Vibrant blue and purple hair, flawless skin, sparkling eyes accentuated by expertly applied liner, Sukki Singapora is a sight to behold. I can’t stop myself from staring as she enthusiastically greets me for our interview.
Singapore’s first burlesque artist, Sukki got her break at a comedy theatre in the UK where she convinced the manager she was a burlesque dancer. What she didn’t tell him was that she had never done it in her life! On the day of the performance, everything that could go wrong did, but the audience thought it was part of the act and enjoyed it anyway.
Since then, Sukki has gone on to perform in the USA, Malaysia, Japan, France and Greece; campaigned successfully for the art of burlesque to be legalised in Singapore, set up the Singapore Burlesque Society, performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame (the ultimate accolade for a burlesque artist) and even been invited to tea at Buckingham Palace. Most recently she was appointed ambassador for Hask hair products. I caught up with her at the launch of Hask in Singapore and quizzed her about her makeup and skincare routine, and how she maintains her vibrant hair colour.
I love your blue hair combined with the old Hollywood glamorous style. What was the inspiration behind this signature look?
I’m half Indian-Singaporean and half Caucasian, and growing up I got into vintage fashion as a way of expressing myself as it was not related to the colour of your skin or your gender – it was all about a creating a rockable look. I also loved the idea of not being stereotypically Bollywood. Coming from an Indian background, it’s really easy to do that typical Aishwariya Rai look and I really wanted to mix things up a bit, so I combined vintage fashion with something quirky and that’s how this look was born.
You customise all your corsets and costumes, do you also do your own hair and makeup yourself?
I do my makeup myself but for my hair I have a group of people to help me with that: my colourist is London-based Siobhan Taylor and I fly there specifically to have my hair coloured; my stylist in Singapore is Andrea Claire who has styled my hair today, and I turn to these incredible Hask products to keep it conditioned. As you know going from black to coloured [hair] can make it super dry and the Hask products are filled with essential oils and are sulphate-, paraben-, phthalates-, gluten- and alcohol-free to help repair the hair.
Which are the Hask products that keep your hair healthy?
My favourites are the Kalahari colour protect products which like all the other Hask products are free of nasties and not tested on animals. I love these because unlike a lot of hair products they really protect your hair and maintain the colour. A lot of colour protect shampoos promise to nourish your hair and maintain your colour, but after a couple of washes you find your colour starts to fade. That’s not the case when using Hask products. Everyone asks me how my colour stays so vibrant.
It’s possibly because they’re chemical free – I find that the chemicals and be really harsh on your hair. The other thing I do is leave my conditioner in for at least 2 minutes before rinsing it out to lock in the colour. Also, the sachets are so convenient to travel with.
And what are your makeup must haves?
I am absolutely obsessed with Sephora face masks as a pre makeup routine – I love the moisturisng masks. It leaves my skin completely flawless and ready for makeup. I am obsessed with Smashbox primers, which I use around the eye area. I travel a lot, so when I need to look refreshed, I use the Smashbox primers. While I like wearing makeup, I do like to keep it quite pared back so I avoid going super heavy on the eyes. I find that if you have a good base, it really goes a long way. The NARS foundation is an absolute favourite. I love how it blends into your skin and that they have different shades of brown, that don’t make you look orange. I finish the look with my signature red lip. I have about 100 different shades of red for – Laura Mercier nice and strong without being creamy; also the Matte Lipglosses by LA Splash Cosmetics.
I can’t not ask about your skincare routine…
My biggest tip would be to drink lots of water, I never used to drink as much water as I do now and my skin wasn’t as great and then I started drinking water and I swear by it. It detoxifies your skin, plumps it and keeps it free from breakouts. A big faux pas is going to bed with your makeup on or using just a makeup wipe to remove your makeup – I heard that each time you don’t remove your makeup thoroughly, it ages you by 15 days! So I always make sure I take off every last bit if makeup and exfoliate weekly as well. And of course the Sephora face masks!
As you mentioned, you travel extensively, so what is it you do to ensure you get off the flight looking refreshed.
I wear minimal makeup, I won’t do a full base but I will have concealer, and I will blot and have eyebrows. I always, always, pack blotting sheets; sometimes I will pack a mist and spritz it on to keep my skin hydrated. My eyeliner is actually semi permanent so it lasts a few days, so even if I wash my face it still stays. Boots makes an eyeliner called Tattoo Me and I swear by it. I feel like eyeliner helps you look put together without having too much makeup on. You hair can get dry too, so I put a bit of Keratin Oil, on my hair before I blow dry and it works wonders. Almond oil is also great before the blow dry, it’s great to massage and leave in. All this ensures I get of the plane looking fresh.
Is there an off duty look?
I think I am being casual, but everyone tells me that I’m not! I don’t wear makeup to the gym though! I like old vintage glamour and I love makeup so much I do it for myself and so for me it’s like a hobby. It’s not necessarily because I don’t want anyone to see me without makeup, I just love the process of putting makeup on and harking back to that old Hollywood glamour even if just for myself.
You can shop HASK hair products from Guardian Health & Beauty and Cold Storage stores across the island.