Cosmetic Hallyu: Glow Recipe Helps Understand Korean Skin Care

First thing’s first- cleanse, toner, serum, moisturizer. At least, that’s what Christine Chang, the co-founder of Glow Recipe, says is the secret to great skin. Based out of New York, Chang sat down with KultScene to discuss how their natural Korean products are exactly what everybody needs to get dewy, radiant skin.

Glow Recipe sells natural Korean facial products to international audiences. Rather than going for cutesy makeup, Chang and her fellow co-founder Sarah Lee carefully find the best skin care products in South Korea to bring to their audience. Everything that is sold on Glow Recipe is not only Korean, but also natural and good for your skin. And they don’t just sell anything that is popular in the Korean market. Glow Recipe’s staff carefully cultivates products for their audience and uses a multicultural panel of testers in order to match the multicultural U.S. market. Even though Glow Recipe is based in New York, the company has started shipping around the globe.

Why Korean beauty? Chang and Lee worked in the cosmetic industry for around ten years, and saw that a lot of innovation was coming out of Korea and that the people around them in both the industry and their personal lives were noticing. With their unique insight, having experience in both the U.S. and Korean beauty markets, the two started Glow Recipe to bring people the best that Korean technology, ingredients, and innovation can bring.

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“Korea has a really long heritage of natural beauty, dating back to palace literature, and a lot of those [ingredients and remedies] are present here with natural makeup. And a lot of those [things] are present in Europe but they weren’t coming over to the U.S. We wanted to bring those over to the U.S. to bring people great brands and teach really good practices,” explained Chang.

Is it another part of the Korean wave, Hallyu? “I think it’s hard to separate culture and music and pop culture and celebrity from beauty because they talk about it and use it and their fans around the world hear it,” said Chang. “And, if anything, I think the products going forward, will have more integration with Korean celebrities, Korean dramas, it’s almost like a seamless package… I can only imagine what will happen going forward.” She brought up 2013-14’s Korean drama, My Love From The Star, which caused a lipstick craze that led to Yves Saint Laurent selling out of a color worldwide; Korean skin care isn’t far behind.

The primary differences between Korean and American beauty routine? In Korea, beauty and skin tone are closely connected. The goal of Glow Recipe isn’t to give your skin the matte look that is often desired by America, covering up with makeup; the goal of Korean beauty is to treat the skin, to make a radiant, dewy look even before applying any makeup. Korean women are willing to try just about anything to get beautiful skin, so Korean products are much more adventurous than what the American market is used to. Because of this, Korean skin care may be daunting. But Glow Recipe makes it easy for even a beginning.

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Many people may have seen the fabled Korean ten-step skin care routine, one of which is on Glow Recipe’s website, split between morning and evening regiments. “To us, core steps are the cleanser, the toner to prep and hydrate your skin. Then you have the serum, which is designed to penetrate deeply into your skin to treat the concern, and then there’s the moisturizer to seal it in. Those four things are essentials when we talk about a basic routine,” said Chang, regarding women’s daily routines. And for men? Exfoliating, because of stubble, and using SPF are key.

Chang also suggested that people take off your makeup like you would change into pajamas: As soon as you get home.

Along with the four steps, Christine Chang said that SPF is essential for daily use. Masks, essences, exfoliating ampoules, mists, etc. are also necessary for a regular routine, but hydrating and cleaning skin are the most important thing. Trying products for 4-6 weeks is also important, no matter how regularly you apply them, so that your skin goes through a whole cycle of renewal.

All this information might make us feel overwhelmed, but Glow Recipe makes the Korean skin care routine look easy with some links on their blog. I was so intrigued by Glow Recipe’s routine and products that Christine Chang showed me some things, and gave me a few testers to try at home. Having spent a half a year living in South Korea, I thought that I knew the Korean beauty industry. I was wrong. I tried out a sample of Glow Recipe’s products, and within a few days I noticed how the natural products were doing much better things for my skin than my normal products.

Here are some things that Glow Recipe suggested specifically for KultScene’s readers, all of which you can find at www.GlowRecipe.com.Glow Recipe also makes custom sample kits for its customers, so that you can try out whatever you’d like. Added bonus: Use the code KULTSCENEGLOW to get $5 off on your first Glow Recipe purchase.

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Do you use Korean facial products? What other Korean products would you like to learn about from KultScene? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Thuctorials: Orange Caramel’s Nana “Lipstick” Makeup Tutorial

There’s no doubt that Orange Caramel is always fun and colorful, but have you ever wanted to try their makeup style for yourself? I will show you how to Get That Look of Nana during the group’s Lipstick promotions!

Part of our very own Thuctorials series, this article will give you the full details on the colors and products that I used to imitate Nana’s makeup. Check out our video to watch a step-by-step tutorial of this look:

Prefer a written tutorial? Read on!

Prep

PREP 1

Before I put on my primer, I always make sure my face is clean and free of any dirt or oil. That way, the primer can stick onto my skin rather than the gross stuff! I used Rimmel London’s Stay Matte Primer:

PREP 2

I use my fingers for application because I feel like it’s the best method of making sure the primer is even and blended throughout my face.

PREP 3

You don’t have to use primer, but I prefer to do so because it helps smooth out my skin and pores, plus it helps my makeup stay on for a longer period of time!

PREP 4

Foundation

If you have clear skin, and you want lighter coverage, you can lightly powder your face. However, I like to cover my scars and blemishes with a liquid and powder foundation combination. I first applied Revlon’s 24 Hour Colorstay in medium beige with my fingers (MAKE SURE YOUR FINGERS ARE CLEAN), but a beauty sponge or likewise would work better. I didn’t have any in my possession at the time:

FOUNDATION 1

FOUNDATION 2

Afterwards, I used bareMinerals’ MATTE Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in medium beige with the brand’s Precision Face buffing brush for application. The instructions that come with the loose powder recommend a circular application, so I followed suit. Blend everything towards your neck for a smoother gradient.

FOUNDATION 4

FOUNDATION 5

FOUNDATION 3

Brows 

I don’t have orange brow gel, so I used my bhCosmetics BH Day & Night eyeshadow palette, an angled brush from a dollar store pack of brushes, and eyedrops:

DAY & NIGHT PALETTE 1

BRUSHES

EYEDROPS

The eyedrops help intensify the eyeshadows and bring out their color! To tame my brows, I used a spoolie that you can buy at dollar stores, and then I drew a rough draft of what I wanted my eyebrows to look like with this orange color:

SPOOLIE

BROWS 1

DAY & NIGHT PALETTE ORANGE

BROWS 2

Then I went over my brows with this darker, orange-brown color to make it stand out a bit more:

DAY & NIGHT PALETTE ORANGE-BROWN

I groomed and set the eyeshadow with my wet n wild’s megaclear Brow & Lash Mascara.

MEGACLEAR

BROWS 3

BROWS 4

Eyeshadow

Instead of eyeshadow primer, I use my wet n wild’s idol eyes crème shadow pencil in Pixie as a base, covering my eyelid area:

IDOL EYES

EYESHADOW 1

I followed this up with NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Strawberry Milk for my waterline, making my eyes appear larger. Try not to tug on your eyes too much, because it could stress them out!

NYX JUMBO EYE

EYESHADOW 2

EYESHADOW 3

For the eyeshadow, I used an eyeshadow brush, which came from the same dollar store pack as my angled brush, with the Day & Night palette. I went with this purple color first:

DAY & NIGHT PALETTE PURPLE

Covering up my eyelid area, I extended the shadow while following my crease and pulled the color under my eyes to connect the lines. You can do a little wing shape if you’d like!

EYESHADOW 4

EYESHADOW 5

After the purple, I chose a darker navy blue:

DAY & NIGHT PALETTE NAVY BLUE

I covered the same area as the purple, as well as extending the blue past my inner tearduct.

EYESHADOW 6

EYESHADOW 7

To prep for my eyeliner, I used my angled brush and black eyeshadow:

EYESHADOW 8

If you haven’t noticed already, I like to layer my makeup! It adds more color, and I’ve found that it blends out really well. I made a guideline for my eyeliner with the black eyeshadow, following my lash line and extending it out on both sides.

EYESHADOW 9

Eyeliner

I’m a fan of marker-type liquid eyeliners, so L’Oréal’s THE infallible BLACKBUSTER 8 HR liquid eyeliner works great for me. Choose an eyeliner that you like and are most comfortable with using.

EYELINER

I basically followed the eyeshadow guideline:

EYELINER1

EYELINER 2

Mascara

Nana may be using fake lashes, but my personal pair of lashes don’t match the dolly, fluffy ones that she sports. As a result, I forgoed the lashes and just went with mascara. I generally do multiple mascara products to make my lashes as long as possible, because I am just a sucker for long lashes. I started off with my clear mascara as a base and to separate my lashes:

EYELASHES 1

I then went over it with one coat of my jordana’s BESTlength EXTREME Lengthening Mascara. I apply my mascara at this angle because it helps me not get any residue on my eyelids! Blinking while applying the mascara also helps me get the most product onto my lashes.

BEST LENGTH

EYELASHES 2

For volume and added length, I used my little sample of MAC’s ZOOM Fast Black Lash and applied it in the same manner.

ZOOM FAST

As you can see, I like to put mascara on both my upper and lower lashes. If you’re not into that, you don’t have to do it!

EYELASHES 3

Lips

For the base, I used wet n wild’s megaslicks lip balm in Rico Mauve, covering the shape of my lips.

LIP BALM

LIPS 1

LIPS 2

To imitate Nana’s bright pink lips in the reference photo I used, I decided to go with my homemade carnation pink lipstick and a lip brush from the aforementioned brush pack.

LIPPIESTIX

It looks a little funky because it melts in hotter temperatures, but it works fine, don’t worry! I warmed up this lipstick using my breath for two reasons: (1) it was in an air-conditioned room for the majority of the tutorial, and (2) it helps make the lipstick workable. I applied it on the same area as the lip balm.

LIPS 3

To make sure none of the lipstick got on my teeth, I sucked on my thumb for a little bit and pulled it out, wiping the extra residue. Do a final check on your own teeth and wipe any stains that you see before you go out!

FINAL

Outfit

I don’t really have a stylish wardrobe like Nana’s, but you could pair a bright, fun dress or layered look with this! Here’s what Nana chose to wear:

Nana clothes 2

Nana clothes

Patterns with analogous or split complementary colors work very well with her makeup, and I’m positive they will work well for you if you choose to try this look out!

Hair

For hair, I personally would have liked to curl my bangs and do a curly-wavy hybrid of a ponytail; however, I needed to do more yardwork and consequently shower, so I felt no need to do my hair. Here are some hairstyles you could try:

Nana hair sample

That’s it for this Thuctorial! If you’d like me to do more of these, feel free to make a request on any of our social media sites or just comment below. I will also be doing Korean beauty product reviews, so request any products that you’d like a second opinion on!

[DISCLAIMER: All products are mine, bought with my own money. This tutorial was not sponsored]

Which idol would you like to be the focus of the next Thuctorial? Which Korean beauty products are you interested in? Share your thoughts with us, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

4 Female K-Pop Idols With Unique Beauty

There’s one image that comes to mind when we think about female K-Pop idols: super skinny and very feminine. And while we may like and respect the predominant image in the genre, there are also other women who stand out for their unique beauty and are equally loved and accepted by the public.

Of course, not all artists want to be role models for fans, but being an idol comes with responsibilities, given that they have influence over large groups of impressionable kids. Here’s a list of four women who set good examples in terms of embracing their unique and natural beauty:

1amber

f(x)'s Amber tomboy

In an industry plagued by the über feminine and lady-like image, f(x)’s rapper stands out for being a tomboy and one of the very few you’ll ever see in the field. You will always find Amber wearing shorts or pants with loose shirts and short hair, even when the rest of the group members wear short skirts and heels.

Amber not only stands out within f(x), but in all of K-Pop.

Coming from the same company that produced Girls’ Generation, I find it fascinating how SM Entertainment decided to show the llama’s personal style and personality as is, rather than overwrite it completely and sell us something generic. Amber goes against the conventional K-Pop female idol image, “what works,” and guess what? She’s one of the most popular members among international fans! She’s the perfect example that there’s a market for every style and that individuality also works.

2nada

Wassup's Nada Curvy

This rookie group’s company also decided to go against the current and debut a group who dances, sings, and looks different than most. But the one who stands out the most is Nada, Wassup’s rapper. This girl was blessed with an S line even Western artists can envy. Moreover, she flaunts what her momma gave her with flattering, form-fitting ensembles that are also very badass.

And this might not be twerking per se, but she does make movements with her booty no other female group attempts yet.

Let them haters hate and eat their hearts out.

Sadly, WASSUP deals with the scrutiny of a culture that doesn’t fully embrace sexy images and is often slut-shamed. But just as one equally criticized and fierce diva once said,

Can’t nobody stop the fire. Let them haters sit n’ stare.

So grab your popcorn and pick a comfy seat because it doesn’t seem like the group’s stopping anytime soon. Curvy Korean girls can now be represented in the K-Pop sphere without having to turn to Western artists who might resemble them better.

3gain

ga in smokey eye

Ga In has lots of things going for her, including a great body and being very sexy. In a country where getting double eye-lid surgery is equivalent to getting a new iPad in the West for good grades, Ga In embraced her small eyes by opting out of the procedure and showing off her iconic smokey eyed makeup.

Her eyes are adorable and convey as much emotion of those with double eye-lids.

While this woman is not shy in flaunting her sexiness, she joins Soo Hyun in promoting self-image acceptance, which is crucial for young fans who look up to them.

4soohyun

Lee Soo Hyun Looks

I fully understand that the K-Pop Star winner is only 15-years-young and she still has a lot of growing up (mentally and physically) to do, but it seems like she and her brother have a good idea or the route they want to embark within the music industry.

Akdong Musician revealed on an interview the plastic surgery clause in their contract with YG Entertainment. Chan Hyuk, Soo Hyun’s brother, commented that they amended their contract to include that they would not undergo any plastic surgery. And while there really isn’t anything wrong with K-Pop idols with plastic surgery, it’s really refreshing to see artists with enough self-esteem to accept how they look naturally. Soo Hyun’s super cute as is right now and she still has to finish puberty, but the fact that she’s taking precautions with the possibility of her agency making her alter her looks is commendable.

Precious and perfect just the way she is.

The siblings’ success goes beyond their looks, for they have just formally debuted and have slayed all of K-Pop with their hits “200%” and “Play.” Soo Hyun is the best example of how talent triumphs looks any day.

Who do you think stands out for their non-conventional looks? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

What’s Wrong With “Plastic” K-Pop Idols?

Far too often have we seen a tabloid published about an idol‘s “shocking” confession of plastic surgery, whether it’s a full-on transformation or a tweaking of the nose. While some fans support their idols’ decisions, others resort to complaints and hate messages. Given that South Korea is one of the top countries in terms of the best plastic surgeons and the most cosmetic surgery procedures, why are people surprised when they find out about these “scandals?”

Granted, just because a country is popular for a certain practice, it doesn’t mean that such a practice is justified. However, when it comes to cosmetic surgery, people tend to have a negative perspective on the matter. But just what are their reasons for this negativity?

In my opinion, plastic surgery should not be considered a crime. First of all, it is generally an individual’s decision. What they choose to do with their bodies should be their choice, not yours. Second of all, unless they plan to go through drastic measures (like injecting cooking oil into their face) that may be life threatening, they should be allowed the right to change what they don’t like. Yes, some people may be able to live with their flaws, but self-esteem varies. Just because you can handle that your nose is a little flat, or your eyes a little uneven, doesn’t mean that your idol should be able to handle it too. They are not the same person as you, and they will never be, so why expect them to have the same rationality as yours?

Honestly, a lot of the work done on South Korean idols tends to improve their aesthetic appeal; in a country and career field where looks can mean everything, it should be no surprise that people fix some of their flaws. Sometimes they are persuaded by their agencies to get surgery, and sometimes they choose that road themselves. This does not mean that you should stop supporting their work!

Many K-Pop idols have no qualms about plastic surgery, and some even go out of their way to tell their fans that they’ve gotten work done. Just take a look at Kwanghee from ZE:A and Goo Hara from Kara:

ZEA Kwanghee Plastic Surgery

Kara Goo Hara Plastic Surgery

They’ve admitted that they had a some help in the beauty department. Kwanghee himself occasionally jokes about his multiple cosmetic procedures, giving a lighthearted air to the touchy subject.

Does this mean that all idols need to get plastic surgery in order to be popular? No. But they should not be judged for trying to make a living out of their looks! Even extending from idols, there are many actors and actresses of whom have gone under the knife. Like I said, given that the entertainment business is highly focused on appearances, this should not be a surprise.

The plastic surgery trend branches out to high school students looking towards improving their looks for a better social life, more job opportunities, or just a plain old self-esteem boost. I myself have a friend who went through double eyelid surgery after our sophomore year (to set matters straight, she is Korean), and she perceived the ordeal as a perfectly normal thing to do. Did it change her appearance? A little bit, but her personality remained the same.

Some may argue that this may prove to be detrimental to the fragile self-esteem of young people, but I believe that a cosmetic surgery is just like more intense makeup, or a tattoo, or a new change in style. Everyone has their reasons for wearing makeup; to look pretty, to clean up their appearance, or to capture the attention of someone special. Those very reasons can correlate to plastic surgery all the same.

One of the issues I can see, besides the dangerous aspect of some plastic surgeries, is how certain idols are promoted as “all-natural” when it’s obvious that they have had work done. But, once again, that is how the industry works. What you see on the screen may not be who that person is in real life, and that’s reality. One of the functions of popular culture tends to be the advertisement of ideal people and values in a world that is far from ideal.

Am I saying that everyone should accept plastic surgery? No. If you have issues accepting it, then that’s ok. What’s not ok is forcing your belief on someone who thinks differently than you. If a friend decides to get surgery, and the result turns out pretty well, do not be a sour grape and tell them that they looked better before. Sometimes it’s better to just be a kind human being.

What are your thoughts on idols with plastic surgery? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.