we could not be more excited to bring you this week's kai conversation with ava lee of glowwithava. ava is a nyc-based beauty influencer who is not only an amazing content creator, but she is also a beauty, wellness, and skincare wiz who has a fascinating, eye-catching feed on instagram, youtube, and tiktok where she shares a wealth of insights and knowledge about how to get her gorgeous "glowing" complexion and keep your skin illuminating from head to toe! what we love about ava the most (besides the fact that she loves sweets and is also a long-time kai devotee) is that her personality is so fun, candid, easy going, and approachable; and when she shares her insightful skincare, beauty, wellness, and makeup tips and tricks - she really breaks things down in an honest, simple and very-easy-to-follow manner. we strongly encourage you to check out her feed, and if you follow her instructions, you are sure to get the ava "glow"! ava also genuinely embodies the kai "breath*life*flow" way of life as shown throughout all of her content and the interview below. hope you enjoy reading! also, please stay tuned for a special giveaway collaboration with glowwithava to be announced soon.
how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share.
at the moment, i am trying to put myself as priority. i have never really been that kind of person - i've always sacrificed my body, my mental heath, my sleep, just about everything but now i realize i need to take care of myself for others around me to be happy as well. skin care routines such as masking, a nice hot bath, lighting candles etc. have always been a form of selfcare and continues to be a part of my daily life. my husband and i have started to cook more during quarantine but at the same time, we eat out or order in some of my favorite meals to indulge and treat ourselves.
how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle?
my mental health and happiness is very heavily influenced by how overwhelmed i am. i am constantly busy but no matter what, when i take the time to do even a 10 minute pilates or stretching session, i feel instantly better and more relaxed. it's been hard to move my body like i used to but a little bit of daily movement helps me immensely and actually makes me a much more productive person. i moved very close to central park last year and when i feel stressed or angry, i just go outside and take a walk around the park and it's the best free healing tool ever.
what's the best advice you've ever received?
my dad always told me "it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to rush forward only to stumble backwards." i think in the age of social media everywhere, it's easy to fall trap to trendy things, form a fast yet toxic friendship, or get guided in ways that your heart denies, it's so important to take a step back once in awhile and trust your gut. i try to keep this in mind with every decision i make.
do you have a manta you live by?
"everything happens for a reason" i am for the most part an extremely optimistic person and take failures pretty well. people ask me how i overcome difficulties so fast and my answer? there is a reason that happened. something better is going to happen soon. i take every failure as a way to learn and improve and strive towards something better.
what color nail polish are you wearing right now?
currently wearing Chanel in New Dawn. i haven't worn this color in like almost a year! i usually wear bright colors form the months of march to october. but now that i don't have much time to take care of my nails or do fun nail art, i opted for a very muted color that won't be apparent even if the polish comes off.
who is your role model?
my dad. he is the most hard working, humble, and understanding person i know. even though i didn't get to spend that much time with him growing up, the older i get, the more i understand and respect him for everything he has done for me and my family.
how would you describe your personal style?
timeless and casual with a little bit of luxe. i like to invest in a few nice pieces instead of a ton of cheaper options... trust me, i've learned the hard way. i like investing in good denim (i have a lot of jeans) but paired with a cheap t-shirt. throw on a nicer coat. paired with simple flip flops or sneakers. i don't ever wear heels. so just like life, my fashion picks are also about finding the right balance within a budget.
what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to?
i moved to the upper west side in nyc a year ago with my now-husband. we moved here soon after we got engaged. i've always been a downtown girl and only came up to the UWS twice in all my years in nyc to go get Levain Bakery haha. i can't believe i am now an uptown girl but honestly, it fits my current lifestyle so much more (i.e. not going out to bars every weekend). i have a trader joes nearby, i have a couple of local bakeries i love, and i love my neighbors who don't blast out music all night :).
anywhere warm. a beach would be a huge plus. i hate cold so much so somewhere where i can wear a bikini, tan, and read a book with an iced coffee is more than i can ever ask right now.
too many. just to name a few though: a slice of greasy new york pizza, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chinatown dumplings where i can get 10 for like $5 (used to be even cheaper sigh), marinated korean ribs, shrimp pad thai... yes i have pretty cheap taste ;).
obsessed with the *rose hand cream from kai. also, their diffuser! we have one right when we walk in the door and all of our guests always comment on how good our place smells.
morning person or night owl?
used to be an extreme morning person. i would wake up at 6/6:30am, get a quick morning workout in, get ready for work while filming some content, get to work by 9am -- i got so much done before work. but now i find it hard to fall asleep early AND wake up super early. the schedule that works the best for me right now is going to bed by midnight and waking up by 7:30/8am.
rice cakes from korea. actually, just every street food in korea haha.
ideal way to relax/ unwind?
by myself. i have to be by myself to unwind. i get so easily distracted when others are around me that it's hard for me to even properly read an email. i need a cup of matcha latte, a candle, a comfy couch, pair of sweatpants, a bag of chips or popcorn and that is all i need to fully unwind.
thank you... ava!