Sassy Mama beauty contributor Delara tells us more about the launch of her new app, Beauty Button – and how she did it with two kids in tow!
If you’re not already familiar with Delara – AKA our very own skincare goddess – just look to her incredible articles on everything from the Ultimate 3-Minute Post-Baby Beauty Regimen to why you should use face oils! Here she shares more about her brand spanking new (free!) app, Beauty Button, which she affectionally calls ‘the fitness app for your face‘. Read on to find out how she managed to kick butt on this new project while juggling life with her two kiddos, plus stay till the end to find out my thoughts on the app as a skincare and beauty junkie myself!
Tell us more about yourself!
I’m a mother (of two). A skincare junkie. A swimming enthusiast. And food addict. In that order. When I’m not working, you will find me either on the playground, in the aisle at Sephora, in the pool (doing drills) or digging into a big juicy steak!
What is Beauty Button?
Beauty Button app is a personal skin care advisor which customises beauty regimens for every skin type and concern. Users start their journey by selecting their skin type, tone, age and any skin issues they want to solve. It has been created by a team of experts in the beauty and technology industries after years of extensive research on skincare rituals and their benefits across ethnicities and ages.
How does the app create bespoke skincare routines for women?
The app’s proprietary algorithm cleverly customises a regimen specifically addressing each user’s unique skin concerns. Each regimen can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on specific needs. The app tells customers how many products to use on their skin and what time of day to use them. A host of brands across all budgets are recommended based on individual skincare needs. Products are reviewed and rated, and only the best ones are recommended, allowing users to make informed decisions.
The Photo Compare feature allows customers to monitor their progress by comparing before and after pictures — seeing their skin literally improve over time. Users can log their beauty steps daily to stay on track for the entire duration of their specific regimen. This is done with just the touch of a button. They are also sent daily reminders to help them follow their regimens consistently. It is also possible to reset regimens to meet changing skincare needs.
The algorithm suggests new regimens based on the person’s’ evolving skin type, change in season, as well as special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s. Many brides have been using Beauty Button to prepare for their big day.
The app also provides content, where users can discover the latest beauty trends, tips, product reviews and all things skin related.
How did the idea for the app come about?
My fascination with skincare started as early as 11 years old, when I began experimenting with products like sunscreen long before it became ‘trendy’ to wear it daily. After completing a mass media degree, I went straight into the competitive world of beauty advertising and was soon creating and heading up campaigns for brands including Lakme, Dove, Pantene and Pond’s. I worked closely with a host of celebrities including Kate Bosworth (Hollywood), Katrina Kaif, Shilpa Shetty, Sonakshi Sinha, Shraddha Kapoor (Bollywood), Tang Wei, Sarena Adsit, Jeab Sopidnapa, and Susan Bachtiar (Asia) giving them all insights into the beauty regimens of some of the most beautiful women.
But it was only when I started travelling extensively to Japan and Korea for luxury skincare brand SK-II, that I really understood the importance of religiously following a skincare regimen. Japanese and Korean women look decades younger as they follow regimens with multiple steps. I’ve met Korean women who do as many as 18 steps every day to achieve flawless skin — compared to the average woman who follows just 2-3 steps.
Inspired by this, I began personalising skincare regimens for family and friends, resulting in dramatic transformations. I documented this through my blog, The BeautyWonderland and soon found myself among the world’s top 100 Beauty bloggers! After years of market research and testing, Beauty Button was launched in 2017.
How did you manage to make this happen with kids in tow?
Discipline. Support. Conviction. And playing deaf!
I started out working from home (as I was also breastfeeding, this seemed like the best idea). But with young kids around who need (and demand) your constant attention, it’s hard not to get distracted. So I moved office to the nearby coffee shop. I start work at 10am and end at 6pm. I spend the lunch hour with my kids – eating a hearty meal together, reading books, playing – and then when they go down for their afternoon nap, I’m back at work!
I have a great support system that makes it all possible. A nanny who looks after the kids as if they were her own. And a wonderful husband who keeps inspiring and motivating me to push my limits. His unwavering belief in me has taken me through the worst lows.
My first challenge as an entrepreneur was dealing with the loneliness. In an organisation, you’re surrounded by people. You can bounce ideas off each other, discuss strategies, and generally feed off other people’s energy. But when you’re on your own, it’s just you. And that can be quite daunting. I call it ‘entrepreneur’s isolation’. Every time I meet someone who has just started out, they are taken aback by this feeling of solitude. But I have to say that it passes. Just hang in there. Most women give up at this stage. DON’T! You get used to it. Once you overcome this feeling, it’s clarity of thought that greets you on the other side.
The other big challenge is playing deaf. Not listening to people who don’t believe in you and your dream. I’ve had even close friends and family telling me to quit.
“Why are you doing this? Just stay at home!”
“You should spend more time with your kids.”
“This is your hobby, right?”
But then I remind myself as to why I started out on my own. I wanted to lead by example.
I tell my children that they can do anything, be anyone. To always follow their dreams…So shouldn’t I be following my own advice?
When my kids see their mum following her passion and overcoming the struggles and hurdles, they too learn to not just dream, but also do.
Who is the app best for?
Did you know that more than 80% women edit their pictures before uploading them online? And that more than 44% of women use makeup just to cover their flaws. These days, girls start using makeup earlier than ever before with the average age as low as 11 years! Beauty Button was created to empower women. To help them achieve their best skin. It customizes skincare regimens and encourages women to be naturally beautiful without filters, without makeup and with confidence.
Do you have any top skincare tips that most mamas tend to overlook?
Living in Singapore (which has one of the highest UV indexes in the world), you should always use sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. Not just when you’re at the pool or on the beach. Sometimes the UV index goes as high as 12, which means as little as a few minutes in the sun can lead to permanent, irreparable damage.
And no, moisturiser with SPF doesn’t quite cut it. For the pea-sized amount you apply, there’s just not enough sunscreen to protect you. You need a separate sunscreen to do the job. And you need as much as a $1 coin-size to properly cover your face and neck.
Then there’s the neck (and décolletage). I see women walking around with smooth faces and crepe-y and blotchy necks! That’s because they use skincare products on their faces, but neglect their necks. The skin on your neck is thinner and has less oil glands than the face– so it ages much faster!
So the rule of thumb is: whatever you put on your face, it should go all the way down till your boobs.
And lastly, use moisturiser. No matter how hot it gets. That’s because hot, sunny days make your skin thirsty – just like you. If you don’t give your skin moisture, it will get dehydrated.
When skin gets dehydrated, it reacts badly. Oily skin gets oilier. Dry skin get dull and rough. Sensitive skin gets red and itchy. So whatever you skin type, use a moisturiser without fail!
Tried & Tested
After trying the app for the recommended 14 days (did you know that it takes one week for your skin to react to a new regimen and another week for you to see the difference?), I can safely say it was a very fun one to use!
The steps are simple: register, tick all your skincare concerns, and you’ll be recommended a skincare routine that will meet your end goals (ie. brighter skin, less redness, reduced blackheads). Once done, scour through each product list and look for products you’re already using (the list is updated with new products every day!) or leave as-is. Throughout the week, check your boxes by tapping on each sun or moon icon to indicate that you’ve done that step. I found this very satisfying to do at the end of the day!
Also ensure you make full use of the Photo Compare feature so you can have a visual guide to tell you if your skincare routine is working. I loved seeing how much my skin changed over the course of two short weeks! Another interesting feature is the daily tips you get on the app – from recs to wear sunscreen even when you’re at home to which foods to look out for to target certain skin concerns!