Take it from a Korean—the true secret of K-beauty is knowledge. Knowing how to treat your skin, knowing the best products, and knowing how to apply them. 2020 ushers in a promising new decade, welcoming even more beauty know-how. It’s no secret that since its advent to the international scene, K-beauty has shaken up our top shelves (goodbye harsh, drying toners) and depleted our bank accounts (goodbye savings). Thanks to our quest for Kdrama-worthy skin, we carefully slide into bed with our faces slathered in enough slime to make a snail blush (especially if it’s snail slime). So, in this brave new world, what are the latest K-beauty commandments to live by?
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The Crème de la Cream Skin
We’ve had honey skin and glass skin, but now it’s all about getting that cream skin. If honey and glass complexions had us worshipping an almost mirror-like shine, cream skin emphasises a more supple look that tones down the dewiness. Similar to the mochi skin popular in J-beauty, cream skin is more easily attainable than its glass counterpart and you don’t have to risk looking like a high beam for the sake of beauty.
Try: Laneige Cream Skin Refiner, $38
Cream is clearly having more than a moment in K-beauty. Not only is cream skin the new complexion to nab, cream mist is the latest must-have for anyone who wants to prevent the dreaded papery visage. It’s perfect for those with perpetually dry skin, because while other mists may hydrate your skin, cream mists create an occlusive barrier, preventing water loss.
Try: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream Mist, $39 (110ml)
The Machines are Taking Over
If there is one thing every Korean celebrity is endorsing these days, it’s an LED or ionic mask. Male and female celebs alike are jumping on the bandwagon and swear by its beautifying effects. So, if you thought sheet masks didn’t sufficiently make you look like a crazed axe murderer, this is the K-beauty trend to scare the remaining life out of any bystanders. But hey, at least you’ll have enviably soft skin when it’s done!
Try: LG Derma LED Mask, $1,349
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Clean beauty isn’t niche anymore. The big guns in K-beauty (think Innisfree, Laneige among others) are all going green, using non-toxic ingredients and cutting back on artificial fragrances and preservatives. For sensitive skin, clean skincare products are the way to go as they are less irritating and don’t sensitise your skin in the long run. That’s right—your skin can get gradually sensitised if you regularly use harsher, toxic substances.
Try: Innisfree The Minimum Facial Cleanser For Sensitive Skin, AUD17 ($15.88) (not available in Singapore yet)
Skin Care? Or Skip Care?
So, the products are getting cleaner and the regimens shorter. In 2020, you can cut down your 10-step because K-beauty is going minimalist with ‘skip care’, a simplified take on traditional Korean skincare. With products using more concentrated but gentle ingredients, you can expect to cut down on your morning skin care and extend your sleep in.
Goodbye Gradient Lips
The extreme bitten look that has become a signature K-beauty look is about to see itself out as makeup artists in the Korean music and drama world opt for fuller, vampier looks. While harshly lined lips are still foreign to K-beauty, this plumper lip look can be achieved by ensuring your lips are coloured to the edges, but blurred enough to retain a natural, youthful air.
Try: Wakemake Rouge Gun Zero, $23, Guardian
If you visit Seoul these days, you’d be excused for thinking half the population was hungover. Extreme blush applied directly beneath the eyes (a nod to the Japanese ‘feverish’ look) are trending hard with younger Seoulites. When you apply it gently, it will lend an appearance of innocence and draw the focus to the centre of your face.
Try: Espoir Color Sorbet, KRW22,000 ($25.84)
Images: TPG/Click Photos
Text: Kelly Im