It gets a little dull when all you see on your Instagram feed are the same beauty brands over and over again. Time to put your Lash Slick down for a moment — there are heaps of under the radar beauty brands (and makeup too) that deserve some space on your vanity.


It took founder, Olivia Thorpe, over a year to sample botanical oils from suppliers all over the world before she arrived at a trusted list of sources that could guarantee the finest quality of oils using sustainable farming methods. So you can be sure that your skin is getting the very best from all four products in her tightly edited line. Beyond top-grade botanical oils that are rich in fatty acids and vitamins to restore skin to its optimum state, all products (except its No. 1 Exfoliating Powder) are also enriched with essential oils for a therapeutic effect on your mind.

Try: No. 1 Nourishing Face Serum, $170 for 30ml
It packs apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, rosehip oil and vitamin E to hydrate, strengthen and protect skin. Or try the new No. 1 Purifying Cleansing Oil, $132 for 100ml, which melts away makeup, conditions skin with safflower and sweet almond oils, as well as uplifts your mind with its carefully blended scent.

Available at Maisonne, 25 Yong Siak Street, Tel: 8506 3665 and

OSEA Malibu

Founded by archaeologist-turned-holistic healer, Jenefer Palmer, OSEA Malibu combines mineral-rich seaweed with organic essential oils to rejuvenate and rebalance all skin types. Responsibly sourced from the pristine waters of Patagonia, OSEA Malibu’s seaweed extract is bio-available, which means that it is readily absorbed into skin for optimum results. Plus, the brand has also been an active advocate for plant-based, vegan skincare since more than 20 years ago, and that passion continues till today.

Try: OSEA Malibu’s Ocean Cleansing Milk, $75 for 150ml, which gently removes makeup and dirt, calms redness, and softens the appearance of fine lines; and Ocean Lotion, $58 for 180ml, which nourishes dry, flaky patches and improves skin elasticity. Or try the latest Vitamin C Probiotic Face Polish, $175 for 56.7g, which contains Fermented Pomegranate enzymes and bamboo and rice powders to buff away dead skin cells while vitamin C and probiotics reduces the appearance of pigmentation for clearer, brighter skin.

Available at Pure Tincture stores and e-store.

Sigi Skin

As the latest local skincare brand to hit the scene, all eyes are on Sigi Skin, and its pared-down approach to skincare. Placing an emphasis on giving your skin exactly what it needs (nothing more, nothing less), all Sigi Skin products are vegan, cruelty-free and made in Korea to feature cutting-edge technology with high-performance ingredients.

Try: Pink Nectar, $62 for 30ml
Made with five molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, peach extract, propolis, vitamin E and niacinamide, it has a lightweight texture that melts into skin upon application to smooth, firm, brighten and depuff the under eye area.

Available at

Read more on the next page.

Lancer Skincare

Founded by Beverley Hills-based dermatologist to the stars, Dr Harold Lancer, he created the famed “The Lancer Method”, a three-step routine which includes exfoliating, cleansing and nourishing to maintain skin’s healthy glow. If the entire three-step routine is too much of a commitment for you, at least experience its first step.

Try: The Method: Polish, $120 for 125ml
Guaranteed to make you rethink exfoliation, this face scrub uses finely grounded pure quartz crystals to lift dead skin cells, salicylic acid to dissolve stubborn oil plugs while Zeolite provides a pleasant warming sensation. Simultaneously, a host of algae and fruit extracts infuse skin with vitamins and minerals to improve oxygenation of skin cells for improved vitality.

Available at Escentials stores and e-store.


As the latest K-beauty brand to arrive on our shores, Huxley’s reputation precedes it. Known for its use of Prickly Pear Seed Oil in its products, this botanical oil contains exceptionally high levels of vitamin E, which replenishes skin with moisture, keeps bacteria at bay and protects against free radical damage – no wonder its fans are loving it.

Try: Oil & Extract Mask, $35 for a box of three
It is soaked in a synergistic combination of Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Cactus Extract for powerful antioxidants and skin-plumping benefits. The sheet mask is also made of ultra-soft microfiber, which adheres closely to skin for optimal absorption. Dull and dry skin gives way to a plump and radiant complexion in just one use.

Available at M Beauty at Metro Centrepoint and

Read more on the next page.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare

The brainchild of Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross, his eponymous line of skincare feature medical-grade formulations with advanced combinations of potent ingredients, and are designed to help women improve their skin conditions without visiting the doctor’s office everyday.

Try: As one of the pioneers of at-home face peels, one of the brand’s must-haves is definitely the Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, about $120 for 30 treatments, which renews skin and refines pores gradually and gently. Or try the Net-A-Porter exclusive BioC Brightening Treatment Mask, about $165 for a box of eight, which delivers a potent dose of vitamin C to instantly brighten the complexion.

Available at Net-A-Porter.

La Bruket

Developed to withstand the harsh conditions in Sweden, La Bruket is a non-toxic brand which harnesses the restorative properties of natural ingredients to keep skin healthy.

Try: 063 Seasalt Scrub Sage/Rosemary/Lavender, $66 for 420g
It gently polishes away dead skin cells with its fine salt granules, while its combination of almond, rapeseed and safflower seed replenishes parched skin with essential nutrients for soft and supple skin. Naturally scented with rosemary, lavender and sage essential oils, it makes for the perfect DIY spa session in the comfort of your own home.

Available at Escentials stores and e-store.

Read more on the next page.

Dr. Barbara Sturm
Heard of the Vampire Facial treatment? That was Dusseldorf-based Dr. Barbara Sturm’s creation (a scientific discovery where a patient’s personal blood cells are used to produce proteins to expedite the healing process). Then in 2014, her non-toxic Molecular Cosmetics skincare range was launched to rave reviews by celebrities, beauty editors and influencers.

Try: Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask ($190, 50ml,
This deeply hydrating mask is rich, creamy and contains key active antioxidant ingredient Purslane and nourishing aloe vera, vitamin E and chamomile — so soothing we could almost hear our skin heave a sigh of relief on immediate application.


Mario Badescu

An esthetician known for his facials in his New York spa, which still sits at the same address when it first opened in 1967, Mario Badescu has since evolved into a botanical skincare brand that counts many acne-plagued teenagers and adults alike as fans, including Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner. Its affordable price points are also winners with its loyal customers.

Try: Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($17, 118ml,
This is the go-to for many beauty editors and makeup artists as a pick-me-up spritz and/or finishing makeup touch. Its spray nozzle is also one of the best we’ve tried, evenly releasing tiny droplets over a wide area that covers the forehead to the chest.


Technically not a new brand, but it’s one worth adding to your vanity. Created by Alexis Rose, a certified aromatherapist and essential oil educator who set out to create a line of products infused with her passion for the healing properties of exotic elements, including wild crafted and organic plant essential oils, delicate hydrosols and magical crystals. The result? Luxurious, clean skincare that leaves your body feeling like liquid silk.

Try: Prickly Pear Illuminating Tourmaline Infused Beauty Nectar, US$80 (S$107) from
With 85 per cent naturally-occurring Vitamin E, slather this on before bedtime to boost your skin’s ability to repair itself according to the body’s circadian rhythm.


In a world where skincare brands are making you mix your own serums, sometimes, uncomplicated reigns supreme, like Aussie brand, Go-To. They’re all about pure, plant-derived ingredients with no faux science or ridiculous claims. Plus, the fact that they’re all encased in Instagram-bait peach packaging helps.

Try:  Properly Clean, AU$31 (S$31.30) from
A light, foamy cleanser that helps you, well, clean. It’s perfect in our hot and humid weather where the last thing you want are thick and creamy cleansers that leave residue.

Read more on the next page.


Founded in 1994 by Dr Sheldon Pinnell based on his extensive research in topical antioxidants and photoageing, SkinCeuticals is often recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medi-spas for daily use and/or post-procedures recovery. It focuses on three main pillars of skincare—prevent, protect and correct and is known for their highly concentrated formulas packed with clinically proven active ingredients.

Try: SkinCeuticals’ 2017 launch Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier ($159, 30ml)
This  became a bestseller and this year’s Discoloration Defense $159, 30ml) has just been released, the brand’s hero products remain its antioxidant serums C E Ferulic (with an impressive 15 per cent pure vitamin C, $248 for 30ml) and Phloretin CF (10 per cent pure vitamin C, $268 for 30ml). The former is more suitable for drier skins or climates while the latter is suitable even for sensitive skins. They help to reduce fine lines, improve skin discoloration and enhance radiance for a more even skin tone.


Thirsty Girl Leave In Conditioner

Launched by four hairstylist brothers who count celebs like Lana Del Rey and Ciara as clients, IGK is a cult haircare line that’s on the brink of making it to mainstream. Instead of the textured LA girl beach waves hair that has been everywhere, IGK’s stuff sways us towards a new generation of beach waves, with sheen and softness that looks super healthy and, at the same time, IDGAF-cool.

Try: Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $42 from
With Murumuru butter, coconut milk and hyaluronic acid, this leave-in conditioner is in the form of a light mist, so you spritz in on damp hair and go. It works on brittle, colour and heat-damaged hair as well as anybody just looking for that extra youthful oomph back in their locks.

Kate Somerville

Before esthetician Kate Somerville founded her eponymous skincare line in Los Angeles in 2006, she was the facialist to some of Hollywood’s biggest names such as Jessica Alba and Demi Moore and has been in business of making Hollywood’s A-listers glow since 1990.

Try: ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($129, 60ml,
This natural AHA skin exfoliator and papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes with lactic acid, naturally exfoliates without stripping it of moisture. At $129, it might come across as pretty pricey for a 60ml tube but since it should only be used just one or two usage a week, and taking into consideration it actually works, it’s a small price to pay.

Moon Juice

While cannabis beauty products are never going to make it to our shores, you can still dip your toes in beauty trends that are very LA, like adaptogens that Gwyneth Paltrow puts in her smoothies every morning. Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants that help balance, restore and protect the body and Moon Juice concocts “dust blends” called Beauty Dust, Sex Dust, Good Night Dust, Brain Dust, Action Dust.

Try: Beauty Dust, US$38 (S$51) from
The ingredients listed are goji, rehmannia, pearl, schisandra, organic stevia. Traditional herbalists often prescribe rehmannia for anemia and various blood deficiencies. In this concoction, it is used to purify your blood stream, healing your skin from the inside out.

Read more on the next page.


Greek-born plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides named 111Skin after his private practice’s address at 111 Harley Street in London. His two-year-old brand was born after some astronauts from the Soviet space programme contacted him to come up with something for them as the lack of gravity or atmosphere in space meant accelerated skin ageing.

Try: Y Theorem Repair Light Serum ($380, 30ml, available exclusively at Robinsons Heeren)
After partnering with two cryobiologists, Dr Alexandrides came up with this serum which contains NAC Y2, a powerful and patented combination of active ingredients, for smoother, brighter and firmer skin.


Another GOOP-approved brand, Esker is a name that quickly became desired by in-the-know consumers. Made up of just three products, Esker has custom- crafted body oil formulas, restorative, clarifying, and firming, that are also gentle enough for the face. Plus, the sophisticated, streamlined boxes and bottles make for great shelfies.

Try: Clarifying Oil, US$40 (S$53) from
Developed to take on the imperfections that come with ageing, this is a luxurious concoction that includes squalane, cypress, evening primrose and avocado. Try it after dry brushing and it leaves you incredibly hydrated!

Inika Organic

If you’ve been disappointed with natural makeup lines that don’t pack as much punch as you’d like them to, Australian cosmetics line Inika Organic will knock your expectations right out of the park. Not only are their products certified organic, they’re vegan, cruelty-free, halal and natural!

Try: Certified Organic Creme Eyeshadow, AU$39 (S$39.46)  from
This is one major multitasker in a small vial. A crease-free eye makeup base that also works as an eyeshadow and a highlighter? Definitely worth the dough.

Read more on the next page.

Syed Faizal Beauty

It’s hard to ignore a brand that calls their lip and eye product BIBIR and MATA respectively, which literally means lips and eye in Malay. Brainchild of Malaysian celebrity makeup artist Syed Faizal, the colours are varied and pigmented, working on a variety of skin tones.

Try: LoveBibir The Lip Vinyl in Fear, $14.65 from
If you matte liquid lipsticks feel a bit high maintenance for you, then these lip glosses will do the trick. A slick will give you a rich glossy finish full of pigment, and made and formulated right in Malaysia. Kylie, who?


Can you imagine how demanding the spa-goers in Seoul are? The iconic Shangpree Spa has been their temple of worship for unparalleled beauty treatments for over 25 years, and while you may need to plan to fly over for a facial, you can start with one of their celebrated at-home products.

Try: S-energy Long Lasting Concentrated Serum, US$120 (S$161) from
Despite the price, you can truly see the difference when you use this mother of all serums. A multitasker that facilitates cell regeneration, hydrates and repairs, this serum is also a hot favourite for those with more mature skin.

Read more on the next page.

Nurse Jamie

If you love your jade roller as much as your pet dog, Nurse Jamie is a name you need to know. Nurse Jamie is actually a real person — a skincare guru in Hollywood that has a line of cult-favourite beauty gizmos that celebrities, and now, beauty influencers are swearing by.

Try: Uplift Massage Beauty Roller, US$71.39 (S$95.64) from
A simple purple tool that is set with 24 tourmaline quartz stones, the Uplift Massage Beauty Roller is designed to mimic facial massaging techniques upon application. It stimulates blood circulation to instantly refresh your face.

Björk & Berries

Björk & Berries evokes the essence of Scandinavia – minimalism, efficacy and aestheticism. Perfect for Scandi fans looking to up their shelfie game with natural skincare, the brand prides itself on using Swedish botanicals, with sustainability right at the heart of their brand.

Try: White Forest Mini Hand Cream, $21 from Zalora
The White Forest Hand Cream is a luxurious, rich hand cream that’s perfect for anybody with eczema or psoriasis on the palms of their hands. And for the #girlswholift with major calluses.