China's biggest pop star, Karen Mok, reveals her incredible beauty secrets (and apparently white fungus soup is the secret to radiant skin)

The new face of Replay reveals her holistic skin care secrets…

05 Mar 2019

Wearing a vibrant yellow jumpsuit with a sassy cut-out back from her latest collaboration with Replay, Karen Mok could be ready to take the stage for her 14 million Weibo fans. Think of Karen as the Beyoncé of China. With 20 solo albums and having acted in over 40 movies, she is the country's leading lady.

As Asian beauty obsessives, we sat down with the singer-come-actress who despite constantly touring the world, “takes the hotel soap with her and reuses them – you have to train yourself to think with a more sustainable mindset,” – to discuss her eye-opening beauty routine and how she shuts down haters…

Being an empowered woman means you should be unafraid…

You should be yourself at all times. Dressing is a way of manifesting who you are, so it’s important not to just conform to trends, too. I have done some eyebrow-raising things. In the mid 90s I couldn’t stand my bleached hair anymore and I shaved it all off. In Chinese society, in 90s Hong Kong you didn’t see anyone walking around bald – that was really daring. After I shaved my head, I took a nude picture for my new album. You just see the silhouette and people still talk about it because people don’t dare to that in Asian society. But it was my choice, I wanted to do it and I am glad I did such wild things like that. It’s made me feel more empowered in later life. Most of the time you are just giving yourself obstacles thinking, ‘should I do this?’ But you have already said no to yourself. Never do that.

I swear by holistic beauty and massaging yourself, it’s all about balance…

I really believe in massaging yourself. We are really into holistic beauty and balancing your body with the Yin and Yang. We grow up with that whole mindset. You can put lots of stuff on you like creams and ointments which can help but you really need to tune your body from within. For us Chinese, especially from Southern China, we believe in drinking nutritional herbal soups. How you the combine herbs can do different things to your body. For instance, if the weather has been really hot then your body also heats up and your body needs to cool down. So, you eat certain types of soups to reduce the heat accumulating inside you – balancing out your body just makes you feel better and look better.

My secret to radiant skin is White Fungus soup…

All the soups sound horrible like white fungus, which is great for your skin. It’s quite tasteless but you can put in other things to make it sweet or savoury – it really nourishes your skin and makes you look really radiant.

You are a person, you don’t have to depend on how many likes and followers you have to determine whether you are good enough…

You should never let social media not become fun, it should always be something you want to engage in. It’s been a great way to share your thoughts and it’s great to give a platform to bring awareness to bigger issues. You really have to remove yourself from negative comments online. A lot of it is malignant – it’s not really meant to be directed at you. If you take it too seriously you just get sucked in and that’s dangerous. Sometimes you have to pick and choose what you want to give worth to. Keep it at arm’s length. That’s the thing that has troubled me the most, we are all on social media and we see how many likes we have but if you really let that get to you it can really mess you up. You are a person, you don’t have to depend on how many likes and followers you have to determine whether you are good enough. You determine if you are good enough. Everyone should be careful when it comes to numbers.

Karen’s collaboration with Replay is available in Harvey Nichols now.

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