The Secret Behind Selene C Lam’s Glow

“I’m founder, organizer, consultant, manager, P.R. girl and maid to everyone that visits Glow Inc.” Selene C Lam laughs about her complicated career. Glow Inc. is a District 2 beauty studio. And if Selene is anything to go by, they’re good at what they do. “In short,” she nods sagely, “we’re all about the guest experience”. With the new Glow Inc. launching we headed over to top up our tan (that frankly is pretty faded after lockdown) and to get the skinny on Selene’s favourite things in life.

Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt

Selene is something of a face around town (usually in a huddle surrounded by her besties). “There’s too many places that I love…” she admits. “There’s tapas spot Octo Tapas Restobar, high-end BBQ at Quince Saigon, Mediterranean vibes over at Lu Bu, the wagyu specialists Yazawa Saigon, then later Bam Bam and later still Commas.” But most days she’s at the salon till late. “I do genuinely love the people I work with and the people we work for, meaning our guests,” she smiles. Then most nights it’s home for dinner with her hyperactive but loveable dog, Louis.

Most evenings Selene’s home for dinner with Louis, her dog.

As a beauty studio owner, she’s deeply aware of the pressure on girls to be light-skinned. And the pharmacies with shelves upon shelves packed with whitening products.

“We want people to be able to embrace the skin they’re in, and while we do focus on enhancing peoples natural glow, we offer services and advice for all skin types and colours. In the West, there are other pressures such as being skinny, but there seems to be less pressure regarding which skin tones are beautiful, as people are generally more accepting. More people want to be tanned in the West..but I feel that’s not necessarily because society says they should be, but rather a personal choice and that’s what we are trying to encourage here.”

Selene on the sofa at Glow Inc. 2.0, “a fitting place to celebrate beauty in all its forms”.

Glow Inc. 2.0 is a fitting place to celebrate beauty in all its forms. So lots of work went into the design “to make a home that’s as beautiful as we all should feel”. The downtime during the Corona outbreak helped. “We took the opportunity to invest in a new state-of-the-art spray tan machine, we expanded the services we offer – adding a few new ones – there’s our own brand of organic sun and skincare range very soon, which we’re finalizing the packaging for…and some other lifestyle products that are top secret at the moment!” Selene shrugs fake-apologetically.

Besides all that, Selene’s active with local charities and projects. “What’s the connection to my day job?” she asks. “Everything I do in my work and personal life revolves around people: it is all about sharing the love.” 

Selene C Lam testing out the Glow Inc. tanning machine.

Her “amazing” gran, who spends her free time working with volunteer doctors, has been a major role model. “Then I started joining together with friends, especially my buddy Will Knight – people who started using their new-found free time during the Corona outbreak to go and help those in need. It started with us helping get supplies to quarantine workers, the forgotten heroes of the pandemic, then we started working to get meals to homeless people.” Local and international organizations supported. “Saigon Outcast, and Mercedes-Benz Vietnam who made and delivered 1070 meals a day throughout April to pagodas and orphanages on our behalf…”

“Every moment is meaningful, but seeing the reactions on people’s faces when you are able to help them is priceless and really fills my heart,” Selene admits. Charity aside, we wondered what objects Selene carries around to fill her heart too.

#1 Misia Eau de Parfum by Chanel 

“Every woman should have some Chanel at one point in their life,” Selene says about the first thing out of her bag, some Chanel perfume. “This, for me, is quite a special one …not just for the scent, which is a gorgeous mix of rose, violet and iris warmed with benzoin and tonka bean, but because of the inspiration behind it. It’s a wonderful story of friendship and support that reminds me of how lucky I am to have certain people in my life too…”

Misia Sert played a crucial role in the life of Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel – friend, muse, and more. As Mademoiselle Coco was grieving the death of her one true love, Arthur Capel, who died in a car accident, Misia introduced her to Venice and its distinctive architecture, which would later influence the jewellery collections and other lines at Chanel. It was during the same period that Misia introduced the designer to Sergei Diaghilev and the dancers of his Ballets Russes, among other influential figures in the influential European creative community.” 

“It is that vital role that fragrance creator Olivier Polge sought to convey in scent with his first perfume for Chanel. The composition pays homage to this period in Gabrielle Chanel’s life in part through powder notes, which are inspired by the stage makeup worn by the dancers of the Ballets Russes.”

#2 Dr Barbara – STURM Sun Drops SPF 50

“It goes without saying that I love a tan, but that doesn’t mean we have to be reckless in that pursuit. Having good protection against damaging pollution and harmful UV rays is something we advocate to our clients always.” 

“When out and about all day it’s hard to control the exposure you get from the sun, unlike in the Salon where we can carefully manage it, and it’s easy to over do it without realizing.”

“I never leave the house without sun protection and this is one of the best I have found. It’s ethically made in Germany and animal-cruelty free. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Molecular Cosmetics line was formulated for those who want an uncomplicated yet highly effective skincare regime that provides hydration, nutrition, regeneration and glow.”

“We want people to be able to embrace the skin they’re in.” – Selene C Lam

#3 My Sunglasses by Krewe

Hand finished and with 100% UVA and UVB protection I just love these sunglasses.

I also love this company so much…not just for the quality and style, but also for their work ethic. They don’t cut corners and perform 100-point inspections on all their glasses.” 

“They do fairly small batches and so you also get to be a little more unique in finding your own style. But most important of all, I love the fact they are helping their local community with the Krewe Foundation. The foundation is helping change the way that New Orleans’ youth see the world. Founded in 2018, it provides access to eye care and free prescription glasses to students in New Orleans, with a goal to reach every local public high school-er in need by 2022.”

#4 Glow Inc. Black Sugar Syrum

“This is kind of a secret that I only share with our clients. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it because girls have got to keep something for themselves… but this is our little miracle cure and our clients absolutely love it.”

“Not only does it help with most skin conditions to provide balance and harmony to your natural skin tone, but it also smells delicious! I only use it first thing in the morning and last thing at night, but I keep it in my bag because my girlfriends are always asking me to show their friends too.”

#5 Birkin Brown Lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury

Last, Selene chooses her favourite lipstick. “I am not vegan, but this vegan lipstick never leaves my side! I love the colour and the cover it gives. At the same time, I get to be a little kinder to animals by supporting ethical businesses. What’s not to love?”

Photos by Khooa Nguyen and book your treatment at Glow Inc. (149 Do Phap Thuan, An Phu, District 2) by visiting their website here and their Facebook page here.


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