Annabelle Skin Story
Annabelle Skin has been operating since 1994, making it one of the most established and reputable skin care specialist in Singapore. Our founder, Shirley Mok, will be sharing more about Annabelle Skin story.
Ms Shirley Mok opened a beauty salon, Annabelle Skin, in 1994. What triggered her to jump into the beauty line is due to a skin condition she suffered from- Hyperkeratinization, where the dead skin cells don’t leave the follicle due to excess of keratin. It appeared on her arms and sometimes also on her face, whenever there is a skin opening due to insect bite or even a small pimple, there would be a scab and continuously scabbing over the opening. That was why she was advised to take up a beauty course to manage her skin condition by her sister (a nurse by training) when she first came to Singapore with her husband who was offered a job here, after completing their Master of Business Administration in the UK. She worked in administration and human resources in early 1992.
To her surprise, the beauty course included not only product ingredient knowledge and treatment techniques. Besides beauty professionals, the students were taught by a dermatologist on skin analysis to identify various common skin problems. When she was graduating from the course, she started to help her office colleagues in facial treatment as a freelancer. Due to her outstanding performance in treating skin issues especially pimples and acne, she was selected as one of the few Teaching Assistants by the beauty school to help future batches of students. Finally, the interest in helping people regain beauty and confidence overtook her, and she started Annabelle Skin (which was called Annabelle Studio then) in Feb 1994. It was her desire to provide a better treatment environment with her first batch of clients.
Longest Serving Customers Annabelle Skin is serving
Madam Iris Chen (right) who is in her 70s, started having facials with us since 1994. Her daughter, Emily (left) came to Annabelle during her teenage years until now, a mother of 3 kids.
Ms Evelyn Wee, mother of 3 kids, and her son Jeremy. We have been taking care of Evelyn’s skin since 1994, as well as her family’s skin needs.
Ms Hwee-Yeh Tan, Bank secretary, also has been with us since 1994, when she first started work.
How did Annabelle Skin capture so many hearts and win various awards over the years?
We didn’t go for awards. But our products Dr.Belter Cosmetic won lots of Awards. The first award the brand got in Singapore was from ELLE, the best anti-ageing range in 2015. After that, the products gain other recognition such as BEST BUY from Singapore Women’s weekly (Phytocell Glow Serum – now called Vivacell Glow Serum) and also Best Vegan Toner (Fresh Blossomy Tensum) & Best Vegan Moisturiser (Aquasilk 24) when the vegan line launched.
As for Annabelle, Annabelle Skin was one of the 10 salons featured in DK Eyewitness Travel, and also quoted by the Senior Beauty Writer of Her World Magazine in 2018 (March issue), and featured in a few other magazines.
Ultimately, it is sincerity towards clients and the ability to give the best results and provide treatments at reasonable price. Our clients mainly grow from referrals.
We believe in service consistency and only choose the best products we believe in. We are not an aggressive salon, we treat clients like friends so we only want the best for them, without any hard-selling. We serve many family clients, even 3-generations because we have a wide treatment skill capability.
We only use premium skincare in our salon. Clients know it because they use the same products at home! They love the results and they don’t age so fast with time and stress 😊
What is the winning and success formula of Annabelle Skin?
Annabelle skin adopts the philosophy of SMILE
Service – we emphasize to always be attentive to client’s skin needs
Method – we have a special painless technique that we use to remove blackheads and impurities. Besides that, we always discuss as a team on the best possible way to improve a treatment.
Integrity – integrity and honesty are the basis of all businesses.
Learning – our team meets every week for treatment practice. Our staff attend training courses from overseas brand professionals for updated product ingredients and beauty knowledge
Excellence – in whatever we do, we want the best
We consistently remind the staff our philosophy and our first intention of running a beauty salon, which is to help our clients regaining good and healthy skin and have confidence with their look, no matter how old they are.
Question to Shirley: most of the staff in Annabelle Skin have been working there for many years. What makes the beautician stay with Annabelle Skin after so many years?
I literally see them growing up during the years.
Transparent policies and fairness is my management style. I cannot say that the staff agree with me all the time, but I believe that openness and fairness help a lot in superior-subordinate relationship.
Opportunity to learn and grow may be another reason. 2 of my senior staff went to overseas to get first-hand training from overseas professionals. When they first join the company, I emphasize not only on technical skill but also soft skill and positive mindset. I hope to develop them as a better person who is able to handle work and life better.
Why did Annabelle Skin select Dr. Belter products?
Dr.Belter Cosmetic is a Top 10 German professional brand with 40 years of experience. Not only it is a strong consumer’s choice brand which has won many awards, the products’ formulation is still run by the R&D team which is head by Dr. Clemens Belter, who won BEAUTY FORUM Prix d’honneur de la beauté in 2011 (The highest award to an outstanding person of the field each year)!
Personally, Dr.Belter Cosmetic has a philosophy very close to my heart. The importance of natural ingredients, no parabens and mineral oils, vegan, animal friendly, green and sustainable (which is respecting human skin and nature), combined with bio-technology to process the natural ingredients to obtain the best results, is the best of 2 worlds. In recent years, Dr. Belter Cosmetic has moved towards using more plants of organic source. This is their unique GreenTec concept to fulfil the ideal of optimizing beauty while doing our little part of loving the earth.
In short, the brand is very subtly beautiful, classic and promises results. Our clients love the products.
Overcoming difficult period for annabelle skin
During SARs outbreak in Singapore, the whole retail industry was badly affected due to the concern of safety of health. Annabelle Skin was not exempted. However, we were glad and grateful that most of our regular clients believed in how we take hygiene seriously. While we heard that most of other salons had a deep cut in revenue, we survived that period without affecting staff salary and year-end bonuses.
Running a small business meaning you have to know the business from the inside out. Ultimately, we are in a CARE industry. Having passion to care for our clients’ skin health and beauty genuinely. When clients happily tell us that they felt younger, and confident with their look, we felt that is the happiest award we get.