If there’s something our stunning cover girl Jeanette Aw lacks, it’s downtime. But you wouldn’t know that looking at the slender and luminous 36-year-old. We caught up with the busy actress and got her to share her secrets to looking ever-youthful and fabulous despite her packed schedule.

MAKE EXERCISE PART OF YOUR LIFE
“I have always been active, ever since I was a child. I did gymnastics in primary school, dance in secondary school and swimming in junior college. Exercise, for me, is a force of habit.

“Despite my busy schedule – filming can sometimes start at 6.30am and end past 7.30pm – I still try to find time to work out at least every other day. I even managed to fit in a workout before this photo call!

“Usually, I’ll head to my condominium gym after dinner and run or walk for 45 minutes on the treadmill, or skip – the latter is a great cardio workout. I even carry my skipping rope in my luggage, so that
I can fit in a workout or two when I’m travelling.”

SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUT
“If I find that I’m not breaking a sweat despite pounding the treadmill or skipping for minutes on end, that’s when I know I have to switch things up. So, I sometimes do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts to break out of the plateau and challenge my body.”

TRY SOMETHING NEW
“I’m also game to try new workouts. In fact, I had to learn muay thai and pole dancing for previous acting projects and I really enjoyed them, despite the many bruises I sustained! Right now, I would love to try aerial yoga.”

SWOP SODA FOR WATER
“I’ve never been a fan of soft drinks. Instead, I drink plenty of lukewarm water. Back in secondary school, my physical education teacher once chided us for downing isotonic drinks after our classes. She asked us: ‘Why work out so hard, only to put all that sugar back into your body?’ Her words have stuck with me ever since.

“Besides, I don’t believe in taking cold drinks after a workout. Your body is heated up during exercise, and drinking a glass of cold water will only shock it.”

DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF
“I don’t count calories – that’s just too tiring. But I don’t stuff myself silly either. I just eat everything in moderation and indulge my cravings once in a while. I feel that when you crave something – whether it’s chips or ice cream – it’s your body’s way of telling you that it lacks a certain nutrient.

“I generally avoid spicy food, especially since I have been attending vocal classes for my role in the current Beauty World musical and need to take care of my voice.”

ESTABLISH AN EFFECTIVE SKINCARE ROUTINE
“When I first started out in the entertainment industry, I kept experiencing breakouts due to the long hours I had to keep and makeup I had to wear. As such, I feel it’s really important to pay attention to your skin and find products that work for you. I feel really honoured to be named the new face of local skincare brand Bio-essence as its products are light, refreshing and easily absorbed – perfect for my sensitive skin.

“I’m really big on cleansing. It’s something you should never forgo – to remove all the dirt and grime from your face after a long day. I make sure to always moisturise my face, then I use a lifting cream to improve the elasticity of my skin and lift my facial contours. I love Bio-essence’s Extra Strength Face Lifting Cream – my friends all tell me my face looks more V-shaped after using it.”

LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO MAKEUP
“I usually apply only concealer and some loose powder while filming on set, as I prefer to let my skin breathe, unless I’m acting in a period drama and my character requires a lot of makeup. This practice started
way back in 2003, when I played girl-next-door Mo Jingjing in the Channel 8 drama Holland V – hardly any makeup was needed for that role at all! I really appreciated how natural my skin looked and felt.”

BROWS CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR LOOK
“My go-to makeup artists Cindy Goh and Clarence Lee tell me that thicker eyebrows look better on me – thinner brows make me look fierce. I would love to try brow embroidery, but I simply haven’t had the time!”

PAMPER YOURSELF
“I love facials and massages! Sadly, I don’t always have the time to enjoy them – I schedule a session probably once every few months. It’s much-needed downtime for me.”

This article was originally published in Simply Her December 2015.