Beauty Brand

Interview: Meet The Sister Duo That Are Stirring Up The Local Beauty Scene

Categories : Five Minutes With, Review Articles, Skincare

As much as we love organic skincare, there’s one name on the cobblestoned block you should turn your attention to for 2018: CANVAS. The beauty brand isn’t new to the women of Australia. In fact, the label has been established for a few years and creates skincare products that protect and restore one’s authentic beauty. To reintroduce the Singapore market to the brand, Sophia Chan and Nadia Chan became the Singapore distributor company for the Australian skincare brand.

We caught up with the sisters recently to find out how they got the idea off the ground, how they embraced the nos, and how they see their company growing in the future.


Beauty Insider: As the social media landscape around us continues to evolve, women are often exposed to unrealistic standards of beauty, distorting how we perceive beauty through our own lens. How do you feel towards the media’s influences on our attitudes to beauty?

Sophia: I think women have evolved to be stronger and more vocal about what beauty means to them. However, scrolling through social media can still make any other women like myself, fell envious of the unrealistic standards of beauty. Especially with the abundance of photo editing tools, it is hard to gauge between what’s real and not. This distortion of how we perceive beauty can affect self-esteem in a negative way, if not managed well. However, having seen key players in the beauty industry redefining the concept of beauty over the last few years, I am really glad there are advocates out there who are always reminding us that beauty is not defined by colour, size or shape; we are all beautiful in our own ways. At the end of the day, we need to continue to spread awareness to women and even young girls, that sometimes what we see on social media may not all be that rosy.

Nadia: Just to add on to what Sophia said – we come across all sorts of content on social media yet we should consume it the right way, knowing that everything we see is not what we make it up to be and that it is just how we perceive it but not the truth. With the rise of social media and how it forms a big part of our lives, I believe it is important to know that we are the rulers of our lives and each of us is our own versions of beauty, not what the media defines it to be.

Beauty Insider: How did your own pursuit of wellness lead you to embark on this journey in the skincare industry?

Sophia: With an interest in health and wellness at a young age, I had always been passionate about helping people improve their overall health and wellness! I would often research about anything from disease prevention, to skincare to nutrition. More than often I was always intrigued by how natural ingredients can help us in our health and wellbeing.

Before I was given the opportunity to distribute CANVAS, I trained as an Occupational Therapist and spearheaded the stroke rehabilitation team at a local community hospital in Singapore. Because of my passion and job, I pay special attention to products that help enhance and nourish the mind, skin and soul. When I was introduced to CANVAS by an ex-classmate, I tried it with an open mind and was impressed with its efficacy. Subsequently, I heard that they were looking to grow the Singapore market and jumped at the opportunity to distribute it here. At that point, I was already using their products on a daily basis and thought that these were really well-made and effective products. As a science graduate working as a health professional, I believe that health/well-being is important.

Natural beauty is more than a routine; it is a lifestyle. I believe that the best skin and the healthiest skin a person can live in is only achievable when everything is in balance. Thus, knowing that CANVAS products contain a balance of natural and organic ingredients that richly nourish my skin, I could resonate with CANVAS. It enhances my well-being from inside out naturally.

Nadia: Before my sister and I started Maiko, I, like any other, would use any skincare or body products simply because they either smell so good or they come in a beautiful package.

It was only after I tried CANVAS as a customer that I started to see the true benefits of using skincare with aromatherapy intelligence. As my sister mentioned, the opportunity was sent right to our doorstep. Personally, I think the bigger question was whether we were interested in really putting our hearts and souls into the brand, and educating more people about the importance of using natural and organic skincare products. The terms ‘natural and organic’ have become so overused that many consumers assume it is ‘all the same’. What continues to really spur us on is the knowledge we have gained and how this knowledge, when shared will help numerous other people be more aware of the products they are putting on their skin.


Beauty Insider: What is your own personal beauty philosophy you swear by?

Sophia: My personal beauty philosophy I swear by is the simpler it is, the better it will be. I strongly believe that the quantity of products you used in your skincare regime doesn’t equate to you looking good. Rather, I feel that it is about the simple things like ensuring I stay hydrated every day and of course being mindful of the ingredients in skincare products. For me, using a mask is a luxury! I believe that if you have healthy skin, it takes care of itself for you – You don’t really need to do too much if you use good quality products.

Nadia: My personal beauty philosophy is waking up every morning with a positive mindset, getting my skin to its optimum health and keeping my face clean and as natural as possible with a simple skincare regime.

Beauty Insider: What was your motivation behind bringing CANVAS into the local market? Was it a love of skincare, organic ingredients, etc?

Sophia: I was impressed with the efficacy of CANVAS products and felt an immediate combination with the blend of organic plant species and aromatherapy oils in the products as they helped my skin to rediscover its natural beauty and restore beauty from the inside out. Besides nourishing my skin, the essential oils and carrier oils in CANVAS products were soothing to the soul and uplifted my spirit. I have always believed in well made and good quality products that are hard to find, without breaking the bank. CANVAS to me, ticks all the boxes – Good quality, more affordable compared to other luxury brands, and yet effective.

Nadia: Knowing that CANVAS products contain a balance of natural and organic ingredients that richly nourish my skin, I could resonate with CANVAS. It enhances my wellbeing from inside out naturally. And needless to say, when we were given the opportunity to distribute CANVAS, we were very excited and there was no turning back.

To add on to our personal journeys with CANVAS, people have certainly become more aware and educated about the ingredients they put on their body/skin over the last few years. In their quest to maintain good health and overall wellbeing, they turn to natural and organic skincare products because these products are completely free of or contain fewer synthetic ingredients than conventional products. Thus, given this beauty landscape in Singapore, there is a market for CANVAS. Furthermore, essential oils and aromatherapy are tied to wellness, self-care and mindfulness, and we wanted to educate consumers on the importance of integrating these concepts into our daily lives through CANVAS.


Beauty Insider: If you’re planning to go overseas, what are the beauty products you have to bring along with you?

Sophia: For skincare, I pack my favourite cleanser from the Ultra Moisture series, Sun Protect Gel SPF30 and the Neroli Balance Purifying Mist for the plane, and if I am Kiasu I pack 2-3 sachets of my CANVAS masks. They usually are the Brightening Clay Mask and the Instant Hydrating Mask, and sometimes the Detox Facial Mask. If it is a long holiday, I’d definitely bring my Jojoba oil for a facial massage. For cosmetics, it’s mainly an eyeliner and blusher.

Nadia: CANVAS Sun Protect Gel SPF30. Sun exposure is responsible for ageing of our skin, so I make sure I put on a good amount of it on my face before I go out. Calendula Soothing Cream which soothes my skin in the cold or when it gets too dry. Lastly, the Ultra Moisture Instant Hydrating Mask to maintain my skin’s optimal level of hydration.

Beauty Insider: Given the highly competitive beauty market, were there any difficulties you faced while introducing Singapore to CANVAS? If so, how did you overcome them?

Sophia: I would say one of the biggest challenges is really showing people that we are different. In this day and age, brands that make the most ‘noise’ seem to get a bigger piece of the pie. The reality, however, is that it may not be the best for your skin. We really hope to inspire everyone – both men and women to start their CANVAS journey with us. Consumers are becoming more educated and are looking for products that are natural and of good quality. So, I think we need to continue to be patient and create more awareness to empower consumers to make the right decisions for their skin. I think interviews like this is a great platform for people to inspire others and let them understand that CANVAS doesn’t just sell skincare, but also advocates a balanced, positive lifestyle.

Intrigued? Find out more about the brand here.

Sinead Lee

Photo credit: Canvas