Beautician to Naomi Campbell, Madonna and Mariah Carey sets up shop at The Parisian Macao
Veteran beautician Ling Chan was flying back to Hong Kong from a spiritual journey in India, when a middleaged Chinese woman in the next seat asked: “How
old are you? Why don’t you have any wrinkles?” Chan responded: “I’m 67”. The inquisitive traveller had no idea that the soft-spoken woman next to her had founded the acclaimed New York skin-care brand and spa house LING – and
spent years taking care of Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Mariah Carey. Known for its pore-cleaning facial treatment and immediate results, LING has been voted “best kept secret” by Allure magazine, “best of New York” by New York magazine, and named by Forbes as one of the “6 Best Spots for a
Chan has been busy expanding her skin care and spa business in Asia, with the help of her son Patrick, the brand’s CEO. Her latest venture is a collaboration with The Parisian Macao’s Le SPA’tique.
Hong Kong-born Chan emigrated to New York with her family in the 1970s. She studied at the Ultimate International Beauty School to become a licensed beauty practitioner. This took 1,000 hours of training over 18 months. “When I was growing up in Hong Kong, I had terrible skin because of the humidity, and there was not much in the way of skin care,” she recalls. “I knew that I had to clean my skin every day because I had a lot of pimples. Every night after showering, I spent an hour in front of the mirror cleaning my skin.”
Chan’s mother grew concerned by all the time she spent in the bathroom. “She thought I was torturing myself. She always teased me, saying: ‘I hope that you can make a lot of money from cleansing skin’,” Chan recalls. But what started as a joke became a goal. “I told myself, ‘I have to help people to have good skin’.”
Chan honed her skills while working at an exclusive spa on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Eight years later, in 1984, she established her first spa house, LING Skin Care Spa. She launched her own range of skin-care products the following year. In common
with other spa houses, Ling used to offer a range of skin-care brands – but realised that clients returned many of them because of allergies to artificial fragrances, lanolin and mineral oils.
“I worked with a chemist to take the irritants out of the formula. I only had eight products to start with, and we’ve kept offering the same ones until now,” she says. “I haven’t had anyone return our products since then. My clients love them, so I know they really work.”
With the mission statement of “merging traditional Asian beauty principles with state-of-the-art ingredients”, Chan and her son have been working on formulas intended to prevent and treat skin ailments. She is most proud of the Oxygen Plasma Potion and treatment, saying: “We try to improve the oxygen level of the
skin. It helps to avoid monthly breakouts, gives the skin a glow and makes the skin more alive.”
When pressed to reveal her secret to staying young, Chan recommends the use of quality skin-care products and regular facial treatments. She says taking care of the body and the mind are also essential. “The cosmetics industry has developed all sorts of products to make our skin look younger and better.
I’m not only concerned about skin. It’s important to emphasise wellness too,” says Chan, who has been meditating for 15 years. “If you take care of yourself, exercise regularly, sleep well, eat well - definitely, you can always look 10, 15 or 20 years younger than you really are.”
At Le SPA’tique, guests can indulge themselves with the signature treatment, La Haute Couture – a facial, beginning with LING’s famed triple peel to remove dull skin cells before pore extraction. Herbal clay and ginseng therapy moisture masks are applied to even the complexion, and the treatment wraps up with
the French-inspired SparkLING Makeover Mask, and the hi-tech attentions of LING’s Energy Lift Machine, which is designed to manipulate facial acupressure points.
The spa provides facial treatments to address skin concerns, such as the anti-ageing Apple Stem Cell Facial; an Oxygen Glow Facial that delivers an instant glow; a Vitamin C Antioxidant Facial for whitening and brightening; and L’instant Face Lift, a quick-fix treatment for tired skin.
Chan believes every person possesses their own beauty. “We
should love ourselves and appreciate what we have. Don’t go too
crazy chasing things that don’t belong to us. We should accept
ourselves,” she says. “Why can’t we deal with one wrinkle? Why
can’t society accept ageing? That’s part of life’s process. There’s
nothing wrong with it.”
Chan says launching a new and affordable line for younger
people will be the next aim after she introduces her brand to