Irene Kim, Estée Lauder's Global Beauty Contributor, Shares Her Favorite Fashion & Beauty Tips
Have you heard of Irene Kim yet? If you haven't, here's a super short primer: She's a Korean American model, who has both the most awesome rainbow hair on the planet, and a newly-acquired stint as Estée Lauder's Global Beauty Contributor. The ultra-stylish street style icon held court at KCON LA last weekend, with a meet and greet, a panel, and an appearance at the MNet Countdown Concert. I was lucky enough to attend her panel, which was overflowing with fashion know-how and Korean beauty tips — as well as some pretty handy insight into Irene herself.
Charmingly enough, the panel started out with a little Irene trivia — guests were asked about everything from her hometown (Seattle, Washington, in case you were wondering), to how many colors she was currently sporting in her hair (a whopping eight) — one brave fan even strutted her stuff on down the runway (and so did Irene!), while another gave a spirited rendition of Wonder Girls’ pop hit “Nobody But You.” (Full disclosure: I also participated in the trivia — I correctly guessed Irene’s must-have skincare item (sunscreen!), and won a sparkly purple bikini with detachable cleavage jewelry and a pleated swim skirt. I know, right?).
All in all, it was quite the panel (at one point, she even let one fan come up and touch her hair — which, LBR, is most likely imbued with magical unicorn powers) — and Irene was just as adorable and filled with fashion and beauty knowledge as you'd expect.
Here are some of her best tidbits from the afternoon:
On Her Technicolor Hair:
"Recenty, I bought some Manic Panic dyes in LA, and it’s SO GOOD. It’s really good. And I actually did it myself — don’t tell my hairstylist! I just added the pink, and it’s really nice."
On Her Fashion Icon(s):
"When I want to be simple and chill, I love Charlotte Gainsbourg — she’s so chic and amazing. And then Rihanna, because she just experiments with everything."
On Her Favorite Face Mists:
"I really like the beauty water by Son & Park — it’s a Korean brand, and it’s very soft and delicate. And I love Bioderma, and the microessence by Estée Lauder, which is very nice too."
On Her International Success
"I think it’s the hair. [laughs] I think some worlds collided… you know what, from all of it, I’ve been myself the whole way through, and just being genuine, and just being passionate about what I love to do — and I just love sharing all my ideas for you guys, and just creating whatever it is, if it’s an Instagram picture, a YouTube video… yeah. It’s about just being myself, and enjoying it — I’m so blessed!"
On The Beauty Advice She'd Share With An 11 Year-Old:
"Less is more. 11 is so young! I think it’s just so fun to experiment, because when I was young, I was constantly in my grandmother’s makeup box, just putting on lipstick all over my face. And I'd just want to make sure she doesn’t want to be somebody else."
On Her Morning Routine:
"This morning I woke up, I drank a glass of water, and I went down to the gym, and I worked out for about 45 minutes — I usually do the elliptical, and I stretch a lot, just because the traveling gets me all tense. Then, I went up and took a shower, and I got me some Beyonce on… My skincare routine is, I use the beauty water, and I add face oil — you can use whatever type of face oil that works for your skin — and I usually mix it with my moisturizer. And then, sunblock! That’s about it."
On Korea's Top Fashion Trends:
"I get asked that a lot, but personally? I think fashion has become so universal with all of the social media that’s happening, so it’s really what people like — and it’s what YOU like. It’s not that magazines and sites are dictating what’s “in” — you see something, you like it, and you buy it."
Irene wrapped up the panel by announcing her impending proposal to My Love From Another Star heartthrob Kim Soo Hyun: "I hope he says yes," she quipped, "If he says yes, you’re all invited to our wedding!"
That statement was, of course, greeted with uproarious applause.