Say hello to Singapore’s answer to Jenny Bui, Cardi B’s celebrity nail technician. Like Bui, this 23-year-old – known to clients as Becca aka Han Lin Shu (above) – is one of the few, if not only, local specialists in shaping and designing elaborate, bolder-is-better acrylic nail extensions. Just peep at her Instagram account @glamourclawz that’s chock-full of images of nails covered in anything from iridescent flame-like swirls and full crusts of oversized crystals to what she calls “encapsulation”, when the likes of tiny pictures and trinkets are encased in acrylics.
Tipping things firmly towards the outre, Han believes in the longer, the better, so her extensions are always at least 2cm beyond that of one’s natural nails, then fashioned into trendy, graphic, often talon-like shapes (her latest obsession is the extremely pinched “Russian Almond”). So dedicated is she to her aesthetic – one that she categorises as “American/Pinterest acrylic nails” – that she turns down customers who approach her year-old business seeking the typical, often girly girl nail art favoured by Asian women.
And while she’s also a psychology undergraduate, she’s steadily honing her skills that she first picked up from the Internet just last June – the result of her being unable to find anyone here to deliver the look. For one, she’s fastidious about shape: the perfect extensions, she says, “ought to be completely aligned with the fingers and perfectly straight along the edges”. She has postponed appointments because her new set of tools – electric drills and kolinsky brushes – were still being shipped and the existing ones were too worn. She’s always exploring new techniques and materials (polymer clay embellishments, anyone?) in a bid to innovate her service.
Those seeking it should be as committed: A session with Han lasts between two and a half and six hours, depending on the complexity of the design, with prices starting from $165 for a “mystery” option.
Photography Vee Chin Art Direction Jonathan Chia Hair Leong Lim, using Tokio Inkarami Makeup Priscellia Wong, using Nars Cosmetics
This story first appeared in the November 2019 issue of FEMALE.