Susie Lau, Style Bubble

Susie Lau

“I find it wholly hilarious that I'm even on a blog like this because my relationship with beauty is, at best, a terse one. I have a puppy dog crush on all things beauty but all things beauty want nothing to do with me which leaves me feeling like a L-O-S-E-R. Ok, I might be being a tad dramatic but I've always been a latecomer to anything beauty related. I never tried on lipstick until I was about 16 or 17 and then decided it tasted like chip grease so I left it well alone. I washed my face with cold water and soap until I was 17 as well. The odd blemish has crept in since I've started drinking and going out more—I blame VODKA! Traveling has also meant my skin gets very dehydrated which means I do have to meekly go into department stores and buy some lotions and potions. I used to be addicted to Shu Uemura's cleansing oils—any of them worked fine for me—but it can be time consuming to make the best use out of the cleanser. I now use Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish—I like that you really feel like you're scrubbing your skin cells off when you use the muslin cloth that comes with it. Seeing as I find beauty counters a bit of a headache, I love quiet places like Cowshed on Carnaby Street in London for their Evening Primrose Facial Oil and Quinoa Moisturizer which when combined, does the hydrating trick.

If I could get away without wearing ANY makeup at all it would be great. Sadly with the slight blemishes, there's some cover-up that goes on. I still haven't got my head around foundation. On shoots when they put it on, it feels very VERY alien to my skin and a few times, I've reacted quite badly to it so I now stay clear of it. I like a touch of No. 7 Quick Cover Blemish Stick around the nose and maybe on the chin, then some Shiseido translucent powder to take away any shine—I'm very anti-shiny faces. Some people can do 'dewy'—I just look greasy. Then some YSL Touche Éclat under the eyes if I've not slept much. I'm pretty rubbish when it comes to anti-aging or preventative things. I have got eye creams that people have given me and actually even my boyfriend uses eye cream regularly. I will consider it in due course though. I always like a bit of brown eyeliner to open the eyes a bit—Bourjois Liner Stylo is my fave—I must go through about five a year—as you can smudge it or keep the line quite precise.

The fun is in things like lipstick which following my chip grease reaction to it in my teens, I'm now back on board with. I've experimented with a ton of shades but it's never because I'm trying to find the 'perfect red' or the perfect shade of anything...I just like trying out different colors—the brighter the better really. Can't go wrong with any of Chanel's Rouge Coco lipsticks but my favorite shade is 22 Paris. I took away a tip from a makeup artist and have started using Barry M's kohl pencil in orange—I've checked it's not toxic!—on the lips which makes for a REALLY strong/bright orange. I mix it in with a YSL lipstick in a lighter shade of orange to make the color slightly more subdued. Barry M in general has a great selection of colors for everything and it's really the sort of makeup that I love playing with but can never be bothered to wear on a daily basis. Topshop's makeup range is also great for encouraging play and experimentation. I covered my face with their blue eye glitter for New Year's Eve drinking blue tinted vodka drinks to match the makeup. I think I went through a whole packet of Simple facial wipes to get the glitter all off.

Nails are another thing that I get quite worked up about since WAH Nails landed in London nearly two years ago. Everyone is WAH-ing it up these days with leopard print, stripes, gem/flower encrusted, Hello Kitty nails. They can basically do anything you want them to do and if you show them a Christopher Kane dress, they'll do their damn best to match your nails to it. I like to go there to do something a bit more intricate every now and again. Other than that, it's just DIY solid color at home... we don't have cheap manicures in London so I just slap on nail polish whenever I feel like it—Topshop's dark gray 'Mink' shade is a nail staple.

The impression that a lot of makeup/hair artists get whenever they have worked with me on shoots is that I'm just extremely low maintenance. When you're busy working out how to incorporate 15 colors, 10 prints and 5 textures into one outfit, I suppose your energy is sort of spent by the time it gets to your humble mug/hair. Whilst I sort of dabble with makeup, I REALLY don't do anything to my hair. I've been told it's in good condition and that I could get £600 if I lopped it all off—it's always good to know you have your rent money sitting on top of your head. Before I decide to go bald, I basically just leave it VERY long, trim my fringe regularly and put it up when it needs to go up—when it's windy or too hot—and leave it down to dry naturally after washing with Pantene. Yes, I use Pantene. It's cheap and good and works. I've tried more expensive shampoos but none of them work as well as regular ol' Pantene. I'm not fussy with salons either and don't go to anyone regularly—I tend to pick salons where there are nice vibes and great head massages. White's on Whitecross Street is very cool as is Pas de Deux in New York—from now on, I'll be timing hair appointments to when I'm in New York. Everyone in London has gone for dip dye, wild color jobs at the moment, thanks to Bleach which is also housed at WAH Nails in Dalston, London. I'm always tempted to do a very dramatic dye job whenever I see hairdresser extraordinaire Charlie le Mindu—he's worked with Lady Gaga and done a ton of great editorials as well as having his own wig line. He tells me my hair will be in safe hands but I always chicken out. I keep saying, 'Next fashion week, I'll do SOMETHING.' We'll see come September...”

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  • HeyitsAlexp

    Loving that Susie is so low maintenance. Her skin always looks flawless in pics so I'm surprised to hear about her blemish issue. But yeah, drinking is murder on the skin (which never stopped anyone, haha).

  • lauren

    Your blog is so fascinating! I can't get enough of it. I want to do a little feature about it on mine :)

  • iben

    Such an interesting post! I'm super dedicated to spend a little more on makeup, I barely use it and I need it desperately.

    Love Despite color

  • Rachel

    This is one of my favourite pieces on this site. I do like Susie, through I'm not really a big fan of her blog, she was sweet hen I met her at London Fashion Week. I'm surprised to read how similar and relatable my journey with makeup and beauty was to mine - even through I'm a total makeup junkie now!

  • Dru

    I've seen Susie's manicures- WAH Nails is def. fantastic, so much more interesting than what most people do with nails.

  • Bebel

    Lovely post! So funny! I'm really in love with your blog...

  • Julie

    for someone who has a "terse relationship" with beauty - she sure uses all the best and most high-end products. Now if she said she bought Cetafil and Almay at the drug store, I MIGHT have bought that she was not a beauty product aficionado.

    • Mia

      I don't think Cetaphil= low maintenance or not being a beauty product aficionado. I use Cetaphil because I have PERFECT skin. I'm in my late 20s and have never ever had a blemish. It's genetic. At the same time I love a fancy fancy moisturizer.

  • Maggie

    Love this post. She is funny.

  • susie_bubble

    Julie: What I meant by 'terse' was that I don't really fully understand the ins and outs of beauty products. Sure I buy what I think are nice products but I'm not very good at assessing what works properly or what doesn't. I'm a sheep. I just buy what other people have recommended as opposed to discovering for myself what works. I go through phases of being enthusiastic but don't have the right knowledge to really approach beauty products in the correct way.

    Actually Cetaphil is hard to get in the UK... I wouldn't have a clue where to find it.

    • LuckyD

      I can attest to the rarity of Cetaphil in London. I used to send it from NY to my friend's little brother in the UK when he was going through some tough skin times in high school. ;)

      Also, Simple makeup remover wipes are the BEST, and the price is right, so I'm happy to finally hear someone mention them on ITG!

    • Jordan

      You can buy Cetaphil at Walgreens :)

  • Elena

    Yay! Susie! I have been folowing her for what seems like forever! She is so beautiful. Re: red lipsticks...I think NARS makes some fantastic ones...Jungle Red and Red Lizard are just great..a little drier texture, but I like that. I like that perfect pigmented matte bright color, red or hot pink.

  • Dawn

    omg i love susie!!! she's so susie haha if that makes any sense...
    i love her blog and personality-- so straight-up... she puts it how it is.
    im low maintenance on hair too due to the lack of time or just my laziness.

  • Michelle | GOLD-HEARTED GIRL

    Susie is hilarious. I love it best when people are highlighted for beauty when they just kind of go with their gut, like Susie.

  • Ploy

    Thank you for having her give a perspective for us Asian girls out there!

  • Kat

    Love Susie! She seems to know more about beauty than she thinks she does.

  • Stephanie

    Susie is fabulous and humorous!

  • mimi

    i dont read susie's blog but this is one of my favourite posts on ITG.
    this is someone who i truly believe is low-maintenance, instead of saying it just to appear humble or down-to-earth.

    she has a beautiful lip colour in that photo.

  • lauryn

    Finally! A post about someone with blemishes. Super happy about the Susie post, she is a great blogger and always looks fantastic.

  • erika

    for a makeup addict like myself this is the best thing i've come across in a while. i plan on going through every post!

  • Aubrey

    I definitely like her honesty and personal approach to her beauty routine. It's nice to read about someone beautiful reporting that she too deals with acne, wears makeup, uses grocery store brand shampoo/conditioner, etc. Really refreshing post. Thank you so much, Emily for interviewing such an awesome woman!

  • Sarah

    So refreshingly low maintenance . Love it

    <3 Sarah

  • Rach

    I LOVE SUSIE!! I love that she talks about using concealer, I love that she also can't get away with the 'dewy' look (setting powder 4 lyfe!) I LOVE that orange lip. Great post!

  • martha

    when I think low-maintenance, it's not shu uemura products, but organic facial oils for hydration :) I'm surprised nobody in the uk actually tries some cheap praben-free alternative to overpriced creams, like kiwi seed oil (e.g.)
    orange lips are pretty on anyone !

  • Dr. Emmanuel Asare

    Susie is not the only person who deals with the blemish issue that can go along with drinking. It's not the compounds in the drinks or the alcohol itself; it's actually the way that alcohol dehydrates the skin that can stop the natural flow of toxins from out of the pores in the skin. That is what leads to blemishes. Easy fix: drink one glass of water for every mixed drink to stay hydrated and the problem will likely never be an issue again. Feel free to look at more beauty and skin care tips at our blog

  • Jenny Reid
    aww love susie!