Men In Beauty

Most people probably do not associate men with the beauty industry, but we speak to a few good guys who are building careers out of making women (and men) beautiful.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Most people probably do not associate men with the beauty industry, but we speak to a few good guys who are building careers out of making women (and men) beautiful.


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Jacket H&M, Sweater Uniqlo, Trousers His own

The Culture Vulture

Raphael Jiang, co-founder of Pera

His background: A bad skin breakout a few years ago led Jiang to discover the efficacy of traditional Peranakan skincare remedies. “Nothing seemed to work,” recalls Jiang. “Until my co-founder, Michael Lim, a Peranakan himself, introduced me to a home remedy for pimples.” The breakouts subsided, and this piqued Jiang’s interest in Peranakan culture. 

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Pera Skincare pH Balance Hydrating Facial Toner, $59.

The brand: Combining age-old knowledge with modern technology, Pera was born to take traditional Peranakan remedies into the future. Among other details, Jiang learnt that rose water, cucumber and banana were used in Peranakan beauty recipes. “Peranakan culture is very rich but it’s fading away, and I want to preserve it while sharing the efficacy of these traditional remedies,” he says. 

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On Todoroki: Jacket & Jeans Levi’s, Shirt H&M ; On Eakins: Sweater H&M, Jeans Levi’s  

The Beauty Virgins

Takeshi Todoroki and John Eakins, chief marketing officer and managing director respectively of Nord Mason Asia, which distributes Huxley

Their background: Todoroki is a former ad executive, and Eakins is a former corporate lawyer. Both were pursuing postgraduate business degrees in Singapore, where they met another student, Hyuck Jeong. The trio went on to found Nord Mason Asia, which distributes K-beauty brand Huxley. None of them knew anything about skincare or beauty, but Huxley’s brand values resonated with them, and they thought: Why not?

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Huxley Oil Essence; Essence-like, Oil-like, $65.

The brand: Huxley offers 27 simple, multifunctional products that are a pleasure to use, thanks to features ranging from the Moroccan-garden scent that infuses every product to the never-greasy, never-sticky textures. The key ingredient is prickly pear cactus, which survives in both extreme heat and freezing cold in the desert, and has the ability to hold water.

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Sweater H&M, Shoes Converse, Shirt & Trousers His own

The Clean-beauty Advocate 

Eric Tan, CEO of Ikeda Group and founder of Iren

His background: As a spa owner, Tan never thought of venturing into skincare until his wife struggled to find the right products for her eczema flareups. “Nothing worked except a lab sample a scientist from A*Star gave me, which instantly calmed her skin,” he says. Wanting to bring the product to more people, Tan collaborated with A*Star to launch Iren.

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Iren serums,Iren serums, $58 each. $58 each.

The brand: Targeting millennials interested in brand activism, Iren’s top priority is to keep its formulas clean and toxin-free. ”We studied thousands of ingredients and banned a total of 2,000 harmful, controversial or questionable ones,” says Tan. Iren is also vegan-friendly and isn’t tested on animals. The products use an encapsulation technology that keeps the active ingredients fresh and controls how deeply the ingredients penetrate before they are released into the skin.

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Outfit His own

The Patent Man

Shinji Yamasaki, CEO of Re:erth

His background: The Yamasaki family owns several distributorships for international health and beauty brands such as Imedeen, and has extensive connections in the skincare industry in Japan. After a career in finance, Yamasaki joined the family business, using its ready access to world-class formulators to develop efficacious skincare.

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Re:erth Multi-Targeted Elixir, $108.

The brand: Re:erth combines the Japanese zen way of life with cutting-edge technology. 

Its promise: powerful yet unfussy products to give you smooth and plump “mochi skin”. To that end, Yamasaki acquired patents to some of the most powerful actives for Re:erth’s exclusive use – a feat for a small, independently-owned brand. Its exclusive ingredients include Japanese white turmeric which grows only in the Kyushu region. The roots of this plant are commonly used to make a health-boosting tea, but researchers found that the leaf and root extracts made a powerful combination which helps suppress melanin production and accelerate skin-cell regeneration.