In our monthly series, Self-Directed, we invite beauty and fashion influencers to direct their own editorial story and create the looks they love with the glam teams they trust. You'll learn about their best-kept beauty secrets, favourite products, and more.
When I first clapped eyes on Natasha Liu Bordizzo as ingГ©nue Snow Vase in the follow-up to the Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,В it's fair to say I was captivated.В The 22-year-old Chinese-Italian Australian actress and model is certainly striking-all fine features, effortlessly tousled hair and willowy limbs. But, upon discovering the role was her on-screen debut, I was a little bit blown away. Could a first timer really be this good? This practiced? This natural? Her ability to portray a character with ease and credibility is so remarkable I knew I'd found Byrdie Australia's next beauty muse.В
The story of Liu Bordizzo's career beginnings is the stuff of Hollywood urban legend. After being scouted by an agent with a keen eye, she read for a supporting role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. The producers were so impressed, she landed the lead instead. (See: A Very Big Deal for a then unknown girl from Sydney.) But, if you think Liu Bordizzo's rise up the ranks is thanks to no more than her pretty face, you're mistaken. A former law student with a passion for everything from affogatoВ to Egon Schiele, her InstagramВ account reveals a woman with an inquiring mind and a sense of self that belies her age. Plus, she has a black belt in Taekwondo.
Her latest project is big budget thrillerВ Hotel Mumbai, a retelling of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, alongside Dev Patel and Jason Isaacs. In short, Liu Bordizzo is on the up. We caught up with her on a trip home to talk beauty role models, being an "accidental" vegetarian and her secret to flawless skin.В
Keep reading to see how Liu Bordizzo, with the help of makeup artist Elsa MorganВ and hairstylist Luke Davis, does beauty.
Look 1: Aussie BeautyTДЃne Coffin
"This is the closest to my day-to-day self. I feel comfortable in it, it feels like me."В - Liu Bordizzo.
Get the Look
"This is the quintessential Aussie beauty look with a twist. It's bronzed and glowy, but also effortless, laid-back and cool. First, I warmed up Natasha's skin using Tom FordВ Bronzing PowderВ ($145) in Gold Dust, then used the same product across the eyelids. I deepened the lashline with Tom FordВ Eye Color QuadВ ($128) in Cocoa Mirage and lined the inner rim of the eyes with MACВ Eye PencilВ ($29) in Coffee to create a smoky effect. Next, eyebrows were filled in with Anastasia Beverly HillsВ Brow WizВ ($38) in Soft Brown and brushed through Eyeko lightly tintedВ Brow GelВ ($34) for a fuller look. A sexy nude gloss (L'OrГ©al Paris' Color Riche Extraordinaire, $22, in Nude Ballet), and coat of ChanelВ Inimitable MascaraВ ($54) pulled the look together, along with a few cheeky freckles! I created those using MACВ Luxe Brow PencilВ ($32) in Fling, to enhance Natasha's natural smattering, for an extra dose of AussieВ beauty." - Morgan.
Fashion Credits:В Alice McCall The Jean Jeanie Dress ($290), Susan Driver Sunrise EarringsВ ($290), Tiffany & Co. Out Of Retirement Pyramid Ring ($6600).Tom Ford Large Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust $145ShopTom Ford Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage $128ShopAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown $38ShopL'OrГ©al Paris Color Riche Extraordinaire in Nude Ballet $22Shop
Look 2: Dark Berry Lip
"I wanted to explore my inner Italian temptress with this look. I love the sexy lip!"В - Liu Bordizzo.
Get the Look
"This look is such a red carpet favourite, and for good reason! It's elegant, subtly sculpted and refined. I gave the brows some extra attention here with Anastasia Beverly HillsВ Brow WizВ ($38) in Soft Brown to give Natasha's face a polished and perfected feel. I added definition to her eyes with Bobbi BrownВ Eye ShadowВ ($42) in Taupe, then added a few coats of ChanelВ Inimitable MascaraВ ($54). I really wanted to keep her looking cool and fresh, so I kept the foundation (La MerВ The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20, $200) to a minimum and only used a tinyВ amount of concealer to address areas that needed extra coverage. Next, I gently patted on RMSВ Living LuminiserВ ($55) for extra wattage, and balanced the highlights with soft contouring. The lip was the real focus here-we chose a deep blackberry shade from Nars (Ingrid, $46) and I applied it with a brush for precision." - Morgan.
Fashion Credits:В Mister Zimi Black Silk Delilah JumpsuitВ ($320), Lucy Folk Relic Hoop EarringsВ ($385), Ginger & Smart Traction JacketВ ($699).RMS Living Luminiser $55ShopBobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Taupe $42ShopChanel Inimitable Mascara $54ShopNars Audacious Lipstick in Ingrid $46Shop
Look 3: Pretty in Pink
"I wanted to experiment with a softer, more feminine look-I'm usually a bit of a tomboy."В В - Liu Bordizzo.
Get the Look
"For this look I really wanted to celebrate Natasha's naturally luminous skin. This flushed and glowing makeup isВ so gorgeous and youthful, and, it's easy! Natasha's skin was enhanced with BeccaВ Shimmering Skin PerfectorВ ($66) in Pearl, liquid foundation, and a very light dusting of powder along the T-zone. Next, I applied a wash of Kevyn AucoinВ The Pure Powder GlowВ ($44) in ShadoreВ across the cheeks, sweeping it up high onto the cheekbones. I chose this particular shade of baby pink to give a rosy freshness to the face-we didn't want anything strong or intense.В To emphasise glow, I buffed an illuminating powder along the high points of Natasha's face (brow bone, cheekbones, bridge of the nose). To balance the look I appliedВ a singleВ coat of ChanelВ Inimitable MascaraВ ($54)В to lashes curled with Shu UemuraВ Lash CurlerВ ($31), sculpted the eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly HillsВ Brow WizВ ($38) in Soft Brown and Medium Brown, and pressed ChanelВ Rouge Allure VelvetВ LipstickВ ($52) in La Diva into the lips." - Morgan.
Fashion Credits:В Dion LeeВ Axis Sleeve Knit Dress ($690) (coming soon),В Natasha Schweitzer Overtue EarringsВ $520 (via The UNDONE).Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl $66ShopKevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Shadore $44ShopShu Uemura Eyelash Curler $31ShopChanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in La Diva $54Shop
Look 4: Blade Runner Inspired
"Something about this makeup gives it a mysterious cyber feel without taking things into costume territory-that intrigues me."В - Liu Bordizzo.
Get the Look
"This look has what I call 'intelligent beauty' written all over it-it's a nod to the '40s-inspired character Sean Young played in the '80s classic Blade Runner. I washed a soft haze of grey shadow (NarsВ Eyeshadow Duo, $50, in Underworld) around the eye,В concentrating the intensity along the lower lashline to add moodiness. IВ also gently contoured Natasha's cheekbones with MACВ Studio Sculpt Defining PowderВ ($49) in Sculpt, and extended her eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly HillsВ Brow WizВ ($38) in Medium Brown to add a slightly cinematic feel. A cherry red gloss (DiorВ Addict Fluid Stick High Impact Glossy Colour, $52, in 575) on the lips brought everything together." - Morgan.MAC Studio Sculpt Defining Powder $49ShopNars Eyeshadow Duo in Underworld $50ShopAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown $38ShopDior Addict Fluid Stick High Impact Glossy Colour in 575 $52Shop
Keep scrolling for Liu Bordizzo's Chinese, Italian *and* Australian beauty tips, her go-to dinner (spoiler: it's pasta), and the "accidental" workout she swears by.В
Byrdie Australia: Walk us through your A.M. and P.M. skincare routines.
Natasha Liu Bordizzo: In the morning, I use CosmedixВ Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser ($66) as it's really refreshing and leaves my skin feeling smooth. I then follow with ChanelВ Hydra Beauty Serum ($124). Once that's absorbed a little, I finish with aВ Sisley moisturiser orВ one from Aspect DrВ ($33).В
At night, it's largely the same, although twice a week I'll use EmerginCВ Scientific Organics At-Home Facial Peel + Clarifying Kit ($125) as a strong exfoliant. Also once or twice a week in the mornings-especially if I have a shoot-I'll use SisleyВ Black Rose Cream Mask ($180) which instantly smooths, brightens and plumps.В
B: How has your Chinese-Italian and Australian background played into your beauty habits?
NLB: My Chinese mum literally cuts up fruit and sticks it to her face-mostly berries. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Laughs. My Italian dad uses a heap of sunscreen as that side of my family is more sensitive to the light.В
B: You mentioned during shoot that it's been difficult in the past to find beauty icons you can relate to, who do you look to now?
NLB: I now look to women with beautiful vibrant skin and healthy hair for inspiration, as opposed to finding examples of people who actually resemble me. That's quite hard though. Although, I do get told I look like Jessica GomesВ a lot!
B: How do you keep your skin looking so flawless? (Seriously, tell us your secrets.)
NLB: My secret is visiting Melanie GrantВ in her Double Bay clinic for regular facials and rejuvenating Omnilux. Especially before and after flights. You don't realise how dull your skin has been looking until you've had a treatment there.
B: What's your go-to makeup look for everyday?
NLB: If my skin's good, it's as minimal as possible. A bit of Ken Goh DohВ Maifanshi Moisture FoundationВ ($91) which I love-it's moisturising and gives really lovely natural coverage. Then I do a little eyebrow filler (eyebrows are my life) with Anastasia Beverly HillsВ Brow Wiz ($38). Some days I'll throw on some NarsВ Orgasm Blush ($44) (everyone's favourite), and a little mascara. For mascara, I generally buy any cheap drugstore brand. I'm using L'OrealВ right now. I'll finish with a little illuminator beneath my brows.В
B: How do you style your hair on the daily?
NLB: I use almost nothing to style it, I got lucky with natural Italian waves! I throw in a little KiehlВ Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream ($32) and some Moroccanoil ($60) just to calm it down.В
B: What would we currently find in your handbag beauty-wise?
NLB: On the go, I only bring lip balm, a Ken Goh Do concealer ($80) and my Chantecaille HD Perfecting Powder ($107) for touch-ups.В
B: What's the best tip you've learned from a hairstylist or makeup artist?
NLB: That for me and my look, less is more.В
B: Are there any Australian beauty secrets you swear by?
NLB: Salt water fixes most things! It also re-alkalises your skin.
B: If you could give your 16-year-old self beauty advice, what would you say?
NLB: Stop straightening your hair every day! You're ruining it, and your natural curls are prettier anyway.
B: Does your love for film play into the beauty looks you love?
NLB: Very much! It's so fun slipping into different characters for shoots and red carpet events.В
B: What's does a day in your diet look like?
NLB: I don't label myself as anything-the amount of different diets out there overwhelms me these days! I'm "accidentally" vegetarian most of the week though. For breakfast I'll usually have muesli with coconut milk or eggs and avocado (the Aussie classic). For lunch I'll eat at a cafe as I'm always out and about. For dinner, it's a simple stir-fry with veggies, tofu and a heap of tamari. Or a prawn pasta with a tomato base.
B: What do you always have in your fridge?В
NLB: Eggs, broccoli and almond milk.В
B: What's your workout of choice?
NLB: I've been doing martial arts for most of my life and normal cardio workouts really bore me. I love martial arts because you're so concentrated on the art form and the self-defence element that you often forget you're working out. That said, there are some really fun and creative workouts in L.A. which is where I'm based now. My favourite is Rise Nation, a climbing machine class done in a pitch black room with crazy loud music and a lit-up disco ceiling. (I'm not making this up!)
Creative Direction: Lisa Patulny; Photographer: TДЃne Coffin; Makeup: Elsa Morgan; Hair: Luke Davis;В Styling: Amanda Stavropoulos.