Meet these local OG beauty influencers who are staying on top of their game in a time of social media saturation

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

On Jayne: Coat, $740; and vest, $300, both from Bimba Y Lola. Bracelet, $149; charms, from $59 each; bracelet, $179; ring, $129; ring, $99; ring, $179; and earrings, $149, all from Pandora. 

For Jayne Tham, Evonne Ng and Yina Goh, who are arguably the first few beauty and lifestyle influencers in Singapore, the beauty industry has definitely undergone some big changes over the last few years. We had a chat to find out who influenced the way they see beauty and how it has affected their views. 

Jayne Tham

30, Marketing Professional

“I started getting into beauty because of my mum. Watching her do her skincare and makeup was what influenced me as I grew up,” Jayne says. Having just become a mother herself in January this year, Jayne shares how her platform helped her through this new experience.

“Motherhood is a big change, so I usually turn to my followers to ask about things I have experienced or am unsure about. I even did polls and got them to ask me questions too.”

You can be pretty on the outside but if you have an ugly heart, it doesn’t make you beautiful.

To her surprise, she received lots of concern from her followers. “The Singaporean mummy community is so tight and supportive,” she says. “I was going through some post-natal blues and posted it. Then I had messages coming in saying, ‘You’re doing a great job,’ ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing your best’. ”

To Jayne, beauty is more than skin deep. “I like to feel that warmth when I walk into a store and people are like, ‘Hey, how are you?’ While it is not uniquely Singaporean, it is beauty in a way. You can be pretty on the outside but if you have an ugly heart, it doesn’t make you beautiful.” 

My Reading Room

On Evonne: Vest, $300, from Bimba Y Lola. Earrings, $899, from Atelier Swarovski. 

I think confidence is one thing that makes a person beautiful.

Evonne Ng

34, Marketing Professional

Citing her biggest beauty influence as Japanese celebrity Namie Amuro, Evonne’s interest in beauty began back when J-Pop was the biggest trend in Singapore. Now, she works in the medical aesthetic industry and shares her opinion on the growing popularity of aesthetic treatments amongst the younger crowd. “An obsession is indeed unhealthy and they should seek a doctor’s opinion. But if I am genetically born with wrinkles and have them at that age, I would want to get rid of them.”

“At the clinic I work in, we look at what the customers need or want and recommend procedures, we won’t push them to do anything and I think that is what influencers should do,” she says, commenting on how influencers can make such procedures seem like a necessity. “They should not intentionally influence people by saying things like ‘Everybody should do this.’ They should get their facts right before posting on the Internet.”

While improving self confidence through aesthetic treatments is great, Evonne is a firm believer of inner beauty. “I think confidence is one thing that makes a person beautiful. Like when I first interact with my clients, I can tell their character from how they treat the staff.” 

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On Yina: Turtleneck, stylist’s own. Dress, $65, from H&M. Earrings, $200, from Bimba Y Lola. Ring, $525, from Monica Vinader. 

Beauty is hard to achieve on the inside and outside, but I still aspire to do for both.

Yina Goh

32, Founder of The Velvet Dolls

After graduating, Yina worked as an artist in a digital art studio, collaborating with big names like Marvel and World of Warcraft. “Back then, Michelle Phan was my biggest beauty influence. As she was also an artist, I felt like I could relate to her.”

Gradually, her love for beauty products grew and sharing her thoughts online came naturally. Eventually, she became interested in online shopping. “I would see things online that looked good in pictures, but didn’t look as nice when they arrived.” So in 2010, Yina created her apparel label, The Velvet Dolls, which she built from scratch.

Over the years, her following has continued to grow, but Yina is against doing social media full time. “If I did that, I’m basically telling my audience that I’m making a living out of them following me and that is not the impression I want to give. I want to remain relatable to my audience.”

“In today’s society, we are bombarded with images of perfection and beauty. I feel that many girls try to fit into this standard and the whole concept of inner beauty has gotten lost. Beauty is hard to achieve on the inside and outside, but I still aspire to do for both.”