I love podcasts. Whether I’m on a road trip, tidying up in the house, or just hopping into the car for a quick errand, I gotta have a podcast on in the background. My favorites are inspirational podcasts like NPR’s Hidden Brain or How I Built This, newsworthy like The Daily, true crime-centric like My Favorite Murder, or quirky and educational like Stuff You Should Know. But there was one topic I felt like I was missing out on — and that, of course, was beauty and skincare.
Yes, there are a sprinkling of podcasts that focus on makeup, skincare, and everything in between, but I was jonesing for some auditory education on my favorite beauty genre: K-beauty. I used to get my fix when I discovered The Snailcast, a podcast that talked about K-beauty and Asian beauty as a whole, hosted by the lovely AB bloggers Snow White and the Asian Pear, fanserviced-b, Fifty Shades of Snail, and Holy Snails. But it seems the snail squad has been on hiatus for the time being, so I wouldn’t be getting my weekly dose of audible beauty — until now, thanks to ladies behind the new podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics: AKA Triple Bees.
Launched on January 1st of this year, Triple Bees is not just K-beauty-centric — it’s K-beauty and more. As described at the top of each episode (after the contagiously-feel-good opening theme song fades out), the four hosts’ agenda is to talk about all things beauty, makeup and skincare products, new releases, beauty brand gossip, and the social issues that impact the beauty world. And these four hosts are none other than:
By day, an award-winning researcher and digital product designer from Raleigh, North Carolina; by night, beauty and skincare writer behind the blog Skin&Tonics; and co-author of Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup. She’s a Leo, her skin type is normal to dry, and she loves a bold eye makeup look so much so that her teen self used to be able to apply eyeliner without a mirror. #goals
Beautytap’s very own contributing editor; co-author of the aforementioned book Korean Beauty Secrets; writer behind the blog The Beauty Wolf; and freelance beauty journalist. A K-beauty fanatic living in Montreal (“where I simultaneously pretend I don’t speak a word of French and I larp as a fancy French lady”) with dry skin, she’s obsessed with any skincare that’s ultra nourishing and rich. Her horoscope? Scorpio, naturally.
Also Beautytap’s amazing contributing editor; Atlanta-based writer behind the blog The Wanderlust Project; and um, competitive powerlifter?! (I mean, SO COOL.) She’s got combination, acne-prone skin, loves a natural makeup look, and is an unapologetic, glitter-loving Sagittarius.
The voice behind the online/offline persona Tiffany and Lupus; a freelance writer, public speaker, community manager, and mostly full-time healthcare advocate from the “boogie down” Bronx! She’s a Virgo with combination skin who loves the natural look, lives for a smoky brown eye, and will always paint her entire face with highlight because “it’s just on brand for me to look like a majestic fucking unicorn.” Amen.
“Our signs are like a Tequila Sunrise together,” quips Kerry, or as Coco puts it, “a really good salad” — either way, these four ladies (who are friends IRL) definitely share skintertaining chemistry as they navigate through topics like beauty resolutions, self-care, skincare journeys, and more. While I won’t divulge all of the sweet details (because you’ll just have to listen yourself to find out what the buzz is all about), here are some of my favorite skincare, beauty, and self-care soundbites from the first few episodes of Triple Bees.
All four hosts are on a low/no-buy for the year, and I’m joining them in this challenge. As a former beauty editor whose job it was to test and shoot products, I’ve accumulated a ton of skincare and makeup products over the years. It’s tempting to give into a sale or make an impulse purchase (especially if one of your favorite brands announces a new exciting line), but you’ll gain so much discipline by exercising restraint and learning to shop your own stash.
Of course, this takes a lot of self-control, so I like how Kerry has set realistic boundaries for herself by following an extreme low-buy (10 exceptions) and a replacement-only method, meaning only replacing what’s needed and only buying truly unique products that she doesn’t have in her collection.
Sheryll, Coco, and Tiffany all have inspired me to — get this — actually use what’s in my stash. Like Sheryll says, “We’ve only got two eyes,” so why do I need to buy yet another eyeshadow palette?! I’m with these ladies and their like-minded resolution to use up what’s in their collection, wear more makeup (to the grocery store, to the gym, or hell, to your garage), and also chase more real-life experiences that require one to put a face on. (Sometimes we have to plan that girls’ night out two months in advance to force ourselves to simply maintain.) Personally, I invest so much time and money into taking care of and glamming up my skin, so why shouldn’t I show it off?
One very important lesson I took away from listening to Triple Bees is to stay far, far away from Pat McGrath. Because apparently everything in her collection is gold and I will spend all of my money on it, and that’s coming from a gal who doesn’t even care that much for glittery shadows and perfectly pigmented lips.
Three words: nipple lip shades.
Or in a few more words: Apparently, the color of your nipples is the best complimenting shade of nude for your lips.
I may or may not report back on the validity of this claim.
Remember that although everyone’s skin journey is unique and individualized, even your own skincare voyage will have its identity crises. You may have normal to oily skin one year, and then suffer with dry patches and hormonal acne the next. You might experience a bad reaction to a certain ingredient or product and have to press the reset button. I loved what Sheryll had to say after sharing her journey with hormonal acne, learning about how her diet affected her skin, and overcoming the results of over-exfoliation: “Love your skin: You only have one face, and we’re gonna try to recover from this tragedy.”
This is simultaneously a friendly reminder to moisturize and a personal, self-empowering mantra to live by. As a dry skinned lady, I can’t live without my nourishing creams and sleeping packs that help seal in moisture and protect my moisture barrier. I live by Kerry’s philosophy: If I’m gonna try a new product, it’s got to benefit my moisture barrier in some way with lots of ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol, and/or anti-inflammatory ingredients.
But actual skincare tips aside, Tiffany put it best: “Mind your own moisture barrier, because sheet masking is definitely self-care!” And that segues nicely into my next favorite takeaway:
It’s 2019, and by now, you should know that taking care of yourself is not selfish. The act of self-care — whether it’s in the form of exercise, skincare, makeup, dancing, hiking, the list goes ON — can physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare you to be a better human in the world, because as Tiffany wisely points out: “If you’re not OK, you can’t help anybody else.”
In episode three titled “Beauty as Self-Care,” our four queen bees shared openly about their personal struggles with anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, and negative relationship experiences. Each and every one of the hosts has been through the feeling of being utterly down in the dumps, completely unmotivated to get out of bed, let alone do a full-on skincare routine.
For Kerry, she explains that her routine helps manage her depression and anxiety, because it’s something she knows will pay off in the end. When she sits down to start her eye makeup, she says the activity kicks her brain into creative thinking mode, forcing her to make small decisions in the morning, which ultimately prepares her for the day.
Coco discloses that there was a period in her life where she couldn’t take careof herself at all. After getting out of an abusive relationship, scarred with PTSD and severe anxiety along with her own personal health problems, she shared that her skincare routine (and the familiarity and comfort in its routine-ness) was a huge coping mechanism that helped her center herself in the midst of chaos.
Sheryll echoes the same sentiments. For her, skincare and exercise are both ways to manage the highs and lows of her depression. And Tiffany, diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus many years ago, says that skincare gives her the time to focus on herself. “Skincare has really been one of those guiding points that kind of forces me to check in with myself. It’s kind of like the one moment — besides those of us who do our makeup — it’s the moment that comes before your makeup, right? So you’re standing in front of the mirror, and you’re like looking at yourself, and it’s like the one time you’re forced to look at yourself in the mirror.”
A funny thing happens when you’re able to look at your own reflection every day, watch your own hands press products lovingly into your skin, and see change for the better. Despite the common stereotype that anything women enjoy — namely, makeup and skincare — is frivolous or stupid, it’s clear that skincare is just the opposite. Not only does skincare heal blemishes and acne scars, the daily and nightly routine can also be a powerful tool to help you love your skin, your features, and yourself as a result.
Have you taken a listen to the Triple Bees podcast? We’d love to know what your favorite skincare, makeup, or self-care takeaways are in the comments below!