South Korean beauty trends are copied world-wide. Here's the most important of them and exactly how to integrate them into your daily beauty regime…
If you’ve not heard of Korean Beauty – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It’s only the most talked about, buzzworthy beauty trend on the planet. The reason for that is twofold. South Korean women have these intense 11+ step skincare regimes (legit) so their skincare innovation is super advanced and there’s a focus towards cute, kitschy beauty too. Both brilliant things in our minds – so here’s the pick of the bunch!
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1. They love cushion foundations
You might have seen these on the market already – the foundation compact that contains a sponge saturated in foundation, which is applied with a pad. They’re meant to be easier to apply (despite being quite tough to describe!) and also give a smoother finish than traditional foundations. Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion, £30 was the first to launch in the UK, and we also love the newly launched L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Golden Foundation, £9.99.
2. They’re serious about cleansers.
Like super serious. You wont find a South Korean woman falling asleep in a full face of make-up. Over there, women double cleanse – usually with a balm or oil to remove make-up followed by a foam or wash to get rid of pollution and remaining debris. Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil, £29 applies like a balm but transforms into an oil upon contact with the warmth of your hands, and makes eye make-up removal a total dream. Follow that with a foaming cleanser, like La Mer the Cleansing Foam, £65 for seriously clean skin. Sometimes there’s a third cleansing step – but we’re vetoing that one.
3. Essences are crucial
So they might sound like bumf to us, but essences are the mainstay of a South Korean beauty regime. Their purpose is to add a hit of moisture to the skin before you moisturize. That’s all the moisture, in our faces – keeping them nice and plump? Comprende? Try SKII Facial treatment Essence, £115 or the Body Shop Drops Of Youth Essence-Lotion, £14. Note: your face should still be tacky/wet when you apply your moisturizer afterwards if you want to do things authentically.
4. Use sheet masks throughout the week
Everyone does a sheet mask these days – but the trend came over from South Korea. The women there use sheet masks to mega-hydrate their skin and infuse it with other essentials like vitamins. These cloth or paper masks are placed on your skin for 10-15 minutes and are saturated with hydrating ingredients (like hyaluronic acid) to really boost your skin’s moisture levels. Try The Skin Lounge Hydrating Face Mask, £4 or Origins Plantscription Youth Renewing Sheet Mask, £32 a pack of 6.
5. Cuter the better
Granted, in the scheme of things a lip balm shaped like a cherry or a mushroom-shaped exfoliator isn’t strictly a necessity, but we want them, all. If you’re using a cooling under-eye stick why shouldn’t it have a panda face? If you’re using soap, then one shaped like eggs are surely a bonus! If this is you then Tony Moly, from Cult Beauty is your new favourite brand. Cute overload. Seriously.
6. That leads on to ‘puppy eyeliner’…
Yes that’s totally a thing in South Korea. Whilst we flick our eyeliner upwards at the end of feline-esque eyes, South Korean women favour ‘softer’, puppy dog eyes. To try this, simply take your eyeliner and pull it downwards at the end rather than upwards. A super fine liner that is smudge-proof is key for this look like ByTerry Blackjstar Ligne, £26
7. Eyebags are to be celebrated
We’re so down with this! Those puffy circles underneath our eyes are desired in South Korea – and they even have a word for it – “Aegyo Sal” (which translates to ‘eye smiles’ or ‘cute skin’). They consider them to be youthful and cute and make your eyes look larger. To get the look, simply wake up and walk out the door… or apply highlighter to the area to accentuate existing puffiness and darken it slightly using eyeshadow to create the look puffiness.