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Image Courtesy of Matchali

BEAUTY: CARA AND LAURA LI OF MATCHALI

The matcha mavens spill the tea on their essentials

Words by Christina Ko

Since Cara and Laura Li launched Matchali, they’ve been insistent that the signature tea powder that forms the basis of their brand is more than a beverage – it’s a lifestyle. The cousins, whose healthy drinks pop-up at the The Upper House, Hong Kong runs until the end of May, source their matcha from Uji, outside Kyoto. The stuff they serve is ceremonial grade, suitable for use by monks in ancient tea rituals.

Image Courtesy of Byredo

They apply the same dedication when it comes to sourcing beauty products, both subscribing to a low-maintenance routine that’s lean on product but high on quality. “I’m not one of those people who want to spend half an hour on skincare, but I love masking,” Cara shares. “I love taking baths with salts, oils, a Karuna sheet mask and a hot cup of matcha, plus a nice candle. I’m a big Byredo lover and I usually have three or four fragrances that I rotate, including Pulp.”


Cara’s active lifestyle means she doesn’t use a lot of make-up, but she swears by Hourglass products, including the No 28 Primer Serum, Ambient Lighting Palette, Ambient Lighting Bronzer and brushes, as well as Kevyn Aucoin’s “amazing” mascara. “For me, it’s more about having a clean, well hydrated face. My approach to life is less is more. I change out my moisturiser every couple of months because your skin gets used to it, but I love Sisley’s Moisturizer with Cucumber.”

Image Courtesy of Hourglass

Laura’s make-up cabinet is stocked with Hourglass cosmetics, too, along with blushes by Nars. Having problem skin in her younger years meant that her regime once consisted of mainly dermatologist-approved products, but she has used eye creams from Omorovicza and Tata Harper – “whatever doesn’t give me milia, because my skin is on the oily side.” She may have a slight apprehension about oil-based products, “but if a product is clean and yet still effective, then why not?”


Much of Laura’s day-to-day lineup consists of old faithfuls. “Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is my addiction. I have to get one each for my husband and me to put by our bedside. And diptyque’s Philosykos, which is a fig-based fragrance, has been my scent for the past I don’t know how many years.”


Of course, as Hong Kong’s high priestesses of matcha, the Li girls are well-versed on the importance of gut health. Neither drink coffee, instead preferring to load up on antioxidant-rich matcha as their source of energy. Just add an extra shot of ingestible collagen for bone and skin health.

2020-03-25 00:00:00.0

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