The Loveliest Prostitute: Nancy Kwan As Suzie Wong

Random strangers have called me Suzie Wong, so when I finally looked up who that is, I discovered a Nancy Kwan movie with one of the prettiest prostitute looks in all of film.
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Publish date:
September 11, 2013
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eyeliners, eyeshadows, lipsticks, How-To, Urban Decay, clinique, Revlon, movies, muses, bobbi brown, contouring, racism, Nancy Kwan

Ninety-nine percent of pickup lines I've ever received have been ethnicity-based. Konichiwa, ni hao ma, and on rare occasion, hola como estas? All very ineffective methods used by strangers to speak to me. This is pretty much standard fare for most of my Asian friends, so these guys don't discriminate (har har).

One particular "ethnic" pickup line that stood out the most was when one man decided to serenade me with Jacob Miller's "Suzie Wong."

He seemed jovial enough: he was very smiley and let me awkwardly walk away politely without argument. Strangely enough, "Suzie Wong" has been a name I've been called more than once in my neighbourhood. I was never really sure what to make of it other than thinking of it as good old racist misguided flattery, but this was the first time I had heard it in song.

I was intrigued enough to Google it. Turns out, Suzie Wong is a fiery prostitute with a heart of gold.

Filmed in 1960, The World of Suzie Wong is a British-American romantic drama. Although it has its issues (I won't go there today, but you can), it also opened up Hollywood doors to Asian actors, one standout being the unbelievably beautiful Nancy Kwan.

Known as Hong Kong's gift to Hollywood, Nancy lit up the screen. She is magnificent. The camera absolutely adored her and in my opinion, she could steal a scene just as easily as Audrey or Marilyn.

In The World of Suzie Wong, to make the half-Anglo Kwan appear more Asian, they played up her eye shape using a very subtle cat eye, and "sketched a line across her forehead." Honestly, I don't know what the last part even means or how that is particularly Asian, but I'm just the messenger.

So here is my homage to Nancy as Suzie Wong.

I started with Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Stone all over my lid, up to the crease.

Using an angled brush, I lined my upper and lower lash line with Bobbie Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Heather, a greyish purple.

Using Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes in Sable (no longer available, but you can get the shade Intense Sable with Clinique's Quickliner for Eyes Intense), I traced over that line and also extended the flick on my upper eyelid, as well as on the lower lash line.

Using my crease (eye fold?) as a guide, I drew a line to extend into the inner corner of my eye, slanting downwards. I created a similar "eye extension" on my lower lash line as well. I then used a Q-tip to blend all the lines, making them less harsh.

To highlight the inner corners of my eye, I used a shimmery white shadow.

I lined my lower water line with a white pencil and finished with mascara.

Nancy's look was very natural, and she often let her freckles shine through, so I did the same. Skipping foundation, I loaded up on concealer, both under the eyes and to cover up any imperfections.

On my mouth, I used Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, a sheer orange.

I also contoured my nose using Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Buck because Nancy's nose was much smaller and daintier than mine.

Nancy's eyebrows in Suzie Wong were quite thin and penciled on, as to fit in with a stereotypically Asian aesthetic, but I left mine mostly as is, in keeping with Nancy's overall more natural look.

I finished everything off with powder, for that matte '60s look.

Here's the final look:

I now leave you with this glorious photo:

And this video from Flower Drum Song:

Have you seen The World of Suzie Wong? Do you love Nancy Kwan yet? Should I be offended that random people on the street have technically been calling me a prostitute?