With over two decades of experience in the industry, Sarah Lian is considered a showbiz veteran. When she shows up for MYEPPO cover shoot, she is chatty but professional, nailing down her poses in front of the camera effortlessly.
Clad in the latest apparel and accessories from Kate Spade New York, Sarah models beauty/makeup looks from brands such as Babor, Holika Holika, Kevyn Aucoin and Nudestix. Up close, the 37-year-old entrepreneur-actress-host sports enviable flawless skin.
Taiping-born Sarah pursued an acting career in North America before returning to Malaysia, establishing companies Suppagood Talent and Suppagood PR, which handle talent management and public relations for clients respectively.
Then she founded Supparetreat, a programme comprising workshops for women in a safe environment. Designed to offer participants a space to develop their skills and discover themselves, the retreats – now held virtually due to the pandemic – continue to be popular.
Here, Sarah opens up to MYEPPO about her mission to empower others through her work.
How have you adapted to life in the new normal?
I have renewed gratitude towards life. When the Movement Control Order (MCO) was first implemented, it affected everyone, myself included. But then I realised there are a lot of people in worse positions than me, and it made me want to help others. The MCO was really tough on me too, but when you’re able to have a good healthy mindset, it doesn’t matter what happens around you.
How has the pandemic and ensuing lockdown affected your business?
The downside is we can’t meet in person. But what’s positive is that by taking Supparetreat online, it’s opened up more doors. My business actually grew and it’s made me aware that I could offer empowering experiences despite the lockdown. Although my targeted market is still Malaysia, we had participants from all over the world including Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, India and Dubai.
What is the appeal of Supparetreat during this time?
Many women who attended our previous retreats felt they needed support, so we decided to form a women’s circle online. It’s a neutral, safe place where everyone wins. I created this virtual environment where there is no judgement; it’s a safe and neutral place where everybody wins.
Self-love is so important and empowering. Only you know yourself and your pain, and you must be able to turn that pain into power. When you stay connected to who you are, emotionally and spiritually, you will be at your most empowered.
Why do you feel so passionate about empowering others?
I am at a place in my life right now where I am ready to serve, to help others. People often come up to me for advice, and I am in the space where I want to see everybody win.
I no longer have that competitive fear of my 20s where I was worried that people would take my job, or a sense of insecurity. I am grateful to be able to do what I want to do, and live this life.
What is your beauty routine like?
Nowadays I tend to be a lot more diligent with my beauty regime. I make sure that I moisturise and sleep with a mask on. I also go for regular treatments at Clique Clinic. To maintain one’s skin, diet, vitamin supplements and exercise is important. When your body is able to detox through exercise, you are going to feel so much better.
How do you self-care at home?
When I need some time to think, I shut everything off and meditate quietly. I am into essential oils, reading, music and sound healing. I also enjoy writing blogs for my website (www.sarahlian.com); it’s very therapeutic and helps me get my thoughts out. It is a form of journaling and comes from a place of realisation.
What would be your advice for young people who want to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard, be resourceful and think about whose career you want to emulate. As for myself, I admire Olivia Munn; I like her persona, there’s something about her that’s quite chilled. I also look up to Emily Blunt, she has so much range as an actress.
As a thespian, do you still have a dream role?
I have acted in projects all over the world, but there are still so many characters I would love to play. I don’t feel my window as an actor closing yet. I have also been writing a script for the past five years; it’s something I want to consider doing. I am open to whatever comes, and I feel privileged to be in a position where I am able to choose my projects.
What do you have planned for International Women’s Day?
Supparetreat will be hosting ‘Recharge’ on March 13. It is a one day online retreat which aims to take participants to the next level on mindset, abundance and productivity. It features coaches Jashidah Kamal, Ashely Suelyn and Asha Gill.
My advice to women is this: Take up space. Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re female. I have faced many rejections in my life – whether it’s personal or work – and it’s made me so much stronger.
Look 1: Babor Ampoule Concentrates
Look 2: Kevyn Aucoin (Daytime)
Look 3: Holika Holika
Look 4: Nudestix
Look 5: Kevyn Aucoin (Evening)
Photographer: Brian Fang @M8 Studio
Video: Aqalili Azizan
Makeup & hair: Cindy Hor
Apparel and accessories: Kate Spade New York