CLEO and Lancôme celebrate four inspiring women who are using their power to make positive changes in their own lives, and the lives of others.

CLEO Profile Film Maker AngGeckGeck Lancome Makeup Is My Power

Ang Geck Geck
“My Power is My Confidence and My Shade is #023”
Film-maker Ang Geck Geck cherishes getting out of her comfort zone, even though it scares her at times. Whether she’s working on film projects in Singapore or abroad, this careful, thoughtful leader is all about figuring out the best way to communicate with those around her.

What inspires you as a film-maker?
“When I travel, I meet different people and learn more about their culture. This really allows me to empathise with them and understand the struggles they might face. Film is a great way to give voice to a minority and is a powerful tool to help others.”

How do you empower others?
“I want to be able to help people step out of their comfort zones, become more confident and maximise their potential. For me, the right attitude is important. As long as they are willing to learn and listen, I’ll give my 101 percent.”

How do you deal with the fear that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone?
I actually find this fear to be motivating. It makes me want to do [my job] better. Sometimes, people don’t like to try something new until they’re sure of what it will take, but for me it’s the opposite. I build confidence through my fear.”

Do you think you’re an inspiration to other budding female film-makers?

“I hope so. I’m going to mentor a group of polytechnic students this year to help them make a film about their community. Last year, I went to Ngee Ann Polytechnic to listen to the students pitch film ideas and give them feedback. I enjoy doing [this type of mentoring thing].”

Geck Geck wears: Top, Missguided from Asos.com. Bralette, Ann Summers from Asos.com. Earrings, Topshop. Necklace, Topshop.

CLEO Profile Entrepreneur Grace Clapham Lancome Makeup Is My Power

Grace Clapham
“My Power is to Motivate Others and My Shade is #04”
Grace plays many roles, including entrepreneur, life coach, mentor and mother. As the co-founder of The Change School, she focuses on holistic learning and mentoring people going through big career and life changes.

Tell us more about your talent.
“I’m a big vision / picture person. Being more ‘big picture’, I think, makes me very good at motivating people.”

How do you build confidence in the face of change?
Once an individual has a better understanding of herself and her values without needing confirmation from other people or society, she’ll be more confident with change no matter what. I think self-awareness is very important, and also understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and being OK with them.”

How do you deal with failure?
Failure isn’t in my dictionary, because I see it as a learning experience. You might not have known what to do at that point in time but you can learn from it.”

What would you tell young women about following their ambitions?
Jump in completely and know that you’re going to have tough times, but be strong in your conviction, vision and what you want to do. Also, don’t let others bring you down, because no one else is walking in your shoes. You can learn from people and just take advice that works for you. Be confident and stand for who you want to be and you will learn.”

Grace wears: Top, Soe Jakarta from Society A. Earring, Charlotte Chesnais from Net-a-porter.com.

CLEO Profile Freedom Cup Founder Vanessa Paranjothy - Lancome Makeup Is My Power

Vanessa Paranjothy

“My Power is Empathy and My Shade is #08”
For Vanessa and her two sisters, changing the world for the better is something that strongly bonds them. Passionate and driven, the sisters founded Freedom Cups, changing the lives of billions of women in third-world countries (and let’s be honest, here in Singapore as well).

What drives you and your sisters?
“Women across the globe with no access to any form of sanitation during their periods drive us. With every Freedom Cup we get to a woman with no water, no toilets, or no sanitary supplies, we change a life.”

What is it like working with family?
“There are no two people in the world I’d rather work with. They step up all the time and do things so much better than me in many different instances. They really complement my skills. To have that level of trust and know that they have your back no matter what is incredible.”

How do you feel you empower women?
“We give women in a developed world like ours full mobility during their periods. Each Freedom Cup is leak free for 10 to 12 hours a day, so periods are no longer a problem or hassle. We also enable women to lessen their impact on the environment as each cup can last 10 years and produces no waste over the course of the years.”

What’s the greatest impact you’re making in the world right now?
“Across the globe, Freedom Cups are keeping young girls in school and increasing education levels, allowing women to work the full month since they don’t require any downtime and bring home more money. They also reduce the rates of urinary tract and fungal infections, and won’t cause toxic shock syndrome.”

What are your hopes in the future for your company and yourself?
“If – or when – menstrual cups become the de facto way women deal with their periods, I would feel like I’d achieved my life’s goal. This would make me extremely happy.”

Vanessa wears: Dress, Maje. Earrings, Mango.

CLEO Profile Model/Actress Jasmine Sim -for Lancome Makeup Is My Power campaign

Jasmine Sim
“My Power is My Attitude and My Shade is #03”
Jasmine was studying at SMU when she decided to enter The New Paper New Face in 2014. She wasn’t the winner, but thanks to hard work, learning how to bounce back from rejection, and saying “yes” to some big but terrifying opportunities, Jasmine has become not just a successful model, but an up-and-coming actress too.

When did you first realise you loved modelling and acting?
“I’ve been watching America’s Next Top Model with my brother since I was young, so I think [I’ve loved modelling] since then. With acting, it wasn’t as if I was, like, ‘I want to pursue acting.’ [But after finishing university], I had the time to explore this and thought, ‘Why not?’ It was only after acting in a few shows that I was, like, ‘OK, actually this is really interesting as well,’ in a very different way from modelling. It’s something I want to do well in.”

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get to this point?
“When I first started, I would get so nervous. It really got to me, the stress, expectations and fear. Now, I’ve slowly gotten to the point where I know that I just have to do my best and be open to feedback – positive or negative – and use that a guideline and/or motivation to improve.”

How do you deal with the knock-backs that come with modelling and acting?
“There are days when it’s terrible and you just feel so lousy about yourself, especially when you are comparing yourself with other people. Now, I’m more like this: if they like me, they’ll use me. If not, I’ll find someone else who likes me. I feel a lot more positive about work and life, and that makes me feel powerful as I’m not so affected by what others have to say anymore. When I go for jobs, of course I worry about expectations, but I also know I’m able to tell myself to get out of that thinking.”

How would you like to empower other up-and-coming actors like yourself?
“I would love to sit down with someone new or confused and ease them into it and let them know it’s normal to not know what to do. Sometimes, we go through life thinking we’re in this alone. But when you talk to someone who has been through the same thing as you, you kind of feel, like, ‘Oh, actually I’m not that alone and I can learn from this person.’”

Jasmine wears: Top, Joseph. Earring, Asos from Asos.com.

Makeup by Lina Tock, Lancôme National Makeup Artist

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For more empowering stories from Singaporean women, and to find out more about Lancôme’s Ultra Wear Foundation, visit lancome.com.sg.