Welcome to The Glow Up, Highsnobiety’s series examining the bathroom shelves of beautiful people.

For Asian women like myself, sex can be a fraught topic. We’re hyper-sexualized, portrayed in pop culture as subservient wives, exotic dragon ladies, or anime schoolgirls. Navigating a landscape full of stereotypes, preconceived notions, and violence is — to put it lightly — scary.

"A lot of my Asian friends, they don't want to talk about [sex]," says Joyce Lee, founder of sexual wellness platform and brand Her Place. "I still don't feel comfortable, as a Korean American woman."

Spurred by an alarming rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, Lee built Her Place as a sort of sanctuary where Asian women — and sex-positive folks in general — can explore pleasure, on their own terms.

"Sexual wellness has a direct relationship to self-confidence," Lee tells me over Zoom. "I think it's very important and powerful to know what you want and ask for what you want and get what you want. There's nothing wrong with it."

It's a lesson that took Lee decades to learn. "I have a fashion background," she explains. "I worked at Opening Ceremony about eight years, and then worked in commerce... I transitioned into wellness after talking to my girlfriend about sexual wellness. It took me 40 years to realize the importance of sexual wellness."

A symbolic kick-off to her sexual wellness awakening, Lee devised Her Ribbon, a luxurious silk hair bow that doubles as a bondage device. To accompany the product, she launched Her Stories, an interview series asking women in Lee's sphere about their relationship to pleasure, both sexual and non-sexual.

Just a month shy of Her Place's one-year anniversary, Lee expanded into beauty with Her Scent, a range of skincare and fragrance products meant to arouse the senses.

"Scent, for me, is the strongest [sense]," Lee says. "It's very romantic — it's like a song you takes you to a certain place, [or a] certain time."

A stone-shaped bar soap, home spray, and body oil are formulated a cocktail of aphrodisiac ingredients, including sandalwood, patchouli, and ylang ylang. The trio of products aren't meant to be hidden, stowed away in a bedside table. To help normalize sex and sexual wellness, Lee made sure the soap, spray, and oil were designed and packaged beautifully, "so you are not ashamed of it."

After sampling the products myself (they smell heavenly), I spoke to Lee about pregnancy-safe skincare, the one product she wishes she could use while pregnant, and her four keys to clear skin.

First-ever beauty purchase

JL: Off the top of my head, I think it was Clinique, in high school or even middle school? I think it was the moisturizer, the yellow one.

Biggest splurge

JL: I'm now pregnant so I can't use it, but I love the exfoliation pads from Dr. Dennis Gross. I'm very big on exfoliation.

Holy grail

JL: I just can't stand my lips being chapped. For high-end, La Mer [lip balm] is really good. I'm obsessed with Onda, the beauty store — I get the [Henné organics lip balm] from there.

Drugstore favorite

JL: This is kind of boujee, but they're in drug stores: Living Proof shampoo and hair conditioner. I love [Palmer's stretch mark cocoa butter]. This is for pregnant moms, but it's really good stuff — I apply this a lot.

Best under-the-radar beauty brand

JL: A Korean beauty brand, Sioris. From formulation to packaging, it's very thought out. It's good for anybody, pregnancy to sensitive skin.

Beauty hot tip

JL: Clean your skin every day, every morning and night — super important! Don't touch your face. Change your pillowcase often. And clean your phone. Sorry, I gave you too many.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Giving Tanks for Prada's $1,000 Top

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Join the LV Club, Get a Varsity Jacket (& Varsity Jacket Keychain)

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    There's More Where BLACKPINK x adidas Came From

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    No One Gets a Goyard Collab Except Snoopy

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Thanks to Julia Fox, Hanes' Tank Top Got an $80 Makeover

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Nike's Panda Dunks Said "Reverse, Reverse"

    Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.