A New York Minute with Mi-Anne Chan

You have probably seen Mi-Anne Chan’s insanely gorgeous makeup tutorials on Instagram. In the off-chance you haven’t, the gist is that she creates enviable beauty looks that are bursting with unexpected colors, graphic prints and unbridled creativity… Right up our alley! With a penchant for colorful eyeshadow, we thought she might have the same taste for colorful flip flops—and that she did. We sent her some of our brightest and boldest CLASSIC colors to walk us through her thoughts on styling (hint: socks and flops all the way). She also tells us about her beloved weekend rituals that have been getting her and her partner through the pandemic, more on her role as the Video Director at Conde Nast and an on-going love for Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Meet Mi-Anne Chan.


TIDAL New York: What was your experience like wearing Tidals?
Mi-Anne Chan: I have only ever had $5 flip flops that were meant to last one season at most, so wearing a pair of flip flops made to last was a very new and welcomed experience. 

Flip flops are often seen as this taboo accessory. Any thoughts on flipping the script on that narrative?
When did flip flops become taboo??? I literally bought a pair of platform flip flops last summer...So, yeah, they’re cool!!!! Especially with colored socks. I don’t make the rules!

Any thoughts on the colors you selected and styled for this shoot? 
I love adding pops of colors to my outfits through footwear, so naturally, I opted for bright orange Tidals. I personally think orange pairs well with tons of different colors like blue, pink, or lavender and I love the color-block effect these flops have when paired with hot-pink tights. 

Where do you live in NY and what’s your favorite thing about living in your neighborhood? Any go-to spots getting you through quar? 
I live in Brooklyn! I love how the community has banded together during the pandemic. A number of community fridges and bookshelves have popped up and it’s been amazing seeing people stop by to drop off items or browse.

Our neighborhood is also so friendly. Little gestures like a wave ‘hello’ from across the street or a quick compliment through masks have been the highlights of my days numerous times throughout this past year.

My partner and I have a little routine we do every Saturday. We’ll drop off our compost at the community garden 15 minutes from our apartment, then walk to our favorite bagel spot (Greenberg Bagels) and order a Brooklyn Ang (a loaded bagel with a fried egg, hash browns, and avocado) and a toasted everything bagel with scallion cream cheese. Then we’ll walk back to our apartment, pick up coffee on the way home, and chow down in front of the TV. It’s the perfect way to start the weekend. 

How did New York become home for you? 
Funnily enough, I don’t think I considered New York home until the pandemic hit—and I’ve been living here eight years. There was something really humbling, community-building, and special about staying here through the first waves. It was scary—don’t get me wrong—but the connection and love I felt for my neighborhood, my friends, and the New York experience felt like it quadrupled in just a few months. 

Being here throughout the pandemic has made me appreciate home in a way I never had before. In the past, I’d come home from work in a tizzy, angry at the dishes piling up, the dust collecting on the coffee table; now I love it in every state it’s in. I know it sounds cheesy, but I never felt I had the permission to be a New Yorker until now. 

How has quarantining in your apartment been?
An ~eMoTiOnAl~ rollercoaster! I’m so grateful to be employed and to spend my days with a partner I love and a cat who whips me into shape, but there are a lot of days I can’t get out of my own head. A thick cloud of anxiety hovers over me constantly and I can’t quite pin down the trigger. But generally, and truthfully, I feel really grateful. 

Give us the scoop on your work—what do you do? How long have you been there? 
I’m a Video Director at Conde Nast on the development team, which basically means I create pilots and new series for all of Conde Nast’s publications like Teen Vogue, Allure, and Glamour. I’ve been there a little over a year now and mostly develop series around beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. The day-to-day is always a little different, but it can range from brainstorming new series ideas and creating documents to get shows greenlit to doing pre-interviews and shot lists to actually directing on set.

Any favorite/memorable projects? 
I developed this series for Teen Vogue that we got to pilot with Barbie Ferreira. She was truly a dream to work with. You know how some celebrities are “celebrity nice,” like, they’ll shake your hand and smile and ask “how are you?” but it doesn’t always feel like they see you. Barbie saw us. She was friendly, asked questions, made funny remarks, and genuinely seemed like she wanted to be there. Like I said, a dream!

Another one I’m really proud of is a series I developed around ballet hosted by Scout Forsythe, a ballet dancer with the American Ballet Theater. She is another dream host! She’s so knowledgeable, amazing on camera, and honestly makes my job a lot easier. Plus, I did ballet for ten years before college so it’s fascinating getting to dip my feet back into that world.

How did you get into film? 
I wouldn’t say I’m “into” film because I am far from an expert in the medium, but I love carrying around my cheap point-and-shoot camera (a $20 find on eBay) and snapping photos randomly here and there. When I finally get my film developed (sometimes months after I start a roll) it’s like a little present in my inbox when I see all the moments I’d captured that I’d forgotten. 

Your approach to makeup and makeup tutorials is so fun and interesting — we’re obsessed! How did you become interested in makeup and creating these looks?  
I think my crazy colorful looks have, in part, been due to my exposure to amazing makeup artists in the beauty industry through my work (I was a beauty writer for five years and hosted a show for Refinery29 called “Beauty with Mi”). I’ve worked with incredible artists like Katie Jane Hughes, Daniel Martin, Patrick Ta, Priscilla Ono, and Maeng and they’ve really influenced my style and have taught me so much. 

Have you been working from home? How has it been for you? 
It’s been tough adjusting to remote adjustment (aka, directing over Zoom), but I’m very grateful to be able to work from home right now. 

Quick Fire 🔥
Currently reading: Everybody (Else) Is Perfect by Gabrielle Korn (my former editor!) and Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, a self help book my therapist recommended because I’m interested in trying to unlearn my desire to control every situation I’m in lol. 
Currently watching: Reruns of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Currently listening to: AlwaysPavement, Courtney Barnett, and more recently, Hole!
Inspired by: Color on anything! Vintage cars, flowers, garbage on the street (seriously) 
Fave meal in NYC: I can’t pick just one! But here are some fave spots: Mala Project, Evelina, Kopitiam, Mekelburg’s, Via Carota, Colonia Verde, Wild Air :)
On a typical Tuesday night, we could find you: Playing Settler of Catan in the living room
When quarantine ends, where is your first stop in NYC?: A bar with room for dancing!! 
When quarantine ends, where is your first trip?: Singapore to visit my grandpa and my uncles and aunts :) 


Beach Dreams 🏖😴 ... (Our flip flops are in Jamaica right now)

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