On a recent trip to Beverly Hills, as luck would have it, I met Crystal Kung Minkoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at a party. When gently pressed to talk to me about her favorite beauty products, her friend told me to settle on in for what would be a somewhat short story: “It’s all Costco skin care!” They laughed, and Minkoff didn’t totally argue: “I am pretty low-key, but I also have a mom who was all about prevention—that makes things easier.”
You say that you’re “basic,” but there have to be a few things you’ve used forever.
“When I say that I’m basic, I’m not joking! I’m very lucky in that I get a lot of things sent to me, but, in general, everything I do comes from my mom, who was all about prevention. That’s really the Asian way—staying out of the sun. I apply the 100 SPF sunscreens. Even though I know it’s not much different than 30, I still like that extra percent! I’m all about SPF; I keep spraying it on my face, everything. In the last five to seven years, face masks have become very popular here, but we’ve been doing that in China for a long time. My friends in China do it every single day, while I’ll do it maybe once a week. I use MDSUN’s Super Brightening Masks ($178)—they’re great. They’re made by a Chinese doctor. I also use his SPF 50, and then I use the Neutrogena SPFs for the face.”
And then you have your own wellness company….
“Yes! I own a coconut water company and we have a coconut oil that we don’t sell, but I do make it for myself. I apply coconut oil every day, head-to-toe, after I shower.”
Were you always into wellness?
“Totally. That’s the Chinese in me—it’s all about yin-yang and the food balance. I believe in herbal medicine, and I really believe that everything you put in your body is why your skin is clear, why your skin looks young, why your skin looks healthy, why your skin looks supple, why your skin looks clear—and all of that has been ingrained in me since I was a child. It’s a lot of soup! We believe that soup, and the warming of the body, keeps blood circulation going, which makes your skin clean and clear. It’s not a super complicated routine, and it’s always been a very natural-based content, with a lot of green tea. I probably drink three to four cups of green tea a day, which I think is really good for de-puffing.”
You’re not a newcomer to the show at this point, but was there anything you saw about your physical appearance that you wanted to change the first time you saw your face on TV?
“Yes! My theory has always been to not wear makeup when you don’t have to. I only put makeup on when I’m filming or when I’m going out for dinner—but, even for dinner, it’s very basic. I’m all about letting your skin breathe as much as possible. I never go to bed with makeup on my face. I don’t know how anyone does that! I do the wipes and then I do the scrubs; I’m all about clean skin. The thing about doing the show was that I wanted to stay and look as natural as possible.
Unfortunately, I found out pretty quickly that that reads a little bit differently on TV—it reads like you have no makeup on. Ultimately, in the end, I realized adding a little bit of lash extensions was key, because that’s how I feel put together. But, as long as my hair is done, and as long as I put a little curl in my hair, and add a little lip gloss or Chapstick, I feel put-together.”
Well, you always look great.
“Thank you; I love my lashes. I got them done this morning by Kylee, who has been doing them for eight years. I just think a little lip gloss and a little blush, that’s all you need. I love a fresh face. I think the less makeup you have on, the younger you look.”
That’s good advice. Is there anything you’re into treatment-wise?
“I actually haven’t done any of that stuff yet. I’d like to one day, but I still haven’t done Botox. I’ve only done a super light peel, mainly because I have melasma. That’s my one thing I try to work on; I don’t always treat it, but I do work on it by just staying out of the sun. I use the Gua sha tool, and I’ve always used that. I know this is going to be a weird comment, so maybe I shouldn’t say it, but my mom taught me not to move my forehead at a very young age. That’s the prevention part! I’ve always been very mindful of all of that. I’m animated, but I still don’t like to use my forehead!”
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