In Korea, they take the beauty business seriously. It’s where trends such as the BB cream and its other double alphabet successors originated. The cosmetic surgery culture is so commonplace that many Korean teens ask their parents for their first nose job or facial reconstruction as their high school graduation present.
The Philippines may be far behind Korea in the global beauty race, but we’re catching up. And because we are a K-Pop loving country, here are 8 Korean beauty trends we dare you to try without having to go under the knife:
The gist: They’re robotic-looking plastic contraptions that you place on your fingers after applying nail polish.
Pros: It allows you to dry your nails while going about your day. The cover protects your nails from nicks and smudges while you type on the keyboard or do other menial chores. Perfect for the vain busy bee.
Cons: Not as easy-peasy as it looks. The one-size-fits-all contraption needs to be constantly adjusted and doesn’t guarantee preventing smudges and nicks. It may even cut off your blood circulation.
The gist: Metrosexuality is not a new concept in the Philippines, but Korean men are taking vanity to higher levels with male-targeted skin care lines and cosmetic procedures. In Korea, it’s normal for girls to go makeup and beauty product shopping with their BFs, with some guys even buying more stuff than their ladies. Intense hydrating night cream for men? Check! BB creams and facial sleep masks for men? Double check!
Pros: We women can stop complaining about our guy’s terrible grooming or complete lack of it.
Con: Men’s beauty products are often priced higher than women’s.
The gist: It’s not a moisturizer, a night cream or a facial mask. A sleeping pack is a combination of all of the above, except that you don’t need to place a disposable cloth on your face like a facial. You simply apply the goo like a normal moisturizer before bedtime, then wash it off the next day to reveal a suppler, hydrated skin.
Pros: It has more potent anti-aging and hydrating ingredients than the average moisturizer, mask and night cream. Take it a step further by applying the sleeping pack on your neck.
Cons: It’s not as easy to find as regular moisturizers, and not all beauty brands offer it.
The gist: Facial exercises are so standard in Korea that Internet celebrities and beauty experts have began posting facial exercise videos online. They target specific facial problems, such as droopiness, sagginess, puffiness, and lip wrinkles. The exercises are a combination of stretching and massaging. Face yoga, anyone?
Pros: You don’t need to spend money to do it, unless someone decides to dupe people by putting up a “facial gym.”
Cons: Overdoing it may actually cause wrinkles.
The gist: Chinita girls with monolids can finally get the coveted folds on their eyelids simply by sticking this double adhesive tape on their peepers. Those with normal eyes can still use this to get the illusion of wider looking eyes, a.k.a. doll eyes. Just don’t forget to remove the tape at the end of the day.
Pros: The product is cheap and there’s no need for plastic surgery to achieve bigger looking eyes. You can apply your regular eyeshadow on top of it after application.
Cons: Needs lots of practice before you get the application right. Doctors also warn that you can get sagging eyelids or eye inflammation with long-term use of eyelid tape.
The gist: If the Japanese began placing live crawling snails on a person’s face as part of a modern-day facial, the Koreans have formulated a less icky version—snail cream, a moisturizer infused with snail slime.
Pros: Snail slime is reported to help remove dead skin cells on the face and improve the skin’s hydration and suppleness.
Cons: Snail’s (a.k.a. kuhol) mucus on your face!
The gist: It’s the cuter, sweeter version of cat eye makeup. Instead of winging the eyeliner tip for a feline look, you draw down the eyeshadow or eye pencil from your top lid to the bottom, creating a little triangle at the lower outer corner of your eye.
Pros: If softens and sweetens your look compared to the feisty cat eye.
Cons: It’s not flattering for people who already have naturally droopy eyes.
The gist: It’s a same-sex spa, better known as a public bathhouse in Korea. You walk around naked and barefoot, and can hang anywhere from the floors to the sauna and pool. You may even bathe your girlfriends and scrub their backs while you gossip at the communal bath. You can take a nap in any corner or even fall asleep ‘til the next day as long as you don’t exceed 24 hours.
Pros: It’s like the unlimited rice of spas. You pay for an entrance fee, pay extra for each spa service, then hang around and use the amenities as much as you like for up to 24 hours. Not a bad deal. We hear there’s now a jjimjilbang in Makati, ladies!
Cons: Germophobes will hate the idea of rubbing elbows (or hairy bottoms) with naked strangers at wet communal areas. Bring lots of hand sanitizer.
Which ones would you try? Or have tried already? Tell us about it! Post your feels and reactions in the Comments Section.

Kate Alvarez

A former full-time magazine and newspaper editor, Kate now juggles a career in writing, modeling and acting. She is also an advocate of animal rights and mental health awareness. Check out her blogs, Kate Was Here and Retro Prints, as well as her beauty articles in BDJ Box.


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