Read Subin Chae’s skin care hack for optimal moisture below!
Subin Chae, also known to her YouTube subscribers as Hello Pretty, is a one-of-a-kind makeup artist and skin care guru. As an illustrator turned makeup artist, she uses her background in art to influence her elegant and colorful makeup looks.
We sat down with her and got the skinny on her favorite products and skin care tips. Read on to find out more!
When did you start becoming interested in makeup and skin care? How early did you start taking care of your skin?
It’s been awhile, almost 10 years since I started my blogging. For YouTube it’s been about two or three years. First I started filming using my iPhone and then I kind of grew up. In my college years I was majoring in visual communications design and illustration, and then I basically applied illustration drawing and makeup on my face. I do a lot of artwork and illustrations and, of course, my four adorable cats are always a huge inspiration. I have always had very sensitive and acne-prone skin and that was when I started to get interested in genuine skin care, without any fragrance or colors.
How did you come up with the name “Hello Pretty”?
There isn’t really a special meaning behind it, it’s more like saying hi to my subscribers by saying that. You know The Wizard of Oz? The Wicked Witch of the West always calls Dorothy, “My Pretty.” So that’s kind of an inspirational thing for me.
What is your favorite part about being a YouTuber?
I can really relate to many of my subscribers, and vice versa. I think that is the most interesting part of being a YouTuber—rather than just doing makeup on myself, by myself at home, and not sharing anything, I invite friends to the studio to do their makeup as well, and that is really cool. Lots of subscribers send me DMs and messages that their skin has improved a lot since they started to stick to my skin care philosophy and routine and that really makes me feel very rewarded.
Who is your biggest makeup inspiration?
For makeup, my biggest inspiration is Lisa Eldridge. I love her so much. She’s like the only YouTuber and makeup artist that I’ve been following. I just love the way she talks and everything I have learned about makeup and skin care I have learned from her. She’s so genuine about ingredients and the industry itself. She has her own philosophy instead of just saying, “Oh this product is amazing you should try it.” She is an expert.
I’ve also always love anything old and vintage, and my favorite decade is the ’60s. I love the Beatles—not just for their music, but their looks and attitudes and even their girlfriends! They’re a huge part of my soul, and I’ve been listening to them throughout half my life.
What about skin care?
There’s this other blogger that I love, Caroline Hirons, who I’ve been following for years. She’s been very inspiring. I love her skin care philosophy—like “sandwiching moisturizers” and using acids. I knew all of these things before but she’s really strict about ingredients and skin care philosophy, so that has changed my skin a lot. She also changed my mind about supplements. I have never been a firm believer of taking supplements for the skin but she has been my biggest inspiration in my skin care routine.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making with skin care or makeup?
I’ve seen a lot of things from my subscribers and friends. They have things like acne and rosacea, and then they think that they can really dry up the acne and blemishes, which is just stripping oil and moisture from the face. That is the biggest mistake I’ve seen because you cannot really dry up acne or blemishes. I really think that makes everything a lot worse.
What is the correct way to deal with acne?
I’m a firm believer in a gentle cleansing routine, which you’ve talked about on the Klog. I think that is the most crucial thing for any skin type. You can’t really dry up any acne or blemishes. It has been the biggest key to my skin care and has really changed my skin, and the skin of my fans, friends, and subscribers as well. It really works.
Subin’s gentle cleansing routine includes Nooni Snowflake Jelly Cleansing Oil or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil for the first cleanse, and Cerave Hydrating Cleanser or Eucerin Redness Relief Cleansing Gel for the second cleanse.
What are your favorite acne products or acne ingredients at the moment?
I’ve been using the Eucerin Redness Relief Cleansing Gel and the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. These are my two favorite gentle cleansers for the morning and as my second cleanse I usually go for an oil-based cleanser, like the Nooni Cleansing Oil and the Kia Cleansing Oil.
For acids there’s Pixie Glow Tonic. I love this product. I’d been quite skeptical about it since it has fragrance and colors in it, but it really works. It’s quite gentle and really takes off any residue and dead skin cells.
What are some of your favorite makeup products right now?
The Hera Fix All Cushion! It’s a limited edition for their holiday 2017 collection. It seems like a regular cushion at first, and there’s a big secret behind it! The cushion flips to reveal cheek and lip tint!
I also love the B by Banila Co Eye Crush Shimmer Foil and the Cheer Water Cheek. The foil is somewhere between a powder and a cream. It’s great on its own and under a powder eyeshadow.
What are the major differences you notice between Western and Korean beauty products?
I think there are not many fundamental differences. Korean products really start to focus on ingredients. There are a lot of indie brands as well that never include any color or fragrance. I think that is quite inspiring.
What are some of your favorite oils?
Carenology RE:BLUE Night Facial Oil. It smells divine and looks really pretty. It also has no artificial colors or ingredients. It’s a mixture of all different plant based oils. I especially love it because it is great if you don’t want to change your entire routine for winter, you can just try an oil or balm.
For oily or acne-prone skin, I would recommend jojoba oil. It never really clogs your pores or breaks you out. It’s really a great ingredient for your face, body, and hair. It feels really light, so I go for it as long as it is genuine jojoba oil.
What is your favorite skin care hack?
I love “sandwiching moisture.” Right after cleansing I usually start with a facial mist or spray, and then I move on to essence—a really watery kind of essence. Then at night I use a serum with active ingredients. And then I seal everything with moisturizer.
Subin’s sandwiching moisture routine includes an acid, toner/mist, essence, serum, moisturizer, and an oil or balm. Some of her favorite layering products from left to right, bottom row: Pixi Glow Tonic, Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner, Primera Miracle Seed Essence, Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner, Cliat Hydra Concentrate Ampoule, Isntree EGF Ampoule, Carenology RE:BLUE Regenerating Serum, , NoTS Vitamin Cream Sea Buckthorn, Avene Cream In Gel. Top row: Badger Zinc Oxide Face Sunscreen Sheer Tint in Damascus Rose, Goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Fluid, Carenology RE:BLUE Night Facial Oil, and Carenology 3-Active Defense Sun Cream.
What is the skin care questions you get asked most often?
People are kind of afraid of trying new products, and they ask me questions about a lot of specific products but I cannot really answer them because sometimes you just have to try things. Sometimes with skin care it’s best to figure it out yourself because I can describe ingredients and texture but can’t really pick one specific product for each one of my subscribers. People all prefer different textures. Everyone should really try out different things for their own skin, and learn what your skin needs.
What has improved your skin the most, aside from skin care products?
I think diet. I try to not eat a lot of yucky things for my skin, like soda, sugar, and white wheat. I usually cook at home and I never use any white wheat-based products. For pasta I usually eat brown rice pasta. I usually cook for myself to try and avoid what is bad for my skin.
Also supplements! I think fish oil has really improved my skin. I take quite a lot! It really reduced a lot of my inflammation. So for acne and things like that it really helps a lot. I also like zinc and copper, vitamin C, and probiotics to help with inflammation.
What would you like people outside of Korea to know about Korean skin care?
Don’t be so obsessed with your skin. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take good care of your skin, but I think in the industry there are a lot of filters and photoshopped images about skin care and peoples’ skin. They edit pictures so much not only in advertisements but on social media as well. Because of that, people are becoming more OCD about their skin, but I think you should try to be more natural and free from that pressure.
There are so many unrealistic images out there. So instead of thinking you need to use certain products to look like that image, just listen to your skin and use products that suit you and your skin concerns/
I also want my subscribers to know this: Just be yourself. Don’t be fooled by perfect feeds and ads. The whole world seems so over-edited now. Everything is heavily filtered—whether it’s a selfie or a lifestyle. Just keep it real, don’t try to morph yourself into someone else. Embrace who you are, build your own routine and indulge into it.