“My approach to beauty has always been about not adding on layers on top of what I already have, but building layers within. I’m really into a holistic approach: I’m really into diet, I’m really into acupuncture; I practice transcendental meditation. I think it’s the inner workings of yourself that can make you look beautiful, feel beautiful. It’s only recently, like the last two months, that I started wearing makeup, which is probably absurd. My parents are really holistic. Beauty is something that gets handed down to you. My mother has never worn makeup in her life…I think now, at sixty-three, she sometimes puts a bit of rouge on her lips, but she’s always been about using Sorbolene cream, which is a natural cream from Australia. And my grandmother is the same. They both have been so pure in terms of their sun exposure, and they don’t wear makeup, and they’re the most beautiful women I know. That’s the way I’ve been brought up—it’s always been about absorbing what’s around you and letting that make you beautiful, whether it’s the sea or the fresh air.
When I moved to America, I really noticed that the conditions here are different. In Australia, if you want to feel good, all you have to do is swim in the sea and let your hair dry naturally and have a glass of water, and you look great—you really don’t need to do much because the standard of living is so high. And when I moved to New York—and I adore it here, don’t get me wrong—it’s a harsher condition. The water on my hair alone was something I had to get used to. I never even used to care about what I did or didn’t wash my hair in, and all of a sudden I had to start seeking advice from all the hair specialists I work with on set because my hair looked terrible. It’s the same with skin. It’s only recently I started dabbling in makeup, and I had all my lessons from this amazing makeup artist called Chiho Omae. I’ve always admired her approach to beauty on herself and also the models we work with, so she’s given me some tips. She recommended Rose-Marie Swift’s products, which I adore. I use her coconut cream every day, and I love the Un-Coverup Foundation…but I never knew for a second that you had to put makeup on your hand first. Chiho told me if you’re using a foundation, you rub it and warm it on your hand, and then you apply it to your face. I appreciate that delicacy—it’s very Japanese, her technique. I use Armani High Precision Retouch under my eyes, in 4.5 and 3.5 and mix the two. Chiho’s all about cheap mascara, so I’m using fun easy mascara—Maybelline Volume Express Waterproof. I have to use waterproof because my eyelashes are really short; I’m half Chinese, so I have quite short and straight eyelashes, and if I don’t use a waterproof mascara, it leaks on my face.
I think when you come to New York what you absorb around you is so hectic, you definitely need to invest more in yourself, and that’s been a fun process for me. I just turned twenty-nine, and that whole side of grooming has been fun. I never got to feel like I was doing all those womanly things, and it’s nice to have some rituals. I put almond oil all over myself and take a cold shower, or at least end my shower with cold water—it’s so good for the glandular system; that’s what the Yogis teach you. I don’t blow dry my hair. The one thing I have started using is this Japanese product on my hair because my hair is Asian hair, and it’s obviously a different texture. It’s called Nano Amino Mist. But I like to be in bed with my hair wet, and I do think brushing your hair is good to stimulate natural oils. And then I’m really into supplements. MSM is actually something someone I know who had really crazy acne got me on to; it’s what people use to clear the skin structure. I have an amazing acupuncturist called Pamela Yap—she has been my saving grace since moving to New York. She’s amazing in terms of healing advice, especially if, as a woman, you’re feeling like you need some nurturing, whether your body feels strange, or it’s an emotional thing. She’s changed my life. I originally went for my back, but all of a sudden I was seeing her for my skin, for my hair. Physically, I always look really run down after travel, so she put me on this Chinese herb called the Free And Easy Wanderer, and it changed everything: I didn’t feel sullen, my eyes didn’t feel dry, and my hair didn’t look dull from all the flying and the air conditioning. I actually was a free and easy wanderer.”
Stevie is also the founder of the new online zine Shop Ghost.