Beauty first, not brands

Beauty first, not brands
Beauty talk show host Pauline Lan (centre) at the press conference with (from left) singer Kelly Poon and emcee Lin Peifen.

Given that her variety show Lady First - Singapore is so heavily centred on beauty products, how does Taiwanese host Pauline Lan maintain impartiality and avoid being seen as biased towards certain beauty companies?

Life! posed this question to her at a recent press conference for the second season of her show and the garrulous 48-year-old was completely serious in her reply.

She said in Mandarin, earnestly: "We never try to recommend just one product. For example, if we're talking about skin-whitening, then we'll always recommend relevant products that we think work across all price points, whether it's expensive or more for lower budgets.

"And we've always been focused on targeting the problem itself. For example, the problem of dry skin or other issues, as opposed to using the show as a platform to peddle products. Other times, we introduce beauty remedies that are DIY (do-it-yourself) too."

On the show, which is a local spin-off of her popular ongoing Taiwanese beauty talk show Lady First, all the products are either turned away from the camera or seen with stickers covering their brand names.

The second season of Lady First - Singapore, which will be shooting here in the coming weeks, premieres on E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) on June 3.

Lan also pointed out that she has not accepted any offer to endorse any beauty product commercially from the time Lady First was launched in 2003.

"In my 11 years of hosting Lady First, I have never agreed to take on a beauty commercial. I've been asked before many times why I haven't done so yet and my answer is that I want to remain neutral, which I feel is important for the show."

For the rest of the hour-long press conference, she displayed her famously sharp tongue, openly poking fun at her show's many guests.

She certainly did not mince her words, for example, when a group of actresses and ex-actresses joined her on stage at the press conference. This group, which includes local actresses Constance Song, Yang Libing and Rebecca Spykerman, are the upcoming season's new faces in the show's resident "ladies' team", made up of celebrities and models who give their take on the episode's topics.

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