Beauty / Skincare / Wishtrend

The Booming Korean Beauty Trend & Why I ♥ Gangnam Style

Ninety percent of the skincare products I use are imported from South Korea. They’re about 12 years ahead of the States in terms of technology,” says Mary Schook, the beauty guru and New York-based owner of M.S. Apothecary.

from Marie Claire’s Skincare Super Power article.

If you’re a beauty blogger seeking high and low for that HG product, at some point of your search, you might have come across some of Korea’s cosmetic brands, lead by the one of the largest cosmetic companies, Amore Pacific and LG.
In this post, I would like to share with you my own thoughts and experience with the current and booming Korean beauty trend all over Asia, now spreading across Europe and the US as well.
For those who have been following me for a while now, you know that I have a soft spot for Korean beauty or anything Korean-related. Food, beauty, drama, culture and music. Heard of PSY? Yes, the one and only PSY, who’s just become Billboard’s Front Cover with words 500,000,000 fans waiting for him! This one horse-riding choreographed song, Gangnam Style, has now gone global and spreading more of that positive vibe. And who doesn’t like positivity? Oppa, hwaiting*! (translate: *fighting!)

I love this duo! Slicing it Gangnam Style! 

Hopping moving along…

So what Korean products’ ingredients got us talking?

Here are just some of mine:

Snail mucin

Or snail extract. Famous for it’s ewwness for those who refuse to slime, when in fact, snail’s mucin can work wonders on your skin, in terms of skin repair, skin regeneration and brighter appearance! My first slime, I called it my spot zapper! The second snail cream I’m using now, I’m dubbing it as the cream that makes my skin feels like a baby’s bottom. So watch out for this new found product if you want a baby’s bottom feel to your skin.
Venom (synthetic! not the deadly snake venom!)

Click on image to check Airi’s thought’s on Tony Moly’s Syn-Ake Eye Mask.

Snake venom (peptide’s synthetic imitation of what is found in the venom of Temple Viper), for instance, gives you that power lift or that Botox effect without being needle-poked to maintain that ‘forever young’ appearance, while at the convenience of being in your own home. Great for diminishing those fine lines and say buh-bye wrinkles!
Red/Wild Ginseng – not only for drinking.

Ginseng, another ingredient used by our ancestors, very effective to improve our well-being (energizer, normalizer and stress reducer) and now use in many skincare brands – from mid to high end- in Korea. My first experience with skincare products containing red ginseng are from Donginbini, a premium brand I came across by reading hope-inablog, a site dedicated to Asian brands/products and reviews.
I can understand the ewww, ummm, hmmm expression you might all have. I don’t blame you. I once was a skeptic, but now a total convert in terms of these ingredients included in my beauty products.

Please note that no snails are being squashed, squeezed or splattered to get the mucin out! The mucin is simply collected, if the snail is killed, it wouldn’t be able to produce any mucin anymore! 

Are these part of your must-haves?

Have you been affected by the hallyu (wave) of the BB cream evolution? I have. It all began in Germany, where dermatologists  used this on patients after laser skin surgery, due to its soothing and healing properties. From then on, Korea’s advanced technology has developed it further and has now become a beauty staple, a must-have for women, in fact, even for the flower-men. It offers not only coverage, but acts as a moisturiser, has skin whitening effect, anti-wrinkle benefits and even sun-block, BB creams are now dominating worldwide.

Make way for CC…

Beauty specialists, beauty diehards, beauty innovator, whatever you want to call them, in terms of perfecting a beauty must-have for all the ladies in the world, they never stop,  I reckon. Enter the third letter in the alphabet, go CC go!

Another innovative beauty product recently shared with us from that side of the world. Mizon, a Korean brand first introduced what they claimed to be Korea’s 1st Smart Beauty Item earlier this year.
CC – color correcting, or Mizon’s Correct Combo cream, is supposed to enhance your dull skin while providing all the skin benefits, such as whitening, wrinkle care, skin moisturizing, firming, pore care and sunblock. Your skin care and makeup in one. It’s the type of cream that blends ‘perfectly’ with your skin tone and glides so effortlessly when applied. Sounds dreamy? See for yourself.

Before & After application of Mizon’s Correct Combo Cream – with natural light.

Simply speaking, BBs and CCs are your all-in-one product with lightweight feel but pretty decent coverage, while achieving a no make up look effect.  No wonder that the West, although a little bit behind, jumped on the wagon finally and launched our very own westernized version of BB creams. I must say, I’m not totally impressed on what our standard drugstore brands have produced, not even Mac, Bobbi Brown, Chanel can impress nor sway me to switch brands, (just being honest, as I’m not going to pay for just the brand name itself) in terms of the texture, shade, consistency but also the lack of skin benefits.

Koreans aren’t about stripping the skin until it looks like something you want to ice skate on. They’re into nurturing it,” says Schook.

The rise of Vibrating BB machines!

And you thought you’ve heard it all!
I did LOL when I first read this, not because it was ridiculous, but I was in disbelief on how easy one can develop this type of awesome products over in Korea that could actually bring a new beauty era. But then again, I’ve not seen one of these from this side of the world. Could this mean that we’ve not caught up with the whole vibration yet?

Click on image to read Jon’s detailed review on these vibrating BB machines. It’s so good!

This vibrating BB machine applicators are the gran-daddy of all applicators (although you can get vibrating/rotating makeup brushes as well now apparently) that will put your traditional sponges and foundation brushes to shame. You want a photoshopped-like finish and not to fuzz around with your foundation brush all the time? Then look into one, this has been going on since earlier this year, so I’m sure you’ll find one that will be your beauty best friend. No need to Photoshop your photos when posting online, I’d say. haha!

Spin and cleanse!

The new talk in town! Or rather, in Asia. This skin care gizmo has really caught my attention since its released. Elisha Coy’s 3D Spin Cleanser exclusively sold at, which means you cannot find this anywhere else yet, meaning this is the real stuff!
Could this be my first skin care gadget that will finally shrink my humungous pores, helps brighten my skin while making my dark spots disappear, and basically gives me that squeaky clean feeling without harming my sensitive epidermis? Yes please. It even comes with a blackhead brush, a miniature size brush to get rid of these annoying little suckers!
The video/s looks very convincing but somewhat too good to be true, don’t you think? There’s only one way to find out, I need to get my hands on this! So stay tuned my curious beauty mavens!
Now that my admiration and thoughts on Korean beauty are out in the open (and my love for PSY hahah!), be assured that this personal beauty blog (but never too personal) will only share posts that I feel are worth sharing, products I’ve tried and tested, just like the few organic/all natural Western products I’ve introduced here so far.

While I procrastinate further on this gadget listening to PSY, I’m looking forward to Pepero Day (11th November) – Korean’s version of Valentine’s Day – my valid excuse to enjoy chocolates and eat more pepero sticks!

What Korean beauty products are winning you so far? And since I’m curious, have you heard Gangnam Style by PSY yet?? It’s your turn to share!


49 thoughts on “The Booming Korean Beauty Trend & Why I ♥ Gangnam Style

  1. I saw the 3D spin cleaner on the website! I really want to try it, it looks really good 😀 and the venom as well! Never heard of the vibrating BB machine…it look interesting!
    I really want to try the Chanel CC cream….but still not in the Uk….waiting for it xD
    Which one do you prefer CC o BB?
    Bug hug ❤

    • I know! I’m soooo curious about it and I really want to see if it will live up to its video promotion haha. Well it’s all over Asia the vibrating BB machine, if you click the review Jon from hope-inablog made, you’ll see what I mean. It’s sooo cool! So strange that they’ve not released Chanel here in the UK yet, I supposed they tried to sway the Asian beauty fanatics and get on with the competition. I’d say BB cream during the summer months, and CC cream for the cooler months. At least that’s when I really like to use my CC cream anyway. xx

      • Haha well me and my Mum now have a list, just never the money! Hoping to put in an order in the next few days though 🙂 Ooh it is as yummy as ever! I am being very good and making them last the week at the moment too!

        • That’s good! Make sure you don’t miss the free shipping. 😉 It is soooo yummy Hannah. I love this small bread with the dip? I can’t remember what’s it called haha. I was enjoying it so much I didn’t realize I ate it all in just a blink of an eye. I wanted more! haha

          • I certainly won’t! It is! Was that the gazpacho one? I didn’t like that one very much but I have had some rather yummy dips! That is the problem sometimes…they disappear before you even know it!

  2. I want to try the vibrating BB creams so badly, they look very interesting. I have also heard a lot about cc creams and I want to try them too!

    Great post D!


    • Thanks Grace! After making this post, I want to try the vibrating BB creams! LOL. Can’t wait the next CC Korean brand that would be out, I’ve not been able to read more lately on this but I’m sure another great product will soon come out 😉

      P.S. Skin79 Vibrating BB is available via wishtrend 😉

  3. super excited about the vibrating BBs lol no idea why it just sounds good. Love Gangnam Style 🙂 and that cleansing brush looks cool! Def review if you try it! Is it on the market yet? 😀 Great post as always D ❤

    • I know right! It sounds so cool. PSY is rocking all over the world, you can see his travel schedule on Twitter hahah it’s craaaazy! Yes the cleansing brush is already on the market, – has it and currently it’s on sale. 🙂 Will definitely share it here once I get it (please Santa) hahah. xx D

      • Haha it does. Psy cracks me up. He’s hilarious. I just hope he doesn’t end up being like a 1 hit wonder. That happens a lot to people. Ooo! I’ll have to put it on my wishlist for xmaS! lol my boyfriend will probably be like really? you need MORE stuff for beauty? whatever he just doesn’t understand me!! lol xx

  4. It should be easier for me to get korean goods since I’m in Asia after all! I’ve never tried any korean beauty products but I do like that BB vibrating machine! 😉 And it’s pretty amazing how Gangnam Style is such a worldwide hit!

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  6. I have heard of cc creams, can’t wait to try! I have also been wondering about the vibrating applicator! Do we really need to be killing snails and snakes for creams though? Not for me. Lots of great info here

    • Hey hun! thanks for dropping by! 2013 is the invasion of CC creams in the West apparently. heheh. But it’s all over in Asia already.

      And no, snails are definitely not being squashed or killed! It’s only the mucin that’s being collected, plus if they die, they can’t produce any mucin anymore anyway. I know the snake venom isn’t really the real stuff! It would have been deadly for us human, so not to worry, no killing involved here! They’d be in great trouble if they did! haha

  7. I like the idea of vibrating BB-Facer but I still love to apply it on my face using finger or foundation brush 🙂

    Thought of giving it a try but still don’t know where to start it seem like every brand now has its own BB-Facer Vibrator >.> it’s even sound ~~~ weird lol haha

    • Me too! Still prefer my foundation brush when I’m in a rush or fingers if I have the time. I know what you mean about sounding weird! hahaha you need to read hope-inablog’s comparison on this since they’re very detailed. I’m thinking of perhaps trying this out, but then again I barely wear full makeup.

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    • Oh funny that! My friend and I just had exactly the same conversation today about BB creams. She was complaining about the ones we have here and now she wants to buy the Skin79 Hot Pink hahah! She loved it after I gave her the samples! I’m actually testing a few UK BBs right now including the talked-about CC cream we have in store (L’Oreal I believe). 😉 xx D

  11. I’ve always heard that Korean products are really good, and only recently got to trying some when I went to Singapore. The question, as always, is which one out of the many brands would be best for me?

    • Hi Nicole! I’ve only started using Korean products probably a year or so ago, but I’ve been lucky enough to find some of the perfect brands for my skin. I have really sensitive skin, not to mention I get breakouts a lot since I gave birth to my little guy, but finally there are sensitive skin friendly products out there. So it’s the question as to what your skin type is 🙂

      (Currently, I’m using Klair’s Supple Toner, Serum, Skin & Lab Vit C (for brightening dark spots), Snail Repair Cream by ElishaCoy – this is my go to products and they’re all natural ones too!

      Hope that helps. xx

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