Honey Lee won the Miss Korea pageant in 2006, earning her the right to represent her country at the Miss Universe 2007. She placed third runner-up at the end of the global beauty competition held in Mexico. Japan’s Riyo Mori was crowned that year’s winner.

Honey Lee debuted as an actress in the musical play Polaroid in 2008. The following year, she landed her first TV acting role in the KBS2 series Partner. In 2011, she won Best New Actress at the MBC Drama Awards for her work in Indomitable Daughters-in-Law. In 2014, she became part of the film Tazza: The Hidden Card, which earned her acting nominations at the 51st Grand Bell Awards and the 35th Blue Dragon Film Awards. In 2017, she starred in the KBS2 sageuk Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, which scored her several acting awards. In 2018 and 2019, she bagged back-to-back Best Supporting Actress nominations at the 54th and 55th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance in the films Heart Blackened and Extreme Job, respectively. In 2019, she acted alongside Kim Nam-gil in the hit SBS series The Fiery Priest, in which she received a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards.

Honey Lee was named a gayageum prodigy by the prestigious Kumho Art Center. In 2017, she partook in the largest mass performance of the said traditional Korean string instrument as part of the Uijeongbu International Gayageum Festival.

Honey Lee received her master’s degree in traditional Korean music from the Seoul National University. Her mother and older sister are also celebrated gayageum players. Her father worked at the National Intelligence Service. She was in a long-term relationship with actor and singer Yoon Kye-sang. They broke up in 2020. In 2021, she married her non-celebrity boyfriend.