Being pale and living in a Mediterranean country has its flaws. One of them being that every skincare and makeup product is targeted at tanned, olive skinned beach goddesses whereas I’m often mistaken for a Swede.
Mix in my sensitive skin, breakouts and huge pores – I had no other choice but to turn to Korean makeup and skincare. After about a year of mixing in their products in my usual routine, I felt I should share it with the world.
I was not sponsored by any of these brands or shops; it was my personal journey through their shops and products.
IMPORTANT: I will not share my individual regimen because it would probably not work for you. I believe that no two skins are the same and finding all-in-one products is utter bullshit.
For example – I used 8% AHA acid on my face as a chemical exfoliant for my discolored skin, acne scars, and overall rough texture. (If you are interested in it, I wrote about it in my Holy Grail post.) Some may find the amount of acid too strong for their sensitive skin, while others will find it too mild to exfoliate anything.
To avoid the comments of those who might misunderstand the point, I will stick to the general guidance about Korean makeup because I firmly believe that there are some Korean beauty secrets that we should all incorporate, so let’s start.
Why Korean Makeup?
Because the most groundbreaking beauty novelties originate from Korea (case in point: sheet masks, BB and CC creams)
Because they base their formulas on natural (and slightly unusual) ingredients (e.g. snail mucin)
Because their products are specifically targeted to combat one by one skin issue
Because they nurture natural beauty and their skincare formulas reflect that
Because they avoid harsh chemicals
Because there is no such thing as overpaying for branding
Because they take extra care to protect the skin from the Sun
And lastly, because of their adorable packaging
Korean Beauty Tips
We’ve all heard about many-step Korean skincare routine, I won’t get into that because it is easy to Google it out. Instead, I would like to redirect you to this site that explains everything quite nicely. To sum up their philosophy – layer everything! Since that won’t work on everyone (either because the face won’t absorb so many products or simply because you’re too lazy for all that) I thought I’ll stick to the general.
Some tips that I included in my routine are:
Before incorporating this step I usually just removed my makeup with a makeup wipe and optionally rinsed with warm water. I felt it was enough, but boy was I wrong.
Some cleansers, wipes, and water can’t remove oil-based gunk off your face. It’s always a great idea to use an oil cleanser too. That should be the second step of your cleaning routine. Not only will it remove residual dirt, but it will also keep your skin from drying out. God knows how many times I felt my skin being dehydrated as ever after cleaning.
Protect your skin from the Sun
Ever wondered how the hell Korean women look so young? Here is their biggest tip – keep your skin protected from the Sun. It’s not just your regular SPF while you are on a vacation. We’re talking about SPF in a foundation, SPF in lip balms, SPF hair sprays. In short, SPF everywhere! Now, I’m not the one advocating you barricade yourself in your room and never see the Sun again. I’m just saying that bare, unprotected skin left out in the Sun results in premature aging, and Koreans know that very well.
Koreans are all about that glow, and you should be too! I’m not talking about that new highlighter palette. I’m talking about that natural, dewy glow of a healthy face.
Be sure to put hydrating cream before applying makeup and just before bedtime. In between, keep your face hydrated with mists. (I recommend L’Occitane Perfecting Mist that I reviewed)
Tap Tap Tap
This tip may seem weird, but it works! Instead of you usually smearing creams on your face – try tapping! I read that tip on many product instructions so I’ve decided to investigate. It seems as it makes the product penetrate more deeply … oh and faster. Taps and pats also increase your blood flow resulting in plumper face. While we’re on the subject, that brings me to their next secret.
Yes, we all love a good massage, but I’m talking about facial massages. Incorporate them during cleaning, exfoliation, or at the end of the day. Stretch your face during the day and you’ll get your blood flowing. It ensures that all your skin cells receive nutrients and oxygen thus keeping your skin healthier.
Now, onto the haul!
There are a lot of Korean online shops; it may be hard for you to decide where to put your first order. I won’t tell you where to order – it is unnecessary. I will, though, tell you where I buy my Korean makeup and skincare products. The sites are:
Just beware that it will take a week or two for your order to come at your doorstep.After all, it is traveling from Korea. If you’ve never ordered from their shops you’ll probably be surprised by a number of free samples you’ll receive. It is unusual for western countries to provide you with it so you’ll feel pampered.
Here is the actual photo of me unboxing BeautyNetKorea’s package:
And here are the free samples I talked about earlier. Funny thing is I own this blue TonyMoly AC control cleanser. Once you own full sized products of all the samples you receive, you must ask yourself have you gone too far.
At the time of writing this post, I still haven’t tested all ordered products enough to write a full review so I will list them below and update this post one by one with links to the reviews so be sure to check up on this in a few days.
First one up is Innisfree Super volcanic pore clay mask
Next up is this cream blush from Downy Cheek
Up next is this adorable Cats Wink pressed powder which is almost too cute to use
This will probably be added as a quick review – Skin Watchers Natural Oil Papers, they always come in handy
Then we have a very popular eye patches from Tony Moly called Panda’s Dream, it is technically not makeup, but I always have them stocked at home so I think they are worth a review.
Bonus product is one ordered from Jolse, it is this gorgeous Tony Moly eyeliner. I had one for years in black and decided to get it in a stunning burgundy shade. Can’t wait to review it!
That’s all from me for now. Be sure to tune in from time to time if you are interested in some of these products. Don’t forget to give Korean skincare and cosmetics a try. You may find a real gem there.