Life·2 min read

Eva Chen on Her Fave Book of All Time, Best Recent Amazon Find, and More

Eva Chen
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Leo Faria
May 12, 2022

Skimm Her Life is a series in our weekly newsletter, Skimm Your Life, where smart women share their favorite products. 

We’ve got the incomparable Eva Chen here today. She’s the vice president of fashion & shopping partnerships at Instagram and author of some uber-popular illustrated children’s books (her latest, “I Am Golden,” dropped in February). Luckily, Eva squeezed us into her busy schedule to share some of her go-to recs. 

Smartest purchase I’ve made…I am obsessed with the medium of vacuuming in general and I have a Roomba and a Dyson, and the combination of the two brings me joy. I run my little Roomba every night when the kids are finally asleep and watching it work brings me relaxation. I realize this makes me sound like Monica Geller. 

Best book I’ve read recently…I recently re-read "Free Food for Millionaires" by the brilliant Min Jin Lee. That book speaks to my soul and is a must-read that captures the first-generation experience. 

My favorite book of all time…"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". A classic coming-of-age story that is, not coincidentally, another immigrant story. I relate to that genre immensely because it’s my own story. 

Fave Asian American-owned brands to shop…I love YanYan’s quirky sweaters, and my jade bi-disk from Millie & Noah is so precious to me. 

Fave Asian American orgs to support…Heart of Dinner serves meals and a human connection to elderly Asians. The founders, Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai, are just stellar humans. Apex for Youth provides a community for Asian youth who are economically disadvantaged. There is such a stereotype around the Asian “model minority” experience — most Asian immigrants in NYC live below the poverty line.

My fave Insta follows…@ideservecouture for fashion through a humorous lens, @lucyknisley the illustrator for parenting through a humorous lens, [and] @drbeckyatgoodinside for helping me become a more patient parent.

Summer trend I’m embracing this season…Embracing jean shorts, ballet flats and menswear shirts. My basic uniform 24/7/365.

Summer trend I’m passing on…Low-waist jeans with undergarments exposed.

Self-care product you can’t live without…I love Tammy Fender’s lavender oil and have been applying it to my body before bedtime. It smells divine.

Three items I always have in my bag…Hand sanitizer (I love Amass), masks (I love Evolvetogether and Barrière), and snacks for the kids. 

Best recent Amazon find…I bought some air fryer baskets to make cleanup easier, and they are the best. 

Best Insta feature people don’t know about…Comment moderation to filter out spam comments or words that might trigger you. Two-factor authentication to keep your account safe. And lastly, don’t sleep on the shop tab and @shop.

Psst: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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