Rebecca Eu On Finding Inner Beauty
For Rebecca Eu, life can only be described as a fairy tale. The youngest child of Eu Yan Sang non-executive chairman, Richard Eu, and his wife Mary, describes a golden childhood filled with flouncy dresses and elaborate birthdays. In 2013, she made her debut at Paris’ Le Bal des Débutantes, and stood alongside Italian princesses and English royals, dressed in a couture gown by Alexis Mabille.
But this story is not about her personal life: it is a story about serving those who have suffered in the dark, dreaming about the luxuries most of the world perceives as simple indulgences. In 2015, Rebecca visited the Philippines for the first time to meet and hear the stories of victims of human trafficking and sexual assault, a dark and painful problem she felt most people did not pay enough attention to.
“I found myself unable to leave the girls. I couldn’t ignore the violence and pain they had endured. It was the type of ugliness that you felt ashamed of. I chose not to look away and embraced them for who they are, trying to understand what they needed,” says Rebecca.
Later that year, Rebecca started Love, Mei, a social enterprise that provides support to these survivors through education and skills training. Love, Mei also employs these women, providing them with an opportunity to make a living while pursuing an education. “Love, Mei is about building a community of girls who have big dreams. They are all going through a tough situation, and I want to give them a voice and bring them back to the classroom. I want Love, Mei to be an entity that stands with these women and children while they fight to build better lives. I want to teach them that while charities do good, one must move out of that charity and rebuild their lives in order to move forward and grow.”
For the upcoming festive season, Love, Mei is rolling out silk scarves that have been designed by the girls in collaboration with leading medical aesthetics brand, Cambridge Therapeutics. Rebecca emphasises the importance of working with such companies to engage the girls in a meaningful way, showing them that they are talented and capable of making beautiful things. “My brief to the girls was to be creative about what Christmas means to them. I wanted to show them that their passion is something that can help them thrive in the world. Cambridge Therapeutics also created infographics to teach the girls how to take care of their skin. I believe beauty and grooming is important, as it will teach the girls how to take care of themselves, and how to put their best face forward when the time comes to go out into the world on their own.”
Building Love, Mei has also taught Rebecca many life lessons. Last year, she learnt to walk away from those who did not share her vision. “I disagreed with one of the foundations on how they were handling our working relationship. I learned the importance of asking difficult questions in order to establish transparency. Ultimately, they were unable to provide me with the answers I was searching for,” she says.
She also learned to stand her ground. Working with foreign charities is no easy task and Rebecca handles Love, Mei’s finances, ensuring the girls benefit directly from their efforts instead of the overarching charity.
Lastly, she started to understand how to confront her critics. “Things take time. I’d rather build this community slowly and responsibly, than sink my efforts into a project that has not been properly studied. The only people I owe any explanation to are my girls. As long as they are in school and sustaining a lifestyle, Love, Mei is a success to me.”
“My favourite treatment at Cambridge Therapeutics is the NeoGen Plasma Skin Rejuvenation treatment, which literally rescues my skin. I’m also a fan of its medical-based slimming treatments to counter my penchant for sweets.”
Currently, Rebecca is also juggling student life at Lasalle College of the Arts, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Fashion Media and Industries. Flying between Singapore and Manila can be draining. The constant jet-setting also takes a toll on Rebecca’s skin, but she is diligent with her beauty routine. “I take supplements and have a very detailed skincare regime. From Eu Yan Sang, I take spot whitening capsules to control my pigmentation, and Bai Feng Wan. From Cambridge Therapeutics, I take the moisturising Preparation Enhancing Gel, which acts like a super toner, and the Acne Lotion to spot treat in case of breakouts. I also wear a lot of sunblock—I like those by Avène and Anessa. I am buying a shower head with a water filter as well because I tend to break out every time I go to Manila.”
Pillar of support
Even the strong grow weary sometimes, and Rebecca calls her mother when she is in need of strength. “My mother is my rock. Over the years, I’ve grown to see her in a different light, and I admire her so much. Flouncy dresses and elaborate parties aside, she helps me brainstorm for new ideas, teaches me patience and kindness, and to trust my gut feeling. Above all, being her daughter also means working hard at whatever I do. With love.”
“I’m often stuck in stuffy back seats of cars in stagnant heat and humidity. I break out easily because I have very sensitive skin. As someone who doesn’t wear a lot of make-up, my skin is important to me. These products travel well and keep my face looking flawless, even though I’m constantly stressing my skin, as I keep late nights finishing my school assignments,” Rebecca explains.
1. Prep Gel A Formulated by doctors, this antibacterial gel improves the appearance of uneven and bumpy skin, while helping to prevent blemishes.
2. Fullerene Vitamin C Serum This supercharged Vitamin C serum encourages collagen production, deeply hydrates, brightens dull skin, and lightens dark spots.
3. Probiotic Wash A It gently yet effectively cleanses while keeping skin healthy and balanced.
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