Hailing from Taipei, Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op graduate Daisy Hsiang has the start of a stellar resume. Having her work published in Italian Vogue and Marie Claire Taiwan, and being represented by an overseas agency, Daisy is already living what, for most makeup artists, is a dream career. But these achievements aren’t the only cooler than cool things about this girl. Fostering her burgeoning career in Makeup from Industrial Management beginnings, Daisy had long ago made the decision to march to the beat of her own drum. Enveloping me in a hug and a squeal, you’d hardly expect the hustle that’s housed inside this doll of a person. Dressed in chic street wear that’s perfectly styled to her aesthetic, Daisy’s vibes are all about cool, collected confidence. With bright eyes, a big smile and in the sweetest, most humble way, Daisy talks about the international makeup scene, her journey so far, and gives advice for those looking to make it big in the global makeup industry.
Blanche Macdonald: What were your experiences growing up in Taiwan that made you want to go into makeup?
Daisy Hsiang: I love art. I actually started to study Industrial Management in university in Taiwan, which is when I started playing with makeup for the first time – so late! I wanted to know more about beauty makeup so I took a basic photography and professional makeup class while I was in university. My makeup class made me so happy and that’s how I decided that was what I needed to do with my life! The best thing is that my parents always support me when I want to learn something different.
BMC: What made you make the long journey to the Blanche Macdonald Centre?
DH: It’s the best makeup school in Canada, right?! It’s very famous all over especially in Asia. Everyone I talk to goes “Oh, I know that school!” I wanted to learn from the best so I came here! I visited Blanche Macdonald for the first time with my family and my Admissions Director Josephine Lee, I was so excited to be involved in this industry in Canada.
BMC: With such a change in location, what was the main thing you needed to adjust to?
DH: The culture. It’s very different. English was hard to learn too. The food, everything is different. Though the sushi here is very good!
BMC: But you’re enjoying Vancouver?
DH: I love Vancouver, especially in the summer. The beach, hiking, museums, the night market is so fun and all the food! It’s a very beautiful place. I want to live here in Vancouver for a while. My agent in Taiwan always wants me to come back but I like it here and I’m so busy!
BMC: Did you have a project that you were most proud of over your time here?
DH: My airbrushing project. Natacha [Trottier] was my teacher and it was so hard but it was really fun.
BMC: And what about a favourite module from the course?
DH: Fashion definitely! Jon [Hennessey] was my instructor for fashion and he’s the best instructor I’ve ever had. He’s just so good. When we were in class and I was struggling, he sat down and said, “Daisy, you can do great makeup and I can see it and you can explain it and that’s how you can practice your English.”
BMC: Jon has an incredibly caring way about him. And the ladies in the Career Department, were they able to help you reach some professional goals while you were in school?
DH: Definitely. Heather and Jen always support the students and do everything they can to help them find the jobs they want. And there are so many places they can connect you with where your volunteer work can be used in your portfolio for other jobs you want. They also know some amazing artists around Vancouver. I volunteered a lot in school and it was so good for me to meet other people, work on my portfolio and be inspired.
BMC: Those connections are so valuable for someone starting out in this industry! How did your education at Blanche Macdonald prepare you for your professional life?
DH: I learned everything from school, from basic beauty to Special Effects. Nothing is routine when you work and school really prepared me for that. Even when I got tired, I knew I had to keep going and keep pushing and I did because of the teachers and the instruction at Blanche Macdonald. Not too long ago, I taught a class in Taiwan that was just simple beauty makeup. Because I was so used to working in fast-paced classes at school, I was able to cover everything from skin to lips and the final look in just two hours.
BMC: Since graduating, you’ve done so much but specifically, you’ve been interviewed by Marie Claire Taiwan and done a shoot for Vogue Italy – those are some pretty amazing accomplishments! How did you manage to land those jobs?
DH: One of the project managers of Marie Claire Taiwan worked with my agent in the past and that’s how I made the first connection. She was interested in me as a graduate from a recognized international Makeup school, so the interview came from that! My agency in Shanghai is a new agency and I am the first artist that they represent. The shoot for Vogue Italy was good but so hard! Vogue wants things that are perfect and it can be stressful but also a lot of fun.
BMC: So you’ve hit some major milestones, what are your next goals/plans for your career?
DH: I’m starting Fashion Design at Blanche Macdonald next March and I’m really excited for that. And I’d love to do all the makeup for the Fashion week shows. I’m also learning how to DJ right now. I want to do something different with makeup and clothes and music. I’d like to produce something different with it all and that’s a dream for me too. I want to completely design and direct my own shoot one day. That’s my big dream and I want to work with Jon someday but not now, I’m not good enough yet!
BMC: You’ve got some incredibly cool goals and it’s so great that you see makeup as always being in the picture. What is it about doing makeup that you love?
DH: After I do a client’s makeup, when people look at themselves and say, “I look so different and beautiful” it makes me feel so happy and proud of my work. Though I do get people who are confused when I tell them what I do, even my dad when I first started thought I would be home later that week, but it’s my dream so I do it!
BMC: Can you tell me a little about the difference in makeup trends in Vancouver and Taiwan?
DH: Makeup in Taiwan is very different from here. There they like the no makeup look; it’s very Korean and Japanese. It’s very hot and wet in Taiwan so one thing my clients are always asking is how to set their makeup and keep it on longer, which is also why they prefer light makeup. My Taiwan makeup kit always has skin care products, waterproof products, loose powder and natural products. Canadian makeup puts a lot of focus on shapes like brows, liner and contours. So in my kit to do makeup in Vancouver, I’ve got hydrating oil, lots of varying foundation colours and multicoloured lip colours, eye colours and shimmer. Here it doesn’t matter what you wear for makeup. It’s a very free and different style.
BMC: And what do you think is the most important thing that new or up-and-coming Makeup Artists who are looking to be represented and work on print campaigns should do?
DH: First I would tell them to follow your passion and stay true to yourself. But the most important thing is practice, practice, practice – that’s the only thing that will improve your skill. Build up your followers and people on social media Instagram and Facebook, too. I always message photographers saying ‘I love your work, can we work together?’ I just keep it simple.