Photo: tvN Asia

Korean powerhouse—model, social media personality (@ireneisgood), Estée Lauder’s global beauty contributor—Irene Kim adds another title to her portfolio with a new travel series “tvN’s M.U.S.T” where she explores our tropical sunny island like a true local.

The unicorn-haired beauty is no stranger to the world of beauty and fashion, who had her big break three years ago after rebelling against “ideal” Asian norms by colouring her hair. From hair maintenance to DIY mask and travel must-haves, BAZAAR spends the afternoon with Kim as she generously shares her beauty tips and takes.

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On her beauty secret… Drinking a lot of water especially lemon water. I put a lot of lemon in my water. Staying hydrated, sleeping, eating right, exercising right and just living that lifestyle because to maintain that outer beauty or longevity of beauty—you have to live the lifestyle. I don’t wake up like that, like Beyoncé you know. It’s a lot of work.

On her plane essentials… I have this Pilates stretching ring that I bring with me because I don’t have time to work out when I travel. I carry that with me and stretch with it on the plane. People stare at me but I just do it because I have to. Also, lavender-scented eye mask from Japan where it warms my eyes and helps me sleep. I pack in lemon too but that’s a secret. I don’t think I’m allowed to take food on the plane but I keep sliced lemons so I can put it in my water.

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On her go-to make up… Mascara and a lip tint because I’m really bad at drawing my lips so I prefer a tint where I can put on my finger and rub it in. My favourites are coral and pink colours. And I also love the Estée Edit’s Up and Out Double Mascara, it is amazing because it has a double-ended bristle. Also (from Estée Edit) there is this moisturising illuminator, called Beam Team that highlights and brightens specific areas—I really like that.

Beam Team Hydrate + Glow, USD42; The Edgiest Up And Out Double Mascara, USD24

On her next beauty obsession…  glitter brows! I was experimenting and the people in fashion loved my bleached brows but my fans were like “Unnie, please dye your brows back.” So yes, glitter brows. It was really fun and I love doing that.

On her favourite sheet masks… I take a lot of sheet masks with me. I really love Dr. Jart and Innisfree. They are so affordable and they work. What I do for extra moisture is to first slather on moisturiser and then put the mask on top. It maximises hydration by locking everything in.

Dr. Jart Mask Intra Jet Firming Solution, $46 for 5 sheets; Innisfree facial sheet masks, from $1.69

On maintaining her hair… Yes, it gets really dry. Especially in Singapore, I think it is because of the humidity. But I don’t really like using hair products that much so what I do instead of using conditioner after I wash my hair, is to put a little bit of my face moisturiser on my hair. Or if I want to do a hair pack, I’ll put a lot of moisturiser in my hair and then I’ll wash it out the next day. If it works for your face, it should for your hair!

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On her latest D.I.Y skincare attempt… I was googling at-home facials and I looked up milk facials. So the past 2 days I’ve been calling in-room dining and asking if I can get some milk and honey. And they’re like, what for? I say it’s for tea but I’ve been doing facials. I think the milk and the lactic acid in the milk really helps your skin and hydrates you skin. I mix milk with honey and a couple drops of lemon and it has been really nice. So I’m going to keep trying it.

On her guilty pleasure… I have an Irene beauty day. After getting up, I’ll have an appointment with my dermatologist to get a facial. Then I go for aerial yoga and lunch at one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants. I love Vietnamese rice wraps! Then I’ll go watch a movie or get my hair done. It’s very chill.

On her three must have products… Sunscreen, mascara and a lip tint!

Irene Is: Beauty And Good Energy
Photo: tvN Asia

M.U.S.T – Singapore will premiere exclusively on tvN in Asia-Pacific on 3 November at 10:30 pm (GMT+8). Channels: Singtel: Ch.518 / 619 and StarHub: Ch.824

  • By Desiree Liew
  • Additional Reporting by Shona Menon