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Tue, May 27, 2014
Urban, The Straits Times
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Beauty Secrets: Liu Yan
by Gladys Chung

A regular guest beauty expert on the Taiwanese lifestyle variety show Lady First, Ms Liu has been in the beauty industry for 17 years.

She will be starring in the second season of the show's local 13-part series, which will premiere on June 3 at 8pm on E City (StarHub channels 111 and 825).

She was previously the beauty editor of Marie Claire Taiwan.

What is the one product you would not step out of the house without?

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($40, from Elizabeth Arden counters, right). The latest version is more lightweight and not sticky.

I use it to moisturise my lips and for a watery, glossy look. First impressions are important, so one should avoid having dry and flaky lips. No matter how pretty a lip colour is, it will not look good if you have scaly lips. I use this throughout the four seasons.

Which is your favourite perfume?

Une Fleur de Chanel, which has since been discontinued. I bought four bottles before the stores in Taiwan ran out of it. It has a very elegant white floral scent which is not too rich and cloying.

What is the one grooming service you cannot do without?

I know how to do everything myself, so I do not visit beauty salons.

But what I will do every month is to buy a beauty-related book to make myself more knowledgeable. I'm reading a book on how scents affect one's well-being.

What, in your opinion, is the best beauty invention?

I think all beauty products are great inventions because they can make one look better and gain confidence.

I love chatting with people who create products, to find out the stories behind their inventions.

My new resolution is to travel to an unfamiliar city at least once a year, to find out how the people there view beauty, as well as how I can include their tips in my routine.

What is the most ridiculous thing you have done in the name of beauty?

I have a scar between my brows because of a mistake I made 10 years ago.

Chemical peels were popular then and I wanted quick results. So, I used a physical exfoliator right before I used a chemical peel product and my skin was affected.

It took almost three months for my skin to recover from the burns. When it comes to beauty routines, you have to take things one step at a time. Don't be greedy and impatient.

What is the best beauty tip anyone has given you?

Taiwanese skincare expert Robin Niu - who also appears on Lady First - gave me a valuable tip.

He told me that when you wash your face correctly, you are half way to clearer skin.

Washing your face is not just about getting rid of the surface dirt, but also about getting rid of the dead cells and impurities which you cannot see.

That gave me the idea to create a manual cleansing brush, made by a century-old company which makes Chinese paintbrushes.

After cleansing your face, you just have to soak the brush in warm water and use it to massage the areas with blackheads.

The brush loosens the skin around a blackhead and it will pop out without leaving a gaping pore.

Called the Lamsamyick x Liu Yan brush, it is sold online and in Taiwan. Visit for details.

This article was published on May 9 in Urban, The Straits Times.

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