Tools and Tricks of the Trade


With NYFW officially wrapped, it's time to take a deep breath,  put on a face mask, and get back to my blog.

After a week of nonstop makeup at shows, I felt the need to do a roundup of the top backstage secrets in the industry.


Bioderma is the absolute, without a doubt, number one make up remover used by makeup artists and models alike. As a model, I go through multiple make up looks per day(as many as 7 on some beauty shoots). Clearly, a good makeup remover is essential. Bioderma gets the job done effortlessly without irritating my skin or getting into my eyes. In fact, after fashion week, even water feels harsh on my eyelids; magically Bioderma does not. I'd go so far as to say that it actually refreshes and rejuvenates my skin, which makes sense as it boasts cucumber extract and a neutral pH.

This past Friday, I had a shoot that involved a  blue eyeshadow look before a "fresh face" look. The make up artist used Bioderma to remove the strong blue to seamlessly transition to the next look. 

My makeup artist this past Friday,  Toru Sakanishi , transitioned from a heavy blue eyeshadow look to a mascara only look in a matter of minutes.

My makeup artist this past Friday, Toru Sakanishi, transitioned from a heavy blue eyeshadow look to a mascara only look in a matter of minutes.

A photo of the next look, as taken by  Danny LIm .

A photo of the next look, as taken by Danny LIm.

As a model, I never know if the make up artist is going to have time to remove my makeup before I leave a set. So, to avoid commuting home via subway looking like a blue panda, I always carry a travel sized bottle (which seems to last forever) in my bag. Despite being the perfect product, Bioderma isn't widely used by consumers. It seems to be kept under lock and key by the fashion industry. Not any more!

So say good bye to those nasty make up wipes that don't even remove your eyeliner and those oily removers that get into your eyes, and try my favorite industry secret: Bioderma.



I was sixteen when I had my first ever job as a model.  A department store called Belk flew me to Savannah, Georgia (my mom came too!) to shoot their new Junior's catalogue. I'll always remember that job and what I learned on it. One of the tips that I still see at shoots is the use of clear mascara to shape (and in my case, tame) eyebrows. The makeup artist used Maybelline's Great Lash Clear Mascara on my lashes and on my brows. And they looked great while still feeling natural. You can purchase Great Lash in most drug stores, but just in case, here's a link to buy online below:



The aforementioned "snail under eyes" may seem a bit taboo to some Western consumers, but the practice has been popular for years in Korea. Although it sounds gross at first, the science behind snail secretion filtrate is there. It has the same basic ingredients (ie. glycolic acid, hyuloronic acid and proteoglycans) that are found in high end (read: expensive) face creams. As explained by Charlotte Cho on the Coveteur, these ingredients stimulate collagen and elastin production, which restore and revitalize your skin.

The best part? Unlike many of our lipstick and face products, supposedly no little creatures are harmed in the process. According to, a site that retails Korean snail products to the States, scientists collect what snails have already left behind.

Instead of applying a cream or mask before shooting, I've had makeup artists apply cool gel-like under eye patches to get rid of dark circles and puffiness before applying any makeup. Here are some that I've seen/used and recommend:

So there you have it. Products that are commonly used in the industry, and really work!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the guide.

Until next time xx



Masks, Masks, Masks

A spotlight on my favorite go to line - Tony Moly

The Tony Moly mask color spectrum.  Photo by Grace Corton.

The Tony Moly mask color spectrum. Photo by Grace Corton.

I was lucky to get into the Korean skin care craze early. I was 16, living in Japan, and I couldn't avoid the lure of colorfully packaged face masks for under a dollar on every convenience store shelf. After my first purchase, I was hooked. My normally dry skin immediately felt soft, hydrated and refreshed. I fell so in love with the masks that when it came time to return home, I stocked up and researched where I could purchase Korean skin care products in America. Unfortunately, the concept had not yet caught on stateside. 

Flash forward to 2016 and face mask sheets are all the rage. Korean company Tony Moly, despite only being founded 10 years ago, permeated the Western market. Now, large scale retailers such as Sephora, Ulta and Urban Outfitters keep a steady stock of their products and Americans are going crazy for them. And they really do work! I can't tell you how many times I've been on set and the makeup artist has used a Korean sheet mask to brighten my skin. 

The instructions as per the back of one of my packs.  Photo by Grace Corton.

The instructions as per the back of one of my packs. Photo by Grace Corton.

For anyone who has yet to try the phenomenon, Korean face masks entail rinsing your face and applying the paper like mask for approximately 30 minutes. It's that simple! As an extra tip, try placing the mask in your refrigerator before using it to make it extra cool and relaxing.

My personal favorite is the Rice Mask Sheet for Clear Skin, pictured below. Like all Tony Moly masks, it is formulated without Parabens, artificial colors, and all those big-word chemicals. Instead, it has ingredients like Mineral Oil, Rice Extract and Anise Extract. The three strong cotton layers keep it from falling apart or drying out during the treatment. The mask effectively clears up any problem areas(we all have breakouts!) and hydrates my skin to prevent further breakouts. If you have oily skin and are worried that using a hydrating Korean mask might compound the problem, adding moisture actually helps to calm down excess oil production. And, if you have sensitive skin or allergies like I do, these masks don't contain any harsh products, so you should be fine to give them a go! 

The key to having good skin is understanding that you are unique in your needs. The Rice Mask might be my favorite, but you have to pick what works for you! Here is a list of the full range:

  1. Broccoli-Vitality
  2. Avocado-Nutrition
  3. Lemon-Brightening
  4. Tomato-Radiance
  5. Pomegranate-Elasticity
  6. Red Wine-Pore Care(smells so good!)
  7. Rice-Clear Skin(all around favorite)
  8. Makgeolli-Skin Purifying(makes my skin so soft)
  9. Seaweed-Skin Purifying
  10. Aloe-Moisturizing
  11. Tee Tree-Skin Soothing(gets rid of any redness or irritation)

*favorites in bold

There's an obvious allure to a hassle free "facial" at home, but how do you know that you are getting your bang for your buck? I recommend going to Amazon where you can find a variety pack of 11 Tony Moly masks for $10. It's a nice trial so you can determine what works best. If, after this, you have one absolute favorite, you can purchase 2 packs on Sephora for $7.50.


Best wishes xx