FASHION and beauty folks are often called frivolous. I once had a magazine editor tell me that those in my fashion and beauty team were the “bimbos of the magazine”.
It seemed to escape her that the ad revenue generated by my beat alone was keeping the magazine profits healthy and paying her lucrative bonus.
No brains needed there, I guess.
True, the world of fashion and beauty can be capricious – drama does lend attention.
But showmanship also stops on the runways; I believe the true practitioners of their craft – be it great fashion designers or beauty gurus – have lasting, not just lusting power because of their pragmatism and practicality.
As I always say, beauty is not without form and function.
It's a sentiment that Silvia Fendi, Fendi’s artistic director of accessories, shares.
Now here's a woman who, together with Karl Lagerfeld, shares reign of the Italian luxury goods and fashion house and is also behind the iconic Baguette and the recent Peekaboo bag.
As third generation heir to the Fendi dynasty, she is no stranger to the fashion world.
And as much as she loves beautiful things, she eschews frivolity.
When I met her in Shanghai a couple of weeks back, she shared with me her disdain for faddish "It" bags: "The craziness for ugly accessories is pitiful."
The year's struggling economy, she feels, has helped to clean up the fashion scene of ugliness and excess, helping to streamline collections and make them more interesting.
As she says: "It makes people concentrate on useful things. Before it was excessive, just too much of everything. Now it forces people to edit, to do only what’s good."
Closer to home, that modern sensibility is also apparent in another woman in the limelight – aesthetics physician Dr Georgia Lee. Her love for beautiful things and the fine life is apparent.
She is, after all, a self-confessed clothes horse, and her partiality for certain designers have earned her front-row attendance at Paris Fashion Week amongst other privileged and private invites by coveted luxury labels.
Still, she is very much a grounded woman when it comes to what she knows best: aesthetic medicine and beautiful skin in particular.
Her Drgeorgialee skincare range, which was introduced in April this year, was developed for the skin ailments that Asian complexions have in particular, and takes into account the climatic conditions that can affect our skin.
It also uses carefully selected, premium and targeted ingredients that benefit the more delicate Asian skin.
Best of all, it operates on the philosophy that "less is more", which is a relief for the modern power woman whose schedule is too busy for nine or 11-step skincare regimes.
Pared down regime
While her skincare range addresses five common skin types, including those with acne, hyper-pigmentation or maturing skin woes, the regime is simple.
Dr Lee herself uses only four products in the morning: an oil-control cleanser followed by a toner, then a post-cleanser step which does mild exfoliation to keep the skin looking dewy and refreshed and lastly, sunblock.
Her night routine is even simpler, with the omission of sun protection.
"I don't even use a moisturiser," she says, adding that her toner and her post-cleansing product provide sufficient hydration.
The routine is made simple because, as Dr Lee shares, "too many products clog up the skin."
It is the good doctor's belief that every woman must take care of her complexion.
She says: "You may not have the most outstanding features, but beautiful, radiant skin always makes a woman look more beautiful."
This article was first published in The New Paper.