3 Must-Haves For Your Korean Makeup Base Starter Kit

makeup base

Let’s touch base, literally. In K-beauty, your color makeup look doesn’t begin until you’ve perfected your makeup base. Make sure you have these three must-haves to create the perfect foundation for your makeup look.

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The brow gods may be in your favor and your eyeliner winged to perfection, but consider it all in vain without a proper makeup base. In Korea, your makeup base is not just about smearing on a foundation. As you would expect from a country that made 10 steps the skincare norm, a proper makeup base protects, primes, and even treats skin as much as it conceals imperfections. Here, we’ve narrowed it down to the three essential types of products you need for amazing skin (after your thorough skincare routine, of course).

 

makeup base

 

It starts with prevention

 

You’ve heard it all before: UV rays are no joke, and too much exposure to the sun’s harmful radiation can lead to burns, premature aging, even cancer. And although the dangers of the sun — yes, even on a cloudy day — are common knowledge, using sunscreen isn’t always a priority, especially for us Stateside.

 

Well, it’s no secret that Koreans swear by the benefits of wearing sunscreen daily, and the proof is in their radiant skin. A daily application of sunscreen can ward off dark spots, wrinkles, and the early onset of a rough, leathery skin texture by preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin supporting the structure of your skin. It’s the ultimate base for your makeup.

 

With innumerable options for sun protection on the market, you’ll have to do some screening (pun intended) to find one that fits the bill. (Editor at Large Jude Chao discovered her new HG here, Contributing Editor Coco Park recommends these, and Contributing Editor Sheryll Donerson likes these for oily skin types.) The good thing is Korean brands indicate UVA protection with a PA+ label (look for at least “+++” or “++++” for the best protection), so there’s no guessing about broad-spectrum protection like there is with American brands. Make sunscreen your new daily mantra, and you’ll have a lot less to cover up in the long run.

 

Primed to perfection

 

Often underrated and overlooked, primer is an important step in building a smooth foundation for your base makeup. And best of all, it can be catered to your skin’s needs.

 

makeup base

 

Oily skin? Choose a sebum-controlling, oil-free primer like Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer or The Face Shop Face It Velvet Skin Primer.

 

Dry skin? Laneige Water Supreme Primer Base SPF15 PA++ is a great example of a moisturizing primer that’s infused with optimal mineral water for all-day hydration.

 

Enlarged pores and prone to creases? Find a primer that excels at blurring between the lines. (We like Tony Moly Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm.)

 

Not all makeup primers are created equal, so evaluate your skin type to guide you to the one.

 

The ABC’s of foundation

 

base makeup

 

It’s time for coverage, and for Koreans, this comes largely in the form of BB and CC creams and cushion compacts. Taken from “blemish balm,” originally created by a German dermatologist for her post-treatment patients, BB creams are usually of a thicker consistency, with higher levels of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for UVA and UVB protection and medium coverage. (Think more coverage than tinted moisturizers, less or the same than your average foundation.) BB formulas are also touted for its antioxidants and other skincare benefits, like the tried-and-true Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream, which offers full coverage in a lightweight formula flush with hyaluronic acid and ceramide.

 

For dull skin or issues with redness, CC cream is your best friend. Generally more lightweight and sheerer than its BB counterpart, CC creams boast “color correcting” formulas, sun protection, and skin-brightening properties (hello, light-diffusing particles!). The Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cream is a favorite among K-beauty junkies.

 

makeup base

 

The latest innovation in base makeup is the cushion compact, which essentially lets you take your foundation and sunscreen on-the-go. The travel-friendly cushion compact features a soft sponge soaked in a base makeup formula with a special ruby cell puff for application. Lightweight cushion compact formulas are perfect for those looking for coverage, sun protection (reapplication every two hours is a must!), and skincare perks that improve the condition of the skin. One of our favorite cushion compacts is Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening, which brightens skin over time with magnolia and licorice extracts, all in a semi-matte finish.

 

With these three base makeup essentials, you’ll have smooth, radiant coverage all on an impenetrable layer of sun protection — so you can keep applying your favorite base makeup routine again and again on healthy, glowing skin.

 

What’s your base makeup routine? Have you tried primers or color correctors? Let us know!

 

 

 

Queue Up ‘Get It Beauty,’ Where Korean Women Get Their Beauty Fix

get it beauty

Inundated with the sheer number of beauty products and trends coming out of Korea? Get in the know with the experts on all things makeup, skincare, lifestyle, celebrity tips and more on Korea’s top beauty program, Get It Beauty.

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The global world of cosmetics comes with its own unique lexicon. So who better to spell out the ABC’s than the most experienced, beauty-savvy ladies and gents of Korea’s Hollywood?

 

Touted as Korea’s top beauty show, Get It Beauty features the most illustrious Hallyu idols and industry experts gracing the stage and has racked up popularity votes with beauty lovers in Korea and abroad. Owned by media conglomerate CJ E&M and broadcasted on cable channel OnStyle, the first-ever episode aired in 2010 with original host Eugene from old-school girl group S.E.S. Since then, the variety program has flourished with a diverse and fluid cast of big names and guest stars.

 

get it beauty
Honey Lee, the host of Get It Beauty

 

The latest season (which debuted earlier this year in February) was energized with a new chemistry between longtime host and multi-talented celeb Honey Lee, former 2NE1 member Sandara Park, actress Lee Se-Young (most recently in the film Hot Young Bloods), and singer Kim Se-Jeong of groups I.O.I and Gugudan.

 

If you’re in Korea, the show airs every Wednesday at 9 pm, or you can watch past episodes on the Get It Beauty website. For those stateside, you’ll have more luck watching snippets of the show via OnStyle’s YouTube channel. (Check out their most viewed video on how to cut your own bangs below.)

 

 

So what makes Get It Beauty so appealing?

 

To put it simply, the show elevates “girl talk” to a whole other level. Who doesn’t love exchanging skincare secrets and the best brow gel options over lattes and chocolate croissants? You can do just that, but alongside the biggest celebrities riding the Hallyu wave. Get It Beauty answers your pressing questions and gives the DL on information that you didn’t even know you needed. In addition to makeup how-to’s, you’ll get skincare tips directly from idols and how they keep up appearances, from their daily exercise routines down to what they’re throwing in their blenders for a detoxifying pick-me-up.

 

Here’s a basic breakdown of the show.

 

Segment One: The Main Stage

 

get it beauty
The Better Girls on Get It Beauty. Source: Korea Times

 

The main portion of the show is an interactive dialogue between hosts, guest stars (famous makeup artists, industry professionals, celebrities), and the Better Girls. The latter is a group of 30-some-odd beauty junkies who’ve made the cut through an application process for a chance at the Better Girls spotlight. Throughout what the show calls Get It, Do It segments, you’ll learn beauty tips not only from famous personalities, but also from everyday women who have their own set of tricks up their sleeves. Check out this short clip, where you’ll see a few of the Better Girls sharing their must-have beauty hacks. (Rice on your earlobes, anyone?)

 

 

Often the show will have special segments highlighting a new brand or product making its way onto the market. In a 2015 episode, former MC and beauty editor Hwang Min Young introduced the C Brand Gel Mask Machine, which allows users to create their own DIY gel masks at home with real, fresh ingredients.

 

Now, whether or not these products take off is another story, but the exposure on the popular show is often enough to get the ball rolling. One lucky brand that got its name out in the K-beauty world is a face, chin, and hand mask line called Rubelli. The episode focused on various ways to slim down and firm up your face, including a Rubelli “belt” that you place under your chin and secure tightly around the crown of your head. When you use the belt together with their V-line sheet masks, the duo relaxes jaw muscles and creates a slimmer, V-line shaped face.

 

 

Each episode’s chief topic varies by the week, from nail art to how to do your eyebrows for a younger look — and you can count on Get It Beauty to provide live demonstrations for your benefit. They’ve even had acclaimed makeup artist Jung Saem Mool come on the show for some gold makeup tutorials. What’s great about the program is its unbiased mindset, highlighting both Korean brands and American or European counterparts, regardless of where it lies on the affordable-to-high end spectrum. The crème de la crème products are determined in the show’s most influential segment: the Blind Test.

 

Segment Two: The Blind Test

 

Whether it receives the fourth place prize or first place bragging rights, all Blind Test products gain incredible popularity, credibility, and selling power on the market. In Korea, you’ll see the coveted Get It Beauty sticker of approval in department stores and Olive Youngs (think Korean Sephora or Ulta) throughout Seoul.

 

The show prepares for the test by choosing one specific type of product to put under the microscope. Take, for example, a 2013 blind test that sought to establish the best orange lipstick on the market. A preliminary vote was conducted online for 10 days; then 30 professional beauty gurus narrowed the list to five top choices, based on key categories like pigmentation, staying power, and moisturizing performance. During the broadcast, the hosts and the Better Girls tried the lipstick finalists before the show revealed the final results. (Spoiler alert: First place went to Espoir No Wear Touch Lipstick.)

 

get it beauty
The waterproof mascara contestants. Get It Beauty

 

More recent Blind Tests covered categories ranging from the best waterproof mascara (get the second place winner and third place winners here) to the best sun stick. (The winner’s available here.) And if you’re looking for the perfect cushion compact, look no further than these contestants. Finalists included Missha The Original Tension Pact Perfect Cover, A’Pieu Wonder Tension Pact Perfect Cover, Tony Moly BCDation Cushion+ in Vanilla Beige, and Etude House Any Cushion Cream Filter in Petal, but Peripera’s Ink Lasting Pink Cushion went for the gold. (Bonus: All of the contestants go for less than $20.)

 

Other champs include A’pieu Skinny Browcara in Light Brown (which beat out Benefit’s Gimme Brow); Aritaum’s Lip & Eye Remover, notable also for outshining its expensive opponents from Hera and Lancôme; and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream for best moisture emollient, proving that any brand’s product, affordable or high-end, can finish in first place. You can find all of the latest “it” products and the Blind Tests segments directly on the show’s website.

 

Segment Three: The Self

 

Ever wonder what it’d be like to sit down with your favorite star? Get It Beauty’s Self segments let you fulfill that dream. Ranging from more straightforward tutorials to vlog-style GRWMs, these talking-mirror portions reveals celebrities’ beauty tips, body-enhancing routines, makeup hacks, and lifestyle staples, all of which help maintain their faces and figures for the limelight. Watch former guest star-turned-host Sandara Park share her secret to glowing skin with beauty creator Ssin below.

 

 

What’s your favorite part of Get It Beauty? Share the best advice you’ve learned from the program in the comments below!

Sandara Park’s Beauty Tips Have Nothing to Do With Skincare

sandara park's beauty tips

The secret to K-pop star and actress Sandara Park’s youthful glow is literally priceless. Here’s how you too can get the 32-year-old’s “she’s-how-old?!?” look. (And it won’t cost you a dime.)

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Of all the best toners, sheet masks, and cleansing oils that money can buy, the ultimate secret to blemish-free and glowing skin might not be for sale. As cliché as it may sound, radiant skin is achieved by more than a mere 10-step routine; it’s through an intentional lifestyle.

 

Think of those late nights studying for your biology exam, or enjoying one (or three) too many cocktails during that weekly happy hour. No matter what you might slather onto your face, your skin may still suffer from blemishes and breakouts due to an imbalance on the inside. 2NE1 member Sandara Park and her flawless skin can attest to this, and she’s shared in the past that the secret to maintaining her perfect skin goes beyond skincare. Follow her two simple yet often overlooked tips to a healthier lifestyle, and in turn, glowing skin.

 

sandara park's beauty tips

 

Tip #1: Get Your Beauty Sleep

 

When she isn’t working around the clock, Sandara (better known simply as Dara) makes an effort to get plenty of rest. She tries to hit the hay for at least 10 hours on a good night to give her mind and body ample time to restore and rejuvenate.

 

And it isn’t called beauty sleep for nothing. A lack of sleep can have serious consequences, one of which is an increase in inflammatory activity within the body that ultimately manifests on our skin. Caused by elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, inflammation can lead to more breakouts and heightened skin sensitivity, weaken the immune system, and contribute to weight gain. During the recommended eight hours of sleep, your body’s hydration levels rebalance, but the lack of zzz’s equate to unwanted guests like puffy under-eyes, dry skin, and wrinkles.

 

Bonus tip: Maximize your beauty sleep by intensely nourishing your skin with a sleeping mask. An international favorite is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, an overnight gel-like mask infused with mineral water and ceramides (lipid molecules that hold skin cells together for plumper skin), plus a blend of sandalwood oil, rose, and flower extracts for a relaxing scent.

 

Tip #2: Don’t Be a Fish Out of Water

 

sandara park's beauty tips

 

As soon as she wakes up, Dara kickstarts her morning with a replenishing glass of water, and she drinks plenty of H20 throughout the day, including before her beauty rest. Her average total intake of water? One-and-a-half liters, or a little over six cups.

 

Six to seven cups of water seems like no extraordinary feat, but you might be surprised at how easy it is to neglect hydration during the day — especially when it’s substituted with coffee, tea, juices, or alcoholic beverages. Your body depends on water (it is the essence of life, after all), and it’s constantly using up your storage of H20 throughout the day to flush out toxins and circulate nutrients for healthy and supple skin. In turn, a lack of water can lead to dehydrated, dull, and dry features.

 

Bonus tip: Drinking water is important, but you can also harness the power of water in your skincare. Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Deep Essence contains mineral-rich Jeju lava seawater and ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier and deeply hydrate skin.

 

Needless to say, hydration and sleep aren’t the only golden rules behind Dara’s impeccable skin. As the face of popular Korean beauty brand Moonshot, the K-pop star is constantly in the limelight, so it’s a given that the celeb has her skincare routine perfected to a tee. But as they say, beauty is only skin deep — so treat yourself to some well-deserved beauty rest, plenty of hydration, and invest in your lifestyle so your skin can reap the benefits.

 

What do you think of Sandara Park’s beauty tips? Yay or nay?

4 Natural Korean Skincare Brands For The Eco-Conscious Beauty Lover

natural korean skincare brands

Concerned about the environment? Want to leave a smaller footprint? Looking to go more green in your beauty routine? Try these natural Korean skincare brands for pure, guilt-free beauty.

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The allure of Korean skincare is undeniable. For starters, many brands are incredibly affordable, and aesthetically, the designs and packaging are unique, innovative, and totally Instagram-worthy. But how many of these ubiquitous Korean brands contain ingredients that are genuinely good for your skin (not to mention the earth)? Here are a few of our favorite natural Korean skincare brands that are making the green commitment. So whether you’ve got combination skin or an ultra-sensitive one, you can still get your glow on — naturally, that is.

 

Innisfree

 

This natural Korean skincare brand has a line of organic products that will make you (literally) wax poetic. Inspired by the famous W.B. Yeats’ 1890 poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” the eponymous brand was founded in 2000 by the Korean cosmetics conglomerate AmorePacific (also known for creating Etude House, Laneige, and Mamonde, to name a few). Recognized as Korea’s first natural brand, Innisfree hails from the country’s natural haven, Jeju Island, where an abundance of organic and wholesome ingredients (certified by France’s Ecocert organization) grow and thrive. The brand makes the most of their local treasures, infusing ingredients like green tea, nutmeg, camellia flower, rich volcanic clay, and pollution-free water into their products.

 

natural korean skincare brands
Instagram @Innisfreeofficial

 

Number one on their list of eight skin concerns is pore care, followed by moisturizing, total care, whitening care, trouble care, nutri-moisturizing care, firming and lifting, and lastly, wrinkle care. With each product, you’ll know what skin concerns it addresses, along with any other important information regarding its ingredients. For example, the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask targets pore care, contains volcanic scoria (an ingredient formed from cooled lava that powerfully absorbs sebum), and is free of any parabens, mineral oils, animal ingredients, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances.

 

Not only does Innisfree offer naturally-derived skincare products for any skin type, the brand also plays its part in keeping a green promise, dedicated to reducing carbon emission, recycling bottles, and giving back to the community. Now that’s a brand we can get behind.

 

SanDaWha

 

natural korean skincare brands  

 

Innisfree isn’t the only brand benefiting from Jeju Island’s nutrient-rich environment. SanDaWha is another Korean skincare brand that’s head over heels with the isle’s abundance of camellia flowers. Chock full of essential vitamins, omegas 3, 6, and 9, and oleic acid, the seed oil from camellia flowers promotes collagen synthesis, reduces inflammation, and enriches the hair and skin with healthy shine. Combining the bloom’s extracts with other botanical ingredients in their products, SanDaWha promises to never use synthetic ingredients, alcohol, silicone, preservatives, animal derivatives, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, parabens, surfactants, or artificial colorants or fragrances. Founded by the green beauty company SkinCure, the brand believes that being kind to your health and skin goes hand-in-hand with being kind to the environment.

 

Klairs

 

natural korean skincare brands
Established in 2009, Klairs offers a line of skincare products made with the best natural, raw ingredients, mild enough for even the most sensitive skin types.

 

Get some skin clarity with Klairs, the relatively new Korean skincare brand dedicated to offering mild but powerful products, crafted without harsh ingredients and especially for sensitive skin types. Launched in 2009, Klairs focuses on simplicity, not only in their list of ingredients, but also in their approaches to packaging and advertising, allowing their products to speak for and essentially market themselves.

 

Well, that strategy seems to be working for the natural brand, with signature products like the Supple Preparation Facial Toner and Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop effortlessly gaining cult followings in the beauty community without too much PR magic. What’s more, the brand prides itself in being eco-friendly, cruelty-free (no use of animal testing), and fully transparent in their list of ingredients, which never contains parabens, alcohol, colorants, or artificial fragrances. Needless to say, Klairs is scoring major brownie points with green beauty lovers the world over.

 

Benton

 

natural korean skincare brands
A few of Benton’s signature products from their Aloe, Snail Bee, Fermentation, and Honest lines.

 

Of the many organic skincare brands on the market, Benton has one of the more intriguing backstories. The natural Korean skincare brand was inspired by the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, taking the beginning and end segments of the main character’s full name to come up with the moniker, Benton. The brand embodies the film’s desire to freeze or turn back time and particularly, of course, its effect on the skin.

 

The brand boasts a line of nutrient-rich products made with naturally-derived ingredients like snail mucin, bee venom, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, and skin-perfecting ceramides; they never utilize unnatural fragrances or chemical preservatives. “Unlike the instant temporary effect created by harmful ingredients,” explains the brand’s website, “we hoped to improve skin care by using the healthy ingredients in our products which will help regain your skin to its original healthy condition.” Benton provides a thorough breakdown of ingredients, as well as pH levels and viscosity of each of their products. Certified cruelty-free with PETA’S “Beauty without Bunnies” stamp of approval and approved by Ecocert, Benton produces in small batches to maintain the freshness and integrity of their products.

 

What’s your favorite natural Korean skincare brand? Let us know in the comments below!

All About the Korean Sauna + Essential Skincare For Your Spa Day

The Korean sauna, or jjimjilbang, is a staple in Korean culture, as much a place for self-care as it is health care. Consider it skincare for your body, mind, and soul.

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The Korean sauna, also known as the jjimjilbang, is no new phenomenon. If you grew up in Korea, the sweat-inducing bathhouses are a familiar and almost homey scene, a backdrop for weekly family outings, a setting for a casual fifth date, or even a 24-hour open pad for the inebriated folks who can’t quite make it home after hours at the bar.

 

Of course, saunas aren’t exclusive to Korean culture; in Finland, there are over three million saunas, a reported average of one per household, and Japan is known for their onsens, or hot springs. Needless to say, people the world over have long loved to spend their time in a spa — and it’s not only for hygienic reasons (or to cure a monster hangover). The hot tubs, steam rooms, and dry saunas work wonders to rejuvenate the mind, rest the soul, and of course, restore and beautify the body.

 

In case you aren’t well-versed with jjimjilbang jargon, here’s a brief overview. The Korean sauna is separated into different areas. There’s the gender-specific locker room, which is connected to the public showers, hot tubs, scrubbing and massage areas, and steam rooms (of course, all separate for men and women).

 

Korean sauna
A scene in a jjimjilbang from the K-drama 21 Again. Source: Dramabeans

 

Then there’s a common area where both genders convene (don’t worry, you’ll be fully clothed in the provided sauna attire) to eat, watch TV, sleep, relax, or detox in the co-ed dry saunas.

 

Once it’s time to hit the tubs, you’ll head back into your locker room where you’ll have to get naked (yes, fully out-of-the-womb nude); and you must shower before entering the hot tubs for obvious sanitary reasons. While some spas provide basic toiletries like toothpaste or soap, we recommend you BYOS (Bring-Your-Own-Skincare) to maximize your soul-pampering stay at the sauna.

 

The benefits of the sauna for your skin

 

While it’s fairly common knowledge that the Korean sauna offers health benefits, what exactly are these benefits? Some patrons pay weekly visits for deep cleansing or muscle pain relaxation and relief, and other health-conscious visitors come for the stress-reducing, heart-strengthening effects of the spa. While there are several perks of visiting the bathhouses, we’re focusing on skin-centric reasons why you should immediately schedule your next date at the Korean sauna.

 

Primetime for exfoliation

 

korean sauna
The Korean body scrub at Spa Castle in New York.

 

A Korean sauna is a prime location to get your scrub on. But before you dive into exfoliation, preparation is key. Let the hot and humid air from the steam rooms open up those clogged pores, and indulge in an extended soak in the heated tubs to soften and prepare your skin for an effective scrub. You can bring your own scrubbing mitt for a private exfoliation session, or opt for a more expensive (but quite priceless) experience with a body scrubbing professional who’ll mercilessly eradicate those layers of debris on your skin (wearing a uniform of only underwear garments, natch). If it’s your first time on the scrubbing table, you’ll simultaneously be disgusted and utterly satisfied at the layers of dirt and dead skin cells coming out of what you thought was clean skin.

 

Don’t fret the sweat

 

Think about the last time you worked up a sweat after an intense workout. Besides looking a little worse for wear, you probably experienced a boost of energy and a noticeable lift in your mood. That’s because sweating is undeniably good for you. It’s a crucial, multitasking bodily function that releases those feel-good chemicals post-workout, prevents your body from overheating, and gives the boot to bad toxins and waste in your system. According to Dr. Julian Whitaker, “Sweating mobilizes toxins stored in the fat and enhances their elimination.” All of that waste — pollution in the air we breathe, chemicals in the products used on the skin and in the foods we consume, and of course, sebum and impurities that build up throughout the day — clogs up the pores, causing breakouts and overall poor skin health. That’s why it’s imperative to open up those sweat glands, and saunas are the go-to remedy.

 

Korean sauna
Source: A typical dry salt sauna in a Korean jjimjilbang.

 

What’s more, the dry saunas are usually held within rooms made of varying natural minerals and rocks with healing, detoxifying, and purifying abilities. For example, the L.A.-based Wi Spa is home to five signature sauna rooms with unique properties: bulgama (or oak wood) is supposed to reduce blood pressure; salt strengthens the immune system and heals skin; clay detoxes heavy metals; jade eases muscle tension and balances hormones; and ice (recommended as the last stop) restores body temperature, improves circulation, and tightens pores — bringing your stay at the sauna full circle.

 

Maximize your spa day with skincare must-haves

korean sauna

There’s no better time to treat yourself than a day at the sauna — so why not go all out by bringing a DIY sauna skincare kit? If you don’t want to spend extra dollars on an oil massage or a 24K gold treatment masque, bring your own gold sheet mask (for only $5 a pop and well worth it, according to this review). Not only are they ultra-hydrating and nourishing for the skin, sheet masks are also the perfect tool for a bonding experience, whether it’s between mom and daughter, or boyfriend and girlfriend. If you’re feeling generous, this Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Sheet Mask set comes with 10 individual masks, perfect for your entire squad. We especially love cucumber-based masks for their cooling properties, which balance out your body’s temperature in the warm environment of the sauna.

 

Secondly, take full advantage of your opened pores to eradicate any blackheads with portable nose strips or exfoliating facial scrubs. Your steam-prepped skin will thank you later. And last but not least, arm yourself with a hydrating and cooling facial mist, like a floral mist or these easy-to-carry pocket mists. It’s the ideal pick-me-up to get you through your spa day.

 

Have you ever been to a Korean sauna? Tell us about your experience! Love or not so much?

 

Why Self-Care Is as Important as Your Beauty Routine

self-care

As much as we love our skincare routines, it’s actually self-care that may be the most important multi-step routine you need to practice on the daily — for mind, body, and glowing skin. Here’s why.

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Self-confidence, self-pity, self-criticism, self-empowerment — these various emotions and attitudes have one clear thing in common: the self. Whether you’re happy with your body image or your confidence is shot to pieces, it comes down to the self-care routine (or lack thereof) that you’re practicing in your life.

 

More often than not, our self-care regimens get tossed aside, as most of us tend to place other priorities — family, social life, significant others, job obligations and school responsibilities — before our own needs. Well, we’re here to give you a gentle nudge in the other direction. It’s time to get back to caring for yourself.

 

What is Self-Care?

 

What does self-care mean, and what’s it look like from day to day? Much like skincare, it’s all about individualizing steps to a routine that you actively and regularly follow. Unlike skincare, though, a self-care routine pursues more than just improving your visible appearance — its goal is to reach the fullest potential for your mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being.

 

self-care
iStock/AntonioGuillem

 

 

“Self-care isn’t a selfish act,” clarifies psychologist Raphailia Michael. “It is not only about considering our needs; it is rather about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, being subsequently able to take care of others as well.”

 

Referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs) by mental health professionals, self-care is more than just a beauty routine (although that can be a part of it), and as like a beauty routine, it’s completely individualized. Where one person may find rest reading a book or journaling in solitude at their favorite café, another might feel their souls rejuvenated after an hour-long group workout. A daily routine can be as simple as making the bed, or as elaborate and detailed as a wind-down session at the end of the day, with candles lit and music humming in the background.

 

According to Goodtherapy.org, “People all have different requirements for self-care, but in general, the goals of self-care are to find a state of good mental and physical health, reduce stress, meet emotional needs, maintain one’s relationships, both romantic and platonic, and find a balance between one’s personal and academic or professional life.”

 

So whatever it may be — meditating, rock climbing, scrapbooking, even your skincare routine — know that how you self-care is as unique as you are a person. And if grabbing drinks during happy hour with your best friend is your version of self-care, then we wholeheartedly say: You do you, girl.

 

Everyday Ways To Care For Yourself

 

In the context of beauty and skincare, we turned to a widely watched Korean beauty show to gain a better, more practical sense of what self-care looks like alongside our beauty routines. Recognized as Korea’s top beauty show, Get It Beauty is a CJ E&M production that’s broadcast on the channel OnStyle (find the YouTube channel here). The show consists of three segments, one of which is their Get It Beauty “Self” portions. While much of this segment highlights celebrities’ skincare secrets and makeup tips, the show digs in deeper to find out what these famous singers, actresses, models, and talents do to elevate their self-care game.

 

self-care
Actress Seor Ina winds down during her Get It Beauty Self segment with her dog Jully. Instagram @_seorina

 

For example, viewers can learn a thing or two from girl group Dal Shabet’s Woo-hee, whose self-care routine includes doing mood-enhancing Pilates and nourishing her body with healthy, nutrient-rich juices. Actress Seor Ina also improves her physical health by practicing jiu-jitsu or taking her dog on 40-minute walks twice a week. Or take note of actress Hwang Seung-Un, who keeps a baggie of essential vitamins, supplements like propolis extract, and probiotics (which the host, makeup artist Shin-Ae, calls “the main key of inner beauty”) conveniently inside her beauty box.

 

self-care
Singer Woo-hee gets in tune with her body through Pilates ab exercises. YouTube OnStyle.

 

While makeup and skincare is undoubtedly important, these “Self” segments stress the significance of finding a balance between skin-deep beauty and inner well-being — because there’s only so much that cosmetics can do, even if you are a famous K-drama celebrity.

 

The Most Vital Reason for the Self-Care Imperative

 

Self-care isn’t just a fancy word for treating yourself. In fact, nurturing or neglecting self-care has much greater implications than one might think. GoodTherapy.org reveals that some people face roadblocks when it comes to self-care for various reasons, including depression, trauma from abuse or violence, or psychological disorders like dementia or psychosis. When self-care is at the bottom of one’s list of priorities, there’s an inevitable gradual decline in health, appearance, and spiritual and mental well-being. Editor at Large Jude Chao resonates with this reality, sharing her powerful story on how her choice of self-care — the Korean skincare routinehelped fight her depression.

 

She writes: “In my experience, self-care is one of the first things to get smashed when the Depression Train rolls into town. Then come the feelings of guilt and inadequacy, both of which pump more fuel into the Depression Train. My Korean skincare regimen breaks that cycle by making me want to keep taking care of myself, no matter how numb and indifferent I might feel.

 

“My lengthy Korean skincare ritual gives the present back to me twice a day, every day. Putting things on my face doesn’t just soothe and smooth my skin but my thoughts as well, letting me feel myself in myself in a pleasant, positive way.”

 

As you go through the steps of your skincare routine today, pause for a moment to reflect: Do you take time for self-care? Let us know!

Get Song Hye Kyo’s Pre-Wedding Glow (It’s Too Late to Get Song Joong Ki)

song hye kyo's pre-wedding glow

Now that K-drama goddess Song Hye Kyo is getting married to Song Joong Ki, wedding watch is officially on (the dress, the venue, the ring!). In the meantime, nab Song Hye Kyo’s pre-wedding glow with her beauty secrets for endless youth.

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It’s official! K-drama goddess Song Hye Kyo is getting married, and to none other than her Descendants of the Sun co-star, Song Joong Ki, sending a million hearts aflutter over an onscreen romance-turned-real life. So while Joong Ki oppa (channeling my inner K-drama fan girl) is now off the market, at least you can get Song Hye Kyo’s pre-wedding glow with some of her skincare secrets.

 

You’d be hard-pressed to believe that Song’s basically a veteran in the acting and modeling worlds with just one glance at the 35-year-old star’s timeless complexion. Though 2016’s Descendants of the Sun launched the doe-eyed Korean goddess into worldwide renown, her claim to fame dates years before her recent beloved role in the hit drama. In fact, her first big break in the melodrama Autumn in My Heart — touted as one of the leading trailblazers of the Hallyu wave — was over 15 years ago during the height of Y2K.

 

song hye kyo's pre-wedding glow
Song Hye Kyo for jewelry brand J. Estina’s Special Edition La Cruna Collection.

 

So what’s Song’s elixir for eternal youth? It comes down to three skincare mainstays: Start early (we’re looking at you, Millennials), hydration (natch), and lots and lots of trips to the grocery store. (Read on to see what we mean.)

 

Get a head start on anti-aging

 

song hye kyo's pre-wedding glow
Seriously, is she a vampire? Song Hye Kyo as a starlet (left) and as a veteran (right).

 

From a young age, Song’s mother advised the then-aspiring actress to start her anti-aging treatments early. And in this case, mom clearly knew best.

 

Today, because Song’s skin is constantly weathering environmental pollutants, the sun’s UV rays, and harsh stage and camera lighting for work, she swears by Laneige Perfect Renew Regenerator. The oil serum revitalizes skin’s energy using an exclusive technology while deeply hydrating with advanced ceramide water.

 

As we grow older, wrinkles form because the production of collagen, the essential protein that maintains skin’s elasticity, gradually slows down. Daily use of sunscreen and antioxidants to fight the damage pollutants like smoke and smog wreak on our skin can help delay the early signs of aging, but you’ll need to eventually add more targeted treatments to effectively ward off wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging. Boost your skincare regimen with skincare that focuses on firming or collagen production. 

 

Hydrate, then hydrate some more

 

Everybody knows that staying hydrated is vital for a healthy glow and complexion. Remember: nearly 60 percent of our bodies is made up of water. Without sufficient amounts of this essential source of life, our cells dehydrate and our skin loses its firmness, ultimately leading to early signs of wrinkling and aging. So it’s no wonder that Song is a diligent H20 advocate, immediately energizing her morning with two full cups of water and rehydrating as needed, up to six and a half glasses a day.

 

song hye kyo's pre-wedding glow
Song Hye Kyo in an ad for the new Water Bank Double Layering Oil as the face of Laneige since 2008.

 

It’s only appropriate that the water enthusiast is the main brand ambassador for a company that prides itself on their “skin-perfecting mineral water” collection. Song is especially a fan of the best-selling Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which contains ionized mineral water and ceramides (naturally occurring lipids with ultra water-retention); it forms a hydrating seal while you sleep to lock in all that good moisture. It’s a product she relies on since she’s constantly working and not always able to devote as much time as she’d like on her skincare routine. “So instead, I just concentrate on hydration and, of course, my night-care routine,” she told the Malay Mail Online.

 

Nourish your skin with natural foods

 

Our bodies do best with whole, natural, and fresh foods, so it makes sense that these same foods may benefit our skin as well. At least Song (and her skin) is testament to that. It’s reported that she creates her own DIY face masks at home with egg whites, honey, and even finely grated carrots. And why not? Honey has antibacterial properties that calm inflammation and brighten skin; egg whites are natural astringents that help shrink pores; and carrots are chock full of the antioxidant beta carotene, which repairs and protects skin tissue against UV rays.

 

song hye kyo's pre-wedding glow
Was this the moment they fell in love? A scene from Descendants of the Sun, KBS

 

Song also follows the lead of her one-time co-star and now fiancé Song Joong Ki and cleanses her face with milk. Nutrient-rich milk contains lactic acid, which exfoliates, soothes, moisturizes, and brightens skin, to say the least. (Read more on Song Joong Ki’s the couple’s favorite powerhouse ingredient here).

 

Don’t have these ingredients on hand? You’re in luck. K-beauty’s mask game is epic and they love natural ingredients in their masks, especially masks rich in honey.

 

Do you want Song Hye Kyo’s pre-wedding glow (as well as her betrothed)? Would you DIY your mask or only go with professionally formulated masks? Let me know what you’ve tried!

 

Got Milk? Song Joong Ki’s Secret for Brighter, Smoother Skin

milk skincare

No use crying over spilled milk — as long as it’s on your face. Try this celebrity-inspired skincare method for milky-smooth, radiant skin. (Because, really, who doesn’t want Song Joong Ki’s complexion?)

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When it comes to skincare, Korea is the land of milk and honey — and we mean that quite literally. It’s no secret that raw ingredients like milk, honey, fruits, vegetables, oils, and other natural products are used for their skin-enhancing perks in nearly every Korean skincare brand. (Skinfood, anyone?) But when you’re fresh out of your favorite soothing honey cream or moisturizing coconut oil-infused sheet mask, don’t head to the nearest beauty store. Keep the extra bucks in the bank by trying this celebrity-tested, all-natural DIY substitute — it might be the secret ingredient that’s missing from your skincare routine.

 

If your goal this year is brighter, smoother, lit-from-within skin, then pour yourself a glass of milk. Moisturizing, exfoliating, and lightening, the benefits of milk for skin are tried and true. After all, legend has it that milk baths were the secret to Cleopatra’s timelessly youthful, radiant, and wrinkle-free skin.

 

milk skincare

 

It only takes one glance at modern-day idol Song Joong Ki’s flawless and illuminated skin to convince you to join the milk craze. Known for his roles in the hit drama Descendants of the Sun and popular reality game show Running Man, the 31-year-old actor revealed that the secret to his alabaster skin is due in part to one simple step in his routine: cleansing his face every night with milk. The result? A pearly, porcelain complexion. It’s no wonder that he’s earned the spot as Korea’s favorite celebrity to endorse a product, gracing advertisements for companies like Jeju Air, Forencos Cosmetics, and Hite. Just look at this tall glass of milk water.

 

milk skincare
Song Joong Ki for Forencos Cosmetics

 

Other celebrities are known to have tried the milk cleansing method, including Song Joong Ki’s Descendants of the Sun co-star (and now fiancée!) Song Hye Kyo, who boasts equally glowing skin at age 35. Girl group SECRET’s Sunhwa creates her own natural face mask by mixing bean powder with milk; and during a hotel stay, model Irene Kim experimented with room service-requested milk, honey, and a few drops of lemon to create a refreshing DIY facial for her travels.

 

Enough milking — so what’s so great about it?

The first source of nutrition for both humans and animals, milk is unsurprisingly chock full of health and beauty perks. Vitamins A and B6, potassium, and biotin help moisturize dry skin and promote new healthy cells; vitamin D, magnesium, selenium (which has antioxidant properties), and lactic acid all work together to keep skin youthful, strengthen elasticity, diminish fine lines, and exfoliate dead skin. For the acne-prone, milk helps gently exfoliate and treat breakouts; on the other end of the spectrum, it draws out sebum and de-gunks clogged pores in oily skin.

 

Of all these nutrients, we’re paying special attention to lactic acid, a popular ingredient in many skincare products. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, and don’t worry, it’s safe for your skin. Naturally derived from foods (like citric acid from lemons and limes), AHAs act like natural exfoliators to target, dissolve, and remove dead skin cells, revealing healthier, brighter, and more radiant skin beneath. With properties to soothe sunburns, moisturize, hydrate, and calm sensitive skin, lactic acid is a multi-tasking powerhouse that gives milk its skin-perfecting abilities.

 

If you’ve already tried cow’s milk in your skincare routine, take it to the next level with donkey milk. A rising star in Korean beauty products (and topping the list of the strangest sounding ingredients to date), donkey milk has 60 times more Vitamin C than cow’s milk, and it’s full of fatty acids and ceramides (lipid molecules that form a protective layer on skin to retain moisture) for intensely hydrated results.

 

milk skincare

 

Put milk to the test

Dip a cotton ball into whole milk and gently swab all over a clean face. Following the “oil dissolves oil” rule, the healthy fat in whole milk will help slough away any remaining oil-based impurities like sebum, sunscreen, and makeup, as well as exfoliate and lighten your skin. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Bonus: If you have a bathtub, treat yourself to some “you time” and pour a few cups of milk into a tub of warm water. The luxurious and silky mixture will leave your skin feeling ultra-soft and luminous.

 

Not into playing with your food? Get the next best thing with milk protein-infused products like the Skinfood Milkshake Point Makeup Remover. Tony Moly even has an entire collection created with goat milk, another lactose liquid rich with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

 

Have you ever tried skincare with donkey milk, goat milk, or even whole milk? Did it make a difference in your skin? Let us know!

How I Do K-Beauty: Ruth’s Skincare Routine

ruth's skincare routine

Just like everyone’s skin is unique, the way everyone cares for their skin is also unique. After all, there’s no right or wrong way to do K-beauty; it’s what works for you. In this series, we take a deep dive into the individualized skincare regimens of some K-beauty insiders. Here, W2Beauty associate editor Ruth Kim gives us a peek into her 10+ step routine.

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If you asked me what my skincare routine was two to three years ago, I would have shrugged indifferently. Makeup wipes, face wash, and a moisturizer. (I know, crazy, right?) There’d be the occasional sheet mask that my mom would bring back from her visits to Korea, but that was pretty much the extent of my skincare routine.

 

It’s only been a few years since I saw the light that is Korean beauty and skincare, and let me tell you, it’s been one helluva ride. From figuring out what an emulsion was to my essence enlightenment, if you will, I can happily say that my B.S. days — Before Skincare, that is — are long behind me.

 

But before I jump into my routine, a word on self-care (and it’s likely something you’ve heard many times before). As important as it is what I put onto my skin, I’ve found that what I put into my body (and how I take care of it) has as much — nay, more — impact on the overall health and appearance of my skin. Without going into too much detail (because it ain’t pretty), I’ve had digestive issues my entire life. Just two years ago, these problems escalated into a pretty serious bacterial imbalance in my gut, and since then, my diet has undergone a complete overhaul. During the most intense period, I completely cut out gluten, sugar, alcohol, coffee (withdrawal headaches for days), processed foods, fried foods, and surprisingly, even some veggies and fruits that weren’t easily digestible. Not only did my stomach begin to feel better, my complexion cleared and my skin seriously glowed.

 

Alas, I still deal with gut issues on the daily (the gut is as complex and individualized as one’s skin type), and when I do indulge in sugar, alcohol, or fried and processed foods, I experience immediate ramifications in the form of breakouts and overall poor skin health — notably, a new development of hormonal acne (which I’ve never faced before, literally). All of this is to say: Consider reevaluating what you eat (keep a food diary and keep track of breakouts and other skin issues in relation to your daily meals) as well as your stress and sleep patterns, and you might find the culprit is outside of your skincare routine.

 

With that said, let’s jump into our routine check-up.

 

Age range: 20s

Skin type: Combination/sensitive skin (oily T-zone, dry and sensitive on cheeks)

Skin issues: Redness, dullness, dehydrated skin

Skincare steps: 7-11 (depending on night or daytime routine)

 

ruth's skincare routine

 

Step 1: Makeup remover (night)

At night, I always use a makeup removing wipe to get an initial cleanse on my face and thoroughly erase any stubborn mascara or eyeliner.

 

Step 2: Oil cleanse (night)

Next, I go in for the double cleanse (again, only a nighttime step for me). For the past few months, I’ve been alternating between the Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil and the cult favorite Banila Co. Clean It Zero cleansing balm, in the Radiance version. I’ve also recently started incorporating quick facial massages during my double cleanse, a super easy way to treat yoself after a long day of furrowed brows and pursed lips in front of a screen. (Guilty, right now.)

 

Step 3: Water-based cleanser (day + night)

I finish off my triple cleanse with a gentle foaming cleanser to rinse off any remaining water-based residue. For nights, I’ve been using a small gift set-sized version of The History of Whoo Essential Foam (thanks, mom!), a very thick cleanser that smells like ginseng (in the best way) and lathers up really nicely into a luxurious foam.

 

In the mornings, I skip the wipes and the oil cleanse for a one-step wash with one of my favorite gentle cleansers, the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I’ll occasionally use a cotton pad soaked in a cleansing water (currently: Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water) for good measure.

 

Step 4: Exfoliation (night)

I exfoliate 1-2 times a week, on average, and especially when my skin looks a little dull (I see you, dead skin cells). I’ve been using a few exfoliating products in rotation, notably the Moksha Dear.Orange Jam Scrub and a sample size of the Iope Moisture Skin Soft Peeling Gel, a gommage-type exfoliator great for sensitive skin like mine. Sometimes I’ll exfoliate before my water-based cleanser, because I find that some exfoliating products can leave behind a thin film on my skin.

 

Step 5: Toner (day + night)

After cleansing, I pat my face dry with my hands and soak a cotton pad with a toner to sweep all over my face and neck. My very first toner was — yes, like a million others — the Son&Park Beauty Water. Currently, I’m in the process of using up two toners to phase them out of my routine, not because they’re terrible, but because their performance was a little lackluster on my skin. (Next up to bat: the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner — I can’t wait to try this much-hyped toner).

 

Step 6: Essence (day + night)

Following toner, I pat in a generous amount of essence all over my face and neck. The essence that took my skin-virginity was the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. I’m on my second bottle now, and I alternate it with the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.

 

Step 7: Sheet Masks/Clay Masks/Wash-off Masks (night)

Ah, sheet masks. The gateway drug to K-beauty addiction. I keep at least 10-15 different sheet masks from various brands in my bathroom drawer, and I’ve got clay and wash-off masks in heavy rotation. I love incorporating masks into my nighttime routine at least two to three times a week.

 

Step 8: Ampoule (night)

The only ampoule I’ve used to date is the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule, which I usually use in conjunction with the aforementioned First Treatment Essence. I’m still an ampoule novice, and I’m looking forward to trying out different ampoules to target specific skin concerns in the future. (Currently eyeing the well-reviewed CELLNCO ampoules.)

 

Step 9: Facial Oil (day + night)

I’ve come a long way from running away in horror at the idea of using an oil on my skin to absolutely falling in love with facial oils. There’s just something so calming, therapeutic, and luxurious about warming up a pea-sized amount of oil in my palms and pressing it deep into my skin.

 

At night, I’ve been using a sample size of the Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil by Fresh, and in the day, a miniature bottle — clearly, I love me some sample sizes — of the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate. My skin loves both of these oils.

 

Step 10: Eye Cream (day + night)

Next step: treating the delicate skin under my eyes with a lightweight eye cream. Several months ago, I tried a tiny tube of the Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel that I really enjoyed, so I recently bought the full size jar, which will probably last me quite a number of months. (Previous to this, I used the Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream, which ended up being way too thick for my skin, resulting in clogged pores and milia.)

 

Step 11: Moisturizer (day + night) & Sunscreen (day)

Finally, I seal everything in with a moisturizer. My go-to right now is the COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream, which can tend to feel a little too sticky for day use, but in careful moderation, can be quite lightweight. And of course, I always follow my moisturizer with sunscreen in the daytime.

 

While I clearly follow an often 10+ step skincare routine, I’m still in the never-ending process of learning to listen to my skin and discern what works and doesn’t work. My routine may condense, evolve, or grow in steps over time, but that’s the best part about K-beauty. It’s not one-size-fits-all — it’s all about understanding your unique skin and body, inside and out, and tailoring your skincare routine (and lifestyle!) to achieve the very best skin that you deserve.

 

So what’s your unique skincare routine? I’d love to swap notes. Share in the comments below!

Kim Tae Hee’s Wedding Makeup By JSM Slays (Even For Everyday)

kim tae hee's wedding makeup look

Want that bridal glow for your wedding (or just every day)? Our detailed rundown on how to get the Kim Tae Hee wedding makeup look, courtesy of one of Korea’s top celeb makeup artists, Jung Saem Mool.

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When news of wedding bells for Korean mega-stars Kim Tae Hee and Rain hit Hallyu-wood in a frenzy, we were preoccupied with one important detail: the makeup look for Kim Tae Hee’s very special day. Lucky for us — and for you — we’ve got the details on how to achieve the actress’s bridal makeup directly from celebrity makeup artist Jung Saem Mool, who created the look that’s not only wedding-day perfect, it’s everyday perfect.

 

With a reputation for being the “Nation’s Goddess,” Kim Tae Hee did not disappoint when it came time to say her vows. The successful 36-year-old actress looked like a bona fide Korean Aphrodite with all kinds of glow, and it was thanks to Jung Saem Mool and her talented team of beauty pros. Sought after by celebrities and denizens alike, both in Korea and abroad, Jung Saem Mool has built her portfolio and solidified her standing as one of Korea’s go-to makeup artists since her start in the 1990s.

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup
Bride Kim Tae Hee with celebrity makeup artist Jung Saem Mool (second from right) and her team of beauty pros. Instagram @jungsaemmool11

 

Despite Kim’s immeasurable success thanks to her roles in cult dramas like Stairway to Heaven, Iris, Love Story in Harvard, and Yong-pal — not to mention her husband Rain’s equally impressive fame and fortune amassed as a K-pop singer, songwriter, music producer, and actor — the two stars decided to tie the knot in a small private ceremony at a Catholic church this past January. “We thought about the circumstances at the time,” the actress said in an interview. “We didn’t want to hold an overly fancy wedding when the current economic situation is so difficult.” (Talent, affluence, and social consciousness? This power couple is the complete package.)

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup

 

With modesty on the mind, the veteran K-drama star planned her wedding style in reserved fashion. Less glamorous and more demure, Kim chose to wear a plain veil and an inexpensive knee-length, long-sleeved dress with scalloped hems, custom made by her personal stylist. And for makeup, the actress opted for her signature look: clean, simple, and classy.

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup
In January, the celebrity couple joined in holy matrimony during a private ceremony held at a Catholic church.

 

The Jung Saem Mool Effect

Taking the reins of Kim Tae Hee’s wedding look, makeup artist Jung Saem Mool teamed up with her fellow beauty pros, which notably included JSM Art & Academy director Choi Younmi, hairstylist Yunjeong from the Jung Saem Mool Inspiration East atelier, and makeup artist and vice president for Jung Saem Mool Inspiration, Juhee Sohn.

 

The final look was all about enhancing Kim’s natural beauty: dewy and flawless skin highlighted in all the right places; minimal eyeliner accented by thick, defined lashes; and blushing-pink lips. It’s a look you could wear every day — handsome groom optional. Jung Saem Mool herself shared the steps to the actress’ soft wedding look in a recent tutorial on her YouTube channel. Here, we break it down for you in five steps. (And true to Korean form, you’ll see that three of the five steps are spent on perfecting the skin.)

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup
JungSaemMool YouTube channel

 

Step 1: Create your base

Start out by moisturizing the skin. Then apply a foundation slightly lighter than your skin tone — like JSM Essential Star-cealer Foundation — all over the face (and neck!) to create your makeup base. Using a medium sized brush, apply concealer on the cheeks and nose, and then taking a smaller brush, concentrate the same concealer on the T-zone, nose tip, and on blemishes or discoloration around the lip.

 

Step 2: Brighten and highlight

A pink-toned concealer brightens and adds glow by counteracting sallowness and dark circles. Jung blends in a concealer in a pink shade around the eyes and along the C-zone (from the outer brow bone down to the cheeks). You can watch her do it here (starting at 1:00), but we also break it down for you after the video.

 


To add a natural highlight, take a skin-toned concealer and blend it with a whiter shade, applying it on the T-zone for a brightening effect.

 

Finally, dab a lavender-hued color corrector on the eyelids, along the bottom lash line, and on the C-zone. As the color opposite yellow on the color wheel, the purple-based shade eliminates unflattering sallow undertones to simultaneously even out skin and brighten the eye area.

 

For application, it’s important to note the way Jung blends in all of the products. The makeup artist ensures an impeccably smooth and flawless finish by implementing small, light, and precise motions all over the face. Instead of swiping on the products, you’ll notice that she employs quick dabbing motions, which she repeats numerous times until the product is completely blended in. In the same way that Korean beauty junkies thoroughly pat pat pat their skincare products until fully absorbed into the skin, applying your makeup in this manner ensures that the products are well-blended for a natural makeup finish.

 

Step 3: Add a natural pink glow and mattify

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup

 

Mix a pink pearl powder (or highlighting powder) with pink and lavender blushes, sweeping it lightly and quickly on the high points of your cheeks and eyelids. You can use the same blush shades on your eyelids and under the lash lines to create your eyeshadow base.

 

Then take a powder pact and press the product onto the T-zone using a flat brush in light patting motions to remove excess oil.

  

Step 4: Enhance your eyes

Line your waterline with a brown gel eyeliner, extending out slightly past the corners to elongate and widen your eyes. Soften the liner by blending in brown eyeshadow, taking it under the lash line as well for more depth.

 

Define the upper and lower lashes with a generous layer of mascara, and frame the eyes by filling in your brows with a brow pencil in your hair’s shade.

 

Step 5: Finish with the lip

 

kim tae hee wedding makeup

 

Taking a light rose pink color, apply the lipstick directly onto your lips. Then apply a nude shade with a lip brush along the outer edges of the lips and blend to blur the lines between the two colors. Finally, apply a bright, glowing pink color onto the inner part of your lips with the same lip brush, dabbing out to create a gradient effect.

 

The end result? Warm, sophisticated, and understated elegance, allowing the spotlight to shine on the most important features of the wedding day: commitment, celebration, and love.

 

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