What’s your new normal? That’s the question most of us have been thinking about since the pandemic started. So much has happened this year, and a lot has changed. But underneath it all, we still yearn to connect with others, endeavour to be inspired, and strive to be empowered. Every single day.

We caught up with these four women from our earlier Clinique Even Better series in a #HerWorldHerStory Instagram Live event to find out how they’ve been coping with their own new normal – and learn what their #EvenBetterTomorrow looks like for them.

Anna Haotanto

Chief marketing officer of Gourmet Food Holdings, and founder of women’s financial platform The New Savvy
Credit: Anna Haotanto / Instagram

Her new normal and its challenges

I’ve been focusing on Gourmet Food Holdings, which Mrs Pho (which serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine) and Tsuta Ramen (the world’s first Michelin star ramen) are under.

When the circuit breaker hit, we had to go online and offer delivery. The challenge was in moving the teams from being used to just serving in the restaurants to learning how to pack, deliver and ensure that customers get their food on time. There were a lot of teething issues and mistakes, but we managed to create a new business avenue for us.

Another challenge was the reduced seating capacity in our restaurants with the social distancing rules – a restaurant that could hold 60 people now takes in only 33 people – and learning how to manage customers’ expectations about that too.

Coping with the stress

It’s stressful, yes. But it’s even more stressful for the teams on the ground. They’ve had to deal with a lot more emotions, especially during peak hours. What people don’t realise is what a mad rush peak hour can be, especially with the reduced seating capacity.

Her self-care tip 

I started a 60-day challenge of doing different things daily, like drinking eight glasses of water, reading for 10 minutes and doing a 45-minute workout. A 45-minute workout might sound very difficult, but the truth is, I’m actually just walking around the block. It can be used as a relaxing time for yourself and it’s a form of self-care.

Her skincare must-have

I’m still using the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter and I really like it. My skincare is very low-key and fuss-free. I’m super lazy. I need something that is multi-functional. For me, the serum makes my skin tone look even and it doesn’t make me break out.

Staying strong and making every day an #EvenBetterTomorrow

I have two things. One is the fact that when we serve food, it’s a very visceral business. You can see the feedback from customers immediately, which makes it a joy to feed people well. The second would be something that a good friend shared, in which being an entrepreneur is not to create brands or businesses, but to employ people. So what has really kept me going is making sure that, throughout this time, we didn’t let go of any staff. I think we have a responsibility to the people we employ to create a better livelihood for themselves.

Ayesha Khanna

Co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence solutions firm ADDO AI
Credit: ayeshakhanna.com

Her new normal and its challenges

Since I’m in AI and data, it was okay because more and more companies are trying to digitalise, and they’re trying to use AI and data.

But personally, it hasn’t been easy. And I think it’s the same for everyone. We’ve had to get used to, especially during the circuit breaker, not meeting other people. So I started focusing more on meditation and breath practice, and that really helped me to deal with the uncertainty. 

How the pandemic has changed her outlook 

It’s changed so many of us. I value family time, quality time and me time, more now. As entrepreneurs, and women in general, we don’t take the time, even for 15 minutes, where we can just shut the door and say “this is my time”.

And so, I now set aside time in my calendar to do that (have 15 minutes to myself). And that has made me a happier, calmer person, and I think, better to be around.

Finding happiness post-circuit breaker 

The meditation, breath practice, centring myself and taking time out for myself has helped. A growing business is really stressful and you just carry the stress everywhere. I’ve learnt to compartmentalise better.

Her self-care tip

I’m working out a lot more. For decades, I just refused to. I have since realised that I can do it. You can do it. All of us can do it. The realisation that it’s not about weight, and more about body composition, helps too. Instead of wanting to be a certain weight or looking a certain way, which is more superficial, focus on creating more muscle mass or having less body fat.

Her skincare essential

I really do like the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter a lot. It definitely evens things out. I feel my skin is brighter. And while I love my brown skin – brown is beautiful – it is also uneven, and with the sun, I get sun spots quite easily.

Yvon Bock

Founder and CEO of Hegen nursing products
Credit: Yvon Bock / Instagram

Her new normal and its challenges

Similar to the others, I think it was a very challenging, scary period for me, my family and my team. We were scrambling to cope with a drop in demand because worldwide, there was a halt in retail. And then it became a pendulum: Mothers are still giving birth and babies still need their bottles, but our manufacturing plant in Malaysia had to shut down because of the movement control order. So we were trying to cope with all these swings in demand and supply.

At home, we were learning how to work from home and juggling home-based learning (HBL) with my four kids, with two of them having major exams this year. So it’s been quite a tough year for them and their teachers. However, I think it’s settling down. We are now coping well, thank goodness.

How the pandemic has changed her outlook

When the circuit breaker first started, I continued to use positivity to drive myself and also fuel the people around me, from home to office to my business partners around the world. Instead of focusing on things that we could not control, I kept encouraging and motivating them to focus on things that we wanted to happen.

And it’s also about embracing the change as well, looking at it as an opportunity. For example, we used to do breastfeeding workshops physically where we would have 200 mothers. So we took it online and managed to reach out to countries beyond our expectations. We had 15 countries and thousands of participants. It’s very heartening and fulfilling that we can continue to reach out to our audience.

We also did a Hegen Cares campaign where we sent gift sets to pregnant frontline workers who have been serving unconditionally and selflessly. As long as we can continue to bring a positive difference to people around us, it will continue to drive our passion, our commitment and dedication. 

We’ve also built a community during this period. Mothers need a lot of support, especially during this very new journey in their lives. So we worked with expert speakers from around the world through our IG Live and live streaming. What we’ve learnt as a team is that we can be unstoppable, as long as we stay positive and united.

Her self-care tip

There are two things that I do. At the end of each night, after the kids go to bed, I wind down by listening to some music or podcasts. For me, listening to someone else talk, especially about motivation, or a good piece of music, tells me that tomorrow will be an even better day.

The other thing is putting on a facial mask, which gives me 15 minutes of serenity, because when I have my mask on, my kids and my family know that it’s Mummy’s me time. I just chill, don’t do anything and lie in bed for 15 minutes.

Her makeup essential 

I think the Clinique Even Better Makeup Foundation SPF15/PA++ is great because I don’t like to wear much makeup. Even though the foundation has a very light texture, it’s able to cover up my spots, some of my scars and even acne, especially with maskne being a problem. And at the same time, it’s breathable, which makes it comfortable.

Dr Elaine Kim

Palliative care doctor and founder of Trehaus School
Credit: Elaine Kim / Instagram

Her new normal and its challenges

If I’m to be honest, it was a really tough time for a lot of business owners like myself. I run a space called Trehaus, which is an integrated co-lifestyle space. We’ve got a co-working office, nursery, childcare and preschool. We also have an event space where we do seminars on weekdays and birthday parties on weekends. We had to shut it completely during the circuit breaker.

And now that we’re in Phase 2, I think parents are also hesitant to enrol their children in preschool right now. And, of course, events can’t happen.

Pivoting her business

At Trehaus, our mission is “raising changemakers”, and a lot of what we do is about raising kids with character. In that sense, Covid-19 has given us that opportunity to live out and exemplify the values we want to instil in our children. One of the things we did was a project where we helped migrant workers who were stuck in quarantine, creating care packs containing mobile phone SIM cards and food.

Becoming even better through pandemic challenges 

They always say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I really do believe that. I think I was quite suffering-adverse in the past. But right now, I’ve embraced the fact that all the challenges have made me feel like I could overcome a lot more in the future, and I can get a lot more done. I can overcome other challenges because I’ve gone through one of the hardest of times.

Her self-care tip

Apart from being an entrepreneur, I’m also a mother of three. And one of the things that I’ve really learnt is to not put too much pressure on myself, which is something that working mothers often do.

I’ve learnt that prioritising looking after yourself means that you can be the best mother that you can be. If I’m not in the right frame of mind, if I don’t give myself the breaks and the rest that I need, if I don’t look after myself and give myself a little bit of a time out to just be on my own, then I can’t be fully present for my kids and give my best to them. 

Her essential skincare

I really like stuff that is easy to use, and is multi-tasking. With the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter, it’s really nice that there’s a product that allows me to be able to save time that way, and look after myself, especially when we’re so busy and short of time.

What you need to know about the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter


#1: It evens out your skin tone

In two weeks, 89 per cent* of women saw a more even skin tone.

#2: It clears up your complexion

In four weeks, 91 per cent* of women saw acne scars visibly reduced.

#3: It leaves your complexion glowing

In four weeks, 93 per cent* of women saw a visible reduction in their dark spots. 

To help you achieve better skin, the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter uses a brightening molecule with a vitamin C derivative, glucosamine, yeast extract and salicylic acid to address hard to reach dark spots and old acne scars, to help your skin look more even.

It also contains botanical extracts like gyokuro, a premium variety of Japanese green tea, mulberry root, rice bran, licorice, olive squalene, barley and wheat germ to soothe skin irritations, keeping skin healthy and happy.

The result: Skin is even, radiant and youthful-looking. And when you look good, you feel good. With an even, luminous complexion, you’ll have the confidence you need to make every tomorrow an even better one.

*Based on a self-assessment of 101 women.

Power Up


Up the ante by pairing Even Better™ Makeup Foundation SPF 15/PA++ with Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter. Here’s why you should:

#1: It lightens dark spots too.

The formula contains vitamin C and antioxidants, which not only helps you achieve brighter and more even skin tone also continuously works to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and old acne scars. It reduces dark spots in 12 weeks**.

#2: It gives you  long-lasting, flawless coverage.

How long? Up to 24 hours!***

#3: It keeps UV damage at bay.

This lightweight foundation protects the skin with SPF15 and PA++.

#4: It’s sweat-, humidity- and water-resistant.

This makes it perfect for Singapore’s humid weather and mask-wear. Plus, it won’t clog pores too.  

**Based on clinical testing of 22 women who used the foundation for 12 weeks.

***Based on clinical testing of 14 women who wore the foundation for 24 hours.


Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter, $115 for 30ml, $150 for 50ml, and Even Better™ Makeup Foundation SPF 15/PA++, $58. You can now enjoy a 10 per cent discount on your first Even Better Clinical™ Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter purchase, applicable for both 30ml and 50ml sizes. Just click on this link, to collect a voucher redeemable for the discount. While stocks last.

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