You Glow Girl: An Interview with Arisu Lee of Earth’s Recipe

As female founders and co-CEOs of our own company, Glow Recipe, we wanted to show our support for other female entrepreneurs. We find it incredibly important to shine a light on the amazing successes of women in business around the world. In the second of our series of interviews with the female founders who head the brands with curate, we speak to Arisu Lee, the CEO of Earth’s Recipe, about what her brand stands for.

Sarah & Christine

What is the meaning of your brand’s name: Earth’s Recipe?

The meaning of Earth’s Recipe is that the best recipe for skin come from nature. It shows our philosophy of making cosmetics with skin-loving natural ingredients.

What’s Earth’s Recipe’s and your motto?

Our motto is “Don’t compromise,” which means we try our best to make the best products in a timely way. We aren’t satisfied with ‘passable’, each and every one of our products have to be exceptional.


Arisu Lee, founder of Earth’s Recipe

How long has it been since you started Earth’s Recipe?

We launched our brand in June 2014 and it has been about 2 years now.

I was always interested in cosmetics, and when I was in university, I struggled with allergies which started a serious beauty habit. Around the time I was about to start the business, a lot of customers in Korea were becoming hyper aware that high-end cosmetics weren’t always living up to what they promised. Expensive didn’t necessarily always mean great ingredients. As a result, there were countless mid- to lower- priced cosmetic brands that were flooding the market, but I doubted the honesty and the quality of the products since the price range became a lot lower. I tested many different mid- to lower- range brands, yet I wasn’t really satisfied with the results on skin either. From those experiences, I started to think about this business and wanted to make “real” cosmetics with a lower price point by selling them online while remaining truthful and transparent to customers.

How would you explain yourself in a short sentence?

Sometimes, I feel that I have two sides. Normally I’m quite social and easy going, but when it comes to work, I’m strict and sometimes have firy temper that surprises people around me –  especially my husband! I don’t think he knew I had this side to me previously.

Is there anything you found difficult as a female founder? How did you overcome it?

I think women all over the world struggle with balancing work and family. At first, I was always guilty about whether I was neglecting my family.  In my case, my entire family, including my husband, encouraged me to pursue my business. Female founders bring a lot to the beauty industry, because I believe many have an intuitive understanding of how to make products that satisfy customers!

What has been the happiest moment since you started Earth’s Recipe?

I really feel happy and fulfilled when I receive positive feedback from customers after they try Earth’s Recipe products. As all our products are gentle and natural, many customers have ultra dry and sensitive skin types. These customers have tried everything, but nothing has worked. Hearing that their skin has improved after Earth’s Recipe though, nothing beats that kind of feedback. It always makes my day.

What was your first step as a career woman? How did it help you build your own brand and business?

My first job was at Cheil, which is one of the top marketing firms in Korea. Of course, my previous work experience was helpful in building my business. First of all, from this big company, I learned how to organize effectively and marketing how-to. The biggest thing I learned from this marketing company is that the product is most important thing. If the product doesn’t have any special characteristics or effects, it’s difficult to create a good marketing campaign. In addition, customers can easily recognize if a product is good or not through other customers’ feedback.  The key to good advertising is to make good products and to communicate honestly.



What are your secrets to balancing personal life and work life?

It’s impossible to be perfect at everything at the same time. I try to focus on what I’ve set out to do, whether that’s at home or at work. The secret is to have confidence I can do it all to the best of my ability. I pour myself into work during the week and then I try to spend all weekend with my family. Honestly, my husband is super busy as well, so this has been working out!

You have a fairly hectic schedule. What time do you wake and go to bed?

I usually start the day by checking my schedule and searching daily news and weather through my cell phone. After I have a light breakfast, I’m ready to go to work. The last thing in my day is workout. I started pilates and physical therapy almost 7 ~ 8 months ago. After I’m done with that, I cycle while watching TV in the house. I believe that there is nothing more healthy for your mental state than a workout. After the workout, I take a shower and wrap up with simple skincare routine. On Fridays, I don’t work out, so it’s my “beauty day.” I test competitors’ products I want to try and enjoy taking a bath. I try to focus on deep cleansing and resting.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I usually check the weather and daily news. Nowadays, I check fine dust [pollution levels] everyday with my skin in mind!

What is the most important thing in cosmetics?

The most important things are cleansing and moisturizing.  The reason why cleansing is important is that it’s impossible to absorb nourishment well if skin still has residual waste still on top. If you don’t eliminate waste and dead skin, it can increase skin troubles, even if you moisturize. And, moisturizing is basic. If you don’t care about moisturizing, it can cause all types of troubles such as sensitive skin, wrinkling, and early aging. Therefore, Earth’s Recipe has various moisturizing lines. It doesn’t mean just basic moisturizing. You need to moisturize the inner layers of the skin, and that creates a natural moisture barrier between the skin and environmental stressors. We focus on this inner moisturizing when we develop new Earth’s Recipe product lines.


Is there any beauty routine or know-how that only you have?

I’m trying to reduce my skincare routine. I usually use mist as soon as possible and finish by applying moisture cream and sunscreen after cleansing my skin. When I need more special care, I add the brightening and repairing cream into my routine. Also, I prefer to use wash-off masks like sleeping masks, rather than sheet masks that contain preservatives.

How do you want customers to remember Earth’s Recipe?

I hope people will remember Earth’s Recipe as a brand they trust. I’m trying my best to develop our products and renew the products after getting feedback from customers, even if they are the best products in our brand that I had previously considered finished.

I’m always trying to improve our products, especially when they receive any complaints. We give a 100% refund in 30 days if the customer isn’t satisfied with our products because our customers skin types are all different.  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have the utmost confidence in our products.


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