Behind the rise and rise of Korean beauty trends
It is one of the fastest growing trends in the world: K-Beauty, otherwise known as Korean Beauty.
From what started in the western world as an outlet for kitsch products such as tomato-shaped face masks and macaron lip balms, K-beauty is quickly becoming a go-to destination for those wanting to try out the newest - and at times strangest - upcoming trends in the market.
Founder of online K-Beauty store Style Story, Lauren Lee, told Robb Report that she noticed the change occurring around "five years ago" when consumers started taking K-Beauty a little more seriously.
"It's our philosophy that makes us different from western brands," she said.
"Korean products tend to focus on fixing underlying skin issues rather than covering them up with makeup."
Lee told Robb Report that some of the most popular trends she’s noticed on the ground in Korea include the use of snail muchin (FYI the glistening trail snails leave), galactomyces (yeast extract), bee venom, donkey milk, Yuja (a type of Korean citrus fruit), ginseng, fermented ingredients, sparkling water and even placenta.
Style Story founder Lauren Lee. Photo: Supplied
One of Style Story's most luxurious brands is the Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Collection, which was modelled on the cosmetics used by Korean royalty in the Joseon Dynasty.
The collection combines traditional herbal medicinal formulas with modern technology. The bottles have been carefully designed to enhance any room, and blossom with traditional Eastern colours such as ruby reds and gold. All are finished with subtle filigree detailing.
The jewel in the crown of the collection is the Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Emulsion, a cream with a delicate and light texture that betrays its deep moisturising effect on the skin. Due to its light, non-greasy nature the cream can be applied before bed and beneath make-up.
The Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Collection. Photo: Style Story
After testing the cream for a week, this writer found a distinct improvement in skin condition, discolouration, hydration and pore minimisation. The cream also boasts a light fragrance which disappears upon application.
Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin, however, is just one of hundreds of brands now stocked on Style Story, which Lee said has experienced exponential growth since debuting in 2014. “We’re seeing sales figures tripling year on year,” she said.
And with less red tape needed when it comes to introducing a new product into the marketplace, those figures are expected to continue to rise.
To see more of Style Story's extensive range visit www.stylestory.com.au