I was recently asked to divulge my beauty regimen to Dear Prudence. I quickly agreed as I love reading other’s beauty advice and learning little tips of the trade from other beauty fiends. It was only after compiling a list of all the goods that I use that I realized that I’m not as low maintenance as I previously suspected! Read on to see what my faves are. All of the gorgeous illustrations are by the very talented Maita Ponce. Huge thanks to Maita for including me in this series and for her tedious hours spent drawing the countless items I use!
My beauty routine doesn’t just involve a list of products but a hearty playlist turned up at full volume while I dance about and somehow manage to get ready at the same time. I find that this automatically puts me in a good mood before I take on the heat and hills of Hong Kong. In this city, simplicity is best, as products tend to melt off you just about as fast as you can apply them. This has led me to a line of products that get the job done with out much effort on my part and leaves me ready to take on the world in no time!
Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo – Due to a lifetime of dry hair, I have learned that it is better to only properly wash it every few days or risk looking like I stuck my finger in an electric socket. When it does need a scrub I turn to this shampoo, which is mild and smells incredible. Just one whiff and I bet you’ll be hooked too!
Christophe Robin Crème Lavante Au Citron – About once every two weeks I use this to really cleanse my hair. The smell is fresh and lemony and it leaves my hair so soft and smooth.
Neoprocess AF 3.1 +1* – My hair has always been very long and very dry. A few years ago I was recommended to try a Japanese treatment and after one wash I have been a dedicated follower! This is one of the only products I buy religiously! It doesn’t take much but makes my hair super silky and moisturized.
Kiehl’s French Rose Water* – A sucker for anything rose scented, I immediately bought two bottles when I spotted this. After washing my hair, and before stepping out of the shower, I splash this over my hair and body for a delicate rosy scent from head to toe.
Moroccan Argan Oil – This is a lifesaver for my dry locks and instantly adds shine and life back into my tresses!
L’Oreal Elnet Hairspray – I am constantly coming up with new updo’s to keep my long hair off of me during Hong Kong’s hot muggy summers. Elnet helps to hold everything in place without leaving me with a helmet head situation.
Physiogel Face Wash* – Thankfully, I was blessed with good skin that I don’t have to do much to keep looking clear. I do love products like Cetaphil and Physiogel, however, as a gentle cleanser to rid myself of make up and dirt.
SKII Facial Treatment Essence – A sweep of this refreshes my skin and I love the calming scent!
Neutrogena Deep Clean Eye Make Up Remover – I love a streak of thick black eyeliner and this does the job of getting it all off without a trace left on my pillow!
Neutrogena Make Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes – Sometimes, I love to crawl right in bed without washing my face and a running one of these towelettes over my face removes the grime and my guilty conscious of being lazy!
Raw Tomato – A slice of a raw tomato wiped over the skin once every two weeks or so is one of my tricks for super soft skin!
Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque* – When spots creep up I turn to Queen Helene! I love the minty scent of this mask and the scary green hue (great to frighten my better half with when he comes home from work!). It does a great job at banishing blackheads and it really exfoliates as you scrub off the mud leaving my face silky smooth once removed.
Face Moisturizer – I’m not too picky when it comes to moisturizers. I have so many bottles in every drawer and usually just reach for what ever is closest. Typically, that ends up being Neal’s Yard Beauty Sleep Concentrate, Physiogel Cream*, or Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream*. I don’t really care what does the job as long as my skin is left plump and dewy.
Body Moisturizer – I swear by Kiehl’s Crème de Corps*. Growing up in make up chairs, I soon realized that nearly every major make up artist was slathering me in it before I hit the set. Now, I buy the biggest bottle they make and carry it on every trip!
Confession: I should wear sunscreen everyday but I don’t. HK isn’t known for a lot of full sun hours and I’m rarely outside for long thanks to the walkways connecting HK’s Central district. As for outdoor exercise, I much prefer to get my workout from a yoga class or a spin on the elliptical. When I do have an outdoor shoot and need proper protection, I reach for Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF30, which is not greasy and doesn’t leave my face looking like it’s covered in glue like a lot of other sunscreens I have tried in Asia do.
Typically, I don’t wear too much make up- just a little concealor, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. For my five-minute face here are my go-to’s:
Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Fair/ Light – I love how thick it is to really give those blue under eye circles a run for their money.
Cover Girl Professional Clear Mascara* – My little eyebrows are pushed in place with just one swipe!
Benefit They’re Real Mascara* – A make up artist friend turned me onto this and I am hooked. Lashes are long and curled in no time and with very little effort on my part!
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink* – Using a small angled brush, a steady hand, and a hearty amount of patience I have now mastered the cat eye! This is the easiest way to make me look like I actually tried to fix myself up and can be done in mere seconds before dashing out the door.
Maybelline Color Sensational* and all Mac Lipsticks* – When all else fails a swipe of bold red, orange, pink, or purple will wake up my face and put me on a more fashionable track with ease! I am known to have anywhere from 5-10 lipsticks of very vibrant hues rolling around in the bottom of my handbag at any given time along with memory cards, candy, and spare jewelry.
For special events and outings where I know I will be photographed I need a bit more on my face. Here’s what I add to the routine to take on the flash bulbs!
I.D. Bare Minerals 4-Step Foundation in Fair/Fairly Light* – I cannot say enough good things about this line of products. I simply adore the concealer and how it makes me already look airbrushed in a photo. The bronzer gives me cheekbones on days when I feel frumpy and the foundation erases every little red spot, vein, and whatever else may have crept up from a frenzied schedule and a few too many late nights.
I.D. Bare Minerals Shadows* – I love the hues and the intensity of the pigments. My favorite colors include True Gold, Smoky Amber, and Deep Amethyst.
Mac Shadows* – I always have far too many to choose from but no matter what I always highlight my brow bone and inner corners of my eyes with Shroom.
Mac Brow Powder in Brunette *- My eyebrows are relatively thin and I love to pump them up with this powder for a strong brow look. Watch out Cara Delevingne!
I never understood the concept of just wearing one scent. I don’t have just one mood and I don’t dress in just one style and the weather and my schedule are constantly changing so why shouldn’t my fragrance accommodate! That is why I vary my scents according to all of these factors. Some days are more serious, some are playful, some are whimsical, and some are powerful! I even rock men’s cologne when the mood strikes. My favorite scents include the following:
Hermes Kelly Caleche*
Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One*
Robert Piguet Chai
Fresh Sugar Lychee
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
That one in my purse that I don’t know what it is.
As a photographer my nails take a beating (commence yearning for the days when I was a hand model and had multiple mani’s a week!). I typically do my nails myself just because I can’t find time to go to the salon. I’m a big fan of OPI nail polishes* and love the range of colors to brighten up even the grayest of HK days! Come cooler temps, when I find myself wearing darker colors, I reach for Sally Hansen Nail Art Stickers* as they are easy to apply, come in a wild range of prints to jazz up your winter blues, and last for around 10 days with no chips!
Wow! I really had no idea that I use so many products! My thoughts of being low maintenance are vanishing! With that said, I don’t spend too much time primping and pride myself that I can be out the door in under eight minutes- a skill that my better half surely appreciates! But it is very fun being a girl and I do love taking the occasional time out to properly pamper! Speaking of, I think I’ll go ahead schedule a facial and a mani pedi session. It’s been a long week and I think we all deserve a treat now and again!
*Though I’m not often a brand loyalist (It can be hard when traveling- you often take what you can find), these are the products that I shell out for again and again.
Time Out Hong Kong
Chuck St. John