Soo Joo Park On Good Genes, Sunscreen, And Dying Her Hair Blue At Cannes Film Festival

As we catch up over Zoom, Soo Joo Park looks strikingly different. Her sharp eye liner and wispy fringe are a new beauty turn for the regular Cannes attendee and L'Oréal Paris spokesperson, but it's her asphalt blue hair that's caught my eye over the camera.

'I actually dyed my hair because I've been working on music, which is my new project outside of modelling and I wanted to do it for the next single that's coming out in the fall,' she tells me.

This sort of experimentation is nothing new for the Asian-American model who, when she’s not transforming on the runway, switching up her hair from liquorice black to vanilla blonde, she's oscillating between cutting-edge, high fashion street style and glamorous red carpet couture.

Sartorial nous aside, being bold with her beauty is what she does best. Here, ELLE UK sits down with Park to discuss her red carpet appearance at Cannes Film Festival, her approach to self-care and her skincare journey over the years.

On her Cannes red carpet attire

'I'm always especially excited about Cannes because it's a great time for us as ambassadors to represent our personality, in line with L'Oréal, a brand championing self worth and female empowerment in the world of cinema. And for me, with every look I choose, I think of something special for the make-up. I obviously don't like to over empower one or the other but it depends on my mood and how I'm feeling that year.'

On dying her hair blue for Cannes

'With my hair, finding a gown was a little bit more tricky because we didn't want everything to be so loud. We picked a really cool black velvet gown so that the hair can breathe and speak and I think we're going to do a strong smokey eye that also complements the hair but isn't adding too many colours into the mix.'

soo joo park attends cannes film festival
Daniele Venturelli - Getty Images

On social media and beauty trends

'Like a lot of women out there, there's been a time, especially two years ago or so, where this very snatched, homogenous beauty look became such a big trend. As time has passed, that's now shifting. Beauty is like fashion - with the immediacy of social media, everyone jumps on new beauty trends so quickly. But it also has been an amazing platform to celebrate artistry, like the shiny skin from the Margiela couture show which was all over social media; I was so taken by it. I use social media as a space to see what's out there, and recognise amazing, young make-up artists as well. For me, it's about syphoning through what works for you rather than being on the trend wagon.'

On her make-up must-haves for the red carpet

'I always like to accentuate my eyes, so right now I'm really into pumping up my lashes. A product that I really love is the Panorama Mascara from L'Oréal. And then, I'm also really loving blush. Before I was into contouring and bronzy tones, but right now I'm more into the flushed, rosy and dewy look. It looks more youthful, and especially when there's sunlight and you're outside, you want to look fresh.'

On her beauty moodboard and muses

'One of my constant inspirations is a Japanese model named Sayoko Yamaguchi who is best known for a Kohl-rimmed, dark under-eye liner, inspired by the Serge Lutens-esque era which was all about maximal makeup. I've always loved that. I think I've always leaned into the dramatic [side of beauty], as you can see with my hair. I used to bleach my hair for 10 years; I was known for my platinum hair. And then two years ago, I went back to black and was growing out my natural hair. I was then able to bleach it and dye it back to blue.'

soo joo park cannes film festival
Cindy Ord - Getty Images

On prioritising self care

'The longer I've been on this planet, on Earth, the more I'm realising that I have to really work on my inner wellbeing. And if I'm able to ground myself and take care of my soul, it really manifests into everyday acts of taking care of my skin or working out and being healthy. So I've just been trying to be kinder to myself and also when things aren't going my way or if I'm feeling a little down, I try to accept that that is how I'm feeling instead of trying to fight it or to run away from it.'

On her skincare journey over the years

'I'm entering my mid-late 30s now and ageing has been taking its course. I have been lucky to have good skin genes from my mum, but whereas I used to exfoliate and use more granular formulas in the past, I now refrain from using anything too abrasive for my skin. I use cleansing milk instead of a cleansing foam, and toner before serum, for instance, and have learned tips from make-up artists and dermatologists. I've also been focusing on some skincare damage from the sun as I used to not wear sunscreen. It was hard to find the right sunscreen, but I'm really loving the L'Oréal Sun Fluid. It's the sheerest finish and it doesn't make me break out.'

On the best beauty advice she’s ever been given

'The best beauty advice I've been given is: learn your face, experiment and find what suits you.'

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