I extensively posted pictures and articles on my trip to Singapore covering the latest gossip news, my personal favorite shopping district or my little dolphin experience. But there is one thing I wanted to save for last: my personal beauty highlight – a girls’ chit chat about personal beauty and jetsetter tips with an iconic Singapore Girl. So, now I am more than happy to introduce Emilda, one of the gorgeous, lovely and incredibly cordial Singapore Girls.
During my visit to the Singapore Airlines Training Center I got the chance to attend a meet&greet with Emilda and asked about her personal beauty secrets and travel tips. Boy, and I was extremely happy about the voice memo application on my iPhone, since there was no way I would have been able to take so many notes.
For me personally, Emilda perfectly embodies the iconic Singapore Girl: natural beauty, perfect posture, together with the right combination of femininity, sophistication and worldliness. She speaks Mandarin, Malay, English, and a little German, and really seems to be quite experienced.
I don’t really know how to explain it: trends come and go, styles change – but after more than two decades, the mystery of the Singapore Girl endures. Dressed in a blue sarong, wearing her cobalt eyeshadow and cherry red lipstick, the Singapore Girl is very enchanting in every single way. Thus, I was so excited when I stepped inside the grooming room, the place where the real magic happens: beautiful eyeshadow palettes, classy nail polishes, extra long lasting lipstick, complemented by a subtle feminine fragrance.
During their grooming classes the Singapore Girls learn the ropes about just anything beauty related and they are subject to some really strict grooming rules. One important part is surely the uniform: they are required to wear a distinctive sarong called kebaya that has been a hallmark of the airline since the 1970s when it was created by French couture designer Pierre Balmain.
” The field color of the pattern indicates the respective rank of the crew members. There are four Kebaya colors that represent the ranking of the Singapore Girls:
- Blue : Flight Stewardess
- Green : Leading Stewardess
- Red : Chief Stewardess
- Purple: In-Flight Supervisor,” explained Emilda.
Then, a second equally important factor is the makeup. “The Singapore Girl is directed on the best makeup look for her complexion, and Lancôme is the preferred cosmetic brand. But we are also allowed to use other brands. During our first day with a grooming consultant, we will learn about skincare, haircare and makeup. But not so much for ourselves. When you become senior crew, you need to check on the girls on their grooming and help them learn the ropes. Getting yourself to look that way that great takes a lot of training and effort and actually helps you with your daily beauty routine.”
“There are always refresher courses you have to attend. Once you are promoted, you’ll come back to a refresher course and learn to find the best makeup look that matches the color of your kebaya. We also get all kinds of advice on the latest beauty trends and innovations or on new application guidelines and blending techniques, which is nice.”
Speaking of color I of course wanted to find out about any special restrictions. “When you wear the blue kebaya you can choose between a blue or a warm brown eyeshadow, which is the one I am using. When you are appointed as leading stewardess (editor’s note: green kebaya), you can apply either green or brown eyeshadow. Generally, there is a special range we are allowed to use, perfectly matching our skin tone and complexion. So, we all have our own personal card which we have to carry along with us. This way, we can ensure that our makeup matches the respective range and standards and that the colors match the field color of our kebaya.”
The colors of Emilda’s palette are very soft and classy for a sophisticated, natural look. These palettes sort of reminded me of the four season color analysis where you simply have to figure out your dominant characteristics (warm versus cool and light versus dark), and then your “season” will automatically unfold (spring, summer, autumn, winter). – I was told that it actually is pretty similar: the most important aspect is to know wether to use the warm or the cool palettes!
Eyes and hair = DARK –> Winter
Eyes and hair = DARK –> Autumn
Well, but this should be enough with the rather general beauty story of the Singapore Girls. Since I got to chat with Emilda, I wanted to find out more about her personal beauty secrets, especially when travelling long distance – real jetsetter tips from a Singapore Girl so to speak.
How do you manage to look unblemished, fresh and beautiful, even after a 14-hour flight? “I think, basically, you have to choose the right products for your skin. I’d say Lancôme is one of the better ones.”
Do you personally use Lancôme as well or do you just have to say it, since it’s SIA’s preferred brand? “Yes, I personally use Lancôme for the base and MAC for the eyeshadow colors and the rest. It’s very longlasting, which is why I choose them. It is very important, especially when you think of the kind of air on board, constant heating, washing and air conditioning.”
editor’s note: I could not agree more. When you have to wear makeup, please don’t go for the cheap stuff that is available at any drugstore. My personal favorite EVER is the pro longwear paint pot by MAC. This one really does the magic and it lasts for more than 14 hours. The same applies for any MAC mascara.
Do you have any other beauty secrets for a long-haul flight or maybe a secret beauty-drink? “Haha – a drink? No, not really. But sleep is very important – definitely. We work in shifts and I try to get about six hours of sleep. It is very important to dim the lights, rest and to adjust your schedule to your personal time zone back at home. This helps. I don’t really have any dietary habits or anything else I do on the flight. After a flight unit I make sure to get some rest again as well. It may seem like you are not tired, but your body actually is, which is why I take it easy after a long flight.”
How long does it take you to get ready and all dressed up? “First it took me 1.5 hours, but now I only need 45 minutes. (editor’s note: My jaw dropped – LITERALLY!) 5 minutes to put on the kebaya, 10 minutes for the hair and 30 minutes for the makeup.”
Wow, looking like this just within 45 minutes. Singapore Girls really are natural beauties! But what about your hair? I heard that you have tough restrictions regarding the bun and hair length. “That is correct. Actually, you are not allowed to wear your hair down, except for a bob. But the bob needs to end above the shoulder – the hair must not touch the neckline of the kebaya. But I have to admit that it took me years to bun my hair in such a neat and beautiful way. AND then: you need LOADS of hairspray :-)”
What are your personal beauty routines? “My monthly hair treatment at the Allure Hair Spa in New York is a must. The long flights, together with the dry air and loads of hairspray put a lot of stress to your hair. The Allure hair treatments are designed to restore, re-energize, balance, and add shine to stressed, over processed hair. And then of course I take special care of my hair as well using soft shampoo and conditioner and hair masks.”
editor’s note: I should really make a an appointment at that spa when I am back in New York. Maybe they can handle my mop of hair :-)
Are there any special wellness treatments you like? “Wellness? Not really. But I like to have a facial every now and then. It’s important to let my skin breathe, especially after such long flights wearing makeup all the time.”
Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to let me explore a bit of your culture and beauty or jetsetter tips. I really had a lovely time.
Well, I hope you liked this behind-the-scenes story of a Singapore Girl and might find some of the beauty and travel tips useful for your next flight. Till then, have a lovely week, my beautiful jetsetter friends!
photo and video credentials: V’s World