How much does your daily beauty routine cost? Welcome to The Klog’s Beauty Diaries. Inspired by Refinery29’s Money Diaries, we thought it would be fun to recap a day in the life of people with different occupations and highlight their beauty routines. Here, a financial analyst who lives in New York City.
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Location:New York, New York
6:00am – Wake up groggy but my body moves mechanically through the motions necessary to get me up and dressed for the gym. Wipe my face quickly with some Bioderma Micellar Water and pat in some Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner and Be the Skin Purifying White Waterful Serum on my face before packing my gym bag and work bag for the day. (I want to make sure my skin is clean from overnight, but I don’t want to waste too much time on skin care before the gym.) Next, I chug a giant mug of warm water with lemon and turmeric and throw my keys into my bag.
6:15am– Out of the apartment and ready to take on the day! Usually this means walking the five minutes to the nearest subway, swiping through the turnstile and walking to the very front of the train, where it is generally less crowded. It’s drizzling and of course I didn’t bring an umbrella, but luckily there is a hood on my jacket that will suffice for now.
Hop out of the subway and walk a few minutes to the gym—Equinox (I know, I know…I know. Believe me, eucalyptus towels and the Kiehl’s bath products in the locker-room are half the reason I can even drag myself to the gym this early.) Today’s class starts at 6:45 AM and it’s a HIIT class, which I like, because it is quick and efficient and I’m dripping in sweat by the end of the 30-minute session, so it must be working, right?
7:15am– Done with the workout and currently gross and out of breath. I take one of the eucalyptus towels from the refrigerated stash outside the group fitness room and allow myself a few moments to enjoy the cool refreshing towel on my face before running off to the shower. The water pressure here is glorious, and I swear I enjoy showering at the gym more than showering at my own apartment. What’s not to love about the full lineup of Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, and body wash? They also carry the Kiehl’s facewash, but I like to use my own. The Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick from SU:M31 is my go-to because of the portability and I don’t have to worry about it spilling in my gym bag.
7:30am –All clean! I grab a spot at one of the vanity areas and plop down my gym skin care bag. I start off with a few generous sprays from my LAGOM Cellus Mist Toner—*pat, pat, pat*. Next, I follow up with the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence that my boyfriend purchased for me as a gift.
Next, is my favorite part: sheet mask! Today, I’m using the MediHeal P.D.F A.C .Dressing Ampoule Sheet Mask, which is one of my favorites. I generally use either Mediheal or Leaders masks because I like the quality of the mask and there is always plenty of essence leftover in the packet to use on the neck and chest areas. I used to be shy about sheet-masking in front of strangers, but now, I just do my thing. Some curious ladies have even asked about them and I’ve directed them online to several resources (including The Klog of course).
As I sheet mask, I blow-dry my hair after putting in a bit of the British M Organics Annatto Hair Oil (multitasking like a pro). 15 minutes later, the hair is dry, and the face is hydrated. I follow this step with a few pumps of The Lotus’ Essence Lotion—the consistency is more of a light moisturizer than an essence, so I use it as such. Last but certainly not least is sunscreen! My go to lately has been the Missha Essence Sun Milk. I love that the texture is not super thick and there is no white cast.
In terms of makeup, I keep it quite simple—just a brow pencil (3CE in Cocoa Brown) and I’m done! Since I’ve started using K-beauty products and really taking care of my skin, I have grown way more confident in my skin and no longer feel the need for cover-up or foundation—though sometimes I’ll dab on the Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer for the dark circles that appear after those nights when I stayed up too late binging Black Mirror episodes.
8:30am– Arrived at the office! Take the first 30 minutes to filter through emails before the daily morning meeting for the investments department.
9:08am– These meetings are always short and meant to give everyone a general summary of the day ahead from various groups: fixed income, equities, bank loans, etc. (I’ll stop here before your eyes glaze over from boredom)
10:00am– Place my order from Seamless. My company gives a stipend for Seamless lunch orders, so I usually never need to pack a lunch from home. Often, I choose a super healthy salad when I’m ordering in the morning because I feel so motivated to eat well, but by the time lunchtime rolls around, I would really much rather be chowing down on two pounds of Pad Thai rather than crunching through my salad. Oh well. Tomorrow, I’ll get the Pad Thai.
While at work, I make sure to continuously chug water. I have a one pound bottle that I keep at my desk and try to fill three times daily—is this too much? Is there such thing as drinking too much water? I’m not sure.
12:00pm– Food usually arrives around this time, and just like Pavlov’s dogs, my stomach starts grumbling and I start salivating at the thought of lunch…only to realize that, oh right, I ordered a salad. The regrets are real at the moment, especially since my coworker ordered the stewed chicken special from Tina’s today and the smell wafts in the air.
12:20pm –Another coworker just walked past with pizza. Sigh. Snap out of it.
At various points in the afternoon, I spritz my face with some Aritaum Baby Face Mist, as it gets quite dry in offices, especially in the winter.
Fast forward through a day filled with investor calls, reading financial documents, eating snacks, fixing the printer that always jams, and modeling (spreadsheets, not photo-shoots, sadly).
6:00pm– Logging off for the day! Generally, I get out of work between 5:30 and 6:30 daily. When the weather is nice, I like to walk home (about 50 city blocks) while I talk to my parents and little brother on the phone. I call home every day because I want to hear about their day and I think it cheers them up to hear from me frequently. My parents, little brother, and I are very close since my parents immigrated from China to Ohio with no friends or relatives in the area. They worked so hard to provide for me while I was growing up—my mom worked in higher education, and my dad has his own acupuncture and traditional medicine clinic, so call it filial piety or call it nature, but I enjoy chatting with them even if it’s just for a few minutes.
7:00pm-Home, sweet home! I heat up last night’s leftovers (homemade pasta) and boil some water for tea. As I’m waiting on that, I go to wash my face—I’ve been trying to wash my face as soon as I get home, at least on the days that I remember. For oil cleanser, I use the Innisfree Moisture Cleansing Oil with Green Tea and like to give my face a gentle massage as the cleanser rids my skin of the taxi exhaust, cigarette fumes, construction zone dust and all the other lovely particles floating in the NYC air. After rinsing off with water, I follow this up with a gel cleanser: the Cosrx Good Morning Low pH Gel Cleanser. I tap-dry my face after rinsing and pour some Son & Park Beauty Water onto half of a cotton pad and swipe over my skin.
I follow up with the OG: Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence—this is the product that introduced me to the world of K-beauty three years ago. After the essence, I reach for more Cosrx—this time the Blackhead BHA Power Liquid and the Whitehead AHA Power Liquid, giving each one 15 minutes to work its magic before layering on the next step. For nighttime, I use the Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream, tapping lightly around my eyes to help the cream absorb. Lastly, I spread on more of The Lotus Essence Lotion. While I do my skin care routine, I like to listen to either a good podcast, or the latest audiobook in my library.