Photo: Courtesy of Starhub

Because of his job nature, Xiao Kai (more affectionately known as Xiao Kai Lao Shi) gets to try out tons of beauty products — from cleansers to moisturisers. We know, this may sound like a dream come true for some of you beauty junkies out there.

While most of us have one to two regular cleansers at home, Xiao Kai has a lot more. Currently, he’s using more than 20 different facial washes (check out our favourites here). “Besides trying them out for work, I tend to grow tired of using the same product after a while so I’ll always switch to a new one every week,” he tells us during our one-on-one interview.

The Taiwanese makeup artist — most famously recognised for being one of the resident beauty experts on variety show Lady First — has made it a point to test every product that he recommends. So it’s no wonder beauty products occupy a lot of space back home.

Photo: Xiao Kai / Instagram

“I’ll only support products that are safe to use and I’ll personally try them out first,” he shares. “This includes those that don’t necessarily suit my skin type, such as intensive anti-ageing serums or heavy moisturisers. Since there are so many things to try, I have to store them in an entire wardrobe.” he adds.

The dishy makeup pro recently stopped by our sunny shores to star in the latest season of Lady First Singapore and we took to the chance to get up close with him and picked his brain about all things beauty.

Read on to find out more!

Xiao Kai on…

…maintaining healthy skin

Besides skincare, diet is very important too. I recently started taking antioxidant supplements because they help in our cell regeneration process. Getting adequate rest is also very important. I used to sleep very little but now, I’ll go to bed before 12pm every night and get at least seven hours of rest.


…the biggest beauty myth

A lot of people may think that oils are bad for our skin but I think oil-based beauty products are good for us. In fact, even our own sebum is good for our skin. For oily skin types, instead of being obsessed with oil-control products, I’ll recommend focusing on hydrating the skin to regulate sebum production. This will help to prevent over-drying your skin, which may in turn cause premature ageing.

Related: Beloved Taiwanese Diva Pauline Lan nails all her #OOTD looks. Here’s how she does it


…the craziest thing he’s ever done for beauty

Once, I tried leaving a volcanic clay mask on my face for more than eight hours. The recommended duration was just 15 minutes but I was curious to find out what would happen if I left it on overnight. When I woke up the next morning, the mask was glued to my face. It took me an hour to wash it off and in the end, my skin turned so red! Of course, I’ve since learned my lesson. Don’t try it!


…how Singaporeans can take good care of their skin

I’ve observed that a lot of women here have sensitive skin. I think this may be because of the hot and humid climate here as well as a diet that consists of a lot of spices. The solution is to look out for beauty products that are fragrance- and alcohol-free, and contain soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin B5. This will minimise the risk of skin inflammation which may lead to dullness and spots.


…how to make your makeup last longer

My secret is to apply lesser makeup. The common misconception, when it comes to long lasting makeup, is to apply a thick layer of longwear foundation or reach for a setting spray. But, when your makeup is thick, it becomes very obvious when it starts to ‘melt’. That’s why my advice is to go easy on the makeup; it becomes less noticeable even when your makeup starts to fade away.

Related: No makeup? No problem! Zoe Tay, Fann Wong and more stars who look gorgeous with bare faces


…what to take note of when you’re buying new beauty products

My advice is — if it’s something that sits on your skin for a long time like moisturisers and serums, avoid those that contain fragrances. This will help to lessen any signs of irritation.


…his favourite beauty hunts in Singapore

There are many brands here that can’t be found in Taiwan so I’m always excited to be in Singapore. I love to shop at Sephora and Robinsons here. Some of my favourite brands include Urban Decay and Tarte.


…some of the most memorable celebrities he’s worked with

Lin Chi-ling, Pauline Lan, Chang Hsiao-yen and veteran Taiwanese-born actress Hsu Feng. I hope to work with my ‘goddess’ Shu Qi; I’d love to create a different look for her.  


…the Singaporean celebrity that he wants to work with

Fann Wong! I met her back in Taiwan many years ago and since then, I’ve always wanted to work with her. I hope that I’ll get a chance soon!  


Lady First Singapore Season 5 is now showing on Hub E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825), every Tuesday at 9pm.