12 Minutes with Caryn Lim

08/05/2015 • Mariel Choo

Having neatly trimmed and beautifully polished nail is not enough. We shouldn’t neglect the often forgotten health, of our nails. After months or years of countless toxic polishes that we use to suffocate our nails, they deserve a break. But that doesn’t mean we have to live with plain ugly nails, right?

When we heard about the local brand of non-toxic nail polishes, we were thrilled to add them into our product mix at et-i-kit. So we met with Caryn Lim, who is the smart, charming and beautiful founder/owner of Hands+Feet studio as well as the 5 Chemical free Nail Lacquers, Coat Colours. She was very spontaneous to let us in on some insights of her business by educating us more about Coat Colours.

  • So tell us, how did the brand come about?

 C: When I started hands + feet studio, I realised that there were already a vast amount of nail spa saloons in Singapore. In order to stand out from all the other nail & spa saloons, I decided to bring in something unique into the store. So I brought in a new line of lacquer from New York called “Ginger and Liz”, which followed to receive a tremendous amount of well-received reviews from the customers. Customers, who do not live in the east region of Singapore, were travelling here for the organic nail polish. Hence, I knew there was market for girls who were becoming more aware and conscious of organic and healthy beauty products. This lead to the birth of Coat Colours in Sept. 2014, however the whole idea started about a year before that.

  • What was the main inspiration behind creating Coat Colours?

C: As women today are more aware of the toxics and damage the average nail polish does to their nails, I decided to create a line of chemical-free nail polish that doesn’t stain and harm the nails. As it has come to my attention, the colours of existing organic nail polishes that I know of are usually more suitable for Caucasian as compared to Asian skin tones. Therefore, Coat Colours are designed to compliment Asian skin tones.

  • Where is Coat manufactured in?

C: All Coat Colours are manufactured in the  U.S.

  • What is the inspiration behind the 20 colours you’ve picked?

C: The top twenty colours consist of wearable and fashion savvy colours, which varies from the classic manicure colours to earthy tones, as well as eclectic colours.

As a local brand, we strive to celebrate local festivals and events. For the first set of limited edition colours, we were highly inspired by the colours used to signify Chinese New Year, so we curated the colours orange, glittery gold and metallic gold. As for our upcoming limited edition collection, we will be featuring “SG 50” as the main inspiration, which will be launching in august this year.

  • What’s your personal favorite colour of coat and why? 


C: My personal favourite colour would be “pinkie pie”, I like that it is a vibrant shade yet still very wearable. I recommend this colour if you’re looking for a brighter shade that compliments the Asian skin tone.

  • How about if you have to pick a colour that best describes your personality, what would it be?


C: I would say the “ Cool Mauve”. It’s more me, because it’s a minimal and classic colour as I’m not one to over accessorise in my daily life.

  • What’s the best selling coat colours today?


C: The best selling fashion colours are “pinkie pie” and “power puff”, as for the more earthy tones, “cool mauve” and “brown girl in the ring” are highly in favour as well.

  • How did you come across our store (et-i-kit) and why did you decide to carry coat colours at et-i-kit?

C: I came across et-i-kit on instagram, and I thought the product mix and clothes that the store carries actually speaks for itself, in a way that you wouldn’t even have to accessorise and you’re good to go.

Furthermore, I sensed a similar target market. I believe that the customers, who shop at et-i-kit, are women who values quality and make smart choices in her everyday live. She understands the need to take care of herself. 

  • Can you tell us your favorite piece you’ve bought from et-i-kit and which brand do you favor most?

C: My favourite buy from et-i-kit would be the dress I'm wearing right now. The brand I favour most, would be Shona Joy due to the exclusive prints, as well as the fit and the versatility in her collection.

 Caryn Lim Wearing Shona Joy's Romanticist High Neck Frill Cocktail Dress                 

  • Who is your biggest role model in the business?

C: That would be my dad, as he is a businessman himself. As I’ve learnt, business is never smooth sailing, there will always be ups and downs, so my dad has instilled it in me to always have a fighting spirit, no matter how tough it gets. And that is a very valuable statement to me.

  • How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?

C: To me, the most basic definition of success would be to earn a decent amount of profit from doing what you love, it doesn’t have to be a lot but most importantly find the right balance in life.

  • And lastly, do you have any healthy and beauty nail tips for our readers?

C: Definitely, use coat colours! Coat colours are thinner than most nail polish, so it dries a lot faster and despite it being non-toxic, it’s very long lasting as well. The organic base coat is one of the most highly recommended nail polish to start using, as they are chemical free and completely safe for pregnant women to use. And always be discerning about the contents in the products that you use. Base coat is the most important fragment of nail care as it’s the very first layer.

 And always remember to moisturise your cuticles more often either with cuticle oil or nail moisturiser. 

 Also don't forget to use a good nail polish remover, such as a soy base nail remover. As most average nail remover carriers a high alcohol content within that causes your cuticles to dry. 


Since Caryn is an expert on nails and colours combinations, we decided to engage her in a fun activity. We handpicked 3 different playsuits from et-i-kit and asked her to do pairings of nail colours that she felt would compliment the outfits.

Thea By Thara's Thumbelina Playsuit  paired with Coat Colour's Silver Lining

Addison NY's Testa Jacquard Romper paired with Coat Colour's Sheer delight

Cameo's Man Down Romper paired with Coat Colour's Mr. C Grey

All Coat Colours Nail Lacquers are available only in store now at 34 Kandahar Street. 

xx etikit