Like, big time. K-Beauty trends have quickly become a unique part of the culture in South Korea and one of the coolest things about is how they seamlessly blend ancient wisdom with ultra-modern ingredients. From the alphabetized BB, CC, and even DD creams, to face masks and everything in between we’re now obsessed with South Korean Beauty trends.
Carrot Seed Oil
At some point, carrots have transformed from the crunchy vegetable to the bougie hero in your skin-care routine. Somewhere along the way, K-beauty realized the amazing benefits of vitamin A serum and that's how carrot seed oil was born.
With anti-bacterial, anti-again, and anti-inflammatory properties, it's ideal to brighten skin tone while keeping your skin healthy.
Slugging... Wait, What?
While Slugging might not seem as appealing, many K-beauty gurus swear by it. Slugging actually means applying snail cream, or snail secretion, as it's sometimes called.
With more cosmetic products showing off their high concentration of snail slime, it's reported to contain protective and impressively nourishing elements. Despite all the coverage this product is getting, we're still a bit skeptical and would rather stick to our less, um, sludgy skincare products.
Many people have heard about this rule when it comes to dropping their food on the ground. Well, in South Korea, they say the best time to apply toner is within 10 seconds of washing your face, which also goes for moisturizer.
The reasoning behind this belief being your pores are open and more receptive to products after cleansing your skin.
Generally speaking, Koreans are famous for their passionate stance on skincare and this new beauty trend is another outpouring of that.
Anyone can try the glass skin look without spending too much on beauty products, all you need is a super hydrating cream, like a rice moisturizing emulsion, that will make your skin look shiny, almost glasslike while keeping it healthy it all day.
For South Koreans, makeup is an indispensable part of your self-expression and in another one of their trends.
One of the most popular makeup trends was undoubtedly the monotone look – it was all the rage on social media, with K-beauty gurus quickly incorporating the trend into their daily makeup routines.
Hydrate Your Lips
Essentially, we've all heard of face masks by now, from sheet to clay, but have you ever heard of masks for your lips? Well, in Korea they're all over and people are beginning to pay attention.
These masks are basically gel patches for your lips that hydrate and nourish your lips, while also making them more plumped up in the process.
A jade roller is simply another beauty tool but this one is made of jade stones for face massage. Just like Gua sha, these tools aren't anything new, they're just hyper-visible now, thanks to social media.
Jade rollers date back to the seventh century, and these crystals have been used in skincare ever since.
Salmon Eggs for Your Skin
Some enjoy these as caviar on their sushi, but actually, those tiny, orangey and slightly translucent eggs are being used by Koreans on their skin as a facial treatment.
With salmon eggs being high in nutritional value, they say using products containing them are meant to enhance your skin's overall appearance.
If you're partial to make-up and skincare, you might be more excited about body care. Many body-care ceremonies began in the bathhouse, where milk, green tea, and rice treatments were part and parcel of this self-care culture.
We could all use a little more self-love in the form of self-care and that should include all our skin, from head to toe.
A Lava Mask
This is not as much of a trend as it's just a face-care product that Koreans love to use. It sounds a little absurd, but the ingredients found in this mask actually come deep from within the volcanic soils of the Jeju mountain.
From removing dead skin cells, cleaning out pores to moisture care, this mask is said to work wonders for combination skin.
In contrast the Korean skincare, nail trends also include matte looks, which you're not likely to see incorporated in any K-beauty devotee. The matte nail aesthetic has is known for being simple and has quickly taken hold around the world.
Anyone can easily achieve this look by simply adding a top matte coat to their already manicured nails.
Overnight Sleeping Mask
Overnight sleeping masks are another way to hydrate your skin, without taking up too much time in your day. Simply slap one on at night and wake up with a dewy glow and skin that feels amazing.
Korean beauty favorite CosRx offers a myriad of reasonably-priced, effective formulas.
When it comes to smooth and flawless skin, it seems like a never-ending quest for some. This is why the CC cream was invented. Color correction cream is basically a blend of skincare and makeup, providing coverage while also taking on skincare issues.
This line is obviously quite similar to its little sister product, BB cream, but CC creams offer more coverage while fading discoloration and smoothing out wrinkles.
As genius as this one is, we would have never thought of it. This trick can prep your skin and help your circulation before you use any of your skincare products.
All you have to do is soak your face towel in hot water, squeeze out all the excess water, and once it's just a warm and damp towel wrap it over your face so it can soak up all the moisture.
Sheet masks may have already made their way into the Western world's periphery, but they've been an essential skincare treatment for years in South Korea.
With K-beauty devotees confirming their benefits and how well they can hydrate, moisturize and brighten their skin. Who said you have to book a facial when you can do all that pampering at home?!
This look is all the rage right now, it's been seen on the Korean red carpets and has ever since been a hit among k-beauty devotees. It's created by clumping lashes together to emphasize that doe-eyed look and draw all eyes, to your eyes.
It might take a while to achieve this look as it's been said to be quite tricky but there are many tutorials out there to help.
Back to Brunette
Who said Brunette's can't have fun too?! Not us, that's for sure and while brown hair may have a reputation for being serious, it’s seriously far from boring. If you're thinking of adopting this look, there are many different ways to elevate your tresses.
This low-maintenance look is perfect for someone who doesn't want to stand out too much while still feeling like they've refreshed their look.
Hanbang ingredients have been used in South Korea as an age-old staple in Korean life and culture. While the names seem unheard of, these are simply plants that include houttuynia cordata, sacred lotus, ginseng root, and Rehmannia.
All these ingredients boast anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties.
Consumers are becoming more aware and mindful of the products they buy and what they put on their skin. So brands and beauty care companies are developing products that are free of artificial additives and chemical ingredients.
This means that more products will also be gentler on your skin, as they're derived from plant-based ingredients.
Feathery brows may seem like a difficult look to pull off, especially if your eyebrows are naturally thin. First, you'll have to refrain from plucking your eyebrows as often as you normally would.
Allowing your eyebrows to grow out will help you create the illusion of thicker brows. Next, you can grab an eyebrow pencil instead of a powder, as this will let you draw thin hair-like strokes onto your brows without worrying about powder fallout.
Shampoo for your Eyebrows?
Eyebrow gives our faces expression so why not give them the care they deserve? That was our observation when we stumbled across this peculiar product that is specifically formulated for your eyebrows and eyelashes.
Who would have thought of this? Trendy Koreans, that's who. Apparently, this trick gives your lashes and brows a fluffier look, which seems plausible but we still have our reservations.
Along with versatile treatments, K-beauty has dabbled with acid layering, while maintaining a mild approach that focuses on achieving balanced skin. If you overdo it, you can inflame and upset the special balance of oils on your skin.
If however, you use these correctly, you can better attain a smooth skin texture that's not too oily or too dry.
This nose squeezing apparatus is not what you think it is. While at first glance they might look like a torture device, these little tools are quickly becoming a staple in Korea's line-up.
They're put on for approximately 15 minutes at a time and are said to help make one's nose look a little straighter.
Gradient lips were first thought of in an effort to draw more attention to the eyes and make them look bigger, resulting in a more youthful appearance. This seems to go against Western trends which favor a more mature-looking face, where attention is often drawn to the lips.
To get this look, simply concentrate on applying lipstick or lipgloss to the center of your mouth.
The Seven-Skin Method
The importance of skincare doesn’t infuse South Korea's culture simply through beauty products and K-beauty guru's instagram accounts. This is where skincare routines and regimens come in, like this seven-step method. It sounds complicated but actually it's just a cleanser and moisturizer sandwiched between a few toners.
There are a myriad of oils out there that have been used as a skin moisturizer, from olive to coconut, these plant oils have reigned for centuries but nowadays, animals oils have become all the rage.
As per their claims, they are similar in composition to oils naturally found in human skin and can be absorbed quickly. Lanolin is becoming particularly popular and it hails from sheepskin.
Doctor Knows Best
Dr. Jart+ is a popular Korean brand that specializes in rubber masks that are said to be incredibly reliable. Many may wonder, why the strange-looking masks when you can just use an ordinary face mask?
Well, apparently the mask's thickness is key to its excellent results, as it can hold more product while absorbing much longer through your skin.
There certainly are crazy combinations out there when it comes to skincare ingredients. Starfish cream is said to be one of the most effective products when it comes to combating fine lines and wrinkles.
We don't know whether we should be excited or skeptical at this point, but it might be worth a try.
K-beauty guru, Michelle Phan says you should never put on your foundation all over your face. Instead, you should only apply it around your forehead, nose, and chin.
Begin by stroking lightly from the center of your face and blending the product outwards. This creates a gradual effect on your face, drawing the light towards the middle of your face.
This herb grown in Asia is pretty huge right now, especially considering the dreaded 'maskne' we've all been getting. Centella Asiatica is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe irritated skin.
With skincare being at the forefront of everyone's minds right now, this is a product you might want to add to your daily regimen.
In a strange turn of events, eggs are taking center stage in this beauty trend. Yes, eggs contain beneficial nutrients eggs like vitamins and minerals, so why not add them to your routine?
Egg yolks are mostly made up of water and fats, which make them a great ingredient for their water-binding properties that lock in moisture to store in your cells.
Lightening Your Skin
In Korea, skincare is not just a vanity thing, it’s seen as essential self-care. Like any other maintenance. This is why Korea takes their skin's health so seriously.
There are many avenues that people use to achieve that bright luminous skin, from wearing sunscreen all the time to using brightening products, Korea is all for keeping their skin as light as possible.
Gorey Face Masks
This next product is meant for the quirkier beauty fans out there. It’s marketed as a dragon blood face mask and claims to bring along some magical effects.
We're not sure if this was originally created for Halloween, or if it's just a fun little mask meant for any time of the year, but either way, at least it'll be fun.
South Korean beauty fiends recommend a double cleanse to make sure you get rid of all the junk that blocks your pores.
The proper way to double cleanse (apparently) is to first use an oil-based cleanser to get rid of all your make-up, then wash your face with a gentle soap to clean your pores to remove any unwanted residue.
This grungy, albeit slightly girly look, should allow your eyes to match with most makeup looks. The color Mauve sits in between purple and pink, while still remaining more subdued thanks to the grey undertones.
This shade can give an edgier look while still harkening back to the '90s.
If having flawless skin is something you aspire to, keep on reading. This trend featuring skin that's 'cloudless' simply involves having skin that’s free of any imperfections like dark spots and blemishes.
Basically, it means taking care of your skin in a holistic way, no sun, lots of beauty sleep, and of course having a skincare routine that works for you.
Add Oil to Your Foundation
Seeing as Korean women are obsessed with hydrating their skin, they've come up with this nifty trick that solves all their dry skin woes while allowing them to wear their favorite foundation.
Instead of buying copious amounts of expensive professional products, they simply add a drop of their favorite face oil or serum to their foundation to get that dewy look.
While Western makeup is all about that high arch, Koreans prefer straight brows, following the natural shape of the eyebrow and giving those brows a more innocent and still natural appearance.
This look also gives your face a more youthful appearance, while enhancing the natural shape of your features, and it's soon becoming the hottest trend to hit Western shores!
Bubble Clay Mask
With so many face mask varieties out there, this one is about as unique as it gets. Any clay mask should remove impurities, toxins, and other pore-clogging offenders, but with this one, you get the added bubbles.
Diligent K-beauty reports that these topical oxygen bubbles are nothing but a benefit, those bubbling ingredients can boost circulation which in turn brings oxygen and nutrients to every skin cell.
With Korean fashion spreading all over our social media pages, and as such, it’s becoming more and more common for the rest of the world to look to the Korean market for future fashion trends.
This is where traditional Korean clothing comes in, seeing as it's making somewhat of a resurgence. It is also commonly worn at special events, it's worth mentioning as it's seeping into the fashion scene.
We've all read about making your own hair mask with ingredients found in your kitchen pantry, but now there's a new solution for that, and it actually feels more legit than grabbing a kitchen staple from the fridge.
Koreans have cracked the code and created this product that's said to recreate the mayo look and feel, while also giving your hair extra shine.
If you’ve read this far, you might have noticed a similar theme throughout most of the Korean beauty trends. As with most beauty trends in Korea, they're all meant to create a cute and youthful look!
As its name suggests, the milky eye look is meant to frame your eyes with soft, delicate colors, reminiscent of cereal-colored milk.
Faux freckles are slowly creeping into the scene, they were first seen on Korean pop stars and now beauty influencers are embracing them. Freckles are after all cute and they are an extra feature of your skin.
All you’ll need to get the faux freckle look is a waterproof eyebrow pencil and a steady hand.
If anything, our list is a testament to the fact that beauty trends are as interesting as they are unique. With truffle oils featuring as another skincare staple, you'll be pleased to know that this product can be used on your face just as well as in your recipes.
Of course, truffle oils are on the pricier side of the range but that doesn't necessarily mean they work any better than any other good old-fashioned facial oil.
Superfoods for Skin
It’s basically common knowledge that the food you eat will affect the health and wellbeing of your skin. So it's only natural that there will be trending superfoods that takes things one step further.
Supplemental ingredients are being used more and more in beauty products to help nurture good skin. Currently, noni fruits are taking the charge. Noni is a nutritious fruit that helps regenerate the skin by tightening pores, moisturizing, and preventing the formation of wrinkles and lines.
You may have heard of cat eyes, but now there's a trend and it's called puppy eyes. It's way cuter than the sexy cat eye look, and gives your eyes a more rounded, youthful look.
Instead of flicking your eyeliner upward, you simply follow your natural eye shape and drag it down a bit. We've found this look creates more dramatic, even bigger shaped eyes.
This new and somewhat unconventional trend involves patting baby powder on one's face and then plunging it into a sink filled with icy cool water.
Apparently, this sets the powder and results in a matte-like finish that gives you a long-lasting foundation.
Why get cosmetic surgery when you can just use Asia's gadgets and tools that were designed solely to give your face, that lift you're looking for? Gua sha stone massages are a natural, alternative treatment that incorporates sweeping your skin with a massage stone to improve your circulation.
This tool actually comes from China but it was K-beauty trends that popularized it.
Daily Defense creams were initially marketed as the heavy duty cream to protect your skin, but also working best when used consistently over long periods of time.
While it sounds suspiciously like a BB or CC cream, the bottom line of this cream is its added anti-aging benefits.
This is the new way to fix blemishes, without leaving your You may have seen these strange-looking patches appear on your instagram page, while they look a lot like circular band-aids, they're actually patches meant to absorb pimples.
Apparently, they contain special ingredients that work to absorb skin oils and sebums that often show up in the form of a pimple.
If you ever walked through Seoul on a bright, sunny day, and you’d find the streets blanketed in umbrellas, just as you might see on a stormy day in New York City, except these umbrellas are meant for sun protection, not rain.
Yes, that's right, Koreans take dark spots very seriously and the sun as a danger to their skin.
Perhaps most impressive is South Korea's age-old traditions that emphasized skincare long before it became newsworthy.
Koreans have always relied on various beauty hacks that they incorporated into their daily lives – and to this day, it is common to use rice water to wash your face because of the many benefits.
We’d love to tell you that just using ordinary skin-care products is the best way to prep your skin, but there's a lot more to it. With modern developments in science and technology, there are so many more ingredients you can use that can detox and strengthen your skin.
From mushrooms to detoxifying herbs like ginger and mugwort, there are a whole range of products you can choose from.
As we age, so do our little cells which means our skin won’t renew as rapidly as it always did when we were younger. Unfortunately, this results in thinner skin that lacks elasticity and collagen.
As strange as it may sound, smearing a handful of the placenta – which contains powerful stem cells – on one’s skin can help repair and heal your skin, thus stimulating skin renewal.
To translate this into English, augyo sal simply means 'eye smiles' and this obscure, albeit innovative trend involves amplifying those under-eye bag to look bigger but still natural.
Aegyo sal is meant to make your face look more innocent and youthful. And while many turn to surgery and filler injections, it can also be achieved with make-up.
First spotted on K-pop idol, Ji-yeon, the pastel hair trend requires a few rounds of bleaching before coloring your hair, so we definitely wouldn't recommend you try this at home.
If you're eager to try this trend, prep your hair by applying argan oil to hydrate the ends and but back on heat-styling.
Pre-, Pro-, and Post-biotics
This beauty trend focuses more on holistic wellness that connects skincare with overall health and wellbeing. When our microbiomes are off-balance, a plethora of skin and other health conditions can occur, ranging from dry skin to acne.
This is where probiotics come in, as these consumable supplements benefit both your microbiome and skin.
With classical skincare routines being a cornerstone of K-beauty for a hot minute, but why should we limit this kind of care to our face when we can integrate it to our hair?
From hydrating and moisturizing to cleansing and exfoliating, hair masks, oils, and essences, a scalp routine can give your hair a silky, glossy upgrade.
Hybrid Skin Care
South Koreans take their skincare routines seriously but they also know not to overdo it, and concentrate on pared-down, minimalist routines that are more effective, while using versatile treatments.
This is what experts and k-beauty gurus like to call ‘hyphenates’ or ‘hybrid’ skincare.” So instead of using a 12-step routine, this kind of skincare focuses on fewer products that can multitask.
Taupe Eye Shadow
Taupe is meant to serve as a reliable transition shade for most skin tones, providing a good foundation for all eyeshadow. But now this color is being worn all by itself, and the idea is quite brilliant.
A bit of taupe framing your eyelids can give you a dramatic look while also being quite effortless in its application.
On a fundamental level, skincare is supposed to keep your skin healthy while making you look your best. But lately, it's become more than that, providing people with meditative moments that helps to connect them with their bodies.
Koreans have understood this for a long-time, looking beyond the purely aesthetic elements, and finding the emotional benefits that self-care also offers.
We all know that good circulation is key to keep your skin looking healthy, which is why Koreans pay so much attention to how they apply their skin care products.
With light massages and circular motions, you don't need to get a facial to get these benefits, there are many DIY tutorials on the internet to show how and you won't even have to leave your house.
Coffee Body Scrubs
We all know that some people can’t live without their daily cup of coffee, well, turns out there's more than one way to get your daily dose of caffeine.
Coffee grounds can now be used on your skin to gently exfoliate and polish it to remove those unwanted dead skin cells for a smoother and hopefully softer feel.
Using a range of tonal hues, colors and shades has become a sought-after trend these days, from pastel to bold, or even nude tones.
Manicurists have been quick to pick up on this trend and often blend a mix of different muted shades within the same color family in their designs, making them wearable for any age group.
Retinol is having a moment right now, especially considering it's how powerful its properties are, they can significantly improve the appearance of aging skin.
Retinol is reportedly highly effective, so the approach Koreans have is to use a much lower percentage to avoid irritating the skin too much.
BB creams have been around for a while now, but we thought we'd include them on our list as they're still popular in South Korea. BB creams contain the best of both worlds, being a moisturizer and a foundation.
They're named as a beauty balm, aiming to "moisturize, correct, and protect' your skin, while minimizing the need to use other products which still keep your skin look natural. Some might confuse it for its sister, CC creams—which stand for color correcting."
Short Hair Styles
It is official — short hair is coming in hot. If you are in a dire need of a fresh hairstyle, you might want to consider chopping off your locks and embracing a sleek, blunt bob.
Aside from adding a touch of sophistication to your look, the blunt bob is perfect for any occasion!
Blank Design Nails
This is the Korean nail trend that we're likely to see more of this season is the use of blank space around polish designs.
More and more nail artists are designing geometrics shapes around to blanks spaces to create surprisingly bold patterns that are also fun and personable by design.
The Black Luster Mask
By now, there must be a million face mask options out there that claim they can make your skin tighter, brighter or glow. But there's always a mess that comes afterward, leaving a wreck all over your bathroom tiles, bathroom sinks, and washcloths.
But this mask has magnetic properties, allowing you to lift up and off your skin post-application — without water. So no more mess to clean up afterward. Sounds too good to be true, right?
At first, we weren't sure why this is so popular, and while this cosmetic procedure seems controversial, and even a little menacing, it's become pretty popular in South Korea.
There are some who want to look a little happier like they're constantly smiling and to achieve that they opt for the smile lift procedure. It involves snipping and lifting the corners of the mouth to create a more “natural” looking smile.
Most people would try to steer clear of bee venom, but apparently, bee venom has a number of benefits. Our sources tell us it’s called apitherapy and it's a thousand of years old treatments that people have been using to get rid of inflammation and scarring.
It goes without saying, please do not try this if you're not sure if you're allergic to bee stings.
This shade of peachy blush is slowly creeping into make-up trends throughout the West, but it's always been the go-to hue in the East. To get that naturally flushed look, place the blush higher on your cheekbone, this helps lift the face and create a more defined face shape.
Korean beauty trends tend to follow a distinct jaw-line, so placing this blush so high helps achieve that look.
The chunky highlights trend was super popular around 10 years ago, but now we're seeing more and more of these hairstyles in slightly muted colors. From ashy grey colors to pastel blues, any color is an option to give your hair a bit more edge.
If you're feeling ready to take the plunge and dye a section of your hair, it's best to do it at a professional salon.
While the concept of covering your face in gold seems a little over the top, it's becoming increasingly trendy to do so in South Korea's elite beauty circles. With a culture so obsessed with skincare, it's not at all surprising that they'd pamper their skin with literal gold.
Obviously, this mask is more of a status symbol, who knows if it's actually better than a regular sheet mask?
Honey skin isn't entirely different from glass skin, it's quite similar but with more emphasis on looking dewy and plump. Despite what you might think, the honey skin trend doesn’t mean slathering your face with honey but rather, it’s all about obtaining skin that resembles honey.
All it takes is layering on skin hydrating and brightening products like serums and moisturizers.
This might seem counter-intuitive to what we all know about makeup, ever since Kim Kardashian popularized the contoured aesthetic, but in South Korea, they do things very differently.
K-beauty much prefers the au-natural look, which uses minimal contouring techniques that softly shape the face, instead of chiseling it beyond recognition.
The LED mask
LED skincare devices may have been around for a hot minute, but it looks like you might want to get acquainted. With infrared and near-infrared lights, they work to help stimulate collagen production, while eliminating bacteria that cause acne breakouts.
They are pricey, but to save on the price, some people choose to use the mask at home, instead of going to a clinic or aesthetician.
Do you like the look of tattoos but are your not sure if you want one yourself? Well, tattoo nails are the new thing and the best part is, they aren't permanent.
With this approach, tattoo stickers are glued on with fun graphics and illustrations. Not only does it look edgy but it's incredibly original.
Lip Gel Tint?
For the record, this kind of gel isn't strictly gel but a specially formulated product that tints your eyebrows and lips. These gel tints are also known as lip stains or eyebrow dyeing gels.
Don’t worry, they’re perfectly safe to use and won't leave a gunky mess all over your face, just use as recommended and you'll be good to go!