Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Savor Beauty founder Angela Kim’s passion for beauty began with her mother. Growing up, Kim watched her mother always applying something new to her skin that was sent over from her sisters in Seoul. Inspired to craft her own skin care products in her kitchen, Kim began to study ingredients with tremendous skin benefits like champagne, caviar, and truffles to add to her creams, becoming what she refers to as an “accidental entrepreneur.”
As a busy mom and wife living in the hustle and bustle of New York City, Kim needed flawless skin in a New York minute. Looking to incorporate the Korean beauty rituals that she grew up with, she wanted her skincare line to be two things: organic and to work for a variety of skin types.
Currently, Angela runs a group of holistic facial spas in New York City’s West Village and Upper West Side, and in upstate New York. She continues to develop luxe organic products in the Beauty Kitchen with her team of Savor Spa Estheticians.
BITB spoke with Angela about launching Savor Beauty and what products she can’t live without.
1. Tell us where your passion for beauty and skincare stemmed from. How have you included the Korean beauty rituals that you grew up with into your Savor Beauty products?
“You only have one face, so treat it like the most expensive silk,” my mom would always preach. What I appreciate most about Korean beauty is that taking care of skin is a mindset and a lifestyle, a practice in upgrading one’s self-restoration.
When you incorporate supreme self-care into your daily life, it is an investment in both inner and outer well-being. It becomes your non-negotiable “me time.” Massaging your face, breathing in the aromas, pat-and-pressing, listening to your skin—this creates a soothing rhythm that is grounding.
In ancient Korean times, the outer body and spirit were considered to be one, residing together in the heart and reflected on the outside. This brings a whole new depth and understanding to the Korean term “mul-gwang” (water reflection)—dewy, glowy, and juicy skin that Korean women strive for.
I always saw new creams on my mom’s vanity table that her sisters from Korea had sent to her: one with gold flecks, another with silkworm cocoons, and yet another with exotic seaweed—all with the promise of making the skin smooth like silk and creamy like milk. I grew up witnessing my mom and aunt’s beauty rituals: cleansing, toning, layering and massaging with repeated upward movements. It was mesmerizing to watch. Years later, when I started making my own creams in my Manhattan kitchen, it was a hobby, but I also wanted to create something luxurious, natural and anti-aging—beauty concoctions that would impress even my mom and her sisters.
And that’s how Savor Beauty came to life. I didn’t have as much time to massage and layer, so I designed a one-minute version, a nod to the Korean beauty lessons of supreme self-care with a New Yorker’s precious and fleeting minute.
2. What are some of the challenges and greatest achievements you’ve experienced on your journey of developing your own skincare line and spa?
My greatest challenge is always finding the right blend of natural ingredients that transforms skin and produces visible results. For example, my latest project is working on formulating our new Pumpkin Enzyme Peel with our holistic chemist. Finding the perfect potion with truly clean ingredients that meet our standards is challenging and it always takes numerous tests by our Estheticians, team members, and me. Until it gets the stamp of approval by everyone on the team, it doesn’t pass.
The chemist makes sure it has the right chemistry of ingredients for pH balance and is preserved against mold, fungus, and bacteria. The estheticians want efficacy and efficiency out of the products. The employees want skin change as well as a beautiful aroma and a pleasant experience. Our designer wants something that will stand out on the shelves. Our content strategist wants a product of the moment so our customers are excited to have it. I want all of the above. When we finally meet these markers, it feels like a fantastic accomplishment.
For me personally, the ultimate test has always been if my mom loved the line and incorporated it into her beauty routine. The greatest achievement is not only having her use the product line but also hearing from so many people how it has transformed their skin and helped them to savor beauty, inside-out.
3. What products are in your cosmetic bag and on your bathroom vanity?
No surprise–all Savor Beauty, steps 0-5 are on my bathroom vanity! I cannot live without the Double-Cleanse Kit, Savor Beauty’s Coconut Pre-Cleanse Oil and the Pearl Cleansing Cream. On the days when I am tired and lounging around before bed, the scent of jasmine coconut lures me to do my nighttime beauty ritual. Once I get started, I love the scents and begin enjoying the act of self-care.
In my shower, I have the Savor Beauty Manuka Honey Mask, our mask brush, and usually something I’m testing out for a future product launch. If you open my bathroom drawers, you will always see one of our DIY Face Cake Masks that I like to whip up whenever my skin craves healing.