Korean Model Hyun Ji Shin Shares the Secrets to Her Flawless Skin

There are many reasons why Hyun Ji Shin is a rising runway star—her happy-go-lucky nature, on display while posing gamely backstage at Chanel; that perfect doll-like face, peeking out from beneath a straw brimmed hat at Jacquemus. Then there’s the fact that the Korean model possesses utterly perfect, poreless skin, so surreally shining that, on a recent visit to the Vogue.com offices, it drew stares.

“I actually signed with my Korean agency last, as I always wanted to work worldwide,” Shin tells me, of the global perspective she took by choosing to begin her career in Sydney after winning Korea’s Next Top Model (“I won—yay!” she says, playfully punching her fist in the air). That tack paid off, as the 20-year-old has become a recurring face at Dries Van Noten and Chanel, and graced more than 30 runways this season with her perennial glow. “I finally got Burberry,” she says, grinning. “All the shows I haven’t been able to do, I want to go back and do them all. Even the shows I’ve done, I want to go back and do them again.

hyun ji shin

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde / Indigital.tv

That drive and unbridled love of modeling make Shin a breath of fresh air in an industry that can skew too cool for school. “Usually, I’m watching movies to practice English,” she adds. “Right before this, I watched Léon: The Professional and Notting HillJulia Roberts is so lovely!” Then there’s that otherworldly complexion, which certainly warrants all the attention—but doesn’t take much on Shin’s end. “This sounds bad, but it’s mostly genes,” she says. “My dad’s skin is like mine, though I do work hard to keep it that way.”

 

That means a religious application of Shiseido sunscreen, along with more physical blocking, as well. “You have to cover your skin—wear a cap, or use your hands,” she says, demonstrating the way she cups both palms over her forehead as a makeshift shield. At night, Shin swabs on makeup remover, then cleansing oil, then cleansing gel, finishing with an eye cream and a rotating lineup of moisturizers (La Mer, Kiehl’s, and Fresh, right now). CNP Laboratory’s brightening ampoule sheet masks from Seoul are her personal favorite and post-flight necessity, along with a few DIY remedies sourced from Korean beauty blogs. “If I have any problem spots, I add a little bit of vinegar to water and rinse my face,” she says. “That really helps.”

As for makeup, the answer, it turns out, is obvious. “I’m not wearing any,” she says, sheepishly. “The genes! I’m sorry!” That’s about as good as it gets.



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