"My best modeling memories are with Louis Vuitton, because I shot my first lookbook for them with Juergen Teller. It was really nice to shoot with him. The Louis Vuitton shoots are my favorite because I get to travel—the Kyoto shoot we just did was really fun. I was born in Paris, but my background is Chinese, and I go back to China a lot to visit family. France is where I have all my things, though—it's where I learned to really care about skincare. In China, I feel like it’s all about your inner health first. My routine is a combination—so I take acai and maca powder in the morning. Maca is really good for your hormones, so I take it to regulate everything. From my grandmother, I learned about Goji berries, ginseng, ginger—you put them in hot water and let them sit for a couple hours. It’s really good for women’s health, for the skin, everything.
This Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner is my favorite when I’m traveling—it’s good for when you get blackheads, and it cleanses and shrinks your pores. I always have a travel-size one with me. Then I’ve been using this Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer for the past month. I really like it. It’s not too thick—you know when you have a cream and it just doesn’t absorb? My skin is not so dry, and it always gets oily in the t-zone, so I always use that moisturizer. And my mom gave me this La Prairie Crème Contour. I know I don’t really need an eye cream, but this one has SPF, and it’s La Prairie! I do always wear sunscreen. This Anessa Aqua Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF 50, I bought in Japan, but it’s the same company as Shiseido, I think. It’s really good protection and it’s really light, doesn’t make your face white or anything.
I also have this brow gel from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I was watching some Cara Delevigne ‘What’s In My Bag’ video, and you know she has some crazy eyebrows. She said it was really good, so I wanted to try it. My eyebrows are kind of thick too, so I just bought it. It doesn’t give too much color, just keeps your brows in place so they don’t move throughout the day. I have straight eyelashes, so I always have to curl them before putting on mascara—I have the Shu Uemura curler. And I use Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara because it helps hold the curl. If I use normal mascara, it just falls out. Then this Fresh Sugar Lip Tint in Ruby is good for when you need a little bit of color. If I’m not wearing makeup, I put it on to look a little more awake. You can use it for a bit of tint on the lips and the cheeks.
For contour, I use this Chanel Les Beiges Bronzer in Medium. I used to use the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, but this has a shiny effect, so for summer it’s really nice. It’s not so matte. And I really like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I’ve tried to many concealers and I didn’t like any of them. I always thought they were too dry. But the Nars one really works. I used to love doing my makeup in high school, but I’ve kind of slowed down. I usually do eyeliner—just a flick—with mascara and an eyeshadow pen in a brownish tone. Just something that’s easy to apply. Then I have the Benefit Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain. That’s one of my favorites. I never wear heavy red lipstick because I feel like whenever I go to drink something it gets everywhere!
My hair grows really fast, but it gets so dry from all the products, I have to wash with an anti-dandruff shampoo. It’s from Vichy Dercos; it’s a French brand. I think pharmacy shampoos are actually better than the fancy ones. Sometimes, I use oils to hydrate the roots and tame them. And I use a blow-dryer to help straighten it. It’s so thick—it can hold curls for days if I want it to."
—as told to ITG
Estelle Chen photographed by Tom Newton on August 16, 2017.