How to get that crazy rich glow
Bee Shaprio sits down with Constance Wu to discuss her beauty secrets
Constance Wu starred in what may be have been last summer’s guilty pleasure, the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians. She is also known for her role as Jessica Huang in the TV comedy series Fresh Off the Boat. Off-screen, Constance, who is 36 and is from Richmond, Virginia, would love to channel Jennifer Lopez – in beauty choices, at least. Here’s why she has “flighty” issues with her hair and why it is all about the J.Lo glow.
First thing: I chug a bunch of water, and then I usually do something pretty simple. You know those Neutrogena makeup wipes? I use either those or just water. I follow that with Drunk Elephant vitamin C serum. I shop at Sephora a lot because they’re really cool about letting you try things out. This was a recommended product there, so I gave it a go and loved it.
Then I use La Mer Moisturising Soft Cream. The first time I heard about La Mer was in middle school, and I read that J.Lo used it. I didn’t always use it, but once I started making money, I was like, “I can actually afford to treat myself.” To me, skin care is a pleasure. Depending on the day, I might use sunscreen. I used to use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, but then I read that physical sunscreens are better than chemical ones, and I switched to one by La Roche-Posay.
I have a whole other routine at night. If I’ve had a shoot and I’m wearing makeup, I do different types of cleanser. I use SK-II oil cleanser – that takes the makeup off – and after that, I use the Clearasil face wash. Seriously. I’ve been using it since I was a teenager.
And I’m really into these Alpha Beta peels by Dr. Dennis Gross. If I want to be really glowy the next day, I definitely use them.
I follow that with the Drunk Elephant serum, and sometimes I use a prescription retinoid called tretinoin. If I do the peel, though, I skip that. I won’t use both. I also like the Shiseido Glow Revival line a lot. I use the serum, the lotion and the eye cream.
If I have an event or something, I sometimes do a face mask before. There’s this brand called Naruko. I discovered it when I was filming Crazy Rich Asians. Face masks are relatively new in the U.S. In Asia, you can buy them – all kinds – at the local drugstore. I was at a drugstore in Singapore buying toothpaste, and they had a sampler pack of face masks with the Naruko ones I love so much.
Makeup is a kind of mood ring. One day you can be really stripped down and natural, and on other days you want to do an orange lip. Usually I use the Clé de Peau concealer for my dark circles. And I always do some kind of blush. My blushes rotate depending on my mood and what I’m wearing. Sometimes I do a powder blush from Laura Mercier, and sometimes I do a HD cream blush from Make Up For Ever. But then today, for example, I’m wearing Benetint.
I do brown eyeliner on my top lash line. And I like lip colour that mimics my natural colour – it’s a pinky mauve. The one I’m using now is by Charlotte Tilbury. I do like having a lip liner sometimes, and I have one by Laura Mercier in Potpourri. I line just outside my top lip before filling it in. I take a lot of inspiration from J.Lo in that sense. She looks so great.
Mascara irritates my eyes. I get lash extensions now because it’s easier. I try to get really natural-looking ones that are thin and don’t really curl. I don’t want to look like those dolls that blink.
I don’t wear fragrance. Fragrance shopping is so overwhelming. I don’t even know how to begin.
My natural hair is a dark, dark brown, very shiny, very straight and very full. I have so much hair. I’ve gone through four different hair colours this year. It wasn’t because of any roles. It was because of my flighty personality. I took the summer off from work. Because I knew I wasn’t going to be on camera for several months, I thought, “I’m going to just play around.” I was pink, then I was jet black, then I was blonde, and now I’m kind of dark blond-light brown.
At first, I thought my hair was invincible – I could do anything to it. And after the first three colours, it was OK. By the time I got to my fourth colour, it seemed to quit. I don’t want to be this colour, and I’m trying to get it to a richer chocolate brown.
Normally I use the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil shampoo and conditioner. But now it’s not enough. I use the Olaplex conditioner, and I have to do a deep conditioning mask.
Diet and fitness
Since I turned 30, I’ve had to think about diets more. It’s not necessarily for weight reasons but because I got adult eczema. I don’t want to be on steroid creams, so I worked with a dermatologist on an elimination diet to see what foods triggered it. We found some very specific things, like pineapple, which I now have to avoid.
I’m not really into ‘fitness’. I’m into running because it’s relaxing for me and meditative. When I want to veg out, I go for a run. It calms me. I’ve also run a couple of marathons too.
I do gel pedicures once a month, and I try to do a facial once a month too. Sometimes it becomes once every two months.
Words: Bee Shapiro