I really admire the women that look so well put together despite the sweltering Hong Kong weather. It takes a huge amount of energy and time to achieve the perfect makeup, the perfect hair, the perfect outfit, the perfect shoes, the perfect bag, the perfect nails, etc. Unfortunately, that is not me.
My usual (3-4days a week) Hong Kong summertime routine is makeup free and hair in a ponytail:
Unfortunately, this causes the service staff to label me as a poor Mainlander (as opposed to a rich mainlander who are all decked out) which results in bad service or them talking down to me in their halting Mandarin.
Grooming is very important in Hong Kong. People have the expectation that one puts their best foot forward in public especially for females. How you present youself will determine how you are treated. The richer you look, the better you will be treated. Of course I could speak English to receive better service, but I do not see the point when my Mandarin and Cantonese is better than their English.
When I get tired of being treated poorly, I resort to my 5 minute makeup routine (2-3 days a week):
This combined with an expensive bag will get me decent service. The 5 minute makeup is my normal HK winter routine. In the brutally hot HK summer everything is gone within 15 minutes of me being outdoors due to my oily skin.
On my weekly dates with hubby, I will go all out and do my 10 minute makeup and 10 minute hair routine:
This gets me pretty great service. Everyone is suddenly all smiles, until they notice my polish free hands and feet…kidding. In order for me to not sweat the makeup off and to not tie my hair up, this look requires door to door taxi service in the summer.
I have not yet gone the full nine yards have my makeup/hair/nails done professionally like I did back at my friend’s wedding in NYC so perhaps I might get the VIP treatment if I were to do that in Hong Kong:
I kid you not when I say that many females especially those at the IFC Mall/Landmark Mall/Pacific Place Mall/various upscale shops & restaurants, look like they have their makeup and hair done professionally everyday. Particularly the ladies who lunch with their Chanel suits, Louboutin Shoes, Birkin bags, styled updos, manicured nails, not to mention perfect matte makeup in the crazy hot weather! What is even crazier is that lately I have seen lots of very pregnant woman tottering around in their 5-6 inch platform heels. What if they trip?! Isn’t protecting their unborn child more important than looking perfect?
*The above applies for Asian females in most situations. Non-Asians are judged much less harshly.
**Lest you think I am exaggerating, all of my Asian female friends that travel through Hong Kong feel the same way. One of our frequent discussion topics.