Mi-Anne is a content creator based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the host and producer of Refinery29’s YouTube show Beauty with Mi, where she explores the beauty industry. In addition to her work at Refinery29, she has covered fashion, beauty, and lifestyle for Teen Vogue, W Magazine, and The Cut. She’s passionate about sustainability, cooking shows, and of course, cats.
- What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
Probably an episode that I recently put up that was about dumpster diving: it took a long time to put it together, and it’s about this kind of crazy phenomenon on youtube where people will go to the dumpsters behind different beauty stores and take so much makeup back: returns, testers, even unopened stuff that just didn’t sell. Beyond just dumpster diving, the video was a look into the horrific amount of waste in the beauty industry, and aimed to raise questions about the sustainability of practices like these. The response that has been amazing, I’ve never gotten so many DMs about an episode!
- What motivates you?
I’ve always loved writing. I never considered being a writer: my family wanted me to be a lawyer! I worked extremely hard to show everyone that I could make it in liberal arts: I’ve been working at Refinery29 for about four years now. I got into beauty pretty late compared to a lot of my peers. I started wearing makeup regularly as a senior in college and didn’t fully dive into the industry until I was in college. Once I started though, I became obsessed. I learned everything I know about beauty from YouTube.
- Describe yourself in three words.
Stubborn, inquisitive, and argumentative.
- What is the best part about what you do?
The team I have the privilege to work with
- What is the worst part about what you do?
We produce every Monday, and working in that cadence makes it hard to work on almost anything else.
- If you could ask yourself any question, what would it be and what is the answer?
Why don’t I do laundry before I run out of clothes? And the answer, is that I have terrible time management.
- What is a book that you think everyone should read?
I like Malcolm Gladwell, especially The Tipping Point.
- What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Be more spontaneous. I was always really into following the rules.
- What is your go-to coffee order?
Coffee makes me really wired and anxious, so I drink tea
- What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem facing Asian women today?
I think we need to be more politically active than we are. Asian-Americans get a reputation for being passive, so it’s great to see Asian-American women coming to the front speaking about their experiences.