The skincare community is vast and complex—because people are vast and complex! Ohlolly talks with some of our favorite skincare enthusiasts and influencers about the ins and outs of the beauty industry. We discuss their skincare journeys, industry changes, and of course, beauty tips and tricks.
Today, we talk to Jenny Jin, editor and beauty director of PureWow. Jenny talks about what makes a great story, how to find connection and empathy in the world of beauty, and how small acts of self-love can make a world of daily difference. Hi Jenny!
Tell us a little about yourself and your beauty journey!
Growing up, I was that kid who could spend hours in the makeup aisles at Walgreens. I was fascinated by all of the different products and would use my paltry allowance to buy myself a Lip Smackers flavored balm or a new nail polish. When I entered my tween years, I started breaking out pretty badly, and this was before there were Reddit threads and dermatologists on TikTok who could share their recommendations for free, so I took it upon myself to learn and try everything. It was often disastrous.
As I’ve gotten older, my acne has come and gone, but the empathy it opened up in me has remained.
Ultimately, I think it’s this understanding of what it feels like to have what society deems as “bad skin” that drives my work as a beauty editor. I want to share whatever tips or products I learn with anyone who is looking for answers, and in doing so, I hope that people can feel connected to others who have gone through or are currently experiencing similar struggles.
How do you define a great beauty story?
To me, a great beauty story—or any story, really—is one that deeply resonates with someone.
I’ve learned over time that the more specific or personal you get with a story, the more likely it is to connect with a larger group of people, which is counterintuitive. I think that’s because the underlying feelings we all have as human beings are the same—even if our experiences are different.
What is your relationship like with the beauty community? What draws you to the beauty world?
On the whole, everyone I’ve met and worked with in the beauty community throughout the years has been kind and generous. I’m always inspired by the brand founders I meet because it takes a lot of persistence and courage to start something from nothing and then put it out into the world. Oftentimes, these people have heartbreaking stories that led them to start their brands—or they’re looking to solve issues that they (or someone they love) have dealt with.
Who (if anyone) has anyone influenced your interest in skincare and the beauty industry?
The first person who comes to mind is Eva Chen. I remember following her on Tumblr back when she was the Beauty Director at Teen Vogue and I was drawn to her because she made beauty so fun and accessible. She also opened my eyes to this career path. I didn’t know that a beauty editor job even existed until she started posting about it.
How has social media changed/impacted your work through the years?
Honestly, social media is a double-edged sword, right? At its best, it provides endless inspiration and gives you access to so much information and connects you with so many different people. At its worst, it’s an overwhelming, time-consuming space that can distort your sense of reality if you’re not mindful.
Truthfully, I wish that I was more consistent with posting on my own feed because I love the idea of building a small community over time and I genuinely love interacting with people. But I can’t seem to keep up with a regular cadence because…it feels a bit forced or one-dimensional at times.
With everything that’s going on in the world, it feels tone deaf to only post the highs and it’s hard to articulate the lows when you’re going through them. I take a good long while to process things before I’m ready to speak publicly about them.
In sum, I’m conflicted, haha. I’m thinking about starting a #slowsocialmedia movement. A less is more approach. Anyone want to join?
Do you have a tried & true favorite product?
I have a few, but the three I use the most are Pyunkang Yul's ATO Mild Sun Cream, Henné Organics Luxury Lip Tint in “Azalea,” and the Olive & June mani system.
The sun cream is very lightweight and hydrating. Plus, it doesn’t irritate my eczema- and acne-prone skin. The lip tint has just the right amount of color to brighten up my face before a Zoom call, and the mani system makes home manicures so much easier (and more enjoyable).
How have you been taking care of yourself these past few months? What does your ideal day of self-care look like?
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in some form of quarantine for over a year now. In that time, “taking care of myself,” has looked different depending on the season, but one steady constant is this idea of doing one small thing for myself every day. That small thing can be as simple as noticing a sunset or taking the time to cook something nourishing for my body.
Whatever you do, do it with intention and give it your full attention. For example, one of my favorite things to do these days is moisturize after a shower. Instead of rushing through the motions as I’ve done in the past, I’ll slow down and really take the time to massage the lotion into my skin, while giving myself words of affirmation or compliments as I do this. I’ll smooth lotion over my legs and thank them for taking me on a walk earlier that day—or I’ll massage moisturizer on my face, while noting the features I like most about myself that day instead of nitpicking the new breakouts or fine lines that are there.
Try it! One small act of kindness towards yourself a day—and despite what I said earlier about feeling conflicted about social media, I welcome any and all DMs about skincare and self-care. ☺
What a difference small acts of self-kindness make! Thanks for chatting, Jenny. We’ve always admired your willingness & generosity to share your skincare wisdom! For more about Jenny Jin, check out her website & Instagram.
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