conversations

The Gold Standard

As we approach the end of May and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we celebrate the achievements of those that have enriched not just their industry but the culture at large. We speak to two influential creatives, celebrity make-up artist Mai Quynh, and celebrity hair guru, Anh Co Tran. They share with us how they are staying creative and give us that professional advice on how to look cute for your next Zoom call.
Mai Quynh

Mai Quynh @storyofmailife

MAI QUYNH, Makeup Artist
Celebrity clients include Daisy Ridley, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Alison Brie.

What were your parents’ initial reaction to you wanting to get into the beauty industry?
Mai Quynh: Actually, my father’s death(when I was 21), caused me to go to makeup school. After high school, I didn’t go to college like all my friends. I was working retail and waiting tables, just trying to figure out life. But when my father passed away, that’s when I realized I should do something more with myself. He knew I didn’t want to go to school anymore, and he asked me to find something that I had a passion for and then told me the money would come later. He was right. 

How do they feel about it now?
MQ: To be honest, my mom didn’t understand for a while what I was doing work-wise. I lost her when I was 30, so she didn’t get to see much of my success, but I’m happy that she saw me working hard towards the career of my dreams. 

What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
MQ: It was actually my mom’s advice in life, which was “Never try, never know.” I was a picky eater when I was younger, so my mom would say that to me, to get me to try new foods. But I kind of took that quote and made it towards everything in life, especially for makeup. Because at the end of the day, you can wash your make up off and start all over and do something different tomorrow. 

During this time of sheltering at home, we notice that you’ve been doing  IG tutorials.  What inspired you to do this?
MQ: Honestly, I miss doing makeup so much, that I felt like I had to do these tutorials to stay sane and be creative. It’s a great outlet for me and it’s challenging me to try different looks on myself. 

Any beauty tips you can give someone who wants to look presentable, but not too done up for their Zoom meetings?
MQ: Yes, I highly recommend a great ring light. Lighting is key! After that, good glowing skin will really make you stand out and look flawless. I suggest the NEW Armani Beauty Neo Nude Foundation-it’s the perfect no makeup, makeup. 

How do you think Covid-19 will impact the beauty industry?
MQ: Honestly, the beauty industry is constantly changing with the times, and I think this is another obstacle that we will have to go through, but we’ll get through it. There will probably be a lot less people on set for shoots, as well as temperature regulations and PPE worn by the crew. I’ll probably eat before and after, because it’s almost impossible to eat/drink with a mask on unless we all eat at different corners of the room or in our cars! Definitely no more buffet-style eating for catering. Let’s just pray for a vaccine soon. 

What are you currently obsessed with?
MQ: Drag Race, 90 Day Fiance, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Pure Lift Face device from FaceGym and Scrabble GO

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Saoirse Ronan

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Chloe Grace Moretz

Anh Co Tran

Anh Co Tran @anhcotran

ANH CO TRAN, Hair Stylist
Celebrity clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and Constance Wu

What were your parents’ initial reaction to you wanting to get into the beauty industry?
Anh Co Tran: I mean of course they wanted me to be some kind of doctor but I guess being the 10th kid they were whatever by the time it came to me.  They were also supportive with my first career in fashion design too.  My parents were awesome. 
 
How do they feel about it now?
ACT: Well, before they passed, I think they were proud of me. I hope so. I would never want to disappoint them because they made such big sacrifices for their kids to have a better life. 
 
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
ACT: Probably the best one is from experience and meditation. Being happy and confident from the inside is the best advice I ever received. I know it sounds corny but very true. 
 
During this time of sheltering at home, we notice that you’ve been doing  IG tutorials.  What inspired you to do this?
ACT: I really believe it’s so important to connect and engage with your audience. There is not much to do because of the circumstances so why not build your relationship with others while helping each other cope with this pandemic. We are in this together. 
 
Any beauty tips you can give someone who wants to look presentable, but not too done up for their Zoom meetings?
ACT: Yes, do simple DIY styling, like flat iron waves, braids, twists, etc.  Watch hair tutorials and practice. The best thing to do is to get to know your hair and practice.  
 
How do you think Covid-19 will impact the beauty industry?
ACT: It’s going to take a minute for us to get back into the groove again. Sanitation will be key. We really don’t know how long and when it’s going to be over so being educated and taking precautions is the only way. 
 
What are you currently obsessed with?
ACT: I’ve been obsessed with walks and hiking. It’s my balance to all of this. I appreciate it so much more than ever. This pandemic has really reminded me to not to take things for granted. 
Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow

Constance Wu

Constance Wu

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