If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and electric toothbrush. We asked actress Ally Maki — who currently stars in the Apple TV+ series The Big Door Prize and is the founder of lifestyle brand Asian American Girl Club — about the skin-care wand she uses to unwind, the addictive board game she can play for hours, and the matcha kit that’s replaced her Starbucks habit.
This stand is my favorite because I travel so much and I’m always in the most random places, at the airport or different hotels or Airbnbs. When I’m FaceTiming, my hand used to get so tired holding my phone for hours talking to family or friends. So it’s nice having this — I can pop it right there and still work or cook or do whatever I need to do. It’s simple, but it makes me so happy. For Christmas, I actually bought these for my entire family as stocking stuffers. Now when I’m calling them I’m always like, Are you guys using your stand?
As an Asian, I don’t really have a nose bridge. I thought this was something that everyone struggles with, that glasses do not stay up on your face. And they’d also give me major headaches and migraines, so I wouldn’t really wear them. But then Covry sent me this pair, and they truly changed my life. They’re hands down my favorite sunglasses I’ve ever owned. I love the shape. They’re super chic and really lightweight. I have different types of sunglasses that are more “high-end,” but I’ll always go back to these. And the brand is Asian American female–founded, which I love. It’s just so amazing to have brands that are coming out that are more inclusive to different face shapes.
I get these wipes every time I’m at Whole Foods. They’re so great to have on the go because they come in a little travel pack. One time when I was on a flight to D.C., I was sitting next to this woman and I was wiping my hands and she was like, “That smells so delicious, can I have one?” I was like, “Oh yeah, sure, go ahead.” So I gave her one and she was wiping down all her stuff, and then there was a lady next to her and she was looking at both of us. I was like, “Would you like one too?” And she was like, “Actually, that would be great.” And so I passed one to her and we were all just slowly breathing the air and having this moment. I love lavender. I’m a lavender girly to the end. It’s so relaxing and just instantly calms you. Lavender helps you make new friends wherever you are.
I recently went to get my blood drawn, and my numbers were over the place. My doctor said it could be because I was dehydrated, so he told me to go home and drink a bunch of water. I came back, did the scans again, and they had all corrected themselves. It was just such a mind-blowing moment — I didn’t realize how much dehydration can drastically affect those numbers. I was like, I better start drinking water, but I’m so bad at it. My fiancé’s always like, “Have you drank any water today?” And I’m like, “I think I forgot.” One time, my makeup artist was over and she had this giant bottle with all of the markers on it, and she would stop every like three seconds, like, I gotta make my deadline with the water. I thought it was so funny. I laughed about it, but she really convinced me. I ordered one on Amazon and it truly has become my only source of hydration. I think it’s because I’m so competitive. It’s a challenge for myself every day that I’ve gotta hit.
I was the person who would go to Starbucks every day and buy a matcha latte. And I realized, Oh, that’s probably not something I should be doing every day for the rest of my life. So I decided to learn how to make it myself, and now it’s become part of my morning ritual and it’s so much fun: whipping it with the chasen and pouring it into this beautiful porcelain bowl and using the strainer to make sure there’s no clumps in it. Depending on the weather, I’ll either do an iced matcha or I’ll do a hot one with almond milk. I dream about going on a trip to Japan that’s just solely focused on finding the best, purest matcha. I want to get really good at making the best matcha possible.
This game instantly bonds you with people. It lives up to its name, The Mind Game, because you can’t communicate with anyone. You’re really in your own thoughts analyzing, Okay, how does this person play the game? How does she approach risk? Is she more of a daredevil or is she more close to her chest? Everyone gets a certain number of cards and you have to go in numerical order, but you can’t go out of order or you all lose. So if I have a six and you have an eight, I would need to go before you, but how do we know? So I would basically just stare in your eyes and essentially we’d have to read each other’s minds. This is all that I did for my birthday last year. We just ate sushi and played this game for hours. It’s always a wild time, but it’s so much fun, and afterwards you’ll be talking about it for a while.
Who knew I’d be in my 30s rocking Crocs? But they’re just so comfortable. You can’t get them off my feet. It started because I shot this movie called Shortcomings, which was directed by Randall Park. We shot in New York during the blazing-hot summer and in between scenes, our amazing costume designer, Ava Yuriko Hama, had Crocs for everyone. Normally for comfort shoes I would just wear slippers or something, but I said, “Okay, I’ll give it a try.” The minute I put them on, it was like Cinderella and the glass slipper. So I got my own pair, these funky tie-dye ones, and they get so many compliments. I think people just love a funky shoe. I also like the platform ones because I’m short, so they give me a little bit of height. I’ve gone so deep that I have outdoor Crocs and house Crocs.
I have not had a breakout since integrating this into my routine. It’s this little wand thing that you wave over your face. It’s tiny, which I love, because I get really intimidated by skin-care devices. Sometimes they look so daunting, and I don’t know if I’m doing it right or any of that. But I do love red light on my skin — that’s something I will normally go out and get done. I’ve become so addicted to it. I definitely feel more lifted after I use it. My favorite thing about it is not only does it depuff and help with all the fine lines, it also heats up, so when you close your eyes it feels like a little heating pad all over your skin. It’s so nice. I’ll just turn on Netflix at night and sit down with it and I feel like a baked potato.
I’m a candle collector. I go a little crazy — I have like 30. But I burn through them constantly because I have to make room. This is my No. 1 right now. The brand was founded by my hairstylist Derek Yuen. Derek’s been doing my hair for so, so many years now, and I had no idea this whole time he was at home pouring candles by hand. I was like, When do you have time to do this? The Bursera is so beautiful in this classic black jar. I love the dark packaging. It’s truly a phenomenal candle. The scent is so rich and heady — it’s a mix of palo santo, amber, and frankincense. It doesn’t have a crazy burn where it turns the air black. They use the highest-quality essential oils, and it just fills the whole room.
I started Asian American Girl Club at the end of 2018. I was thinking about all the amazing Asian American women I knew who are leaders in all these different fields, but we didn’t really have a connector for us. So I wanted to create this space for Asian women to connect and unite and collaborate. We started out with shirts and hoodies and hats, and slowly it took off. Now we have events, we have our book club, we have our Instagram where we post rad women and allies doing great things. It’s honestly been the joy of my life watching this community authentically and organically grow and evolve. Anytime we develop anything, we hope that the community likes it, and when we dropped the Cool Matcha crewneck, it was like boom, it instantly became a classic. It’s been really amazing to see everyone in the wild wear it. One of my friends goes to this coffee shop in Silver Lake and sent me a photo of the barista wearing this sweatshirt. That’s my favorite thing in the world, seeing people in different cities and countries wearing it.
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