updated 30 Dec 2011, 08:11
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Fri, Sep 23, 2011
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Lust for radiance
by Victoria Barker

LOOKING at Chinese actress Tang Wei, you might be hard-pressed to believe that she has never been one for strict beauty regimes.

After all, the doe-eyed 31-year-old, best known for her controversial breakout role in the Lee Ang movie Lust, Caution (2007), has crystal-clear complexion that would be the envy of those who are years younger.

Yet, nonchalance towards skincare is exactly what she admitted during a recent trip to Singapore.

"I have always been unwilling and lazy to tidy myself up and have a beauty regime," she told reporters in Mandarin at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel. "I don't know much in terms of making myself beautiful."

It is no surprise then that she jumped at the chance to become the latest brand ambassador for Japanese cosmetics company SK-II. She was in town to promote it.

As Tang put it, it was time to start taking care of her skin.

"(As you get older) you start to realise that when you're sick, you don't get well as quickly because the healing process is slower," she explained.

"I realised that it's the same for my skin."

Tang started using SK-II products, including the brand's best-selling Facial Treatment Essence, while filming martial-arts film Wu Xia, in Yunnan, China, last year. The movie, which also starred Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro, was released in July.

"My skin has definitely improved and, when I wake up in the morning, I notice a radiant glow on my face (that wasn't there before)," she gushed, adding that she even got her mother, a former stage actress, to start using SK-II products.

Beauty talk aside, Tang was decidedly less vocal about her career. And perhaps the Wenzhou native has good reason to be reticent.

Though her performance in Lust, Caution won her best-new-performer awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Golden Horse Awards in 2008, the role drew flak in China because of its sexual nature and resulted in a two-year media ban by the Chinese authorities.

Nevertheless, Tang has soldiered on. She is currently filming a new movie, though details are unavailable.

On the personal front, Tang revealed with a laugh that she had wanted to "get married and have a baby at 30".

"My other goal is to see how I look at 80. I hope I'll be living freely and breathing fresh air, with my own land, kids and a big dog," she enthused. "That's my dream."

And even if her dream remains just a dream, Tang won't be overly concerned about it.

"Having true happiness in your heart, confidence and love, makes you truly beautiful," she said.

Tang Wei's tips for radiant skin

As the ambassador for SK-II, Tang Wei knows the Japanese skincare brand intimately. Here are some of her best beauty tips:

Deep Cleansing

Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser ($89 for 120g)

What: Mildly rose-scented, this new cleanser works into a fine-textured lather. It contains concentrated Pitera (a sake extract) that cares for the skin while it cleans.

Tang Wei says: I love the fragrance and how it enhances the smoothness of my skin.

Perking up tired skin

Facial Treatment Essence ($168 for 150ml)

What: The essence helps maintain the skin's natural renewal cycle as it contains more than 90 per cent Pitera, a natural ingredient that helps to maintain crystal-clear skin.

Tang Wei says: I use it daily after I remove my make-up from a long day at work. And whenever I feel that my skin is not at its best, such as when I'm having sleepless nights, I use it to awaken my skin.

Natural coverage

Facial Treatment Cream Foundation ($109 for 25g)

What: This new foundation creates a lustrous, translucent finish and provides thorough coverage with its rich, creamy texture.

Tang Wei says: I always keep this product - along with Facial Treatment Essence, Facial Treatment Milk, sunblock and lipstick - in my make-up bag for quick touch-ups.

Keeping skin hydrated

Facial Treatment Mask

($122 for six pieces)

What: Ideal for frequent travellers, these intensive moisture-boosting masks leave the skin noticeably radiant, soft and clear.

Tang Wei says: It provides a source of instant refreshment for my skin, especially after late nights. I also use it before any important functions.

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