable razors and fresh towels are used for each customer, and therapists are gloved up during treatments.
Try: IPL Brazilian treatment (SGD642). STRIP has always been known for its Brazilian waxes, but if would like to try a semi-permanent hair removal solution, the IPL Brazilian treatment is it. Using machines specially customised for STRIP, the treatment offers great results with little discomfort, which is why it was able to clinch several awards for being the most painless Brazilian.
Dr. Georgia Lee is probably one of the most recognised aesthetics doctors in Singapore, and she helms the TLC Lifestyle Clinic, which she founded. The doctor extended her contribution to the beauty industry when she launched her own skincare line, offered only to her in-house patients at first, which was later re-branded as DrGL in 2011, and offered to the retail market.
DrGL is Georgia Lee’s brainchild, which she took more than six years of R&D to come up with. The interest in skincare came about when she suffered from an allergic reaction in 2004, which caused a persistent hyper-pigmentation to the right side of her face that lasted almost 9 months. Because the brands in the market then could not offer her something effective yet gentle enough for her sensitive skin, she decided to create her own solutions.
Try: DrGL Skin Repair (SGD98). This best-seller is so popular the brand couldn’t keep up with its manufacturing to be sent to the stores. At the clinic’s shelves, even the samples get snapped up! This is a serum that penetrates deep into the skin to deliver anti-ageing and skin-revitalising benefits. The formula uses active plant stem cell extracts to encourage skin renewal, and at the same time repair damaged cells so skin looks more youthful. The potent formula is also soothing enough to have a calming effect on the skin.
Launched in 2002, Bio-essence may be a relatively new brand compared to its international competitors, but it is also one that is courageous enough to invite consumers to test its products. This is why the brand has hosted numerous public challenges, inviting consumers to test their products on-the-spot, and these challenges help built the public’s confidence in its products. Now, the Singapore brand also has its presence in eight other regions: Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the UK.
More recently, Bio-essence picked local actress, Jeanette Aw as their spokesperson. The brand says that she possesses an effortless charm and charisma, and is known for her outstanding performance and hard work – all qualities that the brand values.
Try: Bio-essence Face Lifting Cream (SGD55.90). Named the No. 1 Face Lifting Cream at several awards, this product was first launched in 2002, and has gone through four versions of improvement. The latest version – Extra Strength Face Lifting Cream with Royal Jelly & ATP – helps improve skin’s elasticity, reduce the look of sagginess, to achieve sharper and more defined facial contours.
Freshly handmade, and using no chemical preservatives, Katfood products are literally made of things you can find in your kitchen. Very new in the market (launched in November 2014), the Singapore beauty brand may be young but already have a rather comprehensive collection of products for the face, body, and hair. The products’ cheeky but understated packaging, coupled with simple but effective formula makes it a brand that we find easy to love.
Try: Cuckoo For Cocoa Dry Shampoo (SGD13.90). No thanks to Singapore’s humid weather, it’s common to see our hair going from fab to flat by mid-day. If this is a problem that you face, freshen up with this dry shampoo and you’ll get hair that looks like it’s freshly-washed within 30 seconds. What’s more this cocoa-, cinnamon-, and lavender-scented product is aerosol-free, which means it is earth-loving, just as it’s hair-loving! Katfood products retail at their online store, or you can find them at Isetan Scotts, Level 2, Restyle.