Valerie Lim – From Geek to Beauty Queen
A chat with the down-to-earth beauty
Ah, the things you learn from people you share a table at lunch with during events. Three things I’ve noticed about Valerie Lim – reigning Miss Universe Singapore: she truly loves food, she enjoys buying stuff for her friends, and she is very down to earth – traits you’d love your gal friends to have. I mean, who wouldn’t want a glamorous best friend who knows exactly what to buy for you whenever she travels and shares your love for desserts as well?
Then I saw how she handled questions thrown at her by the media, I knew right there and then why she truly deserved her crown. Besides being statuesque – she towers over almost everyone at 179cm tall and measures 36-27-36 – Valerie is eloquent, as she is witty.
“At this point in time, the only plastic surgery I’ve considered doing is double eyelid surgery,” she answered when asked what kind of procedure she’s willing to undergo for plastic surgery. “I use double eyelid tape on a daily basis and it can be quite a hassle at times. Also, considering the amount of money I’ve spent on double eyelid tape over the past three years, I think that sum could have been used for a one-time surgery!”
The behavioural therapist and creator of dweam.com – a blog she started to help inspire and share the beauty tips and advice she’s gathered through her experiences in beauty pageants – credits her supportive parents and brother for her successes, big and small. “When I was dancing in university, they would attend my performances. In recent years with the pageant competitions, my family is my biggest cheerleader,” she shared.
You see, before she became Miss Singapore, Valerie was an awkward, shy girl who wore eyeglasses and didn’t know a bronzer from a blusher. Then she discovered her love for hip-hop, and before she can say ‘bring it on’, she was on her way to bagging her first of several crowns.
Ezyhealth & Beauty (EHB): You described your teenage self as a geeky, bespectacled girl. Tell us all about your transformation to becoming this confident, poised and beautiful woman that we know today.
Valerie: I’ll admit I was a late bloomer. Going into Year 1 at NUS, I had only just discovered contact lenses, skinny jeans, and the power of makeup. As most awkward teenagers are, I was also a little on the chubby side. It wasn’t until I auditioned for the varsity’s Hip Hop dance team (and got in!) that I learned to be a little bit more vain. I came out of my shell and grew to love being on stage through the various performances and competitions we were sent for.
In 2007, I joined my first pageant with the support and encouragement of my parents. Although I placed Top 3, it didn’t just end there. I went on to compete in 2008’s Miss Universe Singapore, before clinching top spot in 2009’s Miss Earth Singapore. That experience of competing internationally in the Philippines was an eye-opening one and definitely the catalyst in the process of transformation. It was a journey of self-discovery, of realising potential. Making the Top 16 semi-finalists was an added bonus.
Wanting to take the transformation to the next level, I signed up for last year’s Miss Universe Singapore again and competed with some very worthy girls. Because it was such a tough fight, the win was extremely sweet. It’s when you’re thrown into circumstances that push you out of your comfort zone that you truly grow. I’ve been very lucky to have had a lot of those in my life.
EHB: What are your responsibilities as the reigning Ms Singapore?
Valerie: Being Miss Universe Singapore is a very exciting position. Aside from all the glitz and glamour, my focus has primarily been assisting charities with raising awareness and fundraising. In the last couple of months, I’ve worked with a few of the local charities namely, Metta and CARE (Children At Risk Empowerment). With about four months before I hand my crown over to the new queen, I’m now involved in mentoring the new batch of girls regarding social responsibilities, on top of helping them prepare mentally for the competition. By acting as a mentor for all the girls, this ensures that the good work we’ve done with the charities will be continued in years to come.
EHB: I have seen you finish and enjoy a five-course lunch without qualms! How do you get to enjoy a healthy appetite and stay as svelte and slim?
Valerie: It’s hard not to love food when you live in Singapore (laughs). Although I don’t count calories, I do pay attention to what I feed my body. It’s important that everything on my plate is nutritional. As important as being aware of my diet is, my life choice to exercise regularly is just as crucial in maintaining my ideal body shape. Working out two or three times a week not only helps me keep in shape, but also does wonderful things for keeping my mind sharp. I alternate between cardio exercises, like running or swimming, and weight training within a week. I’d really like more definition and muscle at this point in time. But keeping a regular exercise schedule definitely gives me more of an excuse to eat (laughs)!
EHB: What is true beauty to you?
Valerie: True beauty is a state of mind. It not only involves nurturing and grooming one’s physical appearance, but also in nourishing the mind. I believe in the power of beautiful thoughts and words because thoughts and words translate to actions. With beautiful actions, anyone can be beautiful, regardless of age. That, to me, is true beauty that transcends time, age and boundaries.
EHB: Please share with our readers your tried-and-tested beauty regimen.
Valerie: I strictly follow a five-step skin care regime to ensure good clear skin. Starting with a pre-cleanse/makeup remover to remove all traces of makeup, I then use a cleanser afterwards to properly clean the skin. Twice a week, for the next step, I opt for a daily scrub to gently remove blackheads. To reduce fine lines around the eyes, I use Kinerase, a product that contains Kinetin. This plant-based antioxidant has incredible anti-ageing properties that at the same time, encourages retention of moisture in the skin. The effects are obvious immediately after use because the eye cream has the highest concentration (0.125%) of Kinetin. Similar to my eye cream, my Kinerase face moisturizer has 0.1% of Kinetin to improve the appearance of wrinkles and lighten acne scars.
It probably sounds like a lot of work, especially with five steps to a skin care regime, but I’m very proud of my skin. I have no issues with going out sans makeup. I’m certain that good skin will never go out of style. Once you have good skin, any make up will look fabulous on you!