How a $14 Lipstick Made Me Into a K-beauty Convert
In the last few years Korean skincare and makeup (most commonly referred to as K-beauty) has come into the mainstream. Now a globally recognised type of skincare and makeup, here's how I became a K-beauty convert and why.
Growing up, I was never into the whole makeup and skincare regime because I was battling pretty bad eczema. There was one incident in high school during winter that pretty much scared me into not wanting to put anything on my face - I had used the wrong product on my very flared up eczema - very painful and many expensive visits to the dermatologist over the years followed.
SOLD ON THE $14 GLOSS TO MATTE FINISH LIPSTICK!
Fast forward several years and I was shopping on Pitt St, Sydney with my sister and she dragged me into a K-beauty store - this hole in the wall that was very much a blink and you'll miss it kind of place. I didn't really care to look at anything but then I came across some red lipstick which I've always wanted to have but never game enough to try (may I say, even before this I always had the perception that K-beauty was expensive too). It was this gloss type lipstick. I tried it on the back of my hand and I watched it turn into a matte finish - it was so cool! Then I tried some on my lips and phwoar that was the defining moment! The finish, the colour and then the real test was, 'how much?' - '$15 and if you buy two they're $14 each' = SOLD! A couple months later I ended up winning a fantastic Innisfree green tea skincare set from a Harper's Bazaar competition. It was the first time I had ever tried K-beauty skincare and a serum at that. Apparently the green tea seed serum was their signature product. I tried it on the back of my hand first and waited a few minutes - no reaction. I then tried it on my jawline and waited a few minutes - still no reaction. Then I tried it on my face and WOW it felt so hydrating and so nice! Since then I've been on this love affair journey with K-beauty - researching, experimenting and embracing it all.
K-BEAUTY VS MAINSTREAM BEAUTY
The last few years I've slowly been changing my makeup and skincare products to ones that have natural and organic ingredients. K-beauty companies in general are pioneers in the field, embracing their ancient dynastic roots of using natural ingredients in its full potency. Before global brands such as The Ordinary brought hard to pronounce ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid etc into the limelight, K-beauty companies already had these on tap for their loyal customers. Korean women (and men) know from a very early age the importance of looking after their skin and maintaining that youthful appearance well beyond their years. But the clincher would have to be the affordable price that most products have compared to mainstream global brands.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT K-BEAUTY
Apart from its price I would say, their focus on natural ingredients (clean beauty) and just how effective it is on my combination sensitive skin. I have an oily t-zone, dry butterfly zone and eczema. Many products are also available in a smaller size so you have the ability to try something for a good amount of time without needing to commit to the full size and its price. Of course most online stores throw in a great amount of free samples too and who doesn't love samples! In fact, most of the products that we stock at Just Go Shop are in the smaller size to give you the opportunity to try and see if it works for your skin.
I would say the thing that I love most about K-beauty is how it makes me feel - seeing how well my skin looks plus just how my skin feels.
One thing K-beauty is known for are their skin brightening and whitening products. I must say I was a sceptic but it really does work! To show you, the back of my hands are actually lighter to my arms (see pics below)! So top tip, when using your whitening/brightening products make sure you also apply to your neck and décolletage and up your arms (see the rest of my tips below).
👉 See the colour difference between the back of my hand vs my arm (from wrist down) - showing the effectiveness of whitening/brightening products. No filter has been used whatsoever on this pic.
👉 My skin is so smooth and the anti ageing effects of the products are very effective. No filter has been used whatsoever on this pic.
Overall my face is in great condition - it's smoother, clearer, glowing, my wrinkles are diminishing and there's less eczema flare ups. I can't really put it in words but my skin just feels, well happy!
TIPS FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE TO GET THE MOST OF YOUR K-BEAUTY PRODUCTS
- If you're a newbie to the K-beauty world, a lot of the popular skincare products are available in a smaller size - we at Just Go Shop like to supply the smaller/travel sized ones so that you can effectively trial the product without having to commit to the larger size up front. If you're not sure if something is right for you, google reviews on products/brands and buy the smaller size first.
- Keep the travel sized container so that if/when you buy the bigger size you can dispense into the smaller container to put into you handbag or use for travel.
- As soon as you open a product, write on the bottle/tube the date - this is called the 'period after opening date'. Two reasons why - to track how long it lasts you for and it ensures you use it by the recommended timeframe stamped on the product. The little jar symbol (see below) you find printed on there indicates the timeframe the product will be safe and stable for use on your skin. 👉
- For those that don't like sheet masks (me included), do a cream mask - use a silicon brush designed specifically for applying wash off masks and apply a thick layer of your favourite cream all over your face like a mask and let it sink in for about 15-20 mins (massage the rest in if there's any not absorbed). Believe me, your skin will feel so baby soft and nourished just like you've stepped out of a day spa.
- When applying your eye cream, don't forget to apply a thin layer over your eye lids. Saggy/wrinkled eye lids can really age your look.
- Apply eye cream on the sides of your mouth and nose (like when you use concealer). It's common for the sides of your mouth to discolour and it can make it look like you're frowning which can also age you.
- Don't just apply your products to the face, don't forget your neck, décolletage and all over your arms, especially skin whitening and brightening products. Remember my hands having a different colour to my arms story above!
- When using sheet masks, there's generally a good amount of the awesome ampoule left in the packet - don't waste this! Scoop it out and apply it to your neck, décolletage and arms!
- If it's one step that I recommend that you never miss out, it's the first step - the cleansing step. And yes, I recommend doing the double cleansing - it's well worth it as it sets the base for the rest of your products to do their job effectively and setting a great 'foundation' for your makeup to look and sit the best that it can.
- I don't believe that every product in the one brand or range is going to be suitable for you. As every single person's skin is different it's very much a trial and error thing. I also think that the morning and night routines are better customised as such. Eg have a night repair oil/cream product in your night routine.
- If you want a recommendation on where to start, I recommend the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner travel set as it's an affordable yet gentle set suitable for all skin types. Its essence toner is its star product - you'll find many independent reviews in Google search.
- The one accessory I would recommend having for your skincare and makeup routine would definitely be a headband. This will keep the hair off your face when you're cleansing and applying products. I never considered having one before but it'll take a lot of stress and frustration out of your routine. Even better if you have a cute headband to make the whole experience fun - check out our black cat style one (which is also great for cosplay)!