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K-Beauty Meets Art: Michelle Hua Talks Beauty Illustrations & Her Skin Care Routine

A skin care line’s brand identity is arguably one of the most important parts of the skin care experience and may make or break someone’s decision to purchase one product over another. Graphic designer and long-time K-Beauty fan Michelle Hua is on a mission to “share the skin care [and makeup] cuteness” with her Instagram followers through her vibrant illustrations. Find out more about her love for illustrating K-Beauty products, her favorite K-Beauty product of all time, and what K-Beauty products are in her daily skin care routine.

Michelle Hua, the artist behind the Instagram account,@pretty_little_face, has amassed an Instagram following of over 19K  — and for a good reason. She graces her followers’ feeds with bright, vivid illustrations of popular skin care and makeup products, beauty influencers, and celebrities such as Michelle Phan and Rhianna. Not only did she share what makeup and skin care products she loves to illustrate most, she also created an illustration of her current skin care routine exclusively for the Klog.

The Klog: How long have you been a graphic designer and what made you want to illustrate beauty products?

Michelle: I don’t know if being a graphic designer-in-training (AKA a college student) counts as a graphic designer, but if it does then three years! And as for illustrating, during my senior year in high school I was really into beauty products and packaging. In the summer of ’16, I decided to combine my love for art and makeup together and the rest is history.

The Klog: Your style seems to resemble comic book illustrations and uses an eclectic color palette. Where do you derive your inspiration from for your illustration style?

Michelle: That’s funny that you say that my work resembles comic book illustrations. As a kid, I love — and I still love — anything Marvel. Television shows, comic books… basically that whole art style. I think that had an influence on my work. Nowadays, I’m attracted to more experimental and abstract styles and I really want to incorporate that into my future works.

The Klog: Instagram now serves as a platform where graphic designers and illustrators share their work. How do you keep your followers engaged?

Michelle: I try to keep up by illustrating the latest beauty launches and anything I find super cute, because I need to share the cuteness with everybody.

The Klog: Your portfolio includes a wide range of skin care and makeup brands. What beauty brands and/or products have you enjoyed illustrating?

Michelle: Just to name a few, my favorite brands to illustrate are EM Cosmetics, Deco Miami, Boscia, Then I Met You, ColourpopLive Love Polish, and NCLA.

The Klog: Has there been a K-Beauty product or line that you have enjoyed illustrating?

Michelle: Yes — Then I Met You! I enjoy illustrating this line because one, I genuinely love the magic it does to my skin, and two, the packaging. I’m a total sucker for anything that’s wrapped in a pastel color. Sold!

The Klog: Makeup and skin care brands rely heavily on graphic designers to develop their brand identity and image. Do you foresee yourself creating brand assets in the beauty space in the future?

Michelle: Absolutely! I’m in love with the beauty products and can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

The Klog: Do you have a favorite K-Beauty product of all time? Why?

Ahhh this is such a tough question to answer! I have many favs, but COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream has to be the winner (after Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel [and] Living Cleansing Balm!) This moisturizer is just fab! It keeps my face super moisturized for the entire day, feels lightweight on the face, doesn’t irritate my skin and — this is major — it doesn’t lead me to break out! LOVE this stuff.

The Klog: If we were to take a look in your vanity or beauty bag, what would we find?

Michelle: As an art student, I have literally no time to put on a full face of makeup, so my routine is cut down to the very essentials: brows, eyes, and lips. In my everyday beauty bag you’ll find: Anastasia Dip Brow (Medium Brown), a Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Backlight and Phantom, EM Cosmetics Divine Skies Eyeshadow Palette, Essence Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara, and EM Cosmetics Morning Dew Crystal Lip Gloss. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll put on Kosas Tinted Face Oil in tone 5.5.

The Klog: What does your day and night skin care routine look like?

Michelle: Skin care is super simple for me. Daytime skin care routine I just put on a solid moisturizer and sunblock. What I’ve been using lately is Good Molecules Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer and Papa Recipe Honey Moist Sun Essence SPF 50++. [My] nighttime skincare routine requires a bit more effort. I double cleanse with Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleaning Gel/Living Cleansing Balm (I learned about the double cleansing method from Charlotte Cho at a Then I Met You pop-up [and] it’s life changing! Do try it if you haven’t!), then I tone with Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner, apply Then I Met You’s The Giving Essence, my acne topical, and Glow Recipe’s Banana Souffle Moisturizer Cream. Sometimes I swipe some of my partner’s Aromatica Organic Aloe Vera Gel if my skin needs an extra boost of moisture (thanks bb!).

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