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Inspirations: Interview with Phyllis Li | Makeup for Life

Inspirations: Interview with Phyllis Li | Makeup for Life

One of the coolest aspects of bringing Tatcha to the western world has been getting to know the amazing people who have come to love our little beauty essential as much as we do. This is the first interview in a series in which Tatcha will be featuring rising talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love. Enjoy!

T: Phyllis, Makeup for Life is one of the most widely read beauty blogs globally. What inspired you to begin writing/sharing your perspective on beauty? And what do you think your readers appreciate most about your blog?

PL: I started Makeup For Life in 2006 because I felt like there was a lack of Asian representation in the US beauty scene. I wanted to utilize my diverse background and introduce people to the different beauty products and techniques out there. I think what draws people to my blog is my passion and like my readers, I am your average girl who is obsessed with beauty.

T: One of our favorite characteristics of your take on beauty is your global perspective. Can you tell us about growing up in both the East and West? How do you think it has influenced your personal beauty philosophy?

PL: Growing up in Hong Kong, I was exposed to the best of both worlds. I read American and European magazines for ideas, experimented with the latest Japanese makeup and gadgets, and ate traditional Chinese delicacies to keep my skin in good shape. All this has definitely made me more open-minded and taught me that beauty is not one-dimensional, but comes in different skintones, features and sizes.

T: What are the biggest differences you’ve seen between the beauty rituals of the East and the West?

PL: Oh I love this question because it is interesting to see how different people can be! For example, a tan complexion, which is preferred by most over here, is often frowned upon in the Chinese culture. Back home, people avoid the sun at all cost and slather on whitening products day and night. To treat skin problems, Chinese people turn to food and delicacies like bird’s nest soup, as supposed to the topical approach adopted here. As for makeup, it is normally worn at a later age with a more understated look consisting of sheer neutrals, pastels and fine shimmer.

T: When you review products or recreate looks in your tutorials, you become a beauty chameleon for your readers – but where does Phyllis’ personal beauty style fall on the spectrum from fresh to fierce?

PL: Because of the looks I do on the blog, people assume that I wear a lot of makeup . But the truth is, no one really needs to wear that much on a regular basis. The blog is simply a medium for me to transform and experiment. For everyday, I like a simple look with just a bit of concealer, eyeliner, mascara and lip balm. When I go out, I like to spice things up with a smoky eye, fake lashes and nude lips or a winged eyeliner paired with bright lips.

T: Tatcha was so honored by Makeup for Life’s review of our aburatorigami. What else do you use to keep your skin so exquisite?

PL: Thank you so much! I try to keep my skincare regimen as simple as possible. I am big in moisturizing and I never sleep with my makeup on. Prevention is always better than correction so I use sunscreen with at least spf 30 every day. I also drink a lot of warm water (a very common practice back home) and I try to stay away from harsh chemicals.

T: Do you have a favorite beauty icon?

PL: Madonna is my all-time favorite! I love how she transforms and always manages to stay at the top.

T: Fun facts: Given your world travels, what city inspires you most and why?

PL: This is a tough one because every city I visited has something different to offer. I like Hong Kong for its fast-paced lifestyle and energy; Paris because it is a living painting; London for how fashionable people are; and obviously, the US, the place where all this started.

See Tatcha on Makeup For Life

Victoria Signature

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

Published August 29, 2009
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