Creator, producer and influencer Jiawa Liu wears many hats. It's why her routine needs to be streamlined, with little room for error. Down to earth and totally honest, Jiawa admits she is far from a morning person and considers herself very much a night owl.
For her, beauty is about a few simple items and understanding the power of a well-groomed brow. Here, Jiawa takes us through her beauty routine, a day in her life and the products she knows and loves. Read on to see why she loves Biologique Recherche and Bioré in equal measure.
What is your morning beauty routine?
I wake up, realise I’m already late, throw on anything I can find (probably on the floor) and rush out the door! ... but seriously, I’m not a morning person, so I’ve got my morning beauty routine to a few top priority items that I can do in 10 minutes or less: styling my brows, a bold graphic eyeliner and, probably most importantly, drinking water.
What is your night beauty routine?
If my morning routine had an origin story, then it’s my night-owl-ism. I’m often up late being engrossed in either work or play in equal measure, so it’s touch and go whether I fit my beauty routine in before passing out. If I do, then I follow my personalised ‘prescription’ from my beautician at Biologique Recherche. I cleanse with Micellar water and Lait U cleansing milk, and follow with P50 lotion and Crème Iso-Placenta moisturiser.
Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m the founder and creative director of production agency ‘The Beige Pill’. I also serve as Editor-at-Large at a number of publications, and an Influencer/KOL on my social platforms. On a typical day, if we are not on set, I work with my team on the various projects we’re producing, from developing concepts to editing photos and creating animations and other cool stuff.
What is the supermarket/ drug store/ chemist beauty product(s) that you use and love?
I have a slight addiction to Biore Pore Strips. It’s just so satisfying to see all those black and white heads come out. Of course the best way to really reduce white heads long term is regular exfoliation, but pore strips are fun just the same.
What is your main form of beauty body maintenance? What products do you use on your body?
My skin never knows whether it wants to be sweaty and clammy or dry and flaky. So I really appreciate a body moisturiser that seriously hydrates but is non-oily at the same time. When travelling in Italy I found an unassuming supermarket moisturiser called Glysolid. It’s glycerine, rather than mineral oil or petroleum based, so it’s never greasy, and a little goes a long way.
How do you keep fit/ healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
The great thing about living in Paris is that it’s a very walkable city. Even though I’m not an active person by nature, I tend to do a lot of walking just to get around town. You can get just about anywhere in less than 30 minutes by foot, and the ‘scenic detours’ through beautiful places like the Louvre or the Tuileries Gardens are always a great motivator to keep moving.
What procedures or professional treatments do you have as part of your beauty routine?
I used to be a professional treatment skeptic because I hadn’t had any treatments that I felt really changed my skin. But I’d heard so much about cult French beauty brand Biologique Recherche that I finally gave it a try earlier this year. I saw a huge improvement in my skin’s glow and translucency after just the first session with the P50 booster, and I’ve been seeing even more improvement as I’ve continued using my take home P50 lotion - it’s called ‘P50’ because you should see the best results after 50 days of use.
What do you do when your body needs to recover?
I’m actually a massive geek, so a whole day in bed gaming on my laptop does wonders for me.
You’re tired or rundown: what is your beauty hack?
For a puffy, tired looking face, a quick lymphatic massage, even just 5 minutes on your own, really helps.
What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?
It’s so true what they say: eyebrow grooming is as good as a facelift. We Asians often have very tricky brows that are either really sparse and faint, or just grow in crazy directions. The one thing I will always have with me especially when travelling is a pot of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze. It’s the only brow gel that has been strong enough to really hold my unpredictable brows perfectly in place all day.
Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?
You might not think so to look at me now, but I used to be makeup obsessed. After experimenting a lot with everything from eyelid tape and dramatic false lashes to colour contact lenses, I eventually came to the conclusion that more is not always better, at least for me. Now I subscribe to the idea of a ‘signature’ beauty look. Therefore one of my beauty icons is Caroline de Maigret. I think she is one who’s truly mastered her signature look. You recognise it immediately: it’s all about that second-day smokey eye, fresh nude face and messy bangs.
What is the best advice on beauty you’ve received?
‘Stop looking in the mirror all the time!’ - that was advice from the aforementioned Miss de Maigret.
What is the best advice on health you’ve received?
Not to take dieting too seriously. As long as you’re fundamentally taking care of yourself properly with enough exercise and nutrition, is it so bad to have a slice of cake when you want one?
What is the one product you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my black eyeliner. My favourite is a Japanese drugstore number called KissMe ‘Heroine Make’ eyeliner. I discovered it when I was living there over 10 years ago, and I’ve used it ever since. The fine brush tip makes it easy to draw precise, ultra black, cat eyes, and it virtually does not smudge or run.