Confidence and eloquence count

Top American-Chinese beauty influencer Irene Santoso, 39, started off small, but has made a name for herself over the years.

"I started blogging in 2000 and, being a very active netizen since the very early days of the Internet, it was a natural transition for me to keep a journal online," she said.

She is known as Moonberry, a nickname that has stuck since 1995.

"It began as an online nickname and identifier, but over the years, friends in real life started calling me by that nickname...

"Today, it has evolved into a personality and a personal brand."

Miss Santoso, who moved here from New York a few years ago, is one of the judges for The New Paper New Face this year.

But the first-time panellist for this competition already has tips for the Top 20 finalists.

She said: "I think having adequately hydrated skin and using sunscreen are both essential.

"However, I believe that beauty goes beyond physical appearance and dolling yourself up. Everyone should strive to be a well-rounded beauty; by this I mean cultivating inner beauty such as having compassion and kindness."

If you want to get her attention, stand out from the crowd and carry yourself well.

"Beyond physical qualities, I will also be looking for personality, confidence and eloquence.


"I know that the girls are still young, and confidence and charisma often come with experience and maturity, but I believe that there's lots of potential."

The professional blogger, whose lifestyle blog won Best Beauty Blog at the 2011 Singapore Blog Awards, understands the courage it takes to join a pageant, even though she hasn't joined one herself.

"It is fantastic that these girls are pursuing their dreams and I believe that the experience of participating in New Face is a priceless one."

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