Stylist + Artistic Michelle Li

“I just lately realized that I’m a grown-up. What the hell? I’ve at all times considered myself as a child. Grown-ups are at all times so severe, and so they’re scared to make errors, whereas I feel I nonetheless am extra fearless. I grew up in Indiana, after my dad and mom emigrated from China for graduate faculty. I liked it—biking to individuals’s homes, enjoying tennis with my brother, going to the ice cream stand in the summertime… In highschool I spotted that I actually appreciated trend. I learn numerous Nylon, and rewatched Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and 13 Happening 30 so many instances.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to maneuver to New York after highschool, and whereas I used to be at Parsons I did about seven or eight internships in all features of the trade. I did advertising and wholesale at Valentino, labored at Karla Otto as a PR intern, and my first journal internship was at Nylon. I needed to do styling, however I additionally needed to put in writing, and after I received a job at Refinery 29 I actually began entering into that hybrid position. Whereas I used to be at Refinery, Lindsay Peoples reached out to me, and I keep in mind the topic line was ‘TV Editor.’ I used to be like, ‘What’s that? I don’t assume I’d be a tv editor.’ [Laughs] So I put it off for some time, and after I lastly clicked into it I noticed that it was a couple of trend editor job at Teen Vogue. I had been working with small budgets and I needed to see how artistic I may get at a much bigger company with extra sources and help. So I mentioned sure. As quickly as I received there, we simply began banging out shoots. I had a lot artistic freedom to outline the type and visible id for the model, which I’d say is colourful, enjoyable, whimsical, considerate, and actually sensible. I began a franchise that was about styling teams of ladies inside massive trend traits of the season; we did one with rollerskaters, and we did ice skaters of Harlem for a winter story. We had been additionally capturing numerous celebrities, and studying learn how to analyze a star’s type and what makes them snug, then serving to them push it somewhat bit extra. And I actually liked supporting younger designers in New York.

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I left Teen Vogue in Might. Now I’m doing numerous freelance styling and a few consulting. And I’m additionally working with this luxurious secondhand market just like The Actual Actual known as Tradesy. Ever since working at Tradesy, any time I store, I’m going to go secondhand first. That’s the precedence. Certain, you’ll be able to nonetheless be prone to traits while you store secondhand, however on the finish of the day, you’re actually asking your self, ‘Is that this one thing I’m going to put on?’ To me, private type has been trumping traits for a very long time. Anyway, I’m ensuring that each one Tradesy’s finest stuff is curated, and I’m engaged on content material creation. One thing I want I had identified is that I feel you’ll be able to at all times return. I’m glad that I freelance, however I can at all times go full-time once more, and possibly have a greater position. No choice is ever as everlasting as you assume it’s.

Grown-ups are at all times so severe, and so they’re scared to make errors, whereas I feel I nonetheless am extra fearless.

Now that I’ve form of gotten the hold of magnificence, I really feel like I can experiment extra and actually elevate an outfit. It’s like an adjunct. However typically I feel, ‘Oh man, this look is sophisticated and loopy sufficient that I ought to hold the make-up easy.’ So both I’m doing a full look, or I’m not sporting make-up. I take advantage of Glossier Futuredew as basis, mainly—it evens out my face and makes it glowy sufficient. Then I take advantage of this reddish Milk Make-up Quirk stick for my cheeks, and Saie’s Dew Balm as highlighter. Cream highlighter is a lot simpler to mix in than powder.

The Relevee Lash Roller from Surratt is flatter, so it will get all of my eyelashes at one time, whereas I must transfer round one thing that was extra curved. It’s higher for Asian eyes. Then I both use the Saie mascara or the Byredo one. I really like the packaging, and the mascara is basically good. I care loads concerning the brush—I don’t need the bristles to be too lengthy—and it wants to have the ability to maintain the curl in my lashes with out being waterproof as a result of waterproof mascaras are so laborious to take off. I additionally use a Byredo lipstick known as Earth Mud. The woman on the Byredo retailer mentioned that my lips have already got a pink tint, in order that one could be a superb nude for me. I actually prefer it. And I even have a tooth gem. [Laughs] I at all times needed one, and when one in every of my mates did it I assumed it was actually cute. Mine is somewhat coronary heart.

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I began coloring my hair about 4 years in the past. I went to Colleen Flaherty at Spoke + Weal in Soho, and the plan was at all times to go pink. I assumed I’d attempt completely different colours afterwards, however I just like the pink a lot I can’t think about doing anything. It has turn out to be such a impartial for me. I can type my hair with something—any colour works with pink. I feel I’ll keep pink for a very long time.

I’m so loyal to Colleen as a result of at this level, we’ve been doing it for thus lengthy. She is aware of that I like a dusty pink that’s not too purple. We don’t speak about it, we simply do it. My first appointment took like seven hours, as a result of I needed to go platinum earlier than I went pink. However now I get my roots carried out and the pink touched up as soon as a month. If I don’t see Colleen for some time, then I’ll use an Uberliss Bond Sustainer in Pink Rose to re-up on the pink. I wash my hair twice every week with purple R+Co Sundown Blvd Shampoo, which retains the pink from getting yellow. Then I really don’t use conditioner, as a result of I take advantage of K18. That has been such a sport changer for my hair. I assumed that bleaching it for thus a few years would go away it brittle, however it’s completely positive. It actually feels so mushy and glossy. I’ve tried a superb quantity of hair masks—my favourite is the Amika one as a result of it smells so good, and I do use their Supernova Hair Moisturize and Shine Cream each time after I bathe. But when I wish to really restore my hair and make it really feel higher, it’s the K18.

It has turn out to be such a impartial for me. I can type my hair with something—any colour works with pink.

I had actually dangerous psoriasis and dry patches throughout my face, and honey cleared it up. Dermatologists at all times gave me some form of cortisone, however it wasn’t superb and I’d form of accepted that I’d at all times have very dry pores and skin. Over winter break in school I went to work on a Manuka honey farm for enjoyable as a result of I’d at all times needed to go to New Zealand. It was a lot enjoyable, however I received actually sunburnt. The mother of the household that owns the farm instructed me to attempt the honey we had been harvesting on my face. Each evening, we’d sit in entrance of the TV with Manuka honey dripping off our faces. Now I solely wash my face at evening, and I take advantage of Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, which is basically light and nonetheless will get the job carried out. My favourite product of all time is that this Employee B Honey Face Wash, which I really use as a masks after I cleanse. I received the advice from my buddy, Mi-Anne Chan, who I met when she was a magnificence editor at Refinery29. It’s fully modified my life—I feel honey has magical properties.

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Generally I’ll use this Dieux Deliverance Trinity Serum. I don’t love having numerous product on my pores and skin, so I don’t use many serums, however this one absorbs rather well. And I feel it helps loads with irritation—particularly after I’m beginning to get my interval. It’s good for hormonal zits. Then, I take advantage of this Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil. I began utilizing face oils possibly two or three years in the past—the primary one I actually appreciated was the Circumference Pure Balancing Botanical Face Oil, which was additionally from Mi-Anne. I gua sha, and massaging in a superb oil feels very nice. Once I do this, I don’t must do as a lot work within the morning. I simply get up and my face feels moisturized. Within the morning I’ll simply moist my face and use this Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer. I’m actually obsessive about it. I discovered it after I was in California, as a result of it’s so dry there and I actually wanted a superb moisturizer. I’ve been utilizing it loads since. Then I’ll use this ZitSticka Megashade Sunscreen Serum. It’s creamy, which makes me really feel prefer it sinks in additional shortly, and it’s very light-weight, so I’m not completely conscious that I’m sporting sunscreen.

I get two completely various kinds of facials: Face Health club, and dermalinfusions at Glo Spa. I really like Face Health club. I really like having individuals contact my face—it feels so chill and enjoyable. That being mentioned, I don’t assume I’m going regularly sufficient to truly see any outcomes. The dermalinfusion although, my pores and skin is glowing afterwards. I actually don’t actually know what it’s. All I do know is that they use a tube to suck out the entire clogs and air pollution, after which infuse [my skin] with different issues.

Though I haven’t got to cope with eczema and psoriasis anymore, I nonetheless like to make use of a mild physique wash. I really like Nécessaire’s fragrance-free one. I take advantage of the Kate McLeod Every day Stone as a moisturizer, or I’ll use the Costa Brazil Kaya Jungle Firming Oil. I received it as a part of a present field, and it’s so good. I don’t know if it’s firming although.

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I’ve began getting actually into perfume. I both love once they’re actually smoky and have a hinoki wooden scent, or I prefer it to be very clear with small floral scents. D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic has a very nice, clear, candy scent, and I feel it mixes with my physique rather well. Particularly after I’m sweating loads, I like the best way it makes me scent. That applies additionally to this ERL Sunscreen Eau de Toilette made by Comme des Garçons. It does form of scent like sunscreen, however in a clear approach. The smoky ones I really like are Le Labo’s Thé Noir 29, and Byredo’s Blended Feelings.

I by no means get my nails carried out, so this manicure may be very thrilling for me. I received it carried out at Paintbox, with Vacation The Label. I normally put on my nails quick, with no polish. It’s laziness, however I additionally don’t wish to spend the cash. If I needed to spend cash on one factor, it could be clothes.”

—as instructed to ITG

Michelle Li photographed by Alexandra Genova on September 14, 2021 in New York.

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