Last month, brought on an attack as the post prior to this one talked about ‘How Korean was your K Beauty?’ And while anticipating some raised eyebrows, in both agreement and disagreement, I never expected the amount of response that I got. Beauty community, I underestimated you and for that I am deeply sorry. lol

In a bid to vindicate myself from my incorrect presumptions of ‘The Community’ I decided to give back….to do a little investigation to go alongside my previous post. The fact remains that many products sold online and peddled as K-Beauty are unknown or not sold to the women who apparently swear by these methods. And while many of you expressed that you did not care one way or another, there were others who ultimately wanted to know what Koreans in Korea believe defines K-Beauty. And if they have ever heard of brands that are super famous elsewhere like Cosrx, Neogen, Klairs etc.

…Make of it what you will, as I am choosing only to provide the information, and not decipher it! The amount of participants was far to small to come to an overall conclusion that be considered solid research. The focus was more on what brands/products are used rather than the authenticity of Western K-Beauty.

I chose 6 people of Korean origin, living either in Seoul or between Seoul and another major city, all between the ages of 20-30. I questioned their favorite products, brands and what K-Beauty means to them. See below for their responses, maybe you use some of the products they mention already…and if not, happy shopping!

Dongyeop: (Korean)

What products/ brands do you use?

‘Perfect Whip (Foam Cleanser), Medy E- Vitamin Serum, Medy E – Spicule, Physiogel-Water cream, Kiehls- Sunscreen.’

What is your favorite brand?

‘Physiogel. Because their products are not strong, popular in Korea and when I use them it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on my skin.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions Kbeauty?

‘Missha, Etude House, Sulwhasoo- You know the shop that calls you a Princess when you walk in…Etude House..I hate it!’

What product or brands do you remember your mom or grandma using when you were young?

‘I can’t remember the brand names, but eye cream and the neck (decolletage) was the most important to them.’

What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?

‘Cleansing is the most important because if you don’t clean your skin then bacteria is still on your face. Also cleansing your face before applying sun cream.’

 

Alex: (Korean American)

What products/ brands do you use?

‘A lot of European and American brands release Asia specific products that aren’t available for the Western market. So I know a lot of women who use YSL Beauty or Nars that isn’t available in the US.

Lagom – Micro Foam Cleanser, Sidmool – Kakadu Amino Cleaner

Skin/Toner
Mamonde – Petal Water Toner
For anyone that likes a multi-use toner like Beauty Water, this is a great option. I like putting all the deluxe samples into a spray bottle and using it as a mist. It’s a great rose water mist “dupe”.

Essence
(Boh) – Radiant Youth Ampoule Essence
(Boh) isn’t accessible outside of Korea really… but it’s such a great brand.

Cream
Hanskin – Vstra Toning Water-Radiance Cream
The History of Whoo – Secret Court Cream

Cushion
Pony Effect – Everlasting Cushion Foundation
April Skin – Magic Snow Fixing Cushion

BB
Lioele – Super Gold Snail.’

What is your favorite brand?
‘The History of Whoo. Yes, it’s expensive but Hanbang is such a great science for skincare.
Hanskin, Neogen, Lagom, Pony Effect, su:m37.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions K-Beauty?
‘Amorepacific, Laneige, O Hui.’

What product or brands do you remember your mom or grandma using when you were young?
‘Amorepacific, Isa Knox, O Hui, su:m37, Sulwhasoo.’ 

What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?
‘It’s a dead tie between cleansing and hydrating. Just cause you don’t leave the house doesn’t mean your face doesn’t get dirty. And hydrating your skin also helps so many skin problems and most don’t do it enough…
Oh! One last thing. Being a part of a few kbeauty groups, I really want to tell the women to not be so cheap with sheet masks. (Is that mean?) I feel like I constantly see them buy $1-2 sheet masks and they’re just shit. There’s good cheap masks and they don’t even buy those… invest into boxes.
And no one in Korea uses Elizavecca. I can’t stand that brand. Out of all the brands marketed for the Western market, that’s the biggest blasphemy. They knock off all cult products and make them blogger trendy with cute packaging. Smart but so annoying!’

 

Seon:  (Korean-Japanese)

What products/ brands do you use?
‘I use Hera and Sulwhasoo based on my budget and the products. Sulwhasoo  targets mature people so their products tend to be heavier/ richer. Hera is another line, more accessible in price. My go to is Hera’s moisture line for my day time and Sulwhasoo for eye and night cream.’

What is your favorite brand?
‘Etude House and Innisfree. I’ve been using the Etude House moistfull collagen cream since I was 14. Super cheap and I love the texture.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions K-Beauty?
‘The Face Shop, Etude House, Missha. Shops you see here on the street in every shopping district.’

What products/brands do you remember your mum/grandma using when you were a kid?

‘Sulwhasoo for sure.’

What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?
‘Cleansing, and hydrating.’

 

Yaeji: (Korean living in between Japan/UK)

What products/ brands do you use?
‘Histolab and Easydew ex.’


What is your favorite brand?

‘HISTOLAB, Easydew ex, Kiehl’s.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions K-Beauty?

‘IOPE, Histolab , Etude House, Innisfree, Laniege.’

What products/brands do you remember your mum/grandma using when you were a kid?

‘IOPE, Cham Jon, Johnson’s baby oil.’


What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?

Cleansing…Really the most important to me. But in Korea, hydration is also super relevant.

 

So Jung: (Korean)

What products/ brands do you use?

‘I use Hera, Sulwhasoo, Etude House, Son & Park, CLIO.’

What is your favorite brand?

‘Sulwhasoo.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions K-Beauty?

‘Sulwhasoo. I heard that when the Chinese visit Korea, they buy lots of Sulwhasoo cosmetics.’

What products/brands do you remember your mum/grandma using when you were a kid?

‘Hera and Sulwhasoo.’

What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?

‘Cleansing right after come back home!’

 

Seung Hee: (Korean)

What products/ brands do you use?

‘I use Hera for skin care, and for makeup I use Mac, Clinique, sometimes brands in Olive Young…. some are Korean brands but some are Japanese. I don’t use road shop brands like Missha, Etude house a lot.’

What is your favorite brand?

‘Hera.’

What brands do you think of when your think  of when someone mentions Kbeauty?

‘The Face Shop, Etude house, Nature Republic, Innisfree. I think Korean beauty became famous because of the Japanese and Chinese. They consume a lot of these Korean road shop brands.’

What products/brands do you remember your mum/grandma using when you were a kid?  
‘Amore Pacific brands. My dad’s job is related with that cosmetic company, so all of my family use products from Sulwhasoo, Hera etc.’

What is the most important step in a Korean skin routine?

‘Cleansing and the moisture. Koreans like to have dewy looking skin rather than matte. Moisture is important to get that effect.’

 

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