It’s safe to say that Mi-Anne Chan, a Beauty Writer and Host at Refinery29, is well-versed in the world of contouring, sheet masks, and perfect brow arches. She is constantly educating beauty lovers with her stories and videos, so we asked for a private lesson just for Newsette readers. Below, Mi-Anne answers our most pressing beauty questions — and throws in a lesson on the “vagacial” and career tips for aspiring beauty writers.

NEWSETTE: You have so many great articles on Refinery29 detailing different products, what are some of your favorite products of the moment?   

Mi-Anne: I’m lucky enough to get to try dozens of new products every month, which means my beauty routine is constantly changing. Right now I’m obsessed with L’Oreal’s new Infallible Paints Eye Shadows. It’s a two-prong stick that features two different cream shadows. I’m usually not a fan of two-in-one products (I always end up using just one side) but these ones really deliver. I love that they come in crazy colors like pastel blue, pink, and yellow. I recently did a story where I challenged myself to try thirty different makeup trends over a two month period so these shadows came in clutch. They’re perfect for creating easy, bold pastel or graphic eyes!

I’m also a huge fan of lipstick (the bolder the better!) so I flipped when NARS launched its new Powermatte Lip Pigments — the brand’s first true liquid lipstick. I wore one of the red shades to the beach (video coming soon to Refinery29’s YouTube channel) and it didn’t move all day — seriously, I wore that sucker for nine hours and it lasted through ice cream, salad, and a roller coaster without any touchups.

I also liveeeeee for highlighter, as in I wear it pretty much everyday even if I’m going for a no-makeup makeup vibe. I love RMS’ new Champagne Rose Luminizer which comes in a pot and gives my cheekbones the most beautiful, dewy, almost-wet, sheen.

Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to my current favorite liquid liner from Japanese brand DHC. It’s not a new product, but I discovered it this year thanks to a coworker. It has a paint brush-style tip (read: it’s not felt!) which, in my opinion, creates crisper, cleaner lines than any other brush material and it tends to last longer, too (I’ve been using the same tube for almost six months and it shows no signs of slowing down). This one also lasts all day on my eyes without a primer, which for someone with ridiculously greasy lids like me is a godsend.

NEWSETTE: Social media is especially prevalent today to help share inspiration and ideas; do you have a preference when it comes to your social media platform?

Mi-Anne: I primarily use Instagram although I have accounts on Twitter and Snapchat. I find that juggling too many apps makes me really stressed – even just using Instagram gives me pangs of anxiety. Anyone else feel that pressure to constantly be “on” and posting? But, I love that Instagram is so visual, yet you can do a lot with the caption if you want. I find so much inspiration on the ‘gram — in fact, I have hundreds of saved images on the app to whip out when I’m feeling uninspired.

NEWSETTE: Your videos for the Refinery29 channel are so interesting and informative, we love learning about the different beauty treatments out there like the ‘vagacial’what has been your favorite treatment so far and why?

Mi-Anne: First off, thank you! I actually think the “vagacial” was my favorite episode that has come out this year. It sounds weird, but the treatment was all about dealing with ingrowns so I made the episode about ingrown education and prevention! Plus, it was really fun to break down boundaries and just talk about seemingly “taboo” subjects.

NEWSETTE: Our newsletter features the morning and nightly routines of different girl bosses, is there one thing you have to do every morning and night?

Mi-Anne: I’ll be honest: I’m not one of those gals who wakes up at the crack of dawn, brews a cup of green tea, and reads on her balcony before getting ready in the morning. In reality, I wake up twenty minutes before I have to head out the door so my routine is pretty Spartan (not to mention planned down to the second). I guess the one thing I always do morning and night is my skin care, I had pretty severe acne throughout middle school and high school so I’ve always been diligent and careful when it comes to my skin. I also find it strangely relaxing and cathartic to gently press on layers of toner and serum morning and night. It’s something I do even if I’m rushed that feels like the perfect start and end to my day.

NEWSETTE: If you only had to use one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mi-Anne: Eyeliner! Again, that DHC liner would be a desert-island staple (that and sunscreen…and a distress beacon…).

NEWSETTE: Almost everyone has gone through different beauty stages or tried things they might have regretteddo you have any beauty regrets?

Mi-Anne: Is it weird that I don’t? I’ve tried so many things I can’t really say there’s one thing I really truly regret. I’m not a huge fan of the black underliner I wore during my angsty pre-teen years but hey, 12-year-old me liked it so who am I to judge??

NEWSETTE: Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who is an aspiring beauty writer?

Mi-Anne: Write as much as you can! If you’re just starting out, I’d highly recommend starting a blog. I had a blog back in the day and those posts really helped me land some of my first internships. From there, I hustled and was determined to get as many clips (published writing) as I could. When you’re applying to internships or jobs, having clips will make a huge difference and give your potential employer an example of your writing style!

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