Gemma Chan shared her belief that beauty is all about truth over the phone. “It’s […] purpose, integrity, and creativity.” L’Oreal Paris ambassador Chan will help shine a spotlight upon ten women who are working hard to solve the most pressing problems in modern society. This year’s NBC special, “L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth”, airs tonight at 8 PM EST. Chan spoke to me about her feelings of beauty and the special.

L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth spotlights ten women from diverse backgrounds who are working to improve their communities at the grassroots level every year. Chan traveled to Paris this year to meet the honorees. “I found it inspiring on a personal level because there is so much bad news coming our direction on a daily basis. It can feel overwhelming, and it is easy to feel helpless or hopeless.” Chan says. “But the fact that we are putting a spotlight upon these women looking outwards, and I’m constantly reminded of Mr. Rogers’s quote, “Look for the helpers,” is what keeps me going.”

Image: Courtesy Of L’oreal Paris.

Chan can be heard admiring the women involved in this special even over the phone. These women are shining examples for women. When they see a problem, or become aware of it, they take action to fix it. “Although they started small, the impact was huge.”

Thursday’s special features Chan sat down with Women of Worth awardees Michelle Tran and Briana Daniel. They discussed anti-Asian hate, xenophobia, and equipping Asian Americans in New York with personal safety devices, need-based scholarships, as well as culturally competent therapy. Briana Daniel, founder of .Street Team Movement, Inc, which helps unhoused persons by providing clean laundry, showers, and other forms of treatment aid through vending machines.

As a beauty writer, my main focus is always the “why and the how,” focusing more on the emotions behind why we do beautiful things and make ourselves beautiful in the process. This is especially true during holidays when we are filled with nostalgia, familiar love, and warmth. It’s a wonderful time. And it’s a time to celebrate the beauty of giving, as Chan and L’Oreal are trying to do with Women of Worth. “My definition of beauty is more than just the exterior. It’s about the inside, and these women are a perfect example of that.”

They are intelligent and strong women. They encompass all things. To me, beauty is about truth. Chan shared. Women of Worth celebrates love, joy and success. But even more, it is about confidence. Confidence can help you overcome many obstacles, even if your life is not a fairytale. Chan says that she was struck by their vulnerability and confidence as they shared their stories with me in Paris. “And I found it really inspiring that these women were able to open up — some stories were incredibly touching as to why they got involved with the causes they have and some of that was painful. It is not always a fairytale.”

Chan and I both agree that even though things may not be as fairy-tale-like as the Disneyfied versions, that’s something we can also celebrate. We can be happy for things to get messy. It’s okay to celebrate women surviving difficult times and coming out the other side. That is what I find so inspiring.

Fun Fact: Gemma Chan believes vulnerability is very cool. This vulnerability could be the key to inner strength and confidence. “[In the special] there is some strength, but there’s also strength and vulnerability in what they were willing to share with one another. Gemma Chan literally said, “We can be vulnerable.” Gemma Chan encourages us to embrace vulnerability and says, “It’s okay to not be okay.” “Yes, that was me. It was written on a Post-It and stuck it to my wall along with advice from my therapist.”

Chan, despite her physical beauty, told me she feels most happy and beautiful when she is surrounded with people she values and who value her. “I have learned that confidence is something you can develop over time. You may not feel confident at first. You may not feel confident at first.” (Shoutout to Shalita Grant, who is brilliant on the most recent season of You, but stellar on Search Party, if you can even imagine. I know that all of those things have changed for me over the years. “I’m optimistic about the future, and that we will move in the right direction.”

It would be remiss of me to not have The Great Glowing Gemma (and I don’t mean through the wires or tubes that make phones work, it is just me) on what makeup and skin care products she loves and uses. Chan follows the advice of her mother and keeps it simple. Cleanse, tone, moisturize, and take care of your skin. Get rid of all your makeup before you go to bed. This is something that my colleagues and I often yell about.

person holding clear glass bottle

Chan pairs L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum with 0.3% Pure Retinol with L’Oreal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum during the day. “That just really plumps my skin, moisturizes it and preps it for whatever’s to come.” She’s also loving the brand’s Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid and Caffeine Eye Serum, which she would absolutely recommend for anyone with puffy eyes. Chan is an expert at de-puffing, especially around the eyes. “I use a face roller every day to encourage drainage. “I also have an eyebrator, which I call it, but it’s not its actual name. It’s made By Foreo.” She loves red lips, especially around Christmas, and her favorite lipstick is L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Reds Worth Lipstick. This classic red has a satin finish.

Chan is surprisingly straightforward when it comes to body care. “I swear by Vaseline(tm) Cocoa Rad Lotion, especially during winter months when I skin gets really dry.”

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