Jamie Chung may have started her career with humble beginnings—she appeared in MTV’s “The Real World: San Diego” in 2004—but she’s proved her staying power in the entertainment industry, landing roles in “The Hangover: Part II,” “Once Upon a Time,” and most recently, the indie flick “Eden.” The 29-year-old actress has also earned a reputation for her striking looks on the red carpet, and is especially partial to bold lip colors, making her the perfect choice for our latest spring beauty editorial, “Lipstick Jungle.”
On set, Chung laughed and agreed that she was “made for this shoot.”
“I love lipsticks and lip colors,” she said. “It’s kind of the only thing that really pops. I like simple eyes with a purple dark lip for fall or for spring, something light. I love the bright colors; I still love the ‘rorange’ – orange and red for those of you who don’t know what that is! I love bright reds, pinks, I’m all about lips.”
As it happens, Chung is also just as interested as we are in learning new beauty trends and tricks, and peppered us with questions during the shoot on how to get each look we were creating on her. (Clearly we’ve discovered that the secret to her always looking great is that she’s always on the hunt for the next great thing!) During the shoot, Chung got to play in a room filled with tropical flowers and plants, and afterward, the gorgeous actress filled us in on her best beauty secrets, biggest beauty mistakes, and her “J.Lo phase.”
Beauty High: Let’s talk beauty! What are your must-have products when you’re traveling?
Jamie Chung: Oh boy! I get this question a lot, and I guess it’s because I do travel a lot. I would have to say my absolute necessities when I’m traveling would be my Clarisonic (travel size)—great for cleansing the face—as well as lip balm on the plane, and a moisturizer.
What are some of the best backstage hair and makeup tips that you’ve learned on set?
Today, at Beauty High, I learned how to fishtail! Well not literally a fish tail, but a braid fishtail, which was fantastic. And also that it’s never bad to tease. It’s a great way to start any hairstyle with a great base with volume. It’s just a lot of texture.
Great tips! When you get ready for a red carpet event, do you choose your hair and makeup first, or your dress first?
When I get ready for a red carpet event, I usually start with the dress first versus the hair and makeup. The beauty look follows after the dress.
And with that, what’s been your favorite red carpet look?
There are two looks: one is the sophisticated, beautiful gown, and the other is more on the wild side—it was for the “The Hangover: Part II” premiere. The first look was Rachel Roy, in Berlin. It was this off-white, almost pale-yellow cut-out dress, which was really beautiful. The L.A. premiere of “The Hangover: Part II,” which was a little bit more provocative with a little side-cleavage. Those were my two favorite red carpet looks.
Okay, let’s go back to beauty. What’s your typical beauty routine like? And what are your typical favorite products on any given day?
What is my beauty routine? Let’s start in the a.m. I wake up, I usually wash my face with a Shisedo White Lucent Brightening Foam—even though it’s questionable whether or not it works. Then I go to set, and my makeup is put on for me, and then at the end of the day, I use my Clarisonic to make sure that everything is off, and I have a fresh face, and then I go to sleep with a thick moisturizer and some lip balm. It’s pretty simple.
From all of the shows and movies that you’ve been on, do you have one favorite hair and makeup look, and why?
Oh boy! I would have to say my favorite hair and makeup would be from my movie “Sucker Punch.” I feel like the beauty squad—the hair and makeup team—were kind of allowed to go as far as they wanted to, and that’s kind of unheard of in the movie business. Everything’s always kind of subdued and they want things natural-looking, but for “Sucker Punch,” we kind of had lots of time to play, and it was super extravagant, and big, and really fun. And beautiful, I thought.
Did you ever have a terrible beauty faux-pas in middle school or high school?
I grew up in the 1990s. I was in middle school in the 1990s, and I grew up in San Francisco, so the fad during that time was wearing brown lip liner. Just brown lip liner, and the hair, I actually have photos of it, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but the style was a high ponytail with two little bangs. Do you remember that? I thought I was J.Lo back in the 1990s, before J.Lo knew she was J.Lo.
Who or what gave you your big push to start acting?
I was always motivated to act, I just went the unconventional route. But I really find that my background in Economics has really helped my career in acting … !
Ha! Alright, last question. Can you give us your favorite highlight so far from your career?
I don’t know! I would have to say that the highlight of my career I think, is “Eden,” and as dark as the subject matter is, I think we did a pretty good job of telling such a vulgar story in a positive way as much as we could, and something that encourages people to continue to watch the film versus having them turn away because it’s too hard to watch—so I would say we did a pretty spectacular job with “Eden.”
Photographer: Marley Kate
Photographer Assistant: Jordan Zuppa
Stylist: Ann Brady
Stylist Assistant: Alyssa McDermott
Hairstylist: Creighton Bowman, Exclusive Artists Management
Makeup Artist: Angie Parker, Ray Brown Pro.
Producer: Marni Golden
Art Director: Jin Pak