Ada Ooi is the facialist to royalty, celebrities and London women in-the-know. She created luxury line, 001 Skincare London, in 2014 to counterbalance her clients imbalanced skin conditions due to busy, modern lifestyles and city living. The collection can be found in Fortnum & Mason and John, Bell & Croyden.
She combines professional wisdom with the beauty traditions of her ancestors. Throwing into the mix her curious mind, scent design and her passion for design, art and photography, and you will get the essence of what is distilled in 001 Skincare bottles and shared with her clients during the facials that she administers.
We caught up with Ada for the latest in our ‘My London’ series.
Sloane Square: I love the relaxed atmosphere of the shops, restaurants and bars. I am here regularly for “Fight Club Meets Nightclub” boxing sessions at Kobox on King’s Road.
Bricklane: I’m always invigorated by the vibe and the variety of independent shops, exhibitions, vintage markets and the artists(!). Walking down one street I can meet an extraordinary drummer, a beat boxer and feast my eyes with street art – my senses are constantly stimulated.
Favourite place for brunch:
I seldom do brunch. So I should give you my favorite lunch places.
Bocca Di Luppo in Soho: Authentic Italian with regional plates cooked with exceptionally fresh and quality produce. Can’t miss their Radish, celeriac, pomegranate, pecorino salad with truffle dressing. If you’re going in a small group, ask to sit behind the bar to see the chefs in action. Book at least a month in advance!
Blakes Hotel in Chelsea: Low light and sensual, my kind of décor. This is my favourite hotel in London so I am a little biased. Grilled octopus, the signature artichokes and cheese soufflé are a must. Lovely wine selection, check out the quirky courtyard in the summer too.
Best coffee in London:
I am very specific with my coffee, I like a rounded chocolatey and smooth blend without any bitterness, Kaffeine on Great Titchfield Street make the perfect coffee for me.
Favourite gallery or museum:
The hardest question. But if I have to pick one, I would say The Wellcome Collection. I love how they can take a theme and explore it through the multiple facets from science, history, arts, philosophy, literature, sociology and so on. Always inspiring and relevant.
Tell us a secret:
I love looking at lips. And I’m staring at yours now.
Favourite place to shop:
I usually do my shopping for daily necessities online. But when I’m in Brick Lane, I look out for interesting vintage clothes. When I am looking for designer items it has to be Harrods, they have great customer service, a good loyalty programme and the best cheese counter!
I am a perfume junkie so can usually be found at Liberty, I like how they carry a complete range of a perfumer’s creations, my favourite being Serge Lutens. I have also been collecting vintage perfume for many years so whenever I see an antique shop I will go in.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
I find inspiration from different people, food, photography places, books, music, arts so don’t really have a fixed answer for this. I travel a lot so I always have a notebook with me when I hop on a plane or a train to write down my thoughts or ideas.
Best London destination for a date:
Every person is different, but I do think that knowing someone through ‘doing something together’ can feel more natural, so perhaps an exhibition at the V&A or a walk at Kew Gardens, followed with a casual elegant meal at a restaurant like Ristorante Frescobaldi in MayFair – by now you would have known that I love Italian food. They serve authentic Tuscany food and produce their own olive oil…the red prawn tartar with green apple is a must-order.
Kensington Gardens, for its memorials, statues and well-designed landscapes, it’s got a lot of history and culture laid out, everything you want to see in a heritage garden.
Favourite food market:
I always hit The Partridge’s Food Market on the Duke of York Square in Sloane Square every Saturday. My must-haves are the consistently good Maldon Oysters, and the best duck confit in town.
Your sanctuary in the city:
I savour my moments of solitude and I guess they have become my sanctuary. While I enjoy going out with people, I also enjoy going to museums, restaurants and movies by myself. It gives me more time and less distraction to think and digest. My ultimate sanctuary is getting lost in books at the British Library for a whole day.
What inspires you?
People’s stories, different point of views, nature, a pattern on an antique vase, a video that went viral on Facebook, many things can inspire me.
This season I’m loving:
Accessories: I can’t take my eyes off the “Fairytale gold pearl ring” from Kasun, “Take My Hand head piece” that doubles as a necklace from Out Of Interest, and the “Pinky Promise Ring” from BC Joaillerie .
Skincare: I have been rediscovering classic, simple formulations that still work for today’s skincare needs. The good old British Astral Original All Over Moisturiser first formulated in the 50s. For Spring skin, I can’t live without 001 Exfoliating & Conditioning Cleanser and the Pure Active Peel.
Fragrance: Serge Lutens Datura Noir for being extremely warm, balmy and feminine created with florals and almond notes. Histoires de Parfums Moulin Rouge 1889 (I prefer to wear this for happy hour drinks and dinner), Dry, waxy-iris makes it a romantic opening, combined with a long lasting musk and patchouli, it reminds me of a woman wearing the most classic red lipstick in a delicate white silk garment looking into the last shade of light just before sunset.
Culture: 42nd Street on the West End, the exhibition “Making Nature: How we see animals” at The Wellcome Collection and the ever exciting The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art to discover over 130 of the best emerging, diverse artists handpicked by a committee of art industry experts.