Why did you decide to create Mmerci Encore?
Mmerci Encore started as an online journal — it was, and still is, a platform to celebrate beauty in all its different forms. A field guide of all the things that make me happy and grateful. Through it, I started to rediscover other aspects of beauty that I really loved, including aromatherapy. I love scent; my parents have taken me to different flower farms and burning essential oils since I was a kid. Blending home spa goods was an extension of that. I began creating them as gifts for friends to help cheer them up after break-ups or accompany them on their travels — I’m glad it began from a place of positivity and passion rather than just pure commerce.
What challenges did you face in creating the products?
First up, it’s a lean company — it’s up to me to blend, work on the R&D, package and ship the products, and manage customer service. And because I’m a stickler for quality, it can be frustrating when a batch doesn’t turn out the way it needs to, especially when you’ve worked so long on it. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What does Singapore beauty mean to you?
It’s embodied in the women I admire. It’s the street-smarts and confidence of women like Anita Kapoor, Carolyn Kan of Carrie K and Choo Yilin. It’s the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of women like Sabrina Tan of Skin Inc, Magpie’s Annabelle Fernandez, Roomorama’s Jia En Teo and Plain Vanilla’s Vanessa Kenchington. The elegance of Astries Sunidar-Ratner of The Beauty Candy Apothecary, who is so chic and well-travelled. I see these values in all my friends. I love their kindness, humour, grit and optimism.
How proud are you that Mmerci Encore is Singapore-owned?
Our ingredients are sourced from Europe and Australia, but crafted with passion and pride in Singapore. I love that we’ve made a conscious decision to partner with as many locally based suppliers as possible. This may be a drop in the ocean, but choosing to support local means helping someone further their business dreams, put their kids through school, and create new jobs. In short, I love this gorgeous city and all the friends we’ve made here.
Where are your fave places in Singapore to go for a pampering beauty treat?
I’ve been going to Lush at Mount Pleasant for years — Lynette and her team really look after me. I make a beeline for their massage beds every time I land from a trip. I also love Auriga Spa at Capella Hotel; I could stay in their steam showers forever and love their post-treatment rooms.
And my secret weapon is Hazel, a facialist at Dermafeel on Orchard Rd (you can reach her at 9793-2821). She has healing hands, especially if you have a sensitive complexion, like I do.
Photo of Alli Sim: Vanessa Caitlin