Min Kim is a master color specialist at Butterfly Studio Salon in NYC. From A-List celebrities to stars in their own world, Min’s clients all share her desire for hair that complements who they are. Her attention to detail, natural eye for color, and passion for her craft are why she is in high demand, a client favorite and most of all, an inspiration.
How did your career as a Master Colorist begin? Was this always an aspiration of yours or did you switch careers? If so, what was that experience like?
I lived several different lives before I landed in hair. I went to Rutgers University with the intention to become a doctor, because that’s what I thought would make my parents happy.
After several years chasing the sun and jobs including modeling, PR, sales and even nightclubs, I thought long and hard about what made me happy and it came back to fashion and hair.
I started beauty school at 26 and finally discovered that my parents were happy when I was happy! Interestingly enough, all the life experience I gained leading up to hair gave me the fire to work harder and allows me to better connect with people.
What have been some career highlight thus far and what are you hoping to achieve next?
I was the first Asian woman featured on the cover of Behind the Chair magazine in 2014. I’ve presented to crowds of 3,000 people from 62 different countries. Created looks for two Loreal Professionnel global color launches, most recently collaborating with Mario Dedivanovic (@makeupbymario). Next on the horizon for me is editorial finishing, more work in front of the camera and basic global domination.
How do you juggle your career and motherhood while still maintaining your sense of self?
I struggled with the work/life balance until I cut back at the salon to three days. Between traveling and working long hours in the salon, I often didn’t have a day off so that allows for “me time.” I also carve “me time” in during my travels by adding extra days especially if I’m abroad. An extra day in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid is not a terrible thing!
What does your typical morning and evening routine look like?
Whether I’m home or traveling, the first thing I do is take off my eye mask and remove my ear plugs (I have a hard time sleeping). If I’m on the road for a show I’m up by 6am to shower, do my make up and hair to be camera ready.
At home, I’m up by 7 (6am if I’m going to Pilates) to get myself showered and ready before my son is up at 7:30am and then it’s madness until 830am when I start the process to get him out the door, so I can drop him off at school before I head to work.
Most nights you can find me in bed with a sheet mask or some kind of Korean beauty treatment on my face (which I post in my insta-stories @minkimcolorist). I’ve recently become obsessed with reversing all the sun damage I’ve done growing up on the Jersey shore and Korean beauty is definitely where it’s at!
What advice would you give to aspiring beauty influencers and professionals who are just starting their careers?
Find your joy. Do what makes you happy and the pieces will fall into place. Visualize your goals and make vision boards. It’s a great tool to keep you accountable. I frame mine and hang it on my wall so it’s one of the first things I see when I wake up. Finally, take care of your body. This is a profession that can be hard on your body so it’s important to be mindful for longevity.