Korean Beauty Trends Influencing the Western Beauty Market

Korean Beauty products(1)2

Following the explosion of the BB (beauty/blemish balm) cream—an all in one face primer, foundation, concealer, and sunscreen—into the western market, Korean beauty products and trends have been at the forefront of the industry.

The typical Korean look is generally natural and all about youthfulness, think plump, firm skin, full brows, and a dewy/glowing complexion. Korean women would rather be told they look young than pretty.

Here are some products/trends coming out of Korea you should know about:


BB Cushion Compact

The cushion compact is the next level BB cream. It has the same principles of the BB but is more portable and easy to apply, making it great to keep in your purse when you’re on the go. The liquid BB cream is stored in the compact with a mesh layer over the top, you use a sponge and press lightly on the mesh to dispense the product. Applying the BB with light dabbing motion across the face gives you a lightweight but buildable coverage.

You’ll be seeing a lot more products like this coming into the Australian market with Lancôme being one of the first to jump on the bandwagon.


Double Cleansing

Cleansing shouldn’t be a two second scrub and rinse, in Korean skincare it is one of the most important steps in your routine. To be able to properly prep your skin for serums and moisturisers, you need to start with a clean base to ensure you’re reaping all the benefits. Double cleansing is a two-step process of an oil based cleanser followed by a water based cleanser.

Oil cleansers are used to remove remaining traces of makeup and sunscreen, and to lift up sebum trapped in your pores. Water based cleansers are used to remove sweat and dirt. The double cleansing method is popular in Korea because it is gentle on the skin while leaving it clean without the tight/dry feeling.

For more information see our guide on ‘How to – The Korean Ten Step Cleanse’


Dewy Skin

When people think dewy skin they sometimes confuse it with oily skin, however this is not the case. Dewy skin is the look of hydrated, plump, firm skin that looks like it’s glowing from within. In Korea, it would be rare to find anyone with a full matte complexion, it is all about the radiant dewy look of youth.

You can easily replicate the dewy skin look by adding a few drops of serum and mixing it into your foundation. Apply the mixture of serum and foundation with a beauty blender or sponge and try to use dabbing motions. If you need some colour, use a light touch of cream blush and lip balm to finish the look.


Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are cotton/gel sheets saturated in essences/serums that you can apply to boost your skins hydration levels. There are tonnes of varieties that can target an array of skin issues such as brightening, anti-aging, and dullness. Sheet masks are recommended to be used around one to four times a week. But remember, don’t think putting the mask on for longer than the recommended twenty minutes will be more beneficial as it can actually have the opposite effect and start pulling moisture away from your skin.

Sheet masks are readily available in most beauty stores and aisles, try them out and you’ll be amazed at how soft your skin is afterwards. You can also make DIY sheet masks at home with your favourite serum or toner, saturate a few cotton pads and place them around your face.


Gradient Lips

Gradient lips have been a big trend in Korea for years and are still going strong. All your Korean pop stars and celebrities have been seen sporting this look. Gradient lips have that just eaten a cherry icy-pole look. To achieve the look you can use any lipstick or stain and dab the colour in the center of your lips, use your finger to blend it into the rest of your lips, or for more impact run a nude lipstick or even some foundation around the outer edges of your lips.

This look is perfect for those wanting to try a brighter or bolder lip colour that is more wearable and day appropriate, and for those who may be a little shy in brighter colours.



Illustration: Surbi Chetty

Bec Huynh

Bec Huynh

Bec's interest in beauty started with watching how to do your make up YouTube tutorials and has grown into a love affair with all things beauty related. Other interests include food, puppies and chocolate.

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