As a singer, performer, actor, and dad, Aaron Kwok balances all these roles seamlessly. It’s no secret that he prioritises his skincare and beauty regime (just take a look at his youthful appearance), but this time around we caught up with the Heavenly King during his appearance at the Lancome Génifique’s Virtual Flagship launch to dive a little deeper. From his most excruciating makeup moment, skincare advice, to his biggest fear – read on for more.

There’s a lot of stigma around men using skincare, where they might feel like it’s not very masculine or even necessary. As a man who loves skincare and prides himself in his beauty routine, what advice would you share with those people?

They need to experience it themselves to understand its importance. Maybe if they had a friend to show them otherwise, or even if you showed them my film! It’s a very different mindset nowadays. They need to see skincare in the same way they see body care. Why do you shower every day? Because you’ve been sweating all day and you want to clean yourself and feel more refreshed. The skin on your face has gone through the same ordeal your body has, if not more. 

Many men might neglect skincare because they think it’s excessive. But is it excessive to shower? Your skin goes through so much, through pollution and all these environmental aggressors. Try to keep it to simple steps. Focus on cleansing your face before you shower, then after you shower try something simple. Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique, of course, is my go-to. It absorbs so easily into the skin and when it comes to the skin (men’s especially) we need all the help we can get. 

Our skin is always changing and its needs differ depending on what age you are. As long as you understand how to take care of your skin, you can help maintain it for the long-run. Take me for example! I’m 54 and I’ve been protecting my skin for almost 30 years now. It started when I was around 24 or 25 and a make-up artist told me I should start paying more attention to my skin. It makes all the difference. Don’t think that just because you’re young you can neglect your skin, actually, I’d even recommend starting earlier.

Choosing the right products is important, but it can be said that there is an element of mental and emotional wellbeing to skincare as well. How do you practice this in your life?

This really depends on who you surround yourself with. The people you surround with make an impact on who you are. I believe in the importance of having a positive mindset. Exercise is one of the ways that helps me boost that mentality. I keep my body fit, but I also keep my mental wellbeing fit too. Especially in this time, it doesn’t do any good to keep dwelling on the negative. 

Exercise is already a part of my life. But if you don’t consider it a part of your routine, you really can’t force yourself to love it. If you’re forced to exercise, of course, you won’t enjoy it. And when there’s no joy in the routine, you’ll just fixate on the pain. You have to shift your perspective to a mindset of joy. I truly believe that if you exercise daily for a week, you’ll feel a difference in your own body and mind. Even in your skin. And that change will be enough to kickstart a change in routine. 

If you don’t like exercising, maybe try to treat yourself with something sweet to encourage yourself. I occasionally eat sweets, chocolates, or even ice cream, and it doesn’t bother me because I balance it out with a disciplined routine of exercise. Try to add habits in your life that make you feel more positive, it will go a long way in improving your wellbeing. It all starts from within. We can’t just rely on skincare products. Beauty comes from within. 

Given your years in the industry, you’ve spent a lot of time with makeup artists and hairstylists, can you share any memorable moments?

In my life, one of my most excruciating and fulfilling makeup experiences happened when I was shooting Monkey King. Special makeup was required and it always took around six hours to get ready. For a person who loves to be active and move around, sitting for six hours felt torturous but I had to do it and it taught me a lot of patience every time I sat in that chair. Even if it was counterintuitive and so against my personality, I still had to persevere and discipline myself. Having hair put on my face was also another agonising experience because I love having clean skin and that process was so itchy. It really felt like a test and enduring it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do across my career. Even when it felt unendurable, I endured, and Monkey King is one of the most precious experiences I’ve had. 

But now, if I think about how I’ve gone through the hardest then what else is there for me to be scared of? Even if you’re scared, especially if you’re scared, I think it’s all the more reason you should face your fears. In life, we shouldn’t be afraid of obstacles or challenges. We should face it and let it be our strength. 

While we’re on the subject of fears, what are you most scared of now?

I’m scared that this pandemic will not end in the expected time. It’s a global problem and there’s nothing we can do about this virus. At the end of the day, only the researchers hold the solution. But it is terrifying, and I hope that there will be a solution soon so that we can all go back to what life was like before.

With this virtual launch and in celebration of the Advanced Génifique, Lancôme is encouraging us #LiveYourStrength. What do you consider to be your strength?

I am the kind of person who perseveres and will always go forward courageously, no matter the obstacles, so having a positive mindset goes a long way. In this time of a pandemic where we’re always at home, it’s good for us to improve on existing skills, pick up new skills, or find ways to better ourselves. Go online, learn about the news, or take up a course, and find ways to improve yourself. The pandemic has changed our lives so much and we have to take it in stride. Since we’re all staying at home more, we should make the most out of this time. 

As a dad, I have so much more time to spend with my children now. When Chantelle, my eldest, was born there were two or three months where I was away shooting a movie. So there was that gap of time where I missed watching her grow up. Whereas this time around, because of Covid-19, I was here to see it all with Charlotte. From watching her crawl to standing, to hearing her say “daddy” and “mommy”. I’ve learned to take a look at this situation from another perspective and that is really the secret to maintaining a positive mindset – a change in perspective. 

Final question, once the pandemic is over, where’s the first place you want to travel to?

Singapore! I was originally planning on going this year in September but because of the pandemic, we’ve postponed it. So I’m really anticipating and looking forward to this reunion. This is one of my favourite parts of my job. Meeting my fans in Singapore and sharing my music and dance with them. 

Also, I’m also really looking forward to September 17th for the launch of my movie “I’m Livin’ It”. I play the role of a homeless person and I’ve never played anything close to this role before, I learned so much during the process of preparation and I really poured my heart into it. I hope that you can see a different “Aaron Kwok” through this movie.