These Products Made Me A K-Beauty Convert

by Rosie Narasaki

I was lucky enough to head to KCON Los Angeles last weekend — I attended a few panels, learned some of the Korean beauty secrets for a glowing complexion, saw lots of larger-than-life posters of Kim Soo Hyun, and perhaps most importantly of all? I scored a ton of free beauty products. Most of these were one of the many (many, many) perks of attending the Korean Celebrity Skin Secrets with Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam workshop (the first 300 guests were rewarded with quite the goodie bag), and I picked up a few at Soompi and Memebox's booth as a part of a giveaway.

As soon as I returned to my car, post-convention, I immediately took stock of my considerable swag (I felt like I had just been trick or treating!), and I quickly realized that I had amassed enough samples and goodies to create roughly 95% of an entire makeup look. I got eyeshadow, blush, and brow powder from Memebox, and a CC cream sample, primer, and lip gloss at the Soko Glam workshop — and what better way to celebrate a weekend of Korean beauty than a (mostly) free makeup look?

Here's a peek at what I put together, as I became a rapid K-beauty convert:

The Products

Clockwise from top right: NYLON x XO Memebox #ItGirlPalette, $29, Memebox; Banila Co Radiant CC Cream, $28, Soko Glam; Haena x Memebox Cheek and Brow Palette #1, $16, Memebox; TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar, $8, Soko Glam; Banila Co Prime Primer Classic, $22, Soko Glam


I started out with a touch of Banila Co Prime Primer Classic — I don't have much experience with primers (scandalous, I know), but I really liked this product: It had a slippery, silicone-y texture, and it did seem to blur out some of my pores for a smoother canvas.

Next, I added a layer of Banila Co Radiant CC Cream. I've never used CC cream before, but from what I understand, they're a little closer to multi-purpose moisturizers than BB creams (which are generally have a bit more coverage). I'm in the midst of a minor breakout, and I've got some perpetual acne scarring on my cheeks, so CC creams aren't quite the right product for me at the moment — but in a perfect (read: acne-free) world, I'd happily use this product on the daily. Though the coverage is minimal, it gave my skin a lovely, natural glow, and it really did subtly combat redness and dark spots for a more even skin tone (thus living up to its alliterative initials).

Cheeks + Eyebrows

For my eyebrows, I applied the darkest shade from the Haena x Memebox Cheek and Brow Palette using an angled brush. It was a nice, natural color, and it withstood a fair amount of sweating (I wore it to wushu class this afternoon, and it's still largely intact). I also added the lightest possible dusting of the electric pink blush from the NYLON x XO Memebox #ItGirlPalette to the apples of my cheeks.


Between the two Memebox palettes I scored in that Soompi x Memebox giveaway, I had a lot of fun with the eyeshadow (though I still kept things on the subtle side). Here's a closer look at what I was working with:

I started off with a wash of warm brown shadow (the lightest shade from the Haena palette) all over the lid. Then, I swept a little of the bronze-y brown from the NYLON palette up into my crease for a touch of contouring, then finished with a little of the dark brown shade along my outer/upper lashline for a touch more definition.


Last but not least, I finished off the look with a few swipes of the inimitably adorable TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar. It doesn't have a whole lot of color, but it's very moisturizing, and it boasts quite the delicious candy-like fruity flavor. (Oh, and in the name of full disclosure, I cheated on the "only using samples" rule of this tutorial, by adding a touch of eyeliner).

All in all? Soko Glam and Memebox have won me over pretty much hook, line, and sinker — it looks like I have a lot more K-beauty shopping looming on the horizon!

Images: Author's Own