celebrity shopping

What Christine Chiu Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo:Getty

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Bling Empire star Christine Chiu, who’s in the show’s upcoming second season, about the hand sanitizer that brings her back to Provence, underwear she’d reroute trips for, and meditative book she can’t live without.

This is the most efficient hand sanitizer out there because it’s tiny, has a chic design, and does the job. A lot of people use hand sanitizers with a chemical scent to sort of trick your brain into thinking you’re more protected. This has a nice balance: It smells clean, but it’s refreshing and doesn’t dry out my skin. I’ve been using them since the beginning of the pandemic and they still haven’t run out. I have every scent in every micro bag I own. It fits in clutches too, so it goes with me from day to night. I love the variety of scents because they set the mood for me. Right now, I’m on lavender and it’s bringing me back to great memories in Provence. And, it’s getting me ready for summer travel back to Europe.

A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m legally blind. I wear these hard-core specialty contacts to keep my eyes lubricated because my corneas are so thin. If you look in every purse, backpack, every nook and cranny, these are floating around. Again, I have very small purses, so I need things in miniature sizes. I just pack one or two with me instead of lugging around a tube of eye drops. Even when I’m jogging outside, I slip one in the little pockets in my exercise pants, pop it out, and toss it.

I’m extremely averse to setting my feet against anything. It took me a while to be able to walk on sand barefoot — that’s how bad it was. I still struggle to walk on grass barefoot and cannot walk on floors barefoot. In college, I lived in the dorms where they used reclaimed water on the campus grounds. My roommates would party and run around the grass watered with reclaimed water and jump into my bed with their dirty feet. That just traumatized me. But, this also ties back to a cultural thing. Growing up, we wore slippers at home. Honestly, they weren’t that cute. You could probably find them in Chinatown — they’re plastic or cheap satin with flower designs. These let me keep my cultural traditions, but, you know, make it Skims. They’re so cute. The fuzziness in the slippers keeps me warm and the thong keeps my foot exposed. I get the best of both worlds. After 15 or 16 hours in heels, it’s a nice welcome to wear cozy fuzzy slippers.

I’ve been buying these babies since back when they were completely uncool. I discovered them at an airport in Europe before they sold their products online. For the next couple of years, I would purposely reroute trips to that airport just to stock up on 30 to 40 pairs at a time. They are the most soft, lightweight, seamless panties. Yes, I have my fair share of La Perla and fancy-shmancy underwear, but when I wear underwear for myself, these are my go-to. They last, so they’re cost effective. And I can wear any type of silk or super-fine body-forming clothes and can’t see the seams. Sometimes thongs get uncomfortable after a while and you just want to put on a pair of invisible panties.

I have a hard time swallowing pills, so vitamins are a struggle for me to take. I’m so grateful for the world of gummy vitamins because there’s one for every need. I eat them all, and I like variety. If I need a sugar fix, I pop one in. It’s nice knowing that they’re doing something for my body, whether it’s boosting my energy, concentration, hair growth, nail growth, helping me relax and sleep. Out of all of them, I notice the sleep one kicks in the most. I pop them in and slow down. I go through my nighttime routine and fall asleep faster and easier. Now my son, who’s a toddler, just wants vitamins. He doesn’t eat candy. Strangers always commend me on being such a great parent, but they don’t know that when he says he asks for vitamins, he means gummies.

I was introduced to these tablets by my Dancing With the Stars partner Pasha. I was in the 30th season and had to practice for three to six hours a day. These saved us and our dances because they’d wake us up. It’s like taking a Listerine bath — they fill up your entire mouth and you feel completely refreshed. We went through an absurd amount every practice and wouldn’t have pulled it off otherwise. Now, I pop them at a much more normal pace. A tablet lasts me through an event, and the package is thin so I can fit it in my mini-bags in clutches. Other minty products are either too sweet, have a strange texture, or don’t really last that long. This is like a big firework session in your mouth of freshness, and it lasts. I constantly want to feel freshened up and livened up by it.

A friend of mine developed this line about eight years ago, and I used the body butter when I was pregnant. I used it for moisturizing and preventing stretch marks. I also relied on it emotionally. Every time I used it, I felt like I was treating myself. I’d give myself five minutes every night to lather my entire body and belly. The body butter is on the more expensive side because it’s made with really good ingredients, so it felt like a luxury. Now, it’s a staple for dry areas like the back of my heels or elbows. It’s a nice reward for myself after a hard day.

From $160

I don’t want to gross people out, but I don’t love wearing socks. There are very few comfortable, breathable sneakers that are casual but chic. These are streamlined, comfortable, and super breathable. Baby G, Dr. Chiu, and I own them in every color. We even match sometimes — we’re corny like that. I mainly wear these for running errands, but I also dance in them sometimes. I exercise by doing a lot of hip-hop and jazz dancing, and will throw these on when I forget my jazz shoes.

I was raised Christian and we’re still Christian. It’s important to start my day with the right mind-set. Joyce’s devotionals offer different perspectives, words of encouragement, and realizations. Sometimes it’s an attitude of gratitude or a reminder that we’re loved. Sometimes it reminds us of how little we are in a bigger picture of life. There’s a different one every day, and it’s a quick, simple way for me to get inspiration. It’s my form of meditation.

$10 for 3

This is my ultimate go-to snack because you have to work at it. I usually lick off all of the chocolate or flavor before eating the stick. That drags out the snack, so one pack takes me about 30 minutes to finish. I love the classic chocolate ones, but I’m addicted to matcha. I drink matcha all day and then enjoy my matcha Pocky sticks.

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What Christine Chiu Can’t Live Without