Which Makeup Look Are You: Instagram Baddie vs. K-Beauty Style

instagram baddie

Think the K-beauty look is all about the no-makeup makeup look? Think again. Coco Park breaks down the typical Instagram Baddie beauty look versus the typical Korean beauty makeup look and shows us how the two are just as similar as they are different.



This is probably old news to most people in the K-beauty world, but if you’ve ever wondered exactly what makes a typical Korean makeup look — and how that’s different from the prevailing Western look on social media — read ahead.


instagram baddie


First, let’s start with the typical Instagram Baddie look, which is really having a moment these days. In this look, the emphasis is on a heavy eye applied a pretty specific way (sharp cut crease, thick winged liner, heavily smoked); insane contouring and highlighting; heavy, blocky, exaggerated arched brows; exaggerated false lashes; and heavy, overlined lips. Everything is almost graphic, as heavy and precise as a Lichtenstein print.


instagram baddie


I found this image on Pinterest, and it’s a great example of that baddie look — see what I mean? The result is totally hot, and it’s a very specific style.


instagram baddie


So how is the K-beauty makeup style different? A Korean style look will have the same exaggerated emphasis on certain features but in a whole different way for a totally different effect.


Eyebrows play a huge part in Western looks, and they’re equally if not more important in a K-beauty look. The shape is really important here. The most popular look has been the straight brow, which eschews the exaggerated arch for an flat, childlike brow. And it’s not subtle either; it’s filled in quite exaggerated here as you can see. It’s not that this is a more subtle look, it’s just a different goal.


instagram baddie


Speaking of subtle, though, check out this liner. Look closely — she also has a winged upper liner, however, it’s very subtle in comparison to the Baddie look. The eyeshadow is also subtle. From far away it might even look like she’s not wearing any at all, but look closely — she has on a very nude shade on the top, and the bottom lashline has a shimmery highlighter shade all around, bringing the eyes forward. A lot of the drama in the look is achieved not with shadow but with contact lenses! The giant circle lenses make the eyes look larger and more doe-like.


In comparison to the Baddie, our K-beauty also has her nose highlighted, but it’s in the form of dewy skin and what looks like a cream or liquid highlighter.


Another thing they have in common? False eyelashes, only these are the more natural but still totally beautiful 3CE Pink Rumour lashes.


Pulling back and examining the rest of this look, we can pinpoint the other differences and get a better look at that eyeliner wing and shimmery eye.


instagram baddie


What we also see here is the babydoll-like pink flush cheeks. Instead of the almost sharp line of bronzer/contour and high voltage highlighter on the cheek like the Instagram Baddie, we have a diffused, soft powdery pink that highlights her flawless skin (without highlighters).


Now for the real focus and finish: the lips.


instagram baddie


The goal here with this lip is not the overlined graphic look, but it’s still bold. This bright pink is arguably brighter than the Baddie’s lips, but they’re tempered by a diffused look (like the cheeks). The matte stain looks a lot like someone who has sucked on a popsicle, instead of a precise lipliner defined look that can look overly “done.” This looks much more carefree, even though any of us familiar with sometimes temperamental lip stains know they’re anything but! If you’re not a fan of stains, you can get a similar look applying a bright lipstick with nothing but your fingers.


So what’s your style? Personally, I pull from both of these styles and combine it to make my own unique hybrid look. I guess that’s the beauty of, well, beauty!


P.S. K-Beauty Baddie totally needs to be the next thing.



Your Search For the Best K-Beauty Red Lip Is Over

red lip

Whether you’re a classic lipstick-in-a-tube girl or all about the liquid lips and stains, makeup artist and esthetician Coco Park has a red lip for you. Just be prepared to love it because some of these colors will last you all night.



A red lip is a staple — it’s classic, it’s bold, it’s cute, it’s sexy, and most of all, it’s timeless.


Korean beauty has my favorite lipstick, stain, and gloss formulas across the board. Combine two and you’ve got an unbeatable duo. Today I’m rounding up my top 10 favorite reds and my favorite formulas.


Red Lipsticks


Romand Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet


No surprise I’m starting off this list with Romand. I love their creamy mattes, which are never drying, and this shade, Red Carpet, is a rich, classic movie star blue-based red. For daytime I like applying this with a finger for a more diffused soft look that packs all of the punch of a red lip without being too much.


Missha Signature Dewy Rouge RD04 in Scarlet Lady


I love Missha’s Dewy Rouge formula. It’s like a cheaper version of Hera’s famous Rouge Holic but with all the bells and whistles. This is a very moisturizing formula, so it’s great for those with drier lips who might be afraid of the harshness of a red lip. It has high shine like a gloss but rich pigment like a lipstick. I really like the deep red of Scarlet Lady, which reminds me of an ’80s video vixen.


red lip


3CE Creamy Lip Color #9 in Kitsch Biker


This lippie is not for the faint of heart. The sizzling orange-red is a real statement maker, and I absolutely love it. One of my favorite looks is heavy whispie faux lashes, bronzer, and an all-eyes-on-me focus of Kitsch Biker on my lips. The formula is kind of like the Missha Dewy Rouge but less slick and with more pigment. It is also moisturizing and glossy, so reapplication after a few hours is going to be a must. This color is so unique, and I love the cushy formula; this will always be a must-have for me.


Tony Moly Perfect Lips Lip Cashmere in Red Wood


Tony Moly always impresses me with their makeup line, and I’m rarely disappointed. No exception here with their Perfect Lips Lip Cashmere line. These rich, gorgeous, highly pigmented, smooth mattes are pleasing to the eye and the lips. The bullet itself looks a lot like a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick but performs better for me honestly. I also appreciate their color line in this formula, one of the standouts being Red Wood, a brown-orangey tinged red. Check out their other reds in this line; they’re equally awesome if you like the formula but not nearly as unique.


CELLNCO ChuChu Lips in Spicy Red


If I started this list with Romand, you know I’m going to close it out with CELLNCO! CELLNCO came in and killed it this year with their ChuChu Lips line. In my review I talked about how these are totally the type of lippies Solange would wear. The formula is on point, the pigment is richer than a Russian oligarch, and the color line is straight out of a Frida Kahlo painting. Love, love, love these! Sour Candy will always be my favorite shade, but for classic reds I’m going to go with Spicy Red: drop-dead, kick-you-in-the-face beautiful like a ’50s screen siren.


Red Liquid Lips and Tints


Etude House Rosy Tint Lips in #2 Sunny Flower


It seems like a lifetime ago that I first fell in love with Etude House Rosy Tint Lips. In fact, it was the first K-beauty lip product that really turned the tide for me as a dedicated follower of K-makeup. With its fuzzy doe foot applicator and creamy tint, I was hooked right away. At the time, I had never seen that kind of delivery system and formula — it was exciting, new, and best of all, excellent quality with a tiny price point. Years later, here we are and it’s still a great product. While #8 After Blossom is my favorite shade in the line, #2 Sunny Flower is a pretty and cheerful yellow-based red. You can tap it on with the doe foot for a more diffuse gradient look or slick it on for a stronger statement.


red lip


A’Pieu Lasting Lip Tint in RD03 Hailey


A’Pieu is a brand that doesn’t get enough love and recognition. They have so many little treasures hidden in their product line and the Lasting Lip Tint is one of them. This tint is thicker than a watery tint but not quite a creamy tint either. It goes on smooth and doesn’t run all over the place. This color, Hailey, is a vampy, almost merlot red, which I think is a lovely departure from the pinky reds you find in a lot of other tints. This is a long-lasting stain, so feel free to wear this one on a dinner date.


Peripera Ink The Velvet in #3 Sellout Red


Peripera and sister company Clio kill it when it comes to long-lasting stains and tints. They’re my go-to brand for this category most of the time. Peripera’s Ink line has a lot of different formulations, from the water type (sounds like a Pokemon) to the creamy type, which The Velvet line is. It’s billed as a “whipped cream” type formula. It’s definitely cushy, and it definitely puts a nice, even stain on the lips, even when the initial product is wiped away, so be steady with your application! Sellout Red is a really peppy pinky-red. Beware not to accidentally lick your lips with this one — as part of the trade-off for having a long wearing lip stain, your lips are going to taste like soap, which is kinda gross. I’ll take it though, because the colors are gorgeous, and it doesn’t dry out my lips.


Romand Juicy Lasting Tint Summer Scent


It’s no longer summer, but I still have wonderful memories of this fruit-scented sunny red. I reviewed this line earlier, so you can read all about why I love it there. Just let me say that this is the ultimate cocktail for your lips and the cutest little red.


Clio Virgin Kiss Lipnicure in Tension Red


Do you want a bold red that isn’t going to budge? Want to make out with a hot person and still walk away looking like a goddess instead of a mess? Let Lipnicure be your lip lord and savior. Called a Lipnicure because it’s supposed to be as tough as a manicure but for your lips, this long-lasting liquid lip is hard-core. Because of its strength, it does cling to dry spots and dead skin, so make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips before use. Despite this, the formula isn’t that drying on me, and I’ve got some pretty dry lips in the winter. Tension Red is a classic, timeless blue-based red that has been in style for the last 100 years and will be in style for the next 100 years. It’s a safe buy and a smart buy if long-lasting is your aim.


Do you love a red lip? Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you think!



Yes, Even You Can Do a K-Beauty Smoky Eye — Here’s How

k-beauty smoky eye

Think Korean beauty is all about no-makeup makeup looks? While it’s true you’re not going to find much Kardashian-level contouring and overdrawn lips, you can use K-beauty techniques to pull off a more modern K-beauty smoky eye. Even better, you don’t have to be a pro to pull it off.



I can’t think of anything sexier than a smoky eye. It’s a shame so many people are too intimidated to attempt to do one! When friends ask me how they should do their makeup for whatever event, I’m almost always going to tell them to go for a smoky eye. I’m often met with, “Girl, no, that’s too advanced and too fussy.” And almost always I explain to them how it’s not as complicated as it looks, especially if you do it with Korean style in mind.


The smoky eye: Korean style vs. Western style


A typical Western style smoky eye is heavy on the liner and even heavier on the shadow. Eyes are rimmed with black liner, both upper and lower lashlines, as well as tightlined on the top and bottom. Then a dark, matte, dramatic shade is applied to the lids and blended upward into a gradient. The old style usually had a flash of iridescent highlight right underneath the eyebrows to highlight. Think Kim Kardashian in the time period between her original and third face.


The eyeshadow was matte, almost always black or grey, and it was a real pain in the ass to blend, even for the professionals amongst us. I was doing a lot of men’s editorial shoots back then, and I used to carry three clean MAC 217 brushes on set exclusively used to buff out heavy matte smoke on the models. This look was not for everyone. In fact, unless you had giant doe eyes, it could look pretty awful. The new, more modern K-beauty smoky eye is much more user-friendly and can be worn either day or night.


The Korean approach can teach us lessons for any eye shape but is especially friendly to my fellow hooded eyelid folks (shout out to us).


k-beauty smoky eye
Face chart by erikaharada.net. Graphic by Coco Park.


Switch to bronze eyeshadow


The first major difference is the color choice. You don’t have to opt for a dark, chalky, matte powder eyeshadow. A much more flattering and up-to-date eye uses a lighter, shimmery shade. My go-to shade is a good light-catching bronze. It feels very current and looks good with every eye color.


One of the easiest ways to get a smoky bronze look is with an eyeshadow stick. Pony Effect Stay Put Eye Stick in Be Dazzling is perfect for warmer tones and I’m Meme I’m Stick Eyeshadow in Ash Stone would be complementary to cooler tones. Both products have excellent color payoff and can be buffed out fairly easily — but work quickly! Since both products are waterproof, once the formula sets, it’s not going anywhere.


k-beauty smoky eye
Pony Effect Stay Put Eye Stick in Be Dazzling, left, and Vixen, right.


Another modern shade that makes for a lovely smoky look is cranberry. Clio Gelpresso Waterproof Stick Eyeshadow Vin Vino Wine is a good shade, as well as Pony’s Eye Stick in Vixen.


Apply all over the lid, working your way up to the crease, and then stop and buff and blend here. You can use your finger or a synthetic brush to do this.


Then line under the eye, concentrating on the outside corner, going slightly past the edges, blending upward, joining top and bottom into a soft V-like almond shape to elongate the eye. Again, this can be done with the finger or synthetic brush. For ease of use I just use the finger, as it’s much easier to blend out and upwards with precision.


Tightline only the upper lashline


You may be wondering where the eyeliner is since it featured so prominently in the smoky eye of yesteryear. Here we scale it back, way back. Using either a black or dark brown liner, keep the tightlining to the upper lashes only. Then, once again focusing on that outer corner, line the upper lids following the same elongated, soft almond shape we made with the shadow. Follow close to the lashline; we don’t want a big thick heavy line here. That can make your lid look heavy in contrast to the shimmery smoke.


k-beauty smoky eye


Now on to the bottom waterline. Normally, you’d rim the waterline with black liner, but tightlining is only going to make your eye look smaller and more closed. It can even read as puffy on some eyes. Instead, opt for a fleshy toned pencil, such as Etude House Play 101 pencil in shade #8, a light nude matte shade. This is going to open that eye up and really make it pop. It’s also what makes the look more modern.


k-beauty smoky eye


Next we’re going to take that pencil and shade underneath the brow for our highlight. This is much more up-to-date than the old school glittery white highlighter shades. Buff out with a brush or fingers; we don’t want a sharp line, just a soft, matte highlight.


If you want to give your brows more definition, feel free to do this step just above the eyebrows as well. It’ll really set your brows off nicely; it’s especially complementary to the popular straight brow look.


Highlight the inner corners


Next we’re going to go in for the inner corner highlight. You can do this one of two ways, depending on where you want to take this look. For a more dramatic nighttime look, use a highlighter pencil such as 3CE’s Under Eye Flash in shade #3 Lovable (if you want a more white gold highlight) or #1 Romanticism (for a rose gold look) . This pencil is insanely shimmery and will catch the light like a fiery disco ball.


3 CONCEPT EYES UNDER EYE FLASH - 6 Choices k-beauty smoky eye
3CE Under Eye Flash


If you want a more natural look, hit up that inner corner with VDL Lumilayer All Over Stick. Take your pinky and get some product, then dab in the inner corner. You can also take this opportunity to dab it into your cupid’s bow and around the outer corner of the orbital bone for a little extra shine. What I like about the VDL Lumilayer All Over Stick is it gives a wet look as opposed to a shimmery look. It’s like a more subdued version of the cult favorite RMS Living Luminizer.


Curl those lashes


Finally, curl those lashes and coat liberally with your favorite mascara. I like a really defined lower lash for this look and fluffy upper lashes. To do this, I use two mascaras. Innisfree Skinny Microcara Mascara is awesome for precise brush control on those hard to grab lower lashes. It’s also waterproof, so it’s great for keeping your smoky eye from morphing into a panda eye. For the upper lashes I like Innisfree Super Long Lash Cara. I wish they’d make a double ended version with both of these formulations in one container. One can dream.


Blend, blend, blend


Bonus step: If you find that you’re just not happy with the blending job you did, go over the very edges of your shadow with a matte neutral brown powder shadow. This is the Photoshop blur tool of real life. The Face Shop Single Shadow Matte BR01 is a good example. Simply swipe a very light amount and get to buffing. This will give more of a gradient to your smoke. It’s also a safe way to build up even more of a smoke if you want to further elongate the shape without going overboard.


Put all together, this makes a flattering, complimentary look for just about everyone. Those with smaller, hooded, or even monolids, can use these techniques to create a gorgeous look without feeling like they got punched by a chimney sweep. Finally, a smoky eye for everyone that anyone can do.


What’s your go-to eye makeup look? Do you think you could pull off a K-beauty smoky eye?



You Have to See This to Believe It: A Felon Goes #Sheetfaced


When does armed robbery become front page news in the K-beauty community? When it’s a felon going #sheetfaced. Yes — a sheet mask (albeit a poorly fitting sheet mask). Contributing editor Coco Park investigates.



OK y’all, we have reached peak #masking. In California, a man pulled off a robbery wearing a sloppy sheet mask — and I have so many questions.


Was this a member of our beauty community? Did he get so excited to hit up these awesome Black Friday and holiday sales that he felt the need to go out and scare someone to death by robbing them at gunpoint for skincare coins? I mean, yes that Sulwhasoo is expensive — I feel you, my guy — but there’s no need to rob anyone over it.


What I’m also dying to know is, which mask was it? Did he try a variety of masks looking for a better fit on that giant ham face of his? Did he select it for its skincare properties? Did he read the ingredients over and purposely avoid alcohol and carrageenan like I do?




Another thing this story got me thinking about is: What masks would I have recommended for this man to commit his stupid string of felony robberies in? Let’s take a look.


Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Rose


OK dude, you’ve done seven robberies. Seven! You obviously need to calm the F down. How about some nice soothing rose? This Innisfree mask contains Rosa centifolia flower juice, which is soothing and pleasant. This mask does contain alcohol, but something tells me a guy like you isn’t worried about that and likes to live dangerously.


Moksha Dear Tea Tree Mask Sheet Essence Type


Is it a raging case of acne that’s got you on edge? Did you know tea tree is an ancient and excellent treatment to soothe inflamed skin (and hopefully tempers)? Not only has Moksha’s got tea tree, it’s also got Centella asiatica leaf extract, which studies have shown help heal wounds significantly faster. It won’t heal your desperate need for cash, but it will help soothe and heal your face.


Goodal Black Charcoal Mask Oxygen Radiance




Feeling all blocked up with congested pores and that got you in the robbin’ mood? Maybe try treating them with charcoal. Our own Editor in Chief high priestess gave it her approval and named it a holy grail, so surely it’s good enough for a common criminal. Plus it has the added benefit of looking like a proper robber’s mask since it’s black.


Moksha Dear Honey Mask Sheet 


Maybe you’re a giant cranky man-baby because your skin is dry, so you felt the need to lash out and stick a gun in innocent people’s faces. Look, I understand — nobody likes being dry (chill on the damn armed robbery part tho). Moksha is going to come to your rescue again with this one. How about some nice soothing honey? Moksha Dear Honey Mask Sheets are frankly too nice for a piece of garbage like you, but as a skincare professional I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer up my best suggestions. This excellent mask contains the winning trifecta of honey, royal jelly, and propolis. That should be enough, but it also has Salvia sclarea extract, which is an anti-inflammatory and astringent. I wish that worked on souls, ’cause yours needs both.


A’Pieu Silicone Mask Cover


Finally, you obvious and very embarrassing amateur, don’t you know that the pros like us all have one of these silicone mask covers on decky for our masks so that we can, you know, get sh—t done while masking? You’re out here looking like a dried up piece of sadness with your ill-fitting mask all curled up like a forgotten slice of radish, while we’re over here getting our chores done without breaking stride thanks to our mask covers. They solve any ill-fit problems as they hold the mask onto your face, keeping it from sliding around (or sliding off), and sealing in all those beneficial juices, serums, and creams. They’re $5, and I’m pretty sure you can afford one now with your ill gotten gains.


My final advice to you, Mr. Robber? Better build up your moisture barrier now before you’re sent to prison, ’cause there ain’t no skincare behind bars. Unless fermented toilet wine has some kind of Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate thing going on? Oh man … we need to look into that.



Idealistic, Hyped-Up, Unrealistic Standards: What Korean Beauty Is Really About

unrealistic standards

As one of the OG K-beauty influencers, Coco Park of The Beauty Wolf has a unique perspective on K-beauty — its evolution, the industry, and its media obsession with some unrealistic standards. Here, she sheds light on the dark side of K-beauty as an industry, and what Korean beauty really means to her.



The media around Korean beauty often holds up Korean celebrities as the ultimate goalposts to aim for. If you fall short of that, then you might come away thinking that you’ve failed and “OMG, what’s the point anyway and forget all of this I’m just going back to my St. Ives scrub and Proactiv.”


But you really need to check yourself if that’s your attitude. Think about why the media might do this, and don’t lose sight of your personal goals.


Sales via exoticism


The media can be pretty icky when it comes to exoticism, and sometimes companies aren’t really keen to shut that down. “Ohhh, look at this rare creature from a foreign land and her flawless skin! Her ancient secrets and crazy snail slime can also give you this pearl-like complexion, but you must buy every product I just coincidentally carry/manufacture!” When framed like that, it’s apparent there’s no objectivity, but there is whole lotta objectifying going on to drive that bottom line.


unrealistic standards
Korean actress Song Hye Kyo has long been the beauty standard in Korean beauty.




Beware of the person posing themselves as the ultimate knowledgeable being and sole cultural attache for any movement, whether it’s yoga, Crossfit, or beauty. They’re also most likely trying to sell you something as opposed to trying to genuinely educate and bring helpful knowledge to the forefront. That’s also how cults get started, so if you’re ever offered some Kool-Aid, pass on it and book it out of there fast.


Unrealistic standards


Advertisers have long since relied on unrealistic standards to keep us feeling horrible about ourselves so that we might keep blindly consuming products in hopes of achieving the impossible. They put us at war with ourselves — a war we never wanted to be in — and the only casualties are our self-esteems and wallets. This is an unwinnable war, so it’s best to never set foot on the battlefield and let them keep shouting into the void. If the void doesn’t answer back, eventually they’ll shut up.


What K-beauty really is about for me


So that bring us to the actual reality. The tenet of Korean beauty is having great skin, but I feel like it’s sensationalized to the point that people are starting to think that not having “glass skin” is punishable by public flogging.


unrealistic standards
Media outlets recently touted the “glass skin” routine of L.A.-based makeup artist Ellie Choi (which consists mainly of Cetaphil, sheet masks, and fruits and vegetables). Instagram.com/elliejellyb3an


It’s actually really simple:


The real goal of Korean beauty is to have the best skin you can possibly have.


Did you hear that? That means it’s still the skin you have, it’s just the best version of it. Not to have Jun Ji Hyun’s skin. Your skin.


We set our own standards. This does not mean completely flawless is the goal and anything short of that is failure. Unless you’re a Real Doll, no one’s skin is completely flawless, so let’s remove that notion from the table right away. I know that might be hard since every ad we see is Photoshopped to the point of looking like a mask, but it’s not realistic, and deep down we know this. And yes, it is true that there are celebrities and normies out there who really do have near flawless skin, but that’s a genetic thing or the result of an entire team of artists, gurus, and doctors. For 99% of us, we have flaws, and no amount of anything will totally fix them. We can make them better, we can improve, but unless you’re 20 and blemish-free you’re not going to look 20 again.


Take me for example: I’m aging, I have super crappy genetics, and I no longer have flawless, wrinkle-free, porcelain skin. I have visible wrinkles, I have sun damage (this was totally preventable, but I didn’t have the proper skincare education to stop it back then!), and I have visible pores. Sue me. And truth be told, at times it’s made me embarrassed to be held up as an ambassador for K-beauty because of how I look. I fear people thinking, “If that’s what she looks like on K-beauty, I’ll pass.”


I don’t have the disposable income to inject, fill, and resurface my skin back to flawlessness, but you know what I do have? I have healthy skin. My skin is fit. My skin is strong. I can handle acids, I know how to prevent further damage, and I don’t look as awful at this age as I would have had I not been educated in the ways of Korean beauty. I’m the best natural version of myself I possibly can be, and all of that is thanks to a Korean beauty skincare routine. I’m like a fitness instructor that’s not a size zero but is strong as hell. It’s not without work, I don’t look perfect, but it’s still totally worth it.


And most importantly, so are you. So beware of the snake oil salesmen, the unrealistic standards, and the media out there trying to make you feel like trash. You’re a treasure, and we’re here to pass along the knowledge we have to keep you feeling as valuable as the one-of-a-kind jewel that you are.


Have you ever felt disappointed trying to meet the unrealistic standards some companies and media hold up? What does Korean beauty mean to you? Let’s change the conversation around K-beauty and talk about it!




Here’s What a K-Beauty Guru Buys on Black Friday (Jump on This Now!)

Ready for Black Friday? Yeah, neither are most of us. There’s just so much choice out there! So take it from this K-beauty guru and see what she’d buy on the year’s busiest shopping day ever. (P.S. the sale is up right now!) Ready? Set! Shop!



OK, y’all! Listen! We’re having an awesome Black Friday sale, and I’ve already got my list ready. I’ve tried to limit myself to one product from each brand on sale to get a good variety. Check out my future haul and my reasons behind the picks!


Clio Virgin Kiss Tension Lip Oil Tint

Regularly $17.61, now $13.21


It’s getting cold and dry and I need to be able to wear a slick of balm with whatever lip color I’ve chosen for the day. The best and most moisturizing way to stain lips in a balm-friendly way is with an oil-based tint. I’m a huge fan of Clio’s lip products, so I’m dying to try the Clio Virgin Kiss Tension Lip Oil Tint, specifically in the shade Cinnamon Spice — how fitting for the holidays.


The Saem Iceland Micro Hydrating Eye Stick

Regularly $8.50, now $6.38


I love Iceland, I love hydration, and I would be a damn fool not to pick up something shaped like an adorable freaking bear.


black friday


Skinfood Beauty in a Food Mask Sheet Horse Fat

Regularly $1.98, now $1.49


Look. I love horses. I had one growing up. His name was Bear and he was an old Appaloosa that I would ride through the Dairy Queen drive-thru (yes, that really happened). But I have also eaten horse meat, as it’s not all that uncommon where I now live. Horse fat is a by-product of the horse meat market, and if you’re opposed to the meat, I understand. I’m more of the “waste not, want not” type, and at least the by-product is going to use. Flimsy justification? Maybe. But I do quite enjoy the effect of horse fat (sometimes called mayu) on my skin, as the Guerisson Complex 9 Cream LINK showed me. I’d like to also give this sheet mask a whirl and see how it performs.

Peripera Mini Mini Fashion People's Carrier

Peripera Fashion People’s Carrier

Regularly $30, now $22.50


Adorable packaging, killer products, and already a great deal before the discount. I’ve been eyeing this lip tint and concealer kit for the sister-in-law for Christmas; she better hope I have the willpower not to break it open and keep it for myself 😉


Goodal Moisture Barrier Duo Sleeping Mask

Regularly $20, now $15


I am a huge fan of the Moisture Barrier line, and this new Duo Sleeping Mask looks like it just might be the perfect antidote to those harsh winter nights. I have a lot of nighttime outdoor activities coming up this winter, and I’m pretty sure this is going to be a must-have to protect me all night long!


Missha M Magic Cushion Strobeam Opal 15g


Missha M Magic Cushion Strobeam Opal

Regularly $20.09, $15.68


Um, cushion? Sparkly? Strobe? Bih, you better get on my face. “Shimmery opal pearl particles make it look as if a ring light is in front of you” — say no more, you’re coming home with me.


Innisfree City Vacance Sun Stick SPF50+ PA++++

Regularly $16, now $12


One of my New Year’s skin resolutions is to have a portable sun protection product in each of my purses, ready to go. Innisfree has never disappointed me with their liquid sunscreens, so I have high hopes for this high protection, highly portable stick!

Nature Republic EXO Edition Hand and Nature Hand Cream 9 Set

Nature Republic EXO Edition Hand and Nature Hand Cream 9 Set

Regularly $35, now $26.25


Although I’m not a K-pop fan myself (with the exception of BigBang, thanks to my daughter), I’ve got quite a few K-poppers in my life. Now I just have to decide if one person is going to get this or if I’m going to break it up into smaller sets.


Iope Men Air Cushion SPF50

Regularly $27.50, now $20.63


My husband is a working model — sounds cool, but trust me, it’s not very glamorous. Sometimes he’ll get calls from his agent sending him to auditions and go-sees with little warning. When that happens, he needs to look like he has lowkey perfect skin when in reality he highkey doesn’t. He doesn’t have acne anymore, but there are still imperfections that this cushion would make short work of, so this is going in his stocking for X-mas.


skincare superfoods


Innisfree Blueberry Rebalancing 5.5 Cleanser

Regularly $5.91, now $4.43


I’ve got two products for my Innisfree list. I need to grab this cleanser for the very boring reason that I’m out of it and it’s one of my favorites. It’s a damn good simple low pH cleanser, and I love how creamy it is.


Mamonde Vivid Touch Stick Shadow

Regularly $7.23, $5.42


Gimme a nice fat shadow stick to hit up my inner corners with a pixie glow. These twist-up sticks are large (as in, they’ll last a long time), and #1 is a pure white shade that will give the upcoming winter snowflakes a run for their sparkly white money.


black friday


Tony Moly Naturalth Goat Milk Premium Cream

Regularly $32.50, now $24.38


I haven’t been Tony Moly’s biggest skincare fan, but after being totally wowed by their Naturalth Goat Milk baby body wash, I totally want to give this grownup Goat Milk Cream a try! The first ingredient in this glycerin-based cream is indeed goat milk extract, so I’m intrigued and excited!


Hanyul Ja Cho Oil Cleansing Balm

Regularly $35.36, now $26.52


I’ve run through my SanDaWha oil cleanser and my last hoarded bottle of my favorite discontinued oil cleanser. I need a fresh start, and I want a fancy balm to start the new year off right. Hello Hanyul. Hello sweet skincare haul!


Have you tried any of these goodies? What’d you think? And what do you have on your Black Friday list? Let me know in the comments!



Is Iope Easy Fitting Concealer a Dupe For the Famous YSL Touche Eclat?

iope easy fitting concealer

A makeup artist takes on the Iope Easy Fitting Concealer for her under eye woes and compares it to the world-famous YSL Touche Eclat. Can it compete? Here’s what she found.



Korean beauty is chock full of awesome concealers, so much so that I can break them down into categories and have favorites in each one. There’s the high coverage blemish concealers, the color correcting concealers, and most importantly (to me) the under eye concealers.


Since my skin is pretty much under control, I can get away with not wearing BB cream if I don’t want to. What I can’t ever skip is under eye concealer. Blame genetics, blame my kids, whatever the cause, I have pretty gnarly dark circles. I also have discoloration under my eyes and in the inner corners near the top of my nose due to thin skin. (Thanks Mom.) Because of this a good concealer makes a huge difference for me in terms of transforming me into a presentable sight for the land of the living. Because of that I hold my concealers to both high standards and high praise when they get it right. And man, does this one get it right.


iope easy fitting concealer


The first thing you might notice about Iope Easy Fitting Concealer is its packaging’s similarity to YSL’s famous Touche Eclat concealer. Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen ($42) has a massive following, counting the Duchess of Cambridge as one of its loyal users. So I guess you could say it has the royal seal of approval. That’s a pretty big behemoth to take on, so I admired the gall of Iope right away. But could it really compare with the famous Touche Eclat?


Right out of the box you notice the weight of the product. It’s substantial, but at the same time it’s light. The housing must be some sort of gold toned aluminum. It also has a royal blue plastic clicker on the end that pushes the product forward. The main packaging difference between the Iope and the YSL is the delivery system: instead of the brush pen, Iope has opted for a slanted doe foot fibre applicator at the end. Let me tell you right away I prefer this way, way more to the brush; I’ll tell you why a little later.


To get the party started you have to press the clicker several times before the product starts to flow into the doe foot. Don’t worry, it really does take many clicks to get things flowing — it’s not broken. With both of mine I sat there clicking away for what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time, but good things come to those who wait.


When the product finally comes you might have some excess; it becomes easier to control after initial use so you might find yourself wiping away the surplus on the first try. Once your doe foot is properly coated, simply tap the concealer onto your dark circles. Depending on how big of an area you’re working with, you can opt to blend it on with the provided foot or blend down with a concealer brush, tiny beauty blender, or even your fingers.

iope easy fitting concealer

This is where my love of the doe foot versus the brush comes in. In my experience, this is the perfect delivery system as it provides an even coating of product that is just the right amount. It’s like baby bear’s porridge: It’s juuuuuust right. Think of it like the difference between applying foundation with a brush versus with a cushion. The slanted shape also makes it much easier to get into the tiny crevices around the nose and deliver the perfect amount of product just where you need it.

iope easy fitting concealer

Another way that Iope Easy Fitting Concealer instantly triumphs over YSL is the texture of the concealer itself. With YSL I find it to be somewhat thin and watery, giving an uneven coverage initially that requires a lot more work to blend. Iope’s Easy Fitting Concealer has a creamy, cushy, luxurious texture that goes on with just the right consistency every time.


iope easy fitting concealer


It instantly covers those pesky dark circles and discolorations, and with a little blending it’s the perfect airbrushed effect.


iope easy fitting concealer



iope easy fitting concealer


And here’s the most important part that really pulls this across the finish line as the winner:




At all. Fine lines plague just about all of us, so this is a huge accomplishment. Thank you, Iope!


iope easy fitting concealer


The finish of the product is illuminating without looking too strobe-y, covers dark circles perfectly without looking overly “done” or cakey, does not migrate and make your fine lines its home throughout the day. It’s just all around freaking amazing. It’s also $12 cheaper than YSL’s concealer, coming in at $30 here at W2Beauty. I have only one single solitary complaint about this concealer and that’s the poor shade selection.


For me, this really is an absolutely perfect under eye concealer. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for stubborn blemishes or dark spots; this is strictly an under eye party favor. If you’re looking for a thicker, heavy duty concealer for blemishes, give Tony Moly Go Active Concealer a try. However if you’re looking for your holy grail dark circle concealer, this just might be it.


Have you tried the Iope Easy fitting Concealer? What concealers do you turn to again and again? Have you found any K-beauty dupes for famous Western brands? Share your experience!




This Is Why Editors Are In Love With This Cleansing Oil

sandawha cleansing oil

Can a face cleansing oil merit such high praise and devotion? It can when it’s SanDaWha Cleansing Oil. Contributing editor Coco Park explains why she (and the rest of the W2Beauty editors) are now SanDaWha Cleansing Oil converts.



Given my love of camellia oil, of which I professed here, it’s probably a surprise to no one that I fell instantly for SanDaWha, a brand with a focus on camellia oil. I was grateful to receive the majority of the line from W2Beauty, and the products quickly proliferated in my skincare routine and will no doubt be repurchased by me in the future.


One of the standout products for me is the SanDaWha Natural Mild Cleansing Oil.


This is a camellia-based oil. And when I say camellia-based I don’t mean 10 ingredients down the line. The first ingredient is Camellia japonica seed oil 61.55%.


sandawha cleansing oil


And if you’re a fan of plant-based, “natural” products and skincare, you are going to love this stuff. A study of the full ingredient list will thrill you. Cosdna has it listed here, and as you can see it’s a wonderland of plant-based goodies and antioxidants. Some standouts in the plant-based list are Helianthus annuus seed oil (sunflower seed), Oryza sativa oil (rice germ), Vitis vinifera seed oil (grape seed), and Rosa canina fruit oil (dog rose). All of which make for fine emollients, which you need for an oil cleanser to properly work. The antioxidants that caught my eye were tocopherol (which is vitamin E) and ubiquinone, which you probably know as CoenzymeQ10.


And yes, I’m well aware that you’re just going to rinse those away and down the sink, but some people really appreciate nature-based things and actively seek them out. I’m often on the lookout for those kinds of products because they just make me feel that much closer to the earth. It sounds a little hippie-dippy, but I am, after all, a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. I grew up in the red dirt country, picking wild onions and morel mushrooms for dinner. I’m now living in a big city, and I miss nature. Feeling connected to it via beauty is just a small way to say thanks to the earth. Yes, yes, everything is chemicals, and they are nature, too, but you know what I mean. Plants: These are Mother Nature’s gifts to us.


sandawha cleansing oil


Of course, the merits of having a plant-based formula is all well and good, but if this doesn’t work as a cleanser, then it’s all for nothing. And that’s what I love about this product. It really frickin’ works. It slays my waterproof liner and makes short work of my waterproof mascara. The best part is, it does this all without bothering my very sensitive eyes, which have been reacting to a lot of my old favorites lately. It’s been smooth sailing ever since I started using this stuff. Every bit of the day is washed away and not a hint of irritation.


The texture of this oil is what really made it stand out for me. Unlike other oils, this one is thick, so it doesn’t run or seep into the eyes when they’re closed. And this thick oil is even thicker than my other previous thick oil favorite, the Illi Total Aging Care Oil Cleanser.


The SanDaWha Cleansing Oil an excellent choice for doing your massage techniques while cleansing since there’s no fear of it dripping all over the place. Out of all the cleansing oils I’ve tested, this one has the thickest consistency, which gives you a lot of control.

Another thing people often wonder about with a cleanser is the smell. This one has a very subtle scent that pings as chamomile to me — definitely milder than the Illi Total Aging Care cleanser. So if heavy scent was something that turned you off of the Illi (which was a complaint I heard from a few), do check this one out instead.


It also scores insanely low on the acne trigger scale, if that’s something you’re concerned about. It has a total of three ingredients scoring a 2, which is excellent for an oil cleanser. But I mean, you’re going to follow this up with a foaming cleanser anyway, so that’s a non-issue. Still, good to know in case you somehow miss a spot.


If you’re worried about how clean this rinses with a thicker texture, fear not. This rinses off beautifully, removes all traces of your toughest makeup and sunscreen, and leaves your skin very soft and refreshed. In short, this works great, feels great, and I feel great using it. Way to go, SanDaWha! You’ve made me a longtime customer out of me.


P.S. It’s on sale this Sunday from $34 to an insane $12. Mark your calendars!


Have you tried SanDaWha Cleansing Oil or any other SanDaWha products? What’d you think? What’s your favorite cleansing oil? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!




This Bouncy Cream Is Proof That Good Skincare Can Also Be Fun

eclado cell memory cream

Meet my new skincare crush, the Eclado Cell Memory Cream. Yes, it’s a solid moisturizer, but best of all, it’s sooo much fun. Let me explain. (Hint: The bad guy in Terminator 2 has nothing on this cream.)



When I was first starting out in K-beauty, something as seemingly insignificant as texture could get me hooked on a cream. You might remember the Mizon Starfish Returning Cream; it had a whirlwind cult following in the K-beauty world a few years ago. It had a unique, bouncy jelly-gel texture and when you scooped a bit out of the pot, it would regenerate back into a whole undisturbed surface like the bad guy in Terminator 2.


eclado cell memory cream


eclado cell memory cream


It was marketed in a way to make you think that was the miraculous “starfish extract” making that happen, but alas, no. Regardless, it was a cool trick and the actual texture of the cream was amazing. I really loved it. It was a nice, moisturizing, light cream that didn’t really do a whole lot outside of its job, but I kept going back to it again and again because of the way it felt. I wasn’t alone in this; as I said before, it had a cult following.


When Mizon suddenly discontinued it, a lot of people were understandably upset as it was a unique cream at the time. I had mostly forgotten about it, aside from remembering it somewhat wistfully every once in while when doing my nighttime routine. Then I was sent the Eclado Cell Memory Cream, and it was like being reunited with a dead lover reincarnated into someone else’s body, only better. Let me explain.


Eclado’s Cell Memory Cream has that same delightful jelly bounce as the old Starfish Cream, and when I dipped my spatula into it and checked on it a little later, I was thrilled to see it it even had the cool-ass regeneration properties in the jar.



The first and most prominent ingredients are pretty basic moisturizers, solvents, and emollients, and as you work your way down the ingredient list you’ll find interesting plant extracts, astringents, and peptides (antioxidants) as you can see here:


Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-240/HDI Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Kyounin Yu, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Phaseolus Radiatus Meristem Cell Culture Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Algin, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Root/Seed Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/leaf/stem Extract, Brassica Rapa (Turnip) Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, sh-Oligopeptide-1, sh-Pentapeptide-19, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Oligopeptide-29, sh-Octapeptide-4, sh-Decapeptide-7, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Adenosine Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum


The only real questionable ingredient is the algin for viscosity control, which rates a 4/4 for acne and irritation.


Your mileage may vary of course, but I have been using this cream with absolutely no problem for over a month now. In fact, my skin really loves this stuff. I am definitely bouncier than I was earlier this summer, and of course the texture is always a delight.

eclado cell memory cream

And this is to my greater point: It’s totally OK to really be into a cream for something as seemingly silly as texture! I could have the best cream in the world, but if I never use it because the texture icks me out or the smell is off to me, what good is it doing?


If you were a fan of the Mizon Starfish Returning Cream and have fond memories of the captivating original formula, definitely give this a try. If you’re just looking for a lovely feeling light cream with amazing texture that does its job moisturizing, this also fits that bill. I would definitely repurchase this cream — I have quite the skincare crush on it! (Best of all, it’s tomorrow’s Doorbuster sale — it’s almost 75% off, from $58 to an unbelievable $15!)


Have you tried the Eclado Cell Memory Cream? Did you love the old Starfish cream? Let me know in the comments below!


Now For the Most Fun Part of Holiday Shopping: K-Beauty Stocking Stuffers

k-beauty stocking stuffers

If you’re dreading holiday shopping, why not start with K-beauty stocking stuffers, easily the most enjoyable part of the shopping season. Here, 5 ideas that’ll make you a gift-giving pro (and provide some hints to Santa about your own wish list).



I’m pretty good at getting all of my holiday shopping done at a reasonable time. I’m also pretty good at making sure everyone on my list has a gift. Where I’ve really been lacking in years past is finding good stocking stuffers, and let’s be real — that’s a problem because stocking stuffers are one of the best things about Christmas! Like, at least top five best things on Christmas morning.


So this year I’m putting my nose to the grindstone and finding you (and myself) the best five K-beauty stocking stuffers out there. Let’s go shopping y’all!


Ok, let’s set some ground rules. People’s idea of what constitutes a stocking stuffer varies wildly. Some have guidelines as loose as “must fit in a stocking,” others have price limits. So for this story let’s work within “must fit in a stocking, must be delightful or fun, and must be under $25.” Now, let’s get to work.


Lettuce Turnip the Beet


Jon Snow done told y’all winter was comin’, and along with White Walkers, it’s going to bring you dry lips. When your lips are dry it’s always a big production slathering on lip balm over your lipstick, which leads to an epic battle of “Is my color going to last or is my balm going to kill it?”


k-beauty stocking stuffers


The best way to combat that is with a tint. Peripera Color Fit Water Gel Tint ($9 each) may be just what you’re looking for. In addition to being a moisturizing water-gel formula, they’re frankly super duper cute. They come in little packs that look like a juice pack — you tear it open to reveal a tint that looks a lot like a little bottle. They have a really great selection of seven different vegetable and fruit-inspired colors that are sure to fit just about everyone. Get three or four and stuff that stocking right. I hope someone out there gets me the shades Chic Chili and Hipster Beet.




If you use Kakao Talk to keep in touch with your friends and family, you already know they have the cutest emojis ever in the form of their exclusive characters. I will never tire of hearing Kakao’s famous “Uh-oh!” message alert and seeing an adorable angry duck or sassy cat.


k-beauty stocking stuffers


Kakao added a new character worthy of stanning to their lineup named Hoodie Ryan; he’s a lion who’s kinda embarrassed he lost his luscious mane so he’s always running around hood up (like me when I can’t be bothered to wash my hair, so shout out to Ryan). Hoodie Ryan has a collaboration collection with The Face Shop right now (find your nearest store here), and I know I’d be delighted to pull out a Hoodie Ryan Body Wash or Lip Balm keychain out of my stocking. Both products are in the shape of Ryan’s face and are the cutest.


Bubble Bubble



I reviewed the Tony Moly Tako Pore care line earlier, and the Tony Moly Tako Pore Bubble Pore Pack, $12, was the standout product for me in that line. It’s also freaking adorable. Shaped like a friendly little black octopus, this bubbling pore pack helps eat up excess sebum and leave your nose shine-free and happy, all without being as harsh as some other bubble packs out there. It also adds a cheerful little dude to your bathroom sink — always a plus.


Red Bottoms


It’s now winter, but let’s not forget this summer’s Billboard Hot 100 chart topper jam “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B, which contains the line “These expensive, these is red bottoms,” a shout-out to the famous red-soled Louboutin heels.

k-beauty stocking stuffers

Clio’s new Rouge Heel Lipstick line, $23 each, gives a similar shout-out to the killer shoes. This ultra-sharp lipstick inspired by the famous pumps comes in 20 different shades varying from that well-known red sole to a light pink. I personally am interested in #19 Pumpkin Spice and #3 Heat Wave. So while there may not be a pair of Louboutins under the tree, you can get a pout equally as sexy in your stocking.


Like a Bowl Full of Jelly … Fish


We already talked about a cute little octopus, so there’s no reason not to address the adorable jellyfish in the room. Etude House My Beauty Tool Jellyfish Silicon Brush, $6, is a wee pink jellyfish that will make your double cleansing routine that much more fun. It’s made of soft silicone with lots of little textured scrubby bits that will help very gently manually exfoliate your skin. It also has slightly larger little tentacles at the bottom that are great for massage and stimulating blood flow.


k-beauty stocking stuffers
See how cute the Jellyfish would look on your vanity?


Best of all, this little scrubby bro is a foamer, meaning if you squirt your favorite low pH cleanser into it and work it around, it will create fluffy, cushy foam! I could also see using this to clean my makeup brushes as the little top bits are perfect for gently working out pigment stains.


So Santa, if you’re listening, I’d like you to know that this article also functions as a wish list for my own stocking. And don’t forget — I always leave you the good cookies so I’ll be expecting at least some of these goodies come Christmas.


What do you think of these K-beauty stocking stuffers? Do you have any stocking stuffer goodies you’re going to give (or want to receive)? Share with us in the comments below!




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