As soon as Olivia Liang heard that her CW series Kung Fu had been renewed for a second season, she bought a dress. “I’m excited to wear it for all of my Zooms,” she jokes as she describes the Alexa Chung number for me.
It’s the kind of treat-yourself purchase many women make after they complete a project, celebrate a birthday, or get promoted at work. (Or, say, learn that their hit television show will continue on.) For Liang, this milestone is especially important and worth recognizing. The actor had to do intense training for the martial arts series in which she plays Nicky Shen, a Harvard dropout who uses her skills to protect her community. But it was worth it to now have the platform the show has given her—because of the good she can do with it.
“My favorite thing about Nicky is that she does things her own way,” Liang tells me. “She doesn’t want to just go with what everyone else is doing, and she really speaks up and speaks out. That has really inspired me in my personal life to do the same.”
Playing Nicky has also given Liang something else: life-long friends in her costars. “They are the absolute best,” she says. “We got so close because we were filming during the pandemic in a bubble. It’s so much fun to do this job and be working with your friends.”
But back to that celebratory dress: It’s not the only exciting purchase Olivia Liang has made in recent months. Read on for our latest installment of Your Fave’s Faves to find out what else the Kung Fu star is loving at the moment.
How I’d describe my style
Chic grandma. I love big collars. I love the preppy look that’s really come back. I can’t do a skinny jean ever again. I’m so glad those are not cool to Gen Z and below anymore, because it was not working for me. I couldn’t breathe in them. I love this wide leg, high-rise baggy ’70s thing that’s coming back. I love a lot of different things when it comes to fashion. It’s hard to pin down one thing, but I definitely gravitate toward that chic grandma look.
The last thing I bought
I bought an Alexa Chung dress that I’d had my eye on. It was in my cart, but I was like, “Ugh, I shouldn’t. I don’t need this dress right now.” But as soon as I saw the Kung Fu season two announcement, I went and checked out. It’s really cute. It’s black, it’s velvet, it’s got balloon sleeves. We love a balloon sleeve. I’m excited to wear it for all of my Zooms.
The best thing in my closet
I’m gravitating a lot toward these white high-rise jeans I have that are so awesome. It’s such a good summer pant, and I’m wearing them pretty much every day. I don’t remember the brand—I might have gotten them at Goodwill. I love thrifting and going through every single piece of clothing at a Goodwill. Before, when I had more time, as a side hustle I would go and look for some gems and then try to flip them at Wasteland or Buffalo Exchange.
My nightly skincare routine
I have been struggling with my skin for years now. Adult acne is real. So I’ve been trying to curate my perfect skincare routine, and I think I finally have it down with the products I’m using. At night, I use the SK-II Essence, and then the Drunk Elephant Resurfacing Night Serum. I also really like the Tatcha Silk Peony Eye Cream. I follow that with the Biossance Squalane + Rose Vitamin C Oil and lock it all in with the really wonderful It Cosmetics Secret Sauce. It smells really good, and it’s so hydrating. So that’s my night routine. I’ve had it for nearly two years, and it’s been really helping me.
My go-to acne solution
For little blemishes, the Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patches are really good. I personally have a hard time not picking at any blemishes or trying to pop anything, because that’s one of my favorite things to do—Dr. Pimple Popper, that kind of stuff. I’m so bad about that, but putting on one of these blemish patches prevents me from picking at my skin.
The beauty secret I learned from my mom
My mom told me to never apply my facial products dragging down on my face, because that’s just helping gravity pull it all down. Always go up toward the forehead.
My favorite way to spend a day off
It would start with sleeping in. I love to be woken up naturally instead of with an alarm. Then I would probably hit MARU Coffee in Los Angeles and get myself a cute little matcha and maybe have a coffee with a friend there. Then I’d take some time to just chill and read a book or watch a show. I would love to go bowling at the end of the day because that’s one of my favorite activities. It’s so good—you can make it competitive, you can make it chill. They always play bumpin’ music at the bowling alleys. It’s so much fun. That’s a perfect day for me.
The last great book I read
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu is kind of a satirical account of what it means to be Asian in America, particularly Chinese in America. It’s written like a screenplay, so it hit home for a lot of obvious reasons as an Asian performer. It’s done really beautifully and opened my eyes to even more nuances of what it means to be Asian in America. It’s a really fantastic read.
My favorite thing in my home
My favorite thing in my home is a new thing, but I think it’s so sweet. For my birthday, my mom made me a clipping cut out framed in a really cute Anthropologie frame of my first feature in People magazine. Just imagining my mom scrapbooking that and putting it in this frame is really, really adorable to me. She was like, “This is for whenever you have your future home. You can put this in your office with your accomplishments.” It’s a little narcissistic to have it, but it reminds me of my mom now. She’s come such a long way from saying, “No, you will never be an actor” to now putting this thing in a frame for me. It’s really special.
Anna Moeslein is the senior entertainment editor at Glamour.