Sara: I am uniquely me, always evolving in hopes of becoming the absolute best version of myself, without forgetting where I came from or those who have helped me along the way.
Seeing an Asian American woman as the senior fashion and beauty editor of Bustle makes us feel all kinds of inspiration. How did you build your career?
From the moment I picked up my first teen magazine, I knew I wanted to become a writer and create content for young women. I remember obsessing over issues of Cosmo Girl! and dreaming of one day becoming an Atoosa Rubenstein, the magazine's Editor-in-Chief. I loved how fun and honest she was and the fact that she got to play with makeup and clothes and give advice to teens for a living was basically the coolest thing ever to me. When I was in high school, I wrote her a letter asking how I could follow in her footsteps and she wrote me back! I took that as a sign that I should pursue journalism.
It was also no secret that there were not any women or girls who looked like me in the pages of the magazines that I read, the movies I watched, or even the music I listened to. I really wanted to pursue editorial not only because I loved writing and storytelling, but also because I wanted to create content for girls who looked just like me.
I majored in Communications and Professional Writing and Editing at UCSB and applied for as many writing internships as I could during my time in college. After graduation, I got my first real job as the Digital Editor at Tiger Beat Magazine. I had the opportunity to build their website and cover all of the latest teen stars like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and the Jonas Brothers. The job taught me so much about working in the editorial world, from coming up with story ideas to interviewing celebrities. From there, I worked at another media company, where I helped create content for various websites like AOL and MSN. Then, I took a leap of faith and decided to go freelance. I knew I wanted to build my beauty and fashion portfolio even more, and that's how I found Bustle. I've been the West Coast Fashion and Beauty Editor at Bustle for the last 5 years and it has been the most incredible and rewarding job of my career so far. Only recently did I realize that I was actually doing what I had always set out to do — to create content for every kind of young woman (including those who look just like me) and to represent the Asian American women community. It is an honor and privilege, and I am so grateful that I get to call it my job!
Can you walk us through your daily skincare routine? (We need all the tips!)
I usually work out in the morning, so I won’t wash my face until after to prevent over-cleansing and drying my skin out. After my workout, I’ll use a cleanser (right now I’m using Tatcha's Rice Polish), followed by a toner to balance my skin’s pH, a vitamin C serum to brighten, a light but hydrating moisturizer, and then sunscreen with SPF 50 PA+++. Throughout the day, I’ll use a mist to keep my face looking fresh and feeling hydrated. At the end of the day, I’ll double cleanse if I’m wearing makeup. I’ll use a toner and then 2 to 3x a week I’ll use a mask of some sort depending on my needs. I’ll usually use an exfoliating peel once a week to get rid of dead skin cells as well as a hydrating and repairing one for maintenance. I’ll follow up with a serum, usually one with hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate and then once a week, a retinol to keep the wrinkles at bay. Then, I’ll lock in all the moisture with a moisturizer, a sleeping mask (for extra hydration) and a lip mask (because my lips are super dry.)
Tell us a little bit about your new podcast “Gloss Angeles.” We are so excited for this!
Gloss Angeles is a podcast that my beauty BFF and fellow Capricorn Kirbie Johnson and I started recently and we are so excited about it! Gloss Angeles gives our West Coast perspective on all things makeup, skincare, and wellness with a sprinkle of pop culture and celebrity (because we live in LA, after all). Through our podcast, we're hoping to pull back the curtain on beauty trends, treatments, and products in Hollywood, in order to help our listeners navigate the sometimes confusing, but wonderful world of beauty. Please give us a listen! :)