Korean Beauty Brands

Hello Beauty Lovers,

Let me tell you about my latest beauty obsession: KOREAN BEAUTY BRANDS! Countries like South Korea and Japan have always been ahead of the beauty regimen curve. Beauty balms, or BB creams, were first created in the Asian market and had been available for a decade before they were on anyone’s radar in North America and Europe. Name any skincare trend, its roots are most likely Asian: skin lightening creams, snail mucus serums, fermented skincare, BB and CC creams etc.

I have recently discovered the brightly-lit cosmetic stores hidden in the nearby neighborhood of Koreatown. These little gems are packed to the brim with adorably packaged beauty products, most of them affordable, that actually…WORK. Who knew? Much like my husband’s Korean car (Kia Optima Turbo), these beauty finds are high quality and highly affordable. After a few trips to the Korea Town beauty stores, I branched out and found a fantastic store in the heart of Beverly Hills that sells Korean products exclusively. I’ve been frequenting this store quite a bit since it’s just up the street from one of my many jobs. Another plus: Korean skincare strays from harsh chemicals and instead uses natural ingredients to treat skin.

I still consider myself a beginner in the Korean beauty world, but I wanted to share my favorites with you thus far.

TONY MOLY COSMETICS

Tony Moly‘s line has hands-down the most precious packaging I’ve ever seen. What makes it even better is that unlike your Hello Kitty chapstick, this stuff actually works. Here’s the Pandas Dream So Cool Eye Stick, swoon!

TOnyMoly

ETUDE HOUSE

I’m not sure why this Korean brand has a seemingly French name, but I’m not going to question it. Etude House is having a few Grand Opening specials on their US website, check them out HERE for a good deal! They have a variety of mineral BB creams made for different skin types. It’s good to mention here that Korean BB creams are thicker and cover a LOT better then the thin, watery U.S. ones. And I love the high SPFs!

Etude

IPKN

I am obsessed with the IPKN (pronounced ip-kin) BB cream in Moist and Firm. It makes my skin look positively glowy. I powder my T-zone to avoid unnecessary shine and it’s perfect. Here’s something completely innovative: IPKN has come up with a new way of applying makeup with a patented vibrating puff called The Artist Wave Auto Makeup ($49).  The anti-bacterial puff has a soft touch and glides comfortably onto your face for a smooth application and airbrushed look. I tried it in-store and it’s pretty cool and easy to use! It’s meant to use with BB creams but you can also apply your moisturizer or lightweight foundation with it. There are replacement puffs available.

artist_wave_makeup_1b

DEAGE BY CHARMZONE

I was given a sample of the Deage Red-Addition Nutrient Cream in K-town and I adore how rich and decadent this product is. It smells amazing and soaks right into your skin. I wake up in the morning and can still feel the softness in my skin. I’m a tosser-and-a-turner so that’s saying a lot!

DeAge

3W CLINIC

The sheet masks from 3W Clinic are gentle and feel great. I was given the Fresh Aloe ones by a client of mine and I use them once a week. You get a packet of 10 for about $12 – can’t beat it! After I wear the papery mask for about 20 minutes, I remove it and massage the rest of the liquid into my skin. Your face will be super soft for days.

3w Fresh Aloe

WHERE TO BUY:

If you’re in L.A. you can hit up Yelp and find a beauty supply store in Koreatown. For everywhere else, online is your best bet at the links I’ve provided above. Will you be trying any one of these Korean beauty products? Which one are you most stoked about?

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CC Creams Explained

Just when you finally got the concept of BB creams, it seems every brand is whipping out CC creams. What are they? What’s the difference? Let’s explore…

WHAT ARE CC CREAMS?

The “CC” in CC creams stands for Color or Complexion Correcting. CC creams are multi-purpose: they prime, even out skin tone, brighten your complexion, provide SPF 30 or higher and contain powerful anti-aging minerals that prevent wrinkles and smooth out the ones you’ve already got.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BB & CC CREAMS

Beauty Balm creams are wonderful products that prime, moisturize, brighten and contain SPF and anti-aging ingredients. They typically come in a tinted moisturizer form and provide sheer coverage. Color Correcting creams do everything a BB cream does, but provide more coverage and focus on correcting any discoloration in your skin, whether it’s redness around the nose, sallowness under the eyes or unwanted dark spots.

The general rule of thumb is, if you have fairly normal skin, go with a BB cream. If you need more coverage and want to correct your skin, you will love CC creams.

LADY C’S PICKS

Why slap on any old foundation when you can apply something that’s good for your skin and correct discoloration/dark spots at the same time? It’s a win-win, folks. Put away the million bottles of primer, SPF, moisturizer, foundation and anti-aging creams. CC creams do it all.

Olay Total Effects CC Cream: $23.99

OLAY

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream: $35 cliniqueCC

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream: $39

I use this one almost daily and I can’t even describe what a joy it is. It’s cut my makeup application time in half and feels GOOD on my skin. It’s helped tremendously with concealing my dark under eye circles. Oh, and it’s organic!

JuicedCC

Chanel CC Cream: $90ChanelCC