Six K-Beauty things we learned from Banila Co.'s brand ambassador

When Banila Co. finally arrived in the Philippines last year, K-Beauty fans all over the metro celebrated as it meant easier access to their amazing products. We’ve ogled the products on display in their new store, and even dared to take up the #OneDayOneMask Challenge! We still can't get enough though, so when we got the chance to talk to Banila Co.'s brand ambassador Cho Heena, we made sure to ask the K-beauty questions we've been dying to know more about!

Defining K-Beauty

Ms. Cho Heena is 24 years old, gorgeous, and a true-blue Banila Co. fan. In fact, she was scouted by the brand because she was one of their VIP customers! She shared her thoughts about K-beauty as actually being a mix of East and West; there’s opportunity for self-expression through skincare and makeup, but it’s also rooted in cultural traditions and notions of Asian beauty. She credits its international popularity to K-pop stars, who brought the style with them when they became big worldwide.

How to get that chokchok glow

Koreans are famous for their dewy skin that looks plump and moist. But it is sooo frustrating to copy the look here in our humid Philippine weather, since it can turns oily fast. Ms. Cho shared that she experienced the same problem while living in Malaysia, and revealed that the primary secret to making it work is moisturizing correctly! Don’t skip this step even if you’re afraid of getting hot and sticky; all you need to do is swap your usual cream formula for a gel. The heat and humidity can actually cause the moisture on your skin to evaporate, leaving behind a greasy, oily mess! So if you want to keep your skin balanced, make sure to moisturize regularly!

Another secret to chokchok is in the base makeup. She makes sure to use a primer, applies sunscreen, then powders lightly to finish the makeup. She recommends using the It Radiant CC Cream (P1,215), which also brightens the complexion and evens the skin tone.

On the Korean no-makeup makeup look

After all the products that need to be applied, you'd think it'll look cakey or too heavy, but Koreans make it look like second skin. Ms. Cho explains that it's all about controlling the amount of makeup. For example, she doesn't prime her entire face; just parts of it. It's about applying only where you need it, because your face may need different items for different parts.

With foundation, she applies in several light layers close to the skin, and not just dabbing and piling it on. Aside from controlling the amount, it's also the layering application that keeps the makeup from looking heavy.

The famous Korean straight brow

Ms. Cho complimented me on my “very Korean” straight eyebrows then shared how she does hers:

  1. Start from the brow tip nearest to your nose, and draw a straight line until the portion of the iris.

  2. From that point, draw a slight arch so it doesn’t look too “straight”.

  3. Continue to draw until you reach the other corner of your eye then simply connect lines as necessary.

When it comes to grooming eyebrows, a lot of Korean girls are apparently self-taught. They have waxing but not much threading in Korea, so most girls learn how to groom their brows from a young age. They use a spoolie to brush up the front part of the eyebrows, carefully cut the longer hairs, brush down at the tail part, and cut the excess hair again.

The practically invisible Korean eyeliner and puffy eyes

Haven't we all watched a K-drama and wondered if their eyes were just that defined or if they were wearing eyeliner? Ms. Cho has an easy way to achieve this: her personal technique is to “root stamp” the Foxtail Mascara (P885) right on her lashes before using the Foxtail Dual Eyeliner (P865) to draw wings on the corners.

Ms. Cho doesn’t use eyeliner on her lower lid but she emphasizes the “pouches” underneath to make it look more puffy. She also uses a lighter and brighter shadow instead of a highlighter in the middle of under eye.

Five essential Banila Co. products you should try

Ms. Cho's first recommendation (and favorite product) is the famous Banila Co Clean It Zero (P875), a cleansing balm that many K-beauty fans swear by. She shares that she made a Filipino friend try it to remove makeup, and it worked like a charm even on waterproof mascara!

She also loves the It Radiant CC Cream (P1,215) as it has a way of evening out the skin by cancelling red, yellow, and dark spots, even though it doesn't have any coverage. She applies this on top of the Prime Primer Classic or Classic Matte (P1,090), then sets everything with Prime Primer Finish Powder (P1,090 reg, P595 mini). Unlike other powders, this formula is translucent so she is able to use it to set even eye makeup. There's no white powder effect with a velvety smooth finish either, so it's also perfect on the T-zone area!

Finally, she grabs the Two Kisses Dual Tint (P695) for that classic K-beauty ombre or gradient lips. This product has an emulsion side and a gel tint side, with different shades of the same color. You apply the emulsion side, which moisturizes the lips, then wait for around 30 seconds before dabbing the gel tint in the center for a natural ombre lip look.

She also advises for lips and cheeks should match, so Koreans mix a bit of both the lip color and the foundation to create a blusher that matches! The Cover 10 Perfect Cushion (P1825) and V-V Bouncing Cushion (P1825) both dispense a bit of product on a tray which you can use as the palette to mix with the lip color – instant cream blush!

Skincare will always be the top consideration for Koreans, so she also recommended the White Wedding Sleeping Essence (P1,550). You apply this as the last skincare step before sleeping, and you should wake up to brighter skin the next morning.

Are you a K-Beauty fan? Which of these tips will you be trying?