There is no denying that the world is getting obsess with everything and anything Korean beauty right now. Seoul has replaced Paris as the city where in-the-know girls look to see what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next in beauty. So I’m sure this isn’t the first “guide to Korean beauty products” post that you’ve seen, but I assure you my post is different from those you’ve already read because unlike others I directly asked someone who lives in Seoul, South Korea.

Alice of
Alice of W2Beauty. Photo Courtesy of Skin & Tonics

Her name is Alice and she runs the e-commerce site W2Beauty to give us the rundown of the bestselling Korean beauty products, latest beauty trends and how Korean beauty is different from other parts of the world. She is the type of chick that you couldn’t be entirely sure of her age –she can be either 18 or 30– because her skin looks too good to have spent under our depleting ozone layer. [Note: The transcript below has been edited and condensed.]

How Korean beauty is different from other parts of the world?

“Well, in Korea, ever since we are born we are into cosmetics. It is truly part of our culture. Beauty is really a concept deep inside us. We do think that we need to be pretty to get a good job and have a good life. Having a perfect skin is a sign of wealth and health which would make you a better prospect for a better husband [laughs].

The fact that South Korea is the country of plastic surgery and cosmetic is not a myth, we really do care about beauty, and you can even call it an obsession.”

What exactly are Cushion Compacts?

cushion compacts

“Let’s start with the best sellers, I would say there is a top 3 in terms of quality: Sulwhasoo Evenfair Cushion, Iope Air Cushion Xp, and Hera UV Mist cushion. In terms of popularity, then you have the Any Cushion from Etude House, the Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cushion, the Innisfree LONG WEAR CUSHION and the Laneige BB Cushion Pore control. There are just so many I didn’t even quoted but you can easily check them all out by searching “cushion” in my shop.

So what is a Cushion then? Hmmm, it is basically a kind of all in one item I would say. It gives some coverage, some SPF, some glowing and natural look, and it is really easy to apply and doesn’t make your finger dirty compared to the BB cream etc. which makes it SUPER convenient. A must have in your bag. If you have to take 1 and only 1 item, get the Cushion.?

Top Beauty Trends in Korea

“There are the Cushion and the CC Creams. Nowadays, we even see some combinations such as Tony Moly BCDation. And the new colors coming up from all the brands!! Really SO nice.”


The Next Big Thing in Korean Beauty

“I’d personally bet on beauty food and possibly a new ingredient that will be “discovered” or made trendy. The brands are actively trying to find the “next” big thing as well, you can see for example The Saem starting to use the Thanakha, Innisfree going on the Flowers field, etc. it’s always nice to see some new line and new ingredients hitting the shelves but so far, no real breakthrough.

There is another thing I think would be made possible someday, it is the surgical items made safer and easier to use, like some home laser treatment, etc. that’s definitely not for tomorrow but I’m sure the time will come. [And] all kind of tool to help enhancing beauty. Let the beauty obsession spread worldwide [laughs].”

-As told to Style Vanity last September 25, 2014

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You can buy all the products mentioned here and see more Korean beauty products in W2Beauty and don’t forget to enter this sponsor code 042322008 to get $5 off on your first purchase.

*This is a 3-part blog series. The third one will include a giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a gift card to use in W2Beauty. So stay tuned!