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by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Selenightco’s Nora Lim on Her Beauty Essentials & Wind-Down Ritual

Formerly the brand manager of a well-known beauty brand for almost a decade, Nora Lim is now the proud co-founder of her very own brand. She teamed up with her partner to launch their own brand early this year: Selenightco, a sustainable sleepwear and loungewear brand. The name was inspired by selenite, a nighttime crystal said to help combat insomnia, clear the mind and get a good night’s sleep.

And while we’re on the topic of big changes, the working mother also recently moved to Jakarta, in the midst of a pandemic no less.

We chat virtually with Nora as she talks about her career journey, what her me-time looks like and her wind-down ritual at night.

Tell us more about your career journey. Are there any highlights so far?

Well, I graduated with a finance degree and started my career in banking. But I knew very early that I had a passion for marketing and dreamt about building brands. I made the switch to marketing and soon enough landed my dream job in beauty at Shiseido Group. 

In my last position, I was the Brand Manager for Clé de Peau Beauté in Singapore and the Regional Manager of Clé de Peau Beauté for 7 countries in Asia. It was definitely a career highlight because I love beauty and enjoyed the challenges and scope of my roles.

It was there that I learnt crucial insights and skills about creating a sustainable business, shaping strategies, managing a P&L—all of which are valuable to my current entrepreneurship experience at Selenightco.

What was the inspiration behind Selenightco?

A little more than 2 years ago, I was a new mum and had another night of interrupted sleep. I did not feel good when I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and found myself in my husband’s old t-shirt and my own tattered shorts. 

As a mother, my time for rest had clearly become an afterthought—although I knew that rest and starting my day right are important, especially to my mental and emotional wellbeing. This realisation sent me on a journey to find products that will help me sleep better and rise stronger—setting my mood and strength for the day. 

At the start of the pandemic last year, my partner Juit Wen found nothing to wear while she worked from home. She wanted something that was sophisticated enough for Zoom calls yet comfortable to lounge in at home.

We were full of ideas about sets that will blur the lines and take you from a Zoom call to a nap in seconds!

How do you find the time to balance family and your pursuits? What about factoring in self-care and me-time in your daily routine?

It might sound cliche but I had to learn to prioritise and make time for what is important to me. That includes quality time with family, time to be more strategic in the business, time to do what I love like cook and read. Technology helps too—I use a really simple app to track habits like exercise, drinking 8 glasses of water, reading a chapter each day. It really helps me!

It’s a tricky paradox because the busier you get, the more time you should make for self-care. I have learnt that it is about the conscious effort to make the time.

“There is an old saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. I realise that I can’t be the woman, the mum, the wife, the friend I want to be when I feel like my cup is empty.”

What’s your approach when it comes to beauty and wellness?

My approach to beauty, wellness and life, in general, is to be consistent.

I understand that a large part of ageing is our lifestyle choices—more so than merely our genes. Therefore, I choose to be consistent with a beauty routine that I can stick to and that I can enjoy. 

My evening skincare routine is part of my wind-down ritual and I find that my mood changes and I relax easily. I choose products that feel good—and ones that efficiently gives me the results I can see and experience. 

I invest in rest and do my best to consistently get 7 hours worth of sleep each night. I find that the only way I can hustle when I need to is because I also rest and pause when I need to. 

What is a typical skincare routine for you?

I keep my morning routines simple and effective. I cleanse, soften, hydrate and use SPF.

I am currently using and loving Epion Skin, especially for my mornings. I really like their 1.2 Cleanse—it’s so gentle yet it effectively removes impurities and excess sebum. I am also using their Vitamin B5 Moisturiser to hydrate and end off my morning routine with good SPF.  Their 7.2 Protect has SPF 50 which is great! It’s also light, has a delicate scent unlike other SPF products and it’s great under makeup!

At night, I like to pamper myself more. I take my time, incorporate a few more steps and always massage my face when I get a chance to. 

I start with double-cleansing, then balancing my skin with Clé de Peau Beauté’s Hydro Softening Lotion. I’ve used this product for 8 years now and it’s a must-have in my routine. I do feel like it not only hydrates but smoothens my skin’s texture and prevents dullness and roughness. 

Then, I use an AHA; I’ve been using Epion Skin’s 3.1 Renew for months now. I find that it’s the perfect first step for an anti-ageing regime (I am in my late 30s so I do need it more). Next are different combinations of serums and moisturisers—depending on what I feel my skin needs that day. I’ll end my night ritual with an eye cream. I currently use and love the La Mer The Eye Concentrate and ést.lab’s OptimaLift A+ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream.

Twice a week, I will religiously use ést.lab’s Intelligent Eye Revitaliser for a nice spa-like massage with the device. 

What is your favourite beauty activity to treat yourself?

In a lockdown, I pamper myself with a nourishing herbal tea, my favourite mask (it has to be either Cle de Peau Beaute’s Illuminating Concentrate or Heure’s Ageless Facial Treatment Mask) and a good book. Some days, I swap herbal tea with a nice glass of wine.

Outside of a lockdown, I pamper myself at Epion Clinic—I really enjoy their medi-facials. I feel revitalised and radiant in 90 minutes flat. 

What are the holy-grail beauty products that you can’t live without?

Clé de Peau Beauté’s Hydro Softening Lotion, Epion Skin’s 3.1 Renew and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

What is the atmosphere of your bedroom? Any bedside beauty essentials? 

I would love to say that it is in a state of zen and calm. But in reality, a lot happens in my bedroom! I read my daughter to sleep and also spend precious me-time in my bedroom after she goes to bed. 

On my bedside is a stack of books—currently a nice mix of fairy tales (for my daughter) and non-fiction (for me). I have various body lotions (currently loving Dew It’s Before Bed) and products from Selenightco—ones we are testing out and others that are already sold out, including Selenightco’s Sleep Well Essential Oil Roll-On. 

What is most important to you: comfort, beauty, or innovation?

Well, I find myself seeking comfort in every aspect of my life. That includes being comfortable in my own skin, learning to be comfortable with the ever-changing demands of motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Even with my business, comfort is literally our utmost priority and it is very important to us to have our customers sleep well in comfort.

What are your goals in the future? What are you working towards?

My goal is to be better than I was yesterday—to constantly learn and improve myself through new experiences, mistakes, books and podcasts. 

I’m also working to raise a child who is kind and brave. I hope to teach and influence her through my words and actions.  

Last but not least, the mission for Selenightco is to help create better days through better sleep. I am working towards growing our business and expanding our product lines to help our customers sleep well and rise stronger. 

Nora’s Beauty Picks

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, SGD52
Epion Skin 1.2 Cleanse, SGD56
Clé de Peau Beauté Brightening Serum, SGD260
Epion Skin 5.1 Lift, SGD120
Epion Skin 7.2 Protect
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum, SGD128
Heure Beauty Ageless Night Treatment, SGD190
La Mer The Eye Concentrate, SGD260
ést.lab OptimaLift A+ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, SGD108
Clé de Peau Beauté Hydro Softening Lotion, SGD180
Epion Skin’s 3.1 Renew, SGD103
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, SGD46
ést.lab Intelligent Eye Revitaliser, SGD106
Dew It’s Before Bed Bundle, SGD32

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