The Best Beauty Imports from Asia
By Elise Minton Tabin |
With a multibillion dollar beauty economy that’s driven by beauty-centric Asian women willing to spend just about anything to have the "it" product, these Asian imports are slated to be the next big thing (some already are!).
What they are: The last step in your daily skin-care routine, finishers are exactly what they sound like—the finishing product you put on right before makeup. Different from a primer, finishers go on after you’ve applied all your other skin-care products, locking in their effects and making them work that much better. “Finishers are a new skin-care category in Korea that are used to seal everything in and prime the skin for makeup,” says Alicia Yoon, cofounder of Peach and Lily, an e-tailer specializing in Asian beauty products.
Get it in: Sulwhasoo Essential Finisher is loaded with skin-perfecting green tea and ginseng so that your skin stays luminous, bright and clear all day. Plus, it creates the perfect canvas for flawless makeup. $90, us.sulwhasoo.com
Products with Bamboo Sap
What it is: Charlotte Cho, founder of Soko Glam, an e-tailer that focuses on Korean beauty products, says that bamboo sap is an anti-inflammatory that is destined to be the next big trend to come out of Asia. “It has amazing powerful long-term hydrating powers.”
Get it in: With a unique gel-like texture that transforms before your eyes into a liquid when it hits your skin, SU:M37 Waterfull Rebalancing Lotion hydrates skin and improves its overall health. $57, sokoglam.com
What they are: Liquidy in texture, which teeters between water and a toner, essences are a must-have in Asian skin care. Used after cleansing (usually double-cleansing, which consists of first washing with an oil and then with a cream cleanser) and toning, but before serums, essences boost moisture levels in your skin and really target age-related concerns because they work at a more cellular level. “Essences will become a huge category in the United States in 2015,” says Yoon, adding that many include active ingredients that fight wrinkles and make skin firmer and more radiant.
Get it in: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence was the first Asian skin essence to strike it big in the United States and it is still popular today. Loaded with the brand’s star ingredient, pitera, plus vitamins, minerals and amino acids, the essence leads to a brighter, more luminous complexion the more often you use it. $100, sephora.com
Cushion Compacts And Makeup
What they are: According to Yoon, cushion compacts are, “ubiquitous in Korea as they result in a more naturally flawless, radiant and dewy finish versus a powdery, matte and sometimes cakey look.” Following on the heels of cushion compacts comes cushion makeup—think eye shadow, blush and lipstick—that’s hydrating and less matte.
Get it in: AmorePacific Cushion Compact gives skin natural-looking coverage in a unique way. To apply, simply push the enclosed puff into the sponge and gently pat the makeup onto skin, blending in well. $60, sephora.com
What they are: While Yoon explains that gommage peels aren’t necessarily something brand new or exclusive to Asia, they do have a big following and are making their way stateside. “These peels gently slough off dead skin and have a roll and peel-off way that they are used. They’re gentle, effective and loved by all who try them."
Get it in: Loaded with botanical agents, Koh Gen Do Soft Gommage Spa Gel works wonders at effectively eliminating dead skin from the surface without any irritation post-use. The more you use it, the healthier your skin looks. $45, kohgendocosmetics.com
What they are: Pre-cut masks typically made of a bio-cellulose sheet that fits over the face to infuse skin with anything from hydrators and antioxidants to vitamins, retinol, brightening agents and beyond.
Get it in: The single-use Dr. Jart+ Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask slips over your face to hydrate and brighten skin so that dark spots are less visible. $8, sephora.com