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What is your background in beauty/skincare?
I opened the first eco-chic boutique in the US on Abbott Kinney, Venice in 2007. I have seen every brand come and go, read up on every ingredient natural, un-natural, irritating, non-effective, etc. in beauty products (I have a degree in Library Science, I can research ANYTHING on databases such as Nexus Lexus that Google can't hold a candle to) and have taken care of countless women's skincare issues, diligently researching what their problems may be when their dermatologists couldn't. For example, I remember a woman came in one night and I helped her with redness on her skin. It was mostly built up dead skin cells (on fair women dead skin looks red on face) so I helped her exfoliate gently using the Resurfacing Grains. She also had very sensitive thin skin so I told her not to use anything with acids even if it natural such as glycolic acid or Alpha-hydroxy acid since it "gently" burns dead skin but does not know when to stop and can damage her new fresh skin (that's what most skin treatments try to achieve - microdermabrasion, laser, peels, etc - get to the new skin). A year and a half went by and a woman came in and asked me if I remember her. I apologized and told her I don't. She was 6 months pregnant, and had amazing skin. She told me "I came in a year and a half ago as a last resort because my dermatologist told me I had severe dermatitis and I have to take prescription pills. My friend told me I have to come see you, and I didn't even believe her but was desperate. I live on the east and I never come this way, but I came by today just to tell you thank you, and your Resurfacing Grains is a truly amazing product". It's moments like those that keep me going when I'm beating my printer at 3am crying because I'm not going to ship my products on time. I tell myself to get a hold of myself, that there are women who I can help from taking harmful products, pills, or are simply misdiagnosed.
What inspired you to create an anti aging line?
My clients. I'm in Beverly Hills. Most women who come into my shop are women who can afford to shop in Beverly Hills who tend to be educated, successful, and/or their job is to stay beautiful (actresses, models, trophy wives, etc). Their concerns are mostly anti-aging.
What is your ingredient commitment?
Cruelty free. Least amount of waste (for example, the squalane in my Exotic Oil is left over from shark liver oil that companies throw away after they extract Omega-3 fish oil). In America everyone is worried about animal rights, and I am an animal lover myself, but since I source my ingredients and packaging internationally, I visit every factory and farm to make sure HUMAN RIGHTS are being respected.
Who is your line designed for?
Anti-Aging, Sensitive Skin, People who are sensitive to harsh ingredients or ingredients that are too active, many of my clients come to me after plastic surgery to heal faster since their skin can't take chemicals that sting them.
Some of your ingredients are unique. Can you please tell us a bit about them? (where/how sourced, why you chose them)
You can read about it here.
What is one beauty tip all woman should know?
I take everyone's makeup off in LA. In LA hyperpigmentation/sun damage is a big issue, so wear sunscreen. If I had to think about everyone in the world... Everyone girl who knows makeup knows the importance of a highlighter. The RMS Living Luminizer is the gold standard of all highlighters (it's not shimmery or shiny like most others). Put below brows to highlight your arch, bridge of your nose, cheekbones, V of your lips, and middle of your eye lids for extra twinkle. You know that glow you have right after a facial? This is how you fake it every day. ;)
Who has influenced your style?
My mother. She was the most spoiled child in Korea after the Korean War raised by the second wealthiest man in the country at the time. When her help was giving out left overs to beggers outside, she saw sunglasses on TV and my grandfather imported them from England for her. She taught me taste, not trends.
You say no other companies use this type because it has to be refrigerated to be stable. But you also say it was recommended that you reformulate the products that contain this ingredient but didn’t. So do you use the type of soluble collagen that needs to be refrigerated? Do you recommend refrigerating the products that contain it? If not, how do they stay safe for use?
The liquid collagen doesn't go bad or is harmful out of the refrigerator. It simply loses potency. It's not a stabilizer. The product also contains elastin and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (same as sodium hyaluronate) in there that's good for anti-aging as well, but it would be best kept in the fridge because the liquid collagen is the special ingredient.
I was told to reformulate since the collagen would go to waste if it's not refrigerated and it's not practical or possible for mass production (pretty much a financial loss). I told them I will make how many ever I can make, and if I run out then clients can be on the wait list. I do it all the time for my shop in Beverly Hills. It's what happens when you sell special products made in small batches.
Also, does it concern you that using animal products (even those from parts headed for the dump) is supporting the killing of these animals? Especially sharks? Or do you feel strongly about these particular animal products as anti aging?
Regarding animals, humans are animals, and our skin is most similar to animals. Vegetables, flowers, and fruits don't have skin like us. I make products that mimic what our own body lose with age to slow aging. Best ingredients are made with animal products. I don't believe in waste, if an animal is killed for any reason, the least we can do is honor it by utilizing all of it. I can compare it to how I don't understand people who don't want to give their bodies to research or give their body parts to save others' lives after they die.
I don't believe in cruelty, and don't eat American meats if possible. I think the FDA and the organic certification is a joke and a business that messes with our health. I can't begin to tell you how wrong I believe Republicans are in profiting from wars and oil, but Democrats messing with our right to eat healthy (Monsanto) and not give us health care (when 3rd world countries all over the world have free health CARE, not forced health INSURANCE) is groteque.
Of course I feel awful about killing of the sharks, I don't go around punching babies because I don't like screaming kids. But the Omega 3 Oils that come from their liver DO benefit countless people with heart conditions. I think people can eat less fast food and exercise so they don't have heart disease, but God only knows what psychological studies are done at best mental institutions in the world so people are addicted to McDonald's starting childhood.
In the US, I know people are crazy about animal rights. And I'm glad we live in a society that can feel that way. But when I go to India, China, Malaysia, and many other countries, I feel that Americans should travel more and see how humans are treated. I go to farms and factories around the world to make sure I work with factories that enforce humane working conditions and employees rights. I voice my concern for human rights by not working with companies that have their employees working in dangerous working condition working 12 hours straight with no breaks, dim lighting, dirty floors, restrooms (if they even have one), and much more.