Last week, we caught up with the brainy beauty (it was her fascination with the science of beauty that drew her into a business she never imagined would become her business ), and chat up a storm about, well, beauty — you know, skincare tips, ageing, the importance of beauty sleep and finding love and joy in your life… all that jazz.
Beauty is everywhere. I think it’s a state of mind.
What’s your morning and night-time skincare regime like?
Pauling Ng: In the morning, I use our milk cleanser or the hydro cleanser. This is followed by the rose hydrating lotion — it’s a new product we’ll be launching in two months. It’s good for softening the skin and instant hydration. I apply it in a patting motion. I use this at night, too. Next is the hydra clear gel and the aloe gel — I mix them together because I’m too lazy to apply them in two steps. The hydra clear gel is a moisturiser that helps to prevent acne and pimples.
At night, I make sure I double-cleanse before applying a glycolic toner — it’s one of my favourite products we launched last year. The balance essence goes on next — I can’t live without this. It’s the first product Porcelain launched five years ago, and it’s still our best-selling product. It hydrates, locks in moisture and detoxifies, eventually helping to restore the skin’s pH balance. It’s great for use in our weather.
On top of that, I exfoliate my skin twice a week with a very light enzyme
that is our skin refiner, and I apply a mask afterwards — around once a week. I use only Porcelain products. I always tell my clients, I don’t sell what I wouldn’t use on myself.
What are the best things a girl can do for her skin?
PN: Proper cleansing. I would never, ever go to sleep without washing my face. Hydration — always apply your products immediately after cleansing, otherwise your skin will get very dry even if with the most hydrating cleanser. When your skin experiences dryness on the surface, it produces more sebum to moisturise the skin. That’s how pH imbalance happens.
As Dr Murad advocates, eat more water. That simply means eating foods with high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber, which have about 70 to 80 per cent of water content. This way, your skin cells absorb the water better and do not lose it as quickly as when you drink it. When your skin cells are plumped up, you skin is healthier.
DO THINGS THAT HELP YOU GO TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT SO YOU’LL WAKE UP THE NEXT MORNING AND THINK, ‘I LOVE MY LIFE.’
On behalf of everyone, we would like to ask you for a quick fix for those damned zits.
PN: Apply a generous amount of the hydra clear gel on the affected spot, go to bed, and the zit should be significantly smaller the next morning. Bacteria is one of the main causes of acne, and this gel contains key active ingredients that kill bacteria. More importantly, it doesn’t cause dryness. There’s a common misconception that you need a cream that “dries” your pimple in order to get rid of it. But your skin would also become dry as a result, and it’d peel — that’s not supposed to happen. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated and healthy to give it the “strength” it needs to fight the bacteria.
How many glasses of water do you drink a day?
PN: I don’t keep count, but I know I drink six cups of coffee!
How much beauty sleep do you get in a day?
PN: Oh, I sleep a lot (laughs) — about seven to eight hours.
What is your idea of beauty?
PN: I think beauty is everywhere — if you look hard enough. It’s a state of
mind. I realised that when I was diving in Botswana and I was completely detached. That was when I saw how beautiful the land around us really is. When you take the time to focus and look at something, you’ll see it. It could be a piece of art, you know, like when you walk into the Louvre, for example, and you have half an hour to look at a painting. It could be a book. I have a friend who reads really slowly. He explained that it’s because he likes to take his time to appreciate and understand why an author chooses one word or a phrase over another.
We’re always rushing from place to place, we forget how much time and effort people put into creating all this beauty around us.
So, you’re turning 30.
PN: Haha, oh no!
It’s not that bad.
PN: Yeah… I think so. I hope so. 30 is the new 20!
Well… Do you really want be 2o again though?
PN: No, not really. Haha.
Start small, dream big. Start with a good foundation, know your business inside out, and know what your values are.
From a woman who’s turning 30 to other women who are turning 30, what sagely words of advice do you have?
PN: Wow… I’m a really positive person, so my advice would be to be a bit more forgetful of the bad things. I’m very forgetful! (Laughs.)
You should also do things that help you go to sleep every night so you’ll wake up the next morning and think, “I love my life.” Find something that you love, that can make you happy and make you smile, otherwise it’s… sad.
For me, I know what I do is in line with my values — which is not always easy. I have had to really sit down and ask myself, what are my values? What can I do for other people? That’s something that I think about a lot. The good thing I get in return is that it makes me really happy.
Lastly, always try to find the good in people.
Clearly, you have found what you love to do.
PN: Yeah, I absolutely love my job! I get to learn a lot of stuff. When we started out, we didn’t have enough money to hire managers for each department, so I was doing everything on my own. It was very fun learning about each role in the business. There’s never a dull day.
I love it when I see what we have been able to do for our clients. I would look at their skin, and I’m like, “Wow, your skin is so nice!” That’s really the ultimate satisfaction. Sometimes, when they come to me and thank us personally for making a significant difference — I’m really proud of that.
There’s also my team. We are a 40-strong team now. It took us a long time to build this familial and fun work culture. It’s not to be taken for granted. I think our team is really something, and they’re a big reason I enjoy coming to work every day.
I would never, ever go to sleep without washing my face.
Let’s talk about entrepreneurship. What was your very first business venture?
PN: I used to make photocopies of colouring sheets and sell them to my classmates in Primary One. They came with colouring pens, too. Does that count? (Laughs.)
I think I was 17 when I started my own events company and took on a couple of projects. It was quite fun… until life in university got more fun, haha! But yeah, that was my first taste of being an entrepreneur.
Now a full-fledged one, congrats. What advice and tips can you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
PN: Start small, dream big. Start with a good foundation, know your business inside out, and know what your values are because that’s how you attract people who share the same values to your business. I’ve seen some startups fail because different founders have different values. And you have to always think of your customers. Who are they? What are they looking for? How can you outdo yourself in serving them? Go back to basics.