My intention for 2019 is to stop and smell the roses so that I can truly enjoy being a young and lively 25 in New York City. When 2019 began, I was in pursuit of a laundry list of “achievements.” My whole life up to this point has always been about achieving at a breakneck speed, but the moment I turned 25, I started paying less attention to how fast I moved (what I will and must do as my life’s work is not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when’) and I re-centered my life around my greatest love: people!
As the daughter of refugees, I’ve always been an outspoken advocate for Asian-American communities and diasporas, so whenever I see a rising star in our community, I am an avid cheerleader.
Michelle Lee is the articulate leader at the helm of one of beauty’s most trusted publications, Allure. Prior to taking on the reins as Editor-in-Chief at Allure in 2015, she was the Editor-in-Chief at Nylon. From afar, I enjoyed her gorgeous nail art manicures and reviews of the most current beauty trends on Instagram.
Earlier this year, Michelle kickstarted 2019 with one of my favorite legends, Serena Williams, as Allure’s January cover model. Crazy Rich Asians star, Gemma Chan, brought elegance to the April cover, and she was either the 6th or 7th Asian woman to grace Allure’s cover since its inception in 1991. Growing up, it was rare to see a woman of color on any magazine at the checkout line in the grocery store. I grew up in a generation that didn’t see Asian-American women holding the title of Editor-in-Chief, so when Michelle came onto the scene, I began following her career and her emphasis on diversity in content and representations of beauty. Not to mention, as a teenage girl, I was a devout reader of Allure and my Dad would always bring home magazines for me to add to my overflowing stacks of books.
A few months back, I DM’d Michelle through Instagram and invited her for a fireside chat at Talks@Google (the internal Google version of a TED Talks). We had a fabulous time discussing diversity in the beauty industry, the must-try beauty treatments in Manhattan and what it is like to have Anna Wintour as a boss. Enjoy!