Six strange but genius Korean beauty tips to try today

Korean beauty brands have been receiving a lot of attention and applause from the international community for innovative products that have created their own cult followings. Thanks to them, strange but effective ingredients such as horse fat and snail mucin have found their way into our skin care regimen! Even their beauty philosophy is quite unique and sometimes vastly different from Western beauty standards. Today, we're taking a look at new Kbeauty practices and hacks that you must try at home!

Natural Seaweed Mask

Did you know that seaweed is jam-packed with minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants? Aside from the benefits you can get from eating it, your skin can also benefit from a direct application. You'll find seaweed as an ingredient in some skin care, but nothing beats doing this homemade seaweed mask as presented on Korean TV above. Here's how to do it:

  1. Simply rehydrate unflavored and unsalted seaweed (get the type for rolling sushi at the grocery) by soaking it in warm water for a few seconds.
  2. Apply the strips to your face and leave them on for 15 minutes.
  3. Peel it off and feel how the mask moisturized, softened, and soothed your face. It's also supposed to detoxify your skin. 
Image via

Image via

Cotton Pad Mask Sheets

We love store-bought sheet masks but it can admittedly be an expensive habit, especially if you want to follow the prescribed thrice weekly application. Luckily, making your mask sheet at home is a really cheap and easy option. To wit:

  1. Get three or four cotton pads (we recommend seamless rounds rather than those bulky squares). Pop them into a ziplock baggie and add enough drops of your favorite essence or a moisturizing toner to soak them.
  2. Store them in the fridge until you're ready to get masking, then simply stick the essence-soaked cotton all over your face. Place one on each cheek, one on your forehead, and one on your chin. You may also place one in your nose if you want to target that area.
  3. Leave the pads on your skin for about 20 minutes then pat the remaining damp essence on your skin until it's dry. Do not wash.

This way, you can use skin care products that are already part of and complement your routine. You can control the amount of essence that goes to your skin. Try this the next time you run out of your favorite Leaders masks!

Dust-Block Skincare

Around spring, the air in Korea and other East Asian countries is suffused with "Yellow Dust", which is sand from the Mongolian Dessert. The yellow dust is fine and contains large quantities of pollutants that can cause skin concerns such premature aging. Of course, the Koreans invented dust-block skincare to protect their skin and prevent this fine dust from clogging up their pores. We may not have a yellow dust problem in our country, but being exposed to so much pollution is a real problem, especially if you commute. Try Etude House's Sunprise Dust Block SPF50 (P678) or Dust Cut Facial Mist (P578).


The idea of emphasizing or deliberately adding eye bags may raise your eyebrows but this a beauty feature popular among the Koreans. Done properly with the right products, it can make you look younger and bright-eyed as it's supposed to mimic the plumpness of young skin. It's easy to recreate with some champagne-colored shimmer, a light contour powder, or even a brow pencil as demonstrated by Pony. To know where to place the "shadow", smile and pay attention to where your eyes crinkle up. Make sure to cover up any dark circles beforehand, otherwise this technique will emphasize them further.

The Korean Contour Method

Unlike Western makeup, Koreans don’t like their features to look too strong or sculpted. Their goal for contouring is to keep features soft while creating the appearance of a smaller face with a V-shaped jawline. Contour is applied all along the outer edges of the face, and highlighter is applied to the center of the forehead, along the nose, inner portions of the cheeks, the cupid's bow, and the chin.

Straight Brows 

The Koreans are all about keeping their look soft and youthful, even with how their eyebrows are shaped and styled. Straight brows make one’s face look more maamo and innocent, so it's no surprise that they're a staple in ulzzang makeup. It’s also easier to do and maintain IMHO!

We don't recommend plucking your brows into this shape if it's not the natural growth of your hair, but you can still cop the look with good brow makeup. Need recos? Check out our budget picks for brow pencils and brow powders!

Korean beauty may be a little bit different from what we're used to but their glowing skin and youthful makeup looks have us convinced. What do you think of these tips? Will you be trying them out?

Header image via Lifestyle Asia