by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Tina Hu’s Guide To Keeping Asian Lashes Curled

Toronto-based content creator and executive compensation consultant Tina Hu shares with BEAUBIT her skincare routine and a tip for keeping even the straightest Asian lashes curled all day.

It’s definitely a struggle trying to get our short, straight and droopy Asian lashes to stay curled the whole day, despite the layers of mascara. But Tina Hu (@tinahu), who is a content creator and executive compensation consultant based in Toronto, has mastered the art of keeping her lashes curled all day.

Here, Tina shares more about her daily and work life, the skincare routine for her smooth and glowy complexion, and the coveted beauty tip for keeping even the most stubborn and straight lashes curled throughout the day.

Tell us more about yourself.

I am a content creator and executive compensation consultant — quite different alter egos, I know. Essentially, I like to say I’m a consultant during the week and a creative on the weekend. My parents made the move from China to Toronto when I was 7, and I’ve been here ever since.

What is the most valuable professional lesson you have learned?

Never be afraid to ask for help — upwards, laterally, downwards. Learn from your peers and seek their advice. 

What does a typical day in your life look like?

My workdays are usually pretty routine. Currently, I work from home so I am working from when I wake up until the afternoon. I’m not really a morning person during the week, so I’m usually out of bed and straight onto my laptop. We got a puppy back in January, so that means a walk in the morning, at lunch, after work, and before bed, which definitely helps to get all my steps in! Our day pretty much revolves around his schedule now. 

On the weekend, my days are pretty free-form. Summers in Toronto are so short, so now that restrictions here have been lifted a bit, I’m trying to get together with friends while we still can enjoy some patio and picnic weather.

What does beauty mean to you?

Inner beauty. Physical beauty just varies so much, and everyone has a different opinion on what is beautiful. In this age of social media, we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others. Our faces are constantly being reflected back at us in selfies and photos, so that we’ve all become hyper-aware of all our features, including myself. Sometimes, I have to tell myself to take a step back and appreciate my features for the way they are.

“At the end of the day, our physical beauty will inevitably fade with time, but our experiences and stories will continue to add to our inner beauty.”

Talk us through your typical skincare ritual and your favourite products. 

I have a lot of skincare products because I love trying out new products, but I try to keep my overall routine simple. In the morning, I wash my face with water, followed by Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum (SGD128), and Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 (SGD90). Even though my moisturizer has SPF, I’ll still go in with another sunscreen. My favourite is the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (SGD69) — I’m on my second bottle now. I have some melasma around my lips, so I’m always religiously applying sunscreen.

Since we’re in quarantine, I don’t wear much makeup these days, so at night I’ll cleanse with the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser (SGD22). I love this cleanser because it doesn’t leave that squeaky clean feeling on my skin, which I used to want with all my cleansers until I learned that’s actually a sign that your cleanser is too stripping. If I’m wearing makeup, I’ll double cleanse that night.

My skin is pretty tolerant, so I love my acids and retinol. I rotate between The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10%+ HA 2% (SGD11.50) and Mandelic Acid 10% + HA 2% (SGD9.50). I’ll switch to SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 on acid-free days, typically about 3 times a week. Depending on how my skin feels that day, I’ll sometimes follow up with either serum or oil. Then I seal everything in with La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream (SGD300). I feel like it has helped to moderate my skin with the perfect level of hydration for bedtime; it’s also a dream to apply because it is seriously the softest cream texture.

On Sundays, I do an at-home peel using The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (SGD12), followed by a sheet mask. I’ve only been doing this for a month so far, but my skin is so smooth and glowy immediately after.

What are your ‘go-to’ items for an effortless weekday beauty look?

My makeup is pretty minimal these days and it only takes about 10 minutes. I start with a peach-toned colour corrector on my under-eyes, followed by a spot concealer. I actually have my eyebrows and lash line microbladed, which is a total time saver. But, I still like to put on some brow gel and extend my eyeliner out a bit with a dark brown liquid eyeliner. 

I curl my eyelashes with Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler (SGD22), which is probably the best eyelash curler for Asian eyes. Because I have stubbornly straight eyelashes, I always use a lash primer before mascara. 

I’ve had trouble balancing the Western and Asian standards of beauty. I’ve done fake lashes and then lash extensions, all of which were pretty in photos but just weighed my smaller eyes down in-person. Now that we’ve been in quarantine for almost 6 months, I’ve come to appreciate my natural lashes with just mascara.

Tina’s Beauty Picks
Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, SGD128
Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30, SGD90
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, SGD69
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, SGD22
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%+ HA 2%, SGD11.50
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA 2%, SGD9.50
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate Serum, SGD230
Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil, SGD210
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, SGD22.90
The Ordinary Squalane Oil, SGD9.75
La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream, SGD300
The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, SGD12
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, SGD22

What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?

If you have straight Asian lashes, heat up your eyelash curler with a lighter before using it and you won’t even need waterproof mascara to keep your lashes curled all day — and I have some of the straightest lashes that point straight down. Of course, test it against your skin first to make sure it’s not too hot.

Also, not wearing, or wearing minimal foundation to let your skin breathe.

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What is most important to you: comfort, beauty, or innovation?

Comfort, because I’m a total homebody. But I also love all things beauty and learning about new innovative treatments. I’m only at the age now where I’ve started looking at facial laser treatments, so it’s totally possible that my answer will change later on (laughs). 

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