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We Hung Out With Melbourne-Based Model, Mercy Sang

Mercy Sang’s Instagram is an #outfitgoals overload (see here, here and here for irrefutable evidence of this claim). The first time we laid eyes on it, we embarked on the most frenzied screenshotting spiral of our young lives. She seamlessly blends structured, tailored, masculine pieces with the pretty sheer feminine kind, in a way that’s already copped her apt comparisons to a young Grace Jones – by Vogue, no less.

The Kenyan-born, Melbourne-based model has the face dreams are made of. She’s also someone you immediately know you want to be friends with, something we knew even prior to crashing her pad in Melbourne. She’s original, funny, whip-smart, and is no doubt on her way to inspiring some of the biggest creative minds in the industry. Above all, she’s unashamedly herself. We hung out with the chill beauty and chatted through everything from her minimal approach to beauty and how she finds the creative scene in Melbourne, to launching POCC — her new magazine that celebrates people of colour across fashion, art, film, and photography. Take the floor, Mercy!

What’s your skincare routine (tell us about the products you swear by)?
I have extremely sensitive skin, so less is more when it comes to what I put on my skin on a daily basis. I wash my face with a pH-balanced, soap-free face wash —La Roche Posay Toleraine Dermo cleanser — every morning and night, and follow up with Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil cleanser and toner, and finish off with the Aveeno Oatmeal-Based Moisturiser. I try to use sheet masks as often as I can, and when I do, I often use a honey-based sheet mask.

Do you wear make-up? What’s your go-to everyday product?
I am awful at make-up, so I like to keep it as simple and minimal as I can. I swear by Nars Sheer Glow Foundation — it’s one of the best products I’ve ever laid my hands on. I also use Nars Illuminator in Orgasm; I prefer that to a powdered highlighter, as I think it makes me look more natural, especially for everyday use. I never do much with my eyes other than mascara, mainly because I am terrible at it, but also because I love a red lip, and I think both can be too much for me, especially when running errands. I mix MAC Ruby Woo and Sin, and for a more natural look I sometimes use MAC Desire. Another product I’m currently obsessing over is Mario Badescu’s Facial Mist with aloe, herbs, and rosewater — it hydrates me throughout the day, and keeps me looking fresh, whilst also setting my make-up.

What’s your haircare approach? And the products you use?
I try to wash my hair as little as possible, but it can be hard at times due to work. I use TRESemméshampoo and conditioner. I also use Eleven Leave-In Conditioner and Hair Treatment, and of course, organic coconut oil. I try to use as little chemicals as possible.

What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve made?
Absolutely everything I did when I was younger; I had zero clue what I was doing.

When do you feel your best?
Barre class after a really long day.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy my own company — maybe a lot more than I should — but I love reading or watching a good movie in bed.

What’s your favourite breakfast food?

Sadly I rarely have breakfast. Terrible, I know, but I am always running late and never find the time to eat it. Toast is always safe.

What’s that one word you can’t stop saying at the moment?
“Darling”. It’s one of those situations where it started as a joke, but no longer is…

Favourite online shopping spot?
I hate online shopping, mainly because I’m extremely impatient – but I do use eBay every now and then.

Netflix or Spotify? And what are you loving right now?
At the moment, Spotify — only because Australian Netflix is terrible — and I’ve currently had Kaytranada’s 99.9% on repeat.

How do you find the creative scene in Melbourne?
The creative scene in Melbourne is small, so you end up knowing everyone from running into them so often at events etc. It helps that people are quite warm and friendly in Melbourne. I think the creatives in Melbourne are doing some pretty great things at the moment.

What’s your favourite travel destination, and why?
Other than my home country, Kenya, Paris, because it has everything I need.

Who was your first celebrity crush?
I have the worst memory. Perhaps a young Keanu Reeves, or Prince?

What’s your earliest beauty memory?
Extremely badly done smoky eyes when I was about 15.

If you could resurrect one beauty trend, what would it be?
Thin eyebrows, and copious amount of blush!

What’s your most treasured item of clothing/jewellery?
My Louis Vuitton bandeau — it was a very special gift from a very special friend.

What does beauty mean to you?
I think that a person is most beautiful when they are unapologetically themselves.

What are you most excited for in 2017?
To see how the year pans out for me, and launching my magazine.

Who is your biggest idol, and why?
I try not to idolise people, but more so admire people and be inspired by them. I am forever a huge fan of Grace Jones, though – I think she’s one of the most beautiful people. Agnes Pareyio and Michelle Obama are up there, too.

Words, Madeleine Woon. Photography, Bec Martin. With thanks to Mercy Sang from Fivetwenty Mgt.