When it comes to predicting the next big things in beauty, we look to Korea. It’s the place that gave us stellar, news-worthy trends like BB creams, which were all anyone could talk about back in 2011; sheet masks, which have become a staple for many UK brands and cushion compacts, which launched as foundations but are now taking over the colour category with blushers and bronzers.
What’s so great about K-beauty products is that they combine just the right amount of gimmick to get us excited, but back it up with solid innovation. The result? We fall head over heels with the idea of the products and then keep going back to them because they actually deliver on their promises. Our enthusiasm for Korean beauty trends and innovations is showing no signs of waning, so here at Byrdie, we wanted to know what the next big K-beauty trend will be.
To get the answer, we called on three K-beauty influencers to reveal the products they predict will be the next big things, keep scrolling to be in the know…
K-beauty is just getting into chemical exfoliation in its own way. “The big trend now is called aqua peeling. It’s where you are both exfoliating your skin and providing it with a big dose of hydration at the same time, making it ideal for blemishes or dry patches,” explains The Wanderlust Project founder Sheryll Donerson. “The product comes on a pre-soaked cotton bud, that you apply after you cleanse and tone your skin. By the next day, your skin is super glowy and radiant. I’ve been dying to try this peeler.”
“I believe the next trend will be filter creams,” says Charlotte Cho, founder of Soko Glam, a website that sells the best of Western and Korean beauty products, and author of The Little Book of Skin Care (£19). “A filter cream is a regular moisturiser, but it blurs imperfections and also makes your complexion look luminous and dewy thanks to ingredients such as pearl powder or pearl extracts.”
In Korea, beauty trends are fueled by TV stars. “Korean dramas are a big force for makeup trends in Korea. Usually, whenever an actress on a K-drama wears a lipstick, BB cushion, etc., it sells out the next day at the stores,” explains Donerson. “The big show of the moment is Descendants of the Sun. The lead actress, Song Hye-Kyo, used a lipstick from Laneige. It’s a two-tone lipstick that gives the Korean gradient lip look in one swipe. The shade she wore on the show sold out almost immediately not only just in Korea, but overseas as well!”
Ombré lips aren’t a new idea in the UK, but they’ve never really taken off. With the Korean seal of approval, we predict this might just change.
“I would have to say stick cleansers are the next big trend!” says Morgan Stewart, founder of The Beauty Breakdown. “I think people are starting to realise the importance of not stripping your skin of its natural oils when cleansing.”
Donerson describes this particular cleansing stick as the “BEST THING EVER.” With a combination of fermented rose extract, green tea seed oil and coconut oil, it thoroughly cleanses skin without leaving it feeling dry or tight. Being a solid cleanser, it’s great for chucking in your gym or overnight bag.
In the west, contouring our cheekbones has become the norm, but in Korea, it’s a completely different part of the face that women contour: the jawline. Stewart explains: “Instead of carving out cheekbones, Koreans usually use contour to create a V-shaped jawline and to generally make their face appear smaller.”
Use your matte contouring powder around the hairline and down the jawline—the illusion of shade will make the face appear slimmer. You can see a Korean contouring guide at Basics and Neutrals.