6 Korean Models Reveal the Best Skin-Care Secret They Learned From Their Mothers

Seoul Fashion Week has come to a close, but given the endless stream of “chok chok”, “kkul-gwang”, and “glass” complexions that came down the runways, it’s only natural that the obsession around each model’s preternaturally luminous glow lingers. And because, in many instances, a Korean woman’s steadfast dedication to her skin-care regimen is inherited from her mother, it seemed like the right time to procure hand-me-down intel.

From Moon Kyu Lee’s pared-back approach, to Hoyeon Jung’s go-to calming treatment, here, six Korean models share the one tried-and-true skin-care secret they learned from their mother.

Moon Kyu Lee

“My mom always told me to use as little product as possible. She only uses a hydrating cream and sun protection before going out. And I watch a Korean YouTube channel called Director Pi, which analyzes the composition of different types of cosmetics and finds ‘friendly’ products for your skin. I had to throw away some of my favorite products after discovering their strong chemical compositions. Now, I prefer natural ingredients and use a range of organic products from Sanoflore.”

Songwha Oh

“When I was 20, my mom told me, ‘Wash your face as soon as you come home; you have to keep your skin good while you’re young.’ After I cleanse with Aesop’s Fabulous Face Cleanser, I apply one of their creamy moisturizers as they’re great for my dry skin.”

Hoyeon Jung

“ ‘Skin first, makeup second!’ is what my mom has always told me, so I stick to basic [moisturizing] and only use a cleanser when I wear makeup, otherwise I’ll just use water. When my skin is irritated, I’ll use an aloe mask pack for its soothing effects.”

EZ

“One of the most important beauty tips my mom taught me is don’t cleanse your face too much, just at night. If you wash your face too much, it gets drier. Using just water in the morning is fine! At the end of the day, before I go to sleep, I use one of the cleansers from Innisfree, a very famous Korean brand, or Darphin’s Aromatic Care face oil with chamomile.”

Gui Eh Park

“For my night routine, my mom always told me that I should only use one cream that perfectly suits my skin and then never touch my face after I put it on. So after I clean my face at night, I wipe it with toner, then moisturize, always using the same amount. And then when I wake up in the morning, I don’t wash my face with a cleanser, just water to clean off the leftover cream from the night before. It may feel like you didn’t wash, but it minimizes stimulation to the skin, so less possibility of emerging pimples. I love Neogen’s Code 9 Glacial Magic Pore Gel and always use a spoon to scoop it out, because I don’t want to infect the bottle.”

Jinkyung Kim

“My mom says, ‘If you want to have baby skin, you have to use baby-proof products!’ I know it sounds crazy, but I think about it whenever my skin is showing signs of stress. My skin has gotten more sensitive and weak since I started modeling, so I really prefer more pure, natural products. The most important thing is cleansing. I’ll use a cleansing milk or gel, gently using my fingertips to massage it into my face, circling at the cheeks, chin, and around the eyes.

VOGUE article

6 Ways to Make Your Foundation Look Like a Second Skin

Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,'” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.

Create a Glowing Canvas

Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.

Prime as Needed

To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.

Apply From the Center and Move Outward

Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favorites. “Start in the center of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose—letting freckles show through for those who have them—and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.

Don’t Paint, Buff

No matter what tool you’re using—a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers—buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.

Strobe Wherever the Sun Hits

For dimension, blend highlighter into the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”

Blot, Then Set

First, sop up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover luster is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’show you execute believably perfect skin.

VOGUE article

6 Beauty Tips Everyone Should Know

Hyaluronic Acid

Contrary to popular belief that it helps moisturize the skin (which is mostly the case), when in the wrong order – it can be very drying. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture into the skin, so if it’s the last thing on your skin (a setting spray or foundation) it will be drying it out. This acid needs something on top of it to draw the moisture into the skin, otherwise it will pull the moisture out of the skin. We’ve recently been seeing ads for products with hyaluronic acid in everything, which can be good, but watch out! If you’re using it as a serum with a moisturizer on top – that’s great. Just don’t use it as the last step, which will have the reverse effects.

Primers & Powders

Make sure you know what your skin type is and choose proper products accordingly.
If you have combination skin, you may need to use more than one primer. For example, you don’t want to use the same primer on the perimeter of your face as you do in the centre of your face. Most people with combination skin have an oily T-zone, so, use a mattifying primer there, and add other primers in other areas of the face (pore-minimizing, smoothing, hydrating, gripping for longevity, etc).
Some people don’t need a primer at all, if you have normal skin, the moisturizer might be enough (if you want, you can of course use blurring, smoothing, etc primers).

Same goes for powders. Use the proper (mattifying, smoothing, sheen-y) products according to your personal facial needs.

False Eyelashes

Consider what happens when you use false eyelashes everyday (which I don’t recommend, but am guilty of sometimes…). Give them a break. Too much usage can lead to lash breakage, make them less strong, shiny, and thick, can lead to some eye injuries & sensitivity; some lash glues may be okay for you initially, but over time you can become allergic to them (ingredients in them).
Instead, you can use a lash growth serum, or castor oil, to make them more luscious and healthy. Just make sure to be careful and not get the product into your eyes.

Eyelashes Preparation

Before using your mascara, take a spool and brush out the lashes to get rid of eyeliner residue and separate them. This will ensure your mascara has the best shot to work properly and avoid clumping.

Buffing Technique

At the end of your makeup routine, take a translucent with a slight radiance powder and buff over the entire face to give a healthy glow and blend everything together smoothly.

Setting Spray Application Alternative

If you want to have the benefits of a certain product but find that when sprayed it’s too much (for example, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist), spray it onto a sponge and bounce it on the areas of your face where you’d like to have that result/effect. You get an even layer, use less product, and have control over the application.

The Worst Skincare Trends That Need To Go Away

  • CBD in skincare – the beauty industry has become obsessed with marijuana/cannabis/CBD promotions over the last year or two. The claims of skincare products, in particular, with this ingredient, include calming inflammation and irritation, helping with sebum production and oil regulation, as well as anti-aging benefits.

    A lot of CBD oils are made at home and sold at a higher price range through websites like Etsy, which brings into question the authenticity of it.

    The formulation process of making a product with CBD isn’t very straightforward and easy – the extraction & stabilization of it. In order to acquire and incorporate this ingridient, a licence must be obtained. There’s a lot more research needed in order to fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of topical CBD.
  • Celebrity skincare lines – we don’t need any more skincare brands for no reason (because let’s be honest, most, if not all, celebrities don’t spend hours in labs caring to gather the most beneficial ingredients)! They add nothing to the skincare realm, sometimes the celebrity themselves don’t even use their products.

    Of course, with the celebrity name comes a ridiculous price tag. Some of these lines are successful due to their marketing strategies of promising that we too can achieve that standard of beauty that we are so used to holding celebrities to.

    Some examples are Madonna’s MDNA Skin, Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty, to name a few.
  • Full face waxing – seems to be mostly a male trend that picked up popularity because “it’s something fun to watch”. The entire face is covered in wax in order to remove unwanted facial hair and peach fuzz, be used as an exfoliating treatment and blackheads remover.

    The best way to wax your face is in sections – apply wax evenly in the direction of hair growth, then once it’s dry, peel it off quickly in the opposite direction. Working in small sections prevents irritation and ingrown hairs!

    Full face waxers do not hold the skin when ripping off the wax layer, which leads to extreme irritation and even ripping of the skin, causing irreversible damage. The skin on your face is extremely delicate so please don’t do this!
  • Skincare tools – extraction tools, derma rollers, sonic peels, etc. might help with certain concerns when used by professionals on you (they know the level of pressure to apply and how to properly work with these tools).

    Social media can really mislead people into using these tools improperly and do more harm than good in the end. Again, click-bait works its wonders here at the expense of proper use of tools that can irreversibly damage the skin. Bleeding, peeling skin, irritation, breakouts, and acne are some of many negative effects.

    Not all tools are even necessary to achieve a result you’re seeking – another product can do so more safely.

5 Tips For Healthy + Glowy Skin

Following the post about K-beauty & skincare, I was inspired to write about tips for healthy and glowy skin. Following are my top 5 tips that should be added to the typical “drink more water & exercise” that we hear day in and day out.

  • Double-cleanse – to effectively break down all of the makeup layers that we wear, it’s important to remove the makeup first with proper removers, micellar waters, etc. followed by two cleansers (can be the same or different products). The first cleanse gets rid of makeup removers’ residue on the skin, while the second layer penetrates the skin more effectively.
  • Exfoliate – whether physical or chemical, exfoliants get rid of the dry skin layer and increase cell turnover. This should be done no more than twice a week, especially for people with sensistive or acne-prone skin. I have normal/combination/sensitive skin and I use exfoliants as needed, which is about once a week. For more information about chemical & physical exfoliants, check out my blog post:
  • Focus on your nighttime skincare routine – this is the longest period of time when the skin is able to replenish and recover, therefore make sure you’re using the most effective and beneficial products to wake up with better skin every day. Make sure to wash the nightime skincare off in the morning with a light cleanser and then apply daytime moisturizer.
  • Self-tan – this point can be controversial, but most of us enjoy the look of our skin when we have a tan on. It makes the skintone more even and gives a better feeling overall. This is especially beneficial for people who have quite thin, translucent skin, which shows veins a lot more. I recommend using products such as Jergens Tanning Lotion or Mousse, St. Tropez, or Loving Tan with a mitt, over tanning salons or prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Highlight using facial oils – place a drop or two of a facial oil on the back of your hand, swirl it around and dab it with a finger onto the cheekbones and around the brows to give a healthy, glow-from-within appearance. Make sure to use an oil that will not disrupt the foundation underneath, such as the Moroccan Oil Pure Argan Oil.

Skincare Techniques I Wish I Learned Sooner

  1. Don’t over cleanse – depending on your skin type and needs, one cleanse in the morning and one before bed (followed by moisturizer and serums, respectively) is enough. When you use more than one cleanser, they can strip the skin of moisture and have an opposite effect.
  2. Retinol, Vitamin C, etc in cleansers are just a marketing ploy – these ingredients should be in the leave-on treatments (such as moisturizers and serums), because you won’t get any benefits from it if the cleanser is on your skin for ten seconds.
  3. Don’t overcomplicate your skincare routine – be especially careful with AHAs and BHAs in exfoliants and toners, there IS such a thing as too much when it comes to skincare routines, sometimes the simpler and the less products – the better and more effective.
  4. Oils don’t moisturize – they soften up the top layer of the skin, but they can’t pull the moisture into the skin (you need a humectant to do that), so the oil should never count as your moisturizer. It’s a nice last step in a skincare routine to lock everything in and make the skin nice and soft, though.
  5. Use humectants on damp skin – they’re pulling the moisture into your skin, for example hyaluronic acid: it looks for moisture to pull into the malleable skin, so if the skin or the environment are dry, it’s going to reach into the lower layers of the skin to pull the moisture out of there and dehydrate your skin. When the skin is damp, apply the humectant, followed by moisturizer and a serum for best results.