Olivia Tsang knows a thing or two about beauty – after all, it's her day-to-day job to capture it, as one of Hong Kong's leading photographers. She's also worked as a stylist, for fashion editorials as well as top Hong Kong stars such as Andy Lau. She's also – you may just have noticed – beautiful herself, and it's the kind of beauty that radiates from within. We caught up with her to learn how she gets that inner glow going, and how any of us can achieve picture-perfect beauty with tips and tricks she's learned from being in front of and behind the camera all these years.
As a professional photographer, finding beauty must be on your mind all the time. What is beauty to you?
Beauty to me is class and kindness.
When you're shooting, how do you bring out the individual beauty of your subject?
It depends on the subject, every time is different, but I think clear communication and confidence are key.
What are the best tips you've learned from professional make-up artists?
Good make-up needs to be believable, and you want your skin to look and feel real. Lightweight foundation with good coverage is essential to make your skin glow and react well to lights, and I've been using the M.A.C Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion; it's like a second skin and makes my skin glow! Shape your brows nicely, pick a lipstick that goes with your skin tone, then your glow just follows. I don't like to do too much colour; an earth-toned eye palette like Tom Ford's Eye Shadow Quad in Disco Dust and roasted almond or dusty rose shade lipsticks in velvet or matte like Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Long-Lasting Lipsticks in Walk Of Shame or Pillow Talk are my favourites. Tom Ford's Shimmer Shot is the best highlighter I've tried, it's the best for a day-to-night make-up change.
What's your daily skincare regime?
I am a luxe skincare addict. I like products that work fast, with results. I never leave the house without a good sunscreen during the day. Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 is so light and feels amazing on the skin. I use La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift and Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, they are seriously the best for firming! Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex is a godsend after I've had a long photo-retouching session. Kiehl's Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask works great especially after flights or as a de-stress ritual, I literally watch my skin drink that up in minutes!
Let's talk inner beauty. You also actively take part in dog-rescue projects. What motivated you to start? And what is the most rewarding part?
When I was in high school in New Zealand, I stayed with a family who were dog volunteers, and our house would always have many dogs who were surrendered for different reasons. Some were abused, some were sick, some were disowned just because people got bored of having them, so it made me realise that unwanted pets are one of the most neglected problems in modern society.
Since then, I made a little promise to myself, that whenever I see an animal in need I wouldn't walk away. I think the best way to help is to adopt, and not to buy an animal.
We have just adopted a four-year-old dog. He was found at a garbage collection point with his placenta and umbilical cord still attached from when he was first born, and he had never been on a walk or had a proper shower. When I showered him for the first time, when he slept on his own soft bed for the first time… everything was his first, and from that I learned a genuine appreciation of life. Perhaps we should always live life like it's our first time for everything. I think we all need a little reminder of that.
Clockwise from left:
La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream
(50 ml, HK$4,000)
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex
Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Tone Up Cream SPF50
Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque
Clockwise from top left:
TOM FORD Eye Shadow Quad in #DiscoDust
M.A.C Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion
Charlotte Tilbury Mascara
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Long-Lasting Lipsticks in #WalkOfShame (top) #PillowTalk (bottom)