Jin Soon Choi Talks Her Morning Ritual, Fitness Routine and Guilty Pleasures

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This article first appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

She moved from Korea to America with nothing but a dream and $400 in her pocket. Since then, Jin Soon Choi has become Manhattan’s nail artist of choice, Marc Jacobs’s backstage go-to and founder of the synonymous nontoxic nail lacquer line. There is no question as to why she’s pinned as one of the hardest-working entrepreneurs in the industry.

Night Vision
No matter how busy she may be, Jin likes to keep it simple post-snooze. “My morning ritual consists of eating an apple and yogurt while checking emails.” Upon nightfall, she spices things up a bit. “On as many nights as possible I enjoy a simple at-home 30 to 40 minute workout consisting of a brisk walk on the treadmill followed by rowing on a machine and several high intensity jump rope bursts lasting a few minutes each.” Then, it’s time for a sauna session, a face mask and a layer of Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum ($58) from Farmacy.” 

Clutch Hitters
Making the cut as must-haves always on hand: JINsoon HyperGloss top coat ($22), her iPhone, NARS Aragon Lip Gloss ($24), her wallet, a jump rope, and sunglasses.

Guilty Pleasures
“I am trying to avoid processed sweets these days,” Choi says. Her favorite midday snack, however, is frozen persimmons from Korea. “Such a treat!”

Peer Space
Finding the right hairdresser or makeup artist is the ultimate beauty challenge, but Jin seems to have weathered the storm. “SeungHyun Seo is the owner of Kakaboka Salon. I’ve been going to her 2nd floor studio in the heart of K-Town on 32nd street for years, and her work is always fresh. Whenever I have a special occasion in which I’ll be photographed, editorial makeup artist Seonghee Park is my go-to gal.”

Show Stopper
Choi says she’s “still beaming” about the Korean film Parasite winning four Oscars. “It is so original and creative. I appreciate that good film-making transcends language.”

Playing Favorites
When it comes to books and beauty products, she easily picked one from each category: SK-II Ultimate Revival Eye Cream ($195) and The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim. But in terms of her go-to NYC restaurant, she couldn’t choose just one. “My favorite restaurants are both in NYC: En Japanese Brasserie in Greenwich Village and Il Posto Accanto in the Lower East Side.”

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