From being named best-dressed in high school to a stint as a Holywood fashion stylist and her transition to an all-encompassing digital influencer today, Chriselle Lim‘s rise to style star status may not have been instant but is very much well-deserved. The Korean-American entrepreneur opens up about her style, beauty faves and more in this interview.
You always look so polished. What’s your style formula? “Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I have almost like a uniform. Not in a sense where it’s boring and you wear the same thing over and over again, but just know what you like and stick to your formula. Especially for days where you don’t have time to think of an outfit. I’m a mum and am always so busy that I don’t really have the time to sit there and think about the outfits I want to wear. My go-to formula is to keep it simple, clean, chic and minimal and I think that’s why my style is a bit more polished. I love streamlined silhouettes and monochromatic looks.”
How would you sum up your style? “I would say that it’s simple, classic but with a bit of casual-cool edge – just a tad bit. I’m naturally more feminine and love beautiful, feminine things but also kind of grown to love streamlined, clean masculine things.
If you released a book, what would it be on and what would the title be? “I feel like I have so much to talk about from my journey as a career woman but also as a mother and a wife, and how challenging that has been. And starting a new business and feeling like an impostor going into a new industry without any background or track record or of starting a new company, and fundraising and being a woman and advocating yourself. I feel like it will encompass all of that, from beauty, fashion, career, motherhood, family, balance, starting over and money talk – all of that. The title would probably be something like, ‘But You Can Have It All’ or “Can You Have It All?’ cos that’s always what people ask me.”
You’re a regular at Fashion Week(s). What do you usually look out for at the shows? “I absolutely love going to Paris Fashion Week. Of course, I have my select few at New York Fashion Week like Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and the usual that I go to. But Paris Fashion Week is where my heart is . I love something that is beyond clothes. I love a good story. These Parisian houses do such a great job at telling a story from the location to the collections to the music, like, really everything. At shows, I look for a really good story line. Something that I can share with my followers and they will be inspired by.”
What are your tips on getting through Fashion Week in multiple cities? “Sleep. I don’t party, don’t drink, and I try to get eight to nine hours, which sounds kind of insane, but that actually helps me get through the entire month of fashion weeks. I eat well, work out, maybe not every day but at least a few times a week to get my blood flowing and keep to my regular schedule as much as I can, although that can be quite challenging.”
How do you pack for Fashion Week? What are some of your essentials? “I always pack my basics. My go-to jeans, my leather trousers, turtlenecks, black boots and pointed heels. I’m lucky enough that I get to be dressed by all these fashion houses but they always have these elaborate outfits. And so the thing that I’m always missing from my suitcases are the basics – the things that I actually need. And amazing skincare too. Products that will make me look alive and not tired. My go-to products right now are the Cle de Peau Beaute La Crème; it actually makes your skin look like you drank like ten glasses of water the next morning. It’s absolutely magical and does wonders for my skin. I also pack a really good cleanser; a cleansing oil or balm because I wear a lot of makeup during this time so it’s really important for me to get all that off so I don’t break out. My favorite balm is the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm.”
What are your travel beauty essentials? “A good cream that will get my skin glowing like the one from Cle de Peau Beaute. A good cleanser. A good foundation. My go-to is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Shiseido has a really good one too – the Synchro Skin – and it has great coverage. I do my own makeup so I bring a lot of lip colours and eyeshadows. My go-to lip colour is the Armani Beauty Lip Maestro in colour 400, which is the best red tone for Asian skin like mine.”
Tell us about your skin type and achieving that flawless look you’re known for. “I have slightly oily skin. I battled acne when I was a teenager and had a little bit of adult acne. It’s important for me to use products that are not too heavy. I do a detox mask once a week to control my pores and it’s really important for me to find the right products . I don’t over-moisturise, just enough so I don’t break out. I’m all about hydrating, whether going to a spa for a few hours or applying a mask once a week. I drink about 10 glasses of water a day. And I always look for products that work at night cos you’re just sleeping and it does the work for you. My mum also makes these incredible toner pads that are really good for anti-aging and brightening the skin – it’s called the Lemon Soju toner pad. I use them two to three times a week. It helps control my pores and contains vitamin c so it gives your skin a nice dewy glow.”
What’s your favourite Asian or Korean beauty trend? “It’s not so much of a trend but a technique. I love how they focus on shaping and massaging the face, more than just the texture of your skin. Although that’s important too. It’s almost like a detox. I could come in with a really bloated face and leave with a sculpted, nice shape. I also love the thicker eyebrow trend in Asia. I feel that it gives kind of a youthful look for Asian girls. I use the Hourglass Arch Brow Microsculpting arch pencil that allows you to create that fluffy, straight look.
What would you recommend for someone who has 24 hours in LA to get the most out of the city? “You definitely have to experience the food in LA. You don’t get the wide variety of vegan food like you do here. There are amazing healthy food options that you wouldn’t get anywhere else in the world. I’d go to Melrose Place for some shopping. They have trendy cafes. A lot of knick-knacks here and there. And if you want something that’s more typically LA, go on a hike at Runyon Canyon.
What do you remember most about Malaysia – and what would you come back for? “The food. I remember eating the street food and eating Yong Tau Foo. I’d fly back to eat that.”
Photography Shavonne Wong Assisted by Zachary Lee Witt Styling Cheryl Tan Assisted by Claudia Avila Makeup Alison Christian Hair Amanda Capomaccio/Mane Addicts