Actress Rebecca Lim has come a long way from being the tomboy in charge of props for school plays.
"I was very quiet, didn't do any grooming and had really short hair; I never really got any attention from the boys," says the 28-year-old, who studied at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School and Victoria Junior College.
The first time she wore a bikini was for the Miss Singapore Universe 2005 pageant, which she joined on a whim.
"I didn't even own a bikini for the audition. I was the only one in a one-piece swimsuit and a very sporty one at that," she says with a laugh. That did not ruin her chances of being crowned Miss Photogenic and talent scouted to join MediaCorp.
Today, the 1.67m-tall Lim wears her glossy hair long and endorses Japanese skincare brand SK-II and Japanese fashion label Uniqlo.
While she is styled in glamorous dresses, such as the sparkly haute couture Giambattista Valli gown that she wore to the Star Awards this year, she insists that she is no "fashionista" and leans towards classic-looking basics.
"I'm thankful that I have a good styling team, if not you'll probably find me in a white shirt and jeans all the time," she says.
"Previously, I would just flip through a magazine and not think too much about it, but now I pay attention to the brands and also pick up poses from the models."
But her appearance is not the only thing that Lim has improved on.
At this year's Star Awards, she bagged the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as the thrice-divorced Lisa in the popular Channel 8 drama The Dream Makers.
She says that for the first few years of her career, she picked up only minor roles because her Mandarin was not strong enough.
"My vocabulary has really improved but my colleagues still automatically switch to English with me. I'll tell them to speak to me in Mandarin so that I can practise," she says.
The actress, who is single, can currently be seen on Channel 5's police period drama Mata Mata 2, in which she plays a Criminal Investigation Department officer.
She is filming a new Channel 8 drama called You Can Be An Angel Too, in which she plays a nurse, and is also working on an English sitcom that pokes fun at Singapore's old social campaigns, including the Stop At Two campaign from the late 1960s.
Although the Star Award win has brought about more challenging roles, Lim is not counting on just the award to keep her career afloat.
"I know that this industry is fickle and it doesn't guarantee that good roles will now be laid out for me on a golden platter," she says.