Confident and stylish, Justine Lee has lived and breathed fashion since her college days. Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, the influencer and stylist attended New York’s Parsons School of Design, earning a bachelor’s degree in design and management.
The Big Apple was where she embarked on a series of fashion internships at publications like Harper’s Bazaar and retailers like Barneys. This ultimately propelled her into the industry post-graduation, where she joined Hong Kong Tatler as fashion director for five years. There, Lee styled award-winning cover stories and fashion editorials for numerous titles under the Asia Tatler Group.
Fast-forward to 2021, Lee has struck out on her own and is enjoying success as an influencer, freelance stylist and fashion consultant. Her unique sartorial version has led her to collaborate with renowned brands such as Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Tod’s, Prada and Net-A-Porter.
On the consultancy front, her projects range from staff training to personal styling and shopping with exclusive clients. The talented go-getter has also launched a shoe design with Italian label Ilio Smeraldo, featuring her signature minimalist-chic aesthetic.
I received this bag during Christmas last year and it’s been on heavy rotation. It folds up into a small quilted mini bag, but I use it opened. I love the ease of this tote − it was the perfect day bag to take with me to the gym and workouts (pre-lockdown) and a day in the city running errands.
I’ve never been a wallet kind of girl. I used to use paper envelopes or ziploc bags, and would just replace them when they broke or tore. I always found that big wallets were super bulky and never fit well in bags, but I came across this cardholder-style version from Saint Laurent a couple years ago and have been using it ever since. It’s small enough that it fits in even my small evening bags and has all the compartments that you need.
Kaze masks are my favourite! They come in a variety of colours and offer great protection. My go-to’s are the ones from the Element and Build series. I have them in almost every colour and use them to match my looks. They have great neutral, muted shades that look nice with just about everything. They also have neon hues for when I’m feeling colourful and even metallic ones for special occasions. I used a gold one for a black-tie event I went to late last year, and metallic red ones over Christmas.
Similar to the chic face mask, a nicely-scented hand sanitiser is something that I started investing in last year. I love the scent Suede from Byredo, so I was really excited to try their rinse-free hand wash. This is always in my bag, and I love sharing it when my friends and I sit down for a meal. Everyone always compliments me on how nice it smells.
Let’s face it, we’re never without our phones. I tend to leave my phone around while working or just walking around, and having a recognisable phone case really helps when I’m looking for it (or if people find it). I love the phone cases by Chaos and have been using them religiously for years. I usually have two that I like to alternate depending on my mood − one that feels more formal (the leather black one with my initials) and one that’s more fun (a rubber one from their Psychedelic collection).
I got these sunglasses on Matches last summer and they’ve been my go-tos. They’re in my bag on most days, whether I’m in the city or going on a hike. I love the rounded oval shape of these sunglasses − it has a retro 90’s touch to it.
I’m known amongst my friends for having a sweet tooth, and am never without snacks in my bag. One of my recent favourites is LeanSweets, a low-sugar, low-carb gummy candy. They currently have two flavours and I usually get the muscat grape one – I can easily go through a whole bag! It’s nice to just have something sweet and chewy on hand whenever I feel like I need a little pick–me-up.
Wallet, phone and lip balm − these are the three essentials I never leave home without. My favourite lip balm right now is from Dr Barbara Sturm. I was introduced to the line by Ira Kwa, a friend of mine who owns a boutique in Jakarta, and I’ve been a fan ever since. One of the things I look forward to the most during Paris Fashion Week (when we used to be able to travel!) was a trip to the Dr Barbara Sturm spa pop-up for a facial. I swear by some of her products like the face mask, enzyme cleanser and the hyaluronic serum.
I started using the Good Reads app a couple of years ago, and have been setting yearly reading goals. I reached my first goal of 30 books during 2020, the first year of the pandemic, but fell short last year. I’m determined to reach my goal in 2022, and have already ordered a bunch of books from Book Depository in time for the new year. My second book of the year is Bewilderment by Richard Powers, which follows a family in crisis as it deals with an environmental one.
See also: What’s In My Day Bag: Iroshini Chua