BOWho I am and who I’ll be
NOW KOREAN BEAUTY IS EVERYWHERE WHICH IS REALLY COOL, TO SEE THE BRANDS TAKE OFF HERE. BUT REALLY IT WAS WATCHING MY MUM FROM A YOUNG AGE WITH HER BEAUTY ROUTINE, WHICH WAS REALLY JUST SKIN CARE BECAUSE SHE HAS NEVER WORN MUCH MAKE UP.
19/99 Beauty Take us through your daily beauty routine, morning and night.
Bo Hong My beauty routine is pretty simple. I am a big believer in good skin; that was taught to me very young by my mum. I swear by Sulwhasoo & Shiseido. My morning routine is wake up, wash my face with my Shiseido facewash, always a Shiseido or Sulwhasoo toner, put on a Shiseido moisturizer and then I start on my makeup for the day. I am a big believer in face masks – I do that weekly, usually on a Sunday night. I use one I get at a Korean grocery store – Papa Recipe, Bombee honey mask. The base of it is honey, and it is supposed to be good for clear skin and elasticity.
With makeup I like to be simple; I don’t use any foundation or concealer. I put on my brows – Anastasia Dip Brow & her Tinted Brow Gel. For Mascara, I use Glossier’s Lash Slick, Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer and then away I go. Sometimes if I am going out I will use the Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter Wand, but that is it. On my lips right now I am using a Gucci lipstick, but usually I just use a lip balm, and go really cheap on that - like Labello. If I want to do lipstick, which I rarely do, I will tend towards a gloss.
19/99 How has your beauty routine changed over the years?
BH It hasn’t really; if anything I am more mindful of my skin and taking good care of my skin, like doing those face masks. But it has consistently been pretty carefree and quick. As a kid watching my mum with her routine – she always had so many bottles of Sulwhasoo products, putting on her different serums, she was always very diligent with her skin and she has amazing skin. So I started to ask her what the different things did – she has a jar for everything, and at a young age I started using Sulwhasoo products. Now Korean beauty is everywhere which is really cool, to see the brands take off here. But really it was watching my mum from a young age with her beauty routine, which was really just skin care because she has never worn much make up.
I THINK IT ALL COMES DOWN TO BEING CONFIDENT. YOU KNOW LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS PERFECT BUT WHEN I FEEL LIKE I AM BEING A GOOD PARTNER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, OR DOING A GOOD JOB AT WORK, WITH THE BUSINESS, MAKING OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES OR FEEL HAPPY. THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.
19/99 Do you feel pressure to look a certain way?
BH Not really, I don’t think I ever really have. That is again something that my mum instilled in us; I never felt pressure to dress a certain way, or wear my makeup a certain way. It was more what I felt complimented me the most, what made me feel the most comfortable.
19/99 Does that term age appropriate mean anything to you?
BH Not really; do what makes you feel good and makes you happy. I think there is definitely a line with younger people, who get heavily influenced by social media, and feel like they need to look a certain way, there is probably a line there. But for any adult, whether you are 21 or 81, there aren’t any rules; do what makes you happy and makes you feel good- live your truth.
19/99 How do you use social media? Has it affected your self image?
BH I don’t use it as much as most people my age. I am interested in trends, and use social media but mostly as mindless entertainment. I don’t really know if it has affected my subconscious or the way I feel about myself, or the way I look. I see it more as an external thing that I don’t internalize, I don’t put too much weight on what I see online. But if I had it at my disposal when I was younger, at 14, it would definitely be a different story.
19/99 If you could share advice with your younger self, what would it be?
BH Embrace change and imperfections. When I was younger, I felt self conscious about certain things. For example, I used to be really into swimming, and I found my body was changing because I was swimming a lot, and then all of a sudden I decided I didn’t want to swim anymore. I remember saying to my parents ‘What are these muscles on my back & shoulders, I don’t like them’, and I stopped swimming. So my advice would be to try not to be so affected by what you see around you, to have fun, do what you are good at . I really think it goes back to how I was raised; especially looking at my mum and sister, and all the women in my family, they are all such strong confident women, that I never really felt super self conscious about the way I looked. I am not a size zero, I never have been, but I have never really cared.
19/99 What makes you feel beautiful?
BH I generally don’t think about it so much, but I feel beautiful everyday, I really do. I can have off days where I don’t feel as good, but surrounding myself with a good positive support system is key, and people around me that want to raise me up. It is more self confidence and feeling good about your surroundings, who you are with, feeling comfortable in my own skin. What would you say to that?
19/99 A good outfit, when I am getting a lot of sleep, relaxed, when I’m not thinking about it.
BH I think it all comes down to being confident. You know life isn’t always perfect but when I feel like I am being a good partner, daughter, sister, or doing a good job at work, with the business, making other people feel good about themselves or feel happy. That makes me feel good. I also feel good after a good hot shower, when I am really clean.
19/99 Is there anything that scares you about aging?
BH Exterior wise not so much; you can exude confidence and beauty at any age. Death terrifies me, but aging itself is part of the life process. I get more comfortable in my skin as I age - thinking of my 15 year old self to 25 year old self to now and how that is different in a good way. I go back to my mum a lot, but she has set a good bar; she is in her 60s, is super active, doing all the things she loves to do, and I see that as my barometer. She doesn’t talk about her fears around the way she looks now, she is very confident, and I think that has rubbed off on me. I am sure if she was really focused on how her looks are changing then I would see it differently. But looking a her, my aunts, and great-aunt who is in her 70s, it is more about mindset, and having a positive mindset towards aging, and knowing that every phase is going to be different, in a good way.
19/99 If you could ask the older generation one question, what would it be?
BH Oh this is hard. What is an experience you learned a lot from, something that you wish you’d learned early in life?
19/99 Do you think there is a point at which we stop learning and growing?
BH No; the time you stop learning and growing is when you die. Honestly, I have to be curious and question things. I am constantly learning new things, and that has taken me to some pretty good places in my 31 years. It is the only way you become a better human. Whether it is better at your job, or being a parent, or a partner or friend - I don’t think the learning ever really stops. I am very lucky though, to be able to be constantly learning, it is the privilege of the position I’m in, and being raised in a place like Toronto and not having a lot stacked against me – that allows this. I’ve had a lot opportunities at my disposal and am really lucky.