Banker turned entrepreneur Charlotte Chen is the brains behind empyr+co, a creative brand strategy and social media agency specialising in reaching millennials in Asia. The name is derived from the start-up’s ethos of building future empires and companies. The charismatic Chen moved to Singapore early last year and is constantly on the move. “My travel plans this summer are pretty action-packed! The Big Island in Hawaii for my husband’s half-Ironman race; Madrid, Rioja and San Sebastian for a friend’s 40th birthday; Rome and the Amalfi Coast for a family trip; and Croatia for my brother-in-law’s wedding,” she says with her trademark magnetic smile.
How long does it take you to put on your ‘face’ in the morning?
Five to 10 minutes for weekday looks, 20 minutes for evening looks.
What is your daily lipstick?
For base, I use Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 to prep my lips. I love using bold colours and am recently obsessed with darker shades. Tom Ford’s new patent-finish lip colour in Orchid Fatale, which is a deep wine hue, works really well and doesn’t dry out your lips. For browns, I use NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm – it gives you that perfect Kylie Jenner pout. For reds, MAC Cosmetics never disappoints and I’ve been using MAC x Charlotte Olympia’s Starlett Scarlet, which is a bright red that pops.
Which day/night cream are you using?
As a base, I’m currently using Fresh’s Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum and Verso’s Super Facial Serum. For day, I’m trying Stockholm-based organic brand Estelle & Thild’s face cream and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser SPF 30. For night, I’m using Tatcha’s Moisture Rich Silk Cream but am also using Lancome’s Absolue L’Extrait Cream, which is super powerful.
Where is your foundation from?
I use different ones for different occasions. For daily office and indoor coverage, I use Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops mixed with my day cream for a lighter and more natural look. When I’m in a sunny city and need SPF protection, Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint does the trick. For evenings, I’ve been testing out the new Diorskin Forever. It’s super long-lasting – apparently for up to 16 hours – so it’s perfect for events and bright lights. Also, I use a Beauty Blender to blend my foundation; I didn’t really believe in it at first but it definitely works better than a flat sponge or my fingers!
What is your daily fragrance?
For day, I use Diptyque’s Eau Moheli – it’s fresh and crisp, not too overwhelming and great for work meetings. In the evenings, I use Byredo’s Oud Immortel – it’s very masculine and I love how it makes me smell mysterious.
Which makeup item do you never leave home without?
Lipstick. I always end up smearing or eating most of my lipstick so reapplication throughout the day is necessary.
Which skincare products do you always travel with?
Supergoop’s Everyday Sunscreen, Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm to keep my hands moisturised and Rodial’s Pink Diamond Instant Lifting Face Mask for a super pick-me-up after a long flight.
What beauty treatments are you swearing by these days?
Masking at home. I’ve been doing it once or twice a week; it really helps with keeping my skin supple and moisturised.
How would you describe your personal style?
I change my style quite a lot but I don’t take fashion too seriously, so I would say I’m experimental but with a sense of humour.
And your approach to beauty/makeup?
I care a lot about my skin and am very diligent when it comes to my skincare routine. I don’t skip steps, even when I’m travelling. For makeup, I’m more carefree and relatively minimal (tinted foundation, brows and eyeliner). I don’t pile it on unless I’m out for an event or a serious dinner.
Do you choose your makeup according to what you are wearing?
Yes, definitely. I change my outfits as much as I change my makeup routine and I like to try new products all the time!
What’s your beauty secret?
Sunscreen to ward off sun damage and pigmentation. Lots of water to hydrate, and lots of exercise to sweat out all the toxins.