Korean 'glass skin' trend will continue to thrive in 2019, says expert
Best ways to make your skin look fresh and glowy
Korean beauty trends are more than just a phase. Sheet masks, BB creams, skincare-infused cosmetics - these are just some of the game-changing and innovative products that have hit shelves globally.
Korean beauty dominated the scene this year and that trend will likely continue next year, according to Ms Helene Chung, co-founder and director of Just Trend, a one-stop Korean beauty brand curator and distributor.
The "glass skin" trend has taken the world by storm, as beauty junkies went crazy over the dewy, natural look achieved by using liquid-based foundation or highlighters.
And its popularity will continue to thrive next year as more water-based formula products are introduced.
On her beauty predictions for next year, Korean-born Ms Chung - who has worked at Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal and Star Asia Group and led the K-beauty section at Watsons in 2011, introducing major Korean cosmetic brands to the Singapore market - told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "We have seen the use of different types of water - carbonated water, cherry blossom water, iceberg water, mineral water and centella asiatica water - in cushion foundation.
"Variations in water-based formulas in other cosmetic products, such as lip stains and water-based eye glitters, will also lead the market."
When it comes to skincare, the emphasis will be on advanced pore control and tightening next year - especially in South-east Asia's tropical climate, clogged and enlarged pores are common, which can result in saggy skin.
Enter Just Trend's three new Korean beauty brands - Unpa Cosmetics, Nakeup Face and 9CC - available at Watsons.
These brands use gentle and safe ingredients in their products, another trend Ms Chung highlighted. (See report below.)
She said: "People are starting to realise the negative impacts of potentially harmful ingredients. Beauty and personal care products are now considered as important as the food we ingest.
"Gentle and safe ingredients also deliver the same level of product functionality as conventional products, so it is always better to choose the best ingredients for us."
Now that year-end festivities are in full swing, it is even more important to invest in prepping the skin.
Cleansing, exfoliation and hydration should be top priority, said Ms Chung, "due to relatively heavy make-up and excessive cleaning that may cause the skin to become sensitive and dry".
One useful tip is the use of facial masks for hydration.
"It is recommended to do facial masks two to three times a week, without choosing targeted sheet masks for anti-ageing or whitening. The texture may be too heavy, which can cause skin trouble instead," said Ms Chung.
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Must-try best-sellers from Unpa, Nakeup Face and 9CC
Emerging Korean brands, which are expanding into the Asian market, are charging full steam ahead to keep up with the ever-changing trends and innovations.
Ms Helene Chung picked Unpa Cosmetics, Nakeup Face and 9CC for this season's trendy must-haves "based on their unique brand equity, strength and product performance and popularity in Korea".
According to her, Unpa Cosmetics develops innovative beauty products based on key consumer insights and big data, Nakeup Face stands out because of its strong creative concept and belief in gentle and safe ingredients, while 9CC focuses on superior marine skincare ingredients from unpolluted sources.
Here are some of the latest products to try:
SOFT KISSABLE LIPS WITH NO ROUGHNESS
Unpa Cosmetics' best-selling Bubi Bubi Lip ($19.90) is a gentle lip scrub, which also works as a chemical peel to get rid of dead skin cells. The result? Soft, kissable lips that can withstand any kind of lipstick application.
THE KOREAN GLOW
Bubi Bubi Face ($33.90), similar to the Bubi Bubi Lip, is a hypoallergenic peeling gel made from witch hazel, papaya and pineapple enzymes. A gentle cleansing gel-scrub, it will wash dirt off your skin before foaming to peel away the remaining dead skin cells.
NO-MAKE-UP MAKE-UP LOOK
Nakeup Face's One Night Cushion ($46.90) is a foundation cushion compact made from Environmental Working Group-certified green level grade ingredients that are skin-friendly and calming. Formulated with deep seawater, it enhances the skin's moisture retention capability.The Coverking Powder Cushion ($43.90) is a three-cover layering system that feels light, yet is able to conceal blemishes, wrinkles and pores. Formulated for those with oily skin, it promises to last 19 hours and eliminates shine, giving you that au natural look.
COLLAGEN IS THE WAY TO GO
9CC's Collagen Ball ($5.90) is a one-step solution for that extra collagen (mix the ball with water or toner). Containing key ingredients extracted from the Tongyeong Sea in South Korea, the ball is a blend of ingredients that boosts suppleness, elasticity and hydration.