As a beauty writer and vlogger, Mi-Anne Chan is brimming with skin care and makeup tips. Find out what she had to say about her skin care routine, sustainability, and accepting your flaws in our interview with her below.
Mi-Anne Chan is the beauty writer, video producer and resident try-every-product-and-treatment-available tester at Refinery29. You might recognize her from her fun and informative Beauty with Mi videos that involve everything from freezing her face to transforming herself into a 1920s Hollywood star, or the colorful and aspirational makeup looks she regularly shows off to her 32K Instagram followers.
She’s done a lot with and a lot to her face over the years (in the name of beauty of course!), which has subsequently taught her a lot about her skin and allowed her to pick up a wealth of beauty tips and tricks. Ahead, she shares some of them with us, along with the importance of practicing conscious beauty practices, the products she consistently uses, and how to accept your skin—flaws and all.
On the methods and products she’s stuck with after trying them in her popular video series:
I still use a lot of the products I’ve put in videos and stories, but some that stick out are items facialists and aestheticians have used on me, like Renee Rouleau’s Anti-Bump Solution and Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator. Makeup-wise, I filmed with Rihanna’s makeup artist Priscilla Ono earlier this year and she got me hooked on Fenty’s Pro Filter Concealer!
In terms of methods that I’ve picked up on, I just filmed a video with Blackpink’s makeup artist and she used this teeny tiny lash curler designed specifically for hard-to-reach inner and outer corner lashes. Although I don’t have one in my possession, that hack definitely stuck with me because I’ve been trying to get my hands on one ever since. But sadly I was told they only sell them in Japan!
She also told me about this brilliant technique that she uses on K-pop stars to keep their lashes curled. It’s a little dangerous (it involves fire)… but it does work! Basically, she curls lashes and coats them with mascara. Then she’ll take a toothpick or the back of a wooden cotton swab and light it on fire and quickly blow it out. She’ll use the warm wood to crimp the lashes to keep the curl in place—it kind of acts like a mini curling iron! It’s not something I’d do every day (and frankly, I’d probably suggest avoiding it because of the danger factor) but it was such a cool, different trick to learn from a pro. There are heated lash curlers out there which could be a good alternative.
On getting to know your skin’s wants and needs:
My high school years were marred by a pretty intense bout of acne and I think when you’ve experienced any stint of problematic skin, you learn to understand your skin pretty quickly. I can tell just from reading a product’s ingredients list whether a product is going to agree with me. I typically gravitate toward any acid or enzyme (including AHAs, lactic acid, retinol, and niacinamide) and away from fragrance and sulfates. I’m also not a huge fan of products that contain too much silicone, mostly because of that slick texture.
On the products she consistently uses:
My skin care routine always consists of a double cleansing routine (usually an oil or balm cleanser, like Then I Met You’s balm, than a water-based cleanser to follow, like COSRX’s Low pH cleanser), a toner (I love Pixi Glow Tonic), and some sort of moisturizer (right now I’m using up my jar of Herbivore Botanicals Pink Cloud). In the morning, I’ll layer up some SPF (I love Ren’s new mattifying sunscreen!). When I’m testing for a story, I’ll switch things out, but typically keep the rest of the products the same!
On practicing consciousness when it comes to beauty:
I try to only support products that come from cruelty-free brands. I’m also very aware of product packaging, and what sort of sustainability initiatives brands have. Products packaged in cardboard and aluminum, for example, have a much higher recycling rate than plastic. I definitely try to shine a light on brands that take those things into consideration. Ingredients-wise, I stay away from sulfates because I find them unnecessarily drying, as well as alcohols for the same reason.
On accepting your skin as is:
I try not to strive for “perfect” skin. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that my skin will never be poreless, that I’ll never get rid of all my acne scars, and I’ll probably get milia around my eyes forever, and that’s OK. The moment I realized that no one sees my flaws as significantly as I do, I started to enjoy my skin and enjoy the ritual of skin care a lot more. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to rid yourself of some of your skin issues, but maybe there’s a middle ground.