Anything that has AHAs is really great for getting rid of the build up on my elbows, or especially my legs, and my back. I do have an AHA product from Krave called Kale-lalu-yAHA ($25), but I’ll use any AHA product once a week or twice a week after getting out of the shower, and then I’ll use the Nécessaire Body Lotion ($25). For fragrance I always wear Jo Malone London Basil and Neroli ($140), I never change it.
My (mostly) low-key hair care: $654
For shampoo and conditioner I’m using the Naturelab Tokyo repair line ($14 each). I recently discovered it, and it’s been great. I tend to shed a lot, but ever since I’ve switched to these products, my hair actually falls out less. The number one product I swear by is a hair tool: the Dyson Airwrap ($499), it completely changed my hair. I used to heat style my hair a lot with curling irons and straighteners, but it does damage your hair, and I would use a hair dryer which adds another layer of damage. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect dry shampoo, but so far I’m using the IGK First Class dry shampoo and like it ($27).
I get my hair cut twice a year, and I haven’t found a salon yet in New York, but every time I go back to Korea, I go back to my hairstylist. The haircut itself is actually pretty cheap in Korea. It’s $50, which is really why I get it done there. I almost feel like you have to chop your hair to get your money’s worth in New York.
My quick morning skin care routine: $53
My skin is an ever-changing living organ, and I try to adjust my skin care products according to that. You don’t want to over-do skin care—over-wash it, over-strip your natural moisture barrier, or get too excited with AHAs, so I don’t over-exfoliate. I don’t really reach for a high percentage of active ingredients, I try to keep it gentle and mild when it comes to product choices, and I think the best way is to keep my skin hydrated and protect it with SPF.
My morning skin care routine is probably the simplest. I don’t wash my face in the morning to protect my moisture barrier. I learned talking to my dermatologist that your skin is never too dirty overnight unless you have extremely oily skin, so I just try to do a toner wash. I use Laneige Cream Skin Toner ($33), on a cotton pad, and I simply wipe it and swipe it all across my face, so my skin is clean enough, but it doesn’t need to be perfectly washed and stripped first thing in the morning. And then, with the same product, I add another layer but this time I will just pat it in. So the first step is to swipe with a cotton pad, and the second is to bring back the hydration. And then since the Cream Skin is so hydrating and nourishing—especially with the humidity level in New York, it’s enough as a moisturizer itself—I jump into using sunscreen right away. I use Krave Beauty The Beet Shield ($20), which is my own formula, and it offers SPF 50. It’s very pleasant, and works perfectly as a makeup primer, so I can actually finish my routine in the morning with just two products.
My foundation-free daytime makeup: $53
I like to be simple with makeup, especially with my face makeup. I don’t use foundation, and I’ve been foundation-free for the past two years. I started experimenting with this because Michelle Phan is a firm believer that her skin got so much better ever since she stopped using foundation. I used to have super congested acne-prone skin, and then I started cutting back, slowly but surely, from high coverage, to mid coverage, to no coverage. Then I switched to using only concealer, and surprisingly that really helped with my skin recovery process. If you have acne-prone skin, once you’re addicted to full coverage foundation, it’s kind of like a vicious cycle. You’re not really leaving your skin to recover or heal by itself, but also at the same time you want to have that boost of confidence by having that full coverage foundation. It was a really difficult journey, but at the end I’m so proud of myself for jumping into that because it really did help my skin.