Jul 14, 2014  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Personal, Shopping, Travel

Korean Beauty Haul: Introduction

A few months ago, at the ripe ol’ age of 33, I purchased my very first eye cream.

And I LOVED it.

“Why have I never used eye cream before?!?” I exclaimed on Facebook. “I don’t have lines yet (knock on wood) but my eye area seems so much smoother and softer…and dark circles lighter.  :-D

(In case you’re curious, I had gotten the Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream.)

My Korean friends were horrified that I had only just started using eye cream. They had been using it since their twenties — some, even from their teens — along with toners, essences, emulsions, serums, packs, masks, etc.

Say what?

From having shopped in Korean stores (and having watched Korean dramas), I knew that such products existed, but I always eschewed them for the simpler cleanser+lotion duo. I exfoliated when I felt I needed it, I never used masks, and I never got facials. And I know I should consider myself lucky (and I am thankful for the fairly good skin genetics has blessed me with), but with my mid-thirties just around the corner, I knew that I should start taking better care of my skin.

So with my newly acquired eye cream just starting to run out — and with my trip to Korea coming up! — I decided to do some digging into the expansive world of Korean skincare products.

One of Korea’s most popular beauty brands, Laneige, made its stateside skincare debut
via Target this year.

You see, Korean skincare is all about prevention and maintenance. This is in stark contrast to the western method of “Oh crap, I’m starting to see some lines! Better buy that $100 eye cream I saw at Nordstrom!”

Koreans — men and women alike — are taught from a young age to cherish and take good care of their skin. (Yes, my mother has been on my case about taking better care of my skin ever since I can remember, but like any typical daughter would do, I ignored her. :-P ) Even their makeup philosophy complements their skin obsession: the better your skin, the less makeup you need.

As such, it’s no wonder that Korean women regularly use 14-17 skincare products throughout the day. Or that Korean skincare technology is about a dozen years ahead of that of the U.S.!

There’s also the fact that skincare products in Korea are readily available (there seems to be a beauty store in every corner, even at subway stations), and at much more affordable prices!

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t go too crazy during my trip to Korea, and that I’ve only added a few items to my daily skincare routine. However, the items I did incorporate have — in less than 2 weeks! — made my skin clearer, smoother, and softer than I can ever remember.

Cross my heart! Even J says he’s jealous of my super-soft skin!

Because this post is already getting too long, I will save my actual Korean beauty haul for next time. In the meantime, here’s a preview of my favorite items from the trip!


To be continued…

Korean Beauty Haul: My Favorite Products, Part 1
Korean Beauty Haul: My Favorite Products, Part 2
Korean Beauty Haul: My Favorite Products, Part 3

2 Responses to “Korean Beauty Haul: Introduction”

  1. Mary:

    I’m not much of a make up person but at this ripe old age of 34, I notice that my pores are getting humungous. Any recs? Can’t wait to see what you got.

    • Sorry for the late reply! From (the little research) I did on Korean skincare products, they usually recommend toners and/or essences for pore troubles. I haven’t purchased a toner on my trip, but I did get a kickass essence (the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence) which you can read more about in the next post of this series here. I used to be concerned about the large pores and sebaceous filaments on my nose, but I really believe this essence has made a HUGE difference!

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