Interview
Charlotte Cho

Charlotte Cho

Doggie sheet masks are all the rage, and board-certified esthetician Charlotte Cho may have something to do with it.

Doggie sheet masks are all the rage, and board-certified esthetician Charlotte Cho may have something to do with it. The cofounder of Soko Glam spends a third of the year testing the latest Korean beauty products in South Korea before bringing them to the states via her online retail shop.
Co-founded in 2012 along with her husband David, Soko Glam provides access to a world of beauty that—despite it’s playful packaging—is serious skincare. In addition to the online retail shop, the Korean-American beauty expert shares her insight through THE LITTLE BOOK OF SKIN CARE: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin.

So, how does do it all? We sat down with Charlotte to learn.

We started the site together back in 2012 because we wanted to be the bridge to Korea’s incredible beauty trends and products.

YOUR INSPIRATION

For eating well…
I try not to eat anything processed so the foods I pick up at the grocery usually consist of fresh produce and meats. Thankfully, I’m not much of a snacker and I don’t need coffee to function. I see people struggling to cut those out of their diet, but I’m lucky I don’t have those temptations.

For working out…
It truly is a challenge fitting in exercise when you’re dealing with long nights and a hectic schedule. When I do have time, Bar Method is my go-to place for quick, intense workouts that really tone the body.

For launching Soko Glam in 2012 with your husband…
We started the site together back in 2012 because we wanted to be the bridge to Korea’s incredible beauty trends and products. We have a huge amount of respect for Korea and the culture, so spreading the awareness of Korean beauty has been rewarding. In just three years, we’ve already seen K-beauty make a huge impact in the global beauty industry and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Charlotte Cho Soko Glam

YOUR DAY

Morning beauty routine…
Start off with a double cleanse, which includes an oil-based cleanser followed by a water based cleanser. I quickly tone and exfoliate with the Son & Park Beauty Water. I apply Banila Co It Radiant Brightening Essence and a special hydrating Ultra Moist Gel Oil Serum from Re:P. I lock in the moisture with the Missha Snail Cream and protect with the Neogen Day Light Protection Sun Screen.

Favorite lunch/Evenings….
I wish I had a better response for this, but usually it’s Seamless, make a sandwich or Dave and I go pick up a few things at a nearby bodega. We love cooking but we usually don’t have the luxury of time. It’s the reality of being an entrepreneur! When we do have time to go out, we usually go to Manhattan’s K-Town for authentic Korean BBQ.

I spend about a third of the year in Korea to scour the market for the latest beauty trends. The city never fails to excite me.

YOUR LIFE

Personal passions…
I love skin care and beauty. Helping others find solutions to their skin concerns through my esthetician background has been incredibly rewarding. It’s the icing on the cake that I also get to spread awareness of Korean culture through K-beauty.

Favorite Travel spots…
I visited Thailand several times while living in Seoul. The massages, food and people were enough to make it one of my favorite destinations in Asia. And of course, Seoul! I spend about a third of the year in Korea to scour the market for the latest beauty trends. The city never fails to excite me.

Plans for the future…
After writing The Little Book of Skin Care, many doors have opened. Dave and I have so many exciting plans for Soko Glam that we can’t reveal just yet! It’s such an exciting time to be part of the beauty industry.

Your “you” time…
Whenever I want to unwind, I’m usually found watching Korean dramas for hours on end.

YOUR BEAUTY

Must-have skincare products…
My skin care routine changes daily because I’m testing so many products. But some of my current favorites that I tend to gravitate towards when I’m not testing are:

When I have time, I’ll sheet mask. And, of course, if I go outside I use sunscreen You’ll see that I have been gravitating towards multi-tasking products. For example, my toning pads gently exfoliate and tone at the same time. The Son & Park beauty water removes makeup, tones and exfoliates, so if I’m pressed for time I’ll use Son & Park as my sole cleansing step. Also, I’ve been incorporating some of Soko Glam’s Spring curations into my regime and one of my favorites is the SKINFOOD Apple Mango Volume Essence Hair Mist. I never really used product in my hair beyond shampoo and conditioner, but when I went to Korea in December my hair stylist “Essence Shamed” me. Apparently all the girls in Korea have both a skincare essence AND hair essence. It’s a similar concept to a face essence in that it helps hydrate and nourish the hair to give it volume and shine.

Charlotte Cho

Favorite makeup products…
A real game changer for me was the introduction of the Cushion Compact, specifically, the The IOPE air cushion compact. The first time I tried this, it was like *poof* mind blown. If you’ve never tried any Korean beauty products, this is the one you need to try. This product is a unique formula-soaked sponge that has all the benefits of a BB cream (anti-aging, moisturizing, skin-evening coverage and SPF protection). It comes with an equally innovative non-absorbing puff that wicks the formula off of the sponge and effortlessly applies evenly onto your face, for that dewy no-makeup, makeup look.

Favorite Perfume…
Right now I’m obsessed with the scent Sweet Hallabong from Innisfree. Innisfree is a Korean beauty brand that specializes in ingredients sourced from Jeju Island.

What makes Korean beauty stand out from other products is the innovation. They put more towards R&D than any other market because the demand and competition is so high.

YOUR COMPANY

The main difference between Korean products, and American products…
What makes Korean beauty stand out from other products is the innovation. They put more towards R&D than any other market because the demand and competition is so high. Another differentiator is the playful packaging. Koreans take skincare very seriously but have fun with it at the same time, which is evident in the adorable packaging many of their products have. Tony Moly, for example, is a brand that creates amazing products but house them in little pandas or bunnies. Lastly, the price point cannot be beat. K-beauty is affordable and it makes the experience even more enjoyable.

Up next for Soko Glam…
We have a lot of exciting Korean brands coming soon to Soko Glam. I’m incredibly proud of the Soko Glam curation because not only have I personally tested them for efficacy and quality, but they are actually products that are vetted and loved by the local Korean women.

Your mantra…
Live, laugh, love.

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Eliza Krpoyan

Eliza has over five years experience as a writer and editor with California and New York publications. She first discovered her passion for beauty after moving to New York to cover fashion. Since then she’s eagerly tried and reported on the latest products and beauty trends. When she’s not writing about beauty or fashion, Eliza is writing on love and relationships for Glamour.

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