While we’re all glued to our phones during New York Fashion Week, watching the latest trends roll right off the runways and into our social media feeds, supermodels like Liu Wen are running from show to show, party to party, and then hopping on a plane to do it all over again in London, Milan and, ultimately, Paris. For them, it’s a month-long marathon, not a sprint, and one for which the preparation and endurance required is similar to that of an athlete. Wonder how they make it through to the finish still looking gorgeous? Next in our Fashion Week survival guide series, Liu Wen reveals all.
What is your preparation for Fashion Week like? Do you have any workout or nutrition secrets you can share?
The key to a good fitness routine is persistence and endurance. I try to maintain a consistent routine even if it's not Fashion Week, so that there isn't any desperate rush at the last minute. All in all, relaxation is a workout in itself—Pilates always helps me improve stress levels, and I actually find taking care of my skin (with even more care than usual around Fashion Week) to be very therapeutic as well.
What is your favorite thing about Fashion Week?
Seeing old friends backstage! And I'm always the most excited about seeing and wearing the new season's trends before anyone else. [Laughs]
How would you compare your very first Fashion Week to now?
Even though I've already walked 20 seasons of fashion week, I treat every single one as my "debut." That way I am still as excited and energized as the first.
Which beauty products are always in your bag when you’re running around from shows to parties and everything in between?
Advanced Night Repair is my go-to. It helps rehydrate and renew my skin after all of the endless makeup applications and removals.
I also love a colorful lipstick—my go-to is Pure Color Envy in Red Ego. It helps brighten my overall look and warms my complexion, even when I don’t have makeup on. And, of course, it's always good to have it on hand for any events at night!
And a small bottle of perfume, if my bag has enough space. The Modern Muse Rollerball is perfect because it’s so easy to carry.
What else is always in your bag that helps you survive the week?
A portable charger, chocolate, comfortable shoes, mints, eye drops...so much!
If you still enjoy what you're doing despite the fatigue, your body tends to rejuvenate itself.
How does your beauty routine change leading up to Fashion Week?
Do you do anything special to prep your skin?
Similar to fitness, persistence is important when it comes to skincare. I never get lazy about my daily routine. I always cleanse and moisturize, but I am extra attentive to every step during Fashion Week. On top of that, I make sure to massage my skin more often than usual. And I never forget to apply eye masks and face masks—the Advanced Night Repair PowerFoil Mask and Concentrated Recovery Eye Masks are so easy to slip into my overstuffed bag!
What do you do after Fashion Week to help your skin recover?
More face masks [laughs] or a spa visit.
What is your no-fail trick to looking bright-eyed, awake and camera-ready, even when you’re feeling exhausted?
Smiling is the best secret.
Also, maintaining a thankful attitude and appreciating my job. Even though models get extremely tired during this period, so do all the designers, stylists, editors, seamstresses, interns, press, photographers, etc. But if you still enjoy what you're doing despite the fatigue, your body tends to rejuvenate itself.
How do you keep your energy up throughout the hectic days?
Keep smiling at every turn! Also, listen to your favorite songs on repeat or find a good book to distract yourself with.
And then how do you find time to relax and wind down? What do you do to center yourself?
I use any spare time to do something I find relaxing yet fun, even if I only have 10 minutes for a quick afternoon tea!
Any guilty pleasures you can’t get through Fashion Week without?
An ice cream cone or an intricate dessert.
What is the first thing you do after you’ve wrapped your last show?
Sleep for three days and three nights straight! Just kidding.
These days, the fashion season has been much more relaxing for me than ever before. I even have time during Fashion Week to tape my web series, Wen Li, and playing while working with my production team is always a fun experience.