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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”