updated 13 Sep 2013, 10:58
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Tue, Sep 10, 2013
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Face value
by Benson Ang

For most of us, $500 is what you pay for designer shoes - not a jar of face cream the size of a bottle of chicken's essence.

But some women have no qualms taking the plunge when it comes to buying luxuriously priced skincare.

For Miss Sylvia Yeo, 32, quality skincare products are worth the money.

The beauty consultant is willing to spend over $1,000 a month on her skincare regime, which includes cleansers, moisturisers, toners, face cream and eye cream.

She owns a beauty salon, Sylvia Skin Atelier, along East Coast Road, and makes a five-figure sum every month.

Miss Yeo says: "If I can afford it, why not?

"If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys."

Since 2007, she has been using brands like Revive, Dr Brandt and La Prairie.

Before that, she used brands like SK-II and Shiseido, which she considers to be "middle-range".

Says Miss Yeo: "They are fine, but I'm a perfectionist. I want the best there is.

"Especially since I'm no longer in my 20s, it's important to go for quality."

"Quality" is something you can "feel", she adds.

"I can notice the difference in the morning. If I use anti-ageing products, my skin is more supple and 'lifted'.

"If I use whitening products, my skin is brighter and more luminous."

Quality products are also more effective when she travels overseas, she claims.

"They are richer, and better at moisturising your skin in dry weather."

Miss Yeo has used cheaper products in the past, but claims they were not as effective. The effects also did not last as long.

"The less expensive creams use cheaper ingredients. That's why they don't work so well.

In those days, she used a larger dose of products to achieve the same effect.

"I could finish a tub of face cream in 1½ months. But now, when I use a more expensive cream, a tub can last me twice as long.

"When you work it out, it isn't that much more expensive, " she says.

Buying the products is not the end, though. She also sticks to her daily skincare routine, which takes 1½ hours a day.

She says: "No matter how tired I am, I will put on layer after layer because my skin is important."

For her, spending to look good is also not new. Since she entered the workforce at 22, she has been spending $800 a month on her regime.

Then, she worked as a personal assistant, and made only $2,000 a month.

She says: "I couldn't afford luxury brands. I walked by the beauty counters and dreamed of buying those products.

"Now that I can afford it, I don't think I can go back to cheaper brands.

"I'm afraid that I won't look as good."

Apart from her skin, a significant part of her income is also spent on her hair, shoes and bags.

Says Miss Yeo: "I do save enough, but money is supposed to be spent to reward yourself for working hard."

Not everyone is supportive of her decision.

"Some of my friends think I'm spending too much on my face. They say that I 'kao lian chi fan' (Chinese for make a living from one's looks).

"But I think it's important to take care of your appearance because that's what you present to the world.

"Buying the right skincare products really depends on your budget and what's suitable for your skin."

There's one person, however, who supports her wholeheartedly - her fiancé, a businessman who wants to be known only as Mr Tan, 33.

They are getting married next year.

He says: "If it's something that makes her happy, then nothing is too high a price. If she's happy, I am happy."

Miss Yeo says: "He is also image-conscious and we will do facials together once or twice a month. But of course, I'm more vain.

"When I feel he is not putting in enough effort to take care of himself, I will nag."

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readers' comments
Why not as afterall 60% of what you put on your skin are absorbed but you sure Mr Tan is not superficial about your looks? :D
Posted by mystrawberry on Wed, 11 Sep 2013 at 12:55 PM

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