Skincare Superstar David Yi Explains How to Care For Your Face in 2019
Skincare expert David Yi embodies all the best things about men’s grooming in 2019. After learning his trade at WWD, Yi went out on his own, launching his own site, Very Good Light, in 2016, with a focus on bringing men from all different backgrounds the best information on skincare and grooming, touching on topics that traditional men’s outlets had ignored at their peril, including concealer and makeup. And as a guide and lifestyle mentor, Yi was right on time, as men everywhere began to eschew traditional notions of “masculinity” in favor of doing what they wanted, looking their best however they wanted, using whatever products they liked best. To get his best tips for 2019 skincare, we recently hosted Yi at our SoHo studio for a photoshoot and a quick interview.
So, the theme of your website, Very Good Light, is “Redefining Men’s Beauty” and the theme of the next issue we’re working on here at O.N.S is “Reinvention.” How can someone reinvent themselves by redefining their beauty, skincare, or grooming routine?
Someone can absolutely reinvent themselves at any point in their lives. This is especially true with beauty, skincare and grooming for sure. It only takes one product to completely change the way you view your own regimen or very skin itself. Whether it’s a toner that softens and balances out your skin after your cleanse it, or even a B.B. cream that perhaps evens your skin tone out, one product can be absolutely life changing. I truly believe that beauty comes from the inside out and beauty is all about self-care and confidence. It makes you look and FEEL better. While fashion is all about self-expression, grooming is all about self-respect.
What’s the one mistake most people make when it comes to skincare?
I think the one mistake people make is they choose products that aren’t suited for their skin types. Skin types are as unique and personal as is our own personal styles. One product might work on one person, but doesn’t work well with the next. I’d say definitely see if you have sensitive skin, which is something I learned I had way too late, and also look into whether your skin is oily, dry, or a combination, and find products that suit those needs.
For someone who wants to take care of their skin but doesn’t have a lot of time or, say, interest in products, what’s a simple routine they can set up for themselves?
I’d say cleanse, tone—meaning use a non-alcoholic toner—and use SPF. That’s super easy. And at night, cleanse, tone, and use a night cream. VOILA! Easy.
Men’s makeup is one of Very Good Light’s main focuses. Do you think makeup for men is more accepted now? And if so, what do you think that says about “reinventing” or “redefining” traditional notions of masculinity?
In a poll by YouGov, 43% of people said they think they thought men and makeup was “good” or were indifferent. While this isn’t the majority of America, it is very telling that this number is so high in our country, especially given places that aren’t in coastal cities. That being said, makeup is definitely becoming more accepted. More men wear makeup than you realize. Most of them are discreet in their bronzers, their BB creams etc. Wearing makeup isn’t a full beat face with eyeshadow and lipstick, rather, it’s enhancing your face to look its best. I think that what this all means is that masculinity is definitely changing thanks to the younger generation viewing makeup as just another genderless tool that all types of people can participate in. I think we have a ways to go but masculinity is shifting—and quickly so.
For a man who’s curious about wearing makeup, but never has, what are some simple first steps he can try out?
Definitely try B.B. cream. It’s something that most South Korean men wear on a daily basis. So normalized, it’s not even considered makeup there, rather, skincare. All it does is even out your skin and you end up looking the best—guaranteed. Meaning, it evens out your skin and makes you glow, but still makes your skin look like, well, skin. Get into it, guys! That should be your new 2019 goal… testing out your correct B.B. cream shade. It’ll change your life. Promise.
David’s SOON bag.
Before we go, can you please name and explain each of the products you brought to our shoot?
Sure. First, I brought my SOON bag, it’s a beauty bag in collaboration with Haerfest and Talk to Her. It’s sold online at Haerfest.com and Opening Ceremony and keeps all of your travel beauty items in place for when you’re on-the-go. When I’m personally traveling—whether that’s in the backseat of an Uber, a train or a plane—I have a few things with me at all times. Next, whenever I get dry or need some hydration I absolutely travel with AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Skin Energy travel spritz. It’s bougie AF but it also works really well to get your skin to become plump and juicy almost instantly. After that, I’ve got this no-fuss salve I use for my lips, cuticles, sometimes face, and perhaps even my eyebrows when they need to be shaped. It’s MAKE Beauty’s Marine Salve. It’s non-sticky, works super well at hydrating, and it also won Very Good Light’s Lightning Award for Best Salve, two years in a row!
Products, clockwise from top left: MAKE Beauty Marine Salve; Tao Radiance jade roller; AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Skin Energy spritz; Byredo Le Chemin lotion; AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Eye Reserve Creme; and SKINRx MadeCera Lip Balm.
Then there’s my AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Eye Reserve Creme. I’m getting older and the first sign of this is the wrinkles forming around my eyes. Now before I cry myself to sleep, I’m turning to this eye creme that I swear instantly irons away those wrinkles.
Wow. Anything else?
Yes, this Tao Radiance jade roller, which is great at de-puffing. I always keep this nearby to massage my skin. I also brought this Byredo Le Chemin… If I could bathe in one product it’d be Byredo. I love Le Chemin and this comes in travel-size so it’s perfect. For my lips, I have this SKINRx MadeCera Lip Balm…this is a lip balm that’s pretty creamy and lasts all day. I’m into it if I don’t want as glossy of a look like my MAKE beauty salve. Then, last, there’s this Laura Mercier B.B. cream. The brand is the FIRST to introduce B.B. cream and I’d argue that it’s the best. B.B. creams (or beauty balms) are an all-in-one product. Which means they have SPF, a tint, moisturizing properties, and also make your skin look BRAND NEW without looking unnatural or as if you have foundation on it. It’s essential for when I have photo shoots or important meetings.