Dark lips, contouring, and ultra-strong brows have all had major beauty moments over the past few years, but nothing has silently reigned the makeup and skincare world quite like K-beauty. Of course, the Korean beauty trends for 2016 are sure to be no less game-changing than it has been in the years passed. Get ready for an over-the-seas-inspired routine overhaul.
Whether you realize it or not, K-beauty is already behind some of our favorite products and tools. East Asia can pretty much take credit for bringing oil cleansers, gel sleeping masks and BB and CC creams into our lives. And really, where would we be without them all? Two words: Life. Altering. (An exaggeration? Nah, not really.)
K-beauty's nowhere near done yet, though. The region is constantly bringing new beauty and skincare trends into mainstream North American lingo. Their focus on clean, fresh skin, and youthful features is the stuff of classic #BeautyGoals, and they're always finding new ways to capture a natural, glowing vibe.
Don't take it from me, though — Morgan Stewart, K-beauty expert and the vlogger behind The Beauty Breakdown, knows it best. She gave us the low-down on what Korean-inspired beauty products and practices we should be looking out for in 2016. Here's what your routine needs this year:
At-Home Skincare Tools
"New skincare tools that can be used at home are becoming very popular. This can range from LED lights to dermarollers," Stewart explains. "I think women are realizing that you don't have to go to a medical spa and spend tons of money to get the same results at home." If you're committed, a little upfront splurging on your favorite derm-inspired tool may be worth the cash you save in the long run.
It seems unusual that water could be considered a bad thing for skin, but Korean beauty products generally stay away from the stuff. Apparently, water-based products steal your skin's moisture by evaporating natural oils along with it, according to Byrdie. "I think [waterless products are] going to still be extremely popular in 2016, since people are becoming more comfortable with using oil or extracts on their skin," says Stewart.
Baby Face Makeup With A Twist
If there's one aesthetic that K-beauty is known for, it's the baby face look. "This means bright, awake-looking eyes, gently blushed cheeks, and a cute gradient pout," Stewart explains. The look is getting an update in 2016 with more experimentation, though. "For example, using a pastel eyeliner to keep the eyes fresh looking but still adding a fun pop of color," says Stewart. The opportunities are endless: Start with a sweet, youthful makeup look and add your own fun touch from there.
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Sheet masks have all but taken over the K-beauty world, and the mainstream beauty market is catching on. "They are emerging more and more with Western brands making them and Western retailers carrying them, so I feel like more people are going to implement them in their skincare routine," says Stewart. You don't have to look far anymore to find a sheet mask, so get thee to a beauty store ASAP.
Carbonated Face Masks
Carbonated face masks may be the multitasking beauty treatment you never knew you needed. "The concept is almost like steaming your face, except with carbonation," says Stewart. "It's great for detoxifying and deep cleaning your pores as well as toning and firming your skin."
Stewart tested it out for her loyal viewers to see, and I have to say, I'm seriously curious to try it for myself.
"Korea is still in LOVE with the dewy skin look. This is because it makes the skin look luminous, youthful, and plump," says Stewart. Thankfully, the foundations and products that give skin that glowing look (like obsession-worthy BB cushions) are experiencing an increase in diversity in 2016, says Stewart. "Instead of having one or two universal shades that are supposed to fit everyone's skin tone, now you'll notice that there are brands that offer foundations with a yellow undertone instead of just pink undertones. Also, a couple years ago, it was almost impossible to find a brand that offered more than 3 shades of foundation." There's still room for improvement, but K-beauty is getting there.
"I think mask brands and manufacturers are going to make a big push towards showcasing their fermented qualities," predicts Stewart. "This is because when it comes to skincare, we all know that natural is better." Preach. According to K-beauty brand Whamisa, "The process of fermentation breaks down the nutrients into small particles that are easier for skin to absorb on a cellular level for instantaneously quenched skin." I don't know about you, but I'm in.
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Images: Courtesy of brands; @morgansbeautybreakdown/Instagram