Charlotte Chen, 31

Entrepreneur specialising in fashion and lifestyle start-ups, co-founder of travel app Spottly



Where: 03-02/05 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road Tel: 6737-2478 Open: 10 am to 9 pm daily

All of my favourite beauty products are stocked here. I like Byredo’sOudImmortel perfume ($191 for 50ml, $281 for 100ml), Verso Skincare’s super facial serum ($225) and Ren Skincare’s Rosa Centifolia cleansing gel ($50). Most department stores do not stock these brands.


LuvUr Nails

Where: 04-25 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road Tel: 6733-2625 Open: Noon to 9 pm daily

It is almost embarrassing, but I am really into nail art. I even create designs.

Right now, I like having a nude base with geometric shapes and lines on top. I get my nails done every three weeks. I am all about speed and affordability as I go so often. Far East Plaza has some of the best no-frills nail salons. I usually go to Luv Ur Nails and pay less than $100 for a gel manicure with nail art.



Where: 03-03/04 Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road Tel: 6221-6320 Open: 11 am to 8 pm(Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday),10 am to 4 pm(Thursday, Sunday and public holiday), closed on Monday


Where: 02-17/18/19, Pact at Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road Tel: 6884-4143 Open: 11am to 8pm(Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday),10amto 4pm(Thursday, Sunday and public holiday), closed on Monday

I like switching between both Kizuki+Lim and Itto+Lim, which are owned by the same people. I go to Kizuki+Lim for haircuts. Prices range from $60 to $150, depending on the stylist you choose. I am not particular about who I get. I am generally impatient and have a busy schedule, so I try to pick low maintenance hairstyles or choose treatments that last.

I go to Itto+Lim for longer treatments such as perms, which start at $150. I like natural-looking wavy hair, but perms take a long time. Itto+Lim at Orchard Central is part of Pact, a multi-store emporium. I can order food from the restaurant Kilo there when I get peckish during the treatment. I like its beef short rib rice bowl ($18).

Olga Iserlis, 52

Director of luxury events company Twise and co-founder of Pala, an events series which brings together internationally renowned speakers and artists for talks and networking


Sole Service

Info: Tel: 6221 -7002 (for calls), 9635-6271 (for texts) Open: 2 pm to 2 am daily

When I need to recover, decompress or rejuvenate, I turn to Sole Service. It is the ultimate pampering choice, from foot reflexology to body massages to mani- and pedicures. It comes to my home as it is a mobile service. They are on call 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The therapists are polite, well trained, discreet and show up on time with a fresh set of towels, massage bed and all the necessities. I have it on speed dial. A classic pedicure costs $75, while a 60-minute foot reflexology session costs $85.


Yves Saint Laurent Beaute

Where: B2-34 Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn Tel: 6509-7423 Open: 10 am to 10 pm daily

Make Up Store

Where: 03-20 Paragon,290 Orchard Road Tel: 6887-5828 Open: 10 am to 9 pm daily

I rely on some wonderful shops and products to transform myself into the evening host many know me as. Yves Saint Laurent Beaute at Ion has the most exceptional lip stain selection. I do not use bright colours on my lips, so a tint of the colour and the moisturising effect on the lips are important to me. When I am there, I look for make-up artist Francis Tyrone. I have known him for many years and he knows my specific requirements.

Make Up Store at Paragon has the best eye pencils and eye liners. My favourites are Darkest Shadow (dark silver) and Not So Dark (greyish black), which are $27 each. Senior make-up artist Ik Kee is always eager to help. I love the natural ingredients used in its products.


La Source Spa

Where: 01-03/04 Thong Teck Building, 15 Scotts Road Tel: 6732-1318 Open: 11 am to 8 pm daily

I do not have a regular facial routine, but La Source Spa has been the place I go to several times a year since my friend Jane Soon opened it a number of years ago. I usually take a few hours on a Sunday to get a good facial massage and treat my face to a deep moisturising mask. It uses natural products which I like and its therapists are professional. Facials cost from $168 to $268.


David Alexandre De Paris

Where: 31 Haji Lane Tel: 9229-4544 Open: 9 am to 6 pm(Tuesday to Saturday), closed on Monday and Sunday

I have not really changed my hairstyle since I was 17 – and the stylists there respect that. I have been going to this small shop for more than 15 years – every specialist is attentive, well trained, trendy and friendly. I do not have a preference for a particular stylist. Located inside one of the shop houses in Haji Lane, it has a cosy and intimate vibe that makes me feel at home. A haircut with a wash and blow-dry starts at $145.

Tracy Phillips, 37

Creative consultant and director at creative agency and consultancy Present Purpose


Therapeutics Aroma

Where: 03-01 ForumThe Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road Tel: 6737-7039 Open: 11 am to 7.30 pm (weekday),10 am to 6 pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday and public holiday

Helen Tee is the therapist behind Therapeutics Aroma, which has been at Forum for more than 18 years. She does facials and massages, but I go to her for a specific abdominal massage called Chi Nei Tsang ($185), which is known to be good for maintaining organ health, addressing a range of conditions from digestion to eczemato fatigue.

A former nurse and trained counsellor, Helen is a treasure trove of knowledge and is well versed in many different healing therapies, both Eastern and Western. I love chatting to her during treatments to learn more about her holistic yet scientific approach to healing.



Where: 02-19 Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road Tel: 6346- 5050 Open: 11 am to 9 pm daily

My favourite boutique at the moment is multi-label store Manifesto. It carries clothes for men and women, accessories and homeware. The store carries a good selection of independent fashion brands, many of which are not stocked anywhere else in Singapore, such as Lemaire, U-NI-TY and Barbara Bui. The staff are well informed about the brands they carry too, many of which are niche and cult brands. This makes the discovery process while shopping more interesting and enjoyable.


Toni & Guy

Where: 03-17 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road Tel: 6835-4556 Open: 10 am to 8 pm daily

I have thick, dry and wavy hair, so a good cut is crucial. I go to Toni&Guy at Mandarin Gallery for my cut, colour and hair treatments. A haircut costs from $86 to $214, depending on the stylist. I go to Issac Ng and Junior Kuah. They know how to tame my wild mane and have made it possible for me to leave my hair down instead of having to tie it up in a topknot all the time. I do not have the time or patience to go to the salon too often, so I am glad that my cut and colour can usually last a few months before I need to go back. This is a sign of a job well done.

Aarika Lee, 32

Musician and marketing director at branding and marketing consultancy Elementary Co.


Hands+ Feet Studio

Where: 44 Siglap Drive Tel: 6448-7187 Open: 11am to 11pm daily

I rarely get to do my nails, but when I do get the chance, I go to this spot. It is a peaceful, clean and relaxing place. If you live in the east, you should check it out. I usually get a classic manicure ($28). I am not a big fan of nail art and I like neutral colours for my nails.


Lula Rock

Where: 02-07 Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road Tel: 6235 7179 Open: 11.30 am to 8 pm (Monday to Saturday), noon to 7 pm(Sunday)

For the fun and spunky dresser, multi-label store Lula Rock will rock your world. My favourite items from it are an Alice McCall cropped top and a Cocurata T-shirt. They were gifts from my husband (rapper Kevin Lester, aka TheLionCityBoy, 31). I love Lula Rock because everything in the store has so much character. It carries brands such as Vivetta, which is colourful and whimsical; House Of Holland, which has vintage themes; and Alice McCall, which is playful and sexy. I can spend hours there playing dress up. It also helps that the service staff adore the clothes as much as they love helping you pick out the best outfits.


FDP Prestige Hair Care

Where: B1-06 Kembangan Plaza, 18 Jalan Masjid Tel: 6841-0511 Open: 11 am to 8.30 pm (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), 11 am to 8 pm(Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), closed on Sunday

If you’re looking for a hairstylist who truly cares about your tresses, while also being able to give you a stunning look, look for FDP’s creative director Angeline Tan. She has an amazingly warm personality and cares about the health of your hair as much as she cares about you looking good. I think that is a quality that is severely lacking at most hair salons today.

A haircut costs from $38 to $500, depending on the stylist. Angeline’s haircuts cost $98 for women and $88 for men.

Lani Chan, 54

Club 21 style services manager



Where: L1-05/06 Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn Tel: 6509-8255 Open: 10 am to 10 pm daily

My beauty go-to is cosmetics store Sephora. I use two products from clinical skincare brand Peter Thomas Roth – the Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Precious Cream ($146) and Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Precious Oil ($156). I like that they are all-natural and efficient. For make-up, I have just started using a Tarte eye shadow palette ($69) which I really like. It is a matte palette of earth colour tones which suit my skin. The pigments are vibrant as the make-up is made from Amazonian clay.


Prive Clinic

Where: 03-03 Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road Tel: 6737-6639 Open: 10 am to 8 pm (weekday),10 am to 6 pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday and public holiday

My aesthetic doctor Karen Soh, the medical director of Prive Clinic, is very important to me. She gives me the best advice on how to maintain my skin. I see her for a Laser Glow treatment ($500 for a single treatment, six treatments for $2,700) every month to keep my pigmentation at bay.


Kim Robinson

Where: 02-12 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road Tel: 6738-8006 Open: 9 am to 9 pm (Monday to Saturday),9 am to8 pm (Sunday)

For my hair, I want something low-maintenance and easy to blow-dry. A good haircut is essential for this. I have been seeing creative director Hector Zhuo ($488 for the first haircut, $388 for subsequent cuts) at Kim Robinson since the salon opened way back. He manages my hair colour with technician Jennifer Leow (starting from $118). I cut my hair once every three months, but I have to colour it every month.

Darren Lee, 35

Director at content, communications and branding agency Uniform and founder of street style website



Info: Where: 02-04, 24 Woking Road Open: By appointment only

Argentum is a home-based local jewellery studio. I had always wanted something custom-made by its designer, Shing. But I never had an excuse until 2014, when I made my wife’s engagement ring. I got married in December last year and our wedding bands were custom-made by Argentum. A pair of customised wedding rings starts from $2,500 to $4,000. Ready-to-wear jewellery (right, rings) starts from$90 for a sterling silver bracelet to $500 for a silver chain that can be attached to your belt loop. Shing will ask you what you’re looking for and show you her previous works for inspiration. At the next meeting, she will show you a mock-up and allow slight refinements to the design. Later meetings will include doing the same with the actual piece until you get what you have both envisioned.



Where: 02-17/18/19, Pact at Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road Tel: 6884-4143 Open: 11 am to 8pm (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), 10 am to 4 pm (Thursday, Sunday and public holiday), closed on Monday

We Need A Hero

Where: 01-86, 57 Eng Hoon Street Tel: 6222-5590 Open: 11 am to 9 pm (weekday), 10 am to 9 pm (Saturday), 10 am to 8 pm (Sunday), closed on selected public holiday and eve of public holiday

Depending on the availability of the stylists and the general vibe and type of experience I want, I rotate between these two salons. Everyone at Itto+Lim is always brimming with warmth. I get a haircut and wash ($60) with hairstylist Ebina Chie. I always discuss the cut with her, which makes it feel like a collaborative process. When I feel like something a little more masculine and nostalgic I go to We Need A Hero. I get my haircut and wash ($85) by Quester Ng, the chief barber. He is like an extremely cool uncle. He gladly dispenses haircare knowledge, shares his stories from back in the day and updates you onhowhis pet bulldog is getting along.

Terence Lee, 38

Editor of Chinese fashion and beauty magazine Nuyou


Season Optical Centre

Where: 02-17 People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street Tel: 6534-4655 Open: 11 am to 8 pm daily

I love sunglasses. I own around 20 pairs. My favourite brand is Ray-Ban and my favourite place to shop for them is this old optical shop. Prices are slightly cheaper than most optical shops in town (a pair of Ray-Ban aviators costs about $200 here, whereas it can go up to $240 elsewhere). I have been buying from this shop for many years. When I visit, I usually leave with two pairs.


Gee’s Creation

Where: 03-53 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road Tel: 6738-8443 Open: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday and public holiday

This is my go-to place to get alterations done. Hidden behind the store’s curtains are some really skilful seamstresses who work non-stop to deliver alterations. They have years of experience and can foresee the end-result before they start work on a piece. I have heard that lots of luxury brands trust them with their alterations. I love buying classic jackets from Seoul because of the cuts and fabrics available there, but I never have time to get my alterations done while I am in South Korea. So I take these jackets to Gee’s Creation. Prices vary according to the amount of work needed. I usually have the waist taken in, sleeves slimmed down and jacket shortened. This usually costs me from about $150. But I do not mind because I want a jacket that fits me perfectly.


SK-II Boutique Spaby Senze Salus

Where: 02-54/55 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard Tel: 6336-4880 Open: 10 am to 9 pm (weekday),10 am to 7 pm (weekend and public holiday)

I do not do facials on a regular basis, but when I find the need to, I will head here. I love the ambience and the rooms are nice and not too feminine. The therapists are very good and experienced too. I usually opt for the Urban Men Facial ($260 for 85 minutes), which helps with skin firmness, prevents wrinkles and refines pores. My skin feels refreshed and recharged after every treatment.

Leslie Chia, 48

Founder of PIMABS Bespoke Menswear


Pearl’s Optical

Where: 02-22/25 People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street Tel: 6532-3884 Open: 11.30 am to 9 pm daily

I have been patronising this place for many years and I love everything about it. I am always spoilt for choice as it carries an unimaginably wide range of frames, including those from high-end brands such as Tom Ford and Philippe Starck.

I can find designs here that I cannot find anywhere else and prices are reasonable and attractive. The last pair of glasses I got was from Philippe Starck and cost about $1,100 for the frame and prescribed lenses.

The joy of coming here is its location. People’s Park Centre is an icon in Chinatown and that adds to the shopping experience because I love the old-school feel of the shop.

The service here is friendly and personable. It has a team of opticians led by founder Koh Wan Nee and a team of optometrists led by Mr Koh’s son, who holds a PhD in optometry. So not only does it provide great products, but it also has experienced staff.


Ed Et Al Shoemakers

Where: 01-67 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard Tel: 6337-8919 Open: 11 am to 8 pm daily

As a purveyor of bespoke menswear, I was excited when bespoke shoemaker Ed Et Al came into the market in 2010.

I have always enjoyed its founder Edwin Neo’s craft and skills in creating bespoke shoes. They are well made. Because the shoes are designed and made for me, they feel luxurious.

Edwin has since launched his ready-to-wear shoe line, but it is the bespoke shoes that tickle my fancy. My favourite pair of Ed Et Al shoes is a Double Monk pair in tanned brown with a customised champagne- gold buckle. It is classic and subtle, quiet yet confident.


Chez Vous Hair

Where: 05-05 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road Tel: 6732-9388 Open: 11 am to 8.30 pm (weekday), 11 am to 7 pm (Saturday), 11 am to 6 pm(Sunday)

This is where I discovered my go-to hairstylist, Hensley Chin. He has been cutting my hair for the last seven years. I am particular about my hairstyle. Although I do not go for fancy hairstyles, I always demand that it looks neat and stylish as I am in the fashion business. Hensley delivers just that. He will analyse my hair texture, face and head before recommending and advising me which hairstyle best suits me, while being on point with the latest trends.s


A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on January 7, 2016. For more stories like this, head to