From The Straits Times    |

With the wide variety of beauty products available in the market these days, it’s not uncommon for many of us to fill a drawer (or two) with serums, moisturisers and other grooming essentials that we love.

Then, there are those who have a dedicated closet or an entire shelf of their precious skincare and makeup. One that they’re proud to show to their friends in real life as well as share on their social media accounts.

Charlene Chua (@babytobeat), 22, student and content creator


maybe I should’ve gotten the one with 150 slots…😱 #lipstick #makeup #lipstickcollection

♬ sonido original – Taci Méndez

Student by day and TikToker by night, Charlene’s lipstick collection has grown so big that she had to buy a 99-room “hotel” to store them.

Credit: Her World

Charlene has more than 100 lipsticks (a mix of viral K-beauty lip tints and high-end designer lipsticks) and most of which – according to her viral TikTok video that has over 275,000 views – are organised neatly in a clear storage box that she calls as a “hotel”.

Credit: Her World

“It’s basically a vertical HDB-looking shelf from Taobao with many square holes to keep your lipsticks. I sort them by brand because it looks more aesthetic and it’s easy to retrieve the one that I want to use every day,” she shares.

Growing up, Charlene wasn’t allowed to wear makeup because her mum was quite strict. It was only when she had to represent her secondary school for the Singapore Youth Festival choir competition that she wore makeup for the first time.

Later, after taking on part-time jobs and internships, the then 18-year-old Charlene started picking up more makeup, specifically lippies.

“I think because lipsticks have the most variety in terms of shades and textures (compared to other types of makeup products) and make the biggest difference in your look,” she explains. “Whenever I see lipstick recommendations online, I get curious and eventually, I start ‘collecting’ them.”

Instead of heading straight to the store to test them out, Charlene does her research on Chinese social media platform, Little Red Book. “I’ll spend countless hours browsing and reading reviews to see which ones are suitable for me.”

Charlene reminds us to be extra careful when looking at online reviews. She explains, “Some users use too many filters on their photos, affecting the real colour of the product so I usually spend a lot of time looking through different posts to get a better gauge of the lipstick shade.”