“Instead of allowing one experience to take over, I’ve learned to let them exist in cohesion and ultimately strengthen who I am today. I realize now there is no one way to be and that I haven’t lost anything. I’m just continually adding to my story.”
Please briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Annie Nguyen. I am a creative director. Born and raised in Honolulu, I moved to Los Angeles over 11 years ago, and it has been my home ever since. My background is in graphic design, but it has since grown to direction and design. I dabble in photography in my spare time, and what I learn from that, I put it back into my work.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 7:00 AM, go through my morning routine of light skincare, and make coffee before starting work around 9:30 AM. I always start with emails or messages before diving into work. I make it a point to finish my work around 6 and go for a long walk. The walk is where I mull over ideas or reflect on the day. My day ends with journaling or reading.
“You do have to be honest, and you do have to ask yourself questions. Writing things out helps me reframe my thinking and ultimately calms my anxieties.”
How has your background and experience shaped the person you are today?
My background and experiences have shaped me tremendously. It took a long time for me to really understand how much. In the process of learning about myself, I’ve reflected a lot on my time growing up in Hawai'i and what I garnered from my family and friends. Hawai'i is a small place that has a large AAPI community. I come from an immigrant family, and Vietnamese was my first language. All of these things made up the foundation for who I am today.
Moving to Los Angeles (aka the Mainland) and choosing to work in the creative industry was vastly different. I had to learn and adjust quickly. For a while, these experiences almost seemed in opposition to each other. I used to think I had to be one way or the other or that if I became this person, I’d lose who I used to be. Instead of allowing one experience to take over, I’ve learned to let them exist in cohesion and ultimately strengthen who I am today. I realize now there is no one way to be and that I haven’t lost anything. I’m just continually adding to my story.
Does balance play a role in your life?
Balance plays a huge role in my life. It is what I am constantly striving towards. However, I no longer look at balance in the sense of work vs. rest; it’s more about how I feel. I think that is a good barometer of how to adjust everything else around me. I used to think life was all about seeking happiness, and now I realize all I want is to be neutral. No high highs and no low lows. I strive to be just in the middle. I make it a habit to check in with myself, assess what is happening and take a step back so I can remain in balance.
What are some tips on maintaining balance and taking care of your well-being?
I believe wholeheartedly in the power of journaling. It is something I would roll my eyes at in my youth or begrudgingly do as an adult before getting impatient and bored, but it has been an immense help and comfort to my well-being in the last few years. You do have to be honest, and you do have to ask yourself questions. Writing things out helps me reframe my thinking and ultimately calms my anxieties. Aside from that, exercise, eating well, learning new things, and engaging in good conversation are all things that help.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty, to me, is reflected through actions of kindness, gratitude, and self-acceptance.
How has your perception of beauty evolved over the years?
I used to think that beauty was based on how you look or what you wear. But now, someone or something is most beautiful when it exists genuinely. A sunset or blue sky will only ever be that. The more authentic someone or something is, the more beautiful it is to me.
Are there any beauty tips from your culture that you can share?
Nothing groundbreaking, just to drink plenty of water and sleep well. Oh, and always apply sunscreen!
What are your beauty and wellness rituals?
Sleep hygiene is so key to everything. Before bed, I almost always make a non-caffeinated tea. (I really like the Shangri La Rose Tea from The Qi.) I try not to be on my phone and make sure my bedroom is pitch black to get the most sleep possible. No digital clocks or lights of any sort. I also never bring my laptop or anything to do with work. That separation helps keep my mind from running a million miles a minute and not staying up overthinking.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Start today and make it a habit. Routines and rituals are key.
What Superegg product does your skin love the most?
Gentle Elements Cleansing Foam, Sound Renewal Serum Cream, Phyto Bounce Eye Contour Solution, and Kind Atmosphere Biome Mist are my absolute favorites. I actually love all of Superegg, but those are the four I reach for the most and always travel with me. Phyto Bounce is perfect for helping bring me back to life if I wasn’t able to sleep well the night before.
What are you reading or listening to that has made a lasting impression on you lately?
It has taken me so long to read the book The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. It has been over a year, and I am still reading through it. I have to take breaks because it is a heavy book, but I learn every time I pick it up. I am also reading There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura. It was a book I picked up the last time I was in New York at McNally Jackson. It’s such a quirky read and sometimes does drag, but I enjoy books that talk about mundane details. (Thank you Haruki Murakami.) Lastly, Lighter by Yung Pueblo. I love all of his writing and find it so helpful personally.
Listening wise…I have such a long list of songs! If I had to pick, I would recommend Hiroshi Suzuki’s Cat for this time of the year. I always listen to quieter music towards the end and beginning of the year. Cat is an album I return to over and over. Another one on rotation is Okvsho’s Orange Wine.
What conscious decisions can we make to help the environment and our planet?
I believe in doing all the small things like consuming only what you need, using less water and electricity, driving less, and walking more. All of those things make a difference in the long run.
What is your personal or professional mission?
I don’t have a grand mission, but I just strive to do the best I can and never give up, especially as an Asian American woman and a child of immigrants. I hope that others may find inspiration in that.
What does being a Good Egg mean to you?
Being mindful and treating yourself, others, and your home with kindness.
Make a wish for your future self.
I wish for more opportunities to grow and learn.
Follow Annie's journey at @annienguyen.