Hello everyone! Ruby here – Studio Manager + Lead Artist of Tori Blush. Earlier this year, I embarked on a journey with my hubby to Seoul, South Korea and wanted to share a bit about my experience there as a makeup artist and what beauty and skincare trends from Seoul are being becoming available in North America.
To most, Seoul is known as a city filled with the most amazing Korean BBQ, fast-paced streets, and catchy K-pop. To me however, Seoul is the hub of all trendy makeup and skincare products. As a legitimate product hoarder (Suzanna can vouch!), it was hard not to hold back from buying one of everything! For makeup and skincare lovers, Myeongdong is the place to be! This is an area of Seoul that’s flooded with major Korean skincare brands, store after store. It’s like Sephora, multiplied by a hundred, spanned over several big city blocks! In the evening, street food carts come rolling out so you can shop and eat at the same time. My kind of Heaven! The exterior design and decor of all the shops are over the top as well, so it’s hard to believe that the skincare and makeup sold inside can be so affordable.
During the days leading up to our trip, I was most looking forward to all the cute and unique makeup products I’d be exposed to. However, as a darker coloured Asian woman, finding makeup that worked for me was a challenge.
BB creams, which are the Asian version of our tinted moisturizer packed with lots of anti-aging and UV protection benefits, are all the rage amongst Korean women. But finding a shade that fit my tanned skin perfectly was impossible. It also didn’t help that the shade selection for most BB creams were limited to 2-3 fair shades, at most! I even tried to explain to a sales rep that BB creams will not work for me when she insisted the fair shade was perfect for my darker skin.
With that being said, it’s clear that women in South Korea fiercely pursued fair skin. Even as my husband and I strolled the streets, we noticed almost every women sported fair dewy skin in addition to straight full brows, and a lightly tinted lip.
Even though I didn’t have much luck makeup shopping, skincare shopping posed a very different experience! They had such innovative and different skincare products, ranging from the sheet masks to serums and cleansers. The packaging was also exploding with cuteness. I wanted to buy everything to compensate for the fact that I hardly bought any makeup!
Of course I had to snatch up a few sheet masks – there was a wide selection to choose from with any brand, each with different scents and skincare properties. The ones I chose had skincare benefits derived from rice, honey, aloe, blueberries, yogurt, and even broccoli!
I also bought some masks outside of the sheet variety. There was an Egg Mousse Pack from Too Cool For School (even the name of the brand is so cute) which foams when dispensed from the bottle and boasts sebum-controlling properties with egg white as one of it’s ingredients. I also purchased a Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask from Innisfree which claims to have volcanic clay from Jeju Island (in Korea) in the mask. Works like a charm on my oily skin!
However, the most shocking and unique product I saw during my trip was Snail Mucin skincare products. Yes, that’s right – apparently snail secretions carry magical skincare benefits such as hydration, brightening and skin cell regeneration for wrinkles and scars. I bought a cleanser, sheet mask, and a wrinkle-plumping serum with snail mucin from The Saem. Perhaps it was the hustle and bustle of the store, or maybe it was the excitement of being in Seoul in general, but when the sales rep applied the serum to a few lines on my hand, the lines disappeared and instantly plumped up right before my eyes!
Overall, I had the most amazing time and would definitely go back again. It was such a unique experience for my hubby and I and needless to say, it was SEOUL MUCH FUN! I now have skincare products to last me for days and am ready to go on my next adventure!
‘Til next time! – Ruby xoxo