Amy Chang founded BOND EN AVAN in 2016. She photographs, writes and edits the content which is dedicated to thoughtful reviews, inspiring female stories, and showcasing brands that uplift women.
Hi BOND EN AVANT Readers –
Let me begin by saying – my first love is and always will be beauty.
When I was 19 years old, I had just dropped out of college, was unsure of my direction in life and found myself working in the cosmetic department at Macy’s at a Shiseido counter. I learned so much about skincare and makeup working there, and it fostered a love for skincare and makeup. I eventually transitioned to a freelance makeup artist/trainer position before moving to Manhattan to go back to school with dreams of working in beauty PR.
I don’t know if it was the New York City water, the pollution, or stress, but as I entered my early twenties I developed acne. I became desperately obsessed with healing my skin, and I rode a rollercoaster of emotions on this journey. I tried everything to clear up my skin: Accutane, oral antibiotics, Baby Quasar, lasers, peels, lotions, acids – pretty much everything under the sun. But it wasn’t until years later (as in this year) I discovered I don’t, and never did, have acne. Instead I have been dealing with a mild case of perioral dermatitis that was misdiagnosed as acne, along with super sensitive skin that breaks out with too much exfoliation, some acids, synthetic preservatives, irritants and surfactants.
Once I started assessing my skin with this new information and steering clear of irritants, my skin radically cleared up. (Read about how I cleared up my perioral dermatitis naturally.) Which is why my older blog posts cover traditional beauty, but my newer posts (since the beginning of 2017) cover mainly nontoxic, organic and green beauty products as I transition to skincare that doesn’t irritate my skin.
After graduating college, I worked in PR at L’Oreal for their brand Shu Uemura before segwaying into hospitality PR. (My second love is food.) But when I moved cross-country to Los Angeles with my then boyfriend (now husband), whom I met in a nightclub in NYC, so yes, ladies, you can find love in the club, I grew weary of the nonstop demands of PR agency life and decided to start a blog writing about my passion for skincare, makeup and cosmetic treatments.
So that’s how BOND EN AVANT began, but as I grow and evolve, so does it too. You’ll find here articles on nontoxic beauty, healthy living, my perioral dermatitis struggles, cosmetic treatments, inspiring women in the beauty space and fashion brands that uplift women. Mostly what you’re reading is written by me, but I do occasionally host guest writers, like nutritionists or aestheticians who contribute to the mix with their expertise!
I hope you enjoy the content and stay in touch via social media so we can be friends!
– Amy Chang
Curious to learn more…? Here’s a recent interview I did with beauty blogger, Le Petit Mondea.
What made you decide to start BOND EN AVANT?
When I was in high school, I used to walk across the street from my neighborhood to the local grocery store and buy Harper’s Bazaar. Vogue always felt too inaccessible to me, too mature, but there was something about Harper’s I always loved. As I got older I continued to read Harper’s and I loved that each month they would have towards the back one in-depth editorial piece on the latest in skincare: lasers, peels, facelifts, etc. I always found it so interesting and I wished that I could read an entire magazine or platform with this type of content.
So, when I decided that I didn’t want to work in PR anymore and wanted to do my own thing, I decided to create a beauty blog dedicated to what I wanted to read – in-depth articles on plastic surgery, cosmetic treatments, and luxury skincare – on a platform that’s sophisticated, chic and geared towards a younger audience, like myself.
Why did you get involved in skincare?
Recently, when I turned thirty my parents made a scrapbook for me with drawings I had done when I was in grade school. There are crayon drawings in there of me drawing myself with perfume bottles and applying makeup! I even asked Santa Claus one year, while at a family friend’s holiday party, for my own bathroom! So safe to say I’ve always loved beauty!
When I was 19 years old I got a job working at a Shiseido counter and it deepened my knowledge about products, makeup application and skincare rituals. Then, when I turned twenty I started to get cystic hormonal acne. It was a nightmare for years! As I tried to to solve my skin issues, it took me down the skincare rabbit hole even deeper. I learned more and more about lasers, peels, and facials. I became so obsessed with skincare and I still am to this day even though, thankfully, now my skin doesn’t break out like it used to.
If you had to choose one, which skincare/beauty product would you not be without?
I did a round of Accutane when I was in my early twenties and am now paying the price for it with extremely dry skin, so moisture is essential to my skincare routine. It’s so hard to pick just one, but right now, I would have to say I can’t live without Lotus Moon’s Cherry Blossom Healing Soothe. Aside from being natural and made with organic ingredients, it has willowherb in it which is naturally anti inflammatory and soothing. It has been proven to work as effectively as 1% hydrocortisone at reducing inflammation and it’s natural!
What do you especially want people to know about BOND EN AVANT?
I want BOND EN AVANT to help women realize that if you want to lean into your vanity, if you want to get botox or laser or labiaplasty (which is one of the fastest growing procedures in 2016), or buy yourself a luxurious face cream that you can without judgement. I think there’s power in a woman’s right to choose for herself how she wants to look, age and be, and that’s what BOND EN AVANT is all about. Empowering women to lean into their vanity if they want to.
What do you think is the biggest misconception with the typical luxury consumer thinks about green products?
I think some consumers still think that green products aren’t as efficacious than traditional beauty, but that misconception is changing fast. There are SO many beautiful, luxurious and highly efficacious green beauty brands out there now that are changing the green beauty landscape. Susanne Kaufmann, Kjaer Weis, Lina Hanson, MayaChia, and Therapi Honey Skincare are a few to put on your radar, if they aren’t already!
Where do you see BOND EN AVANT 5 years from now?
At the end of this month BOND EN AVANT will be one year old! I’ve learned so much this past year and I can only imagine all of the things I hope to learn over the next five! I really want to just continue bringing BOND EN AVANT readers fun, interesting, insightful articles.
In five years from now, I hope to still be learning, growing and making BOND EN AVANT better for the readers every day.
Who inspires you in your work?
There are two podcasts that I listened to a lot the past couple of years, The School of Greatness and NPR’s How I Built This. Both interview really inspiring entrepreneurs or experts in their field, from Tony Robins the motivational speaker to Payal Kadakia the founder of ClassPass. I’ve drawn so many insights from these interviews, like the power of visualization, meditation, planning and making goals. I can’t really single out one person, but collectively there have been so many inspiring people I’ve listened to on these podcasts. I suggest you check them out!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s not so much advice, but there is a quote from Meryl Streep that I just love where she says, “It’s amazing what you can get when you quietly, clearly and authoritatively demand it.” I’ve always been a people pleaser and there were times I didn’t speak up for what I wanted or deserved, and I missed out on many things. But now that I’m older, I refuse to go through life like that anymore. Now, I always keep this quote in the back of my mind and ask confidently for what I want. It’s made me so much happier with myself and life.