To the Point With Designer Min Liu of Ms MIN
Celebrating the launch of her new vibrant pink and red M.A.C colour collection, the designer spoke to The Point about beauty from the inside out.
Do the colours in your M.A.C collection draw on a particular feeling?
[This is] the first time that I designed a beauty product. Beauty makes me think about energy and colour, and the relationship between them. In China, we have a term called chee se. Chee means energy, and se means colour. It basically means if your energy (inner health) is good, that will reflect on your facial colour, so you have this healthy glow on your face and your colour is good. I remember my grandmother used to tell me that I’m beautiful. She always said, “Your face looks ‘pink red pink red,’” and that pink and red refers to the good energy and good colour. So, pink and red for me somehow represents the energy of life; it’s beautiful and shows good meaning inside out.
Could you tell us about the wave motif in the Min Liu for M.A.C Collection compact?
The compact has a beautiful name: The First Waves. [It has] a wave-like pattern embossed into the powder, an allegory for the energy that flows between mountains and oceans, across vast landscapes, spanning time and space, a single moment through eternity. When you open this compact, it’s like holding the universe in your hand; it somehow reminds us of the universe in our hearts.
You seem to like doing cultural research for the Ms MIN collection. Have you learned anything interesting or unexpected while working on your collaboration with M.A.C?
One of the interesting things that I learned is that the red poem paper (the traditional paper for Chinese New Year) has the most beautiful shade of red. When I flipped the paper over, I found that there was a chop (Chinese seal) that said: “The red that never fades.” So, I adopted this red as the red for my M.A.C collection.
Why do you think traditional cultural references are relevant to today’s customers?
Tradition is treasure, culture is treasure, tradition is where we come from, culture is who we are, so without them we are nothing. The modern world is updating non-stop, so to me that makes it even more important to keep and cherish the classics, and to give them new life. The classics are timeless; they are the result of wisdom maintained over thousands of years.
Is there a metaphysical or spiritual component to your creative process? How does that translate into the final product?
Mr. Yves Saint Laurent has been quoted saying, “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” That’s actually similar to my feeling about energy and colour. I believe that beauty is inside-out, and makeup allows us to accentuate that feeling. It’s the passion and the energy inside, when someone is feeling beautiful, feeling special, feeling in love, feeling like celebrating. It’s the beautiful mind that makes one beautiful. This time we designed a special gift for the M.A.C collection, which is a fortune-cookie-shaped coin purse. The fortune on the label inside says, “Nothing goes right on the outside when nothing is going right on the inside.”
Photography courtesy of Ms MIN.