Beauty trends seem to appear out of thin air. Months ago, every beauty guru on YouTube was showing you how to sculpt cheekbones from nothing. Now, it’s all about dewy skin and feathery brows. It’s as if everyone started gravitating towards the same trends at once, but these types of looks have been around for a while. South Korea has been one step ahead in the beauty market for a long time, with Korean beauty products and techniques only making their way to North America as of recently.
Sephora was quick to jump on this trend, releasing their exclusive Korean beauty brand Kaja Beauty on September 18. There has not been enough time for the public to form their opinion on the brand, but it looks promising. The brand offers 47 products meant to make your makeup routine easier on you. To many, the most intriguing product is the Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush, a stamp you pop on your cheeks for the right amount of coverage and blend out accordingly. Kaja Beauty is meant to give you that Korean beauty — inspired natural look as quickly and easily as possible, and by Sephora standards, the brand is quite affordable.
Closer to home is L’Amour Beauty, a store opened in St. Catharines only a few months ago that specializes in bringing Asian cosmetics to North America. Authentic Korean beauty brands were previously inaccessible, only available for purchase online and therefore offering no realistic reference for how the products may look in real life. Now that the Korean beauty aesthetic has tremendously increased in popularity, it’s easy to imagine shelves being stocked with these previously mysterious products in the months to come.
If you’re as tired of pomade eyebrows and sharp contours as everyone else seems to be, you have a lot to look forward to. We’ve already seen multiple Korean beauty trends take center stage amongst makeup enthusiasts without even realizing that they were Korean trends.
For this brand of makeup trends, the focus is on skin-care instead of actual makeup. This leads way to the trend of glass skin, which consists of cleansing your skin so well it looks as though it’s – unsurprisingly – made out of glass. It’s an extension of the recent trend of dewy, wet-looking skin that’s replaced the matte look within the last year. Instead of packing on highlighter, though, you’re making sure your skin is hydrated enough to glow with or without makeup. This can be achieved through thorough cleansing, using lightweight products and the gentlest exfoliation manageable. At the foundation of a Korean-inspired skincare routine is usually consistent use of sheet masks. You’ve probably seen them all over social media already, but I promise they’re good for more than taking moderately creepy pictures. Of course, if all else fails, dewy BB and CC creams or illuminating balms will do the trick. It’s not as if all face makeup is frowned upon by Korean beauty standards. In fact, another big trend we’ve been seeing pop up recently is skincare-infused makeup products, something that’s quickly gaining popularity as a makeup essential.
Glossy lips are the recent trend in North America, but South Korea’s gradient lips are something worth trying. The trend sees people putting concealer or a light neutral shade of lipstick around their lips, and blending out a pink or red in only the middle. This offers a balance between a natural feel and a pop of color and it can be topped with a clear gloss to match the glassy skin look.
An alternative to contouring known as “draping” was seen on spring/summer 2018 runways, which sees heavily applied blush being extended past the cheekbones and sometimes towards the middle of the face. As opposed to the rigidity of contouring, draping is meant to achieve a more youthful look, creating a natural-looking flush.
These new trends, along with many others born from the Korean beauty industry are a complete 180 from what we’ve been used to in recent years. Offering natural looks and fast methods of achieving them, the Korean beauty world is something to keep an eye on when determining what beauty trends are going to pop up next.