Cold Showers, Clay-Based Bleach & More Beauty & Wellness Rules Influencer Vanessa Hong Follows

Vanessa Hong fashion blogger influencer

This morning’s shower was so cold it practically stung; I’d pushed the faucet so far to the right, I half-expected the water to turn to sleet on its way down. Masochistic as it sounds, freezing myself was actually an act of self-love — a beauty and wellness tip I’d learned from influencer extraordinaire, Vanessa Hong. 

“Sometimes it's painful,” Hong had warned me, “especially when you're in a cold place like Copenhagen and you can see your breath.” Regardless of where in the world Hong wakes up — which is constantly in flux for the jetsetter — it’s always with a frigid shower. “It really flushes everything out,” she’d explained. “Instantly you're awake and you just feel like you're ready for the day.” 

Hong is an “influencer” in the truest sense of the word, I mused, as ribbons of icy water pummeled my back. Only someone with as much clout in the beauty, fashion, and wellness worlds could convince me to forgo hot water in November. (For what it’s worth, I did feel fantastic post-shower.)

In addition to “influencer” — a term that didn’t even exist when Hong started blogging in 2010 — the 35-year-old is also a model, designer, and, most recently, a podcast host. Hong’s pursuits weren’t always so glitzy, however. The Vancouver native studied pre-med courses in college and graduated with a degree in biochemistry. Despite her pursuits in the sciences, though, fashion always felt like an outlet. Hong didn’t channel her prowess for style into something tangible until a tech-savvy friend suggested she start a blog. “I didn't even know what a blog was at the time,” she tells me, approximately a decade later, over the phone. 

Editor's Note

If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a gua sha or rolling tool.

I thought: “Why am I so embarrassed by who I am?” It was just a crazy epiphany moment in my life.