Style

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

Christine Han is our beloved staff photographer. Whenever we schedule a photo shoot, we all squeal “Christine’s going to be there!” because she is that much fun to be around. You might have seen her name a million times because she is behind so many of the photos on our site, and today she’s sharing her favorite skincare product and the number one way she feels most beautiful…

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

What was your relationship to beauty growing up?
I never fit the Korean traditional ideal of beauty, which is to be very thin and delicate with a small face and fair complexion. It was also ideal to have a double eyelid — where there’s a crease on your upper eyelid. Western ideals were already incorporated into Korean ideals by the time I was a kid. There’s also a Korean word — Chakeh 착해 — which is a word for someone who is good, obedient and doesn’t make trouble. I tried really hard to be chakeh, but that’s not who I was, and I’m still dealing with that. So, somehow, very early on, I soaked up the message that I wasn’t beautiful. I took to it so early that I am just now meeting the wild part of me that’s not compliant. I was taught that a good girl always yields to others and never shows “ugly” emotions such as anger or is ever god forbid, unpleasant. I always had this feeling that the “real” me was too selfish, but I know now that’s bullshit. I am excited to see who I really am.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

From working with you and being in front of your lens, I’ve witnessed how great you are at making people feel beautiful and seen. What has your photography career taught you about beauty and how to find it?
I’ve realized that every single person is beautiful. It can sound glib but I’ve learned to encounter the inherent beauty in the moment with each person. I’m also very curious about people! I want to know who they are. I don’t want to just take their picture and walk away.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

I remember when you were pregnant you said you felt really beautiful. How did becoming pregnant change your view of your beauty?
I had a really easy pregnancy. My skin glowed and my hair got thicker. I also became more aware of my body than ever before and realized how marvelous it is. In chiropractics, they say that your body is always trying to go in the right, divine order. For the first time, I felt that. My body wasn’t this ugly thing anymore. I was growing a human being!

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

Did those changes in your mind stick around after you had your baby, Coro?
Yes. Even though I have a pooch that goes over my C-section scar, and my breasts are different after breastfeeding, it doesn’t bother me. My whole life I had nitpicked everything about my physical appearance, and those thoughts still come up, but I don’t have time for that anymore.

Do you have a morning skincare routine?
I wash my face with Purlisse Lotus 4-in-1 cleansing milk. It’s the only cleanser that truly removes eye makeup and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean. Then I’ll use Marble & Milkweed Forest Facial Tonic. It makes my face feel supple and calm. My friend Briar makes it with organic, fairly-trade ingredients. If I’m feeling dry, I’ll slap on some Mad Hippie Face Cream, and then put on sunscreen if I’m going outside.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

And at night?
I do the same cleanser, and then apply the Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum, which smoothes out the little bumps on your skin and makes it feel soft.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

What do you like to do for makeup?
I use Purelisse BB cream in Light. My face feels naked unless I draw in my brows and I use the Shiseido brow pencil in called Natural Black, which is sadly discontinued. It’s an Asian shade of black that is the exact color of my own hair. After, I apply a thick base of eyeshadow — I like Lush Raven by L’Oreal. Afterward, I add Stila liquid eyeliner in Intense Black. If it’s an extra special event, I’ll curl my eyelashes and put on mascara.

What about for lips?
I love to wear lipstick, and my favorite is NARS Heat Wave. It’s a perfect orange-y red. Day to day, I use a tinted lip balm by Face Shop in a soft pink. It’s lovely because it makes the natural pink of your lips shine through. It looks like you’re wearing nothing at all.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

How do you care for your hair?
The key for me is getting a great cut at Pelo Salon. My stylist, Luisa, has been cutting my hair for the past 15 years! She is so very good at her job — not just the hair, but caring for people. She’s special. I use Rahua shampoo because I love the way it smells, and most of the time I just let my hair dry because I’m with the baby.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

Do you have any fun hobbies?
Traveling! Pre-pandemic and pre-baby, I traveled a lot. Being outdoors (hiking, camping, snowboarding, etc.) is my favorite. My beloved client, AJWS, a human rights organization, works in about 18 different countries around the world, and I have had the great fortune of traveling with them to many of these places to document their work. The people I’ve met through these experiences have expanded my worldview greatly and opened my heart.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

Do you have a beauty philosophy?
I watch my 13-month-old daughter and there’s no question of beautiful or not beautiful. She just IS. She is always in her body, in the moment, confident, strong. She is absolutely natural, and hasn’t had all the conditionings put upon her yet. Beauty is getting back to that natural state, becoming aware of your thoughts and realizing you are more than your body.

My Beauty Uniform: Christine Han

Thank you, Christine. We love you!

P.S. More beauty uniforms, including a teacher and an illustrator.

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

(Photo of Christine and her husband by Nadia Meli. Photo of Christine and Coro by Lisa Weatherbee. All other photos by Christine Han/Instagram.)

  1. Jennifer says...

    As a Korean-American woman who is nearing 50, I am finally at the point where I’m almost DGAF about “traditional” standards of Korean beauty, many perpetuated by my mother. I am rather stout, have skin that tans easily, never had the double eyelids–and lemme tell you, perimenopause has wreaked havoc on my metabolism where lumps accumulate in areas I hadn’t expected. I’m also losing my hair (due to genetic factors–nothing medical or serious) but have chosen to embrace it and have vowed to shave my head on my 50th birthday. Especially after this pandemic year, I no longer want to conform and want to live bolder.

  2. florence says...

    I adore Christine! Such a lovely soul who emits light and love… you can see it in her amazing photos and how she sees beauty in everyone she photographs. Words of wisdom from someone who is truly beautiful inside and out. I’m so happy and lucky to have you in my life! ❤️

  3. Rosa says...

    I am proud to say that Christine is my older sister, and for all of my life, I have looked up to her and have always seen her beauty. I am just so happy that she can now see the beauty that I have known my whole life. She is truly a wonderful, loving soul, and sometimes I think that I am the luckiest person to have her by my side. Lord knows if I would have been able to snag her as a friend if she hadn’t been forced to be when we were little.

    • Jay says...

      This is beautiful.

    • I am the lucky one, dear sister. When I look back, I was the older one but you were like a little guardian angel always by my side. I love you.

  4. Amanda H says...

    This beauty uniform was such a week-brightener! I love Christine’s photos, so it’s fun to meet the beauty behind the photos! The photos of Christine out hiking and in the flowers with her daughter are SO beautiful.

  5. Erika says...

    This beauty uniform really moved me. I love the relationship Christine has with her body and her outlook on beauty in general. What she said about her daughter really got me <3

  6. Christine B says...

    Welp. If being another Korean-American mom named Christine isn’t the darndest way of feeling seen, I don’t know what is! I feel so much of your journey — growing up, I had this tiny inner voice hidden deep inside urging me to believe I was beautiful, and to see that beauty, but always feeling like it was very hard to access that belief. It’s a constant battle of too many voices at the table – our own doubts, our families (and let’s just say it – moms), society, and the reflection back of what we perceive to be their hardened judgments. I, too, felt a shift – almost without much effort – of accepting my body once I went through pregnancy. It felt unfair to keep punishing it after all it had been through (twice now!) I love following you on IG, Christine, and look forward to more to come!

    • I see you Christine! Indeed, too many voices is exactly right. I’m learning to recognize which ones are not my own.

  7. April says...

    Loved this beauty uniform. What a great compliment to Christine that people would be excited to spend the day working with her. She sounds like a wonderful person!

  8. K says...

    As a Korean American I can totally relate to feeling bad for not fitting the typical Korean ideal of beauty (not thin enough, fair enough, etc.) and not being “chakeh” enough, and feeling terrible for having all the opinions and emotions I did, especially anger. I still struggle with feeling it is okay, despite many years of therapy! Thanks for sharing Christine. This makes me feel less alone in this struggle and stronger in fighting it.

    When I saw the first photo I thought, wow, she is so pretty. And from reading more about you, I see you are beautiful inside and out. And your daughter…GAH, so cute! How lucky she is to have your wise self as a mom. :)

    • Oh yes, anger is a big one. And rage. It took me many years of therapy to feel like I was able to release it and be ok with feeling it. We’ll see how much more there is :)

  9. J says...

    Christine’s remarks about acceptance of her body post-partum really resonated with me. “I don’t have time for that anymore.” I have felt such an appreciation and respect for my body since carrying my children, and a pride in what my body can do. My hope for my own daughter is that she NEVER has time for wishing away her own beautiful, strong, powerful body. Thank you so much, Christine!

    • Kate D says...

      Yes! I don’t have time for that anymore and taking inspiration from the littles that haven’t been brainwashed with the false concept of beauty. Love that as well.

  10. S says...

    Exactly how you describe your daughter is how you appear in these photos- gorgeous, confident, present, whole in your skin and in the world, with a wide beautiful smile that completely lights you up!!

  11. Annie says...

    I love everything about this post! Being a korean American who always felt as if I wasn’t the way I was supposed to be, reading Christine’s interview feels empowering and so right. Thank you for sharing all these thoughts, images, and lip colors!

    • You just said it exactly right: “…as if I wasn’t the way I was supposed to be…”
      I’m slowly getting rid of that feeling :)

  12. Dana says...

    My new life goal is to swim in that exact spot in the penultimate picture, I would loooove to find out where it is if Christine is willing to share!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Nice use of penultimate!

    • It is a cenote in Tulum, Mexico, and it is the best swim I have ever had! I don’t know the name of it, but if you ever go to that part of Mexico, there are many cenotes. You can’t go wrong.

  13. Hayley B says...

    To Christine: Girl, I have no idea what you’re going on about (not pretty by Korean or any standards? What?) because you are STUNNING. Double eyelids be damned; your skin is goddamn luminous and your whole aura/attitude is just so fun and fabulous and practically leaps off the page. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!

  14. Twyla says...

    Thrilled to see a photo of Christine at the beautiful Moraine Lake, in Alberta, Canada (my home)!

    • Azlin says...

      You’re so lucky to live there!

  15. Annie K. says...

    A breath of fresh air. Thank you, Christine!

  16. Elif says...

    I am a bit confused here: going on a diet, trying to loose wait, to loose the belly, thus trying to change your body is frowned upon lately. We should all be accepting how we look. Yet we recommend to use so many products for our faces, from tonic water, to face masques, day creams to nights creams, serums to collagen pills, in order to make our skin smooth and spotless, in order to get rid of all signs of aging and meet the beauty standards of society.

    • nicole says...

      * LOSE weight, LOSE the belly. Lose and loose are two different words, Elif.

    • EmBed says...

      To Nicole: I’m gonna guess from Elif’s overall grammar that she isn’t a native English speaker; judging from her name I’d guess she’s Turkish. Also, mocking people for their grammar just seems so elitist — I’m an English teacher and I see grammar-shaming as the pettiest thing (and, as far as insults go, just totally uncreative). The point of language, as far as I see it, is to communicate an idea or a thought or transmit a feeling or a mood. It’s not about doing everything according to some rules (which are oftentimes arbitrary) set by God-knows-who, God-knows-when and which are always changing.

      I don’t want to turn this comment section into the sort of cesspool that some comment sections descend into, but I just can’t stand grammar-shaming, especially of a person who likely speaks multiple languages. Also, did Elif not get her point across? I think the problem is that she DID, but you didn’t like her point (which, honestly, has some validity). I understand that her comment offended you, but I don’t think making a snarky and quite snobby reply does much for the discussion.

    • Gray says...

      Thank you Elif for your comment. And thank you Embed for yours. I also find grammar-shaming to be ridiculous.

    • Alex says...

      I think it’s that we frankly are all more vain than we wish we were… and we haven’t gotten to the place where we don’t buy the fancy face creams yet. Works in progress we are.

  17. JG says...

    Thank you for this post! I loved everything about it.

  18. MG says...

    This will seem obvious to most, but it’s only just hit me, about the true definition of this series. I always clicked to read and see what I’d try to avoid purchasing, from all the products that might appeal. It only just occurred to me, based on Christine’s observations with her daughter and life’s lessons, that it’s about beauty in its purest forms, from self-love to beauty in humankind. Thank you!

    • Laura says...

      I felt the same way, MG! This profile was the one that made the series click for me.

  19. Julie says...

    Our babies are the same age! She is beautiful and so are you!

  20. Ruth says...

    Christine rocks! Have always loved her work and now, thanks to this interview, it’s wonderful to hear from her. What a thoughtful, fun human!

  21. Julie says...

    The last two pictures moved me, they are beautiful, and so is Christine’s soul. This beauty uniform leaves me very inspired!

  22. Blythe says...

    BEST beauty philosophy ever!! “I watch my 13-month-old daughter and there’s no question of beautiful or not beautiful. She just IS.” I feel exactly the same about my two daughters but hadn’t considered that maybe I should view myself that way as well. Thank you.

  23. Becky says...

    Stunning 💖

  24. Sarah says...

    That baby is amazing

  25. Em says...

    Christine – you have the most beautiful and radiant smile!

    • Thank you so much :)

  26. Jillian Schweitzer says...

    I loved everything about this, but especially that adorbs bebe!

  27. Emma says...

    This is wise and wonderful. Thank you for sharing, Christine (and Cup of Jo team)! Coro is lucky to have you xx

  28. koseli says...

    I love the beauty uniform posts. This was lovely to read and the pictures were just as beautiful. Your baby is so cute i couldn’t stop smiling. I’m living in Korea now and am blown away by the beauty ideals here.

  29. Jean says...

    Oh, that photo of Christine cuddling baby Coro is just beautiful. Such joy!

    • Victoria says...

      I was just going to say exactly the same thing about that picture! It’s just glowing with love!

  30. Agnès says...

    ” I don’t have time for that anymore.” I love that! It should be on a tshirt. Loved that beauty “uniform” ;-) love from Paris

    • MP says...

      That was also my favorite quote. So true, haha!

  31. Charlie says...

    I LOVE THIS BEAUTY POST!

    She speaks to me. She’s the kind of person I’d hope to meet at the park and become friends with.

    Beautiful, beautiful woman. Beautiful soul. Beautiful writing. Beautiful photographer and mama. Thank you for sharing yourself with us Christine, it was marvelous.

    <3

    • Charlie, thank you so much for the love!!

  32. Kathy says...

    This was soothing and beautiful to read. Thankyou!

  33. rachie says...

    HER BABY. good lord. SO SCRUMPTIOUS

  34. CS says...

    Loved reading Christine’s beauty uniform! She’s gorgeous and inspiring.

  35. Oanh says...

    Yes! I was so sad when natural black was discontinued. Please let me know if anyone has a good duplicate!

  36. Amy Chen says...

    Before I even saw the text, I thought she was beautiful! Bah to Korean ideals. I especially love her teeth haha. And that BABY.

    • Adele Luong says...

      Me too !
      I never normally read the My Beauty Uniform but Christine’s infectious smile made me click on the article. Her beauty (inner/outer – she just is) radiates from her.

  37. Mary says...

    Sounds like a beautiful person with an intentionally beautiful life!!

  38. Angie says...

    I too am very sad about shiseido’s eyebrow pencil being discontinued! Other pencils were just too black or brown for my Korean brows (very black, sparse hairs and pale skin…). Please tell us if you’ve found any good substitutes!

  39. Kim says...

    Christine’s beauty journey resonates with me so much as a Korean-American adoptee who has never been identified as “looking” very Korean. (Even Koreans think I’m “other”.)

    Thank you for highlighting such a key “hidden figure” in this blog.

    Christine and her photographs are beautiful!

  40. I’ve had the privilege of calling Christine my friend for many, many years. She has always been beautiful to me, inside and out, and it’s been a joy to see her come to realize it for herself, especially in these recent years. Her growing inner confidence only enhances all of the wonderful attributes that have always been a part of her—and what she’s always freely shared with the ones she loves.

    • You’re making me tear up, my friend. I love you.

  41. Michelle says...

    So beautiful. Still thinking about every word!

  42. AMK says...

    Soo beautiful!! Sooo profound!! I am going to check out all the beauty recommendations! I love all the photos but my favorite is of Christine floating in the water. Poetic, soulful, profound. Being fully herself 💕

    • AMK says...

      Agreed!! So beautiful!!

  43. Jude says...

    Wow, have always loved your photographs Christine, and now we all get to glimpse the person behind the camera! Love this piece and especially your beauty philosophy – we all just ARE. You and your family are beautiful.

  44. Michelle says...

    Love this post.
    Great photo of you when a toddler- cheeky and beautiful.
    All of this makes me feel happy emotions.
    Mich – from Australia

  45. Nicole says...

    Ah, the magic of children who just ARE beauty, before society made them think to be concerned with their appearance in a superficial way! I watched a childhood home-video recently (on VHS tape- yowza, I’m getting old), and I thought, WOW, I wish I could reach in the screen, bottle that up from my young self, and bring it into my current life!

  46. Em says...

    Wow I just love that paragraph under, ‘What was your relationship to Beauty growing up?’ It resonated with me when Christine said, “I am excited to see who I really am.” Me too Christine, me too! best wishes to you on this journey <3

    • It’s exciting, isn’t it? Happy you’re on the journey too.

  47. Ramona says...

    Aawwhh Christine what a beautiful spirit, soul you are! Growing up takes time. It can be hard and awkward. And sometimes even when we get through all those stages we are met with new challenges. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes. But when we change we grow. I always say confidence is the best thing you can wear. I love the first photo of you with your daughter. And the photo of you with your husband. Those are the most important people in your life and you all seem so happy and content. God Bless. 🙂🙏🏼❤️

  48. Abbie says...

    While every photo of her is lovely, the ones with her daughter actually sing. What a fantastic beauty uniform.

  49. Tara says...

    Christine, you are luminous! Your daughter is just the cutest and she’s so lucky to have you as a mom. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I came here to say THE CHEEKS!!

    • Awww thanks guys!! The cheeks, yes, the cheeks. They get me every time I look at her.

  50. Sonja says...

    Wow, I really loved this – especially this line, “Beauty is getting back to that natural state, becoming aware of your thoughts and realizing you are more than your body.”

  51. Jessica says...

    What a totally beautiful woman and family!

  52. Kate says...

    I’m also on a journey to find the “real me.” Thank you so much for sharing this!!

  53. Anna says...

    Beautiful inside and out

  54. Meg B says...

    Loved all of this here, but this statement is so gorgeous and just made my heart sing:
    “Beauty is getting back to that natural state, becoming aware of your thoughts and realizing you are more than your body.”
    Thank you Christine for sharing!

    • Thank you. I’m really happy it spoke to your heart!

  55. I absolutely love “Beauty is getting back to that natural state, becoming aware of your thoughts and realizing you are more than your body.” YES!!!

  56. Laura says...

    Thank you so much for this. I really needed this!

  57. JW says...

    Well, I just loved this.

  58. I think that, sadly, many of us can relate to not feeling beautiful or comfortable w/ our bodies/who we are. Christine, you are beautiful!!

    I am very mindful of what I say about my body/health around ours sons and will continue to be mindful as they get older (they are currently 3yo and 6m). I remember my mom being on diets at various points of her life when I was young. I don’t want my sons to be exposed to diet culture and things like that. I’m glad there is more awareness about the importance of body positivity – hopefully the next generation has less to overcome than ours? I still struggle w/ body image issues but doing things like running marathons and having 2 kids (via c section) gives me more appreciation and respect for what my body can do.

  59. el says...

    great piece, where are the jumpsuits from

    • Maureen says...

      +1 I want to know too! Love those jumpsuits / overalls.

    • kiki says...

      My question was going to be “how do you deal with the closing of Elizabeth Suzann??” clearly a fashion influence here. So missed :(

    • Liz says...

      Elizabeth Suzann is back! Not sure if the clyde jumpsuits have returned, but she has returned to making gorgeous clothing!

    • Hilary says...

      Noooooo!!!! I have been saving up for a few years to buy an Elizabeth Suzann Clyde jumpsuit. Ever since I saw it on Caroline and decided that I, too, wanted to feel like a 4-year old and a superhero mixed together. But that’s on the higher end of fashion for me and not something I can just drop everything to buy. I am devastated!

  60. Sage says...

    Such a relaxed vibe to this one I REALLY appreciated. I always resonate more with body neutrality messages. We are much more than our bodies.

    • Thank you! We are not our bodies, even though it can feel like it.

  61. Nicole says...

    That is the most inspiring definition of beauty. Its almost as if I can feel her glow of life from her photos and from her philosophy!