With a focus on skincare over cosmetics, a commitment to harnessing both natural ingredients and scientific advancements, and a good dose of imagination, the Korean beauty industry is light-years ahead when it comes to innovative products. We fell hard for cult brand Mizon, whose product range includes such peculiar delights as King to the Kong No. 1 Kings Berry Aqua Step-Up Cream, Ultra Wonder Power Jelly Sun and All in One Snail Repair Cream. To celebrate the launch of Mizon at Urban Outfitters, We called on NYLON Korea beauty editor Lee Bo Mi to give us the 411 on her country's beauty bounty.
Hi Lee! How would you describe the Korean woman's approach to beauty?
Korean women like bright and glowing skin and natural make up because they want to look young.
Why do you think the Korean beauty industry is so much more advanced than ours in the US?
Most Korean woman care about how they look because it’s a representation of themselves to others. And they're very curious. Because of that, they always want the new thing. Beauty brands [here] are always trying to catch their attention.
What’s your daily beauty routine?
I try to keep a simple beauty routine. It’s not always good to use too many skincare products. First of all, I clean my make up with a gentle milk cleanser and then wash my skin with a homemade soap I made without any chemical detergents. After that, I apply a plankton essence—it prevents moisture from leaving the skin. Then I use a propolis ampule that relieves redness. Lastly, I apply a cream with alpine berries to lock in moisture.
What products can't you live without?
! It makes my skin glowing and healthy in ten seconds. I think Korea has the only cushion foundation in the world. It’s sort of a compact version of liquid foundation, BB cream and CC cream in sponge, and we use the puff to apply it on the skin. This puff is very special; it has millions of holes (like the skin’s pores) and it absorbs well and spreads the foundation evenly on the skin.
Who is your beauty muse?
Jennifer Aniston. She is a perfect example of natural makeup.
Have you tried Mizon products? We’re obsessed with them!
Yes. I used Mizon Twilight Essence Mist
. It’s great. I don’t like face mist, because when I use a face mist I feel my skin gets drier, but Mizon’s is different—it contains serum and birch water. After I finish my makeup, I often spray it on and it makes my skin glow!
What are your top beauty tips and tricks?
When I use mascara, I don’t apply eyeliner. I just put tons of mascara on my bottom lashes for a 1960s Twiggy look.
What are the new advancements in skincare coming out of Korea?
Skincare with fermented ingredients. It’s a kind of “slow” beauty product that uses Korean botanical ingredients.