Irene Kim is not an unfamiliar face for fans of Korean entertainment. The model and style influencer is known for her bright-coloured locks, pretty looks and bubbly personality. It was these characteristics that earned her a TV programme, M.U.S.T on tvN. CLEO stole a few moments with her when she was in town to film the travelogue in Singapore.
Can you tell us your top three beauty essentials?
Water, exercise and sleep. No matter how much you put on your face, you need those essentials to maintain all that. I also love mascara and lip tints.
You are known for your rainbow-coloured hair. What made you decide to dye and how do you keep it in such good condition?
I’ve had it for about three to four years now. The first time I dyed it, I dyed it myself, it was just out of pure curiosity and boredom. I just wanted to change and I think then, there wasn’t really colorued hair trend, especially among Asian models – [they’re] known for black hair, straight long hair. And once I changed it, it totally just gave me the trademark. So I started experimenting with different colors. I worked with the hair stylist, and we are best friends, but now he does it however he wants to and [based on] what I am feeling. So if I’m feeling a little blue, he adds more blue; if I’m feeling a little pink, he adds more pink. As for maintaining it, I try to use as little product as possible – I’m not really into hair products. It sometimes make me breakout. I do like moisturiser rather than conditioner. It makes [my hair] oily, so I do it at night.
Can you describe your hair colour now and what it represents?
Right now, it’s a very multi-colour. I think it just makes me feel happy in general. Every time I get my hair retouched, it just kinda like give me sort of like a recharge. When people see it, I get compliments or I get smiles. It’s just a lot of colour and fun – it’s just something that I will continue.
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How often do you change your hair colour?
Once or twice a month, depending on how busy I am.
Would you do anything extreme, like chop it off or go platinum blonde, or just go black?
Rainbow’s pretty extreme. Well, now, it’s the norm for me. I recently bleached my eyebrows to look edgier in this industry. … I think eventually I will dyed it back to black one day, but right now my rainbow hair is just black to me, the norm.
On your LinkedIn profile, you actually mentioned you worked as a style consultant at JYP Entertainment. How was it like? I saw you styled Wonder Girls, 2PM…
I was interning there. The manager said their albums were coming out, do you want to try and think of a concept. Mine got picked. It was really amazing, I got to meet all of them and be friends with them. I’m still good friends with Min. Actually, I did not know what was going on because I was so young. I think my name was listed in the [credits]. I was featured in the “So Hot” single, with leopard prints and the “retro” concept. I found looks on Google and Photoshop-ed them together.
Image: Irene Kim’s Instagram