The Wind Down
I have a 10-year old son who goes to bed at around 9pm so after that I catch up on some news while I’m in the bathroom and I do a head-to-toe beauty regime. I take a quick shower and then I have my 10-step cleansing and skincare routine. I do Pilates and Yoga and I also meditate, I’ve been doing transcendental meditation for almost two years now. On a Sunday most of the time I do Yoga in the morning around 11am and then in the evening I’ll meditate; I’m a huge believer in the mind/body connection, your skin really glows if you focus on the internal as well. On Sunday evening I drink this tea called Pu’er, it’s a Chinese tea that helps you detoxify. I also love taking salt baths and I do a lot of exercise so it really does help relieve your muscles. I do have quite an intense week during the week so I like to make sure I get into a really relaxed and revived mode by Monday morning. I find Sunday evening really determines how you feel on Monday morning for the rest of the week, it’s a seminal moment. In fact our fans have caught up to this idea of self-care on Sundays and one of our fans came up with #SolSunday. She started using it and we loved it and now we use it quite a bit too.
I probably spend 70% of my time cleansing. I live in the middle of Manhattan and I travel a lot, so, you know. Then after that it’s a lot of different products depending on the day, my mood, my skin. The longer term goal with my skin is to maintain and stay the way I am and to prevent. I think maintaining a healthy glow and healthy skin in the most natural way possible is key. I’m also a big fan of keeping that natural beauty – I don’t mean natural as in no products, I have a lot of products and spend a lot to look as natural as possible! I’m just very much about healthy glowing skin because skin is just a huge focal point of your overall beauty. I’ve definitely found that my skin fluctuates with so many things like stress levels, lack of sleep, travel and weather and the monthly female event, and so I do really believe in paying attention to that and not ignoring it. I’m Korean by birth but have spent most of my time in New York and most recently in Brazil, and one thing I have found to be very common in both Korean culture and Brazilian culture is the focus on cleansing. With K-beauty there’s a lot of focus on double and triple cleansing which I have been doing since day one, since I can remember, and then when I went to Brazil, I noticed the same thing but they do it with showers; they take at least two showers a day. You can go online and Google and you’ll get stats; 12 showers a week is average there and of course each one comes with a whole bodycare routine.
After the bath it’s always exfoliation, it just helps you feel super clean. I soak my skin in the bath first and then when I get out I use an exfoliating cloth. I probably have about four different types, so like a cloth, a sponge, just depending on what I need. Sometimes your body needs a little more exfoliation, sometimes it just needs a little smoothing. Exfoliation is huge in Korea and in Brazil. I’m a big believer in exfoliation and moisturisation together, it’s not just one or the other. That’s been a personal philosophy of mine from the very beginning so I make sure I do that. I moisturise my body literally head to toe. We had this very funny debate in the office recently about how some women don’t wash their feet and their toes… that’s just an example of how obsessive we can be about cleanliness! I love using our Brazilian 4-Play Shower Cream Gel which also acts as a mild bubble bath. It also moisturises your skin and leaves skin very, very soft but not stripped of all your natural fats. I’m not a big user of oil in the bath because I moisturise afterwards. That’s completely non-negotiable. I have moisturisers everywhere. In fact one of the very first products we launched in addition to Bum Bum Cream was a foot cream because us Koreans and Brazilians have to have really moisturised heels and feet. But again, if you don’t exfoliate enough and are just moisturising on top then you aren’t removing any of the dead skin on the surface. My obsession with beauty is very much ingrained – it’s second nature in both Korean and Brazilian cultures; grandmothers, mothers, sisters, they all sit around talking about beauty together. I used to tell people when we launched that I felt very lucky – neck up I’m K-beauty, neck down I’m B-beauty! Hair isn’t as much as a focal point as skin but I would say it’s more of a focus than putting on eyeshadow for me. I do use a lot of products – I guess I’m just a product junkie! I just think that having good products is really joyful and fun. And discovering new products, good quality products and learning about new ingredients and trends, I love that. Anyway so I’m not a big hair styling person and I don’t even have it cut often or coloured, but I do really appreciate healthy, strong, bouncy hair with no split ends. I wash it probably every other day. My hair tends to be quite fine so I make sure I use a volumizing spray or mousse in my routine.
It doesn’t happen every Sunday but I try to plan for the week ahead early in the evening. If I don’t do it early enough I end up staying up late to do it. I try to turn the lights out and be close to falling asleep by midnight. If I can fall asleep before then I’m happy. The company is growing a lot and we now have close to 50 people so I spend a lot of time thinking about that. Actually since I started this company four years ago I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping at night, my mind just keeps racing. That’s why I started the mediation about two years ago. It’s done wonders, I’m the biggest advocate of it. Before that I tried everything, but now I barely need to take anything. I have loads of products next to my bed, a foot cream and our hand cream too. I also use an oil-balm that a friend gave me on certain dry spots but I often use our Brazilian Kiss Lip Butter, which is cupuaçu butter, all over my cuticles and on my lips. Actually I put it all over my lips and outside around the line too because that’s super important. I also have a facial mist there too which I’ll spritz over my face right before I go to bed. I use ear plug sometimes, it’s not very sexy but it depends on my husband and if he’s snoring! I have this wooden half cylinder made out of wood that I use too, you put it under your neck and it massages your neck. I roll my head from left to right probably thirty or fifty times and that just helps my neck so much. It sits next to my bed and then I’ll go to sleep. Seven hours is really good, I try to get seven hours and if I don’t I’ll try to catch up the next day or a couple of days later.
I usually set an alarm for a Monday and wake up every morning at 6am to go straight into mediation. I have a couch in my bedroom where I move to in the dark, and then I sit there and do my meditation until 6.30am. After I’ve done it, I feel – it’s more than just feeling rested – I feel reenergised, it’s incredible. It’s been my crutch but I’m happy for it to be my crutch. I love, love going into my office and I love my team. When we were a smaller company, we used to do a kick-off meeting every Monday morning which always gave me a sense of perspective and made think about what I wanted to communicate to the team, any inspirational stories I wanted to tell or any good sales results. Now we’re bigger we can only do it once a month but it’s great.