Good Morning Bellas,
It has been more than 3 months, since I ventured into a whole new experience. I created “Meikoko”, a beauty portal that brings the newest skin care buzz straight from South Korea. I didn’t have the opportunity yet to visit Seoul, but I know that my passion and belief in their cosmetic products is going to influence my next travel plans. I have been asked so many times if I was Asian or of any Asian origins. Well, I am not Asian, nor have I any trace of Asian blood in me. Then …”why are you talking about skin care products from South Korea”? “How did you find them?”, they would ask me often. We are fortunate enough to live in a super connected world and to have access to absolutely everything, especially to different cultures, to learn about them, to admire them, to assimilate whatever we think will benefit us or our friends and family. The world is simply amazing with all the opportunities and horizons that seem to have no limits.
So, how a Non-Asian developed an obsession with something so Asian, like a 10-step skin care ritual? I remember the days when I was little (about 5-6 years old) and I was admiring my mom applying her moisturizer on her beautiful face. I remember her taking a very small amount from the little jar and spreading it gently on her face. I remember her making all kinds of concoctions with honey, eggs, lemon juice, oatmeal, and yogurt. Those DIY masks were pretty odd for me at that time and I wouldn’t understand why would she put those masks on her face. She was beautiful anyway. Then, in a conversation with dad about which women are the most beautiful in the world and after the Russian women seemed to get all the glory, I remember mom mentioning the Asian women. “They look like they never age”, mom said. “Their skin is amazingly beautiful. They are perfect in their beauty”. I wasn’t very aware of how an Asian lady looked like, but I remember that my mom’s statement got me thinking. The only image of an Asian woman I had was from the movie “The Last Samurai”.
Then, the years passed by. When I started to take care of my skin, I started to observe the beautiful women around me and admire them. I also remember my grandmother stressing out the importance of cleaning my skin every day, twice a day. She used to tell me:” If you want to be beautiful, you need to make sure you cleanse your face everyday with soap and cold water”. I was at a time when my confidence in my appearance wasn’t great and I really wished I was more beautiful than I perceived myself of being. I believed my grandmother and since then, I religiously used to wash my face with cold water (one thing that I hate, but hey, I wanted to be beautiful) and a solid soap…ummm…I know…soap?!!
I left my little country. I wanted to live in a big, metropolitan city. I chose Montreal, Canada. The big cities are the places where one would encounter a “melange” of different beauties, various races. In big cities, your identity is kind of lost into the vast crowd. One may become comfortable with the sheer anonymity or become competitive and striving for more. In the cold Montreal, I needed to strive to get my skin into a good condition. The dry and cold weather wasn’t very gentle and I could feel its effects on my skin. I felt it dry, lifeless, and dull.
It was a sunny morning and I was strolling along St. Catherine street of Montreal. On St. Catherine one can find an impressive array of multicultural businesses: from little pastry shops, antique stores, and vintage fashion boutiques to universities, department stores, and government institutions. That morning I was looking for the perfect face cream: with a very light coverage, moisturizing, SPF at least 25, anti-aging and good smelling. I know a lot of people do not like their creams to have any trace of the most insignificant scent, but I do prefer light, easy, fresh scents. I stopped at a small boutique to check out the Korean beauty concepts. That was the day when I discovered my first BB Cream, SKIN79, which became my favourite and I have become a Korean cosmetic lover since then. Originally, the BB cream was formulated in Germany as a healing ointment for patients’ post-laser treatments. The very ingenious Koreans picked the idea and turned it into a unique, more sophisticated version that acts as a tinted moisturizer, sun protectant, and anti-aging treatment all in one.
Of course, I couldn’t abstain myself not to explore the vast collection of Korean beauty products. I remember I left the store with 2 full bags of Korean goodies. I was eager to try them all at once. I bought 5 sleeping masks with snail serum (I will dedicate an entire post to the snail serum and its benefits), SKINFOOD Royal Honey lotion, which came into a cute glass container, 2 BB creams, a bunch of lipsticks, an awesome eyeliner and mascara, a Laneige set, and a sleeping mask. This is what I can remember now, and of course, all these came along with a bunch of cute, little samples of other products, that I tried later. The BB cream, SKIN79, is the cream I still use after 3 years and I hope I always have access to it. It’s simply AMAZING!
One thing that got me really interested in Korean beauty products was their natural ingredients. Then, I started to pay more attention to Asian girls and women, and have noticed that their skin was absolutely flawless and very white of course. Koreans are obsessed with white skin and almost all their creams come with some whitening functions. As a matter of fact, the demand for whitening helped create new technology treatments, such as lasers and photo facials. I have researched the Korean beauty industry, and the more I research it, the more I fall in love with it. Korean beauty industry is a decade ahead of Western cultures. The speed at which they are outpacing other countries in beauty innovation is overwhelming. Koreans are all into nurturing their skin as much as they can, and their skincare formulas totally reflect this principle.
Did you know that the eyelash extensions was a Korean invention? And that the glycolic peel is totally outdated in Korea? Or that the skincare for an average Korean woman consists of at least 18 products? Or that the laser treatments in Korea are so omnipresent, they now cost 80 percent less than they do in the U.S?! Oh, and their facial masks obsession!!!! It’s very contagious though. I cannot go 3 days without applying one of their miraculous masks. It’s heaven for the skin and according to Koreans these facial masks work much faster and better than your regular creams and lotions. They are crazy about these nutrients filled masks and I became a fan as well.
All in all, South Korea rocks! And I hope to get to visit Seoul as soon as possible. If you never tried these trendy, cute skin care products, give them a shot. You will be amazed by the changes in your skin.