If we’re talking about style in Singapore, it would be remiss to leave out Salina Chai (@salinachai). Having amassed over 87,600 avid followers who hang on to her every #ootd and Instagram Story update, Chai is one of the undisputed style connoisseurs in Singapore, putting together impeccably styled outfits that will have you double tapping and saving for inspiration. Here, we talk to the style influencer about the last thing she saved on Instagram, find out what’s on her shopping wish list, her most prized possession (it will make you melt), and more.
Occupation: I’m a digital content creator.
What’s your favourite social media platform? My favourite social media platform would be Instagram; occasionally funny TikTok videos just to have a laugh.
First app you check when you wake up: As my days are usually packed from the minute I wake up, I have to check my schedule on Google Calendar, which tells me exactly what tasks I have to complete, meetings and calls.
Describe your personal style with three hashtags: #Classic #Timeless #Comfortable
What was your first Instagram post? My very first Instagram post was sometime back in 2013—a flatlay. Back then, flatlays were very popular!
What was the last thing you saved on Instagram? My partner and I are currently looking to purchase our first home and I have been looking at interior design accounts on instagram to create a moodboard for design and shopping inspiration. I recently saved a post of someone’s home in New York as the design of the home is very similar to what we have in mind!
Do you prefer posting on Stories or grid? I think Stories are more interactive as you can get replies and can create two-way conversations with people online, whereas the grid consists of more pre-planned content. I prefer posting on Stories as it’s casual and shows more of a personality!
Filter or #nofilter? Filters do wonders to how you look, adds a bit of fun to your Stories and sometimes convey how you feel! So I would say #nofilter on good skin days, filter on days where I want to have a bit of fun.
Do you have a finsta? Yes but I have a private account just for film, random pictures, and 1000 pictures of my baby niece.
Best selfie trick: Take pictures in natural lighting and decrease exposure—this helps to create the perfect sun-kissed look on the face.
Favourite filter: My current favourite filter is the “Say it with Chanel” filter by Chanel Beauty! When you flip the camera to a live view, it creates beautiful, grainy black and white film-like pictures.
Favourite editing apps: Most of my editing is done via laptop, but I do additional post-editing work on my phone with VSCO, Lightroom for pictures and Unfold for stories.
One idea/thought that you heard recently that you found interesting: My friends and I were having a discussion over plastic use and recycling, and this interesting article on SCMP (“Singapore wants year of zero waste. But it’s rubbish at recycling”) came up during the conversation. Now that we talked about this, I started noticing that, yes, it is indeed proven right, that recycling bins are treated as trash bins.
Last thing you do before you go to bed? The last thing I do before going to bed is to turn off the phone and take 10 minutes to do breathing exercises and light stretches. I make sure that my mind is fully relaxed, before turning off the lights. I don’t use my phone at all thereafter.
Style icons/inspirations: I really love Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the Olsen Twins and Elin Kling. I love their timeless and effortless style that transcends trends and seasons.
Go-to look for a night out: Less is more, so I usually stick with simple outfits, but layered with textures. I always go for a black blazer over a silk slip dress or with white tee and leather trousers. Not forgetting my oversized gold chain necklace, and yes, a red lip!
Preferred footwear: I love mules! Right now, I’m living in my white tweed Chanel mules from the SS20 collection.
Best beauty secret: Storing cold spoons in the fridge, and using them in the morning on my eyes.
Best recent discovery: I just recently discovered this china-based label, Hidemi. I really love the brand’s aesthetics and their take on wearable and functional everyday staples. Great style and quality on their shirts, trousers, tees etc. Another recent find is Equate Coffee. They have hands down the best coffee. It’s a recent favourite of mine, and I’m sure you will love it!
Lusting after right now: I have a never-ending wish list, but I’m eyeing the Louis Vuitton Coussin, the Chanel mini vanity chain bag, a pair of white Prada SS21 slingback pumps, the Burberry mini Olympia bag, Valentino Vlogo earrings and the Dior Caro in beige.
One style quote you live by: “Comfort is key, dress in what makes you confident and not just to impress.”
What’s always in your bag? I change bags quite frequently so I have my daily essentials in a pouch which contains my favourite makeup products (Dior Forever cushion foundation, MAC Mull It Over lipstick, Hermes Matte lipstick in Beige Naturel, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and my Chanel eyeliner), Cloversoft tissues and my card holder, and lots of hair ties.
Something you would never wear: I would never wear something too loud, like a full neon outfit. I don’t think I can pull it off.
Most prized possession(s) in your closet: My prized possession is a pair of leather sandals, made from scratch by my boyfriend for my birthday. He spent many late nights in his studio making it—the effort and thought behind it really touched me. And yes, the shoe fits!
Greatest accomplishment: I never really bothered much about taking care of my physical health and mental well-being and changing that has been the biggest challenge.
I also suffer from daily backaches for years due to scoliosis and a goal of mine was to find a way to reduce the pain or the frequency of the aches, and to make a conscious effort to be healthier (mentally and physically).
After many months of therapy, light exercises, stretching and healthy eating, I can say my back problems have significantly reduced, and mediating and yoga has allowed for a clearer and healthier state of mind.