by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

We Asked Beauty Editor Iantha Yu for Her Must-Have Products

Australia-based beauty editor Iantha Yu (@ianthayu) has been in the publishing industry for years, working across a number of print and digital titles like Marie Claire, BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health and Shop Til You Drop. Now, she heads PicStudio, a boutique agency that specialises in visual storytelling, strategy and branding for beauty, lifestyle and fashion brands.

“I love that every day is different and exciting,” says Iantha. “I could be writing a story for Women’s Health on a freelance basis (hilariously, it’s my third time being on the brand), meeting with clients to talk about new product launches, meeting with entrepreneurs to discuss brand development and packaging design, or styling a set for a photo or video shoot for a brand.”

We chat with Iantha as she tells BEAUBIT about the beginnings of her career, beauty must-haves and more.

What are three things people should know about you?

I can’t live without music. When I’m working, I always have a playlist or mixtape going in the background. Having the right vibe around me is a top priority! I’m not a morning person… although I’m trying to train myself to be, I set an alarm for around 6 to 7 am, depending on the kind of day I’m going to have and try to wake up with a cup of matcha or green tea. I need to stay active to stay sane. At the moment I’m enjoying boxing or going for an ocean swim or a run around a park.

Where did you grow up and how has your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?

I was born in Hong Kong but immigrated to Sydney with my family when I was three. I had a traditional upbringing with my Chinese parents and I speak Cantonese with them… I’m grateful that I got to practice the language day in and day out! My education was solely completed in Sydney though, so my values are quite Westernised.

I knew I was quite creative growing up and wasn’t interested in more “traditional” careers like being a lawyer or doctor. I was fascinated by the fashion and beauty world since I watched my father work in the fashion industry as I was growing up and I was enamoured by the way it could reach consumers. However, it was beauty that really rocked my world when I was growing up. My mother had the best—and most luxurious!—skincare collection and I loved playing with it all. Now that I’ve grown up, I know exactly why the beauty industry spoke out to me the most; it has a way of emotionally connecting with you, and it’s incredibly personal.

What is the best part of your work?

I love working with different brands on a daily basis, learning about their story and helping them come up with ways to tell their story with words or pictures. With so many brands on the market, you really do have to come up with new ways to stay relevant and unique.

Name five must-have items in your handbag.

1. Blotting papers: I’ve got combination skin so my T-zone and cheeks can look quite shiny through the day. Blotting papers are the easiest way to mop up excess oil without ruining your foundation.

2. Merci Handy’s Hand Sanitiser: I can’t see myself living without hand sanitiser anymore! Merci Handy are a French brand too, which makes the little bottles even more chic.

3. Lanolips’ Banana Balm: I never leave home without a lip balm, and I absolutely adore the ones from Lanolips. Their Banana Balm is one of my favourite products because it smells like banana (unusual but addictive), and it’s laced with tiny specks of glitter so the formula doubles as a gloss. It’s a win-win for me.

4. Lash glue: I wear falsies on a daily basis and a runaway lash is never a good look!

5. Vida Glow supplements: I usually have a sachet or two in my handbag for my hit of collagen everyday. I prefer the flavoured ones (like mango or blueberry) as I find drinking plain water boring.

What does your daily skincare ritual look like?

My skincare routine is quite pared-back. I don’t have the patience to do a full 12-step routine every day, nor does my skin like it when I use too many products! I start the day by wiping my skin with a hot face cloth to remove any excess skincare from the night before. The heat of the cloth also helps my pores open up. Next, I apply a serum like Skinceuticals’ Phloretin C F, followed by some Ultraceuticals MD Eye Cream and Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Sheer Tint, which is a tinted moisturiser with sun protection.

At night, I double cleanse with Eve Lom’s Cleanser (it’s like a cleansing balm) and Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Foaming Cleanser. After my shower, I’ll apply a serum and moisturizer, and it really depends on what my skin needs. Sometimes I’ll add a supercharged retinol-based serum like Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum and follow with some Ultraceuticals Ultra Moisturiser Cream, or sometimes I’ll just use one product—the Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Treatment Lotion—if my skin is freaking out and misbehaving.

What is your signature beauty look? Any tips that have really changed the way you do makeup?

My signature beauty look is a dewy or velvet skin finish, wispy false lashes, and a barely-there cheek and lip colour. I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup; most days I’ll be fine with some tinted moisturiser. However, I rarely leave the house without a set of falsies; I don’t feel like “me” without them!

During my teen years to my mid-20s, I was all about rocking some black winged eyeliner. One day I looked in the mirror and decided the look was too harsh for my face, so I switched to wearing a neutral pink-beige eyeshadow on my eyelids, along with some dark brown eyeliner around my eyes.

What is the most exciting beauty purchase you’ve made recently and why?

I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious and reduce my waste footprint, and I really like the reusable facial wipes from Face Halo. I love using them when I want to remove hard-to-budge makeup like a long-wearing foundation. Simply pop a few drops of micellar water into the facial wipe, use it on your face, and throw it in the wash to use it again. Easy and earth-friendly.

Iantha’s Beauty Picks
Skinceuticals Phloretin C F Serum, SGD268
Ultraceuticals MD Eye Cream, AUD131
Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Sheer Tint, AUD84
Eve Lom Cleanser, SGD120
Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Foaming Cleanser, AUD69
Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum, AUD145
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer, SGD42
Ultraceuticals Ultra Moisturiser Cream, AUD112
Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Treatment Lotion, AUD96
Benefit Cosmetics 24-Hr Brow Setter Invisible Brow Gel, SGD44
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation, SGD104
Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Moisturising Micellar Water, SGD41.90

What are your plans for the year ahead?

2020 was a wild ride, so I’m looking forward to 2021 normalising so I can push forward with my business! Besides copywriting and shooting for clients, I’ve really enjoyed the branding and strategy side of things and would love to see where it all leads me.

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