…the Korean Skincare/Makeup hole.
I’m graduated from Yoga Sculpt training and I’m currently in extended education for the same instruction type. Three weeks and it’ll be a wrap. Then it’s all about testing out and getting on the schedule. So far, so good. This is my staple face these days. Clean, glowing, with a neutral eye and lip. There’s little to no time for much else, and it serves me pretty well. Since we teach off the mat (no real demonstrating or practicing with the class… the better to move around the room and pay attention to form and alignment), it’s easy to wear a lighter makeup without looking like a hot sweaty goopy mess afterwards. I’m not a fan of makeup while working out anyway (gross), so the less I have to apply, the better.
Meanwhile, thanks to a video from Lisa Eldridge about Korean makeup/skincare, I have fallen down the damn rabbit hole. I learned a TON of things (thanks to the most amazing Korean woman on earth that I met by happenstance after a yoga class. We’ve since traded Habibi and hair care for her relative with curly/unruly hair and Guerlain and hugs… it’s been amazing).
First things first: All the stuff Lisa purchased is meant for teenagers/younger (under 30) skin. Boo! That also explains why it’s the most reviewed. Without diving too much into stereotype, millenials are more likely to hit the web and gush about all things (EVERYTHING IS AWESOME) the second it hits the market. Older, discerning (read: moneyed) patrons are less likely to lay it all out there, and may be less inclined to share their skin care secrets (unless they’re selling it of course. I’m looking at you Miss Charlotte. Still love you though 😉 ). Even as I put this post together, one of my friends warned about ‘sharing our secrets.’ Lookit, good skin is hard to come by if you’ve been battling acne and sensitivity and hyper-pigmentation your whole life. I get it… I do.
Before I lost my mind (and a ton of money) I did a lot of research and a LOT of sampling. Turns out, the products from companies like Innisfree, Tony Moly, Banila Co and the like are all still pretty good, no matter what age you are. But the results can be fleeting unless you have relatively problem free or younger skin. I will say that I played with the Snail Moisture Mask and Cream from Tony Moly and that stuff is epic… and inexpensive to boot. It helps that the Snail Filtrate is like the FIRST ingredient on the list.
The funny thing is, these brands… while generally meant for low maintenance skin… are still light years ahead of some of the higher end American/English/French brands. Go figure. It’s probably the amount of difference-making ingredients in every product. I even turned my nose up at a Swiss brand recently since trying out some Korean and Chinese products.
Once I realized that I did not qualify for amazing results by use of these products, I dug deeper. My search took me to OHUI and The History of Whoo. I messed around with Sulwahsoo, but… Amore Pacific. I’ll explain.
There are two major producers of luxury skin care in Korea: LG (yes, the electronics company) and Amore Pacific. I’m guessing the latter did a better job of marketing in the United States because you can find Amore Pacific brands just about anywhere. They also have a rule with the local shops around Koreatown that if they carry Amore Pacific … it can ONLY be Amore Pacific brands and subsidiaries. That includes Laneige, IOPE, and Sulwahsoo. Way to open competition in the free market. SMH. This rule turned me completely off to the brand, so I turned instead to LG.
I am fully, crazy, head over heels in love with the LG Brand The History of Whoo. I started playing with OHUI, but soon abandoned the many MANY samples I got in favor of The History of Whoo. The backstory, the packaging, the presentation and the results are everything. I will never mess with Western skincare again… unless it’s Habibi of course. 🙂 But is that considered Western? It’s based on Eastern recipes but I make it here… I don’t know. I’m rambling.
Now, like all brands, everything in the collection isn’t completely amazing (the Hwa Hyun Lotion is heinous. It’s such a departure from the balancer and the cream that it nearly feels like a mistake). My skin is best suited to the Hwa Hyun and Hwanyugo lines. It took me a long time to find my perfect fit. I went through a truck load of samples, trial and error, and visually learning the difference between eye cream and night cream (jars look EXACTLY the same and everything is in Korean) before I figured it out.
In The History of Whoo, there are four lines: Youth (pink), Whitening (white), Dry (red) and Balancing (gold). I use items from the gold series. I’ve also tried the Secret Court Cream — and the night cream from the Hwanyugo (purple) Collection, but I confess that I’ve seen no major difference with Hwanyugo (besides maybe about $500) from the Hwa Hyun night cream. I’ve not used the Essence and Eye Cream… yet.
I’m also a massive fan of the Ja Saeng Essence. It’s a booster (like what Sunday Riley’s Good Genes claims to be) for all skin care. One pump in moisturizer or mask (one of my friends also uses it in her cleanser and leaves it on like a mask) will give it an extra kick.
And that’s just the basic daily/nightly care. I mix and match with Habibi to suit my needs (I’m acne prone so all that moisture can be tricky). I LOVE the Ginseng Oil, the Gold Peel Mask (clarifying), and the Nok Yong Pack (warming mask). I love Secret Court BB Balls, the Golden Cushion BB (smooth like Amore Pacific, but darker and more suited to my skin tone). I’ve also been wearing a few different lipsticks from IPKN (although the one in the picture is NARS Liguria Sheer Lipstick). I tried the bb cream… ash city. I’ll stick to Laniege (my one Amore Pacific product) on a daily and Golden Cushion for special occasions.
Oh the results! My skin is so FREAKING smooth that I’m not really sure what to do about it. It’s ridiculous really. I haven’t had a breakout in months… maybe longer. A stubborn scar on my jawline is all but faded away, and all without a single drop of hydroquinone or any other such bleaching agent. I haven’t peeled in forever. Haven’t needed to.
I don’t even know what took me so long to get here (oh I know… ignorance), but I’m glad to be eyebrow deep in Eastern Promises.