Carmen Soo on Life in Lockdown: ‘I Constantly Remind Myself to be Thankful’

Camen Soo by Albert Nico

Actress Carmen Soo has all the makings of a model mum. Since welcoming daughter Béa Claire Tan into the world on Feb 9, 2018, Carmen has dedicated (almost) all her waking hours to mummy duties. This is the first child for Carmen and entrepreneur Benson Tan, who tied the knot in Bali in 2015.

“We didn’t immediately try for a baby after our wedding, nor in the second year. In 2017, Benson and I decided to try, we were counting dates and all that,” recalls the Crazy Rich Asians star, who remains active on Instagram (@carmen_soo), with 115K followers.

On how she and her family are handling life during this pandemic era, Carmen notes: “It was hard at first, to adjust to just staying in. Benson is in the food industry, so he started working one month into the lockdown last year. I was home with Béa the whole time.”

Adds Carmen: “For me, what was hard was not having time for myself. And for Béa, having no time outside to meet other people, she became very shy after many months of seclusion. But I know that this is something everyone in the world is going through and we have to stay strong and coast through it.”

Carmen 1
Photo by Albert Nico

After the initial couple of months of adjustment, Carmen confesses to enjoy staying at home. “It’s sad though to see Béa at her age to adjust to wearing a mask at all times outside. But it’s necessary and it’s good training for her too. Socially, I only see a few close friends. It’s interesting to see over time, how little we need to live happily.”

Asked about her beauty routine, Carmen answers: “I like to keep it simple. I wash my face, then use toner, eye cream and moisturiser. Sometimes I add on a serum, and I always use a sunblock.

“The pandemic has taught me that I can live without my regular facial, manicure and haircut. What’s more important is regular maintenance, enough sleep, quality of sleep, a healthy diet and lots of water. The one thing I really want is a massage but I’m not quite ready for that yet. Maybe someday soon.”

Carmen – who has acted in popular English sitcom Oh My English! – is candid about her desire to cut down on filming commitments. 

“I’m not expecting to work much this year. As an actor, we can’t avoid close proximity with makeup artists and co-actors. And because we have makeup on, we can’t put on a mask at work. It’s too high a risk for me as I have a young child, parents and in laws who I see often. I plan to screen my work carefully. 

“Since last year I try to catch up on things I usually don’t have time for, such as spring cleaning and finally reorganising my book shelf. I spend a lot of time with Béa and I know this is a precious moment that I won’t have anymore. I constantly remind myself to be thankful and grateful.”