Why you should watch out for K-beauty in 2019

Korean beauty (also known as K-beauty) is becoming a global trend. The year 2018 only lead the movement to grow bigger, and it’s not about to stop expanding anytime soon. Here’s why you should watch out for K-beauty in 2019.
Korean beauty gained a massive following as internet and social media allowed beauty enthusiasts from across countries to interact.

While K-beauty has been an established industry for years, it’s only now that the West is catching up with Korean beauty trends.

“It’s not that there’s been a big boom—we’re just catching up with them essentially, [helped by] the expansion of Instagram and beauty blogging,” Marie Claire digital beauty editor Katie Thomas told BBC.

She further explained that the fascination with Korean beauty is because of how innovative Koreans are. In fact, she says that they’re ahead by 10 to 12 years compared to the rest of the world.

Which means that, if you want to get ahead of the beauty game, it’s worth staying on top of K-beauty trends.

The Korean beauty standard

K-beauty refers almost exclusively to South Korea (officially Republic of Korea). South Korea is an East Asian country at odds with the one other country on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea. The two share vastly different political ideologies and forms of government despite both being home to a predominantly Korean population.

High beauty standards are a cultural feature in South Korea, making the beauty industry an ever-booming business. These standards are often propagated by Korean Pop (K-Pop) idols and are required by a large number of jobs.

Specifically, a Korean beauty would be a slim, pale, fine-haired woman with a round forehead, puffy double eyelids, chubby cheeks, protruding eye bags, a medium-sized nose bridge, and a V-line face.

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Plastic surgery in South Korea is not only accepted but even encouraged. In fact, 1 in 3 Korean women will have at least one surgery between the ages 19 to 49. Double eyelid surgery is the most popular kind of surgery in the country and is often given as a high school graduation gift.

The most popular K-beauty trend in the west, however, is glass skin. Glass skin refers to clear, translucent, poreless, and glowing skin.

Glass skin is attributed to a multiple-step skincare routine, involving oil cleanser, exfoliator, foam cleanser, toner, essence, serum, face masks, eye cream, face cream, and SPF.

Great skincare is the heart of K-beauty—with consistency and a personalized skincare routine, you can be on your way to getting Korean-approved beauty.

The best K-beauty trends today

Of course, K-beauty is not a mere trend, not even in the West. It’s a movement.

Many Western women are incorporating Korean skincare routines into their daily beauty rituals. Korean brand makeup is also becoming a mainstay in many beauty kits, as several brands are cheaper than their U.S. counterparts.

K-beauty is not a trend, but it does have several trends attached to the whole movement. Here are some of the most notable K-beauty trends you should look out for in 2019:

1. Glass skin

Of course, glass skin still tops any of the K-beauty trend lists. When you have dewy, clear skin, the need for foundation and concealer significantly decreases. In fact, you can get away with a no-makeup look, especially if you’ve invested in permanent brows.

To achieve glass skin, remember:

  • Personalize your routine. There are a multitude of product options for every skin care problem there is. Start by identifying your skin type (normal, combination, dry, oily) and your skincare issues (e.g. acne, discoloration, blackheads, pimple scars, etc.) From there, you can identify the products that match your skin type and address your skin issues.
  • Consistency is key. The multiple-step skincare routine required can be time-consuming—but it sure is worth it. Skin care is not about using the most expensive products on the market; it’s about finding the products that work for your face and sticking to it.

2. Blurred lipstick

Blurred lipstick is the anti-lip liner look. It comes across as soft and hazy, like you were a little lazy with the application early that morning.

“I definitely think that it’s become a trend as a reaction to the crazy over-drawn lips that we’ve been seeing these past years,” makeup artist Benjamin Puckey told Allure.

“I think people are yearning for something softer and a little more romantic. A sharply drawn lip can look cool when balanced with more minimal makeup, but can also have a slightly aggressive feel,” he said.

If you’re going for a Korean-inspired makeup look, ditch the lip liner. Apply a matte lip tint or lipstick and blend from the inside out, leaving your lip line undefined.

3. Liquid eyeshadow

Beauty and convenience go hand-in-hand with liquid eyeshadow. If you’re constantly on the go or just looking for a natural makeup look, liquid eyeshadows are perfect for you.

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While liquid eyeshadow doesn’t come in as many colors as powder and gel shadows, it’s still a great beauty option. It’s easy to bring with you, and it’s long-lasting quality will keep you looking pretty all day.

Why you should try K-beauty in 2019

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to begin new routines and hobbies. Here’s why you should consider incorporating K-beauty into your 2019 resolution.

  • K-beauty invests in better skincare. You know what they say: makeup shouldn’t be used to hide; it should be used to enhance. By having a great canvas, painting on our faces becomes easier and more fun.
  • K-beauty isn’t afraid to try new things. From cosmetic surgery to liquid eyeshadow, Koreans love to explore new heights with their beauty. Their adventurousness also encourages their beauty industry to expand and innovate. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Experience a different definition of beauty. Globalization has opened our minds to a different set of beauty standards (and beauty products). K-beauty allows us to have shared experiences with beauty enthusiasts from the other side of the world. This is a powerful demonstration of the reach and power of beauty as a positive force.

Even if you’re not a fan their products, K-beauty has taught us two things. One: we should value our skin. And two: we should continue pushing our definitions and boundaries on what it means to be “beautiful.”

Whether it’s beginning a multi-step skincare routine or investing in microblading, 2019 is the year of adventurous and consistent beauty.

Nicole Cruz
Nicole is a fan of all things beauty and fashion. She writes to make a living, buy more lipstick, and keep her dogs happy.

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