Korean women are known for their flawless complexions. Isn’t it time you learned a few Korean beauty secrets and joined the Asian beauty revolution?
In the age of globalization, we consumers have more choices than ever. We drive foreign cars, import exclusive foreign fashion labels and rarely have to travel more than a few blocks to dine on some sumptuous sushi or a traditional Indian curry.
Our love for the exotic doesn’t stop there; the past few years have seen our cosmetics industry completely transformed by Eastern influences. BB Cream, CC Cream, even snail cream…where do you think these popular products came from?
Surprise – South Korea! Admit it: You didn’t see that coming.
Seoul, Korea’s thriving beauty metropolis, is well ahead of the curve when it comes to creating the biggest and best beauty trends of the decade.
So, if you haven’t already diversified your makeup stash with Korean cosmetics, I’m here to give you eight awesome reasons why you should: a guided tour of Korean beauty secrets.
As an Australian beauty blogger, I’m always ranting about the exorbitant prices we pay for cosmetics. $25 for a Maybelline mascara? $33 for a MAC lipstick? How about no?!
One of the first things that drew me into the world of Korean cosmetics was the pricing. Even if you’re based in the United States or the U.K., beauty doesn’t always come cheap. If you’re a budget beauty junkie like me, you’re always looking for ways to save a few cents.
While high-end Korean beauty products can still set you back hundreds of dollars, the drugstore/low-end brands consistently offer amazing value.
For example, most reputable low-end Aussie beauty balm creams and foundations retail for at least $20. My Holy Grail Korean BB cream? $13, including international shipping.
The same applies to mascara. None of my $20 Maybelline, Rimmel or MaxFactor mascaras can compete with my insanely volumizing Korean Etude House 3 Step Volumecara. A fellow beauty junkie echoed my sentiment, explaining, “I’d much rather spend $9 to $12 on [the Korean mascara] than the $30-plus I was paying for Lancome before!”
Bottom line? Korean cosmetics offer quality for a fraction of the price of their Western competitors. Interested? Here are just a few popular low-end Korean cosmetics brands to check out for yourself: Etude House, Missha M, Skin Food, The Face Shop, Innisfree, Tony Moly and VOV.
If you’ve never tried a Korean BB cream, you might be staring at this article in outrage as you lovingly clutch your favorite Western BB in hand. I’m not here to diss American BB creams, but the fact is, they’re a poor imitation of their Asian counterparts.
What’s the difference? While Western BB creams act more like lightweight, tinted moisturizers, Korean BB creams tend to be thicker in consistency. They generally offer better coverage and boast a whole host of skin improving qualities, such as whitening, wrinkle control and sun protection. I know which I prefer!
Want to try the real deal? My personal favourite is Missha M’s Perfect Cover BB Cream. However, Etude House’s Precious Mineral BB Cream is also hugely popular (and affordable) with both Koreans and Korean beauty connoisseurs around the globe.
If YouTube has taught us anything, it’s that applying makeup should be fun. Experimenting with new colours and combinations to create looks that pop is practically an art form. But when your main experience with your makeup is throwing on some neutral shades as you rush out the door to work, your beauty routine can quickly start to feel like just another chore.
Here’s where Korean cosmetics can help. You’re probably familiar with Japan’s overriding Kawaii or “cute” culture. South Korean follows similar trends, meaning that many low-end Korean makeup brands sport eye-catching and whimsical product designs that’ll make you smile every time you look at your vanity. It’s hard to be morose when you’re applying concealer from a container in the shape of a panda!
Korean cosmetics brand Etude House is known for its gorgeously girly packaging. Beauty bloggers (myself included!) can’t get enough of the recent royalty-inspired Princess Etoinette collection. Who doesn’t want to feel like a princess from time to time?
Korean women are known around the globe for flawless complexions that defy aging. It’s no coincidence that while we Westerners spend our early teens sleeping in mascara and forgetting to moisturize, Korean girls are already taking meticulous care of their skin.
It’s not just starting early that gets results – it’s also the time that goes into completing a nightly Korean skin care routine. It’s not uncommon for women to use up to ten different products, each aimed at tackling a different skin care concern.
Here are the most common nightly steps for achieving complexion perfect:
The whole saga can take up to 40 minutes! Want to know more about each step of the process? Korean beauty enthusiast Kerry has the low down on her seriously informative blog, Skin&Tonics.
Let’s face it – there’s something satisfying about being a trendsetter. If you love introducing your friends and family to the coolest new products and fads, it’s definitely time to dip your feet into the pool of Korean cosmetics.
Which trendy new skincare and beauty products can we thank Korea for?
If you want to anticipate next season’s beauty fads, keep an eye on Seoul.
We’ve already discussed the slightly squeamish topic of snail creams, but that’s just the beginning. When it comes to producing strange and innovative new skin care solutions, Korea isn’t afraid to think outside of the box. Korean products include ingredients that will definitely make the uninitiated wince!
Here are just a couple of wacky (but increasingly scientifically proven) ingredients being embraced in South Korean cosmetics right now:
One product that most Korean women swear by is sunscreen. While there is a growing emphasis on being sun-smart in the West, East Asian products are way ahead of the competition. Korean culture recognizes that keeping out of the sun isn’t only important to avoid developing melanomas, but it’s also the key to maintaining youthful skin.
If you’re as forgetful as I am when it comes to applying sunscreen, having a two-in-one product is a lifesaver. Fortunately, most South Korean beauty products, including foundations and BB creams, contain a high SPF content. Not only that, but many are also formulated with ingredients to even skintone and lighten any dark spots you’ve already got courtesy of too much sun exposure.
Last but not least, I’ve got to acknowledge the tight-knit but welcoming online Asian makeup community. When buying makeup, few of us take into consideration what kind of an online following the products have. When I first delved into the world of Korean beauty I was instantly struck by the fabulously enthusiastic community standing behind Korean cosmetics.
You need only Google your new products to find whole forums of ladies (and possibly some gents), such as the Asian Beauty Reddit, discussing their fave foreign beauty finds. Got questions about your skincare routine? Need someone to read the Korean instructions on your new face mask? Everyone is eager to lend a hand. Joining the Korean beauty revolution online is a great way to make new friends worldwide and pick up fascinating make up tips from around the globe.
Whether you fancy yourself a trend-setter, you can’t get enough of cute makeup, or you simply want a fool-proof and thorough new beauty routine for less, there are tons of great reasons to start exploring the world of Korean cosmetics. What are you waiting for? Start Googling and spice up your makeup collection today!
Have you ever bought beauty products from overseas? What are your favourite foreign brands?
Cover photo: pinterest.com
Bethany Tyndall is an enthusiastic, full-figured, Aussie beauty blogger with a passion for budget buys, DIY beauty, nail art & wild makeup ideas. Her biggest goal is to help ladies all over the world feel beautiful and confident at any size!
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