Tomorrow at 11.30am, The New Paper New Face 2015 Top 20 will make their debut at VivoCity.
But before that much-awaited public unveiling, the 25 semi-finalists had to spend a weekend at their first competition beauty shoot.
For some, it was their first time in front of a camera in a professional setting.
"It's really fun trying something new," Bedok Green Secondary School student Melissa Poh, 16, said, although she was still jittery before her shoot.
Even Hazelina Gopinathan, 20, who has had previous modelling experience, said it was nerve-racking.
"The most challenging thing is to get the perfect shot," the National University of Singapore undergrad said.
Despite feeling nervous, the atmosphere behind the scenes was relaxed.
The girls chatted and gave words of encouragement to each other.
"People usually think that with these types of (competitions), all the girls are going to be very rude, but everyone's so friendly," said R. Nametha, 17, a St. Hilda's Secondary School student.
As soon as the contestants turned up, they were fussed over by make-up artists from MAC Cosmetics and hairstylists from Monsoon Hair House.
For many of the contestants, this was the highlight of the shoot.
"It makes you feel special and pampered. Like wow, I'm getting my make-up and hair done by professionals," said Melissa.
"You (undergo) a transformation. You come here barefaced with ugly hair and they do everything for you. It's nice," added Hazelina.
But stunning physical makeovers don't necessarily make for a good picture, as the girls still needed to find ways to let their beauty and personality shine in front of the camera.
Melissa said she struggled to make her eyes sparkle during her shoot.
"Sometimes when I take photos, I feel like my smile is really fake and in this photo shoot you're supposed to make yourself (look) very natural, so that's what I'm worried about," she said.
Nametha, however, had a hard time with her facial expressions.
"Trying to find an angle that looks good to the photographer is very difficult, so you have to be adaptable," she said.
Their performance at this shoot determined if they got into the Top 20.
Singapore Institute of Management student Ischelle Ong, 21, said: "The competition is quite tight, not in a bad way, but everyone's very pretty so it's quite scary."
Being in the Top 20 means more than just moving up in the competition for air stewardess Joeypink Lai - it would mean a whole new career path.
Said the 23-year-old: "I'm going to leave my job soon, so this might be a life-changing moment for me... I don't know what I want to do next, but I want to do something else.
"If I get into the Top 20, (modelling) is what I'm going to do."
This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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