New Face gave Jayley Woo better style, signature haircut
Actress Jayley Woo thankful for New Face experience
For The New Paper New Face 2011 alumna Jayley Woo, the local modelling competition will always have a "special place" in her heart.
Within a year, she was scouted by Mediacorp and groomed as a rising star, appearing in more than 15 dramas and winning Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes awards at the Star Awards in 2016 and last year.
The 26-year-old actress told The New Paper: "It is so hard to imagine what my life would be without New Face, and even after all these years, I am thankful. If I did not get picked to be a finalist, I wouldn't be where I am today and I would probably have continued being a blogger, or what they term an influencer."
The finale of this year's New Face is on Nov 15.
Beauty-wise, Woo is coming back full circle, as she is sporting her signature pixie cut that originated during the contest.
She said: "New Face actually gave me the courage to cut my hair short because this hairstyle has taken me places. I've actually gone even shorter.
"My two cents for this year's (Top 15) finalists, if they have to go through a drastic hair transformation like I did, is to just follow the advice of the professionals. They have been in this industry for a long time to know what will work or not.
"Hair grows out anyway, and before I got my haircut, I never knew I could pull it off."
In July, she left Mediacorp as a full-time artist but is still taking on ad hoc projects with the broadcaster. She did this so she could have "more flexibility to do different things", such as taking up acting and dance classes and releasing songs.
Looking back, I feel like I looked a bit ‘ah lian’. How it has changed is that I am all for comfort, being simple and keeping a natural look now.Jayley Woo
Woo is a freelancer and not represented by an agency now.
She has been busy with back-to-back shoots for two projects in which she is the lead: 150-episode Channel 8 drama Jalan Jalan (debuting on Oct 30 at 7.30pm) and Toggle series Glitch (premiering next month).
Pre-New Face, Woo sported pink and purple hair and admitted her personal style was more "outlandish".
She said: "Looking back, I feel like I looked a bit 'ah lian'. How it has changed is that I am all for comfort, being simple and keeping a natural look now."
However, the roles she plays influence her style "quite a bit".
Said Woo: "For example, the nail colours I'm wearing now are inspired by M&Ms and are too colourful for my liking.
"But my character (in Jalan Jalan) is loud-mouthed and energetic. So when I went to get a manicure, I told the nail artist to give me a design that reminds her of colour and food."
SPORTY CHIC JAYLEY
Woo accessorised this grey long-sleeved tracksuit from Converse with a silver fanny pack from Miu Miu (which she received at an event), Celine sunglasses (a gift from a friend) and black sneakers from Converse.
She said: "I hardly spend on designer goods, and if I do, they are for friends and family. I would rather spend (my money) on priceless experiences like travel and food and to pamper my parents. But I purchase luxury perfumes as memorabilia because the scent brings me back to the places I've been. My favourite is the fragrance Chance from Chanel. It's the only Chanel item I own."
This outfit never fails to take her down memory lane, to when she first travelled to Seoul two years ago with her twin sister, local actress Hayley Woo, to train for musical productionChef: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab, which was held at Resorts World Sentosa.
The black jeans are from H&M and high-tops from Converse.
She said: "My favourite colour is blue and putting this together brings me back.
"I bought this top in Korea, where Hayley and I had our first overseas work trip. The musical was a challenge for us because we were surrounded by people who were many years our senior and we felt pressured as newbies. But it is one of the biggest and most memorable projects I have done since New Face."
When channelling this sartorial side of herself, Woo sticks to the colour palette in her comfort zone, like blacks, greys and blues".
This quirky, slouchy grey checked get-up, paired with Kate Spade sunglasses and white Converse sneakers, was bought in Taipei during a shopping spree with her sister.
She said: "I would wear this outfit for an event but I usually have a stylist to pick the clothes for me. If I were to style myself, I would choose this because it is so comfortable."
DATE NIGHT JAYLEY
When out on a date, Woo opts for simplicity and comfort, because "if you don't feel comfortable, you won't feel happy".
The black velvet dress is from Thailand-based fashion brand Pomelo, the ankle-strap platform heels from British footwear brand Public Desire and clutch from Kate Spade.
When it comes to her hairstyle, Woo prefers to wear her short hair neat and tucked behind her ears.
She said: "I only wear (bright) colours for special occasions like Chinese New Year. Even the heels are comfortable to walk in because they are chunky, and I keep my accessories minimal."