“I think it’s important to find the balance that works for us individually, as everyone’s mind and body respond in different ways.”
Please briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Eva and I live in New York City. I am a photographer and I also run Trotter, where we create curated city guides with an emphasis on design and photography.
What is a typical day for you like?
These days are quite different than what they used to be when I was traveling six months out of the year. I am home most days now with my other half and it typically starts off with a cup of tea, reading the morning paper followed by working on new creative projects. We always have fika (Swedish coffee break) by midday and that’s when we work on the NYT crossword puzzle together. In the evenings, we have been taking turns cooking a new dish for each other, we go for a long walk and end the day watching tv or reading together.
“I am not someone who endlessly thinks of ways to get ahead but rather someone who strives to improve themselves. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to succeed but that I believe success can be shared.”
How has your background and experience shaped the person you are today?
In my culture, being super competitive is standard. Luckily, my parents were more easy-going but I still saw the ugliness of it around me. In turn, it shaped me to be the complete opposite, not competitive and not a jealous person by nature. I am not someone who endlessly thinks of ways to get ahead but rather someone who strives to improve themselves rather than beating others. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to succeed but that I believe success can be shared.
Does balance play a role in your life?
Definitely, but it’s a work in progress. I think it’s important to find the balance that works for us individually, as everyone’s mind and body respond in different ways. It’s so easy to think you’re doing it all wrong and even easier to compare yourself to others who seemingly have it all together, but it’s all about being kind to yourself and creating the right balance for yourself.
What are some tips on maintaining balance and taking care of your well-being?
Start and end each day right. A morning and evening routine that focuses on health and wellbeing gives me a sense of calm and sets me up for a good day. I like to start my day with a few stretches, a cup of green tea, and a copy of the New York Times. In the evenings, I go for a walk, tidy up my house which I find very therapeutic, take some time to pamper my skin, and then end the night with a book in bed.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is a presence that goes beyond looks, it’s kindness, compassion, and genuine positivity that radiates from within.
How has your perception of beauty evolved over the years?
Back then, I thought a full face of makeup and perfect hair meant beautiful. Today, I prefer a natural, effortless “no makeup” makeup look. I would say finally being comfortable in my own skin is the greatest change.
Are there any beauty tips from your culture that you can share?
Chinese medicine plays a big part in my culture when it comes to beauty, specifically skincare. Growing up in a traditional Chinese household, we would steep certain herbs, roots, and other skin-loving ingredients to make tea or tonics to give us clear complexions. We love ginseng which brightens the skin, ginkgo biloba which defends against free radicals, and snow fungus for its hydrating properties. Every day I drink a “Goji berry and red dates” herbal tea, a nourishing concoction known to promote collagen production, reduce hyperpigmentation, and fights free radicals. Simply put a handful of goji berries and red dates in a pot of simmering water for half an hour and enjoy.
What are your beauty and wellness rituals?
I believe the sense of smell can reduce tension and anxieties which is why I love burning Japanese incense throughout the day. They have become my daily source of calm and serenity. My favorite scents are Cedarwood and pine, both woodsy and earthy. I also love applying essential oils on my temples to help relax, my go-to is peppermint or eucalyptus, these scents really wake and lifts me up.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
As far back as I can remember, my mom would always say to me “prevention is better than cure,” and that meant caring for my skin at a very early age. In my teens, when most of my friends were into sunbathing and makeup, I was not allowed either; because sun meant sunspots, and makeup meant clogged pores and acne. It seemed unfair then, but today, I am grateful to my mom for instilling in me the importance of looking after my skin. To this day, she reminds me that we don’t see sun damages in our twenties and thirties but in the later years and that by then, it’ll be too late to turn back time and apply that SPF.
What are you reading or listening to that has made a lasting impression on you lately?
“the sun and her flowers” is a beautiful collection of poems I recently read by Rudi Kaur, and there is a particular piece that touched me which goes “what is stronger than the human heart, which shatters over and over and still lives.” These words remind me that I am so much stronger than I think and it inspires me to keep going when times get tough.
What are some conscious decisions we can make to help the environment and our planet?
There are so many everyday choices that we can make to help mother earth, like driving less and walking more, eating locally produced foods, cutting back on meat, and choosing to shop sustainably and ethically.
What is your personal or professional mission?
To always find joy in the little things and share that joy with others.
What does being a Good Egg mean to you?
A Good Egg is someone who is always there for you. Someone thoughtful who listens to you and remembers everything you say, even the insignificant things because your words are important to them.
Make a wish for your future self.
To live a full life without regrets.
Follow Eva’s journey at @thetrottergirl.