Social media starlet, jet setter, heiress with a heart, founder of MissWhirlwind.com… there are many ways to describe Kim Lim. A term not often used, however, is girl next door—albeit a discerning one—what with her easy-going style, affable attitude and life hacks for styling and beautifying. The 23-year-old would choose flatforms, jeans and a t-shirt, and a naturally made up face over sparkling dresses and stilettos any day. And, get this, she sometimes does her own acrylic manicure—only if she’s strapped for time and needs picture-perfect nails pronto. Following yet another long but fun day of shooting, a shopping spree at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté in ION Orchard, and a night out on the town (as seen in the video below), @kimlimhl and I get personal as she reveals her style evolution and rules for looking and feeling beautiful.

Kim Lim x YSL
Kim Lim takes a break with Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore at Naumi Hotel

How would you describe your style?
I’m the laid-back and casual kind of girl—comfort is also everything to me. I like no-frills type of dressing and often pair what I wear with my trusty platform oxfords, they offer me a much-needed boost of height without sacrificing comfort.

How has your style evolved over the years?
It took me a while to figure out what suited me. And just like everyone else, I have an awkward style phase of growing up where I’ll follow whatever my peers were wearing. My wardrobe has since shifted dramatically from overloaded monograms and spangled pieces to a more simplistic and refine end of the scale. It’s down to a greater appreciation for quality, fit and ‘special’ pieces with a story to tell or provenance.

Kim Lim x YSL
Getting camera ready

What would you say are your best features?
I know it’s been said a million times, but, the eyes are truly the window to the soul. I often play them up with a light taupe eye shadow over my lids and a healthy coat of mascara. Apart from the eyes, my dark hair is my crowning glory. Serum every other night keeps it glossy and healthy.

What does your daily beauty routine comprise?
A 5-step skincare regime in the morning and before bed, and simple, fresh and barely there make-up throughout the day (as long as I can help it). If I don’t have a shoot or event to attend, I usually head out almost barefaced, just with a thin layer of skin-brightening cushion foundation and a dab of lip and cheek tint for a rosy glow.

Kim Lim x YSL
Striking a pose in the Anue Management studio

What makes a woman truly stylish and beautiful?
A woman is truly stylish and beautiful when she is confident and effortless with a strong personal style. Not only is she able to turn heads in public for her sartorial choices, she also commands attention with her charismatic nature.

How do you hope your lifestyle (and style) inspires others?
I’ve been one to admitting to my own flaws and embracing my true self without apology. I believe in being ambitious and wearing confidence first. And with that, I hope others can relate to me on a deeper level.

When do you feel most beautiful?
After a V-lift facial or work out when my skin is revitalised, and right after a voluminising blow-dry that never fails to add that extra oomph to how I look and feel.

Kim Lim x YSL
Kim shares her top tips

Kim’s Top 5 beauty rules:

1. In a time where layers of make-up are all the rage, wear only what you need. A dab of foundation here, a swipe of cheek tint there, and a filling in of brows if needed and you’re done!

2. Invest in flawless skin—from brightening skincare to skincare-infused foundation that protects and nourishes your skin while offering you lightweight coverage. I’m currently loving YSL’s new Le Cushion Encre de Peau.

3. Always have good nails. As much as I love getting my nails done, sometimes I don’t have the luxury of lounging at a nail bar for an hour or two. I’ve officially mastered the art of doing my own nails—with acrylic extensions and metallic polish to boot.

4. Sweat it out. There’s nothing more beauty boosting than sweating out all of those toxins at the gym for a fresh, radiant rosy glow.

5. Get your hair done—hair needs just as much care as skin does. I have stressed tresses due to over-styling for events and shoots, and what I love is to get a hair re-texturising and scalp purifying treatment to repair any damage.

Kim Lim x YSL
Painting the town red

By Dana Koh
Makeup: Tinoq Russell Goh
Hair: Miki Gao
Styling: Karen Kwa
Location: Naumi Hotel