In my beauty bag: Michelle Ang

SCRUBBING UP: Whether it's donning them for her role on Grey's Anatomy, or using them as part of her beauty routine - Michelle is a firm fan of scrubs.
SCRUBBING UP: Whether it's donning them for her role on Grey's Anatomy, or using them as part of her beauty routine - Michelle is a firm fan of scrubs.

The lovely Michelle Ang, 30, is a Christchurch-born, award-winning New Zealand actress who you may have recently seen in Top of the Lake, or even as a guest star in Grey's Anatomy. You could also recognise her from classics like Outrageous Fortune and Neighbours. 

We caught up with the secret skincare addict after a 14 hour day filming a horror movie in North Carolina to chat about her beauty regime and couldn't believe how on-form she was after such a long day!

"As an actress I have to wear makeup every day that I'm working on set. When I'm not working I enjoy wearing as little makeup as possible.

Skincare is my thing, I am obsessed with exfoliators and everything to do with looking after your skin.  Makeup I am not so fanatical about, but I do like to learn about new products, especially organic brands.

Exfoliating is a must, especially in big cities with so much pollution. I love Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. It has lactic acid in it as a natural exfoliator, and is a powder that you mix with a touch of water to create a paste.

Soap&Glory also do "The Fab Pore Facial Peel" which is a clay mask with exfoliating beads that helps tighten pores. I alternate between these two, and follow up with a mask to put all the moisture back into my skin. Ooh, and Jurlique do a lovely Moisture Replenishing Mask too!

It's important to me that things smell good. It's the best part of the whole beauty regime experience. Aesop's Geranium Leaf Body cleanser makes me never want to step out of the shower!

On a work day I use cold water to wash my face in the morning.  I I know I will have to wear makeup for hours - they apply powder and more powder all day to stop your facial oils shining through the makeup, and if your skin is dry the makeup can get cakey, so I  spritz rosewater on my face, followed by a herbal gel - Duralique recovery - and then a moisturiser - often quite a creamy one.

I am a new convert to looking after my brows - I've been blessed with pretty well behaved ones, so it's just a wee tweeze of the stray hairs underneath the arch. Then I go to work and sit in a makeup trailer and they put my makeup on for me.

Sunscreen is super, super important. The makeup artists normally put it on. I am sensitive so I use Dermalogica sunscreen that I can mix with my moisturiser.

My hair is pretty low maintenance. I have just had a whole bunch of it lightened. In the morning I spritz a little bit of detangler on it and then dry shampoo (Osis) - it's the best secret ever because I have long hair and I don't wash it every day.

When I do wash I use Joico purple-tinted shampoo for the blonde, and a Joico Keratin conditioner. My new secret weapon - and it's cheap as chips - is coconut oil. Once a week I will lather it into my hair, leave it in and wrap my hair in gladwrap.  You just shampoo it out, and it's better than any expensive hair masque I have ever bought (if there's too much residue just mix a little baking soda with your shampoo).  It makes your hair very strong and shiny.

For my body I'm quite a big fan of sugar scrubbing (exfoliating!). I'm on a bit of a run of using apricot oil with a couple of drops of lavender in it. In the States there's an amazing organic supermarket and you can buy the apricot oil there.

Perfume:  this is my favourite topic of all! My going out fragrance is a Comme des Garcons one called 'Kyoto' - it's my sexy, 'I'm going to paint the town red and feel like a queen doing it' perfume.

For everyday I have a very secret musk oil that I found at an artisan craft fair.  As it's an oil it lasts all day and I always get comments about it. And I have to mention "GAIAC", made by this incredible perfumery house called Le Labo.  You can only buy from their Tokyo outlet but once in a blue moon they allow it to be purchased elsewhere. A very special person bought it for me, so it's my special occasion scent. I have to ration the bottle!

When I don't have my makeup done I wear a little bit of foundation. My skin has yellow tones and Bobbi Brown does the best match for my colouring. I wear a little mascara - I like to wear mascara as if it's a character - so it could be super clumpy, natural, or lengthening.  My favourite natural looking one is Benefit's 'They're Real'.

If I'm going out and have to do a proper look I like to play.  I'll add some contouring with a MAC contouring powder, some blush, do my eyebrows and throw in a liquid eyeliner. I just cottoned on to this lovely brand called Jouer - they have really amazing browns and ochres and mustard - and Inika organic makeup is really nice, too - I use a powder blush from them.

Kim Kardashian's makeup artist did my look for the MTV video awards last year and she turned me onto this great lip shimmer called 'Tarte' in lipsurgence (coral).  I would wear it on top of a lip pencil to add a bit more depth for evening. I'm also really getting into deep matte red lipstick as it's autumn here in the US.

Secret shame - I don't really know how to look after my fingernails or toenails - I cut them when I have a hangnail. Although I will do nail varnish if I'm bored on a Sunday afternoon or if I am going to a party."