My late grandmother’s beauty routine was... minimalist.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

My late grandmother’s beauty routine was... minimalist.

She’d comb olive oil through her long hair before bunning it up, dab Two Girls Florida Water behind her ears, pat Sam Fong Hoi Tong powder (this looked like a block of chalk in its cardboard box, which has a motif of a 1920s Shanghainese beauty on the lid) on the forehead and cheeks using her fingers, and she was good to go.

On special occasions, she might lick her lips and press them onto a small rectangle of red paper to give her puckers a subtle rosy tint.

These days, we have 10-step skincare routines and are spoiled for choice when we shop for beauty products. If you’ve watched instructional makeup vids on Youtube, you’d know that “a dab of lipstick” doesn’t cut it anymore. And a proper haircare routine definitely means more than shampoo and conditioner!

Here’s where Her World Beauty Awards (HWBA) comes in. Eagerly awaited upon by beauty junkies and minimalists alike, HWBA is Singapore’s leading platform for discovering revolutionary new beauty products every year.

The 2016 edition coincides with its 15th anniversary, and in celebration, we’ve included a special feature, The Beauty Game Changers, which showcases the biggest trends and most influential tastemakers since 2001, and a new category: Best New Beauty Boutique.

We’d also like to say a big thank you to the woman who started it all: mag veteran Jeanette Karen Ejlersen – the current creative editor of Female was fashion and beauty editor of Go in 2000 (the title is now defunct) before she moved to Her World in 2001, then Female in 2010. She shares: “I was inspired by (US magazine) Allure’s Best of Beauty awards – who wasn’t, right? – so I decided to create a local version of it.” Over the years, she expanded it to the giant it has evolved into.

Indeed, our Beauty team, comprising associate beauty editor Jaclyn Gunasilan and beauty writers Carina Koh and Charmaine Lee, has been in hyperdrive. For the past six months, they tirelessly reviewed thousands of products launched between October 2014 and September 2015. They also roped in a panel of external judges, and canvassed votes from bloggers and readers.

And here you have it: from skincare and makeup to hair products and fragrances, the best splurges and steals are all in this booklet.

So go ahead and treat yourself. As the late Yves Saint Laurent said, “the most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”

My Reading Room
More: beauty