Grooming, Skincare

Allan Wu, Faris Nakamura, Saifullah Akbar and Bill Ho Share a Similar Vision With the LAB SERIES Brand Refresh

 
Allan Wu, Faris Nakamura, Saifullah Akbar and Bill Ho Share a Similar Vision With the LAB SERIES Brand Refresh


The newly refreshed LAB SERIES shares a modern take on what men require of their skincare today — multi-functional, sustainable and an integral part of overall wellness — a step towards expressing oneself and going through change with confidence. These spirits of change and challenge are seen in the following four men who are moving forward with a purpose to better themselves.

Before the men’s skincare market boom of 2021 (China clocks in at USD$1.9 billion, the United States at USD$6 billion dollars and Korea at USD$9.8 billion according to Jing Daily) which saw the concept of moisturising becoming a daily vernacular for the gents and before other grooming juggernauts realised the value of male vanity, LAB SERIES was already pioneering the movement of developing skincare made only for men in 1987. It managed to capture the zeitgeist of the new era, one where people were starting to become more social in terms of how they documented or created experiences. The TalkBoy recorded home videos, consumer digital cameras exploded in the market and the launch of the Motorola StarTAC meant that organising get-togethers was an ease. What did this mean for LAB SERIES? If one met people more regularly in the flesh, then it (or more specifically, the face) had to be at its peak performance. In short, hydrated and healthy.

Before 2021, the brand had already sorted its stable of skincare. Any man regardless of his geographical location should understand the needs of skincare and it certainly helps too, that the ranges under LAB SERIES are labelled very obviously pertaining to what he needs. The refresh, however, is in how it has thought about global impacts — specifically climate change. More than half of the new cartons will be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable (more than half too will contain a minimum of 20% recycled content) with the goal to reach 75% by 2025. Its cartons will be recyclable and made using FSC-certified paperboard whereas the MAX LS luxury line will be introducing refillable catridges for its ANTI-AGE MAX LS Serum and Lotion to reduce plastic usage — steering the brand towards reducing their plastic waste by at least 20%.


The ribbon that ties this set is called “Invent Yourself”, a democratic messaging that is open to interpretation. What does one want to conceal or hide from his peers? What does he choose to telegraph in terms of cultural influences or what subtleties in personality does he wish to spotlight? LAB SERIES puts it simply — every man is made differently from the skin he is born with to the style he builds. That itself, this one simple philosophy, has birthed a new concept. One’s skin tells a story with no rights or wrongs. Lines can be beautiful as they give character to one’s face. A healthy glow reflects a healthy spirit. Confidence can be bottled within a range and ready to be dispensed when one really needs it. That, is a proposition that is sure to put a smile on one’s face.

Allan Wu, Actor and Host @wulander

Can you share your passions in life? Definitely my children, love for travel and being active — being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. You lead an active lifestyle, how do you keep yourself disciplined, focused and driven? I want to set a good example to my children and people who follow me — that it’s important to be active especially with the pandemic when our health is concerned. We face a lot of distractions now but we should take it upon ourselves to get the most out of life by being active. It’s not about now but investing in our wellness. All these spurs me on even more to lead an active lifestyle. What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? Leaving my family in the USA for Asia all by myself around 23 years ago. I remember auditioning to be an MTV VJ in Taiwan without knowing how to speak mandarin. They offered me an opportunity which kickstarted my career in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

 

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A post shared by Allan Wu (@wulander)


What are some takeaways from that experience that have helped you deal with future challenges? I’d tell my children or anyone else if you’re not sure if you can do something, just go and try it anyway. You need to at least try, because if you don’t, you’ll never know. It’s a challenge because we don’t have the experience, confidence or aptitude yet. Don’t sell yourself short, doubt or discourage yourself. How do you keep yourself motivated as you push to take on bigger challenges? It’s my children. I want to set a good example for them to go out there to make the most of life and do whatever you can with whatever you have. Is there a major goal that you hope to achieve by the end of the year? Work wise, there are a couple of big projects in South Korea and China so hopefully I get to head over to work. Personally, these are not huge goals but to stay healthy and positive, and be able to go outdoors with my kids and play sports with my friends. WHAT DOES CONFIDENCE MEAN TO YOU? Confidence means being in control and having positivity about yourself. It’s about inner confidence that mental strength we all have to tap into ourselves. That to me is true confidence.


The LAB SERIES MAX LS collection is packed with youth renewing technology and a peptide complex for younger-looking skin, perfect for Wu who leads a disciplined, focused and driven lifestyle. Sign up here today for a sample. 

When do you feel most confident about yourself? I always feel pretty confident about myself. Even when I’m not confident, I know I have the ability to learn and try something new. No matter how old we are, I feel it’s important to try new things. It’s something that keeps me young and gives me confidence when I learn a new skill. How does an effective skincare routine help with your confidence? It’s absolutely important for me. I take pride that i’m not wearing any makeup when I’m filming. Taking good care of our skin gives us confidence. When you look good, you’ll feel good about yourself.

Allan Wu is wearing a Brunello Cucinelli Wool cable knit sweater.


Faris Nakamura, Visual Artist @faris_nakamura

Can you share your passions in life? My passions are music, art, and family. What are the sources of inspiration you turn to for your artworks? Architecture, which is very evident in my artworks. Nature and stories of people, personal stories of their interaction and intimate encounters with spaces and each other. How do you maintain a creative edge in your work? You hear people say to step out of your comfort zone a lot, and I agree but I would also say to be aware of the strengths that you already have and expand on them. Work it into whatever you decide to make as your visual signature.

 

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A post shared by Faris Nakamura (@faris_nakamura)


What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? Making one of the biggest works in my entire career as an artist. It was a large public sculpture that was to be installed in Kobe, Japan. It was a challenge because space is limited here and expensive. Artists here are constantly challenged by limited space and the price that we have to pay to have access to more/bigger space. What are some takeaways from that experience that have helped you deal with future challenges? Never be afraid to ask for help. You’d be surprise by the support and help people are willing to give. How do you keep yourself motivated as you push to take on bigger challenges? By switching my mentality from “I should” to “I want”, I instantly find joy in the things that I do. This positive shift of mindset has kept me motivated and given me energy to push through bigger challenges. Is there a major goal that you hope to achieve by the end of the year? Having had a handful of solo exhibitions here in Singapore, I am hoping to finally have an overseas solo by the end of this year. I will have one soon, titled “The Periphery of The Other” at Richard Koh Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The LAB SERIES Oil Control range  is formulated for oily, breakout-prone skin to keep shine at bay, perfect for Nakamura who embodies the man who knows how to use skills to create and express himself. Sign up here today for a sample. 

What does confidence mean to you? Knowing who you are, what you stand for and owning that. I think that is what confidence mean to me. When do you feel most confident about yourself? When I know I have taken care of myself well, inside and out. A healthy state of mind as well as a healthy outward appearance. How does an effective skincare routine help with your confidence? As an artist, our consumers and audiences are the public. Having a healthy and well-taken care appearance boosts confidence when we are meeting and talking to people at show openings.

Faris Nakamura is wearing a 7 Moncler Frgmt Wool mohair sweater.

Saifullah Akbar, Professional Footballer @saifullahakbarr

How does an effective skincare routine help with your confidence? Other than football, my passion is music. I enjoy playing the guitar. Being a professional football player, how do you keep in top form throughout a season? As a professional athlete, I have to keep a close eye on my diet throughout the year — I have to cut fast food for example. Rest and sleep are very important as well. These three play a part in our performance on the football pitch. What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? Since young and especially when I first starting playing professionally, I’ve always had doubts about whether I could make it to the top level because of my physique — size-wise I’m not big enough to play football. I’m glad I managed to overcome that challenge.

 

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A post shared by Saifullah Akbar (@saifullahakbarr)


What are some takeaways from that experience that have helped you deal with future challenges? I faced many challenges in the past and continue to do so. I’ve hit rock bottom before and I recognise how it feels like, so whatever comes my way I know I have the confidence to overcome and deal with them. What are some takeaways from that experience that have helped you deal with future challenges? I have to be strong mentally. Support from family and friends are important as well. They give me advice but at the end of the day, I am the one to help myself to motivate myself to overcome the challenges. Is there a major goal you hope to achieve by the end of the year? My goal is always to be able to represent and play well for Singapore, I did it earlier this year and we have another competition in two months. Also to be champions of the Singapore Premier League. Is there a major goal you hope to achieve by the end of the year? My family and friends keep me motivated through any sort of challenges. WHAT DOES CONFIDENCE MEAN TO YOU? Confidence is having the ability to do something without having any second thoughts.


Always on the go, Saifullah is a multi-tasker who demands unfussy performance in his daily skincare routine — the LAB SERIES All-In-One solutions are perfect for fresh and more comfortable feeling skin. Sign up here today for a sample. 

When do you feel most confident about yourself? When I’m on the pitch playing football. Football has been my passion and it’s there where I can direct my emotions to. I’d say 99% of the time it turns out really well for me. How does an effective skincare routine aid with your confidence? It helps with my looks; taking care of my face gives me confidence outside of football like when I’m doing a photoshoot. It’s very important for me to take good care of my skin and keep it in top condition.

Bill Ho, Chef @billho720

Can you share your passions in life? My passions are cooking for others to bring them happiness and drawing during my free time to express my emotions. How do you continue to improve and better yourself? I improve myself by exploring new experiences and learning from others. What ambitions did you harbour for your café when you first started the business? How have those evolved with time? I wanted to be successful in the F&B scene when I first started, but more importantly try to start a food culture based on healthy eating. DO YOU RECALL THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED SO FAR? I’ve faced many manpower issues and staffing being one of them, but at the moment it’s dealing with the knock-on effects caused by the pandemic.

 

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A post shared by Bill Ho (@billho720)


What are some takeaways from that experience that have helped you deal with future challenges? We had to think outside the box to keep the business sustainable which meant having to bring our business online to pivot with the takeaway options and establishing ourselves on various media platforms. How do you keep yourself motivated as you push to take on bigger challenges? It is the satisfaction and the lessons I gain when I know I have managed to conquer challenges and obstacles placed in front of me. Is there a major goal that you hope to achieve by the end of the year? I wish that people recognise the food creations we have, which encourage us to reduce our consumption of meats in general and to eat healthier.


The LAB SERIES Daily Rescue Range is formulated for all skin types to boost hydation and energise skin, perfect for men like Ho who enjoys an active, busy and driven lifestyle. Sign up here today for a sample. 

What does confidence mean to you? Confidence is being able to do the things you enjoy and doing it to the best that you can. When do you feel most confident about yourself? I feel most confident when I’m in the kitchen cooking and when I get to express myself through my drawings. How does an effective skincare routine help with your confidence? It helps with your appearance looking better and in turn leaves a good impression on others when they are meeting you. That is very important whether you are selling a product or an idea to others as it can be a strong bargaining chip when you appear neat and healthy.

Bill Ho is wearing a Brunello Cucinelli Suede jacket and cotton T-shirt.

Photography Cher Him
Styling ManfredLu
Grooming&Hair PrisceliaWong using NARS & DunGüd Singapore
PhotographyAssistant Luo ZhanHong
Additional Reporting&Production Bryan Goh

Lab Series is available at ION Orchard, Lab Series Official Flagship Store on Lazada, Sephora ION, Sephora.SG, Tangs @ Tangs Plaza, Tangs Vivo, Metro Paragon, Metro Causeway Point, One Assembly, BHG Bugis, Beautique by ishopchangi and at Jewel.

This story about Allan Wu, Faris Nakamura, Saifullah Akbar, Bill Ho and the LAB SERIES brand refresh first appeared in our September 2021 issue