“Because of my parents' persistence and unconditional love, I am able to experience that today and be mindful of the way I commit, love, and give to others.”
Please briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Esther and I am a photographer and art director. I do mostly commercial work and lookbooks for fashion brands. I am currently living in Seattle and I have an 8-step mental health book coming out soon!
What is a typical day for you like?
My day starts off with a cup of water and coffee every morning. My days look different throughout the week as I am out on location to shoot or sometimes I am home tackling with edits. When I'm home throughout most of the day, I like to take care of the mundane tasks first and go on to things that need more focus later in the day.
"When a woman is just confident and knows how to own her character and body, I think that is amazing. I also think less is more and balance also plays a huge role in beauty.”
How has your background and experience shaped the person you are today?
I grew up watching my parents work everyday and rest only once a month to take care of the family. Even if they were tired, they sacrificed their time to make sure I was being fed and be able to do things that I wanted to do. Back then, I didn't realize how hard it was to make a living as an immigrant. I really appreciate that and definitely learned so much through them. Because of my parents' persistence and unconditional love, I am able to experience that today and be mindful of the way I commit, love, and give to others.
What are some tips on maintaining balance and taking care of your well-being?
Taking time off of social media has been giving me some peace and rest. When I am endlessly scrolling through all these apps, I become mentally drained. When I'm constantly on the go, I think resting in between is important so that I can bounce back and feel rejuvenated and energized. I also like to sleep in when I can and go hiking.
How has your perception of beauty evolved over the years?
I used to think that having big eyes, sharp chin, small face, a proportional body, and long hair was beautiful because of my culture. That was the kind of "beauty" a lot of the women in my culture were looking for, so I grew up thinking that was everything. Now that I'm older, I don't have a specific type or feel that draws my attention. When a woman is just confident and knows how to own her character and body, I think that is amazing. I also think less is more and balance also plays a huge role in beauty.
Are there any beauty tips from your culture that you can share?
Rice water has been around and used for ages in Korea! I grew up washing my face with rice water. It's known to reduce skin aging and contains antioxidants. Also, this might sound a bit silly, but I actually grew up gently slapping my face after applying moisturizer everyday. My mom told me that Korean women slap their face to firm up their face muscles and get the blood circulation going. :)
What are your beauty and wellness rituals?
I really try my best to drink a cup of warm water as soon as I wake up to cleanse my stomach. There are things I would still like to get into a habit of: sleep by 10pm and drink lots of water throughout the day. I try not to stress too much because it can lead to problems like breaking out.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
"Wash your face with warm water and finish off with cold water to close the pores."
What SUPEREGG product does your skin love the most?
What are you reading or listening to that has made a lasting impression on you lately?
I strive to improve my lifestyle not only physically but mentally. I've actually been working on a mental book for the last year. Because it is filled with a lot of information, I'm re-reading things over and over again as I'm putting this book together with a life coach and psychotherapist. I have also been doing devotional reading through the Bible plan.
What are some conscious decisions we can make to help the environment and our planet?
Oh man, there are so many ways we can help the environment! I still have lots of work to do. I don't think I really took that initiative until I moved to Washington, where I started recycling. Because of the wonderful nature around here, camping is also a big thing. It made me invest in a few things which has helped me to use less plastic and carry around reusable items. I am being more conscious about where and how I shop. I did grow up thrifting so that's one way I've been choosing to shop ethically.
What is your personal or professional mission?
To always live an honest life and be okay with uncomfortable feelings. I want to be patient with myself through different changes I may experience in the future.
Make a wish for your future self.
I hope you don't become too hard on yourself. Continue to be thankful for the little things, be patient, and don't get too caught up with what others think about you.
Follow Esther's journey at @eslee.