also available at:

stay home edit


Self-Professed Beauty Geek Emily Loke Shares Her Secrets To Flawless Skin

News flash: Most of us are still cooped up at home which means we get a bit more time for some self-care. So for every week this month, we turn our attention to beauty fanatics and ask them to give a peek at their beauty cabinets and cop tips along the way. First up is Emily Loke – writer, content creator, self-proclaimed beauty geek, and Female Collective member.

Not even a lockdown has knocked Emily Loke’s skincare game. The Singaporean writer and content creator has long offered gems of makeup and skincare tips to her 24.6K (and counting) followers on Instagram – and as of late, has continued doing so from a beach town just outside of Auckland.

“My husband and I arrived in New Zealand for a sabbatical just before things went sideways, and got completely caught off guard by the sudden lockdown. We were fortunate enough to find an Airbnb on short notice,” shares Loke who has been there since March.

Read More: Four Simple Steps To Give Your Face A Strong Glow Game

A pared-back skincare routine then? Not for this beauty geek. Here, Loke hones in on her favourite products, game-changing items in her vanity, and the one skincare step you should never skip – ever. Swipe the gallery above for a step-by-step breakdown of Loke’s morning and evening routines.

Writer and content creator, Emily Loke (@paper_tigress).

How has your skincare changed during circuit breaker?

“It’s definitely gotten more elaborate. With all this time I’m spending at home, there’s literally no excuse to skip steps or take shortcuts in my routine. I’ve also gotten more experimental. This is the perfect time to try new products and combinations I’ve been curious about, because if something causes a breakout, well…who’s going to see me?”

What’s your one “ride or die” product?

“Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. It’s pricey and it promises a lot – brightening, hydrating, smoothing, strengthening, regeneration, nourishing – so I was pretty skeptical at first, but it does actually deliver. My skin always looks its best when I use this serum regularly, and noticeably more blah when I stop. I’m on my fourth bottle.”

Read More: The Transformative Skincare Products You Need To Try 

Some of Loke’s current must-haves include: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum.

Tell us about how you developed your skincare routine.

“Trial and error, with a lot of patience. I’ve found that the best way to find a routine that works is to do a lot of research and keep experimenting. Unfortunately, unless I’m having an allergic reaction, it’ll probably be a few weeks before I know if the item really lives up to the hype. My solution? Makeup. At around the one-month mark, I’ll start paying closer attention to how medium or full-coverage foundation applies. If it glides on smoothly, great. But if I see flakes or patchiness, I’ll know I need to make some adjustments to my routine.”

What’s a skincare step one should never skip?

“I cannot emphasise how important sunscreen is. You can spend thousands of dollars on anti-ageing products, but if you’re not also applying sunscreen religiously it’s all going to be for naught.”

What’s your go-to item to pamper and indulge?

“Without a doubt, Fresh Rose Face Mask. I love how soothing it is for my skin, but if I have to be honest, I apply it as a near-daily ritual because the rose scent triggers a deep internal zen for me. It just sets a very calm, positive tone for the rest of my morning.”

Read More: The Hair Routine To Get On, Stat

Loke’s go-to item for some pampering is the Fresh Rose Face Mask.

What’s your favourite skincare brand at the moment?

“This is a tough call. SK-II products have been a constant in my routine for over a decade, but I might have to say Fresh is my current favourite brand. Like their Rose Mask, many of their products have scents that make using them an exercise in escapism, which has been particularly welcoming these last few months.”

“I cannot emphasise how important sunscreen is. You can spend thousands of dollars on anti-ageing products, but if you’re not also applying sunscreen religiously it’s all going to be for naught.” – Emily Loke


Who are your fave beauty gurus/doctors to follow on Instagram?

“Shani Darden and Dr Barbara Sturm. While they do use IG to promote their own brand (and rightly so), they also regularly offer solid skincare advice that anyone can benefit from, even if you aren’t using their products.

The best skincare advice you have?

“Our bodies are 60 per cent water so hydration is incredibly important. Drinking two litres of water a day is the least you can do for your skin, but for best results I highly recommend a portable humidifier for your desk if you’re in an air-conditioned office all day. They’re also great for winter travel – I put mine on my nightstand so it blows mist at my face while I sleep.”

What product are you looking to try out next?

“I need to start using retinol more regularly to get the jump on any potential wrinkles. I don’t have any yet, but as it always is with preventative skincare, you can never start too early.”

A breakdown of Loke's morning routine:
“My morning routine is all about soothing my skin after my more caustic night routine, hydrating to support and repair my skin’s moisture barrier, and protecting my skin from sun damage. I’m always swapping products around and trying new things, but for the most part, here’s what I use the most.”   Step 1. Face Wash: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser Step 2. Mask: Fresh Rose Face Mask / Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask Step 3. Refreshing/hydrating toner: Fresh Rose Toner / Kiehl’s Calendula Toner Step 4. Facial essence: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence / Fresh Black Tea Facial Treatment Essence Step 5. Serum: Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, Kiehl’s Vitamin C Serum Step 6. Moisturiser: Chanel Beauty Camelia Water Cream (for hot weather) / Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (for cold weather) Step 7. Light facial oil: Uma Ultimate Brightening Oil Step 8. Sunscreen: Biore Perfect Face Milk / Suqqu Face Protector   Above: Roughly half of Loke’s entire skincare stash – one that she rotates regularly and strategically for best results.  A breakdown of Loke's night routine:
“My evening routine is where I get a little bit more aggressive with my skin. This is when I’ll use physical or chemical exfoliants to get rid of the grime my pores might have picked up during the day and address textural issues and pigmentation.”   Step 1. Oil cleanser: Three Balancing Cleansing Oil Step 2. Face wash: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser Step 3. Exfoliant or exfoliating toner: Dr Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads / Biologique Reverche Lotion P50 Step 4. Facial essence: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence / Fresh Black Tea Facial Treatment Essence Step 5. Serum: Sunday Riley Good Genes / SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence / Chanel Blue Serum Step 6. Moisturiser: SK-II RNA Power Cream / Fresh Creme Ancienne Step 7. Eye Cream: Eve Lom Eye Cream Step 8. Facial oil or night mask: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum / Chanel Masque De Nuit Au Camelia   Above: Loke’s current must-haves.  Some of her favourite products
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $52 Some of her favourite products
Chanel Masque De Nuit Au Camelia, $146 Some of her favourite products
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence, $199 Some of her favourite products
Eve Lom Eye Cream, $109 Some of her favourite products
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $285