Holly Pan started doing flat lay outfit blog posts in her spare time more than a decade ago—and her passion for fashion has since transformed into a stunning social media feed (in true DC fashion, she “went social” in 2014 on a tip from the PR consultant for Colin Powell’s charity). Now the former AOL exec and Chinese immigrant has nearly 150k Instagram followers and a blog dubbed Petite Flower Presents, and has partnered with such luxury brands as Salvatore Ferragamo and Carolina Herrera. Of course, having near-flawless skin is a must for someone in the social spotlight—and Pan fits the bill, making her the perfect partner for OVME as we open our Bethesda studio this month. Here, the influencer dishes on her style, her skin, and how she finds her glow.
OVME: How would you describe your aesthetic, and what inspires it?
HOLLY PAN: I’m not the everyday style, I’m more elevated. Some of the fashion bloggers I follow, they grew so fast because they have a style that is applicable to the mass market, but I am more boutique, more unique in that sense. People follow me because they like fashion itself and can appreciate what I do. … [However], I’m really inspired by people I meet on Instagram; it just shows you what is possible. After you’ve seen [what they do], you cannot accept yourself being mediocre—you have to push for better.
O: Let’s talk skincare. Where did your skincare journey begin?
HP: I came from China and we didn’t have a whole lot of things available to us; I was used to the very minimum, just regular moisturizer. I remember when I was 18, Oil of Olay came to the Chinese market, and that was the most luxury thing we could think of for skincare. I saved up just to buy a bottle of lotion—not even a cream or anything fancy, just a bottle of lotion! Once a month, that was my luxury skincare. All the way through college, that was pretty much all I used—that and sunblock.
O: So what changed? Why is skincare a priority now?
HP: I was exposed to medical skincare in my mid 40s, when I started to see discoloration and enlarged pores on my face. All these expensive skincare products—La Prairie, Sisley Paris—none of them really could change that, so I said maybe I need to seek medical-grade skincare. I went to a skin clinic and the doctor told me about chemical peels. … Instead of spending all the money on luxury skincare, I began to spend the money on these medical-grade products and routines. That was the right path for me at this age. At a certain age you have to introduce these routines to do what the body can’t do—more pure ingredients and slightly more aggressive treatments like laser.
O: We couldn’t agree more. What does your at-home skincare routine look like these days?
HP: I do hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum in the morning; I use an anti-aging and also hyaluronic serum at night. I use AHA acid at nighttime, to gently exfoliate and refresh the skin, then apply lotion on top of that. And I’ve even begun to do a bit of facial massage on my own, to improve drainage. All these things you learn along the way, and find what works for you.
O: Just one last question: How do you Find Your Glow®?
HP: When you are feeling the most confident about yourself you will glow from the inside out; the radiance, the sparkle, comes from inside. For me, that’s when I put together a really good look or I work on something I enjoy.