Baiyu Chen is more than a pretty girl who can belt out a few notes here and there. A Princeton University graduate and a lover and performer of music all her life, Baiyu is one smart, sexy and cool singer and songwriter. With a record deal with JMD/INgrooves/Universal and music collaborations with sensations like Ryan Leslie, Baiyu is the real deal.
Baiyu has released her new single "Together" today and though it's a free download at BaiyuOnline, 100% of donations (no minimum) will go towards the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan! The song is catchy with smooth beats so support a fantastic artist and a great cause!
Check out our exclusive Q&A with Baiyu as she dishes her beauty secrets!
Q & ABaiyu Chen
Q: We love your sexy-groovy style, which suits your R&B vocals. How would you describe your own look and style?
Why thank you! I think of my style as sultry-eclectic-chic. I like experimenting with colors and I also have a pretty good understanding of what fits my body type well. I think it's exciting and amazing to take risks in fashion, but at the same time, it's also important for me to make sure to stay classy with what I wear, how I look and how I come off. For me, one of the defining characteristics about my demeanor is confidence. Confidence is a great asset to any artist, and it can also be sexy.
Q: While you're performing, what features do you like to emphasize?
I love to emphasize my legs when I'm on stage, because I think that they look very strong. Strength, in its many forms, is a quality that I greatly admire; so looking healthy and strong on stage is important to me. In terms of my face, the one feature that I tend to play up is my eyes. I think there's something really stunning about dramatic eyes with nude lips. At the same time, I'm a storyteller, and a lot of my songs are about personal moments in my life, so it's great to be able to have expressive eyes that bring a life of their own, and speak volumes.
Q: For a day in the studio, what would you typically use on your skin?
When I'm recording, I typically like to be super relaxed and comfortable. Staying hydrated for a day in the study is not only great for my vocal cords, but amazing for my skin. Studios tend to be a bit stuffy, quite dry and cold in order to keep all the equipment performing optimally, so good old H2O really allows me to feel healthy while I record.
Also, when I'm in the booth, I like to be as comfortable as possible so that the only thing I need to focus on is my vocal performance. I'll usually go in with some light concealer, my black L'Oreal liquid eyeliner, and clear gloss. Sometimes I even get a little "crazy" and kick off my shoes so that I can feel more grounded by going barefoot!
Q: Do you prefer having your makeup done by professional artists or by yourself?
I love doing my own makeup. Maybe it's the part of me that still enjoys playing dress up, but I think makeup is--and should be--fun! I love experimenting with new colors and textures, and I also like to jazz it up or tone it down to fit my mood. That way, I can throw on some highly pigmented MAC shadows when I want to feel glam, or up the shimmer with my Stila palette when I want to feel like a golden goddess.
On days when I'm doing a photo shoot or appearance, it's great to have a makeup artist who understands light and knows how to cater to the specific event or environment. They're usually a little more familiar with what looks good when the camera flashes, and it's also great to just watch them do what they love. The professional makeup artists that I've worked with have given me some really amazing tips and fresh ideas!
Q: What skincare routine do you use to keep your skin looking radiant?
I grew up with an extremely minimalistic skincare regimen, and in a lot of ways, I still think that less is more. I have acne-prone combination skin, so sometimes when I use the wrong moisturizer or primer, my skin can break out quite easily. Ever since I was young, I've always stuck to using a soft washcloth morning and night. For me, not only does it clean my face after I use makeup remover, but it also gently exfoliates. About 6 months ago, I finally found two gems from the LUSH line of products that don't break me out and still keep my skin moisturized and radiant. After washing my face, I spritz on Tea Tree Water toner, followed by Imperialis moisturizer. These are a great one-two punch as the Tea Tree Water keeps my acne at bay, and Imperialis balances out my skin and keeps it supple.
Q: Beauty is only skin deep, so aside from your skincare regimen, how do you take care of yourself?
I think that in a lot of ways, mental health is tied to physical health. For me to feel mentally healthy, there are three key things. Firstly, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night allows me to be so much more alert and productive during the day. During the night is when my body and mind repair themselves, so carving out that time to get some much needed rest is crucial.
Secondly, sharing laughs and having an open line of communication with my friends and family really brings upon a much needed sense of love and security. I absolutely agree that to love others, you must first love yourself, but at the same time, these two elements can be symbiotic.
Lastly, it's very important to me that I consistently feed my passions, which for me, comes in many forms, most of which live in the realm of creativity. Whether I'm singing, writing music, dancing, or even doing photography or cooking a nice meal, I adore being able to do things that I truly enjoy.
Q: Who are your beauty inspirations?
The people and streets of New York City are my main beauty inspirations! Not only are the colors, cultures and non conventional structures of NYC an amazing source of ideas, the people of New York never cease to amaze me with their boldness and sense of self. I think that this city breeds openness and acceptance, so that everyone feels free to express themselves in however they feel most authentic.
Q: What must-have beauty product do you always need to have stashed with you?
My one beauty must-have, which will eternally live in my purse, is my Smith's Rosebud Salve. Not only is it great for maintaining soft lips, it's also great for my cuticles and hands. On top of that, the soft rose scent is an excellent little added bonus!
Baiyu Photos: Dress by Hellz-Bellz and photographer by Retroo Williams