Christine Han is our beloved staff. Whenever we schedule a photo shoot, we all tick “Christine will be there!” because it’s so much fun for her to be around. You could see her name a million times because she is behind so many photos on our website, and today she shares her favorite skin care product and the number one way she feels most beautiful …
What was your attitude towards beauty growing up?
I never fit the traditional Korean ideal of beauty, which should be very skinny and gentle, small-faced and fair-skinned. It was also ideal to have a double lid – at the site of the crease on the upper eyelid. Western ideals were already embedded in Korean ideals when I was a child. There is also a Korean word – Chakeh 착해 – which is a word for someone who is good, obedient and does not cause problems. I tried very hard to be chakeh, but I wasn’t and still am dealing with it. So somehow I absorbed the message very early that I wasn’t pretty. I accepted myself so early that I am only now getting to know the wild part of myself that is not in tune. I was taught that a good girl always gives in to others and never shows “ugly” emotions like anger or, God forbid, embarrassing. I always had the feeling that the “real” self was too selfish, but I know it’s bullshit now. I’m excited to see who I really am.
Ever since I’ve been working with you and being in front of your lens, I’ve witnessed how great you are at making people feel beautiful and seen. What has your photography career taught you about beauty and how to find it?
I realized that each one is individually beautiful. It may sound frivolous, but I have learned to encounter the beauty that is inherent in the moment with any person. I am also very curious about people! I want to know who they are. I don’t just want to paint them and walk away.
I remember when you were pregnant you said you felt really nice. How has pregnancy changed your view of your beauty?
I had a really easy pregnancy. My skin was glowing and my hair was getting thicker. I also became more aware of my body than ever before and realized how miraculous it was. In chiropractic they say that your body is always trying to go in the right, divine order. I felt it for the first time. My body was no longer this ugly. I grew up as a human being!
Did those changes stay in your mind after you gave birth, Coro?
Yes. Although I have a weirdo that crosses the scar on the C-section, and my breasts are different after breastfeeding, that doesn’t worry me. All my life I’ve elicited everything about my physical appearance and those thoughts still occur to me, but I don’t have time for that anymore.
Do you have a morning skin care routine?
I wash my face Buy Lotus 4-in-1 cleansing milk. It is the only cleanser that truly removes makeup from your eyes and leaves your skin soft and clean. Then I will use Forest tonic made of marble and milk grass. It seems supple and calm on my face. My friend Briar makes it with organic fair trade ingredients. If I feel dry, I’ll slap a little Mad Hippie face creamand then apply sunscreen if I go outside.
And at night?
I do the same cleanser and then apply Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum, which smoothes out small bumps on your skin and makes it soft.
What do you like to do for makeup?
I use Purelisse BB cream in the Light. My face feels bare unless I pull my eyebrows and use it Shiseido eyebrow pencil in the name Natural Black, which was unfortunately abolished. It is an Asian shade of black that is the exact color of my own hair. After that I apply a thick base of eyeshadow – I like it A lush raven – L’Oreal. Later, I add Style liquid eyeliner in intense black. If it’s a special event, I’ll curl my lashes and put on mascara.
What about the lips?
I love wearing lipstick, and it’s my favorite NARS Heat Wave. It is perfect orange-red. I use colored lip balm day in and day out Face Shop in a soft pink color. It is wonderful because it makes the natural pink color of the lips shine. You don’t seem to be wearing anything at all.
How do you take care of your hair?
Achieving great results is key for me Hairdressing salon. My stylist Luisa has been cutting my hair for the last 15 years! She is so good at her job – not only in her hair, but also in caring for people. She is special. I use Failed shampoo because I love how it smells, and most of the time I let my hair dry because I’m with the baby.
Do you have fun hobbies?
I’m traveling! Before the pandemic and before the baby, I traveled a lot. My favorite is being outdoors (hiking, camping, snowboarding, etc.). My beloved client, AJWS, a human rights organization, works in about 18 different countries around the world, and I have had the great fortune to travel with them to many of these places to document their work. The people I met through these experiences greatly expanded my worldview and opened my heart.
Do you have a philosophy of beauty?
I look after my 13-month-old daughter and there is no talk about whether she is beautiful or not. She just IS. She is always in her body, in the moment, confident, strong. It is completely natural and has not yet had all the conditions. Beauty returns to that natural state, becomes aware of your thoughts, and realizes that you are more than your body.
Thank you, Christine. We love you!
PS More beautification uniforms, including a teachers and an illustrator.
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(Photograph by Christine and her author ‘s husband Nadia Meli. Photograph by Christine and Coro from Lisa Weatherbee. All other photographs by the author Christine Han / Instagram.)